R&D Project:

Improving Forage Productivity & Profitability


Status: Completed

Project Timeline: April 2017 – March 2020


  1. Improve forage land productivity through increasing soil and forage quality by utilizing, monitoring and enhancing our grazing management practices.
  2. Capture more economic and nutrient values from distributing manure through winter feeding practices or from spreading composted manure to determine recommended practices.
  3. Evaluate alternate legume species within both haying and grazing systems, and work with seed growers to improve the availability and cost of these alternatives.
  4. Evaluate, train, and develop prototypes, as appropriate, of on farm decision making tools such as seeding tool, grazing tool, soil quality field kit and drone field mapping by first developing and then utilizing an user friendly economic analysis to capture the  return on investment for various management practices.


  • Set up demos with 15 key cooperators with alternative legumes, manure spreading management & whole farm nutrient management.
  • Tested Soil Quality Field Kit at 32 pairs of benchmark sampling sites with 17 cooperators. Worked with Bill McGill to improve test interpretations for evaluating innovative practices in terms of soil quality. Collaborated with farm cooperators to develop user friendly soil quality report cards.
  • Monitoring soil & crop response to innovative practices.
  • Working with Blackbird Environmental to evaluate spatial extent & variability of effect of practices.
  • Compiling articles in newsletters & factsheets (see right hand side for updates).
  • Cohosted 7 field days or smaller events within Peace region where cooperators & several innovative soil improvement practices were highlighted.
  • Cohosted summer tour in June 2018 which included 2 cooperators & 3 demo sites.
  • Cohosted summer tour in June 2019 which included 1 cooperator & 2 demo sites.
  • Enabled 26 forage members to participate in out of region conferences & workshops, either as speakers or attendees & to bring back & report on innovative ideas for our region.

See This Project on the Project Map

Project Cooperators

  • Fred & Liz Schneider
    Pouce Coupe, BC
  • Andrew & Brian Clarke
    Baldonnel, BC
  • Gordon & Brenda Lazinchuk
    Bessborough, BC
  • Shellie English
    Montney, BC
  • Stan & Shirley Smithard
    Sunset Prairie, BC
  • Tara Holmes & Ben Harrington
    Siphon Creek, Peace River B, BC
  • Rob Larson & Sharon Lewis
    Rose Prairie, BC
  • Jodi Kendrew
    Pouce Coupe, BC
  • Craig Fossum & Brette Madden
    Groundbirch, BC
  • Tobin Dirks
    Cecil Lake, BC

Project Contacts

Funding & Industry Partners

  • Peace Region Forage Seed Association
  • University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)
  • Blackbird Environmental
  • Roy Northern Land and Environmental
  • Matrix Solutions
  • South Peace Grain Cleaning Co-op (SPG)
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF)
  • Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC