GFM Network News


A thin cow will need an extra 1,400 pounds of hay just to stay warm over the winter.

There are extra challenges in wintering cows this year

Early weaning, supplement feed, and feeding vitamins earlier should be considered

Reading Time: 2 minutes With feed quality and quantity “all over the map this year,” producers face challenges weaning calves and maintaining cows, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “If calves were not provided with creep feed over the summer, weaning weights will be lower than in most years — as much as 150 pounds per animal,” said […] Read more

Alternative feeds could offer big savings this winter, but supplies vary by region and feed testing is a must.

Harvest woes increase supply of alternative feeds

Prices are down and depending on the region, availability is up — but you need to do the math

Reading Time: 2 minutes Hay costs vary significantly this year, with prices in some areas with short supplies nearly double those in areas with adequate supplies. On the other hand, there could be numerous options for alternate winter feeds this year as some crops originally intended for grain are being harvested as feed. Alberta feed barley prices have dropped […] Read more


The best way to store bales outside is in rows, with at least a foot between rows and six inches between bales, although you want to stay away from tree lines as that allows more snow to collect.

Proper hay storage can be the difference between a win and a wreck

Pyramid-style stacks are a no-no for your bales

Reading Time: 5 minutes How your hay looks heading into winter depends on two things — where you farm, and how badly you were hit by the never-ending rains this summer. If you’re on the Eastern Slopes in southern Alberta where the weather was good, you’re probably in luck. But heading farther east, conditions this summer were dry and […] Read more






Crops that have high rates of applied nitrogen, such as canola, can have a high amount of soil nitrogen well into July in thin stands.

Watch for nitrate accumulation in hailed-out crops

There’s extra value in a salvage crop this year, but nitrates are a risk in crops such as canola and wheat

Reading Time: 2 minutes The issue of nitrate accumulation needs to be considered when salvaging hailed-out crops. “Nitrate accumulation occurs in a plant when it is injured and is not able to convert nitrate to protein efficiently after a hail storm,” said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “In non-legume crops, water and nutrients are pushed into the […] Read more

Crop reports stoke hay shortage concerns

MarketsFarm – Rainfall varied across the Prairie provinces during week ended August 2, as concerns of a hay shortage continue. Approximately 39 per cent of the hay crop in Saskatchewan is now baled or stored. While hay quality is 55 per cent good-to-excellent, yields have been well below normal across the province. According to the […] Read more


The feed situation has been grim for many producers all year long and there’s not a whole lot of relief in sight.

Rains bring some relief to hay markets, but not much

Rain and shortages make for an uneven hay market

Reading Time: 3 minutes Recent rains may result in hay prices softening a bit — but not by much, say experts “We have got rains and some of the pastures are rebounding,” said Ed Shaw, a hay exporter from Olds. “The yields are going to be lower than normal because it was a slow season and it got started […] Read more