MFGA eBulletin - March 2019
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
   Did you ever have that one friend who knows exactly what you will be asking before you ask? And then, because of that, you never have to ask what you had to ask..... 
   Yeah, that friend to MFGA happens to be the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM). Just as MFGA was putting the final touches on our annual fundraising campaign, an unsolicited DFM checque for MFGA Platinum Sponsorship 2019-20 rolled into our mail box. We are extremely grateful to all our supporters and thank DFM for their incredible timing and support as we kickstart another year's fundraising campaign. Talk about leading off a vital campaign on a positive note! 
   On the grassland fronts, hearty congrats to the organizing crew for putting on a wonderful and thought-provoking Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference (PCESC) last month in Winnipeg. Led up front by Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Sustainable Development, Bird Studies Canada, Important Bird Areas, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation and supported by a swack of others and a battalion of conference committees, the conference deliberately veered off the token, well-beaten warm and fuzzy path to showcase the ABSOLUTE URGENT need for livestock and grassland-based producers to be engaged and motivated in the conservation of our remaining intact grasslands and wetlands. Add in some knock-em-out-of-the-park PCESC presentations by MFGA board members Ryan Boyd (keynote: Regenerative Agriculture), Brooks White (session: Regenerative Agriculture) and Mae Elsinger (2 sessions: Rangeland Assessment/Vegetation for Bees) and many others on the role of private lands and landowners in wise conservation actions and prosperous agriculture practices and it is super clear: The more we work together, the more we will share successes. Nicely done setting that table, folks. 
   And finally, tip of the cap to Don Guilford who stepped down as producer chair of the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Management Committee and Research Advisory Committee recently. Thanks, Don, for your volunteer commitment and expertise.
   Muchos grasses all! 
   Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
WANTED: Hay Fields for Green Gold Testing
The MFGA Green Gold Program (Optimum Alfalfa Harvest Date or "Hay Day") represents one of MFGA's longest-standing, most successful services to Manitoba forage producers and this can only continue through producer involvement. Green Gold is seeking producers with hay fields that are mostly alfalfa, fairly new, and in good condition for testing through the May/June growing season.
THE BENEFITS: You will receive results from those fields twice a week from the beginning of sampling until first cut, providing you with some real time information on how the quality of your alfalfa is declining.
ELIGIBILITY: You must agree to sample your field twice per week (Monday & Wednesday) and submit to Central Testing Laboratory via courier. (Costs covered by MFGA). If interested please email John McGregor, MFGA Green Gold Program Coordinator.
Manitoba flood outlook changes with northern U.S. storms
March 18, 2019 - The Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba Infrastructure reports the updated flood forecast suggests a Red River flood of a magnitude higher than 2009 with normal or average weather conditions. Heavy snows have fallen in the northern United States and across the Red River Valley. The Assiniboine River system will see limited flooding, so the focus at this time is on the Red River and its tributaries, as they will see substantial flooding. With favourable weather, the flood forecast at this stage indicates the Red would rise to 2011 flood levels. With unfavourable weather conditions, this increases by almost one foot at Emerson, up to 1.5 feet near Ste. Agathe and reach 22.5 feet at James Avenue in the City of Winnipeg. Flood water levels will depend on rate of snow melt, snow and rain accumulation over the coming weeks.
Where's Boyd-O?
Follow regenerative agriculture dynamo Ryan Boyd on social media as pursues his goal of becoming a Nuffield Scholar. Boyd, a MFGA director from Forrest MB, started his journey and studies in Iowa, moving over to Washington DC earlier this week. Ryan will then visit Florida before his trip takes him to Mexico, Brazil, The Netherlands and New Zealand in the next month and a bit to further his research on Grazing Ruminants: A resilient solution to long term agriculture profitability, productivity and climate change. Ryan has been logging his pursuits on social media, follow along at: Twitter: @glantonboyd, @mbforages; Facebook: ManitobaForages
March Hay Situation and Price Update
As we move closer to spring the hay situation across Manitoba continues to be extremely tight. Hay marketers are reporting they are sold out and any ads for hay are getting snapped up very quickly. "It's been a cold winter for sure and feed supplies have shrunk reflecting that," said Darren Chapman, MFGA chair and member of Manitoba Hay Exporters. According to Chapman, with spring coming and things warming up that producers should be mindful on feed stocks and resources and be sure to plan ahead. Read the report here....
Deciding when to graze
One of the most important grazing management decisions forage producers make is selecting a start date for grazing tame and native pasture. Grazing too early can reduce the amount of forage available for the grazing period as well as affect plant leaf areas needed to boost carbohydrates depleted over winter and during spring green-up. Read on...
Manitoba Open Farm Day - Host Sites Needed
Help celebrate 10 years of MAAS's Open Farm Day in Manitoba by opening your farm to visitors during Open Farm Day, September 15, 2019. The deadline to register is Tuesday, April 30, 2019. More info here. 
Farm Credit Canada reaches out to rural communities and young producers
Farm Management Software useful with Farmer Starter Loan Program: 
Farm Credit Canada is offering a farm management software, AgExpert Accounting Premium, so that young borrowers can have the financial independence and knowledge they need while establishing a solid credit history. This program can be useful in conjunction with the  federal government's Farmer Starter Loan Program (for producers between ages of 18-25) which can provide up to $50,000 to help new entrepreneurs start their farming operations. 
FCC AgriSpirit Fund: Farm Credit Canada is now accepting applications from registered charities and non-profit organizations in rural Canada for the FCC AgriSpirit Fund. FCC will announce the selected projects in August. Deadline to apply is March 29. View the details including the application here
Producer Events & News  
Cover Crops Webinar - March 26, 2019, Webinar
Cover crops can have many benefits including improving soil health and prolonging the grazing season. Join this webinar to learn about some of the best practices for growing cover crops. This workshop is part of a  BCRC webinar series for Canadian beef producers.
Electric Fencing and Livestock Scales - March 27, 2019, MBFI Learning Centre
A Grazing Club Workshop with Grant Howse (Kane Vet Supplies - Stafix and Tru-Test) and Jason Williams (Datamars). Held at MBFI Learning Center (11 miles north of Brandon at Jct Hwy 10 and Hwy 353) 10 AM to 3 PM (Lunch sponsored by Datamars). RSVP: or 204-365-6334.
MBA's Great Spirit Show & Sale  -  March 29 & 30, 2019, Brandon, Mb
Register now for this Manitoba Bison Association event, which includes conference seminars, AGM, banquet and Kids Program. Sponsorship opportunities available. Tickets before March 15: $50 (16 years and up); $25 (6 -15 years); Under 5 is free After March 15th or at door: $60. Special room rates at the Clarion Hotel & Suites Rooms until March 18, ph: 204-728-5775 and quote "MB Bison 2019 Great Spirit Show & Sale".
Sustainable Energy on the Farm Conference
April 10, 2019, Portage La Prairie, MB
Hosted by MANSEA, this conference offers key presentations on sustainable energy for the farm and funding strategies topped off with panel discussions and the future of sustainable energy in Manitoba.
MAAS Open Farm Day - Sep 15, 2019, various farm sites across Manitoba
Mark your calendar now for this popular Manitoba ag event. Applications are being accepted for host sites until April 30, 2019.
Western Canada Soil Health & Grazing - 
Dec 10 to 12, 2019,  Edmonton, AB
Save the Date! More details to follow.


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