Join Us Next Month in Calgary!

BCRC General Session – August 15th – 1:15 pm at the BMO Centre



Every time a beef producer sells an animal, they invest in research through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. Producer dollars help to fund scientific studies and innovative developments that are advancing Canadian beef production and impacting farms and ranches across the country.

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is excited to invite you to join us at an upcoming general session for a clearer picture your Check-Off investment and highlights of applicable beef research and innovations you can use to help keep your operation ahead of the herd.

The BCRC general session is held in conjunction with the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC), however conference registration is not required to attend the BCRC general session. Continue reading

ForageBeef.ca Gets a Facelift

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Canada’s National Beef Strategy has four goals that our industry aims to achieve by 2020. For the past year this column has explained how research is contributing to a 15% increase in carcass cut-out value (the Beef Demand pillar), a 15% improvement in production efficiency (Productivity), and a 7% reduction in cost disadvantages compared to Canada’s main competitors (Competitiveness). The fourth goal (Connectivity) is about improving communication within industry and with consumers, the public, government and partner industries. Research contributes science-based information to underpin fact-based communication, policy and regulation, as well as extension (also known as technology transfer) activities to translate research results into improved on-farm production and management practices.

Extension used to be a core mandate for governments and universities; they all had extension staff, held field days and published producer-focused bulletins. Some researchers are still active in extension, but most institutions have shifted their focus to scientific research and technology development. The private sector has filled the extension gap in spots, especially where there is a clear profit motive for the company or individual doing the extension. This often works best when there is a product to sell, like a nutritional supplement, vaccine, or electric fencer. It is more challenging for the private sector to justify extension when the product is a management practice that is hard for a company to charge for, needs to be highly customized to suit individual operations, or primarily benefits the customer. Examples include low-cost winter feeding, crossbreeding, rotational grazing, and low-stress handling. Private sector extension can also be difficult with practices that benefit the overall industry but might not directly or immediately profit any specific individual (e.g. some animal welfare practices, antimicrobial and environmental stewardship). The BCRC tries to fill those gaps. Continue reading

Bov-Innovation is happening in Calgary, AB on August 14



The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is pleased to announce their Bov-Innovation 2019 series which will take place on August 14, 2019 as part of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference . The conference is a collaborative effort, co-hosted by the BCRC, Canada Beef, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC), the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA). This year the event takes place on August 13-15, 2019 at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta.

Bov-Innovation features producer-focused sessions designed to highlight practical ideas that are rooted in research. Speakers will share their perspectives along with tried-and-true tips that beef farmers can implement immediately. This year the two sessions, Alternatives to Antimicrobials and Dealing with Drought, fit well with the overall conference theme of “Securing our Future.”

  • Since 2018, beef producers in Canada require a veterinary prescription to treat cattle with medically important antibiotics. Bov-Innovation 1.0 Alternatives to Antibiotics is a timely take on practices producers can adopt that may prevent the need for antimicrobials. While not every illness or infection can be avoided, Steve Hendrick, DVM, a Coaldale, AB veterinarian, will explain some preventative methods farmers can adopt. Producer Stephen Hughes will share some of the benefits he has found with reduced antibiotic use. He will also describe strategies he uses on his Longview, AB ranch to minimize his use for veterinary drugs.
  • Drought has affected many regions of Canada in recent years. Finding enough forage to meet the nutritional needs of a beef herd can be challenging and expensive in dry times. In Bov-Innovation 2.0 Dealing with Drought, John McKinnon, PhD, and Alberta producer Graeme Finn will provide their insight on making things work in less than ideal conditions. McKinnon, an Emeritus Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, will highlight balancing rations, using creative feed sources, and preventing nutritional nightmares that can happen in drought. Finn, who operates Southern Cross Livestock, has firsthand experience dealing with severe drought. He will offer practical suggestions for planning ahead for grazing and forage management, including maintaining healthy pastures better able to withstand low precipitation.

“Bov-Innovation has proven popular with conference attendees because it combines a research perspective with real life situations that producers are challenged with,” says Ryan Beierbach, Chair of the BCRC. “I really encourage producers and audience members to join Bov-Innovation, to ask questions, and really consider new strategies that will help them proactively manage their farms in the future,” said Beierbach.

Conference goers will have two opportunities to participate in the Bov-Innovation sessions at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference on Wednesday, August 14. Both topics will be covered from 10:15am to 12:00pm, and again later that day from 2:45pm-5:30pm.

Information and resources from previous Bov-Innovation sessions held in 2016, 2017, and 2018 can be found online at http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/bovinnovation.cfm .

Beef industry stakeholders and producers are also invited to attend the BCRC Open House on Thursday, August 15 starting at 1:15pm. Examples of research, innovations, and science-based tools will be featured as well as objectives for current and future research priorities. Conference registration is not necessary to attend the open house.

Registration for the Canadian Beef Industry Conference is now open. Producers are encouraged to register before June 15 to take advantage of a reduced rate and secure their spot at the beef event of the year. Full conference information, including registration details, accommodations, speakers, and agenda, can be found at www.canadianbeefindustryconference.com .

Bov-Innovation is possible because of funding through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and the Beef Science Cluster, and partnerships with other stakeholders dedicated to advancing the goals in the National Beef Strategy.

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The sharing or reprinting of BCRC Blog articles is welcome and encouraged. Please provide acknowledgement to the Beef Cattle Research Council, list the website address, www.BeefResearch.ca, and let us know you chose to share the article by emailing us at info@beefresearch.ca.

We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. Contact us directly or generate public discussion by posting your thoughts below.

This Column is Brought to you by Your National Check-Off

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.



The third annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) takes place in London, Ontario on August 14-16. The CBIC is co-hosted by the BCRC, Canada Beef, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The CBIC’s Bov-Innovation session is a popular, interactive, fast-paced, workshop full of tips, ideas, and concepts that cow-calf and feedlot producers can take home and adopt on their farms. Bov-Innovation pairs an expert explaining the science behind best practices with a leading producer explaining how they have adopted these practices to benefit their cattle and their profitability. This year’s topics were carefully chosen based on producer suggestions: Continue reading

Bov-Innovation set for August 15th in London, ON

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is proud to co-host Bov-Innovation, an interactive, producer-oriented session that will take place during this summer’s Canadian Beef Industry Conference. The conference, in its third year, will be held in London, Ontario, at the London Convention Centre from August 14-16, 2018. The Canadian Beef Industry Conference is co-hosted annually by the BCRC, Canada Beef, Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC), and The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).

Bov-Innovation is designed to engage both cow-calf and feedlot beef producers. Sessions are fast-paced yet full of tips, ideas, and concepts that producers can adopt on their farms immediately. Presenters include researchers who will explore the science behind best practices as well as industry leaders who will explain how they incorporate concepts to benefit cattle and ultimately the profitability on their beef operations. Topics are carefully chosen based on producer opinions and this year, two sessions will be offered:



  • Cross-Canada Cattle: Best transport practices” will include information from Derek Haley, PhD of the University of Guelph. Dr. Haley leads a research program on animal welfare and behaviour, and is currently exploring long-distance cattle transport. Feedlot operator Steve Eby from Kincardine, Ontario, will share his experience with shipping and receiving cattle, and will provide his insight for successful transport outcomes.


  • The Grass is Always Greener: Pasture infrastructure and management” will be moderated by Barry Potter, with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Barry has a special interest in beef production in northern Ontario and will facilitate presentations from beef producers Jason Desrochers and Tim Lehrbass, who are each farming in diverse regions of Ontario. Desrochers operates a cow-calf and backgrounding farm near Val Gagne in northern Ontario, and will explain how their farm overcomes land use challenges and converts marginal land into forage. Lehrbass farms in southern Ontario, near Alvinston, and will share grazing management strategies from his operation, which was recently recognized for excellence in forage management.

Continue reading

Bov-Innovation, unique extension sessions for beef producers, set for August 16

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is once again pleased to help power a unique event this summer. Bov-Innovation is scheduled to take place during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, August 15-17, 2017 at the BMO Conference Centre on Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta.


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Bov-Innovation is focused on sharing practical tools, innovations, and ideas that feedlot and cow-calf producers can readily implement on their operations. Speakers include scientists and industry experts alongside producers who have adopted technologies and methods. This year the audience can participate in three different Bov-Innovation sessions:

  • Genomics: Putting theory into practice for commercial cattle producers” with Matt Spangler, PhD, Extension Beef Genetics Specialist from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who will explain how producers can leverage genomic technology on their cattle operations.
  • Feed For Thought: Using feed analysis to balance rations and manage for mycotoxins” with a producer alongside John McKinnon, PhD, Beef Industry Chair from the University of Saskatchewan. This session will cover mycotoxins, nutritional requirements, and incorporating lab results to fine tune animal production parameters.
  • Dollars, Sense, and Fertility: Economic and reproductive factors of replacement heifer development,” presented by Kathy Larson, Western Beef Development Centre, and John Campbell, DVM, Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

These topics Continue reading

Making Dollars out of Sense

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.


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Aside from price insurance (in provinces where it is available), cow-calf producers can’t do much to control the price they receive for their calves, so managing input costs is often the biggest opportunity to improve profitability. The Western Beef Development Center has found that annual production costs differ by at least $100 per cow between the 25% lowest cost producers and the average producer. A 2015 Quebec report found a $79 per cow per year difference between a group of cow-calf operations with the highest margin and the average. In PEI, annual cost of production between the 10% highest and lowest cost operations differed by $660 per cow.

During BSE, drastic times called for drastic measures, and input costs were often cut as much as possible. But this may not be the best strategy for today’s more normal conditions. If it’s not done carefully, reducing inputs can harm profitability.

Feed is responsible for the biggest costs, including land, fuel, seed, and fertilizer to establish, grow, manage and graze or harvest pasture or winter feed. Investments to increase forage and feed yield and/or quality, through Continue reading

Second Annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference Opens Registration

Join CBIC Aug 15-17th with early bird pricing starting at $450


CBIC LOGO 1 (RGB) (1)
Canada’s beef cattle industry will be ‘Sharing Common Ground’ at the second annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC). This one-of-a-kind industry event will be held August 15 – 17, 2017 at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta with registration opening April 3rd.

The CBIC is the first of its kind in Canada to bring together participants from across all regions and sectors of the national value chain. The conference is hosted as a joint collaboration by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), Canada Beef, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).

Registration is now open at www.canadianbeefindustryconference.com. Early bird registration is available for $450 plus GST until June 15, after which registration will be $550 plus GST.

“This year we are Continue reading

Producers, which innovations do you most want to learn about?

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is looking for input on which topics to choose when planning presentations and workshops for Canadian beef producers. Please consider completing our short survey.

It takes about 10 minutes.

Your feedback will help determine which topics will be presented during Bov-Innovation at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August 2017.

What is Bov-Innovation? Bov-Innovation is an extension event for producers held as part of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC). Bov-Innovation features innovative, underutilized or emerging production practices that feedlot and cow-calf operators may want to consider implementing in their operations. The sessions are engaging and interactive. Participants are able discuss the recommendations with presenters and fellow producers, and take home additional resources.

The CBIC is a joint collaboration of the BCRC, Canada Beef, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The inaugural CBIC was held in 2016.

CBIC 2017 will be held August 15-17 at 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.


bovinnovation
There 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.

Continue reading