Manitoba Forage & Grassland eBulletin
Aug 27 2015

Hay Situation and Price Update for August

Most areas of the province are reporting the completion of 2nd and/or 3rd cut alfalfa with some areas waiting to take the final cut and others reporting that straw is in short supply. This past month, MFGA carried out a short survey across the province asking about the forage situation on your farm. We also surveyed the MAFRD forage staff and various forage industry personnel to get their impression of hay prices and the hay situation as of mid-August.

Methods of Buying and Selling Hay

If you talk to five different people about buying or selling hay you will likely get five different units used in the transactions ($/bale, $/ton, $/tonne, $/pound, $/acre). This ambiguity is the source of some confusion and it is time to sort it out. Producers need to be very careful when they are discussing a hay transaction to ensure that both parties are in agreement about how the hay will be measured. The two most common ways hay is measured in transactions is by the bale and by the ton. However, hay is sometimes sold by the tonne or pound and standing hay may be traded on a dollars per acre basis.

   There will be a lot of hay traded this year. Dryer than normal conditions have limited pasture growth and hay fields are yielding less than expected. If you are a producer who is going to buy hay, make sure that you know the units that you are trading in so that you get what you pay for .

Read the full article here. 

Cut Straighter and Faster

No operator wants to leave uncut strips in the field, so to compensate, they tend to overlap pass-to-pass. Six to twelve inches of overlap may not seem like much, but when calculated as lost productivity, it adds up quickly. Just nine inches of overlap could mean producers may be missing as much as one acre per hour of productivity. Over the life of the machine, that's a lot of precious time that should be spent cutting efficiently and getting out of the field faster. 

   New Holland customers can increase productivity and their overall hay harvesting efficiency when they combine the latest SpeedrowerŪ self-propelled windrower and factory-integrated IntelliSteer™ auto-guidance. The company's PLM™ auto-guidance solution allows operators to maximize productivity by cutting straighter and faster, while decreasing header overlap. Increased productivity is measured in more than just acres per hour mown. Auto-guidance reduces operator fatigue, which means they can cover more acres each day to maximize their bottom line. 

Managing Grasshoppers in Alfalfa

Although Grasshoppers aren't a major problem this year, there are areas where grasshopper numbers are a concern and as the cereal harvest progresses, those areas that have even low numbers may find the grasshoppers will start to migrate to alfalfa fields looking for food.    

   If Grasshopper numbers warrant spraying treating just the outside 150 feet or so may be sufficient in these situations. However, if the entire field is already infested, it is usually best to harvest the alfalfa and then apply insecticide to protect the re-growth. For some management suggestions, read the full article here.  

Final Management Plan for the Rusty Blackbird Available

The final Management Plan for the Rusty Blackbird in Canada was posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry on July 31, 2015. Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment, collaboration, and cooperation of many different groups that will be involved in implementing the management actions set out in this plan. The responsibility for the conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared between the federal and provincial/territorial governments. Download the document online or contact Sara at 1-855-245-0331 or if you would like a hard copy of this document sent to you.

CFGA Conference/AGM set for Nov 17-19 in Saskatoon

SAVE THE DATE for the 6th Annual CFGA conference will highlight the profitability of intensive forage production systems and the potential of forages to provide ecosystem goods and services for all Canadians. 

   Join us this November 17-19 in beautiful downtown Saskatoon at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel for Canadian Forage in the International Year of Soils-Capture the Intensity! 

Industry Events 
Tell Us About Your Hay Situation

Take our quick 6-question survey to help us best get a handle on our province's overall hay scene!

Industry Articles / Resources
MFGA on the Move
MFGA has been"on the move" in August working with the following organizations for the benefit of our producers:
- Met with Manitoba Beef Producers 
- Held MFGA Board Meeting 
- Worked on the Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiatives 
- Engaged with working groups on the Aquanty project
- Met with Ducks Unlimited
- Partnered with CoCoRaHS
- Attended ARBI meetings
- Worked with IISD

Attention Industry Partners:

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This eBulletin is published by Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA).  
Articles in this publication do not imply endorsement by MFGA. 
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