GFM Network News


While cost likely limits the market for self-propelled balers, they do push computerization, Adam Verner says.

Balers evolving to make silage and run non-stop

Given the short haying windows, Adam Verner sees growth potential for wet hay and silage balers. But manufacturers still face challenges around speed, bale density and cost

The earliest round balers were amazing but frustrating machines. During forage season, I would exhibit a semi-permanent crick in the neck combined with a disturbing vocabulary of profanities. Constant fear of a plugged pickup, a twisted belt or a roller bearing displaying the telltale signs of smoke before the fire plagued my working days. These […] Read more

Silage corn acres on the Prairies is on the rise.

Warm season crops and cool climates

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

According to Statistics Canada, silage corn acreage was 26 per cent higher in 2015-19 than in 2010-14. Most of this increase occurred in the Prairies. Achieving corn’s potential will depend on whether plant breeders can successfully adapt this warm-season plant to Canada’s cooler climate. Plants contain two kinds of carbohydrates. Non-structural carbohydrates are starches and […] Read more


A large portion of feed placed in round bale feeders may be wasted.

Six tips to make forage inventory management pay

Small actions can make a big difference when looking ahead to assess the year’s feed requirements

Back in November, Les Halliday was fielding calls from Maritime cattle producers already short on feed for winter. With difficult weather and loss of land for forage production in Atlantic Canada affecting winter feed supplies for many producers, Halliday, beef specialist with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture, has seen how accurate forage inventory management can […] Read more

Cereal crops are high in starch which allows them to ferment easily. Almost any crop can be harvested for silage, however, as long as it is harvested at 60 to 70 per cent moisture.

Silage packs a punch when harvested carefully

Protect your investment with these tips on everything from harvest timing to inoculants

For some producers, silage is a mainstay, but for others who may be new to the process, there is a learning curve. Regardless of experience, there are several variables producers must consider when ensiling a crop. Gains or losses can occur during seeding and feeding silage. However, management during harvest may be pivotal to promote […] Read more


For you to understand livestock nutrition, it’s important to have a firm grasp on basic math concepts as they relate to cattle feeding.

Math 101 for beef producers

Nutrition with John McKinnon

When I discuss various aspects of nutrition with producers, I often sense confusion when it comes to “as fed” versus “dry matter” (DM) conversions. Such conversions have a profound effect on our ability to predict feed intake and on our understanding of ration nutrient concentration, feed costs and on cost of gain calculations. If one […] Read more

Lee Carpenter answers questions about his mixed farming operation, during the Saskaskatchewan Forage Council’s pasture tour near Hanley, Sask.

Saskatchewan producers reap benefits of silage crops

After a dry year, these Hanley-area producers are banking on silage to help winter the herd

Moisture levels through spring and summer were plentiful in some areas of Western Canada, but in south-central Saskatchewan, Mother Nature was stingy with the rain when it was needed the most. That put even more emphasis on potential yields and benefits of silage crops for two Hanley-area operations. Perry Dyck is owner and president of […] Read more


McKinnon: It’s silage season again

For many readers, as this article comes to press, silage season is either just starting or about to start. Putting up high-quality silage is both an art and a science. With this article I will review some of the key aspects of silage fermentation management that relate to putting up high-quality silage. Before we focus […] Read more

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



If you’re feeding alfalfa hay, you may actually have to restrict intake to prevent your cows from becoming over-conditioned.

‘As fed’ or ‘dry matter’ — does it matter?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

When I visit with beef producers about their feeding program, I often sense confusion when I talk feed dry matter (DM) values or express intakes on a DM basis. Most producers, when they think of their feeding program, think “as fed” and have difficulty converting to DM. Getting this conversion correct, however, is critical to […] Read more