GFM Network News


Pea straw has higher protein levels than oat, barley or triticale straw.

What to consider when choosing alternate cattle feed sources

Anything from pea straw to cull potatoes can help producers plug the feed gap

With a hay shortage looming across much of the Prairies, many cattle producers will need to look further afield for feed. There are numerous options for alternate feeds, such as salvaging hail-damaged or stressed crops. Nitrate toxicity is a concern if the crop was highly fertilized with nitrogen, but Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist […] Read more

Don’t delay planning your winter feed supply

Nutrition with John McKinnon

This past winter was challenging, particularly for those of you who experienced drought in 2018. Feed supplies were extremely tight and compounded by unseasonably cold weather in February and March. As a result, many producers had to scramble to get sufficient feed to carry their cattle through the winter. While it is too early to […] Read more


It doesn’t look like much but cattle love cottonseed hulls.

Cottonseed hulls gaining favour in Canadian show cattle

Some producers in the U.S. are turning cattle out on cotton fields after harvest to graze

It may not be pretty, but a roughage source popular south of the border is drawing interest from Canadians on the show circuit. Cottonseed hulls, a popular livestock feed in the United States, is becoming more sought-after in Canada, particularly for exhibitors looking for extra fill in their show cattle. Byproducts of the cotton industry, […] Read more

“We did not see any interaction between cattle RFI ranking and diet quality.” Dr. Hushton Block, Ag Canada, Lacombe, Alta.

Balancing your nutrients will pay off

Research looked at improving the economic and feed efficiency for beef cattle

Dr. Hushton Block, beef cattle nutritionist previously at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Bran­don Research Centre and now currently at Lacombe, is interested in finding ways of improving the economic and feed efficiency for beef cattle. One idea Block looked at deals with how beef cattle with better (lower) residual feed intake (RFI) react with […] Read more


New supplement results in more beef and less methane

Feeding: News Roundup from the April 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Beef and dairy farmers around the world are looking for ways to reduce methane emissions from their herds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To help meet this goal, researchers from Canada and Australia teamed up for a comprehensive three-year study to find the best feeding practices that reduce methane emissions while still supporting profitable dairy […] Read more

Forage quality from the perspective of 1-billion bacterial cells

Nutrition with John McKinnon

It is a time of year when feedlot operators and cow-calf producers are implementing their winter feeding programs. Forage, whether it is fed as hay, stockpiled forage (i.e. barley swaths or standing corn) or silage will play a big role in the vast majority of these operations. For feedlot operations, good-quality hay is often used […] Read more


Research into the suitability of biochar as a livestock feed supplement will look for a reduction in methane or hydrogen emissions.

Biochar could be a game changer

Environment: News Roundup from the June 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

A multi-pronged research project based in Alberta aims to assess whether feeding biochar in backgrounding and finishing rations could be a way to reduce methane emissions created during enteric fermentation in the ruminant digestive system. Biochar can be manufactured from any type of feedstock with a fibre component — wood waste from saw mills, coconut […] Read more

Musings on how much cattle eat and drink

Charlie Gracey looks at grain and water usage in cattle

Conventional wisdom holds that beef cattle are wasteful users of grain and in direct competition with humans for finite supplies of food grains and water. Thus the large acreages devoted to feed grains might better be deployed in the production of crops directly consumable by humans. This observation may appear logical on the surface but, […] Read more


Barley variety and silage quality

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Barley silage is the main roughage fed in western Canadian feedlots, but few barley breeders try to improve its feed quality. Most breeders focus on improved grain yields, malting characteristics and better disease and lodging resistance, and pay little attention to feed quality traits like protein, starch, or neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content and digestibility […] Read more