Latest articles



Creep feeding spring calves pays dividends

This program pencils out to a $23 per head net premium in 2019

It’s always heartwarming to see the twitch of a spring calf’s tail as it nurses its mum. As this calf approaches three months of age, the brood cow’s milk production decreases, only supplying about half of the calf’s nutrient requirements. The rest must be delivered by sprouting pastures. But that could spell trouble to calf […] Read more



Harden up cattle hooves to avoid foot rot

A proper mineral mix will help hooves withstand injury and infection

After the snow melts, it’s not unusual to hear a lot of stories about footrot on pasture, which may not ease if we continue into a wet summer. Hooves of cattle standing on wet ground or in puddles become soft and pliable, which makes them susceptible to infection. Immediate antibiotic action is effective footrot control, […] Read more


A cost-effective diet for dairy cows

Dairy Corner: Feed and yardage costs add up, but production is optimized

Most dairy producers want to feed cost-effective diets to their high milk- (milkfat) producing cows. That’s a tall order, which is most often achieved by obtaining the best lactation diets, first as a formula on paper and blended into a TMR, then put in front of the cows. Finally, it’s up to them to eat […] Read more



A short 60-day breeding season leads to profit

Produces a more uniform batch of calves and higher weaning weights

The calving season is well underway on the Prairies, with some cow-calf operations calving with snow on the ground, while others plan to calve on pasture. Regardless of the starting date, the length of the calving season is directly related to the length of the previous breeding season. Research shows moving toward a desirable 60-day […] Read more


Proper feed intake keeps dairy cows milking

Dairy Corner: Good management avoids negative energy balance

A good dry matter intake or DMI plan is really a foundation of building optimum energy intake by early-lactation dairy cows. This energy drives good milk yield (and milk fat) at peak production and over the rest of their lactation. Unfortunately, there is a natural lag time between peak milk production and subsequent peak DMI […] Read more



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


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



Dairy calves need proper feed and winter housing

Whether in a straw house or plastic hutch, keep them clean, keep them fed

Whenever I see dairy calves raised outside in the winter, it often reminds me of a producer I met several years ago. At the time, he told me that years before, he raised pre-weaned dairy calves in the most dismal ways. He used to house about 15 outside in several lean-tos, which were a sheet […] 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