GFM Network News


Matching economics with reality on the ranch

Matching economics with reality on the ranch

As Laura and Grant Smith expand their cow-calf operation, they’re applying what they learned from Ranching for Profit to decisions ranging from buying cows to grazing plans

Grant and Laura Smith own and operate Brush Hills Ranch near Bentley, Alta. The couple ran an oil and gas service company for 14 years, but recently sold their share of the business and expanded their cow-calf operation from 25 to 180 head, while also adding a small heifer development program. “We have a real […] Read more

AgriProfit$ key indicators for cow-calf operations are referred to as GOLD: Growth (weaning weight), Open (rate), Length (of calving period) and Death (losses).

Measuring production and profitability in beef production

An enterprise analysis can help steer your farm or ranch towards profitability

Variations of the “need to measure to improve management” quote are staples of business and industry mission statements and dogma throughout all sectors of the globe. Ranch and farm operations are not exempt from this appraisal. AgriProfit$ measures performance For 35 years, producers in Alberta have had access to the AgriProfit$ Business Analysis and Research […] Read more


Dallas Mount believes understanding both the ecology and economics of livestock production can help these operations thrive.

The economics of livestock and grass

Dallas Mount helps beef producers dial in their business practices, while also taking care of the land

Livestock farms and ranches can slowly become stale enterprises with owners satisfied to view them simply as infrastructure supporting a way of raising a family. Conceding to this long-term mediocrity is a dangerous stance for many operations. Dallas Mount of the Wyoming-based Ranch Management Consultants (RMC) is in the business of helping ranchers transition from […] Read more

The Livestock Price Insurance Program is offering an expanding buying and settlement window for cow-calf producers.

The ins and outs of stomach tubing calves

New calves in distress or having trouble nursing can still get their first colostrum by tubing, giving them a better shot at good health

Finding a newborn calf too weak to stand or in distress is all too common. Without intervention, calves in this condition will likely die. It doesn’t have to end that way according to Dr. Melissa Wallace of Livestock Veterinary Services, Picture Butte, Alta. Vulnerable calves can receive their first colostrum by tubing, essentially jump-starting health […] Read more


Infrastructure needs to be operational, keeping animals and people safe, no matter the task.

Weighing the value of permanent and portable livestock handling facilities

Functional equipment makes it easier to practice good stockmanship and keep people safe, whether the facilities are portable or stationary

For some cattle producers, the choice of permanent or portable handling facilities is never considered. Feedlots and grow yards require a permanent infrastructure due to the number of cattle worked daily in a specific location. Sizeable cow-calf owners also require a structure to handle both the larger cows and the smaller calves. But with operation […] Read more

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