MFGA eBulletin - September 2018
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
   There's a definite fall chill in the air these days. Folks are signing up in droves for MFGA's Regenerative Agriculture Conference in November, harvest is in full swing and done for many, birds are migrating, rain has soaked some areas and even a blanket of snow was reported in parts of Manitoba. Brrrrr. 
   Before going too much further, MFGA would like to first acknowledge and thank Minister Eichler and the Manitoba Agriculture team for a spate of recent announcements aimed at improving things for livestock and forage producers including funding for Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiative; opening crown lands for grazing; announcing two new trusts for Manitoba's AgriInsurance and Hail Insurance programs; and clarifications on beneficial management practices to enable producer funding for water source development. More on each of these below.
   In other progressive news, MFGA has opened the ISM/IBM-built public interface MFGA Aquanty Project's portal dashboard for stakeholders and the general public from October 1-December 1, 2018 to promote our MFGA Aquanty model's core abilities and vast potential. It is our hope that by allowing people and stakeholders to access the dashboard on their own time and pace that it will encourage more understanding and cohesion around the model's outputs/potential and our MFGA efforts to promote this valuable model. 
   Besides accessing audiences we simply can't get too easily across the vast river basin, our ultimate motivation of taking the dashboard public is motivating the stakeholder dialogues and potential scenario uptake around the MFGA Aquanty Model Phase 1. While the greatest benefit of the model is as a decision-support tool across greater aggregate land bases, producers and organizations are welcome to visit the portal - it is accessible now - and feel free to learn more about the abilities of this extremely unique and powerful HydroGeoSphere model when it comes decision-making around water movement, soil, climate, systems, risk mitigation and resiliency of land and communities in the Assiniboine River Basin. MFGA is working hard to make this MFGA Aquanty model opportunity as great as it possibly can be for all of us. We are absolutely committed to a collaborative approach as we believe that is how we can all benefit the most. We thank you all for your continued support.  
   Muchos grasses all! 
   Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   

REGISTER for the MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference! 
CHEERIOS!! Great news came MFGA's way recently via a very-welcome General Mills step up as a Platinum Supporter of our 2018 MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference. To have an industry icon such as General Mills step forward is a clear indication of the importance of our gathering, the interest in Regenerative Agriculture and the buzz it is creating. Welcome General Mills! As well, watch for news regarding an exciting affiliation partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada's Grazing Clubs that will firmly entrench the week of November 26-30, 2018 as the most important week of the year for anyone interested in Regenerative Agriculture and learning more about it. While the Early Bird Registration has passed, there is still great value for producers to attend this super-timely and informative producer-based agricultural event on November 27-28, 2018 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. The MFGA's Regenerative Agriculture Conference has an excellent program with top notch speakers from across North America and right here in Manitoba to discuss and demonstrate how livestock and grain farmers can profitably apply the principles of regenerative agriculture. Topics include crop livestock integration, soil biology, intercropping, grazing management, water management, and financial management. 

Province backs livestock and forage producers  
The Manitoba government is taking another step to help livestock and forage producers who have been affected by dry conditions across the province. "Manitoba Agriculture supports our livestock sector across the province, and we recognize that many areas are feeling the effects of the hot, dry summer," said Hon. Ralph Eichler, Manitoba's Agriculture Minister. "Effective management of both surface and groundwater sources used for livestock production is essential for ensuring the health and longevity of the livestock, pastures and associated water sources." Ag Action Manitoba - Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices provides targeted incentive programming to agricultural producers and select industry service providers to advance the adoption of beneficial management practices (BMPs) that reduce identified environmental risks, improve agro-ecosystem resilience, build public trust and improve environmental sustainability of farm options in Manitoba.
Read the full media release. 
The Manitoba government and the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) have established two new trusts for Manitoba's AgriInsurance and Hail Insurance programs, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced. "Establishing these trusts clearly demonstrates that these funds are strictly for the benefit of insured producers and provides greater transparency to the public in that these funds cannot be used by government for any other purposes," said Eichler. "The creation of these trusts, with MASC as the trustee, will provide continued assurance to participating producers the Manitoba government is committed to the industry and that these funds will be available when needed."
Livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use due to dry conditions across parts of the province, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced. "Pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba have been greatly affected by low levels of rain and dry soils this summer," said Eichler. "By providing producers with additional options, such as access to Crown land, we are easing the burden on farmers who are seeing low yields on forage crops." Under certain circumstances, Crown land can be made available for agricultural use. The Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing program will administer the use of available land and provide necessary permits. Livestock must be removed when the naturally existing forage is exhausted or by Oct. 31, 2018. Baled hay must be removed by Nov. 15, 2018. 
Feds announce livestock tax deferrals 
The federal government has released an initial list of designated regions where livestock tax deferrals have been authorized for 2018 due to drought. This allows producers to defer a portion of their 2018 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2019 to help replenish the herd. The cost of replacing the animals in 2019 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale. See List of eligible regions.
Forage testing during dry conditions
2018 has been dry enough to have a major affect on forage quantity. Producers across Manitoba are scrambling to acquire adequate amounts of feed to meet their needs from now till next spring when pastures and hay fields will once again feed their livestock. As producers start to source feed from other areas or increase dependence on non-traditional feed, knowing what you are feeding becomes even more important so that you don't cause any train wrecks that could have a future impact on your herd and/or livelihood. Forage testing should be done so that you know what the hay quality actually is and if adjustments need to be made. There are four key points to consider when taking a forage sample.   Read on...
September Hay Situation and Price Update 
John McGregor, MFGA Hay Expert, spoke with Manitoba Agriculture livestock staff, forage producers and industry personnel to get their impression of hay prices and the hay situation. Read the report here.
MBFI hires new general manager
Mary-Jane Orr is MBFI's new general manager.
Brian Gray, AAFC assistant deputy minister, (back row) and team toured MBFI Brookdale research site earlier this month.

Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) bolted into the busy fall season with a surge of great news announcements. Firstly, the long-awaited grand opening of the MBFI Learning Centre in late August at the MBFI Brookdale site provided a great stage for the Canada and Manitoba governments to announce that they are investing $2.85 million over the next five years at MBFI to support the sustainable growth of the livestock sector. The buzz around the Learning Centre and the governments' funding announcement had barely subsided when MBFI announced the hiring of Mary-Jane Orr as the new MBFI general manager. Mary-Jane's first month on the job has indeed been hectic as Mary-Jane familiarizes with the MBFI operations and the excellent MBFI staff and researchers on the three MBFI sites and hosts gatherings such as a recent tour of the MBFI Brookdale farm by AAFC Assistant Deputy Minister Brian Gray and team and an afternoon presentationfor a bus tour of Canadian Farm Writers as part of the annual convention in Winnipeg. 
Stay up to date on all MBFI events - join the MBFI mailing list:
ARBI seeks survey input from Souris River Basin residents
According to Wanda McFadyen, executive director of the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI), the Public Advisory Group for the International Souris River Study Board is interested in resident feedback to better understand the impacts and benefits to communities in different parts of the basin as flows vary and water levels reach different elevations. Through resident experiences, the Study Board will be better equipped to recommend alternative reservoir operating plans that best reflect needs, and those of others on both sides of the border. Kindly print and complete the questionnaire, scan and return to: Please respond by Sep 30, 2018.
Recycle Plastic Pesticide and Fertilizer Jugs at Designated Municipalities Until October 31

Manitoba farmers can help keep farm communities clean and free of agricultural waste by participating in Cleanfarms' plastic container recycling programs. From May 1 to October 31 each year, over 100 Manitoba municipalities work hand-in-hand with Cleanfarms to operate recycling collection locations for plastic pesticide and fertilizer jugs that are less than 23 L in size.  More than 577,000 containers (23L or less) were collected and processed across Manitoba in 2017, recycled into valuable materials for the farm, such as farm drainage tile. Bulk pesticide totes and drums that hold more than 23L can be returned to the point of purchase, usually an ag-retailer. Cleanfarms typically works with ag-retailers to facilitate the recycling of these containers. 
Find a collection site for these containers:

May 1 - Oct 31
Municipal collection centres
- Clean & empty
- Remove caps & pamphlets
- Call the municipality first!
Return to point of sale, usually an ag-retailer
- Empty, rinse (if possible) & drain (please ensure no more than 1" of product remains)
- Properly seal container with bungs and/or closures in place
Unwanted Pesticides & Livestock Medications
Fall 2019
- Watch for information in the spring
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 !  
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 link. 
Producer Events & News
MFGA's Regenerative Agriculture Conference Nov 27-28, 2018 in Brandon, MB
Held at the Victoria Inn, our conference will be featuring some of the most highly sought after speakers on the Regenerative Agriculture front, a trade show and an amazing banquet! Space is limited, act fast!!!!! NEWS FLASH: MFGA's Annual General Meeting will be held the evening of Nov 26 in conjunction with the conference. More Details to follow!!
Intro to Holistic Mgt - Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 & Nov 5, 2018 an Online Course   
Develop a whole farm/ranch (holistic) goal which clearly articulates the vision for your farm/ranch, the organizational structure, and the resources available. Price: $350 (payment plan and scholarships available).
Manitoba Rural Women's Day -  Oct 13 in Virden, MB or Oct 27 in Morris, MB
The Manitoba Women's Institute is hosting Manitoba Rural Women's Day, with a featured topic of exploring rural health care. Both events run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with lunch Included. 
CFGA Annual Conference - Nov 14-15, 2018 in Calgary, AB
Theme: Foundation Forage: Built from the Ground Up, held at the Sheraton Cavalier. It's the must-attend event for anyone involved in forage production! The program includes a line-up of top speakers who will set the stage for producers to plan, seed, feed, graze, harvest and evaluate their valuable forage and grassland.
Agriculture Tour: Germany Eurotier - November 13 to 21, 2018
MFGA and Leader Tours have partnered to offer this 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. 
Manitoba Beef Producers AGM and Conference - Feb 7 & 8, 2019 in Brandon, MB
Held at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Brandon, this year's theme is "Proud Past, Promising Future" and will include a look back at MBP's 40 years representing beef producers and a look ahead at what the future may hold for the sector.
Prairie Conservation & Endangered Species Conf Feb 19 to 21, 2019 in Winnipeg, MB
Whether you're a researcher, producer, or prairie professional, join your fellow experts in exploring the latest information, research, and trends in the conservation of "Working Landscapes." Registration is open, save $50 with the Early Bird rates! Details on hotel, agenda and registration here or call Kelly Forgala, (204) 257-5205.
Agriculture Tour: New Zealand February 24 to March 16, 2019 
MFGA and Leader Tours have partnered to offer this agricultural-influenced tours and the opportunity to travel with like-minded people! Experience New Zealand's sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and fiords that have made NZ one of the best destinations on Earth. 
Agriculture Tour: Argentina March 5 to 19, 2019 
MFGA and Leader Tours have partnered to offer this agricultural-influenced tours and the opportunity to travel with like-minded people! 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.


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