Latest articles


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



Zinc is a powerful trace mineral for cattle

From breeding to good feet it plays an important role

Recently, I was talking to a feed mill operator I occasionally do some beef nutritional work, and he told me many customers are requesting the best level of zinc added into their cattle mineral. We realize many pastures and harvested forage from this summer’s drought might likely be zinc-stressed, so we made sure to formulate […] Read more


Building beef cattle diets using some straw

Keeping cows properly fed while reducing costs

First came the drought, then through September and early October a foot of snow, a weekend of autumn and finally winter. Not exactly the best weather for harvesting good-quality forage and grain for most beef cattle. At least we had a return to good fall conditions by mid-October. Fortunately, what grain that was taken off […] Read more



Dry pastures lacking in minerals and vitamins

Supplements need to get cattle ready for calving and rebreeding

After several months of a hot and dry summer, who would have imagined that we would have snow showers by the end of September. It wouldn’t have been so bad if some pastures had bounced back, yet they remain deplorable. Of the many fall/winter pastures I have driven past or walked through, most show the […] Read more


Feeding salt to beef cattle is easy

From either blocks or in loose form, a beef animal now needs about 50 grams per day

What could be easier than throwing a salt block off the back of a truck for each group of grazing cattle in a cow herd? Or filling a part of a mineral compartment with loose salt? Then coming back in a week or so and putting out salt in one of these ways, again? It […] Read more