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Herman Wehrle of FP Genetics talks hybrid fall rye and how it might best work in greenfeed and grazing systems at MBFI north of Brandon.

Hybrid rye, coming soon to a grazing system near you?

Most of the province’s hybrid rye goes to grain, but new projects hope to get a better handle on its potential for feed, forage and grazing

Those marketing hybrid fall rye hope their next market expansion might involve hooves. Herman Wehrle, director of market development with FP Genetics, is exploring how hybrid rye might work into greenfeed and grazing systems, having already spent the last several years evaluating its use for silage. Why it matters: Industry is trying to shift hybrid

Manitoba producers who use silage can now 
get crop insurance, something the Manitoba 
Beef Producers has long sought.

Provincial forage AgriInsurance gets upgrade

Livestock producers are getting their wish on how MASC anticipates corn silage yields, among other announcements

Livestock producers relying on corn silage will soon be able to lock in insurance based on personal production history. On Oct. 16, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced individual productivity indexing (IPI) for silage corn, among a list of other feed crop insurance changes incoming for 2021. Until now, MASC has based

An Oct. 1 workshop at Bruce Sneesby’s farm near Westbourne, Man., takes attendees through forage ammoniation step by step.

This is your father’s forage treatment

Ammoniating poor-quality feed is an old technique that producers may want to keep in their tool box

Manitoba’s provincial hay and livestock experts want producers to consider winding back the clock if they have to make the best of poor feed. For many livestock producers, ammoniating forage is something that fell out of vogue decades ago. But now some of those experts want to bring it back to the table, with producers

Whether you spread out bales or group them in ‘pods,’ don’t worry about the residue left behind — it isn’t wasted.

Bale grazing is having its moment in the (winter) sun

Here are some things to bear in mind when using bales to extend the grazing season

Many producers have taken steps to extend their grazing period, and bale grazing is proving to be a popular choice. Bales can be purchased or grown on farm and placed strategically in cells or ‘bale pods.’ In some cases, cattle feed on bales directly where they are dropped from the baler, but in most situations, bales

A hay sample being emptied into a bucket.

Forage analysis valuable in developing winter feeding program

Determining the nutrient content of forages and other feeds through laboratory analysis is the best way to design a nutrition program that meets livestock requirements

Laboratory analysis to determine the quality of feedstuffs was developed more than 150 years ago. “Since that time, the ability to accurately analyze forages has greatly improved, as has the ability to use results to improve livestock feed efficiency and performance,” says Janna Block, extension livestock systems specialist at NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center. “However, this valuable management


Forage producers have a new tool to help them pick and manage their seeding choices.

Forage tool aims to make the perfect match

A new online tool promises to tailor forage choices for a producer’s field conditions and planned use

Developers of a new interactive online tool say it will allow producers to pick and choose the best forage species for their farm. The Saskatchewan Forage Council, along with Beef Cattle Research Council, Alberta Beef, Forage Grazing Centre, federal government, government of B.C., among others, launched Forage U-Pick earlier this month. Why it matters: Forage

As Manitoba farmers take off their first forage cut, a new report offers them hope this crop could soon be more insurable.

Forage insurance review offers hope to producers

Issues with the program prevented widespread adoption, but that could now change

The first word is in on possible forage insurance changes, and it largely reflects concerns voiced by producers. On June 19, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development released the findings of the awaited forage insurance review, announced last fall in the wake of critically low hay harvests. The report called for a hard look on how

Farmers are finding a mixed bag during first-cut hay harvest.

First cut hay harvest a mixed bag

Yields are average at best, which is worrying for a sector with exhausted feed stocks and stressed pastures

[UPDATED: July 7, 2020] There won’t be any bumper yields from Manitoba’s first hay cut and, despite storms that have left parts of Manitoba waterlogged last, not everywhere in the province has seen enough rain. June saw the province’s first hay harvests, although most fields cut by the third week of the month were either


Fields near St. Laurent show frost damage after cold temperatures May 30.

Weather divides first blush look at hay

The first hay fields are being cut and producers in the west are looking at some of their first good hay stands in several years, although the eastern part of the province is less cheery.

Hay producers have some hope that the last two years of difficulty are behind them, at least in the western part of the province. Initial reports suggest hay stands look promising in most of the province, although some frost damage was noted in the east as of the end of May. Why it matters: Manitoba’s

Pastures have yet to find a spring boost, and as a result, there hasn't been much grass for grazing.

Cool weather slowing pasture growth

Overnight frosts likely didn’t hurt alfalfa stands

Frost and cold weather are delaying hay land and pasture growth this spring — this while some producers with short feed stocks are looking to put cattle out early. On May 13, temperature lows across the province included -8.5 C at Brandon, -8.1 C in Steinbach, and -10.2 C in Dauphin, according to Environment Canada data. “Presently pastures are short and there isn’t