Knowledge Transfer on Forages

At its meeting in Ottawa in early February, Canadian dairy farmers adopted a policy that added forage production to the list of Dairy Farmers of Canada’s priorities for dairy research. Research on forages is increasingly important to dairy farmers as they continue to seek out methods to grow the best possible source of nutrients for their cows in the most efficient way.

Forage-focused Events Coming Up!

On February 25th a new symposium has been added to the CRAAQ’s list of transfer activities. The First edition of the Forage and Dairy Cattle Symposium will be held in Drummondville, Quebec. Scientific experts working in the field, including scientists working in the Dairy Research Cluster, will be presenting information on the production, use, harvesting and conservation of forages. Stay tuned for a summary of the proceedings in the Dairy Research Blog next week! For more information, visit. (French only).

On March 4th, don’t forget to sign up for the webinar, How to produce and use sweet forages organized by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Beef Cattle Research Council and the Dairy Research Cluster. Three Canadian experts will provide information on various studies looking at increasing Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in forages, including taking advantage of diurnal variations in NSC. The webinar will be held from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm EST and there is no cost to participating. You can register online now.

(NOTE: The March webinar is in English only and a French version is set for April 29th – registration details to follow in early March).

Did you know? had close to 2,000 dairy research scientists and collaborators listed in the research database and more than 500 dairy research project listings since 1996!

Human Nutrition and Health

A research team led by Dr. Hope Weiler at McGill University is studying the effects of dairy consumption on teenagers’ bone development. They will be following the dairy intake of a group of healthy teens aged 15 to 18 years old for two years. This age group is in a critical period for the development of peak bone mass or PBM. Diet and activity are key lifestyle factors in the primary prevention of osteoporosis as recognized in Canada’s Food and Activity Guides.

Called the FAMILY Milk study and supported by funding received in the Dairy Research Cluster, Dr. Weiler’s work is receiving positive attention in the community. Her work and recruitment efforts were recently publicized in the Montreal Gazette on February 17th. The team aims to include 200 teens in the study to obtain the best results possible. While teenagers are the main target group to be investigated, it is referred to as the FAMILY study because parents have such an important role in food purchases, food preparation and instilling healthy behaviours toward food for their children. As a result, parents and their habits and behaviours toward dairy will also be examined.

According to Dr. Weiler, research shows that 75% of teenagers are not consuming enough dairy products as per the recommended servings in Canada’s Food Guide. That means they may not be getting enough of the minerals they need, like calcium, during this major growth period. The health-economic costs associated with osteoporotic fracture that could be avoided if dairy was consumed as recommended are approximately 129 million Euros for France and $200 billion dollars for North Americans.

For a summary of the study, visit

Farmers Have Their Say in Canadian Dairy Research


On February 16th a national campaign was launched to encourage dairy farmers from across the country to “Have Your Say in Canadian Dairy Research”. The team responsible for the campaign under the Dairy Research Cluster, made their first stop at the DFO Dairy Research Extension and Communications event on February 17 in Guelph where dairy farmers, researchers and students had the opportunity to have their say at an exhibit set up onsite.

All Canadian dairy farmers participating in the consultation and knowledge transfer activity are eligible for a chance to win a registration to a dairy research conference and extension event nearest them. While farmers are the main target of the campaign, all individuals working in dairy are invited to fill in the online survey. Interested individuals have until the end of the year to provide their input and all responses will be tabulated and classified to identify farmers’ priorities for research. The information will be presented to the DFC Board in early 2016.

How to have your say?

You can have your say online at:

On the web:

By text: Text the # 76000 and in the message box, write the Innovation. The link to the survey page will be sent to you for access on your mobile phone.

In person:  At a scheduled event during 2015. Our next stop is the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar in Red Deer, Alberta from March 10-13th.

For information: