I hope you are all staying safe and well in the midst of this pandemic. There are many uncertainties, but as beef producers, your work has never been more important than it is right now. COVID-19 is renewing the public’s appreciation for those who grow and raise our food, along with other workers in the supply chain, including truckers and grocery store workers. I hope that this appreciation is a long-term thing.
My part of the country is still buried in feet of snow. So it seems entirely appropriate to me that our cover story delves into cold-tolerant alfalfa. Duane McCartney takes us to Quebec, where Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers have developed a different method to select cold-tolerant plants with reduced dormancy. Those researchers are collaborating with colleagues across the country to develop new, cold-tolerant alfalfa varieties.
For those interested in cocktail crops, Kelly Sidoryk has interviewed Curt Hale, whose family runs 1,200 commercial cows and has been growing cocktail crops in Alberta’s Peace region for several years. The Hales first seeded cocktail crops in 2014, which turned out to be a drought year. But they learned from that first year and stuck with it. Today cocktail crops are a key part of their feeding program.
Piper Whelan brings us a story on how the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is advocating for a nutritional science focus as the U.S. reviews its Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The dietary guidelines influence U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations on food labeling, school lunch programs and nutritional recommendations from health professionals. The last time the dietary guidelines were reviewed, the focus started to shift to environmental sustainability, but the conversation ultimately did move back to nutrition. Whelan dives into how the review works and NCBA’s role in these discussions.
That’s just a small sampling of what we’ve got lined up for you in April. We’re also covering silage, taking stock of your forage inventory, cattle handling equipment and vaccination best practices. And, of course, you’ll find our regular columns on everything from markets to nutrition. If you’re not already a subscriber to the magazine, you can sign up today online.
And if you’ve got a story idea for me, shoot me an email at [email protected]