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Farm Environmental Management in Canada

Volume 2004, Issue 4


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Grazing Management in Canada

Grazing Management in Canada is the fourth article in a series of studies collectively called Farm Environmental Management in Canada . The objective of this series is to publish the results of the 2001 Farm Environmental Management Survey (FEMS).1 The series presents information about the farming practices used on Canadian farms as they relate to a number of agri-environmental topics such as manure handling, water management, chemical inputs and sustainable land management practices.

Grazing Management in Canada presents information on various characteristics of livestock grazing management as practised on Canadian farms. Canadian farmers are actively involved in environmental initiatives and are adopting farming practices that minimize pollution risks to air, water and soil, while contributing to the conservation of biodiversity. The FEMS results presented here provide an overview of grazing practices. However, management practices that could be protective or detrimental to the environment and that relate to grazing systems are much broader than those included in this bulletin. Further, regional differences in climate and soil quality mean that there is no "optimal" or "correct" grazing practice that is applicable throughout the whole country or even within an individual province.

In this paper, discussion focuses on farms with grazing cattle that derive 51% or more of their gross farm receipts from either beef or dairy production. Results show that grazing management practice varies by region of Canada and by farm size.

Note to readers:

Readers should be aware that FEMS data alone, though providing a wealth of information, are insufficient to assess environmental risks. The FEMS data are meant to provide an overall picture of various farming practices that may have an impact on the environment. To have a full appreciation of farmers' adoption of environmental management practices and of their impacts (positive or negative) on the environment, additional information and more comprehensive analysis is required. Thus, readers are advised to use caution when interpreting these data.


1  FEMS was conducted in March 2002 by Statistics Canada for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada . The survey provides a broad coverage of farm management practices that are related to the environment in all sectors of Canadian agriculture. The three previous articles in this series are Manure Storage in Canada, Manure Management in Canada and Fertilizer and Pesticide Management in Canada.

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