Farm Fact and Furrows

by OMAFRA Ag Rep Brian Bell

Growing Forward 2 courses

Growing Your Farm Profits: March 20 and 27, Sudbury area; April 6 and 12, Algoma; Traceability, February 28 and March 7, Manitoulin; March 9 and 10, Algoma; Food Safety, March 21 and 28, Sudbury area; Biosecurity (crop) March 9, Sudbury area. You must register to take these free courses at:

If you are having problems registering or need more information please contact Mary at or call 705 561 6415. 

Feed shortages

This summer’s dry weather has led to possible feed shortages on Manitoulin. The following decision making process may help assess your individual situation in dealing with a shortage of feed. What are your feed requirements? Do an inventory of livestock by class: cows with calves, weaned calves, open cows, yearlings, etc. Estimate forage feed requirements of each group, based on your normal feeding practices – for budgeting purposes use 2.5 percent of animal body weight for roughage feed intake per day on a dry matter basis. Estimate grain and supplement needs based on your normal feeding programs. CowBytes, a beef ration balancing software, does a great job in calculating feed inventory requirements. Let me know if you need some help! Inventory the feed you have available until pasture season. How do your feed requirements compare with the feed supply? Buy feed: what is available and at what cost? Forages, grains screenings and many other by-products are potential options. Transportation is a major consideration, along with storage and shelf life for high moisture products.