GFM Network News


This graphic shows how to properly select samples for feed testing 
for bales. But once the results come back, you still have to put them to good use.

You’ve got your feed results — now what?

Two new feed testing tools can identify potential issues and compare the value of different feeds

Two new online tools for measuring feed quality are now available. The tools (developed by the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre) can help flag potential nutritional problems, and identify the comparative economic value of different feeds based on their quality. Feed testing can prevent ‘sneaky production problems ‘ (such as poor gains or reduced […] Read more




Prairie drought reaches tipping point

MarketsFarm — The Prairie provinces have been under the influence of a large ridge of high pressure for a number of weeks, which has produced prolonged dryness with little precipitation. That high pressure system has pushed low-pressure, precipitation-carrying systems to the south, where the U.S. Midwest has already received significant rain. Environment Canada estimated the […] Read more


Plants that don't get enough moisture are usually stunted and set seed early.

Don’t let those drought-stressed forages go to seed

You won’t get a lot of hay from that first cut but it gives you a chance of getting a second one

Determining the right time to cut a hay stand could mean the difference between harvesting a second cut or the stand becoming dormant, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “A lack of sufficient moisture stresses plants, and that is certainly apparent this spring,” said Karin Lindquist. “Plants that do not get enough moisture are […] Read more

It’s shaping up to be another very tough year for pastures and hay production.

Double whammy: Second dry year hits forages hard

With pastures suffering and hay supplies tight and expensive, fallback strategies are needed

It’s already a tough situation for forages, and fears are mounting that it will get worse. “We went into the winter in very dry conditions. We have had some rains as of late, but with perennial forage crops, their production is pre-set from the year before,” said Ed Shaw, president and chief executive officer of […] Read more


Prairie dryness concerns to persist

MarketsFarm — Large areas of Western Canada remain on the dry side, with little moisture in the immediate forecasts. And while it’s still early in the growing season, the interplay of conflicting patterns from the south and north will determine whether the dry areas receive timely precipitation during the growing season. “We are looking at […] Read more

Hay prices skyrocket as Prairie drought continues

MarketsFarm — Hay prices have continued to skyrocket across the Prairies as conditions remain dry enough that many hay growers won’t produce a first cut this spring. “We’ve had a tough start here,” said Darren Chapman, chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “We had a cold, dry spring with frost, so first cut […] Read more


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