Pasture Mixes, Pasture Management, and Methane Reduction

Outstanding in our Fields 2023

OMAFRA beef cattle specialist James Byrne discussing the rising plate meter

Beef and pasture researchers with the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Food Agriculture and Rural Affairs shared their latest and ongoing research discussing new ideas for pasture mixes, pasture management, and methane reduction both in and out of the barn.  

The pasture sessions kicked off with Dr. Kim Schneider discussing her ongoing project using a grass, legume, and brassica mix on pasture. In the warmer months, the cattle seemed to avoid the brassica. However, she is curious to see if the colder weather will make these cold hardy plants more palatable to the cattle or if a more intensive rotation would encourage the cattle to consume the plant. With the increasingly erratic weather, the findings of Schneider's project could suggest new pasture mix ideas for the longevity of the animal's time on pasture and increase pasture resilience.  

James Byrne from OMAFRA along with one of Dr. Schneider's Ph.D. candidates, Caroline Reisiger, then discussed pasture management and the benefits of rotational and strip grazing. They also demonstrated how a rising plate meter can assist in understanding the quantity of pasture you have to be able to ensure all the animals are being adequately fed. 

Lastly, Dr. Wood and her master's candidate Katie Kroeze discussed methane reduction. Wood shared her expertise on methane production and reduction from several past projects including Ph.D. candidate Kortney Acton's ongoing cow-calf methane reduction work. Kroeze shared her ongoing project using canola oil supplementation to reduce methane emissions in heifers previously ranked as high or low methane emitters. Wood then highlighted the c-lock GreenFeed that all methane projects at the OBRC use to measure emissions before closing the night by sharing her upcoming project using trefoil to reduce methane emissions on pasture.   

Outstanding in our Fields was a pasture field day hosted at the Ontario Beef Research Centre on September 21, 2023. This event was run in tandem with Soils at Guelph who hosted their sessions at the Ontario Crops Research Centre, sharing their latest research earlier in the afternoon.  

We want to say a big thank you to Food From Thought for providing our delicious pizza dinner and for their continued support of Beef@Guelph!

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