Latest articles

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

That’s gotta hurt

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Marketing executives for grocery and restaurant chains track consumer perceptions and attitudes towards issues like livestock production practices, animal welfare and pain control. These surveys sometimes lead to initiatives that impose specific production standards on suppliers so the company can distinguish itself and showcase its products. From the other side, animal welfare researchers study how […] Read more

Barley variety and silage quality

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Barley silage is the main roughage fed in western Canadian feedlots, but few barley breeders try to improve its feed quality. Most breeders focus on improved grain yields, malting characteristics and better disease and lodging resistance, and pay little attention to feed quality traits like protein, starch, or neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content and digestibility […] Read more

Non-O157 Shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC)

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

There are between 50,000 and 100,000 different serotypes (strains) of E. coli. Most are harmless, some may be beneficial, but some produce a very dangerous Shiga toxin. Shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC) can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain in people. E. coli O157:H7 is the most well-known STEC, but it is not the only […] Read more

Antibiotic alternatives for livestock producers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Antibiotics are a tremendously valuable tool in livestock production. For example, at this time of year, groups of lightweight, freshly weaned, shrunk-out calves with an unknown vaccination or nutritional history arriving at a feedlot after being transported long distances from pre-sort sales in cool, wet, fall weather are likely candidates for bovine respiratory disease (BRD). […] Read more

Upgrading beef grading research

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Youthful carcasses that meet A, AA, AAA or Canada Prime quality grades are also assigned a yield grade. Yield grades estimate the red meat percentage of the entire carcass based on the thickness of the backfat and size of the rib-eye muscle between the 12th and 13th ribs. The method that the Canadian Beef Grading […] Read more


High pressure beef processing

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

In high pressure processing (HPP), food is sealed in water-resistant packaging, placed in a water-filled container, and exposed to very high hydrostatic pressures (up to 87,000 psi) for three to nine minutes. High pressure is harmful or deadly to many pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, so HPP can improve food safety and extend shelf life. But […] Read more

cow leaving a livestock trailer

Toe tip necrosis syndrome in cattle

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Lameness is the second most costly feedlot health issue after bovine respiratory disease. Aside from treatment and death losses, lame cattle eat less, grow less, convert feed to gain less efficiently, and are more prone to transport injuries. Lameness is also a significant animal welfare concern and has been incorporated into some on-farm welfare audit […] Read more