GFM Network News


Setting up heifers for success in their first breeding season is crucial to earning back the investment in those animals.

Establishing reproductive momentum in replacement heifers

Make sure you take steps to get the most of your investment

Developing replacement females is an investment that can take years to earn back, making it essential to set them up early for reproductive success. Kathy Larson, research economist at the University of Saskatchewan, discussed the financial considerations of developing replacement females in a Beef Cattle Research Council webinar, including whether to purchase heifers or retain […] Read more

Researchers found that exit and flight speed from chutes are reliable indicators of temperament. Heifers generally score higher in exit speeds.

Behaviour temperament scoring in replacement heifers

Different scoring systems have included chute, gait, exit and flight speed

Due to consumers’ perpetual concerns regarding animal welfare, producers are displaying a renewed interest in the study of temperament behaviour in beef cattle. Producers are also searching for legitimate technology and data to keep them on the cutting edge in their operational and financial decisions. They face more and more studies out of universities and […] Read more


Environment plays a big part in the potential for an animal to express its genetics, says PJ Budler.

EPDs only one part of the genetic selection formula

EPDs most valuable when used with best practices

It’s not everyday you visit a 7,000-head beef operation in Kenya, but that’s not the only reason the experience was memorable for PJ Budler. When he visited this herd of Boran cattle, a breed native to Kenya, for a consulting project, their quality left him amazed. “You could hardly find an animal that didn’t have […] Read more

Proper planning is always a part of getting through calving season successfully.

Why calving season is different this year

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The first major event facing cattle producers in 2019 is planning for calving season. This year there is a new wrinkle in managing animal health programs on the ranch: establishing a veterinary-client patient relationship with a veterinarian. This provides an avenue to access medically important antimicrobials through a prescription as needed. There are few ranches […] Read more



Using permanent and portable infrastructure allows space to separate pairs or assist heifers if needed.

Breeding and calving heifers an evolution for Saskatchewan ranch

Synchronized breeding, AI program helps narrow down heifer-calving period at Grant Ranch

Breeding and calving heifers is a critical part of cow-calf operations. No specific model fits every ranch, and even successful systems require modification. “Heifers can be a challenge; it doesn’t matter who you are,” said Saskatchewan rancher Lynn Grant. Lynn, along with his wife Sherri, and brother Dean and his family, operate a large ranch […] Read more


Getting ready for calving

For those producers who still have a few weeks before calving, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a recently released fact sheet. Aaron Berger, an extension beef educator with the university, offered several tips. The condensed version follows:

Temperature, wind chill and time spent in cold conditions all contribute to frostbite.

Dealing with frostbite in calves

Animal Health: Warm air is usually better than warm water for treating a hypothermic calf

Calves born in cold weather may suffer adverse effects, including frostbite, especially if they are unable to get up and nurse before they chill. Dr. Andy Acton of Deep South Animal Clinic at Ogema, Sask., says there are two problems when dealing with cold weather. “One is hypothermia, and the other is frostbite, and they[...]
Read more


Demand for sustainable beef is outstripping supply.

Cargill looking for cow-calf operators for sustainable beef program

Meat Packers: News Roundup from the February 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cargill has declared its sustainable beef pilot program a success and is now looking at long-term strategies for the program, Joel Crews of Meat + Poultry reports. Demand is outpacing supply in Cargill’s Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration program, the company says. The program is now looking for more producers, particularly cow-calf producers, to join. To[...]
Read more

NSAIDs should be used for major procedures such as C-sections at the time of delivery or at the beginning of surgery.

Pain medication at calving and in the feedlot

Pain control is simply the right thing to do in some situations

Pain medication may come with adjunct treatment such as antibiotics but sometimes this is unnecessary. When veterinarians prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain, they may choose based on label claim, past experience in the field, price per treatment or per 100 lbs., duration of activity, ease of administration, advice of associates or slaughter withdrawal.[...]
Read more