GFM Network News


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What is custom grazing?

From the Ground Up with Steve Kenyon

Custom grazing is an arrangement or contract between two parties where a livestock owner pays grazing fees to another for the management of the animals on pasture. The custom grazier would have control of the land, manage the animals, and deal with water and fencing. The labour and equipment costs would be included in the […] Read more

(Doug Wilson photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Feed weekly outlook: Heat reducing potential yields, raising prices

MarketsFarm — The hot and dry summer that has enveloped all of Western Canada is already bringing down projected yields for feed grains, creating an inverse effect on prices. “We’re losing the crop here right now with the heat and lack of moisture across the Prairies and the northern Plains of the United States,” said […] Read more


Farmer and Grainews columnist Toban Dyck inspects wheat on July 6, 2021 near Winkler, Man., where hot and dry weather has led to thin, uneven stands. (Photo: Reuters/Rod Nickel)

Saskatchewan raises salvage threshold for parched crops

Stock watering program also boosted; APAS, Tories' ag critic had called for more drought aid

Saskatchewan’s provincial crop insurance agency is raising the yield threshold at which drought-damaged crops can be grazed, baled for greenfeed or cut for silage with no penalty on future coverage. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. said Wednesday it would double the “low yield appraisal” threshold values on cereal or pulse crop acres put to feed. SCIC […] Read more

Overgrazing doesn’t just reduce above-ground growth. It also reduces root growth.

Underground herbicides

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

When I was a kid, my dad found Russian knapweed in a pasture along an irrigation canal. He explained that it was important to catch this weed quickly because it can spread very aggressively. Russian knapweed reproduces using seeds as well as by buds growing from its roots (somewhat similar to the sod-forming grasses in […] Read more


When the government pulled out of community pastures, operations became the responsibility of board members and patron volunteers.

Community pasture patrons adapt to new business models

The following is the second in a three-part series exploring how different community pastures shifted from government to producer operation, and the ongoing effects of that shift. Years after government decided to turn over community pasture management to patrons, board members and staff are still finding new approaches to managing and improving operations while ensuring […] Read more

Cows grazing winter wheat and fall rye in September 2018.

Adding winter cereal crops to the annual forage mix

Dr. Vern Baron makes the case for winter cereals as cow chow

Spring barley and oats are typical annual forage choices for many beef producers, but winter cereals can add forage flexibility to beef cattle diets. Dr. Vern S. Baron has worked with forage crops since the 1980s — with a master’s and PhD in corn production and physiology. Much of that time has been with Agriculture […] Read more


The Beef Cattle Research Council has released its five-year research and extension strategy.

How Mother Nature hedges her bets

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Pasture plants are generally classified as decreasers, increasers and invaders. Decreaser species are the plants you want to see and your cattle prefer to eat, so they face the most grazing pressure. Increaser plants tend to thrive when the decreaser species are challenged by overgrazing, drought or other sub-optimal conditions. Invaders (weeds) proliferate when increasers […] Read more

Supplementing minerals on pasture — a necessary evil!

Supplementing minerals on pasture — a necessary evil!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Hopefully, as you read this article, “spring has sprung” and pastures across the country are showing signs of early growth. For cow-calf operators, the arrival of spring signifies the transition from winter feeding to a new grazing season. Spring pasture growth is considered an excellent forage source for meeting the nutritional requirements of lactating cows, […] Read more


Salinity in central Saskatchewan, just off Highway 15.

Managing soil salinity for the long haul

Establishing perennial forages is one of the top recommended methods to manage saline soils for the long term

Growing up on a mixed farm in southern Alberta, Alan Iwaasa was no stranger to the costly headaches that saline soils could create. “There were certain land bases that just were poor,” Iwaasa recalls. “For a period of time, there was a lot of effort that was looking at levelling your land and putting in […] Read more

Cattle waiting at the Pathlow Community Pasture in July 2006.

Ideas for advanced grazing management

Once you’ve established the foundation of grazing management, you’re ready to fine-tune the system

The idea of moving cattle to graze higher-quality forages goes back hundreds of years. Long before barbed wire and electric fences, shepherds would move their flocks every day to new areas to graze. Similarly, on the North American prairie, the vast herds of buffalo were continually on the move in search of better grazing. The […] Read more