Latest articles


A decade of RFID at SAIT

UHF detection progresses to the field-testing stage

Several projects of interest to the beef industry are in progress at the Centre for Innovative Information Technology Solutions, a.k.a. the RADLab at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, as it rounds out its 10th year of researching advanced RFID applications for livestock. The world-class SAIT RFID test lab is now in […] Read more


cattle feeding

Musings on how much cattle eat and drink

Charlie Gracey looks at grain and water usage in cattle

Conventional wisdom holds that beef cattle are wasteful users of grain and in direct competition with humans for finite supplies of food grains and water. Thus the large acreages devoted to feed grains might better be deployed in the production of crops directly consumable by humans. This observation may appear logical on the surface but, […] Read more



We need more heifers

Viewpoint of a past CCA president

Canada’s national cow herd has contracted over 20 per cent since it peaked at five million head in 2005. If the national cow herd remains under four million cows, or contracts further, the industry risks losing infrastructure, processing capacity, more feedlots, and cattle-related services such as auction markets, trucking companies and even local dealers of […] Read more


Annual clovers to the rescue

Annual clover may be just the remedy if your pastures and hayland are looking a little under the weather this spring. Performance Seed, a newly established forage seed company at Lethbridge, Alta., is introducing two new low no-bloat annual clover varieties that show good potential as stand-alone crops or in blends for grazing, hay, silage […] Read more



All in on year-round grazing

Stephen Hughes’ family has operated the Chinook Ranch near Longview, Alta., since the late 1940s. It consists of 5,000 acres, roughly half in Crown lands, and most of it in tall grass prairie to carry 500 cows year-round plus 500 yearlings in the summer. It was a traditional operation, raising hay to carry the cows […] Read more


cow in the mountains

Gaining farmland advantage payments for ecoservices

Ecosystems meet economics for sustainability in B.C.

Returning from college to the family ranch was something of a reality check for Dave Zehnder. The open spaces, wildlife and other farm families that he had taken for granted as part of everyday life were being lost to recreational and urban developments in the scenic valley surrounding his hometown of Invermere, B.C. Lessons from […] Read more



Species at risk adds new emphasis to managing grasslands

New project looks at satellite mapping Canada’s range and forage lands

The management of species at risk on pasture, rangelands and wild lands is an issue of considerable interest to most cattle producers. As a result it was highlighted at a workshop jointly sponsored by Environment and Climate Change Canada during the International Rangeland Congress in Saskatoon last summer. Several provincial environmental farm plans and producer-run […] Read more


Sainfoin, alfalfa and grass mixtures being tested

High legume pasture project in process

A sprinkling of a new sainfoin was enough to ignite renewed interest in high legume pastures across Alberta and British Columbia last year. The case for high legume pastures was made long ago, both in research trials and in the field by experienced producers with the skill and nerve to turn up the alfalfa content […] Read more



Forages for all seasons

Nerbas family’s grazing program focuses on quality

The Nerbas family’s grazing program wouldn’t be the success it is without cattle that thrive in a forage-only system and the breeding program wouldn’t be the success it is without quality forage to optimize the cattle’s genetic potential. Figuring out how to mesh everything together to support three families has been a work in progress […] Read more


Drilling down on carbon sequestration

New 10-year study looks for a more accurate formula to calculate the carbon-swallowing value of native grass

Ranchers in all three Prairie provinces are taking part in a decade-long study to assess the cumulative effect of different grazing systems on carbon sequestration and other ecological benefits from a working ranch. In each province, 10 pastures managed under adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing systems for at least 10 years will be paired with neighbouring […] Read more