Manitoba is well suited for preserved forage production for the export hay market. National and international hay customers demand superior quality for their dairy and equine industries, and Manitoba’s high quality soil, lower land costs, long hours of daylight, and ideal moisture levels make it possible for Manitoba producers to produce hay to meet their needs.
Manitoba is also known for its excellent quality of products and services with its pelleted and double-compressed hay products. More producers are taking advantage of the state-of-art technology that is used in pelleting and double-compressing hay for domestic and export markets. Our high quality products are marketed overseas as far west as Japan and Korea, as far east as Europe, and as far south as Florida and Texas.
The forage and grassland industry is a significant factor in Manitoba’s agricultural and total economy. Tame hay acreage, at 2.45 million acres, is Manitoba’s second largest acreage crop; only wheat and canola are larger in terms of acreage (wheat at ~3 million acres and canola at 2.5 to 3 million acres). Manitoba’s tame hay acreage increased 13% from 2001 to 2008. If improved and unimproved pasture is included the total acreage is 7.6 million acres or approximately 45% of Manitoba’s arable acres.
Source: 2008–2009 Summary of Major Crop Production. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.