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Reminder: Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey Deadline is Feb. 28

Every cow-calf producer in BC, AB, SK and MB is asked to complete the survey. It takes about 35-45 minutes to complete and asks questions related to the 2014 calf crop, as well as typical management practices. Many of the questions are the quick check-box style. Any question a producer is unable to answer can be left blank. By participating in the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey, producers can choose to receive a complementary report that allows them to compare their own operation with benchmarks (average numbers from a region).

Complete the survey online


Print a copy of the survey and send it using Canada Post

  1. Print hard copy:
  2. Print pre-paid postage label:
  3. Read the postage label instructions:

The deadline to participate is February 28, 2015. Results will be available in Spring 2015.


All of the information collected will remain confidential. Information cannot be linked to individual operations as data will be aggregated into averages and benchmarks.

The complementary report will help producers see the aspects of their operation that they’re doing exceptionally well in, and the areas that have the greatest room for improvement. For example, the report will show a producer whether the conception rates of his cows in 2013 was higher or lower than nearby herds and herds of a similar size. That way, he’ll know whether he should work with his veterinarian, nutritionist and/or regional extension specialist to have fewer of his cows come home from pasture open, or if other production goals are a higher priority for him to focus on to improve his productivity and profitability.

The findings of the survey will be used in a number of ways, including to identify which management practices are linked to strong production performance, and to guide extension and research efforts that are most likely to lead to improvements in the industry.

Current industry benchmarks are dated; they’re based on a study conducted in Alberta in 1998. The 1998 survey found that the average cow:bull ratio was 26:1, the average wean weight was 576 lb, the average breeding season length was 93 days, and the average conception rate was 95.6%. It also found that on average 48% of cows calved in the first 21 days of the calving season, that 30% of operations quality tested their forage, and that less than 50% of operations pregnancy checked. It will be interesting and valuable to see how cow-calf production in Western Canada has changed since then.

This survey led by the Western Beef Development Centre is a joint effort between the WBDC, the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canfax, the BC Cattlemen’s Association, the Alberta Beef Producers, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, the Manitoba Beef Producers, and the BC though MB provincial Ministries of Agriculture.

For more information, visit the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey webpage or contact the survey representative in your province:

British ColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanManitoba
Clint Ellison
BC Ministry of Agriculture
Ph: 250-260-4613
Barry Yaremcio
Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development
Ph: 403-742-7926
Kathy Larson
Western Beef Development Centre
Ph: 306-930-9354
Ben Hamm
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Ph: 204-425-5050

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Cheryl HareFebruary 19, 2015

The survey "seized" at the shrinkage %. When I entered 1.5, it would not accept that or proceed any further. So, I had to ignore the actual auction shrink weights showing on my auction settlement statement and use the original weights combined with estimated weights for the 5x weaned 2014 heifers that were retained as replacements.


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Beef ResearchFebruary 20, 2015

Thanks very much for the feedback Cheryl. The settings for that question have been modified so that it won't be an issue for the next person.


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