Grey Wooded Forage Association (GWFA)
The Grey Wooded Forage Association (GWFA) works to create awareness of the uses and potential uses of forages, acts as an information exchange centre, illustrates production practices, and seeks knowledge and innovations that are environmentally and economically sustainable for the agricultural community.
About Our Region:
GWFA association serves members who farm in:
Clearwater County, Mountain View County, Red Deer County, Lacombe County, and Ponoka County
GWFA conducts projects including:
Bale Grazing vs. No Bale Grazing - Yield clippings and soil samples from bale grazed areas of a pasture and non bale grazed areas of the same pasture were analyzed and compared to determine which areas had better forage yields, higher forage quality and more soil nutrients.
Perennial Grasses for Grazing - Various grasses were planted to demonstrate their suitability to growing conditions.
Frost Seeded Forages - The success of frost seeding, a method of establishing a new forage species into an existing forage stand, was tested by broadcasting a mix of legume seeds in a small pasture. Before broadcasting, there were no legumes growing in this pasture.
Soil Biology - The effectiveness of a variety of nutrient adding substances such as Calcium Nitrate fertilizer, compost, and fish fertilizer/molasses combinations were evaluated by comparing the amount of dry matter produced from areas where each fertilizer type was applied.
Low Land Forages - Different varieties of Reed Canary grass and a mix of Reed Canary, Creeping Red Fescue, Timothy and Alsike Clover were seeded to a low lying area. Two thirds of the field received fertilizer and the rest was left for a comparison.
Perennial Grasses for Grazing - We have planted strips of Meadow Brome, Hybrid Brome, Courtenay Tall Fescue, Barcel Tall Fescue, Mara Perennial Ryegrass, Player Perennial Ryegrass, Promesse Timonthy and Rival Reed Canary Grass. We are watching what they are doing and letting them get established.
Canamaize Corn - Canamaize is a variety of corn requiring low heat units, only 1800 to 1900, this is an advantage to us as our biggest challenge with growing corn is insufficient heat units. We are interested in seeing how this progresses and it's usefulness as a swath grazing or winter grazing crop.
Perenniel Cereal Rye - Growth in the first year looked similar to that of fall rye. Half of the site was grazed in the fall and the other half was left alone for the fall. In 2005, the crop will be harvested for silage and then the re-growth will likely be grazed.
To Cover or Not to Cover - We have seeded Hybrid Brome, Timothy, Alfalfa, and Courtenay Tall Fescue directly into stubble. Half of the site will be seeded with an oats cover crop. We will be interested to see how much of a yield difference the cover crop makes over the next few years.
Direct Seeding into Sod - A mixture of Waldern Oats and Winter Triticale was seeded into sod last year. It is coming along amazingly well this spring and will be used for swath grazing later this year.
Pasture and Riparian Management - The goals of this project are to improve the health of the riparian area along the shores of Gull Lake as well as the pasture adjacent to it, and while doing this enhance the public perception of grazing these pastures. A watering system and fencing systems have been set up for this project.
Late Fall Seeded Legumes - Legume seeds that are typically difficult to germinate were planted in the late Fall with the hope that the harsh winter would break down the seeded coat and increase the likelihood of triggering germination.
Perennial Forage Mix for Extended Grazing - In this project, species known for their stockpiling abilities were planted on a pasture containing zones with different soil conditions. The aim of this project was to determine which forage species performed best in each area.