Marvin Jackson, owner of Sundog Solar, explains the type of solar panels available to pump water on farms. The panels come in different shapes but need to be sturdy enough for agriculture purposes. He demonstrated these at a water management workshop at Standard, Alta.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Solar pump system aids water management

STANDARD, Alta. — Producers should not skimp when taking on water development projects because the return on investment will be greater in the long run if they carry it out properly, experts say. A water management plan for wet years and dry years is needed when installing a system and no one should wait until […] Read more

Properly designed facilities reduce cattle, handler stress

Design stress-free handling facility then train people how to properly communicate with animals, says livestock expert

Cattle, like rabbits and many other animals, have eyes on the sides of their head. The location of their eyes is fantastic for peripheral vision and allows them to detect predators sneaking up from the side or be-hind. With that in mind, a livestock handling expert from Nebraska wonders why cattle facilities are sometimes built […] Read more

The effectiveness of vaccines and antibiotics can be compromised if they are stored at incorrect temperatures.  |  Getty image

Livestock meds: not too hot and not too cold

Veterinarian recommends a thermometer in the fridge that will set off an alarm if temperatures exceed drug recommendations

Livestock medications are expensive so it’s worthwhile for producers to look after them properly once purchased. “From a logistics standpoint it’s become necessary to have a separate fridge unit,” said Cody Creelman of Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta. Most producers have separated personal from production, he said. Gone are the days of storing vaccines […] Read more

Producers pleased with compacted concrete floors

The use of roller compacted concrete in feedlot pens is gaining traction in southern Alberta’s feedlot alley. Several feedlots have installed the product and with several years of wear from cattle hoofs and pen-cleaning equipment, operators say it seems to hold up well. “We’ve been pretty happy with it,” said Jordan Kolk of KFL Feeders […] Read more

Sundog keeps producers abreast of water issues

Art Weiss knows at least three times a day whether his cows have enough water in their troughs. He gets pictures on his cellphone at 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. from one system, and pictures from a motion-activated camera from another. Weiss, who through Shadow Ranch near Mossbank, Sask., sells cattle handling equipment […] Read more

Swath grazing reduces winter feeding costs so producers who use it must plan for it this spring.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Preparing for swath grazing

Picture it: the cattle out feeding themselves on swaths this winter while you, the cattle rancher, have that extra cup of morning java without having to face the cold, start the tractor and haul bales. And it’s cheaper too, given that 65 to 75 percent of cattle production costs come from feed, pasture and bedding. […] Read more

If there are alternative feeds available locally at a good price, they may be worth considering, said Murray Feist of Saskatchewan Agriculture. 
| File photo

Cattle chew through more than hay and barley

Cows are like scavengers and are willing to eat more than barley and hay, as long as it is palatable. If there are alternative feeds available locally at a good price, they may be worth considering, said Murray Feist of Saskatchewan Agriculture. “Cattle will do well. That four-stomach rumen will allow them to scavenge and […] Read more

Science that fails to explain the impact on consumer safety, animal welfare or the environment contributes to skepticism.  |  File photo

Science must provide answers to consumer fears

It’s been speculated that consumers are losing faith in science, but maybe they are just seeking information that science doesn’t provide. Maybe we need to use science to ask better questions, which consumers help us define. To better connect with those who may be viewed as divergent, we need to encourage discussion and let the […] Read more