GFM Network News


Klassen: Feeder cattle demand surges

Cow-calf producers already thinking spring

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearlings sold $3-$5 higher while calves traded $6 to as much as $10 higher. The return of moderate temperatures enhanced buying enthusiasm across the Prairies. Strength in deferred live cattle futures appeared to offset strong feed grain values. Yearling prices were rather soft through January and the first half […] Read more

Klassen: Cold weather slows feeder cattle market activity

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were relatively unchanged. Extreme temperatures blanketed Western Canada last week. Many auction barns cancelled sales or had limited numbers on offer. Buyers attended sales either in person or via the internet, which was supportive to the overall price structure. Many backgrounders and cow-calf producers delayed sales […] Read more



Klassen: Feeder market bounces on optimistic outlook

Feed barley remains near historical highs

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices traded $2-$4 higher; prices for mid-weight calves were quoted $4-$8 above week-ago levels. Calves under 550 lbs. traded $6 to as much as $10 higher compared to seven days earlier. Improving feedlot margins were the main factor driving the feeder market. June and August live cattle futures […] Read more



Cold weather also poses a challenge to newborn calves, but with good cow nutrition, shelter and disease management, they’re better prepared to survive those conditions.  


Preventing weak calf syndrome

Factors ranging from cow nutrition to weather to disease can cause this often complex condition

Weak calf syndrome is a general condition rather than a specific disease, and can be caused by several different factors, sometimes multiple factors at the same time. The newborn calf is weak, unable or slow to rise, stand or nurse. These calves often die within three days of birth. They are sometimes called “dummy calves” […] Read more



“You have to do what works for you. Every operation has a unique set of circumstances.” – Dr. Klea-Ann Wasilow, Maple Creek Veterinary Services.

A tale of two calving systems

Confined and pasture methods each have risks and benefits

For beef producers, calving season can be both stressful and enjoyable. Witnessing new life can be refreshing, but calving time is the most critical period in the cow-calf production cycle. Whether or not calving season is a success will set the tone for an operations’ entire year or longer, having an impact on animal health, […] Read more


Klassen: Higher feed grain prices continue to pressure feeders

Compared to mid-December, western Canadian yearlings traded $3-$5 lower; mid-weight calves are down $4-$6 while calves under 550 lbs. remained firm. Buyers exhibited a defensive tone on heavier yearlings and discounts were more severe on fleshier cattle last week. There is absolutely no risk appetite for 850-plus-lb. cattle at this time of year. Demand for […] Read more

Twelve hours is the golden window for getting colostrum into a newborn calf.

The ins and outs of stomach tubing calves

New calves in distress or having trouble nursing can still get their first colostrum by tubing, giving them a better shot at good health

Finding a newborn calf too weak to stand or in distress is all too common. Without intervention, calves in this condition will likely die. It doesn’t have to end that way according to Dr. Melissa Wallace of Livestock Veterinary Services, Picture Butte, Alta. Vulnerable calves can receive their first colostrum by tubing, essentially jump-starting health […] Read more