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Manitoba putting points system out to pasture

Producers will have to bid for forage and grazing Crown lands as of next fall rather than the current points-based system

Manitobans will have to jump through different hoops to access Crown lands for haying or grazing this year. The province announced an end to the old points-based system in December, to be replaced by a tendering system similar to how cropped Crown lands were already leased. Changes will be in place for the next round […] Read more

Nip forage diseases at the bud

Spoiled feed can mean wasted profit and, depending on the pathogen, animal health issues

Moisture is the enemy when it comes to forage diseases. For any farmer who has watched dark splotches appear on their low-laying alfalfa leaves or opened a bale only to find it spoiled, that will come as no surprise. Fungi are the culprits for most forage diseases, Linda Jewell, AAFC plant pathologist said during the […] Read more

New risk-management research

Federal government invests nearly $1 million in the hope of developing better risk management programs for forage producers

Farmers could soon be turning to eyes in the sky to better manage the risk associated with hay and forage production. The federal government recently announced it would invest $988,000 in collaborative research aimed at using satellite-based technology to estimate forage growth at the farm level. That information would then be developed into a forage […] Read more

Manitoba hay crops see good year

Growers across the province report good 
to great year despite dry conditions

Manitoba forage growers are enjoying good yields this year and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Markets to the east and south are readily picking up any extra hay they can find, said Dave Koslowsky, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. He said producers he has talked to across the province […] Read more

Pollinator seed mixes tailor made

Just like cattle and hogs benefit from the right rations, bees can benefit from the right mix of flowering plants

What’s good for the bumblebee may not be good for the honeybee. That was the message as the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives dug into pollinator-friendly seed mixes Aug. 30 during its Brookdale site field tour. “You want to have something that’s going to grow and, depending on how much time they have, legumes in […] Read more

Ramping up phosphorus for alfalfa

Building soil phosphorus when fertilizer prices are lower may have big impacts for future profit, 
tour attendees heard Aug. 30 at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Brookdale site

Producers got a side-by-side comparison of different phosphorus treatments in alfalfa Aug. 30. The phosphorus ramp, presented during the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) Brookdale field tour, showcased consecutive strips of alfalfa grown with progressively more phosphorus. The ramp tracks crop impact in the three years following a one-time phosphorus application ranging from no […] Read more

Graze better, not bigger

There’s more to grazing than leaving cattle in a single pasture all summer, 
attendees of the Aug. 14-15 workshop with Dr. Allen Williams heard

When it comes to managing a grazing operation, bigger isn’t necessarily better. That’s according to Dr. Allen Williams, a grazing specialist, grass-fed beef advocate, sustainable beef expert and the instructor at a two-day grazing workshop in Brandon Aug. 14-15. “They have a lot more options than they ever realized that they had in terms of […] Read more

Bales left in the field can be costly

Get those bales off the field as quickly as possible following the final cut

In late summer, we see many bales scattered among recently harvested fields across the province. While hay bales may make the countryside more scenic, there is a cost to leaving hay on the field longer than necessary. And while it’s convenient to leave bales in the field after the final cut of the year, delaying […] Read more

Manitoba counts the cost of dry conditions on hay harvest

Hayfields and pastures have welcomed early-August rains, but some regions are still in need of moisture, including central Manitoba

This year’s hay harvest won’t match last year’s bumper crop, but there should still be enough to go around, an official with the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association says. “Last year, the hay yields were phenomenal. Every field did well,” chair Dave Koslowsky said. “This year, it’s a little bit more hit and miss but, […] Read more

Producers explore the ABCs of do-it-yourself soil health tests

The Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives has a few ways of determining 
potential problems that have nothing to do with a lab

The science behind soil health might be complex, but most of the tests showcased during the latest Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives workshop could be done with equipment bought from a dollar store. “We have the ability to really investigate the soil ourselves,” Marla Riekman, land management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, said. “You can use […] Read more