GFM Network News


A small room off the milkhouse, encompassing the front of the tank, helps to limit contact with the milk truck driver at the Herrema farm at Uxbridge, northeast of Toronto. (Gerrit Herrema photo)

Dairy sector shuts down most visits from off-farm providers

In agriculture, dairy farms are among those most called-on by outside services

New additions to Gerrit Herrema’s dairy barn have made it easier for his family to abide by recent directions to avoid contact with milk truck drivers to reduce COVID-19’s spread. “We have boot washes and other biosecurity measures in the barn. We need to take these measures in order to minimize the damage,” said Herrema, […] Read more

Dairy cows need a proper “dry” period with good nutrition in order for their body’s to recover before the next lactation.

Faraway dry cow program provides important break

High-producing cows need time to recover before next lactation period

As a young dairy nutritionist years ago, university research taught me that once a lactation cycle is completed, the dairy cow should be dried off, dry-treated and put onto a 60-day dry cow feeding program — an initial faraway stage of 40 days, and followed by a 20/21-day close-up stage. As a result many metabolic […] 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

Calves in outdoor hutches will need extra feed, particularly during the coldest days of winter.

Hutch-housed calves need extra milk replacer in winter

There is a limit to how much cold that calves can handle

Despite the trend to build heated barns to raise young stock, there are still lots of outside hutches and cold barns to feed pre-weaned dairy calves. Many of these calves are raised solely on commercial milk replacer. As a dairy nutritionist, I review many of these milk replacer-feeding programs and make the necessary changes to […] Read more



A rendition, by Genitique, of the planned biomethanization plant to be built at Warwick, about 65 km southeast of Trois-Rivieres. (Groupe CNW/Energir)

Quebec ag co-op to power up on dairy cattle manure

About a dozen Quebec dairy farms will be getting their collective manure together next year for the province’s first-ever ag co-operative devoted to renewable natural gas. Coop Agri-Energie Warwick, launched Monday, plans to start construction this spring on a $12 million biomethanization plant which will take in slurry and manure from dairy cattle mixed with […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Cattle producers get longer phase-in on new transport regs

New federal livestock transport regulations, due to come into force in February, will now roll out on a longer timeline for the beef and dairy cattle sectors. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced a “two-year transition period” for bovines, which is meant to provide “time to gather more data on effective solutions concerning the […] Read more

Quebec OYF nominees, Simon Michaud and Mylene Bourque with their children Elliot, Laurence, Mathias and Jasmine. 

Canada’s OYF 2019: Quebec nominees

Re-design of a re-design gets dairy on track for Quebec farmers

Starting their own dairy farm hasn’t exactly been a smooth road for Simon Michaud and Mylene Bourque, but the young Quebec couple’s efforts to establish a productive and efficient farming operation in the heart of tourist country earned them recognition earlier this year as Quebec’s regional finalist for the Outstanding Young Farmer’s program. Born and […] Read more


File photo of cattle on Prince Edward Island. (COSPV/iStock/Getty Images)

P.E.I. to manage deadstock removal

Prince Edward Island’s latest provincial operating budget calls for its agriculture and land department to directly manage removal of deadstock for dairy and beef cattle producers. Finance Minister Darlene Compton’s 2019-20 operating budget, presented Tuesday, said the province will take over management of the deadstock contract “to reduce the administrative burden placed on the dairy […] Read more

Many dairy producers wonder how to save on feed costs without sacrificing milk and milkfat production.

A cost-effective diet for dairy cows

Dairy Corner: Feed and yardage costs add up, but production is optimized

Most dairy producers want to feed cost-effective diets to their high milk- (milkfat) producing cows. That’s a tall order, which is most often achieved by obtaining the best lactation diets, first as a formula on paper and blended into a TMR, then put in front of the cows. Finally, it’s up to them to eat […] Read more