GFM Network News


Sweet clover is grown extensively for forage, but mould can create an anticoagulant in hay or silage.

Beware sweet clover poisoning during calving

As one producer discovered, sweet clover poisoning can trigger widespread hemorrhaging, especially during calving season

Pilgrim Winslow’s life had mainly been in the fast lane of oil exploration, successful businesses and high-level finance. He retired early and bought a half-section farm east of Regina. Winslow had built a small barn, a set of corrals and spent his days looking after 16 two-year-old Hereford heifers, bred to calve near the end […] Read more

Ryan Boyd and his daughter Piper during a farm media tour in the fall of 2018.

Nuffield Canada scholarship expands horizons for Manitoba producer

Ryan Boyd shares how he’s applying the insights from his international travel on his family’s cow-calf operation

A mindset of continual improvement led Ryan Boyd on an international adventure with benefits for his family’s farm upon returning home. Boyd runs South Glanton Farms at Forrest, Man., with his wife, Sarah, and his parents, Jim and Joanne. He is passionate about implementing the principles of regenerative agriculture and the soil health movement, including […] Read more


Rachel Carey with bred cows in a pen at the LFCE.

USask researchers study feeding corn and corn residue to beef cattle

The research focuses on how cattle fare while grazing on corn residue, as well as track other cattle fed harvested corn.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are exploring new ways to extend the winter grazing season by using what’s left after farmers harvest corn, while simultaneously studying cattle fed the harvested corn. Grazing pregnant cows in fields during the winter is not new in Western Canada, but no research has been conducted on how well […] Read more

Bootsman uses a quad to roll and unroll aircraft cable for electric fence.

Working with farming neighbours to graze crop residue

Here’s how a cow-calf producer is extending the grazing season by working with local farmers

Fall and winter grazing can help a beef producer reduce winter feed costs, and some cattlemen are finding value in creating co-operative relationships with neighbouring farmers to graze crop residues. Joey Bootsman has a cow-calf operation near Rapid City, northwest of Brandon, Man., and for several years has made arrangements with farming neighbours to graze […] Read more


Cold weather also poses a challenge to newborn calves, but with good cow nutrition, shelter and disease management, they’re better prepared to survive those conditions.  


Preventing weak calf syndrome

Factors ranging from cow nutrition to weather to disease can cause this often complex condition

Weak calf syndrome is a general condition rather than a specific disease, and can be caused by several different factors, sometimes multiple factors at the same time. The newborn calf is weak, unable or slow to rise, stand or nurse. These calves often die within three days of birth. They are sometimes called “dummy calves” […] Read more

“You have to do what works for you. Every operation has a unique set of circumstances.” – Dr. Klea-Ann Wasilow, Maple Creek Veterinary Services.

A tale of two calving systems

Confined and pasture methods each have risks and benefits

For beef producers, calving season can be both stressful and enjoyable. Witnessing new life can be refreshing, but calving time is the most critical period in the cow-calf production cycle. Whether or not calving season is a success will set the tone for an operations’ entire year or longer, having an impact on animal health, […] Read more


Shwaluk is a firm believer in raising quiet cattle.

Manitoba cow-calf producer seeks to do things differently

Earlier birth dates, quiet cattle, roadside advertising are all part of the plan

When it comes to a well-travelled path, Robert Shwaluk likes to veer off. The Shoal Lake, Man. cow-calf producer goes his own way to discover new ideas and new ways to get things done. “I’m always looking out for the new,” he says. “I’ll do things differently.” Shwaluk, 65, began in the cow-calf business in […] Read more

Photo: Canada Beef Inc.

Klassen: Lighter calves end year on positive tone

Compared to last week, Western Canadian feeder cattle prices were $2 lower to $3 higher depending on the region. Many auction markets were in holiday mode last week and thinner volumes made the market harder to define. Generally speaking, the market was supported by stronger deferred live cattle futures and a slightly weaker Canadian dollar; […] Read more



The staff at Bow Valley Genetics.

New opportunities to apply embryo transfer

Embryo transfer may start to grow in commercial herds, in conjunction with other genetic selection tools

When you think of bovine embryo transfer, it’s likely you view it as a technique geared toward the seedstock industry. This advanced reproductive technology is a well-established tool for purebred breeders, and now some embryo transfer practitioners are seeing opportunities for its growth in commercial breeding programs. “Embryo transfer or IVF is not a technology […] Read more