With spring and summer that saw very low precipitation across much of the province, many livestock producers are in trouble when it comes to feed for the winter.
As hay crops depend heavily on an early boost of moisture from a wet spring, which is just about the opposite of this year's outcome, the main source of feed for many farmers is in short demand.
Though since rainfall swept in last week, producers may have another option available to them in the form of crop regrowth.
Essentially, crop regrowth is the rejuvenation of a once-harvested field, which is usually more pronounced after a rainstorm.
Catherine Lang, a Livestock and Feed Extension Specialist says she's been hearing a lot of questions about using regrowth.
"We've had a lot of questions this fall about using a lot of this fall regrowth," said Lang, "We've had a lot of timely rains in the fall to get that crop going. So for the lack of winter feed that we have in terms of inventory a lot of these fall regrowths are a way to stretch fall grazing before having to put animals in a confined facility and having to feed them."
Before regrowth can be used as animal feed, it first needs to be checked to see what was used on the crop during the previous harvest.
"First and foremost when we're looking at using these salvage crops the first thing we are checking is if that crop was sprayed with anything and if there are any grazing restrictions associated with those chemicals that were sprayed onto those plants," said Lang, "If that all checks out, then we kind of go into specific crops and what can be used for these crops and things to watch out for."
One of the crops that has been most notable as a source for regrowth feed, due to its tremendous growth over the past month, has been canola.
"One of the biggest crops that we've had questions on this year is canola regrowth," said Lang, "Canola has been growing like a weed ever since we've had this rains, and canola can be a good option for producers to mix into their feed, it's typically not safe to feed on their own, due to a couple of anti-nutritional factors canola can have, but it can be a good option to mix into total dietary rations to get a protein bump and potentially an energy bump as well."
Lang also says that nitrates and sulfur can be key components in whether or not regrowth is suitable to use as feed, and suggests getting a lab analysis on those plants before making a decision.