GFM Network News


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

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

Alberta hay situation much improved

After hitting a record high in June 2019, hay prices in Alberta have come down and there should be ample supplies in most of the province, the Beef Cattle Research Council said in a recent blog. However, prices in the north may stay strong because of limited supply and increasing demand. “Northern producers may wish […] Read more


Things can look great from a distance but to know if your grasslands and pastures are living up to their potential, you need to walk the land and look at species type and abundance, vegetation layers, amount of litter, and presence of invasive species.

Eyeball your way to range health

Keep an eye out for these five things to see if your rangeland is living up to its potential

The most important tools you have to assess the health of your rangeland are your own two eyes. “What a range health assessment does is provides a measure of how well rangelands are performing key functions,” said Ross Adams, range management specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks. “It would be difficult and expensive to go […] Read more

Manitoba to open more Crown lands to haying, grazing

Province now taking requests for permits

Manitoba livestock producers up against dry conditions can now apply for temporary passes to get onto Crown land not normally designated for grazing or haying. The province announced Friday it will make such lands available this year for agricultural use “under certain circumstances.” Permits and land uses will be handled through the Agricultural Crown Lands […] Read more


Forage mixes generally include species from four different categories — warm-season broadleaf plants and grasses along with cool-season broadleaf plants and grasses.

Pick the right forage for productivity and profitability

Productivity in many Alberta pastures is so low it ‘doesn’t pay a lot of bills,’ says forage specialist

There’s an elephant in your pasture. “The elephant is disappointment,” said Grant Lastiwka, forage specialist with Union Forage. “When you start to look at the average, Alberta hay yields are around 1.3 tonnes per acre across the province. That’s a low number. “When we look at pasture, all we’re getting in grazing days across many […] Read more

Ontario extends fruit, forage insurance premium deadlines

Extension offers 'flexibility,' Agricorp says

Ontario fruit and forage growers who have production insurance premiums due this month will now have until June 30 to pay, the province said Monday. The extended premium payment deadline applies only to production insurance plans for fruit, strawberries and asparagus — and to the forage rainfall insurance plan, which uses rainfall as an indicator […] Read more


Encouraging producers to select forages that will be the most productive on their land was the top priority for a new forage selection tool.

Selecting the right forage mix has never been easier

New forage selection tool builds on extensive research and puts it all in an easy-to-use package

Trying to decide what forage to seed in a newly broken field? The Forage U Pick selector takes the guesswork out of it. Forage U Pick is not a new tool. Twelve years ago, the Saskatchewan Forage Council developed a Dryland Forage Selection Tool. It was well used by producers in that province, provincial ministries, […] Read more

Annual forages offer benefits, says forage specialist

Annual pastures allow you to properly rest their perennial cousins and can be used for silage or greenfeed

Annual forages offer a couple of advantages for producers, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “By seeding annual pastures, producers can give stressed perennial pastures a rest,” said Karin Lindquist. “If those pastures are rested early in the spring and following rain, they can produce good amounts of growth later in the summer. However, […] Read more


Manitoba extends forage insurance survey deadline

Review's face-to-face public meetings cancelled

Manitoba’s provincial review of its relatively under-subscribed crop insurance offerings for forage growers has extended its deadline for grower comment. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC) last week announced it has cancelled all in-person public meetings on its forage insurance review, citing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. But the agency has extended the deadline to take part […] Read more

Manitoba reviewing underused forage insurance plans

About 18 per cent of forage acres insured

The Manitoba government is taking a look at its Crown crop insurance agency’s relatively under-subscribed offerings to forage growers. The provincial ag department said Tuesday it has launched a review “to better understand the purchasing decisions of Manitoba producers when it comes to forage insurance products” available via Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC). Over 1,200 […] Read more