Dry Conditions and Drought

Dry conditions occur in agriculture when there is not enough water available for crops to grow at a particular time. When this occurs the supply fails to meet the demand for livestock feed, water supply for both natural or managed water systems.

Financial Assistance

Programs are available in Manitoba to help producers experiencing extraordinary circumstances due to drought conditions.

Managing Animals and Livestock During Dry Conditions

  • Beef and Forage Bulletin – Issue 5
    o    Ammoniating Low Quality Forages as an Alternative Winter Feed Source
    o    Nitrate Management
    o    Alternative Feeds for Winter Feed Supplies
    o    The Pros and Cons of Feeding Calves in a Tight Feed Year
    o    Strategic Culling - Options for Stretching Feed Supplies
    o    Options for Extending the Grazing Season
  • Beef and Forage Bulletin – Issue 4
    o    Forages – Considerations and Planning for Dry Conditions on Pasture
    o    Water on Pasture
    o    The Economics of Creep Feeding
    o    Livestock - Creep Feeding to Support your Calves, Cows and Pastures                      


Feeds and Nutrition




·         Dugout Management and Water Quality

·         Pasture Watering Systems

·         Providing Water on Pasture


Managing Dry Conditions and Crops

 Soil and Water Management Week Oct 4-7: Dealing with Dry Conditions Playlist

 Crop Production




Weed control



For information on water well drilling, watershed districts and how to apply for water use licensing, visit www.manitoba.ca/drought.


Manitoba Hay Listing Service


Crown Lands Available for Grazing

  • Due to dry conditions, Crown lands not normally designated for agricultural use are available to be hayed on a temporary basis.


Guides and Calculators

Farm management resources are available to help in determining the value of straw or a crop harvested as silage or greenfeed. Decision making tools can also assist livestock producers in weighing their options in managing a forage shortfall.

  • Cost of Production guides are available for different grain and silage crops.
  • Standing Corn Silage Decision Calculator helps livestock producers determine the cost on a per ton and per acre basis to purchase, put up and haul corn silage from grain producers. Includes a worksheet for determining the custom silage cost per ton based on the work rate (tons/hour) and the custom rate ($/hour).
  • Standing Greenfeed Decision Calculator helps livestock producers determine the cost on a per bale, per ton and per acre basis to purchase, put up and haul greenfeed cereal crops from grain producers.
  • Standing Hay Cost Calculator provides two different estimates of the value of standing hay based on the market value or cost of production methods.
  • Straw Cost Calculator can help determine the NPK dollar value of the straw as a crop fertilizer.
  • Forage Purchase Calculator provides a method of comparing the pricing for baled forages and piled silage. This calculator takes into account different moistures and adding in the cost of freight to see what feed purchase is more economical after freight.
  • Managing Low Forage Supplies Calculator estimates the forage needed for the herd based on animal category and weight, and identifies the shortfall. It identifies 8 different potential rations to fill the shortfall on a least cost basis that help decide the economics of buying greenfeed compared to hay, straw, and other alternatives.


Monitoring Reports and Maps

  • Manitoba Drought Monitor: highlights the various drought management efforts currently underway in Manitoba. This includes monthly Water Availability and Drought Conditions Reports that use drought indicators to classify the level of dryness and to summarize any drought impacts that are occurring.           
  • AgriMaps - Manitoba Ag Weather Program: a network of over 100 weather stations that provide regularly updated air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, soil temperature, and soil moisture for local areas.
  • Crop Weather Report: a weekly summary of weather data from the Manitoba Ag Weather Program and Environment and Climate Change Canada, that include temperature (maximum, minimum, average) and total rainfall along with seasonal accumulations of degree days, corn heat units and rainfall (actuals and per cent of normal) for over 100 locations in five regions.
  • Manitoba Crop Report: information crop development, pest activity, harvest progress, crop yields and grades, fall field work progress, haying progress, estimated yields and pasture conditions.
  • Manitoba Crop Pest Updates: a weekly report and observation on insect population, diseases and weeds of field crops, including which potential pests are of current concern and where in Manitoba highest levels are occurring. Scouting tips are provided as needed.
  • Manitoba Fall Soil Moisture Survey: maps that provide a good indication of what can be expected in the spring by the amount of moisture within the root zone just prior to freeze-up.


Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation supports Manitoba farmers with a variety of risk management and financial programs.

REMINDER: September 30 is MASC's deadline to file claims for Forage Restoration, Select Hay Insurance, Basic Hay Insurance, Harvest Flood Option, Enhanced Quality Option, and Greenfeed. Claims can be registered by completeing the forage portion of the Harvest Production Report online through myMASC or with one of our team members at an ARD and MASC Service Centre. It's important to file your claim as soon as possible.

Connect with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation or ARD and MASC Service Centre.


News Releases: Program Funding and Support


Mental Health and Wellness Support


Contact Us

For general information, contact:

With the launch of the new AgriRecovery programs, we are experiencing a higher than normal call volume and possible longer wait times. Please continue to call our toll-free number at 1-844-769-6224 and one of our agents will be pleased to assist you. You can also email us at ARD@gov.mb.ca