GFM Network News


A tract of Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by farmers at Rio Pardo in Brazil’s Rondonia state on Sept. 15, 2019. (File photo: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes)

Brazil’s JBS bought 301,000 cattle from ‘irregular’ farms in Amazon, audit finds

Prosecutors 'negotiating improvements' with companies

Sao Paulo | Reuters — Nearly a third of the cattle bought by JBS SA in the Brazilian Amazon state of Para came from ranches with “irregularities” such as illegal deforestation, prosecutors found in a 2020 audit of the world’s largest meatpacker released on Thursday. In a presentation, federal prosecutors said they were “negotiating improvements” […] Read more

The SHARP program is a way to know your land better, improve management practices and demonstrate stewardship efforts, says Melissa Downing, pictured with husband Murray and their children Colten and Rayna.

Using a conservation assessment as a springboard

Program offers a check on wildlife and ranch health, and works with ranchers to make improvements

Reading Time: 4 minutes Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got until you have a wildlife habitat assessment done. That was the case for Melissa and Murray Downing, who were among the first to participate in a relatively new initiative by the Alberta Conservation Association. “We learned a lot about the different species that exist here,” said Melissa who […] Read more


Its’ important to build a rotational system that incorporates diversity in plants and manage those pastures so the plants can continue to grow.

Schoepp: A solid foundation is key to resilience and can’t be neglected

This summer spoke volumes about the need for rotational grazing and regenerative practices

Reading Time: 3 minutes General Motors declared bankruptcy in June of 2009 after steadily losing money since 2005. GM’s plight has become a case study and is often used in education programs for directors on boards, but it also holds a lesson for farmers. During the time of its decline, GM was scrambling to produce a vehicle for everyone […] Read more

No big surprises in province’s emergency drought aid program

No big surprises in province’s emergency drought aid program

Program will pay just over $4 per day to feed cows that have to be pulled off pasture early

Reading Time: 3 minutes Applications for drought assistance are now being processed and the fine print doesn’t appear to have any major surprises. As expected, the $340 million in emergency aid for Alberta livestock producers is only for breeding females, covers only grazing livestock (and therefore not pigs, chickens or dairy cows), and producers will need receipts to get […] Read more


Keep watch and take quick action when it’s sizzling out

Keep watch and take quick action when it’s sizzling out

You can help your horse beat the heat with a few simple steps

Reading Time: 3 minutes Extreme bouts of hot weather are particularly stressful for horses and for some, even more stressful than extreme bouts of cold weather. Thus it becomes particularly important to identify the individuals at a greater risk for heat stress and what factors can provide extra care for them when necessary. Those particularly prone to heat stress […] Read more

AAFC’s Drought Monitor map as of Aug. 31, 2021.

Drought maps show little change at end of August

MarketsFarm — Much of Western Canada remained in some state of drought at the end of August despite widespread rains late in the month, according to updated maps compiled by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The area mapped out as dealing with ‘exceptional drought’ in south-central Manitoba’s agricultural regions contracted slightly compared to the previous month […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Optimistic fed cattle outlook supports feeder market

Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $2-$4 higher. Strong demand was noted on yearlings, which spilt over into the lighter weight categories. Major feedlot operators in Alberta set the price structure, with aggressive orders flowing across the Prairies. Some operators have been holding back on purchases due to higher prices; however, […] Read more

There’s some green now, but pastures at their farm near Del Bonita — like virtually everywhere — have been hit extremely hard this year, says Sheila Hillmer, pictured with son Keeley.

Relief money is coming soon, but the pain will be long lasting

Producers here are to receive $340 million, but many say it won’t be enough

Reading Time: 3 minutes The first drought relief payment of $94 per head should be in the hands of cattle producers soon. Alberta Beef Producers has been working with the provincial crop insurer to get the drought relief money out as quickly as possible, said general manager Brad Dubeau. “We’re continuing to work with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation very, […] Read more


For those producers who normally don’t pregnancy check, this would be an extremely good time to start.

Things to consider after a drought has hit

The drought and intensive heat wave have created a lot of issues that producers must deal with

Reading Time: 3 minutes Droughts always teach (or remind) us of things we need to be prepared for to maintain health and production in our herds, including ways to access feed and, if need be, marketing. The Beef Cattle Research Council recently put on a very good question-and-answer webinar relating to drought concerns and cattle health (a recording of […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Stronger live cattle futures lift yearling market

Recent rains rejuvenate Prairie pastures

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were quoted $3 to as much as $6 higher; calf markets once again traded $3-$5 on either side of unchanged depending on the region. Unbridled buying interest was noted on larger groups of high-quality yearlings. Despite the grass conditions this summer, cattle characteristics are rated above average […] Read more