GFM Network News


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


Green Gold canvassing for 2020 alfalfa fields

The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association is looking for farmers to submit samples as the Green Gold alfalfa quality program enters its 25th year

The call is out for producers willing to feed data into this year’s Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association Green Gold program. The annual program, which monitors alfalfa quality through May and June, publishes weekly reports on alfalfa crop progress leading up to the first hay cut and is entering its 25th year this season. Why

Manitoba hay production goes well beyond alfalfa — and so should forage insurance, producers say.

Province says mic is open on forage insurance review

The province says it is looking for producer feedback as the first step of its promised forage insurance review

The floor is open for producers to let the province know what they want to see change on forage insurance. The government has launched the first steps of its promised review of forage insurance programs in Manitoba. An online survey is now open at engagemb.ca or available at six Agriculture and Resource Development offices across



Cattle in the Interlake graze parched pastures as producers eye their stunted hayfields with concern.

Pressure rising again on feed supply as first cut falls short

Recent rains came too late to boost growth

Hay shortages still have a chokehold on Manitoba as producers take stock of their first cut. Rains gave much-needed relief to fields across southern Manitoba since the end of June, but it was largely too late for the forage crop. Top-tier stands this year only reach about 60 per cent of normal, according to John

Rains helped bolster short hayfields in the last week of May, but many fields (such as this one in central Manitoba) still lag behind what is normal for this time of year and many regions are still dry.

Forage forecast gets some good news

Forage got a needed boost in the last week of May, especially in areas that got rain before the temperatures rose

The province got some of its first forage-friendly growing days in the last week of May, but it still may not be enough. This spring was another hard start for hay growers. Cold temperatures and lack of rainfall delayed alfalfa and pasture regrowth, leading the province’s forage experts to put out warnings against premature turnout.

WANTED: Hay fields for Green Gold testing

MFGA seeking producers with hay fields that are mostly alfalfa

Once again the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA) is seeking producers interested in participating in our Green Gold program. We believe the MFGA Green Gold Program (Optimum Alfalfa Harvest Date or Hay Day) represents one of MFGA’s longest-standing, most successful services to Manitoba forage producers and we want it to be the best program possible. On


Researchers exchanged soil microbes among alfalfa plants treated with different levels of P.

Study says excess phosphorus may reduce crop yields

Results suggest that excess levels can affect soil microbes

Excessive phosphorus fertilizer may do more harm than good for crop yields, say scientists at Penn State University. In a study published in Phytobiomes Journal, a team led by Terrence Bell and Jenny Kao-Kniffin found that soil treated with high amounts of phosphate can result in poorer plant performance and that it appears the soil

Manitoba livestock specialists are urging producers to avoid clipping pastures too low, and to work that into their drought plans.

Drought strategies a long-term game

The winter’s feed challenges have minds on drought planning this winter

After a dry season “drought proofing” feed is a hot topic during this year’s round of winter livestock seminars. After last year’s headline-making dry weather left many with half or less of their normal hay, prematurely dried-out dugouts, triggered herd culling, the message is finding an interested audience. Speakers, meanwhile, are hitting largely on the