GFM Network News


Alberta Agriculture has a comprehensive guide to dugouts covering everything from design to maintenance.

Fall is a good time to inspect and maintain a dugout

Mowing and ensuring the float line is below ice level are good yearly practices, and warning signs are a must


When inspecting your dugout, work from the outside in. A fall inspection should start with a check of the area that feeds into the dugout, said provincial water specialist Dan Benson. “A properly graded, mowed grassed waterway is an excellent best-management practice that can reduce turbidity and nutrient-rich water from entering your dugout,” he said. […] Read more

Checking the dugout should be on the winter prep list

Provincial water specialist offers his inspection to-do list and tips for protecting water quality

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to inspect your dugouts, says a provincial water specialist. An inspection should start with a check of the area that feeds into the dugout, said Dan Benson. “Make sure that this area is free of debris that might flow into your dugout,” he said. “A properly […] Read more


They’ll drink to that — cows and calves do better with cleaner water

Study finds cattle drink more from troughs, and that results in more milk and faster-gaining calves

Pumping dugout water into troughs can boost weight gain in calves. In a study done at the Western Beef Development Centre, cow-calf pairs were provided with either direct access to a dugout or access to troughs of untreated water pumped from the same dugout. Calves with cows that drank from the troughs gained an additional […] Read more

Toxins produced by blue-green algae can cause organ damage or even death if ingested by livestock or pets.

There can be a deadly danger in your dugout

Toxins from blue-green algae can be fatal if ingested by livestock, but you can reduce the risk

It’s the time of year to keep watch for blue-green algae. “Blue-green algae is actually cyanobacteria, and can produce toxins that can be very dangerous,” said Shawn Elgert, a provincial agricultural water engineer. “It can cause organ damage or even death if ingested by livestock or pets. If you are trying to determine the cause […] Read more