GFM Network News


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

A calving ease EPD is a better measure than only looking at a potential heifer bull’s head, neck or shoulders, says Travis Olson.

Calving ease top priority when selecting heifer bulls

Calving ease EPD more important than assessing a bull visually, says Alberta producer

When it’s time to choose a heifer bull, expected progeny difference for calving ease tops one beef producer’s list. The birth weight expected progeny difference (EPD) is accurate but it’s simply an average, says Travis Olson of Ole Farms at Athabasca, Alta. For example, two bulls could have an average birth weight EPD of 75 […] Read more


Even the best cow could use a little help to maximize the potential of her bull calf by weaning.

Supplementing young bull calves before weaning pays off

Testes development, fertility greatly impacted by being well-fed

Young bulls need to be fed adequately for proper growth and development, and future fertility, but we are still learning about the best way to feed them, according to John Kastelic, a professor of theriogenology and head of the department of production animal health, in the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine. “In beef […] Read more

How castration method and age affect pain in young calves

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Canada’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle requires that castration be performed by an experienced person who uses proper, clean, well-maintained equipment and accepted techniques. A producer is expected to seek guidance from their veterinarian on the optimum method and timing of castration, as well as the availability and advisability […] Read more


Blair and Stephanie McIntosh started their Simmental herd in 2003 with six cows, one heifer and a bull.

Stay balanced

Building a seedstock business from scratch

Anyone who raises cattle knows the work is never done, it just changes with the seasons. Raising breeding stock takes that commitment to another level with registrations, shows, and sale preparations often colliding with the start of a new calving season. Despite all of the extras involved, Blair and Stephanie McIntosh knew from the get-go […] Read more

Preg-checking scorecard for cow-calf producers

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Pregnancy checking remains one of the most underutilized management tools in the cow-calf business. Overlooking the chance to gather herd information as cows come off pasture in the fall is a missed opportunity for the cow-calf producer. A trip through the chute in fall should be much more than determining which cows to keep and […] Read more


It's possible with DNA testing to figure out which bull sired your calves, but is it worth the hassle?

Which bull sired that calf?

Parentage testing in multi-sire pastures goes under the microscope

Collecting DNA samples for parentage testing from bulls and the resulting calves from multi-sire breeding pastures is the only way to find out each bull’s value to your operation. A bull might come with a great package of traits you want to see passed to your calves, but the bull’s value is questionable if the […] Read more

History: Calgary’s 1950 bull sale

Reprinted from the April 1950 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Calgary’s 1950 Bull Sale By Lorne Stout, Calgary, Alta. Calgary’s Golden Anniversary Spring Bull Show and Sale more than lived up to its golden expectations, for an all-time record 1,162 Sires were sold in four busy days by the five auctioneers and while average prices were lower, the total value of $653,101.63 was within a […] Read more


Has cattle industry productivity improved in recent years?

Charlie Gracey looks at the claim that we're producing more beef with fewer cows

For several years now I have been tracking industry productivity or output. Productivity improvement is important for any industry, and its just as important that producers should know whether progress is being made, at what rate, and in what manner. This brief discussion explores some of these factors. Recent claims that the cattle industry is […] Read more

History: Alberta’s Horn Penalty and Fund

Abridged from the January 1950 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Alberta’s Horn Penalty and Fund By Kenneth Coppock Alberta has given some good leads and some bad ones to the other western provinces. In the matter of the horn penalty we are convinced that the lead given was definitely bad. A brief historical review should be of interest. Over a long period Canadian packers pointed […] Read more