GFM Network News


Cows grazing corn residue typically aim for grain kernels, leaves and husks instead of stalks.

Do you need to extend your forage supply?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

In my August column, I wrote on the topic of creep feeding, a practice that many producers utilize to improve body condition and weaning weights, particularly during drought situations. Unfortunately, as summer has unfolded, significant areas of the country have experienced abnormally dry conditions, and as a result, many producers are scrambling for winter feed […] Read more

Two-lobe larkspur.

Larkspur rears its ugly head again!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Cattle deaths from larkspur poisoning have plagued the industry for well over a century. This year appears to be no different, particularly in British Columbia where there has been a marked increase in larkspur-related death losses. Recently, I was asked by a colleague if a strategic mineral supplementation program would provide any relief from larkspur […] Read more


The driving factor behind creep feeding calves is to increase weight gains while on pasture.

Creep feeding – What side of the debate are you on?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Creep feeding is a management practice where nursing calves are fed supplemental feed while on pasture. Its economic benefits have been hotly debated by those in industry and academia alike. Those in favour point to the increased value of heavier calves at weaning, the potential sparing of summer forage supplies, and the health benefits associated […] Read more

You have many options when aiming to meet the protein needs of cattle.

What goes around, comes around with protein: Part 2

Nutrition with John McKinnon

In my April column I focused on the principles of protein nutrition in beef cattle with an emphasis on rumen degradable and undegradable protein and on meeting the metabolizable protein needs of the animal. The reason that I focused on this topic was my experiences this past winter with producers who were having difficulty meeting […] Read more


Red Williams: A remarkable life!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

This year is one of reflection and celebration for the staff and readers of Canadian Cattlemen as it celebrates 80 years of publishing. In the spirit of this celebration, I would like to reflect on and celebrate the life of a man whose passion for Canada, Canadian agriculture and in particular the Canadian beef industry […] Read more



McKinnon: The math behind animal nutrition lingo

When I visit with producers about their feeding program, I often get questions on “nutrition lingo.” Examples include questions on the meaning of a mineral or protein supplement tag or how much supplement do you need to feed to achieve an ionophore concentration of 22 or 33 ppm? Such confusion is understandable, particularly when you […] Read more

What happened to the vitamin supply?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Many of you are likely aware that the feed industry is facing a critical shortage of vitamins A and E. This shortage is the result of a fire in October at a processing plant in Germany owned by BASF, one of the global leaders in the provision of vitamins for humans and livestock. The damaged […] Read more



Yikes ­— another crazy winter!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

The winter of 2017-18 is shaping up to be full of unexpected challenges, particularly for those wintering cows in Western Canada. Drought, as well as recent wildfires, have caused many producers to scramble for a forage supply. As well, “old man winter” in all his wisdom has arrived early, with November temperatures in the minus […] Read more