2014-2017:  Demonstrating Innovative Forage Production Practices to Increase Climate Change Adaptation

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2009-2012: Cariboo-Chilcotin Forage Variety Trials



A need has been identified for research in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, evaluating forage performance at different elevations with and without irrigation.  The BCFC has a project with four trial sites:

  • dryland - high elevation (3400') with irrigation - Williams Lake
  • dryland - high elevation (3400') no irrigation - Miocene
  • river bottom, sandy gravel - Soda Creek
  • Chilanko River - Mid elevation (2600') - Redstone

The forages under test will include new varieties of traditional crops such as alfalfa, orchardgrass, timothy, fescue, clover as well as new varieties of less traditional forages such as corn, millet, birdsfoot trefoil, fenugreek, cicer milkvetch.  Varieties seeded in 2009.

The BCFC has received producer funding for these trials, as well as funding from the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (through former federal adaptation funding), the Northern Development Initiatives Trust, and the Horn Levy Fund of BC.  Thanks to Corky Tucker, BCFC Director, for heading this project.

2008-2011: Highway 16 New Crop Trials

The objectives of this project are to improve the BC livestock industry's responsiveness to changing economic conditions.  Identifying and analyzing new varieites of perennial grasses and legumes will provide forage growers data to select the best varieties for their situation.  With the rising cost of grain, producers may be leaning towards feeding higher quality hay. 

This project will seed alfalfa/grass blends, representing a typical hay mix for the area.  Plots of 4'x20' of Kay, Climax & Carlton blended with 6 different varieties of alfafla will show how the grasses compete in a blend.  New varieties of non-bloat pasture legumes will be analyzed for yield.  Sainfoin, cicer milkvetch, birdsfoot trefoil and AC Grazeland (reduced bloat alfalfa) will be seeded.

This project will also assess the area for grass seed production.  Boreal red fescue, oracle red fescue, climax timothy, carlton brome & kay orchardgrass will be analyzed for their ability to produce good quality seed.

This project is being funded by the Beef Cattle Industry Development Fund, the Nechako Kitamaat Development Fund, the BCCA Horn Fund, Fort Fraser Livestock Association, Sinkut Mountain Cattlemen,  Clucluz Lake Cattlemen and GlenDale Agra Services.  Thanks to Dave Merz, BCFC past president, for heading this project.

2007-2009: Wet Meadows Forage Variety Demonstration Project

The BC Forage Council, the Cariboo Cattlemen and the BCMAL are working on the first year of a three-year demonstration project to determine which varieties of forage offer the best survivability in the wet meadows of the Cariboo region of the province. Many producers in the area farm wet meadows in the late summer after they have dried. Seeding & fertilizing is done in the fall. For demonstration purposes, two sites were seeded in the fall of 2007 near 150 Mile House, B.C.; one site is at Jane & Duncan Barnett’s and the other at Cliff & Jo Hinche’s. Field Tours will be held in the summer of 2009. Photos of the plots and seeding are posted on the Farmwest website. This demonstration project is sponsored by the Cariboo Cattlemen and is operating entirely with producer support along with some labour assistance from the BCMAL. There is no funding for this project.  Thanks to Corky Tucker, BCFC Director, for initiating and overseeing this project.

2006-2008: Central BC Wheat & Barley Trials

The BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands provided a grant to the BC Forage Council to conduct three years of wheat variety trials in the area surrounding Prince George. The objective of the trial was to examine the feasibility of locally produced wheat for ethanol production. The project developed three wheat/cereal trials in Hixon, Prince George and Vanderhoof. The project will consist of 4 replicated plots containing approximately 20 varieties and will continue over a 3 year period. 

2003-2006: Highway 16 Forage & Cereal Variety Evaluation

The Highway 16 Crop Testing Unit ( CTU) established 24 varieties of grass and an equal number of alfalfa varieties at three sites each in 2003. These were harvested in one to two cuts as rainfall produced measurable dry matter in 2004 to 2006 except for the alfalfa test at Mapes which winterkilled in January 2005. A fourth grass test was reseeded at Mapes in 2004 and harvested in 2005 and 2006. A total of twenty varieties of oats and barley were sown and harvested for cereal silage at four sites in all years. Fourteen of these varieties were also evaluated for grain production at the same 4 sites (Mapes, Fort Fraser, Francois Lake and Smithers ).   

2003-2006: Creston Alfalfa Trial

This alfalfa trial was seeded in Creston, BC in 2003. Fifteen cultivars or strains were tested for DM yield.

2003-2005: Fraser Valley Forage Variety Trials