Latest articles


Consumer spending favours beef market

Market Update: Food prices have been down, so shoppers have more money for beef

The fed and feeder cattle markets continue to hold value despite the year-over-year increase in beef production. Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $175 to $177 in late April. Wholesale beef prices have been surprisingly strong as beef demand continues to exceed expectations. Major economic indicators are fairly encouraging which should […] Read more




A newborn black angus calf with it's mother

Very doable synchronization programs

Animal Health: Timing and attention to detail are key for breeding beef by AI

Several factors must be considered when deciding what AI synchronization program to use in your herd. One of the first is whether you have the time to heat detect yourself or if you want timed breeding. Cost is a consideration, as timed AI programs require more financial commitment and more passes through the chute. The three main synchronization programs I find most successful […] Read more


Fixing fractures in cattle is doable

Early attention to treatment can often get the critter back on its feet

Accidents happen. Sometimes a cow steps on her calf, breaking its leg, or a limb fractures due to extensive or improper pressure applied during a difficult calving. Veterinarian Eric Laporte, with the Bonnyville Clinic at Bonnyville, northeast of Edmonton, says he doesn’t see as many dystocia-related fractures now as in the past, due to better […] Read more



Young cattle producers talk industry future

They are really just beginning their careers, but they're ready for the challenges ahead

As a fifth-generation producer, Chad Hollinger faces some of the same challenges as his great-great grandparents, plus a few new ones. Hollinger, who is in his late 20s, farms with his father and grandfather near Neudorf, Saskatchewan, cropping about 3,700 acres of grain land and running 250 head of commercial and purebred Angus. “Our land […] Read more


What is the cattle futures market saying?

The combination of cash and futures market numbers will point the way

I’ve received numerous calls over the past month from cow-calf producers and backgrounding operators in regards to a marketing strategy for their individual operation. In four previous articles I’ve discussed the feeder cattle futures market and the historical relationship between the cash and futures market. I analyzed basis levels and discussed using the basis and futures for […] Read more



Producing clean bison genetics

New ‘washing’ techniques could benefit cattle industry as well

Genetic research in wood bison may have wider implications for wildlife conservation and for the Canadian livestock industry. Scientists have developed tools using assisted reproductive technologies such as cryopreservation (freezing), artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer which could help increase dwindling wild bison populations and prevent the spread of disease. Canadian wood bison is an […] Read more


cow and calf

Hard to beat the value of good colostrum

Calf Management: Watch for blood infections such as septicemia

Calves sometimes develop systemic infection in which bacteria or their toxins get into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. Some types of toxin-forming bacteria (usually gaining entrance to the body via the GI tract, after damaging the gut lining and slipping through it) cause rapid death. The calf goes into shock when internal organs […] Read more



Managing the carbon crop

The objective is to return more carbon to the soil than is released

One of the best parts of writing for Grainews is the people who contact me to question/disagree or express some interest in an aspect of a story I have written. I confess I have sometimes written pieces just to engage healthy discussion. I have always had an interest in the “global warming” debate and have […] Read more


Protecting calves through vaccination

Best to consult with veterinarian on what’s right for your farm

Newborn calves gain temporary (passive) immunity from disease when they ingest colostrum, since this “first milk” contains antibodies. After a few weeks or months this temporary protection diminishes, so calves must build their own immunities. Vaccinating at the proper time can help protect them until weaning age. Vaccinating them too soon, however, may not stimulate […] Read more