GFM Network News


Wildlife, especially rodents like raccoons and rats, can transmit leptospirosis to so-called ‘closed herds.’

Don’t be fooled into thinking a ‘closed herd’ is an excuse for inaction

Beef 911: Transmission can occur from wildlife, via spores or breeding bulls, so be proactive

In my travels, on calls or when talking to other veterinarians’ producers, I still hear some hide behind the proverbial, ‘I don’t do that because I have a closed herd.’ It is an absolute misconception that because a herd is ‘closed,’ it is protected. That is a very broad statement and may apply to a



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,

Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland

Year-round grazing requires year-round planning and management.

Winter grazing not just about winter

Regenerative grazing key to year-round pasture management

Whenever Steve Kenyon gives a presentation on year-round grazing systems, producers immediately think only of winter grazing. Bale grazing, swath grazing, crop residue grazing — Kenyon knows that producers who graze their cattle over winter love to talk about these things. But he cautions that, despite their importance, these methods are only a small part


True North to offer greener pastures for grass-fed beef

True North to offer greener pastures for grass-fed beef

The processor is setting the foundations for a grass-fed program targeting cull cows and bulls

The processor is setting the foundations for a grass-fed program targeting cull cows and bulls

Manitoba’s only federally certified beef plant is on the hunt for animals that have never tasted grain. Carman-based True North Foods is on the road to becoming a supplier of grass-fed beef for an as-of-yet unnamed, major client. That client recently approached company owner Calvin Vaags with the request. A new program from True North Foods promises

Laminitis has been found to be closely related to cresty necks in horses, and can even be predicted by the condition of the neck fat.

The ‘cresty’-necked horse

Horse Health: Neck fat is a valuable barometer of horse health

The observance of a cresty neck in a horse indicates some level of metabolic sickness and reflects more than just a fat horse. Although the fat or obese horse is burdened with a form of metabolic illness, the appearance of a cresty neck signals further metabolic complications along the continuum of diseases associated with obesity.

Ted Unruh demonstrates his automatic fence lifter, which takes the place of a conventional gate.

Automatic fence lifter cuts labour on high-density grazing

Ted Unruh’s cattle are on the move four times a day, but the farmer isn’t usually in the field to see it

The first time Ted Unruh came across the idea of an automatic fence lifter, it was over social media. Unruh, along with a number of other farmers, had been chatting about a fence lifter that could take the place of a conventional gate, with some suggesting that a water jug could be used as a



Roads south of Brandon on June 29, 2020 show the evidence of being overtopped by floodwaters the previous day.

PHOTOS: Water over WestMan

Based on the 30-year average, Manitoba Agriculture pegs the “climate normal” accumulated precipitation for what are typically the wettest months of the year — May, June and July — at 205 millimetres for the areas around Brandon, Rivers and Minnedosa. In the stretch of 2020 from June 28 into Canada Day, those areas received three