Unpredictable weather patterns prompting call for extra hay, straw and feed to be made available for purchase by livestock producers

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Source: Manitoba Beef Producers

Challenging production conditions across Manitoba have provincial farm groups representing beef, grain and forage producers asking farmers with extra straw, hay or alternative feed to consider listing their products for sale.

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), together with Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA), are warning that livestock producers could be facing a challenging summer and fall that will affect their ability to source feed and straw for their livestock.

“In recent years Manitoba has experienced consistently inconsistent seasonal and regional production variability through drought conditions, snowstorms, and heavy rains. 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,” said MBP President Dianne Riding. “In the spirit of co-operation, we are encouraging Manitoba farmers to avail themselves of the listing resources and work together to ensure feed and straw is available for cattle producers who require it. We truly appreciate those who advertise their available resources for sale.”

“Across the province, we have seen both dry and wet conditions being reported, leading to a lack of quality hay and straw for livestock feed. 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 remarked. “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. 2020 has been an immensely challenging year but we’ve learned that we all must work together when faced with difficulty.”

“While recent precipitation events have impacted certain areas, we are now heading into multiple consecutive years of key provincial regions in overall dry conditions. And with the dryness, we are very unsure of the forage yield potential coming off our fields,” said Larry Wegner, MFGA chair. “For producers that are planning to be carrying herds into fall and over winter, that feeding uncertainty makes the planning done now even more important. As producers and producer groups working together, we can all help each other better prepare for the times ahead.”

The three organizations have prepared a resource that outlines different options farmers have for selling and purchasing feed. Producers are encouraged to use any and all means available to list available feed for purchase.

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