Monthly Archives: January 2023

GMO Wheat

GMO Wheat

While many people have heard the term “GMO,” some do not know what it really means. The acronym GMO stands for genetically modified organism. There has been plenty of controversy surrounding GMO wheat and other GMO foods, since many claim that they are unsafe to consume and negatively impact the planet. In fact, it is illegal to grow GMO wheat in Canada and the United States.

Wheat is one of the most widely consumed crops on our planet. It is used in bread, GMO Wheat and Breadnoodles, cereal, beer and several other products. Unfortunately, the supply of wheat can’t keep pace with the ever-expanding number of humans. Some believe that genetically modified wheat is the solution, since massive amounts can be grown in a short period of time compared to traditional wheat. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of this type of wheat.


GMO wheat can be grown in large volumes, since it is resistant to infections and parasites, which are major threats to conventional wheat. Proponents argue that we should opt to devote our limited farmland to this type of wheat, since it is highly efficient compared to relatively slow-growing traditional wheat.

Some argue that genetically modified wheat is of higher quality because it carries extra nutrients that boost the crop’s nutritional value. Scientists alter wheat’s genetics to make it much healthier to consume. It is also worth noting that this type of wheat can withstand some severe environmental conditions, including brutal cold spells and drought.


Humanity has yet to experience the long-term results of genetically modified wheat consumption, leading opponents to argue that it is potentially dangerous to human health. This type of wheat might have a negative impact on consumers’ bodies, but the real consequences are still unclear. Opponents believe that genetically modified wheat compromises antibiotic resistance and even affects allergies.

Those against GMO wheat also believe that it harms the environment. Arguments pertaining to GMO wheat’s negative environmental impact are extensive. Some state that this wheat causes a decline in biodiversity where a single crop emerges into dominance. Others say it is responsible for cross-pollination in which other crops are forcefully replaced.

There are also social consequences to genetically modifying wheat. Since improvements in GMO wheat are expensive to implement at this point, only wealthy farmers are able to take the GMO route.

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa and Timothy Hays, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse corps.

Canadian Alfalfa Hay Exports

Alfalfa hay is high in energy, protein and digestible fibre, making it the preferred forage for dairy cows and horses and is recognized around the world.  Alalfa hay is widely grown in Western Canada, due to this regions ideal growing conditions for this nutrient rich legume.

There are many factors to consider when growing and processing high quality alfalfa hay including: soil management, nutrient composition, seeding rates, time of cutting, raking, baling and storage of the product.  It’s important to cut the forage when it is young to ensure maximum quality and nutrients, compared to a plant that is older and already flowering.

Alfalfa hay goes through two processing industries in preparation for export.  These processes are alfalfa dehydration and hay compaction.  Most of the processing occurs in the Canadian Prairies and products include dehydrated alfalfa meal and pellets, sun-cured alfalfa pellets, alfalfa cubes and compressed bales of alfalfa hay.

The Canadian compressed hay industry was first established in the early 1980s.  Most of the industry is located in Alberta.  Hay and grain growers like Barr-Ag have access to ideal climatic conditions based on the foothills of the Canadian Rockies as well as better access to irrigation.  This location also provides easy access to export terminals on the west coast, the last stop in Canada before alfalfa hay products are exported to Asia and other international markets.

Double Compressed Alfalfa Hay

After the alfalfa forage is cut and baled it is sent to Barr-Ag facilities for double-compression.  Bales are untied and loaded into the compressing machine where they are compressed to less than two times their original size.  Hydraulic pressure is used to compress the bails before they are retied with banding materials.  Double-compressed hay bales can vary in size and weight.

Type of Double-Compressed Bale Weight Dimensions # of bales in a 40 HiCube Trailer
Full Bale 60kg 21x24x18” 416 double-compressed bales
Half Cut Bale 30kg 21x12x18” 832 double-compressed bales
Mini Bale 40kg 21x18x16” 580 double-compressed bales
Big bale in sleeve – 2 cut 420kg 48x36x39” 58 double-compressed bales
Big bale in sleeve – 4 cut 420kg 48x36x39″ 58 double-compressed bales
Big bale in sleeve – 8 cut 420kg 48x36x39″ 58 double-compressed bales

Double compressed alfalfa hay bales can also be processed with a protective sleeve or full wrap for storage and transport.  Watch this video of compressed alfalfa hay bales being wrapped in Barr-Ag’s facility.

Do you want to export Canadian alfalfa hay?

At Barr-Ag, we do our best to accommodate the needs of our customers. We take care of all of the required customs documents to help ensure that deliveries are problem-free from our end. Shipments to Asia go via the Port of Vancouver, shipments to Europe go via the Port of Montreal and freight to the USA goes via Chicago/Fort Lauderdale. Flexible shipping options include cost and freight (CNF), freight on board (FOB) and container yard (CY).

Contact us for more information!

For more information