Canadian Timothy Hay

Canadian Timothy Hay

Canada’s forage industry is booming as Asian markets continue to provide strong demand for one of the most commonly-grown forage grasses in Canada, timothy hay. Timothy is perfectly suited for growing in cooler, more temperate climates like that of the Alberta province. As far as forage grasses go, timothy hay is one of the more palatable options and preferred by most livestock.

Barr-Ag grows timothy hay in the cool and clean environment of the Canadian Rockies. Timothy Hay Barr-AgThe area near the eastern slopes where Barr-Ag grows its timothy is known for producing the sweetest timothy hay anywhere on the planet. It is thought that this is the result of the outstanding growing environment created by the perfect altitude and seasonal changes for timothy hay.

Timothy is a perennial bunchgrass that is well-adapted to climates like those found in Western Canada. The fertile farmland there is paired with long daylight hours and plentiful sun; because of the exceptional environment for the growing season, Barr-Ag is able to grow and produce timothy hay of unsurpassed quality. This is very important as increased incomes and better standards of living in many areas of the Middle East and Asia are resulting in higher demands for animal-based protein and dairy. The rapidly-expanding dairy and beef industries in Asian countries rely on Canadian timothy hay due to limited land area for growing forage in their own countries. In fact, Canadian timothy hay exports are growing nearly exponentially and currently account for more than $100 million in trade on a yearly basis.

Barr-Ag produces dry-land timothy hay that is harvested once every season, and irrigated timothy that can be harvested twice every season. Nearly all hay produced by Barr-Ag comes from their farms, with the balance coming from trusted producers. Additional hay is procured only from producers who have been carefully vetted to ensure their adherence to Barr-Ag’s strict growing protocols and standards of quality control.

Barr-Ag makes shipping easy through thorough accommodation of customer needs. All shipping and customs documents are prepared for buyers to help ensure that every delivery goes smoothly. Shipments to other continents, as well as those heading into the US, are treated with the utmost care and are routed through various ports to keep shipping time to a minimum. Various shipping options are offered by Barr-Ag, including cost and freight (CNF) and freight on board (FOB); container yard (CY) shipping is also available.

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

Timothy Seed

Canadian Timothy Hay

Timothy seed is most produced in Western Canada, specifically Alberta and Manitoba.  Although much of the product is used throughout North America, some varieties are grown and shipped to international markets.  Timothy hay readily produces the seed and it can be harvested for seed as well as for forage.

The price of timothy seed is affected by the supply of seed producers in western Canada and the market demand.  International demand for Canadian timothy seed comes mostly from the USA and European countries.  Seed prices are also affected by the yield of timothy hay produced and sold for forage.  In years where overall hay production for forage was low due to weather conditions or other factors, the fields can still be harvested for the seed.

Timothy Seed in the Marketplace

Growers of Canadian timothy hay and seed have several options for marketing their crops.  Canadian growers can choose to sell into the cash market or grow under contract from an international buyer.  Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development mentions two options for contracting timothy seed: forward priced or production contracts.

Forward pricing is when the grower is contracted to grow and deliver a certain amount and grade of seed at a specific date.  Depending on the contract, the seller could pay the shipping and handling costs.  Then the seed company will pay a certain price depending on the quality and grade of timothy seed.

A production contract is signed between a grower and seed company when the grower agrees to produce a specific variety of seed from a certain growing area.  A specific price is set, but if the seed does not meet the quality as outlined in the contract upon delivery the price to the grower can be reduced.  Most production contracts are for certified production.  That means that a field inspection is completed and the timothy seed is registered and certified.  One benefit to Canadian growers entering into a production contract is that they are guaranteed a minimum price for their crop, offering a small amount of protection in a sometimes unpredictable marketplace.

Varieties of Timothy Seed

There are many varieties of timothy seed on the marketplace.  The most common variety grown by Canadian producers is Climax, which was developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  Varieties that are more commonly exported to Europe are usually grown under production contract with seed companies.

Here is a list of available timothy seed varieties grown in Western Canada:  Alma, Basho, Bottnia II, Bounty, Champ, Climax, Comtal, Hokuo, Itasca, Rasant, Richmond, Tiiti, Tiller, and Timfor.

Important Factors for Growing Timothy Seed

Field selection is very important and must meet a number of requirements.  The field must be a certain distant from other fields growing different timothy varieties and that are free of perennial weeds.  Timothy hay is tolerant to flooding so it will actually grow well in a poorly drained field.  It’s also important to know the history of herbicides previously used on the field and if any remaining residues will affect the crop.

Timothy is a small seed and must be planted shallow into a firm seedbed at about two pounds of seed per acre.

Establishing stand, row spacing, and fertility will help growers decide on in-crop herbicides and pesticides.  Timothy hay is a very sensitive crop and herbicide selection must be done considering the weeds present, the amount of stress the crop is already under, stage of the timothy and rotation of herbicides.

Fortunately, well established timothy stands are not affected by insect pests.  Newer stands might could see grasshoppers, wireworm or cutworms most likely because these pests were already in the field when it was planted.  Keeping a close eye on moisture levels will help the new crop tolerate damage created by feeding insects.



Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically Modified Crops

Since 1994, GM foods have been permitted to be sold in Canada. Currently, Canada’s growing of genetically modified crops is limited to canola, soybean, corn and sugar beets of which most are exported to foreign countries. The country is one of the largest exporters of GMO crops in the world. Recently, field tests have begun on growing GM alfalfa in Ontario and Quebec that have raised concern over the probable contamination of Canada’s naturally grown alfalfa crop through cross pollination.

Appearance of Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically modified crops were first produced in 1982 and by 1986; the first field trials were done on tobacco for herbicide resistance. In 1994, the United States approved its first food crop, a tomato. Since then, GM crops have exploded in variety and availability.

Claimed Benefits of GMOs

GMO crops do have their advantages:

  • Because they have been engineered to be more drought resistant, they can be grown in borderline areas and places that might not have been usable previously.
  • They can provide more nutrients such as the vitamin A in rice exported to countries with poor populations and malnutrition issues.
  • There is also a larger yield per acre with some crops and they are much more resistant to disease, herbicides and insect infestation.

Why is There Concern over GMOs?

Much discussion  has ensued over GM crops and whether they are environmentally safe. While the subject has been widely researched, there continues to be controversy over whether there has been enough proof found to be certain that GM crops are safe. It is not so much safety for human consumption, as it is safety for our environment.

The biggest issue appears to be cross-contamination of adjacent natural crops, which is almost impossible to control. Is this going to cause the eventual extinction of natural crops within a few decades? No one knows, as there has just not been enough long term research to determine what the outcome will be.



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

GMO Alfalfa in Canada

GMO Alfalfa Hay Negatively Affects Horses

Barr-Agg received a letter from a concerned horse owner from British Columbia.  Her mare was experiencing hive break outs and she suspected the GMO alafalfa hay she was feeding her horse was the cause of these health problems.

Unfortunately, much of the hay available for purchase on Vancouver Island is imported from the United States.  Our neighbours to the south do not have the same regulations on genetically modified hay as we do in Canada.  Currently, hay producers in Canada are required to grow non-GMO alfalfa; but that could be changing too.

GMO Alfalfa Hay Concerns Horse Owner

The majority of alfalfa hay on Vancouver Island is imported from Washington State.  This is what our friend Melissa had been feeding her mare.  When her horse continued to break out in hives she consulted the vet and started the process of an elimination diet to discover the cause.  The results revealed that the GMO alfalfa from Washington was definitely a contributing factor.

“When I switched to low quality local hay it cleared up,” shared Melissa.

Unfortunately this lower grade hay, although it may have been Canadian non-GMO hay did not solve all of the problems.  The mare is a young growing horse and required more energy in her feed.  She started to lose weight and her growth was very poor.

“A friend suggested we try her on Alfa-tec cubes and she has flourished,” said Melissa.  Although switching to Canadian non-GMO hay helped, her horse still experienced health problems due to allergies.

“I am in the process of eliminating all GMO feeds in my barn to see if it makes a difference.  I discovered this week that our Canadian alfalfa is non-GMO and I think this may be why she can eat the cubes manufactured from Canadian grown crops but not the Washington hay itself,”  said Melissa.  “I have been told that Ontario is in the process of introducing some GMO alfalfa crops.”

Unfortunately, Melissa is right about that.

GMO Alfalfa in Eastern Canada

Barr-Agg grows and exports non-GMO Hay.  Unlike the United States, producers in Canada have been required by law to grow non-GMO alfalfa hay.  Things are changing and late last year the Government of Canada approved commercial plantings of genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa in Eastern Canada.

A company called Forage Genetics International (FGI) from Wisconsin has been given exclusive rights to commercialize Roundup Ready in Canada.  In an article published by The Western Producer, FGI indicated they will not do so until a co-existence plan has been completed.

Roundup Ready alfalfa is already produced in the United States and accounts for nearly 70 percent of total production in some states.  Experimental Roundup Ready is being tested in Eastern Canada.  Testing includes local adaptation and yield along with gauging the commercial market interest.  The article also stated that when GMO alfalfa is commercialized in Eastern Canada, it won’t be so quickly commercialized Western Canada until growers have been consulted.

Although regulatory authorities in Canada have concluded that it does not pose a risk to human health or the environment, producers and farmers suspect it could have a negative effect on the health of their animals.  Furthermore, there is no way to control the pollen flow from a GMO crop to an organic non-GMO alfalfa field and GMO alfalfa could cause a loss of markets for non-GMO producers and seed growers.

According to statements made by Mike Peterson from FGI in an article published last month FGI has not made a decision to commercialize yet.  (Read full article).

I guess we will have to wait and see.


All About Alfalfa

We learned in last month’s blog article that alfalfa hay supports milk production in dairy cattle because of its high energy value and low fiber content.  There are many beneficial nutritional attributes in alfalfa hay that, over other forage choices for dairy cows, give producers the best economic value.

Dairy farmers are not the only producers that benefit from alfalfa hay.  It is used as forage nationally and internationally for other livestock like horses, sheep and goats.  Beef cattle producers are attracted by the high protein and energy value of alfalfa hay, and there are many advantages to feed beef cows this high quality forage.

Nutritional Value of Alfalfa Hay

This high protein and high energy forage also holds high mineral values.  Beef cows that consume alfalfa hay will benefit from quick nutrient absorption due to the lower fibre content.

Alfalfa Hay: Protein & Energy

Alfalfa hay in the late bud, early bloom stage can contain 16-20% crude protein.  Even alfalfa hay cut later can still contain 12-15% crude protein, while fiber content rages from 20-28%.  The digestion rate of alfalfa hay is about 36 hours.  Lower quality forages contain much less protein and more fiber, which contribute to digestion taking up to 70 hours.  The actual quality of protein in alfalfa hay is excellent with more than 70% of the total protein being digestible. (University of Nevada, Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 93-23)

Although alfalfa hay is known for its high protein content, its high energy content should not be overlooked.  Beef cows need high energy forage to regain body weight after calving and producing milk for calves so they are ready to re-breed sooner.  Since alfalfa hay is digested much quicker than other forages, beef cows are able to gain poundage faster, produce more milk for their calves, and maintain a better condition.

Alfalfa Hay:  Vitamins & Minerals

Alfalfa hay has a high nutritional quality.  Alfalfa contains vitamins A, D, E, K, U, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Panthothanic acid, Inocitole, Biotin, and Folic acid.

Freshly harvested alfalfa hay is very rich in vitamin A, which can actually help reduce stress in animals caused by moving or shipping cattle.  Vitamin E can help eliminate ‘white muscle disease’, which can cause losses in calves due to a deficiency of vitamin E and selenium.

It also contains the following minerals:  Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine, Sulfur, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Boron, and Molybdenum and trace elements such as Nickel, Lead, Strontium and Palladium.

If one pound of alfalfa hay is fed per 100 pounds of body-weight, beef cows will meet their daily requirements for calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, iron, cobalt manganese and zinc.  The high levels of calcium in alfalfa hay are beneficial to lactating beef cows and developing heifers and bulls.

Barr-Ag Alfalfa

Barr-Ag alfalfa hay is GMO-free and graded by an independent laboratory analysis.  Clean air, long warm days, cool nights, soil rich in calcium and magnesium give us more than ideal growing conditions for high qualify alfalfa hay.

These growing conditions, combined with the nutritional attributes of alfalfa hay for dairy cow, beef cow, and other livestock producers, have brought us customers from all over the world!

Come give us a visit, or contact us for more information at 403 507 8660 or email



Sources:  North American Alfalfa improvement Conference,  University of Nevada Corporate Extension,

Timothy Hay – Natural Crop Production

The Canadian Rocky Mountains. Banff National Park. The region congers up images of unspoiled wilderness hikes and skiing in a majestic winter wonderland; the great outdoors at its finest. For dairy farmers and race horse owners, the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies are famous for something else. Hay. The region boasts Timothy hay of acclaim the world over.

Timothy hay grown at the higher altitudes of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is extremely palatable. The growing season in this region is characterized by long warm days and cool nights- ideal conditions for producing Timothy hay with higher sugar content.

The region is also characterized by long, inhospitable winters; unpleasant yet advantageous for the purposes of crop production. Unlike crops grown in areas with longer growing seasons and milder winters, the sub-zero temperatures of this area enable a more natural method of husbandry. There is little to no need for pesticides and herbicides because the same winter that is inhospitable to humans is also inhospitable to many pests and weeds.

The shorter growing season means that land isn’t forced to produce by the use of artificial fertilizers. Where hay producers in warmer climates may coax 6 or 7 cuttings out of a given area in a season by using artificial fertilizers, only 1 or 2 cuttings in a season are possible east of the Canadian Rockies. The land has time to recover so the following year’s crop is grown in rich, healthy soil.

Barr-Ag Ltd is a producer and exporter of  Timothy hay, grain and forage. Our operation is based out of Olds, Alberta, near the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. If you are interested in finding out more about Barr-Ag’s hay and grain and export operation, visit our website at

High Quality Forage Benefits Dairy Cows

There are many benefits of high quality forage, as the saying goes: you get what you pay for.  You can reverse that statement by saying you don’t get what you don’t pay for.  Or even that you could pay for it later!  Studies have shown that when dairy producers invest in high quality forage they will see a valuable return on that investment.

Choosing High Quality Forage

Optimal animal performance can improve with high quality forage.  It is essential for weight gain, producing higher levels of milk, increasing reproduction success, and farm’s profits.  It’s important to give your dairy cows the appropriate type and amount of feed according to their specific nutritional needs.  Factors that could help define these needs include: sex, age, species, and production status.

When choosing your high quality forage for either beef or dairy cows it’s also important to think about the follow factors: whether the cows will eat the feed, how much of the feed they will actually eat measured against how much energy is required for their specific activity (milk production, breeding, beef production, etc.), digestibility, nutrient content, and any negative factors the forage might have on a specific cattle group.

High quality forage performs at its best when it is harvested young.  As crops like alfalfa mature the fiber content increases, lowering the quality.  Forage that is too high in fiber slows digestion.  With slower digestion the animal will not take in as much and might not consume enough energy to meet their activity requirements.

High Quality Forage Boosts Milk Production in Dairy Cows

High Quality Forage Dairy Cows

Milk production has high nutrient demands on dairy cowsDairy cows have to consume large quantities of food to consume enough energy to keep producing milk.  In some cases a dairy cow cannot physically eat enough feed to meet the requirements of milk production; and the cow’s body fat could start depleting in an attempt to meet those energy requirements.  This is a problem.

High quality forage like Alfalfa hay can greatly benefit dairy cows and milk production.  Alfalfa hay contains less neutral detergent fiber and is more digestible.  Also, high quality forage like early harvest alfalfa is lower in fermentable fibre and passes through the digestive system faster, allowing the cow to consume more.  That means dairy cows that consume high quality forage are able to increase both their energy intake and total milk produced.  Talk about getting your cake (alfalfa hay) and eating it too!

Milk that is produced with a higher fat concentration is can usually be sold for a premium.  Since high quality forage is high in the right type of fiber it also supports milk fat production, which in turn affects the producer’s bottom line.

A study came out of the University of Wisconsin that was able to conclude that the milk response of dairy cows fed different levels of alfalfa forage quality was improved when fed more high quality forage.  They were able to prove that high quality forage contains more energy and also allows dairy cows to eat more!

The study also tested adding a concentrate like grain to lower quality forage to try to offset reduced milk production resulting from low quality feed.  High producing dairy cows are sometimes fed concentrates to help boost the energy content of their feed.  Even adding this concentrate could not improve the results of the feed.  Here are their examples:

Early bloom alfalfa with 54% concentrate produced almost as much milk as pre-bloom alfalfa with 20% concentrate, but no amount of concentrate would produced over 70 lb of fat corrected milk from mid or full bloom alfalfa.  Further, the 71%-concentrate formulations are not sustainable, due to animal health problems associated with low fiber. 

They also found that the actual fat concentration of the milk produced fell as the added concentrate increased.  With milk with high fat concentration going for top dollar, adding too much concentrate to the feed could affect a dairy producer’s profit.

View their study results and further research on high quality forage.





Mixed Hay for Horses

During our winter season in Alberta, horses are unable to forage in pasture and hay becomes their main food source.  When choosing hay for your horses, it’s important to be mindful of not only the quality of hay you are offering your horses, but also the type of hay.

Generally, hay can be classified in three different types.  Legume hay, that would include hays high in protein and nutrients like alfalfa, is very popular among horse owners.  Grass hay, which would include timothy, orchard, and fescue are also popular, especially for adult horses.  Mixed hay is usually a blend of grasses and legumes and with the right combination horses are eager to dive in!

Mixed Hay

Mixing grass hays with legume hays has its advantages, including benefits to growers and producers.  Growing legume hay like alfalfa will help add nitrogen to the soil by nitrogen fixing.  In fact, alfalfa could fix up to 500lbs of nitrogen per acre and this nitrogen usually goes directly to the plant.  This natural process can help cut down on fertilizer use and growing costs.

What are other other benefits of choosing mixed hay for your horses?  They love it!  Adding legume hay to grass hay may increase the appeal of the feed for most horses and in many cases it is very easy for them to eat.  Plus, introducing a legume like alfalfa in mixed hay also improves the feeds quality by increasing vitamin A, protein, calcium, and the amount of energy in the feed.

If you throw down a grass hay flake and a legume hay flake, your horse may go straight for the legume hay.  When you grow your different hays together, it becomes too difficult for picky eaters to separate out the tasty portions.  Some horse owners prefer the mixed hay because it ensures their horses are getting a balance of key nutrients, making them strong and healthy.

Mixed Hay Right for your Horse?

Remember that each horse’s food requirements vary and are dependent on age, stage of development, workload, activity and metabolism.  You should always consider each individual when choosing hay for your horses and when deciding on portion sizes during feeding times.

Because legume hay tends to be higher in protein, calcium, vitamin A, and calories than grass hays, they make a great feed for young and growing horses, high performance athletes, and lactating mares.

Grass hay is usually lower in protein and energy and higher in fibre.  This makes it a good choice for most adult horses.  It satisfies their appetite, but cuts down on the excess calories and protein they may not need.

Mixed hay will give your horses the dietary benefits of alfalfa without giving them the excess they might not require.  According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, too much excess could predispose young horses to problems like developmental bone disease and epiphysis.  If you are unsure, consult your veterinarian when putting together your horses diet plan.

Mixed Hay Sales from Barr-Ag

Consider Barr-Ag when choosing hay for your horses!  While Barr-Ag grows some irrigated mixed hay, most of our mixed hay crop is grown on dry land. It is a versatile crop which combines non-GMO alfalfa, Timothy, orchard hay, brome hay and fescue.

For further information about mixtures currently available or to schedule a visit, contact us.

Exporting Canadian Grain – The Grain Handling System

Candian Grain ExporterThe Canadian Grain industry is heavily regulated in Canada.  That means customers from overseas can always be provided with reliable, consistent product.  The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is an agency of the federal government.  It makes sure that all grain exported from Canada has been through the regulated grain handling system and has been officially certified.

Canadian grain such as oats, barley, wheat, and oil seeds are exported internationally and often travel great geographical distances.  Although Canadian grain are transported in massive quantities, they are not stored in terminals.  They are stored at farms that produced the grains.  Then, when a certain kind of Canadian grain is wanted by an international customer, it is delivered from the farmer and moved into export position.

Canada’s Grain Handling System

Canada’s unique grain handling system guarantees quality assurance as it defines and applies quality standards on all Canadian grain.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency registers varieties of grain grown in Canada after the specific plant lines are evaluated by the CGC.   To ensure all Canadian grain is reaching specific standards, the CGC uses grain grades to describe the quality of grain.  These grades and standards are reviewed regularly to make sure they meet the needs of customers and the needs of Canadian grain producers like Barr-Ag Hay and Grain Exporters.

The Canadian Grain Commission is always engaged in scientific research to better understand grain quality and discover new ways to grow, handle and ship it to Canada’s international grain buyers.  There are ongoing studies and research that continuously improve the grain grading system.  This helps the Canadian grain export industry understand how different grains reflect quality and what can be done to make it better.  The scientific research also helps growers increase harvest quality.  Grain samples are gathered and analyzed from Canadian grain producers.

As the grain moves through the grain handling system from farm to export facility, it is checked that accurate weights are maintained throughout the process and that the grain itself is safe.  Then when it is in the last stages of the grain handling system the grain is inspected at export to ensure that the grain meets Canada’s grain standards.  Even as the grain is loaded onto the vessel at the export terminal it is being monitored to ensure the correct weight is loaded.  At that point the grain is issued a Certificate Final.

The Certificate Final is Canada’s assurance that your shipment meets Canadian quality and quantity standards. For each export cargo of grain from Canada the Canadian Grain Commission issues a Certificate Final. On this certificate, you will see the official grade and weight of the grain loaded on the vessel.”  – Canadian Grain Commission

Exporting Canadian Grain – Barr-Ag Hay & Grain Exporters

Canadian GrainsBarr-AG is an exporter of Canadian Grains to countries around the globe. Canadian quality Oats, Barley, Wheat and oil seed such as flax and canola are all either produced on a Barr-AG farm or purchased and stored (from Canadian Farmers) and then exported Internationally.

Oats, barley and wheat, as well as flax, canola and peas come from our farms and/or our local network of Canadian Farm Producers who follow our growing protocols and adhere to our quality control standards. All of our grains, oil seeds and pulse crops are non-GMO. We specialize in containerizing and loading these products in 20 or 40 foot containers for international shipping and take care of the necessary customs documents.

Contact Barr-Ag for more information.



Timothy Hay: Processing and Export

Timothy hay grows extremely well in Western Canada’s growing conditions. The clean air, rich soil and cooperative climate all contribute to the production of some of the most palatable hay in the world. Since this Timothy hay is grown at higher altitudes, with long warm summer days and cool nights during the growing season, it matures with an increased sugar content and makes excellent forage for livestock.

Canadian Timothy hay and other forages are in demand in Japan and other countries along the Pacific Rim. It is used as forage for beef and dairy cattle, as well as in the horse industry in certain parts of Asia. It’s a nutritious source of fibre, encourages growth and is beneficial to livestock producers who do not have the land or the means to grow it locally. As a result, the export market for Canadian hay has expanded rapidly.

Canadian hay growers see hay processors and exporters like Barr-Ag as their consumer. They will sell their crops to a local exporter, where the Timothy hay is compressed and processed for shipment. The true customer is the export market. Canadian hay growers who want access to the export market should contact a hay processor to learn about market demands, specific standards for raw material and the preference of the international customer. .

Product quality is incredibly important when trying to sell your crops to a hay processor and exporter. Shipping products like Timothy hay such large distances is very expensive. In order to ensure the needs and expectations of the international customer are met, a hay processor must hold a high standard for the hay it chooses to purchase, process and export.

In regards to Timothy hay, the end-user is looking for long, course stems with long heads. The stems should be green, leafy and have a minimum of brown leaves. It should be free of mold, weeds, or other plant species and contaminants. It must have a low moisture content to ensure mold and moisture damage doesn’t occur during transport or storage.

Processing the crop into compressed bales can reduce shipping costs. Timothy hay can be compressed or even double compressed to better fit into transportation containers. They are usually transported by truck to a container yard, then picked up by rail and moved to a Canadian port. If the hay is going to Asia it will be moved to a port in Vancouver, shipments going to Europe travel to Montreal, and shipments going to the United States are transported via Chicago and/or Fort Lauderdale. From these ports they’re loaded on ocean container ships and sent to overseas markets.


In order to ship Timothy hay to international markets the hay exporter must obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate. This is the official document issued by the plant protection organization of the exporting country to the plant protection organization of the importing country. It makes sure the product has been inspected, free of quarantine pests, and cleared according to specific regulations of the country receiving the shipment.

Some markets do not hold as strict standards as Japan. If the baled Timothy hay does not meet Japanese requirements it can be sold to residual markets such as Korea or Taiwan. A hay processor can also market single-compressed hay in the USA, Europe, the Caribbean and Middle East as they each have different requirements and may accept a variety of Canadian hay products.

For more information on selling your Canadian grown Timothy hay, contact Barr-Ag.  If you’re interested in importing Canadian forage, click on the image and fill our the request form.