GFM Network News


Colostrum, antibiotics, vaccines and even fly control measures — too much of a good thing often is not only harmful, but usually a waste of money as well. It is important to use products as needed and as recommended.

More is not necessarily better in cow-calf production

Don't up the dose — use animal health products at the proper rate and time

We as veterinarians have worked hard to educate producers about dosage amounts and to get away from the mentality of “more is better.” It might require repeated assurances that the label dose of pharmacy company research is appropriate. With higher rates, the withdrawal times and product costs increase. Weighing cattle as they are processed in […] Read more

To hit up problem weeds, such as herbicide-resistant kochia (far left photo), Alberta farmer Dallas Vert applies a post-harvest weed control treatment of Valtera. Last year, Saskatchewan farmer Dallas Leduc’s post-harvest application of Roundup ProActive 360 tank mixed with four ounces of 2,4-D worked well on Canada thistle (middle photo) and narrow-leaved hawk’s beard (right) on his farm.

Zap troublesome weeds in the fall

Whether it works best pre- or post-harvest depends on several factors

A sampling of western Canadian producers, when asked about their fall weed control measures, have most generally agreed that either a pre- or post-harvest herbicide application is a valuable management tool. Most of the farmers contacted leaned toward a post-harvest treatment with a glyphosate product, although there are a number of caveats that come into […] Read more


During a necropsy on a calf, some of the material in its gut included this fairly large piece of tan-coloured plastic.

Be alert to bovines consuming ‘software’

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Twine, plastic, rope — there is a good chance it could end up in an animal’s gut

I just completed an autopsy on an older well-doing calf that got suddenly sick dehydrated and toxic-looking. My daughter, also a veterinarian, did an autopsy on a mature cow that was losing weight and going downhill, becoming emaciated and weak. Even though both these clinical signs seem different, as well as the age difference between […] Read more

In order for crops to grow successfully, a select group of nutrients need to be present in your soil.

A look at organic farming

Your crop’s nutrient requirements are the same whether you choose organic or conventional production systems

The word organic in farm practice is just about totally confusing. Does it mean pesticide-free, GMO-free, or chemically produced fertilizer-free. Just keep in mind there are no such things as synthetic fertilizers. All fertilizers are simply minerals that are essential for plant growth. These minerals are the macro fertilizers, such as nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), […] Read more


An eight-inch-wide strip of tillage in a field with heavy corn residue.

Several benefits come with an eight-inch-wide strip of tillage

Western Canadian row crop farmers Dean Toews in southern Manitoba and John Kolk in southern Alberta have different levels of experience with strip tillage, but both see the value of working up these eight-inch-wide strips of soil in their fields with a range of production and conservation benefits. Toews, who is part of the family […] Read more

Thanks to Jim Lundgren, who farms at Glenora, Man., about 85 km west of Morden, for this photo of his early start to spring tillage on March 20, 2021, owing to the recent absence of snow and/or rain in the area. Not that it’s a race, but is spring fieldwork already underway where you are? If yes, feel free to snap a photo and email us at daveb@fbcpublishing.com. (Photo courtesy Jim Lundgren)

Manitoba soil temperatures allow for spring fertilizer

Winter ban lifted, with cautions

Farmers across Manitoba are now cleared to apply spring fertilizers including livestock manure on their fields, thanks to sufficiently warm soil temperatures, the province said Tuesday. Though the winter nutrient ban has been lifted, the province cautioned producers to “assess current weather conditions and periodically check weather forecasts” if they’re applying anytime between now and […] Read more


As programs that pay for carbon storage evolve, payments to farms and ranches may be tied to sustainability initiatives such as protection of wildlife habitat and conservation easements.

Where are we at with carbon credits?

Returns are limited at the moment but stay tuned, as programs are emerging

Carbon is one of the biggest topics of our day and it’s poised to increase in importance. It presents both an opportunity and a significant risk to agricultural production. Given this, it is probably a good idea for us to have at least a basic understanding of what carbon does and why is it important. […] Read more

One of main indications of Johne’s Disease is that cattle develop diarrhea and begin losing weight.

Due diligence with Johne’s disease

Have animals tested and cull infected cattle early

Johne’s disease (pronounced yo-knees) as we all know, is the paratuberculosis organism that in livestock can cause diarrhea, weight loss and eventually death from starvation or condemnation at slaughter due to emaciation. Animals that test positive, provided they are still in good body condition, can be slaughtered for human consumption, as the disease does not […] Read more


Matt and Angela Kumlin move their cow-calf pairs to pasture.

Ranchers apply new practices summer and winter

High-intensity grazing along with swath grazing boosts overall production, plus how to construct a 3-D fence

Matt and Angela Kumlin, a young farm couple near Cochrane, Alta., are making major changes to their forage management and winter feeding programs, and they’re seeing beneficial results. They have cattle of their own and take in yearlings for custom grazing in the summer, utilizing different forages in their pasture mix. “Most of our grassland […] Read more

The photo shows NE26 Township 11 Range 11, west of Meridian 1, three miles east of Austin, Man. The soils are of the Almassippi association. The details of individual soils are all available online at Manitoba Agri-Maps at the Agrimaps website (see link at right).

Les Henry: Nitrate down the well

Quit porking on so much N

This song has been sung before in this column. With the death of babies as a possible consequence, it bears repeating. Nitrate in the environment In a native grass environment like my grandfather and yours broke up to farm, nitrate was a rare molecule. Native grass evolved by staying brown and doing nothing when it […] Read more