GFM Network News


Dung beetles break down manure on grasslands and convert it into plant nutrients. They also facilitate water infiltration and soil aeration.

Dung beetles may be small but they play a big role on pastures

These beetles turn manure into nutrients, improving the soil, increasing water infiltration and cutting pest fly populations

On pasture ecosystems, the spotlight is often on grass and cattle, yet a well-functioning grassland may depend, at least in part, on behind-the-scenes work performed by dung beetles. With a skillset that includes converting manure into nutrients, improving soil aeration, minimizing pest flies and increasing water infiltration, dung beetles can help beef producers set the […] Read more

Cereal crops are high in starch which allows them to ferment easily. Almost any crop can be harvested for silage, however, as long as it is harvested at 60 to 70 per cent moisture.

Silage packs a punch when harvested carefully

Protect your investment with these tips on everything from harvest timing to inoculants

For some producers, silage is a mainstay, but for others who may be new to the process, there is a learning curve. Regardless of experience, there are several variables producers must consider when ensiling a crop. Gains or losses can occur during seeding and feeding silage. However, management during harvest may be pivotal to promote […] Read more


The Hoimyrs input data directly into their Numbers spreadsheet on their iPad when working cattle.

Managing data on the ranch

Maintaining cattle records can pay off at the farm level and beyond

For some beef producers, maintaining accurate cattle records is a time-consuming chore, but for others it is the tool they depend on to run a productive and profitable operation. The method and complexity of cattle records is as varied as the farm operators who use the information. But ag economist Manglai Ma’s graduate research found […] Read more

Hughes works to minimize stress during weaning by vaccinating calves and introducing them to pellets before splitting them from their dams.

Tips for reducing antibiotic use on the ranch

Producers and veterinarians adapt to new rules around livestock antibiotic use

Beef producers used to be able to pick up antibiotics at their favourite farm supply store or local small town co-op, but things changed on December 1, 2018. Since then, Health Canada has mandated that all medically important livestock antibiotics require a veterinary prescription. While producers and veterinarians alike have dealt with some challenges that […] Read more


Using permanent and portable infrastructure allows space to separate pairs or assist heifers if needed.

Breeding and calving heifers an evolution for Saskatchewan ranch

Synchronized breeding, AI program helps narrow down heifer-calving period at Grant Ranch

Breeding and calving heifers is a critical part of cow-calf operations. No specific model fits every ranch, and even successful systems require modification. “Heifers can be a challenge; it doesn’t matter who you are,” said Saskatchewan rancher Lynn Grant. Lynn, along with his wife Sherri, and brother Dean and his family, operate a large ranch […] Read more

Steve Eby: “If I could tell the public one thing, it’s that we take transport very seriously.”

Cross Canada cattle transport — the journey and the destination count

Livestock transport is one subject for discussion at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference next week

With hundreds of thousands of beef cattle being transported across Canada each year, welfare during transport is a hot topic among producers, scientists, and society. Discussions around potential regulation changes regarding the amount of time cattle are on a truck, and how many hours cattle are transported without feed and water, have people all along […] Read more


Cattle from Living Sky Beef graze a cover crop on Axten Farms near Minton, Sask.

Sharing cattle and cropland

A way to capture nutrients and opportunities


A few decades ago, the practice of growing both crops and cattle on the same farm was far more common than it is now. Today’s no-till, organic, and conventional crop producers, however, are paying close attention to soil health and crop inputs. The potential benefits of incorporating cattle back onto their farms are leading to […] Read more

Greg Penner of the University of Saskatchewan, congratulates Dr. David Christensen (right) on winning the 2017 SFC Forage Industry Innovation Award.

Forages were the foundation for researcher’s celebrated career

In a career that already spans more than five decades, Dr. David Christensen, of the University of Saskatchewan, has been a major contributor to the research in support of Canadian forage crops. His substantial contributions on a regional, national and international level were recently recognized by the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) when he was presented […] Read more