MFGA eBulletin - April 2018
Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association would like to pass along our heartfelt condolences and healing thoughts to all those impacted or affected in any way by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy .
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
    April 2018 sure seems chillier than normal on the ol' weather front, but there is no doubt that things are heating up this spring on the MFGA front. I'd like to thank all our corporate, industry, government and producer supporters who have stepped up to the plate again this year for MFGA as part of our annual supporter campaign. Thank you, all, you are vitally important to our efforts. 
   Moving forward, hearty congratulations are in order to Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler for signing their bilateral agreement to finalize and implement the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year agreement to strategically invest $176 million in Manitoba's agricultural and agri-food sector. This is exciting news for many of Manitoba's agricultural producers, groups, researchers, and industry. More information is found below. 
   On top of that news, MFGA is thrilled to announce our first-ever MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference for this November in Brandon. Using the theme "Adapting to Today's Food and Farm World", the MFGA conference committee led by MFGA board member Pam Iwanchysko has arranged an excellent program that will connect all farm lines and farm-based interests. Register ASAP as there are only 300 spots available. And last - but not least - as you may be aware, the first phase of our MFGA Aquanty Model Project was completed March 31, 2018. We are very pleased that the model construction by Aquanty Inc. and the transfer of information to ISM are ready for our next MFGA actions of getting the model into stakeholders' hands to use as a decision-support tool that incorporates the role of forages and grasslands in times of flood or drought ahead in the Assiniboine River Basin. We are also greatly indebted to the support of all our funders, in particular Bruce Stephen of our Primary Funder/Program: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Growing Forward 2, AgriRisk Initiative, and our Secondary Funding Partner: Manitoba Agriculture, Growing Forward 2, federal-provincial-territorial initiative, our project's key partners at the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI)and our project's core contractors at Aquanty Inc. and ISM/IBM as well as our entire project management team, the project's steering committee and the organizations that stepped forward with letters of support at the project outset. We'd also like to sincerely thank our steering committee co-chairs Henry Nelson (MFGA Aquanty Project Manager) and Allan Preston (ARBI Chair) for their guidance and expertise on the project. Sincere thanks to both gentlemen are well-deserved. Going forward on the Phase one MFGA Aquanty project roll-out, there will be a series of checks and balances put in place before we launch the model, such as internal tests, focus groups, different scenarios and stakeholder workshops, to ensure the model is ready to roll with the most momentum after that time. As with most everything else going on these days, that will likely happen really quickly. Please stay tuned for more information in coming weeks.
Muchos Grasses all,
Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
We want your alfalfa field for Green Gold!
Spring is approaching and with that, MFGA's Green Gold Program is seeking producers interested in having their alfalfa fields tested. If you have a hay field that is mostly alfalfa, is fairly new and in good condition, it may be eligible for our program. 
Benefits to You:
- All costs of testing and shipping alfalfa samples covered by MFGA.
- Receive results from your tested fields twice a week from the beginning of sampling until first cut, providing you with real time information on your alfalfa quality.
To be Eligible, you must agree to:
- Sample the field twice a week (Monday and Wednesday).
- Submit the alfalfa sample (that day) to Central Testing via courier. 
If interested, contact John McGregor:
Governments sign bilateral agreement to implement the Canadian Agricultural Partnership in Manitoba
MFGA chair Darren Chapman was in attendance as Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler signed a bilateral agreement to finalize and implement the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year agreement to strategically invest $176 million in Manitoba's agricultural and agri-food sector. "The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will help the sector in Manitoba continue to innovate, grow and prosper," said MacAulay. "We are committed to expanding business opportunities for Canadian producers, ranchers and processors, and strengthening the middle class by helping the agricultural sector reach its full potential."
Modernizing the Agricultural Crown Lands Program
MFGA has been engaged in consultation efforts on the Agricultural Crown Lands Program. Efficient, innovative use of agricultural Crown lands can increase the forage productivity to generate more feed, which enables the growth of Manitoba's livestock industry. Manitoba Agriculture invites you to provide your thoughts and suggestions by reviewing the public consultation document  online.
Province appoints new MASC CEO
MFGA would like to congratulate Jared Munro as the new president and chief executive officer of the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jared Munro, building on his years of experience in the agricultural sector and with MASC," said Hon. Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Agriculture Minister "MASC is an essential partner for many Manitoba farmers and his expertise will be invaluable in supporting that work."
Read the full news release.
The Value of Community Pastures
A Study: The Social and Environmental Benefits of Manitoba's Community Pastures With input from MFGA and via the expertise of a top-notch steering committee including former MFGA Board Member Henry Nelson and forage and grassland experts from Manitoba Agriculture, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has released a study on "The Social and Environmental Benefits of Manitoba's Community Pastures", that summarizes the benefits and economic values of community pastures managed by the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures in Manitoba.   View the report online...
Participate in the National Climate Change Adaptation Assessment 
The Prairies Regional Adaption Collaborative (PRAC) wants to understand the key questions that stakeholders across the Prairies would like to see answered. Land managers and producers are asked to complete this survey by April 24, 2018. PRAC is an initiative aimed at helping decision-makers in the Prairie provinces target local climate change issues and help integrate climate change adaptation considerations into decision making in policy, planning and operations.  
Winterkill Alert - Plan Ahead
Based on soil temperatures at various Manitoba locations, the winter that Manitoba and much of the eastern regions of the Prairies are presently experiencing - cold weather in January and February coupled with below normal snow cover - has the tell-tale signs of potentially damaging the existing alfalfa crop. There are, however, many factors that contribute to winterkill besides soil temperature including snow cover, fertility, age of stand, cutting frequency and nutrient storage in the crown and root going into winter. Once the snow is gone and we start seeing warmer temperature you will need to watch for signs of winter kill which includes slow or no "green up" in all or portions of the field, uneven regrowth and root damage.   Read on....
MBP to offer six bursaries in 2018
Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) will again award six $500 bursaries to deserving Manitoba students in 2018. The bursaries are available to MBP members, or their children, who are attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution. Students pursuing trades training are also eligible. Preference will be given to students who are pursuing a  field of study related to agriculture or those acquiring a skilled trade that would benefit the rural economy. Completed applications must be submitted to MBP by June 1, 2018. Full details here.
2018 Open Farm Day Registration is April 30
Manitoba Association of Agricultural Societies is once again offering Manitoba Open Farm Day, slated for Sunday September 16, 2018. Deadline to register is Monday April 30, 2018. Go to and click on Register Your Site. Be a part of this great event - last year 7200+ Manitobans visited 47 Open Farm Day host sites!
5 grazing tips to 'chew on' before turnout
Grazing season is just around the corner. As springtime approaches, it may be worthwhile to think about ways to improve your grazing system. Are there things you could do differently to extend the grazing season, improve profitability, increase carrying capacity, improve conservation, etc.? For a few points to consider as you prepare for the upcoming grazing season, read the full Progressive Cattlemen article...
2017-18 Excellence Award for Agricultural Students
Farm Management Canada (FMC) and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs (CADAP) are launching the 2017-18 Excellence Award for Agricultural Students, designed to encourage students to improve their critical thinking, communication and leadership skills through a national competition. FMC and CADAP are collecting submissions from agricultural students across Canada and will award three educational scholarships in agriculture. First place: $1,500!  
Deadline to apply: May 6, 2018. Learn more here.

Producer Events & News
MFGA's Regenerative Agriculture Conference Nov 27-28, 2018 in Brandon, MB
Registration is OPEN! Our conference will be featuring some of the most highly sought after speakers on the Ag circuit, a trade show and an amazing banquet! Space is limited, act fast!!!!!
Boehringer Ingelheim Spring Parasiticide Event Apr 18, 2018, 2-4pm, at MBFI
This event runs from 2pm to 4pm, and will be held at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Brookdale Location, corner of highway 353 and highway 10. For more info, call 204-761-3300.
13th Annual PESAI AGM & Tour -  Apr 26, 2018 in Winnipeg, MB
Attend the AGM which includes a tour of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN) followed by a supper and meeting at the Centre. This event is free and open to all those interested in supporting agricultural initiatives in the Eastman and Interlake regions.
April 30 is the last day to register your farm, ag business, ag organization, ag museum for Manitoba Open Farm Day on Sunday September 16, 2018. Open Farm Day is an opportunity for farmers to showcase their operations and explain about agriculture. Last year 7,200 Manitobans visited 47 Open Farm Day host sites.  Register here.
MFGA Green Gold Program - Begins in May, 2018
Green Gold (Optimum Alfalfa Harvest Date) helps predict "Hay Day", the date when pure alfalfa stands are at optimum quality (150 RFV). Sign up to receive bi-weekly reports during the Manitoba alfalfa growing season by contacting
Manitoba Hay Day Event -  June 20, 2018 near Steinbach, MB
Attend this field day and learn how to increase the quality of your valuable hay resources. Watch infield demonstrations of new equipment from manufacturers and learn more about: * how to harvest high quality hay * how to make high quality silage * costs of production * hay quality differences. Speakers include John McGregor, MFGA Hay Expert about the MFGA Green Gold Program.
CFGA Annual Conference - Nov 14-15, 2018 in Calgary, AB
Theme: Foundation Forage: Built from the Ground Up, held at the Sheraton Cavalier. Mark the date!

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