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PUBLISHED BY THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

| VOL.14 NO.1 FEBRUARY 2012

REVIEW OF CANADA’S BEEF CATTLE INDUSTRY SCIENCE CLUSTER REYNOLD BERGEN

Canada’s Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster brings together Canada’s largest public and industry check-off research funding agencies, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC). Collaboration and investments under the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster are focused on

Improved Production Efficiencies (65 per cent of funds)

The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster has directed 18 per cent of its funds to seven feed efficiency research projects. Feed is the single largest variable input cost in both cow-calf

and feedlot production. Feed efficiency of Canadian cattle has made marked progress. Cattle that took three to five years to finish in the late 1880s now reach the same finished weights in less than 24 months. Feed conversion ratios published in Canadian scientific literature improved by 40 per cent between 1950 and 2001. At current feed prices, that historical rate of improvement in efficiency has been worth $8 million per year. Improving feed efficiency also has measurable environmental benefits; a 20 per cent improvement in feed efficiency translates to a 30 per cent decrease in manure production, as well as a 30 per cent reduction in methPage 4 ane production. Moving forward, continued improvements in feed efficiency through research investigating alternative feeding strategies, new feed development, improvements in genetics, and selection tools will all be essential to facilitating the growth and sustainability of the beef industry in a new realm of higher feed prices due to growing global food and fuel demand. The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster has directed 19 per cent of its funds to improve forage and grassland productivity. Because cow-calf produc-

REMEMBERING MAJOR JAY FOX

tion is pasture-based, feed costs are best addressed by both increasing forage productivity and reducing winter confinement-feeding costs. In addition to providing wildlife and bird habitat and plant biodiversity, minimizing soil erosion, and protecting watersheds, well-managed natural grasslands store more carbon in the soil than cropland or forested vegetation. In the project Reducing the Cost of Swath Grazing Cows by Increasing the Swathed-Crop Yield, Vern Baron (AAFC Lacombe) and collaborators at Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development are comparing different seeding dates and annual crops (e.g. corn,

barley, triticale) to identify strategies to maximize forage nutrient yield and minimize daily winter feeding costs for the cow herd. Preliminary results from this trial suggest that total winter feeding costs can be reduced by 27 to 45 per cent by swath grazing corn or triticale compared to a traditional confinement-fed control. This has significant implications for Canada’s beef industry, as reducing total winter feeding costs by as little as 1 per cent would save Canada’s cow-calf sector $6 million annually. The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster has directed 22 per cent of its funds to seven animal health, welfare, and produc-

... Continued on page 13

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

advancing research of priority to improve production efficiencies (65 per cent of funding, 23 projects) and consumer confidence and beef demand (35 per cent of funding, nine projects). Some of the activities with which the Science Cluster was involved in 2011 include the following.


2

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP

THE YEAR AHEAD RAY ARMBRUSTER

Leading up to the last issue of Cattle Country, we were getting ready for 2012 with a new outlook and optimism for the industry. But just before the holidays, we were deeply saddened by the passing of our former President and friend, Major Jay Fox. On behalf of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), I would like to recognize the commitment and sacrifice that Jay put toward working for the beef industry. We all know that once we commit ourselves to an organization and certain responsibilities, we do sacrifice family time. We are forever grateful for the time Jay and his family gave to our organization for the good of all Manitoba producers. I had the opportunity to work with Jay for the past five years as a director, which included serving with him for two years as vice president. It was always obvious that Jay was deeply committed to this industry. In my time with MBP, I have counted myself as

one of the “older” board members, due to the fact that some of my fellow board members have been around the same age as my own kids. In a way, I had a bit of a fatherly outlook as I watched them come along. I observed their passion for their communities, their operations and the entire industry. I look back on those memories fondly and think of good times when Jay and I would be travelling to a meeting and our discussion would turn to topics like breeding cattle or 4-H. It was easy to see he had a great passion for everything related to raising cattle. Jay was always very open about how much he valued working with his family in this industry and the incredible support they gave him. He

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was very proud of that. I always say it is the motivation that I saw in young directors like Jay that motivates me to continue this work. As we move forward, the board will continue to provide support to Jay’s family through the trust fund that has been set up and memorials. His con-

like this, I do feel that Jay would tell us to keep moving—because we have issues that we have to work on. Please be assured that I will continue to work on the issues that were important to him. I mentioned the topic of optimism for our industry. At this time, we are seeing recovery prices and

pertise to the table. We need their leadership and consultation to bring forward responsible changes where they are needed and oversight to provide more protection around insolvency. We look forward to our continued discussions with them. Flooding and excess moisture are key issues

MBP will continue to work vigorously to ensure these issues are being addressed and resolved for producers. tributions and memory will be acknowledged and never forgotten. There has been an outpouring of calls about Jay that have come into the office and I have also received calls and emails from fellow producers, government officials and industry partners from across the province. I want to thank them all for their thoughts and for sharing memories. We have included a tribute to Jay on page 4, which I encourage you to read, as we all remember him for the outstanding leader and person that he was. Even in a situation

some economic viability. This means we now have an opportunity for industry and government to fix some issues and move forward with a vision for the future. One of the issues I would like to focus on here concerns dealer insolvency. MBP wants to work and consult with the livestock dealers of Manitoba on this. We know we have a group of livestock dealers with a high level of integrity and reputation related to buying and selling livestock. They are very competitive and reliable, and they bring outstanding ex-

that are impacting the herd and the viability of producers to stay on the landscape. We have seen particular regions in the province where we have lost significant herds and producers. For example, in the Assiniboine Valley, year after year, producers have been battling excess water and unpredictability. Producers near the Shoal Lakes, Lake Manitoba, Interlake region, Whitewater Lake, Souris River and other areas have faced flooding and excess water, and many communities have been negatively affected. At a time when

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DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

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TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

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DISTRICT 3

RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT

BRAD MCDONALD

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DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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DISTRICT 7

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DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

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MAC MCRAE - VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK

Box 1193 Arborg, MB R0C 0A0 PH/FX: 664-5400 R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, R.M. of Fisher, Armstrong

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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KIM CRANDALL

DISTRICT 14

STAN FOSTER

Box 295 Benito, MB ROL 0C0 PH/FX: 204-536-2345 R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas MISSION: “Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the beef industry in Manitoba. Our role and mission is to represent our beef producers through communication, research, advocacy and education. We provide this representation within industry, to government, to the beef consumer and general public. These efforts take place to strengthen our industry viability, improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future for the beef industry in Manitoba for the benefit of all our producers. The Manitoba Beef Producers represents 8,000 beef producers across the province.”

industry is moving ahead and there is optimism for profitability, we have lost producers and they are just being pushed aside. Manitoba has been experiencing excessively wet years and we have been receiving excess water and drainage from other jurisdictions. Beef producers manage their livestock using the natural landscape where drainage has not been developed and this means they are often the recipients of water from other areas. This is another reason why we need a provincial water management strategy. Producers must have predictability so that a flood event from somewhere else will not affect them. In some cases, we need standing programs for times when we experience excess rain and in cases when we have water being diverted to another area. We need to have longterm measures in place to mitigate flooding because producers do not want to see this year after year, or to live with the threat of these impacts. MBP is watching closely to see that support is flowing to producers who have been affected by flooding. ... Continued on page 22

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Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

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February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE

SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH CAM DAHL

Many people remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated. I know I recall exactly what I was doing when the twin towers fell. And I will never forget the moment I learned that Major Jay Fox was a victim of a farm accident. All passings are sad events, but some deaths are simply tragic. Jay’s loss is tragic, especially for Angie, Devon, Charlee, Porter and Major. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. The ancient Greeks said that the greatest curse of the gods was for a parent to bury a child. It is hard to fathom the pain of Virginia and Lyal, and Jay’s brothers and sister. To all of Jay’s family, I want to say this: If there is any way that we can help you through this difficult time, Manitoba Beef Producers will be there. The loss of Jay will be felt by all beef producers in Manitoba, and indeed across the country. Leaders like Jay are hard to find, and one so young is rare indeed. I did not know Jay long, but I consider it a privilege to call him a friend. His passion for agriculture and his fellow producers, his humour and the genuine care he felt for those around him

made a quick impression on anyone he met. While we remember Jay—and we will not forget—the work of the organization he so ably led will continue. This edition of Cattle Country touches on re-

help increase the productivity of your herds. Successful projects of this nature can have direct financial impacts on your operations. This is not the only reason we choose to support projects. Agriculture

farmers and ranchers play in the protection of the environment. The danger from misplaced legislative initiatives is increased when the politicians elected by the public at large do not fully understand our industry.

more than just lobby governments. Our customers, like McDonalds, Walmart and others, are beginning to focus on individual farms and the production practices that are used to produce the food they sell. Large companies are de-

Our communication and education efforts must be based on sound science if we are to counter effectively the risks posed by misunderstandings in the political and public realms.

search. As you know, a significant portion of the check-off dollars that you contribute to Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is dedicated to research. MBP supports research for two basic reasons. The first is to aid in the development of new genetic traits or new production practices that will

is often the target of activist organizations that do not have a complete understanding of the measures you take to protect the land and water and care for the welfare of your animals. Societal pressure can result in legislation and regulations that target agriculture instead of acknowledging the role that

Research allows MBP and other farm organizations to help decrease this dangerous urban/rural divide. Our communication and education efforts must be based on sound science if we are to counter effectively the risks posed by misunderstandings in the political and public realms. But we have to do

veloping requirements on traceability, food safety, environmental impacts and animal welfare. These new programs are not being rolled out for altruistic reasons, but because society at large is demanding more information about the source of food and how it is produced. If you want direct evidence of this

trend, view a series of new advertisements at www. mcdonalds.com. Agriculture needs to do a better job of speaking to the customers of our customers, telling our story. You have a very good story to tell when it comes to environmental issues and the care with which you raise your animals. Solid scientific research will help us tell these stories. One of my goals in the next year is to communicate more completely the results of our research projects through Cattle Country and our biweekly electronic newsletter. Until then, I invite anyone who would like more information to get in touch with MBP at 1-800-7720458 or at info@mbbeef. ca. Please drop us a note if you would like to be added to our email list or if you are not yet receiving Cattle Country at home. As always, my door, phone and inbox are open to any questions or comments you may have.

n a e l e F i arms r i a r P th 34 Bull and Female Sale Saturday April 14, 2012

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

WITH GRATITUDE

REMEMBERING MAJOR JAY FOX

F

riends and colleagues continue to mourn the loss of Major Jay Fox, Past President of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). Jay served two terms as President of MBP in 2010 and 2011, one term as Second Vice President in 2009, and six years as District 12 Director. With every story and testament we hear or receive, we are reminded about how fortunate we all were to have him with us. For this, we are forever thankful. Jay, a fourth generation cow-calf producer in Eddystone, Man., was injured in an accident and passed away on Dec. 23, 2011 at age 32. Jay is survived by his loving wife Angie; his children Devon, Charlee, Porter and Major; his parents Lyal and Virginia Fox; his brothers Lyal II (Rose) and their children: Peter, Spencer, and Isaiah; Jon (Shelly) and their children: Tyra, Jon, Jim Bob and Jorja; Stirling (Sheena) and their children: Bexson and Broker; Ben (Linda) and their children: Emma, Sutherland, and Benjamin; his sister AJ (David); his grandmothers Molly Fox and Mildred Ellis; his parents-in-law Andy and Marilyn Russett; his brothers-in-law Randy (Nicole) Russet and their children: Keagan, Heidi and Camryn; Clinton (Carrie) and their children: Jared, Alyssa, and Bailey; his sister-in-law Darlynn (Corey) and their children: Ashton, Brody, and Skylar; Angie’s grandmother Florence Hamel; and his special friends Gina, Kate, Wade and Lindsay Cole. He was predeceased by his grandfathers Arthur Millington and Jonathan Fox; his uncle Charlie Bob Fox; and his special friends Glen Cole and Jim Mantler. Throughout his career and life as a cattleman, Jay worked to change the landscape of the beef industry. His integrity and tireless efforts on critical

issues benefitted all beef producers in the province. Jay’s work was highlighted by numerous leadership roles related to agriculture. The eulogy given by Jay’s brothers touched on his involvement in his community: “It was very important to Jay to give back to the community and the industry he cared so deeply for. Because of this, over the past few years, he selflessly served the local community as well as the province of Manitoba, whether it be through 4-H as a beef leader with the Eddystone Combined 4-H Club, or as a member of the Westlake Grazing Club, Dauphin and Area Beef Show Committee, or Manitoba Beef Producers. Jay gave his all for the betterment of his community.” In 2008, Jay and Angie were recognized as Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers, and that was something he was also proud to be part of. In his many years with MBP, Jay was a strong and knowledgeable voice for our industry. He served on numerous committees such as Finance, Production Management, Keystone Agricultural Producers Executive, Crown Lands, and the Agricultural Policy Framework committee. In addition to serving as President, in mid-2010, Jay stepped up as Acting General Manag-

lobby efforts and representation on key issues such as the 2011 flood, addressing the need for informed access on Crown lands, and developing proposals to control the increase in predation in the province. Jay would often say, “There is never a lull in the issues that we deal with.” Throughout the months during the 2011 flood, Jay became known as “the flood guy,” and both media and government turned to him to hear him explain the situation about how beef producers were fighting for their land and livelihoods. Dealing with the impact of excess moisture at his own operation at Steadfast Ranch, Jay was a great spokesperson for the industry. Seeing Jay on the evening news or hearing his voice on radio stations across the province was a common occurrence during those months. Jay’s knowledge and input was key in developing the recommendations and proposals for the flood compensation programs announced by the Province in June 2011. He spoke on behalf of all beef producers, indicating it was imperative that the government provide equal compensation across all commodity groups for flooding on pasture and hayland, and he emphasized the impact excess moisture was having on all producers in the various watersheds. Producers

oured, but his biggest joy was his loving family. In his Oct. 2011 Cattle Country column, “As I See It,” Jay gave us all a glimpse into his passion for being a

With every story and testament we hear or receive, we are reminded about how fortunate we all were to have him with us. er and made the trek to Winnipeg three or four days a week for six months to ensure that the office ran as smoothly as possible. He did an outstanding job and again demonstrated his dedication to producers and his industry. Jay made extraordinary contributions through

benefitted greatly due to his committed efforts and expertise. Jay served our organization with the utmost integrity and dedication, and his contributions will always be admired and acknowledged. Jay’s passion for the cattle sector was evident in all he endeav-

beef producer and his love for the lifestyle he enjoyed with his family: “As many of you know, not many professions allow you the unique and diverse daily experiences of our industry. Yes, there are challenges and difficult times, but in the end, I think it’s all worth

it. I can say that the opportunity to raise my children in the same manner that I was raised, providing them the opportunity to work with both the physical and mental demands of a ranch operation, has given me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.” In an address before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and AgriFood in the House of Commons in Ottawa on May 26, 2010, Jay also spoke these words about his family: “I am a proud fourth-generation cattle producer. My history and my legacy to the fifth generation of the Fox family are my ultimate motivation.” Jay made a deep impression on us all with his passion for working for the

good of his family and their livelihood, and he will be missed by all of his MBP friends and colleagues in the beef sector and the agriculture industry as a whole. We are thankful for the time Jay and his family devoted to serving our organization, and MBP extends our deepest condolences and support to Jay’s family at this sad time. We will rally around Jay’s memory, never weaken, and work to make him proud. We encourage those who so desire to make memorial donations in memory of Jay to a trust fund for his children Devon, Charlee, Porter and Major. Donations may be made at any branch of TD Canada Trust.


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

a great supporter of AITCM’s work and will be missed as a voice and a volunteer.” Johanne Ross, Executive Director, Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba “I will remember Jay for just how knowledgeable and dedicated to the cattle industry in Manitoba he was, for such a young person. It has been said how mature he was for his age. He commanded respect from people twice his age by knowing all of the issues inside and out. Every cattle producer in this province is indebted to Jay’s dedication to the industry (even the refunders). I recall once, when we were in a meeting, he was asked if his mother had ever told him that if he didn’t have anything good to say not to say anything at all. Jay acknowledged that she had, but that she had also told him to spit when his mouth was full of crap. Even for how dedicated to the cattle industry he was, he was even more dedicated to his family and to others’ families. He was also very community-oriented and he will be missed.” Kim Crandall, MBP Director for District 13

MEMORIES OF MAJOR JAY FOX “My most vivid memory of Jay Fox goes back to September 2008, when I visited his ranch near Eddystone in Manitoba’s Westlake region. It was an unusually wet year and flooding was widespread throughout the region, as it also was in the Interlake and other parts of the province. I was doing a story for The Manitoba Co-operator on the impact of flooding on farmers, and Jay was happy to oblige. We spent an entire afternoon on ATVs driving through Jay’s summer pasture, with water up to the

axles for miles on end. It was like driving through a rice paddy. Nothing could have demonstrated the extent of flooding more dramatically than that trip with Jay through his flooded pasture. Very few people would have gone to so much effort to assist a news reporter, but Jay did because he felt it was important to get the story out. That, to me, typifies Jay Fox: willing to go the extra mile to help somebody. He was always ready to respond whenever I phoned for a comment, no matter how inconvenient my calls must

have been at times. I always marvelled at that, just as I marvelled at his warmth, generosity and passion for his livelihood, his family and the industry he cared about. I am deeply distressed by his sudden passing and I mourn for him.” Ron Friesen, Farm Journalist “Jay was a big part of my day-to-day life, as both my mentor and friend. Jay took me under his wing to teach me about the many issues facing the cattle sector in Manitoba. He knew of my keen interest in government relations, and gave me the opportunity to participate in all aspects. Jay was Acting General Man-

ager for six months, and we spent countless hours working on the 2011 flood issue, attending government meetings, and of course, accumulating many jokes. Jay had an incredible ability to deal with people. He was able to turn on the light switch as General Manager and President, and then turn it off and be a friend. Jay had a great sense of humour and was able to break the ice at meetings. He would use analogies and parallels between issues and sporting events, which would always ease the tone in some stressful situations. At one meeting, Jay was explaining how the flood in Manitoba was as unpredictable as a monkey

running across a football field. Following an awkward silence and strange glances from across the table, the individuals at the meeting burst into laughter. The combination of Jay’s humour, cleverness, and intelligence grasped the attention of anyone we met with. Jay not only had in-depth knowledge and expertise, but he also had INCREDIBLE passion for MBP and the industry. I will never forget what I have learned from him over the past few years.” Lauren Stone, MBP Policy Analyst “Jay was a true ambassador to this industry and a friend to all he met. He was

“During my time as MCPA/MBP Director, the four-and-a-half-hour drive to board meetings was often shared with other directors, usually Kim Crandall and Jay. Almost all of those commutes involved lots of gab and laughter, and if it had anything to do with cattle or ranching, we likely touched on it. We didn’t solve many issues, but sure analyzed the heck out of everything. Sometimes, the discussions got quite opinionated and this was somewhat distressing, especially when Jay was at the helm. To get his point of view across, Jay would like to make eye contact and use hand gestures. To achieve this, he would let go of the wheel, using his thigh to keep things going more or less straight, then turn to whoever he was addressing and converse as if we were at someone’s kitchen table. It would get especially alarming if that person happened to be riding in the back seat! Being passionate about the cattle industry just begins to describe Jay’s attitude. The industry and MBP need more young and energetic producers like him.” Dane Guignion, former MBP Director


6

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

... With Gratitude, Continued

“In all the time I have been in the farming world, I have never been so sad at the loss of a true friend and farming colleague. All of the cattle producers of Manitoba have suffered one of the greatest losses to their industry. Major Jay Fox was so dedicated to pushing the cattle industry ahead when so many of us were just sitting around waiting for something to happen from

someone else. As President of our industry’s political front, up to this year when he retired, he gave his all so we could keep on surviving through some of the worst times the cattle business has seen. I was fortunate enough to have worked with the Fox family during the times when it was all fun to be raising beef cattle. But I have also endured two innings of BSE [bovine spongiform encephalopathy] and two foot-and-mouth outbreaks here and back in the U.K.

before we moved to Manitoba. It is because of people like Major Jay that we still have the opportunity to enjoy that way of life, and are now at a point where we may even be able to make a good living by raising cattle. I have lost close friends already in my life, but this is one loss that is hard to swallow, as now a person who I have known since the day he was born is gone, and all the hard work he did on our behalf he will not see grow and

benefit us all. This young man has achieved so much in his relatively short life; we should all take a moment to think what we will now do without him and his tireless endeavours to promote the industry he loved so dearly. The best way to honour his memory is to make sure all he did and fought for on our behalf is put to full use, and we all as cattlemen and cattlewomen make sure that this effort he gave for us reaps its full reward in years to come.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I have no picture to share with you all, except the memories I have of a happy, joyous man who lived life to the full with his family and friends, always making the most of any opportunity that presented itself to the utmost. I can honestly say that any time I met with Major Jay, he would greet me with a smile so big and genuine and the firmest handshake that even the coldest day in Manitoba felt warm. That

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was the character of the man I will truly never replace in my life. I cannot begin to express what the loss to the rest of his family and friends will mean, but I am sure that every cattleperson in Canada would want to say that their loss is shared by us all, and that grief shared may help to lighten its burden. Major Jay was surrounded by a network of good neighbours and friends who I know will be there for the family whenever the need arises. Since I first came to Manitoba and encountered Major Jay at his home ranch at Eddystone, we hit it off and have shared some memorable times in a variety of ways. Playing rummy (Canada versus England) was one of the first and ‘coolest,’ followed by ‘spot the cow in the bush’ as we helped round up some of the herd from the bush around the yard site. I have watched him play a friendly softball contest, where nothing was left behind—he gave it 100 per cent, as I remember him flying through the air to make a decisive catch to end the game. No matter where you found him, or what he was doing, you could be sure of one thing—he was doing it with 101 per cent of his effort and always with that unmistakable smile that I will never forget. May you all have and share your fondest memories of this remarkable man for many years to come, as is fitting when we lose such a great young person. Rest in peace, Major Jay Fox.” Christopher and Sarah Walwin, friends from Crandall, Man.

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February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP THE WELLNESS PLATFORM

BRENDA SCHOEPP

Antibiotics are used in food animal production to curb, control, and treat disease. This has been seriously questioned in the last few years by consumers who fear antimicrobial resistance. The introduction of Bill H.R. 1549 in the United States, which was to ban all antimicrobial and growth promotant use in food-producing animals, did fail. Nonetheless, the drive behind the bill remained in full gear and resulted this month in the first of what could be the precedent for future bans or restrictions for antimicrobial use in food-producing animals. The link between using antibiotics in food-producing animals and resistance to antibiotics in humans has not been proven. There is, however, ample evidence to support the fact that both animals and humans may host bacteria that is not responsive to treatment. By default, food animals that are exposed or treated to antimicrobials are often linked to human resistance. Although much of the research is still underway, advocates for the ban of treating animals, especially mass treatment, are gaining ground. The consumer is aware that mass treatment occurs and has concerns as

with the termination of cephalosporin for mass or long-term treatment and the injection into broiler eggs. Cephalosporin in the United States can still be used in the treatment of disease, according to the label, and by a veterinarian, which is the way it has been used anyway. In food animals such as cattle, the drug is employed in Canada to treat Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). The name on the bottle is Excenel or Excede. The withdrawal time for Excenel and Excede in Canada is longer than in the United States, and so this new ruling is unlikely to affect any beef trade with the United States. In human medicine, cephalosporin is used to treat common strep throat, urinary infections, and pneumonia, but is considered a big gun in the treatment of salmonella poisoning – and that is what kept the FDA motivated.

just one of many voices. Retail has gotten into the game. The best example is Coles Supermarkets in Australia, which banned beef that had been implanted with growth promotants commonly known as hormones. The move was in response to consumer concerns and producers had no advance warning. In China, it was announced that the production and use of ractopamine is now banned for use in livestock and turkeys. Known in the Canadian beef industry as Optiflex, ractopamine puts on lean meat yield. Canada is only one of 20 countries worldwide that allow for the use of ractopamine in food production. It is banned everywhere else on the planet. The threat of restrictions on the use and/or the termination of use of both antimicrobials and growth promotants is a wake-up call for the beef industry.

We must find ways to decrease morbidity and mortality, and maintain growth in food animals, which do not lean on antibiotics, growth promotants, or beta-agonists. to the validity of this practice in comparison to changes in how animals are handled and housed. Consumers are letting political leaders know about their concerns with their comments during the comment periods and with their votes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been listening too, and in response, announced on Jan. 4 that cephalosporin would be banned for use in the prevention of disease in cattle and for injection in broiler eggs. A total ban on cephalosporin use in food animals was first presented in 2008, but met with so much resistance from veterinarians and cattle groups that the regulation was withdrawn. When it did resurface, it was a much kinder approach,

The file at the FDA is filled with more moves in the area of the war on drugs. A proposal introduced in 2010 to ban the use of penicillin and tetracycline for use in feed and water, and as a growth promotant, is still on the books. This would eliminate most mass medication protocols for the beef industry and force producers to label use only, through a veterinarian that has diagnosed a specific disease. That is likely a good thing. To counter expected losses and inefficiencies, American feedlots should be looking at animal health and welfare protocols to prevent disease as an alternate to mass medication on arrival. Cleaning up the image of food has everyone involved and the producer is

The drive for change will come from the public, as our world and our practices are now transparent. We cannot hide behind vague, broad statements because the real information is just one click away. Politicians will continue to be motivated by voter response, even if the claim appears unfounded, emotional, or exaggerated. What does this tell us? In truth, the beef industry cannot afford to take a wait and see approach and then determine next steps. Unless we are proactive, those next steps will be proclaimed to us by retailers, politicians, and consumers. We need extensive research into the production, transportation, sale, feeding of, and processing of food animals that is built upon a wellness plat-

form. We must find ways to decrease morbidity and mortality, and maintain growth in food animals, which do not lean on antibiotics, growth promotants, or beta-agonists. If we win the drug war, all of our efforts in international trade and domestic consumer confidence may be lost. For this is the time in history when we must recognize that what we have done in the past will not be acceptable in the future. Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of BEEFLINKTM, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alta. Contact her at brenda. schoepp@cciwireless.ca

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

VET CORNER

JOHNE’S DISEASE AND BIOSECURITY

DR. TANYA ANDERSON

A few months ago, I wrote about the Growing Forward On-Farm Food Safety Program that was developed to allow individual beef herd veterinary consultation. The intended focus is on food safety and biosecurity, with the ultimate goal to protect the health of both consumers and livestock while allowing profitable cattle production. The next couple of articles will bring this topic to life by discussing biosecurity as it relates to a disease problem in the beef industry that is unfortunately becoming more common – Johne’s disease. Johne’s is the cow equivalent of Crohn’s disease in people. There are public health groups that are studying whether the causative agent of Johne’s, a bacteria called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), is a contributing factor in people with Crohn’s. If a link is ever found, the negative repercussions for the beef industry from a food safety standpoint will be huge. Now is the time to address this disease rather than deny its existence, as many beef producers and breeders are currently doing. Johne’s control in a beef herd relies on good management practices to decrease disease exposure. There is no vaccine or treatment available, so it is critical that infection be prevented from entering the herd or, if Johne’s is already present, from spreading to more animals within that herd. A biosecurity plan allows you to put preventive measures in place to keep your herd healthy. Knowing

how MAP spreads (fecaloral) and how it causes disease helps us to develop an appropriate plan of action. As we will see, these common-sense biosecurity control measures are inexpensive and easily implemented. Additionally, these same management changes will also help prevent the spread of other very common fecal-oral infections like salmonella, E. coli, cryptosporidia, or viral scours. Every beef producer can benefit from improving his or her herd biosecurity. Johne’s disease control is challenging because infection occurs in the first six months of life but symptoms (diarrhea and weight loss, despite a good appetite) usually do not develop for years (age range of six months to 12 years). Although an infected animal may not have any symptoms, shedding of the bacteria into the environment occurs. Under poor management conditions and lax biosecurity, many animals in a herd may become diseased before the producer realizes there is a problem. An infected animal showing symptoms is truly only the tip of the iceberg – many others are “lurking under the water,� danger waiting to happen. Let’s look at how easily

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a biosecurity program can be implemented. You have just learned from your veterinarian that the nice purebred heifer you bought at the herd dispersal sale six years ago has been diagnosed with Johne’s disease. You aren’t very happy, since she is one of your best animals and you had hoped to

pecially those under a month of age are the group at highest risk for infection. Their “open� intestines are designed to allow the passage of immune system stimulating compounds found in colostrum and milk. These big “gaps� also make it easy for MAP to get in. The imma-

the first place. Buying more animals from multiple herds increases the risk of introducing MAP, as well as having a greater number of animals test positive. Avoid introduction via new animals by buying low-risk cattle from low-risk herds. Pregnant cows are a greater risk

only 10 to 30 per cent of actual infected animals are typically identified. Repeat testing is required. For these reasons, extensive testing is cost-prohibitive for commercial herds. However, breeders selling bred cows/heifers and bulls should have a preventative program in place. It is un-

Johne’s control in a beef herd relies on good management practices to decrease disease exposure. be able to continue keeping replacements from her to build on the genetics of your commercial cow/calf operation. The number one risk factor for Johne’s infection in a herd is through the purchase of infected, clinically healthy animals (just like your nice heifer). Infected animals shed the bacteria in their manure and spread the infection to susceptible animals through fecal contamination of feed and water. MAP can also be shed in the colostrum, milk and semen of infected stock. Cows in the later stages of disease can even infect their calves in utero. Young stock under six months of age and es-

ture immune systems of young calves further helps MAP infections become established. Research has also shown that cattle of any age can become infected if the amount of MAP in the environment is extremely high. By understanding how Johne’s infection occurs, we can develop a plan to prevent exposure of calves to manure, colostrum and milk from infected cows. We can also see how it is important that our biosecurity program prevent the contamination of feed, water and bedding for all animals. Hindsight also shows how lax biosecurity measures allowed Johne’s disease access to your herd in

because, if infected, they are more likely to be shedding and have an increased risk of passing the infection on to their calves. Ask sellers about the health status of their herds and obtain permission to talk with their veterinarian. Have there been any cases of diarrhea in mature cows? Even one case is concerning (the tip of the iceberg). Does the herd test for Johne’s disease? What biosecurity measures are in place to prevent manure contamination? Discuss with your veterinarian the feasibility of testing all new purchases for Johne’s disease. A current challenge is that tests are not sensitive enough to pick up early infections –

fortunate that, in my experience, over 90 per cent of positive Johne’s herds in my area were infected by a bull that had been brought in. Breeders need to protect their reputations and market share by implementing strong biosecurity principles. Next month, we will look at improving on-farm calving management practices to minimize the spread of Johne’s. Newborn calf management will be discussed and reviewed, with a focus on preventing disease transfer through infected manure. Not only can Johne’s be controlled in this manner, but also the calving season deluge of scour-causing bugs can be minimized.


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

RE-ESTABLISHING FORAGES ON FLOODED LAND ANGELA LOVELL

PHOTO CREDIT: GLENN FRIESEN

The water has receded and cleanup continues across large tracts of Manitoba in the wake of last year’s record-breaking floods. For many cattle producers, the process of restoring drowned-out forage acres will begin this spring. For most, there will probably be three priorities – debris, silt and salinity, says

Flooded fields like these from last summer may present some challenges for farmers as they try to re-establish forage production this spring.

Glenn Friesen, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) forage specialist. Friesen has been attending Beef & Forage Days events around the province to get information out about some practices to help re-establish forages and other green feeds on previously flooded land. Some fields may be littered with large amounts of trash or debris, which is going to take a lot of effort to get rid of. Most farmers will have little option but to pile it up and burn it. Once the debris is gone, many will be coping with a layer of silt that they will have to learn to live with. “If you have fields that have fairly deep deposits of silt on them, from being under standing water for a period of time, that silt has to be dealt with and levelled out,” says Friesen. “It’s impossible to remove it from the fields, so the best idea is to learn to farm with it. Silt is often low in organic matter and is prone to crusting, so producers need to keep that in mind when they go in to replant it.” Silt isn’t all bad, however, as it can contain nutrients and

be reasonably fertile. There may be some saline spots popping up in fields, especially in areas that are known to have saline deposits, such as along the western edge of Lake Manitoba. “Some of these saline deposits may creep up through the soil profile,” says Friesen. “Some producers may have to consider changing to species that are tolerant to salinity to begin with if they have

microbes and other soil organisms. If lacking oxygen, these microorganisms will use up other essential soil elements such as sulphur, manganese, nitrates and iron, and can create deficiencies of these elements in the soil. As well, the nutrient cycling ability of the soil will be impeded by the loss of microbial activity. If nitrogen is present in flooded soils, some will be lost due to leaching,

then nitrate, which plants can use for growth. In wet soil, however, this decomposition process results in more toxic emissions. Soil microorganisms are an important consideration when trying to re-establish legumes in the forage mix. Bacteria like rhizobia, which fixes nitrogen on legume crops, die back in saturated soils and can take up to two years to return to a normal native

When you are inoculating the seed, you are inoculating with a strain that has been selected in the lab and improved, much like improved crop varieties. It’s very cheap and a simple thing to do, especially when it comes to the perennial legumes. Some of these strains are very resilient and can last on the seed for quite a few months.” Be aware, adds Friesen, that fall seeded le-

A site needs to be prepared properly before you invest in seed and fertilizer, so producers should keep that in mind. – Glenn Friesen problems.” Friesen advises producers to soil test flooded areas, not just for salinity, but also to determine the nutrient content of the soil, which can be affected in many ways by flooding. Soil pores in flooded areas become completely saturated with water, resulting in a severe deficiency or depletion of oxygen, which is essential to plant roots, soil

volatization and denitrification, and more greenhouse gases will be emitted, including nitrous oxide and methane, two of the most potent. These processes are caused by anaerobic bacteria, which decompose organic matter in the soil. Dry soil produces carbon dioxide and humus, which improves soil structure, and converts nitrogen in the soil to ammonia,

population. It is therefore essential for producers to inoculate legumes before planting. “We should always be inoculating legumes, but I know that some producers rely on the native rhizobia populations to infect plants and that’s not a recommended practice,” says Friesen. “Native rhizobia are never as productive or as plentiful as are needed.

gumes, which are broadcast, will need to be incorporated, generally by harrowing, in order to get the seeds into the soil and protect the inoculant, which will not survive if exposed to the elements for too long. “The best time to do it is in the spring and the recommended practice is to direct seed into furrows or broadcast and harrow,” says Friesen. “If it’s zero till,

make sure your harrowing is aggressive enough so that you get some soil disturbance and get the seed covered.” Planting a polycrop is another option to try and kick-start the biological activity of the soil, especially in areas where farmers may not be able to seed until later in the season. Polycrops are fast-growing and contain a mix of plants such as oats, peas, turnips, forage radishes and hairy vetch. This diversity of plants helps to improve soil health, increase organic matter and encourage microorganism activity that enhances nutrient cycling and the availability of nutrients for plant growth. The polycrop can either be grazed (which adds more on-site nutrients) or baled as green feed or for silage. Matted grassland or heavy sod in areas under no-till may present some extra challenges to re-establish with forages. In these cases, some will try to create a seed bed with a light till or harrow as an alternative to bringing in large equipment, which can be difficult to manoeuvre. Rollers are also commonly used in some areas after seeding to push stones, large rocks and broadcasted seed into the soil. Friesen recommends contacting local grazing clubs or soil associations, as many may have purchased heavy sod or zero till seeders, which have good soil penetration and may be available for rent. “They typically have a cutter disc in front of the double disc opener to remove the trash and aid in placing the seed into a furrow,” he says. “You need to use specialized equipment for that kind of rough land seeding.” Some areas, where tillage is possible, will require it more than others. Friesen does not suggest tillage unless it is absolutely necessary to create a uniform, even seed bed, and even


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

PHOTO CREDIT: GLENN FRIESEN

then it should be kept to a minimum. Saline spots should never be tilled, as this can worsen the situation by bringing salts from lower in the soil profile closer to the surface. Weed control is another big issue on previously flooded land, which sprouted huge cattails in many areas after just a few weeks. Cattails are a highly resilient species, the windborne seeds of which can settle just about anywhere and remain dormant, awaiting moisture, for long periods of time, which explains their proliferation during flood events in areas where people are not used to seeing cattails. Once dry conditions return, cattails quickly disappear, but the problem remains of what to do with the existing cattail residue. “I think some kind of mowing application and a burn thereafter will probably be the way that most producers deal with the cattails on their land,� says Friesen. He feels that herbicides should not generally be necessary if producers are able to seed forages early enough to get good establishment before weeds begin to emerge. “But it does depend on how dense the weeds and the cattails are that are growing and the topography,� he admits. “The worst-case scenario is mowing down your trash and waiting a little bit for some re-growth, then using an herbicide application and direct seeding into that. That would be best in areas with stones and rolling land, but if you are able

Cattails like these in last year’s flooded fields may cause farmers some problems this spring as they try to re-establish forage production.

to till, I can see that many producers will pull a discer through it after the trash is dealt with.� Frost seeding may be an option to help get forages established early. Frost seeding involves broadcasting seed in the early spring, so that the melting snow will bring the seed into contact with the soil surface and get a jumpstart on weed growth. “This method is really only suitable for zero till scenarios because the last few springs, we have had a warm April

and then we get a frost in May, so if you have a black soil and you do it too early, the legumes will germinate and if a frost comes the growing points are exposed and they will die,� says Friesen. Grasses are better suited to frost seeding as the growing point is always below the soil surface and won’t be damaged by frost. One of the biggest questions from producers is the issue of autotoxicity, which can impede growth of alfalfa if planted in consecutive years. “Alfalfa can

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be put back into a drowned stand if it’s been out of alfalfa for 12 months,� says Friesen. “If you lost your alfalfa stand in spring 2011, or the land has not been growing alfalfa for that season, you can plant alfalfa again on that land this spring.� A popular misconception is that a different crop must be grown in between. “You would do only that because that crop gives you a year’s space between alfalfa plantings and few people want to summer fallow anymore,� says Friesen.

Producers are going to be understandably anxious to restore their forage and green feed stands as quickly as possible. But having to purchase feed, although an added cost, is also an investment in fertilizer. “If you are buying hay from elsewhere, you are buying fertilizer. There can be somewhere around $70 to $80 worth of fertilizer in a ton of alfalfa,� says Friesen. “You will get most of those nutrients back, especially if you are doing some bale grazing. And even on dry

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

So far, 2012 is shaping up to be a very exciting year in the cattle business. Every report published is full of optimism about higher prices and strong demand for cattle. If you still have your calves or have purchased some cattle to background, you are in a great position, as everyone in the cattle business is looking for more inventory. Finally, you have something to sell that everyone wants! The New Year opened with a bullish United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates. The report revealed higher than expected corn production for 2011, with year-end inventory stocks higher than predicted. That dropped corn prices, giving feeders an opportunity to lock-in cheaper feed. The report also predicted that beef production would decrease an additional 4.7 per cent in 2012. As well, it suggested

CAMPBELL LIMOUSIN Homegrown Bull Sale Tuesday, April 3, 2012

that slaughter steer prices could be between $5 and $13 per hundred higher than last year. This pushed the cattle futures into even higher levels. With the domestic cowherd in both Canada and the United States on the decline, smaller calf crops are on the horizon. U.S. beef cow inventory is now the smallest since 1952. Tighter feeder supplies, combined with increased exports, are making the U.S. an aggressive buyer of Canadian beef products and live cattle. Behind the optimism of the cattle producer, there is an underlying note of concern from the cattle feeders and packers. Tighter supplies mean excess bunk space and kill capacity. Many feedlots work on an economy of scale, small profits per head based on large numbers of feeder cattle. If packers cannot find enough cattle, their only choice is to reduce overhead by cutting back the

hours at the plant, or going dark more days per week. Another major problem for the cattle feeders is funding. Feeders who wish to purchase inventory require approximately 37 per cent more cash to purchase the same type, weight and quality of cattle as they did

store will have to increase considerably. Consumer demand is a combination of the “willingness” and the “ability” to purchase products at a given price. In countries like Brazil and Argentina, when beef prices soared to levels expected in North America, domestic

ket. Expect cow prices to stay very strong throughout 2012. Exports will play an important role in 2012. In 2011, the U.S. exported 11 per cent of its beef production, an increase of 9 per cent from 2010. The major buyers were South Korea,

Producers will have to manage their expenses as well as their risk to maintain profitability. last year at this time. Many cattle financing programs have limits on the amount that an individual can borrow. This could create problems in maximizing the existing infrastructure. The biggest unknown for 2012 will be the consumer reaction to increased beef prices in the retail sector. With fourth-quarter futures prices for finished cattle between $1.28 and $1.30 per pound, prices in the

consumers cut back on their beef purchases and consumption. At the same time, they increased consumption of pork and poultry. Will consumers here do the same? Consumers will still buy beef; however, their choices at the meat counter may change. Steak may become a “special event” meal in more households, while hamburger sales may increase. If so, that is great news for the cull cow mar-

Mexico, Japan and Canada. The experts are predicting a larger growth in the export sector for 2012. Japan is considering increasing the age to 30 months for imports, which could make Japan the Americans’ largest beef customer. If Japan changes the current restrictions, Canada stands to benefit as well. The U.S. government is also in the process of negotiating the elimination of import du-

ties for beef entering South Korea. In 2011, U.S. exports contributed an additional $200 value per head on a finished steer. Establishing and increasing exports will be critical for the success and survival of the Canadian meat industry in the future. Cattle prices have reached historically high levels, and all indications are that they are here for 2012. Supply will drive the market, with export demand offsetting some potential consumer resistance. While the higher prices are good news for the cattlemen, we must also recognize that higher production costs are also following the higher cattle market. Producers will have to manage their expenses as well as their risk to maintain profitability. It looks like cattle producers are in the driver’s seat for 2012; hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride. Until next time, Rick

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February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

... Review, trailer ventilation practices Continued affect the incidence of re-

tion limiting disease research projects. In Effect of Ventilation Management Strategies and Stocking Density During Transport on Trailer Microclimate and Calf Welfare, researchers at AAFC Lethbridge and the Universities of Calgary and Saskatchewan are building on previous industry-funded research that examined the influence of current beef industry cattle transport practices (loading densities, time, distance, and weather conditions in transit) on the risk of harm to newly weaned calves, feeder cattle, fed cattle, and market cows. This study, which was the largest of its kind done globally under industry conditions, has found that at least 99.95 per cent of cattle reach their destination with no identifiable problems of any sort. This has proven useful in countering unfounded and sensational activist claims to the contrary. It has also helped to identify specific cattle populations that may benefit from modified transport practices. As a direct outcome of this research, the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster project is examining whether modified

spiratory disease in feedlot calves, which is a leading cause of death and treatment costs at feedlots. Reducing the death loss in feeder calves from 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent would save the Canadian beef in-

concerns that feeding wheat dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to feedlot cattle may increase the risk of E. coli O157:H7. Cattle were fed finishing diets containing no DDGS, 22.5 per cent corn DDGS, or 22.5 per cent wheat DDGS. The research

projects. Researchers from AAFC and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association are conducting a National Beef Quality Satisfaction Survey and Carcass Audit (BQU.01.09). The first stage of this project assessed Canadian consumer demographics and satisfaction

improvement in the value of cuts from the hip, chuck, brisket, and shank is worth an estimated $39 million per year to Canada’s beef industry. The Beef Quality Audit is still underway, and is collecting information about the frequency of horns, carcass defects such

For industry to adopt and profit from the scientific knowledge and technology developed through research, they must be aware of how the research could fit into their operation, and understand how to implement it. dustry more than $10 million annually in direct savings realized by reduced treatment and feed costs.

Consumer Confidence and Beef Demand (35 per cent of funds)

The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster has directed 9 per cent of its funds towards food safety research projects. Scientists from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, AAFC Lethbridge, and private industry (Feedlot Health Management Services) are involved in a study called The Impact of Wheat Distillers Grains on the Shedding of E. coli 0157:H7. This research addresses

has found that diet did not affect the numbers of E. coli O157:H7 shed in manure, surviving in manure, or found on cattle hides at the end of the feeding period. This is good news for Canadian cattle feeders, given that saving 1 cent per pound due to reduced food safety recalls could save Canada’s beef industry $21 million per year. Notably, this research would likely not have been conducted in the U.S., where most finishing diets are based on corn rather than on barley, and little wheat DDGS is used. The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster has allocated 25 per cent of its funds to four beef quality research

with retail beef quality. Compared to previous surveys done in 1995 and 2001, the researchers found that consumers’ satisfaction levels have improved on measures of tenderness (76 per cent in 2009 versus 68 per cent in 2001), juiciness (78 per cent versus 72 per cent), and flavour (82 per cent versus 76 per cent). This suggests that the beef industry has been moving in the right direction. This is important in that a 1 per cent improvement in the value of cuts from the loin, rib, and sirloin due to increased demand is worth an estimated $27 million per year to Canada’s beef industry. Likewise, a 1 per cent

“Your Quality Connection�

MAR MAC FARMS & GUESTS Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 miles south of Brandon on #10, 4 miles west on 1:30 p.m. at the Farm 6Prov. Rd. 349, 1 1/2 miles south on Prov. Road 348 70 Thick Beefy Bulls Values we believe in: (selected 2 year olds and yearlings)

X Simmental Bulls (Red, Polled and Black)

X Red Angus Bulls

X Black Angus Bulls Guest Consignors PERKIN LAND & CATTLE (204) 769-2159 DOWNHILL SIMMENTALS (204) 867-0076 MAGNUSSVILLE FARM (204) 378-5225

$PNNJUNFOU – We are committed to producing a top quality product with the traits you demand. These bulls are selected for calving ease, fertility, easy fleshing, thickness and milk. These traits will command premiums for your calves in the auction barns or on the rail. 2VBMJUZ – Only the top end of our bulls sell. We would use any of the bulls in our program. $VTUPNFS TFSWJDF – We guarantee our bulls 100% sight unseen purchase satisfaction, free delivery, wintering, personal contact after the sale of the bull & you are always welcome to view our program.

063 #6--4 "3& "''03%"#-&

.PTU JO UIF SBOHF

Free Sale Catalog Clip and mail to or

email marmac@inetlink.ca: Mar Mac Farms, RR1, Box 57, Brandon, MB R7A 5Y1

Name: _____________________________ Address: ___________________________ ___________________________________ Phone: _____________________________

as bruises, and locations of injection site lesions. These Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster research projects, and others accounting for 7 per cent of funding, will be concluded in 2013.

Technology Transfer and Knowledge Dissemination

For industry to adopt and profit from the scientific knowledge and technology developed through research, they must be aware of how the research could fit into their operation, and understand how to implement it. As an initial step to this end, the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster is in-

vesting funding to develop and implement a Technology Transfer and Knowledge Dissemination plan. This is intended to encourage and cultivate technology transfer skills among the research community, make pertinent research available to industry in a timely and user-friendly manner, and foster relationships between applied researchers and early research adopters so that the technology will move from the lab and into operations that stand to benefit. This will complement ongoing BCRC efforts to ensure that industry and policy makers are aware of the value and results of industry-funded research, and ultimately help fill the technology transfer functions that were at one time carried out by federal and provincial agriculture departments. Canada’s Beef Science Cluster is funded by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to advance research and technology transfer supporting the Canadian beef industry’s vision to be recognized as a preferred supplier of healthy, high-quality beef, cattle, and genetics. For more information, visit www.cattle.ca or call (403) 275-8558.

BULL SALE VIDEOS OF OUR BULLS ARE AVAILABLE!!

Our bulls will be:

t 4FNFO 5FTUFE t 'VMMZ (VBSBOUFFE 7*&8 4"-& "5

Mar Mac Farms

Blair & Lois McRae and family Brandon, Manitoba 1IPOF 4BMF %BZ 1IPOF

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www.marmacfarms.net


14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

YOUNG PRODUCERS RECEIVE GRANT MOFFAT HERD BUILDER AWARD MBP STAFF

Three more young producers from Manitoba will have a head start in the purebred beef industry, thanks to an award honouring a well-known Charolais breeder and agricultural journalist. PHOTO CREDIT: GRANT MOFFAT FUND

PHOTO CREDIT: GRANT MOFFAT FUND

Kayla Zamrykut, 20, of Rorketon

er selected from a Manitoba purebred sale. Zamrykut purchased a Charolais heifer, Calvert chose a Polled Hereford heifer, and Syrnyk bought a Black Angus Female. Each heifer will be a benefit to the award winners as they work to enhance or start their own purebred herd of cattle. Grant Moffat operated Holmsyde Charolais in Forrest, Man. He went missing in August 2006. Reward funds generously donated by cattlemen, friends and relatives across

PHOTO CREDIT: GRANT MOFFAT FUND

The 2011 Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award was presented to Kayla Zamrykut, 20, of Rorketon; Braden Calvert, 16, of Carberry; and Raina Syrnyk, 16, of Ethelbert. The purpose of the award is to assist young producers in starting their own purebred herd. The participants were evaluated on desire, need and previous expression of interest in the industry. Each recipient was awarded up to $2,000 toward the purchase of a heif-

Raina Syrnyk, 16, of Ethelbert

the country were later channeled into this program for young producers. Moffat invested a lot of energy in actively helping youth get started in the business, and to date, his award has assisted 12 Juniors from across Manitoba in getting their start as producers. At the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) annual general meeting held Nov. 4 to 5, 2011, funds were raised to help continue the Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award in 2012. MBP is

FamilyFriday, Tradition Bull Sale March 16, 2012 t 'SFF #PBSE VOUJM .BZ t %FMJWFSZ "WBJMBCMF t 4FNFO 5FTUFE 2:00 p.m. at Rolling D Farm 3 miles north of Dropmore, MB on PTH# 482

Charolais Bulls 27 Yearlings 10 Two Year Olds

Simmental Bulls

8 Yearlings - Sons of General Lee

View our catalogue online at www.familytraditionbullsale.com

High Bluff Stock Farm & Rolling D Charolais

Carman & Donna Jackson & Family - Inglis, MB Elaine Digby - Dropmore, MB email: jackson7@mymts.net

Phone: (204) 564-2547 / Cell: (204) 773-6448

Braden Calvert, 16, of Carberry

proud to support the fund and holds an auction each year at the annual general meeting banquet, with the proceeds going toward this valuable program for youth in Manitoba. The Grant Moffat Fund committee thanks producers who donated $500 gift certificates, including Moose Creek Red Angus, Stewart Cattle Co., Mar Mac Farms, Manitoba

Simmental Association, Forsyth Bros., High Bluff Stock Farm, Steppler Charolais, Winn Man Farms, ABH and Rock’n “H” Herefords, Leveldale Polled Herefords, Brent Carey and Ward Cutler. This year’s supporters of the Grant Moffat Fund were: Dane Guigion, Westwood Land and Cattle, Joe Bouchard, Darren Keown, Cliff Graydon, Winn Man

Farms, Todd Clayton, Bob Beleski, Doug Allison, Rodney Pearn, Major Jay Fox, Scale Solutions, Jodie Griffin, Art Petkau, Stewart Cattle Co. and High Bluff Stock Farm. The application deadline for the 2012 Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award is September 1, 2012. For application and donation information, visit www. grantmoffat.com.


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

ANGUS

Manitoba Purebred Breeders Add calving ease, maternal and marbling to your Beef herd

Angus

valu e

CANADIAN ANGUS RANCHER ENDORSED TAG PROGRAM

What is the Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Tag Program? The  Canadian  Angus  Rancher  Endorsed  Tag  Program  LV DQ RI¿FLDO FHUWL¿FDWLRQ SURJUDP WKDW LGHQWL¿HV DQLPDOV ZLWK D PLQLPXP RI $QJXV JHQHWLFV 7KRVH DQLPDOV DUH SHUPDQHQWO\ LGHQWL¿HG ZLWK DQ $QJXV WDJ ZKLFK LV &&,$ FRPSOLDQW DQG VWD\V ZLWK WKH DQLPDO IRU OLIH

Do my animals qualify for Angus tags? $OO FDWWOH LQ WKH SURJUDP PXVW KDYH DW OHDVW RQH SXUH-­ EUHG $QJXV SDUHQW &DOYHV PXVW EH VLUHG E\ D UHJLVWHUHG $QJXV EXOO DQG RU ERUQ WR D UHJLVWHUHG $QJXV FRZ ,I \RX EX\ $QJXV DQLPDOV UHTXHVW WR KDYH WKH UHJLVWUDWLRQ SDSHU WUDQVIHUUHG LQWR \RXU QDPH Pictured  are  MAA  Board  for  2012: Front  L  to  R;;  Lois  McRae,  Brandon,  Canadian  Director;;  Naomi  Best,  Harding;;  Arlene  Kirkpatrick,  Brandon  Secretary-­Treasurer;;  and  Larissa  Hamilton,  Glenboro.  Back  Row  L  to  R;;  Allan  Nykoliation,  Crandall;;  Shawn  Birmingham,  Brandon  President:  Dan  Van  Steelandt,  Melita;;  Robert  Shwaluk,  Shoal  Lake,  Bonnie  Glasman,  Russell  and  Dallas  Johnston,  Brookdale(  Vice  President)  Missing  is  Ken  Williams,  Oak  Lake.

Manitoba Congratulates our Commercial Producers

Ja-­Lyn  Farms  Ltd. Allan  Nykoliation  Presenting  the  Award  to  Glenn  and  Shelley  Lowes   and  Brenda  and  Barry  Lowes.

JA-LYN FARMS LTD. ANGUS COMMERCIAL PRODUCER FOR 2011

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D IDPLO\ FR RZQHG KHUG DQG D VLJQHG DI¿GDYLW IURP WKH RULJLQDO EUHHGHU LGHQWLI\LQJ WKH UHJLVWHUHG $QJXV EXOO LQ WKH FDVH RI EUHG IHPDOHV EHLQJ VROG How to Order )LYH RUGHULQJ RSWLRQV D R UGHU RQOLQH E PDLO WKH RUGHU IRUP DQG SD\PHQW WR WKH &DQDGLDQ $Q-­ JXV $VVRFLDWLRQ RI¿FH F ID[ WKH FRPSOHWHG IRUPV WR G FDOO GXULQJ RI¿FH KRXUV H FDOO WKH DXWRPDWHG WDJ OLQH DQ\ WLPH DW 7DJV DUH VKLSSHG WKURXJK &DQDGD 3RVW 5XVK VKLSSLQJ LV DYDLODEOH WKURXJK 3XURODWRU &RXULHU D VWUHHW DGGUHVV LV UHTXLUHG 7DJV DUH VKLSSHG IURP (GPRQWRQ ZLWKLQ EXVLQHVV GD\ RI RUGHULQJ 7KHUH LV DQ DGGLWLRQDO FKDUJH IRU UXVK VKLSPHQWV Attention cattle producers: ,I DQ DQLPDO LV VROG DV UHJLVWHUHG RU LGHQWL¿HG DV D purebred,  then  the  animal  MUST  be  transferred  to  the  buyer  within  six  months  of  the  date  of  sale. Purebred  bulls  need  to  be  transferred  to  commer-­ cial  buyers. 2Q 6HSWHPEHU WKH &DQDGLDQ $QJXV $VVRFLDWLRQ ODXQFKHG WKH QHZ )HHGHU &DOI /LVWLQJ :H OLVWHG RYHU FDOYHV WKURXJKRXW WKH IDOO :H ZLOO FRQWLQXH WR OLVW DQLPDOV \HDU URXQG JR WR ZZZ FGQDQJXV FD WKHQ WR &RP-­ PHUFLDO DQG )HHGHU OLVWLQJ The  Cattle  enrolled  in  the  Canadian  Angus  Ranch-­ er  Endorsed  Tag  Program  are  eligible  for  the  Canadi-­ an  Angus  Rancher  Endorsed  Beef  Program.  Go  to  the  Canadian  Angus  Web  site  and  hit  the  link  to  Rancher  Endorsed  Beef  and  see  the  licensed  participants  and  stores  that  offer  the  Canadian  Angus  Beef  . )RU DQ\ TXHVWLRQV QRW DQVZHUHG KHUH RU IRU PRUH  LQIRUPDWLRQ RQ $QJXV WDJV SOHDVH FRQWDFW &KHU\O DW WKH &DQDGLDQ $QJXV $VVRFLDWLRQ DW

Calving time has arrived. Have you purchased your

Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Tags?

them ANGUS in 2012, and be

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS 1-888-622-6487

Check out our web site www.mbangus.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

THE IMPACTS OF LIVER FLUKES ON MANITOBA BEEF HERDS

GLEN DUIZER AND WAYNE TOMLINSON (MAFRI)

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eef producers, veterinarians and beef specialists in Manitoba are very aware that wildlife and livestock can share diseases, especially in the right management and environmental conditions. Over the past several years, many producers, veterinarians and those of us who monitor animal health have noticed an increase in the number of reports of cattle, sheep and goats affected by a small, flat parasite called the liver fluke. These liver flukes have been of one variety, called the giant liver fluke (Fascioloides magna), with whitetail deer as the most likely source. In Manitoba, these flukes have traditionally been a problem in southeastern areas, near the Ontario and Minnesota borders. A 2005–2006 study conducted by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) of slaughter animals in the southeast found that of 147 carcasses surveyed, 42 per cent had liver flukes. Rural municipalities with more forest cover and wetland areas had up to 87 per cent infected cattle. The survey also submitted 22 flukes from 10 animals for complete identification by a parasite expert with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In all cases, the giant liver fluke was confirmed. Finally, a review of records from 2003 to 2006 at the provincial animal health laboratory, Veterinary Diagnostic Services, identified 33 cases with flukes, all of which were the giant liver fluke. Since then, many areas of the province have expe-

rienced excessively wet conditions, leading to increased overland flooding. As well, until the winter of 2010–2011, the whitetail deer population has been on the rise in most areas of the province. From late 2010 to the spring and summer of 2011, a number of beef herds also reported sudden death in cattle, which was later confirmed to be a disease called bacillary haemoglobinuria, or “red water disease” for short. This disease is due to a bacterial infection in livers damaged by liver flukes. As a result, MAFRI launched a second survey, this time into sudden deaths in cattle where flukes were thought to be a contributing factor. While the number of reported cases remains quite low and the majority have come from the South East, single cases have been identified in South Central, the Interlake, and South Western Manitoba. The sudden deaths have been almost

entirely red water disease secondary to liver fluke infestation, and again giant liver flukes were the variety involved. Understandably, most producers want to know if they should be concerned, and if so, how to stop this parasite. It is first necessary to have a basic understanding of a parasite’s life cycle to understand the risks, impacts and methods for dealing with it. The life cycles of many parasites can be very complex and involve many different stages and the giant liver fluke is no exception. The giant liver fluke is a two-host parasite that requires both a definitive host (in North America, primarily whitetail deer, but also elk, caribou and mule deer) and an intermediate host (several common varieties of freshwater snails). The key pieces of the fluke life cycle are as follows. The mature flukes live in pairs within white capsules slightly larger than a

golf ball, in the livers of the definitive hosts. The paired flukes live approximately five years and can produce up to 4,000 eggs per day. The eggs are passed from the liver through the bile ducts into the intestines and come out in the manure. In warm weather and wet conditions such as on the edges of swamps, lakes, ponds, dugouts and flooded land, the eggs will hatch in two weeks and the resulting larvae must infect a water snail within 24 hours. In the snail, the larvae develop over six to nine weeks and multiply into several hundred new larvae. These larvae then leave the snail and migrate to vegetation either in or on the edge of the water. The larvae attach to the vegetation and convert to very tiny cysts that can infect animals that eat them while grazing. This stage, called metacercaria, can also withstand a variety of environmental conditions, including winter

weather. Within one week of grazing, the larvae penetrate the intestine and migrate to the liver. They migrate in the liver until they encounter another fluke and form a new capsule. In definitive hosts such as whitetail deer, this starts the cycle all over again. In other grazing animals, such as cattle, bison, sheep, goats and moose, the socalled “dead end” hosts, the life cycle does not start again. The effect of the flukes on these hosts depends on the type of animal, the numbers of fluke larvae they are exposed to and the impact of secondary bacterial infections. Definitive hosts such as deer can tolerate large numbers of flukes with few ill effects. It appears likely that deer heavily infested with flukes would have greater difficulty maintaining body weight and would be more likely to get other diseases. However, there is not much information available to say how heavily

infested a deer would need to be before ill effects are seen. In sheep and goats, flukes do not reach mature stages and do not form capsules, and so continue to migrate throughout the liver and even into other organs. The continued migration typically causes death due to severe organ damage, most commonly in the liver. In fact, a single fluke is often enough to kill mature sheep or goats. Many sheep and goat producers in Manitoba are painfully aware of this and take great measures in order to treat and protect their herds and flocks. In cattle and bison, the flukes will pair and form capsules, but these capsules become very thick-walled and the flukes are typically not able to pass their eggs out into the bile ducts. The flukes in these hosts will eventually die, partly due to the build-up of waste inside the capsule, leaving permanent scar tissue in


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

It is first necessary to have a basic understanding of a parasite’s life cycle to understand the risks, impacts and methods for dealing with it. the liver. Repeated infections, scar tissue on the liver and the dramatic appearance of fluke capsules in livers of dead or slaughtered animals would lead many to believe flukes have a similar impact on cattle as they do on sheep or goats. However, cattle typically tolerate liver flukes very well. While it is estimated that heavy infestations in younger animals would affect growth and

performance, there is not much evidence available to say how significant this may be. The greatest impact in cattle occurs at slaughter plants, where liver condemnations in North America lead to a loss of $10 million annually. As mentioned earlier, there is of course a very important exception and one that has been on the rise in Manitoba over the last couple of years. The

damage liver flukes cause to livers creates areas for infections with Clostridia hemolyticum, the bacteria that causes red water disease. The bacteria are of the same family (Clostridia) of the soilborne bacteria that cause blackleg, botulism and tetanus. Unlike blackleg, red water disease tends to affect adult cattle more. This is likely because year after year exposure to flukes increases the risk of red water infections and because many older cattle may not have adequate protection against infection. Like blackleg, red water disease kills animals very quickly, with little clinical signs and no opportunity for treatment, so vaccination is the only reasonable way to prevent the disease. The good news is that many 7- or 8-way clostridial vaccines also include protection against red water disease. The problem is that the immunity for this particular organism is not as long-lived as blackleg and tetanus. In order for the vaccines to work, labelled directions must be followed very closely, especially for the initial and yearly boosters. In severely affected herds, the vaccine may need to be given every six months to be effective. No discussion on liver flukes is complete without talking about the other liver fluke in cattle, the common liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica). When it comes to the impacts on health, prevention, control and treatment of liver flukes in cattle, many people often get confused between the two. There are several key differences producers need to be aware of. First, the impact of common liver flukes has been fairly well studied and there is support to say that alone, they may decrease growth and performance. Second, there are several tests available to detect common flukes in live cattle. None of these tests have been validated for detecting the giant liver fluke. Third, there are many products (called flukicides) labelled for treatment against the common liver fluke. There are none labelled for the giant liver fluke. Fourth, cattle are the

Identify your premises. Reduce your risk.

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18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

... Liver Flukes, known to extend permaContinued nently to Canada. As stated

definitive hosts for the common liver fluke, so flukicides given to cattle at specific times during the fluke life cycle will help decrease the number of eggs and larvae on pasture. This is of course useless with the giant liver fluke, unless we were to repeatedly catch and treat the deer. Finally and perhaps most importantly, in North America, common liver flukes occur in the Pacific Northwest and Southern United States. Although common liver flukes have been reported in areas of Alberta and British Columbia, their range has not been

at the beginning, the investigations in Manitoba have collected flukes for typing by experts in the field of fluke parasites. To date, no common liver flukes have been found in samples collected in the province. What may now be obvious is that there is no easy way to diagnose or treat infestations with giant liver flukes. Reliable diagnoses of cattle infected with giant liver flukes can only occur at slaughter or death. The effective blood tests in live animals for the common liver fluke would need to be evaluated to see if they would detect the giant liver fluke. To date, this has not

occurred and the tests are only available at animal health laboratories in the U.S. or Europe. For producers concerned about liver flukes, a herd diagnosis can be made, but only through special requests to check livers for any animal sent to local slaughter, or by making sure they have full post-mortems conducted on cattle that die for sudden or unknown reasons. For treatments, some flukicides, while labelled for the common liver fluke, are believed to be effective against the giant liver fluke. However, the most effective ones are given orally, are expensive and are not available in Canada (or even North America). Many

Manitoba veterinarians are familiar with this problem and use a process called an Emergency Drug Release to obtain effective products for their clients. Many producers in the sheep and goat industry make use of this process to treat their flocks and herds effectively. However, the process does require a diagnosis (see above) and may take several weeks for the first approval (subsequent approvals may occur faster). Producers may also find cheaper flukicides available in the U.S. and may bring them on to their farms under Health Canada’s “own use” provision. However, these cheaper products are only meant for

the mature stages of the common liver fluke and their effectiveness against the stages of the giant liver fluke in cattle is unknown. Producers should discuss the need for treatment and treatment options with their veterinarians before trying any particular methods. Prevention is also problematic, considering the involvement of deer and wetlands. While we all know keeping whitetail deer completely off of pasture and keeping cattle away from all wet areas is impossible, every little bit helps. When possible, fencing off watering areas and using a water pump and trough to water cattle during the grazing season will help. Additionally, keep-

ing pastures well drained through ditching and filling low-lying areas will help keep snail habitat to a minimum. Controlled burning of bullrushes and grasses along wet areas in the spring will help destroy fluke larvae. Treating dugouts for bluegreen algae with copper sulphate will also control snails. Additional actions like promoting hunting, keeping hay storage close to home (or behind a barrier fence) and using livestock guardian dogs may help control deer use of farmland. All of these recommendations are hard to make, considering the wet years many producers have had. Frankly, it is likely that natural cycles leading to decreased deer populations (such as the occasional harsh winter) and dry summer grazing conditions will help control flukes as much as any single farm management action. However, the key points on prevention are that if producers have the opportunity to make changes, these actions will help decrease the fluke pressure on the herd. One key thing producers can do regularly is vaccinate all of their cattle with effective clostridial vaccines that include protection against red water disease. The key take-home messages for beef producers are that while flukes may be spreading, their current significant impacts appear to be limited to specific herds within certain regions. While it is too early to tell, recent dry summer conditions in some severely affected areas of the province may help contain the problem in these areas. Producers in recently flooded areas may need to add flukes to a long list of potential diseases they need to keep an eye out for. Second, producers can periodically determine if their herds have been affected by liver flukes by checking livers at slaughter (when possible) and having post-mortems done on mature animals that die suddenly or for unknown reasons. Third, for producers whose herds have been affected by flukes, treatment options may be helpful to maintain markets and prevent losses. Additionally, proper vaccination to prevent bacterial infections that occur as a result of flukes will help limit the impacts. These options need to be discussed fully with a veterinarian familiar with the herd. Finally, options for preventing flukes infesting a herd are very limited, but when possible, will help reduce the herd’s exposure.


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

Manitoba Purebred Breeders Strengthening the industry through quality genetics and top performing cattle

CHAROLAIS

By the pound....

Cameron Claeys

Cypress River, Manitoba 2011 MCA Scholarship Recipient

“The highest weaning weights and the best weight gain on our farm comes from our Charolais bulls and our Char X females. That is why we run Charolais genetics and will continue to on our farm for years to come”

and at a premium. MANITOBA CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION www.charolaisbanner.com/mca

for a compete list of Manitoba Breeders and the latest MCA news!

President Harry Airey 204 328 7103

Vice President Ernie Bayduza 204 638 7735

2nd Vice Andre Steppler 204 435 2463


20 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

INVASIVE SPECIES WATCH

RED BARTSIA ON HAY AND PASTURE LANDS IN MANITOBA BRADLEY KENNEDY AND STEPHANE MCLACHLAN, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAB, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA

Red bartsia (Odontites serotina), an invasive alien species that has devastated pastures and haylands in Manitoba’s Interlake region, has recently begun expanding its distributional range across the province. Although it is now considered a noxious weed in Manitoba, we found little existing land, causing significant reductions in forage crop yields and stocking rates for pastures. The seed can remain dormant in the soil for at least 11 years, which makes it difficult to eradicate red bartsia once it becomes established. Technically, it can be controlled by herbicides, such as 2,4-D, but this is not always feasible in forage and pastures, since

Besides herbicides, farmers have experimented with a variety of other control methods for red bartsia. Hand-plucking plants before they go to seed was effective at containing the spread and even helped some eradicate red bartsia from their property. However, because this activity had to be repeated for many consecutive years, most people with serious infesta-

INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL OF MANITOBA

information about this species. To address this gap, we interviewed farmers and Weed Supervisors with experience managing red bartsia on their lands to document their local knowledge regarding the ecology of this species, its impacts, and best management practices. As a hemiparasite, red bartsia can survive autotrophically, but is capable of

post in thick layers as mulch, it prevented red bartsia seeds from getting the light they require in order to germinate. This treatment not only kept red bartsia at bay for several years, but it also improved crop productivity. Red bartsia is primarily distributed by humanrelated activities. Its tiny seeds are small enough to be carried by water, so

Early detection and rapid response is critical for reducing the harm caused by invasive species; the longer they remain undetected, the more difficult they will ultimately be to control.

INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL OF MANITOBA

extracting water and nutrients from other plants by connecting to their root systems. Because of this ability, hemiparasites can significantly lower the productivity of the surrounding vegetation. As a prolific seed producer, each individual plant is capable of producing up to 1,400 seeds, which allows red bartsia to spread quickly across hay and pasture fields. It is inedible to all types of livestock, so infestations can drastically lower the productivity of the

herbicides also harm desirable species. Due to its persistence in the seed bank, according to Fred Paulson, Weed Supervisor, “if you are not going to spray for a minimum of ten years, then you are wasting your time.� Paulson recommends converting infested fields to a straight Timothy crop so that 2,4-D can be used to control red bartsia. However, most farmers were reluctant to do so, as a legume-grass mixture provides significantly higher forage value.

tions found that it was too time-consuming to be sustainable over the long-term. Others, who felt that red bartsia was more of a threat in lower-fertility areas, tried applying fertilizer, hoping it would make the alfalfa grass species be more competitive. Unfortunately, many who tried using granular fertilizers had little success. Some farmers fared better by applying solid, composted manure to infested areas. They hypothesized that because they applied the com-

many farmers found that when new culverts or drainage ditches were constructed on, or adjacent to, their properties, it allowed red bartsia to move in from neighbouring fields. Farm equipment, ATVs, municipal mowers and graders were all believed to be responsible for spreading the seed around as well. However, almost all of the interview participants cited the transportation of hay as being the Odontites serotina, or red bartsia. most common means for the seed to travel longer distances. For example, findings suggest that the two populations that were Interlake Region, the west identified in western Man- side of Lake Manitoba, and itoba, one in the Oak Lake some portions of western region, the other around Manitoba and southeastGilbert Plains, were both ern Manitoba all have a relbelieved to have been car- atively high risk of being ried by infested hay bales. invaded in the future. ArBased upon the knowl- eas affected by flooding edge of the local experts around Lake Manitoba in that we interviewed, we de- 2011 might be at particuveloped a predictive model larly high risk in the near using geographic informa- future, not only because tion systems to help deter- the floodwater could have mine which rural munici- spread red bartsia seeds palities in the province are around, but also because at greatest risk of future in- the demand for imported vasion by red bartsia. Our forage increased consider-

Red bartsia (Odontites serotina) t t t t t Overall risk of red bartsia invasion for each RM in Manitoba, including presence and absence data where available.

)FSCBDFPVT o DN UBMM -FBWFT o DN PQQPTJUF VOEJWJEFE TUBMLMFTT toothed, lanceolate, turn purple in late summer 'MPXFST o NN QJOLJTI SFE DBMZY PG TFQBMT fused into bell-shaped tube with 4 short teeth, occur in terminal leafy spikes 'PVOE JO SPBETJEFT SFTJEFOUJBM MBXOT GPSBHF and pasturelands


INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL OF MANITOBA

February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 21

Stewart Cattle Co. & Guests 4th Annual Black Angus Bull Sale

60 Black Angus Bulls sell FEBRUARY 23 / 2012 1:00 pm NEEPAWA AG-PLEX

20 Bulls Sired by BALOO

BALOO

Red bartsia choking out forage crops.

ably due to all of the flood- and areas where purchased ed farmland. hay bales have been spread out. If red bartsia is detectWhat you can do to ed, it is important to remove reduce your risk it quickly, before it can set Prevent the spread by seed. Small patches can be purchasing hay from reli- hand-pulled and larger inable sources and washing festations can be controlled equipment before moving it by herbicide where feasible. between fields. Early detec- Applying compost mulch tion and rapid response is over infestations in hay or critical for reducing the pasture is another treatharm caused by invasive ment option. Infested areas species; the longer they re- should be monitored and main undetected, the more managed carefully for sevdifficult they will ultimately eral years. Report all sightbe to control. So monitoring ings of red bartsia to the Infor red bartsia is critical, vasive Species Council of paying close attention to the Manitoba by calling (204) edges of drainage ditches 232-6021.

Steppler Farms 1st Annual Bull Sale 1:00 p.m. March 27th 2012 at Steppler Farms Sale Barn 6 miles west of Miami and 1 1/2 miles south

Featuring 55 Yearling Charolais Bulls and 3 Select Two -Year Olds Complimentary lunch prior to the sale. View our Catalogue at www.stepplerfarms.com

Steppler Farms Ltd.

Andre and Katie Steppler H. 204-435-2463 C. 204-750-1951 Dan and Pat Steppler, H. 204-435-2021

Sales Management, By Livestock Helge and Candace By W. 306 584 7937 Helge cell 306 536 4261 Candace cell 306 536 3374

HAY FOR SALE Excellent Quality 3,000 1st cut 350 2nd cut Alfalfa/Grass Round Bales

Call Dale Murray Murray Farms Inc. Decker, Manitoba

(204) 764-0361

SALE CATALOGUE will be available from consignors or online w w w. stew artcattl e. co m FREE BOARD on all bull purchases until April 1, 2012

Stewart Cattle Co. DJ Cattle Co. Legaarden Livestock

204.773.2356 204.354.2011 204.546.3052


FEBRUARY

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MARCH

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APRIL

2012 Winter Sale Schedule

22 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

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Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Thursday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

Heartland Livestock Services

KOPP FARMS SIMMEMTALS Bull & Female Sale

8th Annual

Monday February 20th, 2012 - 1:00 p.m.

Brandon

204-727-1431

Lic.# 1109

... Ray’s Round-Up, Continued

Looking ahead, if we have positive conditions that will allow land to start drying up, the programs for the restoration of land will need to be extended or renewed. We know that producers will not be able to meet the current deadlines in place. We are having discussions on this situation with the provincial and federal governments, and MBP is pushing for support for producers that will allow them to restore their land in order to get it back into production. This will be a monumental task. One producer told me that he felt like he was a pioneer again because it was going to take so much time to restore his land. The other issue that needs to be resolved is the ongoing threat of bovine tuberculosis (TB) and TB testing. We have lost too many producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA), and the herd around that region is continuing to shrink. We cannot stand by and watch this continue to happen. Producers in these regions want to know if there is a future for their operations and we need to challenge the gov-

HAMCO CATTLE CO. 14th

ernment to stop beating around the bush. It is time for government to commit to a workable strategy for the future and to support producers in the region. MBP has worked long and hard on the issue of TB; we have made recommendations and pressured both governments to work toward an eradication strategy for producers. The senior government working group has been working since August 2009, and it is time to get the group’s report released and implemented. We look forward to reviewing the report and participating in further consultation with government on moving forward to fulfill that mandate so that producers can start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Another related issue is the appointment of a TB Coordinator. This is absolutely essential, and this position is something MBP has lobbied very hard for. As a producer in the RMEA, I can tell you that dealing with the threat of TB and TB testing is like being under a storm wondering when you will be hit by lightning. Producers are marketing cattle around TB testing, and the emotional stress they are experiencing is having a

huge impact on their lives. It seems that this negative impact on producers and their families is always overlooked, and it needs to be considered. Producers in the RMEA will have to continue to battle, but we will not let this situation be ignored. We recognize that these are all ongoing issues and problems. MBP will continue to work vigorously to ensure these issues are being addressed and resolved for producers. In the next edition, we will look at some of the promising aspects that are in front of us, including access to trade, profitability and some of the issues we are lobbying on, such as encouraging young producers, and expanding and re-growing our industry. We do not always get to bask in success, but we can look at things that will be good for the industry and we can work together to move forward. As a final thought, the weather so far has made it a good winter for producers looking after cattle. We have saved a lot of feed and considering the summer we have been through, it has been a relief. Here’s hoping Mother Nature makes calving season easier for us all.

Saskatoon

Angus Bull Sale

Annual Saturday March 17, 2012

Indoors at the farm, Glenboro, MB

1:00 p.m.

Your source for Elite Angus Genetics!

0O UIF 'BSN t"NBSBOUI .#

MALE Sale

12th ANNUAL

Friday March 23, 2012 - 1:00 p.m. Saskatoon Livestock Sales

Offering

Bulls can be viewed any time

approx 100 Bulls & approx 40 Heifers See bulls at:

www.gelbviehworld.com 80% Sell to Repeat Customers. Bulls are Tie Broke and Quiet.

Selling 70 Red & 20 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 20 Red & 5 Black Angus 2 year old Bulls Many are AI sired & some are ET bulls Bulls semen tested & tested BVD PI negative Bulls on home performance test - data available Developed on a high forage TMR ration Selected from a group of 250 bulls Free delivery & free board till May 1 Delayed payment plan available CUP ultrasound data available

Please join us for lunch 12:00 p.m. on Sale Day For more Information or for Catalogue Inquiries call (204) 843-3627 Edmund’s Cell: (204) 856-3064 Steven’s Cell: (204) 843-0090

View Catalogues and Sale Videos Online www.koppfarms.com

or ask for our FREE video!

For more information or catalogues view us on line at hamcocattleco.com or contact us: Dr. David Hamilton (204) 822-3054 (204) 325-3635 cell

Albert, Glen & Larissa Hamilton (204) 827-2358 email: embryo@mts.net

Selling an outstanding set of Yearlings along with a select group of Herd Building Replacement Females Contact : FIR RIVER LIVESTOCK

Darcy Hrebeniuk (306) 865-2929 hm (306) 865-7859 cell

DON SAVAGE AUCTIONS Airdrie, AB

(403) 948-3520


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

Manitoba Purebred Breeders Strengthening the industry through quality genetics and top performing cattle

LIMOUSIN

2011 Commercial Breeder Of The Year Diamond R Limousin was presented the 2011 Commercial Breeder of the year on Jan 7th, 2011 at the Annual Meeting at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. In the rolling hills around Lavenham, MB is where Bill & Bernice and their two sons Les and Larry Rodgers, operate a mixed cattle and grain farm on 3500 acres. In 1975 they first bought charolais cross cows from Blue Meadow Ranch. Some of the cows that they bought, were A.I.’ed to Limousin bulls. They were so impressed with the charolais and the limousin cross calves. The calves were packed with lots of muscle, so they decided to keep a bull calf for their herdsire. The bull turned out to be a very well-muscled bull that passed on his muscle traits to his progeny. In 1982 there oldest son,

Art started working at Bitter Sweet Limousin. Where Bill and his family were so impacted with the cattle and the breed, that over the years they started to buying limousin bulls and females. In 1987 is when Bill and his family purchased the first purebred limousin bull, HAW 95T from Bitter Sweet Limousin. Over the years Bill and his family started purchasing purebred limousin bulls and female from breeders from Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta and majority from Triple R Limousin owned by oldest son Art. Limousin cattle have an excellent feed efficiency, calving ease, high carcass yields and top the market for calf sales in the fall. To date Diamond R Limousin cow herd has grown to 350 cow/ calf operation until 2004, when problems in the Can-

Don’t miss these Limousin Events

Commercial Limousin Producer of the Year awarded to the Rodger Family of Lavenham. Bill and Bernice Rodgers and there two sons Les and Larry Rodgers.

March 17 ------------Cochrane Limousin Bull Sale, Alexander, MB March 23 ------------- Diamond T Limousin Bull Sale, Kenten, MB March 26 - April 6------- Manitoba Bull Test Station Open House, ------------------------------------------------------------------ Douglas, MB March 31 ------------Jaymarandy Limousin Bull Sale, Yorkton, SK March 31 ------Open House at Triple R Limousin, MacGregor, MB Apri 3l --- Campbell Limousin Bull Sale and Open House , Minto, MB April 7 -------- Manitoba Bull Test Station Bull Sale, Douglas, MB April 7 ----------------------------JLB Limousin Bull Sale, Ashern, MB July 11 ------------National Junior Limousin Conference, Olds, AB July 13 ----------------------------------CLA Annual Meeting, Olds, AB Nov 3 -----------Canadian National Limousin Show, Brandon, MB

adian Beef industry saw the herd decrease to 300 head. Now with the positive outlook for the cattle industry in the past two years, Bill and his family will continue to use limousin bulls to build up their herd. The Manitoba Limousin Association would like to congratulate the Rodgers family of being the 2011 Commercial Breeders of the year.

The Manitoba Limousin Association Board of Directors Front row, left to right: Darby Cochrane, Jay-Dean Smyth, Sherri Daniel, Ashlee Mitchell and in the Back row, left to right: Kyle Wright, Art Rodger, Lenord Gertz, Bill Campbell and Travis Hunter. Missing from picture Tracey Wilcox and Mike Heckert.

! N I G R A M T I PROF S ’ D R E H R OU INCREASE Y

www.manitobalimousin.com Amaglen Limousin

204-246-2312 www.amaglenlimousin.ca Bulls for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station.

Campbell Limousin

204-776-2322 Bull Sale & Open house April 3/2012

Cochrane Stock Farms 204-855-2633 www.cochranestockfarms.com Bull Sale March 17/2012

Diamond R Limousin

Jaymarandy Limousin

Diamond T Limousin

JLB Limousin

204-252-2120 Purebred and commercial Limousin. 2012 Commercial Breeder of the Year. 204-838-2019 trhunter@mts.net Bull Sale March 23/2012

Hockridge Farms 204-638-8554 gghock@goinet.ca www.hockridge.ca Bulls for sale on farm.

204-937-4980 www.jaymarandy.com Bull Sale March 31/2012

Maplehurst Farms 204-274-2490 Bulls for sale on farm.

Mitchell Farms

204-768-2784 Bull Sale April 7/2012

204-556-2683 Source of red & black Polled bulls & females.

L&S Limousin Acres

Triple R Limousin

204-748-2198 Source for performance Limousin.

L.G. Limousin

204-748-3728 Bulls for sale on farm.

204-685-2628 Bulls for sale on farm. Open house March 23 and 31/2012

Twin Oak Limousin 204-723-2275 Bulls for sale on farm. Your source for quality black & red Limousin.

Twin Meadow Livestock 204-723-2386 Bulls for sale on farm. Source for quality Limousin & Simmental Genetics

Wright Way Limousin 204-305-0221 Source of purebred black & commercial Limousin.


24 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH ON GHG CHRISTINE RAWLUK

New funding awarded to researchers with the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Livestock and the Environment offers benefits to cow-calf production systems in Western Canada through improved greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation strategies. This federal funding will support ongoing efforts to gain a PHOTO CREDIT: CHRISTINE RAWLUK

better understanding of current on-farm practices, the extent of GHG losses associated with these management practices, as well as the development and evaluation of new co-benefit Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that both mitigate loss and improve production economics. Further, model estimations of GHG emissions will be improved by the inclusion of quantitative life cyclebased data generated from this research. This study focuses on the major sources of the three main GHGs contributing to an estimated 10 per cent of global emissions from agriculture. Major GHG sources are nitrogen (as N2O) losses from fertilizer and manure nutrients applied to the land and from grazing livestock; carbon (CO2) losses from soil; and methane emissions, mostly as enteric methane from cattle. The first step is to obtain an accurate inventory of the current Western Ca-

nadian cow-calf herd and the management practices being used. Over the past decade, adoption of overwintering strategies on pastures has increased among cattle producers in an effort to reduce costs. Although an increasing

Much has been learned about enteric emissions under a range of production environments and management practices over the past decade. However, the net GHG impact of yearround non-confinement production at a whole-farm

factors known to influence methane emissions. Improved models equate to more accurate and reliable accounting of actual contributions to net GHG emissions, as well as a means to track improvements in production effi-

velopment and evaluation of new BMPs well-suited to cow-calf operations on the prairies. Part of this evaluation includes not only measuring reduction in GHG losses, but also field testing with producers the practicality of these potential

The goal of this project is to develop and implement technologies and practices to benefit the economic and environmental sustainability of the Canadian cattle industry. number of producers have adopted these overwintering strategies, the number of producers and the types of feeding systems remain largely unknown. A national survey in early 2012 will provide current information regarding beef cattle production practices in the various ecoregions of Canada. The information garnered from this survey will be used to improve estimates of GHG emissions in forage-beef systems.

level has not been quantified. Current models rely on data from grazing cattle to predict annual GHG emissions, as to date there are no published data reporting enteric emissions of cattle overwintering infield in the Western Canadian production environment. Study investigations will characterize emissions from these extensive systems, taking into account animal activity, animal energetics and forage quality,

ciencies. If predictive models are the tools we rely on to gauge our progress in mitigating GHG emissions, they need to be robust – built from reliable and accurate data sets generated by sound technologies. This study will also focus on developing and testing improved methods to reduce uncertainty in estimating net emissions from these production systems. Another key component of this study is the de-

BMPs, and assigning an economic value for both land-based and cattlebased BMPs. Enteric methane emissions from cattle equate to lost revenue – it is feed energy that could otherwise be used to increase meat and milk production, for example. A promising BMP being investigated is selecting for low residual feed intake (RFI) cattle for both improved production efficiency and reduced enteric methane emissions.

The potential for offsetting GHG emissions through carbon sequestration in perennial lands is another BMP being quantified, as this has the potential to generate economic ecological goods and services and to offset net emissions from a forage-beef production system. The emphasis is on development and implementation of effective BMPs that also contribute to an improved bottom line. Information transfer will be to both industry and the public. The public education component will see development of curriculum materials for use in schools and special education programs such as “Amazing Agriculture Adventure.” The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre will feature special programming and displays describing actions in the agriculture community to reduce GHG emissions. With scientific GHG expertise in annual and pe-


PHOTO CREDIT: CHRISTINE RAWLUK

February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 25

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rennial cropping systems and cattle overwintering, the multidisciplinary research team is able to evaluate GHG emissions on a life cycle scale, a scale where GHG accounting considers both losses and gains. The goal of this project is to develop and implement technologies and practices to benefit the economic and environmental

sustainability of the Canadian cattle industry. For more information, contact Brian Amiro (Brian_Amiro@umanitoba. ca), overall project lead, or Kim Ominski (k_ominski@umanitoba.ca), cattle overwintering lead. Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Program (AGGP) provided $3 mil-

lion to support this fouryear, $4.3-million project involving 10 scientists, five collaborating organizations and eight additional supporting agencies. Christine Rawluk is a research associate with the University of Manitoba forage-beef production systems research team.

HI-­HOG

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26 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

INVESTING IN AG AWARENESS AN UPDATE ON AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM – MANITOBA

Who can feed breakfast to an entire school, keep teenagers engaged in learning all day, and get people thinking about the importance of agriculture in their day-to-day lives? The answer is Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba (AITC-M).

Ag Learning Opportunities

DIAMOND T LIMOUSIN BULL & FEMALE SALE

Friday, Mar. 23/12

1:30 p.m.

in our heated sale barn, at the farm, 2 miles south & 1 mile west of Kenton’s west edge

10 Two year old, 22 Yearling Bulls & 8 Open Heifers LIMOUSIN For more information or catalogues contact: TRAVIS & RILLA HUNTER Kenton,, MB

them to where their food comes from. Students enjoy breakfast served by local producers from a variety of sectors. Before breakfast, students take part in a presentation exploring the agriculture industry and how food gets from farm to fork. Thanks to the Monsanto Fund, AITC-M expanded the program in the past year to help nourish more minds with new curriculumlinked resources. In February and March, the program will make stops in Morris, Miniota, Brandon and Oak Lake. AITC-M is also a partner in Agriculture in the City, a three-day event at The Forks Market held March 16 to 18. AITC-M will help kick off the event with a high school debate on an agriculture theme. On Feb. 24, AITC-M and the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences will present a professional development opportunity for teachers at the new Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. The session will feature topics such as food production and sustainability on the Prairies, and a presentation titled Food, Inc. – An Alternative View, which will explore the facts and myths regarding Food, Inc., a movie on food in the U.S. that is being shown in some classrooms. If you know a teacher who would like to participate, please contact AITC-M.

AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM – MANITOBA

In November, AITCM, MBP and the Manitoba Livestock Expo brought the Amazing Rangeland Adventure to the Keystone Centre in Brandon, with around 150 high school students participating. The event featured interactive stations where students learned about topics like

beef cattle production, pasture and sustainability, and career opportunities in agriculture. Another exciting event was held during Manitoba Ag Days. AITC-M brought together 450 Grade 7 and 8 students and their teachers to increase their knowledge and understanding of science, social studies, careers and agriculture through interactive activities. MBP was pleased to be a participating exhibitor in the Manitoba Ag Days Adventure, which involved students visiting the MBP booth and answering a beef-related trivia question. AITC-M is set for many more events with a busy year ahead. The Made in Manitoba Breakfast program is in full swing, traveling across Manitoba, feeding breakfast to students and connecting

AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM – MANITOBA

This dynamic organization is working to raise awareness and knowledge about the importance agriculture and farmers play for urban and rural Manitobans. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is proud to be a Patron Sponsor of AITC-M, and appreciates the benefits the organization is bringing to producers by taking the lead on agriculture awareness in the province.

AITC-M has another exciting event coming up this winter. Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week runs from Feb. 26 to March 3 across the country. Agriculture in the Classroom, in partnership with Farm Credit Canada,

Ph. : (204) 838-2019 Cell: (204) 851-0809

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The Future is NOW here! Come on down to the 8th Annual

“Buy the BEEF Bull Sale� April 3, 2012

JASRed Angus

REGULAR CATTLE SALES EVERY TUESDAY AT 9 AM

SHEEP & GOAT SALE with Small Animals MONDAY, FEB. 13 @ 12 noon TH

MONDAY, FEB. 27 @ 12 noon TH

Sales agent for HIQUAL INDUSTRIES Specializing in Livestock Handling Equipment For info regarding products or pricing, please call our office

& Female Sale

Saturday April 7th - 1:00 p.m. Bulls can be delivered or picked up sale day ($75 credit)

Sires include: Joker, Smash, Travilin Express, New Trend and a dandy by Sam’s Prospector

SUNSET RIDGE ANGUS

14 th A nnual

All Bulls Semen Tested & Carcass Data Available

Neepawa, MB

Guest Consignors:

Mauthe at diane@aitc. mb.ca or 204-471-9698. AITC-M is supported by a variety of partners, sponsors and members. These supporters are directly responsible for the success of AITC-M’s programs. Membership and sponsorship dollars invested in AITC-M go a long way in supporting these valuable ag awareness programs. An individual membership is $30. For more information, please visit www.aitc.mb.ca.

O n the Farm Goodeve, Sask. - Approx. 90 miles west of Russell, MB

1:00 p.m., Neepawa Ag Complex

Doug & Jason McLaren Ph.: (204) 476-6248 or (204) 476-6723

is offering an elementary classroom program in celebration of the inaugural Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week. Students will have an opportunity to meet a producer, who will read an agriculture-related story to the class, helping students develop an understanding of where their food comes from. If you would like to bring this program to your local school or volunteer to read a story at a school near you, please contact Diane

t #MBDL :FBSMJOH #VMMT t 3FE :FBSMJOH #VMMT t 0QFO #MBDL 3FQMBDFNFOU )FJGFST

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

Crescent Creek Angus

Home (306) 876-4420 Cell (306) 728-8284

Darren Bouchard (204) 526-7407

Wes & Kim Olynyk & Family Box 192, Goodeve, SK S0A 1C0

info@crescentcreekangus.com www.crescentcreekangus.com


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 27

SET UP FOR SUCCESS THIS NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS TO BETTER YOURSELF

ADRIANA BARROS

The New Year fills everyone with new hope for a bright future with wealth, happiness and most importantly prosperous health. The first few weeks of January are filled with people being quite hard on themselves with drastic resolutions and goals for a successful 2012. Most often, resolutions are broken within the first couple of months of the New Year. This mainly occurs because unrealistic goals are set. What works better is the trick heard of time and time again, setting small goals within realistic time frames. I’m going to be covering ways of successfully accomplishing your goals by building proper support and encouragement groups. I will cover ways of breaking down overwhelming goals into small, attainable objectives, and ways of recording your goals, for the most important step of enjoying your hard-earned accomplishments. These are attainable lifestyle changes that are important for your health and happiness for 2012. The most important rule about resolutions is they are for bettering yourself, so do not choose resolutions that will resonate negative pressures of meeting other people’s expectations of you. The goal you choose must mean something to you, not your employer, partner or friends. You need to truly believe in the personal benefits of your lifestyle-changing goal. The most beneficial aspect of a

work before March. In order to stay motivated and not give up, it’s a good idea to have a buddy system; this builds an encouraging relationship and a sense of goal importance. Now you have others who believe in you and if you slip up by getting fast food at lunch or having half a cigarette, there is a friend or relative involved that will work at

health goal as an example, implement small changes such as increasing the amount of water you consume daily and removing added sugar beverages from your diet one month. Follow this by continuing small changes such as slowly increasing the amount of colour in your meals by increasing your vegetable intake the next month. These

Is it hard to eat healthy if you only think healthy or low-fat eating means having a void of flavour? resolution is making a lifestyle change that will stick with you. For example, if dropping “x” amount of weight in 2012 is your goal, it should be addressed as a positive lifestyle change. This will positively lower cholesterol and body fat in the mid-section, increase stamina and energy, and decrease risks of heart disease and cancers. Once you’ve chosen one lifestyle-changing goal, there’s no need to burden yourself with the pressure of accomplishing losing 15 pounds, quitting smoking and getting promoted at

encouraging positive reinforcement on your weakest days. The buddy system is a two-way street that is in place to encourage one another and offer support. Breaking down daunting lifestyle goals into miniaccomplishments is very important. Saying that this is the year you will lose 15 pounds and expecting huge results in two weeks is an unachievable goal and will set you up for failure. Rather, think about each step to achieving your final goal as a mini-accomplishment; simple and slow changes work best. Using the improving

are gradual changes that will eventually build lifestyle habits that will be incorporated into your every day. Realize your goal, if meaningful, will not be easy; it will be something that is going to be hard work, and that’s why it is worth it. Make things easy for yourself. If your diet needs a tweak, get rid of all the junk food or keep it out of sight. If you are trying to get back into the gym, leave your gym bag somewhere visible in your vehicle or by the door in your home so you see it on your way out. Recognize when obstacles

are coming between you and your goal to better your lifestyle. Hold yourself accountable if you are consistently breaking your resolution goals and figure out

why. Is it hard to eat healthy if you only think healthy or low-fat eating means having a void of flavour? This is where using your encouragement system can be fun; ask around for some healthy delicious recipes or a good exercise class to go to in your area if going to the gym isn’t for you. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back for every mini-accomplishment you successfully achieve. Record your goals and achievements; physically write them down on sticky-notes, as this way, they are considered serious goals. Leave them out on the fridge or in your office to solidify the goals and make them appear permanent. It is always a great source of encouragement on hard days. When goals are achieved and overcome, it is a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Always reward your achievements, whether it’s going to the movies with friends, buying a new outfit,

or getting a new book by your favourite author. You must enjoy yourself and recognize your hard work. Avoid rewarding yourself with bad habits such as old favourites, like junk food or a break from the gym. Remember, this resolution must be for you and no one else. Include friends and family for a positive support group, and remember to break down big lifestyle-changing resolutions into smaller goals. Always write down your goals on paper to reinforce them and never forget that you deserve recognition for a job well done. Positive rewards that do not set back goals are highly encouraged. This month, I have featured a wonderful recipe (page 28) perfect for starting the New Year off with healthy eating, courtesy of Canadian Beef. The Beef Top Sirloin Tostada is packed with protein and bursting with flavour. Thanks for reading and all the best in the New Year.


CANADIAN BEEF

28 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

BEEF TOP SIRLOIN TOSTADA With lean grilled beef and market-fresh veggies, this crispy, crunchy main-course salad has all the satisfaction of a nacho platter with a fraction of the fat and a BIG boost of nutrients. Using oven-toasted whole wheat flour tortillas as the tostada base is a healthier choice than traditional fried corn tortillas. Makes 8 servings. Prep: 30 minutes Marinate: 15 minutes Cook: 8 minutes

Marinade/Dressing: 1 tbsp (15 ml) grated lime rind ¼ cup (50 ml) lime juice (about 2 limes) 2 tbsp (30 ml) minced fresh coriander or parsley 1 tbsp (15 ml) chili powder 1 lb (500 g) beef top sirloin grilling steak, about 1 inch 4 large cloves garlic, minced (2.5 cm) thick 8 7-inch (18 cm) whole wheat flour tortillas Marinade/Dressing: In bowl, combine lime rind, ¼ cup (50 ml) vegetable oil lime juice, coriander, chili powder and garlic. Set aside 3 ½ cup (125 ml) chopped red onion tbsp (45 ml) in a large bowl for dressing. Rub remaining 2 cloves garlic, minced mixture over both sides of steak. Cover and refrigerate 2 cups (500 ml) EACH quartered mushrooms and for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Meanwhile, toast halved grape tomatoes tortillas (see Cook’s Notes). 2 cups (500 ml) fresh or thawed corn kernels Pat steak dry; season with salt and pepper. Grill 1 cup (250 ml) shredded lettuce over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes per side, for 2 tbsp (30 ml) minced fresh coriander or parsley medium-rare. Let rest before slicing. Pinch salt and pepper Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic;

cook until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until all liquid is released, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes and corn. Cook, stirring just until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk remaining oil into reserved marinade to complete the dressing. Thinly slice steak; add to dressing along with mushroom mixture, lettuce and coriander, tossing gently to coat. Pile 1/2 cup (125 ml) of beef mixture on each tortilla to serve. Cook’s Notes: To oven-toast tortillas, spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray; place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Per serving: 340 calories, 19 g protein, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g trans fat, 26 mg cholesterol), 39 g carbohydrate (6 g fibre), 413 mg sodium, 443 mg potassium.


February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 29

DEADLINE FOR MANITOBA FORAGE SHORTFALL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: MARCH 31 The Manitoba Forage Shortfall Assistance Program can assist Manitoba livestock producers who are experiencing extraordinary costs due to forage shortage caused by flooding or excess moisture conditions in 2011. The program provides assistance to producers with shortfalls in the forage production required to maintain their livestock over the 2011/12 pasture and winter periods. All Manitoba livestock producers that owned or leased eligible animals and incurred extraordinary forage shortages caused by excess moisture conditions or overland flooding in spring 2011 may be eligible for financial assistance.

Producers must submit a completed application form to a Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Growing Opportunities (GO) office. Applications may be delivered in person, faxed or mailed, provided in the case of mail that the postmark indicates a date on or before the application deadline of March 31, 2012. Application forms are available at www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture or any MAFRI GO office.

Predators a Problem? Manitoba Beef Producers wants to know Herd losses from predation by wolves and coyotes appear to be on the rise. Let MBP know if this has been a problem for you. Manitoba’s beef producers need a long-term commitment from government to improve the protection of herds from predators, and hearing from you will help MBP lobby for change.

Winn Man Farms 11th Annual CHAROLAIS

BULL SALE Friday, March 23, 2012

at the ranch in Winnipegosis, MB Selling 35 yearling and virgin 2 year old Charolais bulls

NATURALLY MUSCLED BORN EASY, WEAN BIG AFFORDABLE

Our “real world” approach to developing these bulls on a gentle TMR keeps them athletic (not over fat) and in ideal condition. They are built to last and will be semen tested. All animals on the ranch are on a full vaccination and mineral program.

Our roots are deep in the commercial cow-calf business. In 2012, we’ll calve over 700 cows on grass and background the calves so we realize how important it is for our bulls to sire calves that are born easy, wean big, have great feed conversion and look the part in the sale ring.

Our sale is relaxing, fun and is not a high pressure environment. The majority of our bulls sell between $2,000 and $3,000 which means you keep more money in your pocket. We also offer FREE board, FREE delivery and a subsidized insurance program.

Tell us your story at info@MBBEEF.ca. Merit 7329T

Most Bulls in the sale are sired by these 2 bulls

Registered, Guaranteed, Red & Black, Polled Bulls MD Ali Trade U1059

Longest running One-Iron Charolais Bull Sale in Manitoba * Fertility Tested * Delivery Available * FREE board until May 1

CHERWAY LIMOUSIN

204.736.2878 view bulls at www.cherwaylimousin.ca

For more information or a catalogue, contact:

JEFF & ASHLEY BEYAK Ph: (204) 656-4991 Cell: (204) 648-6443

KEVIN & SHERRY BEYAK SALES CONSULTANTS and Sons Kim Crandall (204) 657-2267 Ph: (204) 656-4689 email: beyak@hotmail.ca Box 487, Winnipegosis, MB R0L 2G0

Myles Masson (204) 447-2266


30 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012

PRODUCERS WELCOME MARKET ACCESS TO SOUTH KOREA MBP STAFF

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) applauded the news that South Korea will resume imports of Canadian beef, after a ban that stretched eight years. MBP congratulated the Government of Canada, Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, on achieving this outcome for producers and the entire beef sector. “By restoring market access for Canadian beef,

the federal government has added support to our growing market,� said Cam Dahl, MBP General Manager. “This victory confirms

we have now turned a corner—after almost a decade of restricted markets due to BSE border closures.� South Korea is the last

Your Source for Convenient Performance

HUNTER CHAROLAIS BULL SALE Thursday, April 5, 2012, 1:30 p.m. DST At the farm, Roblin, MB

45 YEARLING BULLS

Most are Polled • Some Red Factor

major export market in Asia to uphold a ban on imports of Canadian beef. Effective immediately, South Korea will allow beef under 30 months of age to re-enter its market. This is welcome news for Manitoba’s beef producers, as this additional market access provides another reason to hope the strong prices we have been experiencing will continue. “This is not only a win for producers, but also for science-based agricultural trade,� said Dahl. “It is very important that export requirements are based on sound science. This is perhaps one of the most important lessons we have learned from BSE restrictions.�

GM Cam Dahl welcomes the news in an interview with CTV Winnipeg.

Canada Beef Inc., the market development arm of the beef industry, estimates that South Korea will represent $30 million in exports by 2015. MBP thanks the

federal government, including the Market Access Secretariat, for helping to open markets, and looks forward to this opportunity for our beef producers.

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Complete Performance Data Available • Bulls can be viewed any time

A Charolais family operation for over 30 years

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Contact us for more information or catalogues

Doug & Marianne, Jim, Kristi & Michael Hunter Helge & Candace By Box 569, Roblin, MB R0L 1P0 T 306-584-7937 • Helge 306-536-4261 T 204-937-2531 Doug 204-937-7737 charolaisbanner@gmail.com Michael 204-247-0301 View the catalogue online at ww.huntercharolais.com

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February 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 31

CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION COOL UPDATE

CCA PUTS WTO APPEAL DOWNTIME TO GOOD USE CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

Last month, the World Trade Organization (WTO) extended the deadline for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to adopt or appeal the Nov. 18, 2011 Dispute Panel’s report on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). With the focus of the U.S. government on trying to create jobs and reduce spending, it makes no sense to maintain a regulation

The WTO ruled in favour of Canada and Mexico’s complaint against COOL and supported Canada’s position that provisions of COOL discriminate against live cattle and hogs imported into the U.S.

tinue to advocate that it is in the interest of U.S. meat processing jobs to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The tight supply of cattle has resulted in over capacity in the U.S. meat processing sector, putting

that has created no quantifiable benefits for its proponents and puts U.S. jobs and livestock producers at risk. It also makes no sense

to continue to spend U.S. taxpayer dollars sending lawyers to Geneva to continue defending such a measure.

are at risk if COOL is left unresolved. Of course, if U.S. meat packing capacity is curtailed and jobs are eliminated, the livestock producers who currently supply affected facilities

If COOL is unresolved and capacity is eliminated, the proponents of COOL will be responsible for further contributing to market concentration. The extension of the 60-day time period to March 23, 2012 from January 18, 2012 was granted following the joint request of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The three parties said the requests were made to take into account the current workload of the Appellate Body, the WTO stated in a release. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) accepts the delay and will use the extra time to con-

BLACK ANGUS HEIFERS FOR SALE Bred Black Angus to calve about April 6th till the end of May Dale Smith Snowflake, Manitoba (204) 876-4798

jobs at risk. The extra costs that COOL imposes on U.S. meat processors exacerbate the situation. According to Dr. Daniel Sumner, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist and current professor of agricultural economics at the University of CaliforniaDavis, an estimated 9,000 U.S. meat processing jobs

will be further negatively impacted. Producers already complain about market concentration and buying power associated with too few meat processors. If COOL is unresolved and capacity is eliminated, the proponents of COOL will be responsible for further contributing to market concentration.

RANCH READY

New funding is available for Verified Beef Producers

up to $5000

for building quarantine pens or wash stations Funded by Growing Forward. For more information, call 372-6492 or your local GO office.

BULL SALE

Hybrid Vigor...

1:00 pm | March 22, 2012 | Heartland, Swift Current, SK

www.braunranch.com

OFFERING 50 HORNED HEREFORD BULLS

Ranch Ready Customer Calves

the only thing free in the cattle business

CATALOGUE ONLINE @

He Sells!

FOR INFOMATION CONTACT:

Craig Braun Braun Ranch 306-297-2132 www.braunranch.com

Donnie Gillespie Gillespie Hereford Ranch 306-627-3584


32 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2012 PHOTO CREDIT: JEANNETTE GREAVES

A winter day in cattle country.

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Pre

Simmental

MARCH 14, 2012,

Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB Stockman’s Agencies Livestock Insurance Agents for over 40 years RR1 Box 57 Brandon, Manitoba R 7A 5Y1

Yearly- Short Term, Mortality and Fertility coverages Call us for details.

Lois and Blair McRae 204-728-3058 marmac@inetlink.ca cell-204-573-5192

Joyce Gordon 204-534-6554

Offering 85 Simmental bulls: Red, Black, & Fullblood

About 3 weeks before sale day view the catalog online at: www.transconlivestock.com www.chescu.com


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

| VOL.14 NO.2 MARCH 2012

COLOSTRUM AND CALF HEALTH

IMPORTANCE OF FEEDING IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH

DEBBIE CHIKOUSKY

The moment has come. A year’s worth of choosing just the right bulls, agonizing over feed components, and hourly checks has culminated into a beautiful live calf. Attention was also given to ensure that this new calf was born under the best environmental conditions the producer could provide. colostrum for protection from disease. Colostrum is produced for the first 24 hours after giving birth and is gradually replaced by milk. The three types of immunoglobulins that colostrum contains are IgG, IgM, and IgA. Each of these has a specific role in the immune system. The primary role of IgG is to identify and help destroy invading pathogens. IgG can move out of the bloodstream and into other areas of the body,

Jeannette Greaves Photo

Unfortunately, though, it is not time to relax. The next six hours will determine the calf’s health for the rest of its life. In other words, this little one has to eat. Just prior to delivering, a cow will fill her udder with colostrum, the first milk a mammal produces. The design of the cow’s placenta prevents transfer of maternal blood immunoglobulins to the calf before it is born. As such, the newborn calf is entirely dependent on this

JUMP-START YOUR CASH FLOW where it helps identify pathogens. The principal role of IgM is to identify and destroy bacteria that have entered the blood. IgA attaches to the membranes that line many organs, such as the intestine, and prevents pathogens from attaching and causing disease. Colostrum packs more nutrition per ounce than milk does and it is also higher in fat. This helps to prevent chilling and gives the baby a boost. Colostrum also contains growth factors, which help promote gut growth and differentiation, especially during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth.

It is important to remember that the calf’s ability to absorb the immunoglobulins in colostrum decreases greatly after the first hour of life. By 24 hours of age, the ability to use the colostrum is nearly nonexistent. Veterinarians say that if colostrum is not fed in an adequate amount within the first 12 hours, it is unlikely that enough antibodies will be absorbed to give adequate immunity. Without this absorption, the young will not have any passive immunity. This is the passing of maternal antibodies to the young. These antibodies are vital

for the protection of the calf until its immune system is mature enough to be able to be vaccinated or fight infections on its own. There are many formulas to calculate the quantity of colostrum calves need, but we have adopted the method of feeding the youngster as much as it wants until it drops off the nipple. For a rule of thumb, we were taught that a calf needs 10 per cent of its body weight within the first hour of life and a second feeding of two to three litres within the next eight hours for a ... Continued on page 4

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Page 14


2

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

the views exPressed in Cattle Country do not neCessarily refleCt the Position of the Manitoba beef ProduCers. we believe in free sPeeCh and enCouraGe all Contributors to voiCe their oPinion.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP

RAISING OPTIMISM AND RETURNS RAY ARMBRUSTER

Spring is a time of renewal, and for producers it also means a time of renewed optimism. As we move further into 2012, the recovery in prices has continued. Early bull sales and replacement heifer sales have seen vigorous action and good prices. This is a true sign of renewed confidence. What is interesting is that the 2012 prices are on a different playing field than what we saw pre-BSE—a time when we had lower feed grain prices, a large cattle herd, and a low Canadian dollar. We have also seen a significant increase in our prices due to improved market access and tight supplies. This has helped put the industry in a positive position, which again, has not been seen since prior to 2003. Over the past few months, there have been new trade announcements on different forms of access to markets and this is also positive for our sector.

Recent announcements regarding access to South Korea for tallow and bone-in beef from cattle under 30 months of age as well as offal sales to China continue to add dollars to each animal we sell. The European trade negotiations along with news that Japan is doing an internal review on moving to accept beef imports with a 30-month age limit, as opposed to the current 21-month limit, will continue this upward trend on return. Other markets such as Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates have also opened to Canadian cattle. Trade and market access is essential for Manitoba producers and Canada’s beef industry as a whole. We need to remember that when we send a carcass somewhere, it is distributed into many pieces

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and value is created, which adds to the price of that carcass. An example is offal. A lot has been written and discussed about that type of valueadded initiative, but industry is also in a position to add value, efficiencies,

manure production, which is cost-saving in terms of manure removal, but this will also help producers meet challenging manure nutrient regulations. There is also a good news story to relay to consumers—these cattle can

support the delivery of the program and our check-off dollars are invested in it. BIXS is available for producers, feedlots, and packers to track information on individual animals using radio-frequency identification (RFID)

We know we will always be working on trade initiatives, but there is also important work to be done in other areas. and profit throughout the whole production chain. Let me give you some examples. Let’s take a look at residual feed intake research and assessing cattle on their feed efficiencies and feed conversion. This research shows that some cattle can produce, grow, and yield as well as others that have a higher feed intake. Just think about what a 10 to 15 per cent decrease in feed costs would mean for your bottom line. The same is true for backgrounded and finished cattle. There would be significant cost-saving efficiencies, leading to more profit. Along with saving in feed costs, data research shows that feed-efficient animals have decreased

reduce their carbon footprint with reduced methane output. With Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) contribution of $42,000 in seed money to residual feed intake research at the University of Manitoba, the university was able to acquire $1.3 million in project funding from other sources. This shows that our financial contribution to research can go a long way. Another example of adding value and efficiencies is the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) program, operated through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. BIXS is a voluntary, industry-driven program and a practical tool that can be integrated throughout the whole production chain. MBP helps

tags, which we already apply. Feedback data such as cost-efficient gain and animal health can be used to relay information to help us make objective decisions regarding our production methods. This is a huge efficiency. BIXS helps create relationships between stakeholders and the flow of important information. It gives the feedlots some certainty and confidence, and if you have a verified story and history of your cattle, it gives feedlots an opportunity to gain efficiency and more profitability. By inputting and accessing information through BIXS, a producer can gauge the effectiveness of their onfarm health programs and know if their animals are staying healthy once they

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TED ARTZ

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DAVE KOSLOWSKY

RAMONA BLYTH

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BRAD MCDONALD

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Box 295 Benito, MB ROL 0C0 PH/FX: 204-536-2345 R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas MISSION: “Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the beef industry in Manitoba. Our role and mission is to represent our beef producers through communication, research, advocacy and education. We provide this representation within industry, to government, to the beef consumer and general public. These efforts take place to strengthen our industry viability, improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future for the beef industry in Manitoba for the benefit of all our producers. The Manitoba Beef Producers represents 8,000 beef producers across the province.”

Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen

leave the farm. BIXS can also provide information on carcass quality. This can help a producer make better-informed decisions about their breeding programs and ways to improve to add more profit. The program has an option to add other information about cattle for potential buyers, such as details on animal health protocols, management, and feedlot performance. Cow-calf producers can visit and register to use the program at www.bixs. cattle.ca. Full instructions are on the site. If you are a producer who is interested in a future workshop on BIXS, please contact MBP at info@mbbeef.ca or 1-800-772-0458. We know we will always be working on trade initiatives, but there is also important work to be done in other areas. We can sit back and ride the wave or, at a positive time when we are experiencing upward trends and profits, take steps to enhance our animal health initiatives, environmental sustainability, and economic return. Looking ahead to spring, we hope our province can get back to average environmental conditions that don’t impede us at a time when industry can enjoy renewal and when there is some certainty about sustainability.

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 154 Paramount road Winnipeg, mb r2X 2W3

Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

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FINANCE-Book keeper Deb Walger

FIELD REP

Tara Fulton

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Melody Rogan

Manitoba Cattle ProduCers assoCiation


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE

CALVES, SCIENCE AND THE BIG PICTURE CAM DAHL

This month’s edition of Cattle Country has a focus on calf care. It seems like stating the obvious, but one of the best ways to increase profitability is to increase the number of calves to sell in the fall. Typically, most calf death losses occur within the first three weeks of life. Proper management focus during this time is an efficient means to enhance productivity and reduce sickness and death loss. This is something that every rancher knows instinctively. Hopefully, some of the information presented will provide you with some tips on getting more of your calves from birth to weaning. Please let Manitoba Beef Producers know if the articles presented are helpful to you. If you have any comments or suggestions for your paper—Cattle Country really is your paper—please let us know at info@mbbeef.ca. But what good does it do to raise healthy calves if you have no place to sell them? At least half of the cattle we raise here in Manitoba are ultimately exported outside of Canada—either as beef or live animals. Every beef producer across the country knows what happens when access to international markets is curtailed. In 2003, borders slammed shut to Canadian beef as a result of one cow testing positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). It has taken almost 10 years to finally return to market access levels that are similar to 2003. Because we know the value of lost markets, beef producers in all parts of the country—including Manitoba—welcomed the an-

nouncement that South Korea will resume imports of Canadian beef. South Korea’s ban was initiated after the start of the BSE crisis. This was the last major Asian market to maintain a ban on the importation of Canadian beef.

for an industry that was beginning to become desperate for a turn in fortunes. Restoring market access for Canadian beef has added support for strengthening markets and gives producers some assurance that strong prices will last—at

of BSE was found. However, these protocols had little or no basis in science. The World Organisation for Animal Health has allowances for a small number of BSE cases, which can occur naturally. Irrational fear drove govern-

Regulations based on public opinion or as a result of pressure from activist groups are not, ultimately, in the public interest. On their recent trip to China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz were able to announce further market openings, this time for beef tallow. You may not think that industrial products like tallow are all that important, but each link of the beef value chain must maximize the value of each part of the carcass. Right now, Japan is reviewing its requirement that beef from Canada must come from animals that are younger than 21 months. Removal of this restriction, or even just an increase of the age limit to animals 30 months and younger, would significantly increase our ability to service this lucrative market. All of this is good news

least for a few years. This is absolutely critical if we are to reverse the recent trends of shrinking cattle herds here in Manitoba and across Canada. Now that we are turning the corner and seeing market access and prices return to pre-BSE levels, we must ask ourselves two questions: Why did one positive cow do so much damage to our industry, and what do we have to do to make certain that a crisis like this is never repeated? The answer, at least a partial answer, to both of these key questions includes the word “science.” In response to the BSE outbreak in the United Kingdom, trading nations agreed to stringent protocols that slammed borders like steel gates if one case

ments away from a scientific response. The beef industry is finally beginning to recover from this mistake. International trading rules are returning to a scientific basis and borders are opening again. But it has taken over eight years to come to this point and we have experienced billions of dollars in losses. As well, thousands of producers have been forced away from the land.

Canadian agriculture cannot afford to see this mistake repeated again. We must ensure all regulations aimed at protecting human and animal health are based on strong, peer-reviewed science if we are to prevent the recurrence of a crisis like the one caused by BSE. This applies to both our domestic regulations as well as the rules for international trade. Health and safety provisions in new international agreements, like the one being negotiated between Canada and the European Union (EU), must have a scientific basis. Canadian governments must fight against non-scientific trade barriers, like the EU ban on Canadian beef because of the use of growth supplements. Fighting through international bodies can be successful, as demonstrated by the opening of the South Korean market, which was hastened by a Canadian case brought before the World Trade Organization.

But this is not just an international battle. Provincial and federal governments face pressure from activist groups here at home. Giving in to this pressure results in regulation based on popular opinion, not sound science. The erosion of sciencebased regulation is a threat for all of agriculture, livestock producers, grains and oilseed farmers, and fruit and vegetable growers. Regulations based on public opinion or as a result of pressure from activist groups are not, ultimately, in the public interest. This is true for irrational bans on genetically modified organisms, ill-advised pesticide bans, or an unscientific response to single cases of BSE. The dangers and costs of moving away from science-based regulations were perhaps the biggest lessons the beef industry learned through the BSE crisis. These lessons should not be forgotten by other sectors of agriculture or by governments.

n a e l e F i arms r i a r P th 34 Bull and Female Sale Saturday April 14, 2012

Your trusted source for proven Angus Genetics

1:00 p.m. On the farm 12 miles west of Souris Blaine Canning 204-858-2475

Michael Canning 204-858-2457

www.prairielaneangus.com


4

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

... Calf Health, Continued

100 pound calf. The easiest way to make sure that the young receive enough highquality colostrum in the quantity they need is to have healthy, well-fed, vaccinated dams. These dams generally produce

supplement these with colostrum. On our farm, we save colostrum from our own stock for these emergencies. Check with your vet to see what fits best with your biosecurity procedures. We were told to save it from mature females because they will have the highest amounts of anti-

Colostrum packs more nutrition per ounce than milk does and it is also higher in fat. strong young that birth easily and quickly suck. A quick way to check if they have eaten is to verify that the wax plugs have been removed from the dam’s teats. This can be tricky with a beef cow, so if we don’t observe a calf sucking on its own within a short time after birth, we will encourage it to do so. Sometimes they fool us by sucking their tongues next to the teat so it looks like they are sucking but are not. Then there are the times that a cow has twins. We don’t wait to

bodies per ounce. Saving your own colostrum is easy. First, pick your quietest dams that, if possible, have been on your farm since birth. We are lucky because we milk for the house, so whenever a Jersey or goat freshens, we let the young eat their fill, then we steal the extra. I strain it through a tea strainer to remove all the foreign matter and then store cow colostrum in two-litre bottles. Colostrum can be stored in the deep freeze for a year before it will

start degrading. It should be defrosted and warmed in warm water (38°C), not hot water, and shouldn’t be defrosted in the microwave. Microwaving can cause hot spots, which will kill the antibodies and decrease the benefits.

Once we realized just how important making sure calves get to eat a sufficient amount of colostrum within a short amount of time is to the rest of their lives, it made us a lot more vigilant about making sure the new

calves suck quickly. Commercial colostrum is available for those who cannot save their own, but the advantage of being able to build immunity to the pathogens that are on our own farm motivates us to keep a supply of our own

in the freezer. For insurance, we like to have enough two-litre bottles of colostrum in the freezer for 25 per cent of our calf crop. We wish all producers lots of bouncing, sucking baby calves.

March 28, 2012

1:00 pm Plains-Ag Complex - Neepawa, Manitoba 55 Charolais Bulls & 15 Angus Bulls Sell!

In keeping with tradition: Bulls meet all requirements for performance and testicular measurement Come early, select your bull and be our guests for lunch Weight, measurements and performance data is posted Free delivery up to 300 km Bulls are broke with good dispositions All bulls are semen tested Mostly Polled Large selection of red factor bulls

For Catalogues Contact

HTA Charolais 204-566-2134 Rocking Bar A Charolais 204-328-7704 Everview Charolais 204-532-2357 Rammer Charolais 204-566-2314 Guest Consigner HBH Farms Purebred Black Angus 204-566-2134 Sales Management: T Bar C Cattle Co. Ltd Phone (306) 933-4200 Fax (306) 934-0744 info@tbarc.com www.tbarc.com

View the Catalogue Online at www.buyagro.com


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP SPRING DISEASE, INJURY, AND RISK

BRENDA SCHOEPP

Assessing the risk of disease transfer on your farm is work year-round, but it is in the spring that many diseases manifest. Chronic feedlot animals succumb to the extreme changes in temperature, calves are exposed to cold and wet and suffer scours and other health issues, people are tired, and access control is lax. calf is giving it colostrum from another cow or pooled colostrum from a batch. This increases the opportunity for disease, as this is a cocktail of sorts, without any limitation on risk factors. It may seem a trivial point, but a recent risk assessment in Alberta herds found that nearly 50 per cent of calves were given colostrum from someone other than their mother by mistake or design. Calving in the spring is especially challenging with the pools of mud and manure that tend to congregate. Calves are prone to lick or drink from these pools and, in crowded conditions, may have to bed in them. Unfortunately, the likelihood of disease is profound and the loss of performance imminent. Scours are as common in

dry is of utmost importance. As calves are born, they should be moved immediately with their mother to a clean, dry space. In the spring, having a clean pasture area with a little protection is sufficient. This allows for feed and manure to be evenly distributed and for calves to stay out of low, wet areas. Planning for calving areas in the fall makes sense and having carryover forage on the field is even better. This gives babies a little natural bedding and gets mom up and walking as she looks for tender shoots. Walking and scouting for treats may tease the appetite of a young mother who has had a tough time and put her in a better frame of mind. It will exercise those areas that are stiff and sore

debbie Chikousky Photo

Silent illnesses like Johne’s or visible outbreaks such as scours are all common, and both classes rob Manitoba farmers of performance and lives. Taking the time to evaluate the risk within the herd is a proactive step in prevention. Many diseases are manure-borne and transferred, making control in springtime tough. Access to the pens by visitors may introduce contamination and this is a common issue in nearly 70 per cent of all herds. To mitigate the risk when a neighbour comes over to look at your calves at calving time, it helps to have a few extra sets of “on-farm” boots that can be worn. This ensures that problems at one farm are not gifted to another or vice versa. Buying cows and baby calves from auction mar-

birth if she is frightened by Cattlemen don’t need to of your abilities and opyou or by the equipment have a fancy calving barn, tions, and careful planyou are using. She needs to but they do need to plan ning, disease can be prebe secure and comfortable. for the health, welfare, and vented on the farm and When she is not sure, she disease prevention of the spring can truly be a time will turn and express her- cattle on the farm. The re- of rebirth. self in behaviour that jeop- sponsibility of calving is ardizes your safety and yours alone and as the hers. If she is injured or caregiver, you are respon- Brenda Schoepp is a market anher birthing has a fatal sible to ensure the cattle alyst and the owner and author outcome, there is a great are healthy at the start, of BEEFLINKTM, a national beef economic loss, but if you have appropriate pre- and cattle market newsletter. A are injured, there is a huge post-natal care, and are professional speaker and indussocietal loss. not unnecessarily exposed try market and research consulIn all things, plan- to disease or forced into tant, she ranches near Rimbey, from the birthing process. ning, practicality, and situations that may be Alta. Contact her at brenda. Most importantly, exercise common sense are needed. harmful. By taking stock schoepp@cciwireless.ca keeps the intestinal track moving, thus enabling her milk output to be maximized. It is difficult to have a successful business without a business plan, as it is risky to calve without a calving plan. Lack of forward planning for assistance, pre- and post-natal care, and emergencies is the crux behind injury to man and beast and the cause of fatality in both. The cow needs to be able to see you and to see where she is going and to feel MANITOBA MADE, confident in that manoeuver. Remember, labour is tough and extraordinarily painful, and asking a cow to get up and saunter over • Judging Clinic & Competition • Royal Lady Heifer Show to a foreign area when she • Junior Klondike Showmanship • Fitting Competition • Steer Sale is cramped with pain is • Junior All Breeds Shows asking for trouble. It is • A.C.C. Marketing Competition and much more! akin to expecting a man to th st walk into the barn with Proudly Keystone Centre, Brandon, Manitoba produced by: broken knees or a kidney stone; he will resist. The cow cannot relax to give

Prevention through vaccination is only as good as the management practices that go along with the vaccination protocol. kets is a high-risk activity. It is like a bonus coupon; you may get more than what you paid for and it may not be what you want. It is always best to buy cattle direct and to ask the seller about their herd health history and protocol. Like buying a used car, it is acceptable to ask to check with the consulting veterinarian on the herd history before one makes a decision. Bringing in one diseased animal puts the entire herd at risk because of the nature of manure or air-borne disease. These diseases are, in reality, almost entirely impossible to prevent from spreading, and it is on the individual cow or calf as to their level of immunity or resistance. Those first few hours are important for babies and they need the colostrum from their mothers. Unfortunately, if the mother is an infected cow, this may pass to the calf. An even greater risk to the

calves as colds in a daycare, but that does not mean it needs to be so. Prevention through vaccination is only as good as the management practices that go along with the vaccination protocol. Treating scours may be an acceptable part of the calving gig, but it is costly in terms of time, medication, and performance. Calves that have scoured or become ill have limited performance in the feedlot and an increased grading cost of $250.00. In other words, a sick calf, even a calf with only scours, is doomed as a feed converter and as a carcass. To ensure that cattle can live and perform to their full capacity, they need to be well from start to finish. We all know the rules about calving, but it never hurts to put them on the fridge for those days that we are tired enough to think about a shortcut. Keeping calves warm and

Royal Manitoba

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Featured in the Royal Farm Yard

March 26 to March 31 , 2012

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

VET CORNER JOHNE’S DISEASE AND CALVING

DR. TANYA ANDERSON

This is the second article in a two-part series on biosecurity and the prevention of Johne’s disease. As mentioned last month, Johne’s disease (MAP) is unfortunately becoming more problematic in the beef industry. In contrast to many diseases, testing accuracy is poor and control relies on good management practices to prevent MAP from entering the herd or, if already present, from spreading to more animals within the herd. Last month, I discussed how to prevent Johne’s disease introduction into a herd. This month, we will look at improving on-farm calving management practices to minimize its spread. If you recall, MAP control is challenging because infection occurs in the first six months of life, but symptoms (diarrhea and weight loss despite a good appetite) usually do not develop for years. Although an infect-

ed animal may not have any symptoms, shedding of the bacteria into the environment is occurring via manure, colostrum, milk, and semen. This month, we will discuss newborn calf management with a focus on preventing disease transfer through infected manure. Not only can Johne’s spread be minimized, but so too can other very common fecal-oral infections like salmonella, E. coli, cryptosporidia, coccidiosis, and viral scours. The majority of Johne’s infections are acquired when a calf ingests fecalcontaminated milk or colostrum. Calves should be born in a CLEAN environment—a thimble-full of contaminated manure is

enough to infect a calf. Winter cows off-site to avoid manure build-up in the calving area. Ideally, calving grounds should be left vacant for the rest of the year. Pens should be scraped and allowed to dry and be naturally disinfected by solar UV radiation. Never use calving pens for sick cows or as quarantine areas for new purchases, regardless of the time of year. MAP and some strains of diarrheacausing bacteria (E. coli in particular) can persist in the environment for months. Late gestation cow pens should be well bedded and overcrowding should be avoided. Look at the udders and hind legs— if dirty, additional bedding or shelter should be

provided. Last year was a perfect opportunity for many producers to find out water drainage patterns on the farmyard. Landscape (by sloping and compacting) to avoid standing water and mud/ manure build-up. Depending on your management system and the time of year you are calving, individual calving pens may be advantageous. Keep them clean and regularly change bedding between each cowcalf pair. If pasture calving is more your style, ensure there is a good grass cover to minimize mud and permit grazing. Natural shelter or access to calf shelters and windbreaks should be available in case of inclement weather. Calf shelters can be a double-edged sword though, as they concentrate calves in a confined area. Move the shelters on a regular basis or restrict access during good weather to minimize the build-up of manure. Regardless of the system that is used, separate cow-calf pairs by age to avoid overcrowding and decrease pathogen transfer. Although Johne’s can infect calves at any time within the first six months of life, the age of occur-

heifers separately to allow improved observation of heifers for calving difficulty and ensure adequate colostrum intake and mothering up. Clean the udder and teats before collection to avoid fecal contamination. Consider only saving colostrum from Johne’s test negative cows and never buy from herds that do not have screening or control pro-

contamination of feed by using feed bunks and/or hay racks, or roll out on well-drained areas away from the bedding pack. Supply clean water via an automatic waterer or trough fed from a dugout or well. Prevent stock access to streams, ponds, and dugouts and be sure to divert manure runoff from water sources. Do not

The majority of Johne’s infections are acquired when a calf ingests fecalcontaminated milk or colostrum. rence of other pathogens is much more restricted. Separation of older calves from newborns will minimize the risk of viral and E. coli scours transmission, as older calves often shed these pathogens though they no longer get severely ill from them. Make it easy for cowcalf pairs to mother up. Intervene early in cases of calving difficulty. Dystocia can lead to oxygen deprivation, acid/base imbalance, and weakness leading to a delay in the ingestion of colostrum and an increased risk of failure of passive transfer. Calve cows and

grams for Johne’s, enzootic bovine leucosis, and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD). The best option may be using a commercially prepared colostrum supplement such as Headstart or Calf’s Choice. Source cows have been screened for disease, vaccinated against common scour-causing pathogens, and selected for superior immunoglobulin production. Pay attention to feed and water sources. Avoid and minimize adult manure on buckets, skid loaders, tractors, tires, and other equipment used for feeding. Decrease manure

spread manure on your calving or grazing pastures to decrease the feed risk for young calves. Most illnesses and deaths occur in the first few weeks of life because of the effects of infection pressure, lack of sufficient colostral immunity, inadequate housing, inadequate health care and nutrition, or the effects of adverse environmental conditions. A little attention to detail and implementation of basic biosecurity protocols will ensure that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

Heart of Canada Show June 9th at Lundar, Manitoba Charolais Picnic Hosted by Myhre Land & Cattle and Breezy Dawn Charolais June 23rd- 24th, in Dauphin, MB

The highest weaning weights and the best weight gain on our farm comes from our Charolais bulls and our Char X females. That is why we run Charolais genetics and will continue to on our farm for years to come.

Cameron Claeys, Cypress River, MB 2011 MCA Scholarship Recipient

Contact a Manitoba breeder near you. For a complete list go to the MCA website: www.charolaisbanner/mca.com President: Harry Airey 204.328.7103 • Vice President: Ernie Bayduza 204.638.7735 2nd Vice President: Andre Steppler 204.435.2463 Sec-Treasurer: Rae Trimble-Olson 204.252.3115

7


8

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

CALF DELIVERY AND RESUSCITATION

TIPS FOR SUCCESS DURING CALVING SEASON DR. WAYNE TOMLINSON, EXTENSION VETERINARIAN, MAFRI

Calving is either underway or just around the corner for many producers. The first thing is to be prepared. Poor preparation often leads to a poor outcome. Decide what equipment you will need to calve out cows and have it ready. To start, how are you going to handle the heifer/cow that requires assistance? Get your calving pen set up and make sure that it is designed correctly so that you can move animals in and out easily and safely. For calving, there are a few things that should always be on hand. You should have disinfectant and soap available. These are useful for cleaning equipment, the cow (teats and vagina), and the caregiver. Obstetrical lubricant and gloves are important to have ready for assisted deliveries. Obstetrical chains or straps along with handles and a calf puller can make extracting the calf easier and can be a lifesaver if used correctly. For post-delivery, some producers have a resuscitator on hand. Oxygen tanks and nasal or endotracheal tubes are widely used in human obstetrics and represent the gold standard in neonatal resuscitation. These may be available in some veterinary clinics, but few farms, if any, would have these available. Some producers/veterinarians use

respiratory stimulants (this requires a sterile needle and syringe). If calving in cold weather, producers should have facilities or methods to warm a chilled calf. You may want to have dry towels or even a hair dryer on hand to help dry off a calf if the dam is unwilling or unable. Umbilical tape or an umbilical clamp is preferred over bale string when a navel will not stop bleeding. Prophylactic treatments designed to prevent navel infections are controversial and should be discussed with your veterinarian. When you are present

patent (open) airway. Use your hands or a towel to remove any placenta or mucous from the calf’s nose

and mouth. Scoop out any amniotic fluid from the back of the calf’s mouth (pharynx). Suction the upper airways if possible. Raising the rear end of the calf while pointing the nose

lungs by hanging the calf upside down; it must be absorbed by the lungs. The calf should make active respiratory movements within 30 seconds. If it doesn’t breathe on its

tential to force debris deep into the lungs, but if done too aggressively, it can rupture the tiny alveoli in the lungs. If the calf’s stomach is filling up with air as you ventilate, stop forced ventilation. The calf may require intubation (placement of an endotracheal tube in the windpipe) before positive pressure ventilation can continue. Instructing the proper technique of intubating a calf is beyond the scope of this article. Mouth to nose resuscitation, while done, is not without risks. There are diseases that can be transferred from the calf to humans, so caution is

at a calving, the following should be done, especially for calves that have experienced dystocia, or a prolonged difficult birth. Place the calf on its chest to make chest movements and breathing easier. Ensure a

and mouth to the floor will facilitate fluid drainage from the nose and mouth. DO NOT hang the calf upside down. This will put additional weight on the diaphragm, making it harder to breathe, and can allow

own, attempt to get it breathing vigorously. If the calf is not breathing vigorously, tickle its nose with a clean piece of straw. This may cause the calf to cough or sneeze, which will help clear upper airways. Try blowing in the calf’s ear, as this may induce a shake of the head and help clear nasal passages. If this is not enough, now would be the time to administer oxygen, if it is available. If it is not available, make further attempts to suction or drain fluid from the upper airways. Again, do not hang the calf upside down or attempt to swing the calf around. This only brings fluid up from the stomach, not from the lower airways. If you have a commercial resuscitator, it could be used at this point. Remember that in the normal act of breathing, negative pressure draws air into the lungs. With mechanical respirators, we drive air, with positive pressure, into the lungs. This not only has the po-

advised. If the calf is still not responding, some producers, under the guidance of their veterinarian, will now administer a respiratory stimulant. These stimulants are not always effective and they are not without side effects. They must be used cautiously as they are potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. While these CNS stimulants may increase respiratory rate and volume, they do not increase arterial oxygen levels. They can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiac arrhythmias, tachycardia, and possibly seizures. Finally, they are not approved for use in food animals. Once the calf is breathing vigorously, starting to hold its head up, and beginning to move, it can be returned to its mother. If the cow is restrained in a head gate, you can immediately move the calf so that she can start licking it. Rubbing some of the fetal fluids or placenta on the cow’s muzzle may help trigger

Decide what equipment you will need to calve out cows and have it ready.

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fluid to come out of the rumen (stomach). Fluid that is deep in the airways WILL NOT drain from the

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some of the mothering instincts. Let her get to know the calf. She will get to know her calf quickly by smell and will learn to recognize the calf’s facial features. This is a good time to examine the calf for possible birth defects, or in the case of a difficult calving, check for any injuries (broken legs or ribs) that may have occurred during the birth process. Up to 21 per cent of calves born by forced fetal extraction will have broken ribs. There are times when, as a producer, you will not be present at the birth. When you come across a newborn calf, try to determine its status. Things like muconium (yellow) staining, immaturity/prematurity, and swollen head or tongue are all signs of a high-risk calf. High-risk calves require more attention than normal calves do. The calf could be just born and the mother is busy tending to it, or it could be a few hours old, depending on when you last saw the dam. If it is an older calf, try to estimate its age and whether it has nursed. If the calf is more than two hours old and has not nursed (or you are not sure), then get colostrum into the calf. If it has nursed, then process the newborn in accordance with your normal procedures. If you are calving in winter, the calf you have just found may be hypothermic or chilled. Check for severe frostbite of the extremities. If any of the limbs are frozen solid, you may want to seek veterinary advice on the chances of saving the limb. Assuming frostbite is minimal, warming a chilled calf is a must. A hypothermic calf will not suck and its intestine will not absorb fluid, even if it is tubed. There are many ways to warm a chilled calf. Some of the most common are immersing in water, or using blankets and blow dryers, heat lamps, or hot boxes. Immersing in water will warm the calf the quickest but it is the most difficult to


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

manage. You must start with cool water, around the same temperature as the calf’s core body temperature. Then you gradually add hot water to bring the calf’s temperature up to normal. Placing the calf directly into hot water can send the calf into shock, resulting in death. Once the

calf is warmed thoroughly, it must be completely dried off before it is returned to the cold elements. A warm water bath can bring the calf’s body temperature back to normal in about 75 to 90 minutes. With blankets and/or heat lamps, warming takes about 2½ hours. When us-

ing blankets to warm a calf, simply throwing a blanket over the calf is not sufficient. The calf needs to be on a warm, dry surface, dried off, and then covered with blankets. Hot boxes take slightly less time than blankets do. Proper design of the hot box is essential. The box should have a circulating

fan and a thermostatically controlled heat source; this will reduce the chances of scorching or overheating the calf. The box should also have a ventilation port in the top. This will allow humid air to escape, as hot moist air can predispose the calf to pneumonia. Some producers administer some

MAKE ANGUS BULLS

form of alcohol to the calf to help it warm. Alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant, and does not speed up the warming process. Save your whiskey or brandy for an-

other occasion. Once the calf is thoroughly warmed, you can proceed with feeding colostrum and conducting your normal post-birth routines.

Diamond W Charolais 10th Annual Bull Sale Thursday, March 22, 1:30 p.m. Valley Livestock, Minitonas, MB

part of your 2012 Breeding Program

40 CHAROLAIS Most Polled, Some Red Factor 11 Red Angus • 5 Black Angus

Choose from Black and Red Angus To add maternal traits Calving Ease Marbling Add a market for your calves by tagging them with the Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Tag

Contact your local Angus Breeder or view mbangus.ca for dates of upcoming sales.

Sound, semen tested and delivery available Bulls and People You Can Count On View the catalogue online at www.bylivestock.com or for more information contact:

DIAMOND W CHAROLAIS

Ivan, Ethel & Orland Walker Box 235 Hudson Bay, SK S0E 0Y0 T 306-865-3953 C 306-865-6539 email: diamondw@sasktel.net

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION

Be part of a Progressive Breed ANGUS TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS

1-888-622-6487

Purebred Breeders

Strengthening the industry through quality genetics and top performing cattle

Sale Manager: BY LIVESTOCK Helge & Candace By • 305.584.7937 Helge cell 306.536.4261 Candace cell 306.536.3374

GELBVIEH “Everyone likes to pick breeds, but we let the computer do the picking. The computer tells us that Gelbvieh cattle excel in the traits that make cow/calf producers money. They produce more pounds weaned per cow exposed. Gelbvieh cattle are especially good at combining modest mature size with terrific weaning performance. Animals can be feed efficient two ways-by gaining more or eating less. The best cattle do both!” - Lee Leachman, Leachman Cattle of Colorado

For upcoming Gelbvieh Sales or to contact a breeder in your area, call:

MANITOBA Lee Wirgau

(204) 278-3255 maplegrove@xplornet.com

9

SASKATCHEWAN

Darcy Hrebeniuk

(306) 865-2929 firriver@xplornet.com


10 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

As we move into March, there have been a few reality checks in the cattle industry. Most of the headlines have been positive, and it still looks like we are into an extended period of profitability in the cow-calf business. It surprises me how many producers have commented that the prices are still not good enough! I am not sure what good enough is, but it is becoming increasingly clear that there is still a segment of producers that has no idea about the rest of the cattle industry. As producers, we are part of the “production chain.” That chain includes the backgrounders, finishing feedlots, packers, and retailers. The final price of the product on the shelf is somewhat determined by consumer demand, which is influenced by the consumer’s ability to pay and what alternative proteins are available. Recent reports released in early 2012 have shown that not all sectors

of the production chain have been profitable. The declining numbers of cattle have the potential to harm the industry as much as help it. The Sterling Profit Tracker report for the week ending February 11, 2012,

With prices averaging $123.96 (U.S. live weight), feedlots were losing $46.65 per head on every finished animal marketed. Last year during the same time, the average price was $106.81, with a profit margin of

March April May

2012 Winter Sale Schedule

killing cows to maintain enough production to continue a five-day kill. With ample supplies of finished cattle available for the next 60 days, there is little chance of prices of the feed yards increasing. This has resulted

Until exports increase, we can expect the domestic consumer to have more impact on prices than previously expected. revealed that even with price increases of between $21.00 and $24.00 per head, both feed yards and packers were losing significant money per head. Packers were in the red for all of January and February.

$121.70 per head. The packers lost an additional $73.40 per head on the finished cattle processed. That meant each animal sold and processed was losing a combined total of $120.00 on average. This

DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle!

Sunday, Mar. 11 Monday, Mar 12 Wednesday, Mar. 14 Saturday, Mar. 17 Monday, Mar. 19 Wednesday, Mar. 21 Friday, Mar. 23 Monday, Mar. 26 Wednesday, Mar. 28 Thursday, Mar. 29

Rebels of the West Bull Sale Butcher Sale Pre-Sort Feeder Sale Pleasant Dawn Charolais Butcher Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Butcher Sale Pre-Sort Feeder Sale Sheep Sale

Sunday, Apr. 1 Sunday, Apr. 1 Wednesday, Apr. 4 Saturday, Apr. 7 Wednesday, Apr. 11 Wednesday, Apr. 11 Friday, Apr. 13 Wednesday, Apr. 18 Thursday, Apr. 19 Wednesday, Apr. 25 Friday, Apr. 27

Cattlemans Classic Bull Sale 1:00 p.m. S.W. Bull Sale 1:00 p.m. Regular Sale 9:00 a.m. Black Diamond Simmental Bull Sale 1:00 p.m. Regular Sale 9:00 a.m. Pen of 5 Replacement Heifer Sale 1:00 p.m. D Bar Angus & Guests Bull Sale 1:00 p.m. Pre-Sort Feeder Sale 10:00 a.m. Sheep Sale 12:00 noon Regular Sale 9:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale 11:00 a.m.

Friday, May 4

Man/Sask Auctioneering Championship

1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 12:00 noon

After March 26 no Monday Butcher Sale until Fall 2012 Closed April 6th for Good Friday and April 9th for Easter May 31 Sheep and Horse Sale 12 Noon • All cattle must be CCIA tagged. • Sale dates and times subject to change. • Sunday delivery between Noon and 8:00 p.m. for Monday butcher sales

• Presort Sales - Delivery accepted until 4:30 p.m. the day before the sale • Bred Cow Sales - Delivery accepted until 1:00 p.m. the day before the sale.

- 851-5465 • JIM BLACKSHAW - 748-2809 • RICK GABRIELLE - 851-0613 • KEN DAY - 748-7713

Heartland Livestock Services

showed a profit of $22.36 per head, while the packer lost $7.69 per head. January and February are traditionally the toughest months for the packers to make money; in most cases, the beef packers have been in the red for the past four months. With retail beef prices increasing 20 per cent in 2012 and consumer disposable income only increasing 3 per cent, we have seen a pushback from consumers. Key export opportunities are not developing fast enough to keep up with price increases. Until exports increase, we can expect the domestic consumer to have more impact on prices than previously expected. That also means that both the packers and the feeders will struggle to make any money with the current feeder cattle and feed grain prices. The immediate downside is that packers will continue to reduce the number of fed cattle they kill each week. Already, many of the plants, especially in Canada, are

netics, we need numbers to maintain the current number of both feedlots and packers. If margins continue to operate in the red, smaller feedlots and packers will exit the business and are unlikely to return when the numbers increase. With tighter supplies, retailers will face bigger challenges procuring beef and offering sales that are competitive with other proteins. Domestically, consumers may change purchasing habits, and once they change to other proteins they may be harder to recapture as customers. The tightening supplies will make it harder for companies exporting to supply the product on a regular basis. With insufficient supplies available at a competitive price, it will be difficult to compete with other exporters such as Australia, Brazil, and Argentina for market share. The good news on the horizon is that early reports are for record acres of corn and barley to be planted this year. If Mother Nature cooperates, this should result in lower feed prices and increased profitability for the feeding sector. This has always resulted in strong prices for the cow-calf producers. If exports reach their potential in 2012, packers could get back in the black, which would translate to a very profitable year for the entire production chain.

in some of the heavier feeder cattle prices softening as compared to the lighter cattle, which will finish at a much later date. The million-dollar question is, “Why should we expand the cowherd when the current shortage has boosted prices to alltime highs?” At first glance, we would think that this supply-driven market should be very good for the cattle industry. This is true in the short term, but the long-term effects are not as promising. Higher beef prices could lead to lower consumption levels for 2012. A report by Brenda Boetel, a livestock specialist in the U.S., stated that beef consumption is expected to drop by 3.5 per cent in 2012. If we expect to maintain the current industry infrastructure in the processing industry, beef production cannot drop much more, or packing companies will be forced to close some plants. Despite producing more Until next time, beef per head with better ge- Rick

Everview Charolais BULLS for sale on the farm or at these sales: HI WEIGH

Wed. March 28, 2012 Neepawa, MB

MANITOBA BULL TEST

FOR MARKETING INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING OUR FEEDER FINANCE PROGRAM, CONTACT: ROBIN HILL

was the biggest loss per head in the last 20 years. On average, the United States kills over 600,000 fed cattle per week. In the hog business during the same time, the farrow-to-finish margin

Sat. April 7, 2012

Carberry, MB

See more on our website at: www.everviewcharolais.com

Virden

Kevin & Laurel Boucher MB Dealers Lic.# 1317 SK Dealers Lic.# 171306

Ph: 748-2809 Toll Free: 1-888-784-9882 virden.lmc@hls.ca

Box 29, Binscarth, MB R0J 0G0

Tel 204-532-2357 • Cell 204-821-5141 email: klboucher@xplornet.ca


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Manitoba Purebred Breeders Strengthening the industry through quality genetics and top performing cattle

Manitoba Limousin Junior Acheivements Garret Maly was the 250.00 winner of the award. He has been in 4-h in the Portage Beef club for four years now, exhibiting steers and heifers all sired by limousin. He would like to expand his herd with purebred limousin cattle. His parents are Dallas and Faye Maly of Macdonald, MB. In his spare time he enjoys playing hockey and baseball. 2012 ambassador winner is Kalhi Wedderburn of Rivers, Mb. Kalhi has been a member of the MJLA for 5 years now and a member of Rivers 4-H club for another five years. In

her time in these associations she has held the office position of president and vice president for several terms. In her time showing she has shown steers, heifers and continution females. In Kalhi’s spare time she is also has great involvement in the community in assisting with yard care at the cemetery and church. Kalhi also volunteers at the personal care home and score keeping at local sporting events. She is also an avid curler and has many other sports she competes in. Her parents are Les and Loree Wedderburn of Riv-

ers, MB. Congratulations Kalhi and Garret! Another fun thing the MJLA is planning this year is a rally day to encourage juniors to enhance their skills in judging, showmanship, and other cattlemen skills. All it take is to attend is being a member of the MJLA which cost $5.00. Also if you attend your name will go into our participation award for an extra draw. If you have any other questions please feel free to call on of the Junior Directors or Ashlee Mitchell. Stay tuned for more information and a date and time.

LIMOUSIN Don’t miss these Limousin Events March 17 ------------------------- Cochrane Limousin Bull Sale, Alexander, MB March 23 --------------------------- Diamond T Limousin Bull Sale, Kenten, MB March 26 - April 6 -- Manitoba Bull Test Station Open House, Douglas, MB March 31 -------------------------- Jaymarandy Limousin Bull Sale, Yorkton, SK March 31 ------------------ Open House at Triple R Limousin, MacGregor, MB Apri 3 -----------Campbell Limousin Bull Sale and Open House , Minto, MB April 7 -----------------------Manitoba Bull Test Station Bull Sale, Douglas, MB April 7 ------------------------------------------ JLB Limousin Bull Sale, Ashern, MB April 21 -----------------------------------------------------------------Lundar Bull Sale July 7-9 --------- Manitoba Limousin Summer Show, Portage La Prairie, MB July 11 -------------------------National Junior Limousin Conference, Olds, AB July 13 -----------------------------------------------CLA Annual Meeting, Olds, AB Nov 3 ------------------------ Canadian National Limousin Show, Brandon, MB

www.manitobalimousin.com Amaglen Limousin 204-246-2312 www.amaglenlimousin.ca Bulls for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station.

Campbell Limousin 204-776-2322 Bull Sale & Open house April 3/2012

Cochrane Stock Farms 204-855-2633 www.cochranestockfarms.com Bull Sale March 17/2012

Diamond R Limousin 204-252-2120 Purebred and commercial Limousin. 2012 Commercial Breeder of the Year.

Diamond T Limousin 204-838-2019 trhunter@mts.net Bull Sale March 23/2012

Hockridge Farms 204-638-8554 gghock@goinet.ca www.hockridge.ca Bulls for sale on farm.

Jaymarandy Limousin 204-937-4980 www.jaymarandy.com Bull Sale March 31/2012

JLB Limousin 204-768-2784 Bull Sale April 7/2012

L&S Limousin Acres 204-748-2198 Source for performance Limousin.

L.G. Limousin 204-748-3728 Bulls for sale on farm.

Maplehurst Farms 204-274-2490 Bulls for sale on farm.

Mitchell Farms 204-556-2683 Source of red & black Polled bulls & females.

Triple R Limousin 204-685-2628 Bulls for sale on farm. Open house March 23 and 31/2012

Twin Oak Limousin 204-723-2275 Bulls for sale on farm. Your source for quality black & red Limousin.

Twin Meadow Livestock 204-723-2386 Bulls for sale on farm. Source for quality Limousin & Simmental Genetics

Wright Way Limousin 204-305-0221 Source of purebred black & commercial Limousin.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

SCIENCE AND MANURE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES LAUREN STONE

It is clear that agriculture is coming under more scrutiny from both government and environmental groups, and one of the hottest livestock production topics today is nutrient and manure management or regulations. The urban public often has tions to the public’s envithe misconception that ronmental concerns, not animal agriculture is the problems. harmful to the environThat is why Manitoba ment. As beef producers, Beef Producers’ (MBP) enwe know this is not true, vironment and research but this misconception is committees worked with driving misplaced legisla- scientists and other staketion and regulation that holders to initiate studies targets our industry. on manure management. We know that produc- In other words, we want to ers are the original stew- know how to maximize ards of the land and water. the value of manure as a Your farm operations are source of nutrients for the front line in ensuring crop production while at natural water filtration, nu- the same time preserving trient cycling, and soil con- soil and water quality. servation. These are treOne of the ways MBP mendously valuable public works with other livestock and environmental goods commodity groups is and services. through our participation But, as an industry, on the Manitoba Livestock how do we prove to the ur- Manure Management Iniban public that we are us- tiative (MLMMI). The ing management tools that MLMMI’s mandate is to are working to preserve the “coordinate efforts to reenvironment, while also solve issues relating to mastill producing the product nure management, to assist that consumers demand? industry in promoting susHow do we do this? tainable management of The answer is to fill manure as a valuable rethose research gaps and source, and to encourage get the hard data. Research beneficial management gives us facts to bring to practices, through rethe public so that everyone search, development, demunderstands what beef onstration, and communiproducers already know— cation.” Steppler ad_MCC_Layout 1 2/20/2012 PM Page we are providing the soluThe5:29 MLMMI has1 sup-

Steppler Farms 1st Annual Bull Sale Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 1:00 p.m. at the Steppler Farms Sale Barn 6 miles west of Miami and 1 1/2 miles south

ported over 70 research and demonstration projects that address livestock concerns related to phosphorus reduction through manure separation and other nutrient requirements. This helps farmers meet nitrogen and phosphorus regulations. In

2009, a technical workshop was held with an objective to look for ways to address managing phosphorus balance. As a result, a number of initiatives have been prioritized: What can be done through feed ingredients and strategies to reduce phosphorus excretion?

View the catalogue online at

www.stepplerfarms.com

Steppler Farms Ltd. Andre & Katie Steppler 204.435.2463 cell 204.750.1951 Dan & Pat Steppler 204.435.2021 Sale Manager: BY LIVESTOCK Helge & Candace By • 305.584.7937 Helge cell 306.536.4261 Candace cell 306.536.3374

What can be done onfarm, taking an end-toend systems approach that brings together feed and field management along with manure handling and processing? Given the upcoming changes in nutrient regu-

The collaborative efforts with other farm organizations, universities, and governments help MBP leverage your checkoff dollars into bigger projects. In some cases, the initial investments from MBP are multiplied 10 times with funds from

Science-based legislation and regulations will accomplish our shared environmental goals without harming producers’ bottom lines.

Feed management

Featuring 58 Yearling & Two-Year Old Charolais Bulls

Integrated assessment

survey also tells us that we can improve on the frequency of soil testing before manure application and conduct better analysis of the nutrient content of the manure itself. These are areas in which MBP will work with the province’s beef producers. Improving our nutrient management practices will help us assure the public, and the governments they elect, that our industry remains on the path of environmental sustainability. The field studies, which were the main part of the research project, showed that beef cattle manure is generally slow to release nitrogen to crops. Therefore, the risk of nitrate-nitrogen leaching to groundwater from beef manure is very low. However, the studies also showed that beef manure raises soil phosphorus and potassium concentrations, increasing the risk of phosphorus loss to runoff or excessive potassium concentrations in forage if excessive manure is applied.

Field management

What can be done through cropping and land stewardship to optimize the use of livestock nutrients in a sustainable manner?

Manure handling and processing

What can be done (both practically and in an economically viable manner) to improve our ability to store, apply, and/or transform manure into a form that improves its value as a nutrient?

lations for 2013, it is very important that we find ways to reduce the amount of phosphorus present in manure, thus the need for technologies that can accomplish that task. One of the projects MBP has supported is a study led by Dr. Don Flaten at the University of Manitoba: “Solid Manure as a Nutrient Source.” It has a total project cost of $262,000, which was funded by MBP; Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council; Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba; and Manitoba Conservation’s Sustainable Development Innovation Fund. Other partners included Manitoba Pork Council, Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative, Beef Cattle Research Council, and the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Fund.

other sources, significantly increasing the returns to our industry. Part of the solid manure study included a producer survey. MBP sent surveys to producers in Manitoba’s five main beefproducing regions. The results of the survey identified regional differences in calving, feeding practices, and manure handling. Why are these results important? The survey gives researchers and extension staff a sound understanding of the beneficial management practices that are routinely employed by cattle producers, as well as some areas where we might do better. For example, the survey showed that cattle producers use a wide variety of production and nutrient management practices, in response to differences in the size and location of operations. The

In the end, this science can be used to work with governments to ensure that future legislation takes into account what is actually happening in the field. Science-based legislation and regulations will accomplish our shared environmental goals without harming producers’ bottom lines. This research will also directly help producers better manage the nutrients in manure by ensuring that the right nutrients are applied in the right place at the right time to maximize plant growth potential. This will also help producers be more profitable. Science-based solutions are good for the environment, good for the public, and good for farm income. This is why MBP will maintain our unwavering support for research and development.


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

SALERS

Manitoba Purebred Breeders Strengthening the industry through quality genetics and top performing cattle

Why Salers?

Top 10 Reasons you NEED Salers

1. Ease of calving / vigorous newborns - built in “sleep well” genetics 2. 3. Outstanding maternal & reproductive performance / prolific breeders 4. Longevity - more productive years from both dams & sires 5. Disposition - Salers breeders are committed to easy-to-handle cattle 6. Range/pasture management advantage. Salers go where other cows won’t 7. Strengthen hybrid vigor - heterosis can boost performance by up to 15% 8. More pounds at weaning strong feedlot gains / optimal carcass weights 9. Optimal marbling - excellent tenderness, besting all continentals 10. High yields - average 60% or more lean meat yield in every carcass

Salers are considered id d to t be one of the oldest European breeds, whose roots can be traced to 16,500-yearold cave drawings found near the town of Salers in the South Central region of France, the Auvergne, in the heart of the volcanic area of the Massif Central. The rough terrain, poor soil and harsh climate combined with the area’s isolation has contributed to a genetically pure breed of cattle with bred-in range ability to thrive almost entirely on native grasses in the summer and roughage diet in winter. The Salers breed in North America has evolved into an outstanding maternal beef breed with no lack of performance and carcass traits. The cattle are usually solid red or black and are naturally horned but polled bloodlines have been developed by selection and are now predominant in the national herd. Salers females possess a larger than average pelvic area, the largest in the

industry, i d t and d calve l easily il to t the service of larger terminal cross sires. They are excellent mothers with good milk production, are very fertile and re-breed quickly. Salers breeders and sire calves of moderate birth weight, with a strong will to live and good growth. USMARC studies

the highest marbeling Continental breed, have a large ribeye area and a leaner carcass (less fat thickness) than British breeds. Salers cross steers perform well in feedlots and have exceptional carcass yield and quality. The Salers breed is one of only three breeds evaluating data on docility and through improved this trait dramatically in recent years. The genetic trend for Salers has been very positive from a breed average of near zero in 1992 to the current breed average EPD of over +8.0. Excellent feet and legs contribute to admirable lon-

gevity. traits gevity All of these trait combined, have made Salers the choice of many commercial cattlemen striving to maximize production without increasing management or labour costs. Salers are a balanced breed, which is key to optimizing all aspects of beef production. Salers ed into Canada in 1972 with the Salers Association of Canada being established in 1973. Canada continues to be an excellent source for Salers genetics worldwide.

Salers are designed to maximize the one trait that counts the most.

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Salers are considered to be one of the oldest European breeds, dating back to 16,500 year old cave drawings found near the town of Salers in central France. The first bull imported to Canada was Vaillant in 1972 and since that time, Salers have proven themselves to be durable foragers that adapt well to North American range conditions.

Salers

Females - Exceptional Maternal Qualities

Salers Females possess exceptional maternal instincts. Salers cows calve easily to the sire of choice, re-breed quickly and have milk production required to wean heavy calves. Excellent fertility, longevity and rangeability make the Salers cow a valuable asset in any cow herd.

Salers

Bulls - Fertile, Aggressive Breeders

Salers Bulls are very fertile and aggressive breeders with great longevity. His calves are born easily, with more vigour at birth and higher survival rates. Calves will yield more pounds at weaning than traditional British breeds.

! d e e r B d e c n la a B The

Salers Association of Manitoba Box 84, Lundar, Manitoba R0C 1Y0

204-762-5512

and these Manitoba breeders: David Wright

All Wright Farms Box 1210, Carberry, MB R0K 0H0 (204) 466-2684

Why Crossbreeding Pays

Salers Association of Canada

P.O. Box 879, Carstairs Alberta T0M 0N0

1-855-263-2383

Email: info@salerscanada.com

Ken & Wendy Sweetland Sweetland Super Six Salers Box 84 Lundar MB R0C 1Y0 (204) 762-5512

Grudeski Salers

Richard & Gill Grudeski Box 9, Vista MB R0J 2E0 (204) 859-2899

www.salerscanada.com

$ More Live Calves $ More Calves Weaned $ More Cows Bred $ Cow Longevity More Cows Longer $ More Pounds to Sell = Adds up to 25% More Lifetime Productivity

$$ $$$ The $ Bottomline? $$$$$$ It adds up to more sustained profit on your farm or ranch


14 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

JUMP-START YOUR

CASH FLOW

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MANITOBA LIVESTOCK CASH ADVANCE KRISTEN LUCYSHYN

D

uring this time of positive economics in the beef industry, producers are looking for new ways to maximize profits. Fortunately, for Manitoba producers, there is a valuable tool available to help enhance their beef operations in a big way. It is called the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance (MLCA).

“Even if you’ve never taken out an operating loan before, you should be looking at the cash advance program to help improve your cash flow throughout the year,” says Marcel Gousseau, beef producer and chair of the MLCA. The MLCA is the non-profit administrator of the federal Advance Payments Program (APP), which provides producers with a cash advance on the value of their products during a specified period. The program helps producers meet their financial obligations and benefit from the best market conditions. “This is a service that is being coordinated through Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) for the benefit of beef producers,” says Gousseau. “The reason MBP got in-

ty to access the cash advance program has made a huge impact on his operation. “The way it’s been with BSE and low cattle prices, this cash advance has saved us. I know for a fact that if we didn’t have it, we’d have to sell calves sooner than we’d like. By being able to keep the calves until after New Year’s, we’re better off because the price has usually doubled.” Winnicky applied for the cash advance when it was implemented in 2007, and he is still using it today. He thinks more beef producers should take a look at the program to see if it would be a good fit for their operations. “For us, we can keep all of our calves, buy grain

“I know for a fact that if we didn’t have it, we’d have to sell calves sooner than we’d like.” – Don Winnicky, producer volved with the cash advance is to provide a service that is valuable to our producers.” Gousseau says producers may want to use the program for the simple reason that there is $100,000 in interest-free money available. “An interest-free operating loan is as good as it gets. The cattle industry is a capital-intensive business, so if you use the financing that is at your disposal, it gives you that much more flexibility to achieve what you need to do.” Gousseau, a participant in the program with a cattle operation near Balmoral, says now is the time for producers to take advantage of the MLCA. “After a very long session through BSE [bovine spongiform encephalopathy] and the aftermath, we’ve finally got some very strong cattle prices. We’ve got a lot of reasons to be increasing our herds or retaining calves until they gain more weight. We have a wonderful market that we haven’t had for seven years—why not make the best of it?” “The cash advance is another example of our efforts at MBP,” says Ray Armbruster, MBP president. “It gives a producer the opportunity to retain their cattle and this makes sense because if someone else can feed them, why can’t we?” For Piney producer Don Winnicky, the opportuni-

with the cash advance money, pay our bills, taxes and other fuel and parts expenses,” says Winnicky. Winnicky says his oldest son, who has 20 calves, has also taken the cash advance. “He took it, he’s happy with it, and since you don’t have to pay the money back until you sell the cattle, I can’t see a better program out there. I think it’s good for all producers but perfect for a young, new producer because where does he have collateral to go to the bank with to retain ownership on his calves?” Winnicky believes some producers may have not heard of or considered the cash advance, or that they see it as just another loan—which is not the case. “I know producers who have always gone to the bank and got a line of credit and paid interest, and they seem to think that the cash advance works the same way, but it doesn’t; there is no interest to pay. When you think about it, grain producers have had this opportunity for interest-free money for decades and look how it benefited them; it is no different for us. We may think it’s a new program but really it has been around for years,” says Winnicky. According to Robert Penner, Elm Creek producer and participant in the cash advance program, the MLCA is a step in the right direction for times when you don’t

have market-ready cattle. “The first time I took the cash advance, it was during a period when the cost of feeding a butcher steer or a market-ready steer was more than what the value at the auction mart was, and it helped cover the cost of the supplies needed—the feed and the hay. It helped me purchase some inputs too, so that I could finish my cattle out,” says Penner. Penner appreciates that the MLCA is there any time you want to add more cash flow to your operation. “You always look at all of the options that are available and most cattle producers have an operating loan because they need to pay for all of the expenses throughout the year, putting up the feed and everything. It’s just another tool you can use besides a line of credit, or if you


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Cost savings for a producer taking out a loan with MLCA versus a financial institution: PRODUCER BORROWS $100,000, 24-MONTH TERM: COST COMPARISON: Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Inc. Financial Institution Example: Example: Interest Cost $0.00

Administrative Fee (for cattle being provided as security) $250.00

Interest Cost $100,000 x 4.0% (prime plus 1%) x 24 months = $8,000 interest cost approximately (based on principal balance of $100,000)

*Plus surcharge of $1 Per head $227 Total Cost = $477

terest at a floating rate of prime - 0.25 per cent (subject to change), which is a very competitive rate when compared to a bank rate. Producers can receive a cash advance on up to 50 per cent of the expected average market price of the agricultural product. For example, if 100 finished cattle (over 1,250 lbs) equal $641.30/head in Manitoba, this would give a producer an advance of $64,130. Producers should note that rates are subject to change throughout the production period. The cash advance must be repaid within the 24-month production period. The producer makes repayments on the cash advance to MLCA as the agricultural product is sold, and they must provide proof of sale. Producers repay at the advance rate that was chosen at the time of their advance. In order to be eligible for the MLCA, producers must be actively participating in AgriStability. On average, it takes one to two weeks to process an application. Looking to the future, Armbruster says it would be ideal to bring in a price insurance program for cattle that

can back the cash advance. He says this would give producers an option for even more flexibility in the marketplace. “Price insurance would be a new tool to manage risk, especially for young producers. It is predictable and you wouldn’t need to wait for long production periods for it to kick in.” Gousseau believes producers of all ages need to consider taking the MLCA because it is like free money; it is too good to pass up. “Young producers are often shopping around for new ideas and older producers should look at the program as well, because with $100,000 in interest-free funds, anyone should calculate very quickly that even at a five or six per cent interest-free loan, that’s $5,000 or $6,000 a year in savings if they are using it to the maximum. That’s in their pocket. Most people don’t just glance at $5,000 of interest savings and not take advantage of it—it’s there to be taken.” Applications for the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance are available by calling 1-866-869-4008 (toll-free) or on the MLCA website at www.manitobalivestock.com.

= savings of $7,523, approximately, if you borrow with Manitoba livestock Cash advance versus a financial institution *(Based on $100,000/$440 category rate for 700–900 lbs finishing weight = 227 head x $1 each, or $227)

Tried don’t need a line of credit, this can be your total amount,” says Penner.

MLCA program details

The 2012 production period will begin in April, and beef producers can apply for the MLCA as soon as their calves are on the ground. The production periods are now 24 months in length, beginning April 1 and ending March 31 for cattle producers. Continuous Flow (feedlot) cash advances are 12-month terms. As mentioned, the program offers interest-free cash advances up to $100,000. This limit is across all advance payments programs. The maximum amount that can be borrowed at any given time is $400,000. Any advance that is over the interest-free portion will be charged in-

B1:00Up.m.LL SALE GRUNTHAL AUCTION MART

RED ANGUS

25 Yearlings

ilkinridge ilki kiinnri k riddgggee W ililkinrid STOCK FA FA ARRM

Red Yearlings Black Yearlings Black 3 year-old


16 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

DIRECTOR PROFILE

DAVE KOSLOWSKY, DISTRICT 2 MBP STAFF

For new director Dave Koslowsky, joining the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) board was a way for him to serve his fellow beef producers while doing something else he is very passionate about—promoting agriculture. Koslowsky, who owns a mixed grain and cow-calf operation near Killarney with his wife Rhonda, believes the public needs to hear positive agriculture stories and understand that the people who raise

ing to our province,” says Koslowsky. As a second-generation producer, Koslowsky says he wouldn’t want to do anything else for a living. He really enjoys his career, which allows him to work

Cattle Country, Koslowsky has always been interested in beef issues and his interest in serving MBP was piqued after discussions with his former district representative, Greg Johnson, and MBP’s Field Rep,

“Through my work with MBP, I know I will learn a lot and do my best to help other producers in the beef sector.” – Dave Koslowsky and grow their food are exceptional at what they do. “I’m quite passionate about the promotion of agriculture, for example, telling people that we as producers are doing a good job of taking care of the environment, we’re producing high-quality products, and we’re contribut-

with nature, grow crops, watch calves run around pasture, and raise a great product for people to consume. “I also like the freedom of working when I want, as much as I want, and being an independent person,” he says. As a regular reader of

HAMCO CATTLE CO. 14th

Angus Bull Sale

Annual Saturday March 17, 2012

Indoors at the farm, Glenboro, MB

1:00 p.m.

Your source for Elite Angus Genetics!

Selling 70 Red & 20 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 20 Red & 5 Black Angus 2 year old Bulls 3 Many are AI sired & some are ET bulls 3 Bulls semen tested & tested BVD PI negative 3 Bulls on home performance test - data available 3 Developed on a high forage TMR ration 3 Selected from a group of 250 bulls 3 Free delivery & free board till May 1 3 Delayed payment plan available 3 CUP ultrasound data available

Please join us for lunch 12:00 p.m. on Sale Day For more information or catalogues view us on line at hamcocattleco.com or contact us: Dr. David Hamilton (204) 822-3054 (204) 325-3635 cell

Albert, Glen & Larissa Hamilton (204) 827-2358 email: embryo@mts.net

Tara Fulton, about what MBP is actively working on. “I’ve known about MBP and the work it does for many years due to the check-off, and I attended my first AGM last year,” he says. “When I heard that my district rep’s term was coming to an end, I decided to step up to the plate and volunteer.” Giving back to ag-related organizations is nothing new for this director. Koslowsky has served on the Farmers’ Markets Association of Manitoba Co-op Inc. board for five years and he is involved in the Killarney Marketing Club. “Through my work with MBP, I know I will learn a lot and do my best to help other producers in the beef sector. Hopefully, at the end of the day, I will have helped create a better environment for producers to do business in,” he says. Koslowsky views the impact of regulations on agriculture as one of the major challenges to keeping the beef sector functioning and growing. He wants all beef producers to know about the value of MBP check-off dollars as producers deal with an increasing number of regulations from government. Koslowsky points out that one major benefit MBP brings to producers is that the board and staff analyze policy and help explain it in a straightforward way, so that producers can be informed and understand how that policy will affect

their operations. As for his own operation, Koslowsky is in the process of continuing to cross-fence his pastures and rather than expanding at this point, he is working on getting more from his land base. “Our plan is to make better use of what we have by multi-species cropping and more grazing, to get more out of our land,” he says. With two adult children enrolled in post-secondary education, Justin, 20, and Terra, 18, Koslowsky isn’t certain where their paths will lead in terms of farm succession, but he happily notes that his daughter may be involved in some aspect of agriculture in the future. If Koslowsky were to pass on a piece of advice to

a young or beginning producer, it would be to get active with organizations such as MBP and do community work. “Get involved in your community and wherever your interests are. Volun-

Dave and his wife Rhonda with their herd

teer on committees and get involved in the ag community, because you’ll learn a lot while you’re giving back,” he says. Koslowsky wants all beef producers to know that it is important to stay connected and in touch

ment contacts so we can make this province a better place and have a strong, vibrant industry,” he says. To reach Dave Koslowsky, District 2 Board Member, please call 5238666 or email davekos@inetlink.ca.

with their local MBP representative, and to attend district meetings to report on regional issues. “The more people we talk to, the more information we can relay back to our industry and govern-

Food Fact

Dave’s favourite way to cook beef: a good steak on the barbecue with roasted potatoes and carrots fresh from the garden OR hearty beef barley soup.


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Manitoba Purebred Breeders Strengthening the industry through quality genetics and top performing cattle

M

aine-Anjou

cattle

to

from

Canada

French Maines were large heavy muscled red and white cattle. ity to gain weight quickly and

MAINE ANJOU PUREBRED BREEDERS

shows throughout North America. A number of dedicated breeders recognized the strong attributes of the breed and over time selected for cattle that suit the north american management endian Maine-Anjou cattle that are not quite as large as their French

Hilldern Stock Farm

Norm & Sandi Underhill Box 269, Rapid City, MB R0K 1W0 Ph. 204-826-2275 nsunder@mymts.net

Carman & Laura Falloon

temperament, fertility and milking ability were other reasons smoother in their structure and scaled them down somewhat in they were imported to Canada. Once they were in Canada, they muscle pattern resulting in dras- their structure and made them were quickly recognized for their tically reduced calving problems. smoother in their muscle pattern. ability to perform in the feedlot. and solid colored. From that cross a large poputently at the top lation of solid black and of feeding trials and bull test sta- was in NOT breeding with Maine-Anjou Cattle. solid red polled purebred Maine-Anjou cattle have tions for average When will the feedlots wake up to the daily gain and exceptional feed conversion of Maine-Anjou?” been developed. feed conversion. - ROBERT BINSCH, MARSDEN, SASK. Maine-Anjou cattle work First importer of Charolais cattle from France in 1965 well in many cross-breedpressed people with their quiet temperament and their maternal was quickly recognized for pro- duce calves that are born easily ducing excellent quality beef cattle and are quick to get up and nurse. mothers with ample milk, good that were well suited to Canadian - ties have been greatly reduced. udders, sound feet and legs. Maine-Anjou steers have earned uted growth and temperament as feed converters and produce very a reputation for winning steer

desirable carcasses. When crossed with other breeds, the color of the other breed tends to dominate. When bred to black cows, the calves are black, when bred to red cows they are red, and when bred to white cows they produce the females when retained for breeding make productive brood cows with good fertility, ample milk production and excellent temperament. Maine-Anjou cattle can be solid black, solid red or have the traditional white spots. Whatever color they have, they are a breed that is having an increasing impact on the North American beef cattle industry.

Step Into the Future with...

Box 362, Birtle MB R0M 0C0 Ph. 204-842-5180 Fax. 204-842-5127 Carman cell: 204-773-0435 Laura cell: 204-847-0131 car1@mts.net

Wilkinridge Stock Farm Sid Wilkinson

Box 102, Ridgeville MB R0A 1M0

Ph/Fax: 204-373-2631 Cell: 204-324-4302 wilkinridge@xplornet.ca

Cee Farms

Edgar and Barry Walker Box 64, Plumas MB R0J 1P0 Ph: 204-386-2458 (Edgar) Ph: 204-476-6447 (Barry) ceefarms@gmail.com

Johnson’s Black Maines

Patrick & Connie Johnson Box 1171 Killarney MB R0K 1G0 Ph: 204-523-8408 pjj@goinet.ca

McBride Maines

Ross McBride Box 455, Gladstone MB R0J 0T0 Ph: 204-385-2442 Cell: 204-872-2442 mcmaines@mymts.net

Myron and Myrna Lees

Box 111, Mather MB R0K 1L0 Ph/Fax: 204-529-2055 mmt.lees@hotmail.com

Iron Valley Farms

Curtis & Lacey Hofer Box 182, McAuley MB R0M 1H0 Ph: 204-722-2224 clhofer@hotmail.com

Sean & Brandy Eggie

RR#1 Comp 46, Swan River MB R0L 1Z0 Ph: 306-595-4789 Cell: 204-281-3182 seaneggie@hotmail.com

Magpie Maines

Modern dern Maines . . .

Maine-Anjou females are tremendous mothers. Cows are docile, moderate framed and excellent milking. Calves are vigorous and strong at birth.

When pounds and profit count, let Maine-Anjou help launch you to the forefront of today’s cattle industry.

s s i m t Don’ sale! this

Modern Maines… Maine-Anjou bulls will add length, hip & muscling, increased feed conversion and superior carcass traits to your cattle. They fit well into today’s progressive commercial beef programs.

Maines have changed . . . kept pace with today’s demands of the consumer and commercial beef industry. Maines come in solid colors, Black or Red as well as traditional Red & White.

7 Maine Bulls at Douglas Bull Test Station Sale April 7, 2012 - 1:00 p.m.

John Hanbidge 816, Comp 163, RR#8 Saskatoon SK S7K 1M2 Ph: 306-374-0763 magpiemaines@yourlink.ca www.magpiemaines.webs.com

Badger Hill Maine Anjou Doug & Geri Kerr Box 12, Ninette MB Ph: 204-528-3293 GeriKerr@mts.net

Section 19 Cattle Co.

Cam & Tracy Wood RR #4, Box 74, Portage la Prairie MB R1N 3A4 Ph: 204-239-1553 Cam cell: 204-856-6568 Tracy cell: 204-870-1564 section19cattleco@gmail.com

Manitoba Association Box 269, Rapid City, MB R0K 1W0 Ph.: (204) 826-2275 President - Sid Wilkinson Vice - Myron Lees Treasurer - Sandi Underhill Secretary - Connie Johnson Past President - Patrick Johnson Directors: Sean Eggie, Ross McBride, Doug Kerr, Tracy Wood


18 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

LIVESTOCK SELLERS BEWARE MANITOBA AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL INITIATIVES NOTICE

The Animal Industry Branch of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives is reminding livestock producers to be careful in negotiating any sales of livestock, particularly from the farm gate. Any person who is buying livestock must possess a valid Livestock Dealer or Agent’s Licence issued by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, unless the buyer intends to keep the animals for at least 30 days. Individual order buyers and auction marts must have a dealer’s licence. Abattoirs that are

not exclusively custom slaughtering should have a dealer’s licence. Although direct sale from the farm is a viable marketing alternative, sellers should be assured of security of payment when negotiating transactions. All licensed dealers and their agents must carry a valid pocket licence and

produce it upon request. If an unknown buyer comes into the yard, demand to see their licence before continuing with the sale. All advertisements to buy livestock must include the information that the dealer is licensed and the licence number. The purpose of the Livestock Dealers and

Agents Licensing Regulation is to protect sellers from payment defaults by the buyers. Licensed dealers are required to carry bond coverage. The level of coverage is determined by the volume of livestock they sell on an annual basis. If a default occurs, sellers can make a claim against the dealer’s bond

to recover full or partial value of the livestock. In order to ensure that the intended protection is provided, sellers should be aware of and adhere to specific requirements set out in the regulations. At the time of sale, the buyer is obligated to provide the seller with a written statement including

the names and addresses of both the seller and the livestock dealer, the number and kind of livestock purchased, the unit (e.g., per pound) and total purchase price, weight (if sold on a weight basis), amount of advance payment (if any) and net amount paid (after deductions). The Livestock Dealers and Agents Licensing Regulation requires that payment be made no later than one day following price determination. If the seller allows more time than this to receive payment, then credit is being extended to the buyer and there may not be any recourse in recovering the value of the sale. If payment is made by cheque, the seller must deposit or cash the cheque within eight business days of price determination. Failing to deposit a cheque within this period of time is also considered to be an extension of credit to the dealer. If there are insufficient funds to cover the payment, the seller then has seven business days to bring the issue to the attention of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives and initiate a claim against the dealer’s bond.

Bull Sale Friday April 13, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Valley Livestock Sales Minitonas, Man.

30 Two Year Old

Black and Red Angus BULLS

Performance tested, semen tested and fully guaranteed

For more information, please contact Bruce. View our catalogue online or request a copy by phone or email: andersoncattle@inethome.ca

734-2073 or 734-0730 www.andersoncattle.ca

Purchase your next herd sire with confidence


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

GOOD HOOF HEALTH LEADS TO BETTER PRODUCTIVITY ANNE COTÉ

There’s nothing new in the causes of lameness in cattle, but it’s time to take another look at preventing monetary losses from foot rot, abrasions, abscesses, and genetic hoof conditions that interfere with the robust development of the cattle herd. According to Dr. Ken Johnson, veterinarian and owner of Central Veterinary Services near Winnipeg, observation is the best tool for reducing lameness in cattle herds. It may be something experienced cattle producers are aware of, but new producers and farm workers need to learn the skill, and it’s something experienced produc-

us there’s something wrong; a cow in distress is quieter,” he says. Keeping a sharp eye out for lameness can improve a producer’s bottom line. An animal with diseased or injured hooves won’t get the exercise or nutrition they need to flourish. “When they’re lying down, they’re not grazing

will occur due to rough surface. Bruising and abrasions are caused by very rough ground or stones, according to Johnson. This year, pastures were very wet and muddy and became more rutted than usual, increasing the likelihood of foot injuries in grazing herds. Johnson also notes

Keeping a sharp eye out for lameness can improve a producer’s bottom line.

MARCH

....or getting the exercise they need. It’s a significant cause of culling cows in both beef and dairy herds,” Johnson says. And, says Johnson, lameness affects calf health. If the mother isn’t up and grazing, the calf can’t nurse. Weight gain will be slower than in calves with healthy mothers. Nursing mothers have to be monitored for grain intake as well. “They’ll eat more and more grain because they’re nursing,” Johnson says. If they eat too much grain, they’ll experience lamanitis, an internal swelling of the feet, and then they’ll want to lay down more than they should. This year, weather factors have increased the chances that foot injuries

Thursday, Mar. 8 Tuesday, Mar. 13 Thursday, Mar. 15 Friday, Mar. 16 Tuesday, Mar. 20 Thursday, Mar. 22 Tuesday, Mar. 27 Thursday, Mar. 29 Saturday, Mar. 31

Regular Sale Pre-Sort Sale Regular Sale Cow Pair Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Pre-Sort Sale Regular Sale Great Spirit Bison Sale

APRIL

2012 Winter Sale Schedule

ers can always work at improving. Monitoring cattle for lameness is easily done during field inspections or while filling feed bunks, Johnson says—“you just have to watch them.” Cattle that are lying around more than they should, are slow getting up to feed, or are trailing behind the herd are showing signs of lameness. “That’s because it hurts to get up,” Johnson explains. “When I go into a barn, I want to see every cow stand up,” Johnson says. They don’t like it, but it’s the only way to tell if they’re simply taking a rest or they’re protecting sore feet and legs, he adds. Johnson also suggests that producers listen to their cattle. “They do tell

Tuesday, Apr. 3 Thursday Apr. 5 Tuesday, Apr. 10 Thursday, Apr. 12 Tuesday, Apr. 17 Thursday, Apr. 19 Tuesday, Apr. 24 Thursday, Apr. 26

Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale

that ice shards on fields can cause abrasions between the claws of the hoof where foot rot occurs. He suggests that producers in areas where fluctuating temperatures may have caused melting and fast freezing should keep a lookout for these injuries. To reduce injuries from rutted or icy fields, Johnson suggests that producers lay down straw packs around grazing bales to provide a softer footing for the grazing cattle. If injuries such as surface abrasions are caught early, they can be treated with topical sprays. Once foot rot sets in, the antibiotics penicillin and oxytetracycline are the only recourse. Johnson also stresses the importance of proper nutrition in preventing

9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 12:00 noon 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Thursday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

Heartland Livestock Services

Brandon

204-727-1431

Lic.# 1109

lameness in cattle. He recommends feed nutrition testing be done at least once a year in the fall for food value as well as zinc, copper, and selenium levels. He says he’d like to see nutritional testing done more than once a year, but that a single testing, done by a local nutritional expert or beef specialist wellversed in local conditions,

is helpful in preventing hoof disease due to mineral deficiencies. An iodine deficiency can be offset by providing iodized salt. Genetic hoof deformities such as corkscrew toes or hoof sidewalls growing under the sole of the hoof contribute to lameness in cattle herds as well. The solution is simply trimming, Johnson says. He recom-

mends that bulls’ hooves be trimmed before breeding begins. Providing good nutrition, a healthy environment to prevent lameness, and medical treatment for lame animals takes time and adds to the cost of raising the animals. “It’s money easily paid back in weight gain,” Johnson says.


20 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

SPRING CAN BE TOUGH ON CALVES THE EFFECTS OF FLUCTUATING WEATHER

ANGELA LOVELL

Whether they are born in winter or spring, new calves are highly susceptible to weather fluctuations that can occur just as easily in May as in January. In fact, weather is often more stable and predictable during the cold winter months, but spring can bring anything from freezing rain to a Victoria Day snowstorm. Jeannette Greaves Photo

Keeping new calves healthy through inclement spring weather begins before they are born. Maintaining a high level of nutrition for the cows, both before and after calving, means they will provide the nutrients calves need to build brown fat, which is especially important to keep them warm. “If your cows are skinny, the calves can be born without adequate brown fat storage,” says Dr. Wayne Tomlinson, Extension Veterinarian for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. “Cows need to be in good body condition, and you are not going to do that in a couple of days. You need to start with overall good nutrition for your cowherd.” “Spring calving cows, and particularly heifers, in poor body condition are at risk for calving problems. The result may be lighter, weaker calves at birth, which can lead to a higher death loss, and more susceptibility to things such as scours,” say Steve Boyles, Ohio State University (OSU) Beef Extension Specialist, and Jeff McCutcheon, Morrow County AgNR Educator, in a recent OSU Beef Extension Team newsletter. Properly conditioned cows will also produce more milk with more highquality colostrum, which is required to maintain a healthy immune system and increases the calf’s ability to deal with stress. It can also have an impact on the future reproductive cycle of the herd. “Animals in poor condition before calving provide inferior colostrum and lower milk production. This can lead to lighter weaning weights or fewer pounds of calf to sell. Females that are in less than desirable body condition at calving are slower to return to estrus. Therefore, body condition at calving affects the current calf crop (milk production) and next year’s calving date (rebreeding date),” say Boyles and McCutcheon.

Stressed animals are more susceptible to disease, and weather can be a huge source of stress on young calves. If conditions are wet because of rain or snow, or corrals are muddy, calves’ coats quickly become saturated, losing the insulating ability of the air pockets in the hair. “With a wet coat, cows start using up stored body energy at around 16°C,” says Dr. Tomlinson. “With a dry coat, they are perfectly happy at -7°C. So there’s a big difference between a dry and a wet coat.” Dealing with mud can

are out at pasture and plenty of bedding straw will help keep them comfortable. Shelter isn’t usually a problem when calving in the corral, as most will have barns or calf shelters, but these can lead to problems with disease if not properly managed. “Any disease requires a pathogen and a susceptible host to be present, but the environment also plays a part because it can make the calf more susceptible to the pathogen,” says Dr. Tomlinson. “It may cause certain behaviours that will lead to

quate ventilation means conditions can become hot and humid, which creates ideal conditions for disease transmission. Either calves should be moved regularly to clean dry areas or the bedding should be replaced regularly so that they stay clean and dry. Producers also need to be vigilant and isolate any sick calves at the first sign of symptoms. Alternative grazing systems such as bale grazing can have some very beneficial effects when it comes to calving time. With all the manure staying out on the fields, the

they are getting adequate nutrition from the bales. Cold, wet, and/or windy weather can also cause chapped or frostbitten teats on a cow that is milking and may cause her to kick the calf away because of discomfort when it attempts to suckle. To avoid such problems, cows should be given plenty of bedding to give them protection from the wind and help keep their udders clean and dry, which is also important to prevent the calf from picking up germs and diseases. Most people who calve

Keeping new calves healthy through inclement spring weather begins before they are born. also be a consideration that, say Boyles and McCutcheon, is estimated to increase energy maintenance requirements by 7 to 30 per cent and may mean that cattle need more feed. Providing shelter to keep calves warm and dry is essential and it also serves to shelter them from another stress factor: wind. Cows and calves can withstand cold weather but not wind, so windbreaks if they

more spread of disease. For example, if we have got wet snow and the calves are all huddled in a calf hutch. While they are staying dry underneath that roof, they are in closer contact, so they have a greater chance of spreading the diseasecausing pathogens amongst themselves.” Calf shelters should be well-ventilated so there is a constant supply of clean, fresh air coming in. Inade-

animals and corral stay much cleaner for when the cows come back in to calve. “If you only bring them home to the yard to calve them out and then you put them out again into a nice, clean area, that’s a wonderful system for breaking disease cycles,” says Dr. Tomlinson. He does caution producers to make sure that the cows maintain a good body condition and to test the hay to make sure

in winter have facilities where they can bring the calf in and get it warmed up and nursing well. “Once they are dried off and nursing well, they can handle the cold and it won’t do them any harm, but they are going to need to be well-bedded and have shelter from the wind,” says Dr. Tomlinson. A rule of thumb is that when a calf lies down, you shouldn’t be able to see its feet, which

means straw should be at least three to five inches deep. Moving to spring calving, although not an option for everyone, definitely has some advantages in terms of disease prevention. “If you have calves spread out on nice green grass in the month of May, you are going to have less disease because a lot of the diseases are caused by overcrowding, and when we have them spread out they don’t have the same issues with diarrhea and pneumonia,” says Dr. Tomlinson. But even spring can bring wind, widely fluctuating temperatures, and wet conditions. However, as long as calves are kept warm, clean, and dry, with plenty of nutrition coming from their well-fed mothers, they can handle a few vagaries. “As far as just the temperature going from a nice warm plus 5°C day to -15 at night, while there is a little bit of stress, it goes back to common sense,” says Dr. Tomlinson. “The actual thermometer isn’t that big of a deal once they are acclimatized to cooler weather. Keep them warm and dry, and they will handle that quite well.”


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 21

SPRING FEED A MATTER OF PLANNING

ANGELA LOVELL

A history of dealing with anything from late winter snowstorms, cold snaps, and ceaseless spring rains means that most livestock producers usually have plenty of feed on hand to last until the pastures finally green up and dry out in the spring (whenever that may be). One producer interviewed for this story joked that there had better be enough back-up feed to last until July. And even that wouldn’t have been enough for producers in flood zones in the spring of 2011. But how do producers build some flexibility into

the contingency plan is to have some bales piled close by so he can move them— and the cattle—easily to higher ground and unroll the bales, which also ensures there is less concentration of the manure in one area. Most producers graz-

manage through until then. Rotational grazers often have more flexibility inherent in their system, largely thanks to stockpiled grasses, although many use them as fall or early winter grazing rather than saving them for spring. Although some are

ducers supplement stockpiled spring pasture with good quality alfalfa hay. The benefits include a clean, dry calving ground (if they are calving later in the spring) and it reduces the amount of hay required. But some producers

gin to stock up on nutrition and may end up eating much more grass than they would in the spring, when they are less stressed by the cold, and they can also supplement the stockpiled grass with new spring growth, which has more nutritional intensity.

ent grazing systems than those calving in May. Calving at pasture is much more practical if done when temperatures are milder and it means that cows can continue in a managed grazing system, on grass, swath, or bales, depending on conditions.

their spring grazing plan? Well, the first step is to have one, which means planning at least 12 months ahead. “In any operation, you need to assess your land base,” says Don Guilford of Clearwater. “If you are feeding out on the land, you need to try to match your feeding area with the time of year so you avoid problems.” An example would be to plan for spring feed to be as accessible as possible, whether it’s specific pastures, bales, or stockpiled grasses. “When we put our bales in the bale grazing rows in July, we do it with the thought in mind that if it’s a wet spring, we won’t end up bale grazing in April in the low spots. We plan so that we will be grazing on the higher ground later in the winter and into the spring,” says Guilford. If he runs into a situation where he has to graze on a low spot in the spring,

ing conventionally simply wait until the pasture is free of snow, and growth has started, to turn the cattle out of the corral. Meanwhile, they have plenty of hay, silage, or other feed on hand to

sceptical about the quality of the grass and worry that it doesn’t winter well under the snow, it’s possible for grass to still be green under several inches of snow in March in stockpiled pastures. Some pro-

consider that extending the grazing period in the spring on stockpiled grasses, when possible, gives double the return of extending it in the fall by the same method. As cattle approach winter, they be-

Another big influence over spring grazing requirements is calving date. Producers who calve in winter usually have differ-

Building flexibility and portability into a grazing system also helps, and the saturated spring of 2011 taught more than a

FamilyFriday, Tradition Bull Sale March 16, 2012 • Free Board until May 1 • Delivery Available • Semen Tested 2:00 p.m. at Rolling D Farm 3 miles north of Dropmore, MB on PTH# 482

Charolais Bulls 27 Yearlings 10 Two Year Olds

Simmental Bulls

8 Yearlings - Sons of General Lee

View our catalogue online at www.familytraditionbullsale.com

High Bluff Stock Farm & Rolling D Charolais

Carman & Donna Jackson & Family - Inglis, MB Elaine Digby - Dropmore, MB email: jackson7@mymts.net

Phone: (204) 564-2547 / Cell: (204) 773-6448


22 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

Saskatoon

... Spring Feed, Continued

MALE Sale

12th ANNUAL

Friday March 23, 2012 - 1:00 p.m. Saskatoon Livestock Sales

See bulls at:

www.gelbviehworld.com or ask for our FREE video!

Selling an outstanding set of Yearlings along with a select group of Herd Building Replacement Females Contact : FIR RIVER LIVESTOCK

Darcy Hrebeniuk (306) 865-2929 hm (306) 865-7859 cell

DON SAVAGE AUCTIONS Airdrie, AB

(403) 948-3520

Tara FultonÕ s Auction Mart Schedule MBP’s Field Rep TARA FULTON is available to help producers age verify their cattle. These are the dates she will be in a town near you, or you can call and have her walk you through the process at home.

Reminder: Please submit your age verification information to Tara a minimum of 24 hours prior to the sale. March 12th March 13th March 16th March 19th March 20th March 21st March 22nd March 26th - 31st

Killarney Auction Mart Grunthal Auction Mart Agriculture in the City – Winnipeg Strathclair Auction Mart Heartland Brandon Heartland Virden Melita Auction Mart Royal Manitoba Winter Fair – Brandon

April 2 April 3rd April 4th April 5th April 10th April 13th April 16th April 17th April 18th April 19th April 23rd April 24th April 25th April 26th April 30th

Valley Livestock Sales (Minitonas) Gladstone Auction Mart Ashern Interlake Cattlemen’s Co-op Ste. Rose Auction Mart Grunthal Auction Mart Winnipeg Livestock Sales Strathclair Auction Mart Heartland Brandon Heartland Virden Melita Auction Mart Valley Livestock Sales (Minitonas) Gladstone Auction Mart Ashern Interlake Cattlemen’s Co-op Ste. Rose Auction Mart Killarney Auction Mart

May 1st May 4th May 7th May 8th May 9th May 10th

Grunthal Auction Mart Winnipeg Livestock Sales Strathclair Auction Mart Heartland Brandon Heartland Virden Melita Auction Mart

nd

Contact Tara at

P: (204) 612-3994 E: tfulton@mbbeef.ca F: 1-866-240-9505 *Dates subject to change. Please call to confirm during times of uncertainty such as poor driving conditions, statutory holidays, etc.

few producers that lesson the hard way. Guilford had to lift or drop fence wire in some areas when the gates he normally used to move the cattle around ended up under water. Similarly, a three-day snowstorm in May a few years ago caught him offguard and was enough to convince him that wind fence was a worthwhile investment for the protec-

ing it, and that’s OK as long as they have done the cost analysis and figured everything out. That includes the land investment, with interest and the cost of fuel, fertilizer and maybe rejuvenation of the stand, and labour.” The time involved in corral clean-out can be a drag on other spring work and the cost can be surprising once labour and fuel are taken into account. Clean-out costs per cow have been calculated at

amounts of grass into them,” says Dr. Hushton Block, a Pasture Systems Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Brandon. Cattle should not be put on pasture before it is at the 3.5 leaf stage, recommends Jane Thornton, Forage and Pasture Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). Generally, in Manitoba, this is about the first week in June. “If producers need to turn

tional value of feed. That’s a process that needs to begin in the fall, especially when baling hay that is already fairly mature. “If the quality is too low, even though there may be plenty of material there, the animals can’t eat enough of it to get adequate nutrition,” says Block. “It can be basically like feeding straw—just because there’s enough nutrients in a round bale of straw to support a cow every day doesn’t mean that cow can actually eat a

It’s important to pay attention to quality, and especially to try to reduce the effects of weathering, which can dramatically reduce the nutritional value of feed. tion of the cows and calves. “It was the worst predicament we ever got into because we were new to feeding that far away from home and out on the land—we were about seven miles from home,” he says. “We are better prepared now. We have portable snow fences and windbreaks so we can offer the cows and calves way more shelter under any conditions.” A sometimes-overlooked component of the spring grazing plan is cost of production, which encompasses a number of things. First is the cost of feed, which, whether it’s purchased or produced on-farm, needs to be calculated accurately, says Guilford. “We buy all our hay so we know what it costs us. And many people will argue they can put it up cheaper than purchas-

around $35 to $40 and although some of the nutrients are recaptured if the manure is later applied to the fields, not all remains on the land as it does with other winter grazing systems, like bale or swath grazing. Once the cows have been turned out to pasture or moved to areas where new spring growth is established, producers should be sure that there is sufficient grass to feed them, especially if there are still areas of the pasture that may be inaccessible due to lingering snowbanks or frozen ground. “If producers have really short grass in the spring and think they may have lots because they only have a few cattle in the pasture, they need to remember that they may still have an issue if the cattle can’t physically graze enough area to get sufficient

out earlier, then they should supplemental feed and that pasture should get a very long rest period, preferably 60 days or longer,” she adds. Another strategy for early spring grazing is to use fall rye that was planted the year before. “It will give early grazing and you do not have to worry about damaging the crop, like you do perennial forages, as the fall rye will be turned under as soon as it has been grazed or it starts to bolt,” says Thornton. Supplementing with combinations of hay, straw, silage or feed grains may be the only alternative if winter decides to linger too long, but it’s not just about the quantity of material that’s set aside. It’s important to pay attention to quality, and especially to try to reduce the effects of weathering, which can dramatically reduce the nutri-

Bull SaleAnnnnnuuuaaall Consistency

round bale of straw.” The biggest thing to remember, not just in the spring, but at any time of the year, says Block, is that producers cannot get the best production from cattle by feeding them one thing. Just as humans need a balanced diet to stay healthy and productive, so do cattle. “Rarely do you have a single feed that provides all of the right nutrients in the right proportions for cattle,” he says. “So it might be that you have to supplement some energy or some protein or some minerals in there to make sure you have a balanced diet. It’s variable as to which ones are the issue, so it’s best to get the feed tested to see what you are lacking and don’t go in there with the idea that you can get a balanced diet out of a single ingredient.”

Tuesday March 27, 2012

1:00 p.m. th Taylor Auctions, Melita, MB 72 Virgin Two year olds & Yearling Black & Red Angus Bulls

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R Ramrod Cattle Co R TONY & JODY DEKEYSER

Medora, MB (204) 665-2424, 264-0270 cell

COR VET CATTLE CO.

Dr. Corey Jones (403) 315-0659 Wayne Jones (204) 665-2449 Napinka, MB

Dan & Alana Van Steelandt

(204) 665-2448 hm, 522-0092 cell Melita, MB


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

PLANNING AHEAD MAKES FOR A SMOOTHER CALVING SEASON JOAN AIREY

For those calving in January, this past one was the mildest any of us have seen. Planning ahead to make sure that you have all of the supplies needed for calving season can make things run smoother. debbie Chikousky Photo

Purchasing some commercial colostrum or saving some from a cow who has an abundant supply and freezing it can give a calf who needs a little extra care at birth the added boost it needs. Carrying a cellphone that is fully charged and turned on makes it easy for your partner to check and make sure things are on track. If you are calving out cows by yourself, it means help is always nearby. For calving season, always post your veterinarian’s phone number and all other important numbers in large font in the barn or your calving facilities. This way, everyone can read them with or without glasses, and they are where everyone can see them. Store all calving supplies in one place and return them to that place after using them. It will save you time and keep things running efficiently. Good

lighting for night checks is important for your safety, and so cows just starting to calf aren’t missed on a cold winter night. This past Christmas, I bought family members heavy-duty flashlights for checking cows as stocking stuffers. I know they give a lot of light and last long, as I have used the same one for the last five years. Checking supplies before going to town, so that needed supplies from calving sleeves to disinfectant wash can be picked up without making a special trip, can save precious time. Before calving season starts, have anyone involved in working with the cattle take quiet walks through the herd periodically to let the cows get familiar with them and gain their trust. Brayden, our 12-yearold grandson, spent his day off from school helping my husband Harry with chores. He belongs to

the local 4-H Beef Club, so his 4-H heifers over the years have been his pets. In his fifth year of 4-H, there are several head that he doesn’t want to leave the herd. Belonging to 4-H is a great way for children to learn about feeding and handling cattle. Teaching children from a young age to respect cattle and handle them quietly pays off. I enjoy checking cattle on a nice night when they are all lying on the straw pack and the calves are lying in the shed in fresh straw. Hope calving goes smoothly for everyone this year!

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Contact

Bill Campbell

204-776-2322 (res) 204-724-6218 (cell) cam.limousin@xplornet.com


24 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

LOOKING AT LABELS HOW TO MAKE INFORMED FOOD DECISIONS

ADRIANA BARROS

March is National Nutrition Month, and as Canadians it is our responsibility to keep our health top of mind and ensure we are maintaining a positive relationship with food and leading healthy active lifestyles. The responsibility we have to lead a healthy active lifestyle is not only for our personal benefit, as each of us is an active member of society and should be demonstrating a positive example to those around us. According to Statistics Canada, in 2005, the average life expectancy of a Canadian male and female is 78 and 83 years of age, respectively (Statistics Canada, 2010). The average life expectancy projected by Statistics Canada is expected to rise to 81.9 years for males and 86.0 years for females by the year 2031 (Statistics Canada, 2010). There is a visible aging gap between sexes that is projected to continue to narrow, which is a positive projection indicating that both sexes in Canada are maintaining good health and living longer lives. Realistically, many people are using the “life is too busy to cook from scratch” excuse, and that’s OK. Since our cupboards and pantries are full of canned and boxed products promised to deliver quick-fix meals, let’s make choosing the best pre-packaged food option easier. In order to make healthier food choices and informed decisions when purchasing packaged foods, it’s best to

understand nutrition labels. A breakdown of how to read and understand nutrition facts tables and ingredient lists on food packages can be found below. When purchasing food products in Canada, there

First, determine the serving amount the nutrition facts table is based on. Cracker A has a serving amount of nine crackers versus Cracker B, which has a serving amount of four crackers. However,

where many of our vital organs are located. Ingredient lists are featured on packaged foods, which state all of the ingredients in a food. Reading ingredient lists has become easier for consumers thanks

Society is as fast-paced as ever, and because of this we have become dependent on pre-packaged shortcuts. are label requirements to look for, and these include a common name. This common name is a regulated description of a products standard composition that is established for the food by a specific regulation. An example is the consumer being able to know the difference between orange juice from concentrate versus orange drink. The label also includes a net quantity, dealer name and address, location where the food was manufactured and produced, a list of ingredients, food allergens, nutrition facts table, and durable life date (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2011). Food marketers and advertisers are very clever and invest a lot of thought into how to entice consumers; they know how to attract us to brands. Take children’s cereal, for exam-

DIAMOND T LIMOUSIN BULL & FEMALE SALE

Friday, Mar. 23/12

ple: the successful result of a well-advertised food brand is quite visible once you walk down a cereal aisle in any grocery store. The majority of prepackaged foods are loaded with added sugar, salt (so-

1:30 p.m.

in our heated sale barn, at the farm, 2 miles south & 1 mile west of Kenton’s west edge

dium), and bad fats (saturated and trans fats). The simplest way to understand what is too much is to look at the nutrition facts table. Nutrition facts tables give you information on calories and 13 core nutrients. The first key aspect to look at is the amount of food the nutrition facts table bases a serving on, and then judge the amount you will actually eat. The next thing to help make your purchasing decision is the % Daily Value (DV); this is represented on all nutrition facts tables. An easy way to learn how to monitor calorie consumption is to remember that 5 per cent Daily Value is little consumption of a nutrient and 15 per cent Daily Value is a lot of a certain nutrient. Remember to buy products that deliver less fat, saturated fat, trans fats, and salt (sodium), and to try to buy products with more fibre, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. As an educational example for better understanding, see Table 1, in which two types of crackers are compared.

10 Two year old, 22 Yearling Bulls & 8 Open Heifers LIMOUSIN For more information or catalogues contact: TRAVIS & RILLA HUNTER Kenton,, MB

Ph. : (204) 838-2019 Cell: (204) 851-0809

Table 1

the weight per serving is 23 g and 20 g, respectively. Therefore, both of these crackers are comparably the same serving size and are therefore relevant in comparison (Health Canada, 2010). Now, let us continue to compare the % Daily Value by taking a look at

to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In order for consumers to make more informed food decisions, CFIA instated specific labelling requirements. All ingredient lists found on food labels use common names; for example, what was previously listed as starch is listed now as

Table 2

Table 2. When remembering that less than 5 per cent is a little and more than 15 per cent is a lot of a nutrient when looking at the % Daily Value table, the better choice in snack would be Cracker B. The reason this is a smarter choice is that we are gaining a higher percentage of fibre, which keeps our bodies full for longer and more satisfied. It also has lower salt (sodium) content, which keeps our blood pressure down, and lower fat, which helps reduce formation of visceral fat around our midsection,

wheat starch (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2011). The ingredients are listed in order of the quantity of an ingredient’s weight. An ingredient will be listed first if a product contains the largest amount of it and last if the product contains the least amount of it. As an example, whole wheat bread’s first ingredient would be wheat flour and the last ingredient would be soy lecithin, which is an additive used to help decrease separation of ingredients (emulsify) and prevent sticking. Ingredient lists are very helpful for consumers with a food allergy or food intolerances, as common names of allergens will be listed for those trying to avoid a specific ingredient. Ingredient lists are another useful way to decrease consumption of unhealthy ingredients—if the first, second, or third ingredient is sugar, white flour, or oils, this may not be a good choice of prepackaged product. Society is as fast-

paced as ever, and because of this we have become dependent on pre-packaged shortcuts. Why not use packaged products if it means less cooking time and allows us to have dinner on the table faster, allowing more time spent with our families? When using pre-packaged foods in moderation, it is our responsibility to make the smarter choice. This can be done by using the nutrition facts table and ingredients list, as they are there to help consumers make informed decisions. Since it is National Nutrition Month, I would like to build awareness of how important it is to nourish our bodies and make meals that still taste great, so I am featuring The Better Taco Salad this month. This salad, courtesy of Canada Beef, calls for extra-lean ground beef, controlling the fat content in the dish, and kidney beans, which are an added source of high fibre. Be sure to choose a can of beans with a % Daily Value lower in salt (sodium) when comparing brands in your grocery store. Thanks for reading, and Happy National Nutrition Month.

Works Cited

Health Canada. (2010, November 15). Using the Nutrition Facts table: % Daily Value (Fact Sheet). Retrieved February 10, 2012, from Health Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fnan/label-etiquet/nutrition/ cons/fact-fiche-eng.php Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (2011, July 27). Chapter 2 - Basic Labelling Requirements. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from Canadian Food Inspection Agency: www. inspection.gc.ca/english/ fssa/labet i/g uide/ch2e. shtml#a2_2 Statistics Canada. (2010, January 11). Life Expectancy. Retrieved February 9, 2012, from Statistics Canada: www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82229-x/2009001/demo/lifeng.htm


March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 25

Canadian beef

12th Annual

Cattleman’s Classic Multi Breed Bull Sale

&Southwest Bull 18th Annual

Development Centre The Sale with Bull Power Sunday, April 1, 2012 Heartland Livestock Service

THE BETTER TACO SALAD A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO THE TRADITIONAL NACHO PLATTER

Makes eight 1-1/2 cup (375 mL) servings. 1 2 1 lb (500 g) 1½ tsp (7 mL) 2 ½ 1 cup (250 mL) 19 oz (250 mL) 1 1.

onion, chopped cloves garlic, minced extra lean ground beef chili powder Pinch salt tomatoes, chopped head iceberg lettuce, shredded light-style cheddar cheese, shredded can, kidney beans, drained and rinsed Avocado dressing (recipe follows) green onion, sliced

Stir-fry onion, garlic, extra lean ground beef, chili powder, and pinch of salt in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is browned and completely cooked. Drain if necessary; set aside.

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REGULAR CATTLE SALES

2.

3.

Layer tomatoes in shallow 12-cup (3 L) glass bowl. Follow with a layer of lettuce, cooked ground beef mixture, 3/4 cup (175 mL) of cheese, and kidney beans. Top with avocado dressing. Garnish with remaining cheddar cheese and green onion.

Per serving: 244 calories, 22 g protein, 11 g fat, 16 g carbohydrates Good source of iron (19 per cent DV) and excellent source of zinc (40 per cent DV), 19 per cent DV sodium.

The Future is NOW here! Come on down to the 8th Annual

“Buy the BEEF Bull Sale” April 3, 2012

100

Simmental • Hereford • Red & White Charolais • Black Angus • Red Angus

JASRed Angus

Affordable Prices - 90% of the bulls sold last year between $2000-$3500. View our catalogue online at:

www.charolaisbanner.com To request a catalogue or consignor phone numbers please call: Merv or Jesse Nykoliation (204) 838-2107 or email: merv1@prairie.ca

For test or ultrasound reports or info about Southwest Bull Development Centre, please call Ron Batho (204) 855-2404

1:00 p.m., Neepawa Ag Complex

Doug & Jason McLaren Ph.: (204) 476-6248 or (204) 476-6723

Neepawa, MB

Sires include: Joker, Smash, Travilin Express, New Trend and a dandy by Sam’s Prospector

Guest Consignors:

SUNSET RIDGE ANGUS

th 44 Annual

LUNDAR

Purebred Beef Cattle Show & Sale

Saturday, April 21, 2012 Saturda

Show: 10:00 a.m. LUNDAR ARENA Sale: 1:00 p.m.

MONDAY, MARCH 12TH and 26TH @ 12 noon / MONDAY, APRIL 9TH and 30TH @ 12 noon

Bred Cow and Heifer Sale

SATURDAY, MARCH 17TH and SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST @ 10 a.m.

O n the Far

& Female Sale

Saturday April 7th - 1:00 p.m. m

Goodeve, Sask. - Approx. 90 miles west of Russell, MB

All Bulls Semen Tested & Carcass Data Available Bulls can be delivered or picked up sale day ($75 credit)

• 55 Black Yearling Bulls • 15 Red Yearling Bulls • 30 Open Black Replacement Heifers

Crescent Creek Angus

HEREFORD 9

SIMMENTAL

14 A nnual th

SHEEP & GOAT SALE with Small Animals

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

Approximately

2:00 p.m. D.S.T.

Avocado dressing: Mash 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted, with potato masher until smooth. Stir in 1 green onion, thinly sliced, 1/4 cup (50 mL) water, 2 tbsp (30 mL) EACH fresh lime juice and low-fat sour cream, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt.

EVERY TUESDAY AT 9 AM

Sales agent for HIQUAL INDUSTRIES Specializing in Livestock Handling Equipment For info regarding products or pricing, please call our office

Virden, MB

Home (306) 876-4420 Cell (306) 728-8284

Darren Bouchard (204) 526-7407

Wes & Kim Olynyk & Family Box 192, Goodeve, SK S0A 1C0

info@crescentcreekangus.com www.crescentcreekangus.com

3

1 Year old Bulls

2 Year old Bulls

23

1 Year old Bulls

2

CHAROLAIS

1 Year old Heifers

1

1 Year old Bulls

GELBVIEH 4

LIMOUSIN 4

1 Year old Bulls

1 Year old Bulls

ANGUS 2

1 Year old Bulls

For more information, contact:

SALER 2

1 Year old Bulls

2

1 Year old Heifers

Connie Gleich 739-5264 or Jim Beachell 467-8809 Visit our catalogue at www.buyagro.com Auctioneer - Bud Bergner


26 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM THAT NEEDS A SOLUTION, CONTACT MBP, WE’RE HERE TO HELP MBP STAFF

Here is a great example that shows how Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) works with producers and industry partners to find solutions to problems—and why we want to hear from all producers on beef issues and related concerns. Part of what MBP does for producers is related to education and communication with the public to inform people about our industry and products. A few weeks ago, a local beef producer took an important step to help counter some attitudes

and ideas that were being presented in their child’s classroom. What the producer did was contact MBP to let us know about the situation. This parent was upset and concerned about messages that were being sent

to their child through a school event, which was themed “caring for animals.” It seemed like a positive initiative, but then a letter was sent home that asked children not to eat any meat for lunch as part of the event. As a producer,

the parent felt the letter and the event suggested that anyone who eats meat is cruel to animals and that would mean children who have a livestock operation in the family are cruel people, because their animals are eventually butchered

for meat. After hearing from this producer, MBP contacted our partners at Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba (AITC-M). As a result of communication between the parent, school and AITC-M, by the end of

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that day the school clarified the messaging behind its event and also asked to take part in AITC-M programs to help enhance student awareness of agriculture using accurate, balanced, and current information. This turned a negative situation into a more positive one, and it was all due to the fact that a producer informed us about a concern. It’s as easy as that— sending an email or a letter, or giving our office a call to let us know your thoughts on issues, ideas, or concerns. If you want to assist MBP in helping the public be informed about food and agriculture, we need to hear from you. Contact us anytime at info@mbbeef.ca or call our office at 1-800772-0458 (toll-free).

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March 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 27

THE FLOOD KEN HOFF

The year was eleven, When the challenge was given, ’Cause the water kept rising higher. Through the Portage Diversion, Came the river’s excursion, And all our concerns became dire. With the herd out on pasture, And beef higher than last year, We dared hope to a better degree. But with the deluge unabated, And our highlands inundated, Our homes seemed out at sea. With every effort concentrated, People and cattle evacuated, Somehow no human life was lost. Exhausted and uprooted, Every dream had now been looted, How does one measure the cost? I loathe the instability, The naked vulnerability, That hangs us out to dry. Goodwill came out and helped us, Still we’re victims of the unscrupulous, Independence is denied.

anne Coté Photo

Deserted now the ranchstead stands, Gone the horses, pets and hired hands, This ranch was once our cherished prize. Now no words need be spoken, Just silent hearts and spirits broken, Can hopes and dreams arise?

Jeff Miller 100aCrewoodsPhotoGraPhy.CoM Photo

AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM

The first Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week was held Feb. 26 to March 3 and Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba celebrated by bringing farmers in to read to students across the province. Special guest reader Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn shared the book Where Beef Comes From by Sherri Grant with students at Westgrove School in Winnipeg on Feb. 28.

A REMINDER FROM MBP:

Flood 2011:

Upcoming Program Deadlines

Manitoba producers who want to apply for flood assistance programs should note these upcoming deadlines: Shoal Lakes Agriculture Flooding Assistance Program Deadline: March 15, 2012 Manitoba Transportation Assistance Program Deadline: March 31, 2012 Manitoba Forage Shortfall Assistance Program Deadline: March 31, 2012 For more information and to apply, visit www.masc.mb.ca.


28 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2012

Sweetland Super Six Salers Presents our Leading Canadian Salers genetics at: Ag Days Bull Congress, MB Bull Test Station, Lundar Bull Sale (April 21) and on the farm. Salers offer: • Calving ease & vigorous newborns • Healthy cowherds/healthy calves • Excellent reproductive performance • Longevity/ Disposition/ Heterosis • Pasture Management advantages • Less work, more profit in cow/calf units • Strong feedlot gains/ opt.carcass wts • High yields and optimal marbling • Top gaining breed aross all breeds on test at Douglas in past 3 years Our Program offers: • Assistance with selections • Performance information, BW WW, YW • EPD’s available on the complete herd • Breeding Soundness evaluations • Betamannosidosis free herd status • Genetics from both AI sires and top “walking” bulls • The top Canadian Salers genetics for growth traits ie. the top 3 bulls and 38 of the top 50 cows are SLS seedstock. (see www.salerscanada.com) Our goal is to provide genetics to make your herd more profitable!

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

| VOL.14 NO.3 MAY 2012

BEEF AND DAIRY PRODUCERS SHARE VIEW ON TB LAUREN STONE, MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS AND CHERYL SCHROEDER, DAIRY FARMERS OF MANITOBA

The issue of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) is at a crossroads. Successive budget cuts and the wider economic climate over the past few years have affected the financial support not only for beef producers, but also for other livestock producers in Manitoba.

tion due to animals being quarantined. Producers in long-term quarantine are suffering losses, and neither beef nor dairy producers receive any compensation for quarantined animals. We

component of Manitoba’s rural economy. The cattle producers in the RMEA must be provided the necessary support for costs associated with the mandatory testing. Manitoba Beef Pro-

RMEA. MBP and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) continue to participate on an all-stakeholder TB Task Force. There have been years of discussion about

In the RMEA, the impacts of TB and testing have been devastating and widespread. are all aware that budget cutbacks need to be made based on the recently announced 2012 provincial budget. However, we must recognize that the livestock industry is one of the key wealth-generating activities we possess as a province. Manitoba’s beef and dairy producers are a critical

ducers (MBP) is continuing to offer $1 per head towards producers’ mustering costs; however, the cost of mandatory testing is $14 per head. The federal and provincial agriculture departments must provide compensation to cover the cost of mandatory TB tests for all beef and dairy producers in the

the issue, but Manitoba is still waiting for the implementation of an eradication strategy. There are well-meaning people involved in this issue from all levels of government and within the cattle sectors. However, the jurisdictional differences between the four different departments

RMEA. This would provide a “point of contact” between the various government jurisdictions that are all responsible for parts of the TB issue, thus improving communication flow between government, stakeholders, and producers. Producers and governments in other jurisdictions that have dealt with the issue of TB have developed creative ways to put an elimination plan into action. In Manitoba, we have the opportunity to work together, effectively and quickly, to use our broad goals to build unity, and collaboratively implement a TB eradication strategy so that beef producers, dairy producers, and all other stakeholders affected by the ongoing and two levels of govern- presence of TB can know ment that are involved have that the issue is resolved. made it difficult for a unified strategy to emerge from the process. MBP and DFM agree that a fresh approach is needed. While we continue with our struggles to implement a TB eradication strategy and wait for an action plan to move through various individuals and levels of government, MBP has been actively lobbying the provincial and federal governments to hire a TB Coordinator—an initiative that has been supported by DFM. The TB Coordinator is to be appointed to oversee and coordinate the activities of all federal and provincial departments involved in the TB eradication efforts in the POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

In the RMEA, the impacts of TB and testing have been devastating and widespread. As we know, producers have been struggling with the presence of TB in livestock and wildlife for over 20 years, and although there has been some action taken to contain and manage the disease within the park, the disease has not been eradicated and producers continue to bear the burden of the mandatory testing regime. What does this mean for beef producers in Manitoba? Manitoba beef producers are losing up to $6 million to $7 million annually, up to $35 per head, due to discounts on certain classes of female animals that must be tested for TB before crossing the U.S. border. In the past two years, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has indicated that there has been a loss of 4,171 head and 43 producers in the RMEA. This number is four times greater than the provincial and national average of the disappearances of beef cattle and producers. How has the mandatory testing regime affected Manitoba’s dairy producers? There are five dairy farms in the RMEA. The concern is about how many cows the CFIA will take each testing season, as this affects total production. Beef and dairy producers continue to bear the costs of the loss of produc-


2

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP

PROGRESS, DON’T PROCRASTINATE RAY ARMBRUSTER

Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride

At this time of year, we think about renewal, maintenance and management, and all of the things we want to accomplish during this new season. I would like to touch on a number of issues that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been continually urging governments to manage and resolve. These are the issues we need to see immediate movement on. Flooding is the key issue. We have seen the federal and provincial budgets but we have not seen the necessary ongoing supports in those budgets to resolve some of the critical flood and water issues we have faced. When it comes to Lake Manitoba, our view is that many of the producers in that area are as bad off as they were last year. There is very little infrastructure to maintain livestock and poor capacity on the land to grow anything. Many producers will need to move their cattle out of the region soon in order to feed them. MBP recognized this as late as last year and we lobbied both levels of government to continue programming for the transportation of feed and livestock. While we have not seen commitments to date, MBP will continue to fight for the programming necessary to allow producers to preserve their herds.

Governments have an obligation to help these producers because they were sacrificed for the good of society to take on excess water. Society and governments need to step up to help these producers get back on their feet. They need a commitment from both levels of government so they will know what is going to happen to them. There are also areas— around the Shoal Lakes and Lake Winnipeg, for example—where excess drained water flowed from other regions and ended up on agricultural land. The Assiniboine Valley presents another example where producers have been facing the uncertainty of not being able to use their pasture and crop land, and they have to deal with the loss of infrastructure such as fences. They could be in the middle of summer, and all of a sudden, the situation changes due to water coming through. This has been an ongoing issue year after year. Extensive drainage and new water agreements such

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

CATTLE COUNTRY the voice of Manitoba’s Beef Industry

Published eight times per year: February, March, May, June, September, October, November, December

For advertising rates, deadlines and editorial queries, please contact:

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NEXT ISSUE: June 2012

as the Fishing Lake Outlet, which Manitoba agreed to take on with Saskatchewan, are other concerns. Moving ahead on these types of initiatives has happened with-

compensation for production values. MBP has been calling for action on Crown lands and informed access, but there has been no commit-

plan and commitment to resolve this issue. Industry and governments have been talking about traceability, the virtues of it as well as the need to move

All of these issues, from region to region, erode the capacity of producers to cope and continue operations in some instances. out any support or recognition for producers’ losses. This is becoming a consistent practice, and producers have not been treated fairly and equitably. Herd protection is an issue that has not been adequately addressed and this is having a huge impact across the province. Producers are qualifying for compensation on perhaps one out of four animals that they have lost to predators. When it comes down to it, producers would have to live with their livestock to mitigate losses or find remains to qualify for compensation. That is totally unrealistic. Governments have the responsibility to remove problem animals. This is an animal welfare issue for wildlife and livestock because we have a lot of wildlife in areas that cannot sustain their numbers, and we also have stress on livestock herds as well as injured cattle. Our position is that we need a herd protection program that is effective for removing problem predators with 100 per cent

ment from the provincial or federal governments. Producers are paying fees to graze their cattle on this land and they have the right to expect reasonable certainty about the safety and well-being of their animals. It is not unreasonable to ask other people to request permission to go onto the land that our animals inhabit. And it is not unreasonable for producers to protect cattle from safety threats, biosecurity breaches or theft. The issue of bovine tuberculosis (TB) and the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) is an absolute case of chronic management by both levels of government. We have a reportable and infectious disease and no commitment by governments to resolve this issue and eradicate TB. Eradication was promised when the RMEA was created. Livestock and wildlife are not being protected and they are under the continuous stress of TB testing. The federal and provincial governments need a strategic

quickly and effectively in order to reduce the impacts of foreign animal disease on livestock and economics. It is hard to believe that the same people who are talking about that have allowed the TB situation to continue. MBP has a vision for cattle price insurance and we have repeatedly brought this issue to the federal and provincial governments. Price insurance is one of the newer tools in business risk management and industry recommends it for our sector. It would be accessible to all, and it is something that could be tied to the livestock cash advance. Price insurance could help us remain competitive with Alberta and other agricultural industries. There is hope that livestock price insurance will be part of Growing Forward II, but to date we have not seen concrete action towards the rollout of a program for producers. As I list these issues, a common theme emerges. It appears as though governments want to continue treating these as “ongoing

issues.” All of these issues, from region to region, erode the capacity of producers to cope and continue operations in some instances. They also erode the fabric of the sustainability of our rural communities. The situation is that governments have let these issues continue over time without maintenance, until more uncertainty results. We are facing many new issues now, such as building a Lake Manitoba outlet and the future of Community Pastures. That is why governments need to take on issues and problems and resolve them now—not wait until they become more contentious. Regarding Community Pastures, MBP will be working on developing a plan to transition away from Government of Canada management of Community Pastures, following the announcement in the recent federal budget. We will be consulting with the pasture patrons, pasture staff and governments on a path forward that will ensure these lands stay open for use by beef producers. In closing, for many of us, the spring has been favourable for renewal and calving. I hope we all can have the opportunity to have some positive outcomes this season. As MBP president, I want you to know that I will continue to advocate for policy and changes that will benefit your operations and I will push for answers from governments on the significant issues that affect us all.

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

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

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

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 Shell River, Shell Mouth, R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert The Pas Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

MAC MCRAE - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 10 R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood. THERESA ZUK - TREASURER R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, R.M. of Fisher, DISTRICT 7 Armstrong RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT DISTRICT 11 R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, CARON CLARKE Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 4

GLEN CAMPBELL

DISTRICT 3

BRAD MCDONALD

HEINZ REIMER

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

DISTRICT 8

R.M. of Harrison, Clan William, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Landgford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

KIM CRANDALL - SECRETARY

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3

Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

DISTRICT 14

STAN FOSTER

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Kristen Lucyshyn

FINANCE-Book keeper Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Melody Rogan

POLICY ANALYST Lauren Stone

MANITOBA CATTLE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION


May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE

FOCUSING ON ANIMAL WELFARE CAM DAHL

To open this edition of Cattle Country, I have the sad task of saying “farewell” to one of Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) staff members. MBP’s Field Rep Tara Fulton has taken a new position close to home that will give her more time with her family and community. I know that Tara will continue to be involved with MBP, but as a beef producer and member. Tara, the board and staff wish you all the best going forward. This edition of Cattle Country looks at “maximizing productivity.” Most often, people think of things like weaning weights or rate of gain when the word “productivity” is mentioned. But maximizing productivity also means making the right financial decisions for your operation, creating mineral balance for cattle health, managing your land and water, and avoiding unnecessary costs. I hope that the articles presented in this issue are thought provoking. There are a number of policy issues to touch on, including a review of the recent provincial budget,

portray our producers as Similarly, the Canadi- ers in their daily lives and heartless exploiters of their an Food Inspection Agen- they are finding new ways animals. But that is simply cy (CFIA) has launched a to get their messages across not the case. All of the farmreview of the regulations via YouTube videos and ers I know care very deeply for the transport of ani- other social media such as about the welfare of the livemals. In other words, it is a Facebook. If we want urban stock under their care. Prolook into what regulations Canada to pay more attenducers go to extraordinary need to be in place to en- tion to our message, we measures, sometimes at sigsure animals arrive at their need to tell our stories and nificant personal sacrifice, destination healthy. not just leave the playing to protect the health of their These processes should field to the activists. animals. be viewed as an opportuniEngaging the public Activists do have it ty for, not an impediment in this conversation is one wrong, but that is not a reato, our industry. If NFACC of the key reasons why son to dismiss, out of hand, and CFIA do their jobs, MBP is proud to be part of concerns from civil society. beef producers will have a the effort to bring Dr. Consumers in Canada and clear way of proving to so- Temple Grandin to Manithroughout our key interciety what we already toba this month. Dr. Grannational markets are deknow—we care about the din brings a wealth of manding to know more welfare of our animals. knowledge and experience about their food. Where It is critical that our to her discussion of animal does that steak come from? industry is open to conver- handling, transport, aniWho produced it? How was sations with the public on mal environment and fait raised? MBP says farewell to Field Rep Tara Fulton animal welfare issues. Few cility design. She is one of Governments are repeople understand the the most celebrated and efsponding to these ques- of care under which our Farm Animal Care Coun- measures farmers take to fective animal advocates tions. After all, the people animals are raised. Our cil (NFACC) is in the pro- protect the well-being of in the world. success at accomplishing cess of revising the code of their animals. When votDr. Grandin is also an this goal will determine if practice for beef produc- ers don’t understand agri- active consultant to the the words “animal wel- tion. NFACC includes rep- culture, the people they livestock industry. Her fare” will be a nemesis that resentatives from producer elect don’t understand ag- work demonstrates that drags down our industry, groups (e.g., Canadian Cat- riculture issues. Politicians animal welfare is not an or an opportunity to dif- tlemen’s Association), the who don’t understand will “us versus them” issue. ferentiate Canadian prod- federal government, pro- pass legislation and regu- Going forward on this baucts in world markets and vincial governments, and lations that target agricul- sis will benefit everyone in enhance our bottom lines. civil society through the ture instead of recognizing the livestock sector. Read Beef producers in humane society. This new that producers are soci- the article “Dr. Temple Manitoba are going to be code of practice will likely ety’s partners in welfare Grandin to Speak to Proasking are the same ones hearing a lot more about be open for public discus- protection. ducers and Public” on page who elect politicians to of- animal welfare issues in the sion by the end of this sumAnimal rights groups 9 for more on Dr. Temple fice. If we, agricultural coming year. The National mer or early fall. actively approach consum- Grandin. producers, don’t answer these questions, the only people left to provide information are the activists. Governments are not the only ones who are paying attention to the question “where does my food come from?” Our customers are paying attention as Neepawa Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB well. Large purchasers like McDonald’s and Walmart Saturday, July 28th, 2012 are developing contracts THANK-YOU TO ALL THE Show: 1:00 pm, supper to follow that specify how the meat 2012 BULL BUYERS WHO they sell must be proNo halter classes - Commercial/ duced. Our customers are SUPPORTED MANITOBA ANGUS Purebred Pens/Junior Show not developing these codes BULL SALES THIS SPRING! because it makes them feel CALCUTTA good, they are taking these steps in response to conFor details go to www.mbangus.ca MB Angus t’s sumer demand. n Hos Everyone is welcome to view MB Angus cattle Producers should take Associasttio Day this trend seriously. We the 1 Field w August 3 - 5 is MB Youth Beef Roundup need to tell our story to urho S n e P & ban Canadians, who are Neepawa, MB mostly divorced from the realities of where their food comes from. Producers need to make a much TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS greater effort to demonCheck out our website: www.mbangus.ca strate the high standards

Producers need to make a much greater effort to demonstrate the high standards of care under which our animals are raised. which you will find in this edition. I also want to take time to open a discussion on animal welfare issues. It is critical that beef producers be heard on this issue because there is currently a new code of practice being developed. Animal welfare. These two words often evoke a strong response from livestock producers across the country, who feel that their way of life is under siege by those who don’t understand them and don’t grasp what they do for society. One just has to look at a few headlines to understand why farmers might feel this way. Animal rights groups are focused on agriculture and they are calling on the public to support their efforts. Often, our response has been to be dismissive of the concerns raised. But animal agriculture needs to take a step back from the traditional defensive responses to these issues. Activist groups like to

Manitoba Angus Association Field Day & Pen Show

Come out and view the MB Angus cattle on display & competitions!

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION


4

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP A SENSE OF WONDER

BRENDA SCHOEPP

For me, it was yet another packed plane and one of many this spring, but for the little girl across the aisle, this was her first flight. As the plane lifted, she sang out – “Oh…. look…! We can fly!” This sense of wonder charmed and captivated the entire group of passengers, and it is this awe that we need to feel again in the beef industry. faces of the future of the industry.” He went on to remind the CYL graduates that Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream” and that he did not say, “I have a goal.” Most certainly, the panel mirrored Bilow’s sentiment. Scott Wright, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada director, went further to add that one must “do what you do to make a difference and be passionate about it” despite the huge challenge in the industry of connecting the dots between the players and the lack of industry recognition. Sandy Russell of Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting agreed, noting that while things are not perfect, that in itself is a road to bet-

terment: “We have a lot of inefficiencies in our business and opportunities to build on that.” Martin Unrau, newly elected president of the CCA, knows how much work building a beef business, growing it and serving it can be. Good years or bad, he remains realistically optimistic and offered sage advice to those entering the industry. He said it was important to dig deeper into the business you are in and to be on all sides of it while willing to take some risk. Like most cattlemen, he has seen that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and he urged the young leaders to never quit.

TARA FULTON PHOTO

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program (CYL) was the idea of a young Alberta woman, Jill Harvie, and has been administered through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and supported through industry sponsorship. The core of the program is mentorship. At the recent graduation for the CYL in Saskatoon, members of an industry panel summed up their experiences and passion for the beef industry, despite years in the business. Jeff Bilow, Market Strategy Manager for United Farmers of Alberta, captured the essence of opportunity for leadership when he passionately exclaimed to the group, “I hear the voices and see the

That being said, the rebuilding of the beef industry remains a huge challenge as we look to the future. Unrau was candid: “I think in the next five years, we are going to see our industry move forward. We need to get our

exist; perhaps what is missing is the will to do it.” A lack of willingness, perhaps born of apathy or lack of communication, has been historically known to manifest itself in the beef industry. It is up to the movers and shakers to take

to the beef industry. Collectively, the industry panel at this very special event reflected positive thinking and offered sound solutions to the future leaders in the cattle business while travelling well into the future. It is by

I think in the next five years, we are going to see our industry move forward. – Martin Unrau, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president numbers up, deal with infrastructure, extra feedlot space and the threat of losing a packer.” When it comes to broader issues such as climate change, Wright pondered the ability of the producer to adapt to the new variables. But for John McKinnon, Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair, it came down to facing production inefficiencies. “We are still declining in numbers, with an 80 to 85 per cent calf crop and a lack of management structure to bring that up. It is amazing how many producers do not know their cost of production.” He also reminded the young leaders not to skip the basics, such as feed testing. “The capabilities

responsibility for that and to attract new entrants. Unrau believes that innovation will attract new farmers, but it is a great attitude that keeps them there. And to fully appreciate our place in the industry, we need to see the bigger picture. “We are not about Canada anymore – we are about a global market for protein.” At the same time, meeting the needs of society while ensuring domestic supply all play into the complexity of the beef business. While the solutions are many sided, we have a choice. McKinnon reflected that during his life, his core values and beliefs sustained him and allowed him to make choices freely that were of benefit

choice that the beef industry will sear its brand and make its mark on the global platform, and it is through the youth of this day, such as the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders, that this will happen. Bilow, never losing his sense of wonder, sums it up. “We will differentiate into something the world has never seen before!” Oh… look… we can fly! Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of BEEFLINKTM, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alta. Contact her at brenda. schoepp@cciwireless.ca


May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

MINERAL BALANCE IMPORTANT TO CATTLE HEALTH

ANGELA LOVELL

In fact, half of 30 common nutritional diseases in beef cattle are related to mineral deficiencies, so it is important to know the mineral content in feeds and water consumed by cattle. Minerals and vitamins are a very important part of the overall nutritional program for beef cattle, as they are vital to bone development, immune function, muscle contractions, and nervous system function of the cattle. If cattle do not receive an adequate supply of the correct minerals, their growth and reproductive performance can be adversely affected. Cattle need at least 17 different minerals in their diets, says Dr. Juanita Kopp, a beef specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. Macro-minerals are major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chlorine and sulphur, which beef cattle require in larger amounts. Micro-minerals are trace minerals such as chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and zinc, which are generally required in much smaller amounts. Nutrient requirements of different mineral elements will vary, depending on many factors such as the animals’ age, weight, stress, breed and stage of production. “A lactating beef cow, for example, requires 0.3 per cent of her daily feed to contain calcium and her daily requirement for copper is 0.001 per cent of her daily feed,” says Kopp. “This means that if she consumes 36 lbs. of feed per day, 0.11 lbs. (1.8 oz.) should be calcium and 0.00036 lbs. (0.06 oz.) should be copper.” Some minerals are also more easily available to the cattle through their diets than are others,

which may mean that mineral supplementation will be necessary at times to ensure that they are receiving optimum nutritional requirements. Trace minerals are given as supplements or are included in trace-mineralized salts. Feed rates will vary depending on the formulation, but are generally around 2 to 3 oz. per head per day, although this can vary according to geographic area and mineral content in soils and water, so feed testing is always recommended. Assessing whether there is a deficiency of macro- or micro-minerals requires an analysis of feed and water samples, as well as of the herd, including blood and animal tissue evaluations from several animals. Management is often as important as testing to help address mineral deficiency problems in soils and animal diets. Chelated mineral supplements are also available, which bond metal elements to organic or inorganic compounds, which can sometimes make the mineral more biologically available to the cattle. These supplements tend to be

TARA FULTON PHOTO

White muscle disease and grass tetany are just two of the many ailments that can afflict beef cattle if their diet is lacking in certain minerals.

als by free-choice. Although free-choice is the easiest and probably most widespread method of providing mineral supplementation, cattle will not always consume what they need, choosing instead to eat what they like best. Intake will be dependent on factors such as

Some producers mix salt with mineral supplements to encourage consumption and prevent excessive intake, but care should be taken in areas where there is high sodium content in feed or water. “If water is high in sodium, usually cattle will not consume salt and min-

Management is often as important as testing to help address mineral deficiency problems in soils and animal diets. more expensive, so may be an option in special cases; for example, where there is difficulty in making minerals available due to high amounts of sulphates or molybdenum interfering with mineral absorption by the cattle, or during periods of high stress. Mineral intake is variable, and especially so when cattle are fed miner-

palatability and mineral content of the supplement, water quality and hardness, and the type of feed the cattle are receiving. When feeding dry hay or silage, voluntary intake of minerals generally drops. Hard water (which has total dissolved solids greater than 2,000 mg/l) will usually also lower mineral intake.

eral mixed together,” says Kopp. “When cattle don’t eat salt, it’s usually for this reason. Where the water supply is salty, to encourage mineral intake, producers could mix their minerals with something sweet, like beet pulp; or ask their local feed plant what options they have for this scenario.” Salt intake should normally be

around 45 to 60 g (1.5 to 2 oz.) per day. It is better to put the mineral into a complete feed, or mix it into the grain or concentrate portion of the diet. However, if you only feed forages, then minerals should be supplied in mineral selffeeders and can be mixed with a small amount of grain or pellets (around 3 to 4 lbs. per head a day). As a guideline, 2 to 3 oz. of mineral per head per day should be fed, which costs around nine cents per head per day (at 2011 prices). It is a small price to pay to ensure that cows remain healthy and productive, especially for bred or lactating cows that are more at risk for reproductive problems if minerals like iodine, zinc and copper are deficient in their diets. What type of mineral to use will depend on what the cattle are being fed. “As a general guideline, if cows are feeding on alfalfa grass hay or are grazing pastures

that contain legumes, a 1:1 calcium to phosphorous mineral ratio is good,” says Kopp. “If the diet is based on straw and grain, greenfeed, cereal silage or native hay, a 2:1 mineral ratio is recommended.” Cereal greenfeed and cereal silage can sometimes contain high levels of sodium, which will reduce salt intake, and canola hay or silage contains high levels of sulphur, which interferes with copper absorption. Producers should check the trace mineral levels on the mineral supplement label, which should be as follows: zinc 6,000 mg/kg and up; copper - 3,000 mg/kg and up; selenium - 30 mg/kg; and manganese - 8,000 mg/kg. These are general guidelines only, and in some areas, which may have a deficiency in certain trace minerals, producers may need to use a formulated mineral package to suit their needs.


6

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

VET CORNER

HOUSEKEEPING 101 FOR COW-CALF PRODUCTION

DR. TANYA ANDERSON

Equipment maintenance is as important for cattle production as it is in other agricultural fields and various industries. Good farm production practices ensure animal, operator and consumer health and safety. When I ask clients how calving season has been going, I often hear comments similar to, “Well… I’m done, but the cows aren’t.” By the end of calving season (or calf processing or weaning day), everyone is tired and tempted to just toss the equipment and supplies back into the corner of the barn, shop, garage, basement or wherever stuff not needed for a while accumulates. This month, I am going to talk about Housekeeping 101 for cow-calf production. In a previous article, I discussed biosecurity and how to minimize transmission of disease amongst young calves. A prime example is the sharing of esophageal feeder tubes and nurser bottles. These supplies should be washed after each use in hot, soapy water using a bristle brush to remove the fat residue from colostrum and milk. Rinse well with a mild bleach solution or commercial disinfectant effective against viral agents (ask your veterinarian about Virkon). Similarly, regularly clean your blender or mixing

tools so that the milk doesn’t become rancid and bacterial growth rampant. Regularly inspect tube feeders and nipples for signs of wear. I commonly hear stories of tubes breaking off when feeding calves, particularly if they struggle. A small piece may not cause a problem, but a large piece might mean a trip to the vet clinic for surgical removal! The old rule (change needles every 10 animals) doesn’t apply if the 10 animals don’t get needled in the same hour. Drug residue in needles and syringes can cause chemical reactions with the metal, plastic and rubber plungers. Medications often settle out or thicken, causing needle plugs and dulling, as well as “gumming” up the syringe. Toss disposable syringes at the end of the day or when dirty. Change needles regularly throughout the day, especially if treating sick animals. Use the appropriate size and length of needle for the job: 16g for thicker medications and larger cattle, 18g for thinner products and smaller cat-

tle, ¾ in. for subcutaneous injections and 1 in. or 1 ½ in. for intramuscular injections in calves and mature cattle, respectively. Reserve multi-dose syringes for processing large numbers of animals or, if you must use throughout the day for regular treatments, clean them daily. Dedicate

multi-dose syringes to individual products – antibiotics, modified-live vaccines and bacterins (killed vaccines). Mixing product types will inactivate modified-live vaccines. Vaccine inactivation can also occur if soap and other disinfectants are used to clean the syringes. Clean syringes dedicated to

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vaccines with hot water only and rinse thoroughly. When reassembling, use a lubricant approved by the manufacturer and check for worn parts. Worn and improperly fitted parts will affect dose accuracy. 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). Be sure to buy only enough product required for the season and check expiry dates. Though larger sizes are more economical, smaller bottles are used up more quickly and are less likely to be inadvertently contaminated. Store medications according to the label – fridge/shelf, out of light, etc. Keep partially used bottles in their original packaging or store in a covered container to minimize contamination. Never stick

drink types) and deliver to your local veterinarian for disposal through a waste contractor. A final note on drug handling: What if cattle haven’t been the only thing you’ve been injecting? Selfinflicted needle sticks can be serious. Be sure to restrain cattle properly with a neck extender and squeeze before injection and consider using Needle-Eze extensions or Slap-Shots to avoid injury to your hand or syringe. Never put loaded syringes in your pockets, even if the needle is capped. Know what products you are using, or better yet, have the packaging available so that if you accidently vaccinate or medicate yourself, you can quickly and accurately inform medical staff as required. I don’t know if it is coincidental or not, but the number one vaccine that

Know what products you are using, or better yet, have the packaging available so that if you accidently vaccinate or medicate yourself, you can quickly and accurately inform medical staff as required. a used needle into a bottle – always use a new needle or a dedicated draw needle. Toss any partially used bottles at the end of the season, as well as those that are expired. How do you dispose of them? Take chemical insecticide products to hazardous waste depots and add other liquid products to absorbent material (like cat litter) in a garbage bag, then seal and send with regular trash. Avoid pouring any medical products down drains or flushing down toilets so that the municipal water supply does not become contaminated. Pills should be placed in a Ziploc bag with water added and sealed prior to regular trash disposal. Collect used needles in a commercial sharps container or a thick plastic bottle (Javex bottle, not soft

hospitals have called me about has been a blackleg product. This is likely due to inadequate calf restraint (many are just jammed in the chute and blindly vaccinated) and the fact that blackleg vaccine is REALLY irritating to human tissue, not to mention the trauma of a 16g needle. Fortunately, you won’t die following accidental blackleg vaccination, but with other products like tranquilizers or Micotil, you may not be so lucky, especially if you are working alone. Wash the area well with a disinfectant soap and contact your local emergency department for advice. Better yet, take your time, restrain adequately and practice good needle handling to remain injection-free during processing this season.


May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

MANAGEMENT AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE TERRY BETKER

When you’re a rancher, or farmer, it doesn’t take very long to slip into financial difficulty. Management decisions—especially around capital purchases and debt—can contribute to financial challenges, but the problems are often compounded by factors outside of a producer’s control, including low commodity prices, high interest rates and weather. Not to mention out-of-theblue incidents like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The financial impact of BSE on families and operations in Western Canada cannot be overstated. Cash flow (liquidity) for a lot of businesses has been razor thin or negative. Equity has taken a hit. But, acknowledging the effects of lingering weather and flood issues for a lot of producers, there is optimism in the industry. Prices are up, although profit margins may still be relatively narrow. When profit and cash flow are non-existent, any business will defer reinvestment until the situation improves. When things do begin to turn around, the question is what do I do first? Pay down debt? Re-establish forage stands? Replace worn out equipment? Herd management? Or what about something for the family? There is never any problem in finding places to spend some money. A caution is to try and not get caught up in the optimism. If your financial situation has improved significantly, use the available cash wisely. I’ve witnessed farms that have experienced some additional cash flow and have overspent on capital improvements, including leveraging the purchases and taking on additional debt only to end up in a potentially more precarious situation than what they were in before the “good times.” There are some financial indicators that you can monitor and use to help keep things on the right track.

Using Ratio Analysis to Monitor Your Financial Performance

seemingly inconsequential numbers more accessible and comprehensible. This may seem to be an overwhelming task, but fortunately, there are well-tested ratios out there that make the task a bit less daunting. And although ratios are very useful tools that you can use to analyze business performance, they

provides an indication of the “liquid” assets available to meet the next 12 months of financial commitments (the current liabilities). This ratio is closely associated with cash flow. The optimum current ratio is a ratio of 2:1, or better, which indicates that the farm would have $2 of current assets for ev-

margin at 50 per cent or better will certainly help a ranch or farm maintain longer-term viability. The ratios are complementary, providing insight into different and related areas of financial performance and bridging the balance sheet and income statement. Sub-par performance in any one of the ratios will

factors current liabilities, which include annual term debt repayment commitments—a tie to debt servicing. A too aggressive commitment to term debt repayment can negatively affect the current ratio, and therefore, liquidity. Debt servicing is related to net or earned income. It looks at the farm’s earned

You must be able to read between the lines of your financial statements and make the seemingly inconsequential numbers more accessible and comprehensible. also come with some pros and cons. The good news is that ratios can be quantified with a high degree of confidence. They can be compared year over year to measure progress, being most meaningful when comparing the current year’s financial measures with the same measures from earlier years. The bad news is a ratio is only as good as the information used to prepare it. Since each ratio tells us a little about the farm’s financial story, it’s important that they be analyzed collectively because some ratios can be counterintuitive. Ratios can be grouped to provide a bit more information on a farm’s performance, which I liken to reading three or four chapters of a book as opposed to reading the whole story.

Current Ratio, Debt Servicing Ratio, Contribution Margin Ratio

There is no certainty in ranching or farming and the same can be said for using historical ratio analysis to draw conclusions on a farm’s future viability. Having said that, grouping these three ratios, monitoring their year-over-year performance, and making management adjustments to keep them within industry standards can provide valuable insight into a farm’s longer term financial performance. Let’s start with a review.

ery $1 of current liabilities. negatively affect the others A current ratio of 1.5:1 and and typically result in greater is considered to be management challenges. a strong current ratio. The current ratio is associated with cash flow— Debt Servicing Ratio hugely important in today’s The debt servicing ra- agriculture industry. It also tio provides an indication of the ability of the farm to repay its term debt. The calculation of the ratio involves determining the amount of earned cash available for debt repayment for a year, and then dividing that number by the total interest and principal payments in that year. A 2:1 ratio reveals that for every $1 of annual debt (principal and interest) payments, the operation expects to have $2 available. The ideal ratio may vary depending on the type of operation. For grain, mixed or cow-calf operations, a 1.5:1 ratio and better is generally adequate.

Contribution Margin and Contribution Margin Ratio

The contribution margin is calculated by subtracting production expenses (fertilizer, seed, chemical, production insurance, feed, vet and medicine) and operating expenses (fuel, repairs, custom work, direct labour) from the gross, accrued revenue. The ratio is calculated by dividing the contribution margin by gross revenue. The contribution margin ratio should be greater than or equal to 50 per cent.

Successful operations know the importance of continuously evaluating their business performance. But to truly complete a thorough examination of your operation’s effectiveness, you need to look at more than just numbers like sales, profits, Current Ratio Summary and total assets. You must The current ratio is calKeeping a current rabe able to read between the culated by dividing the cur- tio at 1.5:1 or better, a debt lines of your financial rent assets by the current li- servicing ratio at 1.5:1 or statements and make the abilities. The current ratio better, and a contribution

ability to make debt payments. In terms of earnings, the contribution margin reveals how efficient a farm is at getting a return on the direct or variable costs incurred. The ratio can be im-

proved by reducing costs, increasing yield and/or prices. After accounting for the variable costs, there are still the fixed costs to account for before getting to earned, net income. However, poor performance at the contribution margin level almost always translates to less than desirable net income. Not many producers are able to report satisfactory net income (and therefore, a good debt servicing ratio) when starting from a contribution margin that is below 50 per cent year in/year out. Terry Betker is a farm management consultant based in Winnipeg, Man. He can be reached at 204-782-8200 or terry.betker@backswath.com.


8

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

DIRECTOR PROFILE

CARON CLARKE, DISTRICT 11 MBP STAFF

For District 11 Director Caron Clarke, raising beef cattle is far more than a career choice, it’s a lifestyle choice. “I love the freedom to make decisions on my own, I love working outside, the change of seasons and the change of workload that the seasons bring,” says Clarke. She also really enjoys working with cattle. “It’s partly that I’m familiar with them and comfortable because I grew up with it. Some things just seem obvious to me about how cows think and react.” Clarke is a third-generation beef producer, but she didn’t always know that she would return to live and work on the farm where she was raised. “When I left high school, I left Ashern, and I didn’t have any sense that I wanted to come back to the farm,” she says. “I attended university, went into science and then agriculture, and met my husband while we were still in school.” After getting married and living in Dauphin, Moose Jaw and then Winnipeg for a few years, Caron and her husband Tim, who works as a Forage and Pasture Specialist with Mani-

it from my parents in 1992; later, dad retired and I farmed with my uncle,” says Clarke. Her father and uncle farmed together as Townsend Bros. using their T-Bar brand from the mid-1950s to 1992, when Clarke’s mom and dad moved into Ashern. Following the change, they started to call their outfit the T-Bar Ranch, which is located between Camper and Ashern. The name recognizes the brand Clarke’s grandfather established when he moved to Manitoba in 1950. Clarke says around TBar Ranch much of the land is only good for pasture or hay. On the ranch, they raise mostly horned Hereford cattle that they breed with Black Angus. In the past, they also had purebred Angus cattle. Clarke attended her first Manitoba Beef Produc-

has some encouraging advice for young producers: “You have to get out there and enjoy the lifestyle and the outdoors and make a point of enjoying nature. There are days when everything goes wrong but you have to take a breath and look around and say, ‘We are so lucky to be doing what we are doing.’” With her children grown up and out of the house, Clarke says her plans for her operation do not include increasing her workload, but rather making more time for family and enjoying life. Clarke and her husband have three children: Joel, 25, a member of the District 11 Director Caron Clarke Royal Canadian Air Force at 17 Wing in Winnipeg; tors. I got involved after on their behalf,” she says. Amanda, 23, who is a Art Jonasson contacted me When it comes to is- nurse (BN) in Brandon; about the director role and sues she is most passionate and Jeff, 21, who is also a how it may be something about, flooding tops the I’d be interested in doing. list. Clarke and many proThat was just before he ducers she knows have been touched by the flooding in 2011. She has been active on Lake Manitoba flooding and she sits on the Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee, which represents 11 municipalities and First Nations surrounding Lake Manitoba, and the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Regucompleted his term.” lation Review Committee. Clarke was elected to She also enjoys learning the board in January 2011. about animal health issues. One thing that she wants At this time of year, all beef producers to know Clarke is busy calving cows, is that check-off dollars but she says after that, she help MBP and the Canadi- will be working on re-estaban Cattlemen’s Association lishing flooded forages. (our national organization) “Our land that is floodlobby for better market ac- ed is on Dog Lake, one cess, and this benefits all whole quarter, and half of member of the Royal Caproducers financially. another quarter,” she says. nadian Air Force at 17 “I want them to know “Trying to get that land Wing. they get a bang for their back into workable shape is Clarke says people buck from the check-off going to keep us very busy.” who live in urban commuand that there is real value Despite facing flooding nities should know that in the work MBP is doing challenges on her ranch, she though producers do enjoy

a great lifestyle, they are working hard to feed cities and they take pride in what they do—including ensuring good animal husbandry and production of high-quality products. She reminds beef producers in her district and beyond that they are invited to get involved with MBP, and she encourages them to get active in any way they can. “MBP represents all producers and you need to have everyone involved in order to bring forward all of the issues. The best way for someone to get involved is to come to a district meeting or the annual meeting in February.” To learn more about the upcoming MBP district meetings and annual meeting, or to reach Caron Clarke, District 11 Direc-

“MBP represents all producers and you need to have everyone involved in order to bring forward all of the issues.” – Caron Clarke, District 11 Director toba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, found themselves regularly travelling to the farm to help out. One day, her parents and her uncle asked if Clarke and her husband would be interested in buying into the farm. “We ended up moving to the farm and we bought

ers (MBP) district meeting about 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until her former District 11 Director approached her that she decided to get involved on the board level. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for MBP as well as the directors in the area,” says Clarke. “We’ve had some excellent direc-

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May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN TO SPEAK TO PRODUCERS AND PUBLIC MBP STAFF

One of the most celebrated animal advocates in the world who has worked to improve every segment of beef production in North America will be speaking in Brandon this month. Her name is Dr. Temple Grandin, and she will discuss the topic Animal Welfare: The Right Thing to Do. The group bringing her here includes stakeholders from the agriculture sector in Manitoba including livestock commodity associations, brokers, transporters, production facilities, as well as government. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and an animal welfare specialist. She works to reshape livestock handling systems and help the beef industry embrace animal welfare practices. Whether you are using equipment she designed or one of her lowstress livestock handling techniques, she has probably touched your operation in some way. Grandin is also worldrenowned as an inspiration to people with autism. In numerous interviews,

she has said that autism has allowed her to “see” things in a way that is similar to how animals think because her mind works very visually. And like animals, she is also highly sensitive to sensory stimulants. Her understanding of animals is in the results she has shown through her research and designs related to livestock handling. She is the designer of a centre track restrainer system for processing plants, which is used in about half of all cattle processing facilities in Canada and the U.S., and her curved chute systems are used worldwide. Grandin’s insight on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behaviour has helped producers reduce animal stress during handling. She also designed an objective scoring system for assessing handling and stunning of cattle at processing

Dr. Temple Grandin to speak in Manitoba this month

plants. Many large corporations use this system to improve animal care. During her career, she has received considerable recognition for her work to improve humane handling

of livestock, as well as a spot on Time Magazine’s list of “The 100 most influential people in the world.” Her life story was even featured in the HBO movie Temple Grandin, a winner

of seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. Almost 700 producers, agricultural stakeholders, and rural and urban consumers have signed up for the sold-out

June 1, 2012 August 31, 2012.

May 23 event to hear what this best-selling author and consultant to the livestock industry has to say about animal welfare. This means a lot because these people come from many different walks of life and they are interested in how animals are handled. They want to have an open discussion on how food is raised. We hope Dr. Grandin’s insight at this event will be a positive step to help partners in the value chain move our livestock sector forward on animal welfare. Animal Welfare: The Right Thing to Do is presented by the following sponsors (listed alphabetically): HyLife Ltd., Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Pork Council, Maple Leaf Foods, Quintaine Livestock, and Steve’s Livestock Transport.

FRIDAY lhurst@mbbeef.ca

January 1, 2012 lhurst@mbbeef.ca

Friday, June 1, 2012

lhurst@mbbeef.ca


10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

FORAGE LAND REMAINS AT A PREMIUM ANNE COTÉ

The flood of 2011 is the flood that simply keeps on giving. While most folks have packed up the sandbags and are enjoying a relatively dry and mild spring in 2012, last year’s flood continues to affect cattle producers around Lake Manitoba and in the Interlake. There are two small peninsulas projecting into the southern basin of Lake Manitoba at the narrows. Bill Finney’s farm is west of Asham Point, the smaller of the two. When the water levels on Lake Manitoba began rising in 2011, Finney and his brother Lyle had 450 cows on their farm, 1,500 acres of native pasture land, and 1,200 acres in tame hay and pasture. Finney said they sold at least two-thirds of their herd last fall because they knew they couldn’t feed them. “We got a pretty good price in December, and that helped,” he said. “We could have rented pasture, but decided not to.” Instead, Finney brought some feed in by freight and moved some cattle out. “We’re unclear about what the next few years will bring,” Finney noted. Native grass pastures can take up to five years to recover and tame grass pastures will take at least two. That is, if the fields dry up enough to get equipment onto them. Following the delivery of the budget on April 17, Finance Minister Stan Struthers stressed that the government will follow through on commitments it made for flood recovery in 2011. Finney said the $75 per acre for forage restoration provided in 2011 will at least cover fertilizer for the new tame hay crops. “This is all marginal land,” Finney said. That means it may make good pasture but it certainly won’t grow cash crops. The only cash crop the Finneys had was tame hay, and only if they had more than their herd needed. Finney said they’ve managed to survive by selling down the herd and

moving cattle. They’ve only kept heifers for breeding so they can rebuild their herd as the pastures recover. On the east side of Lake Manitoba near the Narrows, Caron Clarke said her concern is the viability of the native grass pastures. That’s the pasture the cows like best, she said. Clarke said they didn’t sell down their herd, although they did some strict culling of older cows. “We were able to rent pasture,” she explained. She

weed growing,” she added. The tame grass fields will take some time to restore as well, Clarke said. “The land here is lumpy and rocky,” she explained. “We can only use smaller-sized equipment on those fields.” According to Clarke, custom seeders are interested in running their equipment over that landscape so the smaller equipment is the only option to repair and reseed the damaged pastures. She said that takes time and fuel,

around the Fairford Dam, the likelihood of field flooding remains high every time there’s excess water flowing into Lake Manitoba from the west. Art and Jackie Jonasson are facing forage restoration headaches of their own on their farm on the east side of Lake Manitoba. Jackie said that 70 per cent of their 3,000 acres was damaged by flooding and although they had sufficient feed stockpiled to keep their cattle going through the

Stewart and Donna Tataryn were among the 65 producers in the Interlake who lost substantial tracts of land. Donna said they’d already lost over seven sections of pasture to flooding. After 40 years of farming, the couple said they didn’t know how they’d make a living if any more pasture land was lost. “The house can be replaced, but we’re talking about our living,” Donna said. Like Clarke, Hilstrom said proper drainage is the

Native grass pastures can take up to five years to recover and tame grass pastures will take at least two. That is, if the fields dry up enough to get equipment onto them. said they decided against moving cattle and weren’t forced to buy feed from other sources either. One of Clarke’s concerns is forage restoration. She said the landscape “looks like a war zone now.” According to Clarke, the native grass fields on her farm are just black with a light greyish coating. “There’s not even a

but it’s the only way she can see getting the job done – one field at a time. Clarke said the lake levels may be down on Lake Manitoba now, but it’s not likely that the province will stop diverting high amounts of water through the Portage Diversion when floods hit. This means that without more drainage work

Survey on Beef Cattle Code of Practice

Beef cattle owners and others with an interest in animal care and welfare have an opportunity to provide their input into the redevelopment of Canada’s Beef Cattle Code of Practice through an online survey. The National Farm Animal Care Council is conducting the survey to gain stakeholder insights on the Code of Practice, and views on the care and handling of beef cattle. Your participation is important. To complete this confidential 15-minute survey, go to www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle and click on survey. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458.

year, they’ll face more challenges this year. “It’s steady as she goes,” Jackie said. Over in the Interlake, producers have been battling flooded fields for almost a decade as the water levels on the three Shoal Lakes rise, according to area cattle producer Howard Hilstrom. In the spring of 2011, Hilstrom brought a group of area producers together and invited government officials to tour the area. Water levels in East Shoal Lake, West Shoal Lake and North Shoal Lake began rising about a decade ago, according to Hilstrom. Now, the three lakes are merging and have flooded between 90,000 and 100,000 acres of farmland and several connecting roads leading to higher land.

only way to protect forage land from flooding. Both producers blame poor drainage management by the province for the flooding of their pasture lands. “We’ve been lobbying since 2002 for a drain,” Hilstrom said. “Now the water has risen above the old shorelines. During that tour, Struthers, who was the agriculture minister at the time, pledged the same support for Shoal Lake area producers that he had promised for cattle producers and farmers in the Portage and Cartier municipalities, where farmland was about to be intentionally flooded by a controlled breach of the Assiniboine River dike at Hoop and Holler.

At the time, Struthers had no way of knowing just how much flooding would occur at the northern end of the Lake Manitoba South Basin when he told producers, “We are committed to getting cattle to feed and feed to cattle.” According to the latest figures from AgriRecovery, 280,000 acres of pasture and hayland were affected by flooding in 2011. Approximately 92,000 of those acres will require restoration measures. Producers near Lake Manitoba lost forage production on 82,200 acres and 52,800 will require restoration measures. In 2011, Steve Topping from Manitoba Water Stewardship indicated a drain to Lake Manitoba from the Shoal Lakes would reduce water levels on the Shoal Lakes, but it would take several years to implement and years longer to drain the thousands of acres of farmland now under water. Producers in the Shoal Lakes area said that draining their lakes into Lake Manitoba in 2011 would be counterproductive. It would only increase the flooding problems for cattle producers on the west side of that lake. One thing all producers agreed on was that the province had to develop a working drainage system to prevent pasture and field flooding in all areas of the province without sacrificing one to save the other.


May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

Retail beef prices and consumer demand drive the cattle markets. When exports do not develop as quickly as anticipated, the domestic consumer has a lot more power and influence than we realize. We often tend to underestimate the power of the consumer and how easily the media influences them. Facts and science are secondary. In some cases, just the perception of a product, fuelled by the media, can change the consumer demand for that product overnight. A prime example is the “pink slime” controversy in the U.S. The real name of this particular product, which is patented by Beef Products Inc. from South Dakota, is “lean finely textured beef” (LFTB). In Canada, we do not use this type of LFTB because products that contain LFTB treated with food grade ammonia are not allowed to be sold in or imported into Canada. LFTB is 100 per cent beef. Trimmings that are left over from the processing of steaks and roasts are heated in centrifuges to separate fat from the meat. The meat is then pressed through sieves smaller than the size of pencils, where it is exposed to food grade ammonia, which turns into ammonium hydroxide when in contact with the moisture present in the meat. This process kills any E. coli, salmonella or bacteria in the meat. The process renders the LFTB 90 per cent lean. This lean beef is then added to ground beef and other products to reduce the overall fat content in the final product. A report by ABC television station stated that 70 per cent of the hamburger sold in the U.S. contained LFTB and questioned its safety. Even though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had approved the process and the use of LFTB products for human consumption in 2001, the media reports had consumers questioning what they were eating. Consumer advocacy groups started lobbying for the elimination of filler products in ground beef. Bowing to public opinion, the following vendors announced they would no longer be selling beef products that contained LFTB: McDonald’s (31,000 stores), Taco Bell, Burger King (12,000 stores), Publix, Whole Foods, Safeway, Su-

pervalu, Kroger, Meijer, and Target, along with food manufacturers ConAgra Foods, Sara Lee Corporation, and Kraft Foods. Costco, Wendy’s, and Five Guys were quick to let the public know that they never did sell products with

event have on the cattle producers in Canada? The answer is in the economics. The “pink slime” affair in the U.S. was directly responsible for a drop in the finished cattle market and the short-term futures on the CME.

cent lean category. If you use the 10 per cent assumption rule, that equates to about a 4 cent per pound drop on the fed cattle price. Choice grade cut outs prices are 5.8 per cent less than they were last year, which is a direct

spots is that in the past, studies have shown that when the media influences consumer demand such as in this case, the long-term effect lasts about six months and then things return to near normal after that.

The good news is that the longer-term futures are starting to regain strength and recover to higher prices. the LFTB additive. Walmart announced that they will soon offer LFTB-free ground beef as an option, but will continue to sell meat containing the filler. The end result is that lean hamburger is going to cost you a lot at the store in the future. Before the ABC story, the price difference between lean ground beef with LFTB additives and regular lean ground beef was about 3 per cent. So why should we care and what effect does this

The retail beef market was already in a fragile state as consumer resistance towards the record high prices of retail beef in 2011 had started to push prices lower. Packer margins were already in the red for the first quarter of 2012. In the same time period, prices of 50 per cent lean trim dropped from $101 per hundredweight to $63 per hundredweight. Estimates are that 10 per cent of every beef carcass falls into the fresh 50 per

result of the lower trim prices. With the grilling season right around the corner, the demand for hamburger will increase. With all of those major players in the retail business competing for lean hamburger (90 per cent lean), the demand will certainly outlast supply, pushing lean ground beef prices for the consumer even higher. That should translate to even higher lean cow prices for this summer. One of the bright

Cattle prices increased between 20 and 25 per cent to record highs in 2011. The cattle business needs those prices to be sustainable in the future. The last thing we needed was another “black eye” in the beef business, fueled by media that manipulate facts and ignore science in an effort to get more viewers. The good news is that the longer-term futures are starting to regain strength and recover to higher prices. The grain market is

starting to show some weakness with positive planting intentions and projected yields. Beef production continues to drop, down 6.5 per cent from last year, with indications that production of all meat proteins will continue to drop for the remainder of the year. One of the only things holding beef back from a full recovery is pork. Unless Canada and the U.S. can increase their pork exports, prices will continue to be weak, holding back better returns in the beef market. Hog prices are 9 per cent lower than they were last year and production is 1.4 per cent higher than the 2011 average. My advice is to stock up on beef, as it can only get higher this summer. As for LFTB, it is beef, it is safe and it makes hamburger leaner, so call it what you want, but that is good enough for me. Until next time, Rick

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

RESEARCH TO IMPROVE MANAGEMENT EFFICIENCIES ON MANITOBA CATTLE FARMS

CHRISTINE RAWLUK

What’s happening on cattle farms across Canada?

With the help of Canadian cattle producers, Ipsos Forward Research recently conducted a national survey of beef cattle management practices to learn about current (postbovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE]) feeding, forage and pasture management, animal management and manure management practices for different types of beef operations across the country. Survey responses will shed light on how management practices have shifted since the last national survey of this scope (in 2005), why certain management practices are adopted, as well as how they differ based on operation type and geographic location. A national initiative co-led by Kim Ominski, forage beef professor at the

University of Manitoba, and Shabtai Bittman, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientist, this project is supported by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), provincial cattle organizations including Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), as well as Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta governments, Environment Canada, and AAFC. This survey information, which will be available to industry stakeholders, will help to develop and promote profitable region and sector-specific Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs), document improvements in practices that can bolster the image of the industry, and help the Canadian beef industry to capture market opportunities. Benefits to the beef industry can occur at multiple scales - the individual

farm, regionally, and nationally. This knowledge can stimulate innovations and adoption of innovative prac t ices/tech nolog ies that create new income streams, increase profit margins of existing income streams, and allow capture of new and emerging markets. Curious about the survey results and how your operation compares? A summary of the survey findings will be available in winter of 2013 from the University of Manitoba, CCA, and MBP.

Evaluating feeding options

Dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) are a readily available, lowercost livestock feed supplement. A co-product of ethanol production, DDGS quality and composition can vary, as the feedstock source used is driven by

grain prices. While in the U.S., corn-based DDGS dominate, in Western Canada, wheat and wheatcorn blends are also used as a feedstock. Since over 70 per cent of ethanol is produced from corn, most of the information available focuses on feeding corn DDGS. Working with wheat and wheat-corn DDGS, a research team at the University of Manitoba led by Karin Wittenberg characterized DDGS produced from ethanol processing plants in Western Canada to enhance the value and usability of wheat-based DDGS as an animal feed. The resulting wheat/wheat-corn DDGS factsheet contains information on nutrient and mineral content and pointers for inclusion of DDGS in beef cattle rations. The DDGS factsheet is available at www.umanitoba. c a /a fs/ncle/Resou rces .

html#infosource. Looking at the role of DDGS in extensive beef cow overwintering management, recent studies at the University of Manitoba led by Kim Ominski have shown successful dietary inclusion of wheat/ wheat-corn DDGS when delivered in loose form, as cubes, or as a molassesbased block.

Managing cattle manure as a fertilizer

Cattle manure contains valuable nutrients essential for plant growth. The challenge is providing those nutrients in the right form, at the right rate and at the right time to improve yield on a consistent basis. Recently completed field studies led by Don Flaten (University of Manitoba), Darshani Kumaragamage (University of Winnipeg) and Kathy Buckley (AAFC-Brandon)

examined using solid cattle manure as a nutrient source for crop production; most importantly, whether manure supplies plant nutrients in the right amount when needed. In general, particularly in the year of application, the amount of plant-available nitrogen (N) was lower than estimated using the Manitoba formula for calculating manure application rates (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, MARC 2005 software) - the current formula is overestimating the N availability from solid cattle manure. In addition to being lower than estimated, the agronomic N value was also inconsistent. Although residual soil nitrate did not accumulate with repeated annual manure applications at rates to meet crop N requirements, soil test phosphorus increased. Therefore, repeated annual applications at N-based rates may pose a risk to water quality. Also, when manure was applied to perennial forages, increases in forage potassium (K) concentrations were greater than increases in forage calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) concentrations, leading to greater risk of grass tetany. To address the challenges identified regarding N availability from manure, University of Manitoba soil scientists Wole Akinremi and Don Flaten are working to develop a calculator to estimate more accurately the availability of N from solid cattle manure. Funding for these manure management studies was provided by MBP, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council, and the Manitoba Sustainable Development Innovations Fund. The final report for the MBP Solid Cattle Manure Research Project is available at www.umanitoba.ca/afs/ ncle/ResearchProjects. html#reports.


May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

MANITOBA’S 2012 BUDGET BRINGS INCREASED COSTS FOR PRODUCERS LAUREN STONE, POLICY ANALYST

The provincial government released the 2012 budget on April 17, 2012, which is intended to reduce spending and increase revenues. More details are still to come, but the budget documents do indicate that it will cost producers more to farm in Manitoba. Budget 2012 Highlights

t . "'3* CVEHFU EFDSFBTFE CZ NJMMJPO QFS cent) t .BOJUPCB $POTFSWBUJPO 8BUFS 4UFXBSETIJQ CVEHFU increased by $3.4 million (2.3 per cent) t .BOJUPCB *OGSBTUSVDUVSF BOE 5SBOTQPSUBUJPO budget increased by $53 million (8.8 per cent) t $PNNJUNFOU UP B GPSBHF SFTUPSBUJPO QSPHSBN GPS pasture and hayland flooded in the spring of 2011 t /VUSJFOU .BOBHFNFOU 5BY $SFEJU o BJNFE UP BTTJTU producers in the engineering, design, and installation of nutrient management equipment including solidliquid separation systems, anaerobic digesters, gravity settling tanks, manure treatment systems, manure composting facilities, and winter manure storage tanks for operations under 300 animal units

We know that the budgets of 10 government departments are being reduced or frozen, including a slight decrease for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) of $1.2 million. This is a concern for producers, as is the increase in taxes that will directly affect their day-to-day operations. Gas for your car and fuel for commercial transport trucks will be going up by 2.5 cents in tax, for a total of 14 cents per litre, and a new 3 cents per litre tax on motive fuel has been introduced. This new tax applies to previously exempt marked gasoline (purple fuel), but does not apply to marked diesel. In addition to the fuel taxes, the province will be applying a sales tax on property insurance. This means that producers could be subject to a 7 per cent sales tax on insuring their farm properties. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) understands that these costs are incurred by producers and erode some of the gains that we are currently seeing because of stronger market prices. MBP will continue to push government to minimize the impact of these cost increases and to avoid similar initiatives in the future that may negatively affect producers’ bottom lines.

On a positive note, the budget did recognize the difficult times producers faced through the 2011 flood and the need to restore damaged hayland and pasture. The budget announced improvements to the excess moisture insurance top-up, forage establishment insurance and forage restoration benefit. MBP is pressing the province to ensure dollars are flowing to producers, as some are still waiting for funds from the transportation, infrastructure and forage shortfall programs. There are many priorities for Manitoba’s beef producers that were not mentioned in the budget. MBP included the following issues in our provincial budget document that was presented to various government departments: 1. The implementation of a zero-till program, including equipment purchase, to assist in the rehabilitation of land damaged by standing water as a result of the 2011 flood. 2. Funding in place for the appointment of a TB (tuberculosis) Coordinator to oversee the eradication of bovine TB in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). 3. Support for a TB mustering fee to help off-

set the financial losses that our producers continue to face due to the mandated Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) testing. 4. Full-time predator removal officers, under the Predator Control Program, to deal with problem predators in areas of high predation. 5. Implementation of a Cattle Price Insurance pilot project commencing in fall 2012, in which premiums are cost-shared with the producer and the government. Given the extraordinary challenges our industry has had to work around in the past number of years, it was disappointing to see a provincial budget that overlooked the potential of Manitoba’s beef industry. With further review of the costs and benefits of the budget, MBP will continue to lobby and investigate various options to obtain the available dollars.

MBP News Release: Producer Priorities Missing from 2012 Budget

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has a mixed response to the 2012 Manitoba Budget

tabled on April 17. MBP hoped to see provisions which were not mentioned in the budget such as cattle

with additional costs to adhere to the manure/nutrient management regulations coming into force in 2013 and this tax credit may assist producers with costs incurred with the engineering, design and installation of nutrient management equipment.

tion and encourages the government to restore provincial highways within the Shoal Lakes complex, Lake Manitoba region, the southwest part of the province and other areas in which provincial highways were damaged by the 2011 flood. Though many beef

MBP will continue to push government to minimize the impact of these cost increases and to avoid similar initiatives in the future that may negatively affect producers’ bottom lines. price insurance, effective environmental goods and services program and a herd protection program. MBP was pleased that there was a commitment in the budget to the forage restoration program for pasture and hayland flooded in the spring of 2011. “This is a critical program for those still suffering from the 2011 flood,â€? said Ray Armbruster, MBP president. “Flooded land will take years to rehabilitate. MBP will continue to work with the provincial government to restore flooded pasture and hayland.â€? The budget included an announcement on a “Nutrient Management Tax Creditâ€? that will be a component of the Save the Lake Winnipeg Act, which was introduced in June 2011. MBP believes producers will be confronted

“We hope that the $300,000 allocated to tax credits in the program provides equal opportunity for all livestock producers,� said Armbruster. MBP welcomes the budget increase to Infrastructure and Transporta-

producer priorities were not addressed in the budget, MBP will continue to work on those key issues and continue to push for the Province to bring these initiatives forward for the good of everyone in the beef production chain.


14 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT HEALTHY EATING MEANS HEALTHY FAMILIES

ADRIANA BARROS

We have all heard it before: “You are what you eat.” Then, why is it not catching on that we need to eat healthy, wholesome meals that are complete and follow the guidelines provided by Canada’s Food Guide? The unimaginable has happened.

CANADA BEEF PHOTO

Children today are becoming overweight and obese, and these health conditions are resulting in preventable diseases that no child should carry. In an attempt to get more children into the kitchen and increase global awareness of this diet pandemic we’re facing, below we will touch on childhood obesity, lack of physical activity seen in children, and whether the change of healthy choices featured on menus has had an impact on our young people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century (World Health Organization, n.d.). Globally, the number of overweight children under the age of five was estimated to be over 42 million in 2010. Simply stated, children exposed to unhealthy eating habits and limited physical activity are at a higher risk of becoming overweight. “Children affected by childhood obesity are more likely to stay obese into adulthood, an unfortunate result to this preventable health state directly increases the risks of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease at a young age” (World Health Organization, n.d.).

Prevention of childhood illness relating to being overweight or obese is very much preventable, and therefore requires a high level of priority. We must ask ourselves if this is what was intended for young children nationwide. Who

to The Globe and Mail, the average Canadian spends 45.3 hours per month browsing the Internet (Ladurantaye, 2012). When visiting any city centre, an incredible amount of fast food outlets and restaurants are visible.

choice of parents and children at fast food outlets, when calorie content is labelled on menus, showed no change in the average of calories purchased after seeing nutrition information (Tandon, 2011). According to Tandon,

with high-quality lean ground beef, seasoned any way you wish and grilled on your barbeque. Not only is cooking at home a great way to monitor the fat content and the quality standards of the food being served, but it is also a

Not only is cooking at home a great way to monitor the fat content and the quality standards of the food being served, but it is also a perfect opportunity for family bonding. is to blame? Perhaps one can say it is the rapid development of fast food restaurants materializing all over communities or the decrease in physical activity levels among youth. As stated by the Sport Medicine and Science Council of Manitoba, girls should accumulate 12,000 steps daily and boys 15,000 steps for ages 6 to 12. Sixtyseven per cent of Manitoba children and youth aged 5 to 19 do not accumulate sufficient daily steps associated to their sex and a healthy BMI (Sport Medicine and Science Council of Manitoba, n.d.). Another factor affecting many individuals’ daily lifestyles and resulting in sedentary living has come from the expansion of technology such as movies and video games, and the hours spent on the Internet per day. According

Perhaps one of the first massive campaigns aimed at offering healthy choice menu options was Subway® Restaurants’. Competitive ads comparing grilled chicken sandwiches versus the common fried variety available at most fast food outlets fueled a chain reaction of change. Along with nutrition policies beginning to be discussed and initiated in schools, the food options and overall health of our country were addressed for a movement of change. Nutrition information available for menu items at fast food chains and on restaurant websites has gained in popularity everywhere. Consumers now have the ability to check the amount of calories or fat content in a food before ordering. A study on the impact of purchasing

children seemed to choose the same items from the menu that they always had, with no regard for the importance of nutritional content. A mere 13 per cent of parents who saw the nutrition information reported it had influenced choosing a meal for their child (2011, p. 435). Taste continues to be the predominant factor in meal choice. The option of choosing a salad over fries still has some obstacles to overcome, but change and positive results do not appear overnight. Bring the fast foods and restaurant comparable meals into your homes. Bring your children into the kitchen, and make foods that they enjoy ordering when eating out. I doubt anyone will put up a fight saying a fast food hamburger tastes better than one made at home

perfect opportunity for family bonding. Tear the kids away from the television and get them in the kitchen grating cheese for tacos or tearing lettuce for burgers. While doing the adult task of cooking with heat, get the kids outside to run around before dinner. If children are a part of the menu preparation, they will be excited to eat what their hard work created and as a result be more conscious of quality foods as they grow up. After all is said and done, you are what you eat and providing the best for your family is important. Why not treat them with a quick, nutritious meal this evening? With aims of trying to get children into the kitchen and more involved with where their food comes from, I have featured a kidfriendly family recipe,

courtesy of Canada Beef: The All-Canadian Beef Sirloin Cheeseburger. Using a lean ground sirloin makes this burger tender, flavourful and heart healthy. The apple slaw is a great way to get away from spreading loads of mayonnaise on your hamburger. Still containing a little bit of mayo, you’ll be satisfied with this bursting with flavour condiment; an added bonus is it is also bursting with fibre and nutrients.

Works Cited

Ladurantaye, S. (2012, March 1). Canada tops globe in internet usage. Retrieved April 17, 2012, from The Globe and Mail: www.theglobeandmail. com/news/technology/technews/canada-tops-globe-in-internet-usage/article2355533/ Tandon, Pooja S. M. M. (2011). The Impact of Menu Labeling on Fast-Food Purchase for Children and Parents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 434–438. Sport Medicine and Science Council of Manitoba. (n.d.). News articles. Retrieved April 17, 2012, from Sport Medicine and Science Council of Manitoba: www.sportmed. mb.ca/?page=articles&id=18 World Health Organization. (n.d.). Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Retrieved April 17, 2012, from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/

THE ALL-CANADIAN BEEF SIRLOIN CHEESEBURGER

This boast-able burger represents the taste of the nation: Canadian quality beef, smoked Canadian cheddar, back bacon and seasonings reminiscent of tourtière – OH Canada! 1 3 tbsp (45 ml) ½ ¼ tsp (1 ml) ¼ tsp (1 ml) 1 lb (0.45 kg) 8 4 4

egg dry breadcrumbs small onion, grated EACH ground cloves and allspice EACH dried marjoram (optional), salt and pepper lean ground beef sirloin slices Canadian smoked cheddar cheese hamburger buns slices back bacon crunchy apple slaw (recipe follows)

1. Stir egg with breadcrumbs in large bowl; add onion, cloves, allspice, marjoram (if using), salt and pepper. Mix in beef until just combined. Shape into four 1/2-in. (2 cm) thick patties. Make thumbprint depression in centre of each to prevent rounding while cooking. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes

or for up to 24 hours.) 2. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning once, until digital instant read thermometer inserted sideways into centre of each patty reads 160°F (71°C), about 10 minutes. Top each patty with cheese to melt. 3. Meanwhile, toast buns. Grill back bacon, turning once, until golden, about 1 minute. Assemble burgers by sandwiching slice of bacon, burger patty and some apple slaw between buns. Crunchy Apple Slaw: In bowl, toss together 1-1/4 cups shredded green cabbage, 2/3 cup julienned apple, 1 green onion, sliced (optional), 3 tbsp light mayonnaise, 1 tsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar and pinch EACH granulated sugar, salt and pepper. Makes 1-3/4 cups (425 ml)


May 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

IMPROVING THE MINERAL CYCLE WITH PLANNED GRAZING ANGELA LOVELL

A growing number of cattle producers, who are implementing planned (or management intensive) grazing systems on their farms, are noticing that they are feeding far fewer mineral supplements to their herds. Neil Dennis is a producer from Wawota, Sask. who has reduced mineral supplementation of his herd by 90 per cent since beginning holistic planned grazing in 1998. “I have over 40 different species of grasses and legumes in paddocks that used to be straight crested wheatgrass,” says Dennis. “The cattle stay healthier because I am building soil health. I am building it up and I am building it down, because when you get a deeper root system, it takes the carbon down, and when you leave more litter on top, the land stays moist and the earthworms work longer recycling all the litter on the ground.” Recent carbon testing on Dennis’ farm showed that the land where he has been planned grazing has around 10 per cent organic matter, compared to 3 to 4 per cent on land where he has not. Planned grazing is a cornerstone practice of holistic management, a wholesystem approach that aims to improve and maintain the viability and sustainability of the farm by achieving balance between healthy land, healthy people and healthy finances. Holistically managed, planned grazing uses animal impact and optimized cycles of grazing and recovery time to improve soil health and animal nutrition. Animals are rotated through a number of paddocks and the amount of time they graze in each is matched to the rate of grass growth. Once grazed, paddocks are given sufficient time to rest

and recover to maximum productivity before being re-grazed. This prevents overgrazing and maximizes the nutritional content of the forage for the ani-

Corcoran recently held a workshop for holistic management practitioners near Cartwright, Man., sponsored by the Manitoba Grazing Clubs and

“Our cows are getting the minerals they need from their diet. We have different species of plants and they all have roots at different levels, so they are

bring up those minerals. With continuous grazing, cows will eat the preferred grass, which means you are selecting for one or two species and the growth

We have different species of plants and they all have roots at different levels, so they are bringing up different kinds of minerals from different levels in the soil. - Ralph Corcoran mals. Stocking rates are increased to maximize animal impact, which tramples litter to the ground to feed soil biology and encourages more biodiversity of plant species. In addition, all of the nutrients from animal waste remain in place to fertilize the soil. Ralph Corcoran is a rancher and holistic management instructor from Langbank, Sask. who has been using (and teaching) planned grazing techniques for many years.

Ducks Unlimited Canada, where he emphasized that what is going on under the ground is as important as what is going on above it in terms of providing mineral nutrition. A biodiverse mix of plant species in his paddocks has improved the mineral cycling of his soil to the point where he does not need to provide any supplemental minerals or salt to his cattle, with no loss in terms of performance or productivity.

bringing up different kinds of minerals from different levels in the soil,” says Corcoran, who now custom grazes for other producers. “By giving the plants proper recovery time, we have a good root system to continue to

stays an inch high, so basically all the minerals that you are getting from the soil are those found in the first inch below the surface.” Dennis measures the success of his system by carrying capacity and weight

gain. In 2004, each animal required over three acres of pasture per summer, and by 2010, thanks to his intensively managed grazing system, only one acre per animal was needed. In 2006, he achieved 1.71 lbs. of weight gain per day per animal. “I produced 152 lbs. of beef per acre,” says Dennis. “The neighbours produced 68.75 lbs. of beef per acre under conventional grazing on the same amount of land. I got almost 84 lbs. of beef per acre more because I was using smaller paddocks, with higher stock densities, and moving the cattle frequently to ensure good recovery.” Dennis admits that planned grazing is a little more work, but the results speak for themselves. “You get extra pounds of beef per acre, and you are not spending as much on minerals because your land is getting healthier and everything works together,” he says. “It’s like having free land.”

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2012

“My idea of ‘Cattle Country’” by Abby Collen, age 8, Virden, Man. – Granddaughter of Ray Armbruster

NOTICE: AGRICULTURAL CROWN LAND RENTAL RATES

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), Agricultural Crown Lands Act Stakeholders Consultation Committee has begun the process of initiating a survey of private pasture rentals in Manitoba, which will form the basis of determining the rental rate on Crown lands for the triennial period of 2013–2015. To provide a bit of history, effective January 1, 2000, the method for calculating rentals on agriculturally leased Crown land was changed to a “market-based” system. A major component of this “market-based” system is to gather data by way of a survey relative to private pasture rentals in Manitoba. Since 1997, the private pasture rental survey has been a co-operative effort between MAFRI and stakeholder committee representatives, which includes representation from Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Sheep Association, Manitoba Bison Association, and Manitoba Equine Ranching Association. Producers who meet the criteria of renting private pasture in Manitoba, either as a renter or a landlord, received a survey in the mail in April. However, if you are a producer who meets the criteria and you did not receive a mailed version of the survey, we encourage your participation by contacting MAFRI, Agricultural Crown Lands at 204-867-6552 to obtain a copy.

Manitoba Hereford Association Plan to be part of these exciting upcoming events: MHA MOE Show, Killarney, MB June 29-30 World Hereford Conference Post Tour hosted by RSK Farms in Brandon, July 21 A new class this year is Commercial cow/calf or calf pen show Contact any MHA director or visit www.mbhereford.ca for more information


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

| VOL.14 NO.4 JUNE 2012

LAKE MANITOBA PRODUCERS FACE PROLONGED FLOOD RECOVERY RON FRIESEN

Langruth – A bleached fence post stripped of its wire marks the location of Tom Teichroeb’s pasture. RON FRIESEN PHOTO

This is what Tom Teichroeb’s summer pasture looks like today after last year’s flood around Lake Manitoba.

2011 was a time of high drama as producers struggled to evacuate their livestock and families as rising lake waters swept inland. Reporters with cameras and tape recorders milled about as Teichroeb and his neighbours watched their fields, their yards and their livelihoods being swallowed by white-capped waves, whipped up by high winds.

SAVE THE DATES

MBP’s 34th annual general meeting will be on February 7-8, 2013 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. Plan to attend!

Teichroeb’s family herded their cattle along roads threatened by rising water, sometimes hauling newborn calves that couldn’t walk any more. Other producers swam cattle to safety,

munity hall as Teichroeb and others filed one by one to a microphone before hundreds of people to plead for government assistance. Today, a year later, the reporters have gone home,

ter the shoreline. Campgrounds have been turned into wasteland. Thousands of acres of grassland are grey stretches of silt punctuated with water and bulrushes. Cattle, evacuated

Today, a year later, the reporters have gone home, the flood has faded from the headlines and Lake Manitoba residents are left to pick up the pieces. at times wading chest-deep through icy water. The tension reached a climax in June during an emotionally charged public meeting at the local com-

the flood has faded from the headlines and Lake Manitoba residents are left to pick up the pieces. It’s a bleak task. Splintered cottages lit-

during the flood, are scattered on rented pastures throughout the province because there is nothing for them to come home to. The extent of damage

... Continued on page 2

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It’s May 10 and the grass should be four to eight inches high and almost ready for grazing. In a normal year, Teichroeb would be turning his cattle out on to pasture in a week or two, getting equipment ready for haying and looking forward to a first cut. But this is not a normal year. Instead of green grass, a vast expanse of utter devastation stretches beyond the solitary fence post. Twelve months ago, overland flooding from nearby Lake Manitoba swamped Teichroeb’s pastureland. Now, heavy black muck covers a once-lush hay field. Pools of standing water still remain in the background. There will be little grass or hay from this pasture in 2012 or on any of the other 24 quarter sections Teichroeb either owns or leases as Crown land. It will take years for the land to return to its natural state – if it ever does. Meanwhile, Teichroeb’s 300 cow-calf pairs and 150 yearlings are currently on rented pastures 25 miles away near Plumas. He has no idea when they’ll be able to come home. “We’ll have to determine in the summertime what’s realistic and whether or not we can bring them back here,” he says. The middle of May


2

CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

RON FRIESEN PHOTO

RON FRIESEN PHOTO

This is what grass in Teichroeb’s pasture should look like in mid-May.

to farmland around Lake Manitoba is still being tabulated. What is known is that 422,070 agricultural acres in the region were flooded. That includes 182,882 acres of hay land, 179,774 acres of pasture and 59,414 acres of cropland. But those figures don’t begin to describe the financial losses stemming from the flood. Teichroeb estimates he is at least $200,000 out of pocket for transportation, extra feed, labour and other expenses of managing livestock by long distance. That doesn’t include the infrastructure costs of repairing damaged fences and rehabilitating pastures. Flood damage is by no means limited to Lake Manitoba. The effects of the

especially in the Interlake and southwestern regions. According to provincial officials, the province has so far paid out more than $650 million in compensation to some 30,000 flood-affected claimants. To date, over $300 million has been provided to farmers. Agricultural aid programs include excess moisture assistance, forage restoration and funds for transporting animals out of the flood zone. Producers say money is flowing, although slowly. But damage in the Lake Manitoba region is the most dramatic and likely the most long lasting. Teichroeb figures the flood has put his ranching operation behind by at least three years. He’ll have to re-establish all of his forage production, restring most

of his fences and source enough hay to see his herd through another winter. That raises the question of whether there’ll be government aid to cover losses in 2012 and even beyond. Teichroeb and his wife Michelle moved here from Alberta 11 years ago, considering Manitoba’s Interlake region as the ideal place to run a cow-calf operation. Now, all he can do is cling to the words of Stan Struthers at the June 2011 meeting in Langruth when the former agriculture minister promised the government would be there for Lake Manitoba producers in the future. “If the province is really serious, if they’re willing to compensate us, rehabilitate this land and bring it back into business, I guess we’ll have to be patient,” Teichroeb says. Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager, says the association is in discussion with the province about on-going assistance for flooded cattle producers in the Lake Manitoba region. “We were all hoping that hay and pasture land would be productive this year. But it’s obviously not going to be,” Dahl says. He says MBP was heartened to see mention of a forage restoration program in the recent provincial budget. But the association is still waiting for word about transportation assistance for producers who brought their evacuated cattle home last winter and fed them on-site. Now they’ll have to haul the animals back out again because there’s no pasture growth. Whether there will be compensation for that too is unclear. Dahl says what is needed is a program to help producers maintain their herds through 2012 and for as long as it takes until pastures can be restored to natural grazing conditions. “Those are the conver-

RON FRIESEN PHOTO

... Lake Manitoba, 2011 flood are widespread Continued throughout the province,

Instead, this is the state of Teichroeb’s main pasture.

Dead cattails from the previous year are the only thing left in the pasture.

sations we’re having with the government,” he says. “We need to know what is going to be there, or not be there, going forward.” The province so far remains non-committal about further compensation but admits the damage is severe. “It is early in the season but there will be lingering impacts in many pastures and hayfields impacted by excess moisture last year,” a government spokesman says. Ray Armbruster, MBP president, recently toured the Lake Manitoba area and was staggered by the extent of the damage. Armbruster says cattle producers appreciate programs to support animals that had to be relocated. But producers will need long-term aid because many have no land to support livestock on. “There are still significant challenges and producers need support to recover from this event,” Armbruster says. “It’s not over by any stretch of the imagination. Some of the producers are as badly off as they were last year. And we’re heading into the second year of this.” Even producers hard-

est hit by last year’s flooding admit there would have been a flood on Lake Manitoba anyway because of high water levels resulting from a series of wet years. But there’s almost unanimous consensus that the Portage Diversion, a flood control structure built to divert water from the Assiniboine River into Lake Manitoba, was a major contributor. Unprecedented flooding along the Assiniboine last spring siphoned record volumes of water into the lake and raised levels past a critical point. Add the effect of windstorms which helped drive water inland for miles, and the damage was complete. Many blame the province for not completing the diversion by building a proper outflow on the other side of the lake, as reports recommended when the diversion was built in 1970. Teichroeb prefers not to play the blame game. He sits on two committees formed last year to come up with solutions. The Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee is expected to file a report with recommendations in October. The Lake

Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee, a private group with members appointed by local municipalities, plans to hold the government accountable for fair compensation and future flood mitigation. But that’s all longterm. Right now, producers around the shores of Lake Manitoba have their lives on hold. They can’t plan for the future. Their land has no sales value. And they can’t afford to retire and pass their farms on to the next generation, as some were planning to do. Ultimately, the human toll is the greatest legacy of the 2011 flood, according to Teichroeb. Area ranchers were just starting to get back on their feet after a series of blows to their industry: BSE, U.S. country-of-origin labeling, an export-depressing Canadian dollar and low market prices. And now this. “There’s a tremendous number of people out there I’ve talked to who are so mad and angry all the time. And they have a tough time getting out of that,” Teichroeb says. “It’s really consuming their lives right now.”


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

SHOAL LAKES FLOODING WOES CONTINUE RON FRIESEN

While Lake Manitoba producers struggle with the effects of the 2011 flood, another nearby group of landowners continues to suffer from flooding that has been going on for years. offer further. Shoal Lakes, located in the southern Interlake region between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, actually consists of three separate lakes. But a series of wet years and drainage flowing into the area have effectively combined the three lakes into one. The basin has no natural drainage outlet and the water is now at its highest level in nearly 100 years. Roads have been cut, farms flooded and producers left with increasing less area to graze cattle. Procter, 54, has had to downsize his own cow herd from 100 head to 70 because he can’t produce enough feed. The lake has A producer spreads rock on the road to hold back water from the Shoal Lakes. eaten up all of his hay and pasture land and he is area. He says most produc- buyout isn’t a solution.” the Red River. mittee will continue to lobers would prefer to stay if But draining Shoal Right now, both ap- by for fair compensation, only the lake level could be Lakes is a controversial is- pear to be non-starters. road repair and a longlowered. sue for both the provincial Procter says the prov- term drainage solution. “If there was a path government and down- ince appears reluctant to But he wishes the forward where they could stream residents. add more water to Lake problem had been tackled see a will to get that lake Procter says there are Manitoba, especially after a long time ago. back to a reasonable level, two viable options: revital- the 2011 flood disaster “The frustrating part and some support to get izing the old Wagon Creek there. And downstream is, they’ve seen this comthere, that’s their wish,” Drain to flow water into residents worry about the ing for years and years. It Armbruster says. Lake Manitoba, or opening possible effects of more could have been solved “They’re looking for a up the Grassmere Drain to water on their own region. and done before this last forced to use community solution. And to them a direct it southward toward Procter says his com- wet cycle.” pasture to graze his herd. Procter says up to 100,000 acres in the region are eligible for the buyout because the land is no longer usable. About 150 producers qualify for the program, 71 have applied so far and 21 had received offers by the end of April. Neepawa Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB But Procter concedes feelings are mixed about Saturday, July 28th, 2012 giving up land which, in THANK-YOU TO ALL THE Show: 1:00 pm, supper to follow some cases, has been in 2012 BULL BUYERS WHO families for generations. No halter classes - Commercial/ Ray Armbruster, ManSUPPORTED MANITOBA ANGUS Purebred Pens/Junior Show itoba Beef Producers presiBULL SALES THIS SPRING! dent, recently toured the CALCUTTA

“They’re looking for a solution. And to them a buyout isn’t a solution.” – Ray Armbruster ed transportation costs for moving livestock and feed out of flooded areas. But, in an additional move, the government tacked on a voluntary buyout program estimated to cost $22 million. Procter, who heads the Shoal Lake Flooded Landowners Association, says producers had requested a per-acre payment and were surprised by the buyout. His group is asking for a 60 to 90 day extension of the application deadline to consider the

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Agricultural producers in the Shoal Lakes area have until July 31 to accept a government offer to buy up their land and move them from a region which has been gradually filling up with water for 10 years. Most don’t want to go—they want the government to solve the flooding problem. However, the land buyout appears to be the only option on the table, says Orval Procter, who raises cattle near Woodlands. “Right now there are no plans for drainage whatsoever,” Procter says. Last year the province announced flood compensation for producers in the Shoal Lakes region who lost income from hay and pasture land in 2010 and 2011. The program includ-


4

CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP

THE FLOOD: A YEAR AFTER RAY ARMBRUSTER

Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride.

Manitobans know the flood of 2011 was a huge battle but they need to be reminded that it is still taking a toll on many people. Beef producers were among the flood victims who experienced significant losses and they continue to pay the costs for last year’s damage. The land and homes of these producers were sacrificed to save other areas from being flooded. Many regions were affected such as around the Shoal Lakes, Lake Manitoba, Assiniboine Valley, Lake Dauphin, the Parkland, southwestern Manitoba and other areas. In May, I toured two of these regions – the Shoal Lakes and Lake Manitoba. I also spoke with several producers in the Assiniboine Valley. I want to thank all of the producers who took time to show me their areas and property and to tell their stories. As expected, the tours brought forward the largerthan-life reality of the thousands upon thousands of acres that were made unproductive from the flood event. Taking this tour really demonstrated that producers in the Shoal Lakes and Lake Manitoba regions have a level of knowledge about the areas they live and ranch in that is be-

yond what anyone else has. They know the history of water on their landscape. That needs to be respected and taken into account in order to understand what has happened and what the solutions are. During the tours, I observed the impact on the land and infrastructure. Where there were once healthy pastures and forage lands, there is nothing but land that has been destroyed with no capacity to produce anything in the near future. Miles and miles of fences have also been destroyed along with other infrastructure that supports livestock. The cost of rebuilding seems immeasurable. It was astonishing that while I was on this tour, the government was just doing its assessment on fences. It is already well into 2012 and they are still dealing with last year’s damage. Meanwhile, what governments should be doing is looking at ways to get producers through this year. When I traveled around the Shoal Lakes what I saw was a lake that has probably

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grown by 100,000 acres. Everywhere you look there is debris on the land and dead vegetation. Everything is covered in a grimy film. I could see trees half a mile out into the water where there used to be pasture or hayfields. I saw

make a living off of their property has been taken away unjustly. That is where governments have to come in. They can not allow extensive drainage for decades and now say ‘this is where it stops’. That is unacceptable.

tion to ensure the flooding does not reoccur. We have made recommendations for land restoration and that will be an unprecedented effort because this is not going to be merely a one or two year initiative. Some of this land

…society has the role to compensate these people. We should not have to lobby, this is simply the right thing to do. fence lines that disappeared into water and others that were broken and covered in debris. I spoke with a young producer in the region about how hard he has worked to save his land and home – but the water is right up to his doorstep. That really hits you. There are also other producers, who are a bit older like me, and it is difficult to grasp that they won’t ever go back to their homes. Producers who remain in the area are faced with looking for pasture for their cattle and all of the challenges that come with that. And they do not have any options, except for the buyout. Some producers would like to see workable solutions so they can have the opportunity to keep their land and maintain their livelihoods. These producers should not have to move because, quite frankly, their property rights have been neglected and their opportunity to

Governments need to do the right thing and relieve the pressure with second outlets out of the Shoal Lakes and Lake Manitoba. This is a reasonable, straightforward solution. As well, the producers in the Assiniboine Valley deserve fair treatment and a responsible compensation plan for the real losses they are faced with year after year. Workable solutions are needed so that producers can be assured that they will not be affected by flooding again in the future. When I toured the Lake Manitoba area I heard stories about coping with last year’s events and what it was like. Producers were so caught up with getting their cattle out of harm’s way and saving their homes and yard sites that it took up all of their time and energy. Now these producers face the enormous task of rebuilding their farms and they really question the viability of doing that all over again without a solu-

els of government and requested support on these issues. On some of them we have received zero feedback. But we will not give up this fight – we will continue to call for action. We know that no cost has been spared to save Winnipeg through the use of the floodway and modernizing the Portage Diversion. We also know there was a decision made on whom governments would protect during the flood of 2011 and who would not be protected. Now it is time for governments to help those who took on the burden of the flood. When producers were being sacrificed for the ‘greater good’ last year they expected that they would be treated fairly. Now that we have seen the damage that has been caused, society has the role to compensate these people. We should not have to lobby, this is simply the right thing to do. In addition, maybe industry leaders and governments, including the City of Winnipeg, should have a day to recognize the impact of the losses rural residents have had to face due to the flood. That would be the right thing too. In closing, we will continue to push for action on these issues and represent our producers. I look forward to visiting other regions and hearing about producers’ experiences. From my family to yours, have a safe and pleasant summer.

will have to come back naturally and some producers can not even access land to start to clean it up and restore vegetation on it. Last year, many producers in both regions had to evacuate their cattle for summer grazing and purchase feed for this past season. This year, some are faced with exactly the same scenario. Their pastures and forage lands are not capable of being used to grow anything. They need a commitment of immediate support for these fundamental needs. MBP recognized these losses and the significant impacts they would have and we lobbied both levels of government. We have asked governments to make a commitment for pasture that is needed where land is not capable of supporting livestock. We asked for transportation assistance, feed assistance, and a second outlet to flow water out of Lake Manitoba. Visit www.mbbeef.ca We have made formal to view Ray’s flood tour presentations to both lev- photos.

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

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

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

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 Shell River, Shell Mouth, R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert The Pas Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

MAC MCRAE - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 10 R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood. THERESA ZUK - TREASURER R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, R.M. of Fisher, DISTRICT 7 Armstrong RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT DISTRICT 11 R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, CARON CLARKE Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 4

GLEN CAMPBELL

DISTRICT 3

BRAD MCDONALD

HEINZ REIMER

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

DISTRICT 8

R.M. of Harrison, Clan William, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Landgford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

KIM CRANDALL - SECRETARY

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3

Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 www.mbbeef.ca

DISTRICT 14

STAN FOSTER

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Kristen Lucyshyn

FINANCE-Book keeper Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST Lauren Stone

MANITOBA CATTLE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE

FLOOD OF 2011 NOT OVER CAM DAHL

Welcome to summer. I hope the warm weather is treating everyone well. Manitoba Beef Producers continues to be a very busy office. There are many ongoing issues such as traceability, Bovine TB and nutrient management regulations that we are working on. We are also seeing new issues emerge - some due to changes in government policy. One of the more important emerging issues is the transition for the management of community pastures. In the recent budget, the Government of Canada announced it will be transitioning away from the management of community pastures. MBP will be playing a lead role in working with all levels of government and producers to develop a workable plan forward. In this issue, policy analyst Lauren Stone outlines the key policy positions taken by MBP. Please take time to read this article and let us know what you think. Our plan moving forward will be based on direct consultations with our members and we really do want your feedback. Dealing with the fallout from the 2011 flood remains at the top of MBP’s priority list. It has been one year since the flood. At that time Manitobans were bombarded by flood news every day. Many felt that they personally knew the people impacted around Lake Manitoba, down the Assiniboine

River, Lake Dauphin, Winnipegosis or the Shoal Lakes. There was a sense of solidarity with everyone in the province standing shoulder to shoulder to fight against the latest punch from Mother Nature. This is what Manitobans do after all. So where are we a year later?

2012 and they are seeking assurances that last year’s flood will not happen again. A tour of the pastures and hayfields around Lake Manitoba is akin to a visit to alien landscape. Thousands of acres are still under water. Lake levels are starting to go down but land recently uncovered is

another year. Every part of Manitoba will suffer if we lose these businesses. Beyond the short term, producers need to know what is going to be done to ensure that the flood of 2011 never happens again. Yes, nature conspired against us last spring. But the flood was not just an act of nature. It was also an act

Beyond the short term, producers need to know what is going to be done to ensure that the flood of 2011 never happens again. While there still are a few stories about compensation not flowing, for the most part public attention has turned to other things such as the fate of a water park, the Jets or the rising price of gas. These are the ordinary things of everyday life. It is hard to think of a flood after a mild winter and an almost perfect spring. Do we still have the sense of solidarity with the people whose land and houses were sacrificed for the greater good? Frustrated farmers and ranchers around our lakes and in the Assiniboine Valley would shout a resounding ‘no’. Producers continue to wait for compensation from 2011. They are looking for a plan to get them through

either bare or growing only bulrushes. Two years ago this land was productive and contributing to the growth and prosperity of the province, supporting families, local communities and jobs in our larger urban centres. Many ranchers need to, once again, move their cattle away to summer pasture that is not covered by water or simply black mudflats. Producers need assurances that there will be forage available to replace the crop that would have been grown on inundated acres. These measures are needed to help ensure Manitoba keeps its cattle herd. Without a plan, many of these ranches, which have survived BSE, U.S. trade barriers and closed international markets, may not be around for

of government. Governments, for generations, have chosen not to complete the outlet from Lake Manitoba that was called for when the Assiniboine and Red River flood-

ways were built. Last spring, many paid the price for these decisions and many are still paying the price today. What plan is in place to ensure an adequate outlet from Lake Manitoba? It seems rather logical that allowances must be made to move water out of the lake if drains are built to push water in. Similarly, what plans are being developed to prevent flooding in the Assiniboine Valley, downstream of the Shellmouth Dam? Is any level of government contemplating an adequate drain for the Shoal Lakes? If governments are not planning to drain water out of the lakes, are they willing to plug the drains they built that bring water in? Manitobans do have a

collective responsibility to those who carried the burden of the flood of 2011. In the short term, we have a basic responsibility to ensure that they can carry on their businesses. Longer term, we have the responsibility for ensuring that they are not flooded again. Manitobans took action after the flood of 1950 drowned Winnipeg. Similar actions are needed today. The message from flood victims to the rest of Manitoba is clear - ‘don’t forget us’. These farmers, ranchers and families still need help. This is not a handout. This is simply compensation for accepting a flood so others could stay dry. They have done their part. We, collectively, should not fail to do ours.


6

CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR COMMUNITY PASTURES LAUREN STONE, MBP POLICY ANALYST

Over the next six years, Manitoba will start to see the transition of its 21 community pastures away from the current Agri-Environment Services Branch (AESB) administration under the federal government.

TARA FULTON PHOTO

This move brings many questions. What does this mean for the patrons who use the community pastures and for those employed through pasture management? What does this mean overall for the beef sector in Manitoba? Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is searching for answers to these and many other questions. We know that grazing offers environmental, economic and social benefits. Through the use of grazing on land unsuited to grain and oilseed production— land that would otherwise remain agriculturally inactive—the community pastures program has the opportunity to provide benefits to the province as a whole. This 75-year conservation legacy demonstrates practical resource management providing natural habitat to animals, birds and other wildlife. Community pastures are important for carbon seques-

tration, water quality and helping to limit the spread of invasive species. The use of this land by beef producers returns an economic incentive to Manitoba’s economy, while also being available as a risk management tool for young and smaller-scale produc-

ers. Community pastures also provide young producers, who are just getting a start in the industry, with assistance in developing their herds and operations. Community pastures provide producers who are expanding their operations with the opportunity to grow without excessive capital investments. With all of these benefits it is essential, as a province, that we keep the community pastures program in its current state. This is the position MBP is taking to governments and industry stakeholders. MBP, along with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, has developed the following position statements: 1. No changes should be made to the structure of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration community pasture system until full consultation is held, with participation in the process occurring right from the beginning of the process. 2. If administration of the lands under the community pasture program is changed, measures must be taken to ensure that current agricultural land use does not change. 3. It is the position of MBP that time is required to develop a plan and im-

plement options to maintain the community pasture program in Manitoba. MBP is requesting that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reconsider its plan to begin the transfer of the pastures in 2013. MBP requests that transfers begin no earlier than 2014 to allow producers, industry and governments the time required to effectively prepare for this transition. 4. If lands under the community pasture program are put up for sale as a result of changes to ad-

also include the Government of Canada, Government of Manitoba and rural municipalities that own parts of the existing pasture network. MBP would find it unacceptable if any of the three levels of government were to move forward without adequate consultations. Similarly, the development of our desired path forward will include the policy makers at all levels. Despite concern over the policy, the reality is that the federal govern-

administered through leases or a producer association could be set up to take over ownership and administration. MBP has a long way to go before we can consider our consultations complete. However, even at this point, it is clear that some of these options are quite undesirable. Producers generally do not want the land to be simply sold. The Government of Manitoba has indicated it does not want to start a provincially administered community pasture program. So where does this leave us? Initially, the best option appears to be setting up a producer association that would administer community pastures much as they are run today. A producer association managing a community pasture program is not unheard of. In fact, under the Harris Government in Ontario, pastures were sold to an association with an agreement to pay back the loan without interest over a 10-year period. Currently, there are 11 community pastures that participate in the association. There is still a lot of work, research and consultation to be done. This is

MBP is stressing the importance of consultations with beef producers and managers of the community pastures. ministration, measures must be taken to ensure that current and past users of the lands have the right of first refusal on the sale. MBP is stressing the importance of consultations with beef producers (patrons) and managers of the community pastures. Due to the widespread impact the program has from both an economic and environmental perspective, all users and employees of community pastures must be involved in the process prior to any long-term decisions being made. Consultations must

ment’s decision to move away from administration of community pastures has been made. MBP, along with other stakeholders, must look at the various options moving forward. What could happen to the 21 community pastures in Manitoba? There are options regarding the future of the land. It could be sold to private investors or the provincial government could take over the program as it stands. Alternatively, the land could be moved into Crown Land programs and

why MBP has requested that the federal government delay starting the transition in 2013. We can all agree that the benefits of community pastures are not something our province can afford to lose – economically or environmentally. How we maintain this land in its current state will be the driving question. MBP is committed to this issue and we are also committed to developing the best possible option that will ensure a continued legacy for community pastures.


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

VET CORNER

TAKING ACTION ON SUMMER PNEUMONIA

DR. TANYA ANDERSON

Although it is tempting to forget about the cow herd happily grazing while you are in the midst of the myriad of farm chores that abound, don’t forget to regularly check those pastures. Summer pneumonia in suckling calves is one disease that requires vigilance to avoid catastrophic losses. Many times the condition goes unnoticed until several calves are dead or in the late stage of disease. Second only to scours, respiratory disease is a common cause of death and ill thrift in calves. Symptoms may be very mild – a dry cough and slightly increased respiratory rate (40 breaths per minute) or much more severe with a high fever (>40C), dullness, failure to nurse, forceful coughing and a clear or yellowish mucous nasal discharge. Calves are typically found depressed, laying off by themselves, looking gaunt with ears down. Severely affected animals stand openmouthed, breathing with their head lowered and neck outstretched. Grunting is often heard and forced exercise may result in collapse or death. With the heat of summer, undetected pneumonia will often progress much faster than cases occurring in the fall and winter. If sick calves are detected too late in the course of the disease, damage to the lungs may be so extensive that chronic lung abscesses and scar tissue develop leading to recurring pneumonia or congestive heart failure. Calves that live have reduced growth rates and will perform poorly in the feedlot. Recent Canadian studies have pegged respiratory disease costs at up to $16.35 per unweaned calf. As usual, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Summer pneumonia appears to be farm-related, with some operations chronically experiencing high treatment rates while others have little or no disease problems. This can be particularly frustrating especially if a producer is doing the ‘right’ things and has implemented a vaccination program. Many factors can influence the effectiveness of any herd health program. Be progressive and critique your operation rather than blaming the vaccine manufacturer. Attention to detail and optimizing management at all levels of cow-

calf production will help minimize your calf pneumonia risk. Summer pneumonia generally happens when the passive immunity (antibodies) from the dam’s colostrum naturally wanes and if the calf has not been previously exposed to pneumonia-causing viruses and bacteria such that it begins to develop its own natural immunity. Viruses (IBR, BVD, BRSV) and bacteria like Mannheimia hemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni and Mycoplasma are present in carrier

takes to initiate a pneumonia outbreak. If your herd is subject to these uncontrollable risks, be vigilant and diligently check your calves. Early detection and treatment with a long-acting broadspectrum antibiotic and anti-inflammatory is critical to treatment success. When viruses are part of the problem, however, response to therapy will be less successful. In instances in which summer pneumonia becomes an annual problem, then bacterial and viral vaccines should be considered at spring turn-

practice area so my recommended vaccine programs reflect those findings. Focus on getting a strong immunity to the viruses as they cause the initial damage to the respiratory tract, allowing the bacteria to invade and cause further disease and damage. A new intranasal vaccine (Inforce 3) has shown great promise for the prevention of pneumonia in young calves. It is available in single dose vials making vaccination of young calves much more convenient and cost-effective. Timing of vaccination

Attention to detail and optimizing management at all levels of cow-calf production will help minimize your calf pneumonia risk. animals in a herd and passed from the nasal cavity of the cow to the nasal cavity of the calf at a very early age. They do not tend to cause any disease unless there is a stressor that triggers a weakening of the immune system. Stressors such as transportation, mixing of cattle (especially of differing ages), a sudden cold rain, extreme wind, atmospheric pressure changes, temperature fluctuations, hail storms, extreme heat, dust, aggravation from massive fly populations and poor milk production due to dry pasture conditions can be all it

out (or earlier if pneumonia is seen in very young calves). Which vaccine to use depends on your herd history and the disease incidence in your area. Your veterinarian can help you tailor a program to specifically meet your herd’s needs. The first step is often getting an accurate diagnosis by doing necropsies and submitting tissue samples for testing. Eyeballing the lungs can be misleading, so spend money on lab fees. BRSV. PI3, Histophilus and Pasteurella multocida are most commonly isolated in my

will vary depending on if calves get pneumonia at a really young age or not until they are a few months old. Culture and drug sensitivity results can also help you select an economical and effective treatment program. Although the abovementioned risk factors are, for the most part, uncontrollable, there are some things that you can do to help boost calf immunity. In well-managed beef operations, over 25 per cent of calves have not received adequate amounts of colostrum. Studies have shown that these calves are

12.5 times more likely to have health problems in the feeding period, long after weaning. Inadequate colostrum intake is largely a management problem. Poor nutrition, an inadequate cow vaccination program and high numbers of first-calf heifers result in poor qual-

ity and reduced amounts of colostrum. Poor teat conformation and leakage or nursing pre-birth also result in questionable colostrum supplies. Delays in calf nursing, whether due to mismothering, difficult birthing, adverse weather conditions or predation risks also limit the success of passive transfer. Poor cowherd mineral and vitamin programs set up the whole herd for increased disease problems ranging from grass tetany, milk fever, calving problems, retained placenta, infertility, calf losses, lower herd immunity (scours, pneumonia, joint ill, mastitis, metritis, bacteria, viral and protozoal infections and parasitism) and lower milk yield and growth. The deficiencies that I commonly see in my area include Vitamins A and E, copper, manganese and sometimes selenium. If summer pneumonia haunts your operation, know that help is available. Meet with your veterinarian to beef up your management and vaccination programs to wean more pounds this fall.

EXperience at this year’s This interactive exhibit takes guests on the journey of beef from pasture to plate. Join us from June 15 to 24 as we tell the important story of the Manitoba beef industry. More information at redriverex.com


8

CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

FLOOD OF 2011 - THE AFTERMATH

ANNE COTE

The water level in Lake Manitoba is slowly receding, down 2.8 feet from its highest point in 2011, exposing the damage caused by water, wind and crushing ice to the shoreline on both sides of the lake. The lake is not back to normal levels yet and cattle producers are worried about what they may find when it gets there.

ANNE COTE PHOTO

flooding wasn’t a natural event. That’s why Jonasson said he’s puzzled by the provincial government’s decision to have homes along the shoreline raised to 822 feet. “It’s not a natural high water mark and all it will do is cause economic hardship all along the lake,” he said. The implementation of this rule will devalue properties here.

Jonasson takes a closer look at the debris tangled on a fence.

ANNE COTE PHOTO

While Lake Manitoba shorelines were taking a beating from the record-setting inflows through the Portage Diversion, most people weren’t paying attention to what was happening to the lakes that usually flow into Lake Manitoba. Dog Lake, on the edge of Caron and Tim Clarke’s ranch, was one body of water that underwent some serious changes. According to Caron, it wasn’t that the water

wasn’t flowing out of Dog Lake at its normal rate – there was actually water flowing into it from Lake Manitoba. “Lake Manitoba ran backward,” she said. A walk across the native grass pasture near the nature preserve that borders Dog Lake showed just how much damage a couple of feet of water can do when it sits on the land for a year. According to Caron,

the situation would have been worse if the water had stayed on longer. The water level rose within a month but it took a whole year to recede even though there were perfect conditions for the drawdown this year. Bulrushes had taken over most of the space. Small trees, which provide shelter on windy days, looked like they had drowned. Others had been chewed down and hauled away by beavers.

CORRECTION: In the June 2012 story about the Flood of 2011 -­‐ Caron and Tim Clarke, Cattle Country erroneously reported several statements which were not related to the Clarke's operation. We also note that Caron Clarke was the only person interviewed for this article.

The white residue shows the height of the water backed up from Dog Lake on the Clarke’s pasture.

survived the stress of moving last year despite the problems associated with transportation and the real risk that the cow-calf pairs could be separated. This year, there is a new generation of calves scampering around the paddock beside his barn – safe and secure. “Despite all the problems, this is what keeps us doing this year after year,” Jonasson said. Caron said they lost 55 acres of pasture because of bulrushes or because they couldn’t get in to seed them. In May 2012, the cultivated fields are still too soft to get onto – the harrows can get stuck. And that’s exactly what happened in the field when Tim was harrowing on the next rise while Caron was showing Cattle Country the damage to the shelter trees near the lake. The Clarkes lost 250 to 300 acres of alfalfa and there won’t be any production at all from those fields this year. They had to buy approximately 2,000 bales to make up for the loss. According to Caron, because the land is fragile it will take a few years before the native pastures recover and she’s wondering what the effect on the herd will be. She said the animals do better on the native pastures. “It’s as if they’ve adapted to it.” On May 6, 2011 there was a massive evacuation of cattle and it took a week and a half to get them to dryer land. Both calves and cows lost weight.

Debris caught on the fencing shows how high the water had been. The debris has already caused some premature rusting of the wire and staples and will force repairs earlier than planned.

ANNE COTE PHOTO

Caron and Tim Clarke – Ashern

Beach where there used to be pasture. ANNE COTE PHOTO

Art Jonasson’s farm is on the east side of Lake Manitoba near the Narrows. The damage to the shoreline on his property has changed the landscape forever. Where there used to be natural grasses and a sharply defined bank – now there is nothing but sloping stretches of sand and land covered with plant debris. This is a natural effect of the flooding - but the

In the future, if a producer puts their land up for sale and its elevation is 814, 816 or 818 feet and the potential buyer thinks 822 feet is the natural level of the lake, they aren’t going to be interested in purchasing that land. Raising the house may provide a living space, but that structure is there because that is where they work, Jonasson said. “What good is a house if you can’t farm the land around it?” he asked. Meanwhile, Jonasson said, properties south of the Portage Diversion have appreciated in value because the Portage Diversion diminishes the risk of flooding in the Elie area and for 200-square miles around the La Salle River. The situation raises the question of how much water will be diverted into Lake Manitoba in the future and how often. Jonasson said his herd

ANNE COTE PHOTO

Art Jonasson – Vogar

Caron Clarke surrounded by bulrushes in the field that was native pasture before the 2011 flooding of Lake Manitoba and subsequently Dog Lake.

“We sold all the yearlings this year,” Caron said. One of the concerns Caron had about the recovery of the tame and native hay fields was the condition of the soil. “I was worried about salinity, so I took some samples and sent them for testing,” she said. The results indicated the level of salinity was high but if the ground was harrowed and the layer of saline soil was mixed with the soil below, productivity shouldn’t be affected. And that will work as long as the harrow doesn’t keep on getting stuck. It is a slow process be-

cause the fields are not big enough for large equipment. Instead of seeding fields in a rotation, they’re trying to do them all at once. It is a major disruption to their carefully thought-out field rotation plans, now and later. Like many other producers, the Clarkes are not sure about how the flooding will affect future AgriStability benefits, or if the provincial forage restoration program will continue long enough to get producers back to where they were before the flooding. Cattle producers know what happened last year what they don’t know is what will happen next.


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

SHOAL LAKES RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO BATTLE BACK FROM FLOODING

The water is gone but the clean-up and questions about the future remain

ANNE COTE PHOTO

most of his herd of 70 cowcalf pairs to neighbouring areas – Komarno, Teulon, and Oak Point. He is grateful he only lost one calf and a cow. Now he has some cattle in the corral on the farm site. But from his front yard, the pasture across the road still looks like a lake. Thorgilsson said the flooding on his property from the Shoal Lake has subsided somewhat due to the low precipitation last winter and this spring. “These lakes (North, West and East Shoal Lake) are a collection point for runoff in the watershed,”

This photo is taken directly across the driveway to Thorgilsson’s house.

as she prepared to leave the house where she had raised the couple’s four children. It was warm but windy that day and municipal officials said it wasn’t safe for her to stay in the house because the access roads could go underwater any minute. John was angry. He had finally convinced officials that he should be able to travel on to the property to ensure the

ANNE COTE PHOTO

Leori and John Dyck have run a cow-calf operation just west of Inwood, MB for 34 years. They built a house, corrals and pens for cattle and established a vegetable garden in the yard. For many of those years John also had a garage in St. Laurent. In May 2011, Leori was packing up pictures and other personal belongings

ANNE COTE PHOTO The road up to the driveway of the Dyck farm was narrow but there was no water on it. The water took over again just past the driveway.

sump pump was working properly so the house and contents wouldn’t get moldy. In May 2012, a year later and another warm sunny day, John and Leori agreed to talk about the buyout they accepted from the provincial government for their land, their house and the outbuildings. “We only had 30 acres lost to the Shoal Lake flooding,” John said. Their farm had 400 acres and they rented Crown land as well. The problem was the access road – the road that connected Inwood to St. Laurent. There were no provincial plans to rebuild that road and so the couple became ‘homeless’. They packed up the contents of the house and garage, moved the 60 cowcalf pairs to leased land and cleaned up the scrap metal pile beside the garage before moving into a much smaller rental home in Inwood. They don’t know how they are going to buy another house. In the buyout, they were awarded $76 per square foot for the 2,020 square foot home they had to leave. They don’t know where they will find land either. They want to move on, but they said they are frustrated. The settlement for

land values varied in the buyout agreement depending on the use – some land was deemed to be ‘of no value’ John said. That land was generally low spots where the runoff from the higher grassed areas would collect. It wasn’t bad, it didn’t grow grasses the cattle would eat, but it kept the rest of the pasture viable. John said the paperwork alone was enough to give him a headache. Calling the government’s attitude ‘heavyhanded’, John said he was told if he talked to anyone about the amount and conditions of the buyout, the government could put a stop to the process. John said he felt threatened. Leori pointed out that the amounts offered during the buyout process changed, actually dropping. John showed the changes on papers the couple was given. “They kept saying it was the secretary’s mistake, not a change in their offer,” he said. “Everything that went wrong was the secretary’s mistake.” He shrugged his shoulders and noted that either the secretary was the scapegoat for other people’s errors or he or she was not good at the job. The Dycks provided a tour of their old farmstead.

A view of the driveway, just 40 feet away from Thorgilsson’s house.

it when it is drained. “They’ve (the government) included the whole watershed in the buyout and restoration plans but not all that land is affected, only the land where the water collects and that’s where the lakes are,” Thorgilsson said.

And despite three studies in the past 15 or more years, there is still no definitive plan for providing any drainage outlet for the three Shoal Lakes. “And there’s just no guarantee there won’t be more drains into the lakes either,” Thorgilsson said.

Cattle peer out through the fence on the Thorgilsson farm site. By now they should be grazing on pasture grass just across the road, not on hay bales in the enclosure.

A municipal tractor sits at the edge of the Dyck farm driveway. Beyond the tractor the road leading to St. Laurent is submerged.

The road was a soggy mess but, according to John, better than it had been a day or two before. At the end of their old driveway was a municipal tractor, which had just cleared up straw and wood chunks that had been strewn across the road as the water receded. It is an emotional roller coaster for the couple, being able to see that the farmstead is in good shape but they have no hope of ever regaining it.

Now, like many of their neighbours, they spend a lot of time attending meetings with government officials trying to make sense of the compensation forms – forms for moving cattle and feed and leasing land that hadn’t been needed before – the list goes on and on. This year both Leori and John turned 65 and their Crown land lease automatically expired. Now they have to find other land to lease as well as a new home. ANNE COTE PHOTO

Leori and John Dyck pose at the gate to the yard on their old farmstead. Leori said it is gut wrenching to look at the old place and know they can no longer live and work there.

just one more job on top of the other restoration work they need to do to pastures and laneways. Thorgilsson said he bought bales of hay for his cattle throughout the winter even though he had hay stored just three miles away on the other side of closed roads. “It was a 70 mile drive to get to that hay,” he said. As young farmers, the Thorgilssons are more interested in what the future brings than what has gone on in the past. They keep attending meetings with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives staff and with other producers trying to sort out what forage restoration programs are in place, how long they’ll last and what the qualifying criteria are. Thorgilsson said he can’t figure out what the provincial government’s long term plan is for the area; whether they want to buy it all out, turn it into Crown land and then rent it, or buy it now and resell

ANNE COTE PHOTO

The end of a farm Leori and John Dyck – Inwood

he explained. “It’ll only take one or two good rainstorms to bring those levels right back up.” Fences Thorgilsson and his brother, who partners with him on some parts of the cattle operation, put up six years ago are showing signs of early wear and tear. Not only is the wire rusting from sitting in water and then being wrapped with wet plant debris, many of the fence posts are popping out as frost heaves them up. “I sure hope none of the corner posts go down,” Thorgilsson said. “That’ll take down even more of what’s left and we’ll have even more to put back up.” The house is on a dry patch now and there’s a new road that gives them dependable egress from the property but the water across the front lane poses another problem for the couple – keeping their two toddlers away from danger in an area that once was safe to play in. The simple answer is fencing, but it is

ANNE COTE PHOTO

Lake Manitoba and Dog Lake are new to extensive flooding and wind-event damage – that is in comparison to the decade-old flooding of the Shoal Lakes. Wade Thorgilsson’s farm borders on the North Shoal Lake. Last year, his wife Angela almost had to move to her parents’ house because the lake had overrun the access roads to their own home and she was expecting a baby. The family stayed behind to take care of the cattle and the house, keeping feed in the yard and pumping water out. Thorgilsson moved

ANNE COTE PHOTO

Wade and Angela Thorgilsson – East of Lundar

John Dyck said it is unlikely that he will be allowed to salvage any of the materials he put into the fences and sheds on his old farm site even though they have stayed high and dry and have salvage value.


10 CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

RESTORATION AFTER THE FLOOD WINS, LOSSES AND SURPRISES

ANGELA LOVELL

Have you ever seen beaver cuts above your head? Pat and Bev Waller hadn’t – that is until this spring.

A BEEF I AD

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That’s when they found themselves looking up to see chewed-off tree stumps as they began the task of cleaning up roots and other debris strewn across their land. The Wallers live in the Assiniboine River valley – eight miles north of Virden – where they have a cow-calf herd of around 170 head. In their 30 years of marriage they have been flooded at least 20 times, but never to the extent of the 2011 record-breaking flood. “We couldn’t make hay, we couldn’t plant anything, we had nothing to harvest, so we did a few more things last year than we normally do,” Pat said. That included some fun things like trap shooting and visiting their daughter in Flin Flon. But reality set in when they were able to find the fence posts again, still intact, but covered in a green

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and we are down to 200 acres—110 acres of peas and 70 acres of a silage mix – and the rest is going or gone to grass.” Some of the pastures are recovering by themselves, but there is still a lot of land that has to be rejuvenated or re-sown. Pat has been seeking

his input and helped access funding through Ducks Unlimited Canada – which provides $10 an acre to help establish forages. Viterra also offered a program providing $20 an acre with the purchase their seed. Pat has just finished seeding 400 acres of drowned out hayland with

the grass had not come back yet.” On another small area of the same pasture that wasn’t grazed in the fall, he had cows grazing by April 15. David Edmunds, who farms in the Souris River valley area about 8.5 miles south west of Souris, never

It’s not a practice that anyone would recommend but we had the seed already mixed up and had nothing to lose by trying it. – Pat Waller Wallers was the fact that they had already begun the transition from cropland to grassland. “We were in the process of sowing the farm down to grass because I want to finish off my farming career in rotational grazing,” Pat said. “We used to crop 1,000 acres

advice wherever he can on the best way to get his land back into shape. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives forage specialist, Jane Thornton, has helped him work out some seeding mixes. Michael Thiele, Manitoba Grazing Clubs co-ordinator, has also given

You’re Invited! Canada Beef Inc.

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slime that hung in sheets. They had over 1,000 acres of their 2,200-acre farm underwater last year, losing pasture and hayland and making it tough to maintain the herd on the remaining acres for the season. But what probably was the saving grace for the

September 20 - 21, 2012

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weed canary grass, using a no till drill owned by the local grazing club. He has found that weed canary grass is the best variety to start with, as it seems to establish quickly even in moist conditions. He then uses a shotgun mix of six different grasses and legumes and is throwing in a pound of alfalfa per acre to try to get some extra nitrogen into the soil. Ideally, he would like to fertilize these acres using his cows but he doesn’t think he will have enough livestock and may have to add some fertilizer along the way. Not all of Pat’s ideas are so orthodox or have the blessing of the experts. He dormant seeded around 45 acres last fall just before freeze up. “Jane gave it a less than 50 per cent chance of working, but you can mow it already, so I think Mother Nature smiled on us,” Pat said. “It’s not a practice that anyone would recommend but we had the seed already mixed up and had nothing to lose by trying it.” But not all of the decisions worked out as well. Pat made the decision to graze some stockpiled grass in the fall that he had originally intended to be there for this spring. “It was a good economic decision because we had to buy feed and it was $50 a bale and we were looking at this grass that was three-feet high and decided to graze it,” he said. “But it wasn’t a good grass decision and I shot myself in the foot because this spring when I wanted to take the cows up there,

sowed one of his 2,400 acres last spring. The family was evacuated for three months last summer when the roads were completely washed out and there was no way to access the farm. “The family stayed in our camper all summer and they usually love camping, but after three months in the camper they couldn’t wait to get home,” Edmunds said. Roads dammed water and back flooded a quarter section of his pasture, leaving him scrambling to find enough grazing land for his 120 cow-calf herd. He can still see a huge lake about five miles long and a mile wide to the south of his land where the water drained into a natural basin. And it will probably be there for a while yet. A neighbour told him recently that the last time there was a lake in that spot was when his grandfather settled there in the 1880s. The municipality could only build the road up for access to the farm last December and reinforced it again this spring. It seems the 2011 flood is forcing management changes as producers try to build in some insurance against similar events in the future. Edmunds still has water on the pasture that flooded and it will be at least a couple of years before he is able to use it

again. In the meantime, he is renting some pasture to help him manage through the summer and planting a quarter section of corn for silage to make sure he has enough feed. “I would normally be going into canola in that field, but I guess this year I am spending money instead of making it,” Edmunds said. He estimates it will take several years to clean up and get all the fields back into shape. Land around the sloughs should gradually be reclaimed as the waters recede. “I am spraying a field right now around a slough and usually it’s about 130 acres, and this year there’s maybe 100 acres, but hopefully we will get a few acres back each year.” There can be some unexpected surprises as the land emerges again. Last year, Edmunds was cultivating around the edge of a slough in the fall and dropped the cultivator right up to the frame into an unseen muskrat run—luckily there was no damage. Pat is also re-thinking what he will do to try and make sure he doesn’t end up losing all of his fences again. He is using aircraft wire to rebuild his fences and has devised a system, together with some local inventors, to roll the wire up onto spools in the fall, so it can then be easily restrung in the spring. But despite all the struggles, cost and stress that flooding brings it also serves as a reminder of how resilient the land can be. Pat has some acres coming back on their own that were written-off by crop insurance when it flooded just after he had sown it down. In other areas there are grass specieslike slender wheatgrass – coming through that shouldn’t have survived the flood. “I get goose bumps when I see this stuff coming back,” Pat said. “Mother Nature really is an amazing thing.”

Pat Waller’s forage mix:

1 lb of alfalfa 1 lb of timothy seed 2 lbs alsike clover

2 lbs tall fescue 2 lbs slender wheat grass

5 lbs weed canary grass 27 lbs of barley


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

LIVESTOCK STAKEHOLDERS JOIN FORCES ON DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN EVENT

OVER 700 ATTEND SESSION MBP STAFF

Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned animal advocate, spoke on livestock welfare to a crowd of over 700 guests in Brandon on May 23, 2012. The group that brought Grandin to the province included stakeholders from the agriculture sector such as livestock commodity associations, brokers, transporters, production facilities and government. “We appreciate that

ducers general manager. “MBP was proud to partner with the other sponsors on this successful event.” Producers, consumers, professionals and fans gathered for the afternoon at the Victoria Inn to hear Grandin address a wide range of wel-

Dr. Grandin is an independent voice who can talk about animal welfare issues and what needs to be accomplished,” said Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Pro-

fare issues, animal care in all livestock sectors and initiatives producers and slaughter facilities can take to improve their operations. Donations for the National Farm Ani-

and congratulations to the sponsors who made the event possible (listed alphabetically): HyLife Ltd., Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Pork Council, Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, Quintaine Livestock, and Steve’s Livestock Transport.

100 ACRE WOODS PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO Dr. Temple Grandin

mal Care Council were collected in lieu of admission. Grandin also emphasized the importance for producers to take time to share positive stories about their animal welfare practices. She encouraged them to use the Internet and social media to communicate with consumers and others who want to know more about where their food

comes from. “Throughout the session Dr. Grandin reaffirmed the fact that we need to have conversations with the public,” said Dahl. “We need to let people know about the work beef producers are already doing to make sure their animals are cared for throughout the production chain.” An invitation-only din- Dr. Grandin signs a book for young producer Brett McRae.

KRISTEN LUCYSHYN PHOTO

We appreciate that Dr. Grandin is an independent voice who can talk about animal welfare issues and what needs to be accomplished. – Cam Dahl

ner for industry followed the public session, which was an opportunity for livestock stakeholders to receive insight on how to improve animal welfare in Manitoba. Special thanks to everyone who attended Dr. Temple Grandin - Animal Welfare: The Right Thing to Do

MAN/SASK AUCTIONEERING CHAMPIONSHIP A HUGE SUCCESS SUBMITTED

Twenty auctioneers from across Manitoba and Saskatchewan competed at the annual Man/Sask Auctioneering Championship held at Heartland Livestock Services in Virden on May 4, 2012. This year’s winner was Kim Crandall from Winnipegosis who sells at the Ste. Rose Auction Mart. Crandall, a first-time competitor, edged out Allan Munroe from Killarney in a tiebreaker to win the award. This year, a high percentage of the proceeds from this event and the upcoming golf tournament on July 12, 2012 will be donated to the Major Jay Fox and Sheldon Nicholson family trust funds. Both gentlemen were active members of the livestock industry. There were over 50 sponsors for the event with numerous donations for the auction. Chairman Rick Wright said that the support from the industry

was overwhelming. “Our team of fundraisers went out and we rarely heard no,” Wright said. Some of the donations were a cow-calf pair donated by Taylor Auctions, which sold to Cattlex farms for $1,700. A grass heifer donated by Ransom Cattle Co. was purchased for $865 by Weyburn Livestock Exchange. A $1,000 trucking voucher from Roberge Transport sold for $1,800 to Grasslands Cattle Management in Moosejaw. Steve’s Livestock Transport and Favel Transportation each donated $1,500 worth of cash and services. The following are the results for the event: first place went to Farron Ward,

Paul Moore of Alameda Auction was second, and Brock Taylor of Melita was third. Scott Campbell of Killarney captured the fourth spot, Robin Hill of HLS Virden was fifth, Joey Chescu of the Strathclair Auction Mart was sixth, seventh place went to Tyler Cronkhite of HLS Moosejaw, and the eighth place winner was Kim Crandall of Ste. Rose Auction Mart. This year’s judges were Jay Jackson, Winnipeg; Clayton Hawerluik, Yorkton (2008 Champion); Rhett Parks, Whitewood (2011 Champion), Lyal Fox, Prince Albert; Harold Unrau, Grunthal; and Brennin Jack, 2011 Canadian Champion. The emcee for the

CHARLOTTE CUTLER OF THE VIRDEN EMPIRE-ADVANCE PHOTO

At the end of the day, Farron Ward from the Candiac Auction Mart in Saskatchewan was declared the winner by the panel of six judges. Ward will represent Manitoba and Saskatchewan at the national competition in Stavely, Alberta this summer. Ward was presented with a custom-designed belt buckle from Ivomec and a cheque for $1,000 from the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association. Nine rookies with less than five years of experience selling livestock competed for the Bob Wright Memorial Award. Bob Wright was a well-known and respected auctioneer from the Boissevain area and had sold livestock for over 40 years.

Farron Ward steps up to receive his award from Rick Wright.

event was Ward Cutler, current Agribition Champion. The MLMA will host the Cattlemen’s Best Ball Golf Tournament for the Fox and Nicholson trust funds on July 12 at Oak Is-

land Resort at Oak Lake. The first 144 golfers will be accepted. Anyone wishing to sponsor or take part can contact Rick Wright at the HOBC office at 204-7487676.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

With the calving season just about wrapped up, producers will start looking towards the fall with anticipation of what the market will be like when it comes time to sell their 2012 calf crop. Supply and demand plays an important part in determining pricing regardless of what time of the year you choose to sell. In Manitoba, more and more cow-calf producers have chosen to calve later in the spring. This has resulted in fewer calves in the fall and more farm fresh calves on offer the following spring. The downside is that Manitoba is now competing directly with Alberta and Saskatchewan producers for market share when they sell their calves in fall. The way the supply flows has much more impact on pricing than the size of the supply. Cattle on Feed Reports only tell us what is in captivity - not what is left in the country. Gone are the days when smaller producers purchased 200 to 300 calves to put with their own inventory with the idea of reselling those cattle in 120 to 160 days. Cattle inventories are

changing hands less often than before and that will not change in the future. With the smallest cow herd on record, supply will not be a big issue in the fall as it has been in the past. Herds on both sides of the border are starting to rebuild and excess supply should not be a problem for the next few years. The good news is that all indications are that the fall market will be very aggressive again this year despite the fact that many of the calves purchased last fall did not make the buyers any money. The exceptions were the cattle that were hedged with risk management programs. Those operators that contracted their feed and their cattle were able to take advantage of record high cattle prices in February and March for future deliveries. For example, in Manitoba some 900-pound steers for spring delivery were forward priced at $1.38 per pound. At the ac-

5th Annual Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup August 3-5 Neepawa Manitoba Held in Conjunction with the Canadian Gelbvieh Junior Event

Open to Juniors (Purebred and Commercial) up to 25 years of age of any Breed An educational, fun weekend with the selection of the Agribition Judging Team For more information go to our Facebook Page, call 204-728-3058 or entry forms at www.mbangus.ca

tual time of delivery those same cattle were worth approximately $1.27 per pound—a difference of $99 per head. As I have mentioned before, I expect purchasing interest from the U.S. this fall, especially on the yearling steers off the grass. There appears to be consid-

Feed prices in the future have the potential to come down. Indications are that U.S. farmers could harvest the largest corn crop in history—which is great news for cattle producers. Projected average price for 2012 is pegged at 4.50 per bushel, and could be lower.

of 2012 compared to losses of five to 15 cents per pound for 2011. Estimates are that these profits will increase production in 2012. Consumers have shown resistance to higher beef prices by switching to other proteins. If poultry and pork prices increase, the

There has been a huge increase in the number of heifers turned out to grass to be bred with the hopes of an aggressive bred heifer market this fall. erably less cash yearlings available for sale in the fall than in other years. The majority of the yearling steers on pasture will fall into the retained ownership category and will never be resold prior to slaughter. There has been a huge increase in the number of heifers turned out to grass to be bred, with the hopes of an aggressive bred heifer market this fall. This should mean even less grass cattle overall in the system for the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. I will boldly predict that, barring a crop failure, yearling prices will be the highest this fall that we have seen.

On the protein supply chain, pork and poultry both have experienced major changes this year. Canadian pig inventory is up 1.8 per cent in 2012 while the U.S. inventory increased by 1.9 per cent. Canada’s increase is still a far cry from the peak of 2005. At that time inventory was 21 per cent higher than today and Canada accounted for 20 per cent of the North American pork supply. In the poultry business, the U.S. has the smallest broiler flock since 1997. With smaller numbers, producers saw profits of five to eight cents per pound in the first quarter

higher cost of beef may not seem so intimidating. Despite resistance at the meat counters, consumers were eating out more. The National Restaurant Association in the U.S. reported seven straight months of increased sales by 65 per cent of their membership. In the beef sector, feedlots that did not contract their finished cattle are facing losses of approximately $100 per head on the current cash market. Carcass weights are 15 pounds per head higher than last year which puts more beef into an already crowded supply chain. As predicted, the price of beef in stores is increas-

ing. Choice cuts are trading nine per cent higher than last year, while the select cutouts were eight per cent higher. The strong value of the Canadian dollar has been hindering the exports of meat products to the U.S. but has kept American feedlots from buying many Canadian feeder cattle. Despite the large number of cull cows coming to the markets, the number of cows being killed has decreased in the beef sector and increased in the dairy sector. Two major areas to watch over the summer will be the weather, which will influence crop yield and quality, and the value of the Canadian dollar, which will have a major effect on potential export markets. If Mother Nature cooperates we should look toward a good year in the cattle business. Just a reminder that the Cattlemen’s Best Ball Golf Tournament will be held at Oak Island Resort on July 12. Proceeds, after expenses, are in support of the Major Jay Fox and Sheldon Nicholson family trust funds. To enter, call 204-748-3775. Have a great summer, Rick

GRANT MOFFAT FUND

MBP STAFF

Grant Moffat of Forrest, MB., an active Charolais breeder, photographer, newsletter editor, youth supporter, and agricultural journalist has been missing since August 18, 2006. A decision was made to channel the Grant Moffat Fund towards a program to help Manitoba youth get a start in the purebred beef industry.

The Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award will be presented to multiple youth recipients (purebred or commercial producers), based on need, through applications selected by the Grant Moffat Fund committee. It will be applied towards the purchase of a registered heifer calf of a beef breed of the youth’s choice with the intent of building a purebred beef cattle herd. Moffat was a strong supporter of youth and purebred associations and therefore the purchases will be made through Manitoba

auction sales, up to a $2,000 maximum. The deadline for the 2012 Herd Builder Award is September 1, 2012. The Grant Moffat Showmanship award is also available. Moffat was an active participant in the Manitoba Livestock Expo and the Grant Moffat Fund Com-

mittee felt that cash awards should be given out to deserving youth in the cattle industry in the showmanship division. The Grant Moffat Fund will present cash awards to the Champion and Reserve in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior divisions of the Manitoba Livestock Expo

All Breeds Junior Show. The overall Grand Champion will receive a Keeper Plaque and a Continual Trophy in honour of Grant Moffat supplied by the Grant Moffat family. For further details or to make donations to the fund, please visit www. grantmoffat.com.


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP EVERY MILE A MEMORY

BRENDA SCHOEPP

The plane finally landed around 2 a.m. after an eight-hour delay in Ottawa. As there was not much happening in Charlottetown at that time, a few lawyers on the plane offered me a ride to the hotel. My luggage, however, did not arrive and so I spoke to the sole person in the airport to make a luggage claim. Well, she could not do a lot about the luggage—it was likely in Zimbabwe or something—but I was the same size as her niece. What would I need? I explained that the next day, which was the first of ten on the road, would be spent between farm calls, a meeting with the Cattlemen’s Association and a formal speaking engagement that night. The hotel was only a few miles away but by the time the lawyers dropped me off, there was a package containing a pair of rubber boots, coveralls, soap, toothpaste, change of clothes and a bag of potatoes. Welcome to Prince Edward Island!

blew in while I was carrying all these things forced me to the home Mrs. Heintzmen (of Heintzmen Pianos) – a visit I remember with sincere warmth. I added an antique treasure from her and then, after five more nights, came home weary and happy only to pack and leave in a few days to do it all over again – across the Prairies, through the mountains or deep in lake country. Repeatedly, folks were gracious and kind and added weight to my bags with clothing, bison tooth checkers, jam, art, syrup, clocks and so much more. Being a quick study, I once traded my time for a bag of

To say that farmers are the foundation of a nation perhaps sells them short. They are the nation—for every civilization evolves around one thing: the production of food. This is one of the many memories that make me smile. After tens of thousands of miles and thousands of days away from home over 25 years, the journey has been well worth it. As farmers, we have so much in common. Go to a beach, car show, park, church service or any gathering and farmers will join with other farmers. It is the same traveling—you are never really away—just with a group of new friends. Neither distance nor language can interfere with the sharing between us. We are rooted and grown in the soil on which we stand. Of course on this trip, the fun did not stop in the Maritimes. My luggage caught up with me a week later in Toronto, as did other gifts, a book, a crystal tray and a basketball (yes, a basketball). The snowstorm that

oats, woolen mittens, grass seed and a wheelbarrow of other goodies. Oh, the fun we have had! Try getting fresh eggs through airport security! I never see agriculture in a negative light, because I know ‘its people’. Agriculture has never given me any chance for sorrow for it has been good to me. With the grace and protection of God, my travels have taken me across Canada more than a dozen times and I have had the honor of visiting hundreds of farms. These kitchen table boardrooms and back-forty meetings privilege me to the lives of those who grow our food, feed our animals and manage our environment in Canada. They are the foundation of our nation and the true reason for our prosperity. And it is the men and women of agriculture who build not only outstanding commu-

nities but grow outstanding people. Who would not have a preference of a young man or woman with an agricultural background on their team? Pride shows itself in many forms. The soft pet of the family dog, a roar around the field in a new tractor, the kiss to a baby’s cheek, a sweeping gesture over land, a bountiful garden, a beautiful quilt, a new software program or technology, a community leadership program, a faithful employee or a child that came back home to invest in and live on the farm. A bedraggled traveler such as me is witness to these stories and to this pride in every corner of our nation. Is that not amazing? Is it not amazing that communities can build first-class facilities with seemingly no budget? Is it not amazing that every farm table can be fully dressed in a heartbeat even when the fridge appears empty? Is it not amazing that, after years of setbacks, farms continue to thrive and is it not amazing that our strongest leaders, best professionals and advocates for social change and most creative artists all came from rural Canada? It is staggering to think of the contribution that rural people make to urban wealth and security. To say that farmers are the foundation of a nation perhaps sells them short. They are the nation—for every civilization evolves around one thing: the production of food. I get to see men and women grow and raise food from coast to coast. It doesn’t get more exciting!

HAY FOR SALE Excellent Quality

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Call Dale Murray Murray Farms Inc. Decker, Manitoba

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I am often asked how I remain so passionate about agriculture. It is tough, demanding, exhausting and complicated, especially when you are farming and on the road with your family back at home. The answer is simple. With or without lug-

gage I am always surrounded by caring, intelligent, respectful, creative, talented, resourceful, hardworking, sincere people. I am always surrounded by farmers – they are my reward and that makes every mile a memory.

Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of BEEFLINKTM, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alberta. Contact her at brenda.schoepp@cciwireless.ca or www.brendaschoepp.com

Survey on Beef Cattle Code of Practice

Beef cattle owners and others with an interest in animal care and welfare have an opportunity to provide their input into the redevelopment of Canada’s Beef Cattle Code of Practice through an online survey. The National Farm Animal Care Council is conducting the survey to gain stakeholder insights on the Code of Practice, and views on the care and handling of beef cattle. Your participation is important. To complete this confidential 15-minute survey, go to www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle and click on survey. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458.


14 CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

SHELTERBELTS AND BEEF PRODUCTION

LOOKING AT THE BENEFITS

IAN SHANGHVI, B.A. (HONS.) RESEARCH ASSISTANT, RURAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE, BRANDON UNIVERSITY

Doug Caldwell, a beef producer in Kenton, MB., views shelterbelts as being very important for beef production. He uses shelterbelts for cattle grazing during winter in order to cut down on his feeding costs and reduce the amount of manure he would have to haul out the following year. Shelterbelts reduce the amount of fuel and labour associated with beef production, and animals are out on fresh ground. For Caldwell, shelterbelts are also vital for crop production. Caldwell is part of a four-year project entitled ‘Demonstration and Investigation into Livestock Systems Adoption’. The project is a result of a successful application for funding to the Agricultur-

al Greenhouse Gases Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada by the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District. The project is an integrated approach with a focus on livestock systems and a secondary emphasis on cropping systems and agroforestry. It aims to demonstrate environmentally responsible practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously reducing livestock production costs. The project is not intended to invent new technologies, but rather to demonstrate unfamiliar practices such as alley cropping systems which, combined with

proven winter-feeding strategies, will reduce agricultural emissions. This practice has also been proven to increase carbon levels in the soil and enhance production efficiencies by increasing animal feed efficiencies and de-

shelterbelts are widely recognized. As Caldwell puts it, “the best way to equate it is if you’re putting trees around your house to reduce your heating bills, then you could do the same thing

more moisture, too, as the crops wouldn’t be getting scorched by the wind.” Ryan Canart, General Manager of the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District, also shares a positive view on shelterbelts.

If your cattle are not in the cold wind, they won’t use as much energy, so your feeding bills will be lower. – Doug Caldwell creasing traditional production costs such as manure handling and synthetic annual crop fertilization. Indeed, the benefits of

Benefits of shelterbelts:

t Shelterbelts are recognized for their beneficial role to plants and animals t 5 SFFT QSPWJEF B OFX TPVSDF PG IBCJUBU BOE GPPE GPS QMBOUT BOJNBMT BOE even insects t 4IFMUFSCFMUT JODSFBTF UIF EJWFSTJUZ PG B GBSN TJUF BOE SFEVDF QFTU outbreaks t 4IFMUFSCFMUT BSF XFMM LOPXO GPS UIF DSVDJBM SPMF UIFZ QMBZ JO SFEVDJOH heating costs for homes and animal husbandry and they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

for your cattle and your crops. If your cattle are not in the cold wind, they won’t use as much energy, so your feeding bills will be lower.” As far as crop production is concerned, Caldwell adds that if your crop is growing through the summer, it is not subjected to the warm, hard winds. “More of the energy can go into growing the seed versus maintaining the straw from fatigue caused by being flipped back and forth by the wind. And you’ll be able to keep

He says they play a key role in controlling dust and reducing soil erosion. “Shelterbelts also help in controlling chemical drift by wind and regulating temperature in the micro-climate around them,” says Canart. “We know that trees are also essential for filtering and purifying water.” The Demonstration and Investigation into Livestock Systems Adoption project fulfills two specific objectives. The first is to work with pro-

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ducers who participate to develop a quarter section field scale alley cropping system to grow winter feedstock and double as a winter feeding site for cattle production. The field scale livestock systems will demonstrate combining multiple rows of planted trees with a winter livestock feeding system. The tree rows will protect growing crops and shelter animals while they are consuming feedstock. These systems have been proven to reduce emissions from the livestock production system via reduced animal stress, improved feed conversion and increased resident time of nutrients, carbon and water in the soil. The second objective involves researchers investigating the attitudes of beef producers toward the livestock system and their views on adapting it. Researchers will do this through a social marketing framework over multiple years. According to William Ashton, Director of the Rural Development Institute of Brandon University, published research demonstrates the biological and economic benefits to tree, crop and animal interactions, but little adoption of these practices has been realized on the Canadian prairie landscape. Using multiple tools, researchers on this project will discover the opportunities and barriers to adoption. The principal implementers of this project are the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District and the Rural Development Institute. Other project collaborators, actual and potential, include Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Agri-Environment Services Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Manitoba Agro Woodlot Program; Manitoba Beef Producers; and Manitoba Forage Council. If you are a producer who would like to learn more about the program or to get involved, please contact William Ashton at 204571-8513 or ashtonw@brandonu. ca or Ryan Canart, at 204-5673554 or uarcd@mts.net.


June 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

PORTION DISTORTION ADRIANA BARROS

Have you ever stopped to wonder, “When did everything suddenly become so oversized?”

CANADA BEEF PHOTO

In North America, the popular motto is ‘bigger is better’. It is no shock that most people overeat when everything put in front of them is much larger. In this month’s column, I will compare the portion-size changes of eating in and out of the home 20 to 30 years ago. I will also take a look at how easy portion sizing can be—everywhere you sit down to a meal. Finally, we will dig into a handy arsenal of portion control tips you can keep in your back pocket when eating out. Portion sizes have dramatically increased in the 1970s and rose sharply in the 1980s. During those periods, fast food chains were popping up all over the place. Once the market became saturated and overcrowded, the most logical way for fast food restaurants to increase business was to offer customers the perception of value for their dollar. This consisted of larger portions of french fries, soft drinks and hamburgers with more meat; franchises were offering more value to the prices listed on their menus. According to Patricia Duffy, fast food restau-

rants have increased the portion sizes of common foods from two to five times larger than when the portions were first introduced to consumers. This effect has created ‘portion distortion’, which is when one perceives the

take suggested by Health Canada. While restaurant portion sizes have increased, so has the size of dishware. Dishes are 36 per cent larger than they used to be in some cases. Our assumptions about

Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Specific Eating. Daily recommendations

up to six servings. Table 1, t &OKPZ UIF DPOWFSTBUJPO below, shows an easy to fol- it’s not a race. Eat until low guide describing portion you begin to feel full. It sizes and how to relate them takes 20 minutes until to everyday objects (Dieti- your brain signals your tians of Canada, 2005). stomach that you have When eating at home it had enough. is easier to control your t $IPPTF MFNPO XBUFS PS plate size, however, when calorie-free soda to drink. Portion Sizes

Looks Like

Grain Products 5-12 servings

Pasta, rice, bagel

125 mL (1/2 cup) ½ small bagel

1/2 baseball 1 hockey puck

Vegetables and Fruit 5-10 servings

Fresh fruit: apple, orange Dried fruit Baked potato

1 medium piece 60 mL (1/4 cup) 1 medium

1 baseball 1 golf ball Computer mouse

Meats and Alternatives 2-3 servings

Meat, poultry, fish Cooked kidney beans Nuts: peanuts/almonds

50-100 g cooked 125-250 mL (1/2-1 cup) 75 mL (1/3 cup)

Deck of cards/palm of hand 1/2-1 baseball Cupped palm of hand

Milk Products 2-4 servings

Yogurt Cheese

175 g (3/4 cup) 50 g (2 ounces)

how much we need to consume in order to be full (Brian Wansink, 2007) have also changed. Plates, bowls and cups just keep getting bigger and because of portion distortion we think the right amount of food requires overfilling your plate. When visiting a restaurant or in your home, the dishware available may be a 10-12 inch dinner plate. Imagine one serving of pasta (½ cup) on a 10-inch plate filling the plate would equal

dining out this is more difficult to control. When looking through menus be aware that portion sizes and calories attached to dishes will always be deceiving.

size of a food portion to be much larger than intended for consumption during one sit-down meal. The dramatic increase in portion sizes seen in fast food restaurants then and now is present in casual dining restaurants as well. Today’s perception of a typical portion in a restaurant meal leads to incidences where one meal can be equal to a whole day’s worth in energy and contain much more than the recommended sodium in-

Here are some easy to follow tips when eating out:

t 5SZ IBWJOH BO BQQFUJ[FS or order an entrée and share half with a friend. t "TL GPS IBMG PG UIF FOUSÏF to be packaged up before it gets delivered to the table.

portions as a typical serving size; simply because they were brought up in a super-sized world. To aid in preventing overeating, I have chosen a recipe featuring simple portion control. Quinoa and Beef-Stuffed Peppers are quick to make and delicious. The recipe is courtesy of Canada Beef. Have a wonderful, safe and exciting summer filled with delicious shared meals with friends and family!

Works Cited

Brian Wansink, P. K. (2007). Portion Size Me: Downsizing Our Consumption Norms. American Dietetic Association, 5. 175 g (6 ounces) yogurt container Dietitians of Canada. 3 dominoes (2005). Keep an eye on your portions size... go the healthy t *G ZPV TUJMM IBWF SPPN GPS way. Retrieved May 15, 2012, dessert, consider sharing from Go the Healthy Way: with those at the table, res- www.gov.ns.ca. Patricia Duffy, F. Y. (2012 taurant desserts are often January 27). Can the Dietary oversized. (Source: WinniGuidelines for Americans 2010 peg Regional Health AuHelp Trim America’s Waistthority). line? Choices The Magazine for There is no doubt that Food, Farm, and Resources Ismany people are aware of sues, p. 12. portion distortion but beWinnipeg Regional Health coming a victim of overfillAuthority. (n.d.). Your Health: ing plates still appears difInformation on portion sizes. ficult for most to avoid. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from Portion distortion may Winnipeg Health Region: www. not be realized in young wrha.mb.ca/wave/2011/01/poradults and children who perceive large plates and tion-sizes.php.

QUINOA AND BEEF-STUFFED PEPPERS

With all the flavours of lasagna, kids love these colourful peppers. You will too, knowing that protein-rich lean beef and quinoa pack in a powerful nutrient punch. 12

small to medium red, yellow or orange sweet peppers 2 cups (500 mL) 2% cottage cheese, drained ⅓ cup (75 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup (250 mL quinoa or brown rice 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil 1 lb (500 g) Extra Lean or Lean Ground Beef 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup (250 mL) EACH chopped onion and mushrooms 1 ½ cups (375 mL) tomato sauce ½ cup (125 mL) chopped drained canned water chestnuts (optional) ½ tsp (2 mL) EACH dried oregano and basil Freshly ground black pepper ½ cup (125 mL) shredded Cheddar cheese

5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Set aside. 3. Meanwhile, cook beef in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with potato masher or wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tsp (10 mL) fat from skillet. 4. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms to skillet; sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Return beef and accumulated juices to skillet. Stir in tomato sauce, water, chestnuts (if using), oregano, basil and black pepper to taste; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in quinoa or brown rice. 5. Stuff half of each pepper with some filling. Layer each with cottage cheese mixture; top each with remaining filling and Cheddar cheese. Top with a pepper lid; place on parchment paper or lightly oiled foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. 6. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for about 20 minutes or until digital instant read thermometer inserted in centre of filling registers 160°F (71°C). t /FYU UJNF EJDF VQ UIF QFQQFS MJET BOE DPPL XJUI UIF mushrooms for a nutrient boost. For sirloin flavour, try Extra Lean Ground Beef Sirloin.

1. Cut each pepper across stem end to make pepper lids and cups. Remove and discard seed core from each. (Note: if pepper cups won’t sit upright, remove small slice from bottom of each, being sure not to create an opening). Set aside. Combine cottage cheese and Parmesan in small bowl; set aside. 2. Combine quinoa or brown rice and 2 cups (500 mL) water in medium saucepan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, simmer, covered for 15 minutes Per serving - 238 calories, 19 g protein, 8.1 g fat, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove cover and let cool for H DBSCPIZESBUF NH TPEJVN t .BLFT TFSWJOHT


16 CATTLE COUNTRY June 2012

FRANKLIN AND PIRATE AN ADOPTION STORY

GLORIA MOTT

Calving time is always interesting and the 2012 season is no exception. until he was on just milk. The cows were not calving quickly, and during that time, we had no losses. So, by Sunday, we were considering putting this calf up for sale on the ‘Swap ‘n’ Shop’ on the local radio station. We’d only had about six calves so far and all – except Franklin – were heifers. “What if we advertise to sell him, or, as an alternative, see if anyone has a cow that has just lost a calf?” I asked. We weren’t that busy yet and we thought we had enough time to ‘adopt a cow’ onto our calf. Our first two calls were from people with cows that had lost calves; one was a heifer, the other an older cow. We decided on the heifer, thinking she would adjust more quickly to our

farm and be a replacement for the heifer we lost. When we called back, the farmer had decided to keep his heifer and put a calf on her. That left us with the older cow – a quiet black Baldy who was 9-years-old. In our herd of commercial beef cows, the colours range from white to tan to red to grey. We decided we’d take her and got ready to travel the 75-odd miles to get her. As we were leaving the phone rang – someone wanted Franklin. We turned them down. We continued on our way, wondering, ‘are we crazy?’ Here we were, trying to pare down our herd as we age, and hoping to leave more time to visit grandchildren and probably travel – and we were off buying a cow for a calf. We continued on in

Manitoba Charolais Association Second Annual Picnic Everyone is invited to come out and enjoy a day of casual entertainment and good food Dinner at about 5:00 p.m. Be sure to view the excellent livestock display Join in on the games

On the weekend of June 23/2012

Livestock displays 2:00 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs and refreshments Camping available Games for all Lakeside activities

This years picnic will occur at the farm of Ernie and Al Bayduza - Breezy Dawn Farm Co-Hosted by Hans and Mary Myhre - Myhre Farm Directions are from Dauphin North on Hwy #20 10 miles to Road #155N then East 5 miles More Information available @ Manitoba Charolais Association Website www.charolaisbanner/mca.com

GLORIA MOTT PHOTO

Our heifer had fallen to the ground, groaning and obviously in great distress. She had just delivered her first calf with just a little help from my husband. The bleeding indicated that she was in great trouble. We encountered this problem right at the beginning of the calving of our 135 cows. Before any vet could arrive, she was dead, probably from ruptured blood vessels. Fortunately, her calf was a big, strong and healthy bull. The next step was to start thawing colostrum and feed this hungry little fellow. We usually don’t name our calves, but the ones we solely feed get a ‘handle’. So, he now had a name – Franklin. I started him on a regimen of bottle-feeding four times per day, gradually adding cow’s milk to the colostrum,

the truck and trailer, second-guessing ourselves. There was only my husband, my father-in-law, 86, and me on the farm – and we didn’t need more cows – we’re actually trying to downsize and we’d already reduced our herd by 100. We saw the cow, decided she was a good one and worth the money they wanted and were assured ‘she always raised one of their best calves’. The owner said she was called ‘Pirate’ – presumably because her black markings extended over one eye. She was slated for the auction mart the following week if we didn’t take her. We wrote a cheque, loaded her up and headed for home. Because Franklin was four-days-old, we knew it wasn’t going to be an instant match. We had turned down the offer of the remains of the calf she lost two days ago, because it had been quite warm and we thought they would be too unpleasant to work with. (Adoption sometimes works well if the dead calf is skinned, and the hide tied onto the orphan calf, to fool the cow into thinking it might be hers.) The first feeding, with Pirate in the headlock in the calving pen, went well. Franklin nursed well during his first contact with a cow and she did not seem

to mind. However, things went downhill from there. We hadn’t asked what Pirate’s diet had been and she would not eat or drink. She refused silage and barley and would eat only hay. We figured she was homesick. She resented being left in a pen in the barn and had started to kick at Franklin as we forced feedings on her four times each day. By the third day, it seemed like she was drying herself up. “I think we have made a big mistake,” my husband said. We regretted that we hadn’t brought Pirate’s dead calf’s remains and skinned it. We debated about putting Franklin back on the bottle and shipping Pirate but we continued with the four feedings per day and started supplementing the calf. The next night, we had another heifer that was calving and we put her in the pen next to Franklin and Pirate. After the other heifer gave birth, something seemed to twig with Pirate. It was almost imperceptible, but when my husband put her in the pen behind the barn, hoping the change of scenery might make her more content, she turned to Franklin and said a quiet, short ‘moo’.

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We became hopeful. We called Pirate’s former owners. They indicated she was used to a diet of whole oats and hay. We added whole oats to her diet, but she was starting to nibble on the barley and silage. We found we could mix them a bit and she would eat it. We decided that it was time to CCIA (Canadian Cattle Identification Agency) tag and band Franklin, whether or not he was being adopted. When we took him out of her pen, Pirate’s eyes never left him, and she seemed glad when we put him back in the pen. Soon, the supplementation stopped. We kept Pirate in the barn pen until we’d emptied the ‘first stage’ pen, as we were afraid that the other cattle might recognize her as a stranger and fight with her. When the rain stopped and the weather cleared, we put those calves into the field and put Pirate and Franklin and the heifer and her calf into the first stage pen. Before we did that, we had to put a tag in his ear – something that identified who his mother is. We decided on ‘PR8’. As I write this, Pirate and Franklin seem quite content in the field. She has assimilated with the cows that are out there, who don’t seem to notice that she is strange – or black for that matter – and she is eating the mixed silage ration out of the rubber-tire feeder. Is it a good idea to buy a mother for your orphaned calf? I’m not so sure we would do it again. Certainly not, if your calves are coming in the numbers ours are now coming. However, if you have the time and energy, and a great calf like Franklin, it might just be worth the trouble – but be warned, your relatives might call you ‘crazy’ too!


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

VOL.14 NO.5 SEPTEMBER 2012

FARM GROUPS OPPOSE COSMETIC PESTICIDE BAN RON FRIESEN KRISTEN LUCYSHYN

Weed killer containers fill the isle at a Winnipeg store.

because Manitoba households are among the highest users of pesticide products in Canada. The document states “The Manitoba government is seeking a more sustainable province with science-based strategic protections for both health and the environment.” The document has raised red flags among farm groups about possible restrictions on all pest control products, not just cosmetic ones. A spokesperson for Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh insists there is

Attend your local

MBP district meeting. Schedule on page 2.

no hidden agenda to regulate pesticide use on farms. “Minister Mackintosh has been clear that the application of agricultural pesticides will not be impacted by any proposed regulatory changes coming out of Manitoba’s cosmetic lawn pesticide consultations,” says a government spokesperson. But Manitoba Beef Producers and other farm organizations wonder if a decision will be based on sound science, as the government says it will. They feel other recent Manitoba government measures affecting on-farm practices are not particularly scientific, so why would this one be? That includes a ban on burning coal for space heating, which comes into effect

in 2014, and manure management regulations designed to protect water quality in Lake Winnipeg. Farm groups feel such regulations are based on public pressure rather than scientific data. They also argue that developing public policy without sound evidence sets an unfortunate precedent for other actions down the road. “If you bring in factors other than just a strict science-based regulatory decision-making process, those issues can evolve over time,” Dahl says. “If you’re going to bring public pressure into regulatory decision-making, where is this issue going to evolve to 10 years from now?”

Some might argue producers are making a mountain out of a molehill because cosmetic pesticides, such as lawn and garden products, make up only a small portion of the market. According to CropLife Canada, 96 per cent of products registered in this country are used in agriculture. So where is the harm in banning a few cosmetic items? Simply put, producers and industry feel it is the thin edge of the wedge. They say if you can restrict some pesticides, you can eventually limit others. “If governments can be swayed by political activism and remove them from shelves, what’s to stop them ...Continued on page 2

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

A confrontation between producers and the Manitoba government is shaping up for later this year as the province considers a legislated ban on cosmetic pesticides. Farm groups, including Manitoba Beef Producers, are against the proposed ban, saying it is not based on science and could ultimately hurt agriculture. Instead, they say, the movement toward banning cosmetic pesticides in Manitoba and elsewhere is driven by emotion and misinformation, not fact. “We really strongly advocate for science-based decision making,” says Cam Dahl, MBP general manager. “If we get into a situation where public perception of issues and political considerations of those perceptions become drivers of regulatory decisions, we can get ourselves into a lot of trouble.” The province gave notice last June it was seeking public feedback on the sale and use of cosmetic lawn and turf pesticides. It released a consultation paper titled Play It Safe, which explores options for the future use of cosmetic pesticides in Manitoba. The deadline for comments is October 1. The document states on its opening page that the discussion does not include pesticides used for agriculture, forestry, sod farms, golf courses or mosquito control. But it does signal that the government is considering restrictions of some kind


2

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012 ...Continued from page 1 on the cosmetic use of pesti- on pesticides used to ensure precedent when you’re ar- cosmetic pesticides will still crop protection products in

when the next phase of requests is golf courses, industrial use and, potentially, agriculture?” says Pierre Petelle, vice-president of chemistry for CropLife Canada in Ottawa. Manitoba is not the first province to propose banning, or otherwise restricting, the use of cosmetic pesticides. Varying restrictions are already in effect in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Ontario’s actions are the most far-reaching. In 2009 it banned the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides for everything except golf courses, some sports fields, specialty turf, forestry and agriculture. Play It Safe also notes that over 170 municipalities across Canada have enacted their own bylaws to restrict cosmetic pesticide use, including 40 in British Columbia alone. Interestingly, a British Columbia legislative committee recently recommended against a cosmetic pesticide ban, although it split along party lines. “The majority of members concluded there is insufficient scientific evidence to warrant a province-wide ban

cides,” the committee stated in its final report. That makes B.C. one of the few jurisdictions in Canada to buck the trend. Even the federal government will ban sales of fertilizer-pesticide combination products (i.e. Weed and Feed) after December 31, 2012, regardless of provincial policies. Supporters of restricting cosmetic pesticides include high-profile health and environmental organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Parkinson Society of Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation. All cite scientific literature to back their positions. The Canadian Cancer Society’s website is clear on the group’s stance. “We are very concerned about the cosmetic and nonessential use of potentially cancer-causing substances on green spaces,” the website says. “The society calls for a ban on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides.” The CCS does not oppose agricultural chemicals, although it does encourage “the use of farming practices that reduce the use of pesticides to minimize exposure.” Nor does it demand a ban

public safety and prevent environmental damage. It does, however, cite “the current body of evidence suggesting a connection between pesticides and cancer.” At the same time, CCS admits that “research to date does not provide a conclusive link between pesticides and human cancer.” Even so, some groups feel the evidence linking cosmetic pesticides to health risks is strong enough to warrant banning these products, even though complete scientific certainty is lacking. “There is extensive evidence on the serious negative health and environmental impacts from the use of cosmetic pesticides,” says a 2011 paper by the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development. “Therefore, some dissenting views and a lack of full consensus on scientific evidence should not prevent action against the use of cosmetic pesticides.” Farmers and industry vigorously defend the current system, saying products on the market have already passed rigorous scientific evaluations and shouldn’t be subjected to extra-legal efforts to prevent their use. “We see a dangerous

2012

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Canada. This country is a relatively small market globally and banning some products could send the wrong message to companies about investing here. “When you add an extra layer of provincial intervention, it adds to the uncertainty about investing in Canada and whether or not it’s worth bringing in some of these new active ingredients,” says Petelle. Manitoba government officials continue to insist the government is approaching the matter with an open mind and the process will be fair and factual. “This discussion will be science-based and informed by research from around the country,” a provincial spokesperson says. But others are doubtful. Chorney suggests the language in the consultation paper indicates the province may already be leaning toward a ban. Provincial officials say the government could introduce regulatory changes during the legislature’s fall session or next year’s spring session. With MBP and others vowing to oppose such legislation, the next few months could be very interesting.

CORRECTION: In the June 2012 story about the Flood of 2011 - Caron

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which were not related to the Clarke’s operation. We also note that Caron

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hurt farmers. Weed supervisors employed by municipalities control weeds in public areas such as municipal rights of way, roadsides, boulevards, parks, sports fields and fair grounds. If they are not allowed to spray there, those spaces will become reservoirs for weed seeds to blow onto neighbouring farmland, says Michelle Ammeter, executive administrator for the Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association. “Producers who live near an urban area would have a continual seed bank of stuff coming into their fields,” Ammeter says. Doug Dobrowolski, Association of Manitoba Municipalities president, says Mackintosh has suggested during meetings with AMM officials that so-called “green” chemicals could do the job instead. Dobrowolski scoffs at the idea. “They just do not work. They don’t have the same effect on weeds that commercial chemicals do.” Petelle says there are other reasons why banning cosmetic pesticides could backfire on farmers. He says such bans could discourage multinational corporations from spending money to research new chemistry for

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bitrarily banning products that have gone through a very vigorous process,” says Petelle. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), a branch of Health Canada, registers pesticides “after a stringent, sciencebased evaluation,” according to the department’s website. The PMRA also “re-evaluates the pesticides currently on the market on a 15-year cycle to ensure the products meet current scientific standards.” Doug Chorney, Keystone Agricultural Producers president, says people who oppose pesticides are essentially putting themselves above the science. “They’re basically saying, we don’t trust the hundreds of scientists in Ottawa who review and license these products,” says Chorney. “If people don’t trust the registering and licensing of cosmetic pesticides, are they next going to question the registration and licensing process for the use of pesticides on crops? That’s a big concern to farmers and the economic viability of agriculture.” Manitoba’s weed supervisors warn that even if agricultural chemicals remain untouched, a ban on

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and Tim Clarke, Cattle Country erroneously reported several statements Clarke was the only person interviewed for this article.

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District 8 Nov. 14 – Gladstone

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District 10 Nov. 6 – Arborg

District 4 Nov. 1 – Vita

District 11 Nov. 5 – Ashern

District 5 Nov. 8 – Carberry

District 12 Oct. 30 – Eddystone

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September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

WHAT’S ON THE RADAR?

PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION ON THE HORIZON FOR FALL AND WINTER LAUREN STONE While beef producers have kept busy with calving, hay production and harvest, the provincial government has taken the summer months to develop policy for the fall sitting of the legislature. Ongoing consultations have been held with the public, and as a result, big changes are in the air for potential environmental policy. On June 15, the provincial government announced Tomorrow Now – Manitoba’s Green Plan, which aims to boost over 100 environmental initiatives spanning from renewable energy to protecting wetlands to stronger legislation for endangered species. There are some key initiatives in the document that could impact the agricultural sector. We are still unaware when these initiatives will be rolled out and their overall impact on the beef industry, but we all should be paying attention as these initiatives have real potential to impact your bottom line. Ecological Goods and Services The province will develop partnerships with the agricultural industry to encourage ecological goods and services to benefit the environment while supporting a strong rural economy. Greenhouse Gas Emissions The province will introduce regulations requiring mandatory greenhouse gas emission reporting and outline thresholds and other key reporting requirements to be developed with input from stakeholders. This includes moving toward regulating the use of coal for space and water heating. Water Protection The province plans to develop strategies aimed at protecting wetlands and marshes as well as new water conservation strategies. The provincial government has recently begun its consultation with industry on a Surface Water Management Strategy, which MBP has provided feedback on. Lake Winnipeg A new regulatory system will be developed so that several classes of drainage and water retention projects can be established through regulation-based approach.

Manure/Nutrient Management Regulations will be coming into force November 2013 and the provincial government will be working with industry to manage manure conscientiously through the Nutrient Management Tax Credit that was announced in the 2012 provincial budget. Stubble Burning There will be stronger enforcement of the burning of crop residue and a “NonCrop Herbage” regulation will be put into effect. Cosmetic Pesticides The province is moving towards implementing regulation to address the use of cosmetic pesticides. Species at Risk New legislation will be introduced to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats. Wildlife Disease Control Manitoba will make strong efforts to prevent the spread of wildlife diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease and the control of Bovine Tuberculosis. Noxious Weeds Implementing and promoting control programs for noxious weeds. The provincial government has started its consultations with industry on a few of these initiatives. Manitoba Beef Producers has recently participated in consultations on the Surface Water Management Strategy, Cosmetic Pesticide Use and Noxious Weeds.

Surface Water Management Strategy Consultation

Manitoba Beef Producers presented a briefing note to Manitoba Conservation/Water Stewardship on the importance of developing a comprehensive, holistic strategy for water management in the province of Manitoba. Key elements of such a holistic approach include the following: Long-term predictability of the Shellmouth Dam A provincial water strategy must include the development of an operations plan for the Shellmouth Dam, where if the dam is operated outside of the predicted plan, producers must be compensated if impacted by flooding.

New Controlled Drain from Lake Manitoba The provincial government must develop a comprehensive water management plan to control the inflows and outflows of water in Lake Manitoba, including the desirability of the drainage system that has developed over many years. This review must include governments in Saskatchewan and Alberta, as our watershed is integrated into other jurisdictions. Regulated Lake Levels There must be a longterm water strategy to regulate lake levels. MBP has recommended an ongoing spring target level of 812 feet and a summer target level of 811 feet above sea level for Lake Manitoba in order to allow for vegetation regrowth after the 2011 flood. Partnerships with Producers Producers can be partners in society’s environmental goals. Partnerships and incentive programs, like EG&S initiatives, will be far more effective in the long run than heavy-handed legislation and regulation.

Potential Restrictions on Pesticide Use

The provincial government is currently consulting on potential new restrictions on the use of pesticides on lawns and municipal properties throughout Manitoba. These

consultations will end on October 1, 2012. MBP encourages all beef producers to let the government hear your views, which can be submitted at www.gov. mb.ca/conservation/envprograms/feedback.html. Or if you would like, send your comments into MBP and we will forward them on to government. Manitoba Beef Producers has participated in this consultation process by providing concerns and recommendations over the proposed regulation. Our first concern rests with an artificial distinction between urban/household uses. We do not agree with the distinction of “cosmetic use”. MBP believes that if a pesticide is safe for use in an agricultural/rural setting, it is safe for use in urban areas as well. MBP is concerned that increased restrictions on pesticide use will increase the spread of weeds to pastureland and cropland from urban areas and municipal property in close proximity to agricultural operations. The spread of pests from urban/home settings to commercial agriculture operations can have significant negative consequences. This is especially true for noxious weeds and invasive species. This debate also presents a negative perception of the danger of pesticides utilized by modern agriculture that

is simply not borne out by scientific review. A lack of understanding of the rigorous scientific review undertaken before pesticides are released is a dangerous, but common, misconception. Manitoba Beef Producers has presented the following recommendations: t The provincial government should not place additional limits on the use of pesticides approved by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. The recommendation applies to all pesticides no matter if they are to be used in an urban environment or in a rural/agricultural setting. t MBP does not accept the artificial distinction between “commercial” and “cosmetic” pesticide use. We submit that the safety of a product does not depend on where it is used—if a product is safe for use in rural Manitoba it is safe for use in urban Manitoba. t New restrictions on the use of pesticides will undermine the sciencebased regulatory system upon which agriculture is based. t A ban on the sale or use of pesticides in urban/ home settings will send mixed and dangerous messages to Manitoba’s citizens regarding the safety of modern pesticides.

t New restrictions on the sale and use of pesticides in urban/home settings will create reservoirs of noxious weeds and invasive species within urban areas and on municipal land.

Noxious Weeds

Earlier this year, the provincial government requested public consultation on the proposed changes to the Noxious Weeds Act. Manitoba Beef Producers relayed the efforts industry has taken to develop management practices to limit the spread of invasive species and noxious weeds. Through these consultations, MBP has emphasized the importance of science-based regulation, and regarding the proposed changes to the Noxious Weeds Act, it is important not to limit the use of cosmetic and other pesticides as this would significantly hamper efforts to limit the spread of noxious weeds. Many times farmers and ranchers end up footing the bill for changing environmental practices to suit regulatory requirements. Manitoba Beef Producers remains active in consultations regarding government policy to stress the importance of science-based legislation and to educate on the environmental benefits that ranching provides to society overall.

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

BELOW: Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP GETTING OVER THE HURDLES

RAY ARMBRUSTER A lot has changed since the last Round-up in June. At that time there was a strong feeling of optimism from producers, some of whom were looking forward to opportunities for expansion and growth. But over the past few months we have seen continuous flooding and drought in some regions of the province and producers are still suffering from the aftermath of the 2011 flood. Looking at the situation now it is clear that producers are concerned with recovery from these events. Adding to this is the fact that the U.S. is in the worst drought it has experienced in 50 years. We all know that what happens south of the border also affects us when it comes to feed costs and exporting cattle. We are seeing a tight supply on feed, extremely high feed costs and this carries over to the feed grains side as well. Our neighbours to the east in Ontario are also experiencing drought in significant areas and producers in that province are short on feed. Though drought is making headlines right now, I want producers to know that we are still calling on governments to address the ongoing impacts of the 2011 flood. We are continually working on this issue and we are aggressively lobbying both levels of government. MBP has made it clear that in some areas flooding was, at least in part, a result of government decisions and that we fully expect governments to get producers through after these events. MBP is lobbying for Forage Shortfall and Transportation Assistance programs

and we are indicating to both governments that they need to find solutions to these problems quickly because the effects of flooding are eroding your opportunity to be sustainable on your own land. After touring the flood-affected regions on a couple of occasions and talking with producers, I see that even though producers are experiencing extreme economic difficulty; they are extremely concerned about what is happening to their own landscape. What we are seeing is shoreline erosion, riverbank destruction (such as in the Assiniboine Valley), loss of soil, and the disappearance of some of the native species of forages, tame forages and crops that have died because of continuous flooding. Producers are very sensitive to this because they know the land and they take great pride in managing it, and they want to continue to protect and preserve the environment. MBP will provide more updates on the flooding issue through our communications with producers over this month and at our district meetings in October and November. We will not back down from this fight. Another important issue that MBP is discussing with governments is the next Growing Forward, which includes business risk management and nonbusiness risk management programs. MBP had been involved very heavily in those discussions and we are moving our industry into a positive position going forward under those programs.

As producers we have to set goals to become more competitive on our own landscape. A top priority for MBP is getting a price insurance program for our industry. We need a national program. This would create another avenue of eligibility for the Cash Advance program that the other commodities have enjoyed for years as a tool to manage risk. We have also been working on developing an effective forage insurance program, something functional that industry would embrace. Governments need to follow through working with us to make these types of programs a reality for producers. We also need to ensure workable disaster programs are available when producers need them most. Over the past year a lot of work has been done and some gain has been made in trade and market access for our industry. Examples of this are trade in tallow and hides with China. Every little bit helps. It is essential for this type of trade to continue because every time we gain a new market it adds value to each animal; whereas in the past we had to pay costs for disposal or rendering. I am optimistic about some of the new trade initiatives in progress such as Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations, and free trade talks with Japan and Korea. Again, it is essential that Canada takes part of these trade initiatives. We can not be left behind while other countries access those markets. If that is the case, we will be

Ray and Lauren on her last day at MBP.

As producers we have to set goals to become more competitive on our own landscape. left with quotas or tariffs which will leave us at a disadvantage when we attempt to market our products to those regions. In Canada, just over 91 per cent of agricultural products that are not under supply management need to have market access for trading. In Manitoba, that number rises to over 96 per cent. This shows us how important trade is to agriculture and to the total economy of the province and country as a whole. At the beginning of August, I had the pleasure of attending the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-

up. I was impressed by all of the participants who were enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable about their animals and industry. I really enjoyed myself as one of the judges for the beef cookoff. The competitors did an outstanding job. MBP was glad to be a sponsor of this terrific event and I congratulate all of the organizers and the chair, Lois McRae, on their success. I applaud the good work done by the organizers because these youth are tomorrow’s beef producers and leaders and so the transfer of knowledge and support

for them is absolutely essential. I would like to wish our policy analyst, Lauren Stone, all the best as she moves on to a new career. Lauren spent just over three years with MBP. She kind of came to us as a “city slicker” and now we are sending her away as a cowgirl. MBP wishes Lauren success in her future endeavours. To those producers who are haying and harvesting: I hope it all goes well. As it stands I think this will be the year for producers to scratch together every piece of feed they can; don’t give up!

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

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

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

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

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

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

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

BRAD MCDONALD

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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

RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

R.M. of Harrison, Clan William, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Landgford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

MAC MCRAE - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

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

DISTRICT 11

KIM CRANDALL - SECRETARY

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

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DISTRICT 12

GENERAL MANAGER

CARON CLARKE

BILL MURRAY

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

STAN FOSTER

Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST Lauren Stone

Kristen Lucyshyn Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst


September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUCCESS

CAM DAHL In each edition of Cattle Country we have a small theme running through many of the articles. This month’s theme is simply “opportunities for success.” What goes into making your operation profitable? There are the obvious items that fit into this category, like Rick Wright’s commentary on the impact of drought on cattle prices and Terry Betker’s article on managing risk for beef producers. Other issues, like potential new restrictions on the use of pesticides or the upcoming legislative and policy agenda will also play a significant role in your ability to turn a profit. In the coming months, MBP will be putting on workshops on biosecurity for beef cattle. This is one area of production management that, to date, our industry has not followed as closely as other livestock industries. I believe a strong biosecurity plan for your operation can help improve your bottom line. Business risk management programs definitely impact your profitability. Farm groups spend a lot of time designing and redesigning safety net programs. Governments spend even more time on the same subject. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has an entire branch dedicated to farm financial programs. These debates have been going on since the late1960s. I wish it were possible to add up the budget expended, hours spent and intelligent minds that have been dedicated to this issue. Someone should conduct a cost benefit analysis for both taxpayers and producers. Even if we don’t have these numbers we should still ask “is it worth it?” MBP is no exception to the pull of the great subsidy debates. We too spend a lot of time evaluating different safety net options, attending consultation sessions and lobbying for positions that we think will bring the greatest value to the producers we serve. There is a key phrase in the last sentence— producers we serve. Too often your voices are lost or never raised in the complicated and politicized discussions (“hey, that province is getting more than us”) over

farm support. Producers should change that. You should contact us—MBP’s door is always open—and also contact your governments. As you are reading this there are hundreds of economists and politicians designing the next suite of support programs and they could use your input. It is always a bit dangerous to openly state where one stands on tax dollars directed into farm support. It is a bit like discussing politics or religion while at the dinner table —but I will take a crack at it. Agriculture is a key driver for the Manitoba economy. Agriculture is also a key driver of innovation and technology innovation-developments that are often adapted by society at large. The industry supports thousands of jobs in our urban centres like Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage la Prairie. Agriculture is also the backbone of our rural communities. I believe government does have a role to play in ensuring the ongoing stability and viability of agriculture because it is so important to both urban and rural Manitoba. For example, governments should be there when natural disasters threaten to drive producers off of the land. The 2011 flood is just one example of a case where it is in society’s best interest for government to step in to ensure that this critical industry can thrive in the future. I also strongly support government investment in research. This is because taxpayers get a very high rate of return when government dollars are invested in agriculture research. For example, a 2004 academic report found that there were $48.3 dollars generated for every federal dollar invested in beef research. This report concluded that “it appears that public agricultural research is one of the highest payback uses of public funds.” Governments also have a role to play in insurance programs like crop insurance or a market-based price insurance program for livestock—something that MBP has been lobbying for at both levels of government. Like disaster

It is always a bit dangerous to openly state where one stands on tax dollars directed into farm support. assistance programs, insurance helps individual producers survive sudden and unexpected shocks that can’t be controlled like drought. Of course governments also have a responsibility to help Canadians secure access to international markets. They do this through obvious ways, such as free trade negotiations or helping open borders closed by ill-advised safety concerns (think BSE). Governments

also help secure access through programs like on farm food safety initiatives and assisting with the development of traceability. Disaster relief, investment in research, insurance programs and ensuring access to markets have one thing in common: while they support the rural economy and help ensure the viability of the agriculture sector, they don’t aim to directly subsidize farm income or support a

Ste. Rose 447-2723

producer’s revenue margins. This leads to a big very big question. Should tax dollars be used to support farm and ranch incomes? I know there are many who will shout “DON’T ASK THAT QUESTION”. But I can assure you that there are people in urban Canada asking it. There are people in Ottawa and in the Manitoba legislature asking it. Producers should be asking it too. And we

need to have our answers ready. Consultations on the next suite of federal/provincial agriculture programs (Growing Forward II) will reach a conclusion shortly. MBP will be part of these discussions and when I hear officials ask that critical question, I want your answer as well. How do you think tax dollars should be invested in agriculture? What are your priorities?

Laurier 447-2412

ATM-24 hour access www.pmcu.mb.ca :(4, +(@ */,8<, 7905;05. :,9=0*,

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

VET CORNER BIOSECURITY FOR BEEF OPERATIONS DR. TANYA ANDERSON What is biosecurity?

It is a question that I have started asking both my large and small animal clients (I am a mixed animal practitioner). Small animal clients with no agricultural background almost always mention the anthrax attacks post 9/11 though none to date have known that anthrax is occasionally diagnosed in Manitoba livestock. The good news is that livestock clients, especially those with poultry or pigs, are well-versed on what biosecurity is with answers revolving around the concept of disease prevention for the better health of herds and improved access to domestic and world markets. Some even mention improved human health—people are getting the big picture. Cattle producers know that it is important and most realize that a good biosecurity program will be profitable but, to date, our industry has not embraced this concept like the other commodities. Implementing biosecurity measures seems like a daunting task but it need not be. Disease prevention

Biosecurity can increase herd health and profitability.

does not require an “all or nothing” approach nor does one size fit all. Protocols and recommendations are tailored to each individual operation and can be very simple or quite complex. Farm biosecurity measures can be broken down into three categories: herd immunity,

Supporting local agriculture.

within herd and outside herd disease control. Animals with a poor immune system are more prone to disease. A classic example is calves not getting quality colostrum. Study after study has shown decreased productivity from scours and pneumonia to poor feedlot performance. Even closed herds not buying any stock nor having contact with other animals are subject to disease

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if the immune systems of cattle weaken. Many of the bacteria that cause disease in cattle are naturally carried in their airways and gut systems—E.coli, coronavirus, mannheimia hemolytica, mycoplasma and histophilus to name a few. Others like listeria and clostridia are present in the soil and feed. Good biosecurity management includes boosting the immune system to prevent disease. Develop

a vaccination program with your veterinarian tailored to your operation. Feed cows well to ensure that they deliver strong calves that are able to quickly nurse high quality colostrum of adequate quantity. Feed calves high energy rations at weaning to keep their immune systems strong during the greatest stress of their lives. Proper nutrition and a well-balanced ration including minerals and vitamins are crucial to minimize disease. Any vaccination program will look bad if there is feed mismanagement. Very few herds are truly closed herds. Almost everyone must bring in new genetics with a bull purchase. What about the cows that have been purchased at production sales or the local auction mart bred cow sale? Are you asking the seller questions about herd health? What vaccination protocols are in place?

What health problems are seen—scours, abortions, pneumonia, skinny cows? What antibiotics and parasite control products are used? Where are their replacements and bulls purchased from? May you contact their veterinarian? Walk away if someone refuses to answer your questions and discuss the answers with your veterinarian. Screening like this will help prevent the purchase of diseases like Johne’s or drug-resistant bacteria. Biosecurity can also be enhanced on your own farm. Have a quarantine area for newly arrived cattle or cattle that are returning to the farm. Separate your cattle into age groups— feedlot, bulls and cowcalf pairs. These different groups have different nutritional needs and disease susceptibilities. Limit contact between your herd and other livestock. Don’t share bulls, livestock trailers or other equipment and keep your fences in good repair. Encourage visitors to wear clean clothing and footwear or to avoid your operation if they are experiencing health problems in their herds. Calf scours can be easily transferred between herds on dirty clothing or through the purchase of a calf from the neighbour. Learn how to prevent a dreaded scours or calf pneumonia problem. Look forward to preg check day instead of worrying about how many open cows you will have. Attend a beef herd biosecurity seminar this fall and start working with your veterinarian to make one or two positive changes in your herd and build from them. Before long, you will have implemented a solid biosecurity program for your herd, reduced your stress level and improved your profits.

BIOSECURITY WORKSHOPS FOR BEEF PRODUCERS Manitoba Beef Producers will host a series of Biosecurity Workshops starting in fall 2012. These workshops will be based on the Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard.

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September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

MANAGING COUNTERPARTY RISK IN YOUR BUSINESS TERRY BETKER

What is counterparty risk? It is defined as the risk, to each party in a deal, that the counterparty will not live up to its contractual obligations. There are two types of counterparty risk. First, there is the risk of default where there is a question of whether payment will be received or the delivery will be made (default risk). The second type of risk is that the contract will have zero value (exposure risk). While this might be new terminology for many producers, these scenarios are not. Assessing counterparty risk is something producers should consider doing. Historically, producers have entered into agreements to hold or deliver product without some analysis of the counterparty that they are entering into a contract with. Trust alone was the basis for each party’s confidence that the contract would be honoured. It can, however, be very difficult to extract money from that ‘trust’ if there is a default on the contract. Counterparty risk can also take the form of uncertainty, when there is a question around the willingness to pay, which is different than the ability to pay: a buyer using more stringent grading practices to lower a grade. Multiple parties involved in a contract increases the risk. Lapses in time between a transaction and settlement can cause increases in counterparty risk. As an example, income deferral for tax purposes can equate to a significant lapse in time. A structured process to perform due diligence or the assessment of a deal should be applied before entering into a contract. All assessments should attempt to quantify potential risk exposure, with an examination of how it will impact the operation’s financial situation. Assessing counterparty risk is a process and not a set of specific rules. It requires discipline and constant vigilance as situations and financial positions can change quickly.

Assessing Counterparty Risk

Counterparty risk management process suggestions: t Analyze your balance sheet, focusing on indicators such as liquidity (short term) and solvency (long term). t Set limits on exposure (how much of your working capital—liquidity—is tied up and potentially at risk). t Set limits on concentration (value of contracts with one business). t Read and review existing contracts and agreements, considering your pre-determined limits on exposure. t Establish a due diligence process and apply it to new contracts based on the pre-determined limits on exposure. t Attempt to make a determination on the management ability of the counterparty. t Try to learn as much about the financial picture of the counterparty as possible, including the ownership structure (can be difficult with privately owned companies). t Try to avoid hasty decisions. t Be cautious of the ‘too good to be true’ opportunities (if it sounds like a duck and looks like a duck, it probably is a duck, and you may want to DUCK!). t Ask questions and collect as much information on the company as possible. t Be aware of industry developments. t Consider having a lawyer review potentially significant contracts.

Doing Your Homework

The counterparty will have a reputation in the industry. Checking within a peer group or industry contacts can provide valuable insight into the company; helping better determine counterparty risk exposure. There are limitations to its usefulness, but the internet can also be a source of information regarding a counterparty. There are some tools a producer can use to help manage counterparty risk exposure. Accounting and regulatory disclosures for

publicly traded companies, letters of credit, bonding, escrow accounts, insured receivables, guarantees, and insurance are some examples. Another tactic is to work through a contingency planning exercise. Specifically target counterparty risk or risk events in general.

Contingency Planning – What ifs

In the movie, ‘Kelly’s Heroes’, actor Donald Sutherland modified an army tank to go as fast in reverse as it did going forward. As he explained, he wanted to be able to get out of trouble as fast as he got into it—his contingency. Not all undesirable events are catastrophic in nature. The ‘event’ can be an accumulation of a series of factors over time, such as two or three poor years in a row. The events over time are usually evidenced in financial performance. Having well-developed contingencies can certainly help to manage through adversity. It can help to reduce stress and strain on management and on family. It will also be beneficial in discussions with lenders. When a situation is

deteriorating, it is better to be able to go to a lender and say a contingency plan has been developed to help address situations like these. So where do you begin? First, set aside time to specifically work through a contingency planning exercise. Second, take the bigger picture of the farm, and the industry in general, and break it down into more manageable parts. You need to consider both internal (things a producer can control) and external (things beyond a producer’s control) perspectives.

Considering External and Internal Factors

There are a number of external influences that can adversely impact your beef operation, such as domestic and international government policy, consumer preferences and demographic change, global economies (currency, inflation), environment, food safety, and industry rationalization. The further the potential influence or event is from a producer’s control, the more difficult it is to develop corresponding contingencies. However, there is real value in talking about events

and discussing what, if anything, you can do if you were to encounter a problem. Brainstorm internal management areas and put together a list of the undesirable events that could materialize. Some examples include: t A supplier unable to deliver on product such as feed, fuel, or fertilizer. t A buyer failing to honour a contract. t A key employee quitting during a busy season.

All basic farm business management functions involve taking on different degrees of counterparty risk. While it cannot be eliminated, it can be managed. Terry Betker, P.Ag., CAC, is a farm management consultant based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He can be reached at 204-782-8200 or terry.betker@backswath. com.

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2012 8

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

2012 BURSARY WINNERS JARED BUCKLEY

KEITH JOHNSON

Oak Lake, Man. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician at Assiniboine Community College JARED BUCKLEY Imagine: Small town businesses closing. Rural youth being forced to move away from the family farm to pursue other work opportunities. Soil erosion plaguing our Prairie landscape. Families feeling incredible financial stress. As I pondered the topic for this essay, “The Importance of the Beef Industry in Manitoba”, I couldn’t help but think of how my area of southwestern Manitoba would look without the beef industry. I imagined miles upon miles of empty land, eroding away from wind and water. I imagined small towns closing their stores and schools due to decreased populations as people move to pursue other jobs. In our small town of Oak Lake, our entire economy revolves around the success of our farmers. Without the beef industry, our town would struggle to stay viable. We got a small glimpse of what it would be like with no beef producers when the BSE crisis hit the industry in 2003. The shock from BSE was felt province-wide, from closing stores in small communities to a sharp decrease in machinery sales. Many producers had herd dispersals with great losses and many producers left the industry. The effects of BSE are still felt today. We saw significant changes in our town during this time. Many farming families had to have one or both spouses look for jobs off the farm to be able to pay the bills. Our local grocery store and other businesses, including a major livestock equipment manufacturer, saw

Komarno, Man. Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba KEITH JOHNSON

sharp decreases in sales and jobs had to be cut. Our school saw family incomes drop substantially and this affected student participation in activities. Local trucking companies had to look further for work and pursue other industries to find loads. The beef industry is a huge contributor to Manitoba’s economy. So many people’s jobs rely directly on the cattle industry (auction marts, trucking companies, butchering plants, producers and more) and there are immeasurable spin-off jobs created as well. If the beef industry were to not exist in Manitoba, many people would be left without jobs. This would be a huge hit to an economy that is already struggling to keep up with the financial demands. Much of the land in Manitoba is not suited for grain farming. This is especially true in our area with many sandy hills and low spots. If they were to go unused, the sandy soil and hills would be subject to erosion from both wind and water. This is another way in which the beef industry provides huge benefits. When producers grow forage for their beef cows on this ‘marginal land’, it prevents the process of erosion. The roots keep the soil from blowing away and the top nutrients do not get washed away. The beef industry provides an incredible future for our rural youth. We must work to keep it viable so that we can continue the dream of teaching our future generations the value of hard work through the local family farm.

The beef industry is very important in Manitoba. History will show just how important the beef industry has been over the last five decades in the province. In the 1970s and 1980s, over 10,000 farm families were involved in the beef industry raising cattle. Today it is estimated that 8,400 farm families in Manitoba derive farm income from beef cattle. Collectively, these farm families raise approximately 1.3 million beef cattle. This number represents 10 per cent of the total Canadian beef herd. At one time, Manitoba was the capital of the livestock industry in Canada. The total number of cattle slaughtered in Manitoba packing plants peaked at 581,000 head in 1976. With the closure of five major cattle slaughter facilities in Winnipeg during the late-1970s, local slaughtering capacity was reduced by 97 per cent over the next twenty years. In 2011, only 11,800 head of cattle were slaughtered in Manitoba. This huge reduction in slaughter capacity in the past 33 years shows the importance of Manitoba’s beef industry as we went from a province with the highest cattle slaughtering capacity in Canada to a cow-calf province with very limited slaughter capacity. The loss of slaughter capacity in the 1970s resulted in huge job losses in Winnipeg and a large number of feedlots closing down in Manitoba. These losses, combined with BSE in 2003 and its effects years later, the

continuance of the strong Canadian dollar from 2007 to 2011 and the introduction of COOL in the U.S. all had a negative impact on our beef industry. It has been estimated that 20 per cent of cow-calf producers have exited the industry after BSE and this has impacted our rural communities and economies. In my local area due to the consequences of BSE, we lost a major feed mill and 10 full-time jobs that serviced the Interlake beef industry so well for many years. There is no doubt the beef industry is important to Manitoba as we have seen what happens to our economy when we lose valuable infrastructure like slaughter plants and feed mills, or access to export markets (BSE and COOL) that were once here for the cattle industry. But prices for beef cattle are going up and the process of rebuilding Manitoba’s beef herd and rejuvenation within the beef industry are going in a positive direction. There is an upbeat mood amongst Manitoba’s beef producers. With continued high prices of beef cattle, lower costs on inputs such as fuel and fertilizer, and strong leadership from Manitoba Beef Producers lobbying government and all the players in the beef industry on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers, I believe our beef industry in Manitoba will grow and prosper well into the future. References: “Manitoba Cattle and Beef Industry 2011” by Janet Honey for the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, University of Manitoba.


September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 2012 BURSARY WINNERS Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to announce that four outstanding Manitoba students who plan to pursue post-secondary studies related to agriculture and the rural economy have been selected for 2012 MBP bursaries. Each bursary winner receives $500 toward his or her studies. The selected students are all children of active Manitoba beef producers. MBP is proud to invest in these students and the future of agriculture in Manitoba. We congratulate all of the winners and we wish them a successful year ahead as they pursue their studies. As part of the application process, students were required to submit a short essay on ‘The importance of the beef sector in Manitoba’. We are pleased to print their essays. MBP thanks all bursary applicants and wishes them success in their studies. Each year MBP awards four bursaries to MBP members or their children attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution or pursuing trades training. For more information, please visit www.mbbeef.ca.

MELANIE EASTMAN

MICHEL REY

Hartney, Man. Pre-Veterinary Medicine B.Sc. at Brandon University MELANIE EASTMAN I have grown up on a cattle farm all of my life just outside of Hartney, Man. My family owns and raises around 200 Charolais cattle. Growing up on a farm has made me more familiar with the beef industry in Manitoba. It has been a big part of my life and it has shaped who I am today. I believe that Manitoba has many natural advantages that make it one of the best places in Canada to raise beef cattle. It has an abundance of high quality locally grown feed supplies, accessible clean water and large areas of natural grasslands. Beef cattle have always been important in Manitoba. Early cattle were used mainly for milk and meat but by the 1970s, larger exotic cross cattle were developed for the purpose of providing leaner meat and higher quantities of it. The importance of cattle has only increased since then. Manitoba was actually the largest cattle-exporting province in Canada until 2003. After reading through various articles, I found some facts on the beef industry in Manitoba. The province of Manitoba has the third largest beef herd in Canada. It is placed right behind Alberta and Saskatchewan with over 8,000 beef cattle producers. Most of these beef producers are cow-calf operators but approximately two per cent are operators of feedlots. Since the early 1990s, the number of cattle in feedlots in Manitoba has been growing. However, Manitoba

St. Claude, Man. Graduate Studies - M.Sc. in Animal Science at the University of Manitoba MICHEL REY

still exports a large number of feeder cattle and calves to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan for finishing because of their proximity to major slaughtering facilities. The big question is: What do we need the beef industry for? Beef is delicious, but it is more than just that. It is about nutrition. Beef has fourteen essential nutrients and it is a source of protein, which gives you energy to make it through the day. It also is a high source of iron and B-complex vitamins, which are essential for your body. Another reason why the beef industry in Manitoba is so important is because it creates a huge economic impact. The value of goods and services demanded by Manitoba’s beef operations is about $635 million annually. The beef industry creates jobs for cattle farmers, grain farmers, auction marts, truck drivers and abattoirs—just to name a few. This industry plays a vital role in Manitoba’s overall economy and it is a needed component in maintaining rural economic sustainability and balance. The beef industry in Manitoba truly does benefit everyone in the province, whether it is providing people with a job, a meal, a hobby, or a lifestyle; it is affecting them in some way for the better. It is a very important part of my life and for thousands of other people who live in Manitoba. We as Manitoba beef producers are committed to producing a safe, great quality product for not only our families but families everywhere.

While driving through rural Manitoba in the summertime, it is rare to drive very far without seeing a herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture. Within Manitoba there are several advantages, such as the ability to grow high quality/low cost forages and grains, an abundance of grasslands for pasture and a central location with excellent transportation connections to major processing plants in North America, that makes it well-suited to raising topquality beef cattle. Due to these advantages, Manitoba has a vibrant beef industry that is ranked third in Canadian beef production, making it a significant player in our country’s beef industry. Being a Manitoba beef producer is not always easy. From 2003 until late 2010, it was tough for Manitoba beef producers, including myself and my parents, to keep a beef operation afloat as profits were hard to attain. However, with the BSE crisis being a thing of the past and the beef cattle market beginning to thrive, it is a great time to be in the beef industry! The strength of the beef market over this past year has seemed to slow the trend of Manitoba beef producers leaving the industry and has allowed for former and new producers to start-up beef cattle operations.

The beef industry in Manitoba is beginning to grow as farmers are starting to see profits again and as a result heifer and cow numbers in Manitoba are on the rise. Every year, Manitoba beef producers purchase many goods and services, such as feed and equipment, which are valued at $635 million. Furthermore in 2011, beef cattle production represented roughly nine per cent ($362 million) of Manitoba’s farm cash receipts, which translated into the third highest value agricultural commodity in the province. All of this solidifies the fact that the beef industry plays a vital role in Manitoba’s economy. I believe that with the help of producers and industry leaders working around the clock to strengthen the beef industry, by promoting things such as marketing and increasing processing capacity, this industry will continue to grow in both numbers and importance to the province of Manitoba. There are few things more gratifying in life to me than seeing a calf being born and caring for that calf from the moment it nurses to the time it enters your herd as a replacement or leaves your herd to feed the people of this world.

9


10 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

DIRECTOR PROFILE RAMONA BLYTH, DISTRICT 5 MBP STAFF For District 5 MBP Director Ramona Blyth, raising top quality beef is a priority. “My philosophy is that if I won’t put it in my freezer, why would I put it in someone else’s?� said Blyth. “I want to eat the best beef so I want that person in town who goes to the grocery store to eat the best beef.� Blyth is a second-generation producer who owns Rosehill Cattle Company Ltd., a cow-calf outfit with over 300 head located south of MacGregor, Man. They also produce grain and oilseeds. Her husband Harold was raised on the third-generation family farm they live on. Blyth and her husband have four adult children and two grandsons. Two of their sons also farm part-time in addition to their full-time careers. Their daughters are pursuing post-secondary education in agribusiness and conservation fields.

Focusing in on the future of her operation, Blyth says that even though farming can be tough, she would like to see her children stay involved in the farm. “We’ve built this up and we would like to pass it on to our kids.� Blyth says she is optimistic about being in the beef industry right now and she is pleased to see a positive outlook for the future with increasing prices. Like many other producers, Blyth enjoys the independence that ranch life allows and she also enjoys working on producer issues at the grassroots level. Blyth first attended an MBP district meeting back in 2008 in Austin, Man. “I remember that it was informative and positive; and that is when I realized the importance of getting more involved with the industry I work in,� said Blyth.

She became a new face around the MBP board table after being elected as a director in 2011. Blyth decided to step into the director’s role after talking it over with past directors and hearing about the work they do on behalf of their fellow beef producers. She serves on the following committees: Crown Lands, Domestic Agriculture Programs, Nomination, Communications, and she is also the vice-chair of the Annual General Meeting and Resolutions committee. When it comes to issues she enjoys working on, Blyth says she is passionate about animal care and agriculture awareness. “I also like to focus on helping connect the link between producers and consumers,� said Blyth. Since joining the board, Blyth has represented MBP

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Director Ramona Blyth

as an enthusiastic producer ambassador at public events such as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and at the new Cattle Tales exhibit at the Red River Exhibition. Blyth wants all beef producers to know about the importance of the work the organization is doing to help them maximize profits and take advantage of opportunities to benefit their operations. “MBP is their voice so they need to stay in touch and be involved with their industry,� said Blyth. “Our doors are always open and producers can call and email anytime.� Blyth emphasizes that if producers have an issue, or if they need to discuss something, they can call their director or the office and MBP will help them get the answers they need. “Your check-off dollars are paying for your membership and it’s a huge benefit to get involved and raise your issues. I hope producers will come to a district meeting to learn what MBP is all about.� Blyth has enjoyed getting involved with MBP and she has always been involved in her community. She has been a Kinette

District 5

Club member for over 20 years and she spent about 20 years as a 4-H leader (district and provincial) while taking an active role in her children’s 4-H activities. When it comes to advice for young and beginning beef producers, Blyth gets right to the point. “Stay positive and engaged with your industry because there will always be the ups and the downs in the industry. Work hard and do the best you can.�

She lightheartedly adds some other words of wisdom for everyone living on the farm (this comes from her personal experience): “Remember, when you learn something new on the farm, you’ve just gotten yourself a new job.�

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Ramona’s favourite way to cook beef: roast beef and barbequed steak. She says beef is a staple at her house and she enjoys trying new recipes.

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September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP EMPOWERING WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE BRENDA SCHOEPP

Empowering Women in Agriculture: Women empowering women to grow food, protect environments, strengthen trade and secure financial independence for themselves, their families and their communities. I received the 2012 Nuffield Agricultural Scholarship for Canada and have been working towards my project and respective traveling. This fall, I start with rural leadership meetings in Australia as well as with Meat and Livestock Australia, Cotton Australia and production tours on all crops before moving onto India, Turkey, Qatar, Ukraine and France as well as a visit to the United Nations in Geneva. Next spring I leave again for New Zealand, Poland (land reforms), Geneva for follow-up meetings, Holland, England and Ireland before making my way to every province across Canada. In total, I will visit 16 countries in 16 months. The scope of the project is to develop mentorship programs specifically for women in agriculture and agribusiness. The outcome for Canada is the first national program of this type in the world. Although gender specific, the benefits of mentorship have a family and community reach as women gain confidence and expertise in their chosen field. Women constitute 53 per cent of the global agricultural workforce and in some areas that is up to 90 per cent. Today, more than 80 per cent of the food in our world is grown by women. As we face a global shortage of access to food created by an exploding population women farmers, and indeed all farmers, will see unprecedented stress and challenge in the procurement and development of agricultural products. A failure to improve infrastructure and address policy that is enabling for women to access the same level of education, technology, credit and land ownership has not prepared farming women for the current and future increases in input costs and challenges in

Women constitute 53 per cent of the global agricultural workforce and in some areas that is up to 90 per cent. marketing. Indeed, women farmers in all cultures are facing increased stress without the support of systems that make much needed capital or knowledge readily accessible. Although consumers around the world are asking for a shorter link between the farmer and the fork, the political environment lacks an appreciation for this potential and fails to recognize that as resources for women increase, so does agricultural production. As rural economies are drained, the role of women in agriculture takes on urgency. In March 2011, Earth Times reported that “hungry people could be reduced by 150 million persons per year if women had the same access to land, technology, education, financial security and markets.” It is a call for gender equality that resonates worldwide. The Dairy Women’s Network of New

Zealand has stated that “Gender equality is not just a lofty idea. It is critical for agricultural development and food security.” Although it would seem at first glance that inequality and a lack of access to resources is limited to developing countries, the United Nations gives a very candid descriptive of farming women worldwide labeling them as “undervalued, underpaid and under recognized.” Corporate agriculture also concedes that as we go forward the challenges will be in infrastructure and in land ownership. Without these critical points, the second of which is vital to women of this day, we will continue to see stress and strife in agricultural food production. Interestingly, these issues for women farmers and women engaged in agriculture are not limited to a faraway place. Canada does not

have designated assistance, mentorship or support for women farmers. A collective voice that represents and addresses the issues that are truly Canadian is silent. Blanket statements regarding agriculture, farming or farming women are rarely valid. By working with and learning from women farmers at home and in different countries, one sifts out what can and will work and identifies pitfalls which may precede failure. Canadian women own and operate 29 per cent of agricultural enterprises and they own 53 per cent of all small and medium businesses which contributes $27 billion to the economy annually. In post-secondary institutions, women students are predominant and these women will be our future leaders. It is important now, today, that our future leaders have the tools they need. As a national mentor

through the Cattlemen Young Leaders Program, I can appreciate the value of mentorship to both mentor and mentee. Others recognize it too. The Conference Board of Canada has reported that it is not the glass ceiling that women hit in executive positions; it is the lack of mentorship and structure for women from women that often cripple advancement. The World Bank Group recently identified gender equality as the key to stimulating economic growth. Yet governments struggle with the concept of ensuring food supplies through enabling policy regarding access to credit, education, tools, materials, technology, land ownership and the encouragement of gender equality for women in agriculture. Despite the overwhelming evidence that addressing the issue provides sound economic foundations for men and women,

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boys and girls, families, communities, regions and countries, we continue to watch women farmers struggle. Only when we empower these resourceful and committed women and provide for them an infrastructure which includes mentorship, can we hope to grow our economies. I ask all Manitoba women to contribute to this project by completing a short online survey about their needs in agriculture, specifically for mentorship. Please go to www.brendaschoepp. com and let your voice be heard. Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of BEEFLINK TM, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alberta. Contact her at brenda. schoepp@cciwireless.ca or www.brendaschoepp.com.

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12-08-20 8:20 PM


12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

THE BOTTOM LINE FALL OUTLOOK RICK WRIGHT

I have become totally convinced that Mother Nature has developed a dislike for cattlemen. Drought conditions in the U.S. changed what started out to be a breakout year for cattle prices into a year in which we may be lucky to maintain last year’s fall prices for feeder cattle. No one in the cow-calf sector is talking about it yet, but there is an uneasy feeling that those record cattle prices that were on the table this spring have slipped away due to a sharp increase in grain prices. Corn prices for September have hit $8.20 per bushel with reports of scarce supplies; some are predicting prices to top at $8.50. Prices for U.S. corn and wheat increased by nearly 20 per cent in value in July. Barley prices in Canada look like they will be over $6 a bushel and supplies will be tight with the increased canola production across the Prairies. There is even a strong possibility the U.S. could be major buyers of feed wheat, corn, barley and DDGs from Canada. This all means that it is going to cost a lot more to feed cattle in Canada than

it did last year. The majority of the backgrounding feedlots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have not set their fall prices for 2012. Locally, the corn silage crop is looking above average but until it is in the pile, feeders are reluctant to quote a locked in cost per pound of gain. Many of the feed yards are suggesting that they would like to switch to feed in the bunk and a yardage for this year. This suggestion has the owners of the cattle nervous and reluctant to commit to booking pen space. With all of the unknown factors in play, cash prices for yearlings coming off the grass have dropped about 15-cents per pound from the top prices that were contracted in the first week of June. Without some timely rain, pastures in some areas are starting to show stress and the cash yearlings may have to move sooner than expected. Slow beef movement at the retail level has resulted in finished cattle moving to the packers at a slower rate than previously expected. Many of the feedlots in Alberta do

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES

not have the pen space available that they would normally have in August, which could result in a bit of a backlog for the yearling deliveries into Alberta feed yards. The Sterling Beef Profit Tracker reports for the end of July showed that finished cattle on the cash market ($1.14.68 per pound) were losing cattle feeders $253.64 per head in the U.S. This is compared to a loss last year of $128.41 per head. Packer margins slipped from a $6.68 per head profit in early July to a $12.99 per head loss at the end of the month. At the feedlot level, feed costs jumped $100 per head in the month of July compared to June and settled at $80 per head higher than last July. Costs for finishing cattle are shaping up to be higher than $1.10 per pound of gain, which will definitely put pressure on the feeder cattle market. The butcher cow and bull market slipped about five cents per pound in

July due to the larger numbers of cows coming to slaughter in the U.S. due to drought. Cow marketings in the south were 12 per cent higher than last year’s drought fueled liquidation. With the larger supply of domestic cows available, the demand for Canadian cows was reduced, dropping the price premium on the age verified cows to about two cents over the non-age verified animals. This year’s drought in the south covers a much larger area than last year and it covers even more cattle producing states. The cattle herd in the U.S. is currently the smallest since 1973 and this summer’s drought will delay the rebuilding phase of the U.S. herd. It will also encourage even more producers to exit the business. Larger imports of Mexican cattle have kept the cattle on feed numbers higher than expected. In the spring it looked like Americans would be contenders to purchase Canadian feeder cattle this

fall, especially the yearlings. However, with the increased grain prices, a par dollar and cattle going to the confinement feedlots sooner than expected, it looks like we will be depending on the Alberta feeders to purchase Manitoba calves this fall. In Eastern Canada, corn crops are not looking good due to dry, hot weather. Yields and grades are expected to be below average and cattle feeders there are losing their enthusiasm for finishing cattle. Some of the crops in Quebec are looking good but some producers there are weighing their options of selling grain corn at current prices rather than gambling on the finished cattle returns. This could mean that demand from Eastern Canada for Manitoba feeder cattle may not be as strong as it has been in previous years. As I write this during the first week of August, it looks like the wet-nosed calves will need to be

purchased about 10 to 12 cents per pound lower than last year’s October prices. This is a far cry from price predictions from industry back in April. With two years of drought, cheap retail pork prices, a slowly recovering economy, the Lean Finely Textured Beef fiasco, which shook consumer confidence and reshaped the ground beef market in the U.S., combined with projected higher feeding costs, I see no reason for cattle feeders to have to pay more for feeder cattle this fall. Mother Nature certainly has played a cruel joke on the cattlemen. All we needed was an average crop of yield and quality and the record books for the cattle market were ready to be rewritten. Although a long way from a disaster, this fall’s prices will not meet the cattle producer’s expectations for requirements to encourage expansion on either side of the border. Until next time, Rick.

MASC REMOVES RESTRICTIONS AND EXPANDS LENDING MANDATE MANITOBA AGRICULTURAL SERVICES CORPORATION

Were you affected by last year's record flooding?

The Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee and the 2011 Manitoba Flood Review Task Force are holding joint public open houses in several Manitoba communities in September and they want to hear from you. For more information, including dates and locations of the open houses, visit www.lakemanitobalakestmartinregulationreview.ca and www.2011manitobafloodreviewtaskforce.ca.

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation has recently expanded and updated its lending programs to make borrowing more accessible to an even wider range of borrowers. The first major update to the Direct Loans program removes the net worth limits placed on a new borrower. Previously, new borrowers had an upper limit on their net worth, and were not eligible for loans if their net worth exceeded $1.5 million. This net worth cap has now been waived; so all borrowers (new and existing) have the same

access to credit. The limit on off-farm income of $130,000 has also been waived for all borrowers. The requirement that borrowers personally operate a viable farm remains. The list of eligible loan purposes has been expanded and borrowers can now access funds to buy new or used agricultural equipment with terms of up to 10 years. Loans are also available to buy or renovate nurseries and greenhouses. Along with this expanded list of purposes, MASC has removed the

loan limits for on-farm housing. The $240,000 limit for building or renovating on-farm homes has now been eliminated. Perhaps the biggest change to the Direct Loans program is the newly unified loan maximum. The previous limit for individuals and joint farm units was $900,000, while partnerships, corporations and cooperatives could borrow up to $1.8 million. The limit for all borrowers is now a maximum of $2 million. While these changes apply to Direct Loans, borrowers who are eligible for loans through

MASC’s Alternate Energy Loans program or for restructuring their existing debt through MASC Comprehensive Refinancing will also benefit. As Manitoba’s agricultural industry keeps evolving, MASC will continue to adapt its loans, services and loan guarantee programs to best serve the needs of Manitoba’s producers and entrepreneurs. For more information about MASC’s lending programs, contact your local MASC lending representative or go to www. masc.mb.ca.


September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

BEEF PRODUCERS INVITED TO SHARE HELP CHANGE THE CONVERSATION IN AGRICULTURE THEIR STORIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY AGRICULTURE MORE THAN EVER

Canadian agriculture is a modern, vibrant and diverse industry filled with forward-thinking people who love what they do. Initiated by Farm Credit Canada (FCC), Agriculture More Than Ever is a multichannel, multi-year industry initiative that asks those involved in the industry to champion agriculture. That means engaging in more frequent discussions regarding what’s going well within the industry, filling in information gaps, responding to misguided perceptions and sharing success stories about the industry—online and offline. To attract the people, skills and investment needed to meet the

growing demand for food, those of us involved in agriculture have a responsibility to promote the industry. Manitoba Beef Producers is excited about this initiative and is ready to join the conversation and champion the industry as a partner of Agriculture More Than Ever. It is time for those of us involved in agriculture to help spread the word about the positive contributions of the industry. We can’t ignore the challenges, but when we discuss agriculture, we can choose to focus on optimism and the positive side of the industry. Your involvement in Agriculture More Than Ever can start today with

a simple commitment to help share positive stories with friends, family and others. Check out the Agriculture More Than Ever website at www.agriculturemorethanever.ca. The site was launched at the end of May to provide a forum for visitors to share their stories about agriculture, hear from others and even learn something new about agriculture that they may not have known before. While on the site, take a few minutes to share your story about agriculture— whether it is why you love the industry, what you do or just a few lines about what agriculture means to you. Photos and videos are also welcome. While online, you will see that some of the directors within MBP have already shared their stories and they would love to see your story there too. You can also follow Agriculture More Than Ever

on Twitter at Twitter@agmorethanever and “like” the initiative on Facebook at www.facebook.com/agriculturemorethanever—that

way you will receive all the latest Agriculture More Than Ever updates. Agriculture has never mattered more to Canada

and the world. It is time to tell a new story about agriculture and we welcome you to join us to help champion the industry.

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FUNDRAISING FOR FAMILIES OF MAJOR JAY FOX AND SHELDON NICHOLSON The Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association dedicated this year’s fundraising efforts at the Man/Sask Auctioneering Championships and the Cattlemen’s Golf Tournament to the Major Jay Fox and Sheldon Nicholson family trust funds. Both events were very successful with 20 auctioneers in the competition held on May 4 and 152 golfers in the tournament at Oak Island Resort on July 12. The two events generated over $18,000 per family from the cattle industry and their service providers. A big thank you to the volunteers who made these events possible: Rick Wright, Robin Hill, Jim MacArthur, Rick Gabrielle, Karen Van Buuren, Keith Cleaver, Jim Blackshaw, Brock Taylor, Scott Campbell, Scott Anderson, Logan McGonigal, and all who contributed. Thank you to all of the people who attended the events and supported the cause by purchasing and bidding on items at the sales. GOLD SPONSORS $1000 AND UP Cattlex Rick Wright Manitoba Beef Producers WD Livestock Prairie Livestock Mazer Group Steve’s Livestock Hauling Roberge Transport Favel Transportation P. Quintaine & Son Ltd. Total Farm Supply Redfern Farm Services Taylor Auction Mart Morris Sales and Service Har-Bra Holdings Ivomec – Darryll Dicks Heartland Livestock Brandon/Virden All Livestock, Prince Albert 880 CKLQ

SILVER SPONSORS $500 AND UP Hird Cattle Company Whitewood Livestock Sales Alert Agri Distributors Feedrite Stiles & Kelly Transfer DFL Trucking (Dale Lansing) Walton Trucking MC & S Trucking Transall/KTL Stoney Creek, Neepawa MB Dana & Megan Johns/AgLand Ltd. Heartland Order Buying Co. Jim Martin Livestock McSherry Livestock Farms Ransom Cattle Co. Anderson Butler Livestock Valley View Co-op – Virden JM Beef Consulting – Kevin Wadham Eastman Feeds Manitoba Shorthorn Assoc.

101 The Farm Midnight McLeod Trucking Ste. Rose Auction Mart Killarney Auction Mart Roblin Vet Service All Livestock – Lyal Fox Vanguard Credit Union Kane Vet Supplies – Grant Howse South East Livestock Pfizer – Neil Watson Manitoba Charolais Assoc. GX 94 Radio – Yorkton Jays Inn – Virden Brandon Hills Vet Clinic Pfizer Elanco BRONZE SPONSORS Canadian Angus Assoc. Taylor Trucking – Moosomin, SK Enns Bros. John Deere Sunrise Credit Union – Virden

Scott Bros. Feedlot 007 Feeders – Clive Bond Mainline Motors Hamiota Feedlot Ltd. Keith Montgomery Morningstar Metals Thor Jonsson Renards Meat Services – Virden Woodworth Dodge Grassland Cattle Management Virden Ford Sparks Sand & Gravel – Don Sparks Fours Seasons Virden Whytes Lumber & Insurance T. L. Penner Contruction Four Corners Associates Manitoba Limousin Assoc. Manitoba Angus Assoc. Manitoba Hereford Assoc. Chapman Farms Ltd. – Virden

Gladstone Auction Mart Grunthal Auction Mart Co-op Feeds Brandon Oak River Quick Freeze Tim Robbins Trucking Virden Recreation and Water Sport Van L Equipment – Reston D.A.M Cattle Buyers Ltd. – Doug Mowat RJR Consulting – Doug Richardson In Memory of Bob Wright Cromer Valley Store Poplarview Stock Farms – Pipestone Mcdowell Stock Farms Elk Ranch Trucking Norman Anderson & Sons Jim Duncan Livestock BDM Trucking Harold Orr Livestock Twin Valley Coop Elkhorn/ Miniota Penno Livestock

Virden Animal Hospital Westway Feeds Compass Animal Health OTHER SPONSORS Dennis Griffith Keith’s Custom Silage Randy Farough Routledge Feedlot Trans Canada Bearing Circle M Furniture Cowtown Mansfield’s Midwest Concrete Mardee, Melita Cheryl Hill Karen Van Buuren Chris Walwin Sunset Enterprises Winnipeg Jets Ryan Carter


14 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

MANITOBA YOUTH BEEF ROUND-UP A SUCCESS SUBMITTED GRANT ROLSTON PHOTOGRAPHY LTD.

GRANT ROLSTON PHOTOGRAPHY LTD.

Judges Ray Armbruster and Amy Bonchuk with the winning cook-off team.

The 2012 Round-up participants.

The fifth annual Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup was the largest Round-up to date. Fifty-six of Manitoba’s enthusiastic Junior Cattle Producers attended the annual Manitoba

off with a workshop day consisting of sessions featuring ATV Safety, Dave Keely of Pfizer Animal Health and Erin Toner of the Canadian Angus Association. On Saturday, members participated in a list of exciting competitions such as sales talk, photography, graphic design, judging, team marketing, and team grooming. These events took place along with the cattle show and educational competitions— for both individuals and teams. The judges for this section of competitions were Myrna Schweitzer, Emily Gray, Lloyd Cavers, Erin Toner, Melissa McRae, Andre Steppler, Brett McRae, Andrea Arbuckle, Grant Rolston and Ken Williams. One of the highlights of Saturday was the cook-off, during which six members on a team prepare a steak and

Youth Beef Roundup August 3 to 5 in Neepawa, Man. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a top-notch group of interested cattle producers. It is clear that the

cattle industry is continuing to prosper when one-third of the members taking part in the weekend were new to the Round-up and this is encouraging to see. The weekend started

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Youth Beef Round-up on Facebook. The Manitoba Youth Beef Round-up Agribition Team for 2012 is: Megan Kemp, Pilot Mound; Jay Rimke, Oak Lake; Dillon Hunter, Harding; Breanna Anderson, Swan River and Laura Horner, Minnedosa. This team will represent Round-up at 2012 Canadian Western Agribition in Regina in November. Congratulations to the Round-up Committee 2012 including Lois McRae, Chairperson; Lesley Hedley, Secretary; Rilla Hunter, Treasurer; Bert McDonald, Blair McRae,Wenda and Naomi Best, Dillon Hunter, Albert and Samantha Rimke, Candace Johnston, Ken Williams, Andrea Arbuckle,Vonda and Adam Hopcraft and Emily Hickson. The juniors, ages five to 25 years, also enjoyed wiener roasts, Quiz Bowl and game mixers during the weekend. The Round-up is a great way for juniors representing all cattle breeds to work together, learn new skills, and meet new people. Thank you to everyone who attended, judged, and sponsored the 5th Manitoba Youth Beef Round-up to make it a success. See you next year, and visit our Facebook page Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup. Show Pictures can be viewed on www.grantpix.com


September 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

EATING LIKE AN OLYMPIAN ADRIANA BARROS

was consuming as many as 12,000 calories in one day. That being said, the intense workouts these athletes do to prepare for the Games require an unordinary diet; swimmer Ryan Cochrane’s workouts can burn 6,000 to 7,000 calories in a day. (Leung, 2012) Other athletes fuel up on: a pound of pasta with olive oil, a dozen eggs, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cheesecake brownie ice cream and pizza. Caloric expenditure must be replenished in order to repair muscles and restore glycogen for muscle energy required for the following day. “The body needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluid in order to be properly fueled for exercise. Eating right allows athletes to delay fatigue, work harder and possibly give them the edge they need to set a personal record and recover faster.” (ABC News, 2012) Also mentioned as unconventional recovery foods are pickle juice, providing high doses of sodium, potassium and magnesium; minerals working to prevent muscle cramps. Sweet tart cherries, the antioxidants found in cherry juice, may suppress the enzyme that causes inflammation from the stress of exercise. Beet juice is rich in nitrates which help muscles use oxygen more efficiently. Drinking beet juice was apparently the hottest trend at the 2012 Olympics for athletes looking for a legal performance boost (ABC News, 2012). For the rest of us, pickle and beet juice might not become a part of our diets but there are many whole foods Olympians incorporate into their competitive training diets. These whole foods can become staples in the diets of most healthy individuals. Here are a few popular whole foods Olympians are eating, the reasons why they are good for performance diets and which Olympians are packing them on their plate. Oatmeal: A popular breakfast choice, this is

a high-quality carbohydrate with a good source of fibre and protein. Swimmer Ryan Lochte and hurdler Lolo Jones enjoy oats to keep the body fueled by storing glycogen in muscles for fast acting energy. Oats are metabolized at a gradual rate helping to keep blood sugars and energy levels consistent. Bananas: Need a quick snack to boost energy levels? Sprinter, Yohan Blake was said to be eating 16 bananas a day! Studies have shown that carbohydrates from bananas are as effective as the carbohydrates found in sports gels. The antioxidants in bananas may provide the added benefit of enhancing recovery. Beef: Many athletes aren’t shy about eating lean cuts of steak. Beef delivers high-quality protein which is important for gaining and maintaining a lean body. Lean beef is also rich in highly absorbable iron as well as Bvitamins and magnesium, selenium and zinc. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is strained to make it thicker and more concentrated than regular yogurt. Decathlete Ashton Eaton and gymnast John Orozco eat this protein-rich yogurt for breakfast, one serving of Greek yogurt boasts 25 grams of protein. Food facts from Upton, How to eat like a U.S. Olympian, 2012. With athletes moving away from engineered performance foods and incorporating more whole foods, many of us can emulate their diets at home in a healthy manner. In the spirit of the 2012 Olympics I have chosen a nutrient dense recipe, Asian Grilled Beef Steak Salad, courtesy of Canada Beef. With flank steak being the highlight of this meal, there is a high source of quality protein and 14 essential nutrients including a good source of iron. Iron is easily absorbable in the body with the help of vitamin C, which is found in the salad’s citrus dressing. Have a great autumn!

With athletes moving away from engineered performance foods and incorporating more whole foods, many of us can emulate their diets at home in a healthy manner. CANADA BEEF PHOTO

With the Olympics being the hot topic of conversation this summer, many of us have devoted countless hours to watching and cheering on our favorite athletes. Olympians devote more than just practice and dedication to achieve being the best in the world; the foods elite athlete consume play a vital role in fueling their bodies for the gold. Trainers and athletes swear that the right diet and hydration allows athletes to train harder and recover more quickly. Many sports nutritionists are moving away from engineered foods in the form of protein powders, sports bars and sports drinks and they are focusing on recommending diets that are 95 per cent based on nutrientrich, real foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy products (Upton, 2012). It is interesting to find out what is available for athletes to eat at the Olympic Village and what athletes are eating before and after competition. There is a list of medalworthy foods that can easily be added to the diets of regular individuals without the super-hero like characteristics found in Olympic athletes. The London Olympic Games brought 10,820 athletes and 204 nations together, and they expected to serve 14 million meals across 40 different locations throughout the games. Athletes fueled their bodies with whole foods during the games at the Olympic Village. Before competition athletes want to store as much glycogen in their muscles as possible days before exercise. Carbohydrates are a major food source to fuel muscles. Athletes eat one to four hours prior to competition, exercising on a full stomach is not ideal; potentially causing stomach upset, nausea and cramping (Quinn, 2011). A glimpse of how much food Olympic athletes eat might be surprising. It was said during the 2008 Olympics that swimmer Michael Phelps

ASIAN GRILLED BEEF STEAK SALAD ½ bunch fresh cilantro, including roots, stems and leaves 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger root 2 tbsp (30 mL) EACH hoisin sauce, soy sauce and fresh lemon juice 1 tsp (5 mL) hot Asian chili paste 1 lb (500 g) beef flank marinating steak Citrus Dressing (recipe follows) 10 cups (2.5 L) mixed salad greens 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced ½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley ¼ cup (50 mL) EACH chopped fresh mint and chives or green onions 1. Prepare marinade by combining the half bunch cilantro, garlic, ginger root, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and chili paste in food processor; blend until smooth consistency. 2. Pour into large sealable freezer bag along with meat; press out any excess air. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 12 hours. 3. Discard marinade. Pat steak dry with paper towel and grill over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until medium-rare. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before carving into thin slices on diagonal. 4. Arrange salad greens on flat dish. Arrange cucumber on top and sprinkle with cilantro, mint and chives. Place steak slices on top and drizzle with Citrus Dressing. CITRUS DRESSING: Combine 1/3 cup (75 mL) EACH granulated sugar and water in small saucepan. Cook over high heat a few minutes until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in 1/3 cup (75 mL) shredded carrot, 2 tbsp (25 mL) EACH rice or cider vinegar and orange juice, 1 tbsp (15 mL) EACH fresh lemon juice and soy sauce, 1 clove garlic (minced) and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot Asian chili paste. Cool. FROM HEARTSMART™: The Best of HeartSmart™ Cooking. Copyright © 2006 by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Bonnie Stern Cooking School Ltd. Published by Random House Canada.


16 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2012

BEEF KICKS OFF MANITOBA’S TOP COOKING SHOW MBP STAFF

KRISTEN LUCYSHYN

Love cooking with beef ? Watch Great Tastes of Manitoba! MBP’s beef expert Adriana Barros and Ace Burpee of Hot 103’s The Ace Burpee Show have teamed up for a brand new season of shows on Great Tastes of Manitoba (GTOM), the most popular cooking show in the province. MBP has ordered up some delicious beef recipes to share with viewers. The first show of the season aired on September 8 featuring Manitoba Beef Producers. The theme was ‘On a Roll with Beef ’. Watch the episode online at www.foodmanitoba. ca or catch the encore episode on February 9, 2013. On this show Adriana and Ace offer tips on how to prepare flank marinating steak, extra-lean ground beef and shredded beef. As MBP’s beef guru, during each show Adriana shares her updates on classic beef dishes and she also introduces viewers to the best new beef recipes. If you are new to GTOM, this is the season to watch.

New host Ace Burpee and MBP’s Adriana Barros.

Each week GTOM will show viewers how easy it is to cook and bake with various Manitoba foods. Featured food experts will offer tested recipes using simple ingredients to make everything from

appetizers to desserts. The show’s beverage expert makes meals even more memorable with suggestions for wines, beers, spirits and cocktails to go with each recipe. If you need fresh new

meal ideas for your family, watch Great Tastes of Manitoba on CTV, Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. Tune in on November 4 for the second Manitoba Beef Producers show titled ‘Family Dinners’.

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MBP’s 34th annual general meeting takes place February 7-8, 2013 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, Man. Plan to attend! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

VOL.14 NO.6 OCTOBER 2012

BEEF PRODUCERS GENERALLY SATISFIED WITH GROWING FORWARD 2 RON FRIESEN

footing with crop growers who can insure against production losses. “Crop insurance is a great tool for annual crop producers. But cattle producers don’t have an ability to manage their risk in a forward way,” says Ryder Lee, manger of federalprovincial relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). “If you’re competing for the same piece of marginal land, or even for inputs, and if you can lay off your risk, you’re in a much different competitive position.” The previous Growing Forward agreement did contain provisions for livestock insurance but never

went beyond that. But now there are developments which governments appear willing to build on. A livestock price insurance program, which enables producers to insure a future price for their current production, is already in effect in Alberta. The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation has commissioned a study into the feasibility of offering a similar program across Western Canada. Armbruster says a price insurance program for cattle producers is important in times of high costs, large investments and the risk of trade disruptions.

“It gives producers an opportunity to have some flexibility in the marketplace and to be more innovative in their own operations—in marketing and adding value,” he says. Government officials acknowledge Ottawa, the provinces and territories are moving in that direction, although slowly. “The development of a livestock insurance program was discussed at the recent federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 discussions held in Whitehorse,” says a Manitoba government spokesperson. “The result of those discussions was a federalprovincial-territorial agreement to move forward on the

work already done on livestock insurance. More information will become available as discussions continue and as GF2 programs are developed and launched.” Growing Forward 2 takes effect April 1, 2013. The promise of a livestock insurance program isn’t the only measure in the agreement which pleases Manitoba cattle producers. MBP is particularly heartened by a $3 billion commitment to innovation, competitiveness and market development, says general manager Cam Dahl. Those were among the priorities for the new

Attend your local MBP district meeting. Schedule on page 3.

...Continued on page 2

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

KRISTEN LUCYSHYN

Buried deep in a stack of communiqués issued after the recent launch of the new five-year Growing Forward agriculture policy agreement is a paragraph that makes Ray Armbruster smile. “Governments continue to look at ways to improve coverage for forage and livestock production,” it reads. “Beyond AgriInsurance, federal and provincial governments are also examining the feasibility of livestock price insurance coverage.” For Armbruster, Manitoba Beef Producers president, it is a sign that a longawaited insurance program for cattle producers may finally be getting somewhere. Mind you, a communiqué issued five years earlier for the previous Growing Forward agreement promised the same thing. But Armbruster is sure this time it is more than lip service. “It was somewhat of a commitment to develop that in the last Growing Forward,” he says. “We’ll certainly work vigorously to hold them accountable to put that in place for this one,” he says. The promise of a livestock insurance program was included in Growing Forward 2, which Canada’s agriculture ministers announced Sept. 14 during their annual meeting in Whitehorse. For the livestock sector, it was significant. The lack of such a program has always bothered cattle producers, who feel they are on an unequal


2

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

agreement which MBP listed in a July 6 letter to Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn. The agreement calls for a 50 per cent increase in government cost sharing for these three initiatives. It also promises expansion of the Market Access Secretariat, a federal organization under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada designed to improve market access for agricultural exports. Created in 2009, the MAS “coordinates government initiatives with industry, provinces and territories to aggressively and strategically pursue new and existing markets and keep pace with international competitors,” according to the AAFC website. Funding for measures to increase access to export markets was also on MBP’s wish list. Altogether, the emphasis on market development, research, competitiveness and innovation is welcome news for beef producers, says Dahl. “There was a lot of good in the direction set at Whitehorse,” he says. “Yes, there are some aspects of the agreement that producers aren’t going to appreciate.

RAY ARMBRUSTER

...Continued from page 1

It gives producers an opportunity to have some flexibility in the marketplace and to be more innovative in their own operations. – Ray Armbruster But in the direction and in the priorities, I think the ministers got it right.” One thing they didn’t get right, in the opinion of some farm groups, was a change to AgriStability and AgriInvest, two of the five business risk management programs (BRMs). The others are AgriInsurance, AgriRecovery and the Advance Payments Program. Under Growing Forward 2, the payment trigger for AgriStability has been lowered to 70 per cent of a producer’s historical reference margin from the current 85 per cent. The change also stipulates that payments will be based either on the 70 per cent reference margin or eligible expenses, whichever one is lower. Some farm groups say the new rules will make it a lot

harder for producers to qualify for AgriStability payments because it caps the amount of income protection a farmer can access. “It used to attempt to ensure economic stability for the farm sector and now it has a much-diminished ability to do this,” says Doug Chorney, Keystone Agricultural Producers president. Another change is to AgriInvest, a program which enables farmers to set money aside for use during income shortfalls. Producers will now be allowed to deposit only one per cent of their allowable net sales into an AgriInvest account instead of the previous 1.5 per cent. Government matching contributions will be $15,000 a year, down from the current $22,500. “This was a good business risk management tool and

now it is less effective,” Chorney says. However, Dahl says the changes, while unfortunate, may not make a big difference to most beef producers. He says margin-based programs, such as AgriStability, never worked particularly well for the cattle sector because of the longer production cycle and the fact that economic fallout from BSE lowered producers’ incomes to the point where many had no margins to work with. As for AgriInvest, the program has been a mixed bag for Manitoba cattle producers, Dahl says. “Some feel the program is good, it works and should have been expanded, and their neighbours feel the opposite.” Also in line with Growing Forward 2, the federal government announced the

formation of a new AgriInnovators Committee. Co-chaired by former CCA president Travis Toews, the committee will advise the federal agriculture minister on agricultural research and development. Armbruster feels beef producers did about as well as they could have hoped with Growing Forward 2. MBP is not happy to see cuts to AgriStability and AgriInvest. But BRMs were never the association’s priority in

the first place—market access and innovation were, he says. Some suggest agriculture ministers are taking a lead from the Canadian Agricultural Policy Institute (CAPI), a think-tank which several years ago found roughly 60 per cent of annual agriculture spending was on farm support programs. CAPI recommended more emphasis on research and innovation for better long-term returns on investment.

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October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

WE NEED YOU AT THE TABLE.

ATTEND YOUR DISTRICT MEETING

Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in odd numbered districts

District 8

DATE TIME LOCATION Nov. 13 6 p.m. Medora, Medora Community Hall Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Artz Farms Dave Koslowsky Nov. 15 6 p.m. Pilot Mound, Royal Canadian Legion Hall Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Killarney Auction Mart Brad McDonald Nov. 2 6 p.m. Carman, Memorial Hall Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Brad McDonald Heinz Reimer Nov. 1 6 p.m. Vita, Ukrainian Home of Vita (Hall) Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Feed-Rite (Peter Kraynyk), HyLife Ltd., Southeastern Farm Equipment (Cory Plett) Ramona Blyth Nov. 8 6 p.m. Carberry, Memorial Hall Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Heartland Livestock Services Brandon Trevor Atchison Nov. 12 6 p.m. Oak Lake, Royal Canadian Legion Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Poplarview Stock Farm Ray Armbruster* Nov. 16 6 p.m. Birtle, United Church Beef on a Bun served. Glen Campbell Nov. 14 7 p.m. Gladstone, Gladstone District Community Centre

District 9

Mac McRae*

District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4

District 5 District 6 District 7

DIRECTOR Ted Artz

District 10 Theresa Zuk

Nov. 7 7 p.m. Stonewall, South Interlake Ag Society

District 12 Bill Murray

Nov. 6 6 p.m. Arborg, Arborg Bifrost Community Centre Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Arborg Livestock Supplies Nov. 5 6 p.m. Ashern, Royal Canadian Legion Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by K & A Feeds Oct. 30 7 p.m. Eddystone, Westlake Community Centre

District 13 Kim Crandall*

Oct. 29 7 p.m. Gilbert Plains, Royal Canadian Legion

District 14 Stan Foster

Nov. 9 6 p.m. Durban, Durban Community Hall Beef on a Bun served – Sponsored by Swan Valley Consumers Co-op Ag Division

District 11 Caron Clarke

*Director retiring

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3


4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

BELOW: Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP

TAKING A LOOK AT GROWING FORWARD 2

RAY ARMBRUSTER

Fall has come upon us and the fall run and sale of cattle is picking up earlier than usual due to dry pastures and the feed supply situation. One of the important events that happened recently is the announcement on the agreement in principle on Growing Forward 2 made on September 14 by the federal, provincial and territorial governments. I am generally pleased that governments were able to finalize the agreement in a timely manner and that this was not postponed. It is expected that governments will implement the new suite of programming in April 2013, hopefully with a seamless transition from one program to the next. With the announcement of the priorities for programs and new initiatives, the industry and producers now know more about what the playing field is going to be like. For those of us who are producers this means we will be able to plan strategically. On a personal basis, I have to say I am fairly pleased with the outcome of the discussions. There are some new initiatives that when implemented will create a more level playing field for our beef industry.

Research and innovation was one of the commitments announced and this is a key MBP priority that we brought forward for discussion. We are operating in a competitive global marketplace while facing challenges to satisfy the growing world appetite. Research and innovation needs to be a focus for our industry in order to thrive and be on the cutting edge. Some of the research we will need to focus on falls under categories such as feed efficiencies, genetic research, and the development of forages with specific traits—like the ability to be productive in drought or excess moisture conditions. We have fallen behind on the development of new varieties of feed grains and there is a lot of work that should be done in this area of research. We also need to focus on how to improve our competitiveness on the landscape. Spending money on research is valuable but it is vital for governments to budget for the implementation of that research for producers. MBP is investing in research and extension work and we recognize the importance of ensuring that the information collected will be implemented for producers. MBP

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has directed some check-off dollars towards these types of initiatives so that research does not end up gathering dust on the shelf. Another commitment announced for Growing Forward 2 was market access and an increased role of the market access secretariat. As we look at the gains we have achieved with market access, we see that the work being done has put us in a more positive position for creating value for each and every carcass. We are seeing efficiencies such as offal going to the Philippines or prime cuts going to Europe. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done because we do not have full market access in many countries, and we need to see the removal of tariffs and quotas. Many production lines would see efficiencies if they did not have to segregate parts of carcasses to fulfill demands for beef under 30 months and bone out. Expanded spending on the non-business risk management programs was also announced. This means funding for things like onfarm food safety, verified beef programs, traceability programs and biosecurity. These are important programs. We have to be part of the consultation, discussion and delivery of these types of programs so that they will be efficient and sustainable to meet the needs of Manitoba beef producers. These programs also allow us to indicate to consumers through traceability and assurance programs that we do what we say we are doing on our ranches. When we have our market access secretariat and ministers negotiating trade agreements they can say that we have these programs back at the farm level.

It is clear that these programs create a comfort level for consumers around the world who are demanding more information about where their food comes from. The challenge concerning non-business risk management programs is that industry and governments need to work hard on working together to identify the priorities to direct the programs. The beef industry has to be involved throughout the process and help deliver the programs for producers. One of the new commitments outlined for Growing Forward 2 was to develop livestock price insurance. This is another key priority that MBP asked to see in the new suite of programming. We have the commitment to move forward but now we need to have industry and governments get together to do the work and make price insurance a reality. There is a lot of time between now and April 1 for industry and government to finalize a program and be ready to implement it. One of our competitors, Alberta, does have a program and it could be used as a model and a starting point for a national beef price insurance program. Price insurance is one of the most important commitments to be developed for the beef industry. Other commodities have enjoyed this type of programming for years; producers in the grain sector have been able to backstop programs and now we can take advantage of this tool. It will be essential that the price insurance program backstops the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance under the Advance Payments Program. This will really create new ways for producers, backgrounders and feedlot

managers to manage risk in a very calculated and timely way. Using the Advance Payments Program, producers will have an opportunity to do business in the marketplace in a much different way. We will have the opportunity to market cattle in a more flexible manner and at more convenient times to add even more value. This will strengthen the beef production chain as a whole, so it can continue to be healthy and continue to expand. I made a comment at one of the Growing Forward 2 consultations that as industry leaders working on this consultation, of course, we all want to see programs expand or at least be left intact, but we have to understand we have a responsibility to ask for what is achievable and sustainable to move our entire industry ahead. After reviewing what has been announced for Growing Forward 2, I am generally satisfied with the results. In recent discussions and in the media there has been some criticism directed towards governments about the Growing Forward 2 consultation process. In our case, MBP certainly took advantage of the consultation period and we believe we had a reasonable opportunity to bring our industry priorities forward with the province and the federal government. As well, although we saw a cut to AgriStability we have made gains in other areas. One piece of the puzzle that is missing from Growing Forward 2 is a plan to manage the challenges created by the expansion of the renewable fuel industry and Canada’s renewable fuel mandate. Governments have invested a significant amount of money into these areas, one example is the $1.5 billion committed

to boost Canada’s production of biofuels. A major challenge we are now facing—and that we predicted would arise—is that with drought across the U.S. and in several regions of Canada, feed grain production capacity has been significantly lowered and this has driven up the cost of feed for backgrounders and feeders who traditionally run on tight margins. They are suffering and there is no plan to ease the pressure renewable fuel issues are causing. There are many people who have decided that it is not feasible to feed cattle this year and this is not what we want to see happening. Renewable fuel programs that are highly subsidized should not be pushing people out of business. This is something that creates an unlevel playing field when we compete for the same resource and it creates a competitive disadvantage. In closing, I encourage every beef producer to attend a district meeting this fall. We need to hear from you and you also need to hear from us. We will be there to listen and this is also our opportunity to have some objective discussion on many key issues for the industry. These issues could be regional, or provincial. With over 8,000 beef producers in the province, MBP represents the largest commodity group in Manitoba and you should be at the table to discuss the issues affecting your operation and industry. Finally, I would like to welcome Maureen Cousins back to MBP. Maureen previously served as MBP’s communications coordinator and has returned as policy analyst. We are happy to have her back.

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

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

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

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

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

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

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

BRAD MCDONALD

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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

RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

R.M. of Harrison, Clan William, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Landgford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

MAC MCRAE - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

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

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

KIM CRANDALL - SECRETARY

STAN FOSTER

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

FINANCE-Book keeper

154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST

Maureen Cousins

Kristen Lucyshyn Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Kirby Gilman


October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE THINKING ABOUT FOOD SAFETY

CAM DAHL

We have a strong, science-based food safety system in Canada. In fact, our food safety system is so robust that most Canadians simply take it for granted. We do not think about the millions of dollars in research that have gone into designing, maintaining and improving our system. When we reach for that package on the supermarket shelf we don’t think about the dedication and effort of the team of regulators, inspectors and industry staff that delivered that food to us. The fact that most consumers don’t think about the safety of their food when they go grocery shopping is a testament to the success of our science-based food safety system and the effectiveness of the processes put in place to ensure that food is safely delivered to consumers. Rather than shying away from talking about food safety, I think the industry should be talking a bit more about the overwhelming success of the Canadian system. I have seen the Canadian beef industry from many sides, including the pasture, the feedlot and the processing floor. I know what it takes to deliver that package safety to the store and I am proud to be part of an industry that does this day in and day out. I take pride in the fact that consumers can confidently eat Canadian beef with little concern. This should be a pride shared by every beef producer in Canada. Our producers are part of an industry that regularly delivers safe and wholesome food to Canadian tables and to consumers around the world. I would be remiss if I did not include a comment about everyone’s responsibilities as consumers in food safety. Food producers and regulators are doing their part to deliver safe, nutritious food to consumers. But food safety is not just other people’s responsibility. Consumers play a key role in ensuring ongoing good health. As with all food, proper preparation is key

We have a strong, science-based food safety system in Canada.

to food safety. Home chefs should: t $PPL NFBU UP B TBGF JOternal temperature. For ground beef this means 71 C/160 F. t 8BTI ZPVS IBOET CFfore and after handling food and frequently while cooking, especially after handling raw meat and poultry. t "WPJE DSPTT DPOUBNJnation of food by washing utensils, plates and cutting boards that have come into contact with raw meat and poultry, in hot, soapy water. t 3FGSJHFSBUF PS GSFF[F foods promptly. Take these few steps to do your part to protect you and your family. And the next time you are in the grocery store give some thought to the system and people that ensure we all can take that meat home without worrying or even thinking about its safety. MBP is your organization and I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming district meetings at the end of this month and throughout November. As always, if you would like to discuss an issue affecting your operation, please contact me at 1-800-7720458 or at cdahl@mbbeef.ca, or contact your district director—they would be happy to work with you.

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Food safety was in the news again recently. This was prompted by a voluntary recall of some ground beef products. A number of producers contacted me after these stories ran. They were concerned about what these articles might mean for our industry and consumer confidence in the food we produce. The rule of public communications would be not to talk about this issue, as it is a negative story. But I want to talk about this because I think this is a positive story for both beef producers and consumers. The fundamental takehome message from this recall is that Canada’s food safety works. The product was not pulled off of shelves because people were sick. The company involved did the responsible thing and voluntarily recalled a product because there might have been a risk of a problem. This is the story. The food safety system identified a potential concern before it caused health issues and the beef production chain took the action necessary to protect consumers. This happened without anyone being reported as ill or any visits to the hospital. This is not a common occurrence in many other parts of the world. As food producers, we need to acknowledge that E. coli bacteria, the concern that prompted the recent recall, can pose a risk to human health. E.coli 0157:H7 can be present in raw meat, poultry, unpasteurized milk, fruit juices, raw greens and vegetables. The food production chain must work hand-in-hand with regulators to ensure the risks from these common bacteria are minimized. The beef industry is doing its part. All federally inspected processors must develop food safety plans which target E. coli. Canadian meat processors have developed internationally recognized systems known as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans to control foodborne bacteria to ensure these potential hazards are controlled.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

THE IMPACTS OF TB TESTING ANNE COTE

TARA FULTON

Bovine tuberculosis continues to threaten Manitoba cattle herds. Every year Manitoba ranchers in the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area (RMEA) and around Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) wait nervously for the dreaded brown envelope that carries a notification that their herd will be tested for bovine TB. “It has been a long outstanding issue with years of testing, and it is a stressful time,” said Ray Armbruster, cattle producer in the Birdtail Valley near RMNP and president of Manitoba Beef Producers. “And there are many different risks,” he added. Despite many years of testing and the cull of infected herds and suspect animals, the disease has not been eradicated. As long as it is present in wildlife there is a chance domestic cattle can become infected. Armbruster said that stress is a risk both the producer and the animals face. He noted that producers know a positive test can lead to the loss of their herd and their income. It takes years to rebuild a herd to its previous size, if the producer can afford to do it at all, he explained. Quarantine requires the cattle to be kept on

the farm longer and that means additional feed is required; meanwhile, market prices can change for the worse. Just a five cent per pound drop in market prices during a quarantine period can reduce a producer’s sales by thousands of dollars for the year, Armbruster said. Six years ago, the province provided a six dollar per head mustering fee to help offset the negative impacts of testing.

Armbruster said the province withdrew its contribution two years ago, but MBP still puts money into that fund as its contribution to the mustering fee. Eric Munro and his son Darryl raise cattle near Kelwood, Man. Their herd of approximately 300 animals has been tested before but this year when the testing notices were mailed out, much to their relief, they didn’t get one. “The testing is really stressful and it gets harder as you realize all the things that can go wrong. You can lose a herd in the blink of an eye,” Munro said. He said that realization is particularly stressful for young producers like his son, who is in his early 30s. Younger producers may have higher debt payments and worry more about losing their herds. When it comes to testing cattle, Munro said that even though the testing process has not changed for a long time, there are more false positive results. A false positive leads to retesting taking blood. And in some cases, if an animal fails the blood test it is slaughtered for inspection. “These are always young females and young bulls and it is a really stressful time, and a financial loss,” said Munro. “Last time we lost three animals. So, you are losing about one per

cent of your herd to false positives. These animals turn out to be okay, but you’ve lost them.” Munro noted that the cattle do not like the testing process, especially the second time through the chute. “Bulls are extremely hard to handle through the process and they can take a month to settle down and quit fighting,” said Munro. Munro and his son have had some cattle sustain minor injuries as they go through the chutes and they also had pregnant cows abort their calves due to the stress of a second run. Stressed animals are also prone to loss of appetite and a slow down in weight gain. The first testing round takes an entire day and usually requires some extra hands. Munro said it takes an extra two or three people to manage the cattle on test day and that is just one more expense for the producer. He said the testing is usually done in December and depending on the results, the cattle could be in quarantine for months. Producers who, like Munro, are not prepared to finish cattle, face buying more feed than they would normally need. In addition, if the weight of an animal rises above the

optimal market weight, the value of the animal drops, Munro said. “Your whole calf crop is tied up in this process,” said Munro. “You have to keep feeding them past your normal selling time and that is why it is such a traumatic thing to go through; it will destroy your year.” Munro said it is also wearisome to be chosen for testing when your neighbour just across the road is not tested. “That’s the frustrating thing for producers who have been picked out and have to deal with this.” As part of disease mitigation, Munro and his son take precautions to ensure their herd does not come into contact with wildlife. “We don’t have any wildlife on our farm because we don’t have any habitat for them,” he said. Munro and his son have also decided not to bale graze their animals. “It’s a personal choice, but we chose not to bale graze in the field,” he said. Munro noted that in 2003, one TB positive cow was found east of Highway 10, but there have not been any in his area since that time. “The cattle herds in this region have now been TB free for nine years but the testing continues,” he added. “On the international level after seven years you

are considered TB free, but we’ve been TB free for nine years and we still test. It seems like we have a life sentence here, like it is never going to end.” Armbruster said MBP continues to lobby the provincial and federal governments for a TB coordinator. The person in this role would report directly to the federal and provincial agriculture ministers, the minister of Manitoba conservation and water stewardship, and the environment minister and minister responsible for Parks Canada. The TB coordinator would also work with stakeholders. “The coordinator would be responsible for implementing the mandate of the RMEA and making sure the mandate is followed so that the goal of eradicating TB is met,” said Armbruster. “They would deliver a strategy and report to the ministers to ensure that policy is followed and that the task is completed.” He added that there are still many outstanding issues and challenges that are preventing Manitoba from meeting the goal of eradicating TB. “We have lost a lot of beef producers over this issue. Our producers need to see progress and they want to see the mandate of the RMEA fulfilled.”


October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

ANTIBIOTIC USAGE AND YOUR OPERATION DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

JEANNETTE GREAVES

Be responsible in your usage and only use products according to your veterinarian’s recommendations. Veterinary antibiotic usage has been debated and discussed with increasing frequency among various livestock industry groups, and in newspapers, farm publications, consumer magazines, the human health profession and television documentary programs. The take home message varies depending on the agenda of the reporting source but one fact remains—antibiotic usage in food-producing animals is necessary for animal welfare, safe food production and economic efficiency. As beef producers, we must take this responsibility seriously. Abuse drugs and we may very well lose them. A beef producer can abuse antibiotic drugs in their herd by creating a food safety concern. Chemical residues, drug resistant bacteria, broken needle fragments, abscesses and scar tissue all create a negative consumer experience. Imagine carving a roast at a family gathering and cutting into an abscess or suffering from a penicillin reaction due to eating contaminated meat—it has happened! One incident is one too many. Don’t be that one. The publicity generated will be bad enough and the legal nightmare even worse. Follow the tips below to ensure you produce a quality end product: wholesome, nutritious beef. Establish a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship for your herd and implement a preventive herd health program. It is much cheaper to minimize disease and sickness than to treat with antibiotics and other medications. Learn

about the symptoms of common cattle diseases in your area and in your production type, whether it is feedlot or cow-calf. Develop a treatment protocol binder with your veterinarian and conduct necropsies on all deadstock to be sure that revisions to your health program are not required. Meet with your veterinarian at least once yearly. Protocols change based on treatment response and new drugs or formulations become available. Tailor your program to meet your needs, not that of the neighbour. Keep copies of the label inserts of all the products used in your operation. Recommendations are based on research and clinical trials with the ultimate goal of product efficacy and human and animal safety. Store products according to label directions and avoid freezing or excessive heating. Adequate restraint and subcutaneous (SC) neck injections (if labelled) will minimize adverse tissue injury or scarring. Pick a clean, dry site for injections and do not administer more than 10cc in any one site. Space injection sites two to three inches apart and change needles every 10 injections. Regularly inspect for burred or bent needles as they cause tissue trauma and are more prone to breakage. Use the tented method for SC injections: lift the skin, sliding the needle under the base of the tent. Use separate labelled syringes for different products and ensure proper calibration so that the correct dosage is administered. Know how much your animals weigh because

underdosing reduces product effectiveness. It also promotes drug resistance. Overdosing can cause toxicity and may prolong the withdrawal time. It also wastes money. Wash your syringes after use with hot water. Soap leaves residues that can inactivate pharmaceuticals. Never mix different drugs in the same syringe as drugs can be inactivated, toxic compounds can form or tissue irritation can develop. Remember that the products you use on animals may be the same as those used to treat infections in people or from similar drug classes. Be responsible in your usage and only use products according to your veterinarian’s recommendations. Be aware that some products may cause adverse drug reactions if you accidentally inject yourself. I’ve seen producers require intravenous antibiotics and hospitalization following self injection with Clostridial vaccine. Micotil injection can cause heart failure and death, even at very low dose volumes. Handle loaded syringes carefully and ensure animals are adequately restrained to avoid accidental injury. Administration sets like the Slap-Shot (shown in the above photo) have been developed to allow safe injections without smashing your arm or syringe in the chute. Consult with your veterinarian if you are having problems. Swollen necks or apparent drug resistance when treating pneumonia can be caused by a myriad of different things. Did you

Injection administration sets are a useful tool.

process in the rain and inject muddy rain water? Is your processing chute in good order? Is the diagnosis correct? Extra-label or “offlabel” drug use refers to using a product in a way that is not indicated on the label. This can include use in species or for indications (disease/other conditions) not listed, using a different dose, route, frequency, duration or timing of treatment. This type of use is not bad in certain circumstances but if you do use a product in an “off-label” manner, you must have a signed veterinary prescription. Off-label recommendations are commonly made if treatments must be extended or if research has shown a drug to be effective in treating other disease conditions. Label changes take years to be approved so extra-label recommendations are commonly made. Your veterinarian will consult with the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database (FARAD) to obtain appropriate withdrawal and safety recommendations. Keep in mind that these recommendations may change as more data becomes available and chemical detection limits improve. For example, the

antibiotic gentamycin was commonly used to treat bacterial calf scours in the past but it has now been banned for use due to extremely long withdrawal times (over three years). Responsible antibiotic use in cattle production is

everyone’s responsibility. Minimize drug use with a herd health program and effective environmental and nutritional management. Remember that our ultimate goal is the production of safe, wholesome beef.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

MAKING NO HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES ANGELA LOVELL

How much hay will be available to Manitoba beef producers this season is largely dependent upon where they live. “It has been tough this year to pin down average yields for an area,� says Glenn Friesen, MAFRI’s Forage Specialist. “The weather has been so variable in different areas and there are effects from previous years confounding the situation. Prices are equally variable across the board. We know there is a lot of hay moving south, and as you move north the price of hay drops as there is more of it in some areas, and the farther you get outside of the U.S. market radius the more prices return to normal.� In southeastern Manitoba, hay production is down in some areas by 50 per cent or more due to extremely dry conditions that

have persisted since last summer. Some hay fields in the Interlake region have transformed into cattails and weed patches; and pastures will be out of production for a few years yet. In southern and western Manitoba, while production is down by about 30 per cent in some areas, in other areas producers have managed a second cut of hay and average yields, thanks to some timely rains, that will help them make it through the winter. Virtually everyone, though, will be feeding their cattle a few weeks earlier than normal this year as growth in pastures has slowed due to hot, dry weather throughout August and September. “We are starting to supplement some of our pastures with hay now,� says Darren Chapman, of

Chapman Farms near Virden, which hasn’t seen rain on its 3,400 acres of pasture since the first weekend in

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October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY have already hauled it to the yard, and that’s if there is any available,” says Sigurdson, who is expecting to be buying feed for the next three to five years, the time he estimates it will take to get his hay land and pastures back to useable conditions again.

Straw being baled

“We had enough rain early on in the season that we got a good first cut, an average second cut and very little third cut,” says Chapman. “So our production is about average.” One thing is for certain: anyone who has excess production or stockpiles from last year is not going to have a problem finding buyers for any extra bales. Thanks to the drought in southeastern Manitoba, the impacts of the 2011 flood across the province, and drought in the U.S., Ontario and Quebec; buyers from all of these markets have been actively sourcing hay for weeks. A coalition of farm and livestock groups from Alberta and Saskatchewan recently announced HayEast 2012, a program to assist drought-affected producers in Ontario and Quebec who need to source feed from the west. The group has called on provincial governments to provide support and has also urged the federal government to assist with public relations, logistics and the triggering of AgriRecovery funds to assist with transportation of hay from the western Prairies. One industry insider, however, said he is concerned that hay which may be needed by Manitoba producers will essentially bypass them, particularly if transportation incentives are given to Quebec and Ontario producers. The situation in southeastern Manitoba is desperate, says Don Winnicky, who only produced 50 per cent of the hay he needs for his 250 cow-calf herd near Piney. He has baled much more straw this year as a result, around 600 bales, and any non-bred or old cows will be going to market because of local feed shortages and hay costs that have been rising to four cents or six cents per pound. “That’s why I have more cows going to town because at those prices it doesn’t make sense to keep them,” says Winnicky. “There

is a big vacuum for feed. There’s none to be had. The drought is from the Red River Valley all the way to the Ontario border and from the Trans-Canada all the way south to Texas, so where are we going to go?”

Feed quality

Feed quality is also a concern in some areas. Just about every swamp hole, cattail and willow patch in the area has been baled, says Winnicky, who was telling a much different story this time last year. “Last year we sold 200 bales because we had a big surplus of feed and now I am 500 bales short,” he says. “I am kicking myself for selling those bales.” Not too far away, feed quality is better than average. Heinz Reimer of J.V. Ranch, a division of Hylife Foods Ltd. near La Broquerie, has found that the hay

samples he has tested this year show a better than average feed quality, although production is down by around 55 per cent. He is confident that with some carry-over from 2011, and also being able to blend the better quality feed with straw, he will have enough feed for the farm’s 750 to 800 cow-calf pairs and 750 feeders. Feed quality for Morgan Sigurdson, who farms near Reykjavik in the Interlake, is not as good. His alfalfa hay land is still recovering from last year’s flood and the 1,000 bales he took off this year were mainly weeds and cattails. “It’s all we have,” he says. “We never made any wild hay whatsoever and some of our barley land we took off as bedding.” Sigurdson managed to produce only a third of the 3,000 bales he needs for his

herd, but, knowing he was facing a severe shortage, he sourced the hay he needed early. “I started looking about a month and a half ago and bought as soon as the alfalfa was taken off from anyone who had a surplus,” he says. “I went and bought it and hauled it home and this way they didn’t have to haul it to their yard to sell it and I got it a little bit cheaper than I would be paying come winter time.” Sigurdson says he was lucky to have credit available to purchase the hay when he needed it and he is concerned that some producers may have to wait for government assistance, if any is forthcoming. That feed may not be as easy to find as winter approaches. “It will be two months before the calves are sold, so by then the snow starts falling and people want more per bale because they

There may be a lot less burning of crop residues across Manitoba this year as many producers have baled more cereal straw than usual to blend with their hay in order to make it stretch a bit further. Dave Bonchuk of Solsgirth in western Manitoba, has a 550-head, purebred Simmental herd to feed all winter and he has baled a lot more straw than usual to try to make up for 30 per cent less productivity on his hay land. He also plans to sell a few more cattle than last year and he grew some corn and barley for silage, so he is confident that he won’t have to purchase any hay. “We are pretty lucky we did get enough rain to get the grass growing so we could get this kind of volume,” he says. “We had a terrible barley crop in 2011. When we combined our first field of barley this year we had more barley in one field than we combined all last year. So we have a decent crop of barley and we will make it through the winter with our herd.” Although conditions have been variable throughout Manitoba, most farmers—whether

9

they are crop or livestock producers—are hoping for plenty of precipitation over the fall and winter so they aren’t starting the season at a disadvantage. “We need some rain over the next couple of weeks or there won’t be much fall work done at all,” says Chapman. “We have guys seeding winter wheat into dust hoping for rain, and if it doesn’t rain in the next two weeks that winter wheat won’t establish.” In other areas like the southeast, rain is critical. “Everybody here says we are on reserves now,” says Winnicky. “If this carries into next year, we are in terrible trouble.”

Selling hay

Producers who have some surplus hay that they want to move could consider selling it through a broker. One place to start is to contact some of the experienced forage marketers in Manitoba (see website below) to get a recommendation from them. “This is a good starting point and producers will probably get a few names from them,” says Friesen. “They may even be willing to broker it for them and line up the sale, which is a good option, especially if they are only considering it this year because they have a surplus.” Manitoba Forage Marketers can be found at www. manitobaforage.ca.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

READING BETWEEN THE LINES RATIO ANALYSIS TO EVALUATE YOUR FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE TERRY BETKER

Successful farm and ranch operations know the importance of continuously evaluating their business performance. To complete a thorough examination of your operation’s effectiveness, you need to look at more than just statements or numbers like income, expenses, assets and/or liabilities. This requires that you read between the lines of your financial statements, taking the information contained in the statements, analyzing it and applying it in managing the business. This can appear to be quite challenging. Fortunately, there are some key, well-tested ratios that make the task less daunting and these can provide you with some meaningful financial information. Although ratios are very useful tools that you can use to analyze business performance, they also come with some pros and cons. The good news is that ratios can be quantified with a high degree of confidence. They can be compared year-over-year to measure progress, being most meaningful when comparing the current year’s financial measures

with the same measures from earlier years. The bad news is a ratio is only as good as the information used to prepare it. Since each ratio tells us a little about the farm’s financial story, it is important that they be analyzed collectively because some ratios can be counterintuitive to each other. Ratios can be grouped to provide more specific information on a farm’s performance, which I liken to reading three or four chapters of a book as opposed to reading the whole story.

Current Ratio, Contribution Margin Ratio, Debt Servicing Ratio

Grouping these three ratios, monitoring their yearover-year performance and making management adjustments to keep them within industry standards can provide valuable insight into a farm’s longer term financial performance.

Current Ratio

The current ratio is calculated by dividing the current assets by the current liabilities; both balance sheet values.

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The current ratio provides an indication of the “liquid” assets available to meet the next twelve months of financial commitments (the current liabilities). This ratio is closely associated with cash flow. The optimum current ratio is a ratio of 2:1 or better, which indicates that the farm would have $2 of current assets for every $1 of current liabilities. A current ratio of 1.5:1 and greater is considered to be a strong current ratio. The closer the ratio gets to 1:1 or weaker, the more challenging it is to maintain positive cash flow.

depending on the type of operation. For grain, mixed or cow-calf operations a 1.5:1 ratio or better is generally adequate. A debt servicing ratio that approaches 1:1 or weaker indicates that the business is in danger of not being able to “earn” the money required to make its term debt payments. In many situations where earnings are not adequate, payments still get made— with the cash coming from increasing an operating loan. This is not a sustainable practise in the long term and it will have a negative impact on the current Debt Servicing Ratio ratio and cash flow perforThe debt servicing ra- mance. tio provides an indication of the ability of the farm Contribution Margin to repay its term debt. The and Contribution calculation of the ratio in- Margin Ratio volves determining the The contribution margin amount of “earned” cash is calculated by subtracting available for debt repay- production expenses—ferment for a year, and then tilizer, seed, chemicals, dividing that number by production insurance, feed, the total interest and prin- vet costs and medicine— cipal payments in that year. and operating expenses— A 2:1 ratio reveals that fuel, repairs, custom work, for every dollar of annual direct labour—from the debt (principal and inter- gross, accrued revenue. The est) payments, the opera- ratio is calculated by dividtion expects to have two ing the contribution marearned dollars available. gin by gross revenue. The The ideal ratio may vary contribution margin ratio

12-09-23 8:47 PM

should be greater than or ability to make scheduled equal to 50 per cent. payments on long term debt. In terms of earnings, the conSummary tribution margin reveals how Keeping a current ratio efficient a farm is at getting a at 1.5:1 or better, a debt ser- return on the direct or varivicing ratio at 1.5:1 or better able costs incurred. The ratio and a contribution margin at can be improved by reducing 50 per cent or better will cer- costs, increasing yield and/ tainly help a farm to main- or prices and reducing term tain longer term viability. debt repayment commitThe ratios are comple- ments. mentary, providing insight After accounting for the into different and related variable costs, there are still areas of financial perfor- the fixed costs to account mance and bridging the for before getting to earned, balance sheet and income net income. However, poor statement. performance at the contriSub-par performance in bution margin level almost any one of the ratios will always translates to less than negatively impact the oth- desirable net income. There ers and typically result in are not many producers who management challenges. are able to report satisfactory The current ratio is asso- net income (and therefore ciated with cash flow which a good debt servicing ratio) is hugely important in to- when starting from a contriday’s agriculture industry. bution margin that is below It also factors in current 50 per cent year in, year out. liabilities which include anObviously, ratios don’t nual term debt repayment make the decisions for you. commitments, a connec- But they can provide you tion to debt servicing abil- with information that can be ity. Too aggressive a com- very helpful in the decision mitment to term debt re- making process. payment can negatively impact the current ratio and Terry Betker is a farm therefore, liquidity (which management consultant is a measure of cash flow). based in Winnipeg, ManiDebt servicing is related toba. He can be reached at to net or earned income. It 204-782-8200 or terry.betlooks at the farm’s earned ker@backswath.com.


October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

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Yearly- Short Term, Mortality For more information and Fertility coverages on this research or other Call us for details. forage-beef production sysLois and Blair McRae tems research at the Univer204-728-3058 Joyce Gordon sity of Manitoba, contact Kim marmac@inetlink.ca 204-534-6554 cell-204-573-5192 The second year of this Ominski at Kim.Ominski@ two-year project will begin ad.umanitoba.ca. this fall at the University of Manitoba Glenlea Research Stockman_Agencies_Ad.indd 1 12-08-20 ;\LZKH` 6J[ 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL (UN\Z 0UÅ\LUJL ! H T Station. We are currently ;O\YZKH` 6J[ 9LN\SHY :HSL ! H T looking for bulls. If you have spring-born purebred Angus ;\LZKH` 6J[ 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL ! H T bulls and are interested in be;O\YZKH` 6J[ .YLLU ;HN (UN\Z 6YNHUPJ 5H[\YHS :HSL ! H T ing involved in our feed ef;\LZKH` 6J[ 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL /LYLMVYK 0UÅ\LUJL ! H T ficiency trial, please contact Sean Thompson at 204-3650097 or email sean_1234@ ;O\YZKH` 5V] 9LN\SHY :HSL ! H T hotmail.com. -YPKH` 5V] )YLK *V^ HUK :WLJPHS )YLK *V^ :HSL ! W T Coming from a farm ;\LZKH` 5V] 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL (UN\Z 0UÅ\LUJL ! H T raising purebred and commercial Shorthorn cattle, ;O\YZKH` 5V] 9LN\SHY :HSL ! H T Sean recognizes the impor;\LZKH` 5V] 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL ! H T tance of RFI as a heritable ;O\YZKH` 5V] 9LN\SHY :HSL ! H T trait to select. And he is not -YPKH` 5V] )YLK *V^ /LPMLY :HSL ! W T alone—already a number of producers who participated ;\LZKH` 5V] 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL *OHYVSHPZ 0UÅ\LUJL ! H T in the program last year ;O\YZKH` 5V] 9LN\SHY :HSL ! H T are consigning bulls for the ;\LZKH` 5V] 7YL :VY[ *HSM :HSL ! H T trial this fall. Bulls will be perfor;O\YZKH` 5V] 9LN\SHY :HSL ! H T mance tested from approxi-YPKH` 5V] )YLK *V^ /LPMLY :HSL ! W T mately November to May. Producers will receive RFI values, average daily gain, feed intake and ultrasound 7YLZVY[Z 4<:; IL IVVRLK PU HK]HUJL )YLK JV^ ZHSLZ T\Z[ IL WYL IVVRLK HUK PU I` measurements. The cost is 5665 VU ;O\YZKH` WYPVY (NL ]LYPÄJH[PVU WHWLYZ T\Z[ IL KYVWWLK VMM ^P[O JH[[SL $55/head RFI fee plus partial feed costs. This RFI research is supported by Manitoba Beef Livestock Services Producers, Alberta Beef

Currently consigning springborn purebred Angus bulls for the fall trial

6*;6),9

8:20 PM

56=,4),9

units of lb./day DM (dry matter basis). An RFI value of +0.25 indicates that the bull ate 0.25 lb. DM/d more at equal rate of gain, body weight and fat deposition. We can look at economic implications using numbers calculated from the first year of the trial. The most efficient bull had an RFI value of -2.56, while the least efficient bull had a value of +3.20. If feeding a TMR ration with a dry matter of around 50 per cent and a cost of around $0.05/ lb. as fed, the cost savings for the most efficient bull relative to the average bull would be $48 for 178 days on trial. Feed costs for the least efficient bull were $60 more than the average bull for this same period. The $48 represents a 12 per cent savings compared to the average feed cost, while $60 above the average feed cost is 15 per cent higher. The savings in feed costs shown by the most efficient bull represents the immediate result of a low RFI. Using this bull as a herd sire to improve feed efficiency would result in more efficient calves. Previous work has shown that calves of efficient beef cattle are also more efficient than calves of less efficient cattle. As well, calves proven to be efficient maintain that efficiency as adults. RFI has a heritability similar to other growth traits, around 0.40, which means genetic improvement through selection of efficient sires could occur relatively quickly. As such, RFI is one of a number of performance traits that should be considered in sire selection. Feed efficiency is yet another selection tool to be used in association with traits such as average daily gain, birth weight, yearling weight, or carcass quality when choosing potential breeding stock. As shown in results from efficiency studies done in Alberta and Australia, selection for low RFI can have significant results as follow: t Improve feed conversion ratio by 9-15% t Improve calf-weightper-cow feed intake by 15% t Lower methane emissions by up to 30%

2012 Fall Sale Schedule

Increasing feed efficiency in a cow herd through genetic selection could mean lower feed costs or the potential to feed more cattle with the same amount of feed. This is important as feed is one of the largest expenses for cowcalf producers. Residual feed intake (RFI) is a measure of feed efficiency, defined as the difference between an animal’s actual intake and their expected feed intake for maintenance, growth and body composition. The difference in actual versus expected intake, or “residual feed intake,� is called the RFI value. Therefore, efficient animals eat less than expected and have a negative or low RFI, and inefficient animals eat more than expected and have a positive or high RFI. The expected feed intake is calculated by using average daily gain (ADG), body weight and back fat measurements. RFI is a better measure of efficiency than the feed:gain ratio as it is unrelated to growth, body size and composition. Selecting for more efficient animals using RFI will not result in compromised performance for traits such as ADG or body weight. A research initiative underway involving the University of Manitoba, AAFC’s Brandon and Lacombe research stations, and the University of Alberta explores relationships between feed efficiency and methane production, heat loss, carcass characteristics through ultrasound, body composition and manure production. Graduate students Sean Thompson and Tawnya Ullenboom are currently preparing for the second year of a two-year trial evaluating bull performance on grainbased and forage based diets to determine if RFI ranking changes when diet is changed. Results from the first year show that diet did impact RFI rankings. The trial, which ran from November to May, involved two feeding periods. RFI ranking for each bull was calculated for each period, generating two values per bull. These values represent a deviation from the average efficiency value for animals being fed the same diet, in

Heartland

Heartland_Livestock_Ad.indd 1

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

UPDATING THE BEEF CODE OF PRACTICE CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

TARA FULTON

The Code of Practice for Beef Cattle has been going through a renewal process and Manitoba beef producers are encouraged to follow the developments and provide feedback. The Canadian cattle industry has had a Code of Practice for the care and handling of Beef Cattle since 1991, but the Code has never been updated. The Code is now being updated to ensure the latest science is considered and to take into account changes that have occurred since 1991. This formal renewal is on top of internal work at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Alberta Beef Producers. The update is taking place using the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) process for updating or writing new codes. Along with beef cattle, codes for seven other species are being written or updated. The Code for Dairy Cattle was updated in 2009. The NFACC process helps to keep all of Canada’s codes similar in several ways. The most important way is in ensuring the people involved in code development represent all the stakeholders in the industry. For the Beef Code this includes producers involved in different stages of production and from different parts of Canada, veterinarians, researchers,

transporters, processors, animal welfare enforcement, animal welfare advocacy, as well as provincial and federal governments. The retail and food service sectors are also very interested in the process, but these groups do not have a representative on the committee. As with the 1991 Code, the new document will cover areas of cattle production that have implications for cattle welfare. Such implications range from

choosing bulls (appropriate to the cows or heifers they will be breeding with) to end-of-life decisions. The new Code stops at the farm gate whereas the old document went into auction market and transport scenarios. It is expected there will be codes developed for those areas of the value chain at a later date. The Beef Code draft will be ready for public comment later this year. There will be a 60 day period in

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Producers are encouraged to voice their opinions during the upcoming public comment period. which anyone can comment on the contents of the Code and read the science report that informed the Code drafting. The inclusion of the science report is a key step in the NFACC process of ensuring current science relating to priority welfare issues is considered. Following the public comment period, the committee will consider the comments and make any final adjustments before the completed Code is released in spring 2013.

The finished Code, as with the current Code, will be used in several ways. It is a reference tool for new and experienced producers. It is an extension tool used by those in the industry to discuss production practices that impact cattle welfare. It is used by enforcement agencies as the industry expected standard. It also has the potential to be used as the basis of an assessment program if customers are looking for that from their producers.

t CATTLEX buys ALL classes of cattle direct from producers. t CATTLEX is interested in purchasing large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls. For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: Andy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Jay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630

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This has not happened yet on a general level, but some value chains do have welfare components their producers must satisfy in order to be in their branded programs. The Code contents also show interested consumers and other customers how cattle are raised in Canada. Producers are encouraged to voice their opinions during the upcoming public comment period. It is very important that as many producers as possible read through the draft and share concerns with the committee. Go to www. nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice for more information about the code process. Code of Practice updates initiated from 2010 to 2013 are part of the project “Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare”. This project is being funded by Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.


October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

As I sit down to write this column, the calendar says September 21. The yearlings are all but gone and the fall calf run is on the horizon. Early calf sales have brought in higher prices than expected which has been a pleasant surprise for producers. Feedlots that were waiting for feed grain prices to go down are still waiting, and it looks like there is to be little relief in the near future. Corn stays over $8 per bushel and barley over $6 if you can find it. Dried distillers grains are a little lower than a month ago but still over 50 per cent higher than a year ago. Backgrounding feedlots are looking at gains of somewhere between 90 cents and a dollar per pound based on 2.5 pounds per day for over 100 days. Finishing rations to take the cattle from 900 pounds to finished weight could be as much as $1.25 per pound in Manitoba, with higher prices in the east and slightly lower costs in the west. Live cattle futures for the finished cattle have improved with January and February at approximately $1.32 (USD) before basis, transportation and grades. April is currently the high at approximately $1.35 (USD) before deductions. The fundamentals and future contract prices for finished cattle do not support current prices of calves combined with the strong Canadian exchange rate and feed costs. Something has to give, and my gut feeling is the calves will have to come down in price when the bigger numbers come to market. I don’t expect a 15 cent adjustment but something more in-line with last year’s fall prices. I expect smaller volumes of calves again this fall, mainly because of the growing trend in Manitoba to calve later in the spring and hold those calves over winter to sell into the grass market. The spring market for the grass cattle has been strong over the past five years and that trend will continue. Despite

disappointing gains of 1.4 to 1.6 pounds per day on the pasture, the yearling operators still made money this year; if they took advantage of some of the early contracts, they really clipped a coupon! I have had many requests for contract prices and information on December and spring forward contracts for feeder cattle. At this time, feedlots are reluctant to offer competitive prices on the contracts. The daily swings in the feed prices have not encouraged feedlots to purchase additional feed, and there are very few willing sellers when they think the market has upward potential. We need a stretch of steady pricing in the grain market combined with some

predictability in the cattle futures before the basis for the feeder cattle contracts will fall in line. On another note, the fallout from Big Sky and Puratone hog operations filing for creditor protection has already started to affect the cattle industry. Western Manitoba cattle producers have taken advantage of an abundance of hog trucks coming into Brandon and Neepawa to haul cattle back west at reduced rates. The number of backhaul trucks will be reduced due to the number of finishing operations closing down. One would expect that if a number of major operations close, the number of hogs coming to market will be reduced. In turn,

supply and demand should mean less meat and higher prices in the stores. Rising pork prices should allow a little upward movement for the retail beef sector, which is much needed to support the higher costs of production. Many producers ask me why I reference the American market so much when doing this article. A recent study by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) determined that our export trade to the U.S. accounts for 85 per cent of all exported Canadian beef and cattle. An interesting note was that the remaining 15 per cent of Canadian exports have a higher value than the total amount exported to the U.S. The message is clear: we need to

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develop more export markets. Not an easy task, and until then, whatever happens in the south will have a direct impact on the Canadian market. Since 2005, the U.S. has increased its exports by 159 per cent in pounds and 280 per cent in value. On the other hand, Canada’s exports outside of the U.S. increased by 13 per cent in volume and 45 per cent in value. The Americans use our cattle and meat products to fill the domestic gap created by their exports. The other issue is the synergies that are created by the processing sector on the products that we bring back into Canada. There

are many reasons the packing and processing business in the U.S. is more competitive than Canada. Make no mistake, this is not an ad in support for the MCEC, just a business fact. The final conclusion of the CAPI study mentioned above suggests there is a lack of long-term strategy in the beef business throughout the entire beef production chain. The study also challenged the current leadership, or lack of leadership, in the beef industry. I am interested in the response from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and other industry sectors. Until next time, Rick.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012

MAKING EACH BLADE COUNT ANGELA LOVELL ON BEHALF OF MANITOBA FORAGE COUNCIL AND DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA

Getting the greatest nutrient value out of each blade of grass is every livestock producer’s aim, and those who use some form of intensively managed, planned rotational grazing system generally believe they are doing a better job achieving that goal than those using conventional grazing methods. How do they know this? The first indicator for most producers is the productivity they are getting from the land resource based on the carrying capacity and animal performance. When both of these increase, it is a good sign that animals are getting the nutrition they need to produce more pounds of beef per acre. Neil Dennis farms near Wawota, Sask., and he has been using a holistic management system on his ranch since 1998. He rotationally grazes his animals through varying degrees of intensity depending on the situation and what he wants to achieve. Dennis measures the success of his system by carrying capacity and weight gain. In 2004, each animal required over three acres of pasture per summer, and by 2010, thanks to his managed grazing system, only one acre per animal was needed. In 2006, he achieved 1.71 pounds of weight gain per day, per animal. “I produced 152 pounds of beef per acre,” says Dennis. “The neighbours produced 68.75 pounds of beef per acre under conventional grazing on the same amount of land. I got

almost 84 pounds of beef per acre more because I was using smaller paddocks with higher stock densities and moving the cattle frequently to ensure good recovery.” Planned rotational grazing takes animal impact under consideration and balances grazing and recovery time to improve soil health and animal

nutrition. Dennis recently gave a holistic management presentation in Pipestone, Man. to discuss his grazing system with area producers. The workshop was part of an ongoing educational program, organized by the Manitoba Forage Council in association with Ducks Unlimited Canada. This program gives producers a chance to learn about

production techniques, such as planned rotational grazing, from practitioners who are using them. Matching the productivity of the plants to the time they should be grazed is a crucial aspect of animal nutrition. Alfalfa growers cut the crop when they see the first blooms appearing because at that stage the plants have higher protein content. Turning the cows onto a pasture at a similar stage in the crop’s development achieves much the same thing. By not grazing too heavily and leaving a lot of plant material behind to kick start the growth phase again, the plant can be tricked into repeating its cycle. “When a plant comes into seed it has done what it is supposed to do for the year,” says Ralph Corcoran, who also uses planned rotational grazing at his ranch near Langbank, Sask. “We consider a plant to be fully recovered and ready to be grazed again when it starts to flower or bloom a little bit. By grazing it again at that stage you can keep it

growing, so then the nutrition of that plant is always at a fairly high plane.” Dennis’s own experience supports research which says that grazing 40 per cent or less of the grass will allow it to recover quickly, generally after around 60 days during periods of fast growth and 90 days during periods of slow growth. If 80 per cent of the plant’s leaves are removed the root stops growing for 12 days. And if 90 per cent of the leaf material is removed it will stop growing for 18 days. “If you graze too hard at the best growing time of the year you lose a lot of production,” says Dennis. The health of the land also reflects in the mineral requirements of the cattle. Dennis has cut supplemental mineral consumption by 90 per cent since implementing holistic management and planned rotational grazing. Recent carbon testing on Dennis’s farm showed that the land where he has been using planned grazing has around 10 per cent organic matter, compared to three

to four per cent on land that has not been used for planned grazing. Corcoran has also found that the biodiversity in his paddocks has improved the mineral cycling of his soil to the point where he doesn’t provide any supplemental minerals or salt to his cattle. “The cows are getting the minerals they need from their diet,” says Corcoran. “The different species of plants all have roots at different levels, so they are bringing up different minerals from different levels in the soil. “By giving the plants proper recovery time we have a good root system to continue to bring up those minerals.” In essence, says Dennis, using a well managed, planned rotational grazing program is like having free land. “There’s not one silver bullet, everything just works together,” he says. “And then you start getting extra pounds of beef per acre and you are not spending as much on minerals because your land is healthier.”


October 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

SNACKING: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE TASTY ADRIANA BARROS

t #BCZ DBSSPUT BOE XIPMF wheat pita triangles with hummus t 1VNQFSOJDLFM CBHFM with peanut butter and banana t 'SFTI GSP[FO PS DBOOFE fruit with low fat yogurt or in a smoothie t 1MBJO QPQDPSO t &OHMJTI NVďO XJUI melted cheese and apple slices (Health Canada) One recent study showed that purchasing unhealthy snacks is often caused by impulse buying (P. Honkanen et al., 2011). Perhaps blame the supermarkets which place their unhealthy, well marketed snacks near the cashier counters to target us when we are most vulnerable. Fight back; prepare ahead and carry healthy snacks with you. The key to a healthy metabolism is keeping your blood sugar level stable for efficient calorie usage in the body. Stable blood sugar levels contribute to building a fast metabolism. This is done by eating something every two to three hours in between main meals. We have all heard that eating breakfast will rev up our metabolism at the start of the day and help it run efficiently—this is definitely true. A dip in blood sugar levels, caused by waiting too long in between meals, results in feeling hungry, irritable and tired. Keeping snacks between 100 to 150 calories and ensuring they fit into at least three out of four of the food groups is a good start. Having a snack such as almonds is a good choice; they contain protein, fibre and unsaturated fats that will keep you satisfied for much longer than a typical coffee shop muffin. With Halloween just around the corner, snacks will be readily available and likely will not be very nutritious. Here are a few

examples of popular Halloween treats and how many pieces will keep candy consumption to 100 calories per snack. t 5XJ[[MFST DBOEJFT t 4UBSCVSTU GSVJU DIFX candies t %PUT DBOEJFT t QJFDFT PG #SBDI T Candy Corn t NJML DIPDPMBUF M&M’s (Women’s Health, 2011) Snacks are essential for keeping the metabolism up and running smoothly. Snacking is good when choices are healthy and sizes reflect daily activity levels. Following the Food Guide and including snacks as part of your food servings is the best route to healthy snacking. Avoid a traumatic midday snacking emergency which often leads to visiting a vending machine! The featured recipe for this issue is Southwestern Beef Steak and Kidney Beans, courtesy of Canada Beef Inc. This is a perfect recipe for work and school lunches. Mark your calendars and tune in to CTV’s Great Tastes of Manitoba on November 3 at 6:30 p.m. for fabulous new family dinner themed recipes. Have a healthy and happy fall! Works Cited Health Canada. (n.d.). Smart Snacking. Retrieved 09 19, 2012, from Health Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca. P. Honkanen et al. (2011). Reflective and impulsive influences on unhealthy snacking. Appetite , 6. Victoria Shanta Retelny, R. (2012). Healthy Snacking Rules. Environmental Nutrition , 2. Women’s Health. (2011, October 28). 100-Calorie Candies. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from Women’s Health: www. womenshealthmag.com/ nutrition.

CANADA BEEF INC.

For some, snacking has become a big part of their dietary habits. There are so many mixed messages floating around about maintaining a healthy body weight with or without daily snacking. Since for many individuals snacking is a key part of their routine, this article suggests examples of healthy snacks which follow Canada’s Food Guide and explains the benefit of healthy snacking in order to keep the metabolism up throughout the day. Also, find out how to take it easy this Halloween season with a list of examples for keeping treats below 100 calories. Confusion about snacking is a common occurrence, especially when it has been reported that snacking makes up 25 per cent of our total daily calories (Victoria Shanta Retelny, 2012). To maintain a person’s body weight the formula is calories in should equal calories out. The energy added to the body with food should be equal to energy burned throughout the day; this will maintain your body weight. According to Canada’s Food Guide, consuming a healthy daily food portion, from each food group is considered a terrific measuring tool for determining healthy meal servings. Health Canada suggests counting snacks towards the recommended Food Guide Servings. Like meals, snacks should fuel your body with nutrients and energy. Here is a list of snacks that follow Canada’s Food Guide and are perfect to grab and have at school, work or on the go. t 'SFTI GSVJU PS JOEJWJEVally packed containers of cut up fruit t 3BX WFHFUBCMFT JODMVEing carrots, peppers, zucchini, cherries or grape tomatoes

SOUTHWESTERN BEEF STEAK AND KIDNEY BEANS 1 tsp (5 ml)

EACH Cajun spice and ground cumin

1/4 tsp (1 ml)

EACH salt and hot pepper flakes

1 lb. (500 g)

beef grilling steak, ¾ in. (2 cm) thick

2 tbsp (30 ml)

olive oil

1/2 cup (125 ml)

chopped red onion

1

sweet red pepper, diced

1/2 cup (125 ml)

EACH salsa and frozen corn

1/3 cup (75 ml)

tomato ketchup

19 oz. (540 ml)

can kidney beans, drained and rinsed Lime wedges

1. Combine Cajun spice, cumin, salt and pepper flakes in small bowl. Set aside half of mixture. Sprinkle both sides of steak with remaining mixture. 2. Heat half of the oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; cook steak until medium, about 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Remove to plate; cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. 3. Meanwhile, reduce heat to medium; add remaining oil. Cook onion, red pepper and reserved spice mixture, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. 4. Add salsa, corn, ketchup and beans; heat through, about 4 minutes. Toss with steak slices and serve with a squeeze of lime.

WATCH MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS ON CTV’S GREAT TASTES OF MANITOBA Saturday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. MBP beef expert Adriana Barros and host Ace Burpee will offer up fabulous new family dinner recipes. Tune in! Visit www.foodmanitoba.ca for the recipes.


16 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2012 JEFF MILLER, 100 ACRE WOODS PHOTOGRAPHY JEFF MILL ER

Enjoying the sun in cattle country.

Agriculture in the Classroom MBP District 8 Director Glen Campbell (right) presented to students at Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba’s Amazing Agriculture Adventure. Glen showed students a cow-calf pair and shared his story about how he raises cattle on his ranch near Onanole. His fellow presenter was Brittany Dyck of MAFRI (left). Special thanks to District 5 Director Ramona Blyth who also presented at the beef station.

BECOME AN MBP AGM SPONSOR UPCOMING PRODUCER

B O OK TODAY! WORKSHOPS Manitoba Beef Producers 34th Annual General Meeting Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Brandon February 7-8, 2013

MBP’s Annual General Meeting is a unique opportunity to promote your business to Manitoba’s top beef producers.

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Manitoba Beef Producers is set to host a series of workshops that will be of interest to beef producers across the province. The first of these halfday workshop events will be split into two sessions. The workshops will focus on the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and Verified Beef Production (VBP) or Biosecurity. Each session will begin at 1 p.m. and wrap up around 6 p.m. The Biosecurity workshop will focus on helping beef producers prevent and mitigate diseases from entering or spreading to operations that contain livestock. The various tools and risk management practices that beef producers can apply to keep livestock healthy will be covered. Additional Biosecurity workshops

will be held in 20122013. MBP is partnering with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association to bring the BIXS workshop to Manitoba. BIXS is a national voluntary webbased database designed to capture and exchange data linked to an individual animal’s unique electronic ID tag number, known as the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) tag or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. BIXS will relay carcass yield and grade back to the primary producer. Verified Beef Production (VBP) is Canada’s verified on-farm food safety program for beef—a dynamic program to uphold consumer confidence in the products and good practices of this country’s beef producers.

Schedule: Wednesday, October 17: Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB - Workshop on BIXS and VBP Thursday, October 18: Ste. Rose Jolly Club, Ste. Rose du Lac, MB - Workshop on BIXS and VBP Friday, October 19: Canad Inns, Portage la Prairie, MB - Workshop on BIXS and Biosecuity Producers are asked to register in advance. There is no fee to attend. To register, contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458 or info@mbbeef.ca.


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

VOL.14 NO.7 NOVEMBER 2012

DROUGHT STRESSES SOUTHEASTERN MANITOBA CATTLE PRODUCERS RON FRIESEN

THE WATER IN THIS DUGOUT SHOULD BE OVER STEPHAN SCHUBERT’S HEAD. INSTEAD, THE DROUGHT HAS LOWERED THE WATER LEVEL TO LESS THAN HALF ITS USUAL DEPTH.

It has been a bizarre autumn for southeastern Manitoba residents in more ways than one. Tinder dry conditions sparked wildfires which threatened the community of Vita, destroying several homes

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and forcing a town wide evacuation. Next came a major snowstorm which blocked roads, shattered trees, crumpled power lines and cut off phone service to hundreds of area residents. At one point, the Rural Municipality of Piney, for which Winnicky is a councillor, opened up the local community hall so residents without electricity could come in to warm up and get a hot meal. Now the snow is melting, the roads are open, power is back on and phones are working again. But the effects of the drought haven’t gone away. “The snow may help with moisture for next year, maybe to get the grass started,� says Ray Armbruster,

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president of Manitoba Beef Producers, who has been watching the situation carefully. “But that’s next year. We’ve got a whole winter in front of us.� Winnicky counts himself lucky. Although he harvested only 50 per cent of a normal hay crop, he still has a stockpile of hay bales from last year. He also has nearly 700 bales of straw which he’ll blend with hay to get his 200 beef cows through the winter. Others aren’t quite so fortunate. Stephan Schubert, who has 230 cows near Menisino in an area about as dry as it gets, estimates he will have to cull at least 20 per cent of his herd to make up for the hay shortfall.

Schubert says the snow will help the moisture situation but “we need a pretty substantial amount of snow to make it green up again.� And what if it doesn’t snow this winter? “I’ll have to buy hay again and sell more cows,� he says. “What else can you do?� John Tkachuk, who also farms near Menisino, says his only cut of hay this year netted him 300 bales from 500 acres—a third of what he would normally get. Although he has paddocks set up for rotational grazing, Tkachuk couldn’t use them because the grass never got more than a few inches high. Instead, his cattle were out free ...Continued on page 2

Attend the MBP annual general meeting Feb. 7-8, 2013 in Brandon

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

Patches of snow peer out from behind trees alongside the roads of southeastern Manitoba. The region is recovering from an early winter storm last month which blanketed the ground with over a foot of wet snow. But don’t let the snow fool you. The southeast region of the province is in the grip of a major drought which has been going on for over a year. “The taps turned off at the end of June last year, and since then we’ve had hardly any rain and no snow all winter,� says local beef producer Don Winnicky as he steers his pickup truck along a gravel road. Now it is the fall of 2012, dugouts and wells are drying up and cattle producers who harvested less than half a normal hay crop this summer are wondering how they will get their animals through the winter. “Guys are saying, they’re not buying feed, the cows are going to the auction mart. That’s what I’ve been told more than once,� Winnicky says.

RON FRIESEN

Piney, Oct. 15, 2012 –


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

ranging at three different locations. He had to start feeding his cows in late August because there was nothing left for them to graze. The region is no stranger to drought. Tkachuk says his father remembers some very dry years, but not with the extreme heat that withered forage crops by midsummer this year. “That’s what hurt us big time: the heat.� Southeastern Manitoba cattle producers are by no means the only ones suffering from dry conditions. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) reported in early October that pastures in many parts of the province were in fair to poor condition due to lack of rainfall. Producers in some areas were hauling water and trying to fill dugouts for winter water supplies. But nowhere is the drought as severe for cattle producers as in the southeast region. MAFRI says first cut forage yields averaged only one ton an acre for alfalfa and 0.75 ton per acre for other tame hays. Second cut

averaged a mere 0.5 tons an acre. Some producers say a few native hay fields hardly produced anything at all. At the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart, they’re seeing an increase in the number of beef cows entering the ring, which could be a sign of things to come. “We’ve had several groups of cows come through that guys just don’t have enough feed for and instead of hanging on to everything, they’ll clean them out,� one employee said. On-farm water supplies are becoming a serious issue, too. A spokesperson for Friesen Drillers Ltd. in Steinbach said his company has been busy drilling wells to help replenish empty dugouts. Although deep wells usually contain enough water, shallow cribbing-style wells began running dry late last year and have continued doing so this year, the spokesperson said. Manitoba Beef Producers has added droughtaffected ranchers to its list of producers needing freight assistance from the provincial government to haul in winter

RON FRIESEN

...Continued from page 1 alfalfa, where it existed,

DON WINNICKY’S WINTER PASTURE HAS NO GRASS FOR COWS TO GRAZE.

feed for cattle. Until recently, MBP was requesting feed freight assistance for producers whose pastures were damaged by excessive flooding in 2011, particularly around Lake Manitoba. Now the request includes droughtaffected farmers too. Cam Dahl, MBP general manager, says

the province recently asked the federal government to approve an AgriRecovery program for Manitoba producers experiencing a forage shortfall. “People are making decisions on whether or not to keep their herds. We do need to get an answer,� says Dahl.

Winnicky says it is too early to know what will happen in the region. Most producers, especially those with deep wells, have enough water to see them through the winter. Also, 50 per cent of a hay crop is still better than no hay at all. But people with hay to sell are already starting

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to charge twice as much per bale as usual. And the biggest question on producers’ minds is whether this drought is a one-year event or a long-term one. “If the drought doesn’t go into another year, we’ll be okay. But if we have a two or three-year drought, we’re all in big trouble,� says Winnicky.

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November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE BEEF RECALL CAM DAHL

MBP takes the beef recall issue very seriously. Food safety is the cornerstone of consumers’ confidence in beef. Fortunately, consumers have little reason to begin to question the safety of the food in their local grocery stores. We also know full well that this issue has impacted prices and market availability for producers. The announcement that JBS USA has assumed the management of the XL Foods processing plant was welcomed by most in the beef industry because it provided certainty and stability to the markets. An extended shutdown of the plant would have extended the market disruptions further into the production chain. This is an issue that has seized both the board of directors and staff of MBP and it has become a top priority. Throughout the crisis, we were working with our national partners to ensure that the plant re-opened as quickly as possible. Our focus now is on maintaining, and in some cases re-establishing, Canadian consumer confidence and the confidence of our international customers. We will also be tackling the difficult questions around this incident such as why did it happen in the first place? Why did the recalls become so extensive and what could have been done better by the company, the Canadian Food Inspection

Agency and the industry? The doors, phone numbers and emails of MBP are open to all Manitoba producers who would like an update on this issue. Despite some media to the contrary, this event demonstrates the rigour of Canada’s food safety system. Canada has an excellent track record in food safety. Canadian meat processors have developed internationally recognized systems known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans to control E. coli O157:H7 and other foodborne bacteria. These plans identify potential food safety hazards and monitor the most important production steps (critical points). Manitobans can be assured that Canadian beef is a safe and nutritious choice. Consumers—and we are all consumers of beef— can safeguard their health through proper hygiene, effective food preparation and thorough cooking of ground meats. Consumers should remember to: t $PPL NFBU UP B TBGF internal temperature. For ground beef it is 71°C+/160°F+. Use a digital, instant read thermometer to know for sure. t 8BTI IBOET CFGPSF BOE after handling food and frequently while cooking, especially after handling raw meat and poultry. t "WPJE DSPTT DPOUBNJnation of food by wash-

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ing utensils, plates and cutting boards that have come into contact with raw meat and poultry in hot, soapy water. t 8BTI BMM SBX GSVJUT BOE vegetables before you prepare and eat them. t 3FGSJHFSBUF PS GSFF[F foods promptly. Those who are looking for information on Canadian beef and food safety are encouraged to visit the Canada Beef Inc. website at www.beefinfo.org. Canada Beef Inc. is our industry’s national organization responsible for research, marketing, and promotion of Canadian beef worldwide. We hope the Q&A and links to additional information are helpful. Please share this website link with family and friends.

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

BELOW: Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP OVERCOMING OUR CHALLENGES

RAY ARMBRUSTER

It is a shock to see how things have changed in the beef industry in just a month. Industry, especially in Western Canada, has been rocked by the XL Foods beef recall and there are challenges ahead for everyone in the beef value chain. The beef recall has certainly impacted producers. It has backed up cattle that are ready to go to slaughter and impacted prices. While food safety is of upmost importance, one major concern I have, which I have heard echoed in the many calls I have received on this issue, is the negativity and the sensationalization presented by the media and some political leaders— who have used this issue for their political gain. We know that the safety of food has improved over the past years. The safety systems which are in place have been working. We also know that E. coli events have significantly decreased. Comments of an ever-expanding recall and that our country’s food is not as good or as safe as food produced in the U.S. are not factual. What they are is misleading to the public and damaging to our beef industry. These types of comments are disrespectful and hurtful to the people who take pride in producing and raising protein; food that is as good as what is produced anywhere else in the world. This is my own view and it is the view that has been expressed by many people who have contacted me as well. Looking back, since 2003 post-BSE, our industry has faced many other challenges and hurdles— continually.

Some examples are the total loss of export markets, the introduction of an ethanol production mandate which has driven up feed and feed grains prices (which would never have been developed without government subsidization and mandatory consumption), and a Canadian dollar that has been historically low and created a significant trade advantage. We have also faced environmental challenges in Manitoba and flooding of ranches—in key areas of the province which have a higher density of beef production on acres that need to be in beef production. We have also been faced with large-scale anaplasmosis surveillance and testing, the ongoing risk of TB in the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area (RMEA), and continuous TB testing, management and loss of producers. Another hurdle facing the beef sector has been business risk management programs that were not designed for beef producers and these programs did not work well in supporting beef producers. We believe this will be addressed in the next Growing Forward. Through all this, we have lost producers but we still have the most resilient and resourceful producers on the landscape. I would like to comment on a report that talks about some of the beef sector’s issues. Canada’s Beef Food System was released in September by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI). The report is an assessment of the beef industry through the whole value and production chain.

Industry welcomes a comprehensive assessment in the CAPI report but my first response to the report was defensive. It wasn’t something new that industry hadn’t already identified and responded to on policy, lobbying and industry initiatives. After reflection, I realized that the report really validates industry’s initiatives, efforts and priorities. One of the issues identified in the report was industry’s inability to work together. However, throughout the whole value chain, industry has worked together through the Beef Value Round-Table which is comprised of national beef organizations, the Canadian Cattleman’s Association and National Cattle Feeders’ Association, provincial beef organizations, both levels of government, packers, processors, and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA). This group does work with a common voice on issues such as traceability, trade, regulatory issues, animal health, harmonization of the regulatory framework with major trading partners such as the U.S., science-based decisions on technical barriers around trade, and many others. Comments in the CAPI report on trade, such as Canada’s dependence on trade with the U.S., noted that about 85 per cent of Canada’s beef export goes to the U.S. The report indicates a higher value on returns could be achieved by diversifying and accessing other high value markets. The beef industry agrees with this assessment and this has been, and will continue to be, the utmost priority.

Ray Armbruster and Harvey Dann at Steaks for Soldiers.

Canada’s beef industry has worked very hard with the Canadian government on all trade initiatives such as the Canada-EU Trade initiative, and the TransPacific Partnership (TPP). Much work needs to be done on trade to achieve higher value and meaningful access to high-end markets, such as the EU, which has quotas and tariffs. The quotas have not proven to be reliable business arrangements. Technical issues, such as Japan currently only accepting beef from cattle under 21 months of age, prevent us from having an adequate ability to serve markets. Many other markets are limited since they have the age barrier of under 30 months and bone out, and this creates an inefficiency in the packing and processing industry. As an industry we are committed to diverse markets, but we also know that our competitors would envy the U.S. market that is available to us. Trade access is of the highest priority but the trade-offs that are needed to close trade deals are outside of the beef industry’s control.

Research, innovation, genomics, land improvement and production are other issues discussed in the CAPI report. Again, industry has recognized the importance of these issues. We have committed investment and identified priorities such as genomics, feed efficiency trials, investment in food safety research, OFFS, biosecurity programs, the Beef Information Exchange System (BIXS), and we have made a commitment to research related to forage and feed grain development. Industry has identified these priorities and there are research programs which have already been implemented. Research and innovation is an ongoing priority; the industry can never be complacent and we must continue to adapt to new realities and production challenges. All in all, the beef industry and the CAPI report are fairly compatible in goals and direction. The challenge will be the time it takes to implement these changes that industry and the report have identified.

In closing, Manitoba Beef Producers and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association were proud to serve at Steaks for Soldiers on Oct. 13 at CFB Shilo’s Family Day. The Armed Forces family is somewhat similar to the farm family, everyone has to pull together and help each other to be successful. I was very honoured to be able serve the soldiers and their families, in recognition of the incredible and dedicated service that they have provided both at home and on foreign lands. When our family operated a trail riding business we hosted people from around the world. I heard first-hand about how Canada and Canadians are respected, and a large part of the reason for this is the reputation and service of Canada’s Armed Forces, past and present. When this issue arrives in the mail it will be close to Remembrance Day, so let us take time to remember the sacrifices that are made on our behalf by the men and women who serve Canada.

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

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

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

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

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

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

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

BRAD MCDONALD

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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

RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

R.M. of Harrison, Clan William, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Landgford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

MAC MCRAE - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

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

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

KIM CRANDALL - SECRETARY

STAN FOSTER

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

FINANCE-BOOK KEEPER

154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST

Maureen Cousins

Kristen Lucyshyn Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Kirby Gilman


November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE ON THE RIGHT TRACK

CAM DAHL

As this paper goes to print, Manitoba Beef Producers will have just about wrapped up the annual trek across the country for your district meetings. I was glad to be able to be at each of the district sessions. I thank all beef producers who came out to join us. The district meetings are your key opportunity to talk to us about the important issues facing your operation and to give us guidance in our efforts to improve the outlook for the industry. They are also an opportunity for MBP to update you on how we have approached the key issues and to let you know where progress is being made. I look forward to meeting you all again at our Annual General Meeting in February. Federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers met recently in Whitehorse to finalize the next agreement on agriculture policy and programs. There has been a great deal of coverage in the farm and rural media about the agreement they reached. Much of this coverage has been negative, focusing on what some think they have lost. I, and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), have a different perspective. I think ministers mostly got it right. Yes, there will be reductions in coming years to government subsidies. All else being equal, everyone would rather see these numbers rise rather than fall. However, agriculture must also be realistic. We can not expect taxpayer funding to be unlimited. MBP has held the view that both governments and industries focus on the things that will help producers be competitive in ever-evolving domestic and international markets. It is by this measure that ministers should be judged. So how did they do? Ministers gave a high priority to investment in research. Taxpayers get a very high rate of return when government dollars are invested in agriculture research. For example, a 2004 academic report

found that there were $48.3 dollars generated for every federal dollar invested in beef research. This report concluded that “it appears that public agricultural research is one of the highest payback uses of public funds.� Research on new production techniques—winter grazing as an example—new forage products, improved genetics and improved disease and pest control are just a few areas where research will boost the competitiveness of beef production in Manitoba. Governments got it right on research. The Growing Forward 2 agreement also placed a strong emphasis on market access. Beef producers have always understood the significance of international trade. However, the importance of open borders was hammered home in 2003 when a case of BSE slammed our borders shut. The loss of markets was devastating to our industry and has cost the Canadian economy billions. The industry has only started to recover now and we find ourselves faced with another market and trade disruption because of an E. coli scare and the shutdown (hopefully short term) of the XL Foods processing plant. Approximately 50 per cent of our production is destined for export markets, either as live cattle into the U.S. or as beef around the world. The closure of international borders following the BSE crisis naturally encouraged the north-south movement of beef and cattle. The problems at the XL Foods plant and

the potential for significant impacts throughout the entire production chain have re-emphasized the need for market diversity. The reopening of markets to Canadian beef will allow the beef industry the opportunity to diversify our marketing plans. Trade and market access matters and governments were right to place a strong programming emphasis on market development and market access. Governments committed to a 50 per cent increase in non-business risk management programs. These are things like on farm food safety (Verified Beef Program), traceability and biosecurity. All of these are areas in which agriculture needs to focus in order to continue to enjoy consumer confidence here at home and open access to markets abroad. Again, we see governments correctly looking towards future growth and prosperity. MBP has been actively lobbying for a cattle price insurance program that is bankable and affordable for producers and government. Affordable and accessible tools to mitigate price risk would be of significant benefit to our sector. A program like this would have been of significant benefit to help producers through the current crisis caused by the problems at the XL Foods plant. We were very pleased to see governments commit to the development of a livestock insurance program in Growing Forward 2. MBP is going to push

very hard for the roll out of a price insurance program within the next year. Of course, the ultimate value of the agreement reached in Whitehorse depends on the effective execution of the plans outlined by min-

isters. That does not always occur when there are fourteen different governments involved. Significant negotiations still need to occur before the final bilateral agreement between the Government of Manitoba and the Government of

Canada is signed. Manitoba Beef Producers will be working closely with both governments to ensure that the agreements meet the expectations of producers here. But for now, we can say that things are mostly on the right track.

Chronic Wasting Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis

Attention Hunters – Help protect Manitoba’s big game populations All hunters, including First Nations, Metis and licenced hunters, play a key role in protecting deer, moose and elk populations from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Bovine Tuberculosis. CWD has not been detected in Manitoba, and Bovine Tuberculosis is confined to elk and deer populations in western parts of the Riding Mountain area. Continued monitoring will help officials manage and confine the disease.

Biological samples are compulsory By law, hunters must submit biological samples (head, upper neck and lungs) of elk and deer taken in certain Game Hunting Areas to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. Samples are checked for any signs of disease. Please note: failure to achieve the necessary samples through hunter submissions may require the removal of elk and deer by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship after the hunting seasons. Samples are required from elk and deer taken in Game Hunting Areas 5, 6, 6A, 11, 12, 13, 13A, 18 and 18B (west of PR 366) 18A, 18C, part of 22 (west of PTH 83) 23, and 23A. Please submit fresh, not frozen, samples within 48 hours of the kill. Samples may be submitted to any of the following locations during regular business hours: s "ENITO 0REMIUM -EATS n "ENITO

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Resident deer hunters who possess a valid Hunter Education Certificate or card are eligible to receive a FREE deer licence valid in Game Hunting Areas 23 and 23A within the rural municipalities of Grandview and Rossburn.

Bringing game into Manitoba It is illegal to bring a deer, elk or moose killed in another province or state into Manitoba unless the head, hide, hooves, mammary glands, entrails, internal organs and spinal column are first removed. These parts must remain in the province or state where the animal was killed. Antlers and connecting bone plate that have been detached from the remainder of the skull and has had all hide and other tissue removed may be brought into Manitoba provided the bone plate and antler bases are treated with a solution of not less than two per cent (2%) chlorine. These restrictions apply to everyone, including First Nations and Metis people.

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www.pmcu.mb.ca

12-08-12 5:08 PM

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

CONSULT BEEF PRODUCERS ON EG&S MAUREEN COUSINS

If you ask the average person how they benefit from the Canadian beef industry most will tell you it means having ready access to high quality, tasty and nutritious beef products. But food production is only one of the core services the industry provides. A lesser known but equally important function provided by the beef industry is ecological goods and services (EG&S), also known as ecosystem services (ES). There are many different definitions of EG&S or ES, but they are generally described as the benefits that society derives—directly or indirectly—from healthy ecosystems, which encompass air, water, soil and biodiversity. Examples of the ecological benefits can include carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, water filtration, nutrient cycling, and the provision of wetland and grassland habitat for plant and animal biodiversity, to name a few. Other benefits arising from healthy landscapes include cultural heritage values and aesthetic values. Beef producers manage thousands of acres of Canada’s working landscapes, including both privately and publicly owned lands. Producers supply society with valuable ecosystem services with limited or no public remuneration for their capital and labour costs.

:

For several years, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has taken a leadership role in seeking financial recognition of the ecosystem services producers provide. In November 2008, MBP presented a detailed proposal for an Environmental and Rural Stewardship Incentive Program (ERSP) to the Manitoba government. It requested the introduction of a province-wide, Social and Ecological Goods and Services payment program. It is an incentive-based approach and producer participation would be voluntary.

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MBP’s program model would provide a “combined multifunctional payment� tied to activities of individual producers, including but not limited to carbon sequestration and offsets; biodiversity; water and nutrient management; soil conservation; bio-security; domestic food security; preservation of the experiential knowledge base in agriculture; rural and recreational aesthetics; and rural cultural heritage. Unfortunately, the Manitoba government has yet to make a financial commitment toward MBP’s proposal. But by no means does this mean the issue is off MBP’s radar. In fact, now more than ever MBP believes government policy makers and elected officials at both the provincial and federal levels need to be working with the beef industry to help ensure their stated environmental policy goals can be met. For example, the Manitoba government has made major commitments—some enshrined in legislation— aimed at improving water quality, tackling climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The provincial government has faced challenges in executing some of the commitments as quickly as promised. And new environmental commitments continue to be made by all levels of government. For example, on June 15, 2012, the province released

Tomorrow Now – Manitoba’s Green Plan, an eight-year strategy of more than 100 initiatives across government it says “will bolster Manitoba’s economy and protect water, air and land for future generations.� In Tomorrow Now it states, “The province will develop further partnerships with the agricultural industry to encourage the preservation and development of ecological goods and services to benefit Manitoba’s environment while supporting a strong agricultural sector and rural economy.� This is welcome news, but more details are needed about how this ambitious green plan will affect the beef industry and whether the industry will be financially recognized for its ecosystem services. The Manitoba government has also identified one of its EG&S focus areas as “biodiversity and protection of species and ecosystems at risk in agro-Manitoba.� Tomorrow Now says stronger legislation and policy is pending for “the timely inventory, monitoring and assessment of species at risk, the development of recovery and conservation strategies and the enhanced protection of habitat for listed species.� The federal government is also planning to review its “species at risk� legislation. MBP strongly believes the beef industry must be at the table when species at risk legislation is discussed and

potentially modified. Producers provide valuable habitat on their land and this ecosystem service needs to be recognized by governments. At the federal level, the creation of a National Conservation Plan is on the agenda. In June 2012, the federal Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development released its report on the development of such a plan. The report contained repeated references to the concept of “working landscapes.� This is welcome news for the beef industry where producers play a key role in managing landscapes and ecosystems for the benefit of all society. The standing committee report also notes, “The federal government has various tools at its disposal, including financial incentives and disincentives, regulation, and scientific research and knowledge� in order to help implement its National Conservation Plan. Some of these incentives could potentially flow toward agriculture for EG&S programming. Notably, the Growing Forward 2 announcement cites the “increased opportunity for provinces and territories to invest in environmental initiatives.� The beef industry must actively pursue opportunities to marry EG&S programming with efforts by all governments to achieve public policy goals like enhanced

species at risk protection or enacting a National Conservation Plan. The beef industry is uniquely positioned in that it can offer what others in agriculture cannot; that is, true working landscapes and a model for protecting ecosystems. EG&S models being examined and proposed by organizations like MBP, other provincial cattle associations and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association would ensure agricultural producers are paid a fair price for the environmental and socially related public goods and services that they provide to society. MBP remains committed to the development of a national incentive-based EG&S strategy. It should take into account unique regional circumstances and provide the right set of tools for environmental goals to be achieved. Through coordinated and informed efforts, the beef industry can create policies that offer sustainable use of our resources, recognize producers’ stewardship and provide a sound return on public investments. Despite the fiscal challenges facing governments, the development of environmental protection strategies are firmly on their agendas. The key will be to ensure stakeholders like the beef industry are active participants in this important policy process.


November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

THE ONGOING IMPACTS OF FLOOD 2011 ANGELA LOVELL

Tom Teichroeb’s summer pasture May 2012 SUBMITTED BY TOM TEICHROEB

“We had a very intensive grazing system and we had been able to manage our pastures to where we had a very diverse plant group out there, and that is lost,” he says. “We have no idea how long it will take for that to re-establish again, but certainly there is no comparison to the quality of the pasture that we had there before the flood.” In 2011, producers who lost production on hay land did receive $110 an acre in compensation from the provincial government, and there was also other compensation to help offset additional costs associated with bringing in feed or transporting cattle to distant pastures. Teichroeb says there needs to be recognition that these unusual costs directly related to the flood continue to be incurred by producers who are still either unable to access their land or are beginning the long process of rehabilitating it. “There is still a great need for compensation in 2012,” says Teichroeb. “There is an immediate need for shortfall programs that would help offset the cost of supplemental feed purchases, hauling costs, the cost of renting temporary pastures and other additional expenses that are directly related to the flood, and those are easily identifiable.” Wade Thorgilsson will soon be rounding up his cattle to bring home from the various locations where they have spent the summer. He is still renting pastures for his cattle, although he managed to find some closer to home this summer. It will probably be a few years before he can use the pastures on his own land east of Lundar, near North Shoal Lake, which is still two-thirds under water or completely saturated. “It’s just weed and mud flats right now, and it is said that for every year it sits underwater it takes two to three to get anything back on it,” says Thorgilsson. “Even if it takes another one or two years to dry up, it’s going to be ten years before we get everything back into production.” Thorgilsson even had to rent land to make hay, trying to cut down on the costs to purchase it. That said, it still cost him $8 a bale to transport the 300 bales he managed to produce, and with rental costs of the land at around $5,000 to $6,000,

RON FRIESEN

This spring, when Tom Teichroeb posed for a photograph in the midst of a sea of mud that used to be his pasture, he predicted there would be close to no production on his hay land and pastures this summer. Unfortunately he was right. The only hay production he got—and that was minimal—was on about 60 to 80 acres that had been cut off by the water last year but was high enough to remain above it. Teichroeb, who owns or leases 24 quarter sections near Langruth, has spent most of the summer trying to clean up the reeds and grass that overtook his land. The reeds were not much of a surprise, given the water, and they are not too much of a concern because he knows that once the water is gone the reeds will disappear too. Of greater concern is the amount of green foxtail that has sprung up everywhere which now has to be dealt with. “We did manage to clean up some of the land by the fall, but in most places the grass got away from us this spring before it dried down enough to be able to get on it,” says Teichroeb. “But it was dry enough this year along the lake that we were able to at least get the reeds under control. Except for one piece which is down to 60 acres where the reeds just grew too tall, which I am going to burn. Other than that most of the land that we had under hay production is at least under control—it’s either sprayed or we got a little bit of green feed off it.” In areas that were accessible this spring, Teichroeb used a direct seeder to seed the sod to at least get some green feed off to help see his 350 cow-calf pairs and 150 yearlings through the winter. He plans to do the same in 2013 but admits it will probably be 2014 before he is able to reseed most of the hay land. He has been able to make some hay but still had to purchase feed. His cows will be home on his own land for the winter after spending the summer in rented pastures for the second consecutive summer. He hopes that next year he will be able to get them out on his own pastures again, although he knows the quality of those pastures has suffered.

The same pasture October 2012

this winter feed is going to cost him more than if he were haying his own land. Thorgilsson didn’t make much progress this year on cleaning up his pasture and hay land, which is slowly emerging from under the flood waters. Nothing is growing yet. Only some of his fence posts are accessible, but he can’t even begin to mend those because of the deep mud covering everything. And this year there does not appear to be much on the horizon for producers by way of financial assistance programs like the ones provided by the province last year. In Thorgilsson’s case, he was offered a buyout plan by the province which he says doesn’t really address his situation. “The buyout option isn’t a solution for the guys like us that want to farm,” he says. “It worked for the guys that were ready to retire.”

He also worries that another flood, even if not as devastating as the one in 2011, could put everyone back in the same position again and he feels there needs to be a long-term, permanent solution to the problem. “Ten years down the road we could be in the same boat that we were in last year,” says Thorgilsson. “And if the government has to keep buying out land and building up roads, the taxpayers will be footing the bill, and people are going to get tired of it and I don’t blame them. We need a broader water management strategy.” Teichroeb agrees, partly because of the opportunities that continue to be lost because a strategy is not in place. He uses his own farm as an example. Teichroeb was on the verge of buying more land to increase his production, but that has been put on

the back burner because of the flood. “For the last two years our farms have switched into maintenance mode,” says Teichroeb. “So the bigger, longterm picture is that we are unable to capture our profit margins the way we should and we are not able to take advantage of any opportunities to expand or grow our businesses.” It seems as the land slowly emerges and producers begin the long process of

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cleaning up the habitat, there are always a few surprises in store—things that no one had thought about or considered in the overall cost of the flood, including physical, emotional and financial costs. “It seems every day there is a new issue that comes up and a different thing that you missed and didn’t identify as a consequence of the flood,” says Teichroeb. “There’s always something else that you have lost or you didn’t account for.”

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

CATTLE OVERWINTERING: CONSIDERING THE IMPLICATIONS FOR WATER QUALITY DR. DON FLATEN, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA

suitability, land use, risk to water quality, watering source, fencing and shelter. t .BOBHJOH UIF PWFSXJOUFS feeding itself: feed source, feed analysis and supplementation, feeding-grazing intensity and efficiency, and bedding. t .BOBHJOH UIF XJOUFSing site after the winter period: enhancing recovery of the wintering site, strategies to maximize crop nutrient uptake to reduce soil nutrient levels, and determining the appropriate interval before the site can be reused for winter feeding. Furthermore, an econom- Overwintering cattle site. ically and environmentally sustainable system for overbody condition, wind proand quality, and soil qualwintering cattle on a specific tection and disease. ity. farm should successfully ad- t "OJNBM QSPEVDUJWJUZ t &DPOPNJDT DBQJUBM DPTUT dress a wide range of issues calving rate and weight labour and operating. including: gain. t &OWJSPONFOUBM QSPUFDt "OJNBM DBSF BOE IFBMUI t 'PSBHF DSPQ TPJM QSPEVDtion: water quality, greenwater and feed availability, tivity: forage or crop yield house gas balance, nutrients and pathogens. Within these criteria, protecting water quality is only one of many important factors for a cattle producer to consider. However, nutrient loss from agricultural land to surface water is one of the most important issues of concern for the general public and, as a result, for public policy-makers. In this context of increasingly rigorous regulations, winter application of cattle manure is banned in Manitoba, and concerns about nutrient losses from extensive cattle ,SLJ[YPJ +YP]L 9VSSLY 4PSSZ ,JVUV 4PSSZ overwintering systems have The most economical way to mill grain. ‡ /RZ SULFHG IRU VPDOO XVHUV increased. When you consider the cost of running ‡ 0DJQHW 6WDQG 'ULYH SXOOH\ Why all the fuss about your tractor and the manpower to operate ‡ EX KU FDS EDUOH\

it you can see why our electric mills are ‡ 5HTXLUHV KS PRWRU manure on snow? It is bethe way to go. Available in 10 sizes in ca‡ 2SWLRQDO PRWRU cause most runoff in the pacities from 100 bu./ hr. to 800 bu./ hr. ‡ YROW SRZHU Prairies occurs during snowmelt, typically accounting for approximately 80 per cent of annual runoff. The result of our snowmelt dominated runoff system is that the peak period for loading nutrients into prairie streams, rivers and lakes occurs in early spring. Snowmelt dominated runoff and rainfall dominated runoff are not the same. As such, the processes 7VY[HISL 7;6 4PSS ^ KYHN H\NLY and beneficial management practices (BMPs) that normally control nutrient loss in rainfall dominated runoff are not necessarily the same for snowmelt runoff. The typical BMPs that we expect farmers -(94,9: 79,40<4 ,8<074,5; to use for managing nutri7VY[HISL 7;6 4PSSZ ^ O`K \W H\NLY )YHUKVU 4) ents are usually split into two groups:

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Cattle and forage production provides many economic and ecological goods and services, including highquality food for consumers, economic development for rural communities, wildlife habitat, protection from soil erosion and sequestration of carbon. However, cattle production in the Canadian Prairies also has its economic and environmental challenges, especially during the overwintering period, when supplemental feed must be provided. Most cattle producers, especially cow-calf producers, have no choice of whether or not to overwinter their cattle. The only choice they have is how to manage their cattle overwintering system. The three main management phases for overwintering include: t 4FMFDUJOH BOE QSFQBSJOH the overwintering site: site

t 4PVSDF #.1T NBOBHJOH nutrient loading) such as form, rate, placement and timing of nutrient application. t 5SBOTQPSU #.1T NBOBHing transport of nutrients from field to stream) such as conservation tillage, vegetated buffers, cover crops, constructed wetlands and small reservoirs. A few examples of how these BMPs categories should be considered when selecting and managing cattle overwintering areas in the Prairies include:

Rate of nutrient application

Management of the rate at which nutrients are applied is an important source BMP. Bale grazing, for example, has the capacity to import very large quantities of nutrients into a small land base. For example, Rejean Picard, MAFRI farm production advisor, found that after one season of bale grazing, soil test nitrateN concentrations in the top two feet of soil reached up to 450 lb./acre directly underneath some bale locations in southern Manitoba. In the same study, bale grazing increased soil test P and K in the top six inches of soil by up to four to five times.

Timing of nutrient application

Given the high proportion of runoff that comes from snowmelt, manure application on frozen soil or snow is well documented as being a poor agronomic and environmental management practice. Fortunately, in Manitoba, only three per

cent of mechanically applied manure is applied in winter, partly because it has been banned for large livestock operations for many years.

Vegetated buffers

Research in Vermont shows that vegetative filter strips were ineffective for intercepting phosphorus, nitrogen or suspended solids during the winter and snowmelt period. More recent research in Manitoba has also shown that vegetated buffer strips are not as effective as expected in Manitoba for intercepting nitrogen or phosphorus in runoff. During spring snowmelt, the vegetation is dormant and therefore nutrient interception and uptake is minimal. Therefore, it is important to select overwintering sites where runoff is least likely to reach streams, ditches or other waterways. Given the challenges of developing BMPs that are suited to the Prairies, we need scientists, producers and extension specialists to work together to develop, adapt and test beneficial management practices (new or old) that will address the many factors that are required for economically and environmentally sustainable cattle overwintering systems. And, while doing so, we should keep in mind the many economic and environmental goods and services opportunities that cattle and forage systems also generate. It is worthwhile to engage a broad range of private and public partners, including organizations such as Manitoba Beef Producers, to work together on this issue.


November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

LIVESTOCK INSURANCE SLOWLY BECOMING A REALITY RON FRIESEN

Martin Unrau, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president. “What we have is a situation where the grain industry is always sure of their income, regardless of weather issues,” says Unrau, who raises cattle near MacGregor, Man. “We don’t have anything like that in the cattle industry. So we’re always in a negative position when we compare sectors,” he says. “If you have government programs that favour one sector over another, that sector can’t compete in capital costs, like land values. So you slowly get squeezed out of the industry.” Why can crop growers insure against losses but cattle producers can not? After all, both produce a commodity and both are subject to risks. Why the difference? Analysts say it essentially boils down to two reasons: predictability and the production cycle. Crops are easy to insure because they are vulnerable to weather disasters which are fairly easy to predict, says Lyndon Friesen, vicepresident of operations for Red River Mutual in Altona. “We can do predictive analysis on crops because we can look at areas that are prone to hailstorms, drought, flood, etc. But with livestock, we can’t predict which area is going to get affected by disease,” says Friesen. “Crops are more predictable. That’s what insurance is about. It’s about risk and trying to prevent it. Then you underwrite it accordingly.” Friesen says it is possible to insure livestock against loss but it depends on the species. Take layer hens, for example. If a layer barn burns down, insurance will cover the loss of the barn, the birds and production (e.g. the value of eggs that didn’t get produced while the facility was out of operation, minus a few variable input costs). That is fairly easy to do because a fire in a barn is reasonably foreseeable and therefore an insurable peril. But beef cattle are problematic for an insurer because they are out on pasture, not in a barn, so you don’t lose

TARA FULTON

A long-awaited livestock insurance program for Canada’s beef producers may finally be taking shape. The federal government has signaled that a plan which would enable cattle producers to insure against price dips in the marketplace could be less than two years away. Agriculture and AgriFood Canada officials gave industry representatives a heads-up during a recent meeting in Ottawa that agriculture ministers have issued a timeline for developing such a program, says Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. “They’re saying 18 months,” Dahl says. It is far too early to say if it will be a fully developed program or just a framework for one. But Dahl is optimistic. “I think it is a little bit more than a report,” he says. It is believed the program will be based on a model for livestock price insurance currently under consideration by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). An MASC feasibility study for such a program across Western Canada was expected last month. “I do see a direct relationship,” says Dahl. News of an insurance program specifically aimed at livestock producers reflects a promise made by Ottawa and the provinces during the launch of the new five-year Growing Forward 2 agreement in September. A government communiqué issued after the meeting stated that: “Governments continue to look at ways to improve coverage for forage and livestock production. Beyond AgriInsurance, federal and provincial governments are also examining the feasibility of livestock price insurance coverage.” The program can’t come soon enough for beef producers, who have long felt at a disadvantage with farmers who have crop insurance. The fact that crop growers can protect their incomes against losses while livestock producers can not is essentially unfair, says

an entire herd to wind, hail or fire, Friesen says. “It has to be as a result of an insured peril. If it’s foot-and-mouth in cattle, we don’t pay because we don’t insure for foot-andmouth.” There is also the issue of management to consider. Let’s say a producer comes across a dead cow in the pasture with no visible signs of trauma. The animal may have died from anthrax, which is not the producer’s fault. Or it may have died because it wasn’t properly cared for. Is the cause of death an unfortunate accident or poor management? Insurers do not like to guess. So, because doubt exists, insurance coverage for disease is normally not available. Dahl thinks insurance companies should be able to find a way to cover production losses. But he says another problem for insuring cattle is that the timeline for measuring production is different from crops. It simply takes longer to raise a beef animal than it does to grow an annual crop. “You know if October 31 rolls around and you haven’t got a canola crop, you’re not going to get one,” says Dahl. “You don’t have the same kind of definitive time frame for beef production. And I think that is the essential difference.” But there is something cattle producers can insure against. It’s price. The vagaries of the marketplace make it necessary for producers to have price protection.

BSE is a prime example. In May 2003, when veterinary officials in Alberta confirmed a cow sent to a slaughterhouse had BSE, international borders were slammed shut to Canadian cattle and market prices collapsed. It was the greatest financial disaster to hit Canada’s cattle industry in living memory. The lesson learned from BSE caused the industry to shift its focus away from production insurance and toward price insurance to cover losses from sudden changes in the marketplace. “It’s not possible to compare livestock price insurance to crop insurance because there is a fundamental difference between the two. Crop insurance covers yield losses. It does not cover losses due to price drops for the commodity,” says an MASC spokesperson. “Cattle producers have not asked for production insurance. They are more concerned about price fluctuations and have asked for a price insurance program.”

That is the model for a program currently underway in Alberta which MASC is expected to follow in its feasibility study. Called the Cattle Price Insurance Program (CPIP), it helps Alberta beef producers manage the risk they face in raising cattle. The voluntary program, the first of its kind in Canada, offers a “made in Alberta” solution to price, basis and currency risk by providing a floor price for cattle. CPIP enables producers to insure a future price for their current production, based on market derivatives. A producer selects the desired coverage level, the length of the policy and how much weight to insure. If prices fall below the insured level, a payment for the price difference is triggered. CPIP will insure fed and feeder cattle, as well as calves. A similar program is available for hogs. Manitoba producers have mixed feelings about CPIP. Unrau says he doesn’t begrudge Alberta producers their opportunity to lock in a

price. But because they have that ability and Manitoba producers do not, it is difficult for beef farmers in this province to remain competitive, he says. For that reason, CCA supports a national program so that producers in all provinces are on an equal footing, says Unrau. Dahl lists another reason why the lack of an insurance program makes cattle producers uncompetitive. With commodity prices at or near record highs, marginal land that would normally produce forages is going into annual crops. Because crop producers can insure against their production, cattle producers find it increasingly harder to compete for land. So, besides being unable to compete against Alberta ranchers, Manitoba beef farmers can’t even compete against their own canola growers, says Dahl. That is the sort of inequity he hopes the proposed livestock insurance program will eliminate.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

VET CORNER

LIVER FLUKES RISK IN CATTLE DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

will die following infection since this fluke is not adapted to these species and migrates throughout the body and liver causing massive damage. One fluke is enough to kill. Cattle are luckier because the fluke can reach adulthood and become walled off in the liver, minimizing damage. Unlike in deer, the fluke does not reproduce and will eventually die. Another fluke, called Fascioloides hepatica, can fully reproduce in cattle and has been reported to infect people. At this time we do not believe it is in Manitoba nor do we want it to become established here. Currently the only way to monitor the situation is through data from condemned livers at abattoirs, and necropsy findings. Traceability glitches, privacy laws and unpublished data prevent us from knowing the true liver fluke status in 2012,

but we know that it will never go away. We must learn to manage the risk by understanding the life cycle and how disease is caused. As deer continue to migrate, the infection will spread out from the southeast part of the province. Another key to the life cycle is the snail. Only some snail species can be infected and they may introduce the fluke to an area following settling out from floodwaters. Marshes, dugouts, ditches and mud flats along slow moving waterways are common habitats for snails. How are you, as a producer, impacted if your cattle become infected with the giant fluke? Disease severity depends on the number of flukes and the species of livestock. In cattle, liver damage results in liver condemnation

TARA FULTON

Over the last two years a hot topic in cattle health management in Manitoba has been liver flukes. Nothing grabs the headlines, fuels the coffee shop gossip and worries producers like sudden death losses in livestock due to a “new” disease for which treatment is difficult to obtain. To date, the only species of liver fluke found in Manitoba is Fasciola magna, also commonly known as the deer or giant liver fluke. Migrating deer from Minnesota have introduced this fluke to southeastern Manitoba. Deer or elk infected with these flukes will pass eggs in their feces. Eggs hatch out following ingestion by snails and further develop. Infective immature flukes are released into the environment where they are picked up by grazing livestock. Small ruminants like sheep and goats

at slaughter in addition to chronic health problems like diarrhea, weight loss and poor reproductive performance. If damage is more severe, immune status is compromised, or high numbers of flukes are present, a bacterial infection can develop

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causing rapid worsening of symptoms or death. Good biosecurity can protect your cattle herd from liver fluke infestation and its resulting disease. Flukes require deer, elk and snails to complete their lifecycles. Fence off waterways and pump water to minimize ingestion of infective stages. Graze sloughs late in the season when they have dried up or; if possible, consider haying. Ensure that Clostridial vaccination programs are upto-date. Red water disease is caused by Clostridium haemolyticum, a member of the same family as blackleg. This bacteria grows in damaged liver tissue and produces toxins that rapidly destroy the body’s red blood cells and damage organs. Shock-like symptoms develop including rapid breathing, high fevers,

collapse, and red, frothy urine. Treatment is futile, so prevention is key by vaccinating at-risk cattle yearly with an appropriate Clostridial vaccine. Check the label, as many of the common blackleg vaccines do not provide protection against red water disease. This is one disease where a quick treatment with “Drug X” will not work. Few products are available in Canada for treatment of flukes, and most are only effective against the adult stages. Treatment has even resulted in high death losses from red water disease due to the rapid death of the flukes, high inflammation and an inadequate vaccination program. Consult with your veterinarian to learn about your herd’s risk and the treatment and prevention options available for you.


November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

As I write this column, it is the middle of October and history tells us that the fall calf run should be well underway at the auction markets. This year has started out very differently. Cattle numbers at the auctions across the country are considerably lower than past years. The majority of the yearlings off the grass were forward contracted or sold directly, which has been the growing trend in these operations over the past five years. In the calf market, the prices have been very strong to date and in some cases, they are higher than last year despite the high cost of feed. Most regions in Manitoba report dry pasture conditions. Hay crops on average were about two-thirds of annual supplies in Manitoba and custom backgrounding quotes ranged from five to 15 cents higher than last fall. These combined fundamentals would normally indicate that producers would market their calves sooner rather than later. However, this has not been the case. As mentioned, the prices, especially on the steer calves, have opened much higher than expected. The main buyer of Manitoba calves this year has been Ontario. This was a big surprise; reports of dry

weather and average corn and soybean crops, combined with unstable finished cattle prices in that region, pointed to cautious buying patterns from the Ontario feeding industry. The marketing sector underestimated the impact that the Risk Management Program introduced in Ontario would have on the cattle feeding business. The plan was developed between the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association and the provincial government. It offers risk management opportunities for cow-calf producers, backgrounders and feedlots. Producers must enroll all of their production, and the program covers a percentage of the difference between the Ontario cost of production and the Ontario market prices. Producers pay a premium based on their selected percentage of coverage and the provincial government tops up the program for 40 per cent. There is no federal money directly added to the pot. The program is part of the AgriStability program in Ontario. The details are fairly complicated to condense into this article, but full information on the program can be obtained by going to the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association website at www.cattle.guelph.on.ca. This program covers cattle

that have been in Ontario for a minimum of 120 consecutive days. The program seems to have given cattle feeders in both the backgrounding and finishing sectors a boost of confidence in purchasing feeder cattle. The opposite has happened in Quebec. Changes in the formulas for their support programs have left the cattle feeders in that province with little projected support. The program now goes on total farm income revenues and inventory worth, rather than having each commodity covered under the program treated separately. With better than average corn and soybean crops, combined with the high prices, the program will not pay out on the finished cattle as it did in the past. Producers are selling their grain and only purchasing the minimum of cattle inventory to reduce their taxes. When I was in Quebec in September, they were paying $60 per head into the program with an expectation of a $60 to $80 payout. This is very troubling for Manitoba producers, as in the past Quebec has been a huge supporter of the Manitoba markets, purchasing calves and backgrounding them in Manitoba. This year, early indications are that Quebec

buyers will only purchase approximately 30 per cent of the volume from the west that they did last year. A pleasant surprise on the market in Manitoba this year has been the amount of participation by American cattle feeders and Canadians choosing to feed cattle in the south. A small percentage of cash yearlings have moved directly south, while there has been active interest in purchasing steer calves in Manitoba to background and move south in the new year. With drought conditions in the states and the high value of the Canadian dollar, early indicators were that the Americans would not be impact players on the Canadian feeder market this fall. Cattle feedlots in the mid and northern regions of the U.S. were only running at about 65 per cent capacity on the last Cattle on Feed Report. This created some demand for Canadian cattle. The southern feedlots were much fuller than expected due to the high number of Mexican cattle on feed. Drought conditions in Mexico created 18 per cent more exports to the U.S. than last year. In Manitoba, the small volume of cattle on offer has kept prices strong to this point. We expect volumes to increase significantly in the next few weeks. This will

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definitely prevent the prices from getting any higher. Transportation will be the biggest challenge; if Ontario continues to be the volume buyer, getting enough trucks will be impossible. Freight rates to the east have risen to 9 to 10 cents per pound and will increase as buyers fight for trucks. On a closing note, producers were disappointed upon learning of the closure of the Melita and Strathclair auction marts this fall. There are a number of factors that preceded these difficult decisions by the owners. Skilled labour has been increasingly more difficult to find, especially in the areas where oil production is expanding. The dwindling number of cattle producers and cattle in Manitoba is a major factor. You need volume to survive, and there were too many markets fighting to maintain their market share from a shrinking producer base. As the larger herds get bigger, there are more options on how to market the cattle such as Internet sales, direct sale methods, niche marketing and retained ownership to finish. These are all competitors to the auction system. Producers have been reluctant to

pay more commission, but costs at the markets have increased the same as on the farm. During the BSE crisis, most markets did not increase their commissions as a show of support for the producers. In fact, most started to charge the buyers for services they used to provide for free. Despite this, the margins continued to decline, forcing auctions, buyers and service providers to re-evaluate their current business plans. When Pipestone closed, I predicted it would not be the last market to close in Manitoba in the short term, and neither will Melita or Strathclair. Take the emotion out of it, and it is just a business decision. Although Taylor Auction is not providing cattle auctions this fall, Ross and Brock are still in the cattle marketing business. They have a working agreement with Heartland Livestock and will assist customers in marketing their cattle. Ross Taylor Auctions is still operating their farm sale and auction business and providing expertise to anyone wishing to have an auction sale. Until next time, Rick

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP FARMER OF THE FUTURE

BRENDA SCHOEPP

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2012 Fall Sale Schedule

With the recent events in the beef cattle industry, I have often been asked for comment. It feels unfair for beef producers, but there are ways to not only cope but excel in these situations. So far this year, the fed beef cattle industry in Canada has not seen any marked improvement despite volatile action on the live cattle futures and a perceived shortage of inventory. In fact, cash fed cattle prices are only a few cents off of the highs. The large carcasses have made up for the inventory deficit, and the Canadian dollar took care of the upside potential on Canadian cattle. Packers have dragged their heels when pricing cash cattle. Cull cows enjoyed good prices as packers needed the commercial beef for the grind. Feeder cattle and cull cows remained strong until October when prices were pressured by uncertainty in the fed cattle markets. This uncertainty was due, of course, to the closure of XL Foods which processes 40 per cent of the nation’s beef. The immediate changes we can expect to see will be “muscling� by packer and feeder cattle buyers as prices are falsely held

down. This problem will be short in duration. The cull cow market will not recover until after the plant is well into production, and this will be a handicap to those who were dependent on cull sales. The fed cattle market is unlikely to be robust unless we can regain beef delivery from XL into the U.S. The carcass breaks are higher in the U.S. and we can expect feedlots to play the heavyweights and try to sell on cash or contract into the U.S.; thus, relieving pressure on the Canadian side. This is already happening with trucks of Canadian live cattle headed south. Boxed beef prices will continue to follow overall demand and are independent of the packing issues at this time. Retail prices will remain high (relatively unchanged) as this is an opportune time to increase retail margin. Consumer confidence will waiver this time. This is not BSE with a hypothesized link. It is E. coli which is very real, and victims are affected immediately. The original press releases urging consumers to cook meat longer were indicative of an industry that does not appreciate food transparency or consumer knowledge and the

fact that they have protein options. Any hope of converting the ethnic population, which in some areas of Canada reaches 45 per cent, has been generationally lost. The biggest change in the beef industry will be the need to appreciate, understand and support the

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consumer and that includes trading partners. The future of the profitable beef farm is no longer in cash bids on fed cattle or live auction bids on feeder cattle. Those days are long gone. Fed cattle margins on the production side are in feeds and feeding while the margins on the sale side are in the implementation of risk management. We used to call it a paper trade, but today it is more important than the actual animal itself. It sounds easy to protect your investment through a live or basis contract, hedge, or options, but the reality is that this is a new skill for most farmers. Farm Credit Canada holds workshops that are excellent, but we need more exposure and information to make good choices. The day-to-day pricing is readily available through the Internet but it takes time to understand market fundamentals. This is where our schools play an important role. The lack of business education in schools is concerning enough. College and university students also need a broad understanding of the food industry—both domestically and internationally—and of consumer preference, need and future expectations. They need

an appreciation of food production systems such as sanitary and biosecurity training as well as food storage and presentation. This allows for a positive look at the industry from a systems approach that embraces all points of food production. More importantly, students need a firm and practiced approach to risk management and risk management strategies; risk management must become a part of everyday business. Those producers who had protected their investment through advanced risk management strategies in the last few years did not suffer marketing losses and were confident buyers of feed grains and feeder cattle. Data sets for feeder cattle go well beyond breed and type. There is an array of contract options and methods of electronic selling which support animal welfare initiatives. There is also a growing interest in information regarding feeder cattle history such as hormone free, organic, vaccinations, past performance history, dam and sire information, feeds and full disclosure of ownerships and antibiotic use. As the feeding industry aligns to the food industry, feeder cattle and

calves—the original inventory—will be bought on their data, and that includes animal welfare and treatment history. We have seen substantial premiums paid in direct sales for calves and feeders that accompany data sets, not the other way around. It is a changing world and the farmer of the future will execute advanced risk management strategies and have access to a qualified mentor. They will also benefit from a full understanding of food production systems. We owe it to them and to ourselves to ensure that our educational system encourages the introduction and use of tools to build better products that have an end-user interest. Are you a female future farmer? Please fill out our survey at www.brendaschoepp.com. All Rights Reserved 2012 Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of BEEFLINKTM, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alberta. Contact her at brenda.schoepp@cciwireless.ca or visit www.brendaschoepp.com.


November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

LIVESTOCK MANURE AND MORTALITIES MANAGEMENT REGULATION WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

MANITOBA AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL INITIATIVES

“...there are rules that must be followed, regardless of the size of your operation.� must be grown to take up any nutrients accumulated in the soil. Winter application of manure is prohibited in Manitoba. Small operations (less than 300 AU) have until Nov. 10, 2013 to comply. Manure that is land applied must be used as a fertilizer for crop production. Manure application rates are regulated based on residual soil nitrate limits and soil test phosphorus thresholds. The limits and thresholds apply to everyone, regardless of size. Operations that are 300 AU or greater in size must also submit a manure management plan to Conservation and Water

November

manure. A collection basin may be required on some operations to contain and manage contaminated runoff. These basins do not require a permit, but they must be acceptable to the Director of Conservation and Water Stewardship. The intent of the collection basin is to have it emptied shortly after a runoff event. If the area is to hold runoff for a longer period of time, then it may be considered a manure storage facility, require a permit and have more design and construction requirements. A collection basin can be added on to an existing CLA of any size as long as it is constructed in a manner acceptable to the director. Manure must be cleaned out of a CLA once a year regardless of size. Beef producers can field store solid manure. Manure piles must be at least 100 metres from any surface watercourse, sinkhole, spring or well, and field stored manure must be land applied by Nov. 10 of the year following establishment of the manure pile. The field storage area must then remain empty for one year and, prior to reuse, a crop

December

from any surface watercourse, sinkhole, spring, well or property. CLAs that were in existence prior to March 2004 and have not been expanded to 300 Animal Units (AU) or larger since then have been grandfathered, provided that they are not found to be causing pollution. Since March 2004, the construction, modification or expansion of a CLA that can hold 300 AU or more (240 cow-calf pairs, 390 feeder cattle) has required a permit by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. This permit is required even if there are not 300 AU on site, but the CLA can physically hold that many cattle. As part of the permitting process, the construction, modification or expansion of these larger facilities must be designed by a professional engineer. More detailed information on the construction requirements for CLAs, can be found at: www.gov. mb.ca/conservation. Runoff water from the CLA can not leave the property or enter a surface watercourse if it has been contaminated with

2012 Fall Sale Schedule

Did you know that the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation governs all livestock producers in Manitoba regardless of size or livestock type? As a beef producer, there are many aspects of this regulation that you should understand. Do you have a Confined Livestock Area (CLA)? CLAs are outdoor, non-grazing areas where livestock are confined by fences or other structures. The most obvious CLA is a feedlot, but a CLA also includes a paddock, corral, exercise yard, holding area and hoop structure. Covered structures used for the rearing of livestock are also considered CLAs. Examples include biotech shelters for feeder pig production, broiler houses and dairy loose housings. If you have a CLA there are rules that must be followed, regardless of the size of your operation. All CLAs must be managed so that livestock cannot access surface water directly and they do not pollute surface water, groundwater or soil. All CLAs must be at least 100 metres (330 ft.)

Stewardship. Finally, mortalities management is another challenge on the farm. Routine mortalities can be managed using burial, incineration, composting or rendering according to the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. Only operations that are less than 300 AU can bury routine dead stock. Dead stock must be covered by at least one metre of soil and the burial site must not pollute surface, ground water or soil. Both composting and burial sites must be 100 metres from any surface watercourse, sinkhole, spring or well. Incineration of dead

stock must be in accordance with the Incinerators Regulation. This article provides a general summary of the regulations that apply to beef producers but it is not a comprehensive description of everything in the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. When it comes to understanding exactly how the regulation applies to your operation, the devil is in the details. They can be found at: web2.gov. mb.ca/laws/regs/pdf/e125042.98.pdf. Contact your local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Growing Opportunities office for more details.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

SUCCESSION READINESS TERRY BETKER

The following scenario is played out time and again, and outcomes can be good or bad. Someone comes up with an idea or decides to do something and proceeds without proper planning. Why? Human nature, because for most people the “doing” is more exciting than the “planning.” This reality often applies to farm succession. Many farms still pass ownership and management to the next generation in the absence of a comprehensive plan. There are, however, an increasing number of families who recognize the need for proper succession planning and are, or are about to be, actively working through a succession planning process. Having a well-developed plan does not guarantee good outcomes, but it certainly increases the odds. For many of those families who are planning for succession, this means talking

to their accountant about strategies to minimize tax or to their lawyer about their wills and estate plan. This isn’t wrong; however, there is something else to consider. Is the farm and family even ready for succession? There are benefits to working through an exercise that examines whether the ownership and management is actually ready to be transitioned to the next generation—an exercise that can be likened to pre-planning. Initially, many of our clients do not understand why they need to pre-plan, but from experience it can be very beneficial—saving money, time, energy and/or emotional capital. To determine their readiness, we start with what a Readiness Assessment.

assessment of the farm and SMART test (specific, 5. Financial Performance the current succession family’s readiness for succesmeasurable, attainable, Analyze the farm’s fiveplanning exercise. Once sion planning: realistic, timely). There year financial perforcaptured, the history can 1. Goals are no right or wrong mance, looking at trend be added to and used for Develop personal, family goals, but understanding lines and comparing the future generations. and farm business goals. what family members are performance to industry 8. Communication Ideally, everyone should thinking can be a very standards. Considering Organize a family meetwork through the exerworthwhile exercise. the points mentioned ing at this point to review cise. Review and discuss 2. Values above, families then need and discuss what has been the goals, looking for arDevelop an agreed, prito determine if the farm learned and how it impacts eas of common thinking oritized set of values fohas the financial capacity your succession plans. EnReadiness (convergence) and differcusing on compatibility to proceed or if adjustsure that an agenda is deAssessment ent thinking (divergence). and alignment with goals ments need to be made. veloped and circulated priThe following are steps, Goals should be analyzed and the vision for the This can be very good inor to the meeting so family in sequence, to include in an to see if they pass the farm. Look at business formation to have before members have the time to first/family first priorities detailed discussions with prepare. Have someone rewithin the farm family. accountants and lawyers cord notes from the meetThere can be generational take place. Families, finding, and make sure that the differences in a family ing themselves in situanotes are circulated to all when it comes to values. tions where there may be family members, whether Like goals, there are no some financial challenges, they were in attendance or right or wrong values. can talk about things that not. Values underpin people’s can be done to mitigate 9. Statement of Intent to actions so it can be very the challenges, ultimately Proceed or Defer Succeshelpful to have an active increasing the odds of a sion Planning discussion about values successful transfer. Given what was learned and where there may be 6. Management in the exercises and comsimilarities or differences. Review management camunication meeting, the 3. Retiring Generation pacity in the four main retiring and succeeding Document the retiring areas of management— generations declare, in generation’s thoughts on operations, marketing, writing, their intention their needs and wants, human resources and to proceed or defer with timelines and successors. finance—looking for formal succession plan These are topics that typistrengths and areas of development and implecally do not get enough weakness that require mentation. If issues that consideration, especially attention, especially in require deferral have been early in the process. This a transitioning manageuncovered, consider putexercise gets people thinkment. This exercise can ting a deferral date in ing and talking about spebe used to guide manageplace that allows sufficient cific aspects of their retirement development for the time to address the issues. ment and its related plans. succeeding generation. A Declaring intentions is a 4. Succeeding Generation key question is: Are there very powerful statement and Document the succeedsignificant enough defi- helps to bring accountability ing generation’s thoughts ciencies in any area that to the whole succession planon their needs, wants and would require that the ning process. timelines. Very often, the succession be postponed? Frustration and conflict focus is on the retiring Adequate attention to can arise when succession adgeneration. The succeedmanaging the business vances, whether in the planing generation’s thoughts before, during and after ning or implementing phase, can be very helpful in unsuccession is one of the when time has not been taken derstanding how to best most critically important to assess whether the farm manage the transition of planning activities. and family are ready for sucownership and manage- 7. Historical Business De- cession. While it will take time ment. Once both genvelopment and can include some cost, a erations have completed Capture the significant readiness assessment is a very their lists, review and disfamily and business de- important exercise. cuss them together lookvelopments that have Terry Betker is a farm maning for common and diftaken place during the agement consultant based in fering elements. Discuss time that the retiring Winnipeg, Manitoba. He can how the differences can generation has farmed. be reached at 204-782-8200 or be resolved. Discuss in the context of terry.betker@backswath.com.


November 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

FOLLOW SAFE FOOD HANDLING PRACTICES AT HOME ADRIANA BARROS, PHEc

water. Hand washing is especially important when starting to prepare food, after preparing raw food, when using the bathroom in between preparing meals and when handling garbage, money or taking a telephone call in between cooking (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives). Bacteria can be transferred to your hands very quickly, and the moisture present in food is the ideal surface for bacterial growth. Cross-contamination by touch is not the only way bacteria can be transferred onto foods; always remember to keep raw meats separate from ready-to-eat foods. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests designating specific cutting boards for preparation of raw meats, poultry and shellfish and keeping another cutting board for vegetables and other ready-to-eat foods. Cutting boards should be free of cracks or crevices where bacteria can collect. It is also important to disinfect kitchen countertops and utensils being used to prepare foods with a chlorine based cleaning agent (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). Reaching proper temperatures when cooking foods is crucial to ensure a dish is safe to eat. When cooking ground beef and pork, ensure it reaches

a temperature of at least 71°C (160°F). Ground poultry must reach 80°C (175°F). Be sure to cook ground meats until the meat is no longer pink and the juices show no pink colour. Take the guesswork out of whether or not your meat is ready by always using a digital meat thermometer to test for doneness. When cooking beef follow Table 1 below. Once the food has been safely prepared and enjoyed, there is one last step which is important in safe food handling: storing leftovers. It is crucial that leftovers be refrigerated within two hours of preparation. Keeping the danger zone in mind, once cooked foods fall below 60°C (140°F) they are in the zone where bacteria can double every 15 minutes. Leftovers should be stored in small, shallow, covered containers as this helps speed cooling. Table 2 below describes how long key beef cuts and leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Safe food handling is a serious matter. Irresponsible food practices can impact the health of family and friends. Knowing what causes food-borne illness is the first step in educating those preparing foods in the home. Monitoring temperatures of food when preparing, cooking and storing food

properly will keep foods out of the danger zone. Remember when leaving the grocery store to get refrigerated and frozen items home as soon as possible. Keeping safe cooking temperatures in mind, this month’s recipe is Classic Beef Meat Loaf with Pepper Jelly Glaze courtesy of Canada Beef

Inc. Keep in mind ground beef must be cooked until well done. This dish freezes well for two to three months and is perfect for a quick meal during the upcoming, busy holiday season.

Retrieved October 22, 2012, from Home Food Safety: homefoodsafety. org/separate. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. (n.d.). “Handling Food at Home”. Retrieved October 18, 2012, from Works Cited Food Safety & Quality: Academy of Nutri- www.gov.mb.ca/agricultion and Dietetics (n.d.). ture/foodsafety/consumHome Food Safety. er/cfs01s04.html. CANADA BEEF INC.

We all want to be food safe in the kitchen. There are many ways to reduce the risk of becoming ill from handling food improperly. Let’s take a look at how to follow safe food handling practices at home, how food-borne illnesses are caused, how to prepare and cook foods safely, and finally how to store leftovers safely in the home. A food-borne illness can be caused by eating food that contains harmful pathogens. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. Pathogens are found in many places: raw foods, pets, hands and nasal passages. They can easily spread to the food we are preparing and grow at a rapid rate if kept in the “danger zone” (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives). The danger zone describes a temperature zone between 4°C and 60°C in which bacteria grows fastest. Keeping foods out of this zone is one of the easiest ways to avoid a food-borne illness. To slow the rate bacteria grows, be sure that refrigerators are set below 4°C (40°F). To kill bacteria when reheating foods, keep temperatures above 60°C (140°F). When preparing and cooking food in the home, a simple rule to follow is to ensure you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy

CLASSIC BEEF MEAT LOAF WITH PEPPER JELLY GLAZE 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil

½ cup (125 mL) milk

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp (15 mL) EACH Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced 1 carrot, shredded 2 slices bread, finely chopped

TABLE 1

1 egg

Cooking Beef Roasts and Steaks Medium: light pink center, brown on outside Well done: brown centre, brown on outside

160°F, 71°C 170°F+, 77°C+

Ground Beef No pink, brown center, brown outside

160°F+, 71°C+

TABLE 2 Storage of key beef cuts kept in the refrigerator -40C (35-400F) or freezer -180C (00F) or cooler Stir-fry strips, stewing cuts, ribs 2 days 3-6 months Steaks 3 days 6-9 months Roasts 3 days 9-12 months Fresh ground meat 1 day 2-3 months Leftovers 3-4 days 2-3 months

½ tsp (2 mL) salt ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper 1½ lb. (750 g) extra lean or lean ground beef sirloin

Pepper Jelly Glaze 1. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic and carrot, cooking 5 minutes until softened. Set aside. 2. Beat egg and milk together with a fork; blend in bread, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix in ground beef and reserved onion, garlic and carrot. Pack into foil-lined 9 x 5 inch (2 L) loaf pan. 3. Top with 1/3 cup (75 mL) Pepper Jelly Glaze. Cook in 350°F (180°C) oven for 55 to 70 minutes until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted into centre of loaf reads 71°C (160°F). Using foil, lift meat loaf from pan, draining off any fat; tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with remaining Pepper Jelly Glaze and mashed potatoes. Pepper Jelly Glaze: Combine 1/2 cup (125 mL) red pepper jelly, 1/4 cup (50 mL) apple sauce (optional), 2 tbsp (30 mL) ketchup and 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce in microwave safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) power for 1 to 2 minutes until bubbling, stirring once.


16 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2012

STEAKS FOR SOLDIERS A SUCCESS SUBMITTED

Front row (l to r): Duane Ellard of Canada Beef Inc., Danielle Hollands, Susan Armbruster, Rhonda Koslowsky, Terra Koslowsky, Rebecca Artz, District 5 Director Ramona Blyth. Back row: Harvey Dann, Steaks for Soldiers Organizer; MBP President Ray Armbruster, District 2 Director Dave Koslowsky, District 1 Director Ted Artz, Harold Blyth.

them for their contributions to Manitoba and Canada. Steaks for Soldiers began in 2007 as a way of honouring soldiers and their families. This was the second event held at CFB Shilo. The event was very

well received and over 800 steak meals were served by the event organizers as well as MBP directors and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association representatives. A special guest was also in attendance to help serve the lunch: Ross Mitchell

of Douglas, Man. Mitchell served as a paratrooper over Germany in 1945. The event was opened by Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Goodyear. Steaks for Soldiers campaign leader Harvey Dann received an award for his

vision and commitment to the Steaks for Soldiers effort from the very beginning. MBP President Ray Armbruster thanked Dann for his commitment and support for soldiers and for the opportunity for cattle producers to

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Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) attended Family Day at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shilo on Oct. 13 to take part in Steaks for Soldiers. MBP welcomed the opportunity to serve a steak lunch to soldiers and their families to recognize


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

r e t s i Reg

VOL.14 NO.8 DECEMBER 2012

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR MBP’S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

w o N

JOIN US Manitoba Beef Producers looks forward to meeting with its members at the upcoming 34th Annual General Meeting. Whether you are a beef producer or in the feedlot sector, this event is geared to you. The AGM will be held at the Victoria Inn, Brandon from Feb. 7-8, 2013. The agenda highlights and registration form are included in this issue. We encourage you to contact us to register today! The meeting is an opportunity to engage with MBP directors and fellow producers, debate issues that affect your bottom line, and set policy which will impact the future of your industry.

The AGM will feature industry leaders who will provide updates on important beef issues. Be there to hear from your national organizations and governments. On day two, an expert panel will cover what you need to know about animal welfare and revising the Code of Practice for Beef Cattle. Throughout the meeting we encourage you to take in the tradeshow to get the information and contacts you need to enhance your operation.

PRESIDENT’S BANQUET Get set for the beef evening of the year! The President’s Banquet is your chance to enjoy a delicious beef dinner with friends and fellow cattle industry partners, have some fun during the charitable fundraising auction, and celebrate what has been accomplished in the past year. This is also our chance to honour retiring MBP directors who work on your behalf. Your banquet ticket is included in your registration, and individual banquet tickets are also available. We invite all industry stakeholders to join MBP for this exciting night.

REGISTER TODAY Registration information is available on page 2. Contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458 or email info@mbbeef.ca to register! We hope to see you there.

r ea Y ew N y pp a H nd a s a tm is hr C Merry . from MBP’s Directors and Staff son. a se y a d li ho y pp ha nd a fe sa a ve Ha

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

NEW! FOR YOUNG PRODUCERS New this year is MBP’s mentoring opportunity for young producers. We encourage all producers to help the next generation get involved in agriculture policy-making and become more connected to the beef industry. Members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39). The young producer will receive a complimentary registration with the mentor’s registration.

YOUR INDUSTRY, YOUR VOICE This is your organization and your voice is needed to set direction for the coming year. We look forward to producers engaging in discussion during the resolutions session on the first day of the meeting.


2

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS TH

34 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING &7&/5 */'03."5*0/ t February 7-8, 2013

Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre | 3550 Victoria Avenue, Brandon, MB

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December 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

RESOLUTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MBP HELD ITS 14 ANNUAL DISTRICT MEETINGS THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER. THESE MEETINGS PROVIDED PRODUCER MEMBERS WITH INFORMATION ABOUT POLICIES, ISSUES AND ACTIONS UNDERTAKEN BY MBP. THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS WERE BROUGHT FORWARD AT THE DISTRICT MEETINGS. THEY WILL BE VOTED ON AT THE MBP ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, FEB. 7-8, 2013 IN BRANDON. RESOLUTIONS DETERMINE THE PRIORITIES OF YOUR ORGANIZATION. PLEASE ATTEND THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING TO VOTE. District 1 1. Â #F JU SFTPMWFE UIBU .BOJUPCB #FFG 1SPEVDFST XPSL UP IBWF USBDFBCJMJUZ ESJWFO CZ NBSLFU GPSDFT BOE OPU EJSFDUFE CZ HPWFSONFOUT

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3


4

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

BELOW: Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP PROTECTING THE LANDSCAPE

RAY ARMBRUSTER

In this issue of Cattle Country we take a look at Tomorrow Now and how it will impact our beef sector. I would like to touch on this topic as well as ecological goods and services (EG&S) and managing the landscape. The Tomorrow Now initiative is very broad and it will certainly impact agriculture and the beef industry. Manitoba Beef Producers has brought policy and strategies forward that could effectively deal with some of the issues of concern such as species at risk and wetlands. Our industry has a long history of conserving wetlands and working with the natural landscape. Many species at risk that are left on the land now are on cattle producers’ land because they have left permanent cover, trees and wetlands which promote biodiversity. Producers need to be recognized for years of stewardship. Incentives for producers should be put in place for the continuation of those practices; instead of a regulatory regime to manage the landscape.

I personally feel that governments and the public need to be reminded about who the stewards of the land are. As producers, we are the ones who are preserving the landscape for future generations. It seems like every other day various conservation groups come darting in to “save� a habitat of some sort, but many times there is no recognition that a second or third generation producer was the one who preserved the land all along. That is where the recognition should be directed to. The groups haven’t come in and saved anything. And that is why programs have to be incentive-based like what is outlined in MBP’s EG&S proposal, that would be appropriate and progressive. MBP policy stresses that an EG&S program should differentiate between longterm water management (e.g. wetlands and water storage) and short-term flood mitigation efforts. This would require analysis of the Canadian Wetland Classification System. An EG&S program should in-

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clude support for natural water filtration and nutrient cycling, carbon sinks that mitigate climate change, essential wetland and grassland habitat for plant and animal biodiversity, biosecurity and soil conservation. No projects under an EG&S program should be held in perpetuity. In my opinion, society has what seems to be an unquenchable thirst to acquire more and more land to preserve. Setting land aside to preserve a species or habitat has often been done without going back to revisit if it actually achieved its purpose. Research may indicate to us that a different type of practice might be better implemented on that landscape to achieve certain goals, so it makes sense for everyone involved to not enter into agreements that go on forever. I know the fallback argument would be that you could have a wetland and in ten years it might be economically better to drain it and get as much money as you can. But I don’t think that is a strong enough argument. I think the agreements should all come up for renewal because producers shouldn’t have to undersell that value of what they are providing. What has a certain value today will have a different value 100 years from now and future generations should have the opportunity to assess and make those decisions. Throughout my life I’ve had the opportunity to live beside a national park and work beside a provincial park, and my family and I have managed beef cattle on the landscape. My personal observation over the years is that a well-managed landscape is achieved with

12-11-28 6:54 PM

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

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RAMONA BLYTH

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

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DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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BRAD MCDONALD

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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RAY ARMBRUSTER - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

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appropriate grazing and continuous renewal. Our prairies and mixed forest grasslands evolved with fire and grazing. Inside and outside of parks if you have fire, grazing or even a beaver dam letting go, and you will see that larger species like elk, deer and moose with gravitate there. If there is old vegetation around, these animals almost avoid it. The general public doesn’t understand this, but people living on the landscape do because they live there 365 days a year. In many cases, setting aside land has meant that those processes are no longer happening. Consequently, areas that are designated for preservation without those natural processes don’t fulfill their mandate or they may transition to drainage or a monoculture of agriculture production of single crops which do not provide biodiversity. In the past we had century upon century when fire and large grazers such as bison played important roles on the landscape to stimulate healthy vegetation succession and build our soils. Beef cattle ranching is a key industry left on the landscape that is imitating natural processes and producing high-quality protein for people while providing those other resources that the public expects to be there. Historically, beef producers have provided EG&S without any compensation. These services create significant benefits for the public. We have seen years and years of easements and set-aside land and it is time for governments, the public, and us as land stewards, to look at alternative strategies regarding preservation,

habitats, biodiversity, species at risk, and other issues. We have a growing world population to feed and we need working landscapes that will allow us to grow food in a sustainable way but also provide those services related to species and habitats on the landscape. MBP has just finished a marathon of annual district meetings and I would like to thank our GM Cam Dahl for presenting to members at each meeting and being there to discuss the issues and answer questions. I also thank all MBP directors for organizing their local meetings and beef on a bun dinners. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the meetings a success. After going over the feedback from the meetings, it appears that the work MBP has been doing on policy over the past year has been well received by producers. Hosting the district meetings was the first step in developing new MBP policy for 2013-2014. The next step involves broader discussion and consultation on key issues. The annual meeting is your opportunity to meet with MBP and producers from other regions to discuss the issues that affect your operation. I encourage you to read over the resolutions on page 3 and to attend the annual general meeting to vote on them. There are some key resolutions that will help our industry be competitive on issues such as the Livestock Cash Advance Program. Producers are looking to be treated fairly on flood compensation and they are also looking for solutions for land recovery and prevention so that these types of

events don’t happen in the future. Some producers are concerned about mandatory membership in general farm organizations and that will be discussed. Important issues related to Crown lands were raised and some producers have expressed frustration about Crown land that they want to see available for agriculture. These are all important issues for producers and there are many more that will be discussed. I urge all members to attend the AGM and set the course for the coming year. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your issues and concerns with various officials from your national organizations and different levels of government. MBP was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Neil Jahnke, Saskatchewan beef producer and Past President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). Neil was a leader and a man with a vision for our industry. He was a very strong supporter of initiatives that came out of Manitoba and he always attended our events. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. At this time of year we remember our Past President and friend, Major Jay Fox, and his whole family. They are part of our MBP family and we are thinking of them all. Everyone at MBP is thankful for the contributions Jay made to our organization and we will always remember him for the outstanding leader and person that he was. We wish all producers a happy holiday season and time with loved ones. Merry Christmas! See you at the AGM in February.

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

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MAC MCRAE - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

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DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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STAN FOSTER

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GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST

Maureen Cousins

Kristen Lucyshyn Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT LacĂŠ Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Kirby Gilman


December 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE BETTER DAYS AHEAD

CAM DAHL

I have just completed MBP’s fourteen district meetings spanning all regions of Manitoba. I want to thank all of the producers who were able to come out. The one-on-one contact with you is critical to our job and MBP is a more effective organization because of your involvement. During the trek across Manitoba, I was once again struck by the enormous diversity and beauty of our province. I am also struck by the dogged optimism of its beef producers. By all accounts, beef producers might be justified in having a less than rosy outlook. For almost ten years, you have faced depressed markets because of BSE. For twenty years, producers around Riding Mountain National Park have faced increased costs because of bovine TB. Producers in all parts of the province, but especially around our great lakes and in the Assiniboine Valley, continue to be hit by the fallout from the 2011 flood. As well, drought throughout major North American grain producing regions has driven up feed costs. The recall issue at the Alberta processing plant XL Foods posed another threat to producers’ livelihoods. Producers might have reasons to be pessimistic—but you aren’t. All Manitobans should be thankful for your resilience. You are a critical part of our economy. Beef producers don’t just support the rural economy, you support jobs in our urban areas and major cities like Brandon and Winnipeg. This is a fact that is often forgotten by our leg-

islators and policy makers. Agriculture needs to speak up and remind urban Manitobans, and the politicians they elect, about the important role our industries play in generating jobs and wealth for all parts of the province. At many of the district meetings I met individuals who were coming out to their first beef producer meeting and young producers who have recently joined the industry. I saw individuals of all ages and stages of business development that are focused on the future opportunities, and not past difficulties. These are the beef industry’s greatest resource— those who will fight for the growth of their sector and stick through the difficult times because they know better days are ahead. And there are better days ahead. We are seeing markets that were closed because of BSE open again. Japan is one example. I expect that Japan will shortly be lifting the key restrictions that have limited our access to this valuable market. These types of openings add crucial business opportunities for products that might not sell well in Canada or the U.S. Our governments are negotiating trade deals that will hopefully see us secure new opportunities in both well established economies like the E.U. as well as the emerging and growing economies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These market openings are one of the causes for the increasing cattle prices that producers, especially cowcalf operators, have seen over the past year. This fundamental support also gives

reason to expect that higher prices might continue for some time. Of course prices have also increased because of a shrinking cattle herd in North America—a trend that I expect to stabilize. Governments can help this important sector of our economy. They could, for example, deliver on the promised compensation for those who are still suffering from the impact of the 2011 flooding. This will allow these producers to preserve their herds and be there to take advantage of developing market opportunities. But good policy is not just about the delivery of money. Effective policy should be driven by fundamental principles that have been proven to work. Federal, provincial and municipal governments have indicated that they all want to see habitat preserved, species at risk protected and wetlands maintained. If policy makers are serious about this, they should want a lot more beef producers in Manitoba. Research has demonstrated that beef producers do all of these things just by maintaining productive pastures and forage land. Manitoba Beef Producers expects to spend a significant amount of time on environmental issues in the coming year, given the initiatives that are outlined in Tomorrow Now - Manitoba’s Green Plan and the expected development of a national conservation plan by the Government of Canada. MBP will be stressing the need for strong science behind any initiative designed to protect the environment, human health, animal health or animal welfare.

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Cam Dahl speaks to producers at the District 13 meeting in Gilbert Plains

We have seen initiatives in the past that have given us cause for concern because in our view they have not been based on science. A lack of scientific foundation opens the door for regulations and policy that is based on popular opinion or the latest political poll. Experience has taught that these kinds of policies, that

lack a strong foundation, are bad for agriculture, harm the economy and ultimately fail to accomplish their stated goals. Governments can help foster a business environment in which beef production can grow and prosper. But to do this, policy makers must focus on incentives and co-operation with

producers rather than heavy handed legislation, regulation and enforcement. If the right approach is taken, the sense of optimism seen in the industry today will grow. If governments fall back to legislation, regulation and confrontation, agriculture will suffer and optimism will be snuffed out.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

CO-OPERATIVE APPROACH NEEDED ON ENVIRONMENT BY: MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST

Session resumed at the Manitoba Legislature on November 19 and with that comes a renewed focus on the development of legislation and regulations that may affect the beef industry. Some of these will evolve from Tomorrow Now - Manitoba’s Green Plan, an environmental blueprint with more than 100 initiatives to be rolled out over eight years. Key elements of the Green Plan likely to impact the beef industry include a new surface water management strategy, ecological goods and services programming (EG&S), a drought management strategy, drainage and water retention licensing, increased monitoring and protection of threatened species, protection of wetlands and riparian areas, pesticides and noxious weeds regulations, and, enhanced wildlife disease control, among others. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has already participated in two summits on Manitoba’s efforts to create a new surface water management strategy, one in April

and another in November. Key issues examined at the latest summit included how to manage water in terminal basins, as well as the concept of “no net loss of water” from watersheds. As well, in late October, MBP made a detailed submission on the Green Plan to the Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship. MBP outlined its core principles when it comes to the development of environment policies, including: t The need for public policies based on sound science; t Co-operation between producers and government, as opposed to excessive regulation, will lead to more effective results and the creation of more flexible programs; and t Governments and producers should work together to develop environmental initiatives that our sector can embrace and that won’t harm producers’ ability to earn a living. Elements of MBP’s submission on the Green Plan are

provided below and more de- producers the opportunity to tails will follow future editions continue (and expand) the of Cattle Country. practices that generate environmental benefits. Ecological Goods and In November 2008, MBP Services (EG&S) presented a detailed proposal The Green Plan says the for an Environmental and Ruprovincial government will ral Stewardship Incentive Prodevelop partnerships to “en- gram (ERSP) to the Manitoba courage the preservation and government. It requested the development of ecological introduction of a provincegoods and services to ben- wide, Social and Ecological efit Manitoba’s environment Goods and Services payment while supporting a strong program. It is an incentivesagricultural sector and rural based approach and producer economy.” participation would be volunMBP welcomes this com- tary. mitment as it has long sought This type of approach market-based compensation would ensure producers have for the ecological goods and adequate economic incenservices producers provide. tives to increase conservation These services include the management practices. production of sustainable Highlights of MBP’s ERSP habitat, the protection of were recently cited in a report many species at risk and the prepared by the Macdonaldpreservation of wetlands. Laurier Institute in concert Unfortunately, straight with the George Morris Ceneconomic drivers tend to tre. The study, The Greening of encourage landowners away Canadian Agriculture, examfrom practices that increase ined the role that producers habitat and wetland con- play in managing and protectservation. MBP is seeking a ing the rural environment by market-based solution that providing ecological goods will help society accomplish and services. It compared its conservation goals and give EG&S programs in North America, Europe and Australia, including MBP’s ERSP. The study found there is an increasing recognition by public policy makers of the ecosystem services producers provide on the landscape. The authors also noted, “Flexible, decentralized pilot initiatives, with a focus on follow up measurement, can establish over time which types of programs work best.” MBP will continue to promote the importance of supporting EG&S initiatives with public policy makers. MBP has also been directly involved in the development of environmental programs through collaboration with the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council on a $500,000+

research project into the environmental value of Manitoba forages and the scientific quantification of carbon lifecycles on Prairie cow-calf operations. Enough work has been done to unequivocally state that programs designed to compensate producers for the delivery of ecosystem services will increase conservation management practices and accomplish many of society’s environmental objectives. MBP believes these objectives can be achieved without rigid legislation and regulation. MBP is again calling on provincial officials to work with their federal counterparts to implement effective EG&S programming to encourage expanded adoption of conservation management practices by Canadian beef producers.

Species at Risk

Manitoba’s Green Plan states that stronger legislation and policy is pending for “the timely inventory, monitoring and assessment of species at risk, the development of recovery and conservation strategies and the enhanced protection of habitat for listed species.” In its submission, MBP said the beef industry must be consulted when species at risk legislation is being reviewed or modified. Through prudent landscape management, producers provide valuable habitat. This important ecosystem service must be recognized by governments. For example, pastures have the unique ability to encourage grassland preservation while maintaining economic productivity. Many plants and wildlife make their homes on pastures. In fact, work done on the grasslands preserved in Manitoba’s community pasture program show they are home to 33 different species at risk (endangered and threatened). The biodiversity found on well-managed pastures significantly exceeds that found on land set aside as nature preserves and not grazed. MBP believes the benefits generated from the economic activity of beef production should be recognized by governments. This factor must also be taken into account before any consideration is given to setting aside additional lands as nature preservations, either through actions of

government or private organizations. Substantial increases in feed grain and other input prices have been partially led by expansion in the biofuel sector. For example, a report by the George Morris Centre shows Canadian ethanol production mandates are responsible for increasing costs to Canada’s livestock sector by $130 million annually. These price pressures, coupled with low cattle prices, have seen many cattle producers convert perennial forage land to grain land as a strategy for economic viability. These activities have a negative impact on forage-based beef cattle producers in Western Canada and a negative impact on biodiversity and habitat protection. MBP strongly believes that negative unintended consequences of public policies, like incentives for biofuel production, must be considered before these programs are implemented and must be part of a re-evaluation of their environmental effectiveness. If these programs are to continue, measures should be put in place to mitigate their negative environmental impacts. MBP believes a partnership approach with governments is more effective in habitat preservation and ultimately more cost efficient for taxpayers than a legislativeregulatory framework that imposes costly requirements and unjust liability on producers. MBP is seeking a co-operative and flexible approach to help meet society’s goals for habitat and species preservation. This could include the development of incentives designed to encourage both habitat and species preservation. MBP is also advocating for a market-based biofuels industry. Government policy that favours biofuel production as a purchaser of feed grain favours that industry at the expense of the livestock and meat sector. This in turn has unintended negative consequences on efforts to protect both species and habitat. Watch for more details of MBP’s submission on Tomorrow Now - Manitoba’s Green Plan in upcoming editions. Or, if you would like a copy of it, please email the MBP office at info@mbbeef.ca or call 1-800-772-0458.


December 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

PREDATOR PROBLEM GROWING FOR MANITOBA CATTLE PRODUCERS RON FRIESEN

When Kim Crandall moved to his cattle farm east of Fork River 10 years ago, he never saw a single wolf. Seven years later, he began spotting them. Today, wolves are a major predator in Crandall’s area near Winnipegosis and their effect on cattle herds is noticeable. Last fall, Crandall lost two animals to wolves and some of his neighbours reported even greater losses. “It was a pretty big circle. They took quite a few calves on us,” says Crandall, Manitoba Beef Producers director for District 13. “There just seem to be more every year.” At Makinak near Ste. Rose du Lac, Bill Murray used to hear of wolves in the area back in the mid-1960s. Now, over the last few years, they have started returning to the region again. “They seem to be making a comeback,” says Murray, who represents MBP as director for District 12. “I’m really concerned about what’s coming up here in the next six months or a year with this wolf situation. I just hope they don’t come to my place.” Coyotes, of course, have been a problem predator throughout Manitoba for years. But the rise in the number of wolf sightings over the last six to eight years worries cattle producers, who report seeing wolves as far south as the Trans-Canada Highway, not just further north. “What producers are indicating to us is that regions that never had timber wolf problems before are seeing them and having them now,” says Ray Armbruster, MBP president. The increase highlights mounting concern among producers about a growing problem with wildlife predators and the seeming inability of provincial officials to deal with it effectively. Losing animals to predators is an issue as old as cattle production itself. But statistics from the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), which administers the provincial Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, show the problem is increasing steadily. According to MASC, the number of damage claims filed for livestock predation

in 2011-12 totaled 1,881, up from 1,869 the previous year. The compensation paid for those claims was $874,100, an increase of 42 per cent. MASC notes, however, that, starting in 2011-12, compensation was increased to 90 per cent of an animal’s value from 80 per cent—a major reason for the increase in compensation that was paid out. MASC’s compensation for livestock predation has risen steadily since 2008-09, when 1,637 claims worth $445,200 were filed. But those figures tell only a small part of the story, according to MBP, where the subject of problem predators is always high on the agenda at annual fall district meetings. It is estimated that only one in four predator kills actually gets reported as a claim. Some put the ratio as low as one in eight. The reason why the rate is so low is that many livestock kills are never found. Large predators such as wolves can clean up a carcass in a matter of hours, leaving little or no evidence on which to base a claim. “When those guys start moving in on you, the losses are big and fast,” says Murray. “When they take down bigger animals out in the pasture in the middle of the summer, unless you just happen along the next day, there isn’t likely even going to be anything to find.” Murray says producers sometimes go to great lengths to preserve carcasses, covering them with tarps and putting trees or stones on top until a claims inspector can attend the scene. But even when claims are filed, compensation for the dead animal is based on the market value at the time it is killed. That is another problem, producers say, because the amount does not reflect the full cost of producing the animal. Such costs include feeding a pregnant cow over winter, calving her, tagging and vaccinating calves, and putting them on grass. “You’re getting compensated for what an animal is worth that day. But compared to the potential of what it’s worth, there’s quite a bit of difference,” Crandall says. An agreement negotiated annually since 2006 between

the province and the Manitoba Trappers Association pays licensed trappers to go out at the request of producers and remove problem predators. But MBP calls the $50,000 annual funding for the program hopelessly inadequate. Armbruster says the program is further hobbled by a 24-hour time limit on the trapping permit. Even with an allowable 16-hour extension, the time limit restricts trappers’ ability to drive to the site, scout it and set traps. By that time, they might not even be targeting the right culprits. As a result, provincial predator control programs, however well intentioned, are not doing the job, says Armbruster. “Proportionately, for the number of animals lost and the amount being paid out in compensation, and the losses with no compensation, the mitigation to deal with problem predators is woefully underfunded and not terribly strategic.” Provincial officials can not say for sure if the number of wolves, coyotes and other predators is increasing, since the government does not conduct annual surveys for them. What is known is that the estimated number of whitetailed deer in Manitoba has fallen from 150,000-180,000 a few years ago to 110,000130,000 today. The deer population has been hit hard of late because snowfall in three of the last six winters prevented deer from foraging abroad for food, says Janine Stewart, a human wildlife conflict biologist with Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. The drop in the number of deer may be one reason why coyotes and other predators are increasingly active among cattle, says Stewart, who is stationed in Swan River. “As deer populations decrease, coyotes will be looking to alternative food sources. And one alternative food source, of course, would be livestock.” Stewart says the province provides opportunities for producers to protect livestock from predators, besides the trapping program. Under the Wildlife Act, landowners may shoot or trap predators, including

coyotes and wolves, on their production costs for lost live- That’s not what producers own land year round. stock. want,” he says. “There are Licensed big game huntBut the most important problem predators out there ers are allowed to harvest thing is to control the num- and we just want producers one coyote and one wolf per ber of predators rather than to have the tools they need to season. just pay for the damage they protect their herds.” The province also offers cause, says Cam Dahl, MPB Dahl says MBP has predator management work- general manager. raised the predator issue shops, which instruct pro“If you compare what the several times with Maniducers on how to spot preda- province is spending on that toba Conservation and Wators and remove them. program to what they are ter Stewardship Minister At the same time, the spending on compensation Gord Mackintosh. The asprovince encourages produc- for the fraction of losses that sociation’s persistence may ers to use caution in control- we see, you quickly come to be starting to pay off. During ling predators. the conclusion that control is the last meeting, Mackintosh “If producers have preda- a heck of a lot more cost ef- proposed a working group to tors in their area that aren’t fective than compensation,” pinpoint predator hot spots causing problems, leave them Dahl says. in the province. be,” says Stewart. “Because, Dahl is quick to add the “We haven’t arrived at by removing predators that public shouldn’t get the im- solutions yet but I think aren’t causing problems, you pression that producers want we’re on a path forward. If could cause ones to come to shoot all predators on we look back over the last into the area that will cause sight, no questions asked. few months, I think we you problems.” “We don’t want to kill are making progress,” says However, Armbruster every wolf in the province. Dahl. says the amount of money spent to manage predators compared to the amount Stockman’s Agencies paid to compensate producLivestock Insurance Agents for over 40 years ers for losses is “just way out RR1 Box 57 Brandon, Manitoba R 7A 5Y1 of balance.” “If we were to invest in a Yearly- Short Term, Mortality and Fertility coverages stronger program, you would still have the cost of the losses Call us for details. Lois and Blair McRae and you would never miti204-728-3058 Joyce Gordon gate 100 per cent predator marmac@inetlink.ca 204-534-6554 losses. But it would be an cell-204-573-5192 investment where it wouldn’t take too long to get control of the problem predators and Stockman_Agencies_Ad.indd 1 12-08-20 8:20 PM everyone would be ahead, ” he says. MBP has a long-standing request that the province create a payment incentive program for trapping problem coyotes and wolves. Trappers The story of Canadian agriculture is one of would receive $300 per wolf success, promise, challenge and determination. and $50 per coyote, as well We know, because we live it every day. as having their expenses covBe proud. Champion our industry. ered. Share your story, hear others and learn MBP wants the govmore at www.AgMoreThanEver.ca. ernment to eliminate the 24-hour rule on trapping permits. It also requests a 100 per cent compensation MBP is a proud champion of this cause level to cover a producer’s


8

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

AN UPDATE ON COMMUNITY PASTURES BARRY LOWES, COMMUNITY PASTURE STEERING COMMITTEE CHAIR

Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s (AAFC) Community Pasture Program has operated in Manitoba for more than 75 years. It involves 418,839 hectares, or about a million acres, of grazing space. Perhaps most importantly, the pastures handle about five per cent of the province’s cattle herd. As part of its 2012-13 budget, the federal government announced it was giving up management of the Community Pastures Program. At that point, industry leaders realized that a plan was necessary to ensure that these lands remain in grazing and available to Manitoba’s beef industry. At the end of the federal administration, responsibility for the land will fall to the owner. In most cases, this means the Province of Manitoba as the majority of the land within the community

pasture program is provincial Crown land. Municipalities are also a significant player, owning about 11 per cent of the land within Manitoba’s community pasture system. Following the federal budget, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) facilitated a meeting with all of the chairs from the Producer Advisory Committees (PACs) from across the province. A Steering Committee was formed from this group and given the mandate to develop a business plan to secure producer control over the pasture program. The Steering Committee consists of: t #BSSZ -PXFT $IBJS &Mlice-Archie Community Pasture t ,JN $SBOEBMM .BOJtoba Beef Producers and Ethelbert Community Pasture t "MWJO 4UFXBSU (BSEFOUPO and Pansy Community Pastures

t %BSSFO .BD.JMMBO Woodlands Community Pastures t /FJM 4DPUU 1BTRVJB $PNmunity Pastures t 5SFWPS "UDIJTPO .BOJtoba Beef Producers The Steering Committee is advised by a number of federal and provincial civil servants who have been involved with the community pasture program or who have expertise in the development of co-operatives and not-forprofit organizations. It is important to note that nothing will change for the 2013 grazing season. All pastures will continue to be managed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada past the end of 2013 grazing. This was an initial key request from the Steering Committee and an important concession from the federal government which was set to begin transfers earlier in the year. This

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decision will give producers in Manitoba more time to organize and implement their own operation plan. The Government of Manitoba has given the Steering Committee the mandate to develop options for the community pastures and the committee is working toward early divesture of the pastures for 2014. This is important, as it means that producers are driving the process with the objective of keeping this land in beef production, rather than other parties who may have other non-agricultural interests. The Steering Committee has developed an initial business plan. As with all processes of this nature, the initial draft will not be the final document. There will be negotiations between the different levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) before the final plan is unveiled.

The initial business plan calls for the formation of a not-for-profit entity to be called the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP). The association would be governed by seven directors to be elected by Manitoba patrons who have livestock in the community pasture program. The seven directors, who would represent all regions of the province, would be joined on the board by a non-voting representative of the Government of Manitoba. The key ongoing roles and responsibilities of the AMCP board would include setting annual grazing fees, approving operating budgets and setting stocking rates. All other day-to-day stock management decisions would be made by individual pasture managers, much as the program operates today.

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The first meetings of the Association’s Board would need to occur in the spring of 2013. The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures would cover operating costs from fees collected and pay municipal taxes. It is likely that stocking fees would increase over a three year period. For example, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has raised rates for the 2013 grazing season to 55 cents per head per day. While the business plan is not yet final, the initial estimate by the Steering Committee is that cost recovery will require a fee of 60 cents per day. It is the Steering Committee’s belief that producers in Manitoba will best be served if all of the 21 pastures in the province are transferred to the new entity upon the end of federal administration. There is much work that needs to be done before this goal can be accomplished. Key to the success of the plan is consultation. The Steering Committee is currently consulting further with rural municipalities, the governments of Manitoba and Canada, and other interested parties, such as conservation groups. Of course Manitoba’s beef producers, especially the patrons of the community pastures, also need to be heard. I encourage anyone who has suggestions or concerns to be in touch with your local pasture Patron Advisory Committee. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Manitoba Beef Producers, which will continue to play a facilitator role in the development of the new administrative model.

12-11-21 8:23 PM


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Our passion is the commercial cattle industry... We just returned from several cattle events, where we displayed our genetics live. It seems when everyone is going one way, we’re not scared to set our own course. “Swimming Up Stream” is in our blood. Our genetics displayed exactly what we’re about... moderate frame, more body, more thickness, retained performance and more convenience. It really is all about “more grass and less diesel.” The bulls have been out on grass until this darn snow forced us to bring them in. The uniformity is better, the numbers are up and our cows will graze most of the winter... even with the snow some things are still easy. We always talk about our “hard nosed, dirt on the pants” program. This just means no bull or cow gets a free ride. Nothing new to us, it’s just what we do! We’re really excited about what we do. If you’re sitting on the fence wondering “what to do”... join the excitement of our program. Phone us, email us, send us the clip & mail below... or better yet, just come and take a look. Bill Creech... “Bill The Bull Guy”

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

QUALITY IS KEY FOR GRANDVIEW BEEF PRODUCERS

Grandview Credit Union

MEET THE TOPHAM FAMILY

ANGELA LOVELL

When he was 12 years old, Kenton Topham achieved his first Grand Champion Steer at his local 4-H show and was thrilled when the Grandview Credit Union, which remains a strong supporter of 4-H in the community, bought his steer. It was a lesson that he has carried with him to this day; that quality is important and those that take the extra effort to produce the best quality animals will be rewarded for it. Thirty years later, Kenton’s purebred Black Angus herd is now certified under the Verified Beef Production program (VBP), and it is premiums in the marketplace rather than ribbons that he is aiming for. Topview Acres has fifty head of Black Angus breeding stock, as well as fifty commercial cows, and joined VBP because Kenton believes that food safety and proper handling is becoming increasingly important to consumers and that it is something they are prepared to pay for. “People are more concerned now about where their food comes from and there has been a big increase in interest in local food because of that,” says Kenton. “Topview Acres also sells a lot of our Black Angus bulls off the farm rather than at auction, because producers also want to know more about the quality of the animals they are buying. They come and visit the farm and they can see the dams and sires of the animal and our production systems, so they know what they are truly getting.”

Over thirty years later, a family tradition is upheld as Grandview Credit Union purchases Taron Topham’s 4-H steer.

Kenton farms almost 2,000 acres of crops, hay and pasture land near Grandview with his wife Leanne, brother Gary and parents, Jack and Gail, who returned to their hometown from Alberta in the mid 1960s. Over the years, his parents, who used to have purebred Maine-Anjou cattle, gradually dispersed the herd to expand their cropland and upgraded to larger, more efficient equipment. Kenton, who has always loved the cattle side of the business, admits he was displeased at the time and did not entirely agree with the policy. In hindsight, however, he realizes that they made an intelligent decision, and when they went into semi-retirement in 2000, they were fully supportive

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of his decision to re-establish a purebred herd. Since then, Kenton has gradually expanded the herd and changed his breeding program with embryo transplant to speed up the process and make it easier to maintain and enhance the quality of the herd. The Tophams’ children, Kendra, 14 and Taron, 11 have both inherited their father’s passion for animals and farming. Kendra hopes to become a veterinarian, and while Taron is uncertain of his future plans, he does show a great understanding of agriculture as a whole industry, says Kenton. The Tophams’ passion for farming isn’t just derived from the farm, but also from the lifestyle of living in a small, safe community where, as

Kenton says, “I can trust my neighbour to take my kid to sports practice if I have a cow calving and can’t make it.” The family believes in giving back to the community. Both kids are involved in 4-H and Leanne, a full-time teacher for the last 22 years, is a 4-H leader. She also helps with community activities like bingo and coaching after school sports such as volleyball, basketball and fastball. While Kenton admits that he is the “homebody,” he also participates on the local agricultural fair’s organizing committee and he was a board member of the Manitoba Angus Association for four years. He knows that promoting a quality, responsible image for agriculture is all

Kendra and Taron Topham showing 4-H heifers in 2012.

important to the future of the beef industry and he doesn’t hesitate to do that whenever he can. “I think quality will be the key to producers being able to secure more of the dollars that right now aren’t reaching them directly,” says Kenton. “Manitoba producers have always produced high-quality beef and I

think that there is value in investing in programs that can demonstrate that to the public. Going forward that will bring more value to beef producers.” Visitors are always welcome at Topview Acres. Contact the family at RR #4, Grandview, Man. R0L 0Y0, phone 204-546-2150 or email kltopham@goinet.ca.

204-546-5200 | www.grandviewcu.mb.ca | e-mail info@grandviewcu.mb.ca


December 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

VET CORNER

FOCUS ON NUTRITION LEADS TO SUCCESS DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

Winter is in full swing and it is now time to focus on preparing for the spring and next year’s calf crop. Let’s take a look at nutrition and what to keep in mind for your operation. In addition to being a leading cause of infertility, cow undernutrition dramatically impacts newborn calf survival. Poor nutrition during pregnancy decreases the protein and energy content and the volume of colostrum produced. Malnourished cows have more difficulty at calving time and their calves are smaller, take longer to stand after birth and are less likely to aggressively nurse. Ideally, cows should come off pasture with a body condition of three out of five on a five-point scale and calve in that same condition or slightly less. Learn to body condition score (BCS) your cows. This must be done by actually putting your hands on the cow to qualitatively feel for flesh and fat. Thick winter hair coats and full bellies are deceiving. Be cautious about relying on body weight as a reflection of body condition. Larger framed cows or those with excessive gut fill will weigh more, though they could actually score lower on the BCS chart. Check out the pictorial references available online or through your veterinarian. Fat should be felt over the ribs with the ribcage only slightly visible. There should be increased muscling through the shoulder and hips with fat deposited behind the shoulder and on either side of the tailhead. BCS evaluation takes under a minute and is a valuable economic tool. Group the cows based on body condition scores and reassess throughout the winter feeding period, typically at calving time and a month prior to rebreeding. Be prepared to move cows between the feeding groups. Groups that require special attention are bred heifers (as they require additional energy to meet growth demands), second-calvers, cows carrying twins and possibly older cows. These animals are more at risk of losing body condition over the winter and would also benefit from reduced competition for feed.

On the opposite end of the scale, fat cows should be fed separately as well to allow controlled weight loss. Fat cows tend to have more difficulty calving and poorer milk production due to fat deposition in the udder. Overfeeding is a waste of feed dollars. Be careful about feeding poorer quality feedstuffs to these cows though. Mouldy, spoiled, or weathered feed lacks nutritional value and can result in infectious abortion. If it must be fed, mix it in with goodquality feed post-calving. In addition to paying attention to the feeding management of the herd, boost colostral immunity for calves using a herd vaccination program. A minimum program for all herds should include a four-way viral vaccine. Vaccination for scours and other infections can be based upon previous herd health issues, prevalence of the disease in your area (talk to your veterinarian) and your marketing goals. Feedlots want to buy healthy calves and that starts in the backyard of the cow-calf producer. A no-vaccination or only blackleg vaccination program does not cut it. Finally, start to prepare for calving. Ensure that your calving facilities are in good repair with well-stocked shelves to deal with potential problems like tangled twins, malpresentations, or calves requiring colostral supplementation. Purchase obstetrical gloves, lubricant, calf-puller supplies, esophageal feeders, calf processing supplies and medications as recommended by your veterinarian. As mentioned before, all the colostrum and vaccine in the world will not help protect a calf if it is born into a poor environment. The most important newborn calf disease prevention tool is straw. Ensure the calving area is clean, dry, sheltered and welldrained. Try to have a Plan B for unforeseen circumstances. A little forward thinking and planning before calving season arrives can help ensure a big healthy calf crop next fall. Year-round management and attention to the cowherd is required for your operation’s financial success. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and best wishes for the New Year.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

DO I HAVE ENOUGH FEED FOR THE WINTER AHEAD?

TOD WALLACE, MANITOBA AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL INITIATIVES FARM PRODUCTION EXTENSION SPECIALIST – BEEF, LIVESTOCK KNOWLEDGE CENTRE, SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF THE NUTRITION TEAM

It is that time of year when producers are thinking about winter feeding and how much feed will be needed to make it through the season. How much will a cow eat? There are many factors that affect the dry matter intake (DMI) of cattle and these include physiological, environmental, management and dietary factors. Physiological factors affecting feed intake include frame size and percentage of body fat; these are often considered in equations to predict feed intake by beef cattle. Condition scoring your cattle is also a useful management tool, as a thin cow (condition score = 1 or 2 on a 5 point scale) will consume more than a good condition cow (condition score = 3). Other physiological factors include an animal’s sex, age and if the animal is dry or lactating. Sex of the animal has a limited affect on DMI. On the other hand, one of the most important factors that affects intake is the reproductive status of the animal. A lactating cow will eat 40 to 60 per cent more than a dry cow. The age of the animal also affects intake, as older animals will consume more feed than younger animals—young cows have less rumen space. From an environmental perspective, intake can increase up to 30 per cent in colder temperatures and can decrease by 30 per cent under hot, humid temperatures. Adverse conditions like mud and snow can also decrease intake by up to 15 per cent.

Management and dietary factors such as nutrient deficiencies can decrease intake by 10 to 20 per cent. Growth promoting implants tend to increase feed intake. Other management factors like adding monensin, the ionophore feed additive, typically decreases feed intake. The following are some feed intake guidelines (see Figure 1). Some other factors that will affect the voluntary consumption of forage are:

production and if body cent of their body weight to figure out how much hay protein levels. Therefore, if condition loss is excessive, (on a dry matter basis) or feed you will need for the we were to use industry avfirst ovulation can be de- per day. A 1300 pound winter. erages for this allotment of layed. cow would consume 32.5 Once all of your forages hay and feed it to beef cows The short take-home pounds of hay at 0 per cent are hauled home and placed in a balanced ration, they message is that feed quality moisture or 38 pounds of in the stack yard, now is the would continue to drop will influence feed intake, hay at 15 per cent moisture time to take samples and body weight until reproand animal requirements (as fed basis). Over a 220 get your feed tests done. ductive performance was change throughout the day winter feeding period, Feed testing of your forages compromised. year. You need to match the the cow would consume is very important so you Sampling equipment and quality of your harvested or 8,412 pounds of hay or can accurately predict and procedures can be picked up purchased feed to what the 6.5 round bales; based on recommend feeding re- at your local MAFRI GO ofanimal requires. a typical five by five-foot gimes for all classes of cattle fice. Once you have all your That is why feed testing round hay bale weighing for the upcoming winter. samples together, bring is so important. With feed 1300 pounds (at 15 per cent Yes, industry averages them back to your local GO test results, beef rations moisture). can be used, but sometimes office. Staff will assign each can be formulated and balIf you have one hundred they can be deceptive. For sample a test number, send anced to save you money by 1300 pound cows they are example, recent results them away to the lab and Stage of maturity at not over or under feeding going to need about 650 from Central Testing Lab- will interpret the results cutting your beef herd. bales to over winter. You oratories on alfalfa-grass upon their return. The fibre component of As a general guideline, can use the DMI guide of hay, which appeared to be For more information forages increases with ma- cattle will eat good quality 2.5 per cent of body weight good quality feed, came please contact your local turity, therefore reducing hay at the rate of 2.5 per for all classes of beef cattle back with extremely low MAFRI GO Office. intake and digestibility. Weathering Mould growth usually reduces consumption and FIGURE 1: Forage* Intake Guidelines (as per cent of body weight per day) decreases quality. Straw and Poor Medium Quality Excellent Quality Species Forage Forage Forage Grasses are usually con UP UP UP sumed in lesser amounts %SZ .BUVSF $PXT #VMMT -BDUBUJOH $PXT UP UP than legumes. Physical form (SPXJOH BOE 'JOJTIJOH $BUUMF UP UP Grinding increases forage consumption, particu- *Forage 90% dry matter basis; adapted from The Beef Cow-Calf Manual, Alberta Agriculture and Food, 2008 Agdex larly with low quality for- 420/10. ages. Grain feeding Grain Intake Guidelines (as per cent of body weight per day) This will usually depress Desired ADG (lb) Grain (% BW/day) forage intake, especially UP 0 when grain is fed before (SPXJOH $BUUMF 1.5 1.0 forage. Fermentation 2 1.5 Consumption of DM 'JOJTIJOH $BUUMF 3.0 UP from silage is usually less Roughage Type Recommended Grain Intake than if the same quality of (lb/day) feed were fed as hay. Why is this important? %SZ #FFG $PXT 4USBX UP In most herds, insufficient -BDUBUJOH #FFG $PXT 4USBX UP nutrient intake in early lac(PPE )BZ UP tation is one of the main 4USBX UP limitations to high produc- #VMMT tion and good reproduc(PPE )BZ UP tive performance. Inadequate DMI will limit peak Adapted from The Beef Cow-Calf Manual, Alberta Agriculture and Food, 2008 Agdex 420/10.


December 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

It is the middle of November, the snow is deep and we have passed the half way mark in the fall cattle run in Manitoba. This year the run was delayed for about two to three weeks for reasons unknown. The really large volume runs hit the first three weeks of November despite a heavy snowfall on Remembrance Day. This delay put Manitoba calves in direct competition with the season peak runs in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ontario, and to a lesser degree, Quebec remained the major buyers of Manitoba calves. The last of the yearlings attracted interest from both Alberta and the U.S. as the dollar dropped below par and the volatility in the grain markets continued to frustrate cattle feeders. Prices remained stronger than predicted with a few holes starting to show in the medium quality cattle. The regular local players in the feeding and grassing business came out of the woodwork looking for bargains when the volumes got big. This strategy looked good on paper but failed to materialize when they all converged on the market at the same time. When the big volumes of cattle come to sale in the West, the cattle feeders shop closer to home and ignore the Manitoba market. The arrival of the local cattle feeders and backgrounders in Manitoba on the market stopped the projected sharp decline in the feeder market. Transportation to Ontario and Quebec remains a major challenge for the cattle buyers, rates are at all time highs ranging from 10 to 12 cents per pound depending on destination compared to four to five cents going west. Freight coming from the east to the west has slowed down considerably resulting in less back haul trucks available to take calves east. One of the bright spots in the market was the increase in the cull cow market. The JBS managed plant in Brooks started to purchase domestic cows in Manitoba that pushed

the local price up five to eight cents per pound. Age verified cows remained strong with the majority going south at a premium of $50 to $110 per cow. The most remarkable thing in the marketplace right now is the optimism of the cattle feeders. The fundamentals do not support the current price being paid for calves. Breakevens are currently showing red ink on all classes based on the current futures market minus the basis and delivery costs. Forward production contracts have been hard to find this fall and those that are offering are using a wide basis, leaving a price that is not worth committing the cattle to. Cattle feeders are the eternal optimists and if everything lines up in the spring, those with inventory could hit a “home run.” One of the hot topics of discussion on buyers’ row deals with the idea that there is, or will be, a shortage of cattle. Experts have suggested that after two years of drought in the U.S., cattle numbers were at much lower levels than expected. With the cattle and beef markets driven by supply and demand, this should have indicated much higher prices than we are currently experiencing. The drought and high feed costs depressed the feeder cattle values, but not enough to drive them lower than last year. This year’s drought pushed cattle into the feed yards earlier than usual and at lower rates. Increased

imports from Mexico due to the drought there filled empty pens in the southern feeding sector. Originally, industry had predicted that the heifer replacement would be higher than the previous year as ranchers started to rebuild their herds. The continued drought delayed those plans with more heifers than expected placed in the finishing yards and not going to pasture for breeding. Imports of feeders from Canada declined due to strong feed prices and a strong Canadian dollar, leaving the Northern and Midwestern feedlots short of inventory. With higher feed costs and cattle placed on feed at a lower weight two things will happen: the cattle will hit choice grades sooner due to the days on feed and they will be marketed at a lower weight because of the high cost of gain. This will be very evident if the spread between choice and select is tight when the cattle hit market weight. This should move the current inventory into the food chain sooner than usual and result in lower beef production. USDA predictions are for a decline in beef production for the next two years with the 2014 projections at the lower production numbers since 1993. A preview of the cattle inventory report for January 2013 suggests that there could be one million less cows in the U.S. compared to January 2012. The October report of cattle on feed was approx. 5.5 per cent less than

“The most remarkable thing in the marketplace right now is the optimism of the cattle feeders.” a year ago. That would equal about 630,000 feeder cattle, which seems like a lot but represents oneday average kill in the USA. If Mother Nature cooperates this spring with adequate moisture to plant a good crop, corn, barley and soybean prices could drop, which could return the futures prices we saw last spring. This would encourage producers to

start the herd rebuilding process. This means more heifers retained for breeding and less cows going to slaughter. The supply and demand ratio kicks in and as long as we have reasonably priced feed grains; the upward potential of the cattle market is very exciting. If we get a moderate to good grain crop to harvest, those cow-calf producers that stay in the

game could be highly rewarded next fall. However, if we enter the spring seeding season with drought-like conditions and poor forecasts, corn will be back up over $8 and that could make the cattle market very volatile. Once again it looks like all sectors of the cattle industry on both sides of the border are gambling. Let’s hope for rain! Until next time, Rick.

CATTLEX LTD. t CATTLEX offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers all Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts. t CATTLEX buys ALL classes of cattle direct from producers. t CATTLEX is interested in purchasing large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls. For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: Andy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Jay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630

Clive Bond (204) 483-0229 Ken Drake (204) 724-0091

Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan

2013 Beef and Forage Week Seminars Register today to hear a wide variety of speakers provide information on the economic and human costs of a farm accident, extended grazing, forage renovation, cattle marketing, beef herd evaluation and much more. Seminar times are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Ste. Rose 447-2723 ATM-24 hour access Laurier 447-2412 www.pmcu.mb.ca

Monday, January 7 Tuesday, January 8 Wednesday, January 9 Thursday, January 10 Friday, January 11

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For more information and to register, contact the Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) GO Office listed above. This event is supported by the Manitoba Beef Producers and funded by Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.


14 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE

BRENDA SCHOEPP

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Supporting local agriculture.

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.” Arundhati Roy

Contact a branch near you. Arborg Ashern Eriksdale Fisher Branch

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Gimli Moosehorn Riverton Winnipeg Beach

204-642-6450 204-768-2437 204-378-5121 204-389-2550

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I could not help but feel intrusive as we pulled up to the little opening on the street to the New Delhi slum—one of many that house 300 million of the world’s poorest of poor. A tired man fed an unclothed child some dirty water from the cup of his hand, with the backdrop a burned out little bus that housed a large family. I expected to see much sadness as we were swallowed by the narrow dankness on our visit to this Indian community.

Children were everywhere. Some were very frightened to see us, and others were thrilled and curious. They lined the narrow alleys, filled the doorways and swung from the rooftops. Our destination was the school, a 12 foot square affair that served as a clean spot for classes that happened in rotation because of the swelling population. It also was the place for meetings and leadership decisions on slum health and education.

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In that space we met with women leaders of the community. They knew they could not escape where they lived, so they were determined to make it a better place to be. These ladies had a terrific governance system of leadership and took their responsibility seriously. They were so proud of the changes that they were part of which included bringing child mortality down to 17.5 per cent through education and the acceptance of vaccination, pre- and post-natal care and the use of contraception. The mentorship program they had developed served to strengthen the ties within the community. Each school class had assigned mentors and elected leaders. The children were responsible for each other. The women adopted and shared this structure with the children so they would have the skills to manage in the world and to gain in their perception of self. These were powerful women who held us in awe at the determination to ensure their children had opportunity outside of the slum. You may think that quite ordinary in a society but one has to remember that prior to this the women rarely left their homes (home size averaged six to eight foot square) and were subject to abuse by their husbands for “learning too much.” With bravado and determination they continue

12-11-27 8:03 PM

to increase their knowledge of business, even borrowing money to start shops or send children to school. The result was a strong community and healthier children who had an education. A few were in university, traveling up to five hours a day to attend class, and many had hopes of being lawyers or social workers. At no time did people ask for money or beseech our help. Rather, they were proud of who they were and what they had done. A tour several hours later of the entire area was more than heartbreaking. Open sewage, lack of drinking water, filth, flies, runny noses and stench would have broken the most hardened traveler. But I saw the scene with new eyes. I praised a woman who had a tiny shop for her fine selection and then the neatness of another’s home—which only contained a dirt floor and pots neatly arranged on the shelf. I admired the work of the seamstress and then joyfully shook every hand and touched every child. In some unspoken and quiet way, we understood each other. It was a quiet breath amid the chaos and a whisper of hope for a new tomorrow. Another world is possible. We only have to have faith, believe in ourselves and at the beginning and end of each day, count our blessings.


December 2012 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

HOST AND ATTEND YOUR HOLIDAY DINNER PARTY! ADRIANA BARROS, PHEc

2. Prepare dishes in advance. You will be so happy you did! Salad dressings, washing lettuce, cutting vegetables and plating appetizers can be done ahead of time. Bringing company into your home is personal and special, and spending time with your guests is the main reason they were invited. Choosing entrees which are halfway cooked or that reheat nicely, such as soups, stews, or lasagna. These types of dishes will allow you more time to spend socializing with guests. This also makes your guests feel more comfortable because they know their host is not stressed and is in control of the evening. 3. Set the mood. Take your time setting up your dining room, kitchen or entertaining room. Creating a holiday themed atmosphere does not require a new set of tableware or fancy additions. Simple table settings, menus and cocktails always make guests feel more at ease. Try: a. Holiday themed dinner music, remember to keep it relaxing and not too loud. b. Holiday themed cocktails when guests arrive e.g., eggnog, regional sparkling wine, colourful margaritas or beer. c. Themed cocktail or dinner napkins. d. Keep centrepieces simple, short and within the theme e.g., short

stemmed flowers, scentless candles, a bowl of holiday pine cones, holly wrapped around the stem of glasses or a short vase of limes. 4. Always say yes to your guests, especially if they offer to bring a salad or dessert. Never turn down help in the kitchen. This is often the main reason a host spends the whole evening flustered and not out socializing with guests. Delegate help when needed, get your family members on cocktail duty, greeting guests and putting away coats. 5. Be prepared for everything, and try not run out of anything guests may need or want. This means stocking up on enough ice to last the evening, having extra on hand if you are serving shaker martinis. Do not let drinks run dry throughout the party, especially non-alcoholic beverages. Always make more than enough food for second helpings and make guest feel comfortable filling their plates. 6. Prepare your home for company. Set out enough comfortable seating for all of your guests and always account for one or two extra visitors. 7. Be ready to entertain when guests arrive. Have the table set and cocktail table ready with ice, glasses, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic

PASTURE LAND RENTAL RATE SURVEY PRIZE WINNERS The Agricultural Crown Lands Stakeholders Committee would like to extend its appreciation to the many producers who participated in the โ Pasture Land Rental Rate Surveyโ in 2012. The results of which will form the basis for establishing the Crown land pasture rental rate for 2013-2015.

FROM THE SURVEYS RECEIVED, WE CONGRATULATE THE WINNERS OF THE FOLLOWING PRIZES: 100 Fence Posts - Alf Humphreys of Tolstoi, MB. 2 Rolls of Barbed Wire - Ernie Wilcox of Treherne, MB Sponsored by Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives & Manitoba Beef Producers.

beverages. Make sure you are personally prepared and dressed up at least one hour before guests arrive. A prepared host is a relaxed host! Preparing for a dinner party should be enjoyable. The trick is to be prepared by using recipes which are familiar and work every time. Keep the food simple and the atmosphere

relaxing and casual. Prepare in advance and spend as much time as possible with guests. This will make any evening with family and friends enjoyable and fun. Serving a large premium roast is an impressive meal which requires no fuss, especially when using a digital meat thermometer because that

way the host can be alerted when the roast is done. This monthโ s featured recipe is Classic Roast Beef with Rosemary Cream Sauce, courtesy of Canada Beef Inc. This is a perfect recipe for entertaining. Remember to always allow time for the roast to rest, this ensures a juicy roast every time. Happy Holidays! CANADA BEEF INC.

December can be the busiest time of the year, filled with festivities and celebrations. Hosting a dinner party may be on your agenda and there are ways to make it easy and fun for guests and you, the host. The ingredients for a perfect evening are as simple as great food and wonderful company. An enjoyable and relaxing evening can be a reality if the host is not overwhelmed and they are prepared ahead of time. If you are new at playing host to a fabulous dinner party that should not deter you from taking it on! In this column we will look at a series of tips on how to create a successful dinner party, whether you are a first timer or an experienced host. These tips will help with a party of any size. They focus on keeping the host mingling with guests throughout the evening. Tips to Make Your Gathering a Success 1. Only use trusted and tested recipes on the night of your dinner party. Using a new recipe can be a risky move and not being familiar with ingredients and the direction of a recipe can lead to mistakes when you are in a rush. When choosing recipes, remember to always check with guests for food allergies, intolerances or diet preferences.

CLASSIC ROAST BEEF WITH ROSEMARY CREAM SAUCE 3 lb (1.5 kg) Beef Strip Loin or Rib Premium Oven Roast 2 tbsp (30 mL) Olive oil

1 Head garlic or 2 onions cut in half 1 Rosemary Cream Sauce (recipe follows)

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2012

A MESSAGE FROM THE FOX FAMILY

Over the past year, we

ing amount of love have had an overwhelm

and support given to

our family.

tions and the communities, organiza , rs ou hb ig ne , ds en t in fri k all of our family, year. There is no doub is th us d te or pp su ve We would like to than at ha we didn’t even know th countless people that . rld wo is still good in this our minds that there

r! a e Y w e N y p p a H d n a s a m st Merry Chri ueeze a little tighter We hope that you all sq . this Christmas season , Porter and Major Angie, Devon, Charlee

nger

and hold on a little lo

iss you Jay.

Workshops will include a presentation on Verified Beef Production (VBP), Biosecurity, Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and Premise ID and will run from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday January 22: Swan River GO Centre, Swan River, MB

Wednesday, January 23: Watson Art Centre, Dauphin, MB

Thursday January 24: The Russell Inn, Russell, MB

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