GFM Network News


Calving date shifting in Ontario

The onset of calving season often depends on the individual operation, says an Ontario cow-calf producer

The vast majority of Ontario producers calve their cows either in the barn or very close to it early in the year, but the current trend is toward later calving dates on grass, according to Craig McLaughlin, a Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) board director and cow-calf producer in Renfrew County. A survey conducted in […] Read more

Softer steel cables fence off the trough and stretch without snapping.

Hopper-bottomed calf feeder cuts labour

A relatively simple system replaced hauling feed with five-gallon buckets on this ranch

Hauling five-gallon buckets to feed the weanlings was a regular chore for the Bowie family, until a fire gave them a chance to do something different. Originally the Bowie family, who ranch in the Great Sandhills of southwestern Sask­atchewan, used an old wooden-wheeled grain wagon to hold feed for the calves. They filled their pails […] Read more


Mike Millar visited Woodjam Ranch as part of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association AGM and tour.

Junior Stockman, Ranchman pair up for Ridin’ and Recitin’

Purely Purebred with Mike Millar: News about you from the November 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

This year has been a whirlwind of events from breed association AGMs, cattle shows, and 4-H junior events. My travels found me in New Brunswick and B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan and overseas in Scotland. What caught my attention was the passion felt by the beef producers nationally and internationally about how lucky we are to […] Read more

If you can select for low-maintenance cows, your profitability will go up.

Genetic Modifications Observed in cattle

From the Ground Up with Steve Kenyon

I am not an expert on cattle genetics. Not even close. I believe that in today’s livestock genetics, there is just as much variability within a breed as there is between breeds. We have diluted our genetics far too much with most breeds and most species. But I would like to share with you a […] 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

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