Latest articles

Calf prices below year-ago levels

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Seek price protection if you're backgrounding calves this winter

Western Canadian feedlot margins have hovered in negative territory throughout the summer and early fall. In late September, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle on a dressed basis in the range of $231 to $232; live bids were quoted from $136 to $139. Recent prices are about $15 to $20 below break-even pen closeout values. […] Read more

Beef industry is meeting new challenges

Animal Health: New technology and regulations help producers do a better job

The beef producer has always been resilient and the last few years have seen many new challenges. Under the guidance of the Canadian Cattleman’s Association and Alberta Beef Producers the cattle industry has responded to these issues very well. The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, which has been out […] Read more

Luing cattle can navigate their native Highlands

Scottish breed works well in a mixed beef and sheep operation

Farming in the Scottish Highlands can be classed as one of the more challenging environments to make a living, but results can be good when the land and livestock work in harmony. Scott Renwick is quite a busy farmer running his beef and sheep farm at Inverbroom in the northwest of the country while also […] Read more

Fall is no time to slack off on a livestock mineral program

Plenty of hidden benefits for overall herd health and reproduction

Since April, I’ve had the privilege to criss-cross the Prairies to witness the opposite effects of drought and continuous rainstorms upon hundreds of square miles of pasture. In some areas, the pastures were brown, short and by themselves didn’t produce enough feed to support cattle, while other regions were green, lush and had lots of […] Read more

Still plenty to do before harvest

Hail and dry conditions tool their toll

August was a crazy month of summerfallowing, cutting ditches for hay, baling, working on equipment, swathing the crop, and working in the garden. On August 4 my very good friends from the States came to visit: Lacey from Wyoming and Michelle from Tennessee. Michelle is Joseph’s Godmother, but they are both well-loved “aunties.” They had […] Read more

Beef demand heads into the slow months

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Be prepared, as the high yearling market only has one way to go

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $140 to $143 during the first half of September. The market has come under pressure due to the year over year increase in market-ready feed supplies. In addition to the higher beef production, beef demand is moving through a seasonal low. During September and October […] Read more

How to reduce stress when processing cattle

Human behaviour has a big impact on livestock behaviour

Reducing stress can help improve health, animal welfare and production of our cattle. They do better when their heart rates, respiratory rates and cortisol levels are lower. Stress during processing, transporting, loading, unloading and any other interaction can all be reduced. A lot has been written and described on stress-free cattle handling. I would encourage producers to check out videos on the Merck […] Read more

Natural events took their toll on the farm in July

Eppich News: Storms and predators affected crops and livestock

By the end of June, we finally made some time to rebuild a quarter mile of fence on our home native pasture. Half of our cow herd was still at home being supplemented with hay due to the late grass and the crazy spring. On June 28 John had his second cataract surgery done. On July 2 we moved the rest […] Read more

Don’t force cattle to eat bones for phosphorus

It’s an important nutrient for overall animal health and reproduction

A long time ago in university, I came across a faded photograph in our animal science book (Animal Nutrition, Maynard et al, 1979) that showed a poor Venezuelan cow chewing on a bone. Its caption read that she suffered from phosphorus deficiency. I thought at the time that this poor animal was so skinny and […] Read more

Cattle market fundamentals in a transition stage

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: The market is telling producers to sell yearlings now

Alberta fed cattle prices hovered in the range of $145 to $148 throughout July. Steady domestic and export demand sustained the market at the current levels despite the burdensome supply. In the previous issue, our market outlook for fed cattle was for stable prices during the summer. We also mentioned that the market would make a seasonal […] Read more