GFM Network News


A livestock extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture says it’s important that cattle consume the feed in front of them, especially when considering body condition score over winter.

Beef and forage issues series aims to boost innovation

Forages: News Roundup from the September 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has published a series of six articles covering a pilot project that brought together farmers, ranchers, scientists and experts to improve technology and innovation adoption. For the pilot, participants toured east-central Alberta farms and discussed several topics. One topic was smooth versus rough awns. Many cattle feeders have voiced concerns about […] Read more

McKinnon: It’s silage season again

For many readers, as this article comes to press, silage season is either just starting or about to start. Putting up high-quality silage is both an art and a science. With this article I will review some of the key aspects of silage fermentation management that relate to putting up high-quality silage. Before we focus […] Read more


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

Many regions in Western Canada and Quebec are eligible for livestock tax deferrals due to dry conditions this year.

Feed Watch: July 22, 2019

While rain has generally improved conditions in Western Canada, a hay shortage looms in many regions. On Monday morning, the federal government released its initial list of regions eligible for livestock tax deferrals. The tax deferral allows livestock producers in designated areas to defer some of their 2019 sales to 2020, in order to restock […] Read more


In the foothills south of Calgary, July 14, 2019.

Feed Watch: July 15, 2019

As the summer wears on, the precipitation situation varies greatly across the Prairies. Rain has been plentiful in some areas, but other regions are looking at hay yields well below average. Parts of Manitoba are also losing hope for a decent second cut. Alberta The next Alberta crop report won’t be released until July 19. […] Read more

Brian Cunningham’s bison on pasture near Pigeon Lake, Alta.

Feed Watch: June 24, 2019

A look at growing conditions for forage and feed across the Prairies and Ontario

Some areas in Western Canada welcomed rain recently. But overall, the Prairies are facing a 200-millimetre moisture deficit, Environment Canada estimates. To turn around the growing season, timing of rain is at least as important as volume, Marlo Glass reports in MarketsFarm. Drought-stricken areas will need a rainy day every week or 10 days throughout […] Read more


Canadian farmers are expected to increase barley acreage this year as U.S. farmers plant more corn acres.

Klassen: Barley outlook

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

The feed grains complex has been volatile over the past month as the market moves through a transition phase. During the second week of May, southern Alberta feedlots were buying feed barley in the range of $255/mt to $265/mt delivered while central Alberta operations were making purchases from $240/mt to $250/mt delivered. For September delivery, […] Read more

Brad Welter speaks to radio reporter Jack Dawes and Kevin Hursh during a Sask Farm Writer Association media tour on June 8.

Feed Watch: June 17, 2019

A look at growing conditions in the Prairies and Ontario

This spring, many agricultural regions across Canada have faced a Goldilocks scenario with rain — most have received either too much or too little, with very few getting it just right. For many beef producers and feedlot operators, that will mean finding alternative feed supplies. Brad Welter, president of Pound-Maker Ag Ventures, is all too […] Read more


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Polycultures: A cocktail forage mix for semiarid prairies

Producers rely on grazing native, tame perennial pastures or stockpiled forages to typically feed their cattle. Annual diverse forage mixtures give producers an opportunity to provide high quality feed while also gaining additional benefits for the soil and ecosystem. Polycultures could even be integrated into a crop rotation or used as green manure (working it […] Read more

Upcoming sainfoin varieties have improved persistence and yield when grown and grazed in mixed stands with alfalfa.

Persistence pays when it comes to forage breeding

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Forage legumes provide high yields, protein and good animal performance while improving soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air. Alfalfa is the highest yielding and most widely used legume but can cause bloat. Legumes like cicer milkvetch, sainfoin and birdsfoot trefoil do not cause bloat. As little as 25 per cent sainfoin in a […] Read more