GFM Network News


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

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

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

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

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


By getting rid of trees and obstacles in fields,

Bees cannot live on canola and alfalfa alone

‘Agriculture blooms for one month a year’ and so maintaining pockets of natural food sources is critical

Cropland’s encroachment on nature threatens to starve bees and pollinators, says beekeeper Ian Steppler. “Where we find a balance within our countryside between agriculture and nature is where we find tremendous growth and prosperity,” said Steppler, a crops and cattle producer in Manitoba who has 1,500 hives and produces over 250,000 pounds of honey per […] Read more

Soggy pastures need extra management

Supplemental feeding can cause long-lasting damage, says specialist

Waterlogged pastures can suffer considerable damage when cattle are turned out for supplemental feeding, so management is needed to minimize sod damage, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “Pelleted or cubed feeds, as well as grain, are perhaps the easiest to manage because animals can be fed these feeds on different areas of the […] Read more


Parasites may be the problem when weight gain is poor

Even seemingly healthy cattle might do better after deworming

This season has really turned around in Western Canada in terms of moisture. This has seen the pastures shoot up, humidity run up and should lead to optimal survival of internal parasite larvae. If turnout to pasture occurred at normal times, maximum picking up of larvae has or is occurring so internal levels will be […] Read more

Cattle volumes remain low as pasture conditions improve

MarketsFarm – Manitoba cattle markets observed characteristically light volumes during week ended July 26, due in part to improving pasture conditions. “There hasn’t been any panic-selling in the western and southern parts of the province,” agreed Rick Wright of Heartland Order Buying Co. Wright mentioned the Northeast region of the province is drier than most, […] Read more