Central Region Crop meetings prove valuable for Manitoba Agriculture

The recent series of Central Region Crop meetings organized by Manitoba Agriculture (MA) concluded on a high note, receiving acclaim from farmers and specialists alike. Callum Morrison, a crop production extension specialist at MA, reported a remarkable turnout and positive feedback from the agricultural community.

The series, which took place in Balder, Carman, and Gladstone, brought together farmers from 17 different rural municipalities, some traveling over an hour to attend. Morrison expressed delight at the high level of engagement, noting the mix of eager and curious producers who came to hear from Manitoba Agriculture’s knowledgeable speakers.

The meetings were particularly well attended in the mornings, with 52 producers from the Rural Municipalities of Dufferin, Grey, Morris, Thompson, Portage, Pembina, Roland, Stanley, and Rhineland. Evaluation forms collected from attendees reflected a consensus on the usefulness of the information shared.

Featured speakers included John Gavloski, a provincial entomologist, known for his presentations featuring preserved insects, and a provincial weed expert who provided insights on managing kochia. Additionally, David Kaminski offered valuable advice on tackling clubroot, a concern for many local farmers.

Further contributions came from MA staff such as Roy Arnott, a farm manager; Wendy Durand, a farm management specialist; and Kim Brown-Livingston, a weed specialist, who discussed profitability, upcoming challenges, and weed control strategies.

Morrison emphasized the importance of these gatherings as opportunities for producers to familiarize themselves with Manitoba Agriculture staff and to network with their peers. The long-term benefits of such interactions and knowledge sharing are considered invaluable by the agricultural community.

Despite the effort required to organize these meetings, the positive feedback and suggestions for future events have been encouraging. Morrison is keen to incorporate farmers’ suggestions for new meeting locations, including Altona, his own community.

The meetings serve as a platform for Manitoba Agriculture to showcase the extensive support provided to the industry, including pest, weed, and disease surveys, annual cost of production reports, and the development of online tools and calculators designed to assist producers in their operations. Morrison’s commitment to enhancing these meetings in the future underscores a dedication to continuous improvement and farmer support within the Manitoba agricultural sector.

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