GFM Network News


Research showed that more complex forage mixtures are likely better able to cope with weather variations than monocultures.

Exceptional forages for marginal lands

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Tame forages often outperform native species in head-to-head comparisons under optimal growing conditions. This may not be the case on marginal land, with its tougher environments, poorer soil, rougher topography, harsher climates and precipitation extremes. Beef production is expected to rely more and more on marginal land, at least while returns from cash crops exceed […] Read more

Beef Cattle Research Council seeking nominations for Outstanding Research and Innovation

Research: News Roundup from the April 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is looking for nominations for the Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. The award, established by the council in 2015, recognizes a researcher or scientist who has contributed to the competitiveness or sustainability of the Canadian beef industry, the council’s website states. Eligible nominees include citizens […] Read more


Producers are expected to seek guidance from their veterinarian on the optimum method and timing of castration.

What we’ve learned about castration in beef cattle

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

When Canada’s 2013 Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle was being developed, some participants felt it should require pain control for castration at all ages, like the dairy code. The producers and researchers on the beef code committee were confident that pain control was beneficial for feedlot bulls and dairy […] Read more

Setting up heifers for success in their first breeding season is crucial to earning back the investment in those animals.

Establishing reproductive momentum in replacement heifers

Make sure you take steps to get the most of your investment

Developing replacement females is an investment that can take years to earn back, making it essential to set them up early for reproductive success. Kathy Larson, research economist at the University of Saskatchewan, discussed the financial considerations of developing replacement females in a Beef Cattle Research Council webinar, including whether to purchase heifers or retain […] Read more


Narrowing in on Johne’s Disease

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Johne’s disease is caused by a bacterium (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, or MAP) that was discovered in 1895 by a heavily bearded, bespectacled bacteriologist from Dresden named Heinrich Albert Johne. When a cow develops persistent, watery, smelly hosepipe diarrhea, and progressively loses weight and body condition, even though her appetite is normal and she isn’t running […] Read more

Ergot (seen at right) is a common cause of mycotoxin in grains.

Mycotoxins and beef cattle

Health: News Roundup from the January 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The Beef Cattle Research Council recently posted an article on mycotoxins and how they affect beef cattle. Mycotoxins are produced by certain types of fungi. Fusarium and ergot are two of the most common causes. Mycotoxins can be found in green pasture, cereal swaths, standing corn for winter grazing, cured and ensiled grass, cereal forages […] Read more


New Year’s resolution: Get better beef grades

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Youthful carcasses from feedlot-finished cattle are graded for yield (amount of meat in the carcass) and quality (marbling score). Federal grading began during the Second World War to ensure quality standards during wartime price controls. Canada’s last major beef grading change occurred in the early 1990s, when Canada added quality grades to the grading system. […] Read more

Comment: Moving on from the plebiscite

From the January 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The Alberta Beef Producers plebiscite results were a disappointment for those hoping for a non-refundable provincial check-off. In case you haven’t been following it, here’s a quick summary of the situation. Each year the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) collects $4.50 per head on cattle sold within the province. The national check-off, which supports the Beef […] Read more


Alberta Beef Producers’ plebiscite results in

Associations: News Roundup from the January 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The results of the Alberta Beef Producers’ plebiscite on the future of the producer check-off model were announced at the start of the AGM in December. The tight results, released by the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council, stated that 51.3 per cent voted for a refundable service charge model, while 48.5 per cent voted for […] Read more

Over a two-year period, a research team collected samples from feedlots, agricultural soils, wetlands, streams, municipal sewage, packing plants, retail meats and human patients.

Does antibiotic resistance move through the environment?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Recent columns have talked about antibiotic use in Canadian cow-calf and feedlot operations. Contrary to common misperceptions, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are very unlikely to transfer from cattle to beef, evade food safety interventions in the processing plant, survive cooking, and cause an antibiotic-resistant infection in a person. But can antibiotic-resistant bacteria be transmitted from cattle, through […] Read more