GFM Network News


Beef webinar season starting soon

First webinar scheduled for Oct. 30

The Beef Cattle Research Council’s new webinar season is getting underway. This year’s topics range from feed testing to external parasites, and other practical, science-based information for Canadian beef producers. There are eight webinars in all and interested producers can use one registration for all eight or just the specific ones they’re interested in. The […] Read more

Canfax and the Beef Cattle Research Council recently examined the uptake of beneficial practices in the cow-calf sector.

There’s progress but best practices often ignored

A deep dive into 
uptake of recommended cow-calf practices shows ‘there’s room for improvement’

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be the common thread among cow-calf producers who haven’t yet adopted recommended practices on their own operations. “Producers are happy with the performance and productivity that they’ve been getting, so they see no reason to change,” said Brenna Grant, manager of Canfax Research Services. “That can […] Read more


Beef web resource being preserved

Information that had been available on foragebeef.ca is gradually being added to beefresearch.ca. The Beef Cattle Research Council has been reviewing “hundreds of pages” of information that have been available on foragebeef.ca, an Alberta Agriculture website that the ministry is no longer able to maintain. The council is updating information before moving it over to […] 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

There is a lot of solid information to show consumers about the beef industry’s environmental footprint, but getting it to them is a challenge.

Beef sector redoubles its efforts to reach out to consumers

The goal is to use solid data and offer to the public in easy-to-digest ‘packages’

A new Beef Cattle Research Council article making the case that beef production uses water efficiently is the latest example of a renewed effort to reach out to consumers. The industry has recognized there is “a gap on the consumer communication side and somebody needed to do something,” said Reynold Bergen, the council’s science director. […] Read more


In this 2017 video, Morgan Chattaway of Bar S Ranch explains intensive grazing by saying, “The healthier the grass, the healthier the water, the healthier our animals are.” The video accompanies the Beef Cattle Research Council’s recent article on water use. 
PHOTO: From ‘What beef producers need to know about environmental footprint’

Here’s what the beef industry says about its water use

The amount of water needed to produce a pound of beef looks high — until you hear the whole story

Editor’s note: This article from the Beef Cattle Research Council makes the case that beef production has a much lighter ‘water footprint’ than critics charge and provides a number of environmental benefits. It has been condensed and lightly edited. The full article is at www.beefresearch.ca. Yes, it takes water to produce beef, but in the […] Read more



It takes about four weeks for a new calf to build its immunity to scour-causing pathogens, so it makes sense to keep it away from contaminated ground.

A simple system to fit the scourge of scours

Losses, treatment costs, and reduced performance can be a $4,000 hit in a 100-head beef herd

Editor’s note: This article from the Beef Cattle Research Council posted last fall offers what could be money-saving advice for producers heading into spring calving. The following is a condensed version. The full article ‘How fresh pens and pastures prevent calf losses’ can be found at www.beefresearch.ca. Doug Wray believes in keeping newborn calves separated […] Read more

Canada has adopted a new system of yield grades (which estimate how much salable beef a carcass will produce) and that has implications for producers and packers.

Making the grade — new yield standards will drive change

New yield grades based on what retailers want will affect both genetics and management

Canada’s new beef yield grade standards will make it easier for beef producers to know which of their cattle are hitting top marks — and which ones literally aren’t making the grade. “In the old system, we basically had a high, medium, and low classification, and for many years, we had more than half of […] Read more