GFM Network News


Curled leaves on corn plants due to drought cause it look a bit like the spears of a pineapple crop, resulting in what some call pineapple corn.

Balance “pineapple” corn silage into dairy diets

Corn with rolled leaves should definitely be tested for nitrates

I never noticed a “pineapple” cornfield until I ‘ve seen several of them in Manitoba this summer. As I have done, dairy producers should take them in stride as part of our ongoing drought.  A pineapple cornfield is simply what happens to a corn plant after months of severe drought. (It is a term used […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

StatsCan sees higher cattle, hog inventories at July 1

Full impacts of West's drought not yet counted

Nationwide head counts of livestock from the “early stages” of Western Canada’s ongoing drought won’t yet show the weather’s full impact, but showed slightly larger herds heading into this summer compared to last year. Statistics Canada on Monday reported the first year-over-year increase in the size of the country’s cattle herd as of July 1 […] Read more


An inflamed udder affected by edema quite often will correct itself, but not always.

Udder edema puts dairy cows under pressure

Dairy Corner: If a chronic problem, a change in ration formulation may be needed

Udder edema is the swelling and visible accumulation of fluid in a cow’s udder at calving, or it may appear a couple of weeks ahead of time in the close-up pen. Fortunately, most distressed cows do not need any producer or vet intervention. That’s because most of these cases disappear on their own, usually after […] Read more

Erin and Paul Kernaleguen have found that a change in forage production practices on their Saskatchewan farm has helped to reduce costs and benefit dairy production.

Dairy farmers see multiple benefits from forage blends

Input costs have been reduced and more acres returned to crop production

Dairy farmers Paul and Erin Kernaleguen near Birch Hills, Sask. say they’re convinced about the value of regenerative farming practices in growing forage crops for their cattle. They farm with Paul’s parents, Jos and Brenda Kernaleugen. “We were a conventional operation until 2012 when we started looking at doing things differently,” Paul says. “Our average […] Read more


(Stanzi11/iStock/Getty Images)

Dairy farmers asked to pass on palm byproducts in rations, for now

Seek out other ingredients while hard-butter issue under review, DFC asks

Canadian dairy farmers whose feed rations include supplements made with palm byproducts are being asked to consider other options while consumer complaints over butter are probed more closely. Dairy Farmers of Canada on Thursday asked its farmer members to “consider alternatives to palm supplements” pending the outcome of a review of “issues that have been […] Read more



Feeding milk replacer can be part of a well-balanced calf-feeding program.

Prevent abomasal bloat in young dairy calves

Several factors related to feeding may cause the disorder

Once the dairy calf hits the straw of the maternal pen, it is removed from its mother and shuttled away to an individual pen or hutch where abomasal bloat is often waiting. Although not fully understood by dairy veterinarians and specialists, the relatively high incidence of abomasal bloat in young dairy calves can be significantly […] Read more

The proper forage fibre is an important factor in minimizing effects of acidosis.

Signs of acidosis aren’t always clear

Dairy Corner: Correcting fibre in the diet can get milk production back on track

In my experience, only a handful of producers fail to notice the few cases of mild sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) which pop up on occasion. In most barn walks that I have conducted, producers accept SARA as routine, yet know it can adversely affect cows’ health, reproduction and milk/milkfat yield. In some of these cases, […] Read more


Promoting “licking action” of dairy cows, significantly increases saliva production helping to reduce the risk of subclinical acidosis.

Dog days of summer can still produce heat stress in dairy cattle

It’s important to keep the dairy herd cool and eating

On a recent early August morning, I let our dog Luna outside to do her business which amounts to chasing red squirrels and barking to wake up the neighbours. By 10:00 a.m., the temperature was already 30 C in Winnipeg. I noticed that Luna became lethargic, lying on the deck and panting profusely. Within a […] Read more

A robot is one way to keep feed in front of cows.

‘Push-ups’ in the dairy barn are good exercise

Make sure there is enough feed in the bunk at all times

As a dairy nutritionist, I believe that good dry matter intake of a well-balanced dairy diet means everything for good milk production. More nutritious feed consumed by healthy lactating cows means they produce more milk. It also has been proven that higher dry matter intake, as well as less feed refusal, can be simply achieved […] Read more