Beef Cattle Research Council

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Retrieved: June 27, 2019 - 05:24 AM

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Raise Your Beef IQ

This series of images is intended to:

  • raise awareness of and encourage producers to utilize extension resources,
  • promote the value of ongoing investments in beef, cattle and forage research, and
  • share positive messages about Canadian beef production.
Learn more about making farm decisions at 
Learn more about improving forage yields at

1950's feed efficiency was 10:1. Today it's 6:1.
Learn more about our industry's water footprint at

 Producing more with less for the world market.

Producing more with less for the world market.  Visit for research news and science-based production advice. 

Calves with access to clean, pumped water average 18lbs heavier at weaning
Better water = bigger calves.  Visit for more science-based production advice. 

Increasing body condition scores from 2 to 3 increase pregnancy rates
Less complaining. More gaining.  Learn more about low-stress weaning techniques at


Increasing body condition scores from 2 to 3 increase pregnancy rates
Are those girls in good shape?  Learn more about the productivity and profitability of cows maintained at different body condition scores at


In Canada, producing one kilogram of beef now creates 15% less greenhouse gases than in 1981, due to improved production practices.
Learn more about improving production practices which consequently reduce the Canadian beef industry's environmental footprint at


1950's feed efficiency was 10:1. Today it's 6:1.
What will tomorrow’s be?  Learn more about optimizing feedlot feed efficiency at


Canadian grasslands sequester carbon emissions of 3.62 million cars a year
Learn more about research on the interface between beef production and the environment in which it is produced at


Over 1,000 plant, animal and insect species make their home on Canadian rangeland.
Preserving biodiversity on rangeland is just as important as preservation of biodiversity in the rainforest. Maintaining healthy rangeland supports the ecosystem and boosts forage production for livestock.  Learn more about forage and grassland management at


every day grazing is extended saves the cow-calf sector nearly $4 million
Extended grazing methods, including swath, stockpiled and bale grazing, have considerable economic benefits over traditional winter feeding systems. Well managed systems reduce or eliminate labour, feed and manure handling costs during the winter. Learn more at

Have an idea for another Raise Your Beef IQ image? We'd love to hear it! Email us at

Grazing and Pasture Management

 Learn more about effective grazing management 

Cattle Transport

 To learn more about the safe transport of cattle visit 

What Beef Producers Need to Know about Pain Control and Prevention

Injuries, ailments and surgery hurt. On days you slam your hand in a gate, wake up with a knee that’s more sore than usual, or are admitted to a hospital for an operation, anti-inflammatory painkillers (analgesics) and drugs that block all nerve sensation (anesthetics) are things to be grateful for.  Pain is expected in life, but the ability to avoid or diminish it at times not only makes our days more pleasant, pain mitigation helps to keep us productive and able to look after ourselves.

Common sense and scientific evidence tells us that the same goes for cattle.

There’s no doubt that cattle experience pain but as a prey species, they have evolved to hide the signs. Researching pain and pain-control in stoic animals is difficult but scientific knowledge is building.  At the same time, consumers’ understanding and expectations of animal welfare have changed. Pain control drugs are now available for cattle and on the occasions they’re needed, those products have both costs and benefits to producers.

So as a beef producer, what do you need to know about the science, Beef Code requirements, incentives, and practical options for preventing and controlling pain in your animals?

Watch the short video at and talk to your veterinarian. The webpage includes information on the pain control products licensed and available for beef cattle in Canada, as well as the recommendations and requirements listed in the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle when performing painful procedures like castration and dehorning

What Beef Producers Need to Know about Antimicrobial Use and Resistance

There’s no avoiding the topics of antimicrobial use (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) these days.

We often see headlines like “Agricultural folly spawns superbugs”, “Antibiotic Resistance Declared A ‘Serious Health Threat’ By CDC As Use In Meat Industry Skyrockets”, and “Doctors call for ban of antibiotic use in farm animals as drug-resistant human infections hit ‘dangerous level’” in the mainstream media. Headlines like that are alarming for most of us – consumers, government officials, and people who make a living raising livestock.

Flip through your favorite industry publication and you’re bound to find stories on the latest release of AMR reports by influential organizations, regulatory moves by the Federal government to restrict the use of various antimicrobial drugs, announcements by grocery and restaurant chains to source meat produced with particular practices, or articles that encourage producers and industry groups to be transparent about why and how antimicrobials are used on farms.

At the heart of it all, we know three things:

  • AMR is a real threat. If antimicrobials become less effective, then human health and animal welfare will suffer.
  • AMR is a natural and very complex phenomenon, but improper use of antibiotics favors the development of AMR.
  • AMU is necessary in beef production, and prudent AMU will slow the development of AMR.

To learn science-based facts about Canadian beef producers’ impacts and responsibilities related to AMR and to find an excellent short new video, visit and talk to a veterinarian. The webpage includes a list of tips on how to avoid illness in cattle to reduce the need to use antimicrobials, and how to responsibly treat cattle when antimicrobial use is necessary.

Antimicrobial Use and Resistance facts Canadian beef

Antimicrobial Use and Resistance facts Canadian beef

Antimicrobial Use and Resistance facts Canadian beef

Antimicrobial Use and Resistance facts Canadian beef

Antimicrobial Use and Resistance facts Canadian beef

Antimicrobial Use and Resistance facts Canadian beef

Measured Changes in the Quality of Canadian Beef

We know that not every animal going through the packer’s doors is ideal. Some animals will have horns that need to be cut off, or extra mud on the hide that slows down the processing line. Some carcasses will have too much fat cover, be bruised, or have lesions where injections were given, all of which require manual trimming. The more work needed to prepare a carcass for the cooler, the more we cut into our profits. And despite our best intentions, some fed cattle carcasses will grade poorly, maybe even as a dark cutter, and be discounted substantially.

Imagine if we knew how often each of those problems occurred and how costly each of them is. With that information, we as an industry could work to reduce them, starting with the highest priority.  We could also check over time to see if our efforts were working. That’s what the National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) does.

The Beef Cattle Research Council is proud to present an engaging video which highlights the results of the latest audit. You’ll see that Canadian beef producers have a lot to be proud of – significant improvements have been made in a number of areas since the previous audit. But there’s one area the industry is losing ground on.

See the video and learn more at

National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA)

By focusing on these defects we can improve together, producing a higher quality, higher valued carcass, that ultimately we are all going to benefit from, including our consumers here in Canada and around the world. - John Lines, operations manager - Cargill Meat Solutions - High River, AB

At the end of the day, we are producing a perishable product that the end consumer is going to enjoy or dislike it. The better their dining experience is, the better job we have done. - William Torres, Cattle Manager - Cattleland Feedyards Ltd. - Strathmore, AB

There's not that many industries who have gone through as much as the Canadian beef industry has gone through over the last 10 or 15 years and improved things. And to do that without sacrificing the quality side is a gold star. - Dr. Reynold Bergen, Science Director - Beef Cattle Research Council

When you're competing in the business we are, and you're trying to be the best, you constantly have to be raising the bar. And I'm very, very proud of the fact that Canadian beef continues to be one of the very best products in the world. - Dennis Laycraft, executive vice president - Canadian Cattlemens Association

National Beef Quality Audit

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