GFM Network News

Farmer walking toward combine.

Tim Lehrbass traded his combine for cattle

Ontario grower decides to graze cattle on his cash crop

Tim Lehrbass was just like any other Ontario farm kid, taking farm cues from his family and doing things the way things needed to be done and, in many ways, the way things had always been done. “I started out cash cropping,” he told a crowd at the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association annual conference […] Read more

More than 1.2 million acres are infested with leafy spurge in Manitoba alone, with an annual estimate loss of over $40 million.

Spurge purge tests bovine palates

Goats and sheep can eat leafy spurge. Can cattle be trained to do the same?

Like a parent convincing kids to eat their vegetables because they’re good for them, Jane Thornton is trying the same approach with getting cattle to eat leafy spurge. “Contrary to popular belief, leafy spurge is a very nutritious plant, comparable to alfalfa in quality,” Thornton says. “If cattle can become accustomed to eating leafy spurge […] Read more

cattle on a pasture

Grass guys developing a forage carbon offset protocol

Forages: News Roundup from the February 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cedric MacLeod considers carbon sequestration through forages and grasslands and the soils they grow in as a long overdue, up-until-now-grossly-underplayed chit that Canada’s grass and forage producers can finally throw down and claim proper ownership on. “Our members grow forage, many run livestock and most plant annual crops too,” says MacLeod, executive director of the […] Read more

Everyone got a chance to put their new low-stress techniques to work during the one-day workshop.

Cattle handling clinic connects in Manitoba

Cattle Care: News Roundup from the December 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Raising cattle on Canada’s prairies is often a family business that requires all hands on deck working together for the best results. This necessary cohesion is never more evident than during cattle-handling times that can be stressful for cattle and pressure-packed for cattle handlers. The human-animal communication and tactics of handlers are always key factors[...]
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Unlike the table-flat Red River Valley to the east, western Manitoba has a range of elevations such as these along the Birdtail River.

Fighting floods and drought — with grass

Manitoba’s forage group is leading a project which will allow more control of water on the landscape

Floods one year, drought the next. As we’ve seen this year, it’s a fact of life for residents of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but a project led by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) may help reduce the extremes. It’s being conducted by Aquanty, a Waterloo, Ont. company that has developed a HydroGeoSphere (HGS)[...]
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The Batt-Latch can utilize solar power to release cattle onto new grazing without human intervention.

On-farm grass solutions embrace the sun and energy efficiencies

A few small changes can really add up 
to greater efficiency over time

Many of Manitoba’s agricultural producers are embracing common-sense, energy-efficient, low carbon footprint mechanisms on everything from watering and fencing systems to forage crops. Some, like the Circle H Farms, openly rely on sunshine and the power that the sun provides on numerous fronts, including allowing cattle access to grazing. “Our solar-powered Batt-Latches allow us to[...]
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Bruce Coulman

Dryland grass breeding in the Canadian Prairies

Bruce Coulman is a professor at the plant sciences department in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan. He has helped develop and register 22 forage cultivars through research programs at the University of Saskatchewan and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Highlights include the development of AC Grazeland, a bloat-reduced alfalfa, and[...]
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Silverbend Ranch

Silverbend Ranch shines again

Forages and livestock restore health to a badly eroded farm in Manitoba

The moon shines on the bend in the meandering Assiniboine River and reflects a shimmering silver glimmer that illuminates the lush riverside and well up the gently sloped hill toward the farmhouse. Thus the name Silverbend Ranch, or so the story goes. But while the moon may glisten at night, things weren’t always so shiny[...]
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