GFM Network News



Hay and silage day attendees take to the field June 20, 2019, for equipment demonstrations at Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives north of Brandon.

Don’t let hot air spoil your silage

Silage expert highlights dry matter and nutrient loss at a recent hay and silage event in Manitoba

If you think you’ve packed that silage enough, pack it again. That’s among the tidbits from John McKinnon of JJM Nutrition Services in Saskatoon as Manitoba farmers prepare for what’s potentially another bad forage year. Late rains, a delayed or even skipped first hay cut, thin stands, frosts and a generally cold spring all have […] Read more


McKinnon: The math behind animal nutrition lingo

When I visit with producers about their feeding program, I often get questions on “nutrition lingo.” Examples include questions on the meaning of a mineral or protein supplement tag or how much supplement do you need to feed to achieve an ionophore concentration of 22 or 33 ppm? Such confusion is understandable, particularly when you […] Read more

Yikes ­— another crazy winter!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

The winter of 2017-18 is shaping up to be full of unexpected challenges, particularly for those wintering cows in Western Canada. Drought, as well as recent wildfires, have caused many producers to scramble for a forage supply. As well, “old man winter” in all his wisdom has arrived early, with November temperatures in the minus […] 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

Silage cut too dry can cause overheating resulting in brown or burnt-looking patches.

The silage pit has no secrets

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Last month I wrote about the importance of variety when it comes to seeding barley for silage. When writing that article, I got thinking about the principles of making good-quality silage, particularly in relation to feed quality. What really brought this connection home to me however, was my experiences this past winter where I had […] Read more


Vitamin E and selenium — the odd couple!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Mineral nutrition is a recurring theme in this column, attesting to the importance of this class of nutrients in the diets of cattle. I have not, however, paid as much attention to vitamins, which, when deficient, can be as limiting to performance and health as many minerals. With this article I would like to specifically […] 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


Chasing carcass quality not as easy as it looks

Nutrition with John McKinnon, beef cattle nutritionist

This is an interesting time of year when one looks at feedlot placements. Most of last year’s yearlings are gone, with fall-placed calves well into their feeding program. As well, many lots have tried to keep pens full by bringing in short yearlings that were backgrounded over the winter or in some cases by feeding […] Read more

Feedlot operators named 2016 Outstanding Young Farmers

Newsmakers from the March 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Ryan Beierbach of Whitewood is the new chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association; Rick Toney of Gull Lake is vice-chair. New to the board is Sask­atchewan Cattle Feeders Association (SCFA) representative Chad Ross of Estevan, replacing outgoing chair Bill Jameson. Brad Welter returns as the other SCFA rep, as do Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association representatives […] Read more