Spend a little now and make money later

Reduced death loss, fewer open cows, and reduced shedding 
are major benefits from a proper vaccination program

The adage goes, ‘It takes money to make money.’ It is no different in the beef industry. “Low-cost producers do not cut corners on pasture, bulls, and herd health,” said beef economist Kathy Larson of the Western Beef Development Centre. “Spending less on these items often leads to reduced herd productivity and thereby raises your […] Read more


Top tips for vaccinating

Storage, the injection route, and when you administer a vaccine 
are all key, says 
Dr. Nathan Erickson

Time it right A vaccine needs to match the immune response of the cattle to the vaccine and the period of greatest risk. “So for BVD, the risk period is the first three months of gestation, while IBR, lepto, and vibrio, they tend to be a little bit later in gestation — around four months,” […] Read more



cattle on a pasture

Keeping land in grass has a side benefit

Young beef producers need affordable access to grassland 
if the industry is going to grow

The beef industry has been struggling to retain and attract new producers while the average age of farmers, at 54, keeps creeping up. The next generation of cattle producers might be looking for something different. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) released the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and Strategy this fall. The industry garnered […] Read more


Canadian ‘verified sustainable’ beef is still on the menu

McDonald’s headline-grabbing pilot is over, but the effort to boost the cattle industry’s environmental and welfare credentials continues

It won’t happen in a hurry, but the effort to create a Canadian ‘verified sustainable’ beef brand is moving along and will reach an important milestone by the end of the year. When McDonald’s Canada ended its groundbreaking sustainable beef pilot project last year, the torch was passed to an industry initiative called the Canadian […] Read more



Set the agenda for Bov-Innovation

The Beef Cattle Research Council wants beef producers to take a 10-minute survey on what topics they would like to see presented during Bov-Innovation at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August 2017. Bov-Innovation is an extension event for producers and features innovative, underutilized, or emerging production practices that feedlot and cow-calf operators may want […] Read more


Harmony Beef announces opening date

Refurbished plant will feature state-of-the-art processing technology, not seen before in Canada

The opening date has been pushed back multiple times, but Harmony Beef is slated to open Feb. 22 and has cattle booked for the first couple of months. “When we start out, we’ll start very slowly,” said owner Rich Vesta. The American meat-packing industry veteran bought the shuttered Rancher’s Beef plant just north of Calgary […] Read more



A decade on, BSE lawsuit may finally go to trial

$8-billion class-action suit says Ottawa should have done more

It’s been more than a decade since it started, but a class-action suit against the federal government for damages incurred as a result of BSE could be going to trial by the end of the year. “We had the first round of discoveries for 2015 and various questions arose from that, that there were outstanding […] Read more


Calving problems are becoming rare, but be prepared to act

Beef 911: The first key step is to note when the birth process starts and investigate if too much time passes

Numerous articles have been written over the years on how and when to intervene at calving, how to recognize malpresentations, and what to do about them. Producers now see fewer and fewer calving-related problems as our breeding has improved and we select for easy-calving heifers with larger pelvises and moderate birth weight bulls. Ensuring cattle […] Read more



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


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