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Looking At Aid For Producers

18 August 2010

CANADA - After consulting with the Manitoba Cattle Producer's Association and the Manitoba Forage Seed Association earlier this week, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers announced the province will continue to monitor the ongoing livestock feed situation and engage federal counterparts in order to develop appropriate programming for producers affected by excess moisture.

"We recognise that some areas of the province continue to experience extreme difficulty in harvesting hay while many other areas are reporting adequate volumes of hay, yet quality has suffered due to excess moisture," said Mr Struthers.  

"We are also encouraging producers to take advantage of the province's hay and straw listing service, which allows us to match the feed with the need."

Extended periods of excess moisture this spring have resulted in some areas of the province continuing to experience lower than normal supplies of livestock feed.  However, the most recent crop reports indicate harvesting is underway across the province and many areas continue to experience improving haying conditions and adequate grazing.

The amount of forages harvested to date compared to what would normally be harvested by mid-August varies significantly across the province.  Southwestern Manitoba harvest is 101 to 125 per cent above average, while parts of the Westlake, Interlake and Eastman regions have harvested less than 50 per cent of the average.  In some regions, the first and second cut of hay and alfalfa are nearing completion or complete.  In general, yield is above average, while quality is below average.

The Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) website provides an easy, accessible link between forage buyers and sellers at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/production under the Interactive Features menu on the right. It allows the buyer to search for hay under the categories of bale type, hay type and location. Price is also part of the listing. An interactive map helps in locating producers in each area. 

Producers with hay and straw for sale can have their name added to the list by contacting their local MAFRI GO Office at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/contact/agoffices.html.  Buyers or producers can also obtain this information or post their names through their local MAFRI GO Office.

This past January, Mr Struthers announced the launch of the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Programme developed by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation in conjunction with the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, Manitoba Forage Council and Keystone Agricultural Producers. 

The pilot programme was mandated to investigate a new approach in which livestock producers will be protected against having to remove animals from pasture prior to the insured number of grazing days, on account of reduced grazing capacity due to drought or excess moisture conditions, the minister said.  

"We've been in conversations with western colleagues and as is the case in other provinces, Manitoba's forage insurance participation is much lower than for annual crops," said Mr Struthers. 

"But as we look forward and analyse this last year's data, along with the results of the new Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Programme, we hope to identify additional ways to establish insurance programmes with reliable options based on sound insurance principles."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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