Forage Crops

Annual Forage 

Many annual crops are suitable for forage production. Grain crops affected by extreme environmental conditions can be salvaged for livestock use. Annual forages can be utilized as greenfeed, silage, or grazed. Barley, oat and triticale are the most common annual cereal forage and are commonly used as break crops between alfalfa stands. There are also small acreages of millet, annual ryegrass and annual pulses used for forage.

Perennial Forage


Alfalfa is an important cash and feed crop for irrigation in Saskatchewan. Alfalfa can be managed intensively under irrigation to get three cuts of very high quality forage. It is more commonly managed as a two-cut forage system. Alfalfa fixes its own nitrogen, but requires phosphorus fertilization to get good yields. Under alfalfaintensive management, alfalfa stand remain productive for 5 to 6 years. With less intensive management, stands can be productive for a longer period.

Other Hay

Export timothy hay acres are currently limited by the world price and increased cost of shipping to high-value fiber markets like Japan. Grass seed is sometimes produced on irrigated acres. Grass hay is frequently grown in a mix with alfalfa or other forage legumes for use by beef cattle.


Corn is an important forage crop in western Canada. In cornSaskatchewan, corn production for silage and winter grazing has been on the increase. There are many suitable varieties, depending on the amount of heat your area typically receives. Corn can also be grown as a grain crop in some areas of Saskatchewan when an appropriate heat unit variety is planted.

General Forage Links: