An economic analysis to determine the potential for maceration technology to enhance Manitoba's hay export industry

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Petkau, Wesley C.
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Policy changes in the Canadian grain industry and developing hay export market potential are two of the causes prompting many Manitoba farmers to consider the potential of alfalfa hay as a cash crop. This thesis analyses the feasibility of producing high quality alfalfa hay in Manitoba and selling it to dairy farms located in Wisconsin. To accomplish this, historical weather data for the Brandon and Winnipeg locations was used as the basis for simulations of alfalfa yield on hypothetical farms at each location. The simulated yield data was used to determine the potential for developing maceration technology to be used on Manitoba farms. The potential profitability of developing maceration technology was compared with that of the widely used mower-conditioner. The results indicate that in some circumstances Manitoba farmers can increase profits by selling alfalfa hay to Wisconsin dairy operations. Maceration does provide advantages over the existing mower-conditioner technology and woul be advisable for farms with productive land.