Let cattle do the seeding

Cattle can be managed to produce calves, beef and milk, but can they also be put to work re-seeding pastures?

cicer milk vetch cattle


The palatable black seed pods of cicer milk vetch will no doubt be consumed by these yearlings on this fall-grazing pasture and distributed over other parts of this and other pastures. Most of the cicer milk vetch in this pasture was establish by cattle depositing seed through their manure. (Photo provided by Graeme Finn)

As long as you’re not in a hurry, producers who manage beef cows and yearlings so they distribute legume seeds through their manure, say “yes” it can be a passive, yet effective means of establishing desirable forages on pasture.

There doesn’t appear to be a handy term to describe this re-seeding technique, and on many farms and ranches with late season grazing it probably happens naturally anyway.

But several Alberta producers who see a benefit, are making a point to manage pastures so cattle are consuming mature forage seeds, in hopes at least some are shed in manure and germinate to establish the species on other parts of the pasture. And from their observations over the past few years, it works. Continue reading

Swath and bale grazing strategies: Webinar November 23

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

On the fence about incorporating swath or bale grazing on your operation? Join us to learn more about this practice and why it may be a good option for you. Although advice will primarily be intended for producers in Eastern Canada, there will be tips and tricks that Western Canadians can incorporate as well, followed by an opportunity for everyone to ask questions.
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When

Wednesday, November 23, at 7:00 pm EST

  • 4:00pm in BC
  • 5:00pm in AB
  • 6:00pm in SK and MB
  • 7:00pm in ON and QC
  • 8:00pm in NS, NB and PEI 

Door Prize!

Cool Forages
Producers that attend this webinar will be entered to win a copy of Cool Forages: Advanced management of temperate forages ($60 value).

Interested but aren’t available that evening?
Register anyway! This webinar will be recorded and posted online at a later date. All registrants will receive a link to the recording and additional learning resources. By attending the live event, you’ll have the opportunity to interact and ask questions too.

Register now

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Find and register for more BCRC webinars here. Continue reading

What is the environmental footprint of beef production? Webinar November 28

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

A recent study found that over the last 30 years, the Canadian beef industry has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 15% per kg of beef produced. Join this webinar to learn more about this good news story, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and what we as beef producers can do to continually increase efficiencies.

When


Monday, November 28, at 7:00 pm MT

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

Interested but aren’t available that evening?
Register anyway! This webinar will be recorded and posted online at a later date. All registrants will receive a link to the recording and additional learning resources. By attending the live event, you’ll have the opportunity to interact and ask questions too.

Register now

clickheretoregister_edited-1

Find and register for more BCRC webinars here.

Continue reading

Don’t miss these upcoming beef events and deadlines

Organizations across the country are continually hosting events to give you an inside look at important research and offer practical advice on how to implement new technologies, improve productivity, prevent a wreck or save costs. These events are also a good opportunity to discuss how our industry is facing opportunities and challenges, and meet leading experts and other progressive cattlemen. Registration for many events are little or no cost to producers.


events calendar
Visit our Events Calendar often to

  • view upcoming field days, seminars, conferences and other events in your area,
  • find out about online webinars to listen in on a live presentation right from your computer or phone,
  • be reminded of nomination, survey or application deadlines, and
  • discover related career opportunities in the beef and forage sectors.

Take a look at what’s happening in the next few months: http://www.beefresearch.ca/newsroom/events-calendar.cfm

Events on the calendar are colour-coded by geography:

  • BC: blue
  • AB: yellow
  • SK: green
  • MB: orange
  • ON: purple
  • Maritimes: red
  • Online: white with blue text

Continue reading

Calf Prices and Retained Ownership

This guest post is written by Brian Perillat, Canfax Manager/Senior Analyst. Visit www.canfax.ca to subscribe to regular analysis of markets and trends.

As the fall run is starting, producers are having to re-adjust their price expectations when marketing calves.  Marketing decisions were relatively straight forward the last couple years for producers when they were selling calves at record high profit levels.  Given the major price correction, producers are taking a harder look at different marketing/feeding options for this year’s calf crop.  At the beginning of October, 550 lb steers are about $100/cwt lower than a year ago, and $85/cwt lower than 2014.  On the other hand, they are about $25/cwt higher than 2013.


alberta 500 600lb steer price cwt 2000 to 2016

Disappointing prices and a general abundance of feed has producers considering retained ownership.  After such a major price correction, this may seem reasonable to explore, but it is important understand what the market signals are, understand the risk involved, and have a strategy to manage risk.

It is also important to Continue reading

Upgrading Grading Research

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


OctCCM2016
Youthful carcasses that meet A, AA, AAA or Canada Prime quality grades are also assigned a yield grade. Yield grades estimate the red meat percentage of the entire carcass based on the thickness of the backfat and size of the ribeye muscle between the 12th and 13th ribs. The method that the Canadian Beef Grading Agency uses to calculate lean meat yield from backfat depth and ribeye area was developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers in Lacombe, Alberta. Having yield grade prediction equations developed by an impartial third party like AAFC helps ensures that neither the packer nor the cattle feeder has an unfair advantage in assessing the value of an individual carcass.

The precise relationship between fat depth and muscle area can change over time as Continue reading