Today’s Research Provides Tomorrow’s Solutions

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Today’s research won’t help you weather this year’s drought, but the practical information and advice you’ll read elsewhere in this issue (and at www.beefresearch.ca) will. Those pasture management, early weaning, creep-feeding, feed and water testing, alternative feeds and ration balancing tips all originate from past research done by scientists and refined by producers. But producer-funded research underway today will help us cope with future droughts.
beef cattle kicking up dust in dry pasture
Crops, pastures and haylands throughout Western and Central Canada are parched. In a lot of places, the only green and thriving forage plants are forage legumes like alfalfa, vetches, trefoil, sweet clover and sainfoin. Legumes have specialized roots that allow them to capture nitrogen from the air and convert it into plant protein. This improves soil fertility and forage and animal productivity. Their root systems can also extend very deep into the soil and allow them to access subsoil moisture that shallow-rooted plants can’t reach during times of drought. Canada’s forage researchers are working hard today to develop tomorrow’s forage varieties and management practices that will improve productivity, nutritional quality and resilience under challenging environmental conditions. Continue reading

Canada’s Beef Industry Supports Forage Research

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.


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A competitive cow-calf sector requires an adequate supply of forage. Increasing forage quality and yield allows more cow-calf pairs to be maintained per acre of forage, or reduces the number of forage acres needed to maintain the same number of cow-calf pairs.

Better yields come from the development of better varieties and production practices. Statistics Canada data indicate that canola yields have increased by 13.5 bushels per acre since 1980, while tame hay yields have dropped by more than half a ton per acre over the same time frame. This is partly related to Continue reading

Announcing the mentors in the Beef Researcher Mentorship Program

Last month we proudly announced the launch of the Beef Researcher Mentorship Program, a new initiative that will facilitate greater engagement of upcoming and new applied researchers with Canada’s beef industry. Three researchers were selected as inaugural participants: Drs. Emma McGeough, Bill Biligetu and Raquel Rodriquez Doce.

These researchers have now been paired with notable leaders in Canada’s beef industry. Mentors will help the researchers build the knowledge, skills and network needed to deliver successful applied research and extension programs of benefit to our industry through ongoing discussions and by initiating various introductions, tours and meetings. The mentors will be valuable resources of information about day-to-day cattle and forage production, industry structure and influences, and perspectives on industry challenges and opportunities at regional and national levels.

The BCRC is pleased to announce the 2014/15 Beef Researcher Mentorship Program mentors: Continue reading

Beef Researcher Mentorship Program launches

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NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release

August 5, 2014

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is pleased to announce the Beef Researcher Mentorship Program, a new initiative that will facilitate greater engagement of upcoming and new applied researchers with Canada’s beef industry.

Currently in the pilot phase, the Beef Researcher Mentorship Program intends to provide researchers with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the needs of the beef industry in a practical and meaningful way. Continue reading

Drought tolerant forage mixtures



Because native species may increase carbon sequestration, improve wildlife habitat, lower agronomic inputs, and extend the grazing season, there is a growing interest in the use of native perennial species for seeded rangeland and reclamation following disturbance.

Diverse forage swards composed of native species have the potential to be as productive as tame monocultures in a greater range of environmental conditions. Unfortunately the information for the right combination of species is very limited.

Continue reading