GFM Network News


E. coli bacteria.

Do cattle bacteria contribute to antibiotic resistance in human medicine?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

E. coli live in the digestive tracts of warm-blooded animals and birds. Most are harmless, some are beneficial and some (such as E. coli O157:H7) can be very dangerous. E. coli are also involved in antibiotic resistance. “Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing” (or ESBL) E. coli are a major concern in human medicine. These bacteria are resistant […] Read more

Cattle need nearly three times as much oxygen as a similar-sized horse just to stay awake and lie around.

Everything old is new again – treating chronic mycoplasma

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Cattle were ideally created (or evolved) to consume and digest high fibre diets. Whoever (or whatever) was responsible for designing the rumen so elegantly probably should have paid more attention to the respiratory tract. The design of the bovine respiratory tract makes it easy for BRD bacteria such as Mannheimia, Pasteurella, Histophilus and Mycoplasma to […] Read more


As beef producers gained more appreciation for the value of industry-funded research, some provincial groups began allocating more checkoff dollars to the BCRC.

The evolution of the Beef Cattle Research Council

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

This column usually features research projects funded by the BCRC. This month is a bit of a higher-level view of some of the BCRC’s other activities. Canada’s cattle and beef producers pay the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off that supports the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canada Beef’s domestic and international marketing activities and the Canadian Cattlemen’s […] Read more

Vaccines are an important part of a preventative herd health program, but they aren’t a silver bullet.

An(other) ounce of prevention

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

My first fire drill in Grade 1 was absolute chaos, screaming and panic as we all circled the teacher, who was likely wondering how our parents had managed to keep us alive this long. By Grade 3, we yawned and strolled to the nearest door. Fire drills teach kids what to do when there’s no […] Read more


Beef is a good fit in Canadian diets. It may even qualify as a superfood.

Will the real superfood please stand up?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

“Superfood” is a marketing (not medical or scientific) term used to describe foods with perceived health benefits because of exceptional nutritional properties. Google “superfood” and you’ll see numerous lists claiming health benefits for foods such as broccoli, legumes, nuts, salmon, eggs, kale, beans, spinach, and trendy new things like acai or goji berries that marketers […] Read more

Corn silage in backgrounding diets for cattle

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Recent columns indicated that corn’s potential to produce 50 per cent higher silage (and starch) yields than barley may offset its 30 per cent higher growing costs, provided the right corn hybrid is selected for the local growing conditions, and provided growing conditions co-operate. The higher starch content of corn silage also means that feedlot […] Read more


Where does short-season corn fit?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Statistics Canada reports that Western Canada’s silage corn acreage has grown significantly in recent years. Nearly 30 per cent of seeded corn silage acres aren’t harvested, suggesting it’s likely being used for grazing. The potential for a 50 per cent higher yield compared to barley may offset corn’s 30 per cent higher input costs, but […] Read more

Silage corn acres on the Prairies is on the rise.

Warm season crops and cool climates

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

According to Statistics Canada, silage corn acreage was 26 per cent higher in 2015-19 than in 2010-14. Most of this increase occurred in the Prairies. Achieving corn’s potential will depend on whether plant breeders can successfully adapt this warm-season plant to Canada’s cooler climate. Plants contain two kinds of carbohydrates. Non-structural carbohydrates are starches and […] Read more


Can we reduce castration pain in week-old calves?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Calving season is upon some of you and just around the corner for many more. Half of those calves will be castrated. Research has shown that it’s best to castrate calves at the youngest practical age to minimize pain and speed recovery. The 2019 Adoption Rates of Recommended Practices by Cow-Calf Operators in Canada study […] Read more

A small plot of forage barley on display at Ag in Motion near Saskatoon.

Barley yields come up the backstretch

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Like cattle performance, crop yields reflect the interplay between genetics, management practices and environmental conditions. Statistics Canada reports show that barley yields weren’t keeping up with other feed crops for decades. Barley yields increased 0.39 bushels/acre/year between 1980 and 2009, slower than either wheat (0.44) or corn (1.66). But since 2010, Canada’s barley yields have […] Read more