GFM Network News



Feeding low-quality forage can cause all sorts of issues so it pays to have it tested, say experts.

Put your forage to the test – and money in your bank account

High-quality forage will save the cost of supplementing, and avoid costly calf losses

Letting cattle ‘pick and choose’ what they want to eat is no substitute for feed testing. The quality of forage needs to be matched to the animal’s needs — and those nutrition requirements are going to change throughout the year. And that’s why you should test your forages, say experts and groups such as the […] Read more


The test results are back —so what do they mean?

Test results should drive a feeding program, but you need to know what the numbers signify

Interpreting forage test results can sometimes be like trying to read a foreign language. But there’s a new translation tool — the aptly named ‘A Tool for Evaluating Feed Test Results.’ “The tool is designed to take feed test results and compare them to basic nutrition rules of thumb for different classes of cattle,” said […] Read more

Forage stands are often terminated using tillage, but producers using this approach should pay close attention to conserving spring moisture.

Converting hay land to crops in spring is challenging

Fertility, soil moisture, herbicide applications, and a substantial seeding delay must all be considered

Producers should consider a number of factors before deciding to terminate hay land to seed an annual crop. “Traditionally, forage stands have been terminated in the fall by using one of three approaches — tillage only, herbicide application combined with tillage, and herbicide application followed by direct seeding into sod,” said provincial crop specialist Mark […] Read more


Forage seed rebate offered for cropland conversion

Discounts on forage seed are once again being offered to producers who convert cropland to pasture. The 2019 forage program from Ducks Unlimited Canada and Nutrien Ag Solutions offers a $100 rebate on a 50-pound bag of Proven Seed forage varieties for farmers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Manitoba producers receive a rebate of $50 for every new forage […] Read more

Timothy is considered the gold standard among grass hays because of its high palatability, easy digestibility and low-energy yet nutritious profile.

Some points to consider when shopping for horse hay

Our own senses are wonderful tools — choose hay that is as fine stemmed, green, and as leafy as possible

Hay selection is an important aspect of horse ownership. The type and quality of hay the horse eats can make a big difference in its overall nutrition, and its value in a horse’s diet is unquestionable. The extra dollars spent on sourcing good-quality hay and its proper storage is invariably cost effective on many levels […] Read more



When bales touch each other, losses of dry matter, protein, and energy go up.

Hay losses will be especially costly this year

Winter can be hard on both the weight and quality of hay — and push up feeding costs

Hay goes on a diet in winter, but how much weight it loses depends on how it was stored. “Over the course of a winter, bales weather and lose both weight and quality,” said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “This poses the key question of what kind of value losses occur when storing[...]
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Red Deer County's rainfall simulator shows how much runoff and water infiltration can be expected from different management practices.

Rain, rain don’t go away: How to capture more moisture on your land

When it comes to retaining rainfall, seeing is believing — and new infiltration tool does just that

Drought is a four-letter word in Alberta right now — but also proof that it’s critical to make the most of any moisture we get. “If we’re getting the types of rain we normally get, water infiltration probably isn’t that big of a deal,” said Ken Lewis, conservation co-ordinator with Red Deer County. “But in[...]
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