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Good Yields, Demand for Manitoba Forage Producers

 

Manitoba forage producers have found the sweet spot this year, with good yields and strong demand.

Producers in the province are finding eager buyers in southern Saskatchewan and the northern U.S., where drought conditions strained pastures and left many cattle producers short of feed, said Dave Koslowsky, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association.

In fact, Koslowsky said he knows of one producer in Virden, Man., who sold all of his hay into the Assiniboia area of south-central Saskatchewan, one of those areas badly hurt by drought.

“That was back in June already. He had sold all of his production already at that point, even before he baled it.”

Meanwhile, producers in the Red River Valley and the region south of Winnipeg are selling into dairy markets in Minnesota.

“They’re selling hay down in that area just like you can’t believe,” he said, adding that even straw for blending into cattle rations is selling well.

And all that demand is coming at a time when producers in Manitoba are best able to meet it. Koslowsky said the producers he has talked to across the province report a good to great production year.

“Most of the forage, the yield was very good. It was (a drier) summer, but we were still quite surprised with how it yielded in the end.”

Areas that did become drier as summer progressed had enough early spring rain and subsoil moisture to see them through, Koslowsky said, adding the recent fall rains should set forage producers and pastures up nicely for next year.

 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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