Bison market returns to glory days

Bison prices are reminiscent of the sky-high prices of the 1990s, but without the speculation. “We’re back in the day when bison were fetching big prices for breeding stock,” said Ivan Smith, who farms near Penhold, Alta. “But this is a true meat market.” Smith believes bison prices will remain high for several years be-cause […] Read more

Bison continue to roam in northeastern Sask.

A herd of bison that escaped from a farm in the Tisdale, Sask., area is still at large one week later. The animals appear to have moved away from the Highway 35 area, where they were sighted several times last weekend.  Estimates have placed their numbers as high as 100. Local bison producer Lonnie Bulmer […] Read more

Mycoplasma bovis more likely in large herds

Researchers found bison farms in Alberta were 22 times more likely to have the disease than those in other provinces

A study to determine the prevalence of mycoplasma bovis in bison has found two clusters in Alberta and on the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border over the past five years. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Calgary’s veterinary schools have been examining the disease, which has devastated individual bison herds, particularly in Alberta. Ana Bras […] Read more

Bison handling facilities get smarter, safer

Systems should be designed to minimize stress and allow the animal to be processed quickly

Handling bison is always a challenge, but doing it with agitated animals in a poorly designed system can be dangerous, and perhaps even deadly. That was one of the messages delivered last week during the first International Symposium on Bison Health. The symposium, held June 24-26 in Saskatoon, attracted bison producers and veterinary experts from […] Read more

Bison weighed on the way to watering hole or feeder

Putting animals through a chute can cause stress, leading to weight loss

PENHOLD, Alta. — A new low-stress bison weigh scale trial has already proven successful, says one of the project organizers. The scale allows bison to be weighed simply by walking to water or eating at a mineral feeder. “We’re quite encouraged by the bison walking over the weigh scale in a non-stressful way,” said Jayson […] Read more

Rough cuts test culinary students

RED DEER — A recent recipe creation challenge was the first exposure to cooking bison for many of the participating apprentice chefs. To make it more interesting, the third year Red Deer College students weren’t given a fine rib eye or a New York cut steak to grill. Instead, they were given their choice of […] Read more

Happy producers pay more at auction

Bison prices soar | Two-year-old bulls average $8,612 at Agribition sale

Bison sale averages soared at the Canadian National Show and Sale held during Canadian Western Agribition last week. They reflected the good health of the industry and mood of producers. Average prices were up over last year with two-year-old bulls averaging $8,612 compared to $2,913 last year. Yearling bulls averaged $5,787, up from $2,150, and […] Read more

Bison producer details grazing strategy

Corn, grass, oats | Producer says there are new high yielding grazing corn varieties available

PONOKA, Alta. — Cattle aren’t the only animals that benefit from rotational grazing in the summer and grazing corn in the winter. Improved pasture and grazing management also increases bison weight gain at reduced cost, said a northern Alberta bison manager. Brian Olfert, manager of Adam Ranch Bison, said he successfully grazes 450 bison cows […] Read more

Bison may roam once again in Banff National Park

Native species missing | Visitors will see and learn about Plains bison

Canadian bison producers are among those who support a proposal to see a wild, free-roaming herd of bison introduced in Banff National Park. Parks Canada released a draft plan earlier this month that proposes to introduce 30 to 50 Plains bison in less-travelled regions of the park. Public input into the plan is invited until […] Read more

Red tape a nightmare in bringing bison to island

Disease concerns, jurisdiction debate | Government departments debate whether to classify bison as wildlife or cattle

Michelle Young hopes she is nearly over the last hurdle as she tries to establish the first bison herd in Newfoundland and Labrador. Last week, she was waiting to hear if the province’s wildlife department wanted her to build an eight-foot game fence or if she could use a high-tensile electric fence. Once that decision […] Read more