MFGA eBulletin - November 2017
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
    As many of you are aware, the Manitoba government announced the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan in late October. Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association (MFGA) was an invited stakeholder at the Oak Hammock Marsh announcement. It was an awesome event for us to be part of and we believe MFGA's continuous collaborative solutions-based approach and participation in consultations, partnerships, outreach (ie 2017 Spring MFGA Carbon Position) and presentations by our MFGA leaders, partners and experts have positioned MFGA well for these times.
   As an organization, MFGA is enthused with the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, especially with potential for forages and grasslands to be proactive solutions within the plan going forward. We realize there's work ahead and we're ready to do what we can to help this Made in Manitoba plan take shape and activate for the betterment of our province. While a deep-dive into the plan contains many links to our grasses and the importance of Manitoba producers, two areas caught our immediate attention:
* Implement an ecological goods and services program based on the Alternate Land Use Services model to reduce flooding, improve water quality and nutrient management and enhance biodiversity to benefit society. 
* Encourage wetland and grassland preservation and restoration, rotation grazing, cover crops and zero till.
   We like all of that. What's really cool in the plan from our eyes is the fact our MFGA producers and other grass and livestock producers around the province have stewarded grasslands and wetlands on their private lands all across the province. Manitoba's forage production is a long-standing cornerstone of Manitoba's agriculture industry, we are a powerhouse, forage-producing province nationally and we are anchored accordingly for the future role these plants can play in the Manitoba plan.
   We also think the new Manitoba plan and the collaborative horsepower required to drive it (ie. Manitoba producers and ALUS model, GRowing Our Watersheds, NGOs, BMPs, etc) will help motivate a positive shift to retain and integrate grasslands more solidly into the decision-matrix of the day as must-keep lands. Manitobans need a clearer understanding that in addition to feeding and pasturing our livestock herds that our province's grasslands also provide a legacy of societal benefits as showcased by the carbon capture, water management, biodiversity and public health ambitions of the Manitoba plan. The strongest path to the greater public trust that the agriculture sector collaboratively yearns for, we feel, is made of grass, water and healthy soil. Especially within the uniqueness and variances of the northern Great Plains region we live in. 
   Additionally, the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan contains a strong priority focus on flood and drought and the MFGA Aquanty Project (more details below) underway in the Assiniboine River Basin is a custom-fit, almost-ready decision-support tool for the ambitions of the Manitoba Plan, particularly in some of the most impacted-by-weather-event communities and areas of the province. 
   All in all, it was a hectic and active month ramped up by the Province's announcement. MFGA will continue to participate in every dialogue we can be part of as this plan evolves. As we head into the busy conference and meeting season, I wish you all success at all your events and conferences and, of course, continued prosperity on your home farm operations.
Muchos Grasses all,
Duncan Morrison, 
MFGA Executive Director   
MFGA Aquanty Project Custom Fit for Manitoba Climate and Green Plan
The MFGA Aquanty Project underway in the Assiniboine River Basin (ARB) is investigating the role of forages and grasslands in times of flood or drought ahead via a high-resolution HydroGeoSphere model that focuses on water movement and is on schedule for completion March 2018. As the project gets closer to completion, we will utilize this space to keep our MFGA supporters updated on key aspects and developments around the project. 
   As a decision-support mechanism, the MFGA Aquanty model naturally progresses towards greater aggregate use of the model for the most impactful results. For instance, for the individual producer in the ARB the model may be valuable for on-farm planning around forages and grasslands to help flood-drought proof that one farm. However, when the model is applied from a larger area perspective, including how a number of producers, a community, a rural municipality or a province could foster a better understanding of the region's water movement and how existing or integrating grasses might help mitigate future flood and drought, bolster community resiliency and help inform land-use planning, that's where the MFGA Aquanty project shines. 
   Fittingly, "Agriculture & Land Use", "Flood & Drought", "Wetlands & Watersheds" and "Water Quality" are the four keystones of the Water pillar clearly identified in the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan. MFGA Aquanty Project looks hard at the first three of those keystones, with water quality being a direct potential outcome highlighted by the model and showcasing the decision-support ability of the model for land managers. 
   MFGA is currently working with our project partners to design the best rollout and public access strategy for the model and we will have more news on that in future.
Province unveils Climate and Green Plan: HAVE YOUR SAY
As you are aware via previous ebulletins, MFGA urges all our supporters to make their voices heard in public consultation opportunities. This encouragement continues with your chance to weigh in on a cleaner, greener Manitoba via your comments with the recently unveiled Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan. HAVE YOUR SAY - provide views and ideas here.
More details can be found on these links:
MFGA in the News...
Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, with Duncan Morrison, MFGA Executive Director, at Oak Hammock Marsh for the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan announcement.
The Manitoba Climate and Green Plan points to grassland preservation and restoration to store and reduce carbon emissions - something the Manitoba Grassland and Forage Association (MGFA) supports. Quoted in this Manitoba Co-operator article: "We are enthused with the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, especially with potential for forages and grasslands to be such proactive solutions within the plan going forward," MGFA executive director Duncan Morrison. "We realize there's work ahead and we're ready to do what we can to help this Made-in-Manitoba plan take shape and activate for the betterment of our province."
Visit  our media page to view all MFGA news articles and media releases.
Farmers voices heard on proposed tax changes
The federal government has nixed the proposed limitation on capital gains exemptions for private corporations, including some agricultural operations, that agricultural group leaders felt could have made it financially difficult to pass the farm on to the next generation. Individual farmers, farm groups across the country and industry organizations spoke out against the tax adjustment. Through the use of online forms and coordinated efforts via their Manitoba member groups such as MFGA, Keystone Agricultural Producers sent more than 200 letters to Ottawa from Manitoba addresses. The federal government also announced it would be lowering the small business tax rate and scaling back other proposed changes.   Read more.
November Hay Situation & Price Update
The November hay situation indicates forage supplies are adequate to above adequate throughout the province. Producers able to take a final cut after the CHP are reporting very low yields. See " Manitoba hay crops see good year". Producers able to take a final cut after the CHP are reporting very low yields. Read on for prices and full details...
MBFI seeking summer students for Brandon area
Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives is looking for summer student Research Assistants for our beef and forage research and demonstration farm located near Brandon MB. Expected duties include: * Collecting forage, soil and manure samples; Operating large and small farm equipment; Sorting and moving cattle; Maintaining cattle handling facilities, including electric fencing; *   Heavy lifting; Data entry and record keeping of trial activities and livestock performance;  General farm labour, farm yard maintenance, using power tools, and towing trailers.
Full description and how to apply found here.
Resumes sent to:, 1-204-740-0376

Don't miss out on MBFI events!
MBFI hosts workshops, tours & special events. Stay up to date on all MBFI events taking place by emailing
Abnormal weather doesn't grow average forage
*reprinted with permission from the Canadian Cattlemen magazine Oct 2017 issue, 
By Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director 
Averages are useful statistics, but sometimes averages can be misleading. As the University of Saskatchewan's late Iain Christison said, "the average human has one breast and one testicle". Canada's rainfall may be close to average this year - but much of the country is experiencing severe drought, and most of the rest is soaked. Either way, low yields, unharvestable or spoiled forage mean that winter feed supplies will be below average in many places, and nutritional value likely won't be average, either. For instance, drought-stricken pastures and forage crops have lower levels of carotene, which cattle need to produce vitamin A.  Read the full article.
Do you have a project that needs funding?
If you have a project that needs funding then you should check out the MB AG Days Community Giving Program! There are two categories: 1) Education & Leadership, 2) Community Improvement. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2017. Find out if your project qualifies and how you can apply.
Travel with like-minded people and experience
Spain and Portugal's amazing landscapes, vibrant agricultural scenes and storied history and culture  
MFGA has partnered with Foothills Forage & Grazing Association to offer a two-week agricultural-influenced tour of Spain and Portugal!  Enjoy this amazing trip hassle-free via the comforts of a luxury motor coach tour while enjoying new friendships and the unique sights and experiences provided by the people, producers and agricultural industries of Spain and Portugal Price includes: Airfare, luxury motor coach, English speaking guide,  all entrance & tour fees, 26 meals, 14 nights in 3 & 4 star hotels. 
Call (403) 270-7044 or toll free 1-844-370-7044 for more information.

There has been a lot of interest shown for this trip - 
 watch for further details on other trip opportunities!!
Producer Events & News
EXTENSION - Deposit due Nov 10. Travel with like-minded people and experience Spain and Portugal's amazing landscapes, vibrant agricultural scenes and storied history and culture!  View the full itinerary and find the Booking Form here
Canadian Forage & Grassland Association Conference  -  Nov 14-16, 2017 in Guelph, ON
Anyone who has a stake in the Canadian forage and grassland industries will not want to miss this year's conference to: learn about new forage practices; network with colleagues; discover new research on forage and grasslands and how to improve environmental practices. Check out the program.
Soil Health and Your Bottom LineNov 15, 2017 in Dauphin, MB
Healthy soils offer amazing benefits at a global scale like cleaning air, water and supporting wildlife and the environment and key to your farming success! Hosted by the Riding Mountain UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve (RMBR), this workshop has presenters, display tables and networking opportunities. Pre-registration required, fees include lunch. Before Nov 8 (Early Bird): $10. After Nov 8: $15. 
Manitoba Sheep Association's AGM - Nov 18, 2017 in Portage la Prairie, MB
The MSA AGM will run in conjunction with the MSA Symposium - all are welcome for the AGM, and members are not required to attend the symposium in order to attend the AGM. Deadline to register: Nov 13.
Manitoba Farm Women's Conference - Nov 19-21, 2017 in Brandon, MB
Registration Deadline: November 7!! The Manitoba Farm Women's Conference is a non profit organization run by volunteer farm women and held each year in one of three Manitoba cities. Its aim is to provide farm and rural women from around the province with an opportunity to expand knowledge, inform and communicate ideas and above all, enjoy.
Canadian Bison Association ConventionNov 19-21, 2017 in Regina, SK
This event is for anyone working in agriculture and a great opportunity to hear from Gabe Brown, of Brown's Ranch in Bismarck, North Dakota on "Regenerating Landscapes for a Sustainable Future" and a variety of other speakers on bison health, on-ranch finishing program, marketing and more! Breakfast, lunch and evening bison tasting and fun auction are included. 
Grain Farmers First Aid Course Nov 20 & 21, 2017 in Carman, MB
Offered by St John Ambulance and Farm Safety Program and runs from 8am to 5pm on both days, lunch is provided. Follow the link for info or to book online by Nov 15. Contact: Keith, (204) 293-9646.
Western Canada Conf on Soil Health & Grazing -  Dec 5-7, 2017 in Edmonton, AB 
The Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing theme will be Profit Above, Wealth Below. Speakers includes soil health practitioner Gabe Brown, Richard Teague, Jim Gerrish, Dr. Allen Williams and more! Also, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef will be meeting in conjunction with the conference.  Learn more. 
MBFI Extended Winter Grazing Tour  -  Dec 7, 2017 at the Brookdale Research Farm
Want to finds ways to extend your grazing season? Come out to MBFI's extensive winter grazing tour to see different methods to extend your grazing season like, swath grazing, standing corn grazing, bale grazing, etc.
MCDA Conservation Conference Dec 11 to 13, 2017 in Brandon, MB
Held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, the theme is The Economy of the Environment.
Early Bird registration deadline is Nov 27. Plan to attend! 
Manitoba Ag Days - mark these dates! - Jan 16-18, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
The Manitoba Ag Days show, held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, is an exposition of agricultural production expertise, technology, and equipment that attracts exhibitors and visitors from across Canada and the United States of America.
Beef & Forage Week Seminar Jan 29 to Feb 2, 2018 in various MB communities 
Dates/towns planned:  Mon, Jan. 29 - Eriksdale; Tues, Jan. 30 - Ste Rose; Wed, Jan. 31 - Minitonas; Thurs, Feb. 1 - Holland; Fri, Feb. 2 - Vita. Exhibitors registration forms found here and are due by Dec 1, 2017. For more info, contact the Mb Agriculture Vita Office at 204-425-5050.
Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association AGMFeb 9, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
A 7am breakfast meeting, our AGM is held in conjunction with the MBP AGM. Stay tuned for further details. Coffee and pastries will be served.
Manitoba Beef Producers AGM -  Feb 8-9, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
Whether you are a beef producer or in the feedlot sector, this event is geared to you. The Manitoba Beef Producers 39th Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to engage with MBP directors and fellow producers, debate issues that affect your bottom line, and set policy which will impact the future of your industry. We encourage all producers and beef industry stakeholders to attend.
Manitoba Farm Safety Tip of the Week 
There is no safe level of exposure to diesel exhaust. Diesel engines can operate for up to 30 years, thus there are many older, dirtier diesel engines still in use. The following are examples of available retrofits aimed at reducing emissions: * diesel oxidation catalyst * diesel particulate filters * closed crankcase filters (helps prevent emissions from entering the vehicle) * diesel multi-stage filters * exhaust extenders that re-direct emissions away from workers and others * use of idle stop technology

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