GFM Network News


Brucellosis is contagious and can present in a variety of situations for either pregnant cows or newborn calves.

Bovine brucellosis abortion screening pilot

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and participating Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network laboratories are conducting a pilot project to improve Canada’s bovine brucellosis surveillance. Blood and tissue samples related to reproductive issues in cattle submitted to participating network laboratories during this time may be tested for brucellosis at a CFIA laboratory. Brucellosis is a contagious […] Read more

Inducing cows is always a risk-and-reward scenario

Many factors need to be considered and no two cases are exactly alike

There comes a time in cow-calf production to induce cows to calve for a number of reasons. This may be because there is an abnormal pregnancy, the cow has a life-threatening condition, the pregnancy has gone on too long leading to health issues or other reasons. All require careful thought and examination as every case […] 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


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

Attention to detail is key in a synchronization program

Beef 911: There are three main synchronization programs that 
produce good results if you closely follow the protocols

Several factors must be considered when deciding what synchronization program to use in your cattle herd. Do you have the time to heat detect or do you want timed breeding? Cost is a consideration, as timed artificial insemination programs require more financial commitment and more passes through the chute. We will explore three main synchronization […] Read more


Producers wanted for cow-calf survey

Do you wonder how your cow-calf operation compares with others in your region, province or herd size on matters like conception rate and weaning weight? Producers who participate in the second Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey will receive a complementary report that allows them to compare their own operation with benchmarks. The survey takes about 45 […] Read more

Alberta cattle numbers are no longer falling — but herds are on the move

Some counties are seeing a major increase due to bigger herds, but crops are replacing cattle in other areas

While the Alberta cow herd has stopped shrinking, it has not yet rebounded. “The positive returns for the cow-calf producers over the last few years indicate the Alberta cow herd has finally stopped shrinking,” said Herman Simons, a farm business management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “In fact, the total beef cow numbers for […] Read more


Body condition scoring pays dividends

Beef 911: Having a good handle on body condition allows you to fatten 
thin cows and feed less to fat ones to boost performance

Body condition scoring really means assessing the condition and fat cover on your cow to enable you to feed them for optimal growth and reproductive performance. It may mean separating the fat and thin groups from the main herd, which allows you to feed them separately to save feed on the fat ones and build […] Read more

High costs slowing cattle herd expansion

Canada’s beef cattle industry is poised for expansion, but will high capital costs cause delays?

Strong prices are signalling that it’s time to start retaining heifers and build the cattle herd — but rising capital costs could cause some producers to hold off. “There’s lots of opportunities, but it’s costly,” said Rick Dehod, farm financial specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. A decade of pain and low prices means […] Read more