GFM Network News

With reduced grass growth early in the season, cattle explore and can get into things.

Lots to consider as cattle head to pasture

Provide important treatments before they go, monitor herd health while they are away

There are many things to think about at pasture turnout time. Once they’re gone to grass, cattle are not always accessible, easy to find or treat so planning is necessary before turnout. One has to think about what things cattle will be exposed to on pasture and which age groups are most susceptible. Depending on […] Read more

Hay prices skyrocket as Prairie drought continues

MarketsFarm — Hay prices have continued to skyrocket across the Prairies as conditions remain dry enough that many hay growers won’t produce a first cut this spring. “We’ve had a tough start here,” said Darren Chapman, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “We had a cold, dry spring with frost, so first cut […] Read more

In this swath grazing experiment, yearlings working their way 
across a paddock where Phalaris was swathed while it was growing, 
with some green regrowth as well.

Testing swath grazing in Australia

The climate is totally different, but the season is the same

Editor’s Note: Keep in mind seasons in Australia are reversed: spring — September to November; summer — December to February; autumn — March to May, and winter — June to August.  Most graziers, at least in Western Canada, equate swath grazing to images of cows with snow on their back line and with frozen muzzle […] Read more

Ben Stewart talks to farm tour members about an annual forage seeding including triticale and forage brassicas that will be cut for swath grazing.

Species diversity is key to year-round grazing

Annual seedings provide important support to perennial pastures

Ben Stewart believes in using a diverse mix of annual, biannual and perennial forages in his summer pasture and winter feeding program to improve rates of gain on his cattle, reduce winter feeding costs and improve soil health. The fact that he also works with a company that sells forage seed might make him a […] Read more

Cattle gathered at a feed trough in southern Sask. on Sept. 2, 2018.

Cattle can make a pretty good ‘weatherman’

Penchecker's Diary: Don’t be afraid to believe some folklore, intangibles or observations

In this day and age we hear so much about fake news and conspiracy theories, from politics to business and even religion. They have become a part of our everyday life. And depending on what type of person we are, we often logically dismiss almost everything we hear as preposterous. I sometimes wonder if we […] Read more

Drought’s effects linger on Prairies

CNS Canada — After a dry growing season last year in Western Canada, effects of the drought are still evident with news that most livestock producers won’t be doing a second cut of hay. “Pastures and hay fields didn’t get the moisture that they needed to really recharge over that winter period and get a […] Read more

Pasture management should include two steps (plus one) — growing it, grazing it and at certain times of the year, not grazing it.

A two-step (plus) grazing plan

Use the grass, but don’t abuse it — allow for recovery time

Often I see people’s eyes glaze over and a sense of disconnect when talking about grazing plans — surely after caring for cattle all winter, we can just turn them out in the spring and go round them up in the fall. Like most of agriculture now, the pressure for returns on a land base […] Read more