GFM Network News


Bales that are stored under a shed, covered or wrapped in plastic do not deteriorate over the winter as much as hay stored outdoors.

Buying last year’s hay — is it a good deal?

Sitting in the yard or field for an extra year has 
likely changed the feed value

Each year, as spring approaches and hay stocks begin to dwindle, hay prices increase and some year-old stored hay comes on the market. Producers should test before buying, says Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “While the feed may have initially been put up very well, sitting in the

Hand signals a good farm safety tool

Communication is vital to worker safety in any situation, particularly in a fast-paced environment such as on a farm or ranch. Distracting surroundings can prevent important messages from getting through. Distance, noise and distractions from moving livestock, hooking up farm implements or navigating an oversized load, significantly reduce a worker’s ability to hear another worker.


Price now or price later? A primer on DDCs

A deferred delivery contract can lock in a profit, 
but also prevents cashing in on future price increases

Adeferred delivery contract (DDC) is the most popular type of grain-marketing contract provided by grain buyers. A DDC, as they are often called, locks in the price for a certain quantity of a base grade of grain to be delivered to a certain location at some date in the future. “Advantages of a DDC are


Biofuel Standards Will Affect Farmers

The Renewable Fuel Standards will have an effect on farmers. The federal mandate is that there is a renewable fuel quantity that must be added to fossil fuel, for gasoline a five per cent ethanol blend will be added and for biodiesel a two per cent blend will be added to diesel. These amounts are


Will It Pay To Retain Or Purchase Heifers?

Better prices have returned to the cattle industry, and last fall, bred heifers were selling in the $1,100 to $1,350 range with some reports at $1,450. “When your heifer comes off pasture next fall and comparable animals are selling for $1,350 to $1,450, you need to know whether or not you should keep her or

Rancher’s Return Software Updated

Anew decision support tool to assist cattle producers in calculating their cost of production and break-even prices, has been posted to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s website. The new tool is an updated version of the highly successful Rancher’s Return excel spreadsheet calculator. “The 2011 version extends the initial cow-calf analysis further through the supply

Feed ‘Em Or Ship ‘Em? Program Helps Decide

At this time of year, cattle producers are probably thinking about how slowly winter is moving and how quickly the feed stack is disappearing. Some tough decisions may have to be made before grazing starts again in late spring – buy more high-priced hay to hold the herd over or pull the trigger and sell


Winter pulse research in Alberta

The advantages of growing spring types of pulses in cropping systems on the prairies are well known. Pulses include field pea, lentil, chickpea, dry bean, faba bean and lupin. These crops are unique in that they biologically fix atmospheric nitrogen N2 through a mutually beneficial relationship with rhizobium bacteria on the root hairs. The inclusion