Latest articles


Be prepared for nitrate problems in forages

High nitrite levels in cattle can literally see them 'starving for oxygen'

Nitrate levels in forages can sometimes be a problem for cattle. Depending on growing conditions, certain plants may accumulate too much nitrate to be safely fed to cattle unless those high-nitrate feeds can be diluted by mixing with other forages. Colby Elford, livestock and feed extension specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Moose Jaw, Sask., says it […] Read more


When should they go?

Make the best decision you can for the time

We all want to sell our cattle at the best times and in ways to make the most money, but just when is that. The short answer is, it depends. “Breeding can be easily scheduled — as a day on the calendar when you turn the bulls out with the cows,” says Joe Stookey, a […] Read more



Culling cattle for drought

Age is not the only factor you may need to consider

Many ranchers who tried to feed through a drought without selling cows have said they will never do it again. You can slip too far into debt borrowing money to buy feed in a bad year. It’s often better to sell early, before feed grows short and cow condition falls. But there are ways to […] Read more


A Technical Access Centre for livestock production

Key industry issues focus on production efficiency, animal health and welfare and environmental sustainability

The Canadian government has been setting up a number of Technical Access Centre (TAC) research programs to aid several industrial sectors. The first TACs were created in 2011 as part of the College and Community Innovation Program. In September 2017, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced development of a series […] Read more



What’s best, grazing or haying, or both?

Depending on what you want from the land, and the level of production, you do have options

Grazing a piece of ground rather than haying it can have some advantages. Even irrigated pasture can be more productive than the same ground used for haying, especially with rotational grazing and good management. Irrigated pasture has high production potential and ability to regrow rapidly, especially if water is put back on it right after […] Read more


Innovation fuels GBT Angus

Sask. seedstock operation raises Angus cattle on its sixth-generation family farm

Trevor and Cheryl Branvold raise registered Angus cattle on their farm near Wawota, Sask., a farm that has been in Cheryl’s family since it was settled in 1888. “Our kids are the sixth generation of our family to be on our farm. We have two boys, Brett (13) and Carter (10). They are a lot […] Read more



Supplementing young bull calves before weaning pays off

Testes development, fertility greatly impacted by being well-fed

Young bulls need to be fed adequately for proper growth and development, and future fertility, but we are still learning about the best way to feed them, according to John Kastelic, a professor of theriogenology and head of the department of production animal health, in the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine. “In beef […] Read more


PastureMap: a digital ranch hand

Grazing management software helps track pasture performance

PastureMap is grazing management software sold around the world that got its start in no small measure because of Christine Su’s lifelong struggle with food allergies. “This drove me to try to source beef and dairy products from local farmers and ranchers that I knew, here in California. This opened my eyes to how complex […] Read more



A plug for grass-legume mixes for grazing

An ideal pasture depends on the goals of the producer

Research over the years in various regions has looked at the potential and advantages of grass-legume mixtures for pasture. A diversified pasture stand allows for different plants to thrive in different conditions, adding drought resistance. Legumes have a deep tap root and can penetrate deeper into the soil profile where there’s more moisture. Pastures with […] Read more


Transitioning bulls from feeding to breeding

Prepare to have a good transition program after you bring a bull home

The hardest time for a young bull is when he’s turned out with cows for his first breeding season, after being well fed all winter. Most bulls are raised in unnatural conditions. After weaning they are confined and often fed high-concentrate feeds, and pushed for fast growth. Many go through a bull test/feeding program to […] Read more