MFGA eBulletin - June 2017
Green Gold Program is a Good Guide for all Livestock
The aim of the Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association (MFGA)'s Green Gold program is to provide forage producers with an idea as to how alfalfa in their area is advancing during the period leading up to the first cut. This information is used by producers to time their first cut and target the highest quality of forage for their livestock. The Green Gold Program also provides producers with an indication as to how the quality of the forage is declining if harvest delays are encountered. 
  The other component of the report looks at how management and environment affect forage quality. Although the Green Gold report doesn't focus on livestock production what it tries to do is focus on RFV and where the RFV of the forage fits into various classes of livestock. 
  What is Hay Day? Hay Day is the estimated day that alfalfa will reach a RFV of 170. Past experience has shown that approximate 20 points are lost during the haying process and the time taken to get the entire crop cut, cured and baled. Silage shortens this process and therefore the quality can be higher. Grass/alfalfa mixes can and do reduce the RFV by 20-30 points depending on the percentage of the blend.    Nutritionists like to target hay in the 135-150 RFV towards dairy cows in the 1st trimester and dairy calves. The RFV hay from 125-140 is fed to the dairy cows in the last 200 days and heifers 12-18 months of age. Hay at 115-130 makes excellent Beef cow and heifer 12-18 month old feed and any from 100-115 is good for the Dry cow and heifer between 18 and 24 month. 
  The management and environmental information that is included in the Green Gold Program report focuses on how to best obtain the desired RFV to meet the needs of the livestock. 
  MFGAs Green Gold program runs for a very specific time during the haying season. In our monthly e-Bulletins we focus more on forage and livestock production, as putting up forage as hay is just a small but important part of the overall feeding program of today's livestock operations.

Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association (MFGA)'s Green Gold program is in full swing. The the program is being delivered with the help of producers, Mb Agriculture and Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives via the collection of alfalfa samples from 15 Manitoba fields that are sent on to Central Testing Laboratory Inc. for testing. From May 18 to June 1, Relative Feed Values in the sampled alfalfa fields declined from 250 to 190 over the two week period - an average daily decline of 5 pts of RFV. This decline wasn't uniform across the province as areas in the Interlake, NorthWest and Brandon got off to a slower starts to the growing season. With warmer temperatures most of these areas have started to catch up and our samples are showing a similar RFV across the province. If the 5 pt decline continues, HAY DAY (when alfalfa reaches 170 RFV) should be June 4--TODAY. Because there is some variation across the province, the Hay Day this year could vary in the various areas from June 2nd to June 5th.
Media Attention...
M3 Aerials assists Green Gold 
Once again, M3 Aerial Productions assisted Green Gold with drones to help determine Hay Day!
Quality vs Quantity in Hay Production
As we move closer to the start of haying season, it's important to remember hay is one of the most common sources of stored feed for livestock. Most of harvested hay is used by the original producer, therefore quality should clearly be of high importance for your own livestock. But in hay production, does quality trump quantity?
Optimum Alfalfa Seeding Rate
The winter of 2016-17 was tough on alfalfa throughout Manitoba. Most areas are reporting some levels of winterkill damage, and in some areas the damage is extensive. Although many producers have implemented contingency plans to help make up for the forage shortfall this year, many alfalfa acres will need to be seeded to replace the lost acres. One of the biggest costs to replacing an alfalfa field is seed and the question always comes up: How much seed do I need to plant for a good stand of alfalfa that will provide decent yields for the next 3-4 years? Learn more...
New online tool helps farmers manage risk
Flooding, pests, disease and other extreme weather events are constant risks to the businesses and livelihoods of farmers. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) is working with industry partners to explore and develop new risk management tools that meets the needs of Canadian farmers when faced with serious challenges beyond their control. MFGA's Aquanty Project is one such example of an AAFC's AgriRisk Initiatives partnership as the two-year project creates a HydroGeoSphere model that will help plan for flood and drought across the Assiniboine River Basin while showing the role of forages and grasslands in mitigating the impacts. Farm Management Canada has developed a new online agricultural risk management tool called "AgriShield" which will help farmers have real-time assessments of the potential negative impact of risks to their businesses and provide mitigation solutions. More information here.  
Scholarship for Outstanding Young Farmers
The Major Jay Fox Memorial Annual Scholarship will be awarded by the Manitoba Outstanding Young Farmers in honour of the contribution Jay made to agriculture in Manitoba and Canada. A $500 bursary will be awarded to recognize a student continuing in the field of agriculture who has made a significant difference in their communities.   Application Deadline: June 9, 2017 at 4pm. 
Producer Events
MBFI's Pasture Day -  June 22, 2017 near Brandon, MB
Producers are invited to attend Pasture Day day at MBFI's First Street Pasture led by Manitoba Agriculture, U of W and AAFC researchers. MBFI's First Street Pasture is east of Brandon, south of Highway 1. Please RSVP to Sunil at 204-726-6482 or email to register by June 20, 2017. Registration fees are $10 via cheque to MBFI or payable at the gate. 
Holistic Management Introduction/RefresherJune 25 & 25, 2017 Online
Topics to be covered include: Goal Setting, Gross Profits, The 7 Testing Questions, Financial Planning and creating a Pasture Plan. Contact: Lisa Hodgins 204-838-2285
Bus Trip & Private Tour of Brown's RanchJuly 18-20, 2017 in Bismark, ND
A private 8-hour tour by Gabe or his son Paul that includes meals, 2-night accommodations and transportation. Further details on the link above or contact Gerry Burgess (SSCA Office Manager) by email at
8th Annual CFGA Conference  -  November 14-16, 2017 in Guelph, ON
Held at the Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre, Guelph, ON this year - more info here.
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