Consider overall operation to succeed

Victory in warfare can be achieved by adopting the best strategy available. Good generals constantly refine their tactics on the battlefield until the enemy gives up. It’s no surprise then, that planning is a big part of holistic grazing guru Allan Savory’s theory of holistic management, because as a military officer, he led soldiers in […] Read more

Viable alternatives to unsafe dugouts

Chipping holes in frozen dugouts to provide water for livestock during the winter is not only cold and nasty but can also be dangerous for both the rancher and his animals. At minimum, cattle or horses could become injured if they slip and fall, or even drown en masse if the ice gives way. “Do […] Read more

Warm thoughts: Masonry stoves save fuel, work, money

Remember that scene from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book where the Monkey King implores Mowgli: “Teach me the secret of fire, so that I can be human, too.” Of course, Mowgli the jungle boy – wiser than his years might suggest – brushes off the king’s request and eventually makes good his planned escape back […] Read more

Windy days, warm nights

On top of an 80-foot tower above Bill Grant’s acreage near Homewood, Man., stands an 1,800-watt solution to the spectre of rising energy prices. The project cost him $20,000, but in the two months since he installed the wind turbine, its performance has left him confident that it will reduce his monthly hydro bill by […] Read more

Tree saving venture not to be poo pooed

Anyone who has ever compared what goes in the front end of a sheep with what comes out the back knows powerful forces are at work. Forget for a moment wool, mutton and lamb chops – a sheep’s main task in life is turning coarse fibre into finely chopped particles, much like a paper mill. […] Read more

Organic method reduces inputs

When input prices soared last spring, many farmers wondered if there might be a better way. Apart from diesel fuel to run their equipment, organic farmers eschew most of the items on a conventional grain producer’s ever-lengthening shopping list. They grow their own nitrogen, spread manure for phosphorus and use more varied crop rotational strategies […] Read more

Supply management system called non-starter for cattle

Restoring access to the United States market is a priority for the Canadian cattle industry because the alternative is too painful to contemplate, says one cattle industry expert. “Canada’s beef industry must export to survive. We have no choice,” said Charlie Gracey, a cattle industry analyst for four decades, who spoke as part of a […] Read more

Market pain to linger

Corn is a notorious nitrogen hog, but a Manitoba cattle producer has figured out a way around the high cost of growing the crop as a winter feed source for his cows. By planting the corn on the herd’s manure and urine left over in his wintering field from previous years, he was able to […] Read more

Winter corn grazing provides free nutrients

Within six months there could be an end of turmoil in financial and commodity markets, but in the meantime, there will be more pain for cattle producers. “I think commodity markets are oversold. Everybody’s on the run, trying to get the heck out of everything,” Rob Leslie of Canfax said in a market update at […] Read more

Maple Leaf sells genetics business

Topigs Canada Inc. has bought the hog genetics business operations and assets of Maple Leaf Agri-Farms. The deal includes the assets of Lean Team International, a marketing arm of the genetics business, along with a nucleus farm in Manitoba.  The two companies have also formalized an agreement in which Topigs Canada supplies genetics to Maple […] Read more