GFM Network News


Silage is one way to make the most of annual forage crops during a dry year.

Making the case for annual forages

With another dry year looming, producers may want to do whatever they can to set their annual forages up for success

A season staring at drought conditions is no year to leave feed on the table, and producers may want a more deliberate plan to make the most of their annuals. After three years of short pastures, producers will be used to the province urging them to consider annuals for feed. Greenfeed has been an often-repeated

Converting marginal cropland to grass has 
found new backers for Ducks Unlimited.

DUC forage program brings in the green

A DUC program trying to pitch a return from crop to forage is getting financial help from Cargill and McDonald’s Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has gained some big corporate names backing its Forage Program. In late March, Cargill and McDonald’s Canada, along with DUC, announced $5 million to transition a target 125,000 acres of less productive farmland from annual crops to forage or pasture by 2025. The companies have said they will provide $1.25 million


Ponds in central Manitoba, normally swollen with snowmelt, were far below the high-water mark in early April.

Manitoba’s hay market up in the air

Forage shortfalls are still very much on the table for this year, but how short and how that will impact hay prices is still a big unknown

Those watching the hay market are holding their breath, and keeping a close eye on the long-range forecast, as the clock starts ticking on the province’s potential forage harvest. Manitoba’s bone-dry start has had both forage experts and producers concerned the province may be in for another season like 2019 — when low yields and

Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland

ABOVE: Little snow remains on fields near Brandon in mid-March.

Manitoba farmers confronted with a dry spring

Much of agro-Manitoba is sitting at 30 per cent or less of normal precipitation since November, and that’s not counting the dry fall beforehand

Agro-meteorologists have good news and bad news. The good news is: chances are you’re getting onto your field early this spring — in fact, the first reports of field work in central Manitoba have already started trickling in over social media. The bad news is: those worries you had about a dry spring are coming


Forage insurance changes arrive for spring

Forage insurance changes arrive for spring

Weather warning flags this spring may merit giving the province’s revised forage insurance a closer look

With another dry spring in the offing, it might be time to reconsider forage insurance in view of recent program changes. Those changes follow a forage insurance review completed last year. The province had announced the review in late 2019, following critically poor hay yields and widespread reports of feed shortfalls. The shortfalls led to

The Green Gold forage monitoring program is seeking producer participants for its annual hay day quest.

Green Gold calling out for Manitoba alfalfa growers

The yearly hay quality monitoring program is ramping up again for 2021, and organizers are calling out for grower participation

The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) is once again on the hunt for producers to fill out its roster for this year’s Green Gold program. The association is looking for producers willing to tap their fields for regular hay samples, which will then feed into the alfalfa quality monitoring program. Why it matters: Alfalfa growers, particularly those

Zero in on a specific goal when intercropping so you can measure progress over time, and “learn from the failures,” says researcher 
Yvonne Lawley.

Intercropping can be a win win for mixed operations

The practice comes with a learning curve, but can increase grazing options while boosting soil health

There is a lot of buzz in beef and forage production systems around the concepts of sustainability and soil health, and the numerous different production practices that can support those ideas. Intercropping is one strategy that can improve efficiency and soil health. Manitoba producer Alan MacKenzie considers intercropping to be two crops that are grown


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