GFM Network News


Hereford calves eating corn from a feed bunk. Introducing calves to a feed ration while they’re still on the cow helps ease weaning stress.

Backgrounding basics – easing the transition from weaning to feeding

Backgrounding calves can add value, but does come with more risk. Learn how to manage those risks and shepherd calves through the post-weaning phase

Adding weight to calves through backgrounding can be an effective way to increase the worth of both lower-value cattle and feeds. However, beef producers have to do their homework to make sure cattle transition successfully from weaning to feeding. “If you have a good source of cheap feed, you can put a lot of pounds […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Yearling prices stay sluggish, calves hold value

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were steady to $4 lower; calves and grass cattle were relatively unchanged. Early in the week, the mood was quite depressing; yearlings were under pressure with feedlot buyers on the sidelines. By Friday, the market appeared to be well established. Backgrounding operators have been active sellers over […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder market lacks buying interest

Klassen: Feeder market lacks buying interest

Market gives in to pressure from Chicago futures

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $5-$8 lower on average, with yearlings dropping as much as $10-$12 in certain areas. It appears buyers are incorporating a risk discount due to uncertainty in beef demand longer-term. Rising unemployment levels, sluggish consumer confidence and a sharp drop in disposable income are all factors […] Read more




Feedlot margins are set up to move into the negative for the second quarter of 2019.

Feeder cattle outlook lower in 2019

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

I’ve received many calls from cattle producers over the past couple of weeks with regard to the feeder cattle outlook for the spring period. Feeder cattle prices made seasonal highs during the first week of October and then started to trend lower. This weakness caught many cow-calf producers off guard as they failed to realize […] Read more


Don’t pass on ionophores when backgrounding calves

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

Animal care is ongoing at the Lifv

New name and facilities for Western Beef Development Centre

A new facility at the University of Saskatchewan includes both cow-calf and forage research

There are changes afoot at the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) including a new name, additional locations and increased research, teaching and outreach capacity. On April 1, 2018, the Western Beef Development Centre, a division of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), rolled into the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).WBDC […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder market sends mixed signals

Compared to last week, western Canadian average yearling prices were steady to $3 lower while heavier replacements above 1,000 lbs. actively traded $3 to as much as $6 lower. Weakness in deferred live cattle futures, along with rising feed grain prices, caused buyers to lower their bids accordingly. Steers averaging 1,000 lbs. were readily trading […] Read more

Understanding the forward curve in the futures market

Understanding the forward curve in the futures market

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

I’ve received many calls from backgrounding operators and feedlot managers in regard to the feeder cattle market. Prices have strengthened throughout the fall period and it now appears that potential margins will be quite snug for all weight categories. The futures market for live and feeder cattle is reflecting two distinct price structures. Discerning the […] Read more