GFM Network News


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

Most cases of scours in calves occur at three days or older, meaning they are most likely viral in origin so electrolytes will do more good than antibiotics.

Lessons from a neonatal disease survey

Calving: Measuring the incidence of early calfhood diseases across Western Canada

A very comprehensive survey was completed a few years ago by Dr. Cheryl Waldner at the Western Veterinary College in Saskatoon looking at the incidence of early calfhood diseases across Western Canada. Surveys were distributed to veterinary clinics across this region and randomly distributed to their clients. Thanks should go to the participating veterinarians and […] Read more


Low-stress weaning for calves

A less stressful weaning process makes for healthier calves

Weaning time has traditionally been traumatic for calves, mama cows and ranchers, but it doesn’t need to be. “There are better ways to wean calves, says Bart Lardner, a beef and forage research scientist at the University of Saskatchewan. “Abrupt weaning is the most stressful, for both the cow and calf. The question has been […] 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


Higher feed costs are expected to have an impact on all types of winter feeding systems.

Don’t let high winter feed costs stall reproductive momentum

Management: News Roundup from the October 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Across Canada dry conditions are contributing to a poor hay crop and uncertain feed grain production. Consequently, winter feed costs for cows are moving higher. Planning now for winter feeding provides an opportunity to utilize available feed resources most efficiently. Pregnancy-checking and assessing body condition of cows can help you make the best use of […] Read more

Most of the attention for antibiotic use in the beef industry is focused on the feedlot sector, but antibiotic use at the cow-calf level is also important.

Antibiotic use on Canadian cow-calf operations

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Antibiotic use records are important for producers who want to track the effectiveness of the antibiotics they use. Industry groups need antibiotic use data to refute misleading claims about our production practices. Even restaurant chains and meat companies marketing “antibiotic-free” beef need records to keep treated animals out of their “never-ever” supply stream. When it […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder cattle market holding value

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were steady to as much as $4 higher while calf values traded within $5 on either side of unchanged. Current feedlot margins are hovering around break-even, but profitability will improve during October and November, given the recent strength in the deferred live cattle futures. Therefore, short-keep feeders […] Read more

The driving factor behind creep feeding calves is to increase weight gains while on pasture.

Creep feeding – What side of the debate are you on?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Creep feeding is a management practice where nursing calves are fed supplemental feed while on pasture. Its economic benefits have been hotly debated by those in industry and academia alike. Those in favour point to the increased value of heavier calves at weaning, the potential sparing of summer forage supplies, and the health benefits associated […] Read more



A 60-day breeding season is an ideal goal to shoot for.

Keep your cattle breeding season short

Breeding: News Roundup from the June 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

It is my experience that there is no single best calving season for all operations. Each is unique in terms of labour, facilities, feedstuffs, and ultimately, the selection should be determined by the likelihood of achieving the highest conception rates and calf crop percentage weaned with your available resources. Regardless of when you calve, there is […] Read more