New forage varieties: Webinar March 23

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

Current competition for land from other crops is putting further pressure on the forage industry to increase margins or be converted into a more profitable commodity.  This makes forage breeding a key piece to the long term health of the beef industry.

The forage breeding program at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre is aimed at improvement of crops such as alfalfa, sainfoin, cicer milkvetch, orchardgrass, and giant wildrye. Researchers have developed adapted perennial forage cultivars of these crops along with an annual legume ‘fenugreek’ and appropriate agronomic packages for optimizing forage and seed production. They have also collaborated with other North American researchers to explore other uses for these crops.

Join this free webinar to learn more about the success stories of some of these crops, consequent impacts, and how you can utilize them on your operation.


Wednesday March 23rd 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

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Designer Genes

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

The New Year brings some new requirements under Canada’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle. Effective January 1, 2016, Canadian beef producers are required to use pain control, in consultation with your veterinarian, to mitigate pain associated with dehorning calves after horn bud attachment (2-3 months of age) or when castrating bulls older than nine months of age. Most producers realize that the longer you wait, the more difficult and painful it gets, and the greater the setback in animal growth. More and more producers are using some form of pain control (especially NSAID drugs like meloxicam, flunixin, ketoprofen) even in younger calves. So the new Code requirements will primarily impact late-born calves, those that escaped early processing, and some seedstock bull calves that fail to measure up. See for more information and our new video featuring ranch and feedlot managers explaining their stance on pain control.

Whether a beef animal is horned or polled is determined by a single gene, so the widespread use of polled genetics has greatly reduced the need to dehorn beef calves. Because polled is dominant to horned, it can take Continue reading

Antimicrobial use and resistance in beef cattle: what producers need to know; Webinar March 2

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

In Canada, surveillance indicates that antimicrobial resistance levels in cattle and beef are extremely low and have not increased over time.

Join this free webinar to learn more about why resistance is low, and what precautions beef producer can take to continue this trend.


Wednesday March 2 at 7pm MST

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

Watching on a tablet or mobile device?

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Tips to improve the health and vigor of newborn calves

We know that disease causing agents are present in beef cattle herds, even if the most careful biosecurity procedures are observed. In general, basic management of calves and calving groups will play a greater role in whether or not calves get sick than the presence or absence of most disease causing pathogens.
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In a webinar hosted by the BCRC last winter, Dr. Claire Windeyer, veterinarian, professor and researcher at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, discussed management during the calving season for healthier and more productive calves. During the webinar, she provided numerous tips on how to manage both cows and calves to reduce disease incidences and increase calf survival rate.

Here are three highlights from that webinar, followed by the full recording: Continue reading

Young researchers encouraged to apply for CYL mentorship

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) development program, a national youth initiative by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), provides outstanding mentorship opportunities to young beef cattle enthusiasts. The program is geared toward those aged 18-35 interested in developing their industry leadership skills or career potential within the Canadian beef cattle industry. Included in the 16 participants selected for the 2015/16 year are young researchers Brittany Wiese and Elizabeth Homerosky.

The BCRC is proud to sponsor the CYL program to support engagement of researchers with industry. Engaging researchers who study cattle, beef, genetics, feed or forage production with the Canadian beef cattle industry is mutually beneficial; it allows researchers to be better informed of industry needs and more likely to share their findings with a practical, solution-based focus. Facilitating and encouraging their attendance to industry events and networking with industry professionals is extremely valuable.


Photo (L-R): Brittany and Brian on a tour of  Cargill as part of the CYL mentorship program.

Brittany Wiese holds an animal science degree from the University of Alberta, as well as her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently working on her Master of Science (MSc) degree, investigating the effects of subacute ruminal acidosis on animal health.

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