GFM Network News


The bacteria that causes leptospirosis may be spread by being excreted in an animal’s urine and can spread in water sources from wildlife.

Leptospirosis in cattle is difficult to study

Animal Health: Often affects beef reproduction and can reduce milk production

We struggle in veterinary practice in Western Canada to make sense of the leptospirosis disease complex, as it can be hard to substantially diagnose. Leptospirosis is caused by spirochete bacteria that infect lots of different animal species but only certain serovars (variations within bacteria) are really pathogenic to cattle. Pomona and Hardjo are two variations […] Read more

Beef cattle need to be kept in 2.5 to 3 body condition score range heading into calving season.

Proper rations for winter cattle feeding and calving

Cows need to maintain body condition and feed a fetus

There are several kilometres of Highway 59 in southern Manitoba which provide a snapshot of winter-feeding programs. Despite several feet of snow in the winter, I often see many cow herds being overwintered along this stretch of road, since in each one of the adjoining yards are rows of hay bales that I can see […] Read more


Klassen: Higher feed grain prices continue to pressure feeders

Compared to mid-December, western Canadian yearlings traded $3-$5 lower; mid-weight calves are down $4-$6 while calves under 550 lbs. remained firm. Buyers exhibited a defensive tone on heavier yearlings and discounts were more severe on fleshier cattle last week. There is absolutely no risk appetite for 850-plus-lb. cattle at this time of year. Demand for […] Read more

Cattle set-aside programs winding down

Final enrolment deadlines set for Saskatchewan, Alberta programs

AgriRecovery programs set up in Saskatchewan and Alberta to help cover feed costs for cattle producers unable to ship livestock to slaughter are gearing down, while Ontario’s program begins a third intake. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. announced Friday that the province’s AgriRecovery set-aside program will end March 31, 2021, with Jan. 19 now set as […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder cattle prices digesting uncertainty

Defensive tone likely through January

The feeder cattle market was very quiet during the last week of December with auction barns in holiday mode. There were discussions regarding direct sales but no actual business was confirmed. The stakes are too high given the market uncertainty; a defensive tone will likely continue throughout January. Feed grains continue to percolate higher; the […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Live cattle futures ease as corn prices soar, raising feed costs

Chicago | Reuters – U.S. live cattle futures declined on Wednesday for a second session as surging corn prices signaled rising feed costs and pressured feeder cattle futures, traders said. Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) February live cattle futures settled down 0.125 cent at 114.450 cents per pound, while CME March feeder cattle tumbled 1.475 cents […] Read more


Ahead of calving season make sure cattle have an available supply of vitamin A.

Serious consequences for cows with a vitamin A deficiency

Treat with an injection, or top up the vitamin/mineral mix

Early winter is the best time for many beef producers to switch their cow herds to a specialized “winter” vitamin-mineral premix. Gestating cows need more dietary vitamin A as they move throughout the winter and onto the last few months before calving. In this way, nobody gets caught short on providing such an essential nutrient […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Live cattle futures retreat as Wall Street dips, feed costs rise

Chicago | Reuters – U.S. cattle futures retreated on Tuesday after hitting a near three-month high in the previous session as rising feed costs and a downturn in equities markets triggered selling. Cattle futures have firmed in recent days as hopes for an economic stimulus deal in Washington overshadowed worries about restaurant closures and travel […] Read more


Klassen: Lighter calves end year on positive tone

Compared to last week, Western Canadian feeder cattle prices were $2 lower to $3 higher depending on the region. Many auction markets were in holiday mode last week and thinner volumes made the market harder to define. Generally speaking, the market was supported by stronger deferred live cattle futures and a slightly weaker Canadian dollar; […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Cattle futures hit six-week high; hog futures ease after rally

Chicago | Reuters – U.S. cattle futures rose for the sixth time in seven sessions on Thursday, hitting a six-week high on signs of strength in the cash market, traders said. Hog futures eased after four straight days of gains pushed the front-month contract to its highest in nearly two months on Wednesday. Volumes were […] Read more