GFM Network News


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. Decide what you need in a handling system before you buy.

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

A fair rental rate balances renter and landlord interests, while maintaining the health of the grass and allowing efficient use.

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


Castration can be one of the most stressful and painful experiences for livestock.

Castration tips and pain control

Better to castrate bull calves at a younger age, otherwise growth can be affected

There are numerous reasons for bull calf castration beyond reducing sexual activity and reproduction. Bulls are naturally aggressive and so castration becomes necessary for the herd’s welfare and the protection of those that work with them. Bulls exhibit a lower-quality, inconsistent, tougher, less marbled carcass than steers. They also deliver a much larger number of […] Read more

Researchers found that exit and flight speed from chutes are reliable indicators of temperament. Heifers generally score higher in exit speeds.

Behaviour temperament scoring in replacement heifers

Different scoring systems have included chute, gait, exit and flight speed

Due to consumers’ perpetual concerns regarding animal welfare, producers are displaying a renewed interest in the study of temperament behaviour in beef cattle. Producers are also searching for legitimate technology and data to keep them on the cutting edge in their operational and financial decisions. They face more and more studies out of universities and […] Read more