GFM Network News


Shutdowns and slowdowns at packing plants caused by COVID-19 have created a backlog of 130,000 cattle that must be fed until they can be processed.

Packing plants back on track, but future uncertain

With a huge backlog of animals to work through, cattle groups are fearful of what comes next

Alberta’s beef-packing plants are working at or near full capacity but the crisis is not over yet, say cattle leaders. “Our processing capacity has continued to increase over the past few weeks and cattle prices have been relatively strong, but markets are still vulnerable to a disruption in the processing plants,” Alberta Beef Producers chair […] Read more

Cow-calf producers needed for cost-of-production initiative

Canfax is undertaking an initiative to develop baseline cost-of-production statistics. The Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network will host 26 producer focus groups (each consisting of five to six producers in each) across Canada in 2020-21. Scenarios will be developed of what future farms could look like utilizing the Five Per Cent Rule approach of […] Read more


Cow-calf producers wanted for survey

Survey open until March 13

Alberta cow-calf producers are being asked to take a survey on the challenges they face. The survey is part of a study by the University of Alberta with participation from Alberta Farm Animal Care. “Producer mental health was a consideration as we know that it is closely related to animal welfare,” AFAC said in a […] Read more

Are you willing to share animal traits info?

Cow-calf producers in Alberta are being asked to take a survey aimed at improving the productivity of the industry. Researchers at the University of Alberta are conducting the survey on the willingness of commercial cow-calf producers to accept compensation for sharing their animal traits information and the willingness of breeding associations to pay to obtain […] Read more


Pastures aren’t this lush this year in many parts of the province but there are many positives in Alberta’s cow-calf sector right now.

Despite some stresses, ‘cautious’ optimism for cow-calf sector

Strong demand and prices are good news, but feed costs and tariffs are troubling

Alberta cattle producers have a few reasons to be optimistic as they head into the fall. “We’re still on the profitable side for the cow-calf guy,” said Charlie Christie, chair of Alberta Beef Producers. “I’m hearing some optimism on the market side. Whether that will translate into good calf prices in the fall remains to […] Read more

Data from the Western Canadian Cow-Calf survey provides valuable insights into lowering open rates in your herd.

Don’t risk a wreck in your cow’s reproduction this spring

Breeding timing makes a difference in open rates and so do vaccinations and copper deficiency

If you want to make sure that you get calves on the ground, pay attention to body score, when you calve, and vaccinations. That was the message from Cheryl Waldner, a professor in large-animal clinical sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “You need to get the cattle cycling […] Read more


Taking care of business

First sessions begin Nov. 14

The theme of this year’s Cow-Calfenomics sessions is enhancing farm business decisions in the cow-calf sector. Topics this year will include the market situation and outlook from Anne Wasko, use of risk management tools, business structures for new entrants, production enterprise analysis, Agriprofit$, a guide to agricultural credit, and the value of having a mentor. […] Read more

Six ways to keep your cattle wormer working

Resistance among internal parasites to broad-spectrum cattle wormers is emerging in Canada and experience in other countries leaves no reason to believe the problem won’t worsen. On the brighter side, producers here still have a fighting chance to retain the efficacy of available cattle wormers by combining parasite control strategies, says epidemiologist Dr. Fabienne Uehlinger[...]
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Six risk factors for BRD in feeder calves

There are many factors to consider to minimize BRD (bovine respiratory disease) when bringing in feeder calves. Knowing the history of the calves at weaning time, distance transported, vaccination and health history, as well as upcoming weather conditions will help you determine the level of risk. In bringing in calves, or for that matter feeding[...]
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Ultrasound is Blake Balog’s preferred method of preg checking. Knowing if a cow is open or not allows you to custom tailor both your feeding and marketing programs.

Are there healthier calves and higher profits in your future?

Preg checking, pain mitigation, and preconditioning all 
open avenues to better and more profitable performance


The cows have come home from summer pasture and the fall run is well underway. So how was your year? If you’re not happy and want better performance and more profits next year, here are three top tips from two experts. Precision feeding and targeted marketing Just 60 per cent of producers pregnancy check their[...]
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