GFM Network News


Dr. Nora Paulovich draws water from the dugout into a solar powered Kelln waterer on her family’s ranch. Freezing around the inlet has been a concern.

Winter water systems for cattle

Keeping livestock water ice-free can be a challenge during colder months. In some pastures water availability is also an issue. Dr. Nora Paulovich with the North Peace Applied Research Association (NPARA) in northern Alberta says her family ranch uses a system that brings water from a dugout into an insulated trough nearby. It uses a […] Read more

Low-stress weaning for calves

A less stressful weaning process makes for healthier calves

Weaning time has traditionally been traumatic for calves, mama cows and ranchers, but it doesn’t need to be. “There are better ways to wean calves, says Bart Lardner, a beef and forage research scientist at the University of Saskatchewan. “Abrupt weaning is the most stressful, for both the cow and calf. The question has been […] Read more


Extending fall and winter grazing

Crop residues are probably the most under­utilized source of winter grazing, says extension specialist

Extending the grazing season for cattle can help reduce production costs and there are various ways to increase forage production/utilization to ensure adequate fall grazing that can often be extended into winter. Lorne Klein, range management extension specialist, Ministry of Agriculture in Weyburn, Sask., says there are four sources of forage. “These are native prairie, […] Read more



Brian and Connie Chrisp with their grandchildren.

Make them pay their own way

That sort of sums up Brian Chrisp’s view on rearing purebred cattle

When Brian Chrisp went to college with plans of becoming a veterinarian, he didn’t think he would ever want to come back to the family farm near Vermilion, Alta. But life intervened. “While I was in college I switched course and got an ag economics degree at the University of Alberta. As graduation neared, I […] Read more

'If you are going to have problems, it will usually be when you first introduce cattle to that forage, so you need to know the nitrate levels and manage accordingly.'

Be prepared for nitrate problems in forages

High nitrite levels in cattle can literally see them 'starving for oxygen'

Nitrate levels in forages can sometimes be a problem for cattle. Depending on growing conditions, certain plants may accumulate too much nitrate to be safely fed to cattle unless those high-nitrate feeds can be diluted by mixing with other forages. Colby Elford, livestock and feed extension specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Moose Jaw, Sask., says it […] Read more


When should they go?

Make the best decision you can for the time

We all want to sell our cattle at the best times and in ways to make the most money, but just when is that. The short answer is, it depends. “Breeding can be easily scheduled — as a day on the calendar when you turn the bulls out with the cows,” says Joe Stookey, a […] Read more

Drylotting cows and calves is one way to hold onto your genetics during a drought.

Culling cattle for drought

Age is not the only factor you may need to consider

Many ranchers who tried to feed through a drought without selling cows have said they will never do it again. You can slip too far into debt borrowing money to buy feed in a bad year. It’s often better to sell early, before feed grows short and cow condition falls. But there are ways to […] Read more


The Olds Technical Access Centre aims to spark innovations that improve livestock production.

A Technical Access Centre for livestock production

Key industry issues focus on production efficiency, animal health and welfare and environmental sustainability

The Canadian government has been setting up a number of Technical Access Centre (TAC) research programs to aid several industrial sectors. The first TACs were created in 2011 as part of the College and Community Innovation Program. In September 2017, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced development of a series […] Read more

What’s best, grazing or haying, or both?

Depending on what you want from the land, and the level of production, you do have options

Grazing a piece of ground rather than haying it can have some advantages. Even irrigated pasture can be more productive than the same ground used for haying, especially with rotational grazing and good management. Irrigated pasture has high production potential and ability to regrow rapidly, especially if water is put back on it right after […] Read more