Latest articles


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



Cow and a Calf

Taking care of business

First sessions begin Nov. 14

The theme of this year’s Cow-Calfenomics sessions is enhancing farm business decisions in the cow-calf sector. Topics this year will include the market situation and outlook from Anne Wasko, use of risk management tools, business structures for new entrants, production enterprise analysis, Agriprofit$, a guide to agricultural credit, and the value of having a mentor. […] Read more


Preconditioning is good for the entire cattle industry

Beef 911: There are a multitude of benefits but producers need to be compensated for the extra work and risk

Older producers may remember a preconditioning program implemented by the provincial Agriculture Department in the 1980s. There were criteria for procedures and shots, while veterinarians certified that procedures such as dehorning and castrating were done properly and correct pre-immunization shots were given properly. Two categories of calves (either pre-immunized or pre-immunized and weaned a specific […] Read more



Put antimicrobials, traceability, and biosecurity on your to-do list

All three areas are undergoing changes that producers should be aware of, 
says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

There are things that beef producers need to look out for in the coming months when it comes to herd health and biosecurity. “We do know that there are changes in play that will require all medically important antimicrobials to become prescription only,” said Rob McNabb, general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Some medically […] Read more


They’ll drink to that — cows and calves do better with cleaner water

Study finds cattle drink more from troughs, and that results in more milk and faster-gaining calves

Pumping dugout water into troughs can boost weight gain in calves. In a study done at the Western Beef Development Centre, cow-calf pairs were provided with either direct access to a dugout or access to troughs of untreated water pumped from the same dugout. Calves with cows that drank from the troughs gained an additional […] Read more



Green grass and newborn calves a perfect match, says longtime grazer

The list of pluses is long, says Jim Bauer, including easier calving, reduced feed requirements, and calves that outgain their winter-born cousins

Assisting a cow with her calf is much nicer when the weather is pleasant — and matching calving season with the onset of green grass makes you more money, too. “When you can line up that reproductive cycle with the grass production cycle, that’s huge,” said Jim Bauer, an Acme-area rancher and former manager of […] Read more


What’s good for calves is good for your pocketbook

The benefits of low-stress weaning are clear — higher weight gains 
and a big drop in treatments

Calves that are fenceline weaned vocalize 50 per cent less, walk less, and have higher weight gains in the first 10 weeks post-weaning compared to conventionally weaned calves. Fenceline weaning is nearly as effective as two-stage weaning at reducing signs of stress. With this method, cows and calves are separated by a fence but can […] Read more