GFM Network News


Dried distiller grains are an excellent source of crude protein and intermediate to excellent sources of energy.

Are byproduct feeds the answer to a limited feed supply?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

In my last column, I addressed the use of low-quality roughages in wintering rations. That column was prompted by widespread drought across Western and Central Canada. Recent rains have helped alleviate dry conditions; however, they have not mitigated impending feed shortages. As a result, producers continue to scramble for winter feed, with many looking to […] Read more




There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a mineral for your cattle.

Navigating the commercial mineral market for livestock

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Are you looking for a mineral this spring and summer? If so, be prepared to navigate through an array of commercial options. Differences exist in the concentration of the macro and trace minerals, in vitamin content, the presence or absence of salt, anti-caking and fly control technology and in suggested daily consumption targets. Unfortunately, when […] Read more


Supplementing minerals on pasture — a necessary evil!

Supplementing minerals on pasture — a necessary evil!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Hopefully, as you read this article, “spring has sprung” and pastures across the country are showing signs of early growth. For cow-calf operators, the arrival of spring signifies the transition from winter feeding to a new grazing season. Spring pasture growth is considered an excellent forage source for meeting the nutritional requirements of lactating cows, […] Read more

Choosing an appropriate mineral can help ensure the health and productivity of cattle on pasture.

Getting the most out of your grass cattle

Nutrition with John McKinnon

As this issue comes to print, we are likely 40 to 60 days away from turning yearlings out to grass. The vast majority of these animals are last year’s calves weaned in the fall or early winter. If we examine how these animals are overwintered, two different management approaches are evident. The first is to […] Read more



Late gestation rations for cows

Late gestation rations for cows

Nutrition with John McKinnon

As I write this column, 2020 is finally in the rear-view mirror. I am sure that I am not alone in hoping that 2021 brings better days and in particular an end to this pandemic that has had such a personal and economic impact on the lives of Canadians. Despite this disruption to normal life, […] Read more


In recent years, consumers have developed a heightened awareness regarding the source of their food, how it’s produced and its environmental impact.

Giving credit where credit is due

Nutrition with John McKinnon

If one were to take a poll of Canadian ranchers regarding their favourite restaurant, my guess is that A&W still would not rank particularly high. A lot of this animosity dates back to the natural beef campaign the company ran over the last five years. Many beef producers felt that this campaign, while extorting the […] Read more

In addition to ensuring the right “feeding situation,” there are several other important considerations when using urea as a protein source.

Revisiting the use of urea as a protein supplement

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Many of you will have noticed that calf prices have been under pressure this fall in part due to higher than expected feed prices. Both feed grains and many traditional protein sources (i.e. distillers grains, pulse screenings, commercial supplements) are trading at prices higher than a year ago. In the face of higher protein prices, […] Read more