GFM Network News

Olymel shipping backlogged hogs to U.S.

Company-owned hogs to go south after COVID closes Red Deer plant

Winnipeg | Reuters — Olymel said Friday it was shipping pigs to the United States to help clear a backlog of hogs after it had to temporarily close its Red Deer, Alta. slaughter plant because of a coronavirus outbreak. Olymel shut the plant on Wednesday and declared force majeure — unforeseeable circumstances that prevent contract […] Read more

Late gestation rations for cows

Nutrition with John McKinnon

As I write this column, 2020 is finally in the rear-view mirror. I am sure that I am not alone in hoping that 2021 brings better days and in particular an end to this pandemic that has had such a personal and economic impact on the lives of Canadians. Despite this disruption to normal life, […] Read more


U.S. livestock: Live cattle futures dip on slaughter delays

Lower supply expectations support hog futures

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures fell on Thursday as short-term processing delays caused by power outages and frigid weather backed up cattle and softened cash prices, traders said. Chicago Mercantile Exchange April live cattle futures settled down 1.225 cents at 122.925 cents/lb., while the spot February contract ended 0.175 cents lower at […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Cattle, hog futures sag as weather stalls slaughter pace

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. cattle and hog futures declined on Wednesday as wintry weather and power outages hampered meat-packing operations, slowing the pace of slaughter and reducing demand for market-ready animals, traders said. Chicago Mercantile Exchange April live cattle futures settled down 1.65 cents at 124.15 cents/lb., while the spot February contract ended down […] Read more


Winter water for livestock

From the Ground Up with Steve Kenyon

We have our fair share of drastic weather here in Alberta. In our environment, we can have temperature swings of about 85 C between winter and summer. I have seen a 45-degree shift in a single day. It went from 10 C and dropped to -35 C overnight. These temperature swings are a lot harder […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Live cattle futures mostly firm on wintry Plains weather

April hogs stay within Friday's range

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures closed mostly higher on Tuesday as frigid conditions gripped the U.S. Plains and Midwest, limiting the movement of animals into meat plants and threatening to reduce cattle weights, traders said. However, rallies were limited as wintry weather and power outages prompted meat-packing plants to slow the slaughter […] Read more


Your calving area should be clean, dry and close to shelter.

Getting ready for calving

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than look backwards and regret. — Mark Twain When preparing for the spring season, there are several things to keep in mind. Avoid surprises about the bull battery. Track the start and end of calving season. It should match the start and end of a controlled breeding season. […] Read more

Olymel to close Red Deer hog plant against COVID-19

Hog deliveries suspended 'until further notice'

Meat packer Olymel plans to temporarily close its hog slaughter and pork processing plant at Red Deer, Alta., winding down that facility’s operations starting this week against a rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak among workers. The plant, one of Canada’s largest by slaughter capacity at over 45,000 hogs per week, has notified its hog suppliers and […] Read more


Klassen: Cold weather slows feeder cattle market activity

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were relatively unchanged. Extreme temperatures blanketed Western Canada last week. Many auction barns cancelled sales or had limited numbers on offer. Buyers attended sales either in person or via the internet, which was supportive to the overall price structure. Many backgrounders and cow-calf producers delayed sales […] Read more