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

Producers wanted for cow-calf survey

Do you wonder how your cow-calf operation compares with others in your region, province or herd size on matters like conception rate and weaning weight? Producers who participate in the second Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey will receive a complementary report that allows them to compare their own operation with benchmarks. The survey takes about 45 […] Read more


The fall run is tough on calves but we can do better

The health problems seen in the feedlot don’t come out of the blue and 
careful handling should start at the home ranch

With the fall run underway, cattlemen and women are faced again with the challenge of morbidity and mortality in calves. By the time calves land in the feed yard, they have often been handled and transported several times. How they fight off disease during that extraordinarily stressful period is related to their age and weight. […] Read more

Opinion: Why the cattle checkoff should rise

Canada’s beef industry has a bright future but innovation is key and costly — and the 
current levy simply isn’t enough

As cattle producers, you and I have been helping to fund Canadian beef research since 2002 by paying checkoff every time we sell an animal. The work that’s been done with that money has benefited the industry as a whole and at the individual farm level because of the information and innovations that come as […] 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

The trade deal with Europe could be worth $600 million annually for the Canadian beef industry, but so far producers aren’t enrolling in a program that would give them access to this premium market. 

The door to Europe isn’t quite open yet

The EU trade deal is now a go, but ‘very few producers’ have signed up for a program that makes their cattle eligible

The European Union has the potential to be a big marketplace for Canadian beef producers, but it’s going to take some effort to get them here. “We are concerned that to date very few producers are enrolling their cattle in the EU program,” the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in a recent edition of its e-newsletter. […] Read more


Two Lethbridge researchers chosen for mentorship program

Program will give Robert Gruninger and Stacy Singer 
a chance to know the beef industry better

Two scientists from Ag Canada’s Lethbridge research centre and one from the University of Saskatchewan have been chosen for the Beef Cattle Research Council’s mentorship program. The program pairs up-and-coming applied researchers with innovative cattle producers or other industry professionals for a one-year mentorship. It provides researchers with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of […] Read more

High hopes for remote sensing of pasture conditions

Federal funding assists pasture project

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says it hopes a research project on remote sensing of pasture conditions will be the foundation for a new national pasture insurance program. “The project’s findings may allow for more precision in the development of insurance programs for pasture production, on a farm level, rather than by geographic regions or limited […] Read more