Latest articles


Be prepared for nitrate problems in forages

High nitrite levels in cattle can literally see them 'starving for oxygen'

Nitrate levels in forages can sometimes be a problem for cattle. Depending on growing conditions, certain plants may accumulate too much nitrate to be safely fed to cattle unless those high-nitrate feeds can be diluted by mixing with other forages. Colby Elford, livestock and feed extension specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Moose Jaw, Sask., says it […] Read more


Livestock producers allowed to cut hay, graze on Manitoba Crown lands

Areas will be temporarily open to assist producers impacted by dry conditions

Livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use due to dry conditions across parts of the province, Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. “Pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba have been greatly affected by low levels of […] Read more



Why baling hay and hot weather don’t mix

Uneven yields up the risk of mouldy, heated feed, while leaf loss increases when the temperature soars

This year is going to be a challenge deciding when to bale hay, says provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “With yield differences in a field, areas with a low yield will be dry and ready to bale while areas of that field with higher yield potential may need more time to dry and […] Read more


Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by […] Read more



The economics behind bale grazing

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

I started bale grazing in 1999 and have had many producers over the years thank me for sharing my bale grazing information with them. The usual comment is that they will never go back to the traditional method of feeding cattle. For me, bale grazing was a no-brainer once I looked at the cost savings. […] Read more


Bales of Hay

Stack bales properly to help maintain quality

Moisture is a bale's biggest enemy so give it room to breathe

When it comes to stacking bales, a little forethought can go a long way to ensuring a better product. “Storage losses from improperly stacked bales can be anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of the dry matter yield while protein and energy losses can be anywhere from five to 10 per cent,” said beef […] Read more



Get the most from weathered feed

Feed: News Roundup from the November 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Weather cut a harsh swath through winter feed supplies all across the country last month causing headaches for cattle producers who were scrambling to salvage what they could from the leavings. In Alberta early snow covered many acres of annual crops grown for greenfeed, raising concerns that it may not dry before it had to […] Read more


Back to bale grazing

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

A gross margin analysis will tell you the profitability of your different profit centres on your farm. My decision to choose one production practice over another is largely decided by the margin I calculate. It is, however, very important to include current market values in your calculations. Last year’s hay prices in my area are […] Read more



Cow chewing hay

Get hail-damaged crops tested before feeding to livestock

Doing a feed test ‘is much cheaper than losing an animal,’ says beef extension specialist

Hail damage this summer on the Prairie provinces is approaching an all-time high — and with many producers putting livestock on their ruined fields, the risk of nitrate poisoning is also shooting up. So be sure to do a feed test first, said a beef extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “A feed test […] Read more


A drought-damaged corn stand

Do you have enough cattle feed this winter?

You may have more than you think

We will always have to face drought. It’s inevitable. This past year is no exception. The biggest question you need to ask yourself as a cow-calf operator is, “DO I HAVE ENOUGH FEED TO GET THROUGH THE WINTER?” You need to take an inventory of your stored feed and then calculate backwards to see how […] Read more