GFM Network News


HomeGrown Acres, near Wawanesa, has seen an uptick in direct sales, bucking the trend.

Holiday lamb demand lags due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted typical holiday demand for lamb meat

Manitoba’s lamb producers aren’t feeling much holiday spirit this year thanks to COVID-19. Social distancing has put a chill on a market normally bolstered by the Easter season, as well as Jewish Passover celebrations and the start of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar later in April. The Manitoba government declared a state of emergency due

Wolves, coyotes, cougars, bears and other predators are responsible for mounting losses for the province’s beef and sheep producers.

Predators taxing livestock ranchers

A working group is eyeing a pilot project to seek solution

Predation losses are mounting, and producer frustration is growing. The issue of livestock kills is once again high on the agenda of beef producers as they gather at district meetings this fall. Wolves and other predators repeatedly take out animals, and aggravation is mounting that solutions to a problem as pressing as this gain so


Manitoba Sheep Association executive director Kate Basford made the case for pushing back on Health Canada’s 500 per cent increase in veterinary drug fees during KAP’s advisory council meeting Aug. 9 in Brandon.

KAP opposes Health Canada’s plan to raise veterinary drug fees

Delegates heard details on a proposed new Agricultural Operators Program at Assiniboine Community College

Health Canada’s proposal to increase the cost of reviewing and maintaining veterinary drugs by 500 per cent is opposed by the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP). Delegates to KAP’s advisory council meeting here Aug. 9 passed a resolution calling on KAP to lobby against the fee increase and to get Health Canada to reassess its current

KAP president Bill Campbell is urging Manitoba farmers help each other source livestock feed. A dry, hot summer has reduced production.

Farmers urged to co-operate to secure winter livestock feed

Poor cell coverage and high taxes also a concern at KAP advisory council meeting

Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) president Bill Campbell is urging Manitoba farmers to help one another to find livestock feed for the winter. “Once the combine goes and chops it (grain straw) that field is done (as a feed source),” Campbell said here at KAP’s advisory council meeting Aug. 9. “We need to have some of

Manitoba sheep producers hope to make some major inroads in developing value-added for their industry with a proposed new initiative.

Sheep association supports concept of ‘enhancement board’

New initiative to place emphasis on educating producers 
about market needs, says director

The Manitoba Sheep Association (MSA) has taken its first step toward creating an initiative to add more value to Manitoba-raised lambs and help member producers do a better job selling them. Members at its annual meeting Nov. 18 widely supported a resolution calling for the establishment of what is to be called the Manitoba Sheep


The MSA’s Vision 2020 — a five-point strategy for sector development — includes the goal of developing more educational resources for producers to learn how to keep flock health optimal, boost productivity and improve farm profitability.

Sheep producers want more resources for optimizing productivity

Manitoba Sheep Association’s 2017 annual general meeting included multiple speakers 
on flock care and management

Sheri Bieganski and her husband Jeff decided to add sheep to their stock farm five years ago and they’ve never looked back. It’s been a period of remarkable growth of the sheep sector, says the Carberry-area farmer and co-owner of Shereff Stock Farms. Bieganski is also acting chair for the Manitoba Sheep Producers. “There is

Jonathon Nichol says growth of the provincial flock is mainly attributable to significant expansion on one farm but other producers are expanding flocks as well.

Manitoba sheep flock expands

Consistent profitability and growing market driving producers to expand flocks, MSA spokesman says

Manitoba’s sheep flock is growing faster than anywhere else in Canada. The latest Census of Agriculture figures show flock expansion of 43.2 per cent between 2011 and 2016, to 90,423 animals in 2016. Elsewhere in Canada the sheep flock declined in that same time period by 4.9 per cent. Jonathon Nichol isn’t surprised to hear

Too much or too little copper in feed rations can both cause health problems for sheep.


Balancing copper content a challenge for shepherds

Some soils provide too much, some too little, and both can be deadly

Varying rates of copper in the soil across Canada has been giving sheep producers a tough go. In September, the Manitoba Sheep Association reported that through June and July, processing plants in Ontario saw an increase in the number of adult carcasses being condemned due to jaundice. “Copper toxicity is what is causing the jaundice


New Zealand square bags, which are made of polyethylene and sourced from China are said to be a more efficient way of transporting wool.

The wool is in the bag — but which one?

Industry watchers say square packaging is becoming the norm

Some Manitoba sheep producers are balking at an industry trend towards a wool-bagging system that processors say is safer and more efficient to transport. Sheep producers generally have two options for packaging wool, long tube bags made from jute or New Zealand square bags made of polyethylene. At its annual general meeting in early March,

COOL continues to obstruct sheep industry

Manitoba representative on the Canadian Sheep Federation doubts quick resolution of COOL restrictions

Canadian sheep producers remain stranded by country-of-origin labelling (COOL) restrictions, even as beef and pork producers have seen relief. According to Herman Bouw, Manitoba sheep producer and director of the Manitoba Sheep Association (MSA), COOL continues to affect the sector, isolating it from the U.S. market, due to active lobbying from the American sheep industry.