GFM Network News



Start stretching feed early in the season to make sure you’re not managing a late-winter crisis, extension staff say.

Shortage of livestock feed leads to balancing act

Cattle can eat anything from potatoes to grain byproducts, but coming up with the right nutrition for the right price is the challenge

It’s been a dismal weather year from start to finish — but at least there will be plenty of feed grain. That’s the searching for a silver lining thought among Manitoba livestock producers facing yet another year of scrimping and culling to get their cattle through the winter. Stressed pastures, silage harvest difficulties, extended feeding



About 4.7 million pounds of beef qualified for a Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef claim in 2018.

Catch-22: supply lags demand in sustainable beef

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef framework now needs to focus on financial sustainability and supply

Canada’s sustainable beef effort has reached the retail market, but now needs to work on its own financial sustainability and meeting demand. About 4.7 million pounds of beef qualified for a Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef claim in 2018, according to Cargill. The company is the only processor to currently deliver CRSB certified beef, part

Pastures are starting to show signs of life, but experts are still warning producers to take a second look at nutrition.

Livestock producers warned against premature turnout

Producers are frustrated with feed supplies, but experts say supplementing grazing will be key until pastures really start to sprout

Livestock producers are anxiously awaiting the greening of pastures, even as extension experts council caution. Producers may be reluctant to spend more money on feed, even if they can find it, but Manitoba Agriculture staff are warning against the temptation to put livestock out too early. Why it matters: Producers may be more than fed



Moisture-starved pastures have livestock foraging harder for feed, and provincial experts warn that toxic plants could be eaten accidentally.

Drought dangers raise the red flag on toxicity for cattle

Experts are warning livestock producers to look out for toxicity as cattle scramble for feed in the pasture, drought raises nitrate risk and water supplies dwindle

Feed shortage may not be the only threat lurking in Manitoba’s increasingly brown pastures. Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist Jane Thornton says she would not be surprised by reports of poisoning from toxic plants or other toxicity issues as regular forage runs out. “Producers should look at what they have in their fields for poisonous plants,”

Drought in the winter wheat grazing area of the southern Plains caused early movement of calves from wheat pastures into feedlots.

Forced liquidation a cause of volatility in beef cattle prices

There are record meat supplies in the U.S., but demand has been boosted by the strong economy

Several producers recently expressed their frustration with the volatility in cattle prices. Price movements of several dollars can occur from one day to the next, and cash and futures market prices even seem to move in opposite directions at times. Of course, uncertainty causes market volatility, and a number of supply-and-demand challenges are adding to


Cows will be doing their part for beef research and marketing — those sold after April 1 will be subject to an extra $1.50 checkoff to fund those areas.

National cattle checkoff on its way up this spring

The national levy used to fund marketing and research is going up by $1.50 — the first increase since 2002

Come spring, more than the grass will be rising — the national cattle levy is going up $1.50 per head on April 1. “The impetus for us was the national beef strategy,” said Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers. “The national beef strategy is a plan for us for the next five years