GFM Network News


Don’t cheap out on materials, and “start basic,” says Greg Paranich, an agricultural field specialist and electric fence “troubleshooter.”

Here’s how to stay (properly) grounded when installing electric fencing

Quality — whether ground rods, wire or insulators — is worth the money, says fencing expert

Reading Time: 4 minutes To anyone who’s never built one, an electric fence can seem like a pretty simple structure. In some ways they’re right — like any kind of electrical circuit, an electric fence requires a source of power, a conduit, some kind of ground and usually insulators. But, as is often the case, it’s only as good […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Drier conditions will influence feeder market

The feeder market was hard to define this week. The quality of yearlings was quite variable. Fleshier types were heavily discounted while quality packages were unchanged from seven days earlier. Calf prices were mostly unchanged; however, values were down $4-$6 in drier pockets of southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba. Southern Alberta barley prices were quoted […] Read more


Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] Read more

Zero in on a specific goal when intercropping so you can measure progress over time, and “learn from the failures,” says researcher Yvonne Lawley.

Intercropping can be a win win for mixed operations

The practice comes with a learning curve, but can increase grazing options while boosting soil health

Reading Time: 3 minutes There is a lot of buzz in beef and forage production systems around the concepts of sustainability and soil health, and the numerous different production practices that can support those ideas. Intercropping is one strategy that can improve efficiency and soil health. Manitoba producer Alan Mac­Kenzie considers intercropping to be two crops that are grown […] Read more


Things can look great from a distance but to know if your grasslands and pastures are living up to their potential, you need to walk the land and look at species type and abundance, vegetation layers, amount of litter, and presence of invasive species.

Eyeball your way to range health

Keep an eye out for these five things to see if your rangeland is living up to its potential

Reading Time: 4 minutes The most important tools you have to assess the health of your rangeland are your own two eyes. “What a range health assessment does is provides a measure of how well rangelands are performing key functions,” said Ross Adams, range management specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks. “It would be difficult and expensive to go […] Read more



Cattle graze forage stockpiled from the previous growing season at Nerbas Brothers Angus.

Using hooves instead of harrows to rejuvenate pastures

Cow-calf operation that relies solely on forages uses cattle and stockpiled feed to reseed tired pastures

Reading Time: 2 minutes As forage stands age, plant species composition shifts and production declines over time. There are many different methods of rejuvenating or renovating forage stands and strategies vary in intensity, effectiveness, and cost. Breaking old stands and reseeding forages, while effective, is among the most expensive rejuvenation methods. So more producers are opting to improve their older tame […] Read more



Left to their own devices, these girls and guys will pick the best and leave the worst, and then overgraze — two things you don’t want to happen.

Pasture care in four words: Balance, distribute, rest and litter

There are many different grazing systems but they all adhere to these four management principles

Reading Time: 3 minutes At first glance, grazing a pasture may appear as simple as placing cattle in a fenced area with a water source. However, practising effective grazing management is an art and a science. Pasture conditions and types vary widely from native grassland to tame forage, with stands comprised of many diverse plants or perhaps just a […] Read more

Spring termination of hay land brings challenges

Spring termination of hay land brings challenges

Fall is the better time as spring termination will delay seeding and will result in moisture loss

Reading Time: 2 minutes Producers should consider a number of factors before deciding to terminate hay land in the spring in order to seed an annual crop. “Traditionally, forage stands have been terminated in the fall by using one of three approaches — tillage only, herbicide application combined with tillage, and herbicide application followed by direct seeding into sod,” said […] Read more