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

Maintaining trucks and trailers to prevent potential accidents is a key aspect of transporting livestock.  |  File photo

Truck is key piece in transport puzzle

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The public is casting its eyes on how livestock are moved and one of the key aspects is maintaining trucks and trailers to prevent potential accidents. It is stressful for livestock when the trailer breaks down at the side of the road and too often first responders do not know what […] Read more

Genetics play a role in meat tenderness, but animal handling practices and carcass treatment are more important.  | File photo

Keeping cattle calm can improve beef quality

Watching flight zone and balance points helps hold animals in right frame of mind and moving in the right direction

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Learning how to move cattle with little fuss can be an enjoyable experience that doesn’t cost money. Beef quality and stockmanship go together because calm animals can be more profitable, said Curt Pate, who runs livestock-handling clinics across North America. “It will require an investment in time and thought and reflection,” […] Read more

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency has a long-term study on ear tag retention that looks at a variety of environments.
 | File photo

Cattle industry focuses on keeping tags in ears

A long-term study finds that ear tags fall out largely because the stud on the backing falls apart quicker than it should

When Canadian cattle producers complain about traceability, their biggest gripe is lost ear tags. The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency has a long-term study on ear tag retention that looks at a variety of environments. Manufacturers and the agency have heard the complaints and both are exploring the problem and ways to keep the tags in, […] Read more