MFGA eBulletin - May 2018
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
    The Merriam Webster dictionary defines "Diversity" as of having or being composed of different elements. Diversity is truly one of the buzz words resonating out there today, and for all the right reasons. 
   From an agricultural perspective, diversity on the farms of our Manitoba producers may be a critical path toward a brighter and healthier future for producers and Manitobans alike. Crop diversity in the form of planned rotations that schedule annuals, cover and perennial crops as intertwined, critical parts of a farm management plan to bolster the soil health and carrying capacity of a farm while providing solid bottom line producer returns year after year are increasing in popularity.
   Add in the diversity of livestock - even smaller herds that work the smaller fields and paddocks of cover crops and grasses of wisely-planned grazing and cropping rotations - and the table is fully set. From MFGA's perspective, diversity on the farm helps foster collaboration between grain and livestock farmers in a fashion that allows more forages/grazing in the rotation and at a scale that represents significant acres. This is exactly why MFGA is hosting the Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Brandon this November. We want to support, lead and engage producers with this knowledge and showcase the science-based facts, leading experts and profitability potential. We want Manitoba farm producers and all Manitobans - via Made-in-Manitoba farm products and exports that boost the economy and deliver improved soil, air and water quality - to prosper accordingly. 
   Equally diverse is the growing representation among our MFGA supporters as exemplified by nine credit unions based in Manitoba that stepped up as a group to join Dairy Farmers of Manitoba as platinum supporters of MFGA. To have these financial institutions and leaders interested and aware of the benefits of forages and grasses toward community resilience in such a supportive manner is encouraging and humbling at the same time. The pull of MFGA's Aquanty Project model and the potential within it also inspired The Co-Operators Insurance to step up with their platinum support of MFGA and we will be formally announcing that in the next few weeks as well. A wide-range of diversity is found all throughout our 30 MFGA 2018-19 Supporters. Indeed, we are thrilled. We take your support very seriously, our work is better and stronger because of you and your support. Thank you sincerely.
Muchos Grasses all,
Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
Maximize your hay quality - sign up for MFGA's Green Gold!
Sign up now to receive twice-weekly reports
MFGA Green Gold Program (Optimum Alfalfa Harvest Date) helps predict the best day to first cut pure alfalfa stands for optimum quality (150 Relative Feed Value). As this year's alfalfa crop is maturing, Green Gold collects twice-weekly samples from fields throughout eastern, central and western/interlake Manitoba and sends them into Central Testing Laboratory to pinpoint the best day for your first alfalfa cut. MFGA will then share our results with you via direct email.
Let your hay field be 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. By participating, you will get real time information on your alfalfa quality. All sample testing and courier costs are covered by MFGA. If interested, contact John McGregor: or via the below link.
Manitoba credit unions step up for MFGA
From one grassroots-minded group to another grassroots-minded group, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) is proud to announce that nine Manitoba credit unions have committed $38,500 to the MFGA and the MFGA Aquanty Project over the next three years. "It's our responsibility to live and promote co-operative values to Manitobans," said Tim Klassen, CEO of Sunrise Credit Union and one of the driving forces behind the funding. "We believe the MFGA and the MFGA Aquanty Project for the Assiniboine River Basin are in very strong alignment with credit unions' dedication towards making Manitoba a great place to live for all Manitobans."
Read the full media release.
MFGA Aquanty Project's "The Grasslander" Magazine Spring 2018
Read  The Grasslander - Spring 2018 edition   to learn more about the MFGA Aquanty Project model, a high-resolution HydroGeosphere model developed to focus on water movement and the role of forages and grasslands in times of flood or drought ahead in the Assiniboine River Basin.  We consider The Grasslander as our personal invite and outreach to you to learn more and motivate your thoughts and actions to incorporate, challenge and embrace this cutting-edge model in creative ways and visionary scenarios that will benefit the entire Assiniboine River Basin. MFGA is currently finalizing the public access to the model and will have more news soon. The potential of the model as a decision-support planning tool for times of flood and drought ahead is vast and unlimited.
Manitoba Hay Day Event on June 20
Attend this field day (9am-4pm) held near Steinbach, MB 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.
Cost/Registration: $20, includes lunch, call Manitoba Agriculture at 204-622-2007. Speakers include: John McGregor, MFGA Hay Expert and Green Gold Program Coordinator; Dr. Tim McAllister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Lethbridge; Ben Hamm, Manitoba Agriculture; Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin.
View the Agenda.

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Travel this winter on one of these amazing Agricultural Tours!
MFGA has once again partnered with Leader Tours to offer these three  agricultural-influenced tours and the opportunity to  travel with like-minded people !  
Includes EuroTier & Energy Decentral, Farm visit to Agro Borderium company in Hanover, Berlin City Tour, Postdam sightseeing tour, Hamburg morning harbour cruise, Dairy Cooperative in Itzehoe, Private local farm visit, Guided city tour of Hamburg, Traditional farewell dinner.
Experience New Zealand's sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and fiords that have made NZ one of the best destinations on Earth.
In addition to spectacular tourist stops, the trip will include ExpoAgro, the worlds greatest machinery demonstration exhibition.
Features: Sit back and enjoy these trips hassle-free while developing new friendships and the unique sights and experiences provided by the people, producers and agricultural industries of each region. Itineraries and pricing are found on each of the above links.  Call (403) 270-7044 or toll free 1-844-370-7044 for more information. 

"Our recent trip to Spain & Portugal was wonderful. We felt there was a good balance of things to do and see, something that should please everyone." 
~ Mary Kreutzer, Manitoban/trip participant to Spain & Portugal via MFGA partnership with Leader Tours. 
Public trust is a ticket forward for the food industry
The economic, social and political environment around agriculture has changed. The public, particularly consumers, have influenced the landscape of food production in ways never before recognized. The closer an industry sector's shift is toward the supermarket meat counter and grocery shelves, the more advanced is the call toward public reckoning about matters involving the food chain. Consumers and the public in general demand answers on topics like food safety, prudent use of antimicrobials, animal welfare and environmental stewardship. Read the full article.
Farmers work to get healthy strong yields and should do the same for their bodies
Paul Gregory, 60, is a farmer and president of Interlake Forage Seeds Ltd in Fisher Branch, Manitoba. He is also an avid ski and running marathoner who believes one must condition their body for farming just like for sport. "Lower back pain is a part of long days in the cab of a tractor or truck. I really like stretching and doing some yoga in the off-hours, and even for a few minutes while fueling up" says Gregory. "With beekeeping and chucking seed bags, your wrists really get a work out so I try to stretch them between yards as well." Gregory also stresses the importance of hydrating. "Always carry a water bottle. You can work when you're hungry but it's brutal when you're thirsty."  Read the full Farm Safety Press Release.
Cattle producer works with Ducks Unlimited Canada to expand operations
When commodity and livestock prices are high, and markets are good, ranchers will usually look to expand their operations. While expansion may be positive in some agricultural circles, in others it creates problems when it comes to accessing affordable land. Darren Keown is a cow-calf producer near Roblin, Man. who continues to grow his operation. The problem is finding suitable land in Saskatchewan and Manitoba that is listed at a fair price. "The competition for land has gotten extremely high," he says. "Land prices have really gone up and the downside of that for the cattle guy is that we can't afford to walk cattle on this expensive land." In addition, adds Keown, a lot of pasture and hay land that has been used in the last five or 10 years has been converted to grain land. Thus, the competition for grassland is getting higher all the time. 
Read the full article...

Ag Action Manitoba offers next step for farmers
As the next step in implementing the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced that applications are now open to Manitoba farmers for many activities included under the Ag Action Manitoba program. The program is for individual producers to apply for cost-shared "catalogue items" that meet priority areas for the province (environmental, marketing, animal welfare, etc). Examples include:
1) equipment for low-stressing handling for sheep,
2) animal health training for apiarists, and equipment for dairy producers,
3) horticulture testing fees, 
4) developing business/marketing plans for niche products.
More details on eligible activities here.
Canadian Forage and Grassland Association news:
- CFGA Spring Newsletter - To automatically receive each issue,  Sign-up here!
- CFGA Annual Conference & AGM - Mark Nov 14-15, 2018 on your calendar. Held in Calgary, AB, the theme this year is "Foundation Forage: Built from the ground up".
- 2018 Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation AwardNominations are open for this CFGA sponsored award which recognizes an individual or family who contributed significantly to pollinator species protection and conservation. Nomination deadline is Friday, July 6.
Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation ad about hail insurance for producers
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!!!!!
MFGA Green Gold Program - Begins soon - Subscribe Now!
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 FREE bi-weekly reports during the Manitoba alfalfa growing season by contacting
Grazing Club WorkshopMay 18, 2018 at the Brandon Research Station
Dr Jehne, renowned soil microbiologist and climate scientist from Australia, will talk about: The carbon cycle and hydrological cycle; Their role in climate change; How these processes can reverse climate change; Policies that would encourage their adoption. Registration $25, lunch incl. RSVP by May 15: or 204-365-6334.
Workplace Safety & Health Legislation for Farmers - June, 2018 in 8 rural locations 
Through June 2018, these free seminars offered by the Manitoba Safety Program will answer questions like "How does Workplace Safety Legislation apply to farms?", "What are safety officers looking for?" and more. All farmers, regardless of farm size, number of workers or commodity type are welcome. Lunch is provided. 
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.
Grazing Club Grassfed Exchange Bus Trip June 20-22, 2018 in Rapid City, SD
The Grassfed Exchange is being held in Rapid City, SD on June 20 - 22. This has consistently been the best conference for producers interested in grassfed beef, pasture management and soil health. The Grazing Clubs will help fund a bus to transport producers to the conference, leaving June 19 and returning immediately following the conference. Pickup and drop off would be in Brandon, Mb. Contact Michael Thiele if interested: Estimated cost: $100-150.
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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