GFM Network News


To ensure breeding soundness, make sure warts are treated

Beef 911: In the vast majority of cases, penile warts can be successfully and simply dealt with

When examining bulls, especially young ones, for breeding soundness, one of the more common issues we see involving the bull’s penis are warts. This article will go into the cause, treatment, clinical signs, and outcomes expected when dealing with penile warts. All purebred breeders will get some eventually and commercial cattlemen may have some crop […] Read more

Lakeland College uses the GrowSafe system to measure feed efficiency in the animals it tests.

Bull test changes a sign of the times

Bull testing has changed — shifting from selecting for size to selecting for feed efficiency

Manitoba’s lone multi-breed bull test station is the last of a dying breed. In its early days, the Manitoba Bull Test Station was a way for cattle producers to evaluate their genetics before genetic testing became de rigueur in the livestock industry. Opened in 1963 near Douglas, just east of Brandon, the Sire Indexing Centre […] Read more


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

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

Database follows the money to the packing plant

Study of carcass data shows cattle from an elite breeding program were worth more than $200 a head than the average calf

Sharing data through the entire beef chain adds value that can translate to economic gains — although how much of that might go to cattle producers is a question yet to be answered. McDonald’s Canada, Beefbooster, and BIXSco — the company now running the Beef InfoXchange System — recently collaborated with Livestock Gentec to analyze […] Read more


Colin Palmer

The secret life of your cow’s reproductive system

Becoming adept at artificial insemination takes time and a lot of practice — here’s what you need to know

Many people are nervous about artificially inseminating their cattle. But knowing a few of the basics about a cow’s reproductive system can help get you on the way to creating an artificial insemination program, said Colin Palmer, associate professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “The ultimate goal is […] Read more

AI could be a big bang for your buck for beef

The bull doesn’t charge for service, but he costs quite a bit to keep around when he isn’t working

It could make sense to skip the bull in a beef cattle operation, says an economist with the Western Beef Development Centre. “Natural-service breeding is still the most common. Probably some of the hesitancy is the feeling that it is more expensive to use fixed-time artificial insemination,” Kathy Larson said during a webinar hosted by […] Read more


The last thing you want to see in a prized bull

Beef 911: Injuries that prevent a bull from breeding can be 
successfully treated, and about 50 per cent of cases will heal


Numerous times during the breeding season, calls come in to veterinary clinics in regards to swellings along the sheath of bulls. In many instances, a favourable outcome is highly attainable. And with today’s bull prices this may be good news. The location of the swelling says a lot about its cause. Generally if the penis […] Read more