Latest articles


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


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



New ideas for feeding and housing calves

Designs and technology showcased in Germany

Giving young calves the best start in life will reward farmers in the long run, as healthier animals thrive much better. With a growing consumer focus on animal welfare, farmers are being urged to ensure calves destined for both beef and dairy herds have the best comfort in life. This was a key message delivered […] Read more


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


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: Part 1

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



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


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