Latest articles


Doing the math on a straw-grain ration for pregnant cows

You need to ensure the mothers-to-be are getting what they need

Feeding a straw-grain ration to pregnant cows is a viable option, but you’ve got to do the math. The first step is to test the quality of the feed, but determining what type of supplements or mineral product must also be done, said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “It is often a point […] Read more


Despite some stresses, ‘cautious’ optimism for cow-calf sector

Strong demand and prices are good news, but feed costs and tariffs are troubling

Alberta cattle producers have a few reasons to be optimistic as they head into the fall. “We’re still on the profitable side for the cow-calf guy,” said Charlie Christie, chair of Alberta Beef Producers. “I’m hearing some optimism on the market side. Whether that will translate into good calf prices in the fall remains to […] Read more



They’ll drink to that — clean water boosts weight gain

Providing pumped water can boost weaning weights by 18 pounds and reduce health issues

Giving cattle access to clean water can improve herd health and increase weight gain and backfat. A 2005 study reported that calves whose dams drank from water troughs gained on average 0.09 pound per day more than those with access to a dugout. Because water and forage intake are closely related, as cows drink more […] Read more


Is artificial insemination better than natural service?

Artificial insemination can put more money in your pockets, but there are several factors to consider

This article has been edited and condensed. For the full article, including price and financial details as well as additional resources, go to the blog on the Beef Cattle Research Council website). As the breeding season approaches, some producers will use artificial insemination (AI) and estrous synchronization in their breeding herd. But others won’t because […] Read more



Don’t risk a wreck in your cow’s reproduction this spring

Breeding timing makes a difference in open rates and so do vaccinations and copper deficiency

If you want to make sure that you get calves on the ground, pay attention to body score, when you calve, and vaccinations. That was the message from Cheryl Waldner, a professor in large-animal clinical sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “You need to get the cattle cycling […] Read more


A Black Angus Cow and calf

Make sure your calves get off to a proper start

Beef 911: Calves need adequate amounts of high-quality colostrum after birth and substitutes are a good option

There have been many articles written over the years on the value of calves receiving adequate amounts of good-quality colostrum. Also over the years, colostrum substitutes have come into greater and greater usage. Several things have led to this change. Colostrum substitutes have become higher quality and are more convenient than using frozen colostrum. As […] Read more



Producers wanted for cow-calf survey

Do you wonder how your cow-calf operation compares with others in your region, province or herd size on matters like conception rate and weaning weight? Producers who participate in the second Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey will receive a complementary report that allows them to compare their own operation with benchmarks. The survey takes about 45 […] Read more


The fall run is tough on calves but we can do better

The health problems seen in the feedlot don’t come out of the blue and careful handling should start at the home ranch

With the fall run underway, cattlemen and women are faced again with the challenge of morbidity and mortality in calves. By the time calves land in the feed yard, they have often been handled and transported several times. How they fight off disease during that extraordinarily stressful period is related to their age and weight. […] Read more



Three approaches to managing first- and second-calvers

Their methods differ, but these three ranchers are all focused on maintaining body conditioning

Because they graze year round at Deseret Ranches near Raymond, Darren Bevans manages first- and second-calvers separately from the cow herd on winter swath grazing. “Managing these groups separately allows us to provide a little bit of extra nutrition, which can make all the difference to body condition and future pregnancy rates,” said Bevans. “Really these […] Read more


First-calf heifers need some extra love

Keep a close eye on the conditions of these young females, that require more energy and nutrients than mature cows

Replacement and first-calf heifers need extra management, but producers can take different paths to get to the same destination. Beef producers like Alberta’s Darren Bevans, Tyler Fulton in Manitoba, and Murray Shaw in Ontario know replacement and first-calf heifers need some extra attention heading into winter, but that doesn’t mean over-the-top management. Bevans and Fulton […] Read more