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The Saskatchewan Forage Network was created to facilitate a collaborative approach to research, technology transfer and industry development for all forage and livestock industry stakeholders in Saskatchewan. Through the leadership of the Network Coordinator and participant organizations, a number of significant successes have been accomplished:

      • delivery of the Saskatchewan Forage Network Graduate Student Awards providing industry financial support to post-secondary graduate students. To date, $120,000 has been awarded for delivery of projects into 2016/17 with students working on a range of topics from development of new sainfoin and crested wheatgrass lines, forage pea cultivars for greenfeed, improving grazing capacity with bloat free legumes, barley silage for dairy cows, and developing grassland songbird management on mixed grass prairie rangelands;

      • targeted emphasis on the need for increased forage research capacity and infrastructure, including direct input to the creation and development of the Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan; and

      • the Saskatchewan Agriculture funded Strategic Research Program (SRP) Forage Breeding Chair at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Bill Biligetu was hired for the position in May 2014.

Network members are: Native Plant Society of SK, SK Bison Association, SK Cattlemen’s Association, SK Forage Council, SK Forage Seed Development Commission, SK Leafcutters Association/SK Alfalfa Seed Producers Association, SK Prairie Conservation Action Plan, SK Sheep Development Board, and SaskMilk.

The Saskatchewan Forage Network is funded by industry contributions and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture through the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing Forward 2 bi-lateral agreement. Current funding ends March 31, 2017; therefore efforts are underway to ensure that this dynamic initiative is sustained well into the future.

Posted May 18, 2016