GFM Network News


Grazing behaviour checked by GPS and pedometers did not differ significantly for high- and low-RFI females in this trial.

Do RFI ratings predict cattle performance on pasture?

In a word, no

Producers often wonder if genetic markers for feed efficiency based on drylot tests reflect feed efficiency on pasture where terrain, water sources and plant diversity are very different from a pen setting. Genetic markers for residual feed intake (RFI) have been identified that correlate well with actual RFI determined during the standard trials in pens […] Read more

Oscar Lopez Campos explains the potential for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

X-ray beef grading

Developed by researchers to quickly estimate 
carcass composition, it could some day usher in 
robotic cutting into beef processing plants

Five years, 334 beef carcasses, 212 pork carcasses and 155 lamb car­cas­ses later, the meat science team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Can­ada’s Lacombe Research and Development Centre has proof that dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technology is capable of accurately estimating carcass composition. DXA units might best be described as oversized scanners. Their use in […] Read more


First EPDs for udder and teat conformation in the works

Angus herds studied for desirable traits to improve genetic selection

That first feeding of colostrum invariably charts the course for a calf’s future success and profitability. Knowing that the dam’s udder and teat structure is important to a successful first feeding Kajal Devani, is aiming to improve the genetic selection for improved mammary conformation in Canadian Angus cattle. Devani, who is the Canadian Angus Association’s […] Read more

Certified Sustainable Beef

The framework that puts oomph behind the words

The Certified Sustainable Beef Frame­­work released December 7 by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is the set of documents that Canadian beef producers and primary processors will be able to follow to prove their operations are sustainable, chart improvement through the years, and help consumers sort out questions about sustainability. Backing up a […] Read more


Blair and Stephanie McIntosh started their Simmental herd in 2003 with six cows, one heifer and a bull.

Stay balanced

Building a seedstock business from scratch

Anyone who raises cattle knows the work is never done, it just changes with the seasons. Raising breeding stock takes that commitment to another level with registrations, shows, and sale preparations often colliding with the start of a new calving season. Despite all of the extras involved, Blair and Stephanie McIntosh knew from the get-go […] Read more

Mike Schellenberg and Alan Iwaasa are evaluating the impact of polycrop mixtures on grazing capacity and soil health in the semi-arid prairie.

Seeking plants with polyculture potential

Choose your species wisely to avoid unintended results

When producers discuss the benefits of growing annual polycultures, also known as multi-species mixes or crop cocktails, the talk often revolves around soil-health and environmental improvements, often­­­times taking forage production for granted. Of course, production does occur, but yield and feed quality may be disappointing if the species chosen target soil problems rather than forage […] Read more



Will more cattle data really mean more cash?

Three feedlot operators offer their take on what technology has to offer

Technology has advanced so quickly during the past decade that even young feedlot operators can reminisce about times when a long day’s work at the family feedyard involved boxes of index cards, drawers of file folders and buckets full of chop. The question of the day for a panel of three producers at the 2017 […] Read more


The Hagan families of Virden, Man., (l to r): Erin, Alistair, Slade and Harley-Mae, Shawne and Jocelyn, Thomas, Rory and Felicity accepting the National Blue-winged Teal Award.

Conservation fits the growth plan for the Hagan family ranches

The Hagan families of Virden, Man., were pleasantly surprised this summer to hear that they had not only been nominated by Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation for the prestigious National Blue-winged Teal Award, but had been chosen by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee as this year’s recipient. The award is presented annually through Environment […] Read more

Andrea Stroeve-Sawa is the manager of Shipwheel Cattle Feeders near Taber, Alta.

She’s the boss now

Management: Andrea Stroeve-Sawa is the manager of Shipwheel Cattle Feeders

She can’t say she’s surprised when people walk over and ask if the boss is around. After all the feedlot sector is dominated by male operators, but Andrea Stroeve-Sawa couldn’t be prouder as the fourth generation to carry on the Shipwheel brand to say, “you’re talking to her.” She admits that it was a little […] Read more