Canadian Western Agribition ended its most recent fiscal year with an operating profit of $190,671. | File photo

Agribition remains in the black

Canadian Western Agribition ended its most recent fiscal year with an operating profit of $190,671. That’s down slightly from the previous year’s $270,000. However, outgoing president Bruce Holmquist said he’s fine with that, considering Agribition is a not-for-profit organization. “We exceeded budget and we probably exceeded expectations when you look at the harvest we had […] Read more

University of Alberta students James Ritchie, left, Claye Harsany, Dana Stoyberg, Heidi Trenson and Vladimir Tadic worked on a project that looks to slowly change beef grading in Canada.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Beef grade face lift proposed

Imagine beef on grocery store shelves rated similarly to hotels: five stars for excellent or three stars for OK — that’s what a group of University of Alberta students are proposing. The capstone project, led by the fourth-year agriculture undergrads, looks to slowly change beef grading in Canada, moving to a five-point system that scores […] Read more

The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare assessed 150 companies in 23 countries and found in its seventh report that three quarters of those evaluated had shown improvement. The benchmark group is an independent body assessing farm animal welfare management and receives funding from Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection.
 | Screencap via bbfaw.com

Food firms rated on animal welfare

Global food companies are improving their approach to animal welfare. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare assessed 150 companies in 23 countries and found in its seventh report that three quarters of those evaluated had shown improvement. The benchmark group is an independent body assessing farm animal welfare management and receives funding from Compassion […] Read more


Agriculture Canada researchers won’t be using the real thing while studying climatic impacts on parasite contamination rates in pastures.  |  File photo

Artificial cow pies used in worm research

‘Rain’ will be applied to test subjects in a greenhouse to see how it affects worm movement away from fecal deposits

The life of a scientist can lack glamour. Case in point, the need to create artificial cow pies for use in research on parasitic roundworms. Such was the task of Agriculture Canada research scientist Doug Colwell and colleagues at the Lethbridge Research Centre. They are responsible for one part of a larger study headed by […] Read more

Calves need colostrum because they do not get antibodies from the mother while in the womb. | File photo

Proper colostrum consumption called key to successful calving

RED DEER — Colostrum is vital for a calf in its first hours of life. Colostrum provides passive immunity where antibodies are transferred from the dam to the calf but research has discovered about a third of beef calves in Alberta do not get enough. Inadequate passive immunity means they have a 50 percent higher […] Read more


Multiple small areas of pus and dead tissue in this lymph node, located near the intestines, is typical of caseous lymphadenitis in sheep and goats. | Jamie Rothenburger photo

Caseous lymphadenitis causes big losses in sheep, goats

One of the most important infectious diseases of sheep and goats is caseous lymphadenitis (also called cheesy gland), a disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. As far as bacteria go, it is a tough, nasty pathogen. Infected individuals are not able to clear the bacteria from their system, leading to chronic infections. The bacteria […] Read more

Managing disease requires joint effort

RED DEER — Disease management is a triad where each part needs attention to keep cattle healthy. Bad weather, wet conditions, stress and crowding can all be managed to keep pathogens from taking hold. Along with good nutrition and vaccination, animals get a fighting chance against an array of diseases. “Vaccination does not stand alone. […] Read more

Beef trade to Japan appears on the rise

OTTAWA — Canadian beef exports to Japan made significant gains in January and February. Shipments in January trade went up 40 percent from same time last year and reports indicate business in February was also up from last year. The increases are credited to Canada and Japan being part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement […] Read more


An update to the 2003 code of practice for the care and handling of goats in Canada was announced April 11 by the National Farm Animal Care Council. | File photo

Goat code of practice to be updated

An update to the 2003 code of practice for the care and handling of goats in Canada was announced April 11 by the National Farm Animal Care Council. The update was initiated by the Canadian National Goat Federation and will use the NFACC’s process for developing and updating livestock codes of practice. A survey to […] Read more

Canada’s main objective is to keep African swine fever out of the country’s hog herd, but the industry is also taking about how to respond if it does arrive.  |  File photo

Is Canada ready for African swine fever?

This week The Western Producer takes a look at the scary prospect of African swine fever being found in Canada. John Ross sits through a lot of meetings. As executive director of the Canadian Pork Council, Ross is continually in talks with provincial pork associations, American hog producers and other livestock organizations in Canada. Over […] Read more