During the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association’s (CFGA) 2022 conference session, Agricultural Nature-Based Solutions for the Prairie Ecoregions, Dr. Michael Schellenberg from The South of Divide Conservation Action Program Inc. (SODCAP) presented a general description of SODCAP’s proposed project submitted for Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) - Living Laboratory funding.

Farmers, scientists and collaborators formed the Living Labs company for the co-development and testing of innovations and technology to address agri-environmental issues.

The proposal for the Living Labs project, for July 14, 2022, had not yet been approved at the time of the session.

The Living Labs’ goals are:

  • To mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • To reduce water contamination
  • To improve soil and water conservation
  • To maximize habitat capacity and biodiversity on agricultural landscapes

SODCAP believes in developing cooperative programs, biodiversity and economic well-being. This project examines producer-selected Best Management Practices (BMPs) for carbon contributions, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, socio-economic benefits, uptake and biodiversity. The focus benefits society. This project will be an iterative process involving producers, researchers and knowledge transfer.

The approach for this project is as follows:

  • Schedule meetings with producers to determine BMPs
  • Approach researchers to investigate the BMPs identified
  • Schedule refinement meetings with producers and researchers

The project has identified 22-plus producer sites to create restoration sites to cover aquamarine, cover crop, polyculture and grazing management needs as well as covering all soil types.

The BMPs being addressed are:

  1. The avoidance of land use conversion, to retain native grasslands
  2. The use of adaptive grazing management techniques (rest, timing, intensity, duration, stockpiling forage and supplementation)
  3. The restoration and rejuvenation of perennial plant communities (inter-seed legumes) to build carbon stocks
  4. The use of diverse livestock grazing and blends of annual cover crops

Conference 2023

The CFGA is excited to announce that its 14th annual conference will take place Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 in person in Harrison Hot Springs, BC. This year’s conference theme is Forage Resilience in a Changing Landscape: Manage risk. Overcome challenges. Discover opportunities and we look forward to delivering the interesting and informative sessions the CFGA conference is known for. Please save the date to join us as we learn about issues facing the forage sector and how they overcome these challenges, as well as take a look ahead to opportunities. Watch the CFGA conference website for more information.

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