Dr. Nityananda Khanal, P.Ag.

Image Nityananda Khanal
Research Scientist
  • Develop and execute innovative projects in forage seed crops and cropping systems management
  • Analyze and publish research results, and disseminate adaptive information
  • Network and collaborate with researchers across various organizations, industry groups and regional stakeholders
  • Provide expert advice to individual farmers and their associations
  • Strentghen research and development capacity of Forage Program at Beaverlodge Research Farm   

Current research and/or projects

  1. Evaluation of economic and agro-ecological ​merits of diverse cropping sequences with perennial forage seed and annual field crops. Project term: 2021-2026

  2. Integrating genetic, agronomic and economic approach to improving environmental adaptability and end-use quality of creeping red fescue. Project term: 2018-2023

  3. Evaluating the seed yield potential of grass and legume cultivars. Project term: 2018-2023

  4. Population improvement of native and locally adapted grass and legume species. Project term: 2018-2023

  5. Improving the quality of grass and legume seed crops grown in Canada. Project term: 2018-2023

  6. Deciphering phenotypic effects of plant growth regulators on grass seed crops. Project term: 2018-2023

  7. Improving resiliency of seed production of turf and forage crops to disease. Project term: 2018-2023

  8. Integrated crop management to improve the quality and yield of forage and turf grasses. Project term: 2018-2023

  9. Enhancing seed yield and profitability of meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.) seed crop in the multiple harvest years. Project term: 2018-2023


Collaborative projects

  1. Development of native and tame forage varieties and mixtures for improved forage and environmental productivity and resilience. Project term: 2018-2023

  2. Leverage and exploit Rhizobium Microbial Collection as a cold soil inoculant source for forage legume crops: clover, birdsfoot trefoil, and sainfoin. Project term: 2018-2021

  3. Novel biological for mitigation of abiotic stresses in forage legumes and reduced methane emissions by ruminants. Project term: 2018-2021

  4. Evaluation of forage Galega (Galega orientalis LAM.) as a new forage legume in pure and grass- legume mixed stands. Project term 2018-2021

Research and/or project statements

  • Evaluate the cumulative systems productivity and relative economic advantage of different cropping sequences comprised of forage seed crops and annual food crops
  • Increase multi-harvest seed yield and seed quality of forage and turf grass species through plant growth regulation, plant nutrition, stand health management, and population improvement
  • Identify prevalent diseases of forage seed crops, understand their epidemiology and devise effective management practices
  • Generate tolerance and efficacy data for herbicide options used on grass and legume seed crops and contribute to User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion (URMULE) program.

Professional activities / interests

  • Areas of expertise include plant ecophysiology, agronomy, plant breeding, and horticulture
  • Interest in participatory research and development with engagement of local stake-holders while expanding collaborative network at international level
  • Committed to provide graduate and co-op work-term opportunities to Canadian and international students

Education and awards


Doctor of Philosophy – Plant Science (2011), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Master of Science – Agricultural Systems (2000) Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bachelor of Science – Agriculture (1994) Tribhuvan University, Nepal


  1. The Plant Sciences Outstanding PhD Student Award (2010)

  2. Plant Science Graduate Student Scholarship (2008-2010)

  3. Dollie Hantelman Postgraduate Scholarship (2008)

  4. Norman and Kathleen Lean Postgraduate Scholarship (2007)

  5. Purdy Postgraduate Scholarship (2007)

  6. Second Place Oral Presentation Prize in the 25th Annual Plant Science Symposium (2009)

  7. First Place Poster Prize in 14th Annual Life and Health Sciences Research Conference (2007)

  8. Second Place Poster Prize in the 15th Annual Life and Health Sciences Research Day (2008)

  9. Several conference travel bursaries (2007-2009)

  10. Mahendra Vidyabhushan Medal for Top Marks in Master’s Degree (2001)

  11. Ford Foundation Fellowship for Master’s degree (1998-2000)

  12. PAC-UK Scholarship Award for Bachelor Degree (1991-1994)

  13. ODA-UK Overseas Scholarship Award (1998-1999)

  14. Tribhuvan University Merit Scholarship (1984-1985)

Key publications

  1. Eudes, Francois et al. (2020) AAFC Engagement session - Opportunities for the Peace Region

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Eudes, Francois et al. (2020) AAFC Engagement session - Opportunities for the Peace Region

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Eudes, Francois (2020). AAFC Engagement session - Opportunities for the Peace Region

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Eudes, Fancois et al (2020). AAFC Engagement session - Opportunities for the Peace Region

    2020 - View publication details

  5. Khanal, N (2019) Forage Research Program at Beaverlodge Research Farm. Presentation in the 2019 Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) Forage Management Systems Technical Workshop held in Moncton, NB on November 12, 2019. https://www.canadianfga.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019CFGAForageManagement/004_CFGA2019_Nitya-Khana.pdf

    2020 - View publication details

  6. Khanal, N., Rahman, N. and Gauthier, T. (2020) Peace Region Forage Cultivar Testing (PRFCT) Program - Annual Report 2019. Coordinated by Peace Region Forage Seed Association and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge Research Farm, Alberta.

    2020 - View publication details

  7. Khanal, N., Rahman, N., Gansevles, P. (2020) Do seed weight and germination timing of grass species relate to pre-harvest weather?Poster presented in the Canadian Forage Seed Conference, held in Edmonton, AB on February 25-26, 2020

    2020 - View publication details

  8. Khanal, N., Klein-Gebbinck, H. and Yoder C. (2020) Diseases of Forage Seed Crops in the Peace River Region. Poster presented in the Canadian Forage Seed Conference, held in Edmonton, AB on February 25-26, 2020

    2020 - View publication details

  9. Khanal, N (2020) CAP ASC No. 15 – Activity # 3A Integrating genetic, agronomic & economic approach to improving environmental adaptability & end-use quality of creeping red fescue. Presented in the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Cluster Webinar conducted on February 20, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  10. Khanal, N. (2020) Crop rotations; Economics and benefits. In proceedings of Canadian Forage Seed Conference: Improving the Cropping System Resiliency, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; 25 – 26 February, 2020. Forage Seed News, Winter 2020; Vol 27, No 1, pp 11 - 13.

    2020 - View publication details

  11. Khanal, N (2019) Forage Seed Production in the Peace Region: Agro-climatic advantages, constraints and research initiatives. An invited presentation in the Production and Marketing Seminar organized by Peace Region Forage Seed Association in Rycroft, Alberta on January 22, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  12. Khanal, N., Yoder, C, Azooz, R., and Rahman, N. (2019) Creeping red fescue seed production: Interplay of weather condition and crop management. An invited presentation in a Forage Seed Growers Meeting organized by Nutrien Ag in Montney, BC on December 12, 2019.

    2019 - View publication details

  13. Yoder C., Khanal N., Azooz, R. Gansevles P., Gauthier T. & Kirk, S. (2019) A three-year comparative study of the plant growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl on timothy seed crop in the Peace River region. Forage Seed News, Summer 2019, Vol 26, No. 2, pp. 11-13.

    2019 - View publication details

  14. Khanal, N., Azooz, R., Lupwayi N., Otani1 J., Yoder, C. (2019) Integrating perennial forage seed crops in the cropping systems in western Canada: An agroecological and economic assessment. In Proceedings of Plant Canada 2019: Communicating Innovation in Plant Science, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; 7-10 July 2019.

    2019 - View publication details

  15. Khanal, N. & Azooz, R. (2018) Decades of Dominance: Seed Yield Performance of Creeping Red Fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. rubra) Cultivar Boreal Compared to Proprietary Cultivars in Western Canada. [Abstract] 2018 ASA, CSSA, CSA Meeting held in Baltimore, MD, November 4-7, 2018. https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2018am/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/113735?clearcache=1

    2018 - View publication details

  16. Khanal, N. (2018). Adaptive but static: seed yield responses of creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. rubra) to environmental and management factors in the peace river region of western Canada. A keynote presentation in the 13th International Conference on Agriculture and Horticulture, held in Zurich, Switzerland on September 10-12, 2018. https://agriculture-horticulture.conferenceseries.com/speaker/2018/nityananda-khanal-agriculture-and-agri-food-canada-canada

    2018 - View publication details

  17. Khanal, N. (2018). Nepal’s Rural Hill Agriculture at Crossroads: A Reflection of a Farming-Descendent-turned Professional. Oral presentation in the First Biennial NAPA Conference 2018 held in Oklahoma City, US, on May 26-27. Abstract in Proceedings Global Food Security through Agricultural Transformations, page 40.

    2018 - View publication details

  18. Khanal, N., Azooz, R. & Gauthier, T. (2018) Annual Report 2017: Peace Region Forage Cultivar Testing (PRFCT) Program. Coordinated by Peace Region Forage Seed Association, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge, Alberta

    2018 - View publication details

  19. Khanal, N. (quoted article by Bruce Baker) (2017) Forage seed rotations can be more profitable: Additional factors to consider for successful production. Top Crop Manager, Western Edition, November 2017, pp. 29-31

    2017 - View publication details

  20. Yoder, C., Khanal, N., Azooz, R., & Gauthier, T. (2017) Effect of Trinexapac-ethyl applied at three rates and two stages on timothy, meadow bromegrass and creeping red fescue seed stands in the Peace River Region of Alberta, Canada. Poster presented in the IX International Herbage Seed Group Conference held in Pergamino, Argentina on October 31 – November 6, 2017

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

6000 C and E Trail
Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1


Member of five professional societies including Alberta Institute of Agrologists, Canadian Society of Agronomy, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, American Society of Agronomy and Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas.



Other languages

Nepali, Hindi