GFM Network News


Straw prices soar, piling pressure on N.Europe livestock farmers

In some areas straw now more expensive than grains

Hamburg | London | Reuters – Livestock and dairy farmers across northern Europe are paying soaring prices for straw used in food and bedding for cattle, as hot, dry weather across the region reduces crops. The higher bills put further pressure on farmers already facing one of their toughest summers ever; many have had to […] Read more

There were real cows too!

The first Breakfast on the Dairy Farm event of the season drew more than 700 people to the Van der Gun Dairy on June 23. In addition to a free breakfast, there was a bouncy house, face painting, a petting zoo, and barn tours. There are two more Breakfast on the Dairy Farm events this […] Read more


Canadian genetics are considered superior and allow for us to consider many paths as a global supplier of live cattle.

Single-trait selection can be too much of a good thing

Dairy and beef cattle are amazingly adaptive, 
but problems arise when we breed for just one trait

As I have travelled the world I have had the privilege of seeing many different breeds of cattle. They come in every colour and shape, from the stocky Belgium Blue to the sleek Zebu. Some cattle can be found on streets eating food waste; others are beasts of burden working fields and transporting goods; the […] Read more

Methane emissions from a steer were measured by Agriculture Canada researchers.

Two feed supplements lower methane emissions

Feeding wheat to dairy and beef cattle also lowered emissions 
but the effect was short lived

A recent study has found feed supplements can reduce methane emissions from dairy and beef cattle. Researchers from Canada and Australia conducted the three-year study. “We need to know how feed affects methane production, but we also need to know how it affects other aspects of the farm operation, like daily gains in animals, milk […] Read more


Both Canada’s and Alberta’s beef cattle numbers have been revised downward following the latest farm census, but are nevertheless showing slight growth.

Farm numbers fall but some sectors in Alberta buck trend

Alberta lost six per cent of farms overall, according to the latest census but some sectors see gains

While the overall number of farms in Alberta declined by the same percentage as the national average in the latest census, there were differences by sector, says a provincial research analyst. The 2016 Census of Agriculture found there were just over 193,000 farms in Canada, a six per cent drop. “Alberta had over 40,600 census […] Read more

Dairy organizations partner to manage risk

A partnership among Canadian dairy service provider organizations should help position Canadian producers to take advantage of rapidly changing technology and make the sector more efficient, the groups say. Why does it matter? The number of Canadian dairy farmers continues to drop and the need for more efficient services is growing as the price of […] Read more


Sending a replacement or first-calf heifer into winter in poor condition will cost you later on as pregnancy rates, calf weaning weights, 
and successful pregnancies will be lower.

First-calf heifers need some extra love

Keep a close eye on the conditions of these young females, that require more energy 
and nutrients than mature cows

Replacement and first-calf heifers need extra management, but producers can take different paths to get to the same destination. Beef producers like Alberta’s Darren Bevans, Tyler Fulton in Manitoba, and Murray Shaw in Ontario know replacement and first-calf heifers need some extra attention heading into winter, but that doesn’t mean over-the-top management. Bevans and Fulton […] Read more

Dairy seminar seeking award candidates

Nominations must be received before Sept. 1

The Western Canadian Dairy Seminar is seeking nominations for the John J. Kennelly Award of Merit. The award, inspired by the contributions of Dr. John Kennelly to the seminar, is given to an individual who has made a superior contribution in the areas of education, training, technology transfer, and extension to the Western Canadian dairy […] Read more


Cattle disease outbreak under control: New Zealand ministry

Wellington / Reuters – New Zealand’s first outbreak of a serious bacterial cattle disease was well under control, the Primary Industries ministry said on Friday, with stock movement restrictions in place and testing continuing. News of the discovery of mycoplasma bovis earlier this week on a single farm in the world’s largest dairy exporter briefly […] Read more

During a trip to Wisconsin last month, President Donald Trump called supply management a “disgrace” and “another typical one-sided deal against the U.S.

Alberta dairy producers concerned but calm over threats, says farm leader

Alberta Milk takes attacks from U.S. president seriously but its members aren’t panicking, says group’s chair

Alberta dairy producers take President Donald Trump’s threats against Canadian dairy seriously, but they aren’t in a panic, says the chair of Alberta Milk. “I think we need to take this threat seriously because what we’re seeing from the U.S. administration is an administration that is unpredictable,” said Tom Kootstra, who farms near Ponoka. The […] Read more