Poor weather conditions may affect farmers’ ability to feed their animals throughout fall and winter
Livestock producers in Manitoba, Canada, are seeking sources of feed after experiencing poor weather conditions that may affect their ability to keep their animals fed this fall and winter.
Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) and Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) have asked farmers with extra straw, hay or alternative feed to consider listing their products for sale. These groups issued the same plea around the same time in 2019. In August 2019, 13 rural municipalities in Manitoba issued a joint declaration of emergency after the region went more than a month without a single drop of rain.
“In recent years, Manitoba has experienced consistently inconsistent seasonal and regional production variability through drought conditions, snowstorms and heavy rains,” said MBP President Dianne Riding in a press release. “These kinds of challenging conditions are prompting concerns that 2020 hay and forage yields could be lower than expected across the province this summer and complicate the feed situation for livestock producers this coming fall and winter.”
The groups are asking for cooperation among the region’s farmers and producers to relieve some of the pressure.
“We are calling on livestock producers and grain producers to work together to ensure that our industry can continue to thrive and to ensure livestock herds have enough feed for this year,” KAP President Bill Campbell said in the press release. “Our hope is that as grain producers begin to make harvest decisions, they will consider how they can support livestock producers who may not have enough feed for their herds.”
On July 24, the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development said that, due to dry conditions, livestock producers would temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown lands not normally designated for agricultural use.
In January, Manitoba activated its Hay Disaster Benefit (HDB) for the second consecutive year because of a forage shortfall. According to a press release from the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC), the HDB is a complimentary feature of the AgriInsurance program that compensates insured forage producers for the increased cost of hay and transportation when there is a severe forage shortfall. All producers enrolled in the Select Hay Insurance and Basic Hay Insurance programs are automatically enrolled in the HDB. When the HDB is triggered, producers receive an automatic payment based on their insurance claim.