GFM Network News


Ionophores are used most extensively in feedlot cattle diets, but are generally considered a good investment regardless of the diet fed.

The complicated life of an ionophore

Ron Clarke outlines the basics of how these widely used feed additives work

Ionophores are a class of compounds frequently talked about in animal nutrition, yet infrequently understood by many. First marketed in the 1960s and derived from soil-borne organisms, ionophores are best described as feed additives that reversibly bind ions — chemical entities possessing an electric charge — then subsequently facilitate their transport across membranes. Commonly used […] Read more

The right mineral supplementation program can improve colostrum and calf immunity, according to a study on the University of Florida’s cow herds.

Research suggests trace mineral source matters

New research shows that organic trace mineral supplementation has benefits over its inorganic counterparts

When it comes to mineral supplementation for beef females, new research suggests that the source matters. Studies from the University of Florida show that organic trace mineral supplementation for cows has benefits compared to inorganic trace minerals in areas such as increased pregnancy rates, weaning weight and calf immunity. Dr. Matt Hersom is an associate […] Read more



A Styrofoam cooler with heat or cold packs is a simple piece of equipment that keeps vaccine at the right temperature.

Keep syringes and needles clean and working during vaccination

Make sure you protect your vaccine’s effectiveness with a few practical steps

Getting the most out of a vaccine starts with the syringes and needles. Dr. Cody Creelman, a bovine veterinarian in southern Alberta, recently held a free webinar on ways to make cattle vaccines more effective. Part of his webinar covered how to keep needles and syringes clean and working well. Creelman recommends checking and replacing […] Read more


Bart Lardner, Janelle Smith and John McKinnon are conducting the backgrounding study.

The economics of raising ‘natural’ beef

Researchers are comparing conventional and other backgrounding systems and crunching the numbers

How much of a premium do producers need to cover the extra cost of backgrounding cattle without growth-enhancing technologies and can they offset some of that cost or improve carcass quality with other strategies? Researchers are currently studying those very questions in a 2.5-year backgrounding study. The backgrounding project is one of many feeding research […] Read more

Lee Carpenter answers questions about his mixed farming operation, during the Saskaskatchewan Forage Council’s pasture tour near Hanley, Sask.

Saskatchewan producers reap benefits of silage crops

After a dry year, these Hanley-area producers are banking on silage to help winter the herd

Moisture levels through spring and summer were plentiful in some areas of Western Canada, but in south-central Saskatchewan, Mother Nature was stingy with the rain when it was needed the most. That put even more emphasis on potential yields and benefits of silage crops for two Hanley-area operations. Perry Dyck is owner and president of […] Read more


Study shows cattle temperament affects feedlot performance

Calmer animals perform better in the feedlot and have higher carcass quality and value than their more excitable counterparts

Differences in beef cattle temperament could significantly affect value from the feedlot to the plate, according to a Texas A&M University study. These findings, published in the Journal of Animal Science, show that heifers with calmer temperaments have better feedlot performance and, as a result, higher carcass quality and value than those with more excitable […] Read more

Chancey Guichon is a fourth-generation beef producer and the inaugural recipient of the James Hargrave Legacy Foundation award.

Legacy award promotes grasslands innovation

Young cattle producer uses James Hargrave Legacy Foundation award to help advance land stewardship practices on his ranch

In the cattle industry, the successes of the present and future innovations are often closely linked to past experience. The James Hargrave Legacy Foundation aims to nurture this type of innovation by supporting people whose work and interests align with Hargrave’s values. Chancey Guichon, the first recipient of the James Hargrave Legacy Fund Award, is […] Read more


The Hoimyrs input data directly into their Numbers spreadsheet on their iPad when working cattle.

Managing data on the ranch

Maintaining cattle records can pay off at the farm level and beyond

For some beef producers, maintaining accurate cattle records is a time-consuming chore, but for others it is the tool they depend on to run a productive and profitable operation. The method and complexity of cattle records is as varied as the farm operators who use the information. But ag economist Manglai Ma’s graduate research found […] Read more

BRD or shipping fever is associated with recently weaned calves or calves that have recently arrived in the feedlot. Keep an eye out for chronic respiratory infections as well as acute cases.

Biofilm infections hamper detection and treatment of shipping fever

Research is underway on ways to dissolve the biofilm that protects bacteria in many cases of bovine respiratory disease

Keep a closer eye on the chronic, less obvious cases of bovine respiratory disease, says one researcher. These infections often involve a biofilm in the respiratory tract, protecting the bacteria and making it more resistant to antibiotics. Dr. Thomas Inzana, associate dean for research at Long Island University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying […] Read more