GFM Network News


In a dry pasture, cattle will also eat a lot of tall larkspur, which contains many toxic alkaloids.

Unconventional: Salvaging crops and feeding weeds during drought

Whether you’re eyeing a flax crop or baling ditches and sloughs, here’s what you need to know about alternative feeds

In drought years it’s often challenging to provide adequate forage for cattle. Sometimes producers use alternative feeds which might include drought-stressed or salvaged crops. Dr. Bart Lardner, professor in the department of animal and poultry science at the University of Saskatchewan, says some of the drought-stressed crops that might be available include annuals such as […] Read more

Overgrazing doesn’t just reduce above-ground growth. It also reduces root growth.

Underground herbicides

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

When I was a kid, my dad found Russian knapweed in a pasture along an irrigation canal. He explained that it was important to catch this weed quickly because it can spread very aggressively. Russian knapweed reproduces using seeds as well as by buds growing from its roots (somewhat similar to the sod-forming grasses in […] Read more


Hay Bale Landscape

Using an invasive weed to help fill the feed gap

When feed is in short supply, producers may want to harvest kochia.

For Prairie cattle producers looking for alternative feed sources this year, one possibility may be kochia. Kochia is an invasive weed, often seen growing on marginal land or tumbling across the Prairies. It’s a prolific seed producer, growing in saline soil and in arid or semi-arid conditions. A recent news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food […] Read more

More than 1.2 million acres are infested with leafy spurge in Manitoba alone, with an annual estimate loss of over $40 million.

Spurge purge tests bovine palates

Goats and sheep can eat leafy spurge. Can cattle be trained to do the same?

Like a parent convincing kids to eat their vegetables because they’re good for them, Jane Thornton is trying the same approach with getting cattle to eat leafy spurge. “Contrary to popular belief, leafy spurge is a very nutritious plant, comparable to alfalfa in quality,” Thornton says. “If cattle can become accustomed to eating leafy spurge […] Read more


Photo: Thinkstock

Six factors to consider if your soil moisture level is low

To date, all indications are pointing to a dry spring, given the below-average precipitation received in many areas of the Prairies this winter. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but a lot of farmers had relatively dry soils going into winter, so we asked some agronomists and provincial crop experts what factors could[...]
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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[...]
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Palmer amaranth. (United Soybean Board photo)

Minnesota finds source of Palmer amaranth on CRP land

Reuters — An invasive weed likely entered Minnesota through seed planted on land in a U.S. conservation program, state agriculture officials said on Thursday, bringing to a close an official probe of a growing threat to agricultural production. Infestations of the weed, Palmer amaranth, have affected other states in the U.S. Midwest through seed planted[...]
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Some buyers refuse to take animals with burrs to avoid the risk of taking burdock seeds back to their ranch.

Beating back burdock

Invasive weed species can affect both pasture and profit

Burdock is an invasive plant that causes problems for livestock and crops, and is generally considered a noxious weed. The tall burdock plant, a native of Eurasia, is a biennial, which means it lives for two growing seasons. The first year, it merely grows leaves and accumulates food reserves in its roots, like a carrot.[...]
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Photo: File

EPA approves Monsanto’s dicamba weed killer

U.S. seeds and agrochemicals maker Monsanto Co. has secured approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a new dicamba-based weed killer designed for its next generation biotech soy and cotton varieties, the company said on Wednesday. While approval had been expected, it is seen as a major step forward for the company’s newest herbicide[...]
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The three worst forage weeds

The three worst forage weeds

The benefit of attending of Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Crop Diagnostic School at Swift Current last July was having the opportunity to get an up-close look at problems farmers face every season. One of the experts on hand was Rachel Turnquist, a regional forage specialist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture. Turnquist gave us a look at what[...]
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