For insurance, producers may choose one, two or three weather stations to best represent conditions on their farm and within proximity of their land base.  |  Michael Raine photo

Alberta changes perennial forage insurance

Changes to perennial forage insurance for 2020 have been implemented by Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. In response to industry feedback, AFSC has recalculated historical pasture normal yields for 2020, resulting in increased coverage. It has also updated methods of determining price options “to better reflect feed replacement cost in the event of a loss”, […] Read more

The virus, spread by biting insects, causes early term abortion and defects in lamb fetuses, as well as malformed lambs in those that make it to term. | File photo

Cache Valley Virus reports remain unconfirmed in Sask. sheep

Reports that a case of Cache Valley Virus has been recently found in a Saskatchewan sheep flock are unconfirmed, according to the Saskatchewan agriculture department. The virus, spread by biting insects, causes early term abortion and defects in lamb fetuses, as well as malformed lambs in those that make it to term. The ministry said […] Read more

JT Volk Premonition 113E, seen here at Farmfair in Edmonton with his original owner, Kathryn Dolliver, when he was still known as JT Greater Consensus 113E, was recently named reserve grand champion at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Alberta bred bull wins big in Denver

A Canadian bred Simmental bull was named reserve grand champion at the National Western Stock Show held Jan. 22 in Denver, Colorado. The bull was bred by John and Tammy Dolliver’s JT Livestock of Stettler, Alta., and the family knew from the time it was a calf that they had a potential winner on their […] Read more

Good calving management and timely intervention may improve calf well-being, and getting calves out gently into a clean environment is key.  |  Maria Johnson photo

Calving trauma called production risk

Cattle producers can improve calf health and survivability by decreasing the negative effects of a difficult calving

New beginnings and hope start with each calving season but sometimes things can go awry. About five percent of calves are assisted at birth and about four percent are either born dead or died in the first day of life, according to information gathered from the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network. The numbers are low […] Read more

Analysts think China would need to acquire 20,000 to 30,000 sows to return its hog industry to normal, but it’s not clear where they would come from.  |  Reuters photo

African swine fever to hit Chinese pork supply

Canadian pork exports to China are expected to jump as it continues efforts to address its massive need for product 

BANFF, Alta. — Video of people fighting over pork at Chinese meat counters will likely become more common as the fallout from the African swine fever outbreak in China progresses. Brett Stuart, president of the market research and analysis firm Global AgriTrends, estimates that about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost to the […] Read more

African swine fever can go undetected because producers initially attribute hog deaths to other causes.  |  File photo

African swine fever diagnosis can be difficult

Infected pigs often die without any previous signs of trouble; sows appear fine in the evening and are dead by morning

BANFF, Alta. — African swine fever can lurk undetected in hog herds for weeks before producers identify it. That’s one of the reasons it has taken such lethal hold on hogs in China, Asia and parts of Europe. Klaus Depner, head of the German National Reference Laboratory at the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute in Riems, said infected […] Read more

Three deadly conditions for calves can be easily prevented with vaccination and mineral supplementation.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Disease can be bad news for calves

Blackleg, tetanus and white muscle disease are three deadly conditions for calves. “These three diseases result in compromised muscle function in calves and are not seen often, but when you do see them, it tends to affect more than one calf,” said Werner Debertin of New Brunswick’s provincial veterinary services. “All three are lethal if […] Read more

Elizabeth Homerosky of Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta., tests a calf’s suckling ability.  |  Supplied photo

Research studies colustrum quality factors

Suckling is the best way for calves to consume colostrum because it goes directly from the esophagus to the true stomach

Getting calves off to a good start in life begins with that first drink of colostrum. Colostrum contains essential immunoglobulins to build immunity against calf-hood diseases. Imunoglobulins are antibodies that pass on immunity to the babies in the colostrum. Colostrum also contains vitamins, minerals and calories. Researchers at the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary […] Read more

A pregnant cow can eat 20 to 25 percent straw if they get grain and hay. The ration also needs to be balanced for protein, energy, trace minerals and vitamins. | File photo

Healthy cow diets improve calf success

Gestating cows need a healthy diet to maintain their body weight, produce good milk for their calves and prepare for the next breeding season. “What you do now dramatically impacts next year’s calf crop,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio of Alberta Agriculture. “We are not feeding for this year’s calf and as long […] Read more

Rotational grazing is intended to create animal impact, which is the physical stimulation of the ground by the cattle. Their hoofs can help break up crusted-over surface and help mix in seeds so that they come in contact with the soil.  |  File photo

Land management key to successful grazing

A grazing expert considers livestock to be a tool for managing the land and helping rebuild soil and sequester carbon

AIRDRIE, Alta. — Steve Kenyon can teach basic grazing principles, but for him, managing the land goes far beyond running electric wires and moving cows every day. Livestock are a tool to manage the land and help rebuild soil and sequester carbon. He and his wife, Amber, operate Greener Pastures Ranching near Busby, Alta., where […] Read more