Canadian forage has a good reputation
Canada is the premier supplier of hay, straw and other forage domestically and internationally. According to the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, Canada exports approximately 600,000 tonnes of forage annually. This Canadian growth forage is valued at about $150 million and is shipped primarily to the Asia and the United States. Recently, markets for Canadian forage have started to emerge in parts of Mexico and the Middle East.
The Canadian Prairies have developed a good reputation for producing high quality forage such as Timothy and Alfalfa hay. Clean air, long warm days, cool nights and soil rich in calcium and magnesium all contribute to ideal growing conditions.
In an article published in Country Guide, Glenn Friesen of Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development commented that these growing conditions are conducive to producing forages that increase animal performance.
Feeding your cattle high quality forage is essential for weight gain, producing higher levels of milk, and increasing reproduction success. In the end, all of these things add up to increasing profits for the cattle producer. For Canadian forage producers, this means keeping domestic and international customers happy.
Learning About Canadian Forage
Forages are plants used to feed livestock and can include Alfalfa hay, Timothy hay, pasture and browse plants, cereals and straw. In Canada, forages are the basis of our livestock industry. They also help conserve the rich soil as they add nitrogen to the soil and crop rotations improve the overall soil structure.
Alfalfa hay is considered the one of the best quality forages available in the market and it is the most widely grown in Canada. Farmers from Asia and the United States purchase Canadian alfalfa for their dairy cattle and horses. It will grow under most conditions, can be adapted to many different climatic regions and does especially well in Western Canada.
The quality of the forage is dependent on the following factors:
- Management of the soil
- Nutrient composition
- Seeding rates
- Timing of cutting, raking and baling
- Storage of the forage
Young forage is higher in protein and energy that older flowering forage, which is why cutting it at the right time is crucial to its quality.
Purchasing Canadian Forage
Barr-Ag Hay & Grain Exporters are positioned near the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, a location that provides a pristine environment for growing quality hay and other forages. Among our most sought after products are Timothy hay, alfalfa hay, mixed hay, oaten hay, sweet hay, as well as various straws and our Canadian Grain Exports.
Unlike crops grown in countries with longer growing seasons and milder climates, our harsh Canadian winters help us to raise our hay crops using more natural methods. There is little to no need for pesticides and herbicides because prolonged cold weather acts as a natural pesticide and herbicide.
Because of the shorter growing season we get 1 or 2 cuttings in a season thereby giving the land ample time to rest and rejuvenate without excessive use of fertilizers. The availability of high quality hay, forage and grain, as well as Barr-Ag’s crop production methods are two reasons our customers have sought us out and helped make us Canada’s leading exporter of hay and forage.
To purchase Canadian forage contact Barr-Ag today!