Latest articles



Another look at the costs and benefits of swath grazing

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Well-managed swath grazing has well-known economic benefits for producers. But research results from a study funded by the Beef Science Cluster showed that it can have environmental benefits as well. Dr. Vern Baron and coworkers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lacombe Research Station recently published Swath grazing triticale and corn compared to barley and a […] Read more



Environmental goods and services offer more questions than answers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The beef industry takes pride in how forage, grazing and beef production benefit the environment. These environmental goods and services (EG&S) include carbon sequestration, plant and wildlife habitat, reduced soil erosion, watershed recharging, scenery, etc. While consumers pay for beef, the EG&S are free. For instance, many ducks need grasslands and wetlands to nest and […] Read more


Making dollars out of sense

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Aside from price insurance (in provinces where it is available), cow-calf producers can’t do much to control the price they receive for their calves, so managing input costs is often the biggest opportunity to improve profitability. The Western Beef Development Centre has found that annual production costs differ by at least $100 per cow between […] Read more



Cattle Pond on a Lazy Summer Day

Water fight brewing

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Imagine a scene from an old spaghetti western, where two ranches are battling for control over the only waterhole around. The hired guns squint at each other from behind the sagebrush, waiting for the chance to unleash a hail of bullets at their foe, until the Texas Rangers ride in to restore peace. Just replace […] Read more


Stepping up to wheat-based finishing diets in cattle

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Grain-based diets improve feed efficiency, but increase the risk of rumen acidosis. Rumen acidosis occurs when rumen pH drops below 5.6 for more than three consecutive hours. Severe or chronic acidosis is an animal welfare concern due to rumen damage, liver abscesses, lameness, and an economic cost due to compromised feed conversion and growth performance. […] Read more



Deciding what beef research and innovation to fund

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

This column usually features Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) projects supported by Canada’s national checkoff, mainly through Canada’s Beef Science Cluster. The current Beef Cluster involves the BCRC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Beef Producers, the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, Manitoba Beef Producers, Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Quebec Beef Producers Federation, DuPont Pioneer, the […] Read more


That’s gotta hurt

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Marketing executives for grocery and restaurant chains track consumer perceptions and attitudes towards issues like livestock production practices, animal welfare and pain control. These surveys sometimes lead to initiatives that impose specific production standards on suppliers so the company can distinguish itself and showcase its products. From the other side, animal welfare researchers study how […] Read more



Barley variety and silage quality

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Barley silage is the main roughage fed in western Canadian feedlots, but few barley breeders try to improve its feed quality. Most breeders focus on improved grain yields, malting characteristics and better disease and lodging resistance, and pay little attention to feed quality traits like protein, starch, or neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content and digestibility […] Read more


Non-O157 Shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC)

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

There are between 50,000 and 100,000 different serotypes (strains) of E. coli. Most are harmless, some may be beneficial, but some produce a very dangerous Shiga toxin. Shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC) can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain in people. E. coli O157:H7 is the most well-known STEC, but it is not the only […] Read more