Latest articles


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



Keep a sharp eye on cow fertility

A happy medium can be found between fertility and performance, says Alberta vet

There are several factors that play a role in cow fertility and some of them are interrelated. Whether or not a heifer will breed quickly (reaching puberty at a young age) or a cow will breed back in a timely fashion after calving and become pregnant will depend on a combination of genetics, nutrition, health, […] Read more


Grass lures beef production to Northern Ontario

Raising cattle in the rural outreaches has its benefits and challenges

Ontario cattlemen and the province have begun several programs to encourage more farmers to start raising beef in northern Ontario — where it is colder and the land is more suited to bush and cattle than corn and soybeans. Interest from producers considering a move north has been gaining momentum, and in mid-August 2017, the […] Read more



Some thoughts on calving shelter

In cold climates calving barns are necessary for early calving — as some ranchers must do, to calve and breed before going to summer pastures. Some ranchers prefer to have the calves big enough to utilize summer grass. Others calve early so they can have their cows all bred at home before they go to […] Read more


Tips on when and how to check that very pregnant cow

Calving Management: Dr. Cody Creelman goes over the three stages of labour

Most cows and heifers progress normally through the three stages of labour (early labour, active labour with abdominal straining, expulsion of the placenta after delivery of the calf). Uterine contractions in early labour get the calf aimed toward the birth canal, the cervix dilates and the calf starts through. The water sac and then the […] Read more



Factors that hinder calf immunity

Calving Health with Heather Smith Thomas

Illness occurs when an animal’s body is overwhelmed by infection. A healthy animal with strong immunity is less likely to become sick than an animal with poor immunity. Immunity refers to the body’s ability to fight off pathogens, and this ability is developed in a complex process in which the body creates specific weapons for […] Read more


BVD testing in cattle

How cattle can be exposed and what measures to take if they test positive

BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) virus is a tricky pathogen that can affect cattle in different ways. It can cause abortion, mummification of a fetus, birth defects, stillborn full-term calves, normal-looking calves with immune deficiencies, and acute or chronic illness. BVD is an indirect cause of many other types of disease because it has adverse effects […] Read more



BVD screening and control program in Saskatchewan

Cattle producers urged to learn more about testing

Dr. Wendy Wilkins, disease surveillance veterinarian with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, administers the provincial BVD screening and control program. “Here in Saskatchewan this program provides free testing for producers who are looking for PI calves within their herd. We don’t do whole-herd screening but we do offer testing for any dead, deformed, aborted or […] Read more


Are you ready for a drone?

In today’s world unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones are used for everything from small indoor toys to delivering military weapons or managing cattle

Drones are a relatively inexpensive way to locate cattle in big pastures so you know where to ride and start gathering. John Church, an associate professor in the natural resource sciences department of Thompson Rivers University at Kamloops, B.C., an area with semi-arid grassland, forested range and many large ranches, says some ranchers in this […] Read more