GFM Network News


There is no simple test to be able to identify what causes scours in calves.

Causes of calf scours can be difficult to identify

There is no simple test to be able to identify what causes scours in calves

Scours is the most common illness and cause of death in young calves. Some years are worse than others for scours outbreaks, and there are many causes including certain kinds of bacteria, viruses or protozoa. Whether calves get sick depends on many factors including exposure (contact with pathogens, either by coming in contact with a […] Read more



Cows need their space at calving — even just a few minutes alone so they can properly bond with the calf.

There is a reason pregnant cows prefer to isolate

Being alone at calving is natural, and improves bonding

The act of a pregnant cow seeking isolation and birthing a calf without interruption to establish a strong and healthy bond is never guaranteed. It can be a fragile chain of events in need of support. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Systems extension educator Aaron Berger sees the process as complex. “Weather conditions, the environment the […] Read more

There are a number of tools and apps available to make herd management easier for even the most technologically challenged.

Use records to make better herd management decisions

Record-keeping can help identify areas of strength and weakness

When farmers and ranchers discuss herd management over coffee at the local diner, there is often a glazed look on many of the faces as they nod robotically in agreement with the speaker. “Herd management” has become a fancy all-encompassing term that by its sheer size can suck the air from any room. Every producer […] Read more


Most of the time cows handle calving just fine on their own, but producers should also be watching and ready in case something does go wrong.

No single measure ensures successful calving season — Part 2

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Looking after the details will pay dividends later

I wish the more experienced producers could share with others the little things they do and watch for when checking cattle at calving time. Watch for problem signs such as bloody discharge from the vagina, or meconium (first feces) in the water bag, indicating the calf is stressed and needs to be extracted. Some producers […] Read more

It is important cows and calves be monitored closely or given the space to ensure they get mothered up correctly and the calf get’s sucking.

Pairing up is critical at calving — Part 1

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Looking after the details will pay dividends later

Calving time (winter and spring) will soon be upon us, bringing the excitement of seeing what the next calf crop will be like. Several good practice tips emerge from my experience working with many great cow-calf managers over the years I hope some of these ideas will lead you to save more, and more productive, […] Read more


In southern Alberta, Simmental based steers weighing 510 pounds were quoted at $230 in mid-November while black heifers were valued at $195. It’s looking like feast-or-famine beef production in early 2020.

Calf prices will be sideways into 2020

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Both the U.S. and Canada produced smaller calf crops in 2019

Alberta packers were paying $142 to $144 on a live basis in mid-November, relatively unchanged from last month’s average price. While Alberta prices have traded in a sideways range, fed cattle values south of the border have been percolating higher. In Nebraska, fed cattle were trading in the range of $114 to $116, up from […] Read more

It’s unfortunate but not uncommon for older “banded” calves to succumb to tetanus.

Tips on managing clostridial disease in cattle

Animal Health: Proper timing of proper vaccines can prevent a costly wreck

There’s a great need for routine vaccinations to prevent the multiple ways cattle can get clostridial diseases such as scours, blackleg and tetanus. They’re relatively cheap and cost-effective. Here are some tips and comments. Vaccines offer good protection as long as one recognizes the need to booster-vaccinate. A single vaccination with most clostridial vaccines does […] Read more


Brazil Amazon deforestation soars to 11-year high

Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil | Reuters — Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose to its highest in over a decade this year, government data on Monday showed, confirming a sharp increase under the leadership of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. The data from Brazil’s INPE space research agency, which showed deforestation soaring 29.5 per cent […] Read more

Late fall pasture may fill cows up but are they getting enough protein?

Pregnant cows need their protein

Molasses lick-tubs can help maintain cow condition and keep fetuses growing

I was recently driving west through the southern Prairies and saw a beef cow herd grazing late-autumn straw-coloured pasture. I suspected the calves were probably just weaned, which simply puts these dams at their lowest dietary requirements. I believe that these particular cows were getting plenty to eat, but they were probably not getting enough […] Read more