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Aquanty project seeks to reduce risk

Lower forage costs on your operation

Riding an agriculture advocate

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PHOTO BY JEANETTE GREAVES

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

FEBRUARY 2017


2

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

BCRC outlines new research strategy Canada has an opportunity to play a leading role in meeting rising global food production needs responsibly through investments in agriculture research across a variety of disciplines. The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and the national Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT) released a strategy to achieve high priority beef research objectives that support increasing productivity while remaining environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The new Canadian Beef Research and Tech-

nology Transfer Strategy, which was unveiled in December, will support the industry’s ability to manage challenges and sustainably supply demand. This strategy builds upon the success of the 2012-2018 National Beef Research Strategy. The new strategy’s research objectives are to be captured by 2023. “With a growing global population that desires beef, research and innovation is critical to produce more using limited resources,” said Andrea Brocklebank, Executive Director of the BCRC and Chair of the

BVCRT Research Committee. “The Canadian beef industry will be increasingly challenged to responsibly increase productivity while remaining environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Adequate research and technology transfer funding, infrastructure, and expertise focused on the knowledge and innovations that have the greatest potential to advance the industry are key to meeting this important objective.” The Strategy identifies desired research outcomes related to beef quality, food safety, animal health and welfare,

feed grains and feed efficiency, forage and grassland productivity, environmental sustainability and antimicrobial use, resistance and alternatives. It encourages greater communication and collaboration between the various beef research funding agencies across Canada so that funding can be allocated in ways that adequately address industry priorities, avoid duplication, and enhance adoption. “Limited, fragmented funding does not complement or adequately support a national value proposition of Canada as a leader in animal health, food safety, and quality,” added Brocklebank. “Clear direction of funding allocations across funding agencies is needed to achieve specific outcomes that adequately address industry research priorities. Together we can invest in a portfolio of research that includes both near-term and long-term research.” The Strategy was developed for and by industry stakeholders, researchers, research institutions, and beef

research funding agencies. It outlines how research dollars have been invested in the past, which research issues are of highest importance to industry stakeholders, and specific desired outcomes that require dedicated research or technology transfer. The Strategy will better enable the industry to achieve its core research objectives of enhancing industry sustainability, improving production efficiencies, improving consumer confidence and beef demand, and improving public confidence in Canadian beef. The Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy 2018 – 2023 was developed through an extensive collaborative process that engaged researchers, funders and grassroots producers. Input was sought through various means including direct stakeholder consultation, an online survey, and two workshops. The collaborative process helped to identify gaps in research needs, research capacity, and programming.

A summary of the strategy can be found online at: http://www. b e ef res e arch.ca/f iles/ pdf/Overview_of_Cdn_ Beef_Research_and_ Technolog y_Transfer_ St r at e g y _ 2 0 1 8 - 2 0 2 3 _ Dec1-16.pdf The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s national industry-led funding agency for beef research. The BCRC plays an important role in identifying the industry’s research and development priorities and subsequently influencing public sector investment in beef research. The BCRC is funded primarily through a portion of a producerpaid National Check-off and is directed by a committee of beef producers from across the country. The Canadian Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT), established by the federal minister of agriculture in 2003, is comprised of industry and provincial and federal government members representing the entire beef value chain. It provides leadership in addressing issues of importance to Canada’s beef industry. - Media Release

Triple the Fun A rare occurrence took place at the Twin Oak Limousin near Treherne when they discovered a set of triplets Jan. 8. The purebred Limousin triplets were sired by Greenwood PLD Zeppelin and are all healthy. Photo courtesy of Josie Robinson DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

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

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

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

GORD ADAMS

DISTRICT 2

RAMONA BLYTH - VICE-PRESIDENT

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

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 WEGNER

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

DIANNE RIDING

DISTRICT 10

KEN MCKAY

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

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

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

TOM TEICHROEB - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 12

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

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

BILL MURRAY

www.mbbeef.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

POLICY ANALYST

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Maureen Cousins Chad Saxon

FINANCE

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

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Brian Lemon

Deb Walger Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Anne Rooban

Trinda Jocelyn


February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Aquanty project seeks to reduce risk of floods and droughts BY ANGELA LOVELL Recent floods in the Assiniboine River Basin have resulted in significant crop losses, property and infrastructure damage, and unprecedented insurance claims. One of the aims of the two-year Aquanty project, which got underway in March 2016, is to reduce the need for ad hoc assistance from governments in response to natural disasters such as floods or droughts. The project will identify some preventative measures, risk prevention and mitigation activities through careful mapping and analysis of water movement in the Assiniboine River Basin. With this knowledge the goal is to develop new risk management tools that will reduce the impact of extreme floods or droughts within the Basin. Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association (MFGA) is the Aquanty project lead. “The main outcome from the perspective of MFGA is to be able to determine the beneficial role that forage and grasslands play with respect to managing water on the land,� says Henry Nelson, Project Manager, MFGA/Aquanty Project on Assiniboine River Basin. “It will give us hard evidence of the value of forage and grasslands in mitigating floods and droughts.� Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriRisk Initiatives Program – Research and Development Stream provided $1.1 million in funding for the Aquanty project, and Manitoba Agriculture has committed $180,000. Various partners and supports are providing the remainder of the $1.7 million total project funding via a combination of in-kind and cash contributions. There are many stakeholders involved in the project including producer groups, universities, conservation districts, and different levels of government. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), whose members are often on the front lines when it comes to dealing with the effects of drought and floods, is an important supporter and contributor to the project. “This is an important project to us on many levels,� says Brian Lemon, MBP General Manager. “Manitoba’s cattle industry relies to a large degree on grasslands and forages for cropping and grazing, so are we are certainly on the same page as MFGA when it comes to the importance of maintaining grasslands and forages and demon-

strating their value to mitigate floods and droughts.� The project will begin by mapping and defining the physical characteristics of the Basin such as topography, vegetation, soil moisture, surface moisture and groundwater content. A computer-based HydroGeoSphere model will be developed that can be used to simulate different conditions and predict how the movement of water on the landscape can be affected by different agricultural and water management practices. The model’s accuracy will be tested by comparing results with the outcomes of past weather events. “The developers could, for example, go back in history to a significant rainfall event, the results of which are known, and feed the same conditions into the model to see if it predicts what actually happened,� says Nelson. “Once satisfied the model is predicting accurately, they can begin to make changes to the model to see what the impact of that event would have been under different scenarios.� “This is an interesting project that is doing a lot of research and front end work that is going to have countless uses and benefits,� says Lemon. “It’s helping us not only understand how water moves across the landscape today, but then assess how we can change and manage that movement of water through different grazing or cropping strategies, or forages and natural grasslands, and help mitigate floods and droughts in the future.� The Aquanty project uses a Hydro GeoSphere model, one of only five worldwide and the only one in Canada, which takes into account the interaction between surface moisture, soil moisture and groundwater. Massive amounts of data is being collected and fed into the model so that it can make accurate predictions about natural disasters like floods and droughts, and simulate different mitigation and management options. The Assiniboine River Basin contains three sub-basins – the Upper Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris. The first step is to map out the whole basin, then move into mapping of each sub-basin, then drill down to smaller watersheds and areas within those sub-basins to eventually provide extremely detailed information about the movement of water throughout the basin. That will vastly improve the ability to predict floods and droughts throughout the

entire basin which encompasses around 162,000 square kilometres in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota. Once the model is fully developed and tested, MFGA will own the licence for the model, and make it available to different stakeholders. “We are still trying to figure out our marketing strategy for the licence, but we want to secure as many potential users have access to it as possible,� says Dave Koslowsky, MFGA Chair. The model will have multiple potential users - such as government departments, municipalities, research institutes, oil and gas companies and NGOs - who want to perform detailed hydrological analyses. “With the level of predictability this model will give, it will be possible to provide more accurate flood forecasts, but also look at the impact of different measures – for example if building a dyke or digging a ditch without having to build it to find out,� says Nelson. “The cost of this model is $1.7 million but it can cost billions to upgrade some of our flood protection infrastructure, so this is a cost effective way to analyse and do a cost-benefit analysis of future needs in terms of flood mitigation.� Agricultural producers could also use

flooded it sets the farm back many years. Compensation is a nice gesture but it never covers the true costs and values that are hard to account for. It’s hard to make up for lost genetics or lost productivity on cattle that don’t cycle back when they are supposed to, or when the production cycle is thrown off by cows calving at the wrong time. � As much as the project has a primary focus on prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, there is also a big environmental sustainability component that is also of great importance to MBP and many of the other stakeholders. “Increasingly the issues of public trust are front and centre, and it’s important to us to ensure the public understands that we are part of the solution to the concerns they have,� says Lemon. “A project like this and the data and modelling that will come out of it will allow us to demonstrate that the agricultural production practices we are using can be helpful in terms of water management, but also in terms of species at risk, and enhancing environmental sustainability. The goal is to find a way that we can do things that make sense for all these other reasons but also make good business

If all goes to plan, the Aquanty project will help develop risk management tools that will reduce the impacts of extreme floods or droughts on valuable pasture land within the Assiniboine River Basin. Photo by D. Derlago, MFGA Aquanty Project

the model, on a smaller scale, to develop water management plans at the individual field or farm level, while understanding the implications for the larger watershed or basin their property is a part of. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but hopefully in 10 years or so we will be able to eliminate some of these flood payouts and producers would like that too,� says Koslowsky. “When a producer is

sense for producers as well.� “The Aquanty project is helping us to think globally and act locally,� says Nelson. One of the main things we can contribute to this project – and all the stakeholders feel the same way – is an effort to provide good, solid information so people can make the best decisions they can to help benefit everyone avoid the negative impacts of droughts and floods.�

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www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

With teamwork there is much we can accomplish HEINZ REIMER MBP President

Moovin’ Along On behalf of the board of directors and staff at Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), happy New Year to everyone in the beef industry. I would like to personally invite everyone to our 38th Annual General Meeting February 2-3 at the Victoria Inn, Brandon. Come meet with your fellow producers, industry partners as well as MBP directors and staff. You will have an opportunity to hear industry updates and talk about past and future issues affecting our industry. Come enjoy the President’s Banquet, which includes a great beef supper, along with the presentation of the Manitoba Environmental Stewardship Award, recognition of a retiring director, as well as our keynote speaker, Dr. Cody Creelman, a cow vet/ video blogger. Trying to figure out what to write about in article can sometimes be challenging. As we all have discovered in our lives it can be tough getting somewhere or doing something you’ve never had to before, so you will need a plan and possibly some help, in other words: TEAMWORK! So who is your team and how can they help? MBP is the voice of beef industry in Manitoba, a producer-elected board of 14 directors representing cattle producers across this province, along

with the support of our 5.5 staff. MBP’s mission is to represent the province’s beef producers through communication, advocacy, research, education, and leadership within the industry, to governments and to the public. These efforts take place to strengthen the sector’s viability, improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future for the beef industry in Manitoba for the benefit of our beef producers and all Manitobans. There have been many challenges in our industry over the years such as BSE, flooding, excess moisture, predation and trade challenges, just to name a few, as well a lot of opportunities. One of those opportunities is Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler’s announcement that the provincial government wants to see the beef herd grow. It is up to MBP, along with you the producers and other value chain members as to how to best do this, but also stay profitable. I don’t know if 700,000 is an attainable cow number for Manitoba, but at least it is a goal to aim for. In terms of growing the herd, our survey to our members and discussions at the fall district meetings seemed to find producers evenly split, with some indicating they would and some who won’t expand. Factors identified as affecting producers' ability to increase their herds included: age, finances, profitability and market challenges, land base, pasture and feed availability, flooding, labour supply, predation issues and others. Resources and programs that producers told MBP would be helpful in

terms of growing the herd included: consistent profitability, loan programs, less red tape, better and more extension services, succession programs and programs for new entrants, to name a few. As you can see it will take all of us to work as a team to figure out how to address these issues and others. This will be my final as MBP President, as I pass along the reins, finishing my final year as Past President. I have learned a lot over the past few years, and hopefully give back to this industry we all love, meeting some of the most dedi-

Verified Beef Production Plus Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening using two formats • One for existing registered producers who have been through the VBP program before. • One for producers completely new to the program. • Webinars take place in the evenings so producers aren’t taken away from their daily chores. • The interactive webinars are delivered using web based video conferencing software. Participants can interact during the presentations, hear the presenters, and ask questions or make comments in real time. • Also available via app for smartphone and android

Webinars FOR EXISTING REGISTERED PRODUCERS – 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 7 p.m. • VBP registered producers or those who have attended a VBP workshop in the past can sign up for the VBP+ added module webinar. • VBP+ enhanced module webinars will be held the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 7 p.m.

Webinars FOR NEW PRODUCERS – 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. • Producers who have not attended a VBP workshop in the past can sign up for the VBP+ full program • VBP+ training for new producers will be held the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.

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cated producers, staff and industry partners in this province and across Canada. We might not have always agreed on everything but there was always a mutual respect on debates, showing that when cattle people come together they can achieve common goals. So thanks to everyone that has helped and stood by me the last three years in my role as President. I will keep Mooovin’ along in my journey in this industry. It has been an honor to get to meet and know such great people in our industry.

Thurs, Feb 2

Regular Sale

Thurs, Feb 2

Bred Cow Sale

9AM 1PM

Tues, Feb 7

Regular Sale

9AM

Thurs, Feb 9

Regular Sale

9AM

Tues, Feb 14

Presort Sale

9:30AM

Thurs, Feb 16

Regular Sale

9AM

Thurs, Feb 16

Bred Cow Sale

1PM

Tues, Feb 21

Regular Sale

9AM

Thurs, Feb 23

Regular Sale

9AM

Tues, Feb 28

Presort Sale

9:30AM

Fri, March 3

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

1PM

Tues, March 7

Regular Sale

9AM

Tues, March 14

Presort Sale

9:30AM

Tues, March 21

Regular Sale

9AM

Thurs, March 23

Bred Cow / Pen of 5 Replacement Heifer sale

Tues, March 28

Regular Sale

11AM 9AM

Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Wednesday prior. (NL ]LYPÄJH[PVU WHWLYZ T\Z[ IL KYVWWLK VMM ^P[O JH[[SL

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February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Government activities update: Flood risk, labour, and red tape on governments’ radar MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

The 2017 flood risk, changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, red tape and cracking down on illegal hunting were a few of the items on the agendas of the provincial and federal governments in recent weeks. Assessing flood potential In mid-December, the Manitoba government released its 2016 Fall Conditions Report, an assessment of factors such as soil moisture conditions at freeze-up and base river flows. The report was issued prior to a number of snowfall events, but at the time of its release the province was projecting a chance of moderate to major flooding in some parts of Manitoba. The report cautioned, “due to above normal to well above normal soil moisture conditions and high base flow conditions, the Saskatchewan, Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle, Red and Souris Rivers will be closely monitored. Conditions affecting Dauphin Lake, Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Manitoba, and Lake St. Martin will also be closely monitored leading up to the spring. Even with normal winter precipitation, these watersheds could see major flooding if a fast melt rate or heavy spring rainfall were to occur in early spring. A single major weather storm, similar to the one that occurred in the summer of 2014, could cause major flooding in Manitoba.” The report said heavy rains in 2016 were a key cause for concern, with record rains in October across much of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and precipitation above normal in all basins except the Red River. As well, precipitation in November was above normal to well-above normal throughout the watersheds of the Red, Souris, Lower Assiniboine and Saskatchewan rivers. There were high levels of soil moisture at freezeup in the western and northern areas of the province, while the Red River Valley ranged from average to above-average moisture. Also of note, the report cited above-normal base river flows and water level conditions in many areas. Other factors considered when determining the risk of future flooding include winter precipitation, effective spring rain (April rainfall), melt rate and the frost index. The province’s first flood outlook will be released in February and the final one in March. To see the 2016 Fall Conditions Report go to www.gov.mb.ca/flooding. Changes to TFWP The federal government has made changes aimed at improving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) which could benefit the agriculture sector.

Of primary interest, the four-year cumulative duration rule no longer applies to these workers. Known as the “four-in, four-out” rule, temporary foreign workers could only work in Canada for up to four years at once. They were then prevented from working in Canada for the next four years. The beef value chain has made use of temporary foreign workers on farms and in processing plants alike. The federal government did not change the cap on the proportion of low-wage temporary foreign workers that can be employed at a given worksite. This is 20 per cent for employers who accessed the TFWP before June 20, 2014, and 10 per cent for new users of the Program after that date. The federal government wants to ensure Canadians have first access to jobs in Canada. Under federal requirements, low-wage employers may be required to advertise to more than one and up to four underrepresented groups in the Canadian workforce – youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous people and newcomers. Changes to FCC’s Young Farmer Loan The federal government has made changes to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Young Farmer Loan. FCC has increased its support by doubling the amount of credit available to $1 million from $500,000, and lowering the possible minimum down payment to 20 per cent of the value of the loan which supports the purchase or improvement of farmland and buildings. For details see https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/we-finance/young-farmers. html Red Tape Reduction Task Force The provincial government has launched its 14-member Red Tape Reduction Task Force. It is cochaired by Carmele Peter, president of Winnipeg-based Exchange Income Corporation and Shannon Martin, MLA for Morris. It is tasked with identifying regulatory requirements that can affect the competitiveness of business or which degrade the quality and availability of public services. Solutions to remove these types of barriers and to eliminate red tape are being sought. The Task Force has four sub-committees, and the agriculture and food processing includes Blair Yakimoski, MLA for Transcona, Marilyn Braun-Pollon and Dan Sierens. The transportation sub-committee includes Greg Nesbitt, MLA for Riding Mountain, Wade Linden and Don Streuber. The land development sub-committee includes Jeff Wharton, MLA for Gimli, Henry Borger and Martin Harder. MBP provided preliminary feedback to the Agriculture and Food Processing Sub-Committee at Ag Days. MBP encourages producers and other beef value

chain members to consider doing the same. Excess red tape can be costly and time consuming to farm operations and place Manitoba’s beef industry at a competitive disadvantage compared to producers in other parts of Canada. The Task Force is to provide its recommendations and action plan to the government in the spring, with full implementation of the action plan expected by May 2018. Illegal hunting enforcement update The Manitoba government is continuing its efforts to crack down on illegal and dangerous hunting practices that threaten wildlife populations like moose and which endanger public safety. In 2016 the provincial government seized 44 longbarrel rifles and shotguns, 14 vehicles and various hunting equipment. As well 44 night hunting and five dangerous hunting charges are proceeding to prosecution. In 2015, by comparison, 25 night hunting and zero dangerous hunting charges were pursued through the courts. “Reports of incidences of night hunting and dangerous hunting have increased, along with public complaints of hunting on private land without permission and hunting from the road,” said Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox. “Our enforcement efforts, including blitzes, air surveillance and decoy operations, have also increased as we aim to protect the safety of the public, increase vulnerable wildlife populations and educate Manitobans of the dangers of unsafe hunting.” “Photos and stories of dead animals, including moose, deer and some livestock, have been discovered and either reported to conservation or distributed via social media,” added Cox. “Our government takes this issue seriously and we are taking deliberate steps to ensure both public safety and the protection of vulnerable wildlife populations.” The province will be a launching a public awareness campaign in the first quarter of 2017 and holding formal consultations with interested parties about what more can be done to ensure public safety and to protect wildlife will be conducted. MBP intends to provide feedback to these consultations. Minister Cox said the government will pursue stepped-up enforcement efforts throughout 2017. People with information about illegal hunting activities are encouraged to contact the Turn in Poachers line at 1-800-782-0076 (toll-free). In 2016 Conservation officers received 245 reports of night hunting or dangerous hunting, as well as 164 reports of hunting on private land without permission and nine reports of hunting in a conservation closure area.

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www.mbbeef.ca


6

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

Vaccination tips for blackleg DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner This past fall has seen a resurgence of blackleg deaths in mature cattle in the Interlake and surrounding areas. Blackleg is just one of several types of Clostridial infections that can be very easily and cheaply (< $.80/ dose) prevented by vaccination. Clostridia bacteria,

or their spores, are normally in the environment, feces, intestinal tract, and other internal organs. Disease develops when suitable anaerobic conditions are created with muscle trauma such as a penetrating wound, needle trauma or contamination via injection, bruising or excessive exercise (causing

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lactic acid buildup in the muscle). The dormant spores begin to grow, causing muscle damage/ death and the release of toxins resulting in widespread organ failure. Any skeletal muscle group in the body can be involved, but most infections affect the limb or trunk muscles. Occasionally, muscles such as those around the vulva, tongue, diaphragm or udder can be involved. Symptoms vary depending on the muscle or organ group affected and the species of Clostridial organism. Classic blackleg (Clostridium chauvoei) belongs to the gas-gangrene group where severe muscle trauma and toxin release cause rapid death. Animals may survive with aggressive treatment but muscle damage is severe and salvage unlikely. Other Clostridia cause death from the absorption of toxins produced by overgrowth of the bacteria in the digestive system (enterotoxemia seen with sudden changes in ration - feedlot or dairy mainly), devitalized tissue (tetanus - castration by banding) or in food or carrion outside the body (botulism). Commonly, the animals that contract blackleg are in excellent health. Outbreaks occur in which a few new cases are found each day, sometimes for several days. Most cases

are seen in cattle from 6–24 months old, but thrifty calves as young as six weeks and cattle as old as 10 to 12 yearsold may be affected. The disease usually occurs in summer and fall and is uncommon during the winter. Infections are characterized by a rapid progression of symptoms - fever (104 –106 F [40 – 41C]), lameness, tremors, weakness and difficulty breathing. Recumbency, coma and death occur within 12 to 24 hours. Often the first symptom noted is sudden death. Mortality may approach 100 per cent. If muscles of the trunk or limbs are affected, swelling and gas bubbling under the skin may be noted. If only internal organs or muscles are affected, the diagnosis may not be obvious until a necropsy is performed. The affected muscles are dark red to black and dry. They have a sweetish odor like rancid butter and are infiltrated with small air bubbles. Any muscle may be affected, even in the tongue or diaphragm. It is important to remember that Clostridial diseases are not directly contagious and do not spread from animal to animal. Outbreaks occur because animals in the herd have a common exposure source or a common risk factor recent processing, storm

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(triggering running excess exercise), nutrition stress, and calving trauma. The recent outbreaks of Blackleg in the Interlake appear to be multifactorial - a higher exposure to spores in the ground following recent excavations and flooding, and an inadequate vaccination program. A diagnosis of blackleg is confirmed by lab analysis of muscle samples. Don’t make assumptions. Get a necropsy done to ensure that Clostridial infection was the actual cause of the sudden death rather than an acute bacterial pneumonia, nitrate toxicity, anthrax or other rapidly fatal disease. Lab testing may be advisable to ensure that the vaccination program in place will provide protection against the correct organism. Not all vaccines provide protection against all Clostridial species. Check with your veterinarian to ensure the product you are using is appropriate for your geographical area. Vaccination is the only way to manage Clostridial infections. High-dose penicillin therapy and aggressive surgical removal of affected tissue could be attempted in the individual animal but is generally futile. It still amazes me that blackleg outbreaks continue to happen. Clostridial vaccines are highly ef-

fective and the cheapest vaccines on the market. But, like any vaccine, if administered incorrectly or at the incorrect time, protective immunity will not develop. In my experience, a minimum of four doses is required to provide lifelong protection. Colostral immunity interferes with a calf ’s ability to respond to Clostridial vaccination so vaccination at birth is a complete waste of time and only provides a false sense of security. Wait until the calf is six to eight weeks of age and vaccinate for blackleg and pneumonia at the same time. Repeat again at weaning and then, for replacement heifers and bulls, pre-breeding and again the following fall. In herds with sucker calf deaths due to bloat, ulcers and intestinal torsions, or if cows often have significant vulvar bruising after calving, yearly vaccination of the cow herd should be considered to boost immunity. If you are constantly bringing in new stock of unknown vaccination status, continue vaccinating yearly. Clostridial diseases are a fact of life for cattle producers. If you don’t vaccinate, you are playing Russian roulette. You never lose just one animal in a blackleg outbreak. As with most health issues in cattle, a little prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture PAM IWANCHYSKO Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture pam.iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca

Q: My beef operation is landlocked and it is too expensive to buy more land locally. How can I maximize pasture capacity most efficiently? A: Land prices have certainly set the tone for changing management styles on the land that producers currently own. The best investment for that land is to improve production and carrying capacity. A little bit of investment in planned grazing can go a long way for producers to increase their carrying capacity on a finite land base. Crop producers have changed their cropping practices in the last 30 years, which has driven land prices up because of costs and returns. Grazing land needs a similar upgrade to keep pasture productivity as a competitive land use to crops. Planned grazing is a process one can use to plan a grazing strategy from one year to the next. Planned grazing was developed by Allan Savory and is based on two key points. The first is that overgrazing is due to time spent grazing, not the number of animals. It is vital that we understand this point if we want to have better pasture management. When we control the time spent grazing, our animals are beneficial to the plants and the land. When we don’t control the time of grazing, our animals are detrimental to the plants and the land. To prevent overgrazing, we need to control how long cattle stay in a pasture at one time (graze period) and how long we allow the plants to grow (recover) before being grazed the second time (recovery period). Allowing cows to graze a pasture all summer long without giving the plants any opportunity to rest has a direct impact on yield, forage species and ultimately animal performance. Short grazing periods on multiple paddocks within a pasture can restore forage conditions and also increase profit margins. Dr. Richard Teague, Texas AgriLife ResearchVernon, said a long-term study verifies multi-paddock grazing improves vegetation, soil health and animal production, relative to continuous graz-

ing on large-scale ranches. The study measured the impacts on vegetation and soils achieved by commercial ranchers who adapted their management practices in response to changing circumstances. The study also evaluated the impact of multi-paddock grazing at a high stocking rate, compared to light continuous and heavy continuous grazing on three neighbouring North Texas commercial ranches in tall grass prairie. The same management had been conducted on all ranches for at least the previous nine years. Teague found the multi-paddock managers were able to carry many more animals, have more forage than their neighbors and have excellent wildlife habitat on the same land base. They also achieved high levels of animal performance per acre while equaling the vegetation composition, soil cover, soil carbon, soil health and infiltration rates measured on ranches, under light continuous grazing. In contrast, the ranches managed under higher

stocking rates with continuous grazing, had a higher degree of soil compaction, more bare ground, lower soil carbon, poorer grass composition, more weeds and lower forage production than those under multi-paddock management at high stocking rates or the continuous grazing at low stocking rates. The general management on the ranches using multiple grazing paddocks per herd was to graze a pasture lightly to moderately for one or three days, followed by a recovery period of approximately 30 to 50 days and 60 to 90 days during fast and slow growing conditions, respectively. This resulted in two light-to-moderate defoliations during the growing season, with re-grazing before the majority of plants

switched from vegetative to reproductive phases. This kept the plants in a leafy, vegetative condition during the growing season to provide a high level of forage quality for the livestock. It also ensured the best possible forage regrowth after defoliation. To find out more about Dr. Teague’s research you can listen to his video presentation here. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=9km8CACVne0 The Manitoba Agriculture livestock extension team offers free StockTalk webinars. To register, go to manitoba.ca/agriculture and click on online resources. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/ regiter/87144986413 14555907 We want to hear from you

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A little planning goes a long way BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column It seems every time we turn around, we are being reminded of the potential for an emergency to hit our industry. I watch the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website, where people can track food recalls. By following the news we are alerted to outbreaks and warnings from around the world. We recall the various avian influenza outbreaks of recent years. We watch our brothers and sisters in Alberta deal with the recent discovery of bovine tuberculosis in their province. We have Manitoba producers who continue to deal with implications of the discovery of bovine TB about 20 years ago in our cattle herd. Manitoba’s hog industry is still diligently monitoring for outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus. We are regularly reminded about, and are still recovering from the BSE crisis of more than ten years ago, and fresh in our minds is the E.coli outbreak and what the XL Foods discovery cost the industry. It seems that at every turn the issues and discoveries are becoming more common, and the costs, both direct and indirect, are growing exponentially. As I draft this, I didn’t take the time to go back and look for the data, but I can only imagine the billions of dollars these outbreaks have cost the various sectors. Thinking about the cost to producers in terms of the money they lost or spent, and the losses the industry due to market closures and disruptions, I’m sure these losses could fund a small country. So all this leaves me asking the following questions: what can we do, are we doing enough and are we doing the right things?

Food safety has been a hallmark of government programming dating back to the original Agriculture Policy Framework (APF) agreements and it has been included as a major pillar of both subsequent Growing Forward agreements. Significant investments have been made by governments and by industry to provide sound food safety and on-farm food safety programming. Let’s also consider all the government and industry-funded investments in research to look at food safety issues and disease outbreaks. Then there are the costs that producers have borne in improving practices and adhering to on-farm food safety plans. The results of all the efforts by the cattle industry have borne fruit. As much as the efforts and investments have cost the industry and producers, there have been countless benefits. Key among them is the development of our Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. VBP is an example of how far we have come, and how pervasive the belief is that everyone in the industry can play a part in ensuring food safety. VBP is our industry’s response to social license and to doing what we can to keep the trust of our consumers and our customers. It has been a resounding success and has become a cornerstone of how we are able to market Canadian beef around the world. It is an example of how industry can take the reins and develop its own standards and its own programs. I don’t mean to suggest that VBP is perfect yet, or it’s all that it ever needs to be … it isn’t yet! It is evolving, being expanded into the VBP+ program. Modules related to animal care, environmental stewardship and biosecurity are being added to it. VBP needs to continue to grow and be adopted by all producers. It needs to become the way to do things in Canada. It needs to become the tool the entire industry can point to and hold

up as the method Canadian producers use to validate our industry’s sustainable production practices, on-farm. It should be promoted to all our domestic and international customers as their assurance that the Canadian market is on top of these types of issues and that we have a single program that can be said to be our answer. We also have to accept that there will be calls for more independent scrutiny of food safety practices from those wanting to look at VBP and ensure it is rigorous enough to satisfy market demands. Independent audits and certifications may need to become part of the program, and we shouldn’t be surprised when we hear calls for these types or additions to VBP. While VBP is certainly an important piece of hopefully avoiding a potential disease of food safety outbreak, as an industry we can’t rely on VBP alone. We also need to have plans in place should the worst happen. To this end, MBP has partnered with the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) to develop an emergency management plan for Manitoba’s cattle industry. The project will provide not only a plan both the industry and government officials can look at in a crisis, but also guidelines and workbooks to assist producers to prepare for and to understand

what will be happening. We are lucky to have CAHC leading the project, but also to have Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Megan Bergman as well as the CFIA committed to assisting with its development. As I’m sure many of you have either experienced or heard about, when an emergency happens, the officials take over and it can be a stressful, scary and fast-moving matter. In any event it is critical to stop the spread of the disease and then determine the range of the spread. With the disease/issue contained, compensation and recovery become important parts of the plan. Not to be underestimated either is the need to ensure producers’ mental health is looked after, as these types of emergencies are devastating and require entire communities to come together to support one another. In the end, communication and understanding are critical to easing stress and to minimizing fears. We are excited about the project and believe that this work will help position us should the unthinkable happen in our industry. Enough about the doom and gloom! I hope everyone had wonderful holidays. I look forward to meeting with you at our AGM, and to the optimism that always comes as we start to look towards another spring!

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Lower forage production costs, producers told BY RON FRIESEN Cattle producers need to lower their cost of producing forages in order to remain profitable, a recent national forage and grassland conference heard. Forages are the biggest single expense for a cow-calf producer, so it’s important to maximize yields and reduce the cost of growing them, Brenna Grant, manager of Canfax Research Services told the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association annual conference in Winnipeg last November. Unfortunately, the trend seems to be in the opposite direction. Hay yields in Canada have fallen over the last 40 years while the price of hay has risen, Grant said. That leaves beef producers with three options for lowering their cost of production (COP): increase forage yields, reduce inputs or improve quality. “Forages are a major cost component for the beef industry and therefore the cost of producing forages has a direct implication on the cost of producing beef,” Grant said. In her presentation, Grant showed that 80 per cent of a beef animal’s diet comes from forages. Forages make up 62 per cent of a cow-calf producer’s COP from summer grazing and winter feeding. However, hay yields are 14 per cent lower today than they used to be. Between 2010 and 2015, Canadian hay yields averaged 1.9 tons an acre, compared to 2.2 tons an acre in the 1980s. But they are still better than they were between 2000 and 2010, when hay yields were 27 per cent below 1980 levels. The reason for those poor yields were drought in the western Prairies, flooding in Manitoba and fallout from BSE, when producers liquidated herds and paid little attention to renovating pastures. Grant said flooding also killed many hay stands, which made them slow to rebuild. Another reason for lower hay yields is that forages have to compete for land against higher-value crops, such as canola and soybeans. That means forages are often pushed into mar-

ginal land where per-acre yields are lower. The good news is that there is still a lot of land left to grow forages on. Of the 160 million acres of farmland in Canada, nearly a third is made up of native, tame or seeded pasture. The market has also been blessed with new forage varieties. Grant said 76 new varieties were registered in Canada between 2011 and 2016, including 35 alfalfa varieties. But the take-up of these varieties has been relatively slow because producers are leaving stands in longer. Grant said the average life of a forage stand in Canada

in six years - four to five years in Eastern Canada and nearly eight years in the West. That’s because it’s costly to break up a stand, re-seed it and then wait for it to start yielding fully. Also, beef prices are volatile and producers are reluctant to renovate forage stands if they’re not likely to make money from cattle that year, said Grant. All of which leaves producers with the question: is it more economical to grow hay or buy it? Grant listed some advantages of buying hay: producers may have limited land resources to grow it; hay equipment is expensive; labour is in

short supply. But there are also disadvantages, including the fact that hay can be expensive to purchase. Grant said since 2010, hay prices have averaged $90 a ton, up six per cent from $85 a ton in the 2000s and up 32 per cent from $67 per ton in the 1990s. The reason for that is mainly supply and demand - reduced yields mean less availability. Increased exports are another factor. Grant said international buyers come in and bid hay prices up, making it more expensive for domestic producers. There is also no good price discovery system for hay,

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so it may be more expensive at times than it should be. Grant said her takehome message for producers is to find ways to lower their cost of growing forages in the face of rising expenses. “It’s something you definitely have to be looking at as part of your overall competitiveness as a beef producer.” One way could be to get higher yields from stands for longer periods of time. Introducing legumes to the mix might help. Fertilizing forages is another way to boost yields. Grant said currently only 20 to 25 per cent of producers apply

commercial fertilizer to pastures and grasslands. But yield response depends on rain. If it’s a dry year, the fertilizer is not absorbed into the soil and the added cost produces little or no benefit. Silage can also help reduce a producer’s forage costs. Grant said silage has higher input costs but it loses less in yield after wilting than hay. This results in a lower per unit COP. But silage production is determined by region and climate. Grant said silage is viable in the eastern Prairies but less so further west where the weather is generally drier.


10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017


February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

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Premises identification: Will you be notified in an emergency? VICTORIA TKACHUK A/Traceability Coordinator, Manitoba Agriculture

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Every second counts in an emergency. To respond quickly, up-to-date information is critical. The Manitoba Premises Identification (PID) program links livestock, poultry and producer contact information with their geographic locations, which is needed to rapidly alert producers about emergencies that pose a risk to the health and welfare of their animals. A premises is a parcel of land where livestock and poultry can be grown, kept, assembled or disposed of. This includes farms, veterinary clinics, auction marts, stables, abattoirs and fair grounds just to name a few. Owners and operators of any premises with livestock or poultry are legally required to identify at least the primary premises. However, many producers have chosen to identify all their parcels of land with livestock or poultry, to be sure they are informed about all emergency situations that could affect them. What is premises identification and how is this information used? Premises identification is a tool used to plan and manage animal health and food safety emergencies. In Manitoba, premises identification information has been used to respond to natural disasters such as flooding, wildfires, natural gas explosions, as well as many animal disease issues, including Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), anthrax and avian influenza - for both small and commercial farms. Premises identification is one of three pillars of a full traceability system, in conjunction with animal identification and movement. The information gathered by Manitoba’s PID pro-

gram can only be used for animal health and emergency managementt, as outlined in the Animal Premises Identification Regulation under The Animal Diseases Act. The information is used only to prevent, prepare, respond to or recover from a disaster, foreign animal disease outbreak or any other similar emergency. The personal information of owners and operators is protected under The Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FIPPA). PID is used to identify farms with any susceptible animals on a map. If a disease only affects certain animals, a map can be generated to show only the locations of those species. For example, cattle are susceptible to foot and mouth disease (FMD). Although not deadly, FMD is one of the most devastating livestock viruses and is highly contagious. Thee sooner FMD is detected, the easier it is to control, or stop a widespread outbreak. In this situation, a map wwould be created to show all farms with animals susceptible to the disease. Producers and their veterinarians would be notified if they were at risk. This information is critical for producers so they can take extra precautions, enhance biosecurity and minimize the risk of disease transmission within their premises. If a flood is expected, the same type of information available through PID can identify all livestock and poultry locations so producers can be notified to ensure their animals are moved or protected. During a particularly cold stretch several winters ago, a natural gas explosion resulted in services being interrupted for a few days. Again, the PID program proved to be instrumental in identifying and notifying all operations affected by the gas outage. The province can only notify the farms we know about. To protect your livestock, register for the free Manitoba Premises Identification program. An application can be completed in less than 60 seconds online at manitoba.ca/agriculture/pid or at your

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local Manitoba Agriculture GO office. The program requires a legal land description, basic animal information and contact information. After the application is processed, you will receive a letter containing your farm PID number in the mail and via email if an address is provided on the form. A PID number is also required for all lab test submissions to Veterinary Diagnostic Services and some government programs, such as Growing Forward 2 and Crown Lands lease renewals. The current Manitoba Livestock Manifest has been updated to include a space to record a PID number when moving livestock from one location to the next. These can be purchased from your local Growing Opportunities (GO) office. Your PID number can be found on the letter and wallet card mailed to you. To replace a lost document or to find out your number, call 204-945-7684 or email traceability@ gov.mb.ca. You can also add your PID number to your Canadian Cattlemen Identification Agency (CCIA) Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) account by calling them at 1-877-909-2333. For more information Visit manitoba.ca/agriculture/pid or a Manitoba Agriculture GO office, email traceability@gov.mb.ca or call 204945-7684 to learn more about the Premises Identification pprogram or to update your existing PID information.

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February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Beef cattle budgets and tools MANITOBA AGRICULTURE FARM ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT TEAM The Farm Enterprise Management team from Manitoba Agriculture has a wide range of resources available for beef producers to help with financial management, production economics and marketing. These resources include comprehensive cost-of-production tables, templates and calculators that help increase producer knowledge and farm management skills, leading to increased profitability. Manitoba Agriculture’s ongoing development of innovative calculators is an excellent resource for producers and industry stakeholders in Manitoba. The calculators cover a range of topics, including full costof-production templates for cow-calf, backgrounding and raising replacement heifers. They are useful tools that offer considerable help with determining the costs and returns associated with individual beef enterprises. We encourage all producers to learn about these tools and share them with fellow producers. Below is a review of the Cowcalf and Backgrounding budgets: Cow-Calf This budget outlines the cost of production for a cow-calf operation with 150 cows, five bulls and a 95 per cent weaning rate). This budget assumes an average weaning weight of 575 lbs. (steer calves 600 lbs., and heifer calves 550 lbs.) Costs: Feed ($316 per cow) is roughly half of operating costs; Fixed costs are $182 per cow (18 per cent of total costs); Total costs are $1,014 per cow; Labour

costs are $160 per cow (16 per cent of total costs). Profitability Analysis: The marginal return over operating cost is $272 per cow, breakeven market price over operating and fixed costs is $1.56 per lb, and breakeven market price over total costs is $1.86 per lb. Cost Summary: Feed cost is $1.63 per cow, per day; Yardage cost (winter feed period) is $1.37 per cow, per day; Total overwinter costs are $2.86 per cow, per day. Input Page: market price for 600 lb. steer, $1.80 per lb., market price for 550 lb. heifer, $1.65 per lb., 145 days on pasture, 30 days extended grazing, 190 days on feed. For more information on all the beef tools and resources available to you, follow the link at h t t p : / / w w w. g o v. mb.ca/agriculture/business-and-economics/financial-management/ Backgrounding The budget refers to the feeding of calves from weaning until they are put onto a high concentrate finishing ration. An example of a typical backgrounding operation would be, feed 500 pound steers to gain 1.5 to 2.5 pounds per day for approximately 100-200 days to produce 800 to 900 pound backgrounded feeders. This guide is designed to provide you with planning information and a format for calculating the costs of production of a backgrounding feeder calf enterprise in Manitoba. Costs: Feed Cost is $186.30 per steer and is based on a corn silage ration with a 2.5 lbs Average Daily Gain. The feed cost calculation shows cost on 3 different rations; Corn

silage, barley silage and an alfalfa grass hay ration with changeable average daily gain of 1.5, 2, and 2.5 Total costs are $1298 per head and revenue is $1222 per head. Profitability Analysis: The breakeven purchase price of the 500 lb steer with a 900 lb selling price of $140/cwt is $170 cwt. The breakeven selling price of the 900 lbs calf with a purchase price of $185 cwt for the 500 lb steer is $149 cwt. Cost per lb of gain sold: Feed cost - $49.95/ cwt, Total cost per lb of gain sold is $99.96/cwt.

For more information on available calculators such as the cow lease calculator, cow overwinter calculator, and other recourses visit the Manitoba Agriculture website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/business-andeconomics/financial-management/farm-softwareand-worksheets.html These budgets are designed so you can use your own figures. As a producer you are encouraged to calculate your own costs of production. Good production management is assumed; feeding balanced

rations, livestock are on a herd health program and handling facilities are included. General Manitoba Agriculture recommendations are assumed in using feed and veterinary inputs. These figures provide an economic evaluation of the livestock and estimated prices required to cover all costs. Costs include labour, investment and depreciation, but do not include management costs, nor do they necessarily represent the average cost of production in Manitoba. The goal of the Farm Enterprise Management

Team is to help improve farm enterprise profitability, enhance competitiveness and facilitate understanding and skill development in the areas of strategic business planning, production economics, marketing, financial management. For a link to the closest Farm Enterprise Management Specialist closest to you visit; https://www.gov. mb.ca/agriculture/business-and-economics/farmbusiness-managementcontacts.html - Submitted Article

Calving time has arrived. Have you purchased your

Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Tags?

Comparably priced why not tag them ANGUS in 2017, and be part of a growing beef program: ANGUS MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS 1-888-622-6487 Check out our web site www.mbangus.ca www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

Real farm. Real food. MYRNA GRAHN, PHEC Manager, Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre

“If you ate today, thank a farmer!” This is the statement that greets all of our visitors and students when they arrive at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre (FFDC). We are in our sixth year of operation and have shared the message of agriculture, farming and food production with over 30,000 visitors. Over the past year, we have taken over 5,000 students on an exploration of modern farming and food production through our interactive exhibits. The hands-on activities bring learning to life, and connect curricular themes in social studies, science, geography, health and nutrition, to the food we eat. On our website, educators can select from ten different programs based on the Grades 4 – 12 curriculum for their field trips to connect students to food through the latest in farming innovations. What is the FFDC? For those of you who have not had the opportunity to tour the Farm and Food Discovery Centre yet, we are located 15 minutes south of Winnipeg on Highway 75 at the University of Manitoba’s Glenlea Research Station. We also highlight the research findings from all of the departments within the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the National Cen-

tre for Livestock and the Environment. Our goal at the FFDC is to facilitate the public’s understanding of the sustainable environmental, social and economic development of agriculture and food systems locally, nationally, and internationally. By sharing knowledge of agriculture, food production, food processing and nutrition, we aim to enhance public awareness of the science and technology of the delivery of food, bioproducts and services for the benefit of the consumer, the industry and the environment. Efforts to better understand and connect with the public! The majority of the Middle and Senior Years students that come to our Discovery Centre are wondering about hormones, pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics. The programs that we offer not only address these questions but engage the students and teachers in farming and food conversations based on accurate information. The public is hungry for information they can trust about where their food comes from. When we ask them where they want to hear the farm and food message and from who, the answer from the students has been it doesn’t matter “where” or “who” as long as they hear these messages. Parents and other adult visitors want to know where to go for trusted information so that they can make informed decisions about the food they are serving their fami-

lies. Through the conversations we are having at the FFDC, we are learning more about the public, in all age groups, and the need to connect with them.

We have been partnering with Farm and Food Care Canada to deliver their Real Dirt on Farming (RDOF) program, designed to connect consumers with the food they eat. Our

Real Food. Real Learning. All ages come to the FFDC to learn about where their food comes from!

CHAROLAIS CROSS CALVES CONTINUE TO TOP THE AUCTIONS ACROSS CANADA

MANI MA N TO TOBA BA A C HARO HA A RO ROLL AIS A S A SS SSOC O C IA IATI TTII ON O President ›› Shawn Airey Vice President ›› Hans Myhre 2nd Vice President ›› Jeff Cavers Secretary/Treasurer ›› Rae Trimble-Olson

find local MB Breeder by viewing our website WWW. WW W.CH H AR AROL O L AII SB OL SBAN AN N NE NER. R CO R. COM/ M MC M/ MCA A

s i a l o r a h C e s U

www.mbbeef.ca


February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Real conversations at FFDC staff is trained to deliver the five RDOF presentations and have shared this information to over 15 different classes of Grades 8 to 11 from across the province over the past six months. As a facilitator, I have trained 85 first year Agriculture Diploma Students. They received over five hours of class time, and are now themselves able to deliver these RDOF presentations. They can also use this information to help them discuss agriculture practices in social settings, conversations in their communities and respond to comments on various social media platforms. We are featuring the RDOF information at our booth for Discover Agriculture in the City at The Forks and at a number of conferences and workshops across the province. Consumer Science Behind Public Trust We can describe the human genome and the wheat genome but we can’t scratch the surface of the social science genome! We need something compelling to gather around. We need to be proactive and establish a new perception of the foundation of trust. We need to look to the modern farming family to rebuild this foundation of trust between farming and food. It seems that in furniture, phones and cars we want technology BUT not in our food! We need to find the right way to connect how the use of technological advances in food production and processing not only benefits the consumer but our environment. Understanding brings trust and trust is key! We know that young, professional, savvy and energetic farmers resonate with young urban families and consumers. This, in itself, builds trust, as this younger generation relates to its own demographic. To gain science based insight into the social science genome, the Farm and Food Discovery Centre along with the Asper School of Business, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel are taking on a leadership role in bringing together the agriculture and agrifood industry to discuss

and determine ways of addressing public trust. We have developed a “Proposal for Action: Innovation is our Tradition”. The premise of this collaborative approach is understanding the shifting consumer priorities that have impacted farming and food production. What’s in it for you? A component of this proposal is looking to undertake a one-year project to enhance cattle producers’ knowledge and outreach to the public. The industry is facing challenges regarding public trust including rising activism activities against conventional farming practices and the emergence of new food trends promoting plant-based diets or discouraging red meat consumption. This initiative will assess the degree of disconnect between the public and our farmers through the Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel research and surveys. Information gained from this project will provide key advertising material for the producers, and increase the industry’s long-term visibility on the Manitoban beef and dairy markets. We will deliver educational programming through our on-site school programs and to the general public. Equipping ourselves with this understanding and developing subsequent messaging to address this disconnect will increase our farms’ resiliency to market changes such as fads, trends and disruptions. The Discovery Centre is the conduit for researchers at the University of Manitoba and farmers to reach the public. Through our education and outreach efforts, we provide the knowledge translation, transfer and mobilization to bridge the information gap. In the last eight months, we had over 6,500 visitors who learned about every aspect of food production from farming practices to retail sales. We are well-positioned to create knowledge mobilization materials and programs that can be used throughout the communication activities aimed at rebuilding the connection between farmers and the general public.

Students learn about managing nutrients on beef farms.

To learn more about the consumer science behind public trust activities, I encourage you to contact me at the Discovery Centre or attend some of our upcoming events. More importantly, I encourage you to take the opportunity to visit us at the Discovery Centre, plan a meeting here and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Bring your children, bring your grandchildren or mention us to your local school as a field trip opportunity to learn more about food, sustainable agriculture production and the environment.

Presented By: 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 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 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 SALE MANAGED BY: T BAR C CATTLE CO. LTD. 306-933-4200 306-220-5006 info@tbarc.com

View the catalogue online at WWW.BUYAGRO.COM

We would like to welcome our newest directors Kolton McIntosh, Kyle Taylor and Nikki Armstrong. Congratulations to our new President, Andrea Bertholet, and thank you to our retiring board members Everett Olson, Trevor Peters and Greg Woychyshyn.

Tried, Tested, Proven

Invest in Manitoba Simmental Bull Power and Cash in for Years to Come Feb 16 Feb 19 Feb 20 Mar 3-5 Mar 8 Mar 12 Mar 13 Mar 14 Mar 17 Mar 18 Mar 20 Mar 21 Apr 6 Apr 8

MJ/Glasman Farms Simmental & Angus Bull & Female Sale ................Russell, MB Bonchuk Farms Annual Bull Sale ...............................................................Virden, MB Rendzvous Farams 13th Annual Simmental Bull & Female Sale ...........Ste. Rose du Lac, MB Rainbow River Simmentals 2nd Annual Online Bull Sale ......................Minnedosa, MB Mar Mac Farms Bull & Commercial Female Sale ....................................Brandon, MB Rebels of the West Simmental Bul Sale ......................................................Virden, MB Transcon’s Premium Beef Simmental Bull Sale ........................................Neepawa, MB Prairie Partners Bull & Female Sale ...........................................................Killarney, MB Family Tradiation Charolais & Simmental Bull Sale................................Dropmore, MB Oakview/Perkin/Triple R Simmental Bull Sale.........................................Brandon, MB Maple Lake Stock Farms Kick off to Spring Bull Sale ..............................Grand Clairiere, MB WLB Livestock 13th Annual Simmental Bull Sale ...................................Douglas, MB Transcon’s Winnipeg Simmental Bull Sale ................................................Winnipeg, MB 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

www.mbbeef.ca

President, Andrea Bertholet 204-483-0319 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

Winter fun is just around the corner ADRIANA FINDLAY MBP Beef Expert

Being a fan of Manitoba summers is a provincial characteristic most are proud to share loudly with visitors. However, our winters certainly make some of us tense up and search for southern escapes. The truth is Manitobans have true grit when it comes to surviving the dark, cold, arctic systems that pass through during the winter months. How about putting our winter gear to great use this year and experience the wonderful and numerous activities Manitoba has to offer over the winter season? I would like to share a great list of activities for the whole family that can be enjoyed right away starting with Louis Riel Day long weekend. There is no end to winter fun that can be had with the whole family, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and even

dog sledding. Below is a quick list of great places to check out. You can visit Travel Manitoba tourism website for many more options. • Springhill Winter Sports Park, Oakbank • Thunder Hill Ski Area, Swan River • Ski Valley, Minnedosa • Mystery Mountain Winter Park, Thompson • Holiday Mountain Resort, La Riviere • Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes, Falcon Lake • Riding Mountain National Park • Whiteshell Provincial Park Get the most of winter fun start this month with the francophone community in Winnipeg at Festival du Voyageur. Saint-Boniface transforms into a winter wonderland as the largest winter festival in Western Canada, bringing back to life historical interpreta-

tions of voyageur, Metis and First Nation settler traditions. Check out this festival, which is suitable for the whole family with numerous outdoor activities and heated tent with live music, craft sales and traditional foods, Feb. 17-26. Burn some energy while having a great time at Adrenaline Adventures located in Headingley. Experience a rush snow-tubing down a specially groomed hill that is equipped with a towrope that pulls the rider up the hill in the comfort of their own snow tube. If you are interested in perfecting your snowboard tricks, this is just the park to practice. Open all winter is the snowboard terrain park that has obstacles set up along a groomed section of the hill. The recently opened Red River Mutual Trail is a magical ice road on the Red River. Centralized at the city’s hub The Forks, the trail offers a place for skating, cross country

FEBRUARY MARCH

2017 Spring Sale Schedule

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Wed, Feb 1

Presort Feeder Sale

Mon, Feb 6

Butcher Sale

10AM

Wed, Feb 8

Presort Feeder Sale

Mon, Feb 13

Butcher Sale

Wed, Feb 15

Presort Feeder Sale

Sun, Feb 19

Bonchuck Farms Simmental Bull Sale

9AM 10AM 9AM 10AM

Wed, Feb 22

Regular Feeder Sale

Fri, Feb 24

Bred Cow Sale

Tues, Feb 27

Butcher Sale

Wed, March 1

Presort Feeder Sale

Mon, March 6

Butcher Sale

Wed, March 8

Regular Feeder Sale

Fri, March 10

Bred Cow Sale

Sun, March 12

Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale

Mon, March 13

Butcher Sale

Wed, March 15

Presort Feeder Sale

Sat, March 18

Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale

Mon, March 20

Butcher Sale

9AM

Wed, March 22

Regular Feeder Sale

9AM

Fri, March 24

Cow-Boys Angus Bull & Female Sale

Tues, March 27

Butcher Sale

Wed, March 29

Presort Feeder Sale

Thurs, March 30

Sheep/Goat Sale

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9AM

skiing and snowshoeing. Lined with warming shacks and a few access points throughout the

city along the trail, travel towards The Forks for a bag of warm mini donuts and a hot chocolate.

Beef and Barley Soup 1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil 1lb (500g) Beef Stewing Cubes, trimmed Season salt and pepper, to taste 6 cup (1.5 L) vegetables, cut in small pieces (i.e. onions, carrots, celery, rutabaga and/or potatoes ½ cup (125 mL) pot or pearl barley 1-900 mL low sodium beef broth tetra pack ½ cup (125 mL) prepared tomato sauce 1 Tbsp (25 mL) fresh thyme and dill, (Ÿ tsp (1 mL) EACH dried herbs 1 bay leaf 1 tsp (5mL) salt Ÿ tsp (1mL) black pepper 4 cup (1L) water Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; brown beef cubes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Add 4 cups (1L) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook for about 2 hours or until beef and barley are tender. Discard bay leaf before serving.

11:30AM 9AM 10AM 9AM 9AM 11:30AM 9AM 10AM

9AM 10AM 12Noon

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Heartland Livestock Services www.mbbeef.ca

Load up on those omega-3 fatty acids all winter with ice fishing, a fun activity that can be enjoyed individually or with a small group of friends or family. Set up a shack at your favourite water way throughout the province. Satisfy your inner need to climb those faux Everest ice shelves right here in Manitoba. Visit a three-sided permanent ice tower at The Club d’Escalade de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg. The tower offers varying degrees of difficulty and floodlights facilitating those interested in challenging night climbs. For the truest northern winter activity and a genuine privilege to visit is Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world. Get face to face with the kings of the arctic in a unique tundra vehicle. Visit between January and March for the most spectacular views of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). They are said to be otherworldly dancing curtains of light in a rainbow of colours. Visit everythingchurchill.com to learn more or plan a visit. Enjoying winter in Manitoba only needs a small amount of planning and a large amount of love for this province. We live in such a beautiful prairie province, don’t forget to explore it. Remember that every day enjoyed this winter season requires a full belly of nutrient-filled ingredients. Warm up to a soothing bowl of comforting Beef Barley Soup. This recipe was featured in Great Taste of Manitoba’s Eat like an Athlete episode that can be viewed on YouTube. Stay warm and enjoy Louis Riel day with your family.


February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Riding a strong advocate for agriculture education BY PAUL ADAIR Lake Francis, Manitoba, has been called home for fourth-generation rancher and District 9 director Dianne Riding her entire lifve. Growing up on her family’s dairy/ beef farm, which she now owns, for the last 35 years Riding has run a multi-livestock operation alongside her partnerin-life, Gary Wilkinson. Even so, Riding’s farm remains a family affair with her mom, brothers, nieces, and nephews all helping our when they are able. Riding calves 120 cows and maintains small herds of goats and sheep on her farm. At one time she ran a small Purebred Limousin herd alongside her commercial cows but now primarily keeps Red Limousin with occasional cross-breeding with Charolais. She is also now trying out her first Simmental bull. Riding describes herself as a casual attendee at Manitoba Beef Producer meetings when she first started out; interested in the proceedings but not always participating. It wasn’t until the BSE crisis over a decade ago that Riding became more involved and invested in the inner workings of the association. “When BSE hit, I went to meetings more frequently to try and keep on top of what was being done to help producers market their livestock,” says Riding. “I was also hoping to try and keep up with how the cattle industry was changing to try and recover from this crisis.” Riding ultimately made the decision to take on the position of District 9 director after a vacancy opened up and nobody else seemed willing to step forward. “I know from my time working with other organizations that our friends in government do not like seeing empty seats at a board table,” says Riding. “So I decided to volunteer myself and try it for a year; and here we are into year three with me still really enjoying being part of the MBP board.” In the beginning, Riding was a little taken aback by how much work is done by Manitoba Beef Producers on behalf of its producers behind the scenes, handling a wide variety of issues from governmental concerns, to protecting the environment, to facilitating the many groups that approach the association for information in regards to beef production and farming. “A lot of things are happening, which most of us never really give much thought to in our day-to-day farm lives but are still important to our cattle industry as a whole,” says Riding. “MBP has always tried to keep producers informed and abreast of the things coming our way and to further our industry into the future even though, as producers, we are not always happy to hear of some of these changes.” Riding has watched the beef industry change over the years that she has been part of it; evolving from being male dominated to one that is truly diverse and inclusive for all, regardless of background or gender, and that everyone has something special to contribute to the conversation. “MBP welcomes all directors equally - male or female - and we are all encouraged to voice our opinions,” says Riding. “I felt very welcome at my first board meeting although, on the inside, I was questioning what I was doing there. Everyone there seemed so knowledgeable and the first couple of meetings felt a little overwhelming for me.”

Riding appreciates the freedom being a beef producer provides in allowing her to be her own boss. She particularly enjoys working with her cattle and knowing that there is always something new to learn and experience each and every day on the farm. Having worked off farm before, Riding is well aware that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence and she knows that she’s where she belongs. “I am at a good place in my life where I am so lucky to be working at a career that I love and get this much satisfaction from,” says Riding. “I have - in my opinion the greatest job in the world and I feel very fortunate to be able to pass this message on to others.” Off the farm, Riding makes sure to set aside the time to give back to agriculture’s youth. She has volunteered with the 4-H program over the last 25 years and is still involved with its beef club. Riding is also a member of the South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society and after years of involvement with Agriculture in the Classroom on behalf of MBP, she became a board member earlier this year. “I think everyone in the cattle industry should go out and volunteer at least once,” says Riding. “It can be an eye-opening experience but it’s also very rewarding. I sit on several committees and always enjoy learning new things about our industry. I also greatly value my time in going to Ag in the Classroom events and speaking to our youth who are the future of agriculture.”

PASTURE SPACE AVAILABLE

For young producers and those entering the beef industry, Riding offers a small piece of advice; work hard in achieving your goals. “I know many of you have an off-farm job,” says Riding. “I did too. But in the future, when things finally come together, it is so wonderful to finally reach your dream and farm. It really is such a great life.” In her free time, Riding enjoys attending many horserelated events with her partner, Gary, checking out pony chuck wagon races, horse shows, and taking in the races at Assiniboia Downs. She also enjoys exposing her nieces and nephews to the agricultural lifestyle and is very proud of their involvement in the horse and beef 4-H clubs. Riding appreciates a great steak from time to time but her favourite way to prepare beef is with a nice roast - cooked by itself with nothing added - and served as a hot roast beef sandwich. The only thing that can make it even better is when it is enjoyed with family, where she is able to clearly demonstrate to her city cousins what homeraised beef is truly like.

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 The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) has space in the following community pastures for 2017

Lenswood McCreary

Pasquia Dauphin-Ethelbert

To receive an application or for more information please contact us at: Phone: 204-722-2062 Email: amcp@pastures.ca • Web site: www.pastures.ca

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

HAMCO CATTLE CO. al 19th Annu

Angus Bull Sale

HIGH QUALITY BULLS from Reputable Breeders

Saturday, March 18, 2017 At the farm , South of Glenboro, MB

1:00 p.m.

March 12 • STEPPLER FARMS Charolais Bull Sale, at the farm, Miami, MB

Your source for Elite Angus Genetics!

March 14 • McTAVISH FARMS and Guests Charolais & Red Angus Bull Sale, at the farm, Moosomin, SK

Selling 60 Red & 60 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 20 Red & 15 Black Angus 2 Year old Bulls

March 18 • PLEASANT DAWN Charolais Bull Sale, Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB March 21 • DIAMOND W Charolais & Angus Bull Sale, Valley Livestock, Minitonas, MB March 22 • HTA Charolais & Guests Bull Sale, Beautiful Plains Ag, Neepawa, MB

HOLY COW!

March 28 • PRAIRIE DISTINCTION Charolais Bull Sale, Beautiful Plains Ag, Neepawa, MB April 1 • TRI-N Charolais & Guests Bull Sale, Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB April 6 • HUNTER Charolais Bull Sale, at the farm, Roblin, MB For more information contact:

Breeding season will be here soon! Fill that hole with an a.i. calf this year. Call to set up your a.i. date today!

Brett McRae’s Custom a.i.

204-729-1018 • brett.mcrae@icloud.com

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 the sale at www.bylivestock.com

www.mbbeef.ca

9Many are AI sired 9Bulls semen tested & tested BVD PI negative 9Bulls on home performance test - data available 9Developed on a high forage TMR ration 9Selected from a 530 cow herd 9Free delivery & free board till May 1 9Delayed payment plan available

Please join us for lunch 12:00 p.m. on Sale Day For more information or catalogues view us on line at hamcocattleco.com or contact us

Dr. David & Shelley Hamilton (204) 822-3054 (204) 325-3635 cell

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


18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

Pain control gaining priority among beef producers BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL For beef producers Tamara and Russ Carter administering a pain control product to calves prior to branding and castration procedures was just the right thing to do. Over the past three calving seasons the Carters, who ranch near Lacadena in southwest Saskatchewan, have been treating spring calves with an injection of Metacam just prior to processing. The 1 ½ millilitre dose for young calves appears to considerably reduce the post-processing discomfort level of calves, says Tamara and while they have no formal research trials to confirm observations, they also believe calves have improved weight gain performance right through to weaning. “It does make a difference in the comfort level of the calves,â€? says Carter. They were first pointed toward the pain control product during a discussion with their herd veterinarian, Dr. Glen Griffin of South-

west Animal Health Clinic. “Made the commitment to include it in our program the following year. Calves that received pain control treatment with Metacam hopped up much faster after being processed, they paired up with their moth-

ers sooner and returned to nursing and eating sooner. In the 48 hours following processing, the calves treated with Metacam were noticeably more comfortable and spent less time laying around.� As well, Carter says there were no

secondary infections of any scrotums, which occasionally needed to be treated in the past. Calves treated in batches The Carters manage all the spring processing that includes branding, castration and vaccination.

Calves are processed in smaller batches of 30 to 40 head at a time usually between two to three weeks of age. The Metacam dose is delivered to each calf in a subcutaneous neck injection as they are lined up in a holding queue just before

Stewart Cattle Co. & Guests

March 9, 2017

9th Annual Black Angus Bull Sale

1:00 pm 4QSJOH $SFFL 3BODI Moosomin, SK

50 Black Angus & Simmental/Angus Bulls

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 • 1:00pm

reaching the processing table. It is fast and easy to administer. “We found it much simpler to process these smaller groups ourselves during the calving season, rather than wait until the end and do everything in a

100 Red & Black Simmentals, Red & Black Angus & Sim/Angus bulls.

NEEPAWA AG-PLEX

Simmental

MBJ 9D

Springcreek Liner x MSR Kansas Tank

Simmental

MBJ 67D

LFE Style 363B x Springcreek Lotto

Simmental

MBJ 53D

LFE Style x Springcreek BLK Tank

Sim/Angus

MBJ 44D

RRAR Motive x Springcreek Lotto

SALE CATALOGUE & VIDEO will be available from consignors or online www.stewartcattle.com Email for catalogue stewartcows@wificountry.ca

Black Angus

RRAR 20D

S A V International x Dunlouise Commander Bond

Free board till April 1, 2017

Red Angus

Brian McCarthy & Family

Stewart Cattle Co. .................................... 204.773.6392 DJ Cattle Co. ............................................. 204.841.3880 Legaarden Livestock ...............................204-648-5254

Box 467, Moosomin, SK S0G 3N0 1) t $FMM CSJBO NDDBSUIZ!MJWF DB TQSJOHDSFFLTJNNFOUBMT DPN

www.mbbeef.ca

LCF 73D

Red MRLA x Red RRAR Chief


February 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 19 day or on a weekend,” says Carter. “Once we have a group of about 30 that are two or three weeks old, we will process them. Working with smaller groups of calves allows us to keep detailed records and ensure that every calf gets the appropriate doses of vaccines and that none are missed.” Overall improved performance With a portion of the steer calves treated with Metacam in 2013, average weaning weights that year were 509 pounds. With all steer calves treated in 2014 weaning weights averaged 530 pounds and again in 2015 treated steers calves averaged 576 pounds at weaning. Carter says they have examined each season to look at factors, which may have influenced higher weaning weights. Particularly in 2014 and 2015 with calves 21 and 67 pounds heavier, respectively, compared to 2013, the pain control treatment appears to at least be part of the weight gain improvement. “In 2014 we had not changed anything else from 2013,” says Carter. “The bull battery had stayed fairly consistent, the ratio of heifers to cows was the same, the calving start date and weaning dates were all the same. But, again we noticed that calves were up faster with the pain control, seemed less stressed, more

comfortable and headed off with mom right away. They nursed right away and we noticed less laying around.” “While our findings are very interesting to us, they are not scientific,” she says. “We have not accounted for things such as tracking calf sires to see if different bulls are breeding more of the cows to produce more offspring with larger birth weights, and therefore possibly higher weaning rates. We also have not accounted for any weather differences or environmental factors from year to year.” Some other producers, after the drier 2015 growing season, claimed the shorter, more nutrient dense grass increased their weaning weights as well. “With the exception of 2013, where we administered Metacam to part of the herd, we have not kept a control group to compare results of calves that did not receive pain control,” says Carter. “What we have found, is that the calves seem much more comfortable and less stressed with the pain control. They are up much sooner nursing and travelling with their mothers.” “That reduced stress appears to remain with them throughout the next five to six months, and it seems that they grow faster and gain better as a result. Their immune systems are

stronger. None have required treatment for castration-related infections following branding since we started to administer Metacam. All of our other vaccine program and mineral program has remained the same throughout this period. They have all grazed the same pastures each year.” Good management practice Carter says unfortunately the pain control product isn’t cheap. A 100 ml bottle costs about $250, which works out to about $3.75 to $5 per dose. “It is another cost that starts to add up if you are also vaccinating or using implants. Hopefully some day the cost comes down or we begin to see lower cost generic products on the market. “We can’t definitively prove that the pain control has created the improved growth, but we are convinced that it is a contributing factor. It is rewarding to us as producers to know that our decision to provide pain control at castration appears to help their overall health.” Dr. Eugene Janzen, professor of production animal health at the University of Calgary school of veterinary medicine says the Carters are part of what appears to be a growing trend across the livestock industry to improve the proper care and treatment

of livestock. Janzen says society views pain control in livestock as a priority. That interest is already driving some food processors, food retailers, and the food service industries to search out livestock production programs where pain control measures are applied. And the products do

work, says Janzen. While doses and administration times will vary with products, he says the effect of pain control treatment should persist for at least 24 hours — perhaps longer. He says going forward there is ongoing research in how to better measure pain in livestock, and there is also a need for pain control

products that are effective, long acting but also with short withdrawal times, low cost, easy to administer, and able to show a return on investment. “This is something that both the industry and society wants,” says Janzen. Learn more in the video below and at www. beefresearch.ca/pain

THE NATURAL GENETIC ADVANTAGE FROM BIRTH TO PLATE

BOOST YOUR

is the beef HYBRID Crossbreeding industry’s only free lunch! VIGOUR

Maximize your return on investment by taking advantage of hybrid vigor with a Limousin bull.

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

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

Craig and Lorna Marr 250 Head Cow/Calf SILVER RIDGE, MB 2013 MB COMMERCIAL BREEDER OF THE YEAR

ATTENTION PRODUCERS

Gord Kozroski 500 Head Black Cow Herd GULL LAKE, SK 2013 SK COMMERCIAL BREEDER OF THE YEAR

Marketing Limousin influence calves this fall? List them on our website and contact the CLA for marketing assistance!

Using Limousin bulls on our black cows gave us calving ease and a cross breeding advantage. Our ranch was able to sell market topping 1000 pound grass yearlings in late July. Connor Bros. 700 Head Cow Herd HANNAH, AB

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BBulls Bu uam llsaglen foor@inetli rfor sale ale llisale enknnk.ca o.cacanon on fa far farm m & & cam.lim PPolled lled edcom BBulls Bu FFemales Femal em es dfor foranchlim sale sal lmeoouoususin.comWes Western W e ter es tern n Gateway Gate eway way Bull ll Sal Sale alRose le amaglen@inetlink.ca cam.limousin@xplornet.com neil@diamondcranchlimousin.com maglen m maglen@inetli gle lfor @inetl @i isa kk.ca cam cam.l ousin@xp xxp po lornet ornet.c o rnet com m lls & Fem neil@di eil@di eil@diamondcr il@d il diale amondcranc amond amondcr anchlimo hlimou hli HIGHLAND HIGHLA IGHLA IG AND N STOCK S STO STTOC CK K FFARMS ARMS w ww w ww.ama w.ama glenlimousin.c glenlim l li li ousin.c usin.c sin. sin i aTest Station www.dia wwsale dia diamondcra m on mondc mondcra d farm ncchlimo nchlim mo ousin.co u m Auction www.amaglenlimousin.ca www.diamondcranchlimousin.com tthhDMart at Douglas Bull Polled Bulls for aatt Douglas DDou Dougla ougla g as Bull Bull Te Testt Station Test Statio Sta tion tio onCLCLARK April Ap pThe pr rhheili Mat 1 tthews 11 , Ste. 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Land Lan an CCattle Cattl Ca aCattle ttle ttl t 905 tl e5.786 204-838-2019 0Hockridge 04 4ca-83 83888-22019 83 2019 019 Zehner, LL&S L& &L&S &S Sww.hi Limousin LLimousin Li mou o ockfa sinnrmmAcres Acs.com res es bzwambag@execulink.com 306.781-4628 b bzwamba zzwamba zwam wamba waam wam mbag@execu @execulink.co exec e lin link.c llink .co co com 306.78 306.781 306.7 306 06.781 6.77781 8 -46 -462 -4 462 8 46 clarkcattle1@hotmail.ca clarkcattle1@hotma clar l k maaaiiil. m ll..ca www.beezeeacres.ca thepper@yourlink.ca w w ww.bee ww w w.bee zeeac eeacre eacre thepper hepper@ pper @ @yo 2204-776-2322 0ww 04 4204-776-2322 7.bebeb76zeeacre 776 2232 3222ss..caa 322 Email: Em m204-648-6333 ma aAil: ilil::MS Diamo Dia DiamondTLimo@gmail.com iamon m dTL TLLBrad iperm imo mo@y o@yyoourlink.ca gmail.com COCH COCHRA COCHRANE CHRA RANEE STO ST S STOCK OC CK FAR FFARMS MS Email: cam.limousin@xplornet.com 204-648-5222 Glen BA B BAR AaRil AR 3R LIMOU IM OUlimo SIN Th t.co The Coc Cochran C.c hrmnee ffamilies am mi iol liies es EL RA R RAN RANCHES AN Aon CHES EEmail: m mail il:Rea : cam.limousin@xplornet.com cLIMOUSIN cam.l aam m limo mousi ousi us n@x @xplo @ plorne rnet rn rne tCochrane cdom ohran Polled Po olies lled leed Bu Bulls ulls lls fo forrEXCEL sale sCEL ale oNnMMiller farm The TTh hee Re h R a family fam mil i ily Alexander, Al Alexander Alexande Alexand exan and er MB eer, MB R & Barb Ron Baarb rb Mil Miller l Bulls Sale by Private Treaty on farm www.hockridgefarms.ca Marengo, M areng arengo ,for SK SKale Westlock, W Westloc estllockk, k , AB 780.349.2135 780.349.2135 204 204.573 573 57 3far .6529 6529 6529 or 204.724.0892 204 204.7 20 7 24.0892 24 0892 92 204.573.6529 or BBulls uMarengo l3306.463.7950 ls s for fo or r Sale Sa e by b y Private P Pr Privat Pri ri v vat e T Trea Treaty reaty rea t y o on n farm ar m / 306.968.2923 06.463.7950 6 6 6 68 darbyc@wcgwav d b @ vee.ccaa eexcelranches@hotmail.com xcelra elr l nc ncch hes@hotmail.com darbyc@wcgwave.ca Bulls farm. 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Maplehurst Farms Maplehurst Ma M Map apleh lehurs lehurs urs r t Farms FFarm arms arm ms

204-274-2490 Bob 2204-274-2490 04-27 04-27 04 -2 4-2 -2 4-2490 90 Bo BBob obLA LAZY LLAZ AZY S LIMOU AZY AZ LI LIM LIMOUSIN SIN N Stan S St tan t & Ty Ty Skee S Skeels k ls & Vykki Bulls forsa sale on farm &mmbey, sale farm BBulls Bul ulls ul u ls for or ale oon n fa far ar rhm &Rim Johns Rimbey, Rimbey Rimbe Ri bey, AB A 403.704.0288 403.7 403 3 70 04 4 .0288 0288 028 02 28 88 88 Douglas Bull Test Station aat at t Douglas Dou ougla gl s BBull ulll Te TTest elazyslimousin@telus.net stty St SStation Sta t i @ntetelte us.net tio lazysl lazy lazysl llimousin@ li itatio mousin@

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WINDY GABL GABLES LES SYMENS LAND & CATTLE CO. LIMOUSIN SYMENSLAND&CATTLECO.

J James & Laura Symens y Bryce y and Nat Nathan than Allen Blaine &4Dianne Canadian Junior National Warkworth, On On 403.552.2191 780.753.1959 403 403.552 033.552 555 552.2191 2191 191 9 / 780.75 7780 80 75 8 7533.1 3.1959 Claresholm, AB 204 2204-734-4797 04 73 7344-4 79 204-556-2683 797 murphyranch@xplornet.com murphy murph urp p phyr hyyyrraanch@xp h anch@xpl nch@xplorn @ lornet.com l t 403-524-4729 / 604-880-7515 705.924.2583 Ashlee 204-512-0292 Limousin show,brycea@alleni July 27-30, HII WA H HI-WAY WAY LIMOUSIN LIIMOU LIMOU LLIM MOUSI SN brycea@alleninsurance.ca insurance.caa www.murphyranch.ca www www.m ww.m mon urphyranch. ca symens@platinum.ca Yr. Bulls for sale 2 Y r r. . Old O Ol ld d B Bu ulls l lls s fo r s a ale le e o n farm 2204-838-2198 0204-838-2198 04 4Thehe-83 83 838 8-2 2 198 98 8 Fu FFuchs Fuc hs families fami fam fa lies ies es for 2017 Portage, contact your d at Bethune, Beth Bethune une , SK J. YO YORGA YBulls ORGA A FARMS FA RMSsale LT LTD D on farm PINNACLE PINNA PINNAC CLE VIEW LIMOUSIN TOP TFind MEADOW Y2K K LIMOUSIN LIMOUSIN April usatonFARMS Facebook BBulls Bul uBulls ull ul l06.6 lsls6 638 Sne,elSell Sell Sel l44lS AApri April p l 2nnd1st pri at a Kelly elly Yorga / Jeff Yorga Swann Swan w & Kishkan families Mik Mike G Geddes, dd , manager g Robert R b Nimmo o 306.638.4422 306 3306.638 638.4422 .44 .442 22 2 local more Douglas Bull Test Station Quesnel, Quesn uesn ne , BC 250.747.2618 Clarksburg, nel Cwww.facebook.com/pages/ManitobaOnbreeder 519.599.6776for Caledon East, E info. On 306.789.8863 3306.789 789 7 9.8863 8863 3 Fli intof ntoft ntof toftt,p , SK 306. 306 26 263-4432 33-4432 44 ous 4 Flintoft, Triple R Limous Limousin ousin Douglas Dou Do o306 ou u06gla g6 l638 as4800 BBull ullll Te Testt Sta Test Statio Station tionn tio kishkan@quesnelbc.com 30 06-642 -6 642-7023 642 42-7023 7023 023 / 306.5 306 3306.53 06.53 06.53 6 53 5 11.5717 .57 5717 ki kishk kishka hk hkan kaan an@quesne @ lbc.com mike@topmeadowfarms.com mike@topmeadowfarms @ p ms co com 4 416.580.5714 416 5580 557 306-642-7023 306.531.5717 306.638.4800 306.638 638.4800 6 8 Triple Limousin Darcy.Fuchs@mosaicco.com Darcy.F arcy.Fuchs@mo uchs@mosaicco. aicco com farm@robertnimmo.com ww w w04 w.jyo jy yorgafa rgafarm g 85 s.com com m www p www.pvlimousin.com www.pv wLimousin-Association/572198599475105 www.topmeadowfarms.com farm@rober rtn nimmo.com www.jyorgafarms.com 2204-685-2628 0.jyjyo 4yorgaf 6gafarms 68 5 R2628 2s.c 628 28 nd 204-685-2628 Limousin PPrivate Pri riivat vatee Tre Tr Treaty aty ty Bull Bull Sale April 2 Find us on Facebook LL.G. L.G .G .L.G. G. LLimousin imo mousi mousi usin sn 204-748-3728 0 YYea Yearling earli rling lling & 2 YYe Year ear a Old Bu ar BBulls llss 2204-851-0399 0204-851-0399 04 4-85 851-0 851 1 03999 (c) 1-0399 ((cc(c) ) 2042204-748-3728 044 748 04748-37 37288 (h) 37 3728 (h(h) 660204-856-3440 www.facebook.com/pages/Manitoba35 2yr old,30 yearlings for sale on Private treaty sales on farm Limousin LLim imous ousin u inn & Angu AAngus ngus ngu Private Pri riivat vate te treaty trea trea reaty eaty ty sal sales les on far farm m Limousin-Association/572198599475105 farm. 4 bulls at Douglas bull test

www.mbbeef.ca

CCANADIAN LLIMOUSIN ~ ASSOCIATION ~ #13, 4101-19 STREET NE CALGARY, AB T2E 7C4 PHONE 1. 403.253.7309 TOLL-FREE 1.866.886.1605 FAX 1.403.253.1704 EMAIL limousin@limousin.com WEB www.limousin.com


20 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2017

Mixed signals in cattle markets The cattle markets opened stronger than anticipated in 2017, and poor weather conditions delayed marketing in most areas by over a week. The new price book for cattle in Manitoba has some interesting fundamentals attached! The Live Cattle Futures market still seems to be detached from the cash prices, running about 10 cents behind in the first and early second quarters, and 15 cents behind the current cash for the remainder of the year. This scenario has meant that the heavy feeder cattle over 900 lb that will finish before June are in stronger demand than the middleweights. In the ring the large price slides that we experienced last year have been reduced considerably. Prior to the year-end break in the markets, the average slide was 10 cents, working both ways for lighter and heavier weight differentials off the base weight. So far on the cattle over 900 lb there is very little price slide right up to 1050 lb. If the cattle are lighter, there is no price slide up because the cattle will be ready for slaughter at a later date and will miss the higher priced marketing window. I am not advising you to keep your 750 lb calves and make them 900 lb before you sell them, because they will still go to market at the same time. On the lighter cattle, the spread between the steers and heifers has tightened with the heifers increasing in value. That spread might be short-lived, as I do not expect as many heifers to be purchased for breeding this spring as last year. Disappointing bred heifer prices this fall will cause some grasser operations to reconsider last year’s investments, and they many return back to steers. A lot more Manitoba producers retained ownership of their calves last fall for varying reasons. There is a very

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line good chance that those calves will come to market sooner than expected, especially if they were backgrounded at home rather than at a custom feedlot. Despite the abundance of cheaper priced feed, the market prices look to sharply decline as the year progresses. Many producers have expressed concern over the condition of their pens. Lots of snow and very little frost in the ground, combined with high water tables make for the perfect recipe for wet muddy pens in the spring. The majority of the farm origin cattle could well be sold prior to the end of March. The exchange rate and value of the Canadian dollar is working against the feeder calf market as well. With the Canadian dollar sitting at above 75 cents, the demand for Canadian feeder cattle in the United States is diminished. The money experts are predicting that the dollar will stay around the 75 cent mark for the remainder of the year with a projected short term high of 80 cents. The Americans have been more sensitive to the futures and were more disciplined buyers of feeder cattle for the past couple of years compared to their Canadian counterparts. They have the profits to prove it. Unless the futures rally, I don’t expect them to provide much more than a floor price for the feeders this spring. We could see a slight increase in heifer exports, especially on some of the fleshier cattle in the spring. Both the cattle feeders and the packing plants are

showing some positive margins on the inventory that they are marketing right now. Packers are fairly current with their kills, and despite lower meat prices at the wholesale level, they are still making money. With the kill being current, the feedlots have a little more leverage when marketing their finished cattle than they did last summer. Carcass weights have been coming down since the start of the fourth quarter of 2016 - all good news in the short term for the cattle industry. So far this spring there has been very little forward price contracting of feeder cattle. The majority of the larger feedlots think that there will be an abundance of mid-weight feeder cattle available in the first half of 2017. If the supply and demand ratio kicks in, that should reflect in the prices. Most of the bigger feedlots are purchasing on a cash and carry basis and are taking delivery of their purchases within seven to 10 days of buying them. The butcher cow market continues to struggle as the majority of the cows are being killed in Canada. A weaker US price, combined with a strong Canadian dollar, has limited the number of cows going south. Traditionally, there is a large run of cows in January and early February in Canada, and currently the supply is larger than the weekly kill capacity. The herd expansion in the US has come to an end, and there have been larger than normal numbers of cows coming to market in the US since the fall. There could be some improvement in the prices in March, but probably not enough to make it worthwhile keeping your cull cows. If the experts are correct, we could see the highs of the cattle market in the first quarter of 2017. All we need is one good turn to change that, such as the Chinese taking American beef, and that could all change. Until next time, Rick

Risk management programs to continue Manitoba farmers will continue to benefit from comprehensive coverage provided through AgriInsurance and the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program in the upcoming season, Federal Agriculture Minister

Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced at Ag Days here today. “Governments continue to work together to ensure producers have access to an effective suite

of business risk management programs that offer protection against a broad range of farm business risks,” said MacAulay. “Taking proactive steps to protect the farm against the financial impact of extreme weather and price

fluctuations is a key strategy for success.” The ministers noted total AgriInsurance coverage for 2017 is expected to exceed $2.6 billion on 9.6 million acres in Manitoba, the second-highest level of coverage on record.

www.mbbeef.ca

AgriInsurance coverage is increasing on average by seven per cent, while premium rates are down by an average of four per cent, as compared to last year. “Through AgriInsurance, we continue to offer a comprehensive risk management program for Manitoba’s farmers, which is effective whether they are just starting out or have had years of experience,” said Eichler. “To ensure the long-term growth of our province’s agriculture sector, AgriInsurance is an essential tool, as it provides reliable protection against the unpredictable challenges of weather and other production-related risks.” More than 8,400 farms are enrolled in AgriInsurance. Manitoba has the highest level of AgriInsurance participation in Canada, covering over 90 per cent of annual crop acres. The total governments’ share of AgriInsurance premiums for 2017-2018 is expected to be $136.3 million. Under AgriInsurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Manitoba government.

Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba. The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), which was expanded to include Manitoba cattle and hog producers in 2014, provides protection against unexpected price declines. Due to lower cattle prices in 2016, WLPIP paid out $1.7 million to producers, with 73 per cent of insured calves qualifying for a payment. The average payment for each calf that qualified for an indemnity was $94. Under WLPIP, administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba. Premiums are paid by participating producers. AgriInsurance and WLPIP are risk management programs supported through Growing Forward 2, the five-year federal-provincial-territorial policy framework, and are administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). For more information about AgriInsurance, WLPIP or other programs, visit a local MASC office or www.masc. mb.ca. Government of Manitoba Media Release


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

MARCH 2017

AGM celebrates a year of change 2016 has been a year of change for the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), as the organization welcomed a new General Manager, Brian Lemon in April, and had to learn the names of a lot of new government ministers as new provincial and federal governments took power. Outgoing President Heinz Reimer called the th MBP 38 Annual General Meeting to order on February 2, at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, and thanked everyone for their support over the past year. More than 200 people were present at the meeting, where Reimer spoke about some of the highlights of 2016 such as the challenging summer and fall weather conditions, and ongoing discussions with federal and provincial officials about what the beef industry would like to see in the next agricultural policy framework when the current Growing Forward 2 ends in 2018. Growing the Manitoba Beef Herd The new provincial Agriculture Minister, Ralph Eichler, brought greetings and emphasized his government’s commitment to growing the Manitoba beef herd to pre-BSE numbers – roughly 750,000 cows. “We are really excited about growing the beef sector, and you are going to be a large part of that,” said Eichler. “The Manitoba Government will continue to partner with the Manitoba Beef Producers on programming that advances the beef sector and beef family farms in Manitoba. The department

will consult with the beef industry to develop our livestock growth strategy. Our commitment to reducing red tape in provincial programs and regulations will further contribute to a prosperous beef sector.” In his report, General Manager Brian Lemon said the highlight of his first year with MBP was the chance to meet all the producers at the 14 district meetings, and getting to know the executive committee. “It has helped me in understanding the issues and it will certainly help me to represent you,” said Lemon. “We learned this past summer of Agriculture Minister Eichler, and his government’s goal of growing our industry. It’s an exciting goal and we certainly look forward to working in partnership with the provincial government to make sure that we can realize that goal.” Lemon introduced the new MBP Directors and Executive Committee

Nerbas Bros. Angus received The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba at the recent Manitoba Beef Producers' Annual General Meeting. From left to right: Caron Clarke, former MBP director and former chair of the MBP environment committee; Sacha and Shane Nerbas and their children Cash and Kane; Arron and Amber Nerbas and their children Emerson and Hailey; and Tere Stykalo with award sponsor MNP. Missing: Gene and Cynthia Nerbas.

Page 2 ➢

New Manitoba Beef Producers' President Ben Fox.

Pulling back the curtain on the farm

Former MBP President Heinz Reimer presented outgoing District 11 Director Caron Clarke with her retirement belt buckle during the annual President's Banquet. Clarke retired from the board in February after reaching her six-year term limit.

Social licence critical to industry survival

Page 16

Selling Canadian beef in Japan Page 20

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.

BY ANGELA LOVELL


2

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Carbon tax dominates resolutions debate

The Manitoba Beef Producers' board of directors for 2017-2018. Back (L-R): Dave Koslowsky (2), Past-president Heinz Reimer (4), Ken McKay (10), Larry Wegner (6), Bill Murray (12), Stan Foster (14), Robert Metner (11), Gord Adams (1) and Larry Gerelus (7). Front: Second Vice-President Tom Teichroeb (8), Secretary Dianne Riding (9), President Ben Fox, Vice-President Ramona Blyth (5) and Treasurer Peter Penner (3)

½ Page 1 members for 2017. Taking over as President for 2017 is Ben Fox, while Dianne Riding assumes the roles of Secretary. Returning in their roles are Ramona Blyth as Vice-President, Tom Teichroeb as 2nd VicePresident and Peter Penner as Treasurer. Sharing Our Story The theme of the AGM was Sharing our Story and various panel members over the two days discussed maintaining social licence, listening and responding to the needs of consumers, and banquet keynote speaker, veterinarian Dr. Cody Creelman explained how he shares his story through his video blog and

AgriInsurance Guaranteed Protection. Guaranteed Peace of Mind. At MASC, we can’t guarantee the weather, but we can guarantee that AgriInsurance will protect your operation from the impact natural perils can have on your crop production.

PRODUCTION AND QUALITY GUARANTEES Find out how AgriInsurance provides you with production and quality guarantees against losses on over 70 crops, including reseeding benefits and the inability to seed due to excess moisture. MASC also provides numerous options to meet your forage insurance needs. Select Hay Insurance – provides insurance for production and quality losses on alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixtures, tame grasses, sweet clover and coarse hay on an individual crop basis.

social media sites. On the environment front, the Nerbas family – Arron, Shane, Gene and Cynthia – who operate an angus beef farm near Shellmouth - received The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) for Manitoba. The Nerbas’ focus has been to produce cattle that thrive on a forage-based environment, and they work with nature, the land and their animals, using holistic management principles, to produce high quality, grass fed beef. Retiring District 11 director, Caron Clarke was also recognized for her dedicated service to the MBP board. Getting Down to Business Delegates debated 19 resolutions, including three late resolutions added at the AGM. Several of them focused on environmental issues, and included resolutions to pay agricultural producers for sequestering carbon and implementing water management practices on their land, and exempting producers from a carbon tax on agriculturalrelated inputs. Delegates supported a resolution for a $50 removal incentive for beavers, although a mandatory levy to support a problem wildlife removal program was defeated. Other resolutions passed dealt with drainage issues, transfer of Crown lands, outlawing night hunting, and implementing a rebate or reduced inter-

est rate to young producers on their cash advances under the Advance Payments Program to encourage more young people to enter the industry. Delegates also called for changes to insurance programs to include coverage for legume – grass forages and 100 per cent loss of corn silage. Rising land prices across the province have resulted in larger tax bills for many producers. Delegates passed a resolution urging MBP to lobby the provincial government to remove the education levy on farmland and farm production buildings. Delegates also passed a late resolution calling for the Canadian beef industry to adopt and hasten the full development of e+v technology as the official determinant of the beef carcass grade and yield system. E+v Technology GmbH Beef Instrument Technology is a computer vision grading system being adopted in the US and Europe, that uses digital imagery to analyse the rib eye area of the carcass, which takes the human element out of grading carcasses, to make the grading process more consistent. Concluding the meeting, the incoming President, Ben Fox thanked Heinz Reimer for his leadership over the past few years and said he was excited about the opportunities ahead for the Manitoba beef industry.

Basic Hay Insurance – provides affordable whole-farm forage insurance that protects you when you experience a forage production shortfall due to designated perils. Other features include:

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MARCH 31 DEADLINE March 31, 2017 is the last day to apply for AgriInsurance or change your coverage or crop selections. To learn more about how to protect your investment through a customized insurance plan, contact your MASC insurance office today or visit masc.mb.ca.

Lending and Insurance Building a strong rural Manitoba

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Raph Eichler. DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

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

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

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

GORD ADAMS

DISTRICT 2

RAMONA BLYTH - VICE-PRESIDENT

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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

LARRY WEGNER

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

DIANNE RIDING - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 10

KEN MCKAY

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

DISTRICT 11

ROBERT METNER

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

TOM TEICHROEB - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 12

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

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

BILL MURRAY

www.mbbeef.ca

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX- 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

POLICY ANALYST

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Maureen Cousins Chad Saxon

FINANCE

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

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Brian Lemon

Deb Walger Esther Reimer Chad Saxon

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Anne Rooban

Trinda Jocelyn


March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Being prepared in case of flood is easier BY ANGELA LOVELL Spring flooding may or may not happen this year, but being prepared in case it does will make things easier on both producers and their livestock. The Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba Infrastructure released its preliminary spring flood report in January, which states that there is normal to well above normal runoff potential across the province, and the risk of overland flooding is moderate to major. Although the rate of snow melt and thawing of the ground, and precipitation events between now and early spring could change the flood risk in Manitoba significantly, most areas of the province went into winter with higher than normal soil moisture and by the end of January some areas had already received higher than normal snowfall, especially in the Red River Basin and the Winnipeg River Basin regions. The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI) is watching all flood forecasts closely. “Our network crosses the entire Assiniboine River Basin (ARB) and we make it our business to keep informed with what’s going on in the basin by interacting with all interests, “said Dr. Allan Preston, ARBI chair in a January press release. “While it is much too early to accurately forecast what spring may herald in terms of flooding, this winter’s heavy snowfall across the Souris River sub-basin in particular, coupled with saturated soil conditions over the entire Assiniboine Basin, certainly have begun to raise some potential concerns.� Have a Plan in Place Ahead of Time Prairie forecasters will continue to update flood risk reports over the coming months, but it’s important that livestock producers be proactive and plan ahead to ensure they are prepared in a worst case scenario. “The most important thing is to have a plan in place well in advance if you are in a high risk area so that you know what you are going to do before you have to worry about it last minute,� says Dr. Megan Bergman, Chief Veterinary Officer of Manitoba. Most livestock producers operating in a flood plain have flood plans that include care of live-

stock, barns and stored feed, so they should review these plans to ensure they are prepared. Rural Municipalities have emergency coordinators who can help producers develop a flood plan if they don’t already have one. “It’s a good idea to make connections with the local RM and know who the contacts are if you need to call for support,� adds Bergman. If producers have feed supplies in low areas, they should consider moving that feed to higher areas while the ground is still frozen, and plan grazing on higher pastures first. Local roads could become blocked or impassable, so it’s important to ensure animals moved to high ground have enough feed, bedding, water and shelter to last them for the expected duration of the flood, as well as an adequate supply of fuel on site. Producers should also stock up on veterinary supplies and medicines in case they are not able to get to town to purchase them. Backup generators or other alternate sources of energy should be available for use in barns or temporary facilities and should be in good working order. Local offices of the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation can provide information about crop and forage insurance options. Producers who are running short of forage supplies can also visit the Manitoba Hay Listing Service on Manitoba Agriculture’s website or call their local Manitoba Agriculture office. Know Where and How if You Need to Move the Herd If it becomes necessary to move the herd, it’s important to think that through ahead of time. “It’s crucial for producers to know how they will manage the herd and how they will transport it in the event that it becomes necessary to move to an alternate site,� says Bergman. “That alternate site needs to be identified ahead of time, and producers should also consider the route – what are the conditions of roads to get to that site likely to be in if producers need to move their animals. When they do move the herd it’s important to ensure they have a sufficient supply of food and water available to them at the new site, and that they can access the herd if they need medical attention. These are all things

that they need to think about in advance.� Bergman says people often overlook the need for some kind of handling facility at the alternate site. “For instance, if you are in the midst of the calving season and you have a veterinary emergency, you need to be able to safely handle that herd, so having some things like portable panels or head gates are pretty critical to be able to do that successfully,� she says. Practice Good Biosecurity to Reduce Risk of Disease Ideally, producers should not co-mingle their animals if they move them with another herd to reduce the potential of transmitting disease between the two herds. Implementing biosecurity measures, like cleaning and disinfecting shared trailers before putting animals into them, can also help to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Cool, wet environments also increase the risk of diseases such as foot rot. “Producers should continually monitor their herd to ensure they aren’t seeing any clinical signs of disease developing, and if they are, they need to ensure that they can treat them effectively.� Even after the flood waters recede, there can be longer term impacts. Rising flood waters can bring disease spores to the surface of the soil, which will

Flooding caused extensive damage in southwest Manitoba in 2014 and there are concerns that another flood could take place in 2017. (MBP File Photo)

remain there when the water recedes, and increase the risk throughout the summer of diseases such as anthrax or blackleg. “Having a conversation with your veterinarian about appropriate vaccination schedules to make sure you are protecting your herd as much as you can with respect to prevention is critical,� says Bergman. To help the province prepare for and manage animal health issues during a flood, all owners and operators of premises with livestock and poultry should ensure they have a premises identification number. Applications are available at www. manitoba.ca/agriculture/pid or from local Manitoba Agriculture offices.

Don’t Suffer the Stress Alone The significant impact that a critical incident like a flood or a disease outbreak has on producers and their families, and the responders that are involved should not be overlooked, adds Bergman. “We need to have support systems in place, whether it’s through family and friends, industry, or by ensuring producers are put in touch with the Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services, so producers can get some support during a very stressful time,� says Bergman. There is lots of information about preparing a beef farm and general flood preparation at www.manitoba.ca/flooding

Runoff potential as of March 31, 2017. (Assuming normal weather for the remainder of winter)

Saskatoon Gelbvieh Bull and Female Sale Saturday March , 201 • Saskatoon Livestock Sales, Saskatoon Sk • www.gelbviehworld.com For a catalogue or video contact Darcy Hrebeniuk at 306 865 7859 or ILrriver@xplornet.com www.mbbeef.ca


CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

4

Proud to be part of a strong, vibrant, committed and genuine industry My fellow producers, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to serve you as the President of Manitoba Beef Producers. I am both humbled and honoured to accept this responsibility. To those of you who I have not yet had the privilege to meet, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. For the past four years, I have represented district 13 at MBP. My wife Linda and I ranch just off the north boundary of Riding Mountain National Park close to Dauphin. We have been blessed with four children who represent the fifth generation of Fox’s in agriculture. We bought our ranch in the fall of 2006. Prior to this we resided in central Oklahoma, where I managed a purebred cattle operation and Linda worked within the commercial banking and finance sector. We both hold Bachelor of Science degrees from

well-known American universities and enjoyed our careers, but wanted to raise cattle on a large scale for ourselves. Our deep family roots in agriculture provided various options for us to move to and start our cattle operation. We chose Manitoba. I mention this not to be self-serving, but to make a point. We see significant potential in the province of Manitoba. Certainly, we were fond of the fact that I had family connections here; my parents and brother had a ranch in Eddystone, but we chose this province to start because of the unlimited potential we recognize in the mostly underdeveloped natural resources that are available to producers. I strongly believe that we are sitting on a gold mine of productive capabilities that include grass and grains but to utilize this gold mine, we need proper management of water, soil,

BEN FOX MBP President

wildlife and ecosystems. I feel the beef producers of this province are ready to get the ball rolling. It’s to everyone’s benefit to get our productivity up and MBP can play a vital

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.� HENRY FORD role in getting our provincial government to come to the table. At the conclusion of our 38th AGM, I made reference to four descrip-

MARCH APRIL

2017 Spring Sale Schedule

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Wed, March 1 Mon, March 6 Wed, March 8 Fri, March 10 Sun, March 12 Mon, March 13 Wed, March 15 Sat, March 18 Mon, March 20 Wed, March 22 Fri, March 24 Tues, March 27 Wed, March 29 Thurs, March 30 Sat, April 1 Mon, April 3 Wed, April 5 Fri, April 7 Mon, April 10 Wed, April 12 Mon, April 17 Wed, April 19 Wed, April 19 Mon, April 24 Wed, April 26 Fri, April 28

Presort Feeder Sale 10AM Butcher Sale 9AM Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Bred Cow Sale 11:30AM Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 10AM Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Cow-Boys Angus Bull & Female Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 10AM Sheep/Goat Sale 12Noon Tri-N Charolais & Guest Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Bred Cow / Cow & Calf Sale Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 10AM CLOSED – Easter Monday Regular Feeder Sale 9AM Replacement Pen of 5 Heifers Sale 1PM Butcher Sale 9AM Presort Feeder Sale 10AM Bred Cow / Cow & Calf Sale

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tors that represent the beef industry. They were strong, vibrant, committed and genuine. As far as the four words go, I think they could be placed in any order of importance but let’s

start with genuine. Our industry is still one of the most open and transparent in all of agriculture. A person’s word and a handshake still means something, and that is extremely impressive.

Next is vibrant. As I stated at the AGM, the passion within our industry is one of the strongest bonds that we as beef producers have. Whether you are a cow/calf producer, a backgrounder or feedlot operator we all share the same passion in raising the best beef possible, and doing it in a manner that is environmentally responsible and sustainable for years to come. Committed. As we all know, the beef industry is not for the faint of heart and as such, I applaud your constant efforts of commitment. Additionally, the directors and staff at Manitoba Beef Producers are a superb example of commitment. Each director has taken on the responsibility and fulfills that responsibility to the best of his or her capabilities, all the while looking after their own operations and families – not a simple task, but we are all committed to helping the beef industry.

Lastly, strong. We are a resilient bunch. In order for us to operate, we have to be. It’s this strength that allows us to navigate the rough times in the industry, and gives us the prudence to capitalize on opportunities when times are good. In closing I want to recognize our outgoing District 11 Director Caron Clarke and thank her for her time and dedication to the MBP board. I want to also thank our former President, Heinz Reimer, for his leadership and commitment. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my family for their support and understanding. I look forward to the upcoming year and challenge each of you to get out and let people know about beef production; we have a great story to tell. Good luck with your spring work, stay safe and heed the wise words of Mr. Ford. Our progress is found in solving the problem at hand, whatever it may be, one step at a time.

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Grass for future generations BY KRISTINE TAPLEY With cattle markets falling, optimism in the industry can be trying. The beef industry has been struggling to retain and attract new producers while the average age of farmers, at 54, keeps creeping up. The next generation of cattle producers might be looking for something different from their career and potentially for good reason. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) released the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and Strategy this fall. This assessment gathered great detail from the Canadian beef industry from the three sustainability pillars: environment, social and economic. The Canadian beef industry garnered top marks in most categories; however, producer viability was a weak link in the system. According to longterm average margins, a cow herd of 200 head provides a total annual

income of $17,559. Statistics Canada states this will not support a family and is below the low income cut-off. This causes 75 per cent to 84 per cent of people in the cow-calf sector to rely on off-farm employment. How do we ask young people to invest themselves in the cattle industry when they will likely be overworked and underpaid? We need to find ways to bring profitability back into our industry if we want to keep cattle production sustainable. According to 44 per cent of producers surveyed by the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, the largest barrier to entry in the cattle industry is access to land. Across the country land values increased by 10 to 22 per cent every year between 2011 and 2015. As a young producer myself, I can attest to the woes of competing for hay and pastureland with other industries. Like many others, I moved further north and on to margin-

al land, but also further from my off-farm job causing even more strain on my time and energy in establishing myself in the cattle industry. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) also has a vested interest in the sustainability of the beef industry. DUC recognizes that forage and grasslands kept in the hands of cattle producers who manage these areas are productive for cattle and wildlife alike. A sustainable beef industry is critical to the retention and health of grasslands and wetlands. In fact, the CRSB assessment indicates that although the beef sector only accounts Along with operating a beef operation with her husband Graham, Kristine Tapley is for 33 per cent of land the regional agrologist - beef industry for Ducks Unlimited Canada. Photo courtesy of that is in agricultural Ducks Unlimited. production, it provides secured by a conserva- beef producers see the grams that stimulate this 68 per cent of the wildlife tion easement on the land need for grassland land- growth and the success title. The land is then put scapes to be managed by of the beef industry is a habitat. DUC’s Revolving back on the market and ranchers for generations key focus. For more details on Land Conservation Pro- available for purchase by to come. It is our hope gram is a tool that allows anyone looking to buy that programs like this the Revolving Land Conranchers to access pas- grass. Essentially, it elim- that keep pastureland servation Program visit: tureland in a less com- inates potential buyers growing grass will cre- http : / / w w w. du ck s . c a / petitive market. Land interested in converting ate more accessible land resources/landowners/ purchased by DUC has the uplands to grain or options for beef produc- revolving-land-conserthe wetland and upland removing the water from ers while benefitting the vation-program/ Find the National habitat restored and then the land. Both DUC and sustainability of the beef industry. Beef Sustainability AsDUC has a great deal sessment and Strategy in common with the beef here: http://crsb.ca/ourindustry. DUC believes a w o r k / s u s t a i n a b i l i t y thriving and sustainable benchmark/ beef production system Kristine Tapley is the is essential on the Cana- regional agrologist – beef dian landscape to con- industry for Ducks Untinue growing more grass limited Canada. She can and protecting clean wa- be reached at k_tapley@ ter. Opportunities that ducks.ca or at 204-857create and improve pro- 2377. *M I XZWTQÅK JZMMLMZ IVL KW^MZ TW\[ of cows in your breeding pasture

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Vaccines for risk management on the farm DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner This month I would like to respond to two comments: “If most, if not all diseases are caused by nutrition and management, would taking care of these two reduce vaccination requirements?” and “I have read where vaccines reduce the natural selection for these diseases. Is that true?” Disease occurrence is multifactorial. There must be a susceptible host, “ideal” environmental factors and a sufficient pathogen load for disease to develop. Just as humans have changed through evolution, so have viruses, bacteria and other infectious organisms. Multiple drug resistant bacterial strains are a testament to that evolution. Could some vaccines drive the evolution of more virulent pathogens? Yes and no. It depends on what disease we are talking about. Let’s talk about some human diseases since most people are more familiar with them. Smallpox has been eradicated through vaccination because the vaccine was highly effective with lifelong immunity and prevented transmission of the virus between people. The virus was literally shut down by the vaccine. However, not all vaccines are that effective. Many do not provide lifelong immunity or will keep the host alive but still allow transmission to another host thus allowing for the potential development of a more severe disease-causing strain. The flu virus is able to mutate very readily such that vaccination against one strain is not protective against new strains. Other diseases such as Mycoplasma are able to hide in cells in the body, thus evading the body’s natural immune system defenses. I don’t believe that vaccines

reduce natural selection for disease but genetics do. We know that certain breeds appear to be more susceptible to disease but at this time, no research has been done to figure out the inheritance factors of disease resistance. Animals that fail to perform are culled. Similarly, we also know that all animals in a group do not respond to the same degree following vaccination. There is always a subset (about 10%) that remain at risk of getting sick. Genetics plays a part in these situations. But let’s look at your herd genetics in a different way. Two producers can purchase replacement heifers at weaning from the same breeder with the same genetics but, based on individual farm management, those heifers develop differently. The heifers all have a very similar genotype (or genetic code). The phenotype

is how that code is expressed and can be influenced by environmental factors. Proper nutrition during heifer development influences mature body size, udder development and age at cycling. Pre-weaning nutrition influences the development of the testes of prepubertal bull calves. The numbers of sperm producing cells and the ultimate mature testicular size of breeding bulls is determined before they are six months old! The cattle producer posing the question about whether nutrition prevents disease is correct. Well-nourished cattle receiving balanced rations with the correct ratios and amounts of trace minerals and vitamins have the best chance of reaching their genetic potential and having fewer health problems. But disease still occurs despite good nutrition. Herd dynamics and modern large scale

management practices require congregation of large groups which facilitates disease transmission. Crowding and stress during processing, weaning and shipping causes immunosuppression. Mixing of cattle from various sources and with exposure to different disease pathogens also increases the risk of disease transmission. What is meant by management? A profitable beef enterprise has different resources: land, labour, capital, feed and health programs. All these resources have to be utilized to maximize returns. Vaccines are an integral, and arguably a crucial part of health programs. It is so much cheaper, easier and less stressful to vaccinate a herd than to deal with a respiratory or abortion outbreak. Today’s vaccines are effective and safe if used according to recommendations.

Yes, they don’t provide longlasting immunity and yearly vaccination is required but neither do antibiotics. Our over-reliance on antibiotics in the past century has led to the development of “superbugs” for which drug therapy is no longer effective. It is time that we focused on disease management through a preventative rather than a reactive approach - with nutrition, facility management and a health program that is not dependent on drug use. What is a “bare-bones” vaccination program for beef cattle? Talk to your veterinarian and talk to the guy who buys your calves in the fall. If you choose not to vaccinate because you are too cheap, or you won’t invest in the facilities to properly process your cattle or you think your cattle are healthy enough, you need to hear from those that suffer down the line.

CCA Town Hall

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association held a Town Hall Meeting January 27 in Ashern. A terrific crowd of over 100 producers attended the event which included updates from the CCA and CanFax. (Photo courtesy of CCA)

CANADIAN ANGUS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONVENTION 2017 Friendly Manitoba welcomes you! We are proud to host the Annual CAA convention at the beautiful Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Brandon, MB from June 8th - 11th, 2017

For more information: Check the Canadian Angus Website at www.cdnangus.ca and the Manitoba Angus Website at www.mbangus .ca Contact the CAA office at 1-888-571-3580 or the MAA at 1-888-622-6487 Details on early bird registration & hotel block will be available soon.

Thursday, June 8th • Meetings for CAA board members & provincial reps. • For other guests there will be sightseeing tours to museums, parks and specialty shops *RO¿QJ RQ RQH RI WKH PDQ\ EHDXWLIXO JROI FRXUVHV Friday June 9th - Cattlemens’ Day This is a day you won’t want to miss!!! • Industry related speakers in the morning with lunch • Bus tour to feedlot and other interesting destinations • Cattle display, steak supper and Manitoba hospitality • Buses return you to your hotel at the end of the day. Saturday June 10th - CAA 2016 AGM • Information sessions in the morning • CAA Annual General Meeting after lunch • Cocktails and banquet in the evening • Canadian Angus Foundation Legacy Sale Watch for further details as they become available.

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS 1-888-622-6487 Check out our web site www.mbangus.ca www.mbbeef.ca

PASTURE SPACE AVAILABLE

The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) has space in the following community pastures for 2017

Lenswood McCreary

Pasquia Dauphin-Ethelbert

To receive an application or for more information please contact us at: Phone: 204-722-2062 Email: amcp@pastures.ca • Web site: www.pastures.ca


March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Real Industries partners with Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives BY ANGELA LOVELL Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) revealed a new partnership at the Manitoba Beef Producers' 38th Annual General Meeting in Brandon on Feb. 2. MBFI President, Ramona Blyth announced that Real Industries Ltd. of Rathwell, will provide almost $40,000 worth of cattle handling equipment for use at MBFI’s cattle research sites. “The agreement with Real Industries will see MBFI lease the handling and transportation equipment necessary to conduct day to day management of their herd, handle cattle for research studies, and for extension and demonstration purposes,” said Blyth. The equipment will remain on lease until the end of the agreement at which time ownership will be transferred to MBFI. “Moving cattle around for research at all our locations has become much easier thanks to the generous donation of Real Industries. It is truly heartening when a homegrown, grass roots company, like Real Industries, sees great value in investing in Manitoba’s beef and forage research capacities, recognizing that it will produce long term value to producers.” Since 1977, Real Industries has been providing livestock handling equipment including panels, feeders, squeeze chutes, alleyways, crowding tubs and portable handling systems, to livestock producers across Western Canada and the central United States.

“As a company we are thrilled with this partnership with MBFI,” said Jamie Ray of Real Industries. “We are proud to have MBFI conduct leading livestock research and provide exemplary animal care and comfort with our products.” A Busy Year for MBFI MBFI is a newly developed public/ private partnership model that has created an applied beef and forage research and knowledge transfer centre in western Manitoba. It is a collaborative effort of Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association. Providing an update of MBFI’s activities over the past year, Blyth said MBFI is collaborating on 22 research projects. “These projects will address gaps, and demonstrate new technologies as we promote sustainability in the agricultural sector, and provide unique training opportunities for the current and next generation of agricultural students and producers ,” said Blyth. MBFI produced its first calf crop in 2016, and the initial goal is to keep the research and demonstration cattle herd on the land 365 days of the year, and in its grazing trials it has been able to achieve that. Infrastructure development has continued at all locations. A shop and cattle handling facility was built at the Brookdale Research Farm north of Brandon, as well as a 30ft x 100ft covered structure thanks

The partnership between Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives and Real Industries was announced during the 38th MBP AGM. From left to right: Glenn Friesen, Manitoba Agriculture; Kristine Taply, Ducks Unlimited; Jamie Rea, Real Industries; Ramona Blyth, MBFI Chair and Manitoba Beef Producers; Duncan Morrison, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association.

to a sponsorship from Winkler Canvas. MBFI plans to begin construction on a learning centre in 2017. At the Johnson Research Farm east of Brandon a cattle handling facility has gone up, as well as a 35ft x 100ft canvas structure, and the existing shop was upgraded over the winter. Many events were held over 2016 including Hay Days, the McDonald’s Production Day Tour, Assiniboine Community College students field days, low stress cattle handling and extended grazing workshops, Manitoba Habitat Heritage

Corporation tour, the 4-H provincial leaders conference tour, the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association pre-conference tour, as well as a number of in-house workshops. “We enjoyed a number of highlights and milestones in 2016,” said Blyth. “This spring the MBFI team was notified that it had been nominated for a Manitoba Service Excellence Award under the new category of partnerships. I am proud to tell you that MBFI captured this prestigious award for our great teamwork and our unique partnerships.”

THE NATURAL GENETIC ADVANTAGE FROM BIRTH TO PLATE

Canadian Junior National Limousin show, July 27-30, 2017 at Portage, contact your local breeder for more info. Amaglen Limousin 204-246-2312 www.amaglenlimousin.ca Bulls for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station

Hockridge Farms 204-648-6333 Brad 204-648-5222 Glen www.hockridgefarms.ca Bulls for sale on farm.

Campbell Land & Cattle 204-776-2322 Email: cam.limousin@ xplornet.com Bulls for Sale by Private Treaty on farm Cherway Limousin 204-736-2878 View Bulls & females for sale online www.cherwaylimousin.ca

Jaymarandy Limousin 204-937-4980 Len www.jaymarandy.com Bull sale April 4 at Ste. Rose Auction Mart

Diamond T Limousin 204-838-2019 204-851-0809 (Cell) Email: diamondtlimo@gmail. com Polled Bulls for sale on farm

L&S Limousin Acres 204-838-2198 Bulls Sell April 1st at Douglas Bull Test Station L.G. Limousin 204-851-0399 (c) 204-7483728 (h) Private treaty sales on farm

ATTENTION PRODUCERS Marketing Limousin influence calves this fall? List them on our website and contact the CLA for marketing assistance!

Maplehurst Farms 204-274-2490 Bob Bulls for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station Mitchell Farms Blaine & Dianne 204-556-2683 Ashlee 204-512-0292 Bulls for sale on farm Triple R Limousin 204-685-2628 204-856-3440 35 2yr old,30 yearlings for sale on farm. 4 bulls at Douglas bull test

Year after year, we buy Limousin bulls because they give us great calves that we get a premium for. Raising superior calves is why we farm.” Craig and Lorna Marr 250 Head Cow/Calf Silver Ridge, MB

2013 MB COMMERCIAL BREEDER OF THE YEAR

We use quiet Limousin bulls for the big beefy calves with great hair and hip. They have been our terminal cross for over 20 years and the calves are vigorous at birth, do well in the feedlot, and have great carcass yield. Gord Kozroski 500 Head Black Cow Herd Gull Lake, SK

2013 SK COMMERCIAL BREEDER OF THE YEAR

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

Hannah, AB

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700 Head Cow Herd

CANADIAN LIMOUSIN

~ ASSOCIATION ~ #13, 4101-19 STREET NE CALGARY, AB T2E 7C4 PHONE 1. 403.253.7309 TOLL-FREE 1.866.886.1605 FAX 1.403.253.1704 EMAIL limousin@limousin.com WEB www.limousin.com Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/ManitobaLimousin-Association/572198599475105


8

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Market outlook remains unclear With two months under our belts for 2017, the cattle market is still struggling to make sense. Prices in Canada are very aggressive compared to the CME futures. Demand for the lightweight cattle that will be suitable to go to grass is very strong. Middleweight cattle that will find their way to the packing plants in late summer and the third quarter face bleak price projections with a huge inventory on feed that will be ready for harvest during those months. Currently the packers on both sides of the border are very current with their kills, and beef seems to be moving well in the stores. Reports from the restaurant operators are optimistic with more people eating out and spending more money per meal. With the beef prices dropping, both restaurants and retailers are highlighting beef more often as features. Tighter supplies of fed cattle gave cattle feeders more leverage and prices for fed cattle climbed back up in February to $119, recovering some of the losses from late January. Thirteen weeks of profits at the feed yards in the US was welcome news, with the cost of finishing a steer in the US at $1419 per head this year compared to $1944 last year. The cost of the feeder animal represented 75 per cent of the total costs in February 2017 compared to 79 per cent in February of 2016. Disciplined buying and calculated bunk management at the feedlots have helped increase profit margins south of the border. On the Canadian side of

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line

the border, kills continue to be fairly current as feedlots continue to market the last of their yearling inventory. The heavy calves from last fall are still at least 30 to 60 days from marketing to the plants. Both plants in the west continue to kill lots of cows as well as fed cattle. The latest statistics on Canadian exports were just released. The records show that Canada exported 13,000 fewer cattle to the US in January 2017 than the year before. The breakdown included 1,100 more feeder cattle, 4,500 fewer fed cattle, 7,700 fewer cows and 2000 fewer killing bulls. There were 7.8 per cent fewer cattle exported south from Canada in 2016 than the year before, but the US still imported 764,000 head from Canada last year. According to USDA, over the last 27 years the United States imported an average of 1.02 million cattle from Canada per year. As I have mentioned before, we are not short of cattle on either side of the border. The Americans increased their cattle numbers last year by 1.512 million head to 91.998 million while Canada increased their inventory 105,000 to 11.995 million. Even though the US feedlot capacity is only operating at 62.5 per cent full, there is more than enough beef to meet the demand.

Most of the feeder cattle that were exported in January 2017 were purchased in the fall by American feeders and were back-grounded in Canada. The drop in butcher cattle was not a big surprise, as the Western Canadian packers were very price competitive with the US. We can expect the feeder cattle export numbers to continue to decrease because once again the Canadian market looks to be oversold from a risk management point of view and in comparison to the Midwest American prices. The chart to the right is the average weekly price in Nebraska for a 550-pound steer. At $1.68 per pound times $1.314 exchange (76.23 on February 21) that 550-pound steer would be worth $2.21 (Canadian funds) delivered to Nebraska. The cash price for the same week in Manitoba was between $2.08 and $2.15. Cost of export testing, freight, CFIA, feed, insurance and miscellaneous costs would be approximately 15 cents per pound. That weight of steer is close to working, but if you are an American feeder and can buy a domestic calf without a Canadian brand on it for the same money, most will choose domestic over imported. The 850-pound steers are even more off side going south. The price in Nebraska for

an 850-pound steer is $125.00. At $1.25 X $1.314 exchange, that makes the steer worth $1.6425 in Canadian funds delivered to Nebraska. The current price in Manitoba ranges from $157 to $161 for the average steer with medium flesh. The cost to deliver the 850-pound steer would be between 10 and 12 cents per pound, making that Canadian steer worth approximately $169 to $170 Canadian delivered on the Feb. 21 market. That is why there are no 850-pound top quality steers moving south at the current Manitoba prices. Keep in mind a positive shift in

We would like to welcome our newest directors Kolton McIntosh, Kyle Taylor and Nikki Armstrong.

the futures or the favourable movement in the value of the dollar can changes things in a hurry. The saving grace for Manitoba producers may be that there are a lot less backgrounded cattle available for resale in Manitoba this spring and that could alter the supply/ demand ratio in favour of the seller. Despite the volatile futures in the cattle market, buyers of cattle originating from Manitoba are willing to take more risk than their American counterparts. Until next time, good luck in the calving barn. Rick

STEPPLER FARMS 6th Annual Bull Sale

Congratulations to our new President, Andrea Bertholet, and thank you to our retiring board members Everett Olson, Trevor Peters and Greg Woychyshyn.

Sunday, March 11th, 2017 1:00 PM DST at the Steppler Farms Sale Barn

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Rainbow River Simmentals 2nd Annual Online Bull Sale ......................Minnedosa, MB

Mar 8

Mar Mac Farms Bull & Commercial Female Sale ....................................Brandon, MB

Mar 12

Rebels of the West Simmental Bul Sale ......................................................Virden, MB

Mar 13

Transcon’s Premium Beef Simmental Bull Sale ........................................Neepawa, MB

Mar 14

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

Mar 17

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

Mar 18

Oakview/Perkin/Triple R Simmental Bull Sale.........................................Brandon, MB

Featuring 65 Yearling & 20 Two Year Old Charolais Bulls

Mar 20

Maple Lake Stock Farms Kick off to Spring Bull Sale ..............................Grand Clairiere, MB

Mar 21

WLB Livestock 13th Annual Simmental Bull Sale ...................................Douglas, MB

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

Apr 6

Transcon’s Winnipeg Simmental Bull Sale ................................................Winnipeg, MB

Online bidding available at www.DLMS.ca

Apr 8

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

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Andre & Katie Steppler 204.435.2463 cell 204.750.1951 Dan & Pat Steppler 204.435.2021 Sale Manager:

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President, Andrea Bertholet 204-483-0319 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

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305.584.7937 • www.bylivestock.com Helge By 306.536.4261 Candace By 306.536.3374


March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Gentler handling produces better results for livestock BY RON FRIESEN How much your animals grow, reproduce and thrive is directly related to how you physically handle them on the farm. So says a training program from Australia which teaches producers kinder, gentler ways to manage farm animals and improve their productivity. The program called ProHand was developed at the University of Melbourne by Grahame Coleman, a professor at the Animal Welfare Science Centre. He spoke recently to agriculture students and staff at the University of Manitoba. The idea for ProHand began when agriculture officials noticed differences in the level of production on pig farms when there was no apparent reason for it. The farms were all close together and had similar genetics, nutrition, herd sizes and facilities. But pigs on some farms did well while those on other operations did not. Researchers concluded it came down to the way producers handled their animals and whether it frightened them. Producers weren’t aware they were doing anything wrong because it was the way they had always done things. But some methods caused the pigs to develop a fear response to their handlers. “Some of the routine methods of handling animals that have been industry practice for a long time turn out to be aversive to the animal to the extent that it affects their behaviour and production,” Coleman said in an interview with Cattle Country. “It turns out that some of the things that were taken to be normal actually had an effect on the animal that led to production consequences and the producer was unaware of it.” Some examples included pushing or prodding animals when moving them from one pen to another instead of letting them take their time. Or slapping an animal instead of just putting one hand on its back to guide it. Further examination revealed that pigs on farms where they were treated quietly and with little stress had higher rates of gain and produced more litters per sow per year, said Coleman.

He said negative emotions such as fear create high stress levels. Stress releases hormones into the system that can disrupt an animal’s metabolism, affecting its growth and reproduction. It can also affect the quality of meat. Stressing a pig before slaughter can produce pale, soft and exudative (PSE) pork which, when cooked, is dry and unappetizing. The same effect occurs in cattle, too. According to the Beef Cattle Research Council, stressing cattle before slaughter, which includes poor handling, can produce dark cutting beef

that is purplish black rather than bright red. The meat looks unappealing and is not sold at retail stores. As a result, dark cutters are severely discounted at packing plants. “The key outcome of all this is that stock people and animal caregivers need to learn what behaviours are ok and what are not,” Coleman said. He stressed ProHand does not tell producers they are handling their animals the wrong way. It just gives them research to show there are other ways of handling livestock that produce better results in growth, reproduction and welfare.

Coleman described the program as “a cognitive behavioural training program” that targets producers’ behaviour with animals and helps them go about things differently. Doing so requires a change in mindset to alter the belief systems producers have about what they do, he said. Coleman said producers react very positively to the program when they see that handling animals more slowly and quietly produces financial results. According to a program brochure, ProHand can increase pig growth rates and dairy cow milk

www.mbbeef.ca

yields by five per cent without any extra capital investment. The program goes hand in hand with work done by animal behavioural scientist Temple Grandin, who designs abattoir facilities in such a way as to minimize stress among animals being led to slaughter. ProHand is delivered on-line with facilitated discussion during or after the course. It takes about 90 minutes to complete, can be done at a producer’s own pace and does not require any special computer skills. Although ProHand so far focuses mainly on pigs, dairy cows and poultry,

Coleman said the principles are the same for beef cattle. He said cattle coming from a farm to a feedlot are suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar environment and more people than they are used to. This means they should be handled carefully to limit extreme stress reactions. “If they are highly fearful of people, that’s going to have an effect both on their behaviour and also meat quality.” Currently, ProHand is not used in Canada. However, Coleman did meet with Manitoba Pork Council officials during his visit to Winnipeg.


10 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Social licence remains critical BY ANGELA LOVELL Social licence equals trust was the simple equation that came through loud and clear in a panel discussion about social licence with agricultural industry experts during the Manitoba Beef producers (MBP) 38th Annual General Meeting in Brandon on Feb. 2. Manitoba Egg Producers (MEP) has been actively building trust with consumers for well over a decade with a powerful campaign that simply said “We’re egg farmers. We love what we do.” “It’s simple and innocuous. It doesn’t make any promises. It doesn’t say anything about the animals. It doesn’t say anything about the eggs. It just simply says, we love what we do,” said panelist, Brenda Bazylewski, MEP Director of Communications & Public Relations. “We put farmers on billboards. We did radio ads with farmer voices. We integrated farmers into our education and nutrition programs, into every

piece of advertising we could do. We integrated pictures of farm families so we could familiarize their faces as ordinary people with a story to tell. These were the faces behind egg production in Manitoba, and we created familiarity so that there would be a greater emotional connection with the general public.” In follow-up consumer research, MEP discovered the public not only remembered the slogan, but the words inspired greater trust in the people producing the eggs they buy. “When we asked consumers, what do you think that slogan means, they said it means, if farmers love what they do then surely they care about their animals and about raising quality food. Who knew that it would have an implied promise?” said Bazylewski. To maintain that consumer trust, however, MEP had to make some changes over the years to keep onside with changing consumer perceptions and demands in terms of

animal welfare, including encouraging producers to switch to alternate housing systems such as enriched cages, free run, or free range. “We make those deposits in the bank of goodwill by building trust because we never know when we have to make withdrawals, and in our industry we’ve had to make withdrawals a couple of times,” said Bazylewski. “We’ve learned that we need to be open and transparent and demonstrate that we’re moving forward. It’s not just about ad campaigns and pretty pictures, there needs to be substance. The public does not want to feel guilty about what they eat. They don’t even want to know the details, they just simply want to feed their family, and be reassured that you’re doing the right thing. The ultimate goal for you as farmers is freedom to operate. You don’t want interference from government or special interest groups. You want to be in the driver’s seat and make

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your own decisions for your own organization. And that is the ultimate goal of achieving social license.” VBP Enhances Trust in Canadian Beef Panelist, Terry Grajczyk, Technical Manager of the Verified Beef Production program (VBP) said VBP is a good example of a program that enhances confidence and trust in Canadian Beef. “What VBP does for our industry is it defines expected outcomes. It’s proactive, where we demonstrate positive practices and the good things that producers, for the most part, already do and help them get credit for that,” she said. “It helps differentiate Canadian beef in the international marketplace, and provides a tool to address some of the issues such as antibiotic use, animal care, stewardship of the land, and preserving the environment. It’s a positive demonstration of what beef producers are doing and gives authenticity because a third party is looking at their operations.” VBP is a sciencebased program built by producers for producers that encourages industry-sanctioned practices drawn from existing programs, such as the Beef

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Code of Practice, on-farm food safety protocols, national biosecurity standards and environmental farm plans, and will also meet the future verification requirements for Verified Sustainable Beef. VBP works with multiple industry stakeholders, and is helping retailers and food service companies answer some of the questions their customers are asking. “We have production as-

surances and people are starting to ask about what we can provide them on their labels. VBP helps show what we do and we need these partners to help tell our story,” says Grajczyk. “As retailers in food service, they want us to help tell the story as well because they don’t know intimately what we do. I think trust is one conversation at a time. If you’re doing things right, you’ve got the genetics,


March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

to beef industry’s future the research, and the traceability programs, VBP serves as the umbrella to help validate what you’re doing.” Ultimately, everyone in the entire value chain needs to be involved in personalizing agriculture to build trust and social licence, starting with producers. “You are great people, but the average person never gets to meet you, so we have to use tools to expand that,”

Russel Hurst

said Grajczyk. “We’ve got a Canadian beef brand that is superb around the world and we have solid information that we can build into a credible story. We need to involve the people that use our product, and that want our product, and those that might not know they want our product yet. We are proud of what we do and just need to have a bit of proof to show what we’re doing and if we need to change things, we have to have the science to show us which way to go.” Don’t Avoid Difficult Conversations Russel Hurst, Vice-President of Sustainability and Stewardship for CropLife Canada knows a thing or two about having difficult conversations. As the national trade association that represents pesticide and plant biotech manufacturers and distributors in Canada, he’s learned that the perception among consumers is big equals evil and technology is scary. “How do we tackle that consistently in a manner that is strategic and understood?” said Hurst, the third social licence panelist at the MBP AGM. “We need to address perceptions and opinions, and identify commonalities and differences and those aren’t always easy conversations. But we need to be willing to get out there and have those types of dialogues with key stakeholders. Our goal is having an authentic, long term, realistic dialogue, and agreeing that everybody doesn’t totally agree on every particular issue. My goal with a lot of those meetings is an agreement to come back and talk again. That’s what we need.” Social licence is slowly built and can erode in moments, and Hurst shared several principles that he’s learned during his seven years with CropLife Canada, that are essential to maintaining and building on it. Firstly, said Hurst, look at what other sectors are doing and learn from them. “Agriculture isn’t the first one going through this,” he said. “Fisheries have gone through it already and the mining industry has gone through this. So look at what other people are doing, learn from them, and move forward.” Secondly, understand your targets. “You really need to understand who is going to impact the industry,” said Hurst. “To engage with consumers you need to understand that consumers aren’t all the same. Consumers are a whole cohort of subgroups, and some of them are actionable and some of them aren’t, depending on the particular issue. You really need to understand within that value chain, who you want to engage with and what are the reasons you want to.” Collaboration is key. “If you’re going alone, you’re going to be out in the wilderness. You need to have a

lot people and a lot of groups working together for a common message because if you don’t have a common message, it will get misread and misinterpreted,” said Hurst. “We need to keep the dialogue pre-competitive. Collectively, say we’re all here for the betterment of the industry, that’s the safe space. Fragmentation kills you.” Hurst encouraged producers and others in the agricultural industry to work with amplifiers. “These are organizations that can help deliver your message because that’s what they do best,” said Hurst. “Amplifiers are organizations like Ag in the Classroom, Farm and Food Care, and Ag More Than Ever. If we can give those organizations the type of information that we can generate, and they can deliver that through their communication pathways, that’s an absolute win for us.”

“Agriculture isn’t the first one going through this,” he said. “Fisheries have gone through it already and the mining industry has gone through this. So look at what other people are doing, learn from them, and move forward.” RUSSEL HURST Be prepared to speak another language, advised Hurst. “Understand the key themes that the stakeholders want to engage upon, and which language they’re speaking, and communicate with them in a language that they understand,” he said. “A lot of people don’t understand techno babble. They’ll tune you out, so you need to put it in a way that they comprehend.” Finally, keep the story personal. “Invite people out to your farms and tell what you’re doing and you do things for a reason. Explain that you continuously evolve over the course of time to make your operation even better, whether it’s better from an environmental, economic or social standpoint,” says Hurst. “Make it a practical learning experience and share the commonalities.”

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Important topics on tap this spring It has been a busy time in the MBP office over the last few weeks. I wish to thank everyone who attended the AGM in Brandon, and hope you found it both interesting and educational. I was pleased with the turnout and the interest that participants showed in our speakers. I would like to thank all our speakers who obviously put a lot of time and thought into their presentations – I think they all contributed to what was a very interesting program. I really believe that as producers, we need to see ourselves as the front-end of a value chain that delivers high quality, sustainable and safe food to consumers, and that understanding what these consumers want, and why they make the choices they make will be critical to the success of our sector. Finally I wish to publically thank the MBP staff for all the hard work they put into making sure everything ran smoothly! Beyond the AGM, two issues have dominated the efforts of myself and staff in the office over the last few weeks – namely carbon pricing and humane animal transportation regulations. I’d like to touch on these two important issues. If you were at the AGM you would have seen and participated in the debate surrounding a number of resolutions focused on carbon pricing. The province has yet to announce its “made in Manitoba” carbon pricing strategy,

in the Health of and MBP is lookAnimals Regulaing to ensure our BRIAN LEMON views are part of the General Manager’s tions. These were published in Canprovince’s thinkColumn ada Gazette I, and ing when they do. interested parties At MBP we have a policy that is informed by discussions were invited to provide comments. In at the fall district meetings and by de- terms of process, Canada Gazette I, is bate at the AGM. We believe that the the first formal public step required to cattle industry in Manitoba has a great amend federal regulations. After this, story to tell with regards to carbon, and and receiving and considering all the we believe that if the province is going comments, the CFIA can amend their to achieve its targets, that supporting proposed regulations and then publish and growing the cattle sector needs to them again in Canada Gazette II. Once published in Canada Gazette II the regbe part of their plans. Furthermore, producers are price ulations should be pretty much in their takers in terms of the inputs they pur- final form and then will get passed over chase, and in terms of the sale of their to the parliamentarians and passed into animals. Thus any policies enacted by force. This was really our most important the province need recognize this and ensure that producers are protected chance to provide our comments, and from everyone passing their costs we provided a fulsome submission. In through to the farm. Provincial policies pulling together our submission, MBP also need to consider the environmen- had a number of discussions among tal contribution of our grass and for- directors, but was also able to work ages, as well as need to avoid any trade with other provincial producer associadistortions. We will be working hard in tions, as well as with the National Cattle the coming months to make sure pro- Feeder Association. We also had the vincial ministers are aware of our posi- opportunity to hear from and particition and that the interests of Manitoba pate in discussions with the Manitoba beef producers are considered in the Livestock Marketing Association as they debated their position. It was clear future provincial policy. The second issue was the proposed that the entire cattle sector was aligned changes to the Health of Animals Reg- in our concerns regarding the proposed ulations. In December the Canadian amendments. Within the proposed amendFood Inspection Agency (CFIA) published draft amendments to the hu- ments were a couple of provisions that mane transportation provisions found caused particular concern. The specific amendments causing concern were changes to the maximum time intervals for animals to stay on board conveyances, and changes to require somebody be physically present during offloading of animals. Cattle producers are all interested in providing the very best in terms of animal care to our cattle, and are committed to animals arriving in the best

possible condition. This is, after all, our livelihood. It cannot be over stated that producers want exactly the same things that the regulations are trying to achieve. We understand the delicate nature of this debate and that there is a lot of misinformation that is driving public perceptions. We also understand how the average public may not completely appreciate the realities of transporting cattle across Canada nor producers’ interest in ensuring the welfare of the animals, and that it may seem that shorter travel periods with longer and more frequent offloads/rest periods may seem to be better and without risks. We would ask that the average public, as well as the CFIA, become better educated regarding the realities of cattle transportation in Canada before jumping to conclusions, or enacting new regulatory requirements. The cattle industry in Canada is a mature industry that takes its public trust very seriously and takes the welfare of its animals even more seriously. Given what we suspect will be the virtual alignment of comments received by the CFIA from the industry, we are hopeful the CFIA will look at major amendments to what was published in the Canada Gazette I, and to consider other options that might see the industry take a more active leadership role in the regulation of the health and welfare of its animals. After all, we want the same things that the CFIA is trying to achieve with regulation, and have the same interests as the CFIA and the public. In closing, with spring around the corner, a new President at the helm of MBP and another season upon us, I look forward to working with the board to ensure that your views are brought forward and your interests are considered in public policy. I wish everyone a great spring!

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a)

Contacting producers within the RMEA and conducting individual On-Farm Risk Assessments using an evaluation form;

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture

Q: I have an orphan calf that I am bottle feeding. At what age can it be weaned? A: You have to take many factors into consideration to determine when an orphan calf is ready to wean. It should not be determined by age. Instead, you need to look at the stage of rumen development, the health of the calf, but the over-riding priority to determine the dry feed intake of the calf. When a calf is weaned, it must derive all of its nutrients from its dry feed. To do this, its digestive system must be sufficiently developed. The rate of rumen development in a young calf depends on many factors, and good nutrition and management play a big role. The fermentation of grain promotes the growth of rumen papillae, which are essential for the rumen to absorb nutrients. To help the calf ’s digestive system to develop, it is important to give the calf a wellbalanced, high-quality starter feed. The sooner the starter is introduced, the sooner rumen development will begin. Ideally, starter feed should be offered to the calf when they’re one to two days old, and you should make sure they have started eating it by five days old. If the calf hasn’t started to eat it, you can encourage them by

putting a small amount in their mouth after you have bottle fed them. It is important for you to feed the calves milk on a consistent schedule and to clean out and replace the starter every day. The fresh starter and water need to be available to the calf at all times. We use daily intake of the starter as an indicator for when a calf is ready to be weaned. Generally, we suggest that when a calf has consumed two pounds of starter per day for three consecutive days, they are ready to wean. Depending on how the calf was managed and the age they started to consume starter feed, this will usually occur between five and eight weeks of age. A

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MARCH

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Good shelter and clean bedding is important to keep calves healthy. Caring for and weaning a bottle calf requires time, patience and good management, but it is essential to ensure the calf is healthy and reaches its full growth potential. Manitoba Agriculture offers free StockTalk webinars to livestock producers. To register, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8714498641314555907

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quick way to make sure your calf is eating the required amount, is to weigh two pounds of starter and mark the level on the container used to feed your calf. If your calf is not eating a sufficient amount of starter by eight weeks, there may be other factors coming into play, such as: • the quality of the starter • whether your calf had colostrum at birth • poor housing conditions • stress It is important to reduce stress on calves at weaning, particularly when the calf is being weaned this young. You need to pay close attention and only wean the calf if it is healthy and eating well. Calves should not be dehorned or castrated around the time of weaning. You also need to take the weather into consideration and avoid weaning during extreme cold weather.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

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Cow vet/blogger shares his story BY ANGELA LOVELL Dr. Cody Creelman is quite the storyteller, and he also just happens to be an Alberta veterinarian. If the two sound incongruous, they’re not. Creelman has been experimenting with telling stories

Creelman explained his passion for sharing his story to the 215 banquet attendees at this year’s Manitoba Beef Producers 38th Annual General Meeting in Brandon in February. It began after he’d graduated from veterinary school and

“There are thousands of people that watch any video or picture I put up. That was all 100 per cent word-ofmouth. CODY CREELMAN

about his daily interactions as a vet with the beef farms and feedlots who are his customers for several years. It’s culminated in a highly successful YouTube vlog (video blog) that has thousands of subscribers across Canada.

began his practice with Veterinary AgriHealth Services Ltd., a beef cattle only practice serving cow/calf producers and feedlots near Calgary. The business didn’t even have a website, so about seven years ago he per-

suaded his partners to build one, and that changed the course of Creelman’s future. “We hooked up with a Dutch guy who came out to the practice to build us a website, and after I took him out in the field with me, he saw that I had an important, rich story to tell,” said Creelman. “He saw the communication, and relationships that I had with all of the producers, and the students we were teaching, and the research we were doing, as an amazing story that we had to tell. And he got to see your guys’ story as well. He got to see the cattle industry and he absolutely fell in love with it.” More to the Story Once he’d created the website he encouraged Creelman to recognize that there was more to the story than just building a website. “He said it’s good to have

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way that I could further tell my story as a beef cattle veterinarian working with producers.” Eventually Creelman began to develop a skill set to communicate through videos, using Snapchat, a disappearing video app where a picture or video is shared and disappears once someone looks at it. Creelman began to chronologically tell his story every day via short video clips. “It’s called my story and people could go throughout the day and see what I was up to. I could talk about disease processes, different things that I saw at the feedlot, about the students, health topics, producer issues. I could share things that I was seeing on Snapchat and that amassed a huge following,” said Creelman. “There are thousands of people that watch any video

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this static website but you need the attention of people if you want to drive them to it; if you want to market your vet services and disseminate the information that you feel passionate about. If nobody’s watching what good is it?” Creelman experimented with Twitter but found it limiting. He found Instagram better suited his personality and desire to communicate more of his day-to-day life with pictures and some long-form text. “That was more me in terms of how I wanted to tell my story. It was another layer that allowed me to share a greater depth and context of what I was seeing,” he says. “The cows coming in off the pasture, the smile that the kid gives the Dad when they’re done processing, I’m so passionate about that. It allowed me to gain attention in a

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or picture I put up. That was all 100 per cent word-of-mouth. I was sharing this story and people wanted to be part of that. It’s amazing how many different people are part of that story from all walks of life.” The video blog came about as a natural progression of the video format once Creelman recognized that, for him, video was a very effective means of communication that he wanted to do more with. “I could effectively communicate through the video format a lot better because I was able to tell the story with less of a barrier between myself and whoever was watching,” he said. Video Blog Launches The day before Creelman’s 31st birthday on December 20, 2015 he posted his very first video blog. He’s now up to episode 148. Armed with a GoPro, a Sony camera, a tripod, a camera drone, multiple memory sticks and a laptop, he creates the videos sharing his day-to-day story as a beef cattle veterinarian as often as he can, sometimes daily but always at least a few times a week. It’s a huge time commitment as each video takes about four hours to edit, and Creelman burns a lot of midnight oil to do it. “From 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. most night I’m up creating these videos, and it may seem ludicrous to some, but I can defend it in terms of when I challenge somebody why aren’t they telling their story and they say they don’t have time, I don’t have time and I make time, but I’m


March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Dr. Cody Creelman of Airidrie, Alberta has become an important advocate for the beef industry. Creelman is active on social media and his vlogs on YouTube regularly have thousands of views.

passionate about it and that’s what keeps me going and drives me into doing that,” he said. There’s no doubt about Creelman’s passion for his profession and the beef industry, but there are bigger picture benefits that have come from his efforts, not least on the marketing and human resource side of his veterinary business. “Marketing is just gaining the attention of people to be able to tell them what type of veterinarian you are, what types of services your practice provides,” he said. “This has been extremely successful for my practice. When I joined the practice we got one to two new clients a year, today we get one to two new clients a week.” Creelman has also been able to promote services that he’s been trying to persuade more producers to try – such as his flagship Pre-Breeding Palpa-

tion, to help producers make breeding decisions based on which animals are most reproductively sound. “I was trying to sell this service to my clients because I truly believe in it and I would do one or two farms per year and this past year, after I started showing the first farm I did on the video, I did 15 this year. From a marketing perspective, it has been exceptional.” He’s also been able to attract human resources as a result of students and others watching his videos.

“Trying to find good veterinarians and technicians is hard,” said Creelman. “Since I started the social media thing, I have people who want to come work with me because they fully understand my story. They know what to expect. That’s incredibly powerful, and that can be recreated on a farm setting as well.” Four Million Views and Counting A by-product, but an important one, said Creelman has been advocating for agriculture in a positive way. In the last

year Creelman has had over four million views, and has received less than 10 negative comments. “One vet with a Smartphone and a GoPro just telling his story of being a beef cattle veterinarian in rural Alberta has been able to reach that kind of audience,” he said. “I had no background. I had no experience. I didn’t know how to edit a video when I started. But there are so many ways to do this. Could you imagine if even just five, or 10, or 50 of you were able to reach the kind

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to affect. But it’s the person who decides with, and votes with their pocket book who decides whether or not they’re going to purchase your product,” said Creelman. “All that we can do is make sure that we combat the misinformation that’s out there, and the best way to do that is just to tell your individual perspective and your individual story.”

of audience I’ve been able to do, and amplify that for the promotion of the industry by just telling our story? I’m not driving any sort of agenda, I’m just laying it all out there and letting society decide.” Creelman says he doesn’t like the term social licence. “It’s the market, that’s all social licence is, and yes that can affect change in terms of regulation

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18 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

MBFI phosphorus ramp project yields interesting results BY RAY BITTNER Manitoba Agriculture

Phosphorus is an important nutrient for plants and livestock. Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) Brookdale Research Farm began a project in 2016 to try to find out if you can nourish your cow’s phosphorus requirements through field fertilization of alfalfa. The alfalfa phosphorus ramp project was primarily intended to find out the optimum phosphorus fertilization rate for alfalfa yield and alfalfa plant longevity. But research lead Raymond Bittner, of Manitoba Agriculture, realized there was a relationship between plant health and proper livestock mineral nutrition. “The alfalfa plots with greater broadcast applied phosphorus fertilizer also provide the most abundant phosphorus for cow calf and feedlot diets,” said

Bittner. Most farms in Manitoba that grow alfalfa for forage require phosphorus supplementation to the natural fertility in the soil. With alfalfa, phosphorus develops stronger, more developed root systems, and taller, more vigorous top growth. As is the case with the supplementation of phosphorus, alfalfa gains dominance over grass species, basically by towering over top of the grasses with stems, branches and leaves, and undermines the soil fertility and moisture from below via a more extensive root system. Many grasses, including short, low yielding species, can tolerate lower phosphorus environments than alfalfa. However, their productivity is much less than properly fertilized alfalfa. All livestock need phosphorus in their diet, and because the phosphorous in Manitoba soils is

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often tightly bound and unavailable, the forages that are grown on the land are often deficient. In general, ruminant animals can survive on naturally occurring prairie forages, which is evident by the proliferation of bison on our landscape for centuries. But cattle on individual farms confined by fences do not have the ability to access different landscapes and types of soil because they do not roam as the bison did. Cattle that are phosphorus deficient suffer from many different illnesses, which are very costly to a commercial beef farm. “Phosphorus deficiency results in reduced growth and feed efficiency, decreased appetite, impaired reproduction, reduced milk production and weak fragile bones,” said the National Research Council - Nutrition Requirements of Beef Cattle: Update 2000.

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Phosphorus can be supplemented to cattle through mineral feeding. It is the second number on a mineral feed tag. For example, 1 to 1 minerals are produced with equal parts calcium and phosphorus, often in the 12:12 to 18:18 per cent ranges. The challenge with mineral supplementation is that some cattle binge on mineral and some avoid mineral, so without testing, you will never know if your animal’s performance is impaired by phosphorus deficiency or another problem. This is because phosphorus affects so many elements of animal health and reproduction. The relationship between soil phosphorus content and forage dietary phosphorus appears to be a natural relationship, with both the alfalfa plants and the cattle that consume the alfalfa benefiting from field application of phosphorus fertilizer.

phosphorus minimum guideline for beef cattle should feed test their alfalfa hay, and soil test their fields. Interim recommendations for healthy vigorous alfalfa plants and alfalfa forage meeting dietary requirements will likely mean improving soil test to a minimum of 14 ppm (parts per million olsen p) as a starting point. This can be accomplished with either commercial fertilizers or manure. To learn more about beef research you can use, plan on attending a field day at the MBFI farm or visit MBFI.ca. MBFI is funded in part by the Canada and Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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Merv, Joanne & Jesse Nykoliation Box 899, Lenore, MB 204-838-2107 • merv1@prairie.ca Jesse 204-851-3391 jnykoliation@yahoo.ca @nykoliation

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The three-year project at MBFI Brookdale is only in its first year, and already, the relationship is starting to show up in forage tests, as seen in the graph below. The graph shows spring 2016 application of phosphorus varying from 20 pounds to 100 lbs P205 per acre. The Brookdale MBFI site results indicate adequate dietary phosphorus with alfalfa at this particular location on the farm. However, a review of feed tests conducted by Central Testing over eight years indicated that 58 per cent of alfalfa grass samples sourced in Manitoba did not supply the guideline of 0.2 per cent dietary phosphorus. Producers who want to increase the likelihood of meeting the 0.2 per cent

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

End the food fight with picky eaters BY ADRIANA FINDLAY MBP Meat Expert

This year’s nutrition month campaign from Dietitians of Canada is about ‘Taking the fight out of food!’ This month, encouraging messages will be shared on cracking the code to food. Whether you need more information on diabetic diets, battling with overeating, filling a gap that is causing food cravings, or feeling overwhelmed by the abundant nutrition messages; Dietitian of Canada are there to help. Following a balanced lifestyle and family dinner menu can be challenging with a picky eater at home, below I’ll share some tips that might help the battle feel half as difficult. Is a family member refusing to eat dinner each night? Are grilled cheese sandwiches or chicken nuggets the only meals that dinner time ends with a clean plate? Consider a few of these tips to help the whole family eat a balanced diet. Do not force meals. Sometimes a lack of appetite can be normal, if growth and energy are at normal levels there is nothing to worry about. Routine meal and snack times can help ensure that appetites are ready to eat come dinner time. Variety is everything. Not only is variety important for children, it’s also important for adults. The composition of foods vary; creating a plate comprised of all major food groups will deliver numerous vitamins, minerals and amino acid proteins that are important for the development of a healthy body. Creating colourful meals and snacks that are fun to eat is an important part in engaging eaters and getting them excited to dig in. Most of us will eat first with our eyes our entire lives. Try to have everyone eat the same meal. Catering to picky eaters by making a different meal from the rest of the family will drive the family chef nuts and may not broaden appetites around the table. Make meal preparations fun family time. Making food fun takes away a lot of the strange feelings towards new foods your pick eaters felt unsure towards. Involve your picky

eater in the grocery shopping. Sometimes seeing foods at the grocery store may spark an interest in even choosing new foods that haven’t yet tried. Allowing your picky eater to help with the cooking. Measuring, stirring ingredients will involve them in creating dinner. Have them pick out their own set of measuring spoons and cups so they feel a sense of ownership when helping in the kitchen. Leaving fuzzy eaters at their plates until they are finished will be a punishment that will create negative associations with mealtime. Dangling the promise of dessert once dinner is finished may also enforce the reward that they will always receive something sweet after their meal. Introduce new foods slowly; it takes most people, kids and adults alike some time to become accustomed to new foods. It’s normal that our taste buds sometimes need to get used to flavours. Seasoning veggies like carrots or brussel sprouts with honey and fresh herbs such as dill or basil can often help these foods taste better. Mix in secret ingredients. This trick is something that is a benefit to children and adults. When making a special weekend breakfast of pancakes or waffles, add chia seeds,

Cowboy Cupcakes

flax seeds or wheat bran to the batter for added fiber. Cut back on junk food at home. Having fewer junk foods around will reduce temptation for other foods that are not high in healthy nutrients, vitamins and protein. Allowing treats is normal and is a great way to get everyone into the kitchen. Making cookies on Sundays can become a fun family tradition; adding natural sweeteners like dates, dried figs or raisins can help decrease added refined sugars in a cookie recipe. This is also a great

way to teach cooking basics and develop mathematics of fractions with simple measurements with kids. Usually selective eaters outgrow their tendencies to be picky. There are so many wonderful foods and cuisines to be tasted. Especially living in such a multicultural province, Manitobans are lucky to have access to many ethnic food markets, restaurants and community members. Eating bland foods forever would be such a shame;

Ingredients 1 lb (0.45 kg) Lean or Medium Ground Beef ½ cup minced onion ½ cup minced mushrooms 1 cup pasta sauce ¾ cup ricotta cheese 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil 1 tbsp minced green onion or chives Salt and pepper 24 wonton wrappers 1 cup EACH grated Parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese Directions 1. Pan-fry ground beef, onions and mushrooms thoroughly in large skillet. Drain if necessary. Add pasta sauce and heat through. 2. Meanwhile, combine ricotta with basil, green onion, salt and pepper to taste; set aside. 3. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Press a wonton wrapper firmly into the bottom of each muffin cup. Spoon in a scant 1 tsp EACH Parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta and top with 1 tbsp of the meat mixture. 4. Layer a second wonton into each cup and top each with approx. 1 tsp EACH of the cheeses. Divide meat mixture evenly among the cups (approx. 1/4 cup each). Top with additional grated Parmesan or mozzarella if desired. 5. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are brown and cupcakes are bubbling. Remove from the oven; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Use a knife to remove each cupcake from muffin tin. http://www.canadabeef.ca/recipe/cowboy-cupcakes/

also choosing toppings on a pizza with a picky eater can be a disappointing nightmare. Explore the world of food and all its tasty beauty! Courtesy of Canada Beef is their latest recipe of Cowboy Cupcakes. These mini lasa-

gnas are perfect handheld meals that kids can really get excited about. Try grating carrot or beet into the meat mixture for some added nutrients. Celebrate nutrition month with your family and have fun doing it!

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20 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

How Canada Beef promotes Canadian beef in Asia BY BILL STRAUTMAN Editor’s Note: As the Communications Specialist for the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Bill Strautman regularly heard presentations at cattle industry meetings about how packers add value to beef carcasses. By selling cuts unpopular in Canada to markets that paid premiums, they could add $200 or more to a carcass. He pitched a proposal to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to visit some of Canada’s beef customers in Asia, see how Canadian beef is marketed and consumed, then write articles for Canadian beef publications. He was subsequently awarded a media fellowship and travelled to Asia in 2016. Over the next three issues of Cattle Country we will include articles on his trip to Japan, China, Hong Kong and Brunei. Of the 2.7 billion pounds of beef Canada produces every year, Canadians consume about 55 per cent, leaving 45 per cent for export. The US and Mexico take around 75 per cent of those exports, with about 20 per cent ending up in Asian countries like China, Japan and Hong Kong. That 20 per cent has to compete with countries like Australia, the US, New Zealand, Brazil and other South American countries, all hoping to claim part of the huge Asian consumer’s food spend. So how does Canadian beef find a place in such a huge and diverse marketplace? Ron Glaser, VP Corporate Affairs with Canada Beef, says that because it’s a global market, the first objective is to focus on things that are in our control. “We look at Asia in a hub context, break it down into various countries – Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan - identify the right market at the right time at the

greatest value, then align to the right segment in that market,” says Glaser. “Canada at best is a niche player. Often we’re looking at single digit market shares. But if we segment the market to identify spaces and opportunities, then identify those markets of priority, segment those markets and align the value chain, we can be successful.” Knowing what products Canada can reliably deliver is one part of the equation. “Some cuts are coveted in markets around the world – like rib eyes, striploins or three-bone-in short rib – where Costco in Canada wants it as much as a restaurant or retailer in Japan,” says Glaser. “We don’t want to short our strategic partners or always be switching customers out. You don’t want customers to think they’re only there for when prices are high. That means they’ll buy somewhere else.” Overseas, a lot of countries are trying to get into the same markets as Canada. Glaser says we’re not going to be able to align with a retail chain that has 500 stores. We don’t have enough supply for that. So we pick our partners. “Australia and the US will do battle in Tokyo. We’re going to Okinawa and bringing a Canadian barbeque concept to the island, to the consumers. We’re plugging it into their culturally accepted ways of consuming beef,” he says. “In Asia, they’re used to eating thinner meats, smaller portions and it’s more of a socialized sharing exercise when consuming their meals. You can’t go in, drop a 20-ounce T-bone on their plates and tell them to go at it. It doesn’t work that way. You really have to get to know the markets. There’s a psychology to this as well.” Differentiate Canadian from the competition Glaser says countries like Australia, Brazil and the US go into the markets

Ron Glaser

with a huge supply and take a market share perspective. They try to be everywhere for every reason. Canada does it more strategically. “We look at market share, but also mind share. We don’t make a move unless we have strategic alignment. A lot of our competitors will blitz retail, food service and hotels. They’ll put any product anywhere, doing lots of promotions. What we’re trying to do is strategic, goto-market strategizing,” he says. “We pick specific retailers aligned with select distributors who have a dedicated partnership with a Canadian packer like Cargill or JBS. Unless we have that supply chain alignment, we don’t make a move. Otherwise the conversation becomes price-driven.” That doesn’t mean the packer won’t still sell commercially in a market. That happens every day with or without Canada Beef being there. But Canada Beef ’s sweet spot is where Canada Beef, the packer and the customer are strategically aligned with supply dedicated through the full year, so there’s a drive to the consumer, to highlight brand loy-

alty for the organization. “That’s not the packer’s game, so they like us doing it. The packer is there to produce a top quality product, the retailers are there to provide what the customers want and Canada Beef is there to tell the Canadian story, so they’ll want Canadian beef on their shelves,” he says. “As Canada Beef, we don’t own or sell the product so those commercial decisions aren’t for us to make. Our role is to be the advocate for that brand. We’re the voice to the consumer and the conduit for brand loyalty to the industry.” “If we align the supply chain, have strategic partners that are dedicated and loyal to our industry – they’re not just about making money today but they’re about sharing risk and reward with us for the long term – I believe there will be commercial opportunities that create value, not just market share but mind share. Mind share brings loyalty, which brings demand pull and grows the share of the wallet rather than simply stealing share from each other. We need to grow the pie bigger.” The first three years of Canada Beef was about evolving the Canadian Beef Advantage and building a Centre of Excellence to bring the Canadian beef brand to life. Glaser says the next three years are about anchoring the Canadian brand at home and globally. Having an identity. Then, after 2017, it’s about having an intimate, honest relationship with the various consumers. That’s the only way Canada will differentiate itself. Building a Canadian beef brand Glaser says a brand brings a value proposition to the industry. If you just go in and sell, market or promote that’s a push. Canada Beef is trying to create a pull. “Countries like the US and Australia have been leveraging the identity of their countries. That’s something Canada has missed out on in the past

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 21 – leveraging the best that Canada has to bring. Our reputation, our environment, our water, our people, our animal welfare,” says Glaser. “Our Canadian brand strategy is built on a promise. And that promise at its foundation says we have a long history where we will always do what is right. There’s pride and tradition built into this handcrafted product that you’re consuming. It’s Canada’s gift to you, its Canada’s mother nature and all the best we have in our industry – The Canadian Beef Advantage – is in this product.” The brand is built on four pillars – the producer, the product, world-class standards and sustainability. We bring not only pride and tradition, we include a rich cultural heritage of Canada in every bite and dining experience. “It always used to be technically driven. We used to go into these markets and talk about our technical prowess. We’d say we have great food safety and other technical aspects to our industry, but there’s an emotional aspect to this as well,” he says. “It’s one thing to convince an end user, distributor or importer that they should take on Canadian beef. But what about the retailers, consumers, chefs and the public at large – the people that are paying for and consuming the product? There’s an emotional tie. So our brand is evolving to become both emotional and technical.” Centre of Excellence For the past 50 years, the Canadian grain industry has supported the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) in Winnipeg. CIGI’s ability to bring customers to Canada and get them dialed in to the quality of the grain that comes off Canadian farmland, whether that’s pulses, oilseeds or cereal crops, allows CIGI to provide real value to Canadian grain farmers. If you bring in people from Morocco, you can develop durum buyers from Moroccan companies that know Canadian grain inside out and can go back to produce the best pasta in the world. That’s how you create value for the partners that you work with. So on the technical side, rather than recreate the wheel, Canada Beef borrowed a strong, successful story from CIGI and transplanted that into the beef sector. “We have the ability to bring customers of packers and exporters into the centre, for them to ideate and innovate around the use of the carcass, expose them to different grades, formulations and combinations of how products can be sliced, diced, then we can benchmark ourselves. They can challenge us,” says Glaser. “They can say you’re charging me more and I can get it cheaper somewhere else, but you’re showing me my yield is greater so my price point is actually lower. These become technical, sophisticated, commercial

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business conversations that are real because we’re putting hands on product.” “Prior to having the centre, it was a lot of talk and paper. Through the centre – technically and emotionally – we’re bringing the brand to life. We can benchmark ourselves, train and educate our customer, bring in missions.” Glaser says members of the Canadian beef industry can travel the world, be like an encyclopedia sales person and preach the beef gospel all they want. But until you bring customers here, show them Farm to Fork and let them touch, test, push, question, taste and then believe in the product – that’s the only way they’re going to go home loyal. And we control the environment. “We can also do a lot of benchmarking for ourselves, collect data, do analysis. It allows us to expose the brand, tell our stories, get out to the farm community and bring the best of the industry to the conversations with these buyers, restaurants, retailers and food service reps,” he says. “We’re doing the same thing at home – it’s not just from overseas that come in. The Loblaws, Sobeys, Tim Hortons, Cargills, JBSs and Costcos of the world are all coming to the centre to learn, train and identify new opportunities.” Glaser says another opportunity in these export markets is grade. “It doesn’t always have to be AAA or Prime. Canadian AA grade beats most countries in the world in that category. We need to get retailers and food service exposed to these other grade, so we can move the carcass value in that regard,” he says. “We don’t have enough middle meats in the AAA and Prime categories. We have to expose them to AA and have them not feel they’re trading down. They’re actually getting tremendous value, quality and flavour, even at AA.” “At the Centre, customers can challenge us and say they don’t believe us, and we can show them. Without the Centre of Excellence, we were a bunch of people talking and trying to convince people on paper that we had some value for them. The Centre takes us to

a whole new value equation commercially and intellectually.” Through the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence, staff do a lot of education and training around the technical sophistication of our beef industry and Canadian beef products. They talk about CFIA, quality, standards, protocols, interventions, animal welfare and all that goes with that. Then they layer on the Canadian story. “We wrap it with a Canadian flavour and identity, plus the DNA of our country. What that lends to, is when you go over to Asia, we’re at a point where consumers don’t just want to consume our product – they want to consume our story. That creates brand loyalty,” he says. “With our brand established, we can now go into the market and start to segment the market from a commercial perspective – retail, hotels, food service – and we can also go in from a public consumer point of view. We want to look at mothers and families – what they’re psychology and decision making is telling us.” “So how do we differentiate ourselves from the Americans and the Australians? We’re going to have a relationship with the consumer that our competitors can’t touch. It will be built on a Canadian identity and story that those consumers believe in, trust in and want to be a part of. They want to consume the story and not just the product.” He says because of the Internet and social media, people want to experience culture and the world. “Through the Canadian Beef strategy, consumers around the world can experience Canada through our brand. And that’s something the US and Australia can’t touch us on,” says Glaser. “Our brand story allows consumers to experience Canada through our food. That’s the power of the brand. It’s built into the story and it all starts with the producer.” Bill Strautman was the communication specialist for the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association for five years. He recently returned from a media fellowship to Asia sponsored by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

3rd Annual

E lit e G en et ic s B ul l Sa le Manitoba’s Largest Hereford Bull Sale

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 at 1:00 pm At the RSK Sale Barn, 5 miles north of Douglas, MB

On offer will be 40+ yearlings, 2 year old and a mature herdsire, with commercial Hereford cross females.

CCCJ Brand Name, Brooking Patriot, Brookmore Pioneer, Brookmore Upward, and Soo Line Kodiak.

Pictures, Videos and all Data Online! KEMBAR ANGUS

Colin & Arlene Kirkpatrick | Brandon, MB Ph: 204-725-3597 / 204-761-8526 email: ackirkpatrick@rfnow.com

RSK FARMS The Kopeechuks Andrew 204-573-9529 Rae & Stephanie: 204-763-4459 rskfarms@hotmail.com www.rskfarms.ca

www.mbbeef.ca

Leveldale Polled Herefords The Allisons Doug & Faye: 204-763-4343 Cody & Michelle: 204-720-2446 leveldale@hotmail.com www.leveldale.ca


22 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

More beef production may pressure prices in 2017 BY ANGELA LOVELL Beef production will be up in Canada and the United States in 2017, but marketing experts are asking where will it all go and what will consumers be willing to pay? Canfax Research Services Manager, Brenna Grant, speaking at the Manitoba Beef producers AGM in February, started with the good news. Global protein consumption will increase over the next five years, and although poultry will lead

add another 130,000 head of fed cattle to our marketings in 2017,� said Grant. “We’re looking at production, being up another five per cent.� There is still some potential for some of the increased production to be used domestically. Per capita beef consumption in Canada, although it has increased the last two years, has not kept pace with the US. Any increase in Canadian beef consumption, however, is dependent on retail prices, which dropped around eight per cent in the last half of 2016. “Retailers tend to be really sticky with their prices,� said Grant. “They don’t want to drop their prices unless they’re very confident that wholesale prices aren’t going to rebound again because they don’t want to have their prices going up and down for their consumers. Because we are at higher price levels, there has already been a significant drop in prices for that consumer. The question is will that be enough? Will it result in more per capita consumption in Canada with that lower price?� The increase in US and Canadian beef production will mean exports become ever more crucial. Canadian beef exports were up 12 per cent from January to November 2016. Exports to the US were up, and to Japan they increased significantly, replacing some Australian product, where the end to a four-year drought has encouraged Australian beef producers to begin rebuilding their herds, reducing their beef exports by 21 per cent. There should be continued opportunity to sell to Asian markets until Australian beef production recovers. Exports to China and Hong Kong dropped by 31 per cent, as China’s economy slowed and it sits on large frozen stocks. “China is a volatile market that really does reflect on our exports and therefore on international demand,� said Grant. Dollar will Affect Prices As every producer knows, cattle

ing to be pressuring protein prices in the coming year.� The US continues to expand its herd, which grew by one million cows over the last 12 months. “It was thought that herd expansion in 2016 had slowed significantly, and that lower prices have producers reducing the number of breeding heifers that they had, and that they were going to increase culling rates for cows,� said Grant. “Cow slaughter did increase in 2016 but the USDA recently released inventory reports, and beef cows were

Brenna Grant

the way, beef won’t be far behind. Beef consumption in the US is up, and is projected to climb to around 215 lbs per capita in the year ahead, the largest per capita consumption since 2007. That said, beef production in the US will continue to increase, as it did last year, so the question is where is all that beef going to go? “We are depending on the export markets to take a lot of this additional production, particularly when you look at these per capita numbers and see they’re at some of the highest levels in history,� said Grant. “That’s what’s go-

up 3.5 per cent, and breeding heifers increased one per cent. We’re going to have larger beef production in the US in 2017, 2018 and the first half of 2019.� Canadian Herd Slow to Grow Canada hasn’t yet begun to significantly expand its herd, except for Manitoba, which leads the country in terms of potential for expansion, with nine per cent more breeding heifers last year. “Though our feeder basis has been really strong the last two years, and it’s kept a lot of feeders in Canada, feeder exports were down 46 per cent in the second half of 2016, and this is potentially going to

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prices dropped by an average of 18 per cent in 2016 but rallied towards the end of the year. “From October prices rebounded by 23 per cent, and it might just be the most unexciting price rally in history,� said Grant. “That’s partly because we were all anticipating a number of price rallies in this downtrend market, and we’re wondering is this just another rally on that downtrend or was that a true bottom in the cattle cycle? When we look at the bigger picture of more protein coming on the market, producers have to be aware and prepared for potential further drops in cattle prices.� Feedlot margins have struggled over the past couple of years, which has been a major driver of lower feeder cattle prices. “Alberta and Ontario 800lb feeder prices averaged between $1.81 & $1.84 cwt in 2016 down 23 to 26 per cent. That’s a huge drop bit it’s still eight to 10 per cent above the five-year average,� said Grant. “The same is true with calf prices that were down 28 per cent and are now six to seven per cent above the five-year average. Lower calf prices were also combined with hay prices that continued to be high. We’ve seen cow/ calf margins drop to around that longterm average from the highs that we saw in 2014 and 2015.� The US dollar, as usual, will have a big effect on basis levels – which over the past two years have been the strongest in decades – and cattle prices. “The exchange rate is our greatest strength when it’s at par, and when below 70 cents it’s our greatest threat,� said Grant. “In the US, they were projecting fed prices around $1.10 with a 75 cents dollar and a $5 basis that puts us around $1.42 cwt, down about six per cent from 2016. For calves, $1.50 cwt production in the US at 75 cents is around $200 cwt. That’s down from last fall but the question is what kind of spread are we going to experience with the US, and this is where we may see a wide variation in prices.�

March 9, 2017

1:00 pm Spring Creek Ranch, Moosomin, SK

100 Red & Black Simmentals, Red & Black Angus g & SimAngus g bulls.

HERBOURNE SHORTHORNS Registered Purebred Shorthorns no graded up ancestry

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2 bulls, 1 heifer entered for the Douglas Test Station sale Sat. April 1 Top performing Shorthorns at 84 Day wts. phone Station at 204-763-4696 website: www.manitobabulltest.com

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For cattle that know how to grow give us a try:

Bill and Isabel Acheson

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

Beef producers weigh in on growing the herd BY ANGELA LOVELL It was during an event at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) Brookdale Research Farm in July 2016 that provincial Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler first announced his government’s objective to grow the Manitoba beef herd to its pre-BSE level of around 750,000 head. Since that announcement was made, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been working to obtain feedback about the objective from producers at its 14 district meetings, and what it will take to realize it. “At each and every district meeting, we had a conversation about what the opportunities, impediments, issues, and challenges are, and what it’s going to take to achieve this goal in a sustainable way,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon, who updated attendees at the MBP AGM in Brandon recently on some of the themes that emerged from those discussions. A recurring theme at every meeting was the need to find a way to make cattle farming more economically predictable for the long term. “We all recognize markets go up and down and there are cycles to the market. The issue is the lack of predictability, which is probably the single biggest hurdle to growing the herd,” said Lemon. Better Risk Management Tools Needed Producers also want better risk management tools. “It’s about making the risk management tools more equitable to the crop sector, because we’ve got people leaving the cattle sector and moving to the crop sector, in part because the business risk management tools are more predictable over on the crop side,” said Lemon. There also needs to be a regulatory environment that encourages growth, and improved access and management of Crown lands, say many producers. “These pastures and lands are essential to maintain economic viability,” said Lemon, who added there is also a recognition that too many pastures and forage acres are being lost to crops, highlighting the need to restore cattle pro-

Brian Lemon

duction acres at economically feasible prices. Water management is another issue on the minds of most producers given the wet conditions of the past few years. “We’ve all had our struggles with the excessive moisture cycle that we find ourselves in, and are preparing that this spring, water management is probably going to

be front and centre again,” said Lemon. “We need to have better water management practices and better enforcement of the water drainage policies.” If cattle numbers increase there must be stable and accessible markets for them. “There needs to be a robust beef value chain and the ability to access markets,” said Lemon. “It’s

about making sure that whatever we do to grow the herd is part of a broader strategy to also sell the herd.” In addition to these key themes, producers also brought up issues such as labour shortages, and the problem of demographics, that isn’t just about the age of producers, but also the

stage that many of them are at in their careers. “Many times producers at the various district meetings have said, I’ve been doing this for 40 years, I’m tired. I’m not in a place where I want to double the size of my herd,” said Lemon. Encouraging Young Producers Part of the solution is to encourage new, younger entrants into the beef industry. “There was a recognition, if we’re going to do this, not only do the existing farmers need to understand how to grow, and be willing to actually grow their individual herds, but we also need more producers,” said Lemon. “It’s critical that young producers can come back to the farm and have a reasonable chance of making a go of things. As well, there’s a need for succession programs to help new entrants.” In terms of research, there are many things that producers need to help make them viable and sustainable, including new forage varieties, as well as continued technological advances to make production easier and more efficient. Lemon noted that MBFI will be a key partner in research, extension ser-

vices and knowledge transfer. Finally, what do producers want in terms of government response? “Commonly desired resources and programs included loan programs, including low interest loans and rebates on interest payments,” said Lemon. “We need strategies to address labour shortages, effective business risk management programs, investment in research, and strategies to manage water and wildlife.” MBP sent a letter outlining the feedback from MBP’s district meetings to Minister Eichler in late January (see full text of the letter on page 24). The next step is to continue to engage with the minister and his colleagues to produce a collaborative strategy. “It’s our belief that you in this room, and the broader industry, need a strategy, and a plan to move forward,” said Lemon. “We are committed to working with the government to develop and design various programs and policies to help address the challenges that we’ve identified, and try to capture on the considerable opportunities that we have in growing the beef industry here in the province.”

Verified Beef Production Plus Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening using two formats ͻ KŶĞ ĨŽƌ ĞdžŝƐƟŶŐ ƌĞŐŝƐƚĞƌĞĚ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ ǁŚŽ ŚĂǀĞ ďĞĞŶ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ƚŚĞ s W ƉƌŽŐƌĂŵ ďĞĨŽƌĞ͘ ͻ KŶĞ ĨŽƌ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ ĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞůLJ ŶĞǁ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ƉƌŽŐƌĂŵ͘ ͻ tĞďŝŶĂƌƐ ƚĂŬĞ ƉůĂĐĞ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ĞǀĞŶŝŶŐƐ ƐŽ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ ĂƌĞŶ͛ƚ ƚĂŬĞŶ ĂǁĂLJ ĨƌŽŵ ƚŚĞŝƌ ĚĂŝůLJ ĐŚŽƌĞƐ͘ ͻ dŚĞ ŝŶƚĞƌĂĐƟǀĞ ǁĞďŝŶĂƌƐ ĂƌĞ ĚĞůŝǀĞƌĞĚ ƵƐŝŶŐ ǁĞď ďĂƐĞĚ ǀŝĚĞŽ ĐŽŶĨĞƌĞŶĐŝŶŐ ƐŽŌǁĂƌĞ͘ WĂƌƟĐŝƉĂŶƚƐ ĐĂŶ ŝŶƚĞƌĂĐƚ ĚƵƌŝŶŐ ƚŚĞ ƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĂƟŽŶƐ͕ ŚĞĂƌ ƚŚĞ ƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĞƌƐ͕ ĂŶĚ ĂƐŬ ƋƵĞƐƟŽŶƐ Žƌ ŵĂŬĞ ĐŽŵŵĞŶƚƐ ŝŶ ƌĞĂů ƟŵĞ͘ ͻ ůƐŽ ĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞ ǀŝĂ ĂƉƉ ĨŽƌ ƐŵĂƌƚƉŚŽŶĞ ĂŶĚ ĂŶĚƌŽŝĚ

Webinars FOR EXISTING REGISTERED PRODUCERS – Monday͕ MarĐh ϭϯ Θ Ϯϳ at 7 p.m. Θ Wednesday͕ MarĐh ϭϱ at ϭ p.m. ͻ s W ƌĞŐŝƐƚĞƌĞĚ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ Žƌ ƚŚŽƐĞ ǁŚŽ ŚĂǀĞ ĂƚƚĞŶĚĞĚ Ă s W ǁŽƌŬƐŚŽƉ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ƉĂƐƚ ĐĂŶ ƐŝŐŶ ƵƉ ĨŽƌ ƚŚĞ s Wн ĂĚĚĞĚ ŵŽĚƵůĞ ǁĞďŝŶĂƌ͘ ͻ s Wн ĞŶŚĂŶĐĞĚ ŵŽĚƵůĞ ǁĞďŝŶĂƌƐ ǁŝůů ďĞ ŚĞůĚ ŽŶ Ă ďŝͲǁĞĞŬůLJ ďĂƐŝƐ

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How to register for webinars or LIVE workshop ͻ dŽ ƐŝŐŶ ƵƉ ƚŽ ĂƚƚĞŶĚ Ă ǁĞďŝŶĂƌ Žƌ ƚŚĞ >/s ǁŽƌŬƐŚŽƉ͕ ƉůĞĂƐĞ ĐŽŶƚĂĐƚ DĞůŝƐƐĂ ƚĐŚŝƐŽŶ Žƌ ĞŵĂŝů Ăƚ ǀĞƌŝĨŝĞĚďĞĞĨŵĂŶŝƚŽďĂΛŐŵĂŝů͘ĐŽŵ ͻ ůƚĞƌŶĂƚĞ ƚŝŵĞƐ ĂŶĚ ĚĂLJƐ ĐĂŶ ďĞ ĂƌƌĂŶŐĞĚ ďĂƐĞĚ ŽŶ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌ ĚĞŵĂŶĚ ͻ WƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ ǁŝƚŚ ƉŽŽƌ ŝŶƚĞƌŶĞƚ ƐĞƌǀŝĐĞ ĐĂŶ ƉĂƌƚŝĐŝƉĂƚĞ ŽŶ DĂƌĐŚ ϴ Θ ϭϱ ĨƌŽŵ Ă DĂŶŝƚŽďĂ ŐƌŝĐƵůƚƵƌĞ KĨĨŝĐĞ͘ Funded by the Canada Θ Manitoba governments through 'ƌŽǁŝŶŐ &ŽƌǁĂƌĚ Ϯ͕ a federalͲprovinĐialͲterritorial initiative.

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24 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Producer feedback around growing Editor’s note: The following is a letter sent by Manitoba Beef Producers to Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler Beef producers weigh in on growing the herd. The letter summarizes the results of discussions MBP had with members regarding the minister’s desire to see the provincial beef herd grow to pre-BSE numbers. Dear Minister Eichler: Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased to provide additional feedback to you and your staff about the provincial government’s ambitious goal to grow the provincial cattle herd to its pre-BSE numbers and the strategies and policies that will be required to help achieve this. Since your exciting July announcement and our meeting of September 22, MBP has been engaging with producers and other value chain members about this important objective. This included fulsome discussions with producers at our 14 fall district meetings. At these meetings producers were also asked to complete a short survey to identify barriers with respect to growing

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the herd and the types of resources and programs they would require to expand their herds. Some common concerns and themes have emerged from these discussions. Manitoba’s cattle industry has survived through considerable challenges, including BSE, repeated natural disasters such as flooding and excess moisture conditions, trade challenges and inadequate returns from the marketplace. Understandably, factors like these have affected confidence in the beef industry. Some producers have left the industry outright. Growing the Manitoba herd will require more producers, producers raising larger herds, and, more acres in pasture, forage and cattle production. We heard this loud and clear from our members as we travelled through the districts. Resources and energy will need to be committed by government and industry towards addressing the unique challenges the beef industry faces if it is to profit from future opportunities. Underpinning all of this though is that the provincial government must create the regulatory, economic and infrastructure environment that provides stability and promotes confidence in the cattle sector. Finding ways to make cattle farming more economically predictable over the long term is seen as the single biggest hurdle to future growth. Producers are not asking for protection from market price fluctuations, as they believe in allowing the market to perform, but rather are voicing frustration about external factors that download costs onto them and make cattle production more economically difficult. This long-standing concern has made it more challenging to attract new producers and/or retain existing producers. A predictably profitable sector is the only way to grow the number of producers and grow the herd, and it is recognized that there is no ready-made solution to this. This said, by addressing some of the core challenges facing Manitoba’s cattle sector it should be possible to instill more producer confidence and the potential growth that would follow from this. The following is a sampling of some of the concerns MBP heard from producers when we asked what they believe it will take to realize the government’s goal of growing the Manitoba beef herd to pre-BSE numbers. 1. Provide better business risk management (BRM) tools for the cattle sector. Concerns have been repeatedly raised by producers about the responsiveness of safety net programs during disasters and recovery periods, as well as the ability of these programs to properly value and manage

the unique risks of cattle production. Further, over the past several years an imbalance between the types and comprehensiveness of BRM tools available to the cropping sector has caused a distortion in Canadian agriculture by incenting producers to switch to cropping and away from cattle production. A principle of business risk management is to not cause market distortions, but over time this is exactly what has happened. A better balance is needed to provide the same level of risk management to cattle production. Producers need BRM programs that are responsive, predictable and bankable. 2. Provide a regulatory environment to encourage growth. Producers’ operations are affected by a wide array of federal and provincial regulatory burdens ranging from transportation regulations, to manure and water management requirements, food safety, building codes, labour standards and more. Producers also identified frustrations with the delivery of programs under Growing Forward that could potentially help relieve some of these burdens or enhance their skills sets. Concerns cited include the timeliness of approvals, allocation of funding year-over-year, and overly-complicated application processes and rules. 3. Improved access to and management of Crown lands and community pastures. The ability to utilize these resources is seen as absolutely critical to any strategy to grow the herd. A number of concerns related to these lands were mentioned, including issues around informed access, wildlife management (particularly predation), stocking rates and rental agreements. The ability of new entrants to access agricultural Crown lands was also raised as both a concern and an opportunity. Overall the oversight of the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures was seen as a positive, but there were some concerns related to costs, management and capital improvement requirements, and the longer-term provincial commitment. 4. Opportunities to restore acres to cattle production and to provide it at economically feasible prices. Across the province producers repeatedly cited the inability to access pasture and forage land at affordable prices as a key factor limiting the growth of their operations. Manitoba’s cattle producers are the single best solution to enhancing the environment, keeping the land productive and maintaining vibrant rural communities. In many cases, these objectives are completely aligned. Cattle producers play a major role in protecting the province’s watersheds, native

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March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 25

Manitoba’s beef herd grasslands and habitat for species at risk, factors invaluable as the provincial government develops its made-in-Manitoba climate change policies. Consideration should be given under carbon policies to recognize properly the ecosystem services that cattle producers provide. With the proper recognition of the value of pasture, natural grasslands and forage production, pressures from annual cropping which are causing a loss of available acres and an escalation in the price of land can be reduced. Access to land priced appropriate to its use in cattle production is essential to any efforts to grow the herd. 5. The need for improved water management to help restore producer confidence. Much of the province’s cattle production is situated on lands not ideally suited for annual crop production and in areas vulnerable to the effects of flooding and excess moisture conditions. Important to consider is the type and level of damage done to these lands during natural or artificial flooding. Restoration of pasture, grass and forage stands takes much longer than cultivated annual cropping land, thus the costs are significantly higher to cattle producers. Producers need assurance that governments are making investments in needed infrastructure that will help build resiliency in times of floods and droughts. Compensation for artificial flooding must be fair and timely. Improved enforcement of drainage policies is required to reduce risk. Maintenance of existing drains was also mentioned as a significant problem keeping producers from using their lands effectively. And, producers want assurances that governments (provincial, federal and state) are working collaboratively to address water-related challenges that have the potential to affect multiple jurisdictions.

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6. Improved wildlife management. Producers repeatedly cited concerns related to negative interactions between wildlife and their operations. These included challenges such as: problem predators preying on cattle and calves; flooding and associated damage caused by beavers; crop damage caused by waterfowl, birds and other species; and, the threat of the transfer of diseases such as bovine tuberculosis from wildlife to livestock. Producers see value in strong wildlife management programs, including population counts and disease surveillance. 7. The importance of a robust beef value chain and the ability to access markets. Producers understand that Manitoba’s largely cow-calf operations are just one piece of the broader value chain, and recognize that if the herd is to grow, the rest of the value chain must also be viable. Producers were adamant that future growth will require strategies to involve the rest of the value chain, including feeders, processors, marketers and others. They also need confidence that governments will continue to actively pursue market access for Manitoba’s high quality cattle and beef products. These are just a few of the commonly-cited factors producers said are affecting their ability to grow their herds. Some other factors they raised included: labor shortages, the producer’s age and stage of career, the absence of a succession plan (including the lack of family members to take over the operation), and, the need for new forage varieties and technological advances to make production easier and more efficient. Commonly-desired resources and programs identified by producers over the past several months include: loan programs (including low interest loans or rebates on interest paid); succession programs and programs to help new entrants; extension services/knowledge transfer; strategies to address labor shortages; effective business risk management programs; investments in research; and, strategies to better manage water, as well as wildlife, and others. In summary, Manitoba’s cattle producers are very excited to have a government partner

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that has identified such an ambitious expansion goal. Understandably, there is some hesitancy as cattle producers have experienced many years of very challenging economic and production conditions, but overall there is a strong sense of hope and excitement to see the sector grow. In terms of next steps, MBP looks forward to engaging with you and your staff to collaborate in developing a comprehensive strategy to guide our collective efforts to achieve the goal. Producers are looking forward to being able to read and refer to a strategy document that focuses on the broader objectives and outlines the path forward, including the programs and initiatives that will be delivered to realize the goal. MBP is committed to working with the government and its officials to develop and design the various programs and policies that will address the challenges outlined above and capture the considerable opportunities that go with having a robust Manitoba cattle and beef industry. In closing, thank you very much for having announced your faith in our industry and for publicly setting this exciting goal for your government and our industry. We are very excited to have a government that is so supportive of our producers. We look forward to having you at our 38th Annual General Meeting in Brandon next week where the topic of growing the herd will again be discussed with our members. Sincerely, Heinz Reimer President Manitoba Beef Producers Cc: Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, Deputy Minister of Agriculture

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26 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2017

Outcome of Resolutions Debated at 38th MBP AGM A total of 19 resolutions were debated at MBP’s 38th Annual General Meeting in Brandon on February 2. Of these, 16 were carried and three were defeated by the membership. The resolutions were reviewed by MBP’s Resolutions Committee, deemed to be in order and then categorized for debate at the AGM. This included resolutions arising from the fall 2016 district meetings, as well as three late resolutions arising after those meetings. In instances where resolutions were identical or very similar in content and intent, they were combined for debate. The following is a list of the resolutions (categorized by theme), the names of the individuals who moved and seconded them at the AGM and the outcome of each vote. TABLED RESOLUTION FROM 37TH AGM The following tabled resolution from the 37th MBP AGM was lifted from the table for debate at the 38th AGM and subsequently defeated. A. 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: Matt Jackson Outcome: DEFEATED ENVIRONMENT/ PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT B. 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

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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 Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to implement, 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. Be it further resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers encourage the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Roundtable on 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 the land they manage, along with any environmentally sound practices that would retain additional water resources on the land they manage. District 7 Mover: Larry Wegner Seconder: Cam Hamilton Outcome: CARRIED NOTE: It was not necessary to debate Resolution C below (which arose in districts 5, 6 and 9) as the content of it was already incorporated in Resolution B. C. 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 seques-

tration 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. Not debated D. 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 lobby governments to compensate cattle producers for the amount of carbon sequestered. District 8 Mover: Tom Teichroeb Seconder: Larry Wegner Outcome: CARRIED E. 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 5 Mover: Signe De’Athe Seconder: Ramona Blyth Outcome: CARRIED F. 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 primary producers are absolute price-takers both in terms of purchasing inputs and selling production and are unable to pass on any incremental costs, and Whereas any steps to reduce CO2 emissions ahead of our trading

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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 step with steps taken in the United States. District 10 Mover: Betty Green Seconder: Ken McKay Outcome: CARRIED PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Explanatory note: Two districts (10 and 12) adopted nearly identical resolutions re: maintenance of drains. The areas highlighted below reflect the unique content arising from District 12. G. 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. Combined districts 10 and 12 resolution Mover: Bill Murray Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED H. 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. District 13 Mover: Larry Clifford Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED I. 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 11 Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Robert Metner Outcome: CARRIED J. Whereas night hunting is dangerous to people, wildlife, livestock and property. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba government to outlaw night hunting. District 8 Mover: Don Guilford Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED K. 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 10 Mover: Ken McKay Seconder: Betty Green Outcome: CARRIED L. Whereas currently Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s forage program focuses on alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures and doesn’t recognize other legume-grass forage


March 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 27 mixtures. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to expand the forage program to include coverage for legume-grasses. District 14 Mover: Dane Guignion Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED M. 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. District 13 Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED N. Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has announced his goal of increasing the provincial cat-

tle 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. District 13 Mover: Mary Paziuk Seconder: Ramona Blyth Outcome: CARRIED O. 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 one-time capital gains exemption. District 6 Mover: Brett McRae Seconder: Matt Jackson Outcome: DEFEATED P. Whereas the cur-

rent 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 education system be funded by residential property and personal and corporate income and be removed on farmland and farm production buildings. District 1 Mover: Bill Campbell Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: CARRIED Q. 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 13 Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Larry Wegner Outcome: CARRIED

LATE RESOLUTIONS L1. Whereas two decades of budget cuts to the Manitoba Department of Conservation has reduced the number of full-time Natural Resource Officers serving to protect Manitoba wildlife to less than 90 from a previous full-time complement of 140 officers; and Whereas the planned reduction in enforcement capacity has externalized costs savings onto cattle producers who endure increases in poaching activity, trespassing, damaged crops and fences, dead livestock and increased stress and anxiety; and Whereas there appears to be a correlation between increases in poaching and the increase in incidents of break-ins and property theft; and Whereas it is in the public interest that the number of Natural Resource Officers be increased to protect Manitoba beef producers from the lawlessness associated with poaching activity. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to commit to a plan, beginning in 2017, to increase the number of Natural Resource Officers in Manitoba by 10 fulltime positions per year until such time as a full

complement of 140 officers has been achieved and maintained. Mover: Fred Tait Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: DEFEATED L2. Whereas the objective of a modern, efficient beef industry should be the production of beef carcasses that combine high quality and high yield. Be it resolved that the Canadian beef industry leadership adopt and hasten the full deployment of the E+V technology as the official determinant of the beef carcass grade and yield system and that the yield be estimated as a percentage yield on each carcass and that the industry be encouraged to more fully recognize in the pricing system the impact of differing yield percentages on the value of beef carcasses. Mover: Bill Campbell Seconder: Gord Adams Outcome: CARRIED L3: Whereas the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is in the process of developing regulatory changes that would require national mandatory livestock movement reporting across Canada; and Whereas in Manitoba cattle producers do not regularly use approved movement docu-

ments when transporting livestock; and Whereas failure to achieve a high level of compliance from industry could result in alternative reporting requirements such as individual animal ID scanning which would be an additional financial burden to producers and other sectors of the cattle industry. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers Association (MBP) make it a priority to develop an educational program to make their members aware of the changes proposed by the CFIA and the new responsibilities that cattle producers and industry will be held accountable for; and, that this program educate producers on the value and importance of having a Premise Identification Number and the use of the Manitoba manifest when transporting or shipping cattle to intermediate and/or co-mingling sites; and Be it further resolved that MBP work with other industry sectors and lobby the provincial government for funding to assist in the development and execution of the educational program. Mover: Allan Munroe Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED

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Steppler Farms 6th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Miami, MB

March 17

14th Annual Family Tradition Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., at Rolling D Charolais, Dropmore, MB

March 18

Pleasant Dawn Charolais 15th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB

March22

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

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March 25

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

March 28

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

April 1

Tri-N Charolais Farms & Guests 2nd Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Heartland Livestock, Virden

April 6

Hunter Charolais 6th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., DST, at the farm, Roblin, MB

April 8

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

April 15

Cattle Capital Bull Sale, 1:00 PM St. Rose Auction Mart

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SARPAL focuses on relationship between birds and cattle production We’ve all heard about the birds and the bees but, for at least the next three years, the focus in Southwest Manitoba will be the birds and the beef. Manitoba Beef Producers officially announced March 2 that it has received $750,000 in funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) initiative. With the funds MBP, which has contracted Manitoba Heritage Habitat Corporation to deliver the project, will provide incentives to

producers who develop beneficial management practices that protect the important bird habitats in the southwest. MBP General Manager Brian Lemon said the association is excited to be involved in the project. He added the program is unique in that it focuses on the symbiotic relationship between raising cattle on natural grasslands and species at risk. “(The project) looks for ways to keep beef cattle on the land while at the same time enhancing the habitat for species at risk including a number of grassland birds,” Lemon said during a media conference at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and

SARPAL Target Areas Map

Food Discovery Centre. “This isn’t about choosing one over the other but rather showing how modern cattle production can complement the objectives of the conservation groups to maintain these key habitats. “SARPAL project funding will allow our producers to voluntarily implement land management grazing strategies and practices that will enhance these grassland habitats allowing these important birds species their nesting areas and allowing them to flourish, all the while using the land as productive cattle land.” Dr. Christian Artuso of Bird Studies Canada and the Nature Manitoba board was also on hand for the announcement and provided background on the important link between beef production and bird conservation. Artuso noted that Manitoba sits at the northern edge of the Great Plains which extends from Canada to Mexico. Calling it a dynamic ecosystem, Artuso said grazing has been critical to the ecosystem’s maintenance for thousands of years. During much of that time bison were responsible for the grazing and although their numbers have dwindled, the need for grazing throughout the Great Plains remains

The Burrowing Owl is one of the birds located in the Southwest Manitoba region that will be part of the Species At Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) program. Photo courtesy of Christian Artuso.

strong. “That sea of grass extending from here south, there are a lot of species that evolved in that,” he said. “Many of these birds that rely on that ecosystem breed up here in the Canadian prairies and then migrate to northern Mexico and Texas. These species that rely on grass such as the Ferruginous hawk, Chestnut-collared

longspur, Sprague’s pipit and Baird Sparrow, the prairie population of our burrowing owls; all of these species are in real trouble. These species that rely on grass, and therefore grazing, they are tanking. Some of them have lost 90 per cent of their population over the past half a century and that puts them in a perilous position.”

MBP release carbon pricing policy

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Artuso said if the current rate of population decline continues it is likely that some of the bird species found in the southwest face extinction. However, as a conservationist he isn’t prepared to let that happen without a spirited effort and said the solution to preventing “the dreaded E word” is grazing. 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 CHAD SAXON

MBP Communications Coordinator


2

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

Investment in project tops $1 million mark  Page 1 “The birds need the grass to be healthy just like a cattle producers needs the grass to be healthy,” he said. “If you’re a gardener you understand that if you prune your tree, the tree comes back strong. Grazing is that same process. When you graze grass it responds positively and when you graze it well it responds very positively. And the birds respond positively as well.” The MBP project was one of four, which received a combined $1.2 million in funding, announced during the media conference. The three SARPAL projects also announced were: • The Turtle Mountain Conservation District and Manitoba Sustainable Development are partnering on a burrowing owl project that

focuses on the installation of artificial nests to research and raise awareness of burrowing owls. • The West Souris River Conservation District’s grassland birds project will center on mapping, surveying and implementing bird-specific Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) for targeted species in southwestern Manitoba, including the Ferruginous hawk, Chestnut-collared longspur, Sprague’s pipit and Baird Sparrow. • Manitoba Agriculture is working to add a species at risk component to its existing Environmental Farm Plan Program process/booklet. Winnipeg South MP Terry Duguid attended the event and brought greetings on behalf of the federal government and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Duguid said the government recognizes the importance of the cattle producers in conserving species at risk. “Many Canadian producers steward their land in ways that benefits wildlife and we support their efforts and we support their efforts to help species at risk survive and recover,” Duguid said. “We understand that partnerships with agricultural producers are an important part of the strategy to protect and recover habitat for species at risk.” SARPAL is focused entirely on commerciallyfarmed lands containing individuals, residences, or critical habitat of Species at Risk Act - listed species, and has three main elements: agreements/contracts, BMPs, and funding for producers.

SARPAL at a glance • The target area includes lands in the following areas of southwestern Manitoba • Broomhill/Poverty Plains • Pierson/Lyleton Grasslands • Coulter/Blind Souris River Valley • West Oak Lake/Belleview • Pipestone/Maple Lake Region • Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) will be contracting the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) to deliver the conservation projects with participating landowners. • This project will also be supported by grassland bird survey and monitoring work carried out by Bird Studies Canada and the Important Bird Areas (Manitoba) program. • Some of the grassland species at risk that will be targeted include: (Birds that use native range) • Sprague’s pipit • Ferruginous hawk • Chestnut-collared longspur • Loggerhead shrike • Burrowing owl • Baird’s sparrow • The focus will be on discussions with landowners to determine what changes to their grazing operations might be beneficial to their operations as well as species at risk. • Cost-shared incentives and management services are available under a 10-year agreement. Funds available: • A maximum of $10,000 per quarter section • A maximum of $50,000 per landowner • This program is offering incentives or services for: • Fencing that supports improved grazing • Watering systems designed to improve cattle distribution • Management of woody plants encroaching on grasslands • Complementary pasture establishment • Native pasture establishment • The objective will be to make beef producers more profitable while habitat conditions are also enhanced through improved grazing and land management: birds and cattle benefit when grasslands are more productive. • This project will seek flexible approaches to managing grasslands, using expertise from the conservation community along with landowners’ knowledge of their land and livestock operations. • Information on grassland health and bird use will be collected at the beginning of the project so as to be able to assess longer term impacts of management changes.

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A photo of the Baird's Sparrow. Photo courtesy of Christian Artuso.

For more information on how to get involved with SARPAL contact:

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Carol Graham Habitat Conservation Specialist, Reston office Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation 204-821-4943 cgraham@mhhc.mb.ca www.mhhc.mb.ca

@ManitobaBeef

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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 - SECRETARY

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

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

ROBERT METNER

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- PRESIDENT

STAN FOSTER

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

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

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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

Anne Rooban

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

MBP releases carbon pricing policy BY CHAD SAXON

MBP Communications Coordinator

Ensuring that producers are exempt from on-farm agricultural emissions is among the six recommendations in Manitoba Beef Producers’ carbon pricing policy. Released March 16, the policy looks to ensure the beef industry is able to remain competitive as the provincial government continues its work towards what they are calling a Made-in-Manitoba climate change policy. “Manitoba’s beef producers are key stewards the province’s natural capital, long seen as protectors of the environment, including grasslands, wetlands, and species at risk and their habitats,” said MBP President Ben E. Fox in the release. “Every effort needs to be made to protect the sustainability of Manitoba’s beef production, both economically and environmentally if the province is to realize the objectives of reducing our carbon output.” “In Manitoba cattle are raised largely on forages, pastures and grasslands. It is these pastures and grasslands that hold the key to the carbon sequestration needed as part of the solution, as well as helping to preserve valuable ecosystems and manage our water resources. A profitable beef industry in Manitoba is essential to protecting grasslands and pastures from encroachment as well as to achieving other environmental and conservation objectives.” Along with seeking the exemption for on-farm emissions, the policy also includes five other recommendations. They are: • Recognize agriculture for the GHG reduction benefits it provides; • Investments in research to further reduce GHG emissions through improved forage varieties and grazing strategies; • Invest in initiatives and tools to enhance producer resilience related to climate change and severe weather events; • Ensure trade competitiveness is maintained by aligning implementation of any additional costs and credits with those of our major trading partners; and

• Enact policies to encourage that agricultural lands remain in (or are returned to) pasture and forage production and grasslands, thereby supporting Manitoba’s cattle industry. Given the interest provincially and nationally on greenhouse gases and carbon pricing, the release of the MBP policy generated a great deal of interest from the media. Along with the press release, Fox and MBP General Manager Brian Lemon held a conference call with media from throughout Manitoba to discuss the association’s policy. During the call Fox noted that primary agricultural producers, whether they be beef producers or grain growers, are price takers and there is no way for them to pass on any extra charges that a carbon tax would bring. He added it will be very hard for beef producers to be successful if there is an extra charge tacked on to their bottom line. Asked whether or not such a request is realistic and why agricultural producers should be given special treatment, Fox said it will be very tough for the government to meet their climate change goals without a thriving beef industry in the province. “I happen to believe that agriculture is special and if government officials recognize the importance of agriculture and the success of agriculture in our province and country I feel justified in asking for an exemption on behalf of beef producers in this (policy).” Lemon added that if an exemption is not granted beef producers will face a piling on as they pay more for inputs and more as other service providers look to defer any additional costs they might incur. “We fully expect that we are going to be taxed with additional costs by those folks that provide goods and services to us that they will be paying and passing them along to us,” Lemon said. “We are kind of stuck in the middle. We will be paying the carbon on all of our inputs, we’ll be paying the carbon on our production and we’ll be stuck in the middle with no ability to pass any of those costs on.” Lemon was also asked about MBP’s call to have

initiatives and tools to enhance producer resilience related to climate change and severe weather events. He noted that MBP is increasingly seeing that its members are often the earliest and hardest hit by severe weather events and the association would like to see some of the revenue from a carbon tax invested in initiatives that would help producers deal with these events. “We’ve had lots of programs that we’ve been asking for in terms of infrastructure to help with the overland flooding and drainage issues,” he said. “Also in helping us maintain our grasslands. There are lots of studies out there right now (that show) there needs to be further investment in the value of grasslands in how it manages overland water and how water moves across the landscape.” The provincial government recently closed the public survey about their Climate and Green Plan. As of press time there was no word of when the policy was going to be released. Lemon said the MBP policy was forwarded to the province and he is hopeful the government recognizes that the beef industry has a huge role to play in the climate change discussion, citing the statistic from the Beef Cattle Research Council that Canadian grasslands sequester carbon emissions equivalent to 3.62 million cars each year. “We contend that we are actually part of the solution here,” Lemon said. “You look at the grasslands and the pastures and the sequestration … we would argue that if the province is going to meet its commitments it needs a very strong and vibrant cattle industry and it needs to grow and make available more pastures and more grasslands for the cattle industry. I think agriculture has a good story to tell but I think our cattle industry has got even a better story to tell.” To see the complete MBP carbon pricing policy please go to: http://www.mbbeef.ca/wp-content/ uploads/2017/03/2017-03-15-MBP-Carbon-PricingPolicy.pdf

MBP continuing to work for producers Spring has sprung and has brought with it all the normal challenges and opportunities. Many of you have been busy with calving and the long hours and days that come with the season. I hope it has gone well for all of you. I start by recognizing the devastating storm that hit parts of the province earlier this spring, right as many were in throes of calving and which caused dreadful losses for several of our members. The storm brought much some unwelcomed snow, but more damaging were the winds that brought the snow. In the MBP office and among the board of directors we

heard stories of producers who had lost cows, had lost calves and were really hit hard at a time where they were already running full out just trying to keep up with calving. I can only imagine how difficult it was for these producers during this storm and in its aftermath. The board discussed what could potentially be done to assist the affected producers, some of whom were actually directors at the board table for the discussions, and did look at recent history to compare the spring storm of 2011 with this recent storm to consider if circumstances were similar and if a request

BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column to the province was viable. These discussions were difficult and in the end the board’s decision was to not approach Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler to request a special ad-hoc assistance program to help the producers impacted by the storm. As an association, we have limited opportunities to make requests for program assistance of the province and we need to consider how often and under what circumstances

we make such requests of the government, and there are always broader implications to consider. It was not an easy decision, but based on the information we had at the time, and the sense of our limited likelihood of being able to secure assistance, it was deemed that it wouldn’t be in the greater interests of the provincial industry to pursue a similar program to what was offered in 2011. For those impacted directly, I recog-

nize this is difficult to hear, and I can only empathize, but please know that if we believed there was a chance that there would be a positive response, requests would have been made to support our producers. This spring has been a busy time for the staff at MBP, and we have had several opportunities to promote the good work of our cattle producers and to build awareness of the quality production practices that Manitoba cattle producers employ. We presented a number of letters and position papers to government and made several appearances in front of the media to get our story out.

Let me mention a few. Carbon. MBP published its position on the provincial government’s upcoming carbon pricing strategy. MBP’s policy outlines six key positions, central among them is that we believe Manitoba’s producers need to be allowed to remain competitive with cattle producers across Canada and in the US, and that the province needs to consider the impacts on trade with whatever option they choose to pursue. We argued our industry must be exempt and that if the province is to achieve its climate change objectives, that more cattle on more Page 4 

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Growth can take on many forms ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it’- Abraham Lincoln Spring is here in Manitoba and what a great time of year. The renewal of the growing season brings newborn calves, the promise of what’s to come with crops and hay, and of course the warmer weather! It’s hard to believe that another month has come and passed but we all know that the busier a person gets, the quicker time goes by. Mother Nature can be hard to figure out during this time of year. The storm that hit the western part of the province in early March was a bad one, and my thoughts go out to the producers that suffered losses. As a producer, I can relate to the frustrations caused by such an event. About that same time, there were massive fires burning out of control throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The losses of infrastructure, feed inventory, wildlife and cattle incurred in those states was vast. The news that these damages were accompanied by the loss of life for some of those trying to save their livelihood was devastating. Incidents such these causes one to reflect on what’s important in life and to be thankful for the blessings at hand. This past month on the business side of things I had the opportunity to address a crowd of MLAs at the legislature as part of its Agriculture Awareness Day. I would like to thank Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler for the chance to present the “beef � story to the various MLAs, staffers and media. After the presentations, I had the chance to talk with many of the

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2017

BEN FOX MBP President

MLAs one-on-one and enlighten them on what the beef industry is doing in Manitoba and the bright future that our industry holds for the betterment of both the rural and provincial economies. The provincial budget was also presented and for a change Agriculture was mentioned and given some extra support. We don’t know the details of what exactly is in the Livestock Growth Strategy, but the minister has said on several occasions that it will need to be an industry-led initiative. If it is truly up to us to lead the growth of the herd, how are we going to accomplish it? That is a question MBP asked at our district meetings and is something we continue to deliberate upon as a board to refine the best answers. We remain in steady communication with the Minister and will continue to discuss areas that we believe will help us to reach our province’s growth targets. Expansion objectives and their application may look different on varying operations but it is up to individual producers to look for ways to integrate growth within their operation. It may be of benefit to define what “grow the herd� means. One definition would be to increase the number of cattle on Manitoba pastures and feedlots. Another definition could be that we are go-

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ing to grow the herd in productive capacity and efficiencies. Let’s talk about the first definition. Obviously, an increase in numbers is possible by retaining more heifers, bringing more bred cows out of Alberta and Saskatchewan, or attracting producers from other provinces to move to here with their stock. The second definition could also be of benefit for us to consider. It will likely be cheaper and more profitable in the long run too. An increase in numbers can also be achieved by getting our pregnancy rates up and implementing a strict vaccination program thus potentially decreasing illness and death loss throughout the beef chain. We can achieve greater efficiency by enacting stringent culling practises, getting rid of the freeloaders and trouble-causing cows and by managing our pastures to get the full potential out of our grasslands. To fully evaluate our efficiencies however, it is important for us know our current costs of production. That will enable us to gauge the impact our changes can make to the operation’s bottom line. If you haven’t run your numbers recently, I would en-

courage you to do so. There are various options out there from doing it yourself using free templates available online, to seeking professional guidance from those trained in the field. The choice is yours to make, but know where you stand so that you can plan accordingly and know where you are going. Also, remember that as producers, backgrounders and feeders we should be striving to run our operations sustainably and in a manner that is both beneficial to us (i.e. profit) and have a beneficial impact on our environment, family and community. I don’t know what the future holds but I believe it is bright and hope that we can continue to create a Manitoba with an expanded, more efficient beef industry with producers who are proud of where we have been, prepared for things to come and excited and engaged about where we are headed. Good luck with your spring work. Please remember at this busy time you will be in close contact with your cattle and equipment. Take the extra precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Predation remains big concern ďƒ— Page 3 pastures and grasslands is their best solution. MBP’s policy focuses on the unique position of the cattle industry in the carbon discussions. Our position is largely in line with other provincial associations’ thinking and is largely complementary. We need to ensure that agriculture stands together in its comments to the province and to all Manitobans, but we also believe that there are unique and important benefits that the cattle industry can bring to the public policy deliberations and MBP is best placed to represent the beef industry. We continue to look for opportunities to contribute to the development of the provincial government’s climate and green action plan. Predation. Producer losses to problem predators continue to be a major focus of MBP’s time and efforts. This is an issue we continue to raise at every opportunity when speaking to ministers and to senior officials with the province. This past month the issue gained profile with the media and we had the opportunity to tell our story and to build awareness of the financial and emotional toll that predator losses exact on our producers. We had the opportunity in the media to differentiate between normal predator species and “problemâ€? predators which are the cause of our losses. We were able to explain that we expect that in many cases our cattle exist in and among

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the wildlife and that many of our producers enjoy this aspect of their operations, but that the wildlife needs to be managed better to reduce our losses. We were also able to explain the dollars and cents arguments regarding the potential savings to Manitoba of investing in efforts to mitigate and prevent the losses as opposed to paying out claims. We will continue to work as a member of the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group, along with representatives from government and industry, to deliver a pilot program addressing both the preventative measures and the compensation programs needed. Budget. As I write this, the latest provincial budget is top of mind. We were very excited to see a reference to our industry and to an enhanced Livestock Growth Strategy. As many of you know, in the summer of 2016 Minister Eichler announced the government’s goal to grow our provincial herd to pre-BSE numbers. Immediately following that announcement MBP had a couple of opportunities to speak with the Minister and his staff to learn more about his strategy and his plans to achieve the ambitious goal. We also spoke to our membership during the fall district meetings to hear directly from you about the challenges and what the industry believes would be necessary to realize the objective. We summarized our findings in a letter to the Minister (which was pub-

lished in the last issue of Cattle Country). While details of the province’s livestock growth strategy are not yet known, we look forward to sitting down with the Minister soon to hear what is planned and to ensure that our input from our members is reflected in the strategy. Overall the budget was a positive and welcomed message from government, with no new taxes and no tax increases. Of course we can always look for more from a budget - and we will, but on balance, the budget was a positive sign from this government and we look forward to learning more about what was announced In closing, there are plenty of important issues MBP is pressing forward on behalf of producers. Many times it is like pushing a string and is unfortunately often slow work. We continue to push for sound Crown lands policies, and also to support the goals of the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures in its management of the network of community pastures that are so crucial to the future of our industry. We are working to ensure the next policy framework, replacing Growing Forward 2, provides opportunities for our sector. We are working with our national associations to ensure we get value for money from those partnerships and that our views are heard nationally. I will take this opportunity to wish you all a successful spring and look forward to a successful summer.


May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

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

Forage Specialist Manitoba Agriculture tim.clarke@gov.mb.ca

Q: When seeding new forage what is the difference between hay and grazing species of plants? A: Forage species vary in their suitability to grazing and haying management. The table below illustrates the suitability of perennial tame legumes and grasses to various management practises. Although the clovers are rated Suitable or Highly Suitable for Stored Feed, they are difficult to get to cure for dry hay, but can be made into silage more easily. Also important is selecting a seed mixture that is adapted to the growing conditions in the field. The soil drainage chart shows the tolerances of the major forage species to drainage conditions. This is the most important factor to consider because it is the most difficult or expensive factor to change. Purpose of the Mixture The species in the mixture and the proportion of each species depends on the use of the field – hay only, hay-pasture, frequent close grazing, rotational grazing or exercise area. Species such as brome grass, timothy, orchard

grass, tall fescue, reed canary grass, alfalfa, and trefoil provide good hay yields as well as second growth for pasture. Shorter growing (lower yielding) species such as bluegrasses, creeping red fescue, redtop and white clover are not suitable for hay but are useful in pastures. Composition of the Mixture Legume-grass mixtures are preferred because they: • produce higher animal gains and milk production • do not require nitrogen fertilizer to yield well • perform better than grass only during hot, dry weather • can be selected for variable soil types and topography (susceptibility to flood) The legume component of the mixture improves the nutritional value of the pasture or hayfield. The feed quality of legumes is superior to that of grasses and often does not decline as rapidly with age. Bacteria living in the legume root nodules use nitrogen from the air for the legume’s growth and development. While most of the fixed nitrogen is available to the legume, some is excreted into the soil, becoming available to grasses. When the bacterium dies and root nodules decompose, additional nitrogen becomes available to the grasses. Phosphorus, potassium and sulfur levels in the soil must be maintained to ensure growth and yield. High concentrations of some legumes in a pasture, if grazed when lush and wet, can cause cattle to bloat. Birdsfoot trefoil, cicer milk vetch and sainfoin are nonbloat legumes. Information about legumes, tame and

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native grasses is available in the Forage Adaptation & Comparison Guide, or in Seed Manitoba 2017, a publication available online at seedmb.ca or at your local Manitoba Agriculture office. Yields of Various Forages The forage variety yield chart expresses the yields of various forages when grown alone, not in a mixture. Many are the check or standard variety that other varieties are compared to for yield in Seed Manitoba 2017. The yields are expressed in dry matter pounds per acre, representing the yield with all the water removed. The corn yield is an average of all the varieties tested. Many of the yields come from the Manitoba Agriculture diversification centers – PESAI at Arborg, PCDF at Roblin, WADO at Melita and MCDC at Carberry. Manitoba Agriculture offers free Stock Talk webinars to livestock producers. To register, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8714498641314555907 We want to hear from you! For the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist Linda Fox will answer a selected forage or livestock question. Send your questions to Linda.Fox@gov.mb.ca by May 5, 2017 The Stock Talk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Need an expert opinion? Email your questions to our forage and livestock team and tap into their combined 230 years of agronomy experience. At Manitoba Agriculture, we are here to help make you succeed. Contact us today.


6

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

2016-17 MBFI corn grazing results BY SHAWN CABAK

Harvest results taken on Nov.2 2016

Extended grazing through swath, corn or bale grazing allows livestock to return most of the nutrients they consume directly to the landscape where they are fed. Feed costs can be comparable to traditional winter feeding, but yardage and feed dispersion costs are lower, as are manure removal costs. Manure and feed residues contain valuable nutrients that become available to annual or perennial crops on fields that may not otherwise be fertilized. This improves crop productivity and quality and can extend the grazing season, thereby reducing overall feeding costs. At the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives farm north of Brandon, cattle utilized stockpiled swath, corn and bale grazing this winter. Growing hybrid corn can produce a significant volume of high energy feed that can be used for winter grazing. By grazing corn, the harvesting cost can be eliminated and the corn can be fed using electric fencing, at a minimal cost. Using electric fencing to control access improves utilization and decreases the risk of grain overload. Some of the concerns producers have with grazing standing corn is the level of residue or waste left behind and the risk of grain overload. Background The five MBFI corn varieties grown at the Brookdale farm for extended grazing were harvested on Nov.2, 2016. All five varieties grew very well, but suffered some hail damage in July and had some visible blackbird and mold damage by fall. The varieties were planted on a 30 inch row spacing on May 19 with a corn planter 2 to 2.5 inches deep. The fertilizer added was 120 lb N and 23 lb P per acre actual in the spring. The fall 2015 soil test measured 30 pounds per acre of nitrogen and 108 pounds of sulphur to two feet, 13 ppm phosphorous and 280 ppm potassium at zero to six inches. The plant population ranged from 36,000-38,000 plants per acre on June 17. The cow grazing days per acre calculation is based off of a 1,300 lb cow consuming 2.5 per cent of its body weight in dry matter and includes 20 per cent waste and residue. Results Fifty-three cows, 50 bred heifers and 51 calves grazed the corn from Nov.14 until Jan. 4, for a total of 52 days. The cattle were supplemented with15.6 lbs per head per day of hay, greenfeed and haylage, along with salt and mineral. A 2:1 mineral that is two parts calcium to one part phosphorous is required, since corn (annual

Sample Description Pioneer 39D95 Average Pride A4705 Average Pickseed 2210 VT2P Average Dow Average Brett Young Yukon Average

Manitoba Agriculture

CHU

Plant Pop

2175

37 K

7.6

78.3

2225 38 K

7.2

76.7

CP

TDN%

DM%

Wet Yield DM Yield tonne/acre tonne/acre 54.9 11.22 6.16 47.2 14.08 6.65

2175

36.7 K

7.9

77.4

55.7

11.74

6.54

2425

35 K

7.4

73.2

44.6

11.05

38 K

7.0

crop) has lower calcium levels and the fact cattle require a ratio of 2:1 calcium to phosphorous in the diet. The cattle grazed each paddock ranging from one to four days, with an average of two to three days. Paddocks were 0.17 to 1.4 acres in size, averaging three quarters of an acre. A few cows suffered some lameness issues due to grain overload, but later recovered. Hay was being fed regularly to help minimize grain overload, and as a result, more hay was fed during the corn grazing period. Across the five varieties, the protein ranged from 6.4 to 8.7 per cent, the TDN ranged from 66to 81 per cent, and dry matter was 41.7 to 62.4 per cent. The protein, TDN and dry matter averaged 7.4 per cent, 75.9 per cent and 49.4 per cent respectively. The average dry matter yield of 6.1 tonne per acre resulted in 342 cow grazing days per acre. The bred heifers had the highest average daily gain on the corn grazing at 0.87 lbs per head per day. Using Manitoba Agriculture’s silage, corn cost of production of $308 per acre gives us a corn grazing cost of $0.85 per day for a 1300 lb cow, for feed only. A supplemented feed cost of $0.53 per cow per day brings the total feed cost to $1.38. Including tractor use at $0.49 and labour of $0.15, this brings the total cost to $2.02 per cow per day. The labour cost was calculated at $20 per hour and tractor use at $70 per hour, which includes labour. For each fence move, two hours of labour was allocated, which covers setting up the fence and checking of the cattle. Along with a reasonable feed cost, other benefits of corn grazing include:

73.7

44.7

13.37

370

4.93

2150

Cow Grzg days/acre 348 376

279

5.98

338

• lower yardage cost • no manure removal cost • the nutrients stay on the land The amount of residue left behind will be measured in the spring. On farmer fields in the past the level of residue has ranged from 15 to 25 per cent, with the residue generally increasing the later the corn is grazed into the winter.

The five varieties ranged in yield from 4.9 to 6.7 tonne of dry matter/acre producing 279 to 376 cow grazing days per acre.

Thank you to our corn sponsors: Pickseed, Brett-Young, Dow, Pride and Dupont/Pioneer.

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The corn growth was affected by late/poor weed control along the shelterbelt.

FCC Relationship Management Associate

Cattle being supplemented on corn stover to improve utilization and decrease grain overload risk. Residue remaining is moderate.

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May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Spring bringing optimism to industry RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line There seems to be a lot of optimism around the auction markets these days about the cattle prices. 2017 started out better than expected and once again on the Canadian market, the cash prices are continuously outdistancing the futures markets. There is still a major reluctance to price cattle far in advance. There have been very few yearlings off the grass contracted for August and September, but those that have been, have been above the prices projected in the spring. Feedlot operators who finish cattle have enjoyed some profits, and the demand for fed cattle has been strong from the packers. Finished cattle on both sides of the border have been pulled ahead for delivery much faster than last year. This has resulted in lighter weight carcasses, pen space freeing up sooner, and feedlots left with lots of feed on hand. Cattle feeders who turn a profit and have a surplus of feed can become very aggressive buyers when procuring replacement inventory. A recent upturn in the cattle futures (mid-April) gave buyers a greater sense of security that the “market fortune tellers” of January were wrong in their predictions, and that 2017 would be better than the previous year. Those who follow the markets closely noted that the cash market has been constantly running dollars and dollars ahead of the futures. Even with the positive upward movement on the finished

and feeder cattle futures prices, the futures were still running behind cash settlements. This just reinforces the fact that the futures have become disconnected from the real market and are no longer a reliable risk management tool. In late March and early April, the cash market for fed cattle was running between 10 and 15 cents live over the futures. Cash prices topped at $292 dressed on the rail as the packers reached out for cattle. Once they established an inventory of who had market ready cattle, and found a supply, the prices quickly dropped to under $280 dressed. It was evident that prices were going to drop, as packers would not bid more than a week to 10 days out. Much of the same is happening in the feeder cattle trade. Feedlots are reluctant to forward contract feeder cattle, because there is still volatility expected in the latter part of the year. Packers were offering a minus basis on prices for finished cattle in the latter half of the year. Based on the first half of this year’s price settlements for fed cattle and the current price of feeder cattle, feedlots were looking for a basis in the plus 10 range before, they would consider forward contracting cattle for the fall. Without a really good offer from the packers for future deliveries, the feedlots are nervous about aggressively reaching out for yearlings off the grass at this time. There have been a few world events that signaled stronger demand for both Canadian and American beef products. First was the meat scandal in Brazil. When the world found out that meat inspectors were taking bribes to allow expired meat back into the system, many of the Brazilian customers closed their borders to imports from Brazil. Brazil has been a major sup-

plier of meat products to many countries around the world, and many in the beef industry thought that this might be the country’s BSE, keeping the country out of the market for an extended period of time. However when more details were made public about the scandal, it was revealed that none of the beef slaughter plants were implicated in the scandal. The majority of those plants involved in the investigation were strictly processing facilities manufacturing processed meats and sausage type products. China, the world’s largest emerging market for beef was one of the first countries to drop its ban on products from Brazil. Other countries soon followed. Even the United States talked about introducing a “bill” to ban imports from Brazil, but the “bill” was a temporary ban for 100 days. Just recently the Trump administration announced that China would lift its ban on US beef products. Under normal circumstances this would be great news and should drive prices higher. It may not be as good as it sounds. Last September there were reports that China was going to start taking American beef. Is this announcement just an extension of the September talks or a whole new trade agreement? Negotiations since last September have been slow and tedious, with very few packing plants meeting Chinese approval for certification. Australia is recovering from drought and is in the process of rebuilding its beef herd. Cattle prices are at record highs and exports have been reduced. This has opened the door for other countries such as Canada and the US to fill the void created by the shortage of Australian beef.

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With some countries also banning Brazilian products, meat traders are scrambling to find product. With the EU certification program, Australia has enjoyed access to almost every market in the world. Their absence in some of those markets will be short-lived but the short-term effect should be good for the North American cattle market. The wildfires in the south central US killed hundreds of thousands of cattle; on the outside you would think that this might create a short-term shortage of cattle. Prices are driven by supply and demand, but the speculators forgot that there were one million more cattle in the US as of January 1, than one year ago. Experts are still predicting an increase of 400 thousand more producing beef cows in the US herd in 2017. When it comes to the prices for this fall, industry is still very nervous, and the cautious approach will continue. For Canadian producers the value of the dollar and weather conditions will do as much to influence price as some of the world events. The USA is our biggest customer and if their export market is healthy, the synergies will be reflected in the Canadian prices. As in the past, Canadian cattle feeders are gamblers and are paying over the hedgeable prices for feeder cattle. I would strongly suggest that Manitoba producers seriously look at the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program for their calf crop. The insurance levels have reached an attractive level with reasonable premiums. These will give you some risk management along with peace of mind until you market your calf crop. Until next time Rick!


8

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

A little mud under the fingernails never hurt BY ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Meat Expert

The days are getting longer, the ground is thawing and the grass is becoming its vibrant, natural shade of green. Spring is here! There is a feeling of satisfaction when working the soil outdoors and producing garden fresh vegetables for your family table. Growing a garden this summer does not need to be a daunting task. It can be as much effort as you feel comfortable taking on. Gardening is a relaxing and great physical activity that can reinforce strong work ethic at any age. Gardening is a life skill that truly brings a great feeling of satisfaction when you are able to grow what you eat! Planting a home garden can be done with any amount of space. Depending on your location, space available or even amount of commitment you want to dedicate to growing your own food. Small yards, patios or balconies can take advantage of pot planting, small garden boxes or using any decorative

container you choose. For gardeners with more space, a garden plot or raised bed boxes work well, allowing you to walk in between boxes. This makes getting close to plants during pruning and harvest easier. In Manitoba we are in a Zone 2B to 3. This is a scale designed that measure’s a plant’s hardiness zone, ensuring plants will survive our climate. Most seed packets and starter plants will have the hardiness zone clearly indicated. Be sure to verify you are choosing the right seeds if ordering online or purchasing plants out of province. In Winnipeg the average spring frost date is May 25. That is typically the last risk of frost of the season. Now is the best time to start indoor seed trays, peat moss pots, trays and labels can be picked up at a number of places from gardening centers to dollar stores. You can also recycle milk containers or any plastic container; be sure to poke a couple of holes out for proper drainage. Warmer weather crops that do well indoors to start are: toma-

Warm Orange Beef Salad 1 lb (500 g) Beef Top Sirloin Grilling Steak, sliced into thin strips, OR stir fry beef strips Season with salt and pepper, to taste 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil 1/2 cup (125 mL) EACH Julienned Peak of the Market carrot, thinly sliced sweet red or yellow pepper and red onion 1 cup (250 mL) sliced mushrooms 1 orange, peel and segment, (Option: sweet seasonal citrus fruit) Sauce: 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind 1/4 cup (50 mL) orange juice 2 Tbsp (30 mL) EACH Sodium reduced soy sauce and rice vinegar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) EACH minced ginger root and liquid honey 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH sesame oil and sweet chili sauce Directions 1. Whisk together orange rind, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger root, honey, cornstarch, garlic, sesame oil and chili sauce in small bowl; set aside. 2. Heat canola oil in large skillet or wok over high heat. 3. Slice Top Sirloin and season, stir-fry beef for 3 to 4 minutes or until brown; transfer to a bowl. 4. Add mushrooms, carrots, peppers, onion and 1 – 1/2 tablespoons water to pan and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until tender crisp. 5. Return beef and any juices to pan. Stir in sauce mixture and return to boil; cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with chili pepper flakes (optional). 6. Spoon individual serving over baby lettuce. Use sauce as a salad dressing.

toes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini. Sprouting seeds indoors requires a little bit of attention to make sure seeds germinate and begin to grow. Start with potting soil that allows for good drainage. It’s best to keep the small pots warm and

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soil. Healthy soil is the base to strong and fruitful plants. While the indoor seeds are becoming strong enough to be moved outdoors, cold weather crops can be planted directly outside once the soil is workable. Once the snow has melted hardy seeds can be planted. A few varieties are, leeks, onions, spinach, head lettuce, peas and radishes. Once frost risks have passed the garden should be ready to accept the small plants that were started indoors. During transplanting be sure to water excessively so water reaches the roots and these plants transition easily to the outdoors. It’s never too late to start planting a garden and there are many great resources available online to guide first timers. This month’s recipe uses many fresh local ingredients and features a delicious cut of top sirloin grilling steak, the Warm Orange Beef Salad that was prepared on season 26 of Great Tastes of Manitoba. Catch this episode on CTV at 6:30 pm May 6th and all other recipes can be seen anytime on Great Tastes of Manitoba’s YouTube channel. Thank you for reading and good luck gardening!


May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Producers need to get on board with new movement regulations coming this fall BY ANGELA LOVELL New federal regulations about reporting cattle movement are coming this fall, and they will present more of a challenge for Manitoba beef producers than those in other western Canadian provinces, which already have a reporting system in place. Nevertheless, Manitoba producers need to get on board and implement the new, voluntary regulations, or risk the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) imposing stricter regulations down the road if it decides compliance is not high enough after a phase-in period of three years. “It’s very important that we get a big uptake in the movement reporting the way it is for no other reason than just being able to subside any further regulation on movement reporting that may come into effect if we do not have a robust uptake,” says Ben Fox, President of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). “Producers need to be proactive and fill out the forms required because I believe that otherwise there could be stricter regulations imposed on us which will not be as easy to handle or manage as what is being presented for us to use this fall.” Producers probably aren’t going to like the new regulations, and may grumble about them, but they do need to consider that they are the result of lots of discussion between government and the industry, says Rick Wright, Executive Administrator of the Livestock Markets Association of Canada (LMAC). “These regulations are a major compromise the government has made to the representatives from industry that have been guiding this process behind closed doors for quite some time.” Wright serves on the Cattle Implementation Plan (CIP) Committee of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) which leads a collaborative, industry-government effort to negotiate a cattle industry traceability plan that is workable and not burdensome for all sectors of the industry. “As an industry we have said we can make this work and if we can’t then consequences are severe, and not just

for us in Manitoba, it’s going to have an impact on the rest of Canada,” says Wright.” It’s very important that we get our producers in Manitoba behind this because it’s going to save them a lot of onerous forms and responsibilities down the road.” Manifests Required The biggest challenge for Manitoba beef producers under the new movement regulations is the use of manifests, which are already used in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta. “Anytime cattle leave a producer’s premises – whether they are going to an auction mart, buying station, feedlot or to a community pasture or anywhere else - they would have to use a manifest,” says Wright. “We have had a manifest now in Manitoba for quite some time, and now it has been updated to include all the required information out of the CIP under the proposed regulation. Producers would have to obtain these manifests, and fill them out and make sure that a copy is left with the livestock at the new destination.” Manifest books – containing 10 manifests - are available in Manitoba through Manitoba Agriculture offices and cost $3. The industry is looking at distributing them at auction marts and other sites in the future, and is lobbying the Province to make them available free of charge during the phase in period. “We believe there will be pushback from the producer level about paying for the manifests, so we are probably going to ask the province to waive the $3 fee for a certain amount of time and allow us to distribute those books through markets to their customers and explain to them how to use them,” says Wright. “We know a lot of producers may point to Saskatchewan and say they get their books for free, but the cost of producing and distributing the manifest is included in their brand inspection fee, so they are paying for it, just not when they pick it up.” Manitoba does not currently have a cattle inspection program. Producers also need to register for a Premises Identification Number (PID) by filling out an application form available

from Manitoba Agriculture. CFIA will review the program three years after the new regulations come into place. It is extremely important that producers get their PID and include their PID on the manifests when moving cattle off their premises and linked premises. Collecting and Reporting Movement Data Feedlots will be required to scan and report individual CCIA approved ear tag numbers on cattle arriving at the feedlot immediately after the new regulations are introduced. For the first three years feedlots will be under the “passive read” protocols. Feedlots generally have a system in place to restrain each animal so every tag is scanned, so the additional movement reporting requirements will not be as difficult to manage as they may be for producers who are bringing in bred cows or replacements and aren’t set up to scan individual tags. “What will help these producers is that for a period of time they only need to do a passive read, so if the cattle pass the scanner and only 80 per cent of the tags are caught, that’s okay,” says Wright. “They don’t have to have 100 per cent of the numbers on their movement report.” Intermediate sites, such as auction marts, assembly yards and buying stations, as well as feelots and producers that take outside cattle onto their property will not need to read the CCIA ear tags during the first three years. They will be required to report group movement information to the Cattle Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) database owned and managed by CCIA. CCIA explained in an email that the CLTS database is a trace-back system that maintains the data associated with each approved animal’s tag applied to it in the livestock value chain. The CLTS database allows all regulated parties to record and report information pertaining to the three pillars of traceability – animal identification, premises identification and animal movement – as well as value-assurance information, such as age verification. The CLTS database accepts individual ani-

mal movement event reports (including: move-in, move-out, imported, exported, temporary export and sighted). At present, CCIA is modifying the CLTS database to accept group movement events in preparation for proposed animal movement regulations. Aware that digital options are suitable for the majority of industry members, CCIA says it will continue to explore all electronic options available for animal movement reporting, and find alternative solutions for animal movement data reporting options to support industry needs. In addition, CCIA’s Research and Development Cluster is leading a Private Data Network project, that if implemented, will reduce the administrative burden on livestock operators. The project proposes to extract reportable animal movement data from commingling sites rather than have industry have to report it to the CLTS database. Data would be directly transmitted from RFID readers to the CLTS database, increasing data privacy and security, and speeding up data reporting. Currently, CCIA offers a collection of online

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resources – including video tutorials - designed to help industry members use the CLTS database quickly, easily and effectively, and also offers free technical support by phone and email. (See sidebar) Good Reasons to Comply CFIA has reserved the opportunity to require in the future that cattle are scanned individually at all intermediate sites – and potentially also at the farm gate - if it feels that there is not enough compliance with the current regulations. “That’s the worst scenario but it would certainly change the process at the intermediate sites such as auction marts and buying stations,” says Wright. “Producers don’t want to have to scan cattle, and we don’t want to have to scan cattle at the markets and buying stations. We know that it slows up commerce, and it’s going to cost primary producers a considerable amount of money in extra shrinkage on cattle. Regardless of how they market their calves or how they move their cattle, the cost of having to scan all these cattle individually will eventually run downhill to the primary producers, it’s a guarantee. So, there are a lot of good reasons

for producers in Manitoba to embrace movement reporting and make it work.” Industry partners like Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association and Manitoba Agriculture are currently trying to work out an educational program to train producers about implementing the manifests and movement reporting requirements, but in the meantime, a good resource is marketing partners, says Fox. “A good resource for producers is who they market their cattle through, whether it’s the local auction mart or buyers or whatever it may be because they are very informed about the new regulations,” he says. “Local Manitoba Agriculture offices can also provide information.”

CCIA online resources for help with the CLTS database are available at: support.canadaid.ca https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCe6kAdMyjIsRw4PrU2dKzQA. Or call 1 877 909 2333 or email info@canadaid.ca


10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

Nerbas family take home the 2017 TESA award BY ANGELA LOVELL Winners of The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba (TESA) are the Nerbas family, who own and operate Nerbas Brothers Angus near Shellmouth. Their family beef operation, which is mainly cow/ calf, consists of 100 purebred Black Angus and 500 commercial cows. They also market breeding stock and their focus has been to produce cattle that thrive on a forage based diet. “We’re trying to produce a smaller frame maternal type cow that basically can thrive on forage,” says Arron Nerbas, who farms with father, Gene, mother, Cynthia and brother, Shane. “We want cows that can calve on their own at pasture and don’t need high input feed.” The Nerbas’ have always taken a holistic approach to the management of their farm, but took a formal Holistic Management course – facilitated by Don Campbell – about 12 years ago. “We were never non-holistic in terms

of our approach, so we agreed with the general principles of profitability, environment, sustainability and family, but we thought that there are always other things we could learn and apply to what we were doing to make it better.” Double the Forage Production Their ultimate goal is to work with nature, the land and their animals to produce the most beef they can on grass. One of the biggest takeaways from their holistic management course was the grazing principles and management, which have helped them double their forage production on a per acre basis. “Our system isn’t as intensive as some, but it’s definitely a form of planned intensive grazing,” says Nerbas. “In summer we split the cows into two main groups of around 250 head each, and rotate through a series of around 100 paddocks. They’re generally on an 80 acre piece for three to five days. We like to leave a lot of residue

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Nerbas Bros. Angus captured The Environmental Sustainability Award for Manitoba at the MBP AGM in February. The family has a 600 head operation near Shellmouth. Photos Courtesy of Nerbas Bros. Angus.

behind for a lot of reasons, for snow trap, for the plants to re-seed themselves, for shade, water infiltration, a lot of different things. It’s like leaving behind a bit of a solar panel so the grass regenerates faster, whereas if you graze it right off your solar panel is gone.” The Nerbas’ grazing system achieves increased productivity through using the animals and their grazing to cycle nutrients and maintain soil health for more maximum grass production. “We’re continually trying to improve our forage base on our top land more or less through grazing principles, with long rest and recovery periods,” says Nerbas. “Nutrient cycling through bale grazing is a big thing for us. It works extremely well to bring in outside nutrition through the bales and build up thatch and organic matter in the soil. Our top land is quite sandy and light and it responds to it extremely well. We get 10 times the forage production in the areas we bale graze, it’s quite amazing. The only problem is we can only cover a small portion at a time. So we’re just trying

to, year after year, build our soils in terms of organic matter, microbial activity, and just general soil health, thatch, organic matter, and biodiversity of species. We’re using some seeding principles to incorporate legumes into our pastures as well through the seed drill and then some broadcasting and through mineral fed to the cows.” Coping with Flooding Their biggest challenge has been continuous flooding on around 1000 acres of their land along the Assiniboine River valley. “It used to be highly productive, tame forage stands, but due to perpetual flooding it’s reverted back to wild type hay,” says Nerbas. “It’s not something we can control, so we have had to adapt to it and we do some salvage grazing and haying there when we can. It’s highly difficult and challenging in terms of management.” The Nerbas’ have

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worked with their local Conservation District to implements projects such as off-site watering sites, riparian area fencing and forage establishment. They have certification through the Verified Beef Production and Holistic Management programs. Their environmental goals for the future include continuing to improve soil health, fertility and productivity through continuous improvement of their holistic management practices. They want to increase biodiversity in their forage stands to increase nitrogen fixation and overall grassland health. They want to keep pushing the envelope to try and decrease days on feed versus grazing season, and believe in a philosophy of regenerative agriculture that will leave their land in better condition than when they started. A Huge Honour Tere Stykalo of MNP,

one of the sponsors of the annual award, presented the TESA award to the Nerbas family during the banquet at the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting in February. TESA recognizes producers who go above and beyond standard industry conservation practices and set positive examples for other cattle producers and the general public. “I knew about the TESA award, and always found it interesting to see who won it on an annual basis and read their stories, so in the back of my mind I suppose I knew that what we do on a daily basis sort of applied,” says Nerbas. “Although it wasn’t our goal to be nominated for the award, it is certainly a huge honour to win it.” The Nerbas family will represent Manitoba at the CCA's national TESA competition in Calgary in July.


May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Government Activities Update Provincial budget: Livestock Growth Strategy, water infrastructure funding announced BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Coordinator

A Livestock Growth Strategy, commitments to water-related infrastructure and the loss of some agriculture-related tax credits were some of the key items in the April 11 provincial budget. The budget contained commitments to funding an enhanced Livestock Growth Strategy and an Agricultural Modelling and Forecasting Program in 2017/18. No details were available about either initiative prior to Cattle Country going to print, but MBP welcomes the provincial government’s continued interest in creating a stronger agriculture economy. “It’s encouraging to see the government is committed to growth in the province’s livestock sector,” said MBP President Ben Fox. “Since Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler’s July 2016 comments about growing the provincial beef herd, MBP has been hard at work gathering the thoughts of our members on how best to achieve that goal. We recently sent a letter to the minister that outlined the steps our members feel are needed to grow the industry. We now look forward to working with the government as part of this new strategy.” Among the beef industry priorities MBP highlighted to Minister Eichler were: the importance of strong business risk management tools; a regulatory environment that encourages growth; the needs for sound Crown land policies; opportunities to restore acres to cattle production and to provide it at economically feasible prices; the need for improved wildlife management; the need for effective water management strategies to help reduce risk; and, the importance of a robust beef value chain and the ability to access markets. “We fully recognize that growing the herds in Manitoba’s livestock sectors will be challenging,” said Fox. “Having the support of the provincial government will go a long way in helping us achieve long-term sustainability and profitability for the

provincial cattle industry.” The budget maintains borrowing limits for individuals and associations through the Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee program. The budget contained no tax increases and no new taxes, nor any reference as to what carbon pricing might look like in Manitoba. The Education Property Tax Credit, Farmland School Tax Rebate and Seniors’ School Tax Rebate were maintained. However, three tax credits targeted at the agriculture sector are ending: • The Riparian Tax Credit is eliminated effective immediately. This does not impact eligibility for unused credits on fiveyear commitments made before April 12, 2017 by producers. • The Nutrient Management Tax Credit is eliminated for expenditures made after April 11, 2017. This does not impact the carry forward of unused credits for eligible expenditures made before April 12, 2017. • The Odour Control Tax Credit is eliminated for expenditures made after April 11, 2017. This does not impact unused credits on eligible expenditures made by businesses before April 12. The provincial government announced $60 million for water-related infrastructure, allowing for investments in flood protection, drainage and other water control infrastructure. MBP is pleased to see the government’s ongoing commitment to complete the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlets project as the risk of flooding has proven very detrimental to beef production. MBP has asked that the provincial government speak with cattle producers whose operations could be affected by the outlet channel route selection to ensure impacts are mitigated. The provincial government committed to develop a new Labour Market Strategy aligned with industry and community needs, but no further details were released. Labour shortages continue to be a challenge throughout the beef value chain, an issue MBP has

raised with the federal and provincial governments. Next Policy Framework The provincial government is seeking producer feedback on the Next Policy Framework (NPF). It will replace Growing Forward 2 when it ends March 31, 2018. Complete an online survey on the NPF before May 15 by going to: https://manitobasurveys. gov.mb.ca/checkbox/MBnextpolicyframeworkconsultation.aspx In March MBP made a submission to Agriculture Minister Eichler providing the Manitoba’s cattle industry’s perspective on the development of the NPF. It focused on priority areas identified by the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture in the July 2016, including: risk management; markets and trade; science research and innovation capacity; environmental sustainability and climate change; value-added agriculture and agri-food processing; and, public trust. For example, MBP explained it is important business risk management tools keep pace with changes in production practices, including feeding and grazing. Crop insurance products must evolve to recognize in-

novative new crop mixtures, to value their feed value properly as part of broader feeding strategies and to keep pace with the evolving varieties and practices being used by beef producers. Further, the cattle sector needs improved insurance programming, both with respect to insurance of cattle production and also insurance tools that properly value producers’ feed production and pastures. MBP is seeking the continuation of the pilot Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), and suggested it be enhanced to provide a risk mitigation strategy that producers see as equivalent to the type of coverage available to the annual cropping sector. Having this kind of equivalency will also assist with attracting new or returning entrants to help grow the Manitoba herd. MBP noted the NPF needs to provide new risk management tools to address Manitoba’s feeding industry. Price fluctuations are more severe than they have ever been, and margins are very tight making the feeding sector very risky. Tools such as WLPIP can assist, but the NPF should also provide for mechanisms to address more robust and

complete price discovery to support these programs. Negative interactions with wildlife have a significant impact on the beef sector, such as losses associated with wildlife damage to crops and forages. MBP noted insurance tools in this area should be revisited to ensure they reflect current needs. MBP believes governments (particularly when it comes to managing natural resources) have an essential and ongoing role to play in assisting the sector in dealing with the effects of problem predators, which include death and/or serious injuries to cattle. MBP requested that the NPF be utilized to help build enhanced risk management tools to reduce the risk of predation. MBP is seeking continued support for the Verified Beef Production+ Program and the Environmental Farm Plan Program. Initiatives like these are important tools for helping to build resilience in beef producers’ operations while at the same time helping to demonstrate the industry’s sustainability practices to the public. The ability to access land for beef production is key. MBP is requesting that the NPF provide continued investments

in both the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures’ operations and infrastructure to ensure these critical lands are maintained for cattle production. MBP believes investments in research capacity and innovation and technology transfer/ extension requires support in the NPF, both to keep Canada’s beef production efficient and to maintain markets. MBP sees support to Manitobabased and led research as a priority. This includes support to maintain and grow capacity for basic research, including continued investments at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI). MBFI is a critical piece of the province’s beef and forage applied research and technology transfer capacity, helping lead to the adoption of new and innovative ideas and practices by local beef producers. MBP is seeking ongoing investments through the NPF in both infrastructure (capital) as well as operating funds and research project support. MBP remains committed to engaging with the federal and provincial governments to provide details around how best to support and grow the cattle sector at each step of the NPF’s development.

The Manitoba Simmental Association would like to congratulate Sydney Thorgilsson, daughter of Stewart and Carla Thorgilsson of Triple T Simmentals at Lundar, MB, on being the 2017 Recipient of the Manitoba YCSA Scholarship.

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

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


12 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

Is the customer always right? There’s no easy answer to the question of "is the customer always right?" but what’s certain is that in today’s information age is consumers are constantly being bombarded with information – some good and some bad – that shapes their beliefs and perspectives, and often influences the food they choose to buy. A panel of three experts talked about their experience with consumer trends from a retail, food service and research perspective at the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) Annual General Meeting in February. The message that came through loud and clear is that anyone involved in the food industry, whether it’s farmers, processors, retailers or chefs need to pay attention to what consumers are asking for, and what they care about, or risk their business going elsewhere. Retailers Must Listen to Consumers “Consumer opinions do matter,” said John Graham, who worked for more than 20 years in a leadership role with Safeway, and now runs Food Solutions Group, a Winnipeg-based consulting company that works with food processors and retailers. “The most important thing for retailers is to safeguard their reputation and ensure that they have the confidence of their con-

sumers, because if they lose confidence it’s hundreds of millions of dollars at risk. There are people willing to take their business any day, and every lost customer is extremely difficult to get back.” The retail food industry works on thin margins – around three per cent – which means companies fight hard to maintain and increase their market share. Increasingly they are trying to do that by listening carefully to what their customers want and doing their best to deliver it. Retailers try to inspire customer loyalty in different ways, for example, through private label brands exclusive to their stores, but it’s not all about the products; the consumer perception of the company itself is just as important. Many retailers are making significant investments to aligning their corporate practices with socially responsible behaviour. “People want to feel good about where they shop, and it’s our job to make sure they feel good about their store,” said Graham. “We’re reacting and sometimes proactively addressing issues; things like sodium, sugar, traceability, animal welfare, fair trade, local sourcing, labour relations, sustainable packaging, food waste, carbon footprint, the list goes on.” On the Front Line Retailers are the most visible target for passionate consumers to talk to.

“They’re in our stores every week, and they can express their viewpoint,” said Graham, who adds most retailers now have many open channels of communication, including customer phone lines and online and social media options. “Our job is to respond to what our customers’ voices are telling us. It’s hard to get a hold of Joe or Sally’s farm and voice their concerns about animal welfare, or a foreign company on fair trade practices. We’re at the front line of so many issues.” Graham admitted that sometimes the industry makes decisions – like grocery retailers who decided to purchase only cage free eggs, or supply pork from sows housed to a certain standard – that can impact the supply chain, right down to individual farmer, but ultimately they have to respond to what they hear from consumers, what they believe are the trends and provide choice. “Our customers value us when we take positions on issues, so we’re directing our buyers to make sure they’re providing choices, and filling shelves with niche products, whether it’s local, organic, humane, free range, natural, sustainable, grass fed, humanely certified, because these are important risks to our business not to address,” said Graham. “It’s not a fad so at the end of the day, so I believe the consumer is right from my perspective.”

Dr. Kelly Main

Phil Gallagher

John Graham

BY ANGELA LOVELL

Learning from Mistakes One company that’s well aware of how a business decision can adversely affect farmers, and its own business, is Earls Restaurants. Phil Gallagher, Executive Chef of Western Canada for Earls, took the opportunity to apologize to beef producers for Earls 2016 announcement that it would source “Certified Humane”, antibiotic, hormone and steroid free beef from U.S. sources rather than from Canada, which caused outrage among beef producers and others in the Canadian beef industry. “We hurt a lot of people who work every day to produce the food that we consume. We reacted to a niche market that we wanted to help create, and we didn’t’ do it right. I want to take responsibility for not doing it right and to extend my hand to apologize,” said Gallagher, who added the company learned a lot from its mistake, and is focusing on working together with the industry. “I learned a hard lesson last year, that not only do I have to listen to my guests but I have to work harder with industry when we decide to make a change of this magnitude, and work with our partners to create the ingredients across our menu that will give our guests what they want to buy,” said Gallagher. Earls reversed its decision and began consulting with the beef industry to secure a Canadian supply of raised without hormones beef to supply all their restaurants across Canada. Gallagher says all Earls restaurants should be serving only Canadian beef by August. Gallagher, although he admitted Earls made a mistake, emphasized that the fast-paced, food service industry has to keep up with changing consumer trends or lose business. “If you don’t react fast enough to things that are happening in the business, then somebody else will,” he says. “Someone else will offer what the guests want and they will decide to go somewhere else. As a chef, I have one longstanding goal. When somebody eats in any one of our 67 restaurants, the next time they want to go out to eat, they think of us because of Page 13 

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May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Promoting Agriculture Awareness

Manitoba Beef Producers has been on the road promoting awareness of the beef industry at recent events. On March 17 and 18 MBP was among the exhibitors at Discover Agriculture in the City at The Forks Market in Winnipeg. MBP also had an exhibit in the Through the Farm Gate area at the recent Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon. Both events are excellent opportunities to speak with the public and answer any questions they might have about the industry and on-farm practices. The hit of both events was the "On The Farm" virtual reality system which allowed the public to tour a virtual cattle ranch and learn more about the industry and how cattle are raised.

Changing tastes of customers present challenges  Page 12 the food they ate, the service they got, and the atmosphere they dined in.” What Influences Consumers? It’s apparent that consumers have a lot of power when it comes to the food that ends up on the grocery store shelf, or the restaurant plate, but just how do people form their opinions and beliefs about what they want to eat, or perceive is healthy for them and their families? Psychology professor, Dr, Kelly Main of the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business has done a lot of research about what influences consumers’ choices. “There is a lot of misinformation out there about all kinds of things. There are stereotypes that exist about what the right things are, and the wrong things are, and who’s doing them. All of this filters into the kind of decisions that consumers are making,” said Main, who added many different factors – cultural, social, psychological and personal – affect consumer behaviour, and they all intersect with each other. Main explained consumers can have subjective and objective knowledge. “Subjective knowledge is a person’s perception about a particular topic, which is usually based on feelings, and experiences,” said

Main. Objective knowledge is more accurate information from external sources such as blogs, company websites, media, emails, company literature, advertisements, and social media. “Researchers have found that objective knowledge decreases the psychological risk related to consumers’ perceptions about using or consuming a particular product. Using the example of genetically modified food, when consumers had increased knowledge about the history, process, or scientific risks and benefits related to genetically modified foods, it seemed to reduce their concerns about taste and quality, and lowered their feeling of anxiety about the purchase of that particular food.” Not surprisingly, these two types of knowledge are not well connected. “There’s a

disconnect between what people think they know and what is actually true and here-in lies part of the frustration,” said Main. “Research that looked at consumer perceptions with respect to technology showed a tension between consumers’ understanding of what technology is doing and their desire for things to be natural. They saw those two things in opposition.” The Art of Persuasion A lot of research has studied persuasion. “Anytime we’re trying to give information to a person, we’re engaged in a persuasion attempt,” said Main. Researchers have identified three different kinds of knowledge with regard to persuasion. The first knowledge is what someone knows or learns about the person sending the message, which influences how they respond to the persuasion. The person who

is receiving the message can also have their own knowledge, either objective or subjective, about a specific topic. And finally, there is persuasion knowledge, when someone knows the persuader is using tactics to try and influence their opinion. Something often happens for consumers during the act of persuasion called the change of meaning. “It’s the point at which they’re reading a persuasive message, and their focus changes away from the content of the message to the actual delivery of the message, and they perceive that there’s a tactic being

used to deliver the message,” said Main. “So now they’re not paying attention to the message anymore, they’re thinking about why that person is trying to convince them of something, and their focus is on the tactic. That can lead to negative perceptions because people become focused on someone trying to persuade them to think or do something.” Consumers can be close-minded about topics or issues, and not interested in being objective. They can have ulterior motives for defending a particular point of view that they hold, and will only seek out in-

formation that confirms or supports it. Others can be wilfully ignorant, not wanting to seek out more information because they don’t want to have to make a decision about a difficult topic. Main talked about what she calls ‘Sinister Attribution Error’, which relates to people who are overly suspicious of other’s behaviours or arguments and believes there are ulterior motives everywhere. These are not easy people to convince of any message. “To answer the question, whether the customer is always right, my answer would be no, but they think they are,” said Main.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

Food safety key for Chinese consumers BY BILL STRAUTMAN China provides a huge market opportunity for Canadian beef. The metro population for Shanghai alone is around 30 million – nearly the whole population of Canada in one Chinese city. Because of scale, Canada can only hope to gain singledigit mark share per centage, at best. But that’s still a huge volume. “If we took all the Canadian beef eligible for export – trim, grind and meat – maybe we would hit 100,000 tonnes. Compared to the Americans and Australians, that’s a drop in the bucket. And in China, there’s a government state trading entity that would take all of that business in a month and a half,” says Polly Zhao, Director of Business Development for China with Canada Beef Inc. Another challenge when dealing with China is the ‘Grey Channel’ – beef shipped to places like Hong Kong and Macau, offloaded and repackaged, then ‘smuggled’ into China without proper authority. Based in Shanghai, Zhao says beef volumes reported by the Canadian government and Chinese customs seldom match up or agree with each other. “Current import/export statistics are still unreliable. In 2013 and 2014 there were some exporters selling US beef as Canadian product. Fortunately, most Canadian beef follows the legal pathways into China, instead of going to Hong Kong,” she says. In some years, grey channel can represent 75 per cent of China’s imported beef, with only 25 per cent brought in through legal channels. Canada typically provides about 5 per cent of the 25 per cent of legal beef brought in to China. “Smuggled beef used to be much more common, but in 2014 and 2015 the Chinese government started paying more attention to the issue and forcing meat through legitimate channels. If the grey channel is open, people can get smuggled beef. When the grey channel is closed, the government is being very strict. When it’s strict, that’s always good for Canadian beef,” says Zhao. With a 12 per cent import tariff and a 13 per cent value added tax, plus additional duties, Zhao says Canadian beef starts with about a 26 per cent higher price than grey channel beef. “When the grey channel is closed and people get put in jail for smuggling beef, people think more seriously about the legal channels, which is good for us. So the people in the legal channels are the ones we want to work with,” she says. Because China only allows ractopamine-free and hormone-free beef, that adds more challenges. “When the grey channel is open, the prices drop and importers of Canadian beef lose money. Ractopamine and hormone-free beef is normally priced 20 to 30 per cent higher than the grey channel price.

Also, the producer must finish cattle differently, which costs more time and money and has a different yield – with costs up to 15 per cent higher when selling to the importers,” she says. In 2010, Canada received the initial approval to sell beef to China, with protocols for export established in May 2011. Issues around ractopamine and other products banned in China meant the first commercial shipment of Canadian beef delivered to China didn’t happen until February 2012, once Canadian exporters developed ractopamine-free export programs. As of March 2016, Zhao says countries allowed to export beef to China included Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Canada, Mexico and Mongolia. “Australia takes 30 to 40 per cent of the market share, then Uruguay, New Zealand and Argentina, followed by Canada,” says Zhao. “Australia has more than 40 processing plants approved to export to China – full market access. They can provide not only frozen beef but chilled beef, which is what the high-end restaurants prefer. They have bone-in and offal, which we don’t have, plus they can ship live cattle.” “The Australians also have a Free Trade Agreement with China, with import tariffs dropping from 12 per cent to zero in the next nine years, which Canada doesn’t have. That puts Canadian beef at a greater disadvantage. All these advantages we don’t have.” With Uruguay and New Zealand, Zhao says virtually all their beef is grassfed, which meets the needs of industry meat – factories, food service, hospitals and such. Brazil had a BSE case in 2013 and its beef was banned in China, but it still came in through Hong Kong and Macau. “Brazil was allowed back in January 2016 and they had more than 30 per cent of market share for the first part of 2016. Chinese importers have spent time in Brazil to teach them specifications regarding how they want products cut and prepared,” she says. One of the advantages Canadian producers have over US beef is their traceability system. “The US haven’t got market access yet because they don’t have this kind of traceability system nationwide. They may have it by state or region, but not nationally,” she says. To help differentiate Canadian beef from all the other competitors, Zhao says Canada Beef must develop a Canadian beef brand, with a story appealing to Chinese customers. “In China, consumers are already starting to talk about genetics for chicken and pork. The price of pork from the right genetics is double or triple the price from the regular products. It’s the same thing

CBI office staff at Shanghai – L-R: Polly Zhao, Director of Business Development for China, Iris Sung, Customer Service and Rachel Zhang, Manager of Operations.

with cattle,” says Zhao. “We need Chinese consumers to know that not only is beef a food, we need to have consumers connect to the farmers emotionally – to the people who care about the cattle. In Canada, there’s clean water, lots of wide-open spaces and fresh air. That means a lot to the Chinese people.” “Food safety is a key thing for Chinese consumers. We’ve had some food safety scandals – in recent years hundreds of dead pigs were found floating on the Huangpu River that flows through Shanghai. Since then people have had more concern about food safety.” The Canada Beef office in Shanghai focuses on five core activities: branding; consumer and customer education; business development; traditional media and social media; and the Canada Beef Centre of Excellence in Calgary. The branding events include partnering with chefs and restaurants – doing competitions and promoting Canadian beef. “With our Canada Beef festival, we partner with a government-owned supermarket chain and retail group – talk with customers, chefs and have promotions in the stores,” she says. “Every year we have one or two brand-

Clinton Zhu, Executive Chairman of the Chinese Elite Culinary Federation and General Manager with Shanghai S2F International Trading Co., based in Shanghai, China.

ing series in the tier one cities like Beijing and Shanghai, with cooking classes, recipe cards, technical materials, culinary deals. We leverage when the Canadian Minister of Agriculture or Deputy Minister is coming. We let them be our spokesmen to talk Page 15 

Verified Beef Production Plus

Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening using two formats

• One for existing registered producers who have been through the VBP program before. • One for producers completely new to the program. • Webinars take place in the evenings so producers are not taken away from their daily chores. • The interactive webinars are delivered using web based video conferencing software. Participants can interact during the presentations, hear the presenters, and ask questions or make comments in real time. • Also available via app for smartphone and android

Webinars FOR EXISTING REGISTERED PRODUCERS – Monday, May 15 & 29 at 7 p.m. & Monday, June 12 & 26 at 7 p.m. • VBP registered producers or those who have attended a VBP workshop in the past can sign up for the VBP+ added module webinar. • VBP+ enhanced module webinars will be held on a bi-weekly basis

Young Cattle Producers (up to age 25)

Webinars FOR NEW PRODUCERS – Wednesday, May 10 & 24 at 7 p.m. & Wednesday, June 7 & 21 at 7 p.m.

Plan to attend the 10th Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup

August 4, 5 & 6th Neepawa, MB

• Producers who have not attended a VBP workshop in the past can sign up for the VBP+ full program

Cattle handling, educational workshops and a fun weekend! Cattle show on Sunday.

• To sign up to attend a webinar or the LIVE workshop, please contact Melissa Atchison 204-264-0294 or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com • Alternate times and days can be arranged based on producer demand • Workshops require a minimum number of registrants in order to proceed

How to register for webinars or LIVE workshops

Call 204-728-3058 or go to Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup’s Facebook Page.

Funded by the Canada & Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

www.mbbeef.ca


May 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Canadian traceability programs popular in China  Page 14 to the media and consumers.” Zhao notes that when Asian consumers think of Canada, they think maple syrup. Beef isn’t high on their radar. So they’ve recently partnered Canadian beef with Canadian wine, to expose Chinese consumers to more of Canada. “For one event we invited a famous chef from Vancouver to visit four cities in China, doing cooking shows, cutting demos and dinner, where Canadian beef was partnered with BC wines. We invited industry and media people, to get as much exposure as possible,” she says. “We also find that the Asian consumer really like to attach their feelings to something. We have two

mascots – Rocky and Maple – that work very well in China.” The office uses social media to talk to media, foodies, bloggers and various other segments of consumers. They have magazines, videos and v-chats on social media for communication programs. “Using social media, the Shanghai office recently recruited 10 families for a cooking class contest and had them connect with their individual social media networks. The winning family had 4,000 on-line votes and in total, nearly 20,000 connections were made over the three-day contest,” she says. The office works with various traditional media outlets like magazines and newspapers to promote

recipes and the Canadian beef brand. They also produce a bi-monthly newsletter for media, government and industry sources that’s not aimed at consumers. For some of their cooking campaigns, Zhao says they work with a chef to cook two Canada beef products. “The first will be a traditional steak, where everyone gets to taste the final product. Then the second meal they cook is a burger made with ground Canadian chuck,” she says. “Chinese consumers all know what hamburger is. But our hand-made Canadian beef burger is better than any kind of burger you have in China. That shows a significant difference in how our burger tastes compared to other burgers

in China. We usually have families at these and burgers can bring a lot of fun for the kids, when they make the burgers themselves.” The Shanghai office has taken advantage of the Canada Beef Centre of Excellence in Calgary since it opened. “In October we brought two groups of Chinese clients to the Centre – mainly end users – owners, GMs, executive chefs of chain restaurants and food service groups, plus retailer staff. We also brought two media members – one targeting consumers and one targeting food service groups,” says Zhao. Chef masters do demos with Centre staff to better understand the Canadian beef carcass. They also attend tours with industry

MBP to offer six bursaries in 2017 Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased to announce it will again award six $500 bursaries to deserving Manitoba students in 2017. 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 Ben Fox. “Ensuring that our communities have the skilled trades needed by the beef industry is a priority of our board. Some of our past recipients have made significant contributions to rural Manitoba and we are proud to help them achieve their educational goals.” Those applying must

Completed applications must be submitted to MBP by June 2, 2017

be at least 17 years old as of Jan. 1, 2017 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, community 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/mbp-bursary/. Completed applications must be submitted to MBP by June 2, 2017. All entries will be reviewed by the selection

committee and the winners will be notified by July 31, 2017. The winning essays will also be reprinted in the September issue of Cattle Country.

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players and cattle producers. Chefs like Clinton Zhu, Executive Chairman of the Chinese Elite Culinary Federation and Chef Yibin, one of the top chefs in China, visited Calgary and now help develop recipes and do cooking demos for the Canada Beef office in Shanghai. “One person might represent a group with nine brands and more than 250 restaurants, so one contact can represent a significant volume opportunity,” says Zhao. “China is becoming a global, young, sophisti-

cated country. People here want to try unique, different and new things. We focus on chefs and restaurants because we want to expose them to options for hot pots, noodle bowls, Korean-style barbecue, right through to rib eyes and Western cooking techniques like barbecue.” Bill Strautman was the communication specialist for the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association for five years. He recently returned from a media fellowship to Asia sponsored by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2017

Treatment and prevention of coccidiosis DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner At one month of age, the next major health hurdles for calves are coccidiosis and pneumonia. These two diseases can be a nightmare to treat with high sickness and death losses on top of high drug and labour costs. This month I will focus on the prevention and treatment of coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is most common in calves less than a year of age, causing severe damage to the intestinal tract. It is associated with diarrhea of varying degrees of severity with dehydration, weakness from blood loss and anorexia developing in the most severe cases. Recovery may require several weeks. Rectal prolapse due to high straining, neurological symptoms, secondary infections and even death are common sequellae. Even mild clinically inapparent cases can result in decreased weaning weights, poor feedlot performance, impaired fertility and lowered lifetime milk production. Cattle remain susceptible to coccidiosis throughout their lives or until they acquire immunity. Disease risk is influenced by the levels

of coccidia oocysts in the environment, nutrition, stress (overstocking, transport, weather, hygiene), immune status and occurrence of other disease. Disease management must focus on prevention as intestinal damage and production loss occur before symptoms are noticed and treatment instituted. Prevention also stops the shedding of oocysts into the environment, thus decreasing future exposure of susceptible animals. General calf management protocols for the control of bacterial and viral scours are also effective in the prevention of coccidiosis. Ensure consumption of adequate amounts of quality colostrum and provide well-bedded dry calving areas. Good cow nutrition including a sound mineral and vitamin program ensures the birth of healthy calves and adequate colostrum production. Sound vaccination programs for the prevention of scours and pneumonia minimize additional disease stress on calves. Inclusion of ionophores like monensin (Rumensin) or Deccox in the mineral (for cows) and creep feed (for calves) will prevent shedding of coccidia into the environment. Some research studies also suggest that monensin supplementation can lessen the impact of another severe, difficult to treat scour

bug, cryptosporidia. Ionophores are also how coccidiosis is controlled in feedlots. Symptoms of coccidiosis are not seen until at least two weeks of age and, in many herds, are associated with turnout to nursery pens or pasture. Only one licensed product is available for the treatment of coccidiosis in Canada - Baycox (active ingredient is toltrazuril). Dosing is 15mL/110 lbs by mouth given (ideally) one to two weeks before coccidiosis typically develops. Dosing at birth may be effective in herds that break with coccidiosis in the first few weeks of life but is ineffective for prevention of disease in older calves. Toltrazuril works by preventing replication of the coccidia in the gut but allowing infection to occur which stimulates immunity. It is not effective for the prevention of bacterial or viral scours. The drug withdrawal time is long (120 days) as it is slowly absorbed and eliminated. Beware of the risks of using compounded toltrazuril capsules. The drug in the pills is an API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). There is no DIN (Drug Identification Number) and that means that information on the source and purity of the product is not readily available. This

may also be a sign that the API was not legally obtained. For these reasons, gFARAD (Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database) will not provide a withdrawal time for these pills. Bioavailability issues are also a concern as there is no regulation for the use of carriers to mix the drug with to fill the capsule. There is no assurance for animal and food safety nor efficacy. If there is a problem with treatment or future human safety issues arise, there is absolutely no support from the supplier (the compounding pharmacy in this instance). These products also cannot be utilized in herds on quality assurance programs or those supplying niche markets. As beef producers, we need to focus on the production of high quality, safe and wholesome food products to protect our domestic and international markets. Indiscriminate use of unapproved and unlicensed products compromises our well deserved reputation. Cost advantages are not a reason to justify the use of products from a barrel from China. Are you prepared to take legal responsibility for knowingly using an unapproved product? I would suggest that our industry is better served by utilizing good management rather than being pill-pushers and drug users.

CANADIAN ANGUS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONVENTION 2017

Friendly Manitoba welcomes you! We are proud to host the Annual CAA convention at the beautiful Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Brandon, MB from

Thursday, June 8th - 3PM Registration

June 8th - 11th, 2017

Friday June 9th - Cattlemens’ Day This is a day you won’t want to miss!!!

• Industry related speakers in the morning with lunch • Bus tour to feedlot and other interesting destinations • Cattle display, steak supper and Manitoba hospitality • Buses return you to your hotel at the end of the day

For more information:

Check the Canadian Angus Website at www.cdnangus.ca and the Manitoba Angus Website at www.mbangus .ca Contact the CAA office at 1-888-571-3580 or the MAA at 1-888-622-6487 Details on early bird registration & hotel block will be available soon.

Saturday June 10th - CAA 2016 AGM A full schedule for Thursday thru Saturday can be found at www.cdnangus.ca

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION

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

Check out our web site www.mbangus.ca www.mbbeef.ca


National Check-off increase takes effect Sept.1

Jackson advocating for producers

Summer is the time for grilling

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.

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

JULY 2017


2

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2017

Government Activities Update: Advocacy work at home and in Ottawa BY MAUREEN COUSINS Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been busy in recent weeks meeting with federal and provincial politicians and departmental officials to discuss issues of concern to Manitoba’s beef industry. “Outreach is a very important component of the work we do on behalf of Manitoba’s beef industry,” says MBP President Ben Fox. “By meeting face-toface with Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly and government officials we can provide them with a greater level of understanding of the issues and opportunities facing our sector. “In turn we hope this leads to the development of more informed government policies and programs that help promote sustainability and capture new opportunities in our industry, not hinder growth.” MBP representatives met with Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox and her staff in May to discuss several issues affecting the cattle industry. “Livestock predation, be it by wolves, coyotes or other species is having a detrimental impact on beef production,” explained Fox. “In addition to being an economic issue predation is an animal welfare concern. In order for new producers to enter the industry or for existing producers to expand their herds they must have confidence that their operations will be sustainable. “MBP is participating with the provincial government in the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group and the Minister restated her support for its work. Work also continues on the development of a pilot project and other strategies aimed at reducing negative wildlife-livestock interactions,” said Fox. “A collaborative approach is needed on this involving government, producers and other stakeholders such as trappers.” MBP raised concerns related to dangerous hunting with Minister Cox. MBP strongly encouraged the provincial government to find effective means of curbing these practices which can pose a threat to people, livestock and property. This should include strong surveillance and enforcement activities. On April 27 in the Manitoba Legislature Minister Cox indicated the province is implementing a safe hunting regulation, but details have not yet been released. The importance of bovine tuberculosis initiatives

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was discussed with Minister Cox. MBP continues to ask that provincial and federal government departments and agencies provide supports, programs and policies to maintain the regulatory TB-free status in the domestic herd and to have US import restrictions lifted. This should include an emphasis on completing disease eradication efforts and then shifting to prevention activities. MBP is also seeking ongoing support for the work of TB Coordinator Dr. Allan Preston. During the meeting with Minister Cox MBP restated its position on carbon pricing, which includes a request for an exemption on-farm agricultural emissions, recognition of agriculture for the greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction benefits it provides, and investments in research to further reduce GHG emissions through improved forage varieties and grazing strategies. The provincial government has been working on a made-in-Manitoba climate action plan that will include a carbon pricing model. Consultations are expected to continue in the weeks ahead. No firm timeline for announcing the carbon pricing strategy has been stated. Meanwhile the federal government says it will impose a system on provinces that don’t have their own carbon pricing system in place by 2018. On May 18 it released a technical paper on pricing carbon pollution and how it would be applied to provinces that do not have their own system in place by the deadline. The federal paper suggests relief from the carbon levy in some situations, including gasoline and diesel fuel used by registered farmers in certain farming activities, but did not elaborate on what those activities involve. MBP reps spent two days in Ottawa in late May advancing specific Manitoba beef industry concerns. MBP was accompanied on some of these meetings by staff from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s Ottawa office who provided insights on national issues such as trade agreements such as CETA. MBP met with Manitoba Members of Parliament James Bezan, Robert Sopuck, Larry Maguire and Ted Falk, as well as with staff from the office of Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay. These meetings were used to focus in on a series of topics, including: • the impact that the federal regulatory and policy climate can have on efforts to grow Manitoba’s beef herd; • the need to eradicate bovine TB in and around Riding Mountain National Park;

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DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

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

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

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

GORD ADAMS

DISTRICT 2

RAMONA BLYTH - VICE-PRESIDENT

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER

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

LARRY WEGNER

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

DIANNE RIDING - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 10

KEN MCKAY

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

DISTRICT 11

ROBERT METNER

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

TOM TEICHROEB - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 12

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

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

BILL MURRAY

www.mbbeef.ca

• the economic implications of carbon pricing policies for the beef industry and the need to ensure producers are not placed at a competitive disadvantage; • the important role that the beef and forage sectors can play in sequestering carbon and helping Canada achieve its GHG reduction goals; • the need for governments to provide recognition for the ecosystem services that cattle producers provide; • the importance of effective water management strategies, including the completion of the longneeded Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project, as well as support for the Aquanty hydrogeosphere modeling project to model the Assiniboine River Basin; • the effects of labour shortages in the beef sector; • the value of competitive lending programs, especially for young producers; and • the benefits that arise from investments in beef and forage research, innovation and extension activities, including the work being done by Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI). MBP outlined its priorities for the Next Policy Framework, which will replace Growing Forward II. Past and current iterations of agricultural policy frameworks have proven very beneficial to Manitoba’s beef industry, helping to build capacity. MBP is seeking continued support for the Verified Beef Production Plus Program, for MBFI, the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures, the TB Coordinator’s position and the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), among other key initiatives. MBP also met with staff from several different federal departments, including Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada. These meetings were used to discuss topics such as business risk management (BRM) programs, including AgriStability. MBP reps provided insights into why AgriStability has not necessarily been proven to be as effective a tool for beef producers as producers in other sectors. MBP cautioned that over the past several years an imbalance between the types and comprehensiveness of BRM tools available to the cropping sector has caused a distortion in Canadian agriculture by incenting producers to switch to cropping and away from cattle production. MBP identified some Manitoba-specific concerns about the proposed changes to the animal transport regulations. There was a discussion of changes being made with respect to own use imports of veterinary drugs and increased prescription requirements for veterinary drugs, and MBP cited concerns related to cost and availability of products. “We found these meetings to be extremely valuable,” said Fox. “Any opportunity an association like MBP or even an individual producer has to help raise awareness of beef industry opportunities and concerns with the people who are developing the programs, policies and regulations affecting us is important. We need to ensure that there is no disconnect between the people who are making the policies and those who are affected by them on the landscape.”

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX- 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

POLICY ANALYST

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Maureen Cousins Chad Saxon

FINANCE

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

OFFICE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Brian Lemon

Deb Walger Elizabeth Harms Chad Saxon

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Anne Rooban

Trinda Jocelyn


July 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

National Check-Off increase to take effect September 1 in Manitoba BY CHAD SAXON MBP Communications Coordinator

Beginning Sept. 1 Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) will start collecting the increased National Check-Off (NCO) of $2.50/head on behalf of the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency (the Agency). The much talked about increase from $1 to $2.50/head has been in the planning stages for the past two years as a means of supporting the goals laid out in the National Beef Strategy. Manitoba producers passed a resolution supporting the increase at MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting in February 2016. Released in 2015, the National Beef Strategy is based around four pillars – connectivity, productivity, competitiveness and beef demand – that each contain a number of goals and outcomes, which were developed by an industry-led planning group. That same group also determined that if the beef industry is to meet those goals an increase in the check-off, the first since 2002, was required. Although the resolution by MBP’s membership passed well over a year ago, a great deal of work to implement it has been taking place behind the scenes in the proceeding months. MBP General Manager Brian Lemon says the association has been working with the national Agency and lawyers to ensure all the proper procedural steps were taken to enact the increase. He added MBP’s directors discussed when was the best time for the association to begin collecting the increase in Manitoba. “As it currently stands not all provinces are collecting the increased check-off,” Lemon said. “The other provincial associations each have their own unique regulatory environments and challenges that they have to work through and will all arrive at the finish line at different times. So the question for our board was whether or not we should wait for more provinces to enact the increase or move forward when we were ready to.” MBP President Ben Fox said there was a great deal of discussion around the board table but the decision to move ahead with collecting the increased NCO was made at the June board meeting. "Our board felt it was important to show leadership and to also show our continued support of the National Beef

Strategy,” Fox said. “The increase is needed to support the strategy which, we believe, will ultimately lead to a stronger industry for our producers here in Manitoba.” “By moving forward with the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off increase in Manitoba, the province is showing solid leadership and support for the National Beef Strategy,” added Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency General Manager Melinda German. “The check-off increase will be invested into market development, promotion and research initiatives that will continue to advance the Canadian beef industry as a whole.” German added that studies show producers have received a strong return on their check-off investment and can expect that to continue into the future. “The benefit-cost ratio of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off was calculated at returning $14 to the industry for every $1 that was invested between 2011 and 2014. This is incredible value for the $1 checkoff, and we expect to continue seeing a high rate of return for the industry with an increased check-off across the country.” At their June meeting the MBP board decided that 67.5 per cent of the check-off collected in Manitoba will go towards market development and promotion initiatives such as promoting the Canadian Beef brand, the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence and global marketing of Canadian Beef. Twenty-three per cent of the monies collected go towards beef and cattle research, three per cent to Issues Management and 6.5 per cent has been earmarked for investment into the marketing and research priorities as directed by the MBP board. Lemon said he recognizes that although the resolution to support the increase passed with near unanimous consent, there will be some MBP members unhappy to see an additional $1.50 check-off on their animals. “We know there are always financial pressures on our members and margins are razor thin,” he said. “However these check-offs, whether it be our provincial check-off or the national check-off, fund our work on behalf of members. It enables us to market their product, support research and to advocate with governments and other organizations on their behalf. “The beef industry is fortunate to have a number of dedicated and tal-

what does an INCREASE TO THE CANADIAN BEEF CATTLE CHECK-OFF

mean for producers? Provincial Investment 14% Research 18%

the canadian beef cattle check-off increase will fund programing and research to grow beef demand, ensure competitiveness, increase productivity and enhance connectivity and synergies across the value chain.

Marketing 67%

ϮϬϭϱͬϭϲ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ĞĞĨ ĂƩůĞ ŚĞĐŬͲKī ůůŽĐĂƟŽŶ

market development and promotion

beef and cattle research

provincial investment

Ͳ ƚŚĞ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ĞĞĨ ƌĂŶĚ Ͳ ƚŚĞ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ĞĞĨ ĞŶƚƌĞ ŽĨ džĐĞůůĞŶĐĞ Ͳ 'ůŽďĂů ďƌĂŶĚ ŵĂƌŬĞƟŶŐ ŽĨ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ďĞĞĨ

Ͳ sĞƌŝĮĞĚ ĞĞĨ WƌŽĚƵĐƟŽŶ WůƵƐ ;s WнͿ ƉƌŽŐƌĂŵ Ͳ WƌŝŽƌŝƚLJ ƉƌŽĚƵĐƟŽŶ ƌĞƐĞĂƌĐŚ ĨŽƌ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ Ͳ DĞŶƚŽƌƐŚŝƉ ŽĨ ŶĞǁ ƌĞƐĞĂƌĐŚĞƌƐ

/ŶǀĞƐƚŵĞŶƚƐ ŝŶƚŽ ƉƌŽǀŝŶĐŝĂů ŵĂƌŬĞƟŶŐͬ ƌĞƐĞĂƌĐŚ ƉƌŝŽƌŝƟĞƐ͕ ĂƐ ĂůůŽĐĂƚĞĚ ďLJ ƚŚĞ ƉƌŽǀŝŶĐŝĂů ĐĂƩůĞ ĂƐƐŽĐŝĂƟŽŶ

14:1

value of the canadian beef cattle check-off dŚĞ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ĞĞĨ ĂƩůĞ ŚĞĐŬͲKī ĚĞŝůǀĞƌƐ Ψϭϰ ŝŶ ďĞŶĞĮƚƐ ƚŽ ƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ ĨŽƌ ĞǀĞƌLJ Ψϭ ŝŶǀĞƐƚĞĚ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ƌĞƐĞĂƌĐŚ͕ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĚĞǀĞůŽƉŵĞŶƚ ĂŶĚ ƉƌŽŵŽƟŽŶ ŝŶŝƟĂƟǀĞƐ ĨŽƌ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ďĞĞĨ͘

&Žƌ ŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ ŽŶ ƚŚĞ ǀĂůƵĞ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ĞĞĨ ĂƩůĞ ŚĞĐŬͲKī͕ ǀŝƐŝƚ͗ ǁǁǁ͘ĐĂŶĂĚĂďĞĞĨ͘ĐĂͬŶĂƟŽŶĂůͲĐŚĞĐŬͲŽī &Žƌ ŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ ŽŶ ƚŚĞ EĂƟŽŶĂů ĞĞĨ ^ƚƌĂƚĞŐLJ͕ ĂŶĚ ƚŽ ůĞĂƌŶ ŵŽƌĞ ĂďŽƵƚ ƚŚĞ ĂŶĂĚŝĂŶ ĞĞĨ ĂƩůĞ ŚĞĐŬͲKī ŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞ ŝŶ LJŽƵƌ ƉƌŽǀŝŶĐĞ͕ ƉůĞĂƐĞ ĐŽŶƚĂĐƚ LJŽƵƌ ƉƌŽǀŝŶĐŝĂů ĐĂƩůĞ ĂƐƐŽĐŝĂƟŽŶ͘

INCREASE TO THE CANADIAN BEEF CATTLE CHECK-OFF Canadian beef producers continue to support research, market development and promotion for Canadian beef and cattle through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. To achieve the objectives of the National Beef Strategy, the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off will increase from $1 to $2.50 per head. This increase will ensure support of the industry’s long-term vision of a dynamic and profitable Canadian industry with sustainable beef demand, competitiveness, productivity and connectivity. The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off delivers measurable value to Canadian beef producers, bringing $14 in benefits to producers for every $1 producers invest through research, market development and promotion initiatives across the country. For information on the value of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, visit: www.canadabeef.ca/national-check-off For information on the National Beef Strategy, and to learn more about the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off increase in your province, please contact your provincial cattle association below. Sign up for the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off newsletter at http://bit.ly/cdnbeefcheckoff

ented people working to ensure everything is in place for all involved to be successful. The funds collected through the provincial and national check-offs are the lifeblood of that work. Lemon added that MBP’s $3 per

head check-off will not be increasing. The provincial check-off funds MBP’s operations and the association’s annual allocation to the Canadian Cattleman’s Association to support their activities on behalf of producers.

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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2017

Transportation regulations a concern “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its’ limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” Ronald Reagan It’s always good to get a reminder to focus on the task of writing my column. Thankfully Chad Saxon, Cattle Country Editor, is diligent in this endeavour. It offers me a time to reflect on the things that have come and gone over the past few weeks and it is a reminder to be aware that no matter what, time keeps marching on, like it or not. As we roll along into the summer months MBP has had some useful and informative meetings with both provincial and federal officials before the respective houses rose. In late May, we sat down with Sustainable Development Minister Cox and had an open and honest discussion regarding predation, TB, night hunting and MBP’s carbon policy position. It was encouraging to hear that there is some work being done on getting the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group functioning again. MBP also took part in an advocacy trip to Ottawa and met with several MP’s and high-level officials in Ag Canada, Health Canada and CFIA. It was a trip well worth

BEN FOX MBP President

making and led to insights and information that can be of benefit to Manitoba’s cattle industry. Of particular note is the proposed rule change to the existing transport regulations for cattle. These proposed changes call for a decrease in the amount of hours animals can legally be in transport without a stoppage and rest given. The changes as presented, pose a serious threat to our sustainability and offer no value to anyone involved. Cattle shipped from Manitoba could possibly be unloaded and reloaded twice before they reach their final destinations in either Eastern or Western Canada. This is unacceptable and that is precisely the wording we presented to each official we talked to. The current success rate, with regard to hauling cattle, is greater than 99.9 per cent. Of all the cattle hauled in Canada, less than 0.06 per cent experience any injuries or death. Any change in the regulation

imposed would not only decrease that success rate, but also put undue stress on the animals while increasing everyone’s costs. This regulatory re-write is preposterous at best and industry crippling at its worst. Certainly, it is in everyone’s best interest for the proper care and handling of the livestock that are being hauled, whether it be across the ranch or across the country. Therefore, we continue to say that any regulation change that is forthcoming has to be science-based with logical thinking behind it. It seems that this proposal was solely formed on an emotional, illogical base that did not take into account the science, logistics, animal welfare, costs and market factors. We were encouraged by the message that we received from Ag Canada officials, but remain steadfast along with our industry partners in making sure this proposed change does not come to fruition. We also spoke about the second outlet channel for Lake Manitoba, the Next Policy Framework, TB initiatives, federal lands in Community Pastures, research opportunities and had the chance to sit in during a Standing Committee on Agriculture hearing dealing with the NAFTA renegotiations. This was particularly interesting as the dialogue

gave evidence that there seemed to be the understanding that NAFTA has been good for the beef industry on both sides of the border and should be continued with only minor changes. This will undoubtedly garner more interest as the renegotiation time nears. We will be keeping as informed as possible and making sure that MBP’s view is expressed to the appropriate people. The Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary is coming up in the middle part of August. I would encourage anyone who can attend to go and be a part of the offered sessions. It is beneficial to be informed and aware of what is going on and coming up in our industry. The summer also offers time to partake in local fairs and 4-H shows. I hope that if you are able to support those local events and young beef producers. MBP is your organization, and as such we look forward to hearing from you. Positive or negative, your comments show that we have engaged producers that still give a darn. By all means talk to your local director, staff or executive member. Good luck with your summertime tasks, take some time out for family activities and have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Ticks are on the move in Manitoba

What they might be bringing with them and why you should be concerned Diploma in Agriculture students in the Advanced Communications and Rural Leadership course (DAGR 0610) wrote articles as part of a research knowledge translation assignment. This featured story was written by Bailey Sigvaldason, with editing by Christine Rawluk. Bovine anaplasmosis is a bacterial cattle disease caused by a blood borne pathogen transmitted in North America by the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the American dog tick. Until April 2014, bovine anaplasmosis was a federally reportable disease. The effects of this disease include loss of appetite, reduced grazing, reduced milk production, which can lead to deteriorated calf health, anemia, and uncharacteristic behavior of cattle. Because this disease remains in the infected animal’s system for life there is a very high risk of disease transmission via feeding ticks,

making it a high priority for producers to predict and control. Dr. Kateryn Rochon is a livestock entomologist with the University of Manitoba, studying the effects arthropods such as ticks have on livestock. Rochon and colleagues from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge and the University of Saskatchewan are currently studying the geographic distribution, abundance and genetic diversity of both these key tick species across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. This information will help western Canadian producers to identify risk areas, predict population surges, and manage the occurrence of anaplasmosis in their cattle. The research began by defining where the current tick populations are situated, something that had not

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been documented since the 1950s. Findings show that populations have moved substantially across the prairies. Factors that have been identified as stimuli for tick movement include climate and weather patterns – precipitation levels, vegetation, human and livestock movement and temperature. “Finding ticks in Manitoba isn’t hard – they come to you,” admits Rochon, “but there have been significant changes as to where and how easily you can find them.” In Manitoba specifically they have begun to move northward, being documented in The Pas and even further north. In Saskatchewan, the team has documented an overlap in the ranges of both the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick for the first time. Previously the American dog tick was found in Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountain wood tick in Alberta, BC and Western Saskatchewan. “For the first time you can have these two species feeding on the same animals and pathogens could potentially be transmitted to other tick populations and cattle in other parts of the country.” Historically if one population was contaminated it would have been isolated. The next step in this research is to model these population changes across Western Canada to predict the level of tick presence in any given year, and the risk to cattle producers of exposure to tick-borne diseases such as bovine anaplasmosis. Determining what regulates tick populations will be a major player in this development. This next step will be driven by producer interest and concern into developing management strategies for this disease. This prairie-wide project is funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council.

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Male American Dog Tick


July 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Better water = bigger calves By the Beef Cattle Research Council A water source that is safe, palatable, and readily available is essential for animal survival, but there is also clear evidence that the accessibility of water impacts the productivity of cattle. Dugouts are a common water source for range cattle in western Canada. When dugout water is pumped into troughs, preweaned calves gain more weight. In a study done at the Western Beef Development Centre, cow-calf pairs were provided either direct access to a dugout

or access to troughs of untreated water pumped from the same dugout. Calves with cows that drank from the troughs gained on average 0.09 lbs per day more than calves with cows that only had direct access to the dugout. Pumping water resulted in an extra 18 lbs of weaning weight per calf during the trial. Cattle with access to pumped water on summer pasture drink more than animals that need to drink directly from a dugout. Pumping water provides cleaner, more palatable water because it prevents cattle from contaminating the water source with feces and urine. Water and forage intake

are closely related, so cows that drink more water also spend more time eating and therefore produce more milk for their calves. Treating surface water by aerating, or with coagulation and chlorination, has the potential to increase weight gain further. The same study found that yearling steers had 8per cent to 9per cent higher weight gains when they had access to water that at been coagulated or aerated before it was pumped compared to steers that only had direct access to dugout water. Steers gained 3per cent more weight with access to untreated pumped dugout water versus

direct dugout access. Cattle weight gains are not the only benefits of pumping water. Producers can also prevent environmental, herd health, and pasture utilization problems that can result from direct watering from surface water sources. Despite the costs, time and effort of researching, installing and maintaining watering systems, pumping water has potential to increase profits. Learn more about pasture watering systems at ForageBeef.ca, and visit www. BeefResearch.ca for more science-based production advice.

Trip to Ottawa proves worthwhile BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column Welcome to the summer of 2017! I expect most of you are done calving, and are now into the throes of your first hay cut and are thinking it isn’t a heavy as you would like to it to be. The seasons change but the work and the challenges continue. Work continues at the MBP office as well as we represent you all and fight on your collective behalf to make this industry stronger and better. Since my last column, we have been very busy working to bring value to producers in Manitoba. In my last column, the provincial budget was still very much in the news. There was a lot of excitement about the province’s commitment to our sector (and other livestock sectors) with the announcement of a Livestock Growth Strategy in the provincial budget. Since then we met with Agriculture Minister Eichler and his senior staff to learn more about the budget announcement and how it fits with his previously stated goal of growing the beef herd. The Minster was again very clear with us, saying that any growth strategy will need to be developed by the industry and led by the industry if it is going to provide sustained benefit to the industry. We agree and have been very willing to work with the government. We have pushed the province on several occasions to unveil the plans it has supporting the Minister’s 2016 grow the herd announcement and the Livestock Growth

Strategy, but we haven’t seen any details as yet. We continue to look for these details, and in the meantime will be taking the minster’s advice and will be working to build an industry-led strategy. In support of our membership, MBP was in Ottawa recently to meet with Members of Parliament (MPs) and federal officials. This is an annual opportunity we take to ensure that the interests and opinions of Manitoba’s beef sector are heard in Ottawa. This year we met with a number of Manitoba MPs as well as with officials from Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As part of our meetings, we were able to raise a number of important issues, all somewhat linked to the theme of the provincial government’s goal to grow our herd. Specific issues raised included: water/ flood management and the Lake Manitoba Lake St. Martin outlet channel project; continuing efforts to eradicate bovine TB; losses due to problem predators; support for community pastures; our carbon policy, and regulatory changes being

proposed to the hours of transport and access to veterinary drugs. All of these issues if dealt with properly, will result in a better regulatory and fiscal climate for producers to enter the industry or grow their herds. We also had really productive meetings with federal departmental staff. We were able to talk about the transportation rules being proposed, the changes coming around our ability to access veterinary drugs, as well as what we are looking for in the next agricultural policy framework (GF3) in terms of Agri-Stability, livestock price insurance, support for research and assistance to help deal with the challenges of public trust. All-in-all, it was a busy two days, but a great chance to tell our story and advocate on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers. We also met with a senior representative of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s Science and Technology Branch. During this meeting we began the conversations to ensure we see our share of federal research dollars invested in Manitoba, and we discussed the importance of maintaining

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our province’s beef and forage research capacity. A key argument for this is our research farm partnership at Brandon/Brookdale — Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI). This summer will be an exciting time at MBFI with more than 20 projects underway. We also have plans to construct a Learning Centre at the Brookdale site. This facility will be a home for extension activities and allow our industry to host events to raise public awareness and encourage producer adoption of new and innovative ideas. Federated

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

Regular cattle sales July 11, 25, & August 1, 15 & 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 5 12:00 p.m. Dairy Herd Dispersal Monday, August 14 & 28 at 12:00 p.m. Small animals sales No small animal sales in July 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

Co-operatives Limited recently announced a significant donation from the Co-op Community Spaces Program, providing $125,000 toward the construction of the Learning Centre. This timely donation will allow MBFI to build a first-class facility that includes both indoor and outdoor learning spaces. We certainly want to acknowledge this generous donation and thank Federated Cooperatives Limited for their support. Finally, I am happy to announce a new MBP

staff person has joined the team. As of June 19 those of you calling the office or stopping by to see us will be greeted by Elisabeth Harms who has joined us in an administrative role. Elisabeth has a food science and nutrition background and comes to us with experience working at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. We are very excited to have Elisabeth working as part of our team, we look forward to her contributions, and would encourage you all to call or stop in and say hi. Enjoy your summer.


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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2017

Keep a watch out for pinkeye, footrot in summer months DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner The recent rains and resultant pasture rejuvenation has enabled producers to get their herds out on grass. Footrot and pinkeye season will soon be upon us. Prevention and early treatment are imperative to avoid long-term severe disease and welfare issues. Prolonged warm, wet conditions favor footrot as do pastures with stubble, stumps and other rough forage that can traumatize the interdigital skin (area between the claws). Fusobacterium necrophorum, a soil bacteria infects the skin, causing redness, thickening, fissuring and erosion. Untreated or more severe cases can progress to involve other areas of the foot. A full cure is obtained with early antibiotic treatment (longacting oxytetracyclines and Micotil are commonly used). Note, though, that if you treat and there is no response within two days or the lameness resolves, but returns, it isn’t footrot. Simple footrot is always cured with a single treatment. Consider a toe abcess, foreign body (nail/ wire) or other predisposing problems like sandcracks, heel warts/ulcers and cuts with joint or tendon infections as

potential reasons for a “simple footrot” failing to respond. These problems require early veterinary attention to avoid permanent severe damage resulting in claw amputation, early culling or humane euthanasia. As with all things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Minimize your herd’s risk by ensuring the feet are healthy. Select genetics with good foot conformation, control shrub and slough areas on pastures and ensure a good mineral program to keep those hooves strong. Vaccination is available and can be economical in higher risk situations or animals. Keep in mind that two vaccinations (at least four weeks apart) are required during initial immunization. In subsequent years, only one vaccination is needed. If you don’t give the booster, don’t bother giving anything. One group that should be vaccinated is the bulls lame, painful bulls don’t breed and semen quality can be adversely affected. Routine mass herd vaccination should only be done in groups with traditional high rates of footrot where other control measures have failed. Pinkeye is another problem commonly seen on pasture. Higher numbers of cases are seen during the warm summer weather when the fly populations are greatest and if conditions

are dry and dusty. Undergrazing or poorer quality pastures overrun with weeds and less palatable forage result in tall grass that can irritate the eyes during grazing. A poor mineral and vitamin program can weaken the immune system and predispose to disease. Consider Vitamin A deficiency as a potential reason for extraordinarily high numbers of pinkeye cases. Ensure supplementation is adequate over the winter so that the cows don’t enter the grazing season with rockbottom levels. Vitamin levels are high in green grass and will replenish over the summer but will drop as the grasses mature in the fall or during dry weather. Proper pasture management with timely rotation, correct stocking densities and selective haying will help improve pasture quality, feeding value and avoid long grass irritation of the eyes. Fly control options are numerous and varied – fly trap collection systems, oilers, flytags, chemical applications. Choose a system that works for you and fits your needs and management style. Collectors and oilers should be placed in areas that cattle must access (such as alleys to watering spots). Flytags and chemical applications only last six to eight weeks and should be applied as late in the spring as possible to provide protection during peak fly season in late July and August

without requiring retreatment. As for footrot, vaccines are available for pinkeye and have been very effective when used in conjunction with the other tips discussed above. Pinkeye vaccination is also unique in that a single dose provides immunity (no booster needed) though that immunity is not long-lived. Give the vaccine as close to pasture turnout as you can or efficacy will wane by the later summer. Vaccinate in the face of an outbreak to help induce immunity levels and, while you are processing, give a Vitamin A injection and fly control application. Pinkeye treatment is similar to footrot treatment – long-acting oxytetracyclines are generally the most effective. As with footrot, success occurs with early treatment. Advanced cases require topical sprays, subconjunctival penicillin injections and patches/flaps. Severe cases resulting in eye rupture need surgery to control infection, maggot infestations and improve animal welfare. Eyes that don’t respond to simple antibiotic treatment may not be pinkeye but early cancer eye. Excellent pictorial handouts are available through your veterinarian to demonstrate the differences. Taking care of the herd on pasture will help ensure a big healthy crop of calves and bred cows in the fall!

Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup celebrates 10 years Media Release The Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup will celebrate its 10th anniversary Aug. 4-6 in Neepawa. This exciting three-day event will bring together junior members, 4-Hers, and enthusiasts from all

across the province. The show is organized by representatives from various breed organizations that have been involved with national and provincial shows in the past. Our goal is to prepare young entrepreneurs in the live-

T h an k Y o u Manitoba Beef Producers would like to thank Trevor, Lisa, Taylor and Harleigh Carlson of Up The Creek Cattle Co. Ltd. for providing the cattle for our exhibits at the Red River Ex and Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. The Carlsons’ support is a KZQ\QKIT XIZ\ WN 5*8¼[ M‫ٺ‬WZ\[ to promote awareness of the provincial beef industry.

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stock industry, through this exciting showcase of youth, cattle and friendly competition. This event will educate, encourage, stimulate and unite participants in the business of agriculture and the beef industry. It encompasses a variety of competitions and events to match all interests and skill levels of participants. Some of the events are team grooming, individual and team judging, showmanship, marketing, sales talk, impromptu speeches, art, photography, scrap booking, and cattle classes. This will be a celebration and showcase of Manitoba youth and agriculture in our province. We encourage young and old to stay involved in the agriculture industry, explore career opportunities, increase national trade and awareness, and be proud to be part of one of Canada’s largest industries. We feel the celebration of our past shows exemplifies the importance of youth and agriculture, and will strive to present innovative opportunities that promote and educate future cattleman dedicated to the cattle industry. New for the 10th Anniversary will be a low stress cattle handling workshop, stockman knowledge competition, public speaking and roundup ambassador competition, advocacy workshop, and invitations for 4-H champion females from each 2017 club achievement to attend roundup, with entry fee paid by the roundup. Along with Ag Challenge competitions, Cook-off, cattle shows, scholarships and selection of Canadian Western Agribition Team. View our new video on our facebook page to learn more about the event. Roundup is an all-breeds show to bring young purebred and commercial cattle producers from across the province together in friendly competition amongst the new and upcoming producers from within Manitoba. Check out Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup Facebook page or contact Chairperson, Lois McRae 204-728-3058 The deadline for entries to the round is July 10.


July 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Combining management strategies to reduce whole farm greenhouse gas emissions BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK National Centre for Livestock and the Environment

Manure application at the NCLE long term study site. Photo credit Don Flaten

thetic fertilizer or manure since 2007. “These soils have a reservoir of organic N built up over a decade of manure applications,” says Tenuta. “We are interested to see what differences there are in N2O emissions between the plots receiving manure and the synthetic fertilizer treatment, and how these in turn compare to emissions from soil following a single addition of manure.” Stacking practices - combined GHG impact greater than individual practice improvements? The team thinks a systems-based or whole-farm approach might hold the key to achieving larger GHG emissions reductions for the cow-calf sector. Specifically they will examine if combining multiple feeding and manure management strategies proven effective on their own can result in greater emissions reductions when used together,

compared with when using them on their own. Research team: Kim Ominski, Mario Tenuta and coinvestigators, Emma McGough, Karin Wittenberg and Don Flaten with the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, Tim McAllister of AAFC, and Robin White of Virginia Tech. Funding for this research is provided by AAFC’s Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP). This is the second AGGP project with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. Factsheets on scientifically validated cattle production, feed, fertilizer and land management practices for reducing GHG emissions arising from the initial research project are available on the NCLE website: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/afs/ ncle/programs/ghg_agroeco.html

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Cow-calf producers have adopted a wide range of feed, animal and land management strategies in response to changing weather and soil conditions, markets, and in their continued efforts to be good stewards of the land. Yet the overall impact of these practice changes on greenhouse gas (GHG) is not always clear due to the complexity of cattle production systems. Nearly 75 per cent of all GHG from beef cattle production systems are enteric methane emissions. The extent of methane emissions can be mitigated to a certain degree through changes in feeding practices. Previous research by beef scientists in western Canada, including Kim Ominski, Karin Wittenberg and Emma McGeough at the University of Manitoba demonstrated that methane emissions can be reduced from 5-20 per cent with any one dietary mitigation strategy, including feeding higher quality forages. However, further gains in reductions may require a whole-farm approach. “We know diet alone can reduce emissions only so much,” says Ominski. “The next step is to see if stacking dietary and manure management strategies will lead to greater reductions in emissions.” Nitrous oxide – the other GHG from agriculture The other main agricultural greenhouse gas is nitrous oxide (N2O) which is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The majority of N2O emissions are from agricultural soils, generated from nitrogen-based fertilizers and manure applied to cropland and pastures. Nitrous oxide from manure, urine and soil accounts for 19 per cent of GHG emissions from beef production in Canada. Yet fertilizers and manure provide nutrients essential for achieving high yielding, high quality feed ingredients associated with lower methane emissions and better growth rates. Replacing synthetic fertilizer with manure saves money and reduces potential N2O loss, but there are challenges and unknowns when it comes to using manure as a fertilizer efficiently and effectively. The 2016 Canadian Round Table for Sustainable Beef report and our national 2012 beef production practices survey of over 1000 beef operations both highlighted the lack of manure-related information available for Canadian beef operations. Current models used to estimate GHG contributions and predict how a change in management will impact emissions may fall short because of this lack of knowledge about how management affects manure-based N2O emissions or about current manure management on Canadian beef operations. Another potential model weakness is that current estimates of N2O from manure applied to soil assume manure-N is the same as fertilizer-N. This approach may overestimate emissions from manure since most nitrogen in solid manures is initially tied up as organic-N and is only slowly released as inorganic-N - the form fertilizer-N is already in. Closing knowledge gaps to reduce nitrous oxide emissions New research with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE) started this summer will help close these knowledge gaps over the next four years. Soil scientist Mario Tenuta is leading the manure-focused research component. Working collaboratively with Ominski and others, Tenuta will determine how manure properties, bedding and manure management, and infield manure use history affect the accumulation of inorganic-N in soil and subsequent N2O production. They will also conduct a manure management practices survey of beef operations to identify current manure management practices. Tenuta expects N2O production from organic sources such as solid cattle manure to be considerably less than for synthetic N fertilizer. “Nitrogen has to be in a mineral or inorganic form for loss to occur,” explains Tenuta. “The N in solid manure is in an organic form - it has to first be converted to inorganic-N and this process takes time, plus crops are taking up this nitrogen as it becomes available.” The manure application history of a field may also influence the potential for N2O loss. The NCLE long term manure management field plots at the University of Manitoba’s Glenlea Research Station have been receiving syn-

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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2017

Jackson advocating for producers BY ANGELA LOVELL Canadian cattle producers will have a strong advocate on the recently re-established Species at Risk Advisory Committee in Fawn Jackson. Jackson grew up on a cattle and grain farm near Inglis, Manitoba which started her on the path to eventually become the Environment and Sustainability Manager at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), and Executive Director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Jackson will join other stakeholders from many different industries including agriculture, energy, forestry, mining, and transportation as well as environmental and indigenous organizations. The Advisory Committee’s role is to give feedback and recommendations to the federal government about how to implement various components of the Species at Risk act. “The Act is a lot about stewardship and the intent of the Act was to enable Canadians to be stewards to species at risk, whether that was on private or public land,” says Jackson. “Everyone on the Committee is interested in enabling

that stewardship and being able to engage with Canadians and get everybody working towards the same goal, which is rich biodiversity in Canada. There is a large commitment from all stakeholders to be stewards and help protect Canada’s natural resources, so it’s really great to get everybody in a room to discuss specifically, species at risk, but also to build relationships that go beyond those walls and I think that’s really valuable.” There are some new areas of the Species at Risk Act that have also not yet seen their full potential, such as conservation agreements. “That will be something that we will be working on together,” says Jackson. Growing up on a cattle farm, Jackson understands that stewardship is important to cattle producers, who already are involved in many environmental stewardship and wildlife preservation programs to help species at risk. “Being a cattle producer really goes hand in hand with being an environmental steward and we want to make sure that the Act is appropriate for the audience,” she says. “We want to make sure that the Act doesn’t get implemented

Fawn Jackson

in a way that is so onerous that it just pushes cattle producers away from being able to do the stewardship that they want to do and that they need to do.” Environmental stewardship is something near and dear to Jackson’s heart, as is advocacy for agriculture, although it took a while for her to realize how much she loved the industry she was raised in. “I loved growing up on the farm but I didn’t think I was going to go into agriculture first of all,” she says. “I

went to high school on Vancouver Island and nobody knew about agriculture. I found that quite concerning so that really changed the trajectory of what I wanted to study.” After high school Jackson went to the University of Alberta and studied Natural Resource and Agricultural Economics, and from there went to Oklahoma State University to complete a Masters in International Agriculture. After university she joined the CCA as a policy analyst and shortly thereafter moved into her current environment and sustainability role. “I love my role at the CCA because I work with amazing people,” says Jackson. “The unique thing about cattle producers is that no matter what, behind the scenes, they’re doing what’s right and that dedication runs generations deep. I am deeply committed to the environment and working for people who make such a big contribution to Canada’s environment, conservation, and stewardship. To be able to bring their perspective to the table and make sure that they are in a position to continue to be environmental stewards of the working landscape, that is really meaningful.”

Hay production: quality vs. quantity BY JOHN MCGREGOR Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association Extension Support

As we move closer to the start of haying season, it’s important to remember hay is one of the most common sources of stored feed for livestock. Most of harvested hay is used by the original producer; therefore quality should clearly be of high importance for your own livestock. But in hay production, does quality trump quantity? A common belief is that cows can simply eat

more low quality forage to meet their energy demands, but according to the Beef Cattle Research Council, this is not true in most cases because the higher fiber content in low-quality forage actually decreases voluntary intake. Research by the Beef Cattle Research Council stated that forage with low protein content (seven percent or less), high acid detergent fiber (ADF) and

neutral detergent fiber (NDF) cannot meet the nutritional needs of many, if any, classes of livestock without additional feed supplementation. In turn, feeding higher quality forage may mean no supplementation is required other than minerals to meet nutrient requirements. In fact, the research suggested harvesting and feeding higher quality forage may prevent several conditions altogether (e.g., loss of body condition, dystocia,

lower milk production and delayed returning estrous). When we look at feed efficiency in dairy and beef cows we see that there are some differences that affect hay management. Dairy Cows Dairy cows need the best quality alfalfa hay with the most nutrients per pound, eating as much as possible to keep up with their caloric demands when producing milk. Feed efficiency (FE) - sometimes called dairy efficiency measurement is often used

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to help determine the cows’ ability to turn nutrients into milk. FE equates to the pounds of milk produced per pound of dry matter consumed. Since forages make up a very large component of the slowly digestible part of a lactating cows diet, they are critical for maintaining a desired FE. If you see that FE values are very high it may mean that forage quality and feed quality may need to be improved (Penn State Extension: "Forages have the greatest effect on feed efficiency"). Beef Cattle In contrast, beef cattle diets are much simpler than those of dairy cows. They do better with a mix of straw and alfalfa or a lower-quality grass source that is not as rich in protein. Alfalfa (green or fed as hay) is better for calves, younger cattle, or dairy and pregnant cows in late gestation. While the nutritional value of hay for beef cattle isn’t as crucial as dairy, it is still something for producers to think about, especially precalving and while nursing a calf. Sweet Spot As the forage matures in the field and gets a higher ratio of stemto-leaf material, fiber content increases and the percentages of protein and energy decrease. Likewise, digestibility and feed intake also decrease, equating to

a decrease in quality and quantity. So essentially, early cut hay forage is more nutritious than late cut hay forage and it’s all about finding that sweet spot between cutting length and forage quality. This means hay should be cut between the time of the late boot stage (emergence from the leaf sheath) and full seed head expression, before flowers begin to open and release pollen. Cutting Height Cutting height is something that you may need to consider in a mixed alfalfa-grass mixture. According to Dr. Dan Undersander, leaving the proper length in the field is important to the future quality of subsequent cuts within the season. He recommends the following cutting heights for optimum regrowth: · For alfalfa – minimum of 3 inches · For cool season grasses – minimum of 4 inches Regardless of the forage type, quality hay production takes special attention to detail and constant management. Whether you are setting hay quality goals based on your livestock’s production purpose or calculating feed efficiency, the most important end results are happy, healthy cows and the potential for improved profitability. (Adapted from an article in Beef Magazine)


July 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Copper deficiency takes a heavy toll BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL Garret Hill couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Cattle had plenty of grass, clean water, a standard mineral mix in front of them, they appeared to be in good condition, yet conception rates among cows and heifers on his family’s central Saskatchewan ranch were declining. This problem came to a head about six years ago. Their area around Duval, about an hour north of Regina, had experienced a succession of particularly wet growing seasons. There was plenty of grass and a relatively deep (150 foot) well on the farm supplied water to the herd as needed during the year. “We didn’t know what was wrong,” says Hill, who along with his brother Greg and other family members today run about a 1,000 head cow-calf operation. “But at that time we had about one-third of the cow herd open and it seemed to be increasing by about five per cent per year. The problem was getting worse.” It was during preg checking session that the alarm went off. Brother Greg Hill had called local veterinarians Laurie Zemlak and Tanya Marshall from the TM’z Veterinary Clinic at Lumsden to handle the annual preg check at the ranch. During that session Zemlak and Marshall noted a higher than normal percentage of opens. They in turn called in specialists from the University of Saskatchewan, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to investigate. The WCVM researchers had several blood samples from the cowherd analyzed. “It came down to a copper deficiency,” says Hill. “The blood tests showed a serious copper deficiency. They figured

it was like a perfect storm. Our well water was high in sulphates, and with wet conditions our grass was high in molybdenum — both high sulphates and molybdenum will tie up copper. And copper is essential to reproductive performance. We were feeding copper in our mineral mix, but it wasn’t in the right form.” The combination of high sulphates in the water, as well as high molybdenum levels in forages was a double whammy on copper. The cattle couldn’t get enough copper into them to overcome the adverse effect of sulphates and molybdenum. And Hill says with a herd calving in late May and June and later to be bred in August and September, the deficiency was probably peaking just at breeding season. Working with nutritionist Blake MacMillan from Blair Livestock Nutrition, they got the herd switched to a chelated mineral formulation. That was an important first step in correcting the problem. Chelated minerals are an organic source of minerals and generally are more readily available, more easily absorbed by cattle. They are more expensive than a standard mineral but can be more effective, especially when correcting a deficiency. “We saw phenomenal results, once we switched minerals,” says Hill. “All we use now are the chelated minerals. You think they cost more, but they really don’t. If you start having open cows because of a mineral deficiency, that is way more expensive than the minerals. If we hadn’t got the help to figure out what was wrong in our herd, I know we would have been out of business.” “My advice to other beef producers, if you’re seeing some performance

problem in your herd — get your water tested, have some blood tests done and feed chelated minerals,” says Hill. The particular situation Garret Hill experienced with nutritional imbalances that led to poor conception rates in their beef herd isn’t an epidemic by any means, but it happens more often than producers realize. Hill says since his problem with open cows he’s talked to other producers with similar situations. “There appears to be pockets of this here and there,” he says. Dr. John McKinnon, Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair and professor in animal science at the University of Saskatchewan, says it can be an issue in all parts of the country and it is a combination of factors, which contribute to performance issues. Peter Vitti, a Western Canadian beef and dairy nutritionist says often an important link in correcting livestock performance issues involves supplying cattle with a properly formulated mineral mix. Dr. Cheryl Waldner, a professor and researcher at the Western College of Veterinarian Medicine says even what appears to be “good water” can be the source of a performance problem in cattle. “Problems can arise, particularly when producers are sourcing water from deep-drilled wells,” says Waldner. “Wells that are up to 100 meters deep or more often tap into old aquifers that can be high in total dissolved solids and sometimes sulphates and iron.” “In addition to water quality challenges, most soils in Western Canada are naturally copper deficient,” she says. “So it is important that livestock receive a mineral supplement that contains copper. We know

that copper is one of the trace minerals essential to proper reproductive performance in cattle. The lower the copper level, the lower the conception rates, especially in young cows.” If cattle are supplied a water or feed high in sulphur, or iron, or if they encounter a feed source that’s high in molybdenum, for example, those elements tie up copper and therefore can reduce reproductive performance. Very high sulphate well water can also contribute to cases of polio in cattle as well. John McKinnon says the overall dietary concentration of sulphur can get pushed higher depending on the type of feed, too. Distillers’ grain and canola meal, for example, can be high in sulphur. “In a feedlot situation, a water source might have a sulphur concentration of 1000 ppm,” says McKinnon. “But if there is distillers’ grain or canola meal in the ration those feeds could increase the overall

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dietary concentration of sulphur to values higher than the recommended maximum intake of 0.3 to 0.5 per cent of dry matter for example. If you are feeding breeding age females, those higher sulphur levels can affect mineral status (i.e. copper) and ultimately conception rates, and in a feedyard those higher levels, along with added stress, can also increase the risk of polio in feeders.” “The copper requirement isn’t huge, but it is important,” says McKinnon. “In an average situation daily intake of 10 ppm of copper is sufficient, but if a person is seeing performance issues or dealing with highsulphur water, it may need to be bumped to 20 to 25 ppm.” Waldner says she would encourage producers to be proactive, particularly if they are using water from a deep well. Have the water quality tested and supply a good quality properly balanced mineral mix that contains copper. A lower-

cost inorganic mineral mix may be sufficient, but if that is not effective chelated formulations might be an option. “While a properly formulated mineral supplement should be able to account for high sulphate or iron in water, or a feed source high in molybdenum,” says Waldner, “there is still a challenge to get the right amount of mineral into the animals.” And that can be a multi-fold problem… Mineral intake is manageable in dairy barns where the mineral can be mixed directly into the ration. But in a beef operation with free-choice mineral, it can go a couple ways. Some producers not appreciating the value of mineral mixes, particularly during different stages of the cow’s reproductive cycle may figure it’s too expensive or too much trouble so the “mineral program” becomes a block of salt. In other cases producers may put out a Page 10 ¾

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2017 BBQ Rotisserie Top Sirloin Roast

It's time to grill! BY ADRIANA FINDLAY MBP Meat Expert

Summers in Manitoba are far from disappointing. We live somewhere which experiences some polar cold winters and some fantastic tropical heat in the summer months. That’s pretty incredible! With Canada’s 150th birthday this July, celebrations can be had with great food and events all summer long. Let’s talk grilling; summer gives us all a great opportunity to enjoy some wonderfully grilled foods with every warm day being an occasion to celebrate! The best cuts of beef that are ready for the grill are conveniently quick to prepare with low cooking times that are ideal for grilling and provide a tender, juicy flavour naturally. Beef on the grill is a natural go to meal option with so much variety. Below are a few grilling tips I’ve learnt over the years from grilling beef at home on the smoker or barbecue and during development of recipes presented on Great Tastes of Manitoba. Read the grocery store label Striploin Grilling Steak is a cut perfect for grilling at high heat for a short period of time. Cuts labelled ‘Grilling’ are good for pan-searing, broiling and grilling on a barbecue. These cuts are guaranteed to be

tender and juicy. Rotisserie roasts can be excellent large cuts that are great for feeding a crowd who loves barbecue. Look for rotisserie roasts that are labelled sirloin or loin cuts. Rotisserie cuts have been butchered into a long and even shape; this will ensure the roast will be evenly cooked while spinning on the rotisserie in your barbecue or smoker. Try not to fuss with your meat Do not poke beef while cooking; This can lose precious meat juices. Always aim to use thongs or a spatula barbecue tool to move meat on the grill. To achieve perfect grill marks and reach your desired doneness level cook with the barbecue lid down for even and fast cooking. This will help to achieve evenly cooked beef and remember to only flip steaks once! Once beef steaks or a rotisserie roast comes off the grill, grab a cocktail and chill out. Allow steaks to rest at least five minutes or up to ten minutes for roasts. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat as they always run towards the meat’s surface during cooking. This summer let the burger steal the show! The perfect burger doesn’t require much fuss; using ground chuck or sirloin will provide a cut of ground beef that is high enough

Ingredients 3 lbs 1.5 kg Top Sirloin Oven or Rotisserie Roast 1 ½ cups (350 mL) lager beer ¾ cups (175 mL) ketchup 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/3 cups (75 mL) EACH balsamic vinegar and brown sugar 3 Tbsp (45 mL) EACH Dijon mustard and paprika Salt and Pepper seasoning

in moisture that adding an egg or breadcrumbs will not be necessary. If you aren’t familiar with grilling ground beef use a handheld digital thermometer to ensure burgers reach a safe internal temperature of 160F/71C. These cooking tips helped me achieve consistent results when cooking beef each time. These small cooking tips are easy to learn and can really prove to family and friends you know what you are doing in the kitchen! This Canada Day pull out all the stops and barbecue a feast in celebration of 150 years. There are a lot of activities happening throughout the province from musical shows, fireworks, park day activities and even group walks and marathon runs. Calmer paced activities can be enjoyed on provincial park campsites, at the lake or in your back yard. Celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday shouldn’t be too difficult with a little beef on your plate. Stay tuned in the fall for upcoming season 28 of Great Tastes of Manitoba on CTV Winnipeg, we will be presenting three new recipes that will celebrate Canadian flavours. In the meantime please try our deliciously tender BBQ Rotisserie Top Sirloin Roast. This recipe will feed a crowd and be sure to impress their taste buds.

Directions Combine all ingredients (except beef) in large sealable freezer bag. Pierce roast all over with a fork. Add roast to bag and refrigerate maximum 4 hours. Reserve marinade. Heat marinade on medium heat and bring to a boil, stir occasionally until marinade reduces to a barbecue sauce consistency. To cook on a rotisserie, place drip pan with ½ inch (1 cm) water on top of grill. Using medium-high heat, preheat barbecue to 400°F (200°C). Insert spit rod lengthwise through centre on roast; secure with holding forks. Insert meat thermometer into middle of roast avoiding spit rod. Reduce heat to medium heat 300°F (150°C) after the first 20 minutes once the exterior of the roast has developed a browned crust. Baste roast with barbecue sauce once every 30 minutes. Cook at constant heat, in closed barbecue, to desired doneness: 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare; 155°F (68°C) for medium. The roast will continue to cook once removed from the spit, remove from heat five degrees before desired doneness. Remove roast to cutting board; cover with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve into thin slices to serve. Tip: No Rotisserie? No Problem! Place roast on grill over drip pan inserted underneath grill grates on one side of the barbecue. Turn heat off just under the roast and cook as above.

Effective use of minerals key ½ Page 9 mineral supplement, but are unsure if it gets eaten. Cattle can be picky “It is important to do your best to monitor intake and determine if the herd is consuming suggested amounts,” says Waldner. “If you are using a blend that cattle seem to be ignoring, you may need to look at changing products or adding salt to make the mineral more palatable. However, some cows will still not consume enough while others might eat too much.” Waldner says a

year-round mineral program is preferred, but it is important producers make sure cattle at least have access to a properly balanced, palatable mineral mix particularly in the months leading up to calving and the subsequent breeding season. Waldner says first and second calf heifers are most likely to exhibit signs (lower conception rate) due to copper deficiency, ahead of the mature cowherd, which appears to be more resilient with age. However, if there is doubt or suspicion about

copper deficiency and other reasons for poor conception such as low body condition have been ruled out, she recommends blood samples be collected from the herd and tested. (Blood samples from about 10 per cent of females should tell the story.) Vitti says in his practice as a livestock nutritionist he has found there can be several factors that can affect reproductive performance — overall animal health, body condition score, environmental conditions, and feed quality — for

example. “Problems with reproduction can be caused by many different things,” says Vitti. “It is multifaceted. I encourage my clients to go with a good quality chelated mineral mix. If cattle are dealing with a copper or some other mineral deficiency, going with a chelated mineral just plugs that hole. If there was a deficiency, it is looked after

and then you can look at what else might be a factor.” Vitti says if producers are concerned about a copper deficiency, having blood samples tested can be a useful tool, and if possible, a liver biopsy is the most definitive. Vitti says a combination of minerals can be used during the year. During the summer and into early winter, he says a standard complete

mineral mix, which costs about $25 to $30 per bag is sufficient. But in the later part of winter feeding, leading up to calving he recommends switching to a chelated mineral mix which might be about $45 per bag. “You may have two or three months where your mineral costs per cow are higher, but it is worth the investment,” he says. “Minerals are essential. A salt block is not enough.

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July 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development LINDA FOX Livestock & Forage Specialist Manitoba Agriculture linda.fox@gov.mb.ca

Q: How can I keep my pastures producing throughout the summer? Often my pastures are short of grass in late summer, but good in June and early July. A: Manitoba pasturelands are quite resilient due to our ideal climate during much of the growing season. However, depending on location and soil composition, plants can be under stress from various factors including excess moisture and/or drought that may limit their growth potential. Drought situations often require more attention particularly on sandy soils where effects of overgrazing can create long term challenges. Be vigilant in assessing your pastures, ensuring adequate plant recovery times and strive to understand the soil-plant-animal interrelationship occurring on your pastures. Here are

a few points to consider for good grazing management: • Have a prescribed grazing plan. • Manage your roots and don’t overgraze. Recognize that overgrazing is a factor of time where the plant has not yet fully recovered from a previous harvest. • Be aware of the cyclical stages of plant development: vegetative, reproductive, ripening, and senescence. Have a plan Implementing a good grazing plan increases profitability as well as the drought and weed resistance of a ranch. Take the time to consider the nutritional needs of your livestock and health of the forage while estimating your paddock movements throughout the growing season. Determine your desired graze and rest periods and then adjust

KATHLEEN WALSH Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture kathleen.walsh@gov.mb.ca

Q: How will premises identification benefit my farm in an emergency or during an animal health disaster? A: The Manitoba Premises Identification (PID) program links livestock, poultry and producer contact information with their geographic locations. This information is used to rapidly alert producers about emergencies that pose a risk to the health and welfare of their animals. A premises is a parcel of land where livestock and poultry can be grown, kept, assembled or disposed of. This includes farms, veterinary clinics, auction marts, stables, abattoirs and fair grounds. In Manitoba, premises identification information has been used to respond to natural disasters such as flooding, wildfires, natural gas explosions and many animal disease issues, including Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDV), anthrax and

avian influenza, for both small and commercial farms. PID is used to identify farms with any susceptible animals on a map. If a disease only affects certain animals, a map can be generated to show only the locations of those species. For example, cattle are susceptible to foot and mouth disease (FMD). Although not deadly, FMD is one of the most devastating livestock viruses, and is highly contagious. The sooner FMD is detected, the easier it is to control or stop a widespread outbreak. In this situation, a map would be created to show all farms with animals susceptible to the disease. Producers and veterinarians that have a PID would be notified if they were at risk. This information is critical for producers so they can take extra precautions, enhance biosecurity and minimize the risk of transmitting disease to their farms. If a flood is

for the time of year and plant’s development stage. During fast growth, recovery periods can be shorter. Conversely, during slow growth due to drought or time of year, recovery periods should be longer. Manage your roots. Overgrazing. What is it? Roots anchor a plant to the soil beneath it, uptake nutrients and water and, if healthy, enable plants to survive from drought, cold, heat and grazing. A clipping study (Crider, 1954 Root Growth Stoppage Resulting from Defoliation of Grass) concluded that “the percent of roots that stopped growth varied in proportion to the percentage of the foliage that was removed.” The amount of leaf removal has a direct effect on the growth of new roots. When excessive amounts of the top growth are removed, roots are not replaced and the grass eventually dies. Utilization rate is also known as grazing intensity. Most grazing experts recommend the valuable and proven metric of “take half, leave half,” meaning when animals are grazing an area, they should only

be allowed to utilize half of the total plant biomass. In reality, utilization percent should vary based on the time of year, type of pasture, forage availability. As the figure below illustrates, taking more than 50per cent is generally not recommended due to the amount of root growth impacted.

expected, the same type of information available through PID can identify all livestock and poultry locations so producers can be notified to ensure their animals are moved or protected. A PID number is also required for all lab test submissions to Veterinary Diagnostic Services and some government programs, such as Growing Forward 2 and Crown Lands lease renewals. The current Manitoba Livestock Manifest has been updated to include a space to record a PID number when moving livestock from one location to the next. These can be purchased from your local Manitoba Agriculture Go office or are available on the Manitoba government website. Q: How do I sign up to receive a Premises Identification Number? A: You can complete an application in less than 60 seconds, online at manitoba.ca/agriculture/ pid or at your local Manitoba Agriculture GO office. Many producers have chosen to identify all their parcels of land with livestock or poultry to be sure they are informed about all emergency situations that could

affect them. Every second counts in an emergency. To respond quickly, upto-date information is critical. After the application is processed, you will receive a letter containing your farm PID number in the mail and via email if an email address is provided on the form. You can also visit manitoba.ca/agriculture/ pid or a Manitoba Agriculture GO office, email traceability@gov. mb.ca or call 204-9457684, to learn more about the Premises Identification program or to update your existing PID information. You can also add your PID number to your Canadian Cattlemen Identification Agency (CCIA) Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) account by calling them at 1-877-909-2333. Watch for Manitoba Agriculture staff at auction mart receiving days during the fall run for more information on the program and for assistance filling out a PID application form. We want to hear from you! For the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist Jenelle Hamblin will answer a selected question about nitrates in

Figure 1

Figure 1. Plant Root Response to GrazingPercentage of Leaf Material Removed If 80 per cent of plant

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leaf material is removed, plant root growth can cease for 12 full days, which slows plant regrowth considerably (Dietz, 1989). If only 10per cent to 40per cent of plant leaf material is removed, plant root growth doesn’t stop and the plant regrows faster and remains healthier. (Crider, F.J. 1954). During grazing, animals reduce a plant’s leaf area thus diminishing its ability to intercept sunlight and grow new leaf material. The perennial plant responds by allocating its stored energy to regrowth. The speed of regrowth depends on the time of year and species present. While every species is a bit different, the key is to remember that as the rancher, you are managing the plant’s energy reserves or “cafeteria.” Overgrazing occurs when a plant is defoliated while its energy reserves are exhausted. It can take place in both rotational and continuous grazing systems and can damage the natural balance of grazing lands and your bottom line. Generally speaking, overgrazing happens one of two ways; by leaving animals in a specific

paddock too long or by returning too soon. Both scenarios cause overgrazing as animals are allowed to return for an additional bite before the plant has fully recovered. To prevent overgrazing, be flexible and willing to move livestock off of a paddock earlier or later than you anticipated. A common indicator of overgrazing is species composition. As plants are repeatedly grazed, palatable tall grass species slowly decrease becoming sparse to nonexistent while short-grass species such as bluegrass increase their dominance of the area. “Regrazing” of a pasture should not occur until the bulk of the tall-statured grass species (meadow brome, tall fescue, orchard grass, etc.) have reached the four leaf stage or approximately eight inches in height. Remember, even the best managed grazing systems can experience overgrazing. Being aware of how overgrazing happens can help you to limit its occurrence on your operation. Nature is forgiving cover if we utilize prudent pasture management.

feed. Send your questions to Jenelle.hamblin@gov. mb.ca by August 3rd, 2017. The Stock Talk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Need an expert opinion?

Email your questions to our forage and livestock team and tap into their combined 230 years of agronomy experience. At Manitoba Agriculture, we are here to help you succeed. Contact us today.

Introducing Elisabeth Harms Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Office Assistant. Please contact Elisabeth for all of your Cattle Country and E-Newsletter advertising needs

1-800-772-0458

eharms@mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2017

Interesting times in the markets Volatility in the cattle markets continues as we roll into summer. The futures markets experienced a sharp decline in early June (See chart). The drop in the cattle prices on the CME was not reflected at the same level in the cash markets. The Canadian fed cattle markets had dropped from $303 dressed in May to the lower $260s for July. Kill dates in the west were 30 days out as packers had access to a large supply of finished cattle. In the east, the prices finally got back to the normal east/west spread, with Ontario packers paying 15 cents more on the rail than the west with a 10 day booking window. Carcass weights continue to be considerably lighter than last year, which is keeping the majority of the feedlots current with their fed cattle inventories. The number of slaughter cows coming to market is much higher than seasonal averages. Dry weather prompted many cattle producers to cull heavier than normal until mid-June. Despite the strong Canadian dollar, at over 75 cents American, the cow prices have stayed surprisingly strong. The added demand is from producers buying young cows to put back on pasture to breed rather than purchasing yearling steers and open heifers. The gen-

Insurance Program at a level of over $2 may be rewarded with a payout depending on when they pull the trigger on their coverage. As I have mentioned before, we are not short of cattle on either side of the border. Despite drought conditions in some areas of the United States, the American cattle industry has not completed its expansion phase. The increase in the cattle numbers in 2016 was the largest in the past 35 years. Until that expansion cycle is complete, the supply/demand ratio will fall in favour of the buyers rather than the sellers. In local news, the Gladstone Auction Mart successfully hosted the Man/

hundredweight. The fall calf price is a little harder to predict. All of the professional analysts are calling for prices very similar to last fall for the wet nosed calves. Those producers who took advantage of the Western Livestock Price

Sask Auctioneering Championships. The top auctioneer was Tyler Cronkhite from Cowtown Livestock Exchange in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Other finalists were Brock Taylor from Taylor Auctions, Exports and Assembly in

THANK YOU to the Man/Sask Cattlemen’s Golf Tournament for providing half of the proceeds from your 2016 event to Manitoba Beef Producers Our proceeds of the tournament have been used to create a Manitoba Beef Producers display at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre

TOURNAMENT SPONSORS

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line

eral consensus is that there were a lot fewer heifers purchased or retained for breeding this year. Speculators are expecting a strong bred cow market this fall and are stocking up on young cows to sell, or if need be, calve out and offer as pairs in the spring. The cash feeder cattle market in Canada continues to be very strong, with light offerings of feeders at the markets bringing premium prices. There are very few to no opportunities to hedge feeder cattle purchased for a reasonable profit. My personal opinion is that we will see 900-pound steers off grass in September at between $185 and $190 per

Melita; Kim Crandall from Ste. Rose Auction Mart; Rick Wright from HOBC and Brad Kehler from the Grunthal Auction Mart. At the National LMAC competition held in the Lethbridge, Tyler Slawinski who sells at the Gladstone Auction Mart and Ashern Auction Mart, placed 4th overall. Other auctioneers from Manitoba taking part included Allan Munroe from the Killarney Auction Mart, Brock Taylor from Melita, and Scott Campbell from Frasier Auction Services. Darren Rebalkin from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta was crowned the 2017 champion. Pipestone Livestock Sales is set to reopen this fall. Owner Rhett Parks says that joint a venture between Whitewood Livestock Sales and Brock Taylor has been developed to re-open the auction market for regular sales. Projected opening date is for early September. The annual Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association’s Cattlemen’s Classic golf tournament is set for Thursday, August 3, at the Killarney Lakeside Golf Course. This very popular bestball tournament fills up very quickly and has been sold out at 160 golfers for the past four years. To participate in the tournament or sponsor, please contact Rick Wright or Allan Munroe. The majority of the auction marts in Manitoba are now on summer schedules. Please contact the auction of your choice to confirm sale dates before delivering livestock. Until next time, Rick.

HOLE-IN-ONE SPONSOR KEY CHEVROLET CADILLAC BUICK GMC LTD.- Yorkton, Sask. PLATINUM HOLE SPONSORS BIO AGRI MIX LP - Ponteix, Sask. BRIDGEVIEW MANUFACTURING - Gerald, Sask CARGILL BEEF - MEAT PROCESSORS - High River, Alberta CATTLEX - Hamiota Manitoba CCBC- JGL LIVESTOCK LTD. - Moose Jaw, Sask DENESCHUK HOMES LTD - Yorkton, Sask Elanco/Novartis Animal Health - Manitoba, Canada FARRELL AGENCIES LTD - Yorkton, Sask GRAIN MILLERS INC. - Yorkton, Sask LEON MFG. COMPANY INC. - Yorkton, Sask MERCK ANIMAL HEALTH - Manitoba, Canada MERIAL ANIMAL HEALTH - Manitoba, Canada PRAIRIE LIVESTOCK ORDER BUYERS - Moosomin, Sask Roblin Vet Services/Valley Flats Vet Services - Manitoba VETOQUINAL ANIMAL HEALTH - Western Canada WD LIVESTOCK ORDER BUYERS - Roblin, Manitoba WESTWAY FEEDS - Saskatchewan ZOETIS ANIMAL HEALTH - Manitoba, Canada Gold Sponsors - Cash or Auction Items HACKMAN FEEDS - Yorkton, SK HARVEST MEATS - Yorkton, SK HEARTLAND LIVESTOCK SERVICES - Yorkton, SK NUTRITIONAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION- USA & Canada VALUE TIRE & BATTERY - Yorkton, SK YORKTON CO-OP ASSOCIATION-Yorkton Farm Supply SILVER SPONSORS Cargill Animal Nutrition Collins Barrow PQ LLP - Yorkton, SK Double V Cattle Ltd. - Melville, SK Lakeview Land & Cattle - Yorkton, Sask. LOUIS DREYFUS COMMODITIES- Yorkton, SK MAPLE FARM EQUIPMENT- Yorkton & Russell YORKTON DISTRIBUTORS- Yorkton, SK BRONZE SPONSORS A FAB INDUSTRIES - Rocanville, SK BMO - BANK OF MONTREAL- Yorkton, SK Cargill - Yorkon Farm Services Centre HITCHING POST -Yorkton, SK Terry Ortinsky’s Royal Ford - Yorkton, SK

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

PHOTO BY CHAD SAXON

SEPTEMBER 2017

You Looking At Me? The cattle were curious as Manitoba Beef Producers toured a feedlot in the Winkler/Morden area in July.

Rustling cases raise concern took to social media to try and catch the culprits, offering a reward of $10,000 for information that could lead to an arrest. As of mid-August the Facebook post had been shared over 50,000 times. Manitoba Beef Producers President Ben Fox says as a fellow producer it is always unsettling to hear about any cases of rustling, but particularly those where animals were killed in the execution of the crime. “For one, you feel violated,” Fox said. “To have your personal property stolen is not a good feeling, especially when it happens in your community, your backyard or your own land, it’s very unnerving and makes you feel unsafe almost.” Fox added that aside from the always unpleasant aspect of being victimized by criminals, producers also face a significant financial hit and disruptions to their operations when large-scale thefts occur. “The economic loss comes in pretty quickly after you get over being violated,” he said. “It goes directly to our bottom line whether we are able to make it or not.” Fox noted there are a few steps producers can take to prevent their cattle from being stolen, notably regular checking on herds throughout the year. Identifiable marks are also helpful.

Fox said he is also a proponent of community patrols, having been part of one himself in the past. “We had thefts at our Eddystone ranch and a group of ranchers and folks from Eddystone set up a rotating patrol with at least two members at a time going out and just driving around,” he said. “It did put an end to those thefts. “I think it’s a fairly cost effective method to hopefully stop the problem. It proved itself to me to be a success so I think it’s something producers can do (throughout the province).” The recent rustling cases have also cast a much-needed spotlight on the overall issue of theft from farmers and people living in rural Manitoba. Many throughout the province have reported the loss of equipment, fuel and other personal property. Fox said MBP recently met with officials from the RCMP who said the issue of theft remains a major challenge for them. “It is not just restricted to cattle. Personal property like four-wheelers, tools … they get taken too and at a more alarming rate than cattle. It’s a sad deal.” If any producers suspect they have lost cattle to theft they are advised to contact their local RCMP detachment.

MBFI Learning Centre moving ahead

Busy fall run ahead

Fall back into routine

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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.

A pair of high profile cattle rustling cases have brought attention to the topic in Manitoba. As has been widely reported in the media, a producer in the Zhoda area realized in the spring that roughly 150 cows from his 800 head herd were missing. In a report on cbc.ca it was noted that RCMP were investigating the case as a possible theft. In July producers near Rossburn discovered they had been the victims of theft when they found two cows dead due to hydration. In an article that appeared in the Western Producer it was noted that cows had been locked in a pen without water by rustlers. “We drove in through the gate by the corral, and we could smell something dead. We looked down the hill and we could see two cows lying side by side,” Kalvin Kreshewski said in an interview with Robin Booker of the Producer. “I drove in the pasture, counted the rest of the cows, realized there are 21 cows missing and 30 calves. Now I have cows without calves and calves without moms out there.” In the article Kreshewski estimated that the theft of his cattle, which were Black Angus and Black Angus-Simmental cross, will cost between $60,000 and $70,000. He


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CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

Reimer returns NCO increase postponed indefinitely to Agency executive committee The Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (the Agency) has announced its Board of Directors for 2017-18 following the Annual General Meeting on August 15 in Calgary. Manitoba will be represented on the board by Heinz Reimer. A former Manitoba Beef Producers’ president and current board member, Reimer will also serve on the executive committee as vice-chairman. The Annual General Meeting of the Agency was held in conjunction with the Canadian Beef Industry Conference at Stampede Park in Calgary. Returning Chair Linda Allison sees the work the Agency has done in the past year as a solid foundation from which the Agency can strengthen itself and the industry. “Our organization has put a lot of work into ensuring we’re moving in the direction that producers in Canada have indicated they want the industry to progress,” said Allison. “We’ve made a lot of positive changes, and positive steps forward in the past year, and that focus is a priority for our board and our entire organization.” Melinda German, General Manager of the Agency, is also positive about the future of the Agency’s role in current Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff discussions happening across Canada, and in the oversight of national checkoff dollars. “By ensuring efficient and transparent administration of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, more investments can be made into market development, promotion and re-

The increase of the National Check-Off (NCO) in Manitoba has been delayed indefinitely. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) had initially planned to begin collecting the increase on behalf of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off Agency (the Agency) on September 1 but a delay in the Farm Products Council of Canada approval processes forced the delay. The increase would have seen the NCO go from $1 per head to $2.50 per head. “All of the work that needed to

take place on a local level had been completed but the unforeseen delay at the federal level has placed us into a holding pattern,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “We have determined that we will not move forward with collecting the increase until a final approval is received and, at this point, cannot provide a date as to when the increase will be enacted.” The increase has been in the planning stages for the past two years as a means of supporting the goals laid out in the National Beef Strategy. Manitoba producers passed a resolu-

Manitoba signs onto new Canadian Agriculture Partnership The Manitoba government has signed onto the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which sets out a new five-year agricultural policy framework beginning in April 2018, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. “Our government is pleased to enter this new agreement and we look forward to the anticipated growth and advancement of agriculture in Manitoba as a result of this continued partnership,” said Eichler. “The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will strengthen Canada’s position as a leader in the global economy and greatly enhance opportunities for the sector in our province.” The ministers of agriculture reached the new agreement on the key elements of a new federal-provincialterritorial agriculture policy framework during the Annual Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture held in St. John’s, N.L., from July 19 to 21. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a fiveyear, $3-billion investment that will come into effect on April 1, 2018. The new framework will focus on six priority areas: • science, research and innovation – to help industry use science and innovation to improve resiliency and increase productivity; • markets and trade – opening new markets and helping farmers and food processors improve their competitiveness through skills development, improved export capacity, underpinned by a strong and efficient regulatory system; environmental sustainability and climate change – helping the sector reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions, protect the environment and adapt to climate change by

Heinz Reimer

search initiatives that will continue to advance the Canadian beef industry as a whole,” said German. “Our funding partners have high expectations for us, and we’ll continue working to deliver on those expectations on behalf of Canadian producers.” The Agency would like to recognize Jennifer MacDonald of New Brunswick as she leaves the Board of Directors. MacDonald has been a long-standing Canadian beef industry advocate, and dedicated to the board for many years. At the board meeting immediately following the business meeting following the AGM, the board elected its Executive Committee, with all six members returning to the committee for the 2017-18 year. British Columbia beef producer Linda Allison will serve her second term as Chair of the board Reimer remains vice-chairman. Lonnie Lake representing retail and foodservice will return to 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 chair the market development and promotion division committee and Alberta’s Doug Sawyer will chair the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off division committee.

www.cattleconnect.ca DISTRICT 9

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

RAMONA BLYTH - VICE-PRESIDENT

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

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

HEINZ REIMER

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

Contact WSRCD at 204-877-3020. Serving the RM’s of Pipestone, Sifton, Two Ǧ Ǥ Ǥ

*Real-time internet cattle sale, every Monday 1:00pm *Online cattle classifieds *Affiliated auction mart reports and calendar events.

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

DISTRICT 4

ϐ apply at WSRCD by September 30, 2017.

New to Manitoba

DISTRICT 5

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

West Souris River Conservation District is now taking applications for 2018 shelterbelt plantings.

* WEEKLY PRE-WEIGHED SHOW LISTED SALES. FOR COMPLETE INFO CONTACT MYLES 204-447-2266 or srauction.ca

DISTRICT 1 DISTRICT 2

enhancing sustainable growth while increasing production; • value-added agriculture and agri-food processing – supporting the continued growth of the value-added agriculture and agri-food processing sector; • public trust – building a firm foundation for public trust through solid regulations, improving assurance systems and traceability; and • risk management – enabling proactive and effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation to create a resilient sector. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, business risk management programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. Governments responded to industry concerns regarding eligible coverage under AgriStability, ensuring a more equitable level of support for all producers. Governments further committed to engaging in a review that explores options to improve business risk management programming. The review will recognize the important role played by all programs in the risk management plans of producers given the diversity of the sector. The review will also have an early focus on market risk as it relates to AgriStability addressing concerns regarding timelines, simplicity and predictability. Ministers will be presented with options for consideration based on early findings of the review. Further details on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership can be found at www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/ key-departmental-initiatives/the-canadian-agriculturalpartnership/.

WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY

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

GORD ADAMS

tion supporting the increase at MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting in February 2016. Released in 2015, the National Beef Strategy is based around four pillars – connectivity, productivity, competitiveness and beef demand – that each contain a number of goals and outcomes, which were developed by an industry-led planning group. That same group also determined that if the beef industry is to meet those goals an increase in the check-off, the first since 2002, is required.

LARRY WEGNER

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

DIANNE RIDING - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 10

KEN MCKAY

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

DISTRICT 11

ROBERT METNER

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

TOM TEICHROEB - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 12

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

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

BILL MURRAY

www.mbbeef.ca

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX- 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

POLICY ANALYST

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Maureen Cousins Chad Saxon

FINANCE

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

OFFICE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Brian Lemon

Deb Walger Elizabeth Harms Chad Saxon

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Anne Rooban

Trinda Jocelyn


September 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

Although some details might change slightly the above illustration shows what the public can expect the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Learning Centre to look like. Construction on the facility began in August.

MBFI Learning Centre taking shape BY CHAD SAXON MBP Communications Coordinator

In less than three years, Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives has gone from concept to a fully realized centre of agricultural innovation on three farms near Brandon. This fall the next phase of MBFI’s development will start taking shape as construction begins on a learning centre on the Brookdale Research Farm. Part of the original plans for MBFI, the learning centre will offer a classroom environment for producers to learn about the ongoing research and how it can be applied to their farms. It will also enable MBFI to invite the general public to learn more about agriculture. “For producers it will be extension-oriented, talking about production, economics, sustainability, environmental sustainability and even venturing into the social sustainability topics that are out there,” said Glenn Friesen of Manitoba Agriculture. “For the general public, we will see it being used as a place to talk about the subject material that is of interest to consumers now and that is where their food comes from and how it’s grown. It will provide a meeting space for that.” The 640-acre Brookdale farm is located roughly 18 kilometres north of Brandon at the junction of Highways 10 and 353. A number of research projects and trials are taking place at the farm while an impressive cattle handling facility is also on-site. Friesen said being close to both the research and the facility will benefit the learning centre, and its users, in the long run. “It allows us to start with some classroom setting types of topics and information and then we can get on the wagon and

get out into the pasture and look and feel and smell and observe how the animals are handled,” he said. “The livestock handling facility, which is sponsored by Real Industries, gives us the opportunity to bring in a veterinarian or another professional and talk about triaging animals and looking for health issues and show the public how we go about managing the health of animals and their welfare. “So there’s the three pieces, a classroom setting and warm environment and year-round use tied to the pastures for outdoor observations and then the handling facility to dig a little deeper on animal handling and welfare management issues.” Along with the classroom Friesen spoke of, the 2,300 square foot centre will house a food preparation area for their events. There will also be an outdoor classroom area which will be large enough to bring in equipment if desired. Friesen said they also have plans to outfit the centre with a system that allows them to broadcast their classes and events over the internet. Friesen said ability to add the outdoor classroom

and other exciting features is due in large part to the incredible support the centre has received. The Manitoba Zero Till Association stepped forward with a significant contribution for the centre when MBFI was just getting off the ground. Earlier this year it was announced that MBFI would receive $125,000 towards the centre from Federated Co-op through their Co-op Community Spaces, a funding program supporting recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture projects. “Co-op Community Spaces is an exciting program that is making a difference across Western Canada and we’re delighted to see it come to Brandon,” said Lorne Zacharias, General Manager with Heritage Co-op in a media release announcing the funding. “Heritage Co-op is supported and owned by members and customers throughout southwest Manitoba, so it’s important that we give back and make investments in our community and people, which is what Co-op Community Spaces is all about.” Friesen said the support from the private sector, MBFI board and core

Staff from Heritage Co-op presented a cheque for $125,000 for the MBFI Learning Centre earlier this summer. From left to right: Don Guilford, Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives; Katherine Kingdon, Heritage Co-op; Ken Jenner Heritage Co-op; Lorne Zacharias Heritage Co-op; Robin Hamilton, Ducks Unlimited Canada; Ramona Blyth, Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives; Glenn Friesen, Manitoba Agriculture; Duncan Morrison, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association; Brian Lemon, Manitoba Beef Producers.

partners like MBP has been instrumental in making the centre a reality. “(The centre) is going to be more than half funded by the private dollars. That itself is a testament to the interest out there,” he said. Construction on the centre began in late August. Friesen said they are hoping to have the majority of work done by Christmas.

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Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 23 at 10:00 a.m. Equipment Consignment Sale Monday, September 11 & 25 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves Saturday, October 14 at 10:00 a.m. Horse and Tack Sale For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

Winnipeg Office:1-866-626-3933 | Gilles: 204-805-2094 www.mbbeef.ca

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

3


4

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

Second CBIC a successful event It is September again and the summer is behind us for the most part – unfortunately! It has been a great summer across Manitoba and I certainly hope that you have all had a great season. I am just back from the second annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary. I can say that in Manitoba we seemed to have found that sweet spot weather-wise and have had a much better summer than many other producers across the country. For once, Manitoba had a decent spring without the severe flooding that we have seen in past years, and a nice warm dry summer, with some timely rains. At

BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column the Calgary conference, as I listened to industry leaders from across Canada, it was clear that producers to the west are very dry, conditions in Ontario continue to be very wet, and our hearts go out to producers in BC who are fighting an unimaginable fire season. Here is hoping we have a

great fall season and prices continue to be positive. The summer has been busy in the office with a number of significant files and happenings. As mentioned above, MBP representatives attended the CBIC. By all accounts it was another successful conference with over 700 registrants from across Canada and from across all parts of our industry. This year’s CBIC had another interesting slate of speakers and topics, with many thoughtprovoking presentations. A favourite of mine was a presentation by Dr. Sangita Sharma from the University of Alberta. Dr. Sharma told us something I think we all already knew,

that beef is really a “wonder-food,” and is one of the most nutrient-rich products consumers can choose. Her presentation focused on all the incredible health benefits of beef in our diets and how important nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin B12 are to our health and wellbeing. I couldn’t help but think about Health Canada’s recent consultation on a proposed new Canadian Food Guide, and I hoped that besides hearing from cattle producers, they are also listening to people like Dr. Sharma to make sure that they highlight the benefits of eating beef as part of a healthy diet. At the conference there were also a number of other

meeting and ceremonies. Manitoba was very well represented by Shane and Sacha, Arron and Amber Nerbas and their families. Nerbas Bros. Angus from Shellmouth was Manitoba’s candidate for The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). As is always the case, the representatives from all the provinces were all extremely strong and we were very proud to have the Nerbas family representing Manitoba. As well as the CBIC agenda, both the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) also met and held meetings. These meetings are always very full and busy,

and Manitoba was well represented by Tom Teichroeb, Heinz Reimer and Ramona Blyth who all hold seats at various committees of the CCA. Heinz Reimer was also confirmed for another year as the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency ViceChair. Back at home we have been busy getting our views and our wishes known to the provincial government on a number of issues. First, we have provided our input into the design of programs under the next policy framework. The Ministers of Agriculture just met in Newfoundland and have signed the multilateral funding agreement, Page 5 ¾

Representing producers remains a challenging task BEN FOX MBP President

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt At a recent event I attended, I was visiting with a fellow cattle producer and he quite pointedly asked, “What are five things that you can tell me about that you are working on, on behalf of Manitoba’s cattle producers?” I have known this gentleman for close to 15 years and whether he was jesting or not, I thought that it was an interesting and honest question. It perplexed me on a couple fronts; if someone I know fairly well has questions about the value that is provided by MBP’s activities to his operation, then I’m sure there are other folks that have similar queries. Secondly, I was concerned that maybe our messaging is getting lost, as we project the sometimes endless reams of information back out to the producers of Manitoba. I started into answering the question but then was asked to provide a

written response so my September Cattle Country topic was set. Each issue of this paper goes into deep details of the many activities that MBP undertakes on behalf of Manitoba cattle’s industry. There are countless meetings that occur throughout each month that require either a director or staff person to attend to be certain that cattle producers’ views are known and fought for. It may be meetings with different levels of government, or with a national organization or stakeholder group. In any event, our staff does an absolutely stellar job of preparing briefing notes and position papers to address/inform policy makers of the position of this organization, and to direct policy in a way that is positive to our industry. There seems to be a never-ending array of issues that require and garner a response from our organization. One portrayal of MBP’s role in our industry was expressed to me by Dane Guignion, former district 14 director, when he said that MBP is really the producers’ deflector shield for all the BS that gets thrown at the cattle industry! In many ways he’s correct; the amount of things that come at the office is sometimes mind blowing and no matter how insignificant it may seem, it needs given the proper attention to be sure that it’s han-

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dled in the best interests of the Manitoba beef industry. I know that the staff and directors take pride in being able to perform and deliver in our industry’s best interest. I like to keep things simple and look at the big picture so I thought that I would state a few things that would directly answer the question at hand. Have previously been on the MBP’s Executive and now in the President’s role, I have been part of many great things within this organization, but I will focus on some specific items that I feel a deep sense of responsibility for. 1. Making Manitoba the best beef province in the country: This may be a vast statement but I strongly believe that in order to achieve true, sustained cattle herd growth we need to be the province best suited to the production of beef. In recognizing this we need to have decreased regulations, proper business risk management tools, increased research and extension activities to producers, an overall positive lending/ borrowing environment and, an available and trained work force. As a province, we have a land base that enables producers to “get in the game” at a more reasonable investment than our neighbors which is highly advantageous. 2. Crown Lands: Through several meetings with the Agriculture Minister and his staff members, Crown Lands continues to be near and dear to me. We have asked for informed access, increased AUM allowances per operation and a clear and concise approval process for land sales and transfers. 3. Transport Regulations: As I stated in last month’s article I strongly believe that we need logical, science-based regulations regarding animal transport rules. MBP continues to promote this thinking to all level of government and parties involved. 4. Movement Reporting: It is my hope you are informed about what is required of you THIS FALL and if you don’t know, ask for help. In short, the use of manifests to report group movements is going to be critical going forward and we all need to be filling out the forms. This is a very important business risk management strategy that we as producers need to be successful at implementing for the benefit of our entire industry and its trade options. 5. Working to keep MBP focused on

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producer needs and being the voice of Manitoba’s cattle industry: It has always been my thought that we need this organization to fully represent and articulate to the “powers that be” on behalf of producers having 10 or 1,000 head of cattle. We don’t necessarily have to always give the politically correct answer, but we always have to do what’s right for the industry that we cherish. 6. Continue to Support Industry-Led Initiatives: Whether it be the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) or Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives, I strongly believe in the value of industryled ideas and plans being put into action for the betterment of our industry. MBP is focused on industry-led, practical solutions that continue to offer advantages for beef production in Manitoba. 7. Identifying possible synergies with sponsors, stakeholders and the general public in growing the MBP brand. 8. Developing a young producer strategy to give networking opportunities to young cattlemen and women. 9. Continued strength of MBP’s board of directors, including helping to recruit possible directors. 10. Predation: Fewer problem predators=more cattle! 11. Ongoing efforts and initiatives to eradicate bovine TB, including incentives for producers participating in on-farm risk assessments and for making the linkage between their Premises Identification location(s) in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area to their Canadian Cattle Identification Agency accounts. This list isn’t necessarily in any specific order as they are all important topics and truth be told there are a lot more items that are on the list of issues on which we advocate on your behalf! Fortunately, there are 13 other committed directors and a great staff to share the load. I hope this article answers the fellow’s question. I know it was maybe more than what he wanted but it was a good exercise in being accountable to the hard working people that our group is representing. As Henry Ford said, “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” In closing I hope that your harvest is plentiful, that your calves are sale toppers and that you and yours stay healthy and safe this busy fall season.


September 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Government Activities Update: New agricultural policy framework announced BY MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

In late July the federal, provincial and territorial agricultural ministers unveiled the new $3 billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) which will replace Growing Forward II when it expires March 31, 2018. CAP features six priority areas: science, research and innovation; markets and trade; environmental sustainability and climate change; value-added agriculture and agri-food processing; public trust; and, risk management. The ministers also agreed to review business risk management (BRM) programs with an eye to improving them. They indicated producers will be consulted with a focus on “market risk, including as it relates to AgriStability addressing concerns regarding timeliness, simplicity and predictability.” Early findings from this review will be taken to the ministers in July 2018 for consideration. Options are to be cost-neutral. The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) will also be renewed under CAP. Some changes are being made to the BRM programs under CAP. They will come into effect for the 2018 program year. Key highlights include: AgriStability and Reference Margin Limits Under AgriStability the Reference Margin Limit (RML) will be capped to ensure a more equitable level of support for all producers: The change to the RML will ensure producers from all sectors will have improved access to support under the program, regardless of their cost-structure. It will guarantee all producers at least 70 per cent of their Reference Margin. The RML will continue to target assis-

tance to significant income losses threatening the viability of producers’ farms and that are beyond their capacity to manage. AgriStability and Late participation A late participation mechanism has been added that provincial and territorial governments can trigger to allow producers to enter the program late in situations where there is a significant income decline and a gap in participation. The mechanism will only be triggered in response to significant events and benefits will be reduced by 20 per cent for producers who enrol late, to encourage regular annual enrollment by producers. This measure is intended to allow governments to ensure all producers can access AgriStability support when a significant decrease in revenue threatens the viability of the farm, should provinces and territories choose to trigger it. AgriInvest and AgriStability • Beginning in the 2018 program year, the maximum Allowable Net Sales (ANS) eligible under AgriInvest will be reduced to $1 million, down from $1.5 million. • The annual government matching contributions will be limited to $10,000 per AgriInvest account, down from $15,000. • Currently there is approximately $2.2 billion in AgriInvest account balances, which provides producers with flexibility and quick access to funds to help manage their risks. • Under AgriInvest the minimum payment will be adjusted from $75 to $250. • A $250 minimum payment will also apply under AgriStability. Provincial and territorial governments will complete their bilateral agreements with the federal government by April 1, 2018. MBP is seeking a smooth transition to the next generation of programs to ensure there is no disruption to

producers. MBP provided feedback to both the federal and provincial governments on the development of this next agricultural policy framework and will continue to do so. MBP’s comments focused on areas such as: research capacity and innovation, climate change and environmental sustainability, public trust, the need for robust and bankable BRM tools, maintenance of land for cattle production, and labour shortages, among other topics. MBP sought the continuation of key initiatives such as WLPIP, the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures, the Verified Beef Production Plus Program and the Environmental Farm Plan Program. Other matters discussed by the ministers of agriculture included the status of trade negotiations and market access initiatives in key markets such as the United States, China, Europe and India and trade agreements such as CETA and NAFTA. Outlet Channel Projects The provincial government continues to consult on the construction plans for the proposed Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels, with meetings held over the summer in Moosehorn and Winnipeg. MBP was represented at the meetings by staff, as well as directors from districts whose producers could be affected by the project. MBP has and will continue to provide feedback on the projects, seeking to ensure that the route selection and construction is the least disruptive possible to those producers whose operations will be affected and to ensure that producers are fairly compensated. MBP has also requested that beef industry biosecurity standards be adhered to throughout the construction of the channels as this is important to protecting animal health, as well as limiting the potential for effects such as the spread of noxious weeds. MBP appreciates the sup-

port of the federal and provincial governments to see these projects to completion and to help reduce the risks associated with future flooding. Carbon Pricing The release of the province’s made-inManitoba climate action plan is still being awaited. It will include a carbon pricing model, but it is not yet known if agricultural emissions will be exempt. In May Premier Brian Pallister told the media an exemption for agriculture may not be an option and he has indicated he does not support the use of a carbon tax rebate system either. In early August the provincial government said it is seeking a legal opinion on the federal government’s authority to implement a carbon pricing regime in Manitoba. This will be undertaken by Dr. Bryan Schwartz, a constitutional law expert at the University of Manitoba. The federal government says it will impose a system on provinces that don’t have their own carbon pricing system in place by 2018. MBP’s carbon policy seeks that onfarm agricultural emissions be exempt from taxation, and calls for investments in research and in tools and initiatives to enhance producer resilience, such as water infrastructure. GROW Consultation The provincial government has announced consultations on GRowing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW), based on the alternative land-use services model. MBP believes it is important that beef producers are recognized for the ecological goods and services they provide on the landscape. This is one of three new environmental initiatives on which the province is seeking feedback. The others relate to watershed-based drainage and water resource management. For full details and to provide feedback go to: www.gov.mb.ca/sd. Comments are due by Oct. 6 to watershedconsult@gov.mb.ca.

Busy fall ahead for MBP staff and directors ½ Page 4 and have named the next five-year framework as the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). MBP has provided two separate submissions to the province to hopefully shape the programs that will become the federal/provincial cost-shared programming delivered by Manitoba Agriculture. We have also been busy pulling together a submission on behalf of MBFI to also ensure it has the chance to achieve its potential for our producers and for our industry. Speaking of MBFI, it is an exciting time at the Brookdale site, where construction has begun on the Learning Centre. Funded with Growing Forward 2 federal/provincial funding, it is going to be an important part of the goal to grow the provincial cattle herd. We are hoping that construction will be completed this fall and

that the Learning Centre can become a place where producer outreach and extension can be hosted, but also where our industry can host the general public and youth to help bridge the growing gap between urban and rural communities and educate the youth about the important work that our producers do each and every day. A major theme that has occupied us for the past year, has been the Minister of Agriculture’s announcement that he wanted to grow our industry to preBSE numbers. We continue to push the Minister for details about this, as well as the other various announcements that the government has made. We continue to look for opportunities to learn more about this initial announcement to grow the herd, and for opportunities to work with officials to develop a sound strategy that creates

the right economic, environmental and regulatory climates where producers are willing to invest in long-term and sustainable growth. We are also looking for details of the announcement from this spring’s provincial budget of a Livestock Growth Strategy and hope to see details when the legislature resumes sitting this fall. At the same time we also hope to learn more about how our sector will be implicated into the province’s Protein Strategy. Finally, we recognize that predation and predator losses continue be a huge problem for many producers. We continue to work with Sustainable Development towards a program to address these losses. The program will need to include an improved compensation program, as well as preventative measures by both wildlife management and producers. We did also notice that with the recent

cabinet shuffle last month, there is a new minister for the department of Sustainable Development, Ms. Rochelle Squires, but also a new Legislative Assistant, Mr. Rick Wowchuk. We look forward to working with both these members

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of the legislature to make sure that this issue is foremost in their priorities. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during our fall district meetings. These are important meetings that help us hear your views on many

topics. Further, this year we have four directors leaving the MBP board and will need to have new directors step up to participate in advancing our industry. See you there! Good luck with harvest!

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CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture JENELLE HAMBLIN Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture Jenelle.Hamblin@gov.mb.ca

Q: What causes nitrate poisoning in cattle and what can I do if I suspect high nitrates in my feed? A: The autumn months are often welcomed by beef cattle and their producers. Cooler temperatures and fewer bugs make for a very content herd. However, autumn’s near or below freezing overnight temperatures need to be kept in mind, as they can stress our forage crops and cause nitrate poisoning. Nitrates are present in all plants, though they accumulate in some plants more than others. Cereal crops and weeds are more likely to accumulate nitrates than legumes and grasses. Typically, only a very small percentage of legume and grass hays will contain appreciable amounts of nitrates. Nitrates are absorbed by the root from the soil. They travel up the stem and are converted into amino acids and proteins in the plant leaf, which aids growth. When crops are stressed from drought, hail or frost, their normal functioning is compromised. When a plant is touched with light frost, damage oc-

curs on the top of the plant. Though the plant is still able to take up nitrate from the root, it is unable to properly use it due to the stress. This leads to a build up of nitrates in the plant. Cattle convert nitrate to nitrite and then to ammonia in the rumen. If nitrate levels are too high through the consumption of high nitrate forages, the rumen can’t keep up with the conversion to ammonia. This leads to an accumulation of toxic nitrite. High nitrite levels in the rumen results in nitrite being absorbed into the bloodstream of the animal, where it binds with hemoglobin to create methemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the tissues of the animal, but methemoglobin cannot. This results in oxygen deprivation to the animal. There is another factor to consider. Excess nitrate that can’t be converted to nitrite is also absorbed into the bloodstream and is recycled back into the rumen. This leads to more nitrate availability for conversion to nitrite and it creates greater concern of nitrite build up and reduction in available oxygen. The severity of nitrate

and nitrite accumulation depends on: • the level of intake of high nitrate feeds • the ability of the rumen to convert nitrates through to ammonia • the levels of recycled nitrates back into the rumen • how quickly the high nitrate feed passes through the rumen These factors influence the toxic level of nitrates in an animal and explains why different animals have differing tolerance to high nitrate feeds, as some animals are able to digest feeds faster than others. Chronic vs Acute Nitrate Poisoning Over time, chronic exposure to higher than normal nitrate levels results in production issues, such as reductions in appetite, weight gain and milk production. These animals are often more susceptible to illness, abortions, reproductive issues and premature calves. Most calves that are affected by chronic nitrate poisoning in utero will not survive and those that do experience seizures. These issues are seen when nitrate levels are being consumed at 0.5 to one per cent of the diet on a dry matter basis. Signs of acute and often lethal nitrate poisoning often show after feeding large amounts of high nitrate feeds. Symptoms of acute nitrate poisoning in-

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ity of the ration. Feeding adequate levels of energy and vitamin A also reduces the risk of nitrate toxicity. Ensiling forage tends to reduce nitrate levels as fermentation reduces some of the nitrates to gas. Any of these options can help work potentially problem feeds back into the ration. In order to do this, feed tests must be performed for use in developing a balanced and safe ration. This can be achieved with help from your veterinarian or Manitoba Agriculture staff. Nitrate poisoning should not be taken lightly. Contact one of Manitoba Agriculture’s local offices for more information and assistance on how you can keep your herd at a safe ni-

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trate level year round. We want to hear from you! For the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba Agriculture Forage specialist Pam Iwanchysko will answer a selected question on cover crops and their fit on beef farms. Send your questions to Pamela.Iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca by Sept. 4 2017. The Stock Talk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Need an expert opinion? Email your questions to our forage and livestock team and tap into their combined 230 years of agronomy experience. At Manitoba Agriculture, we’re here to help you succeed. Contact us today.

Japan increases tariffs From the CCA Actions News Japan’s move to increase the tariff on frozen beef to 50 per cent from 38.5 per cent for countries with which it does not have a free trade agreement, like Canada, underscores the need for government to move swiftly to secure a trade agreement with this important trading nation. Canadian beef is now at an increasingly competitive disadvantage with Australia, Mexico and Chile, who have trade agreements with Japan

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clude: • labored breathing • frothing at the mouth • rapid pulse • weakness • diarrhea • frequent urination • lack of co-ordination • convulsions In these cases, death may occur in three to four hours. Methylene blue is the treatment for nitrate poisoning if symptoms are noticed in time, but often the animal is found after poisoning has occurred. What do I do if I suspect nitrates in my feed? If you plan to harvest or graze your forage crop after a stressor such as a light frost, it is best to test a sample for nitrate levels. Nitrates in forages can be detected only by chemical analysis. If you suspect a problem, take a sample of the feed for analysis. Analysis at a feed testing laboratory will determine the actual level of nitrates and recommend corrective action. Any amount of nitrate nitrogen over 0.5 per cent of the total ration dry matter should be regarded as a potential problem. Consult a veterinarian promptly if you suspect nitrate poisoning. Can I still use high nitrate feed? Nitrate poisoning can be controlled by good management. High nitrate forages can be mixed with low nitrate level forages, thus reducing the overall toxic-

and thus are not impacted by the tariff increase. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) has long advocated that Canada pursue a trade agreement with Japan either through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or a bilateral agreement. If Canada and Japan were to proceed to implement the TPP, Canadian beef would immediately have the same tariff as Australian beef and a much higher safeguard trigger volume. If Canada and Japan were to complete a bilateral free trade agreement, the CCA would press for at least the same or better access as Australia. Negotiations are underway to bring TPP into effect amongst the 11 remaining countries. There was a session in Japan in early July and likely will be another in late August. We are cautiously optimistic that these talks are gaining traction and hopefully aimed for a decision point when leaders of the 11 meet at the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November. The CCA urges the Canadian Government to take a leadership role in the negotiations to approve and implement the TPP Agreement with the 11 remaining TPP countries. The longer Canada remains without a trade agreement with Japan, the further we will fall behind our competitors. The Barton Report highlighted agriculture as a primary industry for growth and exports for Canada, with an objective to increase agricultural exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025.


September 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Fall run should prove interesting RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line As this edition goes to print, the fall run is right around the corner. Producers and buyers alike are experiencing high levels of anxiety as they try to predict where the market prices will settle this fall. A steep decline in the fed cattle markets has prompted the feedlots to take a second look at what they are willing to pay this fall. The early profits from the first two quarters of 2017 have eroded as the summer has progressed. Packers have gone from pulling cattle ahead to having a surplus seasonal supply. The decline in the fed market does seem to be over as there is lots of inventory on feed and carcass weights are starting to increase in the third quarter. Let’s look at the fundamentals that will influence the cattle markets this fall: Feed costs: There are regional drought areas in both the US and Canada; however it is not a widespread drought like the most recent general droughts. Corn prices are expected to be lower in the US, while barley prices are expected to be higher than last year in Canada. Demand for hay and straw from the Dakotas and Montana will keep prices in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta higher than last year. Corn crops in Ontario are reported to be average, and wet seeding conditions in Quebec resulted in later than normal crops of average projected yield. In Manitoba, crop conditions vary from area to area, but there does not look to be a shortage of feed. Exchange: The value of the Canadian dollar has a fairly constant yearly average of 80 cents. This spring the dollar was closer to 75 than 80, which was beneficial for exporting cows, fed cattle, meat products and some classes of feeder cattle. A weakening of the US dollar pushed the exchange

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to the 80 cent mark in mid-summer. This helped the American export market, but made it more difficult for Canadian companies to do business in the south. On a 550-pound calf in Manitoba, if the exchange rate moves one cent, the price of that calf will change by five cents per pound. With projected lower calf prices this fall in the US, don’t expect much demand for Canadian calves if the daily exchange stays close to or exceeds the 80 cent mark. Demand: The demand for Manitoba calves this fall will continue to be strong. I expect that they will be very similar to the prices we saw last October and November. Demand from Ontario will be there, but the availability of transportation is always a big factor during the fall run. Exports to Quebec declined last year due to changes in their support programs. I expect to see limited demand from Quebec this year as cattle feeders shop closer to home for freshly weaned calves. The backgrounding rates in Manitoba will have a huge influence on the fall calf market. Last year, some of the backgrounding lots were not competitive on their pricing and out of province buyers purchased cattle elsewhere, leaving some of the Manitoba lots with empty pens. The custom feedlot demand is extremely important during October and November when the large sales are in progress across the country and trucks are at premium. Local demand will be strong again this year as most of the calves purchased last fall exceeded profit expectations. If the silage crops are average to above, expect the demand for the light calves under 500 pounds to be a little stronger than last year. All indications are that the heavy calf market should be very similar to last fall. Some electronic auctions of calves have been stronger than those prices, but they are smaller groups of reputation calves and may not represent the prices at the public sales at actual time of delivery.

Demand for yearlings will be strong due to a short supply of yearlings available for sale. The majority of the yearlings are sold by private treaty. Retained ownership of yearlings until slaughter is becoming a more popular option. There are very few farmer-owned yearlings on the grass in Manitoba. Brokers or large grassland operators own the majority of the grass yearlings in Manitoba. The cull cow market will stay under pressure as the fall progresses. The peak of the cow market is usually late June or early July. Increased seasonal volumes of cows coming to market in the late fall usually drive down the cull cow prices. If the calf prices come in lower than last year, we can expect a heavier cull rate of cows this fall. Other reasons for a lower cow market this summer was the unfavourable currency exchange rate, which hindered the export of live cows, as well as the large volume of fed cattle being harvested. This large volume of fed cattle resulted in a steady supply of “trim” used in the ground beef market. The jury is out on the bred cow and heifer market for the fall. If the calf market is strong, demand will be good for bred stock, however the opposite will true if the calf market comes in lower than expected. Top quality herd dispersal cows may be harder to find this fall, and all indications are that there were fewer heifers bred for resale this summer. The short supply of quality bred stock available to purchase could help prop up the prices. When it comes to marketing your calves this fall, the best advice I can give is to talk to your marketing agent, auction mart or broker to see when the orders are active and book your calves into the marketing option of your choice so that your agent has the time to work on your behalf. Until next time, Rick.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

Looking for Shade With the afternoon sun overhead, this calf sought refuge from the heat in the trees.

Canadian Beef Sustainability Accelerator Pilot announced A new pilot project centred on giving producers a financial benefit for raising sustainable beef in Canada has been launched. The Canadian Beef Sustainability Accelerator Pilot was discussed during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, which was held Aug. 15-17 in Calgary. Led by Cargill, Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) and Beef Info-Exchange System (BIXS), the pilot aims to increase the volume delivered from verified sustainable supply chains and to ensure strong strategic claims for participating foodservice and/or retail partners in advance of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) framework launch, so that once the framework is launched these strategic customers can realize a competitive advantage in their respective marketplaces, according to information provided to Manitoba Beef Producers. In the pilot a credit (a financial reward) will be awarded to all operations that contribute any cattle to a fully-audited sustainable supply chain (based on the # of head contributed). The pilot will run for a minimum of

a year starting in October 2017, with the first credit payments going out at the start of 2018 and then continuing quarterly. All cow-calf operations, backgrounders, and feedlots across Canada are eligible to participate in the pilot. In order to guarantee a financial reward, producers must ensure their cattle go through a fully verified supply chain, i.e. from a verified cow-operation to a verified feedlot to a verified packer (Cargill High River). Auction marts are out of scope for verification; therefore cattle sold through auctions will be included as long as they otherwise go through a fully verified supply chain. The information provided noted that the parties involved recognize that cattle’s exact movement through the supply chain cannot always be pre-determined; but the more producers that participate in the pilot, the higher are the chances that cattle will go through a fully verified supply chain. Participants will need to enroll in BIXS as well so that cattle can be identified at slaughter as being in a verified production chain. This can be done at http://

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www.bixsco.com/ or through a third party database provider. If producers were verified sustainable in the McDonald’s pilot, they can be grandfathered into the pilot through a few simple steps to become VBP+ registered. They are also eligible to roll into VBP+ easily without having to start at the beginning of the VBP+ program. VBP+ has agreed to recognize the McDonald’s pilot on-site verification as a producer's VBP+ on-farm audit, meaning for VBP+ purposes an operation can receive VBP+ Registered status starting on the date of your on-site verification. In order to take advantage of this offer from VBP+, producers follow these steps: • Complete a self-assessment covering all four modules and confirm your successful completion of McDonald’s VSB Pilot Verification (check appropriate area in the self-assessment); • Feedlots (> 5,000 head) are required to submit a written protocol for non-ambulatory/ downer cattle. If a producer is already a VBP-Registered Operation (on-farm food safety), to become fully VBP+ Registered they must: • Complete a self-assessment and VBP+ requirements will be phased in according to annual assessments. If a producer is up for re-audit prior to December 31, 2017, the McDonald’s or CRSB pilot verification will be accepted as satisfying the upcoming VBP+ audit. If a producer does not have a VBP Registered Operation and would like to become fully VBP+ Registered they must: • have completed VBP On-farm Food Safety Training and VBP+ self-assessment; • Contact your local VBP+ Provincial Coordinator when ready to arrange for an on-farm validation audit. A copy of the self-assessment and regional contact information at http://verifiedbeefproductionplus.ca/. In the information provided it was noted that the pilot project framework enables members of the CRSB supply chain to make defensible claims about their Canadian beef sources and includes the sustainability standard (the indicators), guidelines for auditing, chain of custody as well as claims. The CRSB is the sustainability standard-owner but the supply chain must implement the standard by developing the systems necessary to deliver beef from verified sustainable sources. This is where the pilot fits in – the pilot will work in parallel to the CRSB, executing within its supply chain according to its guidelines. The CRSB is not involved in the pilot itself. For further information on the pilot see: http://CBSApilot.ca


September 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

New financial incentives for On-Farm Risk Assessments and Premises ID linkages for producers within the RMEA BY ANNE ROOBAN MBP Project Coordinator

If you are a producer in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) you may be eligible for some new financial incentives to help offset the costs associated with reducing the risk of disease transmission. In June, Manitoba Agriculture (MB Ag) announced a series of financial incentives available for producers located within the RMEA. These include: participation in an On Farm Risk Assessment (OFRA); linkage of the operation’s Premise Identification (PID) numbers to the producer’s Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) accounts; and, access to funding for biosecurity measures such as barrier and 3D fencing around feed storage and feeding areas, and livestock guardian dogs. These incentives are designed to reduce the risk for transmission of Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) between cattle and wildlife, giving producers the

tools they need to identify areas of risk on their farm, with the ultimate aim of eradicating bTB in Manitoba. “We are pleased to partner with the province to make these programs available and affordable for producers,” said Brian Lemon, general manager for Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). “These programs are important for our overall effort to eradicate bTB and keep it out of the herd in the Riding Mountain area. I would encourage producers in the RMEA to take advantage of these incentives, and we are happy to help producers understand and participate in these initiatives.” Bovine tuberculosis is a bacteria that affects cattle, bison, deer, elk, goats, and, on rare occasions, infects humans. It can be transferred between wildlife and livestock directly by saliva, urine or manure or indirectly on infected feed. Although the last case of bTB in cattle in Manitoba was found in 2008, it is believed that a dis-

MBP to host Blue Bombers game Oct. 6 Manitoba Beef Producers will be heading to the gridiron Oct. 6 in Winnipeg. For a fourth straight year MBP will have a booth in Tailgate Plaza at Investor’s Group Field (IGF), providing the association with a chance to promote the provincial beef industry and beef consumption to loyal Blue Bombers’ fans. Initially the booth in Tailgate Plaza was part of a Canadian Beef–Canadian Football League sponsorship package that expired at the conclusion of the 2016 season. However, MBP has continued its involvement with the Bombers’ organization, sponsoring the Family of the Game promotion for a third season. “We have enjoyed our partnership with the Blue Bombers’ organization,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “The Family of the Game promotion recognizes Manitoba families for their contribution to the community. For us, it is an excellent way to say thanks to the families who support our members by purchasing their product. “Our booth in Tailgate Plaza has proven to be a great opportunity to raise awareness of the provincial beef industry and distribute consumer-based materials such as recipe books from Canada Beef, which are always very popular.” Football fans who stop at the MBP booth will also have the chance to enter a draw to win supper for 10 in the Blue and Gold Club at IGF. Joining the winner and their guests at the supper will be Clarence Denmark and Pat Neufeld of the Bombers. The last place Hamilton Tiger Cats will provide the opposition for the Bombers in the Oct. 6 contest.

ease reservoir may still exist within the elk herd in the RMEA. Bovine tuberculosis is a federally reportable disease with no effective vaccines or medications. The unrestricted movement of cattle between provinces and internationally depends upon the continued bTB free status Canada has held since 2006, a designation maintained at significant expense to cattle producers in the RMEA. Herd testing by the CFIA has been very costly to producers. Therefore, the announcement made by the CFIA in 2016 that its surveillance activities would focus on passive surveillance of animals at slaughter as opposed to live animal testing came as a huge relief, reflecting a shift towards risk management and prevention. Although this shift demonstrates a significant milestone towards eradication of bTB, Provincial TB Coordinator Dr. Allan Preston emphasizes that risk mitigation efforts must continue to ensure a positive final outcome. “Thanks to the concerted efforts of producers and other stakeholders, tremendous progress has been made towards eradicating bovine TB in Manitoba. However, we cannot be complacent as

we near the finish line. We must see the risk reduction piece through to the end,” explained Dr. Preston. “We strongly encourage producers to consider accessing these incentives and to use the risk management tools available to them, including having an OFRA and exploring the use of barrier fences or guardian dogs to further reduce the potential for interaction between wild cervids and domestic livestock. Also essential is making the linkage between the producer’s PID numbers and the CCIA accounts to enable the accurate and complete traceability of RMEA-born cattle through to slaughter. With this slaughter surveillance information in hand, the possibility for a resumption of herd testing within the RMEA can be avoided, Preston concluded. An OFRA is a tool which helps producers identify areas of potential risk around bTB transmission on their farm. This voluntary process involves setting up an appointment with an assessor hired by Manitoba Beef Producers for an on-farm visit. The assessor goes through the assessment with the producer, which takes approximately two hours.

Development, Carlyle Bennett, explains that “Improved slaughter surveillance is one of the tools that can help to reduce or eliminate the need for live animal testing. Linking PID locations to CCIA accounts will make slaughter surveillance more accurate and efficient than ever before.” An incentive grant of $150 is available in addition to the OFRA grant. If a producer in the RMEA has already linked their PID with their CCIA account, they may receive this grant retroactively (upon submission of an application form). These incentives demonstrate that producers in the RMEA are key partners in eradicating bTB in Manitoba, and that their time and efforts towards this goal are valued. If you have questions or are interested in participating in an OFRA, you may contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458. For further information regarding PID linkage, livestock guardian dogs or stack yard and feeding area fences, you can contact a Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist: Ron Bazylo in Dauphin (204-572-5282) or Elizabeth Nernberg in Roblin (204-247-0087).

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Once the assessment is processed, the producer receives feedback from MB Ag outlining areas of risk and ways these risks can be mitigated. Beef cattle and bison producers in the Core Area of the RMEA can apply for a grant of $500 and those outside of the Core Area are eligible for a $150 grant for the completion of an OFRA. Producers who have previously completed an OFRA are eligible to apply if they have their assessment updated. The grant payments for the risk assessments are being administered as a collaborative effort by MBP and MB Ag. Once a producer has completed an OFRA, they are eligible to apply for grants from MB Ag for barrier and 3D fencing around feed storage and feeding areas, or participation in their livestock guardian dog program. To be eligible for the OFRA grant, the producers must also link their PID number with their CCIA account. This linkage improves traceability from slaughter to the herd level, further confirming disease freedom of livestock from the RMEA. MB Ag Manager for Livestock Industry

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

Calculating water footprint of beef production CHRISTINE RAWLUK National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Water may be renewable, but using it at too fast a rate or in a way that pollutes water sources can deplete this precious natural resource. Yet water is essential for producing high quality food safely and sustainably. The livestock industry is often heavily criticised for the amount of water that is used to produce meat. However, calculating the water footprint of producing meat, particularly from cattle and other ruminants, is a complex calculation that can involve up to three distinct streams of water. A recent scientific review paper published in the Journal of Animal Science by a team of international researchers that included Getahun Legesse, Kim Ominski and Emma McGeough of the University of Manitoba and Tim McAllister, Karen Beauchemin, Roland Kroebel and Marcos Cordeiro of AAFC-Lethbridge shows that the size of the beef footprint really depends on how it was calculated. More than one assessment tool According to their review, there are different methods available for assessing water use in livestock production systems, each with its own set of benefits and limitations. Traditionally these assessments were conducted on the basis of productivity, which included having access to sufficient water of suitable quality to meet the direct needs of the cattle herd. More recent approaches also assess the environmental impact of production, quantifying the poten-

tial detrimental impacts on water quality and availability. The most common methods are Water Footprint Assessment (WFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). These techniques include livestock-related product outputs plus other benefits or services relative to the amount of water consumed or impacted in order to produce these products. The WFA method is widely used for national, regional and global assessments of animal products and productions systems. It attempts to measure the volume of freshwater consumed or polluted during the production process. LCA is the most popular approach for determining the impact of a product on water and other environmental indicators, and is capable of determining water use/ impacts along any point of the value chain from farm to table. LCA is particularly well-suited for assessments at a local scale - the area where production occurs - so that impacts on water scarcity, water depletion, and human and ecosystem health can be properly accounted for. Selecting the right tool for the job Their review showed that estimates of water use for ruminant production can vary widely, depending on the method, scope and scale employed. For example, published global estimates of water use for beef production range from less than a thousand to more than one hundred thousand litres per kilogram beef. The main challenge in accurately assessing water use lies in selecting an approach that adequately captures the key water inputs, product outputs and potential water impacts for the cattle production system and land area of

interest, without being overly complicated or too simple. Since water availability and production practices vary with time and place, it may also be useful to assess environmental impacts on a relative basis at a local scale, comparing alternative land uses and considering environmental impacts beyond water alone. The evaluation and development of appropriate strategies to reduce water use should also take into account external influences such as political, cultural and socio-economic realities. The benefit of using land to produce livestock compared to growing food crops or other uses may otherwise not be apparent. For example, in hot, water-stressed areas or where seasonal water availability can change dramatically, annual crop production might be too unpredictable, but the land might be suitable for grazing livestock. Similarly, draining a wetland for crop production would have a greater negative impact than allowing cattle to periodically graze this area. Next step - Water footprint of Canada’s beef herd Why the lengthy review of methodologies? The Canadian team is using this information to conduct a comparison of the water use intensity associated with Canadian beef production in 2011 compared with 1981. Selecting the right assessment tool could mean the difference between an accurate representation of actual water use and impacts of Canada’s beef herd or one that is not representative of reality on the ground. Financial support for this project provided by the Beef Cattle Research Council and Agriculture and AgriFood Canada through the Beef Cluster Project.

Make tick check a part of your routine BY ANGELA LOVELL Incidences of tickborne diseases are increasing in Manitoba, in particular Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bite of blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks) which can carry the Lyme disease bacteria. There were 64 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme disease in Manitoba in 2016, up from 29 in 2015. Since the first blacklegged ticks (BLTs) were discovered in Manitoba in 2006, their range has continued to expand every year. BLTs can be dropped off my migratory birds or wildlife, and populations are starting to become established in many areas of the province. Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living publishes online maps each year denoting BLT risk areas of the province, where populations are known to be established, but people should be aware that it is possible for BLTs to be present outside of these areas, says Richard Baydack, Director, Communicable Disease Control at Manitoba Health. “For people going outdoors they should be aware that even outside of the blacklegged tick risk areas there is appropriate tick habitat, areas that provide some moisture

and shade like wooded areas particularly around streams and rivers, “ says Baydack. “Those stream and river areas also act as natural corridors for small mammals, deer and birds, which can all be natural hosts for blacklegged ticks.” Upload Tick Pictures to Manitoba Tick Checker Within actual risk areas, where it is known that there are established populations of blacklegged ticks, people are more likely to encounter blacklegged ticks, and the likelihood that ticks in those areas are infected with the Lyme disease bacteria is higher. “Those are areas where people should take particular care but they should also be aware that it’s possible to find blacklegged ticks outside of those areas,” says Baydack. New for this year is the Manitoba Tick Checker which allows members of the public to upload pictures of ticks to identify them. Previously, actual ticks were sent into the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for testing, but the lab received as many non-blacklegged tics as blacklegged ones, so this added step ensures only the species of ticks that are of concern for Lyme disease need to be sent in for testing. “People will get a quicker response to at least identify the species,” says Baydack. “A lot of the time that will result

in some peace of mind if we identify that it’s not a blacklegged tick.” Farmers are at higher risk for tick-borne diseases because of the amount of time they spend outside and often in longer grass along field edges or bush land that makes ideal habitat for ticks. In a lot of cases people don’t remember a tick bite, so making a tick check part of the normal outdoor routine is important, and not just in the summer months. Blacklegged ticks are out in the environment from snow melt right until the first permanent snowfall or when temperatures are permanently below 4° C. “People in Manitoba generally think of tick season being May and June but in fact that exposure risk continues over the summer and into the fall,” says Baydack. “In the summer months, the ticks are at the nymph stage and are a lot smaller than the adult ticks, but they are still capable of transmitting disease. So we recommend that people pay particular attention to doing a tick check after they’ve spent time outdoors particularly in suitable habitat and particularly in areas that we know are blacklegged tick risk areas. We’d like people to make a thorough tick check part of their routine.” Other preventative measures include using

an insect repellant that is effective against blacklegged ticks, wearing light coloured clothing to make it easier to see a tick crawling on clothes, tucking pant legs into socks, and staying to the centre of hiking trails, avoiding long grass where possible. But Lyme disease is not the only tick-born disease that blacklegged ticks can transmit to humans. Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis are the other two emerging human diseases carried by blacklegged ticks. Although both are rarer than Lyme disease, infection rates for both are also increasing. “We had 17 confirmed or probable cases of Anaplasmosis in 2016,” says Baydack. “Some of the symptoms are similar to Lyme disease and are nonspecific, so people may have like flu-like symptoms, chills, headache, muscle aches, and joint pain. If people are aware of their history of tick exposure that’s helpful in diagnosis.” Hard to Diagnose Because most tickborne diseases have symptoms which are so similar to other illnesses like flu, it’s hard to diagnose the disease, especially in its early stages, when treatment with antibiotics is much more effective. “There are some challenges with diagnosis, because there aren’t many specific symptoms,” says

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Baydack. “The other challenge is that the testing is for the anti-body that’s raised against the infection and because of that, there won’t immediately be an anti-body response, it takes a little bit of time for your body to develop that response. So depending on the timing of the test relative to when you were infected that, for example, could be a false negative in the beginning. This is a challenge that exists for many diseases so many illnesses are diagnosed through an antibody test.” A classic symptom of Lyme disease is a red expanding rash at least five centimetres across – often described as a bull’s eye shape, but that is not present in every case. “If you do get one of those that’s certainly an indicator,” says Baydack. “Also, if you come across a blacklegged tick attached to your body, when you find it, mark the date on the calendar and then watch for symptoms. So if you do start to feel ill in the next three to 30 days, you should see a health care provider, and should mention the tick.” It’s a good idea to keep the tick in a crushproof container with a piece of damp paper towel to take along for testing if symptoms develop, Recently, Manitoba Health has advised physicians that if they suspect Lyme disease, they should

go ahead and begin treatment without waiting for a laboratory result. Tick-Borne Diseases are Preventable “The earlier that treatment is initiated, the more effective it will be and that’s actually the reasoning why our advice to physicians is to go ahead and treat without waiting for lab testing,” says Baydack. “The flip side of that is if treatment is initiated immediately, what may happen is that you’ll never get a positive test because the infection is cleared before your body raises antibodies so it may appear… so in the future someone may get a test and it may turn out negative even if they had been infected.” Tick-borne diseases are preventable, says Baydack. “If people make a tick check routine, similar to how they might routinely apply sunscreen, use insect repellant, that’s effective against ticks, and take care and be aware of their environment, those are the things they can do to give themselves the best chance of not being exposed to a tick-borne disease.” Resources for more information about blacklegged ticks, tick-borne diseases and preventative measures can be found online at: h t t p s : / / w w w. g o v. mb.ca/he a lt h/publichealth/cdc/tickborne/index.html


September 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Prevention remains an important tool DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner This past spring and summer I had challenging cases of pneumonia in three herds that affected young adult and/or nursing calves. Not challenging in that the pathogen was elusive or oddball but challenging in that, despite “doing the right thing,” the producers were having health problems. I think that everyone can agree that the cost of vaccination is far outweighed by the cost of losses due to common cattle ailments. It is encouraging to read that a 2014 industry survey of cattle producers in Western Canada reported that 90 per cent of producers vaccinate but I would have to argue and say that this figure is misleading. Even today, vaccination to some means giving a shot of Noromycin at weaning time. An improvement on that may be that the producer vaccinates his calves for Blackleg - but nothing else. Why are cattlemen failing to implement this proven, simple and cost effective disease prevention program? Maybe they feel that, based on prior experience, vaccination doesn’t prevent disease. Maybe people don’t have the time or, as I prefer to say, don’t make the time. Maybe the facilities are unavailable as people have moved to range calving without considering how they will manage the inevitable individual and herd health problems. And then there are the labour issues - weekday help no longer exists. The labour and time were real issues for my producers as they experienced the health challenges in their herd. Response to treatment was swift but getting the cattle in and administering antibiotics was stressful. Implementing biosecurity measures seems like a daunting task but it

need not be. Disease prevention does not require an “all or nothing” approach nor does one size fit all. Protocols and recommendations are tailored to each individual operation and can be very simple or quite complex. Work with a veterinarian and be honest in stating what you can and cannot do from a time or facility standpoint. But keep in mind that minimal input can never equal maximal output. Animals with a poor immune system are more prone to disease. A classic example is calves not getting quality colostrum. Study after study have shown decreased productivity from scours, pneumonia and poor feedlot performance. Even closed herds not bringing in any stock nor having contact with other animals are subject to disease if their immune system weakens. Many of the bacteria that cause disease in cattle are naturally carried in their airways and gut systems – E.coli, Coronavirus, Mannheimia hemolytica, Mycoplasma and Histophilus to name a few. All the antibiotics in the world will not eliminate this carrier status. Others like Listeria and Clostridia are present in the soil and feed. Good biosecurity management includes boosting the immune system to prevent disease. Meet with your veterinarian at least once a year to review current disease trends and industry research findings. Find out what new vaccines, immune stimulants or antibiotics are “in the pipes.” Remember that vaccine and treatment protocols will inevitably change as research and trial work reveals new findings. A very new concept at this time is IBR immunodominance. In a nutshell, when naive cattle are vaccinated against multiple pathogens at the same time (multiple vaccines with several diseases per vaccine), the immune system has to prioritize its response just as we would

prioritize our list of things to do. IBR gains that top priority in cattle. This single concept explains why some herds are still seeing health problems despite being on a good traditional vaccination program. Early vaccination at birth with a focus on getting immunity to IBR will help ensure that calves can respond better to vaccination at pasture turnout. Keeping up with vaccinations throughout the lifetime of the cow will ensure strong reproductive disease protection. Feed cows well to ensure that they deliver strong calves that are able to quickly nurse high quality colostrum of adequate quantity. Feed calves high energy rations at weaning to keep their immune systems strong during the

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greatest stress of their lives. Proper nutrition and a well-balanced ration including minerals and vitamins is crucial to minimize disease. In all three cases that I dealt with this summer, a mineral deficiency was a predisposing factor. Any vaccination program will look bad if there is feed mismanagement. It is easy to blame the vaccine manufacturer, grumble about the cost of antibiotics and gripe about the new animal care guidelines and feed regulations. But you, as the producer and the business owner, are in the driver’s seat. Get up to speed with the positive changes in the industry and be prepared to stand behind your product come sale time.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

2017 Manitoba Beef Producers BURSARY WINNERS NAOMI BEST The beef industry has always played a huge part in my family, my community and Manitoba. On a family level the beef industry has provided us with a way of living, the ability to make connections and opportunities. My community is right in the heart of cattle country and without the beef industry we wouldn’t be able to put on Manitoba’s largest one day fair, the “Harding State Fair.” When I look at the beef industry on a provincial scale, not only do we produce high quality beef for our province, but we can provide it for our country and even the world! I am very thankful to have been raised in what I think is the best industry out there ... the beef industry. Along with my parents and brother, we own and operate a 125 cow/calf operation just outside of Harding, Manitoba. I have always been involved in the day-to-day operation on our farm, and that has allowed me to develop many skills that will benefit me in the future. Some of these skills include time management, hard work ethic and responsibility. The beef industry has provided us with a way to make a living. My parents both grew up on cattle farms and in 1995 they decided to start their own operation. Both my brother and I raise our

BETHAN LEWIS The beef industry is a way to learn and a way of life. To my family, the beef industry is stability, it allows us to live the life we do. To my community, it is a way to come together, support one another and produce food for each other. For Manitoba, beef cattle bring along a large source of revenue for the province. The geography of the land makes cattle farming a sustainable choice. This industry is more then just a source of income, it is a way to provide for one another, a way to learn from the past, and a way to prepare for the future. Learning from the past is how the beef industry is as large as it is today, and preparing for the future is how this same industry is growing and expanding everyday. My family moved to Canada 21 years ago and the beef industry was there to help them to raise a family and remain

KAITLYN DAVEY Agriculture is a huge part of our world today and always will be. The beef industry is a vast sector in agriculture and the world would not be the way it is today without beef farmers and others who are involved from auctioneers, nutritionists, those who work for the abattoirs, and many others. This industry means extensive amounts to those in my community, Manitoba, and my family as it is our lifestyle and has shaped us to be who we are today. Without the beef industry, I don’t know where our family would be or the person I would be today. We operate a

own purebred angus cattle and are heavily involved in showing cattle all across the country. The beef industry has allowed us to meet so many people and form those life-lasting connections with other young cattle enthusiasts who share the same passion as us. Through the beef industry I’ve had so many opportunities. This summer I will be travelling to Australia for a month to see how their cattle operations work and make connections on a global scale. The beef industry means so much to my family as it has provided us with a wonderful lifestyle and a great industry to grow up in. My community is well known for the most spectacular one day fair in Manitoba, the Harding Fair. Harding Fair hosts over 250 head of cattle each summer, and our community comes together to put on this wonderful event. Without the beef industry, we wouldn’t be able to put on this event and show off the quality of cattle that we have in our area. Along with many local producers exhibiting at Harding Fair, people come from as far as Alberta to try and get a spot into the RBC Beef Supreme at Agribition. The beef industry has been a huge part of our community for many years and will continue to bring people together like one big family. Manitoba is the third largest beef producing province in Canada with about 12 per cent of the national beef herd.

Our province’s vast natural grasslands are ideal for cow-calf production. About 98 per cent of beef operations are cow-calf operations with the remaining 2 per cent being commercial feedlots. The beef industry provides many Manitobans with a way of life and jobs. With Canada’s population continuing to grow, we will have to keep our beef production rate up in order to feed the growing population. When I look at the amount of younger beef producers in Manitoba, I know that the future is in good hands. The beef industry plays a huge role in my family, my community and Manitoba. If it weren’t for the beef industry, we wouldn’t have these hard-working kids who give us hope for the future. My community wouldn’t be bonded the way it is and Manitoba wouldn’t strive economically like it does today.

comfortable in a time of large changes. I grew up in a very agriculture-based environment, where animals could never be left hungry, and chores needed to be done first before you could do other things. This upbringing on the farm, as well as 12 years as a member of our local 4-H, taught me compassion and respect for livestock as well as an understanding of where my food comes from. The agricultural world has opened many doors for the younger generations including myself. I have had many opportunities to travel across Canada, networking with people who will better my future, and have a future that will be manageable and attainable. Agriculture and the beef industry are very important in my family now and will continue to be in the future. The beef industry is growing and thriving in my community. Due to the area I am located in, the beef world is key. There are several large cattle producers, feedlots, and collection yards in close proximity to us. The beef industry in my community has been bringing people together for years and has been passed from generation to generation, some farms are third and fourth generation beef producers. This shows that the community is an ideal place to raise cattle and a family. In the community, the beef industry has been used as a fundraiser in aiding growth to community

buildings and organizations as well as to raise money in times of need. This industry has grown over the years and will continue to grow with younger generations. To Manitoba the beef industry is a source of revenue and allows for the land to be used in a sustainable manner. In 2015 Manitoba’s number of beef cows decreased but the number of calves increased. 2014 came with higher cattle prices which may have encouraged some producers to keep calves. These stats that I found show that Manitoba beef herds numbers are decreasing due to strict culling procedures, but if producers are keeping back more calves, some of these calves could go into the herd to start expanding numbers again. Strict culling allows for Manitoba beef herds to remain healthy and sustainable and enables them to produce high quality beef products. This high-quality beef produces higher revenues for Manitoba. The beef industry in Manitoba is extremely important to the province because the geography of the land allows for cattle to live and thrive. The beef industry is an important aspect of my family, my community and Manitoba. This bursary will aid me in achieving my future goals of continuing my education and understanding of the beef industry and agriculture.

200-head herd of limousin cattle that has connected us with people from all over Canada. To us the industry means the late nights and early mornings during calving season, feeding in the worst of winter storms, fixing fences to ensure the cattle don’t get into the neighbour’s crop, and seeing how happy the cows are when released onto pasture for the summer. These cattle have been the focus of many laughs, tears, and memories that we would not have any other way. The beef industry means a lot to our local community of Westbourne. Every year, hamburger gets donated by local beef farmers to the Westbourne Longburn Community Club for them to make the hamburgers that they will sell during

the three annual curling bonspiels where they are a popular choice for the hungry curlers and spectators. The meat also gets used for some of the Friday night suppers before regular curling. They play a big part in the income for the community club and the community could not be more thankful for the cattle farmers who are truly the backbone of the community. Towns are usually built because an industry is located close by and there is a need for supplies and a place for families to reside. This could be because of mining, logging, and in many instances especially in Manitoba, the beef industry. There is land that cannot be used for industrialization, mining, or farming crops on so either the land can be left bare or utilized by putting cattle on it to graze. This puts use to otherwise unused land and helps make a better environment. Agriculture being a huge part of my life has made me the hard-working, determined, and patient person I am today. The beef industry has allowed me to showcase my cattle over the Prairie provinces where I have met many new friends and learned so much about this great industry. I cannot forget about the hours spent in the barn preparing the show cattle, or the late night checks during calving season, or the cattle shows where you get to interact with friends and fellow producers. These are memories that I will cherish for a lifetime and are just a few reasons why I love being involved with agriculture. The beef industry is a massive part of many people’s lives including those in my family, community, and Manitoba. To my family it means everything; it’s our livelihood and if given any other option we would never leave. Westbourne is built off the cattle producers; without them there would be no homemade burgers for the bonspiels and the community club income would plummet. Many of Manitoba’s rural communities would not be here either if it weren’t for the beef industry and there would be an excessive amount of unused land just waiting to be utilized. The beef industry and agriculture are a huge part of our world and I would not have it any other way.

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September 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

2017 Manitoba Beef Producers BURSARY WINNERS CONNOR ENGLISH The beef industry in Manitoba is something that many families such as mine rely on. Both of my parents were raised on century farms, and cattle have been part of their upbringing. Currently our family farm runs a commercial cow/calf and finishing cattle operation. My parents returned to running our farm, and entered into the beef industry the year before BSE hit the cattle industry across Canada. Over the past 15 years we have had our ups and downs. High price years as well as low years, and having to deal with very wet conditions. Our family currently runs a cow/calf operation of about 100 cows as well as a privately run feedlot in which we sell our own beef to customers across Manitoba. Having our own feedlot where we finish up to 40 steers every year is something that my family really enjoys doing. We are now suppling people with quality beef across Manitoba, and it has turned into a business that is always growing rapidly. Being able to provide people in my community and province with quality beef that is home raised is something that I really think is great. These people that are purchasing beef are getting some

CASSIDY GORDON I come from a third generation cattle operation. We run a herd of one hundred and thirty cow/calf pairs. My grandfather and father were purebred breeders in the breeds of Shorthorn, Herefords and Simmental cattle. Currently our farm consists of commercial Angus from that existing Simmental breeding program. Cattle have always been a huge interest in my family. I believe the love for it came from my dad's childhood being involved in 4-H. My Father was a member of the 4-H Beef club throughout his childhood. Alongside his family he traveled and showed cattle at Agribition, Denver and all over Manitoba. Running a cattle operation isn’t just a business, it is our lifestyle. Growing up on a cattle farm has taught me tremendous respect for the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to

ALLISON SORRELL It all started when I was three-years-old. It was all new to me, leaving the city and not being surrounded by the large buildings anymore. Instead, I was surrounded by many fields, gravel roads, farm equipment, and cattle. Little did I know how much this place would soon mean to me and the impact the farm would have on my life. Before long I was helping feed cows, drive them home, and helping my dad calve. It wasn’t long before I realized how hard my parents worked and how stressful the different seasons can be. I learned a lot about nature and how wonderful, yet cruel it could be. My favorite memory is going to my first bull sale when I was 10. We had free roast beef on a bun, homemade pie, and bought a red Angus bull. I was so nervous because it felt like the ring man was looking directly at me, and I thought I had bought the bull by accident. Thankfully it was my dad that was bidding. Being in the cattle industry for family has not always been easy. Many times I watched my parents working at the table trying to figure out how to make ends meet. They work hard and always seemed to make it through the lean years and my sisters and I never went without. At least there was always beef in the freezer! Much of our community is based on the beef industry. Cattle producers buy goods and services from all of the local businesses including the Co-op, the feed mill, the lumberyard, hardware, tire shops, etc, etc, etc. When the beef industry struggles, the rest of our community can feel it. When the weather is hot and dry, everyone at the restaurant talks about how much we need rain. Everyone keeps an eye on the sky in case there is a rain cloud on the horizon. When it does rain, there is a collective sigh of relief. If the farmers make money, the rest of the community can make money as well. Farmers are the base of our province. Our province is supported by taxes. So it is important to our province when beef producers can turn a profit. We spend our profits on new equipment, vehicles, food, and clothing. Those dollars are then collected by local businesses and spent on their own needs. This process trickles down numerous times through our community. Each time those dollars are spent, the province can

of the best quality meat on the market, at a good price, and we love being able to make lasting connections with our customers. I look forward to returning to our farm after my post-secondary education. I hope to be able to expand the feedlot in the future as well as the cow herd so that I can supply the feedlot with calves from our own herd. I am very interested in marketing beef privately throughout the province to people that want quality beef to feed to their families. The beef industry in Manitoba is a very large industry that supports many families across the province. From ranches, farms and feedlots, to processing, transportation and auction marts, this wheel of production needs each and every spoke in order to produce quality beef for consumers throughout the province. I have been fortunate to have been involved in my local 4-H Beef Club. The skills I have learned will help me in my chosen profession of cattle ranching. Seeing new life at calving time and then delivering beef or finished animals to our customers that we have produced is rewarding. There is going to be a gap in the future for the age range of cattle producers across the province. I have noticed when I attended the beef producers meeting in Brandon that there are

many older producers, and very few producers that are closer to my age. I see cattle farming in Manitoba having a very bright future, because there will be so many older producers retiring, and young people will be needed to take over these herds. Being able to find ways to reduce expenses and ensure income in some different ways is something that young cattle farmers of the future are going to have to develop in order to be successful in the industry. I am very excited to be joining the cattle industry in a larger role in the future. I think that agriculture is the greatest career choice that anyone could get into. The thought that you’re helping feed the world in some way and living the best life while doing that is something very special. Being hands on and working in the outdoors almost every day is something I have a love for, ever since I was a young boy helping on our farm.

build a herd to this quality. Your herd’s health and wellbeing is very important if you want to be successful from a business stand point. Over the years I have witnessed these qualities in order to succeed. Growing up on a farm teaches you many life skills that can be beneficial regardless of what profession you choose. From a young age I have always been infatuated with the cows. I can remember being a little kid and going out, setting up a stool and looking through the window to watch my dad out with the cows in the barn. When you take a moment and think about all the times you’ve watched and learned about the cows, it really is quite amazing. Thinking back to all the memories I have here on my farm, those memories are the reason we do it. Cattle farming has run in my family for so long that it’s all we know. We do it because we love it. Without the people with the passion for it, where would we be? I come from a community that is mainly supported by the agricultural industry. Businesses in town rely on producers spending their money at home within our own small communities. Without that support many small town businesses could not survive. The same can be said for all of Manitoba. The spinoff from the beef industry can be traced to affect-

ing everything from the stores that sell our beef to the trucking companies who transport our animals to the implement dealers who sell the machinery we need to successfully run our business. A thriving beef industry means money for our economy from purchasing new vehicles to clothing and entertainment. Manitoba is one of the top beef producers in Canada. Our province produces high quality beef that is in high demand all over the world. Farming is the only life I have known, but would not trade it for anything. I have grown to appreciate the values that come from farming. I have seen the importance and necessity of caring for our cattle. You have to look after them in order for them to look after you. The qualities and responsibilities involved with raising cattle have helped me in caring for my horses. As a member of horse 4-H, I have used knowledge that I have acquired working with our beef cattle that have helped me become a better horse person. I am proud of where I come from. The values that have been instilled in me through my parents and the life we live, I believe will help me throughout my life and my endeavors.

collect taxes which can used towards rebuilding roads, daycares, and community projects. This all began with beef producers. I can’t imagine what it would have been like not growing up on a farm. My youngest memories are being in the barn searching for kittens, throwing bales from the loft, feed bales, and doing all of the things that go along with having a beef herd. I learned about nature, hard work, how crops grow, and I am finally learning about the economics that come along with

the industry. Raising beef cattle has been difficult but rewarding for my family. We take a lot of pride in the cattle we produce. I jumped for joy when I got my first cow and cried when I sold my first calf. The farm will always be a part of me. I am grateful to be considered for this bursary and $500 is a lot of money to me. The cost of university seems incredible, but my family assures me we can do it. This level of support would mean a great deal to me and my family.

www.mbbeef.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2017

Fall back into routine

Poutine Topped with Pulled Beef

BY ADRIANA FINDLAY MBP Meat Expert

It was inevitable. Fall has arrived, the days have become shorter and the nights cooler. Naturally we fall back into routine, back to school, recreational sport and activity and the busy harvest season starts up. Craving routine and regimented schedules can make some of us feel content and grounded, myself being one of them. Our prairie summers are nothing short of high energy and packed with activity and events. Dinner is sometimes overthrown by late lunches or sabotaged by snacking. Let’s get back in the groove and balance our schedules once again. Below are some tips on organizing your kitchen and prepping weekly dinners that will focus on a major ingredient that can be transformed into several meal ideas that can help take the edge off when creativity in the kitchen is on the bottom of the list. 1. Keep a written schedule and communicate: organization and communication are key in balancing your schedule. Keep everyone in the family in the loop, create a focal point calendar at home as this is the best way of staying on top of all family events. This can be a white board calendar or a framed chalk board to do list. The kitchen or mudroom is a great spot to keep a visual calendar. If a digital calendar is easier for your family those can be set up through most email systems or shared through a basic cellphone app. This will help keep everyone at home informed about activities and commitments. 2. Teamwork: Based on the scheduled activities your family has each week designate responsibilities to each family member in order to get dinner on the table at a reasonable time each night. Based on ages set tasks could be setting the dinner table, peel and cut vegetables or making a garden salad. Empower older children with more responsibility; they can read the recipe that is being used for dinner and get started where they can. This can be browning and seasoning ground beef. Giving your children set designated tasks will not only make them feel involved, they will learn responsibility, and the importance of working together to accomplish a larger goal. Developing disciplinary skills doesn’t need to be boring and can happen in the kitchen! 3. Keep a stocked pantry: As items in the kitchen run out, write them down and grocery shop with a list in hand. Creating a list will help avoid items being forgotten or spending outside your budget. Before deciding to go to the store make sure you have checked through your fridge, freezer and pantry. This will help avoid forgetting items and you will then know exactly what you need. After you have a good idea of the ingredients you currently have in your kitchen make a meal plan. A meal plan does not need to be intimidating, it’s just a list of family dinners

SAVE THE DATE

Feb

&!

MBP’s 3 th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. & , 201 at the Victoria Inn $POWFOUJPO $FOUSF in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

INGREDIENTS: Roast beef, shredded or chopped into bite sized pieces. http://greattastesmb.ca/recipes/grandma-rosaspot-roast/ (Use 2lb boneless cross-rib or boneless blade roast for best results) Gravy: 3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter 4 Tbsp (60 mL) all-purpose flour 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup (250 mL) reserved pot roast cooking broth* 1 cans (284 mL) beef consommé 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce Poutine Assembly: 1 pkg white cheese curds 1 pkg 650g freezer French fries or wedges, prepared To taste black pepper for the week. 4. Create a weekly meal plan: Typically this is seven meals; however, you can make double batches and recreate several dinners from cooking one large roast or a large batch of cooked ground beef at the beginning of the week. For example: • Monday: Double batch of ground beef for Monday & • Tuesday: Ground beef and rice stuffed peppers with a garden or caesar salad • Tuesday: Beef Lasagna or Sheperd’s Pie • Wednesday: Roasted chicken with roasted root vegetables and potatoes • Thursday: Grilled steak (striploin or flank steak) with Greek salad • Friday: Large slow-cooker cross-rib roast for the weekend: Pulled beef tacos with coleslaw • Saturday: Pulled beef panini sandwiches with potato salad • Sunday: Pulled Beef Quesadillas or pizza Shortcuts in the kitchen can help keep everyone happy. Big batch meals one day a week will create leftovers that can be recreated into a few extra meals in a pinch during a busy week. Start with having your cupboards stocked with pantry items to make marinades, spice rubs and sauces to season meats. Your best friend in the kitchen should be your slow cooker; it’s fabulous at getting all the hard work done for you. Don’t be fearful of leftovers, by cooking a large bone cross-rib or blade roast and shredding all the meat at once gives many meal possibilities that can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months. Getting the whole family involved in making dinner is not only a wonderful bonding activity there are many

* packaged beef broth can be used as an alternative) METHOD: 1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, create a roux with butter and flour. Mix until the flour and butter and full incorporated, stir until the mixture darkens to a lighten brown. 2. Add shallots and garlic and allow to soften. 3. Slowly whisk in the reserved pot roast broth and beef consomme allowing the roux to become fully incorporating into the liquid. You do not want lumps in the gravy. 4. Stir in the Worcestershire and thyme. 5. Allow gravy to boil and thicken, whisk occasionally to pull gravy together. 6. Arrange hot French fries /wedges in individual bowls 7. Add desired amount of cheese curds 8. Top with pulled beef 9. Ladle beef gravy over top of the assembled poutine. lessons in leadership children can learn in the kitchen. This month we have a new Great Tastes of Manitoba recipe that can be seen Sept. 30 at 6:30 pm on CTV Winnipeg. A Canadian classic, poutine topped with pulled beef, this is a delicious traditional French Canadian homemade poutine. Pulled beef is an excellent recipe to double and use leftovers for several meals throughout busy weeks ahead.

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in even numbered districts. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. DISTRICT

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Robert Metner

Oct-23

Eriksdale Recreation Centre

1st Avenue, Eriksdale

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-24

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Heinz Reimer*

Oct-25

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 6

Larry Wegner

Oct-31

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oak Lake

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-01

Mountview Centre

111 S Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 2

Dave Koslowsky*

Nov-02

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-03

Austin Community Centre

601 Avenue, Austin

District 12

Bill Murray*

Nov-06

Westlake Community Hall

16 Eddystone Dr, Eddystone

District 14

Stan Foster*

Nov-07

Durban Community Hall

612 1st St W

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-08

Roblin Chicken Chef

131 1st St NW, Roblin

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-09

Miniota Community Centre

568 Miniota Rd, Miniota

District 10

Ken McKay

Nov-13

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 3

Peter Penner

Nov-14

Carman Legion

60 1st Ave. NW, Carman

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-15

Arden Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave, Arden

*Director Retiring

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


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

OCTOBER 2017

District meetings begin Oct. 23 Four MBP directors retiring in 2017 the industry, our board has resolved to move forward with our work to create a plan and present it to the government,” Lemon said. “We feel there is a significant role for government to play in any efforts to grow the herd and we plan to work towards the development of a plan and where we can partner to accomplish our mutual goals. A new wrinkle has also been added this year as MBP has partnered with 4-H Manitoba to hold a mock district meeting at three locations this year – district 3, district 5 and district 11. “Our board has long ex-

pressed a desire to get more young producers involved with MBP. After the success we had with our Young Producer’s Forum at the 38th annual general meeting we felt this was another step in that direction and are excited to partner with 4-H on this venture.” Lemon said the tentative agenda for the mock meeting includes a presentation on MBP governance and processes, check-off collection and uses/ benefits, motions and policies, and a discussion on the future of the beef industry in Manitoba. The meetings are open to

4-H Manitoba members from the ages of 12-18. As always elections for directors will be held at the meetings with the elections taking place in even-numbered districts in 2017. These elections will be a major focus of this year’s meetings as four directors – Stan Foster (district 14), Dave Koslowsky (district 2), Bill Murray (district 12) and Heinz Reimer (district 4) – will be retiring from the board after reaching their six-year term limits. MBP President Ben Fox said he encourages anyone with

an interest in becoming a director to contact their local director or any other member of the board to discuss what the role entails. “It’s very important to MBP that we find interested, engaged producers to join our board,” Fox said. “As the voice of the provincial cattle industry it’s critical that all of our districts are represented at the board table.” All meetings begin at 6 p.m. with a beef on a bun supper. A complete schedule for the meetings can be found on page 16 of this issue of Cattle Country.

Manitoba Beef Producers' display at the Bruce D. Richardson Farm and Food Discovery Centre was installed in early September. One panel of the two-piece display talks about the provincial beef industry and the importance of beef production to the environment while the other focuses on nutrition and usage of hormones in beef production. Funding for the display came from the Man/Sask Cattlemen's Golf Tournament, which donated half of the proceeds from their 2016 event to MBP.

Brookdale Summer Pasture Tour

Manitobans honoured by CHA

CYL experience proves worthwhile

Page 2

Page 5

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.

Manitoba Beef Producers’ annual fall roadshow will officially kick off Oct. 23. The first of 14 district meetings will be held that evening in Eriksdale, setting off a busy three-plus weeks as MBP directors and staff meet with members to update them on the association’s activities over the past year and plans for the future. “I am excited to get out and see our members,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “These meetings are an important opportunity for us to meet face-to-face with members and hear about their concerns and thoughts on the direction of the association. I look forward to meeting with producers and I strongly encourage them to attend the meetings and have their say in the future of MBP.” Along with a recap of MBP’s activities for the past year and a look at the financial report, Lemon said the evening will also include a discussion of the ongoing efforts to grow Manitoba’s beef herd. Last summer Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced during a Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives event that he would like to see the provincial beef herd grow to pre-BSE numbers. Since then MBP has been speaking with members to get their thoughts on what they would need to see take place to expand their herds while also working with the province towards the creation of a plan. Lemon admitted that the progress towards an expansion plan has moved slower than hoped but MBP remains committed to this goal. “With the provincial government expressing they would like to see any plan come from


2

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

MBFI Brookdale Summer Pasture Tour highlights beef and forage research BY ANGELA LOVELL The people movers were packed, as around 60 beef producers and beef industry participants attended the summer pasture tour at the at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives' Brookdale Farm on August 30. The tour showcased some of the many beef and forage research projects currently underway at the site. Ramping up P in Alfalfa Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist, Ray Bittner gave an update on the second year of a project looking at the effects of fertilizing alfalfa at different rates. Bittner’s team fertilized alfalfa strips in May 2016 at rates of zero phosphorus (P) 20, 40, 80 and 100 lbs actual P and harvested the strips three times in July, August and September. Results show the strips fertilized at 60,

80 and 100 lbs P had the highest lbs per acre yield, and soil P tests revealed that these strips also had higher levels of P remaining in the soil after harvesting and feed samples from these strips had a higher P content. “If you are feeding gestating or lactating cows, the more P they have in the system the more ability they have to build milk, strong bones and be good mothers that provide healthy cows,” said Bittner. Ecological Benefits on the Farm Lacy Kontzie from Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation explained some of the benefits that riparian zones and wetlands provide for producers, including helping to slow down water flow and store water during times of flood and improving water quality by absorbing excess nutrients or pollutants in run-off. The permanent

Correction

In the September issue of Cattle Country, a recipient of a Manitoba Beef Producers bursary was misidentified. Bursary recipient Bethan Amy Lewis was wrongly identified as Amy Bethan. MBP apologizes for the error.

4-H Members: Let your voice be heard

vegetation cover around wetlands also helps to prevent soil erosion and provides important wildlife habitat. Last summer, MBFI staff and researchers planted more than 1,400 trees as twin-row shelterbelts and as an eco-buffer at Brookdale farm. The eco-buffer, designed by researchers at Agriculture and AgriFood Canada is multiple rows of native trees and shrubs planted in a dense, mixed arrangement. Shelterbelts and eco-buffers enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat, conserve soil, protect water quality, and sequester carbon. Shelterbelts have added benefits for livestock producers by reducing wind speed in winter which lowers cold stress on animals to improve their health and feeding efficiency. They can also screen noise and odours associated with livestock operations. Pasture and crop management has a big effect on soil moisture, and Manitoba Agriculture’s Mitch Timmerman demonstrated that with his rainfall simulator that clearly showed how soil that has high crop residue or perennial plant cover

absorbs more water into the soil and allows less to run off. Energy Dense Forages Energy dense annual forages such as chicory, plantain, Italian ryegrass and festulolium are popular in other countries, such as Australia, but research at Brookdale by Dr. Juanita Kopp and Matthew Wiens of Manitoba Agriculture, is looking at how they might fit as part of a fall grazing strategy in Manitoba. “High sugar levels and high energy density in forages is a requirement for high animal performance in fall, so we want

to strive for that,” said Wiens. “These [high energy forages] may have potential. They have performed surprisingly in a monoculture when the weeds are controlled, and where the fertility is there, but in a fall grazing system where you are not ready to dedicate everything to a monoculture, the weed control may not be optimum, so perhaps they are better suited in a polycrop mix for fall grazing." Wiens added that while there is some promise being shown by chicory and plantain, they may not be the best way to achieve high energy forages in fall.

“If producers are looking at a single species, we know how Italian ryegrass performs in Manitoba,” said Wiens. “It often does have good yields and fairl y high quality.” A number of projects are now completing their second season, including the trial led by Pam Iwanchysko, forage specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, who is comparing continuous and planned grazing systems in terms of their effect on gain and soil health. There will be more about the 2016/2017 results from this trial in the November issue of Cattle Country.

Mitchell Timmerman of Manitoba Agriculture was among the presenters duringthe MBFI Brookdale site Pasture Tour.

M A N I T O B A

BEEF PRODUCERS"

CANADA 4-H Manitoba

Want your ideas and experience heard?

SOUND BEEF NUTRITION

Want to connect with leaders in the beef industry and your peers from other 4-H Beef Clubs?

Attend one of the Emerging Beef Leaders Forums with reps from Manitoba Beef Producers, prior to district meetings.

Now available from

Watch for more info from 4-H Manitoba Monday, October 23 Eriksdale Recreation Centre

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Friday, November 3 Austin Community Centre

Tuesday, November 14 Carman Legion

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to MBP's Youth Coordinator, Elisabeth Harms: 1·800-772-0458 or info@mbbeef.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

Winnipeg Office:1-866-626-3933 | Gilles: 204-805-2094 DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING - SECRETARY

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

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

ROBERT METNER

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- 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

OFFICE ASSISTANT Elisabeth Harms

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Anne Rooban

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


October 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Bullseye on best strategies for replacement BY SERMO.FARM What are the best strategies for managing replacement heifer development? There are a number of factors to consider to fit the needs of the operation and have the best impact on the bottom line, said experts at the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Conference, held in Calgary from August 15 to 17. In a featured session titled “Dollars, Sense and Fertility: Economic and reproductive factors of replacement heifer development,” Kathy Larson of the Western Beef Development Centre and Dr. John Campbell of the Western College of Veterinary medicine, weighed in on this important topic for beef producers. In a packed house session attended by producers and other industry representatives from across the country, they discussed recommended practices, biological hurdles and money matters to help producers get the best results. Finding the right fit for your operation “Each producer has different resources and different goals and I think making the decision to raise versus buy, you really need to look at your cost of production. You probably need to revisit this decision on a regular basis, probably every other year,” said Larson, a beef economist. Larson said people shouldn’t make their own decisions about buying or raising replacements, and

Kathy Larson

shouldn’t just follow what their neighbours are doing. Buying replacements can be an opportunity to improve genetics or expand a herd. Buying cattle also frees up resources, because pens, hay and grazing are not necessarily needed. But many people raise replacements because they know the performance and temperament of their dams. “There is probably a lower cost for some of you,” she told the audience. “Most producers raise cattle that can thrive in their own environment. But there are opportunity costs when this is done,” she cautioned. Don’t forget to consider opportunity costs If a producer makes their own hay and feeds it to their cows, they often forego the cash they could make by selling their hay off their operation. Larson said that when she works with producers on the cost of production, she often suggests to them that they include hay costs as well. “Make your cows pay what you could have sold it to your neighbor for off of your farm. When you are retaining heifers, the opportunity cost involved there is simply the money you gave up by choosing to retain her, rather than sell her as a weaned calf,” she said. “That can be a very sizeable amount. Crunching the numbers Producers should take the opportunity to figure out their own cost of production, and can use the calculator

Dr. John Campbell

Get Your Premises ID!

As part of the ongoing efforts to ensure all producers have a Premises ID number (PID), Manitoba Agriculture staff will be on hand various days at Manitoba livestock auction marts for many cattle receiving/sale days this fall. Beginning September 25 and continuing throughout the fall cattle run, staff will be on hand various days at the auction marts to assist producers with applying for a PID number and to answer questions regarding the MB Premises ID Program.

As your association, Manitoba Beef Producers strongly encourages all members to get their PID number.

For information on the PID Program

Phone: 204-945-7684 Email: traceability@gov.mb.ca Visit website: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/pid Stop by your local Manitoba Agriculture Office - various locations throughout the province www.mbbeef.ca

found on the Western Beef Development Centre’s website. Make sure you are using numbers that are relevant to your operation,” she said. Producers should also consider the cost of a herd sire, how much it costs to buy him, and his decline in value over the years. They should also take into account the costs of semen testing, vaccinating and feeding him. But heifers shouldn’t be allowed to live in a herd if they don’t bear the initial events. “She has to have a fairly productive life in your herd to recoup the investment you make in her as a young female,” said Larson. Key targets to aim for “It’s always dangerous when you talk about replacement heifer management because there are so many different ways of doing it,” said John Campbell department head of Large Animal Clinical Studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Campbell, recommends producers concentrate on getting 95 per cent of their cows pregnant each year. It’s good to have 65 per cent of the cow herd breed in the first heat cycle or calve in the first 21 days. “This is especially important for heifers. The most basic benefit is that it gives me heavier calves,” he said. When cows calve earlier, the calves will be heavier than calves born later, which can help make the calves more uniform. Heifers should also be bred when they are two years old. “There’s a lot of old data from years ago that would show us the lifetime productivity is better for the calf as a two-year old or a three-year old,” he said. Cows tend to calve in the same part of the calving distribution year after year. “There’s always cows that jump around; they don’t read the textbook and somebody ends up being a bit later,” he said. But most of them will stay relatively consistent throughout the years. In order to avoid wrecks, producers should make sure that they are vaccinating, practicing good biosecurity, and make sure the bulls are fertile. Cows have a fixed gestation length of 282 days – the time it takes a calf to come out. “On average then, if we want a cow to calve around the same time next year, she’s got to get pregnant within about 83 days of calving,” he said. Cows generally start cycling again about 50 to 60 days after calving. Second calvers tend to have the highest open rate among all cows. “First calf heifers, after they calve for the first time, they take much longer to start cycling again,” he said. First calf heifers will take between 80 to 100 days before they start cycling again. A heifer’s puberty will determine whether or not she is cycling fertile eggs by the time breeding season starts. The scrotal circumference of the bull that sires a heifer makes a huge difference on how quickly she reaches puberty. “That’s one of the reasons we measure scrotal circumference. Bulls with larger scrotal circumference tend to sire daughters that reach puberty sooner,” he said. The average age of puberty is 10-14 months and is affected by breed, weight, age and management. Heavier heifers tend to cycle the most, and their target weight should be about 65 per cent of their mature body weight. “As you get down to lower levels, you might have a lower per cent of heifers cycling at the start of the breeding season,” he said. “There might be a need to have a few more replacement heifers around to compensate for that, and a producer might not get quite as good of a reproductive breeding performance.” The Canadian Beef Industry Conference was held August 15, v17 in Calgary. Themed “Sharing Common Ground” it drew over 800 participants from across the country and different facets of the beef industry.


4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

A busy fall ahead for MBP BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column

Let me start by wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving, the one time of the year where even staunch beef producers may enjoy a wonderful turkey dinner! I hope you are able to celebrate it with family and friends. It has, for the most part, been a good harvest season for those involved in the grain side of our business. Reports are that the crops came off good with better quality than we’ve seen in recent years, with decent yields. The summer’s dry weather did impact feed supplies, but from what I hear cattle producers were also able to get decent feed put up. Thinking back to last year,

this year was a completely different story. As October hits, we are gearing up for a busy season, highlighted by our chance to meet with our members at district meetings. The Legislature resumes sitting and this brings continuing opportunities to engage ministers on important files to cattle producers. Fall seems to be a time where people try to squeeze in as much as possible before the Christmas break. All this to say we are, and we expect to be, very busy working on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers. Not to suggest this is a complete list, but here are some key files on which we continue to work: Tax Changes: The federal government has announced changes to the tax laws whereby incorporated small businesses (including farm operations) will be required to pay significantly more in tax. The changes proposed include changes to what they call passive investment income, changes

to income splitting and changes to capital gains. These changes are being characterized as loopholes by the federal government suggesting that producers and others are not paying their fair share. MBP is working with other provincial and national agriculture organizations to put our name behind a collective effort from the agriculture sector against these changes, arguing how they will cost our producers and hurt our ability to compete globally. Predation: This continues to be a priority file for MBP. Progress has been painfully slow, but we are looking forward to working with the new Minster of Sustainable Development, Rochelle Squires and have asked for a meeting to discuss the issue and how it is costing our producers their ability to earn a living. We also are working with the Legislative Assistant to Minister Squires -- Rick Wowchuk, who has also just recently taken on a leadership role within the portfolio. Wow-

OCTOBER NOVEMBER

2017 Fall Sale Schedule

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

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, October 4

Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, October 9

NO SALE

Wednesday, October 11

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Thursday, October 12

Sheep/Goat Sale

Monday, October 16

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, October 18

Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, October 23

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, October 25

Charolais Presort Feeder Sale

Monday, October 30

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 1

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 3

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Nov 6

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 8

Charolais Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 10

OFFICE CLOSED

Monday, Nov 13

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 15

Angus Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 17

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Nov 20

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 22

Presort Feeder Sale

Friday, Nov 24

Bred Cow Sale

Monday, Nov 27

Butcher Sale

Wednesday, Nov 29

Presort Feeder Sale

• 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

9 am 10 am 10 am 12:00 pm 9 am 10 am 9 am 10 am 9 am 10 am 11:30 am 9 am 10 am 9 am 10 am 11:30 am 9 am 10 am 11:30 am 9 am 10 am

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

Heartland Livestock Services

chuk represents producers in the riding of Swan River where some of the hardest-hit producers ranch. We look forward to seeing progress on this very important file. Growing the Herd Announcement: This is another file where we have seen very little progress from government. We continue to push for details of the provincial strategy behind Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler’s exciting 2016 announcement about growing the herd. We certainly are thrilled to have the minister announce his support for our industry, but are looking for the plan and how we are able to engage and do the industry’s part. We recognize fully that we have a significant role to play but we also believe that there are important things government needs to do to create the right economic and regulatory climates for our industry to grow. The province announced a Livestock Growth Strategy as part of their 2017 budget, but again we have had little success getting details out of the government. We are certainly looking forward to hearing how we can partner with government to build our industry. Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Growing Forward 2 ends in March 2018 and the next policy framework, dubbed the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), will come into force on April 1, 2018. Thus far we have seen some of the broad strokes that the province has planned, but specific programs are still being developed. We certainly expect, based on the information that has been shared, that CAP will continue many of the programs from which producers benefited in Growing Forward. One addition in CAP is a focus on issues related to public trust. Public trust is the way CAP characterizes agriculture’s relationship with Canadians, how they view our industry, what they think of our animal welfare and environmental practices and what they believe about our production and food safety practices. Public trust is about maintaining the positive reputations that producers have with the general public and building stronger relationships between our producers and our customers. The other promise made as

www.mbbeef.ca

part of CAP is a review of business risk management programming. MBP will continue to advocate for programming that meets the needs of our producers and that will position us well at the end of CAP in 2023. Outlet Channel Projects: The province is working on the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels, projects aimed at reducing future flooding around the lakes. MBP has been advocating on this important issue on behalf of impacted producers. Our industry has always included producers who understand the greater good and who are willing to step up for their neighbors and communities. Producers in the area around the proposed Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel Route “D” are no different and understand there is a much greater good that needs to be addressed with the construction of the channel. MBP believes producers affected by the construction need to be compensated in a way that is fair and that recognizes how they are contributing to this greater good. We are advocating that these producers need to be compensated in a way that will allow them to look at the channel for decades to come and feel good about how they stepped up and how they did the right thing on behalf of all Manitobans. They shouldn’t need to look at the channel and remember how they were taken advantage of by the government and not treated fairly. MBP is advocating that the province allow producers to feel good when they are driving the five miles around to the nearest crossing point. Animal Health Consultations: There is a lot of work in the office around a number of regulatory changes being proposed by the federal government. Health Canada has announced changes coming into force later this fall that will change producer access to veterinarian drugs and important tools to treat their cattle. The changes will impact a producer’s ability to go across the border and purchase and import drugs for their own use. They are also changing access to certain drugs by making it mandatory to have a vet’s prescription to acquire these drugs.

MBP is working with both the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattle Feeders Association to put our voice behind their submissions. We are also working closely with Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Office to ensure these changes are implemented in a way that minimizes their impacts on producers. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also consulted on proposed changes to the federal Feeds Regulations that could change the various maximum limits for contaminants in feed such as fusarium, ergot and aflatoxins, maximum limits on chemicals in feed and maximum nutrient values in feed. These changes will be slower to be implemented as they still need to go through the formal Canada Gazette process. MBP will continue to advocate on behalf of our producers to ensure these regulations protect and serve our industry. To wrap up, I am excited to mention we are trying something new at some of our fall district meetings. As one pillar of a broad MBP Youth Strategy, we will be partnering with the Manitoba 4-H Council to host some of our brightest and most eager young cattle producers. This year, at three district meetings we will be hosting young producers (aged 12-18) so they can learn how MBP operates, what happens to the check-off dollars invested by producers, and to have their say on MBP’s future. We, along with the Manitoba 4-H Council are inviting young producers from all districts to come and tell us what’s on their minds and what we need to know about how they see their futures in the industry. This year we are hosting these meetings in three communities, Eriksdale (District 11), Carman (District 3) and Austin (District 5), and hopefully this will become a regular part of our annual district meetings. This year we have four long-time directors retiring from the MBP board and are looking for new directors in Districts 2, 4, 12 and 14. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again this year so please encourage everyone to come out, participate and take the opportunity to have your opinions heard.


October 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Attend your district meeting “No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” Helen Keller

BEN FOX MBP President

The official start of fall isn’t quite here, at the time of this writing, but there sure are signs that autumn has started to set in. The changing of the leaves marks the start of another busy season, whether it be at the field, pasture, auction mart or feedlot. Most producers will be happy to see what their cattle did out on the natural range, how they converted grass into pounds of beef and left the pastures in better shape than when they started there this spring. The conversion that occurs within our cattle is quite remarkable when you study it. Our animals have the unique ability to utilize a cellulose lignin based plant not fit for human consumption and convert it into a nutrient dense, highly edible food that offers nutrients (i.e. vitamin B12) that aren’t necessarily available in other foods. I find it interesting that a recent United Nations study actually recognized that beef production is a net benefit to the world’s food output. It recognized that throughout the lifetime of a fed animal they spend the majority of their days utilizing a non-human food source, grass, and as we all know, spend less time in a feedlot setting than what was previously reported. This is good news for the industry and a positive to take to the people that make up the legislation that governs us. Another topic I would like to point out is the cattle

movement requirements that are coming at each producer when we ship cattle for any reason. Beef producers will be required to have a manifest with them and have it filled out completely, including their Premises ID number, address, the number and kind of cattle and where they are getting transported to. It may sound overwhelming but our neighbors in Alberta and Saskatchewan have already been doing this for years. It will help producers have a paper trail to follow in terms of where their livestock went and how many they shipped. I am always trying to cut back on clutter, anyone who has seen my pickup may disagree, but this paperwork is handy and useful for the producer, the trucker and the receiver. We just have to get into the habit of doing it. We have MBP’s district meetings coming at us at the end of October and early November. There is no better time to bring forward issues to your organization in front of your contemporaries to help shape what this board sets out to accomplish in the coming year. There are four directors retiring and we are ex-

cited to welcome people onto the board. If you are interested in participating please contact your director that’s retiring or if you know of someone that should do the job please urge them to let their name stand. We need directors that are engaged and have some skin in the game to fill in for the folks that have hit their term limits, as each of our retiring directors have played significant roles on our board and other provincial and national committees. I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the predator issue and let producers know that we are in contact with the applicable provincial departments to get some sort of action generated. I know that it is frustrating and concerning to the folks that have suffered losses this summer to predation. We are waiting for a report from the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group and we are also pushing for a position from the province on a solution to the issue. It can be a paramount task, but I firmly believe we will get a proper solution hammered out that is suitable to our producers. As I have stated earlier please mark your district meeting in your calendar and be ready to talk about the issues that you see affecting your business as it is an opportune time to get your voice heard. It looks like calf prices may hold some strength and offer a positive return to your bottom line which is always a good thing! Good luck, work safe and remember that a positive outlook can help you accomplish many great things.

Six reasons to join the CBSA Pilot There’s no doubt it has created interest. And depending on who you talk to, it could be the biggest opportunity the beef industry has had in years. Canada is taking the lead internationally for the building of a brand around beef sustainability. Beef producers will get a chance to get in on the program early by participating in the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot. Cargill has partnered with the VBP+ and the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) to launch the Acceleration Pilot. Starting in October 2017 and running for at least one year, it’s designed to build a dependable cattle supply, ready when a beef sustainability brand is launched. Emily Murray oversees the McDonald’s beef portfolio for Cargill in Canada and the U.S. and has been a leader in the brand development work to date. She says there are at least six good reasons why it will make sense for Canadian beef producers to consider participating in the pilot. 1. The concept is proven. As a quick recap, the McDonald’s Canada sustainable beef pilot project from 2014 to 2016 proved that verifying general sustainability practices on-farm and tracing beef through a Canadian supply chain could be done in a way that was understandable to consumers, says Murray. The Canadian Round-

table on Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is building a brand standard on how to validate that an operation is sustainable and what the terms are for making that claim. 2. We need volume to succeed. Strong interest in a concept does not always translate into scale in the market, says Murray. “You can create a standard and launch a logo, but if you don’t have the cattle numbers behind it to meet requirements then we are not going to get anywhere very fast. “The new pilot is intended to build volume,” she says. “We know the fundamentals of the CRSB brand program will work so we don’t need to wait until they are finished to get going on it. We need to get in front of consumers sooner than later.” 3. There are benefits to participating. Build the industry, collect a reward. Those are two main reasons

for producers to participate in the acceleration pilot. There will be economic benefits. VBP+ Registered producers who sign up with BIXS for the pilot will receive a quarterly financial credit for every animal that moves through an entire verified marketing channel. Producers are also helping build a viable industry longer term by helping Canada be on the leading edge of this sustainability movement. There are solid partners in place and more to come. With VBP+ and BIXS, both of which Cargill has solid experience with in this work to date, Murray says the partners are in place to anchor success. McDonald’s and Swiss Chalet (Cara Foods) are also on board, funding the credits for beef delivered to their restaurants from fully sustainable supply chains. Other partners – like restaurants, retailers and

groups or organizations that can help promote the effort – are welcome,” says Murray. “If the consumer can see the brand in different places, then it won’t be just industry talking to industry, it will be a connection with consumers.” 5. There is urgency. Consumers want to eat beef, but they want to know how that animal was raised and how the environment was handled. They want to give themselves permission to enjoy the product, says Murray. “We want to give them that confidence.” Consumers have access to a lot of diverse view-

points, and if we do not reassure them then someone else will, she says. “We want sustainability to count for something as CRSB has defined it, before somebody else defines it in another way.” 6. It’s easy to sign up. “We need producer help,” says Murray. “We are going to do our best to get the word out on the importance of participating in this pilot, but we can’t build scale alone. “If you are VBP+ Registered and you participate, that’s great and we thank you. But get others in your chain to participate as well. The real value of this effort is in fully sustainable supply

chains.” There is no cost to participate in the CBSA pilot. Producers simply get trained and audited by VBP+ to certify that they are a sustainable operation. They register with BIXS and provide permission for VBP+ and BIXS to include farm data in anonymous, aggregated reports to the project administration. And, of course, provide the necessary information to collect quarterly credit payments. More information on the Acceleration Pilot is available at http://CBSApilot.ca or from a VBP+ coordinator at www.verifiedbeef.org

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

Potential impacts of changing tax regulations on ranching operations ARTICLE COURTESY OF MNP On July 18, 2017, federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau released draft legislation and explanatory notes intended to “close loopholes and deal with tax planning strategies that involved the use of private corporations.” The legislation is still in the consultation phase, but ranchers need to understand the potential impacts of the changes ahead of time in order to implement any available strategies to help reduce taxes. The federal government is accepting submissions from taxpayers with their thoughts on the proposed changes. The consultation window was scheduled to close on October 2. What changes do ranchers with family ranch corporations need to be aware of?

There are three major areas of change that affect all private corporations in Canada, including agricultural corporations. These areas are income sprinkling (commonly known as income splitting), passive investment income and capital gains. How might the changes to income sprinkling impact ranchers? It is very common for family members of cattle operations who are under 25 years old to be partners or shareholders of the corporation. Under the proposed new rules, having a family member under age 25 as a partner or shareholder could result in the partner/shareholder paying the top marginal tax rate on earnings if the earnings exceed a reasonable wage. In addition, members of family ranch ownership groups who

are under age 25 might no longer have access to the capital gains exemption. This would apply no matter how they acquired their interest, with the possible exception being if they inherited it. Finally, the total compensation allowed to a member of a private corporation, whether an owner or a partner, is limited under the proposed changes. Total compensation under the proposed new rules is limited to the family member’s labour contribution, capital contribution and any business risk he or she has taken on, perhaps in the form of a guarantee on a loan. The consequences of income sprinkling in excess of the limit results in the compensation being taxed at the highest marginal rate applicable in the province of residence.

For a family member who purchased new common shares after a typical “freeze” transaction, this could limit the dividends on those new common shares to a “reasonable return.” Although undefined, this could be perhaps a low percentage of the issue price of those shares, with dividends to the second generation in a ranching corporation in excess of that amount taxed at the top marginal rate. What do ranchers need to do to prepare for the changes? Talk to your advisor early on to ensure you understand the impact of the proposed new rules on your current or planned ownership structure. Determine how they could affect your shareholders, especially shareholders who are not active in the cattle operation. In addition, prepare compensa-

2017 Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup would personally like to thank their supporters and exhibitors for another successful, educational, fun weekend in Neepawa, Manitoba, August 3, 4 and 5th.

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VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE; Lois McRae, Chairperson; Rilla Hunter, Treasurer; Wenda Best, Secretary; Blair McRae, Andrea Bertholet, Travis Hunter, Ken Williams, Albert Rimke, Michelle Rimke, Naomi Best, Candace Johnston, Melissa McRae, Justin Kristjansson, Adrianne Vandersluis, Nanette Glover, Samantha Rimke ,Jackie and Keegan Cavers, Carson Rodgers, Laura Horner, Melissa, Gracie and Katie Falconer. Judges and Presenters: Levi Jackson, Jared Glasman, Bianca Bernasconci, Elizabeth Carey, Pam deRocquiny, Carman and Donna Jackson, Jay Rimke, Dillon Hunter, Peter Penner (Manitoba Beef Producers), Chuck Terin (Enns Brothers), Monty Thomson, Brett McRae, Bert and Judy McDonald

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING ROUNDUP 2017 www.mbbeef.ca

tion strategies that would be in line with the proposed changes as family members could end up with a significantly higher tax bill. How might the changes around passive investment income impact ranch corporations? Under the current proposed draft, the overall tax rate (corporate and personal) on the sale of corporate-held land or corporate-held quota will more than double, going up from 26 per cent to 57 per cent. In addition, income from renting land (to both family members and third parties) would be taxed at a higher rate (in some cases up to 73 percent). What can be done to avoid paying the higher tax? The rules are not yet in effect, so anyone thinking of selling land or quota held by a corporation may want to do so sooner rather than later. Talk to your advisor about strategies that may mitigate the higher tax on land rental income. What are the potential consequences of the changes related to sales of the family ranch? The proposed rules have far-reaching implications on the sale or transfer of the family operation. Ranchers have the ability to transfer the ranch within the family on a tax-deferred basis, as long as the farm qualifies (this is referred to as the intergenerational ranch rollover provisions). This will remain the same under the proposed changes. However, transferring the ranch to a family member who does not meet the strict definition for the rollover provisions would result in an increased tax cost. In some cases, the result will be that the sale

is taxed to the vendor as a dividend instead of a capital gain. In other cases the use of corporate funds to pay for the ranch purchase could result in taxable dividends to the purchaser. The provisions make it much more advantageous to sell to an unrelated person than to sell to a family member. The tax costs on the death of a rancher where the rollover provisions do not apply will increase substantially. The proposals also restrict the ability to claim the capital gains exemption on sales of family ranch shares and partnerships where the vendor did not contribute adequate labour and capital, potentially limiting the ability for family members that are parttime ranchers to access the capital gains exemption. What do ranching corporations need to do because of this change? First, make sure your family ranch qualifies under the rules by ensuring that at least 90 per cent of your farm corporation’s assets qualify as farm property. The types of assets that will disqualify your cattle operation are land that is continually rented tto third parties and term deposits or other types of passive investments owned by the corporation. Secondly, understand who qualifies for transferring your ranch to when you make your transition plan. If your ranch doesn’t qualify or if you don’t have a qualifying family member to transfer your corporation to, your tax bill may be higher. Make sure you talk to your advisor to avoid a double taxation situation. For more information contact your local MNP Advisor or go to mnp.ca

FIND US ONLINE:

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October 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture PAM IWANCHYSKO

Farm Production Extension Forage Specialist pamela.iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca

Q: I have seen a lot of hype on cover crops for grazing, like lots of additional pasture in late summer, but are there other benefits too that will work on farms in Manitoba? A: Using annual crop mixtures in a grazing rotation is an excellent, longterm tool to extend quality grazing, improve soil productivity, interrupt disease and weed cycles and make better use of sunlight and water resources. Using annual crops or cover crops are a great way to extend the “green period” in agricultural fields within Manitoba. Annual crop mixes photosynthesize and exude carbon into the soil, feeding soil micro-organisms which in turn helps to improve soil quality to some extent. In turn, this may increase the biodiversity of the soil biota from those soils, as compared to those in conventional cropping practices. Different annual crops provide different benefits so it is important when you are picking your blend to have a specific purpose in mind, and to know what your environmental conditions are like for the species that you pick to be well adapted to your area. When you select a crop mix, be sure it provides the benefits that meet your objectives. First and foremost, the number one reason that producers are choosing this alternative cropping practice is for the high quality feed that is

provided at a critical time of the year when perennial pastures have run out. This option provides a high quality and high yielding grazing option prior to the start of the winter feeding season. It allows much flexibility for extending the grazing season and at the same time meets or exceeds the nutritional needs of cows in their early gestation period. Total cover crop biomass depends on a number of factors, including seeding date, rate, and of course, weather. In general, the earlier a cover crop is seeded, the better it will yield. Forage quality depends strongly on forage type and maturity. Grasses tend to have greater fiber concentration (which decreases digestibility) and less protein. Legumes and brassicas are high in protein and often highly digestible. Within a given forage type, less mature forages are more digestible and higher in crude protein. In general, once forage reaches the reproductive stage, digestibility and protein concentration drops. Cover crop forages are nearly always harvested before the reproductive stage, for quantity/quality purposes. Forage testing will provide all relevant information regarding the nutrient content of a forage. The Midwest Forage Association, at the University of Minnesota, evaluated cover crops that were planted on June 24 and harvested on August 20,

2015. The following table represents yield and forage analysis from that study, as an example of the high quality feed that can be produced. In addition to providing a high quality feed source, late in the grazing season, annual “cover” crop mixes can also provide the following functions: Nitrogen Source – Legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen into forms that plants can use and after the crop is terminated, much of the nitrogen is released into the soil making it available for the next crop. Soil building – Annual crops can help build soil organic matter over time and sequester carbon by adding their roots to the soil once terminated as well. The fibrous roots provide soil microorganisms with the food they need to produce sticky substances to stabilize the soil. Large taproots are also a huge benefit in terms of penetrating compacted soils, allowing for more water penetration rather than runoff. Weed/Insect Suppression – With annual mixes, the competition in providing shade and reducing moisture loss assists in the reduction in weeds as well. Although the ability to suppress pests is not well understood yet, it has been observed that there have been less issues with control. Recycling nutrients – annual crops bring nutrients up from the subsoil reducing erosion and build-

ing up soil organic matter. Improve water quality – Annual crops use large amounts of nitrogen and reduce erosion, thus reducing the losses of phosphorus and pesticides bound to sediment that eventually ends up in water sources such as rivers and lakes. Enhancing wildlife habitat – annual crops can also provide food and cover for birds, earthworms and many other soil organisms. They also provide another source of food for many important pollinators and beneficial insects. With less soil erosion they also increase the landscape diversity to improve fish habitat as well.

Conserve Soil Moisture – Annual crops that produce a large biomass can provide a lot of “mulch” that is left on the soil surface. This in turn reduces the soil temperatures and can reduce soil evaporative losses. Producers who want to prevent soil erosion, improve nutrient cycling and protect their environment are planting mixed annual crops. The main goal is to have living, growing crops in the system when there is nothing typically growing and to provide a high quality feed for their animals. We want to hear from you!

For the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba Agriculture Forage and Livestock specialist Linda Fox will answer a selected question on Preg Checking of beef cows. Send your questions to Linda. fox@gov.mb.ca by October 2nd 2017 StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to MB Ag'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.

Forage type

DM kg/acre

CP ( per cent)

NDF ( per cent)

T.D.N. ( per cent)

Kale

1239

23.2

39.0

65.2

Turnip

1600

17.2

28.6

67.9

Crimson clover

1371

20.4

38.1

63.6

Berseem clover

1013

22.4

38.5

60.9

Forage peas

2909

13.5

41.1

45.5

Forage oats

1436

16.6

51.0

62.2

Annual ryegrass

2183

21.7

37.9

60.6

Sugarbeet

2845

21.7

29.3

68.6

Fodder beets

1266

24.0

33.4

66.7

Soybeans

612

22.1

37.9

62.6

Lentils

566

14.8

49.7

52.2

Sunn hemp

1790

19.8

37.6

62.6

Teff

3059

17.7

59.0

60.2

BMR sorghum

4045

14.3

53.6

62.2

Sorghum/sudan

6580

10.9

56.1

48.4

Pearl millet

3066

15.9

54.8

60.6

Buckwheat

1507

13.6

42.4

58.0

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Green named to MASC board A former Manitoba Beef Producers president has been named to the board of the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). Betty Green was appointed to a term of office in early September, while Suszanne Jones and board chair James Wilson were re-appointed as members of the MASC board. Green has over three decades of involvement in leadership roles in the areas of education, agriculture and rural development. She is the provincial coordinator of the Verified

Beef Production program in Manitoba and a partner in the G7 Ranch with her husband and son. She previously served as president of MBP and as president of both the Provincial and Canadian Associations of School Trustees. The board of directors for MASC is responsible to support and encourage the sustainability, development and diversification of agriculture and the rural economy of Manitoba by providing programs and services as set out in the Manitoba Agricultural Services Act.

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CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

Manitoba winners praise young cattlemen’s mentorship program Wilco’s mentors were Jeff and Lyndsay Smith of Taber, Alberta, where Jeff is general manager of Gateway For Kristy-Layne Carr, it was a chance to learn more Livestock Exchange. Jeff introduced Wilco to on-line about leadership in the cattle industry. marketing through the Western Livestock Price Insurance For Wilco Van Meijl, it was an opportunity to meet Program (WLPIP). Wilco says the advantage of direct new people and study risk management programs for marketing is that the producer takes control of pricing cattle. instead of just being a price taker. Wilco also developed Wilco and Kristy-Layne each had personal goals contacts with order buyers in the feedlot sector. when they were accepted into the Cattlemen’s Young Jeff ’s wife Lyndsay owns Prime Analytics, a consultLeaders (CYL) program last year. And both achieved ing business providing beef industry contracts in market them. analysis, risk management, project management, software “It definitely opens your horizons,” says Kristy-Layne, development and data analysis. 35, who raises cattle with her husband Richard near La “It opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out Broquerie. there from a direct marketing standpoint and risk man- Wilco Van Meijl (centre) with his Cattlemen's Young Leaders mentors Jeff and Lyndsay Smith. CYL is a national career development program for agement strategies,” says Wilco. cattle producers between the ages of 18 and 35, sponsored The fact that Lyndsay hails from Lenore, Manitoba, by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Since 2010, not far from Wilco’s hometown of Rapid City, helped CCA has matched young producers with mentors to help make the Smiths a particularly good match for Wilco. them gain expertise and business skills in the industry. Wilco met with Jeff and Lyndsay in person five times Kristy-Layne and Wilco were Manitoba’s mentorship during the course of the year. They also held monthly conrecipients for 2016. They graduated in August during a ference calls and communicated regularly by e-mail. ceremony at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Besides learning about the nuts and bolts of direct Calgary. marketing, Wilco also gained a perspective about the CaNow in its seventh year, CYL is seen as a way of en- nadian Cattlemen’s Association and what it does for procouraging young people to gain insight into the cattle in- ducers and the beef industry through lobbying and policy dustry, says Emily Ritchie, CCA’s youth leadership coor- development. dinator. “Had I not been a part of this program, maybe I “It’s taking the meat and bones of the beef industry, wouldn’t have that perspective because I wouldn’t have expanding it and exposing these young people to new op- seen it first-hand.” Kristy-Layne Carr(right) and her CYL mentor Carol portunities and different ideas they may not have already As an added bonus, Wilco was selected through a Kitchen. experienced,” Ritchie says. video competition to attend the International Beef AlliIn Ritchie’s opinion, the program has been highly ance conference in Paraguay this fall as a young producer. ly 10 years for Cargill, where he learned about the crop successful. Wilco, 35, expects his experiences will pay dividends side of the business, selling inputs and buying grain. Hav“We’ve had over 100 mentees go through the pro- in becoming a commercial beef producer. He and his ing observed different marketing options for cash crops, gram already and we’re seeing them come back, hold po- younger brother Eric, 30, recently bought 100 cows from Wilco wanted to examine similar options for livestock. sitions and play roles in the industry.” their parents to bring their herd up to 250 cows. Eric re- CYL gave him that opportunity. Selecting candidates starts in January when the pro- cently purchased a half section of land from his mom and “I really wanted to learn a lot more about what risk gram begins accepting on-line applications. A steering dad and moved onto the home farm. It’s all part of a part- management opportunities are out there. So my first committee chooses 24 semi-finalists who are invited to nership between the two brothers and their wives to even- goal was meeting people and the second was, expand my attend the Canadian Beef Industry Conference where 16 tually take full ownership of their parents’ beef operation. knowledge of risk management opportunities.” winning candidates are chosen. Each is then matched with For now, Wilco works as a district director with Farm Mentors don’t have to be cattle producers or industry a mentor who consults with them and guides them along Credit Canada. He expects to continue in that position for analysts. Kristy-Layne’s mentor was Carol Kitchen, CEO a roadmap developed by each mentee outlining their goals some time. Previously, after graduating with a BSc in agri- of United Farmers of Alberta. Formerly with Purina and and interests. culture with an animal science major, Wilco worked near- Land O’Lakes in the U.S., Carol was chosen as a mentor because of her background in agribusiness management. She was a good match for Kristy-Layne, who wanted to learn more about women’s leadership roles in agriculture. The fact that Carol is a mother helped Kristy-Layne, who has to constantly balance her workload with her four children, including four-year-old twins. Although mentees receive a travel budget of $2,000, Kristy-Layne sometimes found it logistically difficult to make travel plans because of her family. Despite that, she was able to Oct 26-28 Manitoba AgEX 50th Anniversary History Books available during the Manitoba AgEX meet with Carol twice in person and attend a CCA annual meeting in Ottawa. Kristy-Layne also spoke monthly with Nov 18 Pembina Triangle 37th Annual Simmental Sale ........Cypress River Carol by conference call, as well communicating regularly by e-mail. Nov 27 Harvest Hoedown 23rd Annual Simmental Sale ...... Neepawa, MB Today Kristy-Layne sees Carol as more than a mentor – she’s also a friend. Nov 30 Maple Lake Stock Farms Production Sale ........ Farm Hartney, MB Carol also helped Kristy-Layne make connections Dec 6 37th Annual Keystone Simmental Sale ..................... Brandon, MB with feedlots and to learn more about the synergies between cow-calf producers and the feedlot sector. EstabDec 11 Shades of the Prairies Simmental Sale ...................... Brandon, MB lishing direct connections helped Kristy-Layne learn more about the information feedlots require from proDec 12 Bonchuk Farms Female Production Sale ..................... Virden, MB ducers, such as vaccinations, weaning, etc.. To further her interest in leadership, Kristy-Layne sits Dec 21 Workman Farms Complete Herd Dispersal .................. Virden, MB on an advisory committee for the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives. ** Tri-Star Cattle will be donating this year’s What did she find most valuable about the program? “I think it was the experience of meeting new people MSA Fundraising Heifer** and really getting a big picture view of the industry.” Tickets $10 each. Both Wilco and Kristy-Layne say they would definitely encourage young producers to apply for CYL as Draw to be made at Shades of the Prairies Sale! long as they have a good idea what they want to learn. “As long as you’ve got an idea about what it is you Manitoba’s Breeders Are Among the Best in the Business. For more information please vist our website www.mbsimmental.com want to dig into, it does a great job of opening up that opportunity,” says Wilco. President, Andrea Bertholet - (204) 483-0319 Manitoba Simmental Association Kristy-Layne agrees. Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 “It’s one of those things where you get what you Box 274 • Austin, MB R0H 0C0 b2@inetlink.ca put in.”

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October 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Youth beef roundup celebrates 10 years SUBMITTED BY THE MANITOBA YOUTH BEEF ROUNDUP From August 4-6, 69 enthusiastic Manitoba and Saskatchewan Junior cattle producers attended the 10th annual Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup in Neepawa. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a top-notch group of interested cattle producers and 78 head of cattle plus calves. Where else can you attend an event with 69 junior members all working together as teams and in individual competitions, to learn the skills needed in the Livestock Industry? This is not just any cattle show, it is an all-around event to promote and educate youth to continue in the livestock industry. Our show would not happen without our dedicated sponsors and committee members who have stood behind this Junior All Breeds Show and helped to make it a success. The weekend started off Friday morning with a presentation from Liz Carey on cattle handling. In the afternoon, the juniors had a chance to try what they learned with a hands-on cattle sorting demonstration and clinic. Friday evening all juniors participated in the Ag Challenge – a fun,

hands on challenge where teams work together to complete 10 stations related to the cattle industry. This competition is sponsored by Mazer Group and is a great way for juniors to work together, make new friendships, learn something new and have fun while doing it! On Saturday, the juniors were busy with many different events. In the morning they participated in public speaking, individual judging and attended a presentation by Carman and Donna Jackson on advocacy. In the afternoon, the juniors took part in team judging, team fitting, the stockman’s knowledge competition and the pee wees had a demonstration put on by Blair McRae. On Saturday, ambassador and scholarship interviews also took place. Saturday evening was wrapped up with the cook-off competition sponsored by Enns Brothers and a slip n’ slide to cool off for the day! Sunday was show day. Thank-you to our show day judges, Levi Jackson and Jared Glasman. Juniors participated in showmanship classes in the morning and then confirmation classes in the afternoon. We rounded the day off with a parade of champions and a parade of 13 4-H champions then finished the evening off with awards and 10th anniversary cake.

Showmanship Sponsored by T Bar Invitational Division Winner Senior......................................................... Kaitlyn Davey Honourable Mention............................................................. Samantha Rimke Intermediate Bobbi-Jo Foster................................................ Cody Carson Junior Emma Falconer .......................................................... Grace Glover PeeWee Kinley Peters ............................................................ Jackson Best Individual Judging Sponsored by Total Farm Supply Division Winner Senior......................................................... Samantha Rimke Honourable Mention............................................................. Levi Rimke Intermediate Cody Carson.................................................... Taylor Carlson Junior Emma Harms.............................................................. Emily Speers PeeWee Jackson Best.............................................................. Chase Airey 2017 Round-Up Agribition Judging Team Sponsored by Manitoba Charolais Association Levi Rimke, Orianna Hyndman, Kaitlyn Davey, Cindy Jack & Adam Harms 2017 Round-Up Ambassador Division Winner..................................................................................... Samantha Rimke Honourable Mention............................................................. Taylor Carlson Samantha will represent Roundup at local events along with managing the face book page and more promotion ideas that will help to promote the Roundup weekend. 2017 Round-Up Scholarship $1000 Recipient: Naomi Best $500 Recipients: Levi Rimke & Kaitlyn Davey 2017 Herdsman Award: Falconer Family, Hartney 2017 All Star Team Team 6: Nolan Glover, Sam DeRocquigny, Tanner Harms and Aklen Abey Grand Aggregate Sponsored by Enns Brothers Division Winner Senior........................................................ Samantha Rimke Honourable Mention............................................................. Kaitlyn Davey Intermediate Nolan Glover .................................................. Cody Carson Junior Ty Nykoliation ......................................................... Teegan Hyndman PeeWee Bree Russell............................................................. Chase Airey A complete list of results can be found in the Sept. 1 MBP E-Newsletter at mbbeef.ca/newsletter

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

More efficient Canadian beef production equals lower water use intensity CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Preliminary results of this study were presented at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August and at the joint annual meeting of the American and Canadian Animal Science societies in July. While the final published results may vary slightly, the overall trends are expected to hold. Canadian beef producers have reduced water use by 17 per cent per unit of beef over the past three decades. This simple statement reflects two years of rigorous, detailed study involving an entire team of wellrespected Canadian modellers and beef production scientists from the University of Manitoba and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Two years spent combing countless reference sources and cross-Canada datasets on hundreds of model parameters to first, critically evaluate existing water footprint methodologies, and second, build a Canada-specific water use intensity calculator to arrive at this single number. This water use intensity calculation is part of a larger project to define the environmental footprint of Canadian beef production and the change in this footprint over a thirty-year period. In earlier research the team showed a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 per cent reduction in ammonia emissions per unit of beef over the same

period, between 1981 and 2011. Getahun Legesse from the University of Manitoba led the development of the beef production component of the water use model, as well as the review of water assessment methodologies that preceded the water footprint Getahun Legesse calculation effort. Why 1981 to 2011? The 30-year period of 1981 to 2011 was selected for a variety of reasons. According to Legesse, the Canadian beef cattle inventory has not seen a notable change since the 1980s. Growth in cattle inventory during 1981-2011 was only 1 per cent, compared to 60 per cent in the previous 30-year period. Therefore, any changes observed during this period would likely not be as a result of changes in cattle numbers. Access to sufficient quality data was also an important factor in selecting these start and end periods. Both 1981 and 2011 were Statistics Canada Census of Agriculture years for crops and livestock, plus other published Canadian studies have used 1981 as a historical reference year. Thirty years has also been deemed an adequate time period to capture potential differences, having been used as the basis for studies in both the U.S and Australia.

Verified Beef Production Plus

Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening using two formats

• One for existing registered producers who have been through the VBP program before. • One for producers completely new to the program. • Webinars take place in the evenings so producers are not taken away from their daily chores. • The interactive webinars are delivered using web based video conferencing software. Participants can interact during the presentations, hear the presenters, and ask questions or make comments in real time. • Also available via app for smartphone and android

Webinars FOR EXISTING REGISTERED PRODUCERS Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. • VBP registered producers or those who have attended a VBP workshop in the past can be upgraded to the VBP+ added module webinar. • VBP+ enhanced module webinars will be held on a weekly basis.

Webinars FOR NEW PRODUCERS Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. • Producers who have not attended a VBP workshop in the past can sign up for the VBP+ full program.

How to register for webinars or LIVE workshops • To sign up to attend a webinar or the LIVE workshop, please contact Melissa Atchison 204-264-0294 or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com • Alternate times and days can be arranged based on producer demand • Workshops require a minimum number of registrants in order to proceed Funded by the Canada & Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. www.mbbeef.ca

What did they do? To determine the appropriate approach for calculating water use for Canada’s beef herd, they first conducted an extensive review of the benefits and drawbacks of the various water footprint assessment methodologies published in scientific literature. “Water models are still evolving, so rather than using a single tool, we used a mix of methodologies based on the availability of data and the strength of the individual models,” says Legesse. “We decided to focus on water use intensity, defined as the amount of water used to produce a kilogram of beef.” Following animals throughout the entire production cycle from cradle to farm gate, they accounted for temporal and regional differences in cattle categories, feed types and management systems, average daily gains and carcass weights. Altogether they accounted for close to 50 different feeding scenarios for each time period. Water input sources included precipitation, surface water and ground water. In addition to the agriculture census data, they drew from Canadian Beef Grading Agency carcass data, obtained water use coefficients from FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), consulted provincial bodies for irrigation water use, used national surveys of beef operations, and consulted published scientific sources. Marcos Cordeiro with AAFC-Lethbridge led the development of the crop production component, using different models to capture water demand and to determine water use for producing crops and pastures used as cattle feed. Cordeiro ran crop water simulations using evapotranspiration data from 679 meteorological stations distributed across Canada. What did they find? “Overall we found that total water use per kilogram of beef was 17 per cent less in 2011 than it was 1981,” says Legesse. When precipitation was included in the analysis, 99 per cent of the water use in cattle production was related to feed production. When precipitation was left out, drinking water accounted for 22 per cent of water use. Why did water use intensity decrease? A number of reasons lie behind the reduced water footprint. These include the prominent gains in cattle production efficiency over the past three decades, resulting in a significant increase in the amount of beef produced per animal. Reproductive efficiency, average daily gains and body weights have increased between 15 and 45 per cent. Over the same period there have also been significant improvements in yields of barley and corn, the main feed crops. Why care about water use? “Generally Canada is referred to as a water rich nation due to its freshwater resources, yet more than half of this water is retained in lakes, underground aquifers, and glaciers. The distribution and availability of water also vary considerably across the nation,” notes Legesse. “Just as in other regions of the world, water in Canada can be depleted both in terms of quantity and quality.” In light of increasing pressure on water resources associated with increased food demand, Legesse believes that taking into consideration all parameters of water use is very important for agriculture as a whole, and the beef industry in particular. “Hopefully in the future we will build on what we have already done to look at specific regional impacts of water use and the implication of beef production on water quality. Having this volumetric data that this study provides was an important step in that direction.” Research team: University of Manitoba - Getahun Legesse, Kim Ominski and Emma McGeough. AAFCLethbridge - Tim McAllister (overall project lead), Marcos Cordeiro, Karen Beauchemin, Roland Kroebel and Sarah Pogue Financial support for this project provided by the Beef Cattle Research Council and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Beef Cluster Project.


October 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Boviglo helps boost immunity and increase gain

Be proactive when it comes to feed DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner This month I have been asked to talk about what to do if cattle have been given “bad feed.” To be honest, I was rather surprised by this request considering the excellent growing season that we have had this year but, though feed quality is much better than last year, there are definite shortages and quality concerns. As I go about my farm calls, I can see that many producers continue to be reactive versus proactive when managing body condition of cows. When pasture is short, the growing season has ended and your rotational grazing options have been depleted, you must monitor cow body condition. Weight loss below BCS of 3/5 means that additional feeding is required to prepare the cow for calving and rebreeding. Don’t let that happen - it is expensive to “catch up cows,” especially over the colder winter months. And, while you are monitoring the cows, check out your water supply. Clean, fresh water is important. If animals do not meet their water needs, they may refuse to eat, causing decreased growth rates, sickness or even death. Calves should be early weaned or creep fed with the cows receiving grain or quality hay as needed. More frequent pasture checks are required to detect cows starting to lose condition - it can happen fast. Remember that first calvers and thinner cows are most at risk. If you do early wean calves and don’t usually background your calves, it may be best to sell them. Lightweight calves need top nutritional management and don’t tolerate feeding mistakes. Health wrecks will happen if in inexperienced hands with poorly developed rations. If feed is short, cull and sell the lowerperforming part of your herd. This is a good practice any year but especially important during a drought year if feed costs are higher and supplies tighter. It is also helpful to remember that cattle do not require amounts of specific forages or others ingredients, but require nutrients. Talk with a nutritionist to discuss options based on your current stocks and the local availability of nontraditional alternative feeds. Be prepared

to think outside your traditional box. Limit feeding a more concentrated, lower forage ration may be an option. Manage groups within your herd based on individual need - calves and replacement heifers need better feed than the mid-gestation cow. As always, feed testing should be done. If forage plants show signs of drought stress, be careful about using them for grazing because nitrate levels may be high. A better option is to use for silage, because the silage fermentation process reduces nitrate levels. Drought stressed grains are often lower in energy and protein. Feeding levels will need to be adjusted accordingly. Remember your minerals and vitamins. Vitamin A levels will be depleted this fall and extra supplementation is strongly advised. Ensure your calcium-phosphorus ratios are also adequate in your mineral and tailored to your ration. This imbalance compounded by energy malnutrition was the leading cause of the record numbers of downer and dying cows this past spring. Mycotoxins are also a concern due to ideal growing conditions - lots of foliage, high temperatures and high humidity. These mold metabolites contribute to losses in performance, reduced growth rate, feed refusal, diarrhea, irregular heats, abortion and impaired immune system function. Daily inhalation and ingestion of spores rarely causes issues unless the animal is immunocompromised - whether through nutrition, chronic disease or stress. Ensure good silage management practices, minimize dirt contamination of feedstuffs and feed test before you feed. There is absolutely no excuse for feeding “bad feed.” Forward plan so that you can weather feed shortages and deal with less than ideal feed tests. If you run out of feed, you have no option but to sell the cows. You can’t treat cows after “bad feed”. Many times, the effects are not seen until months later (abortions) or are not readily attributed to poor feed. Unexplained health issues despite good vaccination and breeding programs can often be traced back to feed issues - whether due to vitamin/mineral imbalance or a lack of energy and/or protein. You need to find and avoid the “bad” before it happens. We don’t need another disaster news story.

mune system, helping it to better manage stress. “The mix of probiotics, prebiotics and plant enzymes contain extremely concentrated vitamins and minerals processed at a molecular level,” says Unrau. “They are so fine they are attracted into the body and that’s what gives an instant boost of nutrition to help the cattle through those stressful periods.” Dry or injected minerals need to go through the digestive tract of the animal to be absorbed, whereas Boviglo enters the bloodstream as soon as it contacts the mouth of the animal, and also starts to rehydrate it which makes vaccines or antibiotics if needed more effective. Keeping the rumen in balance Warren Graydon, who raises purebred Charolais and commercial cows near St. Malo in south-eastern Manitoba, has been using Boviglo since 2015 and says he’s noticed an increase in gain and better overall health in his herd. “We have better gains on cattle and feeder calves because it keeps the rumen in balance and we get better conversion on feed,” says Graydon. Graydon is setting up a new scale so he can get a better idea of the exact increase in weight gain he’s getting, but he knows that his calves were weaning

OCTOBER

the vaccine when he also gave Boviglo with it,” says Unrau. “Normally when calves get a vaccine they are stressed and dopey for two or three days and he often has to treat a bunch of them because they don’t want to suck. The next day when he checked the cows, they had empty udders, so the calves just kept sucking and growing and the vaccine didn’t set them back. The Boviglo helped them get through that stressful period.” An immediate immunity boost Boviglo is in a liquid form that immediately boosts an animal’s im-

NOVEMBER

Harold Unrau was sceptical at first when the manufacturer of a feed supplement asked him to distribute it across Western Canada, so he decided to test the product at his brother’s feedlot in MacGregor, Manitoba. He tried Boviglo – an all-natural, probiotic, prebiotic based vitamin and mineral product with added plant enzymes – for 30 days on calves arriving at the feedlot and carefully monitored their health and productivity. ”It improved their health and decreased the rate of

pulls in the feedlot which decreased antibiotic use,” says Unrau, owner of HU Livestock Ltd. at Grunthal. “The first month after calves come to the feedlot is a high stress time, and Boviglo helped the cattle gain in that time. Even those animals that we had to treat with antibiotics, when we gave them Boviglo at the same time, they improved and began eating right away.” Subsequently, Unrau tried it on his other brother’s cow/calf operation with good results. “When he vaccinated the calves he saw a huge difference in how they reacted to

2017 Fall Sale Schedule

BY ANGELA LOVELL

about 80 lbs heavier this year than the year before. He initially tried Boviglo because he had a scours issue. “It’s definitely an immune booster,” says Graydon. “I went from around 13 per cent of my calf crop having a scours issue to about four per cent. Out of that four per cent there is usually one or two calves that I have to put on an antibiotic regime and on an intravenous drip which can cost around $140 to $150 an animal. When I dose a calf with 25ml of Boviglo it costs me about $1.25, and if it straightens that calf out that could be saving your profit on that cow in any given year.” Cost effective for calves Graydon has started using Boviglo steadily for his calves, cows and bulls. He gives newborn calves a 5 ml dose after they have had their colostrum, which has saved him almost $9 per calf over his previous regimen of antibiotics, vitamins and minerals. He’s noticed he has to bring a lot less calves back to the maternity pen after he’s put them out on pasture. “Last winter I brought two back to the maternity pen where normally I bring back 10 to 15,” he said. As soon as the calves come off pasture and onto TMR rations, Graydon feeds them Boviglo top dressed into the ration until they either go to the auction mart or are kept

as replacement heifers. Boviglo is CFIA and USDA approved, and producers can administer it in a number of ways. Feedlots can add it to the drench at processing or mix it with the daily total mixed ration (TMR). Dairy producers often add it to the water supply. Boviglo holds its own against conventional treatments The Ontario-based company which makes Boviglo recently commissioned a study at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, and Unrau has just received some preliminary results in early September. The study compared Boviglo with other conventional treatments – added hormone implants and antibiotics – on 600 lb calves supplemented through to finishing. “The amount of weight gain with Boviglo was the same in the backgrounding comparison but as the trial went on, Boviglo-only calves gained more by the time they were finished,” Unrau says. “It can benefit producers who want to have naturally raised cattle; will help with weight gain and avoid a lot of the health issues when you don’t use antibiotics.” Graydon is convinced that Boviglo has many benefits for his operation. “It has helped me so I am going to keep using it,” he says.

Tuesday, October 3

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Tuesday, October 10

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Tuesday, October 17

Presort Calf Sale - Angus Influence

9:30am

Tuesday, October 24

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Tuesday, October 31

Presort Calf Sale - Hereford Influence

9:30am

Tuesday, Nov 7

Presort Calf Sale - Angus Influence

9:30am

Thursday, Nov 9

Regular Sale

9:00 am

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tuesday, Nov 14

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Thursday, Nov 16

Regular Sale

9:00am

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tuesday, Nov 21

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Tuesday, Nov 28

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.

www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services


14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

Government activities update Manitoba doing more water-related consultations BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

The Manitoba government is seeking feedback on three separate but intertwined consultations related to water management and watershed planning. One relates to a proposed ecological goods and services program known as Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW). The program is based on the Alternative Land Use Services program and built around the following principles: sustainability; a targeted, watershed-based approach; locally-delivered, farmer focused; measurable results; and, use of evidence based evaluation systems. Expected GROW outcomes include: reduced flooding; improved water quality, including drinking water; improved on-farm management of nutrients; improved resilience to the impacts of a changing climate; improved biodiversity and habitat; enhanced carbon storage; enhanced sustainable food production; and, improved groundwater quality and re-

charge. Several beneficial management practices (BMPs) are proposed for inclusion in the GROW program. These are: grassland restoration, enhancement and reclamation; small water retention projects; wetland restoration and enhancement; and, riparian area management. Other BMPs being considered may include: soil health improvements (e.g. new cropping systems); natural area management; shelterbelts/eco-buffers; aquifer recharge protection; and, woodlot restoration, enhancement and rejuvenation. To be considered eligible for funding, it is proposed that a project must provide an incremental benefit to the environment that is consistent with watershed management plans and targeted to local and provincial priorities. Of note, the consultation document states that “lands must be enhanced to be eligible, not simply protected in their current state.” Cross-compliance may also be required, i.e. a producer would require an Environmental Farm Plan to be eligible for payments. The second consul-

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tation focuses on watershed-based drainage and water resource management. The province is aiming towards the goal of no net loss of water retention capacity in watersheds. It is proposing to streamline drainage and water control works licensing under The Water Rights Act. Among the expected outcomes of the new regulatory framework will be: an increased focus on reviewing higher-risk and higher-impact projects; increased onus on downstream landowners to demonstrate the impacts of upstream activities; and, an increased focus on illegal activities and higher fines for illegal activities, among others. Drainage projects constructed prior to 1988 will remain grandfathered if it can be shown they were built prior to this date. However, if maintenance, alteration or construction to them is required, this will be considered new and subject to the proposed regulation. Certain types of routine work could occur through registration with Sustainable Development, but more involved projects would require detailed plans and a review process. The third consultation focuses on Manitoba’s Conservation Districts (CDs) Program. It is proposed that the boundaries of all of the 18 CDs will be aligned to watersheds as opposed to the current practice of some following municipal bound-

aries. The CDs would also evolve over time to become watershed authorities. Changes to the CD funding model are proposed, with a twotiered funding approach: operation and administration funding and outcome-based project funding. It is also proposed that CDs will play a role in delivering the GROW Program. Further, they would be responsible for coordinating surface water management across watersheds, as well as constructing water storage projects under a no net loss of water retention capacity approach with the aim of offsetting the impacts of drainage. MBP will be providing feedback on the documents which are available at www.gov.mb.ca/ sd. Submit comments to watershedconsult@gov. mb.ca or by mail until October 6. New Sustainable Development Minister MBP has written to the new Sustainable Development Minister, Rochelle Squires about beef industry concerns, including predation. Producers can incur significant losses related to predator attacks and effective strategies are needed to help reduce risk. MBP has asked the province to consider providing an incentive program to help protect cattle from predation losses, similar to incentives used in the past to help protect vulnerable moose populations. There has been no movement on this to date.

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Fall Bred Cow Sales are TBA Tuesdays at 9:00 Butcher & Feeder Cattle Sales Monday October 16 & 30 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves Saturday, October 14 at 10:00 a.m. Horse & Tack Sale Monday November 13 & 27 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves 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

MBP has also requested that the department consider analyzing wolves’ diets to determine the percentage made up of livestock. Past analysis has focused on the concentration of deer, moose, elk, fish and snowshoe hares being eaten by wolves. MBP will continue to advocate for programs and initiatives to help address the challenges caused by predation. Rob Olson is the new Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development. MBP previously engaged with Olson on files of importance to the beef industry when he was the Managing Director of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation. This included efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis, as well as concerns related to dangerous hunting. Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel MBP has written to the new Infrastructure Minister, Ron Schuler, reiterating concerns around the construction of the Lake Manitoba outlet channel route “D” and requesting fair compensation for producers affected by it. MBP outlined to Minister Schuler concerns producers have expressed related to the project. These include, but are not limited to: the need for fair compensation for land expropriated; the loss of deeded and leased (Crown) land; the carving up of farm operations and associated issues, such as impaired ability to access land and move cattle; how costs and lost opportunities will be recognized for farmers and ranchers on a perpetual basis due to the loss of productive land or inconvenience related to the channel being situated on their farms; biosecurity; and, the number, size and location of bridges. MBP is seeking to have these concerns addressed. The province will follow a land valuation process as it goes through the expropriation process to get land needed for the Lake Manitoba outlet channel, as per the provisions set out in The Expropriation Act. MBP has asked that

producers be provided with an appropriate level of compensation over and above market valuation. This would recognize the considerable financial, production and personal sacrifices they have and will continue to make to ensure that their fellow Manitobans are protected from the potential catastrophic effects of flooding. MBP believes there is a sound argument to be advanced for paying the producers beyond the normal market value level. Various technical reports completed following the devastating 2011 flood concluded that without the extensive use of the Portage Diversion, and the rerouting of millions of cubic feet of water into Lake Manitoba that would normally have gone down the Assiniboine River, there would have been significant flooding downstream of Portage la Prairie, threatening urban centres like Winnipeg. Millions of dollars in compensation was paid to producers, business, municipalities and others, costs which could have been substantially higher if centres like Winnipeg had been flooded. Other costly losses were sustained in subsequent floods. Further, given the permanent impacts of the channel to the efficiencies and fiscal bottom lines of producer operations resulting from increased travel distances to points of crossing, MBP has asked the government to consider building additional bridges to help limit these ongoing costs and impositions. To realize the goal of growing Manitoba’s beef herd, producers must be able to operate from a predictable position of confidence that their operations are sustainable and not at undue risk from water-related challenges such as repeated floods. MBP will continue to seek permanent flood mitigation structures such as the outlet channels, dyke upgrades and other vital works aimed at reducing future flooding and looks forward to the swift completion of the outlet channels.


October 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

New marketing options open in Manitoba As we work our way into the fall calf run there are many varied opinions as to what will happen to the calf prices in the fall of 2017. Are there any opportunities out there to add value to calves purchased at the current market prices? Should you decide to retain ownership of your calves until the New Year? The current futures do not support the calf prices reported to date, but the feeding industry is still very optimistic. One of the biggest reasons for this optimism is that 2017 has been a pretty good year so far in the cattle finishing business. The market for fed cattle in the first half of 2017 was strong and the finishing feedlots that purchased calves in the fall of 2016 turned some pretty healthy profits. Some industry reports sited profits averaging over $300 per head with highs of $600 when the rail grade price was at $3.03 dressed. In the United States, 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the cattle fed in the first six months were hedged or contracted at profitable levels which helped combat the swings in the cash market. The outlook for the remainder of the year is not as positive; fed cattle on the current cash market are barely breaking even and opportunities to take a profitable risk management position on cattle ready for market from now until the end of the first quarter of 2018 are hard to find. For Canadian cattle feeders the strongest dollar in two years at over 82 cents is not a positive factor in meat sales and exports. The erosion of the fed cattle prices in the third quarter of 2017 has hit the feedlots hard. There is ample supply out there, cattle feeders have lost their leverage while packers are taking advantage of large supplies and have ramped up kill numbers. The weaker American dollar has helped the global export market. Cattle feeders are resisting lower prices from the packers and are hanging on to the cattle longer, resulting in the heaviest seasonal carcass weights of the year at 914lbs. When the finishing lots are making money, they are

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line anxious to replace inventory. This was the case in the spring and that resulted in the backgrounding lots receiving better bids on the cattle for grass and summer feeding inventory. Those backgrounding lots that held onto inventory until the second and third quarters saw profits of $200 to $400 per head on inventory purchased in the fall and very early spring. Once again when the backgrounding sector is making money, and the feed supplies are reasonably priced, they are willing to pay more for replacement inventory from the cow/calf producers. For the remainder of this year the yearling market is producing breakeven prices to small profits. The calf market should correct itself to bring lower prices as backgrounding operations may not be willing to take the risk that they took in the late spring on this next turn of inventory. Right now there are very few contracts being offered for 850 to 900lb cattle for the early spring; this should result in lower prices than in September. Calf prices should be more in line with the October prices of 2016. The market is always based on supply and demand. All reports are that the expansion of the American cow herd will continue into 2018, while Canada’s increase, if any, will be very small. Experts predict close to one million more feeder cattle available this year compared to last. The butcher cow and bull market continues to drop on a weekly basis. Kill numbers and exports are both up 10 per cent compared to last year at this time. This trend will continue until mid-November due to larger seasonal volumes of cows for sale and the strong exchange on the dollar.

In Manitoba there are a couple of new marketing options available this fall. Myles Masson from the Ste. Rose Auction Mart has developed and launched a new electronic marketing platform called Cattle Connect. This new venture has the support of the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association. Producers can list their cattle on the sale through any member of the MLMA and cattle are sold by public auction on the Internet. The list of approved buyers includes the majority of the licensed livestock buyers in Manitoba. The selling fees are competitive with the livestock markets and other Internet sales. Your listing agent handles the payment for the cattle and you are dealing with professionals with whom you are familiar. This new platform offers producers who wish to sell their livestock off the farm the advantage of the competitive auction price discovery mechanism. The Cattle Connect website offers a complete livestock auction calendar, market reports, cattle news, and cattle classifieds for breeding stock sales from producer to producer. More information can be obtained from members of the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association. Pipestone Livestock Sales has reopened after being closed for seven years. Rhett Parks has partnered with Brock and Kelly Taylor from Taylor’s Auctions, Assembly and Exports to re-open the market. Sale day is Friday, and PLS will start pre-sort sales in mid-October. The Parks family will continue to operate Whitewood Livestock Sales and Brock and Kelly will continue with the export centre in Melita and the farm auction business. Regardless of which marketing option you choose or which market or broker you wish to do business with this fall, book your consignments early to give your agent the proper time required to do the best job of marketing your livestock. Until next time, Rick.

Canada-EU trade deal now in effect FROM THE CCA ACTION NEWS The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union officially went into effect on September 21. As of that date, European beef will be duty free in the Canadian market and new duty-free quotas will be available for Canadian beef entering the EU market. For the first year of CETA, the initial dutyfree quota quantities for Canadian beef are 9,300 tonnes of fresh beef and 2,500 tonnes of frozen beef. But since the CETA is being implemented

on September 21, these quantities will be pro-rated down. The quantities available for the final 102 days of 2017 should be 2,599 tonnes of fresh and 699 tonnes of frozen. Beginning January 1, 2018, the EU will open the second quota year of CETA and the quantities for 2018 will be increased to 14,440 tonnes of fresh and 5,000 tonnes of frozen. The quantities will continue to increase annually until 2022 when they reach the full amount of 35,000 tonnes fresh and 15,000 tonnes frozen per year. For Canadian beef to be eligible, cattle to be used for EU beef exports must be enrolled

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in the Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products which is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) supervised program for the EU. The CCA has prepared videos to help cow-calf producers and cattle feeders better understand the requirements of producing EU-

eligible cattle. The videos are on the CCA website at www.cattle.ca/eu along with a list of CFIA approved veterinarians that can work with producers to enroll them in the program. Producers are encouraged to watch the CCA videos to better understand the EU requirements and then contact

CFIA or a CFIA approved veterinarian from industry. Although there are not enough approved vets across the country at present to oversee all the cattle that need to be in the program, the CCA is working with the Government of Canada to secure the required resources to train and approve more industry vets.

Interested producers are urged to contact a CFIA approved vet listed on the CCA website or their closest CFIA office in advance of calving season to register an interest in getting enrolled. In some areas, local CFIA officials may not yet be aware of the requirements of the EU program.

BECOME PART OF THE GROWING BREED...ANGUS!

Sales for Angus Tagged Cattle Interlake Cattlemans Co-Op Assn Ltd (Ashern) ............204-768-2669................................. Oct. 25 Gladstone Auction Mart Ltd. .......................................204-385-2043................................March 8 Grunthal Livestock Auction .........................................204-434-6519.................................Nov. 14 Heartland Livestock: Brandon ..................................................................204-727-1431......................Oct. 17, Nov. 7 Virden .....................................................................204-748-2809................ Oct. 11, Nov. 1, 15 Killarney Auction Mart ................................................204-523-8477....................Oct. 23, Nov. 20 Ste. Rose Auction Mart Ltd. .........................................204-447-7054...................................Nov. 9 Winnipeg Livestock Sales ............................................204-782-6222................ Oct. 6, 27, Nov. 24

Check out the new ALL Angus Tagged, Age Verified, Traceable and Vaccinated Sales! www.ranchersendorsed.com www.mbangus.ca Manitoba regional Canadian Angus member engagement session/strategic planning meeting will be held on Thursday, October 5th from 9am - 2pm at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. Please check the website or call the association for further information.

For more information, contact either the Manitoba or Canadian Angus MANITOBA 1-888-622-6487 www.mbbeef.ca

CALGARY 1-888-571-3580


16 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2017

Reduce stress naturally-with real foods BY ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Meat Expert

As routines settle into the colder months of the year, life tends to speed up, holidays approach, relatives are visiting, exam periods creep up and life can get overwhelming. When you are overtired and overworked it’s normal to become stressed. Feeling stressed can sometimes lead to impulsively eating, otherwise known as emotional eating. When we are stressed our bodies release hormones that affect our mood and can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Below I will list healthy whole foods that can have a calming effect on the body and help counteract the damage caused by stress. Stock up on these foods year round and feel your best. Reduce risks of developing migraine headaches or feeling fatigued Magnesium found in beef can relax you during the hustle and bustle from holiday insanity. Not only contributing to healthy bones and teeth, magnesium works at stabilizing blood vessels. This can help lower blood pressure in vessels causing headaches. One serving of beef has enough magnesium to keep you in a good mood naturally. Instantly lower blood pressure Without the use of

medication, blood pressure can be naturally lowered year round by boosting your vitamin C intake. Start your day with a glass of orange juice without added sugar and have a peaceful drive or commute to school or the office. For added fibre enjoy a whole orange in the afternoon to stabilize your body’s blood sugars and reduce stress. Dark greens, neutralize the stress hormone Vegetables high in folic acid can help stabilize your mood; this B9 vitamin can be found in kale, spinach or asparagus. Folic acid is most easily absorbed in our bodies with the help of vitamin C. Pairing your favourite dark green vegetable with citrus vinaigrette will help your digestive system absorb folic acid more effectively and stabilize stress hormones. Stimulate the brain relaxing hormone Serotonin is the happy feel good hormone, the one released when you eat dark chocolate and carbohydrates. The secret to keeping this hormone flow steady is to eat slow absorbing foods. Slow digesting carbohydrates also known as low glycemic index foods can be steelcut oatmeal, brown rice, grapefruit juice or high fibre foods that take longer for our stomachs to digest. This will guarantee a steady flow of serotonin, the feel good hormone. Calm jangled nerves Our bodies need B

SAVE THE DATE

Feb. 8 & 9

MBP’s 39th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 8 & 9, 2018 at the Victoria Inn & Convention Centre in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

vitamins to calm feelings of mental anxiety. B vitamins stimulate reproduction of healthy cells found in the nervous system and brain. When in need of relaxation and relief of stress bite into a healthy serving of beef, rich in B6 and B12 vitamins. Sirloin steak and avocados have something in common; they are both rich sources of B vitamins, potassium and monounsaturated fats. All these work together at calming our bodies, lowering blood pressure and satisfying cravings. Cravings are frequently caused by fluctuation in hormones which often trigger the need for immediate satisfaction; remember this isn’t found at the vending machine. Eating the right foods to reduce stress can be naturally powerful. Be prepared this season and nourish yourself with simple whole foods that reduce stress hormones. Incorporating lean beef a few days a week will not only energize you with a rich source of zinc and iron it will also reduce stress with the help of B vitamins and magnesium. This month our featured recipe is a delicious mouth-watering Steak Cobb Salad that will be aired on November 18th on Great Tastes of Manitoba. This recipe uses a rich strip loin steak prepared simply with coarse salt and pepper and is paired with refreshing veggies that will be sure to be energizing. Tune in for more delicious family inspired recipes on CTV Winnipeg Saturday Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. This recipe and more can be found on www.greattastesmb.ca.

Steak Cobb Salad Ingredients: 2- 1lb strip loin grilling steaks approximately 1 inch thick Generous sprinkle of steak spice on both sides 4 eggs, hard boiled 8 cups green leaf lettuce ½ cup (125 mL) canned corn ½ cup (125 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup (125 mL) fresh strawberries, chopped or any seasonal berry 8 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped ½ cup (125 mL) cucumbers, diced ½ cup (125 mL) crumbled feta or blue cheese 1 avocado, sliced (Optional) Desired serving ranch bottled salad dressing salt and pepper to taste METHOD: 1. Start seasoning the steaks, allow them to rest in the fridge to absorb salt and retain moisture. This will ensure a juicy flavour. 2. Fry or bake bacon on high heat and render off fat, cool and chop into bite sized pieces. 3. During that time prepare hard boiled eggs, peel and slice. 4. Assemble salad ingredients on a large platter or individual bowls. 5. Preheat barbecue or indoor grill to medium-high heat. 6. Grill strip loin grilling steaks only flipping once. 1 inch steaks require 10-12 minutes to reach medium-rare doneness at 145 F (63 C).

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in even numbered districts. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. DISTRICT

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Robert Metner

Oct-23

Eriksdale Recreation Centre

1st Avenue, Eriksdale

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-24

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Heinz Reimer*

Oct-25

Grunthal Auction Mart

Provincial Road 205

District 6

Larry Wegner

Oct-31

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 North Railway St. West, Oak Lake

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-01

Mountview Centre

111 S Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 2

Dave Koslowsky*

Nov-02

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-03

Austin Community Centre

601 Avenue, Austin

District 12

Bill Murray*

Nov-06

Westlake Community Hall

16 Eddystone Dr, Eddystone

District 14

Stan Foster*

Nov-07

Durban Community Hall

612 1st St W

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-08

Roblin Chicken Chef

131 1st St NW, Roblin

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-09

Miniota Community Centre

568 Miniota Rd, Miniota

District 10

Ken McKay

Nov-13

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

District 3

Peter Penner

Nov-14

Carman Legion

60 1st Ave. NW, Carman

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-15

Arden Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave, Arden

*Director Retiring

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


Building better beef

Planned grazing demo

Page 3

Page 11

Throwing the perfect dinner party

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.

JEANNETTE GREAVES PHOTO

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

NOVEMBER 2017


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

District meetings underway

The lure of a steak supper for 10 with two members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers led to a busy table Oct. 6. Manitoba Beef Producers was in Tailgate Plaza at Investor's Group Stadium prior to the Bombers game against Hamilton promoting the provincial beef industry.

National Check-off Town Hall set for MacGregor Anyone with questions about the National Check-off (NCO) will have the chance to get their answers in December. Manitoba Beef Producers, along with the National Check-off Agency, will be hosting a National Check-off Town Hall Dec. 7 at the Heartland Multiplex in MacGregor. MBP General Manager Brian Lemon said the NCO town hall will follow a similar format to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association town hall meetings held in the province with a supper, followed by a program. NCO Agency General Manager Melinda German will be in attendance to discuss the NCO as well as the national beef strategy. She’ll be joined by officials from Canadian Beef, the Beef Cattle Research Council and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “As we talk to members throughout the province, we are often asked questions about the NCO, the national beef strategy 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

and the role that our other national partners play in the industry,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “Officials from the BCRC will discuss their research priorities that are funded by the NCO, Tom Lynch-Staunton of the CCA will talk about the new issues management role that is part of the national beef strategy and Canadian Beef will have staff in attendance to talk about their promotions which are funded by the NCO. “We are looking forward to the town hall. The speakers we have attending will provide our members with a good look at the need for the NCO as well as a comprehensive look at where those dollars are going and how it benefits them.” The evening will kick off with cocktails from 4-5 p.m. followed by supper. The program will begin after supper. There is no cost to attend the meeting but those interested are asked to register in advance. To RSVP call 1-800-772-0458 or email info@mbbeef.ca.

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

Manitoba Beef Producers’ 2017 district meeting run is underway. As of the Nov. 1 delivery of this issue of Cattle Country, four meetings had taken place with 10 more on the schedule throughout November. Although district meetings are always a highlight on MBP’s yearly schedule, this year’s gatherings are especially important as four spots on the board of directors will need to be filled due to the retirement of directors. Dave Koslowsky, District 2; Heinz Reimer, District 4; Bill Murray, District 12 and Stan Foster, District 14 have all completed their six-year terms on the board and will officially step down at the 39th Annual General Meeting in February. The district four meeting took place on Oct. 25 while the remaining three will go this month. “It’s very important to MBP that we find interested and engaged producers to join our board,” said MBP President Ben Fox. “As the voice of the provincial cow/calf producers and cattle feeders, it’s critical that all of our districts and all aspects of our industry are represented at the board table.” Fox added that joining the board is an excellent opportunity to not only represent your fellow beef producers in Manitoba but also nationally, as many MBP directors also serve on the boards for organiza-

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

HEINZ REIMER

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

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

Learn more about how your National Check-off dollars are spent and about the National Beef Strategy from officials with the National Check-off Agency, Canadian Beef, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef Cattle Research Council.

KEN MCKAY

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

DISTRICT 8

Cocktails 4 - 5 (cash bar) Complimentary Dinner 5 - 6:45 Program 6:45 - 9

DISTRICT 10

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

LARRY GERELUS

Heartland Multiplex, MacGregor

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

December 7, 2017 4 - 9 p.m.

DIANNE RIDING - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 7

6 p.m. with a free beef on a bun supper. For more information please go to mbbeef.ca or contact the MBP office at 1-800-772-0458. A new wrinkle has also been added this year as MBP has partnered with 4-H Manitoba to hold Emerging Beef Leaders Forums this year. Two of the three forums will be held November in districts 3 and 5. “Our board has long expressed a desire to get more young producers involved with MBP. After the success we had with our Young Producers Forum at the 38th annual general meeting we felt this was another step in that direction and are excited to partner with 4-H on this venture.” The forums, which begin at 4:30 p.m. are open to anyone between the ages of 12 and 18. For more information or to register, please contact MBP Youth Coordinator Elisabeth Harms at 1-800-772-0458 or at info@ mbbeef.ca. Work is also progressing on MBP’s 39th AGM, which is scheduled for Feb. 8-9 at Brandon’s Victoria Inn and Convention Centre. The theme for the AGM is Building Our Future. For more information on prices and registering please see page 16 of this issue of Cattle Country. More information on the agenda and panel discussions for the AGM will be available in the December issue of Cattle Country.

National Check-off Town Hall

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 3

tions such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, National Check-off Agency and Beef Cattle Research Council. “This is an excellent opportunity for Manitobans to take a leadership role in the industry and work with their fellow producers to create a strong and sustainable industry for all.” Fox said if any MBP members are interested in becoming a director he recommends they contact their local director to learn more about what the job entails. Their contact information can be found at http://www.mbbeef.ca/ about-mbp/board-andstaff/. Along with the director elections in even-numbered districts, the meetings will include a look back at MBP’s finances for the past year and a review of the association’s activities on behalf of members. A discussion of traceability and a proposed cow/calf loss survey are also on the agenda. “These meetings are an important opportunity for us to meet face-to-face with members and hear about their concerns and thoughts on the direction of the association,” MBP General Manager Brian Lemon said. “We look forward to getting to meet with producers and strongly encourage them to attend the meetings and have their say in the future of MBP.” The meetings begin at

ROBERT METNER

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

To RSVP call 1-800-772-0458 or email info@mbbeef.ca

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX- 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

OFFICE ASSISTANT Elisabeth Harms

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Anne Rooban

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


November 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

The numbers behind building better beef BY SERMO.FARM You can’t manage what you don’t measure. One of the best opportunities to increase the profitability of the Canadian beef and cattle industry is by regularly identifying and addressing issues. That is just what the industry does through initiatives such as the National Beef Quality Audit on beef quality from major slaughter plants and national retail banners. The 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Conference included a session, titled “Creating Value and Enhancing Beef Quality: A Value Chain Perspective,” that reviewed the latest national audit results and discussed options for Canadian cattle producers to drive improvements. The session featured a panel of industry leaders who shared their perspectives on the opportunities for improvement including discussion of how the value that is created on farms can contribute to enhancing the competitive advantage for Canadian Beef. Panel weighs in The panel discussion was moderated by John Baker of Baker Marketing Services International. It included Mark Klassen, Director of Technical Services at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA); Rich Vesta, President of Harmony Beef; Claude Gravel, retired General Merchandising Manager for Meat with Costco Canada; and CCA Past President, Travis Toews. The panelists noted that beef producers have a major role to play in helping the industry to maximize the overall value of the carcass. Prior to putting beef on the shelf at the meat counter, producers first have a duty to the amount of harvestable product from each carcass. Discounted animals and cuts that are rendered unsuitable for human consumption have an impact on decreasing profitability across the beef value chain. “Typically the relationship we see is very simple: If there is more marketable product available, there is an increased market share,” pointed out Klassen. Klassen shared key findings of the most recent National Beef Quality Audit. Defect areas with the greatest impact on carcass value include horns, tag, liver abscesses, injection lesions, brands and bruising. Opportunities for improvement When looking at the list of defects, it is clear to see that most are manageable on farm, noted the panelists. Coming into the packing plant, 79 per cent of carcasses are seen to be carrying tag. This is up from 74 per cent in 2010-2011. Tag creates considerable cost at the packing level and has food safety implications. Gravel made the point that “Food safety is the retailer’s absolute #1 concern” – a sentiment that is shared across the production chain. At the feedlot level, limiting tag by supplying more bedding may have cost implications, however it leads to a safer and less expensive to manage product for the packing plants, noted the panelists. The entire goal of the beef industry, across all sectors, is to encourage consumers to choose beef when standing at the meat counter, the panelists agreed. Reducing cost for each level of the chain, while ensuring food safety will create lower cost, and more widely trusted product at the grocery store, which are two of the biggest deciding factors for consumers across the board. Currently, beef holds 32.5 per cent of meat

counter space in Canadian grocery stores. Lower cost options of pork and chicken make up the remainder. The audit results showed that the largest loss seen at the packing plant however, is associated with the condition of harvested livers. On average, 18 per cent of livers are condemned as unsuitable for human consumption due to the presence of abscesses. As a marketable product, any livers that are unavailable for sale have a negative impact on the overall carcass value. Directly impacted by feeding practices at the feedlot level, abscesses have impacts further down the production chain, the panelists observed. Not only do they cost the packers money, they also are a sign of pushing cattle too hard on feed, which in turn, could be costing feedlot operators more than necessary. Gravel made the point that finding markets for under-valued cuts such as livers also poses an opportunity for the Canadian beef industry. Once again, ensuring that the largest marketable part of the carcass reaches a market with a demand encourages increased value on the per animal basis. Maintaining the integrity and consistency of these undervalued cuts provides consumers with a product they can rely on to be healthy and safe, while also being cost effective. Finding the right balance Carcass size has also become a challenge for packers in recent years. Harmony Beef President Rich Vesta, discussed the upward trend in carcass size and noted how it is impacting carcass grade yield. Large carcasses are not necessarily leading to higher quality product, he noted. Packers are seeing a 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent yield grade decrease year over year, perhaps in direct correlation with the 8lb per year increase in carcass size. Gravel spoke highly of the importance of consistency for consumer product. “Consumers are looking for a consistent product that they are able to rely upon. Quality over quantity is what will bring consumers back to the beef end of the meat counter, time and time again.” As the panelists discussed new tools that can help, one option highlighted was better utilizing the power of genomics. Identifying the key genetic characteristics that produce heritable quality and consistency is an important avenue for grassroots producers to continue to travel down, to create increased value within the supply chain. Genomics have become increasingly popular with seedstock producers to identify key traits such as rib eye size and back fat thickness. Since the desire at the packer is no longer, “bigger and bigger,” genomics can shift the view to “better and better.” The use of technology can bridge the gap between the current standard product and the desired. A key point echoed among the panelists was that creating value in the beef industry does not rely exclusively on increasing quality. By ensuring that as much of the marketable carcass makes it to the meat counter as possible, value is ideally retained through the prevention of waste. By making more product available for retailers, increased value will be identified farther back down the production chain. Producers will have more incentive to manage their cattle to minimize defects and align with demand from up the chain. Working together to drive success Creating unity on how to produce the highest quality product across the board will in turn, increase

Mark Klassen

carcass value for producers. As iterated by CCA Past President, Travis Toews, “All sectors benefit when one sector makes an investment.” Maintaining competitiveness across all sectors remains a key factor for capturing value within the chain. Toews impressed upon how science and technology remains a driving force, not only in the production sector, but for the beef industry in its entirety. Implementing practices to limit carcass defects and create increased uniformity will increase value of the end product that consumers purchase at retail and that value must be realized throughout the chain. Regardless of branded beef programs, consumers will vote with their wallets, Toews noted. Ensuring that producers are putting the best product possible on the shelf, while managing cost, waste and inputs, is the most effective way to sway those votes. The Canadian Beef Industry Conference was held August 15-17 in Calgary. Themed “Sharing Common Ground” it drew over 800 participants from across the country and different facets of the beef industry.

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Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

NEED FINANCING? WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY * WEEKLY PRE-WEIGHED SHOW LISTED * WEEKLY PRE-WEIGHED SHOWLISTED SALES.SALES. FOR COMPLETE INFO CONTACT MYLES FOR COMPLETE INFO CONTACT MYLES 204-447-2266 or srauction.ca 204-447-2266 or srauction.ca WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY

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internetaffiliated cattle sale, every Contact*Real-time your loCal rep today! Monday 1:00pm *Online cattle classiwww.cattleconnect.ca fieds *Affiliated auction mart reports and calendar events.

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Prai!e Gold Cattle Breeders Co-op

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Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00am Monday, November 13 & 27 at 12:00 p.m. Sheep and Goat with Small Animals & Holstein Calves Tuesday, November 14 at 9:00 am Regular Cattle Sale - Angus Sale Saturday, November 4 & December 2 at 9:00 am Fall Bred Cow Sale For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

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

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

Progress being made on important files BEN FOX MBP President

“Dad, there’s a darn bear in our front yard!” Not necessarily the most comforting words from your 10-year-old at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Sure enough there was a bear hanging around the front yard. He had put the run on our dogs and then felt obliged to check out our entire backyard. A quick look and we could see that the cattle and sheep that were grazing on our poly crop field just south of the house were startled and were split up into different groups, which, if you have been through any kind of attack, you know that is a bad sign. It wasn’t until further inspection that we found two dead ewes,

an injured ewe and two calves with shorter tails. Fortunately, I was able to deal with the bear and make certain he wasn’t able to come back to harm any more animals. If this attack would have happened another quarter-mile away I wouldn’t have seen it until the bear was gone and then had the concern of when it is coming back again. It’s definitely a reminder of how quickly a predator can kill or maim your livestock, and to be ever watchful over them. I am amazed and inspired by the countless hours that beef producers spend to gather their crops and cattle and the pride that folks have when they bring

their cattle to market. This is a special time of year for producers to see how their management has performed and hopefully go into winter with an abundant supply of feed and forage and then begin the cycle again and start planning for the next growing season. This planning is also happening at MBP. By the time this article gets to you we will have begun our district meetings and gathering up resolutions to be discussed at our AGM in Brandon Feb. 8-9, 2018. If your district meeting is still upcoming please plan on attending and taking part in the event. Producer input from those who make up the roots of this grassroots organization is imperative to our success. We have a lot of things coming down the pipe from predation initiatives, Crown

lands regulations, animal movement reporting and our continual focus towards growing the herd;

for the help of members to do that. We are seeking videos and photos shot with a regular camera or other devices such as a drone. The photos and videos submitted will be used for displays at events such as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and Red River Ex. What are we looking for? MBP wants to show the public what life on the farm is all about. Everything from calving, winter feeding, daily chores, your cattle in the pasture; basically anything that highlights Manitoba’s beef industry.

focus on the core issues within our industry. That is what sets MBP apart. After many years

"It is the ability to balance all of these targets and tasks while being able to handle situations that can come out of the blue and not lose focus on the core issues within our industry. That is what sets MBP apart." - Ben Fox we have been a busy organization. These district meetings give producers the opportunity to bring up what’s affecting their operations and inform and shape the direction of the upcoming year of MBP’s efforts. When you really look at the structure of

Let’s showcase our industry Manitoba Beef Producers is putting out a call to all members with an eye for photography and videography. Each year MBP attends a number of events throughout the province as part of our work to promote awareness of the provincial beef industry and the work being done by producers in areas such as environmental stewardship and animal welfare as well as the incredible product they produce. MBP wants to expand our library of materials and are looking

our organization, it is the most efficient and effective way of putting the ideas and concerns

“We know a lot of members take great pride in their animals and farms and have an extensive collection of photos and video,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “The more submissions we receive the better job we can do showcasing our industry to people from throughout the province.” If you have photos or video you would like to submit to MBP please contact Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon at csaxon@mbbeef.ca.

www.mbbeef.ca

of cattlemen and cattlewomen up front and in the center of attention. There is no other avenue that contains the ability to represent and accomplish what the Manitoba beef industry requires as diligently as MBP. Our predecessors, both directors and staff, have positioned this organization in a credible profile and given us the leverage that we enjoy and continue to build upon for the betterment of our industry. Recognizably, we have some files that have slow or limited progress. This is not due to a lack of effort but to outside circumstances that may pose risks to our industry and must first be addressed. It is the ability to balance all of these targets and tasks while being able to handle situations that can come out of the blue and not lose

of limited progress on specific files, there has been recent movement that will have a positive impact on our industry. We are still in consultations, so it is not yet the best time to discuss the particulars but there does seem to be an appetite within the current government to address and rectify long-standing issues that MBP has fought for. If properly addressed and corrected, they can definitely have a positive effect on our industry and the future growth of it. This year is quickly dwindling down and it’s my hope that you can get your last few tasks done up before the snow flies and have some time to enjoy your operation and your family. Take care and I hope to see you at a remaining district meeting.


November 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Important changes for producers to be aware of BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column

DECEMBER

2017 Winter Sale Schedule

NOVEMBER

Fall is in full swing in the office and in the countryside, and as we refer to it in the office, it’s the “crazy season� when we all doubledown and are crazy busy. The office staff is busy organizing all the logistics and ensuring arrangements for the fall district meeting run. We are also busy making early preparations for the annual meeting to be in Brandon again this coming February. Fall is also busy for all of our members as they bring cattle home, while the fall run is well underway and a lot of cattle heading to market. This fall also seems to be a busy time for us in terms of dealing with government on your behalf. There are several important changes either coming or being proposed by both the federal and provincial governments that require we work on your behalf to ensure our voice is heard as part of consultations. I’ll

take a minute and highlight a few changes that are coming from government regulators. First, Health Canada is changing the rules around your ability to get important veterinary drugs without a prescription. For a number of years now the entire medical world has been waging a fight against growing antimicrobial resistance. Part of the response by the international community was to tighten the rules about access to antimicrobials in a number of countries and Health Canada has put in place rules that will take effect in early November. Increasingly you will be required to have a veterinarian sign a prescription prior to you getting access to some drugs that you were previously able to buy without. Also, Health Canada will be re-establishing the list of products which you are able to import for your own use. Traditionally producers were able to cross into the US to access important products at much lower costs. This ability will remain, but the products eligible to be imported in this manner may change – again, as of early November. If heading to the US, make sure and check with Border Services before you assume that products are still avail-

able to be imported for your own use. Second, traceability, manifests and Premise IDs. While these have been something producers have been dealing with for some time now, it is expected that very soon producers will be required to be more regular with their use. The industry has been working hard through the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and has developed the Cattle Implementation Plan (CIP) to show CFIA that the industry is committed to proper traceability and can show leadership towards a program that works for CFIA and the industry. Should the industry not demonstrate that we can deliver on the CIP, the CFIA will mandate a much more onerous program. The CFIA has provided input into the CIP and has allowed time for the industry to show it can deliver, but now it falls to industry to show that we can all deliver. MBP is encouraging producers ensure they register their premises and that they make more consistent use of manifests any time they are moving cattle to market. Both these steps are critical to showing that the industry can deliver. Finally, MBP continues to work with the provincial government to position

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the Manitoba cattle industry to benefit from the next five-year policy framework. When Growing Forward 2 ends on March 31, 2018, the new framework, called the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will be come into force. MBP has made a couple of different submissions to Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler to highlight where we see opportunities for CAP funding to assist our sector. Specifically, when considered alongside the other announcements from the province (namely the goal to grow the herd and the budget announcement of a Livestock Growth Strategy), we have highlighted opportunities related to research and innovation, environment, public trust and awareness, and improved risk management tools. The provincial government has the latitude to design specific programs that fit within the broad themes already set by all the

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Ministers of Agriculture at their meeting this past July. The province will deliver programs that are funded as part of the federal-provincial cost-shared funding. This funding is 60 per cent federal funds and 40 per cent provincial funding. Much of the provincial contribution is made up of provincial staff time, whereas much of the actual dollars distributed come from the federal contribution. CAP is still being designed and we haven’t seen any specific programming that is going to be made available to producers yet, and the province has said they will have another consultation where we will be able to comment on specific program details. We also continue to meet with provincial officials and politicians to advance the concerns of cattle producers, including pushing for some movement on predation losses, progress and proper compensation for producers impacted by

the Lake Manitoba outlet, and improvements to insurance products available from MASC. I will close by reminding you all and inviting you all to come and have your voices heard at your local district meeting. This year we are electing your MBP directors to represent you in each of the evennumbered districts. These terms are two-year terms. District meetings are the chance for producers to hear how we have managed your check-off dollars and to comment on how we have been representing you. It is also the opportunity to shape MBP’s priorities for the next year. At district meetings individual members are able to bring up resolutions for debate and possible consideration at the AGM in February. It is your chance to be heard! I look forward to the chance to speak with many of you at the district meetings.

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

Government activities update BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Political Analyst

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) recently provided feedback into the development of Manitoba’s new watershed-based policy framework and the three consultation documents put forward by Sustainable Development and Manitoba Agriculture: WatershedBased Drainage and Water Resource Management, Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) and Modernizing Manitoba’s Conservation Districts Program. The importance of sound drainage and surface water management policies to Manitoba’s beef industry cannot be understated. Flooding, excess moisture conditions, droughts and the effects of illegal drainage works tax cattle producers’ ability to operate. MBP also believes that investments in adaptation and resilience strategies, including large and small-scale water management infrastructure are critically important to our sector’s future success. This month’s column focuses on the Watershed Based Drainage and Water Resource Management consultation document. MBP is supportive of watershedbased planning for drainage and water resource management. Water does not recognize designated boundaries like those assigned to cities or rural municipalities. MBP recommended that entities responsible for managing water resources, including Conservation Districts (CDs), Watershed Authorities or others have adequate financial, human and technical resources to develop and deliver the watershed-based strategies and authorities tasked or designated to them. Further, MBP sought clarification about what

strategy will be used to ensure watershed-based planning proceeds in areas of Manitoba where local governments do not participate in a CD. For example, MBP has long advocated for a province-wide ecological goods and service (EG&S) program directly accessible to cattle producers and welcomes discussion around the creation of such a program in Manitoba. MBP recognizes the implementation of the EG&S program under Growing Forward 2 – Growing Assurance, but notes that producers were only able to access this beneficial management practice (BMP) funding through a partnership with their local CD. Because not all regions of agro-Manitoba are represented by CDs, some cattle producers could not participate. MBP asked that this gap be addressed. MBP supports the streamlining and strengthening of regulatory regimes for drainage and water control works. MBP has concerns about one of the expected outcomes proposed under the new regulatory framework for drainage and water control works licensing, specifically the proposal that there will be an “increased onus on downstream landowners to demonstrate the impacts of upstream activities.” MBP questions the rationale behind this and asked why the onus should be on the affected landowner to demonstrate that the work being proposed by their neighbor, local government or other applicant will cause harm to them. MBP is concerned this approach could place an undue financial burden on producers who may be forced to contest a project. At a time when the provincial government is seeking to reduce red tape, MBP is concerned this pro-

posed outcome will in fact have the opposite effect for downstream landowners. MBP recognizes there can be occasions when projects are disputed for reasons that have no basis in fact. However, a better approach may be to institute an independent dispute resolution mechanism to resolve these types of concerns, perhaps similar to the type of work undertaken by entities such as the Manitoba Farm Industry Board. MBP recognizes the need for an increased focus on enforcing illegal drainage activities and the use of higher fines for illegal works but cautioned fines should be commensurate to the offence. Further, it is important the provincial government has adequate resources to monitor for potential illegal drainage activities. MBP believes there must be continued dialogue between the Manitoba government and neighboring jurisdictions to address illegal drainage works that are contributing to floodrelated problems here. Improved communication and coordination of surface water management across political boundaries will be essential to addressing both water quantity and water quality challenges. MBP also supports work being undertaken by organizations such as the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative which are helping to create a positive dialogue around water management in the three participating jurisdictions. The province is responsible for maintaining its own large network of drainage infrastructure. Concerns arise regularly that this infrastructure is not being properly maintained and is in fact contributing to surface water management issues. MBP

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recommended the province allocate sufficient resources to operate and maintain its drainage infrastructure. Regarding the classes of drainage and water control works projects, MBP is generally supportive of the proposed categories and licensing processes. Also, it is important the province has adequate technical, fiscal and organizational capacity to meet its stated processing timelines for approving drainage projects. Regarding tile drainage, MBP notes there is currently a relatively limited provincial regulatory framework around this in Manitoba. This has allowed rural municipalities to apply their own conditions on tile drainage licenses such as prohibiting the application of manure on tile drained land. MBP asked the province to pursue policies which will lead to a standardized framework for the consideration and approval of tile drainage projects. MBP recognizes the rationale behind the goal of no net loss of water retention capacity in watersheds. The consultation document states that under the no net loss principle, in cases where drainage can be justified for broad social and economic reasons, compensation will be required to ensure no net loss of water storage capacity. It also states that “Compensation transactions would be handled by an organization designated in the regulation, who acts as a bank for deposit and provision of funds.” MBP recommended that greater clarity be provided around the compensation mechanism and handling of compensation transactions before such a system is enacted to determine if additional changes are required; and further, that consideration be given to having agricultural representation on the organization designated in the regulation to handle the compensation transactions.

It is MBP’s longstanding position that when considering surface water management, Manitoba needs a wetland policy that includes an incentive strategy as opposed to the use of costinducing regulations. Many cattle producers are already providing storage capacity on their lands by retaining wetlands. There are costs associated with this. This preservation of wetlands benefits society, but there is no direct monetary benefit to the producers such as payment for providing these valuable ecosystem services. It is MBP’s position that government policies should acknowledge producers or landowners who have produced ecological benefits from preserving wetlands on a longterm basis. The consultation document is largely silent on the management of water on agricultural Crown lands. This issue is essential to the sustainability and success of many beef operations and will be essential to future growth in the sector. Catastrophic events such as flooding (some of it man-made due to decisions made by past administrations in order to protect urban centres) have taken thousands of acres of valuable Crown land out of production, sometimes for successive production seasons. Recovery processes are slow, impacting valuable forage and pasture production. In some instances Crown land policies can limit producers’ ability to undertake certain activities that could mitigate against future risk. MBP requests that this be addressed. MBP recommended the province revisit its regulatory requirements for agricultural Crown lands, including the provision that exempts the Crown from liability for any damage that may be caused to the permitted lands or any structure or improvement on the permitted lands by the raising or lowering of the level

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of a body of water adjacent to them. Further, activities by beavers are adversely affecting both Crown and private lands. MBP recommends that effective management of beavers be taken into account as watershed-based planning for drainage and water resource management is undertaken. MBP believes the province has a critical role to play in managing its wildlife, including beavers that threaten agricultural operations and property, as well as roads and other core infrastructure. The consultation document makes several references to water retention. MBP recognizes retention will likely be a key component of future flood and drought mitigation strategies. MBP does however have questions about the potential use of agricultural Crown lands for short and long-term water retention projects. Thousands of acres of leased agricultural Crown lands are used by Manitoba’s cattle producers for forage and grazing purposes and it is critical to the success of their operations. If these Crown lands were to be taken out of production by a party such as a CD, watershed authority or the provincial government to be used for retention purposes it could have a significant impact on beef production. Clarification is required in this area as to whether this type of policy will be actively pursued. If so, would cattle producers who lose access to agricultural Crown lands being used for new water retention projects receive any type of compensation or be provided with alternative land arrangements to make up for this loss of use and the lost productivity? MBP asked that greater clarification be provided with respect to how water retention projects undertaken by various entities could potentially unfold on agricultural Crown lands to ensure that there is no net loss of agricultural production and that affected producers are treated fairly for adverse impacts. MBP also recommended that if the provincial government, CDs, Watershed Authorities or other entities are pursuing voluntary water retention projects on private lands that there be meaningful financial incentives (BMPs, direct payments, tax credits or other means) to help maximize uptake.


November 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

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StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture LINDA FOX

Forage & Livestock Specialist

Linda.Fox@gov.mb.ca

Q: It's fall and my time is getting short, is preg-checking and aggressive culling worth it? Or should I hold on one more year and get another calf out of those cows? A: As with all things cattle, there are many options to consider when looking at ways to improve your operation. It is important to keep your specific herd goals in mind. The following are a few practices that place emphasis on improving the bottom line of a cow/calf operation through easily measurable tendencies: 1. Pregnancy status 2. Disposition score 3. Ability to maintain body condition score (BCS) and structural

soundness. At the risk of stating the obvious, the factor that should ultimately sort a female in your operation to the keep or cull pen is pregnancy status. The pregnant female is the foundation for any productive cowcalf operation. Pregnancy diagnosis is relatively inexpensive and is easily determined by a qualified individual. A female who calves in a relatively short calving window during the months of the year that are best suited for your operation will increase both your productivity and decrease your overall costs. While feed costs have moderated lately, annual expenses for a beef female in Manitoba (including land, buildings

and machinery) continues to run anywhere from $750 to over $1,000 depending on the operation. Keeping an open female over to the next breeding season only compounds her accumulation of expenses. In nearly every case, your operation would be better off selling the open individual and replacing her with a bred female. If a properly developed, healthy yearling heifer is open after 60-90 days of exposure, sell her as a heavy feeder calf or finish her out to harvest weight. Studies have shown that a female deemed sub-fertile as a yearling is likely to have fertility complications as a mature female. As listed above, animal disposition is vitally important to consider when evaluating your cow herd. Disposition is considered a moderately heritable trait. Selecting against illtempered livestock has always made good sense.

Poorly dispositioned cattle are exceptionally hard on people, equipment, their herd mates and your bottom line. Cattle that have an increased tendency to run when observed, keep their head raised, charge people/equipment etc. have no place in the modern beef herd. As reported recently by Dr. Glenn Selk, “Mississippi State University researchers evaluated feeder cattle to assess the effect of temperament on performance, carcass characteristics, and net profit. Temperament was scored on a 1 to 5 scale (1=nonaggressive, docile; 5=very aggressive, excitable). Three measurements were used: pen score, chute score, and exit velocity where exit velocity is an electronic measurement of the speed at which the animal leaves the chute. Cattle deemed “tame” recorded higher ADG, higher feed efficiency and ultimately greater

net returns. Pen temperament scores to net profits per head were reported as follows: 1=$121.89; 2=$100.98; 3=$107.18; 4=$83.75; 5=$80.81. With the “heritability” of temperament in beef cattle ranging from 0.36 to 0.45, significant progress can be made in your herd by selecting against poorly dispositioned cattle. Finally, while you have the cows in the corral be sure to assess the individual BCS of your cows. A cow’s inability to maintain her body condition as compared to her similarly fed contemporaries is an indicator that something is awry. It may be her age, teeth, overall diminished health due to poor immune function or structural soundness affecting her capacity to maintain condition, but now is the time to mark her for separate feeding or culling. This is excellent time

to evaluate your herd and make fall marketing decisions. Having a plan in place for the cows that are deemed open/too late for your operations calving window, wild or in poor condition can make a big impact on the efficiency of your cow herd and your operation’s bottom line. We want to hear from you! For the next issue of Cattle Country, Stock talk Q &A will introduce the livestock and forage extension specialists who answer your questions. The Stock Talk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Need an expert opinion? Email your questions to our forage and livestock team and tap into their combined 230 years of agronomy experience. At Manitoba Agriculture, we are here to help make you succeed. Contact us today.

Gordons honoured by Canadian Hereford Association A Manitoba couple has been recognized by the Canadian Hereford Association (CHA). On July 21 at the CHA’s annual meeting in Abbotsford, B.C., Bob and Joyce Gordon, Kinnaber Cattle Co., previously of Souris, were inducted into the Canadian Hereford Association Memorial Scroll. The CHA Memorial Scroll recognized the Gordons as breeders of distinction in advancement of the breed and as leaders who contributed to the Hereford industry. The Gordons were dedicated to the Hereford breed, their family, and community and in many phases of agricultural production. After travelling extensively showing and selling cattle, Bob began to focus on developing a Polled Hereford herd for his family in the late 70s, allowing him the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and legacy of cattle to

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his family. From his travels across the US, he had seen the development of youth cattle programs and thus while serving as a CHA board member he proposed the formation of the Canadian Junior Hereford program. On August 12, 1979, Kinnaber Cattle Co., hosted a field day that was pivotal in the creation of the Canadian Junior Hereford AssoBob And Joyce Gordon ciation (CJHA). His children are indebted for his development of the CJHA as the program allowed them to be actively involved in a youth organization where they learned about leadership, gained knowledge about Herefords and citizenship all while creating many life-long friendships. The CJHA has molded many young cattlemen across Canada. To-

day the CJHA still hosts one of the largest junior events, called Bonanza, across the Canadian provinces. Kinnaber Cattle Co., bred several champion bulls and females and top-quality breeding stock. The family showed their Polled Herefords at many summer and fall shows across the Prairie Provinces, Ontario, and in the United States. The Gordons were active in the Hereford breed until 1983 when they dispersed their successful breeding program. They joined Western Breeders/Alta Genetics to select top beef breeding bulls of all breeders including Herefords, for the Canada and US cattle industry. Bob passed away in July 2016 but his contributions along with Joyce’s efforts will be fondly remembered by all Hereford breeders. As inductees in the CHA Memorial Scroll their photo will hang at the CHA headquarters in Calgary. Presenting the award in Abbotsford were: Doug Mann, CHA President; Albert Rimke, Manitoba Director and CHA Vice-President; Joyce Gordon, Boissevain, MB along with her daughters Lois (Gordon) McRae, Brandon and Lynn Gordon, Brookings, South Dakota.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

Fall an important time for herd management activities DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Now that summer is over and the growing season is about finished, thoughts have turned to fall pasture management and weaning. The hot dry summer and fall have left many pastures overgrazed and cattle requiring earlier supplementary feeding. Creep feeding and hay supplementation for cows will enable cows to remain on pasture longer. Hopefully cows were weaned early to avoid a loss of body condition prior to the onset of cold weather and the increased metabolic requirements of advanced pregnancy. Take a close look at your mineral and vitamin program – Vitamin A and E levels will be low due to the drought conditions. Unthrifty cattle, increased sickness or infertility problems and unexplained “pinkeye” cases should flag a potential nutritional deficiency problem, especially if you have been shortcutting on your feeding program and eliminating or reducing your mineral costs. Develop your winter feeding program with your nutritionist and don’t forget to watch the cows to quickly detect any loss of body condition and institute feed management changes as needed. For those feeding calves this fall, now is the time to talk to your veterinarian about fall placement vaccination programs. Over the last twenty years, there has been very little change in the incidence of and mortality from respiratory disease in weaned calves. Bovine respiratory disease costs are huge for the cattle feeding industry – both in terms of

treatment and prevention. Expect changes with the new feed medication regulations and upcoming legislation on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Though scientific evidence refutes the suggestion that antibiotic usage in food-producing animals is causing drug resistance in human pathogens, it is still prudent to limit the use of drugs in the feedlot to avoid the risk of residues and certainly to improve overall feedlot profitability. Once again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, Mannheimia, Pasteurella, Histophilus and Mycoplasma are the big names in feedlot disease management protocols. Recent research of the im-

rectly and under the right circumstances to see a beneficial value. Programs must be tailored to your operation’s health problems and to meet your ultimate marketing program requirements. Don’t forget that environmental factors like malnutrition, dehydration, dust and stress will also undermine the positive effects of your vaccination program. Vaccine manufacturers are also listening to your concerns and making vaccination more convenient - single dose vials, short withdrawal, needle-free, clear labelling. Be sure to read the labels – give the dose the correct way (in muscle, under the skin, intranasal) and store vaccines in the fridge. I have seen calves vaccinated as per protocol with product stored at room temperature or previously frozen die from blackleg. Be sure the right animals get the right product – store inventory based on species and animal class. Outdated vaccines will not work – buy only what you will use for the season. Dedicate multidose syringes for sole use with antibiotics, modified-live vaccines or killed vaccines. Colour code syringes and vaccine bottles to avoid inadvertently mixing them up. Modified-live vaccines are fragile and are inactivated by killed vaccines and antibiotics. Soap or antibiotic residues also inactivate vaccines. Syringes should be taken apart and thoroughly rinsed with hot water and allowed to dry before reassembly. Regularly maintain your syringes to ensure accurate dosing and change needles regularly to avoid breakage or animal trauma. Vaccinology is not all science. A little care and attention to detail on your part will help ensure your hard work processing at the chute will not be done in vain.

Many producers give the excuse that they no longer vaccinate because they feel that the vaccine does not work or that vaccine administration is too difficult or costly. The truth is that vaccines do work mune system of cattle and an improved understanding of how cattle “prioritize” their response to vaccines has meant the development of new vaccines and new protocols. As I review my herd health records I am amazed at how my vaccine recommendations have changed in just the last three years. If you are still using the same products as you did ten years ago, talk to your veterinarian and get updated. There are better programs out there and they do not rely on feed and injectable antibiotics. Many producers give the excuse that they no longer vaccinate because they feel that the vaccine does not work or that vaccine administration is too difficult or costly. The truth is that vaccines do work but they need to be used cor-

e s a c w o h S s ’ t Le ! y r t s u d Our In • Each year Manitoba Beef Producers attends events throughout the province to promote awareness of the beef industry, the work done by our members and the incredible product they produce. • We want to expand our library of materials and are looking for the help of members to do that. We are seeking videos and photos shot with your camera or other devices such as a drone! The photos and videos we receive will be used for our displays at events such as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and Red River Ex. • What are we looking for? We want to show the public what life on the farm is all about. Everything from calving, winter feeding, daily chores, your cattle in the pasture; basically anything that highlights Manitoba’s beef industry. www.mbbeef.ca

If you have photos and videos you would like to share contact MBP Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon at csaxon@mbbeef.ca


November 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Planned grazing project demonstrating some economic benefits for beef producers BY ANGELA LOVELL One of the major projects underway at the Manitoba Beef & Forages Initiatives (MBFI) Brookdale Farm research and demonstration site is comparing planned and continuous grazing systems to see whether there are differences in productivity, forage quality and soil health. Attendees at the MBFI Summer Pasture Tour at Brookdale on August 30 got an update on the project from MBFI staff. The three-year project, which began in 2015, consists of two equal sized pastures which each have 25 cow/calf pairs grazing on them. Both of the 89-acre pastures had the same plant species composition at the outset. The planned grazing pasture is broken into 22 different paddocks, which are subdivided even more throughout the summer season, and the cattle only have access to one small paddock at a time, and are moved once a day. In the continuous grazing paddock cows have unlimited access to the whole pasture throughout their grazing period. Noticing some differences By the end of the second grazing season researchers were beginning to notice some differences in plant species composition. “At the end of July, beginning of August, we did some species composition counts throughout the pastures and just visually – they are not statistically analyzed - we saw a lot more invasive species coming into the continuous pastures,” said Pam Iwanchysko, Manitoba Agriculture’s Farm Production Extension – Forages specialist who is leading the project. “We saw a lot of things like sage, thistle and foxtail barley coming in at the end of the season.” They also noticed a lot more bare ground visible in the continuous grazing pasture than the planned grazing. “We saw a lot more paths that the cows use continuously, where they are exposing soil, so we’re seeing a lot of detrimental damage, which is what we had anticipated we would see,” said Iwanchysko in an interview after the

pasture tour. Another interesting observation was that there were a lot more pocket gophers in the continuous pastures, which Iwanchysko surmises is because it’s easier for the animals to dig because the root systems are not as deep as those that have developed in the planned grazing pasture. One of the main goals is to leave 50 per cent residual plant growth on the planned grazing paddocks as well as allowing longer rest and recovery. “It’s very important that we make sure those plants are rested,” said Iwanchysko. ”We focus on the plants rather than the animal productivity, but we are seeing that they are correlated because if the plants are healthy so are the animals.” More money in producers’ pockets The planned grazing system provided 17 more days of grazing last year, which gave 11 per cent more grazing overall than the continuous system. Translating that into some numbers, if the researchers had been feeding those calves in a back grounding situation, and equating the cost of feed per day at $1.05 per calf, 17 more days on feed would have cost an additional $17.78 per calf, and with yardage on top of that, the cost could easily double. “From the planned grazing herd in comparison to the continuous, we would have saved $869.50 just from those 17 extra days grazing,” said Iwanchysko. “From an economic standpoint, it looks very promising with regards to some of the changes we’re seeing.” For 2017, the planned herd went out to graze two weeks earlier than the continuous herd because the planned grazing pasture was faster-growing and ready a lot earlier. “We had way more productivity there in those pastures this summer, and we had to pull the continuous cows off at the end of August, but we still have our planned cows out because we still have plant growth out there,” said Iwanchysko, speaking mid-September. Given that 2017 has been a dry year in western Manitoba, Iwanchysko says the forage and animal productivity on the

Pam Iwanchysko of Manitoba Agriculture is leading a project at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives that compares planned and continuous grazing systems to see whether there are differences in productivity, forage quality and soil health.

planned grazing system has been phenomenal. “You’ve got that much more weight coming off the calves in the fall because they’re on that pasture that much longer,” she said. “From a standpoint of putting one hour of work into moving a fence per day, it shows in the end with regards

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to a positive number for producers.” First study in Manitoba Although there has been a lot of research in other countries into planned versus continuous grazing, and there are many devotees of planned grazing in both the U.S. and Canada, this is the first Manitoba study into

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planned grazing. “The whole premise behind this project was to show that planned grazing can be done anywhere, that it can definitely be done in Manitoba and that we can relate the findings of this project to anybody’s farm,” said Iwanchysko. “I see lots of pastures that are over-

S I M M A N G U S

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grazed and I understand why producers do it, but what I am trying to demonstrate with this project is that, with just a little bit of fencing technology and a little change in management, producers can make huge strides in their operation from a financial and production standpoint."

C H A R O L A I S

2YEAROLDSALEJAN31 YEARLINGSALEAPR9 Please join us.... The Moose Creek 2-Year-Old Sale will take place on January 31, 2018, at the ranch, featuring spring-born Red Angus and our entire offering of Charolais and Red SimmAngus. These bulls have been developed slowly with longevity and soundness in mind. On April 9, 2018, we invite you to the 24th Annual Yearling Red Angus Bull Sale. Our complete group of winter-born bulls sells at this annual event. As always, please join us to enjoy our brand of hospitality. You can come in the car, we’ll take care of the rest.

Moose Creek R

E

D

A

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G

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S

www.moosecreekredangus.com www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

New programs help producers play a role in pollinator habitat conservation BY ANGELA LOVELL Over 30 per cent of crops require pollination, so pollinators like bees and butterflies are essential to global food production. Yet research is showing that pollinator numbers are declining due to a number of factors including the use of pesticides, loss of pollinator habitat and disease spread. A number of studies have shown that pollinators benefit many different crops in terms of yield. In canola, for example, one study showed 20 per cent less yield when pollinators could not access the crop. Other studies have shown that bees will range up to 730 metres to pollinate crops, so maintaining uncultivated bee habitat close to fields is essential to help farmers maximize the yield of flowering crops. Pollinator habitat programs launched

Now two large multinational corporations are stepping in to try and help farmers establish more pollinator habitat. After its success in Europe and the United States, Syngenta recently launched its Operation Pollinator in Canada. The program provides a seed mix of perennial and annual grasses and wildflowers that deliver a continuous source of pollen and nectar for pollinators. The mix contains Alsike clover, birdsfoot trefoil, red clover, timothy grass, yellow and white sweet clover and phacelia, a long-blooming annual producing purple-blue flowers that are particularly attractive to bees. Syngenta’s goal for 2017 is to provide seed to at least 300 producers across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Each producer can receive two, 25 kg bags of

free seed mix. In Manitoba the program is offered through conservation districts, so interested farmers can contact their local conservation district office. MBFI trying out the seed mixes “It’s not a diverse mix but it grows really well,” said Kim Wolfe, Research Development Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture at the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) summer pasture tour on August 30 at its Brookdale Farm site. MBFI planted some of the seed mix in an unhealthy riparian area on the farm. “This area was deemed to be unhealthy because of the abundant foxtail barley and sow thistle growing here. We tilled it up in the spring and seeded it and left it. It grows very well, even though none of the species it contains are native to North America.”

NOVEMBER DECEMBER

2017 Winter Sale Schedule

DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle! Wednesday, Nov 1 Friday, Nov 3 Monday, Nov 6 Wednesday, Nov 8 Friday, Nov 10 Monday, Nov 13 Wednesday, Nov 15 Friday, Nov 17 Monday, Nov 20 Wednesday, Nov 22 Friday, Nov 24 Monday, Nov 27 Wednesday, Nov 29 Friday, Dec 1 Monday, Dec 4 Tuesday, Dec 5 Wednesday, Dec 6 Friday, Dec 8 Monday, Dec 11 Tuesday, Dec 12 Wednesday, Dec 13 Friday, Dec 15 Monday, Dec 18 Wednesday, Dec 20 Thursday, Dec 21

Angus Presort Feeder Sale 10am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Charolais Presort Feeder Sale 10am OFFICE CLOSED Butcher Sale 9am Angus Presort Feeder Sale 10 am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Presort Feeder Sale 10am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Presort Feeder Sale 10am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am No Boarders Charolais Female Sale Regular Feeder Sale 9am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Bonchuck Farms Simmental Production Sale Regular Feeder Sale 9am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Regular Feeder Sale 9am Workman Farms Simmental Dispersal

January 8 will be the first sale date of the 2018

• 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

A bee rests on phacelia during the MBFI Brookdale tour in August. Angela Lovell photo.

Cheerios General Mills looking for Manitoba oat growers Cheerios General Mills also has a pollinator habitat conservation program, which provides free flower seed to farmers. General Mills is spending four million dollars on the program and aims to have 3,000 acres planted with its seed mixes in Manitoba. The program offers different seed mixes; a native wildflower mix and two different pasture mixes, and the company’s agronomists will work with producers to customize the mix to meet their specific needs. “This seed is coming from Minnesota, so it’s not native but it’s as close as they could get to our ecoregion,” said Wolfe, who added MBFI hopes to plant a couple of the pasture mixes this fall.

How to create pollinator habitat

There are a number of factors to consider when creating pollinator habitat. There are many different types of pollinators – Manitoba has 231 native species of bees alone – so it’s important to pick a diverse mix of flowering plants of different sizes, shapes and colours. Blue and purple flowers seem to be the preferred colour for bees, which also prefer yellow flowers over white. Pollinators also need a place to nest. Around 80 per cent of bees nest on the ground, so they require some undisturbed, untilled habitat. Others will nest in wood cavities, so trees and shrubs are also important pollinator habitat. Consider local soil conditions and soil availability. What will grow best in your soil and where will you source the seed? Some seed suppliers are now offering pasture mixes that include flowering plants, and will customize the mix for producers.

• CATTLEX offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers all Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts. • CATTLEX buys ALL classes of cattle direct from producers. • CATTLEX is interested in purchasing large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls.

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

Heartland Livestock Services

learn more about the Cheerios General Mills pollinator program can contact agronomists Tom Rabaey (General Mills) at tom.rabaey@genmills. com or Jim Exkberg (Xerces Society)at jim.eckberg@xercesorg phone: 1-651-491-8504.

CATTLEX LTD.

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

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

Non oat growers can get enough free seed to cover one to 10 acres, but oat grain growers can get as much seed as they want. One Manitoba producer is putting in a full quarter section of pasture mix. Anyone wanting to

For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: Andy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Jay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630

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

Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan

www.mbbeef.ca


November 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

NCLE research helps to address environmental challenge BY RON FRIESEN You hear it all the time from activist groups. Cattle are bad for the environment. They contribute to global warming. They produce up to half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. They produce tons of manure which pollute our rivers and lakes. They occupy grazing land that could be used to produce crops for a hungry world. And so on. It’s true that cattle production has an environmental footprint. But where do you get the facts to refute these claims? And where do you go for research on management practices to reduce the impact of cattle on the landscape? Say hello to the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE). For 10 years, the Winnipeg-based NCLE has been conducting research projects that deal with environmental challenges facing the livestock industry. It’s true that greenhouse gases, water quality, odour, pathogens and disease are all byproducts of livestock production. But there are ways of managing them so that their environmental impact is minimal. NCLE’s research results in practical management tools for livestock producers to use on their farms. And they’re intended for producers right here at home. “We do research that’s relevant to producers in Manitoba and Western Canada,” says Christine Rawluk, NCLE’s research development co-ordinator. “Whatever we’re doing, it’s not just for the sake of interest. There’s always a rea-

son why we’re doing our research.” Rawluk recently spoke about NCLE’s work to a seminar of agriculture staff and students at the University of Manitoba. She described NCLE’s research method as a “whole systems” approach to find solutions to environmental challenges facing the livestock industry. The big one, of course, is greenhouse gas emissions. But there are other issues, such as water quality and pasture survivability, that have been brewing under the surface for years and are only now starting to emerge. Part of NCLE’s job is to come up with best management practices to improve livestock productivity while reducing environmental impacts. It also looks for ways for producers to integrate these practices in order to accomplish that, Rawluk said. “We’re learning that if we use this specific feed management practice, we have the potential to reduce emissions by x amount. If we do this specific manure management practice, we can reduce emissions by y amount. If you stack them, you’re going to get a greater benefit than you would by doing them individually. “With all the data we’re collecting through sets of studies, we’re able to run models using Manitoba data to say, if we use management practices x, y and z, what’s the reduction potential? Or if we use practices a, b and c, what’s the reduction potential? “We’re working to gather new information that’s needed to adapt to changes in our climate. Not

just the physical climate but also the political climate.” Rawluk stressed it’s not enough to have sciencebased information to refute claims that cattle are bad for the environment. She said the industry also has to learn how to get those facts across to an occasionally skeptical public. For that reason, NCLE holds special workshops on effective communication. Last year NCLE held a communications workshop boot camp. This fall it’s bringing together a group of agriculture and environmental science university students to talk about food systems sustainability. Rawluk said these sessions aim at teaching people how to talk to others who may have a different view about agriculture and the environment. “If we’re not talking about it, someone else is talking about it.” NCLE receives research money from govern-

ment and the industry. Brian Lemon, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager, said MBP does not fund NCLE directly but has provided funding and support for individual research projects over the years. Lemon said some projects focus directly on Mani-

toba, allowing producers to see how they can be applied on their own farms. One example is a project which examined the animal performance and environmental impact of overwintering beef cows in an extensive bale grazing system. Rawluk called MBP “a

4-H Members: Let your voice be heard

very important partner in what we do.” “Having them at the table, even if they only contribute a small amount of funds into the overall project, gives us an incredible amount of leverage to attract much larger sums of money.”

M A N I T O B A

BEEF PRODUCERS"

CANADA 4-H Manitoba

Want your ideas and experience heard? Want to connect with leaders in the beef industry and your peers from other 4-H Beef Clubs?

Attend one of the Emerging Beef Leaders Forums with reps from Manitoba Beef Producers, prior to district meetings. Watch for more info from 4-H Manitoba Friday, November 3 Austin Community Centre

Tuesday, November 14 Carman Legion

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to MBP's Youth Coordinator, Elisabeth Harms: 1·800-772-0458 or info@mbbeef.com

Verified Beef Production Plus Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening • Webinars take place in the evenings so producers are not taken away from their daily chores. • The interactive webinars are delivered using web based video conferencing software. Participants can interact during the presentations, hear the presenters, and ask questions or make comments in real time. • Also available via app for smart phone or android.

NEW PRODUCERS WELCOME! Webinars Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. • Producers who have not attended a VBP workshop in the past can sign up for the VBP+ full program. • Current VBP registered producers or those who have attended a VBP workshop in the past must upgrade to the VBP+ added module webinar. • VBP+ enhanced module webinars will be held on a weekly basis.

How to register for webinars or LIVE workshops • To sign up to attend a webinar or the LIVE workshop, please contact Melissa Atchison 204-264-0294 or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com • Alternate times and days can be arranged based on producer demand • Workshops require a minimum number of registrants in order to proceed Funded by the Canada & Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

Christine Rawluk

www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

Throwing the ultimate dinner party this season BY ADRIANA FINDLAY

MBP Beef Expert

It’s holiday season! A busy time of the year, filled with festivities and celebrations. Hosting dinner parties are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. The best ingredients to a perfect evening are as simple as great food and wonderful company. The hopes for a relaxing evening can often become easier said than done if the host is overwhelmed or is not able to prepare most dishes ahead of time. Being new to throwing a fabulous dinner party is a lot of fun and will feel like an amazing accomplishment. Listed in this article is a series of tips on ways to throw a successful dinner party whether being a first timer or an experienced host. This list of tips will help any size of dinner party and focus on keeping yourself as the host mingling amongst guests the whole evening. Only use recipes that always turn out on the night of your dinner party. Using a new recipe can be a risky move, not being familiar with ingredients and the method of a recipe can lead to mistakes when rushing. Remember to always check with guests for food allergies, intolerances or diet preferences when choosing recipes. It’s a great idea to have a variety of side dishes for guests with ingredient preferences. Prepare dishes in advance. You will be happy you did. Side dishes can be ready ahead of time and kept warm in slow cookers, or a warm oven set at 200F. Salads can be assembled ahead of time and dressed right before dinner. Bring-

ing company into your home is personal, spending time with your guests is a perfect way to connect with your guests. Choosing entrees which are half-way cooked or reheat nicely such as stews, tourtière or lasagna will allow for more time spent socializing with guests. This also makes your guests feel more comfortable because they know their host is not stressed and is in control of the evening. Set the mood by setting up your dining room, kitchen or entertaining room. It’s fun to have themed dinner parties, such as a Mexican theme with Mexican cuisine. Seasonal themes are wonderful ways to celebrate the holidays. Having themes does not require a new set of tableware or fancy additions. Simple table settings, menus and cocktails always make guest feel more at ease. Try these fun ideas to transform the mood of a party: • Themed dinner music, remember to keep it relaxing and not too loud. • Themed cocktails when guest arrive. E.g. eggnog, Mexican margaritas or beer. • Themed decor, this can be as easy as a fun dinner napkin. Keep centrepieces simple, short and within the theme, e.g. short stemmed flowers or a small potted cactus, scentless candles throughout the room or table, holly wrapped around the stem of glasses or a short vase of limes. Always say yes to your guests, especially if they offer to bring a salad or dessert. Never turn down extra help in the kitchen as feeling overwhelmed pre-

paring for a dinner party can happen quickly. When an extra side dish or dessert dish are offered, graciously accept. It’s important to remember to delegate help when needed, get your husband or trusted friend on cocktail duty, greeting guests and putting away coats. Be prepared for eeverything and stock up on enough ice and non-alcoholic beverages to last the evening. Always make more than enough food for second helpings so guests will feel comfortable filling their plates. Be ready to entertain when guests arrive. Be certain the bathroom is set with plenty of toilet paper, soap and a clean hand towel. Be sure enough seating is available for guests. Have the table set and cocktail table ready with ice, glasses, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Do your makeup, hair and get dressed at least one hour before guests arrive. A prepared host is a relaxed host. Preparing for a dinner party should be enjoyable but the trick is to be pre-

pared by using recipes which are familiar and work every time. Keep the food simple and the atmosphere relaxing and casual. Prepare in advance and spend as much time possible with guests and this will make any evening amongst family and friends the most pleasing. Airing November 18th on CTV at 6:30 p.m. is Great Tastes of Manitoba’s Family Day Menu. This episode features great recipes that are perfect for feeding a large family for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will unfortunately be my last episode on the Manitoba cooking show and my time with Manitoba Beef Producers. I have cherished my time with this amazing organization and the opportunities it has provided. I am sharing one of my favourite recipes I’ve written for the beef producers, Beef Sirloin Lasagna. This is a great recipe for your next dinner party and you can follow along with me on November 18. Thanks for reading.

Thank You Beef Sirloin Lasagna

The directors and staff of Manitoba Beef Producers would like to thank Adriana Findlay for her years of representing MBP on Great Tastes of Manitoba and contributions to Cattle Country. All the best in your new job!!

INGREDIENTS: 2 Tbsp (25 mL) canola oil 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 medium onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup) 1 lb (500 g) ground sirloin beef ½ lb (250 g) Italian sausage (mild or spicy) 250g package ½ tsp (2.5 mL) fennel seeds 2 tsp (10 mL) Italian seasoning blend 2 tsp (10 mL) salt ½ tsp (2.5 mL) black pepper ¼ tsp (1.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 1 (28 fl. ounce) can crushed tomatoes 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste ½ cup (120 mL) water 2 Tbsp (25 mL) sugar or ketchup 1 - 40 g package fresh basil, chopped (Approximately ½ cup chopped fresh basil) divided 3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh parsley, chopped 1 package 16 oz ricotta cheese / cottage cheese 1 egg 3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided ¼ tsp (1.5 mL) nutmeg 1 package 375 g express lasagna noodle, oven ready (1/2 package required)

www.mbbeef.ca

METHOD: In a large stockpot on medium heat add oil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, fennel seed, italian seasoning, cook until they begin to soften. Add beef and sausage removed from casings break up until well combined. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water and sugar. Simmer on low heat for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add fresh chopped basil (1/4 cup), stir and set to cool. Combine in a large bowl, ricotta, basil (1/4 cup), parsley, mozzarella, parmesan (1/2 cup each), egg and nutmeg. In a 9X13 inch baking dish ladle the beef sauce to cover the bottom. Arrange oven-ready lasagna noodles to cover the sauce. Add half the ricotta cheese mixture and spread evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle approximately 1 cup of mozzarella over the ricotta cheese. Layer a second layer of beef sauce, noodles, ricotta and mozzarella. Top with the remaining amount of beef sauce and cover with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 35-45 minutes.


November 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Bovine anaplasmosis in Manitoba FROM THE MANITOBA CHIEF VETERINARY OFFICE In September 2017, bovine anaplasmosis was detected in south-eastern Manitoba. Bovine anaplasmosis is a bacterial disease that attacks the red blood cells of cattle but has no impact on human health or food safety. The last reported case of bovine anaplasmosis in Manitoba was in 2013. In 2014, bovine anaplasmosis became a federally immediately notifiable disease, following a change at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As a result, the federal government is no longer involved in controlling the disease, import testing requirements have been removed, and cows purchased from infected areas of North America are no longer tested before entering Canada. Manitoba Agriculture works collaboratively with specific industries to ensure approaches are appropriate, measured and based on the risks presented by the disease. The current approach to manage bovine anaplasmosis has been developed with input from Manitoba Beef Producers and is aligned with recent motions made by the MBP board of directors. What causes bovine anaplasmosis? Anaplasmosis primarily causes disease in cattle, however other domestic and wild ruminants can be infected. The bacteria (Anaplasmosis marginale) lives in red blood cells and is spread when blood is exchanged between animals, which might be through bites from an infected tick or other pest, or through human-caused contamination, such as using the same needle on more than one animal or not properly cleaning equipment that would come into contact with blood, such as taggers. In Manitoba, wood ticks most commonly spread anaplasmosis. Large biting insects such as horseflies may also transfer the bacteria on their mouthparts from one animal to anoth-

er, but do not actually carry the disease itself. The use of blood-contaminated equipment - such as needles, ear taggers, tattooing instruments, dehorning equipment and castration equipment is also a significant risk that can spread anaplasmosis within a herd. What does bovine anaplasmosis look like? Anaplasmosis destroys red blood cells in the animal, causing anemia. Affected animals appear weak, pale, and jaundiced with a high fever. Less specific signs include poor appetite and a sudden, severe drop in milk production. The age of the animal can affect the severity of symptoms. Animals under one year of age rarely exhibit clinical signs, but can develop the infection. Between the ages of one and two, animals develop moderate to severe clinical signs. Older animals develop severe disease that is often fatal. Survivors may remain carriers for life and act as reservoirs of the bacteria for future infections. Carrier animals are important because they increase the risk of other animals becoming infected, but do not seem sick. Carrier animals pose no health threat to humans and can enter the food chain, so they can be shipped direct to slaughter. A healthy-looking carrier animal that is sold as breeding stock can cause the disease to spread to previously uninfected herds. Carrier animals cannot be treated to eliminate the disease and will remain infected for life. What should I do if I suspect anaplasmosis? In a suspect case, have your herd veterinarian examine your cattle and submit appropriate samples, such as an EDTA-tube blood sample, to Veterinary Diagnostic Services to confirm a positive diagnosis. If positive animals are identified in your herd, you should work with

your herd veterinarian to develop a herd health plan to manage this disease. It is recommended that infected animals should not be sold as replacement animals, to protect the health of the broader industry. The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer is available to provide technical advice and may provide assistance with initial diagnostics if required. What can be done to prevent the spread of bovine anaplasmosis? Producers are encouraged to discuss anaplasmosis and prevention with their herd veterinarian, which might include: • limiting animal exposure to infected ticks with the routine use of a tick prevention product, ensuring withdrawal times are followed for any treated animals destined for slaughter; • controlling the tick population through pasture management, such as adequate fencing to keep out ticks’ wildlife hosts and removal of brush and long grass; and • limiting human-caused introduction and spread of the disease through effective biosecurity. Effective biosecurity measures include: • test new animals for anaplasmosis prior to introduction to your herd particularly if they are coming from states or areas of the province where the disease has occurred before, ask about the herd’s health history before purchase; • cleaning and disinfecting bloodcontaminated tools and equipment between individual animals

to limit spread within a herd, including dehorning tools, castration equipment, ear taggers, and tattooing instruments; and • reducing risk of transmission within the herd by using only single-use needles and examination gloves during pregnancy-checking for each animal. What are the treatment options for anaplasmosis? Treatment may be attempted in the early stages of the disease and to address severe clinical signs. This can improve the health of the animal so that it can be salvaged for slaughter, helping to reduce financial loss to the producer. Infected animals with clinical symptoms can be treated with a tetracycline antibiotic, but this does not “cure” the animal and will not prevent it from becoming a carrier animal. This should only be done in consultation with your herd veterinarian. In Canada, the use of tetracyclines to treat or control anaplasmosis is an extra-label drug use, which requires a prescription from your herd veterinarian. Carrier animals will remain infected for life and cannot be treated to eliminate the disease. Can vaccines prevent anaplasmosis? No vaccine has been approved for use in Canada. Some vaccines based on a live form of a related organism have been used in different parts of the world, but there have been numerous reports of adverse effects. It is also not clear if this live vaccine would protect against the strains found in North America.

Annual General Meeting December 6 at the Kemnay Hall Details posted online at www.mbsimmental.com

ODIN

PWK 9E

Complete Herd Dispersal THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21 VIRDEN, MB

PWK 45A

100 red & black cows and bred heifers 70 of these cows are 5 years of age and under

71 cows

21 black/50 red PWK 52Y

29 bred heifers

OUR FALL EVENTS ARE : Oct 26-28 Manitoba AgEX 50th Anniversary History Books available during the Manitoba AgEX Nov 18 Pembina Triangle 37th Annual Simmental Sale....................... Cypress River Nov 27 Harvest Hoedown 23rd Annual Simmental Sale ...................... Neepawa, MB Nov 30 Maple Lake Stock Farms Production Sale ........................Farm Hartney, MB Dec 6 37th Annual Keystone Simmental Sale ..................................... Brandon, MB Dec 11 Shades of the Prairies Simmental Sale ...................................... Brandon, MB Dec 12 Bonchuk Farms Female Production Sale ..................................... Virden, MB Dec 21 Workman Farms Complete Herd Dispersal.................................. Virden, MB

14 black/15 red

26 calendar year heifer calves KOB 17B & 5E

1 mature black bull 23 calendar year bull calves We are offering a wintering program; more details will be in the catalogue.

Tickets $10 each. Draw to be made at Shades of the Prairies Sale!

TCM Miss 7E

Manitoba’s Breeders Are Among the Best in the Business. For more information please vist our website www.mbsimmental.com

PWK 46E

WORKMAN FARMS

PWK 52E

** Donation heifer tickets will be available this fall**

Pat: 204.776.2386 or C: 204.534.8530 Greg: 204.776.2164 or C: 204.724.0564

Manitoba Simmental Association Box 274 • Austin, MB R0H 0C0

www.mbbeef.ca

President, Andrea Bertholet 1 (204) 483-0319 Secretary/Treasurer, Laurelly Beswitherick (204) 637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2017

Fall calf run off to strong start The fall calf run started about three weeks later than most of the marketers had predicted, and prices in Manitoba and across Canada are much stronger than anyone predicted they would be. Just how good are this year’s prices? Calves in Manitoba are selling higher than in Alberta. Demand from Eastern Canada was cautious at the start, but stronger market prices in the East have increased demand for Western calves. The lighter calves, less than 400lbs, showed the biggest increase so far this fall, running 65 to 76 cents per pound higher than the same week last year. The local demand is very strong on these calves. Backgrounders are expecting strong demand for grass cattle in the spring. For those feeders who retain ownership of these light weigh calves until next September, there is a better chance of feeding their way to a modest profit compared to those intending to sell their inventory in the spring. In Manitoba, steer calves from 400 to 500 pounds are up an average of 51 cents over last year. The 500 to 600 pounders are 47 cents higher with the 600 to 700 pound wet-nosed calves trading 42 cents higher. Yearlings off the grass are in strong demand, trading from 32 to 40 cents over last year’s prices. The heifer prices in October really increased compared to September. Manitoba heifer calves jumped six to 15 cents higher during the first two weeks of October. Prices for heifers ranged from 40 to 54 cents

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line per pound higher than last year for the first three weeks of October. It looks like cattle feeders in Canada are willing to risk a large part of the profits from last fall’s calf purchases to own inventory this fall. The general school of thought is that the current Manitoba prices are $200 per head over where they should be in order to break even. This is great news for the sellers, but somewhere between now and the end of the fall run the futures will have to come up in price or the feeder cattle prices will have to drop. The demand for the feeder cattle is mainly domestic with very few cash cattle moving south. The majority of the feeder cattle going south were forward contracted earlier in the year. As of the end of September, there had been 101,080 feeder cattle exported to the US, down 36 per cent from last year. Projections indicate that feeder cattle exports to the US could finish the year at nearly 50 per cent less than last year. With the expansion of the US cowherd, there is approximately one million more calves to purchase south of the border this year. Feeder cattle imports from Mexico to the US were 770,050 head for the first nine months of 2017, up 22 per cent from the

Building Our Future

previous year. At the current prices and the strong Canadian dollar, Canadian feeder cattle are not as attractive as other years. These changes mean that more cattle are being fed in Canada compared to other years. In Manitoba, the majority of the yearlings this fall went to Alberta for finishing. As of the middle of October, the majority of the wet-nosed calves are being purchased to background in Manitoba or feed in Ontario. There is still some Quebec interest, but nothing compared to 10 years ago. The most recent Alberta on feed report showed 10 per cent more cattle on feed than a year ago. The majority of the increases were yearlings put on feed early due to drought conditions in some parts of the prairies. The finishing feedlots on both sides of the border were able to negotiate slightly high prices for October cash deliveries. Price predictions for the fourth quarter top out at US$117 or approximately C$140 for fed cattle. If the prices do not get any better, some of the feed yards will reconsider what they are paying for feeders. In the south, cattle numbers placed on feed have been higher for eight months in row. Part of the strength in the American market is the expectation that this year’s corn crop will be the second highest on record. This will reflect in lower feed prices ($3.00 per bushel) in the cattle feeding states, making the livestock more attractive to purchase. Both the live cattle and feeder cattle futures for the first half of 2018 do not support the current prices being paid

for feeder cattle. We expect the sales barn and buying stations to be very congested for the remainder of the fall. Other than the tax implications, I wonder why anyone would keep their calves until spring. In Manitoba, if we can get through to the middle of November without a price adjustment, then we should be good for the remainder of the fall. Even though the cow prices improved slightly in early October, we have not seen the seasonal volume of cows that is yet to come. Exports of kill cow and bulls to the US are down again this year at the end of September. 104,882 were shipped for slaughter to the US, down an average of 29 per cent per week. Bull exports were only down one per cent in 2017, with 41,208 going to US packers. Domestic demand for cows by Canadian plants this year was very strong. We still expect to see lower cow prices in November. Canada ranks in the top five beef exporters to the US. The NAFTA talks are extremely important to the Canadian cattle industry. Industry will be following the negotiations very closely over the next few months. The 2017 fall calf run has opened much stronger than expected. Will it continue? Who knows? Cattle feeders are some of the biggest gamblers in the world; let’s hope their bets pay off, and everyone makes a little money to close the year. Until next time, Rick

39th AGM&

President’s Banquet

February 8 - 9, 2018 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB • REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458.

REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR MAIL OR FAX YOUR REGISTRATION TODAY! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $75 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $75 q GENERAL $90

• Must be purchased by January 5, 2018 at 4 p.m.

NAME: _______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 8, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50).

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________

• Non-refundable.

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Just over 40 producers were on hand for the District 8 meeting Nov. 15 at the Arden Hall. Attendance for the 2017 meetings was solid throughout the province.

Predation, carbon tax among hot topics at district meetings concern,” said Lemon who added that MBP distributed a cattle and other loss survey to members at each meeting to get a better overall sense of how big the problem is. “When we speak with the provincial government we are asked how big of a problem is it? We have a lot of anecdotal stories to tell them but are lacking the hard data that can help drive policy change. I haven’t gone through the responses yet but it is clearly an issue as producers continue to raise it. “One producer in Eriksdale spoke to the issue suggesting among his neighbours he was the relatively lucky one as he had only lost about five per cent of his herd. We are going to compile the data collected from the surveys and take it back to government and continue to work towards improving this situation for our members.” Lemon said Crown land was also a topic raised by a number of members. “Producers understand the importance of Crown lands to many of their operations. Effective and efficient use of these lands is critical and clear, transparent and predictable allocation is essential,” he said. “Wildlife management on Crown lands was an issue raised, including the need for flooding and beaver control on Crown lands to ensure producer access and land utilization.” Lemon said the provincial carbon tax program and its

impact was also a story in many districts. He said although MBP was pleased with the decision to exempt on-farm emissions, the association will continue to seek recognition “for our grasslands and proper treatment of our emissions and our past investments.” “Producers are seeking consistent policy development and application – recognition for all our sequestration - not just incremental pasture/grass,” Lemon said. “Overall, our environmental footprint and the benefits of cattle towards environmental and conservation objectives were also mentioned in several districts – and promoting our benefits as a means to building public trust.” Livestock inspection was a discussion at several district meetings and will also be a discussion at the AGM. Movement reporting, trade and tax changes were also raised. The 14 meetings also provided members with the opportunity to bring forward resolutions for debate at the MBP annual general meeting Feb. 8-9 in Brandon. Much like the discussions at the various meetings, Lemon said the resolutions ran the gamut from livestock inspection to water management to predation. A complete list of the resolutions brought forward at the district meetings can be found on page 11 of Cattle Country.

Applying for predator compensation

Why should I feed test

SARPAL off to strong start

Page 3

Page 6

Page 13

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Another year of district meetings are in the books for Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). The last of the 14 meetings went Nov. 15 at the Arden Community Hall with just over 40 members in attendance. General Manager Brian Lemon said he was happy with how this year’s meetings went, noting that there were great discussions about the provincial beef industry at many of them. “They were very productive with great discussions,” Lemon said. “Prices are obviously better than they were at this time last year and producers were generally feeling more positive about our sector. We had a busy and productive year and were able to demonstrate the value that MBP is bringing to the sector – the value delivered to producers for their investment of their checkoff. As always we appreciate the trust producers place in us as staff and in their board of directors. The chance to meet and hear from individual producers and to stand in front of them to talk about what we do on their behalf is always a highlight for me.” Lemon said there were a number of important topics on the minds of MBP members this year. Of note, predation issues were raised in many districts as problems with wolves, bears and coyotes persist for beef producers. “Predation and problem predators continues to be a


2

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

Manitoba Beef Producers pleased with farm fuel exemption in provincial climate plan BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased that fuel used on farms will be exempt from a carbon tax in the provincial government’s Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan which was announced on Oct. 27. The exemption was one of the key points in MBP’s Carbon Pricing Policy, which was released in March. MBP President Ben Fox said the association appreciates that the provincial government’s plan recognizes the realities of on-farm economics. “As Premier Brian Pallister has noted, and as we have stressed for months, agricultural producers are pure price takers,” Fox said. “We do not have the ability to pass along any price increases or carbon taxes and are vulnerable to having other industries pass those costs down to the farm. This exemption prevents a piling on of costs that would stretch our already slim margins into losses.” Fox added that the provincial government’s decision not to target agricultural emissions for direct sector reductions via the carbon price or other elements of the plan is also important. MBP is studying the plan to see what other aspects might impact the industry, such as the possible creation of a Centre for Sustainable Agriculture that could do research related to adaptation and resilience, as well as ways to reduce emissions from agricultural production. MBP has called for investments in research in these areas as part of its Carbon Pricing Policy. Fox said MBP will be active in consulting the government on the plan and lobbying on behalf of members. “The exemption for on-farm fuel is certainly a positive development. However, we recognize that the industry will still feel some impact from the plan,” Fox said. “Our role, as the voice of the province’s beef industry, is to make sure that impact is as little as possible. “We will also continue to identify to the provincial government the valuable ecological goods and services provided by beef producers in managing privately-owned and agricultural Crown lands, including helping to sequester carbon, preserving wetlands and providing valuable habitat for a wide variety of species,” added Fox. “We believe it is important that these ecosystem services are recognized.” Climate and Green Plan Highlights The plan is built on four proposed strategic pillars of climate, jobs, water and nature, and includes 16

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

keystones for priority action. • Climate pillar: clean energy, carbon pricing, sector emissions reductions, adaptation • Jobs pillar: innovation & clean technology, financing & investment, skills & training, green infrastructure • Water pillar: agriculture & land use, wetlands & watersheds, flood & drought, water quality • Nature pillar: parks & protected areas, forests & natural areas, wild species & habitat, conservation The plan includes carbon pricing of $25 per tonne beginning during 2018 (implementation date yet to be determined) and running through 2022 when it will be evaluated by the province. This is half the amount mandated by the federal government and it will give Manitoba the second-lowest carbon price in Canada by 2022. The stated purpose of carbon pricing is to reduce emissions. Marked fuels will not increase due to any carbon pricing being applied on diesel or gasoline at the wholesale, distribution, or pump levels. Fuel used off the farm, natural gas, propane and coal are not exempt. Carbon pricing is expected to cost Manitobans an additional 5.2 cents/litre on gasoline, 6.7 cents/litre on diesel and 4.8 cents per cubic metre of natural gas used. Agricultural emissions will not be targeted for direct sector reductions via the carbon price or other aspects of the plan. The tax is expected to generate about $260 million annually and the province says the revenue will stay in Manitoba. For example, carbon revenue could be used to help offset increased carbon price costs to Manitoba households. An example could be offsetting the impacts of any hydro electricity rate increases. As well, the revenue recycling option could see some of the monies focused on building green, resilient infrastructure such as agricultural drainage systems and water retention systems to help meet challenges posed by floods and droughts. The plan notes that agriculture is the secondlargest source of greenhouse gas emissions due to the application of nitrogen fertilizer and biological processes such as enteric fermentation related to livestock. The plan states that the adoption of Agriculture Best Management Practices (BMP) would result in an estimated 16,750 – 33,500 cumulative emissions reductions (tonnes) in the period 2018- 2022. Further, requiring that all diesel sold at pumps in Manitoba contain at least 5 per cent biodiesel content would result in 360,000 – 431,000 tonnes cumulative emissions reductions in the same period. The plan asserts that farmers “need to be at the forefront of solutions … to achieve widespread adoption of the most effective climate change responses, farmers require support at various levels to adapt and become more resilient. Reducing emissions from agricultural activity while simultaneously supporting this valuable sector will require research, innovation, planning and support. The Manitoba government is committed to working with producers and consumers alike to identify and develop the solutions we need to make agriculture an integral part of our vision of a clean, green and climate-resilient province.” The plan says the province could consider the

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 - SECRETARY

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

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

ROBERT METNER

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

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

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

following initiatives to enhance the resiliency and sustainability of the agricultural sector: • implementing a province-wide ecological goods and services program, in partnership with landowners, non-government organizations and federal and municipal governments, based on an Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) model, to help reduce flooding, and improve water quality and nutrient management, protect and enhance biodiversity and provide other ecological benefits to society; • supporting on-farm beneficial management practices (BMPs) that provide climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits to agricultural operations; • developing a Centre for Sustainable Agriculture to support adaptation and resilience research, to seek new technologies to decrease emissions from crops and livestock, and to explore commercialization opportunities; and • evaluating risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities facing agricultural regions or sectors in Manitoba due to extreme weather events and climate change; and developing strategies to address identified risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities. The province says it will look at ways to develop a carbon offset program involving agriculture, forests and wetlands. This may include potential carbon offset projects such as land use conservation measures like restoring forests, soil management practices like low or no till farming, and wetland restoration and conservation. To enhance diversion of non-organic waste from landfills, the province may consider expanding the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program to include products such as veterinary products. With respect to the threat climate change poses to engineered infrastructure such as roads, bridges and water control structures, the plan states that flood control infrastructure should be a key priority. Re: natural infrastructure and their utility with respect to water storage and nutrient management, the province says it will work with communities and the agricultural sector in particular to identify prospective natural infrastructure projects for support. The province continues to examine approaches related to water retention and has a goal of no net loss of water retention capacity in watersheds. This will be important with respect to managing both floods and droughts. The province says it will consider undertaking distributed storage studies to assist the agricultural sector, community decision makers, government and others in determining where and how to construct water retention structures for maximum benefit relative to cost. The plan also touches on topics such as the value of hunting and outfitting, wildlife management, species at risk, controlling invasive species, shelterbelts, forestry, wildfire prevention and preparedness and carbon sequestration. MBP is participating in government consultations related to the plan and will be providing a detailed submission to the province on aspects of the plan relevant to the beef industry. To view the plan go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/climateandgreenplan/ index.html

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX- 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

OFFICE ASSISTANT Elisabeth Harms

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

PROJECT COORDINATOR

DESIGNED BY

Brian Lemon

Anne Rooban

www.mbbeef.ca

POLICY ANALYST

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Compensation for predator damage BY RON FRIESEN It’s a nightmare for producers and a problem as old as cattle farming itself: wild animals killing domestic livestock out on the range. There are things producers can do, both lethal and non-lethal, to deal with predator attacks on their animals. Those include electric fences, guard dogs, scaring devices and repellants, hunting and trapping. But no matter what they try, producers usually lose some livestock to natural predators every year. It’s distressing for a beef producer to come across the carcass of an animal killed by a predator. It’s also frustrating because that animal had potential market value which is now lost.Not completely, though. Through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) will partly reimburse producers for eligible livestock injured or killed by designated natural predators. Eligible livestock include: cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, goats, donkeys, wild boar, elk, fallow deer, bison, llamas, alpacas, ostriches, emus and other ratites (large flightless birds). Designated predators are wolves, coyotes, black bears, cougar and foxes. Livestock producers may apply for compensation for damage to livestock raised in Manitoba even if they do not have an active AgriInsurance contract. Recently, David Van Deynze, MASC’s vice-president of insurance operations, walked Cattle Country through details of the program. Making a Claim Producers must report livestock losses to their local MASC office within 72 hours of discovering the carcass. Animal remains must remain undisturbed for a successful claim to be made. MASC suggests covering remains with a tarp and preserving any tracks until an adjuster arrives to appraise the site. What if the kill is discovered after office hours or on long weekends? Van Deynze says to leave a message on the MASC office’s answering machine. This fulfills the producer’s obligation to report the loss even if an adjuster cannot come out right away. After completing the appraisal, the adjuster fills out an appraisal form for

you to sign to initiate the payment process. You don’t have to sign if you disagree with the appraisal. In that case, another adjuster will provide a second appraisal. If you still disagree with it, you have seven days to appeal to MASC’s Appeal Tribunal. Compensation The compensation for a lost animal is 90 per cent of its market value as determined by MASC. The first 80 per cent is shared 60-40 by the federal and provincial governments, just like regular crop insurance. Compensation above 80 per cent is funded by the province. The compensation for a confirmed kill by a natural predator is based on the value of the animal. The maximum value is $3,000. Purebred livestock are valued at twice the value of a commercial animal. If predation is the probable cause of death but cannot be confirmed as such, the producer gets 50 per cent of the claim value. There still have to be animal remains for a claim to be made. Coverage Van Deynze says coverage levels vary with the type of animal, its age and weight. The weight used is what the animal would weigh at normal marketing time. For example, if a 250-pound calf is killed in July, MASC will value that animal at 500 pounds because that’s what it would have weighed if sold that fall. The price per pound is the going market rate at the time of death, based on CanFax weekly summary prices. Producers receive partial compensation for veterinary and other medical expenses if an animal is injured but not killed. It’s up to the producer to retain all medical receipts to make a claim. If the animal is treated but dies anyway, the producer may receive compensation for the maximum

value of the animal but not for the medical expenses. A common complaint about the program was the difficulty in proving a loss. Producers used to say only half-jokingly you practically had to catch a wolf in the act before you could make

pictures the producer has taken to the best of our ability and we’ll try to make our assessment as best we can.” Sometimes producers experience repeated losses, especially in areas where predators are known to abound. Van Deynze says

Wildlife predation remains a significant problem in Manitoba as a number of producers have either lost or had animals injured. - Submitted Photo

a claim. That problem appears to have been partly solved with the advent of cell phones which can provide photographic evidence of a kill. Van Deynze encourages producers to take as many photos as they can and file them immediately with MASC. Speed is important in confirming a loss, he says. “Keep in mind our ability to confirm that a predator killed an animal diminishes with every day that goes by.” Van Deynze also encourages producers to preserve the kill site as much as possible to retain the evidence. Throwing a tarp over the carcass and weighing it down is recommended. But wolves are clever and can find ways to remove a carcass even after it is tarped. In that case, photographic evidence is doubly important, Van Deynze says. “When we get out there, if the carcass has disappeared, we’ll use the

MASC may not always have to send an adjuster if a producer in a vulnerable area has regular problems with predators. Instead, it may take his word for it. But if a producer has an abnormal number of losses, MASC may start asking questions about management practices and what he’s doing to prevent those losses. “At some point we hope that, if a producer is experiencing lots of losses, he would want to employ some different practices for his operation because what he’s doing is obviously not working.” That might include using watch animals (usually guard dogs) or moving animals to a different paddock away from places where predators teach their pups to hunt, Van Deynze says. Other practices could

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doing something first. Dealing with claims in which producers believe they’ve had a loss but do not have a carcass to prove it is difficult. Van Deynze says sometimes MASC can be flexible in dealing with such a claim. But in the end, it always asks for evidence of a kill. “That’s a challenge from a program administration perspective because how can we validate that a loss occurred if there’s little to no evidence that the livestock was there in the first place?” says Van Deynze. MASC does not keep records of unverified losses, nor does it break down verified losses by species of predator (wolf, cougar, etc.). According to the records MASC does keep, the number of claims and the value of compensation have been fairly steady in recent years. In 2014-15 there were 1,827 claims for a value of $1.38 million. In 2016-17 producers filed 1,909 claims and received $1.65 million. The number of claims spiked to 2,089 in 2012-13 but compensation was less than $1.1 million because market prices were lower at the time. Ben Fox, Manitoba Beef Producers president, says problems with verifying claims have improved ever since MASC began allowing pictures from cell phones as proof of loss. “That’s something we feel is definitely a move in the right direction.” But Fox says MBP is less satisfied with results from the Problem Predator Removal Program, partly because of a shortage of available trappers. Fox also says some producers report difficulty in getting timely service from local MASC offices, possibly because of staff shortages.

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include using pens to house livestock at night (not always practical) and properly disposing carcasses to reduce the attraction for predators. Another program to control livestock losses is the Problem Predator Removal Program. It is administered by Manitoba Sustainable Development in co-operation with the Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA). Here, producers whose livestock are attacked by predators can lodge a claim with MASC and receive a claim number. Next, the producer contacts MTA, which assigns a trapper to (hopefully) remove problem predators. Producers do not pay for the trapper as long as they have a valid claim number. Producers have the right to kill wildlife in defense of their property, up to a point. According to the Manitoba Wildlife Act, “a person may kill or take any wildlife, other than a moose, caribou, deer, antelope, cougar, elk or game bird on his own land for the purpose of defending or preserving his property.” The Animal Liability Act also states that “any person who finds a dog, wild boar or prescribed animal (wolf, coyote, etc.) worrying, injuring or killing livestock on the premises of the owner or possessor of the livestock without the permission of that owner or possessor may destroy the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal.” But it also says “no person may destroy a dog, wild boar or prescribed animal that he or she finds straying on his or her premises unless it is worrying, injuring or killing livestock then on the premises.” In other words, you can’t just shoot a predator for no reason. It has to be

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

Interesting resolutions come forward at district meetings It is hard to imagine that we are already at the end of 2017. We have just finished off a very good set of district meetings, there was lots of producer involvement and engagement at the districts I attended and I do have to say that even with as many miles as there are between all the districts, a lot of the same discussions were prevalent. I want to thank those of you who were able to attend and participate in your area’s meetings, I hope that you are planning to attend our AGM in early February in Brandon. The resolutions that have come forward out of the districts are an interesting mix and will certainly bring about great discussions on several topics. In going through the list of them I believe you will find topics that mean something to your operation. I look forward to the debate. I liken this process to doing preventative maintenance on our operations; if producers see a possible problem that needs to be fixed, that is why we have these resolution debates. It is a necessary task to keep our industry evolving and enabling the proper policies are in place for success for producers and the organization. MBP is keeping an eye on the NAFTA and TPP11 trade negotiations. It was encouraging that there were some preliminary agreements done on TPP a couple of weeks ago. If successful the TPP deal will put Canada on a more even level with Australia in the Japanese

BEN FOX MBP President

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to Real Wealth, Good Morals and Happiness.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

marketplace which would be a huge boon for Canadian beef. As far as NAFTA is concerned there is a lot of questions and speculation and not a whole lot of details. It is evident that the US farm organizations, including the meat packing industry, want to keep it close to the prior agreement, like we do, but it’s not all up to just agriculture industries unfortunately. MBP staff and directors were also very involved on the Crown lands portfolio over the past month. With Manitoba entering into the New West Partnership there are some changes that have to occur to the crown land regulations and policies. We look at this as an opportunity to fully engage on behalf of producers

to get common sense, transparency and some leaseholder rights into the revamped rules. MBP has been working for the past eight years to get some movement on the Crown lands file and we finally have our chance, so we are expending a lot of effort to make sure we fully utilize the opportunity that is presented to us. In reference to Mr. Jefferson’s statement (left), I find it quite reassuring that we are in the right industry for the proper upbringing of our children and building proper foundations for them to be successful at life. I get up and do my chores quite early in the morning and listen to the 24 hour news stations on the satellite radio, (until it gets too overwhelming). Currently there is a whole lot of garbage on the news, it seems as though some people have lost their decency and respect for fellow man or woman. I refer back to my first President’s column about our industry’s ability to do deals on a handshake and the ability to trust the genuine character of all the men and women that are in the beef industry. There’s a saying about holding onto a cow’s tail to get you through the rough times, maybe folks should consider hanging onto agriculture to help get society through the rough times. All the best to you and yours for the Christmas season, it is a special time of year. It is my hope that we can all be safe and prosperous in the New Year!

Building our Future theme of 39th MBP AGM

2017 Winter Sale Schedule

DECEMBER

All eyes will be pointing to the future at the 39th Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting Feb 8-9 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. With the theme of Building Our Future, the AGM will centre on helping producers push their operations forward. “Standing still is not an option – it means we are losing ground,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “We have a great story to tell and a bright future – it is time to focus on where we want to go

and less on where we were/are. Growing our industry shows we are positive about our future and proud of our sector.” Lemon noted there has been a great deal of discussion about growing the provincial beef herd since Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler expressed his goal of returning to pre-BSE numbers. While MBP is continuing to work towards that overreaching goal, Lemon said the broader focus has become creating an environment in which producers can flourish and be

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Regular Sale

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9am; 1pm 9am

sustainable, which, ideally will give them the confidence to expand their operations. “Our panel discussions are still being finalized but will certainly speak to production issues, how to get more out of our operations and how to grow our profits and grow our industry,” Lemon said. “The panels will also speak to how we push past the challenges facing our industry and focus on our goals.” After a successful first attempt at the 38th AGM, Lemon said MBP will again have a youth forum focused on the opportunities for younger and new producers and will challenge participants to look at the world differently than past generations. A speaker for the youth forum is expected to be announced in December. Along with the panel discussions and industry knowledge ses-

9am; 1pm

sions, the AGM will also include the business portion of the meeting, voting on resolutions and reports from our national partners. Lemon said he encourages all members to attend the meeting and have a say in the future of their association. “The AGM is where policy gets made and our direction gets set,” he said. “It is a chance to shape the priorities of MBP and for our sector. It is also an opportunity to get together and share time with fellow producers. This year we are also retiring four directors who have given six years to the organization and who have volunteered their time and contributed to our sector.” For more information and to register please go page 16 or mbbeef.ca/annualmeeting/.

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December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Producers need to be recognized for carbon sequestration role

As I write this version of my column, I am still in the throes of District Meetings and by the time you get to read it I will be done. As I sit down to write this I have already been to a handful of districts and met with a number of you, and have

Producers asked to complete second Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL Do you wonder how your cow-calf operation compares with others in your region, province or herd size range on matters like conception rate and weaning weight? A joint effort representing the cow-calf industry from BC to Manitoba is helping Western Canadian cattle producers do just that. By participating in the second Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey, producers can choose to receive a complementary report that allows them to compare their own operation with benchmarks (average numbers from a region). The survey takes about 45-60 minutes to complete and asks questions related to the 2016 breeding season all the way through to weaning of 2017 calf crop, as well as typical management practices. Many of the questions are the quick checkbox style. Any question a producer is unable to answer can be left blank. To thank you for the time you take to complete the survey, you will receive up to $50 in gift cards, in addition to the complementary report. The complementary report will help producers see the aspects of their operation that they’re doing exceptionally well in, and the areas that have the greatest room for improvement. For example, the report will show a producer

whether the conception rates of his cows in 2016 was higher or lower than nearby herds and herds of a similar size. That way, he or she will know whether to work with their veterinarian, nutritionist and/or regional extension specialist to have fewer of their cows come home from pasture open, or if other production goals are a higher priority for them to focus on to improve their productivity and profitability. This survey is being conducted for a number of reasons: to generate upto-date production benchmarks for producers, get a better understanding of what producers were doing on their operations and determine ways to improve the productive efficiency of the industry. Every cow-calf producer in BC, AB, SK and MB is encouraged to complete the survey. All of the information collected will remain confidential. Information cannot be

linked to individual operations as data will be aggregated into averages and benchmarks. The deadline to participate is February 28, 2018. Results will be available in summer 2018. This survey is the result of a joint effort between the Beef Cattle Research Council, the Western Beef Development Centre, Canfax, the BC Cattlemen’s Association, the Alberta Beef Producers, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, the Manitoba Beef Producers, and the BC through MB provincial Ministries of Agriculture. For more information, visit the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey II webpage (http://www. wbdc.sk.ca/wcccs.htm) or contact the Manitoba survey representative Benjamin Hamm, Manitoba Agriculture at 204-425-5050 or Benjamin.hamm@gov. mb.ca.

WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY * WEEKLY PRE-WEIGHED SHOW LISTED * WEEKLY PRE-WEIGHED SHOWLISTED SALES.SALES. FOR COMPLETE INFO CONTACT MYLES FOR COMPLETE INFO CONTACT MYLES 204-447-2266 or srauction.ca 204-447-2266 or srauction.ca WEEKLY CATTLE SALES EVERY THURSDAY

* WEEKLY PRE-WEIGHED SHOWLISTED SALES.

out listening to beef producers at district meetings, but as I quickly scanned the Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan, I found myself being very proud of the industry and the producers I get to work with, but also still very frustrated that we are still not getting the recognition that we deserve. Let’s bust a few myths, and maybe also highlight a few shortcomings that I noted in my first scan of the province’s plan. I’ve been doing some thinking and some research about beef cattle’s carbon footprint. We all know about the value of our grasslands and pastures in terms of carbon sequestration and water/nutrient management/retention. We are all very proud of how our industry protects biodiversity and how our producers are really at the front lines where nature and civilization meet. What we also know is that we generally start looking down at our shoes when somebody replies “Yeah, but what about all that burping and farting? And all that methane gas from those cows?” Let’s stop and talk about that! So

204-447-2266 or srauction.ca

Friday, Dec 1 Monday, Dec 4 Tuesday, Dec 5 Wednesday, Dec 6 Friday, Dec 8 Monday, Dec 11 Tuesday, Dec 12 Wednesday, Dec 13 Friday, Dec 15 Monday, Dec 18 Wednesday, Dec 20 Thursday, Dec 21

Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am No Boarders Charolais Female Sale Regular Feeder Sale 9am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Bonchuck Farms Simmental Production Sale Regular Feeder Sale 9am Bred Cow Sale 11:30am Butcher Sale 9am Regular Feeder Sale 9am Workman Farms Simmental Dispersal

First sale of 2018 is January 8 Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

• 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

New to Manitoba

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

New to Manitoba

Internet cattle sales every Tuesday -12 noon Cattle classifieds Auction Mart and Events Newreports to Manitoba www.cattleconnect.ca *Real-time internet cattle sale, every Monday 1:00pm *Online cattle classifieds *Affiliated auction mart reports and calendar events.

internetaffiliated cattle sale, every Contact*Real-time your loCal rep today! Monday 1:00pm *Online cattle classiwww.cattleconnect.ca fieds *Affiliated auction mart reports

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part of the conversation. It frustrates me to think that burping and farting from cattle is even mentioned as part of a conversation about burning fossil fuels! Now let’s address the province’s Climate and Green Plan. It is certainly appropriate and appreciated that the province has seen fit to exempt on farm emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Diesel and fuel are certainly the two biggest issues for the cattle sector in terms of our contribution to the whole carbon challenge. Our sector isn’t a big user of synthetic fertilizers, largely relying instead on the more natural and cyclical fertilizer ... having our cattle deposit the nutrients right back on the pastures where the grasses and bales took them from. I certainly recognize the practices or our cropping cousins that have come a very long way to minimize their carbon footprint, but within the mix, we are certainly less reliant on fertilizers than they are. As the Minister of Agriculture continues to look Page 6 

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

FOR COMPLETE INFO CONTACT MYLES

and calendar events.

as I understand the carbon cycle … in nature, for the past million years, plants have sequestered carbon out of the air while they grow, animals have eaten the plants and in doing so have returned nutrients back to the soil. They have gone #1 and #2, and burped and farted and released the carbon back into the air to be absorbed again by the plants as they grow. If the plants don’t get eaten, each year they die and compost and return their carbon back into the air and the soil. All this to say … the burping and farting done by cattle is part of a natural cycle that has been going on since the beginning of time!! It isn’t adding carbon … it is cyclical! Why do we allow this to be part of the discussion and compared to other industries where they are pulling carbon out of the ground from miles deep beneath the surface and adding it to the environment? This isn’t apples and oranges … its apples and iPhones! Our biggest dirty little secret is really nothing that should even be

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

DECEMBER

General Manager’s Column

sincerity with which producers explain their reasons for bringing forward resolutions is what drives the MBP staff and I to do the best we can to represent Manitoba’s beef producers. Thank you. On Oct. 20, with significant pomp and ceremony, the province released its latest version of its carbon pricing policy at Ducks Unlimited’s Oak Hammock Marsh headquarters. The plan still leaves lots of questions, but is starting to bring some clarity to their Made-in Manitoba model that we have been waiting to hear more about. I don’t know if it because I’ve been

2017 Winter Sale Schedule

BRIAN LEMON

enjoyed the chance to present to you the work that has kept the staff busy this past year and the chance to let you know about some changes that are coming to our industry. I have been able to speak to producers about what’s on their minds and what challenges they are facing and get their input into what they believe the priorities of MBP need to be in the upcoming year. We have already had some good debates and discussions and a number of interesting resolutions that I am interested to see debated at our AGM in February. The passion and the

www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services


6

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture PAM IWANCHYSKO

Livestock Specialist Manitoba Agriculture

pam.iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca

Q: Why should I feed test? I got one done last year. A: Measuring forage quality is particularly important at this time of year, to assess the nutritional value of the feed for your animals. Feed represents the largest production expense for cattle operations. It is particularly important to test feed when supplies are tight and demand is driving the price higher. While producers rely heavily on forages for their feeding program, forages must often be supplemented with energy or protein to meet cattle’s nutritional needs. Feed testing is the most accurate assessment available to producers today and it does change from year to year and from field to field, depending on weather and harvest conditions. Feed testing probes are available at any local Manitoba Agriculture Office and a ration can be easily completed once the results are established. On the analysis report, there are usually two columns, one on a dry matter basis and one on an as received basis. All values under the as received column show the content of the nutrients with the moisture in the forage included. Forages should not be compared on an as received basis, unless they have the same percentage of dry matter. Values under the dry matter column give the nutrient information with the water removed. This allows comparisons to be made between forages. It is the best indication of nutrient value, because producers can make comparisons between their own forages, and their neighbors’ forages. The quality of a forage can be characterized in many ways, including colour, leaf content and chemical composition. Describing forage quality by chemical analysis is most closely related to animal performance, giving a better indication of the relative differences between

forages. Chemical analysis also provides the least subjective and most uniform system for describing forage quality. The chemical analyses most commonly used as measures of forage quality are: • neutral detergent fibre (NDF) • acid detergent fibre (ADF) • crude protein (CP) • total digestible nutrients (TDN) – a measure of energy content • relative feed value (RFV) • mineral and vitamin concentrations Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) represents the total fiber portion of a feed. Fibre is necessary to allow for normal rumen function in ruminant animals, but excessive amounts reduce the ration’s energy density and total feed intake. Forage should supply about 75 per cent of the NDF requirement. Keeping NDF concentrations low in forages increases the amount of forage that can be included in the ration. Alfalfa has a lower NDF concentration than grass forages. The NDF concentration of alfalfa can be kept low by harvesting at early staves of maturity and reducing leaf loss during harvesting. Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF) is the portion of the total fibre that is relatively indigestible. Acid detergent fibre is a key component of energy prediction. Lower values indicate that a forage will be more digestible and higher in energy than one with high ADF values. ADF concentration of alfalfa can be reduced by harvesting at an early stage of maturity and by reducing the loss of leaves during harvesting. Relative Feed Value (RFV) is an index used to compare the quality of forages relative to the feed value of full bloom alfalfa. The relative feed value is an index that combines the importance of intake and digestibility. The relative feed value has no units, but is a way to compare the potential of two forages. RFV is also used as a marketing tool. Forages with values of greater than 150 are usually of higher quality. Crude Protein (CP) is determined by measuring the total nitrogen concentration of a forage and multiplying

On the Ranch, Russell, Manitoba Wednesday, February 21, 2018 Black and Red Simmentals Angus and Simm-Angus Bulls

find us on

Sale Managed By: T Bar C Cattle Co. Chris: 306-220-5006 Office: 306-933-4200

Miles, Bonnie & Jared Glasman Home: 204.773.3279 Miles’ Cell: 204.773.6275 Jared’s Cell: 204.796.0999

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Matthew & Leanne Glasman Home: 204.773.3209 Matt’s Cell: 204.773.6055

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it by a factor of 6.25. Alfalfa forage is an excellent source of crude protein, especially if harvested at an early stage of maturity, and if care is taken to reduce leaf loss during harvesting. 1 Requirements vary with body weight, frame size, predicted gain and stage of production. Feeds must be at this level or better for your herd. Class

TDN%

CP%

Mid gestation

50-53

7

Late gestation

58

9

60-65

11-12

Replacement Heifers

60-65

8-10

Breeding Bulls

48-50

7-8

Yearling Bulls

55-60

7-8

Mature cows

Lactating

Table 1: Energy and Protein Requirements of the Breeding Herd1

Most forages also show very low levels of phosphorus and other minerals, and forages contain almost no Vitamin A in the winter. If you have mineral deficiencies, those should be tested for as well. We want to hear from you! For the next issue of Cattle Country, A Manitoba Agriculture forage or livestock specialist will answer a selected question. Send your questions to Ray.Bittner@ gov.mb.ca by January 2, 2018. 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.

We have a great story to tell  Page 5 to grow our sector by virtually doubling the size of our cattle herd, recovering those acres that were once considered appropriate for our sector, but which have been converted to annual cropping will be an important piece of achieving the goal. As the province looks at its plan, the grass and pasture is going to be absolutely critical to both these strategies ... more grass and pasture, more cows, more carbon sequestration and more green outcomes. The final note I want to raise, and it will be part of our formal submission to the consultation process around the plan, is the inconsistency of the province in terms of how it will be treating our producers and our custodians of grass and pasture. If the province wants to charge those who are putting carbon into the air, it really needs to think about how it might compensate those who are taking it out of the air and putting it back into the soil. As the province makes the arguments to the federal government that Manitoba is special because of the prior investments that prov-

ince has made in cleaner energy (hydro-electricity), and that these investments need to be considered when the feds apply their carbon pricing policy, I think it would make sense that the province also recognize the cattle producers who have invested in their pastures and grasslands, and who have been sequestering carbon for decades should also be treated with special consideration. It isn’t appropriate that provincial programs provide compensation for incremental changes/improvements but instead compensate cattle producers for the grass and pasture that they have always maintained. How can they expect the federal government to accept their story about Manitoba’s hydroelectricity if and when they build programs that don’t recognize fully the benefits the cattle sector have been providing all along!! Cattle, and cattle producers are really the best line of defence against climate change! I am very proud to work on your behalf and look forward to working to have the rest of Manitobans recognize the benefits you all provide!!


December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

New options available for marketing cattle in Manitoba BY RON FRIESEN Two new marketing options for cattle in Manitoba this fall will give producers additional opportunities for sales and price discovery. Pipestone Livestock Sales (PLS)t, which closed seven years ago, re-opened in September, giving producers in southwestern Manitoba another option for selling cattle at an auction market. “We’re very excited to be back in the southwest corner of the province and look forward to serving cattle producers for a long time to come,” said PLS owner Rhett Parks. It is a welcome turnaround for the cattle industry, which has seen auction markets across Canada close steadily in recent years. Also, Ste. Rose Auction Mart recently launched an electronic marketing system called Cattle Connect, which provides online price discovery for beef cattle outside the auction ring. Manitoba Beef Producers President Ben Fox says these developments are gratifying for the province’s beef producers. “It’s always good to have extra marketing opportunities,” said Fox, who ranches southeast of Dauphin and is also a cattle buyer. “It’s a good, sound avenue for producers to be able to market their cattle.” Parks, together with his father Gene, operates Pipestone Livestock Sales in partnership with Brock and Kelly Taylor of Taylor’s Auctions, Assembly and Exports in Melita. Sale day for PLS is Friday. Pre-sorting sales began in October. The first sale was held Sept. 15. Parks said it went well; the stands were

stock Sales in southeastern Saskatchewan. Parks said PLS was forced to close in the summer of 2010 because it couldn’t compete for staff against a booming oil industry. But the oil boom has cooled considerably since then and PLS now has less trouble finding the 20 or more people it needs to run the operation, he said. Meanwhile, Myles Masson, who owns Ste. Rose Auction Mart, is offering a new service for producers called Cattle Connect, which he describes as an electronic marketing platform for producers with large numbers of cattle to sell direct. Masson’s new venture, launched in early September, has the support of

full and around 400 cattle passed through the ring. That’s a far cry from daily volumes of 3,500 cattle which PLS used to see roughly 10 years ago. But Parks expects sale numbers to increase as producers get used to another marketing outlet in the region. “We’ve had an overwhelming show of interest and excitement, not only from the community of Pipestone but from the RM and cattle producers all over southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan,” said Parks. PLS is seeing mainly feeder calves right now. Parks expects sales to consist half of steers and half of heifers as time goes on. The Parks family also operates Whitewood Live-

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National Check-off Town Hall December 7, 2017 4 - 9 p.m. Heartland Multiplex, MacGregor Cocktails 4 - 5 (cash bar) Complimentary Dinner 5 - 6:45 Program 6:45 - 9

Learn more about how your National Check-off dollars are spent and about the National Beef Strategy from officials with the National Check-off Agency, Canadian Beef, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef Cattle Research Council. Please RSVP by Nov. 30

To RSVP call 1-800-772-0458 or email: info@mbbeef.ca

ceeds the amount the seller wants. Producers have to be in Manitoba to sell cattle on Cattle Connect. They may sell to buyers in other jurisdictions but have to go through the MLMA rep. Masson describes Cattle Connect as a homegrown price discovery system designed for Manitoba cattle producers. “We’re not as big as Alberta or Saskatchewan,” he said. “So if we all stick together and use this online cattle sale, it’s a second option for cattle producers

and backgrounders to use. It’s also a second option for auction marts and order buyers to use for larger customers.” More information is available from members of the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association or at www.cattleconnect.ca. The website lists affiliated livestock auction market calendars with market reports and sale events. It also provides cattle classifieds, which is a digital way of selling dollar valued cattle (replacement or breeding).

Job Opening Beef Production Specialist

Boviglo

(204) 871-0250

the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association. It works independently with the auction marts, approved agents and their representatives, and order buyers. The bidding platform operates on an online realtime system. A set of cattle comes on the platform, bidding starts at a certain number and goes down a cent at a time until there’s a bid. Then it goes up a quarter cent per bid, with 15 seconds intervals. A sale is successful if the last bid meets or ex-

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is seeking a knowledgeable, experienced and energetic person to become our Beef Production Specialist. The Beef Production Specialist will work in our Winnipeg office and be responsible for providing technical support and strategic direction to MBP in all areas of beef production, providing project support, and guiding extension and tech-transfer activities. The successful candidate will work with MBP staff and directors, as well as cattle producers, external organizations, research agencies, and government officials, to identify issues, compile and analyze information, and provide advice on appropriate policy positions and strategies for MBP. Candidates for the position must have a university degree in animal science or veterinary medicine, and a minimum of 3 to 5 years of experience working in the beef industry. Alternatively, an acceptable combination of education and experience may be considered. Applicants must have a detailed knowledge of cattle production practices. The successful candidate must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to apply knowledge, research and analysis and collaborate with other professionals towards understanding and solving complex technical issues. Applicants should have a basic knowledge of government regulations and policy processes, as well as some experience dealing with government officials. Applicants must be comfortable public speaking and leading extension discussions. Applicants must be willing to work flexible hours and travel within the province, and occasionally across Canada. MBP offers a competitive salary and benefits package. More information about the Beef Production Specialist position and MBP may be found at www.mbbeef.ca. MBP will be accepting applications until January 26, 2018. Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resumé to:

Manitoba Beef Producers Attention: Brian Lemon, General Manager 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 Email: blemon@mbbeef.ca Fax: 204-774-3264 www.mbbeef.ca

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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

Government Activities Update: A look at GROW MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Coordinator

This is a follow-up to my November column where I discussed the input Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has provided into the development of Manitoba’s new watershed-based policy framework and the three consultation documents put forward by Sustainable Development and Manitoba Agriculture in this area. It is MBP’s position that the beef industry has a key role to play in helping the province achieve some of its environmental goals. The industry provides many valuable ecosystem services through its management of privatelyowned and agricultural Crown lands. Re: the consultation document Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW), MBP strongly supports the use of incentives for land use practices that enhance the provision of ecological services from the landscape. Through successive iterations of Canadian agricultural policy frameworks, Manitoba’s beef producers have enrolled in the Environmental Farm Plan Program and implemented many beneficial management practices (BMPs), complementing the work they undertake in managing the landscape. MBP is seeking continued support for environmental BMP programs through the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), as well as other financial resources to support proposed initiatives under GROW. MBP has long sought the creation of an ecosys-

tem services program that provides financial recognition of the ecological goods and services (EG&S) provided by the beef industry, such as maintaining perennial landscapes and wetlands. MBP believes the most effective stewardship programs are those developed in cooperation with producers. MBP supports the initiation of EG&S Programs in Manitoba under key conditions, including: 1. MBP is a full participant in the determination of targets and/or assets for EG&S programs; 2. Any program must ensure equitable access to funding across the province; and 3. EG&S programs should include support for initiatives including, but not limited to: natural water filtration and nutrient cycling, carbon sinks that mitigate climate change, essential wetland and grassland habitat for plant and animal biodiversity, biosecurity, and soil conservation. MBP is open to discussing other policy instruments that could be used to deliver similar benefits and provide financial recognition of EG&S services producers provide, such as tax credits or the use of offset systems. MBP is generally supportive of the proposed GROW principles: sustainable; locally-delivered, farmer focused; measurable and evidence-based evaluation. MBP strongly believes producer participation in EG&S programs must be voluntary and based on incentives rather than regulations. MBP recommended that the principles of “re-

sponsiveness” or “flexibility” be considered. The science, technology and tools around how to best manage the environment are continuously evolving. This should be taken into account to ensure initiatives being delivered through GROW reflect this. Ongoing producer input into the development and operation of such programs will be key to their successful implementation. Re: the proposed principles relating to the targeted, watershed-based approach and local delivery, MBP cautions that if GROW is delivered by Conservation Districts (CDs) (or in the future Watershed Authorities), not all areas of agro-Manitoba are covered by CDs. To ensure all beef producers can participate in GROW this gap must be addressed. As well, MBP believes producers should be able to independently access funding through GROW to implement BMPs without having to participate in initiatives being undertaken by entities such as CDs. In terms of the expected GROW outcomes, MBP is supportive of these, particularly those aimed at reducing flooding and improving resiliency to the impacts of climate change. MBP also sees opportunities for enhanced carbon storage if more land is converted to perennial cover. MBP suggested another potential GROW outcome that could be considered is improved soil health. MBP supports the priority BMPs identified in GROW. For example, efforts to reduce the risk of flooding, to enhance

drought resiliency, and those aimed at grassland restoration, enhancement and reclamation are very important to the beef industry. MBP believes there is value in a continued offering of BMPs related to nutrient and BMPs related to biosecurity could be valuable. Invasive species and noxious weeds can be damaging to agriculture from an economic, animal health and environmental perspective. MBP has questions about eligibility for GROW. For example, MBP requested consideration that EG&S payments should include producers leasing agricultural Crown lands to reflect the ongoing value of their stewardship of those lands and the investments they make in doing so. MBP sought clarification about whether those renting private lands would be eligible to participate in GROW and how program monies would flow to them. Re: the funding and governance of GROW, MBP strongly recommended that a separate stream of funding be found for these initiatives as opposed to using agri-environment and assurance dollars flowing through CAP. If CAP monies are to be directed at GROW initiatives, MBP strongly recommended these dollars be dedicated to direct programming on the landscape and that money for administrative be sourced elsewhere. MBP encouraged the province to consider pursuing where appropriate, a range of funding opportunities for GROW, including leveraging federal pro-

Merry Christmas from the Manitoba Angus Association

Thank yo u to the Angus customer s and consumer s of

2017!

-

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grams, private foundations, insurance companies and other sources. MBP believes monies generated through a carbon tax could be directed toward GROW initiatives as the successful delivery of the stated outcomes include enhanced carbon storage and improved resiliency to the impacts of a changing climate, among others. MBP’s carbon policy advocates that monies generated from a carbon pricing regime: be invested in research areas such as further reducing GHG emissions through improved forage varieties and grazing strategies; and, invested in initiatives and tools to enhance producer resilience related to climate change and severe weather events. Further, MBP would like the province to enact policies to encourage that agricultural lands remain in (or are returned to) pasture and forage production and grasslands, thereby supporting Manitoba’s cattle industry. Re: project funding eligibility, the proposal states that “a project must provide an incremental benefit to the environment that is consistent with watershed management plans and targeted to local and provincial priorities.” MBP is disappointed that GROW does not provide for recognition of the valuable ecosystem services beef producers have provided for decades. MBP has asked the province to consider providing some type of EG&S payment to producers in recognition of the ecosystem services they have been providing, not just financial recognition for future incremental improvements to their operations. MBP recommended that GROW initiatives be administered swiftly and efficiently with a minimum administrative burden on producers, that administrators are cognizant of both livestock and crop production cycles, and that there are clear explanations as to why producer funding applications are rejected so producers are better prepared when they file future program applications. Re: the governance of GROW, MBP recognizes there will be many groups interested in managing and delivering GROW initiatives. MBP believes there should be a standardized set of core principles by which each is expected to deliver the program, as well as a standardized system for assessing and reporting

outcomes. A person or entity seeking GROW funding through a watershed authority should expect the same type of application and approvals process as someone seeking funding from a non-government organization. This will help ensure transparency and accountability. Re: the consultation document Modernizing Manitoba’s Conservation Districts Program MBP recognizes the important role CDs have played in managing water, as well as in working with producers to implement an array of BMPs. Beef producers have certainly benefited from these partnerships. MBP is generally supportive of the principle of watershed-based planning for drainage and water resource management. Water does not recognize designated boundaries like those assigned to cities or rural municipalities. Under the changes being proposed it is believed CDs will be expected to take on considerably more responsibility with respect to watershed-based planning for drainage and water resource management, around waterway infrastructure maintenance, as well as the GROW program. MBP strongly encourages the province to engage with the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association as well as individual CDs to assess their ability and willingness to take on added responsibilities. Effective decision making will require collaboration and cooperation between these entities, as well as the stakeholders having adequate financial, human and technical resources to develop and deliver watershed-based strategies. MBP believes it is essential these types of resources are in place to allow for the successful delivery of the stated goals and desired outcomes. MBP asked what strategy will be used to ensure watershed-based planning proceeds in areas of Manitoba where local governments do not to participate in a CD. MBP recognizes the implementation of the EG&S program under Growing Forward 2 – Growing Assurance, but notes that producers were only able to access this BMP funding through a partnership with their local CD. It remains MBP’s position that this gap needs to be addressed, such as expanding the program to allow individual producers to be able to access it directly.


December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY

www.mbbeef.ca

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

www.mbbeef.ca


December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Resolutions Arising from Fall 2017 Manitoba Beef Producers District Meetings Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) held its 14 annual district meetings in October and November. These meetings provided producer members with information about policies, issues and actions undertaken by MBP. The following are the 28 resolutions that were proposed by producers, debated and carried at the district meetings. They will be brought forward for debate at the 39th MBP Annual General Meeting (AGM) being held February 8, 2018 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. There were no resolutions arising from District 3. If you wish to bring forward a late resolution for debate at the AGM, it must be provided to MBP staff no later than 11 a.m., February 8, 2018. Please send it to info@mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Brian Lemon. If the resolution is deemed to be in order it will be considered for debate at the end of the resolutions session, time permitting. MBP has also published these resolutions online at www.mbbeef.ca to help ensure Manitoba’s beef producers are aware of them in advance of the AGM. Please note that some districts have adopted similar or identical resolutions. These may be combined for debate and voting purposes at the AGM. Attend the 39th MBP AGM to debate and vote on the resolutions. We look forward to your participation. District 11 – held Oct. 23 11.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the department of Sustainable Development to delist wolves as big game animals in agro-Manitoba. 11.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the department of Sustainable Development to employ staff who are dedicated to dealing with problem wildlife on a full-time basis. 11.3 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to base their prices for the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (compensation for livestock predation component) based on the value of a five weight animal in October, not on the value of a five weight animal based on prices in July and August. 11.4 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the departments of Sustainable Development and Manitoba Agriculture to develop a proactive preventative program to deal with problem predators so as to reduce the risk of predation on livestock in areas deemed to be at greatest risk. District 9 – Oct. 24 9.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Province of Manitoba to provide manifest books to cattle producers free of charge. District 4 – Oct. 25 4.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to provide funding to subsidize producers for the treatment for liver flukes with Fasinex. 4.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to improve availability of effective treatments for the treatment for liver flukes with Fasinex. 4.3 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to make livestock inspection mandatory in Manitoba. District 6 – Oct. 31 6.1 Whereas livestock production losses are increasingly unpredictable and costly and arise in many form and circumstances. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to investigate the possibility of a production insurance program for cattle producers with similar cost-shared premium arrangements as available in crop insurance. 6.2 Whereas there is currently no program in place to compensate livestock producers for cattle losses due to extreme weather events. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to develop a compensation program equivalent to the compensation program available for predator losses under the province’s current Wildlife Damage Compensation Program.

District 1 – Nov. 1 1.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure improved enforcement of the Feed Regulations, and specifically to enforce maximum contaminant levels in feed produced and sold by commercial feed mills. District 2 – Nov. 2 2.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to reward producers for existing practices that contribute to carbon sequestration and also recognize producers who have been maintaining perennial grasslands and maintaining practices that benefit the ecosystem. District 5 – Nov. 3 5.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to make changes to the manure management program to cease treating manure as a waste product and to treat manure properly as the organic nutrient that it is. 5.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the governments to provide improved borrowing tools for new producers to assist with capital shortfalls as they work to build their operations. District 12 – Nov. 6 12.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to include ravens and magpies as species for which wildlife damage compensation can be paid. District 14 – Nov. 7 14.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to implement mandatory livestock inspection in Manitoba. District 13 – Nov. 8 13.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to support the Association of Manitoba Feeders Cooperatives to allow flexibility for the association to manage individual co-op limits within the current funding envelope. 13.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to implement mandatory livestock inspection in Manitoba. 13.3 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to prohibit the practice of using meat and animal fat in bear bait on agricultural Crown lands. District 7 – Nov. 9 7.1 Whereas there continues to be concerns related to ongoing flooding on the upper Assiniboine River downstream of the Shellmouth Dam, as well as the associated compensation processes. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to establish an effective process to administer the Shellmouth Dam Compensation Regulation under The Water Resources Administration Act that: 1) declares the circumstances of artificial flooding as described in the legislation as soon as such events occur and; 2) upon such artificial flooding being declared ensures that inspectors/adjustors attend the affected lands in a timely manner so as to make a determination of losses that is fair and accurate for all affected parties. 7.2 Whereas multiple stakeholders, including agricultural producers are affected by the operation of the Shellmouth Dam and the resulting flow volumes and water levels. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to immediately establish a committee to review the operating guidelines of the Shellmouth Dam which will be tasked with soliciting feedback from parties who are affected by its operations and then updating the guidelines with an aim to mitigating future risk to the affected stakeholders. 7.3 Whereas several studies have been undertaken that have identified potential options to deal with chronic flooding that occurs downstream of the Shellmouth Dam to St. Lazare.

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Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to work with the area stakeholders to find a timely and permanent solution to this natural bottleneck on the Assiniboine River so as to help reduce the risk of future flooding. 7.4 Whereas non-government organizations are purchasing farmland and applying restrictions to its use in perpetuity; and Whereas this practice is negatively impacting the long-term economic sustainability of agriculture in rural Manitoba; and Whereas this practice is negatively impacting the local tax assessment. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to undertake an assessment of agricultural land that has caveats, easements or conservation agreements attached to it for the purpose of developing a policy on this issue. 7.5 Be it resolved that recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal government to find alternatives to the use of DEF in farm truck and tractor diesel engines and suspend its required use, maintaining manufacturer warranties until such time as the alternative can be found. 7.6 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to develop an ear tag that will remain in place. District 10 – Nov. 13 10.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to provide compensation to beef producers for losses due to illegal hunting practices such as night-hunting. District 3 – Nov. 14 There were no resolutions arising. District 8 – Nov. 15 8.1 Whereas environmental responsibility is an integral part of promoting a positive public image, for the beef industry. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the manufacturers of plastic net wrap and twine and silage wrap as well as the provincial government to establish a valid, recycling program for beef farmers who use the product. 8.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to make livestock inspection mandatory in Manitoba.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

Plenty of beef options for your Christmas table BY ELISABETH HARMS As the holidays come closer, menus and plans are being made to allow us to make the most of our time together with families and loved ones. Holidays are usually built around traditions that we are excited to replicate year after year. Sometimes we are even inspired to include new and different traditions. In North America, a traditional holiday meal includes a roast turkey or chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and stuffing. Families enjoy this meal, although each puts their own variation on this theme. While the main protein for these holiday dinners is often poultry, I would like to suggest an often overlooked protein (especially for the holidays) to the table. Literally. This protein is beef. I do realize that for many beef is not traditionally served, but even if you and your family are a diehard roasted bird-mashed po-

tato-stuffing kind of family, who is to say you need to have only one protein? Mix it up and dare to present more than one protein dish, or even change your star protein and give beef a chance to shine. Here are a few options for those creative folks out there who would like a change, or perhaps even a challenge. Now is the time to be brave, and to ignore all the comments and looks you may get from your relatives when you announce that you’ll be roasting a prime rib this holiday, instead of a rather large bird. Let’s start with an easy option: meatballs – they are a versatile classic that can be served in many different ways. Normally, meatballs are made and served Italian style with a tomato sauce and pasta. For the holidays, make the meatballs more savoury by adding mushrooms and bacon to the gravy. Meatballs can also be made to reflect whatever flavour profile you prefer – you can make them sa-

voury or spicy simply by changing the spices you add to the mixture. Meatballs also provide you with the added benefit of being able to make them ahead of time. If you have them pre-made and frozen, it makes cooking for the holidays super easy. Pull them out of the freezer the night before and put them in the oven about one hour before you want to serve dinner. Another advantage is that you aren’t outright replacing the traditional choice of turkey or chicken, you’re providing an added bonus. Another great option: cabbage rolls. While they can be slightly controversial in their preparation of them, they are a great option that incorporates beef, but won’t disappoint the traditionalists who need to have their turkey. Cabbage rolls can be made in different ways, and depending on your dinner guests, I would prepare for some serious debate about whether or not the filling should be all beef, or a balanced mixture of beef and

A delicious prime rib roast is an excellent option for anyone looking for something different for their Christmas meal. Photo courtesy of Canada Beef.

rice, and then, of course, a rousing conversation about which version of the cabbage roll is better. Nevertheless, the cabbage roll, like the meatball, is a great way to introduce subtle changes to your usual menu. If you are up for an absolute challenge and feeling like a new cut of meat would be a breath

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of fresh air for the holidays, here are a couple of options for you to really sink your teeth into. First, a prime rib roast is a fabulous option as a holiday showstopper. It is a stunning dish that not only has great visual appeal, but is also juicy and succulent. Searing the meat at a high heat in the oven first will lock in all the juices that make it so appealing, and give the outer edges a lovely crust. As you do when cooking a steak, you will want to rest your roast before slicing. Making gravy for this dish is an absolute must, especially for pouring over mashed potatoes. Finally, if you really want to go all out, I might

recommend a lovely Beef Wellington. Challenging in its own right, this piece of beef tenderloin wrapped in golden puff pastry is a true centrepiece that cannot help but impress. While it is definitely not for the faint of heart, the juicy beef tenderloin that is traditionally wrapped in mushrooms and paté will definitely not disappoint. Serve with mashed or scalloped potatoes – nothing goes better with beef than potatoes. Whatever you decide to cook this holiday season, it is going to be delicious. I hope that these ideas have inspired you to add something new and exciting to your menu this year.

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December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Beef and birds bring producers and conservationists together BY ANGELA LOVELL This summer, beef producers in southwest Manitoba began to implement the first projects funded under the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) initiative. SARPAL provides financial incentives for producers to develop beneficial management practices that protect important bird habitat. The program is popular with producers, says Manitoba Beef Producers’ General Manager, Brian Lemon. “Our members are very supportive of the program and what it’s doing,� he says. “Beef producers are good stewards of the environment and take that seriously. They enjoy what being a cattle producer means to them in terms of being out in the environment and in the wild, so when they heard about SARPAL it made sense to them. They wish it was a broader program that was available in other areas too.� Nine projects in the works As of the end of October, SARPAL has agreements in place to fund nine projects involving 7,250 acres of grazing lands. “Most of the projects are focused on fencing and livestock watering systems to allow producers to more effectively use their native pastures,� says Tim Sopuck, CEO of Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) which is delivering the program. “We’ve also had some interest from people who wish to establish new pastures to support their overall operation.� Virden area cattle producer, Thomas Hagen, received support through SARPAL to purchase some additional permanent and temporary cross fencing and add more dugouts for watering. The program is a perfect fit for his farm. Hagan custom grazes 200 cows together with his 240 cow/ calf pairs in a rotational system, moving the cattle daily. “We already know the benefits of rotational grazing and biodiversity, and the importance of maintaining the microbiology in the soil,� says Hagan. “SARPAL is right in tune with what we believe and what we do. My wife and I are young farmers who are heavily invested into this, it’s what we do for a living, and something like this that can help us drive profit but is a win also for conservation, is incredible.� “Prairie grassland is an ecosystem

that is under a lot of pressure and is fast disappearing, and all the things that go with that are disappearing as well,� says Lemon. “What’s exciting about SARPAL is the conservation world is recognizing that the best way to maintain and protect that ecosystem is to put cattle on it. Birds need the grass and grass needs cattle. So, if you want to save the birds the way you’re going to do it is by having cattle on land.� Environment and Climate Change Canada provided $750,000 in funding for SARPAL to the Manitoba Beef Producers, which has contracted Manitoba Heritage Habitat Corporation (MHHC) to deliver the program. SARPAL’s aim is to help maintain or expand grazing lands for cattle which at the same time provide habitat for species at risk, including a number of grassland birds such as the Burrowing Owl and Sprague’s pipit. A rewarding partnership Lemon says it’s rewarding for the beef industry to see how the conservation world is recognizing the stewardship of cattle producers and the value of having cattle grazing grasslands. “They’ve been doing the right things for the right reasons for a long time and now conservationists and others are starting to recognize it,� says Lemon. “When these other third parties are standing up and saying cattle producers are part of the solution, that’s a credible, strong message and it’s rewarding to our producers to see that they’re finally getting that recognition.� Projects eligible for SARPAL have to meet two basic criteria: they need to improve a producer’s bottom line and they need to have benefits for the species at risk in the project area. “Anything we can do to help producers be more viable is important to conservation of those grassland birds,� says Sopuck. “If these lands cannot be a good business proposition for cattle producers, then we know that those grasslands could be at risk just to a change in land use. If any of these native ranges go to annual crop production, we’ll never get those prairies back. Doing things that help producers to be more viable is of keen interest to us.� Bird Studies Canada and conservation districts are also conducting a sister SARPAL project. Trained ornithologists are as-

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sessing project sites and historical data to try and determine which species are present. “Even though we might not find a species present this year, it doesn’t mean a given area isn’t important over the long term,� says Sopuck. “We know, for example, that some of these grassland birds will shift where they breed in a given year depending on how wet a landscape is. So, if you’ve got a few wet years, an area that used to have Sprague’s Pipit might not this year. It’s not because the habitat is bad or something fundamental has changed, it’s just now it’s wet and the birds for this particular wet period are somewhere else so we have to take a longer-term view than just whether or not a bird happens to be there or not be there in a given year.� By collecting this kind of data, conser-

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vationists will be able to assess the value of the program to species at risk and grasslands over the long term. “The other thing we’re doing on these projects is an evaluation of grassland health so that if we establish a baseline now, as producers make changes to management practices, down the road we can evaluate how the grasslands themselves improve,� says Sopuck. Beef production part of the solution to maintaining grasslands." From a wider perspective, says Sopuck, he’s hopeful that SARPAL can change the conversation about cattle production and grassland conservation everywhere. “We can talk about beef AND birds, and have everyone understand that beef production is part of the solution to conservation of species including endangered species,� he says. “We can’t have grasslands and grassland bird species if we don’t have a vigorous cattle industry on the Canadian Prairies.� “I would also say kudos to producers in Manitoba,� adds Sopuck. “I have to congratulate the industry for being so farsighted here seeing that there’s not only advantage to the industry but it’s also an opportunity to provide benefits to wildlife. Producers want to see both things, they want to see their industry viable and they like having wildlife around. And in that spirit, they seem to be welcoming this program so it’s very heartening.�

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

Market corrections being felt RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line

When I first started in the livestock marketing business 37 years ago, one of the first things that I was warned about was the “Remembrance Day Wreck.” I thought it was something out of the history books, but Cliff Penno, who was manager at the Brandon Stockyards at the time, explained that during the fall cattle run, if you could get past the week of Nov. 11 without the feeder cattle market dropping, then you were

probably set for the remainder of the year. Rule of thumb was that if the market was going to show any price pressure, that was when it was going to hit. Over the 37 years he was right about four out of five years. The calf market went on tilt the second to third week in November. In October, Manitoba calf prices were at a premium over the rest of the west, with strong interest from Ontario and Quebec feeders. There was a steady

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Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Last sale of 2017 is Tuesday, December 19 First sale of 2018 is Tuesday, January 9 Saturday, December 2 at 10:00 a.m. Closed Bred Heifer Sale - Mistelbacher; 200 head Monday, December 11 at 12:00 p.m. Small Animal Sale For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

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stream of trucks going east and backgrounding lots were filling quickly for deferred delivery of calves. Up until Nov. 10, life was good in the calf market. Prices for Manitoba feeder calves were considerably higher than last year again, 57 to 77 cents higher on the 300-500lb steers, and 58-65 cents higher on the heifers. The 600-800lb steers were close to 48 cents higher, with the heifers at 43-50 cents higher. The heifer/ steer price spread started to widen at the first of the month, after a price surge on the heifers during late October. The drop in the calf market after Nov. 11 was not a wreck, just an adjustment that we all knew had to, and was going to happen. For week after week the calf market in Manitoba was dollars and dollars higher than Saskatchewan and Alberta. Now with the freight rates considered, Manitoba is more in line with the rest of the country. The majority of the cattle are sold on a delivered price was it was just a matter of time before the calf price had to fall in line when the large volumes came to market. One week later, the market started to show some cracks, and as expected, some of the classes of feeders dropped, while the top quality cattle struggled to maintain a steady market. The main reason for

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the drop was supply over powered demand. In the week of Nov. 6-11, there were over 173,000 feeder cattle sold in Western Canada, with just under 20 thousand sold in Manitoba. This was the third consecutive week of large calf sales. Producers traditionally market large numbers during the last two weeks of October and the first week of November because taxes are due, farm payments are expected, and in most cases, harvest is wrapped up and pastures are in need

ers slowed down considerably in November with a change in the value of the dollar and a stronger American feeder market. Transportation is always a challenge at this time of year. Cattle buyers are having to book eastbound trucks two to three weeks in advance, and the rate has increased to 12 cents per pound into Ontario. There are not enough trucks available to meet the seasonal demand. At this time of the year, and with the weather

“Over the last 37 years, I have seen many changes in the cattle market, some good and some not so good. The one thing for sure is that marketing these large volumes of cattle in the fall run has become more of a challenge for the market operators, order buyers, feedlots and truckers.” of rest. Winter conditions and snow that looked like it would stay made up the producers’ minds if their cattle were still on the pasture. Prices were good, so it was either wean and keep, or wean and ship to the market. Pen space had been rapidly filling up across the country. The lack of exports to the US combined with Alberta feedlots importing American calves resulted in 8 per cent more cattle being placed on feed during October in Alberta. With the US importing 52 per cent fewer feeder cattle than last year it meant that those same cattle stayed in Canada. Imports of American feed-

conditions, many of the freshly weaned calves are prone to potential health issues. Calves left on the pasture too long have lost their bloom and the stress of weaning, sorting and shipping leave the calves looking tired and stressed at the auction. To the untrained eye in the stands, it may be hard understand why certain calves may be discounted, but to the buyer on the front row, if there is any doubt about the calf, there are more to purchase every day. Calves that have been weaned at home need to be kept for a minimum of six weeks, (eight weeks are better) before shipping. Calves under six weeks may look great at home,

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Where:

Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Farm (MBFI) Corner of Highway 353 and #10 north of Brandon, ½ mile east

Agenda:

1:00 p.m.

Energy Dense Forages Matt Wiens, Manitoba Agriculture

1:30 p.m.

Poly-crop Production and Utilization Pam Iwanchysko, Manitoba Agriculture

2:00 p.m.

Winter Watering System Options Ray Bittner, Manitoba Agriculture

2:30 p.m.

Nutrient Management and Environmental Concerns with Extensive Wintering Mitchell Timmerman, Manitoba Agriculture

3:15 p.m.

Swath, Corn and Bale Grazing Shawn Cabak, Manitoba Agriculture Kristelle Harper, MBFI

4:00 p.m.

Adjourn

For more information, contact the Manitoba Agriculture Portage Office at 204-239-3352.

McRae were regular farmer buyers in the Brandon area every fall. Now grain farmers grow canola, and a host of other cash crops, and the local demand for the calves has all but disappeared. Over the last 37 years, I have seen many changes in the cattle market, some good and some not so good. The one thing for sure is that marketing these large volumes of cattle in the fall run has become more of a challenge for the market operators, order buyers, feedlots and truckers. By the time you read this, the peak will have passed and prices and demand stabilized. Until next time, Rick.

Annual General Meeting December 6 at the Kemnay Hall Details posted online at www.mbsimmental.com

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Time:

but the stress of moving them causes them to break down very quickly. Back in the time when farmers grew mostly barley, wheat and oats, those same farmers would come to the market to purchase additional calves to place with their own, in order to market the feed quality grain that they grew. Just about the time that the “Remembrance Day Wreck” was predicted, the local demand picked up some of the slack. Names like Williamson, Campbell, Fardoe, McKay and

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December 2017 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Do cull cows have value beyond the ground beef trade? ARGENIS RODAS-GONZÁLEZ

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

The majority of cows entering slaughtering facilities come from auction markets, creating enormous variation in the composition and quality of cows flowing into the beef market. Grading cows is not a common practice in most processing plants. Instead, they are sorted by company personnel based on a few carcass characteristics (i.e. carcass weight, subcutaneous fat color and muscling). Although the benefit to grading cow carcasses may not be immediately obvious, researchers at the University of Manitoba and Agriculture Agri-Food Canada in Lacombe have shown that there are yield and quality differences between different D grades. They believe that segregating cow carcasses among the D grades will result in better utilization of their carcasses to meet market needs (value-added products, food service or retail). Carcass traits of D grades Culled cows can be separated into four quality grades: D1, D2, D3 and D4. To qualify for the D1 grade, mature carcasses must have excellent muscling and be well finished with white to amber fat (<15 mm backfat). Mature carcasses with medium to excellent muscling or with yellow fat fall into the D2 grade. Mature carcasses which are deficient in muscling to the point of emaciation receive a D3 grade, whereas, over-fat mature carcasses with deficient to excellent muscling (≥ 15 mm backfat) receive a D4 grade. A benchmarking study of Canadian grading standards for cull cows (D1, D2, D3, D4) demonstrated that D1 and D2 carcass grades have similar carcass yield attributes (i.e. similar carcass weight, ribeye area and lean yield) compared to A/AA quality grades. Also, of the mature carcass

Flat iron (infraspinatus muscle) the new value-added cuts from the chuck primal. Photo courtesy of Canada Beef.

grades, D1 and D4 cow carcasses have the most marbling (“Modest”) and a lower proportion of carcasses with yellow fat; thus, meat from these carcasses may be used in value-added cuts (ea. flat iron) with the use of strategies to improve tenderness, including wet ageing or blade tenderizing. Improving the sorting of cow carcasses based on cutability Lean meat prediction in processing plants is estimated using a grade ruler. However, this ruler was not designed to estimate lean meat in mature carcasses, only youthful carcasses in Canada Prime and A quality grades. However, Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez from the University of Manitoba, along with scientists from AAFC Lacombe have developed a lean yield equation that can predict lean yield in mature carcasses which will allow packers to segregate cow carcass-

es based on lean meat cutability and more precisely define their price. This equation is in the early stages of development and will continue at a larger scale in a commercial set-up. Using quality attributes to improve value Cuts from Canada D-grade carcasses are generally darker than youthful beef with D1 and D4 carcass grades having higher fat content and higher marbling scores. Color and appearance of the meat can be improved using packaging strategies such as high oxygen modified atmosphere packaging to produce bright red colour cuts or steaks. These reseachers found that new value-added cuts in the chuck primal such as the flat iron cut (Figure 1), D-grade carcasses did not have any colour deficiencies in any of the cow grades. Therefore, there may be further opportunities for packers to add value to D carcasses using this novel cut. Specific cuts from D grade carcasses can be as much tender, juicer and flavourful as youthful carcass grades. Some cuts such as the flat iron, rib-eye, striploin, tenderloin, inside round, eye round, knuckle, top sirloin, and clod of D1 and D4 carcasses retain similar eating quality to youthful beef. Flavour intensity can also be higher in several cuts from D1, D2 and D4 carcasses. In other quality attributes, such as cut weight, moisture loss, and pH, D grades do not differ from youthful grades in most of the cuts. Conversely, D3 carcasses appear to have as many quality deficiencies in colour and palatability attributes than other mature grades, indicating meat from these carcasses likely requires more intensive post-slaughter processing (ea. Maceration and tumbling) before the sale; thus their use as ground beef is justified. Grading cull cows will allow packers to maximize the value of their carcasses and meats to reach consumer acceptability. A D V ERTO RI A L

Get Up and Running with a Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee

Kristina Unruh, Clayton Unruh and daughter

Manitoba livestock producers are independent, but they’re also open to co-operating with their neighbours so all may benefit. It was this spirit of collaboration that gave rise to Manitoba’s livestock associations. “We started in 1999,” said Sherry Rozecki, President of the Association of Manitoba Feeder Co-operatives, an umbrella organization that represents the mutual interests of feeder and breeder associations in Manitoba. With six feeder and two breeder associations now operating, Rozecki is optimistic about the growth of these associations in Manitoba. “People who use the program continue using it over and over,” she said. The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) proudly supports the efforts of livestock association members through the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program (MLALG). The program provides the participating lender with a guarantee that the funds will be repaid. Associations borrow money from a participating lender, and then lend funds directly to their members to purchase livestock. The MLALG gives members the benefit of lower costs associated with more favorable financing terms than they would be able to access

MASC Cattle Country Advertorial_CU_Dec 1.17.indd 1

individually. Members also benefit from reduced handling costs because of the association’s higher sales volume.

Unruh noted that he could rely on the mentorship of existing members, who have a vested interest in his success.

Clayton Unruh, a member of the A-1 Cattle Co-Op since January 2017, understands the benefits of association membership.

“I had help with buying cattle – a check [by more experienced members] to see if they were worth what I was paying,” he said.

“The feeder association fits in well, because it doesn’t tie up all your collateral,” said Unruh.

Unruh calls it an ‘appreciating’ loan.

Unruh prefers financing directly through his association. As a beginning farmer with limited capital, he receives financing through the association that is more favourable than what he’d receive elsewhere.

“The association isn’t focused on making a profit, it’s more about supporting my success” – Clayton Unruh “[Association members] deal directly with the association, not the lender, and they can borrow up to $500,000 from their association, using the livestock they purchase as collateral,” said Rozecki. The maximum lending limit for an individual association is $8 million. Members can finance 100 per cent of their purchases, with feeder associations requiring members to deposit five per cent in the association’s assurance fund. Breeder associations require a 10 per cent deposit. New members like Unruh soon find that livestock associations, by their nature, promote camaraderie and mentorship.

“The animals gain value faster than costs occur, and as long as the market is good, you should make money.” When a member’s feeder livestock mature, they can be sold for profit (minus what’s owing on the association loan), but feeder association members can also roll heifers over to a breeder association. In this situation, the breeder association lends money to the producer to pay off the feeder association contract. Livestock associations in Manitoba are small, but growing in size and number. “If we get more awareness about this program, membership will only go up,” said Rozecki. For more information about Manitoba’s feeder and breeder associations, visit the website for the Association of Manitoba Feeders Co-operatives at www.amfc.biz. For more information about the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program, visit the MASC website at www.masc.mb.ca or contact MASC’s Guarantee Program Specialist at 204-239-3244.

“They’re a friendly fraternity. There’s trust involved,” said Rozecki. “You’re dealing with people on common ground. Shared ownership means that members want each other to succeed.” “The association adds experience and safeguards into the process,” said Unruh.

www.mbbeef.ca

PO#4501061888 Cattle Country Run Date - Dec 1, 2017

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2017

Important changes coming to the farm DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner There has been much talk about the new regulations for the purchase of Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIAs) in the media lately. This column will give some background as to why changes will be coming and what they will mean to you as a producer. Antimicrobial resistance has become an international concern. The Antibiotic Era began in the early 1900s when Paul Ehrlich postulated that chemicals could be synthesized that would selectively kill foreign organisms in the body. This led to a large scale and systematic search in 1904 for a drug against syphilis, a disease very common and almost incurable at that time. The biggest break-through was the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Since then, many types of these drugs, including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics have been discovered and developed to cure “any and all” disease. Antimicrobials are now a cornerstone of modern health care. Unfortunately, over time, the effectiveness of antimicrobials has been declining due to the development of resistance, particularly by bacteria. Designing more drugs to combat this resistance is not fea-

sible, both in terms of time and expense. Disease resistance has even been shown to be of concern for drugs that have just reached the market! One major reason for the development of resistance has been in how these drugs have been used - underdosing, multi-drug use, inappropriate drug selection and usage when not required. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the development and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy in all countries to reduce antimicrobial use and improve stewardship in both humans and animals. Many of the chemical classes of antibiotics used in animals are also used in humans. Some of these drugs are essential for the treatment of serious life-threatening infections in humans. Drugs with limited or no alternatives for treatment of infections, or where alternatives available are within the same class, are considered more important than others. In the future, you will need a veterinary prescription for the purchase of all medically important antimicrobials (MIA) - classed as Category I, II or III antimicrobials. Gone are the days of quickly grabbing a bottle of penicillin or oxytetracycline for treatment of any and all cattle ailments. Effective December 1, 2018, you will not be able to get these drugs from a livestock medicine outlet, co-operative, or other places where over-the-counter ani-

Building Our Future

mal medications are sold. You will require a veterinary-client-patient-relationship and prescription to obtain antimicrobials, whether used as injectables or in water-soluble or feed-grade formats. Also, as a part of Canada’s commitment to boost public and food safety measures around antimicrobial use in veterinary medicine and align policies with that of other developed countries, growth promotant claims will be discontinued and the use of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and Own Use Importation (OUI) will be banned. Before you cry foul and slam veterinarians as I have read in articles in various lay press, please note that it is not your veterinarian that made these rule changes. We as a society have created this dilemma for ourselves. Overuse and indiscriminate use of antibiotics has exacerbated the natural evolutionary tendency of all living organisms, bacteria included, to survive and thrive. Unfortunately many producers feel it is easier to pop a pill or give a shot than it is to ensure that we promote health in our herds with sound vaccination, management and nutrition programs. The same can be said if we evaluate how we look after our own health and that of our loved ones. What can you as a producer do? Develop a relationship with your veterinarian. I am still amazed when I hear people brag how they never need a vet. Yes, there may

be no vet fees but what about those hidden costs - lost production, subpar health, lost reputations with order buyers. If you have no herd health program (and >50% of herds don’t according to surveys), you need to get one up and running. Your veterinarian and a nutritionist can help you optimize your herd health with the benefits far outweighing the costs. Healthy herds have lower drug bills and fewer emergency/crisis veterinary visits. As for drug costs and access, it is my understanding that costs are expected to remain unchanged - several pharmaceutical companies that I have spoken with do not anticipate price changes though some products may be discontinued due to decreased demand and the scales of economy. We must recognize the importance of responsible antimicrobial use to help ensure these vitally important health tools remain effective. In 2008, the CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) developed guidelines for the prudent use of antimicrobials. Review the guidelines with your veterinarian to develop a responsible drug use policy using an antibiotic from a class known to be effective against the disease being treated at the correct dose, routes of administration and with the least effect on public health. We are now, in effect, entering the post-antibiotic era. And, as said before, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

39th AGM&

President’s Banquet

February 8 - 9, 2018 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB • REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458.

REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR MAIL OR FAX YOUR REGISTRATION TODAY! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $75 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $75 q GENERAL $90

• Must be purchased by January 5, 2018 at 4 p.m.

NAME: _______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 8, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50).

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________

• Non-refundable.

POSTAL CODE: ________________________________________

Book early to get your best value!

MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 5 Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 8, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40

CITY/TOWN: __________________________________________ PHONE: ______________________________________________ FAX: _________________________________________________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________ PERSON 2 (IF REQUIRED): q EARLY BIRD $75 q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 q GENERAL $90 q YOUNG PRODUCER *Complimentary with mentor’s registration NAME: _______________________________________________

NEW! YOUNG PRODUCER MENTORSHIP OFFER

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________

• MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39).

CITY/TOWN: __________________________________________

• The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

PHONE: ______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 8, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710 Quote booking number: 285676

POSTAL CODE: ________________________________________ FAX: _________________________________________________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________ EXTRA BANQUET TICKET NAME: _______________________________________________ q BANQUET $50 *Banquet tickets are non-refundable.

www.mbbeef.ca

PLEASE GO TO

WWW.MBBEEF.CA

FOR THE AGM AGENDA

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 39TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING