Dairy producers are gathering in Winnipeg this week for their Annual Conference. 

David Wiens, Chair of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba says it's nice to be back with an in-person event.

"There's a lot of excitement for farmers, our stakeholders and suppliers to come together."

He says while last year was a struggle for producers trying to find feed with the drought, things turned around this year and despite wet conditions, producers brought in some surprisingly good crops.

He notes that along with the impact of the drought and last year's wet conditions the industry continues to see some major challenges.

"We've experienced the inflationary pressures just as much as everybody else around us. Fertilizer costs have gone up by 44 per cent, fuels gone up by 32 per cent, animal feeds gone up by 8 per cent. So, you know, that was a real challenge. Certainly, the farmgate price increase that we received in February of this year was very helpful, and then there was also that interim increase of 2.2 per cent in September."

He adds this has helped to offset some of the increased costs that dairy farmers have experienced.

Over the next three days, producers will hear from a wide variety of speakers on a number of different topics from the discussion around being net zero by 2050, to research and farm management economics.

Another key topic for producers is the discussion around precision agriculture whether it's on the cropping side or the dairy side.

About 50 per cent of the farms in Manitoba are using automated milking systems and other state-of-the-art options.

Daniel Foy, Co-founder and CEO of AgriGates will talk about some of the future opportunities for producers.

Wiens notes with all of the technology we have, there's also a lot of data that comes out of it and there is increasing value to that.

To listen to part of Glenda-Lee's discussion with David Wiens click on the link below.