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Using new technology to monitor cattle

Animal Health: Stationary cameras and drones can be used in many ways

Technology has advanced for monitoring the health of cattle both at calving time and on pasture. Two operations I deal with during the calving season have used advanced cameras in the last several years. I have also seen demonstrations and heard a few presentations on drones for checking and monitoring cattle. It appears to be […] Read more

Improved conception rates tell the story

Good-quality mineral mix got this herd back on track

The four principal trace elements essential to successful beef cow reproduction, are copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. All too often, they are either deficient in forage or bound by compounds also found in forage, which makes them biologically unavailable to cattle. I instruct beef producers to plan the best mineral-(and vitamin-) feeding program to their […] Read more

Feed grain supplies down, then up by fall

Market Update: Late 2019 may be a good time to think about backgrounding

The price of feeder cattle is influenced by two main factors — the expected fed cattle price when the feeder is finished; and the price of feed grains. Let’s have a look at the fundamentals for Canadian barley as well as a brief overview of the corn situation. As of early March, Lethbridge-area feedlots were […] Read more

Banding worked well for dehorning

Cattle displayed some discomfort but it didn't last long

Cattle with horns can be anything from an irritant to a real problem for producers. They are usually more aggressive than the polled or dehorned animals because they know they have a weapon. They can hurt other cattle by head butting them to get them to move away from feed or water. They can also […] Read more

Canadian prices divorce from U.S. fundamentals

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Alberta feeding margins are in the red by $200 per head for feedlots selling in the spot market

There was unusual price behaviour in western fed and feeder markets during the first weeks of February. Earlier in January, Alberta fed cattle prices reached a high of $166 on live basis for March delivery. By mid-February, Alberta packers were only bidding $150 on a live basis for March 1-15 delivery. At the same time, […] Read more

Testing swath grazing in Australia

The climate is totally different, but the season is the same

Editor’s Note: Keep in mind seasons in Australia are reversed: spring — September to November; summer — December to February; autumn — March to May, and winter — June to August.  Most graziers, at least in Western Canada, equate swath grazing to images of cows with snow on their back line and with frozen muzzle […] Read more

EU beef producers ready for robotic feeders

Systems can feed precise rations 24 hours a day

With labour shortages increasing across the agricultural industry internationally, robotic feeding is set to play a significant part on livestock farms in the future. In Europe and other parts of the world, small and large beef units, even outdoor feedlots, are all targets for autonomous feeding systems backed up by the latest sensors, clouds and […] Read more