GFM Network News


Manitoba to open more Crown lands to haying, grazing

Province now taking requests for permits

Manitoba livestock producers up against dry conditions can now apply for temporary passes to get onto Crown land not normally designated for grazing or haying. The province announced Friday it will make such lands available this year for agricultural use “under certain circumstances.” Permits and land uses will be handled through the Agricultural Crown Lands

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

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 eases load limits for grains, livestock, vegetables, fertilizer

'Essential' commodities allowed at normal axle weights on more roads

Springtime load limits on certain Manitoba highways will be lifted early this year for transport of crops, livestock, fertilizer and other “essential” goods. Provincial Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced Tuesday that certain essential goods may be trucked at “normal loading” axle weights on highways usually subject to Level 1 road restrictions during spring thaw. Essential


Milder weather this winter is helping producers manage feed, but there’s still plenty of winter left.

Warm weather grants reprieve for livestock producers

Manitoba’s winter has been comparatively mild
 but is it enough to get feed supplies through the winter?

A so-far mild winter has helped bolster feed supplies, but producers aren’t out of the woods yet. The weather has given livestock producers some reprieve compared to last year, when several weeks of consistent temperatures below -30 C hit at already strained feed supplies. Livestock specialists are still most worried about poor nutrition for the coming calving and

Manitoba producers are eligible for the Hay Disaster Benefit for a second year.

Short feed triggers Hay Disaster Benefit for second year

Until last year, Manitoba had never triggered the Hay Disaster Benefit built into AgriInsurance

Manitoba’s Hay Disaster Benefit has been activated for the second year in a row after forage once again fell short of expectations in 2019. Estimated payments are far in excess of last year. On Jan. 10, the provincial and federal governments said they expected payments to exceed $5 million for losses suffered in 2019, compared

Hay disaster benefit kicks in for Manitoba growers

Eligible Manitoba forage growers can expect to share in a $5 million hay disaster benefit (HDB) for the 2019 crop year. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC), the provincial crop insurance agency, announced Friday that the HDB has been activated and benefit payments to eligible forage producers on about 1,500 claims will begin “shortly.” The HDB,


Year in review: Ranchers brace for another short feed winter

It’s a bad case of deja vu for livestock producers facing stressed pastures come 2020

Livestock producers were already starting from behind in 2019. Producers were already looking at a feed shortage after drought conditions stuck much of the province in 2018, particularly areas of southwest Manitoba and the Interlake. Most of agricultural Manitoba had qualified for the federal livestock tax deferral program in 2018 — a program that allows

A producer uses a bale processor to feed hay.

Steps to stretch limited hay supplies

All options must be closely evaluated while keeping an eye on the bottom line to ensure carrying animals through winter is realistic

Harvest and transport challenges have left many livestock producers facing a shortage of hay. That has some producers worrying they do not have enough forage on hand at this time to meet winter feed needs. “There are numerous strategies that can be used to help stretch limited forage supplies,” said Janna Block, extension livestock systems