GFM Network News


Cattle, like these ones in Willow Valley, need more feed during cold weather. Winter feed costs can account for three-quarters of the annual feed bill.

Feed testing is a luxury you can’t afford to miss out on this winter

The first step is to get representative samples — and that can be trickier than it sounds

Just like you can’t always tell if your cattle are healthy by looking at them, you can’t see the quality of your feed at first glance. Luckily, feed testing can help you manage both. “The nutrition program is almost always the culprit when things just aren’t quite right,” said Karin Schmid, research and production manager […] Read more

Now’s your time to catch up on cattle feeding tips

The Cows and Chaos webinar series has wrapped up, but the entire series is available online. Although the series covered timely topics for producers dealing with feed issues, its timing (it started airing in the summer and concluded earlier this month) coincided with harvest and the fall calf run. Each episode, put on by Alberta […] Read more



The nine-part feed series is a joint effort between Alberta Agriculture and applied research and forage associations.

Livestock feed webinar series launches on YouTube

Next live webinar on Aug. 1

Producers who aren’t able to catch a new series of webinars on feeding strategy can review them later on YouTube. The nine-part series, which take place every second Thursday at 7:30 p.m., is a joint effort of Alberta Agriculture and applied research and forage associations. The first two webinars were on grazing options for dry […] Read more


Even though prices have dropped, the prospects for Alberta’s feedlot sector remain high, say feeders.

Despite current dip, cattle feeders optimistic about what lies ahead

With lots of cattle on increasingly pricey feed, margins are taking a hit, but optimism remains strong

The feedlot industry is experiencing a little dip right now, but the sector continues to chug along nicely. That’s why Doug Price opted to buy Western Feedlots at High River, which has been shuttered since 2016. “It was a fairly good-sized feedlot and we’re just tearing most of it down except the bunks and re-doing […] Read more

Cattle producers, feeders crafting industry plan

Alberta Beef Producers says it’s working with the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association on a “joint advocacy plan” for the province’s cattle sector that it will be putting forward to the new provincial government. “We will be seeking support for a globally competitive beef industry operating in a strong rural economy to provide sustainable food production, […] Read more



The average provincial hay price in January was $153 per ton or just over 7.6 cents per lb. based on a 50 per cent alfalfa mix.

Fed steer prices seen improving towards spring

The average Canadian beef cut-out value has strengthened about 10 per cent since the start of the year

A number of factors have been affecting recent fed steer and hay markets. Jason Wood, provincial livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, has an update. Wood says that the Canfax reported price for Alberta fed, or slaughter, steers averaged just over $151 per cwt for the week ending February 8, 2019. That price […] Read more


With hay and silage in limited supply, or too expensive, feeding a straw-grain ration to pregnant cows may be a viable alternative for some.

Doing the math on a straw-grain ration for pregnant cows

You need to ensure the mothers-to-be are getting what they need

Feeding a straw-grain ration to pregnant cows is a viable option, but you’ve got to do the math. The first step is to test the quality of the feed, but determining what type of supplements or mineral product must also be done, said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “It is often a point […] Read more

Know what you have for livestock feed and use it strategically

You’ll need higher-quality feed later on, and the last thing you want to do is overfeed

When planning your feeding program, keep the good stuff for later. “Using higher-quality feed early in the season could mean it is not available later in the season when the cows really need it,” said livestock extension specialist Andrea Hanson. “It could get costly for the operation, either by increasing feed costs or reducing cow […] Read more