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A field tour participant examines the wider corn rows and multi-species intercrop that will provide extended grazing for MBFI’s herd later this year.

Tweaking the recipe for higher-quality, lower-labour corn grazing

Intercropping could reduce grain overload and need for supplemental hay

An intercropped corn-grazing trial at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative (MBFI) is hoping to improve on an already cost-effective way to winter cattle. Organizers say there’s still some work to do, but the demonstration research farm north of Brandon added yet another year of data to their ongoing study mixing corn grazing with a mixed-species forage intercrop. Researchers

“We’re going to see something similar to what we saw last year and other years where the asking price might be 12.5 cents, but the market will only be able to bear somewhat less than that price, and if that happens, then we’re going to continue to see a reduction in the number of cattle that are being overwintered.” – John McGregor, MFGA.

Little relief expected from second cut hay

Hay will cost producers a pretty penny, what little there is

If producers were hoping the second cut might take the sting out of Manitoba’s feed crisis, they’ll be disappointed. Conditions vary, according to Carson Callum, general manager of the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), but anecdotes suggest that second cut will be “very poor or non-existent,” depending on region. Why it matters: With all the stressors

“Price and quality of alternative forages will play a key role in determining whether they can be used in a given production situation.” – Zac Carlson, NDSU.

Going non-traditional on forage

Tips and considerations for putting up atypical sources of livestock feed

Many producers are seeking alternative, possibly non-traditional, sources of forage such as cattails, flax, kochia, millet varieties and soybeans in light of continued drought. “With limited forage on the market and high prices, it may be a better option to evaluate local hay options,” North Dakota State University Extension beef cattle specialist Zac Carlson said.

Lurking nitrates and noxious weeds threaten to be yet another fly in the ointment as livestock producers continue to struggle for every scrap of annual crop or hay they can get their hands on.

Feed hazards lying in wait

Feed testing an absolute must for cattle producers sourcing greenfeed, straw: experts

Cattle producers are urged to get greenfeed and straw tested for potentially deadly nitrates this year. “Basically, we know there’s going to be nitrates in some of the feed. Especially cereal,” said Jo-Lene Gardiner, who works with the Border Agriculture Stewardship Association and is a cattle farmer in the Clearwater area. “It’s just been that

While it is important to be aware of risks associated with feeding canola forage, it may provide an alternate forage for drought-stricken livestock producers.

Drought-stressed canola possible forage for livestock

It can work as an emergency source, but some risks need to be managed

Drought stress has resulted in poor canola stands that are unable to be harvested. Poor canola stands may provide an alternate forage option. “Livestock producers facing forage shortages may be able to feed their cows canola, provided they take certain precautions,” says Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist. “While canola makes palatable feed, it may

(Valerie Loiseleux/iStock/Getty Images)

‘Time is ticking’ on drought response for beef cattle sector

'We need answers like yesterday'

As Canada’s beef farmers and ranchers face drought, industry leaders are trying to find ways to secure feed and help those forced to sell rebuild their herds. B.C. ranchers are dealing with high temperatures that have “parched the grass that was there,” Kevin Boone, general manager of B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, said during a Canadian Cattlemen’s

Critically dry pasture in the RM of Fisher shows little growth in July after only three weeks of grazing.

Feed fears come into focus after poor first cut, flagging pasture

Livestock producers are facing yet another year of both poor first-cut yields and ongoing pasture concerns

Producers are seeing their fears realized with light hay cuts and pasture supplies once again running thin. With the exception of very localized patches of the southeast, which are seeing almost normal growth, most producers harvested 50 to 70 per cent of their normal forage in the first cut, according to John McGregor, hay expert

Farmer and Grainews columnist Toban Dyck inspects wheat on July 6, 2021 near Winkler, Man., where hot and dry weather has led to thin, uneven stands. (Photo: Reuters/Rod Nickel)

Saskatchewan raises salvage threshold for parched crops

Stock watering program also boosted; APAS, Tories' ag critic had called for more drought aid

Saskatchewan’s provincial crop insurance agency is raising the yield threshold at which drought-damaged crops can be grazed, baled for greenfeed or cut for silage with no penalty on future coverage. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. said Wednesday it would double the “low yield appraisal” threshold values on cereal or pulse crop acres put to feed. SCIC

This field of alfalfa in Manitoba’s Interlake on June 12 got a boost with recent precipitation, but many forage crops are stunted due to cool temps and very dry soils this season.

Cream of alfalfa crop to come up short

Dairy producers anticipate alfalfa shortfall as high quality first cut approaches

Growers targeting high quality alfalfa are typically rolling by mid-June, but this year’s dairy quality hay might involve a lot of driving for little yield. David Wiens, chair of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, said he expects stand quality to be high, but that yield will likely to fall shy of normal. Alfalfa crops, “look

Second list of Crown lands opened for hay

Second list of Crown lands opened for hay

Producers have until June 21, after the province announced a second list of Crown lands opened for haying due to concerns of looming poor forage

Livestock producers have one more week to put their names in the hat for an extra list of Crown lands opened for haying this year. On May 18, the province announced that parcels of wildlife management areas and non-agricultural Crown land would once again be listed for casual hay permits, echoing similar provisions made in