Cattle Country - October 2021

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Rain and AgriRecovery help ease drought crisis somewhat A combination of rain and government aid programs has given a boost to drought-stricken Manitoba cattle producers who may now be better equipped to get their herds through the coming winter. But many warn the situation is still dire and could get even worse without adequate precipitation in the months ahead. “We’re not out of this yet,” said Tyler Fulton, Manitoba Beef Producers president. “The recent moisture has helped the situation but we’re not out of the woods yet. “We’re still at risk,” Fulton continued. “Producers will be forced to take action early if they’re not sure they can make it through the whole winter months. If it’s dry, we may have cows that are bred going to market because there’s no feed.” Both the August rains and AgriRecovery are welcome news to Manitoba beef producers suffering through the worst summer drought in decades. Many have been forced either to liquidate their herds or downsize them because of a critical lack of feed. But while much appreciated, the government measures are only short-term, Fulton cau-

tioned. “What it’s done is helped producers hold animals on pasture longer,” said Fulton. “It does very little to address the winter feed situation. We’re still in the same predicament about producers forced to find alternatives.” The kind of winter Manitoba gets this year will largely determine what producers do in spring, Fulton added. “We’re going to have to be monitoring the weather over the course of the winter to make sure the snowfall is at least average so we can anticipate some type of normal spring conditions.” Sourcing feed and rebuilding herds are the main focus of AgriRecovery programs for Western Canadian beef producers announced by federal and provincial governments this summer. On August 15, the federal government announced up to $500 million for drought and wildfire relief through AgriRecovery. This included initial funding of $100 million previously announced August 6. Funding for the program is shared 60-40 by Ottawa and provinces. Manitoba is contributing $62 million as its share. Ottawa’s share is $93 million, making Manitoba’s total package $155 mil-

President's Column

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Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler was joined by Manitoba Beef Producers President Tyler Fulton and Keystone Agricultural Producers Vice-President Jill Verwey to announce support for livestock producers under the AgriRecovery framework. Please see the cover story for more information. (Photo credit: Carson Callum/MBP)

lion. About one-third ($52.5 million) will go toward helping producers rebuild herds previously culled for lack of feed, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler

said. “We lost a lot of our beef guys and we want to make sure we get as many back as we can,” Eichler said in a September 13 interview with Cattle Country. “Anybody who started selling off herds

Perennial grains Page 7

to make ends meet but wants to stay - we want to reward them by saying, let’s help get your numbers back to where they need to be because a lot of them were sustainable prior to the drought.” Another program -

Season 32 of Great Tastes of Manitoba Page 11

Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance - covers purchased feed and transportation expenses between June 1, 2021 and March 15, 2022. This is for breeding herds. Page 2  POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.




MBP working with government on details of AgriRecovery program I hope you received some of the great rains we got in August that helped some of pastures bounce back. Although this rain is generally too little too late for this production year, producers may see some extended grazing days from it, as well as some benefit from having more fall moisture next spring. Let’s just hope we get decent moisture over the winter months to ensure the production season gets off to a better start than in 2021. As I’ve discussed in many of my previous columns, drought has been the major focus for MBP this year. We are pleased that provincial and federal governments have swiftly rolled out an AgriRecovery program to help producers with some of the extraordinary feed costs as a result of the drought. We have been getting lots of positive feedback on the government’s program. However, MBP recognizes the program has some gaps that need to be addressed. We would like to ensure it is inclusive for those producers who were able to take a variety of steps to address their feed shortages, but currently are ineligible under the program’s current criteria. MBP continues to engage with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MB ARD) on these matters to seek some changes. The department has been very collaborative, and has made some adjustments that were seen as very positive such as including grain/concentrates under the freight assistance component of the program, as well as expanding the eligibility for the type of feed purchased. MBP will continue to bring ideas forward to the Minister and department to make it a more well-rounded program. I want to thank MB ARD staff, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, and other industry stakeholders for putting together the webinar that detailed aspects of the current program. Although drought has been the top issue, there are still lots of files MBP is heavily involved in that are of great importance to the sector. In August, I attended my first in-person Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) meeting in over 18 months in Calgary. So many important discussions were had at the various commit-

less than on average. The CCA’s Environment Committee is always very interesting to me. With much government legislative and regulatory work being developed in relation to climate change, the beef industry has the potential to be a solution in this area. The sector provides many societal benefits in the fight against climate change, like the ability to sequester and store carbon on grasslands, along with many other ecosystem services such as the preservation of habitat for species at risk. Ensuring beef operations can remain viable in the face of increasing commodity prices and other market impacts is an important priority for the sector moving forward, so recognition of the ecosystem services provided through beef production will be important. There is a great deal of work being done by the beef sector to address short and long term challenges and to capture opportunities. The best part of being at those inperson CCA meetings was being reminded of the dedication and passion all have that are working on behalf of the sector. MBP’s fall in-person and virtual district meetings start soon. The plan at the time of writing (but dependent on the pandemic situation and public health order) is to hold in-person district meetings in the even-numbered districts where director elections are required. Also new this year ‒ these meetings will be held in the afternoon. There will be two evening virtual district meetings for the odd-numbered districts, or to join in if you missed your in-person meeting. If you cannot take in a meeting, you can still put forward a resolution for consideration to the MBP office. More details can be found on page three. Please note that the plan to hold in-person meetings is contingent upon the pandemic situation and the public health orders in effect at the time the meetings are taking place. So watch the MBP website (www.mbbeef. ca), our e-newsletter and our Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest details. That’s all for now. Carson


General Manager’s Column tee meetings. Areas such as foreign trade, domestic agriculture policy, and the environment were focused on during the week-long sessions. In terms of foreign trade, many factors could influence the competitiveness of the Canadian beef sector in the coming years, such as leveling the playing field with the EU and ensuring country of origin labeling isn’t implemented in the US. The BSE negligible risk status achieved in Canada in 2021 will also have many potential benefits to the sector from a trade perspective. CCA’s Domestic Agriculture Policy Committee always has important discussions on matters that hit close to home. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a wide-ranging federal-provincial-territorial agreement that expires on March 31, 2023. It provides financial support for agriculture programs and services such as business risk management (BRM) tools. With government discussions about the Next Policy Framework (NPF) underway, Canada’s beef sector is working collaboratively to determine what sorts of adjustments need to be addressed in components of the NPF and to identify these to policy makers, such as BRM tools and funding for innovation. One very interesting project the CCA has been involved in is testing remote sensing technology on pasture. The project is intended to develop mathematical algorithm(s) to transpose satellite data to estimates of forage productivity for native and tame pastures and hay at the individual farm and ranch level across Canada. Results may lead to the creation of pasture and forage insurance programs at the individual farm or ranch level through which producers may be able to submit a claim if their pastures and forages have produced substantially

Ensuring programs are responsive key  Page 1 Other government measures include: • Changes to AgriStability allowing producers to receive 75 per cent of interim payments from the 2021 benefit program instead of the usual 50 per cent. • Putting standing crops to alternate use (such as greenfeed) under MASC crop insurance. • Hay Disaster Benefit

compensating for the increased cost of hay and transportation. • Funding to help producers move livestock to alternate feeding locations. • Tax deferral on livestock sales for one year. These initiatives will certainly help producers but they need to be tweaked to ensure they include as many of them as possible, said Carson Callum, Manitoba Beef Pro-



R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton



R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

ducers general manager. “I think these programs will help many producers who have been detrimentally impacted by the drought. However, we continue to engage with the department on potential adjustment to the programs to ensure that producers can qualify and benefit from the program,” Callum said. For example, the province is making some modifications under AgriRecovery to increase



R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwallis, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk



R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood



R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa





R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard





R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds




R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Lansdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

ly improved face on a drought situation that was desperate before. In its September 14 weekly crop report, Manitoba Agriculture said forage and pasture regrowth was now sufficient in most areas to support grazing without feed supplementation. Some producers were also thinking about taking a second cut of alfalfa and grass where regrowth was sufficient. Fulton said he himself got four inches of rain

the eligibility for some expenses that weren’t allowed before, such as alternate feedstuffs (canola and soybean meal) and grain movement, Fulton said. He also said MBP and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association want the tax deferral to cover all animals, not just breeding stock, and extended to several years instead of only one. Widespread rain in August also put a slight-


R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent



R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa




R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth,Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park


R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas



Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

Unit 220, 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264


POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

on his farm near Birtle, enough to keep his cattle grazing on pasture until October 1. It gives producers some breathing room while trying to source winter feed supplies, he said. “At least it buys them some time in order to secure alternatives and put another 50 to 100 pounds on a calf that would otherwise have been going to market at the end of August.”

David Hultin






Trinda Jocelyn



Turning the corner on a challenging summer After several months of drought, rains finally came to most areas of southern Manitoba in late August, providing relief to pastures. In some areas, this was the first significant growth that was seen this growing season. While the rains have added days to summer grazing, they came too late to significantly impact the hay and greenfeed yields. The fall season is a critical time when producers are assessing the summer feed production and matching this against their winter feed needs. The drought this year has made this process much more critical as almost all beef producers have seen reductions in their feed supply and are likely going to be feeding alternative feedstuffs. Droughtrelated concerns have been on MBP’s radar since early May when it looked like we were heading into another challenging production season. We flagged with governments the issues related to water supplies and potential feed shortages. Over the several months, we have been advocating for measures to address the feed shortages which included changes to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s crop insurance programs, accessing unoccupied Crown lands and working on the AgriRecovery program details. We also identified the importance of producers being able to access BMP 503 under the Ag Action Manitoba

program for water source development, which has proven valuable for many producers. While the federal/ provincial cost shared AgriRecovery program announced in August took a form that was different than what MBP had requested (such as our request for a per head payment), I believe that it will help producers address their feed shortages, in particular those in the hardest hit areas. The Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program will help offset some of the extraordinary costs (purchased feed and freight on these purchases, as well as feed testing) in maintaining your breeding cow herd at home. The Livestock Transportation Drought Assistance program will help cover the costs of moving the animals to where there are feed resources. The program has seen several adjustments since it was released on August 31, which has improved its responsiveness, such as providing coverage for more alternate feed types. As I write this in late-September, we continue to advocate for additional changes that would further increase producer eligibility for the program. For those producers who have been forced to sell some of their breeding stock due to high feed costs and inability to secure feed, we anticipate another program that will help rebuild those affected herds. MBP has al-


TYLER FULTON President's Column

ready begun making suggestions to government about what this may look like. In addition to the AgriRecovery program, I want to remind producers who are not currently enrolled in AgriStability to give it another look. The recent change of removing the Reference Margin Limit will make

a big difference to the effectiveness of the program for the cow/calf sector. Manitoba has provided a late entry provision in the 2021 program year which may be very beneficial for those producers who are hardest hit by the drought. The drought has taken a terrible toll on the cattle industry across

most of western Canada this year, and we recognize the tremendous stress this has created for producers and for the rural communities which supply and service the sector. We thank everyone who has offered support to producers. We also thank governments for continued work with the industry to try to come up with strategies to help mitigate the effects of the drought, and to improve business risk management tools so they are more responsive. Looking ahead, I do

remain optimistic about the prospect for profitability in the longer term. Trends in beef demand both in the domestic market and globally favour improving prices. So while the summer of 2021 will be etched in the memory of farmers and ranchers as being a tough, stressful time, it may well represent a turning point for our industry. As always, we appreciate the input we receive from our members as we work to tackle issues like the drought and others.

Resolutions Suggestion Form for 43rd Manitoba Beef Producers AGM Because of the change in the format of MBP’s fall 2021 district meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MBP’s board of directors is now accepting in writing suggested resolutions for debate at its 43rd Annual General Meeting set for February 10, 2022. If the resolution is deemed to be in order by MBP’s Resolutions Committee it will be considered for debate at the AGM. In consultation with the resolution’s author, proposed resolutions may be subject to editing by MBP for clarity and to ensure consistency of formatting across all resolutions. Please note: if the resolution covers off matters on which MBP is already conducting advocacy work, it may be deemed to be redundant and not taken forward for debate so as to ensure there is time to debate resolutions on emerging matters. As well, it is also important that proposed resolutions deal with something that is potentially achievable and clearly state the actions you are asking MBP to consider taking. The sample resolution format is below. Send the proposed resolution (along with your contact information) to to the attention of General Manager Carson Callum and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. Alternatively, you may fax it to 1-204-774-3264 or mail it to 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg MB R3H 0Y4. For resolutions to be considered in time to be published in the December edition of Cattle Country prior to the 43rd AGM, they need to be received by MBP no later than 9 a.m. Friday, November 12, 2021. Otherwise they will be accepted for consideration until 9 a.m. Thursday, February 3, 2022. All resolutions for debate will be posted on MBP’s website as well. Whereas


Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers

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Livestock Predation Prevention Pilot Project Update BY RAY BITTNER, Project Lead

Spots available for Livestock Predation Prevention Project risk mitigation practices Livestock predation by coyotes, bears, wolves, foxes or cougars is a difficult problem to solve. The Livestock Predation Prevention Pilot Project (LPPPP) is working toward installing and testing multiple different methods to reduce the risk of predation and harm to Manitoba Livestock. The project has selected eight different risk mitigation practices (RMPs) which are being installed and tested on cattle and sheep farms which have a record of losses due to predators. The aim of the project is to test the efficacy of a variety of different mitigation techniques on farms and ranches, in real-world scenarios, and receive feedback from producers impacted by predation-related losses. The practices are being initiated in 2021/2022 and will be reported on in late 2022, and 2023. Throughout the summer of 2021 the project has been developing producer agreements and distributing risk mitigation project items to participants throughout Manitoba. As of mid-September, some of the practices are fully subscribed, but several remain available. As such, interested producers can apply to the program so that we have a full slate of RMP testing for summer 2022. Producers selected to participate who receive the risk mitigation practices items will only be responsible of 25% of the costs of purchase or installation, but they are required to report on the effectiveness or practical limitations of the items. The following is a rundown of the RMPs being tested as part of the project and remaining availability. Cattle/sheep GPS collars are intended to allow producers to remotely monitor livestock location and body temperature. Being able to easily locate a herd or flock is advantageous to assisting in regular wellness checks. Knowing livestock’s location at any time of day can also expose predator pursuit cues such as bunching, frequent moves and avoiding certain locations on the pasture. This RMP is fully subscribed. The collars are currently being tested at two beef community pastures, one beef herd and one sheep flock. Solar Fox lights are solar-powered, multicolored

light flashers intended to scare predators which approach livestock pens. They hang from fences and emit a light show that raises the attention of predators. They are intended for confinement areas and only work at night. As their name implies, they are intended for foxes, but also have some effect on coyotes and wolves. Four additional farms can apply for solar fox lights. Game cameras are very useful tools in species identification of predators and predator numbers. They sense animal movement and snap photos of the field of view so you can correctly identify predators and their behaviors on your operation. Game cameras can be used 24 hours a day, but the top priority is choosing a predator traffic location. More than 10 additional farms can apply for this RMP. Preference will be given if applied in combination with other RMPs. Pasture ElectroNet is a poly-twine wire and stainless-steel wire flexible net which is electrified with an electric fence energizer. This non-permanent penning is very easy to move and provides an enclosure for sheep and small ruminants which effectively limits predatory behavior of canine predators. Six additional farms can apply for this RMP. Composting pens are intended to assist in removal of food sources predators may scavenge. While this will not totally eliminate on-farm predator activity, it will help reduce the frequency of predator visits and interactions with livestock. Pens will be custom installed and are up to 60 feet square. Installation cost is very reasonable with the producer only responsible for 25% share of costs. Four additional farms can apply for this RMP. Predator resistant livestock penning is a heavy duty livestock pen built with multiwire high-tensile electric fence wires and predator resistant gates. This type of pen can provide multiple acres with protection against most predators. A pen will be custom installed and is up to five acres in size. Installation cost is very reasonable with the producer only responsible for 25% share of costs. Five additional farms can apply for this RMP. Fladry wire is a polywire with streamers sewn on

Fall 2021 District meeting schedule





Odd # Districts


Oct 19


District 4

Kevin Duddridge (E)

Oct 20

Grunthal Auction Mart

District 10

Mike Duguid (E)

Oct 25

Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre

District 2

Nancy Howatt (E)

Oct 26

Baldur Memorial Hall

District 14

Jim Buchanan (E)

Nov 1

Minitonas and District Arena

District 12

Mark Good (E)

Nov 2

Ste. Rose du Lac Community Hall

Matthew Atkinson (E)

Nov 3

Neepawa Legion

District 6

Melissa Atchison (E)

Nov 8

Oak Lake Community Hall

Odd # Districts


Nov 9


– as of September 20 Please note that the ability to hold in-person district meetings is contingent upon the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the requirements of the Manitoba public health orders related to meeting venues which are in effect when the meetings are taking place, such as face covering or vaccination requirements. Monitor the MBP website (, our e-newsletter and our Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest details as the meetings approach. If in-person meetings are not possible for the even-numbered districts where director elections are required, a virtual meeting will be held for each of those districts on the dates listed.

intended to ward off wolves and coyotes due to the streamers’ movement and the electric shock upon contact. While their use is a short-term practice for birthing or periods or while you have compromised livestock under care, it is claimed to be effective at limiting coyote and wolf movement and it is portable. Fladry wire, fence posts, gates, and a solar-powered fencer is all included in the package. Six additional farms can apply for this RMP. Vet assessments and consultations. Animal husbandry is an important component of a predation management strategy. This RMP involves an on-farm livestock assessment and consultation by a local veterinarian. The intent is to discuss management practices related to optimal herd health, and to reduce the risk of weak animals on the farm. Such animals can be prime targets for predators, and animals which die due to other causes can attract predators. More than 10 additional farms can apply for this RMP. Preference will be given if used in combination with other RMPs. Note: The LPPPP is pursuing more cooperators and seeking applications for the RMPs that are still open. Producers who farm within Manitoba and have had previous predator claims with the MASC Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Livestock Predation are eligible to apply. For more information or to enquire on participating in this program please contact Ray Bittner at (204) 7680010 or Individual RMP factsheets photos and diagrams can be found by visiting and click on the Livestock Predation Pilot Project icon on the left side. Project funding is being provided by the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Manitoba Beef Producers and the Manitoba Sheep Association. Guidance is being provided by members of the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group, which includes the aforementioned entities, as well as the Manitoba Trappers Association, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Elections to be held in even-numbered districts. For all other districts – 1, 3, 5, 7. 9, 11 and 13 – MBP will be holding two virtual meetings where interested producers will be provided with the same updates as those producers in the even-numbered districts.


CRSB launches update to National Beef Sustainability Assessment Calling on beef producers to contribute to sustainability benchmarking data collection What is the National Beef Sustainability Assessment? When the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) was established, the definition and guiding principles of beef sustainability in Canada were adopted from the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, a similar organization working to advance sustainability on a global scale. [definition]. Sustainable beef is an environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable product that prioritizes the Planet, People, Animals and Progress. The following five guiding principles provide the basis for defining beef sustainability, all of which are underpinned by the importance of economic viability. To achieve continuous improvement in the sustainability of the Canadian beef industry, three core pillars for the CRSB’s work were identified, one of which is Sustainability Benchmarking. It was recognized that to determine how to make progress, we needed to know where we were starting from. Therefore, one of the first initiatives that the CRSB undertook in 2014 was to commission a National Beef Sustainability Assessment. The Assessment and accompanying sustainability strategy, released in 2016, provided a comprehensive farm-to-fork baseline of the environmental, social and economic sustainability performance of the Canadian beef industry, and identified areas for improvement. Following international guidelines and standards, the Assessment is based on data collected through surveys with producers and packers, as well as consultations with numerous subject matter experts. Secondary data sources were used to complement the primary industry data collected, including extensive literature reviews and statistical data. The assessment study was guided by a CRSB steering committee and reviewed by an external third-party panel of experts. Why is it important? The metrics from our first Assessment, released in 2016, have been widely used to demonstrate Canada’s global sustainability leadership, and have been critically important to the beef industry’s communication efforts with respect to sustainable beef production over the past five years. The NBSA provides concrete, sciencebased numbers to demonstrate how sustainable the Canadian beef production system is, especially with respect to our environmental footprint. Some of the most impactful numbers we consistently use help to dispel misconceptions about beef production in Canada. Just a few examples include: • our greenhouse gas footprint (11.4 kg CO2 eq.), which represents only 2.4% of Canada’s total emissions, and in the global context, is less than half the global average; • the carbon storage and sequestration potential of beef production in Canada (1.5 Billion tonnes of carbon stored in land used for beef production); • our contribution to biodiversity (68% of the wildlife habitat capacity on only 33% of Canadian agricultural land that is used for beef production). The Sustainability Strategy that accompanied the 2016 Assessment has highlighted key performance indicators and specific action items to target for continu-

ous improvement, which has also helped inform the industry’s 2030 goals completed earlier this year. The primary data collected from farmers and ranchers across Canada through surveys is a critical piece to the credibility and success of the environmental, land use and social Life Cycle Assessments. This data is complemented by consultations with subject matter experts and scientific data, which is used to derive the modelling assumptions for the assessment results. How do I participate? Fill out an NBSA producer survey. We have set a goal of receiving a minimum of 500 completed responses. The survey will be open October 1, 2021 closing January 7, 2022. Be one of the first 200 producers to complete your survey, and you will receive a $20 gift card as a token of our appreciation for taking the time to contribute. All completed survey responses will be entered into a random draw for a grand prize of a tag reader ($1,100 value), generously donated by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. A series of other amazing prize packs, valued at a total of over $3000, curated from contributions from CRSB members across the beef value chain and beyond, will be awarded via a random draw (by province or region) from all eligible survey respondents. Thank you to our amazing network of CRSB members who understand the value of this work, and have contributed to these prizes as a recognition of your time and effort. You will notice that the survey process has been simplified significantly since the first NBSA project in 2014, and with advances in survey technology, we are confident that the process will be faster and easier this time around! The environmental and social assessment survey has been combined into one single process. The survey is available in both English and French. Take the survey today! For more information about the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and strategy visit Contact us at if you have any questions.



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Photo credit: Mary-Jane Orr/MBFI

Management options in fall grazing of annual forages BY: DR. MARY-JANE ORR

MBFI General Manager

For the first time since 2019, Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) held a summer field tour in August 2021. Much of the tour focused on strategies to use diverse annual forages to extend grazing through fall and into winter. Clayton Robins (MBFI, Farm Technician) presented on a crossover between swath and bale grazing, utilizing small diameter bales as a strategy to maximize annual inter-

crop forage regrowth. In the field, CDC Maverick Barley (SeCan) was notill seeded with Norgold yellow blossom sweet clover (BrettYoung), berseem clover, and Finito turnip rape (Imperial Seed). The greenfeed was cut at the barley soft dough stage and baled into 40’’ diameter small bales to be strip grazed where they fell out of the baler this fall. Despite the dry conditions, the intercropped clovers

(pictured) have re-grown well and the field will be grazed in October. Clayton, a Nuffield scholar and farmer south of Rivers, was first introduced to the concept of making small round bales instead of swath grazing when meeting with forage experts (researchers, extension agents and farmers) in the UK and Australia. Benefits observed on his farm include feed quality is typically higher as degradation in-swath is reduced, utilization is still quite high, nutrients

are less concentrated in the field than with larger bales, more area of the field is open for intercrop regrowth to provide high quality fall grazing and to improve the soil via living roots, and less energy expended by livestock to source feed if utilized in winter under significant snow depths. Considerations include increased number of bales per acre may impact baler wear and tear, at times heavy residue from non-consumed bale remnants can cause issues for seeding

Support for Manitoba livestock producers affected by drought

Apply for Feed and Transportation Assistance If you are a Manitoba livestock producer affected by the drought conditions in 2021, AgriRecovery can help you recover from extraordinary costs.

Buying, testing and moving feed from distant locations Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance helps livestock producers purchase and test feed for livestock to maintain their breeding herds, including transporting purchased feed from distant locations.

Moving your livestock to alternate feeding locations Livestock Transportation Drought Assistance helps livestock producers offset freight expenses associated with moving their breeding herd to alternate feeding locations due to shortages of feed.

Apply for Assistance To apply, get full program details, or to access resources on managing dry conditions, call Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development at 1-844-769-6224 or visit

Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development AgriRecovery – Print Ad Cattle Country 1/4 page horizontal — 6.39” wide x 5.75” deep

the next crop. However, the total area affected by bale residue is negligible compared to benefits and any problems areas are non-existent by year two. From a risk management perspective, the small dry baling makes a lot of sense. The challenge of how to tackle weed pressure in diverse intercrops and rotations was raised. The Brookdale farm has hosted previous studies in poly-crop production with limited herbicide control leading to fields with elevated weed pressure. The farm plan to increase productivity of target annual forages is to use a combination of no-till seeding, herbicide control (fall, spring pre-seeding, hybrid corn for in-season control), integrating livestock grazing, and timing of greenfeed cutting dates to limit weed seed production. Future plans will incorporate rotating fields into and out of perennial forage stands to outcompete annual weed species. Overall, fall grazing of annual forages provides a management tool to rest perennial forage stands going into winter dormancy. Stockpiled perennial forages can further extend grazing into early winter or very early spring with limited impact on future stand longevity dependent on the grazing intensity. Shawn Cabak (MB ARD), presented on the cost of produc-

tion of extensive grazing practices and highlighted the benefits of reduced feed costs relative to traditional winter feeding. There are trade-offs in leaving green feed in swath windrows, baling smaller bales to graze in the field, or baling standard round bales for transport off the field. In all cases, maximizing yield by sound agronomic practices of 4R fertility management matched to the agricultural capability of the field will reduce risks of elevated nitrates in the feed. Strip-grazing in the field either by swath windrows or by small bale allocations, is recommended to be avoided under wet field conditions as it can lead to compaction issues and increased feed wastage. Knowing what you have in the field on a dry matter basis is a useful tool in designing grazing plans and tracking productivity over the years. On the tour, Leah Rodvang (MBFI, Research Technician) walked through an illustration of how to calculate the dry matter yield of standing forage, and how to use dry matter yield to estimate the number of grazing days in a field based on animal units. The step-by-step guide can be found on MBFI’s website ( production-resources). For more information, MBFI can be reached at 204-761-3300 or at



Perennial grains - grazing the way forward BY: PATRICK LE HEIGET

Dept. of Plant Science, University of Manitoba

In light of increased environmental challenges that producers face on the Prairies, there is an ever-growing need for investigation of diverse crops for cattle production. A multi-disciplinary team at the University of Manitoba (UM), University of Saskatchewan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, The Land Institute, and Ducks Unlimited is currently researching an alternative option to help cope with the challenges that arise from conventional annual grains and perennial forages, such as lower feed quality and high synthetic inputs for late fall/early winter cattle grazing. This research is focusing on the development of a sustainable, economically viable dualpurpose perennial grain system for the Canadian Prairies. Originally a perennial forage grass, intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) has been the focus of research programs in North America and Europe to serve as the first commercialized perennial grain. The germplasm developed by Doug Cattani at UM for growth under Canadian conditions offers the potential to diversify traditional annual cropping systems by providing grain for human consumption, as well as residue and high-quality forage for late fall/early winter grazing during a single growing season. The perennial nature has benefits for both the producer and their land; removing the need for annual tillage and reseeding, can reduce input costs and labour for the producer. In terms of ecosystem benefits, the roots of the crop extend deep into the soil and allow for increased carbon sequestration, better access to nutrient and soil water stores, and quicker infiltration rates. Grazing cattle on the stand in the fall can also recycle nutrients into the rooting zone for the next season. Underway since 2019, this multisite project has collected small plot data from across the Prairies in Clavet, SK, and Carman and Brandon (BRDC), MB. A largescale field trial was established at the UM Glenlea Research Station (GRS) in

2020 and has had its first grain harvest and will undergo its first grazing this fall. The trial consists of four main treatments. A three-species intercrop of alfalfa, cicer milkvetch and tall fescue serves as the control. The remaining treatments are an IWG intercrop with clover, and two IWG monocultures, one fertilized with nitrogen following grain harvest and the other unfertilized for the duration of the stand. Meet the Students! Graduate students are at the front of this research and five M.Sc. students are currently investigating the viability of dual-purpose perennial grain crops in our modern agricultural systems from a range of differing perspectives. Autumn Wiebe grew up on an acreage in southwestern Manitoba surrounded by crop fields and beef operations. She earned a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and is currently studying for her Master’s degree at Brandon University where her research on the project focuses on greenhouse gas emissions from the soil in the small plot BRDC trial. Nikisha Muhandiram may not have grown up in Canada or on a farm, she grew up in Sri Lanka where she earned her B.Sc. in Agriculture majoring in Crop Science at the University of Peradeniya. She is a part of the UM soil science team and is assessing the use of soil properties to predict changes in soil functions under different perennial forage-grain systems. Jenai Buchanan grew up on a farm near Crystal City. She earned her Diploma in Agriculture, and B.Sc. in Agribusiness at UM. She is now returning to complete her M.Sc in Agribusiness and is part of the agribusiness team focusing her research on the economics of dual-

(Photo credit Pat Le Heiget) (From L to R) Autumn Wiebe, Nikisha Muhandiram, Jenai Buchanan, Ekoria Chan, Pat Le Heiget.

purpose perennial grain systems. She will analyze the economic return of the crop based on collected field data and will also be involved in determining the net carbon footprint of the crop under different management systems. Ekoria Chan grew up in Hong Kong, China and has lived in Canada since she graduated high school. She came to the UM to complete a B.Sc. in Animal Systems, and is part of the animal science team. She is researching the feasibility and potential of using IWG as a feed source for beef cattle. In the fall of 2021, she will evaluate the impact of IWG-based pastures on animal performance and nitrogen status, feed intake and energetic efficiency. Pat Le Heiget grew up in St. Claude, and earned his B.Sc. in Agriculture majoring in Agronomy at UM and joined the plant science team to study management and development of IWG crops. His research focuses on the effects of fertility and competition on tiller development, as well as yield and quality characteristics of grain and forage products. He is also investigating wildlife habitat suitability to evaluate the ability of the stand to provide nesting place for native bird species. This project is jointly funded by NSERC, Manitoba Beef Producers, Mitacs through the Mitacs Accelerate Program, and Ag Action Manitoba program, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Ripened IWG stand at GRS 2021.

IWG regrowth at GRS (2021) a month after swathing.

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McNish Conservation Agreement Restores Wetlands BY WAYNE HILDEBRAND, MNRM Terry and Allyson McNish live in a grand “revitalized” 1902 farmhouse south of Strathclair, MB in the Rural Municipality of Oakview. They both work off farm and still find time to raise Angus-cross cattle, Berkshire pigs, sheep, alpacas, and chickens. The “Little Eden Farm” is comprised of a quarter section and is a labour of love for Terry and Allyson. “We bought the farm in 2011 with a plan to convert the cultivated cropland to permanent forage/grass cover and grazing land,” said Terry. “The soil was stripped of nutrients and the wetlands were impacted, so we really wanted to bring some health back to the quarter.”

“Several years ago, Allyson and I were out for a drive, and we saw a conservation sign with Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation’s (MHHC) name on it,” said Terry. “I decided to follow up with MHHC to see if some of our farm conservation plans would fit with their wildlife habitat protection programs.” “Our conservation priorities for the farm were to plug the drains to restore wetlands and to get forage cover established within a rotational grazing system,” said Terry. “MHHC was good at explaining different options within their programs. They wanted to make sure the programming would work for us today and into

the future.” “We progressed to signing a Conservation Agreement (CA) in 2020 to permanently protect 150 acres of habitat. This included 100.5 acres (40.7 ha) of forage/grassland habitat, 17.3 acres (7.0 ha) of woodland, and 32.2 acres (13 ha) of wetland habitat. Our pastureland management and wetland conservation ideas were very compatible with MHHC’s wildlife habitat protection programs,” Terry relayed. “The McNish Conservation Agreement (CA) was unique in that it was the first CA signed by MHHC to keep the grasslands in permanent forage production,” said MHHC area conservation specialist Roy Bullion. “In the past

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Balog Auction Services Inc. 403-320-1980 Oct 15, 19, 22, 26; Nov 2, 5, 12, 19 Bow Slope Shipping Association 403-362-5521| Contact for sale dates Calgary Stockyards Ltd. (Strathmore) 403-934-3344 | Oct 16, 30; Nov 13 Dryland Cattle Trading Corp. (Veteran) 403-575-3772 | Nov 1 Innisfail Auction Mart 403-227-3166 Oct 4, 18, 25; Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Dec 6 Medicine Hat Feeding Company 403-526-2707 Oct 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 29; Nov 1, 3, 5, 8 North Central Livestock Exchange Inc. (Clyde) 780-348-5893 Oct 19; Nov 16; Dec 7 (Vermilion) 780-853-5372 Oct 20; Nov 17; Dec 8 Olds Auction Mart 403-556-3655 | Contact for sale dates Perlich Bros. Auction Market Ltd. 403-329-3101 | Oct 13 Provost Livestock Exchange 780-753-2218 Oct 25; Nov 8 Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange (Fort Macleod) 403-553-3315 Oct 16, 21, 28 (Chain Lakes);(Lethbridge Lodge); Contact for sale dates Foothills Auctioneers Inc. (Stavely) 403-549-2120 Oct 4, 12, 18, 25; Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Stettler Auction Mart (1990) Ltd. 403-742-2368 | Oct 19; Nov 5 TEAM Electronic Sale 403-234-7429 | Oct 15, 29; Nov 12 Thorsby Stockyards Inc. 780-789-3915 | Oct 14; Nov 18

MHHC would only approve grassland pastures under permanent grass cover (no cultivation). The McNish CA allows the option to renovate forage stands every eight years as needed by seeding to a crop for two years and under seeding back to forages in the second year.” “Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation coordinated installing the earth plugs in drained sloughs to restore four wetlands late last fall,” said Terry. “MHHC surveyed, designed and installed the plugs. It was timely as there was little spring runoff and the summer heat is drying everything up.” “Overall, we felt the Conservation Agreement process worked out well,” Terry said. “The support

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Alameda Auction Market 306-489-2221 | Contact for sale dates Assiniboia Livestock Auction | 306-642-5358 Oct 16; Nov 6, 9, 13, 20 Cowtown Livestock Exchange Inc. (Maple Creek) 306-662-2648 Oct 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30; Nov 2, 4 Heartland Livestock Services Moose Jaw 306-692-2385 | Oct 14, 26; Nov 9 Swift Current 306-773-3174 | Oct 16, 23; Nov 6, 13, 20, 27 Yorkton 306-783-9437 | Oct 6, 20; Nov 3, 17; Dec 1 Kelvington Stock Yards 306-327-8325 | Contact for sale dates Mankota Stockmen’s Weigh Co. 306-478-2229 Oct 15 (Rancher Endorsed Sale), 22, 29; Nov 5 Northern Livestock Sales Lloydminster 306-825-8831 | Nov 1, 15 Meadow Lake 306-236-3411 | Oct 27; Nov 4 Prince Albert 306-763-8463 | Oct 11; Nov 1 Saskatoon Livestock Sales Ltd. 306-382-8088 | Nov 12 Shaunavon Livestock Sales (88) Ltd. 306-297-2457 | Contact for sale dates Spiritwood Stockyards 306-883-2168 | Oct 20; Nov 3, 17

Weyburn Livestock Exchange 306-842-4574 | Oct 18; Nov 1, 15 Whitewood Livestock Sales 306-735-2822 | Sept 28, Oct 12, 26; Nov 9, 16, 23


Interlake Cattlemen’s Co-Op Assn Ltd. (Ashern) 204-768-2360 | Nov 10 Gladstone Auction Mart 204-385-2537 | Mar 8, 2022 Grunthal Livestock Auction 204-434-6519 | Oct 19 Heartland Livestock Brandon 204-727-1431 | Oct 12; Nov 9 Virden 204-748-2809 | Oct 13, 27; Nov 17 Killarney Auction Mart Ltd. 204-523-8477 | Oct 18 Ste. Rose Auction Mart Ltd. 204-447-2266 | Nov 11 Taylor Auctions 204-522-3996 | Contact for sale dates Winnipeg Livestock Sales 204-694-8328 | Oct 1, 22; Nov 19


Brussels Livestock 519-887-6461 | Nov 5 Ontario Stockyards Inc. (Cookstown) 705-458-4000 | Oct 7 Ottawa Livestock Exchange (Greely) 613-821-2634 | Contact for sale dates Kawartha Lakes Community Sale Barn Inc. 705-439-4444 | Contact for sale dates Keady Livestock Market (Blue Water) 519-934-2339 | Oct 28 Ontario Livestock Exchange Ltd. (Waterloo) 519-884-2082 | Oct 20


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The McNish Conservation Agreement (CA) was unique in that it was the first CA signed by MHHC to keep the grasslands in permanent forage production. In the past MHHC would only approve grassland pastures under permanent grass cover (no cultivation). from MHHC made the whole process very easy. The funding we received from MHHC helped us to do upgrades on the farm. The restored wetlands help hold water for our cattle and sheep, it helps our well, and we feel good about storing water

to prevent downstream flooding problems. As we get older, we realize how much we enjoy seeing the ducks, geese, deer and moose. Our farm plans seemed to be on the same page as MHHC’s habitat protection plans, so it worked out well.”

Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup awards scholarship Each year Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup awards a scholarship to an enthusiastic junior member to continue their education. In 2021, Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Brooklyn Wirgau. Brooklyn is from Narcisse where she grew up on her family’s farm, raising purebred Gelbvieh cattle. Brooklyn is active in her community, volunteering with sport organizations, bull sales and the local Ag society. She also assisted with the local skating club where she recently received her coaching certificate. Brooklyn has been a member of her local 4-H club for the past 10 years, holding various club positions for the past five years. She attended Roundup over the last few years, enjoying learning new skills and mak-

Brooklyn Wirgau

ing new friendships. Brooklyn graduated from Lundar High School this year and will be attending the University of Manitoba, pursing a degree in science with a major in microbiology. The Roundup committee wishes Brooklyn good luck at university this fall! Keep up to date on Roundup happenings at or our Facebook page.



StockTalk Q&A Feature Brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development

What Are Some Options for Extending the Grazing Season? BY: SHAWN CABAK Extended grazing allows livestock to return most of the nutrients they consume directly to the landscape where they’re fed. Feed costs can be less, but yardage and feeding costs are lower, as are manure removal costs. Manure and feed residues contain valuable nutrients that become available to annual or perennial crops. This improves crop productivity and quality and can extend the grazing season. Extended grazing options can vary from using crop residues to corn, swath, bale or stockpiled perennial forage grazing. Feeding management needs to be flexible to allow for some supplementation or complete feeding in extreme conditions. Stockpiled Perennial Forage Perennial forage that is grazed or cut early in the season, and the regrowth saved for late-season or early spring grazing, is referred to as stockpiled forage. Typically, the first or second cut is harvested as hay, and regrowth is grazed after or close to killing frost. Grass and legume mixtures are better suited than pure grass or legume stands to decrease the risk of bloat, and grasses retain their leaves better. Alfalfa and grass can be grazed moderately in the fall, close to or after a killing frost, with minimal impact on the winter survival of the alfalfa. Second cut alfalfa harvested in mid-October averages 15 to 17 per cent protein and 64 to 66 per cent total digestible nutrients (TDN). A dry cow in mid gestation requires TDN in the mid 50s and seven to eight per cent protein, while a lactating cow in mid gestation requires TDN in the low 60s and 10 to 11 per cent protein. Annuals for Fall Grazing or Swath Grazing Annual crops can be swathed in the late summer or early fall, and grazed immediately or left until after freezeup. Most annual cereals should be cut at the early to mid dough stage for highest quality and yield. You can control access to the swaths by strip grazing or using a portable electric fence, to reduce the risk of grain overload and ensure higher utilization. Swath grazing during a wet fall should be done after freeze-up to improve utilization and to decrease waste. Stubble grazing can make use of uncropped areas, straw aftermath and volunteer re-growth that is high quality for protein and energy. An annual crop producing two to three-tonnes of dry matter per acre will produce 113 to 168 cow grazing days per acre, for a 1,300-pound cow, assuming 20 per cent waste and residue. Grazing standing corn produced 305 cow grazing days per acre (1300-pound cow) at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) Brookdale site from 2016 to 2020. The average yield was 5.4 tonnes of dry matter per acre, the protein was 7.3 per ce nt and the TDN was 73.4 per cent. For either corn or bale grazing, moving cattle every three to four days and using electric fencing minimizes the amount of waste and labour required. Feeding your forages before moving the cattle to fresh corn will help prevent grain overload as the cattle won’t be as hungry. Plus tame

forages (alfalfa and grass) will boost the protein in the ration and encourage the cattle to clean up the stover better. Bale grazing can involve all the bales being placed in the fall or hauled every seven to 10 days during the winter. If the bales are all placed in the fall, electric cross-fencing helps to control feeding and to minimize waste. Another option is to place the bales in existing paddocks and move the cattle between paddocks according to how long the feed lasts. Bales should be spaced 30 to 40 feet apart to allow adequate access for the feeding animals and to keep nutrient importing at a moderate level. A bale spacing of 33 feet equates to 40 bales per acre. Portable wind breaks provide movable, affordable onpasture shelter but may not be adequate in extreme winter conditions with high wind chill. Since snow is a good insulator, a powerful electric fencer is necessary for optimal livestock control. Using multiple wires including a ground on the cross fence may be required. An adequate supply of soft snow can be used as a water source but an alternative water source must be provided if conditions are icy or snow is lacking. Energy requirements are slightly higher if snow is the sole water source. Providing fresh water to the younger and older cows with higher nutritional requirements is recommended. Feed Contains Valuable Nutrients When you bale graze, unroll bales, shred bales or feed in rings, nutrients are being added to the land from the feed. A 1,250-pound bale of alfalfa and grass hay at 14 per cent protein contains approximately 24 pounds of nitrogen, 2.5 pounds of phosphorus and 21 pounds of potassium. Livestock only captures a small percentage of these nutrients (10 to 20 per cent), so most of the nutrients are returned to the land. If 30 bales are fed per acre, and the animal uses 20 per cent of the nutrients, 570 pounds of nitrogen, 51 pounds of phosphorus (117 pounds of P2O5) and 434 pounds of potassium would be returned to the land. The value of the nutrients returned to the land would Year


Plant Pop


be over $600 per acre, depending on the value of fertilizer. Grazing stockpiled forage in the fall is one of the most economical methods of extended grazing, considering that the cost is for fencing and the standing forage (two cents per pound). Over the last two years at MBFI, grazing the second cut was the most economical method of extended grazing at $1.05 per cow per day, ($1 in 2019), followed by corn at $1.68 ($1.63), swath at $2.18 ($2.71) and bale at $2.71 ($3.16). This includes yardage, labor and supplemented feed. This compares to Manitoba Agriculture & Resource Development’s average traditional feeding cost of $3.57 per cow in 2020/2021 and $4.23 the year before. By extending the grazing season, instead of confining animals and using stored feed, you can significantly lower your winter feeding costs. Some extended grazing options can cut your feed costs, but not always. Extended grazing returns nutrients back to the land and will fertilize your pastures, resulting in higher grass production, higher livestock gains and possibly a longer grazing season. Add in reduced manure disposal costs, a cut in winter feeding and yardage costs, and this is one practice worth considering. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, a Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development forage or livestock specialist will answer a selected question. Send your questions to Or call or text 204-768-0534. For information related to feed and freight assistance programs, go to: and click on “Drought Assistance Programs for Livestock Producers.” The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 120 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today. TDN%


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Completed applications and supporting documents must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. Friday, November 5, 2021. A selection committee will review the submissions. Winners will be notified by December 14, 2021. Visit our website for the application package.

10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2021

Market news and moves RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line As I sit down to pen this edition of the Bottom Line, some very well needed rains have made it possible for cows to be on the pasture longer than predicted. However, producers in the hardest drought-stricken areas are still going to be forced to sell some or all of their cows, as the shortage of winter feed has not improved any significant amount. Over the past six weeks, the larger than normal supplies of confinement cattle have found their way to the finishing feedlots. The grass cattle deliveries are earlier than normal, with the combination of both classes of cattle causing some bottlenecks at the finishing lots. Fed cattle move from the feedlots to the packers on a scheduled program, fed cattle are not moving out as fast as the replacement feeders are coming into the feedlots. Packers are running at capacity, with the weekly harvest topping at 74,000 head. Pen space, especially in Alberta, was at a premium in August, and September looks no better. The cost

of gain to finish a steer is over $1.35 per pound. Despite the high cost of finishing a beef animal, the market has been remarkably strong, with Ontario feedlots buying lots of Manitoba yearlings. The futures and the US fed cattle market currently support the high cost of feeder cattle and the high cost of finishing. Canadian packers were paying $3.03 dressed for April cattle. Export and domestic demand for beef has been very strong, but some experts feel that there will be some consumer resistance if the beef prices on the retail shelves get any higher. Packers are still enjoying large margins on their fed cattle harvest and are still not wanting to share too much of the profits with the supply chain. Carcass weights are close to the five-year average, which would indicate that the market ready supply of cattle in Canada is fairly current. The projected decrease in the cattle supplies for the next two to three years points towards a very healthy feeder market this fall and even into next spring. The feeling in the marketplace is that there will be more feeder calves than usual sold this fall, which will short the supply for next spring. Many cattle feeders feel that they will be forced to purchase more fall inventory to secure inventory for next spring and summer. Despite poor returns on the

cattle purchased over the past three falls and sold in the spring, many backgrounders are gearing to take one more shot and are gaining back some of the losses of the past few years. Most of those feeders who ran grass cattle this summer still made money on a shortened grazing season. I am still predicting that cow calf producers will be pleasantly surprised at how well the calves sell this fall. I also expect that the spread between the steer calves and the heifer calves will be tighter this year than other years. Some speculators will buy heifers hoping for a hot replacement market for breeding quality in the spring. That could be a big gamble, as we will need a very promising spring for pastures and feed before the rebuilding of the cattle herds in the west seriously starts. There has been lots of news in the marketing sector in Manitoba. In Grunthal, Harold Unrau has resigned as the manager of the auction market. As of the deadline for this issue of Cattle Country, auctioneer Brad Kehler is acting manager and will continue to be the lead auctioneer. As of the first week of September, Cattlex Ltd.’s buying station located at Hamiota has been sold to John Lawton of Titan Livestock of St. Albert, Alberta. Andy Drake will stay on as the site manager of the buy-

ing station and will be buying at some of the markets. Jay Jackson of Winnipeg has agreed to become a Titan employee and will be covering the eastern Manitoba markets. Titan will also use some commission agents on the remainder of the auctions. Lawton also owns Gibson Livestock based in Moose Jaw. With Rick Wright retiring from Heartland Order Buying Company and joining the JGL Livestock network, HOBC has closed its office in Virden. With Robin Hill’s departure from HLS Virden to JGL, Brennin Jack has filled the position of manager at Heartland Virden. Taylor Auctions at Melita has chosen Monday as their regular butcher and feeder sales day. Brock and Kelly Taylor are sole owners of the auction market and have renovated the export and testing facilities to accommodate live cattle auctions. Congratulations to Jesse Campbell of Brandon on wining the “Top Rookie” award at the No Borders Auctioneering Competition held in Innisfail in early September. With all the changes in the marketing sector, producers can expect even more competition in an already hotly contested Manitoba cattle market. Until next time, Rick.

Medication handling review DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

As the fall approaches and producers are bringing cattle home, it bears merit to review appropriate vaccine and medication handling to ensure products work as intended and there are minimal adverse events. Injection site swellings and processing-related injuries are unfortunately not uncommon. Let’s review some processing basics to minimize adverse reactions. Start with clean equipment and prioritize syringe maintenance. Disposable syringes should be discard-


ed at the end of the day or when dirty/broken. Remember that syringes can only be effectively cleaned if they are taken apart. Flushing the syringe with a few “fills” of water does not work. When reassembling, use a lubricant approved by the manufacturer and check for worn parts and O-rings. Worn and improperly fitted parts will affect dose accuracy and cause leakage. Repair kits are available for many brands and individual parts are available through your local supply store or veterinarian. Bottle top and tube delivery systems are much harder to clean but should be thoroughly rinsed and flushed with hot water. Those systems should be replaced each season to avoid contamination. If you see a film, cloudiness or can scrape debris off the inside of your syringe, biofilm is present and can harbour bacteria that can lead to injection site infections. VERY IMPORTANT - Dedicate your multi-dose syringes to individual products - antibiotics, vitamins, modified-live vaccines and bacterins (killed vaccines). Mixing product types will inactivate modified-live vaccines rendering them useless. Vaccine inactivation will also occur if soap and other disinfectants (including bleach) are used to clean the syringes. Clean syringes dedicated to vaccines with hot water only and rinse and dry thoroughly prior to reassembly. Syringes used for antibiotics can be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner like chlorhexidine. Talk to your veterinarian about cleaning options and techniques. Have an expensive syringe that you have not maintained as well as you should have? Your veterinarian may be able to help you salvage it using an ultrasonic cleaner (commonly used to clean surgical instruments). Regularly change needles - a new needle for every 10 animals needled and sooner if the needle bends, becomes dull or is dirty. Use the appropriate size and length for the job: 16G is the standard at weaning while 18G needles are appropriate for processing at birth. Use 3/4” for subcutaneous injections and 1” or 1 1/2” for intramuscular injections in calves and mature cattle respectively. Spread injections out by one hand width and give no more than 10cc per site. Follow the landmarks and techniques on the pictures below when selecting injection sites and for how to give intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. Have your veterinarian demonstrate injection techniques during your next herd visit. Be sure to only buy enough product required

for the season and check expiry dates. Though larger sizes are more economical, smaller bottles are used up more quickly and less likely to be inadvertently contaminated. Store medications according to the label - fridge/shelf, out of light, watch expiry dates. Keep part bottles in their original packaging and store in a covered container to minimize contamination. Never stick a used needle into a bottle - always use a new needle or a dedicated draw needle. If a high usage product, consider a draw-off syringe system. Toss any part bottles at the end of the season, those that are expired and any medications that have changed in appearance (discoloured, thickened, flocculent debris). Vaccines require extra-special care during use. The modified-live vaccines (MLV) require reconstitution to activate the vaccine. Only mix enough for one hour at a time and roll the vaccine rather than mixing vigorously. Shake bacterin (killed) vaccines up when you reconstitute more MLV. UV rays (sunlight) and heat are hard on all vaccines so store in a cooler and keep your syringes sheltered from light. Check out the wide variety of chute-side syringe holder designs available. You also want to avoid freezing vaccines as they will become inactivated. Even worse, adverse reactions (including death) have occurred following the usage of vaccines that had previously been frozen. Have a max/min thermometer in your storage fridge and destroy any unused vaccine at the end of the day. A final note on drug handling: What if cattle haven’t been the only thing you’ve been injecting? Self-inflicted needle sticks can be serious. Be sure to restrain cattle properly with a neck extender and squeeze before injection and consider using Needleeze extensions or Slapshots to avoid injury to your hand or syringe. Never put loaded syringes in your pockets or hold with your mouth, even if the needle is capped. Know what products you are using or better yet, have the packaging available so that if you accidentally vaccinate or medicate yourself, you can quickly and accurately inform medical staff as required. The best case scenario is injury from the needle and an irritating product. The worst case scenario is death if you accidentally inject yourself with a tranquilizer or Micotil. Take your time, wear gloves, restrain adequately and practice good needle and product handling to ensure you and your cattle remain injury free this fall processing season.

October 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

A new season of Great Tastes is here BY: TAMARA SARKISIAN, RD Keep your eyes peeled for Manitoba Beef Producers’ first episode on Season 32 of Great Taste of Manitoba airing on CTV Winnipeg at 6:30 pm on October 23rd! My first year as the new food expert with Manitoba Beef Producers was such an amazing experience. It all started back in February-March 2021 where I was selecting my favourite beef recipes, then in April/May where I worked on developing and testing each recipe and then filming our segments within three days in July. Did you know that we test each recipe three times to make sure they are perfect? I was amazed to see the production behind this show, from the crew to the staff, everyone was so amazing to work with and the famous host, Dez Daniels

made me feel so comfortable while filming on set. I thought I would get nervous on my first season, but I felt so confident with such a great team of people. I prepared three recipes for the first segment which was about creating easy weeknight beef bowls. I wanted to provide different flavours to please different palates, so I started off with a Middle Eastern Beef Bowl using ground beef (see recipe below), followed by a Mexican Beef Bowl using striploin steak and finished off with a Korean Beef Bowl using Rib Eye Steak. All the recipes are so tasty, and you definitely have to watch the show to see how I prepare all three recipes. See below for a sneak peak at one of my favourite recipes, the Middle Eastern Beef Bowl. Looking forward to doing this all over again next year!

Photo credit: Tamara Sarkisian

MIDDLE EASTERN BEEF BOWLS Ingredients: Beef 1 lb (500 g) ground beef, lean 1/2 medium onion, diced 3-4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika ½ tsp (2.5 mL) hot pepper flakes 1 ½ Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste 3 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice ¼ cup water

2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped 2 Tbsp fresh curly parsley, chopped ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp ground pepper Yogurt sauce -1 cucumber, sliced -1 garlic clove, crushed -1 cup plain yogurt (3-4%) -2 Tbsp olive oil -1/2 lemon, juiced -salt and pepper to taste

Photo credit: Donalee Jones/Great Tastes of Manitoba

Directions: Beef Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add ground beef and break apart the ground meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is brown. Add onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper and stir. Cook for about 5 min. Stir in tomato paste, water and lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Mix in mint and parsley and serve with yogurt sauce and suggested toppings below.


Yogurt sauce In a medium size bowl, combine cucumber, garlic, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix and serve as a topping with your beef bowl. Serve with: Barley or rice, olives, diced tomatoes, cucumber slices, pickled turnip, hummus, roasted eggplant, and yogurt sauce.




Since 1996, The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) has been awarded annually at the provincial and national level to recognize cattle producers’ leadership in conservation. Nominees and applicants are selected based on their stewardship practices, accomplishments and goals. The deadline to receive nominations at the MBP office is December 3, 2021. Visit for the application package.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2021


Courtesy of Staden Farms

Courtesy of Ian Thorleifson



Courtesy of Jody Scheirlinck

Courtesy of Tracy Lamb

Courtesy of Canadian Sheep Federation

Led by representation from 15 livestock organizations from across Canada, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, CCIA, is the responsible administrator for beef cattle, bison, sheep and pending regulation cervids and goats in Canada (with some exemptions in Quebec).

WHAT’S NEW IN THE WEBSTORE SHEARWELL RFID — An innovative steel wrap-around beef tag, the first of its kind. The microchip is overmolded in a plastic insert so readability and read range of the transponder are never compromised. DESTRON DMR RFID — Upgraded version of the Destron eTag. Improvements include a fully molded outer tag housing for better durability and water resistance and an enhanced locking mechanism for greater retention.

FOR ALL THINGS TRACEABILITY — your source for who we are and what we do. — Canadian Livestock Tracking System

(CLTS), is CCIA’s database where essential traceability information is captured and serves as the first line of defence in the event of a traceback. — your “how to” destination. — tags and tag accessories when you need them, 24/7.

UHF | NEW POSSIBILITIES WE ARE ON THE MOVE We have had a longstanding goal of owning our own building consisting of both office and warehouse space under one roof in Calgary. The CCIA Board’s vision is now a reality offering the potential to increase our in-house services and become more self-reliant in order to better serve the industry as we move forward.

CCIA is exploring the introduction of Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID tags into the existing system in a cost-efficient manner that augments the approved CCIA tag and supplies benefits of the technology to on-farm data collection. Data integrity is enhanced, and data capture is more efficient by pairing an UHF tag number with a CCIA tag number and storing the cross reference in the CLTS.

To get to know us better and learn more about how we are working towards traceability together, visit | | 1-877-909-2333