Current Projects

Aquanty Project: managing water resources with advanced simulation

Aquanty’s Hydrogesphere (HGS) Model is a physics-based model designed to model entire river basins that considers surface and soil moisture as well as ground water and the interactions between all three. Across the Assiniboine River Basin (ARB), flood and drought events are a major concern historically and remain so for the future.

Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative

MBFI is a centre of agricultural innovation engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry. MBFI is a collaboration between Manitoba AgricultureManitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) with direction from stakeholders collaborating for the advancement of the industry.

Green Gold Program (Optimum Alfalfa Harvest Date)

The Green Gold Program is used to help predict the date when pure alfalfa stands are at optimum quality (150 RFV) and runs each spring. Due to unusual environmental conditions (cool weather and extreme warming conditions), we have seen alfalfa reach optimum quality well before the traditional early bloom (10% flower) stage.  In most cases, had producers waited for the crop to show these signs, harvest would have been delayed by up to 2 weeks and RFV would have been in the 110 range.

Manitoba Ecosite and Rangeland Health Initiative

People making decisions about the use of natural grasslands (ie. rangelands) in Manitoba are at a disadvantage to those in Alberta and Saskatchewan in obtaining information about grassland plant community composition, successional status, forage production potential and effects of different land management practices (eg. different types of grazing, industrial disturbance, prescribed burning).

Forage Restoration/Establishment Research Project

The establishment of 4 main forage applied research sites across Manitoba will be managed to permit collection of data with scientific merit. Each site will showcase different forage restoration and/or establishment methods and forage mixes. Ten additional less intensive monitoring sites without exclosures (observation sites) will be developed to observe and measure additional management practices being conducted by Lake Manitoba area producers.

Season Long Annual Grazing Systems that Supply N to Future Crops

Integrating legume cover crops or green manures into annual crop rotations has the potential to offer substantial benefits to Canadian prairie cropping systems including N, weed control, and improved soil structure. The price of N fertilizer is increasing and alternative N sources such as green manures may now be more practical for farmers to consider. In Manitoba, green manure systems can consistently enrich soils with at least 100 kg N/ha. However, the challenge of making green manures economically attractive is still an impediment.

Best Management Practices to improve sustainability and productivity of forage-based beef cattle production systems

This project will examine the production and environmental benefits of using tannin-containing forages in their beef cattle diet. Tannins occur naturally in several forage species including trefoil and sainfoin, and have been shown to have several production benefits, including a reduction in the incidence of bloat, and improved protein utilization in ruminant animals.

Provincial Conferences

Provide current information to beef and forage producers by holding five major technology transfer events throughout Manitoba.

Manitoba Grazing Club Promotion and Support

Hold formal classroom sessions and pasture walks for farmers interested in grazing management as it affects soil and water health and landscape productivity.

Manitoba Forage Crop Variety Testing

MAFRI, MFGA and MB Forage Seed Association provide growers unbiased information on new forages varieties by evaluating them at three different sites. Information is published in the Seed Manitoba Guide that is distributed in December.

Development of Forage Land Planner Software

Develop a forage productivity model to provide seasonal growth predictions for use in calculating stocking rates and feed storage requirements and hold training in the use of the model.

Manitoba Grass Fed Beef Value-Chain Market Development and Coordination

The grant will allow the Manitoba Grass Fed Beef Producers Association to market and position forage-finished beef over the next 3 years. As retailers and consumers become more aware of the environmental and health benefits of forage-fed beef, we expect these producers to capture a greater share of the market.