GFM Network News


A calving ease EPD is a better measure than only looking at a potential heifer bull’s head, neck or shoulders, says Travis Olson.

Calving ease top priority when selecting heifer bulls

Calving ease EPD more important than assessing a bull visually, says Alberta producer

When it’s time to choose a heifer bull, expected progeny difference for calving ease tops one beef producer’s list. The birth weight expected progeny difference (EPD) is accurate but it’s simply an average, says Travis Olson of Ole Farms at Athabasca, Alta. For example, two bulls could have an average birth weight EPD of 75 […] Read more

Crypto is a major culprit in scours in calves.

Developing a better diagnostic for cryptosporidiosis

Research: News Roundup from the March 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

University of Arizona researchers are developing better diagnostic tools for cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidiosis, or crypto, is caused by a microscopic parasite. It’s a major culprit in scours in calves. It’s also a zoonotic and can cause serious infections in humans as well as other animals. Because the parasite can spread quickly and cause dangerous infections, early […] Read more


Swelling and yellow pus is visible in the vocal cords.

Dealing with diphtheria in calves

Animal Health: The condition is serious enough that swelling can restrict breathing to the point of suffocation

Diphtheria is an upper respiratory problem in cattle characterized by an infection or inflammation of the vocal folds. It can be serious if swelling restricts the airway and makes breathing difficult. Dr. Steve Hendrick of Coaldale Veterinary Clinic at Coaldale, Alta., sees quite a few cases of diphtheria in cow-calf operations and in feedlots. “It’s […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder market continues consolidation pattern

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $3-$5 on either side of unchanged. The market was quite variable across the Prairies. Demand from south of the border evaporated due to adverse weather while southern Alberta experienced favourable spring conditions. Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $260 on a dressed basis, up […] Read more


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


Klassen: Feeder market holds value

Western Canadian feeder cattle prices were relatively unchanged compared to seven days earlier. Buying interest for yearlings was somewhat stronger while calves in the eastern Prairie regions were softer. Moderate temperatures are in the seven-day forecast for most of Western Canada, so the risk discount due to adverse weather has evaporated. Barley jumped an additional […] Read more

Rafael Ramírez González judges the President’s Classic Show during Canadian Western Agribition in 2018.

Mexican beef producer finds top genetics in Canada

Producers in Mexico appreciate high quality of Canadian cattle herds

Canadian beef producers frequently brave winter weather to attend bull sales and cattle shows. In the stalls and by the sales rings, breeders learn about each other’s operations in the hopes of starting partnerships, finding new genetics and sending their best into other herds. A western Canadian ranch or cattle show is also the perfect […] Read more


University of Saskatchewan scientists investigating effects of sulphates on cattle health

Research: News Roundup from the March 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

University of Saskatchewan researchers are studying the effects of high sulphate levels in the drinking water of cattle. When cattle drink water with high sulphate levels, the sulphates bind trace minerals in the animals’ rumens, preventing them from absorbing necessary minerals. Potential effects include diarrhea, reduced fertility and milk production, slow growth, a depressed immune […] Read more

Cattle grazing at Glanton Farms.

Local producer groups take reins of guest instructor opportunity at Assiniboine Community College

Associations: News Roundup from the March 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Students studying forage and pasture management at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Man., are getting a little more mud on their boots and some real-life experiences rolled into their course curriculum this winter session. Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) and Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) have designed a guest-instructor schedule from the excellent […] Read more