GFM Network News


Hay prices skyrocket as Prairie drought continues

MarketsFarm — Hay prices have continued to skyrocket across the Prairies as conditions remain dry enough that many hay growers won’t produce a first cut this spring. “We’ve had a tough start here,” said Darren Chapman, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “We had a cold, dry spring with frost, so first cut […] Read more

Sommerfeld has modified an 855 New Holland round baler to lift hay swaths and speed drying.

Tips for baling in high-moisture situations

Forages: News Roundup from the May 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

In the last issue, we outlined Ryan Sommerfeld’s methods for deciding when to cut hay to minimize rain damage. Sommerfeld is a cattle producer based near Medstead, Sask. Now we turn to Sommerfeld’s methods for cutting, raking and baling. Sommerfeld prefers cutting with a 13.5-foot discbine, which allows him to cut at about six miles […] Read more


Making good hay

If you follow the principles of making hay, you can also grow good pasture

If you follow the principles of making hay, you can also grow good pasture

My wife and I recently attended the Alberta Organic Conference in Fort Saskatchewan. It was a fantastic event and she made a great comment to me on the way home. We attend a lot of events like this and we are constantly reminded about the principles of regenerative agriculture. It’s “the normal” in our circle. […] Read more

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


'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 […] Read more



Pastures have seen very limited growth due to lack of rain and hot weather.

Livestock producers allowed to cut hay, graze on Manitoba Crown lands

Areas will be temporarily open to assist producers impacted by dry conditions

Livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use due to dry conditions across parts of the province, Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. “Pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba have been greatly affected by low levels of[...]
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Straw prices soar, piling pressure on N.Europe livestock farmers

In some areas straw now more expensive than grains

Hamburg | London | Reuters – Livestock and dairy farmers across northern Europe are paying soaring prices for straw used in food and bedding for cattle, as hot, dry weather across the region reduces crops. The higher bills put further pressure on farmers already facing one of their toughest summers ever; many have had to[...]
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Baling hay in hot weather often increases leaf loss.

Why baling hay and hot weather don’t mix

Uneven yields up the risk of mouldy, heated feed, while leaf loss increases when the temperature soars

This year is going to be a challenge deciding when to bale hay, says provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “With yield differences in a field, areas with a low yield will be dry and ready to bale while areas of that field with higher yield potential may need more time to dry and[...]
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Prairie hay crops look thin in many areas

CNS Canada — Many farmers taking off their first hay cuts are also gathering more talking points to grumble over at coffee row. While many producers are still working to get the first cut done and the situation could change with the second cut, many regions are already reporting below-average yields. “In areas of the[...]
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