Western Beef Development Centre on the move

Research: News Roundup from the August 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

This year’s summer field day at the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) marked the end of an era at Termuende Research Ranch, but the Termuende family legacy that underpinned the development of a dedicated forage-beef research and outreach program will live on when the WBDC program moves to the new Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) southeast of Saskatoon on April 1, 2018.

When the last two siblings of the Termuende family remaining in Canada, Randy and Frieda, retired from farming in 1964, the family farm near Lanigan was entrusted to the University of Saskatchewan for agricultural research.

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The university managed the Termuende land until 1998 when the WBDC was established as a partnership between the university, province, and beef and forage producers to continue the research program at the farm. Since 2005 it has operated as a division of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.

New research projects will begin at the LFCE next spring as research underway at the WBDC winds down through 2020. Starting next April the 1,920-acre Termuende ranch and the affiliated 960-acre Pathlow pasture will operate as satellite locations for the LFCE.

LFCE project manager Dorothy Murrell says construction of the beef cattle research and teaching unit is slated for completion on March 31, 2018. The building and feedlot on 48 acres replaces the university’s old research feedlot now nearly encircled by the city, and will run research programs in animal genetics, health and welfare, engineering, and environmental (soil and water) monitoring.

Construction of buildings and pens for the forage and cow-calf research and teaching centre will begin this month on 37 acres with another 100 acres of turnout pasture. Another 40 acres will be dedicated to forage breeding and plots for annual and perennial forage variety testing.

Most of the remaining 11 quarters of the LFCE site will be used for feed production and manure disposal.

Discussions continue on how to best integrate the research efforts at the LFCE with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s research conducted at the university’s Goodale Research Farm near Floral.

Fact sheets summarizing the 20 years of research conducted at the WBDC and 41 YouTube videos covering some of the findings are available at www.wbdc.sk.ca.

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