A producer from Manitoba says integrating livestock in a farming operation is a key part of a philosophy that also emphasizes keeping the ground covered, having plant diversity and continually living roots, and reducing pesticides and inputs. | Sterling Cuthbert photo

Cattle seen as agriculture’s long-term solution

A producer’s research determines that farmers can improve the ecosystem by increasing forage and grazing positively

Nuffield scholar Ryan Boyd says Western Canada is missing a huge opportunity by not incorporating more cattle into farming systems. Boyd, who operates a mixed farm near Forrest, Man., said his observations from travel around the world last year show that livestock offer a “resilient long-term solution to agriculture profitability, productivity and climate change.” Boyd […] Read more

It is estimated that dairy cattle in Western Canada experience some heat stress on 40 percent of summer days. | File photo

Heat stress can negatively affect offspring of dairy cows

Heat stress can have long-term health and production consequences for dairy cows. Cattle begin to experience heat stress when the temperature-humidity index (THI) exceeds 72, which can lead to health consequences, decreased milk production and changes in the concentrations of milk fats and proteins. It is estimated that dairy cattle in Western Canada experience some […] Read more

Wild pigs damage crops and the environment and provide a potential reservoir for disease.  | File photo

Hunters recruited in war against wild pigs

Officials say it is important to report sightings because the most effective control method is to eradicate an entire group

Darby Warner has a message for hunters out on Saskatchewan fields this season: if you see a wild pig, take the shot. But then call your local crop insurance office to finish the job. “If an opportunity presents itself, they should take advantage of it but the very next thing they should do is contact […] Read more

Despite recent research, we still don’t completely understand how the ureaplasma diversum bacteria causes embryonic loss and why it can be apparently present in clinically normal cattle. | File photo

Ureaplasma may be overlooked diagnosis for abortions

I was recently consulted about a disease investigation involving a group of heifers that was exposed to three bulls during a 90-day breeding season. The bull-cow ratio was more than adequate and the heifers were well vaccinated, receiving a modified live pre-breeding vaccine, as well as being vaccinated for vibriosis (Campylobacter) and leptospirosis. The herd […] Read more

Ben and Stephanie Campbell of Grazed Right raise cattle on their Tullichewan Ranch near Black Diamond, Alta. They sold more beef in March and April than they normally do in a year amid supply fears.  | Ben Campbell photo

Supply-side worries send sales sky high

Food shortages at the outset of the pandemic sent consumers scrambling to fill their freezers and larders with local food

Consumers facing the growing uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis are seeking the security that comes from having a freezer full of locally-produced food, said an Alberta rancher. “Our sales have been just sky high,” said Ben Campbell, who sells directly to local customers from his Grazed Right business on the Tullichewan Ranch near Black Diamond, […] Read more

Veterinarians had to quickly adjust their practices during the pandemic, doing more phone calls and video chats with clients and implementing more safety protocols.  | Getty Images

Vet checks go virtual

Dr. Kelly Loree was busy visiting dairy farms earlier this year, providing veterinary care to various herds in the Ponoka, Alta., region. The pandemic hasn’t affected the need for livestock veterinary attention. But while on the job, Loree was exposed to the COVID-19 virus on three different farms, the result of farmers’ earlier participation at […] Read more

Dairy farmers were able to implement strategies  to quickly deal with a supply glut and transition more easily than hog producers, who faced collapsing prices and a lack of processing facilities. | File photo

Dairy, hog sectors suffer hits

The dairy industry has rebounded from economic shutdown in early stages of the pandemic while the hog industry continues to struggle with low prices and logistics issues

Two of Canada’s livestock industries got savaged in the first COVID-19 lockdowns and outbreaks, but both have stabilized and one is recovering. Rather than the disasters that ravaged both the dairy and hog industries in spring, the two production systems have fallen out of the national news. “There’s a lot more confidence in the industry […] Read more

Many reasonable observers and analysts expected the industry to suffer far worse impacts.  | Mike Sturk photo

How processors weathered the COVID storm

For a while, problems at North American meatpacking plants were front page news. As infections afflicted thousands of workers at numerous major facilities, including Canada’s two biggest beef processors, the outlook appeared dire. Could they keep operating? Could plants that had been shut down be brought back into production? Would new health protocols and supply […] Read more

ProAct is a dry whey powder product that can be fed in an animals feed ration and is also soluble in liquid, said Paula Hadland, western Canadian sales representative for PMT.
 | File photo

Feed supplement puts whey back into play for livestock rations

Milk from livestock subjected to immune challenges might offer some improved health for other animals

A Regina company hopes a new product it is distributing will help build immunity in young and adult animals while minimizing antibiotic use. The PMT Group, which consists of two companies, Prairie Microtech and Essential’s Inc., claims ProAct is a natural proactive immunity additive that contains a small amount of functional proteins and can be […] Read more

The Canadian government has also bought surplus bison through a COVID-19 relief program, but only $560,000 worth.  | Mike Sturk photo

U.S. bison program to affect Canada

A government purchase of ground bison for federal aid is expected to open up new markets for Canadian producers

Canadian bison producers will eventually benefit from a $17-million purchase of American ground bison under a U.S. federal aid program, says the executive director of the National Bison Association. Dave Carter told the Canadian Bison Association annual conference that while the meat bought through the program must be from the United States, there will be […] Read more