Canadian science adds to cattle genome database

Improving genetics | International collaborators sharing information

Canada plays a major role in the international effort to catalogue and share the DNA sequences of cattle, says a researcher. A database of 234 dairy cattle genomes was recently used to identify genetic mutations that hamper dairy production. Similar collaborations are ongoing in the beef sector. A recently published paper highlighted the effort. The […] Read more

Sizzling beef prices may spur expansion

Twelve percent over last year | A smaller beef herd and strong consumer demand are expected to keep prices high

This year’s barbecue season could be one of the most expensive on record as the price of meat continues to soar. Ground beef prices are at record highs and cow prices are at unprecedented levels in Canada and the United States. Cows traded at $110 per hundredweight June 20 compared to $55 per cwt. in […] Read more

Funding at ABP ‘tenuous’

Group shows budget deficit | Declining checkoffs put Alberta Beef Producers in the red

EDMONTON — A dwindling cow herd and a refundable checkoff have created a dire financial situation for Alberta Beef Producers, once the envy of farm groups across the country. For the first time in history, the provincial cattle organization has not been able to pay its share to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and it was […] Read more

Raising Longhorns a labour of love

BROOKS, Alta. — Longhorns have a lure. Those who own them speak of it, each in different terms. “I don’t know what it is, but they’ve got me mesmerized,” said Deb Lesyk of Double D Arena in Outlook, Sask. “It is the kindest, most beautiful breed that I’ve ever worked with and I grew up […] Read more

Tyson says no to Zilmax supplements

Meat processing giant Tyson Fresh Meats will no longer accept cattle fed the supplement Zilmax as of Sept. 6. The United States based company sent a letter to cattle feeding operations citing recent problems where cattle entering processing plants were lame or could not move. It based its decision on some information that the feed […] Read more

Grass vs. grain: which is best?

Correction: April 16, 2013 – The original version of this story erroneously referred to Keith Everts as president of Diamond Willow Certified Organic Beef. Everts is the former president of that company, which is now known as Diamond Willow Organics 2012 Ltd. with Kevin Wilkie as president and general manager. The company is not a […] Read more

Feedlot sector in trouble in Western Canada

Excess feeding, packing capacity | The beef sector is a significant contributor to Western Canada’s economy

A shrinking feedlot industry in Western Canada has repercussions for the entire beef sector. Fed cattle prices are at record high levels but the feeding sector is experiencing near record losses of $100 to $200 per head for the last year because of high priced calves due to expensive feed and other costly inputs, Brian […] Read more

DNA profiling evolves into anti-theft tool

Technology DNA testing used for research and 
genetic improvement also provides forensic assistance

DNA profiling used in cattle research is proving valuable in forensics as well. A recent incident involving a cattle theft in Saskatchewan showed how genetic fingerprinting can help prove the rightful owner of missing livestock. Glenn Strube, a livestock producer near Shellbrook, Sask., was able to track down his missing cattle with the help of […] Read more

Input costs squeeze profit despite record calf prices

Economy also an issue Unemployment in the U.S. is still high and consumers may choose less expensive pork or poultry

TAMPA, Fla. — The next 24 months are likely to be one of the most difficult periods in the history of the beef business. “We may have record prices, but it is going to be difficult to make any money because we have record high break-evens across all the industry segments,” said market analyst Randy […] Read more

Is Holstein genetic diversity at risk?

World Holstein Conference | Large gene pool lowers risk, genomic selection increases it

TORONTO — Holsteins trace back to a small number of key ancestors, which has some within the dairy industry concerned about inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity. This risk was discussed at the World Holstein Conference held in Toronto Nov. 6-7. Bulls with names like Starbuck and Blackstar were pivotal breed influencers in North America […] Read more