GFM Network News


Canola regrowth blooming in Manitoba’s Interlake in late September. Beware high nitrates and other issues when grazing canola regrowth and consider using an electric fence to control intake.

Timing key when managing high-nitrate feeds

News Roundup from the October 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

You’ve tested your feed and you’ve got some high-nitrate crop in the field or the feedyard. What exactly are the risks to your cattle and what can you do to manage them?  High nitrate levels can affect reproduction, and this time of year is especially risky for herds calving in May or June, says Barry […] Read more

Swath grazing is a great strategy to extend the grazing season.

Putting forage theory into practice

A new online guide explains how to maximize forage production and greenhouse gas sequestration

Forage and grassland farmers now have a practical, straightforward resource to discover best management practices for maximizing soil carbon sequestration. The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) published the digital guide, Forage Best Management Practices for Enhancing Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration, earlier this year as one of the key deliverables of its four-year Agricultural Greenhouse […] Read more



How does your feed measure up? This livestock nutritionist decodes the numbers.

A closer look at your feed test

A ruminant nutritionist provides us with an in-depth look at a real-life feed test for hay

In a year like this, feed testing is “prudent,” says Courtney O’Keefe, ruminant nutritionist with Blue Rock Animal Nutrition at Innisfail, Alta. “It’s going to help you make those decisions and balance that ration accordingly.” O’Keefe takes us through a recent feed test (see example below) for mixed grass-legume hay, noting that nutritionists tend to […] Read more


(Andreus/iStock/Getty Images)

Hay-starved Prairies fertile ground for online scammers

At least $64,000 lost in Alberta alone, RCMP says

High demand, scarce supplies and rising prices for hay and other feeds due to this summer’s drought on the Prairies have made a market for online scammers, RCMP warn. The urgency driving such transactions may cause ranchers, farmers and farm workers to make purchases “without taking time to properly verify or research production sources,” Alberta […] Read more

In a dry pasture, cattle will also eat a lot of tall larkspur, which contains many toxic alkaloids.

Unconventional: Salvaging crops and feeding weeds during drought

Whether you’re eyeing a flax crop or baling ditches and sloughs, here’s what you need to know about alternative feeds

In drought years it’s often challenging to provide adequate forage for cattle. Sometimes producers use alternative feeds which might include drought-stressed or salvaged crops. Dr. Bart Lardner, professor in the department of animal and poultry science at the University of Saskatchewan, says some of the drought-stressed crops that might be available include annuals such as […] Read more


VIDEO: Collecting feed samples for testing

VIDEO: Collecting feed samples for testing

Getting a representative feed sample of what your cattle are eating is essential due to this year’s drought conditions. In particular, you should be mindful of high nitrate levels that may have accumulated in forages from plant stress. In this video, Jenay Werle with Saskatchewan Agriculture shows where to place your cut for a proper […] Read more

Crops, pastures and haylands throughout Western and Central Canada are parched.

Today’s forage research provides tomorrow’s solutions

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Today’s research won’t help you weather this year’s drought, but the practical information and advice you’ll read elsewhere in the September issue of Canadian Cattlemen (and at beefresearch.ca) will. Those tips, covering everything from alternative feeds to weaning, all originate from past research done by scientists and refined by producers. But producer-funded research underway today […] Read more


(GFM file photo)

CFA’s Hay West program up and running

Program website now online

A revival of the “Hay West” initiative, aimed at shipping feed from Eastern Canada to supplement drought-dented supplies in the West, has gone live. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture on Friday announced its Hay West 2021 initiative is “now operational and seeking applicants to both receive and supply hay.” Applicants interested in either supplying or […] Read more

(MDS.mennonite.net)

Ontario MDS volunteers already moving hay west

Disaster response group spearheading program separate from CFA plan

It’s in the spirit of co-operation in difficult times that a group of Ontario farmers have launched a hay donation program to assist their Saskatchewan counterparts. Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada, a volunteer organization that provides assistance in the aftermath of disasters in Canada and the U.S., is organizing the latest iteration of Hay West […] Read more