GFM Network News


A new film highlights the role of beef production in conserving grasslands.

Cattle versus climate: Where’s the beef?

Livestock production’s environmental impact is complicated but if done right,
 it’s good for the planet, says author

It’s become accepted wisdom that cattle production is worse for the environment than gas-guzzling SUVs — but it’s not true. “We’re told over and over again that cattle are bad for the environment and, therefore, everybody should eat less beef,” said Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. “We’re […] Read more

Ask the right questions of your management consultant

Farmers can go online and get 10 different quotes for the same model of tractor — but that’s not so with hiring a farm business management consultant. “Farmers get frustrated when they look on the soft side of business — the management or consulting side — because they don’t know if they’re getting fair value,”[...]
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Native species are the Steady Eddies of forages — resilient and consistently able to contribute to performance even during 
extreme-weather years.

Native forages offer resilience against Mother Nature

Long-lived native forages complement tame forages nicely — but they have their own merits that make them more competitive than their tame counterparts

Native forages are making a comeback with cattle feeders who are looking for a way to work with — not against — Mother Nature. “Native species complement tame forages,” said federal research scientist Alan Iwaasa. “When used with tame species, native species have merit and can be used quite effectively if you have the land[...]
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Quarantined ranches don’t have the facilities to feed the hundreds of calves they expected to sell in the fall, so Alberta Beef Producers is trying to get permission to use — and then find — feedlots willing to take them.

Compensation promised for ranches under TB quarantine

Ottawa promises financial help while Alberta Beef Producers trying to arrange for feedlots to take in calves

Beleaguered ranchers with quarantined herds are getting some relief as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has approved a beef industry plan to allow calves to be sent to feedlots. “We’re working with the CFIA on the conditions and requirements,” said Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers. “Obviously, it would be hard to get[...]
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Six limiting factors in your soil that will make or break your operation

Without these six key ingredients, your soil — and your farm — could be in trouble

Farms and grazing operations — organic or otherwise — are only as good as their worst resource, according to Oregon-based grazier Abe Collins. “Soil is our primary infrastructure on the farm,” said Collins, who spoke at the recent Organic Alberta conference. “Biologically, chemically, and physically, you need to be looking at the limiting factors in[...]
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The lowdown on preconditioning calves

Preconditioned calves are healthier, grow faster, and grade higher — 
but can cow-calf producers make money on the practice?


Can you make money preconditioning feeder calves? The answer depends on whom you talk to. Attendees at a University of Calgary conference last month were told about an Indiana producer who pocketed an extra $80 per calf by preconditioning his animals. “The producer realized that the more days he preconditioned those calves, the more money[...]
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Tina Williams and Richard McConnell have learned that less is more when handling cattle

Proper stockmanship, the Bud Williams’ way

If you want to build trust in your cattle, apply the right kind of pressure on them and learn to take two steps back

Cow whisperer’ Bud Williams used to have a saying when he was working cattle: “Slow is fast and less is more.” Now, four years after his death, Bud’s daughter and son-in-law are carrying on that tradition by teaching proper stockmanship — the Bud Williams’ way. “Cattlemen have been led to believe that the only way[...]
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