GFM Network News


Prairie hay shortage on horizon

MarketsFarm — While rain across the Prairies has eased concerns of an all-out drought, worries of a hay shortage going into winter haven’t ceased. Darren Chapman, a Virden, Man. producer and chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA), explained that regrowth following the first cut of hay has been strong. First-cut hay crops […] Read more

Mogulones crucifer root weevil on houndstongue. This root weevil has been highly successful in 
controlling houndstongue in British Columbia.

Using insects to control invasive weeds on pasture

Houndstongue biocontrol project in B.C. has been highly successful

Once invasive plants reach a point of domination, elimination is generally not feasible. Land managers sometimes turn to biologic control, a last resort for reducing a widespread weed’s populations to below an economic or environmental damage threshold. Eradicating the weed may be impossible, but biocontrol agents may reduce it to manageable levels. Since 1951, 82 […] Read more


In the foothills south of Calgary, July 14, 2019.

Feed Watch: July 15, 2019

As the summer wears on, the precipitation situation varies greatly across the Prairies. Rain has been plentiful in some areas, but other regions are looking at hay yields well below average. Parts of Manitoba are also losing hope for a decent second cut. Alberta The next Alberta crop report won’t be released until July 19. […] Read more




Hay in the swath in northwestern Saskatchewan.

Feed Watch: July 8, 2019

A dry spring has robbed many Prairie producers of first cut hay yields and lowered carrying capacity on pastures. Still, rain improved pasture conditions in many areas and some producers are cutting poor hay fields to encourage regrowth for a second cut. Overall hay growth and pasture looks better in Alberta than Saskatchewan and Manitoba. […] Read more


Pasture conditions in Bruce County, Ontario, are excellent. Photo: Tom Cunningham

Feed Watch: July 1, 2019

A look at forage, pasture and feed conditions across the Prairies and Ontario

While dry weather has dominated the Prairies until recently, Ontario producers have received too much rain and not enough sunshine. “We’re trying to get some hay off,” said cow-calf producer Tom Cunningham as it rained outside on the Friday before the July long weekend. Cunningham farms north of Wiarton, Ontario, in Bruce County. Cunningham estimated […] Read more

Using an invasive weed to help fill the feed gap

When feed is in short supply, producers may want to harvest kochia.

For Prairie cattle producers looking for alternative feed sources this year, one possibility may be kochia. Kochia is an invasive weed, often seen growing on marginal land or tumbling across the Prairies. It’s a prolific seed producer, growing in saline soil and in arid or semi-arid conditions. A recent news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food […] Read more



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