GFM Network News


Rain gives farmers relief, for now, from three-year drought

Winnipeg | Reuters — With drought turning Chad Ross’s pastures brown, the southeastern Saskatchewan rancher sent 140 head of cattle to slaughter earlier than usual this spring, as the Prairies’ three-year drought made them too expensive to feed. The ranch and feedlot near Estevan has lost money two straight years. Long-awaited rains that swept the […] Read more



Prairie drought reaches tipping point

MarketsFarm — The Prairie provinces have been under the influence of a large ridge of high pressure for a number of weeks, which has produced prolonged dryness with little precipitation. That high pressure system has pushed low-pressure, precipitation-carrying systems to the south, where the U.S. Midwest has already received significant rain. Environment Canada estimated the […] Read more

Prairie dryness concerns to persist

MarketsFarm — Large areas of Western Canada remain on the dry side, with little moisture in the immediate forecasts. And while it’s still early in the growing season, the interplay of conflicting patterns from the south and north will determine whether the dry areas receive timely precipitation during the growing season. “We are looking at […] Read more


Hay prices skyrocket as Prairie drought continues

MarketsFarm — Hay prices have continued to skyrocket across the Prairies as conditions remain dry enough that many hay growers won’t produce a first cut this spring. “We’ve had a tough start here,” said Darren Chapman, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “We had a cold, dry spring with frost, so first cut […] Read more



Ben Stewart talks to farm tour members about an annual forage seeding including triticale and forage brassicas that will be cut for swath grazing.

Species diversity is key to year-round grazing

Annual seedings provide important support to perennial pastures

Ben Stewart believes in using a diverse mix of annual, biannual and perennial forages in his summer pasture and winter feeding program to improve rates of gain on his cattle, reduce winter feeding costs and improve soil health. The fact that he also works with a company that sells forage seed might make him a […] Read more

Gabi Uelinger holds six of the required native plants for a 
Q2 meadow.

Farming for the insects and birds

Government programs provide funds for Swiss farmers who follow new mowing rules

Schleitheim, Switzerland: All around me farmers are mowing. From June 15th onwards farmers are allowed to cut meadows and hayfields qualifying for Q2 government subsidies. The Q2 (qualitätsstufe 2) program aims to provide and protect healthy habitat for birds and insects. Non-qualifying fields are already being cut the second or even the third time. Obviously […] Read more


Four options to help deal with a feed shortage

What is your best option if you’re short on feed? “Each farm is different and therefore doing your numbers as they pertain to your situation is paramount,” said provincial economics extension specialist Herman Simons. “In addition, each option has different pros and cons, which should be listed and taken into account when determining the best […] Read more

Straw prices soar, piling pressure on N.Europe livestock farmers

In some areas straw now more expensive than grains

Hamburg | London | Reuters – Livestock and dairy farmers across northern Europe are paying soaring prices for straw used in food and bedding for cattle, as hot, dry weather across the region reduces crops. The higher bills put further pressure on farmers already facing one of their toughest summers ever; many have had to […] Read more