GFM Network News



Once a calf has been weaned, providing a low-cost, balanced ration that supplies the required nutrients for the desired rate of gain is key to success.

The nature and design of backgrounding rations

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Over the past number of years, I have had the opportunity to work with several operations whose business plans focus on backgrounding weaned calves. These programs generally fall into one of two categories. The first involves feeding calves weighing 550 to 650 pounds over the winter and marketing them in the spring at weights ranging […] Read more


Protein kick needed for mature, dry forages

Nutrition: Supplementation will be important this year in many parts of the Prairies

In the fall and winter, most native forages and tame pastures are low in protein (unless fall rains have stimulated new growth), yet many stockmen try to extend grazing as long as possible through winter because winter feeding is the most expensive part of raising cattle. Depending on the protein source, adding a protein supplement […] Read more

“We did not see any interaction between cattle RFI ranking and diet quality.” Dr. Hushton Block, Ag Canada, Lacombe, Alta.

Balancing your nutrients will pay off

Research looked at improving the economic and feed efficiency for beef cattle

Dr. Hushton Block, beef cattle nutritionist previously at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Bran­don Research Centre and now currently at Lacombe, is interested in finding ways of improving the economic and feed efficiency for beef cattle. One idea Block looked at deals with how beef cattle with better (lower) residual feed intake (RFI) react with […] Read more


Don’t pass on ionophores when backgrounding calves

Management: News Roundup from the Oct. 22 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Travis Peardon, a livestock and feed specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture in Outlook, is urging producers looking to background calves this fall to add ionophores to their rations. “Ionophores provide protection against coccidiosis, improve feed efficiency and stabilize the rumen environment by reducing the incidence of bloat. The three ionophores approved for use in Canadian feedlots […] Read more

Pastures have seen very limited growth due to lack of rain and hot weather.

Livestock producers allowed to cut hay, graze on Manitoba Crown lands

Areas will be temporarily open to assist producers impacted by dry conditions

Livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use due to dry conditions across parts of the province, Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. “Pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba have been greatly affected by low levels of […] Read more


Pasture, hay resources for Manitoba livestock producers

Pastures and forage crops on the Prairies are in poor shape from lack of rain

Manitoba Agriculture is reminding agricultural producers affected by dry conditions of the programs and services available to livestock producers to manage forage shortages. To date, low levels of precipitation and soil moisture have affected the growth of pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba. Manitoba Agriculture provides a number of tools and resources for […] Read more



Grazing behaviour checked by GPS and pedometers did not differ significantly for high- and low-RFI females in this trial.

Do RFI ratings predict cattle performance on pasture?

In a word, no

Producers often wonder if genetic markers for feed efficiency based on drylot tests reflect feed efficiency on pasture where terrain, water sources and plant diversity are very different from a pen setting. Genetic markers for residual feed intake (RFI) have been identified that correlate well with actual RFI determined during the standard trials in pens […] Read more

New supplement results in more beef and less methane

Feeding: News Roundup from the April 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Beef and dairy farmers around the world are looking for ways to reduce methane emissions from their herds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To help meet this goal, researchers from Canada and Australia teamed up for a comprehensive three-year study to find the best feeding practices that reduce methane emissions while still supporting profitable dairy […] Read more