Beef and crop information updates for May 1st

The Beef Cattle Research Council posted a blog today, which provides beef producers links to about three dozen different websites offering relevant and useful information on everything from feeding to farm management to mental health. Check it out at:

Recognizing there is certainly nothing NORMAL with all the life changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the different websites can address some of the challenges that have developed in this new era, while at the same time, many just offer some sound production and management information that applies in any year.

Areas of information include:

  • Feeding and Nutrition
  • Feed Shortages and Drought Conditions
  • Cattle Health and Welfare
  • Culling Cattle
  • Financial Management
  • Mental Health

and more


AAFC outlines some plans for 2020

While Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has caused concern and frustration across a wide swath of Canadian crop and livestock commodity organizations following news that it is really cutting back on it’s research activities for 2020, there might be a glimmer of hope as the newsletter issued yesterday says

AAFC is “contemplating a limited restart of the field based research activities, in a coordinated fashion.” The newsletter says more will be revealed in the May newsletter — we’ll have to wait a see.

Here’s what AAFC outlined as plans for the coming growing season:

Science News from the Prairies


April 2020


AAFC Field Research Activities During COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the lives of Canadians. This is equally true for the staff and research activities at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Our plans for the 2020 growing season have been significantly altered. At the moment, our facilities are closed to all but a few staff that are maintaining critical services. These critical services include

·       Taking care of livestock, critical germplasm and insect colonies

·       Watering plants

·       Maintaining specialized laboratory and farm equipment and biocontainment facilities

This work is essential to support our long-term research trials and ensure we can continue to conduct research in the future.

As of April 20, we are building on the initial critical services plan to guide us through this period and allow us to remain flexible in our approach as the pandemic evolves. These additional ‘critical plus’ activities include

·       Ensuring long-term stewardship of land (planting cover crops, controlling weeds and pests)

·       Maintaining field infrastructure and farm equipment

·       Spring maintenance of bee colonies and hives

·       Maintaining perennial germplasm in the field

·       Protecting the integrity of long-term rotational studies

·       Provide critical material (e.g. breeder seed) or access to the sector

In addition, we are in communication with other agriculture science providers and partners to coordinate our collective actions.

We are continually evaluating the situation, remaining in regular contact with the other science providers, and are contemplating a limited restart of the field based research activities, in a coordinated fashion. In the next issue (end of May), we would be able to highlight the limited restart.

We at AAFC are proud of the leadership our management has shown in their response to the pandemic. Their first priority has been to protect the health and safety of its employees and, by extension, their families and the communities in which they live. In addition, they have identified scientific equipment that can be loaned out, personal protective equipment that can be donated, and allowed staff to volunteer their skills and knowledge to support the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19.

Keep following health authority guidelines and take care of yourselves, your families and your farms. We will get through this as we work together.

Lee Hart is a field editor with Grainews based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]




About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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