GFM Network News


The sustainability pilot has generated a lot of interest with buyers of beef.

Cattle producers can now take beef sustainability to the bank

Raising ‘certified sustainable’ beef earns producers a premium and McDonald’s is going all in

Four years after McDonald’s chose Canada to launch its landmark sustainable beef initiative, some producers and feedlots are happily cashing cheques for participating in that effort. And while the amounts so far have been fairly small, it’s a big plus for producers, say participants. “We started on that journey because we thought it was important […] Read more

U.S. cattle official says Trump has been good for agriculture

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the U.S. president is ‘getting a lot of stuff done for agriculture’

When it comes to agriculture, President Donald Trump is doing a crackerjack job, says a senior official with the top U.S. cattle association. “If you listen to the media, it’s nothing but conversations about Russia, South Korea and the overall general hatred for people who just don’t like Donald Trump,” said Colin Woodall, senior vice-president […] Read more


Three things cattle producers need for herd health

If they're not already in place, antimicrobials, traceability, and biosecurity should be on your to-do list

There are things that beef producers need to look out for in the coming months when it comes to herd health and biosecurity. “We do know that there are changes in play that will require all medically important antimicrobials to become prescription only,” said Rob McNabb, general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Some medically […] Read more

Microbiome research an important step in beef cattle research

Cattle’s internal microbiome another place where diseases develop

Microbiome research could help answer a lot of questions about respiratory and liver abscess disease. The microbiome, a collection of bacteria, could be another place where diseases develop. “When we’re talking about respiratory diseases, a lot of the bugs that cause respiratory disease are there all the time,” Beef Cattle Research Council science director Reynold […] Read more


‘Change’ is the watchword in a warming world, says researcher

Longer summers and milder winters sound nice, but even the pluses come with some negatives

How will the Canadian cattle industry fare if global temperatures continue to rise? Count a reduced feed demand, a longer grazing season, and higher forage production among the benefits — but also expect more extreme weather, pests, and transport headaches, according to University of Manitoba research scientist Kim Ominski. “We know the future of our […] Read more

CRSB moving ‘verified sustainable beef’ forward

McDonald’s headline-grabbing pilot is over, but the effort to boost the cattle industry’s environmental and welfare credentials continues

It won’t happen in a hurry, but the effort to create a Canadian ‘verified sustainable’ beef brand is moving along and will reach an important milestone by the end of the year. When McDonald’s Canada ended its groundbreaking sustainable beef pilot project last year, the torch was passed to an industry initiative called the Canadian […] Read more


BSE lawsuit aims for a trial date in 2017

$8-billion class-action suit says Ottawa should have done more

It’s been more than a decade since it started, but a class-action suit against the federal government for damages incurred as a result of BSE could be going to trial by the end of the year. “We had the first round of discoveries for 2015 and various questions arose from that, that there were outstanding […] Read more

Deadly cattle condition called fog fever returns to the Prairies

Cases of fog fever, a type of pneumonia that causes severe cattle mortality, 
have been recently diagnosed in Alberta

Fog fever — a condition that causes cattle to suddenly drop dead — has returned to Alberta and Saskatchewan. “Fog fever isn’t extremely common” said Nathan Erickson, a veterinarian and assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan. “Some of these old diseases, we start forgetting about them because we’ve managed our way out of them. […] Read more


Joyce Van Donkersgoed demonstrates processing techniques to students from Olds College.


Get rid of your cattle if they’re getting too big

Heavier cattle — particularly ones with small frames — can develop 
feet problems, especially if they suffer heat stress

Don’t keep big, fat cattle around because it could increase animal welfare problems. Animal welfare icon Temple Grandin has recently been sounding alarms about more lameness in beef cattle and part of that is related to heavier weights and genetics. “There are certain genetic lines of beef cattle that are repeating a mistake the pig […] Read more

Unlike swathed fields, nitrate levels in hailed-out crops can continue to rise and that increases 
the risk of nitrate poisoning.

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