A water source that is safe, palatable, and readily available is essential for animal survival, but there is also clear evidence that the accessibility of water impacts the productivity of cattle.
Dugouts are a common water source for range cattle in western Canada. When dugout water is pumped into troughs, pre-weaned calves gain more weight.
In a study done at the Western Beef Development Centre, cow-calf pairs were provided either direct access to a dugout or access to troughs of untreated water pumped from the same dugout. Calves with cows that drank from the troughs gained on average 0.09 lbs per day more than calves with cows that only had direct access to the dugout. Pumping water resulted in an extra 18 lbs of weaning weight per calf during the trial. Continue reading
April 22nd is Earth Day. Earth Day is recognized globally by people from all walks of life as a way to foster environmental respect and celebrate conservation.
Cattle producers across Canada chose to make their living as stewards of the land and certainly appreciate and depend on a healthy environment. Earth Day is an excellent time for all of us in the industry to celebrate environmental achievements, and cultivate discussion about further advancement.
Let’s ask questions, seek answers and talk about how we can make continual improvements related to greenhouse gas and manure management, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, nutrient cycling and more.
Water conservation is a hot topic. As concerns rise about depletion of water resources both locally and globally, livestock production and other agriculture sectors are often criticized for water use.
What can the Canadian beef industry do to conserve water?
First we need to Continue reading
This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
Imagine a scene from an old spaghetti western, where two ranches are battling for control over the only waterhole around. The hired guns squint at each other from behind the sagebrush, waiting for the chance to unleash a hail of bullets at their foe, until the Texas Rangers ride in to restore peace.
Just replace ranches with “delegates”, hired guns with “scientists”, sagebrush with “laptops”, bullets with “research papers”, and Texas Ranger with “Canadians”, and a very similar scenario recently took place at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Livestock Environment Assessment and Performance (LEAP) partnership meetings in Rome. But the dispute was over water, and the stakes are very high for the beef industry. Continue reading