The Canadian government announced last week that it is investing more than $90,000 (Canadian) in the Manitoba Forage Council (MFC) to help support the hay, forage and livestock industry.

“Enhancing Canada’s competitiveness in global markets is key to producers’ profitability,” says Merv Tweed, a parliament member who made the announcement on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “That is why we support the forage industry’s efforts to increase our presence on the world market.”

MFC, which will administer the funds for the recently formed Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, will use them to help increase forage exports, particularly to China, Japan, the Middle East and the U.S. Specific uses for the money will include the development of promotional and technical packages for international buyers, fact-finding missions to assess markets, participation at selected trade shows and an economic study on transportation.

Canada is the third-largest forage-exporting country, accounting for approximately 10% of international forage shipments. In 2008, Canada’s forage exports were valued at $153 million.