Amazing graze: forage program now underway from DUC and Nutrien Ag Solutions™
Hay and high-quality grassland for grazing was hard to come by this past year in some parts of the Canadian prairies but the answer for next year may be found with the 2019 forage program from Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Nutrien Ag Solutions™.
Available to farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the DUC/Nutrien Ag Solutions™ forage program offsets the cost of Proven® Seed forage varieties when producers convert cultivated land to hay or pastureland. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, producers receive a rebate of $100 per 50 lb. bag of forage seed; in Manitoba, producers receive a rebate of $50 for every new forage acre seeded as part of the program.
The response to this year’s forage program has been very positive for several reasons, says Craig Bishop, DUC’s regional forage lead.
“Highly productive hay and pastures are foundational to profitable and sustainable beef,” says Bishop. “With ever-changing pressures on the cattle sector, healthy forage is a staple for healthy herds and gains. Partnering with Nutrien Ag Solutions™ , an industry leader, allows producers to reduce their risk by utilizing top-quality forage seed with extra monetary incentives to reduce costs. This is key, especially when every dollar counts to the bottom line for the farm and ranch community.”
In addition to helping cattle producers and their herds, more seeded forage acres benefits waterfowl. Research shows that the level of waterfowl nesting and success is significantly higher in areas of perennial cover or grasslands than in cultivated fields. It also helps with other conservation measures such as wetland restoration.
“The link between wetlands, associated grasslands and waterfowl productivity is well understood,” says Bishop. “Initiatives like the DUC/Nutrien Ag Solutions™ forage program ensures that farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba also receive the benefit from increasing their forage base.”
The DUC/Nutrien Ag Solutions™ forage program is best suited for producers in the parkland and prairie regions. Anyone interested in the program or who wants more information should contact their local Nutrien Ag Solutions™ retailer or DUC conservation program specialist.