Latest articles


Patience is key for easy cattle handling

Stay calm, stay quiet and let cattle think it through for themselves

Cattle are smart and adaptable, learning from their mothers and the environment around them. They respond to good handling by becoming easy to manage. Mishandled, they react with suspicion or fear when they see people, and can become “wild” and difficult to handle. Many ranchers are learning the value of low-stress handling and how easy […] Read more


Feeder red ink will affect fall calf market

Market Update: Consumer spending to slow while beef production increases

Alberta fed cattle prices were hovering in the range of $153 to $155 in mid-May as the market moved through a period of seasonal strong demand. U.S. cattle-on-feed inventories continue to run five to seven per cent above year-ago levels. Larger market-ready supplies have caused the U.S. weekly slaughter pace during May to average about […] Read more



Is it spring yet?

Cold and wind creates challenges during March-to-May calving season

You never know what the weather is going to do. Gregory and I had decided that from mid-March to the beginning of May would be the best time for calving season. We didn’t want to calve during the coldest part of the winter with the green grass months away, but we also didn’t want to […] Read more




Proper bedding keeps calves warm and dry

Straw and windbreaks can help get calves through poor spring weather

This spring has been less than ideal for calving. In west-central Saskatchewan we’ve had record cold temperatures with wind and snow, and the wet weather is just around the corner. Calves born in these conditions often show the effects with frozen ears and feet — that’s if you can keep them alive in the first […] Read more


Looking at the feed grain component

Risk Management Part 5: More feeder cattle equals more feedlot placements, equals larger beef production

With this final article for the series on risk management for cow-calf producers, I note the previous columns discussed a specific aspect of the cash and futures market relationships. Producers are aware of when basis and futures levels are favourable and can use this information for buying price insurance or placing hedges on the feeder […] Read more



Cold weather or not, fencing continued

Rancher's Diary: Extra attention including tube feeding couldn’t save premature calf

February 22 A week ago it snowed and was windy and cold. Jim finished packing his truck and drove to California where he has a couple of months worth of work fixing fences and remodelling some buildings for a friend. We moved the yearling bulls from the orchard to the little back pen, and created […] Read more


The bulls and the bees

The purchase of a heifer bull stirs excitement for next season

Sometimes opportunities come up and you just have to jump on them. We have been hauling our cows to pasture in a two-horse trailer, just waiting for an opportunity to purchase a bigger one. Then a friend showed Gregory an ad. The used trailer was in rough shape but the price was good, so Gregory loaded […] Read more



Some myths and facts about EPDs

It’s only a genetic prediction, but still a useful tool

One of the main areas that I have worked on in my consulting business is genetic selection and the development and use of genetic evaluation technologies. In the more than 20 years I have been working in the field, it is interesting many of the same myths and challenges continue to appear, all during a […] Read more


Ease new cattle into the herd

Give cows time and space to sort out pecking order

Cows can be very aggressive, especially when establishing a pecking order, so you need to watch how new and especially pregnant animals are integrated into an established herd. Two cows fighting can result in a cow losing the calf because of the direct hits to the belly by the other cow’s head; a cow slipping […] Read more