GFM Network News


Three mixers at the Ag in Motion field demonstrations in 2018, north of Saskatoon, Sask.

Matching a TMR machine to a livestock operation

When choosing a machine, start with the feed type going into the ration, then look at the features

Total mixed ration (TMR) mixers have become a fixture on feedlots, dairies and mixed farms. They are the “must have” machines to process, mix and deliver multiple variations of feed to the livestock industry. These heavy-duty blenders have improved feeding efficiency and provide exacting energy requirements without sacrificing the physical characteristics needed for proper rumen […] Read more

Handling cattle is a physical act that requires handlers to constantly assess changing risks, says Reg Steward.

The health and safety shield of stockmanship

By making good stockmanship a regular practice, producers can reduce risk to themselves, their families and their workers

A standard of Canada’s manufacturing plants and production facilities is safety programs, work processes and procedures designed to keep equipment running and workers safe. Farms and ranches are not immune to accidents or incidents, nor to regulation and litigation, but continue to lag behind the modern world’s pursuit of this benchmark. “Health and safety roles […] Read more


While cost likely limits the market for self-propelled balers, they do push computerization, Adam Verner says.

Balers evolving to make silage and run non-stop

Given the short haying windows, Adam Verner sees growth potential for wet hay and silage balers. But manufacturers still face challenges around speed, bale density and cost

The earliest round balers were amazing but frustrating machines. During forage season, I would exhibit a semi-permanent crick in the neck combined with a disturbing vocabulary of profanities. Constant fear of a plugged pickup, a twisted belt or a roller bearing displaying the telltale signs of smoke before the fire plagued my working days. These […] Read more

The Dycks funnel cows and calves down an alley to a split, where calves go under a half-gate.

Bringing water and cattle together

This ranching family has created water hubs in their pastures to support rotational grazing

Sometimes a western Canadian rancher is faced with two things that just don’t seem to mesh or come together. It can become an “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go the mountain” type of scenario. For Perry Dyck, owner and operator of Triangle D Land and Cattle Ltd. of Hanley, […] Read more


A glimpse of the livestock handling demonstrations at Ag in Motion in 2019.  Livestock Central has moved online for 2020.

Eight tips for efficient, safe livestock handling systems

If you’re in the market for a new handling system, consider safety, footing and how the system will be used

The basic purpose of a livestock chute and handling system is to hold, sort, direct, position, control and treat. If designed properly, the system will reduce operator handling time and effort, minimize animal injury and stress, plus allow anyone using it to do so safely. 1. Decide what is needed First, it is important to […] Read more

Using feed bunks ensures cattle consume the highest-quality portions of the plants.

Running the numbers on bale processors

Research shows that bale processors can increase digestibility and cut feed waste, especially if used in the right system

When I was growing up, if someone had mentioned the words “bale processor,” I would have assumed they were describing my twice-daily task of manually transporting heavy square bales from the stack through herds of playful cattle intent on destroying them before they reached their destination. The processing part was snapping the sisal twine and […] Read more


Lee Carpenter answers questions about his mixed farming operation, during the Saskaskatchewan Forage Council’s pasture tour near Hanley, Sask.

Saskatchewan producers reap benefits of silage crops

After a dry year, these Hanley-area producers are banking on silage to help winter the herd

Moisture levels through spring and summer were plentiful in some areas of Western Canada, but in south-central Saskatchewan, Mother Nature was stingy with the rain when it was needed the most. That put even more emphasis on potential yields and benefits of silage crops for two Hanley-area operations. Perry Dyck is owner and president of […] Read more

Stock dogs are an important part of Ken MacKenzie’s ranching operation.

Help Wanted: Four-legged livestock handler

Stock dogs ease the work load for beef producer Ken MacKenzie

At times, work on the farm and ranch appears never-ending, so when something comes along to make things easier, it’s usually worth a second look. Ken MacKenzie of Drayton Valley, Alta., has a solution to this labour dilemma as he has been raising border collies and using them around his ranch for years. “As a […] Read more


When roping calves during processing, ropers should be experienced and consistent.

Tapping into animal behaviour while processing calves

Cattle handlers must be willing to learn from experience and the knowledge of others

With calving season coming to a close for many producers, it is time to plan an efficient and safe branding and processing day for the calves. It is important that cows and calves are handled calmly and with as little stress as possible to reduce negative impacts on their health and productivity, plus make the […] Read more

Negotiating a workable pasture rental agreement

A variety of factors can make pasture rental rates difficult to calculate

There are many considerations when renting or leasing pasture for cattle. What is the fair and proper way to decide on a payment method? Should there be other considerations such as a drought clause included in case of a dry year? What about fencing and insurance costs? Who should be responsible for the care and […] Read more