GFM Network News



Hay shortage in Manitoba Interlake reaches tipping point

MarketsFarm — A state of agricultural emergency has been declared in 12 municipalities, mostly in Manitoba’s Interlake region, due to chronically low hay yields. Drought and grasshoppers have hindered crops to the point that hay production is about 25 to 30 per cent of average. “We’ve moved cows out of pastures because the grasshoppers ate […] Read more


Crop reports stoke hay shortage concerns

MarketsFarm – Rainfall varied across the Prairie provinces during week ended August 2, as concerns of a hay shortage continue. Approximately 39 per cent of the hay crop in Saskatchewan is now baled or stored. While hay quality is 55 per cent good-to-excellent, yields have been well below normal across the province. According to the […] Read more

Prairie hay shortage on horizon

MarketsFarm — While rain across the Prairies has eased concerns of an all-out drought, worries of a hay shortage going into winter haven’t ceased. Darren Chapman, a Virden, Man. producer and chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA), explained that regrowth following the first cut of hay has been strong. First-cut hay crops […] Read more


This graphic shows how to properly select samples for feed testing 
for bales. But once the results come back, you still have to put them to good use.

You’ve got your feed results — now what?

Two new feed testing tools can identify potential issues and compare the value of different feeds

Two new online tools for measuring feed quality are now available. The tools (developed by the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre) can help flag potential nutritional problems, and identify the comparative economic value of different feeds based on their quality. Feed testing can prevent ‘sneaky production problems ‘ (such as poor gains or reduced […] Read more

Hay prices skyrocket as Prairie drought continues

MarketsFarm — Hay prices have continued to skyrocket across the Prairies as conditions remain dry enough that many hay growers won’t produce a first cut this spring. “We’ve had a tough start here,” said Darren Chapman, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “We had a cold, dry spring with frost, so first cut […] Read more


Forage stands are often terminated using tillage, but producers using this approach should pay close attention to conserving spring moisture.

Converting hay land to crops in spring is challenging

Fertility, soil moisture, herbicide applications, and a substantial seeding delay must all be considered

Producers should consider a number of factors before deciding to terminate hay land to seed an annual crop. “Traditionally, forage stands have been terminated in the fall by using one of three approaches — tillage only, herbicide application combined with tillage, and herbicide application followed by direct seeding into sod,” said provincial crop specialist Mark […] Read more

Timothy is considered the gold standard among grass hays because of its high palatability, easy digestibility and low-energy yet nutritious profile.

Some points to consider when shopping for horse hay

Our own senses are wonderful tools — choose hay that is as fine stemmed, green, and as leafy as possible

Hay selection is an important aspect of horse ownership. The type and quality of hay the horse eats can make a big difference in its overall nutrition, and its value in a horse’s diet is unquestionable. The extra dollars spent on sourcing good-quality hay and its proper storage is invariably cost effective on many levels […] Read more


When bales touch each other, losses of dry matter, protein, and energy go up.

Hay losses will be especially costly this year

Winter can be hard on both the weight and quality of hay — and push up feeding costs

Hay goes on a diet in winter, but how much weight it loses depends on how it was stored. “Over the course of a winter, bales weather and lose both weight and quality,” said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “This poses the key question of what kind of value losses occur when storing […] Read more