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 cattle producers. Registration for many events are little or no cost to producers.

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:

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Industry takes stock of achievements guided by the National Beef Strategy

News Release
October 3, 2018

Calgary, AB – The Canadian Beef Advisors today released a status update on the 2015-19 National Beef Strategy. The report summarizes progress towards achieving the outcomes outlined in the Strategy since its launch. As of June 2018, 15% of outcomes have been completed; 5% are in progress (have an end); 61% are ongoing (and expected to continue); 7% have not been started (primarily due to funding constraints); 8% need modification; and 5% have mixed status (due to multiple objectives at different stages). Continue reading

Economic and reproductive factors of replacement heifer development – Webinar October 3rd

Join this webinar to discuss dollars, sense, and fertility – economic and reproductive management considerations for successful replacement heifer development. Learn about recommended practices, biological hurdles, and money matters that will aid you in your own heifer development strategies.


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

Wednesday, October 3 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

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 broadcast, you’ll have the opportunity to interact and ask questions too. Continue reading

JGL Livestock Offers Dedicated VBP+ Buying Days

Order buying firm JGL Livestock is setting aside two days this fall to feature dedicated cattle buying sessions for cattle from Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) Registered cow-calf operations. This represents the first time cattle procurement or sales outlets have focused marketing efforts on VBP+ cattle.

JGL will offer two weigh days for cattle from VBP+ Registered operations – October 17, 2018 and November 14, 2018 at their buying station in Moose Jaw, Sask. If the cattle are shipped to and fed at VBP+ Registered feedlots JGL will guarantee the cattle are ultimately harvested at the High River Cargill plant. In turn, those cattle could be eligible for the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) pilot project. Continue reading

Don’t let high winter feed costs stall your herd’s reproductive momentum

Across Canada dry conditions are contributing to a poor hay crop and uncertain feed grain production. Consequently, winter feed costs for cows are moving higher. Planning now for winter feeding provides an opportunity to utilize available feed resources most efficiently. Pregnancy-checking and assessing body condition of cows can help you make the best use of available feed to maintain your herd’s reproductive momentum.

Reproductive Momentum

Reproductive efficiency is a key aspect to cow-calf profitability. Higher reproductive efficiency means fewer cows are maintained to produce the same amount of beef. Conversely, low reproductive efficiency increases the number of replacement heifers needed to maintain or expand the herd and subsequently increases the per unit cost of raising replacement heifers.

Establishing and maintaining breeding momentum is important. Once a cow is bred in the first part of the breeding season, she has a greater likelihood of staying bred early in the years to follow. Cows that are bred early will birth calves that have greater potential to gain, resulting in a uniform calf crop and improved profitability. For example, a calf born in the first cycle compared to one born twenty-one days later will have the potential to gain an extra 52.5 lb (i.e. 2.5lb/day) more than its later counterpart. This can result in additional revenue of Continue reading

Registration open for the 2018-19 BCRC webinars

This year’s BCRC webinar topics include an update on the upcoming changes to antibiotic use, grazing management, animal transport, and other practical, science-based information for Canadian beef producers.

Register now:

Unlike past years, you can now register for as many (or all!) of the webinars you’re interested in at once. After you click the link above, be sure to scroll down to see and selectfor all eight (8).

See topics and descriptions below.

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Attn Institutions: BCRC Call for Proposals for Research Chairs

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) invites proposals from leading research institutions for the establishment of Research Chairs. The deadline is October 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM MT.

Currently, a shortage of scientific experts and research capacity in some areas of beef, cattle and forage research are hindering the ability to conduct priority research that supports improvements in productivity and demand and responds to emerging issues. To fill these gaps, the BCRC is exploring options to establish Research Chairs in key areas with investment of Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funding in partnership with other funders.

To procure the strongest opportunities for capacity development and encourage matching investments, Research Chair concepts will be considered through an open call for proposals. The BCRC welcomes proposals that work towards the achievement of its three core research objectives: Continue reading

Economics of Raising or Buying Heifers for Beef Cow Replacement

Cow-Calf Cost of Production

  1. Winter feed = 37% of total costs
  2. Pasture = 24% of total costs
  3. Herd replacement = 10% of total costs

The cost of herd replacement accounts for about 10% of total cow-calf cost of production (based on the 2013-17 average). It is the third largest cost component for a cow-calf operation, following winter feed (37%) and pasture (24%). Because replacement heifers represent a major cost for cow-calf producers, choosing a herd replacement strategy has important implications on cow-calf profitability. While many producers raise replacement heifers on farm, buying replacement heifers could cost less depending on the production cost of the operation and current market situations.

Costs of Raising Replacement Heifers

The main costs of developing a replacement heifer include winter feed, opportunity cost of the heifer, and breeding costs. These are all impacted by reproductive efficiency.

Winter feed costs. Hay and barley prices are both higher in 2018 due to dry conditions and reduced supplies, increasing the cost of raising replacement heifers. In June 2018, Alberta hay price at $130/ton was 13% higher than last year, and Lethbridge barley was $245/tonne in July, up 23% from last year. Winter feeding costs in Alberta for 2018-19 are projected to be 9% higher than last year, on a per cow basis. Continue reading

Attn Researchers and Extension Agents: Deadline for BCRC LOIs is 2 weeks away

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) announced in June that we invite letters of intent (LOIs) for research projects as well as LOIs for technology transfer and production economics projects. The application deadline for these separate but concurrent calls is August 31, 2018 at 11:59 PM MT.

Note: settings within the LOI forms have recently been improved. To ensure you use the latest versions, you may need to clear the cache memory on your computer before clicking the links to the forms below.  

Researchers should refer to the BCRC’s priority research outcomes before deciding to submit a LOI. Continue reading