GFM Network News


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

A sampler of ranchers’ views on 2017

As might be expected, their plans range from expansion to standing pat and retirement

Rebuilding and expanding herds, or staying about the same — that seems to be what western Canadian ranchers have in mind as they head into 2017. Despite a sharp downturn in the cattle markets in 2016, only one member of this Ranchers’ Panel was talking about downsizing, with retirement in mind. The 2016 fall market […] Read more


An industry in crisis

Is there a way back? Cow-calf producers hold the key

A cattle-feeding industry that by year-end will have lost an estimated billion dollars since August 2015 plus a cow-calf sector that has lost more than one million cows and over 20,000 producers in the past decade strongly suggests an industry in crisis. Cattle feeders might be excused if they are not quite as optimistic about […] Read more

CCA Report: Cattle transport rules need to remain science based

From the October 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fall is always a busy time for beef producers, as they manage through the fall calf run and make herd management and culling decisions. Producers consider a number of factors, including the outcomes of the harvest on their own farm, the farms they buy feed from, and if there is enough feed overall to winter […] Read more


Taste-testing during a Canadian Beef Advantage Seminar in Shanghai in 2013.

Some thoughts on China’s beef business

Nutrition with John McKinnon, beef cattle nutritionist

Recently I had the opportunity to visit China and spend some time with beef and dairy producers in this vast and truly interesting country. As this article goes to press in midsummer, I thought it would be interesting to provide you with a few insights into beef production in this part of the world. This […] Read more

When beef supplies are growing, the futures market anticipates that increased supply and deferred futures trade at discounts to nearby months.

Understanding cattle markets

Whenever I provide a market outlook for a producer group or convention related to beef production, I always start off by asking how many producers subscribe to market information. Inevitably, maybe three or four hands go up. The market outlook is always the last topic of discussion at the convention and needless to say, given […] Read more


Producer Bob Lowe says the Canadian beef industry needs to get behind producing verified sustainable beef.

Sustainable beef is within our grasp

McDonald’s Restaurant project set the tone for Canadian beef industry

Alberta cattleman Bob Lowe didn’t have to do any management back flips on his ranch to produce cattle that under a recently completed pilot project qualify as “verifiable sustainable beef.” He has always aimed to apply sound production and environmental practices with his 500-head commercial cow-calf operation and 7,000-head-capacity southern Alberta feedlot. He and family […] Read more

Three-compartment ground feeder.

Weatherproof feeder betters your chances of correct mineral intake

Beef cows can’t live without minerals and vitamins, which are often deficient or biologically unavailable in many pastures. I routinely recommend cattle producers feed sufficient well-formulated loose cattle mineral on a regular basis. I find that most people will take time in choosing a commercial beef mineral that’s formulated to meet their cows’ respective seasonal […] Read more


Calvin Lamport, along with his sons Layne and Cole and daughter Kayla, got to see a quad birth in early March at their farm at Alida, Sask. The five-year old Charolais cross cow had birthed twins two years in a row so it wasn’t too surprising when Calvin pulled three calves from her. The bonus calf came about a half hour after the new family was put into a fresh pen. They weighed 50, 47, 46 and 46 pounds a couple of hours after the birth.

Cowboy politics

News Roundup from the April 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Beef Farmers of Ontario BFO is looking forward to another year of advancing its Beef North initiative as well as projects in southern Ontario, all aimed at expanding the province’s cow herd by at least 100,000 head. That’s the number of calves needed just by the Ontario Corn-Fed Beef value chain to meet its requirements […] Read more

CCA Report: The way forward

From the April 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

I am pleased to be addressing you as president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). I, along with vice-president David Haywood-Farmer, were elected by acclamation at the CCA 2016 annual general meeting (AGM) in March. I am truly honoured to take on the role of CCA president and will continue to represent the best interests […] Read more