Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein receives 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
August 16, 2017

L-R: Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, Matt Bowman, BCRC Vice-Chair, Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, Ken Perlich, Perlich Bros Auction Market, Andrea Brocklebank, BCRC Executive Director

Calgary, AB – A nationally and internationally respected researcher of beef cattle health and welfare has been awarded the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, PhD, was honored tonight at the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Conference.

Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein is a Senior Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta and holds adjunct appointments at several universities. She has made phenomenal contributions to advancements in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry through her passion and dedication to progressive science, and exceptional collaboration, leadership and communication.

She was honored to receive the award, stating “Those of you who know me will know that this award means a lot to me. My dream will be to work with the industry as long as I can and to be as useful to you as I can.”

Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein’s scientific leadership is exemplified through her contributions to early disease detection, feeding behavior, stress assessment, and acidosis, and she has been instrumental in advancing the knowledge and practices related to beef cattle transportation, lameness and pain mitigation. Her research results and expertise has Continue reading

Another Look at the Costs and Benefits of Swath Grazing

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

06_fdg_IMG_4292Well-managed swath grazing has well-known economic benefits for producers. But research results from a study funded by the Beef Science Cluster showed that it can have environmental benefits as well. Dr. Vern Baron and coworkers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lacombe Research Station recently published Swath grazing triticale and corn compared to barley and a traditional winter feeding method in central Alberta (Canadian Journal of Plant Science 94:1125-1137) and Effect of winter feeding systems on farm greenhouse gas emissions (Agricultural Systems 148:28-37).

What they did: A five-year winter feeding study was conducted in central Alberta (2008-09 through 2012-13). Angus x Hereford and Red Angus x Charolais cows were fed barley silage, barley grain, barley straw and hay in confinement, or swath-grazed on triticale or corn for 120 days. Confined cows were Continue reading

Attention researchers: Quebec-Ontario Cooperation for Agri-Food Research Competition

Proposals are invited for the 2017-2018 Quebec-Ontario Cooperation for Agri-Food Research Competition.

Letter of Intent Submission deadline: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. EST

Research Priority Areas
This call for proposals is focused on climate change.   Proposals are solicited that will generate new knowledge and/or technologies in the following areas:

  • Research to evaluate climate change impact on soil health and develop best practices
  • Research to determine climate change impacts on food processing and food safety including development of adaptation and mitigation strategies

Who May Apply
Universities and non-profit, non-governmental applied research centres are eligible to apply. Each application must be submitted jointly by a research institution based in Quebec and another based in Ontario.

Other public or private research institutions and organizations can contribute to the project as research team members or partners/co-funders. This includes colleges, government departments, industry associations and businesses.

How to Apply
The competition consists of a two-stage application process, and each project requires a co-lead from an Ontario and Quebec institution. The application form, as well as the competition guide with complete program and submission details, is available at: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/onqc_research/index.html

Drought Management Strategies

Due to the current drought conditions in several parts of the country, we’ve pulled this article from our archives. It was originally posted in July 2015.

For timely timely information on weather and climate relevant to the agricultural sector in Canada, visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Drought Watch webpage

Whether in the form of pasture, stored forage, or supplements, feed is the largest variable input cost in cow-calf operations. A big challenge is to feed the cow in a way that meets her current and future nutritional requirements for maintenance, lactation, maintaining a successful pregnancy, giving birth and getting rebred within 80-85 days of calving as cost effectively as possible. This challenge is obviously much greater during drought, when feed is scarce and expensive.

Aside from moisture, one thing that will help keep you and your cows from experiencing a wreck this summer is knowledge. We’ve pulled together a good list of resources that can help you and your herd get through the drought.

So pour yourself a coffee or an iced tea, and delve into the links below. After a few hours of reading, you’ll likely have a few new plans to keep your cows and grass in good shape, and to keep from shelling out more money for feed or vet bills than need be this year and down the road.

Let us know if the information you’re seeking isn’t here, or if we’re missing some valuable information you’ve found elsewhere so that we can add those links to Continue reading

Take in the BCRC Presentation August 17th in Calgary

beef extension presentationEvery time a beef producer in Canada markets an animal, he or she invests in research – through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off. Those producer dollars help fund scientific studies and innovative developments that are advancing Canadian beef production and impacting farms and ranches across the country.

What does that mean …for you, your herd and your industry?

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is excited to invite you to an upcoming presentation to get a clearer picture of beef research in Canada.

Join us Thursday, August 17 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta. The BCRC presentation will be held in the Palomino Room A-C from 1:30 – 4:30pm.

You’ll hear recent examples of progress made, discuss the objectives to be tackled next, meet the individuals leading the way, and take home new ideas to help keep your operation ahead of the herd. Top researchers will be in attendance to discuss Continue reading

Environmental Goods and Services: More Questions than Answers

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

11_cv_IMG_2961The beef industry takes pride in how forage, grazing and beef production benefit the environment. These environmental goods and services (EG&S) include carbon sequestration, plant and wildlife habitat, reduced soil erosion, watershed recharging, scenery, etc. While consumers pay for beef, the EG&S are free.

For instance, many ducks need grasslands and wetlands to nest and raise their young. Grasslands and wetlands also act like a sponge that absorbs excess moisture in wet years. A lot of grassland has been cultivated and/or wetlands drained to grow crops. This may have contributed to overland flooding and crop losses in recent wet years. If producers had been paid to preserve these grasslands and wetlands in recognition of the EG&S they provide (i.e. wildlife habitat and flood mitigation), would there have been fewer flood compensation payments? Continue reading

Bov-Innovation, unique extension sessions for beef producers, set for August 16

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is once again pleased to help power a unique event this summer. Bov-Innovation is scheduled to take place during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, August 15-17, 2017 at the BMO Conference Centre on Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta.

beef extension presentationBov-Innovation is focused on sharing practical tools, innovations, and ideas that feedlot and cow-calf producers can readily implement on their operations. Speakers include scientists and industry experts alongside producers who have adopted technologies and methods. This year the audience can participate in three different Bov-Innovation sessions:

  • Genomics: Putting theory into practice for commercial cattle producers” with Matt Spangler, PhD, Extension Beef Genetics Specialist from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who will explain how producers can leverage genomic technology on their cattle operations.
  • Feed For Thought: Using feed analysis to balance rations and manage for mycotoxins” with a producer alongside John McKinnon, PhD, Beef Industry Chair from the University of Saskatchewan. This session will cover mycotoxins, nutritional requirements, and incorporating lab results to fine tune animal production parameters.
  • Dollars, Sense, and Fertility: Economic and reproductive factors of replacement heifer development,” presented by Kathy Larson, Western Beef Development Centre, and John Campbell, DVM, Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

These topics Continue reading

Making Dollars out of Sense

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

14_cwcv_IMG_2758_cAside from price insurance (in provinces where it is available), cow-calf producers can’t do much to control the price they receive for their calves, so managing input costs is often the biggest opportunity to improve profitability. The Western Beef Development Center has found that annual production costs differ by at least $100 per cow between the 25% lowest cost producers and the average producer. A 2015 Quebec report found a $79 per cow per year difference between a group of cow-calf operations with the highest margin and the average. In PEI, annual cost of production between the 10% highest and lowest cost operations differed by $660 per cow.

During BSE, drastic times called for drastic measures, and input costs were often cut as much as possible. But this may not be the best strategy for today’s more normal conditions. If it’s not done carefully, reducing inputs can harm profitability.

Feed is responsible for the biggest costs, including land, fuel, seed, and fertilizer to establish, grow, manage and graze or harvest pasture or winter feed. Investments to increase forage and feed yield and/or quality, through Continue reading

Ontario cow-calf survey deadline extended

ontario cow-calf production surveyOntario cow-calf producers, if you have not yet filled out the Ontario Cow-Calf Production Survey, you now have until May 31st.

The survey is 76 questions in length and should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. If at any time, you do not wish to answer a question you may leave it unanswered. If you don’t have an exact date or number for any of the questions asked, a best-estimate will suffice.

PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SURVEY ONLY ONCE, ONLINE OR VIA MAIL.

Every Ontario cow-calf producer is encouraged to complete the survey.

The purpose of the overall project is to gain a better understanding of the management practices, economics, disease rates and rate of technology adaptation on Ontario cow-calf farms and determine how well Ontario producers compete in Continue reading

Producing more with less for the world market: Raise your beef IQ

BCRC_2017_FactoidSeries_BeefConsumption_600x600_web

As the Earth’s population increases and middle income classes rise in several developing regions, so does the demand for high quality protein.  In 2015, 1.22 million tonnes (carcass weight) of Canadian beef was produced for the world. That number rose to approximately 1.3 million tonnes in 2016, and is forecast to grow.

With ongoing research and adoption of new technologies, Canadian beef producers can sustainably increase production and help meet the global demand.

A recent study found that Continue reading