Projects Inventory

Non-Member

Forage U-Pick Selection Tool

Shannon McArton

Saskatchewan Forage Council

April 1, 2019 - April 30, 2020

Audience(s): Cow-Calf Institutions/Academics   Project Type(s): Promote

Forage U-Pick is a new, user-friendly, interactive forage species selection tool for Western Canada. This tool is designed to provide users with information for forage selection, forage seeding rates, and weed management. Forage U-Pick is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform:  Forages Suited to My Field allows users to choose their province, soil zone or a regional zone and provides a list of forage species that are suited to the selected zone. The seeding rate calculator is used once users have selected the forages they want to seed, ensuring that the right amount of seed is put into the ground to have the best possible chance for a good stand. 

The U-Pick suite of seeding options includes a number of native species, across the western provinces. The tool is intended to be a resource for new plantings, more than improvement of current stands. Criteria for the inclusion of native species emphasizes the variety’s ability to successfully establish from seed. Some native varieties were not included in specific areas if they were determined to be too difficult to establish.

The Forage Weed Management area of the tool touches on how the economic success in forages can increase with proper weed control. The Forage U-Pick project was supported by more than a dozen organizations, across four provinces, through contributions of time and expertise. This project is a testament to the commitment of professionals in the field of forages to improving the economics and production on-farm with producers.

Goals:

Goal #9:Increase the financial viability of beef production in Canada

Goal #3: Enhance ecosystem services and biodiversity on lands managed by beef producers

Indicators Addressed:

Natural Resources:

  1. Grasslands, tame pastures and native ecosystems are maintained or enhanced
  2. Grasslands, tame pastures and native ecosystems shall be monitored and managed, and a balanced approach to exotic and invasive plants shall be achieved.
Communication Tools:

The tool can be found at http://saskforage.ca/index.php/forage-species-selection-tool.html

Presentations at the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre's Annual Meetings (2019, 2020), Alberta Beef Producers Annual General Meeting (2018), Range Stewardship Course (2018), National Technology Transfer Network Meetings (2019, 2020), Alberta Forage Industry Network (2020) have featured the creation of this tool as part of the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre's extension activities (total audience estimated at about 400 people). Written updates have also been provided to various Applied Research Associations in Alberta upon request. 

  • BCRC webinar on March 25th and archived for additional and repeat viewers.
  • Alberta Farmer Express published an article on Forage U-Pick (May Forage Edition)
  • At launch date a press release, promotional tweets, and a BCRC blog post will be available. The blog post is written so it can be taken and used by partners as promotion with producers. Additional news articles are anticipated in the next six months on the tool (generated from the press release).

Tagged as: Forage