The economics of pregnancy testing: Webinar September 15th

Join this free webinar to better understand the economics of choosing to pregnancy check and whether it is more profitable for your operation to cull cows in the fall or spring.

When
Pain control in beef calves. Photo supplied by Tamara Carter
Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 pm MT

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB and SK
  • 8:00pm in MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI 

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New National Check-Off study shows increased benefits to Canadian cattle producers

NCO-logo-RGB-150x1501August 18, 2016 – The Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (the Agency), in partnership with Canfax Research Services is pleased to release a study evaluating the economic benefits from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.

The study, prepared by Dr. James Rude and Dr. Ellen Goddard, is an update on the 2010 Cranfield Study which had reported results ahead of the 2010 merge of the Beef Information Centre, Canadian Beef Export Federation and the National Check-Off Agency.

The new study reports that on average from 2011/12 to 2013/14, every check-off dollar invested in national research and marketing activities resulted in a benefit cost ratio of 14:1 or $14 of benefit for Canadian cattle producers. This is up from the $9 average between 2005 and 2008. In addition, the average benefit Continue reading

Toe Tip Necrosis Syndrome

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.54.47 AMLameness is the second most costly feedlot health issue after bovne respiratory disease. Aside from treatment and death losses, lame cattle eat less, grow less, convert feed to gain less efficiently, and are more prone to transport injuries. Lameness is also a significant animal welfare concern and has been incorporated into some on-farm welfare audit systems.

There are many different types and causes of lameness, ranging from genetics (e.g. conformation), nutrition (e.g. founder), the environment (e.g. frostbite), injuries and infection (e.g. footrot, hairy heel wart). Some may have several causes, like toe tip necrosis syndrome (TTNS).

This syndrome always affects the Continue reading

Dr. Tim McAllister receives the 2016 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation

NEWS RELEASE

Calgary, AB – Respected nationally and internationally for his work on antimicrobial resistance, beef cattle nutrition, silage science, greenhouse gas emissions, E. coli O157:H7 and prion science, Dr. Tim McAllister was formally recognized tonight by the Canadian beef industry.

2016 Outstanding Researcher Award

L to R: Beef Cattle Research Council science director Reynold Bergen, Tim McAllister, council chair and manager of Namaka Farms Ltd, Bryan Thiessen, and Darren Bevans, a BCRC council member and general manager of Deseret Ranches of Alberta.

Presented with the 2016 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation at the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference, he was honored by hundreds of producers and industry stakeholders, including many past and present colleagues and students.

Dr. McAllister is a Principal Research Scientist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. He also holds adjunct appointments at six universities in Canada, as well as universities in China and Ghana. He has made phenomenal contributions to advancements in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry through his passion and dedication to progressive science, and exceptional collaboration, leadership and communication with industry, as well as governments around the world.

His research is helping beef producers in Canada remain as Continue reading

Our Environmental Hoofprint is Shrinking, but our Reach is Growing

Early this year, the BCRC Blog highlighted a study titled “Greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian beef production in 1981 as compared with 2011” that documented results of an ongoing Beef Science Cluster project. This paper documented how Canada’s beef industry was able to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas generated in producing one kilogram of Canadian beef dropped by 15 per cent between 1981 and 2011. Raise your beef IQ at BeefResearch.caThis reduction was largely the result of ongoing improvements in production and feed efficiencies, crop yields and management strategies. These, in turn, can be very directly traced back to research and innovation.

This story quickly became the subject of over 50 agricultural and popular press interviews and articles in Canada in the first few weeks following its release. The research team also presented these results at over a dozen producer meetings in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

We’ve recently learned that this research is also  Continue reading

Genomics

Genomics studies the structure, function, evolution and mapping of DNA and genomes. It deals with the complete set of genes and genetic material found in a cell or organism.

Genomic technologies draw both producer interest and research investment in the beef industry. Seedstock selection is one common application, but genomics has found widespread adoption in forage and feed grain breeding, diagnostic tests, vaccine development, source attribution for food safety recalls and other uses.

cattle_hair_dna_sample_3DNA is the genetic code that determines how an organism grows, what it looks like, and how it performs in a specific environment. Found in all living things, DNA gets passed from one generation to the next, allowing these organisms to maintain or improve their ability to survive and thrive.

DNA is a long chain, with each link of the chain containing a pair of four small molecules, known as base pairs. These molecules are abbreviated by the letters A, T, G, and C. This long chain is then coiled tightly into chomosomes. All cells in an organism contain a complete copy of that organism’s full genetic code.

Each cell has specialized machinery that reads the DNA code three letters at a time. These three-letter codes instruct the cellular machinery to start reading at a specific point. From that point, the base pairs code for specific amino acids, then finally a three-letter code instructs the cellular machinery to stop reading.

Click to continue reading about the use of genomic tests in beef cattle, including cautions… 

 

 

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Be on the Lookout for Ergot

This guest post written by Sherri Roberts, Regional Crops Specialist – Weyburn, SK. To learn more about ergot, see the links below.

Three things are needed in order for a disease to occur:

  • a susceptible host,
  • a disease causing organism and
  • the right environment.

Saskatchewan fall rye varieties are all rated as moderately susceptible to ergot. While rye is the principal host; barley, wheat, triticale, oats and numerous species of cultivated and wild grasses are also susceptible.

The ergot causing fungal organism, Claviceps purpurea, has the ability to Continue reading

Bov-Innovation: Putting Theory into Practice

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

bovinnovationThere is no shortage of beef industry conferences, workshops and meetings for Canadian beef producers to attend throughout the year. These have included the Canfax forum, the Canada Beef forum, Cattlemen’s Young Leaders forums, industry golf tournaments, tours, national, provincial and breed association meetings, the International Livestock Congress, and many more. Although they are valuable events, it is hard for producers to attend every event they might wish to. It can also be frustrating when similar speakers or themes get addressed at several different meetings, and busy producers take extra time away from their operations to hear the same presentations multiple times. The last thing anyone needs is to make time for yet another industry event.

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Verified Beef Production Plus Program officially launched

NEWS RELEASEScreen Shot 2016-06-14 at 12.38.04 PM
June 15, 2016

Calgary, AB – After months of hearing about the benefits of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, producers can now see for themselves how validating their sustainable production practices provides opportunity to proactively share their stories with consumers and beef retailers.

Officially launched today, the new, national VBP+ program includes Continue reading