Extra equipment for your calving kit

Calving/Equipment with Roy Lewis, DVM

Just as a good mechanic has specific tools for specific jobs you too need specialized equipment during calving season. Each piece should be clean, disinfected and accessible when calving, and a little practice with this equipment beforehand is always beneficial. You may not need these particular tools often, but when you do they can save […] Read more


Calving fits with year-round grazing at Chinook Ranch

Longview, Alta. ranch in operation since 1950

Stephen Hughes raises beef cattle near Longview, in southwestern Alberta. “Our family has been here since the late 1940s. My grandfather came from England in 1928 and had this ranch put together by 1950. My dad, Jim, is still involved in the day-to-day management of the ranch. I am third generation, and when I got […] Read more



A simple vigour test for newborns

Give it two fingers to suck… that’s step one

Two simple observations at birth can tell you whether a newborn calf has the vigour to quickly suckle enough colostrum to achieve the protection of passive immunity. “Measuring calving ease and suckle reflex is a quick and easy method to identify beef calves that are unlikely to consume colostrum by four hours after birth,” says […] Read more


The eye in the sky is watching your cows

In the mid-’70s, as a research scientist at the Melfort Research Station, I helped Saskatchewan Agriculture evaluate the first button-type electronic ear tags on our cows at the Pathlow pasture research project. At the time, I also had a big satellite remote sensing project to monitor pasture productivity. I would tell my colleagues that our […] Read more



Mycotoxins know no bounds

DON is the No. 1 mycotoxin found in several Canadian cereal crops

Awesome turned awful as September rolled into October with its short wet days and longer wet nights downgrading many cereal crops to feed quality across the Prairies. To make matters worse, a lot of grain that did make it into the bin was infected with fusarium and to a lesser extent with ergot. The fusarium […] Read more


An industry in crisis

Is there a way back? Cow-calf producers hold the key

A cattle-feeding industry that by year-end will have lost an estimated billion dollars since August 2015 plus a cow-calf sector that has lost more than one million cows and over 20,000 producers in the past decade strongly suggests an industry in crisis. Cattle feeders might be excused if they are not quite as optimistic about […] Read more



Mandatory premise ID on CFIA agenda

It is one of the provisions included in planned amendments and regulations

Over the next couple of years, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is moving to improve the effectiveness of Canada’s Livestock Traceability System by nailing down where all classes of livestock are produced, what type of animals they are and where they move. In regulations now being developed, both premise identification and animal movement are […] Read more


When Johne’s hits home

Dr. Meaghan Crawford’s empathy for the family that discovered Johne’s disease in their young beef herd was evident as she spoke about her involvement with the case during her time as a veterinary student at Calgary. A cow and two heifers showing severe weight loss and diarrhea were brought into the rural clinic where she […] Read more



Opportunities in the retail meat case

Seventy retail store visits and more than 21,000 packages of beef later, findings from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s National Retail Meat Case study are coming together. This is the first big-picture view of how the beef you produce is being marketed to Canadian consumers. “Asking consumers what they would like to buy is not always […] Read more


cattle on a pasture

What’s the margin?

Do you know the economics behind your production practices?

Even though the production components of your business are important, they don’t make or break it for you. The most important part of any business is in managing the business itself. The economics and finances behind the production practices are more important than the production practice itself. Two producers can use the same production practice. […] Read more