Resources for Beef Producers during Market Disruptions
Beef supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 are challenging producers to make difficult decisions and adapt to changing situations. As beef farmers consider making strategic production and management adjustments in response to shifting cattle markets, the resources listed below provide information and may support you in assessment, planning, and decision-making.
If you are looking for additional information, let us know in the Comment box at the bottom of this page. We will continue to add to this resource list as needed or as more information becomes available.
Feeding & Nutrition
Find information about feed testing and feeding conventional forages as well as using available alternate feeds. For pasture production systems see the link on grazing management.
- Feed Testing & Analysis for Beef Cattle (BCRC Webpage)
- Alternative Feeds (BCRC Webpage)
- Stored Forages (BCRC Webpage)
- Grazing Management (BCRC Webpage)
- Considerations for Slowing Feedlot Cattle Growth Due to the COVID -19 Pandemic (University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University)
Feed Shortages or Drought Conditions
Whether producers are worried about uncertain markets and possible drought conditions or faced with keeping cattle longer than expected and have an urgent need to stretch feed supplies, these links contain tips, tools, and ideas for getting the most out of what is available.
- Feed Cost Comparison Calculator (BCRC Blog post)
- Plan to Adapt when Grazing (BCRC Blog post)
- Stretching Feed Supplies (BCRC Blog post)
- Extended Grazing (BCRC Webpage)
- Drought Management Strategies (BCRC Webpage)
- Time for a Back-up Plan: Managing the Impacts of Drought (BCRC Blog post)
Cattle Health & Welfare
During challenging times, beef producers still have a responsibility to maintain animal health and welfare. The resources listed below provide helpful information.
- Body Condition Scoring (BCRC Webpage)
- Preventing Reproductive Failure in Cow-Calf Herds (BCRC Webpage)
- Value of Calving Distribution Calculator (BCRC Blog post & Calculator)
- The Cost-Benefit of Using Vaccines in Beef Cattle (BCRC Blog post)
- Pain Mitigation (BCRC Webpage)
Lower value cattle, including cull or market animals, need to receive proper care and management. The following resources include information on transport and pre-transport decisions, taking the next steps when an animal’s condition cannot improve, as well as how to best to dispose of mortalities.
- Transport (BCRC Webpage)
- Talking About Euthanasia (Canadian Cattlemen, The Beef Magazine)
- Disposal of Cattle Mortalities (BCRC Webpage)
Visit these links to access financial calculators and other tools and information to help pencil out different production scenarios.
- Value of Pre-Conditioning Calves (BCRC Blog post)
- Economic Considerations on Preconditioning Calves (Canfax Research Services)
- Considérations Économiques du Préconditionnement (Canfax Research Services)
- Replacement Heifers – Money, Management, and Momentum
- The Economics of Preg-checking (Canfax Research Services)
- Economics of Pregnancy Testing Beef Cattle Model (BCRC Webpage)
Mental Health Support
Find information on where to reach out and get support to help cope with stress during these difficult times. Your health and well-being matters.
- The Do More Agriculture Foundation (Crisis Resource)
- Mental Health & Stress (Canadian Agricultural Safety Association)
- Rooted in Strength (Farm Credit Canada)
Additional resources and regular industry updates to help navigate the challenging landscape of COVID-19 can be found through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association.
For generations, beef producers have proven themselves to be resourceful and adaptable. Stay safe during these difficult times.
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