Ian Mason feeds about 400 of his cattle west of Cayley, Alta.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Cattle markets in turmoil under COVID-19 fears

Cattle markets in Canada and the United States are being knocked around with uncertainty due to the threat of COVID-19. Canada follows the United States cut-out wholesale beef price, which is soaring while live prices struggle. “We are hearing from our producers across the country that the spread between the boxed beef side and the […] Read more

Veterinarian Roy Lewis uses his stethescope to listen to the upper airways of a Hereford animal in this photo from Farmfair. | File photo

Vet shortage hits critical level

An international shortage of veterinarians has reached critical levels. Livestock producers, veterinarians and government are talking but there is no single solution to address the areas of greatest need, such as filling positions at rural practices. “It is a challenge encouraging people to go into veterinary medicine but even more to become a large animal […] Read more

A 3D rendered image of cells.  One of the cells has dark tubules protruding from it as compared to the other clear cells. | Getty Images

Beef sector forms team to ensure stable production

The Canadian beef sector has formed a cross industry team to ensure stable beef production and trade can continue under the restrictions of COVID-19. The first desire is to ensure people stay safe but it is also important to ensure business continuity and make sure food is abundant in stores as well as keep trade […] Read more


Implants are applied to the ear because that part of the animal is not part of the food system. | File photo

Calf implants show multiple benefits

Research shows suckling calves given one implant can gain an extra 20 lb. by the time they are weaned

RED DEER — The improved weight gain and feed efficiency among beef cattle receiving growth promoting hormones has been well-studied since these products were approved in the 1950s. Implanting calves could be an added advantage for cow-calf operators, said veterinarian John McKinnon of Zoetis and former beef industry chair at the University of Saskatchewan. Field […] Read more

Test project to allow foreign workers to stay in country

OTTAWA — A pilot project to help foreign agriculture workers stay in Canada starts March 31. The three-year pilot is to designed to address the labour needs for year-round mushroom and greenhouse production, as well as the meat and livestock sectors. The project is open to 1,470 applications per year through Immigration Canada. Specific occupations […] Read more


La Nina’s return could bring warmer, wetter summer to West

RED DEER — Western Canadians can expect a warm summer with more precipitation as La Nina emerges. “It already looks like it is going to be a pretty good growing season because of La Nina,” said Art Douglas, climatologist and professor emeritus from Creighton University in the United States. El Nino cycles warm equatorial waters […] Read more

Heterosis valve deserves more attention

Heterosis is defined as the performance superiority of crossbred progeny over the average of its parents

North American beef herds lack hybrid vigour and that directly affects every calf crop. “Looking around the country there is a very high proportion of straight breeding going on,” said Alison Van Eenennaam, extension genomics specialist of the University of California, Davis. “From a genetics perspective, when I look at the competing protein industries like […] Read more

COVID-19: Planning for change

Farm preparation in the face of COVID-19 means making plans that are subject to change to protect people, livestock and farm assets. Emergency management specialist Rebecca Gimenez Husted provided a disaster response plan for the livestock sector during a virtual conference sponsored by Alberta Farm Animal Care on March 19. “This is an unforeseen thing […] Read more


Closing tech gap could boost GDP by $11B: RBC

RED DEER — Canada could gain $11 billion in annual gross domestic product in 10 years by closing the agriculture labour gap and accelerating investment in technology. This would boost agricultural GDP to $51 billion making it bigger than automobile assembly and aeronautics industries combined, said a senior vice-president with the Royal Bank of Canada. […] Read more

Food and agriculture service providers are also considered essential. | File photo

Food chain part of B.C. COVID-19 measures

The British Columbia minister of public safety and solicitor general has issued a series of ministerial orders under the Emergency Program Act in response to COVID-19. Issued March 26 by minister Mike Farnsworth, the province is stepping up consumer protection and enforcement. These measures include: • Supply chain: Establishing a new provincial supply chain co-ordination […] Read more