GFM Network News


A large male wild boar — which can top 600 pounds — in a rare daytime photo. The animals tend to be nocturnal.

Wild pigs a growing problem not many seem to care about

Alberta is the only province with a control strategy — but it’s still in the pilot program phase

Since their numbers are unknown and the wily animals are rarely spotted, it’s been easy to ignore the problem of wild pigs. But given their potential to spread disease, that’s a mistake, says the country’s leading — and pretty much only — expert on wild boars. The animals — whose population has mushroomed in the […] Read more

Wheat breeder Curtis Pozniak is on a quest to figure out what makes wheat wheat.

Wheat breeders get a cheat sheet

‘Breeder chip’ doesn’t make the process faster but ups the odds of hitting pay dirt

Plant breeding is strictly a numbers game — but researchers have found a way to improve the odds with help from a new tool called a ‘breeder chip.’ “Breeding is like a lottery. The more tickets you buy, the greater the chance of success,” said Curtis Pozniak, a professor of plant sciences and wheat breeder […] Read more


The four researchers chosen for the program offer a range in experience in fields including food safety, beef cattle production, forage nutrition and sustainability.

University of Calgary researchers chosen for beef mentorship program

Initiative helps scientists better understand the needs of the beef sector and how it adopts research

Two University of Calgary researchers, along with a pair of Saskatchewan scientists, have been selected for the 2018-19 Beef Researcher Mentorship program. The program pairs researchers with beef industry leaders and provides them with a travel budget so they can attend industry meetings, producer workshops, and farm tours. The goal of the program is to […] Read more

Animal science professor Red Williams, 93

Memorial services will be held “at a later date” for renowned Prairie animal science professor Charles “Red” Williams, who died Monday at age 93 leaving a legacy of work in livestock care and ag extension. Williams, born in Regina and raised on farms in Saskatchewan and Alberta, served in the Second World War on the […] Read more


Data from the Western Canadian Cow-Calf survey provides valuable insights into lowering open rates in your herd.

Don’t risk a wreck in your cow’s reproduction this spring

Breeding timing makes a difference in open rates and so do vaccinations and copper deficiency

If you want to make sure that you get calves on the ground, pay attention to body score, when you calve, and vaccinations. That was the message from Cheryl Waldner, a professor in large-animal clinical sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “You need to get the cattle cycling […] Read more

Nitya Khanal is one of a new crop of researchers working on developing new forage varieties.

Forage research programs boosted by new hires

Peace Region scientist Nitya Khanal says there’s lots of catching up to do, 
but there are big payoffs for producers

After many years of decline, forage research is on the upswing. And that will produce a payoff for livestock producers, said forage researcher Nitya Khanal, who was hired in 2015 at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research station in Beaverlodge. “As of last year, we are revising this program and we are looking forward to recovering […] Read more


The provincial government says a provision in Bill 31 allowing vets to advertise fees isn’t aimed at the livestock sector but rather to “support pet owners in finding quality care.”

Veterinary association lambastes province over ‘intrusion’ on fees

The organization is upset with consumer protection bill that would allow vets to advertise their fees

For the second time in two months, the association representing Alberta’s veterinarians is crying foul and accusing the NDP government of taking short-sighted actions with no consultation. Proposed changes “constitute alarming overreach and intrusion into the veterinary profession’s ability to self-regulate and were made without consultation,” the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association said in a press […] Read more

A study employing DNA testing found a wide variation in the siring ability of bulls.

Who’s your daddy?

A study that used DNA testing to determine the siring success of individual bulls produced some surprises

DNA testing can help you know which bulls are siring calves and make better management decisions. “There was a lot more variation in what bulls were actually doing and which bulls were siring calves than we thought going into this,” Stacey Domolewski said during a recent Beef Cattle Research Council webinar. As part of a […] Read more


Crop research partnership maps two lentil genomes

A partnership between University of Saskatchewan (U of S) crop scientists and genomic big data company NRGene of Israel has successfully sequenced two wild lentil genomes—the largest legume genomes ever assembled. In a Nov. 8 news release, the U of S said the research was part of the $7.9-million Genome Canada-funded “Application of Genomics to […] Read more