Understanding risk factors of anaplasmosis transmission

Anaplasmosis is a blood-borne disease of cattle caused by the pathogen Anaplasma marginale. This pathogen is transmitted in North America by the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis).The Rocky Mountain wood tick is found In western Saskatchewan to central British Colombia. The American dog tick is found from Saskatchewan east but appears to have undergone a range expansion according to historic record. Currently there is little information on some of the most critical factors that determine the risk of anaplasmosis transmission.

Research currently underway and funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster is working to gather Continue reading

How to produce and use sweet forages: Webinar March 4

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

Sugars, also known as non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), are an important source of readily available energy in forages. Increasing forage NSC has been shown to improve feed intake, milk yield, and nitrogen use efficiency in beef and dairy cows, and other ruminants. Scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Université Laval carried out various studies looking at increasing NSC in forages, including taking advantage of diurnal variations in NSC.

Join this free webinar, co-hosted by the BCRC, the Dairy Research Cluster and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to learn how to produce and use high NSC forages.

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Is Bloodless Dehorning Really Painless?

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

In January 2016, Canada’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle will expect beef producers to consult with their veterinarian and use pain control when dehorning calves after the horn bud has attached. In other words, producers will be expected to use pain control when dehorning calves older than 4 months.

Earlier dehorning is easier for you and the calf. The best way to dehorn is to use homozygous polled bulls. Second best is to disbud before the horn has attached to the skull. Older calves have larger horns, suffer larger wounds, likely experience more pain, and have Continue reading

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


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

Industry unites to develop National Beef Strategy

National Beef Strategy Joint News Release header

January 7, 2014

Calgary, AB – The growing global demand for protein has presented Canada’s beef industry with an unprecedented opportunity to increase demand for its beef products. The ability of industry to fully seize this opportunity is not without significant challenges; tight cattle supplies, reduced marketings, and competition for arable land are among the factors to be overcome. Canada’s beef sector organizations have responded to the challenge with the creation of the National Beef Strategy. A collaborative effort of national and provincial beef sector organizations, the National Beef Strategy provides the framework for how the organizations can work together to best position the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high quality beef product of choice in the world.

Released publicly today, the National Beef Strategy proposes Continue reading

Exploring potential benefits of prebiotic, and synbiotic use in cattle

Prebiotics are nutrient sources that favor the growth of beneficial bacteria within the host animal, while probiotics are live cultures of bacteria that are fed to improve digestive system health. Using a combination of probiotic and prebiotic strategies to achieve a healthy outcome is referred to as synbiotics. There is some evidence that suggests that the use probiotics and prebiotics may improve the health of monogastrics, but their potential benefits for ruminants are not well understood. Short- and long-term outcomes of these treatments for ruminant productivity, metabolic efficiency, feed digestibility and food safety have not yet been assessed.

Research currently underway and funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster will Continue reading

BCRC Progress and Activities in 2014

This annual report highlights the BCRC’s main successes and core activities in 2014. To download a printer-friendly PDF version, click here: http://www.beefresearch.ca/files/pdf/2014_BCRC_annual_report.pdf

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef research. Its mandate is to determine research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and to administer National Check-off funds allocated to research. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the National Check-off.

On average nationally, the BCRC receives approximately 16% of the National Check-off, and plays a key role in leveraging additional funding for beef, cattle and forage research. Recognizing this, the Council works to ensure the highest return on investment possible for industry contributions to research through ongoing consultation with other provincial and national funding organizations.

Canada’s Beef Cattle Industry Science Clusters

The first Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster directed Continue reading