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The Beef Cattle Research Council said in 2019 that less than half of farmers test their livestock water. Doing so is particularly important in a dry year when water levels are low. | Robert Arnason photo

Poor water quality linked to sulfate levels

This summer, testing water might become a necessity for livestock producers. Hundreds of dugouts across the eastern Prairies are half-full of water, or nearly empty, because of minimal snowfall this winter. When dugouts and other water sources are low, water quality usually drops. “If they (producers) are looking at lower levels… that can sneak up […] Read more

Shale Creek Bison Ranch is home to approximately 60 head. | Danielle Moran photo

First generation rancher thrives raising bison

Doing custom work for a bison producer was all it took to convince
this grain farmer from Manitoba to switch career paths 25 years ago

Jamie Moran started his agricultural career in grain farming, but it didn’t last. Not after he did custom work for a bison rancher and found his calling. “There was just something about them,” he said. “I watched this other guy for 10 years. I custom worked with them for years and years and I just […] Read more

Producers who see green grass coming up through stockpiled forage in a dry year may be tempted to turn out their cattle early, but they are advised to delay grazing until the new grass has more growth and structure. | Jim Bauer photo

Careful management helps in drought

This spring has been very dry in much of the western United States and Canada, and if dry conditions continue, there will be management issues cattle producers must address. Jim Bauer, a rancher near Acme, Alta., has been involved with forage associations and grazing management for years. In 1984, he helped start the Grey Wooded […] Read more


Several bacterial agents can cause calf diarrhea, and most of these agents tend to result in calves getting diarrhea within the first week of life. | File photo

Age of onset provides clue to cause of diarrhea in calves

Calf scours, or calf diarrhea, continues to be one of the significant causes of calf mortality in beef cattle herds. Dr. Jennifer Pearson from the University of Calgary published data from the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network that documented an overall pre-weaning calf mortality level of 4.5 percent and a pre-weaning treatment rate for all […] Read more

Protein supplements can enable cattle to continue grazing if there is grass but it’s simply dry. | Bart Lardner photo

Dry pastures may need supplemental protein

Supplement options include cereal grains and alfalfa pellets; dried distillers grain is considered one of the best choices

In a dry year, various strategies can be helpful, such as supplementing dry pastures. Bart Lardner of the University of Saskatchewan says producers can provide a supplement if mature dry grass is not providing adequate protein. “Look at the various protein sources in your area that might work; it might be a cereal grain (barley, […] Read more


A hot cow tries to cool off on a hot summer day. | Cheryl Waldner photo

Producers can beat the heat on the range

There is not much that can be done to cool the weather, but cattle can be managed in the summer to prevent heat stress

During a hot summer, cattle need adequate water and shade. The shade can be from trees or brush, or manmade. “Don’t clear off every acre for crops; leave a few trees for winter windbreaks and summer shade,” says Bart Lardner of the University of Saskatchewan. “Feedlots often put up overhead shade structures. In a pasture, […] Read more

Workers at the JBS plant in Brooks, Alta. saw their shifts disrupted for two days following the late-May attack. | Screencap via Facebook/JBS Canada

JBS says it paid $11 million in ransomware attack

June 9 (Reuters) – Meatpacker JBS USA paid a ransom equivalent to $11 million (USD) following a cyberattack that disrupted its North American and Australian operations, the company’s CEO said in a statement on Wednesday. Workers at the JBS plant in Brooks, Alta. saw their shifts disrupted for two days following the late-May attack. The […] Read more

Tyler Fulton, a cattle producer from Birtle, Man., took a photo of one of his dugouts in early June. In a normal year, the dugout would supply water to cattle until August. | Twitter/@ETFulton photo

Water assistance available for Manitoba ranchers

Manitoba livestock producers coping with depleted or empty dugouts can now get help. Manitoba and the federal government today announced an enhanced program so ranchers can dig new wells, expand dugouts and install new watering systems. “Our summer has been dry, and we recognize that many of our producers may require additional assistance to secure […] Read more


The last case of BSE discovered in Canada occurred in 2015, in a cow born in 2009. To obtain negligible risk status there could be no cases in animals born within the previous 11 years. | File photo

Canada’s BSE nightmare officially ends

The BSE era in Canada is over. Eighteen years after a single domestic case closed international borders to Canadian beef and cattle, the World Organization for Animal Health, known as OIE, moved Canada from controlled risk to negligible risk status. That puts Canada on par with its trading partners and opens the door to improved […] Read more

Shipwheel Cattle Feeders Ltd. of Taber, operated by the Holtman family, is a recipient of this year’s inaugural Alltech Canada Planet of Plenty Award. | Screencap via shipwheelcattlefeeders.ca

Alberta feedlot recognized

An Alberta company is being honoured as a role model of sustainable agriculture that is helping to create a world of abundance. Shipwheel Cattle Feeders Ltd. of Taber, operated by the Holtman family, is a recipient of this year’s inaugural Alltech Canada Planet of Plenty Award. “Over several generations, Shipwheel Cattle Feeders have maintained an […] Read more