Since 1988, the BC Forage Council (BCFC) has been working to promote the growth and development of a viable forage industry in BC. This page is dedicated to various research and extension projects that have been conducted over the years.

NOTE: this page is under active construction, so please return frequently to find updated information. Need specific information about a past project right away? No problem: just e-mail our manager at

Current Projects

Past Projects

A Guide to On-Farm Demonstration Research How to Plan, Prepare and Conduct Your Own On-Farm Research

Research_ManualOn-farm research allows farmers to improve their     knowledge and understanding of their own production systems, which in turn can improve the amount and type of information available for decision making and increase the agricultural community’s capacity to adapt to changing markets, technologies, and knowledge.

It is BCFC’s hope that this guide will improve individual producers’ long term ability to conduct their own on-farm trials to test crops and production methods of interest, refine their forage production and products, and further enhance the production of high quality forage in BC.

You can purchase a hard-copy for $25 ($10 for members). This manual was a final deliverable of the project: “Demonstrating Innovative Forage Production Practices to Increase Climate Change Adaptation (2014-2017).”

Case Studies

Here is a link to the BCFC Forum on On-Farm Demonstration Research. You will have to be a member to access this forum.

Forage Production and Export Potential in BC’s Central Interior

This project was designed to examine the potential for forage production and export in the central interior of BC. The main objectives of the project were to:

  • Identify production opportunities, potential, and possible challenges of hay production for the domestic and international export of hay in the Central Interior
  • To help producers make decisions surrounding hay production for international and domestic export markets
  • To help assess the possible impacts of the export of hay in the Central Interior on other agricultural sectors.

For more details the objectives and the results of this project see below.

Forage Export Report Summary

Cariboo-Chilcotin Forage Variety Trials

The main objective of this project was to provide the necessary information relating to forage varieties which will help to sustain the beef cattle industry in British Columbia. The trials took place in four locations: Williams Lake, Miocene, Soda Creek, and Redstone in order to gather a wider set of data from varying climate regions. Please see the attached file for a full report.

2012 Cariboo Final Report

New Crop Trials for Highway 16

This project was designed to help farmers of Northern British Columbia find a new forage crop to replace Peace seed which is no longer available. Other objectives of the project were specified as to identify grass varieties to help establish forage production in the north, as well as increase yield and sustainability for the hay, pasture, and livestock industries. Identifying non-bloat legumes that are able to increase yield and nutrition of livestock pastures was also a goal of the project. Finally, identifying alfalfa varieties which can compete in grass mixtures in order to improve production of high quality hay. The research was conducted at a site adjacent to Highway 16 near Vanderhoof.

The links to the final report as well as the final data collection

2011 Hwy 16 Final Report

New Hwy 16 Data

East Kootenay Winter Corn Grazing Trial

The ever-growing costs to maintain and feed the beef and cattle industries in B.C. has brought up questions in the past decade about how to lower these costs, namely through the use corn as a late-fall early-winter crop. This project  was carried out in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia Approximately 50 km south of Golden. The main objectives included in the project were: to observe the changes in energy and nutrient contents in corn form September to December, to observe how corn stands up to varying snow loads, to assess corn production, and to determine if corn is an economically viable standing forage crop for overwintering feed.

For the full report and results of this study see the link below.

Final Report Corn

Creston Alfalfa Trials

The Creston Alfalfa trials focused on 14 different types of alfalfa over a period of three years. Much like other variety trials conducted by the BCFC, the purpose of this one was to help identify varieties that will help increase yield and survivability of forage for the hay and livestock industries. The other objective of note in this trial was to help raise awareness for the importance of research being conducted on forage within the local agricultural community. Full report and summary below.

Creston Final Report

Creston Alfalfa Summary

Highway 16 Crop Testing Unit 2003-2006 Forage & Cereal Variety Evaluation

This project focused on four different forage crops: Alfalfa, Grass, Oat, and Barley. Oat and Barley were also tested as a grain crop. Alfalfa and Grass varieties were tested in order to improve yield and sustainability for the hay, pasture and livestock industries. The two other objectives of the project were to: create a producer-managed crop testing unit based out of Glen Dale Agra Services.

Full Report:

Hwy 16 Summary Report

Fraser Valley Trials

This Grass variety trial took place in Agassiz, Chilliwack, and Sumas between 2003 and 2005. There were three types of grass used in the trials: Tall Fescue, Orchardgrass, and Perennial Ryegrass. There were 11 varieties of Tall Fescue planted, 17 varieties of Orchardgrass, and 10 varieties of Perennial Ryegrass. Below are full summaries and a description of the methods used in this trial.

Summary: Summary 2003-2005

Method: Summary and Methods