Book Reviews

Written by Progressive Forage Grower Editor Lynn Jaynes
Published on 29 May 2014

I’ve always admired the coffee-table books with gorgeous photography and interesting insights. Although such books have frequently caught my eye over the years, my interest was short-lived when I realized I would have to look at that book every day for the next 10 years. I just didn’t think the subject matter would be interesting for that long, so I never acquired one – until now. I’ve finally found the book.

"Cool Forages: Advanced Management of Temperate Forages," a collection of informational articles written by forage specialists throughout North America and edited by Shabtai Bittman and Derek Hunt, is that book. The hardbound, glossy 206-page book combines stunning photography with essential forage information that is both informational and easy to read.

I asked Bittman what audience they wanted to reach, and he replied, "By attempting to have quite technical information presented in a clear and attractive way, we hoped to reach a range – from interested farmers to professionals. Our goal was to present some new and unique and original information without being exhaustive. ... There is also an attempt to interest students – every chapter can be a topic for a term paper or research paper."

Bittman and Hunt have compiled a comprehensive collection of forage information from high-profile specialists.  Among the authors you’ll recognize names like Orloff, Sulc, Acharya, Tremblay, Papadopoulos, Undersander, Putnam and Forge. Chapters cover ecosystem services, growth of forage, forage diversity, breeding new forage varieties, soil nutrients, managing waste in forage, and forage quality and feeding. 

Whether you produce forages only or grow forages in combination with cattle, dairy, horses or small ruminants, this book will sharpen your skills and understanding with topics from tall fescue, orchardgrass and alfalfa to managing slurry on grasslands, pasture bloat, reducing greenhouse gasses and predicting harvest timing. The complete table of contents is available on

Bittman says forage specialists around the world have ordered copies, from researchers at the Russian research institute to New Zealand grasslands research center. Yet the book appeals to ranchers and dairy producers, as well.

Published and distributed by The Pacific Field Corn Association, the book is available for purchase at:, by emailing or by direct mail at 514 Kosikar Road, Lindell Beach, BC  V2R 4X7. Proceeds go to Pacific Field Corn Association, a farmer-driven non-profit society, in support of future research, interns, publishing and website ventures. FG

Gaining Ground: Making a Successful Transition to Organic Farming (e-book)
Gaining Ground covers all bases – from soil-building and planting to certification and marketing – revealing an approach that is much more than simply farming without chemicals. Based on interviews with over 80 of Canada’s organic or transitional farmers across the country, this book provides valuable, practical advice and connects you to a national network of organic farmers, the next best thing to having an organic farmer next door. Farmer wisdom is supplemented with a wealth of scientific information from around the globe. The key tools of organic farming, like pest management, crop rotations and green manures, composting and equipment are addressed in Gaining Ground. In addition, it discusses the difficult shift in thinking from an input-output approach to an integrated, whole-system approach based on ecological principles. The handbook includes an extensive list of resources for further reading. 

High Water: Living With the Fraser River Floods
High Water 1 pdf
High Water 2 pdf

For further information or mail orders, contact:
Gerry Adams
33362 Clayburn Road
Abbotsford, BC V2S 7T8
Phone: 604-859-5491

Price: $50 plus GST