MFGA pleased by inclusion, applauds more promotion and research
for climate change, forages, grasses

Winnipeg, Mb, Dec 9, 2015---A loud and clear carbon-storage nod at forages within the recently-released Manitoba Climate Change and Green Economy Action Plan has reconfirmed what Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association producers have been saying for years. Grass and forages are good for business and good for the environment. 

"We congratulate the Manitoba government and leaders of the Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development department for including forages and grasslands as part of the carbon solution," says Henry Nelson, MFGA vice-chair and Co-Chair, Environment Committee, Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association. "There's a need for a better and clearer understanding of perennial forages and pastures role in sequestering carbon, and also the relationship of forages and grasslands to the other major greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. We see the inclusion in the province's climate plan as a valuable boost to this needed research and attention." 

The Manitoba plan stated: Promoting Perennial Crops - Manitoba will promote perennial grains and forages to conserve soil and store carbon through research partnerships, including with the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. The timing, says Nelson, is perfect.

"With the Paris conference on climate change and the actions of various jurisdictions such as Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and California planning to adopt Cap-and-Trade systems that harmonize how they track and measure greenhouse gas emissions and collaborate on climate adaptation efforts, the timing is perfect to learn more about and promote our forages and grasslands," says Nelson. "At the same time, we know these grasses are in peril. This directive will help spur investigation of the potential for delivering carbon offsets from Manitoba farms and that is especially encouraging for Manitoba farmers because our current market doesn't acknowledge the public good from these grass systems. This may be a very welcome paradigm shift on that front." Nelson says MFGA has been very active on numerous fronts extolling the benefits of forages and grasslands on economic and environmental platforms. 

"Forage and beef producers, others in the agriculture industry, governments, conservation groups, insurance companies, academia and land and water managers and many others all find common footing on the benefits of forages and grasslands," says Nelson. "Manitoba forages and grasslands are among the best in the world. It's time we found ways together to collectively and aggressively promote them as critical and key components of our healthy landscape. Looking at these grasses and forages for their potential to store carbon as well as the role in healthy soils is excellent news going forward from business and global health standpoints."


For More information:
Duncan Morrison, MFGA Executive Director
p: 204-800-5163