This December, you’ll need a prescription to buy virtually any livestock antibiotic

If you haven’t done so already, the first few months of 2018 would be an excellent time to develop a relationship with a beef veterinarian.

Starting late in 2018, Health Canada is introducing a couple of important changes affecting the way animal antibiotic products can be accessed by producers. And having an established Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) will be an important part of a smooth transition. (see sidebar below)

Click to download a two page handout on the changes to how antibiotics can be purchased. Handout includes a list of cattle products that will need a prescription as of December 1, 2018.

The key point is, starting Dec. 1, 2018, all livestock producers will need a prescription from a licenced veterinarian, before they can buy a medically important antibiotic (MIA) for therapeutic use in livestock production. This applies to all beef cattle sectors using antibiotics — cow-calf operators, feedlots and feedmills Continue reading

How to improve weaning weights, conception rates and calf health: Webinar November 24

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

It is clear that the value of a calf crop is related to the number and weight of calves, but you may be very surprised by how much those factors are influenced by the cows’ body condition.

Join this free webinar to learn more about the impact cows’ fat cover has on conception rates, calf health and weaning weights. Our guest speakers will explain how to accurately determine whether cows are under- or over-conditioned, and offer practical tips on how to manage their nutrition accordingly in order to economically increase the value of your calf crop.

When

Tuesday November 24th at 7pm MST

  • 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 

Duration

Approximately 1 hour.

Cost

BCRC webinars are available and free of charge thanks to guest speakers who volunteer their time and expertise to support advancements in the Canadian beef industry, and through the Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer project funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster.

Register now

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https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1156073074814546177 Continue reading

BodyConditionScoring.ca launches with new tools to help cow-calf producers boost production and profit

NEWS RELEASE

A new webpage offers a fresh look at the importance of monitoring the nutrition of beef cows and the role body condition plays in overall productivity and profit.

“The importance of maintaining cows’ fat cover at an optimal level is underrated,” said Karin Schmid of the Alberta Beef Producers. “Many producers don’t realize how much thin or over-fat cows hurt their bottom lines, and how easy and effective body condition scoring is when figuring out how to adjust rations and keep cows in the right condition.”

The webpage, www.bodyconditionscoring.ca, features an interactive tool which Continue reading

Vaccination: Can you afford not to?

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers.

Vaccinating your cattle is a lot like having car insurance – when you’ve been in an accident, you’re very glad you’ve got it. Similarly, if a vaccine-preventable disease shows up in your area, you will be very glad you vaccinated your herd.

No one vaccine program is perfect for all operations, but vaccination is a critical component of any herd health plan. Protocols must be matched to an operation’s specific needs. They are best developed in collaboration with your veterinarian, who will know which vaccines will provide the greatest benefit for your herd.

Sometimes you’ll hear Continue reading

Bigger Is Not Always Better: Finding the Right Sized Cow

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers.

Marketing cows because they are open, calved late, or their conformation is breaking down are easy decisions.  Marketing cows or retaining heifers based on productive efficiency definitely requires more thought.

Biological efficiency is not always the same as economic efficiency.  In a cattle production system, efficiency is often a combination of those two measures.  How we optimize efficiency will depend on: Continue reading

Ergot spotted in Western Canada -keep an eye out

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers.

The cool, wet conditions across parts of the country this spring, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan, may have created the perfect environment for ergot.  While virtually unheard of a decade or two ago, veterinarians and researchers agree that problems with ergot are clearly on the rise in the prairies.

What is ergot?

Ergot is a plant disease caused by the Claviceps purpurea fungus.  Although traditionally associated with rye and triticale, ergot also affects wheat, barley, and a variety of grasses including bromegrass, quackgrass, wheatgrass, orchardgrass, wild rye, and bluegrasses. Continue reading

Changes to the CFIA anthrax program

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers

Anthrax is a rapid, fatal disease caused by bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) that exist as inactive spores in the soil and can remain dormant for many years.  Animals contract the disease when they consume infected soil, feed or water and spores become active within the animal, causing death within hours.

Initial symptoms include weakness, fever, and excitability, followed by depression, difficulty breathing, lack of coordination and convulsions.  There may also be a bloody discharge, which can further contaminate the soil.  However, due to the rapid progression of the disease, death is often the first sign. Continue reading

Mythematics: Distorting data for shock value

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers, in collaboration with Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director.

Everyone loves a good statistic, and it is surprisingly easy to warp data to fit a particular message.  It happens time and again, slandering beef production on animal welfare, public health and environmental issues, and most recently around the topic of Continue reading

EPDs: What do all those numbers mean?

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers.

Bull buying season is upon us.  If your house is anything like my family’s, most available surfaces are now piled high with catalogues advertising the next great herdsire. There are many factors that play a role in choosing a new bull for your operation (visual observation, breed, pedigree, actual birth weight, residual feed intake (RFI), weaning weights, breeding soundness evaluation, etc.), but one tool that can aid in herdsire selection has led to a lot of confusion since its first use over 40 years ago. Let’s decipher this valuable tool so you can expertly evaluate potential herdsires as you flip through those sale catalogues. Continue reading

Tips for Successful Extended Grazing to Reduce Winter Feeding Costs

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers, in collaboration with Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director.

Extended grazing systems have a number of benefits.  By extending grazing into the winter months, costs related to traditional winter feeding and the labour it requires can be significantly reduced. For example, research indicates that swath grazing can reduce total daily feeding cost per cow by 41 to 48%. This is based on a 78% reduction in yardage costs and a 25% reduction in feed costs.  Extended grazing can also have environmental benefits, such as residue and manure management.

However, extended grazing in our Canadian winters requires some added planning and management.  Replacement heifers, young cows and mature animals all have different nutritional requirements due to their age and physiology.  These differences are fairly easy to manage in a confined feeding system; however, managing the different classes of cattle during winter grazing requires more care. Continue reading