Ongoing drought conditions across Manitoba have a coalition of farm groups urging producers to know their options when making decisions about their crops.
In a news release, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, along with Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA), Manitoba Bison Association (MBA) and Manitoba Sheep Association (MSA), are warning that ongoing drought conditions pose a significant challenge to livestock, grain and forage producers.
“With drought conditions reported across Manitoba, we recognize the detrimental impacts across the crop and livestock sectors,” said MCA chair Fred Greig. “Producers need to know their options so they can make the best business decision for their operation.”
Before making decisions about drought-damaged crops, the coalition is asking producers to contact Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) about putting crops to alternative use.
“Successive droughts in some regions of the province have taxed livestock producers’ ability to secure feed, so being able to source alternative feed and roughage sources is critical,” said MBP president Tyler Fulton. “Producers with damaged crops should consider salvaging as much feed as possible.”
There are resources to help producers determine the value of a crop harvested as silage or greenfeed. Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (ARD) provides information regarding the cost of production for grain and silage crops, forage supply management, pricing for baled forages and piled silage and the value of straw as a crop fertilizer.
As the challenging growing season continues, the coalition is also reminding producers to consider their mental health and the mental health of others.
"From a stress perspective during these challenging times, producers should be mindful of their ability to look out for themselves, their neighbours and their community," said MFGA chair Larry Wegner. "Talking to someone like a neighbour or friend is a great pressure release and opens the door for more conversations that may be necessary, including using mental health resources designed to support producers."
The Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern Support Services (MFRNSS) provides free, confidential telephone and online counselling to producers. MFRNSS is available 24/7 by calling 1-866-367-3276 or visiting www.supportline.ca