GFM Network News


Set-aside funded for Quebec hog, cattle, big game producers

Feds, province pledge $21.8 million AgriRecovery plan

Farmers tending feeder hogs, fed cattle and big game animals such as elk, red deer, bison and wild boar in Quebec can expect $21.8 million in AgriRecovery to compensate for COVID-19’s drag on the province’s slaughter capacity. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her Quebec counterpart Andre Lamontagne on Thursday announced their governments’ respective 60-40 […] Read more

The pandemic caused a big drop in prices here and in Europe, but it’s also seen more availability of bison meat, more people cooking it at home, and more direct marketing by bison producers.

A tough year could usher in a brighter future for the bison sector

The pandemic was a big hit for bison producers but it’s also opened up new opportunities

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s been a tough 10 months, but there are promising new opportunities ahead for bison producers, says the organization that represents them. “There are stormy waters at the present time, but the long-term future for the bison industry is very bright,” said Terry Kremeniuk, executive director of the Canadian Bison Association. “The pandemic and a […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Cattle set-aside programs winding down

Final enrolment deadlines set for Saskatchewan, Alberta programs

AgriRecovery programs set up in Saskatchewan and Alberta to help cover feed costs for cattle producers unable to ship livestock to slaughter are gearing down, while Ontario’s program begins a third intake. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. announced Friday that the province’s AgriRecovery set-aside program will end March 31, 2021, with Jan. 19 now set as […] Read more

Bison producers Steven and Michelle Lunty have kept a spark of hope alive for the future of the industry despite the challenges that have come with COVID-19.

Oh, give me a home: Canada’s bison have nowhere to go

Restaurant closures have rocked the bison sector, with prices down by a quarter and a backlog building

Reading Time: 4 minutes The pandemic’s effect on the bison industry has been “absolutely staggering” over the past two months. “Our slaughter numbers in federal plants are down 81 per cent over this time last year,” said Steven Lunty, chair of Bison Producers of Alberta. “That means if we processed 100 animals in April of 2019, we processed 19 […] Read more

“I love everything about bison,” says Armin Mueller, who with wife Rita have donated $4 million to Lakeland College to purchase land and establish a bison herd.

From the Alps to Alberta: This couple pays it forward

Reading Time: 3 minutes Last month, Armin and Rita Mueller donated $4 million to Lakeland College to purchase land and establish a bison herd at the college. Lakeland plans to offer a bison production course by September 2021 and the donation will allow it to expand its training in sustainable range and forage management. The following is a story […] Read more

The updated bison code of care has a wealth of information

The updated bison code of care has a wealth of information

Beef 911: Although written specifically for bison, the code also has good tips for beef producers

Reading Time: 4 minutes In 2017, new codes of practice came out for bison and veal cattle, following revisions to the codes for dairy cattle in 2009 and the beef, sheep, and equine sectors in 2013. Other codes have also been released or are in progress. The format has multiple chapters (with numerous appendices at the end) and each […] Read more

For the first 10 or so weeks of their lives, Elk Island bison calves have a reddish-orange colour, earning them the nickname ‘Little Reds.’ Most have mixed parentage but are indistinguishable from purebred wood or plains bison.

‘Wood’ you know what kind of bison that is? It’s plain difficult

Woods and plains bison are impossible to tell apart, but a new genomics test will settle that question

Reading Time: 3 minutes Can you tell the difference between a wood bison and a plains bison? Most people can’t — which is partly why Delta Genomics and a team of collaborators are developing a genomics test that will be able to distinguish the two. “The biggest difference is that wood bison — their natural habitat is restricted to […] Read more

Bison sector has learned how to make best use of bulls

Bison sector has learned how to make best use of bulls

Beef 911: Artificial insemination is rare so there’s been a lot of attention paid to breeding capacity

Reading Time: 4 minutes Since the beef industry adjusts breeding capacity based on libido, semen production, and length of breeding season, I thought it good to review breeding capacity of bison bulls. While longevity is longer than beef bulls, we rarely talk about breeding capacity. The bison industry does not utilize artificial insemination like the beef industry (although it […] Read more

cow and calf

Anthrax an increased threat this summer

Reading Time: < 1 minute Weather conditions have created the ‘perfect storm’ for increased anthrax risk in many parts of the country. The highly contagious and infectious soil-borne disease can infect most mammals, but especially bison and beef cattle. It is most common if there is a drought after soil has been disturbed (such as by flooding, heavy rains, soil […] Read more

bison running

Alberta’s bison industry continues to thrive

Reading Time: < 1 minute A snapshot of Alberta’s bison sector is now available through Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The province has nearly half of the national bison herd — about 55,000 head on 440 farms, according to 2016 data. “The ranched bison industry in Alberta, and throughout North America, continues to thrive with strong market prices and high demand […] Read more