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JBS funds communities it operates in. Brooks, Alta., to get $2 million towards development.  |  Mike Raine photo

JBS contributes $2 million to Brooks

JBS Foods Canada, which operates the beef processing facility in Brooks, Alta., is providing $2 million to that community, the company announced Oct. 22. The funds are part of the company’s Hometown Strong initiative that has earmarked $50 million for use in communities within Canada and the United States where it has facilities. The money […] Read more

Three trade deals later and Canadian farmers are looking to the federal government for promised compensation.  |  Mike Raine photo

Dairy farmers want compensation action

Canada’s dairy farmers are calling on the federal government to make good on its promise to compensate producers after giving up market share of the supply-managed industry to more foreign competitors. The Liberal government has told Dairy Farmers of Canada compensation is coming as a result of three major trade deals: the Comprehensive Economic and […] Read more

Half of Western Canada’s rye crop is typically sold into the food market, 45 percent is used as feed and five percent goes to the ethanol industry.  |  File photo

Low stocks save rye prices from bumper crop

Statistics Canada expects 431,000 tonnes of production, which would be close to the biggest crop in three decades

North American farmers harvested a big crop of rye but it won’t overwhelm the market, say industry officials. “The feeling on inventory by the industry is that it is really at all-time lows,” said Herman Wehrle, director of commercialization and market development with FP Genetics. Statistics Canada is forecasting 431,000 tonnes of Canadian production, which […] Read more

The meat and dairy industries face competition from substitutes for their products because of the perception that they are healthier and less damaging to the environment.  |  File photo

Burps to burgers: food sector eyes emissions

Companies look at an additive made of coriander, clove and carrot extracts as a way to reduce methane from cattle

WINNIPEG (Reuters) — Looking to improve milk production, California farmer John Verwey turned to a Swiss-made feed additive designed to make a cow more efficient while reducing methane emissions from cattle burps. The more a cow belches, the more it spends energy that could be used instead for milk production, Verwey reasoned. So two years […] Read more

Livestock emissions come from feed production and processing (45 percent), burps and flatulence (39 percent), manure storage and processing (10 percent) and processing and transportation of animal products (the rest), according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
 | File photo

Exploring the science behind methane emission levels in cattle production

(Reuters) — Scientists have worked for years to reduce methane emissions from cattle burps by changing what cattle eat, or through research on vaccines, genetic modification of cattle and even forehead-mounted masks and backpacks to trap vapours. What is the problem? Methane, the second-most abundant greenhouse gas from human-related activities after carbon dioxide, accounts for […] Read more

In its pre-budget submission to the federal government, the CCA said a foreign animal disease out-break in Canada would be cata-strophic. | File photo

FMD vaccine bank requested

It’s estimated a 
foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Canada could require 1.9 to 2.7 million doses of vaccine

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is urging the federal government to establish a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank. In its pre-budget submission to the federal government, the CCA said a foreign animal disease outbreak in Canada would be catastrophic. “Canada’s modelling has shown that an FMD outbreak in highly populated livestock regions would require between 1.9 million […] Read more

Jennifer Davies, director of the Diagnostic Services Unit at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, works in the school’s lab.  |  Doug Ferguson photo

New vet lab can also protect human health

The University of Calgary’s Diagnostic Services Unit has the capability to monitor diseases that could spread to humans

A decades-long gap in Alberta’s ability to test livestock for diseases is beginning to be bridged due to a new laboratory being launched at the University of Calgary. The project will help ease costs and deliver quicker results, and the lab will keep an eye on diseases that could potentially spread to humans, said Jennifer […] Read more

Manitoba feed program proceeds without provincial share

Ottawa takes unusual step of proceeding with the subsidy program despite province’s refusal to contribute its 40 percent

Manitoba beef cattle producers will soon be able to get feed subsidies from a federal-provincial program, says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen. But the money is 40 percent less than it would have been because Manitoba isn’t providing its usual share of this sort of program, which alarms Manitoba’s main farmer organizations. “Manitoba Beef Producers […] Read more

Agribition unveils lineup for online version

Cattle show will hold virtual competitions and sales and offer sessions on rodeo and education programs for students

Canadian Western Agribition has announced its full lineup of virtual events for this year after the live Regina show was postponed due to the pandemic. It includes the opportunity to vote for the supreme champions of all time through a bracket-style competition that includes every Beef Supreme champion ever named at the show. The champion […] Read more

Public health work deemed a success if nothing happens

I attended a webinar a few weeks ago on the subject of the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. The speaker made an interesting statement when discussing various public health interventions and about the difficulty in assessing the success of those interventions. She quoted a British systematic review that studied the return on investment […] Read more