GFM Network News


A Redekop MAV Straw Chopper mounted to a Claas Lexion combine.

Residue management innovations from Redekop, New Holland, Case IH

The latest straw chopper technologies offer increased spreader widths, finer cuts, more efficiencies and in-cab controls

For farmers who practice low-till or no-till, residue management is essential. “We’re leaving a lot more residue on the field and that residue brings some benefits because it traps moisture and reduces erosion,” explains Trevor Thiessen, president and co-owner of Redekop Manufacturing in Saskatoon. “If straw is not chopped finely and spread evenly, it can […] Read more

Are you losing money when selling bales? Consider the alternatives.

Sixteen reasons why grain growers should never sell crop residues

Read this article and you’ll never sell baled straw again

Could it be the last straw or the straw that broke the camel’s back? If you grow lentils, peas, canola, dry beans, fava beans, soybeans or grain corn, it’s normal practice to harvest the grain and leave the combined residue on the cropland. There are exceptions when some of the aforementioned crops may be baled. […] Read more


Many farms across Western Canada will likely be dealing with a certain amount of mouldy feed that can be fed in small amounts if blended off with better quality feed.

Vitti: Options for including mouldy feed in rations

Know what you have and blend it off with the good stuff


This year, not many people harvested and stored good-quality hay on the northern Prairies. A cool spring and droughty summer capped by a couple of feet of autumn snow forced many producers to harvest thousands of mouldy hay bales. For many, this is their only forage supply to overwinter beef cows. Fortunately, we can set […] Read more

The CFR1251 Bale Pro built by Highline Manufacturing is capable of processing up to three bales in a single ration, allowing it to take larger feed loads out to herds.

Highline CFR 1251 built to speed up processing

Highline model offers speed when blending hay, straw and grain rations

Winter feed costs make up the bulk of animal input costs on the prairie, so blending forage of different qualities into a ration can help stretch feed stocks and provide the right blends at the right time. The marketing staff at Highline Manufacturing of Vonda, Saskatchewan, believes their CFR1251 Bale Pro processor can help producers […] Read more


When you sell straw or hay off your farm, have you ever considered the fate of the nutrients contained in the hay or straw?

Selling nutrients: the last straw

Practical Research: How to degrade productive cropland by selling the nutrients after the harvest season

Sandy soil areas are not uncommon on the Canadian Prairies, especially west and north of Edmonton, my home area. It made me wince when I saw endless lines of wheat straw bales on countless sandy fields this fall. Technically speaking, straw should never be sold on any kind of cropland unless there is a very […] Read more

Suggestions for balanced winter rations for beef cattle

Use available feedstuffs to their best advantage

Good-quality forage for beef cows is in short supply this winter and the price of grain is still relatively expensive across Western Canada. The good news is well-balanced rations still can be put together for late-gestation beef cows to prepare them for a good calving season. This is a good reminder I received recently, when […] Read more


With proper supplements, straw can make a good winter ration.

Building beef cattle diets using some straw

Keeping cows properly fed while reducing costs

First came the drought, then through September and early October a foot of snow, a weekend of autumn and finally winter. Not exactly the best weather for harvesting good-quality forage and grain for most beef cattle. At least we had a return to good fall conditions by mid-October. Fortunately, what grain that was taken off […] Read more

Stripper headers have a rearward-rotating rotor fitted in front of the header.

Stripper headers an alternative for dry regions

Headers offer improved combine performance and soil moisture retention

While there are many options when it comes time to harvest a crop, for some farmers, stripper headers are the only choice. Designed with rotating teeth that lift grain into the combine and leave straw in the field, stripper headers are perfect for harvesting cereals, grass seed and rice, according to Adam Whitaker, product specialist at the U.K.-based […] Read more


Calves are comfortable on good bedding, 
even on cold days.

Proper bedding keeps calves warm and dry

Straw and windbreaks can help get calves through poor spring weather

This spring has been less than ideal for calving. In west-central Saskatchewan we’ve had record cold temperatures with wind and snow, and the wet weather is just around the corner. Calves born in these conditions often show the effects with frozen ears and feet — that’s if you can keep them alive in the first […] Read more

Klassen: Feedlots struggle through adverse weather

Western Canadian yearling prices experienced a week-over-week decline of $5-$8 with some pockets deteriorating $10 to as much as $12. Adverse weather in southern Alberta has resulted in limited buying interest from main feedlot operators. Feedlot Alley has received 150-200 per cent of normal precipitation over the past 60 days. Snow and rain, along with […] Read more