Latest articles


Calf production numbers increase forecast

Market Update: Producers need to be ready with risk management plans

Alberta fed cattle prices have come under pressure over the past month. Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $147 to $149 during the second week of November, down $4 to $6 from a month earlier. Weakness in the fed cattle market has spilled over into the feeder complex. Western Canadian yearling […] Read more


Pay attention to castration procedures in calves

Animal Health: Proper technique, timing and painkillers produce the best results

We now have many tools at our disposal for castration of beef and dairy calves. Newer techniques coupled with use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) when used in skilled hands will ensure the procedure is done properly and welfare issues are addressed. Most producers are ahead of the beef code recommendations for castration. Ideally the […] Read more



Building beef cattle diets using some straw

Keeping cows properly fed while reducing costs

First came the drought, then through September and early October a foot of snow, a weekend of autumn and finally winter. Not exactly the best weather for harvesting good-quality forage and grain for most beef cattle. At least we had a return to good fall conditions by mid-October. Fortunately, what grain that was taken off […] Read more


Time to buy cattle price insurance

Market Update: Cow-calf producers should sell their feeders with the lofty futures and historically strong basis

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $151 to $153 on a live basis in mid-October, up approximately $10 from a month earlier. While Alberta prices have been percolating higher, fed cattle values in Kansas have hovered around US$111 on a live basis over the past four weeks. Market-ready supplies of fed […] Read more



These aren’t your daddy’s cow herds

No more kick ’em out and forget ’em for progressive producers

Long before the time when the grass comes in thick and green and the summer winds start to blow, progressive cattlemen begin to prepare their cow-calf herds for the grazing and breeding seasons ahead. The days of rounding up the herd just before you send them to pasture, slapping on a few ear tags, chasing […] Read more


Dry pastures lacking in minerals and vitamins

Supplements need to get cattle ready for calving and rebreeding

After several months of a hot and dry summer, who would have imagined that we would have snow showers by the end of September. It wouldn’t have been so bad if some pastures had bounced back, yet they remain deplorable. Of the many fall/winter pastures I have driven past or walked through, most show the […] Read more



cattle in a feedlot

Price opportunity for calves and yearlings

Market Update: Strong consumer demand is using up beef supplies

The market outlook for fed and feeder cattle is looking brighter compared to a month ago. Beef demand is coming in larger than anticipated due to the corporate and personal tax cuts south of the border. Recent U.S. data shows that restaurant spending was up nearly 10 per cent over year-ago levels during the summer […] Read more


Cattle producers eyeing feed grain prices

Market Update: Feeding expected to get more expensive — something has to give

Feedlot operators have had a very strenuous spring and summer. Margins have been hovering in negative territory while feed barley prices have been percolating higher. Feeder cattle prices are actually higher than year-ago levels despite the strong feed grain prices and a year-over-year increase in the U.S. calf crop. The Canadian dollar has been trading […] Read more



cow and calf on pasture

Cattle market looking strong in many respects

Market Update: Not a great fall to be thinking of backgrounding calves

In early August, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $244 to $247 on a dressed basis while live-basis prices were quoted in the range of $145 to $146. The market has traded in a sideways range throughout the summer and it appears that the seasonal lows may be in place. Beef demand is coming in higher than anticipated with the […] Read more


A.I. has fit with commercial herds

Effective means to tap into the best genetics

Artificial Insemination (A.I.) is an efficient and quick method to improve the genetics of a cow herd, and it’s becoming more popular with commercial cattle producers as training/certification programs become available. A.I. has opened the door for commercial cattlemen to breed to the very best bulls in the industry, allowing them to use the large […] Read more