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



Are there healthier calves and higher profits in your future?

Preg checking, pain mitigation, and preconditioning all 
open avenues to better and more profitable performance


The cows have come home from summer pasture and the fall run is well underway. So how was your year? If you’re not happy and want better performance and more profits next year, here are three top tips from two experts. Precision feeding and targeted marketing Just 60 per cent of producers pregnancy check their […] Read more


Don’t leave money on the table, says marketing expert

Boosting production with good management is great, 
but catching an uptick in the market can make you more money

Beef producers, if you don’t have a marketing plan — get one. That’s the simple advice from Ryan Copithorne, who founded Cows In Control after his realizing “a proper marketing program was actually the best way to keep a year’s or a lifetime’s worth of hard work from going down the drain.” Having previously managed […] Read more



Three tools to reduce livestock price risk

Insurance, hedging, and retained ownership can be intimidating to use, but the basic concepts are simple

Navigating through different components of marketing can make one feel as though they are speaking a foreign language. Ryan Copithorne of Cows In Control marketing group talks about the pros and cons of common marketing tools. WLPIP 
(Western Livestock Price Insurance Program) “Price insurance is a good program,” said Copithorne because it allows you to […] Read more


Moving past the Bill 6 rhetoric

AgCoalition meetings focus on creating sensible workplace safety rules

The Alberta government’s town halls on Bill 6 last winter were explosive, but recent industry-led meetings didn’t produce similar fireworks. “I thought the meeting went very well. There were lots of ideas thrown around between farmers and the facilitators,” said Turin-area farmer Kevin Serfas, who attended AgCoalition’s producer meeting in Lethbridge on June 22. “The […] Read more



Draft a plan before rejuvenating tired forage stand

Forage ecologist Mike Schellenberg offers his insights on 
how to reinvigorate pastures and boost productivity

“Five years to forever.” That’s a long time for a forage stand to be highly productive — and yet that’s the answer producers often give when asked how long they expect the benefits of rejuvenating pastures to last, said Mike Schellenberg, a range and plant forage ecologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Swift Current, Sask. […] Read more


Latecomer to cattle business puts the green in greenhorn

Retired engineer takes a shine to controlled grazing — and proves the system can generate amazing results

Most people don’t associate mechanical engineering with cattle grazing — unless they know Mark Burggren. Although he spent summers on his grandfather’s Strathmore-area ranch in his younger days, Burggren knew little about cattle until retiring as a mechanical engineer in 2007 and buying a quarter section near Condor. But he’s getting nearly 50 per cent […] Read more