GFM Network News


While cost likely limits the market for self-propelled balers, they do push computerization, Adam Verner says.

Balers evolving to make silage and run non-stop

Given the short haying windows, Adam Verner sees growth potential for wet hay and silage balers. But manufacturers still face challenges around speed, bale density and cost

The earliest round balers were amazing but frustrating machines. During forage season, I would exhibit a semi-permanent crick in the neck combined with a disturbing vocabulary of profanities. Constant fear of a plugged pickup, a twisted belt or a roller bearing displaying the telltale signs of smoke before the fire plagued my working days. These […] Read more

Cattle bale grazing in central Saskatchewan.


Tips for bale grazing

Feeding: News Roundup from the January 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Bale grazing not only helps keep cows fat and sassy over the winter, but can also improve areas with low fertility and reduce yardage costs. Research studies in Saskatchewan and Alberta have found higher forage production on bale-grazed sites than control sites with no bale grazing, the Beef Cattle Research Council notes in Extended Grazing, […] Read more


Using feed bunks ensures cattle consume the highest-quality portions of the plants.

Running the numbers on bale processors

Research shows that bale processors can increase digestibility and cut feed waste, especially if used in the right system

When I was growing up, if someone had mentioned the words “bale processor,” I would have assumed they were describing my twice-daily task of manually transporting heavy square bales from the stack through herds of playful cattle intent on destroying them before they reached their destination. The processing part was snapping the sisal twine and […] Read more



When cows bale graze, are they letting good quality forages fall by the wayside?

Bale grazing trial looks at feed waste

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

Bale grazing is a common winter feeding practice but how much forage are those cows leaving behind? Alberta Agriculture and Food recently shared results from one trial that examined that question. The Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA) measured waste from bale grazing over four winters, from 2008 through 2011. The study was done using the […] Read more

Despite its size, wads of net wrap such as this one can be easy to miss in a full rumen if you are not looking for it.

‘Software disease’ — The hazards of plastic, net wrap and twines

Animal Health: Ingestion of plastics has become a common killer

Cattle, especially young ones, are curious and chew on anything within reach. They may eat baling twines, plastic bags and other debris that ends up in their pen or pasture. The strange material may taste or smell interesting, so the animals chomp it down. Sometimes they accidentally ingest foreign objects in their feed. Cattle eat […] 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


Don’t waste your expensive feed

This will be a difficult winter for drought-stricken cow-calf producers. It will be essential to make the best use of available feed stocks and look at ways of reducing wastage of this valuable resource. Cows can be very wasteful creatures especially if forages are fed free choice be it dried hay or bale grazing. In […] Read more

Measuring feed quality in the field

A new system allows for bale-by-bale feed value testing

In challenging economic times it is more important than ever to know the value of the alfalfa forage you are feeding your dairy or beef cattle. Whether you are blending alfalfa in a ration to maximize lactation, fertility and calf growth, or utilizing lesser-quality hay for dry cattle or replacements, you want to know that […] Read more