Must Reads


Stories from our other publications

The award recognizes those who take an active role in communicating livestock issues and the farm animal care message in a factual and honest manner. | Screencap via

Farm gets communications award

Chatsworth Farm of Vermilion, Alta., has won the communications award from the Alberta Farm Animal Care council. The award recognizes those who take an active role in communicating livestock issues and the farm animal care message in a factual and honest manner. “Chatsworth Farm has risen to the challenge of using digital media to promote […] Read more

Feeding capacity in finishing feedlots has grown for six consecutive years and is now at its highest point since 2011. | File photo

Feedlot growth overtakes herd size

Western Canada has become a net importer of feeder cattle as domestic production falls short of what feedlots need

Feedlot capacity continues to grow in Alberta and Saskatchewan at the same time as the domestic cattle herd continues to shrink. Yet the markets have not been kind of late to feedlots. Many have been in a money-losing situation for nearly three years and suffered even further because of the pandemic, when they had to […] Read more

University of Alberta researchers say interpreting grazing comparison results in the field is tricky because greenhouse gas emissions are a result of both plant and soil factors. | File photo

Rotational grazing’s effect on carbon storage studied

Researchers want to know if the use of multiple paddocks has an impact on how pastures manage greenhouse gases

Learning how different grazing systems affect greenhouse gas uptake and carbon storage is important as carbon offsets are developed. A wide ranging five-year study examined how adaptive multi-paddock grazing (AMP), also known as intensive rotational grazing, compared to neighbouring conventional grazing in terms of carbon storage and greenhouse gas fluxes. Dr. Ed Bork from the […] Read more

A pathologist trims the formalin fixed tissues from a postmortem examination in the diagnostic services unit at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Specific areas of the tissue are selected so that they can be processed and made into glass slides for review under the microscope. | University of Calgary/Jager and Kokemor photo

Poultry farmers support diagnostic initiative

Alberta’s four poultry producer boards have formed a partnership with the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to support a poultry diagnostic system for the province. The school is “incredibly excited about the opportunity this has for shaping the future of the poultry industry,” said Jennifer Davies, director of the faculty’s Diagnostic Services Unit […] Read more

The birthing period and the subsequent first few days of life have been shown to be the most hazardous time of a calf’s life. | Mike Sturk photo

Dystocia, calf vigour and colostral intake all connected

As the weather begins to warm up, many beef herds in Western Canada are in the midst of calving season. Producing and weaning live calves is an obviously critical component of cow-calf profitability and problems that occur at this time can have significant consequences. The birthing period and the subsequent first few days of life […] Read more

Prairies help break AgriStability logjam

Three provinces agree to remove reference margin limit but refuse to budge on changing compensation rate

UPDATED – April 1, 2021 – 1545 CST – This story has been updated from the printed version in our April 1 edition to correct some inaccuracies. Canadian farmers will have access to only some of the proposed $170 million in new AgriStability money after agriculture ministers reached a partial deal last week. The ministers […] Read more

Singapore exported 85 million litres of renewable diesel to Canada in 2019, including some made from beef fat it imported from Canada. | Reuters/Lindsey Wasson photo

Beef fat exports reveal biofuel gaps

Industry says it would be better to turn beef fat into renewable biodiesel in Canada rather than ship it to Singapore

The distance from Calgary to Singapore is about 13,170 kilometres, which means a trip from Calgary to Singapore and back to Vancouver would be about 25,000 km. That’s a lengthy journey. However, beef fat from slaughter plants in Alberta is being railed to Vancouver and shipped to Singapore, where it’s converted into renewable diesel. The […] Read more

Biologists use the term “plasticity” to describe coyote behaviour, which means they can quickly adapt to changing conditions. For example, sudden pressure from hunting can prompt them to start having larger litters, which can end up increasing the population. | Mike Sturk photo

Coyotes: to shoot or not to shoot?

Ben Rodenburg has two guardian dogs, but he’d like to have more. The dogs, Maremma-Great Pyrenees crosses, protect the sheep and lambs at his farm near Ponoka, Alta. The majority of his 1,400 ewes are usually inside barns because Rodenburg and his wife Heather only have 40 acres. But, at any time a coyote could […] Read more

The WTO ruled in 2015 that COOL violated world trade rules because it imposed a disproportionate burden of record-keeping and source verification. | File photo

Canadian cattle producers on alert as U.S. talks COOL

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is working with allies in every cattle-producing state in the United States to prevent a new version of mandatory country-of-origin labelling from affecting trade. In a media briefing following the CCA’s annual meeting, executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft said the idea of reviving COOL has been raised by U.S. President Joe Biden’s […] Read more

Use of a common analgesic is becoming more routine on many cattle operations, both on cows and calves. | Mike Sturk photo

Cow comfort receives priority

Meloxicam for cattle is becoming the equivalent of a certain brand of hot sauce for people, at least for some ranchers. “We put that stuff on everything,” said farmer and rancher Jill Burkhardt about the use of Metacam, the trade name for the meloxicam analgesic, when doing painful procedures on cattle. Burkhardt, who farms with […] Read more