Livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use due to dry conditions across parts of the province, Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba have been greatly affected by low levels of rain and dry soils this summer,” said Eichler. “By providing producers with additional options, such as access to Crown land, we are easing the burden on farmers who are seeing low yields on forage crops.”
Under certain circumstances, Crown land can be made available for agricultural use. The Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing program will administer the use of available land and provide necessary permits. Livestock must be removed when the naturally existing forage is exhausted or by Oct. 31, 2018. Baled hay must be removed by Nov. 15, 2018.
“With many beef producers facing poor pasture conditions and a shortage of feed, having the ability to graze and hay these Crown lands is both necessary and welcomed,” said Tom Teichroeb, interim president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “Cattle grazing inside these wildlife management areas can deliver important conservation benefits as well as be an important strategy during times of feed shortages.”
Manitoba Agriculture provides a number of additional tools and resources for producers affected by dry conditions which can be found at the Manitoba Agriculture website. The resources include the Manitoba hay listing service, information on managing pastures during dry conditions, alternative feed for beef cattle and options to stretch feed when supplies are tight.
Producers with AgriInsurance contracts who intend to put their crop to alternate use are required to contact the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) office to arrange for a field appraisal prior to harvesting the crop. Crop producers should also consider making crop residue available to livestock producers.
Manitoba also provides risk management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which help producers to manage production and price risk. These include:
- Forage insurance under the AgriInsurance program, which insures hay and pasture production and establishment against potential losses. Producers can check their 2018 coverage and learn more at the MASC website or by calling their local MASC office.
- The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program, which provides a range of coverage and policy options to help manage price risk and protect against volatility in the marketplace. Producers can purchase price insurance year-round for their feeder and fed cattle. More information is available on its website.
Producers can contact their local Manitoba Agriculture office or call the department toll-free at 1-84-GROW-MB-AG (1-844-769-6224) for more information on any of these programs and services or go to the Manitoba Agriculture website and look under Quick Links.