GFM Network News


Bale grazing. ‘What a waste of feed!’ NO

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

I still receive this comment quite often when I speak about bale grazing. Our industry is hung up on being efficient. We don’t want to waste anything. I know we have all been trained to target 97 per cent efficiency in everything we do. But I would rather be effective. Most of our efficiencies come from looking at […] Read more

Lupine.

Beware of toxic plants in pastures

There are many toxic plants in Western Canada cattle producers need to steer clear of

Different regions have different problem plants, and to make it even more confusing these same plants are only toxic if eaten in certain amounts or in certain stages of growth, while others are toxic at all times. Rachel Turnquist, a forage extension specialist in Saskatchewan, says there are many toxic plants in Western Canada. You […] Read more


A mild winter is great for access to feed, but make sure you have enough quality snow for a water source.

Strategies for year-round grazing

With careful forage management, cattle can harvest their own feed year-round

Winter feeding is the biggest input cost when raising cattle, so many producers try to minimize the number of days they have to feed hay. In some situations, with careful forage management, cattle can harvest their own feed year-round, especially in mild climates. Even in northern climates with cold weather and snow, year-round grazing can […] Read more

The study tracks the performance of pregnant beef cows swath grazing a polycrop mixture versus straight barley.


Polycrop grazing goes under the microscope

Research: News Roundup from the November 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Those wondering about polycrop potential to sequester carbon, improve soil health and benefit animal performance will have some answers by the fall of 2019 thanks to research underway at the University of Saskatchewan. Jacqueline Toews, a graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, is halfway through a two-year study comparing the costs and […] Read more



Winterfat is an excellent protein source for grazing cattle as it maintains its leaves late into the fall and early winter.

The Matador Community Pasture: A unique educational experience

Nutrition with John McKinnon

One of the privileges of a faculty position at a Canadian university is the interaction one has with undergraduate students. In my case, I co-teach a class where we take students on a seven-day tour of livestock operations across Western Canada. We cover everything from hogs to dairy, bison, chickens, meat and milk processing, and[...]
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Protein kick needed for mature, dry forages

Nutrition: Supplementation will be important this year in many parts of the Prairies

In the fall and winter, most native forages and tame pastures are low in protein (unless fall rains have stimulated new growth), yet many stockmen try to extend grazing as long as possible through winter because winter feeding is the most expensive part of raising cattle. Depending on the protein source, adding a protein supplement[...]
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Dormant seeding forage crops — sometimes it pays to delay

Forages: News Roundup from the Oct. 22 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

For many producers 2018 was another dry year with poor conditions for seeding perennial forage crops. Since good moisture is the key to good forage establishment, fall may provide a better opportunity. Some producers delay seeding forages till fall because there is more time available after harvest and if left till spring, inevitably forage is[...]
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Extending fall and winter grazing

Crop residues are probably the most under­utilized source of winter grazing, says extension specialist

Extending the grazing season for cattle can help reduce production costs and there are various ways to increase forage production/utilization to ensure adequate fall grazing that can often be extended into winter. Lorne Klein, range management extension specialist, Ministry of Agriculture in Weyburn, Sask., says there are four sources of forage. “These are native prairie,[...]
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Testing forage generally requires a minimum of 10 to 15 samples to get an accurate representation.

Testing forage even more necessary in a dry year

With many parts of the country having endured a dry season, knowing feed nutrient levels is crucial

A startling amount of beef producers run the risk of nutrient deficiencies in their herd by not testing their forage sources. Analyzing forage sources to better plan for feeding and supplementation is even more crucial in a dry year to ensure cattle receive the nutrients they require as the colder months and calving season approach.[...]
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