Canadian Forage U-Pick

Project Title

Canadian Forage U-Pick: Expanding the Western Canadian Forage U-Pick to include Eastern Canada


Ray Robertson – Ontario Forage Council

Amy Higgins – Maritime Beef Council Christian Duchesneau – Conseil Quebecoise des Plantes Fourrageres Christine O’Reilly – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Tanya Dykens – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Genevieve Regimbald – Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation

Status Project Code
Completed September, 2023 KTT.05.20


Selecting forage species that will thrive under the growing and management conditions of a field improves the productivity of the crop. Since well-managed forage is typically the cheapest source of feed, growing productive forages can widen the profit margins of a beef operation by decreasing the amount of feed that needs to be purchased. Managing feed costs to widen profit margins improves the economic sustainability of beef operations. In addition, forage crops offer soil health and wildlife habitat benefits that contribute to environmental sustainability on farms. The existing Forage U-Pick tool helps producers select forage species that are a good fit for their individual fields, however, it is limited to Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba).


The objective of this project is to expand the current Forage U-Pick tool to include Eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada).

What they Did

To make Forage U-Pick applicable to eastern Canada, the team, collaborators and regional consultants worked together to create forage growing zones specific to Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

Other features included in the Forage U-Pick Tool including weed management and seed rate calculator were updated to reflect specific forage species, growing conditions, and management practices in eastern Canada.

This team also surveyed beef producers after using the new eastern version to evaluate the tool’s usability and share any feedback. Survey responses were incorporated in the final development of the tool.

What They Learned

Forage U-Pick is now a national tool that is relevant to all Canadian producers. The resource has also been translated into French to enhance accessibility.

What This Means

This project helped further develop the user-friendly Forage U-Pick tool and made it applicable for forage and beef producers across Canada, providing a valuable resource when making forage management decisions. It also helped to  promote and other extension resources to producers in Eastern Canada to increase awareness of and motivation to understand and adopt best forage management practices.