GFM Network News



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


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 […] Read more



Producer Patrick Kunz won’t be including much hay in his ration this winter.

Feed skyrockets in many areas — but there are options out there

Hay is uneconomical in some areas, forcing producers to either cull or find alternative feed sources

Record-setting temperatures in mid-August have added pressure to an already desperate situation for cattle producers across Alberta. “There are some people who are going to be really short on feed and pasture,” Alberta Beef Producers executive director Rich Smith said in mid-August. “Some people are in a really tough situation. The heat last week was[...]
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Straw prices soar, piling pressure on N.Europe livestock farmers

In some areas straw now more expensive than grains

Hamburg | London | Reuters – Livestock and dairy farmers across northern Europe are paying soaring prices for straw used in food and bedding for cattle, as hot, dry weather across the region reduces crops. The higher bills put further pressure on farmers already facing one of their toughest summers ever; many have had to[...]
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Hot weather and uneven yields will make baling especially challenging this year, says provincial forage specialist.

Hot weather doesn’t help when it comes to baling

Uneven yields up the risk of mouldy, heated feed, while leaf loss increases when the temperature soars

This year is going to be a challenge deciding when to bale hay, says provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “With yield differences in a field, areas with a low yield will be dry and ready to bale while areas of that field with higher yield potential may need more time to dry and[...]
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This map, which estimates soil moisture reserves as of May 31, shows most of the province is dry to extremely dry.

Creep feeding can mitigate hay shortage

If calf prices stay around current levels, creep feeding could generate nearly $200 in extra revenue

The potential for a poor hay crop is high, and producers facing a shortage should consider creep feeding, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “Stress on plants from last summer and fall, as well as this spring’s weather across most of Alberta has slowed forage growth in pastures and hayfields,” said Barry Yaremcio. “If[...]
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