GFM Network News


Adapting management practices to changing times

More online services keep the beef industry operating

While COVID-19 has changed our daily routines, the internet has been able to keep us going. The agricultural community has tapped into it and fortunately, the supply chain for veterinary pharmaceuticals, feed and other services has been maintained pretty well. Internet sales for the purebred bulls and commercial cattle have pretty much saved the spring […] Read more

A robot is one way to keep feed in front of cows.

‘Push-ups’ in the dairy barn are good exercise

Make sure there is enough feed in the bunk at all times

As a dairy nutritionist, I believe that good dry matter intake of a well-balanced dairy diet means everything for good milk production. More nutritious feed consumed by healthy lactating cows means they produce more milk. It also has been proven that higher dry matter intake, as well as less feed refusal, can be simply achieved […] Read more


One of the 10 foals expected
 this spring.

Foals start to arrive, seeding underway

Fieldwork was delayed due to later spring

The end of April saw the guys in the field doing pre-work for seeding. The spring has been very slow to come with very little moisture. Somehow they still managed to get the tractors stuck a few times, but nothing too serious. On April 27 I got to ride for the first time this year. I’m working on […] Read more

Even though pastures often start out in good condition, creep feed can have a fit as grass quality begins to decline later in the season.

Five benefits of creep feeding calves

Always an ROI, some years better than others

Over the years, I have discovered that there are three types of beef producers who are creep feeding spring calves. 1. Those who don’t creep feed. 2. Those who sometimes creep feed if it makes economic sense, and 3. Producers who routinely creap feed as a matter of course. Although, I have heard almost-convincing arguments […] Read more


Mike Martin, right and son Ali are part of the family operated mixed farming operation on Scotland’s  Black Isle peninsula, where they produce cereal crops, potatoes and beef.

Battling the Scottish weather and EU three-crop rule

Beef operation includes two-year-old ‘store’ cattle for finishing

Farming in the northwest of Scotland can be tough enough given the somewhat challenging weather, but having to fight over which crops to plant is an added hassle. Mike Martin runs Garguston Farm at Muir of Ord on the Black Isle peninsula, with his sons Ali and Johnnie operating a mixed crop and beef enterprise. […] Read more

The many aspects of herd health on pasture

Animal Health: Lots to consider before opening the gate to summer grazing

As pasture readiness nears, there are several things producers should consider before cattle are turned out. Especially when moving cattle to new pastures — new ground you or they are not familiar with — make sure they have been checked for everything such as the condition of fence lines and the potential for noxious weeds […] Read more


A few tips on livestock risk management

Consider the obvious as well as less obvious tools in the tool box

The last few weeks have been wild, even though most of us have been locked up at home. Bull sales have moved online and auction markets have been closed to everyone but buyers. Processors are adjusting lines to allow for social distancing and restaurants are closed to everything except pickup and delivery. These factors have […] Read more

Cows with calves head to the bunk for rations, as spring pasture is still some days away.

Foaling and seeding season still ahead

Last calf of the season from a reluctant mother

March stayed cold and the cold remained clear into April. By mid-March we had two-thirds of the cows calved out and they were all doing great. The last third of calving turned out to be exciting and stressful. On March 20 Gregory found a heifer calving but quickly noticed that the feet were not right. […] Read more


A magnesium deficiency can lead to health problems when cattle move into lush new grass growth.

Get magnesium levels up before cattle turnout

Mineral deficiency can lead to sudden and fatal grass tetany

It wasn’t unusual that many producers fed a lot of straw and screenings to their beef cows this winter. That’s because their last year’s hay or grain crop was so poor. Some told me that spring couldn’t come soon enough when green grass starts to sprout on pasture. As a beef nutritionist, I warned them: […] Read more