GFM Network News

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

Albertans urged to test winter feeds

Feed: News Roundup from the October 23, 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Albertans are being advised to test their winter forage supplies this fall. “Livestock feed supplies are going to be tight in some areas of Alberta, while in other areas, quality may be an issue,” says Andrea Hanson, beef extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Testing identifies the nutrients available so the ration can be […] 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

Research into the suitability of biochar as a livestock feed supplement will look for a reduction in methane or hydrogen emissions.

Biochar could be a game changer

Environment: News Roundup from the June 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

A multi-pronged research project based in Alberta aims to assess whether feeding biochar in backgrounding and finishing rations could be a way to reduce methane emissions created during enteric fermentation in the ruminant digestive system. Biochar can be manufactured from any type of feedstock with a fibre component — wood waste from saw mills, coconut […] Read more

 You need to test the feed, says Barry Yaremcio, an Alberta beef and forage specialist.

The pros and cons of grazing cover crops

Cover crops have traditionally been used to help hold the soil when transitioning between different types of cash crops, and are often plowed under before planting the next crop — to add organic material and fertility to the soil. Farmers with livestock often select cover crops that can be grazed, adding an additional benefit as […] Read more

Consider more than cost when switching winter rations

News Roundup from the March 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Reducing feed costs for wintering cows can pay huge dividends. “It’s been estimated that for every $1 that you save in winter feed costs, the net profit for the operation increases by $2.48,” says Barry Yaremcio, beef/forage specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Stettler. High hay prices have resulted in some producers changing to a straw/grain […] Read more

A drought-damaged corn stand.

Do you have enough cattle feed this winter?

You may have more than you think

We will always have to face drought. It’s inevitable. This past year is no exception. The biggest question you need to ask yourself as a cow-calf operator is, “DO I HAVE ENOUGH FEED TO GET THROUGH THE WINTER?” You need to take an inventory of your stored feed and then calculate backwards to see how […] 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