New resources added to help cow-calf producers increase profits

cattle feed costs calculator to add body condition
New resources have been added to to help cow-calf producers make decisions about managing body condition in their cow herd. Cattle producers know that fat cover plays a crucial role in the reproduction, health and welfare of their animals. These new resources will help guide them when modifying practices on farm to better manage body condition and increase their herds’ productivity and profitability.

The new feed cost calculator gives producers the opportunity to compare the extra expense of adding condition to thin cows in the Fall to the extra value gained by the resulting larger calf crop. The calculator is Continue reading

Modern nutrient management in forages: Webinar April 8

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page:

Managing nutrients in forages is more and less sustainable than in annual crops. The permanent cover protects against nutrient losses, leaching and runoff but makes losses to the atmosphere more common.  Furthermore, forages often receive nutrients as manure, but there are problems with using this cheap nutrient source effectively for crop production, including nutrient imbalances and uneven distribution. Continue reading

New video: What beef producers need to know about antimicrobial use and resistance

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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 Continue reading

Carcass data important for seedstock development research

Access to carcass data as well as other production information through the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) will be an invaluable tool for cattle breeders, geneticists and beef researchers in their efforts to build a better beef animal.

Information is the key, and carcass data along with other information from the production chain will not only guide cow-calf producers, but seedstock breeding programs as well, says Jennifer Stewart-Smith, president of Beefbooster. Michael Latimer with Canadian Beef Breeds Council says the information will be useful if it can be connected to a specific breeding program on the farm. And as a geneticist Dr. John Crowley of the University of Alberta says the carcass data will be a useful tool in understanding how the complex world of genetics influences traits in individual animals.

Carcass data is the real report card on Continue reading

Hot Water Treatment of Beef Trim

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

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Combating bacteria would be simple if they stayed on the surface of beef. In that case, nearly any spray or wash could contact and kill the bacteria or wash them off. But beef isn’t smooth. Shallow cuts and cracks crisscrossing the meat surface can hide and protect bacteria. Killing these hidden bacteria is not simple. Irradiation would work, but isn’t approved for use in Canada yet. Organic acid washes and sprays may not reach the bacteria hidden in these cracks, or the acids may be neutralized by the meat proteins before bacteria can be killed. To kill these bacteria, food safety interventions need to penetrate a short distance into the meat surface. This is particularly important for beef trim (the small pieces of fat and meat that are removed as the carcass is processed into smaller cuts) that is used for hamburger. The late Dr. Colin Gill of AAFC Lacombe showed that exposing beef trim to extremely hot water essentially “cooks” the top few millimeters, and kills up to 90% of bacteria.

This raises an interesting dilemma. Consumers want safe beef, but they also Continue reading

Information is key to fine tuning on-farm breeding program

Les Johnston BIXS 2.0 (Photo credit: Terry Grajczyk)

Les Johnston (Photo credit: Terry Grajczyk)

Les Johnston has long subscribed to the beef management theory, “the more you know about your cattle the more it pays.” Whether the south-Saskatchewan beef producer is raising purebred Simmental bulls for a breeding market, or commercial cross-bred steers for the packing plant, he wants to know how those animals perform.

Being able to receive a steady flow of carcass data on cull livestock or finished commercial steers through the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) is a valuable confirmation of whether Continue reading expands to a more comprehensive resource for beef-related research information

For immediate release

March 5, 2015

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is pleased to announce another step toward enhanced knowledge dissemination and technology transfer in the Canadian beef industry.

The BCRC’s website,, now has the capability for other organizations that fund beef, cattle and forage-related research of interest to the Canadian beef industry to create and submit research summaries to the website.

“The BCRC has Continue reading