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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


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