GFM Network News


These two Barbadian farmers discuss the merits of an Angus bull at the Agrifest Agricultural Show in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Barbados aiming for self-sufficiency in food production

As the Caribbean island gears up its food production, the beef industry will be a key part of feeding the nation’s people

Barbados’s Agrofest is much like a rural Canadian fall fair. But at this three-day event, the country’s prime minister attends the first day. The country is working towards self-sufficiency in food production and Mia Amor Mottley, Barbados’s first woman prime minister, is a driving force behind that idea. Barbados, a Caribbean island 13 degrees north […] Read more

Dr. Annick Bertrand checks on the progress of cross-pollinated alfalfa plants selected for winter hardiness.

Creating a cold-tolerant alfalfa

Canadian scientists are pioneering new methods to speed development of more productive, cold-tolerant alfalfa varieties

Rows and rows of white metal cabinets resembling refrigerators line the basement of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre in Quebec City. In fact, they are plant growth chambers that contain bright grow lights and potted alfalfa plants at different stages of maturity. In another area of the building there is a large […] Read more


Fostering business relationships with grain farmers can give cattle producers access to residue and salvage crops.


Strategies for wintering your cattle herd

This fall, focus on nutrients instead of feeds. Feeds are just a means of delivering nutrients

With all the variable weather we had this year across Canada and the short winter feed supplies in some areas, producers need to solve the economic challenge of balancing the herd’s winter feed or nutrient supply when feed is short. “The problem with drought for Canadian beef producers often boils down to two options: buy […] Read more

Round bales can be stored under tarps to keep out moisture and reduce rot.

Managing forage in a dry year

Planning for drought needs to occur before drought arrives

Drought is normal in Western Canada and it is not going to go away. We just don’t know when the next drought will be, or how long it will last. “Drought affects two basic parts of the rancher’s business,” says Dr. Art Bailey, range science professor emeritus at the University of Alberta. “On the demand […] Read more


“We did not see any interaction between cattle RFI ranking and diet quality.” Dr. Hushton Block, Ag Canada, Lacombe, Alta.

Balancing your nutrients will pay off

Research looked at improving the economic and feed efficiency for beef cattle

Dr. Hushton Block, beef cattle nutritionist previously at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Bran­don Research Centre and now currently at Lacombe, is interested in finding ways of improving the economic and feed efficiency for beef cattle. One idea Block looked at deals with how beef cattle with better (lower) residual feed intake (RFI) react with […] Read more

Researcher Yousef Papadopoulos co-leads a team that is identifying cultivars capable of maintaining 30 per cent legume stands under managed grazing.

Forages targeted in Atlantic Canada

The Maritime beef industry is largely comprised of cow-calf operations that produce replacement heifers and market feeder calves. The Atlantic Beef Products plant in Albany, P.E.I., is the only federally inspected plant within the Atlantic region. With the projected growth of ABP, the plant will be anticipating an increased requirement of 10,000 additional feeders per […] Read more


A well-known promoter of high-quality forages, Dan Undersander is retiring this summer.

Dan Undersander’s thoughts on forages

Extension agronomist offers his tips on growing high-quality forages

Dan Undersander, a forage extension agronomist from the University of Wisconsin, is one of North America’s best known promoters of high-quality forages. I have known and worked with Undersander for many years and sometimes we would be on the same program. As he will be retiring this summer, I wanted to record some of his […] Read more

In his long career Shabtai Bittman has studied forage production right across Canada.

An ecological approach to forage research

Top AAFC research scientist shares his thoughts on growing forages

Dr. Shabtai Bittman, one of Canada’s top sustainable cropping systems research scientists at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre in Agassiz, B.C., says growing forages for hay and pasture is very different than growing grain crops. “With forages, we are dealing with perennial crops that are subject to encroachment from other grasses and from weeds, […] Read more


Cows need to be on a rising plane of nutrition after calving to conceive and rebreed  on time.

Post-calving nutrition determines next year’s success

Management: Your cow's nutritional regime will have a major influence on when and if it gets bred.

In some areas of Canada this has been a very difficult winter to be a cow-calf producer. With last summer’s drought and the current feed shortage in those areas, many producers are left pondering what to do. Barry Yaremcio, a nutrition specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Murray Feist a beef cattle nutritionist with […] Read more

Bobby Farias.

Ranching, Kauai style

The Kunoa cattle ranch runs 2,000 cow-calf pairs on 4,000 acres of grassland

In the rain shadow of one of the wettest spots in the world, at 39 feet of rain per year, is the Kunoa cattle ranch on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is one of the many ranches statewide that ship some 70,000 head of cattle each year to Canada and the U.S. mainland. However, […] Read more