Carcass defects cost industry an estimated $110 million/year: New video

Beef quality defects, like bruises and lesions, cause economic losses to the Canadian beef industry due to reductions in usable meat and the added labour to remove these defects from the carcass.

This video from a new video series on the results of the latest National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) provides the answers to which carcass defects the beef industry has improved upon since the previous audit and the areas we as an industry need to work on. The ultimate objective of the NBQA is to enhance the quality and safety of Canadian beef while increasing the profitability of the Canadian beef and cattle industry.

The NBQA results indicate Continue reading

New video: What beef producers need to know about environmental footprint

More than most livestock, beef cattle production takes place in the natural environment.

Those who live in rural areas and spend most of their time outdoors considering Mother Nature and managing their livestock and land as best they can understand that it’s common sense to protect the health of the land and water for themselves and their neighbours.

When enjoying peaceful moments watching cattle and wildlife on pasture, smelling rain or seeing plants change throughout the seasons, it’s difficult to understand why some people think that Canadian beef production is damaging the environment.

As a beef producer, what do you need to know about the environmental footprint of Canadian beef production? Continue reading

New video: What beef producers need to know about pain control and prevention

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Injuries, ailments and surgery hurt. On days you slam your hand in a gate, wake up with a knee that’s more sore than usual, or are admitted to a hospital for an operation, anti-inflammatory painkillers (analgesics) and drugs that block all nerve sensation (anesthetics) are things to be grateful for.  Pain is expected in life, but the ability to avoid or diminish it at times not only makes our days more pleasant, pain mitigation helps to keep us productive and able to look after ourselves.

Common sense and scientific evidence tells us that the same goes for cattle.

There’s no doubt that cattle experience pain but as a prey species, they have evolved to hide the signs. Researching pain and pain-control in stoic animals is difficult but scientific knowledge is building.  At the same time, consumers’ understanding and expectations of animal welfare have changed. Pain control drugs are now available for cattle and on the occasions they’re needed, those products have both costs and benefits to producers.

So as a beef producer, what do you need to know about the science, Beef Code requirements, incentives, and practical options for preventing and controlling pain in your animals?

Watch this short video, then visit and talk to your veterinarian. The webpage includes information on the pain control products licensed and available for beef cattle in Canada, as well as Continue reading

Investing in the National Beef Strategy: new video

The National Beef Strategy, announced in January, is about positioning the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high quality beef product of choice. Today the groups are pleased to release “The National Beef Strategy Part 3 – The Budget”. The new video highlights the strategy’s four pillars and goals, and the importance of producer investment to ensure priority policy, research and marketing activities are undertaken. A budget scenario based on a $2.50 National Check-off is also discussed. Play new video.

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New video: What beef producers need to know about antimicrobial use and resistance

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There’s no avoiding the topics of antimicrobial use (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) these days.

We often see headlines like “Agricultural folly spawns superbugs”, “Antibiotic Resistance Declared A ‘Serious Health Threat’ By CDC As Use In Meat Industry Skyrockets”, and “Doctors call for ban of antibiotic use in farm animals as drug-resistant human infections hit ‘dangerous level’” in the mainstream media. Headlines like that are alarming for most of us – consumers, government officials, and people who make a living raising livestock.

Flip through your favorite industry publication and you’re bound to find Continue reading

New videos explain the National Beef Strategy

The National Beef Strategy was announced last month. Today the groups are pleased to release the following two short videos:

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The National Beef Strategy is a collaborative effort by Canadian national beef sector organizations including the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canada Beef Inc., Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (and its provincial member associations), and National Cattle Feeders’ Association.

The National Beef Strategy promotes a united approach to position the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high quality beef product of choice in the world.

Find the Strategy and learn more at

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Measured changes in the quality of Canadian beef: NBQA video

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. This old saying about the need for accurate and ongoing measurements to know whether things are getting better or worse never stops being relevant to those who work toward improvement.

Let’s look at beef production through that lens. As a cattle producer, the more aware you are of what’s already working well, which aspects of your operation

can be improved, and how much each of those improvements can cost or benefit you, the better you’re able to keep your operation profitable in the long-run. Your management practices can also help or harm those who buy your feeder or fat cattle.

We know that not every animal coming through the packer’s doors is ideal. Some animals will have horns that need to be cut off, or extra mud on the hide that slows down the processing line. Some carcasses will Continue reading

Video: How research can help with challenges in the beef sector

Whether our industry thrives is determined by the profitability of raising cattle and consumer demand for Canadian beef. Grain prices, which are projected to continually rise, and gradually declining red meat consumption per capita in Canada yet expanding markets overseas will be major influences in the future of the Canadian beef sector. How will government funded research and innovation help to overcome long term challenges?

The following presentation outlines Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research capacity and partnerships, describes examples of noteworthy research underway, and explains how that work can help benefit the industry.

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Using new ideas and technology in the beef industry: video

Innovative ideas and technologies that can be used by beef producers are coming out all the time. Research is key to driving competitiveness so governments and industry groups make significant investments to continually find better and more efficient methods of producing high quality beef and cattle.

But to realize the benefits of those research efforts, producers and other industry players must be aware and take advantage of the new knowledge and tools that make sense for their operations. Extension and technology transfer services are critically important. Being informed and adopting innovation improves production efficiencies and beef demand, helping to make individual farms and the industry as a whole more profitable. Continue reading