GFM Network News


A livestock extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture says it’s important that cattle consume the feed in front of them, especially when considering body condition score over winter.

Beef and forage issues series aims to boost innovation

Forages: News Roundup from the September 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has published a series of six articles covering a pilot project that brought together farmers, ranchers, scientists and experts to improve technology and innovation adoption. For the pilot, participants toured east-central Alberta farms and discussed several topics. One topic was smooth versus rough awns. Many cattle feeders have voiced concerns about […] Read more

This winter caught many cattle producers by surprise, with the deep freeze and snow depleting feed supplies quicker than anticipated.

Dealing with uncertain times

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

[UPDATED: June 13, 2019] Cattle producers across Western Canada grow weary of the relentless 2018-19 winter. For those of us living on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, it started with a record snowfall in October followed by record cold temperatures that extended across the central and northern Prairies. From mid-December to the end of […] Read more


Baling hay in hot weather often increases leaf loss.

Why baling hay and hot weather don’t mix

Uneven yields up the risk of mouldy, heated feed, while leaf loss increases when the temperature soars

This year is going to be a challenge deciding when to bale hay, says provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “With yield differences in a field, areas with a low yield will be dry and ready to bale while areas of that field with higher yield potential may need more time to dry and […] Read more

Producers need to choose a grazing plan that best suits their operation.

Set your grazing strategy early

Grazing: News Roundup from the June 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Weather is unpredictable, so developing a grazing strategy for the rest of the season is an important tool. Beef, forage, and livestock specialists at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) recently offered some thoughts on the factors that producers should keep in mind when formulating a plan. “May and June are typically Alberta’s wetter months, so […] Read more


Cows need to be on a rising plane of nutrition after calving to conceive and rebreed  on time.

Post-calving nutrition determines next year’s success

Management: Your cow's nutritional regime will have a major influence on when and if it gets bred.

In some areas of Canada this has been a very difficult winter to be a cow-calf producer. With last summer’s drought and the current feed shortage in those areas, many producers are left pondering what to do. Barry Yaremcio, a nutrition specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Murray Feist a beef cattle nutritionist with […] Read more

Stack bales properly to help maintain quality

Moisture is a bale's biggest enemy so give it room to breathe

When it comes to stacking bales, a little forethought can go a long way to ensuring a better product. “Storage losses from improperly stacked bales can be anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of the dry matter yield while protein and energy losses can be anywhere from five to 10 per cent,” said beef […] Read more


$1.7 million for Olds College research centre

Research: News Roundup from the October 3, 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced funding last month for the development of a new state-of-the-art research facility at the Olds College Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production (TAC). TAC will act as a technology training hub for regional livestock producers, as well as a research resource for students studying […] Read more

Unlike swathed fields, nitrate levels in hailed-out crops can continue to rise and that increases 
the risk of nitrate poisoning.

Get hail-damaged crops tested before feeding to livestock

Doing a feed test ‘is much cheaper than losing an animal,’ says beef extension specialist

Hail damage this summer on the Prairie provinces is approaching an all-time high — and with many producers putting livestock on their ruined fields, the risk of nitrate poisoning is also shooting up. So be sure to do a feed test first, said a beef extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “A feed test […] Read more


Cattle price insurance premiums reflect risk

News Roundup from the March 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

If you haven’t bought price insurance on your calves through the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) yet you’ll find the premiums a little higher than last year. That’s to be expected given the volatility in today’s market, says Bruce Viney, a risk management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “Volatility is simply a statistical […] Read more

Should you buy expensive feed or custom feed your cows?

“Lack of moisture curtailed pasture and hay production in many areas of Alberta this year,” says Dean Dyck, farm business management specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Stettler. “As a result, feed and hay prices have risen dramatically from a year ago. Producers are faced with either buying expensive feed or moving their livestock to feed […] Read more