GFM Network News


Once a case of grass tetany presents itself, you will often have multiple cases quickly appear.

Magnesium key to prevent grass tetany

Animal Health: Chances are that if one animal goes down, others are soon to follow

Over the last few years several herds in our area have been affected with grass tetany. These herds will often have multiples cases in short order. Once clinical signs occur and cattle go down chances of recovery are very poor so treatment-wise they are a true emergency. Early in the course of the disease treatment […] Read more

Untreated pinkeye can be costly

Reduced weight gain on calves means fewer marketable pounds

It’s a funny thing about walking among beef cattle — I tend to catch things that I wouldn’t otherwise see by staring at them from a truck. Take spotting cattle with pinkeye for instance. The other week, I was walking along with the feedlot manager after the feedbunk was filled. Most of the beef finishers […] Read more


Drought brings its own package of health risks for livestock

Pests, toxic plants and disease can all thrive under dry conditions

With the current lack of runoff moisture and few spring rains across much of Western Canada, certain disease conditions may become more prevalent. It will pay to be extra vigilant this year when checking your herds. We commonly see more blackleg and all the other clostridial diseases in dry conditions. With shorter grass, cattle and […] Read more

Downer cattle can present a mystery as often a perfectly healthy animal with no presenting history is unable to rise.

Dealing with downer cattle, not simple or easy

Animal Health: There are many reasons a seemingly healthy cow can go down, 
and quite often no easy procedure to get her back up

Farmers and veterinarians since the beginning of time have pondered over the proverbial downer cow. Typically, a downer cow surprises the farmer. It is often a perfectly healthy animal with no presenting history suddenly found down and unable to rise. Because cattle, especially mature ones, are such heavy beasts, complications can ensue after being down […] Read more


VIDEO: Keeping cattle healthy on pasture

Grainews reporter Lisa Guenther gets a few tips from Dr. Miles Johnson

As beef producers move their herds onto pasture this summer, there are practical ways to keep calves and cows healthy. Grainews reporter Lisa Guenther caught up with Dr. Miles Johnson, a veterinarian based in Turtleford, Sask, for tips on everything from pasture pneumonia to pink eye. Johnson is an experienced vet and a sitting member […] Read more



Sulphur in some DDGs can poison cattle

Don’t avoid DDGs but make sure overall feed sulphur is within tolerance levels. 
High sulphur can lead to brain disorder and even death in some cattle — have feed tested

Dried distillers’ grains or DDGs can be purchased from a broker for about $200 per tonne. This attractive price makes it a good feed replacement for a variety of high energy and protein supplements for growing and overwintering beef cattle. However, be aware that incoming loads of DDGs often contain high amounts of sulphur that […] Read more



Copper deficiency can hide in your herd

Before the 1980s, copper deficiencies were a real problem for just about anybody raising cattle from Western Canada to Cape Canaveral. Extensive copper research in beef cattle undertaken by Canadian and a host of international universities and governments, followed up by practical copper supplementation programs used by many producers has made severe copper deficiencies on […] Read more

Branded beef pros and cons

Health and Welfare

With all the terms we are hearing in the beef industry — such as organic, natural, hormone-free, and sustainable — there is no doubt confusion even for producers trying to raise cattle to fit these programs. Most of these branded or niche programs are trying to differentiate themselves from traditional beef production practices. If as […] Read more