Forage production differs from grain and oilseed production in that the crop is not grown to full maturity. This difference often influences agronomy and other management decisions, which in turn affect yield and quality. Some resources on forage crop agronomy, harvest, and storage can be found here.

General Resources

Agronomy Guide for Field Crops

OMAFRA Publication 811: Agronomy Guide for Field Crops is a comprehensive guide to field crop production. Chapter 3: Forages covers hay and haylage production, with an emphasis on alfalfa crops. Chapter 15: Insects and Pests of Field Crops and Chapter 16: Diseases of Field Crops are useful for scouting and managing common alfalfa pests in Ontario. Other chapters provide information on soil management, soil fertility, and scouting.

Aussi disponible en français.

Guide to Forage Production

OMAFRA Publication 30: Forage Production is available on request from the Ministry website (link above).

Species Selection

Midwest Cover Crop Council Cover Crop Decision Tools

The Midwest Cover Crop Council (MCCC) Cover Crop Decision Tools are web-based systems to assist farmers in selecting cover crops to include in field crop and vegetable rotations. Selecting “Mechanical Forage Harvest Value” or “Good Grazing” as cover crop goals will rank the annual crops in the database on their suitability as forage crops.

Eastern Canada Cover Crop Decision Tool

The Eastern Canada Cover Crop Decision Tool is designed to help farmers choose cover crops that meet their goals in field crop and vegetable crop production systems. Selecting “Forage Harvest” as a goal/benefit will rank the annual crops in the database on their suitability as forage crops.

Aussi disponible en français.

Forage U-Pick

An interactive forage species selection tool for Western Canada.

Pest Management

Ontario Crop Protection Hub

The Ontario Crop Protection Hub is OMAFRA’s official crop protection resource. It replaces Publication 75: Guide to Weed Control and Publication 812: Field Crop Protection Guide. The Crop Protection Hub is an online database with the latest information on pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) labelled for use in Ontario.

Aussi disponible en français.

Harvest

NUTRI-fourrager

NUTRI-fourrager predicts the optimum harvest date for alfalfa-grass mixtures based on plant height and target NDF and RFV. The tool is only available in French, but web browser translations make it usable in English. Note that “valeur alimentaire relative (VAR)” is Relative Feed Value (RFV).

Seulement disponible en français.