GFM Network News


There may be slim pickins in the pasture

Water-stressed forages have more fibre and less protein, and that can reduce 
feed intake and body conditioning

Reading Time: 2 minutes A hot, dry summer hastened the maturity and dormancy of native and improved pastures in many parts of the province, reducing both quality and digestibility of forages. “Plants do not grow as tall as normal in dry conditions,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “Fibre levels increase faster and overall energy content of the […] Read more

Tips for dealing with greenfeed that saw snow before harvest

Heating can greatly lower the feed value, moulds will reduce digestibility, and the potential for nitrites is higher

Reading Time: 2 minutes Greenfeed that saw snow before being harvested this year presents some extra challenges when feeding. Bales containing 18 to 20 per cent moisture (or higher) have the potential to heat, and some of the sugars will be used by the microbes during the heating process, said provincial forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “This will reduce the […] Read more


Take care to remove or properly chop netwrap

Cattle will eat netwrap and this can lead to reduced 
gain and even, in some cases, sudden death

Reading Time: 2 minutes Should you be worried about cattle eating netwrap? The short answer is, maybe. Like twine, cattle will eat netwrap and it can accumulate in the rumen and cause impaction and bloat. The buildup, even if not severe enough to cause noticeable health issues, can reduce voluntary feed intake by three to five pounds a day. […] Read more

Alternative feeds can cause health issues

Too much sulphur can lead to polio and a shortage of nitrogen can reduce feed intake


Reading Time: 2 minutes Using unusual feeds such as canola, straw, and slough hay increases the need for feed testing, says a provincial forage specialist. “Knowing the quality of the forage being used this winter is going to be critical to make it through on a short feed supply,” said Barry Yaremcio. Many canola crops being cut for silage […] Read more


“If we’re looking for the greatest reward in terms of management strategies, it comes back down to basic management and simply minimizing variation for dry matter intake and nutrient intake in your cattle.”
 – Greg Penner

Top tips for feeding for rumen health

Cattle — and microbes in their rumens — need a consistent supply of both 
dry matter and nutrients to improve performance and reduce digestive diseases

Reading Time: 3 minutes Cattle feeders aren’t just feeding cattle — they’re also feeding the microbes that live in the rumen. And those little critters are picky. “Regardless of the production system, the challenge that we face is variation in dry matter intake and total nutrient intake,” said Greg Penner, assistant professor of animal and poultry science at the […] Read more