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Developing Improved Native and Tame Forage Varieties for Western Canada

A reliable and productive forage base is critically important to maintaining a sustainable and competitive beef industry in Canada.  Cattle producers need access to high yielding, high quality, and well adapted forage varieties to improve the economics of production, which is becoming increasingly challenging as high grain prices continually force forage onto marginal land.

Research currently underway, funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster, is working to provide Western Canada’s beef industry with a package of improved tame forages (hybrid brome, meadow brome, crested wheatgrass and alfalfa) and native forages (northern wheatgrass, blue bunch wheatgrass, prairie sand reed, nodding brome grass, purple and white prairie clovers, Canadian milkvetch, ascending milkvetch and slender milkvetch).

In Canada there is a critical shortage of forage researchers, in particular plant breeders, and several of the few remaining researchers are nearing retirement. This research program will also train and mentor two PhD’s and one postdoc in forage breeding, genomics, and ecology/agronomics, which will help to address some of the forage research capacity issues of great concern.

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Tim C. Van HorlickMay 26, 2014

We are all interested in Soils. Likely many of us are interested in Forest Soils, Agricultural Soils and cultivation worldwide.
During the 1990’s I developed an excavator spot cultivator for reforestation named the “VH Mulcher”. It was a low speed high torque true soil profile mixer. It was successfully marketed around the world.
In 2008 I started development of an automated cultivation and planting excavator attachment, the “VHCP” (Van Horlick’s cultivator/ planter). In British Columbia our severe and diverse terrain proved a bit more challenging than initially expected. Many concept tests and component trials have been completed.
We are prepared to prove the following concepts:
• Our triple planting head attachment can cultivate and plant at 1500 per hour.
• Planting of any species (tree, food, or forage) is possible at numerous densities.
• Planting of “container grown” species can be economical for other than tree species.
• Lands and soil conditions not suitable for present day agricultural equipment can be cultivated and planted at economical rates.
• Cultivating and spot planting of slopes to 35% can be economically feasible.
• Cultivating and spot planting of lands without stump removal can be viable.
• Cultivating and spot planting of container stock, in the winter is viable for many species.
• Cultivating and spot planting through snow, sage brush, willow and the like is possible.
• Many lands considered “non-arable” can produce much greater crops with these concepts. A high percentage of coarse soils or deficient soils can be treated.
• Several forage plants can be grown in one container to be out-planted by the VHCP.
• Many species can be grown in containers suitable for automated cultivation and planting.

We wish to establish relations with collaborators where we might prove all of the above.
Please see my website and wait for video's to download.


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