GFM Network News


'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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Sustained intake of ergot contaminated feed will shut down blood supply to an animal's extremities, and over time, worsen its condition.

Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by[...]
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The economics behind bale grazing

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

I started bale grazing in 1999 and have had many producers over the years thank me for sharing my bale grazing information with them. The usual comment is that they will never go back to the traditional method of feeding cattle. For me, bale grazing was a no-brainer once I looked at the cost savings.[...]
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Hay shortage could make for difficult winter

CNS Canada — Many cattle producers looking for local feed this winter might have a difficult time, according to a Saskatchewan provincial forage specialist. However, producers further north in the grey and black soil zones, and those in Alberta producing high-quality feed for export, saw near-record hay production. Terry Kowalchuk of Saskatchewan Agriculture in Regina[...]
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U.S. northern Plains ranchers welcome hay lottery

Reuters — Hundreds of livestock ranchers in the drought-stricken U.S. northern Plains are embracing what organizers say is the first lottery designed to provide some much-needed relief to their operations. The prize? Tons and tons of hay. Ranchers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana have been suffering through the region’s worst drought in 30[...]
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