Bill Houston, MSc, PAg

Image Bill Houston
Senior Range and Forage Biologist
  • Lead range and forage development projects for AAFC
  • Collaborate with scientists and the agriculture industry to develop practical solutions to agricultural challenges
  • Present and exchange knowledge at industry and scientific meetings
  • Provide input and guidance on range and forage issues to AAFC Management

Current research and/or projects

  • Accurate mapping of range and forages: using remote sensing to improve mapping of natural grassland and seeded forages
  • Evaluating AAC Trueman Alfalfa in Saskatchewan: testing the applicability of a new AAFC alfalfa variety in Saskatchewan
  • Economic impact assessment of leafy spurge in central Saskatchewan: using unmanned aerial vehicles, airplane, and satelite data to map leafy spurge in a pilot area as the baseline for an economic analysis.
  • Co-chair of a Grasslands and Forages working group at AAFC: to advance grasslands and forage science.

Research and/or project statements

List of publications:

  1. Kayter, C, Houston, B, Elsinger, M, Svendsen, E, Thiessen, R, Bruhjell, D, Sager, S and Iwaasa, A. 2020. AC Saltlander: a salt-tolerant forage for Western Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
  2. LaForge, K., M. Elsinger, B. Bristol, B. Houston, M. Schellenberg, D. Ostrander, R. Antonowitsch, and E. Svendsen. 2018.  Field Guide to Selected Native Forages for the Canadian Prairie Grasslands. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  3. Larson, Kathy, B. Houston, S. Kulshreshtha, A. Gabruch, K. LaForge, L. Lenton, E. Svendsen and M. Schellenberg. 2018. Economic analysis of crested wheatgrass pasture rejuvenation methods in Southwest Saskatchewan. Technical bulletin. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 18 pp.
  4. Cade-Menun, Barbara J., Luke D. Bainard, Kerry LaForge, Michael Schellenberg, Bill Houston, and Chantal Hamel. 2017. Long-term agricultural land use affects chemical and physical properties of soils from southwest Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 97(4): 650-666.
  5. Thorpe, J., Wolfe, S.A., Houston, B. (2008). Potential impacts of climate change on grazing capacity of native grasslands in the Canadian prairies, 88(4), 595-609.
  6. Prairie Conservation Action Plan. 2008.  (Saskatchewan) Rangeland Health Assessment, Native Grassland and Forest. Regina, Saskatchewan. The native grassland assessment methodology development was led by Bill Houston (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) and Daryl Nazar (Ducks Unlimited Canada).
  7. Kirychuk, B., B. Bedard, and B. Houston. 2006. National Approach to Sustainable Grassland Management.  A paper presented at the National Grassland Development Forum in Guangzhou China. 2006.
  8. Houston, B., J. Thorpe, H. Guodong, Z. Mengli, L. Qingfeng, and W. Qingguo.  2004. "Framework for a range condition and stocking rate guide: grassland areas of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region." Canada-China Sustainable Agriculture Development Project.
  9. Thorpe, J., B. Houston and S.A. Wolfe. 2004. Impacts of climate change on grazing capacity of native grasslands in the Canadian Prairies. SRC Publication No. 11561-1E04.
  10. Boyle, Merle, Pat Fargey, Tom Harrison, Bill Houston, Gerry Luciuk, Sue Michalsky, and Glenn Sutter. 2003. Biodiversity Conservation in a working landscape: An overview of cooperation in the Mixed Grass Prairie of Southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Technical Series No. 9 Facilitating conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Abstracts of poster presentations on protected areas and technology transfer and cooperation at the ninth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice  Montreal, Canada.

Education and awards

M.Sc. Plant Science, University of Saskatchewan; 

B.Sc. in Agriculture, Agronomy major, University of Saskatchewan, 

Awards and Recognition:

  • National Manager’s Committee Regional Award of Excellence in 2012 for demonstrating innovative leadership and support for managers.
  • Outstanding Young Range Professional Award, Society for Range Management in 2008
  • Leadership Award from the Federal Manager’s Council of Saskatchewan in 2005
  • Best Oral Presentation for M.Sc students at the 1999 Society for Range Management Annual General Meeting.

International experience and/or work

  • Chair of the Delegate Sponsorship Committee for the International Rangeland Congress in 2016
  • Team Leader, Canada-China Sustainable Agriculture Development Project (CIDA) 1999 to 2009

    • Coordinated more than 20 training courses for Chinese participants in Canada
    • Lead a team of Canadian and Chinese grassland scientists in developing a range condition and stocking rate guide for Inner Mongolia, China

Key publications

  1. Cade-Menun, B.J., Bainard, L.D., LaForge, K., Schellenberg, M., Houston, B., Hamel, C. (2017). Long-term agricultural land use affects chemical and physical properties of soils from southwest Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 97(4), 650-666.

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

1 Airport Road
Swift Current, SK S9H 3X2