Latest articles


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


Bovine respiratory disease from the farm to the feedlot

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Weed seeds and invasive species may be present even in well-managed pastures and rangelands, but it is hard for them to germinate, establish and spread in healthy, competitive forage stands. Stresses like severe drought, overgrazing, heavy traffic or excavation can weaken forage stands and create opportunities for unwanted plants to take root. Researchers are now […] Read more



Another look at the costs and benefits of swath grazing

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Well-managed swath grazing has well-known economic benefits for producers. But research results from a study funded by the Beef Science Cluster showed that it can have environmental benefits as well. Dr. Vern Baron and coworkers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lacombe Research Station recently published Swath grazing triticale and corn compared to barley and a […] Read more


Environmental goods and services offer more questions than answers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The beef industry takes pride in how forage, grazing and beef production benefit the environment. These environmental goods and services (EG&S) include carbon sequestration, plant and wildlife habitat, reduced soil erosion, watershed recharging, scenery, etc. While consumers pay for beef, the EG&S are free. For instance, many ducks need grasslands and wetlands to nest and […] Read more



Making dollars out of sense

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Aside from price insurance (in provinces where it is available), cow-calf producers can’t do much to control the price they receive for their calves, so managing input costs is often the biggest opportunity to improve profitability. The Western Beef Development Centre has found that annual production costs differ by at least $100 per cow between […] Read more


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