MFGA eBulletin - June 2019
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
  Western Manitoba needed rain. And by the looks of things, some of Westman that needed rain the most received a solid dousing over the Father's Day weekend. Hopefully, more rains will come for all those that need it, especially for areas in the Interlake region. Thank you to those that have reached out to MFGA to ensure we are aware of the conditions in your region. We really appreciate every bit of information around the situations in your regions. 
   For those producers that are growing more concerned and wondering about planning around dry conditions and grazing plans, please do check out our recent media releases on We hope they provide some degree of planning suggestions from some of our top MFGA producers and experts. As a producer, you can also keep tabs on drought conditions and forecasts through services offered by Manitoba Agriculture and Manitoba Sustainable Development
   On day to day MFGA activities, we are hustling, committed and engaged on many fronts including planning around   MFGA Regenerative Ag Day/MFGA AGM to be held November as well as several key project proposals at several levels including our MFGA Aquanty Model which looks at the role of forages and grasslands in times of flood or drought. We must continue to work with key audiences and design scenarios so we can continue to mobilize the model and help producers and land managers make the best decisions for their lands and communities. Those dialogues are as important as anything MFGA has on our plate and we remain relentless in our pursuit of greater uptake, implementation and understanding of our MFGA Aquanty model. In the meantime, though, C'mon rain!!
   Muchos grasses all! 
   Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
MFGA Green Gold wraps up 2019
Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association (MFGA)'s Green Gold Program is in the book for the 24th year. With varying moisture conditions across the province, Hay Day for the sampled fields of the program occurred on June 5 in the Central area, June 8 in the East and June 12 in the West. It is important to note that the MFGA Green Gold Program did not have a sampled field north of one in Stony Mountain area this year so we were unable to register the progression of alfalfa fields in that region for 2019. The program was led by MFGA's John McGregor and delivered with the help of producers, Mb Agriculture staff and Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives staff thru the collection of alfalfa samples from 19 Manitoba fields. These samples that were sent to Central Testing Laboratory Inc. in Winnipeg for testing.

Manitoba Hay & Silage Day June 20, 2019
Catch the June 20 Manitoba Hay & Silage Day at the MBFI Learning Centre, north of Brandon on Hwy 10 at Brookdale. Learn more about harvesting high quality hay and silage, costs of production, feeding baled and chopped silage, along with watching live infield demonstrations with new hay and silage equipment. Find the agenda here. Call Mb Agriculture at 204-622-2007 to register ($20/person).
Managing moisture stressed forage
This year, a lack of moisture is having a major effect on the growth of forages across many Manitoba regions. As such, timing your first cut could have an impact on if and when you get a second cut when there is adequate moisture. The decision to cut what is there or wait for additional growth is difficult and can depend on how much or little forage is present, the stage of growth and the need for forage. Understanding how forages deal with moisture stress and applying some techniques may help provide best chance of maximizing forage availability for the year.   Read on...
Range and Pasture Health Assessment Workbook Ready for Action
The synergies, dialogues and activities between producers, land managers, governments and conservation interests around healthy and productive Manitoba grasslands seem stronger than ever in Manitoba. As the many voices circle around retaining existing grasslands and developing healthy pastures, the key next step is figuring out how to do this well. This is where MFGA's Manitoba Range and Pasture Health Assessment Workbook and supporting rangeland ecosite and plant community information can really help inform pasture and grassland planning. "Lately we are hearing more and more from government, non-profit organizations, and the public about ecological value provided by healthy grasslands and pastures. Carbon. Flood reduction. Habitat. Protein. And that means there is increasing potential for our Range and Pasture Health Assessment method to play a role," said Mae Elsinger, a MFGA board member and a Rangeland Biologist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), who co-led the project along with AAFC colleague Kerry LaForge, Range and Forage specialist in Swift Current. Read the full MFGA Media Release.
Federal program designed to hire youth in agriculture
As part of the federal government's youth employment and skills program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has set aside up to $3.75 million for those in the agriculture sector who work to hire more young people. The program will provide 50 percent matching funds up to $14,000 towards costs associated with hiring youth, and will also provide 80 percent of costs up to $14,000 for applicants who hire Indigenous youth or youth facing barriers. Applications are being accepted now until the funding has been fully committed. More info here.
Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference travel funding available
Join more than 500 women from across Canada who are passionate about ag and the food industry at this premier leadership conference. Potential attendees may be eligible for funding assistance to attend the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference on October 27 to 29, 2019 in Niagara Falls, Ontario where the agenda will include farm finances, enhancing business and leadership management skills and knowledge, succession planning, expansion or diversification, financial risk management, human resources and overall strengthening of farm and agri-business management practices. More info and application form  found here.
Ducks Unlimited Canada's Manitoba hay tender list posted
Ducks Unlimited Canada's Manitoba hay tender list is now available online. The first round of fields (tame hay fields) will close tenders on June 28, with cutting to take place after July 15, 2019. Bid forms, legal locations, and maps are on the DUC website
Cover Crops Are A Balance Between Reward And Risk
Cover crops, also referred to as polycrops or cocktail crops, are receiving a lot of media hype for their potential for grazing and claims related to reduced inputs and improved soil health. Jillian Bainard, PhD, has been studying cover crop parameters like productivity, soil health, grazing nutrition, and weed control, through her research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Swift Current, SK. "A lot of people are trying cover crops so we want to understand from a research perspective what's happening, and whether we can pinpoint some of these benefits that have been suggested," Bainard explained during a recent webinar presentation. Read the full Beef Research3 article here.
Species at Risk Conservation Program Producer Survey
MFGA is collaborating with Dr. Jeremy Pittman from the University of Waterloo's School of Planning (Canada) on a research project about ranchers' and farmers' preferences for species-at-risk and endangered species conservation programs in Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). Participation in this study involves completing a 15-minute online survey. In appreciation for your time, you will be given the opportunity to enter into a draw to win one of forty $100 CAD gift cards! Questions: Jeremy, 519-888-4567 ext 31544. For details and to participate, go here.
AgriStability deadline July 2, 2019
AgriStability is an important tool that can help you manage risks and financial losses due to poor yields, low commodity prices, rising input costs, or market disruptions. AgriStability provides support when you experience a large margin decline.  Apply here.
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Producer Events & News  
Manitoba Hay & Silage Day - June 20, 2019, at  MBFIBrandon, MB
Learn more about harvesting high quality hay and silage, costs of production, feeding baled and chopped silage, along with watching live infield demonstrations with new hay and silage equipment. Please call 204-622-2007 to register ($20/person).
See the success stories of Whitemud Watershed Conservation District in their work to protect our soil, water, habitat and climate! The tour starts and ends in Neepawa, departing at 10AM and returning at 4PM. Registration: by June 5. Cost: $25, includes lunch. Rooms available at Bay Hill Inns & Suites, Neepawa.
Grazing Club Workshop - Dr. Christine Jones - June 28, 2019 at MBFI, Brandon, MB
Click link above for more details. Held at MBFI (Jct of Hwy 10 / 353), 9:30 - 3. Registration: $25. RSVP: M. Thiele, 204-365-6334,
Crop Diagnostic School - July 9-12 & 16-18, 2019, Carman, MB
Mb Ag and the U of M have organized crop diagnostic schools - a unique opportunity to help you scout fields and recognize potential problems, while also getting an update on the latest crop management issues. New reduced rate for students and farmers: $50. Workshops conducted at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm, U of M's research facility, Carman, MB. To register: 204-745-5660 or
Natural Systems Agriculture Field Tours - July 16-17, 2019, in 3 Manitoba locations
Join in 3 different field tours to see the Natural Systems Agriculture's organic crop and soil management research. Held at Carman Research Station, Glenlea Research Station and Libau, MB.  All are welcome! 
Regenerative Farming/Ranching July 16-18, 2019, at MBFI, Brandon, MB
3 Days of In-depth Classroom and Hands-on Field Training offered by the Soil Health Academy. Tuition: $1,275 USD. Contact: M. Thiele, 204-365-6334, about scholarships and discounts for full time University students.
Ag in Motion trip for Manitoba Young Farmers - July 17-18, 2019, Saskatoon, SK
The Manitoba Young Farmers Committee, sponsored by KAP, has arranged a chartered bus for young farmers (18-40), and living in Manitoba to attend Ag in Motion, western Canada's outdoor farm expo northwest of Saskatoon.
Manitoba Livestock Tour 2019 - July 31-Aug 1, 2019
The Manitoba Livestock Tour is designed to showcase different ideas and strategies to help producers increase profits and manage workloads associated with today's livestock operations. Larger herds, working off-farm, value added or diversification of enterprises have required innovative thinking. Learn from other producers by adapting new concepts to suit your own operation! Cost $30.00/person/day. Includes lunch, refreshments, and all reference materials. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY JULY 29. Contact:204-622-2007or
MBFI DAY! - Aug 10, 2019, MBFI Learning CentreBrandon, MB 
Featuring AAFC researcher and cover crop expert Dr. Jillian Bainard. Learn more about cover crops and other MBFI research around livestock production. Contact for more info.
MSA Show & Sale - Sept 13-14, 2019, Winnipeg, MB
Manitoba Sheep Association and MB Fiber Festival have collaborated t o create this premier event held at Red River Ex GroundsSep 13: Reception and Dinner with speaker. Sep 14: Show & Sale with trade show. All are welcome, please pre-register by Aug 1.
Manitoba's Open Farm Day - Sep 15, 2019, various farm sites across Manitoba
Mark your calendar for this popular event - now in the 10th year. Open Farm Day promotes, enriches and increases the public's knowledge and trust of agriculture in our province by welcoming the public to visit Manitoba farms. Questions:
Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference - Oct 27-29, 2019, Niagara Falls, ON 
Over 500+ women from across Canada who are passionate about ag and the food industry attend this premier leadership conference, held this year at Sheraton on the Falls. F unding available, details  here.  
10th Annual CFGA Conference - Nov 12-15, 2019, Moncton, New Brunswick
Don't miss this year's conference titled "Canadian Forage Production School, Eastern Edition" offering the nation's farmers tools, information, advice, tips and tricks to make the most of their forage and grassland management and production.  Held at the Four Points by Sheraton Moncton.
MSA Workshop, Symposium & AGMNov 15 & 16, 2019, Portage, MB
Nov 15 Workshop: Learn how to formulate rations for your entire flock; Nov 16 - Symposium & AGM: Join us for another great day of presentations on Nutrition and other sheep production topics and be a part of the MSA AGM.
MFGA's Regenerative Ag Days & AGM - Nov 19-20, 2019, Brandon, MB  
Join in on MFGA's Annual Fall Celebration at this 1.5 day event:
Tuesday, Nov 19 (evening): MFGA 2019 AGM & MFGA PRODUCER PANEL, Victoria Inn
Wednesday, Nov 20 (all day): REGEN AG WORKSHOP & TRADE SHOW, including confirmed speaker Dr. Dwayne Beck, Mb Ag Extension Centre.  Save these dates - more details to follow!
Western Canada Soil Health & Grazing - 
Dec 10-12, 2019,  Edmonton, AB
Save the Date! More details to follow.