Blog: What's New at MCA

MCA delegate represents Canadian farmers internationally on Cereals Canada new crop mission

By Manitoba Crop Alliance

Cereals Canada and the Canadian Grain Commission recently launched the 2022 New Wheat Crop Report at a series of webinars targeted to global customers of Canadian wheat. This month, the report will be shared in person when delegations representing the cereals value chain travel to over 15 countries in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This will be the first time in nearly three years that the report has been presented in person.

Sheila Elder, a delegate on Manitoba Crop Alliance’s wheat and barley crop committee, will be travelling with the group on the Latin American leg of the tour. She will visit Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile and represent Canadian farmers at over a dozen seminars and meetings. In addition to providing a summary of 2022 Canadian growing conditions,Elder will talk about the growing conditions in her area, share her science-based production practices and answer questions from the audience.

Hearing directly from a Canadian grower is always a popular component of both the virtual and in-person meetings, as it provides a direct link between the customer and grower and puts a face on Canadian grain production. For Elder, this experience is an incredible opportunity to represent Canadian cereals growers and get a better understanding of customer interest from an availability,milling quality and end-product use perspective.

To learn more about the 2022 New Crop Report and download the 2022 Crop Summary, visit:

Watch the new Cereals Canada Grain Farming in Canada video here.

Ever considered becoming an MCA delegate?

Have you considered becoming a delegate on one of Manitoba Crop Alliance’s (MCA) crop committees or a member of the board of directors, but don’t know much about these roles or where the process begins?

If so, check out this article excerpted from our Spring/Summer 2022 edition of The Fence Post, where several of MCA’s current directors and delegates share their experience and valuable insights to help educate fellow farmer members who are interested in getting involved.

Manitoba Crop Alliance announces funding for 2022 Whole Farm Research Program projects

Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) has successfully funded three research projects through the Whole Farm Research Program that began in 2022.

The total value of this research, which will be conducted over the next five years (2022-27), is $1,506,047. MCA’s contributions to the projects will total $476,470 over that five-year period.

The following research projects were funded in the inaugural call:

  • Optimizing Crop Rotations to Enhance Agronomic, Economic and Environmental Performance.
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Ramona Mohr, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Brandon Research and Development Centre
    • Co-funders: Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Manitoba Canola Growers Association
  • Evaluating the Potential Benefits of End-of-Pipe Treatments for Tile Drainage Discharge in Southwestern Manitoba Undulating Landscapes
    • Principal Investigator: David Whetter, Agri-Earth Consulting
  • Making Cover Crops Work with Grain Cropping Systems in the Canadian Prairies.
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Maryse Bourgault
    • Co-funders: Western Grains Research Foundation, Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission, Results Driven Agriculture Research, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission

Developed in 2021, the Whole Farm Research Program allows for a whole-farm, cross-commodity approach to research. The Whole Farm Research program is not crop-specific and leads to innovative solutions for the benefit of Manitoba producers now and into the future.

Stay tuned for more information about our call for letters of intent for Whole Farm Research projects beginning in 2023!

The second call for proposals is complete, and reviews are underway. The second round of successfully funded proposals will be announced in 2023 – stay tuned!

To learn more about the Whole Farm Research Program, click here.

Meet Manitoba Crop Alliance’s 2021-22 Bursary Recipients

Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) supports students who are in post-secondary education programs, studying to support the agriculture industry. MCA has established a bursary program intended to assist with the financial needs of students who are enrolled in a post-secondary agricultural program within the Province of Manitoba.

Six students from Manitoba have been awarded with MCA 2021/22 bursaries valued at $2000 each. The MCA 2021/22 bursary recipients are George Meggison from Goodlands, Jada Ricard from Baldur, Joelle Little from McConnell, Nicole Jonk from Bruxelles, Simon Hodson from Lenore, and Taylor Mutch from Crystal City.

“Congratulations to all of the MCA 2021/22 bursary winners and thank you to everyone who submitted applications,” says Fred Greig, Chair of MCA. “Through the establishment of this bursary program, MCA hopes to encourage and support students studying work in or supporting the agriculture industry.”

Bursary applicants needed to meet the following criteria:

  • have completed their first or second year of post-secondary education at the college or university level (Diploma or Degree) and are enrolled, full-time for the 2021/2022 school year in an agricultural program within the Province of Manitoba;
  • have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0;
  • have an interest in wheat (spring or winter), corn, barley, flax or sunflower crops, or agriculture in general, as demonstrated in a brief, one-page letter;
  • are from a farm that is a member in good-standing of MCA.

An independent selection committee was contracted to evaluate the applicants based on their connection to or interest in agriculture, explanation of why they decided to enroll in an agriculture-related post-secondary program, how they hope to benefit the agriculture industry once they have graduated and are in the workforce, and their academics and writing skills.

The selection committee included Patti Rothenburger, Director of the Agriculture Branch for Manitoba Agriculture, Scott Chalmers, Diversification Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and Stephanie Cruikshanks, Labour Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture.

Congratulations to the MCA 2021/22 Bursary winners!

Thank you to the selection committee for evaluating the bursary applications.

2020-2021 New Research Commitments

Manitoba Crop Alliance entered into funding agreements for a number of new research projects in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Download the file below to have a closer look at each of the new projects and the funding details.

The amount reflected in the “MCA Commitment’ column represents the total funding amount over the lifetime of the project. Projects vary in length, from one year to projects ending in 2026.

For more information about MCA’s research program click here.

MCA Funded Research Featured at Manitoba Agronomists Conference

On December 15th and 16th 2021, Manitoba agronomists met virtually to discuss the latest developments in crop production, crop protection and soil management. This year’s conference theme was “Agronomy in an Age of Uncertainty”. Many of the presentations featured research funded in part by Manitoba Crop Alliance, find them linked below. Special thanks to the conference partners, University of Manitoba, Manitoba Agriculture, AAFC, and Prairie CCA, for putting together a great line up of speakers.


Supporting a Strong and Prosperous Honey Bee Industry in Manitoba

Post photo taken by Ian Steppler

Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) is providing $10,000 towards Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association (MBA) Knowledge Research Transfer Program (KRTP) for the fiscal year of April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023.

“Honey bees and sunflower production go hand in hand,” explains Ian Steppler, farmer and chairperson, MBA. “Sunflowers need pollination to increase seed set and bushel weight, and honey bees need sunflowers to bring in a honey crop and to sustain the development of their nests. Our two industries rely on each other, interact with each other, but historically haven’t worked directly with each other.”

Photo: Ian Steppler

Implementation of the KRTP has built a direct line of communication between beekeepers and farmers in Manitoba, and with more partnerships, will continue to extend this communication. “To address production issues, we need to bring the issue down to the producer level and work with both beekeepers and farmers to help identify problems and find proactive solutions,” says Steppler. “We as producers need to ensure that our voice represents our needs and to do that, we need to work collaboratively with each other. Afterall, sustainable development is number one in all farmers minds.”

Communication between beekeepers and grain farmers is crucial to the sustainable development of beehives, as well as the sustainability of the cropping system as a whole. If farmers are aware of where the beehives are, they can contact the beekeepers to help identify any problems. Healthy honey bee hives pollinate sunflowers to bring in bigger and heavier yields, ultimately providing farmer members with a return on their investment.

“This partnership with MBA is a benefit not only for sunflowers, but for all of the crops we represent,” says Gregg Fotheringham, MCA director and sunflower committee delegate. “Like Ian previously mentioned, as grain producers we need to work collaboratively together to support beekeepers and their operations so we can move forward in the same direction.”

The KRTP has been developed to provide industry-led services that align with the MBA’s mission statement to: ‘Represent and promote the welfare of the entire Manitoba honey bee industry and the prosperity of its beekeepers’. The funding from MCA will go towards helping beekeepers address many of the major health issues within their hives.

Photo: Ian Steppler

Priority areas of the KRTP include:

  • Communication: improve communication within Manitoba’s beekeeping community, grain farmers and the public
  • Education: provide educational opportunities to help beekeepers become more profitable and sustainable
  • Demonstrative Research: invest in demonstrative research to fill in information gaps that directly benefit beekeepers
  • Monitoring: develop best management practises using beekeeper data (beekeeper managed hives)

For more information