Cattle newly introduced to the Advanced Cell Design.

Site Background

About the Location

Touchwood Hills Ducks Demonstration Site is located approximately 110 kilometres northeast of Regina, near Lestock. This site is located in the Aspen Parkland ecoregion of the province, being the transitioning region in the landscape from the boreal forest to the north and the grassland plains to the south and mountains to the west.

This site has a rolling topography with many natural water sources accompanied by aspen groves and open grazing meadows consisting of native tall grasses including rough fescue, slender wheatgrass and western porcupine grass. 

The Aspen Parkland ecoregion is home to trembling aspen and eastern cottonwood trees as well as tall thicket shrubs which provide natural windbreaks for livestock shelter and encourage snow buildup through the winter months to contribute to spring moisture.

The Black Chernozemic soils of this ecoregion make it productive agriculture land, rich in organic matter (OM) ranging from six to 12 per cent OM. These rich soils are a powerhouse medium for carbon sequestration and livestock productivity. While there are no saline waterbodies present in this site, there are small regions of Solonetzic soils present.

Rainfall amount is highest through the May to September months, averaging 400 to 500 millimetres and 15⁰C average for temperatures. Winter temperatures average -12.5⁰C with increased amount of snowfall in comparison to the southern portion of the province. 

About the Farm

 Ducks Unlimited Canada is developing this demonstration site. 

Their objective is to demonstrate a simple advanced grazing system and present options for integrating cattle on the landscape promoting permanent cover and grassland retention, particularly addressing animal distribution and utilization concerns.

Short-term goals:
1. Improve cattle/manure distribution
2. Protect sensitive areas
3. Improve forage utilization
4. Target problem areas (woody, weedy)
5. Increase overall rest period

Long-term goals:
1. Increase biomass desirables
2. Increase lbs/ac beef produced = increase $$
3. Extend grazing season/reduce winter feeding costs
4. Improve soil health
5. Improve carbon storage capability over time 


Nature Conservatory of Canada. 2023. Aspen Parkland Forest. 

Agronomic Details

Fencing and water installation was completed on May 8 to 12, 2023. 

Surface soil samples (0-15 centimetres) will be taken fresh and used for determination of actively cycling soil carbon fractions in the topsoil, including microbial biomass, soluble organic carbon and nitrogen and light fraction. These measurements serve as indicators of the effects of adaptive grazing management and therefore as predictors of future changes in total soil organic carbon storage. 

An on-site manager will be available to move cattle and maintain upkeep of the system. 

Funding for this project [in part] has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund.