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Make sure calves get the colostrum they need

University of Calgary animal health professor offers her tips on how to assess a situation and when to intervene

Many beef calves are not getting enough colostrum at birth, and the fallout can be drastic and last a lifetime. That’s why it’s important that calves consume some colostrum within the first four hours of life, said Claire Windeyer, assistant professor of production animal health at the University of Calgary. The probability that a calf […] Read more


Scours can cause a ‘wreck’ in a herd if not dealt with properly, says animal health expert Claire Windeyer.

Managing scours so they don’t manage you

Scours, the most common disease in calves, can quickly 
put you behind the financial 8-ball

Scours can put you in a financial hole in a hurry. “For every percentage of the herd that you lose, the rest of the herd has to pick up the slack,” said Claire Windeyer, assistant professor in production animal health at the University of Calgary. Producers who had relatively low calf mortality, around five per […] Read more



The national beef checkoff hasn’t gone up in nearly two decades, which means less money for marketing and research.

Bid to raise beef checkoff ‘on hold’

Alberta Beef Producers supports raising national levy to $2.50 a head, 
but wants to sort out provincial checkoff first

The national cattle checkoff is set to rise in most parts of the country this year — but a hike in Alberta is “on hold” for now. The $1 mandatory checkoff, applied to every head of cattle that goes to market, generates about $7.5 million annually. The funds are used to support marketing and promotion […] Read more


Combines harvesting crop at sunset

Province needs to soften the carbon tax blow

‘Team Alberta’ is pitching enhanced carbon credits

The carbon tax has kicked in, but producers are still trying to figure out its impact — and what can be done to ease the hit on the bottom line. “Everything we buy — whether it is in inputs, fertilizers, freights, parts, machinery — all of those service providers to us are all impacted. Their […] Read more



The 42,000 acres of short-grass prairie at Onefour Ranch is home to at least 23 federally listed species at risk, including the mountain plover (inset).

Historic research ranches won’t be riding off into the sunset

The future of Onefour and Stavely ranches has been secured by the province and the University of Alberta

Decades of grassland research in southern Alberta will be preserved thanks to a deal between the province and the University of Alberta. The agreement will ensure rangeland studies continue at the historic research ranches of Stavely and Onefour. In 2013, the future of both sites was thrown up in the air when the federal government […] Read more


Tom Thompson and father Ron took their operation to a new level after Tom had a lightbulb moment during a presentation on intensive grazing in 2003.

The award is nice, but the payoff even better for rancher

The winner of ABP’s Environmental Stewardship Award grows more grass 
and captures more rain by working with nature


Everything changed for Tom Thompson of Winding Creek Ranch when he attended the West Central Forage Association’s AGM in 2003. That was when the Mayerthorpe-area rancher learned about grazing principles that led to him winning Alberta Beef Producers’ 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award. “Kit Pharo (an American rancher who spoke at the meeting) was the one […] Read more



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Just a bad patch? Or is the cattle sector in denial?

Two views of how the plan to revitalize the beef sector is working so far

The cattle industry needs to stop patting itself on the back and face an uncomfortable truth — its grand plan to create a bright new future isn’t yielding results. That’s the view of Charlie Gracey, one of Canada’s most renowned experts on the beef industry. And all you have to do is look at the […] Read more


Excessive moisture — including snow in September — wreaked havoc on this year’s harvest, 
which on many farms didn’t end until November.

It likely wasn’t your greatest year, but 2016 was definitely eventful

Weather was the big story but it was also a year when pulses took centre stage, 
farm groups came together like never before, and sustainable beef hit a milestone

Stepping back and looking at the year gone past is a great way to prepare for the one ahead. For most producers, 2016 was a grind with a distinct shortage of highlight reel moments. But the world always moves forward and there were many significant changes that took place over the last 12 months. Here […] Read more



Grazing sheep before letting cows into a pasture is one of the ways to lessen the parasite risk.

Ruminant parasite drugs are a precious tool — here’s how to use them

Rotating drugs, underdosing, and overtreating can lead to drug resistance in ruminants, says expert

There’s no denying it — drugs used to treat parasites in sheep and goat production need to be employed properly. If they’re not, that could lead to parasitic resistance and drugs that just don’t work. “You can’t just hammer drugs at the problem, because they won’t work forever,” said Lynn Tait, a sheep producer and […] Read more


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Manage your sheep pasture to reduce parasites

When it comes to sheep and goats, pasture management is not just about nutrition

Parasites in small ruminants can become a production problem that can’t be solved by throwing dewormer on your animals once a year. Keeping a parasite load low requires a strategy and good management. “Your goal is not to be completely free of parasites,” said Lynn Tait, small-ruminant veterinarian and co-owner of OC Flock Management. “That […] Read more