GFM Network News


Rules of thumb when pricing cattle

‘Multiply the price of a steer calf times two, and that is the price you can afford to pay for a cow.’ Does this rule of thumb still hold true? That and other common sayings in the cattle biz are the subject of a new fact sheet by Canfax. “Rules of thumb can help evaluate […] 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


Cattle producers have made a lot of progress but still have a ways to go

The latest in-depth survey of the cow herd shows higher rates of vaccination, but gaps remain

A recent article on the results of a very in-depth survey of cow-calf herds across Western Canada notes there has been decent improvement in vaccination usage since surveys done in the early 2000s. But it pinpoints gaps in vaccine coverage that could be improved. There are things to be learned by every producer and veterinary […] Read more

Lameness in cows can have many causes

Beef 911: In some cases, knowing the cause and adjusting 
your management can prevent this common problem

This article will outline some of the more common arthritic conditions and touch on some preventive measures. A lot of these conditions of course are brought on by age. In order to get more longevity out of our cows, we need to look at lameness as it is one of the common reasons for culling. […] Read more


The Radau Family of Coulee Crest Farms with the 2019 Environmental Stewardship Award.

Coulee Crest Farms earns 2019 stewardship award

The Radau family makes one or two significant improvements in sustainability every year

The Radau family of Coulee Crest Farms in Red Deer County is the 2019 winner of the Environmental Stewardship Award. The environmental stewardship award from Alberta Beef Producers recognizes individuals and families who contribute to the land while improving productivity and profitability. Randy and Sandra Radau have been ranching at Coulee Crest Farms since 1989 […] Read more

This calf doesn’t know it, but its existence is dictated by a “biological-economic phenomenon” — a.k.a. the cattle cycle.

The big wheel keeps on turning

In a perfect world, supply would equal demand and everything would balance out. But it’s not a perfect world, which is why there’s something that Brenna Grant of Canfax calls a “biological-economic phenomenon influenced by production, prices, and profits.” This is the cattle cycle. It starts when demand spikes for one reason or another, and […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder cattle market holding value

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were steady to as much as $4 higher while calf values traded within $5 on either side of unchanged. Current feedlot margins are hovering around break-even, but profitability will improve during October and November, given the recent strength in the deferred live cattle futures. Therefore, short-keep feeders […] Read more

Reproduction is the biggest loss to the cow-calf operator, so timely pregnancy diagnosis by your veterinarian will save considerable dollars in feed.

When feed is in short supply, it’s time for extra culling

Beef 911: Downsizing the herd will be profitable if you have good records and good reasons for culling

With the shortage of feed across Western Canada, this may be a good year to downsize by extra culling. The question of what the next wave of culls should be goes beyond reproduction — the fall is also an ideal time to consider culling problem cows. The yearly cost to maintain those cows is at […] Read more