Better bale storage can improve cattle health

OLDS, Alta. — Quality losses are inevitable in hay left to sit outside in fields over winter. But producers can take steps to better protect them, said Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist at Alberta Agriculture. “You need to do something to protect those bales from weather to optimize the use of that forage, especially […] Read more

Examining dead stock for causes of death is valuable

The diesel engine snarled to life and I headed out of town. Reaching the feedlot, I rumbled past rows of feed bunks with various sized steers and heifers, placidly chewing their cuds or rummaging for grain in what would be their final home before entering the plant that would turn their flesh into beef. An […] Read more

Dry summers cast light on water quality

OLDS, Alta. — When 200 cows died in Saskatchewan after drinking from a contaminated dugout, it foreshadowed future problems with high salt content in water across the Prairies. “If we don’t get the snow or there is very little runoff and we get another hot summer, that water is going to evaporate and the level […] Read more

Alta. Lamb considers plebiscite on resuming non-refundable checkoff

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — Alberta lamb producers may be able to vote this year on the future of their $1.50 checkoff. About one percent of producers request their money back, but the rebates amount to about five percent of the organization’s budget. About $11,000 has been returned in the last two years, said Alberta Lamb […] Read more

Seneca Valley Virus a growing problem

Seneca Valley Virus, an illness in pigs, is on the rise in parts of the United States, and that should put Canadian hog producers on alert. Dr. Julia Keenliside, veterinary epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture, said the U.S. reported 200 cases of the virus in 2015, but in 2017 there were 300 cases reported in Wisconsin […] Read more

Breed associations adapt

REGINA — Breed associations have been around for more than a century but today their roles are changing. Wade Shafer, executive vice-president of the American Simmental Association, said the beef sector will maintain the need for breeds and associations but their functions may change. More crossbred animals may be used as breeding stock similar to […] Read more

Bovine growth hormone whistle blower dies at 84

Shiv Chopra, a former researcher with Health Canada who made headlines over objections to a veterinary drug, died Jan. 7 at the age of 84. Chopra and a fellow scientist, Margaret Haydon, claimed they were being pressured into approving the use of a bovine growth hormone that can boost milk production in dairy cows. The […] Read more

Soil health important to ranchers

While ranchers may manage their fields differently, most know the value of healthy soils. Many ranchers are working toward building pastures that produce better forages, which means better weight gains for their cattle and more money in their pockets. “We’ve learned that if we can do something, even little things, it can really increase your […] Read more

CCA plans ‘issues management’ team

MACGREGOR, Man. —The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association plans to spend more money to manage controversies and fight back against critics of beef production. Now, the CCA has a couple employees who work part time in a department the organization calls Issues Management. They co-ordinate the beef industry’s response when issues pop up, such as Greenpeace claims […] Read more

Bringing in livestock key to rebuilding soil

More farmers are starting to use livestock to help regenerate soils, which can reduce inputs and produce higher yields down the road. They spoke about their livestock integration plans during the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing held in Edmonton Dec. 5-7. Cody Straza and Allison Squires have an organic grain farm near […] Read more