Cattle drink from a portable water tank on the Branvolds’ ranch. | Supplied photo

Healthy soil a priority

Cheryl and Trevor Branvold raise registered Angus on their farm in Saskatchewan that’s been in Cheryl’s family since 1888. Over the years, it was a mixed farm with grain and cattle but today the focus is on holistic management, improving the soil with cattle. “Our neighbour down the road is Ralph Corcoran, a holistic management […] Read more

Steve McElroy introduced cattle by buying heifers and introducing them to small parts of his farm. | Supplied photo

Cattle help organic operation save its soil

Steve McElroy started his farm in Hillsdale, Michigan, in 1989 as a conventional crop operation. He became a certified organic grower about 12 years later. He grew organic grains and row crops for 15 years. “Our soil is short of organic matter and wasn’t in good condition to go organic,” he says. “It was becoming […] Read more

Interim dean Gillian Muir said the skills of WCVM graduates are in high demand in rural areas and this would encourage more to choose agriculture-focused veterinary medicine. | Getty Images

Sask. announces steps to attract rural vets

The Saskatchewan government has recognized the concern about the lack of rural veterinary service and introduced several measures designed to entice more people to rural practice. These include a new virtual option to train registered veterinary technologists and a loan forgiveness program. “This program is important to addressing a labour market shortage in rural Saskatchewan,” […] Read more


Soderglen Ranches Ltd. focuses on breeds such as Charolais, Red Angus, Black Angus, Red Simmental and Black Simmental. | Alan Browarny photo

Alta. ranch receives Mark of Excellence Award

The company was chosen for its commitment to excellence through innovation, and its leadership in livestock genetics

One of the largest seedstock cattle operations in Western Canada has been awarded for its contributions to livestock improvement. Soderglen Ranches Ltd. of Alberta is one of this year’s recipients of the Mark of Excellence Award by AgSights, a non-profit co-operative based in Elora, Ont., whose services include herd management tools and genetic evaluation. Winning […] Read more

Ken Miller shares with other producers how he has adopted holistic management on his ranch in North Dakota. | Supplied photo

Rancher believes in working with nature

Holistic management has made a difference in ranch sustainability for Ken and Bonnie Miller on their ranch in south-central North Dakota, near Fort Rice, along the Missouri River. Ken Miller says holistic management helped point the ranch in the right direction 30-plus years ago. “I went through the training with Allan Savory in the mid-1980s. […] Read more


The 350-kilogram solar-powered scale comes as a fixed unit that can be set up in the barn or field and is able to accommodate normal animal traffic. | Hencol photo

Automatic weigh station open 24-7

Manufacturer says allowing animals to weigh themselves reduces their stress as well as farmers’ workloads and injury risk

Like the milking robot that revolutionized the dairy industry, a Swedish company is betting its new autonomous weigh scale will transform the beef sector. Hencol, based in Grebbestad, Sweden, is targeting the global beef market with its unmanned weigh scale that provides continuous data. “The dairy business is far ahead of the beef business due […] Read more

Wireless signals from each bolus, each of which contain a built-in battery, are sent to an antenna in the dairy barn and from there are loaded onto a cloud platform on the internet. | File photo

Bolus provides early health warning for dairy

Monitoring system can provide early detection of conditions such as pneumonia and mastitis via text and email alerts

A monitoring system that places sensor devices permanently inside cows aims to protect the profitability of dairy operations by allowing farmers to remotely track the health of their herds. Cattle Scan can help provide early detection of conditions ranging from pneumonia and mastitis to retained placentas and displaced abdomens. Farmers receive warnings via text or […] Read more

Could it be possible to give feedlot cattle a probiotic so they are less likely to get sick? | File photo

Probiotics studied for feedlot cattle rations

Many Canadians eat yogurt to improve their gut health. The health benefits of probiotics in yogurt are debatable, yet a growing body of research suggests that probiotics, in general, may help prevent and treat disease. But what about cattle? Could it be possible to give feedlot cattle a probiotic so they are less likely to […] Read more


Livestock in general and cattle in particular are often targeted as a major emitter of greenhouse gases. | File photo

CCA prepares to push environmental plan

Bob Lowe, a cattle producer from Claresholm, Alta., was recently re-elected as president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Reg Schellenberg of Beechy, Sask., was re-elected as vice-president. Newly elected to the board are Linda Allison of British Columbia, George L’Heureux and Kelly Smith Fraser of Alberta and Matthew Atkinson of Manitoba. Departing board members include […] Read more

There is no room for straw in a post-calving ration, when a lactating cow’s protein and energy requirements are 25 percent greater than pre-calving. | File photo

Test forage to protect cow health

Producers advised to ask for a wet chemistry test on forage samples rather than near infrared reflectance spectroscopy

Low snowfall and relatively dry winter conditions are raising concerns about spring pasture conditions. Ensuring proper nutrition for cows after calving could be more of a challenge than usual. Livestock nutritionist Barry Yaremcio of Yaremcio Ag Consulting said there is a good quantity of hay available in most areas to get producers through to spring […] Read more