GFM Network News

Breeding bulls need time and proper rations to recover after the breeding season.

Bulls need lots of TLC during the post-breeding season

Check for any health problems and make sure they have proper feed, including minerals

As a beef nutritionist, I recommend that bulls during the post-breeding season be given lots of attention, namely a physical exam, a good summer/fall-feeding program (winter programs to follow) and implementing other timely considerations. This will help both mature bulls maintain and young ones achieve body condition and health, which will contribute to next year’s […] Read more

Calf heat stress recommendations are similar to those used to combat heat stress in a lactation barn.

‘Extra’ water key to reducing heat stress in calves

Dairy Corner: Keeping them hydrated is part of proper management when temperatures rise

Heat stress starts to harm dairy calves even at about 22 C with a relative humidity of at least 60 per cent. At this humidex level, I have seen many calves become restless, reduce feed intake, and significantly increase water consumption. As temperatures rise (coupled with more humidity), most sooner or later breathe rapidly and […] Read more

As pastures dry out and forage quality drops, lick tubs are one way to provide cattle with protein and energy.

Lick tubs one way to supplement poorer pastures

It doesn't take much loss in body condition to affect conception rates

A good illustration for this column is a photo I recently took of a dried-out and brown cow pasture. And, if much of the southern Prairies doesn’t get rain soon, many good pastures will start to look like this, which may be detrimental to this year’s breeding season. To lessen its impact, producers should implement […] Read more

Creep feeding may be a necessity

Creep feeding may be a necessity

With dry growing conditions, supplemental feed may be needed to make up for milk and grass shortfall

Bridging the nutrient gap between mothers’ milk and pastures has always been the traditional purpose for creep feeding spring calves on many commercial cow-calf operations. Some producers put creep feeders out during the late summer when pasture is mature and milk of the average cow can only meet 50 per cent of her growing calf’s […] Read more

dairy cows eating TMR

Dairy Corner: Forage fibre the big driver in milk fat production

Put your TMR to the test to determine if it's the proper particle size

Maintaining good milk production with adequate milk fat is always the main source of good revenue on most dairy farms. Regardless of the actual feed ingredient formulation, it must work in tandem with the natural body functions of healthy cows. This is something we should keep in mind when reformulating current rations if restrictions are […] Read more

Have a look at the mineral mix to make sure it has components for grazing and breeding season.

Cash in on beef cow mineral status in the spring

To avoid disease and promote rebreeding and maybe a dash of garlic for fly control

As the weather turns warm, many beef producers wish to refresh their cow mineral programs. It seems that most want to maintain the well-being of their cows coming into spring, whether cows are spring-calvers or calving is completely done and their cows are nursing new spring calves. In both cases, many producers also want to […] Read more

Nutritionist Peter Vitti says there is no reason why canola meal can’t be used as an excellent protein source in dairy rations.

Canola meal as a dairy ration can be excellent soybean replacement

More research is showing improved milk production and quality

I use a lot of soybean meal in several of the lactating feeding programs I develop for high-milk-producing dairy cows. However, in recent months, the skyrocketing price of soybeans has caused me to reconsider. So, I have replaced a significant portion of soybean meal with canola meal, yet have retained the economics and production in […] Read more

It doesn’t have to be a fancy ration, but proper nutrition for cows and heifers after they calve will have multiple benefits down the road.

Invest in a good feeding program after calving

It benefits in rebreeding and also fall-calf weaning weights

I give nursing beef cow diets a passing grade when they support beef cows to produce lots of milk for their newborn calves and promote growth in postpartum replacement heifers. These diets must also retain their precious body condition (BCS of 2.5 -3.0, on a 5-point scale) so females can get rebred and conceive within […] Read more

Prep heifers for breeding and calving

Prep heifers for breeding and calving

Bred or unbred, these animals need energy to grow

Many producers are retaining more replacement heifers than in previous years. There are many good reasons to do so, but if so they should assure that unbred replacements are receiving adequate midwinter nutrition in order to be ready for breeding in the spring and ready to give birth to their first healthy calf. Given that […] Read more