Manitoba farmers encouraged to list any available feed due to potential shortages

Manitoba’s agriculture sector is once again calling on farmers to consider selling any extra animal feed.

Three provincial farm groups released a joint statement this week asking producers to list any extra straw, hay or alternative feed in the face of challenging conditions.

“In recent years Manitoba has experienced consistently inconsistent seasonal and regional production variability through drought conditions, snowstorms, and heavy rains,” said Dianne Riding, president of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) in a news 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.”

Read more: Manitoba ag groups offering solutions to hay, straw shortage

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The past few years have been challenging for farmers trying to feed their herds.

So far in 2020, the Hay Disaster Benefit program was activated for the second time ever, which was also the second consecutive year.

The benefit was expected to pay out over $5 million on approximately 1,500 claims. The payments are triggered when at least 20 per cent of producers with specific insurance harvest less than 50 per cent of their long-term average hay yield.

Forage insurance is currently being reviewed by the province since only a small portion of producers buy into it.

Read more: Tough harvest triggers Hay Disaster Benefit for Manitoba farmers

“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,” said Bill Campbell, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers in a news 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.”

“2020 has been an immensely challenging year, but we’ve learned that we all must work together when faced with difficulty.”

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The plea from the three groups comes within a week of the province announcing livestock producers were being given temporary permission to cut hay and graze animals on Crown lands.

Farmers looking for feed or with some to sell can find a list of resources on this webpage.

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