GFM Network News


This screengrab from a webinar last winter put on by Cory Van Groningen and Dana Penrice shows some of the parameters and scoring system.

Program measures pasture progress by the numbers

Rather than focus on a theory, Ecological Outcome Verification relies on tracking measurable parameters

Reading Time: 3 minutes Years of researching how to get the most out of the pastures on his southern Ontario beef farm left Cory Van Groningen frustrated. “One book says only take the top sward and leave the rest to regrow; another book says use high-intensity grazing and trample it down; another book says take a third of the […] Read more

Tailoring stewardship work to individual operations has been the key to the success of ALUS, says Vermilion-area rancher Sean McGrath, whose pilot project in 2010 created a surge of interest in the program in Alberta.

New grazing stewardship program for 6,000 Prairie acres

Program has a component to help ranchers adopt multi-paddock grazing and regenerative agriculture

Reading Time: 3 minutes After growing its acres by 20 per cent last year, ALUS has lined up two big sponsors for a new initiative called Grazing Forward that will fund stewardship projects on 6,000 acres of Prairie ranchland. “A&W Canada and Cargill will together provide $1.8 million to support ranchers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as they continue to […] Read more


A 3-D illustration of Bacillus anthracis bacteria. (Dr_Microbe/iStock/Getty Images)

Anthrax kills southeastern Saskatchewan sheep

Spores forced up by changes in soil moisture

Dramatic shifts in soil moisture are again bringing anthrax spores to the surface on the Prairies, this time in a southeastern Saskatchewan sheep pasture. Lab results on Wednesday confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of one animal in a flock of sheep in the R.M. of South Qu’Appelle, about 50 km east of Regina, […] Read more

There are several key indicators of pasture productivity that should be tracked, says Manitoba producer Ryan Boyd.

If you’re aiming for pasture perfection, you need a scorecard

Getting maximum production is an elusive target but good records help a lot, says producer

Reading Time: 3 minutes Is your pasture above- or below-average? And if you don’t keep accurate records over time, how do you know? The first step is knowing what your land is capable of producing so you can set a proper grazing rate, says Ryan Boyd. That was driven home for the Manitoba producer when he was awarded a […] Read more


File photo of cattle grazing on Prince Edward Island. (ArodPEI/iStock/Getty Images)

Eastern drought zones set for livestock tax deferrals

Regions designated in P.E.I., N.S., N.B., Quebec

In a decision that may have come late for some, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and parts of southeastern Quebec and northwestern Nova Scotia have been declared drought zones for eligible livestock producers’ 2020 tax purposes. The federal government on Monday released its list and map of prescribed drought regions where tax deferral on sales […] 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


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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

(Dave Bedard photo)

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


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Alberta to lift residency rule for public grazing lands

The Alberta government plans to remove a restriction on non-Albertans’ use of public lands for grazing, in a bid to smooth out paths for interprovincial trade. The province on Saturday announced it will do away with eight of its declared exceptions under the interprovincial Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). Of the eight, three deal with […] Read more