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Gilles Bélanger is recipient of 2013 CFGA Leadership Award

Published on 01 January 2014
The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) has selected Dr. Gilles Bélanger as recipient of the 2013 CFGA Leadership Award.

"Dr. Bélanger's contribution to improving the productivity and adaptation of forages in Eastern Canada has been outstanding," says CFGA Chairman Doug Wray. Bélanger was honoured with the award Dec. 10 at the CFGA Conference in Olds, Alberta.

Bélanger, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in the area of physiology and agronomy of forage crops, has significantly contributed to the development of innovations and knowledge on questions related to growth and quality of forage crops. The list continues with winter survival of perennial crops, potential impact of climate change to forage crops, diagnostic methods of nitrogen and phosphorus deficiency, potential of perennial crops for biomass production on marginal lands and the benefits of legume-grass mixtures.

Among other things, he was instrumental in the development of cropping practices to increase the level of non-structural carbohydrates in forage crops, to produce forages for dry cows and to improve the digestibility of forage crops while maintaining their yield and persistence. He developed the first model of growth and nutritive value of timothy and plants-based diagnostic tools for phosphorus and nitrogen in forage grasses.

Bélanger leads a productive forage research program in Canada and has developed long-lasting collaborations with scientists around the world. He has contributed to the extension of state-of-the-art forage crop information through scientific journals and extension publications, in both French and English.

The CFGA Leadership Award was initiated in 2012 to recognize an individual, group or organization including farmers and ranchers, agency staff, researchers, educators and technology transfer personnel whose leadership has had a significant positive impact on the forage and grassland industry whether nationally or internationally.

In 2013, with important support from New Holland, the CFGA has enhanced the scope of the award to include a speaker series or promotional communication project.

"We believe there is a great need for more research in the Canadian hay and forage industry, which will provide improvements necessary for producers to be more competitive in the global markets in the future,” says Doug Warrener, director of Growth Initiatives for Canada. “We wish to congratulate this year’s winner and look forward to the opportunity to participate in this program in the future."  PD

—From Canadian Forage and Grassland Association news release