Latest articles


Yo-Yo diet strategies

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Getting weaned calves on feed can be a challenge. This is often attributed to the change from a forage-based diet to unfamiliar feedlot rations and feed bunks, distress from recent weaning, illness, etc. To compensate for this, some feeders use a relatively high-energy receiving diet, the rationale being that if they’re not going to eat […] Read more


Abnormal weather doesn’t grow average forage

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Averages are useful statistics, but sometimes averages can be misleading. As the University of Saskatchewan’s late Iain Christison said, “the average human has one breast and one testicle.” Canada’s rainfall may be close to average this year — but much of the country is experiencing severe drought, and most of the rest is soaked. Either […] Read more



Bovine respiratory disease from the farm to the feedlot

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Weed seeds and invasive species may be present even in well-managed pastures and rangelands, but it is hard for them to germinate, establish and spread in healthy, competitive forage stands. Stresses like severe drought, overgrazing, heavy traffic or excavation can weaken forage stands and create opportunities for unwanted plants to take root. Researchers are now […] Read more




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