Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA) will join forces with the Manitoba Wildlife Branch and the Manitoba Important Bird Area Program to explore the benefits of regenerative agriculture to birds on four different farm operations this year.
“This is an exciting partnership project for MFGA,” said Lawrence Knockaert, MFGA chair and dairy farmer from Bruxelles, Manitoba. “Increasingly as we focus on the soil health benefits of regenerative agriculture practices, more and more producers are getting interested in some of the benchmarks on their farms. Here we will look at four different regen ag-focused farms from dairy, forage/beef, grain and mixed farms that are owned by MFGA board members to get benchmarks around bird populations, specifically how the birds are interacting with or responding to the respective regenerative ag farming practices.”
The farms are located in Western Manitoba and include dairy, beef, grain and a mixed farming operation.
Duncan Morrison is Executive Director with the MFGA and he’s excited to see what the survey produces for results. “We’ve been active on the regenerative farm operation front. We host conferences and several if not all of our board members implement some sort of regenerative agriculture practices.”
“It’s all based on soil health, the health of their farm and profitability. So it was a natural next step to try and figure out what are some of the benchmarks on these farms and a bird survey is something brought forward and was well received.”
It's expected the survey will show how farms are responding to certain habitats or situations on the farm with different practices.
“We’re hoping to put an actual bird expert onto our farms and just have tell use the benchmark and what is the bird usage here. We want to build a larger drum beat around more information regarding the positive aspects of regenerative farming,” said Morrison.
The results will be released at the MFGA’s annual meeting this fall in Brandon.