GFM Network News


Coronavirus having an impact on cattle market

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Lower demand coupled with larger supplies weighs on prices

The coronavirus epidemic has contributed to the drop in fed cattle prices over the past couple of months. In the last week of January, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $275 on a dressed basis and $165 on a live basis but as of the first week of March, Alberta packer bids were in […] Read more

There are several factors to consider to figure out why dairy cattle can be up and down on dry matter intake.

Reducing variability of dry matter intake for dairy cows

Dairy Corner: Several factors, including particle size, can affect how dairy cows eat

Optimizing dry matter intake (DMI) of a well-balanced dairy cow diet should be one of the mission statements of every dairy producer. It is the key to providing enough essential nutrients that support good milk production (and its components) in feed that cows can reasonably consume every day. Unfortunately, daily DMI among a lactating cow […] Read more


Gates at property access points should be closed when not in use and locked overnight.

Be ready for the protesters

Hopefully a group never shows up at your farm gate, but if they do....

The past year has brought several examples of activists trespassing on Canadian farms to create media exposure around farming practices. They’re expected to continue. As president of Ag & Food Exchange Ltd., Geraldine Auston, based in Surrey, B.C. provides an industry advisory service to help farmers, truckers and agri-businesses handle pressure from special-interest groups. Earlier […] Read more

It takes time and management, 
but young orphaned calves can be bottle fed until they are ready to eat grass and hay on their own.

Getting orphaned calves adopted

If no foster mother is available, proper feed is vital

Many ranchers have raised calves on bottles (a twin, a heifer’s calf that isn’t accepted by its mother, or a calf whose mother died) and it’s very easy with a newborn or young calf. The main thing is to make sure the calf had colostrum within the first hours (from its own mother or another […] Read more


Allowing May/June calves to run with their mothers until mid-winter (February and March) is considered a more natural weaning cycle.

Wintering calves with their mothers

Most cows and calves will naturally wean themselves by February

Many beef producers are calving later in the year (April, May or June) rather than early, to be more in tune with nature. They have green grass at calving and less need for harvested forage when the cow’s nutritional needs peak during lactation. Along with later calving comes the necessity for later weaning. Some choose […] Read more

Joseph helps Grandpa John with birthday cake duties.

Year begins with roller-coaster temperatures

Hopefully weather will hold for late-February start of calving season

January started with a mild temperature that allowed us to do a few more out-of-season projects. Early in the new year, Gregory and John worked on the holding corral at the Landis pasture. Later we used the 4450 tractor and the post hole auger to put in nine more railroad ties for the back corral. […] Read more


While calves can be given a preventative treatment against coccidiosis, cows can be given a coccidiostat such as rumensin or monensin in the feed before calving to reduce shedding of the infective eggs onto the ground.

Coccidiosis still a threat to be monitored

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Important to control internal and external parasites

Coccidiosis and internal parasitism are two clinical syndromes I thought we had rid from the cattle sector. But although they just about disappeared, they are on the comeback trail. It is important to know why along with new strategies to keep them at bay. Clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment must be periodically reviewed. Direct communication […] Read more

Don’t wait until the third trimester to improve 
condition and nutrition status of the cow.

Don’t delay on proper mineral feeding program

Important for the new calf as well as the next breeding season

The entire nine months of a beef cow’s pregnancy can be broken up into three stages; early, mid- and last trimester of gestation. During these first two stages, her unborn calf doesn’t require a lot of nutrients, so it doesn’t put a lot of pressure on the cow. However, this all changes in the last […] Read more


In this line of work, offspring are welcome on the job site.

A job interview for a cow

It is important to find out who is working for whom

I have heard the statement “My cows need to work for me.” This leads to the somewhat logical question of “If a cow works for me, what should a job interview look like?” and further what answers I should hope to hear. Knowing that cow depreciation and cow herd maintenance are the two biggest costs […] Read more

It takes a bit of time to understand the supply and demand influences 
on fed cattle.

Back to Economics 101 for feeder cattle

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Look for key market numbers that help determine prices

I receive many inquiries about the cattle market throughout the year, and in many cases, I realize the producer does not have a good handle on the fundamentals for beef or cattle. Supply-and-demand projections appear to be a foreign subject for many. For example, I’ve received many calls asking why the cattle price has to […] Read more