Latest articles


Select cows for udder conformation

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Calves start at a disadvantage if they can't nurse properly

While there are many things to evaluate in cow selection, the importance of udder and teat conformation should not be underestimated. Many a cow is culled later in life because of bad teats. Her calves may have a hard time sucking and getting much-needed colostrum. Getting a calf sucking on big coke-bottle teats can take […] Read more


Proper nutrition needed before and after calving

An example of a good feeding plan based on common sense and economy

Most people have done a good job in feeding their gestating cows this winter in order to maintain good body condition for calving. Yet hard work doesn’t stop once the last calf is born. Rather, good nutrition should continue for months afterward, so fresh cows can produce lots of milk for their growing calves and […] Read more



Most indicators point to favourable market

Market Update: Numbers for the first quarter show good demand, strong prices

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $268 on dressed basis in mid-January, which is up $10 from last month. Fed cattle values on a live basis were quoted at $163 in Alberta and US$124 in the U.S. Southern Plains. The market appears to be percolating higher due to tighter than expected market ready supplies. […] Read more


Cattle marketing across the miles

In the Aussie system, agents handle E-auction

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. At our grazing operation, Alcheringa Pastoral in Victoria, Australia, we have generally purchased cattle in late spring, after I arrive in October, and sell […] Read more



Bring calving pens to the pasture

It’s a good idea to give heifers lots of space when calving

Editor’s Note: What works for beef producers? The Beef Cattle Research Council has asked a few Canadian beef producers about changes, production practices or new technology they’ve made or use that make a difference in their day-to-day management. Good ideas can range from improving pasture watering systems and regularly testing winter feeds, to reducing costs […] Read more


A vision of what the beef industry needs

Big Picture Thinking Part 1: The Canadian beef industry needs to think big to optimize its potential

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a three-part series by Alberta rancher and consultant Sean McGrath with his vision for the Canadian beef industry. A vision statement can be one of the most powerful tools available to a company. It sets the big-picture goal for a business and provides a framework for communication. A […] Read more



Using NSAID painkillers at calving

Animal Health: The treatment can benefit both cows and calves

With pain medication there may be adjunct treatment with antibiotics but sometimes this is unnecessary. If your veterinarian prescribes NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain he/she may choose one for several reasons — label claims, past experience in the field, price per treatment or per 100 pounds, duration of activity, ease of administration, advice of […] Read more


Suggestions for balanced winter rations for beef cattle

Use available feedstuffs to their best advantage

Good-quality forage for beef cows is in short supply this winter and the price of grain is still relatively expensive across Western Canada. The good news is well-balanced rations still can be put together for late-gestation beef cows to prepare them for a good calving season. This is a good reminder I received recently, when […] Read more



Beef demand in 2018 pushes more production

Market Update: Fed-cattle prices need to rally for feeders to be profitable

During the second week of December, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $150 to $152, up from $2 to $4 from a month earlier. Market-ready supplies in Alberta and Saskatchewan are running above year-ago levels which has limited the upside in the fed cattle market. South of the border, U.S. fed-cattle […] Read more


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