This country has 308 endemic plant and animal species, those that are found nowhere else in the world. Of those, the Prairies are home to 121 of them and British Columbia alone harbours 105. | Screencap via

Only in Canada – report details endemic species

The Bert’s predaceous diving beetle, large-headed woolly yarrow, false northwestern moonwort and Queen Charlotte hairy woodpecker have one thing in common. They are only found in Canada. This country has 308 endemic plant and animal species, those that are found nowhere else in the world. Of those, the Prairies are home to 121 of them […] Read more

The Watson family’s 200-head cow herd and 150 yearlings graze for nine months of the year on 4,000 acres of land in parcels spread between Suffield, Dunmore, Elkwater, Manyberries and Seven Persons in southeastern Alberta.  |  Photos courtesy of Jolene Watson

Ranch family shares sense of responsibility

On the Farm: Wade and Jolene Watson shared a desire to own their own ranch and bought all their land themselves

SEVEN PERSONS, Alta. — It’s a family in which each member has followed their dreams and found success. Wade has always wanted to be involved in agriculture and be his own boss. Jolene fell in love with law enforcement and has always loved cattle. Sage, 25, is passionate about track and field, runs professionally for […] Read more

A researcher who has studied fatigued cattle syndrome is worried about the welfare of cattle who will have spent longer than normal in feedlots before being shipped this year because of packer backlogs caused by COVID-19 outbreaks.  |  File photo

Keep cattle at casual pace when transporting

Animals that have spent months in a feedlot can be overcome by fatigue when it comes time to ship them to slaughter

Picture this: you’ve spent six months at a resort, lounging around and eating at least three times a day at the buffet. Drink is plentiful. You are fat and happy. Then you are asked to run a six-minute mile in 32 C heat. Stressful? Possibly life-threatening? It can be. And that is what heavy cattle […] Read more

Marcel Blais is president of Chop Steakhouse and Bar, a chain that sources 100 percent Canadian beef and was the first restaurant chain to use the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) logo on its menus.
 | Screencap via

Restaurateur sees life for beef after COVID pandemic

A restaurant chain that stakes part of its reputation on serving Canadian beef sees opportunities for the beef industry despite the ravages COVID-19 has wreaked on the food service sector. Marcel Blais is president of Chop Steakhouse and Bar, a chain that sources 100 percent Canadian beef and was the first restaurant chain to use […] Read more

Groups working on the livestock codes of practice have been forced to postpone, cancel or reschedule meetings as online events.  |  Erin Soule photo

Schedules for new animal codes reassessed

Public comment periods for each of the codes may be delayed by 
as much as a few months in some cases due to COVID pandemic

Completed updates to various livestock codes of practice may be delayed due to the impacts of the pandemic. The National Farm Animal Care Council said it is “re-assessing timelines” for each of the codes being updated, including those for dairy cattle, livestock transport, goat and farmed salmonids. It said public comment periods, which are held […] Read more

Oil and gas infrastructure seen as big threat to songbirds

Oil and gas well infrastructure has a major effect on grassland songbirds in southern Alberta, a doctoral thesis indicates. Jody Daniel-Simon recently completed a study in the Brooks, Alta., region that indicates energy industry infrastructure has a cumulative effect on songbird behaviour, likely reducing their numbers. She estimates a 70 percent decline in the number […] Read more

A concrete drop structure that is part of the canal and siphon system that diverts water from the St. Mary River into the Milk River failed May 17.  |  U.S. Bureau of Reclamation photo

Irrigation system fails

Collapse of an irrigation structure in northern Montana last week is affecting flow in the Milk River on the Alberta side, potentially disrupting the coming irrigation season. The Milk River as it flows into Canada is dependent on a diversion of water from the St. Mary River into the Milk through a canal and siphon […] Read more

Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the pandemic will result in higher costs for food in Canada, which until now has had the fifth cheapest food basket in the world, comprising about 11 percent of income. | File photo

E-commerce changes retail picture; brings opportunities

Unexpected markets could open up for farmers if buying groceries online becomes the new normal for more consumers

Canada is now in week nine of the COVID-19 crisis, although it may seem as though that span has been longer — much longer. In that time, grocery shopping has become a chore to be avoided, eating at home has become the norm and the entire social contract between the food industry and consumers is […] Read more

Boat inspection stations are expected to be active in Alberta this summer because zebra and quagga mussels destroy native aquatic ecosystems and could potentially clog municipal water treatment infrastructure and irrigation systems.  | File photo

Alberta continues to inspect boats for mussels

Province remains committed to keeping zebra and quagga mussels out of its waterways, where they can cause damage

Travel restrictions now in place due to the pandemic are likely to significantly reduce interprovincial and international traffic into Alberta but boat inspection stations are still expected to be active this summer at some border crossings. The threat that zebra and quagga mussels could inadvertently be brought to provincial water bodies on watercraft remains because […] Read more

There is hope that Alberta’s beef packing industry is turning the corner after being hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. Cargill is processing about 3,200 head per day and working toward full capacity of 4,000 to 4,500, while JBS is now processing about 2,000 per day with planned increases over time.  | Mike Sturk photo

Beef processors pick up the pace

The JBS plant in Brooks Alta., adds a second shift and adopts more than 100 preventive measures to boost worker safety

The JBS beef packing plant in Brooks, Alta., returned to operating a second shift May 21, a month after reducing activity to one shift April 22. An outbreak of COVID-19 among employees reduced the workforce and many were not coming to work for fear of contracting the virus. The Cargill beef processing plant in High […] Read more