GFM Network News


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

Estimating production and using historical price data creates a useful estimate of the value of a hay crop.

Early-season estimate of hay value is worth the effort

Having a ballpark price for this year’s hay crop is useful when working out a hay share agreement

It’s not easy to put a value on hay this early in the season, but producers considering a crop share should come up with an estimate, says a provincial farm business management specialist. Hay prices usually do not settle until about the end of October when there are firmer estimates of forage production, the amount […] Read more


Cattle will waste more hay if it’s weathered and there can also be 
a big drop in digestibility and nutrient levels.

Ample hay supplies increase the benefits of storing bales properly

Protecting hay that won’t be fed until the winter of 2017-18 could save you $70 a head in winter feeding costs

Protecting hay from weather damage can significantly reduce the cost of wintering cows. Adequate moisture conditions in most of the province have resulted in larger-than-normal yields resulting in bigger stacks and rows of hay bales. If the winter is normal and cow numbers remain static, there could be a large surplus of hay carried over […] Read more

There is a long list of potential hazards when baling, transporting,
 and stacking hay.

For safety’s sake, read this list and check it twice

Haying often means rushing to beat the weather, and that ups the danger, says farm safety expert

Baling season is once again in full swing. Many producers equate baling with hot summer days and a rush to beat the weather. While getting hay baled and off the field is a top priority, doing the job safely should take precedence. “To increase the safety of baling procedures while ensuring the job gets done, […] Read more


The pyramid stack is “probably the worst way to store the hay,” says a provincial forage specialist.


Put more jingle in your jeans this winter

Shopping around, alternative feeds, and how you store your hay can make a huge difference to the bottom line

With cattle prices off their record highs, many producers are sharpening their pencils. And it can be well worth it. “We have to watch our input costs — that’s the one thing we can control,” said Dean Dyck, a farm business management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “If our incomes go up but our […] Read more