GFM Network News


If you’re feeding alfalfa hay, you may actually have to restrict intake to prevent your cows from becoming over-conditioned.

‘As fed’ or ‘dry matter’ — does it matter?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

When I visit with beef producers about their feeding program, I often sense confusion when I talk feed dry matter (DM) values or express intakes on a DM basis. Most producers, when they think of their feeding program, think “as fed” and have difficulty converting to DM. Getting this conversion correct, however, is critical to […] Read more

Major innovations in the packing industry have helped ensure the safety of Canadian beef.

In the blink of an eye

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Writing this column is somewhat of a reflective event, as it is the last column I will write as a member of the University of Saskatchewan agriculture faculty. I have been blessed to have worked at the U of S for 32 years, the last 26 of which I have served as the Saskatchewan Beef […] Read more


Producers need to ruminate on logistics, pasture conditions and animal welfare as well as feed costs during a shortage.

Take-aways from the 2018 beef summit, Part 2

Second instalment of a two-part series highlighting “take-aways” from the 2018 Beef Summit in Calgary that combined the International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare and the UCVM Beef Cattle Conference

This is the second instalment of a two-part series highlighting take-aways from the 2018 Beef Summit held this summer in Calgary. This year’s conference combined the International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare and the UCVM Beef Cattle Conference. Topics included applied research findings and emerging animal welfare issues facing the beef cattle industry. Dr. Dan […] Read more

Don Pochylko with calf.

A tribute to Don Pochylko

Purely Purebred with Mike Millar: News about you from the November 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Hereford and cattle juniors from all breeds have until December 15 to apply for two $1,500 awards to participate or attend a cattle-related event or learning experience. It is all part of the Beef Cattle Learning Award created by Frances, Lance and Sheri Leachman of Big Gully Farms at Maidstone, Sask., in memory of Buddy […] Read more


Preg-checking identifies fertile cows early but culling early doesn’t always pay.

Does preg-checking cows pay?

Perfection is not possible in the cattle business, but excellence can be achieved

It’s a “forever” debate. On one side of the scrum are the naysayers who claim preg-checking is sacrilege foisted on the industry by unscrupulous, profiteering veterinarians. They maintain that open cows in the spring are worth more, can be wintered profitably, they manage what calf crop is on the ground just fine, and that veterinary […] 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


Canadian and U.S. calf preconditioning trends

Conventional preconditioning programs generally include at minimum — castration, dehorning, vaccination against clostridial and bacterial diseases, parasite control, weaning for a period of 30-plus days, and acclimation to feedstuffs, bunks and water bowls prior to sale. The term itself is not narrowly defined and can mean different things to different people including a combination of […] Read more

Pastures of any sort as well as annual crops can harbour conditions that lead to fog fever.

Know the signs of fog fever

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Fog fever is not an uncommon condition in adult beef cattle this time of year. It is often sudden in onset and can be a cause of sudden death affecting a significant number of mature cows. It has nothing to do with “fog,” it is linked to nutrition not infection, and body temperature in affected […] Read more



High-risk calves a welfare concern

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) accounts for 65 to 80 per cent of the morbidity (sickness) and 45 to 75 per cent of the mortality (deaths) in feedlots. Dr. Dan Thompson of Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine 2018 Beef Cattle Conference on managing high-risk calves, highlighted the […] Read more