Vaccination tips for your cattle herd: Beef Research School episode

Vaccinating your herd is like buying insurance. Just like choosing an insurance policy, the set of vaccines you select should be based on your level of risk. A vaccination program based on your herd’s risk level will minimize disease and optimize production, while keeping the cost of preventative health at a reasonable level. Continue reading

Funding announced for Beef Science Cluster under Growing Forward 2

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) welcomes today’s announcement by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Minister Gerry Ritz of $14 million in funding for the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster under Growing Forward 2. Joint industry and government commitments to the second Beef Science Cluster will total $20 million, including $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the National Check-off and direct investments by provincial governments and provincial beef industry groups. Funding will be directed to 26 research studies to be completed by March 31, 2018.

Also see the CCA news release and the AAFC news release.

The second Beef Science Cluster will build on the successful momentum of the first. Investments are focused on a portfolio of research that contributes ­to the industry’s ability to meet the growing global demand for high quality, safe beef through responsible and profitable production practices that support a sustainable future for the Canadian beef cattle industry. Investments in the second Science Cluster will lead to several benefits. Continue reading


This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Anthrax is a soil-borne disease that occurs sporadically in western Canada, especially after floods or during hot, dry weather. Ask your veterinarian whether vaccination is recommended.

Anthrax is a reportable disease in Canada. If anthrax is suspected,

  • DO notify your veterinarian
  • DO remove surviving animals from the pasture
  • DO try to prevent scavenging
  • DO NOT move dead animals
  • DO NOT call for deadstock pick-up
  • DO follow the veterinarian’s instructions regarding deadstock disposal

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Top 5’s on

Today the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is celebrating one year since the launch of!

We are thrilled to report that over the past year, traffic to the website has continually increased, new subscribers regularly sign up for the blog, and communities of beef research enthusiast are growing on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Cattle producers are demonstrating that they are eager to educate themselves about research and innovation.

Since launching the website, we’ve posted 71 blog articles and numerous research topic overviews, technical fact sheets, videos and more. Here’s what our website audience has been most interested in, based on the highest number of views:

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Avoid open and late bred cows: new video about trich and vibrio

Although we hope that every cows and heifer will come home from pasture bred, we learn to expect a few to be open. But if you notice cows cycling again a few months after the bull is turned out, you find far more open cows than normal when preg-checking, or calves are born months later than expected, there’s clearly a problem. You might be dealing with bovine venereal diseases like trichmoniasis (trich, pronounced “trick”) or vibriosis (vibrio, and also known as Campylobacteriosis). Continue reading

How does forage finishing affect product quality?

In Canada, most cattle are raised on forages then finished on a high grain diet at under 20 months of age. Grain-finishing is typical because grains like barley and corn generally contain more energy than forages, and Canada’s relatively short growing season means that forage-finished cattle require stored forage in addition to pasture.

Forage-finished beef contains more omega-3 fatty acids and may contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-finished beef, which has sparked interest among some health conscious consumers. However, current levels of omega-3 fatty acid and CLA in beef do not consistently meet Health Canada labeling requirements and research has found that increasing the levels of these unsaturated fats while maintaining meat quality is challenging.

Oxidation of unsaturated fats in forage-finished beef may negatively impact flavor and odor. This has led to concerns that some forage-finishing methods may yield a premium-priced product that does not deliver on the perceived quality or potential health benefits to the consumer. Continue reading

Strategies to restore riparian zones: new video

Riparian zones (the area between land and a river or stream) are important to maintain because of the many services they provide. Keeping the riparian zones in your rangeland healthy can reward you with increased forage production, reduced flood damage, and a reliable water source for your livestock, among other benefits.

In the previous episode of the Beef Research School, we covered riparian assessment – how to determine if you’ve got a healthy green zone. In this episode Ken Lewis, conservation coordinator with Red Deer County, describes the top strategies to improve and maintain riparian health. He also offers some ideas on where producers can find financial support for the costs associated with making changes like adding riparian fencing and off-site watering systems.

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How to assess riparian zones: Beef Research School video

The area between land and a river or stream is called a riparian zone. When riparian zones are healthy, they serve important roles in soil conservation, habitat biodiversity, and aquatic ecosystems.

In this episode of the Beef Research School series, Ken Lewis, conservation coordinator with Red Deer County, describes what to look for to assess the health of riparian zones on your land. Ken also explains where to find additional resources to help with riparian assessments.

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