Forage crop irrigation: helping farmers to make informed decisions

Carl Boivin

Researcher, agr., M.Sc.

418 643-2380
ext 430

Contact Carl Boivin

Luc Belzile

Description

Dairy and beef producers rely heavily on forage for animal feed. Forage crops account for nearly one million hectares of farmland in Québec. In recent years, many producers have had to contend with insufficient forage yields and the resulting negative economic impacts. This scarcity has sent prices soaring and even forced some producers to reduce herd size. Irrigation could help maintain, or even increase, productivity levels from year to year, and spare farmers the loss of competitiveness and other risks brought about by drought periods.

Objective(s)

  • Measure the impact of water stress on the development, water intake, yield, and quality of forage crops.
  • Define the contexts (land prices, irrigation systems, hay prices, etc.) in which irrigation can be profitable, taking irrigation water storage requirements into account.
  • Produce a forage crop irrigation technical sheet with guidelines that help producers assess their water stress risk level.

From 2020 to 2024

Project duration

Livestock production, Field crops

Activity areas

Optimal water management

Service

Irrigation can serve as "Crop Insurance" by ensuring an abundant production of quality feed for livestock.

Partners

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec | Anglo Acres | Dubois Agrinovation | Ferme Barjo | Ferme Céligervic | Ferme Dubuc & Frères | Ferme Érilis | Ferme Fontabel 1996 | Ferme Gérard Raby | Ferme Jean-Claude Pouliot | Ferme l’Oiseau Bleu | Ferme M.G. Lévesque et Fils | Ferme Renile | Université Laval

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