MFGA eBulletin - May 2019
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
   As a producer-led organization, MFGA interacts constantly with our leaders, networks, partners and supporters, and we try to keep an ear to the ground on key issues. We are always listening and when our own leaders say that with dry times around us, now's the time for all to plan to carry summer into fall on their farms, we believe that's info worth sharing. Please check out our recent media release below on that exact topic, boosted by the experience of MFGA board members Larry Wegner and Arron Nerbas with MFGA board-reviewed recommendations.
    #Plant2019 has been in full swing for many producers and for many MFGA types, herd and grazing plans are cycling into #graze19. This time of year also means another class of students at every level of the education system will be walking the stage in front of proud parents, and beaming family and friends during graduation ceremonies across the province. MFGA congratulates all graduates and their families as they prepare to enter the next phases of life, wherever and whatever that may be. Good on you, #class2019! 
   MFGA is also moving forward and we are pleased to announce our dates and events for 2019 as a follow-up to our wildly-successful MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference 2018. As a group, we decided Regenerative Agriculture is an area MFGA will continue to work on, help learn, inform and lead collaboratively and strategically. We felt that the momentum of our 2018 event would be enhanced by establishing a rotation of larger conference and smaller event in a two-year loop, returning to a two-day 2020 MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference. 
   This year, in the early evening of November 19, we will hold our 2019 MFGA AGM and then host a fun gathering loosely-modelled after the Manitoba Bison Association's Beer and BS session with an informal producer panel and socializing, fun- type atmosphere at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. On November 20, we will shift to a full day event at the Manitoba Agriculture Building where we will dive into Regenerative Agriculture via expert speakers such as Dwayne Beck. We will have news on other speakers, registration details and hotel blocks of rooms in near future. Trade show booths will be limited, please contact Denice@mfga.net to secure your booth position. Again, we are working on final details there too. 
   And last but not least, watch for the first MFGA Green Gold Report on the progress of the first-cut of alfalfa which should be out in next few days.
   Muchos grasses all! 
   Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
Alfalfa First Cut - Weather or Management?
First-cut alfalfa or grass has the potential to be the worst or best quality forage that you make all season. Understanding the interactions the environment has on forage and using the available predictive tools to will help to ensure it's the best rather than the worst. MFGA's John McGregor looks at how temperature, moisture, and sunlight conditions have played a major role in determining when first cut is predicted in MFGA's Green Gold Program. Read the full article here.
Long-Range Grass Planning Mandatory for Producer Peace of Mind
Larry Wegner has been around cattle operations all his life. Yet, when it comes to expert advice on preparing for possible dry times ahead, the Virden-area cattle producer has only one answer: Plan, plan and then, plan again. "I was checking for new calves and in the next few days I will need to decide on how many custom grazed pairs we can bring in this year," said Wegner, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA)'s vice-chair and Manitoba Beef Producer (MBP)'s District 6 representative. "Although we were dry last fall, our management left us in good shape for this spring....but the lack of moisture has me guessing on how many pairs to bring in." Read the full MFGA media release.
Manitoba Hay & Silage Day June 20
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).
Manitoba farmers can help control tick-related health risks
Cases of Lyme disease resulting from blacklegged tick bites continue to increase in Manitoba, according to the provincial government's most recent tick-borne disease report. In 2018, there were 28 confirmed cases in Manitoba as compared to only one in 2009. The highest incidence rates have been found in the Interlake region and primarily occurred in males over 60. For farmers, avoiding the outdoors and contact with vegetation where ticks are most abundant is nearly impossible, especially for commodities like beekeeping. Paul Gregory, Vice-President of the Manitoba Beekeepers' Association and President of Interlake Forage Seeds in Fisher Branch, says Lyme disease is a major concern among beekeepers. Read the full Mb Farm Safety Program Media Release.
Enrol in AgriStability by July 2
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.
Mb Agriculture offers helpful resources during uncertain times
Because of farmers' concerns over cash flow and market access for crop commodities, Manitoba Agriculture has put together a list of resources that could be used for those looking at cash advances or those concerned/interested about financial management and risks. Or call a farm management specialist.
AAFC Looking for Manitoba Producers Input
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is collecting information from producers across the country regarding how weather and climate are affecting their farm operations. The information from these surveys helps ground-truth data and monitor areas of concern across the country. Help out by signing up for their monthly survey email. Questions or concerns, email: aafc.droughtwatch-guetterlasecheresse.aac@canada.ca.
Producer Events & News  
Manitoba Hay & Silage Day - June 20, 2019,  MBFI Learning CentreBrandon, 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 Mb Agriculture at 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. Click on the above link for further details including registration.
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, Brandon, MB
Held at the MBFI Learning Centre and offered by the Soil Health Academy. Tuition: $1,275 USD Contact: M. Thiele, 204-365-6334 mthiele@mymts.net 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.
MBFI DAY! - Aug 10, 2019, MBFI Learning CentreBrandon, MB 
Featuring AAFC researcher Jillian Bainard. Learn more about cover crops and other MBFI research around livestock production. Contact mary.jane.orr@mbfi.ca for more info.
Manitoba's Open Farm Day - Sep 15, 2019, various farm sites across Manitoba
Mark your calendar now for this popular event - in it's 10th year. Open Farm Day provides a participation experience to promote, enrich and increase the public's knowledge and trust of agriculture in our province. Questions: info@openfarmday.ca.
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. Read the Spring 2019 CFGA Newsletter for details.
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 & PANEL, Victoria Inn
Wednesday, Nov 20 (all day): REGEN AG WORKSHOP & TRADE SHOW, Mb Ag Building
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.
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