GFM Network News


Brian Cunningham’s bison on pasture near Pigeon Lake, Alta.

Feed Watch: June 24, 2019

A look at growing conditions for forage and feed across the Prairies and Ontario

Some areas in Western Canada welcomed rain recently. But overall, the Prairies are facing a 200-millimetre moisture deficit, Environment Canada estimates. To turn around the growing season, timing of rain is at least as important as volume, Marlo Glass reports in MarketsFarm. Drought-stricken areas will need a rainy day every week or 10 days throughout […] Read more

Brad Welter speaks to radio reporter Jack Dawes and Kevin Hursh during a Sask Farm Writer Association media tour on June 8.

Feed Watch: June 17, 2019

A look at growing conditions in the Prairies and Ontario

This spring, many agricultural regions across Canada have faced a Goldilocks scenario with rain — most have received either too much or too little, with very few getting it just right. For many beef producers and feedlot operators, that will mean finding alternative feed supplies. Brad Welter, president of Pound-Maker Ag Ventures, is all too […] Read more



(Photo top) A pilot project for adapting a U.S. grassland protocol to Canada will run at 10 sites in Western Canada. The protocol will aim to prevent conversion of grassland to cropland.  Photo credit: Lisa Guenther  |  (Photo bottom) Wild pig numbers are growing rapidly in Canada, which could have serious implications for agriculture.  Photo credit: Ryan Brook

Coming up in Canadian Cattlemen: June 2019

From wild pigs to foot rot, you’ll find it in the June 10 issue of the magazine

As beef producers spend time on the land this summer, they may see signs of unwelcome visitors. I’m not talking about trespassers, at least not the human kind. I’m talking about the growing population of wild pigs. Piper Whelan, our field editor, has interviewed Saskatchewan researcher Ryan Brook on the pigs’ spread and what it […] Read more



One issue with the Navigation Protection Act is that it expands the definition of a navigable waterway.

Comment: New legislation may be coming to a creek near you

You may never look at a spring creek the same way once you’ve learned about the proposed amendments to the Navigation Protection Act, which were introduced as part of Bill C-69 in February 2018. A Senate committee has been holding public hearings on the bill this spring. The Navigation Protection Act ensures people can travel […] Read more


The permit delays affect both beef and dairy genetics.

Canadian livestock genetics exporters face delays in export permit renewal to China

Diplomatic channels being explored to help resolve the issue

Canadian livestock genetics exporters are waiting to see whether China’s delays in renewing export licences are another casualty of political conflict between the two countries. China has yet to renew export licences for Alta Genetics and Semex, which expired in late 2018. The Canadian genetics exporters deal in dairy and beef genetics. Both companies have […] Read more

By deferring grazing until later in the year, producers can use cattle to reseed sainfoin stands.


Tips for managing sainfoin in your forage stand

Keeping sainfoin populations high beyond five years is a challenge

Sometimes what’s old is new again. That certainly holds true for sainfoin as forage breeders release new varieties designed for today’s beef and forage operations. Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume native to Europe and western Asia. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) released varieties such as Melrose and Nova in the 1970s and ’80s. But these […] Read more


Comment: The trouble with science

From the April 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

To me, one of the most interesting aspects of working in agriculture is the ongoing research and the way that research is applied in the field (or the corral). There’s a good deal of science behind many of the products beef producers use regularly, whether it’s vaccines or new forage varieties. There’s science behind many […] Read more

The latest version of the Canada Food Guide suggests Canadians should consume more plant-based foods, and less meat and dairy. But with each person’s dietary needs being different based on age and gender, how should this be applied in a practical way?

Comment: Canada’s New Food Guide short on nuance

Canada’s Food Guide dropped earlier this winter, and there were some significant changes. While some revisions are positive, details are hard to find. I doubt anyone would argue with the food guide’s advice to regularly consume vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein. Nor does its recommendations to cook more often or enjoy your food seem […] Read more