Peace River Forage Association
Research and Development Projects

Integrated Approach to Productive Forage Land Using Livestock

Project Objectives:

  1. Work with local producers to develop integrated pest management strategies including livestock.
  2. Adopt training protocols to successfully train livestock graze Canada thistle on pastureland.
  3. Conduct an economic analysis of using livestock as weed managers, including a cost/benefit analysis comparing the cost to train livestock versus the benefits achieved. 
  4. Determine how Canada thistle responds to grazing pressure in a conventional and intensive management system (i.e. frequency of grazing, timing of grazing).
  5. Share information on the study findings with producers though factsheets, video compilations, newsletter articles and websites. 

Project Progress:

  • Project timeline: 2015 - 2018
  • Set up demos with 6 key cooperators to teach their livestock (cattle, sheep, goats) to graze weeds & to accomplish integrated weed managment goals.
  • Monitored weed & forage response to grazing.
  • Included integrated pest management sites with grazing of new invaders on range (buckbrush, rosebush), grazing invasive plants on community pastures (Canada thistle, Bull thistle), seeding of grazed areas (riparian grazing).
  • Monitored pastures (photos, desirable, undesirable forages, plant height, weed growth stage, weed counts & infestation size) before and after grazing to document grazing impacts.
  • Hosted updates for smaller groups at stations during workshops, tours & other events over 3 years.
  • Compiled 5 articles in Forage First newsletter (circulation 220) & Beef in BC (circulation 1400)
  • Compiled 2 factsheets to date (see right hand side).

Funding & Industry Partners:

  • Peace River Agriculture Development Fund
  • Peace River Regional District
  • BC Agriculture
  • Peace River Regional Cattlemens Association
  • Beef Cattle Industry Development Fundl
  • Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC