New Resource: Record Keeping and Benchmarking Level 2



Successful farm management begins with accurate and up to date records. The process of record keeping allows the farm manager to collect and save data so it can be analyzed and used to make better decisions and turn information into actions.

Level 1 was previously launched for farm managers who are new to record keeping or who may already keep records but are unsure of what information is worth keeping or how these records can be used.

The newly released Level 2 resource has been developed to build upon the themes covered in Level 1 but also goes more in depth on some of the analysis that can be accomplished once you have established a set of records. This includes: Continue reading

This Grazing Season, Remember the Four Principles of Pasture Management



Pasture is a key component of beef cattle operations and one definitely worth managing. At first glance, grazing a pasture may appear as simple as placing cattle in a fenced area with a water source. However, practising effective grazing management is an art and a science.

Pasture conditions and types vary widely from native grassland to tame forage, with stands comprised of many diverse plants or perhaps just a simple mixture of a few grass or legume species. Regardless of the pasture type, focusing on a few key principles can help maintain forage productivity, ensure stand longevity, sustain a healthy plant community, conserve water, and protect soils. Here are four main factors to remember: Continue reading

Guidelines for Conducting On-farm Research: COVID-19 Information for Researchers & Canadian Beef Operations

 

Download the full PDF version here.

Consider postponing on-farm research activities that require more than one person or interaction with farm operators whenever possible until provincial health guidelines relax physical distancing recommendations.



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Where Does Short-Season Corn Fit?

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Statistics Canada reports that Western Canada’s silage corn acreage has grown significantly in recent years. Nearly 30% of seeded corn silage acres aren’t harvested, suggesting it’s likely being used for grazing. The potential for a 50% higher yield compared to barley may offset corn’s 30% higher input costs, but only if growing conditions are right.

It is critically important to pick a hybrid that can grow under local conditions. A hybrid with a higher corn heat unit (CHU) rating than local conditions provide will not have time to reach optimal maturity before it is harvested or frozen, and will contain more fiber, more moisture, fewer cobs and less starch than ideal. It will also be less palatable and nutritious, whether it’s harvested for silage or left for grazing. On the other hand, a short season hybrid grown in a historically hot area would be ready to harvest before the growing season is over, sacrificing some potential yield. Corn silage that is harvested too late will be too dry, making it harder to pack and reducing silage palatability. Not every year is ‘average’, and year-to-year variations in growing conditions also need to be considered before deciding whether to try corn, or which hybrid to try. Continue reading

Resources for Beef Producers during Market Disruptions



Beef supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 are challenging producers to make difficult decisions and adapt to changing situations. As beef farmers consider making strategic production and management adjustments in response to shifting cattle markets, the resources listed below provide information and may support you in assessment, planning, and decision-making.

If you are looking for additional information, let us know in the Comment box at the bottom of this page. We will continue to add to this resource list as needed or as more information becomes available. Continue reading