The Lakeland Forage Association (LFA) was formed in 1972 to promote the management and use of forage crops, and to identify and pursue the forage crop research needs of Northeastern Alberta. The LFA provides forage demonstrations, extension activities and coordination of forage research.
The Olympic Lake Lease, obtained by LFA in 1985, has grown to 2000 acres and has been used for two main projects: the Northern Range Enhancement Project (NREP) and the Olympic Lake Heifer Project.
Northern Range Enhancement Project (NREP)
Under the NREP, this lease was used as a demonstration for turning boreal forest land into an enhanced, sustainable rangeland. Range improvements have included clearing and breaking the land, windrowing, and spraying and burning. This pasture has been rotationally grazed for 20 years (currently there are 12 paddocks) and so fencing was also involved in the range improvements. Grazing capacity has almost doubled in the past 20 years. Now that the pasture has been developed the focus has changed from development to increasing pasture longevity and rejuvenating older pastures. Projects with this goal have included yearly rotation of fertilizer application, spraying weeds (trials have included Grazon, Remedy, and Restore) and introducing legumes into the pastures.
The Heifer Project has been tracing the effect of body weight and body condition on heifer fertility for over ten years. The heifers are weighed at the beginning and the end of the grazing season. These measurements are then compared to the fall preg test results. For the past few years the heifers have been weighed two additional times, when they are switched from tame pasture to native brush pastures around the end of July and then when they switch from these native pastures back to the tame pastures around mid-September.