Completed Projects

National Forage & Grassland Assessment -Fall 2012

In 2012, the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association, together with AAFC commissioned a study to determine the value of our forage and grassland industry. Douglas Yungblut of Yungblut and Associates presented this Executive Summary in the report.The Canadian forage industry suffers from a lack of recognition for its contribution to the economy because it is diverse and difficult to measure. Everyone is familiar with scenes of livestock grazing or fields dotted with bales of hay, but these are not viewed from an economic viewpoint the way a field of corn, wheat or canola would be. This leads to a lack of support for this industry in both the public and private sectors.


Over the past five years each of the major forage producing provinces have examined the nature and scope of their forage industries. This led to the determination of industry values ranging from $650 M in Ontario to $ 1.5 B in Alberta in direct economic contribution. Their studies were, however, done at different times using different study methodologies. There has never been a comprehensive review of the economic value of the Canadian forage industry.

The current study used acreage data from the 2011 census and economic values from 2011 whenever possible. A variety of sources were consulted to estimate dollar values of various aspects of the industry.

In terms of acreage, cultivated forages for pasture, feed and seed production accounted for 33.8 million acres or 39% of the land in Canada devoted to crop production. In comparison the next largest crop, wheat, accounted for 20.4 million acres or 23% of crop land. In addition, over 36 million acres of land were devoted to native or unimproved pastures.

The economic value of the industry was $5.09 billion, making it the third largest crop after wheat and canola. The forage industry is the foundation of the dairy and beef industries, which together contribute $11 billion in direct value to Canadian farmers and generate over $50 billion in economic activity.
These are the direct measurable benefits of the forage industry. Provincial studies in Alberta and Saskatchewan estimated the value of indirect benefits such as environmental enhancements and found that these could be worth as much again as the direct benefits.

There are exciting emerging opportunities for the forage industry. Interest in their use as renewable fuels and feedstock for biomaterials is in its infancy. There is also growing demand in areas such as China and the Middle East for high quality forages to feed growing livestock industries or to replace domestic production. Read the 2012 National Forage and Grassland Assessment Report

Report Assesses
the Potential Impact of Roundup Ready® Alfalfa on Canada’s Forage Industry

The Canadian Forage & Grassland Association (CFGA), through a project partnership with the Saskatchewan Forage Council, is pleased to announce the release of a national, industry-wide market impact study providing an unbiased, fact-based assessment of the potential impact of Roundup Ready® alfalfa (RRA) on Canada’s forage industry. This collaborative project, with input and direction from stakeholders across the industry, will assist the forage industry nation-wide in its efforts to respond to the new and emerging issue of genetically modified crops. The CFGA held a forum to gather input from stakeholders at their AGM in Saskatoon in December 2011; further input was collected via written submissions.

July 17, 2012

Following initial release of the Report, our project steering committee noted several minor errors in the data used to quantify the forage industry. Revisions have been made and the corrected report is now posted. Please note that these corrections do not alter the assessment or overall findings of the Report. Download the report at the link below or the CFGA for printed copy  (204) 726-9393 for a printed copy.

Assessing the Potential Impact of RRA on Cdn Forage Industry – Final Report modified
Résumé exécutif – en français

Environmental Scan of the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Forage Industry

The development of export forage markets is a key priority for the Manitoba Forage Council (MFC) and the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and there is a desire to work with the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation to develop opportunities to use the Port of Churchill for hay exports.

The purpose of this project was to provide an environmental scan of the Manitoba and Saskatchewan forage industry including the potential for greater exports to world markets, as well as to assess the potential transportation costs and logistical challenges.  This included a review of Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s ability to produce, process and export their forages to global markets.  Two significant components of the study were to determine strategic locations for establishing processing facilities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and transportation considerations, such as equipment and routes.

The market scan reviewed current transportation costs, logistical challenges, and whether they are a hindrance to accessing a greater global market share. The Port of Churchill was investigated to access whether or not it could provide an economical transportation alternative to forage exports.

Summary of Environmental Scan
Final Report – Environmental Scan – Oct 28 30 2011
CFGA Newsletter – Feb 2012 – Overview & comments from Stakeholders

Long Term International Forage & Grassland Marketing Strategy (June 28, 2010)

The first project undertaken by the CFGA was a multi-level analysis of the existing industry and the development of a Long Term International Forage Marketing Strategy. In the Strategic Plan, June 2010, Tyrchniewicz Consulting determined that Canada is well poised to capture more of the U.S. export market, however, there are a number of barriers that must be addressed to do so, namely: transportation costs, currency rates, protocols, energy costs and market demands.

Overview Middle East Mission CFGA

As part of the multi-level analysis, an information seeking mission to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia was carried out in March 2010. This mission gave the seven Canadian Forage and Grassland representatives and the importing country forage industry representatives an opportunity to exchange necessary information to improve each other’s understanding of the market place, and the requirements of the importing countries. The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association would like to thank the members of the following organizations for their assistance and support during the Fact Finding Mission and preparation of this Forage Market Assessment and Report of the Saudi Arabian forage and livestock sector.

  • The Manitoba Forage Council;
  • The Saskatchewan Forage Council;
  • The Alberta Forage Alliance;
  • The Ontario Forage Council;
  • The Quebec Forage Council;
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Agri-Marketing Program
  • And the producers and industry representatives that participated in the Fact Finding Mission and provided input into the final report.

Update on Market Access for the Export of Canadian Alfalfa Hay to China

In the summer of 2009, Canada and China signed an agreement committing both countries to work on finalizing a plant health certification protocol that would provide China with the necessary assurance that their plant health import requirements would be met on alfalfa hay exports from Canada.  Two experts from China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) travelled to Canada in late summer of 2009 to gain an overview of alfalfa hay production and processing in Canada, in addition to the Canadian plant health export certification system.

Thank you to our Sponsors!


Dairy Farmers of Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the AgriMarketing Program

Strategic Partners

New Holland

leBulletin des agriculteurs

Canadian Cattlemen

Country Guide



Forage Genetics International

Nutritional Feed Additives Inc.
Distributors COAST to COAST of Hay Preservatives
Harvest Tec
Equipment and Products for Quality Hay

PICKSEED Canada Inc.



Contact Us

Please drop us a line or give us a call.

Canadian Forage & Grassland Association

Cedric MacLeod, Executive Director
466 Queen Street, Wilmot Alley
Fredericton, NB
E3B 1B6
Ph: (506) 260-0872