GFM Network News


You can make a user-pay argument that feedlots should contribute to road maintenance costs but Lethbridge County’s head tax on cattle could prompt some feeders to move elsewhere, or even close down.

A taxing situation — study says there’s no easy fix to county’s cattle tax

The levy on feedlot cattle has some justification, a lot of drawbacks, and no trouble-free alternatives, says new study


Lethbridge County’s head tax is unfair for cattle feeders — but there’s no easy alternative. Those are the key takeaways from a new study that looked at both the impact of a per-cow tax, and how the county could raise badly needed funds for maintaining and repairing its roads. Read more: Lethbridge County ‘head tax’ ruled […] Read more

Three approaches to managing first- and second-calvers

Their methods differ, but these three ranchers are all focused on maintaining body conditioning

Because they graze year round at Deseret Ranches near Raymond, Darren Bevans manages first- and second-calvers separately from the cow herd on winter swath grazing. “Managing these groups separately allows us to provide a little bit of extra nutrition, which can make all the difference to body condition and future pregnancy rates,” said Bevans. “Really these […] 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

Premature bleaching of infected spikelet in wheat.

Now is the time to create next year’s battle plan for fusarium

Scouting this year is the first step in limiting the impact of the cereal disease next year

Although it’s likely too late to apply a fungicide for fusarium graminearum, producers can still use the information they gather about the outbreak to plan for subsequent growing seasons. Fusarium graminearum is considered the most important fusarium head blight (FHB) species due to its aggressiveness and production of deoxynivalenol or DON (a.k.a. vomitoxin), said crop […] Read more


‘Public trust’ conference aims to find ways to win back consumers

The popularity of campaigns attacking conventional agriculture shows that the industry needs to do more, says organizer

Public trust is eroding in Canada, and farmers — along with others in the value chain — need to fight back, says the head of a new ag organization aimed at winning back confused consumers. “The whole industry needs to know a whole bunch more about consumers,” said Kim McConnell, an Okotoks-based marketing expert and […] Read more

Why does El Niño have such a big impact on our weather?

It’s all about heat and the atmosphere’s aversion to imbalances 
when it comes to hot and cold


A few weeks ago while waiting for a triathlon to start, a thunderstorm rolled through the region forcing everyone to run for shelter. While listening to people talk during the storm I overheard a weather-related idea or story that I’ve actually been mulling in my head for a while now, but I still haven’t figured […] Read more