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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

Federal Government Announces Tax Deferral Program Page 2

MBP AGM Kicks Off February 5 Page 3

U of M Continuing Important Research Page 6

Progress Being Made In TB Fight Page 15

National Beef Strategy Unveiled Page 19

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

JEANNETTE GRAVES

FEBRUARY 2015


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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

Government announces tax deferral program for waterlogged MB producers

Gerry Ritz

It’s far from a magic bullet to solve all their woes, but the federal government has announced measures that will help a number of waterlogged beef producers in the province. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced in late December that the government had authorized a tax deferral program for producers who faced extreme weather in 2014 and were forced to sell off some of their breeding stock. The deferral is available to producers throughout western Canada including those who reside in 27 Manitoba rural municipalities (Please

see accompanying list of eligible RMs). The tax deferral will allow eligible producers to defer the income tax on the sale of their breeding stock for one year, a move which should help them replenish their stock in the following year. According to the government media release, proceeds from deferred sales are then included as part of the producer’s income in the next tax year, when those proceeds may be at least partially offset by the cost of replacing their breeding animals. “Livestock producers in the West have been challenged with extreme weather conditions this year,” Ritz said in the release. “The tax relief offered by this program will provide producers with an additional tool to manage their forage shortfalls, allowing them to redirect money towards restocking next year’s breeding herd.” To defer income, producers must have sold at least 15 per cent of their

GRUNTHAL LIVESTOCK AUCTION MART

breeding stock. In that case, 30 per cent of the net sales can be deferred. If a producer reduced his breeding stock by more than 30 per cent, they can defer 90 per cent of the income from net sales. To take advantage of the program producers can request the deferral when filling out their 2014 tax returns. Ritz’s announcement was a relief to a number of producers who have been struggling to make ends meet after a tough summer in Western Canada. Chief among them are a number of Manitoba farmers who are short feed due to the flooding and excess moisture conditions they faced in 2014. Manitoba Beef Producers had been lobbying the federal government for a number of months as it was becoming apparent that the wet conditions throughout the summer could result in a feed shortage. Preisdent Heinz Reimer said MBP welcomed the announcement, noting that it will benefit a number of producers.

“Since it became clear that flooding and excess moisture conditions would lead to forage shortfalls for a number of producers, MBP has been lobbying the government to invoke the tax deferral provision,” said Reimer. “The shortfall forced producers to make some tough decisions that will have a lasting impact in the future. This announcement not only lessens the impact of those decisions but will also enable some producers to begin rebuilding their herd.” For more information on the deferral, please go to: www.agr.gc.ca/ eng/?id=1326403245181

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Rural Municipalities of Albert Rural Municipalities of Alonsa Rural Municipalities of Arthur Rural Municipalities of Brenda Rural Municipalities of Cameron Rural Municipalities of Dauphin Rural Municipalities of Edward Rural Municipalities of Ethelbert Rural Municipalities of Gilbert Plains Rural Municipalities of Glenwood Rural Municipalities of Grandview Rural Municipalities of Hillsburg Rural Municipalities of Lakeview Rural Municipalities of Lawrence Rural Municipalities of McCreary Rural Municipalities of Mossey River Rural Municipalities of Ochre River Rural Municipalities of Pipestone Rural Municipalities of Rossburn Rural Municipalities of Russell Rural Municipalities of Shell River Rural Municipalities of Shellmouth-Boulton Rural Municipalities of Sifton Rural Municipalities of Silver Creek Rural Municipalities of Ste. Rose Rural Municipalities of Whithead Rural Municipalities of Winchester Valley River 63A

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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, Cornwallis, 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, Shellmouth,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 - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

DIANNE RIDING

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB

CHERYL MCPHERSON

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

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

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

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

BEN FOX - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

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

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

STAN FOSTER

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Melinda German

Deb Walger Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

DESIGNED BY

Cody Chomiak

www.mbbeef.ca


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

36th AGM will place a ‘Focus on the Future’

Dan Ohler, Keynote Speaker

Honourable Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Trish Sahlstrom A&W Food Services of Canada

The future of the province’s beef industry will be in the spotlight when Manitoba Beef Producers gathers for its 36th Annual General Meeting in Brandon. Scheduled for Feb. 5-6 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, the theme of this year’s AGM is “Focus on the Future.” The two day event will include the President’s Banquet, a review of MBP’s business and operations, the review of the audited financial statement and reports from a number of national organizations. The look to the future will take place on a couple of fronts. On the morning of Feb. 5, two breakout sessions will run concurrently. Producers will be able to choose between the sessions Capitalizing on New Market Opportunities and Programs and Initiatives That Can Move My Operation Forward. The market opportunities sessions will include a representative from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada who will speak on new international trade deals and the technical requirements producers need to know to take advantage of the emerging markets. Calvin Vaags, the CEO of True North Foods in Carman, will speak about new opportunities for producers while Tod Wallace, who works in Farm Production Extension – Beef for MAFRD, will speak about changes to production methods to help producers access the new markets. The programs and initiatives session will also feature three speakers. From the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), Jason Dobbin, the Livestock Price Insurance Coordinator and Rheal Bernard, MASC’s Sales and Service Manager North, will speak about business risk management programs and how producers can benefit from

them. Kevin Craig, the Vice-President of Lending Operations for MASC will speak about what’s new in loan programming while Roy Arnott, a Farm Management Specialist for MAFRD, will talk to producers about land value planning. The business portion of the AGM will proceed on the afternoon of Feb. 5 and Agricultural Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn will be on hand to deliver the opening remarks. The afternoon will also include reports from MBP President Heinz Reimer, General Manager Melinda German, the approval of the financial statement and introduction of new directors. Provincial Bovine TB Coordinator Dr. Allan Preston will then provide an update on the TB eradication efforts in the Riding Mountain area. The remainder of the afternoon will see the debate of the various resolutions that were brought forward at the 14 MBP district meetings that were held throughout the province in October and November of 2014. Former MBP director Marlin Beever will serve as the parliamentarian for the debate. A complete list of the resolutions can be found in the December edition of Cattle Country. Capping off the day will be the annual President’s

Banquet. Among the highlights will be an address from Minister Kostyshyn, remarks from Reimer and the presentation of the Manitoba Environmental Stewardship Award. Delivering the keynote address will be Dan Ohler whose presentation will encourage producers to “Think Outside the Barn.” Day two of the AGM will focus on issues of importance to MBP members with a panel discussion entitled The Changing Face of Canada’s Beef Industry and the Opportunities It Presents. Headlining the panel are Manitoba producer Brett McRae, who is a member of the Cattleman’s Young Leader Program, Rob Meijer, President of Canada Beef Inc. and Trish Sahlstrom, the Vice-President of Purchasing and Distribution for A&W Canada. Closing out the AGM will be reports from a number of national organizations including the Beef Cattle Research Council, National Cattle Feeders Association, Canfax Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. All MBP members are encouraged to attend the AGM and help to shape the future of their organization. To register for the AGM or to get further information people may go to: http://www.mbbeef.ca/ annual-meeting/

We need your needs We need to know what you, our members, think about the services that Manitoba Beef Producers provides to you. By knowing your needs, we can pursue policies and programs aimed at making Manitoba’s beef industry more sustainable into the future. Manitoba Beef Producers has received funding from Growing Forward 2 to conduct a needs survey of Manitoba’s beef producers. We have hired consultants experienced in agriculture, Kelwin Management Consulting, to conduct surveys and interviews. The first round of surveying will start at Ag Days in Brandon, followed by a session at MBP’s annual meeting. The survey will be in the next edition of Cattle Country in March. Those who wish to do the survey on-line or by email, can contact the MBP office at 1-800-772-0458, and we will pass your contact information on to Kelwin. Since we need to consult as many people as possible, if we don’t reach you through any of the above ways, you can call the MBP office, and we will connect you with Kelwin. All information you provide will be kept confidential by the consultants. MBP will only see the final results of the survey, so you can feel free to speak your mind. Surveys will be destroyed after the results have been analysed. Keeping in touch with you is an important way to provide you service. The surveys will ask for your name and email address at the end; however, you are not required to supply it in order for your opinions to be heard through the survey. All names and addresses will be compiled separately from the survey to ensure confidentiality and your privacy.

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

Much work remains for MBP in 2015 MELINDA GERMAN

General Manager’s Column Like most years in the beef industry 2014 was a busy one with many unexpected issues arising. Weather-related issues, including a protracted winter, flooding and excess moisture conditions, made for a challenging year. Producers in many areas of Manitoba faced the unwelcome consequences that arose: pasture and forage shortfalls. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been working with governments and producers to address both the immediate and long- term issues. From the outset, MBP asked the federal and provincial governments to provide meaningful assistance to lessen the risk of additional herd contraction in Manitoba. We also asked the federal government to consider enacting the livestock tax deferral provision to provide support for producers forced to significantly downsize breeding animals to offset

the lack of winter feed supplies. In the past, programs like these were used to provide some assistance in times of emergency and devastating losses. Longer term, MBP has been working to ensure that governments address water management issues so we can move away from ad hoc compensation programs and get back to the business of planning for our production year and marketing a calf crop. In November the federal and provincial governments announced the Canada-Manitoba Forage Shortfall and Transportation Assistance Initiative under AgriRecovery. In December the federal government announced the livestock tax deferral for producers in designated areas to defer income tax on the sale of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish that stock the following year. We continue to engage governments as the

programs’ effectiveness is assessed. Manitoba and Canada’s beef industries are at a critical juncture. We have seen tremendous work by industry and governments to open up international markets. Many of these markets were lost to us when BSE arose in 2003. Of note is the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which once ratified will provide new duty free access for 64,950 tonnes of Canadian beef worth approximately $600 million annually. This European deal is for hormone free beef and will provide an additional marketing stream our beef producers. We also see many Asian markets opening up to Canadian beef. The CanadianKorea Free Trade Agreement came into force January 1, 2015. Over time we will see their tariff on fresh, frozen and offal products eliminated. As Asian markets open up to Canada and as populations in Asian countries grow, so too will the demand for our high quality beef. More markets mean more opportunities. Does this mean smooth

sailing from here on? No, some challenges remain. One of the significant barriers is Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). Implemented in 2008, this American policy has cost the Canadian cattle and hog industries a minimum of $1.1 billion dollars annually. The issue continues to play out through the World Trade Organization processes. It may seem like we are doing the same thing over and over again without any results but in reality we are one step closer to initiating retaliatory tariffs on certain US exports into Canada. This step will send a clear message that Canada will not continue to accept this trade barrier. After fighting this issue for several years we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and we applaud the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and governments for their ongoing attention to this important issue. MBP is both your provincial industry voice and is also represented nationally on various boards, including the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattle Feeders Association. Collectively, we’ve had a very

busy year working on issues like these and many others. I want to leave you with one last thought, one critical to our industry. For some time we have struggled with finding workers for farms, feedlots and packing plants. Many young and skilled workers have gone to work in the oil and gas industries. Now granted, the tide is turning somewhat with the current price of oil, but we have for a long time struggled with labour shortages. The significance of this was driven home to me at MBP’s fall district meetings. I ran into a former colleague who, after retiring from his career said he is now working harder than ever on his farm. When I asked happened he told me his hired man quit, having retired at the youthful age of 70. While I am pleased my friend’s hired hand has retired and will enjoy the fruits of all his years of hard work, I see the start of a crisis here. More and more we hear of producers, feedlots and packing plants struggling to find skilled help and not operating at full capacity. Thinking back to the ‘dark ages’ of BSE, despite the closed borders, we were

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still able to move animals, albeit slowly, through our value chain. Imagine that scenario now knowing these key players, the packing plants, are no longer running at full capacity. It paints a frightening picture if we do not find some potential solutions. This issue continues to be a priority for MBP. The beef industry had a win last summer when we successfully lobbied to have the feedlot sector included in the agriculture stream in the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program but we continue to lobby for packing plants to have improved access to needed workers. In this short space it is challenging to highlight all the activities MBP has been involved in this past year but I’ve touched on some of the main issues and opportunities. Check out our Annual Report in this edition of Cattle Country for more of our activities. Perhaps our paths will cross over the next year and I can fill you in on the exciting extension and education activities we have been involved in as well. All the best in 2015!


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS AGM SPONSORS EVENT FUNDING PROVIDED BY

DIAMOND LUNCH SPONSOR

PRESIDENT’S BANQUET SPONSORS

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BANQUET COCKTAIL SPONSOR

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COFFEE SPONSORS Enns Brothers Sterling Truck and Trailer Sales Ltd.

GOLD SPONSORS Alert Agri Distributors Inc./P. Quintaine & Sons Ltd. DNA Insurance EMF Nutrition Kane Veterinary Supplies & Allflex Canada MacDon Industries Ltd. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Manitoba Charolais Association Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation Manitoba Hereford Association Mazergroup Merck Animal Health

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

U of M researchers keep Manitoba at the forefront of national sustainability initiatives Public attention towards the impact of agriculture on the environment is growing. When it comes to environmental sustainability, the lens of public scrutiny has sharpened its focus on meat and the Canadian beef industry is responding. Industry leaders along the beef supply chain from the local, regional and national levels are coming together to participate in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). Established in 2014, this first-of-its-kind initiative in Canada cites science-based information, multi-stakeholder engagement, communication and collaboration as fundamental for success. One of the core undertakings of the CRSB is a sustainability assessment of the Canadian beef industry. This assessment will identify where the beef industry currently sits on the sustainability spectrum using Canada-specific scientific data and tools. Measurements of the current status and ongoing improvements will be based on a set of

sustainability indicators. In parallel, multiple sustainability-based research initiatives are underway in Canada, with many being supported through the Beef Canada Research Council (BCRC). Working with research partners across Canada, the University of Manitoba forage-beef production systems research team with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment is providing Manitoba-based information about sustainable beef in a number of areas.

What is the environmental footprint of Canadian beef?

Animal scientists Kim Ominski, Emma McGeough and Getahun Gizaw have teamed with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists Tim McAllister and Karen Beauchemin at Lethbridge, Alberta on a BCRC funded project to define the environmental footprint of Canadian beef production. Taking a holistic approach,

they will calculate how improvements in the efficiency of beef production in Canada over the past 30 years have impacted the environmental footprint of beef. Their calculations will account for cattle numbers and performance for reproducing cows, as well as replacement, backgrounding and feedlot cattle; resource requirements in terms of feed, water, land, nutrients and fossil fuels; waste outputs such as manure and greenhouse gas emissions. They are using Canadaspecific data from a variety of sources including Statistics Canada census and survey data, publications on Canadian cattle production systems, the National Beef Farm Practices survey, as well as scientific data from beef cattle research in Canada to assess changes in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon storage, water quality and biodiversity over this period. Results of the 2012 National Beef Farm Practices Survey, completed by over 1,000 beef producers across Canada, provides key data

February March

2015 Winter Sale Schedule

DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle! Monday, Feb 2

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, Feb 4

Presort Feeder Sale

10 AM

Monday, Feb 9

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, Feb 11

Presort Feeder Sale

10 AM

Monday, Feb 16

Closed – Louis Riel Day

Wednesday, Feb 18

Regular Feeder Sale

9 AM

Friday, Feb 20

Bred Cow Sale

11:30 AM

Sunday, Feb 22

Bonchuck Simmental Bull Sale

Monday, Feb 23

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, Feb 25

Presort Feeder Sale

10 AM

Monday, March 2

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, March 4

Regular Feeder Sale

9 AM

Friday, March 6

Bred Cow Sale & C/C Sale

11:30 AM

Monday, March 9

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, March 11

Presort Feeder Sale

10 AM

Sunday, March 15

Rebels of the West Simmental Sale

Monday, March 16

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, March 18

Regular Feeder Sale

9 AM

Thusday, March 19

Sheep Sale

NOON

Saturday, March 21

Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale

Monday, March 23

Butcher Sale

9 AM

Wednesday, March 25

Presort Feeder Sale

10 AM

Friday, March 27

Bred Cow Sale & C/C Sale

11:30 AM

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for the footprint assessment around management practices. Survey questions were designed to capture detailed information on feeding practices, herd management, grazing management, pasture and feed crop production management and manure management. The survey responses show clear differences in practices based on where in the country the farm operated and the type of cattle operation noted Ominski, a co-author of the survey. “The responses tell us how Manitoba producers differ from those in other regions in Canada and how practices have changed in the last ten years,” says Ominski.

Reducing negative impacts of having cattle on the land in Manitoba

Contributions to national greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient losses to the environment are the most common negative environmental impacts attributed to beef production in Canada. Recent projects at the University of Manitoba have generated scientifically-validated data that reflect current practices on Manitoba cattle farms. This data provides a more accurate picture of actual contributions from Manitoba’s beef herd and is being used to strengthen models used to predict greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient losses from cattle production systems in Canada. Data from a five-year, triprovince, federally-funded project led by soil scientist Brian Amiro will identify management strategies pertaining to growing feed,

raising cattle and managing manure aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and losses of valuable nutrients to both air and water. U of M collaborations with John Basarab at AAFCLacombe showed that selecting for more feed-efficient cattle can decrease feed intake and lower cost of production. Continuing research with Basarab and others in Alberta focuses on the potential for improving the efficiency of beef production while at the same time improving the environmental sustainability of the beef industry in Canada as these efficient animals are expected to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient excretion.

Capturing benefits of having cattle on the land in Manitoba

Raising cattle also provides ecosystem services such as carbon storage and biodiversity that benefit the environment. An earlier study by Ominski, Karin Wittenberg, Michael Undi and Suren Kulshreshtha from the University of Saskatchewan calculated the socio-economic value of Manitoba grasslands to be approximately $936 million annually when the additional benefits of carbon storage, nutrient cycling, water regulation, waste treatment, soil formation, erosion control, wildlife habitat and recreation are factored in. The collaborations between the University of Manitoba team and other Canadian experts, and their involvement with national initiatives means that the Manitoba context is present and accounted for in the scientific

Kristine Blair

information used to quantify and improve the sustainability of Canadian beef.

Student training in sustainability

Kristine Blair is learning about sustainability in the beef industry first hand. An MSc student studying sustainable cattle overwintering practices with Kim Ominski and Karin Wittenberg, she is also one of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL). Kristine’s CYL mentor is Jeffery Fitzpatrick-Stillwell, Manager of Sustainability for McDonalds Canada and chair of one of the CRSB working groups. Having committed to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef by 2016, McDonalds is working with the Canadian beef industry and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) to define sustainable beef. As a mentee, Kristine has been part of the discussions with CRSB and McDonalds. In January she and other young leaders from around the world came together to discuss the future of beef in Denver. Kristine was one of five CCA cattlemen young leaders selected to participate on behalf of CCA at this event.

Getting to know the U of M research team Emma McGeough, sustainable grasslands/ forages systems

As one of the participants in the inaugural Beef Cattle Research Council Researcher Mentorship Program, Emma has been paired with beef industry leader mentors Sandy Russell and Janice Bruynooghe from Saskatchewan. Both mentors are partners in Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting Inc., a consulting firm providing management and communication services, and market and policy analysis to the forage and cattle industries. “Through my mentors and attendance at important industry events in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec, I have met some of the key players in the Canadian cattle sector and garnered valuable information on industry structure, markets, influences and both challenges and opportunities at provincial and national levels,” said McGeough.

www.mbbeef.ca

Argenis RodasGonzalez, meat science

Joining the Department of Animal Science on July 1st, 2014, Argenis brings meat science and food safety expertise to the team. Prior to coming to Canada, he completed his PhD at Texas Tech University. He brings with him 16 years’ experience as an Associate Professor of Meat Science and Technology in Venezuela, and over two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Lacombe Research Centre, Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada. Argenis has completed international research projects for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, benchmarking Canadian beef (U.S. consumer perceptions toward Canadian beef: Country of Origin Labeling). Currently, he is working on projects related to packaging systems for meat in order to mitigate early browning.


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8

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

High prices have some Manitoba producers selling, others staying RON FRIESEN Don Guilford got his first purebred Hereford when he was 15. Now, nearly half a century later, he’s about to say goodbye to his last one. Guilford’s 300-cow herd went up for sale earlier this year. There’ll still be cattle on his ranch near Clearwater this summer but they won’t be Guilford’s – he plans to custom graze his pastures. He might keep a small hobby herd, although he’s not sure. Ironically, Guilford is not getting out of cattle because times are bad. He’s doing it because times are good. “I wish I was 25,” he says wistfully. “I think this is a great time to be in the cattle business.” But he’s not 25. He’s 64 and only now recovering from the financial fallout going back to that black day in May 2003 when a BSE cow found in Alberta caused the world’s borders to slam shut

on Canadian live cattle, nearly destroying the country’s beef industry. Today, cashing in on strong market prices (the highest in recent memory) will allow Guilford to pay off debts and retire with equity, something beef producers have sorely lacked over the last 12 years. Guilford admits to having mixed feelings about leaving the cattle business which has consumed his life for over 40 years. He says he doesn’t know if he’ll be cheering or crying when the last truck leaves his yard. Guilford would rather pass the farm on to his family. But the Guilfords’ three daughters are not interested after witnessing what their parents went through following BSE. “We were talking the other day about improvements we could make on the ranch and my daughter said, Dad, we’re not taking over the ranch,” says Guilford. He could hardly blame her.

Guilford is typical of a number of Manitoba’s cattle producers these days. They are taking advantage of high prices to get out with some equity while they can. Years of downsizing have brought North American beef cattle numbers to their lowest level in decades. The result: a shortage of beef and prices that producers could only have dreamed of a few years back, thanks to the law of supply and demand. “Producers are finally getting paid for all the hard work they do,” says Melinda German, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. “It’s not a 9 to 5 job, it’s not an easy job and they’re finally being compensated fairly.” Small wonder, then, that some producers decide to leave the industry on a high note after struggling for over a decade with financial stress resulting from a combination of BSE, U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), currency fluctuations and periodic flooding.

The figures tell the tale. As of July 1, 2014, according to Statistics Canada, the number of cattle in Manitoba totaled 1.22 million, down 2.8 per cent from the previous year. Manitoba’s drop in cattle numbers was the highest in Canada, well above the national decline of 1.4 per cent. The news isn’t all doom and gloom. Producers report a surprising amount of industry optimism, now that they are finally profitable again. Feed prices, which spiked during the record 2012 U.S. drought, are back down. Canada’s recently signed international trade agreements, including one with South Korea and an impending one with Europe, are expected to open new markets for Canadian beef at a time when overseas demand is growing. A lower Canadian dollar is positive for exports to the U.S., despite hurdles stemming from COOL. “I’m really excited about what’s going to happen,” says Lois McRae, who runs

Annual Bull Sale

Thursday, February 19, 2015 on the Ranch

55

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Also Selling Purebred & Commercial Females

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a purebred operation with her family south of Brandon. “I think it looks promising as long as we can keep our markets and everything goes well globally.” Martin Unrau, who ranches at MacGregor, believes strong prices will continue for a while yet, given a world shortage of beef. He feels the exodus from the industry has peaked and producers will soon start to rebuild their herds. “I think we’re going to see five, six years of really good high prices,” says Unrau, a former Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president. “If I was 35 years old today, I’d double my herd tomorrow.” That seems to be the prevailing mood across Canada as cattle producers finally emerge from the long shadow of BSE and other difficulties. Still, Manitoba’s beef industry is slower to recover than other provinces’ because of a unique set of challenges. “For the last decade, Manitoba has really struggled in terms of dealing with a lot of bad stuff,” says German. “For the last 10 years, it’s just been one thing after another.” Flooding, of course, has been a major problem. Overland spring and summer floods have plagued Manitoba producers for three out of the last five years. Some floods are one-off incidents, such as the one in the province’s southwest region last year when the McRae family got only about half their crop in and others couldn’t even manage that much. Other flooding is chronic, such as in the Lake Manitoba and Interlake regions where only a permanent drain into Lake Winnipeg will fix the problem. There have also been weather anomalies where the southeast region experienced drought while at the same time the Interlake was swimming in excess moisture. German says Manitoba needs long-term government strategies to deal with water management instead of just ad hoc programs to cover feed shortages. Last year, only flooded producers in the Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis received forage purchase assistance, even though Manitoba Beef Producers lobbied hard for a province-wide feed

shortfall program. German says Manitoba also needs to work with other governments, provincially and federally, for a collective solution to water management. Sources say Saskatchewan farmers over the last 10 years have increased their arable land by one million acres through drainage at the expense of their downstream neighbours to the east. This only adds to Manitoba’s reputation as a giant bathtub where water flowing in from all directions produces chronic flooding. “We have to make sure that Canada as a country has smart policies that don’t just benefit one group or one province but benefit everyone,” German says. BSE and COOL hit Manitoba particularly hard because of the lack of beef processing capacity here. Manitoba is predominantly a cow-calf province with a relatively small feeding sector. As a result, when trade problems arise, the options for producers to sell their calves are limited. Despite all these challenges, German is bullish on Manitoba’s beef industry outlook for 2015. “There’s a lot of demand globally. There’s a lot of opportunity to produce more good quality beef in Manitoba and Canada.” Even though the loss of experienced producers such as Guilford concerns some, Unrau feels the idea of young producers not getting into the business may be somewhat overstated. His own son Garrett, 28, has 200 cows and is looking to add another 100. Unrau says he knows lots of young guys in his region who own 50, 60 or 70 cows and are planning to buy more. The prospect of markets continuing strong for the next few years encourages producers who might otherwise sell out to stay in. But high prices cut both ways. Unrau says producers should exercise caution when buying at the top of the market. Normally, a good bred cow sells for 40 to 50 per cent more than a kill cow. Unrau notes that people who bought cows this past fall sometimes paid $3,000 or more per animal. The kill market for a cow is currently around $1,500 to $1,600. “I hope they didn’t buy too many,” says Unrau.


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Bringing awareness to need for healthy soil BRENDA SCHOEPP Straight from the Hip In Bruce Feiler’s book entitled Walking the Bible, he has a discussion with his travel partner Avner on the historical split among people because of farming. They were tightly squeezed into a nawamis or a tiny tomb that pastoralists used 6,000 years ago. These tombs were used by graziers as they made their way around the desert. Avner said “Those in agricultural areas used technology to change the world around them. They changed it by plowing, seeding, planting, domesticating animals. The strategy of the pastoralists was to adapt themselves to the environment. That is why all their tombs face east, for example, to get warm as early as possible in the morning.” The discussion based on the split of communities based on core beliefs is not too far off what we encounter today when we try to talk about soil and forage health vs conventional grain farming. During my entire career, there has been a philosophical divide between farmers and pastoralists (ranchers). Take for example the continued debate on grass vs. grain fed beef. Those in the grass camp understand that grass is a carbon sink which has recently been proven to be of more might than trees. The value of that sink (a carbon sink is when more carbon is captured or sequestered compared to what is released) on Canadian prairies has a value of $231.18 per acre. Using what is already there to produce food seems simply natural. There is a co–dependency on rain and heat and at the core is maintaining the original soil health, or improving it. Manure itself, nature’s fertilizer, adds $ 127.40 per acre on the average ranch. Handled appropriately it

is not only fertilizing soil but also attracting the right bugs and birds that are needed for the biodiversity on the land. Using technology to change the world around him has long been man’s mission. The desire to produce food of greater volume and variety has been served well by the use of science and technology. We cannot argue that our ability to feed the world is a truth because of constant invention. The result is a landscape that is changed and a soil profile that is challenged. No doubt, as we continue to stress the soil, man will find ways to fix the problem. To the pastoralist this is a terminal exercise. For beef, the massive production of feed grains because of innovation and technology means that animals are the way to “sell” the product. It will be hard to get a large scale grain farmer to think in terms of grass fed beef when he “needs” a livestock industry to value add to his grain. In North American, grain production and livestock feeding are intertwined. In addition, the land required to meet the current needs of the market today would be somewhat staggering if grazing was the only option. It would seem then that there is a lean in this story toward the grazier but as in all things, the responsibility lies throughout the production chain. Beef farmers too had forgotten the importance of soil and of its needs when we went to Cadillac cows. Man has become the foragers for the cows and in doing so has taken the cow, a self-driven low input converter of marginal land and trash and turned her into a high input resident of expensive space. The practise of housing and feeding in one spot has negative

effects on soil and can be dangerous to plant and human health. Although weather conditions do dictate some density in terms of housing and feeding, it hardly justifies the communal pen that so many farms now sport. And what of the rest of society? How have their expectations evolved when it comes to food animals? It is pretty clear that there is an expectation of sameness with every bite and that plays a stressful role in soil health. Identical chicken breasts, lamb chops, steaks and hams all come at a high cost. Healthy soil may not be the linear in production and that effects food quality and volume, making it an unattractive option. The

patience capital required to maintain good soil is too long an investment for some. Increased urbanization also gobbles up good soil and pollution keeps the lungs of soil working overtime. From compaction in the field to the over fertilization of a balcony planter - each member of the all of society have a strong role in soil health. Sitting on a hill in the Holy Land debating the history of pastoralists and farmers will not create solutions but 6,000 years later we are finally talking about soil from an international perspective. This year (2015) is designated International Year of Soils by the United Nations and it is our

“The desire to produce food of greater volume and variety has been served well by the use of science and technology.” chance to participate in bringing awareness about the importance of healthy soil and its relationship to plant, animal and human health. Perhaps one day we may get to the point made by author Dan Barber when he said that we don’t need to support the nation’s farmers, we need to support the soil that

supports the farmers and ranchers. In doing so, we create an equitable and everlasting solution. Brenda Schoepp is a farmer, international mentor and motivational speaker. She can be contacted through her website www.brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2015

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

An overview of the proposals in the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

Purchasing flood prone land affected by the operation of the Shellmouth Dam, building a parallel channel alongside the Portage Diversion and using large dams as a means of flood mitigation were some of the proposals on the table as a second round of open houses was held in December on the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study. The Manitoba government’s study examined more than 70 potential options to reduce flood risks along the Assiniboine, Souris, Qu’Appelle, Fairford and Dauphin rivers, as well as Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin, Lake Winnipegosis, Dauphin Lake and the Shoal Lakes. Additional studies will be required for other areas not included in these assessments. The following is an overview of some of the proposed options examined in the study. One strategy would involve linear diking of agricultural land affected by the operation of the Shellmouth Dam along the upper Assiniboine River. Dikes from Shellmouth to St. Lazare would run 180 kilometres,

or 570 kilometres if extended to Brandon. Pump stations would also be needed to pump runoff from agricultural fields. Depending on the total dike length and the level of flood protection provided (1:5 year protection or 1:50 year protection), diking and pump costs could range from a low of $25 million to a maximum of $300 million. The study looked at purchasing flood prone lands affected by operation of Shellmouth Dam. This was deemed to be the preferred option. It would involve 1,300 hectares (3,300 acres) of which 700 hectares (1,700 acres) is the agricultural component only. The cost would be $20 million. Using a combination of 21 small and six large dams as flood mitigation options on the Upper Assiniboine River and the Souris River was examined. Large dams analyzed included the Holland, Alexander, Victor, Zelena, High Souris and Nesbitt, with costs ranging from $90 million (Zelena Dam) to $525 million (Holland Dam). The study found that due to significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts the reservoir concepts should not be considered further. The strategic use of 21 small dams to reduce peak

flows on the Assiniboine and Souris rivers was analyzed but also ruled out due to relatively small flow reduction benefits. The total cost of the 21 dams was estimated at $480 million. The study did note there may be merit in reviewing the local benefits of some of these dams. Another area examined involved increasing the capacity of provincial dikes on the Lower Assiniboine which run from Portage la Prairie to Baie St. Paul. The study found the most feasible option is to upgrade the existing dikes in their current location with some local upgrades to the alignment to address riverbank instabilities. The cost would range from $140 million to provide capacity of 18,000 cfs, $245 million for capacity of 23,100 cfs and $350 million for capacity of 28,000 cfs. Also studied was how to increase flood protection downstream of the existing provincial Assiniboine dikes from approximately Baie St. Paul to Headingley. Suggestions included extending the dikes, individual flood proofing or purchase of vulnerable properties. The most feasible option was deemed to be flood proofing, costs of which could range from $3$24 million depending on flows on the river. Purchasing

the land would cost $37-121 depending on the increase in dike capacity. It was noted the flood proofing and purchase options did not address the potential impacts on agricultural land. Construction of a permanent Hoop and Holler Diversion Channel to divert 3,900 cfs from the Assiniboine to the La Salle River was considered, with an estimated cost of $80-310 million. This was deemed not feasible due to not being economical, facing opposition from local stakeholders, and increasing the risk of flooding on the Elm Creek Drain and La Salle River. Several options to increase the capacity of the Portage Diversion to 34,000 cfs were studied. The proposed methods included: widening of the existing diversion channel ($543 million); construction of a new parallel channel ($333 million); or, retrofitting the existing diversion ($314 million). All three options being examined would see the elimination of the existing failsafe by raising the low portion of the west dike near the outlet. Four flood mitigation options examined for Lake Winnipegosis included: a six kilometre diversion from Lake Winnipegosis to Cedar Lake ($100-250

million); a 60 kilometre diversion to Lake Winnipeg ($1.3 billion+); a control structure on the Waterhen River ($33 million); and, a storage reservoir on Swan Lake. The study found these options are not viable flood mitigation solutions due to comparative costs of other alternatives, as well as environmental issues. It was also noted a control structure on the Waterhen would increase water levels on Lake Winnipegosis. Options examined for Dauphin Lake involved the construction of auxiliary outlet channels, river channel improvements and storage in the watershed. All were deemed not to be cost effective. Instead, individual flood proofing and development controls were deemed preferable. The study also looked at using development controls to restrict future

development in Designated Flood Areas (DFAs). It suggested that the Lower Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba are areas where DFAs should be considered. The provincial government has already committed to draw down Lake Manitoba using a channel with a capacity of 7,500 cfs, but no timeframe has been announced. The preliminary estimated cost is $240 million. A review of the operating guidelines for the Red River Floodway, Portage Diversion and Fairford River Water Control Structure has been initiated by the provincial government. For complete details and illustrations, see: http://www.gov.mb.ca/ mit/floodinfo/floodproofing/ reports/pdf/round2_ar_lmb_ basins_flood_study_storyboards_new.pdf

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MBP provides feedback on latest flood mitigation options MBP has provided input into the options made public in December as part of the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study. For example, MBP is seeking clarification as to whether the benefit-cost analysis being undertaken on various proposed flood protection works takes into account the full economic losses incurred by Manitoba’s agricultural commodities each time there is a disaster. MBP believes this should include the longterm economic cost of the contraction experienced in Manitoba’s beef industry due to these types of repeated events over recent years. MBP noted the residual effects of the 2011 flood lasted long beyond the initial event, including producers having to purchase feed, rent pastures and restore damaged pasture, forage and crop lands. There was no multiyear programming to help producers with these costs. MBP raised questions about the proposed option to

purchase flood prone land affected by the operation of the Shellmouth Dam, including whether it would be a mandatory or a voluntary program. Clarification is needed as to who would be responsible for determining fair market value for these lands. If this proceeds, MBP is seeking an appeal mechanism if a producer is not satisfied with the purchase price being offered. Further, MBP has asked whether a producer whose lands have been bought out will have the option to use the land for grazing, cropping or forage production, and whether or not producers would be eligible for business risk management programs on these lands. MBP also wants to know the status of the Shellmouth Dam Compensation Regulation under The Water Resources Administration Act, specifically whether a buyout program would mean that this compensation mechanism will no longer be available.

MBP noted there is already a level of concern among producers affected by artificial flooding due to the operation of the dam about the efficacy of the Shellmouth Dam compensation program, especially the slow payment of compensation. Producers who are approached about possible buyouts need to be able to move forward from a position of confidence that they will receive fair value and that payments will flow swiftly.
 With respect to other proposed options, MBP reiterated its position there needs to be the swift construction of a second channel to draw down Lake Manitoba. MBP cautioned there is likely very little appetite for the construction of a parallel channel alongside the Portage Diversion. Beef producers will not want to see more water pumped into the lake at a faster pace if there are no assurances this water is exiting the lake at an equal pace. High water levels on Lake Manitoba or water that fails

to retreat from alongside the lake in a timely fashion is extremely detrimental to cattle, pasture, forage and crop production. Re: proposals to increase the capacity of the Assiniboine Dikes, MBP noted that while there may be value in this approach, the need for ongoing dike maintenance must be taken into account. As evidenced by recent flood events the dikes are only as useful as their ability to manage the volume of water intended. Had the Assiniboine Dikes been properly maintained in recent decades it would likely not have been necessary to direct such large volumes of water through Lake Manitoba, the effects of which continue to be felt by Manitoba’s beef producers. MBP has requested that future dike improvements be undertaken in full consultation with affected landowners to ensure minimal impacts possible. Re: individual flood proofing of vulnerable properties downstream of

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the provincial Assiniboine Dikes, MBP requested that the potential impacts to agricultural land be taken into account, such as the loss of production and the need to relocate fences, corrals and buildings. Clarity is sought around the type of financial assistance that will be available to producers to facilitate this process. With respect to the prospect of restricted future development in a Designated Flood Area (DFA), MBP wants clarification as to whether development controls will apply to livestock production or whether this will be strictly focused on the construction of new homes, cottages, other buildings and businesses and industries in DFAs. MBP is concerned development controls and the use of legislated DFAs may preclude the possibility of beef production in the aforementioned areas. These areas are well suited to beef production, allowing utilization in some cases of

poorer quality landed not well suited to other types of agriculture. MBP reiterated its position there needs to be collaborative long-term strategies to effectively manage and to maintain water control works in Manitoba, both new and existing ones, and the financial and technical resources to support this on an ongoing basis. It is MBP’s hope that a more effective water management plan throughout the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba basins will help reduce the likelihood of future flooding and the associated effects. MBP strongly suggests that the net effect of the proposed flood mitigation and protection initiatives be to provide Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin and the surrounding areas, as well as other hard hit regions of Manitoba with better protection from a flooding event such as that which occurred in 2011. This should be the primary goal.


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Producers reminded to take stock of their financial and future plans in the new year PETER MANNESS Financial planning is integral to your business in both good times and bad because, regardless of the size of your operation, farms continually face challenges. It can be difficult to think about, much less plan for the future when you are in the trenches, fighting to keep your cattle fed, cash flow in the black and the creditors at bay. With the cattle industry finally turning the corner after a decade of postBSE struggles, now is the time to start preparing for the future. The outlook over the last 18 months has swung significantly in cattle producers’ favour, thanks to strong beef demand and a declining cattle herd. The combination of the two has boosted profits and given all producers the opportunity to take a breath, look at their business and start to plan for what the future holds for them. There are three main areas you as a producer

should be considering as for the animals you raise, in the New Year unfolds. both good and bad ways.

Cost of Production

Cattle producers have been one of most adept groups at changing their practices to manage costs. During lean times that meant figuring out a cheaper way to do things. With profitability comes change and possible complacency – but now is not the time to become less aggressive in managing costs. For producers contemplating major changes to their operations, like expanding or adding backgrounding for example, it is essential to understand where your profits come from and the key targets to track to make sure you keep as much of it as possible. You also need to understand how the changes will modify the overall cost of production

Future

Now that things aren’t quite so tight, it is time to start thinking about what’s next again. If you see a major milestone like an expansion, transition or exit coming within the next five years or less on your farm, it’s time to start planning now. The decisions you make today will have a big impact on how those events will affect you in the future. Having the time gives you flexibility and flexibility gives you opportunity.

Tax

The significant increase in income for cattle producers means there is a greater risk you could get caught with a big tax bill. If good cattle prices have convinced you to sell your calves early, you

may actually end up with two years of cattle sales in one tax year and tax bill that might be as big as the price tag of your shiny new pickup. The impact to you will depend on whether your current business structure is still adequate for the profitability of your farm. The right strategy for you will depend on your future plans and goals, to ensure you pay the right amount of tax at the right time. The benefit of engaging in a formal tax planning process is you can talk through and create a road map for your farm’s future, one reflecting the implications of different decisions and the possible outcomes. The financial planning process also gives you more time to consider all of your options and avoid some foreseeable roadblocks. You may have seen the highest prices ever for cattle in 2014, but records are made to be broken. Time to get ready for 2015. Peter Manness is a farm management consultant with MNP in Brandon. For more information, contact Peter at peter.manness@mnp.ca or visit mnp.ca

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

Positive signs but challenges ahead in 2015 RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line As exciting for producers as the fall of 2014 was, the beginning of 2015 was full of anxiety. The futures market took a major slide over the Christmas holidays, and both producers and feeders were beginning to wonder if the record high prices were about to crumble. There had been little to no cash markets for the past two weeks, and producers were anxious for the auctions to start up so that some sort of “real price discovery” could be established. Grain prices were creeping up, and there were lots of stories about consumer

resistance to beef in the stores. Adding to the stress were the stories about the plunge in the oil prices and what effect that plunge would have on the economy. All of this had cattle producers and feeders looking over their shoulder and questioning their business strategies for 2015. The saving grace was that the exchange rate on the Canadian dollars was also dropping, offsetting some of the decline in the cattle markets. When the live cattle auctions finally opened in 2015, the futures had found a level, and although the Americans

entered the market with a cautious approach, cattle feeders in Alberta were on the markets looking for replacement inventory. Rumors that Canadian packers were pulling in January cattle early meant that there was pen space available, and it seemed that Canadian feeders were ignoring “the board” and prices were surprisingly strong. Heavy cattle over 750 pounds seemed to be staying in Canada, while everyone wanted lightweight feeders. Any of the price declines on the light cattle before the Christmas break were wiped out, and prices opened very aggressively. The biggest market driver for 2015 will be numbers! Once again, despite reports of heifer retention, lower slaughter cow numbers and

herd rebuilding, 2015 will still see a shortage of cattle. This fits with the North American trend, which is reported to be down 835,000 head in 2014 and 9.6 million head over the last five years. According to the latest USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report, tight margins and lower grain prices are encouraging cattle feeders to feed to heavier weights averaging 24 pounds per head in last half of 2014, helping offset lower numbers of cattle available for feeding and slaughter. Despite the increases in the corn market, there are still enough inventories in storage to temper any major price increases prior to seeding in the spring. The herd rebuilding in Canada will take longer than expected. Producers who are

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thinking of retaining heifers will be tempted by significant price incentives to sell heifers as feeder cattle rather than waiting for income from their calves for at least two years down the road. Deliveries of cull cows to the markets continue be higher than previous years, which has to mean the cowherds are not rebuilding. Another factor is that there are no new producers getting into the business, especially in Manitoba. Previous to 2014, there was not enough return for the financial investment and sweat equity required to run a cow calf operation to encourage younger farmers to keep cattle. Now the price of getting into the cow-calf business is far too high and the reward ratio on the debt load is too low to attract new investors to the cow calf sector.

If the dollar stays at current levels, Canadian feedlots are going to face an uphill struggle to compete with the American feedlots for feeder cattle. We are already experiencing record feeder cattle exports to the United States. The United States must maintain their industry infrastructure; it is vital to the US economy. Until they can rebuild their cattle numbers, they will continue to import from Canada and Mexico with no regard for the long-term effects on the Canadian cattle business. American feedlots closed the year with about 80 per cent capacity. Many of those feedlots work on “economy of scale;” modest profits per head and large annual production volumes. 80 per cent full doesn’t cut it for most of them! A record profit on the early 2014 inventory has made them more aggressive buyers than in the past few years. Packers have reduced kills, and some smaller processing companies have already closed. If Canadian feedlots cannot compete to fill their lots and turn a profit, they will close or scale back. If that happens, there may not be enough cattle to support the two packers in Western Canada, which is very problematic. If we were to lose any more packing capacity in western Canada, we would be at the mercy of the US, which would be devastating for the entire Canadian cattle industry. Already, both Cargill and JBS are killing cows in an effort to keep the chains moving and the plants competitive. One of the biggest challenges the beef industry will face in 2015 will be increased supplies of pork and chicken. Pork will become more competitively priced as the US industry rebounds from the effects of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea. Prices at the meat counter at a major Winnipeg retailer had USA pork loins at $5.99 per kilo compared to beef loins at $34.99 per kilo. USDA reports predict that pork prices will be 18 per cent below prices in 2014. Larger supplies of pork and poultry may limit beef price increases required to support higher feeder cattle prices. In the short term, the feeder cattle market should remain strong. We can expect large sales until the end of February and after that I predict that 1000-head sales will be considered big until next fall. Producers who run grass cattle are optimistic, and you can expect green grass-type cattle to remain strong. Short supplies of heavy cattle over 750 pounds will keep that market active for the first two quarters of 2015. Until next time Rick.


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Making hay with MASC Forage Insurance SUBMITTED BY MASC

FEBRUARY

Tame Hay and Native Hay programs declined by about 30,000 acres annually,” says Rheal Bernard, Manager, MASC Insurance Sales & Service (North). “Producer interest was low, and the most common concerns were that the premiums were too high, coverage was too low, and the coverage that was available didn’t suit the needs of many forage growers.” “The new suite of Forage Insurance programs were developed around these concerns,” explains Bernard. ‘Producers will see lower premiums, higher coverage, and programs that are flexible enough to meet the needs of most of Manitoba’s forage operations.” Now a full year into the program, MASC can begin to measure the success of the forage program changes. Almost 318,000 forage acres were insured under the new Forage

MARCH

2015 Winter Sale Schedule

In 2013, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) undertook a major overhaul to the way forage crops were insured in Manitoba. Tame Hay Insurance and Native Hay Insurance were replaced by a new suite of programs, aimed to deliver coverage that better fits the needs of Manitoba forage producers. MASC’s new Forage Insurance programs consist of Select Hay Insurance, which provides the maximum insurance protection for production shortfalls and quality losses due to designated perils, and Basic Hay Insurance, a lower cost alternative for producers who experience a production shortfall. The new Forage Insurance program also includes several options that recognize the unique situations that are specific to growing forages in Manitoba. The Enhanced Quality Option gives a producer a higher quality guarantee on Alfalfa grown for dairy herds or the cash hay market, while the Harvest Flood Option provides insurance for the inability to harvest Coarse Hay due to excess moisture. Producers enrolled in Forage Insurance may also receive several benefits, should conditions for growing become unfavourable. The Forage Restoration Benefit, carried forward from the previous program, provides a per-acre benefit for producers who lose established hay or forage seed crops due to excessive moisture before September 30, and the new Hay Disaster Benefit compensates producers for the increased costs of purchasing and transporting replacement hay when there is a severe provincial forage shortfall. Pasture Insurance, another program continued from the previous program, covers potential losses resulting from shortfalls in summer grazing capacity. “In the last few years, participation in the previous

Insurance in 2014, an increase of 100,000 more insured forage acres compared to 2013. Just over 1,500 producers enrolled in 2014 Forage Insurance, representing an increase of 352 insured producers who did not have forage insurance compared to 2013, including 70 first-time participants to AgriInsurance. Of those 318,000 insured forage acres, over 188,000 acres were insured under Select Hay Insurance, with the remaining 130,000 acres insured by Basic Hay Insurance. Most acres insured were alfalfa, alfalfa-grass mixtures and grasses. Over 25,000 acres of coarse hay were insured by the Harvest Flood Option. Available to both Select Hay and Basic Hay insured producers, the Harvest Flood Option was most popular in the Fisher Branch agency, where coarse hay that grows at the edges of marshes and other bodies of water is commonly harvested.

Over 37,000 acres were insured by the Pasture Insurance program. Over 5,500 acres of alfalfa were insured under the Enhanced Quality Option available to Select Hay insureds. The Hay Disaster Benefit, which would pay $40 per tonne of production shortfall, is triggered when there is a significant provincial hay yield loss (more than 20 per cent of

Tuesday, Feb 3 Thursday, Feb 5 Tuesday, Feb 10 Thursday, Feb 12 Tuesday, Feb 17 Thursday, Feb 19 Thursday, Feb 19 Tuesday, Feb 24 Thursday, Feb 26

Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Presort Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale

9 AM 9 AM 9 AM 9 AM 9:30 AM 9 AM 1 PM 9 AM 9 AM

Tuesday, March 3 Thursday, March 5 Friday, March 6 Tuesday, March 10 Thursday, March 12 Tuesday, March 17 Thursday, March 19 Tuesday, March 24 Thursday, March 26 Thursday, March 26 Tuesday, March 31

Regular Sale Regular Sale Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Presort Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale

9 AM 9 AM 1 PM 9 AM 9 AM 9 AM 9 AM 9:30 AM 9 AM 11 AM 9 AM

April - August will be Tuesday sales only starting at 9AM. Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Wednesday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

Heartland Livestock Services

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For more information about MASC Forage Insurance, contact your local MASC Insurance agent or visit www.masc.mb.ca.

HIGH QUALITY BULLS from Reputation Breeders

March 10 • MCTAVISH and Guests Charolais & Red Angus Bull Sale, at the farm, Moosomin, SK March 17 • GILLILAND BROS. Charolais Bull Sale, at the farm, Carievale, SK March 19 • DIAMOND W Charolais & Angus Bull Sale, Valley Livestock Sales, Minitonas, MB March 21 • PLEASANT DAWN Charolais Bull Sale, Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB March 24 • STEPPLER FARMS Charolais Bull Sale, at the farm, Miami, MB March 25 • HTA CHAROLAIS & Guests Bull Sale, at the Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB March 31 • PRAIRIE DISTINCTION Charolais Bull Sale, at the Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB April 2 • HUNTER CHAROLAIS Bull Sale, at the farm, Roblin, MB For more information contact:

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Insurance claim (without penalty) is September 30. The total indemnity paid to producers for 2014 forage production and quality losses will be tabulated once all claims are finalized.

Catalogues available online a month prior to sale at

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producers report less than 50 per cent of their probable yield), and the producer must also have a production shortfall claim under Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance. As of this writing, MASC has not tabulated all the Harvested Production Reports that will establish if the Hay Disaster Benefit will trigger. The deadline to file a Select Hay or Basic Hay

KEEP YOUR MIND

OPEN BUT NOT YOUR COWS CONTACT

BRETT MCRAE, CUSTOM A.I. 204.729.1018 • brett.mcrae@icloud.com Book your A.I. date soon before it’s too late!

www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

Answering some commonly asked questions about the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program MAUREEN COUSINS

feel comfortable with both the level of protection they are receiving and the cost of to an operation and can be premium. hard to manage. WLPIP is designed to reduce the fi- Q: In record high nancial risk to producers in markets why should I pay premium to Western Canada. Livestock producers are have this coverage? A: You have the value typically “price takers,” with prices varying greatly year- of the animal, cost of gain, to-year, due to many fac- marketing, trucking, vet tors influencing the market. bills, death loss and interHaving WLPIP available est costs that are all out of to help protect against the pocket costs. You have to “unknowns” of the market pay these input costs reand associated price vola- gardless. What if prices tility, can help a producer do drop? How will that afmanage the risks associated fect the financial stability of your farm? Paying for with these unknowns. WLPIP premium as a cost of doing business to protect Q: Why do WLPIP premiums fluctuate? an investment is a sound A: The producer should financial decision when check the premium and you analyze the risk. When coverage levels daily, as a producer purchases a there can be significant WLPIP policy, it protects changes daily and weekly. the producer’s investment Premiums are strongly in- on calves, feeders and fed fluenced by market volatil- calves and hogs in the form ity. Premiums can increase of an insurance policy. If a due to factors affecting the producer doesn’t receive market, but premiums can a payment from a WLPIP also be quite economical policy, it means the averwhen market volatility is age cash price per CWT is relatively low. There is a above the producer’s selectwide range of coverage that ed coverage. The cash price the premiums reflect. This has surpassed the future wide range of coverage al- price that was forecasted lows a producer to tailor when determining covertheir coverage to the risk age. This is not a bad thing, they want to insure and the because this program alpremium to the budget that lows you to pocket the inthey can afford. I believe if crease in the market price a producer takes the time while still being protected to examine the tables, there from a market downturn. should be a policy for every The program provides the producer in which they can peace of mind that your

SUBMITTED BY MASC The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) is a risk management tool, allowing producers to purchase price protection on finished cattle, feeders, calves and hogs, in the form of an insurance policy. Launched in Manitoba in April 2014, WLPIP gives producers protection against the volatility of the marketplace, by managing the risk of falling prices by providing a “floor” price on livestock. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), administers WLPIP in Manitoba. You might have seen Jason Dobbin, Livestock Price Insurance Coordinator for MASC, discussing Western Livestock Price Insurance at a recent local livestock sale or event. Always willing to discuss WLPIP, we asked Jason to answer the questions he’s asked most often.

Q: Why participate in the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program?

A: There are few truly effective risk management strategies available for Western Canadian livestock producers. Cattle and hog producers in Western Canada face volatile market prices. The volatile market prices, along with basis and the Canadian dollar, all influence the financial return

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Buyer Rep: John Lamport

Brandon, Manitoba

204-841-4136

View Catalogue online at:

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Guest Consignor

Manager Barb Airey

HBH Farms Inc. Oak River, MB

T: (204)566-2134 or (204)761-1851 email: rbairey@hotmail.com

Brookmore Angus

Sale managed by:

Jack & Barb Hart • Brookdale, MB R0K 0G0

Douglas J. Henderson & Associates

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T: (403) 782-3888 • C: (403) 350-8541 F: (403) 782-3849

investment and future income is protected.

Q: All producer premiums go into a general fund to pay indemnities. What happens if the payout for indemnities exceeds what is in this fund?

A: If the fund goes into a deficit position, the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba cover the program. Producers have no risk of policies not being paid because the fund is in a deficit position. Existing policies will be honoured even in the case of a border closure or a similar catastrophic market event.

Q: Does a producer need to provide documentation for the sale of livestock?

Q: Can a producer overlap policies for each production stage?

A: Absolutely. A producer can overlap a feeder Q: When do I have policy on a calf policy, and to sell my animals? have a fed policy overlap A. WLPIP does not rea feeder policy all on the quire you to sell your anisame weight. mals. The producer should match the policy lengths Q: Does the program with the sale of their catrecognize each tle in order to mitigate individual producer’s their risk but if conditions management change there is no commitpractices? ment to sell your livestock A: WLPIP policies do at a specific time. The pronot benefit poor producers, ducer is not paid on the nor does it penalize good sale of their livestock; the producers. The settlement producer is buying a policy of WLPIP policies is based to protect themselves with on the average price from a floor price at a specified electronic and auction mart time when they intend to sales data, not on the sale sell their livestock. of the livestock covered by your WLPIP policy. Nei- Q: WLPIP is ther the breed of animal or Internet-based, condition of animal influ- but I am not too ence the settlement of indi- comfortable with vidual policies. technology. Can I

A: Producers do not need to provide documentation of sale because the settlement of policies is not determined Q: If the market from individual producer’s drops significantly, sales. It is based on the aver- does WLPIP still age cash price obtained from work? electronic and auction mart A: Whether the market sales data. is hitting historical highs or lows, there is still the Q: Why are calf need to protect one’s eqpolicies not sold uity. WLPIP is a risk manyear round? agement tool meant to A: Historically, the vol- mitigate the risk throughume of calves sold outside out the whole market of the fall calf run has been cycle. When the market too low to provide accurate is dropping, WLPIP promarket data that is needed vides a producer with a to generate coverage and floor price, and if prices premium levels. Calf poli- increase over that period cies are offered from Feb 3, of time, a producer can 2015 to May 28, 2015. benefit by selling livestock

www.mbbeef.ca

as he or she sees fit. WLPIP doesn’t limit producers to the floor price if the market is going up.

still participate?

A: WLPIP policies can be bought and settled at home. It is a convenience aspect of the program. There is no need to travel to an office. Emailing of premium and coverage tables allows producers to have immediate access to them wherever they are, through the use of their smart phone, laptop or home computer. All information about WLPIP, from the contract to market data to previous coverage levels, is available to producers through the WLPIP website. If a producer is not comfortable with the technical aspect of the program, you can contact Jason Dobbin directly. For more information about Western Livestock Price Insurance, please contact your local MASC Insurance office, or visit the WLPIP website at www. wlpip.ca, or call toll-free 1-844-782-5747.


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Positive steps made in Bovine TB battle DR. ALLAN PRESTON From the Desk of the Bovine Tuberculosis Coordinator The 2014–15 Tuberculosis surveillance programs in Riding Mountain National Park and in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area are well under way. The hope remains quite high that this winter’s surveillance in elk, deer and domestic livestock will move us closer to achieving the over-arching goals of the program – eradication of the disease and a rebuilding of the wild cervid populations.

On the domestic livestock side of the equation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is progressing well with the testing of the 3,500 head in 37 herds outside of the Core Area. No testing is taking place this season in the Core area. The herds were selected based on their degree of risk for exposure to, and contracting of, TB. Results to date have been negative. For the wild elk herd, the focus this year is on

live animal testing only of mature cow elk residing in the Core Area. The estimate is that there are 150 elk in this population. The elk are being captured by netgunning from a helicopter, blood sampled, radio collared and released. Any animal that reacts on the blood tests will be recaptured and removed for further testing. The capture and testing is underway and will be completed by early February. Our prediction is that approximately 80 per cent of the cow elk will be captured this season, leaving the balance to be tested in 2015-16. In addition to the testing outlined, monitoring of hunter killed elk and deer

in the Game Hunting Areas 23 and 23A has been taking place throughout the fall and winter seasons. Results to date continue to be negative. We are winning this battle with TB. With negative results in the livestock testing and in the wild elk surveillance program, we may be able to cease herd testing outside of the Core Area after this year. Another run through the Core Area herds is slated for the 2015-16 season. Again, with negative results, that may well be the last goaround for Core Area testing. On the elk surveillance program, a second round of mature cow testing may be required in 2019-20 to

allow us to be convinced that the disease is indeed well under control. However, we cannot afford to let down our collective guard. To that end, Manitoba Beef Producers’ field staff are now working with RMEA producers to conduct on-farm risk assessments, and finalizing details of cattle identification and premise identification that will enable full use of slaughter TB surveillance information on cattle born in the RMEA. This slaughter data is critical to our reduced emphasis on live animal herd testing. The risk assessments assist producers in identifying potential risks of their cattle interacting with elk, and

in seeking the appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. We’ve come a very long way in this extended battle with TB, a battle that has caused more than its fair share of pain and expense to farmers, hunters, outdoorsmen, outfitters, First Nations communities, land owners and residents in the RMEA. With a continued, concerted effort by all players, we are indeed winning the battle. TB is disappearing and the elk and deer populations can now begin to slowly rebuild to sustainable levels. Until next time.

Saskatoon Gelbvieh Bull and Female Sale Saturday March 21, 2015 • Saskatoon Livestock Sales, Saskatoon Sk • www.gelbviehworld.com For a catalogue or video contact Darcy Hrebeniuk at 306 865 7859 or firriver@xplornet.com www.mbbeef.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

Trouble-shooting your sick calves The Vet Corner

Early disease detection is important at any time but especially so in the young calf. Failure to quickly notice a problem may be the difference between life and death and, at the very least, between weaning a quality calf or a poor doer. In the majority of cases, sick young calves have one of three problems – scours, pneumonia or navel ill. Newborn health issues typically include sepsis (widespread infection) due to poor or no colostrum intake, birth trauma (calving difficulty, stepped on post-calving) or congenital issues. After a month of age, the top health issues tend to be sequella to early sickness, trauma, pneumonia, coccidiosis or stomach ulcers. Own a thermometer and know how to read it! Digital models are easy to read though can fail if the battery is low. Just feeling ears or putting your finger in the calf ’s mouth is not accurate enough. Ears can feel cool even with a fever, especially if it is cold out

or the calf is dehydrated. Similarly, avoid taking temperatures immediately after a calf has manured. Air remaining in the rectum can falsely lower the thermometer reading. Knowing if a calf has a fever (>102F or 39.3C)or is hypothermic (<98F or 37C) can really help narrow the diagnosis and ensure that successful treatment is undertaken. Buy a box of gloves. Early scours start with dry backends and watery feces on rectal. Atresia coli calves have only mucous for feces due to a fatal congenital malformation of the large intestine. Meconial impaction (“first” feces very dry) also looks the same but these calves can be treated with carefully administered enemas and laxatives. Your gloves will also come in handy to help minimize disease transfer as you check multiple calves throughout the day. Calves with a fever have an infection until proven otherwise. Knowing the source of the infection is important so that you can

treat with the appropriate antibiotic and also look at a preventative program if you are getting lots of sick calves. Common reasons for a fever include pneumonia, meningitis and navel ill. Calves with pneumonia will breathe more shallow and rapid (though this may be very subtle) and may drool. They often appear gaunt, have droopy ears, a runny nose and occasional soft cough. If meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord) is present, the calf often appears depressed, stiff and reluctant to move its neck. In more advanced cases, calves become downers and hold their necks outstretched with the head tipped back. Navel ill develops in the first five days of life as the umbilical cord dries and closes. These infections can become very serious if the infection disseminates throughout the body. Healthy navels are small with the cord feeling like a thin pencil. Moist, swollen and painful navels are not normal and must be treated aggressively. Talk to your local veterinarian regarding the most effective

Homegrown conservation since 1986.

JEANNETTE GREAVES

DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

antibiotics to use in your area. Local navel infections can be lanced and drained when they ripen but broadspectrum antibiotics are needed early in the disease to minimize spread elsewhere. Antibiotics are often futile in managing chronic navel infections since thick scar tissue develops as the infection is “walled off.” If an abcess is not resolving or if infection spreads from the outside of the navel towards the liver or bladder, surgery will be necessary. If infection spreads to the joints, joint swelling, lameness and pain will result. Aggressive joint flushing is required to successfully

treat the infection. As this treatment is prohibitively expensive, symptom management with pain medication and anti-inflammatories to lessen the joint damage is often attempted. Often euthanasia becomes the most humane option. Prevention is much more effective – clean calving and mothering up areas with optimal colostrum and cow nutitional management. Be careful about using navel dips at birth. The solution is easily contaminated and the dipping may draw the cow’s attention to the navel and exacerbate excessive licking. Be prepared to answer a few questions when

calling your vet for advice on a sick calf. Become familiar with normal calf behaviour – getting up when approached, stretching, interest in the environment, active and nursing regularly. Observe the cow – Is she with her calf? Is her udder full? Evidence of mastitis? By describing the abnormal and checking the manure and temperature before you call, your vet should be able to help you start effective treatment and get on with your day. If the calf doesn’t “fit the picture” or you are having lots of problems, a visit may be warranted.

WETLAND RESTORATION

Opportunities for Landowners Program Highlights: Financial incentives for the landowner No minimum size requirements Term or permanent agreement options

Contact MHHC to discuss your wetland restoration options: Boissevain Brandon Minnedosa

204.305.0276 204.729.3501 204.867.6032

www.mhhc.mb.ca

www.mbbeef.ca

Reston Shoal Lake Winnipeg

204.821.4943 204.759.4220 204.784.4350


February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Government officially dissolves MCEC MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

The dissolution of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC), a Bill 71 update and investments in research are some of the topics being covered in this column.

MCEC dissolved

The MCEC has ceased to exist. The Manitoba government registered a regulation under The Farm Products Marketing Act on December 10, 2014 providing for the MCEC to be dissolved effective Dec. 31, 2014. The associated regulations are also repealed. Under the terms of the dissolution, the “commission” (MCEC) ceases to exist and board appointments are terminated. Further: • the rights and property of the commission are vested in the government; • the liabilities and obligations of the commission are assumed by the government; and • a legal proceeding or action commenced by or against the commission may be continued by or against the government as if it were the commission. The MCEC is expected to release one final report on its operations. MBP has and continues to seek transparency as to how producer check-off dollars were used by the MCEC.

Bill 71 update

There has been limited progress on Bill 71, The Animal Diseases Amendment Act. The legislation will provide for enhanced powers for the provincial government around managing animal diseases, including the authority to conduct animal health surveillance programs. Bill 71 went

before a legislative committee in September where stakeholders, including MBP, provided feedback on it. The bill returned to the Manitoba Legislature for Report Stage Amendments on Dec. 3. The provincial government introduced an amendment relating to biosecurity measures to be taken by inspectors before entering a place, area or vehicle. The amendment carried. The Opposition Progressive Conservatives have indicated they will introduce their own amendment to the bill when the Legislature resumes sitting sometime this spring, although no date for that has been set.

Water-related consultations

In late December MBP provided submissions on two water-related consultations undertaken by the Manitoba government: Manitoba’s Surface Water Management and Towards Sustainable Drainage — A Proposed New Regulatory Approach. Both consultations are part of an overarching environmental plan being pursued under the province’s TomorrowNow: Manitoba’s Green Plan. MBP also provided feedback on the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study following a second series of open houses on these proposals. For additional details on the study recommendations, see page 10. In all three submissions MBP strongly reiterated its position there needs to be collaborative long-term strategies to effectively manage and maintain water control works in Manitoba, both new and existing ones, and the financial and technical resources to support this on an ongoing basis.

Further, outflows and inflows must balance to reduce the likelihood of flooding and associated damages. MBP has also requested that local knowledge be taken into account when water management and drainage strategies are being considered by provincial and local governments. This will help maximize their effectiveness and help identify potential challenges early on. Additionally, MBP restated its position that Manitoba needs a wetland policy that includes an incentive strategy. MBP believes that utilizing a system of incentives rather than cost-inducing regulations will foster wetland conservation. MBP is committed to the future growth of Manitoba’s beef industry, but producers must be able to move forward from a position of confidence that repeated flooding and excess moisture conditions will not threaten the viability of their operations. Timely strategies and solutions are needed. If you are seeking information about flood forecasts in Manitoba, go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/ flooding/

Government investments in research

The federal and provincial governments are providing the University of Manitoba with more than $670,000 under Growing Forward 2 to purchase specialized equipment for agricultural research. The funding includes: • $220,000 for equipment to research soil particles and nutrients in water running off agricultural land; • $62,000 to purchase GPS collars, software and a portable cattle handling facility to monitor animal grazing activity, which

will be used to research the most economically and environmentally sustainable ways for producers to manage their pastures; and • more than $229,000 for equipment to measure yields and harvest forage crops in research plots located across Manitoba. The federal government announced $260,000 in funding to the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board for research aimed at helping control two diseases affecting swine and beef herds. This includes research on bovine genital campylobacteriosis (BCG) or “vibriosis.” It can reduce pregnancy rates among breeding cattle. Diagnostics, surveillance and trials involving live animals will be part of the research. The federal and Saskatchewan governments are providing up to $1.16 million to Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT) to help develop a new vaccine against chronic wasting disease (CWD). If successful the vaccine could be used to help prevent the spread of CWD in all cervid species which are part of the alternative livestock industry and hunting-game industries in Western Canada, e.g. elk, deer. CWD is found in Saskatchewan, Alberta and 22

American states.

Recycling consultations

The provincial government is consulting on ways to increase recycling and to reduce the amount of waste being generated in Manitoba. Agricultural plastics (grain bags, bale wrap, twine and netting) and veterinary products and sharps are identified in the consultation document as areas where management through the Extended Producer Responsibility model may be pursued. In this model, responsibility for managing waste is shifted to the product’s producers and consumers, i.e. “polluter pay.” This system is already used in Manitoba for products such as tires, used oil and farm chemical containers. By 2020, the province wants to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills in half. Proposed strategies include: increased use of composting; setting targets for recycling of consumer products; banning the disposal and burning of reusable and recyclable materials; and increasing diversion of construction, renovation and demolition waste. The deadline for feedback is March 20, 2015 and the consultation paper can

HAMCO CATTLE CO. 7 th

1

Annual

Angus Bull Sale

Saturday March 21, 2015

At the farm, South of Glenboro, MB 1:00 p.m.

Your source for Elite Angus Genetics!

17th Annual

Bull & Female Sale Saturday, April 4th - 1:00 p.m. Goodeve, Sask. - Approx. 90 miles west of Russell, MB

On the Farm

Bull & Heifer Video available March 10 online. Sale will be broadcast live at www.livestockplus.ca All Bulls Semen Tested & Carcass Data Available

DTZ 7B Sire KG Wisdom1419 BW 86lbs

Bulls can be delivered or picked up sale day ($75 credit)

WOS 32B Sire KG Wisdom1419 BW 88lbs

60 Black Angus Bulls • 40 Open Replacement Heifers

Crescent Creek Angus

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

Wes & Kim Olynyk & Family Box 192, Goodeve, SK S0A 1C0 Darren Bouchard (204) 526-7407 info@crescentcreekangus.com • www.crescentcreekangus.com

be seen at www.gov.mb.ca/ conservation/envprograms/ recycling/index.html.

Pesticide ban update

The provincial government’s Non-Essential Pesticide Use Regulation was registered Dec. 17. This is what will enact a ban on the cosmetic use of prescribed pesticides. At this time agriculture is exempt and there are exemptions re: public health reasons, control of noxious and invasive species. Otherwise all Manitobans will be restricted to a certain list of allowable pesticides to control weeds on their property. There are also rules for merchants selling prescribed pesticides, including recordkeeping and an obligation to ask why someone is purchasing the products to ensure it is being purchased for an allowable reason. For more details see: http://web2.gov.mb.ca/ laws/regs/current/_pdf-regs. php?reg=286/2014

CAMPBELL LIMOUSIN Homegrown Bull Sale Tuesday, April 7, 2015 1:30 p.m.

at the farm 3.5 miles North of Minto and 1.75 miles East (Lunch at Noon)

One of the most complete groups of yearling Limousin bulls in Manitoba.

BULLS SIRED BY: Selling 65 Red & 45 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 25 Red & 6 Black Angus 2 Year old Bulls 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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Albert, Glen & Larissa Hamilton (204) 827-2358 (204) 526-0705 cell larissa_hamilton@hotmail.com

Bill Campbell

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cam.limousin@xplornet.com


18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2015

Looking back at a busy 2014 delivered. We also moisture this past summer. communication, advoshortfall component and brought forward to But it brought some capac- cacy, research and educawe continue to lobby for government the need ity with price correction tion within the industry, support in other areas of MBP President for a recycling option helping producers pay off government, and consumthe province. for plastic twine, silage some debt and, as we look ers to improve and sustain • MBP lobbied for and Moovin’ Along wrap and other agricul- to the future, they will be our future. MBP is your is thankful for the antural practices. able to reinvest back into exclusive voice of the beef nouncement by Federal 2014 brought many dif- the cattle industry. industry in Manitoba. First off, Happy New the highlights and notable Agriculture Minister In 2015 MBP will I hope you all have a Year from the board of di- events of 2014 were: Gerry Ritz of a livestock ferent aspects to producrectors and staff of Manito- • The management of income tax deferral pro- ers and major challenges continue to represent great 2015 and “Keep Moba Beef Producers (MBP). PFRA community pasgram. This allows pro- such as the flood and excess beef producers through ovin’ along.” The MBP Annual Gentures was taken over ducers who were faced eral Meeting is being held by the Association of with forage shortfalls Feb. 5-6 at the Victoria Manitoba Community due to extreme weather Inn Hotel and ConvenPastures after the federal this past year to defer tion Centre in Brandon. government divested the tax on the sale of their Come meet with fellow pastures to ensure Manbreeding cattle. This enproducers as well as MBP itoba producers have acables producers who are directors and staff. You cess to them. forced to sell in 2014 to will be provided with in- • The Western Livestock defer their income and • offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers dustry updates and issues Price Insurance Prorestock in 2015. all Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts. of past and future. Also, gram enables producers • MBP attended the proI am sure you will enjoy to set a floor price on vincial government’s • buys ALL classes of cattle the President’s Banquet their cattle, giving them Growing Forward 2 direct from producers. with keynote speaker a backstop for mitigatconsultation meeting. Dan Ohler who will talk ing risk. MBP brought forward is interested in purchasing • about “Thinkin’ Outside • MBP lobbied the proa number of suggeslarge or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, the Barn.” Attendees will vincial and federal govtions, such as the need have a chance to meet our ernments to provide forfor better promotion Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls. sponsors and visit with age shortfall and freight of GF2 program eligithem at the tradeshow. assistance for producers bility requirements so For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: I would like to highaffected by heavy rains producers know what light a few events of the and floods in late June is required to particiAndy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Clive Bond (204) 483-0229 past year in this column and July this past year. pate and what is availJay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Ken Drake (204) 724-0091 Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630 and I also encourage you Although the governable. We also suggested to read my 2014 president’s ment announced help a third party review Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan report along with the comthrough AgriRecovery, to analyze how well mittee reports in this issue MBP identified shortGF2 programs are beof Cattle Country. Among comings with the forage ing administered and

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February 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

National Beef Strategy plots road map for future of Canadian industry As many drivers have discovered once or twice in their lives, it can be tough getting somewhere you’ve never been before without a road map. In a sense the same can be said for Canada’s beef industry. To help them reach unprecedented levels of success and prosperity, the country’s national and provincial beef sector organizations have come together to create the National Beef Strategy. Released Jan. 7, the strategy proposes a “united path forward” for the industry to meet the growing global demand for protein, which has given Canada an opportunity to increase the thirst for its beef products. It was noted in the accompanying media release that there are a number of challenges standing in the way of Canada’s ability to seize the opportunity. Chief among them are tight cattle supplies, reduced marketings and competition for arable land. One of the aims of the strategy is to bring the various partners together to meet those challenges and provide a framework for all involved to work together to best position the country’s beef industry for greater profitability,

growth and production of a “high quality beef product of choice in the world.” “The strategy was developed by producers for producers,” said Trevor Atchison, who co-chaired the National Beef Strategy Planning Group with Martin Unrau. Both men are former Manitoba Beef Producer presidents. “The strategy is about how the industry can work together so the organizations can take a larger share of the world marketplace for beef.” Unrau noted that when creating the strategy the working group looked at both the opportunities and challenges facing producers. “When we looked at those opportunities we understood that world demand is going to be high for that high quality protein we believe, especially in the developing nations,” Unrau said. “We also saw the market access that had been interrupted by the BSE situation in Canada coming back into play as more trade was opened up globally for Canadian products, especially Canadian beef. “It is very important for us to position ourselves to move the beef

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industry forward from the Canadian standpoint because of those reasons.” Unrau added the Canadian cattle industry is currently in a position where it needs to grow but the question many are looking at is how to accomplish that in what can be a very cyclical and sometimes risky industry. “The risks around the cattle cycles have sometimes taken people out of the industry and added more in,” Unrau said. “I think for us to really stabilize our industry we need to find a spot where we can take the most advantage of the opportunities. In our industry, when we look at the global markets, we know that we piece our animals out, one animal goes to many different countries and markets. “We have to grow to the point where we can service those markets and carry through with the processing and the harvesting of our animals in a very efficient way and be able to take advantage of those markets that we have and in order to do that we have to have the numbers that make it efficient for us to process and harvest those animals.” A critical part of the

strategy is the four pillars it is built on – beef demand, competitiveness, productivity and connectivity. On the beef demand front, the goal is to increase carcass cutout value by 15 per cent by 2020 while on the competitiveness side, the goal is to reduce cost disadvantages compared to main competitors by seven per cent by 2020. With respect to productivity, the goal is to increase production efficiency by 15 per cent by 2020. The connectivity target is for those involved to enhance synergies within industry and connect positively with consumers, the public,

government and partner industries. Asked why producers should buy into the strategic plan, Unrau said for the industry to thrive there is a need to present priorities, goals and funding needs to ensure that there is a bright future. “We can have long term goals and short term goals, but I think for our industry it is important that not only do we think about tomorrow, we also think about the future,” said Unrau. “When I say the future, I think about five years down the road, 10 years down the road … I think about how our industry will stabilize, how

we won’t have the extreme highs and lows. “What we’ve done with the strategy and the reason all producers will benefit is we’ve set those priorities, we’ve set those goals and we’ve set some of the funding needs that we would need to ensure that we take some of the instability out of our industry to ensure that it will thrive well into the future, not just the next two or three years but well into the future.” To learn more about the National Beef Strategy, people may go to www.beefstrategy.com to find the complete strategy document.

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Ten things to do this winter season ADRIANA BARROS, PHEC. Great Tastes of Manitoba

find interactive displays Family activities in the transporting you to the dead of winter can somenorthern landscape of times be difficult. Luckour province. ily our province is full of many great options avail- 2. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights can able close to home. Listed be an excursion approbelow are fun ideas to enpriate for students on tertain families this Louis reading week or as a Riel day or ways of makstart to an intellectual ing Valentine’s Day special date night. Submerse this year. yourself in 7 levels and 1. Journey to Churchill ex11 galleries of exhibits hibit at the Assiniboine exploring the journey of Park Zoo, is a great eduhuman rights past, prescational excursion for ent and future. both big and small. The Relive Canada’s hisnatural winter habitat 3. tory of fur trade at the of many animals native Festival du Voyageur, to Manitoba is a part Western Canada’s largof the new exhibit that est winter festival. The is one of a kind in the history of Métis and world. There you will

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The unique diversity of the population living in Winnipeg has blessed our city with eclectic eateries. Trendy restaurants are popping up just about everywhere excelling in fine dining with a casual atmosphere, choosing a spot for Valentine’s day should be guaranteed delicious. This February remember to enjoy those closest to your heart. Hopefully the list above will be encouraging and invigorate you to step outside this season and get moving in our city full of great activities available year round. Below is a wonderful Herbed Beef tenderloin with Balsamic Glazed Recipe. The meal is perfect for any special occasion or for the special someone in your life. Thanks for reading.

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

MARCH 2015

Sustainability focus of new initiative Ron Kostyshyn couldn’t help feeling a little nostalgic while discussing the future of the beef industry in Manitoba. “I can go back to the days when my dad was farming and when my grandfather was farming,” the provincial agriculture, food and rural development minister said, addressing attendees of Manitoba Beef Producers’ 36th annual general meeting on Feb. 5. “Farming was a lifestyle. But today it’s business. And it’s big business.” And it was with that in mind that Kostyshyn announced $3.1 million in federal and provincial government funding to support research and education on sustainable beef production in Manitoba. To be led by Manitoba

CHAD SAXON

BRAD BROWN

The parties involved in the recently announced sustainable beef production initiative pose for a group picture. From left to right: Jim Lintott, chairman of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, Larry Maguire, MP for Brandon-Souris, MBP President Heinz Reimer, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn, Ramona Blyth, MBP director and project chairwoman and Ken Gross, Ducks Unlimited.

Beef Producers (MBP), in cooperation with the provincial and federal governments, Ducks Unlimited and the Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association, the project will be developed over three years on two farms near Brandon.

“Manitoba’s beef producers are committed to managing the health and sustainability of their animals and the land,” Kostyshyn said in a news release. “Working together with a focus on farm-level research will create valuable information for producers

and result in the greatest benefits for the long-term future of the beef sector in Manitoba.” Key components of the partnership will include the launch of a research program focused on beef and grassland management, re-establishment of

demonstration farms and an educational centre that will share knowledge with farmers and other stakeholders, and the creation of an industry-led committee that will coordinate research and extension work. While the demonstration farms are to be aimed

at sharing knowledge about pasture management, feed efficiencies and herd health, they will strive to have a broader appeal as well. “We’re not just going to limit our options to beef and grass,” said Ramona Continued on page 2

Strong attendance for 36th AGM CHAD SAXON

BRAD BROWN

One of the largest crowds in years was in Brandon for the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting.

world markets for beef and the business side of, well, business. When the annual general meeting itself got underway after lunch, MBP reported impressive financial results for 2014, with an actual deficit for the year of barely $33,000 compared to a projected deficit of over $116,000 and a seven per cent

increase in revenue when compared with 2013. The AGM concluded with the ratification and introduction of the MBP board of directors for 2015: Gord Adams (District 1), Dave Koslowsky (District 2), Peter Penner (District 3), Heinz Reimer (District 4), Ramona Blyth (District 5), Larry Wegner (District 6), Larry

Gerelus (District 7), Tom Teichroeb (District 8), Dianne Riding (District 9), Theresa Zuk (District 10), Caron Clarke (District 11), Bill Murray (District 12), Ben Fox (District 13) and Stan Foster (District 14). Twelve of the 14 positions will remain unchanged from 2014, with Adams replacing Ted

Artz in District 1 and Penner succeeding Cheryl McPherson in District 3. At the evening’s banquet, MBP president Heinz Reimer spoke glowingly of McPherson’s contributions to the organization, while Theresa Zuk fondly recalled Artz as a tireless advocate for District 1 and, with his Continued on page 3

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

Let the good times roll! The positive vibes the Canadian cattle industry experienced in 2014 continued to be felt in full force when producers from across the province converged on Brandon Feb. 5-6 for the Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) 36th annual general meeting. Highlighted by the announcement from Manitoba agriculture, food and rural development minister Ron Kostyshyn of a $3.1 million research farm and educational facility, the two-day conference also brought producers, industry experts and government officials together to share ideas and information on how best to collectively advance the beef industry. The gathering opened with breakout sessions on the plethora of emerging


2

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

Continued from page 1 know that our industry has shrunk over the years and Blyth, chairperson of the we need to grow it back. MBP’ farm research com- The demand for beef is inmittee. “One of the (ideas) creasing not just across our that was thrown out there province but across our was a forest farm so you country and around the can come out and pick an world ... and we’re looking apple off the tree or come at new ways to how we can pick some Saskatoons off better meet that (demand).” the bushes. We’re going to Larry Maguire, Memthink outside the box there ber of Parliament for Branis a reason for anybody and don-Souris, said new trade everybody to come out and agreements with places like have a look.” South Korea and the EuroIn addition to taking pean Union are making the lead role in delivering projects like this an ever-inthe project, MBP will con- creasing necessity. The latter tribute nearly $100,000 deal alone, for example, is per year in funding and estimated to be worth $600 in-kind support. million annually to Can“This is something adian beef producers. we’ve working on for quite “The big key here is that a few years, so we’re ex- we’ve done the hard work tremely pleased with the of making sure we’ve got provincial and federal gov- access to some of these ernments’ investment into places in the world ... so the future of the beef and we need to make sure that foraging industry in Mani- our research is in place so toba,” said MBP president that we’re competitive and Heinz Reimer. “This comes that we can access those at a critical time in our in- markets with the kind and dustry, as we’re looking to quality of product that they grow our industry. We all want,” said Maguire.

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DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

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

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

DIANNE RIDING

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB

PETER PENNER

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

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

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

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DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

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

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Melinda German

Deb Walger Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

DESIGNED BY

Cody Chomiak

www.mbbeef.ca


3 CHAD SAXON

CHAD SAXON

March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

The Let’s Talk Tech Table proved to be very popular at the tradeshow.

Continued from page 1 disease prevention, with wildlife surveillance to end seemingly endless supply of by 2022-23 and true eradione liners, unafraid to tell it cation still a possibility for like it was. 2023-24. Following the afterThe business portion of noon’s ratification of the Day 1 concluded with sevboard members was an eral dozen new resolutions encouraging update from being debated. Dr. Allan Preston, who was A panel discussion to tasked in 2012 with eradi- open Day 2 brought togethcating bovine tuberculosis er presentations from Brett in livestock and wildlife in McRae of the Cattlemen’s and around Riding Moun- Young Leaders program, tain National Park. James Bradbury of Canada Preston reported no Beef and Trish Sahlstrom of positive TB tests in live- A&W Canada, followed by stock since 2008 or in a brief question and answer whitetail deer since 2009. period with the presenters. Though there was bovine And the conference endTB found in area elk in ed much the way it started 2014, Preston says sig- – amid much optimism, nificant progress has been through the concluding made thanks to multi-level presentations from a series cooperation and financial of national organizations. support – $2.35 million in Dr. Reynold Bergen of 2014-15 alone – from gov- the Beef Cattle Research ernment and industry or- Council advocated for the ganizations. value of research and the Looking to 2015-16, demonstrated need for Preston said the budget will more resources to conduct be redirected toward re- it with. Some of the BCRC’s search, risk reduction and recent initiatives included

Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley were announced as the winners of The Environmental Sustainability Award (TESA) at the Feb. 5 President’s Banquet. From left to right: MBP Director Caron Clarke, Kristine Blair, Graham Tapley and Tere Stykalo of award sponsor MNP. Blair and Tapley will now move on to the national TESA competition.

the development of a national beef strategy, a new website and a mobile app which Bergen hopes will help producers get more from their cattle. Casey Vander Ploeg of the National Cattle Feeders Association said his organization will continue working to implement a single care standard for feedlots that will apply to all animals, develop an emergency preparedness plan (currently being piloted in Alberta), modernize beef grading, and lobby for regulatory reform, among other initiatives. Brian Perillat from Canfax brought a more statistical look at the state of the

industry, noting that beef production has remained relatively steady across North America over the past 40 years despite a sizeable drop in overall herd numbers. And MBP Director Ramona Blyth, who also sits on the Canadian Cattleman’s Association board, reaffirmed that organization’s support for the fight against Country of Origin Labeling laws in the United States, improved access to emerging markets in places like Europe and Japan, the new National Beef Strategy, and increased BSE surveillance across Saskatchewan and Manitoba with the goal of moving

Canada to the negligible risk status in 2015-16. No question, there are still challenges facing beef producers in Manitoba and beyond: Labour shortages across the industry, the ongoing fight against COOL, a number of recent processing plant closures, and increased competition from other

meat industries – most notably pork, which is expected to out produce beef in 2015 for the first time since 1952. But, for two days in Brandon at least, you wouldn’t have had to work too hard to reach the consensus that, with a little luck, better days are most definitely ahead.

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CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

4

Looking into the science of hormones MELINDA GERMAN

General Manager’s Column Whether you chose to use implants in your production model or not I think it is important for us all to understand the science behind hormones and the beef industry. Hormones are naturally occurring substances in all living things, including animals, humans, and plants. When I look up ‘growth

hormone’ in my medical dictionary I find the following definition: “a substance that stimulates growth ... that directly influences protein, carbohydrates, and lipid (fat) metabolism and controls rate of skeletal and visceral (any large internal organ) growth.” Hormonal growth implants can be used to

promote this growth, especially in animals that are deficient in natural hormones, such as castrated bull calves. The implants, which are placed in an area not used in food production like under the skin in the ear allow the animal to use feed nutrients better. So what does this mean? It translates into improved weight gains and a more efficient use of feed and water. This has a tremendous impact on the amount of resources used and the pounds of beef produced. Canfax statistics indicate that over a

Table 1

Nanograms of estrogen

Quantity of Food

Source

75 g

Beef non-implanted animal 1.1

75 g

Beef implanted animal

1.9

355 ml

Beer

15

75 g

Raw cabbage

2025

Amount of estrogen circulating in the human body

Nanograms of estrogen Adult men

136,000

Adult women

480,000

Source: Adapted from Alberta Beef Producers http://www.albertabeef.org/page/worried-about

In the end the choice to use specific products or not in your operation should be based on your individual marketing goals. period of 30 years, Canada has slaughtered 20 per cent fewer cattle but produced 11 per cent more beef. These significant improvements can be attributed to improvements or changes in practices such as animal genetics, feeding management and the use of hormones. So, more beef cattle fed for a shorter period of time means less feed and water used, reduced environmental impact and more food produced for people. As well, there is a welfare component, as one of the main reasons male bull calves are castrated is to reduce aggressive behaviour and to prevent fighting and possible injury to other animals. But what about human health? All drugs and additives used in Canada’s

livestock industry are approved for use by the Veterinary Drugs Directorate under Health Canada and have been reviewed for human and animal safety, and, random samples are taken from carcasses and tested for residues. Implant safety has also been reviewed by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and they have cited no concerns regarding the use and level of hormones in beef that would pose a risk to human health. As noted earlier hormones occur naturally and are present in plants and animals, so there is no product that can claim to be hormone free. To compare hormone levels in common foods and in our own bodies refer to the table 1. I have previously written about the importance of new markets opening up to Canadian producers, including those in Europe and Asia. All new markets provide opportunities for Manitoba producers and

producers across Canada. Some Canadian producers may choose to pursue Europe as a marketing alternative, which means no added hormones. There is demand for this product and with demand there will be supply from somewhere. In the end the choice to use specific products or not in your operation should be based on your individual marketing goals. There are many opportunities out there for individual producers to take advantage of and I encourage all producers to understand the science behind this and other issues. Your voice matters, so whether or not you choose one form of marketing over another you can still speak for your industry using the facts. For more information on the research and science around hormones and beef production I encourage you to visit the Beef Cattle Research Council website at www.beefresearch.ca or http://www.beefresearch. ca/blog/growth-promotants/

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March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

New markets the focus of breakout session

Calvin Vaags

BRAD BROWN Beef producers in Canada are about to see the world like never before. That was the message from all corners on the opening morning of the Manitoba Beef Producers’ 36th annual general meeting, with previously unheard of access to new markets and new access to old markets popping up seemingly at will. The big one, to many, could be the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, which is expected to be ratified later this year. The European Union is the world’s largest importer of agricultural products and David MacDonald, with Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, suggested CETA could be more significant than the North American Free Trade Agreement, as Canadian markets will gain better

access to a population of over 500 million people with a combined GDP of $18 trillion. Specific to the Canadian beef industry, CETA will increase Canada’s duty-free export quotas to Europe by 65,000 tons, with an estimated economic benefit nationally upwards of $500 million. It will all come at a price though, as Canadian beef exports to Europe will be subject to EU regulations around how the beef is raised – hormone-free and 100 per cent in Canada, for example – slaughtered and cleaned. This, it was pointed out elsewhere during the AGM, could add 20 per cent or more to the cost of production for each animal a producer wishes to sell to the European market. All of which is to say simply that we can’t forget about other markets too, according to Calvin Vaags of True North Foods. Vaags has been working for several years to

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re-establish a federally inspected processing plant near Carman and believes the real potential for the average producer in Manitoba is across the Pacific Ocean rather than the Atlantic. While the recent ratification of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will see South Korean tariffs of 40 per cent or higher on imported Canadian beef eliminated by 2030, Vaags said cut China is ready for Canadian beef – and lots of it – right now. China, the world’s largest country with over 1.3 billion people, is seeing per-capita beef consumption rising dramatically while domestic cattle herds continue to shrink. And they’re not just looking for any old beef either, according to Vaags. While the focus in North America is on lean, lean, lean, the Chinese have grown an appetite for fattier cuts of beef, which has allowed Canadian exporters to establish a premium market for what has traditionally been viewed as a lower-value product. Regardless of where you hope to sell your beef, Tod

Wallace with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development urged producers to remember that the game has changed. It’s no longer good enough, he said, for producers to simply expect to find a buyer for whatever they are producing. Instead, today the onus is on the producer to raise a product for which there is a demand. And, for producers who want to make the most of these new markets, that is going to require a more advanced understanding of their own costs of production – particularly as relates to markets that are demanding hormone-free and organic beef. Is it worth it? It’s a question without a clear answer. What may be worthwhile to one producer may not be to the next. Like MacDonald before him, Wallace urged producers to proceed with an equal mix of caution and optimism. “Do your homework,” said Wallace.

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CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

Thank you to all who attended AGM HEINZ REIMER

MBP President Moovin’ Along Thank you to all who attended the MBP Annual General Meeting Feb. 5-6 in Brandon where our theme was Focus on The Future. There was lot of discussion on new market opportunities and initiatives that can move our industry forward. If you are out talking with any of our sponsors and tradeshow participants, say a big thank you. Their support throughout the year is much appreciated. We were also pleased by the announcement that the provincial and federal governments will provide $3.1 million to support applied research and develop information and resources focused on

sustainable beef production. MBP will play a lead role in the project and we are excited about what the future holds. We would like to thank both governments as well as all of the partners involved in this initiative which has been years in the making. As this time I would like to welcome two new directors to our board. Gord Adams is the new director in District 1 while Peter Penner is now the director for District 3. Thank you Ted Artz and Cheryl McPherson for your past terms and friendship (missed but not forgotten). While March is here calving is going on for some and others will

start soon. It is also time to look at purchasing your forage and crop insurance for the coming crop year. As finances get tighter for governments it is getting more important for producers to protect themselves. Just recently the federal government announced changes to Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), which is the province’s threshold for eligibility for federal disaster assistance. This means the province will be more responsible for more of the costs of disasters before the federal government will help. Under the new formula the federal government pays 90 per cent of the costs but that won’t kick in until Manitoba’s costs reach $20 million. The previous amount was $6.5 million so you can see how the change will cost our province a lot

more if there is another flood disaster. I strongly urge all producers to look into the combination of livestock price insurance and forage and crop insurance. These are bankable risk management tools in case of another disaster. MBP directors and staff had a busy 2014 and looking ahead to 2015 there are many issues that will keep us busy. Some examples: • Continued work on the water management and flood files; • Beef and forage research strategy; • Lobbying government on effective programs for predator control and many, many more. I would like to congratulate Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley of Langruth on being named The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) winners. They have made

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l a u n n A h t 5 1

an incredible commitWe are just waiting for ment to the environ- spring to ‘Keep Moovin’ ment and sustainability, Along.’ not only in their farming practices, but in many areas of their lives. Kristine and Graham will represent Manitoba at the national level this August at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association semi-annual meeting in Winnipeg.

Dr. Allan Preston

TB Update Dr. Allan Preston provided an update on the efforts to eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis in the Riding Mountain Area during the MBP AGM. Preston said Manitoba is winning the battle but there is still a significant challenge ahead before the disease is completely gone.

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Producers encouraged to raise a little hell BRAD BROWN “Raise a little hell, raise a little hell, raise a little hell ... “ Dan Ohler bounced around the stage, singing lines from Trooper’s classic rock radio staple, and people laughed. He sang again, this time trying to inspire a mass singalong, and they laughed some more. It was exactly what Ohler wanted as he began his keynote address at the Manitoba Beef Producers’ 36th annual general meeting, but he was also laying down a challenge. If you don’t like what you’ve got, as the song says, why don’t you change it? And if you know there’s something wrong, why don’t you right it? Ohler – a beef producer from Alberta and selfprofessed PhD, or Pretty Happy Dude – closed down the opening night of the conference with a presentation about taking control of your circumstances, instead of letting your circumstances control you. His speech focused on his hometown of Sangudo, Alta., a little over an hour northwest of Edmonton. Like more than a few small towns across Canada, Sangudo was dying. Young people were leaving. The high school was closing. Businesses were shutting down. And low cattle prices weren’t helping anything at

Your community is a direct reflection of you.” Dan Ohler all in the farming town of about 350 people. To see the place in 2005, Sangudo’s centennial celebration may as well have been a eulogy, with lots to look back on and seemingly little to look forward to. So in 2006, a group of concerned citizens got together to figure out how to keep the community intact. In 2007 they formed the Sangudo Community Development Council, with the goal of enhancing and promoting the quality of life and economic development for residents of Sangudo and area. In 2008 Sangudo received support from the

Alberta Recreation and Parks Association when it was chosen as an ACE (Active, Creative, Engaged) Community. And on June 20, 2009, with financial support from a group called Let Them Be Kids, over 200 volunteers came together to build a playground and beach volleyball court, finish Phase 1 of a skateboard park, restore the local sports grounds and undertake a general community beautification project. In essence, they rewrote history. Sangudo, then known as Deep Creek, was founded in 1905. The “About Us” page on its current website

starts with the events of 2006. Of course as one thing leads to another, that wasn’t the end of Sangudo’s success story either. On May 7, 2010, the Sangudo Opportunity Development Co-op (SODC) was formed to support would-be entrepreneurs in the Sangudo area. In its first 18 months alone, the Coop raised $400,000 in local support for two new businesses. And it was from the experience of the SODC that Ohler wanted Manitoba beef producers to learn. Create a vision, he said, for what your own business

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and the beef industry in Manitoba as a whole should look like in five years, in 10 years and in 20 years. Then take accountability for seeing those goals through and use your leadership skills to make them happen.

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Outcome of resolutions session at TH MBP’s 36 Annual General Meeting The following 39 resolutions were presented for debate at MBP’s 36th Annual General Meeting on February 5 in Brandon. The resolutions were carried at MBP’s 2014 fall district meetings, reviewed by MBP’s Resolutions Committee, deemed to be in order and then categorized for debate at the AGM. In instances where the resolutions were identical or very similar in content and intent, they were combined for debate. There were also three late resolutions provided to MBP following the district meetings. Those were deemed to be in order and debated at the AGM. Of the 39 resolutions presented for debate, 28 were carried, 10 defeated and one withdrawn. The complete outcome of the resolutions debate follows.

Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby governments to ensure that lands held by third parties that are suitable for agriculture, but that have been idled, remain available to producers for these purposes. Mover: Ron Batho Seconder: Michael Decock Outcome: DEFEATED

Origin: District 8

5. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to provide a better brand registry system that is more accessible to the public and which includes clearer guidelines on acceptable brands that will minimize ineffective brandings and negative animal welfare consequences. Mover: Hugh Blair Seconder: Tom Teichroeb Outcome: CARRIED

A. ASSURANCE FUND C. BOVINE Origin: District 3 TUBERCULOSIS 1. Whereas increases to Origin: District 7 livestock dealer bond levels and the current status quo are not acceptable. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to investigate dealer assurance programming. Mover: Art Petkau Seconder: Gerry Simonson Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 8

2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers pursue the dealer assurance program to protect producers from dealer defaults with a mandatory levy on all livestock transactions and the fund should be managed by Manitoba Beef Producers. Mover: Tom Teichroeb Seconder: Allen Kopeechuk Outcome: DEFEATED

B. PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Origin: District 1

3. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to provide agricultural landowners, whose primary income is from agriculture production, with an annual elk and/ or moose hunting licence on their property. Mover: Ted Artz Seconder: Caron Clarke Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 6

4. Whereas there are concerns that valuable agricultural land is being purchased by private and public interests and permanently removed from agricultural production, but is left in a state that it could still be used for that purpose.

6. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby for compensation for livestock abortions sustained as a result of the bovine TB testing process. Mover: Glen Campbell Seconder: Ray Armbruster Outcome: DEFEATED

Origin: District 8

7. Whereas producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area are testing their animals for bovine tuberculosis and their actions are benefiting the Canadian beef industry. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to provide proper compensation for the time to muster animals and the loss of animal production due to testing of their livestock for bovine tuberculosis and that the rate be $16/head. Mover: Dane Guignion Seconder: Glen Campbell Outcome: CARRIED

D. DOMESTIC AGRICULTURE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS

Origin: Nearly identical resolutions came forward in Districts 1 and 8 on the following matter and therefore they were combined for debate. 8. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial and federal governments to expand the needs-based forage feed assistance program to include the entire province to assist producers impacted by the 2014 excess moisture crisis. Mover: Larry Gerelus Seconder: Randy Bjarnarson Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 1

9. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba in regards to excess moisture deductibles in areas declared disasters, and the increase in deductibles be waived for the year following the disaster. Mover: Ted Artz Seconder: Dave Koslowsky Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 2

10. Whereas certain circumstances require efficient and prompt animal health treatment and animal welfare could be compromised, and Whereas the safety of the producer can be at risk when tagging mature animals. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure reasonable enforcement of CCIA tags when transporting animals to vet clinics for routine or emergency procedures and then returning to the herd of origin, and to provide a venue to hear the concerns from producers to ensure continued support for traceability systems. Mover: Dave Koslowsky Seconder: Don Guilford Outcome: CARRIED unanimously

Origin: District 4

Origin: District 6

14. Whereas there are concerns around the enforcement and compliance policies of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers pursue with the CFIA and other federal officials the need for a third party appeal process for producers who have concerns related to enforcement and compliance policies administered by the CFIA. Mover: Larry Wegner Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED unanimously

Origin: District 6

15. Whereas a significant number of producers who lease agricultural Crown lands have been affected by flooding and excess moisture conditions in recent years; and Whereas in order to retain their leases producers are expected to continue making payments on the lands, even though they may not be usable. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to review agricultural Crown land policies to ensure that affected producers retain the right to use these lands, at a reduced rental rate, until such time as normal production resumes, and then normal rental rates resume. Mover: Ron Batho Seconder: Michael Decock Outcome: CARRIED

11. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to work with the provincial and federal governments to reopen previously closed markets, as well as the opening of new international markets that will continue to benefit the Canadian and Origin: District 8 Manitoba beef industry. 16. Be it resolved that Mover: Heinz Reimer Manitoba Beef Producers Seconder: Don Winnicky lobby Manitoba Public InOutcome: CARRIED surance for cost effective and/ or reduced rates and prompt Origin: District 4 settlements for commercial 12. Be it resolved that trucks hauling livestock and Manitoba Beef Producers ensure independent, third lobby the Manitoba Agricul- party arbitrators to settle distural Services Corporation putes. and other lending institu- Mover: Tony Atkinson tions to review and imple- Seconder: Tom Teichroeb ment new policies on loans Outcome: CARRIED for breeding stock to encourage more uptake by using Origin: District 8 current prices instead of a 17. Whereas many ru5-year average. ral wells are contaminated Mover: Heinz Reimer with nitrates and other comSeconder: Richard Carr pounds; and Outcome: CARRIED Whereas there are rural municipalities that cannot Origin: District 4 access water and it must be 13. Be it resolved that hauled in at the owner’s exManitoba Beef Producers pense; and lobby the Canadian Food Whereas many rural resiInspection Agency to allow dents do not have access to the import of all forms of safe, good quality water for straw into Manitoba from the both human and livestock United States. consumption. Mover: Don Winnicky Be it resolved that ManiSeconder: Heinz Reimer toba Beef Producers lobby Outcome: CARRIED the federal and provincial

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governments for infrastructure dollars for the development of rural water systems. Mover: Tom Teichroeb Seconder: Randy Bjarnarson Outcome: DEFEATED Origin: The following resolution was a combination of two separate resolutions arising from Districts 10 and 11 that were very similar in the topic being addressed. 18. Whereas the Manitoba Trappers program and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation compensation programs are not effective in eliminating problem wolves and providing compensation due to the requirement of a carcass as proof of loss. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation for a $300 incentive for trappers and hunters to deal with wolves in problem areas; and Be it further resolved that the timeline for trappers be extended to address the problem wolves in defined areas. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Bill Finney Outcome: CARRIED unanimously

Origin: District 11

19. Whereas the current compensation provided by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) for predator-slashed calves does not reflect the true costs associated with supplies, medicine and labour involved in the treatment of the calves when administered by the producer. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby MASC to pay the producer all reasonable costs associated with treating predatorslashed calves. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Ken McKay Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 11.

Note: It was agreed to withdraw Resolution 20 as the delegates believed this specific concern was adequately addressed by Resolution 19. 20. Whereas the current compensation provided by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) for wolf-slashed calves does not reflect the true costs associated with supplies, medicine and labour involved in the treatment of the calves when administered by the producer. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby MASC to pay the producer all

reasonable costs associated with treating wolf-slashed calves. Outcome: WITHDRAWN

Origin: District 11

21. Be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to stop the relocation of problem animals from one place to another. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Caron Clarke Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 13

22. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to lobby the Government of Manitoba for the removal of the 10 per cent deductible on predation claims. Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 10

23. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to enable packers to reduce the costs associated with the removal and disposal of Specified Risk Materials to ensure the viability of the packing industry in Manitoba. Mover: Theresa Zuk Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED

E. WATER MANAGEMENT Origin: District 5

24. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers support organizations involved in long-term water management strategies that support enhanced agricultural practices. Mover: Ramona Blyth Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: CARRIED Note: An identical resolution was carried as follows in Districts 9 and 10 and so the issue was only debated once. 25. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to construct an outlet on Lake Manitoba to match the daily inflow from the Portage Diversion, in order to stop the negative impacts on beef and forage production and the rural economy in Manitoba. Mover: Fred deLaroque Seconder: Bill Finney Outcome: CARRIED Note: An identical resolution was carried as follows in Districts 9 and 11 and so the issue was only debated once. 26. Whereas the Government of Manitoba prevented water from leaving the Shoal


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY lakes areas, thus increasing water levels to the point of flooding roads and making them impassable. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to open provincial roads 415 and 416 to alleviate the devastation on the rural economy. Mover: Fred deLaroque Seconder: Dianne Riding Outcome: CARRIED

Mover: Dane Guignion Seconder: Dave Matthews Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 11

G. MISCELLANEOUS Origin: District 2

27. Whereas the Government of Manitoba has put forward two committees to review the Lake Manitoba levels and have accepted their own recommendations to maintain the lake level at 810 to 812 feet asl. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to honour their own recommended operating range for Lake Manitoba of 810 to 812 feet asl. Mover: Caron Clarke Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED

Origin: District 14

30. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to provide the RFID tags at no cost. Mover: Stan Foster Seconder: Ramona Blyth Outcome: DEFEATED

H. MANITOBA CATTLE to be a safe practice in some ENHANCEMENT unspecified areas of ManiCOUNCIL toba; and Origin: District 10 Whereas Manitoba Con34. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to ensure that a forensic audit will be conducted on the financial affairs of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council and that the results be made public. Mover: Theresa Zuk Seconder: Stewart Tataryn Outcome: CARRIED

31. Be it resolved Manitoba Beef Producers take a serious, proactive, longterm approach to ensure a healthy slaughter plant capacity in Manitoba and Canada. Mover: Bill Acheson Seconder: Dave Koslowsky Outcome: DEFEATED

I. OPERATIONAL Origin: District 13

Origin: District 5

36. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers’ Annual General Meeting be open to members in good standing. Mover: Ramona Blyth Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: DEFEATED

32. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers acknowledge support to all organizations and businesses in form of visual recognition that are promoting and selling Manitoba Origin: District 11 and/or Canadian beef. 28. Be it resolved that Mover: Ramona Blyth Manitoba Beef Producers Seconder: Heinz Reimer lobby the Government of Outcome: DEFEATED Manitoba to lower the level of the Shoal lakes with a con- Origin: District 10 trolled drain. 33. Be it resolved that Mover: Fred deLaroque Manitoba Beef ProducSeconder: Stewart Tataryn ers lobby the Government Outcome: CARRIED of Manitoba to impose a minimum fine for the first F. TRACEABILITY offences for convictions Origin: District 14 related to cattle theft and/ 29. Be it resolved that or the intentional destrucManitoba Beef Producers tion of cattle to $2,500 per support research around new animal. technology related to perma- Mover: Theresa Zuk nent forms of animal identi- Seconder: Heinz Reimer fication. Outcome: DEFEATED

35. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers investigate moving to a one day Annual General Meeting. Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Caron Clarke Outcome: DEFEATED

Origin: District 5

J. LATE RESOLUTIONS

37. Whereas night lighting is a dangerous practice that poses a real danger to cattle producers and their cattle; and Whereas the 2014 Manitoba Hunting Guide states “Status Indians may not discharge a rifle or shotgun at night where it is dangerous to do so.”; and Whereas the above statement indicates that Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship deems night lighting and the discharge of rifles and shotguns at night

servation and Water Stewardship has failed to define safe or unsafe night hunting areas of Manitoba. Be it resolved Manitoba Beef Producers shall lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to produce and make public a map that clearly displays those areas of Manitoba in which Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship deems night lighting to be a safe practice; and Be it further resolved MBP shall request Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship produce a list of those jurisdictions in Canada that consider the discharge of rifles and shotguns at night (night lighting) to be a safe hunting practice. 39. Whereas Manitoba Mover: Fred Tait Hydro is either constructSeconder: Heinz Reimer ing new transmission lines Outcome: CARRIED (Bipole III) or in the process of finalizing routes 38. Whereas numerous for new transmission lines acts and regulations govern (proposed Manitobalivestock production in Can- Minnesota Transmission ada, including ones setting Project), lines and towers out specific environmen- that will traverse valuable tal policies and procedures agricultural lands used for around manure manage- livestock, forage and crop ment; and production; and Whereas when it comes Whereas Manitoba’s to environmental regu- agricultural producers delations there is a lack of serve meaningful assuranccontinuity around specific es from the Government parameters between the of Manitoba and Manitoba Prairie provinces, such as Hydro that the construcstocking densities, or the tion and ongoing maintevariation in what consti- nance of these lines will not tutes an animal unit in Al- result in adverse impacts berta (one cow, two feed to their operations, such cattle) versus Saskatchewan as biosecurity risks, im(one cow, 1.5 feeder cattle) pediments to production, versus Manitoba (0.8 beef reduced land values and cow, 1.3 feeder cattle); and potential liability issues, Whereas differences among other factors; and

Kick Off to Spring Bull Sale March 23, 2015

l

2pm Grande Clairiere Hall

SimAngus

Simmenta

between these three provinces around similar types of environmental regulations means Manitoba producers can incur significant added costs to meet the province’s regulatory requirements compared to their counterparts in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and Whereas having a level playing field on the regulatory side is important to the competitiveness of all beef producers. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to work toward the harmonization of regulations for the western provinces to ensure Manitoba’s beef industry remains competitive. Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Richard Carr Outcome: CARRIED

75 Bulls

Angus

Whereas agricultural producers believe that Manitoba Hydro and its agents should be engaging in ongoing two-way discussions with affected producers about potential transmission line routing and tower placement to ensure the least possible disruption to their livestock and other agricultural operations; and Whereas all Manitoba agricultural producers are entitled to fair compensation, either when hydro transmission lines and towers cross their land or when their land is expropriated for such projects. Therefore be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro to provide detailed assurances that the following will be made available to all agricultural producers: ongoing and substantive two-way discussions about transmission line routes and tower placements; fair compensation, either for line and tower placement on producers’ land or in the event of expropriation; a choice of payment methods; access to an independent appeal process producers can use if they are not satisfied with decisions around line and tower routing placement or in relation to compensation or expropriation payments; and, an ongoing mechanism to address any concerns that may arise as lines and towers are built, put into use and maintained. Mover: Dane Guignion Seconder: Don Winnicky Outcome: CARRIED

Pleasant Dawn Charolais 13th Annual Bull Sale

Saturday, March 21, 2015 • 2:00 p.m. Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB

58 YEARLING POLLED BULLS

7/8 Remmington Lock n Load X LFE Hot Topic

PB

3/4 Mr HOC Broker X Wheatland 786T

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Call for more information or a catalogue or or view it online at

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a Gerry & Lind Family Bertholet &

www.pleasantdawn.com

Pleasant Dawn Charolais Tully, Arlene, Trent & Ashley, Kevin & Suzanne Hatch Box 40, Oak Lake, MB R0M 1P0 Tully Ph/fax: 204.855.2402 Cell 204.748.7595 Trent 204.855.3078 Cell 204.721.3078 • tahatch@rfnow.com

Heifers sired by Maple Lake Bulls

Check out videos onlne

www.MapkeLakeStockFarms.com

Gerry (204) 741-0340 glbertholet@hotmail.com Andrea (204) 483-0319 adbertholet@hotmail.com

www.mbbeef.ca

9

Sale Manager: 305.584.7937 • www.bylivestock.com Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374


10 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

AGM panel discussion proves lively A&W Canada found an unlikely ally on Day 2 of the Manitoba Beef Producers’ 36th annual general meeting: A beef producer from Manitoba. With A&W vice-president of purchasing and distribution Trish Sahlstrom under fire over the company’s ongoing “Better Beef ” marketing campaign, Brett McRae of Mar Mac Farms near Brandon tried his best to calm the uprising. “We need to stop fighting amongst ourselves,” said McRae, a fifth-generation farmer who was representing the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders mentorship program. Earlier in the panel discussion, McRae had given a presentation on the need for new ways of thinking in the cattle industry. “We need to work together to produce beef that is going to meet consumer demand,” he said. “And if there’s a demand for natural beef then we need to find a way to do that.”

McRae’s voice was in the clear minority though as Sahlstrom attempted to explain and defend A&W’s “Better Beef ” marketing campaign, which launched in Sept. 2013 and promotes the company’s decision to source only beef that is raised without hormones, steroids or antibiotics. It has paid off for A&W’s bottom line, with same-store sales up 6.3 per cent overall in 2014 compared to 2013, but at a price. The decision has also forced Canada’s second-largest quick-service hamburger chain to purchase more of its beef from Montana and Australia, as they are unable to find enough beef in Canada that is raised to their specifications. Sahlstrom said consumers surprised the company when surveys in 2011 and 2013 overwhelmingly showed that they valued beef raised without hormones, steroids or antibiotics more than anything else. And so, in contrast with their competitors

CHAD SAXON

BRAD BROWN

From left to right: Brett McRae, James Bradbury and Trish Sahlstrom were the speakers for the panel discussion “The Changing Face of Canada’s Beef Industry and the Opportunities it Presents,” at the MBP AGM on Feb. 6.

who were already shedding market share, A&W simply decided to give the people what they wanted. Unsurprisingly, the response to her presentation – which was heavier on nostalgia than substance at times – made the minus 30 windchill outside seem downright tropical. Sahlstrom heard from several producers who

HUNTER CHAROLAIS Bull Sale

proudly declared that they will never buy a Teen Burger again. She heard that A&W’s marketing was misleading consumers into believing that the company’s new burgers were somehow healthier than its old ones. That cabbage, for example, naturally contains 1,000 times the estrogen of implanted beef. And that A&W is putting an entire industry at risk for its own financial gain. Sahlstrom replied that the company was simply responding to consumer demand and had to word their advertising in the customers’ own language, adding that A&W is not making any scientific

Thursday, April 2, 2015

1:30 p.m. DST • At the farm, Roblin, MB

MARCH

2015 Spring Sale Schedule

40 5

YEARLING BULLS TWO YEAR OLDS

• Most are Polled • Some Red Factor

APRIL

• Complete Performance Data Available • Bulls can be viewed any time Contact us for more information or a catalogue

HUNTER CHAROLAIS

A Charolais family operation for over 30 years Doug & Marianne, Jim & Amy, Michael Hunter Box 569, Roblin, MB R0L 1P0 • 204-937-2531 Cell: Doug 204-937-7737 Michael 204-247-0301

Sale Manager: 305.584.7937

Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374 charolaisbanner@gmail.com www.bylivestock.com

claims about the quality of their beef. In other words, it’s nothing personal. Just business. Pointing to the looming implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which will require cattle exports from Canada to Europe be raised without hormones, steroids or antibiotics anyway, Sahlstrom concluded by saying that A&W would still prefer to buy all of its beef in Canada and suggested the next move is really up to the country’s beef producers. “There is no reason why Canada can’t provide more than enough beef to meet our needs,” she said.

Joining McRae and Sahlstrom on the panel was James Bradbury, global brand officer with Canada Beef Inc. With an extensive sales and marketing background in the food and beverage industry, Bradbury emphasized that consumers, more than ever, want to know what they are eating and where it came from. In making that information available, Canada Beef is working to build a brand that customers can feel loyalty toward and advocate for. The end goal, he said, is to promote the premium aspects of beef so that one day soon people will be able to sit down and have a conversation about beef in the same way they already do about a glass of wine.

Tuesday, March 3

Regular Sale

9AM

Thursday, March 5

Regular Sale

9AM

Friday, March 6

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

1PM

Tuesday, March 10

Regular Sale

9AM

Thursday, March 12

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, March 17

Regular Sale

9AM

Thursday, March 19

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, March 24

Presort Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, March 26

Regular Sale

9AM

Thursday, March 26

Bred Cow Sale

11AM

Tuesday, March 31

Regular Sale

9AM

Saturday, April 4

Great Spirit Bison Sale

12Noon

Tuesday, April 7

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, April 21

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, April 28

Regular Sale

9AM

April - August will be Tuesday sales only starting at 9AM. Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Wednesday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

View the catalogue & video online at www.huntercharolais.com www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Two Manitoba producers among Cattlemen’s Young Leaders finalists Two Manitoba residents are among the 24 finalists for the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program mentorship positions in 2015. It was announced in a media release that the semifinalists were selected from a pool of nearly 70 applicants, a response which CYL Program Coordinator Jolene Noble said reflects the ongoing popularity of the youth mentorship program. “The program continues to grow due in no small part to the quality of our graduates and their enthusiasm for the program and our industry. CYL alumni have done an excellent job promoting the program to their peers and encouraging youth to apply,” she said. “With each year and new set of applicants, I am even more impressed with the calibre of individuals in the Canadian beef industry.” The 24 semi-finalists were selected based on their online applications which were evaluated by a panel of judges. The finalists will be selected at the CYL Spring Forum which will be held from March 26-28, 2015 in Saskatoon.

Still in the running from Manitba are Breanna Anderson of Swan River and Wilco van Meijl of Brandon. The other 2015 CYL semi-finalists are: Alberta: Benjamin Campbell, Black Diamond; Robert Dixon, Vermillion; Jodi Flaig, Two Hills; Kaleen Harris, Lethbridge; Brett Hassard, Medicine Hat; Elizabeth Homerosky, Calgary; James Jenkins, Okotoks; Angela Kumlin, Duchess; Jacob Onyschuk, Legal; Penny Patton, Athabasca; Ceanna Tannas, Water Valley; Josephine Verhallen, Spruce Grove; Byron Whitford, Lethbridge and Brittany Wiese, Bentley. Saskatchewan: Kyra Edwards, Edam; Breeanna Kelln, Duval; Shane Klepak, Melfort and Brandon Sparrow, Vanscoy. Ontario: Sara Parkinson, Hillsburgh; Bethany Storey, Guelph and Brendan Zettler, Teeswater. Nova Scotia: Ellen Crane, Truro. After final selection, CYL candidates will be paired with a mentor for a nine month mentorship in their area of interest. In

the past, the program has seen a wide range of focus areas. These range from production focusses such as extended grazing seasons, nutrition and embryo work to marketing and trade to industry policy to advocacy. The mentors are handpicked to best suit each individual CYL and set them up for a very successful and productive year. CYLs gain knowledge in their area of interest, exposure to the CCA and its provincial members, an expanded network and personal growth. The CYL program is a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). It provides industry-specific training and mentorship opportunities to young producers. CYL participants have the opportunity to explore a potential career choice or involvement with a provincial/national producer organization, while gaining the expertise and business acumen necessary to sustain the cattle industry into the future. Visit www.cattlemensyoungleaders.com for more information.

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Denbie Ranch and Guests Bull Sale Family Tradition Bull Sale Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale Steppler Farms Charolais Bull Sale HTA & Guest Charolais Bull Sale Winn Man Farms Charolais Bull Sale Tee M Jay Charolais Bull Sale Prairie Distinction Charolais Bull Sale Hunter Charolais Bull Sale Cattlemen’s Classic Bull Sale Manitoba Bull Test Station Sale

St. Rose, MB at the farm, Dropmore, MB Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB at the farm, Miami, MB Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB at the farm, Winnipegosis, MB Ashern, MB Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB at the farm, Roblin, MB Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB Douglas, MB

www.mbbeef.ca

Manitoba Charolais Association President I Shawn Airey Vice President I Hans Myhre 2nd Vice I Jeff Cavers Secretary/Treasurer I Rae Trimble-Olsen CAA Director I Andre Steppler

WWW.CHAROLAISBANNER.COM/MCA/ Find a local MB Charolais Breeder by viewing our website!


12 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

Free expert advice at home that’s not too good to be true: webinars for beef producers TRACY HERBERT Beef Extension Coordinator, Beef Cattle Research Council

Going to conferences and field days are some of the best ways to learn and think more about new ideas and tools that could make things easier or more profitable on your ranch. It’s also an opportunity to ask experts questions, and get advice that helps you make informed decisions for your operation. If you hear about a conference you’re interested in, I certainly recommend making the effort to attend it if you can. But often times, you just can’t get to seminars. Sometimes there’s too much work to be done at home, it’s too far or pricey to make the trip, the

weather is bad, or an unexpected breakdown, cow trouble or something else causes you to miss out. Rather than having to spend the time and money to go to the conference, it would be nice if a seminar came to you once in a while, wouldn’t it? That’s what a ‘webinar’ is – a seminar delivered over the internet. On webinars, you listen to a live presentation on your computer, tablet or smartphone, and can ask the person questions, all without ever having to leave the yard. There’s lots of webinars available for beef producers, and nearly all of them are free.

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) hosts one webinar per month from November to April with an interesting speaker that covers a different topic each time. For example, a past webinar was “Boosting the calf-crop percentage in your beef herd” with Dr. John Campbell from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Each BCRC webinar lasts about an hour, is held during the evenings, and is free of charge thanks to guest speakers who volunteer their time and expertise, and with funding by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster. The webinars are also recorded, so if you

register but happen to miss it, you’ll get an email a couple of days later with a link to watch the recording, plus links to good resources you can use to learn even more about the topic. Webinars are very easy to register for, join and participate in. You will need access to a fast and reliable internet connection to see and hear the presentation. For audio, you’re given the choice between using speakers or listening over the phone. Keep an eye out for webinars this winter and give one a try. You’ll get free, credible information from a beef industry expert on animal health, feed efficiency, genomics, forages,

food safety or environmental stewardship. There’s no sense in passing that up. To find the details on BCRC’s next webinar, and recordings of past BCRC webinars, visit www.beefresearch. ca and look under ‘Resources’.

5 things to know about BCRC webinars

1. No one can see or hear you. When you log into a webinar for the first time, you might be surprised to see the presenter’s face on your screen in addition to hearing his or her voice. That might make you wonder, can they see me? Should I be quiet? No. By default, audience

members’ webcams are not turned on, microphones are on mute, and other audience members don’t know that you’re signed on. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question, there is a chat box to type into. 2. Interested in the presentation but aren’t available at the time it’s being held? Register anyway! Webinars are often recorded. By registering, you will receive an email with the link you need to watch it on your own time. Attending the live event in more interesting because it gives you the opportunity to interact and ask questions. 3. Sign in 5-10 minutes early. Your computer might need to download some software before it can open the webinar. That can take a few minutes, so it’s best to sign in early so you don’t miss a thing. 4. Don’t have high speed internet? Don’t let that stop you. Consider calling a neighbor that does and watch the webinar together, or call your regional ag office to ask whether arranging a group viewing is possible. That way you’ll have the added bonus of being able to chat with your friends and neighbors about what you heard after the presentation too. 5. Share your feedback and what you want to learn about next. Most webinars, including BCRC’s, will ask you to fill out a short survey afterward. That feedback is very helpful to the organizer. It helps them to do an even better job of the next one, and to choose the topics that are most meaningful and useful to you.

Actual feedback after a BCRC webinar:

• I find these webinars very good. I don’t have to waste time travelling to seminars. Saves on fuel and time. I can be involved on my time after chores are done. I don’t have to leave home when I need to be close by to look after things. Always willing to learn more. This is a great way to make it happen. - Jason, producer from SK • Thank you for the wonderful presentation of information. As a first time webinar attendee, you made the process to attend very easy and simple to follow. - Teresa, producer from SK

www.mbbeef.ca


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

BSE case stirs up bad memories RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line “Once bitten twice shy” is the old saying that I thought of when I got the first call about the recent BSE case in Alberta. The thought of another BSE case caused a chill down my spine and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up! The first thing I did was check the futures markets to see how the industry was reacting. Some of my colleagues thought that if there was bad news for the industry, the livestock futures would drop. I adopted the opposite approach. If there was any chance of the border closing, the markets should have jumped the limit, especially in the far away months. The reasoning was that there is currently a shortage of cattle in the USA, and they are buying every animal they can get their hands on. If the border was in danger of closing that would magnify the cattle shortage, and the speculators would go crazy buying positions, anticipating even greater shortages in the future. I was happy to see that there was no extraordinary activity on the futures market. I called a couple of the major trucking companies to see if any of the American feeders that have cattle on feed in Manitoba and Saskatchewan had made any inquiries about moving their inventory south earlier than scheduled. Nothing out of the ordinary was reported. Finally, I called a number of the auctions in progress to get a read on the markets. All reported normal market demand with continued support from south of border. Some individual feeders in Canada put their buying on hold, but that only lasted for the day. The end result was that there was very little disruption in the market. Most of the anxiety was the result of the sensationalism by the media. The Canadian media was the worst offender, trying to rehash the 2003 news story of the year. The fact is the latest case is not much different than the infected cow found in February of 2011. As long as we continue to test we will find isolated cases. The

good news story is that the meat from the animal did not get into the food chain and there was no danger of any human consuming any part of the animal. In my opinion, Canada should be praised for their continued vigilance on the surveillance of the Canadian herd. We should not be penalized for being transparent in our findings. We are doing the right thing to ensure that Canadians and our international customers have safe and wholesome beef products. “Case 19,” as the cow is being referred to, should not affect Canadian status as “controlled risk,” but could delay Canada’s movement to “negligible risk” status in the near future. This means that countries that follow the OIE standards should continue to allow imports of Canadian beef products. South Korea was the first to temporarily suspend imports from Canada; they imported 2,700 tonnes of Canadian beef last year, almost double from the previous year. Indonesia also announced that it has suspended the importation of nonedible by-products

It is extremely important that Canada maintains its infrastructure in both the feeding and processing sectors. If we don’t, we may face the scenario where we are forced to sell our feeders to the USA at whatever price the market will bear. from Canada, which includes bone meal. Although we are enjoying record cattle prices, and short-term markets look very positive for the next 12 months, I am concerned about the longterm sustainability of the Canadian beef industry. It will be early 2017 before we see any increase in the overall beef production and the number of feeder cattle available in the United States. In the interim, producers on both sides of the border will start to rebuild herds by retaining heifers and reducing the number of cows they cull. This in turn will short the supply of feeder cattle and slaughter cattle, creating an even stronger demand for the available inventory. If the dollar was to drop to 75 cents it would be very hard to control the flow of feeder cattle to the USA. Currently, it is very

hard for cattle feeders to compete with the American orders, due to the low exchange rate. Canadian cattle are currently very attractive to the American feedlot industry. Some of the Canadian feedlots have switched to custom feeding for out-of-province investors, rather than take the risk of owning the inventory. The majority of these custom backgrounded cattle will have retained ownership and will be finished south of border. Others who own the cattle face small profit margins and high risk for the returns. With all of the regulations in Canada, it costs considerably more to process cattle at a Canadian plant versus an American plant. Processors on both sides of the border have been struggling to show consistent profits for a long time. If we continue to send more feeder cattle south over

the next few years, we could risk losing more of our domestic processing industry due to shortages of fed cattle and cull cows. Eighty per cent of Canada’s packing industry is in western Canada, with the majority at two major plants, neither of which is running at capacity. If either one of those two plants were to close, there would be more long-term damage to the Canadian industry than the BSE crisis created. It is extremely important that Canada maintains its infrastructure in both the feeding and processing sectors. If we don’t, we may face the scenario where we are forced to sell our feeders to the USA at whatever price the market will bear, and then purchase our own beef back at whatever price they decide to charge. There is no doubt that the favorable exchange

rate has created a much needed boost in the Canadian cattle industry. It introduced a renewed enthusiasm in the industry and has producers feeling more comfortable about investing in the future of the business. We need for it to last for at least the next year to help recoup some of the losses from the 2003 BSE crisis. However, if the current export situation was to continue for an extended period of time, the long-term effects might overshadow the short-term benefits. How we manage this potential situation will be a challenge for industry and its many think -tanks and industry associations. Regardless, we need to be proactive on this matter rather than reactive. Until next time, Rick

 calving ease  grass-based  strong maternal  longevity  moderate frame

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2 yr old bulls sold private treaty off the ranch!

Our 2014 heifer promotion has been continued into 2015, check website for details!

www.nerbasbrosangus.com www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

Preventing pneumonia in your calves JEANNETTE GREAVES

DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner

Treating large numbers of young calves for pneumonia and scours is every producer’s nightmare, especially when calf prices are high. Farm labour shortages also exacerbate a problem that is best prevented. But, as herd size has increased, prevention isn’t as easy or straight forward as one might think. Colostrum, though a calf’s best friend, can be a nemesis as we struggle to vaccinate young calves against respiratory disease. These maternal antibodies from the cow are especially effective for the prevention of scours and septicemia (infection in the blood that spread throughout the body) but often fail to provide adequate protection against pneumonia. Boosting colostral immunity by vaccinating cows pre-calving did lessen the severity of but did not prevent pneumonia outbreaks in young calves. Vaccination of young calves with products shown to be very effective in a feedlot situation also failed to

minimize disease in many herds. The immune stimulation from these vaccines was blocked by the maternal antibodies in the colostrum. Delaying vaccination until two months of age when colostrum immunity had begun to wane was also not an option since calves got sick prior to this time. Until recently, the only “for sure” option for pneumonia management in young calves was administration of a long-acting antibiotic during an outbreak. Not an easy feat as anyone pushing young calves through a chute can attest. Over the years, researchers have learned how complex the immune system is and how different body organs respond to infections. Respiratory disease enters the body through the nose, mouth and lungs. In fact, many of the viruses that cause pneumonia (IBR, PI3, BRSV) have evolved to be able to cause infection in the colder sinuses of the nasal cavities. The common pneumonia causing bacteria

(Mannheimia hemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somnus) are often “normally” present in the throat region, ready to cause disease after viral invasion. Recently, vaccines have been developed to provide direct protection in the nose and lungs through the stimulation of cell-mediated immunity and the development of IgA antibody. If you are experiencing problems with pneumonia in young calves, talk with your veterinarian. Control

programs vary slightly depending on the calf age when getting sick. Intranasal vaccines against both viral and bacterial pathogens are now available and well tested under natural challenge situations in the veal industry. Immunity is enhanced within 48 hours of intranasal vaccination – the viral vaccine up one nostril, the bacterial vaccine up the other. The convenience of administration shortly after birth while tagging and other processing is done makes

this protocol easy to implement. Boosters are given at pasture turnout using a 4-way viral with bacterial components in addition to the routine Clostridial (Blackleg) vaccines. Processing is repeated at weaning and feedlot entry. Keep in mind that vaccinating calves does not mean that you should stop vaccinating the cows. Boosting colostral immunity is still important and your cows require protection against abortion (BVD,

IBR). And, for those folks that “don’t want to vaccinate to pad the pockets of the feedlot operators”, this program provides benefits to your pocketbook, minimizes death losses and treatment costs through the summer and maximizes weaning weights. Think of vaccination as an important component of whole herd biosecurity. Let’s work together to promote the beef industry and produce a wholesome product for the consumer.

THE KELMAR STORY THE KELMAR STORY Kelmar is a family owned company that brings fifty years of farming to its Meats, Bakery & Bistro shops and the customers serve in company Winnipeg, Manitoba. In years the mid Kelly’s father & mother onshops an oldand homestead five Kelmar is a they family owned that brings fifty of 50’s farming to its Meats, Bakerysettled & Bistro the miles north of Douglas, was thereInthat grew up tofather farm &with his family. was a veryfive selfcustomers they serve inManitoba. Winnipeg,It Manitoba. theKelly mid 50’s Kelly’s mother settled The on anfarm old homestead sufficient farm growingManitoba. grain andItraising livestock to include; milk cows, cows,The hogs & was chickens. miles north of Douglas, was there that Kelly grew up to farm with beef his family. farm a very selfsufficient farm growing grain and raising livestock to include; milk cows, beef cows, hogs & chickens.

In 1983 Kelly & MaryAnn were married and continued the farming business to eventually buy the family homestead and In 1983 Kelly &ofMaryAnn were married up andon continued theisfarming to eventually buy the family homestead andhave. The raise a family their own. Growing the farm one ofbusiness the greatest experiences a person will ever raise a family of their own. Growing up on the one is ofgrown the greatest experiences a person everthe have. The family the freedom of living in the country & seeing howfarm theirisfood in a natural environment haswill given Penner freedom of education living in thenecessary country & seeing how their is grown in athe natural has giventhey the Penner grassroots to choose highfood quality food for 2500environment weekly customers serve. family the grassroots education necessary to choose high quality food for the 2500 weekly customers they serve.

In 1994, KELLY & MARYANN created “KELMAR”, a company that has grown from a farming & agri-services business in In 1994, KELLY & MARYANN created “KELMAR”, a company that has grown from a farming & agri-services business in Western Manitoba to Kelmar Meats, Bakery & 925 Bistro & Lounge, (employing 40 people) all located at 925 Headmaster Western Manitoba to Kelmar Meats, Bakery & 925 Bistro & Lounge, (employing 40 people) all located at 925 Headmaster &&Lagimodiere inWinnipeg WinnipegManitoba. Manitoba. www.kelmarmeatsandbakery.com , www.925bistroandlounge.com Lagimodiere in www.kelmarmeatsandbakery.com , www.925bistroandlounge.com The for Kelmar KelmarMeats Meatsbegan began several years through the BSE in Canada. vision for the beef The vision vision for several years agoago through the BSE crisis crisis in Canada. Kelly’s Kelly’s vision for the beef industry Manitobawas wastotocreate create a fully traceable to plate company that bring couldthe bring the highest industry in in Manitoba a fully traceable gategate to plate company that could highest quality ofquality beef &of beef & other productstotoitsitscustomers. customers. Choosing Certified Angus Beef program with Toledo Foodservice has other livestock livestock products Choosing the the Certified Angus Beef program with Toledo Foodservice has brought the food along withwith the the great tastetaste of theofCertified AngusAngus Beef toBeef our shops. brought foodsafety safety&&traceability, traceability, along great the Certified to our shops. www.certifiedangusbeef.com www.certifiedangusbeef.com We look look forward forward to thethe freshness andand highest quality Manitoba & Western Canadian raised products. We are We are We tobringing bringingyou you freshness highest quality Manitoba & Western Canadian raised products. proud of of our our farming and look forward to bringing the farm to your table ortable comeorvisit us at Kelmar proud farmingbackground background and look forward to bringing the farm to dinner your dinner come visit us at&Kelmar & 925 Bistro & Lounge. THE PENNER FAMILY 925 Bistro & Lounge. THE PENNER FAMILY

www.mbbeef.ca


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

BodyConditionScoring.ca launches A new webpage offers a fresh look at the importance of monitoring the nutrition of beef cows and the role body condition plays in overall productivity and profit. “The importance of maintaining cows’ fat cover at an optimal level is underrated,” said Karin Schmid of the Alberta Beef Producers. “Many producers don’t realize how much thin or over-fat cows hurt their bottom lines, and how easy and effective body condition scoring is when figuring out how to adjust rations and keep cows in the right condition.” The webpage, www. b o dycondit ions cor ing . ca, features an interactive tool which makes the value of maintaining cows at the right body condition abundantly clear in terms of reproductive performance, calf health, weaning weights and other important aspects of production. It also includes an engaging four minute video that shows examples of cows in various condition, and explains how to quickly and easily measure fat cover.

The nutritional information available will help producers decide how to manage their rations once they have an accurate measure of their cows’ condition to get and keep their animals in the right condition. Recognizing that internet access is still a barrier in

some regions, all of the webpage’s content will be available on USB data sticks. Producers needing to access the information offline can pick up a USB stick at some industry events or through a direct request to the Beef Cattle Research Council.

The project is a collaborative effort between the Beef Cattle Research Council, Alberta Beef Producers, Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Funding was provided by

Alberta’s Growing Forward 2 Livestock Welfare Delivery Agent Program. Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial government initiative to drive an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

th 47 Annual

The groups expect that the new, easily accessible and user-friendly resources will not only lead to improved bottom lines for cow-calf producers, but also prevent animal welfare concerns during cold winter months.

LUNDAR

Purebred Beef Cattle Sale

SSaturday, t d April A il 18, 18 2015 LUNDAR Sale: 1:00 p.m.

CHAROLAIS 2

HEREFORD 7

1 Year old Bulls

2 Year old Bulls

SIMMENTAL

1 Year old Bulls

17

1 Year old Bulls

GELBVIEH 2

1 Year old Bulls

4

All animals are tie broke. SALER 2

1 Year old Bulls

4

1 Year old Heifers

LIMOUSIN 2

1 Year old Bulls

ANGUS 2

1 Year old Bulls

For more information, contact:

Connie Gleich 739-5264 or Jim Beachell 467-8809

Visit our catalogue at www.buyagro.com Auctioneer - Bud Bergner

The bodyconditionscoring webpage

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

Cattle thrive on managed grassland Changes are taking place at the Freeman Property near Killarney. This large expanse of grassland habitat is being rejuvenated and redeveloped to improve its value as wildlife habitat and pasture. A grazing system is now in place on the property to help achieve this goal. This rotational grazing system has a stocking rate that works for the producer and works to meet wildlife habitat requirements. These changes help show that cattle and wildlife can co-exist and thrive with proper management, according to Tom Moran, a Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) field representative. “There hadn’t been cattle on the property for several years and the fences were in poor shape,” said Moran. “We wanted to bring it back into production. If MHHC, as a conservation organization, can help demonstrate that making a living from the land and providing wildlife and habitat benefits are compatible then we all benefit,” added Moran. The 960 acre Freeman Property, located about three miles west of Killarney, was bequeathed to the

MHHC in 1995 by the late Harvey Wayne Freeman, with the condition that it be maintained as wildlife habitat in perpetuity. The property contains, native prairie, riparian habitat along the Long River, bluffs, wetlands and tame pasture. The MHHC, working in partnership with the Boyd family of Killarney, have developed a rotational grazing system covering about 600 acres of the property. An additional 200 acres is hayed by another producer. The project involved repair of existing fences and installation of the new sections needed to create four paddocks for the rotational grazing system. As well, a water pipeline provides an alternative watering source in the paddocks. This helps keep cattle out of the creeks and sloughs. The Turtle Mountain Conservation District provided assistance with the installation of a solar pump. There are several benefits to the management changes, according to Moran who said, “We wanted to get some animal impact on the land instead of simply cutting hay and removing it. With a grazing system, the cattle are

impacting the area and cycling the nutrients right there.” To achieve this objective, the MHHC put out a call for proposals hoping to attract a progressive cattle producer to rent the pasture and implement sustainable land practises that would also benefit wildlife habitat. Dale Boyd, his son Carson and their families were selected and they have now implemented a rotational grazing system. The system in place here sees the cattle turned out to pasture in the first paddock at the beginning of June each year. They are moved through each paddock twice during the grazing season rather than left in a single pasture season-long. Cattle are removed from the area by mid-October. Cattle are allowed access for only a limited period of time before being moved to the next paddock, according to Boyd. “We leave them about ten days a paddock for the first round.” It also allows the manure to spread out helping to fertilize the pasture. When cattle are grazed at proper stocking levels it can be good for the land, Boyd points out. “When you rotational graze the

MAUREEN COUSINS

BILL STILWELL

paddocks are allowed to rest,” he said. They place 80 cow-calf pairs in the system each season. “It’s not heavily grazed and there is plenty of cover left behind for wildlife habitat going into the fall and winter,” Boyd noted. At the end of the growing season there is still plenty of grass in each paddock to provide habitat for deer, rabbits, grouse and other wildlife. Cattle grazing using appropriate stocking rates is beneficial. The prairies evolved under grazing by herds of bison that once roamed the Great Plains prior to European settlement. Like the bison, cattle nip the grass off, which stimulates it to grow thick-

er and more productive during the growing season. Manure fertilizes the soil, which in turn increases the nutrient value of the grass. The pasture is thicker and healthier now making it more valuable as nesting cover for ducks and other ground nesting birds. Since beginning to graze the Freeman property, the Boyds have noticed lots of wildlife. For example, last fall his son Carson spotted plenty of deer here. “It isn’t unusual to see sharp-tailed grouse or Hungarian partridges,” Boyd noted. “When the paddocks are lightly grazed and then left idle for periods of time, they go into the fall and winter with

15th Annual

Cattleman’s Classic Multi-Breed Sale Saturday, April 4, 2015

Heartland Livestock 1:30 p.m. Virden, MB

Selling approximately 80 bulls: 55 Charolais, 10 Herefords, 15 Angus POWERFUL 2YEAR OLDS THICK BEEFY YEARLINGS

Large selection of red factor charolais bulls

Brought to you by these respectable cattlemen: Tri N Charolais - Mervin & Jesse Nykoliation at 204-838-2107 or 851-3391 LEJ Charolais - Jim & Rae Olson at 204-252-3115 CattleLac Charolais Ranch - Tyler Wilkinson at 204-448-2181 New Horizon Angus - Kiern Doetzel at 306-336-2245 Bremner Charolais - Jack Bremner 204-572-4268 Sunny Ridge Stock Farm - Ken Hopcraft 204-725-6213 Twin View Herefords - Ken & Ernie Macdonald 204-365-7426 or 204-759-2188

Watch the sale and bid online at www.dlms.ca

Our bulls are affordable. Featuring sons of the 2012 Agribition Champion Charolais bull.

View catalogue online at www.trincharolais.com or to request a catalogue contact Mervin or Jesse at 204-838-2107 or 851-3391 or merv1@prairie.ca www.mbbeef.ca

more cover than season long grazing, and this provides cover and habitat for all types of wildlife.” MHHC owns a number of parcels of land and have grazing and haying agreements with producers on many of them. For more information on MHHC programs contact Tom Moran in Boissevain at 204-305-0276 or visit the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation website at www.mhhc.mb.ca.

CAMPBELL LIMOUSIN Homegrown Bull Sale Tuesday, April 7, 2015 1:30 p.m.

at the farm 3.5 miles North of Minto and 1.75 miles East (Lunch at Noon)

One of the most complete groups of yearling Limousin bulls in Manitoba.

BULLS SIRED BY: IVY Xterminator Amaglen Umpire Man JYF 61X GHR Zane EXLR Total Control Bulls can be viewed at: www.wrightauction.ca Auctioneer: Wright Auction Service Boissevain, Manitoba 204-534-2502

Contact

Bill Campbell

204-776-2322 (res) 204-724-6218 (cell)

cam.limousin@xplornet.com


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Defining what is sustainable beef As a selected participant of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) Cattlemen Young Leaders (CYL) program I have had the opportunity to be mentored this year by Jeffrey FitzpatrickStilwell, Senior Manager of Sustainability for McDonald’s Canada. As the focus of my mentorship is on sustainability of the beef industry, I have been privileged to be part of the timely discussions about “what is sustainable beef?” by McDonald’s. McDonalds purchases 67 million pounds of Canadian beef that has been raised on more than 5,000 Canadian farms each year. And they have chosen Canada for the site of their pilot project for sourcing verified sustainable beef. McDonald’s has a history of making sustainable sourcing a priority for their global quick service chain. In 2010 they asked WWF to assess the sustainability of their commodity sources. They discovered that the greatest global impact on sustainability was from palm oil procurement. This was largely due to deforestation and loss of habitat that can come with unsustainable harvesting. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), formed in 2004, assists producers in using sustainable harvesting methods and awards premium prices to those that produce it in a sustainable manner. McDonald’s now buys only from suppliers of palm oil who are RSPO members. Similarly, more than 15 per cent of the drip coffee, and 100 per cent of the espresso-based beverages served at McDonald’s stores in Canada is Rainforest Alliance Certified., They have also made great strides with

other menu ingredients; 100 per cent of the fish used has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. However, for beef and chicken there is no existing structure for “sustainable sourcing” in place! Sustainability is not just about environmental protection. It’s also responsible for supporting local communities and ensuring economic stability. However, since livestock production, especially beef, is an extremely diverse and multifaceted industry, the first phase of this project will focus on the environmental pillar of sustainability only with plans to expand the breadth of the project in the future. McDonald’s is a member of both of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) which was formed in 2013 and the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB). Both organizations are working to identify sustainable practices in beef cattle systems. The CRSB has recruited Deloitte to complete an assessment of the sustainability of the current Canadian beef industry which will help to identify indicators of sustainability specific to Canada. For more information see: http://crsb.ca/wp-content/ uploads/2014/04/SummaryAssessmentProject_concept-1.pdf To help move this process forward McDonald’s has developed a pilot project for verifying sustainable beef to help themselves, and the CRSB, learn how to measure, verify and communicate to consumers the sustainability efforts of the industry as a whole. McDonald’s has invited a diverse group of experts to work on an advisory board. One of the members is Melinda German, General Manager of Manitoba Beef

Producers. McDonald’s has chosen to conduct this pilot project in Canada as we have many tools in place that can help with the verification process like Verified Beef Production and a paramount tracking system with tools like BIXS that can trace an animal through its life. In addition, Canada’s industry has strong leadership like the CCA, CRSB and has invested in the development of our next generation with programs like CYL. McDonald’s will support other processes in other countries with the ultimate goal of sourcing verified sustainable beef globally. I believe it should be a point of pride that this global corporation saw Canada as the best place to begin a project on beef sustainability because of the success and already environmentally sound system we already have in place here in Canada. • What sustainable beef could mean for Canada? McDonald’s serves more than 2.5 million customers every day in Canada alone. It’s exciting as a member of the beef industry that a group with such influence is collaborating with the beef industry to promote how we raise our beef and to raise consumer confidence in our industry. This could also mean access to new markets by being the first country to have a verification process for sustainable beef in a global marketplace. And it will

JEANNETTE GREAVES

KRISTINE BLAIR

also give us a chance to look »» We follow animal and maintain a reclosely at our industry and transportation record of pharmaceuour own operations to see quirements under the tical, herbicide and where we can improve our Health of Animal Regpesticide use. management systems, reulations. The CRSB will decord keeping and progress to • Food cide what is a reasonable continue to be competitive in »» Our operation is VBP means for a producer to this global market. registered and/or we demonstrate that they Understandably sustainare capable of demon- possess these indicators of able beef production looks strating compliance sustainability on their opdifferent across our country with the VBP pro- eration. and even across our provgram. Although the McDonince, ex. Pipestone vs. Inter- • People and Community ald’s pilot and the work lake. But the goal of CRSB »» We support our local of the CRSB are separate, is to develop indicators that community; they both view this as an will enable each producer, »» We abide by work opportunity to commudespite their location, to place health and safe nicate more broadly with demonstrate achievements. regulations. the general public regardSome examples of poten- • Efficiency and Innovation ing the sustainability of the tial indicators: »» We make efforts to im- beef industry in Canada, • Natural Resources prove feed efficiency; sustainable farms, sustain»» We take measures to »» We follow all label di- able feedlots, sustainable decrease soil erosion, rections and/ or vet- processors and sustainable nutrient runoff and erinary prescriptions retailers. protect riparian health; » » We take measures to increase biodiversity. • Animal Care »» We follow the National th Beef Code of Practice;

STEPPLER FARMS 4th Annual Bull Sale

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

HAMCO CATTLE CO. 7

1

Annual

Angus Bull Sale

Saturday March 21, 2015

At the farm, South of Glenboro, MB 1:00 p.m.

Your source for Elite Angus Genetics!

1:00 p.m. at the Steppler Farms Sale Barn 6 miles west of Miami and 1 1/2 miles south

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Featuring 60 Yearling & 20 Two-Year Old Charolais Bulls

(floating rate)

View the catalogue & videos online at www.stepplerfarms.com

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CASH ADVANCE FORMS AVAILABLE ONLINE at: www.manitobalivestock.com Cash Advance Program Applies to: • Manitoba Cattle, Goat, Bison and Sheep Producers • Saskatchewan Cattle, Goat, Bison and Sheep Producers • Alberta Sheep, Bison and Goat Producers • British Columbia Bison and Goat Producers • Quebec, PE, YK, NB, NL & NS Bison Producers

Call: 1-866-869-4008 to start your application** Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Inc.

*Per applicant, includes all APP Programs. Subject to Credit Approval

Online bidding available at www.Cattleinmotion.com

STEPPLER FARMS LTD. Andre & Katie Steppler 204.435.2463 cell 204.750.1951 Dan & Pat Steppler 204.435.2021 Sale Manager: 305.584.7937 • www.bylivestock.com Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374

www.mbbeef.ca

Selling 65 Red & 45 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 25 Red & 6 Black Angus 2 Year old Bulls 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Many are AI sired Bulls semen tested & tested BVD PI negative Bulls on home performance test - data available Developed on a high forage TMR ration Selected from a 530 cow herd Free delivery & free board till May 1 Delayed payment plan 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 (204) 526-0705 cell larissa_hamilton@hotmail.com


18 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

P.E.I. trip a great experience for TESA winners 2014 was an exciting year for us at Rich Lane Farms. In February, we were named The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) winners for Manitoba at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in Brandon. We were incredibly honoured to be chosen for our efforts to keep our land and water healthy through such practices as exclusion fencing of riparian areas, rotational grazing, and bale grazing. In using these practices, we have seen tremendous benefits in improved water quality, improved soil structure and fertility as well as increased biodiversity. Our motivation for environmental stewardship is not to win

awards but we were definitely excited to find out that as the Manitoba winners, we would be attending the 2014 Semi-Annual Meeting for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association for the national Environmental Stewardship Award. Even better was finding out that the meeting was being held in Prince-Edward Island, where neither my husband nor I had visited before! The fun began even before we reached PEI as we spotted some cowboy hats at a restaurant in Toronto airport waiting for our connecting flight. Low and behold, it turned out to be the Saskatchewan and Alberta winners also waiting for the same flight.

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Over the next few days, we were introduced to the other Provincial winners and we enjoyed our time getting to know them and “talk cows” as all beef producers tend to do when we get together. We attended some of the CCA meetings that were open to the public and it was an eye opener to listen to the topics being discussed on the National industry level. So often it is easy for us just to stay focussed on our own farm and we don’t always think of the bigger picture. The highlight for me was the tour and entertainment evening that had been planned by the PEI Cattle Producers. The tour began at the Cows Creamery where we witnessed (and sampled) their award winning icecream being made, learned about their cheeses and how their whimsical t-shirts are made. The next stop was the Avonlea Village; a wonderful re-creation of L.M. Montgomery’s fictional world. No Cattlemen’s tour would be complete without a farm tour, so we

KRISTY LAYNE CARR

KRISTY LAYNE CARR

As part of being named the winners of the 2014 TESA Award, Richard and Kristy Layne Carr received a trip to the CCA semi-annual meeting in P.E.I.

stopped at the Wilsim’s who showed us around their indoor feedlot overlooking the ocean. It was also interesting to hear about the strict requirements regarding potato rotations as Islanders are increasingly concerned about the amount of land lost each year to erosion. Supper was served on an authentic fishing boat that was also used for tours during the off-season. The menu included Island mussels, salads, lobster and steak. After the boat tour, we headed off to a “kitchen party” (music in the park) where there

was more food served (hake/haddock, clams, and fresh Island produce). The evening finished off with a wine and cheese tour at the world famous “Around the Sea Rotating House”, which is available to rent on your next trip to PEI! The hospitality was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves touring all the best that PEI has to offer. In the end, the winners of the The Environmental Stewardship Award were Sean and Tanya McGrath of Round Rock Ranching out of Vermillion, AB. They employ a number of

LIMOUSIN

stewardship practices such as bale grazing, portable wind fences, fuel efficient vehicles and participate in several recycling programs. Another stewardship goal is the continued education of the public and the McGrath’s have participated on several public forums and use technologies such as YouTube and Twitter. Although we weren’t selected as the National winners, we are so thankful that we were part of such an amazing experience and were fortunate to meet some truly fantastic people from our farming community.

Amaglen Limousin

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

THE NATURAL GENETIC ADVANTAGE FROM BIRTH TO PLATE

Campbell Limousin

204-776-2322 Email: cam.limousin@xplornet.com 10th Annual Homegrown Bull Sale April 7th

700 HEAD COW/CALF

250 HEAD COW/CALF

Connor Bros Ltd

Using Limousin bulls on our black cows gave us calving ease and a cross breeding advantage. Our ranch was able to sell market topping 1000 pound grass yearlings in late July.

Craig and Lorna Marr

2013 MB Commercial Breeder of the Year

HANNA, ALBERTA

500 HEAD BLACK COW HERD Gord Kozroski 2013 SK Commercial Breeder of the Year

GULL LAKE, SK

We use quiet Limousin bulls for the big beefy calves with great hair and hip. They have been our terminal cross for over 20 years and the calves are vigourous at birth, do well in the feedlot, and have great carcass yield.

SILVER RIDGE, MB

Year after year, we buy Limousin bulls because they give us great calves that we get a premium for. Raising superior calves is why we farm.

www.mbbeef.ca

Jaymarandy Limousin 204-937-4980 Len www.jaymarandy.com Western Gateway Bull Sale April 13, Ste. Rose

L&S Limousin Acres

204-838-2198 Bulls Sell April 4th at Douglas Bull Test Station

L.G. Limousin

204-851-0399 cell 204-748-3728 home Cochrane Stock Farms Private treaty sales on farm 204-855-2191 Darby 204-573-6529 Cell www.cochranestockfarms.com Maplehurst Farms 204-274-2490 Bob Cherway Limousin 204-274-2634 Ken Bulls for sale on farm 204-736-2878 www.cherwaylimousin.ca Red & Black Polled Bulls Roaring River Limousin & Females for sale 204-734-4797 2 Yr. Old Bulls for sale Diamond T Limousin on farm on farm 204-838-2019 Email: Triple R Limousin DiamondTLimo@gmail.com 204-685-2628 Red & Black Polled Bulls Custom built panels, bunk for sale on farm feeders, etc. Open House & Private Treaty Bull Sale April 11th Hockridge Farms 204-648-6333 Brad 204-648-5222 Glen Find us on Facebook www.hockridgefarms.ca www.facebook.com/pages/ManitobaBulls for sale on farm Limousin-Association/572198599475105 see you @ 2015 MLA Summer Show, June 28th, Treherne, MB


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

How Will Climate Change Affect My Big Mac Meal®?

What is going on?

Regardless of the pros and cons of quick-service restaurant fare, the Big Mac Meal is an unqualified commercial success. It is also the end-point of a significant portion of agricultural products that emanate from the Canadian prairies. For established food processors, three primary considerations govern business viability. Their manufacturing plant must be efficient, their product must be safe, and it must meet the exacting quality demands laid down by customers such as the quick-service industry. All three considerations will be affected by climate change and extreme weather that impact the producers of potatoes, canola, wheat and beef and their food processor partners who serve that sector. It is therefore highly unlikely that the Big Mac Meal of 2050 will be unaffected by a changing climate To be assured of highquality outputs, food processors demand high-quality inputs. Perhaps more importantly, processors demand consistency in the quality or process performance of those agricultural inputs. Variability in properties of agricultural commodities due to climate change poses significant challenges to the food processing industry. To maintain quality uniformity in a global industry, the quick-service cooked frozen French fry should taste the same in Shanghai as it

Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry – potato tubers get stressed very easily. Tubers respond to physiological stresses by producing sugars. Unfortunately, sugars in potato strips diminish the appearance of the finished fry, and the processor can only do so much in the manufacturing plant to get those sugars out. A number of options exist for the quick-service buyer of fries from the climate-challenged processor: lower quality standards and risk losing customers, or lose customers because meals must be higher priced to offset the costs of rejected loads of tubers. A third pro-active option is through potato breeding programs, where cultivars tolerant to abiotic stress will be targeted while maintaining other fry quality traits. The capacity to sort strips based on composition at line speeds is an additional technological response to agriculture’s 2050 climate challenges. Food safety will also be increasingly challenged by the effects of climate change and extreme weather events. The old allies of food safety in meat processing plants chilled process lines and copious emanations of wash water - will be harder to find as rising prices for refrigeration and potable water force processors into reconfiguring long-held manufacturing practices. Innovative reductions in water usage and the re-use of grey water streams for non-critical process tasks where food safety is not compromised are certainties

50 50

4

40 40

Series1 Series2

30 30

20 20

2

10 10

0 -10

10 2004 2005 30 70 2009 2010 90 2006 502007 2008 2011 1102012 2003

130 2013

Price of off-peak electricity in cents per kWh

What is coming up, and does it matter?

6

60 60

energy

does in Chicago. Potatoes, along with canola oil, make up more than 99 per cent of a quick-service French fry. But, potatoes are particularly susceptible to quality changes brought about by variation in growing conditions.

70 70

150

time

Figure 1: Energy and water prices from power-stressed Ontario and water-stressed Southern California1. As climate change reduces water supplies and increases energy costs, Canadian food processing facilities will have to cope with increased manufacturing costs. Exacerbating the problem is the high power cost of pumping water to regions that undergo periodic water stress. DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle! Monday, March 2

Butcher Sale

9AM

Friday, March 6

Bred Cow Sale & C/C Sale

11:30AM

Wednesday, March 4 Monday, March 9

Wednesday, March 11

March

This article is one in a series of articles that make up “Moving Toward Prairie Agriculture 2050”. Experts in their field, contributors were challenged to describe what agriculture on the prairies will look like 35 years from now, following a framework of questions around What’s going on? What’s coming up? Does it matter? and What is being done? The full greenpaper is available at http://ncle.ca.

8

80

Sunday, March 15

Monday, March 16

Wednesday, March 18 Thusday, March 19

Saturday, March 21 Monday, March 23

Wednesday, March 25 Friday, March 27

Monday, March 30

Presort Feeder Sale

Wednesday, April 15 Monday, April 20

Wednesday, April 22 Friday, April 24

Monday, April 27

Wednesday, April 29 Thursday, April 30

9AM

10AM

Butcher Sale

9AM

Sheep Sale

12 NOON

Regular Feeder Sale Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale

9AM

Butcher Sale

9AM

Bred Cow Sale & C/C Sale

11:30AM

Presort Feeder Sale Butcher Sale

Cattlemen’s Classic Bull Sale

Monday, April 13

9AM

Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale

Saturday, April 4

Wednesday, April 8

www.mbbeef.ca

Butcher Sale

Regualr Feeder Sale

Monday, April 6

The greenpaper “Moving Toward Prairie Agriculture 2050” was prepared for the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and supported by the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba. The opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Regular Feeder Sale

Wednesday, April 1 Wednesday, April 1

April

Martin Scanlon is Associate Dean (Research), Chair of the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment and a Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on understanding changes in the properties of agricultural materials during the processing operations that convert them into food.

Processors demand consistency in the quality or process performance of those agricultural inputs. Price of Tier 1 water in US cents per cubic metre

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

in all future processing plans. An example is one meat processor who has reduced water usage from 3,700 litres per head in 2010 to 2,800 litres per head one year later. One area where extreme weather can directly affect consumer health is not in the meat patty; this undergoes a rigorous heat treatment at the restaurant before the bun is loaded. Rather, the food safety threat arises from lettuce shreds that enhance the burger’s textural contrasts. The intense precipitation of extreme weather events can ballistically launch soil-borne organisms such as Listeria and transfer them to the growing lettuce. With no option for heat treatment, these minor components in the meal may pose tomorrow’s food safety threat. Finally, plant efficiency can also be challenged by climate and extreme weather effects. Manufacturing plants that are able to meet the standards of the quick-service industry rely on uninterrupted supplies of potable water and reliable power; they run on large volumes and tight margins. Reducing these inputs is a target for all processors, and some have cited aggressive reductions for 2020 through a variety of innovative strategies and new technology introductions. In addition, since much of the Big Mac Meal relies on tightly integrated frozen and refrigerated distribution chains, extreme weather events could significantly disrupt the supply and quality of the Meal’s components after they have left the process plant. Sensitivity to weather events is exacerbated because these tightly-controlled chains have been purged of the vast majority of previous inefficiencies. To conclude, one can expect the effects of climate change and extreme weather to affect the viability of food processors meeting the demands of urban customers far from the Prairies. Elevated carbon dioxide levels may change more in the Big Mac Meal than just the carbonation level in the soda.

2015 Spring Sale Schedule

MARTIN SCANLON

Pen of 5 Replacement Heifer Sale CLOSED EASTER MONDAY

10AM 9AM 9AM 1PM

Butcher/ Feeder Sale

9AM

Presort Feeder Sale

10AM

Butcher Sale

Butcher Sale Regular Sale

Bred Cow & C/C Sale Butcher Sale

Regular Feeder Sale Sheep Sale

Heartland Livestock Services

9AM

9AM 9AM

11:30AM 9AM

9AM

12 NOON


20 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

Producers give opinion on research and extension

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) supports beef industry research and the extension of the results to Manitobans, in particular beef producers. By communicating with producers, MBP directors and staff can use their best judgment to help select research priorities that will benefit producers in the province. That’s why we went to you, the producers, for direct insights into which areas of research you believe would produce the biggest dividends for your operation and the larger beef industry. In October and November 2014, a 10 question survey was handed out at all 14 MBP district meetings. The purpose was to get a general idea of how Manitoba beef producers view research and extension priorities. By no means was the survey all-encompassing and the results were gathered from only a small (161 completed surveys) representative portion of the thousands of beef producers in the province. It does however give a great broad-spectrum view of where producers’ priorities lie and MBP thanks all those who participated. The survey asked individuals to rank their answers in order of importance and those rankings were converted into their average importance relative to the other answers. As you can see from the accompanying graphs, there were a wide variety of rankings indicating that all of the topics have some varying degree of significance to producers.

Broad research areas - Question 1

The first question asked about broad research areas and preferred areas of focus. Economics and profitability was of highest relative importance (70 per cent) to producers followed closely by nutrition and feed efficiency (67 per cent), animal health and welfare (59 per cent) and forage and grassland productivity (55 per

cent). Beef cattle production is a business and the highest costs are usually associated with forage supply and unhealthy or unproductive cattle. It follows that these areas of research would be extremely important to beef producers. Environmental sustainability (44 per cent) and beef quality (45 per cent) were also deemed reasonably important.

Specifics of each research area Questions 2-6

The next five questions delved into more detail about each of these research areas (except beef quality). When it comes to environmental sustainability the principal priority producers have is water quality (70 per cent), followed by manure management strategies (45 per cent), nutrient build up and/or run-off (45 per cent), and maintaining biodiversity (34 per cent). Reducing greenhouse gas emissions lagged far behind on the priority list (4 per cent). In terms of economics and profitability, farm management strategies to reduce costs (73 per cent) and farm level marketing techniques (47 per cent) were viewed as the most important research and extension areas to producers. Research on the different aspects of animal health and welfare had relatively similar importance across the board. Pain mitigation (9 per cent) and transportation (15 per cent) lagged but not drastically behind the rest of the topics which were: handling techniques to reduce stress (41 per cent), parasite control (37 per cent), disease surveillance (36 per cent), biosecurity (36 per cent) and needleless injections (24 per cent). Grasslands and forages are an important resource in cow-calf production which is likely why producers placed considerable value on research geared toward extended grazing techniques (62 per cent), improving

nutritional value in forages (57 per cent) and selecting forage varieties suitable for distinct soil types (55 per cent). Research on fertilizer use, either commercial or manure, was less important in comparison (26 per cent). In terms of nutrition and feed efficiency research, on average the highest ranked sector was cow nutrition especially during the winter (69 per cent), followed by improving feed efficiency or residual feed intake (61 per cent). Feeding methods, for example, extended grazing or creep feeding, and mineral supplementation had an average relative importance of 38 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

Fact sheets – Question 7

Question seven related to what part of a fact sheet, summarizing research results, would be most valuable to you. A combination of quick statistics, a written description of the study and results, graphs, and pictures of how the project was completed all had quite similar average relative importance (31-45 per cent).

Receiving study results - Question 8

This question asked, ‘What is the best way for you to learn about study results?’. Cattle Country is obviously well regarded and valuable to many producers as its relative importance was higher than the rest of the options (59 per cent). In general, producers would also like to go to a farm site to see the research in action (42 per cent). The importance of the other avenues of communication ranged from 5-31 per cent.

Receiving the results of applied research (40 per cent), seeing how the research was accomplished (40 per cent) and going to a related workshop (33 per cent) were also important features of a demonstration.

Open-ended – Question 10

from genomics, meeting the European market, attracting new producers, increased research collaboration and educating consumers, to name a few. Some of the topics mentioned are covered in other areas of this Cattle Country issue and will continue to be addressed in future issues.

The last question on the survey asked, ‘What other Getting the types of research or exten- answers… sion questions are relevant to Beef cattle research anyour farm or ranch?’ There swers the questions that are were 17 astute answers to raised every day on cattle this question that ranged operations around the

province. For example, ‘how can I save money on feed costs without compromising the health of my cattle?’ By doing this type of survey MBP is better able to understand which questions are raised most often and can then set out to research them and share the results through extension. If you are interested in more information or have an opinion you’d like to share about this survey, please don’t hesitate to contact MBP. Again, our thanks to all that participated in the survey!

For Sale:

13 Bulls Red & Black Angus

at Douglas Bull Test Station Sat. April 4, 2015 28 Bulls on RFI feed efficiency trial at Art Petkau, Morden (Grow Safe) likely the only place you’ll find feed efficiency tested bulls

HERD BULLS:

Prairielane 7093 9115 --top gainer at Douglas 2014 & 2013 Blue Gentian Black Spear 332T --top gaining group at Douglas 2014 currently top gaining group at Douglas MVF Upward 216W SAV 004 Traveler 7069 --full brother to SAV 004 Density 4336 noted for excellent females

Research demonstration Question 9

According to producers, seeing new technology and equipment in action was an important feature of a visit to a demonstration of applied research (69 per cent).

“WE STRIVE FOR PERFORMANCE EFFICIENCY” Norman Bednar 1-204-425-3401, cell 1-204-380-2551 Neil & Dorothy, Alexandrea Bednar 1-204-425-7940

www.mbbeef.ca


CHAD SAXON

March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 21

RETIREMENT GIFT

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CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.

Retiring District 1 Director Ted Artz was presented with his Manitoba Beef Producers belt buckle during the annual MBP President’s Banquet Feb. 5 in Brandon. Artz is retiring after five years as a director and was honoured at the meeting by District 10 Director Theresa Zuk. Cheryl McPherson, who has retired as the director of District 3, was not able to attend the banquet but was recognized for her service by MBP President Heinz Reimer.

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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22 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

BRM programs to be examined MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture and at local MAFRD GO Offices when the meeting dates and locations are finalized. MBP has been requesting improvements to BRM programs to ensure they are responsive to producers’ needs and will be participating in the consultation process. If you have an issue or idea you would like to see brought forward, contact the MBP office at 1-800-772-0458. MBP is encouraging beef producers to participate. Some of the recent AgriInsurance program changes will also be of interest to beef producers. Key among them is changing the escalating deductible for coarse hay to a flat 20 per cent for the Harvest Flood Option, which was one of the new program features introduced for forage producers in 2014. Prior to this change being made the deductible was to individualize over time - increasing 10 per cent for every claim year, and decreasing 10 per cent (to a minimum of 20 per cent) for each non-claim year. March 31 is the last day to apply for the Harvest Flood Option. For those considering forage insurance, MASC has an online forage insurance calculator: http://www.masc. mb.ca/masc.nsf/calculator_ forages.html As well, the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program will again be offered to 90 producers, including up to 20 in the Dauphin and Neepawa MASC insurance areas. It provides insurance coverage for livestock producers for losses sustained due to weather-related grazing shortfalls during the summer pasture period. Interested producers must have an active AgriInsurance contract, but do not have Pasture selected for insurance in combination with Forage Insurance; and have a minimum total of 30 ‘Animal Units’ (AU) of eligible livestock types on pasture.

A new provincial task force to examine business risk management programs and changes to AgriInsurance programs, some of which will affect beef producers, were unveiled in conjunction with Ag Days in January in Brandon. Bill Uruski will chair the five-member Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force that will examine existing programs and policies used to help producers recover from climate-related challenges like flooding. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) will also be represented, along with a financial institution and farmers. “Manitoba’s farmers have told us existing agricultural programs can’t adequately address these climate-related challenges, especially as they become more common,” said Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn in a January 21 news release. “We are following through on our commitment to review existing programs and consider options that will be more predictable, comprehensive and sustainable for farmers and governments.” The Task Force will hold public consultations starting this spring, although they had not been announced by press time. Issues to be examined include: • evaluating the effectiveness of current risk management tools, including production insurance, to help manage and recover from climate-related challenges; • identifying gaps in existing policies and programs; • recommending options to improve farmers’ ability to manage climate-related risks; and • identifying ways to shift government support from ad hoc assistance to planned and predictable Price Insurance Program Deadline programs. The Western Livestock Information about consultations will be available at Price Insurance Program

(WLPIP) for cattle (fed, feeder and calf) and hogs provides producers with a means of protecting against market risks. May 28 is the final date for purchasing a calf policy under WLPIP for this year. Policies are available yearround for fed cattle and feeder cattle. For more information, contact your local MASC office or call 1-844-782-5747.

GF2 Deadline Reminders

Participating in the Verified Beef Production Program? Then you may be eligible for up to $12,000 in funding for food safety on-farm, biosecurity and traceability initiatives. This year’s deadlines to apply for funding under the GF2 Growing Assurance – Food Safety On-Farm program are May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1. Applications are assessed on a competitive basis until the program is fully subscribed. Examples of BMPs available to eligible producers

include: neck extension for chutes, single animal scale, first audit for Verified Beef, beef herd medical treatment software, quarantine pen for incoming or returning animals, compost site for dead stock management, RFID reading equipment and software and Carrying case and/ or docking station for RFID equipment. For complete details visit: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/food-safety/at-thefarm/growing-assurancefood-safety-on-farm.html If you are interested in participating in a VBP Program workshop, please contact the MBP office at 1-800772-0458.

Rebates are for school taxes paid on farmland only, not those paid on farm residences or buildings. The maximum rebate is $5,000 for any taxpayer, which includes all related persons of that taxpayer. Note: this excludes children, parents, siblings or other individuals connected by a blood relationship. However, it does include your spouse or commonlaw partner any corporation controlled by either of you, whether solely or jointly. This also includes any other corporation controlled by that first corporation, whether directly or indirectly. For more informaFarmland School Tax tion see: http://www.masc. Rebate (FSTR) mb.ca/masc.nsf/program_ If you are applying for farmland_school_tax_rethe Farmland School Tax bate.html Rebate for the 2014 property tax year your application Seniors School Tax must be received by Mani- Rebate toba Agricultural Services The Manitoba govCorporation by March 31. ernment also offers a

What’s New for 2015 - MASC Insurance Claim Notification Deadline for Basic Hay, Select Hay and Enhanced Quality Option (under Forage Insurance) as well as for Greenfeed

The deadline for registering a claim without a late fee is September 30. The final deadline for registering a claim is November 30 (changed from the following March 31). Claims filed after September 30, but by November 30, are subject to a late fee.

Notice of Disposition of Grain Used for Feed

The AgriInsurance Contract requires that a producer provide MASC with 10 days of notice before any insured production of hay, greenfeed, or silage corn is used for feed, or is sold or disposed of in any manner. The 10 day notice period has been extended to insured grain production that is used for feed. If the notice is not provided, MASC may deny or adjust the claim as deemed appropriate.

Adding Land for Excess Moisture Insurance (EMI) Coverage

Rented land must be added to your AgriInsurance Contract by March 31

Forage Insurance Program

The suite of forage insurance programs continue to provide more benefits and options for producers at a lower premium cost. You can choose Select Hay Insurance, which provides production and quality guarantees for five separate types of hay (no offsetting between types for claim or coverage purposes); or Basic Hay Insurance, which provides lower-cost, whole-farm production coverage for all hay types combined. Additional options are available, such as the Harvest Flood Option (the inability to harvest coarse hay due to excess moisture and flooding) and the Enhanced Quality Option (which provides a higher Relative Feed Value guarantee for alfalfa under Select Hay Insurance). Also

Distributed by: Dr.K’s Specialty Products www.mbseasalt.com

Requirement to Incorporate Seed for Forage Establishment Insurance

In order to be eligible for Forage Establishment Insurance, forage seed must be incorporated into the soil by mechanical means. An inspection may be completed to verify incorporation.

Winter Wheat and Fall Rye Reseeding/Overseeding Policy Change

When winter wheat is overseeded with spring wheat, the crop will be insurable as feed wheat; and when winter wheat or fall rye is overseeded with another crop type, the crop will be insurable as mixed grain, provided the insured producer has feed wheat and mixed grain selected for insurance. In both cases, only the premium associated with the overseeded crop will be charged. There will be no premium or reseeding benefit on the original winter wheat or fall rye crop.

Called “Healthy Hay” in Europe (www.sainfoin.eu)

Just like natural sea salt and minerals are better for human health than those which are industrially refined, so are they for your animals.

AVAILABLE AT THESE RETAILERS: Steads Farm Supply- Boissevain,MB-204-534-3236 Silver Creek Bison- Binscarth,MB-204-532-2174 Firdale Feed and Farm- Austin,MB Emile Paradis- Ste Rose du Lac, MB-204-447-3332 Kaljent Ag- Teulon,MB-204.886.2180 K&A Feeds- Eriksdale,MB-203.739.5381

included, at no extra cost, is the Hay Disaster Benefit, which provides additional compensation to a producer who has a claim when there is a severe province-wide forage shortfall.

ORGANIC SAINFOIN SEED

Finally a natural, unrefined salt and natural conditioner is available to the Canadian market. Redmond salt is a 100% natural mineral mined from an ancient seabed in central Utah, containing over 60 naturally occurring crystallized trace minerals.

OMRI listed for organic livestock production.

Source: http://www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/insurance.html

in order to be eligible for EMI coverage in that year. Rented land added after March 31 will continue to be eligible for AgriInsurance coverage for seeded crops and for Hail Insurance, but not for EMI. Land that is purchased by an insured producer on or before June 30 is eligible for EMI, based on proof of purchase being provided to MASC. Contact your Insurance Agent for further details.

New Livestock Mineral

Seniors School Tax Rebate of up to $235 for eligible seniors. Eligibility requirements are as follows: • You or your spouse/ common-law partner must be 65 years of age or older by the end of the year (December 31, 2014); • You or your spouse or common-law partner must own your home; • You and your spouse or common-law partner must live in your home; • You and your spouse or common-law partner must be a resident of Manitoba; and • Your property taxes must not be in arrears. The deadline to apply for your 2014 rebate is March 31, 2015. For more information and to get an application visit: http://www.gov. mb.ca/finance/tao/sstrebate.html Or call 1-855-893-8266.

The story of Canadian agriculture is one of success, promise, challenge and determination. We know, because we live it every day.

Sainfoin is an ancient, non-bloating, nutritious, low input, perennial legume loved by all animals. Recent research from Utah State University indicates both better meat flavour and nutrition from sainfoin supplemented forage.

Be proud. Champion our industry. Share your story, hear others and learn more at www.AgMoreThanEver.ca.

MBP is a proud champion of this cause

www.mbbeef.ca

CONTACT

www.primegrains.com John Husband • (306)739-2900 jhusband@primegrains.com


March 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

Bring nutrition month into the office ADRIANA BARROS, PHEC. Great Tastes of Manitoba Each year Nutrition Month is celebrated throughout Canada in the month of March. This month is initiated by Dietitians of Canada working to help remind us all the importance of healthy eating and the positive impact nutrition has on our health and well-being. This year their campaign is focused on helping Canadians eat well at work. Eating 9 to 5, is their slogan. Let’s discuss why healthy eating is important, the state of Manitoba adults’ chronic disease rates and list strategies for

creating a supportive and healthy environment at the workplace. Adults spend most of their waking hours at their place of employment, including the daily commute; your job can keep one away from home for approximately 10-15 hours a day. Most work environments are sedentary, caused by sitting at a desk, gathered around meeting tables and even spent sitting for lunch and snack breaks; this results in a high level of inactivity for most of the day. Maintaining a diet

outlined by Canada’s Food Guide and regular activity are essential steps toward optimal health, resulting in an increase of healthy employees. Employers and their employees would mutually benefit from maintaining an adequate healthy workplace environment resulting in higher productivity rates and optimized concentration. Work environments that encourage healthy living also diminish insurance costs by lowering nutrition related chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure or heart disease. This means less sick days may be taken and employees are energized and feeling healthy. According to Statistics Canada every seven

SANTA FE STEAK SALAD • 1 lb flank steak RUB: • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder • 1 tsp brown sugar • 1 tbsp canola oil SALAD: • 4 cup mixed salad greens • 1/2 cup EACH black beans and corn • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved • 1/2 large English cucumber, chopped • 1-2 avocado, chopped • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped • Optional garnish: corn chips

PEANUT LIME DRESSING: • 1/2 cup canola oil • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter • juice of 1 lime • 1/4 tsp minced garlic • 1 minced garlic • 1 tbsp honey • Salt and pepper

Add all dressing ingredients and blend together, set dressing aside.

DIRECTIONS: Incorporate rub ingredients and sprinkle evenly on both sides of the steak, drizzle with oil and set aside in the refrigerator to marinade 4 hours minimum to 12 hours maximum.

Combine all salad ingredients together, dress salad with dressing and top with barbecued flank steak strips. Garnish with corn chips and a lime wedge.

1 in 2 men & 1 in 3 women living in Canada will develop heart disease in their lifetime; 85% of hospitalized patients survive the event

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Recipe developed and written by Adriana Barros PHEc

For

Stroke:

Critical Ilness Insurance

Place marinated flank steak on medium heat grill; sear each side until the internal temperature reaches 145˚F or (63˚C). Allow the steak to rest 5-10 minutes, slice against the grain into strips.

New

Cancer:

Heart Disease:

These numbers can improve as a whole across Canada. Thanks to an increased focus in public awareness paired with educational programs available throughout Canadian provinces there has been a change for the better. A change in healthy eating and maintaining regular physical activity, has resulted in Canadians reaching lowered death rates caused by cardiovascular disease by more than 75 per cent in the past 60 years. Hooray! But, we aren’t finished yet, due to lifestyle trends and constant challenges present when choosing the foods we eat; the fight isn’t over. Heart disease and strokes are two of the three causes of death in Canada. (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2014). Let try to win this battle

A tasty Santa Fe Steak Salad with a zesty peanut lime dressing

DID YOU KNOW?

1 in 2.2 men & 1 in 2.4 women living in Canada will develop cancer during their lifetime; 63% will survive for at least 5 years

minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke (Heart and Stroke Manitoba). In the year 2011/2012, 27.8 per cent of all Manitobans over the age of 20 years old were diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure). People living in the Northern Health Region showed significantly higher incidences of hypertension when compared to Manitoba overall. Figures from the same year, 20011/2012 shows that 7.9 per cent of Manitobans aged one and older was living with diabetes. People living with diabetes increased steadily from 5.2 per cent in 2000/2001 to a staggering 7.9 per cent in 2011/2012 Manitoba Health’s Health Information Management, 2012-2013).

Works Cited

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by focusing on improving our nutrition this month. By narrowing in on making change at the place we all spend long hours, here are a few ways employers and employees can be innovative and promote a healthy lifestyle within the office: • Start a wellness committee in the office to organize planned group activities; • Set up a corporate rate gym pass to a local fitness club; • Insurance benefits with access to dieticians or nutritionists; • Organize office marathons, charity walks or tournaments; • Set up office sports teams i.e. baseball, soccer or hockey; • Organize a monthly potluck lunch where each colleague brings a homemade dish from a healthy lunch menu created by a health champion at the office; • Encourage walking around indoors or outdoors during a portion of the lunch hour; • Organize family fun days, an event that brings colleagues and their families together by putting on an outdoor park lunch or excursions to a local family friendly attraction like the zoo or a water park; • Celebrate an office birthday or holiday with a casual day or a vegetable or fruit tray rather than cakes or candy. Remember that behavioural changes are achieved when there is community support. This month is Nutrition Month, so be mindful of your dietary habits during work hours and help improve your health as well as the health of your coworkers. This month Manitoba Beef is sharing a healthy Santa Fe Steak Salad recipe that can be easily packed away for weekly lunches! Remember to store the homemade salad dressing on the side! Happy Nutrition Month and thanks for reading. Heart and Stroke Foundation. (2014). 2014 Report on the Health of Canadians. Heart and Stroke Manitoba. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved January 28, 2015, from Heart and Stroke Foundation: http://www. he ar t andst roke.mb.c a/ s ite / c . l g L SI VO y Gp F / b.3661109/k.34F4/Statistics.htm Manitoba Health’s Health Information Management. (2012-2013). Annual Statistics. Winnipeg: Manitoba Health.


24 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2015

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS AGM SPONSORS EVENT FUNDING PROVIDED BY

DIAMOND LUNCH SPONSOR

PRESIDENT’S BANQUET SPONSORS

DIAMOND SPONSORS

THE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD SPONSOR

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COFFEE SPONSORS Enns Brothers Sterling Truck and Trailer Sales Ltd.

GOLD SPONSORS Alert Agri Distributors Inc./P. Quintaine & Sons Ltd. DNA Insurance EMF Nutrition Kane Veterinary Supplies & Allflex Canada Landmark Feeds MacDon Industries Ltd. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Manitoba Charolais Association Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation Manitoba Hereford Association Mazergroup

Twin Bridge Farms Ltd.

Ron, Carol, Ross, Gail, Owen & Aaron Birch Ron & Carol 403-792-2123 Aaron 403-485-5518 Lomond, AB aaron@tbfarms.ca www.tbfarms.ca

Keriness Cattle Company Ltd. Kert Ness - 403-860-4634 kertness@shaw.ca Joe Ness - 403-852-7332 Airdrie, AB jonus@telus.blackberry.net

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SILVER SPONSORS Canadian Cattle Identification Agency Cattlex Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Ducks Unlimited Canada Hamiota Feedlot Ltd. Manitoba Angus Association

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BRONZE SPONSORS Aikins Law Allen Leigh Security & Communication Ltd. CattleMax Software Cattle Track Technologies CIBC Murray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Westman Paddock Drilling Ltd. Sunrise Credit Union

Darrell & Leila Hickman 780-581-0077 Vermilion, AB darrell.hickman@lakelandcollege.ca Vern & Vivienne Pancoast 403-548-6678 Redcliff, AB vvfarms@xplornet.com

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Vernon & Eileen Davidson 306-625-3755 davidsongelbvieh@sasktel.net www.davidsongelbvieh.com Ross & Tara Davidson & Family 306-625-3513 lonesomedoveranch@sasktel.net www.davidsonlonesomedoveranch.com

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Eastern Canadian Gelbvieh Assoc. c/o Laurie Hurst Durham, ON 519-369-1763 carrollcreekcattleco@gmail.com www.go-gelbvieh.com

CANADIAN GELBVIEH ASSOCIATION www.mbbeef.ca

hurlburtlivestock@sasktel.net Chad Nicholas 306-436-7300 cnicholas@mccoycattle.com Ian Thackeray 306-861-7687 tgfis@sasktel.net

Man-Sask Gelbvieh Assoc.

c/o Lee Wirgau - 204-278-3255 Narcisse, MB maplegrove@xplornet.com

5160 Skyline Way NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 6V1 Ph: 403.250.8640 • Fax: 403.291.5624 Email: gelbvieh@gelbvieh.ca • www.gelbvieh.ca


POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

JEANNETTE GREAVES PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

MAY 2015

Falling Loonie has positive impact on cattle industry Page 3

Twine and film collection project underway Page 16

Dealing with weak calf syndrome Page 11


2

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

MBP at the Manitoba Winter Fair

Manitoba Beef Producers was one of the many exhibitors at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, which was held from March 30, to April 4 in Brandon. The MBP booth included information for consumers and producers as well colouring and roping areas for the kids. Photos by Chad Saxon

Thank You

Manitoba Beef Producers to offer six bursaries in 2015 Six Manitoba students will receive a little extra help paying for their education this year thanks to the 2015 Manitoba Beef Producers’ bursaries. The six $500 bursaries are offered annually to MBP members or their children who are attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution. Students pursuing trades training are also eligible. Preference will be given to students who are in a field of study related to agriculture or those working to acquire a skilled trade that would benefit the rural economy. Those applying must be at least 17-years-old as of Jan. 1, 2015 and be an active Manitoba beef producer or the child of one. Applicants are required to use the bursary within two years of receipt and the program they are attending must be at least one years in duration. Interested students are asked to submit an essay no more than 600 words in length discussing what the beef industry means to them, their family, community and DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

Manitoba at large. Students are also asked to include the reasons they enjoy being involved in agriculture. Applicants must also submit either a high school or post-secondary transcript, proof of enrolment in a recognized institution, a list of their community involvement and three references. The application can be found at: www. mbbeef.ca/producers/mbp-bursary/. Completed applications must be submitted to MBP by June 5, 2015. All entries will be reviewed by the selection committee and the winners will be notified on July 31, 2015. The winning essays will also be reprinted in the Sept. 2015 issue of Cattle Country. Applications can be sent to: Manitoba Beef Producers Bursary Committee, 220 – 530 Century Street, R3H 0Y4 Fax: (204) 774-3264 E-mail: info@mbbeef.ca MBP offered four bursaries in 2014.

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

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

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

DISTRICT 2

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 3

LARRY GERELUS

DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

PETER PENNER

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

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 5

LARRY WEGNER

DISTRICT 7

Manitoba Beef Producers would like to thank Trevor, Lisa, Taylor and Harleigh Carlson of Up The Creek Cattle Co. Ltd. for bringing their cow-calf pair, Adelle and Wes to our Royal Manitoba Winter Fair booth. Up The Creek Cattle Co. Ltd. Registered Shorthorns and Custom Grain Hauling 204-750-4668 upthecreekcattlecoltd@yahoo.ca

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

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

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

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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

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

DISTRICT 8

DISTRICT 12

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

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

TOM TEICHROEB

BILL MURRAY

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS Unit 220, 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Melinda German

Deb Walger Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

DESIGNED BY

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING

Trinda Jocelyn

www.mbbeef.ca


May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Falling oil prices weaken dollar, raise cattle prices RON FRIESEN Falling oil prices and their subsequent drag on Canada’s economy are having at least one positive effect: a significant increase in cattle prices. Lower prices for crude oil are a big reason for the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar. Prices, which topped $120 a barrel in 2012, have since fallen to less than half that. The effect on the Canadian dollar has been dramatic. From a peak above U.S. $1 in 2011, the dollar dropped below 80 cents this past winter. The decline in the dollar largely parallels the fall in oil prices. Most analysts agree the collapse in oil prices is bad for the economy. But it’s good news for ranchers. A weaker loonie, along with low North American beef cattle numbers, are helping to produce prices producers could only have dreamed about a few years ago. “Lower oil prices do create concern in Western Canada with respect to its importance to the economy, but lower oil prices can have positive impacts as well for the Canadian cattle industry and consumers. The strong relationship between oil prices and the Canadian dollar has brought the dollar down, which is positive for cattle prices,” a weekly report for CanFax, the market analysis arm of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, said earlier this year. “The Canadian cash market has remained very strong and is at, or above, record high prices set in 2014 for many different feeder and slaughter cattle types. Much tighter cattle numbers and the weak Canadian dollar have been very supportive to the market.” Falling oil prices also produced other benefits for cattle producers, such as lower grain prices and input costs. “Lower oil prices also reduces fuel prices and lowers input costs for a variety of consumer goods, which provides consumers with more disposable income and in turn benefits beef demand,” the CanFax report said. So while financial analysts cry gloom and doom

over the collapse in oil prices, cattle farmers are quietly profiting from it. “I know there are a lot of people wringing their hands about falling oil prices and what that means for budgets and revenues and things like that. But it’s actually a pretty good scenario if you’re a cattle producer,” said John Masswohl, CCA’s government and international relations director. Another positive spinoff from a lower dollar is a sudden increase in feeder exports to the U.S., despite the Americans’ Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule. A weaker loonie benefits exports in general. But this time, cattle are experiencing a special advantage. “We’re just so low internationally on cattle inventories that it’s helped pull animals south despite COOL,” said Melinda German, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst with CanFax, said a weak dollar influences cattle prices but doesn’t always translate into more live exports. Back about 2000-01 when the dollar was around 60 cents U.S., not many feeders were exported because feed was cheap in Canada. This time, however, the low-flying loonie is definitely helping to push more Canadian cattle south of the border, Perillat said. According to CanFax, Canada has been shipping a weekly average of 25,000 head of cattle to the U.S. so far this year. That includes 10,000 to 16,000 feeders, 5,000 to 7,000 fed cattle and 5,000 to 6,000 slaughter cows and bulls. Slaughter exports are actually down from last year. In 2014, Canada exported 83,000 slaughter cattle between Jan. 1 and March 15, compared to just 46,500 this year. But feeder exports are up significantly in 2015. According to CanFax, 106,000 feeders went south between the beginning of January and mid-March, an increase from 93,000 in 2014. The surge in feeder exports is happening despite COOL, which forces U.S. feedlots and packers to segregate foreign-born animals from domestic ones. This results in extra costs which U.S. buyers

pass back to Canadian producers in the form of discounted prices. But the demand for cattle to fill half empty feedlots is so great that U.S. operators are importing more Canadian feeders anyway, buying in bulk to reduce COOL-related costs. Masswohl said he visited a feedlot in Nebraska near the Tyson packing plant at Lexington which accounted for more than 10 per cent of feeder cat-

tle imports from Canada last year. The owner explained he used to take the occasional shipment of Canadian feeders but now he buys large numbers to make up for his extra sorting costs on volume. “It doesn’t work to take just a few. You can get more efficiencies out of the segregation if you either take a lot of them or none,” Masswohl said. “It used to be, prior to COOL when you didn’t have to sort for origin, if

www.mbbeef.ca

you needed some feeder cattle from Canada, you might get some this week, maybe none for a while and then a few more. Now the decision is, you either have to take none or you have to take a lot of them.” At the same time, COOL’s new sorting requirements are depressing the number of slaughter cattle sold to the U.S. Masswohl said that’s because the new rule requires meat package labels to say where the animal

was born, where it was raised and where it was slaughtered. The old rule only required the label to say Canada or U.S. It didn’t matter if the animal was imported as a feeder or a finished animal because the label remained the same. Now packing plants importing slaughter cattle must do three sorts instead of two. So they are buying more feeders born in Canada and finished in the U.S. because sorting is simpler, Masswohl said. He said another reason for the increase in Canadian feeder exports is that corn is cheap in the U.S., giving American feedlots a feeding advantage. “It’s cheaper to move cattle to the feed than feed to the cattle.” Even so, COOL is still a major financial hurt to Canadian livestock producers because it lowers returns. A 2012 economic analysis showed that COOL caused annual financial losses of $639 million for cattle and over $500 million for hogs. But that was before the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed to rule to make sorting requirements even tougher. Masswohl said a new analysis currently underway will show even steeper losses.


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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

Producers encouraged to take look at VBP HEINZ REIMER MBP President Moovin’ Along As I’m writing this, it looks like spring is here, the snow melt has been good and there are no floods in the forecast. MBP, along with Kelwin Management Consulting would like to thank producers for completing the member needs survey to help MBP provide the services needed to help your operation continue to be sustainable and viable going forward. Just like planning for the crop year on your farms and ranches, MBP directors and staff have been working on priorities for the upcoming year. The feedback obtained from the member survey will be useful to our future strategic planning processes. There has been a lot of talk about the sustainable beef pilot project that McDonald’s is undertaking in Canada. The project is looking at utilizing existing industry infrastructure such as the Verified Beef Production (VBP) Program, Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and Environmental Farm Plans to provide the type of information that McDonald’s requires for its verified sustainable beef initiative. The company is developing indicators to assess sustainability in areas such as food safety, animal care and the environment. The indicators were developed keeping in mind the principles outlined in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. A number of producers from across Canada are participating in the pilot and we look forward to learning more about it in the months ahead.

I would like to touch on why we as producers should get on board and consider completing the Verified Beef Production Program. VBP is Canada’s national on-farm food safety program for beef. It helps to uphold consumer confidence in our products and the good production practices used by producers. It is a voluntary industry-led program focused on three key fundamentals: Good Production Practices, effective record keeping and Standard Operating Procedures. Many elements are based on the principles of international quality control programs widely used in many industries called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). These have been specifically adapted to VBP. HACCP-based programs are in place in all federally regulated processing plants for meat and similar HACCP-based programs are used for other products around the world. So what are the benefits of the VBP Program to the beef industry? It helps maintain consumer confidence by demonstrating that Canadian producers are following strong practices related to food safety. The end result of these practices is the safe high quality and nutritious Canadian beef and beef products our customers both at home and internationally have come to expect of us. What are the benefits for us producers? Proof of responsible actions, increased awareness of potential food safety risks and improved use of animal health products. The VBP Program can also be used as a foundation for training staff and family members in these good management practices. And it gives you the satisfaction of knowing you are doing things right. Investments in managing risk, such as participation in the VBP Program, are essential to the long-term success of our industry. So, if you would like to know more information about VBP Program and how you can become a verified beef producer, call our MBP office or check the

VBP Program website at http://www.verifiedbeef. org/. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) Update The final U.S. appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding COOL happened in February with a ruling expected May 18. The expectation is that the WTO will again rule in favor of Canada and Mexico. If the U.S. does not comply with the WTO ruling the next step will be the potential authorization and calculation of retaliatory tariffs that can be placed on U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico. Retaliation and its cost to U.S. exporters could provide an incentive to U.S. lawmakers to make the changes needed to this discriminatory law. We, as producers, support our government’s commitment to pursue the WTO process to its end including possible retaliation against U.S. exports to Canada. So if you happen to meet up with your Member of Parliament ask them to support Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast and pursue retaliation if the U.S. doesn’t comply with WTO rules. COOL costs the beef industry $600 million per year; this needs to be fixed and not continue to be a permanent handicap for Canadian cattle producers’ profitability. Spring is a wonderful time of year. Calves are bouncing around the pasture, grass is growing and plants are being seeded. This is also a great time of year to be a farm advocate. Explain your business to people outside of agriculture and tell them about the things you do on your farm to produce safe food and what producers do to protect land and water. Most people have no idea what happens on the farm and are truly interested to learn. I may not be the best at social media but I do like to visit whenever I get a chance, so let’s keep moovin’ along.

CDN Agricultural Loans Act makes loans more accessible The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act (CALA) Program is a loan-guarantee program designed to increase the availability of loans to farmers and agricultural co-operatives. With low interest rates, longer repayment periods, and lower down payments, CALA loans can be obtained by farmers to establish, improve and develop their farms, and by agricultural co-operatives to process, distribute or market the products of farming.

Thanks to CALA loans, investments in farm improvements loans help farmers increase their competitiveness and profitability, meet consumer demands for food safety and environmental performance, and manage risk proactively. CALA loans are open to: X existing farmers; X beginning farmers (those who have been farming for less than six years); X start-up farmers; X farmers taking over the

family farm; part-time farmers; and agriculture co-operatives as long as at least 50 per cent + 1 of their members are farmers. CALA-guaranteed loans are available through lenders, such as banks, credit unions or Caisses Populaires, as part of their normal lending practices. A loan can be issued to an existing farmer for 80 per cent of the value of the asset purchased or to a beginning farmer for 90 X X

per cent of the value of the asset purchased. Up to $500,000 in combined loans can be borrowed per farm operation for purchasing land and constructing or improving buildings, and up to $350,000 can be borrowed for all other loan purposes, including consolidation and refinancing. The loan limit for agricultural co-operatives is $3 million. The repayment terms are 15 years for land purchases and 10 years for all other purposes.

Talk to your lender about a CALA loan today. For more information, visit The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program at www.agr.gc.ca/cala or call us toll-free at 1-888-346-2511. **CALA Loan Limit: A farmer who gets a CALA loan for $300,000 to purchase a tractor can still access up to $200,000 to purchase land or repair buildings, or up to $50,000 to purchase another implement and $150,000 to purchase land or repair buildings.

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ɸĘ†ĘˆĘŠĘ”Ę•Ę†Ę“ Ę•Ę?Ę…Ę‚Ęš ʇĘ?Ę“ ʕʉʆ ɲʊʗʆʔʕĘ?Ę„ĘŒ ɜʓʆʅʂʕʊĘ?Ę? ɜʓĘ?ʕʆʄʕʊĘ?Ę? É˝Ę?Ę“ĘŒĘ”Ę‰Ę?Ę‘ĚŁ ,I \RX DUH D OLYHVWRFN SURGXFHU WUDSSHU KXQWHU RU ODQGRZQHU \RX DUH LQYLWHG WR DWWHQG D IUHH /LYHVWRFN 3UHGDWLRQ 3URWHFWLRQ :RUNVKRS LQ \RXU DUHD 7KH ZRUNVKRSV DUH WDNLQJ SODFH DW WKHVH ORFDWLRQV Pre-Register by calling: 1-800-772-0458 Space is limited

Time 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Vassar, Manitoba Vassar Community Centre 80 Beaudry Ave Date: May 7, 2015 * Moosehorn, Manitoba Moosehorn Community Hall Railway Avenue Date: May 11, 2015 Arborg, Manitoba Arborg Heritage Hall Arborg Heritage Village Date: May 12, 2015 'DWH VXEMHFW WR FKDQJH

www.mbbeef.ca

Admission to the workshop is free. The evening will include information from Conservation and Water Stewardship, Manitoba Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. An overview of the Wildlife Damage Compensation Regulation and Program will be provided along with information on animal husbandry tools. Professional trappers will also be in attendance to provide advice on: • Humane Trapping and Snaring • Predator Hunting and Calling • Mortality Management The Livestock Predation Protection Workshop is brought to you by:


May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Canada’s 19th case of BSE — what does that mean? MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column For those of us that went through 2003 either as producers or as professionals working in the beef industry, the announcement in February that Canada had found its 19th case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) may have made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. This is a normal reaction I suppose considering the impact that BSE had on our industry over 10 years ago. On February 11, 2015 the Canadian Federal Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the discovery of BSE in a cow from a farm in Alberta. It was determined that this case was ‘classical,’ meaning the source of the infection was most likely from feed and that it was

not ‘atypical’ BSE which may occur sporadically in older cattle. This foreign animal disease devastated our industry and today 12 years later some producers continue to recover. This latest animal was born in 2009, two years after Canada’s enhanced feed barn was enacted in 2007. The enhanced feed ban restricts animal by-products, including specified risk material (SRMs), the tissues known to concentrate BSE, from entering the human and feed industry chains. This birth farm was also the same location as the BSE case found in 2010. As the investigation continues at this point it has been determined that the two animals were not

related and there may have been a period of time of overlap where the two were exposed to the same source of the infection. CFIA’s investigation at this moment is centred on the trace out of birth and feed cohorts or animals that are related or fed the same diets early on in their lives. According to the OIE, the World Organization for Animal Health, Canada’s BSE risk status which is classified as ‘controlled risk’ will not change and thus we should not see a change in trading status. However, as of early March five countries have placed a temporary ban on the import of Canadian beef and beef by-products. They include South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Peru and Belarus. At this point it is anticipated that these temporary bans will be lifted once the investigation is complete. Our major trading partners, like the United States and Europe have held to

the OIE guidelines and have not imposed any trading restrictions. So let’s put into perspective what this really means for Canada. This is the 19th case we have found out of 436,000 head tested. The discovery of this case does not mean a resurgence of BSE in Canada. It means our surveillance system works and that in fact the number of positive animals is significantly declining within the population. But on the flip side it also means it will take us a little more time to completely eradicate the disease in Canada and that our timeline to move to negligible risk status internationally is prolonged. Following 11 years of surveillance and no additional positive animals going forward, Canada will be able to apply to the OIE for this upgraded status. It will now be 2020 before Canada can apply to be considered ‘negligible risk’ for BSE.

So what is the same this time around? The public now as they did 12 years ago continues to support our industry and I believe that is a testament to the high quality and safe beef products that we continue to produce. No products from this last positive animal entered the food or feed system. Our surveillance program is working to not only keep our product safe but to also prove to our trading partners that we have a high level surveillance system to monitor our products. What is different this time around? The response from our trading partners to date has been quite limited compared to 12 years ago. Yes, we have had five international markets put in place temporary bans on beef and beef by-products until the investigation in complete. These five countries make up approximately 5 per cent of our international exports, so this is not

overly significant in terms of beef exports but it has hit some industry stakeholders that export secondary by-products much harder. Nevertheless, these temporary bans are estimated to be valued at well over $70 million annually so this is not something to take lightly. We can only hope that once all the pertinent data is collected those markets will reopen. So even though these latest announcements have created some anxiety among us in the industry, it seems that the impacts to date have not been anywhere near those we faced 12 years ago. We are making progress, we continue to have the trust and confidence of our consumers and we are gaining ground in the international community as well. Even though it is disappointing to have another positive case we are working towards eradicating this disease.

Soil carbon critical to ďŹ xing issues BLAIN HJERTAAS Not the average topic of conversation for most people. Yet it’s critical to all of our survival. This is the Internatiotnal Year of Soil as declared by the UN. Over 99 per cent of what we eat each day comes directly from the soil. Over the eons of time mankind has abused it badly in some cases causing civilizations to collapse. Agriculture has traditionally destroyed and then moved on. Unfortunately there is nowhere else to go. The production of food causes a soil loss of four tons of soil per person per year on an annual basis. There are seven billion of us so that equated to 28 billion tons of soil loss annually from our agricultural areas. Clearly this is not sustainable. Add to this the loss from urbanization and population increase and something will have to give soon with disastrous consequences. Throw in climate change and it doesn’t bode well. I don’t believe it’s a bad news story. We know how to fix this. It’s simple and a win-win for all. It all has to do with carbon. We have put our carbon in the atmosphere instead of in the soil. We have lost most of our organic matter or carbon or humus over the last 130 years of farming. The 1930s took their toll, the summer fallow era took more and each time tillage is performed more carbon is oxidized and goes into the atmosphere. Add to this the carbon released from fossil fuel burning and we have an increase from a historical levels of 300 PPM to 400 PPM of carbon dioxide in a 50-year period. This is a huge increase in a very short period of time and we are just beginning to understand the ramifications. At this point in our history there is no indication of slowing our rapid increase. It would seem prudent to me that we should take carbon back out of the atmosphere and put it into the soil where it can do good. The process is simple. Photosynthesis does it free for us ever day if we have green leaves working for us. The plant takes oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air and makes simple sugar or glucose. This is transported to the roots where 20-30 per cent exudes from the roots into the rhizosphere to feed the fungi and bacteria. This is a symbiotic relationship between plants and bugs. They get sugar from the plant and in return they can make unavailable nutrients available to the plant. They build structure in the soil and as death occurs the plant and animal remains are converted into more complex forms of carbon or humus. The more humus we have the more soil microbes there are, the more water holding capacity the soil has, the more nutrient dense the food that is produced will become and the higher the overall yield will

be. This keeps getting better and the energy source is solar energy converted by green leaves. Sounds like a pretty good thing. Our modern agriculture is destroying or holding at the current levels because of the negative effects of tillage and pesticides especially fungicides. Several years ago a group of farmers were concerned about this issue and decided to prove whether this trend could be reversed or be regenerative and begin to build. The soil carbon coalition was formed to monitor soil carbon levels across North America’s farmland. Plots were established and initial samples were analyzed in 2011. In the fall of 2014 these same sites were again visited and analyzed for carbon. The results are very impressive with all farms showing positive increases in three years. In tonnage the seven farms tested in SE Sask. had 4,627 hectares between them and sequestered the equivalent of 131,370 tonnes tonnes of carbon dioxide. The average Canadian has a carbon footprint of 18.9 tonnes. Therefore each hectare negated the effect of 1.5

persons or these seven farms had a zero carbon footprint for 6,973 people. All of these farms practice high stock density grazing with long recovery periods. It proves conclusively that cows are carbon negative as this wouldn’t have happened if cattle had not been improving the soil on these farms. Cattle ensure the litter on the ground is pushed tight so that decomposition can occur. The act of grazing stimulates the growth of grass making more solar capture possible. We need biology working on our farms to make this happen. Livestock enhance biology. This is a great news story. All of these farms have had increases in grass production, had a decrease in inputs, are holding more water in the soil and producing more nutrient dense food. Clearly farmers are more profitable, consumers have better food and society has more water holding capacity mitigating floods and mitigating climate change. To view results check out the web site at www.soilcarboncoalition.org

Manitoba Angus Association Summer Gold Show Come out and view the MB Angus cattle on display & competitions! 2DN /DNH )DLU *URXQGV 2DN /DNH 0%

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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

Producers use technology to save time and resources Verified Beef Production program paying off with traceability equipment and software Growing Forward 2 is making it easier for Manitoba beef producers to improve on-farm productivity under the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. Growing Assurance - Food Safety On-Farm offers up to $12,000 in funding towards traceability, biosecurity and food safety initiatives for producers who are participating in VBP and have been audited. This includes Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) equipment and software designed to save time and resources on the farm and help develop better food safety practices. Gilles Ricard purchased the RFID equipment and software to help keep track of vaccination history, treatments, breeding and reproduction, cattle movements on and off the farm and production information such as gain, feed efficiency and gestation cycles. “The RFID scanner has been wonderful. The software allows us to easily cross-reference our animals’ visual ID with their RFID tags. All of the animals’ histories would then be linked to the tag,” says Mary Scheger, Ricard’s life partner and production partner. Ricard and Scheger, who also works as an animal health technician in Notre Dame, have about 175 cows and heifers on their farm in Mariapolis, which Ricard purchased in 1990. The pair have done most of the work by themselves for the past nine years. Since purchasing the RFID scanner last year production has been faster and less stressful on the animals and on them. Equipment eases production processes “We no longer need to restrain an

Mary Scheger and Gillies Ricard.

animal in order to read the number of the RFID tag. We can read the tags in a pen walking around, which keeps the animals so much calmer and decreases stress,” she says. “The scanner makes everything we do as far as reading tags easier and quicker.” Scheger said one good example of the scanner’s efficiency is shipping cull cows. They require an RFID tag to ship. Historically the pair would have had to run each animal through the chute to check the tags - now they can just scan them as they are loading. “We also find it helpful with production decisions,” she says. “We’re registered on the BIXS (Beef InfoXchange System) site, which gives us carcass information on our calves. Having this information helps us market our calves based on certain traits such as marbling, ribeye and yield. This is all tracked by the RFID number of your calves.” Another producer, Kevin Spence, who has about 50 to 65 head on his farm in Ridgeville agrees that the RFID system has sped up production. “I decided to purchase the RFID equipment to help us when we ship animals off the farm, and it really helps to track the information of each animal,” he says. “They make a difference in that you don’t have to run the animal through the head gate to read its tag. Every time I haul cattle out it is quicker.” VBP builds a name for producers About 2,700 producers have attended a workshop about the program, however only 400 producers are registered under VBP, extending the program to about 50,000 head. “One of the first things people always ask me is ‘why should I do this’ - they feel like they’re already doing what is required under VBP so why sign up?” says Betty Green, provincial co-ordinator for VBP in Manitoba. “And I say why wouldn’t you want to be recognized for that? If you’re already doing what is required you might as well be recognized.” Green says that consumers don’t always understand that farms are following food safety practices, and being a registered VBP operation gives peace of mind that the practices are checked and being done to a professional standard. “Cow and calf production is very different than it used to be,” says Scheger.

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Mary Scheger uses an RFID scanner to check an animal on their farm near Mariapolis.

“This program is helping farmers understand how their on farm practices will affect them as well as the industry long after their calves have been sold off farm. The public demand for safe, well treated beef will determine where large restaurant chains and feedlots will source their beef, and the VBP will give producers the tools they need to provide the market what they’re looking for.” A commitment to following practices To maintain the VBP status a producer must complete an assignment each year. The first year is the initial on-farm audit, which the producer pays for and can be cost-shared under Growing Forward 2’s - Growing Assurance program. In the second year a producer sends a record assessment, listing individual treatments, vaccinations, medicated feeds and Category

opportunities for funding, but also education. “Farmers might participate in the program because funding is available to purchase equipment and in turn they are learning about the importance of things they may not otherwise,” says Scheger. “I believe all farmers should participate in this program, as there is so much to learn and resources to help people become more aware. It will build our industry and make the economy stronger, which is good for everyone.” Funding available to beef producers Once a beef producer has completed the training and successfully completed a VBP audit of their facilities, they may apply to purchase equipment that can help implement their food safety improvements. Beef producers are eligible to apCost share ratio (Government:Applicant)

Maximum funding

Traceability program • RFID reading equipment and software % Carrying case and/or docking station for RFID equipment

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$5,000

Food safety on-farm program % First audit for VBP program (up to $500)

65:35

$2,000

Biosecurity GAP program

65:35

Total available funding

any other information to ensure compliance with VBP standards. In the third and fourth years, the producer provides a self-declaration that their farm is up to VBP standards. The process repeats until the program is renewed with an on-farm audit in year nine. “At any time a producer could be randomly selected for a complete onfarm audit to make sure everything is up to the standards they say it is,” says Green. According to Ricard and Scheger, being a part of the program not only opens

$5,000 $12,000

ply for up to $12,000 in available Growing Forward 2 funding across three categories. For more information on the Verified Beef Production program, contact the Manitoba Beef Producers, Betty Green at 1-800-772-0458 or your local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) GO Office. To apply for Growing Forward 2 funding, contact your local MAFRD GO Office or visit our website at www.manitoba.ca/agriculture.

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May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

MBP provided input into latest round of flood-related consultations MAUREEN COUSINS

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided input into the recent review of the operating guidelines for the Portage Diversion, Fairford Water Control Structure and Red River Floodway. The review panel, first announced by the Manitoba government in October 2013, was led by Harold Westdal. He previously chaired the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee. Other panel members include hydrological engineer Rick Bowering, a past water resources manager with the provincial government and Barry McBride, former director of the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department. The panel was tasked with providing a technical review of the three flood control works, seeking public feedback on their operations and identifying possible revisions to their operating rules and guidelines. The province said the panel’s findings will be used to establish interim operating rules for the water control structures while work is underway on a new Lake Manitoba outlet and the Lake St. Martin channel. In its submission MBP reinforced the tremendous challenges that repeated flooding has wrought on the beef industry and called for lasting solutions. For example, on page 2 of the Panel’s Terms of Reference (TOR) it states the “operating guidelines should embody principles of good stewardship and serve to minimize overall flood impacts.� MBP strongly supports this view. The sustainability of Manitoba’s beef industry is tied to having a water management system that will serve to minimize the effects of flooding. The current system is creating a tremendous degree of uncertainty for producers and long-term solutions are required to help restore producers’ confidence that their operations will not be subject to repeated flooding and protracted high water events. MBP made a number of comments around the operation of the Portage Diversion. In 2011 and 2014 the Manitoba government made management decisions to send extremely large volumes of water through the Portage Diversion for long periods of time to protect people and property along the Assiniboine River east of Portage la Prairie and in Winnipeg. In 2011, the Portage Diversion operated 126 days – more than a third of the year. In 2014, peak flows through the Portage Diversion reached 33,900 cfs on July 9. The amount of water going through the Portage Diversion both years exceeded Rule 2 under the operating rules, which states Diversion flows are to be limited to

MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Manitoba Beef Producers recently had the opportunity to provide input into the operation of the Portage Diversion (pictured above)

25,000 cfs. Additionally, water levels in Lake Manitoba exceeded the maximum regulated level of 812.87. The peak lake forecast for Lake Manitoba in 2014 was 814.8 asl, a level that created serious challenges for cattle producers. MBP and Manitoba’s beef producers recognize why this management decision was made by the provincial government. In recent years the Assiniboine River dikes had not been properly maintained to be able to accommodate the volume of water that should have been sent down the river under optimal conditions. Resilience has been lost in the larger provincial flood infrastructure system, with significant consequences for people around Lake Manitoba who have been be forced to shoulder more water to help protect others. MBP fears this risk will continue until the needed upgrades to dikes, a second outlet out of Lake Manitoba and other key initiatives and upgrades are completed. Beef producers are willing to do their part to help protect their fellow Manitobans during times of disaster. However, it has had serious and lasting consequences for the beef industry. Some producers believe there is a case to be made for compensation mechanisms being triggered around certain operations of the Portage Diversion. MBP believes this warrants further analysis and discussion. MBP wants Lake Manitoba drawn down to a normal operating range to reduce the risk of flooding, either in the event of future heavy and extensive operation of the Portage Diversion, or due to flooding caused by wind-related events when the lake is too high for months at a time. MBP recognizes there is a diverse range of opinions as to what the optimal level should be, but there is room for dialogue on this. Further, in 2013 the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee recommended that Lake Manitoba’s range of operation be lowered from the current range of 810.5 to 812.5 feet by half a foot to 810.0 to 812.0 for a period of five years to allow marshes and beach ridges to re-establish. MBP is supportive of this recommendation. MBP restated its long-standing position that there needs to be the swift construction of a second channel to draw

down Lake Manitoba. It has also been MBP’s position that fair and timely compensation be paid when farms and ranches are subject to artificial flooding due to the operation of provincial water control works, e.g. Shellmouth Dam and Red River Floodway. Some producers argue that management decisions made around the operation of the Portage Diversion have in fact created a degree of artificial flooding on Lake Manitoba and that they should be compensated. The Review Panel’s Terms of Reference stated that the Shellmouth Dam operating guidelines were not to be included in the scope of the Panel’s review, but that it must consider how the operation of the Shellmouth Dam affects the operation of the water control structures included in the review. MBP would also like to have seen the provincial government direct that public consultations on the Shellmouth Dam’s operating guidelines be included in this review. MBP notes the way the Shellmouth Dam is operated and the reservoir utilized has a significant impact on what occurs along the Assiniboine River, directly impacting a number of beef producers’ operations. How water is managed along the upper Assiniboine can affect flow levels downstream at different times of the year, with the potential to affect the operations of the Portage Diversion and ultimately the water level on Lake Manitoba. It is MBP’s position that outflows and inflows must to be taken into account when opening and closing the Shellmouth Dam. Feedback we have heard from producers is that there needs to be better operational timing, and swift notification of landowners about operational and management decisions being made with respect to the dam. MBP also noted the concern among producers affected by artificial flooding due to the operation of the Shellmouth Dam about the efficacy of the Shellmouth Dam compensation program, especially as it relates to timeliness of compensation payments. The Fairford River Water Control Structure is a key component when it comes to helping to draw down Lake Manitoba back to levels that pose a reduced risk to cattle and other agricultural production

around Lake Manitoba. MBP maintains its position that outflows need to match inflows with respect to Lake Manitoba levels. MBP is concerned that existing infrastructure and control structures do not allow for the appropriate upstream and downstream water level management. As a result, accumulated water takes a significant amount of time to recede, unnecessarily creating and preserving flood conditions. A significant period of recovery is needed. Regarding the Red River Floodway rules of operation, there is a proposal to add Rule 5. This would facilitate summer operation to keep the walkway open at the Forks in Winnipeg. Concerns have been raised in the past that this could lead to artificial flooding of residents and properties upstream, including adverse effects on valuable agricultural lands and operations. MBP has concerns about changes to the Floodway rules of operation that would lead to the increased risk of flooding of agricultural lands. If these types of changes are to be made, it is MBP’s position that fair and timely compensation must be paid to all affected parties. A public review of the Floodway’s operating rules is required every five years under the terms of its provincial Environment Act licence. MBP recommended that a similar approach be taken for the operating guidelines for the Portage Diversion and Fairford River Water Control Structure. This will be particularly important once any new or upgraded water control infrastructure is designed, constructed and added to the system. It may also help increase public confidence in how these systems are being managed. Looking ahead, MBP has asked for ongoing investments to properly maintain critical flood mitigation and control infrastructure. The failure to do so could create vulnerabilities in the larger flood control and protection system in turn placing Manitobans, livestock, the economy and the environment at risk. It is also important these systems work in sync. MBP believes the net effect of any changes to the operating guidelines of the various flood control works must be to ensure the safeguarding of areas affected by the operation of these structures. If there are adverse impacts arising from the updated operating guidelines, MBP recommends that agricultural producers and others affected should be compensated accordingly. It is MBP’s hope that future investments in water infrastructure and in honing operating guidelines for flood control works will help mitigate future risk and reduce the economic threat posed to our industry by disasters like flooding or droughts. For more information about the review visit www.floodinfrastructurereview. ca

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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

Carcass data important for seedstock development research in Canada BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL | WWW.BEEFRESEARCH.CA Access to carcass data as well as other production information through the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) will be an invaluable tool for cattle breeders, geneticists and beef researchers in their efforts to build a better beef animal. Information is the key, and carcass data along with other information from the production chain will not only guide cowcalf producers, but seedstock breeding programs as well, says Jennifer Stewart-Smith, president of Beefbooster. Michael Latimer with Canadian Beef Breeds Council says the information will be useful if it can be connected to a specific breeding program on the farm. And as a geneticist Dr. John Crowley of the University of Alberta says the carcass data will be a useful tool in understanding how the

the management of feedlot operators in taking an efficient animal to market weight. “BIXS is all about information and the value of that information will help in the development of EPDs (Expected Progeny Differences),” says Stewart-Smith. “But first we have to have the information. If all goes as planned with the flow of information it will be invaluable. We need to get that information back to the producer, and ultimately back to the seedstock operator as a guide for breed development. “We can use a number of tools now to develop animals with expected breeding values — desirable traits — but it is getting the carcass data on a large number of animals that really tells us which bulls have the proper traits to produce what the

complex world of genetics influences traits in individual animals. Carcass data is the real report card on the efforts to develop breeding stock by the seedstock operator, the time and commitment of cow-calf operators to produce a healthy weaned calf, and

market wants.” EPDs are numbers that predict the genetic quality of future offspring or progeny of a particular bull, cow or heifer. Stewart-Smith has been a long-time supporter of BIXS, seeing the potential it has to benefit seedstock development,

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improve production and feeding efficiency, and foster consumer confidence in a humane and safe-food beef production system. “BIXS has the potential but it needs the whole industry to get involved,” says StewartSmith. “There needs to be a meaningful flow of information back and forth through the production chain involving seedstock breeders, cow-calf producers, cattle feeders and packing plants.” As a beef seedstock developer, Stewart-Smith says carcass data is valuable to the Beefbooster breeding program, but she also needs other information from the production chain to properly analyze and manage genetics. Along with individual cattle I.D. numbers, information most useful to her includes birth-date specifics — was it the actual birth date or the start of the calving season; gender of animal; feedlot intake date; feedlot in-weight; slaughter date; and carcass quality information such as carcass quality grade, rib eye area, backfat depth, marbling, hot carcass weight, yield grade and lean meat percentage. “From these pieces of information we can calculate numbers that are important,” says StewartSmith. “For example, using feedlot in-date, feedlot in-weight, kill date and hot carcass weight we can estimate the average daily gain of a group of cattle and average daily gain is an indicator of efficiency. Also, using birth date, feedlot in-date and kill date we can calculate days to harvest — birth date to kill date — or days on feed.” Back at the breeding level, Stewart-Smith can use this data to improve and expand the EPDs associated with any bull. Beefbooster has developed EPDs for key production traits. “And using a selec-

tion index we weight those traits according to their economic relevance,” she says. “With carcass data and other production information we can develop EPDs for all carcass traits and rate those for their economic importance.” Stewart-Smith says while carcass data is important, information on efficiency from the cowcalf and feedlot sectors may be more useful in developing EPDs. “Carcass information will be the icing on the cake, not the cake,” she says. “Too many carcass traits are antagonistic to cow-calf efficiency.” She notes it becomes a balancing act. As they fine-tune breeding programs to select for one trait, they don’t want it to be at the expense of another desirable trait. “We don’t want to select for one carcass trait and have it affect fertility, or some other feature. That’s where we consult with researchers at Livestock Gentec to help us in the process.” Michael Latimer, executive director of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council agrees BIXS has potential to provide very useful information across the beef industry production chain, but that information has to be properly applied. “It will be valuable information for the cow-calf producer and ultimately purebred operations to receive carcass data, but it has to be made relevant to a breeding program,” says Latimer. “A producer can receive carcass that tells them which calves had certain grades and other carcass quality characteristics, but they have to be able to connect that to a specific bull in the breeding program. If they have five or 10 bulls out on pasture during breeding season, for example, they have to be able to identify which ones are producing the most desirable

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carcass traits.” Latimer says for the information to be truly useful for the commercial cow-calf producer he believes it may require DNA testing of animals to match sires and dams with individual calves, or more segregated breeding season management and record keeping which identifies one or two bulls with a group of females. And further, to be of value to the purebred operator, the cow-calf producer has to be willing to share that breeding information with the seed stock producer. “So BIXS has potential to provide very useful information in managing the on-farm breeding program, but it may require some important management changes by cow-calf producers to make it truly useful, ” he says. Dr. John Crowley says carcass data will be an important tool for all sectors of the beef industry and help direct research. “This information is useful to the producer to guide them in their breeding program on the farm, but also has value to the seed stock producer,” he says. “There are so many links in the production chain from the producer, then sometimes to a backgrounding operation, then to the feeder and ultimately to the packing plant and it turns out we are not always producing the end result product that everyone wants.” Crowley is a research associate with the University of Alberta’s

Livestock Gentec centre and is involved in genomics research as part of the Alberta Bovine Genomics Program. He is also director of scientific and industry advancement with the Canadian Beef Breeds Council. While researchers are understanding and mapping the genetic makeup of beef cattle the real value is in learning how that relates to the various traits within the animal. Crowley repeats a quote by Dr. Mike Coffey, a genetics researcher at SRUC – Scotland’s rural college. “In the age of the genotype, the phenotype is king.” “And that means even though we are beginning to understand the genotype – the genetic makeup of an animal, it is the phenotype or the traits of animal that can be measured that are really important,” says Crowley. Having access to carcass data, from large number of animals across different breeds will confirm to researchers whether they are on the right genetic trail. “But the information will also tell us where research has to head,” says Crowley. “A much larger database will enable new genomic research. The key is having data on carcass type to get a better understanding of genetics. “BIXS is an excellent framework for connecting the whole industry and providing data flow to help us achieve breeding objectives.”


May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Winning the battle while losing the war BRETT MCRAE

beef the consumer is eating. There are some things that should be standardized across all brands, such as consistency, traceability and food safety. This is where the CCIA and the CFIA help to make Canada’s beef among the safest in the world. That is just the battle — different agricultural products competing for market share. What is more important is the war — agriculture as a whole defending our social licence. Over the past few decades society has moved far away from having a level of familiarity with the farm and rural way of life. Now many people are very concerned about their health and nutrition and they want to reconnect with their food. The trouble is they have forgotten where their food comes from, and because of that they are not sure how food is produced and why some production practices need to be done. It’s scary when little kids think their food comes from the grocery store or they go to a fair and can’t tell the difference between a cow and a pig, much less know that those animals produce the food that they eat. We in agriculture haven’t done enough to keep our consumers educated about what we do and why we do it. This is why it is a problem when companies use advertising methods that don’t necessarily tell the whole story. Because many consumers have lost their connection to the farm, when they hear something often enough they start to believe it, regardless of whether or not it is true. This is what I mean by winning the battle and losing the war. Some companies’ ad campaigns may coax a few customers to purchase their product, but in the process they also instill fear into many uninformed consumers about certain “brands” of food. The danger is not in promoting one type of product over another; it is in selling half-truths and creating doubt in the agriculture industry. A better approach would be for agriculture to explain to the customer why each type or “brand” is different so they can make an educated purchasing decision. Then, rather than having a feeling of doubt in the agriculture industry, the con-

At the 36th Manitoba Beef Producers AGM I was pleased to participate in a panel discussion that looked at the changing face of Canada’s beef industry and the opportunities it presents. At that panel discussion it was obvious that some companies are promoting their product in such a way that customers not familiar with agriculture may be misled about certain production practices. In agriculture we need to be careful that we are not sending a muddled message to our customers about the integrity of the many different types of products we are producing for our diverse marketplace. We need to build trust, not create fear and uncertainty. For example, things I am in favour of include: X Conventional beef raised with the use of antibiotics and growth hormones;Antibiotic and hormone free beef; and X Any beef that is raised in a profitable, humane and environmentally sustainable way Things I am NOT in favour of: X Ad campaigns that imply that beef raised with the use of antibiotics and added hormones is inferior to beef raised without X Companies that use fear and customer ignorance to promote their product Allow me to explain. We as beef producers must continue to evolve to satisfy the increasing demands of our consumers. It is simply a matter of time before consumers shop for meat the same way they shop for a new vehicle. Today, when consumers are at the meat counter they have an increasing level of selection and availability when it comes to brand. As the Canadian beef industry we need to be open-minded to new markets and preferences and focus on branding different types of beef as such. Some examples of beef “brands” currently available for consumers include: X Conventional beef X Grass-fed beef X Corn-fed beef X Organic beef Cancer: X Antibiotic and hor1 in 2.2 men & 1 in 2.4 women living in Canada will mone free beef develop cancer during their lifetime; 63% will X Breed specific beef survive for at least 5 years (e.g. Certified Angus) Heart Disease: Just because you raise or sell a certain “brand” of beef doesn’t make other “brands” inferior to yours. I realize that if you raise conventional beef you want everyone to eat conventional beef, the same way that if you make Ford vehicles, you want everyone to drive a Ford. Having only one option may have worked in the past, but now some of our customers want beef raised without hormones and antibiotics, the same way they want to drive a Dodge instead of a Ford. This is, of course, a two-way street. Just because you make Dodge vehicles (antibiotic and hormone free/organic/grassfed/etc.) does not make a Ford (conventional beef) a bad product. All of these “brands” are beef, and all of them have different advantages. As an industry we need to agree that eating beef is a good choice no matter what “brand” of

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Brett McRae

sumer can be aware and feel confident in agriculture. Above all, our customers need to be our friends who will come to us in agriculture when they have a question about food. You go to your mechanic when you have a question about your car, so why wouldn’t you go to a farmer when you have questions about the farm? We need to be open and honest with our customers. We need to educate them about the agriculture industry and explain why we do what we do. We even need to welcome some criticism. An outside view might open our eyes to things we can do to improve our industry. We can win this war, but not if we keep shooting our own agricultural allies in every battle. Brett McRae is a 2015 Cattlemen’s Young Leader’s graduate. He farms southwest of Brandon, MB

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

With higher calf prices, is creep feeding an economical choice for beef calves on pasture? RAYMOND BITTNER Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) Creep feeding beef calves on pasture is an option that producers may want to consider in 2015. For much of the past 12 years, the costs of creep feeding, including labour, management and purchasing creep feed, made the process questionable. This scenario has changed. With fall calf prices predicted at $2.50-$2.70 per pound, and grain prices at very reasonable levels, the probability of profit is high. The benefits of creep feeding will be greatest for heifers or poor milk producers. Poor pastures compound the benefits of creep feeding. If you consider the mathematics of creep feeding in 2015, most situations should pay back the cost of feed and extra work required. The adjacent chart compares cost of feed required for creep feeding. Interestingly, all feed costs are less than $1 per pound of additional gain. Before embarking on creep feeding, all costs should be considered, such as the initial cost and depreciation of the feeder, the cost of keeping the feeder full of grain or pellets and the time required to monitor the feeder during typically busy months of August through October. Pure grain or pellets? Either product can work. Pellets designed for creep

feeders are very effective and offer a good balance of energy, protein and fibre. As an added benefit, monensin can be included in the pellet for acidosis and coccidiosis prevention. Oats are the primary pure grain suggestion as it is has higher fibre levels resulting in being less likely to cause acidosis or bloat. Pure oats should be mixed with a mineral medicated with monensin, and should produce similar results to medicated pellets. Usually, a creep feeding setting is thought of as a steel feeder with steel creep panels, but other methods can be equally effective. A small pen, with fence posts 16-18 inches apart, can allow calves into an area with grain in troughs. The same small pen can also be used to feed high quality dry hay, such as vegetative alfalfa/ grass hay, which will add additional economical growth to the calves. A good nutritional foundation Creep fed calves are more prepared for the health risks involved with weaning because of the additional fat cover. They are also more familiar with dry feeds and go on to new rations much quicker, causing less days of no growth or weight loss. Creep fed calves sold directly at weaning will exhibit less stressed appearance at auction yards. They will also likely withstand the vigors of transport and co-mingling better than cohorts not creep fed. One further benefit of creep feeding calves is to give the mother cows a break. Calves on creep will allow the cows to hold their condition better during times of minimal forage resource. The cows will end the summer growing season with more condition and will require less winter feed for maintenance through a Manitoba

Cattle Market remains solid With the spring cattle run all but complete producers are now focused on finishing calving season, getting the cattle to the pastures and preparing the land for seeding. The first four months of 2015 have been very rewarding for the

cattle producers in Manitoba. In most cases the weather was fairly cooperative allowing producers to stretch feed supplies and feedlots to realize acceptable gains with a minimum of health problems. Market prices for cash feeder cattle

was strong with strong demand on all classes. An 80 to 82 cent dollar and cheap feed made the American orders a strong contender on all classes of feeder cattle. Despite the early predictions that there would be no feeder cattle for sale in the

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spring most of the auctions reported good volumes on offer. For those that purchased cattle in the fall, there was a modest profit despite investing 60 per cent more cash per head than previous years to yield an average return on the investment. Despite the high price of the feeder cattle all of the reputable feedlots in Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan were full to capacity. The majority of the feedlots that used to finish cattle have switched to back-grounding, with the majority filling a high percentage of their pens with custom feed cattle. The cull cow market is very strong and we have witnessed high record high sales on the cull bulls with some of the large high yielding bulls selling for over $1.80 per pound just to kill. As I have mentioned before we have become a "hamburger and steak nation" with consumers choosing convenience over quality. This change in consumer demand is driven by the fact than in many households both the husband and the wife are working outside the home. They are looking for something that the kids will eat, that is quick and easy to prepare and is in their budget. With grilling season right around the corner don't ex-

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winter. There are a lot of reasons to consider creep feeding calves.At the current value of calves and low cost of grain, 2015 might be the ideal year to add creep feeding to your program. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, Jane Thornton, MAFRD forage and pasture specialist, will feature your cattle questions on range and pasture health. Send your Questions to Jane.Thornton@gov.mb.ca by May 30, 2015. This inaugural StockTalk Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. We encourage you to email your questions to MAFRD’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line pect any big savings at the meat counter over the next few months. With that in mind cow and bull prices should remain strong for the remainder of the year. The great commercial cattle market producers went to the spring bull sales with a renewed confidence. Many of the established production sales reported averages of between $6,000 and $10,000 per head on their top yearling bulls. Once again this year we seeing less producers buying steers to go to grass but those operators that are buying are purchasing as many or more than last year! Land owners that rent their grass were all looking for an increase in the rent this year, reflecting on the profits their renters made last year. The problem is that the land owners are pricing themselves out of business. With low price of grain and lots of room in the feedlots over the summer some cattle investors are looking at leaving the cattle in the feedlots. Once the grass gain starts costing over 50 cents per pound, combined with the delivery and extraction costs, unpredictable and unreliable gains on the

pasture,the confinement rate of 75 cents per pound gain at two pounds per day starts to look very attractive. In the confinement lot you can control the gain, remove the cattle whenever you want, treatments and herd management is much easier. This past year timing has become critical to successful marketing and with the big slides on the pricing, predictable weigh gain is essential. Some grass yearling operators have contracted their 900 pound yearlings for fall delivery at prices north of $245. I expect that this fall will be the same as previous fall's with market peaks and valleys depending on who is on the market that week, Timing will be critical once again. I would not be surprised if the cash price in Sept and early Oct. will be $240 to $250. There will be higher number of bred heifers available this fall for sale. If the lenders are willing, good bred heifers from reputation sellers should bring between $2,500 and $3,200 at the peak. All in all it looks like we are in for a good cattle market again this fall. Until next time, Rick.


May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Dealing with weak calf syndrome DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM This year, despite the milder weather, several producers in my area are dealing with weak calves at birth. These “dummy” calves take up valuable labour resources and if not dealt with aggressively, many die within the first week. While every herd can expect to experience one or two slow calves, outbreaks do occasionally occur. This article will review the most common causes with tips to deal with individual cases. Calves born with “weak calf syndrome” are often depressed and unable to stand, walk or nurse on their own. Some die shortly after birth while others live for a few days with supportive care before fading away. Deaths occur despite adequate colostrum consumption. If you are experiencing higher than expected calf mortality, contact your veterinarian for advice. Post mortems should be conducted and tissue samples as per lab protocol should be sent for analysis. Unfortunately a quick diagnosis during the postmortem is rare unless there is an obvious congenital abnormality. Data from research through the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the Western Interprovincial Scientific Studies Association revealed that many of the calves that died within a few days of birth had low levels of selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. Calves noted to have had difficult births often had abnormalities of the thyroid glands and muscle tissue. Only lab testing can detect these abnormalities and help guide you to the specific problem in your herd. Arrange for a herd visit to assess if there are cow factors contributing to calf weakness. Although you may have had your veterinarian out in the fall at pregnancy test time, things can rapidly change at the herd level over the winter, particularly if extreme cold, wind and abnormally high snowfall conditions exist. Even a mild winter such as this year can create hardship for herds if nutrition is inadequate. Recent studies have concluded that cows on low protein (less than two pounds/head/day) and/

or low energy diets in late gestation may be more at risk to produce weak calves. One red flag is cows losing weight in late gestation. Calving time is not the time to be reviewing your nutrition program. Work with a qualified nutritionist in the fall to ensure adequate feed (quality and quantity) and appropriate vitamin/trace mineral supplementation. Feed test for mycotoxins, nitrates and energy and protein levels. Body condition score your cows and sort them into groups based on their feed needs. Remember that heifers, second calvers and old cows generally require additional attention. This would be a good time to review your genetics and cull those “hard-keepers” that don’t fit into your management program. Don’t waste feed energy feeding lice and internal parasites. Use a pour-on endectocide in the fall after freeze up to prevent a lice infestation. If you missed the opportunity in the fall, it is not too late to use a pour-on now. Just be sure to treat all calves on the ground and those that are born within two weeks of the herd being treated. Have fecal analyses done on late gestation cows to assess whether deworming is required in your herd or not. A strategic deworming program can yield a 25lb weight gain per weaned calf by improving milk yields and reducing pasture contamination. Review your vaccination program. BVD (Bovine Virus Diarrhea) has been identified as a factor in some herds with weak calf syndrome. IBR and Leptospirosis are common causes of abortion. Weak calves are also more at risk for developing scours and pneumonia.

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Today’s vaccine selection provides safe alternatives for vaccinating at all stages in a cow’s life – pregnancy or pre-breeding. Discuss the best options for your herd with your veterinarian. Be vigilant at calving time – this is the cattleman’s “harvest time.” Calving difficulty is a major factor associated with early calf losses. Early examination and assistance (if >1 ½ hours after waterbag evident) will minimize the number of calves born weak as a result of a difficult, prolonged birth. Head (think brain) and tongue swelling contribute to poor oxygen levels, failure of nursing and poorer absorption of colostrum. Check cows for mastitis, teat trauma and milk production. Cull cows with dystocia (requiring assistance at calving) or failing to wean their calves. Select bulls for calving ease and low birthweights. Provide shelter with ample bedding for young calves to minimize trampling and hypothermia as a result of wind and moisture. Wintering and calving cows in the same area

allows a buildup of infectious disease in the straw pack, elevating the risks of calf scours and navel infection. Practice the two week rule by managing cow/calf pairs in groups where all calves are within two weeks of age of each other. Mixing different aged calves increases the risk of scours transmis-

nursing regularly. On the advice of your veterinarian, consider vitamin (A and E) and selenium injections – for both cows and calves. With the help of your veterinarian, get an accurate diagnosis and take preventative action to avoid more dummy calves next calving season.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

Let’s talk tech – record keeping CAROLLYNE KEHLER MBP Project Coordinator

Farmers are great adopters of new technology. From sophisticated tractors to the Smartphone technology has made things easier, more streamlined, more efficient and more productive. Technology has also provided a method for increasing communication between different agriculture sectors that was never possible before. However, technology, especially electronic technology, comes with its own “baggage.� There are always glitches, like the computer needs updating, the cell phone won’t work in the cold or an important document is lost in cyberspace. These challenges can be very frustrating and might make a person think it’s not worth it; the handwritten records work just fine, right? But consider this. Do you give up on the tractor when it won’t start? No, because that’s one piece of technology that indisputably makes farming easier. A tractor also comes with a certain amount of “baggage� like repairs, maintenance, fuel costs and the challenge of escaping a muddy spring yard without getting stuck. These things are considered part of doing business. Just like maintaining a tractor, there are certain aspects of using computer record keeping that should be considered part of doing business and that will make the programs work better and be more reliable. This article will discuss what options are available for record keeping programs, things to consider when adopting a new record keeping program and practices that will make the experience much more useful. What are the options? There are a number of options available for record keeping including: apps available for your phone, standard computer software programs and internet-based programs. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. It is important when considering any record keeping software to keep the following factors in mind: What is the pricing scheme? Free, pay yearly, pay monthly? Are there additional costs associated with multiple users, based on animal numbers or for technical support and upgrades? Is the program approved by the Verified Beef Production Program (VBP)? This not only means that it will have all the options necessary for keeping adequate VBP records but it could also ensure its eligibility if future funding is available to help offset record keeping costs. Is the program integrated with the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS)? Integration with this program allows carcass and management data to be shared anonymously throughout the production system. Integration with this system also means that age verifying your animals can be done automatically on the program.

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Is the program accessible without internet or cell phone coverage? This will be discussed later in this article. Which devices is the program available for? Computers, phones or tablets? Windows or Mac products? Will the program be able to sync with other equipment such as tag readers and scale heads? Is the program user friendly and flexible? The best way to find this out is to talk to someone that is already using the program. Can you keep track of other species as well? Some programs provide services for sheep, equine and other livestock species. Do they have a free trial version? Most companies provide a month of free service for you to test out their options. How do they suggest uploading previous records into their program? Will it be simple or very time consuming? Some programs have great options for getting this done quickly and painlessly. Backing up your information In my opinion, backing up your records is the first and most important step in good record keeping. You will save yourself time and headache if you practice good backing up methods. If you are already using a record keeping program then it is important to check with the software company regarding their method for backing up your data. If you use a simple excel spreadsheet for storing data on your computer there are a couple of options. The best option is to buy an external hard-drive which run for $50 $100 and back up everything on your computer. There are many different external hard-drives but a good option to look for is the automatic backup with options for specific backup timelines. Another simple method of backing up your data is to copy and paste the file onto an usb stick. These can be purchased for $10 - $50 based on their storage capacity. The drawback to this method is that you have to remember to back up the data after you enter new information and you need to properly date and label different copies of the data so that it doesn’t become confusing. If you are a die-hard pen and paper kind of person, then you may want to consider making copies of your records and storing them in a separate place. That way if the original is destroyed there is always another safe copy. Internet and cellphone availability Your type of internet access and personal preferences will ultimately determine which kind of record keeping system is most suited for your operation. This is because most of the newest record keeping advances utilize the internet at various stages. If you are in one of those hard to reach areas of Manitoba because of distance to internet towers,

trees or elevation, there may be an option that you haven’t considered. Satellite internet is now available throughout the province and, speaking from experience, it can be a great option if you are in an area with service challenges. It is also comparable in price to regular tower-based internet coverage. When considering the use of a cell phone app for your record keeping be sure to consider if it requires cellphone or internet access while inputting data. Some apps can use the internal storage on your phone and upload the information at a later time, while others require that you have good cell service or Wi-Fi while you are entering information. If you are looking for a program that works without the internet there are a number of well-established programs that work great. How much will it cost? The price of programs range from free, pay once, pay once a year to pay monthly. Some programs sell based on animal numbers and others based on the features available in the program. Examples of pricing schemes are $10-$60 per year for a phone app, $5-$60 per month for a software program, or a one-time payment for the software of about $150. The pricing is based on a number of factors, including how the information is backed up, and how comprehensive the options on the program are. In summary Record keeping software allows you to enter data on groups of animals all at the same time. It can help you make informed decisions, give you quick access to past and current records and save you time. It can also give you access to genetic evaluations of your livestock, create informative reports, store and manage financial information, give you instant access to an animal’s records and allow numerous people to update the records at once. CattleMax, bioTrack by Bridging Intelligence, Ranch Manager by Lion Edge Technologies, and iCalve are just a few of the record keeping programs that boast many of these features and are leading the market in this area. There is also a brand new record keeping program currently being created right here in Manitoba called Farm Track Technologies. So, if you’re interested in starting with a record keeping program or enhancing a system you already have these could be great options for you to consider. Record keeping programs may not be as invaluable to your farming operation as your tractor but with the features available today they sure can be an important tool for keeping your farming operation competitive.

Advanced payment program changes announced MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

APP Program Changes The federal government is rolling out changes to the Advanced Payment Program, some of which took effect April 1 for the 2015 Program Year. New program elements this year include being able to receive advances on all your commodities through one application with a single administrator. As well, to obtain an advance there is no longer a requirement for a farmer to be principally occupied in farming. And, repayment of advances can occur without penalty either when a producer waits to market the commodity until conditions are more favourable, or if the agricultural product becomes unmarketable through no fault of the producer. Some other changes are expected to roll out in 2016, including: advances for specific classes of breeding animals intended for market; more options for producers to secure their APP advance; and, a more streamlined application process, among others. Producers can access cash

advances of up to $400,000, with the first $100,000 of the cash advances being interest free.  For information about the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program visit http://www.manitobalivestock. com/ or call 1- 866-869-4008. Seniors’ School Tax Rebate doubled In 2015 the Manitoba government is increasing the Seniors’ School Tax Rebate to a maximum of $470, up from $235. To qualify seniors must own and live in their own home, be at least 65 by the end of 2015 and have school taxes not already fully covered by the existing Education Property Tax Credit. Applications will be available online by mid-May at www.manitoba. ca/seniorsrebate or by calling the tax assistance team toll free at 1-855893-8266. Once they receive their property tax statement from their local government seniors can begin applying for the rebate. No dates yet for BRM consultations As of press time no dates had been announced for the province’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force’s producer consultations. The Task Force, announced in January, will examine business risk

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management programs and changes to AgriInsurance programs. Chaired by Bill Uruski it will look at topics such as: X ?P;FO;NCHA NB? ?f?=NCP?H?MM I@ current risk management tools, including production insurance, to help manage and recover from climate-related challenges; X C>?HNC@SCHA A;JM CH ?RCMNCHA JIFC=C?M and programs; recommending options to improve farmers’ ability to manage climaterelated risks; and X C>?HNC@SCHA Q;SM NI MBCb government support from ad hoc assistance to planned and predictable programs. Consultation information will be available at www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture and at local MAFRD GO Offices when meeting dates and locations are finalized. MBP has been seeking improvements to BRM programs to ensure they are responsive to producers’ needs and will be participating in the consultation process. If you have an issue or idea you would like to see brought forward, contact the MBP office at 1-800-7720458. MBP is also encouraging beef producers to participate. .


May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Community pasture program transition process continues SUBMITTED ARTICLE The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) will again be operating a number of the former Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Association (PFRA) pastures in 2015. Pastures under AMCP management and supervision this grazing season include: Alonsa, Langford, Gardenton-Pansy, McCreary, Mulvihill, Lenswood-Birch River, Narcisse, Pasquia and Sylvan-Dale. The rates AMCP has set for the 2015 grazing season are 65 cents a day per adult animal (yearling cattle, mature cows, bulls, mares and stallions), and $30 per season per calf, for a minimum of 100 days. Producers pay for salt and mineral and all vaccinations. Bull services are not provided. These rates are in line with the rates for the remaining pastures the federal government will be operating for the last year in 2015. Grazing fees will be set each fall by AMCP to cover costs and provide capital for improvements. Manitoba’s community pastures occupy more than 400,000 acres and graze some 50,000 head of cattle. For generations many cattle producers have relied on them to augment grazing on their operations. In Manitoba the federal government, through the PFRA operated them since the 1930s. The first pasture, Ellice (now called Ellice-Archie) opened in 1938 in the Rural Municipality of Ellice. Between then and 1976 the federal government opened 24 pastures spread out across Manitoba. In April 2012 the federal government announced the Community Pasture Program would be coming to a close and that it would begin to move away from managing the pastures starting in 2013. A transition plan was needed to ensure the pastures remained available for

Manitoba’s cattle producers. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) took a lead role in organizing the 20 some Manitoba grazing associations to examine a plan to move forward. A meeting of the chairmen of the grazing associations was held in Winnipeg in June 2012 to discuss next steps. When the Manitoba government indicated it would not take on administering the program itself there was unanimous support to move ahead with a new umbrella organization. A steering committee was formed consisting of Chair Barry Lowes, Alvin Stewart, Kim Crandall, Darren MacMillan and Trevor Atchison from MBP. They worked with staff from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) and the federal government to devise a business plan for moving forward. They chose a non-profit business model and the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures Inc. was created. AMCP lobbied the federal government to move the divestiture date for the first five pastures back to 2014. They agreed, so in 2014 AMCP operated seven of the first 10 pastures divested. Many of the smaller PFRA pastures were divested at the start so the challenge was to have a sustainable operating plan. AMCP worked with the provincial government to obtain three years in transitional funding through Growing Forward 2 to help transfer land management responsibilities to the AMCP. Funding was needed to replace equipment not transferred with the pastures, as well as for legal and accounting advice and business plan development. MAFRD worked closely with Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship (CWS) in developing the funding model to help the organization get started. Both departments realized the ecological value of these lands and wanted to continue to protect them and manage

them in a way similar to which they had been previously managed. CWS seconded an employee (Barry Ross) to work directly with the group and help establish the new organization. Ross had formerly worked with the PFRA pastures as a Land Manager in the Brandon region. The pastures represent large tracts of relatively untouched ecologically sensitive land. As part of the agreement, AMCP will be working closely with a range management committee of specialists within MAFRD and CWS as well as experts from other non-government agencies. This will help ensure these lands are managed in a way similar to the past practices and to protect this wonderful resource for Manitoba. The committee will work with AMCP to: X B?FJ NI ?MN;<FCMB MNI=ECHA L;N?M X GIHCNIL L;HA? =IH>CNCIHM X JLIPC>? ;>PC=? IH <?MN G;H;A?G?HN JL;=NC=?M X JLIPC>? NL;CHCHA ;H> ?RN?HMCIH NI B?FJ MN;f QCNB L;HA? management Despite a late start in 2014 as the divestiture process was taking place, AMCP was able to hire staff, buy equipment and get commitments from former pasture patrons to continue grazing their cattle. Every effort was made to retain former staff at the pastures and their willingness to stay has helped with a smooth transition. As the lease holder the AMCP realizes that these Crown lands have other uses too. When the pastures are not in use for grazing there are other activities on them such as hunting and snowmobiling. Treaty rights are respected and access to traditional areas is allowed as long as it does not disrupt the grazing operation. AMCP is expected to operate up to 20 of the former PFRA pastures in 2016. For additional information call 1-204-868-0430 or email amcp@pastures.ca .

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

Climate Change and Beef Production: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly KIM OMINSKI

comparable to those in confinement. However, in some circumstances, cattle may lose condition. In a three-year What’s going on and coming up? Beef production contributes study conducted in central Alberta, over $30 billion to Canada’s annual swath grazing reduced weight gain economy1. Climate change projections in cows compared to those fed in 5 4 are for increases of 3°C in the average confinement . Another Prairie study winter temperature by 20502, as well reported weight loss over a 78-day as an increase in the number of frost period in cattle overwintered in a free days. This increase in winter swath (6.4 kg) or straw-chaff (6.5 kg) temperature may provide opportunities grazing system, while animals in the as well as challenges for cattle dry lot realized gains of 9 kg. Greatest producers. Here we consider some of losses (21.6 kg) occurred in cattle the possible impacts associated with that were grazed in the swath-grazed cattle production if warmer winters system. However, the following year, cattle in all systems gained weight prevail on the Prairies. with the greatest gains realized by The good‌. Over the last decade, many swath-grazed (28.1 kg) and dry lot producers have moved from cows (32.9 kg). Differences in gain in confinement feeding to low-cost some of these studies may partially be alternatives for overwintering cattle attributed to inaccessibility of the feed 6 including grazing of stockpiled forage, due to adverse weather and increased standing or swathed corn, swathed maintenance costs to the animal for cereal grains and hay bales in fields. The thermoregulation during periods of 7 economic advantages of these systems extreme cold . Predicted increases are substantial3-5. Performance of cattle in winter temperatures may lead to in these environments, in general, is improvement in animal performance over the winter grazing period AREA OF TAME HAY AND NUMBER OF BEEF COWS as a consequence MANITOBA, 1931-2013 2,500 700 of decreased maintenance costs. Number of Beef Cows (Y2) 600 Harvested Area of Tame Hay (Y1) 2,000 A warmer climate 500 with longer growing 1,500 seatsons is expected 400 to increase both 300 winter annual crops 1,000 and longer-season 200 crops such as corn. As 500 100 these crops are ideal candidates for winter 0 0 1931 41 51 61 71 81 91 2001 11 grazing systems, cowYEAR calf producers will Figure 1:Period of droughts such as that which ocurred in have the opportunity 2002 can result in shortages in available forage for the herd. to utilize a range of Data source: Statistics Canada

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annual crops, as well as varieties with characteristics that are well-suited for winter grazing. Similarly, more crop acres of corn and/or soybeans will offer feedlots a wider range of cost-effective feedstuffs for finishing diets. The bad, and the ugly‌.. Alternatively, increased frequency of extreme weather events in winter may lead to challenges including more frequent freeze-thaw cycles, periods of extreme cold and above-average snow accumulations; all of which may compromise cow-calf performance and well-being, particularly in extensive overwintering environments. Increased frequency of freeze-thaw cycles creating crusted snow, as well as significant accumulations of snow may limit cattle access to stand or swath-grazed forage. Further, many producers have shifted from winter to spring calving to avoid extreme cold which historically occurs in January. Extremes in temperature and or fluctuating temperature at calving can be particularly problematic for calves, leading to increases in calf scours and pneumonia. Increased frequency of weather events will result in obvious challenges including water availability for animal and crop production including hay and pasture and other feedstuffs. For example, periods of drought in Manitoba have led to circumstances in which cattle numbers exceed feedstuff availability (Figure 1). What is less apparent is the potential survival and/or exposure to organisms which persist under extreme condition of either drought or flooding. Anthrax spores, for example, can survive in the soil for decades, coming to the surface during period of flooding or extreme drought. Animals become infected if they ingest the spores while grazing. Potential increases in liver fluke populations may also occur as a consequence of increased precipitation and standing water. This parasite, which impacts animal performance and also leads to condemnation of the liver, is more abundant in wet condition as the eggs require shallow water to hatch. Where to from here? Changes in climate by 2050 will present both challenges and opportunities for cattle producers. They can expect large inter-annual fluctuations in winter temperatures, as well as a similar magnitude in dayto-day variability that is experienced today. In addition, they will need to consider extreme cold periods, wind protection, and alternative watering

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systems for cattle, even if the mean conditions are warmer overall. To adapt, not only must they consider new cropping options but potentially new vaccination protocols, which may be regionally specific for organisms such as anthrax and liver flukes. In addition, flexibility in facilities including alternative watering facilities and calving areas should be considered to deal with potential extremes in weather throughout the production cycle. References 1

Canada Beef. Canada’s beef industry fast facts. http://www.canadabeef.ca/pdf/ producer/bic.pdf. Accessed February 14, 2014.

2

IPCC, 2013: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., et al. (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Full Report at: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ ar5/#.UubElv16ids. Accessed January 27, 2014.

3

Karn, J.F. et al. 2005. An integrated approach to crop/livestock systems: Wintering beef cows on swathed crops. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 20: 232–242.

4

Kelln, B.A. et al. 2011. Effect of winter feeding system on beef cow performance, reproductive efficiency, and system cost. PAS. 27: 410-421.

5

McCartney, D. et al. 2004. Alternative fall and winter feeding systems for spring calving beef cows. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 84: 511–522. 6

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Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Inc. *Per applicant, includes all APP Programs. Subject to Credit Approval

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Baron, V.S. et al. 2006. Carrying capacity, utilization, and weathering of swathed whole plant Barley. Agron. J. 98: 714721.

7

Young, B.A. 1983. Ruminant cold stress: Effect on Production. J. Anim. Sci. 57: 1601-1607.

8

Honey, J. 2013. Manitoba cattle and beef industry 2012. Reproduced with permission from http:// umanitoba.ca/faculties/afs/ dept/agribusiness/media/ pdf/cattle_profile_2012.pdf. Accessed Feb 14, 2014).


May 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Portion distortion: when to put your fork down ADRIANA BARROS Ever wonder when meals suddenly became oversized? I am talking about restaurant meals, packaged meals, beverages and even dishware. The popular North American motto is bigger is better. It’s no wonder most people overeat when items brought to the table are much larger. In this article we will be comparing the portion size changes of eating in and out of the home to 20 to 65 years ago. We will also learn how portion sizing can be easy everywhere you sit down to a meal. Finally, we will look at an arsenal of portion control tips to keep in your back pocket when eating out. Portion sizes have dramatically increased since the 1950s and rose sharply in the 1980s. In this era fast food chains were popping up all over the place and 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, 2012) fast food restaurants have increased the portion sizes of common foods from two to seven times larger than when the portions were first introduced to consumers. This effect has created portion distortion which is when one perceives the size of a food portion to be much larger than intended for consumption during one sit down meal. The sizes of a classic burger meal with fries and drink have increased in size by several times in the past 60+ years, yet, humans have not shown an increased pattern of higher physical activity in that time. Sodas have increased seven times while burgers have quadrupled and fries have almost tripled in size (Huffington Post, 2012). All this while, personal vehicles have become a primary method of transportation, hours spent sitting have increased and many technologies have

been developed to make life easier. Today’s perception of a restaurant meal portion is often large enough to mislead the eater into consuming enough food equaling to a whole day’s worth in energy. These dine in and take out restaurant meals also contain much more than the recommended salt (sodium) intake suggested by Health Canada. Restaurant portion sizes are not the only thing to increase. Dishware has also increased in size, up 36 per cent in some cases. So have our assumptions of how much we need to consume in order to be full (Brian Wansink, 2007). Plates, bowls and cups just keep getting bigger and because of portion distortion we think the right amount of food requires over filling 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 up to six servings (Dietitians of Canada, 2005). X 4B?H ?;NCHA ;N BIG? CN CM ?;MC?L NI control your plate size. However, when dining out this is more difficult to control. Here are some easy to follow tips when eating out: X 4B?H FIIECHA NBLIOAB G?HOM be aware that portion sizes and calories attached to dishes will always be deceiving. X ME @IL B;F@ I@ NB? ?HNL_? NI <? packaged up before it gets delivered to the table. X "HDIS NB? =IHP?LM;NCIH CN M HIN ; race. Eat until you begin to feel full. It takes 20 minutes until your brain signals your stomach you’ve had enough. X g? MCGJF?MN Q;S NI M;P? =;FILC?M CM choosing lemon water or calorie-free soda to drink. X &@ SIO MNCFF B;P? LIIG @IL >?MM?LN consider sharing with those at the table; as restaurant desserts are often oversized. (Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) There is no doubt many are aware of portion distortion and becoming a victim of overfilling plates is still difficult to overcome. Listed above were tips to avoid over eating when dining out and being calorie cautious around deceiving menus.

Portion distortion may not be realized in young adults and children who perceive large plates, and 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 portion control in a simple manner; Taco Salad that is served in a medium size tortilla shell that is baked. This individual salad is quick to make and delicious to eat; the kids will love this one. This is a Great Tastes of Manitoba recipe and is being aired on CTV May 9, 2015. Have a wonderful safe and exciting spring filled with delicious shared meals with friends and family. Thanks for reading. Works Cited Brian Wansink, P. K. (2007). Portion Size Me: Downsizing Our Consumption Norms. American Dietetic Association, 5. Dietitians of Canada. (2005). Keep an eye on your portions size...go the healthy way. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from Go the Healthy Way: http://www.gov.ns.ca/psc/ pdf/employeeCentre/healthyWorkplace/ healthyEating/03_06_PortionControl.pdf Huffington Post. (2012, 05 23). The New (Ab)Normal: Portion Sizes Today vs. In The 1950s (INFOGRAPHIC). Patricia Duffy, F. Y. (2012, January 27). Can the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 Help Trim America’s Waistline? Choices The Magazine for Food, Farm, and Resources Issues, p. 12. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. (n.d.). Your Health: Information on portion sizes. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from Winnipeg Health Region: http://www. wrha.mb.ca/wave/2011/01/portion-sizes. php Taco Salad 1 lb lean ground beef 1 onion, chopped 2 tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning* 1 tsp salt 1-19oz (250 mL) cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped 2 Tomatoes, chopped 1 cup Tex-Mex Cheese, shredded 1 package whole wheat tortilla wraps, medium

Homemade Ranch Dressing: 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1/4 tsp EACH cumin, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder 1 tbsp parsley, chopped Salt and pepper In a non-stick skillet over mediumhigh heat; cook beef, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until no longer pink. Drain fat if necessary. Add onion, taco seasoning and salt. Lower heat and cook until onions are tender and beef is cooked until well done. Flip over a standard sized muffin tin so the bottom is facing up, in between the grooves shape the tortilla shell into a bowl by pinching each side. Spray with canola oil and bake at 350ËšF for 20 minutes until browned and crispy. In a small bowl or jar add all salad dressing ingredients together, blend until combined; set aside. Place all toppings, lettuce, tomato, cheese and beans in small serving dishes for family style selfserve taco salad bowls. *Homemade Taco Seasoning 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 4 tbsp chili powder 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano 1 tbsp ground black pepper 2 tbsp ground cumin 2 tsp paprika Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a glass jar for up to 2 months.

MBP takes part in waste and recycling consultations MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) took part in recent consultations by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship about provincial recycling and waste reduction strategies. A number of the components of the discussion paper related to the agriculture sector. Regarding organic waste the paper suggested seeking out agricultural facilities or industrial animal feed producers’ facilities that can accept food or fibre that is acceptable for animals but not suitable for human consumption. MBP agrees there is value in this concept as long as the potential feedstuff meets the animal’s health and

nutritional needs and does not contravene any Canadian livestock feed legislation and regulations. The discussion paper said that new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programming may be developed for materials not yet covered in Manitoba, including veterinary products and sharps, as well as agricultural plastics (grain bags, bale wrap, twine and netting). EPR models are already used to fund recycling initiatives for products such as tires, agriculture chemical containers, and used oil, oil filters and containers. MBP requested that agricultural stakeholders be consulted in advance if this model is to be implemented on new products in our sector. Producers will have questions about associated

product fees, collection methods and how the affected products will be recycled in the future. The discussion paper talked about responses to natural disasters and other emergencies and how to handle solid and hazardous waste for materials damaged in these instances. MBP believes it would be valuable to analyse the potential development of a disaster waste management and recycling plan for materials damaged in these kinds of events. The need to clean up and dispose of debris transported during floods, for example, can be quite taxing for agricultural operations. If more effective ways can be found to do this we believe producers would be receptive to it. Potentially reducing the number of landfills in

Manitoba was also raised in the discussion paper. MBP noted that while this is a laudable approach we cautioned many agricultural producers do not have ready access to the same level of municipal recycling programs as their counterparts living in villages, towns and cities. This can mean producers wishing to recycle have to transport products a considerable distance. Or, there are no permanent recycling facilities for certain agricultural products. MBP suggested further consultations will be required to find effective strategies to address this challenge. MBP appreciated that the discussion paper recognized that by reducing the amount of waste going to landfills more land may be available for agricultural and other

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land uses. Competition for land is an ongoing concern in the agricultural community. Manitoba`s beef producers recognize the importance of sound environmental stewardship as it is essential to the long-term sustainability of the cattle industry. MBP believes that education

and awareness campaigns and ongoing collaboration with affected sectors will be integral to the success of future waste reduction and recycling strategies. These consultations are part of the provincial government’s ongoing work around implementing its TomorrowNow — Manitoba’s Green Plan.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2015

CleanFARMS aims to keep ag plastics out of Man. landďŹ lls MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

Have you been looking for a way to recycle your plastic (polypropylene) twine, bale and silage wrap and grain bags? Then CleanFARMS’ latest Manitoba pilot project may be just what you need. CleanFARMS is a not-for-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste. It has a received grant from Green Manitoba to conduct the pilot project, with fall collection being offered at seven sites. There is no charge for producers to participate. “There are now more plastics than ever being used on the farm many of which have no current end of life solution. Farmers and their communities are looking for solutions to responsibly manage these products. The government of Manitoba and others are therefore exploring policy options which would require industry to get involved in setting up a program to recycle these products in a similar way they have established the container recycling program,â€? explained Barry Friesen, general

manager of CleanFARMS. “Manitoba Beef Producers sees value in initiatives like these as we believe producers are interested in finding accessible means of disposing of these products and potentially seeing them repurposed,â€? said MBP President Heinz Reimer. Collection of eligible products runs October 26-31 at locations in the RM of Dauphin, RM of Edward, city of Steinbach, Neepawa area, RM of Norfolk-Treherne (2 sites) and the RM of Portage la Prairie. More information on collection site hours and free collection bag pickup locations can be found at www.cleanfarms.ca/manitoba_ pilot A similar pilot program ran in Manitoba in 2013 that saw approximately 4.5 tonnes of grain bags, twine, and bail wrap collected across the province. “Manitoba, like all other provinces, has committed to reduce the amount of waste being burned or buried in landfills. This includes packaging wastes and other products that can, instead, be recycled. Fortunately, farms across Canada have already embraced recycling through existing programs like CleanFARMS’ empty pesticide and fertilizer container recycling program. Through this program, farms

Products ineligible for recycling as part of this project include nylon twine/rope, netting, or feed/seed bags. CleanFARMS estimates that more than 25,700 tonnes of plastic waste is generated on Canadian farms. This includes grain bags, bale wrap, twine, netting, plastic pots, trays and ground cover. Friesen noted CleanFARMS also runs programs aimed at collecting livestock medications in some parts of Canada and it will be offering this service in Manitoba People interested in participating in in 2016. “One of our more recent partnerships the project are asked to take the following has been with the Canadian Animal steps: X "HMOL? G;N?LC;F CM ;M =F?;H ;H> >LS Health Institute who has allowed as possible. CleanFARMS to expand its obsolete X $L;CH <;AM LIFF AL;CH <;AM ;H> NC? pesticide collection program to include securely with twine OR roll with a grain obsolete animal health medications in its bag roller (where available). Contact your programming. In 2016, CleanFARMS will local RM to find out if a grain bag roller is be offering free collections to farmers across available for use. Manitoba. Watch our website next year for X ;F? MCF;A? QL;J <;A CH ; more details. Should farmers have unused CleanFARMS collection bag. products for disposal between now and X 1QCH? <;A CH ; F?;H# /*0 the next collection, they are encouraged collection bag and drop off at the collection to safely store their medications until that site. time. When the program is offered, farmers X 2H<;AA?> FIIM? IL B?;PCFS can bring their unused medications contaminated materials will not be to a collection point for free disposal,â€? accepted. he explained. across Canada routinely rinse and return their containers for recycling such that over 100 million containers have been recovered since the program began. Currently, CleanFARMS collects about 65 per cent of all containers put into the market,â€? added Friesen.

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

JULY 2015

ANGELA LOVELL As fences go up and forage crops are sown at the new research and demonstration farms east and north of Brandon, beef and forage producers can look forward to some innovative and practical tools resulting from research that will be conducted at the sites. The really exciting part of the initiative is that it’s industry-led, says Ramona Blyth, Chair of the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. “Our advisory committee has representatives from each of our stakeholders, as well as beef and forage producers from across Manitoba,” she says. “We have an open mind, and encourage any ideas for research projects that are pertinent to the beef and forage industry in Manitoba.” The initiative – led by Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) - has received $3.1 million in combined federal and provincial funding. Other partners are Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA),

PHOTO CAROLLYNE KEHLER

New beef and forage research farms will help industry grow Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD). “We also envision that we will be working closely with other key research and educational institutions across Western Canada, such as the University of Manitoba, Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, and many others” says MBP General Manager, Melinda German. MAFRD is providing both funding and in-kind support, and is excited to be a part of such a unique collaboration, says MAFRD project manager, Glenn Friesen. “This initiative is an open and transparent collaboration, and we want it to be Manitoba’s home of beef and forage research, demonstration and outreach for producers and also for the public,” he says. “We will be working collaboratively with research institutions from across Canada and the Northern Great Plains Ray Armbruster, Chairman of Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Inc., surveys a field to study a wide Page 2 ➢ at the Knowledge and Transfer Farm, which is located 10 miles north of Brandon.

United States loses final COOL appeal The United States will either have to scrap its country of origin meat labeling rule or face punitive tariffs after losing a final appeal against a trade challenge to COOL. A World Trade Organization panel confirmed May 18 that COOL unfairly discriminates against live imports of Canadian and Mexican cattle and hogs. Canada and Mexico will soon be in a legal position to slap retaliatory import tariffs on targeted U.S. products. The duties could be applied by late summer. The ruling by the World Trade Organization compliance appeal panel was the fourth one in as many years to go against the U.S. rule requiring American retailers to label meat according to its country of origin. “It finally means that there’s no more recourse in terms of appeals at the WTO,” said Andrew Dickson, Manitoba Pork Council general manager. The U.S. implemented COOL in the fall of 2008, although its origins go back to the 2002 Farm Bill. Producers expressed hope that the long-running

trade dispute, which has cost them billions of dollars in lost sales, discounted prices and legal bills, is finally over. “It’s been close to nine years since we’ve been going after this thing,” said Heinz Reimer, Manitoba Beef Producers president, in a telephone news conference. “Hopefully this will be the end of it and we can put this thing to bed and move forward.” The latest WTO panel reached the same conclusion as all previous ones did. It found COOL discriminates against foreign livestock and therefore violates international trade rules, said John Masswohl, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association government and international relations director. Canada will now ask the WTO for authority to retaliate against the U.S. for failing to make COOL trade compliant. An arbitrator will decide the value amount of tariffs equal to the financial injury to Canada’s cattle and hog producers caused by COOL. The tariffs will go on as soon as the WTO gives permission. “We would expect that the process would be concluded sometime in

late summer or early fall,” Masswohl said. Canada had earlier calculated the annual amount of financial hurt at $1.1 billion. But that was before the U.S. Department of Agriculture toughened the rule in 2013 and increased the cost to Canadian producers as a result. The amount is currently between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said at a May 19 news conference in Ottawa. The pressure is now on the U.S. to either fix COOL or suffer the consequences. Ottawa previously issued a list of U.S. imported products to be hit with 100 per cent surtaxes. The list contains dozens of items, ranging from meat, fresh fruits and processed foods to mattresses, swivel chairs and wooden furniture. The items are carefully selected and targeted at particular states, such as Iowa, Minnesota and California, that have previously supported COOL, said Masswohl. The result will probably be that those products will not get shipped because they are uncompetitive and exporters will lose sales as a result.

The tariffs are aimed at disrupting U.S. supply chains and putting pressure on American politicians to do something, said Dickson. “Canada is the largest export market for the U.S. and exporters will say, we can’t have a trade war with our major export market,” he said. U.S. commodity groups that oppose COOL called on their congressional leaders to take action. “Retaliation will irreparably harm our economy and our relationships with our top trading partners and send a signal to the world that the U.S. doesn’t play by the rules. It is long past time that Congress repeal this broken legislation,” said Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, in a statement. North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter called COOL “a rule that USDA’s own economic analysis says is a burden on livestock producers, meat packers and processors with no consumer benefit,” adding “repealing the statute is the best step forward.” Some American poli-

ticians have already responded. Two days after the WTO ruling came down, the U.S. House of Representatives agriculture committee voted to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken while leaving the requirement for other commodities intact. “This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty and restore stability for the United States by bringing us back into compliance,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway. Dickson called the House bill “a major effort to get this matter resolved.” However, a final bill to repeal COOL and avoid tariffs would also require approval from the U.S. Senate before Congress rises for its summer break at the end of July. There’s been some suggestion that, if the U.S. refuses to amend COOL, Canada will have to cut a side deal with the Americans for compensation instead of continuing to levy tariffs. That’s what happened in a case involving Brazil, the U.S. and cotton. Brazil won a WTO challenge against U.S. cotton subsidies. The WTO gave Bra-

zil permission to impose countermeasures. However, under a 2014 accord, the U.S. agreed to a $300 million one-time payment in return for Brazil dropping all WTO claims. However, Masswohl said such a deal is not an option for COOL. “The time for a side deal has passed. Either repeal COOL or put retaliatory tariffs on.” Editor’s note: As of press time the bill to repeal COOL had passed through the House of Representatives and was awaiting a vote by the Senate. Additionally, Canada has continued to make plans to impose retaliatory tariffs against key U.S. exports such as California wine. POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

RON FRIESEN


2

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2015

Remembering District 5 Director Claire De’Athe KAREN EMILSON

“Since the dawn of time men organized themselves by intelligence and aptitude. I’m sure my ancestors were herders. I don’t completely understand why I love cattle and our ranch, but I do. I’m not just someone on this land—I am a part of it.” — Claire De’Athe

PHOTO ANGELA LOVELL

Cattle woman and former Director with the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, Claire De’Athe, has died. Claire was elected to the board in the fall of 1998, the first woman to serve as a director with the MCPA, opening the door for other women who followed. During her six year tenure she was active on the communications and cow-calf committees, but the one she felt most passionate about dealt with environmental concerns. As chairwoman of the environment committee and as a CCA representative, Claire brought Manitoba’s position to the national level where she earned the respect of many due to her diligence and thought-provoking opinions. She devoted countless hours to the political struggle of Manitoba’s cattle industry before and during BSE. During Claire’s tenure with the board, she paid wonderful tributes to retiring directors that were insightful and humorous. Those who knew Claire remember an honest woman who was cerebral and fair but tough when necessary. She always stood up for what she believed, was never afraid to voice her opinion and didn’t apologize for her sensible, grassroots “cowboy attitude.” She was known to say: “I don’t mind if someone calls me a cow, just so long as they don’t call me a sheep.” Marlin Beever was past president when Claire joined the board. “Claire was very committed, very

principled,” he said. “I always appreciated her willingness to talk through an issue. The decisions we made around the board table impacted everyone and there were always people on both sides. It was important to her that everybody benefitted in some way and I respected her for that.” A retired nurse and lifelong writer, for many years Claire contributed regularly to Prairion Magazine, Grainews and Cattle Country. She was a member of the Country Quills writing group and published a book of memoirs and poetry that described her love for the land and life growing up in the Carberry hills. Claire passed away peacefully at the Carberry Hospital on April 9, 2015 after a brief battle with cancer. She was 67 years old. She leaves to mourn husband Doug; children Sharon, Signet, Sam and their families. A tribute in her honour was held April 15 in Carberry, Manitoba. Claire reading at a Country Quills meeting.

Findings to be shared with MB producers ← Continued from Page 1 range of questions applicable to understanding how best to manage livestock on our mixed-grass Prairie ecosystem.”

Research and Demonstration Farms Two farms will be established, the first – a Field Research Laboratory – which will be located on

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Crown land to the east of Brandon. It will provide a location for research scientists from Manitoba and across Canada to conduct foundational research, and develop innovative technologies in beef cattle and forage management. The Extension and Knowledge Transfer farm will be located on a section 12 miles north of Brandon, which was the former home of the Manitoba zero-till farm. The demonstration farm will be a place for producers to come and see research results proven

under field-scale conditions. DUC is providing the land at no cost, and is pleased to see the tradition of groundbreaking work at the site continue, says DUC’s Ken Gross. “It’s good to see that the land will be used to promote livestock and grass management techniques and innovations for the benefit of the livestock sector,” he says. “Our goal is to assist beef and forage producers to be more profitable. Keeping them on the land is good for them and good for DUC, be-

Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. with Holstein Calves August 31 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves

CLOSED AUGUST 2 - 8, 2015 For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

HAROLD UNRAU - Manager/Sales Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 871-0250 cell 204-434-9367 fax Box 71 Grunthal, Manitoba R0A 0R0

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca DISTRICT 1

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

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

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

DISTRICT 2

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 3

LARRY GERELUS

GORD ADAMS

DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

PETER PENNER

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

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 5

LARRY WEGNER

DISTRICT 7

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

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

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

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

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 8

DISTRICT 12

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

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

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BILL MURRAY

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING

cause both cattle and ducks share a need for grass and water.” The initiative is also providing a great opportunity to focus on various approaches to pasture and forage management in terms of soil health, says Jim Lintott, President of MFGA. “This initiative provides a long term demonstration project and an educational facility where we can showcase practical knowledge about the extended use of forage and grasslands to producers, schools and the public.” An Opportune Time The Initiative has been in development for a number of years but it couldn’t have come to fruition at a more opportune time, says German. “There is a need right now to provide extension material and research to help our herd expand,” she says. “Our industry is poised to expand and flourish and I think this farm and the opportunities

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

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it can present will help the beef and forage industry move to the next level.” Evaluation of research projects will begin in late summer, but an initial objective is to assess the feasibility of feeding cattle out on the land year-round. Whether a project is successful or not, good research is about finding out what does and doesn’t work, says Blyth. “A big benefit of this initiative and the research that will be done is that producers will be able to come and see what practices and crops we have tried, and have a degree of security that it’s been locally tested and will work before they try it on their own farms,” she said. “It’s very exciting to have this initiative happen in our province.” adds Blyth. “We are very grateful to all of the stakeholders for partnering with us to help our industry grow.”

Deb Walger Esther Reimer

Trinda Jocelyn


July 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Producers give feedback about predation at spring workshops Livestock producers dealing with predation problems on their farms had the opportunity to attend one of four workshops this spring offering an overview of the current programs and options that are available to help them deal with predation issues. Members of the Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA) also provided trapping demonstrations at the workshops. “The workshops were also an avenue for us to connect with our membership again so we can see what their concerns are, and to hear ideas for solutions from the people who are directly facing these challenges from predators,” says Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) General Manager Melinda German. MBP is leading a Livestock Predation Protection Working Group involving a number of partners and is trying to develop programs and tools to help producers deal with predation, which is becoming a growing problem. Agricultural expansion and urban encroachment is contributing to the problem by reducing wildlife habitat for species that provide food for predators, forcing them to look for alternatives. A decline in the deer population could also be a contributing cause in some regions of

Manitoba. MBP, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) hosted the workshops at Vassar, Moosehorn, Arborg, and Alonsa. Compensation and Help is Available MASC offers compensation for producers through its Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, which covers predation losses if the loss is due to predation by bears, coyotes, wolves, cougars, or foxes. The producer receives 90 per cent of the market value of the animal at the time of its death. MASC received 1,800 claims in 2014 and paid out $1.3 million under the program. Additionally, the program provides payment for veterinary and medical expenses for treating injured animals, up to the applicable per cent of compensation for the commercial or registered purebred value of the animal. Once producers receive a compensation claim number from MASC, they can contact the MTA, which will send out a licensed trapper to try and remove the problem animal through the province’s Problem Predator Management Program. The MTA receives funds from the Manitoba government to administer and deliver the pro-

gram. Last year, the MTA responded to 66 MASC claims, up from 37 the previous year, and removed 10 foxes, 248 coyotes, and 50 wolves under the program. Get to Know Your Local Trapper A producer has the right to kill a predator on his own land in defence of his property – except for cougars and eagles, which are protected species under Manitoba’s Wildlife Act. A producer can also give permission to a licensed hunter or trapper to come onto his land and remove a nuisance predator at any time of the year under either a licence or special permit obtained through Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. If it’s outside of the season for that animal, the trapper or hunter has to obtain a special permit from that department. Developing closer relationships with local trappers and hunters could be one of the most effective ways for beef producers to prevent their livestock being killed or maimed by predators, says trapper Neil Brandstrom. “We need to develop a better dialogue

between producers and trappers because producers usually only call us when they have a problem with a predator killing their animals during the spring and summer. But at that time the animals are harder to trap and the pelts are worthless,” he said, explaining that trappers receive an incentive of only $12 an hour up to a maximum of 24 hours for predation calls through the Problem Predator Management Program. “If we could trap that same animal in the late fall or winter when the fur is in prime condition the pelts can be worth $40 or more apiece.” Developing Long and Short Term Solutions Producer feedback from the workshops will provide impetus to the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group to help it develop some strategies for producers to use, says German. “It gives us our direction to continue to lobby the government for some longer term solutions in terms of programs and legislation, as well as to develop tools for producers to use in the short term because they need help now.” PHOTO MAUREEN COUSINS

ANGELA LOVELL

Tips to Prevent Predation Mamoon Rashid, Business Development and Small Ruminants Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development, offered some suggestions for livestock producers at recent workshops about how to help prevent predation on their farms. Rashid emphasizes that not all these suggestions will be feasible for all cattle operations, and it’s often a combination of different strategies which have proven the most effective, especially among sheep producers. Here are six suggestions for livestock producers to try to help minimize predation on their farm or ranch: Surveillance, Monitoring, and Record Keeping Assess which areas are most vulnerable to predation, for example pastures close to wooded areas, or furthest away from the farm yard. Try to assess how many predators are in the immediate area. The use of technology such as trail cameras placed along identified wolf or coyote trails may help with this. Solar lights or alarms on timers or motion sensors in high risk areas may also be a deterrent. Management Try improving management practices such as calving earlier in the year to make sure calves are larger and have fully bonded with the herd by the time they go to pasture. Graze pastures or paddocks most at risk for predation at times when predator activity is usually lower – generally in May and June when wolves especially are busy denning. Graze lower risk pastures during summer when predators are feeding their

offspring. During high predation seasons in summer to early fall check cattle more often because human presence is one of the best deterrents to predators. Limit access to the pastures by installing predator proof fences and gates if feasible, although fencing large or leased grazing areas can be a challenge. Wildlife Damage Compensation In Manitoba the compensation for wildlife losses is 90 per cent of the value of the loss up to a maximum of $2,000. Producers can contact MASC for more information about the compensation program Trappers The Manitoba Trappers Association is a great resource and is always willing to assist producers having problems with predators. Guard dogs Guard dogs can be very effective in helping to protect the herd from predators, but if you have a large herd you might need several dogs. Raise the dogs with livestock from the time they are pups, and limit any human interaction with the pups to ensure they bond with the herd. The success of the dogs varies due to the size of the ranch and the predators they are working against. Remove attractants Secure dead stock areas and remove any dead stock from the pasture as soon as possible to reduce the attraction for predators. Separate and treat any sick animals away from the healthy herd because sick or disabled animals can stay behind and become an easy target for predators.

For more information check out the following resources: Mamoon Rashid – MAFRD – 204 945 7557 mamoon.rashid@gov.mb.ca MCWS Problem Predator Program http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/wildlife/problem_wildlife/ predator_management.html Manitoba Trappers Association: http://www.manitobatrappers.com/ MASC Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Livestock Predation: https://www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/program_wildlife_damage_compensation.html Rancher’s Guide to Predator Attacks on Livestock: http://esrd.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/wildlife-damage-control-programs/ documents/RanchersGuideToPredatorAttacks-May2010.pdf

Donnie Zembik provided a trapping demonstration for participants at the Livestock Predation Protection Workshop in Moosehorn.

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2015

There is much on the plate for MBP and developments that will provide tools to producers to stay connected in this area. Manitoba continues to be a leader in Verified Beef Production (VBP) thanks to the dedication of producers both delivering the program and participating in it. This program links what we do now to ensure a safe, high quality product to the increasing curiosity of our customers and the public about our industry. Not only will MBP continue to deliver this key program but we are working with our national partners to broaden out the program to include modules related to biosecurity, animal care and the environment. As professionals producing food we need to show our credentials to the public. I see our producers being the same as any other professionals who are providing a service, be they accountants, teachers, doctors or lawyers. Our consumers have confidence in us and we need a vehicle to continue to communicate how we produce safe and nutritious products. As we enter into barbeque season consumers continue to support us. In a recent radio interview I reinforced producers’ dedication to producing a quality product. In the same interview a Winnipeg grocer indicated that not only is the consumer still buying our product but he has seen demand for it increase. This does not mean we can be complacent and always think we will be blessed with consumer support. We need to continually work to ensure we deliver a quality product and that the consumer stays connected to our industry. This spring MBP launched an exciting new promotional campaign with TSN Radio. Several times a week their listeners are directed to MBP’s website for nutritious beef recipes. This Eat Like an Athlete promotion was launched in May and doing the spots is the Darryl Crumb of Centreplate Hospitality, who highlights a delicious beef recipe. So even if you cannot play like your favourite athlete, you can still eat like them. We also continue to partner with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to connect with our urban public and remind them we are here just outside the perimeter working hard to produce food for their tables. This year we will be honoring families, not only beef producers, but all families. Beef is a part of so many memorable family events and we think that highlighting the beef industry at thrilling sporting events is a win for us all. Finally, MBP continues to support research and extension in Manitoba. In this edition you will read about the new beef and forage research and extension project in which MBP is involved. These are exciting times and there is tremendous opportunity for us to work with

MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column Well it’s been a busy summer and six months since I provided you with a broader update on Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) activities. Aside from the other articles and columns in this edition of Cattle Country I will highlight some of our key areas of focus so far in 2015. Agricultural Crown lands has been a priority issue, with past resolutions to MBP in areas such as informed access, transferable leases and Animal Unit Months (AUMs). In January and June MBP met with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) and Minister of Agriculture Ron Kostyshyn to address these issues and many more. Over the last few months we have been working to ensure better communication so other people entering Crown lands used by beef producers are aware these lands are important agriculture resources. While producers are not able to restrict access on Crown lands, MBP is working with the provincial government and other associations to encourage the public to communicate with lessees and to contact producers prior to going on Crown lands. This would provide producers with an opportunity to talk to them about sensitive areas, biosecurity and animal health and welfare concerns. There are also several sign options producers can obtain from their local MAFRD GO Office and post to encourage this type of communication. Please see the photos accompanying this article for examples of the signs available. Other areas we are talking to MAFRD about related to Crown lands include improvements on lands that have been impacted by excess moisture, the 4800 AUM cap, lease rates and eligibility for leasing Crown lands. The provincial government’s three year pasture land rental rate review is getting underway and the survey of pasture land rental rates is being distributed to a number of producers shortly. There is a lot of work to still do on this front but Crown lands issues remain a priority for MBP over the next year. The provincial government’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force, first announced in January, is looking at business risk management (BRM) tools available to all producers, how well they are working and whether new types of insurance and non-insurance approaches are needed. MBP has provided some initial feedback to the Task Force about the BRM programs, their effectiveness and the need for our industry to be on a level playing field with other commodities when it comes to BRM tools. The Task Force will be holding public consultations this summer and we strongly encourage beef producers to attend a meeting and provide feedback in person or to complete the online survey that will be posted on the MAFRD website. Our world is continually evolving and changing, whether it is from an environmental, economic or social perspective. Yes, these are the three legs of the sustainability stool you have heard so much about over the last couple years. The sustainability train has left the station and is not slowing down and our future in the industry will involve ongoing work around sustainability. MBP continues to be front and centre on several programs

academics and other collaborators in novel ways. With this initiative and other projects MBP supports we are exploring options for producers in terms of production management and industry economics. And, we will also be able to share our findings with the public, helping to better inform them about how our industry works. While I cannot mention all the activities and priorities we have been working on this year I want you to know MBP has amazing staff and a board of directors that continue to work hard on your behalf. It’s my privilege to continue to represent you and I look forward to seeing you at your district meeting this fall or our Annual General Meeting in February in Brandon.

There are several signs producers can post on Crown land they are renting form the Province. To get these signs speak with your local MAFRD office

Funds available for beef producers

Are you a producer in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area?

dŚĂŜŏ LJŽƾ ĨŽĆŒ ÄžÇ€ÄžĆŒÇ‡ ÄžĨĨŽĆŒĆš LJŽƾ͛ǀĞ Ä‚ĹŻĆŒÄžÄ‚ÄšÇ‡ žĂĚĞ ĆšĹ˝Ç Ä‚ĆŒÄšĆ? ƚŚĞ Ĺ?ŽĂů ŽĨ ÄžĆŒÄ‚ÄšĹ?Ä?Ä‚ĆšĹ?ĹśĹ? ŽǀĹ?ŜĞ dĆľÄ?ÄžĆŒÄ?ƾůŽĆ?Ĺ?Ć? Ížd ÍżÍ˜ Ç€ÄžĆŒÇ‡ ÄžĨĨŽĆŒĆš žĂĚĞ Ä?LJ ĞĂÄ?Ĺš Ĺ?ŜĚĹ?Ç€Ĺ?ĚƾĂů ƉƾƚĆ? ĆľĆ? ƚŚĂƚ žƾÄ?Ĺš Ä?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?ÄžĆŒ ƚŽ Ä?ŽůůÄžÄ?ĆšĹ?ǀĞůLJ ƉƾƚƚĹ?ĹśĹ? d Ĺ?Ĺś ƚŚĞ ĆŒÄžÄ‚ĆŒͲÇ€Ĺ?ÄžÇ ÍŠ dĹšÄžĆŒÄž Ĺ?Ć? Ä‚Ĺś Ĺ˝Ć‰Ć‰Ĺ˝ĆŒĆšƾŜĹ?ƚLJ ĨŽĆŒ LJŽƾ ƚŽ Ĺ?Ğƚ Ĺ?ŜǀŽůǀĞĚ Ĺ?Ĺś Ä‚ d ÄžĆŒÄ‚ÄšĹ?Ä?Ä‚ĆšĹ?ŽŜ Ĺ?ĹśĹ?ĆšĹ?Ä‚ĆšĹ?ǀĞ ůĞĚ Ä?LJ DÄ‚ĹśĹ?ƚŽÄ?Ä‚ ĞĞĨ WĆŒĹ˝ÄšĆľÄ?ÄžĆŒĆ? ÍžD WÍżÍ˜ ^Ĺ?Ĺ?Ĺś ƾƉ ĨŽĆŒ Ä‚ ŚĂůĨ ĚĂLJ d ĆŒĹ?Ć?ĹŹ Ä‚Ć?Ć?ÄžĆ?Ć?žĞŜƚ ÄšŽŜÄž Ç Ĺ?ƚŚ D W Ć?ƚĂĨĨ Ä?LJ Ä?Ä‚ĹŻĹŻĹ?ĹśĹ? ϭͲώϏϰͲϳϳώͲϰϹϰώ 1-800-772-0458 www.mbbeef.ca

Did you know as a Manitoba beef producer you are eligible for up to $12,000 in funding? The Growing Forward 2 On Farm Food Safety Program will provide $2000 for items such as a single animal scale, neck extension for a chute, beef herd medical treatment software, electric thermometer, sharps containers and the first audit for the Verified Beef Production program. You could also apply for up to $5000 for Biosecurity projects like a quarantine pen for incoming or returning animals, a cleaning or disinfection station to prevent the spread of disease; a compost site for manage-

ment of dead stock and a veterinary biosecurity herd assessment. If you would like to purchase RFID reading equipment, software, a carrying case or docking station for RFID equipment you could be eligible for up to $5000 of funding. To be eligible you have to successfully implemented and passed your first audit for the Canadian Verified Beef Production program or if you’ve previously been audited you must be in good standing with the VBP program. For more GF2 program information contact your local MAFRD GO Office.


July 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Winnipeg hosts LMAC convention RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line In May the Livestock Markets Association of Canada held its Annual Convention and Livestock Auctioneering Championships in Winnipeg. Over 150 auction market owners, operators, auctioneers and order buyers from across Canada attended the event. Scott Anderson co-owner of Winnipeg Livestock Sales was elected as the LMAC President. Brock Taylor, from Reston was elected from a field of seven candidates as a director at large. Rick Wright was re-appointed as the Executive Administrator of LMAC. At the business session, the main topics of discussion were movement reporting and traceability, proposed regulatory changes, sustainability, and market outlooks. Sterling Fox of JBS Foods Canada gave an interesting presentation on JBS and their outlook on the beef industry. Jerry Klassen, a well-known market analyst provided a very positive cattle pricing out look for the fall and spring Canadian cattle markets. Ryder Lee from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association talked about industry sustainability. Ted Power and his team from Viewtrak Technologies gave a high-energy presentation on the BIX program and technology for the future. The auctioneering competition attracted 30 entries. Competing from Manitoba were Brock Taylor, Melita; Robin Hill, Virden, Scott Campbell, Brandon; Tyler Slawinski, McCreary; Allan Munroe, Killarney; Mike Nernburg, Winnipeg, Morris Olafson, Morden and Myles Masson, Ste. Rose. Clive Bond an order buyer from Cat-

tlex and co-owner of 007 Feeders at Elgin was one of the six judges of the auctioneering competition. After the auctioneers sold over 1,000 cattle at Winnipeg Livesock Sales, Calvin Kuepher from the Ontario Livestock Exchange at Waterloo Ont. was declared the winner. Kuepher, an Old Order Mennonite auctioneer has competed in the national competition four times and has placed in the top five every year. He won the Canadian Hereford Assoc. Buckle presented by Albert Rimke of Oak Lake. Kuepher also won a host of other prizes. Second place was awarded to Kevin McArter of the Brussels Stockyards in Brussels Ont. Third place went to Ryan Hurlburt from HLS, Yorkton. Ryan also won the Man/Sask Championship as well. Fourth Place was awarded to Albert Carroll from Omemee, Ontario. Carroll sells at the Ontario Stockyards Inc. located at Cookstown, Ont. Carroll who was has been selling for three years was also awarded the Merial Canada, Rookie of the Year award. Fifth Place stayed in Manitoba as it went to Tyler Slawinski who sells at the Gladstone Auction Market. The Jim Raffan Memorial award is presented by the Raffan family of Valley Auctions in Armstrong B.C. to the most congenial auctioneer and is voted on by the 30 competitors in the competition. This year, the highly prestigious award was presented to Allan Munroe from the Killarney Auction Mart. The Bob Wright Memorial award is presented to the Man/Sask rookie of the year. Wright a well-known auctioneer sold livestock for 45 years. The award is open to any Man/Sask auctioneer that has been selling livestock for less than five years and has not previous won. This year Morris Olafson from Morden was the winner.

Tyler Slawinski of the Gladstone Auction Mart was one of the Manitoba competitors at the North American Auctioneer Championship May 29 in Winnipeg.

Robin Hill and his staff at the Virden Auction Mart were the winners of the 2015 Canadian Angus Association “Stockyard of the Year Award”. CAA representatives Brian Good and Lois McRae presented the award to Robin Hill and Drillon Beaton. The award is presented to the auction market in Canada that best promotes the Angus commercial feeder sales as well running a top-notch reputable market. The Canadian Hereford, Angus, Limousin, Simmental and Charolais Associations have been major sponsors of the event for the past 18 years. Each year they recognize the host market with a gift for hosting the competition. Representatives from the five associations presented Winnipeg Livestock Sales owners Jim Christie, Barry Anderson and Scott Anderson with a framed print. Larry Witzel President of the Ontario Livestock Auction Markets Assoc. was inducted into the LMAC Hall of Fame. Witzel is the owner of OLEX and has been on

the LMAC board of directors for over 20 years. He continues to serve on a number of national committees representing the livestock marketing industry. Witzel was nominated by Rick Wright, who told the audience that “industry has no idea how much Larry Witzel has done for us. Larry’s common sense approach and his ability to see the whole picture, has gained him the respect of both industry and government. Witzel’s influence, opinion and his diplomatic approach are valuable assets to the livestock Industry.” Also nominated as candidate for the Hall of Fame was Don Ransom from Boissevain. Ransom, a well-known cattle buyer was nominated by Andy Drake from Cattlex. This year there were six people from across Canada nominated for the award. A committee of industry experts from across Canada selects the winner. Overall, the 2015 LMAC convention was a huge success. Convention co-chair Scott Anderson, said “that support from all sectors of the Manitoba industry was tremendous, which in turn allowed Manitoba to showcase our industry to the rest of Canada. “ Next year the convention moves to Ontario, where Brussels Stockyards will host the competition on the last weekend in May. On another note the Annual Cattlemen’s Classic Golf tournament will bee held on Aug 6. This year’s venue will be the Killarney Lakeside golf course. Entries are limited to the first 140 golfers; you can enter singles, doubles or teams of 4. The event is a best-ball format. Transportation will be provided from Hamiota, Kenton, Oak Lake, Brandon Boissevain as well from Moosomin, Elkhorn, Virden, Pipestone, Melita and Deloraine. Space is limited and based on a first come first serve booking. For more information contact Rick Wright or Allan Munroe.

Castration tips for producers DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Column Castration is deemed by many producers to be a simple “anybody can do it” procedure. Yet I find castration mishaps and misconceptions to be a common part of practice. Everyone knows the benefits of castration – improved meat quality, aggression control and reduced unwanted pregnancies but a review of the various techniques and their associated pitfalls would be beneficial. Improperly castrated bull calves are heavily discounted for a reason – botched castrations aren’t fun to fix and impact short-term performance. All methods of castration, surgical or not, cause pain and distress. Recovery is more rapid and with fewer adverse effects if castration is done at birth or shortly thereafter (within the first week). Restraint of small calves is much easier, improving operator safety and efficiency. Recent changes to the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle state that effective January 1, 2016, pain control must be used when castrating bulls older than nine months of age. By 2018, pain control must be provided for calves older than six months of age. Additionally, bear in mind that castration of older calves results in greater weight loss and increases the risk of illness due to added stress, particularly if done at the time of weaning and upon or shortly after arrival at the feedlot. Studies have found that cattle castrated after puberty lose weight for up to 4.5 months! Simplify your life, improve your reputation amongst feedlot buyers and fatten your pocketbook by castrating properly at birth. Surgical or not – that is the question. If done properly, banding is the least stressful (in the short term) and safer of the two options. Surgical castration is associated with a higher risk of serious complications, including bleeding, swelling, infection and death. Rarely, scrotal hernias can develop, particularly if the testicles are pulled out rather than clamped and cut. One of my clients lost several calves from severe hemorrhage as a result of copper deficiency following surgical castration by an experienced producer.

Non-surgical castration techniques are also not without risk. Burdizzo clamps are associated with a higher failure rate, usually due to operator error or poor equipment maintenance. Only the cord should be clamped. Clamping the whole scrotum can result in sloughing while clamping the testicle results in severe inflammation, adhesions and infection. Place your thumb between the testicle and burdizzo to ensure only the cord is clamped. Inspect your burdizzo prior to use – clamp a piece of paper and try to pull it out. If you can, expect a higher failure rate and replace your burdizzo. Banding is generally the preferred method of castration but it is not without complications. Although surgical and burdizzo castrated calves experience more pain during and immediately after castration, banding produces chronic pain due to persistent wounds and slow tissue death. In my experience, most complications are related to trying to band testicles that are not fully descended or using the wrong band size for the size of calf. Read the manufacturer recommendations and pick the correct tool and band to fit your operation. Long term, the overall impact of banding may be greater in terms of reduced feed intake and daily gains. These ef-

If you are a livestock producer,

we want to hear from you. The Manitoba government wants to make sure current pasture and forage costs are reflected in departmental activities, costs-of-production guides, agricultural Crown lands, agrirecovery and market development initiatives. That is why livestock producers across the province are being contacted to gather their opinions on these costs. If you would like to be contacted, please call Hannah Minshull by July 27 at 204-522-3256. All information you provide is strictly confidential.

fects are greatly reduced by castration at a young age. Tetanus vaccination must be done prior to castration. Check with your veterinarian to ensure that the Clostridial vaccine you use contains tetanus. Although tetanus is usually seen in calves banded over six months of age, I have also seen it in a three- week old calf. Ensure that tetanus vaccination is up-to-date (at least four vaccinations throughout life) in the cow herd if banding young calves. If a testicle is not properly descended or an elastrator ring won’t stay on when you give the scrotum a small tug (because the testicles are slim), there is a high risk of belly nuts. Castrate these calves surgically. If the scrotum seems swollen or thickened, have your veterinarian assess the calf for a hernia or rupture. Banding or surgically cutting these calves will result in serious complications or death. Taste panels suggest that consumers prefer beef from cattle that are castrated at an early age. Animal welfare studies have shown that calves are healthier and exhibit less pain if castrated at a younger age. Feedlots discount bulls and improperly castrated steers. Implement a humane and effective castration program.

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www.mbbeef.ca


6

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2015

Ottawa trip among recent highlights HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along Well, it looks like summer is finally here. The grass is green, flowers are blooming and the official Mav nitoba Bird (AKA the Mosquito) is back. Manitoba Beef Producers’ board of directors and staff have been busy over the past couple of months working on behalf of members. Early in May, Melinda German, Maureen Cousins, Ramona Blyth and I had the opportunity to fly to Ottawa to meet with Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) staff and do some lobbying on

Parliament Hill. First, we met with Canadian Food Inspection Agency staff regarding bovine tuberculosis in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area. We reiterated that eradicating bovine TB in domestic livestock and wildlife must remain a priority for all involved in this issue. Although efforts to manage TB are time consuming and costly to the beef industry and government treasuries, we are starting to see headway on this issue. Let’s not ease our efforts on this. By working together to achieve TB eradication we can normalize trade for producers and the goal is to move to a system of passive surveillance at slaughter instead of live testing of animals. We then split into two groups in Ottawa and were able to meet with many Manitoba Members of Parliament and key staff members to discuss disas-

ter mitigation and management. After repeated disasters such as flooding, and without effective long-term water management strategies and BRM programs, we are concerned that industry downsizing is likely to continue. Building a second outlet to draw down Lake Manitoba and addressing issues around the Shellmouth Dam, the Shoal lakes and others areas affected by water management challenges are a big concern to us. We also had discussion about the Canada-Manitoba Forage Shortfall and Transportation Assistance Program. It did help some producers affected by the 2014 flooding but not to the degree that was expected or which had been sought by MBP. Repeated adverse conditions have left some producers ineligible for needed BRM programs and this needs to be addressed. On a positive

note, the federal government recently expanded the list of designated regions where eligible producers affected by excess moisture and flooding in 2014 can access the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision. Additional details can be found on page 10 of this edition of Cattle Country. Another issue brought MBP brought forward in Ottawa is the labour shortage facing the agriculture and agri-food sectors, with workers needed to support productivity, growth and a successful future. We also spoke about trade negotiations which offer many opportunities for beef. However, there is work to be done to ensure beef produced under Canadian practices can gain access to the European Union. May 18 was a historic day for Canadian cattle producers in the ongoing fight against US Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its final ruling, stating that the US policy discriminates against live imports of Canadian cattle and hogs, ending the eight-year battle. Just days after the WTO ruling, US legislators put forward a new bill to repeal COOL. Shortly after, the U. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee voted to repeal COOL by a 38-6 margin. After the bill to repeal was passed through the full House of Representatives we are now waiting for the U.S. Senate to vote on the matter, which should happen in the near future. At the same time, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association will continue to lobby the Government of Canada to impose retaliatory tariffs on key US exports into our country. We would like to thank Agriculture Minister Gerry

Ritz and Minister of International Trade Ed Fast for their continued efforts in battling COOL. We also thank the Manitoba government for its support of the federal government’s ongoing efforts against this unfair trade practice. Members of the MBP board of directors, staff and I also attended the 2015 Livestock Markets Association of Canada national convention here in Winnipeg. The local organizing team did a fantastic job hosting the event from May 28-30. Among the highlights was the LMAC Livestock Auctioneering Championship which was held at Winnipeg Livestock Sales. Congratulations to all competitors, notably this year’s champion, Calvin Kuepfer of Waterloo, Ontario. It was great to see all of the Manitoba auctioneers compete in the event and represent our province very well.

The three basic rules of selling cattle

BRENDA SCHOEPP Straight from the Hip The spike in cattle prices has earned some earnest soul searching on farms and ranches. The concern is not so much in whether to buy or sell but in the longevity of high prices. How we do we stay in the game for the long run? That is the question that has been asked of me by many communities across the prairies

this winter. Cow calf operators enjoyed a fabulous long overdue rally in prices as the Americans pounced on the feeder cattle, driven by their own shortages, an abundance of corn and a vastly depreciated Canadian dollar. If you were an average prairie producer then your cost of developing a weaned calf should be around $110.00 cwt. That put your total costs at an approximate $660.00, weight dependent, with a good $800.00 per head in the money jar. If that is where you play and want to stay then it is important to be aware of the basic marketing tools that you need to stay in that game.

We know that uniformity (U) is a reflection of fertility in a herd. And it is this uniformity that is the first driver in the development of cattle prices. I have always maintained that as a cattle buyer of calves and feeders, I want to lay a board across their backs and a board under their bellies with little space to show. More importantly, I want to see that degree of uniformity across the whole lot of cattle because it is a first indicator of relative age and performance in cattle that are genetically complimentary. From the producer’s perspective, uniformity is achievable by careful selection of bulls, nutritional

attention to all stock and heavy culling on the outliers that come in late. There are simple relationships to fertility in bulls as even scrotal size for the breed has a bearing. And cows with good feet and udders compliment the longevity of the fertile cow in the herd. Most important in the benchmarking of these cows is to have the majority calve in the first cycle (21 days) and to have a continuum of growth performance on the calf from birth to bistro. That means that as we measure the performance of the calves and record that data, we look for fertile cows that as a group produce uniform calves that have a continu-

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ous growth curve. Post calving scours will cost the calf in terms of performance on the cow, in the feedyard and on the rail. The astonishing evidence of the effect of scours points to it as one of the biggest handicaps to profitability in terms of the lifetime of the calf. Calving in clean, open areas and moving cattle to a plot of clean land post calving is very important in the overall profitability of the herd, because it is preventative in nature. The next step in lining up for both good and bad times is to understand pricing (P) when it comes time to sell cattle. There are many methods to price cattle and manage the risk in pricing cattle. Generally, feeder cattle are always priced on the average. What this means is that unless you differentiate in some way or manage your price risk in some way, you will not obtain premium pricing or sale conditions. A good example is “dumping” the cattle at an auction without any discussion on the merits of the cattle such as no administered hormones or treatments. They will be priced on the average of the day – both the low and the high of the average. The same cattle that have a description of production practises will bring more money. We see this especially in any type of electronic auction or direct sale where the buyers may review the attributes of the cattle. In some cases this past year the premium over the average high on differentiated cattle was $30.00 cwt. Selling cattle is a very transparent process. In

addition to many options including direct sales, there is a wider variety of buyers who have special interests because they have contracts with end users that may wide in reach be they restaurants or export sales. At all levels, animal welfare is the primary concern. Producer, seller, buyer and transporter all have a stake in the game. Stress causes shrink (S) in cattle and that lost weight is lost pounds. Sure, the calves may have brought $300.00 cwt. because they weighed 450 lbs. at the time of sale but the real question is – how much did they weigh before that? As a cattle buyer one likes to see a little shrink or lost weight to account for the gut fill. Calves and feeder cattle bought on a full stomach are costly and all opportunity of compensatory gain for the buyer is lost. What nobody should sell or buy is the extremely stressed and shrunk calf that is health compromised. Cattle are entrusted to our care from start to end of sale and by not paying attention to stress, dehydration, starvation, discomfort and excessive light, movement, mixing or sound we not only should dismiss ourselves as cattlemen and women from a welfare perspective but we simply do not make any money. Think of it this way. The job of the cattleman and cattlewoman is to make money in both the production and sales of cattle. As you plan the future remember the simple rules of UPS – uniformity, price and shrink. That keeps us focused on basic fundamentals of profitability.


July 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

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ANGELA LOVELL Glen Metner is someone who looks at predation from both sides of the fence. Metner is a licensed trapper and cattle producer who runs a cow-calf operation and grasses yearlings on his farm near Moosehorn. Metner had never lost cattle to predators before 2010, when wolves began to take at least a couple of animals a year. Last year he estimates they killed at least 12 calves and maimed 11 others. “We had only lost eight calves after going to pasture since we started ranching in 1973, and now we’ve lost at least 20 in the last five years,� says Metner, who was one of the producers attending a recent Livestock Predation Protection Workshop at Moosehorn hosted by Manitoba Beef Producers and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. Compensation not Adequate Metner received compensation for the three dead calves he was able to find last year through Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s program for live-

stock predation, but says it didn’t come close to covering his investment. By the time his calves go to pasture, says Metner, he’s already paid for the pasture and expenses such as vaccinations and fixed costs, so if he loses one at that point not only has he lost that investment, but also the market potential that calf would have had in the fall. “Those calves I lost were $24,000 off my net income,� he estimates. Felix Boileau a cow/ calf producer who attended the Vassar workshop says on average he loses about four or five calves a year, mostly to wolves. “Sometimes we lose far more. Our worst year was 1997 when we lost 12 calves,� said Boileau who also believes the compensation currently offered through MASC isn’t adequate. “The compensation only covers 90 per cent of the value of that calf at that stage, so we’re losing all the potential that it would be worth later. With the cattle prices today it’s probably costing us about $8,000 a year.� The Hidden Costs of Predation But the cost of preda-

PHOTO ANGELA LOVELL

Producers share stories of predation

Trapper Neil Brandstorm demonstrates humane traps to producers at a recent Livestock Predation Workshop held at Vasaar

tion goes beyond the loss runs a calf I estimate it knock-on effect on oth- retire and no young of an animal. “The public loses 10 pounds. Some er farm work. “I wasn’t people are taking their doesn’t know what these neighbours who had wolf getting as much haying place. He believes there wolves are really cost- problems in 1996 figured done, and ended up 1,000 needs to be more funding me,â€? he says. “I put 7, out the wolves had cost bales short,â€? he said. ing for predator control Boileau has put a programs and better in600 extra kilometers on them 56 pounds of gain three quads last year be- per steer by the time they four wire fence around centives for trappers or the area where he calves hunters to remove wolves tween checking the cattle sold them,â€? says Metner. and trying to trap these Strategies don’t Always which does prevent the and other predators. “I’d wolves from getting like to see a $300 incenWork problem wolves. And Although they’d like through, but it doesn’t tive year-round for every we spent hours catching the 11 scared, wounded to calve in April or May, stop the calves from get- problem wolf removed,â€? calves so we could treat Metner, his brothers and ting out sometimes. “And he says. “A trapper gets son, who ranch together, when they go to pasture $12 an hour to come and them with antibiotics.â€? Having wolves have calved in March they aren’t protected by trap a problem predator. around also reduces pro- for the past ten years to that four wire fence any- The Manitoba Trappers ductivity and concep- make sure they have big- more,â€? he adds. Association only receives The eyes of CanaMore Trappers Needed tion rates, says Metner, ger calves going to pas$40,000 a year to deal da’s cattle industry will Metner says he and with all these predation whose open rate went ture. Even so the wolves be on Winnipeg in Auup from around six per took a calf last July which his Dad made $30,000 calls. It’s not worth anygust. a year from trapping in one’s time, and I am just cent to 20 per cent from weighed 406 lbs. The Canadian Metner has even the late 1970s, but now grateful that these trap2011 to 2014 because Cattlemen’s Associaof wolves harassing the tried sleeping out in the it’s getting hard to even pers are still prepared to tion (CCA) along with Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is holding its 2015 cows. “Every time a wolf pasture, which just had a find a trapper, as they come and help us out.â€? semi-annual meeting in Winnipeg from August 11-14. The convention will bring together producers and industry affiliates for networking, information sessions and policy setting. Along with the business portion of the meeting, those attending the meeting will have the chance to tour a local beef operation and the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre. The event will also feature a uniquely Manitoban evening of entertainment as guests will be treated to a twist on a local tradition, a Manitoba Social. Scheduled for Aug. 13 at Anderson’s Hitch’N Post, the evening will feature a banquet/social and fundraising raffle, with the proceeds being donated equally to the Canadian 4-H Council and 4-H Manitoba. At last year’s •P Purebred b d AAngus g H Halter lt Cl Classes event, the most popular items included local artwork • Angus Influenced commercial pen show and items of local interest, which resulted in significant funds being raised. • Junior Classes The fundraising raffle and social is open for proFor details/entry form go to www.mbangus.ca ducers, industry and government to attend. Tickets can THANK-YOU TO ALL THE be purchased by contacting Manitoba Beef Producers

) * ) % 1 - 2-) *34 ) at 1-800-772-0458 or info@mbbeef.ca. The event will 201 BULL BUYERS WHO include a full course meal, a short program, cash bar, SUPPORTED MANITOBA ANGUS 56 + $ *4 ) % 6 $ - 4 %%* and an amazing selection of prizes to be won. Tickets BULL SALES THIS SPRING! are $40 and must be purchased in advance by July 31. Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup If you would like to contribute to this event *+ , - . in Neepawa through a social prize, financial donation or a food/ drink donation for the tour please contact Esther Reimer at MBP at 1-800-772-0458 or ereimer@mbbeef. ca. All donations will be recognized in the CCA semiannual publication and on the CCA’s website, and TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS through MBP’s publication Cattle Country and on the Check out our website: www.mbangus.ca MBP Website.

MBP to host CCA semi-annual AGM

Manitoba Angus Association Summer Gold Show Come out and view the MB Angus cattle on display & competitions!

" # $ % % % ' ()

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2015

Have beef prices reached their peak? ANGELA LOVELL Beef prices may have reached their peak or be close to it, says Market Analyst, Jerry Klassen a speaker at the recent Livestock Markets Association of Canada’s (LMAC) Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg. Klassen presented a number of indicators that the United States has reached the peak of its business cycle. “Wholesale beef prices in the US are up 14 per cent over last year, but disposable income is up only 2.4 per cent. So the price of beef has increased faster compared to food spending and disposable income, and have risen high enough to lower consumption,” he says. What happens in the US pretty much determines Canadian cattle and beef prices, says Klassen adding retail beef prices have stagnated in Canada as well over the past few months, indicating that consumers have reached the limit that they are prepared or are able to pay for beef. Cattle Numbers Growing Slower in Canada than US Cattle numbers are growing fast in the US, and Klassen predicts they could grow by another million

head over the next year, but he doesn’t see such rapid growth for the Canadian herd. “With current bred cow prices it’s difficult for new participants to enter the market, so any expansion will have to come primarily through heifer retention,” he says. “That will only come from producers who intend to stay in the business for at least another ten years. So I think in Canada it will be difficult to expand the herd significantly.” The growth in the US herd could also negatively affect exports of Canadian fed cattle down south, but processors in Canada see that as positive for the industry. Stirling Fox, Head of Procurement for JBS Canada, knows his industry is going to be facing tighter supplies as Canadian producers retain heifers, but he wants to see Canadian fed and feeder cattle stay in Canada. “If Canadian producers are going to get the exact same money for their steers or heifers I hope they would rather sell them to a Canadian feedlot right next door,” says Fox. “More than 80 per cent of our cows come through Canadian auction marts, and it’s important to show producers

the advantages of running these cattle through a market and going through the auction process. I believe it’s much better for producers to have multiple bids than just sell to a guy in a pick-up truck with a cell phone that moves cattle out of the country.” Stirling adds that the packing industry in Canada employs around 6,600 people. Klassen doesn’t see much pressure on the Canadian dollar ahead and feels it will strengthen slightly, which will also prevent cattle prices from rising higher, and help strengthen domestic markets for beef. Weather More of a Factor than COOL The repeal of Country of Origin Labelling in the US is good news for Canadian cattle producers, but Klassen suggests that it may not have as large an impact on Canadian exports as many expect. “Canadian cattle exports were up 40 per cent in 2014 over the previous year, which suggests there are US feedlots that have adapted to segregation, especially with prices at historical highs, and the market environment has already adjusted to the policy,” he says. Markets will be highly

Meeting Notice Manitoba Beef Producers’ directors and staff will be in The Pas July 14 for an outreach meeting with members in the region. The meeting will include an update on MBP activities and a discussion on the opportunities and challenges producers are facing.

sensitive to weather this crop season, and Klassen advises producers to be ready for increases in feed grains, especially barley. “Current conditions look optimal to reach trend yields, however with lower acreages of corn in the US even a small drop in yields will drive up prices,” he says. “Unlike wheat, which had abundant carryover stocks from last year and which has kept wheat prices low, we’re going to have significantly low barley stocks for the second year in a row, and we will definitely see barley prices strengthening in the year ahead.” Keep Consumers Engaged Keeping consumers engaged in the story of beef is a crucial factor if the industry is going to be sustainable going forward, said Ryder Lee, Manager of Federal Provincial Relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “We are facing huge competition in the marketplace from other products – such as pork, chicken and fish – which are all working hard on their sustainability story,” he says. “Big corporations like Walmart, Sobeys or Loblaws are listening to a lot of people who aren’t interested in what’s workable for beef producers and the beef industry. We need to be there telling our story about what we’re doing and why, and be involved in the discussion about what is achievable and makes sense, so decisions about what these companies are offering to consumers is based on reality.”

Jerry Klassen

Ryder Lee

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Location: Carrot Valley Community Centre Breakfast will be provided Pre-register by calling MBP at 1-800-772-0458 Walk-ins welcome

MBP DIRECTORS IN OTTAWA Manitoba Beef Producers directors Ramona Blyth (left) and Tom Teichroeb, were in Ottawa in late June for Canadian Cattlemen’s Association meetings. While there they had the opportunity top speak with Candice Bergen, the Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar.

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July 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Keeping beef local: there can be opportunities in farmers’ markets • 75 per cent are regular visitors of the farmers markets, at least once per month. Consumers are concerned about • 27 per cent of shoppers purchase synthetic additives, pesticides, antibiot- only red meat. Also, they expressed their ics, and hormones in food products, and interest for ready-to-eat products. prefer products minimally processed and • 31 per cent want natural and animal preserved. In this context, consumers welfare friendly products. view locally produced food more favour• Meat shoppers (86 per cent) are willably than non-local alternatives. For them, ing to pay at least a 25 per cent premium eating local food for local meats; 35 means supporting per cent would pay local farmers and an extra dollar per our local economy, pound but only 13 enables access to per cent would pay fresh, healthy and two extra dollars nutritious food; per pound. reduces the dis• 17 per cent tance food has to consider buying travel and promeat at farmers’ motes community market inconvethrough farmers nient; because they markets and loare not prepared to cal grocery stores buy it: don’t bring a (Lacroix, 2013). cooler with ice and Farmers markets can’t buy it at farmcan be a valuable er market. direct marketing • 13 per cent channel. Successexpress food safety ful marketing of concerns; because, locally produced Argenis Rodas-González, Assistant they are skeptical of beef at farmers Professor, Meat Science and Food Safety, vendors’ refrigeraUniversity of Manitoba markets could extion methods. pand the Manitoba beef market; particu• Many shoppers like to see, touch and larly for grass-fed beef cattle operations. smell the merchandize. This is not practiManitoba, with large areas of natural cal with meat products; thus meat vendors grasslands, has the land to support cow- rely solely on signage to attract customers calf production and to finish cattle. and pull products from the cooler only on According to Farmer Markets Cana- request.) da (2009), farmers markets contributed $3 billion to the Canadian economy. HowevAdditionally, selling beef just as er, market sale is dominated by vegetables, “grass-fed beef ” may not be enough. Alfruits, flowers, and value-added products though, consumers purchase grass-fed (baked goods, pickles, and jam), while red beef for its health benefits, there is a pormeat and poultry have very small propor- tion of consumers still perceive grasstion of market sales and are not present at fed beef as tough, old cow meat, or offmany markets, vegetables are likely to have flavours. To avoid such confusion and much lower gross revenues than fruits get shoppers’ attention, a business has to and meats. Consequently, knowing more distinguish itself from its competitors and about consumer perceptions, preferences to differentiate its product (pricing and and attitudes towards farmer’s markets, quality) and services, through advertiscan help in determining effective strate- ing, promotions, and branding. Strategies gies for increasing the amount of money to attract the interest of farmer markets Manitoba consumers spend on beef prod- shoppers are suggested below: ucts at farmers markets. • Canada’s beef quality grades in the To expand the sale of grass-fed beef market channel advantageously distinin the farmers’ market, we need to know guish and differentiate the product. meat buying habits of farmers’ market • Product Branding: Branding beef shoppers. (Farmer Markets Canada, 2009; programs offer producers an opportunity Connell and Hergesheimer, 2011; Gwin to improve the quality, consistency and and Lev 2011). value of the beef that they produce. These • 92 per cent (of shoppers) say buying programs require grass-fed beef producdirectly from a farmer is important. ers to embrace recognizable qualification • Farmers markets are the second standards and third party endorsement. source for groceries for 62 per cent of Examples: shoppers. • Protected Denomination of Origin

ARGENIS RODAS-GONZALEZ

References: Aalhus, J.L.; Lopez-Campos, O; Prieto, N.; Rodas-González, A.; Dugan, M. E.R.; Uttaro, B.; Juarez, M. 2014. Canadian Beef Grading – Opportunities to identify carcass and meat quality traits valued by consumers. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 94(4): 545-556. AMS/USDA. 2012. Operational Requirements for the USDA Certification of American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) International Tenderness Marketing Claims. http://www.ams.usda.gov/ AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateN&navID=TendernessMarketingClaimStan dards&rightNav1=TendernessMarketingClaimStandards&topNav=&leftNav=GradingCertificationa ndVerfication&page=TendernessMarketingClaim&resultType=&acc. Accessed 02/06/2015. Connell and Hergesheimer. 2011. Selling at BC’s Farmers’ Markets: A Guide for New Farmer Vendors. The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. http://www.bcfarmersmarket.org/sites/default/files/files/ ind/pdf/bcafm-vendor-guide-602.pdf. Accessed 02/06/2015. EU Ecolabel. 2012. [Online] Available: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/ [2013 May 1]. Farmer Markets Canada, 2009. National Farmers’ Market Impact Study 2009 report. Gwin and Lev. 2011. Meat and Poultry Buying at Farmers Markets: A Survey of Shoppers at Three Markets in Oregon. Journal of extension 49(1)1-8. http://www.joe.org/joe/2011february/rb4.php. Accessed 02/06/2015. Michelle Lacroix. 2013. Where to buy local food – Workshop. Dig in Manitoba http://www.diginmanitoba.ca/kitchenwisdom/where-to-buy-local-foods-workshop/). Accessed 02/06/2015. Saunders, Leann. 2003. A “True” Brand; Branded Beef. Drovers (November Edition). Sheath, G.W., Coulon, J.B. and Young, O.A. 2001. Grassland management and animal product quality. Pages 1019–1026 in Proc. XIX Int. Grassl. Congr., Sao Paulo, Brazil.

for products genuinely originating in that region with desirable and unique beef tenderness and flavour. This is a well-applied marketing strategy in Europe and could be practical in Canada (Aalhus et al. 2014). • Ecolabels for identifying products that have a reduced environmental impact or footprint throughout their life’s cycle are becoming dominant in Europe. • USDA Certified Tender and USDA Certified Very Tender Programs provide retailers with a new tool to help their customers identify what specific cuts of beef are consistently tender or very tender (AMS/USDA, 2012). • Create and consolidate alliances with regional slaughter houses in order to generate a brand of beef (traceability, quality control and process verification). • Enhance beef tenderness. Ageing (7 or 14 days) produces consistently tender and flavourful beef steaks and is an excellent marketing tool. • Emphasize nutritional claims. Currently, carcasses graded B1 may already be appealing to consumers who are calorie conscious and looking for an ultra-lean meat, thus representing an opportunity for marketing diversification within the current grading system. • Use “cowpool” discounts: Encourage shoppers to buy shares (half, quarter, eighth) of an animal at a discount off the individual cut price, show cost comparisons. Also, sell boxed packages of various cuts and presentations (i.e. steaks, ground beef and beef cubes) and offer free deliv-

ery (above a minimum purchase) • Improve your packaging presentation (type, size and label). Most customers want to buy beef in attractive packaging (preferably in vacuum-packaged or laminated), smaller portion size (e.g. ground meat in one- or two-pound packages) and be informed what product they are buying (e.g. type of cut, storage and preparation instructions). • Plan to keep it cool: Teach shoppers to plan ahead and bring a cooler or coldpacks, and/or make the market their last stop. Posters at the market booth/vendor booths could offer guidance for keeping purchases cold. Vendors could offer reusable, insulated bags with farm logo to attract and keep customers (Gwin and Lev 2011). Also, display your packaged product in small or medium size close window/ chiller display. • Explain that it’s safe: Provide shoppers with information on the specific practices vendors use to keep meat cold and safe (Gwin and Lev 2011). Meet your meat: Plan a chef demo featuring the meat at that market, to teach shoppers appropriate cut selection, cooking methods, pairing with seasonal produce. Vendors can describe their farms and production practices (Gwin and Lev 2011). These strategies require resources, both human and financial, and it will take time for shoppers to change longingrained buying habits and expectations (Gwin and Lev 2011).

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2015

Government activities update More areas eligible for livestock tax deferrals, flood protection initiative announced and more MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst More Manitoba producers affected by the 2014 flooding and excess moisture conditions are now eligible to apply for the federal government’s livestock tax deferral provision. MBP had lobbied for more areas to be designated. On May 28 the government announced it had finalized the list of designated regions. Eligible producers can defer income tax on the sale of their breeding stock for one year to help replenish that stock the next year. Eligible producers can request the deferral when filing their 2014 income tax returns. If already done, they can submit an adjustment request to the Canada Revenue Agency. The list of designated areas is: Census subdivision No. 17 Unorganized* Census subdivision No. 20, Unorganized, South Part* Municipality of Shoal Lake RM of Archie RM of Arthur RM of Birtle RM of Blanshard RM of Brenda RM of Cameron RM of Clanwilliam RM of Coldwell RM of Daly

RM of Dauphin RM of Edward RM of Ellice RM of Elton RM of Eriksdale RM of Ethelbert RM of Gilbert Plains RM of Glenella RM of Glenwood RM of Grahamdale RM of Grandview RM of Hamiota RM of Harrison RM of Hillsburg RM of Killarney-Turtle Mountain RM of Lakeview RM of Langford RM of Lansdowne RM of Lawrence RM of McCreary RM of Minitonas RM of Miniota RM of Minto RM of Morton RM of Mossey River RM of Mountain RM of North Cypress RM of North Norfolk RM of Oakland RM of Odanah RM of Ochre River RM of Park RM of Pipestone RM of Portage la Prairie RM of Riverside RM of Rosedale

RM of Rossburn RM of Russell RM of Saskatchewan RM of Shell River RM of Shellmouth-Boulton RM of Sifton RM of Siglunes RM of Silver Creek RM of South Cypress RM of St. Laurent RM of Ste. Rose RM of Strathclair RM of Swan River RM of Wallace RM of Westbourne RM of Whitehead RM of Whitewater RM of Winchester RM of Woodlands RM of Woodworth Flood Protection Initiative Apply now for the 2015 Individual Flood Protection Initiative. Fifteen million dollars is available to help farm, home and business owners in areas affected by flooding in 2014 or that would have flooded without temporary flood protection measures. This could include building private ring dikes, raising buildings or moving them out of floodrisk areas. Eligible project costs may be funded up to a maximum of $86,000 for home, farm and business projects. The owner is responsible for costs in excess of the

maximum cost shared project cost of $100,000. For an application or more information call 1-855-415-4530 or see www.gov. mb.ca/mit/floodinfo/floodproofing. The deadline is Sept. 30. Note: The province said that if qualifying owners built eligible permanent flood protection works during or after the 2014 flood, they can apply for retroactive financial assistance. Feedback Sought on Rural Vet Services The Manitoba government has created a three-person task force to evaluate and seek feedback on rural veterinary services. Members include Dr. Paul Schneider, Bertha Russell-Langan and Merv Starzyk. The task force’s duties include: holding focus groups with stakeholders, public meetings and an online consultation process, reviewing the current model of providing the services (including financial statements and clinic caseloads) and, looking at provincial and municipal support for vets and vet clinics in the prairie provinces. Its report and recommendations are to be submitted to the Minister of Agriculture in January 2016. For information about public meetings and online consultations visit www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture or watch for it on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg. BRM program consultations set The province’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force’s is Page 11 ➢

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development JANE THORTON Farm Production Extension Forage Specialist Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) Jane.thornton@gov.mb.ca

Q. My wife and I are grain farmers and we want to expand our beef operation. How many animals can our land support? D.P., Southern Manitoba A. With current lower grain prices and higher cattle prices, many grain producers are looking at adding a cattle enterprise or increasing their existing cattle operation. If you haven’t had cattle on this land for a number of years, or it is land that is new to you, there are a number of things that need to be determined: Does it have a reliable water supply? Is it fenced? What is its carrying capacity? (number of animals it will support for the entire grazing season)

Determining carrying capacity can be difficult if you don’t have past records. However, it is worthwhile to attempt to figure out how many cattle the land can hold for a pre-determined period of time. Starting with ortho photos or an aerial view from Google maps can be very helpful. Look for is how much of this land is grazeable. Dense bush, open water and certain kinds of wetlands need to be deducted from the total acreage. What are left are your grazeable acres. What species of forage are present? Next it is important to determine what kind of forage dominates this land. Livestock will eat most kinds of grasses and a num-

ber of different forbs. However, some forages are more productive, some go dormant during hot dry spells, and others produce most of their growth early in the season and some late in the season. Knowledge of the kind of forage you have will help you determine the best time to use this pasture, and its productivity. While cattle can use bush pasture, what makes up the understory is very important to know. Some shrubs, like hazel scrub, are unpalatable, even to goats and sheep, and will not be eaten by cattle. In some cases, the shrub understory may have been replaced by shade tolerant forages. Where this occurs, forage production is generally not that high, and

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cattle will overgraze open areas before moving into the less favorable grasses in the understory of the bush. In these situations, though you started with 320 acres, you may find only 160 are actually good grazing land. How productive is this land for forage production? The second part to determining the carrying capacity is to estimate, if you don’t already know, the forage production on those acres. Generally, poor pasture may produce 900 pounds per acre, while better pasture may produce 3,000 pounds per acre. It’s good to be conservative as underestimating forage production, can mean grazing longer in the fall or more forage residue left behind. Overestimating forage production, could cause you to feed cattle stored hay at the most inconvenient time. A lot of producers feel they are wasting forage if they leave any forage residue behind, but in reality, this will make the pasture more productive, because the leftover forage helps with water infiltration, nutrient cycling and moisture preservation. How much will your cows consume? Now all we need to know is the weight of your cattle and the number of days you want to graze and we can figure out how many cattle this pasture will hold. Here is an example: • 1,450 pound cow-calf

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will require 2.5 per cent of her body weight in dry matter = 36.25 pounds per day per cow-calf in dry matter • 2,000 pounds per acre as a hypothetical forage production: Note – you must include in this calculation how much forage you are going to leave behind for forage stand health reasons, as mentioned above. • 2,000 pounds per acre X 50 per cent (residue left behind factor) equals 1,000 pounds per acre of usable forage. In Manitoba, depending on soil type and forage production, you’ll want to leave some residue behind between 600 and 1,100 pounds per acre of forage. • So, if we assume you started with 320 acres, but only 160 acres of that is usable, then you have 160,000 pounds of usable forage. • Calculations showed each cow-calf needs 36.25 pounds per day. Let’s plan for gathering these cattle on October 15 who started grazing on May 15. This equals 153 days. So 153 days X 36.25 pounds per day = 5,546 pounds per day per cow-calf. • Now we can take our calculated forage production and divide it by the individual cow needs to arrive at the number of head this land will carry - 160,000 pounds ÷ 5,546 pounds per day per cowcalf = 29 cow-calf can be put on this land for 153 days Here are a few more

other items to consider in this scenario: • This is not the best land on your farm or it would be cropland. • On poor land, you want to manage so the system is self-sustaining, because trying to fix problems on poor land can be costly or even impossible. • Every year is different because on the prairies our production is highly dependent on moisture. A too low a stocking rate one year may be too high on another. • Other ways that you may be able to increase the productivity of the land include rejuvenating the forage stand, cross fencing, fertilizing and clearing bush. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, Kathleen Walsh, MAFRD livestock specialist, will feature your livestock questions on cattle nutrition and calf rations. Send your questions to kathleen. walsh@gov.mb.ca by July 20, 2015. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. We encourage you to email your questions to MAFRD’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.


July 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Water is where it’s at on the ranch

The true blue essential resource on a ranch! When you think about your ranch what is one thing you just can’t do without? Is it water? Often water is overlooked but it is arguably the most essential feature of a ranch. In fact, Dr. Bart Lardner of the Western Beef Development Centre, says, “In my mind water is the first and most important nutrient.” Without a good water supply the cattle holding capacity of that land is seriously restricted. Further to that, even if you have an ample water supply, the quality of that water also has a serious impact on cattle health and production. Poor water quality can negatively affect cattle health, growth and reproduction. In a western Canadian multi-year study water with increased palatability and quality increased weight gain in steers by 9-10 per cent over a 90-day grazing period. In fact cattle, when given the option, will choose a more palatable and higher quality water source. In another western Canadian study, cattle avoided water contaminated with manure when given the option of clean water, and those cattle given the option of clean water spent more time grazing and less time resting. The study also found that calves of cows with access to better water quality gained approximately nine per cent more weight than calves of cows with direct access to a dugout. Similarly, yearling cattle gained 2023 per cent more weight when given access to clean water compared to direct access to a dugout. There are two main types of water sources: groundwater and surface water. There are also a variety of ways of getting the water to your cattle including: direct access to a dugout/stream/pond; water pumped out of a dugout/stream/pond; well water pumped to a trough or tank; or even water hauled onto the property from another location. Dugouts, streams and ponds can be great sources of high quality water, but only if managed properly and protected from cattle potentially damaging the banks, or contaminating the water with manure. By comparison, groundwater is subject to undesirable levels of minerals or other constituents because of the underground water filtering process. The method of watering is also subject to change between seasons; the source of water could be very different between the cattle’s summer pasture and overwintering site. Whichever watering method is used it is important to always consider the quality of that water source. One way to be sure of what’s in your water is to get it tested. Traditionally available tests include a simple water hardness test (about $20), a basic potability test (about $25) or a general water quality test (about $49, which covers both the potability and hardness tests). If you’re interested in learning more about how to interpret your test results there is a Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) developed fact sheet available online called ‘Evaluating water quality for livestock’. See: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/production/pork/ print,evaluating-water-quality-for-livestock.html Unlike myself, cattle are likely to choose to drink the healthiest option available to them. Research found that cattle given eight different water types over two years chose well water over direct entry dugout water or pumped dugout water (even after aeration or chlorination treatments). Cattle are also sensitive to dissolved solids (salts) and sulfate levels in water. In that particular study it was recommended that sulfate levels be below 2000 mg/L and total dissolved solids be below 3000 mg/L. However, for recommendations on your specific ranch it’s always a good idea to speak to a professional nutritionist or your local MAFRD representative. Once you’ve found out what type of water you have, a nutritionist could also recommend a feeding program that will

maximize your cattle’s production based on the type of water your cattle have access to. Whether you’re interested in maximizing your production, improving the welfare of your cattle, or just plain curious, managing your water sources is an important aspect of running a beef cattle operation. Water really is the true blue essential resource on any ranch! For more information on the studies discussed in this article search for: Lardner, H.A. Kirychuk, B.D. Braul, L. Willms, W.D. and Yarotski, J. 2005 The effect of water quality on cattle performance on pasture. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research. 56: 97-104 Lardner, H.A. Braul, L. Schwartzkopf-Genswen, K. Schwean-Lardner, K. Damiran, D. and Darambazar, E. 2013 Consumption and drinking behavior of beef cattle offered a choice of several water types. Livestock Science. Wilms, W.D. Kenzie, O.R. Mcallister, T.A. Colwell, D. Veira, D. Wilmhurst, J.F. Entz, T. Olson, M.E. 2002 Effects of water quality on cattle performance. Journal of Range Management. 55: 452-460 Evaluating water quality for livestock. Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development. http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/production/pork/ print,evaluating-water-quality-for-livestock.html

PHOTOS CAROLLYNE KEHLER

CAROLLYNE KEHLER MBP Project Coordinator

BRM Consultations ← Continued from Page 10 holding producer consultations in July as follows: • Melita, Town Hall, July 9, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; • Swan River, Westwood Inn, July 13, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; • Dauphin, St. Viator’s Roman Catholic Church, July 14, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; • Arborg, Arborg Bifrost Community Centre, July 20, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; • Portage la Prairie, Canad Inns Destination Centre, July 21, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; • Beausejour, Sandy-Salteaux Spiritual Centre, July 27, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; and • Morris, Morris United Church, July 28, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The Task Force is examining business risk management programs and changes to AgriInsurance programs, including gaps in existing policies and programs and identifying ways to shift government support from ad hoc assistance to planned and predictable programs. Consultation information is available at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture, including a questionnaire so producers can provide feedback prior to Sept. 30. MBP has been seeking improvements to BRM programs to ensure they are responsive to producers’ needs and is participating in the consultation process. If you have an issue or idea you would like to see

brought forward, contact the MBP office at 1-800-772-0458. MBP is also encouraging beef producers to participate. At the Legislature Several agriculture-related bills are working their way through the Manitoba Legislature, including The Animal Diseases Amendment Act, The Noxious Weeds Amendment Act, The Veterinary Medical Amendment Act and The Farm and Food Awareness Act. MBP has already provided feedback on The Animal Diseases Amendment Act. It is reviewing the other bills to determine their potential impact on the beef sector. For example, The Veterinary Medical Amendment Act will require veterinarians to provide clear and timely price disclosure. Other proposed changes allow for vets to incorporate their practices, and strengthen the complaints and disciplinary process. Changes to The Noxious Weeds Act will streamline the process around weed classification, designating them into one of three tiers based on prevalence, distribution and invasiveness and more clearly setting out responsibilities for managing them. Measures to control noxious weeds are exempt from the province’s Non-Essential Pesticide Use Regulation if the pesticide is applied by, or under the authority of, a municipal weed inspector or supervisor. To see these bills in their entirety go to http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/40-4/index. php

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www.mbbeef.ca

Clive Bond (204) 483-0229 Ken Drake (204) 724-0091

Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan


12 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2015

Summer is a great time to get smoking! ADRIANA BARROS Our love for smoking meat started a short time ago when I gifted a charcoal meat smoker to Tom, my fiancÊ on his birthday in December. Thanks to such a mild start to winter we were able to smoke meat outdoors quite a few times. I will be describing the basics to start this delicious hobby in your backyard by listing the different varieties of smokers available on the market and which variety of wood chip suits each meat type. They say meat smoking can be done from a hole in the ground; this is traditionally done at a Hawaiian celebratory feast, the luau. Although that does work for the generations of Polynesian expert meat smokers; beginners or hobbyist can use equipment designed especially for smoking meat that will give deliver a smooth smoking experience and reliable result. Which type of smoker is the right one for your outdoor cooking needs? Wood Smoker: This smoker is known to produce the most flavourful results. The heating source for this smoker is fueled by hardwood blocks or chips; this imparts a strong smoke flavour the meat. Wood smokers can be a bit challenging to use, because it’s necessary to monitor the wood carefully and keep feeding the heat source to keep the temperature steady. Charcoal Smoker: A great choice for beginners and experts, charcoal smokers are fueled by a mixture of charcoal and wood. Charcoal burns longer and steadier than wood, so charcoal smokers are easier to use than wood smokers. A simple way to test out if smoking meats is a cooking method you enjoy, charcoal smokers can always be adapted by using your regular barbecue and cooking on in direct heat. Remember to place your flavour wood chips packet over top of the charcoal. Gas Smoker: These smokers are easy to use and do not require frequent temperature monitoring. It is said that the meat’s final product will not impart as much smoker flavour as meat smoked with charcoal or wood smokers. However, the ease of relaxing while the meat cooks is a bonus to using a gas smoker. Electric Smoker: These are possibly the easiest to operate and will allow you to set a temperature and timer and walk away. They require absolutely no attendance during the cooking process and can be left until the meat is ready to be removed hours later. The crock-pot of smokers! However, the smoke flavour is not as intense as the wood and

charcoal smokers and these can run expensive. The next important part after you have set up your smoker is choosing a wood chip, it is important to pair its flavour appropriately with the type of meat you choose to smoke. Here are a few that are available at most hardware stores. Mesquite: A strong earthy smoking flavour will be left on your meat. Mesquite pairs well with beef, fish, chicken and game meats. Hickory: A sweet to strong heavy bacon smoking flavour that pairs well with red meats and the most common hardwood used for smoking. Good with pork, ham and beef. Oak: A heavy smoke flavour however, mild in comparison to mesquite and hickory. Good with beef, pork, fish and game. Oak wood chips are a good choice when cooking big cuts of meat that require an all-day cook time. Oak is a good long burning smoking wood chip. Cherry: A mild and fruity smoking flavour that pairs well with poultry, pork and beef. Apple: A sweet and subtle fruity flavour that is mild in smoky flavour. Apple chips are good with poultry, fish and pork. Maple: A slightly sweet, mellow smoky flavour that pairs well with pork, poultry and even cheese. Alder: A very delicate smoky flavour with a hint of sweetness. Alder chips pair well with fish and poultry. Once a wood chip variety is chosen it is important to remember to soak the wood chips so that they last longer. Wood chips can be soaked in water and then wrapped in aluminum foil. Remember to poke holes into your foil packet so the smoke can be dispersed throughout the smoker. To get your smoker ready, if using charcoal remember to start the coals in a transfer canister. This allows the large burning flames to dissipate and the coals to be heated internally. Add the smoldering coals to the heating basket or heating area located in your smoker. The meat being smoked should be cooking over indirect heat with the smoke flavouring the meat as it cooks. For best results never cover the meat and if possible set directly on the grill shelves, which allows the meat to be fully exposed to the smoke flavour from the woodchips. Always cook according to recipe; however the common temperature range to keep your smoker heated to is 200-225 ˚F (93 – 104 ˚C). Investing in a thermometer you can keep inside the smoker that connects to one you can keep on yourself is

the best way to monitor the temperature. Monitoring the temperature is the most important part of smoking meats, for cuts like beef brisket if you want a low and slow cooking process that will breakdown the collagen and connective tissue in the meat. Breaking down tough cuts of meats is what the smoker is best suited for, leaving meats tender and extremely flavourful. Hopefully this short beginner’s guide will encourage you to start the art of smoking meat this summer. The Barbecue Beef Brisket recipe for this issue is provided by Canada Beef Inc. Enjoy the long days of summer with some tasty barbecue. Thanks for reading. Barbecue Beef Brisket 4 lb (2 kg) ...................Beef Brisket Pot Roast 1 tsp (5 mL) ...............Freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp (15 mL)...........EACH: olive oil and dry mustard 2 tsp (10 mL) .............dried oregano 1 tsp (5 mL) ...............dried sage ½ tsp (2 mL) ..............cayenne pepper 5 ...................................cloves garlic, minced 1 ...................................piece of ginger root (1-inch/2.5 cm), minced ½ cup (125 mL) ........ketchup Ÿ cup (50 mL) ..........EACH: molasses, red wine vinegar and tomato paste Pierce roast numerous times with fork. Rub with pepper. Place in 9 x 13 inch (3.5 L) glass baking pan; set aside. In small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add mustard, oregano, sage, cayenne, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring for 4 minutes; stir in 1 cup (250 mL) water, plus remaining ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool. Pour over meat; cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, turning meat occasionally. Remove meat from marinade. Boil marinade for 5 to 10 minutes; set aside. Place drip pan under grill on one side. On side without drip pan, light burner or small pile of charcoal briquettes. Preheat barbecue to low heat 225°F (110°C). Add ½-inch (1 cm) water, beer or wine to pan. Add pre-soaked hardwood chips to coals occasionally during cooking. (For gas barbecue, seal soaked chips in foil packet and poke with holes to let smoke escape; place under grill on side with lit burner). Place roast, fat-side up, on grill over pan. Close lid. Maintain constant temperature and cook, turning every 2 hours, basting with marinade occasionally, for 5 to 6 hours, until meat thermometer inserted into middle of roast reads 150°F (65°C). Remove roast to cutting board; tent with foil for 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices across the grain. Can be served on buns with remaining marinade or barbecue sauce, horseradish and grilled vegetables.

MBP to host Bombers game in August Manitoba Beef Producers and Canada Beef will continue to fuel the Canadian Football League in 2015. As part of an agreement signed in 2014, MBP will be the host sponsor for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers game Aug. 29 when they host the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders. Prior to the game MBP will have a booth located in the Tailgate Plaza at Investor’s Group(IGF) Field where anyone attending the game can stop by and learn more about Manitoba’s cattle industry. MBP members will also have the opportunity to enter a draw where someone will

win a steak dinner for 10 people in the Blue and Gold Club at IGF where they will be joined by two members of the Bombers for the meal. The date of the supper will be determined once the winner is selected. The agreement also provides the opportunity for MBP to highlight a Manitoba family for their contributions to the industry. The winners of The Environmental Sustainability Award (TESA), Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley, will be the featured family in recognition for capturing the award. Also, MBP members interested in attending the game

can do so at a discounted price through an agreement between the Bombers and MBP. A code for the discounted seats, which are located in the two end zones, will be announced at a later date on the MBP website - mbbeef.ca - and Twitter and Facebook feeds. The three-year agreement between Canada Beef and the CFL was signed in 2014. According to a Canada Beef press release, the partnership is in conjunction with five provincial beef producer organizations from across the country, who will represent the Canadian beef farmers and ranchers to thousands of fans at CFL games across the country.Â

This will give consumers the opportunity to meet the people who raise beef, and bring beef to their tables. “We’re really excited to involve our provincial partners in this unique opportunity. It will allow us to leverage these partnerships with boots on the ground, highlighting local beef farmers and ranchers at their games. This will build brand loyalty and allow grassroots producers to interact with consumers, while sharing their passion and the benefits of enjoying Canadian beef,â€? said Rob Meijer, President, Canada Beef. MBP is also pleased to an-

nounce it will be the sponsor of the Family of the Game promotion throughout the 2015 season. Bombers fans will be able to enter a draw on the club’s website for four tickets to a home. The winning family will also get a sideline experience prior to the game and will be announced as the Manitoba Beef Producers’ Family of the Game on the video board during the pre-game program. “We are very excited to sponsor the Family of the Game promotion and support the Manitoba families that purchase the beef produced by our members,� said MBP General Manager Melinda German.

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PHOTO BY JEANNETTE GREAVES

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

SEPTEMBER 2015

What’s Inside

MBP visits The Pas Page 4

Field day focuses on manure Page 3

AgriClear takes cattle sales online Page 7


2

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

CCA holds semi-annual meeting in Manitoba Manitoba was the focal point of Canada’s cattle industry for one week in August The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association held its Semi-Annual Meeting and Convention in Winnipeg from Aug. 11-14, bringing together delegates from throughout the country as well as guests from the United States and Mexico for a series of meetings, policy setting and socializing. The event also gave Manitoba Beef Producers the opportunity to shine a light on some of the work being done in the province for the betterment of producers across Canada during a tour of southeast Manitoba. The tour first stopped at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and Glenlea Research Farm. While there, the tour was given a tour of the centre and learned of their work to educate the public about farming and where their food comes from. The attendees also heard from researchers from the University of Manitoba who spoke about their work on a number of fronts at the research farm. MBP general manager Melinda German and Glenn Friesen of MAFRD also provided an overview of the work of Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. at their operation near Brandon. The second half of the tour took the group to Hylife Ltd.’s JV Ranch near La Broquerie where they learned about the company’s innovative manure management program which was created in collaboration with researchers from the U of M. The evening wrapped up with a supper at the ranch. The business portion of the meeting kicked off Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Polo Park. Among the sessions on Wednesday and Thursday were domestic agriculture, animal health and animal care and foreign trade. Wednesday also included the annual President’s Banquet and presentation of The Environmental Stability Award (TESA).

B.C.’s Squaw Valley Ranch captured the award this year for their work which included being one of the first operations in their area to complete an Environmental Farm Plan. The ranch is operated by Darrell Squair and his wife Doris along with their son Travis and daughter in law Katie. Recognized along with the Squair’s were the other TESA provincial nominees including Manitoba’s Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley. Among the highlights on Thursday was the 4-H Fundraiser and Entertainment evening held at Anderson’s Hitch ‘n Post northwest of Winnipeg. Putting a spin on a traditional Manitoba social, the evening was used a fundraiser for 4-H Canada and the Manitoba 4-H Council. Thanks in no small part to the generosity of numerous businesses and organizations that donated items for raffles and draws, the evening was a success, raising just over $2,100 for the two organizations. Friday’s agenda included the board of director’s meeting and a Canfax outlook presentation.

Manitoba Beef Producers’ Director Tom Teichroeb was “arrested” while on his way to the CCA Semi-Annual fundraiser and entertainment evening. A number of people attending the event travelled to Anderson’s Hitch ‘n Post on the Prairie Dog Express steam engine. While on the train Teichroeb and CCA President Dave Solverson wtere arrested by actors and held until they were able to raise enough money for bail.

The popular Prairie Dog Express was used to shuttle delegates and guests to the fundraiser at Anderson’s Hitch n’ Post.

ATTEND YOUR MBP 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 even numbered districts. All Meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. DISTRICT

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Caron Clarke

Oct-26

Eriksdale Rec Centre

1st Ave., Eriksdale

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-27

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-28

Elm Creek Community Hall

70 Arena Rd., Elm Creek

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Oct-29

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-03

Westlake Community Hall

Hwy. 68, Eddystone

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-04

Chicken Chef

131 1st Ave., Roblin

2015 Manitoba Beef Feedlot and Backgrounding School

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-05

Legion Hall

206 2nd St., Bowsman

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-06

Strathclair Hall

120 Veterans Way, Strathclair

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-09

Deloraine Curling Rink

119 Lake St., Deloraine

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Nov-10

Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

Keynote Speaker : Darrell Busby, Iowa State University,

What are Packers looking for in Live Cattle?

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-12

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oaklake

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-13

Cypress Planning Office(Old Town Hall)

122 Main St., Carberry

District 10

Theresa Zuk*

Nov-16

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-18

Royal Canadian Legion

425 Brown Ave., Neepawa

Tours:  Plains Processors, slaughter plant - Carman  Feedlot tour at Souris Manitoba Plus animal health information, needle free vaccine applicators, marketing information, displays and more! October 27 - Carman October 28 - Brandon October 29 - Souris

*Director Retiring

CALL 1-800-772-0458 OR EMAIL INFO@MBBEEF.CA FOR FULL DETAILS

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

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

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwallis, 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

GORD ADAMS

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

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

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

DIANNE RIDING

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB

PETER PENNER

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

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

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

Graham Tapley and Kristine Blair were presented with artwork by MBP President Heinz Reimer (left) in recognition of being Manitoba’s nominees for The Environmental Sustainability Award. The national TESA was presented during the CCA President’s Banquet. This year’s winners hailed from B.C.

For More information or to register Call (204) 768-2782

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

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

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT MANAGER

DESIGNED BY

Melinda German

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Deb Walger Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

Glenlea open house a success Composting manure on the farm offers a number of advantages over stockpiling raw manure. The composting process kills pathogens and weed seeds that might be present in the manure, significantly reduces the volume of material that the farmer has to transport to the fields, and produces a homogenous product that is easier to apply. Composting can reduce the volume and density of manure by 50 to 65 per cent according to data from North Dakota State University. “In making compost we are trying to simulate what happens below ground naturally in the soil and create organic matter (humus),” explained Dr. Mario Tenuta, Professor of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba during a recent Field Day for producers at the Glenlea Research Station, where manure composting trials are taking place. “Composting turns something that was wasteful and smelly into something that will be beneficial to soil, particularly in terms of nutrients.” Compost has a high concentration of phosphorus (P) in a stabilized form that won’t be lost to the environment, so it can provide an important P boost, especially in organic crop rotations. In long-term organic trials at the University of Manitoba’s Glenlea Research Station there has been a good P response from adding compost at a rate of only five tons per hectare on the organic plots. “Alfalfa in the rotation fixes nitrogen (N) but P has been the limiting factor in these rotations that include alfalfa because we are taking it off and removing the P,” explained technician, Keith Bamford, who led producers on a tour of the side-by-side organic and conventional plots at Glenlea. “Now we are putting it back in with the compost and seeing little difference in yield from the

PHOTO CREDIT ANGELA LOVELL

ANGELA LOVELL

Dr. Mario Tenuta of the University of Manitoba and Jolene Rutter with Green Manitoba show producers how to check the moisture content of composted manure at the Glenlea Research Centre Field Day on July 8.

conventional plots which receive synthetic fertilizer. We are also getting twice the yield in the half where compost was added compared to the half where it was not in the organic plots.” 12 Years of Organic Wheat and Oat Breeding Producers on the tour also looked at the organic oat and wheat breeding plots established 12 years ago. The plots were deliberately located on land that was less than perfect. “We put these crops into fields that were short on nitrogen and had some weeds because we wanted to

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do the selection under those conditions,” said Dr. Martin Entz, Professor of Cropping Systems and Natural Systems Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. Entz pointed to other wheat studies at Carman comparing organic and conventional production, which have shown a 10 per cent yield boost under organic production for the wheat varieties selected under an organic production system. Organic Soybeans, Perennial Wheat, and Seed Size Trials Michelle Carkner, a graduate student at the University of Manitoba presented findings from a 2014 organic soybean study designed to discover more early-maturing non-GMO soybean varieties that could perform well under Manitoba production systems. Twelve varieties of organic soybeans were seeded at four Manitoba sites and yields ranged from 34 to 39 bushels/acre. Carkner hopes data from the study will prompt further organic soybean breeding research in Manitoba. Producers also got a sneak peek of new research underway at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm at Carman which hosted its own tour on July 15. Entz is leading a project to evaluate how the seed size of cereal crops affects plant vigour and yield. Researchers seeded small, medium and large size seeds at the same seeding depths and compared the plant growth, with noticeably taller plants resulting from the larger seeds. Carman is also the location of perennial wheat breeding and evaluation plots, and researchers involved in the program brought along some plants for producers to take a look at. Although perennial wheat yields are slowly increasing, it will probably be at least 15 years before farmers see any commercial perennial wheat varieties coming to the market, said Entz.

How to compost manure successfully ANGELA LOVELL There are a number of different elements that are important to produce good compost from manure. During a recent Field Day at the University of Manitoba’s Glenlea Research Station, Professor of Soil Science, Dr. Mario Tenuta, and other experts shared their experiences from dairy manure composting trials currently taking place there. There are three stages to composting – the heating (thermophilic) stage, mesothermic stage, and curing stage. The heating stage generally takes around four to eight weeks,

backyard composting we talk about having a good mixture of greens and browns, but that also escalates to farm composting,” explained Jolene Rutter, Environmental Program Analyst for Green Manitoba, who in the past has conducted a composting research project at Glenlea. “The N comes from the manure, and the carbon comes from a number of sources such as wood chips, waste hay bales, straw, or paper.” Combining materials with different particle sizes will also allow better air flow through the composting material. Heat The true definition

correct mixture of food, moisture, and oxygen the microorganisms are very active. Heat is insulated within the center of the compost windrow and can reach temperatures above 55 C. This heating phase is required to kill off pathogens such as E. Coli and Salmonella as well as weed seeds such as wild oats and mustard. In order to kill off pathogens and weed seeds the Canadian Council of Canada Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Compost Quality Guidelines indicate there should be at least 15 consecutive days of high temperatures above 55 C. Reaching these high temperatures also

Producers got a chance to see the “Brown Bear” compost aerator in action at Glenlea Research Station’s Field Day on July 8.

and curing and maturation can take several months. The Mixture Successful composting requires the correct mixture of ingredients to provide a carbon to nitrogen (C: N) ratio in the range of 25:1 to 40:1. “In

of composting indicates that the feedstock material must go through a selfgenerated heating phase during composition. Heat is created by the activity of the microorganisms as they decompose the material. When there is the

speeds up the rate of decomposition. Mixing Turning the compost pile frequently is important to get heat and oxygen – both necessary to the composting process – into the centre of the pile. “You

may be getting some heat on the inside of the pile but chances are you aren’t getting heat on the outside, so the surface of the pile won’t be composting,” said Tenuta. “If you have heat in the centre it will kill pathogens in the centre of the pile but on the outside, because it never gets hot, pathogens could survive.” The CCME recommends turning compost at least five times during the heating phase to ensure that pathogens are destroyed. Temperature is a good indicator to determine when the pile is ready to be turned. Once the temperature begins to slowly decline below 55 C it indicates that the microbes have depleted the carbon inside the pile and need more oxygen or carbon material from the outside of the pile to continue feeding. After the pile is turned the temperature will rise above 55 C again. When the temperature doesn’t rise after turning, this indicates that all the available carbon has been depleted and the heating phase is complete. “We found in the early stages we were turning the pile about every five to 14 days, and after two months the temperatures had come down and the heat phase was ending,” said Tenuta. It’s also important to aerate the pile by turning it during the mesothermic and curing stages because the organisms in the compost still need oxygen, but it’s not necessary to turn it as frequently as during the heating stage. “During the

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curing stage, as the compost cools, the heat loving organisms that are left die out, and the compost needs to be re-colonized by organisms that like regular temperatures around 10 to 20 C,” says Tenuta. “Research has found the longer you let compost mature the more it will be colonised by microorganisms that are living in the soil.” To determine when the pile is mature farmers can submit a sample to a testing laboratory to analyse the amount of CO² being released, and when it’s low that is a good indication that the compost is mature. Farmers can turn the compost pile with a front end loader, tractor and bucket, or a specially designed compost aerator such as the one manufactured by Brown Bear Corporation, which farmers got to see in action at the Glenlea field day. Moisture A starting moisture content between 40 and 60 per cent is ideal for compost, said Rutter. “If the moisture level is lower than this it’s going to inhibit microbial activity

because they need water to move around and get on to the surfaces, and have that exchange of gases and nutrients,” she said. “Above that moisture level you are suffocating them because the water replaces oxygen, which they need because they are living organisms.” Rutter took a handful of the compost material to demonstrate how to test the moisture content. “It should feel like a wrung out sponge,” she said. “There should be no water visibly dripping from it, and it should be sticky and ball up and not leave clumps of residue on your hand.” Another telltale sign that the material is too wet is if it has a rotten smell, which means the pile has gone anaerobic. “Compost that is produced properly and starts out with the correct water content should have an earthy smell within about two weeks,” said Rutter. “It shouldn’t smell like manure or rotting material.” If compost is too wet, turning the pile and blending in drier materials – such as wood chips or straw – will help lower the moisture content.


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CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

Verified beef production MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column

I suspect most of you have heard about the Verified Beef Production (VBP) Program and you may have even been to a workshop and had your operation audited and certified. But did you know Manitoba is leading the country with the number of VBP producers? And that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is working towards being the first producer association to have all of its board of directors’ operations certified? Okay, so maybe I have a bit of a competitive streak in me but I think this is something for which we need to give ourselves a pat on the back. So if Manitoba is doing so well at VBP why you may ask am I writing about it? Well, VBP is the one and only industry-led verified on-farm food safety program for beef that helps ensure our consumers and retailers continue to have confidence in our product. The world has changed and the vast majority of our consumers are far removed from where food comes from. Therefore it is key that we hold high programs like VBP where

we can point to and show our continued commitment to producing a safe, high quality product. This program is 100 per cent grassroots driven and industry led and I believe this contributes to the success of the program. If you are one of those producers who has yet to take a workshop and/or be audited and certified I encourage you to make this part of your business plan for this year. With a growing retailer and public focus on sustainability initiatives, the VBP Program is evolving to include new modules such as Biosecurity, Animal Care and the Environment. This will be the new VBP Plus Program and it will continue to demonstrate the tremendous level of care that not only goes into raising beef but also the care that goes into protecting the environment. Many retailers are looking to the VBP Program and VBP Plus as a tool to communicate to the public and our consumers the hard work that you as producers put into producing the beef sold in various stores and restaurants around the world. This includes McDonald’s, who has committed to start selling a portion of their beef from verified sustainable sources in 2016. The VBP Program is a key tool in the McDonald’s sustainable beef campaign and other retailers

and stores are either looking at or already moving in the same direction. This fall Manitoba Beef Producers, along with Betty Green, the Manitoba VBP Program Coordinator and other instructors will be conducting 14 workshops for the VBP On-Farm Food Safety module, five Biosecurity workshops and 14 Beef Codes of Practice workshops. I would strongly encourage you to consider attending one of these important workshops. The Code of Practice workshops are envisioned as a lead-up to training for the new Animal Care module under VBP Plus. The newly-revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle was released in 2013. In there is important information and updates on the requirements for the care and handling of livestock. If you have yet to pick up a copy and review the document please visit the following website and have a look: https://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/ beef-cattle . One area in particular I would like to draw your attention to is Section 4: Animal Husbandry and the new requirements around dehorning and castration. In January 2016 the use of pain control to mitigate pain associated with dehorning calves of age is required (typically done

at two to three months). As well, when castrating bulls older than nine months of age pain control is required. These measures should be undertake in consultation with your herd veterinarian. These are significant changes for our industry but having said that many producers are already getting these chores done early on in the calf ’s life. We have been working to make the VBP Program workshops easier to attend. Working with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development in the delivery of the workshops we are now offering them not only in person but also through video conferencing at several of the local GO Offices. If you are looking for when and where you can take a workshop please contact our office at 1-800-772-0458 and watch our Facebook and Twitter accounts for details and our bi-weekly E-Newsletter. The VBP Program and VBP Plus are important programs for producers to participate in and also to help get our message out to the public about all that you do to care for your livestock. I urge you to sign up for a workshop this year and help to keep the beef industry in Manitoba a leader in Canada in areas such as on-farm food safety, animal care, biosecurity and the environment.

Flood and drought issue news MAUREEN COUSINS There have been significant developments on a number of water-related issues since the last issue of Cattle Country. In late July the federal government announced it will be providing up to $165 million in funding for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels project. This is on top of $330 million already committed by the Manitoba government. “MBP welcomes the federal government’s commitment to this initiative. We have been seeking both the federal and provincial governments’ support for this for a very long time,” said

MBP President Heinz Reimer. “Years of flooding due to high water levels on Lake Manitoba has proven very detrimental to our beef industry and we need swift and lasting solutions to this challenge. We ask that governments work as quickly as possible to get shovels in the ground on this sorely-needed project.” Project components include building another permanent outlet channel from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin. As well, the existing Lake St. Martin Emergency outlet channel will be enlarged, improved and made permanent so the province has authority over when it is operated. It currently

has to seek federal approval to operate it. The channel with an outlet to Lake Winnipeg will bypass Dauphin River First Nation. Details about the capacity of the new channel have not yet been released, nor a construction timeline. MBP will continue to advocate for the work on the channels to be expedited to help reduce risk to beef producers and to help restore confidence in raising cattle in this region. Shellmouth Dam, Artificial Flooding and Compensation The Manitoba government announced in mid-July that it will be providing compensation

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to producers affected by artificial flooding downstream of the Shellmouth Dam and Reservoir due to its operation in 2014. No timeframe for flowing the compensation was provided, although affected producers will be contacted by the provincial government. Compensation is targeted toward crop and other business losses, as well as property damages. The government also announced that starting this fall it will be reviewing the operating guidelines for the Shellmouth Dam. MBP will be providing feedback into this process. MBP had raised the need for both a timely compensation program and the review of the operating guidelines with the provincial government. MBP is also seeking a meeting with representatives of the affected Assiniboine Valley producers and the Ministers of Infrastructure and Transportation and Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. The purpose will be to discuss issues such as the need for longterm solutions to artificial

flooding related to the operation of the Shellmouth Dam and Reservoir, as well as ongoing concerns around the speed of compensation payments. To see the government’s report on artificial flooding see: http:// w w w. g o v. m b . c a / m i t / floodinfo/floodproofing/ reports/pdf/shellmouth_ artificial_flood_report_ july_7_2015.pdf Tax Relief for Producers Affected by Drought Cattle producers affected by drought this year in several designated Manitoba areas will be eligible for the livestock tax deferral provision in 2015, the federal government announced in late July. Producers facing feed shortages in the prescribed drought regions will be eligible to defer a portion of their 2015 sale proceeds of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish that stock the following year. Proceeds from deferred sales are then included as part of the producer’s income in the next tax year, when those proceeds may be at least partially offset by the cost of replacing their breeding animals.

To defer income, “the breeding herd must have been reduced by at least 15per cent. If this is the case, 30per cent of income from net sales can then be deferred. In cases where the herd declines by 30 per cent or more, 90per cent of income from net sales can be deferred. Eligible producers can request the tax deferral when filing their 2015 income tax returns.” Designated areas in Manitoba include: Division No. 18, Unorganized, East Part; Division No. 19, Unorganized; Division No. 20, Unorganized, North Part; Division No. 20, Unorganized, South Part; Division No. 21, Unorganized; Gilbert Plains Municipality; Grandview Municipality; Municipality of Ethelbert; Municipality of Hillbsurg-Roblin-ShellRiver; Municipality of M i n it on a s - B ow s m a n ; Municipality of Swan Valley West; the rural municipalities of Alonsa, Dauphin, Grahamdale, Lawrence, Mossey River, Mountain (North), Mountain (South), Ochre River and Siglunes. Also included is Valley River 63A First Nation.

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September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

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September already! Where did summer go? I have done a lot of media interviews lately on the drought major shift has occurred in the public perception of food production. Sales in western Canada and how this could impact the price of beef to have become more targeted to the individual buyer than mass markets and the consumer. food is clearly becoming more specialized. Retailers are calling the shots more While it has been very dry in parts of the prairies, there has been and more but some are also working with farmers to supply specific types of little liquidation of cattle in those drought areas. Cattle prices have stayed products. strong because of the overall cattle numbers being the lowest since the It’s time that farmers and farm groups become part of the debate on how early 1950s across North America. food is grown and handled. The Canadian cow herd, which peaked in 2006 after BSE, had fallen Public transparency is key; we need you producers to tell your story and by 35 per cent by 2015 due to low prices and weather-related issues. The HEINZ REIMER talk to people about what you are doing on your operation such as animal U.S. has had severe drought in the south for a number of years and some health and welfare, environmental stewardship, marketing etc. MBP President severe weather in the northwest that led to losses and dropped the numThe use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook can link us to the Moovin’ Along world from the tractor seat or while on your horse in the pasture. So let’s get bers further. These unexpected events have resulted in many changes to the Canadian livestock started! Changes will continue to impact agriculture and opportunities can lead to benindustry. Producers have learned to better manage risk through the tough years and the efits. Let’s help with the future of our farms and Canadian agriculture. ones who survived and waited are now being rewarded with higher cattle prices. Sticking with the topic of advocating for the future of our operations, the Canadian Recently I was confronted by someone who noted the price of ground beef had in- Cattlemen’s Association held its semi-annual meeting and convention in Winnipeg from creased by $2 a pound since last year and said it was unreasonable for consumers to pay Aug. 12 to 14. the additional prices. I asked him to estimate how many pounds of ground beef he bought Delegates from throughout the country convened in the city to talk about the indusper year. His reply was 50 to 75 lbs. My response was that works out to $100 to $150 more try with meetings touching on everything from trade to the environment. The week also per year and noted that he had purchased a new quad last week, went riding it on the included a tour of the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and Hylife’s weekend with friends, then went out for supper and drinks, but is still complaining that JV Ranch near La Broquerie. An entertainment evening was also held at Andersen’s Hitch the price of beef is up. He replied “OK, it’s not that bad and I won’t bring it up anymore.” N’ Post with all funds raised going toward 4-H Canada and 4-H Manitoba. That conversation shows there is a disconnect between many consumers and agManitoba Beef Producers was proud to assist the CCA in hosting the event and to riculture with many of them three to four generations removed from the farm. We as highlight some of the work taking place in our province to make a brighter future for producers need to advocate and be promoters for our industry. Over the last few years a everyone involved in this industry.

Breaking down approaches to biosecurity

DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Column What is biosecurity? It’s 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 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, 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 in any stock nor having contact with other animals are subject to disease if their immune system weakens. 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 in-

cludes 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 is 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 his 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 cow/calf 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 and 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 theirs. 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

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CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

Bombers visit Canada Beef Centre of Excellence The Canadian Centre of Beef Excellence hosted some special guests from Manitoba in July. Players and coaches from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visited the centre July 17 and were treated to a lunch, prepared and served by staff from Canada Beef. Located in Calgary, the centre opened in late 2014 and will serve as an education and development facility for Canada Beef and its many partners. The centre includes a 24-seat meeting space, a 20-seat, state of the art demonstration theatre with a consumer kitchen and commercial cooking line. There is also refrigerated beef fabrication room stocked with all of the latest equipment. The centre is also able to broadcast demonstrations throughout the world. The visit from the Blue Bombers was part of Canada Beef ’s three-year sponsorship agreement with the Canadian Football League. Designed to promote beef by highlighting its incredible nutritional qualities, the Fueling the CFL campaign is now into its second year and includes a number of promotions by Canada Beef and its provincial organizations. For example, Manitoba Beef Producers will be the host sponsor when the Bombers welcome the Calgary Stampeders to Winnipeg on Aug. 29. Ron Glaser, Canada Beef ’s VP Corporate Affairs and Public Relations brought greetings on behalf of the organization and explained the partnership between Canada Beef and the CFL. Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon spoke on behalf o f MBP which has also entered into its own sponsorship agreement with the Blue Bombers. Under that partnership, MBP is the sponsor of the Family of Game promotion which provides a deserving Manitoba family with four tickets to one of the nine regular season home contests throughout the 2015 season. The lunch also included an opportunity for the Bombers’ players to win two enormous tomahawk steaks if they correctly answered questions about Canada Beef ’s smartphone app The Roundup. Rookie offensive lineman Sukh Chungh was the winner.

Abe Van Melle (left) and Chef Marty Carpenter (middle) of Canada Beef serve up lunch for the members of the Blue Bombers during their visit to the Centre of Excellence in July.

Members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign an autogrpah board during their recent visit to the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence.

Despite challenges, optimism remains RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line With the fall calf run just around the corner, cattle producers anxiously await the first feeder cattle sales to establish this fall’s price catalogue. A lot has happened over the summer, and the spring optimism of strong cattle prices in the fall looks like a reality. Despite drought conditions in many parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, crops in the USA, Ontario and Quebec should produce above average yields. The drought’s biggest impact will be a shortage of hay and straw in some of the major cow/calf areas. Reports of huge herd dispersals at bargain prices in Alberta due to the drought were over-exaggerated. Many of the ranchers did reduce their

herd inventory, but in most cases they culled from the bottom up, selling cows that had survived last year’s cull due to the high calf prices and cows that would have gone to town on a normal year this fall. Many of those same producers retained extra heifers to breed this spring, so culling those older cows with defects was an easy decision. The biggest unknown right now will be the demand for bred heifers this fall. The number of heifers sent to the breeding pastures this spring was considerably higher than the five-year average. Many of these heifers were destined for resale this fall with the expectation of a strong demand for bred stock due to the high calf prices. The shortage of hay could certainly redirect many of these bred heifers to the feedlots for finishing, which in turn would delay any major expansion of the Canadian cow herd. The bred cow market will still be strong this fall for top dispersal cows from reputation herds as

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producers replace open cows and cows that did not produce top selling calves this year. If the exchange rate on the dollar remains in the mid 70’s US, the cull cow and bull market should remain very strong. There will probably be some seasonal price adjustments due to the large supply in October and November, but in general culls will be strong this fall. The yearling market for cattle off the grass has seen a number of peaks and valleys over the summer. Many of the larger grasser inventories were forward contracted in the late spring. Fluctuations in both the cattle and grain futures, along with the dollar, made for daily price changes. Those cattle that were left for the cash market look like they will match or even out sell the contract prices for September and October deliveries. This year there is a true shortage of yearlings on the cash market. With the strong market, many of the smaller grass cattle buyers thought the risk was too high for the return this spring and decided to release rented land or custom graze. Many of the smaller to mid size feedlots in the west, along with feeders in Ontario and Quebec, do not forward contract yearlings. Good corn crops in the east means strong demand for yearlings there. Those smaller feedlots in Alberta always push the cash yearling prices higher when the cattle are available for immediate delivery in the fall. This year many of the grass yearlings in Alberta came off the grass early due to the drought; these cattle are already in captivity and are not available for sale, contributing to the short supply. Last but not least, is the strong appetite for yearlings from the American feedlots. Despite an increase in the number of cattle in the USA, there is still more feedlot capacity than cattle to feed. Combine the strong US dollar and a cheaper cost of gain, and the feeders from the south will be aggressive competitors for Manitoba cattle this fall. Early calf sales on the DLMS and

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TEAM have been very strong with 600-pound steers trading north of $3 per pound, 500 pounders at $3.50 plus, and peewees under 400 pounds at over $4. Heifers have been a little spotty at 25 to 30 cents per pound behind the steers. It will be very important this year to work with your marketing agents and auction markets when selling your calves. Timing will be very important with the Alberta calf run expected to be earlier than normal. Producers can expect the “price adjustment slides” for the different weight breaks to be very wide this fall. In the spring, some of the slides on the lighter weight calves were as much as 0.40 to 0.55. In the past, slides on yearlings were 0.06 to 0.08, while this fall, 0.14 to 0.20 were not uncommon on the contracts. The truest form of “Price Discovery” for cattle is established by competitive public auctions, but it is important for producers to remember that prices often change daily and sometimes multiple times in a day. I advise my customers to watch for trends and buyer demand. Book your calves early and keep an open line of communication with your marketer. They know and follow the market, and if they are doing their job they should be able to give you some sound advice. Sales will fill up early, and I predict that the calf run in Manitoba will be even more compressed this fall than last year. Manitoba calves will draw strong demand from all directions this fall. With strong demand and wide price slides on different weights, producers in Manitoba might find that paying a selling commission to an auction market that does a good job could be a valuable investment this fall. This is especially true if you don’t have large groups of uniform cattle to sell. All in all, it looks like this fall should be a well deserved “good one” for the cow calf producers in Manitoba. Until next time, Rick


September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

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New web-based platform for selling cattle launched BY RON FRIESEN The world of electronic cattle sales has a new player offering an on-line clearinghouse for Canadian and American buyers and sellers. AgriClear Inc., launched June 16, operates through the TMX Group with backing from NGX, a Calgary-based firm providing electronic trading, central counterparty clearing and data services. AgriClear describes itself as a web-based platform for cattle sales, offering a full transaction and delivery package with financial security backing. “We’re an on-line marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect,” said David Moss, AgriClear president, in a recent telephone interview with Cattle Country.

“We facilitate the marketplace discussion between a buyer and a seller, and then we add a level of security comfort and confidence with the clearing price. “The key differentiation is that we’re not an auction. This is a marketplace where prices are negotiated between the buyer and seller directly. It kind of moves producers from being a price-taker to becoming a price-maker.” As Moss described it, buyers and sellers can post listings online for the type of cattle they are willing to either buy or sell. Parties negotiate a range of specifications, including price, delivery, shrink and number of head. Pricing negotiations are completed through the AgriClear platform. Sellers and buyers may accept offers

at any time or make counter-offers. If both parties reach a mutual agreement, the buyer deposits the estimated sales proceeds in AgriClear’s payment and settlement system backed by NGX. The funds are held until the cattle are delivered and inspected by the buyer. If the buyer agrees that specifications have been met, AgriClear calculates the final value based on the contract and delivery information and releases the amount to the seller. Both parties pay AgriClear a transaction fee of $6 a head. Moss said AgriClear offers a dispute-settling mechanism if a party feels contract specifications have not been met. Buyers and sellers first try to settle the dispute privately. If they cannot, they ask AgriClear

Soil critical to our survival BY BLAIN HJERTAAS Soil: not the average topic of conversation for most people. Yet it’s critical to all of our survival. 2015 is the International Year of Soil as declared by the UN. 99.7 per cent of what we eat each day comes directly from the soil. Over the eons of time mankind has abused it badly in some cases causing civilizations to collapse. Agriculture has traditionally destroyed and then moved on. Unfortunately there is nowhere else to go. The production of food causes a soil loss of four tons of soil per person per year on an annual basis. There are seven billion of us so that equated to 28 billion tons of soil loss annually from our agricultural areas. Clearly not sustainable. Add to this the loss from urbanization and population increase and something will have to give soon with disastrous consequences. Throw in climate change and it doesn’t bode well. I don’t believe it’s a bad news story. We know how to fix this. It’s simple and a win-win for all. It all has to do with carbon. We have put our carbon in the atmosphere instead of in the soil. We have lost most of our organic matter or carbon or humus over the last 130 years of farming. The 1930s took their toll, the summer fallow era took more and each time tillage is performed more carbon is oxidized and goes into the atmosphere. Add to this the carbon released from fossil fuel burning and we have an increase from a historical levels of 300PPM to 400PPM of carbon dioxide in a 50 year period. This is a huge increase in a very short period of time and we are just beginning to understand the ramifications. At this point in our history there is no indication of slowing our rapid increase. It would seem prudent to me that we should take carbon back out of the atmosphere and put it into the soil where it can do good. The process is simple. Photosynthesis does it free for us ever day if we have green leaves working for us. The plant takes oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air and makes simple sugar or glucose. This is transported to the roots where 20-30% exudes from the roots into the rhizosphere to feed the fungi and bacteria. This is a symbiotic relationship between plants and bugs. They get sugar from the plant and in return they can make unavailable nutrients available to the plant. They build structure in the soil and as death occurs the plant and animal

remains are converted into more complex forms of carbon or humus. The more humus we have the more soil microbes there are; the more water holding capacity the soil has, the more nutrient dense the food that is produced will become and the higher the overall yield will be. This keeps getting better and the energy source is solar energy converted by green leaves. Sounds like a pretty good thing. Our modern agriculture is destroying or holding at the current levels because of the negative effects of tillage and pesticides especially fungicides. Several years ago a group of farmers were concerned about this issue and decided to prove whether this trend could be reversed or be regenerative and begin to build. The soil carbon coalition was formed to monitor soil carbon levels across North America’s farmland. Plots were established and initial samples were analyzed in 2011. In the fall of 2014 these same sites were again visited and analyzed for carbon. The results are very impressive with all farms showing positive increases in three years. In tonnage the seven farms tested in SE Saskatchewan had 4627 hectares between them and sequestered the equivalent of 131 370 tonnes tonnes of carbon dioxide. The average Canadian has a carbon footprint of 18.9 tonnes. Therefore each hectare negated the effect of 1.5 persons or these seven farms had a zero carbon footprint for 6973 people. All of these farms practice high stock density grazing with long recovery periods. It proves conclusively that cows are carbon negative as this wouldn’t have happened if cattle had not been improving the soil on these farms. Cattle ensure the litter on the ground is pushed tight so that decomposition can occur. The act of grazing stimulates the growth of grass making more solar capture possible. We need biology working on our farms to make this happen. Livestock enhance biology. This is a great news story. All of these farms have had increases in grass production, had a decrease in inputs, and are holding more water in the soil and producing more nutrient dense food. Clearly farmers are more profitable, consumers have better food and society has more water holding capacity mitigating floods and mitigating climate change. To view results check out the web site at www.soilcarboncoalition.org

to step in and assist. If necessary, AgriClear may send an independent third party out to inspect the cattle and help moderate a settlement. As a registered dealer, AgriClear is required to deduct all cattle checkoffs. All transactions are recorded and fully available so that CFIA’s traceability and movement reporting requirements are satisfied. Because transactions are conducted by computer, parties need assurance they are getting what they are paying for. For that reason, Moss urges parties to include as much information as possible on listings, possibly using Smart Phones with high definition capability. “We strongly encourage sellers and listers to include videos, pictures and everything available to represent those cattle. As well, we ask them to put in enough photos and videos to get true representation, not just of a few head, but the full lot that’s being put up for sale.” Moss says AgriClear also encourages people to get on the phone or Skype to talk directly to each other. AgriClear is backstopped by a $10 million bond in order to guar-

antee payment in case of default. The company has a 45-member advisory committee of players representing all sectors of the industry to provide ideas and input. Moss says several features of AgriClear could benefit clients. Because parties are dealing directly instead of through an agent or middleman, user costs are lower. The marketplace extends across North America, including remote places where producers have fewer marketing options. Having a clearing backstop provides payment assurance and eliminates risk. The system also enables sellers to communicate unique features (e.g. hormone-free, humane handling, specialized breeding) to differentiate them from other producers. Although some might compare AgriClear to Kijiji, Moss said his company is not just a listing service. Instead, it combines sophisticated software, a clearing platform and a financial backstop to provide assurance for transactions. Although AgriClear is open to all buyers and sellers, Moss said it might appeal particularly to younger producers who are familiar

and comfortable with online technology. By eliminating the middleman, the existence of online systems for selling cattle raises the question of their impact on traditional venues such as auction markets and order buyers. That issue came up during the recent annual convention of the Livestock Markets Association of Canada in Winnipeg. Rick Wright, LMAC executive secretary, said his association is “not too concerned about AgriClear coming in and taking away a lot of business from the markets.” Wright said his association just wants to be sure AgriClear plays on the same level as everyone else by providing prompt payment, traceability, movement reporting and all the things auction markets are required by law to do. For his part, Moss says AgriClear is just another marketing option for cattle producers and is not trying to do an end run around anybody. “There’s no endgame or runaround aspect at all. It’s simply a new and alternative way to market cattle.” More information is available at www.AgriClear.com.

THANK YOU to the generous CCA Semi-Annual Sponsors!

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With these generous donations over $2,000 was raised for 4-H Canada & 4-H Manitoba!


8

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

Worried about in

hormones cattle?

The use of hormone implants is safe and regulated

Canada’s Food and Drugs Act makes it law that hormone implants used must:

You don’t need to be

Food/supplement

E A R T H FR

DLY

Many common foods have higher amounts of hormones than beef produced with the use of hormone implants 3|4|5

All plants and animals have hormones naturally in their systems. Your body produces hormones no matter what you eat. 2

1

Do what they are supposed to

2

Result in food products that are safe for people to eat on a regular basis11

IEN

Hormone implants are small, slow release pellets placed under the skin in an animal’s ear to enhance production of natural hormones. Using hormone implants directs growth towards muscle and away from fat, which boosts growth rate and means less feed is needed for the animal to gain weight. 1

The result is fewer resources are used to produce beef, with smaller impacts on the environment and your grocery bill.

3

done by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure hormone levels are within the normal range. 12

Be safe for the animals

implants has any negative impact on human health the same amount of estrogen from OVER 1000 servings of beef produced using hormone implants.

The amount of estrogen from 1 serving of cabbage

Estrogen

75 g beef

*

Servings of beef ~ (75 g)

1.1 ng

0.65

1.9 ng

1

355 ml beer

15 ng

7.9

75 g cabbage

2025 ng

1,065.8

1 tbsp soybean oil

28,370 ng

without hormone implants

75 g beef with hormone implants

14,931.6

11% 20%

BEEF

MORE

RESULLTED FFROM RESULTED R ROM PRODUCTION PRACTICES LIKE THE USE OF HORMONE IMPLANTS BETWEEN 1977 AND 2007 4

FROM

CATTLE

FEWER

1950s

IF WE WERE TO RETURN TO TECHNOLOGY, WHILE MAINTAINING CURRENT PRODUCTION RATES, THE RESULTS WOULD BE …

12% 10% 11% 4% MORE

MORE

LAND

MORE

FEED

7% 10% 8%

MORE

MORE

WATER

FUEL

OR MORE

MORE

MANURE & GREEN HOUSE GASES

20,000-50,000 ng* 18,421.1 – 26,315.8 depending on brand

* ~

13

The use of hormone implants means fewer resources are used to produce beef

CATTLE Birth control pill

Health Canada, the World Health Organization and the United Nations all conclude the use of hormones is a safe practice that can be continued without harm to human health.9 | 10

RETAIL BEEF PRICES 14

GAS

AMOUNT OF ESTROGEN (1 ng = 1 billionth of a gram) EQUIVALENT # OF SERVINGS OF BEEF produced with the use of hormone implants

Compare those amounts to the amount of estrogen circulating in your body right now 5

ADULT FEMALE ESTROGEN = 480,000 ng

ADULT MALE ESTROGEN = 136,000 ng

PRE-PUBERTAL GIRL ESTROGEN = 54,000 ng

PRE-PUBERTAL BOY ESTROGEN = 41,500 ng

Would have to eat 95.3 cows' worth of beef produced using hormone implants PER DAY (~222 kg each) to match her own daily production of estrogen

Would have to eat 27 cows' worth of beef produced using hormone implants PER DAY (~222 kg each) to match his own daily production of estrogen

Would have to eat 10.7 cows' worth of beef produced using hormone implants PER DAY (~222 kg each) to match her own daily production of estrogen

Would have to eat 8.2 cows' worth of beef produced using hormone implants PER DAY (~222 kg each) to match his own daily production of estrogen

ESTROGEN | Amount of estrogen (1 ng = 1 billionth of a gram) # OF COW EQUIVALENTS | Produced with the use of hormone implants

The use of hormone implants

Whether you choose conventional or organic, delicious Manitoba Beef is a safe part of a nutritious diet

Birth control pills are effective because they contain hormones nes that are specially treated to protect them from being broken down by the acids and enzymes in your digestive system. Naturally occurring or implant hormones are not protected from digestion, meaning that the extra amount you may consume from eating beef produced with the use of hormone implants is not absorbed by the body in any significant amounts. 6 It’s true that adding hormones make cattle grow

Researchers believe that increased body fat levels in young children, not hormones in food, is one of the major causes of early onset puberty. 7 | 8

the producer.

Beef B e without any added hormones is available by

fosters competition that consumers and allows producers to invest in improvements for the future.

There are no adverse health conventional.

Manitoba Beef Producers would like to acknowledge the work and research of Alberta Beef Producers in the creation of this brochure. For more information on Manitoba's beef industry please visit www.mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

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220 - 530 Century Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 Phone: 1-800-772-0458 email: info@mbbeef.ca

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9

September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

A group including some Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) directors and staff traveled to The Pas in early July as part of its ongoing outreach activities to producers. MBP President Heinz Reimer, District 14 Director Stan Foster, General Manager Melinda German and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins met with producers to learn more about the types of issues facing producers in northern Manitoba. “This area of Manitoba is certainly well suited to beef production and we were pleased to meet with local producers and talk about both the challenges as well as the opportunities they see for our industry,” said Reimer. “It was very informative and we appreciated their insights.” MBP provided producers with an update on its advocacy efforts and on matters such as trade, including ongoing efforts to resolve the Country of Origin Labelling dispute. Issues of local concern were discussed, many of which will be familiar to other Manitoba beef producers. These include water-related challenges, as the region has been hard hit by flooding in recent years; predation management; and, the ability to access Crown lands to support beef production, among others. Producers Rod and Jarrett Berezowecki gave the MBP contingent a detailed tour of the Carrot River Valley. There is approximately 110,000 acres of land being used for agricultural purposes (both livestock and crop production) in this area, all situated north of the 53 parallel. It is home to between two and three dozen beef producers. MBP thanks the Berezoweckis for providing their perspectives on raising cattle in this region and for their tremendous hospitality.

PHOTO BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP directors and staff visit The Pas

(Above) MBP District 14 Director Stan Foster speaks with Rod Berezowecki during a recent trip to The Pas. MBP staff and directors travelled to northwest Manitoba in July to meet with producers in the region. (Right) MBP GM Melinda German speaks with producers during a meeting in The Pas in July.

Negative results for the 2014-15 Bovine Tuberculosis Surveillance Program DR. ALLAN PRESTON

From the Desk of the Bovine Tuberculosis Co-ordinator

2014 – 15 Results Final laboratory test results for the 2014-15 Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Surveillance Program are now in...and the news is all good. No occurrences of TB were detected in domestic livestock herds, or the wild elk and deer populations, within the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). Approximately 10 per cent of the domestic livestock herds, within the RMEA but outside of the Core Area, were tested for TB over the past winter. 2700 cattle in 29 herds were tested with 3.5per cent of these animals showing a slight reaction to the tuberculin test. Animals showing this reavction were subjected to a Bovigam test, with four animals showing a suspicious result that necessitated slaughter and further testing. That additional testing confirmed negative results across the board. The negative results in 201415 confirm the status of the RMEA, of Manitoba, as TB-free, a status we have held since 2006. Unfortunately, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDSA) does not recognize Manitoba’s TB-free status, still requiring additional TB testing of Manitoba breeding stock entering the US. The USDA has not indicated when it will undertake a review of Canada’s TB program, meaning that these additional export testing requirements will stay in place for the foreseeable future. Fifty-eight mature cow elk in the Core Area were captured, blood sampled, radio-collared

and released. Five of the samples showed suspicious results – these elk cows were recaptured, slaughtered and subjected to further testing. That testing returned negative results for bovine TB. The hunter killed sample submission program received 97 deer and 69 elk samples. All of these samples tested negative for TB. These wild cervid test results indicate that the prevalence of bovine TB in the population is approaching an undetectable level. The overall 2014-15 TB program came in almost 28per cent under budget at $1.6 million, although not all planned activities were completed this past year. 2015-16 Management Plan The plans for the upcoming season are well advanced. On the wild elk side, the balance of the Core Area mature cow herd (approximately 50 animals) will be captured and tested. Hunter killed sample submissions from First Nations and licensed hunters will be collected again for testing. 2014-15 marked the last year for herd testing outside of the Core Area. The 2015-16 Plan is to test all of the core area cattle, bison and elk herds. This testing in the Core is anticipated to continue every second year until the disease prevalence in the wild herd drops below detectable levels. Manitoba Beef Producers will continue to work diligently with RMEA cattle producers to conduct on-farm risk assessments, address

any areas of concern, and link the producers’ Premise Identification and Canadian Cattle Identification Agency accounts so as to maximize the recovery of slaughter surveillance information on all cattle born in the RMEA. With all department agency and organizational contributions included, the 2015-16 Bovine Tuberculosis Management Plan is targeted to cost approximately $2 million. Bovine TB Management Plan Goals The program goals continue to focus on the Management Plan’s long term vision of: • maintaining TB Free status in domestic livestock • reducing the prevalence of TB in wildlife to undetectable levels • reducing surveillance programs in both wild and domestic herds to maintenance levels • minimizing wildlife-livestock interactions in the Riding Mountain region, and • maintaining a sustainable elk and deer populations in the ecosystem. Closing Note Of significant interest to the many stakeholders in the Bovine Tuberculosis Management Plan, AAFC Minister Gerry Ritz announced a $7.4 million project this week, in partnership with VIDO-InterVac, Genome Canada and Genome British Columbia, to research “a reverse vaccinology approach for the prevention of mycobacterial disease in cattle," focusing on bovine tuberculosis and Johne’s Disease (paratuberculosis). We will follow this research project closely as its projected results may have a large impact on future actions in the RMEA.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

Meal planning for our busy lives ADRIANA BARROS Let’s get ready for harvest season, back to school and back to busy schedules. This busy time of year might leave homemade dinners on the back burner to be replaced with quick fixes like take-out or ordering in meals. The easiest way to tackle a busy schedule is to be organized and this can be simple if everyone is able to do their part. Dividing dinner tasks and staying organized isn’t a new invention. However, it requires dedication and support from those around you in order to be successful. Below will be a number of tips and ideas that can be easily brought into your kitchens at home. Keep a weekly chalkboard or dry erase board on the refrigerator; this is the best way of staying on top of all family events and daily commitments. From weddings, birthdays, soccer games and parent-teacher conference. Make sure the calendar is large enough to get the whole families' activities in one place. You might even want to colour code the markers for mom, dad and the children's activities. Based on the sched-

uled activities your family has each week, designate responsibilities to each family member in order to get dinner on the table at a reasonable time each night. Based on the ages of the children in your family examples could be setting the dinner table, peel and cut vegetables or making a tossed salad. Let the older children take the lead; they can read the recipe that is being used for dinner and get started where they can. This can be browning and seasoning ground beef. Giving your children set designated tasks will not only make them feel involved, they will learn responsibility. Key lessons can be achieved by simply working together to accomplish a larger goal; developing disciplinary skills doesn’t need to be boring and can happen in the kitchen! Grocery shop only once a week and have a list. The fact of the matter is, You will typically forget items and overspend when you enter the grocery store without a list. Before deciding to go to the store make sure you have checked through your fridge, freezer and pantry. This will avoid forgetting items and you will then know exactly what

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you need. After you have a good idea of the ingredients you currently have in your kitchen; make a meal plan. A meal plan does not need to be intimidating it’s just a list of family dinners for the week. Typically this is seven meals; however, you can make double batches and recreate several dinners from cooking one large roast in the beginning of the week. For example: Monday: Double batch of ground beef for Monday & Tuesday: Hamburgers and tossed salad Tuesday: Ground Beef Quesadillas Loaded with Beans and Veggies Wednesday: Roasted chicken with roasted root vegetables and potatoes Thursday: Leftover chicken from Wednesday: Pulled Chicken Cobb Salad Friday: Large slowcooker cross-rib roast and for the weekend: Pulled Beef Tacos with coleslaw Saturday: Pulled Beef sandwiches with baked potatoes Sunday: Muffin-Sized Beef Meat Loaves (great to pack for lunches at school or work on Monday). Once the set meal plan has been created it is then appropriate to create one single grocery list.

Mini Beef Meat Loaves

1 ½ lb (750 g) Extra Lean Ground Beef Round or Sirloin or Lean/ Extra Lean Ground Beef 1 egg, beaten ½ cup (125 mL) finely shredded carrot (1 large) ¹/³ cup (75 mL) finely shredded onion (1 small) ¼ cup (50 mL) dry bread crumbs 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano ¼ tsp (1 mL) EACH salt and pepper ½ cup (125 mL) pizza sauce ¼ cup (50 mL) Shredded cheese, optional Combine beef, egg, carrot, onion, bread crumbs, oregano, salt, pepper and ¼ cup (50 mL) of the pizza sauce. Mix lightly but thoroughly to blend. Lightly spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Divide mixture among cups. Spoon remaining pizza sauce over tops, dividing equally. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted into centre of a meat loaf registers 160°F (71°C).

Make big batch meals, this means creating leftovers to recreate a few extra meals in a pinch during a busy week. Start with having your cupboards stocked with pantry items to make marinades, spice rubs and sauces to season meats. Your best friend in the kitchen can be your slow-cooker; it’s fabulous at getting all the hard work done for you. A slow cooker can be used to cook roasts, soups or ground beef. When cooking low and slow all the time spent cooking is done for you, leaving you

with assembling dinner. Don’t be fearful of leftovers, by cooking a large cross-rib roast and shredding all the meat at once gives many meal possibilities that can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months. Recreating meals from ground beef or shredded beef can be endless; here are a few options the whole family will love: Calzones / pizza Quesadillas Dinner salads (TexMex salad, Cobb salad, Pasta salad) Hard or soft tacos Wraps / submarine

sandwiches. Getting the family involved in making dinner is not only a wonderful bonding activity; there are many lessons in leadership children can learn from time spent in the kitchen. This month’s recipe is courtesy of Canada Beef Inc., Mini Beef Meat Loaves. Ground beef is an excellent ingredient to always have on hand. Purchasing large trays and breaking down the meat into raw or cooked portions will help with preparing meals throughout busy weeks ahead.

Government investing in research that will be beneficial to the beef industry Over the summer the federal and provincial governments announced investments in research and development projects that should benefit the beef industry. One is a project initiated by Manitoba Beef Producers on the impact of cowcalf feeding and vaccination strategies on carcass outcomes in beef cattle. Through Growing Forward 2’s Growing Innovation – Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative the federal and provincial governments are investing $261,234 in this project. The research is being led by Dr. Kim Ominski at the University of Manitoba. This is a continuation of other research Dr. Ominksi has been conducting around the use of needle-free injection systems for beef cattle. The federal government is investing in a series of genomics research projects, one of which involves efforts to develop vaccines against Johne’s disease and bo-

www.mbbeef.ca

vine tuberculosis, two diseases that have had a costly impact on Canada’s beef industry. The research will be led by Andrew Potter, VIDO-InterVac, University of Saskatchewan and Robert Hancock of the University of British Columbia. According to information about the project, the researchers will be taking a “reverse vaccinology” approach to preventing infectious diseases in cattle. This approach uses genomic technology to screen large numbers of bacterial proteins simultaneously to identify those that have properties that can stimulate a protective immune response in cattle. These proteins then form the basis for developing novel vaccines and immunization strategies. It is estimated the annual financial impact of bringing these vaccines to the marketplace will be around $100 million, with international sales of a further $400 million.


September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Needs survey looks at communication Project Coordinator

In recent months some of you may have participated in the Manitoba Beef Producers’ member survey. The results are now in and they will be very important to MBP’s future strategic planning When the directors and staff of MBP sit down at a board meeting, in front of their computer, on their tractor, or at a provincial or national event they are considering issues affecting Manitoba’s beef industry, both on an immediate and a long-term basis. The decisions and directions they choose to follow are why MBP is the driving force it is today. Having producer and industry stakeholder input helps provide MBP with a clear focus and path going forward. There are many opportunities and challenges that MBP must tackle but it is important to know on which ones to focus its efforts and resources. That is why the results of this survey are so valuable. How was the information collected A consultant, Kelwin Management Consulting, was hired to execute the MBP member survey, which took place from January to June of this year. The survey had two parts: a written portion and an interview portion. The written survey was distributed through a number of avenues including: at Ag Days in Brandon, during the MBP AGM in Brandon, with the help of directors contacting other producers, as an insert into Cattle Country, and online. There were 195 surveys collected from participants all across the province. The surveys included a diverse group of participants from each of the 14 districts in Manitoba, in all age categories and with different types of operations (cow-calf, feedlot, backgrounder, purebred and dairy). There were also 24 interviews conducted with industry stakeholders including a researcher, representatives from other livestock groups, cattle buyers, processors, government representatives and cattle industry leaders. The consultant then collected the information from all of these sources, analysed the results of the written survey and compiled the answers from the interviews resulting in a 70-page report. The report includes an in depth look at MBP’s organisation and services, the challenges and risks affecting producers’ oper-

ations and the future opportunities and potential challenges for Manitoba’s beef industry. With such a wealth of information it’s difficult to cover all the topics in one article. So this will be the first of a number of articles delving into the results of this survey. Communication is key An overwhelming theme throughout the report was that communications is key. When asked “How important is each of the following to you as a focus for Manitoba Beef Producers’ activities?” the top four answers were all related to MBP’s communications with various groups (see Figure 1.). These included informing the public about beef production, promoting beef consumption, talking with the media about beef industry issues and advocating on behalf of the industry with governments. These are activities that MBP is already very involved with but it is encouraging that the survey participants value MBP’s efforts and think it important to increase them. MBP regularly meets with government leaders to discuss topics such as business risk management programs, water management, livestock predation, eradicating bovine TB, Crown lands and more. MBP is also involved in many outreach events such as Ag in the City, the Red River Ex, Royal

Manitoba Winter Fair, Great Tastes of Manitoba and more, and through partnerships with organizations such as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Communication is also key for MBP because

consultant’s recommendation to “develop a comprehensive communications strategy that will address members, stakeholders and consumers” MBP Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon has

fort to collect more member contact information so that those of you who want can receive the biweekly MBP e-newsletter and Cattle Country. MBP also has active Facebook and Twitter accounts that

Figure 1. How important is each of the following to you as a focus for Manitoba Beef Producers activities 5.0

Key a. lobbying governments to ensure that policies and

4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 Rating

CAROLLYNE KEHLER

2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0

a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j.

Very important Important Not very important

producers want to hear more about MBP’s activities. It is recognised that the staff and directors, as well as many others, do a lot of work to address issues raised by producers, such as those brought forward as resolutions at MBP’s annual general meeting. However, producers want to regularly hear what progress is being made on each of the issues. One way MBP does this is through updates on issues in Cattle Country, such as the columns written by MBP president Heinz Reimer, General Manager Melinda German and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. In response to the

programs are based on sound science b. investing producer check-off dollars in research c. offering production services, such as age verification services, ration formulation and balancing d. offering extension services, such as information about research & new technology e. offering training sessions and workshops, on topics such as the Beef Code of Practice, biosecurity measures, succession planning, workplace safety and health. f. participating in events and programs to inform the public about beef production g. promoting beef consumption h. talking to the media about beef industry issues i. providing media/presentation training so beef producers can individually help promote the industry j. developing management tools such as farm management software

already begun to create a new strategy, with the guidance of the directors and other staff. The design of this strategy is based on developing a trusting relationship between consumers and producers by featuring the pride beef producing families have in their profession and product. To improve communications between MBP and you, the members, the consultants recommended collecting more member contact information. It is clear from the results of this survey that you want to hear more about MBP’s activities and other industry news. If that’s the case, we are making an ef-

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you can follow for industry updates and important news that could affect your operations. Not sure where to sign up? Call our office at 1-800-772-0458 and we will help you out. Where do we go from here? The next step is putting the results of this survey into action. When the consultants were finished they sent the MBP staff their final report, a 70-page document containing a detailed examination of all of the participant’s thoughts and responses. Since then the staff have been reading through the document and analysing how they can utilize the report’s in-

formation to make work plans that address the themes brought up in the survey. MBP GM Melinda German can be spotted walking around the office with the member survey report in hand, every page covered in notes. Not only is she using the report for her own insights but she is bringing the ideas to the board of directors so they can use it to help guide the board’s discussions, strategic planning and decision making processes. With your input MBP will continue to adapt its activities to better address the issues that affect you and our province’s beef industry. Once again, thank you to all who participated in the survey. Support for this important project was received through Growing Forward 2 – Growing Actions. Don’t hesitate to contact MBP if you would like more information. Or you can wait for future articles on other aspects of the survey findings in upcoming issues of Cattle Country. “The MBP board must have the vision and skill to navigate between the old and the new, reshaping traditions without crippling the independent spirit that has seen producers through some very tough times and is the foundation on which the industry has been built since cattle production came to Manitoba.” said the report's authors.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

Result of the WCCCS: production benchmarks Kathy Larson, MSc, PAg, Beef Economist with the Western Beef Development Centre and the Beef Cattle Research Council Herd productivity is closely linked to herd profitability. The calculation for break-even price on calves clearly demonstrates this: The break-even price can be lowered by decreasing total cow herd costs or by increasing the total pounds of calves weaned. Increasing the total weight (lbs) of weaned calves can be achieved by improving herd productivity, such as: a) INCREASING – conception rates, weaning rate, etc. b) DECREASING – calf death loss, calving span, etc. While it is good management to track and calculate one’s herd production performance indicators on an annual basis, it can be helpful to have benchmarks to compare to. Benchmarks help a producer know if they are on the right track. They can help a producer identify if they excel in a certain area and/or could improve in another. They can also help to show what production and management practices other producers are following. Benchmark productivity measures for the cow-calf sector can also help guide research and extension efforts. For these reasons, a group of individuals from British Columbia to Manitoba, representing provincial beef producer groups, provincial Ministry of Agriculture spe-

cialists, the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canfax and the Western Beef Development Centre have revived, expanded and conducted a survey last conducted in Alberta in 1998. The Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey (WCCCS) was distributed to producers from November 2014 until the end of February 2015. A total of 411 survey responses were received (representing just over 76,000 cows). Response rates varied by province with the greatest percentage of respondents being from Alberta (49 per cent), followed by Saskatchewan (24 per cent), Manitoba (18 per cent) and British Columbia (8 per cent). The average age of survey respondents was 50 with an average of 28 years in the cattle business. Survey respondents provided details on their 2014 calf crop starting with the 2013 breeding season and ending with weaning. Cow:bull ratio averaged 25:1 and breeding season length averaged 93 days, which was nearly unchanged from the results of the ’98 Alberta survey. A breeding season no longer than 63 days is recommended to maintain a 365 day calving interval and improve calf crop uniformity, but only 24 per cent of respondents achieved this recommended target. Breeding heifers four to six weeks before the cows is recommended so that heifers have more time to recoup (i.e. longer post partum interval) after their first calf is born. Only 26 per cent of survey respondents bred their heifers earlier than the rest of the herd, aver-

aging 2 weeks earlier. The average open rate was 7 per cent in cows and 10 per cent in heifers. The conception rate for all females was 92.8 per cent, compared to 95.6 per cent in AB in 1998. Work is underway within the industry to gain a better understanding of recent years’ lower conception rates. The most popular month for calving start was March, with 18 per cent starting calving in the first half of the month and 18 per cent starting in the second half of March (see Figure 1). This is a change from 1998, where the majority of respondents were calving in February. This shift in calving start date suggests the research and extension about calving later to avoid the high cost of calving during winter months was heard and adopted. Calving distribution is an important indicator for a herd. Ideally, 60 per cent or more of females should be calving in the first 21 days of the calving season. A little more than 40 per cent of question respondents achieved this target. On average 55 per cent of females calved in the first 21 days (see Figure 2), which is an improvement from 48 per cent reported in the 1998 AB survey. Nearly 80 per cent of respondents provided details on their 2014 weaning dates. Most respondents weaned in October (41 per cent), followed by November (32 per cent). The most common method for weaning was traditional separation (70 per cent), with others using low-stress fenceline (22 per cent), two-stage/

nose paddle (6 per cent) or natural (3 per cent) weaning methods. The average wean percentage was 86 per cent, with 533 lbs weaned per cow exposed, 28 lbs higher than in 1998. Only 24 per cent of survey respondents implanted their 2014 calves. More than 69 per cent of respondents report having more than 90 per cent polled calves. Ninety-four per cent of producers castrate calves before six months of age, indicating the vast majority of producers are already in alignment with the beef care Code of Practice requirement (to be effective Jan. 1,

2018) of using pain control when castrating bulls older than six months of age. Over 70 per cent of respondents sold a portion of their calves at weaning, with nine per cent preconditioning and 35 per cent backgrounding. Some producers used multiple calf marketing strategies. Most respondents (80 per cent) marketed calves via live auction, 12 per cent sold calves direct/private treaty, nine per cent used electronic auction and seven per cent used an order buyer. The top four bull selection criteria were breed, conformation,

birth weight and EPDs, respectively. Genetic test results ranked ninth in bull selection. Few respondents test their bulls for trich (12 per cent) and vibrio (10 per cent). Nineteen per cent of respondents regularly body condition score their females and 91 per cent vaccinate. Fourtyseven per cent lab test their winter feed for quality, and 80 per cent of those use the results to balance rations. If you are interested in learning about more WCCC survey findings please visit: www.wbdc. sk.ca/wcccs.htm. Ideally this survey will be conducted every five years.

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September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

MBP talks alvar EPZ, BRM programs BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

It has been a busy summer on the advocacy front with MBP providing feedback to the provincial government on several key issues, including environmental policies and business risk management programs. Alvar EPZ The Manitoba government is proposing to create an alvar Ecosystem Protection Zone (EPZ) on approximately 2600 hectares of Crown land in the Interlake, some of which is currently being leased by beef producers. It is MBP’s position that the lands identified for the proposed EPZ should remain available to producers for all uses through the Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing Program and not be removed from agricultural production. Alvar is described as a habitat characterized by a thin (usually 10 cm or less) or absent layer of soil over a limestone or dolomite bedrock pavement. It supports species such as mosses and lichens, and is a rare ecosystem in Canada. Alvar has already been designated as an endangered ecosystem under Manitoba’s Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act. To protect this ecosystem the province could restrict certain activities in the proposed alvar EPZ. MBP has been engaging with staff from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship about the proposed EPZ. Research has shown that grazing can provide considerable benefits to the landscape, such as helping to reduce shrub encroachment that can inhibit the growth of certain endangered plants, such as those that could be found in the proposed EPZ. MBP has also shared its position with Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff and Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron

Kostyshyn. The ability to access Crown lands is essential to many producers’ livelihoods, providing them with valuable lands used for haying, grazing, forage and cropping purposes. MBP has asked for the Ministers’ confirmation that agricultural Crown land lease holders will be able to continue using these lands for the activities outlined in their leases and permits once the EPZ is created and that no leases or permits will be cancelled. Input into the development of any regulations related to the EPZ that could affect beef production has been sought by MBP. And, MBP has asked that as researchers and government staff enter the leased lands to study the alvar that they consult with the lease holders in advance of entry. This will help ensure that proper biosecurity practices are being followed, helping to protect the safety of people and livestock as well as the environment. MBP encourages producers who may be affected by the creation of the EPZ to participate in the province’s consultations. Comments are due by September 16. Consultation details and a map of the proposed protected area can be found at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/wildlife/ecosystem_shareyourviews.html Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force Manitoba’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force’s held a series of producer consultations around the province in July and MBP directors and staff took part in a number of these. The Task Force is examining business risk management (BRM) programs and changes to AgriInsurance programs, including gaps in existing policies and programs and identifying ways to shift government support from ad hoc assistance to planned and predictable programs. MBP took forward a number of issue of concern to the meetings. These include: the need for bankable

and responsive insurance programs; the need for a level playing field between the different commodity groups when it comes to insurance options; having the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program be made available as a backstop for producers trying to access the Advance Payments Program; shortcomings in the forage insurance program for producers affected by repeated flood or excess moisture events; the importance of having access to beneficial management practice programs to help producers build resilience in their operations, and more. MBP will be making a detailed written submission to the Task Force and is encouraging beef producers to make their voices heard as well. Consultation information is available at http://www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture/business-and-economics/agririsk-task-force.html The deadline to complete the online consultation survey or to provide a formal written submission sharing your ideas on how to improve BRM programs is Sept. 30. Feedback Sought on Rural Vet Services The Manitoba government has created a three-person task force to evaluate and seek feedback on rural veterinary services. Members include Dr. Paul Schneider, Bertha Russell-Langan and Merv Starzyk. MBP will be participating in this process. The task force’s duties include: holding focus groups with stakeholders, public meetings and an online consultation process, reviewing the current model of providing the services (including financial statements and clinic caseloads) and, looking at provincial and municipal support for vets and vet clinics in the prairie provinces. Its report and recommendations are to be submitted to the Minister of Agriculture in January 2016. For information about public meetings and online consultations visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture or watch for it on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development KATHLEEN WALSH

Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD)

Q: Is early weaning a good option? How should early-weaned calves be managed and fed? A: It is important to weigh the pros and cons of both early weaning and preconditioning light-weight calves. Early weaning has benefits for the cow but earlyweaned calves require more management time, good quality feed and proper facilities. If pasture supply is low and cows have a body condition score of 3.0 or lower (on a scale of 1 to 5), weaning early will give the cows time to regain body condition before winter and ultimately, calving. Maintenance requirements of lactating beef cows are 20 per cent higher than the maintenance requirements of dry cows. Early weaning reduces the cow’s daily nutrient requirements and gives her the opportunity to maintain or regain condition, even if only grazing on dry, lower-quality grass. A good option is to evaluate the Body Condition Score of the herd on a group-bygroup basis. You may notice that it is just first-calf heifers and older cows that are under-conditioned. Moving these animals to a separate pasture and weaning their calves is a good strategy to manage their body condition and keep them on track for calving and rebreeding. Ideally beef cows should have a body condition score of 3.5 going into winter; cows in good condition will require less supplementation during the winter feeding period, compared to cows in poor condition. Poorly conditioned cows generally have five to 10 per cent higher energy requirements. As cows progress from mid to late gestation and temperatures drop, it becomes increasingly difficult to put on condition. Studies have shown that calves can be weaned as young as two to five months of age with no negative effect. Calves are typically weaned around six to seven months of age but studies have shown that calves can be weaned as

young as two to five months of age with no negative effect on future performance, provided the calves are managed properly. Calves weaned at four to five months are already eating some forage; therefore, they transition better. Weaning at four to five months also gives the cows an additional 30 to 60 days, with lower nutrition requirements, to gain condition. It is important to reduce stress on calves at weaning, particularly if they are being weaned early. Calves should not be dehorned or castrated at time of weaning as it will compound the stress. Ideally these practices should be done a minimum of two weeks before or after weaning. It is also important to discuss a vaccination program with your veterinarian prior to weaning. Starting calves on creep feed a minimum of two to three weeks before weaning will make the transition to feed easier. The first ration fed to calves, after weaning, needs to be palatable and nutrient dense. The ration needs to be high in energy and protein to compensate for minimal consumption by the calves. Getting calves onto feed quickly is important for minimizing health issues. For calves weaned at four to five months of age, the introduction ration should have a minimum of 16 per cent crude protein and 70 per cent TDN. The ration should be a mix of high-quality hay, concentrates and a well-balanced mineral and vitamin package. A typical diet for early-weaned calves would be 50 to 60 per cent grain, 30 to 40 per ent good quality hay and the remaining 10 per cent, a high protein supplement. Low-quality, dusty hay should be avoided. Feed needs to be kept fresh and bunks cleaned out regularly. Each calf will require 12 to 18 inches of bunk space. Once the calves have reached 400 lbs they can be transitioned to a silage-based backgrounding diet. Early weaning will be a good option for you if your cows are losing condition

or are in poor body condition. However, you must ensure that you have adequate facilities, time and access to good-quality feed to properly manage your earlyweaned calves. Early weaning has definite benefits to cow condition in times of limited feed resources. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, Elizabeth Nernberg, MAFRD Livestock Specialist, will feature your livestock ques-

tions on protecting your feed from Elk. Send your questions to Elizabeth.Nernberg@gov.mb.ca by Sept. 4, 2015. StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. We encourage you to email your questions to MAFRD’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

2015 Manitoba Beef Producers

BURSARY WINNERS

COLE JANKE

What do you call the most important industry in Manitoba? The beef industry. Fortunately, this isn’t a joke. Manitobans need the beef industry. Without it, our economy would need to rely on other sources to boost and balance it, but no industry is as reliable as that of food in today’s day and age. Without the beef industry, my province would not be the same, my community would not exist, and my family would be extremely different. The term “summer job” doesn’t exist in my family because we own a farm, and that means there is no rest for the weary. Whether it be cutting, raking, baling, hauling, or feeding hay to our cows, my family is busy year-round because of our cattle. Not only does this benefit our lives financially, but I believe the experiences we share are really incomparable to anything else out there. Learning which vaccinations to use and when to administer them and how to

bottle-feed and care for sick calves are just a few of the things that I can learn hands-on and love to experience. I would never have the set of stories and memories I do from doing anything else. I am glad to be a part of the beef industry. Without the beef industry, my community and others like it wouldn’t exist. My hometown of Marquette, is a town of fifty people, fifteen houses, a café, and a Co-op. What most people fail to recognize is the sheer size of the farming community that comprises Marquette. It is surrounded by small and large beef, Holstein, hay, and grain farms alike, and everyone who is a part of them share a sense of community and pride. Without the beef industry, hundreds of people would be unemployed and so would their future generations possibly, in my community alone. Busi-

SAWYER LAMBOURNE Manitoba ha s been home to the beef industry for almost two centuries. This unique industry is a rare example of one that requires skills and proficiencies that are learned from the ground up and passed on from one generation to another. My family is indicative of Manitoba’s history in the beef industry. Since coming to Manitoba in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s my parent’s families have been directly involved and have contributed to Manitoba’s beef industry. This tradition has continued with my family. It is difficult to imagine my life without being involved in the beef industry. A large part of the person I am is due to being raised on a beef farm. My work ethic, my knowledge base and my skill sets have all been developed due to farm life. From an early age I was taught that hard work and perseverance are part of life and that you can’t give up when the going gets tough. I have also learned the value of responsibility and leadership. Working in the beef industry has also taught me the value of nature and the importance of implementing sustainable practises. The beef industry has given me and my family an income and an avenue to feed ourselves and others. There is no other industry that is so multi-faceted, where from hour to hour your job title can change like for example being a self-taught vet one hour to a machinery operator the next and finally finishing off your day as a carpenter. Being able to multi-task is symbolic of a beef farmer. Manitoba can lay claim to being one of the best re-

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nesses such as our little café would have no customers, and the Co-op would have no one to sell fuel, hardware, or fertilizer to. Marquette thrives because of the beef industry. Of all the farmland in Canada, 12per cent is located right here in Manitoba. Of that agricultural base, 34.6per cent of farming in Manitoba is that of cattle. It easy to see from these numbers how important the beef industry is to Manitoba’s economy. Livestock is an important export, as beef is always in high demand in our province, our country, and around the world. It provides a reliable source of income for farmers and corporations that filter their revenue back into the economy and therefore boost it. Manitoba may have other sources of income, but for us to have a large and recognizable staple such as the beef in-

dustry allows us to create a balanced economic foundation for which there is a perpetually growing demand. This industry also creates jobs for all ages, as there is always need for helping hands when there are cattle involved. In my school for example, half of our students either own some sort of cattle farm or work on one. Those who simply work part-time jobs on farms are encouraged to join the agricultural industry, creating future opportunities for individuals and the province. With the growing provincial, national, and global populations, food is becoming of higher and higher demand leading into an uncertain future. But because of this, the importance of the beef industry to Manitoba grows as well, allowing everyone to benefit in the financial cycle. The beef industry is important to Manitoba. It is important to Marquette. But most importantly, it is important to me, and I guarantee there are thousands of others that feel the same way.

gions in Canada to raise beef. We have an abundance of pure grasslands and clean, accessible water sources that allows us to be a leader with regards to top quality beef cattle in Canada and the world. Manitoba is a world leader in beef genetics and an industry leader in herd health programs. Manitoba’s one million plus beef cattle represents ten percent of Canada’s beef herd and this accounts for the province being ranked third in beef production in Canada. Manitoba’s economy has and will always be significantly impacted by the beef industry. Early pioneers in Manitoba made a living off agriculture and a significant part of that involved raising beef for milk and food. With the passing of time beef farming evolved into the industry we have today. Beef production played a vital role in many early communities, with towns growing up around farms. My community and the communities where my parents grew up are no exception. As beef production has increased so has the economic impact of the industry on Manitoba’s farming communities and the province as

a whole. The number of jobs directly and indirectly related to the beef industry is virtually limitless. Whenever the beef industry is impacted whether it is positively or negatively, the impact on the province’s economy is widespread. Everyone associated with the beef industry directly or indirectly is affected. Producers, auction marts, the transportation and rail industry, slaughtering facilities, market and commodity exchanges, retail outlets, the goods and services sector, grain companies and producers, agriculture machinery and equipment sales, the manufacturing sector, seed and fertilizer companies, the mining sector, veterinary services etc… are impacted. The carryover is boundless. As we move on in the twenty-first century it is paramount that the beef industry continues to grow and play a major role in providing a safe, wholesome, nutrient-dense protein to a local, national and global population. So creating a sustainable beef industry is vitally important as we work toward the goal of feeding a world population of 9 billion people by the year 2050. This global population explosion will require at least 70 per cent more food with few additional resources.

KATELYN STEHR

closer to 12per cent, thus effectively demonstrating just how important agriculture is to the entire provincial economy. I know from personal experience how influential raising cattle can be on a young person. Many important life lessons are learned, and values instilled when growing up on a beef farm. For example, pulling calves, sorting pairs and halter breaking show animals taught me patience. Showing 4-H calves showed me that hard work is the only way to the top, and that being humble is crucial once you get there. Staying up all night working on a sick calf, just to have him fade away at the first crack of dawn prepared me for loss and taught me that even if I fail at first, if something is important and is the right thing to do, always try again. I see these same values in every young person I meet that grew up around cattle. These lessons prepare us for life and shape us into strong, respectful people that will become the capable future leaders of society. In the words of Brenda Schoepp “Once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but three times a day every day, you need a farmer”. This statement perfectly demonstrates just how essential agriculture is to the world. The Canadian agriculture industry has a bright future with many opportunities for young people, and I know that I have made an excellent decision by choosing to pursue a career in agriculture. The feeling of satisfaction from helping to feed the world is one of the reasons I love being involved in agriculture. The agriculture community is like a second family, brought together by our love for feeding the world. Being raised on a cattle farm and growing up surrounded by a thriving agriculture industry has shaped me into the individual I am, and I will always remain rooted in agriculture.

Imagine driving down a gravel road, following it as it twists and dips past trees and over hills. Imagine scanning the landscape, your eyes following the rolling grassland and seemingly never-ending barbed-wire fence line, until your eyes rest upon a herd of cattle grazing in a lush, green coulee. This is my home. This is Manitoba. Beef cattle production is vital to the province as it offers economic benefits, provides for a sustainable future, helps to shape future leaders and fits so perfectly into the picture of Manitoba. Sustainability is achieved when there is equality between the environment, society and the economy. Beef production in Manitoba is essential to a sustainable future as it allows these three aspects to balance so perfectly. Beef production is environmentally beneficial as grazing practices allow for the preservation of many environmental aspects such as prairie ecosystems and habitat for a vast amount of wildlife including numerous endangered species. Proper grazing management also improves the health of the environment by decreasing wind and water erosion and increasing carbon sequestration. The beef industry contributes to a strong provincial economy in a variety of ways. For example, 2013 beef cattle exports to the U.S. from Manitoba alone were valued at $1 million. The value of these exports not only benefits Manitoba beef producers, but benefits other Manitoba residents through job creation, the purchase of equipment and materials for production and overall by bringing economic prosperity to rural economies. It is estimated that in Manitoba, agriculture contributes 4-5per cent to the province’s GDP, but when the indirect benefits are factored in, this number is

www.mbbeef.ca


September 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

2015 Manitoba Beef Producers REBECCA UNRAU

BURSARY WINNERS

Agriculture is not just a job, but a lifestyle. There is no nine to five; you work until the job is done. This lifestyle is defiantly not an easy life, as there are many ups and downs. Raising beef is one of those jobs that don’t really end. Haying in the summer, chores year round, and no matter how cold or stormy it is, the cows need fed. It requires a great deal of hands on and physical work, but in the end it is all worth it when you can say you have played a part in providing for not only your family and community, but the whole world. My father has always been a beef producer, as was his father. We now run 400 head cow/calf operation and my father knows each of his animals by sight and can tell when they are ill or close to calving. He takes a great pride in caring for them and giving them a good start. Beef production hasn’t always been easy for my family; or anyone for that matter, but we have stuck it out and we

CAITLYN WILKINSON My name is Caitlin Wilkinson and I am eighteen years old. I am a grade twelve student at Ste Rose School, and will be furthering my education at Brandon University this fall. I am enrolled in the Faculty of Science, and then plan on applying to the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba upon completion of the required courses. I believe that rural communities are very important, and unfortunately, many of them are becoming smaller and smaller. I grew up on a cattle ranch, in the very small town of Eddystone. Ste Rose has been my second home, and it is sad to see the town shrinking in size and population. I know without a doubt, that I will be returning to a small community, maybe even Ste Rose, which is one of the reasons as to why I will be heading down the career path I have chosen. My goal is to own a pharmacy of my own one day, and provide quality service and bring business to my community. I hope to help create and sustain rural growth and development and draw younger generations to rural communities to raise their children, keeping these communities alive. Those younger generations are the future to the life of our small towns. Ste Rose has served as the foundation of my childhood, and I am very thankful for that. As a pharmacist, I will be able to contribute to the sustainability of a small town such as Ste Rose, which is my long term goal. My family has and continues to make a living through the beef industry. We own and operate a 500 head cattle ranch in Eddystone, Manitoba. I was born and raised into the beef industry, and that is something I am proud of, and also thankful for. In the next few years our ranch will have officially been around for a century! My family’s history and legacies are left on this land, and I am proud to carry on with the tradition. Operating a cattle ranch has been my family’s way of life, and it is a wonderful feeling knowing that we contribute to feeding the world. One of the neatest things I’ve noticed being a part of this industry is that there are so many people who are passionate about what they are doing, and they genuinely love it. Eddystone is a community consisting of mostly cattle ranches. Being a part of this industry has drawn us closer with our neighbors and fellow ranchers. In my situation, it has provided a living, breathing community of people. As a community we work together to one main goal, and it is always reassuring to know that help is only a phone call away if need be. This industry has also opened up a wide range of opportunities for me, as well as others in our community. I have been a part of the 4-H beef program since I was eight years old, and I have developed many unforgettable lessons and experiences from this. I like to spend time outside, and I take pride in the industry. I really enjoy being involved with the beef industry because I get to spend quality time with my family. The freedom of living on a farm is also something I’m thankful for, and I believe it is a great place for a family to raise their children. Knowing that our own hands are doing the work is a very satisfying feeling. Agriculture has had such a positive influence on my life; I am incredibly thankful for all that I have gained through living on a farm.

are now thankful that we did. Finally in the sale ring, we are receiving a good return and a decent wage for what we put into them. Growing up on a farm has taught me many important life skills. It has given me the opportunity to experience a lifestyle unlike any other. Over the years I have established my own commercial cow herd, instead of working for wages, I chose to be paid in cattle instead. This has not only taught me what being a beef producer means, but has also given me a great start on my future herd. Not only does the beef industry benefit us, it also plays a huge role in my community and Manitoba. It supplies income for individuals by providing jobs in each community and building the economy. When the farming industry suffers, the rural communities suffer as well. Considering that beef is such a main food for people, raising beef is very important. For myself personally, I feel that is very important to know where and how my beef was raised. Manitoba beef producers take pride in the product they produce, and I know on our farm, we continually strive to improve the quality of our beef herd. Maintaining quality in our beef herds helps ensure that our product is accepted and enjoyed, not only locally, but in the larger markets as well.

MARIANNE SYTNYK The beef industry has a very significant meaning to me and everything in my life. I have grown up on a beef and grain farm my whole life and nothing can explain how much it has taught me, nor how much it impacts my decision making. I am the second youngest of six siblings, of which all have been involved in the farm operation. My parents have always kept us involved in every aspect of the farm and I gained a lot of experience and knowledge from these experiences. Some of the activities I am involved in are daily chores, vaccinating, calving, and operating haying equipment in the summer months. In my family, the beef industry not only represents a large portion of our income, but also represents the lifestyle we lead. As a cattle producer, you are always busy and on the go no matter what. Through the farm and raising cattle, my family has taught me that you must be very hard working to excel in this industry and I believe that I have carried on this trait. To my family, the

Since agriculture is a huge part of who I am, especially the cattle, I have decided to pursue a career relating to the agriculture industry. I am enrolled in a two year Animal Health Technology program in Olds Alberta. With a career in Animal Health Technology, specializing in large animals, I will be able to live and work in the rural area as well as use my knowledge to contribute to the family farm. Eventually, I hope to operate my own cattle farm. I have always had a keen interest in the health of animals. Over the years I have become quite capable of handling and working with large animals. I have endured many different situations which have prepared me for this career I am pursuing. Being raised on a farm, I have learned that in order to be successful it takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and commitment. An easy life is not handed to you; especially in the cattle industry, however the rewards are great when you reach your goals. I have applied these lessons to my education and work experience and hope that this knowledge will help me to be successful in my future endeavors as well. Thank you for your time and consideration for this scholarship.

beef industry means our income, an activity where we must work together and cooperate, freedom, the opportunity for great prosperity, learning of life lessons, and without a doubt, the fact that you can work 60 plus hours a week and still love your life! I live in southwest rural Manitoba surrounded by many small towns. My community bears the same values and mindset of our family, and what I would imagine of many producers; that the beef industry is very important to not only farmers, but its surrounding businesses as well. Since my community is supported by the agriculture area that surrounds it, it values and promotes the beef industry involvement within the community. To my community, the beef industry means fairs, petting zoos, tradeshows, and even tourism. Manitoba is an amazing province with a very large parcel of opportunity in the beef industry. Many jobs are

available in Manitoba within the beef industry, but we may be at a shortfall of workers in this sector. In my mind, Manitoba has ginormous amount of opportunity waiting for the young people of tomorrow to take advantage of. I believe the beef industry in Manitoba has the ability to make a family farm very profitable and allow these self-employed individuals to love what they do. I want to be involved in agriculture and even more so, Manitoba’s beef industry, because I believe there is vast amounts of opportunity waiting to be taken. My background in the agriculture industry has let me see first-hand just how much of a shortfall of workers there is in Manitoba. I want to be a part of the future thriving Manitoba Beef industry. I truly cannot imagine my life without its involvement in agriculture and I am very excited to see how involved I can become in the future.

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CALGARY 1-888-571-3580


16 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2015

www.BodyConditionScoring.ca

Interactive BCS vs Profit Tool

Feed Cost Calculator

How-To Video

SLOW INTERNET?

SB Request a free U page stick with the web info@ tools by emailing or beefresearch.ca 58 85 5. 27 calling 403. 2 ext. 30

www.BodyConditionScoring.ca Measuring your cows’ body condition score by hand gives you a good indicator of how to manage their rations to maximize their reproductive efficiency – the most important factor affecting profitability. Cows with an ideal yearround body score of 2.5 to 3 rebreed sooner, have higher pregnancy rates, improved milk quality and production, healthier calves, and fewer instances of calving problems. This fall, get the most accurate data by hands-on scoring your females during fall processing and visit our website to learn more about how to manage body condition in your program. www.BodyConditionScoring.ca was developed by the Alberta Beef Producers, Beef Cattle Research Council, Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan, University of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture with funding provided by:

www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS PHOTO

OCTOBER 2015

Core partners tour MBFI Page 3

Manitoba Beef Producers’ was the host sponsor for the Aug. 29 Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. As part of the sponsorship, MBP was able to recognize a farm family for their contributions to the industry. The selected family were Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley, the winners of The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba. Blair (left) was able to attend the game with her parents and a friend. While there they received a sideline tour and met Bombers’ Head Coach Mike O’Shea.

Beef producers recognized

Schedule set for district meetings

The schedule for Manitoba Beef Producers’ annual tour of the province has been set. Beginning Oct. 26 MBP staff and directors will embark on 14 district meetings at locations throughout the province. Members will also have an opportunity to provide input on the future of the organization by submitting resolutions that will be voted on at the Annual General Meeting which is scheduled for Feb. 4 and 5 in Brandon. A variety of topics will be

covered at the meetings. They include a review of MBP’s finances, its advocacy work on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers, and updates on key industry developments and trends. In districts 7, 12 and 13 where bovine TB is a concern there will also be an update on current initiatives related to that. There will be a presentation on Canada’s National Beef Strategy and the future vision it outlines for the Canadian cattle industry.

A short survey will be distributed asking producers to indicate whether or not they support the creation of a dealer assurance fund, a matter put forth in a resolution at the 36th MBP AGM. Elections for directors will also be held in even numbered districts this year. A new director will be selected for District 10 as current director Theresa Zuk has reached her term limit and will be retiring. “We strongly encourage our members to attend their dis-

trict meeting,” said MBP general manager Melinda German. “This year’s meetings will be of particular interest to members as there are a number of important issues to discuss and inform our members of.” Each meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. An advertisement with all of the dates and locations can be found on page 2 of this month’s issue. There is no cost for members to attend the meetings and a beef on a bun supper will also be served at each venue.

Great Turnout for Youth Round Up Page 5

Meet U of M’s new masters’ students Page 11

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

Manitoba’s cattle industry was in the spotlight at a recent Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. As part of a threeyear sponsorship between Canada Beef and the Canadian Football League, Manitoba Beef Producers was the sponsor when the host Bombers took on the defending Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders Aug. 29. MBP directors and staff were stationed in Tailgate Plaza prior to the game where they had a chance to speak with a number of Bombers fans as well as producers who were attending the game. MBP also sponsored a draw for a free supper for 10 with two Prior to the game MBP directors and staff were located at MBP’s booth in Tailgate Plaza. MBP was able to give away Page 2 ➢ recipe books and other items promoting beef. A number of kids also had some fun learning to rope.


2

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Tell us why you’re proud to be a beef producer Grey Cup VIP package to the winner Manitoba Beef Producers is about to embark on a campaign to promote the province’s beef industry and would like its members to be the stars. Tentatively titled “We Are Proud,” the campaign will serve as an opportunity for MBP members to shine a light on the industry through their own words. The campaign will be built around three areas – Pride in Our People, Pride in our

Practices and Pride in Our Product. Each of the areas will comprise the overall campaign and allow MBP to show consumers and the public at large the work being done by producers in areas such as animal care and environmental stewardship. In 500 words or less, MBP is asking members to explain why they are proud to be Manitoba beef producers. Those making

submissions are asked to choose one of the three areas – people, product and practices – to focus on in their essays. The top essays will be used to form the “We are Proud” campaign. As well, all entries will be entered into a contest to win a VIP package for two to the 2015 Grey Cup which will be held in Winnipeg on Nov. 29. The package includes two tickets to the big game and exclusive access

to areas of Investor’s Group Field. “We are excited to launch this campaign and look forward to seeing the submissions of our members,” said MBP General Manager Melinda German. “In this day of heightened customer awareness and social media, we feel it is very important for producers to tell their story. Having Manitoba producers explain the lengths they go

to to produce a safe and healthy product and also in their care of the environment and their animals will serve to build and maintain our relationship with our customers. “We also feel this campaign can serve as a rallying point for producers. As we know beef producers are humble people who chose this line of work because it is something they genuinely love; this campaign

gives them a chance to let consumers know they are professionals and highlights the pride and care that go into beef production.” Entries can be submitted via email to csaxon@ mbbeef.ca. They can also be mailed to the Manitoba Beef Producers office at: 220-530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 The deadline for submissions is Nov. 7.

CFL - CB partnership in year two ← Page 1 members of the Bombers in the Blue and Gold Club at Investor’s Group Field. Anthony Mintenko was the winner and enjoyed the supper along with nine guests on Sept. 23. “The game was an excellent opportunity for our staff and directors to meet with producers and consumers,” said MBP General Manager Melinda German. “The more we can touch base with both groups and build a relationship with our comsumers, the stronger we become as an association and industry.” The evening also gave MBP the opportunity to recognize a Manitoba farm family for their contributions to the industry. Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley, who earlier this year captured the The Environmental Sustainability Award (TESA) for Manitoba were named the

SAVE THE DATE

Feb 4 & 5

MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 4 & 5, 2016 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

family of the game for the West Division match up. Blair, along with her parents and a friend, were able to tour the sidelines before the game and had a chance to meet Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea. They were also featured on the stadium’s jumbotron during a Canada Beef segment in the fourth quarter. The Canada Beef–CFL partnership is now into its second year. Dubbed Fueling the CFL the program centres on the importance of beef to athletes with a focus on the product’s high protein and iron content. In each of the provinces that are home to a CFL club, the provincial association was given the opportunity to host a game and recognize a group of producers. Also, with the Grey Cup being held in Manitoba in 2015 MBP has received a Grey Cup VIP Package for two that the association will be giving out as part of a contest in September and October. The 2015 Grey Cup is schedMBP General Manager Melinda German poses with the uled for Nov. 29. Canada Beef Fueling the CFL cutout.

ATTEND YOUR MBP 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 even numbered districts. All Meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. DISTRICT

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Caron Clarke

Oct-26

Eriksdale Rec Centre

1st Ave., Eriksdale

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-27

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-28

Elm Creek Community Hall

70 Arena Rd., Elm Creek

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Oct-29

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-03

Westlake Community Hall

Hwy. 68, Eddystone

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-04

Chicken Chef

131 1st Ave., Roblin

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-05

Legion Hall

206 2nd St., Bowsman

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-06

Strathclair Hall

120 Veterans Way, Strathclair

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-09

Deloraine Curling Rink

119 Lake St., Deloraine

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Nov-10

Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-12

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oaklake

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-13

Cypress Planning Office(Old Town Hall)

122 Main St., Carberry

District 10

Theresa Zuk*

Nov-16

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-18

Royal Canadian Legion

425 Brown Ave., Neepawa

*Director Retiring

CALL 1-800-772-0458 OR EMAIL INFO@MBBEEF.CA FOR FULL DETAILS

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

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

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwallis, 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

GORD ADAMS

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

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

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

DIANNE RIDING

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB

PETER PENNER

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

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

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

Maureen Cousins

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

Chad Saxon

FINANCE

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

GENERAL MANAGER

DESIGNED BY

Melinda German

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Tour provides glimpse inside MBFI It may look like a serene piece of pasture land at first glance, but there is plenty stirring behind the scenes of Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI). The ambitious project, which is being carried out on three different research plots near Brandon, is a collaboration between Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Ducks Unlimited (DU), Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) as well as Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD). Employees and board members from the four core partners were recently given a tour of the operation during what was described as MBFI’s introductory tour. The tour provided those in attendance with a look into how far MBFI has come in a few months and what type of work and research they can expect to occur over the next few years. As is laid out in MBFI’s mission statement, the focus of the project is “to determine priority areas and attract resources to address research and extension needs; to improve the collaboration between beef and forage researchers and extension staff; and to help ensure the efficient use of available resources while remaining flexible to evolving sector needs. It is important that the research and extension projects conducted within the initiative address gaps and issues in Manitoba’s beef and forage production knowledgebase.”

The three sites – which are tentatively named Brookdale, Johnson and First Street - are located in the Brandon area and are well known to those in the research community, having been used by both the federal and provincial governments and Manitoba Zero Till Association in previous years. During his introductory remarks to those who took part in the tour, MBFI Producer Chairman Ray Armbruster said he was gratified to be standing at the Brookdale location, noting there was a great deal of work that led up to the Sept. 10 tour. “Three years ago when I was still with Manitoba Beef Producers we started talking about this,” said Armbruster,” who acknowledged the work of MBP General Manager Melinda German, MBP Director Ramona Blyth and Glenn Friesen of MAFRD, for their work in making MBFI a reality. “The dedication and the work to bring it this far and to bring it to a reality, it’s very gratifying.” Armbruster hailed the partnership between the core partners in helping to create MBFI while adding that initiatives such as these are very important to the cattle industry, which he admitted, is in a catch up situation with respect to research and innovation. “It’s gotten so competitive to be on the landscape. With new generations coming forward we need to have that vision and we need to drive innovation and research and keep the wheels turning.” German, who is also the project’s general man-

ager, said they are con- Classroom and 4-H added fident that MBFI will be Friesen who is the project able to drive innovation manager for MAFRD. and research, thanks in “We’ve had some exlarge part to the collabora- citing conversations with tion between the provincial (groups) that are all very government, industry and interested in being partners other partners. with us at various levels.” “What we want to do As for the tour iton (the Brookdale site) in self, the group was taken particular by partnering through all three plots and with Ducks Unlimited is learned of MBFI’s future to do extension and ap- plans for things such as plied research, to do that a cattle handling facility, demonstration work,” she learning centre, the potensaid. “For us, we know the tial for ecotourism and importance of adopting all the creation of a website to of that discovery research share the research findings that is out there. We know and extension with produc- MBFI uses a variety of technologies at their three that can be a challenge so ers and other researchers. research plots including a solar power generating for our goal here on this site is From the research their watering system. to apply that research and side, the group was told of to take the risk out of it so the various projects already producers can adopt it and underway addressing topto try new things as our ics such as mob grazing and world changes – as climate extended grazing, polycrop change happens, as market and high energy forages; changes happen – we need increasing biodiversity and to be able to adapt to that controlling invasive spechange. We need to take cies on native grasslands. that risk out for producers The tour also included an so they can sustainable and unmanned aerial vehicle profitable.” (UAV) demonstration with German said MBFI Jeff Kostiuk of MAFRD ilalso plans to work with lustrating how UAVs can the academia, pointing to be used to improve forages The cattle handling facility at the Johnson research site the Johnson site as an area and research. is expected to provide many opportunities for research. where both sides can partner in discovery research. MBFI also includes a producer advisory committee that German said feeds into the needs of the project and helps this initiative connect and work with them. “The beef industry is in a critical stage really, whether it’s the change we are going to face from social license, climate change, market pressures … you name it. So this initiative and this partnership is so important to us.” If all goes according to plan, MBFI’s partnerJeff Kostiuk of MAFRD releases his fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle during the MBFI ships could also extend to tour. UAVs, or drones as they are more commonly known, have many applications for groups such as Ag in the the farm.

PHOTOS BY CHAD SAXON

BY CHAD SAXON

Ray Armbruster, MBFI’s Producer Chairman, addresses the attendees of a recent tour of their three facilities near Brandon.

www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Every votes counts this fall

It looks like fall is upon us and a Organization will authorize Canada and change in the weather is coming. Change Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on US could also be coming with the federal exports. election on October 19. The US Congress will only follow I’m not going to tell you what party through with a repeal of COOL if they feel to vote for but please do get out and vote. retaliation by Canada and Mexico is a real threat. The Canadian beef industry needs I also encourage you to address cattle and commitments from all parties that they beef industry issues with your candidates in the next few weeks. This is very impor- HEINZ REIMER are committed to swiftly enacting tariffs MBP President once the WTO authorization is received tant. The beef cattle sector is a big part Moovin’ Along if the US has not already repealed COOL. * Research is another important topof Canada’s rural economy. Farm cash receipts for cattle totaled close to $10 billion in 2014 ic. Productivity is critical to agriculture as we need to which was 17 per cent of the farm receipts, making our produce more with less land, water and labour. Reindustry the second largest revenue maker for farmers search needs to provide science-based information to help ensure consumer confidence around agriculture after canola. Our beef sector is ready to expand. Current production practices and animal welfare. Enhanced cattle supplies are low and, along with a grow- funding for production research in areas such as food ing demand and an increase in export markets, safety and quality, animal health and the environment this is a great time to be in the industry. Produc- will benefit our industry and help support consumer ers need governments to work with us to ensure that confidence in and knowledge of beef production. * Environmental sustainability is a high priority we have reliable programs to manage business risk. There are lots of issues to bring up with candidates for cattle producers and consumers. The need for an increased food supply means increasing productivity and I will try to outline some of them. * Movement is need to resolve Country of Origin and efficiencies. Cattle producers are utilizing pracLabeling (COOL). Sometime this fall the World Trade tices such as managed grazing and feed-efficient cattle

to help the environment. Grasslands deliver many ecosystem services such as supplying wildlife habitat, enhancing water quality and storing carbon. Migratory birds and species at risk depend on grasslands and beef producers are key stewards in preserving these lands . Governments must continue to look for and find ways cattle producers can partner in conservation for the supply of public goods. *Finding ways to more effectively manage water in Manitoba must remain a priority for the federal government, such as the construction of a second outlet to draw down Lake Manitoba, or support for initiatives such as the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative and others. For Manitoba producers to be willing to expand, they want to be confident that there are long-term solutions to our water-related challenges. These are just a few of the issues in the upcoming federal election. Through leadership, science, stakeholder engagements and collaboration we will eensure sustainability in the Canadian beef industry. On the topic of elections, the MBP fall district meetings will be happening shortly. Elections for MBP director positions will be held in even-numbered districts. Remember, your vote counts in all elections. More information on our district meetings can be found at mbbeef.ca/district-meetings

Your association, your voice

NOVEMBER

OCTOBER

2015 Fall Sale Schedule

It’s that time of year again: Manitoba Beef Producers’ district meetings. Consider this your invitation to come out and meet with your local director and MBP staff to learn about our activities this past year on behalf of Manitoba’s beef industry. We also want to hear your ideas and concerns. Many of you will recall that we recently conducted a Member Survey. We engaged a consultant to help us get your thoughts about MBP’s role and activities, both now and in the future. One of the main themes that emerged was the need

for MBP to communicate more with our membership about our activities and focus. Another theme was the importance of building relationships with consumers and the public to ensure they receive accurate information about our industry. The Member Survey was well received by producers and the feedback is invaluable as we plan for the future. Over the last year I trust you’ve noticed a more targeted effort to inform you of how MBP advocates on issues affecting our industry. For example, in this edition you’ll find an update

MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column on what MBP is doing to address the resolutions carried at our 36th Annual General Meeting. Much of our work involves reaching out to senior government staff and elected officials about challenges and opportunities in the industry. Sometimes it takes time to see results from these efforts so wherever possible we try to combine our lobby efforts with practical solutions that can

Thursday, Oct 1

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Oct 6

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 8

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Oct 13

Presort Calf Sale Angus Influence

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 15

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Oct 20

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 22

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Oct 27

Presort Calf Sale Hereford Influence

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 29

Regular Sale

9AM

Thursday, Oct 29

Bred Cow Sale

1PM

Tuesday, Nov 3

Presort Calf Sale Angus Influence

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 5

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Nov 10

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 12

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Nov 17

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 19

Regular Sale

9AM

Thursday, Nov 19

Bred Cow Sale

1PM

Tuesday, Nov 24

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 26

Regular Sale

9AM

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

Heartland Livestock Services

be implemented sooner. MBP uses several communications tools to tell you about our work and to update you on industryrelated issues and opportunities. First and foremost is Cattle Country, which rates very highly with our readers. We are making strides in getting our bi-weekly electronic newsletter out to more subscribers. This quick reference document provides timely updates on emerging issues as well as upcoming events. Contact our office to sign up for the e-newsletter. MBP is also very active on social media so if you want quick industry updates check us out on Facebook and Twitter. But technology being what it is in rural Manitoba, I still think one of the best ways to communicate is face to face. MBP’s district meetings start the last week of October and go through November. With 14 districts to visit it is a lot of travel and time away from the office, but these meetings are essential for directors and staff to meet one on one with you, our members. There’s no perfect time for a meeting. We hold these meetings in the evening to encourage as many producers as possible to attend. Attendance is free and includes a beef on a bun meal at 6 p.m. before the meeting starts. We’ll give you a report on MBP’s financial situation and an update on

www.mbbeef.ca

our activities. Then there will be the opportunity to bring forward resolutions for debate at the Annual General Meeting. These help provide us with direction on priority issues for the coming year. Throughout the year directors and staff connect with producers and industry stakeholders in a number of ways. We attend meetings, 4-H and youth events, and tour key areas of the province to talk with producers one on one. Sometimes seeing the issue or opportunity first hand goes a long way to working towards achieving a positive outcome. These efforts, coupled with our outreach in Cattle Country, our enewsletter and our social media channels, can go a long way to improving our communications and effectiveness. In our Member Survey you told us an important MBP role is raising consumer awareness about beef and beef production. The last few months we’ve partnered with TSN Radio on a new promotion called Eat Like An Athlete. Our goal is to reach out several times weekly to a broad demographic of people, both within Winnipeg and outside the Perimeter to promote the nutritional value of beef. The campaign’s tag line is “You may not be able to play like an athlete but you can still eat like one.” Our overall goal is to tell the positive story of our healthy and nutritious beef products and this campaign has been very successful. Ultimately we want to make MBP a household name so that when consumers have

a question about beef or beef production they know they can come to us for an answer. This is just part of our plans to help producers tell the story of our industry. Talking about communications and consumers leads me to mention our Annual General Meeting set for Feb. 4-5, 2016 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. This year’s theme is From our Gate to Your Plate: Understanding our Evolving Consumer. Not only is the AGM an excellent opportunity for you provide us with input that will guide our future work but it’s also a chance to hear what consumers are thinking. This year we want to bring in speakers that will help us understand changing consumer tastes and attitudes and what they’re looking for in their food purchases. Once again, from our Member Survey you told us that understanding consumer expectations is important to you as our industry evolves and we adapt to changing markets. I encourage you to consider attending and connecting with MBP and fellow producers to discuss the future of our industry. As you can see, what you told us in the Member Survey is making an impact. We are striving to improve our communication with you, our members and help tell your story to the public. I trust our actions continue to demonstrate that we are your association and your voices are being heard. See you in the fall. For details on your local district meeting and our Annual General Meeting please visit our website at www. mbbeef.ca


October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Justin Carvey of Alexander, right, was the winner of the grand champion fat steer award.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Left, winners of the Grand Aggregate Award were: Naomi Best, Carson Baker, Taylor Carlson and Raina Syrnyk.

Fifty-five junior cattle producers took part in the Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup in Neepawa.

Mentoring our youth Neepawa Roundup 2015

BETTY GREEN AND MELINDA GERMAN The August long weekend has become synonymous with the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-up. We had the pleasure of attending this year’s event, engaging with the youth and judging several competitions throughout the weekend. It is a time of change within our industry as we have fewer producers and face lower cattle inventory numbers. You may wonder what the future holds for our industry and whether the youth or the next generation will take up the challenge and lead us in the future.

From the moment we entered the fairgrounds in Neepawa that question was answered. Every year we are in awe of the skills, confidence and enthusiasm of our country’s future cattle producers. This event is not for the weak of heart as the organizers plan and execute a fastpaced, high-energy, fun event. The organizers, all deserving of a pat on the back, run a tight ship and we were truly impressed with the number of activities and the engagement of young and old alike. One of the best aspects is the mentorship of the younger members by the more senior participants. Participants range in age from

Youth roundup results Submitted Fifty-five enthusiastic Manitoba and Saskatchewan junior cattle producers attended the eighth annual Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup July 31, August 1 and 2 in Neepawa. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a top notch group of interested cattle producers and 88 head of cattle. Where else can you attend an event with 55 junior members all working together as teams and individual competitions to learn the skills needed in the livestock industry. This is not just a cattle show it is all around event to promote and educate youth to continue on in the livestock industry. Our show would not happen without our dedicated sponsors who have stood behind this junior all breeds show and helped to make it a success. The weekend started off with the Ag Challenge sponsored by gold sponsor Mazer Group, a timed competition with some hands on knowledge of the livestock industry. The juniors enjoyed the challenges and tasks they were given like halter making, verified beef, parts of the animal and tattooing an animal. The winning team was Raina Syrnyk, Nolan Glover, Harleigh Carlson, Emily Speers, Sierra Inglis and Cody Carson. On Saturday members exhibited items in the competitions listed below along with the cattle show and educational competitions as both individuals and in

teams. Grand Champion Commercial Female – Kolton McIntosh, Eriksdale Reserve Grand Commercial Female – Haley Brownell, Redvers, SK Champion Fat Steer- Justin Carvey, Alexander Reserve Champion Steer- Brooklyn Hedley, Rapid City Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup Agribition TeamTaylor Carvey, Alexander; Raina Synryk, Ethlebert; and Laura Tolton, Carberry This team will represent Roundup at the 2015 Canadian Western Agribition in Regina in November. Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup and Manitoba Ag Days presented two $1,000 scholarships to Taylor Carvey and Raina Synryk. Grand aggregate awards. Members were given one point for each animal and then points for the other events they competed in. Grand Aggregate Pee Wee – Carson Baker,Neepawa Grand Aggregate Junior –Taylor Carlson, Elm Creek Grand Aggregate Intermediate – Naomi Best, Harding Grand Aggregate Senior – Raina Syrnyk, Ethlebert They received belt buckles from platinum sponsor Enns Brothers. For a complete list of results please see mbbeef.ca.

as young as four to their early 20s. Many of the competitions are team events and it is fantastic to see how the older members work with and encourage the younger ones. Everyone has a role to play and over the years there has been so much growth and development in many of the young producers that attend this event annually. At one of the busiest times of the year on the farm, everything is set aside, and cattle, supplies and people are loaded to participate in the long weekend event. Not only is this a venue for mentorship, there is a wonderful sense of family and community as everyone, from babes in arms to grandparents come together to achieve a common goal, that being learning and mentoring in the beef industry. By helping to train new Manitoba producers we are ensuring the sustainability of local beef production from the perspective of economics, the environment and social license. These youth will be our spokespeople for the future, not only continuing to care for the land and raising a quality product but also engaging the public about what we do and why. All of this is important as we face a changing world. We no longer just produce

a calf, but a product that feeds citizens of Manitoba, Canada and beyond. Our product must tell a story, not only does it taste great, but it tells a story of tradition, pride and care. The youth of our industry will tell that story, they will build that relationship with our consumers and the public. The skills they learn at events like this prepare them for the future, a bright future where we will connect with those not directly involved in our industry and where we tell the story of a proud tradition that still has a place in our society today and beyond. Lastly, events like this are only successful if they have a group of people dedicated to the youth and our future. Like so many organizations this depends on volunteers who believe in what they do and why. Lois McRae and the organizing committee are key to ensuring our youth attending events like this have the chance to hone their skills, to grow and fuel their passion and most importantly be mentors. As we watch the senior members assist the juniors in working with their cattle or preparing a speech or serving a wonderful meal, these are our volunteers of tomorrow. These are the future of our industry and we are very proud of them.

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CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Guardian dogs effective to protect cattle ANGELA LOVELL Now that producers are finally able to get some decent prices for their cattle, the last thing they want is to lose any high-value animals to predators. But in some areas because of urban encroachment and habitat loss, pressure from predators in increasing, and more and more producers are looking at guardian dogs to help protect their cattle. Sheep and goat producers commonly use guardian dogs to protect their flocks, but they can also be effective for cattle depending on the situation, and the producer’s commitment to training the dogs. Wouldn’t Want to be Without Them Ray and Susan Armbruster got their guardian dogs about nine years ago as part of a pilot project with Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Development (MAFRD) to evaluate how well the dogs would work to mitigate the interaction of elk and deer with their herd. “Our farm is in the Birdtail Valley on the west side of Riding Mountain National Park and we are in the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area,” says Ray. “They do an extremely good job and if any animals attempt to come into their perimeter, or there’s any threat to the cattle, they deter it. I wouldn’t want to be without them now because I don’t even worry about cows with newborn calves. I don’t even think of anything getting them.” The couple have a nine-year-old Great Pyrenees male and a six-year-old female that is a Great Pyrenees/ Maremma cross. The key to success with guardian dogs is making sure they bond with the cattle from day one, says Susan, who put their first dog in a pen with a calf she was bottle feeding as a six-week old puppy. As the calf got older she gradually added a couple more cows and calves to the pen. “By July we had a small herd of cows here at the home pasture, so we let him go out with them and it certainly didn’t take him long

to realize what his job was,” says Susan. “Their instincts are fabulous but the trick is just to get them started.” Don’t Over Handle That doesn’t mean that you can just put the dogs out with the livestock and forget about them, says Susan. “You have to manage your dogs so you can take care of them properly, but at the same time, you don’t want to over handle them because they have to do a job from time to time that requires them to be independent and a little ferocious,” says Susan. “It’s a bit of a balancing act. You have to be really careful that you don’t end up with dogs that don’t bond properly and decide to be at the step of your house all the time. That could be from over handling and too much petting. We feed the dogs twice a day and the big male dog, he leans against your leg and you talk to him and then he’s satisfied and he goes back to his cows.” There are many different breeds of guardian dogs including Great Pyrenees, Maremma, Akbash, Kuvash, Anatolian Shepherd and Komondor. The average cost of a guardian dog pup ranges anywhere from $200 to $350 and there are additional costs such as vaccinations (around $50) and neutering or spaying (around $150 to $250). Food costs are around $50 a month per dog. “We decided to go with Great Pyrenees because they have a good nature and are easy to work with,” says Ray, who adds that producers do need to remember that guardian dogs aren’t pets. Guardian Dogs Are Not Pets “They’re nice, calm dogs, and they look like nice pets but they really mean business when it comes to protecting the livestock,” he says. “They don’t take prisoners. If anything persists in coming too close and doesn’t leave, it’s a war. From time to time there are casualties out there.” The Armbrusters say they wouldn’t be without guardian dogs any more and Ray believes that with the

Sign Here Prior to the Aug. 29 Winnipeg Blue Bombers game MBP held a draw for supper for 10 with two members of the Bombers at Investor’s Group Field. Anthony Mintenko was the winner of the draw and took nine of his friends to supper on Sept. 23.

high value of cattle more cattle producers will be taking a look at getting guardian dogs. He advises producers to contact MAFRD for advice about guardian dogs and also to talk to other producers who have them and can pass on some tips, especially about training and care of the dogs, which is important if they want to have success. “Dogs are a tremendously good option but the key thing is you just don’t get the dog and throw him out there and have instant success,” says Ray. “There’s got to be some investment and work. You’re responsible for that dog, for looking after him properly, for his nutrition and any needs he has so a healthy dog is going to work better.” Guardian Dog Resources: Livestock Guardian Dogs information and http://www.lgd.org/ MAFRD – Mamoon Rashid – Business Development Specialist – small ruminants 204 945 7557 mamoon. rashid@gov.mb.ca

New technology makes invisible fences feasible Invisible fence technology was developed about 40 years ago, and until now the system relied on a wire buried around property to contain animals and has been largely used for pets. Thanks to new GPS technology, cattle producers can now use invisible fences to prevent their guardian dogs from wandering away from the herd. “Size was always a limitation with previous invisible fence systems because it was cost prohibitive to try and run a wire around an entire quarter section or large pasture,” says Robbin Watson of Invisible Fence Brand of Southern Manitoba. “Now we have married the invisible fence and GPS technology so we design the boundaries of the invisible fence on a laptop using our own software and then download the GPS co-ordinates that are transmitted to the dog’s collar. We are not limited by size, terrain or weather.” If the cattle move to another pasture, the system can re-draw the boundaries. Watson emphasizes that training is crucial in the use of the system. “As the dog approaches the virtual boundary the collar emits a series of warning beeps. If the dog lingers in the zone approaching the boundary or crosses it the dog will get a static correction,” she says. “The most important aspect of any containment system is the training. We work with the dog owners over two to three weeks to coach the dog to turn around and go back as soon as the dog hears the beep. If we do our training correctly they will almost never receive a correction. Eventually the dog comes to realise that something happens when they go past a certain point and they avoid it to the point where no motivation will draw them through. So whether it’s a rabbit or a coyote – they’ll chase it off the property but not continue to chase it over hill and dale.” For more information contact Invisible Fence Brand of South Manitoba at 204 415 2543 or southmanitoba@ invisiblefence.com

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October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development SUBMITTED PHOTO

Elizabeth Nernberg Farm Production Extension Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) –Roblin Elizabeth.Nernberg@gov.mb.ca

Q: Can 3D fencing be used to keep wildlife away from livestock and its feed? A: Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is carrying out a pilot project to determine the effectiveness of 3D fences. One of the test sites is a 70 acre alfalfa grass field, which is also used as a winter bale grazing site. The 3D design consists of two electric fences running parallel to each other. These fences are constructed with height, depth and width resulting in a vi-

sual 3-dimensional effect. Deer and elk approach the fence with caution because their eyes are on the side of their heads, giving them poor depth perception. In addition, when the wildlife check it out with their sensitive noses, they get a shock and look for an easier place to feed. The Peace River Forage Association of British Columbia has done a lot of work with 3D fences and their design has contributed to the success of 3D fences across the country. The diagram, below, and

photo, right, illustrate the design implemented in the pilot project in Manitoba. A 3D fence is cheaper to build than a traditional eight ft. high game fence, but that reduced cost comes with some compromises. The material cost of a 3D fence is attractive at $1 per linear ft. compared to $6 perlinear ft. for a traditional game fence. Initial reports and findings at other locations have indicated the 3D fences are 75 per cent effective, compared to 90 per cent for traditional high game fences. In ad-

dition, a 3D fence requires more setup and maintenance. Trail cameras are being used as part of fence monitoring along with wildlife tracks and the cooperator’s observations. Images have been captured of elk and deer turning around at the fences as well as animals sneaking through the fences when there were problems with them being electrified and prior to the gates being reinforced. The elk seem to be more cautious than the deer when approaching the fences. Initial findings indicate the fences must be

properly designed and maintained to keep wildlife out. A minimum of 4,000 v is needed to deter wildlife from the fences. Wildlife will find the weak points in the fences, which to date, have been the gates. As such, additional wires and supporting poles were added. 3D fencing has an opportunity to limit the interaction of livestock and wildlife and keep wildlife out of feedyards, if properly designed and maintained. More site monitoring is needed to draw a concrete conclusion on the effectiveness of 3D fences. We want to hear from you

For the next issue of Cattle Country, MAFRD Forage Specialist Pam Iwanchysko, will feature your livestock questions on the value of feed testing. Send your questions to pamela. iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca by October 5, 2015. StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. We encourage you to email your questions to MAFRD’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

HI-HOG

Great Tastes of Manitoba returns for 26th season Manitoba’s longest running, locally produced television show is back for another season. The 26th year of Great Tastes of Manitoba kicked off Sept. 5 across the province on CTV Manitoba with new episodes continuing until Dec. 12. This year’s season will feature some fresh faces both in front of, and behind, the camera. Popular Winnipeg radio personality Dez Daniels has taken over the host duties and will work with representatives from the various commodities to bring incredible meals to the residents of Manitoba. The show will also have a new production company with Chris McIvor and Frank Digital replacing long-time producer Don Hornby. “We’ve been working with Great Tastes for many years, providing production and post services for its long-time producer Don Hornby. Don’s dedication to the show helped build a loyal fan base and a recognizable Manitoba brand. So when he wanted to retire and approached me about taking over the show, it just seemed like the natural progression,” said McIvor who added they are also excited to work with Daniels. “We’re thrilled to have Dez Daniels hosting the show. In addition to being a fixture in Winnipeg media for the past 20 years, Dez is a mom, a published writer

and a blogger. She’s excited to get into the kitchen with the Great Tastes food and beverage experts to prepare and enjoy local foods.” Manitoba Beef Producers will again be among the provincial commodity groups featured on GTOM as beef expert Adriana Findlay will present six recipes featuring beef. MBP will first be featured on Oct. 10 with an outdoor grilling episode. Findlay will be presenting rotisserie sirloin tip roast, Korean BBQ beef spare ribs and cheese stuffed beef burgers during the outdoor episode. The second episode featuring beef will air on Nov. 28. when the theme is “Warm the Soul With Beef.” Findlay will be presenting beef meatballs in tomato sauce, braised short ribs and a broccoli beef bowl. A new website has also been unveiled and the show will continue to have a strong presence on social media McIvor said. “We’re also really excited about reaching a new slightly younger audience. Today’s thirty-something cook is in the kitchen with the iPad on the counter, following a recipe off the web.” Each Great Tastes segment and recipe will be added to the hundreds of recipes found at GreatTastesMB.ca, and viewers can follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

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CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Lake Manitoba drainage channels finally announced BY RON FRIESEN Residents are welcoming a recent government promise for a drainage channel to ease flooding around Lake Manitoba. But they say it’ll take more than that to keep repeated spring floods from plaguing the region. Earlier this summer Ottawa and the province announced a $495 million plan to ease flooding in the Lake Manitoba area. The plan includes building a new outlet channel from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin, as well as enlarging a current one. But residents say the channels are only part of a long-term solution needed to fix periodic flooding which has affected farmers’ livelihoods, damaged homes and cottages and displaced First Nations habitants. “Just looking at the outlet out of Lake Manitoba is one small toothpick in this entire project,” said Tom Teichroeb, a local cattle producer who has sat on provincial committees studying the problem. “It’s a much bigger picture than the Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba outlets. It’s about being able to deal with flood mitigation when we hit another 2011 and/or worse.” In 2011 the worst spring flooding in years hit the Lake Manitoba region. The lake, swollen by runoff from the overloaded Portage Diversion and driven by high winds, overflowed its banks and pushed water inland. The surge wreaked havoc on farmland, lakeshore cottages and First Nations, especially the Lake St. Martin First Nation whose residents have been out of their homes ever since.

The $495 million government plan, announced July 31, aims at mitigating flooding in the region by paying for two outlets to drain high water levels on the two lakes. A temporary emergency channel will be enlarged to redirect 11,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from Lake St. Martin to Big Buffalo Lake, then into the Dauphin River and eventually Lake Winnipeg. A new permanent 7,500 cfs channel from Lake Manitoba will have an outlet to Lake Winnipeg, bypassing Dauphin River First Nation. Ottawa is promising to pay $165 million of the total cost with the province contributing the rest. A provincial spokesperson told Cattle Country the designs for the outlet channels should be finished this fall. Construction work is targeted for completion by 2020. The design and exact route have not been finalized. Work will start after designs are finished, environmental approvals are granted and consultations with First Nations are completed, the province says. For local residents, who first heard the government promise flood controls four years ago, the announcement is long overdue. “I hate to be cynical but we’ll believe it when we see it,” said Brad Knight, who farms with his wife Sandi north of Macdonald. Like other local residents, Knight says he does not oppose flood controls like the Portage Diversion, designed to protect Winnipeg and other downstream communities by diverting floodwater from the Assiniboine River northward into Lake Manitoba.

“I was all in favour of, the water was better in my field than in (former Winnipeg mayor) Sam Katz’s basement at the time,” Knight said. “But darn it, you guys have to do something to compensate the people who have suffered because of this. It’s affecting the livelihoods of a lot of people around here.” Knight said spring flooding made worse by the Portage Diversion has become a regular feature in the region and farmers suffer the consequences. He estimates his own farm has lost $130,000 in crop revenue from high water in 2011, 2012, 2014 and again this year. Like Teichroeb, Knight feels the announced outlet channels, although welcome, go only partway toward providing flood relief in the area. “Without question it’s part of the solution. But I think the key word is, part of the solution. It’s not the total answer.” Knight said the province must also deal with seepage along with Portage Diversion, which damages adjacent farmland. Residents say it’s also essential to dredge the Assiniboine River east of Portage la Prairie to clean out debris. The province says a report called the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation study will be ready this fall. It will assess flood risks, examine options for flood mitigation and recommend possible projects. The province is reviewing its operating guidelines for flood control infrastructure and seepage. That includes the Portage Diversion and seepage problems stemming from it.

Consumer misreports a concern for industry BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center released its “Beef Report” on August 25. A number of questions, concerns and criticisms have been raised by the North American Meat Institute, the International Food Information Council,

Business Insider, and others. Rather than answer the specific questions raised, Consumer Reports has encouraged people to read the report more closely. Unfortunately, reading the report more closely simply raises more questions about the expertise and/ or integrity of Consumer Reports and its “policy and action arm,” Consumers Union.

Here’s one example. “The Danger of Superbugs” heads a section on Page 10 and 11 detailing the health hazards posed by Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STECs, like E. coli O157). This directly implies that antimicrobial resistance will make STEC infections more difficult to treat. This is not true. Antibiotics are not used to treat STEC infec-

tions in people. Instead, treatments for STEC infections focus on replacing fluids due to diarrhea. In fact, antibiotic use is strongly discouraged in both Canada and the US because they could make the situation worse. The Public Health Agency of Canada says: “Generally, the disease must run its course. Treatment for those infected with E. coli in-

cludes drinking plenty of liquids to replace the body fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting, and to avoid dehydration...tAntibiotics are not used to treat the illness, as they may increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome.” The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta says: “Non-specific supportive therapy, including hydration, is important. Antibi-

otics should not be used to treat this infection. There is no evidence that treatment with antibiotics is helpful, and taking antibiotics may increase the risk of HUS. Antidiarrheal agents like Imodium® may also increase that risk.” Antibiotics are not used to treat STEC infections in people, so antibiotic resistance will not make Page 9 ➢

looking for females? Red Angus x Simmental bred heifers available by private treaty and in the Agribition Commercial Sale on Nov. 27. In addition to our own packages, many of our customers are selling groups of heifers bred to low birth, calving ease, Moose Creek bulls. Contact us to put you in touch with a supplier close to you, from the Interlake to the southwest corner. 2016 B u L L S a L E S 2-Year-Old Sale Feb6 / Yearling Sale Apr11

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October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Stay vigilant with anthrax DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

Concerns have again risen about anthrax in Manitoba based on weather patterns over the last few years as well as an increase in risk activities known to increase the likelihood of infection with anthrax if it is present in the environment. This is an almost exclusive summer disease - more common at 20 C or higher and typically follows periods of hot and dry or hot and wet weather. Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores and can infect cattle, bison, horses, mules, sheep, goats and pigs. Wildlife infections of deer and elk remain a significant source of continued environmental contamination. Beef cattle infections are the most common due to management practices. Grazing close to the ground during drought/ non-optimal pasture management or grazing of coarse plant material increases the risk of ingesting spores or allowing anthrax bacteria to enter the bloodstream through abrasions in the mouth. Anthrax is a disease that will never go away. It is not common enough to necessitate routine vaccination against nor will it ever die out in the environ-

ment. The causative bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, can live both in the presence, or absence, of oxygen. It is when exposed to oxygen that it develops into large spores which can survive in the soil for decades. It has been present since the days that the buffalo roamed and is along ancient bison migration and wintering grounds. Anthrax spore survival is enhanced in alkaline soils and over time end up deep in the ground. Ground disturbance through digging (wells, dugouts, ditches, pipelines), heavy rains/flooding, soil erosion, deep-tilling and overcrowding bring spores to the surface where they can be easily ingested during grazing. Ingestion of standing water following floodwater evaporation is becoming an important risk factor for Manitoba herds as wet springs become a new norm. Disease onset is rapid with death from toxin production and resultant organ failure occurring within a few hours. Symptoms, if noted, include trembling, high fever, difficulty breathing, convulsions and agonal death. Single or multiple animals may be affected. Any sudden unexpected deaths should be reported to a veterinarian. This also includes unusual wildlife deaths. Cover

the carcass and surrounding contaminated soil to prevent scavenging and do not conduct your own necropsy. Opening a carcass exposes the bacteria to oxygen in the air, stimulating spore formation. Anthrax can infect people – usually causing a skin wound. A raised itchy welt resembling an insect bite first develops but soon becomes a painless ulcer with a black scab. Local lymph node swelling may occur. Immediate medical attention should be sought as death may occur if untreated. Though inconvenient, proper carcass disposal is the most important aspect of anthrax control. Fluid leakage from the carcass is prevented by plugging body cavity openings with absorbent material and covering the entire head with heavy duty leak-proof plastic. The entire carcass should be covered with a weighted tarp to prevent scavenging. Slow incineration is preferable such that only ashes remain. Small bone fragments and ashes should be soaked in 5 per cent lye or 10 per cent formalin and deeply buried. If incineration is not possible, deep burial is also acceptable though not ideal as live spores will remain. Consult MAFRD and CFIA for recommended protocols. Vaccination is advisable in risk ar-

eas and may be required for insurance coverage of highly valuable stock. As can be expected, the sooner that affected herds are vaccinated, the lower the death loss on the farm. Only one vaccine, produced by Colorado Serum Company, is licensed for use in Canada. The vaccine is approved for a variety of species but does have a high incidence of adverse reactions, particularly in horses, sheep and goats. Details and recommendations can be discussed with your herd veterinarian. Anthrax is a federally reportable and provincially notifiable disease. Vaccination and treatment protocols have been developed and should be followed in the case of an outbreak to minimize further losses. The affected herd and any herds within a designated radius need to vaccinate. In subsequent years, continued vaccination is strongly recommended. Though cases of anthrax have been most typically found in the southeast part of the province, changing climate patterns and repeated local and overland flooding have greatly increased the risks of spore dissemination throughout other regions. Be aware of this growing risk. Consider necropsy for all unexpected deaths on pasture.

Concerns raised about US report ← Page 8 STEC infections more difficult to treat. If antibiotics are not used to treat STEC infections in people, why is E. coli used in antimicrobial resistance surveillance programs? Antimicrobial resistance surveillance programs in Canada and the US use E. coli as an indicator organism for several reasons. First, E. coli is found in all warm blooded animals and birds, and survives to some extent in the environment. Although some E. coli (like the STEC’s) are dangerous, the vast majority of E. coli are perfectly harmless (and some are even beneficial). Because E. coli is found almost everywhere, E. coli-based surveillance programs can always find it, and it is easy to grow and identify in the lab. Second, although antibiotics are not used to combat STEC infections in humans, E. coli is exposed to antibiotics that are used to treat other bacterial infections. This makes E. coli a valuable indicator of how antimicrobial use can affect the overall bacterial population. Third, bacteria can trade antimicrobial resistance genes with each other, so rates of antimicrobial resistance in E. coli can indicate the degree to which antimicrobial resistance rates may be changing in the overall bacterial population. What are the actual rates of antimicrobial resistance in E. coli in Canadian beef? The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) has collected E. coli samples from retail beef since 2002. The 2013 CIPARS report indicates that 74% of E. coli isolates from retail beef could be killed by every antimicrobial tested, while 4% were resistant to three or more antimicrobial classes. Canada’s beef industry remains focused on ensuring the safety of Canadian beef. Research funded through the Canadian Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster has clearly demonstrated that large Canadian beef processors do an excellent job of producing dressed carcasses that are essentially free of microbial contamination. Finding ways to further reduce the risk of microbial contamination during carcass fabrication is the subject of ongoing research. Research, development and effective implementation of improved food safety practices should contribute to ongoing declines in the incidence of E. coli O157 in Canada. Canada’s beef industry has supported antimicrobial use and resistance research for nearly two decades. This research gives strong evidence that Canada’s beef producers are using antimicrobials responsibly. They have good reasons for doing so. The beef industry needs to ensure that these veterinary products remain effective to

prevent or treat illness in cattle for economic and ethical reasons. Like everyone else, beef producers also need to ensure that medical antimicrobials continue to work when they or their family need to use them. We need cattle to remain healthy so that they can produce safe, high quality beef. We also need to ensure that consumers can have confidence that they are buying safe, affordable, high quality beef that was raised in a responsible and sustainable manner. The numerous misleading statements in the “Beef Report” are no reason for consumers to lose confidence in the safety of Canadian beef, or the Canadian beef in-

dustry’s ongoing commitments to keep it safe. Provided consumers continue to cook ground beef to 71oC, science says that the beef for sale in Canadian (and American) grocers is a safe, nutritious, responsible and sustainable food choice. The Beef Science Cluster is funded by the National Check-Off and Agriculture and Agri -Food Canada with additional contributions from provincial beef industry groups and governments 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.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Future Producers

Roughly 55 young beef producers took part in the annual Manitoba Youth Beef Round Up which was held July 31 and Aug. 1-2 in Neepawa.

Cattle market remains unpredictable RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line The only thing more unpredictable than the weather is the cattle market. By the time this reaches print, the October fall calf run will be well underway, and supply volumes will be larger than last year despite a decline in the number of producing cows

in Canada. In Manitoba, pasture conditions have been better than average in the late summer allowing producers to put extra pounds on the calves. Rain interrupted both harvest and haying, forcing producers to use any good weather days to harvest rather than round up cattle. As predicted this has caused a compressed fall delivery of feeder cattle. You can expect auctions to add a few more special sales to handle the extra volume that would have been sold in September in a regular year. As far as the prices

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go, a major adjustment in the cattle futures the second week of September created a reality check in the cash prices and caused some feedlots to review their procurement strategies for the fall. The American feedlots were the first to rework bid prices on their order sheets. The US prices have been lower than the Canadian feeder cattle prices for most of the year. As mentioned in previous articles, the market in the US was very close to last year’s prices; the reason for the strong Canadian prices was the exchange on the dollar. As always, the American orders are the floor price for the Canadian cattle, and this fall on the yearling market, Canadian feeders were actively outbidding American operators to maintain a supply of cattle north of the border. If the futures or the American cash markets do not improve quickly, we may have already seen the “high” of the feeder cattle prices for the fall calves. Earlier in the year we expected the south to purchase the majority of the calves in Manitoba and background them here. However, for the Americans to be volume buyers this fall, prices will have to drop. Retailers on the meat side are reporting more consumer resistance to beef prices in the stores. With the tough economy on both sides of the border, consumers are looking to stretch their food budgets. They are not spending as much of their disposable income on luxury foods. With the grilling season rapidly drawing to a close, we may have seen the high of the retail beef prices at the store. I was in Winnipeg the first week of September, and whole beef tenderloins were priced at approximately $34.99 per kilogram, which was only slightly higher than February prices at the same store. Lean hamburger was on sale at around $8.40 per kilogram, and there was a line up at the cooler. Corn and barley prices are currently higher than predicted for this time of year, with early harvest reports of lower than expected yields. DDGs, hay and supplements have also increased this fall, causing some Manitoba backgrounding feedlots to increase their custom feeding costs for this fall. Last fall the cost of gain in Manitoba

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custom lots ranged from 80 to 85 cents per pound depending on rate of gain, weight of the calves and the number of days at the feedlot. Higher feed prices do not support higher calf prices! There has always been a lot of support from Ontario and Quebec for Manitoba calves. Many of these calves purchased by the east are also backgrounded in Manitoba for 80 to 100 days. If Manitoba feedlots increase their cost of gain they may not be competitive, and buyers will be forced to pay less for the calves or source them elsewhere. Early reports are that Manitoba backgrounders are asking for 90 cents or higher per pound gain. Despite the rebuilding of the American cattle herd, there is still a shortage of cattle. In Canada we are at a 40-year low in the beef cattle numbers, and those numbers continue to decline. Despite the lower numbers of cattle, there is not as big of a shortfall in the meat supplies as one would think. Finishing lots continue to make the cattle bigger, which helped address the shortage of cattle in the USA. Bigger carcasses mean more pounds of meat, and when feed is cheap, feedlots will use that factor to their advantage if the overweight discounts are tight at the plants. Wet harvest conditions are creating more feed wheat and barley, which may help bring down the cost of feed in Manitoba. Early predictions on the corn silage look promising for higher than average yields. It is quite possible that calf prices in Manitoba may not be much higher than last fall when the big volumes hit the market, but there is no reason for them to be any lower, unless the Canadian dollar strengthens, which is looks unlikely. The futures for February on 900-pound calves do not support 600 pound October calves at $3.00 per pound or higher. Also you can expect the price spread between heifers and steers to remain high until after the bred heifer sales this fall. If the bred heifers sell well, then producers will buy more to breed in the spring, but if the sales are tough then many of the heifers will find their way into the feeding programs. Until next time Rick.


October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Carollyne Kehler

Kristine Blair

Sean Thompson

Grads from forage-beef research program making an impact on the cattle industry Highlighting the journeys of three U of M masters’ students CHRISTINE RAWLUK, National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba In addition to improving profitability, competitiveness and environmental sustainability, one of the most fundamental benefits of research investment is the training it provides for students. These students are making a significant impact as they build their careers in agriculture, applying the experiences and knowledge gained through their on-the-ground training. Along with technical knowledge, they develop the soft-skills sought by industry. In running their own research project, students learn by doing. “At the graduate level, it is about taking a sciencebased approach to finding solutions to challenges facing the cattle industry,” says Kim Ominski, professor with the foragebeef systems research team with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. While conducting research, students gain a range of skills including hands-on project coordination, problem solving, decision making, time management and communication skills. “As advisors we are there to guide and support them, but they are encouraged to take ownership of their project,” adds Emma McGeough, assistant professor in sustainable grassland systems. Industry is quick to pick up on the benefits of combining technical learning with practical training. Often students are lured away to begin their careers shortly after finishing their courses and research. One of the biggest challenges the research team faces is keeping students in the program until they are finished. Meet our three most recent grads: Sean Thompson In early September Sean completed his master’s program on exploring the effect of diet on residual feed intake (RFI)

and the use of an infrared thermography camera to predict efficiency in beef bulls. Having started in 2011, reaching this final stage took somewhat longer than usual. “I left Manitoba at the beginning of 2014 to work with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture as a livestock specialist,” says Thompson. That meant completing writing up his studies while holding a full-time job. In 2015 Thompson became the Feed Industry Liaison with the Feeds Innovation Institute at the University of Saskatchewan where he interacts regularly with industry, academics and government. Thompson attributes his success to having the right skill set and on-theground practical experience. “I was responsible for many of the aspects of my bull trial; marketing to recruit producers to provide bulls on consignment, formulating the diets, running the trial for the three months, and in the end, seeing the bulls went home safe,” says Thompson. “Even though I had the beef production knowledge, before this project, I lacked research experience. This program has really helped me develop my critical-thinking and decision-making skills.” Carollyne Kehler Graduate students also gain experience through collaborations with researchers at other research institutions. In late August Carollyne completed her master’s program studying the effect of transporting cattle during Canadian winters on animal health, welfare and carcass condition. As part of her training, she spent five months at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research facility at Lethbridge, Alberta where she assessed the condition of cattle as they were loaded at the feedlot and unloaded at the processing facilities. Carollyne recognizes the value of learning by doing. “One of the greatest lessons I learned from working on my master’s was taking ownership of my work; setting my own personal goals rather than having grades determine the ef-

fort required on a project. This also meant learning how to balance being independent with asking for direction and help at the right times.” Carollyne may be a familiar face to many as she is the project coordinator with Manitoba Beef Producers and the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative. Kristine Blair Kristine is in the final stages of her master’s program looking at increasing protein intake to improve the efficiency and reduce methane losses of backgrounding cattle fed forage diets. She sees the direct benefits of research to her home farm. “As a producer I think about efficiency of my cattle – if they are burping one in ten bales out to the atmosphere as methane, I am losing money. If I can lower this wasted energy, I save money by having more efficient cows,” says Blair. Raised on a cow-calf operation in Woodside Manitoba, environmental stewardship, protection of waterways and sustainability were a part of everyday farming. Through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Cattlemen’s Young Leader program, Kristine was provided the opportunity to mentor under Jeffery Fitzpatrick-Stillwell, Manager of Sustainability for McDonald’s Canada, and to take part in discussions around defining sustainable beef with McDonald’s and members of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. “The non-textbook “education through experience” I gained and the connections I made during my time as a student are my greatest assets,” notes Blair. “Being involved with the team at the University of Manitoba has vastly increased my network within the industry.” Connecting with the cattle industry These students have already begun to make their mark on the cattle industry. In addition to his full-time position as industry liaison, Sean maintains a purebred Shorthorn breeding herd in southwest Manitoba, is currently a director with the Manitoba Shorthorn Association, and was previously the Shorthorn breed rep at the

Douglas Manitoba Bull Test Station. Sean has also had the opportunity to speak with the Canadian Shorthorn Association and producers at the Douglas Bull Test Station AGM about RFI. “RFI wasn’t on their radar. I was able to share with them how RFI can be one of the tools used for selecting their breeding herd,” says Thompson. Last year Carollyne and her husband purchased a small number of cows, and intend to grow their Verified Beef herd in the future. As project coordinator with Manitoba Beef Producers and the Beef and Forage Initiative, Carollyne is in regular communication with cattle farmers and with those conducting projects with the two entities. She sees her role as evolving to include extension as she shifts to planning producer events and speaking at them. During her studies she wrote an article for (Cows on the mooove! Commercial cattle transport research, Nov. 2013, p. 12) and presented her research findings, as well as her experiences as a Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Cattlemen’s Young Leader under the mentorship of Betty Green, to the Manitoba Beef Producers. Kristine and her husband Graham Tapley currently own land and cattle and are both committed to their industry. She sits on the board of the Green Tree Cattle Feeders and is the secretary treasurer for the Benchlandw, a group that promotes quality forage and grazing practices by renting and lending out equipment to producers in the Gladstone area. In 2015 Kristine and Graham received The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba for their mine restoration project and their overall approach to farming. Kristine has also written an article for Cattle Country (Defining what is sustainable beef, Mar. 2015, p. 17) and was the recipient of the Canadian Society of Animal Science student oral presentation award in Ottawa earlier this year. Watch for future Cattle Country articles by Sean, Carollyne and Kristine featuring their research project findings.

Mark your calendar for: MAR MAC FARMS NEW GENERATION FEMALE SALE SUNDAY DECEMBER 13, 2015, at Mar Mac Farms, Brandon, MB Selling are 50 lots of Red Angus. Red and Black Simmental Bred females , heifer calves and commercial packages Watch the next cattle country for details or www.marmacfarms.net Mar Mac Farms 204-728-3058 www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Teichroeb an active MBP director In 2000, Langruth rancher and District 8 director Tom Teichroeb moved out from Alberta with his family to build a home for themselves in Manitoba, establishing A8 Ranch along the western shore of Lake Manitoba. In the years since, Teichroeb has experienced all the highs and lows that come with the job of being a Manitoba beef producer and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Visiting the property in the fall and winter, Teichroeb chose the region around Lake Manitoba as his homestead for its available and affordable real estate, as well as its apparent potential for forage production. “Thinking back, maybe we were lured in a little too much by the tall grass sticking through the snow that may not have necessarily been great forage,” says Teichroeb with a laugh. “At the time, the land base was underutilized, with de-

teriorating infrastructure and a lack of good perimeter fencing. But we took it on as a challenge and have worked on it ever since, transforming it into something that works for us.” Teichroeb is joined on the ranch by his wife, Michelle, and his two children, Madison and Regan. Michelle works alongside Teichroeb on the ranch wherever possible and also works from home as an architectural technologist; her profession since before moving to Manitoba. Michelle can also be found at the local elementary school as an educational assistant. With approximately 4,000 acres of pastureland and 550 acres of forage production, A8 Ranch is a 350 head cow-calf operation of mostly black and red Simmental-cross cattle with a significant amount of British breed in them for a moderate frame and durability. The ranch’s bull power is black and red Simmental and black and red Simmental-cross with between 25 to 50 per cent

SUBMITTED PHOTO

PAUL ADAIR

MBP District 8 Director Tom Teichroeb, his wife Michelle and their daughters Madison and Regan.

Angus. Teichroeb also backgrounds his steer and heifer calves in conjunction with a neighbour to reduce

November

2015 Fall Sale Schedule

October

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Monday, Oct 5 Wednesday, Oct 7 Monday, Oct 12 Wednesday, Oct 14 Thursday, Oct 15 Monday, Oct 19 Wednesday, Oct 21 Monday, Oct 26 Wednesday, Oct 28 Friday, Oct 30 Monday, Nov 2 Wednesday, Nov 4 Friday, Nov 6 Monday, Nov 9 Wednesday, Nov 11 Friday, Nov 13 Monday, Nov 16 Wednesday, Nov 18 Friday, Nov 20 Monday, Nov 23 Wednesday, Nov 25 Friday, Nov 27 Monday, Nov 30

Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM NO SALE – open 10AM for Feeder Deliveries Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Angus Influence Sheep, Lamb & Goat Sale 12 Noon Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Charolais Influence Regular Cattle Sale 9AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Angus Influence Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Regular Cattle Sale 9AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Angus Influence Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10AM Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM

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overhead costs and to pick up greater efficiencies in his operations. Teichroeb first became involved with the Manitoba Beef Producers shortly after he moved to the province. At the time, Teichroeb was admittedly fairly ambivalent towards the association as he was not yet familiar with Manitoba’s beef community and specific regional issues as compared to those in Alberta and the other provinces. “We are quite diverse here in Canada in what each region offers and has in terms of issues and challenges,” says Teichroeb. “Coming to my first meetings was more about learning to understand the various challenges that producers in Manitoba face on an ongoing basis.” It was not long before Teichroeb decided to become more involved with the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), eventually becoming director of District 8. Teichroeb views serving with MBP as part of his responsibility as cattle rancher and encourages all ranchers to at least consider taking up a role with the association and helping to contribute to the growth of it. “We reap so much from the cattle industry ­­­— and our livelihood depends so much on it — that I couldn’t imagine not wanting to be a part of the process and make it a better place for the next generation of beef producers,” says Teichroeb. “Why

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wouldn’t people want to part of it is beyond me. It is such a crucial thing for us that, as producers, we really need to take that extra step and participate in setting the policies that determine the growth of our industry.” Teichroeb is concerned by the apathy from those in the industry and feels that producers sometimes take too many services and privileges for granted; particularly when the marketplace is favourable. MBP and the beef industry will benefit if more producers take an active role and become knowledgeable about the industry. “It is at times like this, when the industry is in a better place, that we need to be extremely careful we make good business decisions,” says Teichroeb. “We have to be able to make informed and prudent investments into our industry so that should times get tough – and it’s not a question of if but when — we are ready for it.” In his time as District 8 director, Teichroeb has taken an interest in foreign trade coupled with domestic ag committees. These committees focus on lobbying for more global market opportunities and help shape various agricultural policies and programs. Teichrob is also keenly interested in the environmental farm practices and holistic research, adopting what he can into his own ranch processes. When not ranching, Teichroeb and his wife

spend as much time as possible with their family and getting involved with the community, whether that is being part of the local theatre, coaching baseball during the summer,or teaching skating to the kids through the cold winter months. Teichroeb also has a very simple recipe for preparing beef; cooking steaks an inch thick as rare as possible to get as much flavour as possible. “For me, the ribe-eye steak is the number one item on my menu,” says Teichroeb. “It’s a wonderful and healthy feast that sometimes goes really well with a beer.” Teichroeb knows that no matter how successful a rancher you may be, there will always many challenges to overcome. From drought to floods to B.S.E., nobody ever said that the life of a Manitoba beef producer would be easy. And while that may be true, it is a life Teichroeb thoroughly enjoys and – when pressed – a life that he cannot find any issues with. “I consider what I do to be a privilege,” says Teichroeb. “And I would venture to guess that there aren’t a lot of people out there who could say the same thing about waking up every morning and realizing what a gift it is to be doing exactly what they’ve always wanted to do. There is really nothing that I don’t enjoy about my job and I hope that I can do this for the rest of my life.”


October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Follow-up on resolutions carried at MBP’s 36th AGM Maureen Cousins MBP Policy Analyst

At MBP’s 36th Annual General Meeting, 39 resolutions on matters of concern to our province’s beef producers were debated. Of these, 28 were carried, 10 defeated and one withdrawn as it was nearly identical to another resolution being debated. MBP directors and staff employ a number of different strategies to try to advance issues on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers. These include but are not limited to: letter writing campaigns; one-on-one meetings with elected officials and staff at the federal, provincial and municipal level; working with allied stakeholders in areas of mutual interest and concern; and providing feedback at every opportunity when governments are holding public consultations on issues such as water management, business risk management programs, veterinary services, environmental regulations and other key topics. It is important to note that MBP has been advocating for solutions to some of these challenges for several years, an indication of the slow pace at which public policy change sometimes proceeds. The following is a short update the advocacy activities MBP is undertaking with respect to these carried resolutions. They have been categorized by general topic. A. Assurance Fund Origin: District 3 1. Whereas increases to livestock dealer bond levels and the current status quo are not acceptable. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to investigate dealer assurance programming. MBP is currently examining the cost of establishing a dealer assurance fund, such as the amount of per head check-off required to make the fund viable. Members attending the district meetings will be asked to fill out a short survey indicating whether or not they are interested in supporting the establishment of such a fund, and at what per head contribution level. B. Production Management Origin: District 1 2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to provide agricultural landowners, whose primary income is from agriculture production, with an annual elk and/or moose hunting licence on their property. There are restrictions on moose hunting in certain regions of the province due to population challenges. MBP is seeking clarification from Conservation and Water Stewardship whether there are landowner licenses available for each Game Hunting Area and asking under what circumstances the provincial government would consider providing agricultural landowners with an annual elk and/ or moose hunting licence on their property. Origin: District 8 3. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to provide a better brand registry system that is more accessible to the public and which includes clearer guidelines on acceptable brands that will minimize ineffective brandings and negative animal welfare consequences. MBP will be making additional information about the provincial government’s brand registry available in an upcoming edition of Cattle Country. To apply to register a brand call (204) 945-7672 for more information or go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/permits-and-licences/pubs/application_registration_brand.pdf There is also information about branding procedures in Section 4.3 (Identification) of the updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle. See: https:// www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle . C. Bovine Tuberculosis Origin: District 8 4. Whereas producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area are testing their animals for bovine tuberculosis and their actions are benefiting the Canadian beef industry. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to provide proper

compensation for the time to muster animals and the loss of animal production due to testing of their livestock for bovine tuberculosis and that the rate be $16/head. For many years MBP has sought financial support from both the federal and provincial governments for producers required to present their cattle for bovine TB surveillance. These efforts continue, both through the efforts of MBP and with assistance from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. D. Domestic Agriculture Policies and Programs Origin: Nearly identical resolutions came forward in Districts 1 and 8 on the following matter and therefore they were combined for debate. 5. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial and federal governments to expand the needs-based forage feed assistance program to include the entire province to assist producers impacted by the 2014 excess moisture crisis. Throughout and following the 2014 flood and excess moisture events MBP sought needs-based programs to help affected producers, including forage shortfall and transportation assistance. The Canada-Manitoba Forage Shortfall and Transportation Initiative was launched in November 2014. While the AgriRecovery program was beneficial to some, unfortunately it did not help all the affected producers. MBP has cited concerns about the program with both elected federal and provincial officials and their staff and is providing feedback on this as part of its submission to the provincial government’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force. During times of disaster MBP is seeking the timely delivery of bankable programs to ensure producers can move quickly through and beyond these crises. Origin: District 1

6. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba in regards to excess moisture deductibles in areas declared disasters, and the increase in deductibles be waived for the year following the disaster. MBP is raising this concern in meetings with the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) and the Minister of Agriculture. MBP is also raising this idea in its submission to the province’s Agricultural Risk Management Review Task Force. Origin: District 2 7. Whereas certain circumstances require efficient and prompt animal health treatment and animal welfare could be compromised, and Whereas the safety of the producer can be at risk when tagging mature animals. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure reasonable enforcement of CCIA tags when transporting animals to vet clinics for routine or emergency procedures and then returning to the herd of origin, and to provide a venue to hear the concerns from producers to ensure continued support for traceability systems. MBP continues to identify challenges around certain tagging requirements with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, both locally and through MBP’s involvement with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. MBP is exploring the possibility of holding an information session with the CFIA at our 37th Annual General Meeting in Brandon in February so producers can ask CFIA staff about their regulatory requirements. Watch future editions of Cattle Country for details. Origin: District 4

2015 Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup would personally like to thank their supporters and exhibitors for another successful, educational, fun weekend in Neepawa, MB July 31 - August 2, 2015.

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JUDGES: Chad Haaland, Cody Allison, Melinda German (Manitoba Beef Producers), Chuck Terin (Enns Brothers), Betty Green (Verified Beef), Andrew Kopeechuk, Jessica Hobbs, Cynthia Wirgau, Michelle Allison, Laura Horner VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE: Lois McRae , Chairperson: Rilla Hunter Treasurer: Vonda Hopcraft, Secretary: Blair McRae, Andrea Bertholet,Wenda Best, Travis Hunter, Ken and Karen Williams, Albert Rimke, Naomi Best, Candace Johnston, Melissa McRae, Michelle Allison ,Kolton McIntosh, Justin Kristjansson, Adrianne Vandersluis,Nanette Glover, Raina Syrnyk and Samantha Rimke

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING ROUNDUP 2015 www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

Follow up on resolutions

8. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to work with the provincial and federal governments to reopen previously closed markets, as well as the opening of new international markets that will continue to benefit the Canadian and Manitoba beef industry. For years MBP has continuously requested that federal and provincial governments pursue actions to reopen closed markets and to gain entry into new markets and will continue to do so. It has done this at the local level and through its involvement with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). MBP encourages producers to bring the importance of trade to the attention of all candidates seeking office in the current federal election, as well as the Manitoba election which will be held next spring. To view the CCA’s federal election priorities visit: http://www.cattle. ca/assets/CCA-Federal-Election-Information-2015-finaldraft.pdf Origin: District 4 9. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation and other lending institutions to review and implement new policies on loans for breeding stock to encourage more uptake by using current prices instead of a 5-year average. MBP will be seeking clarification from MASC and the Farm Credit Corporation (FCC) on how their lending policies are arrived at and how often they are re-evaluated. Watch future editions of Cattle Country for additional updates. For information on MASC’s lending programs visit https://www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/lending.html or call one of their lending offices https://www.masc.mb.ca/masc. nsf/contact.html. For information on FCC’s lending programs visit https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/we-finance/primary-producers/loan-product-list.html. Origin: District 4 10. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to allow the import of all forms of straw into Manitoba from the United States. The federal government, through the Plant Protection Act, has a number of restrictions on which types of products can be imported into Canada in order to reduce the likelihood of a plant disease, pest or invasive or noxious weed being introduced. MBP will seek clarification from the CFIA about their policies for moving straw into Canada during times of drought, flooding or another disaster. Among the regulated commodities are straw, hay and compost of barley, oats, rye, triticale and wheat, as a recognized pathway of Tilletia indica, wheat attacking strains of Urocystis agropyri, Tilletia controversa, and Oulema melanopus. The only general exemption cited is as follows: “Small quantities of hay or straw carried in vehicles only for intransit use by animals are exempt from the import and domestic requirements identified in this directive. If disposed of in Canada, this hay or straw must be deposited in an area where it will be disposed of by burial or burning (where approved) in a municipal landfill.” For more information about the list of import restrictions on straw originating from the US see: • http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/directives/grains-and-field-crops/d-99-01/eng/13

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23851002191/1323851170800#c4 • http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/directives/date/d-99-01/eng/1323851002191/1323 851229065 Origin: District 6 11. Whereas there are concerns around the enforcement and compliance policies of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers pursue with the CFIA and other federal officials the need for a third party appeal process for producers who have concerns related to enforcement and compliance policies administered by the CFIA. Many producers may not be aware of it, but the CFIA launched a Complaints and Appeals Office in 2012. Its purpose is to allow stakeholders to register complaints and appeals related to quality of service, administrative errors and regulatory decisions. Complaints can be made online or via email, mail, telephone or fax. Complaints should be made within 12 months. See: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/aboutthe-cfia/accountability/complaints-and-appeals/ eng/1365098638147/1365098743944 As noted earlier in this article, MBP is looking into the possibility of having CFIA officials at its upcoming AGM to answer producer questions and concerns about enforcement policies and to explain how the Complaints and Appeals process works. MBP will also be writing to the Minister Responsible for the CFIA requesting that the Complaints and Appeals Office be independent. Origin: District 6 12. Whereas a significant number of producers who lease agricultural Crown lands have been affected by flooding and excess moisture conditions in recent years; and Whereas in order to retain their leases producers are expected to continue making payments on the lands, even though they may not be usable. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to review agricultural Crown land policies to ensure that affected producers retain the right to use these lands, at a reduced rental rate, until such time as normal production resumes, and then normal rental rates resume. In 2015 MBP has had several discussions with the Minister of Agriculture and Agricultural Crown Lands staff about existing Crown lands policies and how they could be enhanced for the benefit of Manitoba’s beef industry. MBP will continue to advocate with them for reduced rental rates when Crown lands are affected by adverse conditions. Additionally, there is a process by which producers can appeal their rental rate. They should contact their local Agricultural Crown Lands staff for more information. To find their offices visit: http://www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/contact/index.html. Origin: District 8 13. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Public Insurance for cost effective and/ or reduced rates and prompt settlements for commercial trucks hauling livestock and ensure independent, third party arbitrators to settle disputes. Individuals who are not satisfied with the outcome of a claim they make through Manitoba Public Insurance do have an opportunity to go through an appeals process, such as an independent appraisal process. For details see: https://www.mpi.mb.ca/en/Claims/Vehicle/Collision-Appeals/Pages/options.aspx MPI’s rates are set based on factors such as risk classification (location, type of use, type of vehicle and driving record) and on actuarial principles (e.g. rates tied directly to costs, minimization of cross subsidization between customers, etc.). MPI goes through a comprehensive rate setting process annually with the Public Utilities Board. See: http://www.mpi.mb.ca/en/Newsroom/Rate-Application/ Pages/2015/Volume_1/Vol_I_SM_05_RateSettingFramework.pdf MBP will be seeking additional clarification from MPI about its policies. If after dealing with MPI a customer is still not satisfied about how their issue was handled they can also contact the Provincial Ombudsman’s office at 204982-9130 seeking guidance and a possible review of your complaint. Origin: The following resolution was a combination of two separate resolutions arising from Districts 10 and 11 that were very similar in the topic being addressed. 14. Whereas the Manitoba Trappers program and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation compensa-

www.mbbeef.ca

tion programs are not effective in eliminating problem wolves and providing compensation due to the requirement of a carcass as proof of loss. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation for a $300 incentive for trappers and hunters to deal with wolves in problem areas; and Be it further resolved that the timeline for trappers be extended to address the problem wolves in defined areas. MBP co-chairs the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group (LPPWG). It includes representatives from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Manitoba Trappers Association and others. The LPPWG’s purpose is to review existing predator management initiatives and to provide recommendations to the provincial government around improved strategies and tools to deal with predation in Manitoba. MBP has had ongoing discussions with the province and with the LPPWG about the matters identified in this resolution, including the need to provide trappers with more time to help address problem predators in specific areas. Progress is being made on this front. Recently the province increased the number of hours a trapper can work on a difficult case from 24 hours to up to 40 hours, with the possibility of a further extension. Additionally, trappers’ hourly wage for work through the Problem Predator Management Program has been raised from $12 to $15 by the provincial government. MBP believes both these developments will be helpful. MBP is also looking at submitting a multi-pronged proposal under Growing Forward 2 around predation issues and possible management strategies. Potential components could include: the use of on-farm risk assessments to help reduce predator-livestock interactions; workshops to provide producers and trappers with opportunities for engagement and knowledge sharing; deadstock management workshops; and, a possible mentorship program to train the next generation of trappers. MBP also continues to raise concerns with the province about predator levels. Origin: District 11 15. Whereas the current compensation provided by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) for predator-slashed calves does not reflect the true costs associated with supplies, medicine and labour involved in the treatment of the calves when administered by the producer. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby MASC to pay the producer all reasonable costs associated with treating predator-slashed calves. MBP continues to raise concerns with MASC and the Minister of Agriculture about the adequacy of compensation levels for producers whose animals are lost or injured by predators. MBP will be consulting with MASC and the Minister as to whether a policy change is required to take into account the producers’ labor costs associated with treating the animals. Current MASC policy states “All reasonable veterinary and medical expenses (to the applicable value of the animal) incurred to treat injured livestock are covered. Should the animal die after receiving proper veterinary care, the producer may be eligible for additional compensation (to the maximum value of the livestock less the veterinary and medical expenses previously paid).” Origin: District 11 16. Be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to stop the relocation of problem animals from one place to another. MBP is seeking clarification from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship about their policies for relocating wildlife and requesting that wildlife not be relocated in close proximity to livestock operations. Origin: District 13 17. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to lobby the Government of Manitoba for the removal of the 10 per cent deductible on predation claims. In November 2010 the provincial government announced the compensation level would increase to 90 per cent in the 2011-12 fiscal year, and to 100 per cent in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The increase to the 100 per cent compensation level has not yet occurred. MBP continues to ask that this commitment be met. Origin: District 10


October 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Follow up on resolutions 18. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to enable packers to reduce the costs associated with the removal and disposal of Specified Risk Materials to ensure the viability of the packing industry in Manitoba. MBP recognizes that the federal government’s SRM requirements are financially onerous for small processors and abattoirs. At one time there was the Canada-Manitoba Specified Risk Material Disposal Funding Program to help processors adapt to the changes but it has long since expired. MBP continues to raise this issue with federal and provincial officials. MBP has also discussed this issue with the CCA as it is a concern nationally. E. Water Management Origin: District 5 19. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers support organizations involved in long-term water management strategies that support enhanced agricultural practices. Dealing with water-related challenges is an ongoing task for MBP’s directors and staff. MBP supports organizations such as the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, Assiniboine Valley Producers, Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee, the Southwest Flood Strategy Committee and others striving to find short and long-term solutions to water management issues in Manitoba related to excess moisture, flooding and drought. MBP regularly provides feedback when governments are engaging in public consultations on water management (flooding, excess moisture, drought, water quality), and seeks out one-on-one meetings with appropriate Ministers as issues and concerns arise. Most recently this has included providing feedback on water management issues to the province’s Agricultural Risk Management Review Task Force. As well, this fall the provincial government will be consulting on the operations of the Shellmouth Dam and MBP will provide comments on that as well. Note: An identical resolution was carried as follows in Districts 9 and 10 and so the issue was only debated once. 20. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to construct an outlet on Lake Manitoba to match the daily inflow from the Portage Diversion, in order to stop the negative impacts on beef and forage production and the rural economy in Manitoba. MBP maintains its position that a second outlet should be built as swiftly as possible and will continue to pursue its position with federal and provincial officials (both elected and civil servants) at every opportunity that presents itself. MBP also asked that the CCA include a reference to the need for infrastructure solutions to Manitoba’s water challenges be included in its federal election priorities document and this was included when it was released on August 17. MBP strongly encourages producers to raise this issue with candidates during the current federal and upcoming provincial election. Note: An identical resolution was carried as follows in Districts 9 and 11 and so the issue was only debated once. 21. Whereas the Government of Manitoba prevented water from leaving the Shoal lakes areas, thus increasing water levels to the point of flooding roads and making them impassable. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to open provincial roads 415 and 416 to alleviate the devastation on the rural economy. For several years MBP has advocated for lasting solutions to the flood problems associated with the Shoal lakes and to restore lost provincial road access which has proven costly, time consuming and otherwise disruptive for all who are forced to take lengthy detours. We will continue to do so. Origin: District 11 22. Whereas the Government of Manitoba has put forward two committees to review the Lake Manitoba levels and have accepted their own recommendations to maintain the lake level at 810 to 812 feet asl. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to honour their own recommended operating range for Lake Manitoba of 810 to 812 feet asl. MBP will continue to advocate for the Manitoba government to maintain Lake Manitoba’s level at 810 to 812 asl and will advance this position in any additional consultations on the matter. Origin: District 11 23. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to lower the level of the

Shoal lakes with a controlled drain. MBP has and will continue to lobby for lasting solutions to the Shoal lakes flooding, including the creation of an outlet. F. Traceability Origin: District 14 24. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers support research around new technology related to permanent forms of animal identification. MBP provides feedback to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) about challenges producers are experiencing with the existing animal identification system. MBP also liaises with researchers and with organizations such as the Beef Cattle Research Council about whether new research could help address these challenges. H. Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council Origin: District 10 25. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to ensure that a forensic audit will be conducted on the financial affairs of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council and that the results be made public. In response to ongoing producer questions MBP has repeatedly requested that the provincial government conduct an audit of the operations of the MCEC to determine how producer check-off dollars were used. MBP will write one more letter to Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn requesting an audit of the MCEC’s activities and advise producers of the outcome of this request. J. Late Resolutions 26. Whereas night lighting is a dangerous practice that poses a real danger to cattle producers and their cattle; and Whereas the 2014 Manitoba Hunting Guide states “Status Indians may not discharge a rifle or shotgun at night where it is dangerous to do so.”; and Whereas the above statement indicates that Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship deems night lighting and the discharge of rifles and shotguns at night to be a safe practice in some unspecified areas of Manitoba; and Whereas Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship has failed to define safe or unsafe night hunting areas of Manitoba. Be it resolved Manitoba Beef Producers shall lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to produce and make public a map that clearly displays those areas of Manitoba in which Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship deems night lighting to be a safe practice; and Be it further resolved MBP shall request Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship produce a list of those jurisdictions in Canada that consider the discharge of rifles and shotguns at night (night lighting) to be a safe hunting practice. MBP is seeking clarification about the provincial government’s existing policies with respect to hunting at night and the need to ensure the safety of people, livestock and property. This will include contact with the provincial Conservation and Water Stewardship and Justice ministers, as well as the federal justice minister. 27. Whereas numerous acts and regulations govern livestock production in Canada, including ones setting out specific environmental policies and procedures around manure management; and Whereas when it comes to environmental regulations there is a lack of continuity around specific parameters between the Prairie provinces, such as stocking densities, or the variation in what constitutes an animal unit in Alberta (one cow, two feed cattle) versus Saskatchewan (one cow, 1.5 feeder cattle) versus Manitoba (0.8 beef cow, 1.3 feeder cattle); and Whereas differences between these three provinces around similar types of environmental regulations means Manitoba producers can incur significant added costs to meet the province’s regulatory requirements compared to their counterparts in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and Whereas having a level playing field on the regulatory side is important to the competitiveness of all beef producers. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to work toward the harmonization of regulations for the western provinces to ensure Manitoba’s beef industry remains competitive. MBP will continue to request that all levels of govern-

www.mbbeef.ca

ments adopt science-based environmental policies. MBP is concerned that non-science based reactions to environmental and health issues may result in significant losses by our producers and by the Manitoba economy without furthering the goals of protecting citizens or the environment. 28. Whereas Manitoba Hydro is either constructing new transmission lines (Bipole III) or in the process of finalizing routes for new transmission lines (proposed Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project), lines and towers that will traverse valuable agricultural lands used for livestock, forage and crop production; and Whereas Manitoba’s agricultural producers deserve meaningful assurances from the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro that the construction and ongoing maintenance of these lines will not result in adverse impacts to their operations, such as biosecurity risks, impediments to production, reduced land values and potential liability issues, among other factors; and Whereas agricultural producers believe that Manitoba Hydro and its agents should be engaging in ongoing two-way discussions with affected producers about potential transmission line routing and tower placement to ensure the least possible disruption to their livestock and other agricultural operations; and Whereas all Manitoba agricultural producers are entitled to fair compensation, either when hydro transmission lines and towers cross their land or when their land is expropriated for such projects. Therefore be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro to provide detailed assurances that the following will be made available to all agricultural producers: ongoing and substantive two-way discussions about transmission line routes and tower placements; fair compensation, either for line and tower placement on producers’ land or in the event of expropriation; a choice of payment methods; access to an independent appeal process producers can use if they are not satisfied with decisions around line and tower routing placement or in relation to compensation or expropriation payments; and, an ongoing mechanism to address any concerns that may arise as lines and towers are built, put into use and maintained. MBP has had past discussions with Manitoba Hydro about the importance of the Crown agency and its contractor adhering to sound biosecurity practices during the construction and maintenance phases of its projects. MBP will continue to engage with Hydro about the importance of addressing producer concerns in this area, and also with respect to the need for fair compensation for those affected by Hydro projects.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2015

PHOTO BY MAUREEN COUSINS

Seize the last of the barbecue season

Barbecue Rotisserie Top Sirloin Roast 3 lbs 1.5 kg Top Sirloin Oven or Rotisserie Roast 1 ½ cups (350 mL) lager beer ¾ cups (175 mL) ketchup 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/3 cups (75 mL) EACH balsamic vinegar and brown sugar 3 Tbsp (45 mL) EACH Dijon mustard and paprika Salt and Pepper seasoning Combine all ingredients (except beef) in large sealable freezer bag. Pierce roast all over with a fork. Add roast to bag and refrigerate maximum 4 hours. Reserve marinade. Heat marinade of medium heat and bring to a boil, stir occasionally until marinade reduces to a barbecue sauce consistency. To cook on a rotisserie, place drip pan with ½ inch (1 cm) water on top of grill. Using medium-high heat, preheat barbecue to 400°F (200°C). Insert spit rod lengthwise through centre of roast; secure with holding forks. Insert meat thermometer into middle of roast avoiding spit rod. Reduce heat to medium heat 300°F (150°C) after the first 20 minutes once the exterior of the roast has developed a browned crust. Baste roast with barbecue sauce once every 30minutes. Cook at constant heat, in closed barbecue, to desired doneness: 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare; 155°F (68°C) for medium. The roast will continue to cook once removed from the spit, remove from heat five degrees before desired doneness. Remove roast to cutting board; cover with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve into thin slices to serve. Tip: No Rotisserie? No Problem! Place roast on grill over drip pan inserted underneath grill grates on one side of the barbecue. Turn heat off just under the roast and cook as above. Makes 6 servings

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and will feed a crowd, remember to slice this great cut across the grain. Other great choices are round steaks, inside, outside, eye of round, hump, minute or quick fry steaks are lean and mild in flavour. The inside round steak is the most tender of the bunch, and can hold strong to any bold flavour you toss its way. Try a sesame ginger marinade for something tasty and different. • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger handful of chopped green onions. Finally the sirloin tip is a flavourful choice for a marinating steak. This cut is often found whole as a roast however, can easily be sliced into one-inch steaks. Sirloin Tip is very lean with minimal marbling which means manual tenderizing with a fork is necessary before adding a marinade. Choosing the best grilling steak is simple thanks to easy to read labels that read “GRILLING STEAK.” This indicates that these cuts of beef will be buttery, tender and require no marinating time. Grilling steaks do very well with a simple sprinkling of seasoning and can be broiled or grilled right

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The end of outdoor cooking is approaching and Manitobans should make the most of this fabulous season. Cooking meals in the close comfort of your backyard or while out camping within the beauty of Mother Nature is sure to make any prepared meal special. Let’s go over great tips for choosing either marinating or non-marinating cuts of beef for outdoor grilling and finish with a brand new beef recipe from this year’s season of Great Tastes of Manitoba. Outdoor cooking brings out the best in us; maybe it’s the fresh air, the aroma of charcoal crusted steaks or the sound of family playing in the yard. There is something magical about the taste of beef cooked on the grill. Choosing the right marinating steak is simple, listed are the most common cuts found at the supermarket. Marinating cuts will require being manually tenderized with a fork and benefit from marinating for 8-24 hours however, will result in fork tender high on flavour main courses. Marinating steaks are a great weeknight option that can be pulled out of the fridge after work and grilled in minutes. Flank steak can take on just about any marinade

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away. Each grilling steak does of course have its own flavour and texture profiles. The Rolls Royce of cuts is tenderloin; this is a beautiful lean cut that can be used in sophisticated dishes like steak tartar or beef carpaccio. Beef tenderloin can be seen on menus listed as fillet mignon or beef fillet and truly requires only a good sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Another great grilling steak is a classic cowboy ribeye cut, heavily marbled, with a buttery rich taste. A personal favourite of mine is the top sirloin cut. This is a budget friendly all-star. A tender cut with great beef flavor, this steak cut can handle a more robust seasoning rub if desired. I like to do a Cajun rub on top sirloin steaks once and a while and finish them off with a bit of butter once off the barbecue. The New York striploin steak is known for its outstanding flavour and good marbling although, not as tender as ribeye, it’s a lean option with beefy flavour. T-bone steak, popularly known as the porterhouse on menus; is large enough to share with someone special. This cut of beef gets its name from the T-shaped bone that separates the larger striploin and the smaller tenderloin on the other. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me! Once finding the perfect cut of beef join me Oct. 10 on CTV at 6:30 p.m. in the evening. Great Tastes of Manitoba has put together an exciting season with a new host, radio personality Dez Daniels and has included Manitoba Beef Producers in filming an episode in a beautiful outdoor kitchen. It was a whole lot of fun and finally an opportunity to highlight barbecue beef! Honestly, one of the best ways to enhance beefs natural delicious flavour. I encourage you to keep cooking beef dinners outdoors as long as the weather permits and let’s together hope for a mild winter that will allow for a longer outdoor grilling season. Tune in October 10th for a fantastic family pleasing barbecue rotisserie top sirloin roast, this recipe makes 2 cups of homemade barbecue sauce that will become a staple in your refrigerator! Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with a succulent beef roast. Thanks for reading.


POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

JEANNETTE GREAVES PHOTO PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

NOVEMBER 2015

McDonald’s exec speaks at U of M Page 4

Can insurance keep pace? Page 10

TPP agreement reached

Page 3


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

2015 district meetings underway Manitoba Beef Producers’ 2015 district meeting schedule is underway. The first of 14 meetings was held Oct. 26 in Eriksdale, which is located in District 11. Although MBP encourages members to attend their district meetings each year, this year’s meetings will be of particular interest as they will include a discussion of the proposed National Checkoff increase. At the Canada Beef annual meeting in September, a resolution was passed to increase the checkoff from $1 to $2.50. (For more, please see the article on page 5.) “We strongly encourage all of our members to attend their district meetings,” said MBP President Heinz Reimer. “This is a member-driven association and their input will help shape our focus and direction over the next year. It is important for members to attend their district meeting and have a

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

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

say in the future of their industry. “The presentation on the National Beef Strategy and potential National Check Off increase will be of particular interest to members. Representatives from national industry groups will be in attendance at some of the meetings to discuss this further.” A variety of other topics will be covered at the meetings. They include a review of MBP’s finances, its advocacy work on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers, and updates on key industry developments and trends. In districts 7, 12 and 13 where bovine TB is a concern there

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

will also be an update on current initiatives related to that. There will be a presentation on Canada’s National Beef Strategy and the future vision it outlines for the Canadian cattle industry. Members will also have an opportunity to provide input on the future of the organization by submitting resolutions that will be voted on at the Annual General Meeting which is scheduled for Feb. 4 and 5 in Brandon. A short survey will be distributed asking producers to indicate whether or not they support the creation of a dealer assurance fund, a matter put

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING

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

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB

PETER PENNER

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

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

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

forth in a resolution at the 36th MBP AGM. Elections for directors will also be held in even numbered districts this year. A new director will be selected for District 10 as current director Theresa Zuk has reached her term limit and will be retiring. “We strongly encourage our members to attend their district meeting,” said MBP general manager Melinda German. “This year’s meetings will be of particular interest to members as there are a number of important issues to discuss and inform our members of.” Each meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. An advertisement with all of the dates and locations can be found on page 14 of this month’s issue. There is no cost for members to attend the meetings and a beef on a bun supper will also be served at each venue.

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS Unit 220, 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4

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

GENERAL MANAGER Melinda German

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Chad Saxon

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn

www.mbbeef.ca


3

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Canadian beef will benefit from TPP RON FRIESEN Canadian cattle producers are predicting a major increase in beef exports to Asian countries, especially Japan, as a result of the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. “Japan is the prize in this deal,” Dave Solverson, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president, told Cattle Country after a tentative TPP agreement was announced October 5. The deal, when approved and implemented, will see Japanese import tariffs on Canadian beef fall from 38.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent immediately and eventually down to nine per cent in 15 years. The drop in tariffs will

mean a sizeable boost in Canadian beef entering Japan, Solverson predicted. “Our indicators are that it could double quite quickly and even as much as triple because that tariff has been such a prohibitive thing,” he said. Japan is currently Canada’s fourth largest market for beef after the United States, Mexico and Hong Kong. In 2014, Japan imported 19,000 tonnes of Canadian beef worth $103 million. Solverson said other emerging Asian markets such as Malaysia and Vietnam also look promising, although the two countries are not traditionally big beef consumers. The TPP is an agreement between 12 countries, includ-

Dave Solverson ing Canada, on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Canada already has duty free access with some of them and the TPP will increase the competitiveness of Canadian beef in the others,

CCA says. Solverson said a big advantage of having a signed trade deal is that countries have to abide by its rules and can’t just impose trade barriers if they feel like it. “Part of the value of a multilateral deal like the TPP is that it becomes rules-based trade and they can’t just throw up technical barriers without it being science-based.” The TPP still has a long way to go before it actually comes into force. Negotiators were still working on a final text in October. All 12 nations must then ratify the agreement. Political opposition could play a role in some countries, including the U.S., which is entering an elec-

tion year and the deal could become an issue. Already, front running candidates including Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans have expressed either reservations or outright opposition to the TPP. Even if countries do ratify the deal, some pundits suggest it could take up to five years for any meaningful trade benefits to show. But Solverson said he didn’t believe it will take nearly that long. He also said it was essential for Canada to be at the table from the outset or it would have lost the tariff advantages which other countries got. “We would have had to concede the market.”

Accessing Crown lands for your farm operation SUBMITTED BY MAFRD The Manitoba government encourages sustainable use of Crown land for multiple uses. You can lease Crown land that is suitable for agricultural use for grazing or haying, depending on the capability of the land. Crown land is advertised in the fall and the land for rent can be found on the Manitoba government’s website at www. manitoba.ca/agriculture/land/crownland/leasing-program.html. To apply to rent or lease agricultural Crown land, the following conditions apply, you must be: • 18 years of age

• a Canadian citizen or a person with must be qualified to carry on business landed Canadian immigrant status in Manitoba and all shareholders must • a resident in Manitoba meet eligibility requirements • actively involved in the management of The allocation of land is based on the leased land a scoring process from the information You must: provided in your application. • perform most of the labour on the • Interested clients meet with their land. local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and • own sufficient livestock or demonstrate Rural Development (MAFRD) farm ownership of sufficient livestock. production extension specialist to com• properly use the land within one year - plete an application and questionnaire, of the date of approval. which supplies the information used in • the entire land base, private and the land allocation process. The proCrown, must not exceed a carrying ca- cess uses a scoring system which awards pacity of 4,800 animal unit months points to an applicant based on the fol• if your company is a corporation, it lowing factors: - forage and land management - livestock herd size - non-farm income - age bonus - new lessee

Tell us why you’re proud to be a beef producer

JAY INGRAM

Author and host of Quirks and Quarks on CBC radio and Daily Planet on Discovery Channel Canada.

Deadline to enter Nov. 7 Manitoba Beef Producers is about to embark on a campaign to promote the province’s beef industry and would like its members to be the stars. Tentatively titled “We Are Proud,” the campaign will serve as an opportunity for MBP members to shine a light on the industry through their own words. The campaign will be built around three areas – Pride in Our People, Pride in our Practices and Pride in Our Product. Each of the areas will comprise the overall campaign and allow MBP to show consumers and the public at large the work being done by producers in areas such as animal care and environmental stewardship. In 500 words or less, MBP is asking members to explain why they are proud to be Manitoba beef producers. Those making

submissions are asked to choose one of the three areas – people, product and practices – to focus on in their essays. The top essays will be used to form the “We are Proud” campaign. As well, all entries will be entered into a contest to win a VIP package for two to the 2015 Grey Cup which will be held in Winnipeg on Nov. 29. The package includes two tickets to the big game and exclusive access to areas of Investor’s Group Field. “We are excited to launch this campaign and look forward to seeing the submissions of our members,” said MBP General Manager Melinda German. “In this day of heightened customer awareness and social media, we feel it is very important for producers to tell their story. Having Manitoba producers explain the lengths they go to to produce a

safe and healthy product and also in their care of the environment and their animals will serve to build and maintain our relationship with our customer. “We also feel this campaign can serve as a rallying point for producers. As we know beef producers are humble people who chose this line of work because it is something they genuinely love; this campaign gives them a chance to let consumers know they are professionals and highlights the pride and care that go into beef production.” Entries can be submitted via email to csaxon@mbbeef.ca. They can also be mailed to the Manitoba Beef Producers office at: 220-530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 The deadline for submissions is Nov. 7.

HARRY STODDARD

Author of Real Dirt: An Exindustrial Farmer’s Guide to Sustainable Eating in 2013.

CHAD PREGRACKE

Chad was CNN’s 2013 Hero of the Year and founder of Living Land & Waters organization in Illinois.

- proximity - distance • Following the application closing date, the applications and questionnaires are scored and ranked. Points for each allocation factor are awarded according to established criteria. A parcel of land is normally allocated to the top scoring applicant. The allocation of land based on the points scored may, in certain circumstances, be waived (ex: where an applicant with the highest score is not the logical user). If you are interested in applying for Crown land, you must register with a MAFRD farm production extension specialist, prior to the closing date of November 13, 2015. To find a district office near you, visit www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/land/crown-land/agriculturalcrown-lands-district-offices.html.

40th Annual Manitoba Conservation Districts Conference A Celebration of Our Watershed Successes December 7, 8 & 9th, 2015 Keystone Centre, Brandon, Manitoba EARLY BIRD CONFERENCE TICKETS: Includes Keynotes - Price: $235 EXTRA TICKETS: Keynote Only, Jay Ingram and Chad Pregracke - Price: $20 Ticket Deadline: November 20th, 2015

To Register Or For Further Information Please Contact Shane Robins: Phone:(204)570-0164 • Email: info@mcda.ca • www.mcda.ca

FIND US ONLINE:

www.mbbeef.ca

Facebook.com @ManitobaBeef

ww.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Plenty to be thankful for

With just having finished the Thanksgiving holidays, over the last few days my thoughts have been on all the great things I’m thankful for. My health and family, especially seeing my grandkids and what joy they bring into our lives. I often think about their future; what are their opportunities and challenges going to be? This is also true for beef producers. Whether we are young or older, we will have opportunities come forward in this industry such as new and changing markets and how we access them. Recently, I attended the Canada Beef Annual Forum and AGM in Calgary. Canada Beef is responsible for marketing strategies and enhancing loyalty of Canadian beef. A lot of effort has been put into customer-directed marketing campaigns, leveraging brand licence holders and utiliz-

informing them on what we ing print and electronic multiare doing and why, so we can media applications. The develkeep on producing beef. Our opment of relationships with message needs to be scienceother partners to bring forward based. We also need to make awareness of Canadian Beef it clear that farmers and ranchwill help promote our product. Partnering with groups HEINZ REIMER ers genuinely do care about the like the Canadian Football welfare of their animals and the MBP President League helps build customer environment. Moovin’ Along brand awareness, further alWhen talking with conlowing provincial cattle associations and sumers, talk about why you chose this job, retailers and consumer packaged goods what’s your passion and what is important companies to promote beef. Manitoba Beef to you. Talk about the hardships you have Producers has also embarked on the Eat faced and be truthful about the industry as Like An Athlete campaign to build consum- this helps build trust and lets them know er understanding of how beef can fuel not that beef cattle are well cared for. While marketing beef is important, only athletes but the public at large. As Eat Like An Athlete says: you don’t have to play raising them in a sustainable manner is equally important. The Beef Cattle Relike an athlete to eat like one. Communicating with consumers is search Council (BCRC) funds research to not just telling them our beef story, but also advance competitiveness in the beef indus-

try. BCRC’s role is in identifying the industry’s research and development priorities and subsequently influencing public sector investment in beef cattle research. Research is in forage and grasslands productivity and feed efficiency which helps producers manage the cost of production and reduce cost in maintaining cattle herds in winter. Other research over the last year focused on animal health and production, limiting diseases, food safety, the environment and technology and knowledge dissemination. Both Canada Beef and BCRC are funded by national check-off dollars collected by the provinces on their behalf. They play an important role in marketing and identifying industry research priorities. I hope this will help producers understand a little more about where their check-off dollars goes.

RON FRIESEN

Sept. 28. “Urban Canadians don’t have the same appreciation for modern agricultural practices and people in the past did. So we need to reconnect that.” Fitzpatrick-Stilwell stressed McDonald’s isn’t asking producers to do anything different. It just wants to develop indicators to verify Canadian beef is sustainable and well managed. “It’s not reinventing the wheel. It’s sort of tightening the bolts on the wheel to make sure everyone accepts that what we’re all saying is true.” The pilot project is entirely voluntary and supported by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and other Canadian beef cattle groups. The project will collect data on farms and present the results to the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef. The CRSB will use the information to develop a standard for McDonald’s and other food servers to use in showing customers their beef is verified sustainable. “Consumers are becoming more and more interested in how beef is raised. So this is an opportunity for us to connect with consumers and be transparent in our production practices to help tell the beef story,” said Fawn Jackson, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef ’s executive director. “We’re not asking producers in Can-

farm to conduct on-site verifications, paid for by McDonald’s. The pilot is open to cow-calf, feeder and background operations. Indicators may vary slightly depending on the kind of operation. More information is available at www.vsbpilot.ca. Fitzpatrick-Stilwell said 45 producers had been verified through the program as of late September. McDonald’s hopes to get 300 producers through by the time the pilot ends next March.

McDonald’s program moving ahead A unique pilot project currently underway in Western Canada should help food suppliers show environmentally sensitive consumers that the Canadian beef is sustainable. McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food retailer, is working with the Canadian cattle industry to develop a model to demonstrate and verify the sustainability of Canadian beef supply. Starting in 2016, McDonald’s will begin buying a portion of its hamburger beef from verified sustainable sources. It says pilot projects to develop approaches for on-farm sustainable beef are a journey to get there. The Canadian pilot project is the first of its kind for McDonald’s, which buys 67 million pounds of beef in Canada annually. On-farm verifications began in May 2015 and will end March 2016. The reason for the project is to demonstrate to an increasingly environmentally conscious public that Canadian beef is safe, humanely raised and environmentally sound, said Jeffrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, McDonald Canada’s senior manager for sustainability. “Consumers are largely disconnected from agriculture these days,” Fitzpatrick-Stilwell said after speaking to a group at the University of Manitoba

ada to change their production practices. What’s new here is communicating production practices.” McDonald’s lists five categories of indicators in which participating producers will be evaluated: • Natural resources • Community and people • Animal health and welfare • Food safety and quality • Efficiency and innovation Independent third-party professionals from an organization called Where Food Comes From will visit the

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

National Check-off increase sought

ANGELA LOVELL Delegates attending Canada Beef ’s annual meeting in Calgary on September 18th voted in favour of a resolution to increase the national beef check-off from its current $1 to $2.50 per animal sold. Inflation has taken a big bite out of current check-off revenues which haven’t been increased since the levy was introduced in the 1990’s, so every $1 collected is worth around 70 cents in today’s world, says Jack Hextall, Canada Beef Chair. When Canada Beef was formed through the consolidation of the Beef Information Centre and the Canada Beef Export Federation it brought a combined budget of around $18 million, which will likely be down to around $8.5 million within a year or two, adds Hextall. As producers across Canada continue to expand their herds there are also less cattle being sold, which is also having a negative effect, and the ten-year Legacy Fund, which provided $80 million in federal and provincial funding to assist producers following the BSE crisis has also come to an end. “Government matching funds were moved into Growing Forward 2 and the match on those funds is 1-1 now rather than the 3-1 that it was with the Legacy Fund,” says Hextall. “On the research side, the current Beef Science Cluster still provides 3-1 matching funds and we hope

to maintain that going forward, but once and improve our competitiveness in terms we get into Growing Forward 3 that’s all of cost of production, to be able to compete up in the air. A large part of the proposed in the international marketplace.” increase would be used to try and mainIssues management is an area needtain the services that the national check-off ing further investment dollars as more provides now.” consumers and the public raise questions Supporting Research and Promotion about animal welfare, food safety, and proCheck-off dollars are used to fund duction and transportation practices. beef research and also for “We have increasmarketing and promoingly aware consumers tion of Canadian beef dothat have questions and mestically and globally, as the core ones always are part of Canada’s National around beef quality and Beef Strategy. food safety, and produc“At the national level tion practices so we need there is a lot of good work to continue to make inbeing done, through the vestments to ensure that marketing and promowe have the science to tion side with Canada back how we produce beef Beef and also the research in a manner that instills focus through the Beef confidence in consumCattle Research Council. ers,” says Andrea BrockleJack Hextall They do a fantastic job bank, Executive Director of brokering and funding research that is of the Beef Cattle Research Council. very applicable to Manitoba producers,” Encouraging Investment says Melinda German, General Manager It’s important for producers to conof the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). tinue to invest in their own industry, says “We need to continue to build off what we Brocklebank, in order to encourage govalready do and also to invest in some new ernments to continue to be at the table. areas, such as social licence issues such as “Every dollar we invest in research we are animal welfare and the environment. As able to leverage about $3 to $4 directly, as well, we export 50 per cent to 60 per cent well as other funds indirectly, from govof our product so we have to continue to ernment programming,” she says. “So if focus on solid marketing and promotion, we don’t have the dollars to invest we aren’t

able to capture those dollars. We need to ensure that core programming is maintained as a partnership between ourselves, the research institutions and government.” MBP raised the provincial check-off two years ago from $2 to $3 per head and so understand the value of making investments in the industry says German. “We had positive support from our producers for an increase in the provincial check off. It hadn’t been increased since it was introduced in the 70’s and so with inflation and the way things change, producers saw the need,” she says. “They have seen the benefit of that nationally, as well, in terms of the research and promotion and productivity and competitiveness. I think producers will see the need for and support the national check-off increase. I truly believe in the National Beef Strategy and where it can take us A number of Winnipeg and area students had the opportunity to learn more about where there food comes from during the Amazing Agriculture Adventure at the Glenlea Research Farm. Held in late September and organized by Agricluture in the Classroom, the annual event was another major success. Manitoba Beef Producers’ was among the presenters as director Dianne Riding and Tradeshow Spokeswoman Karen Emilson helped to teach the kids about all the different aspects of beef production. and it does need more dollars to do that.”

Make your voice heard to task force

NOVEMBER

ing could be best used to support rural veterinary services. The task force is holding various focus groups for the public, industry stakeholders and the veterinary community, to learn what key issues are facing rural vet clinics today and how the needs of the livestock industry and community demographics are changing. It is very important, as a livestock producer, to have your say in this process. Think of your needs and those of your community, both in the present and in the future. Do you feel that the VSD concept is in trouble? The government and municipal funding available is woefully inadequate to support building maintenance to meet practice inspection standards, let alone provide required equipment to service the needs and wants of the 21st century veterinarian, livestock and pet owner. Some likely don’t care as long as their vet is available for calvings, preg testing and crisis management. Dr. Google and Amazon.com can’t come to the rescue there. Most of you are likely struggling with a lack of physicians at your lo-

am very aware of the pitfalls of the VSD concept especially when there are inequities between districts and even municipalities. As a single vet practice, I know how difficult it is to attract and keep the competent hard-working associate that all my clients and my VSD Board want. Even multi-vet and

DECEMBER

Chances are, as a rural Manitoba cattle producer, your local veterinarian operates out of a Veterinary Service District (VSD) Board owned clinic. Under the Veterinary Services Act, the province established subsidized practices to extend veterinary service to livestock producers in rural Manitoba. Today, the Veterinary Services Commission (VSC) oversees the administration of 27 Veterinary Service Districts and provides grants to assist with maintenance and operating expenses. VSD board members are comprised of councillors from financially contributing municipalities. The basic VSD concept is to provide the local veterinarian(s) with a facility out of which to practice in exchange for the provision of lower cost 24/7 veterinary services as per the VSD/veterinarian contract and fee schedule. Though support varies greatly between districts, equipment and building maintenance, hydro and property taxes are generally subsidized. The 2015 Rural Veterinary Task Force was developed to evaluate the VSD concept and examine how provincial fund-

cal hospital. Your local vet clinic may be next as many VSD vets approach retirement age. Will the next generation be willing to practice in your community away from urban comforts? Today’s new graduates want to practice (as they have been taught) with the latest technology and to offer best quality medicine/surgery to their clientele. Today’s new graduates carry a high debt load and require a decent salary. Can, or will ,your local district vet clinic and clientele meet those needs in today’s competitive job market? What solutions can you offer to the task force to help minimize the impact of a looming rural veterinary shortage in your community? Think about where you see your operation going in the future. Larger scale? Specialized – cow/ calf, feedlot? Herd health programs are no longer just about vaccines, calvings and bull testing. Animal welfare and food safety are very real consumer concerns. New environmental and drug-use regulations as well as biosecurity breeches will impact your profitability. Your locally accessible veterinarian will be key to helping you maintain compliance in today’s global market. From the perspective of a VSD veterinarian, I

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DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner

multi-clinic practices are not immune to the challenges of small-town life and on-call duties. Times are changing. Go to the MAFRD website and download the “Users of Veterinary Services” survey. The deadline for submission is Nov 6. Speak to a local Board member to learn what is

being done to ensure veterinary services remain viable in your community. Is your veterinarian meeting your needs? Talk to him/her to learn about all the services offered and advise of your needs/ wants. The Rural Veterinary Task Force needs your input to improve and update the VSD program.

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

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A number of Winnipeg and area students had the opportunity to learn more about where their food comes from during the Amazing Agriculture Adventure at the Glenlea Research Farm. Held in late September and organized by Agricluture in the Classroom, the annual event was another major success. Manitoba Beef Producers’ was among the presenters as director Dianne Riding and Tradeshow Spokeswoman Karen Emilson helped to teach the kids about all the different aspects of beef production. Photos courtesy of Agriculture in the Classroom

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Ag Risk Management Review Task Force Maureen Cousins

solutions to these issues. MBP advised the Task Force it may be possible for some producers to implement beneficial management practices (BMPs) around water management. This could include using water storage systems to reduce/mitigate the risk of flooding and/ or to make water available during times of drought. MBP welcomes discussions around the possibility of new BMPs being added under Growing Forward 2 or 3 in this area. MBP asked the province to pursue continued collaboration with other jurisdictions on water management, to support work being done by entities such as the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, and to make investments in technology related to water management, such as Lidar and other modeling tools. Livestock predation remains a major concern. MBP requested consideration be given to compensating producers for labor costs associated with treating animals injured by predators. MBP seeks the timely updating of assessed values of cattle so this is reflected in compensation payments. Producers remain concerned compensation for calves does not reflect their future value, resulting in a considerable financial loss. MBP asked for this to be re-examined. MBP co-chairs the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group (LPPWG). Its purpose is to review existing predator management initiatives and provide recommendations to the Manitoba government around improved strategies and tools to help deal with it. MBP is seeking ongoing provincial support for the LPPWG’s work as we believe it will help develop tools to reduce the risk of adverse wildlife-livestock interactions in the future. In MBP’s needs assessment beef producers, especially younger ones, cited the need for enhanced lending options. Similarly, a resolution passed at MBP’s last AGM called for the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation and other lending institutions to review and implement new policies on loans for breeding stock to encourage more uptake and to ensure they are reflective of current cattle prices. MBP is open to a discussion of lending policies across agencies to determine what would be most useful for producers. MBP asked that consideration be given to continuing the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program once the pilot project is completed. Having access to community pastures is very important to many producers. MBP remains committed to working with the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures and the provincial government

responsive program for the crops sector than the beef sector. Forage insurance is a useful tool, but MBP noted some concerns have arisen. In some instances, due to repeated flood or excess moisture events, accessing insurance has proven to be difficult or cost prohibitive. In others the expected payouts did not trigger, or covered only a small portion of producers’ anticipated losses. For example, some producers found they were unable to insure previously insurable forages due to the effects of the 2011 flood (bulrush situation) or due to costly premiums. Producers around Lake Manitoba did not have enough recoverable land after the 2011 flood, affecting their ability to seek BRM coverage. MBP requested that forage insurance programs be revisited to see if they can be adjusted to be more responsive to producers’ needs. A resolution passed at MBP’s 36th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in February 2015 asked that with respect to excess moisture deductibles in areas declared to be disasters, that the increase in deductibles be waived the year following the disaster. Another resolution dealt with flooding of Crown lands. It called on the province to review its agricultural Crown land policies to ensure affected producers retain the right to use these lands, at a reduced rental rate, until such time as normal production resumes, and then normal rental rates would resume. MBP asked the Task Force to consider both these ideas. If AgriRecovery is used again MBP requested the program components be rolled out more swiftly. Producers need to make critical management decisions within relatively short windows, such as deciding whether they can afford to purchase feed or have to consider possible herd reduction. If they have confidence that assistance will flow in a timely fashion they will be more likely to retain animals, helping to ensure the stability of the province’s beef herd. MBP also reiterated its concern producers generally shoulder the costs of the multi-year disaster recovery process alone and its belief governments need to revisit this issue. Mitigation is a critical component of managing risk. MBP requested governments work expeditiously to upgrade water management infrastructure to reduce threats caused both by future flooding or droughts. This includes but is not limited to challenges related to: Lake Manitoba, the Shoal lakes, Whitewater Lake, Shellmouth Dam, and, the need for upgraded dikes along the Assiniboine River so the Portage Diversion does not need to be used so frequently. MBP is seeking lasting

MBP Policy Analyst

Challenges like floods, droughts, excess moisture, plant and animal diseases, predation and others can prove very costly, so having access to effective risk management tools is critical to the success of Manitoba’s beef industry. To that end Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided extensive feedback to the provincial government’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force. Some MBP comments were based on information gleaned through the recent needs assessment of local beef producers. MBP (with funds from Growing Forward 2) hired a firm to conduct this project. Producers and other allied stakeholders were asked about the challenges and risks facing Manitoba’s cattle industry. The findings mirrored much of what MBP hears in its ongoing outreach to producers. Not surprisingly, a future border closure was deemed the biggest threat. Other concerns included: the need for more effective Business Risk Management (BRM) programs; land costs, including land prices and rental costs (especially among young producers); government regulations and a lack of competitiveness with both the United States and other provinces; natural disasters; animal health considerations; livestock predation; the ability to access loans (especially for younger producers); the need for new management tools (like improved technology and research); Crown lands polices; and, succession planning. The needs assessment also asked how producers manage risk. Top choices were a split between self-sufficiency and using government programs. The most common ways to manage risk were: crop insurance; adopting systems that maintain or increase productivity while reducing labour; adopting new technologies to improve animal and plant production efficiency; and forage insurance. Some other tools used include the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), Environmental Farm Plans, Verified Beef Production Program (VBP), Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program and succession planning. Using information like this MBP identified to the Task Force some gaps and challenges around existing BRM programs. One is the concern beef producers lack access to the same type of risk management tools available to crop producers, or that programs targeted at the beef industry are not as responsive as those available to other commodities. For example, AgriStability has proven to be a more

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

OCTOBER 2015

As fences go up and forage crops are sown at the new research and demonstration farms east and north of Brandon, beef and forage producers can look forward to some innovative and practical tools resulting from research that will be conducted at the sites. The really exciting part of the initiative is that it’s industry-led, says Ramona Blyth, Chair of the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. “Our advisory committee has representatives from each of our stakeholders, as well as beef and forage producers from across Manitoba,” she says. “We have an open mind, and encourage any ideas for research projects that are pertinent to the beef and forage industry in Manitoba.” The initiative – led by Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) - has received $3.1 million in combined federal and provincial funding. Other partners are Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA),

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD). “We also envision that we will be working closely with other key research and educational institutions across Western Canada, such as the University of Manitoba, Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, and many others” says MBP General Manager, Melinda German. MAFRD is providing both funding and in-kind support, and is excited to be a part of such a unique collaboration, says MAFRD project manager, Glenn Friesen. “This initiative is an open and transparent collaboration, and we want it to be Manitoba’s home of beef and forage research, demonstration and outreach for producers and also for the public,” he says. “We will be working collaboratively with research institutions from across Canada and the Northern Great Plains Ray Armbruster, Chairman of Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Inc., surveys a field Page 2 ➢ to study a wide at the Knowledge and Transfer Farm, which is located 10 miles north of Brandon.

PHOTO CAROLLYNE KEHLER

ANGELA LOVELL

What’s Inside WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS PHOTO

New beef and forage research farms will help industry grow

Core partners tour MBFI

MBP visits The Pas Page 4

Page 3

to seeing the transition of the community pastures to a successful completion. MBP invests in research related to beef production and forage productivity and management. It appreciates government and stakeholder support for the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiative. Research gleaned from this initiative should prove very valuable to producers as they apply the locallytested findings at the farm level. All age groups surveyed in MBP’s needs assessment identified management skills training as a top need. Respondents find value in training related to understanding cash flow, budgeting, benchmarking, markets and financial forecasting. Others see value in human resources training. There has been support in GF2 Growing Competitiveness for producers seeking training opportunities. MBP wishes to see this continue in the future. MBP requested continued support for the Verified Beef Production (VBP) Program in Growing Forward 3. Canada’s beef industry is in the process of adding new modules to the VBP Program related to animal care, biosecurity and the environment. Having access to an expanded VBP Program is critical going forward. As customers like McDonald’s and others roll out sustainability initiatives they are seeking ways to measure and verify various commodities’ sustainability practices. The VBP Program will be very important to this, providing producers with a set of production parameters that is recognized and respected throughout the value chain. Similarly, MBP sees great value in the continuation of the Environmental Farm Plan. Access to funding for environmental BMPs has proven to be very competitive but MBP believes this is a very important area for governments and producers to be investing in the future. MBP requests ongoing research by governments into climate change, its impact on agriculture and possible mitigation tools. This should involve analysis of what is working in other jurisdictions, including government and private-sector initiatives. The federal government has indicated it is examining future insurance tools such as flood insurance. Whether these will be affordable remains to be seen but they deserve to be explored. Manitoba’s beef producers are adapting to evolving production conditions but also need assurances sound business risk management tools will be available to them. On behalf of its members, MBP is looking for effective strategies, policy frameworks and tools that will help ensure confidence and build capacity in Manitoba’s beef industry.

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For more information on advertising rates please contact: Beef producers recognized Esther Reimer at 204-772-4542 or ereimer@mbbeef.ca Manitoba Beef Producers’ was the host sponsor for the Aug. 29 Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. As part of the sponsorship, MBP was able to recognize a farm family for their contributions to the industry. The selected family were Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley, the winners of The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba. Blair (left) was able to attend the game with her parents and a friend. While there they received a sideline tour and met Bombers’ Head Coach Mike O’Shea.

United States loses final COOL appeal ticians have already responded. Two days after the WTO ruling came down, the U.S. House of Representatives agriculture committee voted to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken while leaving the requirement for other commodities intact. “This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty and restore stability for the United States by bringing us back into compliance,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway. Dickson called the House bill “a major effort to get this matter resolved.” However, a final bill to repeal COOL and avoid tariffs would also require approval from the U.S. Senate before Congress rises for its summer break at the end of July. There’s been some suggestion that, if the U.S. refuses to amend COOL, Canada will have to cut a

zil permission to impose countermeasures. However, under a 2014 accord, the U.S. agreed to a $300 million one-time payment in return for Brazil dropping all WTO claims. However, Masswohl said such a deal is not an option for COOL. “The time for a side deal has passed. Either repeal COOL or put retaliatory tariffs on.” Editor’s note: As of press time the bill to repeal COOL had passed through the House of Representatives and was awaiting a vote by the Senate. Additionally, Canada has continued to make plans to impose retaliatory tariffs against key U.S. exports such as California wine.

Manitoba’s cattle industry was in the spotlight at a recent Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. As part of a threeField day focuses year sponsorship between on manure Canada Beef and the CaPage 3 nadian Football League, Manitoba Beef Producers was the sponsor when the host Bombers took on the defending Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders Aug. 29. MBP directors and staff were stationed in Tailgate Plaza prior to the game where they had a chance to speak with a number of Bombers fans as well as producers who were attending the game. MBP also sponsored a draw for a free supper for 10 with two Prior to the game MBP directors and staff were located at MBP’s booth in Tailgate Plaza. MBP was able to give away Page 2 ➢ recipe books and other items promoting beef. A number of kids also had some fun learning to rope.

Great Turnout for Youth Round Up

Page 5

www.mbbeef.ca

AgriClear takes cattle sales online Page 7

Schedule set for district meetings

The schedule for Manitoba Beef Producers’ annual tour of

covered at the meetings. They include a review of MBP’s finances,

A short survey will be distributed asking producers to indi-

trict meeting,” said MBP general manager Melinda German. “This

Meet U of M’s new masters’ students Page 11

PIES TO: R3H 0Y4 ES NNIPEG.

The tariffs are aimed at disrupting U.S. supply chains and putting pressure on American politicians to do something, said Dickson. “Canada is the largest export market for the U.S. and exporters will say, we can’t have a trade war with our major export market,” he said. U.S. commodity groups that oppose COOL called on their congressional leaders to take action. “Retaliation will irreparably harm our economy and our relationships with our top trading partners and send a signal to the world that the U.S. doesn’t play by the rules. It is long past time that Congress repeal this broken legislation,” said Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, in a statement. North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter

S TO: H 0Y4

late summer or early fall,” Masswohl said. Canada had earlier calculated the annual amount of financial hurt at $1.1 billion. But that was before the U.S. Department of Agriculture toughened the rule in 2013 and increased the cost to Canadian producers as a result. The amount is currently between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said at a May 19 news conference in Ottawa. The pressure is now on the U.S. to either fix COOL or suffer the consequences. Ottawa previously issued a list of U.S. imported products to be hit with 100 per cent surtaxes. The list contains dozens of items, ranging from meat, fresh fruits and processed foods to mattresses, swivel chairs and wooden furniture. The items are carefully selected and targeted at particular states, such as

NIPEG.

trade dispute, which has cost them billions of dollars in lost sales, discounted prices and legal bills, is finally over. “It’s been close to nine years since we’ve been going after this thing,” said Heinz Reimer, Manitoba Beef Producers president, in a telephone news conference. “Hopefully this will be the end of it and we can put this thing to bed and move forward.” The latest WTO panel reached the same conclusion as all previous ones did. It found COOL discriminates against foreign livestock and therefore violates international trade rules, said John Masswohl, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association government and international relations director. Canada will now ask the WTO for authority to retaliate against the U.S. for failing to make COOL trade compliant. An arbi-

LIVERABLE COPIES TO: INNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 PRODUCT SALES GE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

RON FRIESEN

The United States will either have to scrap its country of origin meat labeling rule or face punitive tariffs after losing a final appeal against a trade challenge to COOL. A World Trade Organization panel confirmed May 18 that COOL unfairly discriminates against live imports of Canadian and Mexican cattle and hogs. Canada and Mexico will soon be in a legal position to slap retaliatory import tariffs on targeted U.S. products. The duties could be applied by late summer. The ruling by the World Trade Organization compliance appeal panel was the fourth one in as many years to go against the U.S. rule requiring American retailers to label meat according to its country of origin. “It finally means that there’s no more recourse


8

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Q: I have about 75 per cent of my total hay needs for my cow herd. Should I buy hay at six cents a pound or are there better choices? A: Feed represents the largest production expense for cattle operations. It is particularly important to test feed as supplies are tight across the country and demand is driving the price higher. While producers rely heavily upon forages for their feeding program, forages often must be supplemented with energy or protein to meet the nutritional needs of cattle. This particular forage season we have seen much of the hay go up in substandard condition with it being too wet early in the harvest season to being harvested too late this year with high fibre content. Many low-cost alternative/by-product feeds are available to provide supplemental nutrition. Energy values for feed are expressed using a value called Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN). Protein values are expressed as the percentage of Crude Protein (CP). Animals cannot use the nutrients in a feed if they don’t eat it. Consequently, the amount of feed consumed is very important. Factors that inhibit the level of voluntary feed intake, or Dry Matter Intake (DMI), are harmful to production. Ruminant animals require fiber to maintain long-term digestive health and function. Pasture, hays, silages, and some by-product feeds have a high fiber level, but fibre is low in most grains. Normally, an animal will eat feed until it is full, and fiber is the component of a feed that fills it up, so fiber level relates directly to DMI. Table 1: Energy and Protein Requirements of the Breeding Herd1 1 Requirements vary with body weight, frame size, predicted gain and stage of production. Feeds must be Class

TDN%

CP%

Mid gestation

50-53

7

Late gestation

58

9

60-65

11-12

Replacement Heifers

60-65

8-10

Breeding Bulls

48-50

7-8

Yearling Bulls

55-60

7-8

PAM IWANCHYSKO

Farm Production Extension Forage Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) – Dauphin pamelaiwanchysko@gov.mb.ca

at this level or better for your herd. Good-quality hay is a baseline for roughage. Leafy, green hay can contain TDN that approaches 60 per cent and CP around 15 per cent. This kind of hay is often a grass-legume mix. Hay that is more mature, with more stems and seed heads, is around 50 per cent TDN and 10 per cent CP. Animals eat less of this hay, as they fill up faster due to a higher fiber content. Barley is a readily available concentrate that is the basis of comparison for energy sources. It contains around 80 to 85 per cent TDN. Barley is not high in protein, with around nine per cent to 12 per cent CP. It is readily available from feed suppliers, is readily consumed by animals, and is a fairly low-cost source of energy. Most often, supplements for feeding programs must provide energy, although protein may also be needed, especially for lactating cows and growing cattle. Cost of nutrition provided should be evaluated before any supplemental feed is selected for a feeding program. MAFRD offices have a calculator available to producers, which can be used to analyze the cost of feed, based on the cost per pound of energy or protein and depending upon what the producer’s needs are. As

an example, if barley is selling for $4.25 a bushel (48 pounds per bushel) and oats is selling at $3.10 per bushel (34 pounds per bushel), on an energy basis, the barley actually works out to a better value at 12.03 cents per pound, as compared to oats at 12.53 cents per pound. This calculator can be used for any feed ingredient that will be used as a ration. It is important to feed test your feeds, to know what you have and what you need to supplement and to know your costs. If you are unsure about the possibility of feeding by-products to your animals, check with your local nutritionist or contact your local MAFRD GO Office. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, MAFRD Livestock Specialist Jenelle Hamblin, will feature answers to your livestock questions on the value of Bio security for beef herds. Send your questions to Jenelle.Hamblin@gov.mb.ca by November 5, 2015. StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. We encourage you to email your questions to MAFRD’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

Lactating

JEANNETTE GREAVES PHOTO

Mature cows

The Colours of Fall

The change of seasons from summer to fall is producing some beautiful scenery throughout Manitoba.

You Are Invited to the

27 ANNUAL KEYSTONE KLASSIC th

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Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

RED & BLACK ANGUS SALE

Saturday December 5th / 2015 1 pm Keystone Centre, Canada Room, Brandon, MB Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, November 7 & 28 at 10:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale

• Come out and select from 60 lots • Quality Red & Black Angus Genetics

Monday, November 9 & 30 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves

View catalogue at:

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For more information contact Chris at: 1-306-933-4200

Saturday, December 5 at 10:00 a.m. Bred Heifer Sale For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

HAROLD UNRAU - Manager/Sales Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 871-0250 cell 204-434-9367 fax Box 71 Grunthal, Manitoba R0A 0R0

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

www.mbbeef.ca


9

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Single-animal scale reduces stress for animals, producers

Verified Beef Production program aids in purchasing of equipment SUMITTED BY MAFRD Having a single-animal scale on farm makes it easier for producers to track the weight of each animal - and now Growing Forward 2 is making the equipment more accessible. Growing Assurance - Food Safety On-Farm offers up to $12,000 in funding towards traceability, biosecurity and food safety initiatives for producers who are participating in the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program and have been audited. This includes a single-animal scale, used to accurately and easily measure the weight of each animal. Producers who have participated in the VBP and have been audited have access to up to $2,000 in cost-share funding for a scale. For Ralf Deppe, who has about 60 head on his cow-calf farm in Emerson, this means access to equipment that can reduce stress on the animals and improve the speed of production. “Before installing the scale I would have to guess the weight of every animal,” said Deppe, “It’s much more accurate this way.” Deppe, who has been raising cow-calves for the past 12 years, originally signed up for VBP to learn about the RFID reading

equipment and decided to invest in a scale when he found out it would also be cost-shared through the program. He was eligible to have 65 per cent of the cost covered through VBP. “Now when I go to the auction I can double check with my own scale to see what they should be selling for,” he said. Accurately providing medication Gilles Ricard and his partner Mary Scheger purchased a single-animal scale to accurately dose medications, to have accurate weights of calves they ship and to track the rate of weight gains of their herd. Scheger, who also works as an animal health tech in Notre Dame, and Ricard now have about 200 breeding stock on their farm in Mariapolis, which Ricard purchased in 1990. The pair have done most of the work by themselves for the past nine years. Since purchasing the single animal scale last year production has been faster and less stressful on the animals and on them. “It has definitely helped us to be more efficient and enjoy what we do,” Scheger said. “It’s a good medical practice to keep the current weights of each animal. This way we can quickly identify mild weight loss, which could

indicate a problem, and provide early treatment if needed.” This is important, especially when it comes to dosage. “It’s about food safety,” said Wayne Tomlinson, extension veterinarian for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “When you give an animal antibiotics you need to know the animal’s weight to ensure the product is out of the system before the animal is sent to be processed.” Tomlinson said each medicine absorbed into an animal’s system has been tested and has a specific time it takes for the animal to clear the product from its body. When cleared it is safe for the animal to be processed. He added that the scale also helps to avoid underdosage of medicine, which can reduce the efficacy and prevent proper treatment of the disease. VBP builds a name for producers About 2,700 producers have attended workshops about the program. About 423 producers are now registered under VBP, extending the program to about 55,000 head. “One of the first things people always ask me is ‘why should I do this’ - they feel like they’re already doing what is required under VBP so why sign up?”

said Betty Green, provincial co-ordinator for VBP in Manitoba. “And I say why wouldn’t you want to be recognized for that? If you’re already doing what is required you might as well be recognized.” Green said consumers don’t always understand that farms are following food safety practices. Being a registered VBP operation gives producers and consumers peace of mind that the practices are checked and being done to a professional standard. “Cow and calf production is very different than it used to be,” said Scheger. “This program is helping farmers understand how their on farm practices will affect them as well as the

The VBP will give producers the tools they need to provide the market what they’re looking for.” A commitment to following practices To maintain the VBP status a producer must complete an assignment each year. The first year is the initial on-farm audit, which the producer pays for and can be cost-shared under Growing Forward 2’s - Growing Assurance program. In the second year a producer sends a record assessment, listing individual treatments, vaccinations, medicated feeds and any other information to ensure compliance with VBP standards. In the third and fourth years the producer provides a self-declaration

selected for a complete onfarm audit to make sure everything is up to the standards they say it is,” said Green. According to Ricard and Scheger, being a part of the program not only opens opportunities for funding, but also education. “Farmers might participate in the program because funding is available to purchase equipment and in turn they are learning about the importance of things they may not otherwise,” says Scheger. “I believe all farmers should participate in this program, as there is so much to learn and resources to help people become more aware. It will build our industry and make the economy stron-

Cost Share Ratio Maximum (Government:Applicant) Funding

Category Traceability Program RFID equipment and software

65:35

$5,000

Food Safety On-Farm Program First Audit for VBP program Single-animal scale

65:35

$2,000

Biosecurity GAP Program Quarantine pens

65:35

$5,000 $12,000

industry long after their calves have been sold off farm. The public demand for safe, well treated beef will determine where large restaurant chains and feedlots will source their beef.

that their farm is up to VBP standards. The process repeats until the program is renewed with an on-farm audit in year nine. “At any time a producer could be randomly

BECOME A MBP AGM SPONSOR BOOK TODAY! Manitoba Beef Producers 37th Annual General Meeting Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Brandon February 4-5, 2016 MBP’s Annual General Meeting is a unique opportunity to promote your business to Manitoba’s beef producers. MBP offers a sponsorship option to suit your needs. Please contact us at 204.772.4542 or info@mbbeef.ca Thank you for your support! The Sponsorship & Tradeshow outline can be found at www.mbbeef.ca under events.

ger, which is good for everyone.” What is available Once a beef producer has completed the training and successfully completed a VBP audit of their facilities, they may apply to purchase equipment that can help implement their food safety improvements. Beef producers are eligible to apply for up to $12,000 in available Growing Forward 2 funding across three categories. For more information on the Verified Beef Production program, contact Manitoba Beef Producers, your local MAFRD GO Office, or Betty Green at 204803-4536. For more information on Growing Forward 2 funding, contact your local MAFRD GO Office or visit our website at www.manitoba.ca/agriculture.

Really nice bred heifers for sale. The kind you can build your herd on.

Cattle that work:

Monty Thomson Cell #: (204) 870-0089 Gladstone, MB www.hatfieldclydesdales.com

Good milk production, sound legs & udders, Fertile & functional www.mbbeef.ca


10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Can insurance keep up with catastrophic weather losses? CHARLES GRANT

and Hurricane Sandy on the eastern seaboard created a claims response of 25 billion USD. In general, insurance claims due to catastrophic weather events have been trending up in both Canada and in the rest of the world. The question is, can insurance keep up with these catastrophic weather losses? What’s coming up? Insurers are for-profit entities. Therefore insurers will need to adjust to the increasing claims paid for losses due to catastrophic weather events in order to keep profits intact and maintain business solvency. Insurance profits are determined with the equation: Insurer Profit = Premium Income + Investment Income - Claims Paid - Operating Expenses. Since investment income and operating ex-

Ph.D., P.Ag. What’s going on? Canada’s property and casualty insurers paid record claims of $3.2 billion in 2013. In excess of $2.6 billion of these claims were attributable to catastrophic weather events. Claims of this magnitude are somewhat to be expected since payouts due to severe weather events in Canada have been increasing since the 1980s (Figure 1). Windstorms, snow storms, ice storms, thunderstorms, tornados, hail, heavy rains, flooding, droughts, and forest fires are causing such catastrophic losses. Many insurance underwriters agree that these hazards seem to be occurring with greater regularity and greater severity than in the past. World-wide insur3.0

Adj 2011*

Paid Losses in CAD Billions

2.5

Actual

2.0 1.5

1.0 0.5

Year of Paid Loss

2013

2011

2009

2007

2005

2003

2001

1999

1997

1995

1993

1991

1989

1987

1985

1983

0.0 * Paid losses expressed in CAD 2011

Figure 1: Canadian catastrophic paid losses (in CAD Billions) are showing a general increase over time1.

ance claims for catastrophic weather events have also been increasing (Figure 2). In 2012, widespread drought in the American midwest created a claims response of 17 billion USD

penses are generally unrelated to weather losses, the places to look for insurer’s adjustments are: • increasing premiums commensurate with increased claims paid;

Paid Losses in 2012 USD Billion

140

• managing claims weather risks because in exposures by increas- the end it is these individuing deductibles, reducing als and firms who bear the coverage limits, introduc- costs. This will also affect ing exclusions for certain agricultural costs on the weather-related losses (e.g. Prairies. exclusion for property damBox quotation: age due to overland water); “insurers will need to ad• requiring techno- just to the increasing claims logical upgrades for poli- paid for losses due to catacyholders (e.g. improved strophic weather events” infrastructure for handling References sudden large volumes of 1Facts of the Property water). & Casualty Insurance InDoes this matter? dustry in Canada 2013, InAll of this matters surance Bureau of Canada, because, in one way or pp 18-25. http://www.ibc. the other, it costs more ca/en/need_more_info/ money to the individuals facts_book/documents/ and firms with exposure to ibc-facts-2013.pdf. catastrophic weather risk. 2Swiss Re sigma Premiums become more No2/2013. http://media. Charles Grant, Ph.D., researches and teaches farm expensive, individuals and swissre.com/documents/ management, agribusiness management, and financial firms are left to self-insure a sigma2_2013_EN.pdf. risk management at the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, University of Manitoba. greater portion of the losses, and costly technological Table 1: World-wide upgrades become necessary catastrophic losses, total and insured (2012)2. to reduce the severity of the Total Loss Insured Loss Insured Loss as losses. Table 1 shows the cata- Jurisdiction (Billions USD) (Billions USD) % Total Loss strophic losses in 2012 and North America 118.5 64.6 54% the extent to which they 4.2 .9 21% were self-insured. In North Latin America & Caribbean 26.8 5.5 20% America, roughly half the Europe losses were self-insured and Africa 1.5 .2 13% the other half was laid off Asia 30.5 3.4 11% to insurers. In other juris1.1 .3 27% dictions the self-insurance Oceania / Australia 3.1 2.4 77% proportion is higher. If Seas & Space firms and individuals do TOTAL 185.7 77.2 42% not have the appetite or capacity to pay higher premiums to cover increased claims for weather events, the self insurance portion of losses will need to rise. Can insurance keep up? Aside from turning back the clock on increasing regularity and severity of catastrophic weather events, insurers can keep up with increasing claims by increasing premiums to policyholders, by requirat the farm ing greater self-insurance by policyholders, and by requiring policyholders to adopt technological methods of mitigating weather losses. All of these adjustments will cost more money for individuals and firms exposed to catastrophic

13

th

2 0 1 5 DECEMBER

120 100 80 60 40 20 2010

2005

2000

1995

1990

1985

1980

1975

1970

0 Year of Paid Loss

Figure 2: World-wide catastrophic paid losses in USD billion (adj. to 2012)2.

New Generation female sale 50

head sell

Red Angus Red & Black Simmental with a large number of heifer calves in 2014 we have decided to offer every bred heifer with the Mar Mac prefix. A top group of heifer calves and groups of commercial females.

genetics you can trust

Videos Blair, Lois, Brett & Melissa McRae Brandon, MB and pictures 204.728.3058 - 204.729.5439 on our website marmac@inetlink.ca and Facebook page www.marmacfarms.net

MAR MAC FARMS & GUESTS BULL SALE MARCH 9, 2016

www.mbbeef.ca


11 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Technological advances have changed the world MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column

1903 – the Wright brothers successfully demonstrated motor powered flight 1913 - Henry Ford invents the moving assembly line for mass production of automobiles 1928 - Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin 1945 - The first atomic bomb is detonated in New Mexico 1954 - First successful kidney transplant 1967 - Christiaan Barnard carries out first human heart transplant 1971 - Gilbert Hyatt and Intel make the first commercial computer microprocessor 1996 - ‘Dolly’ the sheep born in Scotland produced by cloning a single mammary cell 2003 – Human genome mapped And the list goes on. Many of us have seen significant changes in the world around us and if you are like me these changes are happening faster than which I can keep pace. Some advances have been world-changing like those

listed above. Others are perhaps more subtle but no less important as the world around us evolves. If you look around you at all the tools you now use on farm you cannot deny that technology plays a major role in your operation. The cell phone/smart phone keeps you immediately connected to family, suppliers and markets. Your feed and drug salesperson can show you advancements in meeting your animals’ nutritional and health needs at every stage of their production. Or maybe you use genetic testing to help you select for your most efficient animals. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) believes in exploring new opportunities and supporting research on new production management techniques and technology. Two years ago at MBP’s Annual General Meeting a resolution was passed to support research into ‘needle free’ technology. Dr. Kim Ominski at the University of Manitoba has been doing just that and MBP has been pleased to provide some financial assistance for this important work. Dr. Kim Ominiski and her graduate student, Mitch Rey, studied the effectiveness of using this technology in the vaccination of calves

compared to the traditional needle injection. ‘Needle free’ systems use a high pressure stream to move the vaccine into the targeted areas, such as under the skin or into the muscle. It is just like the traditional method but without a needle puncturing the skin. After examining several parameters under a variety of environmental conditions what they found was that this technology does work in vaccinating beef animals. Animals vaccinated using this technology mounted an immune response that was comparable to that using a needle and syringe – but without the risk of broken needles. This technology is not new to the human health world, having been used since the 1940s. However, utilizing this technology while performing your regular chores chute side might require a few tweaks. Technology and advances in science will address many other challenges in our industry such as skilled labour and the time spent doing our chores, helping to advance the industry. The continued refinement of needle free systems and other inventions will keep the industry on the cutting edge, improving our production and our product. Research is important. Not only does it answer

our questions and suggest improvements to processes but it also tends to leave us with more questions. The above-mentioned project did just that and Kim will now examine the impacts of this technology below the skin. At the completion of the first project using this technology it was confirmed the system works. But the question now is, does it have an impact on the carcass? A project is now underway and we look forward to the answer to this question and many others in the next few years following the completion of this project. So what’s next in the beef industry or our world in general? I’m not sure but I think it is safe to say that the world in which we produce beef will be looking very different in another couple decades. I invite you to explore what else is new in the world of technology that can help you manage your business at the MBP Annual General Meeting February 4 & 5, 2016 in Brandon. Our trade show will have several key services providers available for you to talk with, as well as our ‘Let’s Talk Tech’ table highlighting just a few of the new technologies that are currently on the market. See you there!

Methane: It’s not all about environment KRISTINE BLAIR

cattle producer and recent Master’s graduate with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Improving feed and gain efficiency is integral to success in growing cattle. As producers we monitor rations, use feed additives and select for better genetics in order to stay on the cutting edge of production efficiency. But when we hear “methane emissions” as an industry we are quick to be defensive because of all the negativity that seems to surround the concept that cattle produce methane and the environmental impacts associated with this phenomenon. It is important to remember that methane emissions have huge impacts on cattle feed efficiencies. The potential to improve production efficiency is a good reason for cattle producers to pay close attention to cattle methane emissions. Methane is a gas produced in the rumen when rumen microbes digest feed. As producers we should also recognize that when methane is produced, energy from feed is lost into the atmosphere rather than being used to grow our animals. In fact, up to 11 per cent, or one in 10 bales, of feed energy can be lost as methane when cattle are fed poor quality forage diets. It is clear that reducing methane emissions and energy

wastage will improve our bottom line. My master’s thesis was designed to look at the impact of forage protein content on production efficiency and methane production in backgrounded steers. More specifically, we wanted to determine if increasing protein content of forage diets would

lead to improved gains and therefore shorten the time to reach a target gain. Fewer days on feed means fewer days producing methane. Backgrounding steers entered the study at 700lbs and were fed toward a target weight gain of 120lbs. Steers were fed forage diets with a low concentration of protein

(7% CP) or high concentration of protein (11% CP). Steers fed the low protein diet required 409 days to reach their target gain while the cattle fed a higher protein diet achieved their target gain in only 65 days. Animals with the better quality diets produced more methane per day, but because it took them far fewer

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days to reach their target weight, they produced only 16,288L of methane as compared to the cattle consuming the low quality diet producing 81,399L of methane during the backgrounding phase. Feed testing and formulating rations to achieve the desired targeted gain in a timeframe that takes advantage of

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Cattle markets showing volatility to late September prices. reasons that there is such the fall, but this year the in the beef sector. That Manitoba calf prices have a large spread between the drop has been faster and is a really tough question improved considerably steer and heifer calf prices more severe. Packers in until we get a new agrimore than our western in Manitoba at this time the south slashed prices cultural minister named neighbours. The extra val- of year compared to other week after week, and Cana- and see what priorities the dian packers followed suit. new government supports. ue is totally due to the east- parts of the country. Producers are some- With the good pasture One of the main topics that ern demand for Manitoba calves. Calf orders from what disappointed that the conditions and calf reten- was evolving at election both Ontario and Quebec super high prices offered tion, we have not seen as time was the traceability surfaced in the first two in August for fall deliv- many cull cows coming to file for livestock in Canada. weeks of October, which ery have disappeared, but market as expected. One I would assume that the pushed the good qual- in reality, we are still very of the main reasons for the CFIA will continue to push ity steer calves 10-15 cents close to last year’s prices drop in demand is that the for movement reporting of per pound higher than the for the top quality feeder strong American dollar al- livestock with the same ensame cattle in Alberta. A cattle. Last year, produc- lows processors to import thusiasm as they did before good corn crop and the ers were dancing in streets ground beef and trim from the election. The debate lack of local feeder cattle in for finally being rewarded other countries at a com- over who bears the costs of Ontario and Quebec have for producing good qual- petitive price. This lean the program and who benmade Manitoba a prime ity beef with record prices. product competes with the efits could certainly change shopping destination for We would all like more, but cow meat, dropping the with the Liberals in charge. Eastern feedlot operators if we can maintain these price of the butcher cows. Only time will tell, but I for many years. Although prices, the cow-calf and This trend could continue would like to think that the suggested implementation production practices have backgrounding business throughout the fall. I woke up this morn- timeline of late 2016 could changed in Manitoba, could be sustainable. The butcher cow price ing to the news that we be delayed until those in many producers still calve early in the spring and offer has taken a real tumble have a new Prime Minister. charge have time to famila good selection of heavy, over the past few weeks. A lot of producers were iarize themselves with the high quality steers in late There is always a seasonal asking at the market what file. Until next time, Rick September and early Oc- drop in the cow market in changes we could expect tober. These calves fill the gap between the grass yearlings and the 550-pound fall calves in the feeding inventory. The demand from the east is mainly for the prevent over estimating livestock emissteers and some of the large ← Page 11 When we use models to predict sions. It is clear from our work that the frame Charolais and exotic methane emissions from livestock in relationship between forage quality and heifers. This is one of the Canada, we need to know the amount days to reach target weight is a strong and quality of feed that animals con- measure of both efficiency and methane DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle! sume to estimate emissions accurately. emissions. However, the downfall of these predicAs producers we all have a role to Monday, Nov 2 Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM tion models is the lack of information play in decreasing methane emissions Wednesday, Nov 4 Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10 AM we have about the feed quality and infrom our industry. Producers monitor Angus Influence take of our animals at a national scale. ing production efficiency can realize Friday, Nov 6 Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11 AM Our industry needs a tool for predict- substantial benefits by managing for Monday, Nov 9 Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM ing methane using information that we more efficient cattle with lower methane Wednesday, Nov 11 Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10 AM can more accurately collect on-farm to emissions. Friday, Nov 13 Regular Cattle Sale 9 AM Monday, Nov 16 Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM Wednesday, Nov 18 Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10 AM Angus Influence Friday, Nov 20 Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11 AM Monday, Nov 23 Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM Check out the Great Loan Advance Wednesday, Nov 25 Presort Feeder Cattle Sale 10 AM Rates this year! Friday, Nov 27 Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11 AM Monday, Nov 30 Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM

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positions were losing over $200 per head on their finished cattle. Many feedlots on both sides of the border tried to wait out the softer fed market in the third and this resulted RICK WRIGHT quarter, in heavier carcasses. Soft demand at the counter for The Bottom Line retail beef meant a reducOne of my most co- tion in the kill requirelourful producers best ments. Cheaper pork and described the cattle mar- turkey prices were tough ket for the past six weeks competitors for beef in the when he said, “From the protein market in the third penthouse to the outhouse quarter of this year. When in 6 weeks! How can that the feeder market dropped, happen so quick?” Cattle some producers panicked prices over the past couple and sold, while others took of months have been tur- advantage of an extended bulent at best. The futures fall grazing season and left for both the fed cattle and their cattle on the pastures. feeder cattle dropped sig- As luck would have it, the nificantly, dropping the cattle futures started to recash calf and yearling cover, and that put some prices lower. The prices renewed confidence in the seemed to bottom out after cattle markets. Cash prices a couple of weeks of sharp for fed cattle recovered declines. At the heart of about 10 cents per pound industry-wide price de- in the east despite the two clines and rallies has been to three week wait after concern and uncertainty pricing to get the cattle to regarding both supply and the plant. demand fundamentals. The recovery in the Fed cattle prices for cash feeder cattle futures and a cattle dropped like a stone, lower Canadian dollar reand those feeders that did sulted in most of the feeder not take risk management cattle prices bouncing back

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13 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

What beef producers are asking about VBP+ It’s their program and they are curious about its next generation BY TERRY HOCKADAY There will be big changes in Canada’s Verified Beef Production (VBP) program this coming year. Designed originally as the national on-farm food safety program for beef it has slowly and steadily gained respect through industry channels. Today, it is about to graduate into a new era called VBP+ adding new modules for biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship. That’s a big change. How exactly will this be done? What will it mean for producers on the program and their industry? The simple answer is “Its goal is simple but the background work is complex,” says Manitoba cattle producer, Betty Green. As the Manitoba provincial VBP coordinator and part of the VBP+ development team she has sat in on many of the meetings and listened to the chatter in the hallways. “It’s complex because there are a lot of parts and players to be brought together, but simple because the goal will be a practical, flexible plan that works well in the field. “The early stages of this have been incredibly promising for producers, “she says. “But this is a system in evolution with many players at the table and there aren’t clear answers on everything. So producers will also have to have a bit of patience as this unfolds.” Here are top questions she and her coordinator cohorts across the country are getting from beef producers. 1. Remind us why we are doing this and why VBP? Beef markets around the world are asking for transparency and accountability. Social license and consumer trust are powerful. With a world asking for more information and more proof points, participation in program such as VBP is important. The industry goal of VBP+ is a systematic approach by which beef sustainability can be assessed. “One national verified sustainable industry program for beef avoids costly and annoying duplication,” says Green. “And verified sustainability should help build Canada’s brand domestically and internationally.” 2. How does this fit with industry sustainability efforts? VBP+ is an integral part of current high profile industry sustainability branding efforts. Most important, it is an active participant in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef national project. On the industry side, McDonald’s, Loblaws and others which are building sustainability into brands are interested in linking with this effort. There has been much cross pollination during these processes and solid collaboration with VBP+ development which has been really positive, says Green. “For example, among the reasons McDonald’s chose Canada for its sustainability pilot was that Canada stood out as

having shown leadership through the VBP program. “However it’s also important to remember, the VBP program is independent of these industry initiatives and must be strong in and of itself. These program changes will strengthen VBP’s ability to enhance producer interests regardless of where those programs ultimately head.” 3. How have these modules been developed? It has been a lot of work, says Green. The goal was a systematic approach to determining what the on-farm risks to sustainability were and to build a program to give consumers confidence in production practices. A key overarching criterion for all of these modules was that we did not reinvent the wheel,” she says. “Wherever possible we worked with existing programs and processes such as Environmental Farm Plans or animal care codes. First step was to do a generic risk assessment. “We are looking at actual operations that are being optimally managed to determine what could go wrong that could create a high risk situation for the animal and the environment. We wanted real world situations. These were blind tests where producers did not know the questions that would be asked or be coached on answers. “We wanted to describe the general risks in enough detail that actual risk could be determined and decide what was measurable. Not all risks are measurable and some are very low risk.” Next will be to develop a very simple overview chapter to add to the current VBP program to describe what we were after in each area and how that would be accomplished. It’s a summary because there is already a lot of material out there in these areas. And the current food safety program is a strong base because so many of these other areas connect directly to existing food safety and animal health practices. 4. When and how will the new modules be introduced? The risk assessments are being completed with pilot farms, feedlot and ranches. The information from these pilots will be assessed over the winter, reviewed within the CRSB processes and auditable points will be finalized by the spring of 2016. “Then we need to determine how to phase them into the industry,” says Green. “We want to keep our costs low and we will work with the McDonald’s project and CRSB to determine the best way to handle this. “One thing we have learned to date is that producers are comfortable with VBP being integral,” says Green. As the industry looks at implementation it has to be able to validate what is being done at the farm level. The industry is working to determine exactly how this will work in its final form. Various options are being considered from self-assessments initially to reviewing a few sample records over time. The commitment is that this will not be onerous for producers.

www.mbbeef.ca

5. How will it fit producers from very large to small? This program is designed to be scalable. It is outcomesbased so whether you have 40 cows or a 10,000 head feedlot the goal is the same. For example, protecting animals from the cold is the same outcome regardless of where you are in Canada. However the approaches may be different. 6. What if we have questions? What will VBP+ mean for brands like Ontario Corn-Fed Beef? Will it fit small producers in the PEI or large feedlots in Western Canada? VBP provincial coordinators from across Canada have been an integral part of this industry development. Producers who have questions can reach their coordinator at verifiedbeef.org. First VBP+ pilots calmed producers Initial feedback shows the role of VBP is supported It’s by no means an official measurement but the first producer pilot tests of the new Verified Beef Production (VBP) have sent an important message to those involved in introducing new modules for the program. Producers seem to understand the role that VBP plays in the new world of sustainability and their role as an individual producer. “The selection of producers was done to get a realistic view of how these new modules for biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship would work in actual operations,” says Green. Producers were selected at random, says Green. “We wanted optimally managed operations but these were blind tests; producers were not coached ahead of time in what would be asked or what their responses should be.” “There was no question that initially producers were concerned that new modules would add a lot of paperwork and huge time requirements,” she says. “But after the audit they commented that they really appreciated that we respected their time and effort and that they were glad we were using existing programs to build on such as VBP, BIXS and Environmental Farm Plans. “They appreciated that having a fresh set of eyes helped them catch things that they might have missed and confirmed that they were on the right track and doing a good job. “And while they felt that some of the questions were tough at first glance, such as how to decide when to euthanize an animal, they understood those were the questions that really needed to be asked.” That initial response was positive news for program organizers, says Green, and hopefully means support will grow across the country as VBP+ is implemented. Article courtesy of Meristem Land and Science, www.meristem.com. Meristem is a Calgary-based communications firm that specializes in writing about western agriculture, food and land use.


14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Home Ec class provides life skills ADRIANA BARROS Home economics, also known as human ecology, is a holistic, interdisciplinary study comprised of family social sciences, human nutritional sciences and textile sciences. Home economics work on ensuring the family unit is safe and healthy, while enhancing the quality of their daily lives. This year marks the 100 years of the faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba. The study of Home Economics in Manitoba is an accredited profession recognized by the province. With the Professional Home Economists (PHEc.) designation assented to in 1990. The study of home economics is widely viewed as the management of the home and community. Many of us might not exactly know a PHEc. or where you might find one practicing, however, you might be surprised to know that we are everywhere and the life skills we teach others are kept with them for years to come. I will briefly describe some of the main facets of human ecology and finish with a latest Great Tastes of Manitoba recipe. Family social sciences works at increasing communication in the home, aimed at all ages. Professional Home Economists in this field work at connecting community within our province’s multi-cultural population. Understand-

ing all stages of family development, from child to the aging population they are experts in family social development. PHEc.’s in this field often work in family social welfare, child development, banking, provincial housing projects and more. The family social sciences facet also excels in educating family about maintaining household finance. Personal and home financials is a life skill that is being pushed aside. In a 2013 RBC poll results were shared that ¾ of Canadian are in debt with the average of consumer debt being $16,000. Over time money management has been somewhat forgotten in the busy lives we now live, material possessions are taking a high ranking as needs rather than wants. Let be sure to push this topic to be taught in schools. While cooking is perhaps a topic most commonly associated with home economics, it’s a life skill that most people will need. Home economics can teach anyone how to prepare healthy and nutritious meals no matter their schedule. Health experts are concerned with the rise of obesity and diabetes however catching up is our population’s sedentary lifestyle, easy access to fast food and high use of processed foods in the home. Home Ec. classes can teach the latest research in nutrition and food safety and teach students how to ap-

Farmers Premium Equipment

ply this knowledge to their lives. Learning about the different cuts of meat and how to prepare them can not only improve health, but can help keep future budgets on track. Learning how to grocery shop for balanced, nutritious food without overspending can sometimes be a challenge when first starting out on your own. Gone are the days everyday families make their cloths, however, textile science teaches basic sewing skills and about different textiles characteristics and purposes. This part of home economics isn’t all about learning how to do laundry and fold bedsheets. Advanced textiles is modernize in apparel and non-apparel uses for textiles, such as textiles in medical devices, biodefense uniforms, exercise or sport equipment and apparel. Students will be taught basics in textiles and how to operate a sewing machine with basic sewing tasks that can help them with sewing a button or hemming pants. However, more practical teachings are taught for those interested in home decorating; many schools are doing pillow making projects. The multifaceted education provided by home economists start in middle school in a human ecology class. These basic skills although perceived as simple, do shape the future of our students and prepare them with life skills they will benefit for years to come. I am a Professional Home Economist with a Human Nutritional Sci-

ences area of study. I work at promoting health and wellbeing on Great Tastes of Manitoba and coordinating a national fundraiser distributing fresh vegetables to schools and communities. The impact of home

economists can be seen in many professions and avenues. This month’s recipe was developed for Great Tastes of Manitoba, Korean BBQ Short Ribs. This cut of beef is a short rib cut that is butchered lengthwise,

traditionally called flanken cut but sold as Korean or maui short ribs. Learn more on how to perfectly prepare Korean Short Ribs on www.GreatTastesMB. ca video demonstration. Thanks for reading.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

Ingredients 2 lb (1 kg) Maui or Korean Style Short Ribs (Flanken Cut) 1/2 cup (125 mL) soy sauce 1/4 cup (50 mL) brown sugar, packed ½ Asian pear, peeled and grated 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbsp (15mL) EACH rice vinegar, sesame oil, freshly grated ginger 1 Tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds, divided 2 green onions, thinly sliced, divided Directions In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, pear, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and half the amount of sesame seeds and green onions. Reserve remaining sesame seeds and onions as garnish. In an extra-large sized freezer bag, combine soy sauce mixture and short ribs; marinate up to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Add short ribs to grill and cook, flipping once, until desired doneness is reached, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Garnish with toasted sesame seed and freshly chopped green onion.

ATTEND YOUR MBP 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 even numbered districts. All Meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. DISTRICT

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DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Caron Clarke

Oct-26

Eriksdale Rec Centre

1st Ave., Eriksdale

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-27

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-28

Elm Creek Community Hall

70 Arena Rd., Elm Creek

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Oct-29

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-03

Westlake Community Hall

Hwy. 68, Eddystone

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-04

Chicken Chef

131 1st Ave., Roblin

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-05

Legion Hall

206 2nd St., Bowsman

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-06

Strathclair Hall

120 Veterans Way, Strathclair

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-09

Deloraine Curling Rink

119 Lake St., Deloraine

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Nov-10

Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-12

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oak Lake

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-13

Cypress Planning Office(Old Town Hall)

122 Main St., Carberry

District 10

Theresa Zuk*

Nov-16

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-18

Royal Canadian Legion

425 Brown Ave., Neepawa

*Director Retiring

CALL 1-800-772-0458 OR EMAIL INFO@MBBEEF.CA FOR FULL DETAILS www.mbbeef.ca


15 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

PAUL ADAIR Third-generation cattleman, District 3 Director Peter Penner has been ranching on his property just north of the U.S.-Canada border for the last 17 years. Penner farms alongside his wife, Edna, who helps out with the farm operations when she is able and also serves as an educational assistant with the Garden Valley School Division. Their daughter, Chelsea, is in her fourth year of nutritional sciences at the University of Manitoba and their son, Derek, is currently in his second year of an Ag degree, also at the University of Manitoba. Both children try to find time to help out on the farm when there is a break in their busy schedules. Situated roughly between Winkler and Morden, Penner’s farm has been part of Edna’s family for about 60 years and, since being purchased by Penner and his wife in 1998, it has evolved out of its past as a dairy farm to becoming the thousandacre beef cattle operation it is today. “We bought the farm almost 20 years ago and, by that time, the dairy cows were already gone,” says Penner. “But even before we moved here, we always had beef cattle and it’s been something that I’ve had all through my life. So the switch-over from dairy to beef cattle wasn’t really all that hard for us.” Penner’s acreage, owned and rented, is currently divided into 550-acres of pastureland and 450-acres of alfalfa, corn, and oats; where all of the second- and third-cut alfalfa Penner grows is put up for export markets. Penner manages a closed herd of Simmental and Simmental-Hereford cross cows, running full-blood Simmental bulls and horned-Hereford bulls. He calves his

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Penner a third generation rancher

MBP District 3 Director Peter Penner (top right), wife Edna and children Derek and Chelsea.

herd in March and April and backgrounds all of his calves to market them in February. His pastureland is found up on the escarpment in the Morden area and he utilizes a twice-over grazing system on most of his pastures to help extend the grazing season, allowing for as much forage as possible into the fall and also helping to provide Penner more pounds per acre of beef. “Our twice-over rotational grazing system helps us to rest our pasture a bit,” says Penner. “Also, when the cattle are grazing, they are putting a lot of matter back into the soil which, in turn, helps make our pastures healthier.” Although he has been working his farm since the late nineties, Penner is a relative newcomer to the Manitoba Beef Producers; only staring to attend association meetings in the last few years. His initial

impression of Manitoba Beef Producers was positive in that he saw it as a good solid organization with a clear objective of keeping beef producers in the loop about what’s happening in and around the beef industry. Penner is now in his first year as District 3 Director, having taken the extra step in joining the board after wanting to have more of a say in the process and policies of beef production and then finding the time to make it happen. Penner currently serves on a number of Board committees, serving as the ViceChair of Finance and also contributes to the research committee in regards to beefforage farm practices. “I have been very impressed so far in my first year,” says Penner. “The Board is very focused and everybody is working together to achieve the same goal of standing

up for the various interests of Manitoba’s beef producers.” Penner suggests that cattlemen who have not yet become involved with Manitoba Beef Producers come out and see for themselves what goes on at the District meetings. After all, there is nothing to lose in being better informed in how the industry operates and in growing the collective voice of the province’s beef producers in addressing any issues or concerns that may arise. Although it can be rewarding, being a Manitoba beef producer does not come with a guarantee of an easy passage through life. Raising cattle can be a strenuous 7-day a week job and Penner stresses that producers need to truly enjoy what they are doing in order to find success. He recommends that anyone looking to enter the industry endeavor to remain flexible and understand that no two days are alike when working with cattle. “Always expect the unexpected,” says Penner. “You may have plans set for the day but, cattle being cattle, everything can change on a dime. Even so, I love working with livestock and enjoy being my own boss. Seeing newborn calves in the spring makes it all worthwile and I’ll always be a beef producer.” For Penner, the best way to prepare quality Manitoba beef is by barbequing over charcoal a thick medium-rare rib-eye steak, served with a glass of red wine, and surrounded by family. In his free time, Penner serves on the Stanley Soil Management Association, promoting sustainable agriculture throughout the R.M. of Stanley and the entire Penner family enjoys spending time outdoors, going biking, hiking, fishing, and checking out baseball games.

Verified Beef Production Workshops Find out the latest information on how to prevent and control food safety risks in your farm operation at a Verified Beef Production (VBP) workshop.

Upcoming Workshops Workshops will take place at select Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development GO Offices throughout the province on the following dates:

Thursday, November 19,2015 (1 to 4 p.m.) Thursday, December 17, 2015 (1 to 4 p.m.) These workshops are funded by the Canada and Manitoba governments, through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial territorial initiative.

To register or for more details contact your local GO Office one week prior to the workshop. Growing Forward 2 funding for beef producers:

Are you a beef producer who has successfully completed the Verified Beef Production Program training and an audit of your facilities? Growing Assurance may be able to help fund equipment to improve food safety, biosecurity and traceability on your farm. • A combined total of $2,000 is available for the first VBP audit and approved safety equipment for audited producers. • A combined total of $5,000 is available for the beef biosecurity herd assessment and biosecurity good agricultural practices (GAP) measures. • An additional $5,000 is now available for funding traceability equipment and software. For more information, call Manitoba Beef Producers at 1-800-772-0458. www.mbbeef.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2015

Proper round bale storage JOHN MCGREGOR

MFGA Extension Support

Large round bales have been a popular hay package for many years. To see them piled or rowed outdoors along fields and buildings has become a part of the rural landscape in many parts of the province. Outdoor round bale storage is convenient and easy but it comes with a cost and that cost is the loss of dry matter and quality. Though the positive economics of indoor storage are well documented, the reality is that round bales will continue to be stored in Mother Nature’s full view. To that end, let’s focus on best practices for outdoor storage. Storage losses accumulate pretty quickly when you consider that the outer 4 inches of a 5-foot diameter bale account for at least 25 percent of the bale’s dry matter and close to half in the outer 8 inches. Research studies have documented dry matter

losses on outside-stored bales from less than 10 per cent to over 30 per cent. Here’s how to be on the low end of that range: · Use net wrap rather than twine. Aside from a shorter wrapping time, net-wrapped bales shed water better, and research documents that dry matter losses will be cut by about one-third compared to twine. Sure, net wrap costs more but it’s an easy cost recovery when you consider the feed and time savings. · Make dense bales — it’s a no-brainer that they shed water better. Perhaps more importantly, they sag less so that there is reduced bale-to-soil contact (if stored on bare ground). Much of the storage loss often comes on the bottom of the bale. · As with real estate, location is important for outdoor bale storage. A rock base is ideal, but if

that’s not practical then select an area that is well drained and subject to good air movement. Never store bales under or along a tree line. · Tightly stack bales end–to-end. This reduces end spoilage. Reducing end spoilage by 2 inches

per end per bale saves about a 5-foot wide bale of hay for every 16 bales in the line. · Leave about a 3-foot space between bale rows to enhance air movement and drying. · Run bale rows parallel with the slope. Rows

stacked across the slope act as a barrier to water movement. Actual forage dry matter and quality losses will depend largely on weather and length of storage. Nevertheless, if storing bales outside, a little

bit of planning to preserve harvested yield and quality will pay big dividends over the long haul. This article originally appeared in the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association Oct. 8 eBulletin. To receive the eBulletin go to mfga.net.

37th Annual General Meeting

& President’s Banquet February 4 - 5, 2016 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB

REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458.

REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR MAIL OR FAX YOUR REGISTRATION TODAY! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $75 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $75 q GENERAL $90

• Must be purchased by January 5, 2016 at 4 p.m.

NAME:________________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50).

ADDRESS: _____________________________________________

• Non-refundable.

POSTAL CODE: _________________________________________

Book early to get your best value!

MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 5 • Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40

CITY/TOWN: ___________________________________________ PHONE: _______________________________________________ FAX: __________________________________________________ EMAIL: _______________________________________________ PERSON 2 (IF REQUIRED): q EARLY BIRD $75 q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 q GENERAL $90 q YOUNG PRODUCER *Complimentary with mentor’s registration NAME: ________________________________________________

NEW! YOUNG PRODUCER MENTORSHIP OFFER

ADDRESS: _____________________________________________

• MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39).

CITY/TOWN: ___________________________________________

• The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

PHONE: _______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710 Quote booking number: 268463

POSTAL CODE: _________________________________________ FAX: __________________________________________________ EMAIL: _______________________________________________ EXTRA BANQUET TICKET NAME: ________________________________________________ q BANQUET $50 *Banquet tickets are non-refundable.

www.mbbeef.ca

AGM DETAILS TO COME IN THE DECEMBER CATTLE COUNTRY AND WILL BE AVAILABLE AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA UNDER THE NEWS TAB.

CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 37TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

DECEMBER 2015

37 AGM set for Feb. 4-5 th

The continually evolving needs and interests of the Canadian consumer will take the spotlight at the 37th Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting. Scheduled for Feb. 4-5 at Brandon’s Victoria Inn, the theme of the upcoming event is: From Our Gate to Your Plate: The Evolving Customer. MBP General Manager Melinda German said today’s consumers are much more knowledgeable and interested in knowing where there food comes from than ever before. That awareness has created a new set of challenges and opportunities for both producers and the industry at-large. “Our industry continues to be influenced by our consumers and they are asking more and more questions about where their food comes from,” German said. “At last year’s AGM we heard from various processors, restaurants and producers about why they are making certain marketing and management decisions. “This year’s AGM will continue on that theme and focus in on sustainability. We will have new faces from the processor, retail and producer areas of the supply chain to talk about why they are making these decisions and what it may mean for producers here in Manitoba.” While the theme will be a point of discussion throughout the AGM, it will also be the

focus of the panel discussion on Feb. 5. German said MBP is in the process of finalizing speakers but expects to have representatives from the retail sector to speak on the topic. Former MBP President Betty Green will also sit on the panel and discuss her experiences in the McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot Project. MBP will also host an industry knowledge session at 10 a.m. on Feb. 4 entitled Moving Cattle, Your Questions and Concerns Answered. Officials from the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be in attendance to speak with producers and field questions. “The beef industry is changing due to public interest as well as government regulations,” German said. “We will hear from the CFIA staff regarding regulations in areas such as transportation and tagging of cattle. It is important for producers to hear directly from the officials at CFIA to understand the requirements and have a conversation with them.” The AGM kicks off with registration at 9 a.m. on Feb. 4. The always popular trade show will also begin at 9 a.m. Other highlights of Day 1 include a discussion of the National Beef Strategy and potential National Checkoff increase. The business portion of the AGM begins at 2 p.m. and will include a review of the past year and MBP’s finances. Members will also be asked to vote on the various res-

olutions brought forward at the 14 district meetings, as well as any late resolutions. A complete list of resolutions can be found on page 8. Capping off the evening of Day 1 is the annual President’s Banquet which will include the presentation of The Environmental Sustainability Award. Manitoba comedian and performer Matt Falk will provide the entertainment for the banquet. Aside from the panel discussion, Day 2 of the AGM will include presentations from the various national organizations including the CCIA, Canfax and the Beef Cattle Research Council. German encourages all MBP members to attend the AGM and have their say on the future of the industry in Manitoba. “The AGM, like the district meetings is the time when producers can provide the association with direction in terms of priority issues that they want us to address,” she said. “This is done through the resolution process. Also, the topics and speakers being brought in address key issues and opportunities that can affect producers today and in the future. This is a good venues to hear these discussions, exchange ideas and network with fellow producers and other industry stakeholders.” Information on how to register for the AGM can be found on Page 2 of Cattle Country.

Strong attendance for MBP district meetings CHAD SAXON Another year of district meetings is in the books for Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). The 2015 schedule wrapped up Nov. 18 with the District 8 meeting in Neepawa. MBP General Manager Melinda German said both directors and staff were pleased with the meetings, noting attendance was up significantly at many of the 14 locations. She added there were also a number of new faces in attendance. “As well, the number of younger producers was up which is a very positive sign for the industry,” German said. “The conversation was fruitful as producers provided us direction in the form of resolutions and action items that we will address over the next year. This is so important as we are the voice of the producers and we need their input to ensure MBP’s priorities meet their needs.” German said the in-

crease in attendance was certainly a highlight of the meetings. She noted that along with an increase in advertising to help promote the meetings, the discussion around the National Beef Strategy and potential National Check-off (NCO) increase helped draw in producers and contributed to higher overall participation. The Strategy, announced earlier this year is, in many respects, a road map for the future of the beef industry in Canada. Each meeting included a presentation from national representatives on the Strategy and the need for a $1.50 per head marketed increase to the NCO to help fund many of the initiatives and targets laid out in it. German said the reaction to the Strategy was largely positive. “Going into this I really did not know what to expect,” she said. “Overall, we have had tremendous support for it thus far. We

Manitoba Beef Producers’ General Manager Melinda German addresses members during a district meeting in Oak Lake.

heard from many producers that they agree it is important for the industry in Canada as a whole to come together on a targeted strategy to continue to advance our industry.” German added there was healthy discussion about the need for a $1.50/ head marketed increase to the National Check-off and that producers at six different meetings passed resolutions supporting an increase. “Many agreed that the current one dollar per head

marketed NCO is not able to continue to support the work being done by Canada Beef for marketing and promotions and the Beef Cattle Research Council on research and that after 16 years at that amount an increase is needed.” The 14 meetings also provided MBP with an opportunity to update members on its work over the past year in areas ranging from water management, to predation, Crown lands policies, labour shortages and more. A review of the

association’s finances was provided at each meeting. A review of MBP’s work on bovine tuberculosis took place at districts in and around Riding Mountain National Park. “Dr. Allan Preston, who is Manitoba’s TB Coordinator, provided an update on the bovine TB situation in the Riding Mountain area of the province,” German said. “This has been an incredibly long journey for many producers and the stress of the situation is very real. We have been making progress in moving away from live animal testing to passive surveillance but we still have some work to do. MBP continues to work with federal and provincial partners on this issue.” All resolutions passed at the district meetings will be voted upon at the 37th Annual General Meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 4-5 at Brandon’s Victoria Inn. A complete list of resolutions can be found on Page 8.

Zuk proud of time with MBP Page 13

New catalog items for VBP Page 9

WLPIP gaining in popularity Page 5

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

CHAD SAXON


CATTLE COUNTRY December 2015

THANK YOU TO OUR DISTRICT MEETING SPONSORS

Manitoba Beef Producers would like to thank all of the individuals and businesses that supported our district meetings by sponsoring the beef on a bun supper District 1 The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation; Steads Farm Supply District 2 FeedMax Corporation District 3 Penco Meats – Robert Penner; Little Morden Service; Penner Stock Farms – Peter & Edna Penner

District 7 Strathclair Consumers Co-op District 8 Enns Brothers, John Deere (Neepawa – Justin Pollock & Portage la Prairie – Allan Ryrie); Neepawa - Gladstone Coop – Brian Hedley; New Holland, Mazer Group – Denys Usunier; A-8 Ranch – Tom Teichroeb

District 4 Grunthal Auction Mart – Harold Unrau; Masterfeeds – Peter Kraynyk; Mazergroup – Corey Plett District 5 Rosehill Cattle Co Ltd. – Harold & Ramona Blyth District 6 Heartland Livestock Virden

District 9 Winnipeg Livestock; Dianne Riding

District 10 Arborg Livestock Supplies District 11 Noventis Credit Union District 12 Dauphin/Ste. Rose Vet Clinic District 13 Roblin Veterinary Services District 14 Swan Valley Consumers Co-op – Ag division

Thank You To Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation For Sponsoring Our 2015 District Meetings

37th Annual General Meeting

& President’s Banquet February 4 - 5, 2016 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB

REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458.

PLEASE GO TO

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 37TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

WWW.MBBEEF.CA

FOR UPDATES ON THE AGM AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE.

REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR MAIL OR FAX YOUR REGISTRATION TODAY! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $75 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $75 q GENERAL $90

• Must be purchased by January 5, 2016 at 4 p.m.

NAME:________________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50).

ADDRESS: _____________________________________________

• Non-refundable.

POSTAL CODE: _________________________________________

Book early to get your best value!

MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 5 • Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40

CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.

2

CITY/TOWN: ___________________________________________ PHONE: _______________________________________________ FAX: __________________________________________________ EMAIL: _______________________________________________ PERSON 2 (IF REQUIRED): q EARLY BIRD $75 q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 q GENERAL $90 q YOUNG PRODUCER *Complimentary with mentor’s registration NAME: ________________________________________________

NEW! YOUNG PRODUCER MENTORSHIP OFFER

ADDRESS: _____________________________________________

• MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39).

CITY/TOWN: ___________________________________________

• The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

PHONE: _______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY - SECRETARY

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

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710 Quote booking number: 268463

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

POSTAL CODE: _________________________________________ FAX: __________________________________________________ EMAIL: _______________________________________________ EXTRA BANQUET TICKET NAME: ________________________________________________ q BANQUET $50 *Banquet tickets are non-refundable.

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING

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

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB

PETER PENNER

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

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

CARON CLARKE

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS Unit 220, 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4

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

GENERAL MANAGER Melinda German

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Chad Saxon

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn

www.mbbeef.ca


December 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Raising healthy, profitable calves for the feedlot ANGELA LOVELL Keeping calves healthy in the feedlot takes careful planning, good management and hard work, said Dr. Wayne Tomlinson, Extension Veterinarian with Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Development during a presentation to beef producers at the recent 2015 Manitoba Beef Background and Feedlot School in Carman. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) – or pneumonia - is the biggest cause of sick animals in the feedlot and accounts for 75 per cent of all morbidity, and 30 per cent to 70 per cent of all mortality. Sick calves are less profitable because they convert feed less efficiently, gain less weight and cost more to treat with medications. One of the largest feedlots in the US – JBS Five Rivers Feeding Company – has proven that the more time spent processing calves in the feedlot, the higher is the percentage of calves which die. When calves come into the feedlot preconditioned, have had their vaccines and have been castrated and de-horned, they cost less to process and are more likely to survive in the feedlot. Older, bigger calves tend to need less treatment. There is an increase in death loss with lighter calves – up to 10 per cent as opposed to only one per cent on average with yearlings. When feedlots buy calves they look for low risk animals that are preconditioned, weaned, vaccinated and over 700 lb. They want animals that come from a known source, where they know the maternal history, which is especially important for BRD risk. “BRD is a cow-calf disease,” said Tomlinson. “It’s an issue with that unborn calf. The only ones who can keep BRD out of the big feedlots are cowcalf producers because that’s where those persistently-infected calves are made – on the ranches and farms of the cow-calf producers.” Raising Healthy Calves for the Feedlot There are a number of things producers need to pay attention to if they want to produce healthy, heavier weight calves that

will be attractive to the feedlot, said Tomlinson. Colostrum Calves that get adequate amounts of colostrum do better in feedlots because they gain more weight and get sick less often. Colostrum is vitally important in the first six weeks of the calf ’s life. The cow passes on antibodies through the colostrum that helps fight infection. “In the first few hours of life the calf will accept white blood cells from the cow’s bone marrow into its bloodstream which primes the calf ’s immune system and tells it all the bugs that cow has seen over her lifetime,” said Tomlinson. “The only way they get that is from adequate amounts of good quality colostrum.” Nutrition Calves with nutrient deficiencies can have immune system problems. Well-nourished cows raise bigger calves and have better quality colostrum, so it’s important to pay attention to the nutritional needs of the cow herd. Age Older, bigger calves do better in the feedlot. Studies by Iowa State University show that about half of calves aged less than four months will get sick in the feedlot, and the number

drops to around 12 per cent for calves more than seven months old. Vaccinations Vaccinating calves prior to weaning can reduce morbidity and mortality in the feedlot. “Vaccines have come a long way and killed vaccines are far better than they were ten years ago, and Modified Live Vaccines (MLV) have improved as well,” said Tomlinson. “MLV presents a live virus to the calf ’s immune system and the calf has to learn how to kill that live virus. The killed vaccine takes a bunch of dead viruses and the immune system picks away and figures out what would work to kill these viruses.” There has been a recent increase in the use of intranasal vaccines, and although they can be a lot of work to apply, they not only give immunity through the animal’s entire system, but also provide local immunity in the nose where the calf is most likely to come across a virus. Preweaning Calves introduced to new feeds while they are still with their mothers will continue to feed after they are weaned and be less likely to get sick or die. “If you’re going to introduce a novel feed – something these calves have never seen – for

example, if they are going to be weaned and put straight on silage, feed silage for a little while before you wean those calves so they understand what silage is because if they have been running around the pasture all summer long they may not recognize silage as food,” said Tomlinson. Tomlinson advised producers to vaccinate calves three to four weeks before weaning and castrate them as young as possible, ideally within the first few days of life. They should also be dehorned and branded before weaning. Reducing Stress at Weaning Weaning is highly stressful for calves, because they are being removed from their mothers and the comfort of the herd’s social structure. They are often confined or moved into new environments and given unfamiliar feed and water sources. The older the calf the easier they handle the stress of weaning. Beef cattle are typically weaned anywhere from three to eight months old, and Tomlinson says closer to eight months is preferable. There are various ways to reduce weaning stress, including the twostep weaning method, which uses a nose-flap

to prevent the calf from nursing before it’s separated from its mother, and fence line weaning, where the calf and mother are physically separated by a fence but still able to see each other. Good Herd Health Program It’s important to sit down with your veterinarian and plan your vaccination strategies and treatment protocols, said Tomlinson. “A good herd health program can help reduce sickness at weaning, improve the treatment response of those calves that do get sick, and increase the overall performance of calves,” he said. Facilities Receiving pens should be wide and allow at least two feet of bunk space per calf, to ensure all the calves can reach the bunk to feed. Each pen should have a supply of fresh, clean water. Calves should be able to see and smell the feed and easily locate the water – perhaps by having it running or splashing. “Calves that have been at pasture drinking from a dugout or creek may not recognize a water bowl as where water comes from,” said Tomlinson. “If they take two or three days to find water that can impact their health tremendously.”

Feed Get them on feed as soon as possible after arrival to get the rumen stimulated, and switch to grain gradually to maintain the health and balance of the rumen’s microorganisms, but quickly enough so you don’t waste too much time in the feedlot, advises Tomlinson. Don’t mix other feedstuffs with odours the calves won’t recognize, or fines or dust into starting rations. Evaluate the feed to make sure it meets the nutritional requirements of the calves. Give calves enough time to acclimate to eating from a bunk prior to shipping. Treat Sick Calves Immediately Early recognition, isolation, and treatment of a calf suspected of having BRD is essential to prevent death and spread of the disease. Know the early signs of BRD such as depression, anorexia, dull eyes and temperatures over 104 F. Later clinical signs are rapid or laboured breathing, droopy ears, coughing, diarrhea, sudden death, staggering and nasal discharge. “When in doubt, pull him out,” said Tomlinson. “It’s better to treat one too many calves than one not enough especially at today’s prices.”

Verified Beef Production Workshops

Find out the latest information on how to prevent and control food safety risks in your farm operation at a Verified Beef Production (VBP) workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Workshops will take place at select Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development GO Offices throughout the province on the following dates: December 17, 2015 Video Conferencing 1 – 4 p.m. January 21, 2016 Video Conferencing 1 – 4 p.m. February 18, 2016 Video Conferencing 1 – 4 p.m. March 17, 2016 Video Conferencing 1 – 4 p.m.

These workshops are funded by the Canada and Manitoba governments, through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial territorial initiative.

Along with the video workshops, an in-person workshop will be held February 5, 2016 at the Victoria Inn, Brandon from 1 – 4 p.m. To register or for more details contact Jo-Lene Gardiner at 204-825-3512 one week prior to the workshop. Growing Forward 2 funding for beef producers:

Are you a beef producer who has successfully completed the Verified Beef Production Program training and an audit of your facilities? Growing Assurance may be able to help fund equipment to improve food safety, biosecurity and traceability on your farm. • A combined total of $2,000 is available for the first VBP audit and approved safety equipment for audited producers. • A combined total of $5,000 is available for the beef biosecurity herd assessment and biosecurity good agricultural practices (GAP) measures. • An additional $5,000 is now available for funding traceability equipment and software. For more information, call Manitoba Beef Producers at 1-800-772-0458.

www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2015

You are the real grassroots – be a beef advocate I want to thank all the producers who attended this year’s Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) district meetings across the province. Attendance was up significantly over previous years and MBP directors and staff appreciated the input from members on a variety of topics. This year’s agenda included a presentation on the National Beef Strategy and the National Check-off (NCO). At many locations representatives from the national organizations – Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canada Beef and the Beef Cattle Research Council -- were available to talk with producers about the strategy and the possible increase to the NCO. I encourage anyone who did not attend their district meeting to go to http:// beefstrategy.com/ to get up to speed on the Strategy and the proposed outcomes that will see our industry strengthen over the coming years. At six out of the 14 district meetings, resolutions came forward to support the proposed increase to the NCO from $1 to $2.50 per head marketed. These resolutions and others will be

MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column presented for debate and for vote by the membership during MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting on Feb. 4 in Brandon. Also at the district meetings, we provided updates on our key activities over the past year in the areas of advocacy, research and marketing and promotions. The majority of our time is spent on advocacy work, whether it is lobbying for more effective water management, predation strategies or land use policies. We have been spending more and more time responding to advertising campaigns and events that paint our industry in a tarnished light. We were asked at many locations what MBP and our national organizations do to counter the misinformation that is out there for consumers and the public to access.

December

2015 Fall Sale Schedule

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

Wednesday, December 2 Friday, December 4 Monday, December 7 Tuesday, December 8 Wednesday, December 9 Friday, December 11 Monday, December 14 Tuesday, December 15

Feeder Cattle Sale 9 AM Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11 AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM No Borders Charolais Female Sale Feeder Cattle Sale 9 AM Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11 AM Butcher Cattle Sale 9 AM Bonchuk Farms Simmental Production Female Sale Wednesday, December 16 Feeder Cattle Sale 9 AM Friday, December 18 Bred Cow & Heifer Sale 11 AM Saturday, December 19 Sunset Ridge Red Angus Dispersal Sale Monday, December 21 Butcher Cattle Sale 9AM

First Sale of 2016 will be January 6th, 2016 First Pre-Sort Feeder Sale January 20, 2016

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

• 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 5:00 p.m. the day before the sale • Bred Cow Sales - Delivery accepted until 2:00 p.m. the day before the sale

FOR MARKETING INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING OUR FEEDER FINANCE PROGRAM, CONTACT: ROBIN HILL (306) 851-5465 • RICK GABRIELLE (204) 851-0613 • DRILLON BEATON (204) 851-7495 KEN DAY (204) 748-7713 • KOLTON MCINTOSH (204) 280-0359

Heartland Livestock Services

Well, it is perfect timing for me to provide you with a local example of the type of misinformation that is being spread about the livestock sector. In late November a poster came across my desk advertising an adult cooking class in rural Manitoba promoting ‘Meatless Mondays: Good for us, good for the planet.’ Given that Meatless Monday events like this are taking place in rural Manitoba the public might assume it is a grassroots campaign aimed at promoting the environment and protecting your health. However, one has to ask serious questions about the current motivation behind this campaign. If we go back in history ‘Meatless Monday’ campaigns served a very patriotic purpose; local rationing to ensure the troops fighting overseas in World Wars I and II had access to nutritious foods like beef. That is a campaign I could get behind, supporting brave men and women fighting for the greater good. However, if the goal of the current ‘Meatless Monday’ campaigns is to help the planet and the environment based on removing meat from your diet then they are heading down the wrong path. The most recent ‘Meatless Monday’ campaign was revived by two wealthy women in New York who support animal rights and anti-meat programs. I am offended that they have taken something so patriotic and are instead using the concept as the basis of misinformation to achieve their own personal goals. This is not a grassroots movement but a deliberate push to end animal agriculture and push an anti-farming agenda. So what do the real grassroots of our province believe and support? Representing the 7,000 beef producers in this province, Manitoba Beef Producers’ job is to respond to this type of misinformation and stand up for what we believe in and what is true. The truth is that the safe and nutritious beef products we produce are a part of a healthy, balanced diet and beef producers are good environmental stewards. Our producers work tirelessly to provide food for our communities and that is one of the most selfless job out there. So here is the truth: Fact – Canadian beef is recognized by Canada’s Food Guide as part of a balanced diet. Nutrients in beef like zinc, iron and protein promote healthy bodies. Fact – We are producing more with less. A century ago it took three to five

www.mbbeef.ca

years to raise an animal to market weight. Today it takes less than two years. Thanks to advancements in genetics and modern production practices the impact on the environment is significantly less in terms of using less resources such as feed, water and fuel to raise that animal. Fact – Canada’s beef industry accounts for only 3.6 per centt of Canada’s greenhouse gas production and only 0.072 per cent of global greenhouse gas production; that is similar to driving a car 3.2km daily. It has been estimated that consumers produce 800 times more greenhouse gas driving to the store to buy groceries. Fact – The majority of land used in beef production is not suitable for crop production and if this land was broken for crop production it would disrupt the natural biodiversity it shelters, destroying habitat for wildlife. Cattle are extremely efficient at converting inedible forage grown on land that cannot support other crops into edible protein. Fact – Beef by-products play an important role in human medicine. More than 100 medicines used by humans come from cattle such as burn ointments, first aid creams, and anti-rejection drugs for organ transplant patients. Fact – The beef cattle industry contributes $18.7 billion to Canadian GDP and for every one job in the beef sector it results in 3.56 additional jobs in other sectors. So, it would seem that the ultimate goal of the new ‘Meatless Monday’ campaign is to end animal agriculture. The front-runners of this campaign should be cautious about what they wish for because the spinoff effects would have a significant impact on our health, the environment and the economy. As producers I ask you to help tell your story and let people know the real facts behind ‘Meatless Mondays.’ Below are a few links that will help you in being an advocate on behalf of the beef industry and pushing back against campaigns that, in the end, hurt us all. So, back to our district meetings and the question I was often asked … what does your team at MBP do to counter this kind of misinformation? We work with our national organizations to ensure we have access to facts and that we share them with producers, consumers and governments. Our goal is tell our beef industry’s story, one that the consumers and public can trust on issues of human health and environmental benefits of livestock production in our province. http://www.canadabeef.ca/pdf/ producer/Meatless%20Mondays.pdf http://makeitbeef.ca/get-the-facts-onmeatless-mondays/ http://beefadvocacy.ca/


December 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

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WLPIP starting to take hold in Manitoba RON FRIESEN For years, Martin Unrau lobbied doggedly for a risk management program to cover financial losses for producers in the cattle industry. His efforts began to pay off in 2009 when Alberta introduced price insurance for fed cattle. Later, the province expanded its livestock insurance program to include feeder cattle, calves and market hogs, covering price and basis risks. Five years later, after extensive negotiations, the program became a model for the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) to producers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia as well as Alberta. Launched in April 2014, WLPIP finally realized Unrau’s dream of a program to put livestock producers on a similar footing with grain farmers, who have insurance programs to cover crop losses. While admitting WLPIP isn’t perfect, Unrau says it’s better than before, when grain farmers had crop insurance to manage risk but livestock producers were on their own. “My argument always was, when we have a government program funded by citizens, we can’t have advantages for different sectors,” said Unrau, a former Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Manitoba Beef Producers president who farms near MacGregor. Unrau thinks things are still a little uneven because crop insurance is a government program and WLPIP is not. The federal and provincial governments help subsidize crop insurance premiums while livestock producers pay the full premium rate for WLPIP. “Having said that, what we have is definitely a great program and the reason is very simple. We can now be in a position where we know we won’t take a bath and lose huge amounts of money on our cattle if we choose to buy into the insurance program,” Unrau says. Now comes the big job: getting producers to sign up for WLPIP. Here in Manitoba, the program is starting to take hold. As of mid-November, around 1,000 cattle producers

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What’s Inside WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS PHOTO

PHOTO CAROLLYNE KEHLER

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD). “We also envision that we will be working closely with other key research and educational institutions across Western Canada, such as the University of Manitoba, Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, and many others” says MBP General Manager, Melinda German. MAFRD is providing both funding and in-kind support, and is excited to be a part of such a unique collaboration, says MAFRD project manager, Glenn Friesen. “This initiative is an open and transparent collaboration, and we want it to be Manitoba’s home of beef and forage research, demonstration and outreach for producers and also for the public,” he says. “We will be working collaboratively with research institutions from across Canada and the Northern Great Plains Ray Armbruster, Chairman of Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Inc., surveys a field to study a wide Page 2 ➢ at the Knowledge and Transfer Farm, which is located 10 miles north of Brandon.

Core partners tour MBFI

MBP visits The Pas Page 4

Page 3

Manitoba Beef Producers’ was the host sponsor for the Aug. 29 Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. As part of the sponsorship, MBP was able to recognize a farm family for their contributions to the industry. The selected family were Kristine Blair and Graham Tapley, the winners of The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba. Blair (left) was able to attend the game with her parents and a friend. While there they received a sideline tour and met Bombers’ Head Coach Mike O’Shea.

Beef producers recognized

For more information on advertising rates please contact: Esther Reimer at 204-772-4542 or ereimer@mbbeef.ca ticians have already responded. Two days after the WTO ruling came down, the U.S. House of Representatives agriculture committee voted to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken while leaving the requirement for other commodities intact. “This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty and restore stability for the United States by bringing us back into compliance,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway. Dickson called the House bill “a major effort to get this matter resolved.” However, a final bill to repeal COOL and avoid tariffs would also require approval from the U.S. Senate before Congress rises for its summer break at the end of July. There’s been some suggestion that, if the U.S. refuses to amend COOL, Canada will have to cut a side deal with the Americans for compensation instead of continuing to levy tariffs. That’s what happened in a case involving Brazil, the U.S. and cotton. Brazil won a WTO challenge against U.S. cotton subsidies. The WTO gave Bra-

zil permission to impose countermeasures. However, under a 2014 accord, the U.S. agreed to a $300 million one-time payment in return for Brazil dropping all WTO claims. However, Masswohl said such a deal is not an option for COOL. “The time for a side deal has passed. Either repeal COOL or put retaliatory tariffs on.” Editor’s note: As of press time the bill to repeal COOL had passed through the House of Representatives and was awaiting a vote by the Senate. Additionally, Canada has continued to make plans to impose retaliatory tariffs against key U.S. exports such as California wine.

Manitoba’s cattle industry was in the spotlight at a recent Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. As part of a threeField day focuses year sponsorship between on manure Canada Beef and the CaPage 3 nadian Football League, Manitoba Beef Producers was the sponsor when the host Bombers took on the defending Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders Aug. 29. MBP directors and staff were stationed in Tailgate Plaza prior to the game where they had a chance to speak with a number of Bombers fans as well as producers who were attending the game. MBP also sponsored a draw for a free supper for 10 with two Prior to the game MBP directors and staff were located at MBP’s booth in Tailgate Plaza. MBP was able to give away Page 2 ➢ recipe books and other items promoting beef. A number of kids also had some fun learning to rope.

AgriClear takes cattle sales online Page 7

Schedule set for district meetings

The schedule for Manitoba Beef Producers’ annual tour of the province has been set. Beginning Oct. 26 MBP staff and directors will embark on 14 district meetings at locations throughout the province. Members will also have an opportunity to provide input on the future of the organization by submitting resolutions that will be voted on at the Annual General Meeting which is scheduled for Feb. 4 and 5 in Brandon. A variety of topics will be

covered at the meetings. They include a review of MBP’s finances, its advocacy work on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers, and updates on key industry developments and trends. In districts 7, 12 and 13 where bovine TB is a concern there will also be an update on current initiatives related to that. There will be a presentation on Canada’s National Beef Strategy and the future vision it outlines for the Canadian cattle industry.

A short survey will be distributed asking producers to indicate whether or not they support the creation of a dealer assurance fund, a matter put forth in a resolution at the 36th MBP AGM. Elections for directors will also be held in even numbered districts this year. A new director will be selected for District 10 as current director Theresa Zuk has reached her term limit and will be retiring. “We strongly encourage our members to attend their dis-

trict meeting,” said MBP general manager Melinda German. “This year’s meetings will be of particular interest to members as there are a number of important issues to discuss and inform our members of.” Each meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. An advertisement with all of the dates and locations can be found on page 2 of this month’s issue. There is no cost for members to attend the meetings and a beef on a bun supper will also be served at each venue.

Great Turnout for Youth Round Up

Page 5

Meet U of M’s new masters’ students Page 11

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

The tariffs are aimed at disrupting U.S. supply chains and putting pressure on American politicians to do something, said Dickson. “Canada is the largest export market for the U.S. and exporters will say, we can’t have a trade war with our major export market,” he said. U.S. commodity groups that oppose COOL called on their congressional leaders to take action. “Retaliation will irreparably harm our economy and our relationships with our top trading partners and send a signal to the world that the U.S. doesn’t play by the rules. It is long past time that Congress repeal this broken legislation,” said Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, in a statement. North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter called COOL “a rule that USDA’s own economic analysis says is a burden on livestock producers, meat packers and processors with no consumer benefit,” adding “repealing the statute is the best step forward.” Some American poli-

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

late summer or early fall,” Masswohl said. Canada had earlier calculated the annual amount of financial hurt at $1.1 billion. But that was before the U.S. Department of Agriculture toughened the rule in 2013 and increased the cost to Canadian producers as a result. The amount is currently between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said at a May 19 news conference in Ottawa. The pressure is now on the U.S. to either fix COOL or suffer the consequences. Ottawa previously issued a list of U.S. imported products to be hit with 100 per cent surtaxes. The list contains dozens of items, ranging from meat, fresh fruits and processed foods to mattresses, swivel chairs and wooden furniture. The items are carefully selected and targeted at particular states, such as Iowa, Minnesota and California, that have previously supported COOL, said Masswohl. The result will probably be that those products will not get shipped because they are uncompetitive and exporters will lose sales as a result.

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

trade dispute, which has cost them billions of dollars in lost sales, discounted prices and legal bills, is finally over. “It’s been close to nine years since we’ve been going after this thing,” said Heinz Reimer, Manitoba Beef Producers president, in a telephone news conference. “Hopefully this will be the end of it and we can put this thing to bed and move forward.” The latest WTO panel reached the same conclusion as all previous ones did. It found COOL discriminates against foreign livestock and therefore violates international trade rules, said John Masswohl, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association government and international relations director. Canada will now ask the WTO for authority to retaliate against the U.S. for failing to make COOL trade compliant. An arbitrator will decide the value amount of tariffs equal to the financial injury to Canada’s cattle and hog producers caused by COOL. The tariffs will go on as soon as the WTO gives permission. “We would expect that the process would be concluded sometime in

PHOTO BY JEANNETTE GREAVES

RON FRIESEN

The United States will either have to scrap its country of origin meat labeling rule or face punitive tariffs after losing a final appeal against a trade challenge to COOL. A World Trade Organization panel confirmed May 18 that COOL unfairly discriminates against live imports of Canadian and Mexican cattle and hogs. Canada and Mexico will soon be in a legal position to slap retaliatory import tariffs on targeted U.S. products. The duties could be applied by late summer. The ruling by the World Trade Organization compliance appeal panel was the fourth one in as many years to go against the U.S. rule requiring American retailers to label meat according to its country of origin. “It finally means that there’s no more recourse in terms of appeals at the WTO,” said Andrew Dickson, Manitoba Pork Council general manager. The U.S. implemented COOL in the fall of 2008, although its origins go back to the 2002 Farm Bill. Producers expressed hope that the long-running

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As fences go up and forage crops are sown at the new research and demonstration farms east and north of Brandon, beef and forage producers can look forward to some innovative and practical tools resulting from research that will be conducted at the sites. The really exciting part of the initiative is that it’s industry-led, says Ramona Blyth, Chair of the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. “Our advisory committee has representatives from each of our stakeholders, as well as beef and forage producers from across Manitoba,” she says. “We have an open mind, and encourage any ideas for research projects that are pertinent to the beef and forage industry in Manitoba.” The initiative – led by Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) - has received $3.1 million in combined federal and provincial funding. Other partners are Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA),

gram is becoming more widely understood. Essentially, WLPIP provides an insurable floor price for cattle and hogs. As Dobbin describes it, the program is a risk management program that accounts for the risks associated with future market prices, fluctuations in the Canadian dollar, the basis (the difference between the local cash price and the futures price), feed costs and transportation. Choosing an insured price provides protection if the market is lower than the insured price when the policy expires. If the settlement price for calves, feeders or fed animals is below the selected coverage during the last four weeks of a policy, a producer may make a claim. Dobbin said producers can select from a number of coverage levels ranging from 75 to 95 per cent of the forecasted future price. Most policies expire 12 to 36 weeks after coverage is purchased (16 to 36 weeks for calves). WLPIP, or something like it, would have been a lifesaver for cattle producers after BSE in 2003, when market prices virtually collapsed after international borders closed to Canadian beef. But Unrau says you don’t need a disaster to benefit from WLPIP. Even a 10 per cent market swing can mean the difference between a profit and a loss on a 500-pound calf. Unrau recommends producers use both WLPIP and the cash advance program as a good tag-team approach to managing risk in the cattle business. That’s what he does. “The best program the cattle industry has ever had, the best program my operation has ever had, is the price insurance program and the cash advance program,” says Unrau. “These two programs have really stabilized our operation and given us the opportunity to market better and to have peace of mind around massive price dips.”

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– roughly 14 per cent of the province’s beef farmers – were enrolled in WLPIP. At one point in 2015, there was $43.5 million in policy coverage. Jason Dobbin, livestock price insurance co-ordinator for Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, says applications come into his Portage la Prairie office every day and staff holds meetings around the province to demonstrate how WLPIP works. “We’re more than willing to sit down and show producers how this program can work for them,” Dobbin says. “I’m confident that, if they understand how the program works, eventually they’re going to buy a policy.” WLPIP is operated by agencies in the four western provinces. Alberta administers the program financially and cuts payment cheques. Ottawa covers some administrative costs through Growing Forward 2. So far, the program is only a pilot project which expires in 2018. After that, governments will review the results and consider whether to continue it. For that reason, MASC and agencies in the other provinces realize they have to do a selling job to convince producers that WLPIP is the thing to have to help shield them from market losses. Dobbin says the program can be especially useful to highly levered young producers trying to establish a foothold in the cattle industry. Darren Blyth, 31, is one of them. He took out his first WLPIP policy this spring, insuring his 70 cows at $270 per hundredweight. Blyth, who also operates a 1,000-acre grain farm south of MacGregor, hasn’t seen a payout yet. But he likes the idea that he is covered if the market takes an unexpected nosedive. “As young farmers, we have payments, obviously. Being able to insure my market gives a sense of security knowing I can insure my calves for that price and I have it sitting there,” says Blyth. “As a young producer with payments, I like it.” Blyth also likes the fact that he can select any coverage level he chooses and still sell his animals whenever he wants to. He also notes that bankers are starting to accept WLPIP as collateral for operating loans, now that the pro-

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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2015

Celebrating our unique industry HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along Well it looks like winter has finally arrived after a nice November. It was good to have some extra time to get some of those last minute duties done on the farm as it seems there is always something more that needs doing. Having just completed all the fall district meetings, I would like to thank MBP staff and directors for all the hard work and dedication into presenting them. Also, a big thank-you to the producers who attended them. This is a good time for interac-

tion with producers and staff and gives us direction as an association as to what issues are important to the industry. There were a number of resolutions brought forward at the meetings. All resolutions can be found in this issue of Cattle Country for producers to view. They will be debated and voted on at the annual general meeting Feb. 4 and 5 in Brandon. In my article this month I will try to answer the question - what makes the cattle business so unique for me. First, family and friends. What a great place to raise a family, teaching the next generation values, respect and care for our land, cattle and each other. Seeing my grandkids coming down and wanting to see the new baby calves in spring or trying to catch the kittens that the mother

cat brought out for the first time and of course going for a tractor ride to feed the cows. In farming/ranching it’s people looking out for each other. It can be seen in the way we, and our children, were raised working alongside our parents and neighbors while rounding up cattle, haying etc., being raised by a community. Secondly, the environment. I still remember what my Dad told me when I was first taking over the farm. “God doesn’t make any more land, take care of what you have.” You need to understand and respect your land, working to maintain its productivity and not abuse it. Maximizing production year after year, it is important to understand its needs and providing for them, and some TLC and good weather helps. If you

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are going to be successful you have to respect and adapt to what the land and the climate brings forward. Be ready to make changes when you have to. Lastly, the cattle. Just as with our land, we need to provide for our cattle whether it is feed, water, shelter or health needs. As well, we need to respect and understand cattle when handling them. They have a mind of their own so be careful around them as accidents do occur while working with cattle. So, for the future we might have some challengets in our industry, but we also have people coming forward to address our issues in the beef industry. In closing, on behalf of MBP staff and directors, along with myself and my family, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2015

Resolutions for debate at the 37th MBP AGM Manitoba Beef Producers (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 Manitoba Beef Producers. The following are the resolutions that were proposed by producers, debated and carried at MBP’s district meetings. They will be brought forward for debate at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) being held February 4, 2016 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. Note that six districts (2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8) have adopted similar resolutions with respect to a possible increase to the National Check-off. These may be combined for debate and voting purposes at the AGM.

Untitled-5 1

There were no resolutions arising in the district meetings held in District 9 (Oct. 27) and District 14 (Nov. 5). If you are interested in bringing forward a late resolution for debate at the AGM, it must be provided to MBP staff no later than noon, February 4, 2016. Please send it to info@ mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Melinda German. MBP has also published these resolutions online at www.mbbeef.ca to help ensure that Manitoba’s beef producers are aware of them in advance of the AGM. Please attend the 37th MBP AGM to debate and vote on the resolutions. We look forward to your participation. District 1 – held Nov. 9 1.1 Whereas the crop

sector can defer income. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal government to make changes to ensure livestock producers have the same ability to defer income on the sale of all classes of livestock. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers ask the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) to ensure carcass information is provided to Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) from all the federally and provincially-inspected processing plants in Canada. District 2 – Nov. 10 2.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support the increase to the National Check-off from $1.00 per head marketed to $2.50 per head marketed. District 3 – Oct. 28 3.1 Be it resolved that

Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support the National Check-off increase from $1.00 per head to $2.50 per head. 3.2 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal government to provide more CFIA inspectors in Manitoba for processing plants and export permits. District 4 – Oct. 29 Be it resolved Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support that the National Check-off increase from $1.00 to $2.50 per head. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers create a history book for the association since inception.

District 5 – Nov. 13

5.1 Whereas night lighting is a very dangerous form of hunting that

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presents a real danger to rural residents, property and livestock; and Whereas the 2015 Manitoba Hunting Guide states that Rights based hunters (Indian and Metis) hunters “may not discharge a rifle or shotgun at night where it is dangerous to do so.”; and Whereas Manitoba Beef Producers Association has requested the current Government of Manitoba define those areas of rural Manitoba in which the current government deems night lighting to be a safe hunting practice; and Whereas the current government of Manitoba and the Official Opposition have failed to define safe night lighting areas in rural Manitoba; and Whereas Manitoba will conduct a provincial election in April of 2016.

2015-11-18 8:57 AM

Therefore be it resolved, prior to the April 2016 Manitoba provincial election, Manitoba Beef Producers Association shall request that all political parties participating in the election clearly describe those areas of rural Manitoba in which they deem night lighting to be an acceptable and safe hunting practice. District 6 – Nov. 12 6.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support the increase to National Check-off from $1.00 per head marketed to $2.50 per head marketed. District 7 – Nov. 6 7.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support the National Beef Strategy and the increase to National Checkoff from $1.00 per head marketed to $2.50 per head marketed. District 8 – Nov. 18 8.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support the proposed increase to the National Check-off from $1.00 per head marketed to $2.50 per head marketed. District 10 – Nov. 16 10.1 Whereas a straight grain producer is eligible for $400,000 under the Advance Payments Program and a straight livestock producer is eligible for $400,000; and, Whereas a diversified operation is limited to a maximum of $400,000 for all commodities produced. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal government so that diversified, mixed farm operators are not penalized in the Advance Payments Program and to increase the maximum allowable limit. District 11 – Oct. 26 11.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship (MCWS) to change the trapping season regulations from a restricted to an open season for beavers and wolves on occupied agricultural areas. 11.2 Be it resolved that the beef producers of Manitoba pay a mandatory levy of $0.25/head marketed, to support a problem wildlife removal program, administered by the Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA). District 12 – Nov. 3 12.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to establish a producer/stakeholder board to regulate the operation of the Portage Diversion. District 13 – Nov. 4 13.1 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers increase their portion of the bTB mustering fee/surveillance incentive from $1.00 per head to $6.00 for members in good standing.


December 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Healthy farms in Manitoba New catalogue items to improve biosecurity and animal welfare in Manitoba Beef producers in Manitoba will soon be able to apply for funding items to help enhance animal welfare on their farm. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) has added five new items to the Growing Assurance - Food Safety On-Farm program which focus on animal welfare and biosecurity. These items are available to beef producers in the province as a cost-share incentive. “The industry is changing. These new items will help producers advance the tools and techniques they use to help take care of their animal in a good and healthy way,” said Melinda German, general manager of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). “What producers do now and in the past have always been humane, but there has been more of a focus from consumers as to how all animal are treated.” The new catalogue items are meant to help producers meet the standards outlined in The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, which was released in 2013 by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the National Farm Animal Care Council. The new items are: • livestock guardian dogs. • tilt tables, hoof trimming chutes and cradles. • on-farm veterinary training for the administration of pain blockers. • calf catching pens and portable calf carts. • remote surveillance of calving and calf pens and barns. According to Carlyle Bennett, manager of livestock industry development for MAFRD, beef producers in Manitoba will be interested in applying for these items because they are not yet commonly used in the province. “We spoke to the industry members on our beef advisory group and these items were brought up,” he said. “Several different commodity groups have asked for welfare items, so this is a continuation of providing options for animal welfare. Beef, sheep, goat, dairy and bison will all have welfare components available in the catalogue by 2017.” Turning sideways One item that is relatively uncommon in the province is a tilt table. Most designs allow for the animal to be strapped in around the belly and have their legs restrained. They can usually span the entire chute, making it easy to secure the animal. It’s especially useful for examining the feet of a lame cow, according to Wayne Tomlinson, extension veterinarian for MAFRD. “It gives you the advantage of lifting that foot up or lifting the entire animal. That way you can see if the foot has a crack, an abscess or if it’s simple foot rot,” he said. Less pain in medical procedures Using a table with restraints is also a good idea when performing minor procedures on calves. In addi-

A pain blocker will numb the nerve of this young calf’s horn before it is removed.

tion, one of the items in the Growing Forward 2 catalogue includes on-farm training from a veterinarian to administer pain blockers during those procedures. “If the procedure doesn’t hurt there’s less chance of the producer causing a negative reaction,” he said. “Without these, when you castrate an animal and cause it pain you run the risk of being kicked.” Tomlinson said although animals do recover without a painkiller, he would recommend using one for each procedure - be it castration, dehorning, branding, or any other small operation - it should be handled as humanely as possible. “When we use some type of painkillers the animals typically get back on their feet and gain weight sooner, so there are multiple benefits to doing so,” he said. The new code of practice states that starting in January, 2016 producers will have to provide pain control in consultation with their veterinarian when performing procedures after certain ages. For example, pain management is required when dehorning calves after horn bud attachment or typically after two to three months of age. Pain blockers are one of the op-

tions for pain control that producers can use. Calf catcher easy on producers, easy on animals One of the items that isn’t commonly seen on Manitoba farms is a calf catcher, which Melissa Atchison and her family have been using on their Poplarview Stock Farm, 10 miles East of Pipestone, for the past six years. The small cage mounts to the side of their quad and allows them to corral a calf on the pasture without taking the animal away from it’s mother. The front gate of the cage is open until the calf is caught, and then once the vehicle stops a producer can get into the cage with a calf to perform procedures or tagging. “Momma can see the calf, and you can see her, but you’re not in direct contact with her if she protests the situation,” she said. “It gives you more time for proper tag placement and proper castration - you’re not going to get run over by a cow, so you can take your time.” Once the procedure is done they drive the calf slowly, with the cow following, to fresh grass. “It cuts the labour in half,” said Atchison. “It becomes a one man job because you don’t need a spotter to keep you safe from the cow - there is a lot less stress.” In addition to a portable calf catcher, producers may want to consider calf handling equipment for their calving barns. Some livestock equipment manufacturers are marketing a calf-sized head gate incorporated into a paneled enclosure that keeps the calf secure and allows the producers to work with the calf without interference from the mother cow. The one new item in the catalogue under biosecurity is livestock guardian dogs. “They are useful in that they cut down the interaction between wildlife and cattle. It prevents diseases that could be spread and also protect from coyote and wolf pressure,” said Bennett. Benefits of VBP As per all Growing Forward 2 programs, funding for the new items will be provided on a first come first serve basis. Items in the beef catalogue are available only to producers who are registered under the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. The province has 423 producers registered under VBP, extending the program to about 55,000 head. For more information on the Verified Beef Production program, contact Manitoba Beef Producers at 1-800772-0458, your local MAFRD GO office, or Betty Green at 204-803-4536.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2015

A rollercoaster of a year for markets approximately C76.78 cents. Finished cattle for April declined US21.70 cents from the high to the low of the contract. This converts to C42.31 cents per pound. At the end of November, the futures were very volatile and had improved a few cents over the contract lows for the year. It is no wonder that we saw price declines in November. We had expected the Americans to purchase the majority of feeder cattle in Manitoba this fall. The reality is, there has been very few feeder cattle go south compared to previous years. Prices for US feeder cattle have been much lower than Canadian feeder cattle of equal weight and quality. The last week in November was one of the few times that feeder cattle sold at markets in the north central USA were close to the Canadian prices. Six hundred pound black steers at Kist Livestock in Mandan, North Dakota sold for US$186.75 per hundredweight, which converted to approximately US$249.31. The same steers at Fort Pierre, South Dakota were 20 pound heavier and sold for US$248.30. The same weight of black steers sold in Manitoba that week for between $253.00 and $258.00 per hundredweight. In comparison, the real price for Manitoba feeder cattle should be the same as those markets plus the exchange and not a penny more! Add the export costs to the Manitoba prices, and those calves are at least $70 per higher than the USA calves. The drastic 20 per cent plunge in the fed-cattle market this fall caught the industry off guard. The drop in the

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line As 2015 rapidly draws to a close, cattle producers and feedlot operators have experienced a roller coaster of emotions, and markets throughout the year. The spring opened with record prices and the thoughts that the optimism of the 2014 market would never end, and that prices could get even stronger. The media and experts had us convinced that there was a great shortage of cattle and prices would reflect that. For most of the last half of 2015, cattle prices in Canada were higher than what you could lock in break evens on the CME futures. There were no risk management positions available that would guarantee a profit! It was not the first time that buyers had purchased cattle over the “Board,” but in the past the futures prices had caught up to the inventory, and feeders posted profits. It looks like many cattle feeders with inventory that was purchased in the third quarter may end up giving back some of the profits from 2013 and 2014. Just to give you an idea of how volatile the markets have been, here are some examples of what some of the futures contracts have done this year. As of November 20, feeder cattle futures for March had declined US57.47 cents per pound from the highs of the contract to the lows. This converted to

Annual Bull Sale

fed-cattle spilled over to the feeder cattle market, but despite the drop, the prices paid this fall the 2015 market prices are the second highest prices in history following the records set in 2014. Although the US has one of the lowest inventories of beef cattle in recent years, the strong American dollar has reduced the amount of beef exports by 25 per cent, and imports this year are up approximately 30 per cent. This resulted in more beef domestically in the US. Combined with record carcass weights, there is adequate beef available to meet the demand at the current retail prices. American feeders have experienced losses this year and until their Canadian counterparts start to feel the pain, they will continue to over pay for the calves. In Manitoba we saw a bigger decline in the heavier cattle classes while the lighter cattle suitable for the grass market have held to a steadier market. I predict that the “price slides” between the cattle weighing over 600 lb. and under 600 lb. will continue to widen as feed grains continue to decline in price. The grazing operations made good money last year and those buyers will be looking for even more inventory in the spring. Despite the adjustment in the current cattle market, there looks to be profits for the cow/calf industry in the near future. Cattle prices are expected to remain above their five-year average for the foreseeable future. Feed grain prices are expected to remain below their five-year average. Once consumers get over the sticker shock of the beef prices, consumption is expected to increase slightly. Droughts in other beef producing nations will short the supply ratio, reducing imports to the USA, which is still Canada’s number import customer. Recent trade deals are expected to increase the demand for Canadian beef into Japan, Korea, Hong

Kong and Mexico. Current low interest rates and a favourable value for the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar should continue to support cattle prices at levels slightly below today’s prices and considerably lower than the records set in 2014. If the current prices stay in effect there will be some payouts from the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program for those who insured their calf crop. In 2016, the Canadian cattle industry will face some major challenges! Feedlot operators have moved their existing inventory at projected losses and will try a re-buy at prices that reflect the futures market. There are more producers exiting the business than new ones getting in or expanding. The average age of cattle producers in Canada is getting older not younger. Grain farmers are taking grazing land out of livestock production and growing oil seeds or specialty crops. This has made much of the land base cost prohibitive for livestock operations. These factors will limit any growth in the cattle sector for the next few years. Labour has been a real problem in the livestock sector. From the cow-calf sector, to feedlots, transportation, and even processing, the industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified labourers or even people who are willing to learn the trades. There are also more and more regulatory changes on the way that will make it more difficult and expensive for cattle producers to stay in business. If we are to meet the potential benefits of those predicted new and increased markets outside of Canada, we will have to be able to produce the quantity and quality that they require. We have never had a problem will quality, but quantity could be the real challenge down the road. Until next year!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

70

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Monday, January 11

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204-425-5050

Tuesday, January 12

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Wednesday, January 13 Holland*

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Thursday, January 14

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Brandon GO Office 204-726-6482

Friday, January 15

Eriksdale

Arborg GO Office

204-376-3300

*Includes an update on the McDonalds Canada sustainable beef pilot

For more information and to register, contact the Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) GO Office listed above. This event is supported by Manitoba Beef Producers and the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association.

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December 2015 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Submission made to RVTF Maureen Cousins Policy Analyst Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided feedback to the provincial government’s Rural Veterinary Task Force over the summer and fall. Chaired by Dr. Paul Schneider, the three-person Task Force is examining several matters, including: the current status of Manitoba’s veterinary services; what clinics require to provide modern vet services; people’s veterinary care needs (for both livestock and companion animals); the sustainability of rural vet services; and trends in the livestock and veterinary service industry. In a program unique to Manitoba, the provincial government provides $479,000 annually to support the operations of 27 Veterinary Service District (VSD) clinics around Manitoba. Other clinic funding comes from local municipalities. Established in 1970 the goal of the VSD program was to ensure there was a vet clinic in each district so livestock producers would have access to care for their animals. MBP made two written submissions to the Task Force, and directors and staff also participated in its public meetings. MBP cited several reasons why beef producers need access to a stable supply of both private and publicly-supported veterinarians. These include but are not limited to: Ensuring producers have access to veterinarians’ technical information and guidance related to animal health and welfare, and as well as the provision of hands-on care or services when needed; Addressing concerns related to biosecurity and food safety; Helping the industry fulfill its social license with respect to the proper care

and management of cattle, such as implementing new pain management procedures as outlined in the updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle; Being able to maintain Veterinary Client Patient Relationships (VCPR), which is a component of the Code of Practice; Having a VCPR is needed to fulfill the requirements of some of the beef industry customers’ sustainability initiatives and verification processes; Receiving guidance on how to meet the requirements of the Verified Beef Production Program; Ensuring that producers seeking funding through the Growing Forward 2 Growing Assurance Food Safety-On Farm Biosecurity Gap Program have access to veterinary services in order to have a veterinary beef biosecurity herd assessment with recommendations completed; Detecting emerging animal diseases and managing existing ones, critical both to animal care and the economics of the industry; and Helping producers fulfill regulatory requirements around exporting cattle. To ensure these varied needs are met, Manitoba’s beef industry requires that rural veterinary services be sustainable. MBP strongly believes money invested in veterinary services and training is well spent. MBP requested the Task Force recommend to the provincial government that it continue to provide annual financial assistance to help operate and maintain the VSD clinic buildings. MBP noted the annual grant for the VSD clinics is a comparatively small investment in a service that is essential to protecting not only animal health, but in some instances also protects human health. By comparison more than $5.6 billion

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was allocated to Manitoba’s department of Health, Healthy Living and Seniors in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Additionally, the Manitoba government is actively pursuing the “one health” concept. This looks at the interconnectedness between the health of animals, humans and ecosystems and involves a collaborative approach to addressing potential risks. MBP also requested consideration be given to reinstating the Veterinary Technical Enhancement Grant Program to help upgrade equipment in the rural veterinary clinics. MBP believes this is important to ensuring clinics can access the latest technology to diagnose and treat animals, as well as to detect existing or emerging diseases that could threaten the well-being of animals or human health or pose a significant economic threat. Having access to modern equipment should also prove attractive to recent veterinary graduates or other veterinarians considering practising in Manitoba. Unfortunately at times there seems to be a gap between the equipment available to veterinary students in university versus what is available to them in rural clinics. MBP asked if consideration has been given to the provincial government providing low interest loans to help procure new equipment for the VSD clinics or for private veterinarians wishing to upgrade their practices’ equipment. MBP asked if alternate

business models have been examined for the VSD clinics, such as cooperatives or others. MBP noted the existing model may in fact be the most appropriate for the type of service delivery required, but exploring options could be useful. Re: attracting new veterinarians to practice in rural Manitoba, MBP recognizes there can be challenges. Achieving work-life balance is important to these professionals, as is having access to good equipment and support networks. Past studies with recent veterinary graduates who have lost interest in working with food animals in rural practices have cited several concerns. These include long hours, lack of time off, lack of support and mentorship and poor remuneration as reasons why they move to focus on companion animals or leave the profession altogether. Veterinarians, like other rural professionals, are more likely to succeed if they have sound support networks and they have ongoing opportunities for continuous learning and skills development. MBP recommended the province provide new entrants to Manitoba’s veterinary field with information about any government training programs or funding to offset training costs that may be of benefit to them. This could prove attractive to some new entrants. MBP recommended ongoing dialogue with practising rural veterinarians to determine how to address

challenges related to finding ways to take time away from their practices for holidays or to pursue continued professional development. For example, do some of them want a guarantee from their VSD boards of time off/ leave for continuing education each year? Can there be flexible scheduling to allow them time off during slower times of the year? Getting young people to consider careers in agriculture is important. Most young Manitobans are now several generations removed from farming and lack an understanding of modern agricultural practices. MBP requested there be an increased focus on agriculture, including animal agriculture, in the Manitoba curriculum. MBP also requested public support for 4-H, Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba and similar initiatives that help bridge the rural-urban divide when it comes to agriculture. MBP sought continued provincial support for the Large Animal Veterinary Retention Program, the Veterinary Science Scholarship Fund and the Veterinary Summer Student Program. MBP believes these are critical tools in attracting young people to the profession and in retaining them. A number of jurisdictions, including Minnesota, use loan forgiveness programs to recruit and retain large animal/food animal veterinarians provided they agree to provide a certain number of years of service in a rural area. The United States Department

of Agriculture also offers a Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program for veterinarians who agree to practice in areas where there is a designated shortage of veterinarians. Throughout the Task Force’s consultative process there have been discussions about the role of animal health technologists in Manitoba’s veterinary services. MBP recommended there be an extensive discussion between stakeholders, the provincial government and the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association to explore the feasibility of this. In the previous review of veterinary services in Manitoba that Task Force recognized “the increasing need for veterinarians to provide more public services, including disease surveillance, public awareness, animal welfare and other emerging issues. At the same time stakeholders clearly indicated that the public has a responsibility to pay for public services and that these costs should not be downloaded onto producers.” MBP believes this observation is as relevant today as it was in 2009, particularly in light of changing public views of animal value, use and welfare and increased public expectations around the care and treatment of both food animals and companion animals. MBP requested continued public investments in animal health initiatives. The Task Force is expected to release its recommendations early in 2016

Tickets available on the MSA Scholarship Heifer donated by Pembina Triangle Association. Draw to be made at Shades of the Prairies Sale December 14th

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

For a complete Simmental sale listing go to www.mbsimmental.com.

JOB OPPORTUNITY!! Secretary/Treasurer position available. Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Last sale of 2015 is Tuesday, December 15th First sale of 2016 is Tuesday, January 5th Saturday, December 12 th at 10:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale December 14th & January 25 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves th

For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

HAROLD UNRAU - Manager/Sales Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 871-0250 cell 204-434-9367 fax Box 71 Grunthal, Manitoba R0A 0R0

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

Applicants should be self-starters, who are able to work independently. Applicants must have access to transportation and a home office. Applications should highlight: 1) business/bookkeeping experience, knowledge of Quickbooks software is an asset but not a necestsity. 2) Understanding of the agriculture industry (purebred cattle in particular). 3) Marketing and public relations experience. Successful applicant would be required to attend meetings of the MSA board of directors, quarterly in Brandon, MB, and will have the opportunity to represent the Association at industry events and trade shows. For more information call Everett, (204) 867-0076 or email everettolson@mymts.net Resume/Cover Letter can be sent by email to donalee@midcan.com or by mail to MSA, Box 142, Cartwright, MB R0K 0L0. Deadline for applications is December 30th.

www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2015

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Rosemary Cream Sauce (recipe follows) Rub roast all over with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Add head of garlic or halved onions to pan. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into centre of roast. Cook uncovered, in 450°F (220°C) oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 275°F (140°C); roast until thermometer reads 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare, about 60 to 90 minutes. Remove roast from oven. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 to 20 minutes before carving into thin slices. Serve with Rosemary Cream Sauce, roasted garlic or onions and garlic mashed potatoes. Tuesday, NovSauce: 3 Presort Calf the Sale Angus Influence 9:30AM Rosemary Cream Drain fat from roasting pan. Place pan over medium heat and add 1 Thursday, Nov 5 Regular Sale 9AM tsp (5 mL) EACH olive oil and butter; add 1 shallot Tuesday, Nov Presort Calf Sale 9:30AM (minced) and cook for 1 to102 minutes, until softened. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) beef or chicken broth and 1/4 Thursday