GFM Network News


Producers need to think about how to manage during a drought to keep the most productive and valuable cows in the herd.

Keep your cow herd productive during drought

Recent precipitation might help, but the region remains in a dry cycle so far this season

Much of the northern plains has been in a long-term drought trend for the past several years, and already the season has been off to a dry start. While producers are familiar with drought, being prepared to develop or modify management plans in anticipation of the many challenges ahead is critical. With breeding season approaching,

Cattle can get stuck or go down when being processed

Cattle can get stuck or go down when being processed

Beef 911: Watch for balking and think prevention when it comes to alleyways and chutes

Large cows or bulls can get stuck or go down in a chute or an alleyway system, and that can cause losses or welfare issues. I have trained myself to really watch when cattle balk at certain points of a handling system as there is often a very good reason for this, and one that deserves attention. In some cases


Alpacas at 313 Farms enjoy their annual pumpkin treat after Halloween.

Farm animals get a munch-worthy treat in Halloween leftovers

Backyard operations say diverting pumpkins out of landfills, and into livestock feed, is a win win, but what is the nutritional value of a pumpkin anyway?

The days after Halloween were good ones to be an alpaca on 313 Farms near Anola, Man. In a normal year, one without an ongoing pandemic, the 14 alpacas owned by Anne and Dave Patman are the centrepiece of programs like alpaca yoga and Dancing with Alpacas. They would star in family photo shoots. And


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Cattle inventories continue to decline, StatsCan says

Canada's hog herd also down on year

MarketsFarm — Canada’s cattle herd in 2019 continued on its generally consistent path of declining numbers, according to new data Statistics Canada released Tuesday. Aside from a few slight increases in 2012, 2013 and 2018, Canadian cattle inventories have moved lower since 2005. At 11.2 million head, the reported number of cattle on farms in


Now is a good time to check udders of cows and bred heifers

Now is a good time to check udders of cows and bred heifers

Beef 911: Paying attention to teat and udder conformation greatly reduces the odds of having a cow with mastitis

Before calving is a good time for scrutinizing the udders of cows and bred heifers. Occasionally chronic infected quarters (probably emanating from the year previous) are highly visible as large swollen quarters compared to the other three. They will often flare up a few weeks before calving as the colostrum is being formed. Usually the

This cow herd at NDSU’s Dickinson Research Extension Center is in the last trimester of gestation.

Body condition vital to calving success

Proper feed, good water and a reasonable space with wind protection will keep a cow content

During the last trimester of pregnancy in beef cows, the fetus grows rapidly, placing increasing nutrient demands on the cow. In addition, cold weather increases the cow’s nutrient requirements. “Body condition plays an important role in successfully wintering beef cows,” says Yuri Montanholi, North Dakota State University Extension beef cattle specialist. “Late weaning, overstocking, late

Inducing cows is a risk-and-reward scenario

Inducing cows is a risk-and-reward scenario

Beef 911: Many factors need to be considered and no two cases are exactly alike

There comes a time in cow-calf production to induce cows to calve for a number of reasons. This may be because there is an abnormal pregnancy, the cow has a life-threatening condition, the pregnancy has gone on too long leading to health issues or other reasons. All require careful thought and examination as every case



Serious consequences can result from not providing pregnant cows with enough protein during the winter.

Protein key for pregnant cows

Keep your cows in their best shape with proper feed

Underfeeding protein to stock cows through their winter gestation has serious consequences, a North Dakota State University Extension livestock expert warns. “If insufficient protein and nitrogen are provided and degraded in the rumen, forage digestion will be reduced and the cow may not meet caloric needs and lose weight,” says John Dhuyvetter, Extension livestock systems