GFM Network News


Cattle graze forage stockpiled from the previous growing season at Nerbas Brothers Angus.

Using hooves instead of harrows to rejuvenate pastures

Cow-calf operation that relies solely on forages uses cattle and stockpiled feed to reseed tired pastures

As forage stands age, plant species composition shifts and production declines over time. There are many different methods of rejuvenating or renovating forage stands and strategies vary in intensity, effectiveness, and cost. Breaking old stands and reseeding forages, while effective, is among the most expensive rejuvenation methods. So more producers are opting to improve their older tame […] Read more



Livestock research gets even more complicated during pandemic

Cattle groups have tips for conducting on-farm research — two pages’ worth

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Beef Cattle Research Council, and Canadian Beef Breeds Council has put together a two-page list of guidelines to follow if research is being conducted on your ranch or feedlot. Topping that list is: “Consider postponing on-farm research activities that require more than one person or interaction with farm operators whenever possible […] Read more

Left to their own devices, these girls and guys will pick the best and leave the worst, and then overgraze — two things you don’t want to happen.

Pasture care in four words: Balance, distribute, rest and litter

There are many different grazing systems but they all adhere to these four management principles

At first glance, grazing a pasture may appear as simple as placing cattle in a fenced area with a water source. However, practising effective grazing management is an art and a science. Pasture conditions and types vary widely from native grassland to tame forage, with stands comprised of many diverse plants or perhaps just a […] Read more


Most producers in Western Canada are vaccinating their herds, but those who don’t are leaving their cattle vulnerable to common diseases.

Calculating the bottom line on not vaccinating cows

Not vaccinating herds comes with a cost — these two calculators put a number on potential losses

(This article has been edited for length. The full version can be found in the BCRC Blog section at beefresearch.ca.) Vaccination is a proven tool for disease prevention, but in Western Canada, one in 10 producers surveyed are not vaccinating their cows for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVD). As well, […] Read more

Properly trained feedlot workers will minimize handling stress and check to see new arrivals are finding the feed and water.

The basics for handling freshly weaned calves at feedlots

Rest and getting them on feed and water are simple things but they take planning and management

Stress can have a big impact on calves and if not managed properly, freshly weaned calves heading to a feed yard can be very susceptible to pneumonia and other illnesses. While herd health veterinarians and feedlot production specialists can each have slightly different approaches to getting new feeders ramped up to the intended full-feed ration, […] Read more


Beef research mentorship program still going strong

Nearly two dozen beef researchers have participated in the six- year-old initiative

Applications for the 2020-21 term of the BCRC Beef Researcher Mentorship Program are now being accepted. Four researchers were selected to participate in the program during this past year, each paired with two mentors — an innovative producer and another industry expert — for a one-year term. They are also given a travel budget so […] Read more



Alternative feeds could offer big savings this winter, but supplies vary by region and feed testing is a must.

Harvest woes increase supply of alternative feeds

Prices are down and depending on the region, availability is up — but you need to do the math

Hay costs vary significantly this year, with prices in some areas with short supplies nearly double those in areas with adequate supplies. On the other hand, there could be numerous options for alternate winter feeds this year as some crops originally intended for grain are being harvested as feed. Alberta feed barley prices have dropped […] Read more

Beef webinar season starting soon

First webinar scheduled for Oct. 30

The Beef Cattle Research Council’s new webinar season is getting underway. This year’s topics range from feed testing to external parasites, and other practical, science-based information for Canadian beef producers. There are eight webinars in all and interested producers can use one registration for all eight or just the specific ones they’re interested in. The […] Read more