GFM Network News


The search for feed sources can lead you on to unfamiliar ground and so it’s wise to seek expert advice.

Alternative feeds: There’s a lot to watch out for

That includes additive effects, binding of calcium, toxic weeds, and crop residues

Reading Time: 2 minutes Editor’s note: This is part of an article recapping some of the points made during a July 29 webinar. Some of the information from the webinar was in a story in the Aug. 9 edition of this paper and the full webinar can be found on the BCRC Blog and locating the Aug. 10 entry […] Read more

Webinar on drought and cattle

Webinar on drought and cattle

Reading Time: < 1 minute With much of the Prairies suffering drought, the Beef Cattle Research Council is putting on a webinar to answer questions about topics such as non-traditional feeds, grazing something new, water quality, animal health concerns and general questions about managing cattle during a drought. A panel of nutrition and animal health experts will answer drought-related nutrition […] Read more


Regular testing can ensure that poor water quality doesn’t catch you unawares.

Put your stock water to the test — and avoid herd health issues

Water quality can change quickly and regular testing can head off problems before they become serious

Reading Time: 3 minutes When stock water appears abundant and water quality has been consistent in previous years, it’s easy to focus on other things — but don’t overlook water testing. Poor-quality stock water can lead to reproductive inefficiency, poor gains, disease and in extreme circumstances, death. Even when water supplies appear abundant, stock water may contain high levels of […] Read more

Beef checkoff dollars fund 29 projects

Beef checkoff dollars fund 29 projects

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Beef Cattle Research Council has awarded $2.9 million to 29 projects in the latest round of funding paid for by checkoff dollars. Priority areas are animal health and welfare, feed production and utilization, food safety and environmental stewardship. Knowledge transfer is also a priority, said vice-chair Craig Lehr, a cow-calf producer and feedlot operator […] Read more


Lameness can have several causes and determining the right one is key to treating it.

The cause of lameness in cattle isn’t always straightforward

One of every two dozen animals are diagnosed with lameness, but you can lower that number

Reading Time: 3 minutes Not all lameness is caused by foot rot so getting a proper diagnosis is the key to determining the appropriate treatment and management. Lameness can affect any type of cattle including feedlot animals, breeding bulls, range cows, or animals confined to a corral. It limits an animal’s interest in eating, drinking, or breeding, resulting in […] Read more

There are a host of factors to take into account if you’re thinking of changing your calving season, but the main question to answer is: What works best for you?

The right time for calving depends on your farm — and you

While many producers are calving earlier, some have gone the other way

Reading Time: 4 minutes Calving season looks different on every operation — there is no one right method or time of year to calve a cow herd. While more producers in Western Canada have moved to later calving, some have gone the other way. Here are the experiences of three ranching families. Late summer/fall calving Taralea Simpson has been […] Read more


Zero in on a specific goal when intercropping so you can measure progress over time, and “learn from the failures,” says researcher Yvonne Lawley.

Intercropping can be a win win for mixed operations

The practice comes with a learning curve, but can increase grazing options while boosting soil health

Reading Time: 3 minutes There is a lot of buzz in beef and forage production systems around the concepts of sustainability and soil health, and the numerous different production practices that can support those ideas. Intercropping is one strategy that can improve efficiency and soil health. Manitoba producer Alan Mac­Kenzie considers intercropping to be two crops that are grown […] Read more

Whether you spread out bales or group them in ‘pods,’ don’t worry about the residue left behind — it isn’t wasted.

Bale grazing is having its moment in the (winter) sun

Here are some things to bear in mind when using bales to extend the grazing season

Reading Time: 2 minutes Many producers have taken steps to extend their grazing period, and bale grazing is proving to be a popular choice. Bales can be purchased or grown on farm and placed strategically in cells or ‘bale pods.’ In some cases, cattle feed on bales directly where they are dropped from the baler, but in most situations, bales […] Read more


It’s not very helpful to benchmark against operations that have different grazing, calving, and feeding regimes, so a key goal of the new Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network is to allow producers to make apples-to- apples comparisons.

New benchmarking program aims to help you up your game

Initiative will not only help cow-calf producers evaluate their performance but become more innovative

Reading Time: 3 minutes This is an abridged version of Part 1 of a three-part series. The full article and the two upcoming parts (when released) can be found at beefresearch.ca (in the BCRC Blog section). The Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network (CDN COP Network) has been developed collaboratively with provincial co-ordinators and funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council […] Read more

Cattle ranchers paired up with researchers in mentorship program

Cattle ranchers paired up with researchers in mentorship program

Pair of Lethbridge scientists matched with cow-calf producers from Alberta

Reading Time: 2 minutes Two AgCanada researchers in Lethbridge — a soil microbial ecologist and an expert in greenhouse gas emissions — are among the six scientists selected for a mentorship program put on by the Beef Cattle Research Council. The program pairs the researchers with innovative cattle producers and industry professionals — many from Alberta — for a one-year […] Read more