GHGMP News Releases

Direct-seeding drill protects the pocketbook and environment

Dawson Creek, B.C., October 6, 2004

Farmers in B.C.'s Peace Region may find that a new direct-seeding drill is a key component to rejuvenating pasture and hayland.

The Flexi-coil air drill equipped with Barton openers is available for demonstration and rental to area farmers wanting to bring new life to established forage stands without several tillage operations.

The equipment available through the Peace River Forage Association can help producers cut costs, preserve soil quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equipment bookings are being co-ordinated by area farmers John Kendrew of Pouce Coupe, Bill Wilson of Dawson Creek and Glenn Hogberg of Progress.

"A lot of farmers want to see how well the system works," says Kendrew. The project's goal is to demonstrate the potential of keeping hay and pasture land productive longer by direct seeding into the established sod. Typically, played out pastures need to be broken, worked and often seeded to cereal crops for one or two years before being reseeded to forages. The rental of the direct-seeding drill includes a tractor and operator.

The project co-ordinated through PRFA receives funding from the federal Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program (GHGMP) for Canadian Agriculture. The soil and nutrient management components of the program are administered by Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC). A full report on this project can be found on the SCCC Web site,

Plowing and reworking fields is not only a lot of work, but expensive and takes land out of production for at least a year, says Sandra Burton, forage co-ordinator with PRFA and the field co-ordinator for the GHGMP in northern B.C. Tillage also has an impact on soil quality and the environment, she adds.

"Plowing and reworking forage stands contribute to greenhouse gas emissions by releasing carbon stored in the soil to the atmosphere," she says. Burning fossil fuels to power equipment also contributes to emissions.

The GHGMP supports a broad range of projects across Canada with the goal to promote awareness of agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information on GHGMP activities, visit the SCCC's Web site at

For more information, contact:

Sandra Burton, forage co-ordinator
Peace River Forage Association
Phone: (250) 789-6885

Doug McKell, P.Ag.
Executive Director, SCCC
Phone: (306) 695-4212