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Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The third annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) takes place in London, Ont., on August 14-16. The CBIC is co-hosted by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), Canada Beef, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The CBIC’s Bov-Innovation session is a popular, interactive, fast-paced workshop full of tips, ideas, and concepts […] Read more


cows and calf

Have you rotated your breeds lately?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Before becoming a politician and long before becoming a noted western Canadian historian, Grant McEwan was an animal science professor at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1938, he and A.M. Shaw published “An Experiment in Beef Production in Western Canada” (Scientific Agriculture XIX:177-198), summarizing one of Canada’s first crossbreeding projects. Straightbred two-year-old Angus, Shorthorn, Galloway […] Read more



A story to make your skin crawl

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Cattle won’t be the only creatures enjoying fresh pasture this spring; so will the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the American dog tick, which can transmit anaplasmosis and other bloodborne diseases. Anaplasmosis was removed from the federally reportable disease list in 2014, so the government is no longer responsible for dealing with anaplasmosis outbreaks or […] Read more


How castration method and age affect pain in young calves

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Canada’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle requires that castration be performed by an experienced person who uses proper, clean, well-maintained equipment and accepted techniques. A producer is expected to seek guidance from their veterinarian on the optimum method and timing of castration, as well as the availability and advisability […] Read more



Pasture blends

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Most forage seed companies offer a pasture blend. Some customize their blend to the customer’s situation, but others use a least-cost formulation to produce a more attractively priced blend. Ideally, the blend should contain grasses and legumes that grow well together, are well adapted to the environment and soil type they will be seeded in, […] Read more


Cattle Pond on a Lazy Summer Day

Beef’s shrinking water footprint

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

In 2016 I received 10 letters like this: “Dear Dr. Bergen… My name is Emma. I am in 6th grade at Rime Street Elementary. My class found out on vegsource.com that it takes 2,500 litres of water to produce one kilogram of beef. Another site said 25,000 litres… all these different answers are confusing. My […] Read more



Maintaining momentum in forages

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Canada’s pasture and rangelands have drier, colder, and shorter growing seasons than many other beef-producing areas in the world. The forage varieties that perform best in Canada are generally the ones that have been bred, selected and developed to germinate, grow, survive and thrive here. Forage varieties developed in foreign countries are sometimes marketed in […] Read more


cattle feeding

Can feeding nitrate improve efficiency and reduce methane?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The rumen allows cattle to make highly nutritious beef out of things that humans can’t even digest. Rumen microbes have digestive enzymes that mammals don’t. This allows rumen microbes to break down complex feeds into very simple molecules, and reassemble those molecules into volatile fatty acids that the animal can absorb and use as an […] Read more



Yo-Yo diet strategies

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Getting weaned calves on feed can be a challenge. This is often attributed to the change from a forage-based diet to unfamiliar feedlot rations and feed bunks, distress from recent weaning, illness, etc. To compensate for this, some feeders use a relatively high-energy receiving diet, the rationale being that if they’re not going to eat […] Read more


Abnormal weather doesn’t grow average forage

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Averages are useful statistics, but sometimes averages can be misleading. As the University of Saskatchewan’s late Iain Christison said, “the average human has one breast and one testicle.” Canada’s rainfall may be close to average this year — but much of the country is experiencing severe drought, and most of the rest is soaked. Either […] Read more