Winter is coming and feed is going to be tight for many beef producers. Manitoba Beef Producers and Keystone Agricultural Producers urge Manitoba farmers to list any available hay, straw and alternative feeds they can sell.
“Many beef producers have been hard hit by back-to-back dry conditions that have led to diminished pasture and forage yields and depleted their hay and straw reserves,” said Tom Teichroeb, Manitoba Beef Producers president, in a release. “Faced with these conditions, they are looking to source both traditional and alternative sources of feed and bedding. We are encouraging producers with these kinds of resources available to consider listing them for sale. ”
The release included options for listing and sourcing hay, straw and feed. They include:
- Calling Manitoba Agriculture at 1-844-769-6224 or visiting a local ag office for help sourcing feed.
- Visit the Manitoba Ag Livestock page for resources on dealing with dry conditions.
- Visit the Manitoba hay listing.
- Visit dedicated Facebook pages such as Manitoba Hay and Feed for Buy/Sell and Hay/Feed for Sale in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.
- Cast a wider net with the Hay Exchange, which includes listings from across Canada and the U.S.
- Check other websites such as eBrandon and Kijiji.
The Sask Forage Council also notes that producers can check Feed and Forage Wanted For Sale on Facebook.
Alberta’s crop report is released bi-weekly, and the next report will be released this week. The last crop report, from July 30, noted that rain had slowed haying operations in a swath across the north, along with areas in the foothills and central region. The south was still dry, and the Peace was seeing both very wet and dry conditions. Strong winds in central Alberta had blown away hay swaths.
Provincially, pasture conditions are rated as four per cent excellent, 28 per cent good, 45 per cent fair, 19 per cent poor and four per cent very poor, states the latest crop report. Producers have expressed concern about livestock water quality in central and southern regions.
In the southeast, pastures could use more moisture. Pasture conditions are rated as 22 per cent good, 55 per cent fair, 21 per cent poor and two per cent very poor. Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as 37 per cent adequate, 58 per cent short and five per cent very short.
In the southwest, there’s a lot of variation in rainfall. There are parts of the region that are suffering from an extreme lack of moisture, which will significantly impact crop yields along with pasture growth. Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as 21 per cent adequate, 51 per cent short and 28 per cent very short. Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 16 per cent good, 47 per cent fair, 28 per cent poor and nine per cent very poor. Rainfall would be highly beneficial to the pastures.
In east-central Sask., hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 61 per cent adequate and 37 per cent short and two per cent very short at this time. Regionally, pasture conditions are rated as 25 per cent good, 56 per cent fair and 19 per cent poor. Moisture would help pasture growth.
In west-central Sask., hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 61 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and two per cent very short. Moisture would be highly beneficial at this time and would help late-seeded crops fill and replenish topsoil moisture. Pasture conditions are rated as three per cent excellent, 32 per cent good, 36 per cent fair, 25 per cent poor and four per cent very poor.
In the northeast, hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as nine per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate, nine per cent short and two per cent very short. Pasture conditions in the region reflect adequate topsoil moisture. Pastures are rated as 15 per cent excellent, 53 per cent good, 23 per cent fair, six per cent poor and three per cent very poor.
In the northwest, hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 92 per cent adequate and seven per cent short. Pasture conditions in the region reflect adequate topsoil moisture. Pastures are rated as 16 per cent excellent, 40 per cent good, 39 per cent fair, five per cent poor.
Pastures are rapidly declining in southwestern Manitoba, due to hot, dry weather, notes the latest report. Pasture management is making some difference, but the entire region is affected by poor soil moisture reserves. Dugouts are generally low and there are reports of dugouts drying out entirely.
In the northwest, grasshoppers are a big problem in pastures and hay stands. Hay yields are reported to be very low at 30 to 50 per cent of normal although newer fields are reporting somewhat higher yields at 50 to 60 per cent of normal. Recent rain has improved pastures, but water sources such as dugouts and creeks continue to be low or very low on pastures.
In central Manitoba, the first cut is mostly complete, with yields running 25 to 50 per cent of normal. The most severely affected tame hay fields are half a round bale/acre. Second cut haying has begun where regrowth was sufficient, but regrowth is minimal or nonexistent in drier areas. Grasshoppers are damaging forage hay and pasture stands and producers are spraying. Producers in the hardest-hit areas are expected to begin supplementing feed on pasture if they haven’t already.
In eastern Manitoba, producers are nearly done the second cut, with some producers reporting yields 80 to 90 per cent of normal, but others reporting only 50 to 60 per cent of normal. Second-cut alfalfa hay yields were 1.25 tonnes/ac. Dairy farmers are hoping for a good third cut. Dugouts are getting low and drying up in some areas, although water supply still rated adequate in 80 per cent of cases.
In the Interlake, producers are harvesting forage seed grasses. Early yield reports are around 200 lbs meadow fescue, 500 lbs tall fescue, 500 to 900 lbs perennial ryegrass. Producers have also harvested early greenfeed. Early greenfeed yields will be better than later seeded crops. Hay yields are coming in at 20 to 60 per cent of average production. Productivity is best on new and fertilized stands. Almost all pastures have been grazed down, and are rated in poor condition. Topsoil moisture for hay and pasture is rated as 50 per cent short and 50 per cent very short. Water supply is rated as 40 to 50 per cent adequate and some producers are hauling water to pasture troughs in the north.