GFM Network News


University of Saskatchewan scientists investigating effects of sulphates on cattle health

Research: News Roundup from the March 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

University of Saskatchewan researchers are studying the effects of high sulphate levels in the drinking water of cattle. When cattle drink water with high sulphate levels, the sulphates bind trace minerals in the animals’ rumens, preventing them from absorbing necessary minerals. Potential effects include diarrhea, reduced fertility and milk production, slow growth, a depressed immune […] Read more



Appearances are deceiving when it comes to water quality as evidenced by the sulphate levels in these 2016 samples: 1,731 mg/l in jug 1; 2,056 mg/l) in jug 2; 21  mg/l in jug 3 and 15 mg/l  in jug 4.

Use caution when testing livestock water quality with hand-held meters

Study compared test results of hand-held meters to laboratory results

Livestock and feed specialists with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture have learned that not all methods of testing water quality are equal, especially when it comes to total dissolved solids and sulphates. Leah Clark, livestock and feed extension specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, took part in a study comparing the accuracy of water […] Read more

VIDEO: Keeping an eye on your livestock water supply

Ag in Motion 2018: Now, there's an app for that

For her presentation, “Keeping No. 2 out of your No. 1 water source,” at Ag in Motion last month, Alicia Sopatyk with Saskatchewan Agriculture spoke about options for livestock producers such as permanent or electric fencing to maintain a sustainable and clean water supply. But for a look in real time as to how that […] Read more


Hot weather and a stagnant water supply create prime conditions for cyanobacteria to form.

Hot weather increases livestock-poisoning risk

Several advisories were posted in 
North Dakota this month

High temperatures promote the growth of blue-green algae, which can produce harmful toxins. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that are harmful to livestock, wildlife and people. This month North Dakota Department of Health has posted blue-green algae advisories for four lakes. In addition, several water samples associated with the death of […] Read more