Latest articles


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


Can you afford to select cows for longevity?

Keeping old cows isn’t improving performance of the beef herd

One of the biggest costs on a cow-calf operation is cow herd depreciation. For most of us, even if we are not aware of it, cow depreciation is our second-highest expense after cow herd maintenance. It is a problem often ignored because cull cows generate cash flow, but having cows drop out of the cow […] Read more



calf

Calf market will feel the pinch come fall

Market Update: It will take time to work burdensome beef supplies through the U.S. system

Alberta fed cattle prices have traded in the range of $162 to $166 throughout February and March, but the market is poised to grind lower during the second quarter due to the large year-over-year increase in second-quarter beef production. Fed cattle are poised for a $15 to $20 drop over the next couple of months […] Read more


Treating colicky bloat in calves

Calf Management: Timeliness is critical and treatments are no guarantee

In some herds, calves die nearly every year from enterotoxemia caused by bacterial toxins. The calves are usually about a month old, but may be as young as a few days or as old as two to three months. They are generally healthy, fast-growing calves that suddenly develop acute gut pain, kicking at their belly […] Read more



Meet your farming neighbours: Duane and Bonnie Friesen

This is the story of Duane and Bonnie Friesen, near Cecil Lake, B.C.

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Everyone got started in a different way, and every farm has a different combination of family and hired staff who make the decisions and keep things running. But, in general, even after you consider all of the details, farmers are more alike than different. This is the story of Duane Freisen, who farms […] Read more


Producers discuss value of good records

Herd Management: Which to cull, when to market, just some of questions answered

This is part one of three Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) articles on the value of keeping records for commercial beef herds. Parts two and three are available on the blog at www.beefresearch.ca. There is also a good sidebar report on new record-keeping software and iPhone App (the Herdly App) available from the Canadian Cattleman’s […] Read more



cattle in a feedlot

Other indicators affecting cattle market decisions

Risk Management Part 4: Who’s using the futures market and what are their intentions?

In my previous article, I discussed four possible market environments and the possible marketing or hedging strategies for each environment. Cow-calf producers will know if the basis is weak or strong based on longer-term historical data. The price range of the futures market over the past two years will provide a good idea if the futures market is in […] Read more