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

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


National seeds sector groups put merger plan to vote

New organization, if approved, would be called Seeds Canada

Members of five national seed sector organizations are set to vote this summer on their proposed amalgamation under a single banner, Seeds Canada. A “detailed ratification package” has gone out to members of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA), Canadian Seed Institute (CSI), Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA), Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA) and Commercial […] 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

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


The Wowks believe providing cattle with a source of fresh, good-quality water contributes to overall improved production.

Cattle producers share good production ideas

Pasture and water management fine-tuned

What works for beef producers? The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) has asked a few Canadian beef producers about changes, production practices or new technology they’ve made or use that make a difference in their day-to-day management. Good ideas can range from improving pasture watering systems and regularly testing winter feeds, to reducing costs during […] Read more

Union warns of fuel supply disruption in ‘Dear Farmers’ notice

Farmers 'should not be worried,' FCL says

The union representing locked-out workers at Regina’s Co-op Refinery Complex is warning Prairie farmers that a disruption of fuel supplies during seeding could be the “only option” it has in its labour dispute with Federated Co-operatives (FCL). Unifor 594, whose 730-odd members at the CRC were locked out Dec. 5 after serving 48 hours’ strike […] Read more


There are some pretty strict guidelines that define what is truly a closed beef herd.

Are you really running a closed herd?

You can’t be ‘a little bit pregnant’ or ‘mostly closed’

(Editor’s note: This column, written by Karin Schmid, Research and Production Manager with the Alberta Beef Producers, first appeared as a blog post on the Beef Cattle Research Council website at beefresearch.ca) A surprising proportion of producers believe they run a closed herd. The 2017 Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey requested reasons why certain management practices […] Read more

Saskatchewan to adjust WLPIP premiums for producers

Province also opts in to fund AgriRecovery set-aside plan

The Saskatchewan government plans to temporarily subsidize livestock producers entering the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) against its recent jump in program premium costs. The province on Thursday announced it will provide $5 million to “partially offset” WLPIP premiums, which it noted have risen “significantly” since the end of February this year on COVID-19-induced […] Read more