Latest articles


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


Call (the conservation board) before you build

You may not need a permit, but water setback and manure management rules still apply


If you’re considering relocating livestock facilities, make sure you call the Natural Resources Conservation Board early on. “(We can) see if what (the producer) is planning needs a permit and if there are any other requirements they need to meet before they start doing anything and spending a whole lot of money,” said Andy Cumming, […] Read more



Ready to relocate? Don’t just jump in, says livestock facility expert

A successful move means checking off a lot of boxes, but there’s lots of help available to ensure the move goes smoothly

Do your corrals flood every year because you are close to a water body? Does your manure storage area have a river running near it? If so, the chances are you need to relocate your facilities — although you might also be eligible for funding to help you out. But the first step is to […] Read more


You need to think about shrink long before the transport truck arrives

Training your cattle to stay calm and properly preparing them for the stress of transport pays big dividends

Practising low-stress handling techniques has its benefits — it may actually help reduce shrink during transportation. “It’s about how we set animals up to interact with humans — any time you interact with them you’re training them how to respond and what to expect from humans,” said Christy Goldhawk who did her doctorate work on […] Read more



The lowdown on how buyers calculate shrink

‘Pencil shrink’ is actually designed to make the system fair and no buyer wants to see excessive shrink


What is shrink? And how is it calculated? “Actual shrink can be made up of two components,” said Sheldon Wilcox, manager at Direct Livestock Marketing in Edmonton. “One is gut fill (sometimes called excretory shrink) — which is the feed and water the animal consumes. The second one is tissue shrink.” Read more: Think about […] Read more


It pays to have a plan before turning your cattle out on pasture

Bountiful, nutritious forage doesn’t happen by accident — 
here’s how to plan for success on your ranch

A grazing plan might save you more than you think. Whether it’s a simple or detailed plan, a few key components will not only save your grass, but maybe save you a few dollars in the long run. Adjusting your stocking rate will allow you to get good-quality forage and vigorous regrowth. “Managing the amount […] Read more



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



A need for speed, making the farm safer, and less compaction

This year’s AgInnovation award winners bring three very different — but very valuable — things to the table

Innovation drives the agriculture industry and a lot of it is on display at Agri-Trade. “The technology is diversifying every year, and the ideas keep getting better,” said Rod Bradshaw, a vegetable and crop grower from Innisfail. He’s also chair of Agri-Trade’s ag innovations committee that chooses three products for its innovations awards. “We believe […] Read more


Farm shows can boost your bottom line, says Agri-Trade attendee

John Kowalchuk can point to a host of innovations on his farm that 
began with something he saw or heard about at the Red Deer event

Twitter is the new coffee shop for farmers, but there’s nothing like talking face to face. Which is why John Kowalchuk is a faithful Agri-Trade attendee. “The fact you can network and talk to other people about their experiences, I think that’s a big part that makes Agri-Trade what it is,” said the Rumsey-area farmer. […] Read more