GFM Network News


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




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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The new Livestock Centre of Excellence at Clavet, just 20 minutes outside of Saskatoon, is also more convenient for researchers and students.

New name and facilities for Western Beef Development Centre

A new facility at the University of Saskatchewan includes both cow-calf and forage research

There are changes afoot at the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) including a new name, additional locations and increased research, teaching and outreach capacity. On April 1, 2018, the Western Beef Development Centre, a division of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), rolled into the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).WBDC[...]
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'If you are going to have problems, it will usually be when you first introduce cattle to that forage, so you need to know the nitrate levels and manage accordingly.'

Be prepared for nitrate problems in forages

High nitrite levels in cattle can literally see them 'starving for oxygen'

Nitrate levels in forages can sometimes be a problem for cattle. Depending on growing conditions, certain plants may accumulate too much nitrate to be safely fed to cattle unless those high-nitrate feeds can be diluted by mixing with other forages. Colby Elford, livestock and feed extension specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Moose Jaw, Sask., says it[...]
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