Kootenay Corn Projects

East Kootenay Winter Corn Grazing Trial 2008

For the beef industry in B.C., one of the greatest costs is providing winter feed. With escalating costs for machinery, fuel and transportation, the ability to cost effectively produce your own hay or get it trucked in is becoming unbearable. Extending your grazing season, or conversely, shortening your winter feeding requirements, is one way to lower costs.

This project was undertaken to assess the use of corn for late fall – early winter grazing in the East Kootenay. Determining production, nutrient content, ability to withstand snow loads and the economics of grazing corn were questions to be answered by this project.

Click here to download the Final Report of the East Kootenay Winter Corn Grazing Trial 2008

This project was funded in part by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. through the Small Projects Program. The Foundation manages and distributes federal and provincial funds in support of innovative projects for the benefit of B.C.’s agriculture and agri-food industries.

Additional funding for this project was provided by: Agriculture Canada, Province of BC, Beef Cattle Industry Development Fund.

Kootenay Corn Project 2009

For general inquires please contact project coordinator: Jody Murdoch, Ph 250-919-1074 or
email: grassrootsagriculture@shaw.ca

Grazing corn is being considered as a new forage crop for beef producers in the East Kootenay region of BC. A small group of local producers and agriculture industry businesses met in early spring of 2009 to discuss the possible collaboration over project ideas that would allow area agriculture to compete and be successful. A couple of area producers were having success with corn for grazing and silage in their herd nutrition programs. The group decided that corn was a great area to explore further opportunities in the East Kootenay and share in the experience of how to grow corn in the many different micro climates of the region.

The “Corn Report” is an updated newsletter based off observations from any of the six corn plot locations in the project. Project partners, as well as others who are interested in learning more about what is involved in growing corn and discovering the possible yield opportunities are encouraged to read along.

Kootenay Corn Report May 2009

The corn was planted at a depth of 1.5″ to 1.75″ with a kernel to kernel spacing of 6.5″. The inter row spacing of 30″ was maintained all through the plot. The planter was calibrated to plant approxi-mately 30,000 seeds per acre.

Kootenay Corn Report June 2009

An alternative to spraying out the weeds in the corn plots is inter-row cultivation with a tractor mounted cultivator. However, matching wheel width spacing and cultivator shanks to corn rows can be a challenge. An unexplored idea for weed control is planting a companion crop with the corn to choke out weeds such as a grain crop.

Kootenay Corn Report July 2009

Just about every plot location was hit with a frost that occurred on Sunday June 7th, the most severe was in Skookumchuck where the frost turned some seedlings into brown mush. I’m happy to report that the corn has recovered, and though being slightly shorter will grow to be excellent cow feed .