Healthy feet give bulls a solid base

Foot problems are the biggest issue for bulls next to reproduction culls and need to be part of a breeding assessment

Feet and legs need to be checked when bulls are evaluated for breeding soundness. Producers select for strong feet and legs because structural soundness of the feet and legs is vital so bulls can travel and mount females in heat. “If problems are starting in a young one, it is different from a five- or […] Read more

Project hopes EPDs can catch lameness early

Members of the Canadian Angus Association are asked to score cows when they come in this fall for pregnancy checks

Lameness in cattle is a painful condition that affects their welfare and overall performance. Good feet and legs are primary considerations when selecting animals that can travel easily across the range. The Canadian Angus Association received nearly $240,000 in federal funding for a two-year project to generate genomically enhanced expected progeny differences for feet and […] Read more

Julia Palmer of Scott Palmer Ranching says her operation is able to extract a premium from the marketplace because of the certified grass-fed designation the ranch has obtained from A Greener World.  |  File photo

Producers eye beef certification programs

Some join these types of programs for the premium prices, while others do so to improve consumer confidence

Canadian consumers have myriad choices when it comes to quality beef. Among those choices is product from certified grass-fed programs that have an audited process guaranteeing the beef comes from cattle raised in a specific way. Several Alberta cattle producers have chosen an Oregon-based certifier as a way to provide consumers with information about their […] Read more

Producers are advised to provide the highest quality feed to the animals with the highest requirements.  |  File photo

Forage quality tough on nutrition

Production of quality beef starts at an early age for calves. Adequate nutrition from birth — and even before birth — is vital to production of beef that will yield well and meet end-user requirements. Given the recent growing year, the high quality forage beneficial to lactating cows, growing calves and replacement heifers is likely […] Read more

Implants must be used properly to get full performance and product quality.  |  File photo

Proper use urged for growth implants

Implants reduce the labour and carbon footprint per serving of beef, but it’s important to use them correctly

Carcass quality and thus the quality of beef can be affected by use of growth implants — for better and for worse, depending on how they are used. Robbi Pritchard, ruminant nutritionist with South Dakota State University, gave that message at a recent Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo, Texas, and supplemented the message at the […] Read more

Belvin Angus received the Certified Angus Beef Canadian Commitment to Excellence award earlier this year. A family run operation for 40 years, it is owned by Gavin and Mabel Hamilton, Colton Hamilton and Quinn and Brendyn Elliot of Bowden, Alta.  |  Canadian Angus Association photo

Alta. Angus ranch receives honour

Certified Angus Beef has turned into a North American program that recognizes the contributions of producers everywhere. This year Belvin Angus, owned by Gavin and Mabel Hamilton, was recognized for its 40-year contribution to the breed and promotion of quality beef. The couple bought their original farm in central Alberta in 1978 and registered their […] Read more

This is an example of polycropping with a mixture of cereals, legumes and brassicas. This crop was growing in late fall at Graeme Finn’s ranch west of Calgary.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Forage operations eye cover crops

Integrating cover crops into forage operations is becoming a popular strategy to improve soil and offer a diverse diet to livestock. Growing multiple crops together is also known as polycropping, polycultures and cocktail mixtures. Jillian Bainard, a research scientist with Agriculture Canada at Swift Current, Sask., said producers believe benefits include enhanced weed control, better […] Read more

The conservation trust, which among other things is being used to make pasture improvements, was announced in last year’s Manitoba budget.  |  File photo

Conservation trust funds pasture project

Pasture health improvements are in store for the Kirkella Community Pasture near Virden, Man., using recently announced conservation trust funding. The $100,000 allocated through the new provincial conservation trust will be used to enhance grassland habitat in various ways. “The first step, I guess, is we’re going to have a pasture assessment done and we’re […] Read more

Maximum total dissolved solid levels in water are 4,000 to 5,000 milligrams per litre for cows and calves. Levels above that will likely affect productivity.  |  File photo

Quality water important for cattle on pasture

Risks to cattle increase as sulfate concentrations in water rises.

A quality water supply is a key component of pasture health where cows and calves are expected to thrive during the grazing season. Water intake affects feed intake, nutrient absorption, weight gain, milk production, fertility and temperature regulation in cattle, and cows need nine to 21 gallons of good water per day, depending on lactation […] Read more

Alberta’s native prairie parkland is an endangered ecosystem that ranchers such as Sean McGrath want to protect. This is his ranch in mid-April.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Ranch focuses on protecting native grassland

Everything is done to preserve the operation’s grasslands, but the approach must be practical and economically feasible

VERMILION, Alta. — Sean McGrath considers himself a guardian of the most endangered ecosystem in the world. “For prairie parkland, there is almost none left, probably about one percent. It is more endangered than the rainforest,” he said. The majority of his land base is owned and leased native grassland, so he manages it like […] Read more