GFM Network News


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

There are still localized feed shortages in pockets of the province but timely rains later in the summer seem to have taken the edge off of feed shortages that have dogged cattle producers the past two seasons.

Hay prices run ahead of demand

After two years of running very lean, Manitoba’s feed supply is back from the brink

Forage sellers may be aiming too high amid a softening hay market, according to a recent Hay Relief report from the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA). “The producers that I’ve talked to who are looking at selling and/or buying hay are kind of finding that there’s not a lot of people buying hay right

A producer in west-central Manitoba moves bales earlier this year.

Improvements relative when it comes to hay yield

FORAGE Hay yields are up compared to last year, but many areas are still a long way from ‘good’

Manitoba is seeing its best hay year in two years, but given how dismal yields were in 2018 and 2019, that’s a low bar. Poor growing conditions both last year and the year before had pastures fall short of production, hay yields in areas dropping to half or less of normal and dugouts drying. Producers


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