GFM Network News


There are a host of factors to take into account if you’re thinking of changing your calving season, but the main question to answer is: What works best for you?

The right time for calving depends on your farm — and you

While many producers are calving earlier, some have gone the other way

Calving season looks different on every operation — there is no one right method or time of year to calve a cow herd. While more producers in Western Canada have moved to later calving, some have gone the other way. Here are the experiences of three ranching families. Late-summer/fall calving Taralea Simpson has been calving

Zero in on a specific goal when intercropping so you can measure progress over time, and “learn from the failures,” says researcher 
Yvonne Lawley.

Intercropping can be a win win for mixed operations

The practice comes with a learning curve, but can increase grazing options while boosting soil health

There is a lot of buzz in beef and forage production systems around the concepts of sustainability and soil health, and the numerous different production practices that can support those ideas. Intercropping is one strategy that can improve efficiency and soil health. Manitoba producer Alan MacKenzie considers intercropping to be two crops that are grown


Whether you spread out bales or group them in ‘pods,’ don’t worry about the residue left behind — it isn’t wasted.

Bale grazing is having its moment in the (winter) sun

Here are some things to bear in mind when using bales to extend the grazing season

Many producers have taken steps to extend their grazing period, and bale grazing is proving to be a popular choice. Bales can be purchased or grown on farm and placed strategically in cells or ‘bale pods.’ In some cases, cattle feed on bales directly where they are dropped from the baler, but in most situations, bales

Most producers in Western Canada are vaccinating their herds, but those who don’t are leaving their cattle vulnerable to common diseases.

The bottom line on vaccinating cows

Not vaccinating herds comes with a cost — these two calculators put a number on potential losses

(This article has been edited for length. The full version can be found in the BCRC Blog section at beefresearch.ca.) Vaccination is a proven tool for disease prevention, but in Western Canada, one in 10 producers surveyed are not vaccinating their cows for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVD). As well,

Slices of thick cut steaks

Comment: How much water is needed to produce a pound of beef?

And just as importantly, what kind of water are we talking about?

An excerpt from a Beef Cattle Research Council blog post on the environmental impact of beef production. For the full text, visit beefresearch.ca. Yes, it takes water to produce beef, but in the 2.5 million years since our ancestors started eating meat, we haven’t lost a drop yet. Based on the most recent science and



It’s prime time for anthrax, so keep a close eye on your cattle

It’s prime time for anthrax, so keep a close eye on your cattle

Highly contagious, infectious soil-borne disease finds victims in grazing livestock

With high temperatures and drought, cattle and bison are at a higher risk of anthrax. Two bison deaths northwest of North Battleford, Saskatchewan have recently been confirmed as caused by anthrax, and seven others are suspected. Producers are encouraged to keep a watchful eye and to refresh their memories on what to do when anthrax