GFM Network News


Water and fire dominate BCCA meeting

Associations: News Roundup from the August 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Concerns about biodiversity and balancing resources were among the issues voiced by the members of the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association at its 2018 annual general meeting. Newly elected BCCA president Larry Garrett says topics such as disappearing grasslands, water scarcity and using grazing to minimize wildfire risk came to the forefront during the meeting, held […] Read more

Pegged to the ground with bent rebar, the exclusion cages are strong enough to shield the grass inside, even while cattle scratch themselves on the cage.

Putting science into grass management

The Grazing Response Index scores foliage removal, grazing period and recovery time

When it came out of Colorado in the 1990s, the Grazing Response Index (GRI) was strictly at home on the range. Now Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Jodie Horvath says that, with a few tweaks, the grass management tool can help graziers on Western Canada’s tame pastures, too. “When you’re a farmer, a lot of things feel […] Read more


My cover crop

My cover crop

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

There has been lots of excitement during the last few years over cover crops. The soil conferences and seminars have been full of cover crop talks and trade shows are full of salesmen. It is the latest craze in agriculture and I agree that there are a lot of situations where the cover crop is […] Read more

cattle on a pasture

Grass guys developing a forage carbon offset protocol

Forages: News Roundup from the February 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cedric MacLeod considers carbon sequestration through forages and grasslands and the soils they grow in as a long overdue, up-until-now-grossly-underplayed chit that Canada’s grass and forage producers can finally throw down and claim proper ownership on. “Our members grow forage, many run livestock and most plant annual crops too,” says MacLeod, executive director of the […] Read more


The economics behind bale grazing

The economics behind bale grazing

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

I started bale grazing in 1999 and have had many producers over the years thank me for sharing my bale grazing information with them. The usual comment is that they will never go back to the traditional method of feeding cattle. For me, bale grazing was a no-brainer once I looked at the cost savings. […] Read more

Environmental goods and services offer more questions than answers

Environmental goods and services offer more questions than answers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The beef industry takes pride in how forage, grazing and beef production benefit the environment. These environmental goods and services (EG&S) include carbon sequestration, plant and wildlife habitat, reduced soil erosion, watershed recharging, scenery, etc. While consumers pay for beef, the EG&S are free. For instance, many ducks need grasslands and wetlands to nest and […] Read more


Overgrazing is a matter of timing

Overgrazing is a matter of timing

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

Overgrazing. It is a very misunderstood term. Let me clear this up right at the start. It does not matter how many head of livestock. It does not matter how many acres. Everyone wants to know, “How big do I make my paddocks? How many animals should I have on my pasture?” Two ranchers can […] Read more

picturesque green field and blue sky

SARPAL spreads to Manitoba

Sustainability: News Roundup from the April 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Beef producers in southwestern Manitoba are front and centre in a project exploring ways to preserve or create important habitat for bird species at risk. The $750,000 SARPAL (species at risk partnerships on agricultural lands) initiative administered by Manitoba Beef Producers couples producers’ knowledge of the land and cattle with conservation specialists’ scientific knowledge of […] Read more


The same principles that apply to corn and soybeans must also apply to forages, including even emergence and good early-season weed management.

The challenges of growing quality forages

There are many reasons why production and quality may be less than ideal

Perception that forages are too weather-dependent or that producers plant one year and leave them alone for three must be challenged. The name varies from farm to farm and from one region of the country to another. Some refer to it under the blanket term “forage” while others attempt to be more specific — hay, […] Read more

cattleman on a horse

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