Bovine respiratory disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in newly received feedlot calves.

Preconditioning gives calves better start when entering feedlots

Calves that are properly vaccinated, given protein-rich feed and taught to use a waterer before leaving home tend to better manage feedlot stress

Bovine respiratory disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in newly received feedlot calves. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for these youngsters that may be immuno-compromised after weaning and transportation. “When you look at the entire North American feedlot industry this disease alone and the losses associated with […] Read more

Eddie Gibson and his wife, Marcy, own Ed-Mar Dairy in Walton, Ky. With fewer than 60 cows on 130 acres of land, 
they are diversifying to deal with low milk prices.

U.S. dairy farm branches out to make ends meet

Smaller U.S. dairy farms have to diversity in order to stay in business during the long-term price slump

Eddie Gibson is unsure how many generations of his family have farmed at Walton, Kentucky, but he fears he may be the last. He and his wife, Marcy, own Ed-Mar Dairy where they milk fewer than 60 cows on 130 acres of land. Even with diversification into cheese making and agri-tourism small farms like theirs […] Read more

Increased packaging is a greater concern for the public than food waste. Photo: agnormark/istock/getty images

Addressing food waste may mean more plastic

Better packaging to extend shelf life creates dilemma as non-biodegradable material ends up in landfills, oceans

The food business is caught in a Catch-22 situation. The public wants to control food waste and one way to do that is with better packaging to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage. On the downside, better packaging often means plastic but more people are concerned about the amount of plastic being thrown away, accumulating in […] Read more

Low unemployment rates in the overall population are making it even more difficult to find farm workers.

Farm workers increasingly in short supply

Surveys found that 70 per cent of the agriculture sector is challenged to find staff it needs

Agriculture employers know hiring, training and retaining workers is an ongoing challenge. Jobless rates are going down and that increases the staffing problem. Surveys from AgCareers show more than 70 per cent of the sector struggles to find suitable staff. Why it matters: Farms need a flexible supply of workers in order to remain competitive […] Read more

The Jersey breed is experiencing a surge in interest as more dairy farms add the brown cow to their Holstein herds.

Jersey cow registrations in Canada are highest since 1963

The breed continues to grow in popularity, especially with existing Holstein herds

This may be the year of the Jersey cow. Last year more than 11,800 head were registered with Jersey Canada and growth for the breed is poised to continue. This is the highest number of Jerseys registered since 1963. Membership in the Jersey association has been growing each year. In 2000, there were about 550 […] Read more

Canadian beef exports add at least $600 per head in value, compared to the domestic market, and numbers show that trade is accelerating.

Canadian beef exports worth $600 per head

More capacity is needed to certify producers with cattle that qualify for EU export

Canadian beef exports add at least $600 per head in value, compared to the domestic market, and numbers show that trade is accelerating. Deals like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership with Pacific Rim countries push down tariffs and open doors to high-value markets like Japan. “There has been triple the volume of […] Read more

As corn yields rise, so does the need for more water.

Balance needed between crop rotation, profit and productivity

Simple rotations are easier, but long-term profitability may be tied to longer rotations

Decreasing agricultural diversity could affect sustainability. “The trend is toward simplification of our systems with fewer crops dominating the landscape,” said Bill Deen of the University of Guelph. Why it matters: More diverse crop rotations can improve soil health while boosting yields and long-term sustainability. He and other scientists are studying the importance of longer […] Read more

It is important to know what key traits exist and the relationship between negative and positive traits when making changes to a cow herd.

Beef genomic selection finds its stride

Research is ongoing to find new traits and figure out genetic correlations to make the best breeding choice

Picking the best herd sire or selecting replacement heifers is getting easier for producers who use genomically enhanced expected progeny differences. The predictions of valuable traits like carcass merit, longevity and calving ease may not be 100 per cent accurate but new computing power is making the job easier. Why it matters: Genomics can be […] Read more

Vitamins A and E have been identified as the two most common micronutrient deficiencies potentially associated with death in calves that are born alive.

Mineral, vitamin deficiencies can delay calf development

A worldwide shortage of certain livestock vitamins last year has since been alleviated

Newborn calves that are slow to get up and do not respond right away could be affected by a trace mineral or vitamin deficiency. If pregnant cows are low in selenium in the fall, the calves may be wobbly when they are born the following spring. They could suffer from a variety of maladies, including […] Read more

Stakeholders will have to pay attention to what is practical and what the science says about animal welfare, cleanliness, sanitation, driving practices and species specific vulnerabilities.

Livestock transport code of practice in the works

The code will cover cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and equine for road transportation and should be completed by 2023

New regulations and a code of practice for livestock transportation are coming. The scope of the code of practice covers cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and equine for road transportation, said Jackie Wepruk of the National Farm Animal Care Council. Why it matters: Consumers are becoming more aware and more concerned that sound animal welfare practices […] Read more