MFGA eBulletin - September 2019
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
     On behalf of Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA), we would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Premier Brian Pallister and the elected Manitoba government officials for successful campaigns and election results. MFGA looks forward to continuing our ongoing productive dialogues with the provincial government as they enter their second terms at the helm of the province. 
   MFGA firmly believes our pro-producer, pro-regenerative agriculture, pro-grassland approach aligns with areas the Province has prioritized. For instance, the recently-announced Manitoba Protein Advantage is one huge opportunity and we are pleased to be included and consulted in such an important and well-timed strategy for Manitoba. Congratulations to Agriculture Minister Hon. Ralph Eichler, Deputy Minister Dori Gingera-Beauchemin and the Manitoba Agriculture department for developing our province's roadmap to showcase Manitoba as a national powerhouse in all areas around livestock and plant proteins. 
   Speaking of national powerhouses, there is no denying the fact that the provincially-funded Conservation Trust and GROW Trust are the envy of those that work on the land across the nation. Envisioned by Manitoba government leaders and conservation experts as a way to put much-needed habitat conservation projects on the ground for wildlife, soil, water, air and people, including producers - GROW in particular has a deep-rooted producer focus that was accelerated even further via a generous election promise on the campaign trail. The successful projects are delivered by not-for-profit groups after the projects are reviewed by Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. Once projects are approved, the Winnipeg Foundation handles the book-keeping and administration. The cool thing is, once they get rolling, the two Trusts can be strategically intertwined if needed and they are financially-designed to look at project intakes year after year, in perpetuity. That, to me and many others, is incredible.
   Grasslands are constantly an urgent dialogue among key stakeholders, and these programs will help springboard that urgency from talks to action on the ground. MFGA will lead, coordinate, support and welcome collaboration wherever we can on these excellent project opportunities for agro-Manitoba. Already, we are working with the RM of Wallace-Woodworth on the Kirkella Pasture Enhancement as our initial MFGA foray into the Conservation Trust and it has been an absolute privilege to do so.  
    And finally, two things. One: buy your MFGA Regenerative Ag Forum registration ASAP. We aren't kidding, we are filling up fast. Our workshop at the Manitoba Ag Building on Day 2 is going to be awesome and we are super, super excited about Producer Panel Night on November 19 at the Vic Inn in Brandon. Two: our MFGA Hay Relief page remains online and regularly updated. We post information, reports and expertise, but hopefully it helps provide a trusted resource to the producers that need it most. We are thinking of all affected producers as we officially head into fall and we are wishing them all the very best.
   Muchos grasses,
   Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
Pollinator Habitat Booming and Buzzing in Southwest Manitoba
Thanks to generous funding from the Manitoba Conservation Trust, the   West Souris River Conservation District (WSRCD) has partnered with Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) and other partner organizations to establish 900 acres of pollinator habitat in the Mixed Grass Prairie region of southwest Manitoba."   Read the full media release here.
Province announces Manitoba Protein Advantage
The Manitoba government recently hosted the Manitoba Protein Summit, a gathering of crop and livestock industry leaders, processors, academics, government and other stakeholders brought together to gain new insight into protein opportunities. "Plant-protein demand is increasing at more than six per cent per year, with world demand expected to double by 2029, and animal-protein demand expected to double by 2050," said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. "Historically, Manitoba has always been strong in protein production. However, by gathering here today, we are discussing additional opportunities that will make sure we can reap economic benefits through expanding livestock and plant-protein production and processing."  Read more.
Grazing hay fields
September rain means pastures are greening up but due to the lateness of the season, growth is very slow or almost non-existent, providing little additional grazing and forcing producers to supplement cattle on pasture. Hay fields that were cut early enough to prevent going dormant, have been able to take advantage of recent rains to add some additional growth. Read more...
Utilizing corn stover as feed
With low feed supplies this year there has been more interest in utilizing corn stover to supplement feed supplies by harvesting or grazing the corn residue. While there are many ways to handle corn stover, the solution for each farm is going to be different. There are some benefits to grazing and/or removing corn stover but there are also costs associated that need to be taken into account. Read on...
Planning for winter
Fall is one of the most critical periods of the forage cycle. Understanding the growth patterns of grasses and alfalfa at this time of year can reduce the risk of damage when grazing hay fields. For grasses, two major plant activities occur during fall growth. One is root regeneration and the other is the formation of the shoots or growing points. Allowing the plants to store carbohydrates in the fall is essential for long-term forage production. Read on...
Cleanfarms Campaign this fall
From October 21 to 25, Cleanfarms will allow farmers to bring in unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides and livestock/equine medications, at no cost, to one of 20 collection sites for safe disposal at an approved waste management facility. For more information, call 1-877-622-4460 or visit
Manitoba Cover Crop Survey
Did you grow a cover crop in 2019? Dr Yvonne Lawley is launching a 3-year survey to find out the number of acres, types of farmers, and the range of cover crop species grown in Manitoba. This fall we want to hear from farmers growing: Fall cover crop, full season cover crops, and cover crops for grazing. To participate, contact
Farm Safety: Park tractor away from buildings
When going to park your tractor after extended use, first park and turn it off a distance away away from buildings. After the engine has cooled, move your tractor to its regular spot. This reduces the risk of a fire that may ignite from an overheated machine spreading to your buildings or house. Read more safety tips on the Manitoba Farm Safety Program website.
CFGA Conference 2019  
Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) is hosting their  10th Annual CFGA Conference on Nov 12-15 in Moncton, NB with the theme " Canadian Forage Production School, ´╗┐Eastern Edition". There is a pre-conference bus tour, CFGA Leadership Award, technical working group workshops and two full days of presentations by North America's leading experts in forage and grassland production. Early bird pricing is available, so act fast!  For more information on the conference and the forage and grassland industry on a national scale, read CFGA's recent newsletter here.
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Producer Events & News  
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.  
Safe and Low Stress Cattle Handling Workshop - 
Oct 29, 2019, MBFI Brookdale Farm
The Manitoba Farm Safety Program is hosting this workshop, geared towards anyone who works with cattle (farm owner, farm workers, and farm families). Participants will learn how low stress cattle handling benefits animal welfare and worker safety, how to assess and improve the safety of cattle handling facilities, and how to improve communication within your team to increase efficiency and lower stress. Bring CSA approved safety footwear (if you want the opportunity to interact with cattle). Cost: $35 (includes a beef-on-a-bun lunch and coffee break). 
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 AGM & Regenerative Ag Days -  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, Mb Ag Extension Centre.  REGISTER NOW: TRADESHOW IS SOLD OUT! Limited sponsorship spots available.
Manitoba Watersheds ConferenceDec 2-4, 2019,  Winnipeg, MB
The Manitoba Conservation Districts Association will be holding their watersheds conference December 2-4 at Canad Inns Polo Park. The conference agenda will showcase speakers around the theme of "Change & Opportunity" which asks the question: how can Manitoba's Conservation Districts and partners make the most of the transition to Watershed Districts? To buy tickets, click here.
Western Canada Soil Health & Grazing - 
Dec 10-12, 2019,  Edmonton, AB
Registration is open! Theme: Our Future is in the Soil. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel West Edmonton.