Latest articles

Ultra-high-frequency RFID takes tag reading to the next level

Forget reading one tag at a time, this technology can track every member of a herd going down an alley at once

Cattle producers could save themselves a fair bit of time and money — if they’re willing to make the shift from standard low-frequency RFID tags to a new ultra-high-frequency alternative. “The typical button tag has been around for a long time and works very well, but it’s in a low-frequency spectrum and the read range […] Read more

Some don’t like it hot — and that’s key to big wheat yields

Wheat growers should start thinking about frost seeding or 24-hour seeding shifts to get their crop in the ground as early as possible

It’s time to start treating wheat like it’s a “real crop,” says Ontario agronomist ‘Wheat Pete’ Johnson. “Wheat is the most responsive crop to management we grow, and yet it’s the crop that we manage the least,” Peter Johnson said at the Farming Smarter conference last month. “You just put it in the ground and […] Read more

Two different ways to breed the perfect cow

At CL Ranch, it’s all about breeding for observable traits, but genomics is the foundation for Rocky Mountain Holsteins

You won’t find a single Angus cow in Cherie Copithorne-Barnes’ herd. But then again, you won’t find any other specific breeds either. “One of the philosophies that we have here at CL Ranch is we’re not breed specific — we’re trait specific,” said Copithorne-Barnes, CEO of the 23,000-acre ranch near Calgary. “We are synthetic cross-breeders, […] Read more

New variety a milestone in the battle against clubroot

New canola variety has two resistant genes — but clubroot strains are quickly multiplying

A new canola variety resistant to multiple strains of clubroot will hit the market in time for spring seeding. But the new variety from Crop Production Services will only be available in limited quantities and a clubroot expert says growers can’t expect it to be “a saviour.” CPS Canada says the variety, Proven Seed PV […] Read more

Cattle carcass contamination on the rise, says expert

The incidence of broken needles is up tenfold, and 100,000 pounds of beef are thrown out yearly because of buckshot contamination

Consumer confidence in Canadian beef is being eroded by a preventable problem — carcasses contaminated with needles, buckshot, and drug residues. “We want to make sure that all the cattle we’re producing — calves and cull cattle together — are going to be able to have a steak or roast off them without somebody either […] Read more

No regrets: ‘Better Beef’ campaign turns out just fine for A&W

Sales are up sharply, and it was the beef industry’s choice not to get involved in developing A&W’s antibiotic-and steroid-free program

Two years after introducing its controversial ‘Better Beef’ program, A&W has few regrets about how the shift to antibiotic- and steroid-free beef played out. “We were the first national chain in North America to do it, and the response has been tremendous,” said Trish Sahlstrom, vice-president of purchasing and distribution for A&W Canada. “We’re selling […] Read more

grain bins

Four simple steps to storing grain safely this fall

Pay attention to sanitation, loading, aeration, and monitoring

This fall when you’re preparing your grain for storage, all you need to do is remember to SLAM. That’s short for sanitation, loading, aeration, and monitoring. The first step — removing any dust or debris from your bins before harvest — is “obviously important,” said Ryan Braun, Canadian sales manager for OPI, a grain storage […] Read more

swathing canola

Canola maturity matters in desiccation timing

The Canola Council of Canada’s Spray to Swath calculator shows just how long to wait after spraying a desiccant or other pre-harvest chemical

In desiccation — as in life — success is usually defined by maturity. “Whatever product you’re using, make sure you’re using it when the majority of the plants in the field is physiologically mature,” said Harry Brook, crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “You get into problems when they’re immature. It doesn’t preserve your […] Read more

Antimicrobial resistance in cattle means big changes coming

An alarming rise in resistance even has drug companies calling for producers to change their ways

Multi-drug resistance to disease-causing bacteria is quickly becoming a complete “game changer” that could cripple the cattle industry’s ability to manage common bovine diseases. “We are really slamming into the end of the antibiotic era,” said Dr. Trisha Dowling, a professor of veterinary pharmacology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “I’ve got 24 different […] Read more

Remote weighing could reduce handling stress in bison

University of Alberta students hoping to reduce handling stress in bison through a remote weighing system using automatic platform scales

Stepping on a scale doesn’t have to be stressful — for your bison, at least. “Just like in people, when bison step on a scale, sometimes they have quite a harsh stress response,” said Josh Perryman, a University of Alberta student who spoke at the Wildrose Bison Convention earlier this month. Bison are notoriously flighty […] Read more