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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

FEBRUARY 2016

Cattle producers finally rid of COOL RON FRIESEN After seven years and billions of dollars in financial losses to Canadian livestock producers, the longstanding legal battle over the US country-of-origin meat-labeling rule is finally over. An omnibus spending bill which included scrapping (COOL) cleared the US Congress on December 18 and was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The bill’s passage came shortly after a World Trade Organization arbitration panel gave Canada and Mexico permission to slap retaliatory tariffs on selected US traded products because of COOL. The WTO had repeatedly ruled COOL violated international trade rules. Its latest decision cleared the way for Canada to impose duties worth $1.055 billion annually on US imports. Mexico was allowed $228 million. The rule adopted in 2008 required American retailers to label food according to its country of origin. The WTO ruled several times the measure discriminated unfairly against imported beef and

pork. Although COOL is no longer in effect, it remains on the books for now. However, the US Department of Agriculture says it will not enforce the rule, pending its removal. The move to repeal COOL by Congress, which usually does not react well to losing international trade cases, surprised some observers. But not John Masswohl. “I know there’s plenty of people who thought it would never happen. But I was not one of them. I believed we could get it done,” said Masswohl, director of government and international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The WTO actually gave Canada and Mexico much less in retaliatory tariffs than the two countries had originally requested. Canada had asked for $3.068 billion and Mexico had requested $713 million. But Masswohl said the final figure was still large enough to make US legislators repeal the rule, since the list of targeted imports was long and included sen-

sitive products in exporting states. “Nobody wanted to find out whether their product was going to be part of the billion,” he said. It’s been a long haul for the COOL dispute, which Canadian cattle and hog producers say caused severe damage to their industries. The rule required US packers and feedlots to segregate imported animals, increasing their costs. As a result, buyers either paid less for imported livestock or declined to buy them at all. CCA calculates COOL cost cattle producers $639 million a year in lost sales and depressed prices. Annual losses to the pork sector were pegged at $500 million. That was before USDA changed the rule in 2013 to make it even tougher and losses more severe. In addition, the financial cost to producers includes legal fees and advocacy efforts. CCA says its legal fees over the years totalled nearly $4 million. Masswohl admitted producers will never recover the money COOL has cost them over the years. But now that it is gone, they

can plan for the future. The immediate question is how much COOL’s elimination will improve livestock market prices in Canada. Melinda German, Manitoba Beef Producers’ general manager, suggested cattle producers in this province might have to wait a while. “We’re a cow-calf province and it may not have a direct significant impact on the cow-calf producer right away,” German said during a telephone news conference. “Longer term, I think it provides increased stability to our markets, particularly here in Manitoba. I think it’s going to be very positive for our feeder/feedlot folks. We should see increased stability as more markets open up to us. We are an export country and Manitoba relies very heavily on exports to the US That’s going to be significant to us.” Masswohl agreed Manitoba producers might not see a difference until they start selling calves. But he said others could notice an improvement fairly soon because US plants are running below capacity. Getting rid of COOL could encourage US buyers

to compete for imported cattle. “Take COOL away and you get these buyers down there, they’re going to want the cattle,” Masswohl said. “What is it going to take to get the cattle at Company A instead of Company B or Company C? You’ve got to think that the bids are going to affect the scenario. “The question is, will Canadian buyers of cattle also respond to that and be competitive? I think we are going to see a very positive price impact.” Masswohl said eliminating COOL will smooth Canada’s trade relations with the US and help both countries concentrate on the European market. Canada has negotiated a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU but it has yet to be ratified. But Masswohl warned the US had better not try to bring back COOL in a different form or Canada can still implement the tariffs it chose not to impose. “If they do something else that replicates the COOL effect, we are authorized to put those tariffs on and they will come on quickly.”

2016 Market Outlook Page 7

Reimer working to build a strong association Page 9

Environmental hoofprint of Canada’s Beef industry BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL water erosion, and builds up soil organic matter (also known as carbon sequestration). Better feed conversion efficiencies are accompanied by reductions in methane and manure production. While the beef industry was pursuing business-focused improvements in productivity and efficiency, a lot of farm kids moved to town, and raised their families in urban settings that rarely (if ever) come in contact with agriculture. This knowledge gap about how beef is produced has provided opportunities for the beef industry’s opponents to undermine our environmental reputation. Our industry is particularly maligned for producing greenhouse gases linked to climate change. Practically every living organism produces green-

house gases, even plants, but cattle produce more than other livestock because rumen bacteria produce methane as they digest feed. Additional greenhouse gases come from manure (methane and nitrous oxide) and fossil fuel use (carbon dioxide). However, like the industry’s “water footprint” the greenhouse gas impact of the beef industry is often vastly overstated. In 2010, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a report called “Livestock’s Long Shadow” which stated that livestock produce more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation, leading to headlines suggesting that burgers are worse for the planet than SUV’s. It was significantly flawed because it counted all of

the emissions involved in raising beef (e.g. emissions from cultivation and production of feed crops, grain drying, transport of feed, cattle and beef, etc.), but only the tailpipe emissions of vehicles (but not the emissions involved in extracting and refining the oil, steel, rubber, vehicle manufacturing, etc.). While beef producers took issue with that report for being unfair to our industry, anti-livestock activists also criticized that report for being too easy on meat. A more balanced FAO report named “Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock” came out in 2013. This less publicized report found that producing a kilogram of beef in Latin America, India or China generates twice the methane as in North America, Europe Page 3 ➢ Producing

Impact of transportation on cattle Page 10

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.

Over the years, Canada’s beef industry has invested a lot of time and resources in, and reaped considerable economic benefits from improvements in productivity and efficiency. With higher forage and feed crop yields, less land needs to be bought, leased or rented to produce the same number of calves or the same amount of beef. Similarly, improved feed conversions mean that less forage is needed to winter the cow herd or less feed grain is needed to grow a pound of beef. These improvements in productivity and efficiency have also produced environmental benefits. To produce high yields, forages need an extensive root system that promotes healthy soil, healthy soil microbes, improves structure, reduces soil losses due to wind and


2

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

ARE ALL ANTIBIOTICS NO. In Canada there CREATED EQUAL? are four categories

Worried about antibiotic use and resistance in cattle?

6

Not all antibiotics are the same. Some antibiotics are more powerful than others, and some categories of antibiotics that are often used in cattle are not medically important to humans.

MOST IMPORTANT IN HUMAN MEDICINE Category Used in treating humans?

1.

2.

VERY HIGH IMPORTANCE

Yes – limited or no alternatives available Drugs of last resort

87%

When antibiotics are used, bacteria that are responsive to the drug are killed, and bacteria that aren’t responsive (are resistant) survive and reproduce.

X X X

2

4

3

X

X

X

X

33. The antibiotic resistant bacteria

22. Antibiotics kill disease-causing

44. Some bacteria share their

few are drug resistant.

survive and reproduce.

bacteria, as well as some good bacteria that protect the body from infection.

“Producers understand the concept of antibiotic stewardship. We understand the concept of leaving something in a better situation than we inherited it.”5 -Dr. Leigh Rosengren, Veterinarian and Producer

IS ANTIBIOTIC FREE

The Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico has bacteria that have lived in complete isolation for more than four million years. When treated with a variety of antibiotics, many of these bacteria were naturally resistant.1

A specified withdrawal time must pass after the last treatment to ensure that there are no antibiotic residues left in the beef. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency regularly tests for residues. In 2013, over 99.9% of both domestic and imported beef products were free from residues. If residues are found, the beef is not allowed to enter the food chain.11

ANTIBIOTICS IN FEED

1

Just because an antibiotic is used in feed does not mean it is being used to promote growth. It is often better for sick animals to be treated through feed rather than aggravating their illness with stress from multiple injections.

Resistance of E. coli in retail beef to any of the drugs in the VERY HIGH IMPORTANCE category is less than 2.5%.7

Bacteria (E. coli) found in retail beef are rarely resistant to more than one drug. Over 74% of E. coli samples were not resistant to any of the drugs tested.7 RESPONDED TO ALL DRUGS

74.4%

RESISTANT TO ALL DRUGS TESTED

0.003%

This means that there are lots of options to treat most drug resistant bacteria.

For a person to get an antibiotic resistant infection from eating beef, a number of unlikely things must happen:

GROWTH PROMOTION A category of antibiotics called ionophores help boost growth in cattle. Ionophores are not used in human medicine, and work differently than medically important antibiotics. There is no evidence that use of ionophores causes increased resistance to antibiotics used in human medicine.3,4

“It is our privilege, not our right to be able to use antibiotics in the animals that we take care of.”5 - Dr. Craig Dorin, Veterinarian

of the antibiotics used in animals (livestock and pets) are of Low and Medium importance.10

71%

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GET A RESISTANT INFECTION?

WHY ARE ANTIBIOTICS USED IN CATTLE? Ensuring animal welfare: providing care to sick cattle, including using antibiotics when appropriate, is the humane thing to do.

Humans: n/a Cattle: Ionophores such as Rumensin, Bovatec

DRUG RESISTANCE LEVELS ARE LOW IN BEEF

drug-resistance with other bacteria.

ALL BEEF

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE HAPPENS NATURALLY

of the antibiotics used in people are of High and Very High importance.10

Canada has several surveillance programs in place to monitor trends in antibiotic resistance. Examples include the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance,7 FoodNet Canada,8 and the newly announced Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System.9

X

11. Some bacteria cause disease. A

Commonly used for Commonly used for treatment, control and growth promotion and prevention of disease prevention of disease

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE SURVEILLANCE

X

X

Not used in human medicine

Humans: Bactrim, Vibramycin Cattle: Resflor, Liquamycin

Human: Amoxil, Zithromax Cattle: Draxxin, Tylan

LOW IMPORTANCE

Most of these products require a veterinary prescription, just like you need a prescription from your doctor before the pharmacist will give you most antibiotics.

WHERE DOES ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE COME FROM?

1

4.

MEDIUM IMPORTANCE

Not often – many more effective alternatives available

Sometimes used for treatment, control and prevention of disease

Brand Human: Cipro, Omnicef name examples Cattle: Excede, Baytril

3.

HIGH IMPORTANCE

Yes – alternatives available

Rarely used Used in beef cattle?

It’s important to us too.

LEAST IMPORTANT IN HUMAN MEDICINE

PREVENTION Preventing infection can reduce the need to use more powerful antibiotics if the disease becomes more serious. Preventive antibiotics are also used in human medicine, like with people who are exposed to bacterial meningitis.

2

TREATMENT AND CONTROL OF DISEASE Cattle sometimes get sick, just like people, pets, and other livestock. Antibiotics can help protect animal health by limiting the spread of disease.

1

3

2

4

animal gets an antibiotic

bacteria survives multiple food safety controls during processing

bacteria survives cooking

antibiotic resistant bacteria develops in animal

5

7

6

8

Doctor prescribes antibiotic

bacteria causes illness in person

illness is severe enough to warrant medical attention

X

illness fails to respond to treatment because bacteria is resistant to prescribed antibiotic12

If beef is cooked properly, the antibiotic resistant bacteria die – breaking the chain of unlikely events. The probability of human illness in the U.S. due to drug resistant food poisoning (campylobacteriosis) is about one in 236 million.12 Being killed by an asteroid is 1000 times more likely.18

Whether you choose conventional or organic, beef is an important part of a nutritious diet.

3

Producers take their ethical responsibility to protect the health and welfare of their families and animals very seriously, which includes using antibiotics when appropriate.

Producers also have a responsibility to use antibiotics with good judgment. Surveillance7 indicating low resistance in cattle to antibiotics of importance in human medicine shows they are doing just that. Canada's Verified Beef ProductionTM program outlines responsible practices for producers, and provides training on how to use antibiotics properly.13

Previous research showed no predictable or uniform increase in resistance between cattle raised with the use of antibiotics and those raised without.14 Antibiotic use in agriculture is just one small part of the whole antibiotic resistance picture that also includes humans and pets.15,16,17

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

www.mbbeef.ca

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

220 - 530 Century Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 Phone: 1-800-772-0458 email: info@mbbeef.ca Printed by Leech Printing 245600

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

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

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

Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Melinda German Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Producing more with less ← Page 1 or Australia. In countries with more sophisticated production systems, cattle are bred, fed and managed in ways that produce faster, more efficient growth. As a result they reach slaughter weight sooner, and spend fewer days eating, ruminating, producing methane and generating manure. Dr. Getahun Legesse and collaborators at the University of Manitoba and AAFC Lethbridge are working on a Beef Science Cluster project that is measuring how the environmental footprint of the Canadian beef industry has changed between 1981 and 2011. The first paper from this project, entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Canadian Beef Production in 1981 as Compared to 2011” will appear soon in Animal Production Science. What They Did These researchers looked at many different Canadian research projects that studied how slight changes in reproductive rate, feed and forage crop

yields, growth rates, carcass weights, etc. impact how much feed and land is needed to produce a kilogram of beef, and how much manure and greenhouse gases are produced as a consequence. A variety of data sources (e.g. Census of Agriculture data from Statistics Canada, Canadian Beef Grading Agency, Canfax, and large-scale producer surveys) were also used. Dairy steers that entered feedlots and cull dairy cows were considered to produce beef, but veal calves were not. A range of cow-herd winter feeding management practices (confinement, in-field feeding, swath-, bale- and stockpiled grazing) and feedlot production scenarios (calf-fed, backgrounded, and backgroundedgrassed before finishing) were considered. Regional differences in diets (cornbased feeding in the east vs. barley-based feeding in the west) were accounted for. They combined the research information with the production data, and

used a computer model to estimate how resource requirements (land base and breeding herd size) and greenhouse gas production changed over the 30-year period. What They Learned Canada produced 32 per cent more beef in 2011 than in 1981. Much of this was due to higher carcass weights; in 2011, slaughter steers were 29 per cent heavier and heifers were 45 per cent heavier than they were in 1981. Producing the same amount of beef in 2011 required 29 per cent less breeding stock, 27 per cent fewer slaughter cattle and 24 per cent less land, and produced 15 per cent less greenhouse than in 1981. Although some greenhouse gas emissions were from manure methane, CO2 (e.g. fuel use) and nitrous oxide from manure and soil, nearly three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions were due to enteric methane produced during digestion. Over 78 per cent of the methane emissions occurred in the cow-calf sector, because

the breeding herd spends nearly its whole life consuming forage-based diets that produce a lot more methane than grain-based diets do. What It Means Reductions in the beef industry’s environmental hoofprint have largely come through technologies that improve production efficiencies. On the cow-calf side, optimizing nutrition improves growth and reproductive performance. When more females get pregnant and successfully wean a calf, fewer heifers need to be retained as replacements, so the breeding herd is smaller. On the feedlot side, heifer carcass weight has increased due to growth promotants that overcame the biological disadvantages that heifers have relative to steers. Improvements in feed crop yields mean that a smaller land area is needed to produce the same amount of feed. In other words, many of the same things that improve productivity on the farm, ranch or feedlot also contribute to a smaller en-

MBP announces resignation of GM The Board of Directors of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) wish to announce they have accepted the resignation of General Manager Melinda German. German, who took over the position in March 2014, has been named the general manager of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency, which is located in Calgary. Her final day with MBP is Feb. 22. MBP President Heinz Reimer said it was with mixed emotions that the board accepted German’s resignation. “Melinda has been a strong general manager for Manitoba Beef Producers and accomplished a great deal in her time with us,” Reimer said. “We are sad to be losing her but pleased to know she will continue to work in the beef industry. “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Melinda for her contributions to Manitoba Beef Producers and wish her the best in her new position.” German said that Manitoba has been her home for

a number of years and while she will miss her friends and colleagues, she is excited about what lies ahead in Calgary. “This is an excellent opportunity for me to work at a national level and continue to serve beef producers, particularly those I have gotten to know during my time in Manitoba. This is an important time for the beef industry and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be part of it while continuing to work in the best interests of producers.” German added that she would like to thank the MBP board of directors for the opportunity to serve as general manager and their support during her time with MBP. “I must also thank the staff of Manitoba Beef Producers for their hard work. Our members are fortunate to have this dedicated group working on their behalf.” Reimer said the search for a new general manager will begin immediately.

vironmental hoofprint for the beef industry. In the next few years this research team will use similar analyses to estimate how the Canadian beef industry and the pastures and rangelands it maintains impact water, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. This research study is focused on the historical changes in the beef industry’s environmental hoofprint between 1981 and 2011. It is designed to align with the National Beef Sustainability Assessment that the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is conducting. The CRSB initiative is thoroughly evaluating the environmental, social and economic impacts of Canada’s beef industry from farm to fork based on

2013 practices and data. The intent is to repeat this assessment on an ongoing basis, sort of like the Beef Quality Audits, so that the industry can track our progress over time and identify opportunities for further improvements. You can learn more about the CRSB at www.crsb.ca. The Beef Research Cluster is funded by the National Check-Off and Agriculture and AgriFood 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.

13th Annual

FAMILY TRADITION BULL SALE MARCH 18, 2016

2 P.M. ~3 m. North of Dropmore on PH #482

Yearling & 2 Year Old Bulls on Offer

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Call for a weigh sheet - Dan, Alana & Matthew Van Steelandt Home: 204-665-2448 • Dan Cell: 204-522-0092 • Matt Cell: 204-264-0706 vvvranch@inethome.ca • www.vvvranch.com 1 mile W of Medora on Hwy #3, then 2.5 Miles South on Road 144W

www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

Plenty of highlights for the industry in 2015 HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along Happy New Year from myself and the board and staff of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). I am pleased to invite you to attend MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting Feb. 4-5 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. You will be provided with industry

updates from our national partners. There are also two panel discussions, one regarding the transportation of cattle and another based on this AGM theme: From Our Gate To Your Plate: The Evolving Customer. The AGM is a great time to meet with your

fellow producers, MBP directors and staff as well our sponsors and to tour the trade show booths. I also encourage you to attend the President’s Banquet for some great beef and lots of laughs from our featured entertainer, comedian Matt Falk. This month I want to review some of the major issues and events from 2015. It was a year to remember as we saw cattle prices reach an all-time high earlier in the year and then soften in the fall when producers were still getting a good return on

He Sells!

Presented By:

Sons Sell! Sale managed By: t BaR C Cattle Co. ltd. 306-933-4200 306-220-5006 info@tbarc.com

RamRod Cattle Co. tony, Jody & lacey dekeyser Box 67, medora, mB, R0m 1K0 Phone 204-665-2424 tony’s cell 204-264-0270 ramrod@xplornet.ca FRaSeR FaRmS Jeff & nancy Fraser Box 44, melita, mB, R0m 1l0 Phone 204-686-2281 Jeff ’s cell 204-522-5964 jeff.fraser@live.ca

CoR Vet Cattle Co. dr. Corey W. Jones dVm Wayne & linda Jones Box 573, melita, mB, R0m 1l0 Phone 204-665-2449 Corey’s cell 204-264-0444 corvetcc@gmail.com

View the catalogue online

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their investment but not what they had hoped for. A number of producers who had enrolled in the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) were rewarded as there were a number of settlements. This program has helped Manitoba producers access improved business risk management tools and we encourage producers to contact your local Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation office for more info on WLPIP. At last year’s AGM MBP, along with our federal and provincial governments, Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association and Ducks Unlimited announced the joint investment into Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI) which is located in the Brandon area. Valuable research and extension activities will be undertaken that are important to beef production such as different forage production methods, extended grazing, and animal handling, among others. A lot of work was put into getting MBFI started in the past year from clean up, planting crops, harvesting, fencing, cor-

We would like to welcome Laurelly Beswitherick of Austin, MB as our new Secretary/Treasurer.

Thank you to Donalee Jones for her work with the MSA since 2008.

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February 15

February 18 February 21 March 4-6 March 9 March 13 March 14 March 15 March 16 March 18 March 21 March 22 April 7 April 9

Rendezvous Farms "Holiday Monday" Simmental Bull and Female Sale Ste. ...........................................................................................................Rose, MB M&J Farms Simmental & Angus Bull & Female Sale ................................................... Russell, MB Bonchuk Farms Annual Bull Sale .................................................................................... Virden, MB Rainbow River Simmentals Online Bull Sale ........................................................................... Online Mar Mac Farms & Guests Simmental & Angus Bull Sale ............................................ Brandon, MB Rebels of the West Bull Sale ............................................................................................ Virden, MB Genetic Source Simmental Bull Sale ............................................................................ Brandon, MB Prairie Partners Bull & Female Sale ............................................................................ Killarney, MB Transcon's Premium Beef Bull Sale .............................................................................Neepawa, MB Family Tradition Charolais & Simmental Bull Sale .................................................. Dropmore, MB Maple Lake Stock Farms "Kick Off to Spring" Bull Sale Grande ................................Clairiere, MB WLB Livestock's 12th Annual Simmental & Polled Hereford Bull Sale ............................................................................................. Douglas, MB Transcon's Winnipeg Bull Sale ................................................................................... Winnipeg, MB Transcon's Cattle Country Bull Sale ............................................................................Neepawa, MB

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President, Everett Olson (204) 826-2643 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

www.mbbeef.ca

ral building and the like. Thanks to all who helped, including MBFI directors and staff, MBP directors and staff, MAFRD staff and others. Watch for a grand opening announcement this summer. In February 2015 Canada confirmed a new case of BSE in a beef cow in Alberta. The animal was found through the national BSE Enhanced Surveillance Program, showing the program works as it should. No parts of the animal entered the human and animal food systems. There was a small impact on Canadian beef exports as some countries closed their borders until further details were available. Fortunately those countries are now beginning to lift their suspensions including South Korea which made their announcement this January. Canada remains a controlled BSE risk country. After a winter with little snow, flooding was not much of an issue in the spring of 2015. Instead there was a lack of moisture in western parts of the province, creating a forage shortfall in some areas. But after some late summer rains, pastures came back and producers worked to bring in enough forages from other areas. December 18 was a day of celebration as Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) was repealed in the

United States. COOL has cost Canadian producers millions of dollars and severely impacted the cattle industry. Manitoba producers were hardest hit due to our proximity to the upper Midwest US where a lot our cattle are marketed. It is great to look forward to open and fair markets with the US. There were times it seemed as though Canada would never win and we must thank the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay for their work on this file since taking office. As well, producers thank former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and former Minister of International Trade Ed Fast for their substantial time spent fighting COOL on our behalf. IT’S DONE! Beef producers have faced some tough issues over the past years. However, by working together we can overcome them. There is optimism in our industry so let’s go out and tell our story about how great an industry we have and grow our provincial herd. In 2016 MBP will continue to represent beef producers’ concerns and work to improve and sustain our future. We are your exclusive voice for the Manitoba beef industry. So Let’s Keep Mooving Along in 2016!


February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

MBFI has been an exciting journey MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column Last year at our Annual General Meeting, the provincial and federal governments announced funding through Growing Forward 2 to support the establishment of a beef and forage research and demonstration farm in Manitoba. This marked an exciting time for us at Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) as we started our journey, working with partners on the development of an initiative that will support discovery research and the testing and extension of that knowledge. It has been a busy year setting up the ‘farm.’ One year later, we have staff on the ground caring for the 55-cow herd, and building and improving the infrastructure. The ‘farm’ consists of three sites. The first two are just east of Brandon

and were formally the lands used by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in their research program. The staff have been working on improving the infrastructure at these two sites to ensure it is suitable to conduct discovery research. We look forward to having two projects underway this fall that will investigate forage varieties and fetal programming and needle free technology. As we set up the ‘farm’ we have been utilizing the resources we inherited and taking the opportunity to tackle the kinds of problems producers are facing right now. For example, one pasture we are working with has an infestation of leafy spurge. This past year we worked with partners from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Develop-

ment (MAFRD) and AAFC to examine impacts on leafy spurge through biological controls and rotational grazing. This work is ongoing but we are seeing some positive results thus far. Partnering with Ducks Unlimited, (DU) another project is managing land north of Brandon at the former Manitoba Zero Tillage Research Association site. Currently, the research cattle are grazing swathed millet, followed by standing corn and then bale grazing. One of our key objectives is to examine practices and technologies to extend the grazing season. We know through research previously done here in Manitoba and elsewhere in Canada that extending the grazing season significantly reduces the costs of production. Our goal is to test forage varieties and grazing techniques that can be used successfully under our environmental and climatic conditions. Testing new production techniques enables us to take the risk

out of trying new practices allowing for an increase in their successful adoption by producers. This past summer we conducted several demonstration projects on the site north of Brandon. Mob grazing was compared to a slower rotation system to look at the impact on the animals, plants and soil health. Highenergy forages such as plantain and chicory were used to investigate animal performance, and drone technology was used to map out vegetation density. It was a busy summer and all of these projects will continue this year and we will be in a position to offer a producer tour to highlight the results. We did a tour test run this past year by showing the ‘farm’ and our projects to the initiative partners such as MAFRD, DU and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. The grand opening and producer production tour in 2016 will highlight these and many other projects under-

way this year. Shovels are also in the ground building the infrastructure needed on the ‘farm.’ First up is the cattle handling facility and shop. The cattle handling facility will allow chute side demonstration and will eventually feature a catwalk for folks to observe at a distance. This highlights another main objective of the ‘farm’. Not only are we working to extend production information to producers but we also want to showcase our industry for the public, media and policy makers. We want to be transparent regarding the industry and what we do and we want to build strong relationships with our consumers and stakeholders. We have made tremendous progress in the last twelve months and there is lots more to come. Look for our 2015 Annual Report on the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives website (www. mbfi.ca ) and our booth at future events to learn more about our exciting year ahead.

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New pain control procedures for 2016 ANGELA LOVELL As of January 1, changes to the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle require beef producers to provide pain control during painful procedures such as castration and dehorning. When castrating bulls over nine months of age producers must use pain control, and when dehorning calves after the horn bud has attached. The Code of Practice also recommends other practices that will help in pain management, such as castrating or disbudding calves as young as possible, preferably by the age of three months and before weaning. “Most producers are already castrating their calves early, which is probably the most important thing to do,” says Dr. John Campbell,

of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “Research has shown there’s a lot less stress, and a lot less pain when painful procedures are done at an early age. So the first aim is to do it early, which most producers are doing, and then to phase in pain control as well.” The Code of Practice recommends painful procedures be performed by competent personnel using proper, clean, and well maintained tools, and that producers seek guidance from their veterinarian regarding optimum castration methods, timing, and pain control options. Many Producers Already Use Pain Control “Most producers won’t have to change a thing to be in line with

the revised Code of Practice,” says Campbell. “Many producers are already using pain control products and are very happy with it and think it’s the right thing to do. And the public thinks it’s the right thing to do. A vast majority of producers are not going to have any problem with it the new revisions.” Cost of pain control products may be a concern for some producers, but Campbell says it’s probably a cost of sustaining the industry. “We are a low margin industry and here’s one more cost that producers have to bear, and it probably doesn’t provide a huge economic advantage, but it makes our business look good to the public, and we probably can’t stand back and say we can’t afford to do it,” he says. The Code of Prac-

tice also suggests that producers minimize the impact of branding by using proper tools and techniques, as there is currently no practical way to give pain control when branding animals or during surgical procedures. “We still don’t have a great way to relieve pain during the procedure itself, but we do have some good products for pain relief after the procedure,” says Campbell. “It’s tougher to do something that is going to be efficient especially in beef cattle when 300 animals are being done in a morning. It would be impossible to wait ten minutes for a local anaesthetic to take effect for every calf. So we still need research to figure out techniques for that and hopefully we will also get some new drugs coming to the market for post painful procedure pain.”

New Pain Relief Products on the Way Calgary-based Solvet introduced a new, orally administered product last fall; Meloxicam Oral Suspension. The product was developed in partnership with Alberta Veterinary Laboratories, the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, and Agri-Food Canada. Dr. Merle-Olsen, vice-president of research and development for Solvet, said in a recent news release that Meloxicam Oral Suspension is the first product in Canada to carry a label claim of reducing pain associated with castration. “The advantage of Meloxicam, both the oral and injectable forms, is that they give almost 48 hours of pain control compared to the other products, which are much shorter duration,” says Campbell.

Public expectations about animal welfare are driving the call for pain control as a part of livestock production. “The Code of Practice revisions have been agreed upon up by scientists, industry representatives and the public about how we should be practising,” says Campbell. “They are about animal welfare and public perception of painful procedures, and it’s just another way of showing to the public that 99.9 per cent of producers are still doing the right thing because they care about their animals.” For a list of approved pain control medications for cattle go to: http://www.beefresearch. ca/research-topic.cfm/ pain-mitigation-81?utm_ s ou rc e = b e e f re s e a rc h . c a / p a i n & u t m _ medium=redirect&utm_ campaign=Pain per cent 20Mitigation#techniques

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PHOTO BY ANGELA LOVELL

February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

A large crowd of beef producers were in Neepawa in November to hear about the market forecast for 2016. The presentation was part of Farm Credit Canada’s Ag Knowledge Exchange series.

The high tide of cattle prices has turned ANGELA LOVELL 2015 will go down in the history books as the year that Canadian cattle prices hit record highs, but the tide has turned and the cycle is moving in the opposite direction. That was the message from market analyst, Anne Wasko of Gateway Livestock, who addressed Manitoba beef producers at Neepawa in November as part of Farm Credit Canada’s Ag Knowledge Exchange series. Western Canadian cattle prices hit highs of $204/cwt for fed cattle and $330/ cwt for steer calves earlier in the year but

the huge range in prices was something Wasko said she’d not seen before. Why Were Cattle Prices so High? Start with strong US prices, then add a weak Canadian dollar and stronger than average basis levels, explained Wasko. “Canadian beef exports are up one per cent even though we were down 7.5 per cent in production in 2015,” she said. “A 75 cent dollar makes us pretty attractive around the world, and we have seen six per cent more tonnage of beef going into the US this year.” Canadian beef exports to China and Hong Kong were also up. Basis levels – the difference between

the Canadian and US cash prices – for Canadian cattle have also been exceptionally strong. “Normally fat cows in western Canada trade under the US market because of freight and COOL costs, and our five year average is anywhere from $5 to $15 under,” said Wasko. “During the second quarter of 2015 basis levels were crazy strong and fat cattle were selling over the US floor before freight. One reason is because Canadian packers were so tight – last winter we had sent so many feeder cattle south - they were desperate to keep the cattle here, so they bid over the US market. And then feedlots did too.

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Even today basis levels have been pretty good.” Dismal US Exports Pressure Prices Our neighbours to the south meanwhile were suffering from the flipside of a strong US dollar that has produced dismal export figures – down 13 per cent overall – for US beef. That’s also reduced exports of other US meats such as pork and poultry, while production of these proteins has increased, which has dragged down the price for all meats, including beef, at the grocery counter. “When you have other protein products in price trouble Page 8 ➢ Feedlots


8

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

← Page 7 that certainly impacts on beef, especially the low end cuts and trim,” said Wasko. The US was already well on its way to lower cattle prices, adds Wasko, having peaked in its price cycle earlier than Canada did. “Herd expansion has been aggressive in the US over the last two years, and is projected to continue through 2016 and into 2017,” said Wasko. “But the peak of their price cycle began in early 2014 following the drought in 2013. Cow-calf producers had great moisture conditions and excellent prices and margins in 2014 and through 2015. Based on projections the US cowcalf industry is not going to be as profitable for the next couple of years as it has been the last couple, but there will still be profitability.” US cattle prices took a nose dive in September, as demand from packers decreased as heavier cattle headed to slaughter. “In Canada, the average steer carcass weight for the entire year was up by around 30 lbs, and the historic year over year increase averages seven lbs,” said Wasko. “At the moment 1400 lb is light for fat cattle and there are lots of 1700 and 1800 lb cattle in the US and Canada.” Canada’s Herd Beginning to Expand While the US was expanding its herd, Canada’s cattle numbers remained stagnant because the industry was still in consolidation mode, said Wasko. “The US industry had been profit-

PHOTO BY ANGELA LOVELL

Feedlots face concerns in 2016

Anne Wasko

able on average since 2000 and was more prepared to seize the opportunity to expand when the moisture came and the profit levels began to kick in. In Canada, after BSE we had a decade of decimation to our business and equity. So when 2014 came, and we had great cattle prices and great profits, there were still things producers needed to do – like paying down debt - before they could look at keeping heifers and building the herd. We weren’t in the same fiscal position because of the previous 10 years leading up to 2014.” There are signs that Canada is finally beginning to expand its herd. “There is a feeling now that there has been some heifer retention over the last few

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months, as the number of heifers going to slaughter or being exported is down by 18 per cent, so something is definitely going on,” said Wasko. Consumers Paying the Price There will be increased US beef, chicken and pork production in 2016, which will definitely continue to put pressure on retail beef prices, especially if the US dollar stays strong and continues to restrict exports, creating too much domestic supply. That’s relevant to Canadian producers because Canadian cattle prices are based on US price signals. So while Canadian cow-calf producers can also look forward to a couple more years of profitability, they’re not likely to see anywhere near the high prices of 2014 and 2015. Canadian retail beef prices were strong as continued high demand from the Canadian retail sector prevailed. “Even with the problems we have in the market at the producer level today prices at the counter remain at record highs,” said Wasko. Retail beef prices are up 15 per cent over 2014. “Because supplies are still smaller in Canada retail beef demand will take another jump in 2015 and there is no question consumers are paying more for less of it.” That said, consumers may become less willing to pay high beef prices if they continue to see lower prices in US grocery stores, and there will continue to be competition from pork and poultry as cheaper protein alternatives. Feedlot Sector May be Hardest Hit Wasko is concerned that the Canadian feedlot sector may be hardest hit by larger numbers of cattle being kept in Canada. “In 2014 we exported 1.2 Tuesday, Feb 2 Thursday, Feb 4 Tuesday, Feb 9 Thursday, Feb 11 Tuesday, Feb 16 Thursday, Feb 18 Thursday, Feb 18 Tuesday, Feb 23 Thursday, Feb 25 Tuesday, Mar 1 Thursday, Mar 3 Friday, Mar 4 Tuesday, Mar 8 Thursday, Mar 10 Tuesday, Mar 15 Thursday, Mar 17 Tuesday, Mar 22 Thursday, Mar 24 Thursday, Mar 24 Tuesday, Mar 29

million head of cattle and Canadian packers were saying they needed more cattle to run at capacity. In 2015 only 850,000 were exported, so the packers and feedlots did a better job of offering strong basis levels to keep cattle in Canada,” said Wasko. “The concern is it may have worked too well. We have kept the feeder cattle here this fall, which is good, but it probably means this great basis environment we have been in, where our basis has been above the US market, will probably flip in the other direction and go back to normal. The strong basis year we have had in 2015 where fats and feeders have traded above the US market is not going to stay.” It’s difficult to predict cattle prices for the year ahead, admits Wasko, because there are so many factors that come into play, not least exchange rates and trade issues. There has also been unprecedented volatility in markets over the past year. She recommends producers keep a close eye on the US dollar index and base price forecasts on historical basis levels, not the highest levels that have ever been seen. Be Prepared to Seize Pricing Opportunities “I believe there will be some good pricing opportunities, especially early on in the year, but producers will need to have a game plan in place and possibly be ready to price calves,” she said. “We saw a lot of forward selling this summer and I think there will be more of that in 2016 – especially through some of the satellite and internet sales. There will be demand for it, but the question is whether producers will like the price or not.” Packers and retailers have the leverage at the moment, but that can change quickly, adds Wasko. “Retail demand has been exceptional but I think there is more production coming from all three protein sectors and we are going to have to buy some of that demand back and that means cheaper beef.”

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February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

PAUL ADAIR Home for District 4 Director and Manitoba Beef Producer President, Heinz Reimer, is Beautop Beef; a cozy 170-acre farm five miles south of Steinbach which has been in his family since the mid-1950s. Reimer is a multi-generational rancher whose parents immigrated to Canada from Germany to provide a better life for their children. Reimer operated a dairy farm from 1978 to 1997 where he switched over to beef. Reimer typically runs approximately 30 to 35 head of Angus-cross cattle; a number that he is comfortable with as he balances his day-to-day with his duties with MBP. Reimer also works part-time for HyLife in neighbouring La Broquerie where he manages an 800 head cow-calf operation for the company. Reimer’s wife, Elsie, is a seamstress who specializes in bridal-wear and alterations and also helps out on the farm where she is able. Together they have five grown children who return home to lend a hand when needed. For the most part, Reimer’s operations have not fundamentally changed in the many years he has been raising cattle. In the two decades since his move from dairy, Reimer has focused more on the genetics of his herd and has switched his calving season from February to mid-April to take advantage of the springtime temperatures. “I hate getting up in the dark and checking cows but it’s much easier to do it when the weather is a little warmer outside,” says Reimer. Reimer attended his first MBP meet-

ings shortly after getting into beef. He had already accrued many years of experience with the Manitoba Holstein Association and was well aware of what comes with being part of an association such as MBP. And although Reimer didn’t begin attending meetings with the intention of becoming a director, it was not long before he realized that he wanted to know more about what goes on behind the scenes. In order to accomplish this, he felt that he needed to become more involved with the association. It is this eagerness to learn more about the beef industry that has helped carry Reimer through his terms as a director and President. “Sometimes it’s nice to be the President,” says Reimer. “I gives me a chance to see a little more of the whole story on the industry and about our association. I live and work in just one corner of Manitoba and one of the best parts about my job is that I get to see how things are done across the province. This has been a great plus for me.” In his years within the industry, Reimer has been often struck by the willingness of Manitoban beef producers to come together during the tough times, working collectively to overcome challenges and reach certain goals. He recognizes that an association with strong representation, such as MBP, helps to build the networks and connections that ranchers need in order to be successful. “In 2012, when we were short of hay in the southeast here, I phoned a director up and he was able to get me in touch with someone with a surplus,” says Reimer. “In another instance, I was in a desperate need

PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVIN BLAKE PHOTOGRAPHY

Reimer working to build a stronger MBP

9

Heinz and Elsie Reimer

of a bull and I phoned up a member and, while he said that he didn’t have one himself, he knew of someone who did. There really are a lot of benefits in being part of an association like ours.” Reimer also sees the MBP membership as a valuable resource for those entering the industry or simply looking to evolve their beef operations. Reimer sees beef producers as always willing to offer advice to those interested and pass off their experiences – both positive and negative – to skirt potential pitfalls. “We are all cow people and cow people seem to be able to get along across this province to help each other out,” says Reimer. ”There are a lot of times where they won’t tell you exactly what to do but will let you know where they made mistakes so that you can avoid them yourself.” Health concerns surrounding the beef industry is one of the issues that Reimer has been passionate about in his five years as District 4 Director. In coming years, he would like to further improve the fight for harmonization in regards to medications that are being used on either side of the border; ensuring that Canadians have access to the same drugs and vaccines as their American counterparts. “We struggled with liver flukes here in the southeastern part of the province two years ago and there just wasn’t anything available to us here in Canada,” says Re-

imer. “Thank goodness we at MBP pushed hard on this important issue and the drug was there for us this past year when we needed it.” Moving forward, Reimer would like to continue focusing on beef advocacy and letting the public know of the good work being done by Manitoba’s beef producers to ensure the welfare of its cattle and for the protection of the environment. “We as beef producers sometimes get a bad rap from media and we really need to tell our story,” says Reimer. “When people go eat at a restaurant these days, they want to know where their food comes from and that it was treated humanely. Letting the consumer know what we do is a big investment for the sustainability of our industry.” Reimer spends his free time - when he can find it – trying to keep up with his grandkids and heading out on the links to improve his golf game. He is also an avid hunter. “I love to go deer hunting,” says Reimer. “That’s why should we have district meetings in the fall during hunting season – you might not see the President of Manitoba Beef Producers anywhere around.” Reimer believes that the best way to serve beef is with a rib-eye steak, marinated for 24-hours and barbequed on the grill until it is medium done.

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Cattle transport in Western Canadian winters CAROLLYNE KEHLER The following article contains the results of a recent study conducted by the U of M and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Everyone these days has heard about our social license, and if you haven’t it’s likely that you will in the future. Our beef-eating customers are demanding the highest quality product,

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licence. But what if we are Cattle, trailer and and $120 per 1200-1400 in this study. already doing things well environmental measure- lb animal when marketed Finished cattle are and have no way to show ments were taken prior on a live weight basis (as- particularly well adapted it? How do we tell our cus- during and after trans- suming 5 per cent shrink). to cold conditions owing to tomers that we are already port. These included the One of the goals of this their hair and hide thickraising cattle in a way that condition of the animals, study was to find ways to ness, thick fat layer, high is convincing? I believe this handling and unloading/ reduce bruising and shrink metabolic heat production is where research comes loading conditions, the ex- in order to increase animal and large gut fill capacity. into play; research is a third ternal climate and internal welfare and decrease losses Generally speaking, they party unbiased method of trailer climate, the motion incurred by the industry. also have good pre-transproviding the evidence of of the trailer (in the form of If you live in one of port nutrition and health what we are doing well and acceleration), the space al- the Prairie Provinces, I’m prior to transport. Howwhat we need to improve lowance in the trailer, and sure you’re well aware that ever, the Beef Cattle Code upon. location (compartment) temperatures can fluctuate of Practice recommends With this in mind, the of the animal within the drastically during winter. protecting cattle from wet, Beef Cattle Research Coun- trailer. After arriving at the This held true during the windy weather because cil and Manitoba Beef Pro- processing facility, animal finished cattle transport they are more prone to cold ducers funded a research shrink, carcass grade, dark study; internal trailer tem- stress under those condiproject to benchmark cutting and carcass bruis- peratures ranged from -32 tions. and measure the effects of ing were measured. The data from the curto +25 C and internal temwinter transport on cattle; According to the Na- perature humidity index rent study indicates that a step in the production tional Beef Quality Audit (THI) ranged from -54 when a trailer is stationary, chain that is often scruti- done in 2010/11, bruis- to +26. Cold temperatures humidity can build up quite nized by the public. Histor- ing accounts for about feel even colder when quickly (within minutes), ically, the most transport $2.1 per head of trim re- the humidity is higher, especially at the beginning research has taken place moved from the carcass in which is likely the expla- of the journey when cattle in warmer climates such as Canada. Shrink can cost nation for the extremely are warm from the physiAustralia, South America, the industry between $100 low THI values measured cal activity of being loaded Europe, or warmer areas of North America, which is often not applicable to the colder transport conditions that exist during our Canadian winters. Just over fifteen hundred (1552) finished cattle were transported in semitrailers within Alberta from a feedlot to a single processing facility. The finished cattle were transported between 1 hour 40 minutes and 7 hours 30 Just over fifteen hun­dred (1552) finished cattle were transported in semi-trailers minutes between Novem- within Alberta from a feedlot to a single processing facility as part of a study on the ber and February in 2014. impact of transportation on cattle.

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Kelly Yorga / Jeff Yorga Flintoft, SK 306. 263-4432 306-642-7023 / 306.531.5717 www.jyorgafarms.com

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February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11 onto the trailer. Therefore, avoiding stationary periods is recommended because cattle could become wet and be more prone to cold stress. Interestingly though, shrink increased by 2.3 per cent as the THI increased from -40 to 0 indicating that heat stress may have been experienced by the cattle rather than cold stress. Because finished

unloading none of the cattle were prodded because of the processing facility restrictions. The majority of the electric prodding at loading was due to 4 handlers using the prod on over 50 per cent of the cattle in those particular loads, this suggests that in a small number of cases handlers used the prod out of habit; not necessarily because the

Carollyne Kehler places a motion sensor in a cattle trailer as part of her study on the impact of transportion on cattle.

cattle are acclimated to such cold winter temperatures the trailer becoming too warm (approaching or above 0 C) may actually cause more discomfort than extreme low temperatures. Drivers should be cautious when transporting finished cattle, accustomed to cold weather, on abnormally warm days in winter, and should avoid stationary periods, during which humidity can build up in the trailer, especially just after loading. Handling was also measured during this study and many variables were recorded including the use of the electric prod. At loading about 20 per cent of the finished cattle were electric prodded, at the stunning box 1.4 per cent of cattle were prodded and at

situation warranted it. If these handlers would adapt their handling style, or use a different handling aid, the handling scores measured at loading could have been greatly improved. This project also provided a novel method of measuring motion (in the form of acceleration) in a commercial transport vehicle. Acceleration in this case referring to movements of the trailer such as sudden jolts (stopping and starting) or vibrations within the trailer. Using this method it was determined that the magnitude of the acceleration is dependent on speed of the trailer, the compartment within the trailer, and the journey duration. Other factors affecting the magnitude of acceleration include vehicle suspension,

road surface, movement of the animals and the driving style. The highest vertical accelerations (up and down movements of the trailer) were found at both the highest and lowest travelling speeds. The high accelerations found at low speeds are likely due to increased animal movement and increased stopping and starting for example in towns. Further, a 1 m/s2 increase in vertical acceleration caused severe bruising to be 1.81 times more likely. Therefore, drivers should avoid travelling at high speeds (> 90 km/ hr) especially on rough roads, and avoid routes that require slowing down and stopping often, in order to reduce bruising in transported finished cattle. There is little risk of finished cattle or cull cows being loaded with inadequate space allowance because loading is limited by the weight of the cattle due to axle weight restrictions. On the other hand, low space allowance can be an issue when loading calves and feeder cattle because they are smaller and lighter. Too much space allowance was actually linked to increased shrink in finished cattle in the current study. Similarly, too much and too little space allowance has also been linked with bruising in other studies, however that was not substantiated in the current study. Shrink increased by 2.6 per cent as the space allowance increased from about 2.6 m2/1500 lb animal to 6.5 m2/1500 lb animal (for reference, the belly compartment is approximately 19.4 m2). Increased shrink could be due to the stress experienced by cattle being separated from their herd mates or because of the increased room to move around and

be physically active. No cattle in this study became non-ambulatory (unable to walk), or died, and only one animal (0.064 per cent) was scored as fatigued in condition (headdown, salivating, unwilling to move). The finished cattle transported in this study were robust, in good health and they fared well during the transport conditions experienced. This is likely because finished cattle are relatively robust compared to cull cows or young calves. A journey with finished cattle would have to have extremely severe conditions before finished cattle welfare was

detrimentally affected. It is clear from this work and other studies that transport is not black and white. There are many factors involved in each of the management decisions drivers, feedlot operators and processing facilities make. It is unrealistic to expect transport decisions to be made based solely on the factors measured in this study. However, considering animal welfare when making management decisions will also ensure high product standards, reduced losses and the continued social acceptability of cattle transport. In conclusion, the finished cattle in this

study fared well and the current transport practices for finished cattle transported in western Canadian winter conditions for less than eight hours are indeed adequate. The information gathered during this research project can now be used as a benchmark for other winter transport research. To all of you who haul cattle, be it occasionally or as your profession, I wish safe travels for you and your passengers. Find the Master’s thesis detailing this study at: http://hdl.handle. net/1993/30749

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

Managing many types of risk on province’s radar GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES UPDATE BY MAUREEN COUSINS Managing agricultural risk, protecting surface water, tackling climate change and spring flooding were a few of the matters on the Manitoba government’s radar in recent weeks. Risk Task Force Issues Findings In 2015 MBP provided extensive feedback to the province’s Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force. It was examining whether the current

business risk management (BRM) programs are effective in helping producers manage and recover from climate-related challenges. MBP cited the importance of having access to sound BRM programs like forage insurance and the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program, as well as the need to revisit programs to ensure they are as responsive as needed, particularly after disasters.

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MBP wants to ensure beef producers can compete on a level playing field with other commodities. MBP also raised concerns with the Task Force around water management. 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. Mitigation is a key tool for managing risk. MBP continues to ask governments to upgrade water management infrastructure to reduce threats caused both by future flooding or droughts. MBP has also repeatedly sought fair compensation for producers affected by flooding, including artificial flooding. The Task Force released its report and 25 recommendations in early January. Some recommendations made to the provincial government that may be of interest to beef producers include: • Consider predictable compensation for producer’s losses in designated areas due to mitigation measures; • Consider a new permanent cover program to compensate producers for taking marginal land out of production;

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• Continue to develop the Excess Moisture Insurance program so premiums and coverage reflect the risk; • Continue to develop and promote best practices program (Environmental Farm Plan focus) to encourage best management practices (BMPs); • Consider reforming AgriInvest so it can act as an incentive for BMPs among producers; • Support the Aquanty HydroGeoSphere modelling project for the Assiniboine River Basin to provide data to better inform decisions on policy and programs; • Create a provincewide comprehensive approach to LiDAR to provide additional elevation and water management data to benefit agro-environment policy, program decisions and on-farm best practices and productivity; • Explore development of whole farm revenue insurance; • Research use of weather derivatives as a business risk management tool for producers; and • Remove permanent Class 4 wetlands from municipal taxes through federal-provincial cost sharing. To see the full report go to: www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/business-andeconomics/agri-risk-task-

force.html. Surface Water Legislation On November 24 the province introduced Bill 5, The Surface Water Management Act (Amendments to Various Acts to Protect Lakes and Wetlands). Key components include: strengthened protection of wetlands (no net loss of wetland benefits); setting through regulation nutrient targets to improve water quality, with reporting requirements; and, streamlining drainage licensing requirements with enhanced inspection and enforcement efforts (including greater fines for illegal drainage up to a maximum of $50,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a corporation). The proposed legislation amends five different laws including the Water Rights Act, the Water Protection Act, the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Act, the Planning Act and the Conservation Districts Act (renamed Watershed Districts Act). It also provides recognition for the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, of which MBP is an active member. MBP expects to provide feedback on this legislation which will likely be debated before the provincial election on April 19. To read the bill visit http:// web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/40-5/ b005e.php Climate Change Plan Unveiled

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On December 3 the Manitoba government unveiled its Climate Change and Green Economy Action Plan and pledged to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one-third by 2030. The province says it wants to look at ways to continue expanding markets and adopting sustainable farming practices to reduce GHG emissions. The agriculture and transportation sectors have been identified as key sources of GHG emissions in Manitoba. The province is putting $5 million into a new five-year $5 million Climate Change Action Fund and says monies will be invested to drive innovation in these sectors and other areas. A Climate Friendly Agricultural Practices will be introduced to provide incentives for BMPs, support advanced and applied research, and enable technology transfer to build farmer and industry capacity for climate friendly agriculture. Of note in the Action Plan to the beef sector the province said it will: • continue to make investments in flood mitigation infrastructure; • expand the focus of the Environmental Farm Plan-related programming from assessment of agri-environmental risks towards building resiliency against adverse weather effects on farms; • promote the use of perennial grains and forages; • provide wildlife depredation prevention and compensation programs to assist in mitigating agricultural conflicts with wildlife; and • encourage the research and implementation of water retention approaches at both the onfarm and the basin-level scale to provide resilience in time of drought and extreme weather events. • MBP will provide feedback as elements of the Action Plan are rolled out to ensure the important role beef producers play in managing the environment is recognized. New research conducted by the University of Manitoba, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge and Environment Canada found there has been a 15 per cent decrease in methane, 16 per cent decrease in nitrous dioxide and 13 per cent decrease in carbon dioxide from beef production in Canada over between 1981 and 2011. As well, comparing the same time period, it took 29 per cent fewer cattle in the Page 13 ➢


February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

New Land Calculator for Manure Application Available ANGELA LOVELL Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Development (MAFRD) staff have developed a new Land Calculator which will make it easier for Manitoba cattle producers to expand their herd. The previous calculator was based on data from Quebec, but this one uses Manitoba-specific data to make it more applicable to Manitoba producers, explained Clay Sawka, a Nutrient Management Specialist with MAFRD, who demonstrated the new calculator at the 2015 Manitoba Beef Background and Feedlot School in Carman recently. Manitoba Specific Data “Because this calculator uses Manitoba specific numbers the result is quite a bit less land requirement when farmers ex← Page 12 breeding herd and 24 per cent less land to produce the same amount of beef. Research and adoption of innovation have been key to achieving this. To review the Climate Change and Green Action Plan visit www.gov.mb.ca/ conservation/climate/in-

pand than the old models indicated,” said Sawka, who used an actual example of a backgrounding operation that expanded from 2,400 to 3,400 animals. The old calculator estimated that the producer required 2,140 acres of land for manure application, whereas the new calculator cut those acres to 1,368 acre. “The new calculator decreased the land that this farm needed to access by 30% so we have really fine tuned the process to make it easier for guys to expand.” A technical review must be done for operations which have more than 300 animal units to assess the amount of land the operation need to access – whether owned, rented or leased – for manure application. That’s where the Land Base Calculator comes in. The calcu-

dex.html. 2016 Flood Risk In late December Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre issued its 2015 Fall Conditions Report, an assessment of soil moisture levels at freeze-up. Higher than average soil moisture conditions

lator takes into account animal numbers, soil types, yields and the individual management of the herd. How the Calculator Works Producers feed information into the calculator about the type of manure storage, animal numbers, weights in and out, cycle length and number of cycles. Built into the calculator are assumptions about the amount of dry matter consumed per animal per day, as well as the percentage of protein in the animal’s diet, and the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus(P) retained by the growing animal. These assumptions are specific to the type of operation, so will be different for a cow-calf, backgrounding, or feedlot operation. The land base required to handle the manure is calculated based on the rate of gain per day and amount of N and P excret-

are present in Westman, while moisture conditions are average in the Red River Valley. Between April and November, normal to well above normal precipitation was received in the watersheds of the Saskatchewan, Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris river basins. As well, the watershed down-

PASTURE SPACE AVAILABLE

ed, taking into account the crop rotation used. “It’s a simple mass balance,” explained Sawka. “We know how much feed is being consumed, we know how much N and P are in that feed, and we know how much is being retained by that growing animal. So one subtract the other is the amount excreted.” Application Rates Vary Sawka emphasized that the calculator tells a producer the amount of land he or she needs to have access to, but that not all the land will necessarily be used for manure application every year. “If you put all your manure on the first year on a quarter of land that’s fine – you just can’t use those acres next year,” said Sawka. Producers might need to rotate to different acres in following years depending on

stream of the Saskatchewan River received above normal precipitation. This could lead to a higher risk of spring flooding depending on future precipitation levels and the speed of the snowmelt. The report said soil moisture in the Saskatchewan, Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris river basins is slightly greater than the soil moisture observed in the fall of 2014, which led to above average run-off in spring of 2015. As well, the report

the rate they apply, which is determined by their soil tests. Producers cannot exceed the N rate threshold for a particular soil type, which is set out in the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. For most soil classes growing annual crops the concentration of residual nitrate N cannot exceed 140 lbs per acre in the top two feet of soil. Allowable N levels are less for more environmentally sensitive soil types. The land calculator helps producers make sure they have enough land available to be sustainable over the long term. To learn more about the new MAFRD Land Calculator visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/environment/nutrient-management/land-baserequirements-for-new-and-expanding-livestock-operations. html

found the Saskatchewan, Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris Rivers had base flows considered wellabove normal, while the Red River base flow was also above normal for the time of year with above normal base flows and levels representing a higher potential for spring flooding The province will release its first flood outlook sometime in late February. To read the complete Fall Conditions Report go to www.gov.mb.ca/flooding.

On a related note, in early January the federal and provincial governments committed to expanding Manitoba’s network of automated weather stations from the existing 61 stations to 84 by 2018. They are part of the agrometeorology program and the data collected is used for a variety of production-related purposes. The data is also expected to be used to enhance flood and drought forecasting, precipitation maps, and monitoring severe weather.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016 Left, Manitoba Beef Producers GM Melinda German and Director Dave Koslowsky speak with producers during the Holland Beef and Forage Seminar on January 13. Right, MBP Project Coordinator Carollyne Kehler represented the association at beef week events throughout the province in January.

CCIA releases tag retention study results Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has announced the key preliminary findings resulting from the mature cow portion of the national Tag Retention Project, which is intended to collect baseline data on cattle tag retention and tag readability, recommend solutions to enhance tag retention and readability as well as provide the foundation for further study. The broad-based approach and survey of the existing situations will provide the foundation for identifying specific tag retention challenges that may require further data collection. The national Tag Retention Project involves animals from various geographical areas across Canada to ensure appropriate representation of farming styles and environments. The study has tagged more than 5,000 animals with equal distribution

of approved CCIA radio frequency identification (RFID) tag types/brands at each test site. Each farm test site was selected based on appropriate handling facilities to optimize tagger safety, tag application and tag retention. In this study, each tag type is applied according to manufacturer’s directions in terms of tag location, using the corresponding manufacturer’s tag applicators, etc. “The mature cow data collected in 2014 includes cattle of varying ages from those tagged as calves in the spring of 2011 to mature cows tagged in 2011. This period of time represents one-third of the productive life of a beef cow in Canada,” states CCIA Vice Chair and Tag Retention Project Committee Chair Mark Elford. “Tag readability at the first stage of this project was greater than 99 per cent. Recent pre-

FEBRUARY MARCH

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Monday, Feb 1

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Feb 3

Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, Feb 8

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Feb 10

Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, Feb 15

CLOSED – Louis Riel Day

Wednesday, Feb 17

Regular Feeder Sale

Friday, Feb 19

Bred Cow Sale

Sunday, Feb 21

Bonchuck Simmental Bull Sale

Monday, Feb 22

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Feb 24

Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, Feb 29

Butcher Sale

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Wednesday, Mar 2

Regular Feeder Sale

9AM

Monday, Mar 7

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wednesday, Mar 9

Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Mar 11

Bred Cow & C/C Sale

Sunday, Mar 13

Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale

Monday, Mar 14

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Mar 16

Regular Feeder Sale

Thursday, Mar 17

Sheep Sale

Saturday, Mar 19

Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale

Monday, Mar 21

Butcher Sale

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Wednesday, Mar 23

Presort Feeder Sale

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Friday, Mar 25

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Wednesday, Mar 30

Regular Feeder Sale

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liminary findings on tag retention across all of the project herds averaged at 88.9 per cent, with a range of 64.7 to 100 per cent. This means within three years, tag loss ranged from 3.8 to 35.3 per cent, with an average of 11.1 per cent.” “The average mature cow tag retention percentage was 89.7 per cent across the 13 herds where data was gathered in 2014. Since the final calf/yearling tag retention percentage presented in April 2013 was 98.9 per cent, the preliminary mature cow data represents an average decrease in retention of 9.2 per cent,” adds CCIA Tag Retention Project Manager Ross MacDonald. “Although the mature cow data has yet to be analyzed for statistical significance, preliminary tag retention data for the mature cows is lower and more variable than in the calf/yearling group. Within the coming months, we will summarize and analyze the mature cow data for tag retention across all herds, tag loss by herd and tag brand as well as tag readability.” “The project’s 2015 cow scan schedule started with three herds in the spring and summer, 11 this fall and one in the winter. Moving forward, this proj-

ect will continue to analyze the mature cow scan data, complete the mature cow scans and the project’s final analysis, report and communications strategy next spring. We look forward to sharing this important information with the entire value chain,” CCIA General Manager Anne Brunet-Burgess affirms. As a not-for-profit, industry-initiated organization led by a board of directors made up of representatives from all sectors of the livestock industry, CCIA fully supports the national Tag Retention Project and its findings which will educate producers on cattle RFID tag retention and tag reading performance, and recommend solutions to enhance tag retention and reading performance. Details regarding tag retention and reading performance rates as well as recommendations to reduce tag loss and tag readability problems will be included in with the statistical analysis in the final report, which will be posted online within CCIA’s home page at www.canadaid.ca. For more information on the Health of Animals Regulations, please visit http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/ C.R.C.,_c._296/.

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February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

A blood test for bovine TB

Dr. Allan Preston Provincial Bovine TB Coordinator

The Good News In May, 2015, the General Session of the World Organization for Animal Health, the OIE, added the Bovigam 2G TB Kit to the register of diagnostic kits certified by the OIE as validated fit for approved use in cattle, sheep, goats and water buffalo. This approved use of the Bovigam now includes as a primary, stand-alone screening test to demonstrate herd/country TB freedom, as well as a test in individual animals for trade/movement purposes. This newly approved test, according to the manufacturer, “will enable faster results and can result in shorter interruption of animal movement – farms can be back in operation in one week.” The Bovigam 2G TB Kit is produced by Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Austin, Texas, and is the only Bovine TB, interferon-y invitro assay that is OIE registered. The kit is produced in a 10 plate – 300 sample package. The Bad News Currently, neither

the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) nor the United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) have approved the Bovigam 2G TB Kit as a primary stand-alone screening test within their respective domestic programs. Further, the Bovigam 2G TB Kits are presently not available in North America. Thermo Fisher Scientific is focusing its production and marketing on the European Union market. The position of USDA/APHIS is an important consideration for Canada as it may impact USDA-APHIS’s recognition of our surveillance data to support any TB freedom claims by the CFIA in the future, especially re-gaining TB-free status for Manitoba. The TB control programs in the US and Canada must be harmonized to facilitate cross-border trade in live ruminant animals. Comments on the Bovigam Test The Bovigam test does enable producers to only handle their cattle once, provided they have a very good animal identification system in place that allows the rapid selection of animals that re-

act to the test. However, the test does have a lower specificity, meaning that more false positives may be found, necessitating slaughter, post mortem, and further testing, along with the resulting herd quarantine until laboratory results are finalized. This process can take up to 3-4 months if animals ordered slaughtered show any suspicion of TB. To put this into perspective, the 2014-15 surveillance season saw 2702 head tested, with a caudal fold test (CFT) reactor rate of 2.82 per cent; 76 head were then tested with the Bovigam, five turned up suspicious and were ordered slaughtered, all with negative results. Had the Bovigam been used as the primary screening test, with its lower specificity, approximately 135 animals (a low estimate) would have tested suspicious and been ordered slaughtered – a significantly higher number, to lead us to the same conclusion, notably all negative results. There are some additional challenges with the Bovigam. Currently, CFIA’s laboratory capacity to perform the test is limited to 5–10 samples per week. Getting samples to the lab within the

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30 hour maximum time limit is a concern. And preserving the integrity of blood samples in our severe winter conditions is also a problem. And cost is a significant issue – consider the compensation for 135 cattle ordered slaughtered compared to only five. The potential for more quarantines is real, and that extended quarantine period brings additional costs as well. Retooling CFIA labs and contributing provincial labs to perform the Bovigam will take both time and money. Additionally, the Bovigam kits are considerably more expensive than is bovine tuberculin PPD. A final note – the Bovigam has not been approved by the OIE as a stand-alone screening TB test for North Ameri-

can bison. The Path Forward CFIA estimates that it will not be considering the Bovigam for broad use as a screening test until the 2017–18 surveillance season. The most probable scenario for 2017–18, should additional herd testing be required, is that producers in the Core Area of the RMEA could be given the option of having either the Bovigam or the CFT test as their stand-alone screening test. Some consideration has been given to potential pilot projects within the RMEA; however, these pilots are deemed to be of little additional value as the science regarding the Bovigam is essentially complete – an additional pilot would not likely provide any new information.

Conclusion The OIE announcement regarding the approval of the Bovigam was seen as a positive step forward, potentially satisfying the long standing producer requests for a blood test for Bovine TB. However, significant issues still stand in the way of the adoption of the OIE recommendation by CFIA and USDAAPHIS. For the current testing season, the status quo with the CFT will continue. With no testing scheduled for 2016– 17, we have the better part of two years to sort out the issues, reach a decision for the future role of the Bovigam. And, if you are an optimist as am I, perhaps the need for any herd level tuberculosis testing will be almost non-existent by that time.

Stewart Co.&&Guests Guests Stewart Cattle Cattle Co.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

Making a healthy improvement in 1-2-3 ADRIANA FINDLAY Let’s focus on making small changes to improve our health and heart, rather than daunting weight-loss goals this New Year. Let’s together revamp our diet and self by eating better, choosing the right items at the grocery store and boosting energy levels with easy exercises. Life is busy and keeping healthy should be a priority kept at the top of our lists. Kick start your fitness today with easy to follow tips to incorporate into your daily routine, items to watch out for when choosing foods at the grocery store, and daily exercises you can get done during commercial breaks or on your lunch break. Monitor salt intake. Salt is one of the world’s oldest preservatives and is found in almost every packaged product and can attribute to heart disease and increasing blood pressure. So be Aware: Choosing products that are low in sodium is a good start, this can be indicated by a health claims approved by Health Canada. Reading the ingredient list is a great indication of how much of an ingredient is present in the food item. Ingredient lists are listed based on quantity, therefore the first five items listed will make up the bulk

of the product. Tips and tricks: sauces, soups, canned pulses are often high in sodium, if a low sodium option isn’t available try extending the meal by adding fresh veggies to sauces and soups and topping them up with water, low sodium broth or wine for added flavour. Canned beans and lentils can be thoroughly rinsed removing a lot of the salt found within the preserving liquid. Food labels can hide salt from consumers be aware of salt on ingredient labels: table salt, sodium chloride, sodium monochloride, sodium nitrate, sodium bicarbonate and soy sauce. Low Fat = High Sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate that metabolizes in the body very quickly turning into glucose where it’s absorbed and used for energy. We need carbohydrates for quick releases of energy. Monitoring sugar intake is hard; it’s in many products we eat that are packaged and is naturally found in a lot of fruit and vegetables. Be Aware: when reviewing diet labels in the grocery store, low fat can mean high in sugar canned fruit packed in syrup or fruit punches contain little fruit juice concentrate and a lot of added sugar. Tips and tricks:

choose cereals with low or no added sugar, liquid honey is a great sweetener that can be added to your taste. Salad dressings often have added sugar; homemade vinaigrette can be made with oil, vinegar and herbs. Food labels can hide sugar from consumers; be aware of added sugar on ingredient labels: malt, syrup, glucose, molasses, sucralose, fructose, dextrose or lactose. Quench thirst with water. Filling up on water is the best way to stay hydrated. Our bodies naturally lose water throughout the day and night through breathing, speaking and perspiring. Avoid headaches and feeling lethargic by staying well hydrated, aim for 8 glasses of liquid per day. Be Aware: Avoid empty calories found in packaged soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened iced tea or coffees topped with high amounts of sugar and cream. These beverages do help hydrate our bodies however, add calories that do not offer any form of nutrients. I called these empty calories because we are not receiving many benefits from consuming them. Tips and Tricks: Skip fruit juices and eat the real thing, eating a piece of fruit that is naturally high in sugar is still offering our body fibre that keeps us sat-

isfied and content for longer. Carrying a bottle of water by your side for the day will help keep us hydrated throughout the day. It becomes a nice and healthy habit. A trick to feeling stronger and more energetic is to get moving. Physical activity does not need to take part in a gym. Here are some tips and tricks to getting active throughout the day. Do 25 squats with your knees safely bent without going over your toes; bend knees at a 90 degree angle. This is easily explained by imagining you are balancing your body over top of a chair. These squats can be done when you are brushing your teeth in the morning or when visiting the bathroom throughout the day. This exercise will strengthen your thighs and backside muscles. Get into plank during the commercial breaks while watching television. Holding plank position is a standard push up position without bending your arms or lowering your body. Try holding the position for as long as you can per commercial break during an hour of watching television. This exercise will quickly strengthen your arms back and core muscles. Starting off the New Year motivated and ready

for change is an excellent way to kick start your health. All it takes is a deep breath and 1-2-3. Most importantly change is a great way to start feeling healthy and energetic. Small changes of monitoring salt, sugar intake and increasing hydration are great starting points. Small incorporation of exercise

into your daily routine can be added at any level of fitness. This month in Cattle Country we have a Manitoba Beef Producer’s Eat Like An Athlete recipe featured on TSN1290 Radio and www. MbBeef.ca Stop Light Beef Stir Fry. Have a wonderful healthy and active Louis Riel Day with family!

Stop Light Stir-Fry

Marinade: 2 tbsp (30 mL)sodium-reduced soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb (500 g) Top Sirloin Grilling Steak, trimmed, about 3/4inch (2 cm) thick Sauce: ½ cup (125 mL) sodium-reduced beef or chicken broth 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch 2 tbsp (30 mL) EACH lemon juice, hoisin sauce and packed brown sugar Stir-Fry: 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 1 EACH red, green and yellow sweet peppers, seeded and thinly sliced 2 cup (500 mL) broccoli florets 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger root 3 cloves garlic, sliced ¼ cup (50 mL) toasted slivered almonds, optional Marinade: Combine soy sauce and minced garlic in medium bowl. Cut steak in half lengthwise and then crosswise into thin strips; toss with marinade to combine. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Sauce: Meanwhile combine broth, lemon juice, hoisin, brown sugar and cornstarch in small bowl; set aside. Remove beef from marinade and pat strips dry with paper towel (reserving marinade). Stir-Fry: Heat half the oil in 12-inch (30 cm) non-stick pan over medium-high heat until sizzling. Scatter half the beef strips into pan; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until browned but still pink inside. Return beef to bowl with marinade; set aside. Repeat with remaining beef. Heat remaining oil in pan over medium high heat. Add peppers and broccoli; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add a splash of water; cover and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Push veggies to side of pan to clear the centre; add ginger root and garlic to clearing and cook until just fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Add sauce, meat and reserved marinade; toss together and heat through until bubbling and sauce thickens slightly. Serve topped with almonds (if desired).

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

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.

CONTACT

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

A world of opportunities at your fingertips!

Visit us online @ www.cherwaylimousin.ca or follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/CherwayLimousin

Bulls for Sale POLLED, RED & BLACK

Cherway Limousin

Ph: (204)736-2878

www.mbbeef.ca


February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Tips to meet the new code requirements DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner With the new year comes a new calving season and also new regulations pertaining to the dehorning of calves. Effective January 1, 2016, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle states that pain control must be used if dehorning calves after horn bud attachment. Dehorning is a necessary though painful management practice. Carcass bruising, particularly of the loins is double that for horned versus non-horned cattle. Studies have estimated that bruises on fed steers and heifers cost the beef industry close to $2 for every animal marketed. Losses are even higher for cull bulls and cows where major bruises can affect over 1/3 of animals. Horned cattle also tend to be more aggressive at the feedbunk, in transit and during handling. It is for these reasons that cattle with horns are heavily discounted at auction. Feedlots don’t like horned cattle, especially now with the new regulations. If you cannot or will not dehorn, expect

to lose money come sale time or invest in the most welfare friendly option – homozygous polled bulls to eliminate the need for dehorning. Calves should be dehorned at the earliest age practical as studies show that younger calves recover quicker and have fewer complications than those dehorned at an older age. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s stance is similar to that of other national and international organizations – disbud within the first week of life. Disbudding is the term used when dehorning calves while horn development is still at the horn bud stage – within the first two months of age. Horns are special adaptations of the skin that develop from a group of cells called the corium or horn bud. In calves under two months of age, these horn buds are free-floating. Eventually they attach to the skull bone, developing a blood supply and connecting with the frontal sinus. Dehorning at later stages is more invasive,

more painful, causes blood loss, exposes the sinus cavity and increases the risk of sinus infection and prolonged wound healing. It is for this reason that pain control is mandatory in older animals. Dehorning is not as easy as it looks. Care must be taken to ensure that all the horn cells are removed or the horns will grow back. Chemical (caustic) and hot-iron disbudding methods destroy the corium whereas physical methods (spoon, gouge, wire) of dehorning excise them. In the interest of space, I will not review the techniques for each method as they are well explained in various videos online and can be demonstrated by your veterinarian or an animal health technician. Instead, I will review the different pain control options that are available. Dehorning cattle of any age without anesthetic is inhumane and unethical. Local anesthesia, combined with a sedative and a pain reliever provides the best pain relief. Unfortunately xylazine, the most commonly used sedative for cattle is not a safe

choice for young calves. However, sedation is generally not necessary in young calves that can be easily physically restrained to enable blocking of the cornual nerve which supplies sensation to the horn. Ask your veterinarian to teach you how to give a cornual nerve block using Lidocaine anesthetic. The volume used (3-10mL) depends on the size of the animal. Allow several minutes for “freezing” to occur as evidenced by a drooping of the eyelid. While waiting, use the time to do other process-

ing like eartagging or vaccinating. Don’t forget to administer a long-acting pain medication like Metacam to provide relief over the next couple of days. Remember that dehorning and disbudding are surgical procedures. Ask your veterinarian for advice on selecting the best procedure for your operation and review your technique, especially if you are experiencing complications. Only dehorn healthy animals that are on a good plane of nutrition. Copper deficiency can cause fatal

hemorrhage due to an impaired ability of the blood to clot. Unnecessary stress on sick, weak or pregnant animals will further delay their recovery. At this time, dehorning still remains a necessary evil in the beef industry though great strides have been made in understanding the genetics of the polled gene. The main take home at this time is to not procrastinate – dehorn at as young an age as possible and remember that pain control is required, both ethically and by law.

March 10, 2016 1:00 pm Spring Creek Ranch, Moosomin, SK

100 Red & Black Simmentals, Red & Black Angus & Black Best beef bulls.

MBJ 23C Anchor D Viper x KOP Crosby

18th Annual Bull & Female Sale

MBJ 99C Springcreek All In 155Y x Springcreek Knockout

MBJ 7C

Saturday, April 2nd - 1:00 p.m.

S Titlest x Springcreek Lotto

MBJ 153C JL Upward x TNT Gunner

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

On the Farm

Bull & Heifer Video available March 10 online. All Bulls Semen Tested & Performance Data Available

Crescent Creek Pacsetter 12 C BW 96LB

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

Crescent Creek Imprint 23 C. BW 86LB

60 Black Angus Bulls • 45 Open Replacement Heifers

LCF 74C

RRAR 37C JL Upward x Dunlouise Commander Bond

Red MRLA 200Z x Red Soo Line Chief

Brian McCarthy & Family

Crescent Creek Angus

Box 467, Moosomin, SK S0G 3N0 PH: 306.435.3590 • Cell: 306.435.7527 brian.mccarthy@live.ca springcreeksimmentals.com

Home (306) 876-4420 Wes & Kim Olynyk & Family Cell (306) 728-8284 Box 192, Goodeve, SK S0A 1C0 Darren Bouchard (204) 526-7407 info@crescentcreekangus.com • www.crescentcreekangus.com

FOR SALE Sound, quiet bulls Built to last and add $$$ to your wallet

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


18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

Markets see volatile start to 2016 The best word to describe the opening cattle markets for 2016 would be volatile. The futures, with the help of the strong American dollar, regained losses from December, but just when things were looking like they might turn around, fears over the future of the economy driven by a collapsing Chinese stock market and lower oil prices dragged the cattle market down. The record prices established in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 are now fading in the rear view mirror. The reality is that cattle prices from the latter half of 2015 to now have dropped in value more than when BSE crippled the Canadian industry. The prices at the end of 2015 were very close to that of 2013. Cow-calf producers can take solace in the fact that despite the massive drop this spring, it will still be the second best price for calves that they have every received. That, however, cannot be said for the backgrounding and finishing feedlots that purchased the cattle last fall. They are currently looking at losses on the background side of $80 to $150 per head negative margins while some of the finishing lots are looking at even more losses ranging from $200 to $350 per head. Those losses would be even higher if it were not for the exchange rates for the Canadian dollar. The $1.40 plus exchange rate has stopped the Canadian cattle market from even greater devaluation. The one noticeable change that we could see in 2016 is the way cattle feeders price and source their replacement inventory. Over the past two years we

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line saw more and more feeder cattle forward price contracted - in some cases six months in advance. The opening trend for 2016 is leaning more toward a cash market with prices offered seven to fourteen days prior to actual delivery. What is also very evident is that Canadian cattle feeders are following the lead of the American feeders by bidding much closer to where the cattle can be supported by the futures market with a profit built in. This practice of following the futures market has contributed to much of the volatility in the cash auctions at both the auction markets and electronic sales. The predictability of the live cattle markets has all but disappeared since November/December of 2015. The Americans have always been much more sensitive than the Canadians to following the cattle futures market; those who strayed away from that practice are the ones who suffered the biggest losses in the finished market in the fourth quarter of 2015. There are many other factors that will have a major effect on the developing cattle markets over the next 10 months. There has been rapid expansion for the beef cattle herd in the United States. This means that there are fewer heifers going to the feedlots and fewer cows going to the packing plants. Despite the expansion

of the beef herd, production in the United States was its lowest since 1993. Favourable weather conditions helped pasture and crop production, which both supported the expansion. Good weather will contribute to the continued expansion in 2016 but if drought should occur, the expansion will be curtailed. In Canada, this trend is expected to continue as prices begin to fall back. Export potential south of the border will still be hindered in 2016 due to the high price of beef and the strong American dollar. Demand for domestic ground beef should increase as Australia’s drought has reduced cattle numbers in that country to the point that they are rebuilding the herd, and there will be considerably less beef offered to North America. With mandatory COOL starting to be dismantled, there will be more demand by American packers for Canadian cattle and beef products. Combine that with the strong purchasing power of the American dollar, and things look promising for the Canadian feeding industry in 2016. The other good news is that pork and poultry production is only expected to increase by two per cent in 2016, which should keep their prices in line. The biggest unknown in 2016 will be the economy. In the past, when we talked about the economy’s effect on the beef market, it meant the ability of the consumer to be able to purchase beef compared to the other proteins. This year it will be the global money market’s influence on the live cattle and feeder cattle futures market that will drive price fluctuations. The

BULL SALE Thursday, February 18, 2016 on the Ranch at Russell, Manitoba

MMJ 31B

70

Two Year Old Bulls

PB Black Simmental

MMJ 28B

Black and Red Simmentals, Angus and Simm-Angus bulls

Also Selling Bred Purebred & Commercial Females Red Simmental

MMJ 2B

PB Red Simmental

futures market is the benchmark for all of the risk management options that are available to the cattle industry. The problem is that the cattle industry has very little control over the price fluctuations that seem to happen to the futures market on a daily basis. The money managers reacting to the volatility of things like the Chinese stock market, oil prices, political unrest and a host of other issues, buy and sell contracts to take profits, or free up cash to take advantage of other investment opportunities. With the daily limits at $3 on the finished cattle and $4.50, on the feeders, with expanded limits to over $6.50 on the feeders, the futures can change the value of the cash cattle a great deal in one day. On January 19, 2016, the Canadian dollar was trading at $146.25. The feeder cattle limits for that day had been expanded to $6.75. If markets had dropped the limit, that would have meant a drop of $9.87 cents per pound Canadian. No wonder the feeders are nervous about purchasing and are changing their purchase prices a number of times daily. According to Sterling Profit Tracker in the US, American cattle feeders who did not hedge their cattle lost an average of $239.00 per head in 2015, with the worst losses in December at $695. The cattle feeding industry lost $4.7 billion in 2015 compared to a profit of $3.9 billion in 2014. It looks like cow-calf producers will be forced to take less for their calves in 2016, as the feeding industry works toward recovery. Until next time, Rick

HigH Quality Bulls from Reputation Breeders

March 8 • MctavisH Charolais Charolais & Red angus Bull sale, at the farm, Moosomin, sK March 15 • gilliland BRos. Charolais Bull sale, at the farm, Carievale, sK March 17 • diaMond W Charolais, Red & Black angus Bull sale, Minitonas, MB March 19 • Pleasant daWn Charolais Bull sale, Heartland livestock, virden, MB March 22 • stePPleR FaRMs Bull sale, at the farm, Miami, MB March 23 • Hta Charolais & guests Bull sale, Beautiful Plains ag Complex, neepawa, MB March 29 • PRaiRie distinCtion Charolais Bull sale, Beautiful Plains ag Complex, neepawa, MB april 2 • tRi-n Charolais Farms & guests Bull sale, Heartland livestock, virden

MMJB 40B

PB Black Simmental

MLG 39B

PB Black Angus

MLG 40B

PB Black Angus

april 7 • HunteR Charolais Bull sale, at the farm, Roblin, MB For more information contact:

306-584-7937 Helge By 306-536-4261 Candace By 306-536-3374 charolaisbanner@gmail.com 124 Shannon Road, Regina, SK S4S 5B1

Catalogues available online a month prior to sale at

Miles Glasman Bonnie Glasman Jared Glasman

(204) 773-6275 (204) 773-0094 (204) 796-0999

(204) 773-3279 mjfarms@inetlink.ca

Visit Us At: www.mjsimmentalangus.com www.glasmanfarms.com Or Come See Us At The Auction:

2 1/2 miles South of Russell on Highway 16

Matthew & Leanne Glasman Cell: (204) 773-6055

(204) 773-3209

mlg@glasmanfarms.com

www.mbbeef.ca

www.bylivestock.com


February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

New on-farm TB risk assessments in RMEA ANGELA LOVELL Cattle producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) are being encouraged to book an on-farm tuberculosis (TB) risk assessment this spring. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) started delivering the on-farm TB risk assessments last year. The assessments are funded though the federal-provincial Growing Forward II initiative at no cost to participating producers. “We are hoping to try and get as many done as we can throughout January to March,” says Mary Paziuk, who has been contracted by MBP to perform the assessments. Gathering TB Risk Data “The on-farm TB risk assessment program is just one component of the Bovine TB Management Program,” says Carollyne Kehler, Project Coordinator at the Manitoba Beef Producers. “In order for us to say we have minimal risk for TB in wildlife or livestock herds we have

to measure it and this is one of the many ways we are collecting information about the risk for TB transfer into livestock. The more producers who participate, the stronger and more representative is the data. This information can also be used as evidence to take to the USDA so they can improve our TB status and remove trade restrictions.” Previous on-farm TB risk assessments were performed by Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Development (MAFRD) staff. “The assessment questionnaire has been tweaked so that the numbers generated out of it work better in a database,” says Paziuk. “This has been in the works for a few years and what took the time was designing the database so the data can be used for risk assessment for the entire area.” Scientists in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Ottawa are currently work-

ing on computer-based models to predict the likelihood of there being TB in livestock, and wild elk and deer in the RMEA. Although data from previous assessments hasn’t been used for this purpose, once there is a sufficient amount of information generated through the new on-farm TB risk assessments, it can be utilized in these models to more accurately reflect the level of risk. Identifying Ways to Reduce TB Risk Paziuk says producers probably only need to do an assessment every three or four years, or if they are making major changes on their farms, but it’s a useful process to go through, even if they have done an assessment before, because it may identify additional things they can do to reduce their risk. As well, when producers do more than one assessment, it can demonstrate how the risk has been reduced. “Many RMEA producers have already implemented measures to reduce the

interaction of wildlife and cattle, thereby reducing the risk of TB transmission into their herds, so for them it’s a matter of re-evaluating the things that they have already done,” she adds. Producers who complete on-farm TB risk assessments are also eligible for programs through MAFRD that help with the cost of preventative measures such as barrier fencing or guardian dogs. Laraine Mitchell already has barrier fencing and gates around her winter feed storage, and will probably add some more fencing around the feeding area after completing the on-farm TB risk assessment for the first time last May. She is hopeful that the program will gather enough information to prove the risk of TB in the area is low enough that TB testing might become unnecessary down the road. “We have been testing for over 10 years,” says Mitchell, who has a 50-head cow/calf operation near Grandview. “We have al-

ways tested clear. I am hoping that by participating in the program we can help provide the information that’s needed to demonstrate we are very low risk.” The on-farm risk assessment took about an hour and a half, says Mitchell, and was easy to do. “Most of the questions were about the movement of cattle and where they graze and are watered, where and how they are marketed,” she says. “Also whether we see any wildlife around our animals and how we minimize the contact between wildlife and the cattle.” Helping to Understand the Risk “We are looking at how feed is stored, and feeding areas, but also things like where salt and minerals are placed,” says Paziuk. “We also try to determine the prevalence of wildlife, because wild animals don’t follow boundaries, so within the RMEA there are people that have a fairly insignificant risk just because the wildlife isn’t in their

area, while others might have a more significant risk because it happens to be where the wildlife go through. If a producer has seen wildlife around their herd, they are the ones who have probably already been looking at fencing of areas where they’re feeding to prevent interaction.” Mitchell believes the on-farm TB risk assessment is definitely beneficial. “It just makes you understand how important this is, and understand the risks that you may have on the farm and how you can correct them,” she says. The benefit to producers, says Paziuk, is that it gives them an opportunity to fine tune their operation. “The wider benefit to everyone in the RMEA is to prove that what they have been doing is working and that the prevalence of TB is decreasing lower all the time to the point where it’s eradicated,” she adds. “That’s ultimately what we’re trying to achieve.”

WHY

GELBVIEH

Because Gelbvieh genetics will complement your cowherd by adding extra milk, extra growth and extra meat. All traits that will improve your bottom line in today’s cattle industry.

Contact a Gelbvieh breeder for a profitable addition to your heard! Ian Thackeray - President Box 1002 Weyburn, Sk S4H 2L2 306-456-2555 tgfis@sasktel.net

www.mbbeef.ca

Cynthia Wirgau – Secretary Box 25 Narcisse, MB R0C 2H0 PH:204-278-3255 maplegrove@xplornet.com


20 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

Your sustainability story and the role of research CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Increasing scrutiny of agriculture by the general public is a reality. Agriculture’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change is a prime example. Fueled by the global climate change summit in Paris late last year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is top of mind. Both the federal and provincial governments recently restated their commitments to reducing Canada’s and Manitoba’s contributions, with the province releasing their climate change action plan. Beef producers are doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas contributions, both on the farm and through check-off dollars. The unbiased third party research you help fund can be used to demonstrate the positive changes the cattle industry is making. An example of this is a joint research initiative by the University of Manitoba and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists that shows a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of beef produced in 2011 compared to in 1981. Agricultural research is vital to understand those practices which increase or decrease greenhouse gas emissions and by how

much. Scientific data is used to continuously improve the accuracy of emissions estimations and to identify promising management practices for reducing emissions. Field studies put promising practices to the test to see if they really work and provide realistic expectations for using these practices on-farm. If you attended one of the recent Beef Week talks, you were called to “tell your story” to the public. Science-based information plays an important role in telling your story as consumers regard scientific institutions as a highly trusted source of information. Throwing money away Greenhouse gas losses from agriculture decrease profitability. Feed and fertilizer are two of the biggest input costs in agriculture. Enteric methane is feed energy that could have been used for milk or meat production in cattle. Nitrous oxide is the loss of nitrogen originating from soils, manures, and fertilizers, making it no longer available for plant uptake. Management practices that retain feed for animal energy and nitrogen as fertilizer for plant uptake, rather than losing them as methane or nitrous oxide, results in increased productivity rather than contributing to climate change. Greenhouse gas accounting for the farm

During a grazing research trial in southeast Manitoba, the addition of manure greatly improved forage quality and productivity. Crude protein increased 70-85 per cent, pasture carrying capacity increased from 89 to 340 grazing days, and pasture weight gains increased as much as threefold. Methane emissions from steers grazing grassland fertilized with liquid hog manure were similar to those from steers grazing non-manured grasses. In a separate study, it was found that feeding high quality forages reduced daily methane emissions as well as total emissions for the backgrounding phase, as it took far fewer days to reach weight gain targets compared to feeding low quality forages. What about the big picture? When assessing the merits of a particular on-farm management practice, it is important to think of the big picture. What are potential gains and losses for the whole farm? What other factors come into play? Completely eliminating greenhouse gases from agriculture is neither a realistic nor an achievable goal. When telling your story, it is important to consider greenhouse gas mitigation within the big picture of farm management. Do the benefits of a particular management practice outweigh the costs? Are there ad-

www.mbbeef.ca

ditional unintended or indirect benefits to account for? For example, in the grazing trial described above we also measured nitrous oxide emissions from the land. Modelling of the whole farm system revealed trade-offs between reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gains in productivity and long term sustainability. Adding manure replenished low soil nitrogen levels which in turn increased overall farm productivity, but also increased total greenhouse gas emissions by upwards of 50%. Yet to be sustainable over the long term, nitrogen removed from soil must be replaced. It is not realistic to recommend not fertilizing low fertility pastureland as a beneficial management practice (BMP), no matter what the greenhouse gas savings, as there would be other unacceptable costs to overall sustainability. Perennial grasslands by their very nature are valuable for greenhouse gas mitigation. Year after year perennial plants extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, building a carbon reserve in the soil over time. Because of this capacity to tie up carbon in soil, perennial grasslands are classified as carbon sinks. Studies on two Manitoba farms showed annual gains of up to 400 kgs of carbon per year from an established perennial

field while converting an annually cropped field to alfalfa generated an annual greenhouse gas sink of about 4,000 kgs carbon dioxide equivalents per hectare. At a whole farm level, the benefit of having perennial pastures or hayland to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will help to offset greenhouse gas emissions from other parts of the farm, such as methane from cattle. Other added benefits include reduced soil erosion and increased biodiversity, to name a few. Manitoba made greenhouse gas mitigation strategies Through our research we develop and test made-at-home BMPs on an ongoing basis, using science-based data collected in Manitoba under Manitoba production conditions. These BMPs are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also improving productivity. The end goal is always to develop BMPs that not only work, but that also have a high likelihood of being implemented on farm. Animal scientist Kim Ominski and soil scientists Brian Amiro and Mario Tenuta led the research highlighted in this article and are part of the multidisciplinary research team with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. Their GHG research is funded in part through AAFC’s Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program.


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

MARCH 2016

MBP members support proposed check-of increase BY ANGELA LOVELL Manitoba beef producers could be investing more into the industry in the future. Delegates voted by a large majority to adopt the resolution proposing to increase the National CheckOf to $2.50 per head from the current $1 per head. here has been no increase in the National

Manitoba Beef Producers General Manager Melinda German presided over her last annual general meeting Feb. 4-5 in Brandon. German oicially resigned from MBP on Feb. 22 to take the position of National Check-of Agency general manager with Canada Beef.

Check-Of since 1999 and in that time the value of the dollar collected has fallen to around 73 cents, said Martin Unrau, Co-Chair of the National Beef Strategic Planning Group in his presentation to the MBP AGM prior to the voting, adding the $1.50 increase is necessary to help achieve the goals set out in Canada’s National Beef Strategy. he Strategy focuses on four pillars: Making positive connections with consumers, the public, government and industry partners; increasing production eficiency by 15 per cent by 2020; improving competitiveness by reducing cost disadvantages compared to beef ’s main competitors by seven per cent by 2020; and proposed increase beef demand and carcass cut out value by 15 per cent by 2020. he increase will be used for continued promotion and marketing of Canadian beef, and further investment in beef research, and to assist with issues

True North receives certiication Page 6

The Environmental Stewardship Award for Manitoba was presented Feb. 4 at the Manitoba Beef Producers 37th Annual General to the Boyd family from the Glanton district of the province. From left to right: Tere Stykalo, representing the award sponsor MNP; Caron Clarke, MBP Director and Environment Committee Chairwoman; award winners Ryan, Sara, Jim and Joanne Boyd.

management around public and consumer perceptions and concerns about the industry. Should the check-of increase pass nationally, it would likely come into effect in 2017 or 2018. Delegates also passed resolutions to lobby the federal government to make changes to ensure livestock producers have the same ability to defer income on sales as the crop sector, and

to increase the maximum allowable limit for the Advanced Payment Program to ensure mixed farm operators are not penalized. Delegates voted to ask political parties participating in the upcoming provincial election to clearly deine areas in rural Manitoba where night lighting is deemed to be an acceptable and safe hunting practice, and to lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Steward-

ship to change the trapping season to an open season for beavers and wolves on occupied agricultural areas. A last minute resolution was also passed, requesting the provincial government consult with MBP and the Manitoba beef industry before any inal decision is made about which organization will manage the community pasture system. Page 3 ➢

CanFax provides 2016 outlook Page 8

McDonald’s Canada partners with MBFI McDonald’s Canada is partnering with the new Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI) in a $25,000 program to provide outreach and tours for Manitoba beef producers. Ramona Blyth, president of the MBFI, made the announcement at Manitoba Beef Producers' Annual General Meeting in Brandon in February. “his important contribution from McDonald’s will be used to develop and grow the McDonald’s Production Day Tour, a one to two-day event to engage stakeholders,” said Blyth. “Already in high demand, this model of extension and outreach will beneit agricultural producers across Manitoba and Canada. We thank McDonald’s Canada for sharing our vision that Manitoba is the right place for doing this type of

beef and forage research. Together we will create a stronger industry for future generations of beef and forage producers.” A Collaborative Approach McDonald’s focuses on multistakeholder, collaborative eforts, says Jefrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, Senior Manager of Sustainability, McDonald’s Canada, which already sources 100 per cent Canadian beef for its hamburger patties, and is committed to begin sourcing a portion of its Canadian beef from veriied sustainable sources in 2016. It recently ran a sustainable beef veriication pilot project in Western Canada in consultation with multiple stakeholders, including beef producers and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). “What I hope we are demonstrating through this commitment is that when a company like McDonald’s is looking for how it should

Manitoba student enjoys CYL experience Page 11

Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives and McDonald’s Canada announced their new partnership at the recent MBP AGM. The arrangement will see McDonald’s contribute $25,000 for a producer outreach day at MBFI. From left to right: Jefrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell of McDonald’s Canada, Ramona Blyth of MBFI, Charlotte Crawley of Ducks Unlimited and Duncan Morrison of Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association.

be moving in this space and what we should be doing, we are always trying to balance is being respon-

sible and being responsive,” said Fitzpatrick-Stilwell. “We have to Page 2 ➢

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

BY ANGELA LOVELL


2

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Production tour to be held in summer ← Page 1 be responsive to what consumers want but at the same time we want to make sure that we are being responsible to our downstream supply chain partners too. An

investment like this really demonstrates that we are focusing on science and research. We are proud to support initiatives like this that support the underpinnings of why beef production in Canada is

sustainable.” “On behalf of MBFI and all of our partners we thank McDonald’s Canada for this generous contribution to this initiative. It is certainly a vote of conidence in the work that our

Manitoba Hereford Association • www.mbhereford.ca • 204–728–6080

partners are undertaking and yet another sign of the deep commitment that McDonald’s Canada has demonstrated to the Canadian beef industry,” said MBP general manager, Melinda German. “Cultivating partnerships between beef producers, governments, and private stakeholders interested in advancing the industry is a key foundation of our MBFI objectives. his program partnership will be a very important component of communicating the exact values of what we are doing to numerous audiences.”

he ‘Farm’ is Up and Running MBFI is a new research initiative targeting the Manitoba beef and forage sectors, and is a collaboration of the Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Development, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association and Ducks Unlimited Canada. MBFI’s research and demonstration farm covers three sites. Research partners are conducting foundational research projects at two sites east of Brandon. A third demonstration site north of Brandon is where

producers can come and see results of the research in the ield. MBFI is also committed to improving the public’s knowledge of the critical role the beef industry plays in sustaining the Manitoba economy and in managing valuable ecosystems, says Blyth, who is also a MBP director and a beef producer from MacGregor. Dates for the McDonald’s Production Day Tour and for the Grand Opening of the MBFI research and demonstration farm dates will be announced later in the year.

Ramona Blyth, President of Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives speaks with the media shortly after the announcement of a partnership between MBFI and McDonald's Canada.

Saskatoon Gelbvieh Bull and Female Sale Saturday March 19, 2016 • Saskatoon Livestock Sales, Saskatoon Sk • www.gelbviehworld.com For a catalogue or video contact Darcy Hrebeniuk at 306 865 7859 or irriver@xplornet.com DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

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DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING

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

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

DISTRICT 10

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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

DISTRICT 11

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

KEN MCKAY

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 - SECRETARY

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

POLICY ANALYST

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

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

Chad Saxon

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

Maureen Cousins

Deb Walger Esther Reimer

Trinda Jocelyn


March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

MBP members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution to support the increase of the National Check-of from $1 to $2.50. The increase is being sought to support the goals laid out in the National Beef Strategy.

Boyd family captures TESA Award ← Page 1 MBP was also given the go ahead to investigate the creation of a history book for the association. Around 240 people attended the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) Annual General Meeting at Brandon Feb. 4-5, with a record number of producer members present. In his report, President Heinz Reimer said it is a good time to be in the industry. “We have had many challenging years behind us, but better times are allowing us to make some investments and look forward,” he said. “We are starting to see some signs of retention and rebuilding in our herds, and we have an opportunity to grow and capitalize on the many opportunities that are out there.” Goodbye to the GM Reimer thanked outgoing MBP general manager, Melinda German, for the work she had done for the Manitoba beef industry over the past two years. German is moving to Calgary where she has accepted the position of general manager of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency. In her inal address as general manager of MBP German highlighted some of the opportunities and challenges facing the Manitoba beef industry in the year ahead. “Demand for our product remains strong. Our beef increased in price in the grocery stores but consumers remained supportive of our industry. With new markets emerging and global wealth increasing the outlooks for global exports are rising,” said German. “We need to continue to address challenges such as the low cattle inventory, volatility and the increasing cost of production. We need to continue to support and advance research to improve pro-

duction practices, improve our sustainability and grow a provincial herd that can seize opportunities.” German added that MBP will continue to be an advocate on issues such as labour, and will continue to partner on new and innovative research. “We will continue to strengthen our communications with the public and consumers on the quality of our product,” she said. “I want to thank all of you for making the beef industry in Manitoba a success and for giving so much back to a noble profession.” Retiring Treasurer, heresa Zuk, presented the audited inancial statement for 2014/15, which was approved by delegates. Highlights included a higher than expected surplus for 2014/15 of $332,509 thanks to continued eforts to responsibly manage expenses and increased cattle marketings generating more

check-of funds. Zuk also said that continued eforts to make producers aware of MBP’s services on behalf of producers had helped to reduce the number of producers requesting refunds. MBP members ratiied the new Board of Directors, including the Executive Committee positions. Heinz Reimer will continue as President, and Ramona Blyth as Vice-president. Tom Teichroeb is the new 2nd Vice-president, Peter Penner assumes the role of Treasurer, and Ben Fox comes in as Secretary. 2015 TESA Winners During the President’s Banquet, the Boyd Family – Ryan and Sarah, along with Ryan’s parents, Jim and Joanne, was presented with he Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) for 2015. he award, sponsored by MNP, recognizes cattle producers whose exemplary stewardship

practices contribute to the environment while enhancing productivity and proitability. he Boyd family operates SG+R Farms in the Glanton district north of Forrest, which had around 300 predominantly black Angus beef cows, 1400 acres of perennial pasture and 2,000 acres of no-till crop land. he Boyds work diligently to farm in a way that enhances the environment. hey have a system that combines planned grazing with high stock densities, stockpiled forages, standing corn for winter and diverse annual forage mixes of 12 to 15 species. he system has improved both forage and animal production. It also increases water iniltration, improves overall soil health and sequesters carbon as the soil organic matter increases. Ryan is

Manitoba Beef Producers' President Heinz Reimer presents outgoing District 10 Director Therea Zuk with a MBP belt buckle, which is presented to all retiring directors. Zuk is retiring from the board after reaching her six-year term limit. She was honoured and roasted at the annual President's Banquet Feb. 4.

involved with the Ducks Unlimited Canada Grazing Club program, helping to mentor producers and hosting events at his farm to showcase new management practices. One of the

nominators said the Boyds “are always willing to learn something new and try it on their operation; they are truly inspiring to watch as they develop new and modern techniques.”

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Bidding a fond farewell to Manitoba As many of you know I have resigned my position as General Manager with Manitoba Beef Producers. I will be moving to Calgary to take the position of General Manager with the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency and working on the National Check-of. As I prepare for the move west, I’ve been relecting on my 15 years here in Manitoba and I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge so many people that have inluenced me over the years. When I moved to the province I began my career as an extension specialist with Manitoba Agriculture. From the very irst day I was impressed by Manitoba producers’ level of engagement. Traveling around the province to extension meetings I was fortunate to have worked with many talented folks dedicated to supporting the industry. Some of my earliest mentors were people like Dr. John Popp and Karen Dupchak, talented extension specialists providing invaluable information to producers. I think some of my most rewarding experiences were found on the road with these individuals. I learned so much from them and the producers I met. As a civil servant, I wanted to help producers and those early years on the road shaped me for the future. In early February MBP hosted its 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM). his was one of our best AGMs to date, with great attendance, informative speakers and strong producer engagement. We thank all who attended and all our generous sponsors for making it such a tremendous success. During our AGM I was honored by the participants recognizing my time here in Manitoba working with producers. I was also privileged to be able to thank the producers and industry leaders who continue to be my source of inspiration. At the AGM I mentioned just a few

MELINDA GERMAN General Manager’s Column of the people that have been tremendous leaders in Manitoba and Canada, people like Ray Armbruster, Trevor Atchison, Martin Unrau and Betty Green. Others that are dedicated to our industry include Larry Schweitzer, the current chair of the National Cattle Feeders Association. Producers like these have led this industry through both the challenging and the good times and have continued

make a diference for the future. In short, Manitoba producers are strong leaders here at home and nationally. hey are well respected and contribute so much to the shaping of our industry in Canada and beyond. I am proud to say I have worked and lived here for many years and that I have had the privilege to work with so many dedicated leaders. So as I move on to a national beef industry organization I will continue to work for producers in Manitoba and across Canada and hope to make a diference like all those I have worked with here in Manitoba. he skills and knowledge I have gained here in Manitoba have provided me with the ability to move on to a role at the national level. In the last 15 years I have had a few bosses and I have gained a lot from them. I want to acknowledge someone who has really shaped me in terms of my leadership skills. Dr. Allan Preston was and continues to be my role model. Dr. Preston was a great mentor during my time with the provincial government and he continues to be one of my go-to people for advice many years later. he MBP AGM was also an opportunity for me to visit with so many friends I made over the years. One of the deciding factors in my decision to go back west was to be closer to my family. his move is truly bittersweet because at the AGM I realized the massive family I have here. hat is the great thing about our industry, it brings together so many diverse people truly passionate about producing beef. Like many families, we argue, laugh, listen and look forward to what’s next. I will miss my Manitoba ‘family.’

“To the producers of Manitoba, thank you for allowing me the privilege to work for you and with you.” Melinda German to be leaders well beyond their time on the MBP board. I also want to thank another individual right now, Ramona Blyth. Ramona is a current MBP director and someone that falls in the realm of inspirational leaders. Ramona’s oten heard saying ‘don’t worry I have big shoulders I can take it.’ hat is a testament to her dedication and selless commitment to the industry. Like all the other past and present directors on MBP, these positions are not easy. hey require a lot of the directors’ time and energy, days away from their operations and their families, and oten their only payment is a ‘thank you.’ Like Ramona, they are not in it for the glory but are doing their part to support their profession and

www.mbbeef.ca

Lastly, to the producers of Manitoba, thank you for allowing me the privilege to work for you and with you. I wish you health and happiness and all the best in all that you do.


March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Strong support of AGM bodes well for industry HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along Well, it was great to see such a great turnout to the 37th MBP Annual General meeting Feb. 4-5 in Brandon. Our theme this year was From Our Gate to Your Plate: The Evolving Customer. Our customers are more interested than ever about where their

food comes from and how it is raised. Helping producers understand what customers preferences are and how to engage them in a positive discussion is something MBP continues to work on every day. The meeting was a great opportunity for

producers, members of the value chain, government officials and others from our industry to connect and learn from each other. Thank you to all speakers, trade show exhibitors and sponsors. We had a record turnout which show that there is a strong and prosperous future for Manitoba’s beef industry. Hats off to our MBP staff and directors for an awesome job well done. At this time I would like to thank outgoing director Theresa Zuk for her six years of dedica-

MFGA announces new chairman Koslowsky succeeds Lintott at helm of forage producer group Killarney-area beef and forage producer and current Manitoba Beef Producers director Dave Koslowsky was announced as the new Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) chairperson at the recent MFGA Annual General Meeting held in Brandon Feb. 5. Koslowsky succeeds longtime MFGA chair Jim Lintott at the helm of the forage producer group. Lintott will remain on the MFGA board as past chairman and producer representative. “I would like to con-

gratulate Jim for his years of leadership and I am happy that we as a board will continue to beneit from Jim’s forage expertise,” says Koslowsky, a fourth-year MFGA board member. “I am very excited about the position MFGA is in and the promise of our future. I look forward to working with staff, directors and our partners to continue to showcase the great work of Manitoba forage and grassland producers and ensuring forages and grasslands are well represented in economic and environmental agricultural discussions, partnerships and actions.”

Koslowsky and his wife Rhonda run a 1720acre mixed farm outside of Killarney that includes a 120-head herd of cattle and the pastures and forage fields necessary to support that herd. Also named to the MFGA board of directors at the MFGA meeting were Forrest, Manitoba’s Ryan Boyd - fresh off his family’s win of The Environmental Stewardship Award for Manitoba - and Larry Wegner of Virden. Longtime former Portagearea sheep-producer and Winnipeg resident Henry Nelson was reelected to the vice-chair position.

tion to MBP. Your contributions, smile and laugh will be missed around the board table. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you and work with you. Thanks and enjoy the extra time with your three guys on your ranch. Also, I want to welcome Ken McKay, the new director for District 10. Congratulations to the winners of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) Ryan and Sara Boyd and Ryan’s parents Jim and Joanne. The Boyds own and operate SG+R Farms which is located in the Glanton district, north of Forrest. The Boyds work to enhance the environment, addressing soil erosion concerns, which improves soil structure for their annual crop production and on their forage and pasture land

which provides feed for their herd of 300 head. The Boyds will represent Manitoba in the national TESA competition held at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association semiannual meeting in Calgary in August. We also thank MNP for sponsoring this award provincially and at the national level. It looks like spring is just around the corner with calving underway for some and others getting ready for it. As always there are a lot of spring bull sales happening. 2015 was a big year as directors and staff worked on issues concerning the beef industry. It always seems that when one issue is solved another comes up so we are expecting that 2016 will keep directors and staff engaged in many is-

sues on your behalf. Some of the issues we will be focusing on in 2016: • Continued work on water management; • providing workshops to help producers understand changes in the Beef Cattle Code of Practice and • on-farm TB risk assessments in the RMEA which help to identify and understand TB risks plus many more. On behalf of our board of directors I want to update members on our search for new general manager. The hiring committee will be conducting interviews of potential GMs in late March and hope to have someone in place soon after. We will make an announcement as soon as someone is hired.

Keep up to date on breaking industry news with the MBP E-Newsletter. Email: info@mbbeef.ca to subscribe

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True North gets federal certification BY RON FRIESEN It’s full steam ahead for Manitoba’s newest beef slaughter plant after receiving its federal certification late last year. True North Foods is slaughtering around 150 head of cattle a week at its plant near Carman. It hopes to reach a weekly capacity of 1,000 head within two years, said owner Calvin Vaags. True North became a federally inspected plant on November 25, 2015, nearly three years after construction began on the new plant. Previously, True North had been operating as a provincially inspected plant, slaughtering 75-80 head per week. True North is the only federally-inspected beef plant in Manitoba and the first since the former Burns plant in Brandon closed in 1990. Getting federal certification enables True North to export beef to other provinces and the United States. Vaags said his company will also seek certification to export to China and the European Union. Canada’s beef exports to the US are expected to increase

because of the low Canadian dollar and the recent elimination of the US Country of Origin Labeling rule. Vaags said he’s ready and able to compete with other exporters. “The fact of the matter is, there’s plenty of cattle around,” he said. “If you treat the producers right and give them a fair bid, the cattle will come. Since we turned federal, my phone has been ringing off the hook. If anything, I’ve had a hard time keeping up with producers who want to sell us cattle.” Vaags said True North buys “pretty much the whole gamut of beef ” from cull cows to finished animals. The plant is multi-species and able to custom kill bison and elk. It may consider sheep in the future. True North, which currently employs 30-35 workers, also processes some halal beef. The plant can accommodate kosher beef but is not doing so at present. Vaags’ venture actually began back in 2004 after BSE closed international borders to Canadian beef, and cattle

producers were looking for other options. A cattle and grain farmer near Dugald, Vaags opened a beef retail store in Winnipeg called The Carver’s Knife. He also sold wholesale carcasses to other meat shops and independent grocers, using Plains Processors, a provincially-inspected plant near Carman, as an abattoir. In 2008, the owner approached Vaags to buy the business. Vaags hesitated at first but accepted. Soon, however, he realized prospects were limited because the plant needed upgrading and couldn’t sell beef outside Manitoba. So Vaags incorporated True North Foods in June 2012 and began building a new plant at the same site in January 2013. Construction was substantially complete by late 2014 and the new plant began slaughtering cattle while still under provincial certification. Today, the old plant is used for storage. While business is good, Vaags said he has no plans to expand the facility further. He believes the future for beef packers lies with small regional plants because

Calvin Vaags

it’s so expensive to transport cattle long distances these days. Vaags estimates the increased price of fuel and wages makes it five times more costly to ship animals to Alberta today than it used to be. Also, the public is increasingly sensitive to animal welfare issues and

transporting livestock to distant packing plants is coming under greater scrutiny. “All those things point to smaller regional plants,” said Vaags. “Instead of bringing cattle to the plants, we’re going to start bringing the plants back to where the cattle

are.” For that reason, Vaags won’t rule out building another plant at some point in the future. “If our business really booms and we outgrow our site, I can see us building another small regional plant in a different area of the province.”

Bull Sale MAINE ANJOU & RED ANGUS Saturday April 9, 2016

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March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

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7


8

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Don’t expect record cattle prices ahead ANGELA LOVELL PHOTO

BY ANGELA LOVELL Generally speaking the record high cattle prices seen over the past year are behind us, said Brian Perillat, Manager of Canfax. Perillat was at the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting in February to give producers his take on where the markets are going in the next year or two. hat doesn’t mean that prices are about to tank. Increases in cattle numbers from a dramatic herd expansion in the US over the last two years probably won’t hit the market until later in 2016 and 2017, said Perillat: “he irst half of 2016 should be pretty seasonal and there should be potential in fed cattle and cull cow prices for a spring rally.” Perillat predicts that Manitoba cow-calf producers will probably still see the best prices, as there will continue to be a strong demand for calves in the medium term, but there could be pressure on the feeder side. Cattle prices were driven to record levels in 2014 and 2015 thanks to a perfect storm of tight supplies, a weak Canadian dollar, and strong domestic and export demand. “We had never tested consumer demand at such high levels

and it was very strong, and consumers continued to pay for beef,” said Perillat. But pork and chicken production in the US is at record high levels and that is starting to put pressure on retail beef prices, which are already coming down in the US “Generally speaking beef is about 2.5 times the price of pork at the wholesale level,” said Perillat. “Staying at high levels can be a bit of a downside risk for beef. On the other hand, pork prices have been coming back so hope-

“We had never tested consumer demand at such high levels and it was very strong, and consumers continued to pay for beef.” Brian Perillat

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Brian Perillat of CanFax provided attendees of the 37th MBP AGM with at market outlook for 2016.

MARCH

than a year. But beef supplies will continue to be tight in the short term and demand is continuing to grow in Asia and developing countries, driven by an increase in wealth that makes beef affordable for more people and drives up consumption. Canadian exports will likely remain relatively lat, as they were last year, although the value of those exports increased by 50 per cent over the past two years. he Canadian herd is not growing signiicantly and the Canadian packing industry is also paying producers to keep cattle at home ater having to pay some signiicant premiums last year. “Canada had some of the best basis levels ever in 2015 – which is how Canadian prices compare to US prices – and cattle were trading at $20 above the basis,” said Perillat. “hat was mainly because we ex-

2016 Spring Sale Schedule

fully we can ind a balance.” It’s been challenging to predict the markets with the volatility that has been seen over the past couple of years. US cattle prices peaked in November 2014, and since then the US market has been slowly declining. Canadian cattle prices peaked in summer 2015 so the downward movement has been felt for less

ported all the feeders in 2014 and shorted the Canadian market. he packers are ofering contracts at very strong basis levels, which is one of the reasons we are keeping feeder cattle in Canada. hey don’t want to go through that again, so that market dynamic is quite positive.” he Canadian dollar will continue to have a big impact on beef prices, said Perillat. US futures are currently in the $120 to $145 range for fed cattle, and where the dollar sits will determine the level of proitability for producers. Feed barley prices continue to have a hard time competing with US feed corn, so that could be another factor that afects the bottom line going forward. “We have broken below the ive-year trend and now it’s just inding where beef has a value,” said Perillat.

Tuesday, Mar 1

Regular Sale

9AM

Friday, Mar 4

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale 1PM

Tuesday, Mar 8

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Mar 15

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Mar 22

Presort Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Mar 24

Bred Cow Sale

11AM

Tuesday, Mar 29

Regular Sale

9AM

Tuesday, Mar 29

Pen of 5 Sale

1PM

Saturday, April 2

Great Spirit Bison Sale

12Noon

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March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Outcome of resolutions debated at 37th MBP AGM The following 12 resolutions were presented for debate at MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting on February 4 in Brandon. Eleven of the resolutions were carried at MBP’s 2015 fall districted meetings, reviewed by MBP’s Resolutions Committee, deemed to be in order and then categorized for debate at the AGM. There was also one late resolution arising following the district meetings. In instances where the resolutions were identical or very similar in content and intent, they were combined for debate. Of the 12 resolutions presented for debate, nine were carried, two defeated and one tabled. Friendly amendments arising at the AGM to two of the resolutions are highlighted in bold and italics. Note: Six of the resolutions arising from the district meetings dealt with a proposed increase to the National Checkoff. These came from districts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. The wording of the resolutions varied only slightly, but the intent of each was the same. MBP’s Resolutions Committee combined the principles outlined in the six distinct resolutions into the following single resolution that was approved for debate by the AGM delegates. 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers and the producers of Manitoba support

the National Beef Strategy and the proposed increase to National Check-off from $1.00 per head marketed to $2.50 per head marketed. Mover: Larry Clifford Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: CARRIED Production Management 2. 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. Mover: Gordon Adams Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED 3. 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. Mover: heresa Zuk Seconder: Ramona Blyth Outcome: CARRIED 4. ORIGINAL VERSION: 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. 4. AMENDED VERSION: Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers ask the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), in conjunction with the Canadian Meat Council to lobby all Canadian packers to ensure carcass information is provided to the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) from all the federally and provincially-inspected processing plants in Canada. Mover: Bill Campbell Seconder: Gordon Adams Outcome: CARRIED AS AMENDED 5. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal government to provide more Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors in Manitoba for processing plants and export permits. Mover: Peter Penner Seconder: Tom Teichroeb Outcome: DEFEATED 6. Whereas night lighting is a very dangerous form of hunting that 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 Asso-

ciation 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. 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. Mover: Fred Tait Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: CARRIED 7. 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. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Caron Clarke Outcome: CARRIED 8. 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). Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Carla Radford Outcome: TABLED 9. 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. Mover: Caron Clarke Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED Animal Health 10. 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. Mover: Carla Radford Seconder: Larry Cliford Outcome: DEFEATED Miscellaneous 11. ORIGINAL VERSION: Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers create a history book for the association since inception. 11. AMENDED VERSION: Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers investigate the creation of a history book for the association

since inception. Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED AS AMENDED Late Resolution 12. Whereas having access to the community pasture system is integral to the success of Manitoba’s beef industry; and Whereas there is currently a three-year pilot project underway under Growing Forward 2 involving the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures with respect to the long-term management of the community pasture system in Manitoba as part of its devolution away from management by the federal government. Be it resolved that the provincial government engage in thorough consultations with Manitoba Beef Producers and the larger Manitoba beef industry before any final decision is made as to which organization(s) will be managing any or all elements of the community pasture system when the pilot project is completed. Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2016

What producers need to know about transporting cattle BY ANGELA LOVELL his year’s Industry Knowledge Session at the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting brought together diferent industry experts to help answer producers questions and concerns about transportation of cattle. he most important thing for producers to know is that animals they are shipping must be healthy and it for transport, said Dr. Max Popp of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Penalties can be imposed for deliberately transporting compromised animals. Transport vehicles should be clean and well maintained, said Popp, and should have adequate bedding to keep cattle comfortable and prevent injury to the animal from slipping on wet or soiled loors. Rick Wright, Executive Administrator with the Livestock Markets Association of Canada (LMAC) says a lot of the problems his members face are caused when these guidelines aren’t followed. Wright added that LMAC’s recommendations to CFIA in the devel-

opment of new transportation regulations is that the owner of the cattle should be held accountable for all compromised cattle that are unloaded, not the intermediate site for unloading them. Tag Animals Before hey Leave the Farm CFIA inspector, Rebeka Klassen gave producers an overview of tagging and said the rule of thumb is for producers to tag their cattle before they leave the farm. CFIA is responsible for enforcing the regulations in regards to traceability and can impose penalties for untagged animals that are loaded and sent to an auction mart or feedlot, which vary from $1,300 to $10,000 per tag. here are a few special provisions in the regulations, for example if an untagged animal is being transported directly to a veterinarian clinic for treatment, or when transporting animals to a tagging facility. If producers do not have tagging facilities at home and need to go to a tagging facility, they must give the tagging facility advanced notice that they

are bringing cattle for tagging, and they must go directly to the tagging site and have the animals tagged immediately and not mixed with any other cattle. “If you don’t call the tagging facility ahead of time and let them know, and you unload untagged animals at the tagging site, you are not doing your due diligence to ensure the animals are tagged,” said Klassen. “You have to show due diligence to not be in violation.” Wright says intermediate sites are oten reluctant to act as tagging facilities but are trying to ofer a service for producers, but it can be inconvenient and put them in an awkward position. “We have to take men of the loor to take those animals because according to the regulations they have to be tagged immediately. We have been forced into being the inspectors for CFIA because if we don’t do our due diligence and look for missing tags we can, and have been ined in the past for selling cattle without tags,” said Wright. “We hope that in the future producers, if they are aware that there are untagged animals –

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and we know you are not always aware because tags do fall out – that they will let us know they have cattle coming that need to be tagged, because we don’t have the manpower to look for those tags when cattle arrive.” here is concern among both producers and marketers about who is responsible for untagged animals or animals that have lost tags that end up at intermediate sites. “While it’s our job to enforce the regulations, it’s up to producers to ensure their animals are tagged and to make sure before

that animal leaves their farm that it has a tag,” said Klassen. “Just because we see an untagged animal at an auction mart it doesn’t mean you are going to get a ine. We follow up and talk to the producer and all the parties involved. here are diferent processes that happen before it jumps to a monetary penalty. We are also not blind to the fact that there are exceptions in that things happen – animals lose their tags, animals run onto a trailer 10 or 20 at a time and you can miss one.” Transporting Cattle in Winter

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Carollyne Kehler, project coordinator for MBP shared details of a research project into winter transportation of cattle. Trailers equipped with sensors measured the temperature, humidity and motion (vibration) inside the vehicle during transport. Researchers measured the condition and behaviour of the cattle before and ater transport. Some of the findings were interesting. Cattle had more shrink in compartments of the trailer that had greater space allowance per animal than in the compartments where animals were closer together, which could be because they had more room to move around, said Kehler. On long journeys at slower trailer speeds the motion inside the trailer was higher, but cattle had more bruising at higher accelerations. There was less bruising if animals waited longer at the slaughter plant or had less wait time on the trailer. “So maybe there is an ideal amount of time with less waiting on the trailer and a long enough wait time at the slaughter plant that would minimize the amount of bruising,” said Kehler. Some practical advice for drivers transporting animals during winter would be to avoid driving at high speeds on uneven roads and avoid roads where you have to start and stop a lot and be stationary as little as possible. Parking where passive ventilation can get through the trailer even in cold winter weather can help reduce the humidity and keep cattle dry.


February 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

CYL provides unique opportunities for tomorrow’s industry leaders he deadline to apply for the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Development Program is March 31, and one of this year’s mentees, Breanna Anderson, says it’s an opportunity that you won’t want to pass up. “I would highly recommend the program,” she says. “he caliber of people that you’ll meet is second to none. And even just going through the application and selection process, you gain so much through that process that you really can’t lose in applying.” Since June, Anderson has been working with her mentor, Andrea Brocklebank, who is the Executive Director of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC). “I have attended meetings and conferences with her, including the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef,” she says. “I also attended the BCRC Annual General Meeting and its Mentorship Program Conference, which had great speakers, and gave us the chance to tour a feedlot and a slaughter plant.” Unique Leadership and Governance Training In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the CYL includes a Step 2 program, which provides unique learning tools for the mentees. “he CYL provides funding and hosts diferent conferences throughout the year where we learn about succession planning, board governance and overall leadership and so those are some really unique areas to get training in,” says Anderson. Anderson, who has just started her Master’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Saskatchewan, wants to pursue a career in the cattle industry. “I’m interested in the idea of producers guiding research, and giving that industry knowledge to help researchers focus on where they need to spend research dollars, and give direction for future practices,” she says. “here are so many jobs in hands-on research and in the agricultural extension area to communicate research to

producers” he CYL mentorship program has broadened Anderson’s knowledge of the many career paths she could take, as has networking with the 15 other mentees in this year’s program. “One of the mentees is a lawyer, some are veterinarians, one is a college instructor, some are primary producers and many work for diferent agri-businesses,” she says. “It’s interesting to get to know them and be able to call them friends, and someone that I can look to in the future for advice on diferent aspects of the industry.” Taking Leadership to the Next Level Anderson grew up in Swan River, Man., and is still active on her family farm, Anderson Cattle Co., which raises purebred Red and Black Angus. She returns home whenever she can to help out, and is also a Livestock Director on her local Agricultural Society. Growing up as an active 4-H member, she says the CYL program is taking the leadership skills she learned in 4-H to another level. “Programs like 4-H instill certain qualities in you, but the CYL takes you to the next level because you learn about how to be a leader on a committee or how to be a leader on a diferent board, and the steps you have to take to make sure your leadership is efective,” says Anderson. he CYL program is open to young producers between the age of 18 to 35, and matches them with an industry mentor for one year, as well as giving them the chance to attend various high-level provincial, national and international events that deine the future of the Canadian cattle and beef industry. “It’s a really nice kind of leg up in the industry because you get to meet tons of diferent people that you might encounter later on in your career,” says Anderson. “You also learn from them, and it’s valuable to get insight from people who are working in the industry.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

BY ANGELA LOVELL

Breanna Anderson of Swan River has greatly enjoyed her experience as a Cattlemen's Young Leader member. Anderson's CYL mentor was Andrea Brocklebank, Executive Director of the Beef Cattle Research Council.

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... the market leader when weaning weight counts! March 18

13th Annual Family Tradition Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., at Rolling D Charolais, Dropmore, MB

March 19

Pleasant Dawn Charolais 14th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB

March 22

Steppler Farms 5th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Miami, MB

March 23

HTA Charolais & Guests Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB

March 26

Tee M Jay Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m, Ashern (MB) Auction Mart

March 29

Prairie Distinction Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB

April 2

Tri-N Charolais Farms & Guests 1st Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Heartland Livestock, Virden

April 7

Hunter Charolais 5th Annual Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., DST, at the farm, Roblin, MB

April 9

Wilkenridge and Guest Walking Plow Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 PM Ridgeville MB Hall

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Government Activities Update: Predation compensation, drought aid and pasture pilot insurance programs and more BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Enhanced compensation around wildlife predation, expanded eligibility for the livestock tax deferral provision for producers hit by drought in 2015, province-wide access to the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program and, changes to the Advance Payment Program are just some of the latest government announcements that may be of interest to Manitoba’s beef producers. MASC Program Changes MBP believes several changes being made to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) programs will prove beneicial to Manitoba’s beef producers. One of the key changes deals with compensation for wildlife predation. MBP has long sought an increase in compensation levels for producers who have lost livestock to predators to more accurately relect the value of the losses. Efective April 1 the maximum compensation value for domestic animals killed or injured by predators is rising from $2,000/head to $3,000. As well, the compensation for young animals will increase to relect the estimated value at what would have been the earliest practical weaning weight for the animal rather than at the time of loss. MBP welcomes these changes and continues to work with members of the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group on inding long-term strategies to reduce the risk of predation. For more information on the Wildlife Damage Compensation program and losses to livestock or crops visit https://www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/program_wildlife_ damage_compensation.html Another program change may beneit producers who use MASC’s Stocker Loan program. Starting April 1 producers who inance livestock through this program and who purchase a Western Livestock Price Insurance Pro-

gram (WLPIP) policy will be eligible for a one-time interest credit of 0.25 per cent. WLPIP policies are available yearround for fed cattle, feeder cattle and hogs; calf policies are available from Feb. 2 to May 26, 2016, inclusive. For the next three years the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program will be available to producers all across Manitoba. Formerly ofered only in selected regions, this program provides protection against a pasture production shortfall over the course of the grazing season. An indemnity is paid when an insured producer has to remove livestock from pasture and/or start supplemental feeding earlier than normal. Pasture Days Insurance is available to producers that have a minimum of 30 Animal Units (AU) of eligible livestock types on pasture. his includes species such as cattle, sheep, goats and horses, among others. Interested producers must have an active AgriInsurance contract, but do not have Pasture selected for insurance in combination with Forage Insurance. he coverage level for Pasture Days Insurance is set at 90 per cent of normal AU Days. A claim is paid if the actual grazing period is less than 90 per cent of the insured’s calculated AU Days. Dollar coverage is set at $1 per Animal Unit for each AU Day. Also of note for producers considering participating in this program: • Prior to March 31, 2016 a producer must declare their pasture acres and the number of livestock intended to be pastured on a Pasture Days Insurance Application. Coverage begins the earlier of May 1 or when the livestock are put to pasture in spring; • June 30 is the date by which the livestock numbers, pasture acres, and the date livestock were placed on pasture must be reported on a Pasture Days Spring Declaration; and Finally, producers who participate in AgriInsurance

will see their coverage increase an average of seven per cent while the average premium per acre will decrease by four per cent. For additional details on MASC’s suite of lending and insurance programs see your local agent or visit www.masc. mb.ca Livestock Tax Deferral Provision In early February the federal government announced that producers in the municipality of Ste. Rose and the Rural Municipality of Riding Mountain West who are facing feed shortages as a result of the 2015 drought are eligible to defer a portion of their 2015 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until the next year. Eligible producers can request the tax deferral when iling their 2015 income tax returns. Also eligible are producers in the following prescribed drought regions in Manitoba: 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; the municipalities of Gilbert Plains, Grandview, Ethelbert, Hillbsurg-Roblin-Shell-River, Minitonas-Bowsman, and Swan Valley West, and the rural municipalities of Alonsa, Dauphin, Grahamdale, Lawrence, Mossey River, Mountain (North), Mountain (South), Ochre River and Siglunes. For more information on the livestock tax deferral provision contact AAFC.TaxDeferral-Reportdelimpot.AAC@AGR.GC.CA or visit http://www.agr.gc.ca/ eng/?id=1326403245181 Improved Access to Cash Advance Program Producers may beneit from federal government regulatory changes aimed at simplifying access under the Advance Payments Program (APP). he APP is a federal loan guarantee initiative. Among the changes, producers can use more types of security to obtain an advance, such as private or other types of insurance. Page 13 ➢

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Because Gelbvieh genetics will complement your cowherd by adding extra milk, extra growth and extra meat. All traits that will improve your bottom line in today’s cattle industry.

Contact a Gelbvieh breeder for a proitable addition to your heard! Check out our Facebook page for upcoming bull sales Ian Thackeray - President Box 1002 Weyburn, Sk S4H 2L2 306-456-2555 tgis@sasktel.net

www.mbbeef.ca

Cynthia Wirgau – Secretary Box 25 Narcisse, MB R0C 2H0 PH:204-278-3255 maplegrove@xplornet.com


March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Local invention makes feeding hay easier BY RON FRIESEN If you’re a beef producer, you know all about the time and frustration involved in feeding hay bales to cattle, especially in winter. You pick up the round bale with the tractor and drive it to the gate. You get down from the tractor and open the gate, pushing it through the snowdrits and trying to keep animals from slipping out. You get back on the tractor, drive through the gate, dismount, go back and close it. Back in the tractor, you

take the bale to the feeders, then turn around, drive back to the gate, get down and open it again. hen up on the tractor, drive through the open gate, get down once more and close it. Finally, you return to the tractor one more time, pick up another bale and do the whole exercise all over again with the freezing wind blowing in your face. By now you’re probably cursing the situation and thinking there has to be a better way. If so, may-

Tax rebate deadline nears ← Page 12 he application process has been streamlined. New commodities are now eligible, including speciic classes of breeding cattle intended for market. here is also simpliied access for companies that have multiple shareholders. Producers can access advances of up to $400,000 from more than 45 commodity groups across Canada, including the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program. For details see: http://www.manitobalivestock. com/ For more information on the APP see http://www. agr.gc.ca/eng/?id=1290176119212 Farmland School Tax Rebate he deadline to apply for Manitoba’s Farmland School Tax Rebate is March 31. he signed 2015 application forms, along with receipts showing that the 2015 property taxes and any penalties or interest charges have been paid in full must be received by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation on or before that date. he rebate percentage in 2015 is 80 per cent. If you have never applied for the rebate before applications forms are available through MASC, Manitoba Agriculture and municipal oices or online at https:// www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/program_farmland_school_ tax_rebate.html. Eligibility requirements are also provided there. Rebates are for school taxes paid on farmland only, not for school taxes paid on farm residences or buildings.

be Mike Annetts from McCreary can help. Annetts has developed a “Lit and Go” remote controlled farm gate which pivots upwards with the push of a remote control button and lowers the same way. His innovation won second prize at the Inventors’ Showcase held during the recent Ag Days in Brandon. he advantage of the device is that it allows easy access to feeding pens without having to get on and of the tractor. But, as Annetts explains, it ofers another big advantage. It saves a lot of time. And time is money. As Annetts’ example shows, taking cattle feed through a traditional gate requires getting in and out of a tractor eight times. If you feed one bale every day for six months (roughly 180 days), that requires going up and down from the tractor 1,440 times. Assume each movement takes one minute. hat means you spend 24 hours (equivalent to three eighthour days) opening and closing gates during feeding season. If you assume

your labour is worth $20 an hour, it amounts to $480 a year. And that’s just for one bale. here’s also the safety factor to consider. Getting injured from accidentally falling of a tractor is always a farm safety risk. his is where the Lit and Go gate comes in. Annetts says it eliminates the need to get on and of a tractor when feeding livestock. It also limits animals’ ability to get out while the gate is open. Annetts says he got the idea one day last year while having cofee with his neighbors Rick Scott and Jack Klapp. Scott had just spent several hours chasing calves that had escaped through the gate. He mused that a vertical liting gate would be better than a traditional swinging one. Now Annetts, an industrial arts teacher at McCreary High School, is the kind of person who, once he gets an idea in his head, can’t let go until he igures it out. Intrigued, he went back to his shop and made a small prototype out of wood, just to

see if it would work. Realizing it would, he tried making a full-scale steel version with a linear gear head motor to raise the gate. But the motor was too slow and not rated for Canadian winters. Scott then suggested using a winch, which worked better. Annetts added garage door springs for counter balance. A simple remote control, like the kind used for garage doors, signals the gate to go up and down. A 12-volt deep cycle battery powers the gate. he battery is powered by solar energy, which means it does not rely on an external power source. It took three months from the birth of the idea to the completion of the irst model. Scott tried it out and loved it. Annetts built another one, making a few adaptations. So far he has sold six, including one at Agribition in Regina, two to a producer in Wapella, Saskatchewan, two to a large rancher near McCreary and one to another neighbour. he retail cost is $2,700. Annetts says a big ad-

vantage of his vertical gate is that it’s simple and low budget. Many of the parts are the of-the-shelf kind. Remote controls and solar panels are available either on-line or at the local Canadian Tire store. Annetts gets his winches from a supplier in the US. He buys his steel locally and a welding shop in nearby Kelwood welds the panels. Another advantage is adaptability. Because the battery is solar powered, the gate can be placed out in the pasture miles from a power source. he only problem for Annetts is where to go from here. He’s been teaching industrial arts for over 20 years and likes his job. But if his gate ever takes of, he’ll have a decision to make. “I’m kind of in a dilemma because if they’re going to take of like I think they’re going to, I’m going to have to make a decision on whether I’m going to continue teaching or go into this gate business.” More information is available on Facebook under mjendeavors.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Costly flood protection ixes needed for Assiniboine River/Lake Manitoba basins MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

The Assiniboine River/Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study has recommended more than $1.1 billion in upgrades to Manitoba’s lood management system aimed at achieving one-in-200 year lood protection for people around Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin and the lower Assiniboine River. he Manitoba government released the 1598-page study prepared by KGS Group on January 19, but did not establish a irm timeframe for implementing its ive key recommendations. he province committed to consult on next steps, as well as to pursue regulatory and environmental approvals for diferent elements of the lood mitigation strategy. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided signiicant feedback to KGS Group as it held a series of open houses related to the study, identifying the extensive production, economic and environmental challenges that repeated loods have created for cattle producers. “Flooding has exacted an extremely heavy toll on Manitoba’s beef producers in recent years,

forcing some to exit the industry,” said Manitoba Beef Producers President Heinz Reimer. “It is important that we arrive at timely and lasting solutions to these challenges and we strongly encourage governments to make needed investments in lood mitigation infrastructure and strategies to help reduce the risks associated with future loods and excess moisture events.” KGS Group was retained by the provincial government to examine an array of measures aimed at mitigating the risks of loods of a magnitude of the 2011 lood or larger. he focus was on the Assiniboine River, Souris River, Qu’Appelle River, Dauphin Lake, Lake Manitoba, Fairford River, Lake St. Martin and Shoal Lakes. Technical input was provided to KGS Group by staf from several provincial departments, and a Study Liaison Committee comprised of representatives from communities, other organizations and local citizen groups also provided input. As part of its work KGS Group examined more than 185 reports, some dating to the 1950s. hey were tasked with identifying all major lood vulnerabilities

Table 23.1 Summary of Estimated Cost of Preferred Measures for Upgrading Flood Protection for the Lower Assiniboine River Flood Protection Infrastructure

Proposed Capacity

Provincial Assiniboine Dikes

654 m /s (23,100 cfs)

Assiniboine River Baie St. Paul to Headingley

654 m /s (23,100 cfs)

Portage Diversion

963 m /s (34,000 cfs)

Lake Manitoba Outlet

212 m /s (7,500 cfs)

Lake St. Martin Outlet

326 m /s (11,500 cfs)

$63 Million

3

$373 Million

throughout the study area, of which more than 100 were identiied. Other components of their work included analysis of basin hydrology, economic analyses of various lood protection measures, and development of numerical models. he three most important vulnerabilities identiied by KGS Group were as follows: he maximum safe discharge capacity of the Lower Assiniboine River from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg combined with the Portage Diversion is less than the minimum criteria for lood protection promoted by the Province. his vulnerability became evident during the 2011 Flood when extensive emergency measures were necessary on the Portage Di-

$230 Million $220 Million $1,159 Million

version and on the Lower Assiniboine River to convey peak lows. he shorelines of Lakes Pineimuta and St. Martin are vulnerable to looding and requires urgent attention. Although the response to the 2011 Flood efectively addressed major problems, and decisions were made in a timely and purposeful fashion, many decisions were made under duress and were based on less than full knowledge of optimum reactions. Existing emergency preparedness and response plans to address extreme loods have been pushed to the limits and would greatly beneit from being updated and expanded. KGS Group also made the following rec-

ommendations: 1. he Lower Assiniboine River has been identiied as an area that has infrastructure vulnerable to loods much smaller than the highest lood on record. It is recommended that this area be protected to a target Flood Protection Level of 1:200 years, which is consistent with the 2011 Flood Review Task Force recommendations. his increased protection would consist of upgrading the Portage Diversion to 960 m3/s (34,000 cfs) upgrading the Assiniboine River capacity to 655 m3/s (23,100 cfs), constructing a new Lake Manitoba outlet with a capacity of 212 m3/s (7,500 cfs) and a Lake St Martin outlet channel with a capacity of 326 m3/s (11,500 cfs). he estimated cost for this recommended lood mitigation system is $1,159 million and is summarized in Table 23.1. Considering the current low standard of protection within the Lower Assiniboine River and the Province’s current commitments for

Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin, these areas should be given the highest priority. 2. Development controls were considered as a means to restrict future development. Where there are no Designated Flood Areas (DFA) local municipalities and planning districts should more rigorously enforce lood protection levels in new developments and DFAs should be considered for the Lower Assiniboine River, Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin, as well as the Dauphin Lake areas. 3. he provincial lood protection policy should be revised to require lood protection to at least the 1:200 year lood, or the lood of record, whichever is greater, at all locations within the study area. his is consistent with recommendations from the Manitoba 2011 Flood Review Task Force Report. 4. he purchase of the lood prone land along the Upper Assiniboine River between Shellmouth Dam and Continued Page 15 ➢

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Brian McCarthy & Family

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

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March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

New rules regarding castration in place DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner With the New Year comes a new calving season and also new regulations pertaining to the castration of calves. Effective Jan. 1, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle states that pain control must be used to mitigate pain associated with the castration of bull calves over nine months of age. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, that age drops to six months. Castration is a necessary though painful management practice. Very few markets exist in North American for intact bulls. Castration prevents unwanted reproduction, reduces aggression towards humans and other cattle and improves meat quality.

Calves should be castrated at the earliest age practical as studies show that younger calves recover quicker and have fewer complications than those castrated at an older age. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s stance is similar to that of other national and international organizations – when castration is required, it should be performed at the youngest age possible with provision of pain medication and using an appropriate method. Early castration under one week of age is much preferred for a variety of reasons. Small calves are much easier to restrain, complications are fewer and operator

safety is improved. The main industry concern about the new regulations is very valid – local anesthetic during castration of older calves is not practical at a herd level. It takes too long for epidurals and injection of testicles with local freezing to allow efficient and economical processing. BUT, that does not mean that it is acceptable to not provide pain relief during and after this procedure. Industry research is seeking practical solutions to these challenges, but the overwhelming consensus amongst beef cattle specialists remains the same – castrate close to the time of birth and do it properly. Don’t be tempted to deliberately create belly bulls by pushing the testicles up and elastrating the scrotum. If you are concerned about poor

growth in your calves post-castration, administer an implant at the same time. Discuss the various options with your herd veterinarian. Delaying castration until weaning for the purpose of enhanced growth is no longer an acceptable reason. Rubber ring castration has been shown to cause minimal discomfort in young calves as compared to other castration methods. Apply two rings in the event that one breaks and be sure that both testicles have been ringed. Review pain injection options with your veterinarian. For convenience, disbudding and castration can be safely performed at the same time. The most painful aspects of castration have been determined to be incision of the skin

and pulling and severing of the spermatic cords. Implement banding as your preferred castration method. Over the last decade, elastration has become the industry preferred standard due to the reduced risk of complications (infection and blood loss following surgical castration with a knife), higher operator safety (due to decreased animal pain) and improved effectiveness (as compared to the burdizzo). Many different options exist on the market. Choose a tool that fits the size of calf you are banding and that is comfortable for you to operate. Be sure to include vaccination for tetanus if banding calves over 400 lbs. If you are castrating older calves, additional pain medication is required, regardless of the technique used. All

calves, of any age, should receive an injection of pain killer. Additionally, if castrating calves over a few weeks of age, an epidural should be administered to provide anesthesia of the scrotal skin and minimize discomfort during band application or for surgical castration. Knifed castrations should also receive an injection of local anesthetic into the testicle to provide anesthesia during stripping and cutting of the spermatic cord. Have your veterinarian work with you for training tips. Better yet, avoid all this hassle and castrate at birth. In this case, procrastination not only makes life inconvenient but the penalties at sale time, the expense of additional medication and the extra time required makes late castration poor management.

Province to create forecast centre ← Page 14 St. Lazare was preferred over linear diking and should be considered further. The estimated cost was approximately $24 million for the flow of 85 m3/s (3,000 cfs). 5. A multi-year pilot study on wetland restoration should be considered to determine the costs and benefits of wetland restoration on flood attenuation. The cost would be in the range of $10 to $20 million.

The province has also committed to finding complementary natural solutions related to flooding, such as wetland restoration and other surface water management initiatives. The full report of the Assiniboine River/Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study is available at www.gov.mb.ca/ m i t / w m s / w m / s t u d y. html. Different elements of this comprehensive study will be examined

30 YEARS in Red, White and Tan

in upcoming editions of Cattle Country. The Manitoba government made two other announcements related to water management in January. Flood Forecast Centre One involves the establishment of a new, permanent Hydrologic Forecast Centre. It will house flood operators and forecasters and provide them with real-time observation of weather and hydrometric stations

including satellite observation of snow coverage and storm. The Centre will also house two other related provincial working groups, Water Management Planning and Engineering and Construction. The creation of this centre had been recommended by the 2011 Flood Review Task Force. Drought Management Strategy The second announcement involved the release of Manitoba’s

new Drought Management Strategy. MBP provided input into the development of the strategy and is pleased to see that it recognizes entities like MBP should be considered for participation in the Basin Drought Assessment Groups. These groups will use their local knowledge and current observations to provide verification of drought conditions and report impacts. This type of information will be used by the Manitoba

Drought Assessment Committee when determining drought stage and appropriate actions for drought management. Action items related to the drought strategy will be developed over time, such as determining drought preparedness levels for each river basin, looking into the development of drought forecasting tools and preparing regular water availability and drought conditions reports.

1st Annual

TRi-N ChaRolais FaRms & Guests Bull sale Saturday, April 2ND, 2016 • 2:00 PM • Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB

Bulls On Offer:

10 Dark Red 24 White 6 Tan A bull to suit everyone’s budget! View catalogue & videos online at www.bylivestock.com

NMF 517C Tri-N Captain Morgan x Tri-N Payday CE 97 BW -3.7 WW 55 YW 100 M 29.2 TM 57 Many homo red and homo polled bulls on offer!

NYK 72C MVY Xplorer x Full sister to KCM Prowler CE 99 BW -4.4 WW 46 YW 75 M 22.8 TM 46 One of many calving ease heifer bulls on offer!

Merv, Joanne & Jesse Nykoliation Box 899, Lenore, MB 204-838-2107 • merv1@prairie.ca Jesse 204-851-3391 www.trincharolais.com

www.mbbeef.ca

Guest Consignors: BAKSM Angus 204-721-4805 Nu-Horizon Angus 306-336-2246

BAKSM 1C HF Syndicate x HF Tiger 15 Red & Black Angus Yearling and Two Year Old Bulls

Sale Manager:

306-584-7937 Helge By 306-536-4261 Candace By 306-536-3374 charolaisbanner@gmail.com


16 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Producers urged to share their story BY ANGELA LOVELL Beef producers are the best people to tell the story of how beef is produced. hat was the key message from all three panelists discussing evolving consumer trends with producers at Manitoba Beef Producers' Annual General Meeting in Brandon in February. “Producers are pretty humble,” said cattle producer, Betty Green, who is also the provincial coordinator of the Veriied Beef Production Program. “hey don’t go out and tell people why they do what they do. We need to lit that curtain a little bit and let people see our passion and commitment.” “Consumers are telling us that food safety is

important, that the environment needs to be preserved, water must be protected, we need to care for our animals, we need to care for our employees, they want us to conserve and recycle and they want evidence that we are doing that,” said Green. “here is nothing more important to us than those items on that list. We have to realize we are on the same page and we need to engage in a dialogue because we have common interests.” he danger of producers not getting involved in telling their own story is that consumers, particularly urban consumers, are increasingly crowd sourcing their information from social

media, television, movies, or celebrities, said Jefrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, Manager of Sustainability and Government Relations for McDonald’s Canada. Instead of getting the facts, they are talking to co-workers or family and friends. “People are taking these pieces of information and are building them into their belief systems and start spreading them,” he said. “he social license for all of you to do what you have done for generations is starting to be impacted because it’s intrinsically linked to what consumers believe, rightly or wrongly.” How to Engage Consumers Green shared ideas with producers about how to share their story

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with consumers and the public. “Connect on a personal basis and don’t be scared to tell them who you are and why you care about what you do,” said Green, adding it’s not productive to be defensive. “You need to sit down and understand what their priorities are, and listen to their concerns. Usually there is something that you can learn from that conversation that will help you to respond, and that opens the door to let you talk about your priorities and let them understand that they are similar to their own.” Don’t overwhelm them with science, just give them a snapshot and select pieces of sciencebased information that

“This is a big topic and it is just the beginning. Canada isn’t yet seeing the pressure from this that our neighbours in the U.S. and friends in Europe have, so we want to help prepare [the Canadian beef industry] to be able to respond to this and get ahead of the game. Lauren Stone agree to disagree on some points, but most importantly she urges producers to never walk away from an opportunity to tell their story. Other industry partners can help producers tell their story and in return, be able to give their customers what they’re asking for, said Fitzpatrick-Stilwell. “Fully, open, honest, transparent interaction is the only thing that has the abil-

are relevant. As an example, research done by Beef Cattle Research Council on the environmental footprint of beef production shows that Canadian producers are producing 32 per cent more beef with less breeding stock, less slaughter animals, using less land, and producing 15 per cent less greenhouse gases per kilogram of beef than in 1981. Sometimes, says Green, you will have to

48t h An nu a l

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March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 17 Sustainability the Next Big Topic Sustainability is something that both consumers and all sectors of the beef industry are increasingly concerned about. The number of requests that Cargill has received about sustainability over the past five years from its end use customers is more than the company has seen in the past 25 years. “This is a big topic and it is just the beginning,” said Lauren Stone, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability for Cargill Ltd, who also sits on the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. “Can-

ANGELA LOVELL PHOTO

ity to shit perceptions,” says Fitzpatrick-Stilwell. McDonald’s ran an effective campaign called Our Food Your Questions which invited its customers to ask questions about beef production or processing, which were answered by the company itself, or by beef producers, veterinarians, processors, or others in the industry. A second phase – the Not Without Canadian Farmers campaign – is now underway, which is helping consumers understand that it is Canadian farmers that are growing or raising the food they eat.

ada isn’t yet seeing the pressure from this that our neighbours in the US and friends in Europe have, so we want to help prepare [the Canadian

pare to meet some of the sustainability demands that are coming? Demonstrating continuous improvement is important, said Stone. “Beef

“Fully, open, honest, transparent interaction is the only thing that has the ability to shift perceptions.” Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell beef industry] to be able to respond to this and get ahead of the game. We are in a good position because we are able to get a bunch of different players around the same table and come up with a common approach to define sustainability.” What can Canadian beef producers do to pre-

producers are already doing really great things and are implementing some incredible practices, efficiencies and innovations,” she said. “Things change and we just want to measure that continuous improvement over time because that’s a pretty incredible story that we need to tell

“Consumers are telling us that food safety is important, that the environment needs to be preserved, water must be protected, we need to care for our animals, we need to care for our employees, they want us to conserve and recycle and they want evidence that we are doing that.” Betty Green

April

• Bulls can be viewed anytime

2016 Spring Sale Schedule

• Complete Performance Data Available

• Contact us for more information or a catalogue

Catalogue and videos will be available at www.huntercharolais.com

Hunter Charolais Box 569, Roblin, MB R0L 1P0 Doug & Marianne Hunter T 204-937-2531 C 204-937-7737 Jimmy & Amy Hunter 204-937-0219 Michael Hunter 204-247-0301 @HunterCharolais • huntchar@mymts.net

A Charolais family operation for over 30 years

Sale Manager:

as an industry.” Stone also emphasized the importance of detailed record keeping. “It provides proof that what we say we are doing we are actually doing and it allows for consistency in measuring, and when we have end users who are looking for some sort of verification the records are a key part in answering some of those questions,” she said. Become part of the conversation, and talk to

your neighbours about sustainability, and collaborate with others in the industry. “We need to take a value chain approach,” says Stone. “Sustainability needs to be pre-competitive in order to earn that trust from consumers, so I encourage you if there is an opportunity to get involved in a sustainability initiative it’s a great way to immerse yourself in what sustainability means and what it could mean in the future.”

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

March

Betty Green

Jef Fitzpatrick-Stilwell

Wednesday, Mar 2 Monday, Mar 7 Wednesday, Mar 9 Friday, Mar 11 Sunday, Mar 13 Monday, Mar 14 Wednesday, Mar 16 Thursday, Mar 17 Saturday, Mar 19 Monday, Mar 21 Wednesday, Mar 23 Friday, Mar 25 Monday, Mar 28 Wednesday, Mar 30 Saturday, April 2 Monday, April 4 Wednesday, April 6 Friday, April 8 Monday, April 11 Wednesday, April 13 Wednesday, April 13 Monday, April 18 Wednesday, April 20 Thursday, April 21 Monday, April 25 Wednesday, April 27 Friday, April 29

Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 9AM Bred Cow & C/C Sale 11:30AM Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Sheep Sale 12 Noon Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 9AM Cow-Boys Angus Bull & Female Sale CLOSED – Easter Monday Regular Feeder Sale 9AM TRI-N Charolais Farms & Guest Bull Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 9AM Bred Cow & C/C Sale 11:30AM Butcher Sale 9AM Feeder Sale 9AM Pen of 5 Replacement Heifer Sale 1PM Butcher Sale 9AM Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Sheep Sale 12Noon Butcher Sale 9AM Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Bred Cow & C/C Sale 11:30AM

• May-August Feeder & Butcher Cattle Sold on Wednesdays. • 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

305.584.7937 Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374 charolaisbanner@gmail.com www.bylivestock.com

Heartland Livestock Services www.mbbeef.ca


18 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

A look at proposed changes to traceability I recently attended the Manitoba Beef Producer’s annual meeting in Brandon. he producer attendance looked higher than usual, and it was great to see some new faces attending. I spent a lot of the time visiting with producers and answering questions about the volatility in the cattle markets. What really surprised me was the high percentage of cattle producers who were unaware of the proposed changes in some of the federal regulations that will afect the cattle industry. Over the past year many of us have attended consultation meetings with government representatives to discuss the proposed regulatory changes. he representatives listened to the concerns and recommendations from industry and created an executive summary of what they think they heard. hat summary was circulated back to those who provided written comments. he proposed changes will be published in the Gazette in the near future and there will be one last chance for public comments. Industry asked for a preview of what

would be published in the Gazette so that they could prepare a response based on fact, not iction. he problem is that in order to see what they intend to publish, a person needs a security clearance which none of us has! It also feels a little like “James Bond” in the cattle business. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) want traceability of the majority of the livestock species in Canada. Cattle are a high priority. With that in mind, industry created a Cattle Implementation Plan Committee(CIP) made up of representatives from industry sectors from across Canada. For over three years, they have worked tirelessly to develop a workable plan that included recommendations for a “road map” for cattle traceability in Canada. here were lots of compromises from the diferent sectors and inally the CIP was developed. he government called a Cattle Summit in Saskatoon attended by 50 industry spokespersons who were selected by industry, but vetted by the Federal government. At

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line that meeting industry and government agreed to use the CIP as the road map to traceability. Former Agriculture Minister Ritz was there and for the irst time that I can remember all of industry stood united in support of a cattle industry issue. Industry agreed to support the traceability ile in principal, provided that it did not negatively afect the speed of commerce, did not negatively afect market neutrality, did not place one sector of the industry at a disadvantage compared to another sector, and that the costs did not outweigh the beneits. Since that time, CFIA and AAFC have veered of the path set out by the CIP, and there has been very little talk from the government as to what type of funding they will be providing if any! Here are some of the concerns from industry that should be a concern

to you, the primary producer. All producers are asked to obtain a Premise ID number. his number will be required to move livestock of your farm. his is not a big deal as they are mandatory in a number of provinces already. he CFIA would like to have the electronic ear tags in the cattle scanned when the cattle are moved, and the movement, along with tag number, reported to the Canadian Livestock Traceability System (CLTS). CIP and industry recommended that a movement document be used instead of scanning cattle leaving the farm or arriving at an intermediate site such as an auction market or a buying station. CFIA would like to see all cattle arriving at co-mingling sites, including community pastures or grazing leases, auction markets, buying stations, and cattle shows, scanned

individually and the ear numbers reported. he CIP plan does not support scanning at auctions, buying stations or at farms. If CFIA is successful, this would cause a huge bottleneck during the peak delivery seasons at the markets, causing delays in unloading and more shrink on the cattle. More handling means more stress on the cattle and more shrink, fewer pounds to sell and fewer dollars in your pocket. he Markets Association with the support of MBP and CCA feel that there is no need to scan, and that movement documents with the PID numbers and markets’ records will provide enough information to trace the cattle. hey contend that 90 per cent of the cattle sold are delivered to a feedlot, packing plant or export centre within 36 hours of being sold. he National Cattle Feeders Association has agreed that their sector will scan the ear tags as part of the normal processing procedure, and report the numbers. he packers scan the cattle at the plant and the tag numbers are then retired. All cattle exported have to have their ear tags read

and the numbers recorded on the export papers. here would also be a cost to scanning the cattle at the market, and if government does not compensate the intermediate sites, then the cost will probably be pasted onto the owner of the cattle. he Markets Association feels that the producers are paying their share each time they purchase a RFID tag from CCIA or any tag vendor. here will be movement reporting whether we want it or not, but we need to make sure that we do not get regulated out of business. Despite suggestions that traceability will open more markets, currently traceability is an emergency management tool for the government in the event of a trace back. hat is for the “public good” and should be inanced by the government. A group of industry personnel is on the way to Ottawa to plead our case and remind the government that the cattle industry supports the CIP that any deviation from that plan will result in resistance from the cattle industry as a whole. Wish us luck. Until next time, Rick

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March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

CRSB launches public consultation on sustainability indicators for beef operations The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is seeking the public’s comments on the first draft of its sustainability “indicators” for beef operations. The indicators are part of the verified sustainable beef framework the organization is developing, and reflect what will be measured in terms of sustainability on individual operations. The public consultation will take place from Feb. 9 to April 10, 2016; the materials and instructions for comment can be found at: http://crsb.ca/publicconsultation-english/. “The CRSB has developed indicators that are relevant for cowcalf, backgrounding, feedlot and dairy beef operations. We encourage people and organizations to review the work we’ve done and give us

constructive feedback,” said Cherie CopithorneBarnes, Chair of the CRSB and a producer west of Calgary, Alberta. “We realize that the sustainability of the Canadian beef industry reaches many stakeholders and we want to ensure all perspectives are taken

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into account.” All comments will be reviewed, and a written response to each comment will be posted on the organization’s website following the consultation. The second draft of the indicators

will be released for a 30day public comment period in mid-2016. Page Stuart, a cattle feeder and the Past Chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, and Tim Hardman, Beef Director with the World Wildlife Fund, co-chaired the committee that developed the indicators. “The committee members brought a wide range of perspectives to the table. We had very productive discussions and unanimously reached consensus. Our goal was to identify draft indicators that are robust and outcome-based, which I believe we have done,” explained Hardman. “We wanted to have a balance — something realistic for producers that also meets the needs of retailers, food ser-

vice providers and consumers. I think we have achieved that. I look forward to the feedback we receive over the next 60 days,” added Stuart. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is a multi-stakeholder initiative developed to ad-

vance sustainability efforts within the industry. The CRSB is the go-to forum on sustainable beef in Canada. It has defined “sustainable beef ” and is rapidly setting the framework for stakeholders to be able to produce and source verified sustainable beef.

Pleasant Dawn Charolais 14th Annual Bull Sale Saturday, March 19, 2015 • 2:00 p.m. Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB

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2nd Annual Elite Genetics Bull Sale. Manitoba’s Largest Hereford Bull Offering. March 12th, 2016 at the Neepawa Ag Grounds. Including Yearling and Two Year Old Bulls, Pens of Hereford Influence Females. Contact: RSK Farms @ 204-573-9529 or Leveldale Polled Herefords @ 204-763-4343.

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

PASTURE SPACE AVAILABLE

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

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

The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) will be operating the following PFRA Pastures in 2016: Alonsa *Pasquia Ellice-Archie Gardenton *McCreary *Ethelbert Pansy *Mulvihill *Turtle Mountain Langford Narcisse Wallace *Lenswood Sylvan-Dale Spy Hill-Ellice Birch River Bield *Cote-San Clara * space available

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20 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Let fibre be your guide BY ADRIANA FINDLAY MBP Meat Expert

March is nutrition month; let’s keep up with our ongoing healthy lifestyle this 2016 and keep the small changes coming. Let’s improve our health! his year Dietitians of Canada are encouraging Canadians to make small changes to their eating patterns; one meal at a time. Not focusing on big daunting tasks to reach our personal goals, let’s think about starting with making a small positive change that will still give health boosting results we are looking to achieve. Increasing ibre in your diet is something that can be done gradually and in small steps. Consuming ibre can have many positive efects on your health such as lowering cholesterol and glucose in your blood, normalize bowel movements and can help achieve a healthy weight. Fibre can either be considered soluble, which dissolves in water or insoluble ibre which does not dissolve. Foods with soluble ibre dissolve when eaten and form a gel-like material that can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble ibre can

be found in oats, apples, oranges, peas, beans, carrots, barley and lentils. Insoluble ibre does not dissolve and can help promote movement of material through your digestive system. Insoluble ibre can be found in whole wheat lour, wheat bran, pulses such as beans and lentils and vegetables. he beneits of increasing ibre in your daily routine can really pay of. Slowing increasing soluble and insoluble ibre can help normalize bowel movements and maintain health reducing risk of disease of the colon. Soluble ibre found in beans, oats and laxseeds can help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein this is commonly known as bad cholesterol. Fibre can help slow the rate of sugar absorption in the blood, which is very important when managing diabetes or reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A inal beneit to making small changes in increasing ibre is high ibre foods happen to be more illing. By adding these items to your diet slowly this will result in keeping you satisied for longer and eating less through-

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Broccoli Beef Bowl

out the course of the day. According to Health Canada men aged 19-50 years old should aim for 38 grams of ibre per day, women in the same age category should aim to consume 25 grams of ibre per day. Men aged 51year and older should be incorporating 30 grams of ibre daily into their meals and women 51 and older should be eating 21 grams of ibre daily. Ater going over beneits of incorporating ibre into the diet and how much you need daily, let’s discuss how we are going to get this nutrient onto our plates with minimal efort. It’s all about small changes ater all, and that’s our goal this March in honour of Nutrition Month. Good food choices will include whole-grain products, fruit, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds. When shopping, reined or processed foods will have their ibre content lost or removed, canned fruits

and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads and pastas and non-whole grain cereals are lower in ibre. Reining grains is a processing technique that removes the outer coat from the grain which is where the bran is found holding its ibre content. Labels will list enriched grains however this translates to the addition of B vitamins and iron to grain ater processing but not the ibre. Now let’s it more ibre into our daily routine! How can we do this? Here are some simple small steps! Start your day with a kick start. For breakfast choose breakfast cereals with ive grams or more of ibre per serving. Choose cereals with whole grain, bran or ibre in the name. Oatmeal is another smart choice or to boost the ibre content of your favourite cereal brand add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your bowl. If you’re a sandwich

STEPPLER FARMS 5th Annual Bull Sale Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 1:00 p.m. at the Steppler Farms Sale Barn 6 miles west of Miami and 1 1/2 miles south

Featuring 70 Yearling & 15 Two Year Old Charolais Bulls View the catalogue & videos online at www.stepplerfarms.com Online bidding available at www.DLMS.ca

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

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1 lb (500 g) Top Sirloin, thinly sliced 1/2 cup (125 mL) soy sauce 1⁄4 cup (50 mL) cornstarch 2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) rice wine vinegar 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH minced garlic and minced ginger 1 tsp (5 mL) Sriracha red chili pepper sauce (Optional) 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil 1 large carrot, sliced thin 1 small broccoli, cut into lorets 1/2 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach 1 can (227 mL) sliced water chestnuts 1⁄4 cup (50 mL) EACH beef broth and oyster sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil, for stir frying 1 Tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds, for garnish Green onions, sliced, for garnish Directions In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, ginger and garlic. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and mix until all meat is covered in marinade. Reserve the other half of the liquid and set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or wok over high heat. Add the broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts and spinach; stir for a minute. Remove to a plate. Allow the skillet to get hot again. With tongs, add the meat in a single layer. Spread out the meat as you add it to skillet, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn the meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate. Pour the reserved sauce into the skillet along with the beef broth and oyster sauce. Cook over high heat until it starts to thicken. Add the beef and broccoli back into the skillet and toss to coat. Serve over brown rice. or wrap lover, make the switch to whole grains. Looking for breads and tortilla wraps with at least two grams of dietary ibre per serving is a good starting point. Combined with fresh vegetables and possibly even brown rice, barley or bulger would be a satisfying and illing addition to any lunchtime wrap. Lean on beans for support. Beans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of dietary ibre. Add a variety of canned beans to beef chili, hamburger soup and even steak salads. When making special appetizers use black beans in beef nachos or refried beans in a taco dip. his time of year us Manitobans really crave the comfort of warm meals and legumes are a great support when craving a rich and satisfying soup or stew. When watching your health a little closer, there is no need to give up on baked goods. Baked goods can still be enjoyed in moderation and easily bulked up with bran ibre. Substituting all-

purpose white lour with half whole grain ibre is a great start. Recipes for muins, cookies and pancakes work well with cutting the lour choice to half whole wheat. For an extra boost of ibre trick I do at home is crushing bran cereal in the food processor and adding a few tablespoons to pancake, cookie and muin batters. High fibre foods are associated with many health benefits; however, adding too much fibre too quickly can lead to intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Follow Nutrition Month’s motto this month of small healthy steps to change. Allow your body time to naturally adjust a diet with increased fibre. This issue of Cattle Country we have a Manitoba Beef Producer’s Great Tastes of Manitoba recipe Broccoli Beef Bowl. This beef bowl has lean sirloin and is made with seasonal vegetables that hold dietary fibre; this recipe and video can be viewed on www.GreatTastesMB.ca


March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 21

Advancing beef industry concerns during April 19 provincial election BY MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

Manitoba’s 41st provincial general election is set for April 19 and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) encourages producers to talk to the candidates about where they stand on issues affecting the prosperity of the province’s beef industry. Not sure what topics to raise with the candidates? The following is a very brief rundown of some issues of importance to our industry on which MBP advocates with provincial and federal officials. While the focus of this article is the provincial election, in some instances both the provincial and federal governments are involved in addressing these issues and it can be useful to remind your Member of Parliament about them as well if you have the opportunity to speak with them. Water Management Repeated floods and excess moisture events have devastated Manitoba’s beef industry, causing producers in some of the hardest hit regions to exit the industry outright. Long-term strategies are needed to manage water resources more effectively, both during times of floods and droughts. MBP strongly believes a multi-pronged approach could help quell concerns about raising cattle in vulnerable areas of Manitoba. This includes swiftly building a second outlet to draw down Lake Manitoba, and addressing outstanding issues related to the Shellmouth Dam, Portage Diversion, Shoal lakes and others. In July 2015 the federal and provincial governments committed funding for the sorely-needed Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels project. Ask your candidates if they remain committed to seeing the outlets project through to completion and how swiftly they believe this can be achieved. In January, The Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba Basins Flood Mitigation Study was released by the provincial government. The report said it will cost $1.159 billion to undertake a series of upgrades to address vulnerabilities related to flooding in this system. This would include the required work on the Lake Manitoba outlet and Lake St. Martin outlet, upgrades to the Portage Diversion, and extensive upgrades to dike systems along the Assiniboine River. Ask the

13th Annual FAMILY TRADITION BULL SALE MARCH 18, 2016

candidates if their parties support the recommendations outlined in this report and what their timeframe for enacting them would be if their party forms government. Crown Lands Having access to agricultural Crown lands is essential to many Manitoba beef producers’ operations. MBP continues to advocate for informed access to agricultural Crown lands, meaning that the public would be required to contact producers before they intend to enter these lands. This is necessary for several reasons including biosecurity, to protect the safety of livestock and people and, to reduce the risk of property damage and losses. Producers go to great lengths to protect their livestock and their operations and they would like the public to play a role in this as well by informing producers of their movements on Crown lands. Ask the candidates if they support informed access to Crown lands. Future of WLPIP MBP has long advocated for the creation of new business risk management tools to assist beef producers. One of these involved the creation of the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP). This is a four-year pilot program that allows cattle and hog producers to protect themselves against unexpected price declines by allowing them to buy insurance against price declines. Producer interest in and uptake in the program is growing. Ask the candidates if they support the continuation of the program once the pilot stage is completed. Future of community pastures Many Manitoba beef producers rely heavily on the ability to graze their cattle at community pastures. When the federal government announced that they were getting out of managing the community pastures, MBP worked to ensure there was a sound management plan going forward to ensure these pastures would remain available for producers to use. There is currently a three-year pilot project underway that has seen the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures take over the operation of the community pastures. A resolution passed at MBP’s 37th AGM calls on the provincial government to engage in thorough

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consultations with MBP and the larger Manitoba beef industry before any final decision is made as to which organization(s) will be managing any or all elements of the community pasture system when the pilot project is completed. Consider asking the candidates how they envision the pastures being managed in the future and if their party is committed to seeing all the pastures remaining available for use by Manitoba’s beef producers. Animal Health and Protection MBP has long recognized the costly and disruptive impact bovine TB has exacted on beef producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). MBP has representatives on both the bTB Task Force Committee and the TB Policy Steering Committee. Working collaboratively with stakeholders including producers, the federal and provincial governments, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, First Nations and others efforts continue to achieve two key goals. One is the ultimate eradication of this disease. The other is to achieve a state whereby surveillance of live cattle will end with a shift instead to slaughter surveillance. For these efforts to be successful, the continued support and participation of the Manitoba government is required. Ask the candidates if their parties are committed to seeing the bovine TB initiatives through to their successful completion and if they are prepared if they form government to provide the personnel and financial resources needed to achieve this. For years producers in the RMEA have borne a substantial burden because of the presence of this disease

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FARMERS PREMIUM EQUIPMENT Brandon, MB 204-726-4481 or 204-729-5162


22 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Talk to candidates about industry concerns ← Page 21 Predation Concerns Wildlife predation on livestock is another key issue affecting our industry. MBP co-chairs the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group (LPPWG). It includes reps from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, livestock commodity groups and the Manitoba Trappers Association. The LPPWG’s 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 looking into a potential pilot project around predation challenges that would include components such as: on-farm mitigation strategies; financial assistance/compensation; and, problem predator management strategies. Key goals include reducing risk and ensuring producers are fairly compensated for losses. MBP has also asked that consideration be given to compensating producers for labor costs associated with treating animals injured by predators. Ask the candidates where they stand on predation issues and what initiatives they would support to help reduce this challenge. Some resolutions carried at MBP’s 37th AGM dealt with hunting and trapping. One asks that Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship consider changing the trapping season regulations from a restricted to an open season for beavers and wolves on occupied agricultural areas. Another calls on all political parties to clearly describe those areas of rural Manitoba in which they deem night lighting to be an acceptable and safe hunting practice. You may wish to ask your candidates where their parties stand on these matters. Growing Forward 3 The federal, provincial and territorial governments are already talking about the focus of Growing Forward 3 (GF3). MBP is advocating for continued support for key initiatives such as the Verified Beef Production Program and the Environmental Farm Plan and associated beneficial management practice offerings. MBP is also seeking to ensure that beef producers have access to sound business risk management programs that put them on a level playing field with other commodities. Ask the candidates to identify their parties’ priorities under GF3. Policy Development Manitoba’s beef producers are responsible for

managing tens of thousands of acres of privatelyowned and public lands. MBP believes the provincial government should be consulting with agricultural stakeholders on proposed legislative or regulatory changes that could potentially impact them. MBP also believes that sound science must inform the development of public policies. These are just a few of the topics that you may wish to consider raising with your candidates during the election. It is important that candidates are well informed about agricultural production and how government policies can either encourage or hinder future growth in our sector. As well, MBP will be surveying the major parties about these and a number of other issues during the election campaign. Watch for the results on our website www.mbbeef.ca and in our bi-weekly newsletter. If you are not already receiving the newsletter, email

csaxon@mbbeef.ca to get on the distribution list. For more information on the main political parties in Manitoba, visit their websites as follows: • Green Party of Manitoba http://greenparty. mb.ca/ • Manitoba Liberal Party http://www.manitobaliberals.ca/ • New Democratic Party of Manitoba http://todaysndp.ca/ • Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba http://www.pcmanitoba.com/ Not sure if you are on the voter’s list, where to vote or in which constituency you reside? Unable to vote when you normally would and looking for an alternate way to cast your ballot? Call Elections Manitoba toll free at 1-866-628-6837 or visit http://www. electionsmanitoba.ca/en to get all the information you need on voting.

Trade Show A Success

The trade show at the 37th Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting proved to be popular with both exhibitors and AGM attendees. Space for the trade show sold out a month in advance of the AGM.

Diamond W CHAROLAIS 14th Annual Bull Sale Thursday, March 17, 2016 • 1:00 p.m. Valley Livestock, Minitonas, MB

BUY ALL THE BULL YOU CAN BUY Invest in Manitoba Simmental Bull Power During a Bull Market and Cash in for Years to Come March 4-6

Rainbow River Simmentals Online Bull Sale ........................................................................... Online

March 9

Mar Mac Farms & Guests Simmental & Angus Bull Sale ............................................ Brandon, MB

March 13

Rebels of the West Bull Sale ............................................................................................ Virden, MB

March 14

Genetic Source Simmental Bull Sale ............................................................................ Brandon, MB

March 15

Prairie Partners Bull & Female Sale ............................................................................ Killarney, MB

March 16

Transcon's Premium Beef Bull Sale ............................................................................. Neepawa, MB

March 18

Family Tradition Charolais & Simmental Bull Sale .................................................. Dropmore, MB

March 21

Maple Lake Stock Farms "Kick Off to Spring" Bull Sale ................................ Grande Clairiere, MB

March 22

WLB Livestock's 12th Annual Simmental & Polled Hereford Bull Sale ............................................................................................. Douglas, MB

April 7

Transcon's Winnipeg Bull Sale ................................................................................... Winnipeg, MB

April 9

Transcon's Cattle Country Bull Sale ............................................................................Neepawa, MB

For Catalogues and more information please visit our website www.mbsimmental.com Manitoba’s Breeders Are Among The best in the Business Manitoba Simmental Association Box 274 • Austin, MB R0H 0C0

President, Everett Olson (204) 826-2643 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

www.mbbeef.ca

48 Charolais Two Year Old & Yearling Bulls 18 Red and Black Angus Yearling and Two Year Old Bulls

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

DIAMOND W CHAROLAIS Ivan, Ethel & Orland Walker Box 235 Hudson Bay, SK S0E 0Y0 T 306.865.3953 C 306.865.6539 diamondw@sasktel.net Sale Manager: BY LIVESTOCK 305.584.7937 • charolaisbanner@gmail.com Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374


March 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

Producers share their challenges and opportunities BY CAROLLYNE KEHLER MBP Project Coordinator

I was recently reminded that the best way to go into a discussion is “armed with a solution to the problem, not just a list of grievances.” his is also how MBP tackles many of the issues facing beef producers; by going into discussions armed with meaningful and realistic solutions to the problems being examined. his method of tackling a problem requires a lot of background information, thoughtful input by a diverse group of people, and, a strong argument as to why those solutions will be beneicial to all involved. hat is one of the many reasons that MBP, with funding from Growing Forward 2, initiated a member needs survey. You may have read about it in past issues of Cattle Country. he survey results can be used to support the MBP board and staf as they advocate for programs, initiatives and partnerships. he member survey, which had results submitted between January and April of 2015, collected information about the challenges and opportunities identiied by Manitoba’s beef producers. Some competing themes emerged from the survey. For example, the need to communicate with the public and to meet various market sector needs was recognised as important for accessing new markets. On the other hand, there was some reluctance to make any modiications to current practices or to provide more options to consumers. In fact, when asked “what is important in maintaining beef ’s social licence” the lowest rated answer was “encouraging market segmentation to provide choice to the consumer.” Obviously there is a ine balance between having an open dialogue with our beef eating customers and compromising our own management practices to meet unrealistic consumer standards. As one interviewee said, “We should listen to consumers and change, but we shouldn’t just roll over and do everything that consumer’s want.” “Common sense and experience,” was mentioned by one of the survey participants may be the most efec-

tive way of reducing risk on your operation. But are other tools used as well? According to the survey crop insurance, as well as increasing productivity while reducing labour, are also very important strategies for reducing risk (see igure 1). Evidently producers rely on both government programs and self-suiciency to reduce risks on their operation. he least used risk mitigation tools were programs such as the Beef Info Xchange System (BIXS) and the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), however, producer awareness and understanding of these tools is growing. In the future, uptake of these risk mitigation options will likely increase. For example, one participant said, “I will probably use livestock price insurance in 2015.” When asked, “What are the most immediate threats to the viability of your operation” the top rated threat was a border closure caused by disease or a trade dispute, proof that producers are still worried about factors such as foreign animal diseases like BSE, or the Country of Origin Labeling dispute. Producers are also concerned about land costs, government regulations, and a lack of competitiveness with the United States (see igure 2). Interestingly, when the answers are sorted by age, the young producers (under 30 years of age) viewed “land costs, access to loans and succession planning” as being more important for the viability of their operation compared to other age groups. In addition, those producers in the most northern regions of Manitoba rated predation as a higher threat compared to other areas of the province. In general, the issues ranked the most important are those that afect the entire industry because they afect the ability of producers to competitively market their livestock to our major trading partners. One theme arising from many of the comments was the need to promote the local slaughter capacity both for small abattoirs or federally inspected facilities. It was suggested that MBP should be involved in promoting their development and working on reducing the “red tape” involved in their establishment. When participants were asked the types of activities in which MBP should be involved “Encouraging

government policies that support sustainable beef production and expansion/rebuilding of the MB herd/ industry” scored highest on the list. his is an area where MBP is already very involved, providing input during a wide array of provincial and federal government consultations. Examples of issues and initiatives into which MBP provides input include: Western Livestock Price Insurance Program; Livestock Predation Protection Working Group; traceability; Veriied Beef Production Program; Growing Forward 3; Agriculture Risk Management Review Task Force; Rural Veterinary Task Force; and, water and drought management strategies, among many others. Without MBP’s voice in these conversations these resulting programs could lack integral components that are important to beef producers. hank you to all of those who participated in the survey! Hearing from such a diverse group of people gives MBP a well-rounded and informed voice.

PRAIRIE Bull Sale DISTINCTION

MAKE ANGUS BULLS part of your 2016 Breeding Program Choose from Black and Red Angus To add maternal traits

TUESDAY, MARCH 29TH, 2016 1:00 p.m. • Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB Offering 47 Yearling & 16 Two Year Old Charolais Bulls • White, Tan, Red ~ Something for everyone ~

Calving Ease Marbling Add a market for your calves by tagging them with the Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Tag Contact your local Angus Breeder or view mbangus.ca for dates of upcoming sales.

~ Quality offering from seven Manitoba breeders ~

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION

View the catalogue online at www.bylivestock.com or for more information contact:

Be part of a Progressive Breed ANGUS TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS 1-888-622-6487 1-888-622-6487 www.mbbeef.ca

Sale Manager: 305.584.7937 Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374


24 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2016

Thank You To All Sponsors of Our 37th Annual General Meeting DIAMOND SPONSOR PRESIDENT’S BANQUET SPONSORS

BEEF SPONSOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD SPONSOR

LUNCH SPONSORS

BANQUET COCKTAIL SPONSOR

PANEL DISCUSSION SPONSOR

BREAKOUT SESSION SPONSORS

GOLD SPONSORS

COFFEE SPONSORS

Alert Agri Distributors Inc./P. Quintaine & Sons Ltd. Beef Advocacy Canada BIXSco Inc. / Viewtrak Technologies Inc. BMO Bank of Montreal Canadian Catle Ideniicaion Agency DNA Insurance Farm Business Consultants (FBC) Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Hibrix Liquid Soil Supplement Ducks Unlimited Canada Hi-Pro Feeds Hamiota Feedlot Ltd. Kane Veterinary Supplies / Alllex Man – Sask Gelbvieh Associaion Landmark Feeds Manitoba Angus Associaion MacDon Industries Ltd. Prairie Livestock Manitoba Charolais Associaion RBC Royal Bank Manitoba Forage and Grassland Associaion The Harford Manitoba Grass Fed Beef Associaion Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporaion Mike Waddell AgriClear Manitoba Livestock Markeing Associaion Murray Chrysler Westman Aikins Law Manitoba Veterinary Medical Associaion MJ Endeavors Ausin Credit Union Mazergroup bioTrack Paddock Drilling Ltd. Merck Animal Health PastureMap CatleMax Sotware NDE Canada CIBC Precision Cam, The AgriPost Gem Silage Products A Brand of Allen Leigh Security + Communicaions Killarney Aucion Mart Ltd. The Victoria Inn Komb Ag Services Westoba Credit Union Ltd. SAIT Polytechnic 730 CKDM Marquete Consumers Sunrise Credit Union Co-operaives Ltd. 880 CKLQ Tuf Equipment

SILVER SPONSORS

BRONZE SPONSORS

www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

MAY 2016

Changes to program causing headaches Page 3

p The past few weeks have been active ones for Manitoba Beef Producers as staff and directors were on the road at a pair of important events. The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair was held March 28 - April 2 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon. MBP was among the groups with an exhibit in the Thru the Farm Gate area. The exhibit included a cow-calf pair provided by the Up the Creek Cattle Co. and was an excellent opportunity to promote Manitoba's beef Industry. t MBP was also among the presenters at Agriculture in the City at The Forks Market March 18-19. The MBP booth included the Beef Fact or Fiction Station which provided the urban audience with information about the industry and beef. Both events are part of MBP's yearly outreach work and provide an excellent opportunity to promote the great work done by our members as well as the product they produce.

Lemon named new general manager The Manitoba Beef Producers board of directors has named Brian Lemon as the association’s new general manager. Lemon, who began work on April 11, comes to MBP with an extensive background in the agriculture industry, having worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and,

most recently, with the Canadian Grain Commission where he was the Director of Industry Services. MBP President Heinz Reimer says Lemon was chosen from a strong field of candidates and the board is excited to have someone with his qualifications working on behalf of the province’s beef industry. “Brian’s past experi-

ence will be beneficial to MBP and its membership,” Reimer said. “He has experience with important files such as bovine tuberculosis and will be able to hit the ground running. “Our industry has taken important steps over the past couple of years and with Brian’s leadership we will continue to push forward.” Lemon, said he

would like to thank the board of directors for this opportunity and is eager to get to work. “This is an exciting time to be involved in the beef industry with new markets available to producers and the recent end of COOL,” he said. “There will certainly be some challenges to overcome but I look forward to working hard to create

a climate in which our members can thrive. I am excited to get to work and meet with as many of our members and industry officials as possible over the next few months.” Lemon replaces Melinda German who resigned from MBP in February to become the general manager of the National Checkoff Agency in Calgary.

Page 11

Environment important to Wegner Page 14

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

MBP on the Road

Are consumers willing to pay more to be environmentally friendly?


2

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

Time to start thinking about growing some cow chow? BY TIM CLARKE

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Many cow-calf producers have pushed back their calving dates for various reasons, and sometimes the annual cropland seeding gets delayed as a result. The chart below shows the Relative Manitoba Greenfeed Yield by Planting Date. The red line shows us that as the seeding date week progresses from the first week in May (01:05) until the third week in July (03:07) the yields of annual crops grown for greenfeed decreases, on average. So seeding in those first three weeks of May on average produces the highest yields. Of course work load, weather problems and drainage issues can keep us out of the field, but keep in mind that gen-

erally the later we seed the lower the greenfeed yield. The next chart (top of page) compares various crops yields relative to each other. The yields DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

are in dry matter tons/ acre, so that would be as though all the water was taken out of the hay or silage. The triticale, a cross between wheat and rye, is the spring seeded type. Foxtail millets include • Red • Yellow (Golden/ German, White Wonder, and Hungarian) • Siberian (Siberian Red) Generally foxtail millets are longer season types than proso millets and yield higher. Proso Millet types include: • White (Dawn, Minsum) • Red (Cerise, Early Fortune) • Yellow (Prairie Gold) • Green (Crown) Proso millet seed is larger than foxtail, and therefore recommended

seeding rates are higher. Warm season crops like millet and corn are more efficient at converting nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water into dry matter (yield) than cool sea-

son crops such as cereals or peas. The waxy leaf surface on warm season crops restricts water movement and therefore dry down time; as a result these crops are a challenge to get to cure for hay (15% moisture). Millets are a good option for harvested greenfeed and for swath

grazing. Information about days to maturity, potential yields, and other characteristics of various greenfeed crops can be found at: www.gov.

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 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

mb.ca/agriculture/crops/ production/annual crops to manage unseeded acres/greenfeed options. When thinking about producing enough feed for our beef herd, fertilizer costs are often a significant part of the overall cost. Nitrogen is the number one nutrient required for crop growth next to water. The air we breath is 78.084 per cent nitrogen (N2). Properly inoculated legume crops take nitrogen out of the air and put it into the plant, therefore fixing free nitrogen for our crops and lessening the reliance on nitrogen extracted from the soil. This can significantly reduce our overall fertilizer bill. The chart below shows how much free nitrogen legumes crops can fix from the atmosphere to grow themselves. Urea nitrogen (46-0-0) currently is about $600.00/ tonne, or 60 cents/pound of actual nitrogen. Field peas or hairy vetch are good options to mix with barley or oats for greenfeed production. Crop farmers have quickly picked up on the value they recieve from nitrogen fixation by soybeans, as soybean acres have exploded in recent years in Manitoba. Crops grown with adequate nitrogen avail-

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

KEN MCKAY

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

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

ability are higher in protein, as nitrogen is a building block of proteins. Our young stock can use higher levels of

water for more days of the growing season than annual crops so they can assist with dewatering or drying down saturated soils. Due to this fact plus crops like alfalfa can yield lots of dry matter/acre, and is an inefficient user of water (as compared to warm season crops) the dewatering effect is quite significant. When perennial legumes like alfalfa are taken out of production, the large, deep decaying roots form tubes or capillaries in the soil enabling water and nutrients to move up and down through the soil profile for a number

protein in their diets for muscle and bone growth. Growing perennial legumes on your farm also provides additional benefits beyond free nitrogen fixation. Perennial legumes such as alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil and cicer milkvetch have deep roots which can extract water and nutrients from deeper than most annual crops, therefore accessing a plethora of nutrients not available in annual crop production. As well they use up

of years. As well the roots and the nitrogen fixation nodules leave residual nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients for subsequent crops to feed on. As a result of all of these, growing perennial legumes often results in reduced salinity and healthier, more productive soils. If you have questions or comments please contact Tim Clarke, MAFRD at 204-768-0534 or Tim. clarke@gov.mb.ca

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - SECRETARY

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

Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Changes to program causing headaches BY ANGELA LOVELL Recent changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) are causing headaches for some primary agricultural producers, and for agri-food industries such as meat processing facilities. In 2014 the federal government put a cap on the percentage of TFW certain businesses employing more than 10 people can have. The cap is currently 20 per cent but as of July 1, 2016 the cap will be reduced to 10 per cent. That cap is already having a serious impact, says Mark Chambers, Senior Production Manager with Sunterra Farms, an Acme, Alberta based agri-food business at Lucan, Ont., he spoke about the issue at the recent Growing the AgriWorkforce conference in Winnipeg, hosted by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). “That’s really problematic, especially in the meat processing industry because firstly, it’s an industry which was built on immigration, and secondly, it’s rural work. These plants have grown in rural locations and as

more people move to urban centres, it becomes more difficult to get people to live in smaller communities and work these jobs,” says Chambers. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program Successful for 50 Years Temporary foreign workers (TFW) for onfarm jobs can come to Canada through two main programs – the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) or through the Agricultural Stream of the TFWP. Both programs require that employers’ production is listed on the National Commodities List maintained by Employment and Skills Development Canada, and that they submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to prove that bringing in the TFW will not negatively impact jobs for Canadians. SAWP allows employers to source workers from Mexico and a number of Caribbean countries, whose work permit cannot exceed eight months in a calendar year. This successful program has been in place for more than 50

years and is essential for agricultural sectors that require high numbers of seasonal workers, such as vegetable and fruit growers. Without the SAWP, Murray Porteous, a partner at Lingwood Farms and Norfolk Cherry Company in Ontario, says he’d have no choice but to scale back operations substantially, or close the farm’s processing plant. “There’s no local people interested in some of these jobs,” he says. “People aren’t looking for physical work for the most part. We have 70 offshore workers right now for field work. We’re able to get local people for most of our 50 processing and packing jobs, but for the field work we don’t get anybody that’s local. If I wanted to replace those 70 workers with local help, if I could get it, based on the number of people that actually show up that I hire, I would have to hire 3,500 people.” The processing plant operates intensively for 18 days, with shifts going 20 hours per day. But despite offering wage incentives and a bonus for workers who stay for the duration, Porteous says

they still lose 30 per cent of the people that they hire locally. TFW who are sourced through SAWP usually return every year for many years, attracted by much higher wages than they can get at home. “Ninety percent of the time a TFW will want to come back,” says Porteous, who is also National Labour Chair of CAHRC. “Farm labourers in Mexico recently had their minimum wage increased from US$5 to US$6 per 12 hour day. Our wage per hour is almost double that, and we are also supplying housing and transportation. It’s a very attractive program for the workers.” The reason SAWP has worked well for more than 50 years is because every year the Canadian government, the supply countries and producers sit down together and do collective bargaining to negotiate contracts and review the changes that need to be made to the program. “Over 50 years, it has evolved to be a useful, workable program for all parties involved, and the review process is phenomenal for the program,” says Porteus.

TFW Streams Not as User Friendly The TFW Ag Stream allows an employer to source from any country for a maximum of 24 months, with a possible renewal of the permit for a further 24 months. Plans are to shorten the timeframe to 12 months with a 12 month renewal. Some agri-food businesses are unable to use the TFW Ag Stream because their production is not included under the National Commodities List, and even some larger grain farmers who want to hire seasonal workers for help at busy times like seeding or harvest can’t use these programs for the same reason. For these employers the only option to bring in TFW is to use the Regular Stream of the TFW program which is where the cap on the percentage of TFW comes into play. It also costs these businesses $1,000 per LMIA for each worker they bring in. Further restrictions imposed on the Agriculture and Regular Stream of the TFW program are having a serious impact on farms and agri-food businesses that rely on these workers. “Once a

TFW has accumulated a total of 48 months working in Canada, they have to stay out of Canada for four years,” says Porteous. “So after six to eight years of working on your farm and gaining experience, knowing how things are done, and being a leader to other people coming in, you lose that worker for four years. This is the first year it’s been implemented, and next year there will be a much larger number of workers who will be disqualified from the program. We don’t train people for these jobs to become disposable workers. They’re temporary workers, not disposable workers.” Although there is a seasonal component to many agricultural jobs, positions in the agrifood sector in areas such as beef feedlots, hog production, livestock transportation, and meat packing and processing plants are permanent, year-round. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) in some provinces provide opportunities for TFW in these sectors to obtain permanent residency, although in Ontario and Quebec, Page 5 ➢

Gerelus joins CCIA board of directors Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has announced its board of directors and executive committee for 2016/2017, elected at its Annual General Meeting and board meeting April 7-8 in Calgary. The CCIA board of directors consists of 19 individuals appointed by member organizations as outlined in CCIA’s bylaws. The board oversees the planning process and provides input, guidance and validation, and evaluates plans and financial performance. The board supports strategic initiatives through direct leadership of these initiatives, which are reviewed throughout the year. The

board members elect an executive committee at the first meeting following the annual general meeting each year. The executive committee includes the chair, vice chair, finance and audit committee chair, and two directors at large. Along with CCIA’s general manager, the executive committee assists the board in carrying out the policies established by the board of directors. The roles and responsibilities of the chair, board members, general manager and committees are set out in written profiles and charters. The corporation has a risk management process designed to identify potential events that

may affect business operations. The board ensures appropriate authorities and controls are in place, and risks are properly managed to ensure the board is fully aware of CCIA affairs. The board meets a minimum of quarterly. CCIA management meets with the board at these meetings; although, time is reserved for the board to meet without management present. The board assesses its performance regularly with the goal to improve and maintain sound governance practices. Gaps in skills are addressed through new board member appointments, training and hiring outside experts as required.

This year, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association representative Mark Elford was elected as Board Chair. Canadian Cattlemen Association representative Pat Hayes was elected as Vice Chair. Beef Farmers of Ontario representative Tim Fugard was elected as Finance and Audit Committee Chair. Livestock Markets Association of Canada representative Rick Wright was re-elected as Executive Director; and Canadian Cattlemen Association representative Doug Sawyer joined executive leadership as CCIA’s second Executive Director. Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and its board of di-

rectors congratulate Maritime Beef Council representative John Tilley and Manitoba Beef Producers representative Theresa Zuk for their combined years of dedication and service to CCIA, and wish them well in their future endeavours, and thank Dr. Pat Burrage for his years of service as Board Chair. CCIA welcomes new Maritime Beef Council representative Ivan Johnson and Manitoba Beef Producers representative Larry Gerelus to CCIA’s board of directors, and looks forward to working together with a new board to advance traceability in 2016 and beyond. — CCIA media release

FOR SALE Sound, quiet bulls Built to last and add $$$ to your wallet

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


4

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

A product to be proud of

Well, it’s early April as I’m writing this President’s Report and spring is well on its way. Here in Southeast Manitoba where I live we had an early and fast melt with some overland flooding washing out numerous roads and flooding some yard sites. Fortunately it’s sunny now and things are getting back to normal, other than a lot of frost boils on the country roads. I have been able to attend a number of bull sales as of late and I am surprised that prices are as strong, or stronger, than last year, even with calf and feeder prices down from last spring. Buying a bull to me means getting all the information on the animal so that I can make breeding decisions that will produce the best cattle at a low cost, producing top quality Canadian beef. As part of my work with MBP I sit on the board of our national marketing agency, Canada Beef. Over the past few months the organization has been going through a rebranding process to better position our product in Canada and throughout the

We produce beef to world. world class standards for As we know, there’s a quality and safety, respectgrowing demand from consumers wanting to know ing all the rules and regulations set out for us. Canada where their beef is coming is blessed with a pristine, from and what the environclean environment rich in mental and economic benenatural resources that we are fits are. That is a major part of the new Canada Beef strategy HEINZ REIMER committed to protecting and preserving; economic, enas they work to tell the world MBP President vironmental and social suswhy our beef is the best. So, what is great about Moovin’ Along tainability looking after our land and cattle. Canadian beef? It is our The beef industry has an amazing country and our people that have an interdependence with land and the animals they story to tell with our leadership, hardraise; Canada’s abundance of fresh air, clean working producers and the great quality water, fertile soil and wide open spaces for food we produce. Canada Beef receives a cattle grazing. It’s the long summer days to large percentage of its funding through the grow hay and grain crops for feeding on mandatory check-off levy paid by all cattle those crisp winter days. producers in Canada. The levy supports reOur beef farmers and ranchers are search and marketing on behalf of Canada dedicated, honest, kind, friendly and hard- Beef. They also receive an import levy of $1 working individuals that are stewards of the per animal imported into Canada and reland and the animals they care for. It’s not ceive grants from the Canadian Cattlemen Market Development Council and Western just a job for them, it’s a way of life.

Economic Diversification. Consumers are demanding to know more about the food products they purchase and they need to feel they are making the right decision in their beef purchases. As a beef industry we need to ensure them of the value and demand beef that we helped create. So, let’s share the story of what makes Canadian beef so special and check out www.canadabeef.ca/the-branding-ironarchives It has also been a time of transition for Manitoba Beef Producers. As we announced in April, Brian Lemon has been hired as our new general manager. His first day on the job was April 11. We are pleased to welcome Brian to MBP and feel that his previous experience, especially within the agriculture industry, will be beneficial to our members. As a board we look forward to working with Brian in the best interests of Manitoba’s beef producers and are excited about the days and months ahead.

Canada Beef focusing on brand loyalty in 16-17

Canada Beef, the organization responsible for marketing and promotion for the Canadian beef and veal industry, is proud to release their business plan for the upcoming 2016/17 fiscal year. Canada Beef has been focusing on creating brand loyalty in priority markets here at home in North America, and in export markets around the world. Through strategic brand partnerships and focused initiatives, Canada Beef continues to stimulate and sustain consumer demand pull driven by two strategic priorities: brand and reputation, and go to market initiatives.

Since the beginning of Canada Beef ’s latest three year strategy, the organization’s approach has adopted a league and team approach, driving demand for Canadian beef overall. “At Canada Beef we strive for alignment with national and international brands and companies who share our commitment to the growth and profitability of our industry,” said Rob Meijer, President, Canada Beef. “As a national league working to stimulate and sustain consumer demand pull, the provinces, or teams in the league, become greater than the sum of the parts.” The Planning and

Priorities Committee is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the business plan of Canada Beef. Mike Kennedy, Committee Chair, says both domestic and international markets will be a priority for Canada Beef. “The domestic market remains our cornerstone, where demand for Canadian beef within Canada continues to grow,” said Kennedy. He also indicated that Canada Beef will continue to grow domestic demand through brand alignment with consumer lifestyles, which creates an associated emotional connection. “On the international side, we will continue to ensure funds are appropriately allocated to targeted markets,” Kennedy added. “Canadian beef can play a niche role with international consumers, and product sold to these markets will

enhance returns and drive value to the overall Canadian beef industry.” One of Canada Beef ’s most impactful means to achieve brand loyalty is through co-branding with market leaders in select priority regions called market hubs, including the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence (CBCE), North America, Hispanic, Asia and potential emerging markets. The CBCE provides Canada Beef with a home base to effectively communicate with audiences at home and internationally, allowing the organization to create both a technical and emotional connection to Canadian beef. Last year, the CBCE hosted over 900 trade and industry guests from 19 countries, and looks to increase engagement both domestically and internationally in the

coming year. North America is the largest and most important market for Canadian beef. Canada Beef will continue to invest domestically to ensure Canadian beef remains a staple in Canadian diets, and the organization remains flexible to the evolving markets in the United States. Market growth in the Hispanic markets in the United States, Mexico and South America continues to trend upwards. Consumer recognition and business growth for Canadian beef in these markets are driven by focusing on the Canadian beef brand pillars and utilizing the CBCE to deliver innovation and information on Canadian beef products. Canada Beef will continue to build on the momentum earned in Asia in previous years. Consumer

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marketing efforts will be expanded, and while our focus has been on major markets of Japan, China and Taiwan, Canada Beef will expand efforts to capture consumer attention in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia. Through the CBCE, Canada Beef will continue to align with industry packers and trade patterns to identify priority emerging markets, which offer opportunity for added incremental carcass value. “We will continue to assess the opportunity to collaborate with packers and exporters in emerging markets to strategically position Canadian beef in the right market and market segment at the right time, with the best returns for producers in mind,” said Meijer. Canada Beef will continue to carefully select valuable business and brand partnerships, and share resources to obtain mutual and measurable goals by aligning marketing activities and focusing on telling the Canadian beef brand story. Canada Beef is the cattle producer-funded and run organization responsible for domestic and international beef and veal market development. It has offices in Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and Taiwan. Canada Beef works to foster loyalty to the Canadian beef brand and build strong relationships with trade customers and partners. These efforts increase demand for Canadian beef and the value producers receive for their cattle. - Canada Beef me-

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May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Ready to work for Manitoba producers Well here it is, my first ever General Manager’s Report to Cattle Country. Let me start by saying hello and doing a short introduction, and saying how excited I am to be working with Manitoba’s cattle producers and on their behalf. As I write this, I am one week on the job and still feeling a bit overwhelmed. I come to the MBP after a long career in the federal government where I spent the last decade working with the agriculture industry. I worked in roles with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as well as with the Canadian Grain Commission. I can’t say that I grew up on a farm, but I can claim to be the “son-of-a-son” of a good prairie farmer – where I had the chance to spend summers and holidays on my grandparent’s Saskatchewan farm. I grew up on military bases across the country and settled in Winnipeg to finish high school, and have called Manitoba home since then. During my time with government I saw the agriculture industry go through some very difficult challenges and I’ve seen the industry respond to every single one, to bind together and come out of them stronger and more ready for the next. I have enjoyed working with the people (this industry has incredible leaders) and, in my little way, helping them to build

BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column and position the industry to grow and prosper. Especially among the people I have always enjoyed the chance to work with producers who run some of the country’s largest “small businesses.” Their willingness to soldier on and to invest in doing the right thing for the betterment of the industry has always been inspiring. As I look forward, I am excited about the opportunities that the cattle industry has in front of it. There have been a lot of investments put in place to springboard Manitoba’s beef industry forward. I am excited to see what is coming together at Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI). I believe this is going to be a world-class facility that will serve our industry, bring new and exciting research and innovations to Manitoba, grow our research capacity and become a real hub for many of our future initiatives. I’m excited to see the progress being made under TB Coordinator Dr. Allan Preston’s leadership towards a longer-term resolution to the bovine TB

challenges. Equally, I am excited about the market opportunities following COOL and with new trade deals that will hopefully provide increased demand for our cattle and profitable markets for our exports. Here at home, I am also looking forward to finding new and creative ways to get our story told, and to make sure everyone knows about the great and conscientious work of our members. I am looking forward to getting busy and working to represent the Manitoba industry and to advance our perspectives, working both within Manitoba but also to ensure we are heard and understood on the national stage. I look forward to getting out and meeting as many of you as possible and to get to know you and your concerns. I know that MBP recently conducted a survey of its membership and stakeholders and I look forward to understanding the issues and concerns better and using the survey findings to help guide my priorities. This first week has been busy trying to get up to speed; I’ve been learning passwords, setting up e-mail and voice-mail, learning the list of acronyms, and most importantly getting to know the MBP staff. I want to thank all those who have reached out and welcomed me. I hope to have more substance to communicate in my next report. Thank you.

Time to become a beef advocate There’s nobody who can tell the Canadian beef story better than those who

live and breathe it every day. It’s our job as beef producers to be able to com-

Temporary workers encouraged to become residents ← Page 3 agriculture and agri-food workers are not eligible under any of the provincial streams. Manitoba Encouraging TFW to Become Permanent Residents Manitoba’s PNP allows agriculture and agrifood workers to become permanent residents through its Skilled Workers Program, which has two components. The Skilled Workers in Manitoba is for TFW who have already worked in Manitoba for at least six months and have an offer of full time, long-term employment from their employer. They need to meet certain criteria in terms of education and training relevant to the job, and demonstrate job-ready English language skills. Employers can also recruit workers from abroad through the Skilled Workers Overseas program, but the nominees have to demonstrate a strong connection to Manitoba, and score sufficient points for five eligibility factors – age, English proficiency, work experience, education and adaptability. The intention of changes to the TFW programs, says Chambers, was to try and encourage foreign workers to become permanent residents, but the changes have had some unintended consequences for agriculture. “If you exceed the cap, until more people have gone through the permanent resident program you can’t get any more foreign workers,” says Chambers. “Then you start depleting your workforce and a lot of the value-add stuff doesn’t get done. Canada has negotiated some aggressive trade agreements, which is good, but if we don’t have the labour, we’re not going to be able to capture the opportunities they represent.” CAHRC has been bringing together stakeholders to develop an Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Task Force with recommendations to help ensure the agricultural components of the TFW program work better for producers and the agri-food industry.

municate that story to the people who purchase the beef that we spend years handcrafting. To best communicate that story, we need to tell different parts of the same story in a consistent way. Included below are some resources that can help you become a well-rounded beef advocate, and communicate with confidence and passion. This list is by no means definitive, but it gives our producers a great basis to start the conversations. Join BeefAdvocacy.

ca – A two level program brings beef producers, lovers and industry members together with a base level of knowledge to be able to tell the story consistently. This short, two-level program both educates and highlights advocates in the industry. CanadaBeef.ca – Our new Canada Beef website encourages and integrates digital conversations between producers, consumers, and industry members to talk about what we all know and love: BEEF! Download The

www.mbbeef.ca

Roundup App – Whether you’re using it for recipes yourself, or as a tool to help someone in the grocery store select the right cut of beef to ensure an exceptional eating experience, this mobile tool can create conversations across the board. Get on social media – From the Canada Beef Twitter handles (like @ cdnbeef_ag) and YouTube channels, to the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Facebook page, the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) webinars and everything in

between provide resources for our industry to communicate our story. Get involved with your provincial beef cattle organization – These groups are the teams in the Canadian beef league. They can help connect you with resources, government, and policy and advocacy opportunities. Being an advocate is easy. All it requires is sharing positive, educated messages and telling your story. Connections are powerful, and we invite you to join the conversation!


6

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

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

Recovering from floods a delicate process Q: I have hay and pasture land in the Lake Manitoba area that is not fully recovered from flooding. What can I do to increase production back to pre-flood levels? A: Restoring hay and pasture in the Lake Manitoba zone is a very site-specific task, because there are so many variables, like soil elevation topography, salinity and naturally occurring weeds. In the fall of 2012, MAFRD initiated a Lake Manitoba forage restoration project to document natural recovery and help restore forage. Below is a short summary of the project, the results and a few recommendations based on the researchers’ observations and yield analysis: Lake Manitoba restoration project overview In co-operation with local ranchers, nine restoration sites were set up, looking at natural forage rejuvenation and various management techniques to enhance forage production on flood damaged land. The damage included flooding up to 1.4 meters of water for up to 10 months, total forage plant loss, bare ground, de-

SHAWN CABAK

Farm Production Extension Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) –Portage Shawn.Cabak@gov.mb.ca bris cleanup and a wave of new weeds, reeds and rushes. The sites ranged from tame and native pasture to tame and native hay and were located around Lake Manitoba at Crane River, Vogar, Langruth and Delta. The restoration project included treatments such as broadcast seeding of forages, with and without glyphosate, sod seeding forages, the use of fertilizer and long-term rest. Samples were harvested from 2013 to 2015, either by hand or mechanically, for yield, feed quality and general species composition. Conclusions: Elevation and rate of recovery of desirable forage is related. After a flood, well drained and higher elevation land can be improved more quickly by reseeding, fertilizing and using herbicide for weed and bull rush control. Generally, this land is more fertile and less saline than lower elevation land that is less likely to respond to fertilizer or seed inputs.

Use caution when you decide to renovate fields that are subject to flooding and just above the long-term Lake Manitoba water levels. Lake Manitoba land that flooded a second time in 2014 is taking even longer to return to productivity. Using herbicide or tillage to remove weeds can also increase soil salinity when the evaporating water leaves salts behind at the soil surface. Because these marginal soils are so fragile, they need several years with minimal disturbance for the forage to naturally recover. Re-established forage species will dry out soil with vegetative growth and help prevent salts from moving upward. Conduct soil tests before starting any renovations to determine the fertility and salinity levels, which will help in developing an appropriate management plan. Recommendations for post-flood forage management

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Cultivated land and tame forages After the land has dried, reseed the better drained and higher classed land to suitable tame forages within one to two years. Perennial forages remove twice as much water than annual crops and have better salinity tolerance. Using glyphosate to clear weed growth and minimum tillage or sod seeding returned the fields to pre-flood condition in the shortest time period. Producers who seeded straight into the blackened sod the year after the flood saw reasonable forage establishment. Hay land (lowland) Native lowland hay fields that flood in the spring and dry out in the summer need to be managed carefully. You should leave these areas to natural forage rejuvenation, and the forages can be harvested once growth is reasonable. Haying and burning are two methods that can be used to remove undesirable vegetation such as bull rushes.

Glyphosate-treated plots recovered slower and did not do well in terms of forage recovery, because most of the regrowth was saline tolerant weeds. Plots that were not treated with glyphosate generally came back with desirable grasses and species, similar to those present before the flood. Hay land (upland) There are more options when you renovate upland native or tame hay land, which normally does not flood in the spring. If the land is flat and salinity is minimal, using herbicide, sod seeding or tillage to re-establish forages are all possibilities. However, ridge and swale land next to the lake poses significant challenges because the swales hold water for extended periods of time each year. The ridges support upland species, but because of their close proximity to the standing water, these ridges often become saline because of the high water table and evaporation-induced salinity. Because these ridges are sensitive, any desirable species that are growing should be left until they are strongly established. Often, this will result in a mix of forage and weeds. This is not ideal but better than bare ground, which increases soil salinity.

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Pasture After prolonged pasture flooding, expect to decrease stocking rates on native pasture for two to three years and one to two years on tame pasture, until forages recover. Recovery time will vary, depending on soil class, drainage, elevation, salinity and fertility. Invasive species such as rushes, reeds or weeds can be mowed and baled or burned to reduce their vigor and allow light to penetrate down to new establishing forages. Early pasturing can utilize weeds like foxtail barley before heading or arrow grass before it sets seed. It is challenging to pasture these areas in the vegetative stage when soils are often wet. Fertility Management Soil fertility around the lake is extremely variable, so conduct soil tests to determine nutrient deficiencies and salinity levels. When reseeding forages, phosphorus is the most useful nutrient, because it is crucial for early root development, plant establishment, yield and longevity of the plants. Apply phosphorus at the lower end of recommendations because of the close proximity to lake water and the risk of runoff. Apply phosphorus at the time of seeding to maximize plant uptake and utilization. You should apply all the nutrients when runoff is least likely or the risk of flooding is minimal. On deficient soils, legumes such as alfalfa, sweet clover, alsike or red clover respond well to phosphorous fertilizer. For more information on Restoring Forage on Flooded Hay and Pasture Land around Lake Manitoba, go to www.manitoba.ca/ agriculture or contact your local MAFRD GO Office. We want to hear from you. For the next issue of Cattle Country, MAFRD forage specialist Tim Clarke will feature a selected range of pasture questions. Send your questions to Tim. Clarke@gov.mb.ca by June 1, 2016. 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.


May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Confidence lacking in cattle markets No contracts and no confidence is the best way to describe the current cattle markets. The volatility in the cattle market continues with a futures market that has no predictability and a dollar that has been prone to wild fluctuations. Cattle feeders are nervous, and the memories of major losses on the last inventory turn are fresh in their minds. Cattle that were purchased last fall and early this spring for backgrounding are coming to market covered with red ink. A lot of the cattle feeders who have sold in March and April have told me that the cattle are bringing about $60 more than what they paid for them when they bought them. That leaves them a little for processing, interest, death loss and trucking, leaving nothing for the feed and yardage. Losses for many of the cattle sold in April at 900 lb. were between $200 and $300 per head. Many of those same feeders have decided to liquidate their inventory to free up both cash and pen space with the idea of trying to purchase new inventory with lower break evens and the possibility of making back some of the losses. The prices for the lighter weight cattle under 650 lb. have not dropped as much as the 800 to 900 pounders. When you look at the current market for the “grass type”

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line cattle, the risk/reward ratio stills looks out of balance. At this time last year, forward pricing contracts were available for all classes of cattle with deliveries as far out as the fourth quarter of 2015. This year, cattle feeders have switched gears and are purchasing on a cash market rather than forward contracting. Most of the feeders are only pricing a week in advance of delivery. This major change in purchasing practise signals that feeders have no confidence in the current cattle market and believe there is lots of inventory that will be available when needed. The idea that there is a shortage of cattle in North America has become short lived. As in the past, we in Manitoba are in a very unique position. We have demand for feeder cattle from both eastern and western Canada as well as strong demand from the US when the economic conditions line up. The decrease in the value of the US dollar has all but kept the cattle feeders south of the border off the

market. There have been short bursts of American buying activity but they have been short-lived. Why are they so important to the Canadian cattle industry? The US has imported 2.1 million head of cattle per year (on average) since 1989. The United States imported 1.94 million head of cattle in 2015. They imported 829,800 head from Canada in 2015. On average, over 27 years, the US has imported 1.09 million head of cattle from Mexico per year and 1.04 million head from Canada. The highest number of cattle that the US has ever imported was 2.8 million head in 1995. Imports of Canadian feeder cattle into the US for the first quarter of 2016 were down 61 per cent compared to last year. That is an average of 7,300 head per week for every week from Jan. 1 until now. Slaughter cattle imports from Canada into the US were up about 26 per cent year to date or approximately 1,325 cattle per week. The two main reasons were the strong exchange rate early in the first quarter and the elimination of COOL, thus offering more marketing opportunities for Canadian feed cattle. The reality for the decline in the feed cattle exports was that the prices for cattle in Canada were just too high. The American cattle feeders had already felt the sting of heavy

losses and started to use a great amount of discipline when purchasing their feeder cattle inventory. Unfortunately, the Canadian cattle feeders did not follow the example set by their American counterparts, and are now experiencing major losses. After two turns of substantial losses I expect the Canadian feeders to curb their enthusiasm for over- priced cattle and follow risk management opportunities when purchasing their next inventory of feeder cattle. As for the fall and what you can expect the prices to be? There are no contracts being offered that any seller would want to sign. The fundamentals do not support the current prices, so that would lead me to believe that even lower prices are on the horizon. Both pork and poultry are predicting increased production and lower prices to the consumer, which will cap any increase in the wholesale beef prices. As always, the value of the dollar will play a very important part in determining the future cattle prices. If you believe in the “cattle cycle,” then you would have to agree that the cycle seems to be getting shorter. With that in mind, maybe this drop in the cattle market may not last that long. Until next time, Rick

2016 Census of Agriculture is on the horizon At the beginning of May 2016, Canadian farm operators will have the chance to take part in a national dialogue by completing the Census of Agriculture questionnaire. The Census of Agriculture is the definitive source of communitylevel data. By drawing on these data, decision makers will know that they are acting in the interests of farmers, farm communities and agricultural operations across Canada. Farm organizations are heavy users of census data and draw on this information when formulating policy requests, producing communication and outreach work, and conducting market research. What’s new for the 2016 Census of Agriculture? Census by Internet: fast and easy All Canadian farm operators will receive a letter at the beginning of May 2016 with instructions on how to quickly and easily complete the questionnaire online. The online questionnaire will automatically add totals. As a result, completing the questionnaire online will limit the questions to the ones that apply specifically to an operator’s farm and will reduce the need to call

back farm operators in order to clarify answers. On average, farmers should spend 30 per cent less time responding to the 2016 Census of Agriculture than they did responding to the previous census (2011). Shorter—but still comprehensive— questionnaire The Census of Agriculture staff consults after every census with farmers, agricultural industry members, and data users for the purpose of assessing data needs. In the 2016 Census, operators are no longer required to provide detailed farm expenses and other information such as place of residence, details on irrigated land, and the source and use of manure. The questionnaire also includes new questions on the adoption of technologies, direct marketing, succession planning and renewable energy production. Overall, the 2016 questionnaire has 18 fewer questions than did the 2011 questionnaire. The content of the 2016 Census of Agricultwas published in the Canada Gazette on June 20, 2015. Getting ready In the coming months, the Census of Agriculture Program will begin its communication

and outreach work with the farming community. This work includes farm show exhibitions, as well as a media campaign that explains what’s new in the upcoming census and why the census is important. By law, farmers are required to participate in the Census of Agriculture. By the same law, Statistics Canada is required to protect the information provided in Census of Agriculture questionnaires. Privacy is a fundamental compo-

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

SG&R Farms, which is owned operated by the Boyd Family, was awarded The Environmental Stewardship Award for Manitoba during the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in February. From left to right: Tere Stykalo with award sponsor MNP; Caron Clarke of Manitoba Beef Producers and Ryan, Piper, Sarah, Joanne and Jim Boyd.

TESA award winners, the Boyd family, embrace innovation BY ANGELA LOVELL When Ryan Boyd came back to the family farm 10 years ago he knew he would have to be innovative to ensure

the farm would be sustainable for the future. That wasn’t a problem for Boyd, who was brimming with ideas about how to

better integrate the farm’s cattle and grazing land to improve both productivity and the health of the soil. It’s because of that innovative thinking that

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the Boyd family – Ryan, wife Sarah, two-yearold daughter, Piper, and parents, Jim and Joanne – received The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) for 2015. TESA recognizes cattle producers whose exemplary stewardship practices contribute to the environment, while enhancing productivity and profitability. MNP and Manitoba Beef Producers sponsor the annual award. Boyd, who took a four year, BSc degree in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba, says his interest in different cropping and livestock systems was partly due to the innovative thinking of some of his professors. “The courses I took with Dr. Martin Entz had a big impact on shaping how I thought about the farm and what type of system we wanted to have,” says Boyd. “Then I did a project with Dr. Don Flaten the last year of my degree, comparing extensive wintering systems with confined wintering systems for cow/ calf operations, and the impact on nutrient management. That’s how I got started.”

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Trying New Things The Boyds’ farm – SG & R Farms near Forrest – has always been a mixed farm, but Boyd saw integrating the cattle and grain side as a good opportunity to generate more revenue from the same acres at minimal cost. “We began by moving calving to May/June and started rotational grazing. We’d move the cows every couple of weeks through three or four paddocks at first,” says Boyd, who farms 2,000 acres of annual crops and 1,400 acres of perennial pasture for 300 cows. “I had talked to a lot of different people about how they set up their grazing systems, so we set it up with permanent cross fencing from day one. We’ve been on daily moves now for about eight years, and we have certainly tweaked the system a lot.” Always on the lookout for new ideas and better ways to do things, Boyd attended the Manitoba Grazing School and other summer tours and events, but it was a 2006 tour to Gabe Brown’s farm at Bismarck, North Dakota which turned out to be formative for Boyd.

Gabe Brown is well known as a pioneer of Holistic Management and regenerative agriculture, using diverse, no-till, cropping strategies such as cover crops and intensively managed grazing, to improve soil health and productivity, and increase cattle performance and profit in a natural and sustainable way. “That’s when I really began to think about the soil health side of things. I always thought that increasing organic matter and water infiltration was what we needed to do, but then I started to see how managing the soil biology plays a critical part in all that too,” says Boyd, who began to manage the whole farm system much more intensively. Annual Polycrops Improve Soil and Cattle Health In 2006, the Boyds under-seeded about 1,000 acres of annual grain crops to forages for summer grazing the following year, and introduced winter corn grazing three years ago to cut back on purchased hay for bale grazing. “The summer, peren-


May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY nial pasture system hasn’t evolved a lot because we started with short duration grazing and a long recovery period on the paddocks from the start,” says Boyd. “The big changes have been in how we’re integrating annual crops for fall and winter grazing.” Boyd experimented with a 15 species polycrop on about 50 acres three years ago, and last year seeded 500 acres of mixed species for annual forage. “Half of that, we did as a green feed mixture that we cut, baled and then let it re-grow to give us some late fall grazing. The other half we grazed in August and September. It’s given us some good quality, late season grazing into December. It’s more expensive than perennial pasture but when we were grazing stockpiled perennial forage into December the quality of those tame pastures was declining, and the calves were still on the cows then, so we had to be careful that they we weren’t pulling too much condition off them. With these mixtures last fall the calves grew like crazy; the cows held their own; and the replacement heifers we had out there gained like crazy, so the animal performance is there.” Multiple Benefits Boyd says all these different management systems have transformed the soil on the farm over the past ten years. “The system as a whole is starting to work better as we bring everything together,” says Boyd. “Soil health has improved and we are retaining far more water on our farm, so have reduced runoff into ditches and streams. By maintaining soil litter and trying to have plant roots growing at all times we have also reduced erosion. The health of the cattle is much better compared to when we started and I think that’s because the grasses and alfalfa that are growing in the pastures are providing the most balanced nutrition as far as micronutrients go. That’s been achieved by nothing but good grazing management.” He’s still constantly surprised, as he continues to tweak the system to achieve a natural and sustainable balance. “We’re seeing a whole new level of soil quality after the polycrops,” says Boyd. “The microbial activity and number of earthworms – which are a sign of healthy soil

– increases dramatically, and soil structure is nice and loose and crumbly. It didn’t take long to see that there’s definitely something to this as far as improving the soil quality.” After the polycrop, Boyd direct seeds a cereal the following spring, and has seen comparable yields to fields where he’s using a regular fertilizer package. But he’s monitoring the system carefully to determine the long-term benefits of this rotation. “We haven’t been at it long enough to see just how much we can reduce our fertilizer the year after the polycrop. We’re still experimenting with that,” says Boyd. “We’re also looking at whether it’s helping the weed spectrum, because we have weeds at the start but we aren’t spraying it and the weeds get choked The Boyd family has 2,000 acres of annual crops and 1,400 acres of perennial pasture for 300 head at their farm out, and the cows eat near Forrest. Photos courtesy of Ryan Boyd whatever weeds are left. We’re still trying to figure out the long term benefits to the rotation, but it definitely holds a lot of potential to be a win-win for the following crop and the cattle.” Taking Care of the Environment is Good Business The Boyds are proud to be the recipients of the TESA award, and are grateful to the sponsors. “It’s great that MNP and the Manitoba Beef Producers are sponsoring the TESA award because I think it is good business to look after the environment, so kudos to them” says Boyd. The Boyds plan to continue to create an abundance of diversity both above and below ground through plant diversity and planned grazing to improve soil health. They would like to increase soil organic matter levels to 10 per cent or more, which will not only provide production benefits, but store carbon from the atmosphere to offset global warming. “We are doing what On Thursday, June 23, Manitoba Hay Day is taking place at the Manitoba we are doing to make the Beef and Forage Initiatives farm (the corner of highway 353 and #10 north farm more sustainable and resilient,” says Boyd. of Brandon) between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. “I firmly believe that the long-term economic sucWatch infield demonstrations of new equipment from cess of the farm has to be manufacturers and learn more about: in tune with the environ• how to harvest high quality hay • soil salinity ment because you can’t have one without the • fertility for optimum alfalfa production • hay quality differences other. If we’re going to be hard on the environment, The cost to attend is $10 and includes lunch. This is a rain or shine event. that’s not a long-term option. It might make monRegister today ey this year but down the To register or to learn more about this informative event, please call the road, sooner or later that will catch up with us. It’s Portage GO Office at 204-239-3352. no coincidence that what we do helps the environment, because that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

Help wanted: closing the agricultural labour gap BY ANGELA LOVELL Agriculture has the highest job vacancy rate in the country, with the gap between labour demand and the available farm workforce sitting at 59,200 people, according to the latest labour market information released by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) during its recent “Growing the AgriWorkforce” conference in Winnipeg. Currently there are more than 1,000 unfilled meat processing jobs in Canada, forcing the industry to operate at only 70 per cent capacity, and labour shortages are costing the agricultural industry $1.5 billion per year in lost sales for primary agriculture alone, and are negatively impacting investment growth potential. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association estimates unfilled jobs in the beef sector resulted in a $141 million loss in farm gate cash receipts in 2014 Creating an Action Plan It’s not a problem that’s expected to get better any time soon. By 2025 the labour gap could grow to 114,000 people, and labour shortages in the beef sector will increase to 27 per cent of the total from today’s five percent. As a result, the national Labour Task Force (LTF), comprised of industry stakeholders from every aspect of the agriculture and agri-food value chain, and a now a

duction that many other industries don’t feel. The need for Temporary Foreign Workers For many years the agricultural industry has used various streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to supplement its workforce during peak periods, and for permanent jobs it has been used as a stepping stone, in some cases, to workers becoming permanent residents and filling full-time, ag and agri-food positions, particularly in the meat packing and livestock sectors. Currently around 12 per cent of the total agricultural workforce in Canada are foreign workers, and that figure will need to grow significantly in the years ahead if there is any hope of meeting the labour demand in the industry. TFW also provide benefits to the Canadian economy that aren’t often considered. Industry estimates that every seasonal agricultural worker creates two additional Canadian agri-food jobs. And a Canadian Cattlemen Association report states that, “For every worker employed in the sub-sector another 4.2

workers are employed in Canada (counting direct and indirect impacts) and almost seven workers are employed if all impacts are included.” But recent changes to the TFWP are causing some challenges for sectors of the industry that rely on the TFWP’s Agriculture stream for seasonal workers from countries such as the Philippines, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Australia, and New Zealand, etc. Some agri-food employers with more than 10 employees, who access workers through the main TFWP, must comply with a 20 per cent cap on the percentage of TFW that can make up the workforce, which will reduce to 10 per cent on July 1, 2016. As well, a 48-month rule, which came into effect with the 2014 TFWP changes, requires a TFW, who has worked an accumulated total of 48 months in Canada, to leave the country for four years before being eligible to return. This applies to the Agriculture Stream and to producers such as grain farmers who use the main TFWP because they do not qualify for agricul-

committee of CAHRC, developed the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan (WAP) – a collaborative effort developed over the last three years which offers strategies to help address the agricultural industry’s ongoing labour shortages. “We are recommending a robust program with input from farmers and industry stakeholders that is specifically designed for the agriculture and agri-food industries,” says Mark Chambers, Senior Production Manager with Sunterra Farms, an Acme, Alta. based agri-food business at Lucan, Ont., who was involved in the Labour Task Force. “Agriculture is a unique industry and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force is a solutions based membership of industry stakeholders that is trying to promote and come up with ideas on how to fix this, not just complain about it.” Agriculture is struggling with critical labour shortages because of some unique workforce challenges that make it difficult for employers to attract workers. Jobs in agriculture are rural-based and due to rural de-population, local people are not always available to fill them; agriculture jobs are often BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL seasonal, and agricultural We know that disease erinarian, professor and products – both plants and causing agents are present researcher at the University animals – are perishable, in beef cattle herds, even if of Calgary Faculty of Vetso there is urgency to agrithe most careful biosecurity erinary Medicine, discussed culture and agri-food proprocedures are observed. In management during the general, basic management calving season for healthier of calves and calving groups and more productive calves. will play a greater role in During the webinar, she whether or not calves get provided numerous tips on sick than the presence or how to manage both cows absence of most disease and calves to reduce disease causing pathogens. incidences and increase calf In a webinar hosted survival rate. Here are three highby the BCRC last winter, Dr. Claire Windeyer, vet- lights from that webinar:

tural programming because their commodity is not listed on the National Commodity List. Short and Long Term Strategies to Close the Labour Gap The WAP provides government and industry with short, medium and long-term strategies that focus on increasing the supply of skilled and unskilled labour, and improving the knowledge and skills of workers in the agricultural industry. WAP prioritizes hiring Canadian workers and includes a plan for creating a long term, sustainable labour supply, which will create more Canadian jobs within the industry and the broader economy. To alleviate labour shortages in the short term, when Canadian workers are unavailable, agricultural employers need improved access to international agriculture workers. Recommendations of the WAP include access for temporary foreign agriculture and agri-food workers to a viable pathway to permanent residency through the Express Entry Program. The Plan also recommends

creating a dedicated Canadian Agriculture and AgriFood Workforce Program to provide consistent and efficient access to international agriculture workers to support the industry’s productivity, growth and future success. To better recognize the seasonal nature of agriculture, the WAP urges removal of existing caps on length of stay for workers brought in through the TFWP – Agriculture Stream to address acute, seasonal labour needs that can’t be filled through the domestic workforce. A Centre of Specialization (single office) for the Agriculture Stream and the agri-food industry would ensure knowledgeable staff, timely processing and consistent treatment of applications. The long to medium term plan recommends the collection of enhanced labour market information that reflects actual wages in the agricultural industry, with the aim of working towards an acceptable, transparent wage rate process for industry and the federal government.

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Use the calf recovery position to resuscitate calves A recent study showed that over half of beef producers surveyed hung calves upside down to resuscitate them, a method that is not recommended. Hanging upside down causes a calf ’s stomach and intestines to press down on the diaphragm and compress the lungs, making it harder for the calf to breathe. Although fluid will come out, it is fluid from the stomach, not the lungs. In the “calf recovery position”, calves are placed with both legs tucked underneath which allows the lungs to expand with the least amount of pressure. Other techniques like poking straw in the nose, rubbing the calf vigorously, or dripping water into the ear are also effective. Separate calves from pregnant cows Pasture management during calving can be instrumental in reducing disease in calves. Cows often shed pathogens that are not harmful to them but can cause disease in calves with young, naive immune systems. A solution to this is to avoid calving on the same pastures that cows

are overwintered on, and to move pairs into a nursing pasture shortly after birth (within the first 24 hours). It is also beneficial to fill the nursery pasture with calves as close in age possible, and then start a new pen with other similar aged calves, rather than rotate calves through pastures. This will help to reduce the pathogen exposure from older calves to younger ones. Another technique, called the “sandhills system”, moves pregnant cows every couple of weeks, leaving the pairs behind. Ask your veterinarian about using a long-acting NSAID on calves after difficult births A study in dairy cows has shown that calves that were given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) after a difficult birth were more vigorous, had an improved suckle reflex, and were healthier than calves that didn’t receive a NSAID. More research is needed to study the effects on beef calves, but some beef producers have reported similar results. Like all past BCRC webinars, you can watch the full recording of this webinar at any time by going to beefresearch.ca


May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

BCRC unveils preg-check tool BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL According to the 2015 Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey, 60 per cent of producers include pregnancy detection as part of their management strategy. That’s up from 49 per cent nearly two decades ago, according to the 1997/98 Alberta Cow-Calf Survey results, and up from 34 per cent reported by the 1987-89 Alberta survey. But the question remains as to why 40 per cent of producers in Western Canada choose not to preg-check their cows. Assuming a spring calving schedule, generally producers have three options for managing open cows: Preg-check cows in the fall and cull opens immediately Pros: Realize value of cull cows in the fall and avoid incurring costs of overwintering open cows. Cons: Incur vet costs and forgo the value of cull cows in spring during higher market prices. Preg-check in the fall and feed open cows separately to market at a later date Pros: Avoid selling during the lower market prices during the fall and add weight to cull cows before they’re sold

Cons: Incur vet costs, absorb overwintering costs for open cows, and supplemental feed costs Do not preg-check – overwinter all cows together and cull opens in the spring after the herd has finished calving. The economics of pregchecking depends on: cull cow market price, the management system employed by the producer, feed and overhead costs, and Veterinary costs. A basic and advanced version of the model are available to help producers determine the most economical option for their operation. To help producers determine the most economical option for their operation based on the various factors, an economics of pregchecking model was developed by Western College of Veterinary Medicine student Elad Ben-Ezra and University of Saskatchewan Master of Business Administration (MBA) student Alex Muzzin in 2015 in collaboration with Canfax Research Services. Using the model, the developers made several conclusions: Conclusion #1: The higher a producer’s feed and overwin-

tering costs, the more favourable preg-checking and culling cows is in the fall. Conclusion #2: The ADG of cull cows over the winter feeding period has a significant impact on the cow’s spring value. Higher weight gains over the winter result in higher spring values than low weight gains, regardless of the market price. ADG varies with the management system (i.e. traditional drylot vs. swath grazing vs. bale grazing). Conclusion #3: High cull cow prices and ADG favour overwintering cows until the following spring as every pound of gain is more valuable. Cattle market price is a much stronger driver of the economics of preg-checking than overwintering costs. Over the last ten years producers have not benefited from preg-checking and culling open cows in the fall. The loss of potential income experienced by producers for preg-checking and culling open cattle in the fall was driven largely by cattle prices increasing seasonally and annually. This may explain the significant segment of producers who still do not preg-check their herds. Consistently higher cullcow prices in the spring can

be a strong deterrent to pregchecking. Producers in Western Canada that have overwintered their open cattle have received, on average (2005 to 2014), a market price 25.6 per cent higher than the previous fall (October to March). However, the seasonality is quite variable, ranging from six per cent in 2006-2007 to 53 per cent in 2009-2010. Conclusion #4: At current market prices, the strategy of preg-checking and feeding the open cow group a high-energy ration for 90 days provides the greatest economic benefit to producers – a gain of $5.16/head compared to overwintering. As cow prices have increased annually over the last decade, from the 2003 low, preg-checking has not been economically beneficial and producers have seen the greatest benefit from overwintering cattle and selling at the higher price. Conclusion #5: Should cull cow prices drop to pre-2012 levels (below $0.75/lbs), many scenarios indicate that preg-checking and culling in the fall is a better option as the cost of overwintering begins to outweigh the benefit of selling heavier cull cows in the spring. To determine whether this holds true for individual opera-

tions, a new decision making tool based on the economic model is now available on the Beef Cattle Research Council website, www. beefresearch.ca. Producers can visit the interactive webpage to help make their management decisions. When producers visit the webpage, they’ll find two variations of the model: Basic Model – requires only six pieces of information: herd size, type of management system, the month preg-checking will occur, the anticipated calving month, and the current fall month and market price. Advanced Model – allows producers to enter custom data for their herd including: cost of production, ADG, length of winter feeding period, herd open rate, and veterinary cost to more accurately calculate the net gain or loss of preg-checking. Both versions have the option to enter parameters for feeding cull cows as a separate group. By entering feed and overhead cost, the expected number of days on feed, and the expected average daily gain (ADG) of cows in the group, the model will calculate the expected gain or loss of pregchecking in the fall and feeding cull cows as a separate group.

Shoppers willing to pay premium in certain cases BY RON FRIESEN Many North American consumers are willing to pay a premium for beef raised under conditions that support the environment, according to a U.S. livestock research specialist. Recent studies show the average consumer would pay anywhere between seven and 33 per cent more for beef produced with environmental benefits, with an average willingness around 15 per cent, says Robin White, a livestock researcher at Virginia Tech University. That’s surprising because consumers these days are bombarded by campaigns claiming livestock production is bad for the environment, White says. But many people, especially those who like eating meat, aren’t overly influenced by such claims, she adds. “There’s a portion of the population that is swayed by this type of argument. There’s also a portion of the population that really loves steak. For those of us who really love steak, it’s going to take a little more than some of those sensationalized arguments to change our purchasing habits,” she said in a tele-

phone interview from her office. “Based on my experience, the public is really looking for information that doesn’t come in this type of package. They’re just looking to understand.” This apparent openmindedness by consumers gives beef producers a chance to show them their industry is environmentally sound, she said. “Producers have an opportunity to leverage consumers’ interests in things like reduced environmental impact, both from an economic standpoint and to communicate concepts about beef production to the public.” White spoke recently to agriculture students and staff at the University of Manitoba. During her presentation at the U of M, White cited a 2014 study which found consumers were willing to pay more for beef with “pure” environmental benefits such as sustainable water and land use. Surprisingly, North American consumers showed a greater willingness to pay than Europeans, maybe because people in the United States and Canada have more

free choice when selecting the conditions under which food is produced, she suggested. However, during a question period, White acknowledged what people say and what they do are two different things. White said the willingness-to-pay factor is about two to one. For example, shoppers might say they are willing to pay 12 per cent more at the meat counter but will actually pay only six per cent more. Still, the fact that consumers say they would pay more for environmental

benefits is significant, given campaigns by environmental groups claiming livestock production is unsustainable, she said. Such claims include: livestock produce 40 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than cars; a pound of meat requires 2,400 gallons of water compared to only 25 gallons for wheat; one acre of land can yield 53,000 pounds of potatoes but only 250 pounds of beef. But White said beef ’s environmental footprint is actually shrinking, thanks to improvements in con-

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ventional production. She said research shows that in 2007, the U.S. beef industry used only 67 per cent of the land and 88 per cent of the water it did in 1977. Beef animals also excreted 88 per cent of the nitrogen and generated

only 84 per cent of the carbon footprint than in 1977. It’s true that removing meat from the diet can reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But that would make less protein available for export to feed a hungry world, said White.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

Message to students: Sustainability is a shared responsibility CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Sharing your sustainability story has been a recurring theme in communications with cattle producers lately. Beef Week and the Manitoba Beef Producers annual general meeting both prominently featured sustainability and a call for producers to reach out and connect one-on-one with the non-farming public. Sustainability is no longer a buzz word but a necessity - not just to protect the quality of our resources so that farmers can continue to produce the highest quality of food for Manitobans and beyond – but so that those who consume this food continue to trust in producers’ commitment towards “feeding the world without costing the earth”. The National Centre for Livestock and the En-

vironment is also sharing agriculture’s sustainability story. We deliver a number of sustainability-themed sessions to high school students each year. We draw on science to connect high school students to producers and the food system. Sustainability is a shared responsibility Each and every one of us is part of the food system because we all need to eat. This means that each individual has a role to play and a responsibility in ensuring that our collective food system is sustainable for today and tomorrow. This concept of shared responsibility is the context for our interactions with students. We open our sessions with “Where does almost all the food produced on farms and all the nutrients they contain end up?” Starting this way helps students see that they, as consumers, are the

Learning Station - Nutrient transformations in overwinter grazing systems

main driving force in the food system. A simplified visual of the food system nutrient cycle connecting cities and farms drives home the message that sustainability is a shared responsibility among producers,

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consumers and everyone in between along the food chain. To be sustainable, producers must replace the nutrients that leave the farm and head to the city in the form of food products. Over time soil nutrients are depleted which reduces crop and pasture productivity and quality. At our learning stations we explore the role nutrients play in livestock and crop production, and challenge students to think about both economic and environmental sustainability of the farming system simultaneously, rather than focusing on just one or the other. Science in agriculture One specific program we have developed is Food Security, Nutrient Security – Nutrients in Agricultural Systems. This program highlights the science in everyday agriculture and how science-based research can improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of nutrient use in agricultural systems. Through hands-on activities that incorporate our research findings, plus a dash of imagination, students experience how nutrients are used and what happens to them in soil, in grains, forages and grasses, in livestock and in manure. We work through different farming scenarios to demonstrate how the movement of nutrients into, out of, and within the farm changes based on the farming system. We challenge students to create their

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own sustainable farming systems, applying what they’ve learned about beneficial nutrient management practices (BMPs) for improving efficiency and reducing environmental risk. Working with different scenarios, students are tasked with creating an economically and environmentally sustainable system for that farming scenario, selecting from a number of BMPs. For example, how do organic and conventional cropping systems differ, or cattle overwintered in the yard compared to pasture overwintering? Students identify the inputs and removals of nutrients in the system, how these nutrients cycle within the system, and if they see any potential risks to the long term sustainability of the system. Where they identify risks, they are asked to identify BMPs that can be used to reduce this risk. In this way they are applying tools derived from science to come up with workable solutions. Often these exercises reveal the challenges producers face when it comes to sustainability. While BMPs may improve environmental sustainability, there may also be potential drawbacks or costs to some other aspect of their operation, and therefore may not be feasible from an overall farm perspective. Telling agriculture’s sustainability story Each session with students is an opportunity to share what it is like to be a producer in Mani-

toba – the issues and challenges you face every day, how you are continually improving the sustainability of your farm, as well as the role research plays in providing the tools for sustainability. Each session is also an opportunity to help students see how they are part of the food system and that they also have a role to play and story to tell. We, like you, are telling agriculture’s sustainability story. Sustainable agriculture is also a part of core teachings in our degree and diploma programs in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. In addition to student training, the general public is also one of our audiences. Every year, the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre hosts thousands of students of all ages, including adults and families. In a fun and interactive environment, visitors can learn about sustainability and modern agriculture. A note of appreciation: Our colleagues with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development have developed several engaging hands-on learning stations around the sustainable management of nutrients in cropping and livestock production systems. We appreciate their ongoing openness in sharing their materials, ideas, time and expertise with us in the development of our sustainability-based programs for high school students.


May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Government Activities Update: Legislation dies after election call, MASC submission and more BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Although there was a provincial election underway in March and April that didn’t preclude MBP from advocating on issues of importance to Manitoba’s beef producers. Legislative Update Debate on two pieces of proposed Manitoba legislation which could have affected the agriculture sector was not completed prior to the provincial election being called in March. One was Bill 5 – The Surface Water Management Act. This bill addressed matters such as streamlining drainage application processes, ensuring there was no net loss of wetlands and, it set out authority for the creation of regulations to set nutrient targets and reporting requirements on nutrient levels. The bill went through second reading and committee stage at the Legislature, only not to be proceeded with before the House rose for the election. There had been extensive consultations on the concepts behind this legislation prior to it being introduced and MBP had provided feedback during this process. Also not proceeded with was Bill 20 – The Environmental Rights Act. This legislation would have provided for the creation of an Environment Commissioner in Manitoba. Government departments were to make environmental information more accessible to the public. And, it contained two provisions intended to enhance public access to the courts in order to protect the environment. The bill did not get beyond first reading in the Legislature. A decision to reintroduce one or both of the bills in either the original or revised form will be up to the new government. MBP canvassed the four main Manitoba political parties for their views on a range of issues affecting the beef industry, including informed access to Crown lands, water management, animal health, business risk management programs, environmental policies and others. The responses were posted on MBP’s website. The Progressive Conservatives were the big winners on election night after capturing 40 of the 57 available seats. The NDP earned 14 seats while the Liberals took three. As of press time the new government had not announced cabinet positions. MASC Submission MBP recently provided feedback to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) on issues of importance to our industry. MBP asked that governments give serious consideration to continuing the

Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) after the pilot stage has been completed as producer interest in this management tool has been growing. MBP has also requested that the federal government make WLPIP available as an alternate form of security for producers wishing to use the Advance Payments Program (cash advance) so that they do not necessarily have to be enrolled in AgriStability to access it. Regarding predation issues, MBP is working with the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group on the development of short and long-term strategies to help reduce the risks of livestockpredation conflict. MBP believes the ongoing participation of MASC in this initiative is very important to its success. MBP reiterated to MASC that it is looking into a potential pilot project around predation challenges that could include components such as: onfarm mitigation strategies; financial assistance/compensation; and, problem predator management strategies. Key goals include reducing risk and ensuring producers are fairly compensated for losses. MBP has asked that consideration be given to compensating producers for labour costs associated with treating animals injured by predators. Finally, MBP again requested that producers receive 100 per cent compensation for predation losses. Previous commitments have been made by the provincial government in this regard, but not yet acted upon. MBP indicated its willingness to work with MASC to help increase producer awareness and understanding of the Problem Predator Removal Program. MBP has heard from producers who would like to be able to access this program as a preventative measure to help protect their livestock, as opposed to it being accessible only after a claim has been made. This was drawn to MASC’s attention. With respect to forage insurance programs, MBP noted some concerns are still being cited about the coarse hay and harvest flood option. MBP reiterated its commitment to work with MASC to raise awareness of the options and to try to address these issues. A resolution was passed at MBP’s 36th AGM asking that with respect to the excess moisture deductibles in areas declared to be disasters, that the increase in deductibles be waived for the year following the disaster. This is a concern cited particularly by producers in the Lake Manitoba area and the Assiniboine Valley, including those affected by artificial flooding. MBP asked MASC to consider this. On a long-term basis, MBP requested all stakeholders revisit the forage in-

surance programs on a regular basis to determine if they should be adjusted to be more responsive to producers’ needs. MBP is open to ongoing discussions of whether additional offerings may be useful in Manitoba. For example, Saskatchewan now provides a variable price option and an in-season price option for hay crops. These options can help manage price fluctuations occurring throughout and after the growing season. In the past there have been discussions about creating a livestock feed needs model tailored to livestock producers. The concept is that producers who self-manage their feed risks by carrying over inventory or by farming additional land can purchase insurance that reflects their risk profile. Further, producers would insure their feed requirements based on the number of animal units and adjust their coverage based on their actual need (i.e., reduce coverage if they had inventory carry-over, and increase it if they had shortages). MBP asked MASC whether this is under examination. It is MBP’s understanding that the Government/Industry Forage Task Team has also been examining using catastrophic production loss benefits/ coverage to improve forage insurance. This could include using catastrophic loss coverage to manage price spikes in droughts or floods or using catastrophic loss coverage to provide feed and transportation assistance during times of disaster, as has been previously used via AgriRecovery. MBP requested an update on MASC’s views as to whether either of these options is viable and being considered by Manitoba.

In late 2014 and early 2015 MBP (with funds from Growing Forward 2) hired a firm to conduct a needs assessment of Manitoba’s beef producers. Key areas of concern included: the need for more effective Business Risk Management (BRM) programs; land costs; livestock predation; the need for new management tools (like improved technology and research); and, succession planning. Producers, especially younger ones, cited the need for enhanced lending options. Similarly, a resolution was passed at MBP’s 36th AGM calling for MASC 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 further discussion of lending policies to determine what would be most effective for producers. Latest Livestock Stats Statistics Canada reported in March that for the first time since 2013, there was an increase in the number of beef heifers held for breeding on Canadian farms. For the period January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016, the number of these heifers held rose 4.0 per cent to 547,300 head. The inventory of calves on January 1, 2016 increased 0.9 per cent to 3.8 million, while the number of feeder heifers (-1.2%) and steers (-0.7%) fell from January 1, 2015. In Manitoba as of January 1, 2016 there were 1.120 million head of cattle, compared to 1.095 million head on January 1, 2015, an increase of 2.3 per cent year over year. The total number of cattle on Canadian farms was 12 million head, up 0.3 per cent from one year earlier.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

Caring for the land important to Wegner BY PAUL ADAIR District 6 Director and third generation cattle producer Larry Wegner relocated from Edmonton to his farm atop of the Assiniboine Valley northeast of Virden almost 13 years ago. In Alberta, Wegner worked a mixed farm for 16 years on his own prior to moving east, putting thousands of kilometres on his truck throughout Northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba before settling on the Virden area to be his new home. “I was looking for the land, my wife’s concern was the school and medical facilities, and my son – who was three at the time – wanted to check out the play area,” says Wegner. “We all had our own priorities and just found that Virden fit the bill.” Wegner operates an 800-acre pasture operation alongside his wife Rose-

mary and his two teenage sons, Maxwell (16) and Herbert (14). He currently runs an 80-head herd of mixed-breed cattle with plans to expand in the next few years to take his herd up to about 130 or 140 animals. In the summer months, the Wegner family also raises poultry, pigs, and maintains a small flock of about 30 ewes. Looking to improve his pasture quality and extend his grazing season, Wegner has developed a strong interest in soil management and in ensuring that his land is better off when he is done with it than when he started out. Because of this, Wegner puts a lot of his focus into regenerative agriculture, rotational grazing, and carbon sequestration; working at adding carbon into the soil as a way to hold water for later use and to act as flood management. “I like being able to

keep cattle grazing as long as they can,” says Wegner. “We now graze up to 300 days a year here but we are always trying to make our grass even more viable and last longer. And although we are producing more grass on our land than we ever have before, we still do what we can to make it grow even better and extend our season for as much as we can.” Now in his third year as Director of District 6, Wegner attended his first Manitoba Beef Producers meeting during the height of the BSE crisis and was quickly impressed with the association’s ability to represent the needs of its members during a very difficult time. However, in spite of being active with similar associations in Alberta, it was still a number of years before Wegner would throw his hat into the ring to become a regional director, curious to find out more

MBP to offer bursaries in 2016 Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased to announce it will again award six $500 bursaries to deserving Manitoba students in 2016. The bursaries are available 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 pursuing a field of study related to agriculture or those acquiring a skilled trade that would benefit the rural economy. “We are proud to offer these bursaries to our members and their children,” said Manitoba Beef Producers President Heinz Reimer. “Investments in

education reap strong dividends. Our past recipients have gone on to careers in the trades and veterinary services, among others with many of them settling in rural Manitoba and making significant contributions to their communities.” Those applying must be at least 17 years old as of Jan. 1, 2016 and be an active beef producer or the child of one. Applicants must use the bursary within two years of receiving it and the program they are attending must be at least one year in duration. Interested students are required to submit an essay no more than 600 words in length discussing what the beef industry means to them, their family, commu-

nity and 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/mbpbursary/. Completed applications must be submitted to MBP by June 3, 2016. All entries will be reviewed by the selection committee and the winners will be notified on July 31, 2016. The winning essays will also be reprinted in the September issue of Cattle Country.

about what was going on within the industry. “At the time I started with Manitoba Beef Producers, everything in the cattle industry was in turmoil and I was just trying to figure out if there was a future for myself in the business,” says Wegner. “So I decided to wait until I got my own house in order before I committed to make a go at becoming a director.” Wegner acknowledges that it can be difficult for association members to fully grasp all that goes on behind the scenes at MBP. Although extremely valuable, it would be nearly impossible for information gathered while attending regular meetings to cover absolutely everything that happens during a year in the beef industry. “In the beginning of my tenure, I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material that was coming at me and the speed at which it was turned over,” says Wegner. “I was also surprised by the volume of work that is passed over to us from other agencies. We at MBP are no longer just there to operate as a lobby group, but we now also operate as a fact-finding and

Larry Wegner

organizing group for the provincial and federal governments.” Wegner recommends that members strive to become more involved with their association and learn more about their industry. There are really no two years alike for producers, and ranchers can always be better educated to tackle the challenges as they come, through both good times and bad. Producers need to be able to manage their risks since an ill-informed decision can prove to be devastating, taking farmers right out of the game if they aren’t careful. “Stay true to what you want to do and don’t try to do it all,” says Wegner. “Just stick to what you know best and do it the best you can.” Wegner is still years

from retirement but sees the future of his operation in the hands of his children, joking that the kids are already figuring out which seniors’ home to send him to when they take over. “Both my sons are keen on the industry but who knows what’ll happen once some pretty girls get a hold of them,” Wegner says with a laugh. “In the end, only time will tell but, right now, they are enjoying agriculture and love the land.” Wegner is committed to doing his part in producing the best possible quality products for consumers to enjoy by ensuring that his herd is healthy and well taken care of. For Wegner, the best way to prepare Manitoba beef is with beef ribs, slowly done in a cooker with potatoes and carrots with barbequed steak ranking a close second. “In spite of the many frustrations and challenges, it really is very rewarding to be part of this industry and to represent the beef producers of Manitoba,” says Wegner. “I particularly enjoy the springtime when the new grass sprouts and the new calves arrive; it revitalizes me for the year to come.”

Major Jay Fox Scholarship The deadline for entries for the Major Jay Fox Scholarship is May 30. Named in the memory of the former Manitoba Beef Producers’ president, the scholarship was developed by the Manitoba Outstanding Young Farmers in honour the contribution Fox made to agriculture in Canada. The scholarship is presented annually to recognize a student continuing in the field of agriculture that has made a significant difference in their communities. One $500 bursary will be awarded annually. The following criteria have been developed

and applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 30, 2016. All applications can be sent electronically to “Manitoba Outstanding Young Farmers”, c/o Angie Fox to steadfast@xplornet.ca Eligibility: • Must be at least 17 years of age as of January 1, 2016; • must use the bursary within two years. Requirements: • Must submit a 250 word (maximum) typed essay stating their future goals in agriculture and “In your opinion, what could be done to retain a larger number of young people

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in agriculture in Manitoba (Canada)”; • must submit proof of enrolment in a recognized institution (e.g. transcript); • must submit a list of community involvement (e.g. 4-H, community clubs, volunteer work, etc.) ; • post-secondary program or trades training must be a minimum of 6 months in duration; • provide two letters of reference from persons outside of your family that indicate your work experience, community involvement, etc. All essays will become the property of Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers and as such will be published at the discretion of the association with proper credit to the author Preference will be given to those students pursuing a field of study related to agriculture or to those acquiring a skilled trade that would be beneficial to the rural economy. Winners will be notified and the bursary will be presented at the following year’s Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers Regional Event.


May 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Is beef in or out?! ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Beef Expert

We live in a world where information is at our finger tips; we read the internet, blogs, social media, watch talk shows and even news outlets are reporting on health claims and fad diets. Is beef in or out? Is it safe to feed to our families? In short, the answer is yes. In moderation, beef is a healthy choice to achieve optimal nutrition. This month, I’m going to talk about why beef is a healthy choice for the whole family. Here are four reasons why beef should make it onto your plate throughout the week: When we sit down to a meal or grab lunch on the go, we want something delicious and energizing. Beef is an excellent choice when wanting to fuel your body with nutrients. Each cut is rich in eight key nutrients that the body needs to use and release as energy. Beef provides us with iron, protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenate. These eight nutrients work at giving us the energy boost adults and kids need for activity and play. Whether it’s a busy work week or exam week, adults, adolescents and kids need brain power so it’s important to make a smart choice when choosing the right protein and beef can help your brain work more efficiently. Beef is naturally rich in seven key nutrients that have been linked to help you learn, concentrate and improve memory. Beef can help with learning thanks to its natural source of iron, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamine and zinc. Never forget to pick up dry cleaning again or ace the spelling bee by choosing meals that are nutrient dense and work for you not against you. There are six reasons to keep smiling about healthy bones and teeth. We are born with one set of bones and an adult set of teeth that need to grow and keep strong to last a lifetime. Beef is a source of six key nutrients that build healthy bones and teeth. Within each bite you can find the vitamin D, protein, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc responsible for keeping our body’s bones and teeth strong throughout the course of our life. A healthy diet is important in supporting a functioning immune system. To keep your family safe from the vulnerabilities of a spring flu bug, by incorporating a meal with beef into your routine. Beef provides five key nutrients that boost your body’s immune defences and ability to resist infection so that weekly beef stir fry isn’t only delicious it holds zinc, iron, selenium, protein and vitamin B6 that work towards boosting your immune system. With the abundance of nutrients in each bite, beef is an easy way to incorporate a nutrient dense protein into the diet. You’ve heard the internet and media bring up the topic of beef being a high source of fat in the diet. However, choosing beef ’s leanest cuts, trimming visible fat and using low fat cooking methods such as grilling, broiling, roasting and stir frying will work to limit added dietary fats at meal time. The eye of round and inside round beef cut have 3.3 and 4.0 grams of fat per 100g cooked portion while light meat chicken has 4.1 grams of fat per 100g cooked portion. A serving of top sirloin has 5.6 grams and when the occasion to indulge comes around, the choice of beef tenderloin has 7.2 grams of fat per serving. In comparison, dark meat chicken offers 9.7 grams of fat per 100g cooked serving portion. Above only inspecting the macronutrient of fat, we are not looking at all the nutrient facts which are: the vitamin B12 content is on average eight times more than found in chicken, the iron content is three times greater and the zinc content is four times more than found in a serving of chicken.

Although we cannot truly compare apples to oranges, I believe all foods should be consumed in moderation and variety is exactly what our bodies need and want! Now let’s get on with making dinner tonight. Hopefully the weather is warm enough to spend some time out on the deck or patio! Of course that has never made a Manitoban shy away from barbecuing with their toque on. Well, myself at least. I love grilled burgers, and this month I have a past Great Tastes of Manitoba recipe, Skinny Mini Fiesta Burgers. These burgers are family friendly and have a variety of ingredients that will deliver a great base of nutrients to your meal. Thanks for reading and watch the recipe demonstration on GreatTastesTV on Youtube. Now go out and enjoy spring! Bibliography Canada Beef. (n.d.). How does beef compare. Retrieved April 05, 2016, from Beef Info: http://www.beefinfo.org/Default.aspx?ID=13&ArticleID=114&SecID=3 Canada Beef. (n.d.). Resources. Retrieved April 04, 2016, from Beef Info: http://ordercentre.beefinfo.org/ ca/en/consumer/default.aspx

Skinny Mini Fiesta Burgers 1 lb (500 g) extra-lean ground round beef 10 small crusty slider buns 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH salt, pepper and garlic powder 1/4 cup (50 mL) grated zucchini 2 Tbsp (25 mL) minced onion 2 avocados, coarsely chopped 1 large beefsteak tomato, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup (50 mL) red onion, minced 1/2 tsp (2 mL) EACH salt and black pepper 1 Tbsp (15 mL) EACH lime juice and canola oil Hamburger Mixture: Combine ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, zucchini and onion. Form mini burgers, approximately 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of mixture for each hamburger. Grill: Place mini burgers on barbeque or indoor grill at medium-high heat. Cook well-done until a digital thermometer reads 160°F/71°C. Salsa Topping: Mix avocado, tomato, red onion, salt, pepper, lime juice and oil. Assembly: Place burgers on buns; top with salsa.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2016

Avoid bringing disease into your herd DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Calving season is upon us and week old calves are once again for sale on Swap & Shop. The unfortunate fact is most people pay very good money for disease. That group of young cows with calves or soon-to-calve bred cows that seemed like such a bargain during calving season, or that calf you bought to put on a cow that lost hers can all be disease carriers that devastate your herd. Take time to plan ahead to prevent disease through the use of proven biosecurity and herd health practices. Prior to a purchase, ask the seller if your veterinarian can call his veterinarian to ask about herd health. Every seller of healthy animals should give their veterinarian permission to discuss the herd’s health status with potential buyers. What vaccination programs 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? Is the feeding and pasture management similar? Animals adjust to new situations more readily if things like feed stay the same. Walk away from the deal if you can’t get answers to these questions – it isn’t worth the risk. Before you buy animals from another producer, know what diseases have been diagnosed in your herd. This will help to know which, if any vaccines are absolutely necessary before the animal enters your herd. New cattle should also be kept separate from the existing herd for at least 30 days. And remember that separate

means no fence line contact or shared watering facilities and drainage areas. A separate premise is ideal. The best time to purchase new animals is in times of little to no stress. Avoid purchases during weather extremes. Young animals are nearly always more susceptible to disease than adults.While environmental stresses like a cold rain, subzero wind chills or high heat and humidity negatively affect adult animals, they can mean increased sickness, even death, to neonates. Avoiding purchase of animals during calving season is a must. Neonates are incubators of disease and very susceptible to disease. Bringing in any new animals, especially young stock, during calving season is a disaster waiting to happen. Why does disease happen when animals from apparently healthy herds are introduced into new apparently healthy herds? Remember that

many of the bacteria and viruses that cause disease in cattle are naturally carried in the airways and gut systems – E.coli, Coronavirus, Mannheimia hemolytica, Mycoplasma and Histophilus to name a few. Others like Cryptosporidia or Giardia are present in the environment but don’t cause problems to resident adult animals which have developed immunity through exposure and passed on that immunity to their calves through colostral protection. Newly purchased bred cows do not have time to become naturally exposed to pathogens on your farm. It takes a minimum of two weeks and often at least one month for cattle to develop antibodies following natural exposure. Then transfer of this immunity to colostrum takes additional time. It is for this reason that calves from new purchases are at a much higher risk of sickness. This is fur-

ther compounded by the fact that exposure to scour-causing pathogens doesn’t usually happen until after calving. The reverse can also happen where new purchases shed pathogens that your herd has not been exposed to. This can have devastating consequences with high sickness and death losses in the resident herd, particularly if Cryptosporidia or Salmonella are the culprits. Breakdowns in immunity also occur if the vaccination program is inadequate or the nutritional program, including vitamins and minerals, is suboptimal. Feed cows well to ensure that they deliver strong calves that are able to quickly nurse high quality colostrum of adequate quantity. Colostrum is the best drug of all for the control of calf disease. In herds that have health issues in young calves, colostrum management must be reviewed. This can be difficult in the “hands off ”

beef herds where calves fend for themselves. It is a well known fact in the dairy industry that some cows do not produce the best colostrum and supplementation of the calf is required. I am certain that this is the case with beef cattle as well. Cows that have sick or smaller calves should have their colostrum measured or just be culled as low performers. If you are struggling with health issues in your calves, collect colostrum samples (only a few squirts are necessary) from any cows you have in the head gate and submit it to your veterinarian for measurement with a Brix refractometer and calculation of immunoglobulin levels. The results may be eye openers. Remaining disease free at calving season requires planning and good management. Discuss your herd program with your veterinarian to learn how you can decrease your risks of having a wreck.

beefresearch.ca/pain

1

PERFORM PAINFUL PROCEDURES EARLY

"It is best to do castrations as early as possible because the tissue area is much smaller, the blood supply is less developed, and we believe that innervation of that area is less developed."

what beef producers need to know about

pain control and prevention

Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein Senior Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

2

USE PAIN CONTROL PRODUCTS FOR PROCEDURES ON OLDER ANIMALS

"The incentives to producers to use pain mitigating drugs are very simple. You will be able to do your procedure much quicker and much more effectively. Dr. Eugene Janzen Professor, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

VISIT THE WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE

beefresearch.ca/pain As of January 2016, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle states that producers should perform painful procedures as young as practically possible, and that pain control must be used when dehorning calves after horn bud attachment (approximately 2 to 3 months old), or when castrating calves after 9 months of age. Products to help control pain are now available and licensed for use on beef cattle in Canada. View www.beefresearch.ca/pain for a list of available options, and talk to your veterinarian about what will work best for your operation. The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) plays an important role in identifying and funding research of priority to the Canadian beef cattle industry to advance its competitiveness and sustainability. The BCRC manages the research allocation of the national beef check-off and funds leading edge research through Canada's Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster.

www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

JULY 2016

Earls may have done the Canadian beef industry a favour BY ANGELA LOVELL The Canadian beef industry and consumers were outraged when Canadian restaurant chain, Earls announced it would source “Certified Humane”, antibiotic, hormone and steroid free beef from U.S. sources rather than from Canada. “We weren’t against US beef,” says Tom Lynch-Staunton, Issues Manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “We were against the implication that the way we raise cattle wasn’t as good.” Because of the massive hue and cry, Earls reversed its decision and is working with Canadian beef producers to source beef that meets its criteria. Good news for Canadian cattle producers who are already working hard to produce quality beef humanely and sustainably. But there are other things coming out of the Earls situation, says Lynch-Staunton, that are hugely beneficial to the beef industry. “It gave us a good opportunity to

tell people what we’re doing, especially around animal welfare and humane handling,” he says. “We were able to have conversations about things like how we use antibiotics and why we use growth hormone implants.” Connecting with Consumers As rural populations decline and urban populations increase, less and less people have relatives, friends or someone they know who is a farmer or a rancher. “People don’t know how their food is produced. They see and hear things that tell part of the story, but they don’t tell the whole story. All the marketing claims and labels are confusing people, so they are asking questions,” says Lynch-Staunton. Alberta rancher, Cherie CopithorneBarnes, who chairs the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (CRSB) says the Earls situation demonstrates that producers need a framework that will enable communication with food and retail Page 2 ➢

Little Roper This young girl tried her hand at roping during a stop at MBP’s Cattle Tales exhibit at the Red River Ex. The exhibit included live cattle, equipment such as a cattle trailer, roping station and meat cooler as well as information on the Manitoba beef industry.

VBP+ program officially launched duction level, VBP+ enables producers to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible stewardship of both cattle and resources. The level of transparency VBP+ offers on a range of key production practices provides retailers and consumers with the knowledge that the beef they purchase is from a healthy animal raised with appropriate oversight and care on the farm, ranch or feedlot. These essential attributes are applicable throughout the beef production supply chain and are captured in a new impactful VBP+ logo. VBP+ shows that Canadian beef

producers are listening, said Alberta rancher and Chair of the producer-led VBP+ Transition Management Committee Cecilie Fleming. “Being a VBP+ registered producer enables beef operations to showcase the good production practises they commit to on their farms, ranches and feedlots as well as fosters continual improvements. VBP+ is a straightforward, practical and low cost program to implement yet contains the robust validation required to satisfy the retailer, other end users, and consumer needs. A voluntary program, VBP+ allows registered operations to be part of a bigger picture of raising beef cattle

that can flow into the growing Canadian sustainable beef supply stream.” VBP+ is an expansion of the former Verified Beef Production on-farm food safety program. Work began in late 2013 to expand the program to include production practices validation in all areas of the beef production supply chain. National delivery and oversight of VBP+ maintains a conformance system and streamlines delivery of information, training, online tools and resources. Like the initial program, VBP+ remains voluntary and industryled. Page 2 ➢

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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.

After months of hearing about the benefits of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, producers can now see for themselves how validating their sustainable production practices provides opportunity to proactively share their stories with consumers and beef retailers. Officially launched in June, the new, national VBP+ program includes training and auditing for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship along with on-farm food safety practices within the cow-calf and feedlot sectors. Through validating sustainable practises at the primary pro-


2

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2016

Controversy opened door to conversations ← Page 1 companies, and consumers about the good practices they are already following, and also help them identify areas for continuous improvement. Results of the McDonalds Canada Sustainable Beef Pilot Project – which wrapped up in June – are helping to inform the CRSB as it works to develop a national verifica- Cheri Coppithorne-Barnes tion framework to measure where we are at. It is now and verify sustainability on the CRSB’s responsibility to beef and processing opera- take the learnings from the tions in Canada, tentatively pilot project and develop scheduled for completion the necessary framework by the end of 2017. to continue defining sus183 industry players, tainable beef,” says Copiincluding cattle producers, thorne-Barnes. “One of feedlots, processors and a the things we are focusing patty plant, participated in on is equivalency between the McDonald’s pilot proj- programs that already exect, including a voluntary, ist, so whatever programs third party verification beef producers are in – process which assessed whether it’s the Verified whether their operations Beef Production program, met the achievement levels or Canadian Feedlot Anifor the indicators devel- mal Care Assessment Prooped through the pilot. gram or others that are “The McDonald’s pilot out there – we will explore project gave us examples of how they can feed into the what indicators could look verification framework in like as well as what infor- order to help reduce duplimation was needed from cation on-farm. The CRSB industry to really measure is trying to take all the

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

tools that we have today, and put them on a communications platform that is pre-competitive, visible and open. Then if Earls or another company wants to go beyond what that platform looks like, it becomes a marketing program for them.” Strengthening Relationships With Retailers The Earls issue has also helped open the door for the Canadian beef industry to strengthen its relationship with retailers, who are increasingly trying to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by offering a product that they believe is what consumers want. “We follow our beef through the food chain up and to the processor and then we don’t really know, as producers, what happens after that,” says LynchStaunton. “It’s great to have the opportunity to work with Earls, which is strong in its convictions about what attributes it wants, to figure out how we can provide them with a Canadian product. We’re getting a lot

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 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

of inquiries from other retailers who want to know all the things that we’re doing here in Canada so that they can also talk about it as well.” Producers are a vital part of the conversation and they shouldn’t be afraid to open up their farms and ranches and let people see what they do and explain why they do it. “We need to be transparent about our practices, even the ones

← Page 1 The VBP+ program has demonstrable and credible threshold levels producers must achieve to become, and maintain, registered status on the program. This progressive, audited program promotes continual improvements at the beef farm, ranch and feedlot level. Fleming thanked those beef operators who have embraced and sup-

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

KEN MCKAY

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

onstrated that the public continues to have a lot of trust in Canadian beef producers. “That trust gives us social license to operate,” says LynchStaunton. “Reconnecting people to where their food comes from, telling the story of our sustainable beef production; all those things are important in maintaining and strengthening our social license.”

Program promotes continual improvements

DISTRICT 3

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

that seem to be controversial,” says Lynch-Staunton. “We need to show people why we do things, and how we’re working on trying to improve. A good example is anti-microbial resistance. We are doing a lot of research to make sure that antibiotics we use in the beef industry don’t produce unintended consequences.” Maintaining Trust with Consumers The Earls issue dem-

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

ported the evolution of the program into VBP+. “Expanding the VBP+ program gives beef producers another tool to credibly demonstrate that the beef industry is listening and responding to changing needs of its end users,” she added. The VBP program grew from its roots in the Quality Starts Here program, an educational initiative started by the Canadian Cattlemen’s As-

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX - SECRETARY

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

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

sociation to help the beef industry move toward the highest beef quality in the world. VBP+ is operated by the Beef Cattle Research Council. Funds to develop and deliver VBP+ are provided through the Canadian Beef Cattle Checkoff and Agriculture Canada’s AgriMarketing Program – Assurance Systems Stream of Growing Forward 2. - CCA Media Release

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


July 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

Beef generates lower amount of greenhouse gas than expected BY RON FRIESEN A new Canadian research study demonstrates what cattle producers have long maintained: beef production doesn’t produce as much greenhouse gas as some think. In fact, the study, funded in part by the Beef Cattle Research Council, found the volume of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of beef is actually dropping. According to the study, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted when producing one kilogram of Canadian beef fell by 14 per cent between 1981 and 2011. It attributes the 30-year decline to a variety of reasons: better genetics, increased average daily gain and slaughter weights, improved reproductive efficiency, reduced time to slaughter, higher crop yields and a shift to high-grain diets allowing cattle to be marketed younger. Because beef production is becoming more efficient, Canada today needs only 71 per cent of the breeding herd, 76 per cent of the land and 74 per cent of slaughter cattle required to produce the same amount of live weight for slaughter as in 1981. The study appeared on-line in a recent edition of Animal Production Science, a scientific journal. Beef production periodically comes under fire from environmental activists who claim gas-belching cattle contribute to global warming. However, the study shows cattle pro-

ducers are actually doing a good job of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment, said Dr. Emma McGeough, an assistant animal science professor at the University of Manitoba and a co-author of the study. “We are going in the right direction with our carbon footprint,” McGeough said. “Producers are efficient and we have been getting more and more efficient over the last 30 years. McGeough spoke recently about her research to a seminar of U of M agriculture staff and students. Canada’s record in decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of beef is not insignificant on the global stage. McGeough said Canada produces about two per cent of the world’s beef (1.41 million tonnes in 2014) and is the fifth largest beef exporter. Although there are other sources of GHG emissions from beef (e.g. manure), the main source is enteric methane (CH4), a by-product of feed digestion in the rumen. It makes up 73 per cent of total emissions per live weight unit of beef. Forages can play a role in improving the digestive efficiency of cattle and lowering the loss of methane to the atmosphere, McGeough said. “Generally, the better quality the forage, the less methane emissions there are.” Forages that are high in protein and energy content promote better levels of weight gain. More energy going into

3

Emma McGeough

growing the animal means less energy lost to the atmosphere in the form of methane, McGeough said. “When an animal eats, a portion of its energy is lost as methane. When we feed poor quality forages, that amount is higher. The animal doesn’t use the methane — it’s released to the environment. When we feed better quality forages, we generally see the amount of energy lost in methane is lower.” Statistics show the amount of GHG emissions by cattle in Canada is relatively small. According to Canada’s National Inventory Report submitted to the UN Framework on Climate Change, this country’s total GHG production

in 2014 was 732 megatonnes. The total GHG production from agriculture was 59 megatonnes (eight per cent of the national total). Beef ’s total GHG production (both cattle and manure) was 23.38 megatonnes (3.2 per cent of the total). But McGeough said it’s a mistake to treat GHG as the only environmental consideration in beef production. Raising cattle on grass helps protect the environment in other ways, such as preserving biodiversity, conserving water use and sequestering carbon in the soil. “It’s very important that we take a holistic approach. Greenhouse gases are obviously important but that’s just one step.”

CRSB recognizes McDonald’s for leadership through Sustainable Beef Pilot Project CRSB MEDIA RELEASE Calgary, AB – As the McDonald’s Sustainable Beef Pilot Project (the Pilot) draws to a close, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) would like to recognize McDonald’s for their tremendous work and leadership in advancing sustainable beef initiatives in Canada, and for raising awareness about sustainable beef production by taking the conversation mainstream. In 2014, McDonald’s engaged with the newlyestablished CRSB on the possibility of establishing a sustainable beef pilot project in Canada. The CRSB and McDonald’s agreed to collaborate on the project framework, with the goal being for McDonald’s to source a portion of beef in Canada from verified sustainable operations and to share their practical implementation learnings with the CRSB. Over the last two years, McDonald’s has shown strong commitment to en-

gaging with a multi-stakeholder audience, accepting feedback and working collaboratively to advance and recognize the sustainability of Canada’s beef industry. “Without a doubt, this has been a very constructive exercise,” notes CRSB Chair, Cherie CopithorneBarnes. “We are excited to be in a position to carry this work forward.” The CRSB is currently developing a unique verification framework, building on the McDonald’s Pilot, which should be finalized in late 2017. There will be a period of time between the conclusion of the Pilot (June 2016) and the time the CRSB’s verification framework is finalized (Q4, 2017). During this interim period, the CRSB will be working with stakeholders to further develop the verification framework, incorporate learnings from the Pilot and trial the CRSB framework. “The McDonald’s pilot highlighted the value of testing the verification

framework in an iterative manner,” says Fawn Jackson, Executive Director of the CRSB. “The Pilot accelerated CRSB’s progress in developing a beef sustainability framework by testing and sharing important learnings about framework management, participant enrollment, indicator development, scoring and performance levels, verification/assurance processes, chain of custody and information sharing.” With the conclusion of the Pilot, McDonald’s will continue to be engaged with the CRSB and carry on their sustainable sourcing journey in Canada. Producers involved in the Pilot will be transitioned into the new CRSB verification program, with new producers being accepted into the verification trial on a limited basis. Frequently Asked Questions for Producers Q: If I was a verified producer in the McDonald’s Pilot Project, do I have to go through the verification process again?

A: No. Participants in the Pilot will be transitioned/grandfathered into the CRSB recognized verification framework, with the date they were verified under the Pilot serving as the starting date for the new assurance cycle. Over the next year, McDonald’s will continue to work with producers who were verified under the Pilot to maintain verification status. Once the CRSB has developed its verification framework, they will work together with McDonald’s and producers to fully integrate their verifications into the CRSB system. Q: I did not participate in the McDonald’s Pilot Project, can I become verified sustainable? A: Yes. Over the next year, the CRSB, in collaboration with CRSB membership, will be trialling the CRSB verification framework with a limited number of producers. New producers interested in participating can contact the CRSB to be involved in CRSB trials via the CRSB

www.mbbeef.ca

website. Q: If I am not involved in the McDonald’s Pilot or the CRSB Project what should I do to prepare for 2017 when the CRSB verification framework will be released? A: The CRSB has committed to utilizing, where appropriate, existing programs and tools across Canada in the development of the verification framework. By participating in existing programs or utilizing existing tools that address one or more of the five principles of sustainable beef (natural resources, people and the community, animal health and welfare, food, and ef-

ficiency and innovation) producers will be better prepared to join the verification journey once the framework is fully established. Q: If I am verified sustainable, can I make a label claim on my product? A: Not today. There are many steps to developing a verified sustainable sourcing program that can then be communicated through methods such as product labelling. Over the coming months, the CRSB will be developing a claims guide, however until this is completed, the CRSB does not recommend making product claims.


4

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2016

Conversations between consumers and producers important Well, spring is behind us and summer tasks are before us, with putting up feed for the long winter ahead. In our industry there are many traditions and values that are the same year to year and many of the stereotypes ring true; we are an industry that values our traditions and our word is as good as a contract. However, there is always change in life and as an industry we need to be aware of that. Our consumer preferences are changing and we need to know and understand what they want, but also educate them on what we

practice so we can show them that as an industry we have strong values related to welfare and environmental stewardship and sustainability. Beef producers are often looked at with that homey setting, such as cowboys roping calves for an old-fashioned branding. But in today’s world you can be quite sure those calves are getting their vaccinations and RFID tags and, hopefully, a long-acting painkiller. This industry has become very diverse in the many ways we raise cattle, feed and market them and ways to be profitable. Today, producers have

HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along a great need of record keeping and linking it to food safety. Withdrawal times for medication are a perfect example. Whether it’s chuteside software programs or the Verified Beef Production programs, more and more producers are

using programs like this to demonstrate to our customers that we are doing things to benefit them. Consumers are becoming more concerned about where and how their food is produced and livestock producers need to connect with them whether it is on social media, at tradeshows or just in the coffee shop. Do our consumers really know what they want, or is it what they think is good for them? As an industry we must develop our own social license that works for producers as well as our consumer; for it

is better to develop the right approach than having one imposed from outside that doesn’t consider our needs. As consumer demands for their products change some have asked if they are willing to pay for the added costs of producing it. According to Statistics Canada food costs represent about 10 per cent of our annual income, which is about half of what is was 50 years ago. This is largely because of improved agricultural technology and livestock genetics. Retailers always look at ways to capture profitable new markets and

consumers want their food free of anything that someone has claimed is bad for you. If we need to change the way we produce food are they ready to pay for the increased costs? It is interesting that people complain about the cost of food but the cost of leisure is approximately 25 per cent of their income. So get involved because we can make a difference; modern agriculture has a good story to tell. Along the way of life we enjoy many amazing things so let’s be thankful for the gift of life and keep moovin’ along until next time.

A wake up call for the industry What a couple of months!! I’ve been on the job now for 60 days and have enjoyed every second of my time. There are so many amazing people, interesting challenges and exciting opportunities in Manitoba’s beef sector. I’ve spent the past couple of months getting to know the Board of Directors and the MBP staff who are all working hard on your behalf to advance our industry. I’ll start with a quick run-down of some of the highlights of my activities. I was able to speak on your behalf to the Senate Standing Committee of Agriculture and Forestry and I got

the chance to visit and see first-hand Canada Beef ’s Centre of Excellence and make some key contacts at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Our President and I had the chance to get out and visit with BJ Packers and see their operations, and speak about the opportunities and challenges with the Canadian Beef Grading Agency. I was invited to take in the latest provincial budget and have a quick introduction to our new Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Ralph Eichler. I was also able to tour the amazing facilities at Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) in Brandon.

BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column A big story that dominated the past couple of months was the Earls Restaurant chain’s decision (and quick reversal) to source their beef from a certified humane supplier in the US. This decision, while disappointing that they chose to make it without having more discussions to understand the quality and animal welfare practices of our producers, really offers the industry

an opportunity to have a good debate about the future of where we see growth in our industry. I am very proud to stand up and tell anyone who will listen how our producers are the best in the world, and that our practices are equal, or superior to any other production in the world; how our animal care is at least as good as what they might believe they are receiving from these third-party cer-

Manitoba Angus Association Summer Gold Show re Tour Annual MB Angus Pastu AUGUST 6, 2016 When: uce Stock Farm Where: 1:30 at Leaning Spr a (The Shearer’s) - Wawanes mco Cattle Co. Ha to 0PM Then at approx. 3:3 oro (The Hamilton’s) – Glenb lowing the tour. fol n’s lto mi Supper at the Ha to Please RSVP by August 1st 26-0705 or Larissa Hamilton at 204-5 ail.com larissa_hamilton@hotm

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tification programs. Our producers are some of the best stewards of the land and do more to improve the landscape –and not cause further damage to it! All this said, I think the whole Earls decision offers us a chance to look at some things differently, and specifically at what motivated Earls to do what they did and maybe think about whether it is a “passing” trend or a “growing” trend? We have seen other retailers launch campaigns to offer their beef free of hormones, or antibiotics, or humanely raised … Earls isn’t alone in this regard. Is this the way of the future? Or is it a trend that will pass? I know as an industry we have already invested heavily in quality-type programs, not the least of which are our Verified Beef Production program (VBP) and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. (CRSB) These programs both look to show the customer that in Canada, we do have a product that we can all be proud of and that consumers can trust. These are huge steps forward for our industry and huge investments by producers. There is an old adage that “The customer is always right”, which really is a message to retailers (or anyone else selling something) that when customers ask for something, you really have two choices: either provide it to them or let them shop elsewhere. I’m still very new in this role,

and I have been impressed at every step of my learning and I know (and we all know) that our beef is the some of the safest in the world, and that producers are all great stewards of the land and are all conscious of the welfare and health of their cattle. So, I am left to wonder how to tell our story better, and how to have more credible proof to provide to consumers who are looking for something unique when they buy their beef. How do we respond to this trend, and how do we ensure that consumers understand the quality and safety of our beef? We have the product, we have the producers, and we have the programs … it is just a question of getting them all aligned and promoting what we do to those that buy our product. We can’t deny this trend, it isn’t just Earls, and it isn’t just this restaurant or that restaurant; consumers are asking for something and apparently are not aware that we are already providing it. We need to work with retailers to understand the wants of their customers, figure out how to communicate with their customers, and then we need to be open to providing what they are asking for. I think the work of the CRSB and VBP are key. This industry has grown over the years and has always responded to every past trend, and I have no doubt that we can respond to this trend, and be better for it in the end!


July 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

MBP visits Ottawa

In mid-June MBP Vice-President Ramona Blyth, Secretary Ben Fox, General Manager Brian Lemon and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins visited Ottawa to meet with Members of Parliament (MPs) and federal civil servants to discuss matters of importance to Manitoba’s beef industry and the larger Canadian cattle industry. Meetings were held with Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and MPs James Bezan, Robert Sopuck, Ted Falk and Candice Bergen. Discussions were also held with staff from the offices of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Maryann Mihychuk and the Minister of Agriculture From left to right: CCA Director of Government and International Relations John Masswohl, and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, as MBP District 13 Director Ben Fox, Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, District 5 Direcwell as departmental staff from Agricultor Ramona Blyth, MBP General Manager Brian Lemon and MBP Policy Analyst Maureen ture and Agri-Food Canada and the CaCousins.

nadian Food Inspection Agency. Topics discussed included: the need for timely completion of flood protection projects; strategies for tackling workforce shortages in the beef sector; the importance of eradicating bovine tuberculosis in Manitoba; the value in implementing trade agreements and expanding market access for Canadian beef; support for research and innovation; the next agricultural policy framework; and, protecting public confidence in the beef sector by promoting environmental stewardship, food safety and animal welfare practices. MBP thanks John Masswohl and Brady Stadnicki of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association for their assistance in organizing the meetings.

Bovine Tuberculosis Management Program “pivots” DR. ALLAN PRESTON

From the Desk of the Bovine Tuberculosis Co-ordinator

As the American election process continues to evolve, we hear the comment that the two major candidates are “pivoting” from the internal party nomination process to the election battle now ahead for the Democrats and Republicans. Well, here north of the 49th parallel, the management of bovine tuberculosis is also “pivoting” from disease detection and eradication to a disease prevention and risk mitigation focus. Read on – see what was accomplished in 2015-16, see what’s in store for 2016-17. A reminder about the 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. 2015-16 Results While recognizing that we are still awaiting the outcome from a few remaining small herd tests, and some final lab results, the news for this past surveillance season is all good. The 43 Core Area livestock herds, approximately 4,300 head, were all tested this year, with negative results across the board – Goal #1 has been achieved. The bal-

ance of the Core Area wild mature cow elk herd (73 cows) was tested and found to be negative as well. Finally, all of the 74 elk and 162 white tailed deer, hunter-killed samples submitted also tested negative for TB. Goal #2 is getting much closer to completion. Goal #3 will be achieved in the 2016-17 Plan; Goal #4 is a key component for the current and future years, driven largely by on farm risk assessments and biosecurity programs. Goal #5 is a longer term work in progress as the elk and WtD herds slowly rebuild, driven in part by habitat improvement within the Park itself. The 2015-16 Plan will come in approximately $250,000 under budget, with the actual expenditures being $1.9 million. We successfully achieved 18 of the 26 key performance indicators in the Plan. Those KPIs’ not fully achieved have been recognized and moved forward into the 2016–17 Plan for completion. 2016-17 Management Plan The Management Plan for 2016-17 has been approved and implementation is well under way. Two key activities, the testing of live elk within the Core Area, and the herd testing of domestic livestock, are “on hold” for this year, with no testing planned. This change has resulted in a much reduced budget – down to $1 million from last year’s $2 million, and it sees the roles for Parks Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) dramatically reduced for this year.

The 2016-17 Plan marks a clear transition from the past activities of disease detection and eradication, to current and future activities focused on the disease prevention and risk mitigation actions necessary to maintaining freedom from bovine tuberculosis in the Riding Mountain ecosystem. We have successfully reached disease freedom in domestic livestock, and we are approaching, over the next four or five years, a similar level of confidence that the disease no longer exists in the wild cervid herd. This transition reduces the role for Parks Canada and the CFIA while putting more onus on Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Sustainable Development, and the Manitoba Beef Producers, to advance those prevention and risk mitigation efforts. Until we reach disease freedom in the wild elk and WtD population, domestic slaughter surveillance and hunter killed sample analysis will supplant live animal testing, provided adequate epidemiological data is collected through these methods. Livestock producers can enhance the necessary progress in slaughter surveillance by ensuring that their Premise Identification and Canadian Cattle Identification Agency accounts are linked, and ensuring that they are fully compliant with Canada’s traceability regulations. Hunters can enhance the wildlife surveillance numbers by ensuring that every elk and WtD harvested in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area is submitted for analysis. And livestock producers can certainly assist in risk mitigation through participation in the On Farm Risk Assessment program, implementing

and maintaining the necessary biosecurity programs on their farms that will reduce any potential re-introduction of the disease into their herds. Beyond 2017... CFIA has signaled that it does not plan to return to on-farm herd testing in the 2017-18 surveillance season, and Parks Canada has indicated that its provisional plan to re-test the Core Area mature cow elk herd in 2019-20 is unlikely

to occur. However, both of these planned activity eliminations are contingent upon several caveat: • No additional wildlife cases detected; • No additional livestock cases detected; • Continued and complete incorporation of slaughter surveillance into the disease model; • Continued hunter killed surveillance at the required levels; • On farm risk assess-

ments and continued implementation of appropriate biosecurity measures. Closing Note The many years of effort by all have brought us much closer to achieving our collective goals. As the described transition takes place, all parties to The Plan are encouraged to sustain their effort to allow us to, with certainty, reach those goals. Until the next time... Allan

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2016

Top six reasons why producers are not practicing winter grazing LYNNE PINDER, M.SC., P.AG. Although summer has just begun, many cattle producers have already made plans to extend the grazing season further into fall and winter. According to a 2011 survey of Canadian beef operations led by the University of Manitoba (Sheppard et al., 2015), 58 per cent of producers included winter grazing as part of their feeding program. The top six reasons producers gave in this survey for not implementing winter grazing strategies are outlined below. Since each day the grazing season is extended saves the cow-calf sector $3.6 million (Canfax Research Services), exploring the reasons why some producers do not adopt extended grazing strategies is merited. Reason #1: Snow Cover. 50 per cent of respondents replied that too much snow was the main reason that they were not implementing winter grazing. Access to feed may be compromised during years with significant snow falls. This concern was supported by Kelln et al. (2011) who reported that snowfall, temperature, and wind speed can limit accessibility to forage in grazing systems during the winter season in western Canada. In fact, in year two of their trial, large amounts of snow, totaling 83 cm, made it necessary to stop the feeding trial for that year.

Nevertheless, these authors did conclude that swath grazing, bale grazing and straw-chaff grazing systems were viable alternatives to decrease winter feed costs compared to drylot pen feeding. Although cattle can adapt and dig through snow to find available forage, once the snow becomes iced over or extremely deep, supplemental feed sources will be required. Reason #2: Winter Water Availability. 40 per cent of survey respondents listed no available winter water systems on pasture. In many cases cows can eat snow as a water source however, if there is not adequate snow or snow is crusted, a backup water system is needed. Fortunately, there are now a number of reliable watering systems on the market designed for winter watering and it may also be worthwhile for producers to see if their current pasture set up can be modified so that cattle can be watered in the yard while grazing on pasture. Reason #3: Too Cold. 30 per cent of respondents listed cold as their main reason for not winter grazing. This certainly can be a valid concern on the prairies where extreme wind chills are common. Access to shelter in the form of portable windbreaks or trees assists cattle in maintaining body temperature and condition.

A study by McCartney et al. (2004) near Lacombe, Alberta reported that cows grazing barley swaths required at least 18 to 21 per cent extra energy compared to cows fed in confinement. The extra energy requirement is related to the energy costs of walking, foraging and maintaining body temperature during the winter months. Kelln et al. (2011) reported that the forage quality of bale grazed barley was sufficient to meet maintenance requirements of cows, allowing for minimal or no body weight change and no negative effect on beef cow reproductive performance throughout the winter grazing period. However, a 2013 Saskatchewan forage survey reported that only 38 per cent of forages sampled across the province met the energy requirements of cows six months pregnant in -25 C. This emphasizes the importance of forage testing and ration formulation to ensure that appropriate energy and protein supplementation is available when needed. Reason #4: Wasted Feed. Almost 30 per cent of survey respondents had feed wastage concerns. Feed wastage during winter grazing periods can be varied depending on the type of forages and management strategies used. Dr. Bart Lardner of the Western Beef Development Centre, reported that over a two winter trial (2003-

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Cattle graze on Cicer Milkvetch and tall fescue in the snow.

2005) hay wastage was minimal at five and eight per cent for field bale processed feeding and field bale grazing, respectively. However, straw wastage (when formulated as part of the ration) was higher (greater than 35 per cent) and was affected by the animals using some of the straw as bedding. However, this feed may not necessarily be considered waste. Jungnitsch et al. (2011) reported there was greater efficiency in recycling winter feed nutrients when cows were fed directly on pasture compared to conventional drylot feeding in the yard and mechanically spreading manure on pasture. Reason #5: Animal Health and Welfare. Just over 20 per cent of survey respondents reported that animal health and welfare concerns were constraints for implementing winter grazing.

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These concerns are often related to cattle not having proper shelter and watering systems. As described above, provision of these ensures maintenance of health and welfare of winter grazed cattle. Careful monitoring and managing of body condition is especially critical when grazing beef cattle in the fall and winter months. Reason #6: Reduced Animal Performance. 20 per cent of respondents were concerned about reduced animal performance. This could be related to the extreme weather conditions and implications for feed intake, or it could be due to the inadequate nutrient value of the feedstuffs. There are some forages that are more suitable for winter grazing than others. A current study led by researchers from the

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www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

www.mbbeef.ca

Universities of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and Western Beef Development Centre is exploring many of these concerns by examining forage quality, animal nutrient status, and subsequent impacts on animal health and productivity in stockpiled grazing systems. Their goal is to identify annual and perennial forages that stand up well under the climate and soils typical of cowcalf producing regions of the prairies. Small plot evaluations of forages in pure and mixed stands have been done and this fall the grazing portion of the study will begin using dry beef cows. Economic analysis of stockpiled grazing will then be completed and compared to a conventional overwintering system. Although there are a number of valid reasons producers may choose to not extend their grazing season during the harsh prairie winters, research into emerging science-based beneficial management practices is addressing many of these concerns. Further adaptations of winter grazing strategies could result in improved production efficiency and competitiveness for prairie cattle producers. Lynne Pinder is the Extension Coordinator for the Building Longterm Capacity for Resilient Cow-calf Production Systems Project, which is funded through the Beef Cattle Research Council with financial contribution from the Manitoba Beef Producers.


July 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Collect data anywhere, anytime with Bio360 BY ANGELA LOVELL Livestock producers can now capture and record important herd management data anywhere, anytime, thanks to a new product – Go360 bioTrack – which works with any make of smartphone – Apple, Android or Blackberry. “It works using the browser on your mobile device and makes the browser function like an App, so you have the ability to capture everything in real time,” says BettyJo Almond, Business Manager for BIO, the company that developed the bioTrack products. Mobile and Easy to Use bioTrack is a web-based livestock management system that captures and records all the data producers need to make better herd management, marketing and breeding decisions, such as livestock identification and inventory, health management information, and traceability and tracking information. bioTrack has been around for a number of years but the Go360 add-on has made it completely mobile and simpler to use. A feature of the Go360 option is that it solves connectivity problems in the field. “The Go360 bioTrack is becoming popular because it has a disconnect mode, so when you’re having cell range problems, you can still capture your information and keep working with it,” says Almond. “When you come back to the house or you’re into cell range again, all the information you have collected downloads to your online account.” Producers’ information is secure and backed up, and options are available to allow them to use bioTrack with their existing livestock tagging and record keeping systems.

They can add images to animal profiles, and customize reports with the farm’s logo, which they can email to potential customers. bioTrack also meets the needs of the Verified Beef Program (VBP). “We’re working closely with the Canadian Cattleman’s Association to make sure that bioTrack continues to meet the needs of VBP as it is modified to encompass aspects of sustainable production,” adds Almond. Tracks Genetic Information for all Herd Types Currently around 200 producers across Canada and the US are using bioTrack, including Cory van Groningen, owner of a 400-head cow/calf operation at Cayuga, Ontario. “We use bioTrack for our commercial, cross-bred herd,” says van Groningen, who also sits on the Board of Directors of BIO, which is a producer cooperative, meaning its customers become members and can vote at the company’s Annual General Meeting. “It gives us the ability to do the same sort of things that purebred herds can do with genetic improvement. It allows us to collect the data easily in the field with the Go360 option, and those are the most important things for us.” bioTrack offers unique genetic evaluations which allow producers to compare animals within a breed and across breeds. As long as an animal is at least 7/8th one breed it will receive a within breed percentile rating, as well as receive an across breed rating comparing it to all other animals in BIO’s database. All animals receive an ABC (Across Breed Comparison) and percentile out of 100 for each trait. If an animal is 90 percent for Calving Ease in its ABC percentile that means it is in the top 10 per cent of animals in the BIO database for calving ease. Groningen says the Go360 system gives him an easy

way to capture information about birth weights, calving ease, weaning weights, and other attributes that help him to make better management decisions and improve the genetics of his herd. “There’s so much detail in genetic evaluation that we can utilize but we can’t really do a genetic evaluation on our own,” says van Groningen, “With the BIO system we can assess how our cows compare genetically to others, so it allows us to know where we’re at. I believe the beef industry doesn’t do enough comparing numbers, and if we don’t have a sort of common language it is difficult to do that.”

Transport: how to load, how to lead ARTICLE COURTESY OF MERISTEM LAND AND SCIENCE When cattle trucker Rick Sincennes started in the business more than 30 years ago it was a different world. Today animal welfare is a profile issue in the public eye, animal activists are putting pressure on producers and the people involved in cattle transportation have an entirely different level of responsibility for themselves and their industry. The veteran trucker has clear ideas on how to load, and how to lead. As a cattle handling trainer he teaches proper loading techniques. As an industry advocate he has been a significant player in developing today’s industry standards. In the process he has developed strong feelings on how the industry needs to lead. With transportation such a prominent part of the public’s exposure to the cattle industry these days, here’s his checklist of the key things needed to accomplish that. Cattle behavior is key. The most important step in loading a trailer is understanding cattle behavior. “For example, know the animal flight zones,” says Sincennes. “Stand at the edge of the chute and lean over, and you’ll push cattle back. Follow cattle up the chute and walk alongside, and you may think you’re chasing them. But you’re actually holding everything behind you back.”

Cattle will not enter a trailer easily if there is a layer of liquid on the floor. To them it’s a lake. They simply don’t know how deep it is and won’t enter it. Cattle type is critical. Knowing the type of cattle – beef, dairy, cull animals – and the weight of the animals are the first steps to ease of loading. Knowing the size and height of compartments in a trailer is critical. Animals should be able to stand in a natural position without making contact with the roof. A key issue for the beef industry is transporting cull cows. “They will not be as strong and will need room and proper bedding to lie down. If you have loaded at too high a density and animals go down it is very difficult to manage.” The density factors. Loading dairy and cull cattle at the same density as stronger cattle is a mistake. Dairy cattle are usually taller than beef cattle and need special consideration for where they go in a trailer. Sometimes a different trailer is needed. “There’s a huge difference between a 25 foot compartment and one that is two feet shorter,” says Sincennes. Shippers need to lead. So many times truckers load in challenging situations where they are not able to get a good read on the cattle being loaded, says

Sincennes. “We are completely at the mercy of the shipper in those cases,” he says. “We need to be able to trust that the shipper has a good knowledge of what we and cattle face.” Driving industry improvements. The cattle industry has made significant improvements over the past 20 years, and the industry has made a real commitment to ongoing improvement.

Those continual improvements are needed, says Sincennes. Two in particular he would like to see. One is more cleanout locations for trailers. Another is easier-to-read density charts for quick reference by truckers in real world situations, especially for newer drivers. A wake-up call There are so many improvements in cattle transportation over the past years, says Sincennes.

But despite those improvements, there are still those who shirk responsibility. The biggest thing is the feeling by some that when an animal moves on to the next stage of transport that the potential problems move with it. However, anyone involved with the load can be held responsible, he says. “The reality is that people involved in transporting cattle need to understand they can be charged for

poor handling of animals. The world is watching how we do these things.” More articles related to sustainability leadership in the beef industry are located at the Verified Beef Production website www. verifiedbeef.org. Meristem is a Calgarybased communications firm that specializes in writing about western agriculture, food and land use. More articles at www.meristem. com.

Manitoba Simmental Bulls Taking Care of Business on pastures this summer!

Check out MB Simmental this summer!

MSA Summer Show & YCSA Show - July 10th Portage la Prairie, MB Manitoba Youth Beef Round Up - July 29-31 Neepawa, MB

Manitoba’s Breeders Are Among the Best in the Business. For more information please vist our website www.mbsimmental.com Manitoba Simmental Association Box 274 • Austin, MB R0H 0C0

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President, Everett Olson (204) 826-2643 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca


8

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2016

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture TIM CLARKE

Farm Production Extension Livestock-Forage Specialist Manitoba Agriculture tim.clarke@gov.mb.ca

Q: Every year I intend to produce better hay for faster calf gain and postcalving cow rations, but I just haven’t been able to get the hay quality I want. A: Achieving the high forage digestibility and quality you want comes down to two things: • timing of cutting. • rapid dry down. Timing of Cutting The graph below shows how forage digestibility declines over time, while the yield of alfalfa climbs until full flower. Leaf yield, however, only climbs until first flower. So, a good time to cut is between late vegetative and late bud, when there’s a decent trade-off between yield and quality.

Increased yields after first flower are a result of the stems getting longer. Stems are less digestible than leaves, and, the older they get, the less digestible they become. As well, after full flower, the leaves start to fall off due to maturity. Rapid Dry Down Phase I Windrowing with a wide swath (72 per cent or more of cutter-bar width) maximizes the amount of forage exposed to sunlight. Sunlight encourages the stomata (or pores) on the plant to stay open, so more exposure to sunlight encourages a more rapid dry down—especially during the first phase.

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July 29, 30 & 31st Neepawa, MB Educational & fun weekend with a Junior cattle show on Sunday

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Recommendations Cut at proper height — two to four inches for alfalfa, and three to five inches for alfalfa/grass. Adjust conditioner properly, so stems are kinked every two to three inches or scarified (or both). Roller conditioners are best for alfalfa, due to reduced leaf loss. Lay hay in a wide swath, covering 70 per cent or more of cutting area. Rake/merge (if necessary) at 40 to 60 per cent moisture to minimize leaf losses. Bale at 14 to 18 per cent moisture (lower figures for larger bales). Store bales on ground that’s as dry as possible — preferably with a roof over them. Long-Term Strategies for Quality Hay Seed without a cover crop to improve stand density. Fertilize, according to soil tests, annually. Seed creeping, rooted alfalfa, which have sunken crowns and are generally more winter-hardy. Do not cut your hay stand during the Critical Fall Rest Period: from August 20 (August 15 north of the 51st parallel) until a -4 C frost. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba Agriculture CSM Holly Troop will answer a question on hauling hay and straw on public roads. If you have a specific request, send your question to Holly.Troop@gov.mb.ca by August 1, 2016. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to Manitoba Agriculture’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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Phase I occurs from cutting about 85 to 90 per cent moisture to about 60 per cent moisture. The more quickly you can get the swath down to 60 per cent moisture, the less sugars and starches you lose (this occurs from respiration) and the more TDN or energy you preserve. In work done at the University of Wisconsin in 2005, a wide swath resulted in one per cent higher TDN (energy), and a 15-point higher relative feed value (RFV) in the hay, than a narrow swath. A wide swath requires one or both tractors’ wheels to drive over the swath. While this may not be desirable, it results in less of a loss than making a narrow windrow. Phase II The second phase of drying is moisture loss from both the leaf surface (stomata have closed) and the stem. At this stage, conditioning or crimping can help increase drying rate. Phase III The final phase of drying—involves the loss of tightly held water, particularly from the stems. Conditioning is critical to improving drying during this phase. Conditioning to break or kink the stems, every two to three inches, or scrape the waxy cuticle off, will increase rate of water loss. Conditioning or crimping reduces drying time by 25 to 40 per cent. Setting clearances between conditioning rolls is crucial for the crop volume and speed the conditioner travels. If the stems are not crimped well enough, there are three options: • tighten clearance on conditioning rolls; • drive slower, causing reduced volume through rolls; • buy a new conditioner with rolls that have crisp edges, correct roll tension and the ability to lay wide-swath windrows.

Manitoba Beef Producers will be on the road from Oct. 24 to Nov. 16 for 14 district meetings. This is an opportunity for members to learn about MBP’s activities throughout the past year and to submit resolutions for the Annual General Meeting in February. Check the September issue of Cattle Country for the complete list of meeting dates and locations.

www.mbbeef.ca


July 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Drought got you down? Excess water causing you grief? Planned grazing may be the solution. Project leads at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI) provide insight into preventing drought damage CAROLLYNE KEHLER

MBP Project Coordinator

Earlier this season drought was top of mind for many producers around the province. Even though we’ve now had some much needed rain in most regions, you may still be wondering how to manage for future drought episodes. I’m sure we’re all well aware of a number of techniques that are used to manage your herd once you’re in a drought situation such as: reducing stocking density, selling calves early, culling older cows and sourcing feed early. However, this article will focus on what to do in advance of a drought period to reduce its damaging effects. In researching for this article I first spoke with soil specialist Marla Riekman of Manitoba Agriculture who is working at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) researching soils at their sites near Brandon. Much of her work revolves around increasing soil health, an important aspect of preparing for droughts. “The number one thing is to increase water storage in the soil,” says Riekman, “starting with water infiltration and also considering the water holding capacity.” She went on to explain that water infiltration and water holding capacity are determined by the soil’s texture, organic matter and structure. The texture is not something that can be changed. Your soil is either sand or clay and you don’t have much control over that but there are other factors that can be influenced. What you do have control over is the structure and organic matter components of your soil. Riekman explained, “compaction due to tillage or pugging, can cause low infiltration into the soil.” Or, in other words, compaction causes runoff, leaving the soil underneath dry and the ditches full. So, when preparing for drought, try to avoid tillage in your fields and reduce the amount of pugging (punched out ground) from cattle’s hoof action when it’s muddy.

When increasing infiltration you also need to consider plant roots. Roots create pore spaces which allow water to filter down into the soil. Having a variety of root types is important for maximizing infiltration. Roots that reach down into the soil all the way to the water table can be beneficial not only in times of drought but also when there’s excess moisture. This is because they provide a path for water to filter into the soil and be stored, but they also provide a route for the water to exit the soil when it’s saturated, preventing pooling on the top of the soil as well as run-off. Increasing the organic matter in your soil is also very important for preparing for drought. This is because organic matter increases the amount of water that can be stored in your soils and accessed by the plants. So, how do you increase your organic matter? First, it’s important to note that organic matter is not the ‘organic material’ or plant residue left on top of the soil nor is it the roots of the growing plants; rather, it is the small particles that result from the plant material (leaves, roots etc.) decomposing and being broken down by microbes within the soil. Soil organic matter gradually increases over time. It is what ‘holds’ the water in the soil and what holds the soil together causing healthy aggregates (clumps). Without the organic matter the water would move right through the soil, like it moves through sand on a beach. In summary, in times of drought you need your soil to be able to collect the water (infiltration) and keep it stored for future plant use (water holding capacity). Now we move above the soil and look to Pam Iwanchysko, also of Manitoba Agriculture for some information on plants and grazing. Obviously, you need to have growing plants to increase your organic matter and provide the roots for infiltration, both important factors previously discussed. Iwanchysko also explained that, “hav-

MBFI cattle graze on one of the pastures that is included in the planned grazing project led by Pam Iwanchysko of Manitoba Agriculture.

ing a forage ‘canopy’ over the soil keeps the soil at a cooler temperature, decreasing evaporation, which is highest in areas of black dirt. The cooler soil temperatures also allow the soil microbes to be more active and healthy, and contribute to the organic matter in the soil.” Iwanchysko has been using planned grazing to increase the forage production and soil health at one of the MBFI sites. Her grazing plan includes moving cattle between paddocks at a quick rate and at high stocking density. One of the most important factors for this method of grazing to work is to let the forages "rest" without grazing for, “70 to 95 days in the active growing season,” explains Iwanchysko. She also recommends moving through paddocks

more quickly at the beginning of the season when the spring growth is high. Having a healthy variety of forages in your mixture can also help with drought preparation. An ideal combination of forages would include forages that are adapted to drought conditions (and excess moisture conditions) such as grasses and legumes, have a variety of root systems, provide a solid forage canopy, and are nutritionally valuable to the cattle. If you are interested in finding out more about protecting yourself from drought or increasing your soil health and forage production through planned grazing you may be interested to stop by MBFI this summer for one of the tour days. Iwanchysko has a planned grazing demonstration

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project ongoing at the sites, complete with an above ground watering system, different fencing options and differing forage species within the paddocks. Riekman will also be studying the soils in the planned grazing area to consider how they change as the grazing continues. In short, your forage and soil management will determine how well your land stands up to drought. In times of drought you need your soil to be able to collect the water (infiltration)

and keep it stored for future plant use (water holding capacity) and you need your forages to provide a canopy over your soil, have a variety of root types and have some drought tolerant varieties incorporated. For more information you can also check out the website: www. mbfi.ca MBFI is partly funded by the Canada and Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federalprov i n c i a l - t e r r it or i a l initiative.


10 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2016

Don’t make costly assumptions DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. The same goes with treating disease and managing cattle health — if one dose or treatment doesn’t work, don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again. Neither should you just look away, do nothing and hope the problem disappears. That sometimes does happen but rarely. Animal welfare and operation efficiency and profitability will suffer. When treating lame cattle with suspected footrot, remember the golden rule - simple footrot always responds to a single label dose of long-acting oxytetracycline. If the animal remains lame or recovers then gets lame again, it does not have footrot. Simple footrot cases have swelling between the claws,

not above nor involving just one claw. Book an examination with your veterinarian. Yes, it is a hassle to pull cattle on pasture, but early treatment means minimal weight loss, continued milk production, a decent calf to wean in the fall and a bred cow. My experience has been that the unresponsive footrots are usually toe abcesses. Trimming, treating and flushing out the abcess costs under $200 and the prognosis is excellent. Pretty cheap compared to lost value when a claw amputation is required due to delayed treatment on a $12,000 bull. Chasing cattle in pasture once or twice a week to give yet another antibiotic injection can’t be anyone’s idea of a good time. Quiet cattle turned mean, breeding gone awry and huge weight losses are not profitable either.

We have all seen the “non-responsive” pinkeye. At those times, start thinking about ocular squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) - otherwise known as cancer eye. Just as skin cancer rates are spiking in people, we are seeing increasing rates of cancer eye in cattle. White-faced cattle are no longer the only ones at risk. Compared to five to 10 years ago, I am seeing more aggressively growing cancer eyes and have diagnosed cancer eye in cattle as young as three years of age and even in a Black Angus cow (and yes - it was lab confirmed). Use your phone and take a picture of any pinkeye that does not respond to the traditional treatment of antibiotic (systemically and subconjunctivally), Vitamin A and fly control. E-mail or text your vet the picture for advice. Learn about the important differences between pinkeye and cancer eye — comparison photos are excellent teach-

ing tools. Learn how to detect early cancer eye and check your cattle twice a year — during fall roundup and prior to calving. There is always that one (or maybe multiple) animal that fails to gain weight despite an adequate nutritional program. Perhaps it is due to an “individual” issue like hardware disease, an old abcess or an injury. But, more often than not, there is an underlying management or infectious disease process going on. If you are culling or worse, just composting poor-doers, get a diagnosis. Johne’s disease, trace mineral deficiency and parasitism top my differential list. Unfortunately, Johne’s disease is becoming a more common diagnosis, especially amongst herds that are expanding through the purchase of outside genetics or those using dairy breed nurse cows. Review biosecurity with your veterinarian or refer to my

past article on screening for Johne’s disease before any purchases. We shouldn’t still be talking about trace mineral, energy and protein deficiency but we need to as not everyone has gotten the memo. Get your feed tested and be sure to implement an adequate mineral program. Follow the general rule of thumb that 60 cows should consume a 50 pound bag of mineral in one week. Mineral should be offered year-round and in a formulation that will be consumed. Talk with your feed supplier to learn about the various options available. A good vitamin and mineral program boosts the immune system and enables an animal to reach its genetic potential. Not happy with your calving percentages this year? Review your feeding program with your veterinarian or nutritionist. Reproduction and milk production are the first things to go when the

going gets tough for cows. We can’t see internal parasites so we don’t tend to worry about them. But published studies and herd testing that I have done in my practice area show drug resistance to the avermectin drug class (to which all the ivermectin products belong). Not all herds are affected and infection levels vary between herds and even between groups within the herd. Get some fecals done. The best time to test is now — six weeks after turnout. Warm moist weather is ideal for parasite survival on pasture and calves are at highest risk since they lack immunity. Talk with your veterinarian about protocols and for tips on minimizing the parasite load in your herd. Timely diagnosis and management of health issues is a win/win for all — the producer, the animal and the consumer. Keep our industry in the positive public image.

Murky price outlook for the fall With summer finally arriving, and the cattle turned out to pasture, cattle producers have two things on their minds: haying season and what their calves are going to be worth in the fall. Hay and silage crops look promising; however the same can’t be said about the pro-

jected cattle markets for the fall. By the end of June corn prices had started to drop back to levels that would support competitive feed costs. Larger than anticipated world inventories, along with favourable growing conditions in the USA, caused corn prices

to drop double digits at the end of June. Corn reports projected larger than average yields, with 75 per cent of the US corn crop rated as good to excellent at the end of June. Despite predicted lower costs of gains in the feedlots, the cattle futures for both fed and feeder cattle do not support the fall prices that we experienced in 2015. Weather conditions, especially in the corn-belt, will continue to be responsible for price fluctuations until harvest, but the fears of a poorer than normal corn crop have all but disappeared. Live cattle prices for finished steers in the US in the last week of June were down $37.39 per hundred weight from last year, dressed prices on the rail were down from $240.20 last year to $195.00 - a whopping $45.20 per hundred weight lower. Prices for finished cattle continue to drop, with futures prices being sharply discounted, as the delivery months get further out. Cattle feeders on both sides of the border continue to pull cattle forward and deliver them at lighter weights to avoid the deep discounts represented on the futures. This is a complete change from the marketing trends of the first five months of 2016 when feedlots held

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line on to inventory, trying to wait out the market for better prices. That strategy resulted in heavier carcass weights. (See chart). The cost of finishing a steer in the USA for the third week in June was $1677 per head compared to $2247 last year. 73 per cent of the cost of finishing the animal was the actual cost of the steer. According to Sterling Profit Tracker, that left an $11 per head profit for the feeder and a $192 per head profit for the packer. Data from Canada is very hard to get, but all indications are that the Canadian finishing lots are losing over $200 per head on the cattle currently going to market. The outlook for the next couple of months is not bright for the finished cattle, as there are large inventories to market and the cattle feeders are willing sellers. Futures on the live cattle for the end of 2016 and first quarter of 2017 are at $112.50, approximately 10 cents less than the current cash price. This will do

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little to encourage cattle feeders to pay higher than last year’s prices for replacement cattle. As grilling season is in full swing, consumer demand is likely to switch from middle cuts to ground beef and top end steaks. The price spread between beef and other proteins at the retail level continues to be wide, prompting consumers to shy away from beef, leaving no room for higher retail beef pricing. The forecast for feeder calves in fall looks like 600 pound steers will have to average C$180 per pound to break even on the futures if resold at 900 pounds in the spring. The formula is based on an 85 cent per pound gain with all expenses in. The feeder cattle futures for March are at US$126.20 with no basis off. Using an exchange rate of $1.27, that works out to C$160. Using a C$15 basis, that puts the steers at approximately C$145 for March delivery. In some areas of the US, current feeder cattle prices are

ranging from $600 to $650 per head less than last year at this time. That indicates that the price adjustment has already started south of the border. Here in Canada, there are not enough cattle trading to establish a reliable quote. Market analysts in the USA are predicting that cow calf operators will see a drop of $255 per cow this year to a projected return of US$177 profit per cow. We expect a number of price fluctuations on the feeder cattle market between now and the fall run. The exchange rate on the dollar will be more important than actual futures markets for Canadian cowcalf operators. Whether it will be yearlings off the grass or wet nosed calves, the Americans will put the floor price on the feeder cattle. Canadian feed yards have just gone through two turns of inventory with heavy losses. I would expect the buyers this fall to be very cautious and disciplined when bidding on cattle; there will be more attention paid to what is represented on the futures market or forward contracts. A lot can happen between now and the fall run, but all indications are that there will be a new price catalogue for this fall. Until next time, Rick


July 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Government Activities Update BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

A new provincial governing party, strategies aimed at better managing water, carbon pricing in Manitoba, red tape reduction and feed mill licensing are just some of the recent developments arising from the provincial and federal governments. New Provincial Government Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives (PCs) formed government following the April 19 provincial election, bringing with them a number of commitments that will affect agriculture. Key ministers include: Ralph Eichler, Agriculture; Cathy Cox, Sustainable Development (formerly Conservation and Water Stewardship); Blaine Pedersen, Infrastructure; Cliff Cullen, Growth, Trade and Enterprise; and, Cameron Friesen, Finance. While the primary focus of the new government’s election commitments, Throne Speech and provincial budget were not necessarily on agriculture, there are several areas where agriculture will be affected. Of key importance is a commitment to the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels initiative which is required to alleviate flooding. MBP has long advocated for these works to be undertaken and welcomes the commitments by both the provincial and federal governments to this critical infrastructure. MBP continues to advocate for this work to be completed as quickly as possible as the ongoing questions about lake levels continue to create tremendous uncertainty for beef producers. During a recent visit to Ottawa, MBP directors and staff reinforced the importance of this project in meetings with Manitoba Members of Parliament and the civil service. During the election campaign, the PCs committed to roll out the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program province wide, although no specifics have yet been announced. ALUS is a voluntary program whereby producers receive payments for providing ecosystem services, such as retaining and reconstructing natural areas such as wetlands, grasslands, riparian areas and trees. There have been several ALUS projects in Manitoba over the past couple of decades. Manitoba’s cattle producers, in managing thousands of acres of privatelyowned and Crown lands provide substantial ecosystem services that benefit society, such as preserving wetlands, sequestering carbon and providing habitat for a diverse array of species. MBP welcomes the opportunity to provide input as an expanded ALUS program is developed. The new government has committed to pursuing enhanced trading opportunities. It is also seeking all-party support in the Manitoba Legislature for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The beef industry continues to seek the swift ratification of the TPP. The provincial government has committed to develop a made-in-Manitoba climate action plan. This will include a carbon pricing model aimed at reducing emissions, although no details have been made public yet. The province has also committed to consult in the development of land-use and conservation measures that sequester carbon, improve water quality and foster adaptation to climate change. During the election the PCs committed to address unsafe hunting practices such as night hunting. A resolution carried at MBP’s 37th AGM in February had called on all Manitoba political parties to describe those areas of rural Manitoba in which they

deemed night lighting to be an acceptable and safe hunting practice. There was a 2.5 per cent increase in funding for the Department of Sustainable Development for 2016-17. This department is responsible for matters such as wildlife management and water licensing. The budget includes $901,000 in additional funding targeted at staffing in Wildlife and Fisheries. It is not clear if this will be used to hire more scientists or to help with enforcement activities. During the election the PCs committed to implement “effective and innovative big game surveys to improve and increase the transparency of population data for managers.” MBP continues to reinforce with provincial officials the need for surveillance of wildlife to help detect diseases such as bovine tuberculosis. The province will be establishing a Red Tape Reduction Task Force and MBP will request the opportunity to provide feedback to it. Producers who have experienced red tape challenges are encouraged to contact Maureen Cousins at the MBP office to share their experiences so we can provide the provincial government with concrete examples. Aquanty project funded The Aquanty Project, an initiative aimed at creating a hydrology model of the Assiniboine River Basin (ARB), has received $1.1 million in funding through Growing Forward 2 (GF2). The model will be used to help assess the effects of flooding, excess moisture and extreme drought on agricultural lands, as well as flood risks to urban centres, and potential risk mitigation strategies within the basin. The model will involve the Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris sub-basins. The project recipient is the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) and the key partner is the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative. MBP is a supporter of this initiative, as are organizations such as the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba Canola Growers Association, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, Manitoba Sustainable Development, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, and City of Minot, North Dakota, and others. There are two key project objectives. The first is to develop the customized, user friendly integrated hydrologic model for the Basin. The second is to develop a detailed model base assessment of how perennial forages, grasslands and wetlands influence the hydrologic characteristics of the Basin under conditions ranging from flood to drought, and may play a key role in moderating/mitigating the risks of flooding and drought. Two contractors are working on the project. One is Aquanty Inc., whose core technology is the hydro geosphere (HGS) hydrologic simulation software that can be used to run simulations of water movement through surface water and groundwater flow systems. The other is ISM/IBM. It will develop a web based data analytics system to interpret the output from the HGS model for the ARB and its major sub-basins. Flooding and droughts continue to take a costly economic toll on the agriculture sector, damaging crops, forages, property and infrastructure. Using the new model, a web-based tool will be developed that farmers can use to gather information on farmland to help effectively manage moistures levels and mitigate risk associated with drought and flooding. It is also believed that information collected through the project could potentially lead to the development of new and improved

insurance products. “MFGA has engaged in this proposal as we believe grasslands and forage crops are a critical part of the solution for future flood and drought ravaged areas of the Assiniboine River Basin,” says Henry Nelson, MFGA vice chair. “The hydrology model will showcase proactive solutions for many stakeholders across the Assiniboine River Basin for flood and drought mitigation.” The project is to be completed in March 2018. Feed Mill Licensing Consultations The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is doing a second round of consultations on whether to license some feed mills. The idea arose after some feed mills declared bankruptcy and the producers who delivered grain to these facilities went unpaid. The CGC had sought feedback on this matter in 2015, and heard comments related to the cost of licensing and additional fees and reporting requirements that would be placed on the industry. The CGC is now proposing to license some feed mills that purchase more than a certain threshold of grain from producers, that being more than 5,000 tonnes of grain annually. Feed mills that purchase less than 5,000 tonnes of grain annually from producers (based on a five-year average) would be exempt. This limit is based on factors such as licensing thresholds in other regulatory jurisdictions such as Ontario and Quebec, average farm size by livestock type, and annual feed consumption on an average farm. Feedback is being sought until August 31. For further details visit https://www. grainscanada.gc.ca/consultations/2016/

licensing-review-en.htm APF Consultations The federal government is seeking feedback from stakeholders aimed at shaping the next agricultural policy framework. Producers can complete a short online questionnaire or provide written feedback. In particular the government wants to know what did or did not work for stakeholders in Growing Forward 2 and what stakeholders want to see in the next program. The comment deadline is July 31. To participate go to http://www.agr. gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/developing-the-next-agriculturalpolicy-framework/?id=1461767369849 Irradiating Beef Health Canada is consulting on a proposal that would allow irradiation of fresh and frozen ground beef to enhance food safety. It has determined that irradiated beef is safe to eat, and its nutritional value, appearance, taste and texture is not affected. Irradiation would be used to reduce the level of harmful bacteria in fresh and frozen raw ground beef. Irradiation is a process in which food is exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation. This can reduce the level of bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. It can also prevent premature spoilage and increase a food’s shelf life. Irradiation is already approved in Canada to treat potatoes, onions, wheat, flour, spices and seasoning preparations. The World Health Organization recognizes irradiation as a safe practice and more than 60 countries use the practice. Consultations are underway until September 1. For details see: http://news.gc.ca/ web/article-en.do?nid=1086249&tp=1

The Big Squeeze

A visitor to the Cattle Tales exhibit at this year's Red River Ex tries out the squeeze chute which was supplied by the Lakeland Group. The chute and a scale, which was provided by Superior Technologies, were both very popular throughout the Ex.

www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2016

Ready set, GO CAMPING! BY ADRIANA FINDLAY MBP Meat Expert

We finally made it, summer is here and it feels great! It does seem like longer days and plenty of Manitoba sunshine gives us more energy and fuels us with excitement to spend time outdoors. Summer time is the perfect time to take a few days from work to enjoy friends, family and time with nature. Manitoba being our home we are very fortunate to have so many lakes, campgrounds and parks we can visit a relatively short distance away. Camping is an activity I’m going to try to do a lot more this year. Here are some tips I picked up and others I’ve heard work for others. They’re all fantastic ideas I plan to take advantage of myself this season. Imagine arriving to your destination prepared, organized and ready to soak up the fresh air and tranquil surrounds. Once a destination is chosen it’s time to organize, I think this is done best with storage boxes, creating small bins with all the items you will require in them. This is the best way to keep organized for future trips and most importantly everyone can clearly read the bin label and help themselves. That means no more endless asking for items; we all know how relaxing that can be. Some good label titles to start with are: Set Up,

Games/Play Bin, Kitchen Bin and Supplies Bin. These bins can be of any reasonable size that will fit a manageable amount of gear you want to bring camping and can assist in easily fitting everything in and out of the car. Here are some ideas of items you might want to store in your camping bins. Set up Bin: • Duct tape • Tent pegs, with hammer • Mat for tent entrance • Rope, twine • Trash bags • Tablecloth with clips • Tarp(s) • Pocket knife Games Bin: • Card deck/dice • Board game • Colouring books and crayons • Beach bucket and shovels • Frisbee • Football/soccer/badminton set • Sidewalk chalk • Glow sticks Kitchen Bin: • Oven mitt • Water kettle • Wine • Tongs, spatula • Grill scrubber • Aluminum foil • Dishwashing tub • Washcloths & dish towels • Dish sponges/dish soap • Frying pan and pot with lid • Canola oil • Salt & Pepper • Steak spice Supplies Bin:

• Multi prong extension cord • Flashlights/lantern • Fire starters/matches/bbq lighter • Batteries • Ziploc bags/garbage bags • Citronella candles/insect repellant/ sunscreen • Rain ponchos • Quick dry towels • Fishing license • First-aid kit • Organizing camping bins can be just the trick to ensuring your family is ready for a fun long weekend outdoors without the hassle of endless lists and items to pack. • Be quick and efficient by pre-planning camping meals, meals eaten near a campfire might be the most memorable part of the trip. Make life easy with pre-planned meals with prepping ingredients having them ready to go. If electricity is available utilizing the crockpot is a terrific way to have a big hearty dinner going while enjoying outdoor activities. Here are some ideas for campsite meals your family could enjoy. • Great Taste of Manitoba’s Lean Beef Burrito recipe can be made ahead of time, individually wrapped in tin foil and frozen. Once ready for dinner, reheat on the grill. • Preparing your favourite hamburger recipe ahead will save on time and messy meal prep when outdoors.

Try Great Taste of Manitoba’s Ace’s Sirloin Steak Burger as your next campsite dinner. Assembling hamburger patties topped with sliced cheese and wrapped in wax paper can be frozen and placed in a freezer bag. • If the weather is expected to be on the chilly side making a big pot of chili might just be what your group needs. To prepare this meal ahead of time, brown ground beef with garlic, onion, seasoned with salt and pepper. Add to an extra large freezer bag with all the chili ingredients and freeze. On chili day add all the ingredients in a pot on a low flame or to a slow cooker. Chili can be eaten on its own, topped over lettuce for a taco salad or eaten over rice as a hearty meal. • Side dishes that are hearty and easy can be as simple as campfire baked beans, preassembled quinoa salad with dressing on the side and pre cut vegetables and fruit. The secret to relaxing at your campsite kitchen is preparing dinners ahead and enjoy family first. Organizing prepared camping bins can save on time, help avoid overpacking and visually help others take on tasks. Meals being prepared ahead of time and labelled will make things simple when cooking and reheating. This might also be a great way to get teenagers

to prepare a camping meal. One last tip is prepare a bag or bin with ready to grab snacks and sweets, this will tie over kids and adults in

between meals. This month enjoy Sesame Ginger Sirloin Salad a Great Taste of Manitoba recipe that can be enjoyed all summer long.

Sesame Ginger Sirloin Salad • 4 – 4 oz (125 g) top sirloin medallions • 4 cup mix greens salad • ½ cup EACH cilantro and mint leaves, chopped • 1 cup matchstick carrots • 1/2 cup bean sprouts • 1/3 cup edamame beans, shelled • 1/2 english cucumber, sliced • 2 green onions, sliced • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped MARINADE & DRESSING • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce • 2 tbsp EACH sesame oil and sweet chili sauce • 1 tbsp rice vinegar • 1/2 tsp EACH garlic and ginger, minced • salt and pepper Blend all marinade/dressing ingredients together this makes a total of 2/3 cup, reserve half as dressing. In a freezer bag marinade medallions and refrigerate for 1560 minutes. Pat steak dry before placing on grill, grill or sear in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until the internal temperature reaches 145˚F or (63˚C) for medium rare. Allow the steak to rest before slicing. Add all salad ingredients together and dress with reserved marinade, top with sliced steak.

CCIA announces boost to report process CCIA MEDIA RELEASE Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has revealed new process enhancements within the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) database – a robust and scalable, trace-back system designed for the containment and eradication of animal disease with a cost-effective, timely and national approach to livestock traceability event reporting. Expanding on the improvements released at the end of 2015 to support 840-series USDA tag identification (ID) numbers, CCIA has enabled system users to submit an Import event for any foreign country tag ID numbers. The supported format is

15 digits in length, starting with the country code (e.g., 554002123456789 for New Zealand). CCIA Information Technology Manager Waseem Rehman confirms, “After a foreign ID tag number has had an Import event applied to it, the tag number may also be reported using Move In, Move Out, Temporary Export, Export and Retire events. Users will also be able to use a variety of database functions for foreign country tag ID numbers – like Canadian tags.” “Another change supports final owners. Since an animal can be moved through various owners and locations before its life cycle is complete, and current regulations permit the farm of origin only to age verify an animal, a final owner may receive less

than market value for an incorrectly ageverified animal at the terminal site if the farm of origin does not correct the birthdate data entry error within the CLTS,” asserts CCIA General Manager Anne Brunet-Burgess. “Further to the date selection tool we released last year, we have now added a digital alert designed to prevent duplicate birth-date data entry reporting on the same tags. This update protects the financial returns of an animal’s final owner while maximizing data integrity.” “Event reporting is time-sensitive and until now, had to occur in sequence. Tag dealers Issue the tag, then livestock operators may report Move In and Move Out, depending on provincial/territorial and

federal regulations or herd management practices. Previously, if a user reported an event outside of the sequence, a database error would occur, and no other event could be associated with the tag until the error was corrected. Effective immediately, the CLTS will now accept animal movement event dates that occur before a tag number’s Retire event date. This change allows users to report movement data at any time, which can be critical to tracebacks that occur after an animal’s life cycle is complete,” states CCIA Chair Mark Elford. “With steady technical advancements, CCIA is continuing to reduce data reporting complexities while increasing ease of compliance.”

Come for a visit and pick out a top quality Shorthorn to add to your herd. Monty Thomson Cell #: (204) 870-0089 Gladstone, MB www.hatfieldclydesdales.com

Summer is a great time for a herd tour. www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

SEPTEMBER 2016

Tour provides inside look at MBFI BY CHAD SAXON Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives’ (MBFI) present and future was on display during the first McDonald’s Production Day Tour. Held on July 19 at MBFI’s Brookdale Research Farm, the tour was the public’s first opportunity to get a look behind the scenes of MBFI and learn more about the research projects taking place on the 640-acre section of land north of Brandon. MBFI Chairwoman Ramona Blyth said the day was a tremendous success with just shy of 100 people

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler

making the trip to Brookdale. “We were all very encouraged to see the interest in MBFI among producers, researchers and the public at large,” she said. “There has been so much work put into this project and the entire team is very proud of all that has been accomplished in a relatively short period of time. So to see the interest shown at the production day tour was very rewarding for our team.” Blyth said along with allowing the public to see the work taking place at MBFI, a focus of the tour was to begin the process of showing producers how the research projects can be used on their operations to increase efficiency and, ideally, profitability. “The extension to producers is one of the most important components of MBFI. The research is still in its early stages but we were happy to start the extension process.” MBFI is a collabora-

Shawn Cabak of Manitoba Agriculture provides an update on the extended grazing study taking place at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Brookdale Research Farm. The project is evaluating extended grazing strategies to assess how they can help reduce feed costs and increase nutrient returns to the soil.

tion between Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Forage & Grasslands Association and Ducks Unlimited. After the initial announcement of the project in 2014, work truly began in earnest in 2015 at the three research farms that

comprise MBFI, Brookdale as well as the First Street and Johnson farms which are both located on the eastern edge of Brandon. “In the past 18 months we have forged full speed ahead to get MBFI running so that we can get some research and demonstration

projects off the ground,” Blyth said in her opening comments. “Transitioning from the initial concept to the setup of MBFI to successfully completing several research projects in such a short order is no small feat. It took people with a shared vision.”

Officials from all four organizations were on hand for the tour including Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler, who was named to the position shortly after the provincial election earlier this year. Page 2 ➢

How to be a sustainable beef producer Canadian beef producers will soon have access to a set of indicators that they can measure their production systems against to see if they meet the standards required to be a verified, sustainable beef producer. Why does that matter? Because consumers are demanding sustainable beef, and everyone along the value chain needs to understand how they can contribute to supplying a sustainable beef product, says Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, Chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

(CRSB). “We know this is going to be very important to processors because retail and food service companies need something tangible to be able to market,” she said during a presentation to the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary on August 11. “We already have effective tools that producers can use to verify that they are raising sustainable beef. Our job now is to coordinate these tools in a way that is reportable to our end users and explore different funding models to ensure that costs associated with this process are distributed as evenly as possible.” She added that a study commissioned

by CRSB – the National Beef Sustainability Assessment – is due for release in September. The Assessment is a summary of a 500page document that provides a benchmark of the social, economic and environmental performance of the Canadian beef industry. “It’ll show where we’re at, for example in an area like carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions but also the social and economic side of it too,” said Copithorne-Barnes in a phone interview after the conference. “It identified areas where we’re doing well and also opportunities for improvements, and will be something that producers will be able to take a look at and

Earl's president apologizes to producers

Reimer elected Vice-Chair of Check Off Agency

Page 3

Page 5

really evaluate where they stand against these things.” Looking for Producers for National Pilot A number of Canadian beef producers participated in the McDonald’s Sustainable Beef Pilot Project, which ended earlier this year, and measured their operations against a number of indicators for sustainable beef production. From the experience gained through the McDonald’s pilot, CRSB is releasing a revised, second draft document of Indicators for Primary Production this fall for public comment. The draft document currently contains 25 indicators, of which Page 2 ➢

Mitigating and recovering value of dark cutting 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.

BY ANGELA LOVELL


2

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

Minister looking to grow cattle herd ← Page 1 In his remarks, Eichler said he would like to see Manitoba’s cattle numbers return to their pre-BSE totals of 750,000 and feels projects such as MBFI will play a major role in reaching that target. “We learn from eachother,” Eichler said. “We need to remember that together we do better.” Also on hand for the event was Jeffery Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, the senior manager for sustainability of McDonald’s Canada, which contributed $25,000 to assist with MBFI’s producer outreach efforts such as July’s tour. In his remarks to the audience, Fitzpatrick-Stilwell said MBFI’s collaborative approach caught McDonald’s attention and was a primary reason they decided to make the

contribution. “This wasn’t just a sponsorship to get our logo on something,” he said. “(MBFI) is having real value and we can really see the long-term benefits. (The McDonald’s contribution) really speaks to the power of the project and what we believe it is going to do, not only for Manitoba, but for Canada and global beef and forage production.” Fitzpatrick-Stilwell added McDonald’s support of MBFI is another example of the restaurant chain’s commitment to Canadian producers. McDonald’s had previously announced all of the beef sold in Canada will be sourced from Canadian operations. “One-hundred per cent of the beef that we serve coast to coast to coast comes from Canada.”

As for the tours, the attendees were divided into groups and driven around Brookdale to hear from the researchers. Among the topics discussed were extended grazing, riparian health assessments and shelterbelts, polycropping, planned grazing, energy dense annual forages and soil health. A demonstration on the potential usages of unmanned aerial vehicles was also held. Further information on the research at the Brookdale, Johnson and First Street farms can be found at mbfi.ca. Articles on individual projects and their progress will also be featured in Cattle Country. This month’s featured project is on the efforts to get cattle eating leafy spurge. The article can be found on Page 7.

First Canadian Beef Industry Conference a huge success BY ANGELA LOVELL It was a full house for the first Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) held in Calgary from August 8 to 11, with more than 650 registrants from across the country attending the sold-out event. The response far exceeded the expectations of organizers, who initially were planning for anywhere from 350 to 500 attendees. “We did not expect that level of uptake,” says Co-Chair, Rob Smith. “This tells us the need for CBIC was very great. The conference partners were brilliantly prescient to believe the time was right to create this type of industry unity toward a single, producer-based event." Putting it Together The theme for the conference was “Putting it Together…” and not only did it bring together many of the provincial and national beef organizations for meetings and discussions, it also explored how the whole Canadian beef industry can work together to implement Canada’s National Beef Strategy and grow

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

the Canadian Beef brand. The two primary goals of the CBIC were to help deliver, and raise awareness of the National Beef Strategy and create a meeting place for the Canadian beef industry. These objectives were determined through discussions with the CBIC partners – the Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canadian Cattleman’s Association, Canada Beef and the Beef Cattle Research Council. “The conference definitely made everyone a lot more aware of the National Beef Strategy and its underlying principals, which form the four pillars of the strategy,” says Co-Chair, Virgil Lowe. “Our second goal came out of the connectivity pillar of the strategy, which was to create an ongoing, national meeting place for the Canadian beef industry – beef producers, supporters, value chain participants and thought leaders. We’ve successfully achieved that with this inaugural conference, and it will definitely happen

again next year.” You Are Not Alone Smith says the CBIC has the opportunity to grow and create even more value for Canada’s beef and cattle producers. "Among the biggest takeaways from CBIC is 'you are not alone' and 'we are all in this together,'" says Smith. “I believe participants felt this palpably and used CBIC to broaden and diversify their professional network.” At the conference’s gala banquet, two major

awards celebrated excellence in environmental stewardship and research and innovation. Winners of the National Environmental Stewardship Award were Sheri and Miles Anderson of Fir Mountain, Saskatchewan. The Canadian Beef Industry Awards for Outstanding Research and Innovation went to Dr. Tim McAllister, Principal Research Scientist at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Station.

← Page 1 11 are considered critical. “Those key indicators are the ones that at a minimum, a producer must be able to demonstrate how they’re managing for those particular components in order to be called verified sustainable,” says Copithorne-Barnes. Once the indicators are finalized and refined, they will form the basis of the CRSB Verification Framework for sustainable beef production, which is being developed to an internationally recognized standard, and should be completed by late 2017. In the meanwhile, the CRSB will be piloting the beta version of its Verification Framework this winter. “We are seeking producers who want to take part in the second phase of this because we will continue where McDonald’s left off, with our own set of indicators and our own framework for verification,” says Copithorne-Barnes. Any beef producers who participated in the McDonald’s pilot project will maintain their verified status and won’t need to go through the process again. Space may be limited for the pilot project, so producers who want to participate

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 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

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

KEN MCKAY

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 - 2ND VICE-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

should sign up at the CRSB website at http://crsb.ca/contact-us. Copithorne-Barnes also encouraged producers to look at some of the programs that are already established – like the Verified Beef Production Plus Program, Canadian Feedlot Animal Care Assessment, Environmental Farm Plan, or at a minimum make sure they read the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Beef Cattle Code of Practice, and are following its recommendations. “We suggest producers take a look at some of these programs because the biggest advantage to being on them is they have the templates that are necessary to start monitoring and recording what it is you’re already doing,” she says. There will almost certainly be some cross-over in indicators for the CRSB Verification Framework and existing programs. “The CRSB’s next step is to look at these programs from the aspect of equivalency,” says Copithorne-Barnes. “It may be, for example, that a producer on an existing program hits 90 per cent of the Verification Framework

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 7

HEINZ REIMER - PRESIDENT

gest accomplishment of the conference was the diverse cross-section of people attending. “Technology or information transfer with cattlemen is a difficult objective to accomplish,” he says. “But they came to CBIC, and they came in balance: men and women, old and young, farmers and ranchers, feeders and cow/calf producers. We had a thorough representation of every sector and they all seemed to find value in CBIC.”

Producers need to prepare

DISTRICT 3

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

Conference Highlights The morning session on August 10th, kicked off the conference with presentations about three of the four National Beef Strategy pillars, followed by Keynote Speaker, Arlene Dickinson. “To have a packed, silent room for those speakers, with representation from every sector of the industry, who were all 100 per cent engaged, was the highlight of the conference for me,” says Lowe. For Smith, the big-

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 - SECRETARY

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

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

indicators and we will be able to make recommendations as to what programs are available for them to improve their standing. Preparing for the Next Phase At the very least producers need to start preparing for the next phase, and start getting their heads around the idea of what sustainable beef production is and how their own best management practices already stack up, adds CopithorneBarnes. “Producers need to be making sure that whatever they’re using as a management system is capable of answering these indicator questions,” she says. “Everything focuses on the five principles of beef sustainability - natural resources, people and the community, animal health and welfare, food, and efficiency and innovation. They need to take a look at those five principles and see if and how they can demonstrate that their management decisions take into consideration all of these things. We’re not trying to necessarily create something new but streamline what it is most people are already doing.”

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


September 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

New VBP+ program launched BY RON FRIESEN

A new program for Canada’s cattle producers will go a long way toward verifying sustainable beef production practices on farms. Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+), which launched earlier this summer, will help producers demonstrate that cattle are humanely raised and environmentally sound, organizers say. The program comes at the right time because people are starting to demand proof that beef on grocery store shelves is not only safe but also sustainable, says Manitoba’s provincial VBP+ Program Coordinator Betty Green. “Clearly, retailer and consumer comments are showing producers they’re going to have to step up to the plate,” Green says. “It’s not good enough to say, trust me, I produce some of the best beef in the world. Consumers are

now saying, that may be true but can you prove it? “Producers are starting to see there’s going to be a requirement to show that we’re doing what we say we’re doing.” VBP+ is an expansion of the former Verified Beef Production program, which focused on on-farm food safety. VBP + does that, too, but it includes extra modules to validate beef production practices, says Green. Those include animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship. The program is voluntary but Green hopes producers will sign up for it because of growing concerns from consumers and food companies about the way animals are raised and treated. This growing interest has prompted several major food providers to include sustainability in their beef procurement programs.

Earls restaurants ltd. apologizes to Canadian beef producers BY ANGELA LOVELL Mo Jessa, President of Earls Restaurants Ltd. asked for forgiveness from the 650 attendees at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary on August 10th, saying: “We need to acknowledge that we offended you Canadian cattlemen.” Jessa attended the conference as a panellist for the Beef Demand discussion that kicked off the CBIC’s program of speakers on Wednesday morning. But before he addressed the topic, he wanted to set the record straight on the ‘incident’ – namely, Earls’ announcement this past summer that it would source “Certified Humane”, antibiotic, hormone and steroid free beef from U.S. sources rather than from Canada. Because of the public outrage the announcement provoked, Earls quickly reversed its decision. “Even the use of certified humane – the wording – left people feeling humiliated about the way they were talked about by Earls,” said Jessa. “Now I

McDonald’s Canada is committed to buying part of its beef supply from verified sustainable sources, beginning this year. The fast food restaurant chain is funding a pilot project in Canada to establish indicators for sustainable beef. Earls restaurants recently created a controversy by sourcing Certified Humane designated beef from the United States after saying it could not get enough humanely certified beef in Canada. The company eventually backed down after a major outcry from Canadian cattle producers and consumers. Green says VBP+ will avoid such controversies in the future. “Previously the industry couldn’t say it had a program in place to guarantee beef came from an operation where humane handling was recorded or tracked. Now it can.” Green says incidents such as the Earl’s controversy show retailers have decided what kind of beef they want and producers had better be able to respond. “They’re saying, we’re going to source beef where we can get what we want. The industry has to understand, and we as producers have to under-

stand, that if we want to be at the top of that market selection, we do have to provide the beef that they want.” VBP+ is a national program administered by the provinces. Operations must meet the national Code of Prac-

After training, producers ask for an on-farm audit to verify their procedures. Trained independent auditors come out and assess the producer’s ability to comply with requirements. Producers certified under the

tice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, recently revised in 2013. To be certified for the program, producers must adopt standard operating procedures and take training on each module. Green says much of the training will be on-line. Producers may take it either at home or in a common location such as a Manitoba Agriculture GO office. There will be no province-wide workshops as in the past because they are considered too expensive.

previous VBP program can take extra training to upgrade to the new program. Otherwise, they will be grandfathered until their next full audit. The old VBP program saw over 30 per cent of beef producers in the province trained and 11 per cent audited. Green says the program involves a bit of paperwork but “it’s not overwhelming.” “Surprisingly, almost everyone who gets on the program says, this wasn’t as bad as I thought. And they do see some side

Mo Jessa

can tell you all day long that we didn’t mean to do it but the fact of the matter is that the people who grow our food didn’t get a chance to weigh in on that wording. One thing I can tell you today is you have my promise, from Earls and myself, that we will never do anything to offend the beef industry again.” The mistake Earls made, said Jessa was that it didn’t have the people who grow its food at the table. “For Earls to be the kind of organization that is respected by consumers, the people who grow our food are going to be at the table with us as we do everything from now on,” he said.

benefits.” Green says one of the advantages of VBP+ is that it is tailored to individual operations and does not use a “cookie cutter approach.” For example, some parts of the environment module may not be relevant to a particular operation and the audit will recognize that. Green says Manitoba’s fees, currently at $200 plus GST for the old VBP program, will be adjusted. Alberta’s fees will reportedly range from $400 to $750, depending on the operation. The fees will pay for the cost of the audits. Green admits it’s somewhat frustrating for producers to go to extra time and expense to meet a market demand for sustainable beef when there’s no particular financial reward for doing so. But she says the program offers producers a payback that can’t be measured by market returns. “As a producer myself, I see the program offering me benefits that aren’t always in dollars and cents. Keeping records has made us a lot better informed about the products we’re using and how we’re using them effectively. And we’ve saved money with that knowledge.”

Agriculture is our way of life too Meet Jen With a lifetime of experience in ag, Jen helps Canadian producers build their dreams. Like everyone on your FCC team, Jen knows your industry and she’ll get to know you.

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

Consultations with minister prove positive HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along Well it’s another cloudy day outside so it’s the perfect time to write my report since I won’t be haying today. It seems to be that kind of summer as there is lots of feed out there but it’s tough to get it made. It’s early August as I write this and we’ve had three inches of rain in the last few days in the southeast where I live. Other areas of the province have gotten six inches of rain reportedly. But enough about the weather. At the end of June our Vice-President Ra-

mona Blyth, General Manager Brian Lemon, Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins and I had the opportunity to meet with our new Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and his staff. It was a time to introduce ourselves, get to know our new minister and bring forward the priorities important to cattle producers across our province. We touched on a number of issues such as water management strategies, flood protection, another outlet channel out, bridges, and roads that need to be repaired due to the last two floods in Manitoba. We also spoke about the continued need to have business risk management tools such as the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program available to producers, access to the community pasture program, rural veterinary services and livestock predation strategies. Having access

to stable labour supplies for our producers, programs to help young producers enter the industry, a sound agricultural policy framework and a strong business environment will also be beneficial to future growth. The conversation also touched on the role government can play in increasing public confidence in the beef industry by promoting our animal welfare, environmental stewardship, food safety and animal welfare practices. We discussed the importance of continued support of the initiatives aimed at the eradication of bovine tuberculosis in Manitoba as well as for ongoing support of Manitoba Beef & Forages Initiatives Inc. As you can tell by this list, there was a lot to discuss! Working together with Manitoba Agriculture, as well as them work-

ing with us, will lead to a more sustainable and profitable future for Manitoba beef producers. The following day, June 28, Brian and I represented MBP at the Ministerial Industry Consultation at the Manitoba Legislative Building. MBP was one of 40 agriculture groups involved in the meeting, held just before Minister Eichler attended the Federal/Provincial/ Territorial Ministers of Agriculture meetings in Calgary. Each group had a few minutes to speak about our industries and the opportunities within them to help the minister prepare for the meeting. MBP also presented the minister with a detailed submission on the provincial cattle industry for use at the national meeting. I also attended a second consultation hosted by Manitoba Agriculture

in mid-July in Portage la Prairie with more than 100 stakeholder groups to facilitate discussion around our strengths along with opportunities for improvement and growth. There were presentations from industry followed by breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, and comments on the presented subjects and remarks from Minister Eichler who made a point of meeting everyone there and chatting for a few moments. On July 26 I attended the McDonald’s Production Day Tour hosted by Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives at the Brookdale Research Farm near Brandon. Minister Eichler was one of the many dignitaries on hand for the tour and commented on the great work being done at MBFI, noting it shows the good things that can happen when industry and

government and other stakeholders work together. The Minister also talked about his industry in growing our beef herd and we look forward to future discussions with him about that. It has been great to have a number of opportunities to meet and chat with the minister in the last few weeks. He and his staff appear willing and open to helping our industry grow. There are many challenges and opportunities for the Manitoba beef industry and MBP looks forward to working with our new minister and other government departments to resolve any challenges, grow our beef herd and be profitable. P.S. Minister Eichler is not my new BFF but I won’t be afraid to call on him. Good luck with your haying and until next time, Keep Moovin’ Along.

Manitoba shines on national stage All this said, I still look forward to having the chance to bring you some of my perspectives and BRIAN LEMON selfishly hoping General Manager’s Column thoughts, it might rain again and you have enough time to get around to reading my Every month or so I dry and ready to bale. GM Column. look forward to the chance I know it is a busy time It has been a busy to write down a few for all of you, and if and time recently in the ofword for the upcoming when you have a chance fice. MBP’s staff has been Cattle Country issue, in the to read your latest Cattle working hard as we have belief (maybe a naïve be- Country, that you are cer- had a number of events lief) that readers will pick tainly more interested in and initiatives in July and it up and look forward to our President’s Column, August. We hosted anothreading my column. It or the various other tech- er incredible event at the has been a tough spring nical articles that can Manitoba Beef & Forage and summer for many hopefully bring value to Initiatives’ demonstration of you, with rains seem- your operations…. and farm we operate with our ingly every other day as I realize that reading my partners at Ducks Unif to be taunting you that thoughts is maybe not the limited, Manitoba Forage your hay might be almost priority within the paper. and Grasslands Associa-

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tion, and Manitoba Agriculture. The McDonald’s Production Day Tour was a huge success and again just showed what a wonderful facility it is going to be once we have our vision complete. Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler was able to attend the tour. While it was wonderful to see his support for the demonstration farm, what was even more exciting to see and hear was his commitment to our sector and his announcement to work with MBP to grow our herd significantly over the coming years. We also attended the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary, combining the Canada Beef Forum with a jam-packed industry conference. It seems at every turn, I continue to be impressed and amazed at the quality of Manitoba’s cattle/beef industry and its leaders. At the CBIC it was amazing to see how our province and our leaders are respected and how we are able to influence national decisions. Manitoba’s industry is about (generally accepted numbers) 11 or 12 per cent of the national herd, but we certainly punch way above our weight in these national forums, and we should all be proud of the leaders we send to represent us – Manitoba is listened to and respected at the national level!

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The other thing that seemed to be part of almost everything this past little while, is the whole idea of “sustainability.” Whether it was the McDonald’s Production Day Tour, or sessions at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, or even the recent launch of the expanded Verified Beef Production Plus Program, the word sustainability seems to be everywhere. Definitions vary, and at times I’m not exactly sure what it means, and sometimes I wonder if every expert has his/her own definition. While the definition may vary depending on with whom you speak, the one constant is that we as an industry have an incredible sustainability story to tell. Our animals are well cared for, are raised with the most environmentally friendly practices, and produce the highest quality and safest beef. Our sustainability story needs to be shouted from roof-tops and needs to be understood by all Manitobans. Our industry not only protects wetlands and important habitat, but also our managed grazing practices can actually improve the environment for wildlife and other species. We have several upcoming opportunities scheduled to meet with provincial leaders and with federal departments to advance our ideas and

concerns, make sure we have positive and professional relationships, and ensure our views are heard and considered as part of future agriculture policies and programs. We continue to look for opportunities to leverage our efforts, to partner with other organizations to build public awareness and to tell our story. The next federal-provincialterritorial agricultural policy framework will guide the coming five years of programs and policies, and we are preparing to make certain that growing the profitability of Manitoba’s cattle industry, and telling our story to ensure we grow our public trust are going to be part of it. I continue to be excited to have the opportunity to work on behalf of Manitoba’s cattle farmers and am very optimistic about the future. With Minister Eichler’s commitment to grow our provincial herd, and with our great story (that we need to start telling more often), the future is looking very bright. As the staff in the office start the work to plan our fall district meetings and our Annual General Meeting in February in Brandon, I look forward to the chance to meet you all and to talk about how we can all do our part to bring success to our industry.


September 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Nutrition as treatment DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Several years ago I met with a feedlot veterinarian while attending a conference. We got talking about the terms “feedlot” vs “healthyard” and what they mean. Feed (AKA nutrition) makes or breaks a cattle operation. Feed, not veterinary costs, is the single largest expense in any livestock operation. And mismanaged feed will drive up your veterinary costs. With the new feed medication regulations soon to come into effect, some producers will need to re-evaluate their animal health protocols. Too many people still take a reactive approach to disease rather than a preventative approach. Regular mass medication through feed, water or via injectables is not economical nor ethically responsible behavior from both

an animal and human welfare standpoint. Antimicrobial resistance and the feared end of the “antibiotic era” is driving the push to minimize and restrict the use of antibiotics in all species, people included. For better or worse, this has paved the way for the promotion and uptake of many "natural," antibiotic-free supplements and immune stimulants and vaccines. Nutrition is the body’s fuel and, as in human health, many in the cattle industry do not seem to understand the concept of balanced nutrition. At the onset of the BSE crisis, mineral sales plummeted and despite the overall good calf and cull cow prices in recent years, many producers are still continuing to skimp on minerals. The negative health effects resulting from a lack of essential minerals and vitamins are more difficult to detect than those from lack of energy, so deficiencies often go undiagnosed

for prolonged periods of time. Time and time again I hear complaints about the perceived lack of efficacy of vaccines and medications for the prevention and treatment of disease yet I see little action being taken from the other side of the coin - nutrition and environmental management. Disease results when a causative organism (e.g. - a virus, bacteria) overwhelms the host defence mechanisms. Anything that allows organism proliferation in the environment or that weakens the immune system sets the animal up to getting sick. Calves get scours in wet, poorly-drainedcalving areas. Calves get pneumonia if chilled from wind and rain. Cows can’t produce high levels of quality colostrum if they aren’t fed to maintain an adequate body condition during their pregnancy or are not vaccinated so that they can pass disease resistance on to their calves. Vitamin and mineral de-

ficiencies are usually never severe enough to cause overt disease, though cases are still documented in veterinary literature. But low level deficiencies commonly show up as impaired immune system responses. These are unfortunately more difficult to diagnose especially since deficiencies don’t develop rapidly but instead over several months. Blood sampling is accurate for the measurement of Vitamins A and E but liver biopsies are needed to assess mineral levels. Over the past few years I have documented deficiencies in herds with unexplainably high rates of pinkeye, pneumonia and poor doing animals. Feed changes with improved vitamin and mineral supplementation have resulted in improved cattle health and reduced veterinary expenses. Similarly, early trial data in cattle on a natural vitamin supplement is showing an improved natural resistance to internal parasitism and consequent im-

proved feed conversion. If you are experiencing frustratingly high levels of disease on pasture or repeatedly struggle with calf pneumonia and scours pre-weaning or while backgrounding and feeding out your calves, get your nutrition program evaluated as part of the disease investigation. Consult your veterinarian for up-to-date treatment, vaccination and parasite control recommendations. All protocols have a best before date. New products and therapeutic uses are continually being researched and developed. A whole health approach is needed to maximize your herd’s productivity. Vaccination, antibiotic use and environmental control are all pieces of the pie while feed is the crust holding the pie together. Develop a cooperative working relationship with both your veterinarian and nutritionist to develop biosecurity, health and feeding protocols.

Agency elects new board at AGM Manitoba Beef Producers’ President Heinz Reimer has been named the Vice Chair of the the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (the Agency). The selection of the Board of Directors and executive positions for 2016-17 were made following the Agency’s Annual Forum AGM on August 9 in Calgary. The Annual Forum of the Agency was held in conjunction with the Canadian Beef Industry Conference at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino. Newly-elected Chair, Linda Allison is enthusiastic about the Agency’s role moving forward. “The Agency has been working diligently to achieve the goals set out by our funding partners, and we are confident that we are moving in the right direction,” said Allison. “Last year was certainly a year of change and evolution for the Agency, and we look forward to continuing that evolution as we move forward as an industry.” Melinda German, General Manager of the Agen-

cy, is also positive about the future of the Agency’s role in current National Check-Off discussions happening across the country. “We are looking forward to a challenging and rewarding year,” said German. “Our funding partners have high expectations for us, and we’ll continue working to deliver on those expectations on behalf of producers from coast to coast.” The Agency also recognized past board members who will not be returning to the board: John Schooten (AB), Jack Hextall (SK), Arden Schnec kenburger (ON), John MacDonald (PEI) and Dwight Greer (IE Canada). At the board meeting immediately following the business meeting, key executive positions were elected. For the 2016-17 year, Linda Allison of British Columbia will serve as Chair of the Board while Reimer will join the executive committee as Vice Chair. Lonnie Lake representing Retail and Foodservice will again serve as Chair of the Finance Committee, and Larry Weatherby of Nova Scotia will

chair the Governance Committee. Mike Kennedy was welcomed back to the Executive Committee to again chair the Market Development and Promotion Committee and the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff Division Committee (formerly the National Check-Off Committee) will be chaired by Alberta’s Doug Sawyer. The Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency manages the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. Through the National CheckOff, Canadian beef cattle producers collectively invest in research, market development and promotion to achieve the industry’s long-term vision of a dynamic and profitable Canadian beef industry, with Canadian high-quality beef products recognized as the most outstanding by Canadian and world customers.

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 odd 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-24

Ashern Royal Canadian Legion

3 Main St. E, Ashern

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-25

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Oct-26

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Nov-01

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-02

Mountview Centre

111 S Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-03

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oak Lake

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-04

Carberry Memorial Hall

224 2nd Ave., Carberry

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-07

Bowsman Legion Hall

206 2nd St., Bowsman

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-08

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-09

Royal Canadian Legion

19 Burrows Ave. W., Gilbert Plains

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-10

Birtle United Church Fellowship Hall

684 Vine St., Birtle

District 10

Ken McKay

Nov-14

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-15

Neepawa Royal Canadian Legion

425 Brown Ave., Neepawa

District 3

Peter Penner

Nov-16

Carman Community Hall

60 1st Ave. NW, Carman

*Director Retiring

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

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

Fall run will be an interesting time With the fall feeder cattle run just around the corner, cow-calf producers are nervously awaiting some indication as to where the calf market will be this fall. If the predictions are correct, producers will be disappointed compared to last year. Early predictions are that the calf market will be close to a $1 per pound less than last year with the yearlings off the grass at 80 cents per pound less. The most often asked question is, “Why has the market dropped?” The answer is that the futures market does not support last year’s prices. Cattle feeders use the futures for “risk management.” The majority of the pricing for both fed cattle and feeders is based off the cattle futures. For the past two and a half years, Canadian cattle feeders ignored the “futures board” and purchased cattle that were unhedgeable at the time of purchase. Up until this spring the market moved upward and the cattle made a profit. This spring, when the market started a sharp decline, many of the cattle feeders owned inventory that lost huge money. Finished cattle going to market this summer in Canada are still losing money. The backgrounders had two turns of inventory that had huge losses. The first turn was purchased last fall and marketed in January or February. The second turn was purchased in the spring and sold over the second and third quarters. The grass cattle are losing money despite the price being higher than expected. On the south side of the border, the American cattle feeders followed the futures very closely and exercised purchasing discipline last fall. They purchased cattle at lower prices than what the Canadian producers were getting for their calves, resulting in fewer calves (10%) being exported to the US than other years. In comparison, finished cattle going to market this summer in the US were showing modest profits, while the finishing lots in Canada were still losing money on the majority of the cattle marketed at the same time. The cost of the feeder animal represents between 75 per cent and 80 per cent of cost of finishing the animal. The decision as to what to pay for inventory is critical to the financial success of the feedlot. Currently, the Canadian market is stronger than the American market, and there are very few feeder cattle going south. That should indicate that the market prices we see now are about good as they are going to get, unless the dollar moves or the futures go up. As of August 21, 2016, feeder cattle futures for feeder cattle at 850 lb. were approximately $133.50 for January, $131.35 for March, and $131.52 for April (all in US funds). Finished cattle are under pressure at $110.80 for April and $104.52 for June. The Canadian dollar has gone up from $68.77 in January to $77.71 in August. Cattle futures went up $16 in two weeks in August and then declined $5 in the third week. As mentioned many

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line times in the past, the value of the dollar greatly impacts the cattle and meat prices. With record crops of corn and soybeans projected in the south, and corn prices nearing record lows, the cost of feeding cattle will be lower, which will definitely help the cattle prices. There will be more feeder cattle available in the US this year as the American cattle herd continues to increase. Pen occupancy in the US feedlots is currently at 62 per cent, with lots of room for new inventory. Cattle feeders in the US were very current with their marketings this summer. In Canada, delays in deliveries to Canadian packers were running three to four weeks behind for most of the summer. In Canada, our growth has been slow; the total beef herd is at 3.811 million cows, which was up 0.3 per cent from last year but down 30 per cent from 2005. Roughly 1.7 million cows have disappeared in Canada in the last 10 years. Last year, Canadian producers retained 642,000 to breed, which was 28,000 more than the previous year and the largest retention number since 2008.

With the volatility in the market and the reminder of the losses experienced last year, Canadian cattle feeders are approaching the fall on a cautious note. There is little confidence in the market, and buyers are not prepared to purchase much inventory for future delivery. Yearling buyers are only purchasing cattle for delivery within two weeks. There have been a few Internet sales of calves for October delivery, but many of the calves have been passed. I predict that this fall will be very different from the past two. I expect that producers will be disappointed in the prices and will keep their cows and calves on the pasture as long as the grass holds out. It looks like there is lots of feed available in Manitoba this year, which might entice producers to wean their calves and wait for better markets. A few producers might even think the market is cheap and purchase some additional calves to feed with their own, giving them larger packages to market in the spring. Some producers may even look at retained ownership and feeding the cattle offsite. Regardless, I think that there will be light deliveries in September and early October, and the calf run in Manitoba will be very compressed, with larger numbers in November and December than usual. I would strongly suggest contacting your marketing representative as soon as possible and booking your calves for a sale, as many of the later sales will be filled very quickly. Even though the prices for this fall look depressed, it still may be the second or third best cheque that you have ever received for your calves. Until next time, Rick

MBP to host Bombers game Sept. 17 Manitoba Beef Producers is proud to partner with Canada Beef as the host sponsors when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Toronto Argonauts Sept. 17. As part of an agreement signed in 2014, MBP will be the host sponsor for the Bombers’ game when they host the Argos at 1 p.m. Prior to the game MBP will have a booth located in the Tailgate Plaza at Investor’s Group Field where anyone attending

the game can stop by and learn more about Manitoba’s cattle industry. The public will also have the opportunity to enter a draw where the winner will receive a steak dinner for 10 people in the Blue and Gold Club at IGF and be joined by two members of the Bombers for the meal. The date of the supper will be determined once the winner is selected. Also, MBP members interested in attending the game can do so at a dis-

counted price through an agreement between the Bombers and MBP. To receive the discount go to the Blue Bombers ticket page on their website and enter the code CATTLE in the offer code area. 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. This will give consumers the opportunity to meet the people who raise beef, and bring beef to their tables. MBP is also the sponsor of the Family of the Game promotion throughout the 2016 season. Bombers fans can enter a draw on the club’s website for four tickets to a home game.

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7

Leafy spurge – friend or foe in your pasture?

Researcher at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives studies the impact of teaching cattle to eat leafy spurge BY CAROLYNNE KEHLER MBP Project Coordinator

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but a Manitoba researcher is studying whether it’s possible to teach cattle to eat leafy spurge, a long-time enemy of pasture productivity. Leafy spurge has a nasty reputation and for good reason. It is an invasive perennial weed species that infests many areas including roadsides and utility corridors but most prominently affects pastures across the Great Plains of North America. An economic study conducted by the Leafy Spurge Stakeholder Group in 2010 found that 1.2 million acres of land in Manitoba is impacted by leafy spurge, a number that is 3.5 times as high as their 1999 study. The study also estimated that $10.2 million dollars’ of grazing capacity has been lost; there is a $5.8 million cost for chemical applications; and, there is a $24.1 million in other indirect costs due to leafy spurge infestation.1 That is a cost of more than $40.1 million dollars a year by just this one weed alone. All of that being said, is it possible to convert leafy spurge from a foe to a friend of the beef industry? Some local research suggests it may. Jane Thornton of Manitoba Agriculture is leading a project at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) on that subject. Her project focuses on a method of reducing the presence of leafy spurge by actually teaching the cattle to eat it. If successful this practice could have a number of added benefits such as: reductions in leafy spurge infestation, increased pasture carrying capacity, increased pasture diversity and, possibly increased cattle nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, leafy spurge is a very nutritious plant, comparable to alfalfa in quality. According to feed tests conducted at MBFI this summer the leafy spurge (top 6 inches sent for analysis) had values of: • Crude Protein = 17.4% • ADF = 22.2% • NDF = 27.8% • Total Digestible Nutrients = 74.9% If cattle can become accustomed to eating leafy spurge it may have nutritional benefits and also

bump up pasture quality late into the season when most grasses have dropped in feed value. The problem is that cattle have an aversion to leafy spurge because of chemicals called dipertenoid euphorbal esters present in the plant. However, one study showed that over the course of six days their initial aversion to the plant can be reduced and their intake of leafy spurge increased after the initial aversion reponse.2 One possible explanation is that their capacity to degrade the aversive chemical increases over time, allowing them to eat more without feeling any negative after effects. Alternatively, the severity of the after effects could be reduced by previous exposure. Either way, it is clear that cattle can incorporate leafy spurge as a minor portion of their overall diet, although exactly how much is unknown. The method of teaching cattle to eat numerous types of weeds has been extensively practiced and taught by Kathy Voth of Arizona. She spent several years working for the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. Find her website online at http://www.livestockforlandscapes.com. Voth started on her mission to reduce weed species using goats because they are well suited to eating weeds. But they come with their own set of challenges such as added fencing requirements and predator control. For producers not wanting to incorporate multi-species grazing, teaching cattle to eat the spurge is a suitable alternative that may make a foe into a friend in prairie pastures. The training program takes approximately seven days and conditions the cattle to try new but nutritious foods. Near the end of the training program the cattle are introduced to leafy spurge and on the final day they are just given leafy spurge. “There are a lot of funny faces as the heifers try the spurge. It is kind of like watching a baby try a pickle for the first time, but some are adventurous and munch it down,” Thornton says. “The great thing about cattle is that they teach each other and their offspring how to eat new plants as well. So, over time a small herd of trained animals could teach an entire large

herd of animals to incorporate weeds into their diet.” Of course this isn’t the "be all, end all"t solution. Cattle will still only include leafy spurge as a small portion of their diet unless forced to graze an area at high density, something that is not realistic in expansive pastures such as community pastures. However, this method combined with other biocontrols (such as some species of beetles and moths) may be able to make a noticeable Leafy spurge is prominent at the First Street site of MBFI. This photo disp lays the impact on a pasture infes- flowering plant in the forage stand. Photo courtesy of Manitoba Beef & Forage tation with very minimal Initiatives Inc. expense. It is promising to note that the trained heifers at MBFI have been eating the leafy spurge. Thornton explains that the cattle “may not be eating high quantities of leafy spurge, but rather than avoiding the plant altogether there is now evidence that the tops of the plants are chewed off and the leaves are being stripped from the plants. They are also going into areas of the Heifers on trial at the MBFI First Street Site are fed pellets with leafy spurge in pasture they would have buckets to teach them to incorporate more leafy spurge in their diet. Photo courtesy completely avoided prior to of Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. the training.” Thornton plans to this perennial weed is not ducer profitability and build ment of Leafy Spurge in continue monitoring the a simple nor quick task social awareness around the Southern Manitoba, Final trained herd at MBFI for but this cattle management beef and forage industry. Report. Rural Development their leafy spurge consump- technique could prove very MBFI is located just out- Institute, Brandon Universide of Brandon, Manitoba. sity tion. As more data is col- beneficial. Manitoba Beef & For- Funding for MBFI is pro2Kronberg, S. 1993. lected she will be sharing it with producers and others, age Initiatives is a centre vided by Growing Forward Cattle avoidance of leafy in hopes of transferring the of agricultural innovation 2; a federal-provincial-terri- spurge: a case of conditioned aversion. Journal of knowledge to those affected engaging in science-based torial initiative. 1Rempel, K. 2010. Rangeland Management by leafy spurge infestations. research to benefit valuable Controlling the spread of ecosystems, improve pro- Economic Impact Assess- 46:364-386

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

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

Client Service Coordinator Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) holly.troop@gov.mb.ca

Q: I haul hay and straw bales on Manitoba roads every year, and I am not sure whether I am complying with regulations. Could you give me the basic rules, so I can feel confident with my loads on the road? A: Any load of hay or straw that is over 2.6 metres (8 feet, 6 inches) in width, or 4.15 metres (13 feet, 6 inches) in height, requires a permit, must be properly secured and comply with lighting, signage and weight requirements. How to obtain permit(s) to haul hay and straw bales Any load of hay or straw that is over 2.6 m (8 ft., 6 in.) in width, or over 4.15 m (13 ft., 7 in.) in height, requires an overwidth or overheight permit. If you are a producer, you should contact Manitoba Infrastructure’s Motor Carrier Division, Commercial Vehicle Safety and Permits to request a Hay and Straw Bale Permit. If you are a Manitoba-plated farmer, this permit is free of charge. You will be issued

an annual permit specific for hauling hay and straw, valid for one full year beginning on the date of issue. You must provide the registration for the truck(s) you will be using. One permit will cover all trucks used to haul hay or straw, as long as these trucks are all registered under the same owner’s name. Additional permits are required for trucks registered under another owner’s name. The permit(s) will be sent to you in whichever format you choose – by email, fax or Canada Post. When the load height is over 4.6 m (15 ft., 1 in.) the operator must also contact Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) for route approval after Manitoba Infrastructure has ensured the route. The operator should call MTS at 1-800-380-0150 to obtain a blanket permit for up to 4.8 m (15 ft., 8 in.) in height, for pipe-style loads. Securing your load The regulatory requirements for securing loads are outlined in Man-

itoba’s Cargo Securement Regulation (MR 37/2005), which adopts National Safety Code Standard 10 (on Cargo Securement). Although the rules for securing hay are not commodity-specific in the Standard, hay or straw must be loaded in adherence to Division 2 of the Standard that states: “cargo must be loaded so that it cannot leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle.” Most often, when farmers haul hay or straw, four-inch synthetic webbing is used to secure the bales. Bales are strapped width and/or lengthwise, depending on what type of bales they are hauling. The main thing is, bales must be loaded and secured in a manner so they do not fall off the trailer. Lighting and signage requirements The key to safely transporting farm machinery on public roads, including hauling hay and straw bales, is to be as visible as possible. The intent of the Lighting and Marking of Agricultural Equip-

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and permits: 1-877-812-0009 Toll Free 1-204-945-3961 Direct Line 1-204-945-6499 Fax Email permitservices@gov.mb.ca Website http://www. g o v. m b . c a / m i t / m c d / mcpd/imphusb.html Regarding LIGHTING, MARKING AND WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS, contact Motor Carrier Enforcement: 1-204-945-3890 Regarding LOADS OVER 4.6 m (15 ft 1 inch) IN HEIGHT, contact Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) for route approval: 1-800-380-0150 Toll Free NOTE: Information in this article should be used as a guide only and not be considered a legal authority. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, livestock specialist Shawn Cabak will answer a question on bale grazing. If you have a question you would like him to answer,, send it to Shawn.cabak@gov.mb.ca by September 1, 2016. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to Manitoba Agriculture’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.


September 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Mitigating and recovering value of dark cutting beef ARGENIS RODAS-GONZÁLEZ

Assistant Professor, Meat Science and Food Safety, University of Manitoba

Dark-cutting beef (DCB)represents about $1.4 million in lost carcass value each year for the Canadian beef industry, according to the 2010/11 Beef Quality Audit. (DCB) is a quality defect characterized by a very dark red or purple lean colour in the ribeye cut of youthful beef carcasses under 30 months of age. Not only is DCB visually unattractive to consumers, it also leads to palatability issues including toughness and dryness, and a shorter shelf life. As a consequence, DCB is graded as Canada B4 and is discounted at packing plants because it is not marketable within fresh meat retail merchandising as whole-muscle cut (e.g. steaks). DCB is converted to ground beef and/or used in processed valueadded meat products (e.g. frankfurter type, ready-to-eat precooked roast beef products). What causes darkcutting beef? The dark colour, firm texture and dryness typical of DCB are a result of changes to normal metabolic processes that occur when an animal is stressed before slaughter. With DCB, insufficient muscle energy stores results in lower than normal lactic acid production which in turn prevents the drop in muscle pH necessary for the bright red colour. Stressful conditions prior to slaughter, such as fatigue caused by prolonged transportation (more than three hours) and lairage time (i.e. if kept resting overnight in the pen), mixing of unfamiliar animals from different lots, aggressive implant regime (particularly with trenbolone acetate), and feeding practices such as prolonged withholding of feed and feeding a low-energy diet, can all influence the occurrence of DCB. Breed (Continental European breeds), aggressiveness in young bulls, heifers that are “in heat”, as well as climatic stress (increases in autumn and spring) and inadequate facility construction/housing or poor pen conditions

have also been identified as potential contributing factors. These factors have been known for many years, and feedlots and packers take measures to avoid dark cutters. However, despite preventive measures through improved animal handling and management, DCB still occurs and has actually increased in recent years (from 0.8 to 1.3%), mostly in western Canada. It is difficult to attribute to a particular stress. Identifying DCB carcasses The development of post-mortem management strategies and/or applying post-mortem technologies can provide opportunities to recover value from DCB carcasses. At the packing plant, carcasses could be sorted by carcass weight as the probability of DCB is lowest in cattle with carcasses greater than 300 kg. An additional tool to sort normal and DCB carcasses could be

through pH threshold. Longissimus muscle pH of 5.87 has been indicated as the approximate cutoff between normal and DCB carcasses. However, using a pH meter could be a food safety risk. Another method to identify DCB carcasses could be through near infrared reflectance spectroscopy, which is a sensitive, fast, and non-destructive technology that does not result in carcass waste. This technology can objectively assist in segregating dark cutters (B4 grade carcasses) from normal beef (A, AA or AAA grade carcasses) for marketing purposes. This technology still requires further testing before being suitable for on-line application in the abattoir. Potential for recovering value to DCB-graded beef Although a carcass is graded Canada B4 based on the dark colour of exposed ribeye, it is not a good indicator of lean colour of other muscles in the carcass. In fact, many muscles can exhibit lean colour within a range acceptable to retail merchandisers and food

Dark-cutting beef (example shown at left) represents about $1.4 million in lost carcass value each year for the Canadian beef industry, according to the 2010/11 Beef Quality Audit.

service chefs without affecting their palatability attributes or price. Some cuts from DCB with acceptable colour are: Clod or Outside Chuck, Ribeye Lip-On, Ribeye Cap, Chuck Arm Pot Roast, Eye of Round, Inside Round, Under Blade, Top Blade, Top Sirloin and Tenderloin. A strategy for adding value to DCB is to improve the colour.

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Packaging systems used for the sale of meat play an important role in the colour of meat. For example, the use of high oxygen modified atmosphere packaging has been shown to improve the blooming and stability of the colour of DCB similar to normal meat samples. Recently new packaging technology, nitrite vacuum skin (NIT; FreshCase®), was

tested in bison fresh meat, whose meat is darker than beef cattle. Packaging bison steaks and patties with NIT significantly improved colour stability during retail display, preventing early browning, even following periods of extended aging (up to 20 d). Similar results may be possible in DCB. Both appearance and quality of DCB could be improved by injecting lactic acid in combination with different packaging technologies. Multi-needle injection enhancement with low to moderate levels of lactic acid (range of 0.25%-0.50%), followed by vacuum tumbling and high oxygen modified atmosphere packaging, or by over-wrapping with a polyvinyl chloride film have been shown to improve fresh (dark red) and cooked colour (pink colour) of DCB. These post-mortem interventions can be applied by packing plants, purveyors, and retailers to mitigate the dark meat colour, improve quality and palatability, and recover profitability of DCB.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

Government activities update BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Coordinator

Participating in government consultations has been a dominant activity of MBP directors and staff in recent weeks. MBP had its first official meeting with new Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler on June 27 and used the opportunity to discuss some of the following topics: • The need for robust water management strategies, including key flood protection initiatives in several regions of the province; • The importance of continued efforts to ensure the eradication of bovine tuberculosis in and around Riding Mountain National Park; • The value of effective business risk management and production tools, including livestock predation strategies and access to rural veterinary services; • Sound agricultural Crown lands policies, including informed access; • A request for con-

tinued support for Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc.; • Challenges related to road and bridge infrastructure and its impact on cattle producers; • The development of a strong agricultural policy framework (APF) which will replace Growing Forward 2 (GF2) when it comes to an end in March 2018; • The benefits of implementing trade agreements and expanding market access; and • Protecting public confidence in the beef sector by promoting environmental stewardship, food safety and animal welfare practices. MBP also advised the Minister that it is interested to learn more details of the provincial government’s carbon pricing strategy, as well as the Alternative Land Use Services-like program it intends to develop. MBP indicated it would welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on both initiatives as they are developed. On June 28 MBP joined other commodity

groups that met with Minister Eichler and his staff as part of the ministerial roundtable industry consultation prior to the federal/provincial/territorial ministers of agriculture meeting held in Calgary in July. Topics for this meeting included: the next APF, business risk management (BRM) programs, market development and trade, environment and climate change, social license, innovation, food processing, food policy, regulatory initiatives, and emergency management. During this consultative process MBP reinforced the importance of cattle producers having access to easily navigable, affordable, transparent, responsive and bankable BRM programs. These are critical to better managing risk and in helping to reduce uncertainty in agricultural operations. MBP noted that the suite of insurance programs under successive APFs have been very beneficial to beef producers. So too are programs such as Growing Assurance which provides support for producers

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implementing quality assurance systems and beneficial management practices (BMPs) related to the environment, biosecurity, food safety and animal care. This includes producers who have completed an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) or who are participating in the Verified Beef Production (VBP) Program. MBP President Reimer had a third opportunity to meet with Minister Eichler on July 12, this time as part of a cross-sectoral consultation involving more than 100 commodity groups, processors and other stakeholders. Topics addressed during this meeting included growing the agriculture sector together, selling to the global market, building on innovation and maintaining public trust. The provincial government is working on the development of a targeted growth strategy for agriculture. At the same time as these provincial consultations were occurring Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was completing phase one of its public consultations on Growing Forward 2 and what was or was not working in it. In its written submission MBP cited several example of GF2 initiative s tthat are providing benefits to Manitoba’s cattle industry, including: • a pilot project that has seen the extension of the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) to all four western provinces; • a pilot project providing support to the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures as it manages community pastures previously administered by the federal government; • projects aimed at

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cern MBP identified is the need to attract new entrants to the Manitoba cattle industry, both to replace producers who are retiring, as well as to grow the industry. Among the factors deterring people from entering the business is high start-up costs. Manitoba’s Agriculture Minister recently indicated his interest in seeing the size of Manitoba’s cattle herd grow to 750,000 from 485,000 head as of January 2016. The Minister indicated current financial incentives may not be sufficient and that there may be opportunities for private investments in the industry, such as business people wishing to own cattle but not operate farms and ranches. MBP is seeking to work with both levels of government to explore opportunities to help secure the next generation of beef producers. With respect to new challenges or opportunities not currently covered by GF2, MBP stated that it believes that maintaining public trust is one of the single most important emerging concerns for Canadian agriculture. Producers have a very positive story to tell, but governments also need to be active and supportive of efforts to build and maintain public understanding of and trust in modern farming practices. It is important that government and industry work collectively to support and communicate modern practices and science in a proactive way so misinformation does not gain a toehold. While elements of GF2 dealt with matters that can affect public trust (such as food safety, animal care and the environment) MBP believes there should be a continued focus in the next policy framework on this important subject.

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September 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Assessing grazing management using the Grazing Response Index LYNNE PINDER, M.SC., P.AG. “Rest and recovery”. Two words that were echoed many times throughout the Tenth International Rangeland Congress held in Saskatoon from July 16-22. The aim of this conference was to promote the exchange of information on all aspects of rangeland. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. This concept was also promoted by a number of rangeland specialists from around the world who shared their ideas about tools for assessing grazing management techniques. The Grazing Response Index (GRI) is one tool to be included in the rangeland toolkit. It brings the above two concepts together in a simple and effective manner that producers can use on-farm to better understand how plants respond to grazing. This tool was developed by Dr. Roy Roath and his team from Colorado State University. In Manitoba, approximately 28per cent of all land used for agriculture is rangeland and pastureland grazed by livestock (Rangelands and Pasturelands: Theme Document 2013). The GRI is intended to be used at the end of each growing season to help evaluate the effects of the current years’ grazing on the forage plants and to help plan management strategies for the following year. The GRI involves three factors: grazing frequency, grazing intensity and opportunity for plant recovery Frequency refers to the number of times that plants are defoliated during a grazing period. Plants that are defoliated three or more times during the growing season respond very negatively. Research shows that native plants take approximately seven to ten days after each defoliation to grow tall enough to be grazed again. Intensity is a measure of how much leaf material has been removed during the grazing period. The more leaf area remaining after grazing, the more photosynthetic capacity there is to replenish carbohydrates and recharge root systems. It is qualitatively measured at the end of the grazing period and

described using three levels of defoliation – light, moderate and heavy. Opportunity refers to how much time plants have for growth prior to grazing, or for regrowth after grazing. Full growth or recovery allows plants to meet their nutrient and growth requirements during the growing season and allows them to adjust to the impacts of relatively high grazing intensity or frequency. The opportunity for plants to grow or regrow is dependent on soil moisture, air temperature and leaf area. The overall GRI rating for an individual pasture is the sum of the frequency, intensity and opportunity index values. It estimates expected response of the plants to the current grazing management. A positive overall value indicates the management is beneficial to plant health, structure and vigour. A negative value indicates that plant health will be harmed if current management techniques are continued over the long term. A zero rating is neutral. For example, on a ranch where a single, very large field of native rangeland was continuous grazed, frequency was scored as (-1) because

plants were exposed to grazing all season long. Intensity was scored as moderate (0), partially due to the large field size. However, since there was no opportunity for regrowth, this system was scored a (-2) rating for opportunity. Therefore, the overall GRI score was (-1) + (0) + (-2) = (-3). If the ranch continues this style of grazing over the long term, forage production will decrease resulting in a decrease in the number of cattle that it can support. In contrast, if this same field was divided into smaller pastures as part of a rotational grazing system, the number of times grazed could be reduced allowing for a frequency score of (1), utilization of forage plants could be reduced to < 40per cent giving an intensity rating of light (1) and opportunity for growth could be (1) since the plants would have most of the season to regrow. Therefore, the overall GRI score could be increased to (1) + (1) + (1) = (3). With this positive rating, this pasture would be set up to improve the following year. By reviewing the overall GRI for each pasture, producers can adjust grazing management techniques so that a more positive score is achieved. In combination with oth-

Above is an example of a grazing index worksheet

er grazing management tools, GRI can be used to improve long-term forage and livestock productivity. However, this index is not intended to monitor rangeland health since it does not measure longterm changes to plant community structure, plant species or physical characteristics such as soil exposure. At present, the GRI is primarily a tool to evaluate grazing impacts on native grasslands. However, there is interest in using GRI for evaluating tame pastures. While the

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overall GRI principles remain similar, tame forages are expected to tolerate shorter regrowth periods and higher grazing intensities compared to native forages. For more information, or for a copy of the GRI worksheet, please contact Lynne at 204-7230602, or lynnepinder@ gmail.com. References: Grazing Response Index: A simple and effective assessment of grazing management. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Electronic version available at: http://publi-

cations.gc.ca Rangelands and Pasturelands: Theme Document 2013. An analysis completed by Lindsey Andronak, Mae Elsinger, and Barbara Fuller for the 2013 Manitoba Environthon. Lynne Pinder is the Extension Coordinator for the Building Longterm Capacity for Resilient Cow-calf Production Systems Project, which is funded through the Beef Cattle Research Council with financial contribution from the Manitoba Beef Producers.


14 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

2016 Manitoba Beef Producers

BURSARY WINNERS MARIANNE SYTNYK The beef industry’s importance to my community, my family, and even to myself cannot be expressed in a short amount of words that I will be providing to you. In Manitoba, and in families like mine, the beef industry is simply not just supplying a well-marbled steak on your dinner table; it is continuously providing quality and a promising longevity to all consumers of our products. My name is Marianne Sytnyk and I was raised on a multi-generation cow/calf operation and grain farm near Oakburn, Manitoba. As the second youngest child in a family of eight, I was very involved in our operation from a young age, from calving to haying and everything in between. I thoroughly enjoy working with all animals and it is definitely where I most enjoy myself. Agriculture has always been a huge part of my life and it is without a doubt that I would not be the same individual I am, without being submersed in a Manitoba farm like I was. My family has faced many adversities in the beef industry from BSE struggles over a decade ago, to the strong markets that we are grateful for in the recent years. It is evident that this industry is important, not only on a financial level, but much more than that as well.

REBECCA ZIMMER Growing up with a beef-producing father, I have seen how important the beef industry is to the Manitoban economy. For my rural community, the main identity of farming forms a sense of closeness among residents. I love being from a cattle farm because I know that our family directly contributes to food supply for Canadians. To my family, the beef industry is how we make our living. It is also having easily accessible beef in the freezer at all times. Cattle farming has been passed down from my Great Great Grandpa when he first immigrated to Canada, all the way down four generations to my Dad on the family farm. The farmland has also been passed down, so the land is much the same that my ancestors farmed. Our family has also established community ties as a result of producing beef. For example,

In operations like ours, it has allowed myself, as well as my siblings to learn the value of hard work and the opportunity for improvement awaiting every corner. To my family, the beef industry represents the rewards of our labor and the constant reminder to keep working hard. In my past year as an Animal Science student at the University of Saskatchewan, I have developed an even stronger appreciation for what the beef industry offers to our communities and our province. The industry, paired with Manitoba’s diverse economical income sources, allows us to be a strong province even in devastating fluctuations, such as they hay shortages that many faced this year. In the small communities of Oakburn, Shoallake, and Rossburn that I call home, the industry is a strong network that allows us to connect to one another. At fairs, auctions sales, and even Sunday mornings at church, being a beef producers allows us to con-

a family recently moved to our area from South Africa to begin cattle farming. My Dad sold them a small herd and now our families are friends and attend the same church. From moving the cows home to watching baby calves be born, no matter what season it is, cattle farming has been a part of my adolescent and childhood years. When I was 12, my Dad gave me a heifer, and now I have a small herd which I sell to help earn money towards post-secondary education. Inglis, Manitoba is a very small rural town, and many of the people who live in and around the area are farmers. This unites the citizens of our community, as we have a lot in common and help each other out. For example, if a farmer is away

SAVE THE DATE

Feb 2 & 3

MBP’s 38th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 2 & 3, 2017 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

DAWSON PROCTOR My Dad often jokes about being a beef farmer. Whenever anyone asks what he does for a living his reply is “I feed the world!” He does this with laughter in his voice and a grin on his face, but it is true, my dad (46 years-old) and my Grandpa (87 years-old) help feed the world. They are beef farmers. I am very fortunate to have grown up as the fourth generation of beef farmers in Woodlands, Manitoba. Growing up I have seen firsthand what hard work, perseverance, dedication, and passion truly are. My family was one of the first settlers in the area of Woodlands, Manitoba. My great, great grandparents settled here as farmers and now rest only a few miles from our family farm at St. Oswald Cemetery. We have a rich farming history but it has not always been an easy journey for our family and community of beef farmers.

nect because of the traditions and values we share with one another. I tbelieve that being a beef producer is not a trade we have acquired simply to make a living, but it is for the love of the industry we continue to produce quality animals. In our province as a whole, Manitoba continuously produces strong breeds of cattle and due to our natural advantages of bountiful grasslands and fresh water, we can supply nearly all of the inputs needed for our cattle from right inside our own province. Manitoba producers want to use these assets to produce quality animals that will still be available when their grandchildren take over the family farm. This beef industries' significance in our lives is evident. It affects all parts of our lives; from what we eat for supper to how much sleep you get at night. I can easily say that I, as a 19-year-old, do not truly appreciate all that the industry has given to me, but I know it has brought out the best in me. Manitoba and our communities are benefitted by the beef industry through the humble and hardworking producers who genuinely want to better their surroundings. Manitoba’s beef industry means the future to all producers, and I would be honoured if I could be apart of such a strong future.

for a few days during calving, one of his neighbors will check the cows for him. As well, farmers in the area often buy and sell cattle to/from each other. Beef producing is a great opportunity in our area because of the large amounts of pasture land and open space, as well as support from the many other cattle farmers near Inglis. Cattle farming is one of the main occupations in our R.M. so it contributes a lot to our municipality’s economy and resources as well. Beef production in the province of Manitoba plays a large part in the provincial and federal economies. With the growing population, it is essential for farmers to continue in their trade, and maximize food production while mainBut as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I believe this. Perseverance is a word I use when I think of my dad and our farm. Like many farmers, we have seen some hard times. My family still has vivid memories of BSE in 2003. It is not that I remember it like my mom and dad and grandparents do, because I was only five, but I remember it through everything since. The many conversations about our future in farming, the possibility of my dad leaving the farm to work, and cutbacks our family had to make so we could continue farming. It means everything to me that my parents held on and did they best they could so we could keep the farming way of life for my generation and those still to come. Farming in the community of Woodlands is a way of life to many. We support each other in time of need and in doing so our sense of community is very strong. In 2011 we were

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taining environmentally friendly practices. New technology is always being developed to help optimize farmer’s beef yields. In a changing society, continuing with cattle farming will be very important to prevent a food crisis in the future. Courses such as holistic management can help farmers make the most of their land and resources. The beef industry is very important as it supplies food for Canada. I enjoy being involved in agriculture because science and global issues have always been of great interest to me. Learning about food science as well as plants, animals, and genetics in biology class have always been topics of fascination. I hope to end up in a career that helps research and implements new food strategies to help Canadians. Growing up on a farm has been a truly great experience, and I want to use my experiences to help make a difference in the way food is produced.

devastated by flooding. We lost over 2,000 acres in pastureland. We had to find pastureland for over 100 head of cattle. Neighbors with pasture land close by offered up their available pastures so we did not have to get rid of any of our animals. I could not imagine what that would have been like if we did not have the kindness of good neighbors. Community helps raise children and I feel very fortunate to have been raised here. Being a beef farmer isn’t just a way to earn an income, it is way of life. I grew up excited to be out-

side with my dad every day working with our herd and working with land. He shared his passion for growing things with me and to this day I have a strong desire to work in agriculture research to help make the family farm stronger than ever. He has shown me to respect all animals. With care and compassion he makes sure that all of our animals are healthy, well fed, and treated respectfully. The beef industry means everything to my family. It has provided us with a quality of life I would not trade for anything I want to pursue an education that will support farmers like my dad and the ones in my community. The beef industry is something that I am very proud to be a part of. It is also my hope that if my brother or I so choose one day to take over our family farm we too can say “we feed the world” when we are asked what we do for a living.


September 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15 JOSEY MILLWARD “What the beef industry means to my family, my community and Manitoba” I have been raised on a Manitoba beef ranch and it has been a way of life for me and my family. We have worked hard on our ranch to produce a good product for consumers and my entire family has a love of animals. The beef industry has given me the opportunity to pursue my passion and while providing my family with a sustainable income. Beef producers throughout the entire province contribute to their communities by supporting local business, volunteering for community events, and educating the public about healthy

food choices. In today’s market we are made a lot more accountable to producers than in years past and I believe that we have done a great job of making sure that the public is getting educated. Such work has been made possible by the combined team effort of all beef producers in our province. The beef industry has worked together to develop policies and procedures that provide safe and sustainable beef to the world. We can be proud of the product that we are producing and as a young producer it gives

SHEENA MEGGISON What the Beef industry means to my Family, My Community and Manitoba The beef industry is a big part of my life and always has been. For all of my life and many years before that, my family has had beef cattle. My Grandpa owned, bred and showed a registered, full blood, Simmental herd. He imported cattle from overseas and was known in the industry for the quality of his herd. Grandpa stopped showing his herd over time and my Dad took over the management of the herd when he began farming. Dad decided to incorporate some new genetics into our herd and began breeding our herd with Red Angus bulls. This Simmental, Red Angus mix is what our herd is currently made up of. This cross has really benefitted our herd, making for a much simpler calving season among other improved traits. Owning cattle takes a lot of work

EMILY BARTEAUX The beef industry is more than just a source of income for my family and I. It is a way of life that we are a part of. It is getting up at three in the morning to go and calve out a cow. It is frozen fingers, toes, ears and hair. It is pulling a new born calf across the pen while the mother tries to take your life. It is naming the calves even though we are not supposed to. It is poop on your coveralls no matter how hard you try to keep them clean. It is not really caring that there is poop on your coveralls because you knew it was going to happen anyways. It is your favourite cow having a beautiful replacement heifer three years in a row. And most of all, it is the care that a father teaches a daughter as they sit on the pump house floor bottle feeding an orphaned calf willing it to live. The beef industry has given my family something to take pride in. Having the opportunity to help raise cattle and be around them has led me to follow a career path in veterinary medicine. I made this decision when I was 15. That is when I made up my mind, I was going to be a vet and

me hope for the industry. The Manitoba Beef Producers have worked hard with industry to be sure that all producers are accountable to publication such as “The beef code of practice” and that helps to ensure that there is a future in beef production for future generations. The Verified Beef Production Program has also done well to be sure that we meet record keeping procedures. These practices have helped my family farm to ensure that we are meeting proper protocols and produc-

throughout the entire year but especially during calving season. When I was younger, we calved our cows in January and February but over the years, Dad has moved calving season further into the spring. The past few summers, I have learned to run the baler and the swather to help Dad out during haying season. Depending on the crop, haying can take most of the summer, so I try to help out as much as I can. Owning beef cattle utilizes areas of our land like the ravines that we can not otherwise use for cropping. If we did not own cattle, this land would go unused. Owning beef cattle keeps our family busy throughout the year and diversifies our farm. The beef industry is important in my community because of the many farm-

nothing could change my decision. I have added back up plans just in case, of course, including agronomy as well as maybe becoming a teacher, but nothing has ever been as important to me as becoming Doctor Barteaux. My love of cattle blossomed from as early as I can remember when my Dad took me to the feedlot and I got to pick 'my cow,' and from that moment I was hooked. I took every chance I could to help at the barn, even if I just sat in the grain bin or the chop troughs and the cows ate around me. As I got bigger so did my love of cattle. I was a little wiser and a little less naïve. I knew that cattle did not in fact go and start their own families, but that they were actually my favourite meal. I took pride in knowing how many head were in each pen as well as big words like coccidiosis, as well as how to spot and treat it. Growing up on a cattle farm has taught me work ethic, compassion, dedication, determination and that hard work will get you where you need to go, no matter how long it takes. The beef industry has not just affected my family and I, it has also been a huge part in many other people’s lives in my com-

munity in rural Manitoba. It brings us together, uniting us all throughout the year, as well as giving us all something to talk about. The main topic: “Almost done calving?" The beef industry brings people from across Manitoba together. We all understand what it is like to work as a farmer, the dangers and the bene-

ing a product that the consumer feels confident in. The overall security of our beef industry helps rural areas of our country and provides a future for your people. There is no better beef than Canadian Beef!! Ultimately the greatest impact that the beef industry has on our country is environmentally. Beef production contributes to the overall ecosystem and helps to keep our air clean and healthy by practicing good grazing systems. Good grazing contributes to higher number of species of grasses and proper manure management contributes to great fertilization of these plants. This cycle contributes to a much healthier ecosystem and replenishes our airway.

ers involved. A number of our neighbours raise beef cattle and that makes life a lot easier, knowing that you can depend on these neighbours to help you out if you ever need it. The farmers in our community know that they can ask for help and will always return the favour. Owning Beef cattle and all the tasks that come with it are just a part of life in my community. The beef industry is also very important to Manitoba because Manitoba has the third biggest beef herd in Canada. The beef industry is very important for the economy of our province and it provides a lot of job opportunities in Manitoba. The beef industry helps small communities in our province continue to thrive. I enjoy being involved in Agriculture fits, the ups and the downs. It gives us all a sense of identity. We meet at auction sales and never have to worry about finding common ground because we can talk about how our cattle are. I enjoy being a part of agriculture and the beef industry because there are so many paths within

After I have completed my Animal Science Diploma I hope to be able to travel the world and educate people about beef production as well as learn more about beef production in other countries. I have a desire to learn about beef production around the world and I would be interested in doing agriculture exchange to learn more about different production systems. It would be my hope that at some point in my life I will return to a ranch and continue in beef production. The beef industry in Manitoba has provided a great opportunity for me and my family and I hope to be able to continue the legacy that was started before me!

because it allows me to work outside. I love being out in the sun, covered in dirt, working hard to make sure the crops and livestock are healthy. I like being involved in agriculture because it is never the same; it is always changing; you will never get bored when you are part of the agriculture industry. I like being involved in agriculture because it has presented me with so many opportunities that I would have never experienced without agriculture. I enjoy being involved in agriculture because it gives me the chance to meet so many great and interesting people. The connections I have already made are incredible and I will continue to make more as I live my life in the Agriculture Industry. I am excited to be studying agriculture at the University of Manitoba because in agriculture there are so many options on such a broad spectrum of topics. I love agriculture because being involved in agriculture is a great way of life and it is my life.

both that I can follow as a student. I plan to become a veterinarian and move back to rural Manitoba and start my own practice. But if that plan ever falls through I can not imagine being anywhere else but on or close to this way of life that you can only understand being raised on a farm.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2016

Challenging yourself will always pay off! BY ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Meat Expert

Bucket lists are a way many of us challenge ourselves and really keep life interesting. These are unique experiences to which we hold ourselves accountable in pursuing until we no longer are able. The concept is limitless and invigorating. Bucket lists give us

life goals big and small. My husband, his brother and two close friends all set out with a goal they established in the spring and that was to complete their first triathlon. My husband signed up for the Hecla Triathlon known to be the best road triathlon in Western Canada, taking on the Sprint Triathlon they completed a 750 metre lake swim, 20 kilome-

tre bike ride and finished off with a five kilometre run. I attended, soaking up the high energy levels and determination as each of these local athletes proved themselves and it was a great first time experience for this cheering spectator. Hoping for cooperative weather that keeps temperatures mild and lake waters calm will cer-

tainly make a triathlon more enjoyable but, being physically and mentally prepared is all the battle. Training for a triathlon takes perseverance, getting your body to perform under pressure, and conquering the outdoor elements is an obstacle each athlete will face. There are great options in training available, as triathlon clubs do group training that works on further developing each participant’s strengths in the three core training areas. These clubs are great because there is the opportunity to work with a coach and learn from teammates who are more experienced. Travelling out to Hecla Island two hours north of Winnipeg was beautiful and we were on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Staying at the campground was a lot of fun, especially with it being our dog Hogan’s first camping trip! We first got busy setting up tents, getting acquainted with our neighbours and set the slow cooker to reheat dinner, Canada Beef ’s Rich Beef

Ragu Sauce, before hitting the beach. Fueling our athletes that weekend was naturally a huge concern of mine, having heard a lot about carb loading before race day, I knew a great protein and pasta had to make the menu. Morning came quick without a cloud in the sky and a peaceful calm breeze, it was race day! The athletes rushed down to the transition zones with their race kits and fresh blueberry breakfast muffins in hand. Having a bit of time to become acquainted with the course route, they set up their road bikes, laid out their running shoes and got into their swim gear. Being a spectator was exhilarating, cheering on each athlete and encouraging them to keep going through each leg of the triathlon was a lot of fun! I have such admiration for

all 78 athletes that participated in the Hecla Sprint Triathlon, and cheering on each participant coming through the finish line was amazing. There are many group races for all fitness levels available all across the province. Crossing anything off your bucket list will feel incredible and I know I have many more experiences to cross off my own. If you are looking for a tasty and satisfying dinner recipe try Canada Beef ’s Rich Beef Ragu Sauce over spaghetti. This meal is full of nutrients and carbohydrates needed to fuel your body during activity. Be sure to tune into CTV’s Great Tastes of Manitoba season opener September 10! Watch for our next issue featuring a recipe from our Eat like an Athlete episode airing Saturday October 8th. Enjoy September and thank you for reading.

Rich Beef Ragu Sauce 1 ½ lb (750 g) Lean Ground Beef Sirloin or Round* 2 onions, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes, chopped, with juices 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 1 sweet pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 cup (250 mL) diced zucchini 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) pasta sauce 3 whole cloves 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter (optional) 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar Combine ground beef, onions, garlic, celery and Italian seasoning in large non-stick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking meat into small chunks with back of spoon. Drain, if necessary and transfer to 3-1/2 to 6-quart (3.5 to 6 L) slow cooker. Add tomatoes, carrot, sweet pepper, zucchini, pasta sauce and cloves to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook covered, on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours or until hot and bubbling. Discard cloves. Stir in butter (if using) and vinegar. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over hot pasta, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. *Other Options: Lean Ground Beef Chuck or Lean Ground Beef

Come for a visit and pick out a top quality Shorthorn to add to your herd. Monty Thomson Cell #: (204) 870-0089 Gladstone, MB www.hatfieldclydesdales.com

We enjoy our cattle, and think you will too! www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

OCTOBER 2016

Football Fever! (above) Manitoba Beef Producers and Canada Beef were game sponsors Sept. 17 when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Toronto Argonauts at Investor's Group Field. Prior to the game, MBP had a station in Tailgate Plaza where fans had the chance to practise their roping skills. (left), A father and son check out the Canada Beef cuts chart.

Eichler promotes big beef herd increase You can’t accuse Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler of thinking small. Eichler wants to increase Manitoba beef cow herd by 70 per cent to 750,000 head over the next 10 years. Eichler announced his goal during a Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative tour in July.

Exactly how Eichler hopes to achieve the proposed increase isn’t clear. He admits he doesn’t have an actual plan and says that’s not his job anyway. “It’s not up to me or government to come up with solutions. We have to look within,” he said in a recent interview with Cattle Country. Manitoba’s beef cow herd numbered 440,200 head on January 1, 2016, the lowest

Building Public Confidence in Canadian Beef Page 3

since 1994. But Eichler is sure the growth is achievable and increasing cow numbers will create all kinds of spin-off benefits for Manitoba’s beef industry. “I’m sure if we get the numbers, you’ll see those opportunities come forward,” he said. “Business creates business and when you see those numbers come forward, they’ll react to that.”

Sharing the Ag Story Page 6

Eichler says there are a few things government could do to help, such as waiving fees on crown land or making more private land available for grazing. “That’s all part of the conversation about what we need to do.” Industry officials say Eichler’s idea of boosting Manitoba’s beef numbers is a good one but express skepticism about whether it is realistic. Page 2 ➢

Ranching and Rodeo Run Deep for Adams 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.

BY RON FRIESEN


2

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

MBP district meetings begin Oct. 24 The schedule has been set for Manitoba Beef Producers’ 14 district meetings. Beginning with the District 11 meeting Oct. 24 in Ashern, MBP directors and staff will spend the better part of a month travelling the province to the 14 meetings. “The fast-approaching district meetings provide an opportunity for you to interact with your MBP District Director and senior MBP staff,” MBP President Heinz Reimer said in a letter that was sent out to the association’s roughly 7,000 members. Reimer added that like in past years the district meetings will include a review of MBP’s finances and updates on industry developments, trends, programs, regulatory changes and more. Members will also have the opportunity to present resolutions for debate at the annual general meeting. “This year we also plan to have a discussion about the exciting comments made by Manitoba’s

limit. A schedule of the 2016 district meetings can be found on page four of Cattle Country. Planning for MBP’s 38th Annual General Meeting is also underway. The theme for the upcoming AGM, which is scheduled for Feb 2-3 2017, is Sharing Our Story, and will focus on topics such as making the connection between producers, customers and the general public. “The AGM features topical breakout sessions, panel discussions, resolutions debate, industry updates, and is an opportunity to interact with your fellow beef producers, other members of our production chain and, government officials,” Reimer said. To find further information on the AGM and register online, go to: http://www.mbbeef. ca/annual-meeting/. More on speakers and the AGM agenda will be included in upcoming issues of Cattle Country.

Agriculture Minister, Ralph Eichler about his interest in seeing Manitoba’s beef cow herd grow to 750,000 over the next decade,” Reimer said in the letter. “It is important to know what type of policies and tools (members) see as key to achieving this, be it targeted business risk management programs, enhanced lending tools, research into production efficiencies, a strong labour supply, sound water management strategies, access to Crown lands and community pastures or other needs. (Member) input on this subject would be very valuable.” Director elections will also take place at the meetings in odd-numbered districts. If a member is interested in letting their name stand for director, or know of someone who would be a good addition to MBP’s board, they are asked to contact Reimer who will forward the name along to MBP’s Nominations Committee. There is one director retiring this year as Caron Clarke of District 11 has reached her term

Challenges ahead to reach goals  Page 1 “I guess anything is doable. You need a goal of some sort. But how to get to those numbers, I’m not quite sure,” said Heinz Reimer, Manitoba Beef Producers president. Reimer said cattle producers are practical people

and are willing to expand their herds as long as the market signals are there. “When things are profitable, things will grow. But if we’re not profitable in the industry, I can’t see us growing too fast.” Cattle prices went on a tear beginning in the fall

of 2013 but have fallen off lately. According to Canfax Research Services, prices for Manitoba feeder steer calves peaked at around $325/cwt in early 2015 but were down to $221.80/cwt this past spring. Eichler, a former cowcalf producer in the Teulon area, said the drop in prices is a signal that now’s the time to build up herds. “When prices drop, that’s the time to hold heifers back and breed them. Next thing you know, you’ve got your numbers growing,” he said. “I know that’s the way I ran my operation. It’s all individual management practices.”

But Rick Wright, a buyer for Heartland Order Buying Co., said cattle markets are volatile and price cycles are becoming more compressed. If the industry were to undergo a major expansion, lending institutions would have to be willing to finance it. That would be a lot to ask, given current market conditions. “At the end of the day, the cow-calf business has to be profitable. It has to be sustainable and we have to deal with the volatility in the marketplace to get existing producers to expand to their maximum capacity and to entice new investment money and younger

producers into the business,” said Wright, who is also the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association’s administrator. “Do we have room for an increase? Certainly we do. Do we have room for that big an increase? I’m not sure I’m even qualified to say. My gut feeling is, it’s ambitious.” Manitoba Beef Producers hosted a brainstorming session with producers and industry representatives this summer to float ideas for expanding the province’s beef herd. Derek Brewin, a University of Manitoba agricultural economist, said

BECOME A MBP AGM SPONSOR BOOK TODAY! Manitoba Beef Producers 38th Annual General Meeting Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Brandon February 2 - 3, 2017 MBP’s Annual General Meeting is a unique opportunity to promote your business to Manitoba’s top 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. DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 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

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

KEN MCKAY

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

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 - SECRETARY

STAN FOSTER

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

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

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

finding room for 750,000 cows is not the problem. The number of beef cows in Manitoba reached 673,000 in 2006. But that was after BSE when cull cow prices collapsed and producers were forced to hang on to their animals because they were practically worthless at market. Brewin said sudden, major expansions for agricultural commodities in Western Canada are not unheard of. That was the case with canola when it first appeared on the scene in the 1970s. People scoffed when the industry set big production targets for the new crop, only to see them realized ahead of schedule. But Brewin doubts beef can follow canola’s example. The growth in canola was spurred by new high-yielding hybrids coming on the market nearly every year. Brewin says beef would need major technological advances in reproduction to achieve a large production increase in a short time. “I think to make a big production gain like that, you’d need some kind of technological shift. And I don’t see that in beef yet.” So how does Brewin see Eichler’s goal of 750,000 cows in 10 years? “I think it’s very difficult.”

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


October 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

From left to right: Adrienne Ivey, Andrew Campbell and Daren Williams were the three panelists for a discussion on how to build public confidence in the beef industry. The panel was part of the recent Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary.

Influencing public confidence in Canadian Beef BY ANGELA LOVELL How can the Canadian beef industry instill public confidence in Canadian beef production, and maintain and strengthen its social licence? That’s the question posed to a panel of passionate ‘agvocates’ at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary in August. Building trust and confidence starts with finding ways to connect with consumers, said panelist, Andrew Campbell, a dairy and grain farmer from southern Ontario. “Even if you live a completely different life to someone in downtown Toronto, maybe you both have kids, or share a concern for the environment, so maybe start with things like that,” he said. “To open the conversation with how we reduce water usage in beef production isn’t going to get you anywhere. Start with common issues and talking about how can we work together to sort out our issues.” As a rancher, and mother of two young children, Adrienne Ivey chose to find common ground by connecting with other parents through her blog called View from the Ranch Porch. “Know yourself and who you are best able to speak to,” she advised attendees. “My audience is other parents– they are my peers – they are not my farming peers, but we speak on the same level and about the same issues and concerns. Be yourself and share your own little slice of the world with the broader public. I don’t need to force my opinions down anyone’s throat – I just need to share what I am living.” It’s important for producers sharing their stories to be authentic, added the final panelist, Daren Williams, Senior Executive Director of Communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “You don’t want to sound like a corporate shill spewing out messages,” he

said. “There is no right way or wrong way to do it or say it – use the language you use and if it’s technical jargon explain what it means but be real. You are the boots on the ground, you are the ones out there caring for the land every day – you are the ones that have to tell the story and be the face of the beef community.” While it’s important that producers share their story with consumers, it’s equally important that they listen, added Williams. “Listen more and talk less is critically important to earn trust,” he said. “The consumer is saying okay, we can hear you but you are not listening to us. The more we listen to consumers, whether it’s a one on one conversation, or on social media, the closer we get to the consumer.” One of the things Williams learned through serving in presidential campaigns in the United States is the importance of a grassroots network. Developing a grassroots advocacy network is precisely what Campbell did in 2015, albeit unwittingly, by tweeting a picture about his farm every day for the whole year. Thousands of people started following Campbell on Twitter. “I realised that people are hungry for the opportunity to see what was happening on the farm,” he said. Campbell’s project attracted national media coverage, and along with that, unfortunately came some unwelcome attention from activists who were quick to start tweeting their own negative messages on Campbell’s Twitter feed. “It was really eyeopening for me to see how quickly these people mobilized, and it’s an important lesson for us in agriculture, because it seemed like they had every animal rights activist on the planet signing up for Twitter to post their propaganda in a matter of hours,” said Campbell. At the same time, there was a huge groundswell of support from other farm-

ers and ranchers, who began responding to Campbell’s tweets, diluting the negative messages with positive ones, and sharing their own farm stories and experiences. “Suddenly other farmers were coming to my aid and posting their own stories, and I even had a neighbour phone me to say he was behind us and would be there if I needed him,” said Campbell. “Phone calls like that helped us, and just realising that we had become spokespeople for the whole industry, and they are behind us, was worth the pain of going through the pressure of those first few weeks.” Choose the Right Messages Williams said the NCBA has done a lot of research about what messages resonate with North American consumers, and the argument that we need technology so we can grow enough food to feed the world is a message that isn’t working any more. “What does resonate with consumers is producing food using fewer resources,” he said. “It fits in with what the consumers are thinking about, because they are concerned about the future health of the planet and their family.” Many consumers feel strongly about technology in agriculture, and it’s a topic that must be addressed carefully. “If you ask most consumers if they want beef produced with or without hormones the answer will be without hormones, but we need to have a conversation about what the consequences of that decision are,” said Williams. “If the consumer understands that not using hormones means we will produce a lot less beef, become less sustainable, and beef production will have a greater impact on the environment, when they go to the grocery store and make that decision they know what the consequences are.” The problem comes in knowing how committed consumers really are to some of the things they are demanding. “Is hor-

mone free, or antibiotic free, or any of these things a trend or a fad?” said Ivey. “We can build a beef system around any of them – it may not be the most efficient, it may not be the best for the environment, it may not give us the best beef - but if it is a short term fad we would be crazy to do so. I don’t know how to answer that question, but my intention is not to change anyone’s mind. I just want to counter information that is wrong. Social media is a big, wide world and there are thousands of people listening to the conversation that you are not aware of.” Tips for Getting Started on Social Media Three panelists at the recent Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary share their tips for how to advocate for agriculture, and extend your sphere of influence through social media. • Use Facebook to reach your circle of acquaintances – family, friends, and colleagues – and share content with them so they can share it with their circle for some exponential, organic growth. • Twitter is where you can rapidly extend your sphere of influence by following people you think may have common interests or concerns and are more likely to follow you back – for example, as a mother you may choose to follow other moms rather than other farmers. • Target a specific audience and tailor your content to what you think will interest them. Don’t try to reach everybody. • Pick topics you are passionate about. • Speak in your own voice and be real. • Be the voice of reason in the discussion and people will be more inclined to believe what you are saying. • Don’t pick on each other – don’t tell anyone else how to advocate, how to farm, or how to eat. The sooner the beef industry is united as a force, the sooner everyone will gain consumers trust.

Looking forward to AgEx 2016 in Brandon, Oct 26-29th. Come visit us in the barns!

We enjoy our cattle, and think you will too!

Monty Thomson Cell #: (204) 870-0089 Gladstone, MB www.hatfieldclydesdales.com

www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

CBIC was a worthwhile experience This past summer has been a struggle to put up feed for producers due to the weather. There appears to be plenty of it for winter but many producers are reporting that the quality may be poor. As HEINZ REIMER always, make sure to keep a close watch on your catMBP President tle throughout the winter Moovin’ Along and ensure that they get the proper nutrition. In August I attended the first ever Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Beef Cattle Research Council and Canada Beef partnered together to make this a national industry event for Canada. The conference speakers delivered a lot of interesting and practical information. I really enjoyed a panel on beef demand featur-

ing Randy White, the president of Sysco Canada, Sam Heath, the VP of marketing for Tim Hortons and Mo Jessa, president of Earl’s Restaurants. All talked about the marketing approach their companies have taken and their relationship with the Canadian beef brand and its value. The presentation by Earls, about why it dropped plans to only serve American beef was eye-opening for those attending. Mo Jessa of Earls apologized to Canadian producers about what had transpired and said that his company is looking forward to working closely with Canadian beef producers and using Canadian beef. At the conference there was lots of networking among producers from across Canada. It was interesting to talk with them and see that we have much in common no matter where in the country we live. Calgary will again host the 2017 CBIC and then it will move to other locations beginning in 2018. Coinciding with the conference, as the Manitoba director of the board, I attended the annual forum of

the Canadian Beef Cattle Research Market Development and Promotion Agency. The forum acts as the annual business and promotion meeting and is an opportunity to review reports, put forward resolutions, elect directors and engage in discussion about the industry at large. The Agency is responsible for the oversight of the mandatory levy paid by all cattle producers in Canada (National Check-Off). The Agency’s board of directors consists of representatives from across Canada. As beef producers and industry and trade professionals, the board leads Canada beef research and marketing priorities. Some of your check-off dollars are allocated to the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC). The BCRC mandate is to determine research priorities important to our cattle industry. BCRC also leverages national and provincial research funds against government funding through the Beef Science Cluster, helping to guide public investment in beef research and extension. One study underway is how antimicrobial use and manure management practices effect water and human patients. Another is evaluating the beef industry’s impact on greenhouse gas, water and carbon sequestration footprints in the past 30 years. Those are just a few of the research projects that are addressing issues impacting public confidence in Canada beef. NCO funding also goes to Canada Beef, the organization responsible for domestic and international beef market development by working to increase awareness of the Canadian beef brand and building relationships with trade customers and increasing demand for and the value producers receive for their cattle. Increasing global consumer demand for our beef and making sure the world knows what we stand for and what our values are is also part of their mandate. We want consumers to purchase our products and make sure that they are loyal to Canada beef. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) semi-annual meeting was also held as part of the conference. The CCA is the national voice of Canada’s beef producers and carries out the vision, policies and recommendations by the board of directors which is comprised of the cattle producers of the provinces. Some of the areas of focus included market access, trade negotiations, animal care and health as well as government policies and regulatory affairs. It was a busy week while I was there and it was really nice to get home and enjoy getting back to farm life and family. So, until next time, keep Moovin’ Along.

Supper with the Bombers

The lineup was long to enter MBP's draw for a supper for 10 with two members of the Blue Bombers in the Blue and Gold Club at Investor's Group Field.

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 odd 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-24

Ashern Royal Canadian Legion

3 Main St. E, Ashern

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-25

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Oct-26

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Nov-01

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-02

Mountview Centre

111 S Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-03

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oak Lake

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-04

Carberry Memorial Hall

224 2nd Ave., Carberry

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-07

Bowsman Legion Hall

206 2nd St., Bowsman

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-08

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-09

Royal Canadian Legion

19 Burrows Ave. W., Gilbert Plains

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-10

Birtle United Church Fellowship Hall

684 Vine St., Birtle

District 10

Ken McKay

Nov-14

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-15

Neepawa Royal Canadian Legion

425 Brown Ave., Neepawa

District 3

Peter Penner

Nov-16

Carman Community Hall

60 1st Ave. NW, Carman

*Director Retiring

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

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October 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Chute processing tips for producers DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Equipment maintenance is as important for cattle production as it is in other agricultural fields and various industries. Yet, as I visit many farms, I see a jumble of supplies on a table adjacent to the chute - covered in dust and rusty, with boxes of needles and multidose syringes mixed in amongst the empty vaccine bottles and boxes. Processing days are long and, though tempting, it is best not to just toss the equipment and supplies into the back corner. Equipment is expensive and never breaks unless in heavy usage. Wash up after you're using for the day and store in a dry sheltered area or hang it on the wall in the processing area. Regularly inspect your tools to ensure they are in good working order. Replace worn parts and O-rings on syringes and dosing guns. Follow the manufacturer care instructions for dosing guns and use the recommended lubricants to ensure the guns last as they are no longer supplied free of charge with product purchase.

Ensure the screws are tight on the Newberry blades and ensure a stock of new blades. If you still use a burdizzo, make sure that it still crimps properly. If you clamp a sheet of quality letter paper and can pull it out without opening up the burdizzo, you will have castration failures. Sharp castration tools make the difficult job of castrating a stag much easier and avoids human injury too. Similarly, store castration bands in an airtight bag out of the sun to avoid degradation and weakening of the bands. Regularly change needles - a new needle for every 10 animals needled and sooner if the needle bends, becomes dull or is dirty. Use the appropriate size and length for the job: 16G is the standard at weaning while 18G needles are appropriate for processing at birth. Use 3/4” for subcutaneous injections and 1” or 1 1/2” for intramuscular injections in calves and mature cattle respectively. Spread injections out by one hand width and give no more than 10cc per site. Disposable syringes should be discarded at the end of the day or when dirty/broken. Multi-dose syringes are much more efficient for processing

large numbers of animals but must be cleaned daily and calibrated regularly. Implant needles should be disinfected between each animal - talk with your veterinarian for protocols and care of your gun and part cartridges. VERY IMPORTANT Dedicate your multidose syringes to individual products - antibiotics, modified-live vaccines and bacterins (killed vaccines). Mixing product types will inactivate modified-live vaccines rendering them useless. Vaccine inactivation will also occur if soap and other disinfectants (including bleach) are used to clean the syringes. Clean syringes dedicated to vaccines with hot water only and rinse thoroughly. Syringes used for antibiotics can be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner like chlorhexidine. Talk to your veterinarian about cleaning options and techniques. Remember that syringes can only be effectively cleaned if they are taken apart. Flushing the syringe with a few “fills” of water does not work. When reassembling, use a lubricant approved by the manufacturer and check for worn parts. Worn and improperly fitted parts will affect dose accuracy and cause

Two Manitobans among 2016 CYL mentorship recipients Two Manitobans are among the 16 people selected as Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Mentorship Recipients for 2016. Kristy-Layne Carr of Marchand and Wilc van Meijl of Brandon were chosen after the final selection round at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC), which was held in Calgary on August 9, 2016. A total of 23 semi-finalists vied for a spot in the national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The CYL Selections at CBIC brought together the semi-finalists, current graduates, and industry leaders for a week of networking and learning. The event included the five-year reunion celebration of the CYL national launch, where over 60 alumni mentors and mentees gathered for the graduation of the current group and acknowledgement of the success of the program. “Before the creation of the CBIC, CYL selections were held in the spring as a standalone event and with so many people attending the conference in August, it just made sense to combine the two” said Jill Harvie, CCA Programs Manager. “In the end, it was both a huge attribute to the conference and a considerable benefit to the semi-finalists

and graduates. Between the speakers, sessions, and ample networking opportunities, these young cattlemen and women gained a lot from the experience, whether they were chosen as finalists or not. Many positive comments were also made by other CBIC delegates about the amount of young faces in the crowd and the strong representation by the future of Canadian beef.” The 2016 recipients will be paired with an industry mentor to guide them over the next eight months. The CYL Program 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. Funding for the CYL Program is made available through its foundation partners, UFA Co-operative Ltd., the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Cargill, and MNP. The program also receives support from Gold Sponsors Farm Credit Canada and New Holland. - CCA Media Release

leakage. Repair kits are available for many brands and individual parts are available through your local supply store or veterinarian. Have an expensive syringe that you have not maintained as well as you should have? Your veterinarian may be able to help you salvage it using an ultrasonic cleaner (commonly used to clean surgical instruments). Be sure to only buy enough product required for the season and check expiry dates. Though larger sizes are more economical, smaller bottles are used up more quickly and less likely to be inadvertently contaminated. Store medications according to the label fridge/shelf, out of light, etc. Keep part bottles in their original packaging and store in a covered container to minimize contamination. Never stick a used needle into a bottle - always use a new needle or a dedicated draw needle. If a high usage product, consider a draw-off syringe system.

Toss any part bottles at the end of the seasonand those that are expired. Vaccines require extra-special care during use. The modified-live vaccines (MLV) require reconstitution to activate the vaccine. Only mix enough for one hour at a time and shake bacterin vaccines up when you reconstitute more MLV. UV rays (sunlight) and heat are hard on all vaccines so store in a cooler and keep your syringes sheltered from light. Check out the wide variety of chute-side syringe holder designs available. You also want to avoid freezing vaccines as they will become inactivated. Even worse, adverse reactions (including death) have occurred following the usage of vaccines that had previously been frozen. Have a max/min thermometer in your storage fridge and destroy any unused vaccine at the end of the day. A final note on drug handling: What if cattle haven’t been the only thing you’ve been inject-

ing? Self-inflicted needle sticks can be serious. Be sure to restrain cattle properly with a neck extender and squeeze before injection and consider using Needle-eze extensions or Snapshots to avoid injury to your hand or syringe. Never put loaded syringes in your pockets or hold with your mouth, even if the needle is capped. Know what products you are using or better yet, have the packaging available so that if you accidentally vaccinate or medicate yourself, you can quickly and accurately inform medical staff as required. The best case scenario is injury from the needle and an irritating product. The worst case scenario is death if you accidentally inject yourself with a tranquilizer or Micotil. Take your time, wear gloves, restrain adequately and practice good needle and product handling to ensure you survive the fall processing season and get your cattle properly prepared for the next season.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

Sharing the agriculture story an important job for all BY ANGELA LOVELL In recent years, social media has had a significant impact upon the public’s perception of agriculture, and today it seems that everyone has an opinion about how food should be grown. Few companies are more aware of this than Monsanto, which hasn’t always been as engaged as it should have been in helping to shape public perception about not just its products, but agriculture in general. “In the past conversations about agriculture were happening without us,” said Trish Jordan, Monsanto’s head of Public and Industry Affairs, during a presentation at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary on August. “When you are not engaged in the conversation, others step in and start having that conversation for you. Over the last few years we have tried hard to remedy that situation. We have engaged in many conversations, and generated a lot of online content, and shared the positive stories of not only what we feel we are contributing to the industry, but what you are doing as farmers.” Maintaining the Social Licence Jordan told conference attendees that a collaborative approach to telling agriculture’s stories will help change the public’s perception of agriculture, and ensure that producers can continue to utilize the practices and products they want to use on their farms. It’s often referred to as a social licence to operate. But why is it that suddenly everyone seems to be talking about agriculture?

Probably because agriculture sits at the middle of some of the most important issues that today’s society faces. “Population and income growth are spurring the demand for food, water and energy,” said Jordan. At the same time, there are limited amounts of more land, water and energy to produce food. “There is growing evidence that agriculture is a big factor in overall ecosystem health, ensuring a stable climate, abundant biodiversity and clean water. We believe agriculture is part of the solution, not the problem, to help address some of these challenges.” There are all kinds of people attacking farming for any number of reasons, added Jordan. Some may simply not like big agriculture or corporate farms because they have a romantic, idealised vision of what farms looked like decades ago. “Others truly and deeply believe that their food is harming them, and by association they jump to the conclusion that the products, and tools, and practices you are using on your farm are somehow having an impact on that. They view those tools as part of the problem,” said Jordan. Others simply want science and technology out of agriculture altogether, which is ironic, said Jordan, when consumers are willing to accept technology in every other aspect of their lives. “They accept technology in cars, entertainment systems, cell phones, computers, and medicine and yet they are not prepared to let farmers use science and technology to grow food that lessens the environmental impact and helps provide more food for the planet.”

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Trish Jordan of Monsanto spoke to attendees of the recent Canadian Beeef Industry Conference about the need for all involved in agriculture to share their story and bridge the gap between industry and consumer.

What You do on Your Farm Matters to Society Deciding how and who to share these positive stories with is another issue, but Monsanto decided to focus on three key groups – mothers, (because they do most of the food shopping and care about the health their families), millennials, (because they are the most engaged with social media), and foodies like chefs and food bloggers. “We never talked to consumers before and we now recognise that was wrong for us,” said Jordan. “I learned I have to shift my thinking to consider how what we do in our industry, and what you do on your farm, matters to society and how it impacts them or connects with their values. Consumers want to know that their food is safe, and that you care about the environment, and are willing to use less – less water, fuel, soil, inputs. They certainly want to know that you care for your animals and your land.” Most producers would say these are a given – things that they do every day, but, says Jordan, to maintain that social licence, all players across the whole value chain need to do whatever has to be done to earn consumer trust, and that involves not just talking, but listening. “Whatever you choose to talk about, your approach is important. It’s not about arguing or trying to win a debate, and it’s not about inundating people with scientific information,” she said. “It’s about listening to their concerns, trying to find some common ground, and engaging in a conversation.” Many Ways to Connect with Consumers Social media can play an important role in starting some of those discussions. “It’s important to engage on social media because it’s where the conversation is

www.mbbeef.ca

happening,” said Jordan. “Don’t be afraid to share your passion for your farm and your business on Facebook or whatever social media tool you choose.” If producers aren’t big into social media they could take the time to write a letter to the editor and respond to stories in the newspaper that are false, suggested Jordan. Or they could talk to their child’s teacher, an urban relative, address a Rotary Club or other urban organization, or offer to speak to a classroom about agriculture and what they do on the farm. Maybe even invite people to tour their farm and see what they do first hand. There are lots of options for producers to share what they do, and farmers are the best people to tell these stories about agriculture because they are the most credible in the eyes of consumers. “What you do every day on the farm and what it means to you, your families and communities is a story worth sharing and will help us all earn our social licence and trust of consumers,” Jordan told conference attendees. “Step up and share your stories because we need to work collectively together and expand the voice to everyone who is involved in agriculture, from the primary producer through the value chain to help people understand how great working in this industry is, and how important it is to produce food for everyone.” Monsanto’s Trish Jordan’s Six Tips for Engaging Consumers • Do your homework. Can you talk confidently about the practices you apply or products you use on your farm and why you use them? You don’t need to be a scientific expert but you should be prepared to answer consumer questions about what you do, so think through those common questions that people are likely to ask. • Be credible and courteous, but allow your passion to come through because when people sense that passion you are more likely to earn their trust. • Be calm. Don’t react negatively to something you don’t agree with – be patient and wait for a chance to tell your side of the story. • Be creative. Use lots of photos, videos, and share personal stories especially on social media. • Be compassionate – add empathy and concern to your approach in these discussions. People want to know you care. • Have a goal for the conversation. Perhaps to make that person pause for a minute and rethink what they have read or what they think they know about some aspect of agriculture.


October 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

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

Farm Production Extension Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) Shawn.Cabak@gov.mb.ca

protein contains approximately 24 lbs. of nitrogen, 2.5 lbs. a presentation live on Manitoba Agriculture Stock Talk Webinar for September 2016. You can view this webinar of phosphorous and 21 lbs. potassium. Livestock only capture a small percent of these nutri- by searching Youtube for “Manitoba Agriculture Stockents (10-20 per cent) so most of the nutrients are returned Talk” or sign up for free to participate in future Stockto the land. If 30 bales are fed/acre and the animal utilizes Talk Webinars at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/regis20 per cent of the nutrients, 570 lbs. of N, 51 lbs. of P and ter/8714498641314555907 We want to hear from you 434 lbs. of K would be returned to the land. The value of For the next issue of Cattle Country, MAFRD Livethe nutrients returned to the land would be over $500/acre. stock Specialist Elizabeth Nernberg will feature a selected Environmental concerns Due to the high nutrient levels being left behind from mold or feed toxin question. Send your questions to Elizabale grazing field selection is important to prevent nutrient beth.Nernberg@gov.mb.ca by October 5 2016. StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is runoff during the spring melt. Coarse sandy or gravelly soils are prone to leaching of the water soluble nutrients. When brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rubales are fed whole the nutrients are left in concentrated ral Development. We encourage you to email your quescircles in the field and not dispersed very well. Unrolling tions to MAFRD’s forage and livestock team, who have bales will help spread out the nutrients more uniformly al- a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We lowing for better plant uptake. Since the nutrients imported are here to help make your cattle operation successful. through bale grazing are available over a number of years Contact us today. the bale grazing locations should be rotated and not used again for a least five years depending on bale density. For economic and environmental reasons producers will want to capture and retain all of the nutrients on the landscape. Bale Grazing Cautions: Bale grazing is a valid means for feeding beef cows but this can also attract wild life such as elk and deer. If you farm in an area with populations of wildlife that would feed on the bale grazing or are in close proximity of a park or wildlife management area you should contact Manitoba Sustainable Development department for recommendations on bale grazing in such areas. From a management perspective the wildlife issue is significant for both the undesirable interaction of wildlife and domestic animals, but also the damage to the hay and fences that the wildlife will cause. Want to learn more about balegrazing? You can view a free webinar on Manitoba sports icon Dancing Gabe stopped by the Manitoba Beef your computer or device that shows Producers booth prior to Saturday's Winnipeg Blue Bombers game to more photos and describes the propractice his roping skills. cess of bale grazing in depth. I gave

Q: I have heard that bale grazing is a good way to feed my beef cows in winter for labour and soil health reasons, what do I need to do to start this fall. A: Bale grazing is gaining popularity because you can reduce your work load on the cows to minutes a day, and pasture health improvements are noticeable for many years to come. Now that the haying is finished it is time to haul the feed home. For those that are thinking of practising bale grazing this winter, hauling those bales directly to your winter feeding site from the hay field will cut down on costs and time spent. Bale grazing can involve all the bales being placed in the fall or hauled every seven to 10 days during the winter. If the bales are all placed in the fall electric cross fencing is essential to control feeding and to minimize waste. Another option is to place the bales in existing paddocks and move the cattle between paddocks according to feed quality and livestock nutritional requirements. Bales should be spaced 30-40 feet apart to allow adequate access by the feeding animals. A bale spacing of 38 feet (11 metres) in either direction would place 30 bales per acre which is considered a moderate bale density. A bale spacing of 33 feet (10 metres) would produce a bale density of 40 bales per acre. When setting up the bales in the winter feeding area they should be placed on their sides and not their ends to minimize additional weathering and spoilage of the feed. Bales will maintain their shape better if the twine is left in place until the time of feeding, which helps to prevent the bales falling apart and deteriorating. The choice of plastic or sisal twine is difficult, as plastic twine doesn’t rot and gets left behind on bales and then found on the ground. However, Sisal twine is an easier option but summer deterioration will cause the twine to break down in the hay field and make moving the bales more difficult. Portable wind breaks provide movable, affordable onpasture shelter but may not be adequate in extreme winter conditions with high wind chill. Using natural bush shelter is often the best shelter and most economical. Since snow is a good insulator a powerful electric fencer is necessary for optimal livestock control. Using multiple wires including a ground on the cross fence maybe required. An adequate supply of soft snow can be used as a water source but an alternaCancer: tive water source must be 1 in 2.2 men & 1 in 2.4 women living in Canada will provided if conditions are develop cancer during their lifetime; 63% will icy or snow is lacking. Enersurvive for at least 5 years For gy requirements are slightly Heart Disease: higher if snow is the sole 1 in 2 men & 1 in 3 women living in Canada will water source. Some producdevelop heart disease in their lifetime; 85% of ers like to provide fresh wahospitalized patients survive the event ter to the younger and older Stroke: cows due to their higher nuExtended Health Care An estimated 50,000 Canadians suffer a stoke each -New extended coverage to 75 tritional requirements. year; 85% survive the initial event Studies have shown a -Up to 100% coverage with no deductible for Hospitalization, Ambulance, Private Nursing, wide range of feed residues Disability Insurance Medical Equipment, Healthcare Professionals such as: are left behind for differ-Coverage available up to $7,000/month non-taxable Chiropractor, Massage Therapists, Physiotherapists, ent feeding methods. These -1st day Accident Dietician, Naturopath and more losses can range from 15-20 -24 hour Accident and/or Sickness to age 65/75, -Prescription Drug cards for instant reimbursement per cent for bale grazing, with Lifetime renewable option at pharmacy 19 per cent for processing -Guarantee Issue or Non-cancellable contracts -Vision, including eye exams, glasses, contacts, bales on snow, 12 per cent -Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits and laser eye-surgery for unrolling hay on snow, -Optional Business Expense benefits or 3-16 per cent when bales are fed in rings. Wastage is Critical Ilness Insurance Dental Care -Lump Sum benefit from $5,000 to $2 million -Up to 90% coverage on all basic, preventative care dependent on feed quality -Coverage for Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, up to 25 conditions including: fillings, denture relining/rebasing/repairs and feeding management. -Up to 50% coverage for endodontics and periodontics Providing too many days -Non-cancellable contracts to age 65, 75, or for life for wisdom teeth removal and gum disease treatment of feed at once will increase -100% Return of Premium available the amount of wastage. Feed contains valuable Contact Name: ________________________________________________ nutrients Prescription Address:_____________________________________________ When producers bale Drug cards City: _________________________________________________ graze, unroll bales, shred for instant bales or feed in rings nutriProv: ____________________Postal Code: ______________ reimbursement www.dnainsurance.ca ents are being added to the Phone:___________________Fax: _______________________ at pharmacy! land from the feed being Contact: __________________AM ______________________ PM latten2@shaw.ca fed. A 1250 lbs. bale of alfalfa/grass hay at 85 per cent moisture and 14 per cent Fill out and fax to: 1-204-269-1081 or mail: DNA Insurance 404-35-2855 Pembina Hwy Winnipeg MB R3T 5K2

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

Good soil structure – note the aggregates formed around plant roots.

Corn roots having trouble growing into compacted soil.

Soil Health Analysis

A sensory exploration of the earth below MARLA RIEKMAN Soil Management Specialist Manitoba Agriculture

For many years, we have relied on standard tests to analyze our soils – tests for nutrient content, pH, organic matter, salinity, etc., that are well tested and helpful in analyzing our soils. In addition to these tests, commercial labs are now offering specialized soil health tests – analyses that take into account aspects of soil biology, chemistry and physics to give a soil health score. While these analyses might be useful to grade soils in terms of their overall potential, there hasn’t been any calibration to decipher exactly what these grades mean. For example, if my zerotilled, annual-cropped, clay loam soil scores a 65, is that good or bad? It depends...

maybe it could score higher if I added a cover crop or a short-term perennial to my rotation. Or maybe I’m already scoring 10 points higher than my neighbour, so I’m doing quite well. So how does my grade stack up? If I received a 65 per cent grade as a university student, I might be satisfied that “C’s get degrees” and not feel the need to achieve the honour roll. Or maybe my clay loam soil isn’t able to score much higher than a 65-70 to begin with. My soil may score higher if we shift the scoring to give greater weight to qualities like available water holding capacity, infiltration rates, or nutrient supplying power. It’s like recognizing that I was better at understanding soil chemistry than plant physiology, so I shifted my major to bring up my grade

point average. The point is, these tests have been developed in regions with different soils and climates than ours – they may put more emphasis on certain soil qualities that have less influence here. Without proper calibration of these tests in our own backyard, it’s difficult to know how accurately they grade our Manitoba soils. We have begun a project at the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiative’s Brookdale Farm to monitor changes to soil health scores under different grazing management practices. However, results will not be available for some time. Baseline soil health testing was done in June 2016 and future testing will be conducted in three and six years so that changes can be quantified. So, in the absence of

trusted soil health testing (at this current time), how can we know if our soil health is improving? Well, we can use our senses to make observations about the change. Touch How many of us take the opportunity to touch the soil and feel its texture? Texture is not something we have control of, but it dictates how soil will be behave under different management practices. It’s important to note that soils of different textures shouldn’t be compared to each other when it comes to soil health. A sandy soil will never be able to score the 65 that my clay loam can – so let’s not confuse things by comparing the two. When you dig up a spade full of soil, does the soil crumble nicely in your hands into small fragments

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or aggregates? Or does it come apart in large chunks that don’t separate easily? Those soil aggregates are part of good soil structure, defending the soil from compaction and erosion. If you dig up a spade full of intact soil and drop it on the ground from 3-4 feet in the air, how does the soil break apart? Does it fall as one big lump that doesn’t fracture much (poor aggregation, no structure) or does it break apart into smaller aggregates? You can refer to videos online by searching spade test. Smell Does the soil have that nice earthy smell when it’s turned? That smell is caused by good soil bacteria that help to break down plant residue in well-aerated soils. Compare that to a poorly drained soil that smells rotten or swampy. That is not indicative of a healthy soil. Sight We can determine a lot about soil health by using our eyes. Think back to that spade of soil you dug up – do you see lots of earthworms? Are there channels made by roots and worms to allow for water and air to move through the soil? If you study the roots themselves, do they travel down into the earth, or do they twist sideways because they’ve encountered an impenetrable compacted layer? What colour is the top soil? Generally, the blacker the soil, the higher the organic matter will be. If there is any topography to the field, are the higher elevations lighter in colour, indicating that top soil has been eroded and deposited at the lower slope positions? What weeds are present in the field? An abun-

dance of dandelions might mean low phosphorus fertility. Lambs quarters and redroot pigweed may mean high soil nitrogen. Pineapple weed and broadleaved plantain often indicate compacted soils. And, of course, kochia and foxtail barley are often found in saline areas. Other plant growth needs to be taken into account as well – if a grass pasture isn’t growing well except for where cow patties have fallen, then maybe it’s time for some fertilizer to increase the yield of the entire pasture. So while there are lab tests that can be used to score soil health, there are also simple observations that can be made to accomplish the same thing. While our personal observations may not come with a score card or statistical analysis, they are important to understand how soil responds to different management practices. Some day we will have more confidence in the use of soil health tests for our Manitoba soils, but for now, we can use our own senses to gauge how healthy our soils are. Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI) is a centre of agricultural innovation, engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry. MBFI is located just outside of Brandon, Manitoba. Funding for MBFI is provided in part by the Canada and Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2; a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. For more information about her soil health project, contact Marla Riekman or go to www.mbfi.ca.


October 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Ranching, rodeo run deep in Adams’ family BY PAUL ADAIR Born and raised in southwestern Manitoba near Deloraine, Gord Adams is a third generation farmer and is into his second year as director of District 1 for Manitoba Beef Producers. For 30 years Adams has run G & B Farms alongside his wife, Brenda; a 2,000 acre, 300-head Black Angus operation just minutes down the road from where he grew up. Brenda also works in nearby Waskada as an educational assistant and his son Colin helps out on the farm when he’s not competing on the pro-rodeo circuit. Adams’ daughter Lacey lives in Calgary and works as a dental assistant. She also maintains her own herd of brood mares and is starting to train her own horses for barrel horse prospects. G & B Farms also maintains a small herd of brood mares, holdovers from when Adams was involved with PMU a few years back. After his son returned home from college, the decision was made to invest heavier into cattle but, even so, horses still play a big role on the farm. “We are on horseback most of the time,” says Adams. “I’ve always been around horses from back when I was a kid and I would just sooner be riding a horse than riding an ATV. Horses will start each day no matter the weather so long as you feed them and – unlike an ATV – a horse will hardly ever break down.” Prior to becoming District 1 director, Adams wasn’t really all that involved with Manitoba Beef Producers aside from attending the yearly district meetings in his region. It was former director Ted Artz who first approached Adams to gauge his interest in assuming the position once Artz retired in 2015. Early on, Adams had some reservations in becoming director but, feeling that someone from the area needed to step up, he decided to give it a try and see how it worked out. “I never really thought too deeply about the association when I was a member,” says Adams. “It was only

Gord Adams of Deloraine serves as the director for District 1.

when I became a director and got more involved that I realized how much work is involved. It can be a time consuming endeavor and it’s sometimes hard to schedule everything that I need to do but it’s like anything else that’s worthwhile doing; you just got to make time for it.” MBP president Heinz Reimer told Adams when he started out that it takes about a year to learn the ropes and to become familiar with how the association operates. Even so, Adams remembers feeling a little overwhelmed in his first few meetings. “I went with Ted to my first meeting in Winnipeg - just to get the feel for things – and, honestly, I was a little lost,” says Adams. “Everybody talks in abbreviations and you really don’t know one term from another and you start to wonder what the heck you got yourself into. But once you’ve been there for a while you come to realize that everyone who becomes a director goes through the exact same thing.” While Adams is still getting ac-

quainted with many of the issues facing beef producers in the province, he recognizes that his job has been made easier by the hard work of the MBP board and the office staff in Winnipeg. “They do a darn good job of handling the political side of things on behalf of producers,” says Adams. “They work hard to do what’s best for the industry and the one thing that I always stress is they are second to none.” As a director, Adams has become keenly interested in the potential of Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives and the work done by researchers to develop technologies to benefit the beef industry and improve forage management. Adams also sees MBFI as a valuable tool be a valuable tool for producers to see research results on the field and to engage with the general public. “Our beef is produced as safe as any place in the world and many times you hear things about our industry that just isn’t right,” says Adams. “It’s going to be nice to see the learning centre help educate the public about all the great work

that beef producers do and try to reconnect them with the rural way of life.” G & B Farms has been slowly expanding its herd over the last number of years and has been audited for the Verified Beef Production Program. Colin is also hoping to invest in a new weigh-scale to better keep track of the gains on his calves and gradually improve the genetics of the herd. From flooding to drought to outbreaks, Adams knows full well that the life of a beef producer can be challenging and just when a rancher thinks that they know what the future holds; often the opposite occurs. Adams is matterof-fact about the beef industry, however, knowing that producers need to weather the storms when they come to reap the rewards. “I’ve been involved with farming all my life and, like everyone else who stays in agriculture, I am just trying to figure out ways to get by,” says Adams. “But I enjoy the lifestyle of being a beef producer. I like being outside in the summer, I like riding around the pastures, and I enjoy being my own boss. And it’s always great in the spring to see the little calves running around.” A former rodeo bareback rider and team roper himself, Adams now spends his summers travelling throughout the region with Brenda to judge rodeos. When asked who is better bareback rider is – Gord in his prime or Colin – Adams is quick to concede to the next generation. “No doubt about it; hands down Colin’s better,” Adams says with a laugh. When preparing beef, Adams prefers to have a marinated steak done medium over the barbeque. “A couple weeks ago, we had some friends of ours in and Brenda made up some steaks,” says Adams. “We barbequed them up and our friends said that they were the best they’ve ever had. And I told them that it was because our steaks are Angus.”

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

Government Activities Update: Another major flood report released

BY MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Coordinator

The report of a panel commissioned by the former NDP government in 2013 to study and make recommendations on the operations of some of Manitoba’s major water control structures has been released by the provincial government. The Operation Review Panel was comprised of Harold Westdal, chair; Rick Bowering, hydrological engineer and Barry MacBride, civil engineer. They reviewed the operating rules and guidelines of the Red River Floodway, Portage Diversion and the Fairford Water Control Structure. They also examined the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel (LSMEOC), built in 2011 to relieve flooding on Lake St. Martin. Among its key findings the Provincial Flood Control Infrastructure: Review of Operating Guidelines stated, “In big floods there are big consequences. People are going to suffer damage…Under certain circumstances, however, it is clear that people, farms and businesses along the lower Assiniboine River and in Winnipeg have benefited from the flood control system at the expense of others. To minimize overall flood damage and to avoid the risks associated with an uncontrolled flood, the Portage Diversion has to be used to prevent a breach in the Assiniboine River dikes. Under extreme conditions, more water flows into the Portage Diversion than anticipated by the designers and the flood control benefits of the Fairford River Water Control Structure are effectively lost to Lake Manitoba and transferred to the lower Assiniboine and Winnipeg. Under these conditions it is reasonable that some form of financial assistance to be provided to Lake Manitoba residents as a result of the operation of the Portage Diversion.” The Panel recommended the province study how to

improve the financial assistance provided to Lake Manitoba residents to compensate for damage to structures and agricultural losses under specific circumstances. Their suggested option is to provide financial assistance in those years when Lake Manitoba is above 813 feet and when inflows from the Portage Diversion are greater than 1,000,000 acre feet. The Panel recommended the Portage Diversion operating guidelines be replaced with the following: Pre-Spring Break-up Operation 1. While there is ice on the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage la Prairie, it is desirable to limit flows to approximately 5,000 cfs in the river if there is a potential for ice jamming. 2. During the period that there is ice on the reservoir, the water level of the reservoir must not be allowed to exceed 865.0 feet to provide room for releases from breaching of upstream ice jams. 3. If flow forecasts indicate that the Portage Diversion will likely be put into operation, the Diversion should be put into use as soon as practical to flush out snow blockages and in situ ice. Spring Run-off Operation 4. During the spring run-off, after the ice has gone from the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage la Prairie: a. if the Lake Manitoba level is forecast to peak below 813 feet, maintain a maximum flow in the lower Assiniboine River of 10,000 cfs, reduced as necessary to keep the river level in Winnipeg below 19 feet James Avenue Datum if possible. Even when there is no risk of flooding on Lake Manitoba maintain a target flow of 10,000 cfs in the lower Assiniboine River to minimize the environmental impact of diversion flows on Lake Manitoba. b. if the Lake Manitoba level is forecast to peak above

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813 feet, and the projected volume of water from the Portage Diversion into Lake Manitoba will be less than 590,000 ac-ft, maintain a flow in the lower Assiniboine River of 12,000 cfs, reduced as necessary to keep the river level in Winnipeg below 20 feet James Avenue Datum. c. if the Lake Manitoba level is forecast to peak above 813 feet, and the projected volume of water from the Portage Diversion into Lake Manitoba will be greater than 590,000 ac-ft, increase flows on the Assiniboine River above 12,000 cfs so as to balance impacts between the Lower Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba, reduced as necessary to keep the river level in Winnipeg below 21 feet James Avenue Datum. Growing Season Operation 5. On or after May 25th, if Lake Manitoba levels are below 813 feet the lower Assiniboine flow may be limited to 10,000 cfs if the forecast indicates that Lake Manitoba will not go above 813 feet or that the projected volume of water from the Portage Diversion (from May 25th on) will be less than 236,000 ac-ft. Otherwise operate the Portage Diversion so as to balance impacts between the lower Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba 6. In years that the spring thaw occurs early (ice clear from the Lower Assiniboine River prior to April 15), flows on the Assiniboine River can be limited to 10,000 cfs at an earlier date than May 25th, conditional on guideline 5. Re: the Fairford River Water Control Structure, the Panel recommended that to prevent development of frazzle ice in the Dauphin River the flow through the control structure should be reduced to a maximum of 5,000 cfs by November 1 unless Reach 3 of the Emergency Channel is put into operation or adequate protection is provided to the Dauphin River First Nation. The flow should not be increased until a stable ice cover has developed on the Dauphin River. Re: the continued operation of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel the Panel recommended: 1. When the level of Lake St. Martin is forecast to exceed 803 feet, the LSMEOC should be fully opened to ensure maximum benefit from the additional capacity. 2. It should be opened gradually over a period of 10 days to prevent a surge on the lower Dauphin River. 3. Its opening should not be adjusted after mid-October unless there is a stable ice cover on the Dauphin River to minimize frazzle ice formation on the lower Dauphin River The Panel also recommended that when a permanent channel is constructed from Lake St. Martin to Lake Winnipeg, it should be put into operation at a lake level of 801 feet, so that benefits can be achieved before significant flooding occurs Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided feedback to the Panel about the importance of having effective water management strategies throughout the province to help reduce risk for cattle producers. It is not known which report recommendations the provincial government intends to implement or the timeframe for doing so. The report can be found at: http://www. gov.mb.ca/mit/wms/wm/review.html Transmission line consultations Manitoba Hydro is expected to hold public consultations this fall on the proposed Birtle Transmission Project. This involves building a 230-kV transmission line from the Birtle Station to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border to help supply power to Saskatchewan starting in 2020-21. During the consultations Hydro will show possible transmission line route options, seeking feedback about who and what could be affected by the line placement. For more information and to sign up for project updates see: https://www.hydro.mb.ca/projects/expansion/birtle/index. shtml Pesticide consultations MBP provided feedback into the province’s consultations around the cosmetic use of pesticides. The previous government had increased restrictions on the use of certain pesticides in certain settings. MBP reiterated its concerns that restrictions on pesticide use could lead to an increased spread of weeds and pests to pasture and crop lands from urban areas and municipal property situated in close proximity to agricultural operations. This could have significant negative consequences for beef operations, especially when it comes to noxious weeds and invasive species.


October 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Youth beef roundup provides learning sluis and Ryley Kohut. Saturday's Workshops were given by Melissa McRae on photography and shooting video; Showmanhsip by Jennilee Bernier-Stewart Artificial Insemination – Justin Kristjansson; Farm Safety with Farmers with Disabilities.Memb ers; exhibited items in various competitions along with the cattle show and educational competitions both individual and team events. A complete list of results can be found on the Manitoba Beef Producers website, mbbeef. ca Results: ANGUS Senior Champion Angus Female- Lane Nykoliation Reserve Senior– Ty Nykoliation, Crandall Grand Champion Angus Female- Nolan Glover with Wiwa Creek Favorite 543’15 Reserve Grand Champion Angus- Ty Nykoliation with N7’s Mary Kate 37C Grand Champion Angus Bull- Levi Best with CHL Net Worth 26D Reserve Champion Bull – Lane Nykoliation with N7 Turbo HEREFORD Junior Champion Hereford Female- Levi Rimke Reserve Junior Champion Female – Justin Carvey Grand Champion Hereford female- Levi Rimke with MAR W18 Miss California 408C Reserve Grand- Justin Carvey with Twin View 76Y Athea 9C Grand Champion Hereford Bull Calf- Samanth

Rimke on MAR 736Y Denver 4D Reserve Grand Champion Hereford Bull – Teegan Hyndman with TEEG Rudolph SHORTHORN Junior Champion – Brooklyn Hedley Reserve Junior – Emily Speers Grand Champion Female – Wyatt Inglis, Rapid City on Uphill Princess 14B Reserve Grand Champion Female – Brooklyn Hedley on JT Muffin 41C SIMMENTAL Heifer Calf Champion – Austyn Peters Reserve Heifer Calf – Cody Carson Junior Champion – Sadie Anwender Reserve Junior Champion – Sam de Rocquigny Senior Champion – Sadie Anwender Reserve Senior – Cody Carson Champion Simmental Female- Sadie Anwender with RF Certainly Flirtin Reserve Champion Simmental female – Austyn Peters on Big Sky Darla Champion Simmental Bull Calf- Sadie Anwender with Me’N My Rockfeller Reserve Champion Simmental Bull – Cody Carson with NAC Straight Up 60D Mixed Breed (Limousin, and Belted Galloway) Grand Champion Female – Amanda Scott, Limousin- Amaglen Charity Reserve Grand Champion – Gavin Reid (Belted Galloway) – Split Lake Cookie Grand Champion Bull – Wyatt Inglis on Little Valley Spirit Reserve Grand champion

The Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup was held July 29-31 in Neepawa.

Bull- Sierra Inglis with Little Valley Bautista COMMERCIAL CATTLE DIVISION Junior Champion Female – Justin Carvey Reserve Junior – Katie Falconer Grand Champion Commercial Female – Justin Carvey, Alexander Reserve Grand Commercial Female – Katie Falconer, Hartney Champion Fat SteerEmma Harms Reserve Champion SteerBobbi Jo Foster

Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup Agribition Team- sponsored by gold sponsors Manitoba Charolais Association. Samantha Rimke, Adam Harms, Carson Rodgers ad James Reid This team will represent Roundup at the 2016 Canadian Western Agribition in Regina in November. GRAND AGGREGATE AWARDS Members were given 1 point for each animal and then points for the other

events they competed in. Platinum sponsor Enns Brothers. Grand Aggregate Pee Wee – Bree Russell, Reston Grand Aggregate Junior –Ty Nykoliation, Crandall Grand Aggregate Intermediate – Sadie Anwender, Radville Grand Aggregate Senior – Samantha Rimke, Oak Lake They received Jackets from platinum sponsor Enns Brothers.

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

October

Forty-nine enthusiastic Manitoba and Saskatchewan Junior Cattle Producers attended the ninth annual Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup July 29, 30 and 31,2016 in Neepawa Manitoba. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a top notch group of interested cattle producers and 91 head of cattle. Where else can you attend an event with 49 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 a clipping and grooming workshop put on by the Roundup weekend mentors Laura Horner and Jake Rawluk. The juniors learned the importance of proper hair care, and blowing procedures. After supper, 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, parts of the animal, identifying ag items and more. Winning team Samantha Rimke, Wyatt Inglis, Lainie Muir, Bree Russell, Gerrin Vander-

Monday, Oct 3

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wednesday, Oct 5

Presort Feeder Cattle Sale

Monday, Oct 10

NO SALE – open 10AM for Presort Delivery

Wednesday, Oct 12

Angus Presort Feeder Sale(FULL)

10AM 10AM

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Oct 19

Presort Feeder Cattle Sale

Monday, Oct 24

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Oct 26

Charolais Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Oct 28

Regular Feeder Sale

9AM

Monday, Oct 31

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wednesday, Nov 2

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 4

Regular Feeder Sale

9AM

Monday, Nov 7

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wednesday, Nov 9

Presort Feeder Sale

10AM

Friday, Nov 11

Regular Feeder Sale

9AM

Monday, Nov 14

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wednesday, Nov 16

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 18

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Nov 21

Butcher Sale

• CATTLEX offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers all Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts.

Wednesday, Nov 23

Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 25

Bred Cow Sale

• CATTLEX buys ALL classes of cattle direct from producers.

Monday, Nov 28

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 30

Presort Feeder Sale

CATTLEX LTD.

• CATTLEX is interested in purchasing large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls. For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: Andy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Jay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630

November

Sheep/Lamb & Goat Sale

Monday, Oct 17

2016 Fall Sale Schedule

Thursday, Oct 13

• May-August Feeder & Butcher Cattle Sold on Wednesdays. • All cattle must be CCIA tagged. • Sale dates and times subject to change • Sunday delivery between Noon and

12Noon 9AM 10AM 9AM 10AM

10AM

10AM 11:30AM 9AM 10AM 11:30AM 9AM 10AM

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 (204) 851-5465 • RICK GABRIELLE (204) 851-0613 • DRILLON BEATON (204) 851-7495 KEN DAY (204) 748-7713 • KOLTON MCINTOSH (204) 280-0359

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

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

Flooded beef producers prompts author’s first novel BY ANGELA LOVELL

Karen Emilson

HI-HOG

Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd.

NOVEMBER

The Outstanding Brand

dian magazine. She uses Icelandic words throughout her novel to make it more authentic, as many of the original Icelandic settlers to Manitoba could speak no English when they first arrived. The book follows the fictional Gudmundsson family as they start a new life in 1906 at Siglunes on Lake Manitoba. Told through the eyes of Asta, the middle daughter, the book documents their struggles and hardships as they settle the land, as

OCTOBER

complete and publish Be Still the Water after tackling it in earnest in 2011. Prior to that she was busy as a freelance writer, and had other writing projects on the go, including her non-fiction, Canadian bestsellers, Where Children Run and When Memories Remain and a book about the cattle industry, Just a Matter of Time. But Emilson always knew she wanted to write a story about the culture and the people of the Icelandic community she moved to in 1985. She quickly embraced its culture and says she loved to listen to her in-laws and neighbours speak fluent Icelandic. “There is a beautiful, sing-song quality to the language that I always enjoy,” she says. “What I enjoyed writing about the most was the culture and the people because Icelandic people have incredible wit and great spirit.” Emilson picked up some Icelandic words and spellings over the years, and through typesetting the Icelandic Cana-

2016 Fall Sale Schedule

It was the devastating Lake Manitoba flood of 2011 that prompted Karen Emilson to dust off the outline she had written ten years earlier for a novel about Icelandic settlers to Manitoba and write her first Novel, Be Still the Water. Emilson had lived in the Interlake for 25 years at Siglunes, and her heart went out to the people she knew who were struggling to save their land, their homes and their livestock. “The people who live along the lake, and make a living either fishing or farming or doing both, have such strong ties to the land it was heartbreaking to see the devastation,” says Emilson. “I felt outraged over the lack of appreciation for these people who have made an honest living on that land and lake for generations.” Emilson had worked with the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) on and off since 1998, first as a communications coordinator, and for many years as writer and editor of Cattle Country . During her work with MBP she saw first-hand all the efforts that farmers living in the Interlake region had taken to help protect the land and the lake. “I’ve heard people say that cattle producers are environmentalists in the truest sense of the word,” she said. “Many safeguards have been put in place by them over the years to conserve the lake, such as manure management, protecting riparian zones and off-site watering. One goal in writing the book was to give people reading it a better appreciation for the lake and, hopefully, some might even question the environmental consequences of the Portage Diversion.” In total it took Emilson five years to

well as their deep sense of tradition yet early adoption of a Canadian lifestyle. As with any family there are tragic, heart-breaking events such as floods, and a devastating Diphtheria epidemic, as well as celebrations of life and love, with a few dark secrets from the past thrown in for good measure. Emilson loves to write fact-based fiction, and although the Gundmundsson family and other main characters are fictional, a number of incidents in the book are based on true events. Emilson is remarried and now lives and writes at Grunthal, Manitoba, and is planning a follow-up novel to Be Still the Water. “I am not sure if you would call it a sequel, but it will be another book with overlapping characters and will answer one final question from the first book,” says Emilson. Be Still the Water is available at Chapters and McNally Robinson in Winnipeg; Tergesen’s in Gimli and the Arborg Pharmacy. She is planning a book tour and library visits this fall. Details about upcoming events are available on her website: www.karenemilson.com and on Facebook.

Tuesday, Oct 4

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 6

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Oct 11

Presort Calf Sale – Angus Influence

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 13

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Oct 18

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 20

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Oct 25

Presort Calf Sale – Hereford Influence 9:30AM

Thursday, Oct 27

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Nov 1

Presort Calf Sale – Angus Influence

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 3

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Nov 8

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 10

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Nov 15

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 17

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Thursday, Nov 17

Bred Cow Sale

1:00PM

Tuesday, Nov 22

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

Thursday, Nov 24

Regular Sale

9:00AM

Tuesday, Nov 29

Presort Calf Sale

9:30AM

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.

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October 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Producers should do their homework before selling their calves The fall calf run is here, and many producers are struggling as to whether to sell their calves or background them. If they choose to sell them, the next decision will include the questions when, by what method and where? So what makes this year any different than any other year? For the past two fall runs, cow-calf producers experienced record high prices. This year all of the fundamentals are pointing to considerably lower prices, and many of those same producers are convinced that the drop in the market prices will be short lived and that higher prices could be right around the corner. This year there is also an abundance of reasonably priced feed in most areas, leading many producers to take a second look at their marketing options. Having managed auctions for 30 years and having been an order buyer for nearly 25 years, many producers routinely ask me how and where is the best way to market their calves. This year many are seeking advice about the option of backgrounding and selling in the spring. Even though I buy lots of cattle directly from the producers, I truly believe that the public auction method is still the “true price discovery mechanism” in the cattle business. Here is the best advice that I can give when deciding how and where to market your calves. Do your homework, follow the markets and go to the sale barns to see what the market is for calves that are similar to yours. Do not just rely on the market reports; first of all they are history and have no bearing on what your calves are worth unless you are selling them that day. Learn about the futures markets for both the live and feeder cattle and watch the currency exchange. Even though the futures and the cash market have become detached, all forward pricing formulas and risk management programs are based on the futures. Develop a good working relationship with your market, and they can advise you as to what they think your class of calves will do at the next sale. Get them familiar with your calves so they know what you have to sell. Keep last year’s returns handy; that way when you are talking to the market or your buyer, you know what they weighed, when you sold them and what they averaged last year. That information helps everyone figure out where they might fit into the current market demand. The auction method of selling cattle is still the “true price discovery method,” but not all auctions do the same job. Some are better than others. Make sure the market you choose has a strong front row of buyers. Don’t be afraid to promote your own calves to the buyers. Let them know that your calves will be at ABC auction mart on Wednesday. Many of the auctions have gotten slack on promoting what is at the market for that week’s sale. They have gotten into the habit of sending out a text the night before with the number of head but very few details as to the different consignments. Most importantly, does the market do a good job of managing the sale, do they limit the number of calves per sale, do they have good, well maintained facilities and a staff trained to manage the shrink and stress on your calves? You sell pounds and that is critical. Are the cattle sorted and presented to the buyers in packages that attracts the most bidders and allows you the best

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line returns possible? Presort or regular sale? The advantage of the presort sale is that your shrink is managed and controlled. If sorted properly, the cattle are sold in uniform larger packages that usually bring the top prices. The cattle are on feed and water, and that reduces stress on the cattle. During the peak delivery seasons it allows the markets to sell large volumes of cattle in timely fashion. The disadvantage is that your calves and your farm lose their identity. If the cattle are not sorted carefully, then you risk that some of your calves end up in packages that they don’t exactly fit with. You have to trust the person who does the grading at the sale barn. The two-day weigh is unavoidable, but a bit of a concern. Cattle that are weighed two days in advance of the sale have to be properly cared for to maintain the health. If the presort is done properly, buyers, including the majority of my colleagues and myself, support the presorts as much as the regular sales. The opportunity to purchase load lots and know what is on the sale list for weighs and packages is appealing. The “show list’” concept is also very popular. It controls the shrink and allows the producer to maintain his or her identity. The concerns remain the same; the cattle have to be sorted properly, and feed and care after weighing is critical to the success of the sale. It is mainly geared towards the larger consignors. The “internet” sale has gained some popularity in the past few years. Once again it is geared to larger producers who have uniform truckload lots. The

GRUNTHAL LIVESTOCK AUCTION MART

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Monday, October 17 & 31 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves

person with whom you list the cattle is critical to the success of your sale. You need to select a listing agent who will do more than just list the cattle. Ask yourself, 'Are they well known across Canada and within the industry? Do they do the work needed prior to the sale, contacting buyers on your behalf, and do the regular buyers on the sale trust your agent’s description of the cattle.' Listing your cattle with an agent who is not well known is a bit like a blind date: you are not quite sure how it is going to work out! Some producers think that they are saving the selling commission when they sell direct. I have always said that if your marketing agent or auction market do the right job for you, it is money well spent. They live the market every day, and if they do their job, they should get you full value for your livestock. If you have large uniform lots, direct sales might be an option, but you need to really know your product the proper weight, the real value on that day’s market, weighing conditions and payment terms including the “proper slide." Auction markets and established dealers in Manitoba have a good history for “prompt payment.” That should always be considered when selling your calves. Marketing choices are a personal preference. Regardless of which method you choose, learn as much as you can about market demand for the different classes of cattle and base your decisions on knowledge rather than habit. Until next time, Rick

SAVE THE DATE

Feb 2 & 3

MBP’s 38th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 2 & 3, 2017 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

Wednesday, October 5 at 11:00 a.m. Dairy Sale Saturday, November 5 at 10:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

BRAD KEHLER - Manager/Field Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 204-346-2440 cell 204-434-9367 fax Box 71 Grunthal, Manitoba R0A 0R0

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2016

Eat like an athlete BY ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Meat Expert

Once again at an alarming pace we are being rushed into fall by cool and crisp aired mornings that instinctively leave us craving cozy knits and warm satisfying foods. This past summer has filled my life full of activity and there is no reason to stop being physically active now! This season on Great Tastes of Manitoba we featured an episode titled Eat like an Athlete; this really fueled my desire to keep moving while still being able to eat the foods I love. The concept of Eat like an Athlete means whether you are training for competitive or recreational sports, walking the dog in the evening or going on weekend hikes, you can still eat highly nutritious meals that are designed to fuel an active lifestyle. Thanks to the abundance of classes and gyms available, there is no excuse to sit around all winter waiting for the snow to melt before deciding to get heart healthy. Inspired by the determination of Team Canada at the summer Olympics I decided

to join yoga and dance classes. I’m not eating 16 bananas per day like Jamaican Sprinter Yohan Blake but naturally my body is craving more calories to fuel my workouts, and that’s a good thing! Food provides our bodies with energy from their calorie content; macronutrients such as protein and vital minerals such as iron to keep us going at any level of activity. It’s important to nourish our bodies with meals that combine nutrient dense ingredients, such as beef. Beef is an excellent protein option that contains more B12 vitamins than all other sources of meat or alternatives available (Dietitians of Canada, 2012). One serving of beef will provide the recommended daily intake suggested for both adult men and women of 2.4 – 2.6 mcg per day. Vitamin B12 assists in the formation of healthy blood cells used to oxygenate muscles and keep nerves working properly, allowing for maximum movement required during exercise. When preparing meals made with beef, you are serving up a competitive edge! Not all proteins are created equal and each serving of beef contains

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all 14 essential nutrients! This season of Great Tastes of Manitoba will be airing on CTV Saturday evening at 6:30. Researching and testing recipes for the Manitoba Beef Producers' episodes was delicious as always and equally as fun with host Dez Daniels and Manitoba Liquor Marts pairing expert, Aaron Alblas. Tune in for three great recipes that are healthy and perfect for those who are serious about health and nutrition. Don’t be fooled by how healthy these recipes are because each of them still packs the punch of delicious flavour while being easy to prepare on a weeknight. This issue we are sharing Mexicali Ground Beef Chili. This recipe is perfect for those who are in-

terested in meal prepping. Tune in Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. on CTV Winnipeg for a guide on how I prepare big batch beef. The recipe will increase organization and creativity in your kitchen, guaranteed. Look for one of our printed recipes in the Winnipeg Free Press Oct. 5. Share with us how you are keeping active this fall; visit Manitoba Beef Producers on Facebook and Twitter. Happy Halloween and thanks for reading. Works Cited Dietitians of Canada. (2012, March 22). Food Sources of Vitamin B12. Retrieved September 10, 2016, from Dietitians of Canada: http://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/ Factsheets/Food-Sourcesof-Vitamin-B12.aspx

FIND US ONLINE:

Facebook.com @ManitobaBeef

mbbeef.ca

Mexicali Ground Beef Chili 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes, drained 2 cups (500 mL) frozen Big Batch Ground Beef (recipe follows) 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) EACH kidney and black beans, drained and rinsed 1 sweet green pepper, diced 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chili powder 1 tsp (5mL) salt 1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin ¼ cup (50 mL) tomato paste ¼ tsp (1mL) dried crushed chili peppers (optional) DIRECTIONS: Combine ingredients in saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Big Batch Beef: Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook 4 lb (2 kg) Extra Lean Ground Beef in Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, breaking into small chunks with back of spoon, until browned. Add 4 EACH onion and cloves of garlic, minced, simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are softened. Spread in a single layer on several foil or parchment paper-lined baking trays; freeze until meat is firm, about 1 hour. Loosen into chunks, scoop meal-sized portions into freezer bags (2 cups (500 mL) per freezer bag). Freeze for up to 3 months.

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

NOVEMBER 2016

Beef industry needs to work together Page 3

Behavioural health in agriculture Page 12

Renewed interest in sanfoin Page 6

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.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MANITOBA BEEF & FORAGE INITIATIVES


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

Young producers face unique challenges BY RON FRIESEN Ryan Boyd can thank his family for giving him a head start in the cattle business. Ryan is in the later stages of an intergenerational transfer of the family farm north of Brandon from his parents Jim and Joanne. That includes 2,000 acres of grain land and around 300 cows, mostly Black Angus. But even though the succession plan is proceeding smoothly, Ryan still has the perennial problem that most young producers face: access to capital. As a result, his financial margins as a young cattle producer can be pretty thin. “After land payments and cattle payments, there’s really nothing left to live on. It’s tough for cash flow,” Ryan says. Kristy-Layne Carr’s situation is both different and similar. She and her husband Richard have around 200 cow-calf pairs on their operation near La Broquerie. Unlike Ryan, Kristy-Layne does not have a family farm to take over. She and Richard have had to start from scratch. But she does have one thing in common with Ryan. That’s financing — in her case, loans for cattle, land and equipment. “That’s been our biggest challenge — having all this short-term debt we needed to get going because we needed everything up front,” she says. Ryan, 33, and Kristy-Layne, 34, are opposite sides of the same coin. One has a ready-made farming operation

GRUNTHAL LIVESTOCK AUCTION MART

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Monday, November 14 & 28 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves Tuesday, November 15 at 9:00a.m. Regular Cattle Sale & Angus Sale Saturday, November 5 & December 10 at 10:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

BRAD KEHLER - Manager/Field Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 204-346-2440 cell 204-434-9367 fax Box 71 Grunthal, Manitoba R0A 0R0

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

to take over; the other does not. At the same time, both are young producers starting out, both have young families and both have debt. Terry Betker knows all about it. As president and CEO of Backswath Management Inc., he sometimes advises young farmers on starting operations. He also teaches in the agriculture diploma program at the University of Manitoba and often has students who plan to go into farming for themselves. Betker recognizes young producers have financial constraints that established producers do not have. Access to capital, especially when you have no collateral of your own, is a huge issue. But Betker says there’s another limitation that’s often overlooked: time constraints. Young producers need a time management system to handle a volume of work that’s always growing. “Expanding a herd is a function of scalability,” Betker says. “You need a model to give the most flexibility for the labour you contribute.” Time is definitely an issue for Kristy-Layne. She’s currently at home with four young children, including three-year-old twins, while Richard works full-time as a nutrition consultant for Masterfeeds. Besides taking care of both the kids and the livestock while Richard is at work, she also takes care of the bookkeeping. Ryan is also busy. He and his wife Sarah have two small children and no full-time hired labour, although they do have help during the busy season as his dad, 61, still works on the farm and his uncle, a retired electrician, also comes over and helps occasionally. To help manage time and keep their costs down, Ryan and his dad switched to calving in spring. Having calves on grass helps them capitalize on grazing management. This enables thim to limit spending on infrastructure, such as calving barns. Ryan also keeps overhead down by not owning a baler and hiring the work that needs to be done. Longer term, Ryan expects to be largely debt-free in 10 years except for land payments. He hopes to focus on value-added, such as selling bred cows and heifers, and branding his product. “I don’t want to be a just commodity producer. I want to be higher up the food chain than that.” Kristy-Layne hopes she and Richard will eventually be able to double their herd size to 400 cows. That would put them at a comfortable level for commercial production. Right now, however, they are not in an expansion mode because of volatile market prices. In fact, they downsized their herd numbers slightly this past year to take advantage of higher prices, which have since declined. Kristy-Layne says she and Richard were able to cashflow things more easily when prices were high. Now their

margins are a lot narrower because of all the payments they have to make. But they may be able to settle some short-term debt in the next year, which will make cash flow easier. They have had to buy a section of land for hay and pasture. They purchase 50 acres worth of corn silage from a neighbour, which helps control feed costs. As a nutrition consultant, Richard’s training comes in handy when it comes to managing nutrition costs. One advantage Ryan and Kristy-Layne have in common is advanced education. Ryan has an agriculture degree with a major in agronomy from the University of Manitoba. Kristy-Layne holds an MSc in animal and range science from North Dakota State and previously worked as manager for the local Seine Rat River Conservation District. Both have their education to fall back on if times get tough. Kristy-Layne has mixed feelings about not being able to take over a family farm through an intergenerational transfer. On the one hand, having an established operation and a family to mentor her would be easier. On the other hand, she’s able to avoid problems that can occur if family succession plans go off the rails. Kristy-Layne currently participates in the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Development Program — a Canadian Cattlemen’s Association mentorship program that provides industry training. Betker says government might also be able to offer guidance to young producers by developing business template models with step-by-step approaches so they’re not doing it blind. Betker says beef producer organizations could also help by matching older producers with younger ones looking to get into the business. Let’s say there’s a rancher who wants to retire but has no one in the family to take over the operation. The industry might find an eligible candidate outside the family to take over the herd. Betker also suggests young producers in close proximity could band together to share equipment and responsibility for calving so they’re not on their own all the time. “I wonder if the industry could be a little bit more deliberate in trying to enable that to happen,” says Betker. Ryan and Kristy-Layne agree it’s critical for young producers to have a goal and a plan on how to get there. They also need to be realistic because times are not always going to be good and producers have to be prepared for lean years as well as fat ones. “If you can make it work, pencil things out in the lean years and take the stand that when you’ve got higher years you need to use that extra money in a wise way, that’s going to help,” Kristy-Layne says. And, above all, try to stay positive, no matter what happens. “The moment I’m not, I’m out of the business,” says Ryan.

Strong group of bulls for you to choose from. Come pick yours out today! Monty Thomson Cell #: (204) 870-0089 Gladstone, MB www.hatfieldclydesdales.com

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 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

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

KEN MCKAY

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

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 - SECRETARY

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

Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Beef industry must define itself

BY ANGELA LOVELL

The beef industry as a whole needs to work cooperatively to engage consumers and send them the right messages about how their food is produced. It’s something the industry – from producers right through the entire value chain to end users needs to get better at, said Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs and sustainability for JBS USA in his presentation at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary in August. “The onus is on us as an industry to better define ourselves, better define attributes in the products that we produce that articulate the values of who we are, why we do the things that we do so that consumers can have confidence and feel good about our products,” said Bruett. “The people communicating what agriculture is, its values, and its culture to consumers aren’t necessarily agriculturalists. This is our job as an industry.” Canada’s five-year, National Beef Strategy featured strongly at the first Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in where representatives from all sectors of the beef industry discussed the Strategy’s four pillars, which are connectivity, productivity, competitiveness and beef demand. The competitiveness pillar of the strategy has a defined goal of reducing cost disadvantages for Canadian beef compared to its main competitors by seven per cent by 2020. Sustainability Means Continuous Improvement One of the keys to

achieving this goal is making Canadian beef production more sustainable, so that it meets consumers’ changing expectations around social, economic and environmental issues. “We are going to have to change the discussion about what sustainability means,” said Bruett. “No matter what system you end up participating in, when it comes to sustainability, it’s always focussed on doing better today than you did yesterday so you can improve for tomorrow. That’s the nature of agricultural efficiency. We’re always trying to improve because it leads to profitability. It leads to more productive animals. It leads to more meat on the carcass. That’s what sustainability is about, continuous improvement. It’s not some destination, it’s a journey.” Being competitive also means having a regulatory system that supports the industry, encourages innovation and efficiency, and doesn’t add unnecessary burden or costs. Bruett pointed to the ethanol policy in the US as an example that has increased feed costs for livestock producers by subsidizing corn crops for energy. “It’s important to remember that policy stays around for a long time,” he said. “You have to be cautious about how you intervene in these markets so you’re not creating winners and losers.” Bruett’s also concerned about how the US is codifying marketing whims into law — giving examples such as the GMO labelling law and new organic rules around requirements for animal welfare. “If consumers are willing to pay more,

and someone can get a profit for making consumers think their product is superior, that’s fine from a marketing standpoint, but we’re putting it into law,” he said. “That necessarily means that at some point, these types of standards will become the rule of the land.” Harnessing Technology Technology and innovation are key drivers of competitiveness, and again the US model – which Bruett says has essentially starved agricultural research and extension of funding – can teach the Canadian beef industry a lot about the importance of maintaining scientific expertise and infrastructure. “I see technology as an opportunity, and we are going to have to marshal

technology if we’re going to have any chance of feeding a growing population,” says Bruett. “Technology is not evil, but this is what consumers are buying now. They believe GMOs and antibiotics are fundamentally wrong. Most consumers are totally divorced from all the technological and genetic gains that we’ve made over the last 50-70 years,” he said. “We have to change this debate. We’ve made tremendous gains since World War II when it comes to agriculture. It would be irresponsible, immoral to roll back those gains simply to meet the demands and expectations of very wealthy consumers in North America and Europe. We have a hungry planet. We want to have the opportunity to leverage technology so we can feed

the world.” Proudly Wear the Sustainability Halo Bruett does believe that the Canadian beef industry is making tremendous strides with its National Beef Strategy towards creating a diverse, but unified industry, and believes that its work in the sustainability area will create a strong advantage for its products in the marketplace. “A consumer should have in their mind, if it’s in my grocery story it must be sustainable because I know Canadian farmers and ranchers are working on their environmental footprint. I know they’re trying to marshal their water in the right way. I know they’re trying to reduce emissions. I know they’re treating their animals well. I know pack-

ers are implementing food safety protocols to create safe products for me and my family. A consumer should not have to make a sustainability choice in a supermarket. All beef should be sustainable,” said Bruett. “This is why we need to look at this issue in a precompetitive fashion so that everybody in the Canadian beef industry can have this wonderful, sustainable halo and then we can compete on price, and colour, and taste, and the other more traditional attributes or differentiation. Competition can occur. But I shouldn’t be selling my product as more sustainable than your product. Everyone should be proud they can make it sustainable.”

One Welfare Conference held in Winnipeg BY ANGELA LOVELL The first International ONE Welfare Conference, held in Winnipeg on Sept. 26 and 27, brought together speakers from Ireland, Australia, the US and Canada to discuss the interconnectivity of complex health issues that impact human, animal and environmental health and welfare. “The Province of Manitoba had already embraced One health, and we had a functioning working committee that was already doing activities in respect to disease control and food safety,” said Dr. Megan Bergman, Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Officer, in her opening address. “The One health concept is a collaborative and holistic approach to optimizing outcomes for complex health challenges, and it was quickly realised there was an opportunity to use that same approach with respect to ani-

mal welfare. ONE Welfare recognizes that approach, and that it’s a complex challenge to address animal welfare – we have multiple levels of scope – we have interconnected streams – many stakeholders are involved – and there are many challenges and many possible approaches.” Complex Issues Need Many Minds The conference, which brought together experts from different disciplines, such as physicians, psychologists, veterinarians, academics and researchers, emphasized the importance of working collaboratively to address issues that transcend human and animal health, such as hoarding (the inability to provide minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care, which can result in animal starvation, illness and death), domestic violence and abuse, squalor, mental health and social isolation. One health is a worldwide, in-

terdisciplinary collaboration, and the idea is that human health is connected with animal health and the health of the environment,” said Michael Routledge, Chief Public Health Officer for Manitoba. “This is the kind of collaborative thinking and work that needs to happen if we are going to address human health and all the other areas as well. It’s hard work but it’s critical.” As Chief Veterinary Officer, Bergman is responsible for animal welfare in Manitoba, and the issues are similar in both companion animals and livestock. “We see issues of starvation, animal hoarding, squalor and declining facilities,” she said. “Domestic abuse scenarios can result in the abuser abusing the animals as leverage against their victims. In some cases a producer becomes isolated and withdraws from continuing to participate in normal commercial practices.”

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

Much work needed to grow the herd Fall always seems to be busy on the farm as we trya to get everything done before the snow comes. It has also been a busy time at Manitoba Beef Producers as we have been meeting with Agriculture

Minister Ralph Eichler, Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox and Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. The meeting with

Minister Eichler was to speak with him and his staff about his desire to see the provincial beef herd return to pre-BSE levels. MBP raised issues and concerns regarding that topic and while I will share

a few of those with you in this article, we also want to hear from producers about growing the herd at our fall district meetings. Land supply is a key concern around building the herd. The cost of

What an Adventure!

The annual Amazing Agriculture Adventure was held in late September by Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba. Designed to teach students more about agriculture and where their food comes from, the event was held at the Richardson Kelburn Farm and the Glenlea Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Manitoba Beef Producers was stationed at Glenlea where Director Dianne Riding and Terra Bergen spoke to kids about the beef industry and production practices.

MANITOBA LIVESTOCK MARKETING ASSOCIATION

Serving Cattle Producers and Promoting The Manitoba Cattle Industry The Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association would like to thank the many generous sponsors and the 160 golfers that made the Cattlemen’s Golf Classic a success.

A big thank you to the Killarney Lakeside Golf Course and their many volunteers. And to Jackie Dann, Cliff Penno, Don Ransom and Grant Howse for cooking the steaks.

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Zoetis, Neil Watson Kane Vet Supply/Allflex Prairie Livestock Heartland Order Buying Co. Quintaine Livestock Prairie Partners Bull & Female Sale Taylor Trucking, Moosomin Titan Livestock Cattlex Anderson Livestock, Scott Anderson Jason Walton Trucking Pick Seed, Shane Terry Merial (Darryl Dicks & Steve Cuddington) Total Farm Supply Dana & Megan Johns

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Total Farm Supply Renards Meats ,Virden Royal Bank Southwest Agencies Ste. Rose Auctiont Mart TD Bank Vanguard Credit Union Virden Animal Hospital Calidon Leasing, Cameron Agencies Cherry Creek Simmentals Dana & Megan Johns Feedlot Grunthal Auction M. C. & S. Transport Scott Bros. Feedlot Weaver Order Buying Weiller Williams Virden Ford Wrights Auction Service Western Archrib DFL Trucking , Virden 3M Beef Supplies Rocky Mountain Equipment Morris Sales & Service

www.mbbeef.ca

buying or renting land remains very expensive, due in part to competition from outside forces, whether it be people converting to annual crops, conservation groups or urban development. Producers need access to Crown lands for pasture and forage production and the Animal Unit Month limits need to be reviewed as herd sizes grow. The community pasture transition project needs to be continued past the pilot project stage so producers have access to these pastures. Water management and flooding that has taken acres out of production, completing the second water outlet out of Lake Manitoba and timely bridge and road repairs are also important issues affecting the industry at large. Our meeting with Minister Pedersen was a great chance to discuss those issues and more, including the rough condition of some railway crossings. In our meeting with Minister Cox, wildlife predation and its impact on the livelihood of beef producers was a major point of discussion. Wolves and coyotes are huge problems in many areas, causing big financial losses for producers. MBP is seeking continued support for the Problem Predator Removal Program and would also like to see incentives avail-

HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along able to remove problem predators. Water management poses challenges to the beef industry such as flooding and habitat destruction caused by beavers. Dealing with these matters would be of great help as we work to grow the industry. So, as you can tell, there are many issues that need to be addressed and those mentioned in this article are a small part of the bigger picture. A strategy plan needs to be developed to move forward. The district meetings just got underway in late October and I expect some good discussion on this topic and other issues affecting the beef industry. Only by working together with all stakeholder groups will we see this industry be profitable and grow. Also, please mark your calendar and plan to attend the 38th Annual General Meeting and President’s Banquet Feb. 2-3, 2017 at the Victoria Inn, Brandon. So until next time Keep Moovin’ Along.

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November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

Global conference advances beef sustainability Advancing zero deforestation in beef production, assessing the overall sustainability of the beef value chain and connecting consumers and sustainability were just a few of the topics discussed at the 2016 Global Conference on Sustainable Beef (GCSB) held October 4–7 at the Fairmont Hotel in Banff Springs, Alberta. Nearly 225 beef value chain stakeholders from 15 countries around the world participated in seminars and moderated discussions focused on advocating for continuous improvement in the global beef value chain. The Conference was co-hosted by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). “We were delighted with the mixture of people that attended the conference,” said Dennis Laycraft, president of the GRSB. “We covered a number of critical industry topics on beef sustainability and fostered discussions that brought people together. With that, I think we achieved what we had hoped for – we are bringing more interest and recognition to sustainability and the role of the beef industry.” The Conference, themed “Building On Experience: Regionally and Globally,” offered more than 15 interactive sessions and 50 presentations on areas of beef sustainability and continuous improvement. Dr. David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College

London, began the Conference with a keynote presentation entitled “What Do You Want with Your Beef,” which addressed the history of consumer consumption and marketing of beef and current consumer expectations of the industry. “Canada was honored to co-host this forwardthinking conference and pleased to showcase the work being done here,” said Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, a rancher from Alberta and Chair of the CRSB. “The conference was a great opportunity to exchange information and learn from our global partners and stakeholders.” During the Global Conference, the CRSB launched its National Beef Sustainability Assessment and Strategy. The Assessment is a farm to fork study examining the environmental, social and economic performance of the Canadian beef industry. The Sustainability Strategy sets goals, baselines, key perfor-

mance indicators and action items to help the CRSB target its efforts and move sustainability forward. The CRSB also held its annual general meeting on Oct. 7. The AGM saw the election of the following individuals to council, the CRSB’s governing body: Bob Lowe, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Alberta Beef Producers, and Greg Bowie, Alberta Beef Producers, Producer/ Processor Organization seats; Frank Middleton, Processor seat; Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, McDonald’s Canada, Retail and Food Service seat; Tim Hardman, World Wildlife Fund, non-governmental organization seat; Jodi Banks, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, and Sean Royer, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry were both appointed by council to the ex-officio seats; Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, Chair of the CRSB. “The Canadian Roundtable has shown

practical examples of beef sustainability at the conference,” added Ruaraidh Petre, executive director of the GRSB. “They are actually putting GRSB’s criteria and principles, which are very

high level, into more practical implementation on the ground. But even beyond that, they are also demonstrating how you measure the impact.” Video presentations

5

from the Conference will soon be made available online. For more information on the Global Conference for Sustainable Beef and GRSB, please visit www.grsbeef.org. – Media Release

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Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in odd numbered districts. All Meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. DISTRICT

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

DISTRICT

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

District 11

Caron Clarke*

Oct-24

Ashern Royal Canadian Legion

3 Main St. E, Ashern

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-07

Bowsman Legion Hall

ADDRESS 206 2nd St., Bowsman

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-08

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-09

Royal Canadian Legion

19 Burrows Ave. W., Gilbert Plains

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-10

Birtle United Church Fellowship Hall

684 Vine St., Birtle

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-25

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Oct-26

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Nov-01

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-02

Mountview Centre

111 S Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 10

Ken McKay

Nov-14

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-03

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oak Lake

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-15

*Director Retiring District 5 Ramona Blyth

Neepawa Royal Canadian Legion

425 Brown Ave., Neepawa

Nov-04

Carberry Memorial Hall

224 2nd Ave., Carberry

District 3

Peter Penner

Nov-16

Carman Community Hall

60 1st Ave. NW, Carman

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

www.mbbeef.ca


6

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

New multi-location research project on sainfoin seeding rate and agronomic performance EMMA MCGEOUGH

Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba

LYNNE PINDER Extension Coordinator, Manitoba Beef Producers

In Western Canada, beef production systems rely on perennial forages as a major component of cattle diets, particularly in the cow-calf sector. Alfalfa has traditionally been a staple forage for producers, however, the risk of pasture bloat is a deterrent in its use in large quantities in perennial swards. Renewed interest in sainfoin, a condensed tannin-containing legume, has arisen as it offers producers the opportunity to mitigate bloat risk when included in alfalfa-based swards and can support comparable levels of animal productivity. However, the cost of sainfoin establishment, its persistence in swards and limited information about its agronomic performance when grown in mixtures with grasses has limited its utilization. Generating new information? To address these issues, researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Universities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and Western Beef Development Centre are collaborating on a Beef Cattle Research Council-funded project to provide new information for producers considering sainfoin as a part of their grazing/haying programme. In general, persistence of sainfoin

in stands has been a major problem as its regrowth following cutting is commonly poor. Renewed interest in sainfoin has led to breeding programs with a focus on persistence and regrowth following haying or grazing and has resulted in a new cultivar, AAC Mountainview, developed by Dr. Surya Acharya at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Selected for improved persistence in mixed stands with alfalfa, AAC Mountainview is one of two sainfoin cultivars under investigation in this study with the other being cultivar Melrose, an older Canadian cultivar. Historically, the high cost of sainfoin seed has also been an important barrier to its adoption in many operations. This project aims to assess the seeding rate of sainfoin in pure and mixed stands with grasses in a bid to identify an optimum rate to overcome the high seed and establishment costs of this forage. To achieve this goal, forage plots were established in the spring of 2015 at four sites across Manitoba and Saskatchewan representing a range of soil and climatic conditions to provide information under a variety of growing conditions. In addition to a range of seeding rates being assessed, a range of grass/sainfoin ratios are being evaluated. Grasses used for mixed stands included crested wheatgrass (AC Goliath), meadow bromegrass (Armada) and hybrid bromegrass (AC

Knowles). Agronomic measurements include plant establishment and survival, forage yield, quality and botanical composition. Additionally, the inclusion of a one-or-two cut management strategy aims to address the issue of cutting frequency and its implications on plant regrowth and the agronomic factors l isted above. Value for cattle feeding Relatively little information exists on the nutritive value of sainfoin in mixtures with grasses. This study will assess a range of forage quality parameters including crude protein, fibre, en-

ergy and RFV. Furthermore, laboratory techniques will be utilized to evaluate the digestive potential of these forages. Data generated will provide knowledge on the feeding value of pure and mixed swards for beef cattle. The development of long-lasting, bloat safe and productive perennial pastures is a key goal in forage/beef production systems across the Prairies provinces. Upon its completion in 2018, this project will provide valuable agronomic information in a bid to reduce the input costs for sainfoin and thus increase the productivity and economic returns for cattle and hay producers.

Forage plots were established in the spring of 2015 at four sites across Manitoba and Saskatchewan representing a range of soil and climatic conditions to provide information under a variety of growing conditions.

www.mbbeef.ca


November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Ultrasound can be a valuable tool for testing DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis for beef cattle has become much more common as technology has evolved with better image clarity and machine portability. Like myself, many veterinarians first started using ultrasound for pregnancy diagnosis in horses at breeding facilities or during dairy herdwork where early detection of nonpregnancy allowed timely interventions to get the animal rebred. Advertisements of bred beef heifers or cows for private sale now often state that they have been pregnancy tested with ultrasound, as if implying that this is better than “arming”. I just recently had a call from a client who had heard that using ultrasound would allow him to learn the calving date to the day. It would be much more accurate to inject with a prostaglandin and dexamethasone to almost guarantee calving in 24-36 hours and help you plan who to put in the barn on those cold nights. Due dates vary, regardless of the conception date. Think about your AI synchronization program where all animals are bred the same day but calve over a period of two weeks. I use both ultrasound and rectal palpation during my fall pregnancy testing. Ultrasound is a great tool but, like any tool, it has its pitfalls and sometimes good old “arming” is more accurate and faster. Ultrasound is superior to palpation when it comes to fetal aging but will take longer if staging later pregnancies (after 100 days gestation). Crown rump length as well as an assessment of fluid volumes in the uterus is used to stage early pregnancies. Head diameter measurements improve accuracy when used at two to five months gestation. After that, eye and plac-

entome (“buttons” on the uterus) diameters are used. Button size varies between cows so placentome diameters tend to be the least accurate but are most easily evaluated during later pregnancies when the head is not always readily visualized. If staging is important to you, get your cows preg checked early - 40 days after the bull is pulled. If using rectal palpation, you will have to wait until 50-60 days after breeding before a pregnancy can be detected. But keep in mind that if you ultrasound very early (under 45 days), consider rechecking those cows later since early embryonic death naturally occurs during that time and could be a reason for the cow coming up open at calving time. Ultrasound allows a more thorough assessment of the reproductive tract and is superior for evaluating those “problem”

cows. The uterus, fetus and structures on the ovary can be visually assessed to identify uterine infections, fetal death, presence of twins and ovarian structures. During the fall run, in the interest of time, most veterinarians only evaluate for pregnancy. I don’t generally scan the ovaries if a cow is open unless requested. Nor do I look hard for twins but if two fetuses are seen during my quick scan, I do advise my client. Fetal sexing can be done but it takes time and is a learned skill. The genital tubercle location and development of the scrotum can be first visualized at approximately 50 days gestation. The optimal window for fetal sexing is between day 55 and 70. After that time, the fetal size makes it more difficult to get the probe in the correct location to obtain the required image. So, again, if you

want sexing done, pregnancy test early. In beef cattle operations, fetal sexing still remains limited to the purebred industry and heifer development operations where potential buyers may wish to buy females that are pregnant with fetuses of a specific sex. Is ultrasound faster than rectal palpation? The answer is “it depends on the situation.” How many of you can read the screen of your cell phone or computer outside in bright sunlight? It is very hard, if not impossible. So your vet is not going to be able to see the ultrasound screen on the chute side monitor or on the goggles unless you provide some shade or it is a cloudy day (with no rain). Wearing a broad-rimmed hat helps shade my goggles but I lose peripheral vision and compromise my personal safety. Shading a chute side monitor works

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sions that could be missed if using an extender arm and will palpate any cows that I identify as open to ensure no misdiagnosis. But that is my preference. The extender arm has been a lifesaver for those vets with shoulder injuries or if working with wild cattle in facilities lacking a squeeze chute. If you lack moisture and you lack shade, ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis will be slower and could potentially be more inaccurate. If the facility and conditions are ideal, ultrasound is much faster and just as accurate as rectal palpation in the hands of an experienced vet. In my practice, the costs to palpate versus ultrasound are not really that different. My job is to get pregnancy testing done competently and efficiently using my arm, ultrasound or both. I’m sure your veterinarian will agree.

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well but the monitor cannot always be conveniently placed to allow the chute gates to open, people to work around the chute and the vet to see the monitor while “in the cow.” I much prefer my goggles and will use ultrasound if working under a roof and not required to push cattle and work poles and the chute. Don’t expect your vet to multi-task if using ultrasound. My goggles and probe with its cord are expensive. The ultrasound image is produced when the probe contacts moist rectal mucosa. Moisture makes it much easier to ultrasound (and rectally palpate). Don’t keep cows off water overnight. The manure should be loose and not too fibrous but also not too loose. I still like to reach in with my arm, even when ultrasounding. I can detect other issues like adhe-

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8

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November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development other reasons why the whole issue of molds ELIZABETH NERNBERG and mycotoxins is gray. Farm Production Extension Livestock Specialist They can be present in Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural very small amounts and Development (MAFRD) be unevenly distributed, Elizabeth.Nernberg@gov.mb.ca but continue to grow and Q: The wet weather ability to detoxify myco- change in storage. You this summer played hav- toxins with microbes in can use feed testing to see if mold and mycotoxoc with harvesting hay their rumen. and grain. Should I be Because moldy feed ins are present. Be sure concerned with moldy is not as palatable, it to use an accredited labohay or fusarium-infect- can cause reduced in- ratory, and keep in mind ed grain? take and animal perfor- that fees vary depending A: It has been a mance. Moldy feed can on the test package you challenge this year to get also be harder to digest select. A mold count, a up good quality feed, as and can reduce energy mold identification and we can see by the number content by as much as mold ratio will give you of slumped bales around five to ten per cent. If re- an idea of whether each the countryside. This duced feed quality is not type of mold is present Slumping of bales usually indicates the hay that was baled had a higher than ideal hay, likely baled with properly supplemented, at the time of sampling. moisture content and molds could be present. higher than ideal mois- it can cause poor fer- You can also request a ture content, could cause tility and problems mycotoxin screen, which you have a representative tal vitamin E is recom- line. Although problems the feed to spoil and go in newborns, such as will tell you what levels of sample, you should probe mended with rations in cattle production from from 15 to 20 bales per containing moldy feeds. molds and mycotoxins mycotoxins are present. moldy. weak calves. lot of hay. Toxic effects from are rare, they may warIt is important to In addition, fusariThere are no conFor grain sampling, mycotoxins can include rant some additional atfollow proper sampling um-infected fields were crete recommendations the best method is to take feed refusal, liver damtention, given the wetter procedures to make sure widespread across the for safe mold counts. Part multiple small samples age, reduced concepconditions we’ve had this you have a random and province, creating a con- of the confusion is that from different locations tion, abortion, reduced year. representative sample. cern for mycotoxins like moldy feeds may or may throughout the lot (at gain and feed efficiency. Want to Learn More Selecting only the better deoxynivalenol (DON). not produce mycotoxins least five locations). The Respiratory disease has About Molds and bales or the worst bales If mold is present, under certain conditions. sampling probe should also been seen in cattle Mycotoxins? is not a true picture of that doesn’t necessarily These mycotoxins can be be long enough to reach inhaling a large number Join us for a free the stack of hay. Use a mean the feed can’t be harmful to livestock, dethe center of the bin. of fungal spores. In huStockTalk webinar on sharp, well-designed corused. Cattle are gener- pending on the types and When you receive mans, this is referred to November 15. To regising device and probe the ally more resistant to levels of mycotoxins that your mold and mycotoxas Farmer’s Lung. ter, go to: https://attendcentre of the curved side mold toxins than mono- are present. In Manitoba, the ee.gotowebinar.com/regastrics, as they have the There are several of the bale. To make sure in analysis, you should work with your livestock mycotoxins of greatest giter/871449864131455 nutritionist to determine concern are produced by 5907 a feeding plan. In many the molds Aspergillus, We Want to Hear From cases, the suspect feed Penicillium and Mucor. You WHY NOT SELECT SIMMENTAL GENETICS FROM THE LONGEST RUNNING ASSOCIATION SALE can be diluted with mold Penicillium and AsperFor the next issue of or mycotoxin-free feed gillus can cause respira- Cattle Country, Manitoth to reach safe mold lev- tory irritation and/or in- ba Agriculture livestock els. Younger and stressed fection for both livestock specialist Ray Bittner will animals are more suscep- and humans, and Mucor answer a selected questible to toxins than ma- may cause abortions. tion about feed tests. ture ones. It’s also best to Fusarium is also a Send your questions to avoid feeding moldy feed concern this year with ray.bittner@gov.mb.ca by to pregnant or lactating the mycotoxin it pro- November 2, 2016. FULL FLECKVIEH | RED & BLACK animals. duces, DON, which is StockTalk Q&A FeaSIMMENTAL BULLS, There are other manmost often referred to as ture for Cattle Country is BRED HEIFFERS & HEIFFER CALVES agement practices that vomitoxin. In Canada, brought to you by Manialso might be helpful. the Canadian Food In- toba Agriculture. We Introduce suspect feed spection Agency (CFIA) encourage you to email Keystone Centre | Brandon, MB slowly to give animal’s has set a limit of five your questions to our time to adjust to the poor parts per million (PPM) department’s forage and KEYSTONE SALES MANAGEMENT taste and dust. Be sure as the recommended livestock team, who have Blair and Lois McRae the ration is balanced, guideline for beef cattle. a combined 230 years 204-728-3058 | marmac@netlink.ca because slight nutrient Most of the time, feeds of agronomy experideficiencies can make with high levels of DON ence. We are here to help animals more susceptible can easily be diluted with make your cattle operato mycotoxin poisonings. other clean feeds to get tion successful. Contact In addition, supplemen- below the 5ppm guide- us today.

THE CATTLE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT

38

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November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Government Activities Update: Carbon pricing a hot topic BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Coordinator

The debate over how Canada will meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets is ramping up after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government intends to see carbon pricing in place in all Canadian jurisdictions by 2018. This would include provincial and territorial governments using either a cap-and-trade system or placing a direct price on carbon pollution. If provinces and territories do not adopt one of these two systems by 2018 the federal government has said it will provide the benchmark for pricing carbon emissions. The federal government has indicated the price on carbon pollution should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018 and rise by $10 a year to reach $50 per tonne in 2022. It has also stated that revenues generated from carbon pricing is to stay with the provinces and territories of origin to use as they see fit. Canada has committed to reducing GHG emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Under cap-and-trade systems, governments set a cap on total GHG emissions that targeted sectors can emit. Affected entities would need to have enough of an allowance (permits or credits) to cover their emissions if they are over this cap. Companies can take steps to reduce their emissions if they exceed the cap. As well, they can buy or sell allowances from other entities that have reduced their emissions and have surplus credits. Caps are reduced over time to stimulate further reductions in emissions. Under a carbon tax system a fee is place on sources of GHG emissions, such as a surcharge on carbon-based fuels or on certain industrial processes. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have already introduced carbon pricing. Some provinces use a hybrid system of carbon pricing and cap-and-trade mechanisms. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has ruled out using a cap-and-trade system and his government is currently evaluating what carbon pricing would look like in the province. The province has also indicated that its made-in-Manitoba climate action plan should include

land use and conservation measures to sequester carbon and foster adaptation to climate change. Manitoba represents 3.6 per cent of Canada’s population and 3 per cent of national GHG emissions, while Canada represents 2 per cent of world’s emissions. The transportation and agriculture sectors are the largest sources of Manitoba’s GHG emissions, at 39 and 30 per cent respectively. There are many questions about how a carbon tax could affect the agriculture sector. If applied to fuel, heating products and industrial processes (such as manufacturing fertilizer) these costs could be passed down to primary producers. For example, in 2008 BC introduced a revenue neutral carbon tax that applies to gas, diesel, propane and natural gas. However, not until 2014 did the BC government implement a full exemption for farm gas and diesel, as well as a $200 annual rebate for fuel used for personal vehicles by northern and rural homeowners. Because BC’s carbon tax is revenue neutral that province has recycled the money it collects and used it to cut other taxes, including the school tax on farmland, as well as personal, corporate and small business income taxes. There are questions about how Manitoba might recycle revenue generated through a carbon tax, such as providing tax cuts, making investments in research and technology aimed at reducing GHG (which could potentially benefit agriculture) or investing in programs that recognize the valuable ecosystem services producers provide on the landscape, such as sequestering carbon. Beef Industry Assessment Released On a related note, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) recently released the findings of the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and Strategy. This two-year study, conducted by Deloitte and Canfax Research Services, examined all aspects of Canadian beef production, including climate change, carbon storage, biodiversity, animal health and welfare, economic sustainability and more. The assessment found that Canada is a very efficient beef producer in regards to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with a total footprint of 11.4 kg CO2 eq. per kg of live weight. From a value chain perspective, the farming stage accounts for 74 per cent of the industry’s

GHG footprint, followed by consumption (10 per cent ); processing (6 per cent ); retail and transportation (4 per cent each); and packing (1 per cent ). Overall, the beef industry accounts for 3.2 per cent of Canada’s total GHG footprint. The Strategy also determined that land used for beef production in Canada accounts for 33 per cent of agricultural land and 68 per cent of the potential wildlife habitat on the agricultural landscape. This land currently stores approximately 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon, making it an extremely valuable resource. Past research has valued the carbon stored in prairie grasslands alone at $4.3 billion. “The results reflect positively on the Canadian beef industry,” noted Fawn Jackson, Executive Director of the CRSB. “However, there are still opportunities for improvement, as well as areas in which industry wants to continue to excel, which is why the National Beef Sustainability Strategy was created.” The Strategy, which will be reviewed every five years, also sets out goals, performance indicators and action items for the CRSB to help advance continuous improvements in the sustainability of Canada’s beef industry. To see the Strategy go to: http://crsb.ca/wp-content/ uploads/resources/NBSA_and_Strategy_summary_report_web1.pdf Expanded trade opportunities China and Mexico have both agreed to accept more Canadian beef exports. Under a recently signed protocol, China has agreed that Canadian beef exporters will have expanded access for frozen, bone-in beef from animals less than 30 months of age. China previously only accepted boneless beef from animals less than 30 months old. Canadian beef exports to China were valued at $255 million in 2015 and this new access is estimated to be worth an added $10 million annually. Effective October 1 Mexico was fully re-opened to Canadian beef and beef products. Prior to this Mexico had not been accepting beef from cattle over 30 months of age and some under 30 month offal. Mexico is a key export market for Canadian beef. From 2011 to 2015, Canada averaged $136 million in annual beef exports there and it is projected this expanded access will result in incremental sales valued at $10 million annually.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

Behavioural health in agriculture BY ANGELA LOVELL Recent research has confirmed that farmers’ stress levels can affect the health of their animals, reduce productivity and increase the risk of on-farm injuries. So it is little wonder that the emerging field of behavioural health is becoming increasingly important in agriculture. Dr. Michael Rosmann is a clinical psychologist and Iowa farmer, who is a leading authority on the subject of agricultural behavioural science. Rosmann presented some of the research into this area at the One Welfare conference in Winnipeg in September. A Swedish study in 2011 was one of the first to explore how human behaviour affects livestock. It found that the there was an increase in incidences of mastitis and bovine diseases in dairy cows when their human handlers were stressed and felt less satisfied with their work. Workers who felt managers valued their input were happier and contributed

more to the productivity of the dairy operation, and their cows were healthier and more productive. An analysis of injuries to North Dakota farmers during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s indicated that stress, especially financial difficulties, increased their risk of injury. Understanding the Culture of Farming “Behavioural health is a broad topic which encompasses spiritual, mental, social and emotional behaviours,” said Rosmann, who congratulated the One Welfare conference for bringing together a broad audience of people to help provide an understanding of the interaction of humans, animals and plants. “We are but a small component of a global system, and our behaviour influences other components in the system, so we need to be humble and careful about how we come up with the right answers for OneWelfare.” In order to find solutions and address behavioural challenges in agriculture, it’s necessary

to understand the culture of farming and how it evolved, said Rosmann. “We are territorial beings who are trying to find the optimal level of resources that enable us as farmers to produce essentials for life – food, fibres and, increasingly, biofuels,” he said. “There is historical evidence that agriculture underpins much of our current culture.” When the first systems to grow crops and raise livestock developed in the Fertile Crescent of southwest Asia around 15,000 years ago it meant that humans – who had been hunter-gatherers to that point – no longer had to migrate to follow herds of animals or find food. Being able to settle in one place and have a steady supply of food allowed for specialization, so some people became farmers, others builders, physicians, religious leaders and so on. Written language and a nuPsychologist and Iowa farmer, Dr. Michael Rosmann speaks about how agricultural merical system soon fol- behavioural health can affect the welfare of both humans and animals to attendees of lowed, as did systems of the first international ONE Welfare conference in Winnipeg in September. government and justice. Rosmann even suggests born when careful obser- Hyperactivity Disorder says Rosmann. “We farmthe scientific method was vation of the conditions (ADHD). As well, the ag- ers are unique, and our favourable to productiv- ricultural population has culture and our approach ity of certain seeds led to a higher propensity for to life need to be underplanned comparisons. depression and farmers stood. We are not very Farmers More Prone to are 10 times more likely to far along as a society in Depression and Suicide commit suicide than peo- admitting behavioural isFarm & Ranch Equipment Ltd. “But we learn more ple in the general popula- sues. The combination of about the culture of farm- tion according to a study psychology, behavioural The Outstanding Brand ing by studying the ge- released in the US in July health and psychosocial netics,” said Rosmann. 2016. “What this tells us health thinking within agPeople who farm are four about agriculture is how riculture is in its infancy. times more likely to carry important it is for us to in- We have much to do and a gene that predisposes clude behavioural health learn as we consider all of then to Attention Deficit as part of our thinking,” these matters.”

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2016 Winter Sale Schedule

NOVEMBER

HI-HOG

Presort Calf Sale – Angus Influence Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale

9:30AM 9:00AM 9:30AM 9:00AM 9:30AM 9:00AM 1:00PM 9:30AM 9:00AM 9:30AM 9:00AM 1:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 1:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 1:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 1:00PM

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

sa l e s @ h i - h o g . c o m Ava i l a b l e a t F e d e r a t e d C o - o p A g C e n t r e s

Tuesday, Nov 1 Thursday, Nov 3 Tuesday, Nov 8 Thursday, Nov 10 Tuesday, Nov 15 Thursday, Nov 17 Thursday, Nov 17 Tuesday, Nov 22 Thursday, Nov 24 Tuesday, Nov 29 Thursday, Dec 1 Thursday, Dec 1 Tuesday, Dec 6 Thursday, Dec 8 Thursday, Dec 8 Tuesday, Dec 13 Thursday, Dec 15 Thursday, Dec 15 Tuesday, Dec 20 Thursday, Dec 22 Thursday, Dec 22

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November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Adapting to climate change Manitoba’s role on the national stage

Global temperature is rising with 2015 being the warmest year on record. (Source: NOAA)

warmer winter for the cattle industry include increased opportunities for winter grazing and a more favourable environment for winter calving. A longer growing season means an expanded selection of feed crops. A warming climate also means the possibility of ex-

between the public and producers are essential to a continued social license for producing beef, and for achieving market demand targets. The beef industry is already adapting Canadian and Manitoban beef producers have

ing water use impacts over this same period. Kateryn specializes in insects as vectors of pathogens that can affect livestock. Currently Kateryn, in conjunction with AAFC scientists, is studying tick distribution changes in Western Canada over a 50 year period and the associated risk for transmitting anaplasmosis and other tick-borne diseases to cattle herds and wildlife. Most notably, they have measured an expansion of the American dog tick both northward and westward into Saskatchewan from its original range in southern Manitoba, suggesting potential expansion of the area of risk for transmission of tick-borne pathogens. At the processing end of the beef production system, Drs. Argenis RodasGonzalez and Claudia Narvaez Bravo were 2015-16 mentees. Argenis’ research focus in meat science and food safety is on meat composition, quality, shelf life and palatability. His research on mitigating and

recovering value of dark cutting beef is featured in the September issue of Cattle Country. Claudia’s food safety research focuses on the development of suitable pre- and post-harvest intervention strategies to reduce the presence of pathogenic organisms to ensure food safety within the meat production system. Dr. Emma McGeough was a mentee in 2014-15, the first year of the mentorship program. As part of her sustainable grasslands/ forages research program, Emma is currently in the last phase of a five-year forage evaluation trial conducted with the University of Saskatchewan and the Western Beef Development Centre. Promising annual and perennial forage species from the evaluation phase are now being tested for use in extended grazing systems at the Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiatives Inc. Johnson Research Farm in Brandon. The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program is another avenue by which the na-

tional beef industry invests in building future capacity by investing in individuals – the next generation of industry leaders. Of the five Manitobans that have participated in the program to date, all were undergraduate or graduate students in the Agriculture program at the U of M. Manitoba’s interests are well represented on the national stage With this breadth of expertise and close ties with the cattle industry, Manitoba’s interests are well represented on the national stage. These researchers have participated in the National Beef Research Strategy Workshop in June, the Beef Technology Transfer Workshop in September, and will be at the table again in October as part of the BCRC Science Advisory Panel. This national presence means that the research and extension priorities of Manitoba’s cattle industry will be included in the next round of national research and technology transfer strategies.

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November

The National Beef Strategy has set 2020 targets for productivity, competitiveness and beef demand; 15 per cent increase in production efficiency, 7 per cent reduction in cost disadvantages, and 15 per cent increase in carcass cut out value. Climate and other changes facing the beef industry will influence our ability to meet these targets. Research at the University of Manitoba is focused on helping industry address and adapt to these changes without compromising productivity or competitiveness. Adapting to change – climate and otherwise – was the focus on Dr. Kim Ominski’s presentation at the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August. Representing the team of beef systems and climate change adaptation researchers at the U of M, Kim spoke to the threats and opportunities for the beef industry arising from these changes. Adapting to warmer yet highly variable winter The global climate is warming, with 2015 being the warmest year on record. In western Canada, most of the warming over the past 60 years has occurred during the winter months, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 C, yet temperature extremes during the coldest months continue to be highly variable. Temperature spreads exceeding 50 C between minimum and maximum January temperatures have been recorded. Possible benefits of a

a history of adapting to change, and will continue to adapt if they have the right tools. National-level investments in research, education and extension are propelling the development of the essential tools and skills required for adaptation during this climate of change, and Manitoba is benefitting. Investing national dollars in Manitoba-based research: The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) reports that for every Canadian beef check-off dollar invested in research, the benefit-cost ratio is $34.5, compared with marketing at $13.5. University of Manitoba researchers currently hold four Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster research grants in collaboration with scientists across the prairies. Conducting studies on the ground in our province and working closely with Manitoba beef producers ensures that the Manitoba perspective is included at the national scale and that the resulting tools will be applicable to Manitoba’s producers. Investing national dollars in Manitoba researchers: The BCRC Beef Researcher Mentorship Program is an example of the beef industry building Canadian capacity and expertise by investing in people. The program pairs junior researchers with leaders in the Canadian beef industry - their mentors - such that they can draw on the experiences and wisdom of progressive producers and industry professionals across the country in the shaping of their research programs. Since the launch of the BCRC mentorship program in 2014, five of the 11 mentees have been recent additions to the Manitoba beef production systems research team. Drs. Getahun Legesse Gizaw and Kateryn Rochon are 2016-17 mentees. Getahun is lead author of a recent publication demonstrating that generating the same amount of beef as 30 years ago would today require 27 per cent fewer cattle, 24 per cent less land and would generate 15 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, due largely to technology-driven improvements in cattle and crop performance. As a second phase of this collaborative undertaking to define the environmental footprint of Canadian beef, he is currently assess-

December

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

panding habitat for insect, plant and animal pests and diseases, which may require new strategies for detection, control and mitigation. While a warming climate may result in emerging opportunities and challenges, beef producers will also need to continue to be prepared to address the potential impacts of extreme weather such as freezethaw, too much or too little snow, extreme cold, excessive moisture, or drought on animal welfare and performance. These extremes in weather may also impact transport of cattle and beef products. Adapting to changes other than climate Change is being driven by more than climate. It is also being driven by market demand, technology, policy, and more recently, society. Emerging markets and increased prevalence of regional trade agreements are now defining export opportunities. The tremendous gains in performance and efficiency in the beef industry over the past decades can be credited in large part to technological advances. It is also clear that science-based policy is critical to ensure that the beef sector is well-positioned to adapt to change. Society-driven change or social license is arguably one of the most pressing challenges as it impacts markets, policy and acceptance of technological advances. Across all segments of agriculture, producers, processors and retailers are grappling with how to address growing public interest, opinions and action surrounding the journey of food from farm to plate. Two-way improved understanding and dialogue

2016 Winter Sale Schedule

CHRISTINE RAWLUK

Wednesday, Nov 2

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 4

Regular Feeder Sale

9AM

Monday, Nov 7

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wednesday, Nov 9

Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, Nov 14

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 16

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 18

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Nov 21

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 23

Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 25

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Nov 28

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 30

Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Dec 2

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Dec 5

Butcher Sale

Tuesday, Dec 6

No Boarders Charolais Female Sale

Wednesday, Dec 7

Regular Feeder Sale

Friday, Dec 9

Bred Cow Sale

Sunday, Dec 11

AW Angus Dispersal Sale

Monday Dec 12

Butcher Sale

Tuesday, Dec 13

Bonchuk Farms Simmentals Production Sale

Wednesday, Dec 14

Regular Feeder Sale

Friday, Dec 16

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Dec 19

Butcher & Bred Cow Sale

Wednesday, Dec 21

Twin Brae Simmental Dispersal

• May-August Feeder & Butcher Cattle Sold on Wednesdays. • All cattle must be CCIA tagged. • Sale dates and times subject to change • Sunday delivery between Noon and

10AM

10AM 9AM 10AM 11:30AM 9AM 10AM 11:30AM 9AM 10AM 11:30AM 9AM 9AM 11:30AM 9AM 9AM 11:30AM 9AM

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 (204) 851-5465 • RICK GABRIELLE (204) 851-0613 • DRILLON BEATON (204) 851-7495 KEN DAY (204) 748-7713 • KOLTON MCINTOSH (204) 280-0359

www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services


14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

Making the time to cook on weeknights BY ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Beef Expert

I hear it all the time and yes, it is a struggle for most of us! It isn’t easy to prepare inspiring and creative meals daily. After a long day, I also feel lazy and yes I also would love to order in regularly. For the sake of my bank account I try to have meal options available at home. Let me share a few tips and recipe ideas that will speed up weeknight meals, leaving you with more time to enjoy some free time. A stocked freezer, refrigerator and pantry can fuel inspiration for meal making magic. Options can pull you and your family out of a rut. When preparing for a

busy week I like to pull main ingredients out of the freezer. When at the grocery store I typically purchase from the meat case in bulk, I always buy more then I need. Buying bulk packaged cuts of beef is an economical choice but also allows me to freeze for another day. One thing I don’t particularly like is eating the same meal twice in one week. Simple tricks I’ve mastered is preparing a large portion of meat, pulled beef roast for example. Slow cook a couple of Blade Pot Roasts or Cross-Rib Roasts for three meals. Portion the beef in freezer containers or my favourite, freezer bags as they take up less space. Once you have pre-cooked meat on hand you are ready to create magic! 1. Barbecue Pulled Beef Quesadillas, 2. Mexican

Pulled Beef Tacos topped with coleslaw, feta and avocado; 3. Pulled Beef and Barley Soup. Busy schedules do not always allow us the time to sit down and eat. When these nights come around, I like to prepare snacking platters. These are fun, delicious and can feel a bit special mid-week. Snacking platters can be made the night before or easily put together with the help of the grocery store. Put together a platter with bite-sized grilling steak cut pieces and your favourite dipping sauces, cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus or set out the fixings for make-your-own sandwich subs night. Although this may seem like an untraditional meal, there can still be representation of all food groups.

With a stocked freezer and meals preplanned for the week we should be feeling organized and left with energy to focus on ourselves. Making time for yourself is important, Manitoba Beef thought so too, airing Nov. 26 on CTV at 6:30 p.m. are recipes featuring a Table for Two. This episode celebrates recipes designed for two. Below is a recipe for Beef Wellington made using a succulent cut of beef tenderloin, wrapped in decadent puffed pastry crust. Celebrate an anniversary, an accomplishment or each other on a Saturday night spent at home. Tune into our video demonstration of Beef Wellington anytime on Great Tastes of Manitoba’s Youtube channel and let us know what you thought by leaving a comment!

Beef Wellington Beef: 2 beef tenderloin steaks (1 ½ - 2 inches thick) 1 Tbsp (15 mL) EACH canola oil and butter 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard 8 slices prosciutto ½ pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed (1 sheet puff pastry) 1 egg 1 tbsp (15 mL) milk Light seasoning salt and black pepper

Beef and Forage Week Seminars Register today for beef and forage seminars to hear speakers provide new management and production information that can improve your farm production and profitability. Agenda topics include: beef market outlook, multi-paddock grazing, new online farm management tools and Ask the Vet. Seminar times are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Tuesday, November 29

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Dauphin GO Office 204-622-2006

Wednesday, November 30 Holland

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Thursday, December 1

Virden

Melita GO Office

204-522-3256

Friday, December 2

Teulon

Ashern GO Office

204-768-2782

For more information and to register, contact the Manitoba Agriculture GO Office listed above.

Puff Pastry: Defrost puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400F. Mushroom Duxelle: Add mushrooms, garlic, and onion to food processor and pulse until the mushroom mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Do not over pulse. In a pan over medium heat add oil and butter. Add mushroom mixture, salt, pepper and thyme sprig. Sauté until all moisture has evaporated; mixture must be dry and cooled. Remove sprig from thyme.

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Mushroom Duxelle: 1 lb button mushrooms (white or cremini) 2 cloves of garlic (or one large clove) 1 small onion or 2 shallots 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter 1 sprig thyme ¼ tsp EACH salt and pepper

Beef: Dry round tenderloin steaks and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a skillet over medium high heat add oil and butter. Sear all sides of each tenderloin, including sides. Remove from heat, evenly brush mustard on both steaks and allow to rest. Assembly: Line a cooking surface with plastic wrap, lay 4 slices of prosciutto on film, slightly overlapping each piece. Spread half of the Duxelle over the prosciutto. Place beef on top of the prosciutto layered with Duxelle. Using the plastic wrap lift the edges to wrap the prosciutto around the beef tenderloin filet. Once all sides are covered use the plastic wrap to tighten the tenderloin package and twist at the ends to tighten and shape. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Work on second tenderloin package. Once both steaks are firming up in the refrigerator, place another large piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Roll out defrosted puff pastry sheet, dust with flour if necessary. Cut pastry

in half. Remove steaks from the refrigerator and place them in the center of each puff pastry sheet. Carry the long end of the pastry over to cover the steak. Wrap both ends underneath the steak and press to seal. Use a small amount of water to seal the edges if needed. Use a piece of plastic wrap to firmly seal the pastry wrapped steak and firm up for about 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Egg Wash: In a small bowl whisk an egg with milk. Oven: Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay beef wellington steaks seam side down and brush tops and sides with egg wash. Use a knife to score the tops of the pastry to all steam to escape while cooking in the oven. Sprinkle with salt on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the steak will be ready to remove from the oven at 140 F, where it will climb to 145 F a perfect medium rare during the cooling process. Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.


November 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Communication key for MBP Again I welcome the chance to write a short article and communicate with all our members about what’s going on in the MBP office. This regular column in Cattle Country is an important tool we use to try and make sure you know where and how we look after your interests and represent the industry. In my short time as your General Manager, in speaking with our board and members, and looking back at member survey results, I have recognized the importance of communicating and making certain that members are aware of what we are doing and why. Cattle Country is an important communications tool we use, but is certainly not the only one, and I will speak a bit later in this article about our upcoming district meetings. I would also encourage any of our members to pick up the phone and call the office to chat about what’s on your mind and to get to know me and the other staff better. Since I last wrote, we have seen a number of significant happenings that have kept us busy and working hard. The Progressive Conservative government was elected this past spring provincially and we have been working to have our first opportunities to visit with the new Ministers and introduce ourselves. Over the past little while, we have had the opportunity to meet and visit with some of the ministers critical to our industry. We have had the chance to meet with Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy (formerly Conservation and Water Stewardship), Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen and Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. In each of these meetings we were able to meet the ministers, congratulate them and introduce our selves. We were able to explain to them the importance of the cattle industry to Manitoba and begin the process of introduc-

ing our key concerns and issues where we are looking for their support. Items such as the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlets project, predator protection and getting agriculture into the curriculum to help build awareness and understanding in youth about modern agricultural practices. The process of working with elected ministers and advocating for Manitoba’s cattle producers is very often a slow and steady process and one that doesn’t necessarily produce immediate results. It was important for us to get into these offices and make good first impressions, as we have now hopefully started to lay the foundation for some positive discussions about potentially more difficult topics. It is important that we establish positive relationships and be open and willing to work with these ministers and their departments and not just be continually demanding more and more. We hope to achieve our goals by working with the government. Important in effective advocacy is having open and positive relationships and building a level of trust and respect with the ministers and senior officials in the departments. This will pay future dividends as we look to have more specific conversations about key concerns. All this said, the legislature is back sitting, and we are now looking to engage ministers to start having these more specific discussions and to ensure that commitments and statements made by ministers are delivered and that the interests of the cattle industry are considered as the provincial government moves forward. A key statement that caught the interest of the industry and pleased me, the MBP staff and the board was Minister Eichler’s statement that it was the new government’s goal to grow our cattle herd to pre-BSE numbers. This is a wonderful sign of the government’s commitment to and belief

BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column in our industry. We were surprised and excited to hear that he has this goal and we are looking forward to working with him to live up to his announcement. We met recently again with Minister Eichler and had initial discussions with him and his senior staff about this, and we made certain he understood we were excited to work with him and his department, and began the process of asking him

what plans and strategies he is considering to realize this exciting goal. Certainly MBP has a key part to play leading the industry’s response to the minister’s announcement and we were thrilled to hear that he has such wonderful plans for our industry. This brings me back to how I opened my column this time ... communications. We are presently in the middle of our fall dis-

trict meetings, speaking to members and hearing your thoughts about how we’ve performed over this past year, the state of the industry, as well as hearing from you about your thoughts regarding how we can assist the provincial government deliver on its goal of growing our herd. District meetings are a critical opportunity for us to hear from members and I hope that you all take the opportunity to attend in your district. This year we are taking time during the district meetings to discuss the idea of growing our herd and to hear from producers what it will take and what is needed

to deliver on the minister’s goal. It is an exciting time to be in Manitoba and in the cattle industry. In spite of prices not being where we would like them to be, it is a busy time with lots going on. Between the new government getting its feet under it and getting started delivering on its priorities, the minister showing his confidence in the cattle industry and making announcements about how the government is looking to grow the cattle industry, and our district meetings well underway, we are busy and excited about the future.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2016

Industry remains in cautious mood Frustration levels by cow calf producers over this fall’s calf prices are rapidly reaching peak levels. Cattle prices this year have been dropping further and faster than most imagined. No one had predicted that the price adjustment would come that fast and would correct to such a high degree. The auction market operators and the order buyers have been the lightning rod for much of the producer’s disappointment this year! Frankly, the majority of the producers don’t realize that both the order buyers and the auction market operators are probably working harder this year to sell your calves than they did during the peak prices 18 months ago. It is the same buyers at the same auctions representing the same cattle feeders that were there last year and the years before that! The buyers are only as good as the orders they get, and this year the orders have been harder to find and more restrictive than ever. The difference this year is that there is no confidence in what the market will be when it is time to resell these cattle, regardless of whether or not they are backgrounded or finished. The volatility in the futures market, combined with the losses on last year’s inventory, has the cattle feeder in a very cautious mood. Finished cattle prices in the US were 30 cents per pound lower than last year at this time. As of October 17, 2016, the live cattle futures were hovering around the $1 per pound for the first quarter of 2017, and the remainder of the year between 91 and 94 cents. The futures price for finished cattle has fallen below $1 per pound for the first time since December 2010. It is difficult to know where the bottom of the market is, but feedlots are willing sellers and are very current marketing their inventory despite losing money. The theory is that due to the lower feeder cattle prices, the cattle being purchased today may have a better chance of showing a profit than the current inventory on feed. Kill numbers in the US have increased and are averaging about 600,000 head per week. With the supply still above the demand, packers are using this leverage to continue to buy cattle at lower prices for a number of weeks in a row. The higher kill numbers have pushed more beef into the system, putting downward pressure on retail prices which in the long run makes beef at the store more competitive with pork. As long as there is a large supply of packer-ready cattle available, one can only surmise that finished cattle prices will decline further. Feeder cattle prices are also back at 2010 pricing. The rapid surge in cattle prices was the result of a contraction in the American cattle herd, mostly due to drought conditions. The rebuilding of that cattle herd has happened faster than anticipated. The latest inventory report suggests that there could be a little over one million more calves on the ground in 2016 than there were in 2015. The feeder cattle board for 2017 is showing around the $1.10 per pound for an 800

pound steer. There are many who feel that the feeder board could fall below USD$1 before we see the bottom of the feeder cattle market. Cow-calf producers who are disappointed in the current price for feeders are struggling with their marketing options. As we thought, producers have been slower than usual weaning and shipping their calves. Good pasture conditions and a trend to later calving resulted in deliveries of cattle for sale that have been slower than usual. Most of the markets are reporting current volumes to the middle of October at 40 per cent to 50 per cent lower than other years. Producers seem to be holding back heifers and smaller calves under the 450-pound mark. Those who held their calves back last year and fed them gave away their feed. This year could be different, but the spring market for 850-pound steers looks like it could well be lower than this year’s spring market. Cattle that will fit into the grass market look to have a better chance of adding value by selling in the spring over marketing today. Many producers are holding their calves waiting for the American feedlots to start buying them, thinking that will increase the price. The reality is that the American market, in many areas is lower than the current Canadian market. The prices are so close that some Alberta feedlots are looking at importing calves from Montana and Washington State. The current cattle prices are a direct result of supply and demand with cattle inventories continuing to increase. Experts predict that the expansion will continue well into 2017 and is the combination of drought recovery and cattle cycle increase happening at the same time. The slaughter of heifers and cows this year represented 44 per cent of the total cattle slaughter in 2016. This was the lowest percentage of female slaughter since 1950. Experts state that once that percentage reaches 48 per cent, it will signal the end of the current expansion cycle. One of the bright spots is that carcass weights are dropping (15 pounds per head) and are expected to drop throughout the next 18 months. Last year was the first year since 1964 that the US slaughtered fewer than 30 million cattle per year. 2016 is expected to fall short of 30 million head again. So there you have it - an over supply with a bigger inventory of beef cattle on the horizon. If it were not for a lower cost of feed and a favorable exchange rate on the dollar, the market would be lower. So the next time you decide to chew out your market operator or local order buyer, remember that it is not their fault; they don’t make the cattle prices. They both need you, the producer, to stay in business as they work on commission. They don’t like the current market any better than you do and they are probably working harder for you this year than they have in the past three falls. Until Next Time, Rick

RICK WRIGHT

The Bottom Line

38th Annual General Meeting & President’s Banquet February 2-3, 2017 | 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 6, 2017 at 4 p.m.

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MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 6 Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 2, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

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• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 2, 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

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MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 38TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

DECEMBER 2016

Sharing Our Story theme of MBP’s 38 AGM th

triScience Solutions resolutions session will serve as the fawhere members will cilitator of the dishave the opportunity cussion. to debate the 20 car“Our goal with ried resolutions aristhis discussion is to ing from the fall dishave a cross-section trict meetings. Late of individuals from resolutions will be other agriculture accepted until noon industries that have on February 2. Please dealt with social licontact the MBP ofcense questions of fice if you wish to their own,” Reimer Veterinarian Dr. Cody Creelman bring forward a late said. “We feel it will will be the keynote speaker at the resolution. beneficial for our annual MBP President's Banquet The evening will members to hear the Feb. 2 in Brandon. be highlighted by the beef sector isn’t the only industry facing annual President’s Banquet. Included on growing interest in its production prac- the banquet agenda is the awarding of The tices and also to hear how those industries Environmental Sustainability Award for responded.” Manitoba and a presentation to retiring In an effort to engage more young MBP District 11 director Caron Clarke. producers in the AGM, a Young ProducThe keynote speaker for the banquet ers Forum will be held from 12 to 1:30 is Dr. Cody Creelman of Airdrie, Alberta. p.m. Marty Seymour, the former CEO of Creelman, who works with Veterinary the Canadian West Agribition and current Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, has beDirector, Industry and Stakeholder Rela- come well known in social media circles tions at Farm Credit Canada will be the as an advocate for the agricultural indusfeatured speaker for the forum. Producers try and will talk about the importance of 35 and under are invited to take part in the producers speaking out for their industry, as well as his experiences in this area. forum. “We are excited to have Creelman The business portion of the AGM will be held on the afternoon of day one. speak at the banquet,” Reimer said. “He is Members will hear reports on MBP’s a passionate advocate for agriculture and activities from the past year and re- has become an important voice on social view the association’s financial report. media and through his blog.” Day two kicks off bright and early at An update on Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives and a discussion about 8 o’ clock with the opening of the tradegrowing the herd will also take place. show. The panel discussion, Is the Customer Always Right begins at 8:30 a.m. TentaRounding out the afternoon will be the tively scheduled for the panel discussion

are Phil Gallagher, Executive Chef for the Earls’ restaurant chain, John Graham of the Food Solutions Group and Dr. Kelly Main of the University of Manitoba who will speak about consumer trends. Tom Lynch-Staunton, Issues Manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is scheduled to serve as facilitator for the discussion. “We are particularly excited about this panel discussion,” Reimer said. “Our consumers are inundated with all kinds of information about how their food is produced and much of that information shapes their buying decisions. It can be frustrating for producers and the industry as a whole to try and keep up with rapidly evolving public preferences about food. We believe this panel will provide a look into consumer demands and how responsive as an industry we need to be.” Closing out the AGM will be reports from some of the national beef industry organizations (National Check-off Agency, CCA and Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef) and a market forecast for 2017. “We strongly encourage our members to attend the AGM,” Reimer said. “This is truly their opportunity to help inform the association’s future direction, to learn more about the external forces that are affecting our industry and to talk about the importance of sharing our story with the public.” To register for the AGM please see http://www.mbbeef.ca/annual-meeting/. If there are any questions regarding the event please call the MBP office at 1-800772-0458.

Strong turnout for low-stress handling clinics

Connecting the dots in the beef industry

CFGA tour makes stop at MBFI

Page 3

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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 stage is set for Manitoba Beef Producers’ 38th Annual General Meeting. Scheduled for Feb. 2-3, 2017 at Brandon’s Victoria Inn, the theme is Sharing our Story as the beef industry continues to focus on highlighting the great work being done in areas such environmental stewardship, sustainability and animal welfare. “Our industry has a great story to tell,” said MBP President Heinz Reimer. “There are so many reasons for our producers and those working within the industry to be proud of the work they do. However, many of those same individuals are humble, hard-working people who don’t realize they have a major role to play in making sure our customers, and the public at large, understand we produce a safe and nutritious product and that our practices are among the best in the world. “Our goal at the AGM is to not only highlight these stories, but also to encourage our members and give them some tools to be part of the discussion on their industry.” The AGM officially kicks off at 9 a.m. on Feb. 2 with registration and the opening of the tradeshow. As in past years interest in the tradeshow is high and MBP expects a wide variety of businesses and organizations for the show. The first session on day one begins at 10 a.m. and, in keeping with the theme is entitled Industry Answers Social License. Tentatively scheduled to be part of the panel discussion is a representative from the Verified Beef Production Plus program, Brenda Bazylewski of Manitoba Egg Producers, and Russel Hurst from CropLife. Kelly Fitzpatrick of Nu-

Simmental & Angus Bull & Female Sale on the ranch Thursday, February 16, 2017 Russell, Manitoba

80 two year old red and black Simmental, Angus & Simm-Angus bulls M & J Farms Simmentals & Angus Miles, Bonnie & Jared Glasman Miles cell 204 773-6275 Jared cell 204 796-0999 mjsimmentalangus@gmail.com | www.mjsimmentalangus.com

Glasman Farms Matthew, Leanne & Sarayah Glasman Home 204 773-3209 cell 204 773-6055 mlg@glasmanfarms.com | www.glasmanfarms.com


2

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

Information for producers with flooded/inaccessible corn A number of producers throughout the province CFGA tour makes stop at MBFI excess moisture conditions that CFGA tour makes stop at MBFI crop for feed and/or preventing their cattle from grazing the corn. Manitoba Beef Producers has been in touch with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) seeking clarification about the adjusting process and to see what can be done for producers in this situation. The following was provided by MASC to MBP: Normal Adjusting Process Under normal circumstances if a producer was considering either grazing his silage corn or harvesting it for grain, MASC would complete a field appraisal by weighing a representative sample to determine the potential wet tonnage and they would also obtain a sample to be sent away for a moisture and TDN test. Producers are not subject to a coverage reduction under this scenario. If a producer had a poor silage crop

and was wanting to destroy it, the same appraisal process above would apply, however, the coverage would be reduced by 15 per cent . 2016 Adjusting Process In 2008, MASC implemented an adjusting process for silage corn to deal with extremely wet conditions whereby producers are unable to silage their corn during the optimum silage period. It was recognized that while silaging was no longer a viable option, there was still value in the corn if it was used for an alternate feed source. MASC considered numerous things such as grain corn and grazing feed values versus actual silage, as well as wastage when it was used for grazing. As a result, it was agreed that if a producer was going to harvest the corn as grain or if they were going to graze the field, MASC would adjust and sample the field in accordance with its regular adjusting procedures, but it would apply a 50 per cent factor to the appraisal, thus reducing it in half.

If a producer was not able to combine or graze the field and destroys the field, MASC would appraise the field at a zero yield at the time of destruction. The producer would then be eligible for full payment, minus the 15 per cent coverage reduction for destroying the field. MASC is applying this policy in 2016.

MASC realizes the serious impact that this fall’s extreme wet conditions is having on some producers and are willing to work with the producers to try and assess these fields and make payments (where applicable) as quickly as possible. MASC has a policy to make advance payments, in the event a producer is unable to take action or destroy his field at this time.

CCA welcomes signing of CETA, urges resolution of barriers to beef trade CCA Media Release The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) congratulates Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland for successfully navigating an uncharted and complicated path through European Union (EU) politics and

signing the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Brussels Oct. 30. The Canadian beef cattle sector has been a long-time champion of the CETA and is pleased with the prospective elimination of EU import tariffs on nearly 65,000 tonnes of Canadian beef. With this

new access, the EU has the potential to become a $600 million annual market for Canadian beef, up from current levels of approximately $6 to $10 million per year. CCA Director and Foreign Trade Vice-Chair Doug Sawyer travelled to Brussels earlier this week to highlight the immense

potential of the CETA for the Canadian beef sector and to emphasize the need to resolve the outstanding technical barriers. “It was clear that the EU recognizes the value of the CETA and put their shoulders to the wheel to secure that recognition by all their member states,” Sawyer said. “Beef access

to the EU is a core expected benefit from Canada and we will expect a further effort to be put into removing the remaining technical barriers.” CCA President Dan Darling has discussed the CETA with Minister Freeland on numerous occasions in recent months and is confident that the

Minister fully appreciates the desire of the Canadian beef industry to gain real meaningful access to the EU. “With signature of the Agreement now behind us, we will continue to work in close partnership with the Government to get the remaining issues across the finish line,” Darling said.

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www.goodon.com DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

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

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH - 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

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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

KEN MCKAY

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

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 - SECRETARY

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

Maureen Cousins

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Chad Saxon

FINANCE

Deb Walger

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Esther Reimer

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Carollyne Kehler

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Handling cattle the low-stress way BY CHAD SAXON

MBP Communications Coordinator

“At the point that you feel like you need to go faster, you usually just need to slow down.” That message, among others, was delivered by Rory Sapergia during a pair of low-stress handling clinics held in October. Organized by Manitoba Beef Producers with funding from Growing Forward 2, the clinics were held at the Grunthal Auction Mart and Manitoba Beef & For-

age Initiatives Brookdale Research Farm Oct. 14 and 15 respectively. Sapergia, who is originally from Saskatchewan but now resides in southern Alberta, said he has been “messing” with his own philosophy of lowstress handling for 20 years after being introduced to it through clinics and working with others in the field, including noted stockman Dylan Biggs. “(Biggs) has really pushed me to evolve and step into this avenue of

A participant in the low-stress cattle handling clinic faces down four cows at the Grunthal Auction Mart

helping other people,” Sapergia said during a break in Grunthal. “The first clinic I took of Dylan’s was probably eight or nine years ago. It really struck me that I had to do it and since then I have taken three or four of his clinics and I actually hosted one last year at a feedlot I was managing and by the end of the second day Dylan said you need to be doing this. That a pretty grand compliment coming from Dylan.” Sapergia said while working at feedlots, ranches and a dairy during his career, he has always forced himself to go as “nice and slow as I can whether or not anyone was watching,” a concept that has served him well whether working with cattle or horses. “I shoe horses as well and started when I was 13 with my dad. I’d go to pick up a horses't foot and it would jerk its foot away. It took me a long time to learn just how to handle stock.” Asked to expand on his philosophy, Sapergia said an important aspect of working with cattle is giving them a reward or release. He noted cows have a stigma that they are dumb when the opposite

Rory Sapergia demonstrates his method of low-stress cattle handling during a clinic in October in Grunthal.

is true and by providing them with a reward during the handling process you will start to build trust with them. “If you are always pushing on them and always asking for more and more and more with no release, eventually, no different than a child, they are going to retaliate,” he said. “When cows retaliate they are running you over or chasing you. They are big animals and, if worked improperly, dangerous animals.” During the clinic

Discussion on growing herd highlights district meetings Another round of Manitoba Beef Producers’ district meetings is in the books. The last of 14 meetings was held Nov. 16 in Carman, culminating a busy month for MBP staff and directors. General Manager Brian Lemon said overall, he felt the meetings were a success with sold attendance in most locations and good discussion. “The past year hadn’t been an easy one and producers were anxious to hear and see how MBP was supporting them,” Lemon said. As in past years, the meetings included a review of MBP’s finances and activities on behalf of its roughly 7,000 members. Lemon said members had a number of questions ranging on topics from problem predators, water management, Crown land and community pasture management, and potential impacts of the US presidential election. Each meeting also included a discussion on how best to grow Manitoba’s herd size. The discussion came on the heels of Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler’s comments over the summer that he would like to see the provincial herd get back to pre-BSE numbers. Shortly after Eichler made

Brian Lemon

those comments during an event at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives, MBP staff and directors met with the minister and his staff to discuss how best to achieve that goal. During the meeting, MBP pledged to have discussions with its membership and report back on their comments and suggestions. Lemon admitted that with prices sagging and many producers struggling with issues such as excess moisture it was tough for those in attendance to look at growing the herd. “Trying to engage producers in a positive/forward-thinking discussion when many are facing challenges, was difficult,” Lemon said. “That said, the discussions went well, with

lots of input received.” Lemon noted that the growing the herd discussions focused around four large themes thought to be necessary to realize the objective: 1. making cattle farming more predictable economically (and profitable); 2. growing acres; 3. attracting new entrants; 4. labour to assist existing producers to grow their herds. “Overall I was happy with the level of engagement and very pleased with the willingness of producers to engage in the discussions, especially given the challenges many have faced over the past few months.” he said. Members also had the opportunity to propose resolutions to be debated on at the upcoming annual general meeting in Brandon. Twenty resolutions were carried and will come forward to members in February. Just one change to MBP’s board of directors took place as Robert Metner of Moosehorn will take over as director in District 11 from Caron Clarke who has reached her term limit.

in Grunthal, Sapergia showed attendees that by using their body as a tool and keeping things such as arm movements to a minimum, the cattle will find the hole and be willing to move because they aren’t pressured to do so. “A lot of it is confidence within your body. If you go up to even a quiet cow and are tip-toeing and taking baby steps, those cows are either going to completely disrespect you and not move or they are going to say ‘I can take advantage of this guy’ and bowl you over. “You don’t have to be aggressive about it, but when you make a movement, make it because you mean it. You are going to make mistakes, I have made a hundred just messing by my own seeing what I can do. That is part of learning. But you have to have the confidence in yourself to get out there and see what you can do.” Sapergia also used a portion of the Grunthal clinic to focus on loading cattle onto trailers in a safe manner. “It’s a dangerous part of the beef industry and a tough one to solve. These guys got to get into trucks with cows that maybe you

don’t necessarily want to be with.” Although he’s aware all of the participants in his clinics will take away different pieces of what he has to say, Sapergia said he’s hopeful the instruction leads them to reevaluate how they handle their stock. “There’s going to be some people move on with what I show them today and some are going to brush it off as too time consuming. But I have found with this, if you spend the time initially, it saves you so much time in the end. “Even the matter of pulling a pen of cattle in an auction mart situation like this, if you take the time to pull that pen calmly, they are going to walk up the alley calm, they not going to stop halfway and run back at you. They are going to be looking for the hole. I really hope people reevaluate what they are doing and give the stock a chance to think and reward the stock when they are doing something positive.” MBP would like to thank Steve’s Livestock Transport, Masterfeeds, and P. Quntaine and Sons for their sponsorship of the clinics.

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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

Government activities update BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Coordinator

Manure spreading challenges, a Throne Speech, flood preparedness and labour are just a few of the provincial matters of note in recent weeks. Fall Manure Spreading Wet fall conditions proved challenging for many producers trying to spread manure. Mild weather and warm soil led the provincial government to extend the normal Nov. 10 deadline for nutrient applications several times to Nov. 21. MBP provided input to the government as it considered these extensions, advising that producers needed more time to spread. However, it is expected that some beef producers were unable to apply and incorporate their manure before this deadline. There is a provision in the province’s Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation (LMMMR) that allows for field storage of solid manure. Of particular note, the manure can be stored for a period of time before it has to be spread, specifically: “An operator shall remove and dispose of all livestock manure in a field storage area no later than Nov. 10 of the year following any year when the operator stores livestock manure in the area.” It is required that the stockpiled manure is

stored at least 100 metres from water sources so nutrients do not run off and cause potential pollution of surface water, ground water or soil. As well, the regulation states that “After the manure is removed, the field storage area must remain empty of manure for at least 12 months. Before storing livestock manure in the area again, the operator must grow a crop on the emptied manure storage area that will deplete the area of any leached.” For complete information about field storage of solid manure refer to Section 7 of the LMMR. See: http://www. gov.mb.c a/s d/envpro grams/livestock/ Producers who need to request authorization to apply manure due to an emergency situation or other extenuating circumstance should contact the Environmental Approvals Branch of Manitoba Sustainable Development via email at mmpregistration@ gov.mb.ca or by phone at (204) 391-0540 or (204) 945-3078. The winter nutrient application ban is in effect until midnight on April 10, 2017. This applies to all forms of nutrients including livestock manure and inorganic fertilizer. For more details see: http://www. gov.mb.ca/sd/waterstewardship/wqmz/winter_ app_nutrients.html . Throne Speech Highlights The Progressive Conservative provincial government brought

down its second Throne Speech Nov. 21 with a strong emphasis on themes such as achieving economic growth, an eventual return to balanced budgets and prudent fiscal management. There were no references to specific agricultural commodities, programming or services. Rather, agriculture was mentioned in the context of the work of the Premier’s Enterprise Team and a new strategy for growth and diversification. The government restated its commitment to reducing red tape, and promised increased access to venture capital and expanded trade and workforce training. Among the stated goals is adding jobs in areas such as value-added processing of agricultural commodities. Producers who have concerns about regulatory burden are asked to contact the MBP office to share them so we can take these forward as part of the provincial consultations in this area. The government also promised to “renew focus on the economic development of rural Manitoba, working toward a shared vision in partnership with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Economic Developers Association of Manitoba, Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Communities, Indigenous communities and rural stakeholders.” The province re-

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stated its commitment to the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin flood outlet channel. MBP has repeatedly requested that the project be undertaken as swiftly as possible and that producers be consulted prior to final route selection and during the construction process as required. The government remains committed to creating a made-inManitoba carbon pricing and climate change plan but no specific details were unveiled as to how this will work. Several resolutions related to climate change will be debated at MBP’s 38th AGM in February. Some call for payments to agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land, while another calls for an exemption from carbon taxation on all agricultural-related inputs to ensure the sector is not unfairly disadvantaged. The Throne Speech touched on natural resources management, noting that the government “shares the concerns of all Manitobans regarding the dangers of unsafe and unsustainable harvesting practices and the decline of some provincial wildlife populations.” The government committed to “engage stakeholders and rightsbased harvesters in the management of our fish and wildlife resources, to develop comprehensive co-management strategies aimed at securing the long-term sustainability of our wildlife and fish populations, reduce unnecessary regulations and enhance public safety through enforcement efforts by Manitoba’s conservation officers with the assistance of tips from the public to crack down on unsafe hunting practices.” A resolution calling

for a ban on hunting at night in Manitoba will be debated at MBP’s 38th AGM. Also of note in the Throne Speech, the province touched on pension plans, saying it intends to provide Manitobans with a new option, the creation of Pooled Retirement Pension Plans. These are a deferred income plan designed to provide retirement benefits for employees and self-employed individuals who do not have access to a workplace pension. The province also promised to clear up the backlog of applications under the Provincial Nominee Program and to work with the federal government to improve processing speeds for visa applications. Shellmouth Reservoir outflows increased On Nov. 15 Manitoba Infrastructure began increasing outflows from the Shellmouth Reservoir to 1,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) as part of the annual fall draw down to make room for anticipated spring runoff from the upper Assiniboine River. The outflow on Nov. 14 was 830 cfs. Outflows will be increased gradually until 1,600 cfs is reached. The province says 1,600 cfs will be maintained for part of the winter and spring. As of Nov. 14 the inflow into the Shellmouth Reservoir was 1,650 cfs, with the reservoir at a near record level for that time of year. Further, heavy rains have seen the Assiniboine reach record high levels for this time of year from Saskatchewan into Manitoba and as far east as Headingley. The province has said that flows and levels are forecast to remain near record levels set in the fall of 2010 until the spring run-off. For more informa-

tion on the extended forecast see: www.gov.mb.ca/mit/ floodinfo/floodoutlook/ forecast_centre/rivers/ reports/Assiniboine%20 River%20Flows%202016. pdf. WCB Act Review The provincial government is undertaking a legislative review of the Workers Compensation Act, a process required every 10 years. The process is being led by a legislative review committee (LRC). For complete details about the review visit www.wcbactreview.com. The deadline for public comments is Feb. 15, 2017. The LRC will review all submissions and prepare a report for consideration by the Manitoba government on or before June 30, 2017. Safety Program Targets Agriculture The federal and provincial governments are providing more than $432,000 through Growing Forward 2 over two years toward the establishment of a farm safety program to be administered by the Keystone Agricultural Producers. A Manitoba farm safety council will be created that will include representatives from organizations focused on workplace safety and health, such as SAFE Work Manitoba and representatives from a number of agricultural stakeholders. MBP has asked to have a seat on the council. The program will provide a number of services such as commodity-specific farm safety workshops; information and resources on health and safety regulations; basic safety orientation for farm workers, supervisors and owners; help identify safety risks on agriculture employers operations, and more.

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December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

Working to combat mixed messages HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along It’s cloudy and raining again as I’m writing this in mid-November. It seems like it’s been raining or snowing since the Thanksgiving weekend. The precipitation is adding to the many challenges producers having been facing this fall as they work hard to get feed put up, clean their corrals, bring cattle home from pasture and vaccinate their calves in muddy pastures. But as cattle producers we seem to always get through the tough times and look forward to better times.

By the time Cattle County goes to press we will have just completed our fall district meetings. Thank you to MBP staff and directors for all the hard work and dedication that goes into preparing for and presenting the meetings. Thanks to all of the producers who attended as well. This is always an opportunity for you to interact with staff and directors and discuss issues of importance to our industry. There were a number of resolutions that were carried at the fall district meetings and they can be found on page 8 of Cattle Country. The resolutions will be debated and voted upon at the 38th Annual General Meeting Feb. 2-3, 2017 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. In this column I would like to focus on the consumer. We sometimes seem to

live in a society that seems to be less concerned with reality than wanting instant everything. Once our bare necessities of life have been taken care of by a well-oiled economy, sometimes the system can cross the line. Somewhere along the way consumers and producers become targets. Consumers are flooded with mixed messages and signals that leave them thinking what they see and hear in the media is what they need and is better for them, regardless of the facts. As producers we need to work hard to inform consumers that what we do in the beef industry is good for the environment, that our animals are well cared for and that we produce a safe, healthy and wholesome product. Misinformation is not always about

5

telling the truth, but about pushing a message enough times that people will begin to believe it is true. We need to work against propaganda that harms our industry and inform consumers that as producers we aren’t the bad guys we are sometimes made out to be. I am a husband, father, grandfather, and a friend. I am also a lover of nature, taking care of cattle and the land to the best of my ability to ensure that our customers get the safest and healthiest product they deserve. I don’t claim to be an expert but I try to do the best as I am able to. As we move closer to Christmas, on behalf of MBP staff, directors and my family, I wish you the best through the holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Great discussions at district meetings ducers we represent. Given these meetings are only one time per year, during the rest of the year I would encourage all producers to get to know their district director and work through these 14 individuals. Also you are invited to contact the office directly: call, email or stop in at the office if in Winnipeg. The more we know about what’s important to you, the better we are able to represent you and advance your interests. Our goal is to ensure you see value and benefit in your check-off investment. See you in Brandon on February 2 and 3 for the 38th AGM!

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December

The past few weeks have been busy times for MBP’s staff, offering us our annual opportunity to visit each district and meet with cattle producers attending their district meetings. This was my first chance to experience the meetings. I really enjoyed my chance to meet with many of our members and appreciated their honesty and candor, and the passion that everyone has for the future of the industry. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to answer questions and participate in the engaging discussions. The questions weren’t always easy, but asking the hard questions is important and is how we will succeed. A key part of each district meeting was a discussion about Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler’s announcement of his goal to grow our cattle herd to preBSE numbers. The discussions about how to participate and partner with the government and deliver on this ambitious goal were some of the most interesting during the district meetings. The discussions challenged everyone to not focus on the problems and impediments, but rather to focus on solutions to these hurdles. We plan to formally summarize the feedback in a document to share with Minister Eichler, but in the meantime I will highlight some of the key points we heard. The key message we heard over and over again was that profitability, and specifically sustainable and bankable profits, were the single most important challenge to growing the herd. We heard in all 14 districts that providing a climate where both new and existing entrants have confidence in the viability of their operations and in the industry is key to attracting new entrants and encouraging existing producers to increase the size of their herds. There was general consensus that without longterm confidence that the regulatory, environmental and economic climate is going to be supportive of the cattle industry, that attracting new entrants or enticing existing producers to stay and grow their herds is going to be very, very difficult. There is lots that the Government of Manitoba can do to help in this regard, and we are looking forward to engaging with them to begin the process of pulling together their strategy. Beyond the foundational prerequisite of secure and bankable profitability, some

to make headlines. All this said, it does seem appropriate for Canada to consider options to move forward to improve our access into TPP countries in preparation that the TPP will fail to get ratified in the US and thus lose impetus in the other signatory countries. Working to advance bilateral trade agreements with countries such as Japan would be a very prudent “Plan B.” Finally, the district meetings were a great chance to meet many Manitoba beef producers, and as I mentioned at each of the 14 meetings, the staff are more effective when we know what’s important to the pro-

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BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column

other factors we heard several times as being important parts of the solution were: increasing the usability of community pastures and Crown lands; having better overall water management strategies and compliance; providing better risk-management tools designed specifically for the cattle industry; and, developing improved tools to encourage young people to enter the industry. Changing topics a bit now, the other thing that I want to write about is the US election. While I am certainly not an expert in US politics nor in international relations, during the district meetings I heard lots about the run-up to the election and later the outcome. Trade is a huge part of the Canadian cattle industry with about 40 per cent of our production being exported, thus it is very relevant that we always keep one eye on what’s going on with our trading partners. And, as the US accounts for about 70 per cent of all our exports, it is especially important that we keep an eye of what’s going on in the US. President-elect Donald Trump made many statements during his campaign about what he thought of the various trade agreements the US currently has in place and those still being negotiated. It is certainly expected that during an election candidates will make all sorts of statements that sound protectionist, and that they make statements critical of existing trade deals. While it certainly seems as though the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is very bleak, and the trade deal is potentially dead with the Presidentelect Trump continuing to say he won’t sign on, increasingly we are also starting to hear rhetoric about his stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Both Canada and the US have enjoyed the benefits of NAFTA and the cattle industry has also benefited on both sides of the border. NAFTA is a very broad and comprehensive trade deal and is about many more things than agriculture or the beef sector; many areas of the US economy needs the agreement as much as Canada does. While President-elect Trump may wish to re-open the deal and renegotiate it, this isn’t something that is done with a simple stroke of a pen. Bottom line, I don’t see anything happening quickly, and I think we need to be a bit careful to react to the rhetoric. President-elect Trump will be sworn-in in late January, and until he is President Trump, I have no doubt that we will continue to see and hear provocative statements intended

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

US election could lead to volatility Cattle producers face the unknown everyday and routinely adapt to that uncertainty. What will the markets be when it comes the time to sell their stock? How will the weather affect their forage and grain crops? What uncontrollable animal disease or government policy announcement might be lurking in the shadows that could change the whole cattle industry? Much of the talk in November centred on the TB case found in Alberta and what implications it might have on cattle exports and market prices. The elephant in the room that everyone had been nervously avoiding was Donald Trump. The new President-Elect in the United States made a lot of radical protectionist statements in his election campaign, and early indications are that he intends

to try to follow through on them. Trump’s transition team has suggested that Trump intends to reshape American trade policies that would ultimately, in his opinion, benefit producers, manufacturers and US workers. This would include withdrawing from NAFTA and other trade agreements currently in place. Since the start of NAFTA, the pork business, not the cattle business, has been the big winner. NAFTA allowed cheap, American-produced pork to compete in the world market, making less competition for beef domestically. On thebeef side, the Americans have increased beef imports to the point that they are running an import/export deficit. On paper that looks bad to beef producers, but better genetics and more ef-

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for replacement cattle, especially the lighter weight, long-term cattle. Although the futures have had more positive days than negative days since the election, we have not seen the price increases that indicate sweeping changes in the cattle policies. In fact, the demand for lighter cattle has been volatile at best with feedlot operators in the US showing fear of the long-term market. The herd expansion in the US looks like it has reached its peak. There are more and more heifers going to feedlots and not being placed in the breeding programs. Cow slaughter has increased throughout 2016, taking more mother cows out of production. This is good news in the long-term, but in the shortterm it means more beef coming into the protein market. This large supply should have a negative affect on the futures market and short-term cash prices. In Canada over the same time period, the cash market has followed the futures with increased demand for all classes of feeder cattle. On the north side of the border, Canadian cattle feeders once again are ignoring the signals from the south and buying the lighter feeder cattle at 15 to 20 cents higher than market prices of November 1, 2017. During the last two weeks of November the heavier cattle also got higher along with a significant price increase in the heifer calves. The last time we completely ignored the signals from the south, cattle feeders in Canada, especially the backgrounders, experienced even bigger cash losses than BSE. With so much unknown and uncertainty ahead in the cattle markets, I hope that Canadian cattle feeders are not setting themselves up for another wreck. Despite all the cheap feed in Canada, the cattle at today’s prices still look risky. One of the biggest unknowns will be the future value of the dollar. Once Trump is in office and tries to bully his trading partners, the dollar should become very volatile. One thing for sure is that Canada needs to strengthen its export opportunities with other nations as soon as possible. Whether Trump is successful in backing out of NAFTA, bringing back MCool, or disrupting the TPP agreement, his actions will keep the market volatile. Only time will tell. Until next time, Rick


December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture results in higher culling rates for cows. • It can result in a longer, slower calving season in 2018, with more variation of calf size in the calf crop. • It will lead to less cattle income in 2017 and 2018. Solutions to low energy feed The easiest solution to low energy feed for gestating cows is to provide more hay than normal. Cows will adequately compensate for low energy feed if they can eat the leaves and top branches of the crop and leave behind the thick stems and moldy portions. This practice increases the perceived waste, but the remaining stems, if eaten, would dilute, rather than supplement the energy intake. The use of a bale processor to mix thick stems and moldy hay with high quality leaves and fine stems does not improve cattle body condition. Processing stems to make them more palatable will cause the animals to intake stems with very low digestibility, which does not raise the energy level of the diet. Bale processors that have aggressive hammer action also can turn fine stems and leaves into tiny particles that fall to the ground, or float away as dust, which actually reduces the energy available to the cows. Adding energy with feed grains is another method of compensating for low energy hay. The addition of barley, corn, oats or screenings will increase activity in the rumen and improve the digestion of mature hay stems, which would otherwise not be digestible. The addition of feed grains adds to cash costs of feed and labour, but it can be a quick way to solve the low energy problem. This fall, feed grain cost is much lower than recent years, and can be a competitively-priced energy supplement.

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Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture

Ray.Bittner@gov.mb.ca

Q: This summer, my hay yield was good, but I have been hearing the quality is below average. What effect can this have on my beef herd? A: You are correct. Manitoba Agriculture’s 2016 feed test results show below average energy values, which can cause a lot of problems in both the short and long-term. 2016 was a different year for most Manitoba hay makers. Hay stands matured early because of an early and warm spring, so if you made hay on the same date in 2016 as past years, your hay would be more mature and accordingly lower in energy. To make the problem worse, frequent rains kept many producers from cutting on time, and often delayed baling hay that was lying in swath. Rain on laying hay has a tendency to wash sugars out of the conditioned stems, and eventually, molds in swath consume sugars, which reduces hay energy values. If you were unlucky enough to have mature hay swathes, with rain and some mold, the energy values could be very low. Low energy hay supplies cause both short-term and long-term changes in your herd, so feeding the same volume of hay as normal can be deficient, and cause expensive losses that can be avoided. Short-term problems with low energy hay include: •Reduced gain on growing cattle. Lower energy hay is the equivalent of reducing grain in the ration. You may be feeding for two pounds per day of gain on calves, but only gaining 1.25 or 1.5 pounds per day • Reduced condition on cows. Cows that are fed low energy hay in the cold Manitoba winter will use fat deposits to stay warm, and lower their body condition score. Cows with less fat deposits have less natural insulation and require more feed to stay warm. • Reduced calf nutrition before calving (parturition). This can result in weak calves, which are slower to suck colostrum and more prone to calf illness such as pneumonia, scours and coccidiosis. Long-term problems with low energy hay: • In Manitoba, low energy for an entire winter in Manitoba can cause a lower number of weaned calves in the fall of 2017, because of calf nutrition deficiencies in early life there can be long term health issues with these calves. This can cause increased mortalities pre and post-weaning. • It can lead to lower pregnancy rates in fall which

How can you be certain that you have low energy feed? Have your hay supply tested for energy and protein. Manitoba Agriculture and most feed companies offer technical assistance to feed test your hay. You should test individual fields separately, so you can plan your schedule of feeding accordingly. Often, saving the best energy hay to just before calving or post-calving, is your best investment. To determine if your hay has a low energy value, compare your feed test to the attached table. If your hay has a total digestible nutrients (TDN) score below the number in the table, you should consider changing up your rations for this winter. TDN is a percentage closely associated with the calorie concentration. The Manitoba Agriculture Livestock extension team offers free StockTalk webinars. The next webinar will be on December 20. To register, go to: https:// attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8714498641 314555907 We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist Pam Iwanchysko will answer a selected question about planned grazing. Send your questions to pamela.iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca by December 19, 2016. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’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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Earls may have done the Canadian beef industry a favour BY ANGELA LOVELL The Canadian beef industry and consumers were outraged when Canadian restaurant chain, Earls announced it would source “Certified Humane”, antibiotic, hormone and steroid free beef from U.S. sources rather than from Canada. “We weren’t against US beef,” says Tom Lynch-Staunton, Issues Manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “We were against the implication that the way we raise cattle wasn’t as good.” Because of the massive hue and cry, Earls reversed its decision and is working with Canadian beef producers to source beef that meets its criteria. Good news for Canadian cattle producers who are already working hard to produce quality beef humanely and sustainably. But there are other things coming out of the Earls situation, says Lynch-Staunton, that are hugely beneficial to the beef industry. “It gave us a good opportunity to

tell people what we’re doing, especially around animal welfare and humane handling,” he says. “We were able to have conversations about things like how we use antibiotics and why we use growth hormone implants.” Connecting with Consumers As rural populations decline and urban populations increase, less and less people have relatives, friends or someone they know who is a farmer or a rancher. “People don’t know how their food is produced. They see and hear things that tell part of the story, but they don’t tell the whole story. All the marketing claims and labels are confusing people, so they are asking questions,” says Lynch-Staunton. Alberta rancher, Cherie CopithorneBarnes, who chairs the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (CRSB) says the Earls situation demonstrates that producers need a framework that will enable communication with food and retail Page 2 ➢

Tour provides inside look at MBFI BY CHAD SAXON Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives’ (MBFI) present and future was on display during the first McDonald’s Production Day Tour. Held on July 19 at MBFI’s Brookdale Research Farm, the tour was the public’s first opportunity to get a look behind the scenes of MBFI and learn more about the research projects taking place on the 640-acre section of land north of Brandon. MBFI Chairwoman Ramona Blyth said the day was a tremendous success with just shy of 100 people

making the trip to Brookdale. “We were all very encouraged to see the interest in MBFI among producers, researchers and the public at large,” she said. “There has been so much work put into this project and the entire team is very proud of all that has been accomplished in a relatively short period of time. So to see the interest shown at the production day tour was very rewarding for our team.” Blyth said along with allowing the public to see the work taking place at MBFI, a focus of the tour was to begin the process of showing producers how Shawn Cabak of Manitoba Agriculture provides an update on the extended grazing study taking place at Manitoba the research projects can Beef & Forage Initiatives Brookdale Research Farm. The project is evaluating extended grazing strategies to assess be used on their operations how they can help reduce feed costs and increase nutrient returns to the soil. to increase efficiency and, tion between Manitoba comprise MBFI, Brookdale projects off the ground,” Officials from all four ideally, profitability. Beef Producers, Manitoba as well as the First Street Blyth said in her opening organizations were on “The extension to pro- Agriculture, Manitoba and Johnson farms which comments. “Transitioning hand for the tour includducers is one of the most Forage & Grasslands Asso- are both located on the from the initial concept to ing Manitoba Agriculture important components of ciation and Ducks Unlim- eastern edge of Brandon. the setup of MBFI to suc- Minister Ralph Eichler, MBFI. The research is still ited. After the initial an“In the past 18 months cessfully completing sever- who was named to the in itsatearly stages butTales we exhibit This young girl tried her hand at roping during a stop MBP’s Cattle nouncement of the project we have forged full speed al research projects in such position shortly after the were happy to start the at the Red River Ex. The exhibit included live cattle, equipment such asexa cattle in 2014, work truly began ahead to get MBFI running a short order is no small provincial election earlier tension process. in earnest trailer, roping station andAgriculture meat cooler as well as information on” the Manitoba beef in 2015 at the so that we can get some re- feat. It took people with a this year. Minister (above) Manitoba Beef Producers and Canada Beef were game sponsors Sept. 17 when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers MBFI is a collabora- three research farms that search and demonstration shared vision.” Page 2 ➢ industry. Ralph Eichler

President, Everett Olson (204) 826-2643 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

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For more information on advertising rates please contact: Football Fever! Esther ata sustainable 204-772-4542 or ereimer@mbbeef.ca How to be beef producer VBP+ programReimer officially launched Little Roper

beat the Toronto Argonauts at Investor's Group Field. Prior to the game, MBP had a station in Tailgate Plaza where fans had the chance to practise their roping skills. (left), A father and son check out the Canada Beef cuts chart.

of information, training, online tools and resources. Like the initial program, VBP+ remains voluntary and industryled. Page 2 ➢ Earl's president apologizes to

Eichler promotes big beef herd increase

Reimer elected Vice-Chair of Check Off

Mitigating and recovering

Building Public Confidence in Canadian Beef

since 1994. But Eichler is sure the growth is achievable and increasing cow numbers will create all kinds of spin-off benefits for Manitoba’s beef industry. “I’m sure if we get the numbers, you’ll see those opportunities come forward,” he said. “Business creates business and when you see those numbers come forward, they’ll react to that.”

Sharing the Ag Story

www.mbbeef.ca

Eichler says there are a few things government could do to help, such as waiving fees on crown land or making more private land available for grazing. “That’s all part of the conversation about what we need to do.” Industry officials say Eichler’s idea of boosting Manitoba’s beef numbers is a good one but express skepticism about whether it is realistic. Page 2 ➢

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robust validation required to satisfy the retailer, other end users, and consumer needs. A voluntary program, VBP+ allows registered operations to be part of a bigger picture of raising beef cattle

.

duction level, VBP+ enables producers to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible stewardship of both cattle and resources. The level of transparency VBP+ offers on a range of key production practices provides retailers and consumers with the knowledge that the beef they purchase is from a healthy animal raised with appropriate oversight and care on the farm, ranch or feedlot. These essential attributes are applicable throughout the beef production supply chain and are captured in a new impactful VBP+ logo. VBP+ shows that Canadian beef

: 4

After months of hearing about the benefits of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, producers can now see for themselves how validating their sustainable production practices provides opportunity to proactively share their stories with consumers and beef retailers. Officially launched in June, the new, national VBP+ program includes training and auditing for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship along with on-farm food safety practices within the cow-calf and feedlot sectors. Through validating sustainable practises at the primary pro-

by CRSB – the National Beef Sustainability really evaluate where they stand against Assessment – is due for release in Septem- these things.” ber. The Assessment is a summary of a 500- Looking for Producers for National Pilot A number of Canadian beef producers page document that provides a benchmark of the social, economic and environmental participated in the McDonald’s Sustainable performance of the Canadian beef indus- Beef Pilot Project, which ended earlier this Exactly how Eichler hopes to achieve BYfor RON FRIESEN year, and measured their operations try. “It’ll show where we’re at, example against the proposed increase isn’t clear. He admits in an area like carbon sequestration and a number indicators for sustainable beef You can’t accuse ManitobaofAgriculture he doesn’t have an actual plan and says greenhouse gas emissions but also the soproduction. From gained Minister Ralph Eichler of thinking small.the experience that’s not his job anyway. cial and economic side of it too,”Eichler said Cothe McDonald’s CRSB re-to me or government to wantsthrough to increase Manitoba pilot,“It’s notisup pithorne-Barnes in a phone beef interview after by leasing revised, second draft of cow herd 70 per acent to 750,000 comedocument up with solutions. We have to look the conference. “It identified areas Indicators head overwhere the next 10 years. for Primary Production within,” hethis saidfallin a recent interview with we’re doing well and also opportunities for public comment. draft Country. document Eichler for announced his goal during aTheCattle improvements, and will be something thatandcurrently contains 25in indicators, of which beef cow herd numbered Manitoba Beef Forage Initiative tour Manitoba’s producers will be able to take a look at and Pageon 2 ➢January 1, 2016, the lowest July. 440,200 head RN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 NS MAIL PRODUCT SALES 87 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

(CRSB). “We know this is going to be very important to processors because retail and Canadian beef producers will soon food service companies need something producers are listening, Alberta can that flow intotangible the growing havesaid access to a set of that indicators they to be ableCanato market,” she said durcanproducer-led measure their production systems beef rancher and Chair of the dian sustainable stream.” ing supply a presentation to the Canadian Beef against to see if they meet VBP+ the standards Industry Conference in Calgary on August VBP+ Transition Management Comis an expansion of the forbe a verified, “We already have effective tools that mittee Cecilie Fleming. required “Being to a VBP+ mersustainable Verifiedbeef Beef 11. Production on-farm producer. producers canbegan use to verify registered producer enables beef opera- food safety program. Work in that they are Why does that matter? Because con- raising sustainable beef. Our job now is to tions to showcase the good production late 2013 to expand the program to sumers are demanding sustainable beef, coordinate these tools in a way that is repractises they commit toand oneveryone their farms, include production practices validaalong the value chain needs portable to our end users and explore difranches and feedlots astowell as fosters tion all areas the beef production understand how they canin contribute to of ferent funding models to ensure that costs continual improvements. VBP+ is a supply chain. and are distributed supplying a sustainable beef product, saysNational associateddelivery with this process Cherie Chair of of VBP+ the asmaintains evenly as possible. ” straightforward, practical andCopithorne-Barnes, low cost oversight a conforCanadian Roundtable Sustainable Beef She added delivery that a study commissioned program to implement yet contains the for mance system and streamlines

BY ANGELA LOVELL


8

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

Resolutions for debate at the 38th 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 38th MBP Annual General Meeting (AGM) being held February 2, 2017 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. Note that four districts (5, 6, 7 and 9) have adopted similar resolutions with respect to climate change. These may be combined by MBP’s Resolution Committee for debate and voting purposes at the AGM. There were no resolutions arising in the district meetings held in Districts 2, 3 and 4. If you wish to bring forward a late resolution for debate at the AGM, it must be provided to MBP staff no later than noon, February 2, 2017. Please send it to info@mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Brian Lemon. 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 38th MBP AGM to debate and vote on the resolutions. We look forward to your participation. District 11 – held Oct. 24 11.1 Whereas there are several options for routes to drain from Lake Manitoba, including potentially draining through the chain of lakes (i.e. Reed Lake, Clear Lake, etc.); and Whereas the determination of the route could impact agriculture and the environment. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to consult with land owners in the region of the drain as part of determination of the most appropriate route for the drain from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin. District 9 – Oct. 25 9.1 Whereas the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has been linked to climate change and global warming, and Whereas all governments are concerned about climate change and global warming as was evident at the Paris conference on climate change in November 2015, and Whereas the federal and provincial governments of Canada committed to reducing CO2 emissions at the Vancouver conference in March, 2016, and Whereas increasing the organic matter in grasslands is the most promising way to practically and economically sequester carbon, and Whereas Canada’s large land base and its potential for carbon sequestration could provide a net cash benefit for the provinces and the country. Be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land; and Be it further resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers encourage the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef to lobby the Government of Canada to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land. District 4 – Oct. 26 No resolutions came forward. District 2 – Nov. 1 No resolutions came forward. District 1 – Nov. 2 1.1 Whereas the current funding model of education is outdated and unfair to agricultural producers; and Whereas property ownership does not reflect on its ability to pay its tax bill; and Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has announced the Manitoba government’s objective to grow the provincial cattle herd to pre-BSE numbers. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government that the provincial edu-

cation system be funded by residential property and personal and corporate income and be removed on farmland and farm production buildings. District 6 – Nov. 3 6.1 Whereas the Province of Manitoba wishes to grow the beef herd; and Whereas critical to this will be encouraging new entrants to the industry and key will be sound succession mechanisms. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to allow the sale of a producer’s beef breeding herd to be part of the onetime capital gains exemption. 6.2 Whereas the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has been linked to climate change and global warming, and Whereas all governments are concerned about climate change and global warming as was evident at the Paris conference on climate change in November 2015, and Whereas the federal and provincial governments of Canada committed to reducing CO2 emissions at the Vancouver conference in March, 2016, and Whereas increasing the organic matter in grasslands is the most promising way to practically and economically sequester carbon, and Whereas Canada’s large land base and its potential for carbon sequestration could provide a net cash benefit for the provinces and the country. Be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land; and Be it further resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers encourage the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef to lobby the Government of Canada to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land. District 5 – Nov. 4 5.1 Whereas the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has been linked to climate change and global warming, and Whereas all governments are concerned about climate change and global warming as was evident at the Paris conference on climate change in November 2015, and Whereas the federal and provincial governments of Canada committed to reducing CO2 emissions at the Vancouver conference in March, 2016, and Whereas increasing the organic matter in grasslands is the most promising way to practically and economically sequester carbon, and Whereas Canada’s large land base and its potential for carbon sequestration could provide a net cash benefit for the provinces and the country. Be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land; and Be it further resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers encourage the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef to lobby the Government of Canada to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on their land. 5.2 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba for an exemption from carbon taxation on all agricultural-related inputs to ensure the sector is not unfairly disadvantaged. District 14 – Nov. 7 14.1 Whereas currently Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s forage program focuses on alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures and doesn’t recognize other legume-grass forage mixtures. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to expand the forage program to include coverage for legume-grasses. 14.2 Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers

www.mbbeef.ca

review its procedures to allow that any producer who leaves any amount of provincial check-off with MBP be considered a member in good standing. District 12 – Nov. 8 12.1 Whereas improper water management is increasingly a major impediment to achieving the Minister of Agriculture’s objective of growing Manitoba’s cattle herd specifically given the need to ensure effective utilization of Crown lands and, Whereas beavers are creating real problems blocking drains and culverts impeding proper drainage of rural lands. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to improve maintenance of existing drains on both Crown Lands and private lands, and to ensure proper management of Manitoba’s watersheds. District 13 – Nov. 9 13.1 Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has announced his goal of increasing the provincial cattle herd to pre-BSE numbers and critical to this will be increased access to pasture lands, and Whereas beavers are a creating real problems blocking drains and culverts, flooding good forage acres and impeding proper drainage of rural lands. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Province of Manitoba to provide a $50 per beaver removal incentive to ensure proper management of the beaver population. 13.2 Whereas Manitoba’s cattle producers have increasingly been looking to corn silage as a major source of feed and given this past year’s (2016) excessive moisture conditions, preventing producers from being able to access their silage crop in a timely manner, Whereas the producers’ inability to access their silage, and in many cases alternative management plans are not feasible or even potentially unsafe to the cattle. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to provide proper recognition and compensation of the 100 per cent loss of the producers’ corn silage. 13.3 Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has announced his goal of increasing the provincial cattle herd to pre-BSE numbers and critical to this will be increased access to agricultural Crown lands in Manitoba. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) lobby the Government of Manitoba to provide the Minister of Agriculture with oversight and control of all Manitoba’s agricultural Crown lands, and Be it further resolved that MBP lobby the Province of Manitoba to allow more flexible transfer of Crown lands between producers to ensure its effective use by Manitoba’s cattle producers. 13.4 Whereas private property rights are essential to the management of beef cattle operations and are continually being pressured by non-agricultural and urban interests. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Province of Manitoba for right to farm legislation ensuring private property rights for agriculture. District 7 – Nov. 10 7.1 Whereas, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has been linked to climate change and global warming. And whereas all governments are concerned about climate change, water retention within watersheds and global warming, and are committed to the climate change mandate as was evident at the Paris conference on climate change in November 2015. And whereas the federal and provincial governments of Canada committed to reducing CO2 emissions at the Vancouver conference in March, 2016. And whereas increasing the organic matter in grasslands and the wetlands within the grasslands, is the most promising way to practically and economically sequester carbon. And whereas Canada’s large land and wetland base and its potential for carbon sequestration and water retention within watersheds could provide a net cash benefit for the provinces and the country. Be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to implement,


December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

MBP Annual General Meeting within their Alternate Land Use Services (ALUS) program or another complementary program, an incentive that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration along with any environmentally sound practices that would retain additional water resources on the land they manage. Further be it resolved that the Manitoba Beef Producers encourage the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Sustainable Roundtable on Beef to lobby the federal government to implement a program that would pay agricultural producers for any measurable increase in carbon sequestration that occurs on the land they manage, along with any environmentally sound practices that would retain additional water resources on the land they manage. District 10 – Nov. 14 10.1 Whereas proper water management is increasingly a major impediment to achieving the Minister of Agriculture’s objective of growing Manitoba’s cattle herd, specifically given the need to ensure effective utilization of private and Crown lands, and Whereas beavers are creating a real problem blocking drains, culverts and natural waterways, thus impeding proper drainage of rural lands. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to improve maintenance of existing drains on both Crown lands and private lands, and to ensure proper management of Manitoba’s watersheds. 10.2 Whereas all government are concerned about climate change and global warming as was evident at the Paris conference on climate change in November 2015, and

Whereas the federal and provincial governments of Canada are committed to reducing CO2 emissions at the Vancouver conference in March 2016; and Whereas primary producers are absolute pricetakes both in terms of purchasing inputs and selling production and are unable to pass any incremental costs, and Whereas any steps to reduce CO2 emissions ahead of our trading partner (the United States) would severely impact the economic competitiveness of the agriculture sector in Canada and potentially the rural Canadian economy. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial and federal governments not to take any steps toward reducing CO2 emissions that are out of steps with steps taken in the United States. 10.3 Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has announced his goal of increasing the provincial cattle herd to pre-BSE numbers, and Whereas Manitoba Beef Producers is trying to encourage young and new producers into the industry as a way of addressing the Minister of Agriculture’s goal of increasing the herd. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Province of Manitoba to have an interest rebate or reduced interest rate for young and new producers on their livestock cash advances under the Advance Payments Program. District 8 - Nov. 15 8.1 Whereas the federal government is imposing a carbon tax to decrease carbon emissions; and Whereas forage crops and rangelands sequester carbon. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lob-

by governments to compensate cattle producers for the amount of carbon sequestered. 8.2 Whereas night hunting is dangerous is dangerous to people, wildlife, livestock and property. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba government to outlaw night hunting. District 3 – Nov. 16 No resolutions came forward.

If you wish to bring forward a late resolution for debate at the AGM, it must be provided to MBP staff no later than noon, February 2, 2017. Please send it to info@mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Brian Lemon.

38th Annual General Meeting & President’s Banquet February 2-3, 2017 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458.

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 38TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

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ATTEND MBP’S YOUNG PRODUCER FORUM WITH GUEST SPEAKER MARTY SEYMOUR FROM FCC


10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

Is composting a fit for your operation? BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Composting is worth a second look as a nutrient management and soil improvement tool. It is a proven way of turning manure and other low value or waste organic materials into a uniform, soil-like product, providing it is done right. More than simply stockpiling manure for an extended period, composting is the management of a naturally occurring biological process called aerobic decomposition. When properly managed, microorganisms break down and stabilize organic materials over time to produce a product that is both a fertilizer and a soil amendment – compost. As with any management practice, there are po-

erties, reduced environmental risk and a potential income stream if the end product is of good quality. It is also an excellent source of many essential plant nutrients. Drawbacks include the requirement for extra time, labour and fuel, suitable equipment and space, plus the potential for greenhouse gas emissions and additional loss of nitrogen as ammonia gas if composting conditions are not ideal. Tips for success There are four critical factors to manage for successful composting, which equate to creating an ideal environment for composting microbes: Starting Carbon: Nitrogen ratio: Target C:N ratio is 30:1, although a range of 25-35 will still produce good quality compost if properly managed. If there is too much carbon, decomposition will not occur or will be very slow. At low C:N ratios, high nitrogen

the material is too dry or too wet. Windrows that are too wet also tend to smell unpleasant because of a lack of oxygen triggering a switch from aerobic to anaerobic decomposition. Grab a handful of material from inside of the windrow and squeeze. The MC is in the right range if it feels moist but liquid isn’t freely draining from your hand. Particle Size: Windrows with a mix of particle sizes (6 to 75mm, 0.25 to 3”) have good structure and airflow, but will not dry out too quickly. Smaller particles allow greater contact between microbes and materials, while larger particles provide structure and improve airflow. Temperature: There are three distinct temperature phases during active composting. The initial hot phase where temperatures remain above 55 C (131 F) destroys pathogens and

Forming manure windrows for composting using a tractor-mounted turner/aerator

tential benefits and drawbacks. Whether the benefits outweigh the costs depends on your particular set of circumstances, and external factors like weather. Composting benefits include reduced manure volume and associated hauling cost, destruction of weed seeds, parasites and pathogens, improved manure prop-

levels can trigger overly rapid decomposition resulting in excess ammonia loss and odour. Moisture Content (MC): Maintain a MC of 45-60% (optimal 55%) throughout the active composting phase, avoiding letting the material dry out or get too wet. Microbial activity will slow or stop if

GRUNTHAL LIVESTOCK AUCTION MART

Season’s Greetings from the Owners and Staff!

weed seeds. The following warm phase where temperatures are above 40 C (104 F) reduces plant toxic compounds which may have been produced during the

hot and early warm phases. Temperatures gradually decrease to the surrounding air temperature as microbial activity slows and the composting process nears completion. The need for active

record temperature and moisture to maintain an ideal environment for composting microbes, turning and/or adding water as needed, • Move finished windrows into piles for curing.

monitoring and using compost The key to successful composting resides in proper set up and ongoing monitoring and management to ensure proper moisture, temperature

windrow management is highest during the hot phase when decomposition is most rapid so that composting microbes are provided with adequate oxygen, moisture and “food” (digestible materials). Temperature profiles are the primary indicator of compost doneness - the active composting phase is complete when temperatures approach ambient and turning no longer generates a temperature increase. A final curing phase is important for rebuilding beneficial microbial populations, stabilizing carbon forms and releasing previously immobilized nitrogen. Set-up and management check list: • Use a mixing rate calculator tool or C:N reference chart to determine the proper mixing ratio for starting materials, • Thoroughly mix compost starting materials to achieve moisture and C:N targets, • Form uniform windrows of medium size to better manage moisture and aeration, • Regularly monitor and

Is it compost? Composting is more than reducing the volume of manure. As established by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, for organic materials to be considered fully composted, the following criteria are to be met: • Composting material temperature exceeds 55 C for at least 15 days with at least five turning events during this period, • The material undergoes a final curing phase of at least 21 days, • Material is free of pathogens and meets trace element and foreign matter limits, • Material meets stability (doneness) requirements. • We recommend sending a sample of the finished material to a reputable laboratory to determine nutrients, salts and other agronomic information. Having these results in hand will aid in deciding appropriate uses and application rates for the compost. Resources for making,

and aeration conditions throughout the composting process. The National Centre for Livestock and the Environment website provides a number of resources to help you succeed: http://umanitoba.ca/afs/ ncle/programs/composting.html FACTSHEET: BMPs for Composting Manure and Other Organic Materials. FACTSHEET: • BMPs for Using Compost for Growing Vegetables, Composting calculator tool for determining starting material mixing ratios, • Composting protocol (includes sampling procedures and formulas for calculating moisture content, bulk density and the self-heating test to assess compost stability), • Recording sheets for windrow information and monitoring (moisture and temperature), and • Listing of additional composting guides and resources.

Merry Christmas from the Manitoba Angus Association

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Last sale of 2016 is Tuesday, December 20 First sale of 2017 is Tuesday, January 10 12:00 p.m. Saturday, December 10 at 10:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale December 12 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves

Thank yo u to the Angus customer s and consumer s of

2016!

-

For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

BRAD KEHLER - Manager/Field Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 204-346-2440 cell 204-434-9367 fax Box 71 Grunthal, Manitoba R0A 0R0

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca

www.mbbeef.ca

Come to Ag Days Angus Booth 2017 and purchase your Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Tags for 2017. 1-888-622-6487 www.mbangus.ca


December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Listen to what consumers want to increase beef demand BY ANGELA LOVELL Gaining the confidence of consumers in the Canadian Beef Advantage (BCA) brand is a core theme of Canada’s National Beef Strategy, which aims to establish CBA as the most recognized and loyalty-based beef brand in the world. As vice-president of marketing for Tim Hortons, Sam Heath understands a thing or two about creating a trusted brand. “When people come to Tim Hortons we are telling them that coming in and getting your coffee here is what makes you Canadian,” he told attendees of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary in August as part of a panel discussion about beef demand. “We know that because we went out and asked Canadians ‘what single word comes to mind when you think of Tim Hortons’. The number one word by far was ‘Canadian’. Marketing is about finding out what your guests want to hear and playing it back to them in a way that draws them into your restaurant, or your industry, or your product.” Tim Hortons goal is to gain a bigger share of the lunch and dinner market in Canada and Heath said the company wants to work with the Canadian beef industry to help it understand what’s important to its customers. “This is where our story and your five-year National Beef Strategy start to intersect,” said Heath. “You need to sell beef sandwiches if you want to be a lunch and dinner place. We have made a commitment to Canadian beef for the last year, one we want to stick to.” Finding Out the Table Stakes of Beef But, cautioned Heath, even though Canadian Beef is a great brand, the industry doesn’t want to stand in the way of what consumers require it to deliver. “It’s hard to tell the difference between what’s a fad and what a longterm trend is, but as we learn we will share that with you,” said Heath, referring to a new research program that Tim Hortons is launching called ‘Trust and Taste’ to find out what its guests want to hear about beef besides it being Canadian, which it intends to share with the beef industry. “We need to figure out what’s really important. What are the must-haves, the table stakes of beef? Canadian beef is an incredibly powerful story but you don’t want to be telling people you can have hormone free, or antibiotic free beef, or you have Canadian beef. It’s a fight you don’t want to get into because then you’re fighting against global trends and how younger persons are perceiving food, the questions they’re asking about their food, and you don’t want to try and stand in that light. The world is littered with companies that stood on their own source of strength as that became less and less relevant. So figure out what consumers are demanding and layer on top of it the Canadian beef brand and you’ve got an incredibly powerful source of strength.”

Beef demand is one of the four pillars of Canada’s National Beef Strategy, and as part of this pillar the goal is to increase carcass cutout value by 15 percent by 2020. Build on the ‘Localness’ of Beef Another beef demand panelist, Randy White, who is president of Sysco Canada, said Canadian beef is a huge ‘centre of the plate’ component in the food service distribution industry and the Canadian beef industry has a great opportunity to emphasize the localness of its product. “When we have the opportunity to supply ‘centre of the plate’ products like beef to the marketplace we get other consumption around that,” said White. “So often in the food service or retail industries people believe local means neighbourhood or regional. In some cases it does, but when our organization thinks of Canadian beef we think of all of Canada. There is an opportunity being missed to ensure the story of Canadian beef – the localness of it – is brought to those distributing and

ters. They have to believe in the product too and so we have to continue to demonstrate that we’re willing to live by those things that we’ve chosen to stand for. All people look for that kind of a stand. That’s the message that we’re going to have to create for the product, and let people feel confident in beef, if we’re going to deliver that.” Trade Agreements Crucial to Increase Demand As more people in developing countries improve their incomes, they will want to eat more beef, spurring future exports of Canadian beef. International trade agreements are crucial to increase markets worldwide for Canadian beef, as domestic markets are flooded with record production of other lower cost proteins, such as pork and chicken, which are putting pressure on beef consumption at home. In a separate presentation to CBIC attendees, Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs and sustainability

From left to right: Sam Heath of Tim Hortons, Mo Jessa of Earls and Randy White of Sysco Canada were the panelists for a discussion on beef demand at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August.

marketing the product across Canada.” The final panelist, Mo Jessa, president of Earls Restaurants Ltd., says many of the company’s employees are part of the millennialst generation that will drive future demand for beef. “When we want to get into the minds of millennial, they’re the ones talking to and for these consumers,” said Jessa. “These people are constantly on their phone screen, and restaurants have become places where they come to connect and interact with people not only in their social area but with our own employees, who have become facilitators. What they say mat-

for JBS USA emphasized the importance of trade deals lie the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). “The TPP will allow us to put significant pressure on China to be responsible trading partners and actors in the international marketplace,” he said. “As populations grow in developing countries, we must have access to these markets for our industry to grow. Free trade allows us to send products that are of lesser value consumed domestically to international customers who value these products and will pay more for them. It increases the value of each and every animal. It’s really important for our industry.”

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 Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation; G & B Farms - Gord & Brenda Adams; Steads Farm Supply Boissevain; Westway Feed Products Canada District 2 Mazergroup - Killarney District 3 Little Morden Service; Penner Stock Farms District 4 Grunthal Auction Mart; Masterfeeds - Peter Kraynyk; Mazergroup - Corey Plett

District 5 Rosehill Cattle Co. Ltd. - Harold & Ramona Blyth

District 9 Winnipeg Livestock Sales; Marquette Consumers Coop; Dianne Riding

District 6 Heartland Livestock Virden; Wegner Land & Cattle

District 10 Arborg Livestock Supply; Interlake Co-op

District 7 Shoal Lake Vet Clinic; Russell & District Vet Clinic District 8 Neepawa-Gladstone CO-OP; John Deere - Neepawa; John Deere - Portage la Prairie; Tom Teichroeb

www.mbbeef.ca

District 11 Noventis Credit Union District 12 Dauphin - Ste. Rose Vet Clinic District 13 Ste. Rose Auction Mart District 14 Swan Valley Consumer Co-op - Ag Division


12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

The Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association held its seventh annual conference in Winnipeg in November. A pre-conference tour saw roughly 40 people tour Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives three research farms near Brandon. Submitted Photo.

MBFI shines in CFGA eyes BY DUNCAN MORRISON

Executive Director Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association

The weather was bright and sunny as 40 or so delegates from the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) enjoyed a late-fall tour of Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) on Nov. 15. Though, according to the attendees, the brightest takeaway from the day was the great potential that the three MBFI research demonstration farms have on a local, regional, national and international levels. “It was an excellent day,” said Ray Robertson, CFGA chair and a custom grazing producer from Markdale, Ontario where he and wife Evelyn farm. “It’s a great facility

and tremendous opportunity for everyone in the beef and forage industry to use MBFI research and extension efforts to better our industry.” Located at three sites: Brookdale, First Street and Johnson Pasture near Brandon, MBFI is an industry-led centre of agricultural innovation engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry. “MBFI is a collaboration between Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, and Ducks Unlimited Canada with direction from stakeholders collabo-

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rating for the advancement of the industry,” said Glenn Friesen, Manitoba Agriculture’s project lead on MBFI. “As a group, we want producers, industry and stakeholders aware of our MBFI programs and potential and the opportunity to broadcast this to Canada’s forage and grassland leaders as part of the CFGA 2016 conference in Winnipeg was a great opportunity to do so.” Most of the tour time was spent at Brookdale where the bulk of MBFI research is taking place, however there were also stops at the other two sites as well. During the tour stops, researchers from Manitoba Agriculture and the University of Manitoba explained some of the leading edge beef and forage research underway at MBFI. After hearing from research leads on soil health, leafy spurge, extended grazing, forage quality, watering systems, riparian areas, carbon sequestration and herd health, MBFI’s focus on extension – that is hearing the results of research from researchers in ways that connect with users and stakeholders – struck a chord with Robertson. “I heard a presentation recently where Canada was ranked number nine in the

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9:00AM 1:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 1:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 1:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 1:00PM

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world in agricultural extension efforts. Extension has kind of dropped off our national map, yet, in many ways effective extension is what Canada needs to surround our agriculture producers and land managers with so we can get back on that international stage as the global leaders,” said Robertson. “MBFI is a definite big step in that direction. We need more of this kind of collaboration and leadership across Canada.” Longtime CFGA board member Doug Wray hails from Irricana, Alberta where he and wife Linda run a herd of 300 cows on a forage-focused ranch operation. Wray said the enthusiasm of the researchers and the combination of youth, partner collaboration and strong research is a welltimed recipe for the rest of Canada to watch closely and learn from. “These are bright and engaged researchers looking for solutions that should resonate with all of us that work on the land,” said Wray, who was acknowledged with the 2016 New Holland CFGA Leadership Award at the Winnipeg conference. “MBFI is bringing together the partnerships, the facilities, the researchers. It’s fantastic.”

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December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Connecting the dots of beef production BY ANGELA LOVELL Of the four pillars that make up Canada’s National Beef Strategy, the connectivity goal might be the most challenging, as the industry aims to enhance synergies and connect positively with consumers, the public, government and partner industries. Connectivity is about connecting the dots through the whole chain of beef production from "the gate to the plate." “We need to improve connectivity within the beef industry itself because the nature of our production system tends to be somewhat segregated,” says Dr. Tim McAllister, principal research scientist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, who spoke on the topic at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary in August. “There needs to be recognition from within the industry that good practices within the cow/ calf sector have benefits for the feedlot sector, and that one sector really can’t continue to operate without the others.” McAllister also believes there needs to be a better way of connecting with the companies and organizations that can move technology forward to the benefit of the industry. “We are always striving to improve the efficiency of the Canadian beef industry but once you find a technology that looks like it has that potential, there’s really very few organizations in the world that are capable of commercializing it and which have the marketing and distribution arm that can get it out to the industry,” said McAllister in a phone interview. “We need to recognize the role of technology companies that are involved in developing the new tools that help us improve the efficiency of production.” Balancing the Picture It’s not easy to dispel negative messaging, badly interpreted science or the bias of interest groups in the media, but if everyone in the beef industry can work together to provide a more balanced view and present alternative perspectives on some of the practices that make it to the headlines. “When we see what comes out in the popular press it’s usually focusing on the negativity of beef cattle production, such as methane emissions,” said McAllister. “When we switch to feed sources like forages and grasses, we increase the amount of methane that’s produced per unit of feed that’s consumed. But under those conditions, cattle are using feed sources that are not suitable as food for humans, a practice that comes with other benefits. We need to recognize that almost every management decision comes with both positive and negative implications for the environment.” Most people thinking about emissions have feedlots in mind, and they aren’t considering the positive impacts of rangelands on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. “The ranch lands and native grasslands that exist

are quite substantial and they are there for a large part because of the cattle industry and their use for production,” said McAllister. “If you’re looking at the conversion of cropland into permanent forage then you have significant carbon sequestration over at least a 25-year time span. But you also have to credit the stores that already exist. Even in fully mature native grasslands that have never been touched, there’s probably a limited amount of carbon that continues to be stored in those mature ecosystems but the amount of carbon there is absolutely huge. On a global perspective, there’s actually more carbon still in the soil, than in the atmosphere, about three times as much. So the last thing we want to do is break that land up and contribute more carbon.” Emphasizing Best Practices A much touted figure is that forages and other crops that are grown to feed cattle account for 90 percent of the water footprint of beef, but McAllister argues, it’s not likely eliminating the cattle would cause those lands to be abandoned and not cropped, which still uses water. Cattle manure has also been vilified as a cause of nutrient loading in waterways and lakes, but when manure is applied to the land it offsets the GHG emissions that are used in the production of chemical nitrogen fertilizers. “When we use chemical fertilizer, we add absolutely no carbon to the soil whatsoever,” said McAllister. “When we add manure, it has organic matter so we’re adding carbon to the soil. The amount of depletion of carbon under cropping systems is much greater than it ever would be under native pasture land, even if that native pasture land was overgrazed it would not lose the same amount of carbon as one which is cropped and cultivated.” Not everything about beef cattle production is good and some of the points made by groups that are

Dr. Tim McAllister

causes major damage to the industry. Although they are rare, the industry should basically have zero tolerance for those types of practices.” McAllister has been part of the LEAP (Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance) Partnership which is a global initiative of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that has been working on developing some metrics and approaches to define the carbon and water footprint of livestock production systems. “The goal is to get consistency

“The ranch lands and native grasslands that exist are quite substantial and they are there for a large part because of the cattle industry and their use for production.” Dr. Tim McAllister negative to the industry do have some basis in science, but often they’re looking for where people have made mistakes and then they try to extrapolate that those mistakes are industry wide, and are common practice, which is not the case. “Usually they’re isolated incidences,” said McAllister. “That’s why it’s so critical that we limit or eliminate those practices from occurring within the industry, because any time they do occur it

in terms of the approaches that are used to generate the numbers that are associated with the carbon and water footprint of cattle production,” said McAllister. “These can then flow through groups like the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and provide people with a way to analyse the sustainability of their production systems.”

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

How much hay will your cows consume? BY JOHN MCGREGOR

MFGA Extension Support

With the difficult weather this past year, many producers have excess amount of forage, but quality is low. Under this scenario, estimating forage usage by cows is going to be an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs. Hay intake must be estimated in order to make these calculations. Forage quality will be a determining factor in the amount of forage consumed. Higher quality forages contain larger concentrations of important nutrients so animals should be more likely to meet their nutrient needs consuming these forages. Also, cows can consume a larger quantity of higher quality forages. Higher quality forages are fermented more rapidly in the rumen leaving a void that the animal can refill with additional forage. Consequently, forage intake increases. For example, low quality forages (below about six per cent crude protein) will be consumed at about 1.5 per cent of body weight (on a dry matter basis) per day. Higher quality grass hays (above 8% crude protein) may be consumed at about two per cent of body weight. Excellent forages, such as good alfalfa, silages, or green pasture may be consumed at the rate of 2.5 per cent dry matter of body weight per day. The combination of increased nutrient content and increased forage intake makes high quality forage very valuable to the animal and to the producer. With these intake estimates, producers can calculate the amounts of

hay that need to be available. Using an example of 1,200-pound pregnant spring-calving cows, let’s assume that the grass hay quality is good and tested eight per cent crude protein. Cows will voluntarily consume two per cent of body weight or 24 pounds per day. The 24 pounds is based on 100 per cent dry matter. Grass hays will often be sevent to 10 per cent moisture. If we assume that the hay is 92 per cent dry matter or eight per cent moisture, then the cows will consume about 26 pounds per day on an “asfed basis”. Unfortunately we also have to consider hay wastage when feeding big round bales. Hay wastage is difficult to estimate, but generally has been found to be from six to 20 per cent (or more). For this example, let’s assume 15 per cent hay wastage. This means that approximately 30 pounds of grass hay must be hauled to the pasture for each cow each day that hay is expected to be the primary ingredient in the diet. After calving and during early lactation, the cow may weigh 100 pounds less, but will be able to consume bout 2.6 per cent of her body weight (100 per cent dry matter) in hay. This would translate into 36 pounds of “as-fed” hay per cow per day necessary to be hauled to the pasture, assuming 15 per cent hay wastage once again. Accurate knowledge of average cow size in your herd as well as the average weight of your big round bales becomes necessary to predict hay needs and hay feeding strategies. Where the real concern comes this

year is with the low quality forages that may be on the farm. As mentioned, low protein hay is consumed at 1.5 per cent of body weight. Cows consuming lower quality forages may not be able to physically consume enough forage to meet their nutrient requirements. This can lead to lower body scores, weak calves and lower conception rates next spring. If you suspect your feed may not be up to its normal standards or you don’t have better quality feeds available to supplement your rations, getting your feed tested and having a ration balanced by your feed representative or Manitoba Agriculture Livestock specialist can help assure that your rations will meet your cows’ requirements. Consider the following management practices to reduce winter stress on your herd:

www.mbbeef.ca

1. Develop balanced rations with available feed and supplement when necessary. • Increase ration TDN to meet additional energy needs during adverse weather events • Consider supplements to increase energy and protein • Manage feed resources keeping the best feeds for late gestation and lactation 2. Shelter can be beneficial during severe conditions. • provide dry bedding areas for cows and bulls • provide wind breaks that can be accessed by cows during adverse weather 3. Body condition score all cows and monitor monthly to assess their status and group cows and heifers based on nutritional needs by age and body condition.


December 2016 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Inhale. Exhale. Take some time. Do you make time for yourself? Time for you, as in taking care of your body and mind. That’s a question most of us do not like, because the answer is often, "I try to find time, or life is to busy right now, but I will find time soon." There seems to be something ingrained in wives, moms and caregivers that keeps themselves at the bottom of their lists. Let’s make a point of making time for ourselves, schedule yourself in your schedule! Self care is important for our own self awareness and growth; physically, mentally and emotionally. Make time for exercise and bettering your health. This can be stretching for 10 minutes at your desk, going for a walk or finding a quiet place to meditate and reflect. Schedule time on a weekly basis, this way these activities can be worked into a routine. Get creative with your limited time,

SAVE THE DATE

Feb 2 & 3

MBP’s 38th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 2 & 3, 2017 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

if the kids are at swimming lessons for 60 minutes, check if the centre has an adult fitness class you can do at the same time. If not, use this time to read a book, do some writing or listen to music. Working on your well being, being self-aware and caring for yourself and family does not need to be an obvious and loud transformation. It’s about being mindful of what is truly best for you and your positive well being. On a daily basis this can be as simple as remembering to get enough sleep, staying hydrated and keeping it interesting by adding fruit or herbs into flat or sparkling water. Eating healthy meals, make meals a family affair. If the kid’s favourite is sandwich subs or pizza, pick up whole wheat pitas to transform them into an easy, do it yourself pizzas with toppings of their choice. As a twist for the adults I like to create pizza topping dinner salads. I add all my favourite pizza toppings, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, feta cheese, roasted red peppers over a bed of lettuce. Pick a meal that just makes you smile and create it at home, you will feel so good about what came out of your kitchen. Every once in a while take the time to focus on activities that make you feel self worth, happiness and satisfied. Here are some ideas: • Buy fresh flowers for your home • Spend quality time with friends • Go on a nature hike • Go on a weekend road trip or a week long vacation somewhere you love and cannot wait to visit. • Book a spa day for the ultimate relaxation and tranquil experience • Host a cooking party, try a group gathering in your home kitchen and make sushi, pizzas or panini grilled sandwiches as an entertaining idea. Making time to reflect on the importance of self care is something small that can dramatically improve your health. Making time for exercise and to meditate and fully relax can lower blood pressure and even improve cognitive performance. A fun activity that can be experienced with one person or several is fondue. On this season of Great Tastes of Manitoba I demonstrated three great tender cuts of beef that can be used when hosting an evening of fondue. You can find this video on Youtube on GreatTastesTV, fondue is very simple to prepare ahead of time and can make for a festive holiday dinner party idea. This holiday season

try taking a few moments to yourself to slow down and relax. Enjoy every moment you experience and be mindful on how special it is to share these with friends and family.

Classic Beef Fondue Beef: 1 lbs (0.5 kg) beef cuts (tenderloin, top sirloin or fillet) (75 g sliced beef per person) Fondue: 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 cup (250 mL) red wine 2-900mL tetra packs low sodium beef broth 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 tomato, chopped 1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt 1 Bay leaf Dipping Sauces: Wasabi Cream ½ cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt 2 tsp (10 mL) prepared wasabi paste 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chives or green onion, thinly chopped Peanut Chili Sauce: 2 Tbsp (30 mL) peanut butter ¼ cup (50 mL) soy sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) prepared sweet chili sauce DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in a large pot and sauté onion until soft; add garlic at the end to soften. Add wine and bring to a quick boil. Add beef broth, vegetables and spices, lower heat to a simmer. Cover with a heavy lid and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Drain fondue stock through a filter to remove vegetables (optional). When ready to serve reheat and add beef stock to fondue pot. Roll desired raw beef piece on fondue fork and cook to desired doneness. Sauces: Whisk together all ingredients for each sauce, serve as a dip to cooked meat and vegetables.

Come pick out a brother to heifers like this. Deep, sound, & quiet. Monty Thomson Cell #: (204) 870-0089 Gladstone, MB www.hatfieldclydesdales.com

www.mbbeef.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2016

www.mbbeef.ca


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