GFM Network News


Rafael Otfinowski conducting research at Grasslands National Park.  Photo: Supplied by University of Winnipeg

The struggle to restore native prairie

Though grassland reclamation can take decades and has many challenges, efforts are underway to renew native prairie ecosystems

On the Northern Great Plains, it’s estimated that one acre of native grass is lost every minute. Though recently there has been increased awareness about this ecosystem being the world’s most endangered, pressures to convert this irreplaceable landscape remain strong. “Unfortunately, there’s always this push and pull between different land uses and intensification of agriculture […] Read more

A pasture after three years of intensive grazing management, with higher stock density and longer rest periods.

Restoring depleted soils with cattle

Adding grazing back into the equation increases soil organic matter, doubles forage production

Michael Thiele’s mission today is to acquaint more farmers and ranchers with a holistic view of agriculture. Thiele grew up on a farm west of Dauphin, Man., just north of Riding Mountain National Park. His father had a small grain farm and a few cows. “We were busy trying to farm and make a living […] Read more


Plant growth can vary greatly. For example, smooth bromegrass is at the 2 1/2-leaf growth stage in North Dakota's McLean County on April 20, 2017, and it is at the 3 1/2-leaf stage a day earlier in Grant County.

Proper timing of pasture turnout critical for drought recovery

Grazing cattle too early can end up reducing your stocking rate

North Dakota’s drought-stressed pastures, especially pastures stressed during the fall of 2017, should receive special care this spring to help them recover from the drought, North Dakota State University Extension Service grazing experts advise. “It is critical that these pastures are given adequate time to recover,” says Miranda Meehan, livestock environmental stewardship specialist. “Grazing too […] Read more

Gerry  and  Linda Bertholet 
used  twice-over grazing to 
bring back their native stands.

Twice-over grazing leads to herd makeover

Better native grasses management improves biomass growth and breeding

When Gerry Bertholet signed up for a workshop on grazing native grasslands, he certainly wasn’t expecting to learn that he was doing everything wrong. According to the professor’s theories, they were overgrazing, their cows were too big and they were calving too early. It was a bit of a bitter pill to swallow. He, Linda […] Read more