GFM Network News

Dairy cows need a proper “dry” period with good nutrition in order for their body’s to recover before the next lactation.

Faraway dry cow program provides important break

High-producing cows need time to recover before next lactation period

As a young dairy nutritionist years ago, university research taught me that once a lactation cycle is completed, the dairy cow should be dried off, dry-treated and put onto a 60-day dry cow feeding program — an initial faraway stage of 40 days, and followed by a 20/21-day close-up stage. As a result many metabolic […] Read more

Grandpa John Eppich gives Joseph some instruction on hand position on a guitar.

Even with a few surprises, 2020 will be good

Eppich News: 2019 wraps up with the farm settling into winter

So far this winter as of early January, we haven’t had too much snow and the cold temperatures only last a short while. However, one constant has been the wind. It can turn a nice day into a miserable one, no matter what the thermometer says. In early December we put our windbreak panels into […] Read more

Analyzing the cattle-on-feed reports

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: What looks like bearish news is sometimes the opposite

The Alberta and Saskatchewan cattle-on-feed reports can provide valuable information for cow-calf producers and backgrounding operators. Finishing feedlots often pay attention to the main numbers in the cattle-on-feed reports but fail to look at fine details such as the feeder cattle placements by weight category. In some cases, media reports suggest the report is bearish […] Read more

Most of the time cows handle calving just fine on their own, but producers should also be watching and ready in case something does go wrong.

No single measure ensures successful calving season — Part 2

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Looking after the details will pay dividends later

I wish the more experienced producers could share with others the little things they do and watch for when checking cattle at calving time. Watch for problem signs such as bloody discharge from the vagina, or meconium (first feces) in the water bag, indicating the calf is stressed and needs to be extracted. Some producers […] Read more

Midwinter inventory for swath grazing

Swath-grazing cattle without shelter often require 40-50 per cent more dietary energy

Barley swath-grazing has become a viable alternative and practical means of feeding a low-cost forage to overwintering pregnant beef cows. Since nutrient supplementation may be required later on as they approach calving, producers should take a midwinter look at the feed value of swaths to ensure all nutrient requirements are always met. It is well […] Read more

Stronger fed cattle market supports feeders

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Market-ready supplies to go from one extreme to the other

As January unfolded, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $275 to $280 on a dressed basis and $165 to $168 on a live basis. Prices are trading near 52-week highs and up approximately $10 on a live basis from mid-December. Feedlot margins are hovering between $40 to $60 per head. Market-ready […] Read more

Brightly coloured dog collars are useful to Rob Somerville in locating calves that needed treatment or extra attention.

Good producer ideas improve cattle management

You never know how sporting goods store supplies can benefit beef production

How can colourful dog collars and game cameras help to improve beef production and management? The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), is always interested in hearing from producers about how often simple ideas not only reduce the workload but ultimately produce more pounds of beef. From a BCRC blog posting last fall, here a few […] Read more

Calves in outdoor hutches will need extra feed, particularly during the coldest days of winter.

Hutch-housed calves need extra milk replacer in winter

There is a limit to how much cold that calves can handle

Despite the trend to build heated barns to raise young stock, there are still lots of outside hutches and cold barns to feed pre-weaned dairy calves. Many of these calves are raised solely on commercial milk replacer. As a dairy nutritionist, I review many of these milk replacer-feeding programs and make the necessary changes to […] Read more

As winter began to settle in and water began to freeze up it was good to get all the cattle home.

Getting hay and cattle home for the winter

Eppich News: Plenty of projects to complete before the snow flies

With haying season finished in early November it was finally time to start some winter projects. Gregory and John worked on cleaning the combines, swathers, and the baler and put them away for winter. They also had to work on the JD 4020, our feeding tractor, and get it ready for feeding and bedding the […] Read more