Record Keeping for Forage and Grassland Management Webinar March 23rd



Pasture and stored forages are critical resources in the cattle industry. An effective management plan requires realistic production goals, a clear understanding of forage production, effective grazing strategies and timely responses to forage availability and changing environmental conditions. Record keeping can support management decisions needed to effectively manage both pasture and stored forage. This webinar will discuss the record keeping methods used by three producers to manage their pastures and forages. 



Registering on your smartphone? After you click ‘I am not a robot’, scroll up until you find the task to complete. Continue reading

Celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day and Beef Producers who Safeguard the Environment

Today, we celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day. Canadian beef farmers raise cattle, produce nutritious beef, provide jobs, and create economic value, making the beef sector an important part of Canada’s agriculture and food community.

Canada’s beef producers also play a vital role in taking care of the environment, a large responsibility that farmers and ranchers are not always credited for. While there is still room for improvement on some fronts, there is much to celebrate while the beef sector continues to improve its environmental track record. These facts demonstrate some of the valuable ways in which beef producers manage environmental resources: Continue reading

What goes in must come out: manure and nutrient management



In a cow-calf operation where cattle are often fed in pens for a portion of the year, pens are generally cleaned at least annually to remove accumulated manure and bedding. While backgrounders and feedlots have enforced protocols to manage and store manure, general guidelines apply to all producers who are handling and storing manure.

Manure offers a long-term source of nutrients that can influence soil properties, increase soil carbon and nitrogen, and alter soil phosphorus and potassium concentrations along with other nutrients. Best management practices must be followed across all sectors from cow/calf to backgrounders and feedlots. Continue reading

Protecting Your Investment: Bull Management

Dr. Colin Palmer is the Associate Director of the University of Saskatchewan, Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He and his family also own and operate their own herd of Red Angus cattle near Dundurn, Saskatchewan. Dr. Palmer is a theriogenologist (specialist in animal reproduction) practicing in western Canada for many years, but also has strong roots in eastern Canada.

“No producer wants to buy a fat bull but just try to sell him a skinny one.”


Fat deposits in the neck (top) of the scrotum can negatively impact sperm production. Photo credit Dr. Colin Palmer.

The investment in a herd sire is often a large purchase for any cow-calf operation. To ensure this investment will remain in the herd, breeding bulls must be properly maintained during and between breeding seasons.

Whether you are a commercial cattle producer looking to purchase a new herd sire or are a purebred operator who is developing bulls for sale, over-feeding is one of the biggest issues when it comes to young bull management, says Dr. Colin Palmer.

Pushing young bulls for large daily gains can lead to issues such as joint effusion (swelling), laminitis, acidosis, inflammation of the seminal vesicles, and over conditioning or simply becoming too fat. Continue reading

We have questions. You have the answers.

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

This column usually tells you about a research project that the Beef Cattle Research
Council (BCRC) has supported using Canadian Beef Cattle Check- Off funds paid by
producers like yourself. Sometimes you may ask yourself “why on earth did they fund
that?” ,“why don’t they do research on this?” or “do they ask producers what they
need?” Well, read on. Here’s your chance to tell us what you need.

The 13 cattle producers from across Canada who sit on the council aren’t the only ones
who decide how checkoff research funds are allocated. You fund us, so we’re asking you what you want Canada’s forage, cattle and beef researchers to work on over the next five years.

It’s easy to provide a general answer to this question — most of us would likely identify
long-term profitability, environmental sustainability, and public and consumer
confidence as important challenges facing Canada’s beef industry. But what are the
specific long-term profitability, environmental sustainability, and public and consumer
confidence challenges you face? It depends on who you are, where you are and what
sector of the industry you operate in. Continue reading

News Release: Canadian Beef Producers Make $2.9 Million Investment in Research and Technology Transfer

Calgary, AB – More than $2.9 million dollars will be invested by beef producers into new research and technology transfer projects in 2021 through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.  Proposals for twenty-nine more projects have been approved for funding by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) to advance Canada’s beef sector.

Matt Bowman, BCRC Chair and a producer from Thornloe, Ontario, said the new projects add to the Council’s portfolio of research investments.

“We are supporting more work focused on achieving specific priority outcomes in the Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy related to animal health and welfare, feed production and utilization, food safety and environmental stewardship,” said Bowman. “For example, new studies to quantify soil carbon sequestration through different grazing and intercropping systems, and others looking into causes and prevention of issues like scours and itchy cattle.”

BCRC Vice-Chair Craig Lehr, a producer from Medicine Hat, Alberta, said knowledge translation and technology transfer is also a priority for the Council.

“As provincial governments continue to cut valuable extension services, we do what we can to help fill the gaps,” he said. “The BCRC doesn’t have the capacity to provide the needed one-on-one consultation for beef producers, but we can support or lead projects that make meaningful science-based information freely available on beefresearch.ca in numerous formats that are helpful in making informed decisions.”

Newly funded technology transfer projects include an expansion of the Forage U-Pick tool to include Eastern Canada, and creation of additional resources on beefresearch.ca applicable to producers in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Another project will collaborate with practicing veterinarians across Canada to develop decision making tools for their beef clients that help improve herd health and profitability. There is no cost to subscribe to be notified by email of new research results or seasonal, science-based production information and decision-making tools.

The recent increase in Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off in most provinces enabled annual competitive calls for proposals for research and technology transfer projects to address critically underfunded priorities. The increase also resulted in the launch of a new BCRC program that funds short-term proof of concept and validation trials. Researchers are required to procure matching funds that leverage BCRC funding on a 1:2 or higher basis. Industry investment through check-off sends a clear message to governments about priorities and helps to procure investment by governments to multiply the impacts of producer dollars.

The BCRC is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. It is funded through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off as well as government and industry funding and is directed by a committee of beef producers from across the country. This announcement adds to the 86 projects co-funded by the BCRC that are currently underway at 30 Canadian institutions.

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For further information, contact:

Tracy Herbert

Extension and Communications Director

Beef Cattle Research Council

C: 306-850-5026 | herbertt@beefresearch.ca