GFM Network News


Bart Lardner, Janelle Smith and John McKinnon are conducting the backgrounding study.

The economics of raising ‘natural’ beef

Researchers are comparing conventional and other backgrounding systems and crunching the numbers

How much of a premium do producers need to cover the extra cost of backgrounding cattle without growth-enhancing technologies and can they offset some of that cost or improve carcass quality with other strategies? Researchers are currently studying those very questions in a 2.5-year backgrounding study. The backgrounding project is one of many feeding research […] Read more

The Macnabs use a range of annual crops, plus pastures and forages, to feed their cattle.

Young cattle producers managing risk on the ranch

Whether it’s growing feed or selling cattle, Trent Macnab likes to spread out risk

For Trent Macnab, diversity in the winter feeding program has been a way to reduce risk and help build soil nutrients. The regime includes standing corn, straight barley for swath grazing, a cocktail crop mix for swath grazing and bale grazing. It also allows them to have a rotation on their fields, “which cattlemen typically […] Read more


Sweet clover is high in coumarin, which converts to dicoumarol – a potent vitamin K antagonist and anticoagulant– if the plant is spoiled or damaged.

Vet Advice: Avoiding sweet clover poisoning

A variety of bacteria and moulds can grow in sweet clover once baled or put up as silage

Preparing forages and getting them stored in perfect condition seldom happens. Spoilage is often linked to the production of moulds and a broad spectrum of mycotoxins in grains. Syndromes in domestic livestock following consumption of feed containing mycotoxins varies depending on the species of animal involved, the stage of the production cycle when it is […] Read more



Dayna Kenyon.

Just another ‘weed’ hugger

From the Ground Up with Dayna Kenyon

It feels like I’ve been bouncing around in the truck, checking pastures with my dad all my life. Growing up on Greener Pastures Ranching has given me a different world view than most kids my age. Even when I was young, I understood that we need to take care of our environment. I even asked […] Read more

Alberta to lift residency rule for public grazing lands

The Alberta government plans to remove a restriction on non-Albertans’ use of public lands for grazing, in a bid to smooth out paths for interprovincial trade. The province on Saturday announced it will do away with eight of its declared exceptions under the interprovincial Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). Of the eight, three deal with […] Read more


A helicopter drops buckets of water on a forest fire in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

B.C. seeks to control wildfires through grazing

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

In a bid to reduce wildfire damage, the province of B.C. is looking for help from its ranching community. The B.C. Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) recently received a $500,000 wildfire management grant from the province to develop projects that will reduce fine fuels through intensive grazing in high-risk areas, CCA Action News reports. The program will […] Read more

Echo Sand Ranch bulls on display.

Using data to drive decisions

The family behind Echo Sand Ranching and Korova Feeders challenges 
conventional thinking in seedstock production and sales

Data has always driven herd management decisions for Doug and Helga Price, though their methods for using data have greatly evolved over the years. At one time, they calculated performance data for Echo Sand Ranching on paper. Helga spent long hours working this information to rank the females in their herd. Today, with an easy-to-use […] Read more


Dr. Robin White speaks at Beef Symposium 2019 in Guelph.

Harnessing precision technology for better beef profitability

Profitable periods can be elusive in the beef industry, but new precision technologies could be a way to greater returns. That’s according to Dr. Robin White, assistant professor of integrated beef production systems management at Virginia Tech, who spoke at the 2019 Beef Symposium in Guelph, Ont., this past winter. “We want to influence the feedback […] Read more

Adverse weather has prompted producers to reduce herds again this year.

Nitrate toxicity poses risk to cattle

Dry and cool conditions can cause issues when using annual crops as forage and fodder

Haying and grazing season is underway and due to dry conditions more of the forage supply is consisting of small grains and cover crops. Although these crops offer flexibility in cropping systems and a great source of livestock feed, they could pose a risk of nitrate toxicity, according to Janna Block, livestock systems specialist at […] Read more