Manitoba Corn Growers Association is headquartered in Carman, Manitoba. The MCGA is directed by an eleven-member grower board of directors dedicated to advancing the corn industry in Manitoba in the areas of market development, promotion, research and education. The Association administers the Cash Advance Program for corn, alfalfa seed, annual & perennial rye grass; all pulse crops in Manitoba on behalf of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA), all sunflowers in Western Canada on behalf of the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) and honey in Manitoba on behalf of the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association (MBA).
Headquartered in Carman, MB the Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is a not-for-profit organization representing over 1,500 farmers who grow corn in the province of Manitoba. The MCGA is directed by a twelve-member grower Board of Directors dedicated to advancing the corn industry in Manitoba in the areas of market development, promotion, research and education. The full information is included in our Constitution and Bylaws.
The Association administers the Cash Advance Program for corn, alfalfa seed, Kentucky Bluegrass, annual & perennial rye grass; all pulse crops in Manitoba on behalf of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA), all sunflowers in Western Canada on behalf of the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) and honey in Manitoba on behalf of the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association (MBA). As of April 2015, the MCGA also administers cash advances on durum, canola, flax, buckwheat, canary seed, mustard, hemp seed, wheat, camelina, millet, barley, oats, triticale and rye.
- To encourage, promote and to assist in the development of grain and silage corn, as an economical alternative to other crops.
- To co-operate with government departments and agencies and with industry, in efforts to develop improved management practices.
- To encourage research and experimentation in variety improvement, and in determining and demonstrating the potential of corn in Manitoba, as a grain and silage crop.
- To co-operate in educational programs, and in facilitating exchanges of information and experience between growers.
- To encourage efforts to explore and develop market opportunities.
The Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) was founded in 1970 by 35 corn growers in the Carman- Morden-Roland area. While the Association currently represents over 1500 producers, early membership peaked at about 580 growers at the end of the 1970’s. Membership includes individual and corporate growers as well as industry and research representatives.
One of the main objectives of the MCGA is to provide the latest agronomic information about growing corn to its members, thus promoting corn as a viable alternative for Manitoba producers. In the early days, this was successfully delivered through Newsletters and the Annual Corn School, which brought in speakers that could provide the latest information and technology updates every year. With membership growth in the 1970’s, the MCGA was able to build up enough funds to assist the Morden and Brandon corn research programs to help compensate for federal cuts to research budgets. This began a long tradition of promoting research into all aspects of corn production in Manitoba. In 1978, one of the MCGA’s first major research initiatives with the provincial and federal governments was to establish the Agro-Man program to study the viability of grain corn and silage throughout the province. After completion of the project, it was judged to be the most successful of the Agro-Man projects in Manitoba.
In 1981 the MCGA was incorporated, making it possible to administer the federally guaranteedCash Advance program. This program continues to offer interest-free loans for storage of grain, which allows farmers to sell their crop throughout the year when prices are in their favor. In the 1990’s, the MCGA joined the PFRA to develop a research program demonstrating the potential benefit of tile drainage for crop production in Manitoba. Since 2009, the MCGA has continued to support tile drainage research at the University of Manitoba.
For many years, the MCGA ran field scale variety trials to provide data on approved and developing corn varieties. The Manitoba Corn Committee (MCC) continues to provide the MCGA membership with results from developing and commercially available hybrid trials in various locations across the province.
In 2012, the MCGA hired a Production Agronomist to manage and carry out field-scale research and demonstration projects and to promote the expansion of the corn industry in Manitoba through communicating agronomic advances in corn production practices to producers, industry agronomist and representatives. In 2014, the MCGA hired a Research Project Manager, to manage all aspects of research grants, including developing relationships, discovering future project possibilities and securing contracts in order to achieve the goals of the MCGA, and efficiently reporting progress and advancements relating to corn production in Manitoba to the Board, membership and industry.
The corn industry in Western Canada is currently experiencing a period of substantial growth. There are now over 1,500 corn growers in Manitoba planting an average of over 180,000 acres/year with 2013 reaching a record 430,000 acres. The average yield for corn has risen from an average of 57 bu/acre in the 1980’s to over 110 bu/acre in the 2010’s due to public and private research on corn hybrids for lower heat unit areas. The Canadian seed industry is successfully providing varieties and developing new genetics that are suited to growing conditions in Manitoba. However, there remains a need for agronomic research to compliment genetic improvements.
The Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) recognizes the need for research to increase the productivity and competitiveness of their growers and intend to facilitate the development of agronomic innovations for them. A top priority of the MCGA is to fund research activities that will positively impact the corn production industry in Manitoba. In the past ten years, the MCGA has dedicated over $975,000 to scientific research projects, which represents between 23% and 654% of membership levy due to high volatility in corn acreage. Past research has provided valuable insight in terms of corn agronomy, sub-surface tile drainage, residue management and stand density. In addition, a significant portion of MCGA research investment has been directed to pesticide minor use registration in grain corn as well as variety testing trials across Manitoba.
Despite past volatility, the MCGA was able to develop a favourable cash reserve to secure future investments in research; over the next four years, the MCGA will invest over $1.1 million in applied agronomic research that will reduce production risk as well as build and maintain corn acreage and MCGA membership.