GFM Network News


Separating heifers from mature cows reduces competition at the bunk and allows producers to formulate a diet specific to the needs of growing heifers.

Nutrition 101 for replacement heifers

Six tips to create a nutrition plan to give replacement heifers the best start possible in your herd

Setting clear benchmarks is an ideal place to begin when creating your heifer development program. This is where Kristin Thompson, ruminant nutritionist for New Life Mills, begins when she works with cow-calf producers to develop nutrition programs for replacement females. Monitoring your heifers’ growth begins with knowing how much they need to gain by the […] Read more




How can you ensure your cows get an adequate supply of fat-soluble vitamins, particularly during late pregnancy and early lactation?

Vitamins to consider when cattle feeding

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to discuss winter feeding programs with numerous cow-calf producers across the country. One positive trend that I have noticed from these discussions is the widespread acceptance of mineral feeding. However, when it comes to vitamins, there seems to be confusion or in some cases skepticism about the […] Read more


Managing a mineral program for cattle

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Last month I wrote on the importance of a mineral feeding program and focused on some of the more common questions producers have on this topic. As we move through calving and into the breeding season, ensuring that your cattle have access to the right minerals is only one part of a successful mineral feeding […] Read more

What happened to the vitamin supply?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Many of you are likely aware that the feed industry is facing a critical shortage of vitamins A and E. This shortage is the result of a fire in October at a processing plant in Germany owned by BASF, one of the global leaders in the provision of vitamins for humans and livestock. The damaged […] Read more


Strive for consistency when feeding cattle

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Striving for consistency may not sound like the most exciting goal, but when it comes to feeding cattle, it should be one of our golden rules! Consistency is essential if we want to keep cattle on an even keel and prevent wild swings in intake. This includes consistency in when we feed; how we load, […] Read more

More questions on mineral nutrition (part 2)

Nutrition with John McKinnon

With this column, I want to continue our discussion on mineral feeding. Last month I addressed questions regarding the adequacy/availability of trace minerals naturally found in tame and native grasses and how effective they were in meeting requirements; the role of sulphur and molybdenum in copper deficiency, and the need to understand your mineral tag […] Read more


The makings of a perfect storm

Nutrition with John McKinnon

The winter of 2016-17 is shaping up to be a challenge for cow-calf operators across Canada. While much of October and November were relatively stress free in terms of winter’s wrath, as we moved into the new year, extreme cold and snow has gripped much of the country. Coupled with hay shortages in Eastern Canada […] 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