Manitoba Forage & Grassland eBulletin
June 25 2015

Understanding Wet Hay

The timing of the rains can make it difficult for cattlemen who are trying hard to put quality hay in the bale for next winter's feed supply. All producers that harvest hay occasionally will put up hay that "gets wet" from time to time. Therefore, ranchers and hay farmers need to understand the impact of "wet hay" in the tightly wound bales. 

Extra moisture in hay can cause heat inside the bale. Heat produced by the bale comes from two sources: 

- Biochemical reactions from plants themselves as hay cures. 

- Most heat in hay is caused by the metabolic activity of microorganisms.  

Dry Weather and Forage

Although most of Manitoba has received adequate amounts of rain there are areas in the western part that are very dry and in need of rain. We are hearing reports of very dry conditions to the west of us in Saskatchewan and Alberta. With dry spring conditions, pastures need to be carefully managed. Forages under dry conditions will still head out and when seed heads emerge and are pollinated, the plant has done its job for the year and is going to shut down. To counter this problem you need to remove the seed heads, possibly by intensive grazing, to stimulate a second growth. The key here is to balance the amount of grazing so that the leaves remain and the plant has the ability to stimulate growth. If these areas get rain, the re-growth will be high quality and hopefully produce some good tonnage. 

More information found here.

How Do I Determine a Hay Price?

Haying throughout Manitoba is in full swing and producers are keeping an eye toward the sky in hopes of a few days of precipitation-free weather to harvest hay. In the spring, excess forage generally exists on most livestock operations and in fields with no grazing pressure. The excess forage is harvested and stored for use during the winter months or sold to other hay users. 

   Many folks know the general mechanics of mowing, raking, baling, and storing hay. However, the actual mechanics of harvesting and storing hay varies significantly from one producer to the next, which can result in variability in the quality and quantity of hay produced and purchased. Whether a hay producer is producing hay for their own use or for sale to other livestock owners, it is important the end user is aware of the relative feed value (RFV) of the hay being produced or purchased. 

Read the full article.

Handling Diesel Exhaust Fluid in Warm Weather

Now that summer is upon us, it is very important to understand the effects of proper Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) storage and the value of high quality DEF. DEF can maintain its quality in storage during the summer months provided careful attention is paid to the way in which shelf life varies with temperature. It is important to note that the temperatures mentioned here refer to the actual temperature of the DEF fluid, and not the ambient temperature. 

   Shelf life decreases as the fluid's temperature increases. At a constant 60̊ F (15C) DEF has an expected shelf life of three years. At 80̊ F (27C) it has an expected shelf life of one year. At 100̊ F (38C) it has an expected shelf life of only three months. This difference clearly shows the importance of controlling the temperature of DEF fluid in storage in order to insure its summertime quality.  


Industry Events 
Industry Announcements
MFGA in the News
MFGA on the Move
MFGA has been"on the move" in June working with various organizations for the benefit of our producers:
- Met with the Province of Manitoba Agricultural Risk Task Force
- Met with the Agriculture Ministerial Consultation prior to Federal and Provincial Ag ministers meetings
- Attended ARBI meetings
- Attended Pelly Lake Conservation Tour hosted by MCDA, Lasalle Reboine Conservation District, IISD
- Participated in the Crown Lands Stakeholder Review Group

Grazing Response Index: A Measuring Stick for Grazing Management

Excerpt from May 2015 edition of Beef Business

The old adage "you can't manage what you can't measure" rings true for rangeland and pasture management on the prairies. Thanks to the Grazing Response Index, there is now one more yardstick that ranchers and land managers can use to measure the status of their native grazing resources. The Grazing Response Index, also known as GRI, is an evaluative tool that is a simple and useful way to help ranchers determine how and when to graze their native pasture. First developed in Colorado for use on native rangeland, the tool has been well-received in the western US and in British Columbia as a convenient way to measure short-term impacts of grazing. The GRI system does not require a lot of training for users and can be applied to many different native habitats. GRI may also complement (but not replace) existing monitoring protocols, including rangeland health and inventory assessments.  

Read the full article here.

Rancher-Farmer Pollinator Conservation Award - Nominate a Manitoba producer for well-deserved national recognition!

Over the years, Manitoba forage and grasslands producers have shown leadership in conservation efforts and MFGA would like to encourage nominations for this award, offered by The Pollinator Partnership (P2), Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA). All individuals or families in Canada currently implementing pollinator protection measures on their farm or ranch are eligible. 

   "The public is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of pollinators, domestic and wild, for the production of many of our everyday foods, fruits, vegetables and crops. We want to encourage Manitoba farmers to support pollinators through their land management," says Jim Lintott, MFGA Board Chair. "Pollinators are critical to our food supply and it's important to recognize farmers who have shown good management of their land to support and increase pollinators." 

Nominations are open until July 24, 2015. 

Get more information about the award, including the nomination form. 

View past recipients of this award. 

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