Retained ownership

This guest post written by Brian Perillat, Canfax Manager/Senior Analyst, originally appeared in the September 25, 2015 issue of the Canfax Weekly Market Outlook and Analysis (available to Canfax subscribers). It is reprinted with permission.

As we head into the fall run, producers are looking at different marketing scenarios for their calves. While many producers have already taken advantage of high prices by selling calves for forward delivery, a significant portion of the 2015 calf crop will be marketed over the next two months. While calf prices remain well above a year ago, they have been under pressure for most of September.

The reality has been that highly profitable feedlots and a lower Canadian dollar had propped up local calf prices while the US cash market and futures market have been projecting lower cattle prices for the past few months. While calf prices seasonally drop into October and November, retaining ownership decisions should not be about trying to recover losses or hoping for better prices, but deciding whether it is projected to be profitable to feed your calves versus selling them.

Retained ownership decisions need to be based on current calf prices, cost of gain, and Continue reading

Managing calves for improved productivity and reduced antimicrobial use: Webinar September 28

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

The ways cow-calf producers manage their calves can have a big impact on how well they’ll perform on feed and whether they end up in the feedlot’s sick pen.

Join this free webinar for practical tips and strategies to increase fed calves’ productivity by lowering their stress and disease susceptibility. This session will also walk through the economics to help producers better understand how and when the extra efforts improve their own profitability.


Monday, September 28th at 7pm MDT

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB and SK
  • 8:00pm in MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI

Approximately 1 hour.

BCRC webinars are available and free of charge thanks to Continue reading

Improving Calf Transportation

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

Calf Transport Cattlemens article

In 2007, Alberta Beef Producers funded a transportation benchmarking study led by Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Station. The research team surveyed over 9,000 loads and close to half a million cattle commercially transported to, from and within Alberta over an 18 month period. That study was completed in 2009 and published in 2012 (e.g. J. Anim. Sci. 90: 10: 3606-3617). They reported that 99.98% of short haul (4 hours or less) and over 99.95% of long haul (4 hours or more) cattle arrived in their destination with no serious problems (e.g. lame, downer or dead). So on the whole, Canada’s cattle transportation sector is doing a very good job.

However, the study also found that some cattle were more likely to have problems than others. Continue reading

Evaluating corn silage

To maintain profitability w
ith rising feed grain prices, feedlots are required to consider alternatives to purchased grains. Traditionally forages are avoided because of their higher fiber content and lower energy content which leads to lower feed conversion efficiency and increased manure production. The highly variable energy content of corn silage makes it challenging to maintain animal growth rate when cattle are fed higher forage diets.

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