GFM Network News



You have many options when aiming to meet the protein needs of cattle.

What goes around, comes around with protein: Part 2

Nutrition with John McKinnon

In my April column I focused on the principles of protein nutrition in beef cattle with an emphasis on rumen degradable and undegradable protein and on meeting the metabolizable protein needs of the animal. The reason that I focused on this topic was my experiences this past winter with producers who were having difficulty meeting […] 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

Sustained intake of ergot contaminated feed will shut down blood supply to an animal's extremities, and over time, worsen its condition.

Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by […] Read more


Prepare for spring rally on barley and feed grains

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

Southern Alberta feedlots were buying feed barley in the range of $160/mt to $165/mt delivered over the past month; central Alberta operations were showing bids from $155/mt to $160/mt. Southern Manitoba feed mills have been buying barley with low vomitoxin levels from $155/mt to $165/mt but overall barley usage is limited in this region. Feed […] Read more

Mycotoxins know no bounds

DON is the No. 1 mycotoxin found in several Canadian cereal crops

Awesome turned awful as September rolled into October with its short wet days and longer wet nights downgrading many cereal crops to feed quality across the Prairies. To make matters worse, a lot of grain that did make it into the bin was infected with fusarium and to a lesser extent with ergot. The fusarium […] Read more



Unlike swathed fields, nitrate levels in hailed-out crops can continue to rise and that increases 
the risk of nitrate poisoning.

Get hail-damaged crops tested before feeding to livestock

Doing a feed test ‘is much cheaper than losing an animal,’ says beef extension specialist

Hail damage this summer on the Prairie provinces is approaching an all-time high — and with many producers putting livestock on their ruined fields, the risk of nitrate poisoning is also shooting up. So be sure to do a feed test first, said a beef extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “A feed test […] Read more