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. Khanal N. (2017). The Future of Forage Research at AAFC Beaverlodge. Paper presented at 2017 PEACE REGION FORAGE SEED ASSOCIATION PRODUCTION AND MARKETING SEMINAR,Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at the Pomeroy Sports Center, Fort St John, BC

    2017 - View publication details

  2. Khanal, N. (2016) Economic boon with ecological promise: Crop rotations with perennial forage seed crops show economic viability comparable to annual crops. Forage Seed News, Spring 201, Vol 24, No. 1

    2017 - View publication details

  3. Nityananda Khanal, Abdl Rahman Azooz and Talon Gauthier (2016) Peace Region Grass Seed Testing Program - Annual Report 2016. Coordinated by Peace Region Forage Seed Association, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge, Alberta. 16 p.

    2017 - View publication details

  4. Khanal, N., Otani, J., & Rahman, A. (2016). Yield Advantage and nitrogen economy of annual crops following biennial forage legumes in the prairie cropping systems. Abstract # 102940; Poster Presented in the ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meeting held in Phoenix on November 6 - 9, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  5. Khanal, N. (2016) Improving productivity, profitability and Sustainability of Forage Seed Production – A New Scientist’s Perspective. Forage Seed News, Fall 2016, Vol 3, No. 3, pp. 17-22

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Khanal, N., Schellenberg, M. P. & Shao, S. (2016) Canadian Milkvetch: A Range Species of Concern and Curiosity, pp 281-282, In Alan Iwaasa, H.A. (Bart) Lardner, Mike Schellenberg, Walter Willms and Kathy Larson eds., The Future Management of Grazing and Wild Lands in a High-Tech World: Proceedings 10th International Rangeland Congress. 16-22 July 2016, Saskatoon, SK.

    2016 - View publication details

  7. Khanal. N., Schellenberg, M. P. & Biligetu, B. (2016) Eco-physiological Characteristics of Two Native Forage Species of the Canadian Prairies, pp 318-319, In Alan Iwaasa, H.A. (Bart) Lardner, Mike Schellenberg, Walter Willms and Kathy Larson eds., The Future Management of Grazing and Wild Lands in a High-Tech World: Proceedings 10th International Rangeland Congress. 16-22 july 2016, Saskatoon, SK

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Khanal, N., Schellenberg, M., Biligetu, B. & Coulman, B. (2016) Promising native forage options for semi-arid prairies of western Canada. In Proceedings of the Crops and Soils 2016 held in Saskatoon on March 16 - 17, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  9. Khanal, N., Schellenberg, M.P., and Coulman, B. (2015). "Vegetative propagation of standing milkvetch (Astragalus adsurgens) as a tool for population improvement.", Soils and Crops Workshop 2015, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, March 16-17, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  10. Khanal, N., Schellenberg, M.P., and Coulman, B.E. (2015). "Comparative yield and forage quality of Astragalus species in semi-arid condition in western Canada.", Botany 2015, Shaw Convention Center, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, July 25-29, 2015, pp. 154.

    2015 - 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