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Lineup set for 39th AGM

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UAVs can be a useful tool

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Let's keep the food guide about food

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

FEBRUARY 2018


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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

Building our Future theme of 39th AGM (Editor’s Note: A version of this article appeared in the December 2017 issue of Cattle Country. It has been updated with additional information about the speakers and presentations at the upcoming annual general meeting.) All eyes will be looking 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 sustainable, which, ideally will give them the confidence to expand their operations. With that in mind the Industry Knowledge Session on Feb. 8 will look at expanding markets for Canadian beef and dealing with change in the industry.

Fred Gorrell, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Markets and Industry Services Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will speak about market access while Marty Seymour with Farm Credit Canada will talk about disruption and agriculture. After a successful first attempt at the 38th Robert Sopuck 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. The theme for the this year’s forum is Challenging the Capital Paradigm with Peter Manness of MNP. Capping off Day 1 of the AGM is the annual President’s Banquet. Along with the presentation of The Environmental Stewardship Award and recognition of retiring directors, Keynote Speaker Robert Sopuck, the Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan RiverNeepawa will talk about his recently released video Eating Canadian Beef is Good for the Environment which discusses the incredible environmental benefits our industry provides. Day two of the AGM will be highlighted by the panel discussion Adding Value Without Acres. Dr.

Derek Brewin of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences will facilitate the discussion which will include presentations from Dr. John Crowley of the University of Alberta, Dr. Bart Lardner, with the Western Beef Development Centre and Mark Klassen, Director of Technical Services, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “As we all know, one of the biggest issues many producers face is a lack of land, or the inability to purchase additional land,” Lemon said. “This discussion will provide producers with information on how to maximize what resources they have. We are excited for this discussion and feel there will be some worthwhile information for our members.” Along with the panel discussions and industry knowledge sessions, 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 6 years to the organization and who have volunteered their time and contributed to our sector.” For more information and to register please go to mbbeef.ca/annual-meeting/.

Modernization of Crown lands regulations welcomed Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) welcomes the announcement that the provincial government has taken steps to modernize Crown lands regulations. Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler has announced that the regulations were modernized

as part of Manitoba’s efforts to ensure compliance with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. MBP President Ben E. Fox said many of the changes laid out in the new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation are welcomed.

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He added MBP believes that a full, open industry consultation is critical to getting producers’ input into subsequent policy amendments, and ensuring these lands continue to serve the beef industry. MBP looks forward to being part of the consultation process and en-

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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

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:

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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

forward and will ensure they are raised with the government.” Among MBP’s priorities and concerns are: • All Crown grazing and forage lands should remain available for cattle production, along with the ability to secure hay permits; • Crown lands must remain affordable and available to Manitoba producers; • The bid process for the land should be open, and transparent, providing clear pricing signals to producers;

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courages all producers to participate to ensure their concerns and ideas are heard. “The old system of allocation was often frustrating for producers and was also lacking in transparency, so the announcement of a more open process is very important to our membership,” said Fox, who noted MBP is in favour of the government’s move to join the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. “However, we do have a number of concerns as we move

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

POLICY ANALYST 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

• The need for informed access by members of the public seeking to access Crown lands used by producers; and • Recognition that beef producers are sound stewards of the lands and that provincial conservation objectives work in balance with the objectives of producers. “Crown lands are critical to the operations of many Manitoba beef producers and to achieving the government’s objective of growing the cattle herd, so it is important that the policy consultation process is open and transparent,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “We look forward to presenting the thoughts and concerns of our members to government and helping to shape the new policies that flow from the province’s announcement.”

Chad Saxon

Trinda Jocelyn


February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

The Canadian beef industry’s water footprint is shrinking BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL In 2016, the Beef Cattle Research Council’s (BCRC’s) Science Director received 10 letters like this: “Dear Dr. Bergen…. My name is Emma. I am in 6th grade at Rime Street Elementary. My class found out on vegsource.com that it takes 2,500 liters of water to produce one kilogram of beef. Another site said 25,000 liters…. all these different answers are confusing. My social teacher also showed us a video named Cowspiracy, but it didn’t help. Do you have a dependable answer?” Eleven-year-olds aren’t the only ones asking these questions. So are consumers, retailers, and others. When the facts aren’t available, exaggerated opinions often fill the gap. A quick google search provides more answers with less consistency. Numbers vary from 100,000 liters/kg (BioScience 47:97-106), 43,000 liters/kg (BioScience 54:909-918); 25,000 liters/kg (Cowspiracy), 16,975 liters/kg (waterfootprint.org) to 15,000 litres/kg (The Economist). A Canadian research team is providing the facts to help us answer these questions, and to help us know how to do better. A Beef Cluster study led by the University of Manitoba’s Dr. Getahun Legesse Gizaw is measuring how the environmental footprint of Canada’s beef industry is changing. They’ve already reported that each kilogram of Canadian beef generated 15 per cent less greenhouse gas in 2011 than in 1981. A new paper from this team entitled “Water use intensity of Canadian beef production in 1981 as compared to 2011” was just published in Science of the Total Environment. What they did Researchers calculated the amount of “blue” and “green” water required to maintain Canada’s beef breeding herd, grow feed, background and finish cattle (including Holstein steers), and process beef in Canada in 1981 and 2011. Blue water (surface or groundwater deliberately used for a specific purpose) mainly includes cattle drinking water used by processing plants, and irrigation. Drinking water was easily calculated; the amount of water cattle drink depends on their age, body weight, weather, and whether they’re lactating. Blue water used to wash carcasses, beef, equipment and laundry in packing plants came from published research, World Bank statistics, and information from packers. Blue water for irrigation came from census information, expert opinion (e.g. types of irrigation systems used for different crops in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan), irrigation districts, and provincial government records. Green water (precipitation or rain water) used for dryland feed production was much more challenging to estimate. They first determined which pasture types, forages, feed grains and protein crops were most commonly used in Eastern and Western Canada in 1981 and 2011. For example, using annual crops for extended grazing was unusual in 1981 but quite common by 2011. The amount of water required by each crop at different stages of production was determined from published reports. The same crop may have different water requirements depending on when and where it’s grown. For example, barley seeded in July for swath-grazing experiences different growing conditions and has different water requirements than barley seeded earlier for silage or grain. Yield records for each crop came from 82 Census Agricultural Regions across Canada. Rainfall (green water), temperature, and soil moisture records came from 679 weather stations located within agricultural regions of Canada. Animal and crop data were combined into 49 different feeding scenarios. What they found In 2011, producing a kilogram of boneless beef in Canada required 459 liters of blue water and 15,485 liters of green water. Over three-quarters of the blue water was used to produce forage and feed crops. Less than a quarter of the blue water used was consumed by animals, and well below five per cent was used to process beef. When green water (rainfall) used by feed and forage crops was included, feed and forage production accounted for over 99 per cent of total water use; drinking water was less than one per cent, and water used for beef processing was negligible. The improvements in crop yields have varied drastically in the last 30 years and this has been reflected in the water footprint of the individual crops that are fed. For

example, water use intensity of barley over 30 years stayed relatively stable whereas the water use intensity of corn decreased dramatically. This is because we have seen an increase in corn productivity (the average corn yield in Canada increased from 5,770kg/ha in 1981 to 7,400 kg/ha in 2011) due to both breeding and genetics that has not been seen to the same extent in barley. Overall, it took 17 per cent less water to produce a kilogram of Canadian beef in 2011 than in 1981. This was mainly due to increased reproductive performance, growth rates, slaughter weights and improved crop yields. What it means Because beef ’s water footprint is mainly due to crop production, shrinking it further will require improved water use efficiency by feed crops and forages through breeding, management, and improved irrigation practices. These steps will reduce the water footprint of agriculture overall, not just for beef production. Further improvements in feed efficiency will also improve the water footprint as well as the greenhouse gas footprint and overall competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry. Including blue water in the calculations makes obvious sense, because we’re choosing to use that water for a specific purpose. Including rainfall (green water) may seem strange, because we can’t choose where it falls. But we are choosing what the land is being used for. Most of the land and water used for feed production is used by forage crops, which also help support ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, biodiversity and healthy watersheds. In many cases, keeping grass and cattle on the land is an environmentally responsible choice. It’s also important to remember that these numbers talk about total water use and don’t take into account that while we use water to produce beef we don’t use it up. Wa-

A study released in December 2017 by the Beef Cattle Research Council showed that the amount of water used to produce a kilogram of beef has dropped significantly.

ter is recycled through the water cycle and returned to the environment for future use. This research is helping the beef industry answer important questions from the public, and is another example of how improving our production efficiency helps shrink our environmental hoofprint. If you want to learn more about the water footprint of Canadian beef cattle production, feel free to leave a comment below, or contact one of the researchers: Getahun Gizaw: Getahun.Gizaw(at)umanitoba.ca Kim Ominski: Kim.Ominski(at)umanitoba.ca Tim McAllister: tim.mcallister(at)agr.gc.ca

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

MBP working to ensure needs of producers are met on Crown lands file BEN FOX MBP President

“Lead, follow, or get out of the way” – General George S. Patton Its hard to believe how quickly we find ourselves at this time of year again. The 39th Annual General Meeting of Manitoba Beef Producers, which is Feb. 8-9 in Brandon, gives the Manitoba beef industry a chance to catch up with each other, learn about topics that are going to affect a person’s business in the upcoming year and set direction for this grassroots organization. I encourage you to attend and take part of this event. The committee and MBP staff have worked tirelessly to make sure there is value in attending the sessions and it looks to be a great showcase.

There are several important things that take place during this meeting, one of the most important being the resolution debates. There are a couple of resolutions that will have a long term benefit to our industry if passed and I hope that you are able to at least attend the very important debate session. Another important aspect of the meeting is the affirmation of the board of directors and the recognition of those directors who are retiring. We have had a larger than usual group of directors retire this year and therefore we are welcoming a large group

of new directors to the organization. I want to thank our retiring directors Heinz, Stan, Bill, Dave and Ken for your dedication, your support and your tenacity in dealing with issues that our industry faces. The commitment is not only on these five gentlemen but also on their families and it is truly kind of each of your respective families and operations to allow you the ability to serve your fellow beef producers. If you recall I noted in an earlier article that we have seen tremendous changes with regards to some files that have been sitting on hold for the past few years. The one that I believe is getting the most attention is the Crown lands portfolio. This is a huge file for beef producers and one that I hold close at hand. It is going to be imperative for the success of the Manitoba beef industry to be able to have

proper access and appropriate controls over the many thousands of acres of crown lands that we manage. This point has been brought up to Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and will continue to be strongly represented when policy discussions are being held over the coming weeks. It is essential for the successful outcome to be geared towards keeping the land in a productive, useful state that can continue to provide the much needed forages and habitats for domestic livestock and wildlife and a place for the development of plant species. It is a proven fact that land that is taken out of production and set aside is detrimental to not only the wildlife, bird and domestic livestock populations but also allows for the deterioration of plant species diversity and proper water management. The announced change in regulations is a huge shift in our industry for people that rely on Crown lands. It is imperative that we get the provincial government to understand that beef producers need some positive deliverables within the policies, that are to be discussed, to enable the growth of our provincial cattle herd. This will dominate much of our spring as we make certain the views and needs of beef producers are met. One other tidbit of interesting news for me is the lack of available vitamins for feed manufacturing caused by a fire at a BASF plant in Germany. This is going to affect your mineral costs this year. Unfortunately,

there is very little that can be done as there are no other suitable options to procure these essential foodstuffs for our animals. So, everyone that feeds animals is going to get a big surprise when you go to buy your next bag of mineral. I have heard increases of anywhere from $4-$10/bag. In closing I think I should point out some upcoming items that I feel are important for our industry to consider for the upcoming year. Crown lands This is going to be a big change from what has happened in the past and MBP will stay focused on getting the best outcome possible. It will not be the same program that so many producers are accustomed to. It will need to be more transparent and take into consideration the evolution of the beef industry’s needs Predation - I just talked to a fellow that runs an outfitting business about problem predators. Wouldn’t you know it their group has some interesting ideas on how we can co-operate to come to a much needed solution. As well as our last discussions with the Ministry of Sustainable Development this file looks to have some improvement within the next year. Addressing labor shortages - This is a huge problem for all aspects of the Beef business, we have to engage with governments both federally and provincially to get some solutions in place to capitalize on market share opportunities. Traceability - This is

an ongoing file that will see significant changes with the use of livestock manifests becoming mandatory. We need to make sure there is a third party (i.e. livestock inspectors) in place to help aid our industry in meeting the goals set out for us by the CFIA. TB eradication - A very important file that we need to push across the finish line and receive a TB Free designation from the USDA. Beef promotion Some folks call this Public Trust I would like to refer to this as us promoting our industry in a manner that allows for continued beef production increases and consumption. Animal health and welfare- It will continue to be top of mind with producers and the consuming public and the public that doesn’t consume our product as well. We will have to remain vigilant in promoting best practises in our entire industry. I want to express my gratitude to my family for their sacrifices and acknowledge the contributions that each of them make towards my being able to sit as president of MBP. Also to the staff and directors of MBP, I have enjoyed the past year and look forward to serving with you in the upcoming year. Thanks to you the producers that work at the task of beef production in your daily routines. Your commitment and dedication are the driving factors in what we set out to do. Safe travels to the AGM!

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1/18/2018 3:57:01 PM


February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

Capturing the energy of our youth key to industry’s future BRIAN LEMON General Manager’s Column

Welcome to 2018 and a brand new year! I hope that you were able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends and I wish a prosperous 2018 for each of you and for our industry. At this time of year we are all looking back at the past year, but are also looking forward to a new year and a sort of renewal of our activities as we embark on another calendar year. As we turn the page on another year and put it into the history books, I am drawn to look at the future, and at where this industry is going and what lies ahead in the crystal ball. This industry has a lot of good stories to tell. Stories that position it well to grow and prosper in the future. We have great demand for our product domestically and growing demand in emerging economies around the globe. We have a product that is recognized for its quality and nutrition, and we have producers that are recognized for their animal welfare practices and biosecurity measures. Increasingly we also have a growing recognition of the environmental benefits of our extensive pasturebased production practices as well as our responsible nutrient management practices. Everything points to a very positive future. So where is our future? As part of discussions over the past year or so, I’ve heard many stories about

the pressures on our industry. Lots of stories about all of the problems in our industry, how it is hard to attract the younger generation and of how the youth are less and less drawn to take over “dad’s cattle farm,” and how we are all getting older. There is only one reality we need to accept in these challenges, and that it is true that every year, we all get one year older - the rest we can choose to change. Since coming on side with MBP I have always been incredibly encouraged by the commitment of cattle producers and the energy and passion I see when talking to young people across the province. This past year as part of our district meetings we hosted three Emerging Young Leaders sessions. MBP partnered with Manitoba 4-H and hosted short sessions to listen to the youth and to begin the process of engaging them in the future of our industry. Let me say that I’ve spent time speaking with youth in all sectors of Canada’s agriculture industry, and the passion and drive I see in young people involved in the cattle business is by far the strongest of any sector. In my view, no other sector of the agriculture industry has the same level of passion for their business as young people in the cattle business do. At one of our Emerging Young Leaders session we had seven

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young ladies, and each and every one of them stood up and said their goal was to get into cattle production! Young people in the cattle business absolutely love cattle and love the business. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it isn’t the same when you speak to youth in other sectors. This is a huge asset for our industry and this is where our future is! So the question that remains is how do we tap into this asset and how do we encourage it? And maybe just as important is how we choose to define this group we are calling youth? This second question is important because, given the average age of our current producer group, youth can be everything from very young school-aged children, to grown, mature adults who are looking to either start/grow their own operations or take over existing family operations. Tapping into and encouraging the youth can mean very different things and require very different strategies depending on who we are targeting. I would argue that encouraging the entire breadth of youth is important to our industry’s future. This past year’s efforts at the MBP district meetings was admittedly not the resounding success we were dreaming it might have been, but it was a very posi-

tive start. We did hear some interesting things from those young people who did show up, and we did learn about how we might want to improve on the Emerging Young Leaders sessions to maybe grow them. It was a great first step and a good start to a potentially more active relationship with our partners at 4-H and more generally with youth. The one thing we did learn from the three trial events is that we do need to broaden and deepen our relationship with the youth and make it more active in terms of how the industry engages on an ongoing basis and listens to and hears from the youth. As the year is new, and the focus is on the future, MBP will continue to work to strengthen our relationship with youth on multiple fronts, broader than just with our partners at 4-H, and to hopefully include other youth-focused industry groups. We already actively support a number of youth-focused activities such as our bursary program, and our financial support of Agriculture in the Classroom, Young Cattlemen’s Council, MB Outstanding Young Farmers, MB 4-H, and MB Youth Beef Round-up.These are all good, but the gap is still how do we encourage young people to choose careers in the cattle indus-

try, and then how do we help them have reasonable chances of success. Where are the gaps? Who are the partners that we need to work with? What is the role for MBP, versus what is the role of public policy and governments? MBP hopes to unveil a broad strategy that will deliver something to encourage and build capacity in our youth asset. The strategy will look to leverage the good work already being done by the groups mentioned above, and will look to help bridge the gap from the school-aged children, to support adoles-

cents to choose post-secondary options to pursue a career in cattle, and finally to young adults who choose the cattle industry as a career. This effort will require commitments from MBP, from privatesector partners and from government. Our industry is well placed to have a great future, and with the youth of our industry as passionate and committed as I have seen, I look forward to working to help encourage and deliver options to help the next generation take its place in the future of the sector.

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


6

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

Losing NAFTA could affect Canadian beef industry BY RON FRIESEN Canada’s beef and cattle exports would be relatively unscathed if the United States rips up the North American Free Trade Agreement but it won’t exactly be business as usual. That’s the opinion of Mike Gifford, Canada’s former chief agricultural trade negotiator. Duty-free access to the U.S. for cattle and hogs would continue. But a worst-case scenario could see Canada forced to negotiate tariff-free import quotas for beef, according to Gifford. Gifford spoke recently about the state of NAFTA negotiations to a group of academics at the University of Manitoba. Canada, Mexico and the United States are attempting to renegotiate NAFTA because of U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands to either refashion the agreement to benefit American interests or scrap it altogether. Trump has repeatedly called NAFTA “the worst trade agreement in history.” Agriculture is a rela-

tively small factor in the negotiations. The only farm sector that would be significantly impacted is supply management, which the U.S. wants eliminated. Most other Canadian agricultural sectors would remain largely unaffected if the U.S. withdraws from NAFTA. The CanadaU.S. free trade agreement (CUSTA), which still exists, would kick in and duty-free access would continue, Gifford said. But there could be a problem if the U.S. decides to cancel CUSTA as well. Cattle and hogs would see little impact but beef could be affected, Gifford said. With both agreements gone, World Trade Organization rules with Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs would apply. Both Canada and the U.S. have MFN tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for offshore beef, which admit certain volumes from other countries with low in-quota tariffs. Volumes above those amounts are subject to over-quota tariffs of 26.5 per cent. The U.S. provides TRQs for beef to countries like Australia, New Zea-

Mike Gifford, Canada's former chief agricultural trade negotiator, was in Winnipeg recently to give a talk about the importance of NAFTA. Photo Courtesy of Cory Knutt, Golden West Radio.

land and Costa Rica. All its quotas are currently used up. Right now, that’s not a problem for Canada, which has duty-free entry under NAFTA and CUSTA. But it could become a problem if both agreements were eliminated. Canada might have to apply to the U.S. for TRQs that are presently not available. In that case, Canada would have to negotiate a side agreement with the U.S. to keep beef trade

flowing. “In theory there could be a problem,” Gifford said. “But in practice, because of the large two-way trade flows, there will be an inducement by both countries to sort this out sooner rather than later so that basically we end up with duty-free access.” As things stand now, all of this is a moot point because the NAFTA negotiations are underway and no one knows how they will end up. It depends on whether Trump makes good on his threat to pull out of NAFTA if his demands are not met. Besides dismantling supply management, U.S. demands include: eliminating dispute-settling mechanisms, requiring automobiles to contain mainly U.S. content, limiting other countries’ access to public works contracts, and a sunset clause ending NAFTA after five years unless all countries agree to continue it. Canada considers those demands so egregious it isn’t willing to consider them. All of which makes the Americans’ take-it-or-

leave-it position difficult to deal with, Gifford said. “It’s not a normal negotiation,” he told his audience. “Normally you don’t have a negotiation with one party saying, we’re not going to make any changes whatsoever. All the concessions are going to come from you. That is a very unusual negotiation.” Gifford said Western Canadian agriculture is better able today to withstand the shock of the U.S. withdrawing from NAFTA/CUSTA because of efficiency gains. The Western Grain Transportation Act is gone and beef plants are large-scale, world class and competitive with U.S. plants. “It allows us to adjust to the shock of losing NAFTA or the Canada-

U.S. trade agreement. It helps our ability to adjust to those changes.” Still, most sectors, especially red meat which depends heavily on the U.S. market for exports, would be worse off if duty-free access were lost, he said. On the positive side, most of U.S. agriculture favours NAFTA, Gifford added. Most sectors realize they would lose “big time” if the U.S. withdraws because Canada will still have preferential access to Mexico and the U.S. will not. As a result, U.S. agriculture is pressuring its politicians to proceed very carefully with negtotiations, said Gifford. “You’ve got most of U.S. agriculture saying, do no harm. Don’t screw up a good thing.”

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February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Pilot project to show Canadians where their beef comes from

BY ANGELA LOVELL With Manitoba having among the highest personal tax rates in the country, and among the lowest corporate tax rates, farm families who are transitioning land and other farm assets need to make sure they are getting good advice to ensure that transfer is made in the most tax efficient manner for everyone involved. Alberta-based consultant, Merle Good was in Carman, Manitoba recently to try and offer producers some tips for how to save taxes and simplify farm transfers by using the right business structures. Good emphasized that, especially with all the proposed changes to tax legislation that are in the works, farm families should make sure they get tax advice from a qualified professional because tax law is extremely complex, and isn’t likely to get any simpler in the future. Retire into your child’s company Good introduced producers attending the workshop hosted by Farm Credit Canada, to a new concept for transferring farm assets such as equipment, land and grain or livestock inventory on multi-generational farms where the family operates with more than one company. He calls it ‘retiring into your son’s (or daughter’s) operation’. It’s a way to transfer these assets without incurring capital gains tax through the use of inter-corporate loans. How it works is the parents’ company transfers equipment and inventory to their child’s company tax free under a special provision in the Income Tax Act and creates an inter-corporate loan with a promissory note that says the child’s company owes his parents’ company for those as-

sets and will pay for them over an agreed number of years. In this way, Dad and Mom have retired and their child’s company owes them for the equipment and inventory. The child’s company will pay tax on the farm income earned to repay the intercorporate loan. “Dad and Mom receive the repayment of the inter-corporate loan to their company tax free,” says Good. The concept is the same as any loan. The payor cannot deduct the payment and the recipient does not pay tax on repayment of principle. “The parents can then withdraw income personally as a dividend, $30,000 of which is tax free if they have no other source of income or if they have a shareholder’s loan or create one by selling land to their company,” adds

Good. Transfer land the same way Parents can also sell land that is owned by their company to the son’s company and create an inter-corporate loan in the same way. Repayment terms are agreed at the time the loan is drawn up and the parents can also take a mortgage on the land as security against the loan. “Even if Dad dies there is still the receivable that is owed so Mom can retire but she’s not a shareholder, and she is not liable for the corporate debts personally,” says Good. “The son has the ability to pay her back as a creditor.” Basically, says Good, it’s a strategy to get equity into the hands of the next generation over time and convert the parents’ equity into retirement income.

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Mon., Feb 5

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

Wed., Feb 7

Regular Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Fri., Feb 9

Bred Cow Sale

Mon., Feb 12

Butcher Sale

Wed., Feb 14

Presort Feeder Sale

Sun., Feb 18

Bonchuk Farms Simmental Bull Sale

Wed., Feb 21

Regular Feeder Sale

Fri., Feb 23

Bred Cow Sale

Mon., Feb 26

Butcher Sale

Wed., Feb 28

Presort Feeder Sale

Mon., Mar 5

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

Wed., Mar 7

Regular Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Fri., Mar 9

Bred Cow Sale

Sun., Mar 11

Rebels of the West Simmental Sale

Mon., Mar 12

Butcher Sale

Wed., Mar 14

Presort Feeder Sale

Thurs., Mar 15

Sheep/Goat Sale

Sat., Mar 17

Pleasant Dawn Charolais Bull Sale

Mon., Mar 19

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

Wed., Mar 21

Regular Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Fri., Mar 23

Cowboys Angus Bull and Heifer Sale

Mon., Mar 26

Butcher Sale

Wed., Mar 28

Presort Feeder Sale

Sat., Mar 31

Tri N Charolais and Guests Bull 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

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viding our customers and consumers with an increased level of trust in the beef they purchase and eat.” During the year-long pilot, a variety of technologies will be explored, such as DNA testing and blockchain – a shared, continually reconciled, decentralized and highly accountable Internet database tool – to determine their long-term value. Ultimately, the intention is to create a process that is robust while still being practical, scalable and cost-effective. “We want this to be the best possible model for beef from verified sustainable sources in Canada, and we are energized about the potential benefits for stakeholders across the entire beef value chain,” stated Bhandal. “Any technology that could potentially make this process better for the Canadian beef value chain will be considered.” Cargill’s 2017-2018 pilot builds on learnings from the McDonald’s beef sustainability pioneering effort completed in 2016, in which nearly 9,000 cattle were tracked through the entire supply chain. The new pilot is also designed to test – for the first time – the standards and guidance developed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Cargill is a founding member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and its Canadian and U.S. offshoots, and is the largest beef processor in Canada. - Media Release

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

FEBRUARY

Using business structures to transfer land and assets

(RFID) tag system, cattle will be tracked by the Beef Info-Exchange System (BIXS) from the time cattle producers tag them, through processing at Cargill’s High River beef plant. Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) – overseen by the Beef Cattle Research Council and operated with the assistance of provincial cattle organizations – will be the first certification body utilized to audit cattle producers who choose to participate. A unique aspect of this pilot involves rewarding participating cattle producers as a way to help offset the increased costs associated with implementing and running the pilot. McDonald’s Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited and the Swiss Chalet Rotisserie and Grill restaurant unit of Vaughan, Ontario-based CARA Operations Ltd., are the Cargill customers initially participating in this pilot. “Ever-more-frequently, our retail and restaurant customers ask us questions about where Canadian beef comes from and how the cattle are raised,” said Gurneesh Bhandal, Cargill’s beef sustainability manager based in Toronto. “Consumer research tells us there is a thirst for this type of information. We have been listening and learning, and our year-long 20172018 sustainability pilot will help create the infrastructure needed to implement the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef ’s standard in our supply chain, pro-

MARCH

kicked off in November, has significant scale and will incorporate, and explore, new technologies. It will include only Canadian cattle, starting with animals processed at Cargill’s High River, Alberta, facility. Using the Canadian beef industry’s existing radio-frequency identification

2018 Winter Sale Schedule

Thanks to an ambitious Cargill Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot, by the end of 2018 the company’s customers should be one step closer to providing consumers with beef from operations that have been audited from ‘birth to burger’ using an industry developed sustainability standard. The newest initiative, which

11:30 am 9:00 am 10:00 am 9:00 am 11:30 am 9:00 am 10:00 am

11:30 am 9:00 am 10:00 am Noon

9:00 am 10:00 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:

Stefan Bouw: 204-232-1620

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

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

Market corrections lead to tenuous start for 2018 RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line The weather temperatures were not the only things that dropped aggressively in early to mid January. In the space of 24 hours, cattle prices in the USA dropped 10 to 15 cents per pound, while in Canada prices dropped between 15 and 20 cents per pound. The middleweight cattle between 650 and 875 pounds were the hardest hit with the price adjustment. Heifers dropped even more than the steers

of equal weight. The lightweight cattle under the 600-pound mark had a slight correction from the December prices, while the heifers had a moderate correction compared to the steers. The cattle under 600 pounds will probably go to the grass and be harvested in December of 2018 or in the first quarter of 2019. This gives the feeder more pounds to put on and more time for the market to improve. The heavy cattle will

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kill earlier in the year, and if you go by the futures market, the sooner to slaughter the better the projected price! As of January 15 of this year, the live cattle futures for April were at $119.00, June was running $8.25 behind at $111.75 and August was another $2.00 behind at $109. 00. The cash market at the same time in January was $1.75 dressed in Alberta, which translated to nearly 17 cents per pound live higher than Ontario feeders were being offered for their cattle. It made the Alberta steers anywhere from 13 to 15 cents higher than the Nebraska weighted average for the same time. The writing was on the wall, and prices were ripe for an adjustment. While writing this, both of Alberta’s major packers announced short term reduced kills due to the lack of slaughter-ready fed cattle and the high cash price required to purchase the inventory on offer. The current inventory in many of the backgrounding feedlots could lose between $200 and $300 per head, based on the current futures prices. Some of the feedlots took risk management positions on the market and the dollar, which could offset some of those losses. However, going forward, they will try to purchase new inventory closer to the deferred cash positions. So where did all of the extra cattle come from? USDA reported that there will over one million more calves born in the USA in 2017. Imports from Mexico into the southern states increased substantially in 2017. Dry weather conditions meant that cattle that normally go to grass or winter wheat went to the

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feedlots earlier and lighter. In Canada, every province reported more calves sold in 2017 despite little to no increase in the basic cowherd. In Manitoba we sold approximately 20% more calves last year than the year before with the biggest increase occurring during the fall run. Every pen in every reputable feedlot in Canada and the USA was full by late December. The main question from producers is why did those middleweight cattle take such a price adjustment? The simple answer is supply and demand. If you refer back to the on feed reports in December and break down the weights of the cattle placed on feed and when they were placed, there appears to be a surplus of fed cattle available for the summer months. Some analysts feel that there will be more fed cattle available during that time than slaughter capacity. It may well be that the American packer will have to kill six days per week and possibly add some additional overtime hours on certain days. The same could be said for Canada. The increased numbers of Canadian calves placed on feed in Canada, combined with a large number of imported American born calves imported into Alberta, would suggest that there will be even more fed cattle available this summer in Alberta. Last summer, despite very good prices for fed cattle, many feeders were having to book cattle into the plants 30 to 40 days prior to actual kill dates. The export market has been very strong in the USA during the past year; this resulted in packers posting profits for the fed cattle harvest for the second straight year. All early indications are that beef

sales overseas and domestically will be strong again this year. The packers certainly will have the opportunity to purchase the cattle at lower prices, and if feeders resist, they will end up making the cattle bigger, resulting in heavier carcasses and more pounds of meat for sale. Despite the bearish predictions, the feeder cattle price on January 15, 2018 is still approximately 10 cents per pound higher on 850-pound steers than last year at this time. Producers who held back their calves may wish that they had sold them in the fall, but they still have a chance of more dollars per head than last year. Heifer prices may see some slight improvement later in the spring, as there could be demand for breeding type heifers. Another factor contributing to limited demand for Manitoba cattle right now is a shortage of

NCO Town Hall

The first National Check-Off Town Hall was held Dec. 7 in MacGregor. Tom Lynch-Staunton of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association was one of four speakers at the meeting. Lynch-Staunton spoke about his work as the manager of Public and Stakeholder Engagement for the CCA, a position which is funded by National Check-Off Dollars. For more on the NCO Town Hall Meeting please see the March issue Cattle Country.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

• 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.

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trucks! True, the numbers of cattle on offer at the markets are manageable, but cattle feeders from Ontario and Quebec who backgrounded cattle in Manitoba are aggressively moving those cattle back east, which has created another seasonal shortage of trucks. The good news is that the movement of these cattle opens pen space in Manitoba, which will help the prices for those lighter cattle coming to market. This major correction in the prices was not a total surprise. What did surprise everyone was how rapid the correction happened and how much it dropped in such a short time. With a predicted increase of another million of calves in the USA for 2018 and the dry weather conditions in many areas, you can’t help but be a little nervous about the cattle markets in 2018. Until next time, Rick

Contact for more information Bill Campbell 204-724-6218 www.mbbeef.ca


February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Extended grazing strategies LYNNE PINDER, EXTENSION COORDINATOR, MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS, EMMA MCGEOUGH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA Extended grazing techniques are now commonplace on many beef operations on the Prairies. As overwinter feeding accounts for two thirds of the costs associated with cow/calf production in Western Canada there has been increased interest in maintaining beef cattle on pasture throughout the fall/winter to reduce labour, mechanical inputs and fuel costs. According to a 2011 survey of Canadian beef operations led by the University of Manitoba, 58 per cent of producers included winter grazing as part of their feeding program. The top six reasons producers gave for not implementing winter grazing strategies were: snow cover, winter water availability, extreme low temperatures, wasted feed, animal health and welfare and reduced animal performance. However, research is addressing many of these concerns and further adaptations of extended grazing strategies, alone or in combination, offer the potential for flexible, sustainable overwintering for cattle. Stockpile Grazing Stockpile grazing in Canada accounts for 1529 per cent of winter grazing and much of the interest in stockpile grazing is associated with reduced

feed storage, feed delivery, equipment costs, in addition to lower seeding requirements for perennial forages. However, as with all methods consideration of the target class of cattle and their nutrient requirements affects adoption with this method typically utilized for beef cows. As plants mature, crude protein and energy concentrations decline while crude fibre and cellulose levels increase. Crude protein requirements, for dry cows in the second and third trimester are typically seven per cent and 8-9 per cent, respectively, with minimum TDN requirement of 5560 Therefore, selection of forage species and forage management to maintain quality into the late fall/ early winter are essential to provide adequate protein and energy during gestation and maintain animal condition as unlike other methods of extended grazing, stockpile forages are not harvested at peak nutritional value. The overall success of stockpile grazing is dictated by many factors including forage species present, the length of the accumulation season, soil nutrient management and environmental conditions during the grazing/growing, the latter particularly pertinent during extreme

cold/snowfall where accessibility to forages may be limited. Swath Grazing Swath grazing accounts for 17-25 per cent of extended grazing strategies used in Canada and offers the potential to optimize nutritive value and yield by altering harvest date. Hence, this strategy offers potential benefits over stockpile grazing of standing forage which continues to mature and decline in nutritive quality until time of grazing. Cereals are typically seeded later (mid-late June) for swath grazing than for grain production in a bid to achieve optimal nutritive value later in the growing season. However, seeding date is cropspecific as delayed late seeding (July) may have negative implications for yield, particularly for barley which is a cool season crop that may be stressed by the typically hot ambient temperatures at this time. Barley is the most common crop for swath grazing because of its rapid growth and maturity during the relatively short Canadian growing season. One western Canadian study compared bale grazing of barley versus swath grazed barley and reported that the nutritive value of both would meet main-

tenance requirements of beef cows, with minimal or no body weight change and no negative effect on subsequent reproductive performance. Relative to perennialbased extended grazing strategies, annual seeding and tillage and their associated inputs can inflate total feeding costs therefore the value of liveweight gains, particularly for backgrounded cattle, should be considered. Bale Grazing Bale grazing accounts for 23-42 per cent of the extended grazing strategies used in Canada. This strategy also offers cost saving benefits in the form of reduced labour and inputs. Grasses or grass/legume mixtures are the most commonly used forages for bale grazing and as with the previously discussed strategies. Cost savings can accrue relative to traditional overwintering strategies owing to reduced labour and input. To prepare for bale grazing, forage is harvested during the growing season and then placed prior to snowfall with 9-10 meters between each bale. Pasture placement of bales prior to onset of winter conditions results in lower snow removal costs and equipment operation and ease of management in terms of twine or net wrap removal prior to snow or freezing rain

and access to forage under heavy snow conditions. Bale grazing can support higher stocking density than other extended grazing strategies, thus, consideration should be given to potential environmental impacts of bale grazing which tends to concentrate manure around the feeding area. Concentrates of manure and waste around the feeding area can increase soil fertility, but also cause nutrient loss of nitrogen and phosphorus through surface runoff with snowmelt. With appropriate planning, this risk can be minimized by strategic placement of bales to decrease the possibility of nutrient leaching and surface runoff. Corn Grazing Corn grazing in Canada currently accounts for 7 per cent of extended grazing strategies. Corn is a high energy feed for cattle however, production of this crop can be limited based on the corn heat units generated, which decreases the areas available to successfully grow the crop. With corn, high yields, combined with its high nutritive value, makes this crop a worthy option of consideration for extended grazing. However for backgrounding cattle or replacement heifers, CP content would likely be insufficient to support their require-

ments for growth thus supplementation would be necessary. Standing corn may act as a natural windbreak, offering wind-protection for overwintered cattle reducing the negative effects of windchill on cattle energy requirements. Furthermore, its height and erect nature also offers enhanced forage access under snow conditions relative to swathed or stockpiled forages, thus serving as an important strategy when snow accumulation is an issue. The success of overwintering relies on consideration of the entire integrated forage-livestock system. Often a combination of extended grazing strategies will be employed to maximise efficiencies and ensure the success of the foragebased feeding strategies. Careful consideration of nutrient requirements of the various classes of cattle, practical growing/ feeding implications, environmental conditions and the economics of the various options will dictate level of adoption within the beef industry. Article based on: Annual and perennial forages for fall/winter grazing in western Canada E.J. McGeough, D. Cattani, Z. Koscielny, B. Hewitt and K.H. Ominski. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 2017.

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FAMILY TRADITION BULL SALE MARCH 16, 2018

2 P.M. ~NEW LOCATION~ Inglis, MB

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

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February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

ARE YOU A LIVESTOCK OPERATOR ?

E XPECTED livestock traceability regulatory amendments will require

livestock operations to register and identify their premises with their local provincial or territorial government premises registry. You CAN prepare in

2

steps

1. CONTACT your local premises registry with your legal land description to confirm or acquire a valid premises identification (PID) number for your livestock site 2. CONTACT Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to confirm or acquire a Canadian Livestock Tracking System database account and enter your PID into it, by toll-free telephone at 1-877-909-2333 or email at info@canadaid.ca

F IND your local P REMISES R EGISTRY BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1-888-221-7141 ALBERTA: 310-FARM (3276) SASKATCHEWAN: 1-866-457-2377

MANITOBA:

1-204-945-7684

ONTARIO: 1-855-697-7743 QUEBEC: 1-866-270-4319 NEW BRUNSWICK: 1-506-453-2109 NOVA SCOTIA: 1-800-279-0825 PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: 1-866-PEI-FARM NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR: 1-709-637-2088 YUKON: 1-867-667-3043 www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

Proper vaccination efforts benefit the entire cattle industry DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner During one of the MBP meetings, a question was asked about what a “bare bones” vaccination program would be for cattle in Manitoba. It was also commented that if most if not all disease is caused by errors in nutrition and management, would not taking care of these two reduce vaccination requirements? Let’s discuss this further. Vaccination is critically important, especially in today’s industry. Calves born on Manitoba farms that are sold in auction marts, privately or via satellite auction may end up in Manitoba but are much more likely to be shipped to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec or exported to the US. So it could be argued that you must consider vaccinating to cover disease that may occur throughout North America. Yes, that disease won’t hurt your pocketbook as a cow/calf producer but unvaccinated or poorly vaccinated calves cause angst, frustration and lost profit for those in the feedlot business. Here is a true story. I got a call from a producer (not local - he called me because I write in Cattle Country) who sold his 800lb steers through an auction mart. The Ontario feedlot owner who

bought them phoned the auction mart to make a complaint and advised that if he ever got a group of calves like that again from that auction mart, he would quit buying there. The vaccination program was bare bones - it covered for the diseases that this producer and those in his area would experience - Blackleg. The health of the herd was reportedly exceptional no scours issues, calves healthy at birth, backgrounded after weaning with no sickness issues. But the calves were unprepared for life outside the farm. For those of you with kids … think back to the first few months when your oldest started nursery school or Kindergarten. How many of you were sicker than usual? I can see the hands go up. Immune systems don’t get challenged at home. The same goes for calves. Study after study shows that calves vaccinated prior to feedlot entry for viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens perform better and experience less sickness. Chronics and death losses are also decreased. Note that I said calves vaccinated “before” feedlot entry. The booster is given at entry. Choose a vaccine that covers against the following - IBR, BVD,

Friday, March 2, 2018 1:00 PM Heartland Livestock, Brandon, MB The AgribiTion Pen 2017 grand Champion Pen of bulls HBH 18E, HBH 63E, HBH 76E

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155e

hbh exclaim 155e

57e

hbh egrow 57e

Sire: Vin-Mar Johnny Cash

246e

hbh ekon 246e

Sire: TJF 20X Ambush 14Z

• 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.

708e

ArY explosion 708e Sire: SAV Ten Speed

Manager — Barb Airey Oak River, Manitoba 204-566-2134 • 204-761-1851 rbairey@hotmail.com Like us on facebook HBH Angus

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T Bar C Cattle Co. Ltd. Chris: 306-220-5006 Shane: 403-363-9973 Ben: 519-374-3335

Visitors are always welcome! Please stop by to see the bulls and have a visit. HBHCattleCountry_2018.indd 1

feedlot, BVD causes immune suppression, predisposing calves to other viral and bacterial infections. Some strains result in the classic textbook signs and result in death from ulcers throughout the intestinal tract, lameness and hemorrhages. The producer that commented that most disease is caused by errors in nutrition and management is correct. Cattle in poor body condition don’t have good immune systems. Cattle in excellent body condition but lacking proper vitamin and mineral supplementation don’t have good immune systems. And cattle that are poorly managed don’t have good immune systems. A sound vaccination program is just one aspect of good management. Talk to your veterinarian about the bare bones program and vaccinate every animal on your farm - calves, replacements, cows, bulls. The diseases discussed above are specific for health issues in calves in the feedlot. Other diseases important for cow reproductive or newborn calf health may also be important core vaccines for your herd. If you are fearful of considering retained ownership of your calves post-weaning, you are a problem for the beef industry and a reason for increased antimicrobial usage. Review your whole herd program with your veterinarian today.

If you have photos and videos you would like to share contact MBP Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon at csaxon@mbbeef.ca

HBH / Airey Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

Sire: Northern View SMW Gustov 3Z

PI3, BRSV, M.hemolytica, H.somnus. P.multocida can also be included if there are known herd issues. Vaccination starts at birth and should be boostered at pasture turnout (approximately 6-8 weeks of age). Just vaccinating calves and not cows isn’t good enough. IBR causes respiratory disease in calves but causes abortion in cows. A naive, unvaccinated cow herd can easily experience >40 per cent abortions during an outbreak and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. IBR is commonly brought into a herd through purchases of new stock and that stock can be healthy and even vaccinated. Healthy carrier animals shed the virus during stress. BVD will never be controlled in the feedlot until the cow herd is vaccinated. And, if everyone vaccinated their cows for BVD, we could eradicate the virus. Depending on the stage of pregnancy that exposure occurs, BVD causes early embryonic death, abortions, stillbirths, congenital defects and, worst of all, the “silent carrier” persistently infected (PI) calf that is a BVD virus shedding factory. Exposure of naive unvaccinated pregnant heifers to a PI calf has been shown experimentally to result in >90% birth of PI calves. If those heifers have been properly vaccinated prior to breeding, 100 per cent protection occurs. In the

www.mbbeef.ca

15/01/2018 3:01:17 PM


February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Fire up your imagination with fajitas BY ELISABETH HARMS With the holidays now officially behind us, we face the seemingly never-ending winter, and all the monotony that comes with it. The days until another holiday are many and they are punctuated by the grey dullness of old snow. While the days are very slowly getting longer, that doesn’t change how cold the weather is when the wind is blasting us from the north. While some of us are lucky enough to escape the cold winter for warmer climes, the rest of us must content ourselves with daydreams and imagination. If you’re not jetting off on a sunny vacation, here is a recipe that will help you imagine that you are someplace warm. First picture the sunny, blue skies that you are enjoying under the shade of a large patio umbrella. You’ve got sunglasses on and you can see the sandy beach on the other side of the street. Over the noise of the street, you can make out the sound of the ocean rolling up on the shore. There are lots of sounds and smells around you: the salty freshness of the ocean air, people chatting and strolling down the street, and finally, fajita meat sizzling on the grill and the spice that comes with it. A fresh tortilla hits the grill and you start to anticipate a plate of steaming rice and spicy meat. The term fajita actually refers to a specific cut of meat that is used to make the Mexican classic of the same name: fajitas. It refers to the beef skirt steak that lines the ribs. It can range in length from two to three feet and is two to three inches in width. If this particular cut of meat is not available to you, flank steak is a great alternative. The flank steak is leaner than the skirt, but it readily takes on any flavour that you hit it with in a marinade: sweet, spicy, tangy, savoury, it does it all. Make sure you allow the piece of meat to marinate at least an hour to soak up all the flavour that you throw at it. The meat can marinate overnight, if you wish; the longer the better. Depending on your family’s tastes, you can really play with the spice levels in the marinade. Crank up the cayenne pepper for a spicy bite, or tone it down for a milder take. When finished, fajitas are very easily customized. You can be very creative with the toppings for the fajitas: salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and grated cheese make great toppings, but you can also create more of a salad by adding fresh vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, green pepper, and green onions. For me, a nice warm tortilla really rounds things off. While tortillas are definitely better homemade, tortillas from the store will serve your purposes just as well. To make sure that they are nice and warm,

you can warm them in a frying pan over medium heat. However, if you are grilling your meat outside on a BBQ, throw those tortillas down on the grill to absorb some of that fabulous flavour that was left behind by the meat. You can’t go wrong, whether you want to roll everything up in the tortilla or whether you just want to use it to dip and scoop up all that fresh salsa and guacamole. While you are eating these delicious fajitas, I hope you’ll imagine yourself in shorts and sandals, enjoying the sun. Seat yourself under that umbrella and let yourself, just for a moment, imagine the sun warming your skin. If you can’t make it to Mexico, at least let us bring a few of those hot Mexican flavours to you.

Fajitas Recipe

here is our version of this Mexican classic! Ingredients Marinade: 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced 1 tbsp canola oil 2 tbsp lime juice 1 tsp chili powder ½ tsp cumin ½ tsp cayenne powder 1 bell pepper, red/orange/yellow, sliced into strips 1 medium onion, sliced For serving: Rice Salsa Guacamole Grated cheese Warm tortillas Directions 1. Slice the meat very thinly, no more than a quarter inch. When slicing, make sure you are slicing against the grain. 2. Marinate the beef and let sit for at least an hour – the longer the better. Cook in a hot non-stick skillet until done, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pan when finished. 3. Add 1 tbsp canola oil to the hot skillet, followed by the onions and peppers. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the peppers have softened and are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. 4. When finished, return the beef to the pan, to warm through. Turn to low heat. 5. While the beef mixture is being warmed, heat a frying pan over medium heat to warm the tortillas. They will only need about 3 minutes per side. 6. Once the tortillas are done, feel free to serve it up however you like: with salsa, guacamole, cheese, or even a side of rice.

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.

www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

UAVs can be a useful tool but know the rules before you fly BY ANGELA LOVELL There are lots of exciting, potential uses for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in agriculture, and researchers, ag consultants, producers and others in the industry are just beginning to understand what they are. Researchers at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) research farms are using UAVs to help analyse things such as pasture plant health and growth. For the average beef producer, however, uses may be a bit more limited because there is a definite learning curve around flying UAVs and interpreting the data they potentially can collect. The most basic use for a UAV might be checking the cattle out in the fields to see where they are, but add a few sensors and it could be used to check vegetation health and productiv-

ity using a process called NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) which uses different light spectrums to measure the difference in vegetation that the naked eye cannot see. “You could use a UAV with another type of sensor to look at thermal imaging that measures heat,” says Steven Hills, an instructor at Assiniboine Community College who has been assisting researchers at MBFI on some of their projects and demonstrated a UAV for producers attending MBFI’s Summer Pasture Tour on August 30. “There’s some research that’s in it’s very early stages in the U.S. where they are looking at changes in animals’ body temperatures at time of calving, which might be a way in the future to keep track of when cows are about to calve.” UAV or Satellite? With UAVs provid-

ing a lot of the same imagery that satellites provide, why would a producer decide to choose one over the other? A lot boils down to turnaround time, says Hills. “Satellite imagery is only captured as the satellite goes over, and if there are clouds or it’s a rainy day you might not get a good image at that particular moment,” he says. “That satellite might not pass over that particular area again for 15 or 20 days due to the tasking and the orbit patterns, whereas a UAV can fly at any time and take some imagery when you want it and the conditions are perfect.” There also isn’t as much option to control the resolution of a satellite image as there is with a UAV. “If you want to fly at a 25 meter altitude, you can get a much finer resolution on the ground in terms of your image,” says Hills. “A satellite image might come in with

It’s Great To Be Outstanding In Your Field. It’s Not So Great For Your Business To Be Standing Out In a Field!

only a one or two meter pixel.” Satellite imagery can be expensive, but a basic UAV with a colour camera and real-time video capabilities is around $1,500, so fairly affordable. How to read the data The real issue still remains analysing and interpreting data, especially if UAVs are taking more advanced imagery, which is far too time consuming for most producers. “Most of the Precision Ag companies and consultants are doing a lot of that stuff,” says Hills. “A lot of it now is also being done in the “cloud”. A farmer can upload his crop yields as he’s harvesting them and get those processed by the consultant right away, or in due time, and added to his history. A lot of this kind of data is being networked over the internet or in the cloud.” Although most producers are happy to leave the technical interpretation of their data to someone more qualified, those people still need the producer’s expertise and knowledge to make it relevant to his or her situation. “A lot of farmers don’t have the high tech end of the training required to put some of

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that stuff together but they can discuss in detail, field history, input applications, the effect of certain things on the crops, things that worked and things that didn’t work,” says Hills. “There are always things that you can’t see from satellite imagery, from a UAV image or from any kind of precision ag technology and that’s the boots in the dirt kind of information. In reality, the farmer has to work closely with the consultant to transfer that field knowledge that they have so they can get the best possible advice.” Changes to the rules coming There are also some changes coming soon from Transport Canada to the regulations around flying UAVs, particularly in regards to where they can fly. People flying UAVs within built up areas like cities and towns will have to get a Special Flight Operation Certificate (SFOC) whereas currently they can fly in those areas if they meet some exemptions. Most agricultural applications for UAVs occur outside of built up areas, and the rules for operating a UAV in these areas are more relaxed. “In these areas you don’t need an SFOC if you can

meet some of the basic requirements,” says Hills. The new rules will introduce a testing process, although it is not yet clear whether it will be online like the current Firearms Acquisition Certificate test or the Boat Safety test. All UAV operators, regardless of where they fly, will also need to maintain $100,000 liability insurance. There are a number of ground schools that offer UAV flight training, and Hills suggests getting some basic instruction is always a good thing. “It’s important to understand that these things are considered to be a regular aircraft and that you need to maybe understand a little bit around the theory of flight or what makes them fly, the safety concerns around using them and understand the rules and regulations,” says Hills. “A lot of the ground training schools go through all of that. Certainly, in the future that ground training school requirement, depending on the use, may or may not go away depending on this basic knowledge test that is being introduced and some of the other changes, but I certainly think it’s a good idea to understand that component."

Butcher Sale

9:00 am;

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tues., Feb 6

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Thurs., Feb 8

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

Tues., Feb 13

Presort Sale

9:30 am

Thurs., Feb 15

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tues., Feb 20

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Thurs., Feb 22

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

Tues., Feb 27

Presort Sale

9:30 am

Fri., Mar 2

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

1:00 pm

Tues., Mar 6

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Tues., Mar 13

Presort Sale

9:30 am

Thurs., Mar 15

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tues., Mar 20

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Tues., Mar 27

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

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.

Manitoba Beef Producers 1-800-772-0458 or eharms@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services


February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

MASC helps grow your herd It must be daunting for a young person to enter the agriculture industry today. Land prices are breaking records, machinery and input costs are climbing, and buying calves or yearlings to start a herd requires considerable investment. The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) has long understood the issues that face today’s young farmers. In addition to MASC’s insurance and lending programs that support producers of all ages, MASC also offers programs that specifically target the need to support our young farmers. MASC Insurance for Young Farmers As a beginning farmer, you’re eligible to receive MASC’s Young Farmer Crop Plan Credit to assist with paying premiums on an AgriInsurance contract. The onetime subsidy of $300 is applied against your first year of AgriInsurance premiums, provided you prepare and implement a cropping plan that’s approved by a Manitoba Agriculture Farm Production Extension Specialist – Crop or Agricultural Extension Coordinator. “The Young Farmer Crop Plan Credit helps young farmers with their first year’s AgriInsurance premiums,” said David Van Deynze, Vice-Pres-

ident of MASC Insurance Operations, “But it’s also a way to get young farmers into a good practice of preparing cropping plans. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way.” Young farmers should also be aware of MASC’s extensive insurance programming aimed at livestock producers. MASC Forage Insurance, a complete suite of risk management programs, can include a lowcost ‘Basic Hay’ coverage that may appeal to beginning farmers, especially with the Hay Disaster and Forage Restoration Benefits that are included at no additional cost. MASC Lending for Young Farmers MASC Lending programs are also advantageous for beginning livestock farmers, with financing that can really assist with the costs of start-up and continued operations. MASC Direct Loans, Young Farmer Rebates, and Flexible Financing Options MASC offers Direct Loans of up to $3 million, enough for almost any operation to get upand-running or expand an existing farm. MASC Direct Loans have repayment terms of up to 25 years, and can have interest rates fixed for the full life (amortization) of the loan, or a renewable

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rate with a period of one to five years. Even more enticing, MASC Direct Loans have no prepayment penalties. You can use a Direct Loan to finance most agricultural purposes, including the purchase of land or buildings, new or used equipment, breeding livestock, supplymanaged quota, permanent improvements to land, purchases or renovations of greenhouses and nurseries, and the purchase, construction or renovation of farm production buildings and on-farm homes. In addition, Direct Loans can be used to finance debt consolidations and operating expenses, and to help align principal payments with cash flow. Direct Loans to purchase bred heifers have the option of an additional six months of interest-only payments. Direct Loans also have several attractive options for young farmers (aged 39 or younger) just entering into agriculture. The Young Farmer Rebate (YFR) is a rebate of up to two percent on the first $150,000 of a Direct Loan’s principal, good for a lifetime maximum rebate of $15,000. The rebate rate of a YFR is determined by MASC’s five-year fixed interest rate at the time of loan commencement. As a young farmer, you can also opt for one of MASC’s ‘flexible financing’ options. With 90 per cent financing on

a Direct Loan, you can significantly reduce the required down payment, giving you the extra capital to put towards other farm expenses. Alternatively, you can select to make interest-only payments for the first five years of a Direct Loan, which can ease cash flow pressures while your enterprise is just being established. “The YFR and flexible financing options are really helpful to young farmers,” said Kevin Craig, Vice-President of MASC Lending Operations. “It can be a real challenge for a beginning young farmer to find financing, and sometimes even more of a challenge to finance other expenses while maintaining a repayment schedule. The YFR and flexible financing options were created to release some of these pressures facing a young farmer.” Stocker Loans MASC Lending is a resource for farmers of all ages looking to build or expand their livestock herds. MASC’s Stocker Loans Program provides short-term financing for producers who purchase feeder cattle and/or lambs, or retain owned calves and/or lambs for feeding. Under the Stocker Loans Program, you can borrow up to $500,000 for the purchase of cattle or lambs, with interest terms of 12 months for cattle and five months for sheep. Cattle must have a minimum weight of 400

lbs (181 kg) to be eligible for a Stocker Loan; sheep must have a minimum weight of 45 lbs (22.5 kg). For cattle, repayment is to be made upon sale of cattle, or within 12 months for stocker steers and heifers (nine months for breeding heifers), whichever comes first. For lambs and feeder cows, repayment is to be made upon sale of livestock, or within five months, whichever comes first. WLPIP and Stocker Loan Interest Rebates No matter a producer’s age, hardships can quickly become overwhelming if the market turns downward. In Manitoba, MASC offers the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), which provides a producer with an insurable ‘floor’ price on cattle and hogs. If market price for livestock falls below your insured floor price during an end-of-term claim period, you can claim for an indemnity. “WLPIP will pro-

tect against the volatility of the marketplace and manage the risks of falling prices,” explained Jason Dobbin, MASC’s WLPIP Coordinator. “We have tailored products for every aspect of the beef production chain.” If you finance feeder cattle with an MASC Stocker Loan, and then purchase a WLPIP policy to insure a floor price on these feeder cattle, you’re eligible for a one-time interest rebate of 0.25 percent of the Stocker Loan amount. For eligibility, the WLPIP policy purchased must have an insurable value equal to or greater than the Stocker Loan amount. “On a Stocker Loan of $150,000, for example, a producer receives a $375 credit towards repayment of his Stocker Loan,” explained Craig. “It isn’t a huge amount, but every saving counts, and it’s a something of a reward for getting started in managing the risks of raising livestock.” Page 17 

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

Important changes to antimicrobial access ARTICLE COURTESY OF THE CCA ACTION NEWS Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a global issue that impacts the ability of medicines to treat infections and disease in both animals and humans. Action is being taken around the world on reducing the risk of AMR. Canada has its own panCanadian framework to address AMR including some changes to how livestock producers can access antimicrobials. Of note to beef producers is a change to the own use importation (OUI) process, went into effect on November 13, 2017. Additional changes will see claims for growth promotion dropped from labels of medically important antimicrobials used in livestock production, and access to these products restricted to prescription only effective December 1, 2018. Canada’s beef industry has a proven track record of prudent and judicious use of veterinary antimicrobials, however we recognize that all stakeholders in Canada’s human

and animal health systems must play a role in minimizing AMR development. These changes ensure that the antimicrobial products we have now continue to be effective into the future. Additionally, the enhanced tracking associated with these changes should help improve consumer confidence in how the beef industry accesses and uses antimicrobials. The laying of the groundwork for these changes began last year with drug manufacturers (voluntarily) rescinding the label claim for growth promotion from medically important antimicrobials used in livestock production. These included all products in Categories I, II, and III deemed very high importance, high importance and medium importance to human medicine respectively. (There are very few medically important (Class I, II or III) antibiotics that have a growth promotion claim for cattle.) This change will affect a total of eight in-feed

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products. Four of these will have the label modified to remove references to growth and feed efficiency, while leaving the healthrelated claims intact. The other four in-feed products only have a feed efficiency label claim and may be taken off the market, unless a health-related label claim is approved. Ionophores (monensin, etc.) are Category IV, and will keep their growth promotion claims. The target date for this policy to be fully effective is Dec. 1, 2018. More recently, Health Canada consulted upon, and then published in Canada Gazette II, regulatory amendments to the Food and Drugs Regulations for Veterinary Drugs. These amendments included: • veterinary Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) imported or sold in Canada must be manufactured in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs); • persons who fabricate, package/label, import or test an API for veterinary use must to do so in accordance with an Establishment Licence (EL); • own use importation (OUI) of certain unauthorized drugs (including APIs) is restricted; • manufacturers and importers must provide sales volume information by species for veterinary antimicrobials; and • the introduction of an alternative, more appropriate pathway for manufacturers to legally import and sell low-risk Veterinary Health Products (VHPs). Additionally, a policy

set by Health Canada effective December 1, 2018 will require that all Category I, II, and III antimicrobials may only be sold pursuant to the presentation of a valid prescription. Prescriptions from a veterinarian will be required regardless of route of administration, so injectables, in-water and in-feed formulations are all affected. This will mean all livestock producers will require a valid VeterinaryClient-Patient Relationship (VCPR) in order to obtain the necessary prescription to access these antimicrobials. These products will only be available from a veterinary drug dispensary or pharmacy, subject to provincial regulations on veterinary drug dispensing. This is an important change. For instance, antimicrobials that many producers commonly use to treat calf scours or footrot will no longer be available over the counter at farm supply stores or feedmills. Of particular interest to beef producers are the changes to the own use importation process. The established CCA policy has always been that only products already approved for use in Canada should be imported for own use and limited to over the counter products including parasiticides. The objective for this policy has always been about price control and competitiveness for our industry, not about accessing new products not available in Canada. One option was to shut down OUI completely. However, through the consultation process, industry prevailed in maintaining a

www.mbbeef.ca

process for OUI that will continue to allow specified products to be imported for own use by a livestock producer. As of Nov 13, 2017, only those products registered on “List B,” published on the Health Canada website will be permitted for OUI. These will not include any Category I, II, or III antimicrobials, biologics (vaccines) or pesticides regulated under the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The need for a valid VCPR will likely help some producers who could benefit from interacting with their veterinarian more frequently. That will help elevate the overall herd health and welfare management of industry. However, these changes come with some significant challenges, particularly as the feed and livestock industries adapt to the new rules. Antibiotic prices may rise, because fewer businesses will be able to sell them. Not all provinces legally allow veterinary pharmacies to be established. Large operations that do on-farm feed mixing may have fewer options regarding where they are allowed to purchase certain types of medicated products. Feedmills are not pharmacies, so they won’t be allowed to sell bags of tetracycline or tylosin for on-farm mixing. Similarly, it is unclear at this time whether wholesaler distributors will be allowed to sell prescription product directly to producers, even with a valid prescription. The Canadian beef industry’s stellar history of responsible use of veterinary antimicrobials

is a matter of public record, as evidenced by random residual drug testing at processors and the surveillance program conducted by the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS), under the Public Health Agency of Canada. Since 2002 CIPARS has collected and tested samples from abattoirs and retail beef. The surveillance shows that resistance to antimicrobials of the highest importance in human health is very low and not increasing in Canada. The same holds for multi-drug antimicrobial resistance. Similar results have been seen in a series of collaborative studies conducted by industry and government research teams in commercial Canadian feedlots since the late 1990’s. The very low level of antimicrobial resistance observed in Canadian cattle and beef indicate that Canada’s cattle producers use antimicrobials prudently. Research confirms this; over 90 per cent of the antimicrobials used in feedlot production are ionophores – a class of antimicrobial not used in human medicine. Still, there is always room for improvement from all stakeholders. These include doctors, hospitals, and patients on the human side; veterinarians, producers and animal care givers on the livestock side. Our mutual goal is to ensure that the medicines we currently have, and new ones in the future, will be effective when used properly.


February 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Let's keep the food guide about food The Issues Management Monthly column highlights the work being done to address beef industry issues by Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) staff, featuring Manager, Public and Stakeholder Engagement Tom Lynch-Staunton. Happy New Year everyone. It seems that one of the issues we will be dealing with quite a lot in 2018 is the Canada Food Guide. Over the holidays, a colleague from CCA (who also happens to be a great Action News editor) shared a blog post with me from the Huffington Post about the Canada Food Guide. If it wasn’t clear enough from the headline, “Keep The Animal Agriculture Industry Out Of The New Food Guide,” and subhead: ‘The “short term profit interests of select food industries should not be permitted to compromise our health,’ the blog was penned by an anti-animal agriculture activist group. In a nutshell the blog suggests that the animal agriculture industry’s lobbying efforts are primarily concerned with the economic viability of the industry, and that we are using these potential negative

economic impacts to influence Health Canada to keep meat, milk and eggs as part of the dietary recommendations. The blog also implies that 1) animal products are not nutritious (which is blatantly false), and that 2) people who raise animals for food care more about economics than health (also blatantly false). While economics is important, it irritates me that the blog insinuates that producers care about economics at the expense of the health of Canadians and, predictably, because it is an activist group, the animals themselves. Such opinion pieces cast aspersions without providing balance or context and so can leave readers with a biased perspective on an issue. More to the point, such lopsided opinions are designed to undermine consumer confidence in the beef industry. As you may be aware, Canada’s Food Guide is undergoing a revision to update its dietary guidance, last updated in 2007. It’s pretty much a guarantee that similar activist rhetoric inserted itself into the public consultation process in 2016. The review process continues, with the release

Plenty of options for producers livestock associations, gain valuable knowledge about the livestock industry. “The members look out for one another,” said Paul Gobin, MASC’s Guarantee Program Specialist. “There’s a vested interest in the success of all members, so information and advice passes pretty freely to young and beginning farmers from the more experienced members.”

To find out more about how MASC can help you get started in the livestock industry, obtain financing, grow your herd, and manage any risks along the way, contact your local MASC Lending Representative or Insurance Agent. For more information about all the programs mentioned above, visit www. masc.mb.ca

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per serving, approximately 200 calories), but if you compare to lentils, for example, it seems you need to consume more calories to get the protein equivalent (for 22g protein, you need to consume about 300 calories of lentils). Furthermore, the author fails to square her suggestion linking meat consumption to the rise in obesity, given consumption of meats have continued to decline over the same timeframe as obesity rates have climbed. I don’t think a further reduction in meat consumption will miraculously reverse the growing obesity trend, and in fact may make it worse. What would be more beneficial to Canadians is if these opinion pieces talked about how much meat we are consuming, if we are eating the nutrients we need, and what nutrients we are deficient in or have about right? I am concerned that if Canadians keep reducing their red meat consumption, we will see more deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12, zinc and other important vnutrients, especially in vulnerable populations like youth and seniors. Of course, we will not stop providing strong evidence about the healthfulness of beef to Health Canada, and how it can be part of a balanced diet. The health of Canadians should absolutely be the most important part of the new Food Guide recommendations, and we know beef can be a nutritious and valuable addition to healthy eating. Column courtesy of the CCA Action News

Feb

 Page 15 Joining a feeder or breeder livestock association is also a great way to finance your new herd, especially for young and beginning farmers. As a member, you can borrow funds directly from your association to purchase livestock (with more favourable terms than you could access individually), and owing to the nature of

of updated Food Guide slated for 2018. For the record, I have no objection to the blog’s general premise that the negative economic impacts to an industry should not be permitted to compromise human health. The Food Guide should absolutely be about promoting the best nutrition for Canadians, and that there should be a variety of recommendations to deliver the best nutritional outcomes for the diverse populations in Canada. Unfortunately, some foods aren’t very nutritious and don’t add positively to the diet, and there will be impacts to whoever is producing those foods or products. Beef is not among those foods. To follow up on point number two above, I don’t know any meat, milk or egg producer that would intentionally raise a food they didn’t believe was nutritious or benefited our health. The blog’s inference that industry’s interest in the Food Guide is motivated only by preventing economic impacts to our industry is insulting, and demonstrates a great ignorance of the degree of stewardship and care required to raise beef, and the nutritional benefits of beef to the human diet. Beef is an important source of essential nutrients for people, and it gives us pride knowing we are providing good, wholesome, nutrientdense food that benefits human health. It is interesting that the blog opines that the increase in obesity over the last 30 years is in part due to overconsumption of animal foods, which the authour suggests are high in calories and protein. Of course, beef is high in protein (22g protein

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18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

MBP provided input on Made-inManitoba Climate and Green Plan BY MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

In December Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided a detailed written submission to the provincial government about its proposed Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan (the Plan). This is part one of a two-part series of articles on MBP’s submission. The Plan is built on four proposed strategic pillars: climate, jobs, water and nature and includes 16 keystones for priority action. For example, the water pillar focuses on agriculture and land use, wetlands and watersheds, flood and drought and water quality, while the nature pillar looks at elements such as wild species and habitat and conservation. In addition to providing written comments, MBP participated in the November stakeholder workshops related to the climate, water and nature pillars of the Plan. Manitoba’s beef industry knows all too well the threats posed by a changing climate and severe weather events. Floods, droughts, severe storms and wildfires have taken a heavy financial and productive toll on the industry and long-term strategies are needed to mitigate risk and to increase sectoral resilience and producers’ ability to adapt to changing conditions. The provincial government has stated its goal of growing Manitoba’s beef herd to pre-BSE levels, critical to which is having a business and regulatory climate that will help ensure that beef production remains profitable and sustainable. MBP believes the Climate and Green Plan represents

a significant opportunity for the province to implement policies that will encourage the retention and expansion of grass and forage lands, to achieve carbon reductions and to build the beef cattle sector. MBP appreciates the provincial government’s recognition in the Plan of the importance of agriculture, including livestock production to both the provincial economy and to achieving its environmental goals. Manitoba’s beef producers are key stewards of the province’s natural capital, long seen as protectors of the environment, including grasslands, wetlands, biodiversity, and species at risk and their habitats. MBP believes that if the province is to attain the objectives of the Plan, such as reducing Manitoba’s overall carbon output, every effort needs to be made to protect the sustainability of Manitoba’s beef production, both economically and environmentally. MBP again thanked the government for its decision to exempt fuel for use on farm operations from the carbon levy and to not target agricultural emissions for direct sector reductions via the carbon price or other aspects of the plan. A key principle of MBP’s six-point carbon pric-

MBP believes that if the province is to attain the objectives of the Plan, such as reducing Manitoba’s overall carbon output, every effort needs to be made to protect the sustainability of Manitoba’s beef production, both economically and environmentally.

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ing policy is that on-farm agricultural emissions should be exempt. MBP appreciates the government’s recognition that farms and ranchers are ‘price takers’ and that carbon pricing on fuel would have created an additional financial and competitive burden on Manitoba’s farm families. Beef producers simply do not have the ability to pass along any price increases or carbon taxes and are vulnerable to hav-

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ing other industries pass those costs down to the farm. Ensuring that the province’s beef producers are recognized for their work in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is another key recommendations in MBP’s carbon pricing policy. Beef producers are responsible for managing tens of thousands of privately-owned and leased Crown lands. Manitoba’s pastures and grasslands hold the key to the carbon sequestration needed as part of any solution to reducing GHGs, as well as helping to preserve valuable ecosystems and manage our water resources. A profitable beef industry in Manitoba is essential to these protecting grasslands and pastures from encroachment from other competing land uses, as well as to achieving other environmental and conservation objectives. As the Manitoba government finalizes the Plan, and as outlined in MBP’s carbon pricing policy, MBP believes there is a significant opportunity for the province to enact policies and initiatives − such as a proposed Alternative Land Use Services-type (ALUS) program − that provide financial recognition of the many valuable ecosystem services that beef production provides. These ecosystem services benefit all Manitobans. Therefore MBP has recommended to the Manitoba government that beef producers receive financial recognition for both the existing and future ecosys Page 19 

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StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture Q: Who can I talk to about livestock and forage management in Manitoba Agriculture? A:The Manitoba Agriculture livestock team is dedicated year round to answering Manitoba producer questions relating to beef, sheep and forage. Our team members have variety of expertise that can help provide you with the information and advice vital for your farm. Keep this list handy so you can connect with the right specialist to meet your needs. Shawn Cabak Livestock and forage specialist , extended grazing, corn, bale, and stockpile forage, cattle marketing, beef nutrition Shawn.Cabak@gov.mb.ca or 204-239-3353

Pamela Iwanchysko Forage specialist, ruminant nutrition or pasture, forage production Pamela.Iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca or 204-648-3965

Elizabeth Nernberg Livestock specialist, livestock nutrition, livestock risk mitigation- bovine tuberculosis Elizabeth.Nernberg@gov.mb.ca 204-247-0087

Ray Bittner Livestock specialist, silage systems, forage fertility and management, livestock water Ray.Bittner@gov.mb.ca or 204-768-0010

Tim Clarke Forage and livestock specialist, cow calf production Forage establishment, species and production manag, ment, weed and brush control Tim.Clarke@gov.mb.ca or 204-768-0534

Kathleen Walsh Livestock specialist, beef backgrounding, beef cattle nutrition, livestock traceability Kathleen.Walsh@gov.mb.ca or 204-734-3417

Linda Fox Forage and livestock specialist, community pastures, pasture and hay management, sheep and cattle management Linda.Fox@gov.mb.ca or 204-447-7376

Jane Thornton Forage specialist, forage selection hay or pasture, pasture and range management, horse, hay or pasture management Jane.Thornton@gov.mb.ca or 204-729-1387

Wray Whitmore - Manager Sheep production and flock managementt Wray.Whitmore@gov.mb.ca or 204-861-2298

StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to our 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.

MBP comments on Climate and Green Plan electric infrastructure. In its submission MBP highlighted two other core elements of its carbon pricing policy. First, MBP believes revenue generated from carbon pricing should be invested in research to further reduce GHG emissions through improved forage varieties and grazing strategies. As well, MBP believes

ďƒ— Page 18 tem services they provide on their operations, not just incremental increases. MBP believes this to be a fair and reasonable approach as Premier Brian Pallister has repeatedly stated that the Manitoba government would like recognition by the federal government for its past investments in clean hydro-

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• supporting on-farm beneficial management practices (BMPs) that provide climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits to agricultural operations; 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. MBP supports using carbon pricing revenue to make investments in the aforementioned areas as we believe they could be beneficial to cattle production. Through successive agri-

cultural policy framework programs, Manitoba’s beef producers have demonstrated their willingness to adopt an array of environmental BMPs on their farms and ranches. Producers have also partnered with entities such as conservation districts to undertake projects to enhance riparian areas, build water retention structures, protect sensitive lands with perennial cover and establish grassed waterway buffers. MBP believes there is value in providing support for new BMPs funded through carbon pricing revenue to assist producers in adopting BMPs related to climate change adaptation and mitigation. MBP has also sought

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continued support for other environment-related BMPs through the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) and strongly believes that these programspecific BMPs should be funded separately with CAP monies as opposed to being funded with revenue generated through carbon pricing. Revenue generated by the province’s Climate and Green Plan must remain separate and unique from any CAP funds. MBP supports initiatives aimed at reducing risks related to severe weather events and climate change such as flooding, droughts, wildfires and others. It is important to build resilience against these potential threats. This could take the form of built and green infrastructure and other possible initiatives. The Plan states that the province is considering options for investing in shelterbelt and afforestation programming to increase the planting of trees as shelterbelts in rural Manitoba and adjacent to major transportation corridors. MBP sees value in this type of initiative as having access to windbreaks is important to livestock production. With respect to tackling waste emissions related to food production, MBP sees potential merit in initiatives such as tackling food waste and helping to reduce food waste in the first place. Finding better ways to help producers dispose of medical sharps and veterinary products could also be beneficial to the livestock sector. Additional details on MBP’s submission related to the Climate and Green Plan will be provided in the March edition of Cattle Country.

1/18/2018 4:39:18 PM


20 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2018

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A “what if” scenario examined Page 3

BY RON FRIESEN A new procedure for renting Crown lands, which includes allowing non-Manitoba residents to apply for leases, is among recently announced changes to the province’s agricultural Crown lands system. Future allocations for forage land leases will be based on a tender system instead of the current points-based method. And, for the first time, residents outside Manitoba will be eligible to apply for Crown land leases here. The pending changes are due to Manitoba’s joining the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, effective January 1, 2017. New regulations will bring Manitoba into line with other Western provinces, which allow people from outside their borders to lease Crown land. It is the first major overhaul of Manitoba’s Crown lands system in years. Last December the provincial government began by consolidating two separate regulations relating to forage leases, cropping leases, and hay and grazing permits into one – the new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation.

The regulation went into place January 1, 2018. But the province still has to update its policies to reflect the changes. Consultations between the province and stakeholders are currently underway. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) says it is generally supportive of the new measures, although it still has a lot of unanswered questions about the details. “I really do believe it’s a step in the right direction and will open it up for producers who might not necessarily think they have a chance to get Crown lands,” said Ben Fox, MBP president. “Overall, I think if it’s set up the right way, it’ll be very beneficial to the growth of the herd in Manitoba and to the betterment of beef production in the province.” The new forage tender system for renting Crown lands will be come into effect this fall. It is the biggest change directly affecting producers. Many producers say they are unhappy with the current points system, which they consider complicated, unclear and unpredictable. Often producers are left unsure about what is being allocated, why it is allocated and on what basis.

Occasionally this results in incongruities such as applicants being granted leases to land they don’t live anywhere near to. Producers sometimes feel their applications should have been scored differently and appeals are common. For these reasons, MBP supports the new system of tendering for leases, said Brian Lemon, MBP general manager. “The tender process, while certainly a positive step in terms of stepping away from the complicated points allocation process, if done properly, can lead to market signals and market-based pricing of Crown lands,” he said. Fox said he would like tendering to go one step further and involve a live auction among the top applicants for leases. That way, people would be aware of what was being bid and price discovery would be a big winner. “It’s the most open and fairest was to allocate Crown lands, in my opinion,” said Fox. MBP accepts the new provision allowing non-residents to bid for leases, although somewhat reluctantly, Lemon said. “Ideally, we would love to see Manitoba producers still have the first right of access to Page 12 

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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2018

MBFI project report May 2018 Planned Grazing Demonstration - Brookdale MBFI Farm Measuring the impact of planned grazing on forage, soil, and cattle health and productivity Date of start of project: June 2015 taken in 2015 to comObjectives pare to consecutive years. This project is com- Grazing cages will stay in paring two types of graz- place for many years to ing: planned grazing and be used as a baseline with conventional continuous no grazing in the grazed grazing. The original hy- paddocks and fields. The pothesis was that in the project will measure the initial years, the perfor- change in forage producmance of the cattle would tion and quality and its stay relatively similar potential impact on livebetween the two grazing stock production (weight types but a significant im- gain and body condition provement in soil health score BCS). The final oband forage production jective is to identify fixed would result. point plant succession The overall objective and to determine if there of this project is to de- will be any long-term termine if planned graz- changes in plant commuing is a more beneficial nities and biodiversity. grazing method than the Project Justification conventional continuous Planned grazing is grazing. Additionally the simply grazing livestock project will determine the in super dense herds that soil nutrient status and its mimic the grazing patchange over time after the terns of big game, which different grazing meth- have since disappeared. ods have been practiced. Those livestock tilled the Baseline soil tests were soil with their hooves

Introducing

Kate Cummings Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Beef Production Specialist. You can contact Kate at Ph: 1-800-772-0458 E: kcummings@mbbeef.ca

www.mbbeef.ca DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

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

and fertilized it with their dung – thus preparing the land for new vegetation in a cycle that evolved over many millennia. It is hypothesized that planned grazing (commonly referred to as intensive grazing or mob grazing) will increase soil, forage and ultimately animal health and production. However, this management style can require some time and resources to set up and manage, which is likely why it is not widely adopted yet. Project Design and Methods A grazing plan was developed to implement the grazing of two 25 cow-calf pair herds and compare planned grazing to a conventional continuous grazing plan. Each herd is assigned a paddock letter (A-G) which corresponds to the same forage quality, and within those lettered paddocks, smaller paddocks of the same size for the planned herd. The continuous herd has the same amount of acres but there is no paddock division within that paddock letter. Pastures consist of eight native forage paddocks, and a mature tame pasture mix consisting of 19 paddocks for the herds. Each herd had access to a combination of both tame and native species. The herds were assigned grazing according to a randomized complete block design to accomomdate soil microbiolgical analysis research by Brandon University. The tame pasture mix consisted of 45 per cent meadow bromegrass, 30 per cent orchardgrass, 10 per cent timothy, 10 per cent creeping red fescue and some additional cicer milkvetch was also added. The native pastures included western wheatgrass, northern wheatgrass, slender wheatgrass, green needlegrass, big bluestem, little bluestem, side-oat grama grass,

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

switch grass and indian grass. Twenty-three paddocks, approximately four acres each, were set-up with temporary electric fencing on the perennial summer pastures, with a permanent two-strand electric wire around the perimeter for the planned herd and continuous grazing occured on the rest of pastures. Eighty nine acres of pasture was available for each of the herds. Cattle movement for planned grazing For the first 21 days of the season, starting 15-May-17, 25 cow/calf pairs were allowed to graze the paddocks for one day in each paddock. The cattle were moved daily to a new paddock. This grazing strategy was used to help keep the forage growth in a vegetative state early in the growing season, whereas in previous years the forage had to be mechanically harvested to do so. This method allowed the cattle a quick graze and helped to maintain the vegetative state for the rest of the growing season instead of mechanical means. After the cows were through all of the planned grazing paddocks for one day, they were then started on the second rotation whereby the paddocks were split in half and then cattle were moved daily

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

MIKE DUGUID

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

KRIS KRISTJANSON

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

again in each half paddock. After that period they were moved less frequently, every second or third day to accomodate slower growth in the forages, where they were assigned to a whole paddock for two to three days pending the amount of regrowth with a target of leaving 50 per cent of the forage behind in each paddock. The continuous herd had access to an equal amount of acres of the type of pasture (native or tame) in all assigned paddocks at once, but did not begin grazing until 01-June-17. Results and Discussion The planned herd remained on trial for 135 days from 15-May-17 through to 27-September-17, while the continuous herd was placed on pasture on 01-June-17 and taken off on 05-September-17 for a total of 97 days. There were 38 more days grazing for the planned herd in the 2017 grazing season. There appeared to be no difference between weight gains on any of the animals while they were on the pasture trial. The continuous cows however did lose some body condition, which was pretty well identical to the results of the previous grazing year. Yield measurements including residual forage DM, show that overall there was

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX- PRESIDENT

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

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

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

GENERAL MANAGER Brian Lemon

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

more forage yield on the planned grazing system for the second consecutive year Summary To date the results of this project look very promising in terms of yield response, grazing days (animal days per acre) and the effect that the grazing rest and recovery planned system is having on the planned grazing paddocks. Even with the dry year in 2017, yields were higher than the continuous system and more grazing days occurred. The hypothesis of the continuous system experiencing detrimental effects seems to be holding true in terms of more invasive plant species entering the pastures and overall yield to be lower and declining. Economic returns also appear to be promising in terms of return on investment for the input costs as well as there are good financial returns to date in the two years that the project has occurred. Planned grazing can be a powerful tool to improve the land’s resilience to environmental extremes and its carrying capacity and ultimately the producer’s bottom line. For more information please contact project lead Pam Iwanchysko via email: Pamela.Iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca

JADE DELAURIER

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

BEEF PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Kate Cummings

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Vacant

FINANCE

Deb Walger

OFFICE ASSISTANT Elisabeth Harms

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Maureen Cousins

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


May 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

A What if glimpse into a future without livestock BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

What if all Americans became vegans and the US no longer raised animals for food? Animal scientists Robin White at Virginia Tech and Mary Beth Hall with U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDA) tackled this question in their recent paper Nutritional and greenhouse gas impacts of removing animals from US agriculture. Unlike most scientific papers that are published in subscription-based journals, their paper is openly available online for anyone to read (http://www.pnas. org/content/114/48/E10301). White shared the findings of their modeling research with an audience of mainly animal and human nutritional sciences professors and students during a recent seminar hosted by the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at the University of Manitoba. “As an animal scientist, I see livestock as nature’s recycler – producing high quality human-edible protein from human-inedible fibre,” explains White. A substantial proportion of livestock diets consist of food, fuel and fibre by-products. Lower productivity grasslands poorly suited to annual crop production are grazed by ruminants. Livestock also generate nutrient-rich manure, a valuable byproduct, and provide a number of additional commercial products beyond meat.

of total greenhouse gas emissions are from crop and livestock production. “We conducted dietary modeling to determine if the United States could meet the nutritional requirements of the entire American population if everyone stopped eating animal products, and if there would be an associated environmental benefit.” They selected this animal-free diet scenario as it required the fewest assumptions and established a boundary to explore all intermediate scenarios of reduced livestock consumption. What did they do? Rather than look at individual food ingredients, they looked at multi-ingredient diets supplied through a shift in production on agricultural land in the US. They used published data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Census of Agriculture, US Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency data, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and other published data to model country-wide diet scenarios. To avoid the risk of any perceived biases, they conducted their research without using funds from external sources. They first determined the current average American diet and then performed simulations for two diets – one that includes animal products and one without − formulated to meet dietary requirements based on the types of food ingredients currently available. The purpose of this study was not to develop a new diet for the US population − White readily acknowledges that actual diets do not at all resemble the diets used in their study − but rather to stimulate our thinking. “With these types of large-scale assessments we need to be thinking ‘How are we going to feed a growing global population?’ ‘What should we be doing in terms of nutrient planning in the US, Canada or any other country?’ We need to consider the domino effect – if we change one part of our food system there may be carryover effects into other aspects of our food production system,” she explained. What did they find? If all Americans stopped eating meat, the agricultural greenhouse gas footprint would be reduced by 28% and total US emissions by 2.6%. This reduction falls short of the total 50% attributed to animal agriculture. Greenhouse gas gains from removing animals were offset by the need to produce more food crops and synthetic fertilizer to meet nutritional require-

ments as well as to dispose of unused crop by-products. In attempting to produce a balanced diet that met dietary micronutrient requirements, the program calculated diets that grossly oversupplied the required protein and energy for diets both with and without meat without meeting all micronutrient requirements, highlighting the challenge of meeting nutritional requirements on such a large scale based on current production. The animal-free diet failed to meet full micronutrient requirements for omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, vitamin B and calcium, overall having a greater number of deficiencies and oversupply of energy than the diet that included animal products. Parting thoughts “To have a meaningful discussion we need to check our ideology at the door. Too often we get stuck in a pro-animals or pro-vegan debate, when in fact if we just put our differences aside and had a scientific conversation, we can achieve a much greater level of understanding of each individual’s viewpoints and can contribute, we hope, to much better science.” White leaves us with some parting thoughts. “Is it worth removing all animals from US soil for a 2.6% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions or is there a better way that we can reduce our contribution to the national footprint?” She points to the disparity between what Americans typically consume and what is required for proper nutrition. Currently Americans overconsume protein (171% of requirements), energy (12% excess) and many minerals, vitamins and amino acids, yet are deficient in select vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Perhaps a more important question is ‘How much could both the environment and people’s health benefit if everyone ate according to their nutritional requirements?’ Text box side bar: What about Canada? Robin is collaborating with University of Manitoba animal scientist Kim Ominski and human nutritional scientist Harold Aukema on a new project assessing the human nutrition and environmental impacts of changing agricultural production practices in response to dietary preferences of Canadians as part of a project funded by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program.

Manitoba Angus Association Summer Gold Show

The role of animals in the food production system. Source: White and Hall, 2017. Used with permission.

“At the other end of the spectrum is the view that livestock are a wasteful extravagance – degrading natural resources.” Livestock contribute approximately 50% of the total greenhouse gas emissions attributable to agriculture in the United States, accounting for 9% of total US emissions. Similarly, in Canada 10%

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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2018

Government activities update BY MAUREEN COUSINS A carbon tax, a new conservation trust fund, and changes to agricultural Crown lands policies and to planning processes are just some of the activities being undertaken by government that will have an effect on Manitoba’s beef industry. The following is a rundown of these initiatives and work Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is doing on behalf of producers in these areas. Provincial Budget Highlights The 2018-19 provincial budget came down in early March and one of the key items announced in it was the introduction of Manitoba’s $25/tonne carbon emissions tax effective September 1. This involves a carbon tax of 5.32 cents a litre on gasoline, 6.71 cents a litre on diesel, 3.87 cents a litre on propane, and 4.74 cents a cubic metre on natural gas, with some exemptions. Notably, all agricultural process-related emissions are exempted from the carbon tax (e.g., emissions from soil and animals), as are marked diesel and marked gasoline. This is something for which MBP had been lobbying, although MBP recognizes that the cattle industry will still be subject to pass through costs from other sectors affected by the introduction of the tax. As well, the carbon tax will not apply on natural gas for heating or cooling a farm building or operating a grain dryer (if metered separately). The province will create a $102 million Conservation Trust Fund intended to “provide significant financial support to achieving the goals and objectives of the provincial climate strategy, particularly those related to conserving ecosystems, green infrastructure (natural assets), water quality and carbon sinks. The independently from govern-

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ment administered Trust would provide matching funds to municipalities, community groups, non-government conservation organizations and academic institutions.� This Trust will be managed by the Winnipeg Foundation, with the use of proceeds administered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. The Trust will be available to private and public stakeholders engaging in projects that align with the goals of the province’s Climate and Green Plan. MBP believes there should be opportunities for the association to pursue funding through the trust to advance projects aimed at the betterment of the cattle industry, and which can showcase the industry’s environmental benefits. The budget also makes reference to initiatives such as a new “the new Sustainable Agriculture Incentives Program, which will grow our livestock industry and align with our Made-In-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.� No further details were provided, but MBP believes it could potentially entail initiatives such as an alternate land use services-type program and funding for beneficial management practices (BMP) programs. MBP will continue to advocate for financial recognition of the valuable ecosystem services provided by the cattle industry. As well, the province will be investing $40 million for green projects, such as green infrastructure to adapt to climate change, green technology to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and transition to a low-carbon economy and support for green best practices and training in emissions-intensive sectors such as agriculture. This could include initiatives such as wetland restoration, and waste and recycling programming. MBP will seek opportunities for the beef

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industry to potentially become involved in these types of projects. Other items of note from the budget include: • targeted financial assistance of $1.5 million to producers in advance of the adoption of BMPs to improve environmental sustainability of their operations; • an additional $3.6 million investment for the farmland school tax rebate program; • a $133,000 increase in funding for the Veterinary Diagnostic Services Laboratory to purchase specialized equipment; and • increasing the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program budget by $151,000 to mitigate damages caused by wildlife. Note: this program is housed under the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation and the allocation is rising from $2,108 million to $2,259 million for the new fiscal year. This program includes compensation for livestock predation and crop damage. Water Management Ensuring water is being effectively managed is very important to Manitoba’s beef industry and is an issue on which MBP regularly seeks action from the provincial and federal governments. In the budget the province committed to providing $70 million toward the channels project to improve regulation of water levels on Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin, and enhance flood protection for farms, businesses, communities and First Nations. It also committed to provide $33.6 million to rehabilitate and reconstruct provincial dams, flood protection infrastructure and agricultural drains, including projects at Fairford Dam on PTH 6, at the Shellmouth Dam and reservoir, and improvements to the river control structure and outlet structure at the Portage Diversion. Early this year MBP met with Manitoba’s Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler to drive home the importance of the swift completion of the Lake Manitoba outlet channel project. Flooding has exacted a heavy toll on beef producers, particularly around Lake Manitoba and it is essential that there are strategies in place to mitigate future risk and help restore producer confidence in raising cattle in this area. MBP has conveyed these concerns to federal officials as that government has made a financial commitment to the outlet channel projects too. Also on the water management front, MBP is currently sitting on a provincial Drainage Regulation Stakeholder Committee made up of reps from agriculture, municipal governments, conservation districts and NGOs. Changes are being considered to the drainage licensing process that could make it easier to register low risk minor drainage works (instead of licensing them). Larger works, such as major drainage or retention projects would still be licensed. Some of these changes are contained in Bill

7 – The Sustainable Watersheds Act. Planning Amendment Act The provincial government has introduced Bill 19 – The Planning Amendment Act (Improved Efficiency in Planning). A key element of this legislation is that it will allow a person whose application for a livestock operation is rejected by a municipal council to appeal to the Municipal Board. As well, large-scale livestock operations are no longer required to be designated as a conditional use in a municipal zoning bylaw. Municipalities will be given the option of setting a threshold for conditional use hearings for livestock, according to local needs. The province has also stated that local by-laws that designate 300 or more animal units as a conditional use must be reviewed within one year by the municipality. “We have seen many examples of the significant economic benefit that livestock development can offer communities in Manitoba,� said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler in a news release. “Our government wants to provide municipalities with the opportunity to achieve that growth and development through a more equitable process. The proposed legislation takes a balanced approach to the livestock review and approval process that improves animal safety and maintains a high standard of environmental accountability.� MBP is continuing to analyze the potential effect of the proposed changes on Manitoba’s beef industry. Crown Lands Consultations Changes to provincial agricultural Crown lands regulations and policies are underway. The province has enacted a new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation which removed the Manitoba residency requirement, thereby making it possible for people from outside the province to access Crown lands here provided they meet certain conditions. The change was required as part of Manitoba’s entry into the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. However the province also used the opportunity to make broader changes to the regulations. A key change is a move to a tender process for forage parcels, as opposed to the previous rental rate formula. The new system will set the rent for first five years, adjusted to average tendered value following that. The average tendered value will set the rent for existing leases/permits and casual permits. The forage tender process is to be implemented in the fall of 2018. MBP has been providing feedback to provincial officials on matters such as the new forage tender process (including topics such as minimum bids), eligibility policies, forage lease terms and renewals, transfers, casual permits, informed access, and how to deal with improvements producers are making to leased Crown lands. MBP has also driven home to the provincial government the importance of engaging in meaningful consultations with affected Crown land users to gauge the impact of the proposed changes before they are enacted.

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Profit, not ownership drives farm success BY ANGELA LOVELL Young farmers attending the Young Producers Luncheon at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in February were asked to challenge the capital paradigm and think differently about how they manage for a successful farm. Peter Manness of MNP told attendees that the traditional measure of success in agriculture has always been how many assets a farm operation owns, like land, equipment, livestock and buildings. He suggests that concept needs to be turned on its head. “The paradox is that in order to achieve the goal we have to reject it,” says Manness. “In order for us to have the success we want, we have to do the opposite. Instead of worrying about how we are going to accumulate assets as quickly as possible, we have to stop thinking about how we accumulate assets.” Profit is king Profitability is the most important part of the farm business, said Manness. With land values in Manitoba averaging anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 an acre, and the large amount of investment needed to buy equipment, Manness estimates that a producer requires somewhere between $3,300 and $10,000 of capital per cow to fund his or her operation. Meanwhile, according to long-term Canfax data for Alberta cow-calf returns, profitability per cow hasn’t averaged much more than $100 over the last 27 years. The way

the cattle industry has survived, said Manness, is through lowering costs and in many cases standards of living for owners. “I would say cow/calf producers on average spend less on living costs than other operations,” said Manness. “There is a disconnect from a profitability standpoint and effort. Cattle farming is labour intensive.” If a producer wants to make a living of $50,000 a year, he or she will need 500 cows to achieve it, and that means a capital investment of $2 to $7 million. Looking at a $100 a head profitability, it will take about 50 years to buy in at the low end given today’s low interest rates, said Manness, adding, “Now we know why older, large ranches and farms have taken over 100 years to become established. I’m not sure it’s getting harder but it continues to be a challenge to invest, grow and thrive.” Continuing to accumulate assets in the same way that the agricultural industry has done for the last 50 years isn’t going to yield different results. “The challenge is to build a ranching business capable of sustaining you and your family and to do that you have to focus on the cash flow side, using that as a mechanism to accumulate wealth,” said Manness. “Instead of trying to control, gain and hold all the assets, you need to focus on the profitability side. Focus on things that generate you a profit the soonest and use cash for that. The more you can use your capital and equity to build more profits and equity, the faster you will grow the business.”

How to achieve better profitability Profit in a cattle operation comes from two sources − more profit per cow or more cows, and the challenge is to find ways to achieve both while at same time reducing the average amount of capital required per cow, said Manness. So what are some of the ways producers can achieve more profit on their operation? Says Manness, renting rather than buying land is a better option from a cash flow and profitability standpoint. Owning farm assets like land ties up cash that the business needs to operate and increase profitability. “Ultimately it’s maximizing profit per dollar invested that matters,” said Manness. “Focus of profit first, not ownership first.” The ultimate high-return ranch in terms of return on investment owns no land, equipment or cows, which has worked for some, but generally is not the model seen in the agricultural industry. Better options, suggested Manness, might be to reduce the acres required per cow through better grazing management, eliminate hay-making (and the associated cost of equipment), increase the amount of viable pasture acres – through renting or management − to accommodate more cows, explore alternate feed sources and optimize the number of cows you manage and fill any gaps with share cows if necessary. “There is a right economy of scale for your farm operation – think about what it is – and how to get there faster,” said Manness.

TESA winners focus on building healthy soils BY ANGELA LOVELL Before the Harper family make any decision or change on their farm they ask the question, “how will this affect our resource; our land?” It appears that the decisions they have made over the last 28 years have provided positive results for beef production and the environment, and has earned them the 2018 Manitoba Environment Stewardship Award (TESA), which was presented to them at the Manitoba Beef Producers 39th AGM in Brandon this past February. Brian, Sonja, Thomas and Kristelle Harper operate Circle H Farms, about five kilometres from Brandon. The 500 acre farm is a 100-head purebred cow/ calf operation that raises four breeds – Lincoln Red, North Devon and Shaver Beefblend and Red Poll – on grass and forages only. When the Harpers bought their property in 1990, it was with the intention of being a mixed grain and cattle farm, but they quickly realized that their light sandy and sandy/clay loam soils would need to be managed differently than in the past to prevent erosion and increase productivity. By 1994, they had sown most of the acres to perennial forages and became predominantly grass producers, introducing a rotational grazing system and gradually working to improve the soil organic matter that had been depleted to between two and four per cent by many years of continuous grazing and till-

age. Although grass production increased, the farm still had challenges in periods of hot, dry weather, when the soil turned hard and most of the rainfall ran off. They still had a lot of work to do. Changes in management In 2000 they installed their first off-site watering system with a floating pump that filled a trough and allowed them to keep their cattle – and manure − out of the water source. With the help of the Mid Assiniboine River Conservation District they installed a well and pasture water lines in 2003, and planted more than 5,000 trees on a quarter section of their land. The new water line allowed the Harpers to keep cattle out of the dugouts and practice better grass management by moving the cattle to far areas that allowed the nearby paddocks to rest and recover. A solar powered winter watering system has also helped them to keep the cattle out on the land over winter. “What we have learned by giving rest to the grass is that the health status of the

grass improves,” says Brian Harper. “This then started us focusing on soil health by the mid-2000s. As soil health improves, the grass is more productive, and that in turn improves animal production and health.” Changes in management have included going to a high stock density – a minimum of 60,000 pounds of beef per acre – on small, temporary paddocks for short durations, which allows for more even manure and urine distribution and retention of nutrients on the land. A short graze period of a few hours to one day per paddock, followed by a rest period of 60 to 100 days allows plants to grow deeper roots providing better water infiltration into the soil and less runoff. The deep roots also exudate sugars deep into the soil to feed soil biology and allow better nutrient cycling. The Harpers aim only to have cattle in an area long enough for them to consume 50 per cent of the plants, trampling the rest to the surface. “We constantly get told we are ‘wasting’ grass, but

in reality we have learned that by feeding the soil microbes we grow more grass, and this trampled grass becomes ‘soil armour’ which protects the soil from high temperatures and erosion,” says Harper. As part of the Harpers land regeneration management, they use multi-species cover crops that can break up hardpan, increase photosynthesis, improve mineral and water cycling, and feed the soil. They can grow two soil building cover crops in one year, and because the diversity is good for both the soil and the cattle, they use these crops for feed as well. “By keeping something green and growing for more days of the year we are creating better, healthier soils,” says Harper. The Harpers have also extended the grazing period into winter using bale grazing, which also helps

to improve soil health. From 2014 to 2017 CircleH Farms has increased beef production by 9,400 lbs off the same number of acres using high stock density grazing. Zero inputs were used, just animal impact and time management to regenerate soils and create a healthy ecosystem. Sequestering carbon In 2017 the farm was one of those selected to be a part of the Canadian National Carbon Sequestration study. This multi-year, on-farm/ranch study is evaluating grassland soil organic carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, water infiltration rates and biodiversity under grazing management practices in Canadian grasslands. Preliminary results are revealing that high stock density grazing has benefits to wildlife conservation, with increases in the number of deer, bees, mice,

snakes, birds of prey and bird species on the Harpers farm. The Harpers goal is to continue to build the resilience of their land by increasing organic matter in the soils, while improving nutrient and water cycles. “We’ve seen results that our management is sequestering carbon and this is an area that we will focus on improving even more,” says Harper. “We believe that healthy soil produces nutrient dense foods and that promotes healthier people.” The Harpers will go on to compete nationally for The Environmental Stewardship Award offered through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The winner will be announced during the CCA semi-annual meeting at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in London, Ontario in August.

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Attitude makes a big difference “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill I like to think I am an optimist at heart. I think most folks try to look at things with a view slanted towards the good. It really isn’t much good to be so negative your dog doesn’t want to be around you. Since my last column the weather has actually gotten a little colder, and it’s getting to the time of year where we are supposed to be thinking about kicking cattle out of the pens, not having to do night checks (that is if you are calving; we don’t start until May) and think about all the green grass that’s supposed to be on its way. I have often thought that watching calves run and buck with wild abandon is about the best solution to any dreary day; I kind of look forward to seeing that playful behaviour every year. There are a lot of issues going on in this industry and I don’t suppose that will really ever change. It’s how we look at, approach and handle these situations that will decide whether we are successful or not. A few of the issues that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) directors and staff are dealing with − including the bovine TB file, predation and the outlet channel on Lake Manitoba, are long and time-consuming processes. The TB file has run the spectrum of emotion in this province. It is slowly working its way towards a successful conclusion as a result of countless meetings, producers’ tireless work of getting their animals presented for testing and numerous trips, calls and letters to governments and their agencies to get the situation under control. For as many years as this has been occurring (more than 20), MBP has stepped up and tried to do right by the producers and help the process along, from hosting meetings, to keeping politicians/bureaucrats informed and pressured to do something, to putting our money back to producers to help offset some of their costs. It has always been MBP’s belief to fight and remain steadfast in getting this issue to an end point that is good for everyone involved. I can’t say that this file will be wrapped up before my depar-

Dear young cattle producers, Are you under the age of 35 and looking to make a difference for your industry? Think about the Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC)! Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is looking for their new appointment to the YCC, and is inviting young cattle producers who care about our industry to come forward. The vision of the YCC is to cultivate youthful leadership by exposure to industry policy development while allowing for the opportunity to gain experience and bring fresh insight to the table. The YCC strives to be a conduit of information between industry organizations and the youth of the beef industry. For more details see: youngcattlemenscouncil.com

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ture from MBP but it sure is a lot closer to the end. Predation is something that has just plain gotten out of control. In many instances this could be considered the biggest obstacle facing the provincial herd. Manitoba ranchers’ production is being stolen and the cagey villain is being protected by an unknowing but very willing accomplice in the general public. We are working through the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group in getting some measurable solutions in place, but we are going to have to stay deeply engaged with government and any group that will help to get a solution in place. The outlet channel for Lake Manitoba is still as important now as when the worst of the flood events were occurring. In a recent meeting with Manitoba’s Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler we again pushed the point that it is unacceptable to have the producers that live and work around the affected areas under the constant stress of not having the outlet channel in place for the protection of their operations. The solution, construction of the channel, includes both federal and provincial dollars and therefore adds yet another layer of complexity to the scenario. It is not enough for our elected officials to talk about the need for the project, there need to be shovels in the ground. Advocacy efforts that are giving us a quicker result are somewhat elusive but there are some. One that shows promise is the in-transit resolution from our 39th AGM.

This has been brought up to federal officials and we have heard a positive reply from the USDA. Nothing is concrete but it does look like we are going to get an acceptable solution to move cattle from Ontario to Manitoba markets. If there is a closure on the Canadian route, this initiative will also open up a secondary US option allowing cattle to continue to flow east. The changes to agricultural Crown lands will be beneficial to getting production on the landscape and enabling producers to access lands they haven’t been able to in the past. In my closing remarks at our AGM I talked about changes that are going to be generational in nature for our province. We have to get this right. Staff and directors have been throwing lots of manhours at this and will continue to do so in an effort to obtain a solution that is workable, sustainable and successful. Plain and simple the outcome of these changes needs to be clearly understood, easily implemented, totally enforceable and maintain beef producers’ presence as the number one entity that makes use of this valuable resource. It’s my intention to keep up with these and any other events that pop up and to always work on behalf of producers to obtain a positive outcome. If I have learned anything it is that there never seems to be a slow time in this industry. I would hope that we can not only be reactive when the need arises but also be proactive for what may be coming at us. For example, the implementation of a successful traceability program that includes the use of livestock inspection. In closing I would like to wish you the best of luck with your spring work and hope that you can take time to enjoy your family, your cattle and your operation. Good luck and stay safe.

CCA welcomes new leadership (CCA News Release) – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that David HaywoodFarmer and Bob Lowe were elected by acclamation as President and Vice President, respectively, at the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March. Haywood-Farmer takes over from Dan Darling, who moves to the position of CCA Past President. Darling had an active term including the launch of public trust initiatives,

successfully addressing Ottawa’s proposed Tax Planning Using Private Corporations, and progressing trade and market access priorities, significantly the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The swift implementation of the CPTPP is a top priority for Haywood-Farmer. His goals for the Canadian beef cattle sector include obtaining a free trade agreement with China, and to ensure the technical barriers limiting the Comprehen-

sive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union are resolved to derive the very significant benefits that have been negotiated. New directors to the CCA board include: Brian McKersie (BC), Charlie Christie and Miles Wowk (AB), Gord Adams (MB), and Jason Reid and Craig McLauglin (ON). Editor’s note: In addition to Adams, two other Manitoba Beef Producers directors sit on the CCA board – Ramona Blyth and Tom Teichroeb.

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Our future is in great hands! BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column

Let me start my column by welcoming a new staff member to Manitoba Beef Producers − Kate Cummings. Kate has joined our team as the new Beef Production Specialist. She grew up on a beef farm in eastern Ontario and participated in Junior Herefords and 4-H. Kate is a graduate from McGill University and has experience working both on and off the home farm. I am very excited to welcome Kate to our team and I look forward to getting her out and introduced around the province. In her role, Kate will be leading our extension efforts and will be key to our support of research and project delivery. As one new member is added to our team, we also have lost another to greener pastures. Chad Saxon, who served as our Communications Coordinator since 2014 has taken on a new and exciting role working for STARS air ambulance. We wish Chad every success in his new endeavours and thank him for his time and contributions to MBP and to Manitoba’s beef sector. MBP is hoping to very soon announce another new member of our team to lead our communications efforts. It seems “renewal” is a constant and ongoing reality, both in our office and in our industry. It is the one thing that really needs to be tackled for the long-term survival of our industry. We deal with all sorts of shorter-term and systemic types of issues and impediments, but when you weed through

all the things that need to be fixed in our industry, the one thing that still needs a good answer is “How do we get new entrants into our sector?” As governments, and as industry, we are often consumed by being firefighters, spending all our time going from fire to fire trying to respond to the fire of the day. I’m not for a second suggesting these fires are not important, and in some cases they may actually make renewal easier, but often they are more about maintaining the status quo, and tweaking the current to keep it relevant. I’ve been on the job for two years now, and I recall my first year’s district meetings in the fall of 2016. Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture had recently announced his goal to grow our herd to pre-BSE numbers and the task at those fall district meetings was to engage producers to understand the biggest hurdles to realizing this goal. I was struck by the number of times I heard established producers say things like: “I would never encourage my kids to come back to the farm” or “Why would anyone want to get into the cattle business?” Certainly times had been difficult in the industry, and maybe more so in certain regions of the province, and I could understand the years of frustration and the reasons why I was hearing these types of comments. That said, I wouldn’t have taken the role as your GM if I didn’t believe it could be better. I believe we have a great industry with a

bright future, and we have a great story to tell. There are certainly challenges, but as the general public starts to look for different types of attributes when they make their grocerybuying decisions, the beef industry is able to respond to many of their questions. We have a nutritious and healthy product that delivers essential nutrients as part of a healthy diet. Our production is sustainable and delivers on many of the biodiversity, air quality (carbon) and animal welfare concerns of today’s public. All this positions us well to take advantage of growing markets around the world and at home. Sorry for a bit of a rambling disjointed column, but I’ll wrap it up with the story that I believe separates the beef industry from other agriculture sectors, and really is the most positive sign for our future. This past month I was able to attend the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon and watch the cattle show at the Ag Action stage. Congratulations to Shannon Carvey and her team for a successful showcase of everything that is truly good about the future of our industry. I watched these amazing young people present their steers and heifers, and I couldn’t help but be inspired and think about how lucky this sector is to have these young people

in our industry. I tried to think if any other sector of agriculture could boast the same. Do grain farming kids go out and show off a sample of the crop they grew themselves? I am so encouraged by the young people and their commitment and love for their animals, and for their industry. I also had the chance to walk through the stalls and watch these young people working at caring for their animals and preparing them for the show ring. I watched as they showed their calves, and how they persevered and struggled with an uncooperative animal in the ring, or their

pride in placing fourth. I couldn’t help but smile and be impressed by their character, sportsmanship and commitment... and think the future of the beef industry is in great shape! Now we will still certainly have our challenges, and as the industry association and as governments we need to figure out how to harness all their enthusiasm for the beef industry and how to encourage these amazing young people to get engaged, to have a perspective that sees both their own farm as well as the entire industry, and to become the future indus-

try leaders. I will close by applauding those young people who took part in the cattle show at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and all the parents that have encouraged their children and supported them. Thanks as well to all those who volunteer their time to encourage our youth, whether through 4-H, the Manitoba Beef Youth Round-up or other events. I believe the future of the industry is very bright and is in great hands. Renewal, if properly supported and nurtured, can become a springboard towards a strong, sustainable and bright future.

Exploring Agriculture in the City Glenn Friesen of Manitoba Agriculture displays some of the technology used at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives. Friesen was a featured speaker at Discover Agriculture in the City 2018 at The Forks Market in April.

The Manitoba Simmental Association would like to congratulate Katryn Dequier being the recipient of this year’s 2018 MSA Scholarship recipient.

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

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2018

Adding value without adding acres BY ANGELA LOVELL As land prices climb, beef producers are understandably interested in ways they can add value to their operations without adding acres. A panel of experts at Manitoba Beef Producer’s 39th AGM discussed ways producers could do just that – through genetics, grazing management and enhanced data collection. Dr. John Crowley, a research geneticist at the University of Alberta, explained that breeding genetics creates potential and management delivers on it. “A lot of time, the cattle or fertility characteristics get missed because producers are chasing weight gain and carcass weight gain,” he said. “In any production system, the female fertility traits capture the biggest percentage of your economic emphasis. So to use genetics to add value without adding any acres, we need to increase the number of cows weaned out of those acres and I think we have a lot of opportunity to do that.” Calving Ease Key The most economically relevant trait is calving ease, not birth weight, added Crowley, noting “It’s a negative economic waste if an animal has a calving difficulty.” Parentage is also critical.”There is economic return in doing parentage and knowing what sire did what, who’s working, who’s not working, who should I get rid of, who should I keep, who can I afford to keep. All those questions on a multi-sire pasture can be answered with parentage.” It’s important to choose the right bulls for what producers want to achieve. “One bull probably won’t be the best at generating terminal animals and generating replacement animals, so if you are concentrating on expanding the cow herd you need a bull that’s going to produce good replacement females,” says Crowley. “You can’t see under the hood, you need to be looking at things like genetic merit values and EPDs for things like milk, calving, longevity and stayability.”

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to all the bidders and buyers at our 11th Annual 2-Year Old Bull Sale! Thanks to Kebernik’s Black Rose Ranch, Beausejour, MB for buying the High selling bull, and to Wilfred Bretecher of Ste. Rose du Lac, MB who was again the Volume buyer with 5 bulls.

High Selling Red Bull sold to Pharo Cattle Co. producer Cody McDaniel of Townsend, MT, USA.

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Measuring Important With the advent of genomics and DNA testing some producers believe they no longer need to collect and record phenotype information – actual physical measurements of animals – but Crowley says it’s never been more important to record phenotype. “As you move generation to generation, DNA markers shift a little bit so we always need new physical measurements of animals to get the most of out of our DNA information.” On cross-breeding Crowley noted, “Cross-breeding actually generates a type of vigour that gives you a little bump in production, but the main return is your longevity in your female. That’s where you get the main bump from hybrid vigour by getting that fitness trait into a female.” Grazing Management Producers should think outside the box when it comes to pasture and grazing management as a means to increase profitability on the same acres, said Dr. Bart Lardner of the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC). He believes producers could make better use of the many legume options available to capture more nitrogen (N) on their pastures. “There’s more money lost by producers not having alfalfa in their rotation systems because of the fear of bloat than actually going out there and being able to manage that particular legume based on maturity and bloom,” said Lardner. Vetches, sisal varieties, birdsfoot trefoil, clovers and sainfoin are also getting a lot of attention. Short-rotation forage legumes are another option to effectively fix some N by using a legume for two years and then rotating into another crop. In a four-year research trial in Saskatchewan the best results in terms of N fixation were seen by having alfalfa or red clover for two years and then going to wheat or canola, depending on the soil type. “This [research is] really just validation that maybe a legume should be some part of the thought process in a producer’s forage management program,” said Lardner. Extended Grazing More producers are adopting combinations of extensive winter grazing systems using swath grazing, bale grazing, stockpile grass, standing corn and crop residues as part of their management system. Producers need some kind of portable windbreak if they don’t have natural shelter for cattle, and a winter watering system − and a Plan B, said Lardner. “You always have to be prepared. Mother Nature is not going to let you extensive graze all the time.” There are all kinds of bale grazing system combinations producers can tweak to suit their operations and for what they want to achieve. Lardner’s research has shown that areas where cows have bale grazed in the field retain two-and-a-half to three times the level of N compared to sites where manure is spread with equipment. Grazing crop residue – perhaps by teaming up with a local grain producer – can provide some additional protein supplement, especially oat residue. Generally, added Lardner, producers had 42 to 43 per cent lower costs with extensive winter feeding systems compared to drylot feeding. Novel forages Polycrops definitely have some advantages, but re-

search in conjunction with Dr. Jeff Schoneau at the University of Saskatchewan is raising a few red flags that producers should be aware of, said Lardner. “We are seeing high nitrate levels, sulphur and potassium and so we need to be aware that maybe there are some issues on the anti-quality side that we are not hearing about polycrops,” he explained. “We should have some of that information out there probably in 2019.” Because corn produces two-and-a-half to three times the biomass of small grain cereals, producers are definitely interested in corn as a forage crop. Corn research at WBDC four years ago has shown that five-week calves can be grazed on corn but it is low on protein for third gestation beef cows, so they may require a protein supplement. Grazing days per cow on whole plant corn ranged from 145 to 318, with 200 days being the breakeven point. Costs were 70 cents to $1.42 per cow compared to $2.50 to $3.00 drylot costs. It’s important to do your homework with corn and get the agronomics right, says Lardner. “Talk to lots of producers and extension agents because it’s high risk and high input,” he says. “If you’re going to graze it, the cows will go for the “ice cream” part of the plant first, so I’m suggesting a two-to-four days grazing allocation of corn. The whole issue is to mitigate their digestive upset. I strongly recommend a good trace mineral program if corn is going to be part of your winter grazing program.” New App Herdly is a new cow/calf app for Smartphones developed at the RFID Laboratory at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with support from the former Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Agriculture and the National Check-Off. The app and companion software is being field tested by around 200 Canadian beef producers, said Mark Klassen, Director of Technical Services for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The phone app and software works with both PCs and Macs, and offers a cloud storage system so information gathered with a smartphone in the field can be synced instantaneously with other computers and devices. A pocket tag reader is in the works. Herdly records, tracks and manages all kinds of production information such as vaccinations or medications and birth information for new calves, including details of the sire and dam, gender, colour, breed, calving score, a picture of the calf. It can prepare ID tag and birth date details ready to be submitted to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. Producers can change the parameters to record whatever they want. The Herdly app is a good example of technology beef producers can use to enhance production efficiency and profitability on their farms without adding more land. For an average cattle operation with 85 cows, Herdly would cost around $82 a month. “One of the most common reasons that I hear for not using a cow/calf management program is that people have a great paper-based or spreadsheet system, but Herdly doesn’t take much more time and gives them a better tool with better records,” said Klassen. “They come to realize there’s no way that they can look at their data in multiple ways using a spreadsheet like they can with this software.”

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May 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture Farm Management Specialist Manitoba Agriculture

benjamin.hamm@gov.mb.ca

Q: I want to know how to compare the cost of making hay versus silage for my farm. Can you help me? A: That’s a good question. Manitoba Agriculture offers cost of production calculators online to help you answer that exact question. The calculators cover a range of topics, such as the full cost of templates for hay production costs, including round bale silage, and silage production costs, including barley, corn and alfalfa grass chopped silage. These tools allow producers and industry to input specific numbers into the calculator to help determine the costs and returns associated with an individual enterprise. We encourage all producers to learn about these tools and share them

with fellow producers. Below is the breakdown of the 2018 hay production cost, including round bale silage. Hay production cost 2018 This budget outlines the cost of producing alfalfa, alfalfa grass hay, alfalfa baled silage and alfalfa-grass baled silage. Production is based on 300 dry hay crop acres and 300 baled silage crop acres. Land is valued at $1925 per acre, resulting in an annual land cost of $44.47 per acre. Establishment costs are amortized over five years on the alfalfa land and eight years on the alfalfa grass land. Less leaf loss and earlier harvest on the round bale silage accounts for an increase in yield of .37 tons dry matter on alfalfa per acre. For alfalfa grass round

$/Acre -28.49 -140.14 119%

$/Acre 198.10 92.45 43%

Increase/Decrease # Bales Wrapped per Year

$/Acre 101.50 -4.15 54%

$/Acre -22.12 -150.95 112%

$/Acre 159.90 37.07 53%

$/Acre -68.04 -196.87 148%

$/Acre 89.10 -33.73 63%

25%

Alfalfa Baled Silage 1,656 2,070 2,588

Alfalfa-Grass Baled Silage 1,320 1,650 2,063

Plastic Silage Wrap Cost

$3.19

$3.19

$3.19

$3.21

$3.21

$3.21

Silage Wrapper - Fuel Usage

$0.22

$0.22

$0.22

$0.22

$0.22

$0.22

Machinery Depreciation

$1.93

$1.55

$1.24

$2.42

$1.94

$1.55

Machinery Investment

$0.66

$0.53

$0.43

$0.83

$0.67

$0.53

Labour (Additional for wrapper only)

$0.58

$0.58

$0.58

$0.73

$0.73

$0.73

Total ($ per bale)

$6.59

$6.07

$5.65

$7.42

$6.77

$6.25

Based on # Bales Wrapped Per Year Cost per Wrapped Silage Bale

bale silage, we accounted for an increase of .29 tons dry matter per acre. Each user is encouraged to put in current farm production values on all inputs. This Alfalfa Grass Round Bale Silage

Establishment (amortized)

$35.04

$24.71

$37.74

$28.12

Fertilizer

$50.84

$41.28

$50.84

$41.28

Herbicide/Insecticide

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Fuel

$8.59

$5.98

$9.17

$7.20

Machinery Operating

$12.10

$12.10

$10.11

$16.77

Machinery Lease

$2.40

$2.40

$2.40

$2.40

Rental and Custom

$14.00

$11.16

$20.67

$16.35

Crop Insurance

$9.00

$5.76

$9.00

$5.76

Twine/Net Wrap

$4.23

$3.33

$6.21

$4.95

-

-

$21.96

$17.51

Other Costs

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

Land Taxes

$10.00

$10.00

$10.00

$10.00

$3.70

$2.97

$4.50

$3.81

$151.90

$121.70

$184.60

$156.15

Land Investment Costs

$44.47

$44.47

$44.47

$44.47

Machinery Depreciation

$27.67

$27.67

$37.18

$37.18

will give you an accurate cost of producing the dry hay or round bale silage on your farm. Below is a summary of all costs on the four comparisons. Above are the marginal returns on the four systems. As you can see, the establishment year is a loss on all systems and something to keep in mind when establishing forages. The cost of production is also very sensitive to yield and quality, so it’s best to keep that as close to your own production as possible. Dry hay seems to be the most profitable, but doesn’t take into account years when we have weather challenges in production. Benefits of the silage systems are being able

Fixed Costs per acre

Machinery Investment

$9.51

$9.51

$13.18

$13.18

Storage Costs

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Total Fixed

$81.65

$81.65

$94.82

$94.82

Total Operating & Fixed

$233.55

$203.35

$279.43

$250.98

Labour

$24.00

$24.00

$28.00

$28.00

Total Costs per acre

$257.55

$227.35

$307.43

$278.98

Use the Best, Your Cows Will Be Impressed

Facebook.com

@ManitobaBeef

mbbeef.ca

$/Acre -61.30 -172.95 148%

Baled Silage Wrapper Cost Summary ($ per Bale)

Alfalfa Round Bale Silage

FIND US ONLINE:

Alfalfa Grass Bale Silage

Marginal Returns Over Operating Costs Over Total Costs Operating expense Ratio

Alfalfa Grass Hay

Interest on Operating

Alfalfa Bale Silage

Price per ton Yield Per acre (ton) Gross Revenue

Alfalfa Hay

Total Operating

Alfalfa Grass Hay

Est. Year Year 2-5 Est. Year Year 2-5 Est. Year Year 2-5 Est. Year Year 2-8 $ 75.00 $ 100.00 $ 70.00 $ 80.00 $ 45.00 $ 50.00 $ 40.00 $ 45.00 2 3.5 1.8 2.79 3.94 6.89 3.52 5.45 $ 150.00 $ 350.00 $ 126.00 $ 223.20 $ 177.30 $ 344.50 $ 140.80 $ 245.25

Operating Costs per acre

Plastic Silage Wrap

Alfalfa Dry Hay

Estimated Farmgate 2018

BENJAMIN HAMM

Brett McRae’s Custom a.i.

204-729-1018 • brett.mcrae@icloud.com

www.mbbeef.ca

to harvest earlier, regardless of weather, and silage only needs one-half to one-third of the drying time required for dry hay. Leaf loss is also less in silage systems and can increase feed value even more when coupled with earlier harvest. Below is the cost of inline bale wrapper for the silage systems. Fixed costs are captured in the inventory section of the budget and need to be updated again for individual values. The pre-set values indicate a 20 per cent residual value and a lifetime of 10 years to calculate the fixed cost contribution in the budget. For more information on these tools and resources, visit http://www.

gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ business-and-economics/ financial-management/ cost-of-production.html 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 May 4, 2018. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Our forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience, are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2018

Tips on managing lice control issues DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Though not the case in the last couple of weeks as I write this column, this winter has had some unseasonably warm periods and that has created havoc with lice control. The number of complaints about product inefficacy for lice has skyrocketed across Western Canada this year. Lice are small external parasites that spend their entire life cycle on the host. Two types infest cattle - biting lice feed on debris on the skin whereas sucking lice feed on blood. Symptoms are similar for both species - rubbing, itching, irritation and resultant hair loss. Sucking lice infestations also result in blood loss and anemia. The areas most commonly infested are the tailhead,

neck, head, dewlap and topline. In severe infestations, lice can be found over the entire animal and can cause animal death. The short life cycle (21 day average for eggs to develop into adults) and the high numbers of female lice in relation to males gives the opportunity for rapid population increases over a short period of time. Lice levels increase during the fall and winter when cooler weather and higher humidity conditions prevail. Thicker winter hair coats also help create a microenvironment for the lice to thrive near the host skin surface. Conversely, warm weather, lower relative humidity and thin hair coats make lice less prevalent in the late spring and sum-

mer.

Lice spread through the herd by direct contact of “carriers” with “clean” animals. Carriers are those animals that continue to maintain low levels of lice infestations despite treatment. Thin cattle, calves, yearlings, aged cattle and those with poor nutrition are particularly prone to lice infestation. Genetics may also play a role as there are herd to herd differences despite similar environmental management programs. There are several general management constraints that contribute to lice infestations. Facilities need to be clean and dry. Poor fencing where hair traps − splintered wood, sharp edges, etc. allows a reservoir of infection for newly-introduced untreated cattle. Crowding and group feeding increases contact between

animals and facilitates the spread of lice as well. Malnourished cattle are also more susceptible to lice infestations. Underdosing of pourons and the failure to treat all animals are common reasons for persistent lice infestations. Dosing must be accurate - set the dosing syringe for the heaviest animal in the group or adjust the dose for each animal based on weight. Averages don’t work here. Be sure to treat every animal within the time period specified on the product label. If an animal gets through the chute or is missed at processing, they will remain carriers and can rapidly re-infest the herd. Apply the pour-on properly − over the topline of the animal from withers to tailhead. The product needs to have more direct contact with lice and works best if it can diffuse

over both sides of the animal. Drive-by “shootings” of pour-on are ineffective. Avoid application to areas of skin that are covered in clumps of snow, caked mud or manure or to areas of damaged or unhealthy skin. The hair coat should be clean and dry during treatment and for several hours after. Delay treatment if raining or snowing. Treated animals should not be placed in pens or pastures adjacent to untreated animals. Ideally, it is also best to keep facilities where previously-infected cattle have been empty for one week before introducing newly treated cattle. This is impractical for many operations and thus low level lice infestations may always be seen. The severity can be minimized with good nutrition. A weakened immune sys-

tem through deficiency of vitamins, minerals, protein or energy will make animals more prone to disease, including parasitism. Think of lice as another disease. Prevention involves more than just treatment with a pour-on. Good management is just as important to ensure the health of your herd. If you do find yourself with a significant lice burden in your herd this spring, remember that lice levels will decrease as the weather warms up. Severely affected cattle and those in the “risk” groups − calves, yearlings and poorer body condition animals would still benefit from treatment. Discuss the various control options with your veterinarian as many products are multi-purpose with control of flies, internal parasites and lice.

Crown lands important to beef industry  Page 1 Manitoba Crown lands. But we recognize this is something that is part of the give and take that’s part of any trade agreement.” At the same time, MBP wants assurances that agricultural land will still be used primarily for grazing. They also want to be sure leaseholders

own the livestock grazing the permitted land, added Fox. “That’s the biggest concern − to make sure producers still have access and are the number one proprietors to use that resource,” Fox said. Lemon added there should be safeguards to make sure the tendering process does not artificial-

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ly inflate the cost of Crown lands. “We don’t think this should be a money grab for the province.” Also uncertain is the future ability by small and young producers to access Crown land. Previously, Crown lands had a policy objective of helping such producers, although some complained that didn’t always happen. Previously, regulations limited the number of Animal Unit Months (AUM) a producer could hold. Lemon said that provision has now been stripped from the regulations, leaving the position of small producers uncertain. “One of the questions we’re asking is, does the

provincial government still have the policy objective to use Crown lands as a tool to encourage new entrants and young people into the industry?” Lemon said. At present, there are roughly 1.45 million of agricultural Crown lands in Manitoba. These include 1,673 forage leases (1.36 million acres), 38 renewable grazing permits (10,000 acres), 233 renewable hay permits (65,700 acres) and, three special leases (1,000 acres). There are also 52 cropping leases (10,500 acres), which are already under a tendering system. Chris Budiwski, Manitoba Agriculture’s director of agri-resource and agricultural Crown lands, in-

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dicated the province is still developing the new Crown land policies and doesn’t have complete answers to producers’ questions just yet. But he said the government sees the tender system as an improvement because producers will now have an incentive to bid. “The outcome of the process will be highly dependent on how interested you are in what you’re tendering on,” Budiwski said. “It puts the onus on the client to make that determination and not so much on a scoring system.” Budiwski said the province is consulting with producers right now on how the tender-based system can be implemented. That includes the provision allowing nonresidents to participate, he said. “The general understanding is that, regardless of what province you are coming from, if you are interested in a parcel you should be able to participate freely,” he said. “We’re working on the premise that, going into a market-based approach under a tender system, anyone can enter into it regardless of distance or proximity.” At the same time, Budiwski said he didn’t expect a lot of interest in Manitoba Crown lands from outside the province, since that was never an issue before. Because it’s now an

open system, Budiwski said he can’t guarantee the land will be used mainly by beef producers. But that’s likely to be the case anyway, he added. “Absolutely the beef producers are by far the largest. I don’t see that changing in any near-term future.” It’s estimated cattle producers make up over 95 per cent of Manitoba’s agricultural Crown land clients. Other livestock include bison, sheep and horses. Even though policies still have to be fleshed out, Budiwski said the new trade agreement will be positive for the Crown land leasing system. “It’s really giving this program a lot of attention to get it reviewed, updated and modernized, and to have conversations with our stakeholders that we really haven’t done enough of.” Budiwski said the new regulations could help Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler achieve his stated goal of expanding the province’s beef herd to 750,000 cows from the current 485,000 over 10 years. “We view the Crown land program as one of the tools in the tool box to facilitate that to happen.” Editor’s note: For more information on the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation under Manitoba’s Crown Lands Act go to http://web2.gov.mb.ca/ laws/regs/current/_pdf-

reg


May 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Disability insurance for farmers BY RON FRIESEN Warren Graydon knew he was in trouble when he kept falling down after a cow kicked him in the knee while he was trying to get a calf to nurse. That night his knee had swollen to twice its normal size. An emergency trip to the hospital only resulted in some painkillers. Two days later, the swelling and pain hadn’t gone away. Graydon ended up in a Winnipeg sports clinic where tests showed he had a torn ligament on the side of his knee. Fitted with a knee brace and told not to lift anything over 50 pounds,

Graydon went back to his farm near Woodmore and tried to carry on working as best as possible. That incident occurred in February last year in the middle of calving season. Graydon’s knee finally finished healing toward the end of June. Graydon was actually lucky. He didn’t need surgery and he recovered without permanent damage to his injured knee. But he had to work his way through pain and disobey the doctor’s instructions not to lift anything heavy because there was no alternative. What Graydon needed, and didn’t have, was disability insurance to cover his expenses and

hire someone to do his work while he healed. What he didn’t know then (and does now) was that there is such a product aimed at farmers and covering financial losses resulting from sickness and injury. Graydon’s dad Cliff learned about it the past winter at AgDays when he ran into Garry Slywchuk, Manitoba sales and recruiting manager for La Capitale Financial Security, which provides disability insurance for small businesses and selfemployed owner/operators. Today, with a policy from La Capitale in his pocket, Graydon, 39, wishes he had known about the program a year

Livestock estimates for Manitoba and Canada Statistics Canada has released Canada’s livestock estimates as of January 1, 2018. Manitoba had 1,060,000 head of cattle, up 1 per cent from January 1, 2017. Statistics Canada reported that in 2017 there were: • 70,900 interprovincial imports of cattle into Manitoba • 3,400 international imports of cattle into Manitoba • 238,500 interprovincial exports of cattle from Manitoba • 61,100 international exports of cattle from Manitoba Canadian farmers

had 11.6 million cattle on their farms on January 1, up 0.9% from January 1, 2017. Inventories remained 22.1% below the peak levels reported in January 2005. The number of beef heifers held for breeding on Canadian farms was down 0.3% year over year to 561,600 head. The calf inventory on January 1 increased 0.1% to 3.8 million. The number of steers rose 2.1% and feeder heifer inventories were up 1.1% compared with January 1, 2017. As of January 1, 74,680 farms reported inventories of cattle and calves, down 0.2% from

January 1, 2017 and down 1.5% from the same date in 2016. Total disposition of cattle and calves rose 2.7% in 2017 compared with 2016, driven by higher slaughter levels. Total slaughter numbers increased 6.4% from 2016 to 3.3 million head. However, international exports decreased 16.3% to 640,900. Export demand for Canadian cattle may have been dampened by growth in the US cattle herd. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that on January 1, 2018, the US cattle and calf inventory was 0.7% higher than January 1, 2017.

ago.

“I could have hired somebody to do my job and paid them. And I would have healed a lot faster and possibly not done more damage,” he says. While disability insurance is common for salaried employees in the workplace, most farmers have little or no idea it can be available to them as well. True, Workers Compensation for injuries suffered on the job has been mandatory for agricultural workers in Manitoba since 2009. Personal coverage is also available as an option for farmers and their family members. But few farm owners bother with Workers Compensation for themselves because it can be difficult to collect. WCB coverage is based on lost income and it’s often hard to determine what a farm owner’s income loss actually is. “Part of the problem is, relative to compensation, it is a very difficult to quantify your loss,” says Bob Craddock, director of assessment services for the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba. That’s where private insurers such as La Capitale and others come in. Slywchuk says his company will insure people against total or partial disability, injury and sickness. About 20 per cent of

Verified Beef Production Plus Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening

NEW PRODUCERS WELCOME!

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help you very much.” As anyone knows, insurance is something you hope you never have to use. But Slywchuk says the financial peace of mind insurance provides is something you can’t put a dollar amount to, especially in an industry as potentially dangerous as farming. “If you save five per cent of your income for 10 years, six months’ disability will wipe that out,” he says. “An injury or an illness is hard enough to deal with. Life insurance is excellent but being alive and not being able to pay your bills -- I don’t think there’s anything worse.” Graydon, whose premiums total over $3,000 a year, agrees. “If I get injured and I can’t physically do the work I need to do, it pays me more than $2,500 a month. The money goes to my farm. So I can pay somebody to do my job without the money coming out of my pocket,” he says. “The margin on livestock is so thin to begin with. If you can’t do your work properly, you can’t afford to hire anybody and you’re in calving season -- if you lose two calves in a normal market, that would be my premium on my insurance if they grow up to be steers.”

• 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.

CATTLEX LTD.

For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers:

his clients in Manitoba are farmers. Slywchuk says coverage depends on what a policyholder wants covered. A standard policy will pay for someone to do your work while you are recovering, as well as personal finances (mortgage payments, household expenses) and overhead expenses (e.g. fixed costs). Premiums can range all the way from $50 to $800 a month, again depending on coverage. Slywchuk says the average premiums for his clients range between $80 and $200 a month. Premium payments can be made monthly, semi-annually or annually. Slywchuk says it’s important for policyholders to know what they have taken out and to understand if they are covered, how they are covered and what they are covered for. For example, a policy may cover injured policyholders only while they’re in the hospital. If it doesn’t cover medical and other costs afterwards, that person may be out of luck. “It’s critical to really understand how that policy will work should you need to utilize it,” Slywchuk says. “If you’re in the hospital for two days and you’re off work for nine months, it really doesn’t

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.

www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2018

Beef Cattle

Poultry

Pigs

Sheep

Dairy Cattle

Goats

Horses

Fish & Shellfish

Fur Species

Bees

Antimicrobials Requiring a Veterinary Prescription as of December 1, 2018 Based on the antimicrobial categorizations determined by Health Canada in relation to their importance to human medicine

I

Category

Licensed Drug

Very High Importance

Ceftiofur Danofloxacin Enrofloxacin Polymixin B

Used in the treatment of serious human infections and there are no or limited alternatives.

High Importance

Used in the treatment of serious human infections and have some alternatives. All of these previously over-thecounter products will require a veterinary prescription and will only be available through your veterinarian. If a product does not appear on this list, it may already require a veterinary prescription.

III

Medium Importance

Are not the preferred treatment for serious human infections and there are alternatives available. All of these previously over-thecounter products will require a veterinary prescription and will only be available through your veterinarian. If a product does not appear on this list, it may already require a veterinary prescription.

IV

Low Importance

These antimicrobials are not used in human medicine.

No change. These products already require a veterinary prescription. Includes products such as: Baytril

Excenel

Ceftiofur

Spectramast

Special Formula 17900-Forte

Erythromycin Gamithromycin Gentamicin Lincomycin Neomycin -oral Penicillin G Streptomycin/ Dihydrostreptomyci n -oral Tildipirosin Tilmicosin Tulathromycin Tylosin Tylvalosin Virginiamycin

Aivlosin 17% Aureo S-P 250 G Aureomix 625 G Aureomycin 220 G Booster P S Conc Chlor 50 Chlor 250 Granular Premix Component Implants with Tylan (E-C, E-H, E-S, TE 100, TE 200, TE-G, TE-H, & TE-S) Depocillin Gallimycin-50 Gallimycin 50 Premix Hi-Pencin 300 L-S 20 Premix LincoMed 100 Lincomix 44 & 110 Premixes

Lincomix 100 Injectable Solution Lincomix Soluble Powder Lincomycin 44, 44 G, 110 & 110 G Premixes Lincomycin Soluble Powder Linco-Spectin 100 Soluble Powder Linco-Spectin Sterile Solution Lincomycin Spectinomycin 4.4% G Premix Lincomycin Spectinomycin 100 Soluble Powder Linxmed-SP Neo-Chlor Neo Sulfalyte

Neo-Terramycin 50/50 Premix Neo-Tetramed Neomed 325 Neomycin SP & 325 Penpro NeoOxytet SP Neotet Soluble Concentrate Novodry Plus NSE Bolus Pen G Injection Pen Vet 300 Penaqua Sol-G Penicillin G Potassium USP Soluble Powder 500 000 000 & 15 000 000 000 IU Penicillin G Procaine 110

PenMed Sus IM 300000 IU/ml Penpro Pharmasin Soluble 100 Pig Zest Pododerm Pot Pen Pot Pen 500 000 000 & 15 000 000 000 Proc Pen LA Procaine Aqueous Suspension Procaine Penicillin G Procillin Propen LA Pulmotil Premix Scour Boluses Scour-Plug

Scour Suspension Stafac 22, 44 & 500 Sulectim Plus Super Booster Super Chlor 250 Granular Premix Tilmicosin 200 Tilmovet Premix Tylan 10, 40 & 100 Premixes Tylan 200 Tylan Soluble Tylosin 10 & 40 Premixes Tylosin 100 Tylosin Soluble Powder Vibiomed Booster Virginiamycin 44 Premix

Apramycin Bacitracin Florfenicol Gentamicin - topical

2 Sulfamed 3 Sulvit After-Calf Bolus Alamycin LA Albac 110 Apralan Aureomycin 220 G AVL Topical Spray Bacitracin MD Bio-Mycin 200 BMD 110 G BMD Soluble Calf Scour Tablet CalfSpan Tablets CalfStrong Tablets Chlor 50 & 100 Granular Premixes

Compudose Co-Op Calf Scour Tablets Cyclosol 200 LA Denagard Denagard 10% GF Premix, 12.5% Liquid Concentrate & Medicated Premix Deracin 22% Granular Premix Foul Brood Mix Kelamycin Intrauterine Suspension Keraplex Liquamycin LA-200 Nitrofurazone Soluble Dressing Noromycin LA, LA 300 & LP Onycin 250 & 1000 Oxy 250 & 1000

Oxy LA & LP Oxy Tetra A 55mg/gm Oxy Tetra Forte 220mg/gm Oxymycine LA, LS, LA 300 & LP Oxysol 62.5 Oxytet-25 Oxytet 1000 SP Oxytetracycline 50, 100 & 200 Granular Premixes Oxytetracycline HCl Soluble Powder 1000 Oxytetramycin 100 Oxyvet 100 LP, 200 LA & 300 LA Panolog Ointment Proud Flesh Dust

Sodium Sulfamethazine Solution 12.5% & 25% Spectam Scour-Halt Sulfa 2 Soluble Powder Sulfa 25 & Sulfa 25% Solution Sulfa MT Sulfa Urea Cream Sulfamethazine 25% Solution Sulfamethazine Bolus Sulfaquinoxaline Concentrate Sulfaquinoxaline 19.2% Liquid Concentrate Sulectim 100 Sulfavite Sulmed Plus Sustain III

T-1% Terramycin-Aqua Terramycin Premixes 50, 100 & 200 Tetra 55, 250, 1000 & 4000 Tetracycline 250 Tetraject LA & LP Tetramed 250 & 1000 Tiamulin 1.78% Premix Tiamulin HF 10% Tiamulin Soluble Powder Triple Sulfa Bolus Vetmulin Liquid Concentrate Vetmulin Premix Zinc Bacitracin 110 Wound Clear Spray

Neomycin - topical Spectinomycin Streptomycin/ Dihydrostreptomycin - topical Sulfonamides Tetracyclines/ Chlortetracyclines/ Oxytetracyclines Tiamulin

Amprolium, clopidol, diclazuril, dinitolmide (zoalene), nicarbazine, robenidine, etc. Ionophores (Lasalocid, Narasin, Salinomycin, Monensin) Flavophospholipols (Bambermycin)

CONTAINS ANTIMICROBIAL, USE RESPONSIBLY

II

Brand Names

No change to how these products are purchased. Products such as: Coban Premix, Kexxtone, Monensin Premix, Rumensin CRC, Rumensin Premix, Flavomycin 4 Amprol 9.6% Solution, Amprol 25% Feed Mix, AmproMed, Avatec 20 Medicated Premix, Bovatec 20 Medicated Premix, Coxistac 6% Premix, Coxistac 12% Granular, Maxiban Premix, Monteban 100, Posistac 6% Premix, Sacox 120, Salinomycin 60 Premix

Other products in any category may be affected by these changes and not listed here. Consult with your veterinarian for further information.

cahi-icsa.ca

Canadian Animal Health Institute 160 Research Lane, Suite 102 · Guelph, Ontario N1G 5B2 519-763-7777 · cahi@cahi-icsa.ca

Animal Nutrition Association of Canada 150 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1301 · Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1P1 613-241-6421 · info@anacan.org

anacan.org

What Determines a Legitimate Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR)? The following information is from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s website. A legitimate Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) is considered to exist only if medical records of the practice contain sufficient evidence of relevant and timely interaction between the veterinarian, animal owner and animal patients. • These interactions may include, but are not limited to: • Farm or home visits • Clinic appointments • Consultations • Direct animal examinations (individual or herd/flock) • Laboratory reports • Production record reviews, etc. The VCPR is supported by documented evidence that the veterinarian has undertaken the steps necessary to establish medical needs and consequently prescribes and subsequently dispenses pharmaceuticals. The VCPR is not a signed contractual agreement but rather a working connection and interaction between veterinarian, client and specific animal patient or group of animals. The VCPR is not in and of itself an entitlement to prescribe and subsequently dispense. Each provincial and territorial veterinary statutory body has their own definition of VCPR in provincial legislation. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) Antimicrobial

Prudent Use Guidelines (2008) states that VCPR exists when all of the following conditions have been met: The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarian’s instructions. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal(s). This means that the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal(s) by virtue of an examination of the animal(s) or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept. The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation, or has arranged for emergency coverage, in the event of adverse reactions or failure of the treatment regimen. The New Reality for Veterinary Oversight Upcoming changes to federal policies and regulations will result in the removal of all production claims for antimicrobials in animal feed and water and will require mandatory veterinary oversight in the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals by the end of 2016. The existence of a legitimate VCPR will be critical before a veterinarian can prescribe or dispense a medication. https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/documents/importance-of-vcpr

www.mbbeef.ca


May 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

A look at recent market volatility RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line The volatility in the cattle markets this spring has really hit the backgrounders who purchased inventory in the fall and cow-calf producers who retained ownership of their calves until spring. In Manitoba, those backgrounding feedlots that purchased calves last fall are suffering from buyer’s remorse and are looking at $200 to $250 per head losses if they sell the cattle at the current cash price for 900 pound steers. The majority held on, hoping for an increase in demand and prices similar to what happened last spring. This year it looks like those investors and cattle feeders may be forced to finish their cattle with the hope of minimizing their losses. In most cases, the feeders would sell the cattle at a loss if they were able to purchase back lighter cattle that showed a potential profit. This is not the case this year! Lighter cattle under the 700 pounds are in strong demand with breakeven prices higher than the futures or suggested contract prices. Grain prices are starting to strengthen which increases the break-evens for 9-weights in the fall or finished cattle in January of 2019. The packers know that there is a larger than normal inventory of cattle that will be ready to be harvested during the summer months on both sides of the border. With all of the uncertainty in the global market, packers are reluctant to price finished cattle too far out. As of April 10, western packers were paying $255 to $260 dressed weight delivered to Alberta. Eastern packers were offering 10 to 12 cents per pound less. Indications were that most of the packers

had the majority of their kill booked 30 to 50 days in advance. Despite a shortage of market-ready finished cattle, the price was lower than the early January 2018 price of $167.25. During the early spring of 2017, a strong export demand on both sides of the border drove fed cattle prices to near record levels of $280.00 to $303.00 dressed. After the peak, supplies outmatched demand, and prices dropped to under $250.00 in western Canada. If you go by the futures, cattle feeders on the cash market are headed for a tough summer to market fed cattle. In late March, August live cattle prices on the futures dropped below $1.00 per pound in US funds. At the start of 2018, most of the industry analysts predicted that $105.00 could be the bottom price threshold. Will the prices get as bad as the futures suggest? That will be determined by the amount of export demand, especially from the USA. The sparring match over tariffs between China and the USA could have a negative impact on the beef market, even though most of the talks on the meat discussions are about pork. A 25% tariff on pork would be a huge blow to the American pork producers, and without a doubt would push pork prices down at the domestic retail level. Last year in the protein market, demand outweighed the supply increase. This year experts predict 4 or 4-plus per cent more beef in the marketplace, 3.5% to 4% more pork, and about 2% more poultry. Even though domestic demand is relativity strong, retailers and wholesalers may have to drop prices to move the product. Cow-calf operators who keep their calves until spring are starting to secondguess their marketing strategy and are looking for ways to market their calves

at weaning time if the market is strong. Over the past 10 years, there have been more times that marketing in the fall, (if the calves weighed 550 plus) especially on the steer calves, was more profitable than selling them at 800 pounds plus in the spring. The heifers, on the other hand, were the opposite; the spread between the heifers and the steers in fall is usually pretty wide compared to the spring. This spring the demand for replacement heifers has been soft resulting in a wider than normal steer/heifer spread. A lot of producers have sorted out a few more replacement heifers this year because of the lower than expected price point. In April, the 800-pound plus heifers price was seven to 10 cents per pound lower than last year. The current price has resulted in some heifers being exported to the United States. As for the steers, in late March and April, the average price for 900-pound steers was $155.00 compared to $161.50 last year. This year the 900-pound steer was worth $1,395.00 per head. That same steer as a 575-pound steer in mid-October was worth close to $2.25 per pound or $1,293.00 per steer. That left $102.00 for 325 pounds (31.3 cents per pound) of gain, not including interest, drugs and death loss. Most of the backgrounding lots were charging between 75 and 85 cents per pound gain depending on the ration and contract conditions. It is not much wonder that some of the larger operators are looking at changing their year-end, and opening the window to a wider range of marketing options.

Manitoba Hay Day Attend this field day and learn how to increase the quality of your valuable hay resources. Watch infield demonstrations of new equipment from manufacturers and learn more about:  how to harvest high quality hay  how to make high quality silage  costs of production  hay quality differences When:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Time:

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where:

Friedensfeld Community Centre – Near Steinbach (take PTH #12 south of Steinbach to HWY #303, turn left and head east for 1.6 kilometers)

Agenda:

10:00 a.m.

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Making Silage! Dr. Tim McAllister – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Lethbridge

11:00 a.m.

Do You Know Your COP’s When Making Feed? Ben Hamm, Manitoba Agriculture

11:30 a.m.

Making Hay While the Sun Shines! Dr. Dan Undersander – University of Wisconsin

1:30p.m.

Green Gold Alfalfa Monitoring Program - for optimal forage harvesting. John McGregor, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association

2:00 p.m.

New Hay Equipment Demonstrations Major Manufacturers

Cost: Register:

$20 per person and includes lunch. This is a rain or shine event. Call Manitoba Agriculture at 204-622-2007.

www.mbbeef.ca

Have we hit the bottom of the feeder cattle market for the spring of 2018? I think we are very close on the heavy confinement cattle. Is there room for major improvement? I don’t think so. The only chance of price improvement is feedlots that are selling on the cash market right now are making a small profit; they may decide to reinvest and refill the pens. There will be a light offering of cattle over the next three months, so demand might increase to fill some empty pens. Fed cattle prices will continue to erode as supplies of market ready cattle increase and Canadian packers reduce their cow kill down from 8,0009,000 head per week (8% higher than last year) and focus on fed cattle. If the export demand stays strong, the fed cattle may drop as badly as predicted. Demand for lean trim is strong, and cows should stay strong as the seasonal supply dwindles. The lighter cattle that will finish after the summer months will continue to be strong. Yearlings off the grass look very promising price-wise for the sellers. The fall calf price in Manitoba will hinge on the grain prices and demand from eastern Canada. In a nutshell, this sluggish feeder cattle market is a result of too many cattle coming into the system in the summer and unpredictability for the summer meat prices. Once we get by the predicted “wall of cattle” coming to market this summer, the volatility should calm down. Until next time. Rick


16 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2018

Do you OWN or HAVE CARE of a REGULATED livestock species?

E XPECTED

animal identification and livestock traceability r e g u l a t o r y a m e n d m e n t s will require livestock operations to identify their premises with their local government premises registry, and use their valid premises identification number to report animal movement event data to the Canadian Livestock Tracking System database at www.clia.livestockid.ca YOU can PREPARE in

2

steps

1. CONTACT your local premises registry to confirm or acquire a premises identification (PID) number for your livestock site and to verify your emergency contact information 2. CONTACT Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to confirm or acquire a Canadian Livestock Tracking System database account and enter your valid PID into it by toll-free telephone at 1-877-909-2333 or email at info@canadaid.ca

F IND your local P REMISES R EGISTRY BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1-888-221-7141 ALBERTA: 310-FARM (3276) SASKATCHEWAN: 1-866-457-2377

MANITOBA:

1-204-945-7684

ONTARIO: 1-888-247-4999 QUEBEC: 1-866-270-4319 PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: 1-866-PEI-FARM NEW BRUNSWICK: 1-506-453-2109 NOVA SCOTIA: 1-800-279-0825 NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR: 1-709-637-2088 YUKON: 1-867-667-3043 www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

JULY 2018

MBP General Manager Brian Lemon (left), Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and MBP Vice-President Tom Teichroeb share a few words at the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channel funding announcement on June 18. (Photo by Maureen Cousins)

Feds, province to fund outlets their fellow Manitobans, and this has exacted a heavy toll on our industry,” said MBP President Ben E. Fox. “The steep financial costs to producers caused by flooding have forced many to leave the industry.” On June 18 in St. Laurent, the federal and provincial governments announced they will cost-share up to $540 million for the outlet channels project. The two governments will contribute up to $247.5

million each. The province has also committed to provide an additional $45 million to complete the project. Federal monies will come from the new Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. The project involves the construction of two approximately 23-kilometre-long diversion channels. The Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel will run north from Watchorn Bay on Lake Manitoba to Birch Bay on Lake St. Martin; the Lake St.

Martin Outlet Channel will run northeast from Lake St. Martin to Lake Winnipeg south of Willow Point. Of particular importance to beef producers is that the Lake Manitoba outlet channel will carry water from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin which will then flow via the Lake St. Martin channel into Lake Winnipeg. This will be essential during times of flooding and high water levels on Lake Manitoba. Page 4 

Advocating for producers

MBFI pollinator project

Meet Rachel Verwey

Page 2

Page 9

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.

A joint federal-provincial announcement to build outlet channels at Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin is welcome news to Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). “MBP has strongly sought and supported the construction of outlet channels at Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. Producers around Lake Manitoba and beyond have repeatedly sacrificed their valuable production land to protect


2

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2018

MBP advanced concerns in Ottawa “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” Margaret Thatcher There are certain aspects of the spring and early summer that make it a very special time of the year. With calving and seeding taking place and all the renewal of our natural surroundings it really is quite a wonderful spectacle to observe and be a part of. I know around our place, where we have been fortunate to receive timely rains, it has really been a great start to the growing season. Hopefully the rains and sunshine find your operations when it’s needed and we can all have bumper crops throughout the year. As beef producers we tend to be fairly independent and able to choose what direction we want to pursue with our individual operations. We create, we build and we formulate to make our enterprise better each day. This flexibility allows our operations and industry to flourish and we should not allow unnecessary regulatory or legislative interference to diminish its impact. With this freedom comes the responsibility to make certain our industry is transparent and open

with all of our practises. Consumers have an intense curiosity about what we do. Working within an industry that functions on a good name, a good word and a handshake, affords us a tremendous amount of leeway. The public wants to trust us, and in years past with less separation between agriculture and urban lifestyles, that trust was easily understood. Presently, the general public are further removed from primary agriculture production and they are very fascinated in how our industry can still work “on a handshake” in this age. They want to know all that we do and why. It is very much incumbent upon us to meet these demands in a positive and proactive role. I would hope that as beef producers we can take an active role within our communities to help bridge that information gap and make sure the right information is getting to consumers. In late May, a group of MBP directors and staff visited Ottawa to meet with Members of Parliament and top level department staff to discuss important issues that affect our provincial industry. It was very beneficial to consult with the staff of two MPs who have prominent roles: Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Natural Resources

BEN FOX MBP President

Minister Jim Carr. We met too with MPs from different parties who sit on committees whose work affects our sector, such as Agriculture and Agriculture, and Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities. We had time as well with staff from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Health Canada. All these sessions were productive. As an addition to our standard itinerary, we met with one Manitoba Senator, and staff from another Manitoba Senator’s office. They were very much intrigued and up to speed with what was going on in agriculture. Throughout our discussions, we focused on several topics, from the pressing need to complete the Lake Manitoba outlet channel, to livestock transportation regulations, traceability, Canada’s Food Guide, predation, TB prevention, business risk management programs, and the beneficial environmental attributes of beef production. Overall, the reception to our industry was positive and I think advocacy efforts made by our national

MBP General Manager Brian Lemon, District 12 Director Kris Kristjanson, MBP Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins, Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman MP James Bezan, District 10 Director Mike Duguid and MBP President Ben Fox discussed issues impacting beef producers in Ottawa in May. DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

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

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

organizations, whether it be the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association or the National Cattle Feeders Association, has aided greatly our endeavours. That said, there still seems to be a disconnect with the people who are developing and overlooking policies/regulations that impact our industry. I believe that we have to continue to grow our industry in all aspects. This will increase our portfolio size and highlight the sustainable benefits our industry brings to the table for all of Canada. Policy makers would be smart to consult with groups like MBP to determine what beef producers need to remain the backbone of our country. Some regulations to keep an eye on will be changes to the Health of Animals Regulations dealing with transport that were brought to light in late 2016. This is a vitally important topic for our prov-

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

MIKE DUGUID

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

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

completely unnecessary. The marketing factors coming into play are the only thing required to make sure there’s compliance, not government interference. Provincially, we are working on advancing meetings with Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler pertaining to Crown lands, predation and growing the provincial herd. I do have to say that in all my conversations with our Agriculture Minister, he has held fast to growing the herd, and I take him at his word, that it’s his intention to help the beef industry flourish and be successful. As an industry − cow/calf, backgrounding or finishing, we need to be excelling in our attempts to be the best we can be. I challenge you to make yourself aware of the issues at large affecting our industry such that we can stand aligned and on the right side of the road so that we don’t get run over by indecision or poor policies. Good luck with your summer activities and take time to visit with friends, family and your neighbors. Stay safe!

Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Lawrence MacAulay and MBP President Ben Fox meet briefly in between meetings during MBP's annual Ottawa Fly-In Days.

DISTRICT 3

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ince, and there were more than 50,000 comments provided to the federal government on this topic. MBP’s position is that the changes being considered are not based on science and the way the regulation was written is not only detrimental to animals but to transporters and owners as well. This is something that will be at the top of mind until they publish the regulation in Canada Gazette Part II and we see what the government comes up with. I’m not going to hold my breath, but at least they are WELL aware of where we stand! Traceability and cattle movement requirements are also coming down later this fall. The use of manifests, already required, and Premise I.D. numbers are going to be necessary for producers to make any transactions pertaining to their cattle. In numerous meetings it’s been floated by bureaucrats that they could additionally impose a mandatory regulation to force all producers comply with the requirements. We have stated emphatically that is

ROBERT METNER

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

DISTRICT 12

KRIS KRISTJANSON

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July 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Public trust – what’s it worth? Public trust is becoming a bit of a catch phrase, maybe overused, and certainly not entirely understood. What does it mean? Why do we care? And why is it so important? Public trust seems to be one of those things that is talked about at virtually every meeting I attend. In some cases public trust is entirely the focus of the meeting, and is certainly the focus of concern of many industry leaders, not only in the beef sector, but across agriculture. It is a bit elusive and vague, but is none the less increasingly the most important thing that need or want. So what is public trust? While I’m certain there are many definitions, I will summarize my perspective and define public trust as, “the willingness for the public to believe what we tell them, and to believe that we (as the beef industry) are doing the right things for the right reasons”. I guess the easy thing to do would be to put on our blinders, get defensive, and respond simply by saying, “Why wouldn’t they believe us? They should just trust us – just because!”. This would be easiest, because it doesn’t require us to do anything. It is easiest because it allows us to just carry on and do what we do, and not change anything. But I would suggest that, at least in this case, easy isn’t maybe best. Lack of public trust is an issue today because fewer and fewer people have any connection to where their food comes from, and more and more people hear snippets of stories on the news or “brought to you by google” and, because they don’t know different, choose to believe, or assume the worst. There was a time where every person knew someone who was from a farm; where everyone had a grandparent or an uncle that was a producer. This has changed. People are now sometimes three and four generations removed from the farm, and have never visited a family member who was a producer and who lived on a farm. I was actually surprised when out doing district meetings last fall to learn from a group of 4-H participants that even in their small rural town, that most of their classmates had never visited their farms and often asked the same types of questions we hear from young people who live in Winnipeg. It isn’t just big-city kids that don’t know; school kids in small towns are just as removed. Now imagine people who have never been to a farm, and now think about what they hear about how their food is produced, and think about where they hear it. They hear about food recalls (a good thing and proof that our food safety system is largely working), they hear about incidents in foreign countries who don’t have the same level of food safety and animal welfare standards that Canada has, and they hear about it on the internet, largely from narrowly-focused special interest groups who have specific agendas to advance. Combining the lack of a personal experience, or a personal connection with the sensationalism that is today’s media and internet, is it really any wonder that

BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column

cians are elected to represent the interests of their constituents, every time a constituency group comes forward and mounts a campaign suggesting that they have concerns about what we do on farm, or about the quality and safety of their food, or about the environment, politicians are forced to react. When politicians react, they only have a few options in terms of tools – and the most common tool used is to regulate. If you think about it, every time the public (and thus politicians) have a concern about a practice they don’t understand and they don’t trust individuals to “do the right thing”, governments enact regulation – to force people to do the right thing. This burden is inefficient and imposes costs on our industry. Think about the costs (time and money) to get an approval to build a new feedlot or to expand your yard? Why are these regulatory requirements in place and how much do they cost you? You hear me talk lots about the good story that our industry has to tell. And you hear me talk about our animal welfare practices and all the benefits of our cattle industry, and specifically the benefits that we bring to the environment, to air quality and water quality, flood mitigation and biodiversity. We have a great story to tell. We should all be proud to tell it. We have to tell it more often so that when the public is asked to wonder about what they know about the cattle sector, they can remember hearing about the great benefits that we deliver, and so that when asked about practices on farm, the public can trust that WE are doing the right things for the right reasons!

there has been an erosion in the public’s trust of where their food comes from? It isn’t a given anymore that the public believes that our animal welfare practices are some of the best in the world, or that our use of antibiotics is to ensure the health of our sick animals, or that our production practices are environmentally sensitive and actually improve the environment in many cases. The public hears one sensationalized story and it becomes the “every farmer” story. Or the public hears one story from a special interest group who believes that modern agriculture should be the way it was when your greatgrandparents farmed, and that the use of science and technology is somehow bad for the animals, the environment, and the consuming public – and doesn’t hear about how much better the food safety and quality of our food has become, or how advancements are improving the impacts on the environment. The environment is an interesting topic in this regard. Predation is still a huge concern for our sector and we battle public trust concerns about how our industry interacts with wildlife. If we stop to think about it for a minute, it is largely the cattle sector that preserves the trees and the bush and the grasslands that are the habitat for birds and animals. It is the cattle sector that protects this diverse landscape and the biodiversity that it supports, and then it is the very animals whose habitat we protect that now cause significant losses to our producers. The public concerns are that our producers are indiscriminately removing problem predators, when the truth is that our producers are protecting the habitats for these predators and asking that the public support them in protecting their livelihoods and their cattle. A lack of public trust costs our industry both directly and indirectly. It isn’t a stretch to tie public trust concerns to the level Events such as the Red River Ex are important ways for Manitoba Beef Producers of regulatory burden our to engage the public and improve public trust in beef production. (Photo by Keith industry faces. As politi- Borkowsky)

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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2018

National beef quality audit BY ANGELA LOVELL Canadian beef cattle have been getting steadily heavier, an average of seven additional pounds per year since 1975, but not necessarily leaner according to the latest National Beef Quality Audit results. According to the audit’s cooler component, which measures carcass yield and grade factors, average steer and heifer weights in 2016-17 were 904 lbs and 624 lbs respectively. That’s up from 846 lbs for steers and 778 lbs for heifers at the time of the last audit in 2010-11. This has significant implications for yield and is causing significant losses to the beef industry, especially to packers through increased fat trim. “There has been a significant drop in the numbers of carcasses that qualify for Yield Grade 1 that indicates the highest ratio of lean to fat has been met,� said Mark Klassen, Director of Technical Services at the Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA). Only 37 per cent of carcasses were Yield Grade 1 in 2016-17, down from 52 per cent in 2010-11, and average fat depth of beef from fed cattle increased by 76 per cent. “That’s an issue because that fat has to be trimmed and sold for a very low value,� Klassen said.� Increasing

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carcass weights may contribute to a lot of issues, but amongst the most important is the reality that consumers, as the population ages, are not looking for bigger pieces of beef. In general they want serving sizes to be smaller, so that’s posed a bit of a challenge.â€? Ribeye area increased almost two per cent over 2010-11. On a positive note for cow/calf producers, there are more cattle hitting the ideal range of 2.5 to three body condition score (BCS) than there were five years earlier, with a reduction in the number of animals in the one (very thin) and five (grossly fat) categories. On the fed cattle side though, there are definitely more animals in the BCS 5 range. A potential upside of heavier carcass weights is an improvement in quality grades, with an increase in both Prime (up to 2.6 per cent) and AAA (54.1 per cent) since 2010-11 when 1.2 per cent of carcasses made Prime and 52.5 per cent AAA grades. Carcass quality defects affecting processors’ bottom line The other component of the National Beef Audit looks at carcass quality defects that affect processing. These defects include horns, brands, tag (dirty hides), bruises, injection site lesions and liver issues. Page 7 ďƒ˜

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Page 1 The province has indicated construction could be fully underway as early as the fall of 2019, though some road access construction work has already started. Environmental assessment processes are also underway. No firm timeline for the completion of the project has been announced, but some media reports have indicated it could take until 2024 or 2025. The Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel built during the 2011 flood will remain available in the interim. Beef producers affected by flooding around Lake Manitoba in 2011 and 2014 have faced wideranging costs and effects on livestock production including: impacts on animal health and productivity caused by flood-related events (e.g. having to relocate herds or animals having to cope with wet conditions); loss of pasture and forage productivity and associated need to lease other grazing lands and source extra feed; damage to infrastructure; and, general disruptions to the normal operations of the farm/ranch. Additionally, there have been costs associated with these major floods that have stretched years beyond the initial events, such as restoring or re-establishing damaged pasture and forage lands, repairing fences, and dealing with weed incursions and the spread of invasive species is another issue. While the Lake Maniďƒ—

toba outlet channel will help alleviate those negative impacts to beef producers’ operations, its construction will impose some permanent changes that will affect bottom line operations for producers directly along the channel. These could include having pasture land separated the channel, where producers have to transport their livestock by truck from one side of the channel to the other, making their operations less efficient. “Producers have already suffered greatly from flooding and water management policies. MBP continues to push for governments to follow land valuation practices when expropriating land needed to complete this project,� said Brian Lemon, MBP’s General Manager. “In recognition of the long-term sacrifices that producers have made, and are still being asked to make for the greater good of their fellow Manitobans, MBP requests these producers be compensated at least fairly for the loss of land, and inefficiencies added to their operations due to the expropriation process related to the construction of the channel.� Fox added repeated flooding and water management challenges have cost cattle producers income, and has limited Manitoba’s ability to expand its beef cattle herd. “That’s why MBP has lobbied on behalf of producers for many years to improve flood protection

and mitigation measures,� Fox said. “Flooding’s severe impact on pasture and forage lands can at times take them out of production for years during the event and the recovery phase. We appreciate the commitments made by both the federal and provincial governments to address floodrelated issues as producers do their part to ensure their operations are sustainable.� Fox added that helping to mitigate ongoing flooding and water management issues is expected to have a positive impact on overall farm investments in the region, at a time when the provincial government is encouraging beef producers to grow the provincial herd to pre-BSE levels. “Understandably beef producers have been reluctant to expand their operations until they have seen some concrete steps being taken to reduce the risk of future flooding around Lake Manitoba,� Fox said. “MBP believes the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project is a critical component of a multi-pronged water management strategy that will help restore producer confidence and encourage future investments in the beef industry in this province. We look forward to the swift completion of these two channels and the benefits they will bring in reducing flood risks, both to producers and to our rural communities.�

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Government activities update MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Amendments to The Planning Act, changes to the rules around hunting, and the release of a report on public consultations related to the agricultural Crown lands program are some areas of provincial government activity that will affect Manitoba’s beef industry. Planning Amendment Act MBP provided a written submission on Bill 19 – The Planning Amendment Act (Improved Efficiency in Planning) when it went before a legislative committee on May 14 for public feedback. Elements of the existing Planning Act have a significant impact on cattle production in Manitoba. This includes the provisions that require municipalities to have a livestock operation policy setting out where livestock operations can be developed, as well as specifying the maximum number of animal units that are allowed. The Act also sets out provisions for municipalities around conditional use and what types of conditions may be applied to livestock operations. Finally, the Act contains provisions related to the Technical Review Committee and when applications for certain sized livestock operations must be reviewed. A key item in Bill 19 is that an applicant for a largescale livestock operation may now appeal to the Municipal Board if their application is rejected, or if conditions are placed on the approval. MBP supports the use of an appeal mechanism to ensure that producers seeking to expand their operations and who meet all the provincial environmental requirements are allowed to do so. The appeal process must be timely and not become unduly burdensome. Bill 19 allows municipalities to set their own animal unit threshold for a local conditional use approval and hearing. While MBP sees merit in this approach, it cautioned this has the potential to create confusion on the landscape. Having the 300 animal unit threshold as had been set out in The Planning Act helped clearly identify when the conditional use process was triggered in all Manitoba municipalities. The new approach may result in a wide variation in thresholds. MBP noted a potential new entrant seeking to establish a beef operation may have to invest considerable time investigating where a given municipality sits with respect to the conditional use threshold. As well, given the four-year municipal election cycle and potential changeovers in the composition of councils, thresholds could change on a regular basis, potentially adding to producer uncertainty. MBP recommended that once a revised Planning Act received Royal Assent that updates be made to the documents entitled “Planning Resource Guide: Planning for Agriculture” and “Land Use Planning for Livestock Development”. MBP believes it is important for producers to have access to an easy-to-use guidance document that clearly lays out the steps needed to see a proposal for a new or expanding livestock operation through to completion. Further, MBP suggested there could be value in the creation of a “one-stop” online resource where municipalities and/or planning districts could be encouraged to provide short details about their livestock operations policies. This could include the animal unit thresholds, setback distances and other types of information beneficial to producers as they think about establishing or expanding livestock operations. It could be housed on the appropriate provincial department websites. MBP asked the province to work with local governments to ensure they have access to technical expertise and resources to help inform them about new agricultural technology and practices. This could be beneficial as they assess proposals related to livestock operations. Earlier this year MBP provided feedback to the province as it was revisiting the province’s Livestock Review Process, with the aim of shaving 100 or more days off the average existing length of more than 300 days. MBP is pleased improvements are being made in this area and encourages continued streamlining of the process. Delays in getting conditional use permits have been a concern for the beef industry. The beef sector often grows through the sale and acquisition of existing operations by new or expanding operators. A 200 plus day review process is still not conducive to allowing the timely sale/transfer of real estate conditional upon the property’s intended use being approved. Further, con-

struction seasons are short and if projects can be approved within a shorter timeframe there will be both production and economic benefits derived by the producer. Bill 19 received Royal Assent on June 4 in the Legislature, although certain provisions, such as those allowing a producer to appeal a decision by a municipal government on a livestock operation will be proclaimed at a date still to be determined. Clarification In the May edition of this column, I reported that the latest provincial government budget documents contained a reference to “increasing the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program budget by $151,000 to mitigate damages caused by wildlife.” Staff from Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation later clarified that the additional monies will used to deal with an estimated increase in compensation and administration due to higher claims activity. Crown Lands Program On June 4 the province released a “What We Heard Summary Report” as part of its recent consultations on the modernization of the agricultural Crown lands (ACL) program. The province intends to introduce legislation changes reflecting the public feedback. MBP provided written and oral comments to the province as part of these consultations. MBP’s comments focused on areas such as the merits of an auction system versus a tendering system for forage leases, the need for informed access to ACL, eligibility policies, forage lease terms and renewals, transfers, casual permits, and how to deal with improvements producers are making to leased Crown lands. A range of comments were received. For example: • Care should be taken to ensure that ACL leases are allocated to bona fide farmers and ranchers; • Some felt the 4,800 AUM level may be too low for commercial livestock operations, stifling expansion and succession planning, so some said it should be increased, while others wanted the limit removed outright; • Shorter lease agreements (five to 15 years) that would be renewed (conditional upon maintaining eligibility criteria) were also supported; • Re: forage leases, an auction approach was preferred over that of a tender to aid in price discovery and transparency; and, • The sales of agricultural Crown land to lessees should be facilitated. To see the report visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/. Wildlife Amendment Act On May 16 Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires introduced Bill 29 – The Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management) which proposed changes to hunting practices in the province. Changes proposed in the legislation include: • A general prohibition on night hunting is established. In southern Manitoba, an aboriginal person may hunt at night if they have a permit and are hunting in the area set out in the permit where the department has determined that

night hunting may be conducted. An aboriginal person exercising harvesting rights in northern Manitoba may hunt at night if they comply with prohibitions and restrictions established by regulation; • Discharging a firearm at night is prohibited except if they are hunting at night as permitted under certain sections of the Act or the regulations; or the discharge occurs in prescribed circumstances; • Minimum fines are established for persons convicted of dangerous hunting offences; • The minister may appoint shared management committees to provide recommendations on the conservation and management of wildlife in a specific area. At least half of the committee members must be aboriginal persons. A shared management committee must also have representation from hunters, outfitters and local land owners. • The minister may work with a variety of organizations to encourage private landowners to give consent to enable persons to hunt or trap on their land. “We have seen deaths, serious injuries and far too many close calls as a result of unsafe night hunting practices in Manitoba,” Squires said in a news release. “We also know blinding an animal in the dead of the night for the purpose of an easy kill is neither safe nor sustainable.” In recent years several resolutions have been carried at MBP Annual General Meetings related to safe hunting practices as well as hunting at night. MBP will be seeking clarification on elements of the proposed legislation and accompanying regulations, such as whether producers will be allowed to discharge a firearm at night if required to humanely euthanize an animal if required. To read Bill 29 visit: http://web2.gov.mb.ca/ bills/41-3/b029e.php A detailed backgrounder on the bill is available at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=43975& posted=2018-05-16 Canadian Agricultural Partnership The provincial government has begun rolling out initiatives under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the replacement for Growing Forward 2. Funding is available to industry stakeholders, including producers for a variety of purposes, including: developing new skills, technologies and products; increasing production and adding value to products; finding new markets; improving plant and animal health; supporting environmental sustainability; and supporting basic and applied research and development. All applications will be made to the Ag Action Manitoba program. Cost-sharing and funding caps for activities vary based on the activity. Information, including how to apply for program activities, is available at www.manitoba.ca.agriculture under Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Alternatively, call 1-844-769-6224 (toll-free) or email agaction@ gov.mb.ca.

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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2018

MBP Communications Coordinator Keith Borkowsky (left), MBP District 10 Director Mike Duguid and Emerson MLA and one of MBP's founders Cliff Graydon meet after Manitoba Beef Producers received a Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award honourable mention at the Manitoba Legislature on May 22.

Community pastures provide environmental benefits: study BY RON FRIESEN A new study has found that community pastures in Manitoba provide surprisingly large financial benefits in environmental services to the province’s economy. The study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development puts the environmental and economic value of Manitoba’s 20 community pastures at nearly $13.4 million a year, based on a value of $25/ tonne of carbon dioxide. The biggest benefit, not unexpectedly, comes from grazing and forage production, valued at $5.7 million annually. It's estimated cattle grazing in community pastures consume 6,513 tonnes of forage a year. But the benefits of these pastures go far beyond grass. Other benefits include soil conservation, preserving natural habitat, recreation, timber, hunting and direct economic benefits to local communities. The direct benefits of carbon sequestration alone are valued at $4.7 million. Altogether, the report demonstrates the importance of these services by attaching a dollar value to them. It also helps cattle farmers by raising public awareness of the importance of community pastures, both to the economy and the environment, said Ben Fox, Manitoba Beef Producers president. “It helps give beef producers some data to show what we bring to the table as far as environmental stewardship is concerned and the gains our practices produce on the landscape,” Fox said. He said the benefits provided by pasture grazing would be multiplied many times if private rangeland owned and managed by producers were included as well. The IISD study was commissioned by the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) and

funded through the federal Growing Forward 2 agricultural program. Community pastures managed by AMCP cover more than 350,000 acres and are grazed by 40,000 head of livestock belonging to 350 local producers annually. They also employ about 40 people to manage the pastures during the grazing season. Community pastures arose out of the Dirty Thirties when the federal Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration took vast tracts of marginal cropland out of production and converted them to grass for public grazing. The federal government announced in 2012 it was pulling out of administering community pastures. AMCP, a private non-profit organization, was incorporated in 2014 to assume management of the pastures with the help of start-up funding from the Manitoba government. AMCP has been operating the pastures since 2016. The transition was completed April 1, 2017. “Our key priority has been grazing services for livestock producers and we have delivered that,” said Rachel Whidden, AMCP’s range specialist. Although community pastures provide millions of dollars in environmental benefits, they don’t actually put money into the pockets of producers who supply them. Some say it’s unfair that society should benefit from ecological goods and services (EGS) provided by producers when producers themselves get no direct financial return from them. The next step is to have a public discussion about how producers might get paid for the EGS they give to society, said Geoff Gunn, an IISD geographer and author of the study. “We want to make sure that people who are managing the landscape sustainably – both community pastures and private land – are remunerated for the benefit

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they’re doing for all of us,” Gunn said. “We believe that, by recognizing the value of ecological goods and services, we can drive the conversation forward with actual evidence-based policy recommendations.”

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Vitamin shortage presents challenges DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner As I write this column, most areas of the province have received much needed rain, but pockets still remain where moisture levels remain critical. Many producers have depleted their feed stores and are relying on an above-average growing season. Many cattle have been sent out to “graze” where there is no pasture growth – not a good recipe for future reproductive success and calf health. A particular challenge this year is the ongoing Vitamin A and E supply shortage. Many rumours

abound about when we can expect to see injectable products available again but based on my experience with backorders, I would be concerned that we won’t see any relief for all of 2019, especially as the beef industry appears to be set to receive lower priority as compared to other livestock sectors – poultry, dairy and swine. Unfortunately my practice experiences this year have shown that many cow/calf operations already have both vitamin and mineral deficiencies despite the availability of

mineral mixes with above industry standard levels of Vitamins A and E. Mineral consumption in these herds is often inadequate either through lack of year-round supplementation or poor consumption (if offered free-choice). Poor summer grazing and inferior winter feedstuffs have compounded the issue. Typical histories have been abortions, stillbirths and increased calf disease and mortality. Some herds have experienced calf blindness, weakness and seizures. Reproductive inefficiency and lower conception rates should be expected unless deficiencies are corrected. If you are experiencing any

Audit shows losses Page 4 The number of cattle coming to packers with horns continues to decrease, which is positive as horns can cause economic losses from bruising, head condemnations, and extra labour in the packing plant. Areas where the audit pointed out there is room for improvement include branding in fed cattle. While branding in non-fed cattle was reduced, there is an increase in the number of brands, particularly on the rib area for fed cattle. The economic loss to the industry because of hide damage due to branding was $1.07/head or $3.1 million in 2016 compared to $0.88/head or total $2.8 million in 2011. “When a brand is placed in the middle of the animal, the hide that will subsequently find some value in manufacturing of leather products is essentially split in the middle if you have to take that brand out,” Klassen said. “That limits what can be done with the leather and reduces its value more than if brands were placed on the hip or shoulder.” Injection site lesions for both fed and non-fed cattle are up from 0.56 per cent and 7.34 per cent in 2011 to 4.45 per cent and 13.69 per cent in 2016. Injection site lesions cost the industry around 56 cents per head or $1.63 million in 2016 compared to 21 cents a head or almost $663,000 in 2011. “Injection site lesions are a consequence of medications that are injected sometimes non-optimally,” Klassen said. “That is meaningful from the perspective of the consumer eating experience, which is impacted by the toughness from scarring that can result even some distance away from the injection site. Also, when the packing plant detects these defects, they have to cut them out, so there is a direct loss of product.” Alarming increase in liver defects Liver abscesses increased by more than 100 per cent in the last five years, and have also increased in severity. The economic loss from liver discounts in 2016 was $20.98 per head for a total loss of over $61 million. The cause for this increase is likely a combination of factors, Klassen said. “Part of it could simply be longer days on feed as we’re feeding animals to heavier weights, and it could be higher energy rations,” he said. “Maybe there’s also some resistance to some of the medications that try to prevent liver abscesses, but I can’t say for certain. By our estimates, we have lost 

roughly 22 per cent of livers to condemnation or zero value and another 10 per cent to pet food and fewer than 70 per cent can be used for higher value human consumption from feedlot animals. This is an area that needs work.” The National Beef Quality Audit is conducted by the CCA approximately every five years and is funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The audit provides a benchmark for the industry and identifies opportunities to enhance the profitability and consumer satisfaction with Canadian beef. “We do these audits not only to improve the quality of the product but also to point out where profitability of the industry can be improved from the perspective of reducing quality defect-associated costs,” Klassen said. The cooler audit findings estimate total cost to the beef industry of carcass quality defects such as reduced yield due to fat are around $100 million annually. From the processing perspective, defects that cause damage to carcasses such as brands or liver defects are costing another $110 million up from just over $70 million in 2011. “The costs are real and the beef business is not typically a high margin industry,” Klassen said. “Reducing some of these quality issues is something that producers can control.” Educational videos on the way The CCA is producing educational videos about some issues from the NBQA findings, including brands and injection site lesions, and these will be distributed to producers and feedlot operators. The videos share some practical advice about how to reduce these defects and illustrate some of the impacts from an end user point of view. “There are so many things that producers have to keep an eye on these days,” Klassen said. “Five years ago there wasn’t today’s focus on record keeping or demonstrating things like environmental sustainability. From time to time it’s good to revisit these kinds of benchmarks and let the industry know where they’re at. Our aim is to give feedlots and other producers who are bringing new people to their operation a training tool so they can share these videos, which will be short and focused on the aspects that really relate to things that can be controlled with techniques and behaviours.”

of these issues, contact your veterinarian to initiate diagnostics. Growing green grass is nature’s vitamin factory. Cattle convert carotene from plant leaves into Vitamin A and absorb Vitamin E directly from leafy green forage. Both vitamins are fat soluble and are thus stored in the liver but only when daily intakes are three to five times greater than requirements. Under ideal conditions, cows can store up to four months of Vitamin A and up to one month of Vitamin E in their livers. But ideal means actively growing forage which is unfortunately only a reality for two-to-three months of the year. If drought conditions continue, harvested forage will have extremely low carotene levels and virtually no Vitamin E. Additionally, nitrate levels are often higher in “stressed” forages and this can lead to the destruction of carotene and Vitamin A in the digestive tract. Very high levels of supplementation or multiple monthly injections could become necessary to

overcome these deficiency problems. That is unlikely to be a viable option for the 2019 season so early management and prevention this summer is critical. Feed mineral year round and ensure that your mineral is vitamin fortified even during the summer, particularly if your winter feed the previous year was sub-optimal or your pasture is overgrazed and/ or drought-stressed. Keep in mind that vitamins are degraded more rapidly by exposure to heat, air and sunlight, so replenish stocks on a weekly (or more frequent) basis. Don’t stockpile mineral or purchase product manufactured over three months earlier as vitamin levels degrade over time. Cattle at highest risk due to vitamin shortages are those that have grazed dry or dormant grass since the later summer and then got silage-based or strawgrain rations later. Those on hay or greenfeed harvested last summer are also at high risk, particularly if they haven’t been given supplements. The critical time for supplementation is during late gestation when the fe-

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tus is rapidly growing and developing. Calves born with an abnormal bone development that constricts the optic nerve leading to blindness, muscle incoordination from spine abnormalities or generalized muscle weakness generally do not respond to treatment and serve as a sentinel that the calving season will be a wreck unless vitamin malnutrition is immediately addressed. Both cows and calves would need supplementation in these circumstances. Don’t get yourself in this situation. Talk with your veterinarian about preventative options – liquid supplements and mineral mixes are available. Yes, mineral and vitamin mixes are significantly more costly this year but opting out of supplementation will be a major mistake. Don’t just depend on vaccination and other disease management tools to prevent illness such as scours, pneumonia and poor reproductive performance. Poor nutrition paralyzes the immune system. Look after your cows and they will look after you.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2018

Hard to forecast fall feeder prices The rains came in early June, and producers were finally able to get their cattle to pasture. The rains also brought some optimism in the minds of the cattle producers. Feeder cattle prices on the grass-type cattle were fully steady with a noticeable price increase in breedingtype heifers. The big feeder cattle over 900 pounds out of the confinement yards were still a tough item to sell, but prices held steady despite a lower fed-cattle market. As of the first week in June, fed cattle prices in Manitoba had dropped from $2.68 on the rail delivered to Alberta to $2.38. Prices in the USA were trading at $1.05 to $1.08 live on the live trade. The only good news was that the market was not as low as many of the experts had predicted. Strong export demand for beef from both Canada and the USA, along with good domestic sales, have increased harvest numbers of fed cattle on both sides of the border. US packing plants are running at 90 per cent capacity, and the slaughter numbers

per week are the highest in the past seven years. Canadian packers are harvesting around 35,000 head of fed cattle per week, while the Americans are processing over 500,000 fed cattle per week. The wall of fed cattle is stilling coming despite the higher kill numbers. The spread between choice and select grades is over 20 cents, so feedlots will not market the cattle before they are ready. Carcass weights are currently lower which signals that feedlots with market ready cattle are selling. So, the milliondollar question is, “Why are the fed cattle prices dropping when demand is so strong?” The answer is simple: large supply and limited competition from the packers. The packers are taking huge profits again this summer. They recorded record profits last summer despite prices in the $2.90 to $3.00 dressed range (Canadian). The packers know the cattle are out there, and with the consolidation of the packing industry over the years, there are fewer and fewer active buyers to bid on the cattle. The cattle feeders are

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line making a little money, but on this turn of inventory however, the feeders have not been able to get any leverage on the packers at all. One of the bright spots in early June was that the Ontario finishing lots were finally getting bids that were equal to or at a premium over the western prices. Feeders there have been selling at less than western prices since last fall. Ontario feeders have a huge influence on the Manitoba feeder cattle market. The fed cattle market will continue be under pressure for the remainder of the summer. The butcher cow market seems to be holding its own, despite competing for hook space with the fed cattle. The drought conditions in May prompted a lot of producers to cull harder this spring. Most of the auctions reported higher than normal cow deliveries. In

the Midwestern USA, markets were reporting large consignments of younger bred cows being sold at the butcher sales with no local demand whatsoever. The majority of these cows were going to the packers. The demand for lean cows usually peaks at this time of the year, with smaller offerings and strong demand for ground beef. I expect with the moisture in June the cow cull will slow down in Manitoba and prices should remain steady. A lot of producers are asking about the fall feeder cattle prices. That is a very tough question! The biggest influence on the projected feeder cattle prices for fall over the summer will be weather. We need a good crop to keep the calf prices profitable! With the barley prices higher, the cost of finishing a 900-pound steer in Alberta has jumped to $105 per pound of gain.

We need cheaper barley and corn along with a better than average silage crop to get anywhere close to last year’s calf prices. One of the unknown factors in the price formula with be the demand for feeder cattle from the United States. Over the past couple of years exports of feeders south has been relatively slow, but this spring there were spurts of export activity. The corn growers in the south are reporting better than average crops to date, which could mean lower corn prices. The value of the dollar exchange will play a big factor in the export trade. The outlook for the calf trade this fall is not all bleak, but the backgrounders are still licking their wounds from last fall’s purchases. Fall calf purchases from the fall of 2017 that were sold in the spring of 2018 lost from $50.00 to $250.00 per head. Even though cattle feeders have short memories, I expect them to be much more disciplined in their buying this fall. Hay looks like it could be in short supply in Manitoba, and if that is the

case, I don’t expect many farmer-feeders to purchase many light calves this fall. Those producers who purchased the livestock insurance plan may have made a good investment for this fall. I still think that the yearling market off the grass will be better than the futures currently support. In early June, a 900-pound steer off the grass, based on the futures and the current $1.30 dollar exchange, would be worth about $175.00 in Manitoba. I am going to be bold and predict closer to $183.00 at 900 pounds in late August, if the dollar holds at $ 1.30. On another note, the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association will be hosting the annual Cattlemen’s Classic best ball golf tournament in Killarney on Aug. 2. Shotgun start at 10 a.m. The first 144 paid golfers, men and women, will be accepted. Lots of fun is guaranteed. For more information, contact Rick Wright, Allan Munroe, Warren Wright, Scott Anderson, Brock Taylor, Andy Drake or Robin Hill. Until next time, Rick

Manitoba auctioneers place at national championships Nine auctioneers from Manitoba competed in the Canadian Livestock Auctioneering Championships held at Whitewood, Sask., in early May. Thirty-four auctioneers from B.C. to Quebec took part in the competition. Tyler Slawinski, who sells at the Gladstone Auction Mart and at the Ashern Auction Mart, placed fourth overall, and received the Canadian Shorthorn Association buckle. Scott Campbell from Fraser Auction Service placed thirteenth overall, while Brock Taylor from Pipestone Livestock Sales captured sixteenth. Kelly Wright from Wright’s Auction Service in Boissevain placed second in the Rookie Competition. Brad Kehler from the Grunthal Auction Mart was third in the Rookie division. Other Manitoba auctioneers competing included Aurel Voden from Pipestone, Kyle Howarth and Allan Munroe from

Killarney, and Jesse Campbell from Brandon. For Wright, Kehler, Howarth and Jesse Campbell, it was their first LMAC National Competition. Chairman of the competition, Rick Wright, said, “The Manitoba auctioneers represented our province very well. We had some young auctioneers who gained valuable experience, and they will be contenders in the future. Tyler Slawinski has been a contender for the past four years, and he had a great run.” Albert Carroll, who sells at the Ontario Stockyards in Cookstown, Ont., was crowned Canadian Champion. Reserve was awarded to Kyle Soderberg of Lloydminister. Frederick Bodnarus, formerly of Manitoba, was fifth overall. The auctioneering competition is an annual event held in conjunction with the Livestock Markets Association of Canada’s annual convention.

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July 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives pollinator project Cows and bees (and other pollinators too!) BY KIM WOLFE

Manitoba Agriculture

Pollinators, including bees, flies, wasps, moths, butterflies, hummingbirds and even bats, are essential to our environment. They are responsible for the reproduction of over 85 per cent of flowering plants across the world. Looking at crops alone, about 35 per cent of global crop production require pollination. However, researchers have found that pollinator numbers are declining due to pesticide use, habitat loss, and through the spread of disease. One solution to the decline is to create more habitat which includes a variety of species used for food, shelter and nesting. However, this can be a challenge considering there are over 230 different native pollinator species in Manitoba, with many of them adapted to a specific flower type. Along with plant species,

there are many things to consider before planting anything: will the plants grow in my soil type, what are the moisture requirements, how much time and labour is involved, is seed available and of course, costs. This habitat decline has attracted much public attention, which has led some large companies to offer pollinator mixes to producers. Syngenta Canada is piloting a program called “Operation Pollinator” in the Prairie Provinces (www.syngenta.ca/commitments/ operation-pollinator). Last year they handed out enough seed to cover up to 200 acres of their pollinator blend. It consists of six different forbs and one grass species, all non-native. Cheerios/General Mills has donated $4 million to protect and restore pollinator habitat on farmland across North America. They are offering free seed to mainly oat growers, but

have loftier goals and are targeting 3,300 acres of habitat created by 2020 in the northern US and Canada alone. They will provide a custom mix of species that will vary depending on their specific site requirements and needs of the producer. In response to these programs, a demonstration project was established at Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) located near Brandon. Two Operation Pollinator sites were planted in 2017 at the Brookdale Farm, both of which quickly established with flowering occurring in the first year. Monitoring of these sites will continue over the next two years and will begin collecting pollinators this summer. Finally, (and this is where the cows come in) a new project at Johnson Farm is determining if pollinator species which includes both native forbs and tame legumes, can be established in an existing tame pasture, eliminating the need to Honey bee by phacelia flower. remove all vegetation as: Does grazing improve on this project. at https://www.gov. prior to seeding. Graz- establishment of native More details on mb.ca/agriculture/crops/ ing and chemical vegeta- plants? Will increased these projects can be insects/pollinators.html. tion suppression treat- pasture diversity with na- found at www.mbfi.ca or More general informaments and two different tive plants impact forage by contacting me directly tion on pollinators in seeding methods will be quality? General Mills/ at kim.wolfe@gov.mb.ca. North America can be utilized. Over the next Cheerios, the Xerces So- Find specific informa- found at www.xerces. ple to submit their TESA three years, we hope to ciety and AAFC-Bran- tion on how to protect com and www.pollinator. nominations to MBP for answer questions such don are all collaborating and support pollinators org local consideration is Monday, December 3. Completed application packages can be sent to Manitoba Beef Producers, 220-530 Century St. Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 or by email at info@mbbeef.ca. Indicate in the subjection line of your email: Attention: TESA Application. MBP announces the provincial TESA winner in conjunction with its Annual General Meeting in February. Producers can either nominate themselves, For details/entry form go to www.mbangus.ca another individual or be nominated by an organior email manitobaangus@gmail.com zation. All methods are Everyone is welcome to view MB Angus cattle equally encouraged. Complete details and Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup application forms, reJuly 29, 30 & 31 in Neepawa, MB quirements re: letters of support, etc. can be found on the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association website TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS at: Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup our website: http://www.cattle.ca/ - August 3, 4Check & 5 inout Neepawa, MB - www.mbangus.ca sustainability/the-environmental-stewardshipaward/ http://www.cattle.ca/ assets/TESA/d8b10a2137/ tesa-application-v7.3.pdf

Nominate a producer for TESA Applications are being sought from Manitoba beef producers for consideration for The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). Since 1996, TESA has recognized producers who go above and beyond standard industry conservation practices and set positive examples for other cattle producers and the general public. At the local level, a producer receives provincial recognition for their outstanding contributions. These recipients move forward as nominees for national recognition from the CCA. The national TESA recipient is announced during the CCA semi-annual meeting at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Each nominee exemplifies significant innovation and attention to a wide range of environmental stewardship aspects in their farm operation. Such innovations extend beneficially to areas far beyond their land, including water, wildlife and air. The deadline for peo-

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2018

Meet Rachael Verwey of the CYL BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Home for Rachael is near Portage la Prairie where her family runs a 250-head commercial charolais cow operation, milks 120 dairy cows and farms 7,000 acres of grain land. Rachael received her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Systems at the University of Manitoba earlier this year. It was during her fourth year Ruminant Production Systems course that she learned of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) mentorship program through her professor Kim Ominski, who encouraged her to apply. “In Manitoba, we have many exceptional young people who have a passion for the cattle industry. The CYL program provides an excellent opportunity to further develop their leadership skills while learning more about the industry,” Ominski said of the program. Each year the CYL mentorship program accepts applications from “beef enthusiasts between the ages of 18 and 35” across Canada, selecting just 16 young

leaders to pair with mentors in the beef industry for one year. The program also provides opportunities for mentees to meet a wide range of leaders in the beef industry through different travel opportunities and events such as the annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC). Acting on Kim’s advice, Rachael applied in 2017 and was accepted as a semi-finalist. As part of the final selection process, the 24 short-listed candidates were invited to the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary to participate in interviews and a series of round table discussions on important industry topics such as the Verified Beef Program, sustainability, and succession planning. “There were five candidates and two judges at each table,” Verwey said. “We were judged on how we presented ourselves, our knowledge of the industry, but also on how well we listened and interacted with each other, and the types of questions we asked – we were assessed on our round table discussion skills, not just our knowledge.” The final 16 were notified of their success once they were all back home. “Once I was selected, the first part of the men-

torship pairing process was to identify my goals – what I wanted to get out of the program,” Verwey recalled. Mentors are specifically selected to aid mentees in fulfilling their goals. At first Rachael was drawn to the advocacy learning opportunities offered by the Program. “Initially I wanted to be more involved in agvocating, so my goal was to learn as much as I could about the beef industry, so that I could do the best I could to represent it.” CYL mentees complete the Beef Advocacy Canada program, which is designed to empower individuals to share with others what they know and do as members of Canada’s beef industry. But her thinking began to shift with the more people she met, the more conversations she engaged in, and the more she thought about her future. “My goals have changed about six times since starting the program,” she admitted with a laugh. “Gradually my focus shifted to how I could own my own cows and become a primary producer.” That goal led to Rachael being paired with mentor Tara Mullhern Davidson, who, together with her husband run Lonesome Dove Ranch in

Rachael Verwey

southwest Saskatchewan alongside his family’s beef operation. Tara is a 2011 graduate of the CYL mentorship program. Together Rachael

Introducing Keith Borkowsky is the Communications Coordinator for Manitoba Beef Producers and the editor of Cattle Country. He has 17 years of experience in communications and journalism. In that time, he has previously worked at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, and for several daily newspapers across western Canada. Over those years, he has reported on the 2011 flood of the Assiniboine River and Souris River valley systems as well as provincial politics. He has degrees from the University of Winnipeg and University of Regina, and is completing a Master of Arts in Leadership through Royal Roads University.

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and Tara have set out the goals they wish to achieve during the program. Rachael hopes to learn from Tara’s experiences – why they chose the path they did – as she works towards deciding about her own future. “I really like the beef side of farming. With Tara and through this program, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get back to the farm and what that looks like – whether it is finding a place among my siblings and cousins on our family farm or starting a herd of my own.” Their year-long mentorship culminates with a graduation ceremony at CBIC 2018 in London, Ontario in August which unites current mentees, graduates, program sponsors and industry. Although the mentorship program is only a year, Rachael intends to

stay connected with Tara and the network of young leaders she has come to know during her time in the program. “With Tara we talk about continuing our mentorship relationship well beyond this one year. I couldn’t put a price on this experience and the relationships I’ve formed.” The CYL mentorship program Thinking of applying? The online application process opens in January and the deadline for eligible candidates to apply is in late March. Visit the CYL website (cattlemensyoungleaders.com) to learn more. Rachael and Tara are featured on the CYL website participant spotlight page: http://cattlemensyoungleaders.com/participant_spotlight2017. html#eight


July 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Putting steak in your summer BY ELISABETH HARMS We are finally enjoying the arrival of a warm, sunny spring, and the promise of a long, hot summer is just around the corner. With such an optimistic and promising outlook, there seems to be nothing more appropriate than a guide to a fabulous BBQ dinner for those summer nights, as we sit on a backyard patio in shorts and sandals, laughing and enjoying a cool drink while the captivating smell of

BBQ hangs in the air. For many, the ideal, and perhaps obvious, choice for a barbecue is steak. What makes it a great choice is its versatility. However, upon closer inspection, the choice of cut and the best way to cook and finish the steak present some challenges to creating the perfectly barbecued steak. For each type of steak, there is a different balance between tenderness and flavour to consider. Here are some tips for choosing the best type

of steak for the dinner you want to create. The aptly named T-bone steak (for the Tshaped bone running through the middle) is cut from the loin area, close to the hips. It is a great choice for grilling, if what you want is that beefy flavour desired from a steak. The T-bone steak consists of two parts: on one side of the bone is the strip steak (the larger portion of the steak) and on the other side of the bone is the tenderloin. Be careful when cook-

MFGA Aquanty model funded FROM MANITOBA FORAGE AND GRASSLAND ASSOCIATION The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) Aquanty Project model aims to mitigate the impacts of flood and drought across the Assiniboine River Basin by assessing the role of forages and grasslands in times of future flood and drought in the region. This project has drawn support from The Co-operators, a co-operative insurer and financial services organization. To help MFGA advance the project, a $10,000 contribution was provided to MFGA as part of the insurer's ongoing efforts to contribute to flood resiliency in Canada. The contribution immediately placed The Co-operators among the Platinum Sponsors of MFGA - the organization's highest support level. "As floods increase in frequency and severity in communities across Canada, up-to-date flood models are critical to help municipalities and Canadians better understand the risks they are facing," said Barbara Turley-McIntyre, vice-president of Sustainability and Citizenship of The Co-operators. "The MFGA Aquanty project is a great example of the kind of analysis that can help us mitigate and adapt to the changing nature of floods in Canada." The MFGA Aquanty Project is a HydroGeoSphere high-resolution model of the Assiniboine River Basin that will help

plan for future flood and drought events by examining the basin's water movement and highlighting the role of forages and grasslands. The model-building component of the MFGA Aquanty Project has been recently completed and the group is now finalizing the public access components. MFGA is the project proponent and holder of the licence for stakeholders and land managers to access the model. According to Darren Chapman, MFGA Chair, The Co-operators support is a testament to the ability of the model to look at reducing the impact of flood and drought on citizens and property in the Assiniboine River Basin. "The Co-operators represent a very key supporter for MFGA and the MFGA Aquanty Project to have onboard with us" Chapman said. "To have such a prominent player in Canada's insurance industry come forward and support our project in this manner really speaks volumes about the potential of our MFGA Aquanty for the people, properties and communities in the ARB as a risk mitigation and landplanning tool." The Co-operators' support marks the second major Platinum Sponsor from the insurance and financial community for MFGA recently. Last month, nine Manitoba Credit Unions stepped up with a three-year commitment in the Platinum Support level for MFGA and the MFGA Aquanty Project.

ing this cut! Because the tenderloin portion of the steak is so much smaller than the strip, it will cook much quicker. And, due to the lack of fat in the tenderloin, it has a tendency to become tough if cooked too long. Once you have seared this steak, turn the tenderloin portion to the cooler region of your BBQ. This will slow the cooking of the tenderloin. Avid steak eaters will recognize the name “Porterhouse”. A Porterhouse is cut slightly further back from the T-bone. It also consists of both the strip and the tenderloin, but the Porterhouse tenderloin portion is considerably larger than the T-bone tenderloin. Both the tenderloin and the strip steak are great grilling options on their own, as well. The beef tenderloin, more commonly known as the filet mignon, is considered by many to be the most luxurious cut of steak. It is no coincidence that this also happens to

be the most expensive cut of steak. As it is the tenderest cut of meat, it will not have a lot of flavour due to its lack of fat. The best way to prepare this particular cut is to sear it on the grill and then cook it gently until it reaches your desired doneness. When cooking this cut of meat, keep the flavours simple and straightforward: rub with oil, garlic and fresh herbs, or if you feel like dressing it up, melt some flavoured butter on top of the steaks when served. The strip steak is another great option. Also known as the New York strip, it has a good amount of marbling and a decent amount of fat around the top outer edge. It is a great grilling steak, and because it has a great beefy flavour, you don’t need to do a lot to it. A great way to cook it is to simply season with salt and pepper and serve with butter on top. If you want more flavour, then use a flavoured butter. While these options

are great for the steak lovers in your family, one cut that may be overlooked is the top sirloin. It is a more economical cut of meat and one that is quite readily available. It has a fair amount of tenderness and flavour, and while the cuts discussed earlier don’t need a lot to make them tasty, the sirloin lends itself well to being marinated before grilling. Keep these flavours simple as well – fresh herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. After letting the meat marinate for a couple of hours, it will be very nice grilled and sliced thinly against the grain; a great summer meal on the BBQ. Regardless of which steak you are grilling and serving, simplicity is important. You do not need a lot of ingredients for a steak to taste good. These are just a few ideas that should help you on your way to creating a great summer BBQ. For more recipe ideas, please visit http://greattastesmb.ca/recipe_ingredients/beef/.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2018

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture ELIZABETH NERNBERG

Farm Production Extension Livestock Specialist

Elizabeth.Nernberg@gov.mb.ca

Q: I’m giving salt to my cow calf/pairs on pasture. Do I need to provide mineral as well or do they get enough from the pasture? I will be putting the bulls out this month. A: Beef cattle require at least 17 different minerals for numerous bodily functions, and for maintenance, growth, reproduction and lactation. Forages, including lush green grass, vary greatly in nutrient composition. As such, forages can be deficient in mineral levels, and require supplementation. Are you willing to accept limited growth or reproduction because a certain mineral was too low? Supplementing minerals ensures mineral levels are not a limiting factor in production. Ranges in forage nutrients even out with supplementation. By comparing the animal’s mineral requirements to what the forage provides, we can determine specific mineral supplementation needs. For example, supplying extra selenium is not going to help if copper is too low. Table 1 indicates some of the animal’s mineral requirements, based on stage of production, and compares them to minerals available in pasture from some examples of Manitoba feed tests. The table also lists the greatest impact on performance that each mineral has. For example, not meeting manganese requirements can mean reduced reproduction.

In addition to manganese being required for reproduction, zinc, copper, iodine, cobalt, selenium, and vitamins A, D and E, are also required. With reproduction being the single most important factor for profitable beef production, sufficient vitamins and minerals must be supplied. Studies have shown that a late calving cow results in a $175 loss in profitability, versus a $75 increase in profitability for an early calving cow. Providing minerals through trace mineral salt is one available option. Trace mineral salt (TM salt) provides copper, manganese and zinc, although at much lower levels than in a mineral product. Depending on the products, these levels can be 30 to 50 per cent lower. As well, TM salt does not provide macro minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which are supplied in a mineral product. In addition, with a large percentage of the TM salt being used by producers to limit feed intake. This may result in inadequate trace mineral consumption. An added benefit of using mineral versus trace mineral salt is providing the animals with vitamins A and E. Sufficient vitamin A prevents night blindness, abortions and retained placentas, and also the birth of weak, blind or dead calves. Vitamin E plays an important role in disease resistance and symptoms of a vitamin E

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deficiency include white muscle disease, retained placentas, mastitis, impaired sucking and reduced conception rates. Although high quality green forages contain vitamins, the level is variable. Also, later in the season, vitamin levels in stockpiled forages will be lower. Thus, animals will benefit from supplementation. When selecting a mineral product, spend time reading the product tag and examine the levels of each nutrient. Be aware of truckload sales because they may contain levels too low to meet the animal’s requirements with normal daily consumption. It’s also important to choose the right mineral, based on the forage species in your animals’ diet, to maintain the desired 2:1 Ca:P ratio. A pasture that is predominantly grass will require a 2:1 mineral, while a 1:1 mineral will work for a legume-based pasture. How much consumption is adequate? A general

rule of thumb is a lactating cow should be consuming about two to three ounces, per head, per day, which calculates to a 55 pound bag of mineral lasting 100 cows about three days. Monitor mineral intake by your herd to guarantee adequate consumption. If mineral consumption is lower than desired, mixing it with salt can encourage intake. However, this may not work in areas were higher salt levels are present in water or forages, so molasses and sweeteners can be mixed to increase palatability. Don’t be afraid to try different brands, as they may have different palatability. It is important to note that minerals interact with each other, which can cause nutrient deficiencies. One of the more common issues in Manitoba is copper deficiency, which can result from molybdenum in the forage or sulphates in the water binding to the copper, which make it less available to the animal. Symptoms of a copper de-

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Supplementing minerals is good insurance against potential health and breeding problems. Of the 30 nutritional diseases, over half of them are mineral related, seven are vitamin related and only four of them are protein or energy related. So a balanced diet for your herd includes mineral supplementation. 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 August 1, 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.

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ficiency include dull hair coats and reduced conception rates. If you suspect a deficiency, have your water and feed tested and be sure to consult your nutritionist and veterinarian. Chelated minerals are worth considering in cases where minerals are being tied up, like in the interaction between copper, molybdenum and sulphate. The extra investment could pay off by supplying these at breeding time, particularly if conception rates have been less than ideal in the past. Supplementing your herd with minerals and vitamins is an investment. Following the three ounce, per head, per day guideline and using an approximate cost of $50 per bag of mineral, a cow would require 1.25 bags of mineral per year, at a cost of about $62.50 per year. Compare this to the cost of that animal not being bred due to a trace mineral deficiency. The cost of one calf weaned is a lot more than the $62.50.

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

SEPTEMBER 2018

Circle H Farms wins TESA FROM THE CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION LONDON, Ont. – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is pleased to announce Circle H Farms near Brandon as the recipient of the 2018 The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). Circle H Farms is a purebred cow-calf operation owned and operated by Brian and Sonja Harper and family. Located in the black soil zone of the Canadian Prairies on predominately sandy or sandy/clay loam lands, the 500acre operation has undergone successive transformation of animal and land management practices since the Harpers purchased the conventional mixed farm in 1990. Managing depleted soils under pressure from wind and water erosion set the Harpers on a lifelong path of continual improvement of production practices to benefit their 80 head of cattle and rejuvenate the organic matter in the soils and improve the water and nutrient cycles. They switched to rotational grazing and perennial crops and, as time and budgets allowed, installed off-site watering systems, including a solar powered winter water system, planted trees, and completed an Environmental Farm Plan. Over the years, these and other ongoing efforts earned the Harpers acknowledgements as Conservation Farm Family of

the Year and Manitoba Grazer of the Year. Always observant of the impacts of changing production practices on their land, the Harpers discovered increased productivity of their grass as soil health improved. In 2014, they adopted high stock density grazing practices, which mimics nature, given the tall grass prairies developed under pressure from large herds of wild ruminants like buffalo. This practice has turned out to be one of the best and the fastest ways to improve soil health on their lands while benefitting beef production. In three years of high stock density grazing, the Harpers saw beef production increase by 9,400 lbs, off the same 130 acres. Zero inputs were used, just animal density and time management. Duane Thompson, chair of the CCA Environment Committee, said the TESA judges recognize all the nominees as exceptional stewards of the lands they manage. Soil health and enhancing carbon sequestration was a strong theme across the board this year and the judges found that very positive, he said. Care of riparian habitat, surface water quality and overall biodiversity were also key focal points of nominees. “What set the Harpers apart in their focus on soil health and soil biology is the use of technologies, innovative man-

Circle H Farms of Manitoba is the 2018 Canadian Cattlemen’s Association TESA recipient. L-r: Scott Dickson, Director of Livestock Services, MNP; Brian and Sonja Harper, Circle H Farms; and Duane Thompson, CCA Environment Committee Chair.

agement practices and keen observations to gain an intimate understanding of enhancements that most benefit their specific environment. That stood out with the judges,” Thompson said. “Their commitment to regenerating soils to improve livestock and ecosystem health demonstrates the commitment to sustainability that the TESA embodies,” he added. Thompson and Scott Dickson, Director of Livestock Services with TESA

sponsor MNP presented the Harpers with the 2018 TESA at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference on Aug. 15. Brian, on behalf of his wife Sonja and children Thomas and Kristelle, expressed sincere gratitude as he accepted the award, a sterling silver TESA belt buckle and certificate. The Harpers were humbled at being named the 2018 recipient of TESA and look forward to continuing to improve water and nutrient cycles of their soils.

Eichler sees export opportunities for Manitoba beef Exports are vital to the economy and yet there seems to be growing uncertainty on the world scene around trade. Traditional trading partners are bickering about agreements, tariffs, rules and protectionism, while some new trade partners are trying to get used to each other and meet the demands of their respective consumers. Against this confusing backdrop, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture, Ralph Eichler, took some time

out of his hectic schedule to discuss the implications of some of these trade issues for Manitoba’s beef producers. Following are excerpts from that conversation. Cattle Country: In this era of uncertainty about trade agreements, particularly with the United States, how important do you think it is to pursue trade agreements with other export markets? Eichler: As the Minister of Agriculture, I’m committed to assuring that we have a sustainable export market for our products. We

want more processed meats to be able to leave Manitoba to other markets, whether it’s China, Japan, or the European Union, those are the type of commitments we, as the Government of Manitoba, are prepared to join with beef producers to ensure that we have a market going forward. Cattle Country: We’ve got trade agreements in the works with other countries like CETA (CanadaEuropean Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), CPTTP (Comprehensive and Pro-

gressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership). How can these agreements benefit Manitoba and Canada’s beef industry? Eichler: There are multiple partnerships in this. Canadian beef producers are one part of it, processors are another, and government is another. It’s one thing to say we want to do an agreement with CPTPP or CETA, and another thing to have the right product at the right time at the right place so that all comes together in order to ensure that we meet all

those concerns. We know CETA, once it’s up and running will probably [increase Canadian beef exports to the EU from] 15,000 tonnes to 65,000 tonnes annually. [The EU] has a certain product they like to be able to provide to their consumers which needs to be hormone free and ractopamine [a feed ingredient] free. I have met with the Canadian Cargill president, Jeff Vassart, and they’ve been very bullish about trying to be ready for this market. CPTPP has been ratified by Japan, Mexico, and

President bids farewell

TB test requirement dropped for export

MBP Bursary winners, essays

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Singapore and we’re hoping that we’ll have that finalized very soon. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Global Affairs Canada have been the lead on this, and we’ve been bullish about trying to move forward in a timely manner. Certainly, we’re ready and willing to try and get this going as soon as we possibly can, and I think we have huge opportunities in China and Japan and those markets are ready. They’re in a position where they can afford a number of our Page 2 ➢ POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

BY ANGELA LOVELL


2

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

Reimer to head Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency BY CANADA BEEF The Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency was held in conjunction with the Canadian Beef Industry Conference at the London, Ont. Convention Centre. Newly elected Chair Heinz Reimer is confident that the new Agency Members are ready to work together to build on the solid foundation set by the last board, and ensure that the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off continues to bring a strong return to Canadian producers. “The Agency has worked hard to move forward and better ourselves on behalf of Canadian beef producers,” said Reimer. “Now we need to focus on our vision: a unified and sustainable national funding strategy for Canadian beef cattle research, market development and promotion.” Melinda German, General Manager of the Agency, is also positive about the Agency’s future.

“By focusing on our four main objectives of ensuring transparent administration, delivering measurable value, engaging and educating stakeholders, and growing connections with industry, we will be able to deliver on the expectations set by Canadian beef producers for us as an Agency,” said German. “Producers deserve to see a strong return in research and marketing for their investment, and we want the administration of the Agency to provide strong value as well.” Joining Reimer on the Agency’s Executive Committee will be Chad Ross of Saskatchewan as Vice-Chair, Larry Weatherby of Nova Scotia as Governance Chair and Lonnie Lake representing retail and foodservice as Finance Chair. New this year was the opportunity for the Agency’s voting delegates to elect up to four members-at-large to the Marketing Committee, as well as two primary producers from those elected as Agency Members. They will join the members ap-

pointed to the committee by the Agency. The Marketing Committee is responsible for planning and establishing Canada Beef ’s strategic, business and operational goals and objectives and for the overall management and operation of the business and affairs. The Marketing Committee is made of the following individuals: Elected: • Helen Lanford, Boston Pizza International • Becky Bevacqua, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada • Hubert Lau, BIXSco • Mike Guest, Western Prime Meat Processors • Jack Chaffe, Ontario • Jeff Smith, Alberta Appointed: • Mike Kennedy, Cargill • Anthony Petronaci, Ryding Regency • Russ Mallard, Atlantic Beef

Products • Alexandre Fontaine, Montpak • Coral Manastersky, Maple Leaf Foods • David Francis, Prince Edward Island The Marketing Committee also elected their officers, including Mike Kennedy as Chair, Coral Manastersky as ViceChair and Russ Mallard as Finance Chair. The Agency would like to recognize the outgoing Agency Chair Linda Allison. Allison has been a long-standing Canadian beef industry advocate, and dedicated to both national and provincial beef boards. Allison remains on the board. Also departing the Agency this year is Arthur Batista, whose strong industry knowledge and years of board experience will be missed by the organization. The Agency’s 2017/18 Annual Report is available online at www.canadabeef.ca/ national-check-off.

CPTPP, CETA are options to market beef ← Page 1 [high-end] products and we can demand a bit higher price for those products that we don’t consume here. In Canada we don’t consume high end cuts like we do the lower end cuts, so that’s a huge market opportunity for us as we go forward. Cattle Country: What other countries and other markets should we be looking to develop? What opportunities and challenges exist in those markets? You’ve just mentioned China and Japan; do you think there are other markets that Manitoba beef producers in particular are well-positioned to supply? Eichler: We are and we aren’t. What we have to think about is what’s our processing capacity for markets outside the United States? We know the [demand for] cuts are different. We know that from our pork sector, which has found niche markets and niche feeding components to meet the market demand. I wish it was just a matter of turning a switch on and saying here we are, but that’s not proper sustainability for our beef sector. We don’t want to jump into something and not be ready to go. Our livestock producers care for their animals. They know the food DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

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

that they produce is in demand, so how do the processors and producers work together and what role does Government have in order to try and ensure those markets are sustainable and everybody gets what they want so it’s a win/win now and going forward? Part of our red tape reduction as a new government and also under the new Canadian Agriculture Partnership Agreement is another tool in our toolbox to help us to ensure that when we do start exporting beef into these other countries, we’ll be well prepared and well-placed to move forward on a number of new initiatives. We have aways to go, but I think we’re competitive enough that we can certainly get there. Cattle Country: Given that the US is still our largest trading partner and takes three-quarters of Canada’s beef exports, is there anything we can do about the uncertainty that exists in the US around trade with Canada at the moment? Eichler: Yes, in fact I did meet with the US Counsul Office out of Ottawa yesterday who’s in charge of the USDA portion of government so we had a very good dialogue about where we’re at and where we would like to see us go, but we know

Ag Minister Ralph Eichler

we’re not at the [NAFTA negotiating] table and there are others that are. At our provincial/ territorial/federal meeting in Vancouver, we had a wholesome discussion about trade and what some of those opportunities are, so while we were seeking to make trade fair for us and our US biggest consumer, we could see there are some opportunities out there that we need to capitalize on. Japan and China are our biggest opportunities. I think we’re well-positioned and with the United States focusing just on NAFTA and not on CPTPP, I think it gives us some opportunity to seize that moment, and take the opportunity to capture as we go forward some of those markets and prove that we have a good product to be able to share. Cattle Country: How do you see current trade disputes between US and Canada and the US and

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

other countries like China affecting the Canadian beef industry? Should our focus be on exploring other niche markets while the US is preoccupied with other issues? Eichler: We’re not their [the US’] enemy, we’re their ally and it comes to supporting one another. It may not appear that way [with] some of [the] name calling which has to stop, but we know that we are great marketers together, but right now we have the opportunity to reach out to [other] countries, and pick up where the conversations have been going, and move forward in a timely manner. We need to be ready. We had our first consultation on CETA here in Winnipeg last March and that’s when Cargill got excited and started to package up and be ready for some of those markets in the European Union. We have had conversations for two years now on CPTPP and we know the bottom line is that we have an opportunity. Barley fed and grass fed [beef] are two niche markets, and we need to establish both of those because they’re both opportunities that we should be talking about. I’m very optimistic at this point that we’ll be able to meet those demands.

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

MIKE DUGUID

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - INTERIM-PRESIDENT

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

KRIS KRISTJANSON

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

Cattle Country: What about some countries are taking a protectionist stand on different commodities. We’ve seen that with India and pulses, China with pork, Italy with durum wheat; how do you feel that the beef industry is going to be affected by those issues? We know that in Europe they demand hormone free, for example. How does the industry work around those issues? Eichler: We hope that these other countries will respect their obligations under the agreement of world trade. We also support science-based regulations and while we’re respectful, we want them to be respectful as well. If you have a good product, people will come and support it no matter what actions are brought in place by government, but certainly regulations are put in place to knock borders down not raise more borders. We want to ensure that we have a good relationship in place to be able to take advantage of opportunities and that’s why it’s so important to have open dialogue and share our story to build those relationships. Cattle Country: The recent Agri-Food Table report has explored how Canada’s agri-food sector can reach the target of $75 bil-

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX

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

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

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JADE DELAURIER

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

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POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

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lion in agri-exports by 2025. It identified a number of priorities if we’re to achieve that target. They include increased innovation, seizing value-added opportunities, adopting technology and digitization, modernizing infrastructure and regulations, and increasing market access and dealing with labour shortages. We have talked a lot about export opportunities, but what you think the beef industry as a whole, needs to do in these other areas to help increase our exports of beef worldwide? Eichler: We need to tell the story about our good quality product and how we get that good quality product. We have some management things that happen in Manitoba that is above and beyond. We’re very green when it comes to making sure our products are ready for the market, but as we mature and go forward, I think it’s very doable to achieve the $75 billion by 2025. We’re anticipating that we’ll probably see that $75 billion closer to $100 billion as we [find more value-added opportunities in Manitoba]. We have the safest, most affordable food in all of Canada, and to be able to supply that to the rest of the world would be a real honour and privilege.

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Keith Borkowsky

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Trinda Jocelyn


September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Many industry similarities across border “What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds” − Will Rogers I have always liked this quote from Will Rogers. I believe that if a person can stay busy with the jobs at hand and continue to endeavour towards the end goal, whatever that may be, then there is little time left over to fill up our minds with all the clutter around us. As far as the beef business is concerned, we all know there is always work to do, and very little time to be spent getting lost in the distractions of what we can’t control. In early July, I travelled to southwestern Minnesota for the Minnesota State Cattleman’s Association summer meeting and tour. MBP was asked to have someone there to help describe Canada’s traceability system and, in conjunction

with the Canadian Consulate, talk with producers down there regarding trade and the NAFTA discussions. It was an interesting meeting. For one, there is an election in the US coming up this fall and candidates from Governor to Congressmen were there to ask for support. It was an eye-opener to see just how much those candidates were wanting the rural support for their respective runs for office. Secondly, I was reminded of how many similarities we have with our closest neighbors to the south. The most prominent one in common was predation, but also feed shortages, animal health, the loss of pasture to cropping, and trade. I would say that we do have an advantage with the traceability system we have in place right now. That said, we must continue to move forward, not resting on our laurels and make

MBP President sure we continue to work towards having a comprehensive but workable system in place to continue to have a market advantage over a very large competitor. MBP also had the privilege to meet locally with some United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) folks in late July. Along with Maureen Cousins, MBP’s Policy Analyst, I met with both USDA and Manitoba Agriculture staff to discuss trade and other related topics. Much like the Canadian Consulate did in Minnesota, the USDA folks are pushing to talk trade and trying to gather sentiment on both sides of the border. In those

discussions we made the point that throughout the entire beef chain, the three countries are exceedingly unified in asking them to do no harm and to keep a tremendously successful agreement in place for all parties for NAFTA 2.0. As the fall starts to come into focus and we look at our feed inventories and pasture situations I know that some producers are having a tough go of it. It’s a tough decision to weigh out what to do. Should I buy feed, sell my cows, find an alternate wintering site, etc. The only advice I can offer is to do what’s best for your operation and the cattle within it. MBP has sent a letter to Agriculture Min-

ister Ralph Eichler asking whether the livestock tax deferral provision will be considered for producers hardest hit, and also for help in connecting producers who have feed to sell with those in need of it. It would be very beneficial if beef producers could be able to count on knowing what they are eligible for sooner rather than after the fact as many plans may already be in motion and we made that point to the Minister. In closing, as this will be my last column as President of Manitoba Beef Producers, I would like to take this opportunity to leave a few parting thoughts with you. I want to express my gratitude to the staff and board of directors of MBP for their support and diligence on behalf of the producers of this province. I’d also like to thank each and everyone of you – the families and companies that make

up the 6,500 beef producers of Manitoba. It is because of your hard work that MBP gets to exist and there wasn’t one day that went by during my tenure that that dedication wasn’t thought of, recognized and supported. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my family for their support and understanding during my time on MBP. It’s their trust and steadfast strength that keeps things together. I have always ended with a message about getting together with family when you can and staying safe, and my hope is that we are all able to remember that this is the most important thing of all. We are so privileged to do what we love and share this lifestyle with those we hold most dear. Let us hold fast to our values, our convictions and safeguard our way of life. Wishing you all the best, Ben.

In late July, MBP representatives met with officials from the Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture (FAS USDA), who work out of the US Embassy in Ottawa. The officials were touring Manitoba meeting with representatives from different commodity groups, as well as staff from Manitoba Agriculture, to learn more about agricultural production in the province. Topics discussed with the officials included trade, animal transportation and various aspects of beef production in Manitoba. The group also took in a cattle sale at Winnipeg Livestock Sales Ltd. L-r: Maureen Cousins, MBP policy analyst; Ben Fox, then MBP president; Holly Higgins, Agricultural Minister-Counselor, FAS USDA; and, M. Alexandrea Watters, Agricultural Specialist, FAS USDA.

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CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

USDA drops TB testing requirement BY RON FRIESEN When a Manitoba slaughter cow was found with bovine tuberculosis in a U.S. packing plant in 1997, Ray Armbruster’s world fell apart. The cow was traced back to a herd in the Rural Municipality of Rossburn south of Riding Mountain National Park, where TB had been detected in the elk herd five years earlier. When authorities began testing cattle herds in the Riding Mountain area for TB, Armbruster, who farms near Rossburn, was squarely in the crosshairs. His worst fears came true. About 30 of his 85-cow beef herd tested positive. The entire herd was depopulated and Armbruster’s farm was quarantined until June of the following year. It was a major blow for Armbruster and his family, who were without income until federal compensation money finally began coming through. It took nearly five years to repopulate the farm’s herd and get back to full income. Armbruster had a lot of company. An estimated 500 cattle producers in the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area (RMEA) had close to 50,000 head tested up to 15 times over the years. It was a major disruption for producers, with cattle having to be rounded up, run through a chute to administer the test and then repeated a few days later to read the results. Producers in the RMEA also needed movement certificates to move cattle and bison out of the zone to other locations. Armbruster and his family toughed it out, but some producers simply gave up and sold their herds. “It certainly was a long chore. There’s no doubt about it,” says Armbruster. “It was a lot of hardship, make no mistake about it.” But there was more to come. Because Manitoba no longer had TB-free status, the United States Department of Agriculture in 2002 announced that breeding cattle and bison from Manitoba would require a negative TB test within 60 days of export before being allowed into the U.S.

It could have been worse. USDA could have extended its TB testing requirement to all of Canada instead of just Manitoba. Still, the USDA’s requirement led to a 15-year struggle by Ottawa, Manitoba and the industry to convince the Americans their surveillance, testing and mitigation measures were effective in eliminating TB from both the wildlife and domestic herds. Now they have finally succeeded. In June, the USDA announced it would no longer require TB testing for breeding cattle and bison exported from Manitoba to the U.S. The requirement would no longer appear on export certificates. The measure took effect July 1, 2018. Dr. Allan Preston, bovine tuberculosis coordinator for Manitoba, cautions the USDA’s move is largely symbolic. He says the province does not export a lot of breeding stock to the U.S. anyway. Also, individual states like Nebraska have their own testing protocols. So, while you can get cattle into the U.S., you can’t get them into Nebraska without a test. But for Armbruster and other affected cattle producers, it’s still a victory. He calls it a sign that USDA finally recognizes Manitoba’s TB control measures have worked and the province is once again considered TBfree. “In removing that requirement, it really validates all the work that’s been done by producers, government agencies and other stakeholders who, over the years, learned that we’d have to work through this,” Armbruster says. Ben Fox, former Manitoba Beef Producers president, agrees. “It affects every beef producer in the province, whether we market animals right off the pasture or through every other means,” says Fox. “It’s a huge win for the industry.” Preston, a retired veterinarian and a former provincial chief veterinary officer and Manitoba Agriculture assistant deputy minister, says the USDA’s main accomplishment was to push the province into an aggressive

TB control program. A multi-stakeholder group administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been working since the early 2000s to eradicate TB from Riding Mountain National Park. Measures include: testing livestock herds in the RMEA, elk and deer surveillance inside the park, testing hunter-submitted samples of elk and deer killed in and around the park, and biosecurity measures (fences, guardian dogs, a ban on baiting) to prevent transmission between livestock and wildlife. Preston says these activities have been very successful. The last infected cervid was detected in 2014, while there hasn’t been an infected livestock herd in more than a decade. The CFIA ended its on-farm surveillance in 2016 after testing 235,000 animals over 16 years. In addition, the wildlife herd inside the park has declined significantly, further reducing the risk of TB. Preston says thanks to a series of tough winters, the elk population is now down to 1,000 head after being close to 5,000 previously. As a result, the risk of TB, while perhaps not completely eliminated, is drastically reduced, Preston says. “We never say never, but we certainly hope not. Those producers endured a lot for the benefit of the rest of the cattle industry and we certainly hope they don’t go through that again.” The important thing now is not to let one’s guard down in the campaign against TB, Preston adds. “Success can breed complacency and complacency gives an opportunity for things to turn the wrong way again,” he says. “We need to continue to aggressively pursue these mitigation efforts to make sure we don’t slide backwards.” Armbruster, who co-chaired the TB eradication committee, says there’s no way to guarantee there might still be a TB-infected animal somewhere deep inside Riding Mountain National Park. But he’s confident that changes to policy and management practices minimize the risk. “We’ve come so far on the landscape. It’s a totally different situation now.”

Tips for insuring your bulls DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner As the value of cattle increases, particularly breeding bulls, the need to protect that investment increases. It is now not uncommon for a superior genetics bull to cost in excess of $10,000 for com-

mercial cattlemen. Fall of Hammer insurance at purebred sales is becoming increasingly common. It is presumed that the bull is only offered for sale if healthy and free of disease, lameness, injury

or other disability. This insurance is the easiest to buy as, if the bull is insured later or if broader coverage is requested, a Declaration of Health and a Veterinary Certificate of Health are frequently required. Carefully inspect any animal that you wish to insure prior to purchase.

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Any pre-existing issues with faulty conformation (legs, feet), undetected disease or semen quality will not be covered by any new insurance policies. If you are unable to view the Breeding Soundness Evaluation prior to the sale, walk away. Failure to disclose semen test results for a breeding bull should throw up a red flag. At best, the bull could be decision deferred (with still potential to be a satisfactory breeder in the future). At worst, it may not have passed after repeated tests or due to a “below minimum” scrotal size. Remember that decision deferred often means that coverage for Infertility will be denied until later documentation supports classification as a satisfactory breeder. Sale days are very busy and mistakes happen when completing insurance paperwork. Always check your policy application before signing. Make sure that the bull you have bought is the one listed on the paperwork. Double check the insurance value (purchase price), tattoo/ CCIA tag and even the

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breed. Making a claim in the event of death becomes much more complicated if there is any dispute about animal identity. Confirm the vaccination status of your new purchases. Don’t assume vaccination for common disease issues has been done. Recommendations vary in different regions and what is considered a risk in one region may not be a concern in others. Inspect new purchases daily as the stress of transport to/from the sale, housing in the sale barn and different feed/water can take a toll on animal health. Shipping Fever isn’t just a disease of newly arrived feeder calves. Understandably, insurance companies never want to be surprised, especially regarding livestock health issues. If any insured animal develops a health issue, irregardless of how minor you feel it is, contact your veterinarian. A phone call to your vet is free and then it is documented that you have sought outside professional advice. At the discretion of your

veterinarian, you may be advised to contact your insurance company and the animal may need to be examined. Following examination, it is expected that you should follow treatment recommendations. Salvage slaughter is no longer routinely recommended for treatable conditions, irregardless of cost. Never ship or destroy an insured animal without prior consent from the insurance company. Failure to provide proper care and attention to an animal in your care, in the opinion of the insurance adjustor, can cause your claim to be denied. This includes weekends or holidays – if you have a problem, contact your veterinarian for assistance sooner rather than later. Delays in treatment of pinkeye resulting in the loss of an eye or failure to have a hoof trim done to treat a toe abcess that subsequently progresses to infectious arthritis requiring a claw amputation is considered lack of due diligence and grounds for denial of insurance. Page 15 ➢


September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Manitoba Beef Producers were part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Tailgate Party on Aug. 10 at Investors Group Field. Photos clockwise from top left: MBP Directors Peter Penner (left) and Kris Kristjanson (right) meet Dancing Gabe; A member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers cheerleading squad catches a steer; The Granny's Turkey mascot was not quite as lucky with it's throw; and MBP Director Larry Gerelus shows the crowd how to really rope a steer. (Photos by Keith Borkowsky)

Is it beef or the environment? BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column Why is it that when a fast food restaurant chooses to market a 100 per cent plant-based protein “burger”, and as part of their commercials, it chooses to show a number of surprised customers who say “Wow! It tastes just like beef!” What gives? There it is… a clear recognition right there that the top choice from a taste-perspective is beef. That beef is the standard against which the others are all judged! It makes me wonder – Why, if they don’t want to eat meat, is it such a great thing that it looks and tastes like beef? The recent news release of A&W selling the new “Beyond Burger” has caused me to stop and think about the entire movement to beef alternatives and to think more about why this trend seems to be gaining momentum … and what we might be able to do, or what we might want to do to counteract it! As I think about this whole question, and about the growing number of choices that consumers have, I separate the fights I can win from the fights that there is just no winning. I tend to look at those decisions that are based on spe-

cific consumers’ moral decisions, and separate these from those decisions that are based on half-truths or outright falsehoods. I think that choice is good and I tend to think that we need to allow that plant proteins are growing a choice for consumers. Let’s not fight that plant-based proteins are an option for consumers, but let’s not stand by and allow falsehoods and half-truths to turn consumers that way. Let’s ensure the facts are out there and that if the consumers look for an alternative, that they are at least doing so with an understanding of the implications. There will always be those consumers who make the decision that they simply think it is wrong to raise animals for food, and that are “morally” against animal agriculture. These people are going to be tough to convince differently. The one important argument that these consumers should realize is that choosing not to eat beef, that they aren’t saving any animals from being harvested. These animals are never created/born if there isn’t an ultimate purpose for them. The very fact that these

animals exist it 100 per cent based on the fact that they were born only for this purpose. People who choose to not eat beef (or any other meat) need to understand that they are not saving any live animals. They are only reducing the number of animals born/created/ conceived. So these people who believe that – because of their own morals – they choose not to eat meat, will be hard to convince otherwise. The people I believe we should focus our efforts on are those listening to fake news, and who are listening to snippets of headlines that create falsehoods, and perpetuate misconceptions in the marketplace. The decision of a consumer to choose to eat plant-based proteins because they feel they are better for the environment is where I see an opportunity to make progress. These are people that are making a decision that is based on half-truths and falsehoods. Cattle are good for the environment in some very important ways. Without cattle on the landscape the environment would be in a lot worse state. Cattle production in Manitoba is largely based on grazing and extensive production practices. Cattle that graze take plant material that is inedible for humans, and transform this plant into a nutrient-dense

protein that is not only edible, but a very nutritious part of a healthy diet. Cattle take carbon, in the form of plants, and digest it, convert it into protein as they gain weight, and leave valuable soil nutrients (manure) right back in the same place where they ate the carbon. I’m not so naïve to forget about the “methane issue”. Yes, as part of their digestive processes, some of this carbon that was consumed in the plants is also converted into methane and expelled into the environment. This is carbon that was already in the environment and should never be allowed to be part of the discussion when society is worried about emission from the burning of fossil fuels. How is it that we allow the circulatory conversion of plant carbon into digestion byproduct methane to be part of the same discussion as when we talk about digging a mile deep beneath the surface and pulling the carbon out of the ground to burn and create carbon emissions? If consumers are worried about carbon emissions, our circulatory methane emissions should not be part of the same discussion to reduce the fossil fuel “additive” emissions. It is really a case of apples and oranges. Further, let’s also talk about the other natural benefits of our cattle production practices. The prai-

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rie grasslands are the most threatened eco-system on the planet. These historic grasslands have been under pressure from civilization across Canada and the US since the opening up of the West. Urban sprawl, and annual cropping have put the prairie grasslands at risk of disappearing. As the prairie grasslands disappear, so do all the animal and plant species that rely on the grass for their habitat. Cattle production is the only thing standing in the way of these grasslands disappearing for good. If consumers believe they are helping the environment by choosing a plant-based protein that relies on annual cropping, they need to also hear that they are assisting with the loss of the prairie grasslands and the biodiversity that it supports. Cattle producers are the last group standing guard to protect biodiversity across the Canadian prairies. If it wasn’t for the cattle producers, the bush would disappear, and the habitat for countless species would face pressure. And without cattle grazing the grass, it would either get overrun with shrubs and disappear, or will get tilled under to make way for annual cropping or urban sprawl. Governments aren’t helping either. The proposed updated Canada Food Guide that asks Ca-

nadians to think about sustainability when they make their food choices, should be encouraging a conversation about the environmental benefits of beef, and about the relative benefits to the environment of the various protein options that are available to them. Instead, the Food Guide also asks Canadians to add more balance to their diets and choose more plantbased proteins. MBP has already made presentations to several consultations and committees saying how the government is adding to the half-truths and falsehoods. So I guess this has been my rant for the month. I appreciate you reading it. I hope it has encouraged you all to be better and louder advocates for the benefits of good-old BEEF-BASED proteins. As I’ve been saying since I started with MBP, the cattle industry has a great story to tell. We need more people telling it. We can’t discount completely the A&W guy on TV, and we certainly can’t argue with the corporate success that the company is having, but we can force a discussion – to at least inform the consumers. If some consumers choose to not eat beef, we need to understand why, and if it is because they believe they are helping the environment, we need to inform them! I wish you all a great harvest!


6

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

How concerned should beef producers be about trade various disputes? BY ANGELA LOVELL It seems you can’t switch on the TV, open a newspaper, or browse your Twitter and Facebook feeds without seeing a story about global trade disputes. The United States is often in the thick of things, stirring the pot on existing trade deals like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) or balking at new ones like the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Trade). But is this just world leaders behaving badly or is there real cause for concern that global trade as we know it may be changing forever? Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President, Dennis Laycraft, says the trade storm clouds have been gathering for some time, and we’re just starting to feel the raindrops. “More recently it’s manifested itself with the policies that are occurring that have put tariffs in place, but before that we saw the vote on BREXIT for the United Kingdom to leave [the European Union (EU)], and going back to the US election, both sides talked about the fact that they weren’t going to enter into the CPTPP. But people are starting to become

quickly aware again that, particularly in agriculture in both Canada and the US, trade is vitally important, and as we come out of this passing storm we need to make sure that we’ve established stronger trade and relationships around the world.” Taking advantage of the distraction In the midst of all the commotion though, it might be a good time for Canada to take advantage of the distractions and ramp up its efforts to pursue new export markets for its agri-food products. “I look at trade like a financial portfolio. If it’s not diversified then you’re definitely going to be feeling the effects when something goes wrong,” says Brennan Turner, CEO and founder of FarmLead, an online grain marketplace. Turner, who has a B.A. in Economics from Yale University, and worked in commodity and trend analysis at Hedgeye Risk Management before founding FarmLead, regularly provides FarmLead subscribers with in-depth analyses about global markets and trade factors that affect agricultural commodities. “We need to build up those new markets, and it’s not just about striking a trade deal, it’s also the promotion and marketing

of Canadian goods. In the beef market that is already going on today, by going to some of these markets and showcasing the product, and here’s how you cook a steak or this is how you make a hamburger,” says Turner. “There are a lot of different government programs promoting Canadian products abroad including beef, so with all these musical chairs are up for grabs right now, this is the time that we should be doubling those efforts.” That’s exactly what CCA, federal and provincial governments and Canada Beef are doing. Laycraft has just returned from Europe, where he says Canadian beef exports are starting to build (following the provisional application of CETA in September 2017) and are being well received, despite ongoing issues such as some antimicrobial carcass washes that Canadian processors use that are still unapproved in the EU. “I am confident that trade [with the EU] will grow even faster once we get the full range of food safety interventions approved,” says Laycraft. “A number of retailers are starting to sell Canadian beef and are getting an exceptionally good response to it. We are going into the premium end of the mar-

ket there. So initially we need to look more at the value of what we’re exporting than the quantity.” Canadian beef exports now have access to the EU through new permanent tariff rate quotas for fresh and frozen beef totalling 50,000 MT per year, dutyfree access through the EU’s existing World Trade Organization Hilton beef tariff rate quota, and immediate duty-free access on processed beef products such as corned beef. China a promising market Another promising market is China, which is the world’s third leading buyer of beef and beef products. With a population of 1.4 billion and a growing middle class, pursuing new market opportunities in China is vital to the continued growth of the Canadian economy, said an Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) spokesperson in an email interview, adding: “The Canadian meat

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industry estimates the increased export values from this expansion of Canada’s meat access to China could be worth upwards of $125 million for beef over the next five years.” China offers a market for higher-end, Canadian beef products, and CCA continues to work with the Canadian and Chinese governments to overcome some of the export-related challenges. They recently secured a pilot project to allow chilled, as well as frozen beef products into the country. “When you’re selling into a high-end of the market, without question, they prefer chilled product not frozen product, so this pilot is going to open up more opportunities,” says Laycraft, who adds the Chinese are also allowing some bone-in, under 30-month beef products in. “This new and expanded access is providing new opportunities for Canadian beef in China, whose consumers recognize the safety and high-

quality of Canadian beef,” says AAFC. “An important opportunity to seize upon will be the sale of Canadian beef on Chinese Ecommerce platforms, such as JD.com and Alibaba. E-commerce has revolutionized the Chinese marketplace and represents an immense opportunity for Canadian beef suppliers to China.” CPTPP offers good opportunities Canada, as part of the CPTPP, is a good conduit for accelerating the ability to trade with other Pacific Rim countries, says Turner. “There are many other countries within that area that are not part of the CPTPP, so that also can accelerate trade export flows out of Canada,” he says. When Canada signs on to the CPTPP, tariffs on beef into Japan will immediately drop from 38.5 per cent to 27 per cent, and will phased down to nine per cent within 15 years. Page 7 ➢


September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY ← Page 6 That gives Canada, the second-largest grain-fed beef producer in the world after the US, (which is not a signatory), a tremendous advantage in the Japanese market. “It’s important to be one of the first six signatories, because it shows how serious Canada is about being in that market, and with lower tariffs, we will start to see our product move into Japan at a significant advantage to other grain-fed producers,” says Laycraft, who adds it’s not just about moving product. “We’re looking to grow solid business with loyal customers in the longer term.” Don’t underestimate Africa Another area that has interesting export potential, but that Canada has to do a better job of pursuing is Africa, says Turner. “In terms of the digitization of that economy, it’s starting to look like where Asian countries were maybe 50 to 70 years ago, except it’s accelerating in terms of how they’re able to modernize and the tools they’re using,” he says. “From an agricultural standpoint, it’s incredible what they’re able to accomplish in just a decade versus when they weren’t using technology available today. I think those two geographical regions are among the most important.” A recent World Trade Organization report stated that between the largest 20 economies in the world (the G20), the number of restrictions on trade (such as tariff increases, stricter importation rules or the slapping of taxes or export duties on products) doubled from October 2017 to May 2018. But at the same time, there were a 47 measures intended to improve trade by reducing tariffs, improving import processes, or reducing taxes, which was also a higher number than usual. Relative to five or 10 years ago, there are more borders open for business and opportunities for trade have never been greater. “There are a lot more countries that Canada specifically will be able to trade with,” says Turner. “In the overall picture, a more interconnected globalized economy is certainly the case. The two largest economies in the world (US and China) just don’t want to do business with each other right now, and before they are willing to do business with each other they are going to be more protective. The net effect on the rest of the world is that they are the collateral damage in terms of trade flows poten-

7

tially changing. Under the cloud that is the China/US trade war, everyone else is basically getting rained on.” What about NAFTA? While a lot of US rhetoric about NAFTA floats around social media, Canadians maybe shouldn’t get too excited about it. “Things get sensationalized in media, and Twitter and other outlets tend to create immediate conclusions versus a thoughtout process of really what the net effects are,” he says. “There’s also a lot of political meandering going on with the election in Mexico and mid-term elections in Beef producers have much to consider when trade disputes impact traditional markets. Stock Image the US. Once there is some back channeling between or somewhere in Asia that that make up Canada’s Na- industry more efficient and “As a Canadian, I am the countries, I believe completely nullifies your tional Beef Strategy, which competitive.’ extraordinarily proud of that trade between Canada entire value chain, or pro- is an important part of the The Canadian Agri- how far we’ve advanced, and US will continue, and cess of how you do busi- process to build both beef cultural Partnership sup- and when you see compaMexico has said they’re ness, or how you go to mar- exports and a sustainable ports the expansion of nies like McDonalds bringnot going to do a deal un- ket with your product or industry. agricultural markets both ing their pilots to Canada, less Canada is involved. I’m your animal,” says Turner. “We have been able to domestically and interna- there’s pretty solid evidence optimistic that we will see a “The best way to manage strengthen our marketing tionally and enhances the to substantiate that statebetter NAFTA come out of that risk is to maintain as budget and give Canada sector’s ability to seize and ment that we are leading this.” much transparency as pos- Beef more resources to diversify these markets the world,” says Laycraft. Beef trade between sible and continue to be work on that,” says Lay- through federal and cost- “If you look at a number of Canada and the U.S. is ro- open to asking and under- craft. “We have also sig- shared programs. The Part- the retail and food service bust according to AAFC, standing what the market nificantly increased our nership aims to continue to outlets in Canada over the which adds: “As with any abroad is asking for and research capacity, and in help the sector grow trade, last 18 months, you will relationship, there are some what the demand might all of this, we’re constantly advance innovation while have seen a pretty strong issues that need to be ad- look like.” trying to be best in class in maintaining and strength- focus on Canadian beef. dressed. In the case of the Increasing agri-food terms of the efficiency that ening public confidence in Because of being proactive, beef sector, these include exports to $75 billion we have.” the food system, and in- we’re having lots of loyalty inspection houses, permaThe Federal GovernCanadian beef has crease its diversity. shown for our product.” nent marking and brand- ment has challenged the ag- been shown to have one of As an example, an What’s most imporing requirements, and beef ri-food industry to increase the lowest greenhouse gas investment of up to $14 tant is that producers are grading. Canadian and U.S. agri-food exports to $75 emission footprints of beef million to the Beef Cattle working together with officials are working hard billion by 2025. The recent production worldwide, and Research Council (BCRC) processors, retailers, food to resolve these market ac- Agri-Food Table report is leading on a number of was recently announced service companies, vetcess issues. The moderniza- suggested some priorities sustainability and public for the Sustainable Beef erinarians and all levels of tion of the NAFTA could that need to be addressed if trust initiatives through and Forage Science Cluster. government to come up also be a tool to help find the sector is to achieve that the Canadian RoundTable The funding will be used with programs that work solutions.” target. They include in- for Sustainable Beef and for activities focussed on for both cattle producers But it’s not just tariffs creased innovation, seizing the Global RoundTable for improving the sustainabil- and customers and will and import regulations that value-added opportunities, Sustainable Beef, of which ity of Canadian beef and ensure a viable industry affect Canadian agri-food adopting technology and Laycraft was president for forage production, growing going forward. exports, including beef. digitization, modernizing the past two years. beef exports and supplying “If people are not able It can often be consumer infrastructure and regula“We’ve been able to high-quality Canadian beef to make a living raising concerns or demand for tions, increasing market introduce one of the best to people around the world. cattle, we’re not a sustaincertain products, like hor- access and dealing with la- codes of practice in the Sustainable Canadian able industry, so we’re mone free beef in Europe. bour shortages. world on the animal care beef on the menu able to actually engage in These kinds of trade chalLaycraft feels the Ca- side. We’re one of the first McDonald’s Canada, a dialogue that will allow lenges aren’t easy to over- nadian beef sector is lead- to introduce an environ- following a highly success- young producers to get come, but transparency is ing the way in many of ment code of practice for ful pilot project, is now involved, and that will alcrucial to have any chance these areas. The increase in our industry,” says Laycraft. serving certified, sustain- low a standard of living of breaking into new mar- the national beef check-off “All these things are set up ably raised Canadian beef so that they will be raiskets with specific require- to $2.50 per head in most and developed by produc- in its restaurants, the first ing cattle for many genments. provinces this past April ers so that they work ef- program of its kind in the erations into the future,” “It’s tough because has allowed the CCA and fectively for the industry world. says Laycraft. all of a sudden you might Canada Beef to advance and at the same time, we’re see a lot change in Europe on a number of the pillars always trying to make the

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

2018 Manitoba Beef Producers

BURSARY WINNERS

The beef industry is a huge part of my life at home on the farm. I grew up in the far southwest corner of Manitoba on a small family farm. We run approximately 125 head of commercial cattle. At a young age I thrived on helping my dad on the farm, anywhere it was possible. Learning to open gates, feeding a new born calf, checking hay crops or running equipment, I was in there like a dirty shirt, not afraid to try new things. I grew up watching my parents and grandparents dedicate their life to the farm and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Their passion, hard work and dedication inspired me to be the person that I am today. The beef industry means everything to my family, Amber McNish surrounding community and Manitoba. Manitoba farms make up for about 10 per cent of the Canadian beef herd, putting food on our tables and wealth in the community. As good as the cattle industry is now, I once remember a time in my life when it was not so good. Although I was a very small child, I remember the hardships my family had to face after BSE hit. Times were tough, and I carry a sense of pride, knowing that we made it through those hard times and are growing

our herd as of today! I am passionate about agriculture because there are so many different aspects to it. I am not exactly sure where life will take me, once completing my Diploma of Agribusiness at Assiniboine Community College, but I will forever be a farm girl and live and work in the agriculture industry. Not only have my parents instilled a passion and drive for agriculture in me, but my farm family at work as well. I spend day in and day out with them, late night and early mornings all working together to achieve individual and family goals, for the present and the future. That is what I love about the agriculture sector; we become one big farm family and understand the hard work, dedication and time it takes to be successful. I enjoy management, balancing numbers and working hands-on with plants and animals. I have always enjoyed living on the farm but my passion for regenerative agriculture began when I started working for Borderland Agriculture; it has piqued my interest and I take in as much knowledge as I can from my employer. Once entering the workforce, I will begin working on my present and longterm goals. My long-term goal is to eventually manage my own business that incorporates livestock and grain farming, working together in the regenerative agriculture sector!

My name is Rachel Chemerika. I grew up on a cattle/grain mix farm 15 minutes outside of Erickson. Ever since I could remember, I have loved being in the agricultural industry. As I grew up, I knew that I wanted to incorporate my deep love of farming into my career; there was no possibility that it would only be a “sideline” or a “hobby farm” for me. My first love is animal husbandry, particularly beef production. This may sound a little silly, but some of my first memories involve cows. The farm that I grew up on is a generational farm that goes back to my grandparents. Many of my first lessons about life revolved around the Rachel Chemerika cycle of the farm: from calving season and all the hard work that entails, to the inevitable understanding that these animals were not pets, but that the humane and caring treatment they received would ultimately help put food on the table of my own family and the families of other Manitobans. I learned that hard work was rewarded, jobs that needed doing were best done now rather than later, and that, sometimes no matter how hard you worked, things just didn’t always turn out the way you planned them. One of the most important lessons that farming has taught me is that no matter the setbacks, if you continue to persevere, you will eventually get back on your feet. I joined 4-H when I was nine years old. It taught me that giving up was not an option, especially when the life of a living, breathing creature was in my hands. Although 4-H was the beginning of my formal participation in the beef

industry, I actually raised my first animal on my dad’s farm when I was two going on three! Looking back on that now, I understand what a serious undertaking that was for such a young person, but when you grow up in those circumstances, a lot is expected of you. 4-H even had an impact on my academic life at school; winning the public speaking competition in 2012 and then again in 2014 gave me the confidence to try for even higher marks in English, a class that I felt I struggled in. Because beef has been a huge part of the economic success of my family, I, to a great extent, have the industry to thank for a lot of the opportunities that I have been afforded. The supports the MBP provides to farmers (advocacy, promotion, education, research, etc.) have directly impacted my life. The producers of this province have weathered some lean seasons over the 17 years I’ve been involved with it due to: prices, production issues, climate conditions and even political decisions. Throughout it all, entities like the MBP have helped small farmers to speak with one unified and therefore powerful voice; the future of the beef industry is, indeed, bright. Going into the Agribusiness Program (the course of study I have been accepted to) means keeping the beef industry alive for future generations. This is one industry we need to thrive, because it’s one that families in Manitoba, whether producers or not, really depend on. I hope that I will be able to work with people from my community in ensuring that ranches and farms are sustainable and profitable in the years to come. This scholarship will help me in reaching my goals and aspirations. Thank you for your consideration and for supporting young Manitobans.

Living on a rural farm I have grown up learning how to raise beef cattle. It is something that my grandparents had done for years and, as a result, influenced my parents to be beef producers along with having fulltime off farm jobs. The beef industry affects everyone, even though not everyone understands its importance. I understand the significance of the beef industry, and its connection to my family, my community, and the province of Manitoba. My parents both grew up on small farms located in the Interlake, and the farming roots and farming values they developed as kids is a reason my parents started Talyia Tober farming together. My sister and I have grown up learning these farming values that my parents learnt as children. My parents believed with new technologies changing the future, it would be important for their children to understand where our food comes from, and how to raise beef cattle. The beef industry to my family means we are learning true farming values, working together, and helping to feed other families. The community I live in is small, and everybody knows one another. There are not a lot of job opportunities, but the community has agricultural rich land with many people making a living as beef producers. The Interlake in Manitoba

is lush with beef producers, and it unites the community because everyone shares a labour of love by raising beef cattle. The beef industry to my community means everyone can make a living by being a beef producer, pass on the farming values beef producers share to younger generations, and help feed the rural communities. With Manitoba located on the edge of the prairies, it allows beef producers to have optimal grasslands for beef herds. The beef industry drives Manitoba’s economy as Manitoba is the third largest beef producer in the country. Since beef producers drive the economy, it assists in creating employment in a variety of sectors and is a trading commodity. The beef industry for Manitoba means that everyone can be a beef producer, from small hobby farms to large feedlots. Families can stay close to their roots by raising beef, and it helps feed Canada and other countries. There are several reasons I enjoy being involved in agriculture. I welcome being outside enjoying the majestic and calm nature that Manitoba’s prairies offer. I enjoy working hard and raising beef cattle which is why I have been a 10 year 4-H member of the Lakeside 4-H Beef Club. Being a beef producer has allowed me to become interested in the mechanics of bovines and, as a result, I have decided to further my education in animal sciences. Growing up on a beef farm has exposed me to true farming values, hard work, and dedication. It has taught me to cherish the little moments and not dwell on the past but look to the future. Being involved in the beef industry to my family means we take part in feeding a community, province and a nation.

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September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

2018 Manitoba Beef Producers

BURSARY WINNERS

I was born and raised at the southern edge of the Interlake region, near Woodlands. Pretty much everything north of us and between the lakes is cattle country. You can say the heart of Manitoba’s beef industry is found here. They say barbed wire and posts civilized the old west; I can say it built the Interlake. You will find cattle farms of all sizes: part-time ranchers with 20 head for added income, family farms of all sizes, and even a few massive herds of 2,000+ calving cows. The beef industry is everywhere in the Interlake. Our land is rough, rocky, swampy, tree covered, and has lots of bugs. Us Interlakers call it cattle country. My family has been raising beef for 31 years. Being I’m Matthew Fossay 18 now, it’s safe to say I’ve been around cattle for a while. It wasn’t ‘til I was 10, and just joined our local 4-H Beef Club that I really got involved. Sure, opening gates for dad I could do, even cut a few bale strings; but with 4-H I was

all-hands-on-deck, get out of my way – I’m gonna be a rancher. I now own a few cows of my own – three purebred Herefords – and I am a Manitoba and Canadian Junior Hereford member. I like to get out to local farms and shows where I get to promote my breeding stock. Just this past April, I sold my first bull at the annual Lundar Bull Sale. It was Lundar’s fiftieth year running a bull sale, and I hope it will keep going, so that I can be selling bulls at its one hundredth year! There is lots to love and enjoy about agriculture, and some that isn’t so easy or fun. It’s the hard work that makes it so enjoyable and rewarding – if it was easy, everyone would do it. What I like best about agriculture is the springtime. The grass is getting green, the fresh smells, new calves being born, and how a first-time mom knows that after giving birth, she needs to get up and take care of her calf. How does that new baby calf know, ‘hey I’m hungry and this is where my lunch is at?! Even though high school is ending, I’m looking forward to another start. The start of going to university to better prepare me for my next big start − the start of running my own farm one day.

The beef industry is a big part of my life. My family owns a large commercial cattle herd and my younger sister and I own a small purebred cattle herd. The beef industry is one of our sources of income to pay for our many needs. My small herd is to pay for my education as I plan to be in school for another four years. I live in a very rural community and it takes at least 45 minutes to get to the nearest city. The community is very involved in the cattle business, and I have many neighbours that own cattle. With lots of people owning beef cattle, we support our local economy with the auction marts and local co-ops. All the cattle producers Shaelyn Beswitherick know everybody because they see lots of people at local bull sales and other auction sales. My community has become very close and tight knit within itself. Manitoba is a much larger scale to look at. My family knows many people from across the province because of the many events that we go to that involve the beef industry, from things like 4-H to bull sales to cattle shows. This is probably a very similar thing to many people across Manitoba. They will have many connections

just through the cattle industry. Producers from all over Manitoba support each other in the growing industry. From shipping cattle to the local auction mart to selling bulls and heifers to people on the other side of the province. Manitoba is a farming province so it is our whole economy. Cattle play a big part in the farming. Cattle farming also has created a lot of jobs in Manitoba. In 2017 there were 6,500 beef operators in Manitoba. This includes big operations that will employ many people to operations that only have two employees. Having this many jobs in the beef industry means a lot to the people in my community and all across Manitoba. I personally enjoy being involved in agriculture because it has helped me to be more confident and self-disciplined. When I go to cattle shows I have to be confident in my abilities with cattle so that I can go about what I am doing with confidence. I also have to be self-disciplined when I have to train my cattle to lead and getting up early in the morning to do chores. I also enjoy being involved in agriculture because it has helped me decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. In conclusion, the beef industry means a lot to my family because it is our income, my community because it supports our local economy and Manitoba because it supports a lot of jobs.

The beef industry has been a way of life for me since the day I was born and I am determined it will continue to be in the future. I have been raised on a multigenerational grain and cattle farm in southwestern Manitoba. As a family we have approximately 2,000 acres of grain land, as well as runChelsea Lawn ning a 100 head purebred Simmental cattle herd along with a few commercial cross cows. Living on the farm has taught me that in life there are many challenges as well as many rewards. It brings smiles along with tears at times. The joy of seeing a purebred heifer give birth to that perfect looking offspring that you have been anticipating just knowing that it will make the perfect 4-H steer next spring is so rewarding. There are also tears and disappointment at times such when, after bottle feeding a calf for many days, you find it unresponsive or your favourite cow doesn’t come in from pasture in calf so has to be sold. As we grow older we realize these are the factors every beef farmer endures but continues to do their best to recover from and move on. Without the beef and agriculture industry, there would be no rural schools, hospitals, businesses and perhaps even less towns. The beef industry has given my family a means of cash flow and helps utilize some of our land that is not suitable for crops. When grain prices are low, our cattle sales help to stabilize our farm income.

When I reflect on beef farming or agriculture and my involvement with it, I am filled with pride. I feel a great amount of pride as I walk through the corrals and see our herd of cattle, knowing the commitment and hard work my family has given to achieve it. There is pride knowing that without the beef industry many people would not have meat to eat, or jobs such as transport haulers, auction mart workers, processors or even clerks at local grocery stores to name a few. Some of the greatest pride I have comes from the fact that I come from Manitoba which is the largest beef producing province in all of Canada. Along with being raised on a farm, I am actively involved in the local 4-H Beef Club. The skills and opportunities these two things have given me are

endless. Some of the many benefits of being involved in 4-H and daily farm work include communications skills, hard work, time management, commitment, and connections which allow me to network with others across Canada through travel opportunities, to name a few. This year, as I moved temporarily off the family farm to further my studies in Ottawa, I know that the industry will continue to thrive in my absence thanks to all the hard work and determination of others. It is my goal to give back to my community when I return from school with plans of staying active on the farm while working in the health care system as an ultrasound technician. Thanks to the farming industry being a huge part of my upbringing, I know I possess the skills to do well in my future goals.

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

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

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11 Robert Metner

Oct-22

Ashern Legion

3 Main St. East, Ashern

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-23

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society (Red Barn)

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Robert Kerda

Oct-25

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart

28121 PR #205, Grunthal

District 10 Mike Duguid

Oct-29

Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre

409 Recreation Centre, Arborg

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-30

Carman Legion Auxiliary Hall

28 – 1st St. NW, Carman

District 2

Nancy Howatt

Nov-01

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Ramona Blyth*

Nov-02

Austin Community Hall

44 – 2nd Ave., Austin

District 14 Jade Delaurier

Nov-05

Swan River Elks Hall

112 – 5th Ave. South, Swan River

District 12 Kris Kristjanson

Nov-06

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 – 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose du Lac

District 13 Ben Fox*

Nov-07

Parkland Recreation Complex, Curler’s Lounge

200 – 1st St. SE, Dauphin

District 7

Larry Gerelus*

Nov-08

Shoal Lake Community Hall

315 The Drive, Shoal Lake

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-13

Mountview Centre

111 South Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-14

Arden Community Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave., Arden

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-15

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 Cameron Street West, Oak Lake

*Director Retiring

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


10 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

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September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Calf producers have right to be anxious RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line

With the fall calf run right around the corner, cow-calf producers are starting to get anxious about the calf prices for this fall. Dry weather conditions in many areas could mean that producers will have to wean earlier than usual, and we could see more calves come to the markets earlier. If producers have to wean early, we can expect lower weights on the calves coming to market. I also expect that producers will save their hay for the cow herd in case we have a long, harsh winter. If producers decide to wean, they must be prepared to hold those calves for a minimum of six to eight weeks before they market them. Your calves will start to look good on the farm after three weeks, but the stress of transporting, marketing, change of feed and water, combined with fatigue will cause the calves’ health to break down if they are moved too soon. Feedlots and backgrounders would sooner purchase wetnosed calves right off the cows rather than calves that have not been weaned long enough. The fed cattle mar-

ket seems to have made it through the summer better than expected. The “wall of cattle” predicted in the US has, for the most part, moved through the system. Prices were slightly better than predicted due to a very strong export market and better than usual domestic demand. Packers are still juggling the prices, but they are lifting the cattle within 15 to 20 days of cash purchase. Profit margins for the feedlots were not great; however packer profits remain on the right side of the ledger. The feeder cattle market is driven by a number of components included in the pricing formula. Supply of cattle, the cost of feed, availability of risk management opportunities, the value of the dollar, interest rates, and the confidence of the financial agencies that finance the cattle, influence the cattle prices. The amount of influence that each of these components has on the price of the cattle will vary from season to season and year to year, but each one influences the feeder cattle prices to a degree every year. On the supply side, there is no shortage of cattle. The most recent on-feed report in the US showed 13.3 million head on feed, approximately four per cent more cattle on feed this year; the biggest number since 1996. Canfax reports that, as of June 1, there were 840,000

cattle on feed in Western Canada, which was up six per cent from 2017 and nine per cent over the fiveyear average. The USDA predicts that the calf crop will be two per cent larger this year despite a larger cow cull and fewer heifers retained for breeding. The cowherd in the US continues to grow but at a slower pace than the past five year average. The largest inventory in the US was in 1975 with 132 million cattle. That year they produced 25.7 billion pounds of beef. In 2018 they started the year with 38 million fewer cattle and are projected to produce 27.3 billion pounds of beef. The industry has changed and having fewer cows does not mean a shortage of beef! In Canada, our beef cow herd continues to maintain its numbers. So far this year, the Canadian packers have been busy killing 37,000 more steers (up four per cent), 44.4 thousand more heifers (up nine per cent), and 32,000 more cows (up 13 per cent). One thing to remember is that we also exported 20,000 fewer slaughter cows to the USA this year, which helps explain the increase in the domestic harvest of cull cows. A short supply of cash yearlings off the grass for fall delivery has resulted in stronger prices than first predicted. The futures don’t support the prices being paid, but feedlot operators want inventory, and the supply and demand ratio kicked in. For the past 18 months, the

futures market has been very disjointed from the actual cash market. However, the futures are still the guide for risk management and forward contracting. The grain reports indicate that the US corn and soybean crops look to be progressing well, and that if harvested successfully, will produce enough to keep corn (projected 176 bushels to the acre) prices below $4.00 per bushel, an attractive price for cattle feeders. Hay will be in short supply in Western Canada, which will probably lead to a heavy cull of cows this fall. Silage crops in Manitoba vary from region to region. Custom backgrounders in Manitoba will probably have to come in at well under 90 cents per cost of gain to attract much interest from the feedlots from out of province. The Manitoba feeder calf market depends heavily on interest from out of province buyers purchasing calves and leaving them in Manitoba for backgrounding. At the time of writing this article, the Canadian dollar was rebounding after a sluggish summer. The dollar will continue to be volatile which has a direct impact on live cattle exports to the US. Interest rates continue to increase which affects the costs of operating loans. After this spring’s market prices, and losses experienced in feeding cattle, some of the financial institutions are more lukewarm to the cattle business. Fortunately there are other options available to finance

livestock. As for the fall market, early indications are that the calf market has the potential to be very close to last year’s prices. Cattle feeders have short memories. They forget that they paid too much last fall, but their bankers remember. The market could be five to eight cents below last year on the steers. Expect a big spread between the steers and heifer calves as more heifers come to market due to Manitoba producers retaining fewer heifers because of to the

hay shortage. Bull calves and calves with issues such as frozen ears, poor genetics and small frames will be very volatile, especially on the weights over 550 pounds. Early sales of calves for deferred delivery on the electronic sales have been stronger than expected. No one will know for sure until the calf run starts, but calf producers certainly have the right to be anxious about what their calves will bring this fall. Until next time, Rick

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

Government Activities Update MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Funding for beneficial management practices, traceability regulations, consultations related to humane transportation of animals, and water management are some of the recent activities of the provincial and federal governments that affect Manitoba’s beef industry. BMP Funding Eligible producers have until September 3 to apply for cost-shared funding through the Ag Action Manitoba for Farmers program (Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices component) to implement beneficial management practices (BMPs) identified in their Environmental Farm Plan (EFP). Producers must have a valid Statement of Completion for an EFP and meet other eligibility requirements to apply for this funding. The province will be holding workshops related to the EFP in the near future. Interested producers should call their local Manitoba Agriculture office and have their name added to the EFP workshop waiting list if they have not yet completed a plan or need to update their statement of completion. An EFP needs to be reviewed every five years to remain valid. Examples of BMPs eligible for cost-shared funding include: resource management planning, establishment of a cover crop, improved pasture and forage quality, intercropping, managing livestock access to riparian areas, sub-surface drainage water management, pesticide storage and secondary containment. For more information about the BMPs and how to apply for funding see: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/environment/ environmental-farm-plan/ag-action-manitoba-assurance-beneficial-management-practices.html For more information on the Environmental Farm Plan go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/environment/ environmental-farm-plan/ Watch the aforementioned websites for future program intake deadlines. Ag Action for Manitoba Farmers has a number of other initiatives that may be of interest to your operation. For example, assistance is available for the pursuit of training or consulting opportunities, with applications accepted on a first come first serve basis. And, there is an October 1 application deadline for producers interested in pursuing distribution and marketing alliances. For complete details on these and other initiatives

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go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/canadianagricultural-partnership/ag-action-manitoba-program/for-farmers.html . Traceability Update The federal government has been evaluating future amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations with respect to Canada’s livestock traceability system. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the proposed regulations “would require, amongst other things, reporting the premises identification number to a responsible administrator for a location where, for example, an approved indicator (tag) will be applied to an animal, an animal has been received or slaughtered, or; a carcass has been disposed.” A premise is a parcel of land where livestock are kept, such as a farm or ranch, auction mart, assembly yard, abattoir or rendering plant. Operators of such premises in Manitoba should secure a premises identification number (PID) for these sites from the provincial government. The PID is unique to the operation and held in a confidential database. In the event of an emergency, such as a disease outbreak or a disaster such as a flood, the PID database can be used by provincial officials to identify people who may be affected. There is no cost to get a PID. Applications are available online at the Manitoba Agriculture website at https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/food-safety/ traceability/premises-identification.html. Submit your application by email to traceability@gov.mb.ca, fax to 204-945-4327 or mail it to: Manitoba Agriculture, Premises Identification Program, 204-545 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5S6. The anticipated date for the publication of the draft federal regulations pertaining to livestock traceability in Part I of the Canada Gazette has been revised from fall 2018 to spring 2019. This will open up a formal public comment period on the proposed regulations. MBP has previously provided feedback to the federal government on traceability initiatives and will continue to do so going forward. Health of Animals Regulations Consultations For more than a decade the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been consulting with Canadians about animal transportation. In late 2016 and early 2017 the CFIA sought public feedback on proposed amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations, Part XII –Transportation of Animals after they were published in Canada Gazette, Part I in December 2016. In early August 2018 the CFIA announced that it had received more than 50,000 comments from 11,042 respondents during this latest consultative process. Submissions came from a variety of sources, including industry organizations such as Manitoba Beef Producers, academia, transporters, governments, veterinarians, the general public and others.

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The CFIA also released a What We Heard Report that was based around eight common themes that emerged from the comments. These themes include: interpretation of definitions; outcomebased versus prescriptive requirements; animal handling; weather protection and ventilation; overcrowding and space requirements; feed, water, and rest; transportation of compromised animals; and, transfer of responsibility. The following are examples of some of the comments the CFIA received from stakeholders: Feed, water and rest • Longer feed, water and rest intervals are needed or current intervals should be reinstated. The proposed regulations do not support the current animal transport infrastructure in Canada and the proposed intervals are not supported by sufficient scientific research. • The proposed intervals remain too long to address current research findings, changing societal expectations and animal welfare concerns. • Canada should align more closely with European Union regulations. • The proposed intervals will impose an increased need to unload animals for feed, water and rest at rest stations. Therefore risks to biosecurity and stress to animals during unloading and reloading at these sites need to be considered. Transportation of compromised animals • Strengthen the language to ensure that “compromised animals” are only moved once. • Prohibit the transport of any animal described as compromised as they are at greater risk of suffering. • Consideration should be given to risk of harm to personnel if required to attend to a “compromised” animal during the transport. • Transfer of responsibility • Remove the requirement for a representative of the consignee to be physically present when animals reach the destination. • Remove the requirement that the transfer of responsibility from the transporter to the representative of the consignee be in writing. • Add a requirement for a written declaration of fitness for transport from the consignor prior to the animals being loaded and from the person transporting the animals indicating acceptance of responsibility. The feedback the CFIA received will be used to develop the final regulatory amendments that will be published in Canada Gazette, Part II. The CFIA states that the purpose of the proposed amendments “is to better align Canada’s animal transportation regulations with current science, industry practices, World Organisation for Animal Health welfare standards, and societal expectations about the proper care and transport of all animals in Canada.” To view the What We Heard Report in its entirety go to: http://inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/accountability/consultations-and-engagement/har/what-weheard/eng/1530194512048/1530194570894 . Water Management Manitoba Infrastructure announced that effective August 7 the discharge through the Fairford River Water Control Structure was being reduced. The adjusted flow will remain in effect as long as the Lake Manitoba level is within the desired water level range of 810.5 to 812.5 feet. At the time of this announcement in early August, the water level on Lake Manitoba was approximately 811.4 feet. The discharge through the Fairford River Water Control structure will be reduced to 60 per cent of its full capacity, as per the operating rules. Flows were to be reduced to approximately 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from the previous flow of approximately 3,500 cfs.

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September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture KATHLEEN WALSH

Livestock Specialist

Kathleen.Walsh@gov.mb.ca

Q. My pasture for my cows is short and I am looking for ways to cut feed purchases. Where do I start? A: When feed supplies are short, it’s important to look closely at your herd to identify cows that should be culled. The first group of cows that should

be considered are those that are not nursing, and animals that were open or that lost their calf. Next, evaluate cows based on temperament and health, including conditions such as mastitis, lump jaw and conformation issues, such as bad feet and, poor udder and teat conforma-

tion. Thirdly, cull based on performance. Use your records to select cows that have consistently weaned poor-performing calves. In addition, preg check all cows after breeding season and cull open or late cows. Early weaning can reduce pressure on the pasture when the supply is low. It is an option for animals that have a calf at foot, but have been identified for culling or for the whole herd. Maintenance requirements of lactating beef cows are 20 per cent higher than the mainte-

Beef jerky tips BY ELISABETH HARMS As much as we hate to admit it, summer is coming to a close, and that means fall is on its way. For me, fall represents many different things; ultimately, it is a time for new and fresh beginnings. Whether we are starting new pursuits, or returning to something familiar, it is a time to refocus and reset our minds. Fall often means a return to activities, and whether they are sports or music lessons, our lives become full again after the freedom of summer. With the addition of new activities to our schedules, it may be hard to maintain healthy eating habits. Here are a couple of snack and meal tips to keep in mind this fall. Knowing which foods will give you the most energy and nutrition is important. While it may seem an unusual choice, beef can provide you with many nutrients that you need to get through the day. In addition to being a great source of protein and iron, beef can also provide you with all the amino acids your body needs to function, as well as many of the B-vitamins needed for energy and healthy brain function. If you play sports, beef is a great choice to help build and repair your muscles, as well as give you enough energy to enjoy your sport to its fullest. Never fear: there are ways to incorporate beef into your diet that do not include expensive cuts like steak or crown rib roasts. Making your own beef jerky is a great way to include beef in your diet without spending a lot of time or money. The advantage to making your own beef jerky is that you are able to control the salt and sugar levels in the final product. No fancy equipment is needed; your oven will be your best friend when making this snack. When shopping, look for the readily available flank steak or round roast at the grocery store. Ultimately, you want a cut of meat that is lean. Fat will

only ruin the texture that is characteristic of beef jerky. Try this recipe for oven beef jerky from Bon Appetit magazine: https://www. bonappetit.com/recipe/prime-beef-sirloinjerky. On the other hand, if you do happen to have leftover steak in your fridge, don’t throw it away! Even if the steak did not turn out as you expected it can still be turned into something great. You can use the leftovers to create something that will be tastier than the original. For me, there are two ways to use a leftover steak: you can turn it into a grilled cheese sandwich or a stir fry, served over rice or quinoa. These are great options if you are looking for added protein. A grilled cheese is a quick and easy option: bread, cheese, mayo, some caramelized onions, and thinly sliced steak. A stir fry, which may seem a little more labour intensive, is a great way to reinvent that steak. Saute your favourite vegetables and add your favourite flavours and you have a quickly-made meal you can enjoy when time is tight. Bonnie Stern has a great recipe for leftover steak in her cookbook, Simply HeartSmart Cooking. Another great way to help you incorporate more beef into your diet is to plan ahead. You can meal plan for the week which will help make your grocery shopping more efficient. You can then prep your meat so it’s ready when you want to use it. Flank steaks are great for stir fry; they can be sliced ahead of time. Sirloin is a great cut that can be cubed so it’s ready to BBQ as kebabs. Ground beef can be browned and frozen so it’s ready to make spaghetti sauce or chili. As fall comes a little bit closer, I hope these tips will help you try new things. If you are looking for even more inspiration, visit the Canada Beef website (www.canadabeef.ca) where you will find recipes, tips, and nutritional information about Canadian beef.

nance requirements of dry cows. Weaning early reduces the cow’s daily nutrient requirements and gives her the opportunity to maintain or regain condition before winter, even if only grazing dry, lower quality grass. A good option is to evaluate the body condition score of the herd on a group-by-group basis. You may notice that first-calf heifers and older cows are under conditioned. Moving these animals to a separate pasture and weaning their calves is a good strategy to manage their body condition and keep them on track for calving and rebreeding. Ideally, beef cows should have a body condition score of 3.5 on a scale of 5.0 going into winter. Cows in good condition will require less supplementation during the winter feeding period, compared with cows in poor condition. Poor conditioned cows generally have five to 10 per cent higher energy requirements. As cows progress from midto-late gestation and temperatures drop, it becomes increasingly difficult to put on condition. Calves are typically

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weaned around six to seven months of age, but studies have shown that calves can be weaned as young as two to five months old. This will not have a negative effect on future performance, provided the calves are managed properly. Calves weaned at four to five months old are already eating some forages and transition better. Weaning at four to five months also gives the cows an additional 30 to 60 days with lower nutrition requirements. It is important to reduce stress on calves at weaning, particularly if they are being weaned early. Calves should not be dehorned or castrated at time of weaning, as it will compound the stress. Ideally, these practices should be done a minimum of two weeks before or after weaning. It is also important to discuss a vaccination program with your veterinarian prior to weaning. Starting calves on creep feed a minimum of two to three weeks before weaning will make the transition onto feed easier. The first ration fed to calves, after weaning, needs to be palatable and

nutrient dense. The ration needs to be high in energy and protein to compensate for minimal consumption by the calves. Getting calves onto feed quickly is important for minimizing health issues. If you intend to retain ownership of the calves, you must ensure that you have adequate facilities, time and access to good quality feed and water, to properly manage your early-weaned calves. Overall, thorough culling and early weaning of beef calves should be considered when pastures are low and winter feed supplies are short. 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 September 4, 2018. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Our forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience, are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

Participants of the Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup show off their cattle in Neepawa. (Photo by Melissa McRae of Prairie Pistol Designs)

Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up 2018 MANITOBA YOUTH BEEF ROUND-UP 2018 IMMEDIATE RELEASE AUGUST 6, 2018 The cattle industry is in good hands after watching the participants at Roundup go through their educational and cattle show weekend. On Aug. 3-5, 68 enthusiastic Manitoba and Saskatchewan Junior Cattle Producers attended the 11th annual Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup in Neepawa. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a top-notch group of interested cattle producers and 96 head of cattle. This year 24 new members attended Roundup for the first time. Where else can you attend an event with 68 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 , parents, Juniors and committee members who have stood behind this Junior All Breeds Show and helped to make it a success. The weekend started off Friday afternoon with a presentation from Sullivan’s Stock Show U instructors Laura Horner and Jake Rawluk

on showmanship, hair products and cattle fitting. Friday evening all juniors participated in the Photo Identify Contest – a fun, hands on challenge where teams work together to complete 10 stations related to the cattle industry. It 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 an electric fencing demonstration by Grant House. In the afternoon, the Juniors took part in team judging, team fitting, the stockman’s knowledge competition and the Pee Wees had a demonstration. On Saturday, Scholarship Interviews also took place. Saturday evening was wrapped up with the CookOff competition sponsored by Enns Brothers Equipment and a slip n’ slide to cool off for the day! Sunday was show day. Thank you to our show day judges, Chad Hollinger and Austen Anderson. 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 4-H champions, then finished the evening off

Manitoba

Register Early! Manitoba

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A dapting to Today’s Food and Farming World

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with awards. Each and every year Round-Up is a weekend filled with friendships, learning, skills and knowledge. It was once again another successful weekend! Round-Up 2018 Committee: Lois McRae (Chairperson), Rilla & Travis Hunter, Wenda

2018 Results Showmanship Division Winner Senior......................... Justin Carvey Intermediate.........Sam deRocquigny Junior........................ Ty Nykoliation PeeWee.......................... Aklen Abey Honourable Mention....... Levi Rimke Claire Lavallee Joran Frey Declynn Allum Individual Judging Division Winner Senior............................ Naomi Best Intermediate................... Laine Muir Junior......................... Nia Devonald PeeWee.......................... Aklen Abey Honourable Mention....... Levi Rimke Cody Carson Ty Nykoliation Ben Fox

& Naomi Best, Blair McRae, Andrea Bertholet, Samantha Rimke, Albert & Michelle Rimke, Candace Johnston, Laura Horner, Jake Rawluk, Melissa McRae, Gracie and Katie Falconer, Adrianne Vandersluis, Nanette Glover, Jackie Cavers , Cody Carson and Nolan Glover.

2017 Bob Gordon Memorial Overall Stockman’s Knowledge Award Winner.............................Cindy Jack 2018 Round-Up Scholarship $1000 Recipient Amanda Scott 2018 Herdsman Award Sierra Inglis 2018 All Star Team Team 3 - Kaitlyn Davey,Elektra Breault, Garnett Speers, Piper Bigney and Rhett Sigurdson

2018 Round-Up Agribition Judging Team Naomi Best, Kaitlyn Davey, Gracie Falconer, Orianna Hyndman, Levi Rimke

Grand Aggregate Division Winner Senior............................ Naomi Best Intermediate................ Emily Speers Junior........................ Ty Nykoliation PeeWee.......................... Aklen Abey Honourable Mention...Kaitlyn Davey Cody Carson Lane Nykoliation Declynn Allum

Association* Full results from this event can be found in the Aug. 24 MBP e-Newsletter,

NOV 27-28, 2018 | VICTORIA INN | BRANDON, MANITOBA

found at mbbeef.ca.

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September 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

The benefits of feed testing BY KATE CUMMINGS

MBP Beef Specialist

Profitability on any farming operation is a priority. This can make winter feeding in Manitoba a challenge. In an attempt to minimize input costs and reduce expenses adequate nutrition may be sacrificed. The challenges that present themselves when trying to stretch a feed supply through the winter are magnified in years following undesirable growing seasons, resulting in reduced quality and overall yields. Under these circumstances adequate nutrition should be prioritized. Winters that precede harsh growing seasons present a unique set of challenges that can threaten a producer’s bottom line. Overfeeding and underfeeding are the main culprits for incurring unnecessary costs. With respect to this issue, there is no one solution that fits all. It’s about maximizing on farm resources and making what you have work for you. The largest input costs incurred over winter are from feed. Accounting for your current feed stock is important. An accurate inventory will give you the opportunity to look at individual ingredients and their respective quantities. Alongside quantity, quality is of equal importance. An assessment of feed quality will allow for the partitioning of ingredients according to the nutritional requirements of various classes of cattle. Feed sampling and subsequently feed testing will provide you with the information necessary to maximize feed stores and adopt strategies that pertain to farmspecific production systems. The value of feed testing is often overlooked. Many producers choose to rely on cutting dates, leaf content and appearances as indicators of quality. Although this is a good starting point, a feed test provides undeniable value and is a tool that will benefit any operation. The top right is a sample forage analysis of a mixed legume and grass hay. With so many parameters to consider, at first glance a feed test can appear overwhelming. Focusing on just a few of these values will lay a solid foundation for a winter feeding program that both maximizes the use of on farm resources and minimizes the need for supplementation. Upon analysis of the aforementioned test sample, key components to consider would be: • Moisture: When considering dry hay, a

moisture reading of 80 per cent or higher is desirable. Any value below that and you risk loss as a result of heat damage. • Crude Protein (CP): This is the approximate amount of protein determined from the nitrogen content. A protein content for a mixed legume/grass hay would be around 18per cent. For a grass hay a value between 14-16 per cent is common. • NDF: This is the neutral detergent fibre (NDF), which is the total cell wall contents including cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin and therefore is an indicator of rumen fill. The higher the value, the lower the digestibility. There are two values in this column, the one associated with NDFom will be lower than the per cent Dry Matter (DM) value. This is because the mineral component has been removed and is solely a reflection of fibre content. A value of 57-58 per cent is common for mixed hay. A lower value would be observed in alfalfa hay and a higher value in a grass hay. • TDN: Total Digestible Nutrients is an indicator of the energy value of the forage. Selecting 55 for a target value would be desirable. • RFQ: Relative Feed Quality is determined by estimating digestibility and subsequently fill capacity. This value allows for a prediction of animal performance and nutrient requirements. A value around 150 would be adequate. While this information on its own is beneficial, many choose to work with a feed advisor. By doing so, you will has access to programming systems such as AMTS or Cowbytes. These programs incorporate test values of your forage and formulate a balanced ration using herd specific parameters. Aside from salt and minerals there are three major pillars in a ration − a protein source, a fibre source, and an energy source. In the sample ration provided (right) corn silage has been used primarily as an energy source, straw for fibre and alfalfa for protein. The benefits of implementing a wellbalanced ration not only include reduced feed costs and aid in the maintenance of body condition, but also reduce incidences of retained placentas, milk fever and other associated reproductive issues, thereby improving overall farm productivity, efficiency and profitability.

Insurance tips ← Page 4 I empathize - it isn’t always easy to find animals requiring treatment in bush pasture. As you know, insurance policies are not black and white. Grey areas exist and sometimes multiple veterinary examinations and changes in treatment plans are required in the event of an ongoing issue. This is common in the event of failure to breed due to poor semen quality and testicular damage or degeneration. Penile and preputial injuries need to be reassessed a few months later. Healing takes time and this can be frustrating when a bull has to miss the breeding season and a replacement must

be purchased. Summertime and warm weather or sub-zero temperatures in the dead of winter make a necropsy almost a veterinary emergency. Carcass decomposition occurs within hours of death in the summer and freeze/thaw damage of tissues make microscopic pathological diagnoses much more difficult for lab personnel. Scavenging also complicates matters. Treat the death of an insured animal as an emergency and protect the carcass. If it happens on a weekend, you need an after-hours veterinary visit. Even if an animal is not insured, if you want to know why it died, a necropsy is needed within 24 hours.

Even severe pathology like advanced pneumonia can become undetectable in a short period of time under adverse conditions. If your veterinarian has to write on the insurance report that “carcass decomposition prevented establishing a diagnosis”, the insurance company may consider this lack of due diligence. Don’t get trapped in that situation. Animal care is both a right and a responsibility. As technology and industry have evolved, society expectations have also changed. Insurance is all about risk management and due to the high values for insured livestock, due diligence is critical. If in doubt, pick up the phone.

SAMPLE INFORMATION

Lab ID: Crop Year: Feed Type: Package:

MINERALS

24513 062 2018 GRASS FORAGE BASIC NIR

Version: Series: Cutting#:

1.0 2

NIR ANALYSIS RESULTS

Moisture Dry Matter

15.5 84.5

PROTEINS

% SP

Crude Protein Adjusted Protein Soluble Protein Ammonia (CPE) ADF Protein (ADICP) NDF Protein (NDICP) NDR Protein (NDRCP) Rumen Degr. Protein Rumen Deg. CP (Strep.G) FIBER

%NDFom NDFom %DM

ADF aNDF NDR (NDF w/o sulfite) peNDF Crude Fiber Lignin NDF Digestibility (12 hr) NDF Digestibility (24 hr) NDF Digestibility (30 hr) NDF Digestibility (48 hr) NDF Digestibility (120 hr) NDF Digestibility (240 hr) uNDF (30 hr) uNDF (120 hr) uNDF (240 hr)

% CP

% DM 19.0

28.9

5.5

7.0 29.7

1.33

64.4

12.2

5.64

% NDF

% DM

53.0

31.1 58.7

7.39

4.34

57.5

Ash (%DM) Calcium (%DM) Phosphorus (%DM) Magnesium (%DM) Potassium (%DM) Sulfur (%DM) Sodium (%DM) Chloride (%DM) Iron (PPM) Manganese (PPM) Zinc (PPM) Copper (PPM) Nitrate Ion (%DM) Selenium (PPM) Molybdenum (PPM)

7.86 0.57 0.33 0.27 2.28 0.30

QUALITATIVE

Total VFA (%DM) Lactic Acid (%DM) Lactic as % of Total VFA Acetic Acid (%DM) Butyric Acid (%DM) 1, 2 Propanediol (%DM) _____________________________________________________ Soil Contamination Probability Probable low to none Nitrate Probability Probable moderate nitrate level NIR Statistical Confidence Excellent prediction potential ENERGY & INDEX CALCULATIONS

56.5

32.5

55.4

32.5

65.0 68.3 43.5 35.0 31.7

37.4 39.3 25.0 20.1 18.2

63.6 67.0 44.6 36.4 33.0

37.3 39.3 26.2 21.3 19.4

CARBOHYDRATES

COWBYTES 531 ARD % Starch

Silage Acids Ethanol Soluble CHO (Sugar) Water Soluble CHO (Sugar) Starch Soluble Fiber Starch Dig. (7 hr, 4 mm) Fatty Acids, Total Fatty Acids (%Fat) Crude Fat

% NFC

% DM

50.1

8.5 10.4 1.8

10.8

Client 1.57 John Smith 51.3 5678, Side Road #7 3.06 Mapleridge Values in bold were analyzed by wet chemistry methods. MB and explanation of report terms R7Z 7D8 Definitions Ph: (431) 555-5678 Fax: JSFarm@jmail.com

pH TDN (%DM) Net Energy Lactation (Mcal/lb) Net Energy Maintenance (Mcal/lb) Net Energy Gain (Mcal/lb) NDF Dig. Rate (Kd, %HR, Van Amburgh, Lignin*2.4) NDF Dig. Rate (Kd, %HR, uNDF) Starch Dig. Rate (Kd, %HR, Mertens) Relative Feed Value (RFV) Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Milk per Ton (lbs/ton) Dig. Organic Matter Index (lbs/ton) Non Fiber Carbohydrates (%DM) Non Structural Carbohydrates (%DM) DCAD (meq/100gdm) CNCPS / CPM Lignin Factor Summative Index % (Mass Balance) Additional sample information, source and lab pictures

63.3 0.64 0.63 0.36 3.52 4.8 103 142 2887 1116 17.0 10.3

Quick Report

Consultant

Ph:

Animal Desc. Predicted ADG: Hair Condition: Mud in Lot: On Pasture:

8.1

Fax:

Cows - Lactating - 1213lbs, Preg:0 Months, Exp. Birth Wt:90.39lbs 0.58 Lbs To gain 1/2 BCS(Can) dry and clean Current Temperature (C) < 10 cm. (4 inches) Previous Month Temperature (C) No Wind Speed (km/hr) As Fed Feed Name Lbs/Head/Day % of Ration $/Head/Day ALFALFA HAY 1 19.000 33.8 $0.52 SILG CORN 36.000 63.9 $1.01 OAT STRAW 1.000 1.8 $0.02 CF MINERAL 0.220 0.4 $0.14 BLUE SALT 0.075 0.1 $0.01 Total 56.295* $1.70 * * waste factor not included

167 days 15.0 15.0 5.0

Supplied Nutrient(DM basis) Diet Concentration Feed only Recommended DM Intake 30.5 28.8 Lbs 54.2 % DE 38.17 37.89 Mcal 1.25 Mcal/lb TDN 19.12 18.98 lbs 62.73 % NEmTot 17.11 17.11 Mcal 0.64 Mcal/lb NEg 1.32 1.24 Mcal 0.37 Mcal/lb Protein 1968 1380 grams 14.2 % Calcium 133 55 grams 0.96 % Phosphorus 43 34 grams 0.31 % Magnesium 39 26 grams 0.28 % Potassium 218 91 grams 1.57 % Sulphur 23 20 grams 0.16 % Sodium 18 13 grams 0.13 % Chloride 0 grams 0.00 % Salt 33 33 grams 0.24 % Vitamin A 98792 63689 IU 7.1 KIU/kg Vitamin E 296 * 500 IU 21 IU/kg Copper 284 131 mg 21 mg/kg Manganese 1055 732 mg 76 mg/kg Zinc 1113 510 mg 80 mg/kg Selenium 3.40 2.48 mg 0.25 mg/kg Iodine 15.0 6.5 mg 1.1 mg/kg Cobalt 8.5 1.3 mg 0.6 mg/kg Iron 3077 653 mg 223 mg/kg Molybdenum 35 mg 3 mg/kg NDF 48.6 % 48.6 % COWBYTES 531 ARD Quick Report eNDF 86.8 20.0 % 86.8 % of NDF DIP 1694 954 mg grams 86.0 % of CP Ionophore 0 0 mg/kg UIP 275 * 426 grams 14.0 Other 0.00 0.0 % of CP 1304 951 grams 0 *MP nutrient supplied is not within recommended range Aug 09, 2018 Notes: Responsibility for interpretation of the reports provided by this program rests with the user.

SAVE Feb. 7 & 8 THE DATE C e l e b r at i n g

www.mbbeef.ca

40 years

MBP’s 40th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 7 & 8, 2019 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND!

For details Email info@mbbeef.ca

Page: 1


16 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2018

www.mbbeef.ca


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

OCTOBER 2018

Producers urged to form relationships with local vets

RM of Elton Coun. Cameron Hales (from far left), Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa MP Bob Sopuck, MBFI Chair Ramona Blyth, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler and Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest cut the ribbon on Aug. 21 to officially open the MBFI Learning Centre. (Photo by Keith Borkowsky)

MBFI Learning Centre officially opens BY ANNE COTE Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives celebrated the official opening of its Brookdale Farm learning centre on Aug. 21 with a full roster of elected officials and agriculture leaders on hand. MBFI’s Brookdale Farm, located 11 km north of Brandon, is the result of a collaborative effort between Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Agriculture, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. In addition, its close association with industry partners and academic researchers from three Manitoba universities and two colleges has earned Brookdale Farm the distinction of being a centre of practical agricultural innovation for livestock and forage crops according to representatives from the four supporting organizations. Aside from grand opening greetings from the provincial government, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler, on behalf of Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAuley, announced a $2.85 million five-year funding commitment to MBFI. That commitment is supported by both the federal and provincial governments. “This demonstrates our governments’ commitment to beef and forage producers,” Eichler said. He noted that grazing projects such as those at MBFI highlight the importance of managing livestock and feed over dry periods such as

those experienced by livestock producers across the prairies over the past two growing seasons. The $2.85 million is in addition to the $1.5 million and $2.5 million previously announced through the Growing Forward 2 program over the past few years. Guests attending the grand opening of the MBFI learning centre also had an opportunity to hop onto the farm’s hay wagon and tour several of the research fields including two alfalfa fields and several stands of corn. Along the way they discovered some of the unique ways researchers have positioned the equipment they need. In one spot there’s a roughed-out cattle run leading up to a weigh scale where cattle are weighed without being herded into the barn area. In another, a solar powered instrument provides measurements for runoffs of phosphorus or nitrogen under specific conditions. This project highlighted the contribution Brookdale Farm research has on the environment and delicate ecosystems. Kim Wolfe from Manitoba Agriculture, leads this project which measures the health of still freshwater wetlands on the farm. A complementary project is being led by Patsy Michels who is evaluating nitrogen and phosphorous runoff losses from fields under different weather and application conditions. Yet another project underway at Brookdale Farm is aimed at discovering the optimum amount of phosphorus fertilizer to apply to a field. Page 3 

Manitoba cattle producers are being told to develop close relationships with their local veterinarians because of new federal regulations governing antibiotics for livestock. Health Canada says all medically important antimicrobials (MIAs) can only be bought with a prescription from a licensed veterinarian, starting December 1, 2018. The change affects about 340 antimicrobial drug products, according to Health Canada. That means livestock producers will no longer be able to buy certain MIAs over the counter, as they do now. They will need a prescription to buy virtually any livestock antibiotic. And that means producers will need formal relationships with veterinarians to have animals examined and drugs prescribed. The Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, which sets the rules under which vets act, calls them Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship (VCPRs). After December 1, producers who do not have VCPRs may not be able to get prescriptions for livestock antibiotics when they need them. Most producers who deal regularly with veterinarians in effect already have VCPRs and shouldn’t notice much difference, says

New MBFI GM

President's column

New drug regulations

Page 10

Page 2

Page 14

Dr. Dale Douma, a public health epidemiologist with the Manitoba Chief Veterinary Office. But producers who seldom deal with veterinarians could be in a bind. “If you have a producer out there who has never used a prescription drug before, for them it might be a bit of a new process,” Douma said. For that reason, he urged producers who do not deal regularly with veterinarians to start the process toward a VCPR immediately. “There’s no reason to hesitate to pick up the phone and call your vet of choice, explain who you are and what your concerns are, and get that relationship in place now, just like most other producers already have,” Douma said. “I recommend doing that proactively instead of waiting until you have some urgent need. That’s when the transition may not be quite as smooth.” The new policy does not apply to certain antimicrobials such as ionophores, which includes rumensin. Prescriptions will not be required for them. But producers used to picking up a bottle of penicillin or tetracycline at a local farm supply store to treat common infections such as foot rot or pink eye will now need a prescription. And for that they need a VCPR. Page 3  POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, UNIT 220, 530 CENTURY STREET, WINNIPEG, MB R3H 0Y4 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

BY RON FRIESEN


2

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

New Manitoba Beef Producers President tackles challenges Having recently been elected president of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) it is my privilege to write this article. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself. I am Tom Teichroeb and I have been the District 8 Director for approximately four and a half years. I own and operate a ranch near Langruth with my wife, Michelle, and our two daughters, Madison and Regan. We have a cow/calf operation and produce our own feed stuffs. We custom background our calves, typically marketing them in March of the following year. Replacement heifers have been kept from our own herd for the last number of years. It has been my pleasure to contribute to the beef industry in Manitoba as a MBP director and I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities the position of president will bring. I would like to recognize and thank past-president Ben Fox for his contributions to MBP. As many will be aware, Ben resigned as president of MBP to pursue his interest in becoming an elected official at the federal level. On behalf of the board of directors and staff, it continues to be our privilege to work with Ben in his role as District 13 director. His passion, knowledge and contribution to MBP is exemplary. We extend our best wishes to Ben, his wife, Linda, and their family in their future endeavors. Once again, the year has gone by quickly and winter will be soon be upon us. It is in my nature to be an eternal optimist and I sincerely hope that winter will reward us with an adequate amount of precipitation and snowfall to replenish all our diminished or vanishing water and feed resources. I am well aware of the very difficult year many producers have endured and that feed and adequate water supplies are scarce due to the drought conditions. MBP directors and staff continue to work tirelessly on behalf of producers to lobby governments to find sustainable and bankable solutions to manage this crisis and there have been some recent developments in this area. We are aware that the best solutions will not only provide short term relief but also long-term options as well. To help manage the aforementioned drought conditions, the Manitoba government announced in late August that it has made Crown land leases, Wildlife Management Areas, as well as normally restricted areas around the Shoal Lake area in the Interlake region available for both haying and grazing this fall. The Nature

The Manitoba government had previously set out lofty goals to grow the beef to pre-BSE numbers. I’m excited and privileged to be able to work towards achieving this goal. I feel that one of the most important elements in growing the herd is youth retention and succession. It is essential that the Manitoba government and MBP continue to work together as leaders to advance the beef industry by developing affordable options, bankable programs and a regulatory climate that will encourage many new and young producers to invest in the beef industry. There is no doubt that with respect to growing the beef herd, the resolve of beef producers is being tested once again. I am confident that we will succeed. Resiliency has carried us through many challenges. I encourage beef producers to ignore the rhetoric that says “we can’t do this” or “we can’t survive that” and simply to choose to say “we can and we will.” This is my focus and I am sure most of you feel the same way. Predation issues will continue to be at the top of MBP’s agenda. Producers have incurred significant economic losses over many years due to predation. It is extremely important that we continue to advocate for and help develop a permanent and sustainable wildlife management program. This will not only minimize economic losses for established producers but will also encourage future producers to enter the beef industry and ultimately contribute to growing our provincial herd. Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the MBP district meetings will take place in October and November. I encourage everyone to take ownership of your industry and help grow and improve the beef industry by attending district meetings. Not only is it great chance to become engaged and be a leader for your industry but it is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with other producers over a great meal. And of course, MBP’s 40th Annual General Meeting will be held February 7-8 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. I invite you to be part of this important meeting and help us shape your beef industry. It is a fantastic event where you can learn more about the work and mandate of MBP. We hope to see you there. Please feel free to contact me or a MBP staff member if you have questions or concerns regarding the work of MBP. Until next time, I wish you well and I thank you, the producer, for your ongoing support. Kind regards, Tom Teichroeb

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

Conservancy of Canada has also made some lands available for grazing and winter feed use and they are encouraging producers to capitalize on those opportunities. In mid-September the provincial government announced that it was modifying the Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas Beneficial Management Practice under the Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance program to help with water source development for farms and ranches. Cost-shared funding will now be available for actions such as drilling new or deepening existing wells and to build new or rehabilitate existing dugouts. MBP believes there is strong value in this initiative as the beef industry needs both short and long-term strategies to ensure that its water needs are being met, especially if we head into a drought cycle. Discussions will continue with the province about water-related needs for the cattle industry. Producers are encouraged to seek out additional feed sources such as wild hay and straw (wheat, barley, corn, canola, beans, etc.) to help with roughage requirements. Negotiating with neighboring grain producers may glean economically viable options for additional feed. It is often more affordable and efficient to purchase high energy and high-protein feeds like grains, DDGs and other high energy feed. This is especially important when hauling feed long distances becomes a significant economic consideration or in some cases cost prohibitive. Business Risk Management Programs (BRMs) are useful tools and options to help manage risk. It is important, especially while navigating drought conditions this year, to consider participating in these programs. I am enrolled in AgriStability, I have accessed the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) and I participate in the pasture and forage insurance programs offered through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. I feel that managing risk is essential for my operation because it gives me the peace of mind that I protect my investments.

New MBP Vice-Presidents named by board Tom Teichroeb has been elected President of the Manitoba Beef Producers by the Manitoba Beef Producers Board of Directors during its meeting on Aug. 28. He had been serving at the helm on an interim basis since Aug. 7, when Ben Fox stepped down as President. Teichroeb remains the representative of District 8, and Fox will continue to serve on the Board as District 13 director. In other Board changes, District 1 representative Gord Adams was elected to serve as Vice-President. Adams has been a beef producer for DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

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

more than 30 years, based six kilometres from Deloraine. He now operates a cow/calf and backgrounding operation with approximately 300 head of cattle. In the past, he has also farmed grain. Adams has now served on the MBP Board of Directors for 3.5 years. District 12’s Kris Kristjanson is the new Second Vice-President. With his new role, Kristjanson of Ochre River now joins the Board’s Executive Committee. Kristjanson has been an active beef producer for nearly 30 years, starting when he was DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

14. He has 420 bred cows, primarily Simmentals bred with Charolais bulls, on his cow/calf operation 12 kilometres south of Ochre River, He also produces grain. This is Kristjanson's first year on MBP's board of directors. Away from MBP, Kristjanson is vice-chair of the Turtle River Watershed Conservation District and sits on the Central Plains Feeder Co-op board. The Manitoba Beef Producers Board of Directors offers congratulations to all serving in new roles within the organization.

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

MIKE DUGUID

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - PRESIDENT

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

KRIS KRISTJANSON - 2

ND

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

Gord Adams

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX

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

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

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JADE DELAURIER

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

BEEF PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Kate Cummings

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FINANCE

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CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

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Kris Kristjanson

Deb Walger Tanya Michalsky

Keith Borkowsky

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


3

October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

MBFI facility enhances outreach  Page 1 This project is also investigating the best time to apply fertilizer to get the best crop results with the least amount of cash and effort. Researchers riding along with the guests on the wagon field tour provided an overview of what was going on in the different areas and answered questions. One producer pointed out the alfalfa in one plot was awfully thin. And it was. The researcher admitted that field was not productive but the conditions that led to the crop failure would be shared at the end of the project so farmers could avoid a similar outcome. Eliminating the fertilizing regimen that was used on that field under dry conditions may someday save a producer faced with the same growing conditions time, money and a lot of stress. In his opening remarks, Eichler told the audience at the grand opening the federal and provincial governments believed funding the research projects at MBFI was a worthwhile investment due to the large monetary contribution the industry makes to the provinces. In Manitoba alone, he said, beef production brought $540 million into the economy and the industry is expanding. Beef herds grew by three per cent last year and heifer herds increased in number by two per cent. Eichler emphasized that, with improved methods of forage and grassland management, livestock numbers will continue to rise and all livestock industries and their spin off businesses will thrive because of it. Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa MP Robert (Bob) Sopuck emphasized the importance of agriculture production education, not just for farmers, but for urban and nonfarming rural populations as well. He said a recent Twitter interaction showed him firsthand that an announcement or comment about livestock of any kind can unleash a maelstrom of opinion both good and bad, but often misinformed. This experience highlighted the importance of producers and science researchers connecting with consumers by listening to their concerns and providing them with venues such as the MBFI Learning Centre where they can get honest, science-based answers to their concerns. According to MBFI President Ramona Blyth, the MBFI learning centre will provide farmers with the best information on how to manage their forage lands and introduce student groups and the general public to the ways livestock can be a part of a healthy ecosystem in a comfortable non-threatening environment, “We now have the ability to provide a comfortable learning environment in the MBFI Learning Centre that

can be paired with hands on learning from MBFI researchers in our fields to represent a valuable experiential experience,” Blyth said. The primary goal of the MBFI learning centre now is to explain the balance between livestock and grassland health, she added. Blyth said research at the centre currently focuses on innovation, herd management, land productivity, environmental effects and benefits of grazing, and other technological advancements which may support profitability, sustainability and value-added opportunities in the future. She added that it’s important to note the sustainability of the centre is due to the support that it’s received from all of its partners. PROJECT LEAD

ORGANIZATION

PROJECT TITLE •

Kim Wolfe

MB Agriculture

• •

Ray Bittner

MB Agriculture

Luke Bainard

AAFC - Swift Current

Shawn Cabak/ Mitch Timmerman

MB Agriculture

Pam Iwanchysko

MB Agriculture

Terence McGonigle

Brandon University

Patsy Michiels

AAFC - Bdn

Rafael Otfinowski

U of W

preparation area for hands on learning. The next step in the development of the centre is to incorporate offices and an interpretive gallery. Blyth said Brookdale Farm will provide hands on learning for local post-secondary students as well. The mechanics course at Assiniboine Community College where students are tasked with keeping MBFI vehicles and machinery in running order under the supervision of their instructors is just one example. She said there will also be collaborations between agriculture students and the centre’s researchers through Brandon University, where students spend time helping document research projects. Wetland Health Assessments: Riparian health assessments of lentic wetlands at the Brookdale Farm Shelterbelts for MBFI Sites: Demonstration of different shelterbelt designs for improved extensive grazing systems and biodiversity Operation Pollinator: Establishment of pollinator habitat on different sites at the Brookdale Farm

Alfalfa Phosphorus Ramp Demonstration, determining optimum fertility levels

Use of multispecies annual forage crops to promote healthy soil microbial communities and improve forage yield and sustainability

MBFI Extensive Wintering Project: Extended Grazing and Extensive Wintering Project

Planned Grazing Demonstration: Measuring the impact of planned grazing on forage, soil and cattle health and productivity

Experimental evaluation of microbial biomass as an indicator of soil health under forage management

Evaluation of regional predictive relationships for N and P runoff loss at the field scale

Response of rangeland ecosystems to extreme drought

Duncan Morrison, MBFI Communications, expanded on Blyth’s statement citing existing relationships with Manitoba’s universities and colleges. He says MBFI will be looking for ways to invite students in educational facilities and people from all walks of life to come out to the learning centre. Morrison said the new facility has a 2,200 square foot classroom which includes internet access and audiovisual equipment for distance learning, as well as a food

for

The centre has recently purchased a mobile lab trailer which will be used to get to more remote locations to conduct field work where distance is often an impediment to research. Blyth said the early success of the Brookdale Farm Learning Centre is due to the support and passion that the partners have shown for the project. “We have to thank everyone who has helped turn this idea into a reality,” she concluded.

Drug purchases affected by new rules  Page 1 In an open letter to all clients of veterinary services, the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association says, “Dispensing or prescribing a prescription product requires the existence of a VCPR.” The MVMA says a VCPR exists when the vet has: • Assumed responsibility to diagnose and treat animals if the producer agrees to follow the vet’s instructions. • Seen the animals at least once in the past 12 months. • Offered emergency coverage for follow-up if treatments do not work. A VCPR does not have to be a written agreement. It’s simply an understanding that the vet knows the producer, understands how the operation is run and is confident the producer will follow his advice, said Reynold Bergen, science director for the Beef Cattle Research Council in Calgary. “Some producers are going to have a valid VCPR already,” Bergen said. “If they’ve worked with the same vet for years, the vet understands the operation, understands the animals and visits often enough so the producer can take responsibility for what the vet is recommending - that effectively is a VCPR. “For many large producers, that would be the case. For them, nothing would really change.” For the others, now’s the time to start developing a relationship with your vet before December 1, said Bergen. “I suspect there’s going to be a lot of producers who will be meeting their vet for the first time and there’s probably a lot of good things that will come out of those visits.” The new measures by Health Canada are aimed at tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in which anti-

biotics used to treat bacterial infections in humans are no longer effective. Concerns are expressed that the overuse of antibiotics in food-producing animals could result in AMR, which could then affect humans. Health Canada estimates over 70 per cent of MIAs in Canada is given to livestock. “These changes are being made to ensure antibiotics are used responsibly in an effort to slow the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics,” a Health Canada spokesperson said in an email to Cattle Country. “The aim is to ensure that current available antibiotics remain effective for generations to come.” The new regulations should help reassure consumers that antibiotics in livestock are being used properly, Bergen said. “These rule changes, as much adjustment as this is going to be, will help public and consumer confidence in terms of assuring both consumers and the public at large that there are safeguards in place to ensure responsible an-

timicrobial use,” he said. Douma said the new rules aren’t as big a deal as they might seem. All they do is allow Health Canada to add some more products to the list of MIAs that already require prescriptions. Some have expressed concern that the new measures will increase drug prices, since there will be fewer sellers and more controls. “There’s certainly the opportunity for drug prices to go up,” said Bergen. But Douma said it’s too early to tell and might in fact work the other way. “As more product is moving through clinics, that should make it easier to reduce the cost at those places because they will have some increased volume.”

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

Looking at short term, long term and District Meetings I have been reminded a couple of times over the past couple of weeks about the interesting challenge we have in the office to do the best we can to advance this wonderful industry, to advocate for its producers, and to set it up to hopefully grow and have a long and successful future. The reminders came in a couple of different contexts, including a meeting with Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler to discuss the drought conditions, a reply we are preparing to respond to the province’s carbon-pricing regimes, and as we continue to meet to pull together the speakers for our up-coming 40th anniversary AGM. Both are important. Both need to be given consideration as we try to advance the sector and do the best for beef producers in Manitoba. It is critical that we keep an eye on the long-term viability

and opportunities for our sector - everyone in this sector has a wish that this sector grows, sustains itself and has a long and bright future. This said, everyone also has their short-term challenges that cause concern and potentially also threaten their long term. Short and long term are both important and are both linked. As we drafted the letter to the Minister to explain how the 2018 drought conditions are causing feed shortages, leading to feed affordability issues and how water is critically short, these are all short-term priorities and need to be addressed. But then as we draft the response to the provincial plan to implement a madein-Manitoba Outputbased pricing system for carbon, we are certainly looking at the longer term and how it is important that the province consider

BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column

and reward our producers for the environmental benefits derived from our pastures and grasslands. One of the first times we heard from Minster Eichler in his role as our new Minister of Agriculture, he announced that it was his government’s goal to grow our herd to its pre-BSE numbers. This was very exciting for us to hear, and it is great to have a government that is supportive of growing our industry. This is a long-term goal. While I fully accept that in politics, a four-year strategy is typically a longterm one, focussed on being re-elected, the strategy to grow our herd is a much longer-term objective and

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2018 Fall Sale Schedule

DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle! Mon Oct. 1

Butcher Sale

Wed Oct. 3

Presort Feeder Sale

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Wed Oct. 10

Presort Angus Feeder Sale

10 a.m.

Thurs Oct. 11

Sheep/Goat Sale

Mon Oct. 15

Butcher Sale

Wed Oct. 17

Presort Feeder Sale

Mon Oct. 22

Butcher Sale

Wed Oct. 24

Presort Charolais Feeder Sale

Mon Oct. 29

Butcher Sale

Wed Oct. 31

Presort Angus Feeder Sale

Fri Nov. 2

Bred Cow Sale (PENDING)

Mon Nov. 5

Butcher Sale

Wed Nov. 7

Presort Charolais Feeder Sale

Mon Nov. 12

Butcher Sale

Wed Nov. 14

Presort Angus Feeder Sale

Fri Nov. 16

Bred Cow Sale

Mon Nov. 19

Butcher Sale

Wed Nov. 21

Presort Feeder Sale

Mon Nov. 26

Butcher Sale

Wed Nov. 28

Presort Feeder Sale

Fri Nov. 30

Bred Cow 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 a.m.

noon 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

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

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it was very nice to see the Minister and his department get engaged in such an exciting and ambitious long-term goal. The stark reality of this long-term goal is that we have to look after the short term as well to make sure that our current producers are viable, profitable and supported – to be in a position to even consider the longer term. It is important to look after the short-term if we want to have any chance at a bright future. As producers you all understand this on your farms and ranches. You all understand the balance required to look after the short-term while investing in future years. The most simplistic examples are your fall cull. Easy to maximize your short-term profits with one cull strategy, as opposed to thinking about your longer-term

herd plan and choosing a different cull strategy that looks to future years; thus giving up a bit today and investing it in a plan for the future. Another example is the care you take with your pastures and grazing management. Easy to graze without a regard for future re-growth, but you know that you’ll need that pasture again next year, so you take care to manage it in a way to invests in future years. In the office we are asked to do a similar balance. We take our role seriously as the representatives of Manitoba’s beef producers and we continually look at trying to strike the right balance of short- and long-term priorities to focus our time and effort. It would be easy to argue every short-termand-immediate concern, and not have a regard for the longer-term growth of the sector, or conversely to ignore the current challenges and only focus on the long-term promise of a brighter future. The MBP staff, under the guidance and direction of your

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board of directors, try to strike the right balance between looking after today and investing in tomorrow. All this leads me to thinking about our upcoming fall District Meetings, and the chance to speak with producermembers to hear from you all and to get a sense from you about how we’ve been doing over the past year. District meetings are where staff and the MBP board begin the process of setting priorities for the upcoming year. The meetings all include a formal resolutions debate where members in good standing are able to have their voice heard and to shape the mix of resolutions to be considered at the AGM. These meetings are also your chance to let us know which short-and-longterm priorities you believe are most important. District meetings are your chance to input into which priorities we focus on, on your behalf… which short-term priorities we need to have addressed, and where we should be making longer-term investments in the future of our sector. District meetings are where MBP members are able to provide their input. Those producers who have chosen to exercise their right to refund their check-off, have chosen to forfeit their MBP membership, and thus have given up their right to speak, make resolutions, vote, and shape our future. That said, we encourage them to come out and listen in and hear what we are doing on behave of all producers – including those who choose not to be members. This year, with a focus on our future, MBP has reached out to our youth, through the Manitoba 4-H clubs (although all teens and young producers are certainly welcome) to invite youth producers to attend and take part in the district meetings. We look forward to having them attend, listen and take part in discussions. I look forward to my opportunity to meet with all of you, and to our discussions, and I hope to see you at your district meeting this fall to discuss your thoughts as to whether or not we have the right mix of shortand-long-term priorities.


October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Bovine anaplasmosis in Manitoba

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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.

Presort Calf Sale 9:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9:00 am; Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Bred Calf Cow Sale Sale 1:00 pm Presort 9:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Feeder Sale 9:00 am Presale CalfSale Sale Angus Influence 9:30 a.m. Butcher 9:00 am Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Presort Sale 9:30 am Presort Calf Sale 9:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9:00 am Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Bred Cow Sale 1:00 pm Presort Calf Hereford Influence 9:30 a.m. Feeder Sale 9:00 am Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Butcher 9:00 am Presort CalfSale Sale Angus Influence 9:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Presort Sale 9:30 am Bred Cow Sale Connection Bull Sale 1 p.m. Fri., Mar 2 Cattleman’s 1:00 pm Tues Nov. 13 Presort Calf Sale 9:30 a.m. Tues., Mar 6 Feeder Sale 9:00 am Thurs Nov. 15 Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Tues., Mar 13 Presort Sale 9:30 am Bred Cow Sale 1 p.m. Thurs., Mar 15 Bred Cow Sale 1:00 pm Tues Nov. 20 Presort Calf Sale 9:30 a.m. Tues., Mar 20 Feeder Sale 9:00 am Thurs Nov. 22 Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Tues., Mar27 27 Presort Feeder Sale 9:00 am Tues Nov. Calf Sale 9:30 a.m. Thurs Nov. 29 Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Cow 1 p.m. Presorts MUST be Bred booked in Sale advance. Bred cow sales must be Presortspre-booked MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be and in by NOON on Wednesday prior. in bymust NOON Wednesday prior. Agepre-booked verificationand papers beon dropped off with cattle. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

OCTOBER FEBRUARY

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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.

Tues Oct. 2 Thurs., Feb41 Thurs Oct. Tues Oct. 9 Thurs Tues.,Oct. Feb 11 6 Tues Oct.Feb 168 Thurs., Thurs Oct. 18 Tues., Feb 13 Tues Oct. 23 Thurs., Feb 15 Thurs Oct. 25 Tues Oct. 30 Tues.,Nov. Feb 20 Thurs 1 Thurs., Feb Tues Nov. 6 22 Thurs 8 Tues.,Nov. Feb 27

NOVEMBER MARCH

In August 2018, bovine anaplasmosis was detected in south-eastern Manitoba. The three reported cases in 2017 were also from 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 prior to last year 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. The current approach to manage bovine anaplasmosis in Manitoba is a collaboration between Manitoba Agriculture and the Manitoba Beef Producers, supported by motions made by the MBP board of directors in 2017. 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 another, 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 you 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

2018 Fall Sale 2018 Winter SaleSchedule Schedule

BY MANITOBA AGRICULTURE, CHIEF VETERINARY OFFICE BRANCH

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

Government Activities Update: Initiatives to help producers with dry and drought conditions MAUREEN COUSINS

Policy Analyst

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) welcomes news that some tools are being provided to assist local cattle producers adversely affected by this year’s abnormally dry and drought conditions. A lack of moisture, particularly in southern Manitoba, has resulted in poor pasture conditions, reduced forage yields, and, concerns about dugouts and wells being too low headed into winter or drying up altogether. Producers have been working to source feed supplies, and taking steps to deal with water shortages, including moving cattle to alternate water sources, hauling water, rehabilitating existing dugouts and wells or digging new ones altogether. As well, with winter looming some producers have been making difficult decisions about whether to temporarily downsize cattle numbers so their breeding herd matches the size of their feed supply and the availability of water resources. To that end MBP has been reaching out to the provincial and federal governments, outlining these concerns and discussing possible strategies to help affected cattle producers. The focus of MBP’s comments have been on producers’ concerns related to feed availability and affordability, water supplies, as well as whether the federal Livestock Tax Deferral Provision would be triggered to assist producers looking at downsizing their breeding herds. There have been sev-

eral developments on this front since late August that should prove beneficial to affected beef producers. These relate to making additional Crown lands available for haying and grazing, a program to help producers with water needs, and making the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision available. “These are all important developments. We appreciate the initiatives being provided by both governments to help cattle producers deal with these challenging conditions and move forward,” MBP President Tom Teichroeb stated. “We share a common goal of growing Manitoba’s beef herd so it’s important we have an array of tools and resources producers can use to help achieve that. These range from having bankable business risk management programs, to tax planning initiatives, to being able to access cost-shared funding to implement beneficial management practices that will enhance resiliency on our farms and ranches, such as ensuring we have water resources in times of drought,” added Teichroeb. Haying and Grazing Available on Crown Land Manitoba livestock producers are temporarily being allowed to cut hay and graze animals on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use. “Pastures and forage crops in parts of Manitoba have been greatly affected by low levels of rain and

dry soils this summer,” said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler in an August 24 news release. “By providing producers with additional options, such as access to Crown land, we are easing the burden on farmers who are seeing low yields on forage crops.” This initiative will be administered through the Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing program, with permits issued. Livestock must be removed when the naturally existing forage is exhausted or by October 31, 2018. Baled hay must be removed by November 15, 2018. “With many beef producers facing poor pasture conditions and a shortage of feed, having the ability to graze and hay these Crown lands is both necessary and welcomed,” said Teichroeb. “Cattle grazing inside these wildlife management areas can deliver important conservation benefits as well as be an important strategy during times of feed shortages.” The provincial government also noted that producers with AgriInsurance contracts who intend to put their crop to alternate use must contact the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) office to arrange for a field appraisal prior to harvesting the crop. The province is advising insured producers to check with MASC about their 2018 forage insurance coverage levels under the AgriInsurance program, which insures

hay and pasture production and establishment against potential losses. Also, the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) gives producers the option to purchase price insurance year-round for their feeder and fed cattle. See www.wlpip.ca for details. For more information producers can either call their local Manitoba Agriculture office, the department toll-free at 1-844-769-6224, or go to www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture. Other tools (such as the hay listing and other resources for managing during challenging production conditions) can be found at www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ livestock/beef/index. html#resources. Assistance With Water Resources On September 14 the Manitoba government announced producers can now access 50:50 cost-shared funding to assist with water source development. Through Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) new eligible costs under the Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas BMP include water source development related to wells. This includes: drilling new or deepening existing wells, test hole drilling, screening, casing, well caps, etc.; water pumps and required plumbing components; and, professional and contractor fees. There is also assistance related to dugouts, including: constructing new or rehabilitating existing dugouts, test hole drilling, etc.; and, professional and contractor fees. There is a funding

cap of $10,000 for this BMP, i.e. 50 per cent of a $20,000 project. Applications for several BMPs will be accepted by the province on a continual basis throughout the fall. Producers who wish to access this BMP funding must complete an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP). However, they do not have to have their valid EFP Statement of Completion at the time they apply for this BMP funding. Producers will only need a valid EFP Statement of Completion at the time they submit their claim for reimbursement. Producers have until Feb. 15, 2019, to submit their EFP Statement of Completion. To learn more about how to get an EFP, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/environm e nt / e nv i ron m e nt a l farm-plan/. Approved applications for reimbursement will be retroactive for eligible expenses incurred any time after Aug. 9, 2018 (the date of the initial announcement of the BMP catalogue). “Manitoba Agriculture supports our livestock sector across the province, and we recognize that many areas are feeling the effects of the hot, dry summer,” said Minister Eichler. “Effective management of both surface and groundwater sources used for livestock production is essential for ensuring the health and longevity of the livestock, pastures and associated water sources.” Livestock Tax Deferral Provision MBP had also contacted federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay requesting the swift triggering the Livestock Tax Deferral Provi-

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Contact McRae Land & Livestock Brett McRae 204-729-1018 • brett.mcrae@icloud.com

www.mbbeef.ca

sion (LTDP) in regions of Manitoba hard hit by this year’s abnormally dry conditions and drought. On September 14 the federal government announced the list of designated regions for 2018 under the LTDP, 63 of which are in Manitoba. See box on page 7 for complete list. According to the federal government, “The livestock tax deferral provisions allow livestock producers in prescribed drought, flood or excess moisture regions to defer a portion of their 2018 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2019 to help replenish the herd. The cost of replacing the animals in 2019 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale. Producers in those regions can request the tax deferral when filing their 2018 income tax returns.” “This year’s growing conditions across several provinces have brought many challenges to Canadian livestock producers. The Government has prioritized the approval of the Livestock Tax deferral to give farmers more certainty about their financial situation and help them keep their businesses strong,” said Minister MacAulay. According to information from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the LTDP works as follows: To defer income, the breeding herd must have been reduced by at least 15 per cent. Where the breeding herd has been reduced by at least 15 per cent, but less than 30 per cent, 30 per cent of income from net sales can be deferred. Where the breeding herd has been reduced by 30 per cent or more, 90 per cent of income from net sales can be deferred. In a year in which a region has been prescribed, income from livestock sales are deferred to the next tax year when the income may be at least partially offset by the cost of reacquiring breeding animals, thus reducing the potential tax burden. In the case of consecutive years of drought or excess moisture and flood Page 7 


October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Ag. ADM recognized for MB-Japan relations PROVINCE OF MANITOBA Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister for Manitoba Agriculture, is being recognized for her work on Manitoba–Japan relations at an awards ceremony hosted by Consul-General Shigenobu Kobayashi on behalf of the Japan Foreign Ministry tomorrow in Winnipeg, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. “Our government is beyond proud of the work that Dori does on a daily basis, showcasing the agriculture industry across the province, across the country and around the world,” Eichler said. “This award, bestowed by the people of Japan, shows the work Dori does not only impacts Manitoba producers, but producers across the country and around the world.”

The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields, in order to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The commendations also help inform the Japanese public about the activities of the recipients. Gingera-Beauchemin was recognized for being a critical player in the creation of the 4-H Manitoba– Japan Homestay program. Since 1987, 726 Japanese students and chaperones have been hosted by Manitoba 4-H families and enjoyed authentic Manitoba summer experiences including community events, outdoor recreation and host families’ cultural traditions. To date, nearly 200 Manitoba students and their chaperones have travelled to Japan every second year for a two-week homestay, which includes tours

of agricultural and other cultural sites. “We are so glad that Dori is being recognized for a project she believes so passionately in,” said Carlie Whetter, president of the Manitoba 4-H Council. “She has been a champion of the Manitoba–Japan Homestay program over the course of 30 plus years, and shares her understanding and respect for the Japanese culture with those around her.” Gingera-Beauchemin joined Manitoba Agriculture as an assistant agricultural representative summer student. In 1979, she joined the department full-time as a 4-H and youth specialist in Beausejour and in 1984, became the chief of the Manitoba 4-H Program. Since 1993, GingeraBeauchemin has held a number of senior level positions within the department and has been the deputy minister for Manitoba Agriculture since March 2013.

Regions designated for tax deferral relief  Page 6 conditions, producers may defer sales income to the first year in which the region is no longer prescribed. Prescribed regions are designated, on the advice of the Minister of AAFC to the Minister of Finance, when forage yields are less than 50 per cent of the long-term average as a result of drought or flooding in a particular year. Once all forage yield information has been finalized a final list of prescribed regions, including previously announced regions, is usually made in December. For information about the LTDP see: http://www.agr. gc.ca/eng/programsand-ser vices/droughtwatch/livestock-taxdeferral-provision/? id=1463574780220 Agroclimate Impact Reporter Data is a key tool used by governments to examine the effects of scenarios such as droughts and floods on agriculture, and also to decide whether assistance such as compen-

sation will be offered. Farmers and ranchers can help provide information about such impacts to the federal government by using the Agroclimate Impact Reporter (AIR). During the growing season a network of producer volunteers provides monthly information about the impact of weather and climate on their farms and ranches through the AIR online survey tool. AIR is managed through the National Agroclimate Information Service of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC). There are regular surveys, as well as the opportunity to report onetime or interim impacts to your operation. Survey questions cover the impact of weather and climate on specific agricultural concerns. Topics covered include: pasture/rangeland condition; crop/hay quality; groundwater supply; surface water supply; water quality; crop stage; infrastructure loss/damage; field access; feed supply; and, soil erosion. Survey results are analyzed and posted on the

GRUNTHAL LIVESTOCK AUCTION MART

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.

federal Drought Watch website (www.agr.gc.ca/ air), providing a series of agroclimate impact maps each month of the growing season. As AAFC explains, “The AIR network provides valuable and reliable data that are mapped and used in the assessment and development of policies and programs including AgriRecovery and the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision, which can provide assistance to the industry during extreme weather and climate conditions and events.” For more information about AIR and how to enrol to complete the surveys go to www.agr. gc.ca/air. All information collected through the surveys is confidential. The network consists of 300-plus producers from the Prairie provinces and the Peace River region of British Columbia and more producers are encouraged to participate.

Designated Municipalities in Manitoba – 2018 Livestock Tax Deferral 1. Alexander 2. Argyle 3. Armstrong 4. Bifrost-Riverton 5. Boissevain-Morton 6. Brenda-Waskada 7. Brokenhead 8. Cartier 9. Cartwright-Roblin 10. Coldwell 11. De Salaberry 12. Deloraine-Winchester 13. Division No. 18, Unorganized, East Part 14. Dufferin 15. Elton 16. Emerson-Franklin 17. Fisher 18. Gimli 19. Glenboro-SouthCypress 20. Grahamdale 21. Grassland 22. Grey 23. Hanover 24. Headingley 25. Killarney - Turtle Mountain 26. La Broquerie 27. Lorne 28. Louise 29. Macdonald 30. Montcalm 31. Morris

32. Norfolk-Treherne 33. North Cypress-Langford 34. North Norfolk 35. Oakland-Wawanesa 36. Pembina 37. Piney 38. Portage la Prairie 39. Prairie Lakes 40. Rhineland 41. Ritchot 42. Rockwood 43. Roland 44. Rosser 45. Souris-Glenwood 46. Springfield 47. St. Andrews 48. St. Clements 49. St. François Xavier 50. St. Laurent 51. Stanley 52. Ste. Anne 53. Stuartburn 54. Taché 55. Thompson 56. Two Borders 57. Victoria 58. West Interlake 59. West St. Paul 60. WestLake-Gladstone 61. Whitehead 62. City of Winnipeg 63. Woodlands

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

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

DIRECTOR

District 11 Robert Metner

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

Oct-22

Ashern Legion

3 Main St. East, Ashern

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-23

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society (Red Barn)

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Robert Kerda

Oct-25

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart

28121 PR #205, Grunthal

District 10 Mike Duguid

Oct-29

Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre

409 Recreation Centre, Arborg

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-30

Carman Legion Auxiliary Hall

28 – 1st St. NW, Carman

District 2

Nancy Howatt

Nov-01

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Ramona Blyth*

Nov-02

Austin Community Hall

44 – 2nd Ave., Austin

District 14 Jade Delaurier

Nov-05

Swan River Elks Hall

112 – 5th Ave. South, Swan River

District 12 Kris Kristjanson

Nov-06

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 – 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose du Lac

Monday, October 15 & 19 Sheep, Goats and Holstein Calves

District 13 Ben Fox*

Nov-07

Parkland Recreation Complex, Curler’s Lounge

200 – 1st St. SE, Dauphin

District 7

Nov-08

Shoal Lake Community Hall

315 The Drive, Shoal Lake

Saturday, November 3 Horse and Tack Sale

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-13

Mountview Centre

111 South Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-14

Arden Community Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave., Arden

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-15

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 Cameron Street West, Oak Lake

We now offer pre-sort sales for larger groups of cattle. Call Harold for more information. 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

Larry Gerelus*

*Director Retiring

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


8

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

Do you own or care for livestock?

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is proposing amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations to strengthen the livestock traceability system by reducing the time it takes to trace livestock. CFIA intends to use animal identification, premises identification (PID) and animal movement data submitted by livestock operators to the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) database to improve information accuracy and availability in the event of an emergency.

Prepare in TWO

STEPS

1

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL PREMISES REGISTRY to confirm or acquire a valid PID for your livestock site E: traceability@gov.mb.ca | T: 1-204-945-7684

2

CONTACT US to confirm or acquire a CLTS database account and enter your valid PID number into it

Check out our refreshed website at canadaid.ca www.mbbeef.ca


October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

90

50

$

$

Regular Registration includes banquet ticket

75

$

Single Banquet Tickets

9

40

$

Meeting Only no banquet

Early Bird Special before January 7, 2019 - includes Banquet ticket

MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39). The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

40th AGM & President’s Banquet

February 7-8, 2019 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458 • info@mbbeef.ca

MBP district meetings begin October 22 Vacancies in three districts as three directors set to retire Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is seeking to fill three positions on its board of directors during its 2018 fall district meetings which kick off later this month. The retiring directors are Ramona Blyth, District 5; Larry Gerelus, District 7; and, Ben Fox, District 13. The first of 14 meetings kicks off Oct. 22 as MBP members gather at the Ashern Legion. See the complete district meeting schedule on page 7. MBP President Tom Teichroeb encourages interested beef producers to think about running for one of the three director vacancies. “MBP’s board of directors undertakes a lot of important work on behalf of the province’s beef industry, including the cow/calf, backgrounding and finishing sectors,” Teichroeb says. “It is important that we have strong representation from all these sectors around MBP’s board table to help inform our decision making on behalf of our fellow beef producers. This is especially important as we seek to grow our industry.” Teichroeb adds that MBP directors not only have the opportunity to represent beef producers’ interests

within the province, but also nationally. For example, MBP directors participate on the boards of organizations such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, and the Beef Cattle Research Council, among others. “MBP’s board and staff work on a wide range of topics, including business risk management programs, wildlife management, livestock traceability, sustainability initiatives, trade, research, water management and many, many more,” notes Teichroeb. “By working together we are creating a stronger industry for producers.” MBP members interested in becoming a director and learning more about the position should contact their local director or the MBP office. Current directors’ contact information can be found at http://www.mbbeef. ca/about-mbp/board-and-staff/ or call 1-800-772-0458. Along with the director elections in odd-numbered

MANITOBA ANGUS

upcoming events

Manitoba

Register Early! Manitoba

Manitoba

Association

MAA FALL GELD SHOW WITH AGEX October 23 - 27 Brandon, MB

Manitoba Association

NATIONAL ANGUS SHOW October 25

A dapting to Today’s Food and Farming World

Association

districts, the meetings will include a look back at MBP’s finances for the past year, as well as review of some of the association’s activities on behalf of members. Other topics, such as pending changes to prescription requirements and the need for producers to have a valid client patient relationship with their veterinarian will also be discussed. “The district meetings are extremely valuable for MBP, providing us with direct input and ideas from farmers and ranchers about matters affecting their operations,” MBP General Manager Brian Lemon said. “We strongly urge producers to attend the meetings and to have their say in the future of MBP. I look forward to hearing from and speaking with all those in attendance.” All meetings begin at 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.

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION AGM November 30 Brandon, MB - in conjunction with the Keystone Klassic

Association

NOV 27-28, 2018 | VICTORIA INN | BRANDON, MANITOBA

OPEN TO ALL MANITOBA FARM PRODUCERS AND FARM FAMILIES Boost farm profits using systems and ground level-thinking that enhance available natural resources such as healthy soil and intact grasslands. Topics include: crop livestock integration, soil biology, intercropping, grazing/water/financial management. REGISTER BY

SEPTEMBER 15

Manitoba Angus Association

to receive your

Early Bird Rate

$ ~ starting at just 300 ~

GO TO: mfga.net/conference

EXHIBIT & SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES AVAILABLE! CONTACT: Holly.Troop@gov.mb.ca

P: 1-888-622-6487 • F: 204-725-3597 mandi.mbangus@gmail.com

Manitoba Association

FIND US ONLINE:

Facebook.com www.mbbeef.ca

@ManitobaBeef

mbbeef.ca


10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

MBFI hires new general manager BY DUNCAN MORRISON Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) bolted into the busy fall season with a surge of great news announcements. Firstly, the longawaited grand opening of the MBFI Learning Centre in late August at the MBFI Brookdale site provided a great stage for the Canada and Manitoba governments to announce that they are investing $2.85 million over the next five years at MBFI to support the sustainable growth of the livestock sector. The buzz around the Learning Centre and the governments’ funding announcement had barely subsided when MBFI announced the hiring of Mary-Jane Orr as the new MBFI general manager. Orr will oversee all aspects of the three MBFI research and demonstration sites near Brandon at Brookdale Farm, First Street Pasture and Johnson Farm, as well as the new MBFI Learning Centre. MBFI is a partnership between Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “The competition for our general manager’s position was really intense and we congratulate all the candidates who interviewed for the position,” said Ramona Blyth, MBFI chair. “Mary-Jane’s areas of expertise and experience were a really great fit for MBFI. We are thrilled to have MaryJane on board.” Orr comes from a background of mixed

farming, growing up on a small cow-calf operation near Carberry. Throughout Orr’s career, she has had strong interests in the intersection of agricultural industry and environmental stewardship, including recent work with David Rourke in Minto, MB to initiate development of an onfarm research & learning hub, targeting regenerative practices for annual crop production with livestock integration. Orr also gained Manitoba agricultural industry perspective working as a Nutrient Management Specialist based in La Broquerie for Hylife Ltd. “I am elated to be joining the team at MBFI, and truly honoured to have the opportunity to build on a framework created by dedicated partners and outstanding staff,” said Orr. “I am looking forward to engaging with producers, the research community, and Manitoba extension specialists to drive innovation through demonstration, applied, and peer-reviewed research to meet challenges facing Manitoba producers.” Academically, Orr received a Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Agronomy (Soil Microbiology), from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana after graduating with Bachelor of Science, with honors, Major in Botany from Brandon University. Orr also worked as a postdoctoral associate at Purdue University on sustainable bioenergy and conservation cropping systems before returning to Manitoba. The vast potential

Mary-Jane Orr has been hired as MBFI's new general manager. (Photo by MBFI)

of the MBFI Learning Centre hit very close to home for the well-educated Orr. “The multi-use space in the newly opened Learning Center is especially exciting for the promotion of education in beef cattle and forage production across diverse groups and all ages,” said Orr. “I am eager to be a part of MBFI’s unique role as a centre of agricultural innovation and to facilitate its mis-

FREE TOUR SATURDAY, OCT. 13, 1:30 P.M. We will be hosting a pasture tour featuring Edie Creek Angus genetics, bale grazing sites, and our planned grazing system which has helped keep us grazing through this drought. Call Jonathan for directions. 204-471-4696

sion of building social awareness, benefiting ecosystems, and improving producer profitability.” MBFI currently has 27 research projects underway led by researchers and staff from Manitoba Agriculture, the University of Manitoba, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Brandon University and The University of Winnipeg. Blyth said the hiring of the MBFI general manager was a priority for the organization as it now heads into year four of operations, exten-

sion, and research at the three MBFI sites. Blyth acknowledged the work and support of past MBFI general managers Melinda German, Carollyne Kehler, Tod Wallace and Shawn Cabak in helping position MBFI for the times ahead. Blyth also had kind words for MBFI senior staffers Kristelle Harper, Leah Rodvang and Warren Boles for their hard work and leadership, especially during the hiring process. Blyth said Orr’s familiarity with Manitoba producers combined with Orr’s professional expertise, re-

search background, and academic resume will bode well for MBFI. “Basically, MaryJane’s ability, education and personality check off all the key boxes within our MBFI priority areas,” said Blyth. “On top of that, we believe MaryJane will be a valuable mentor to our staff, including our summer students. MBFI takes great pride in giving Manitoba students that are pursuing agricultural careers a great place to further and enhance their careers in the forage and livestock sector.”

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October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Fall feeder market stronger than expected Cattle producers are pleasantly surprised and somewhat relieved that the fall feeder cattle markets have opened stronger than predicted. As of the middle of September there has been a light offering of calves fresh off the cow to really test the market. The electronic sales of calves for deferred delivery have been strong to date as some feedlots are trying to lock up a percentage of their inventory early. The prospect of cheap corn in the USA has put some optimism into the cattle prices. A projected yield of 181 bushels to the acre of corn means that corn prices could stay around the $3.50 per bushel which is very attractive to the cattle feeding industry. Despite the fact that there are over 500 thousand more calves in the USA this year, the demand on both sides of the border has opened very strong. With the big losses on the 2018 spring inventory, I have maintained that the cattle feeders would use more discipline when buying the calves this fall. I still think that prediction will be true when the big numbers come to town in mid-October and November. Using $3.50 corn and the current prices on the calves sold to date, the breakeven prices for fed cattle would be in the low $1.20s live in US funds. Despite an increase in the live cattle futures, the current market does not support that level. Prices for 400 to 600 pound steer calves in Manitoba in mid-September were 10 to 16 cents per pound higher than last year. Heifer calves have been the big surprise at 12 to 18 cents higher on the same weight class. The spread between heifers and steers is currently 25 cents per pound. I expect that spread to increase as total numbers on of-

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line

fer increase during the fall run. Mid-September saw the Canadian dollar at 77.50 cents, three and half cents lower than last year. Interest from the American buyers has been stronger this fall, and they will certainly be the floor price for the heifer calves in Manitoba. All indications are that the majority of producers who sell in the fall will sell the majority of their calves. To date we have seen an unusual amount of pee wee calves (280 to 400 pounds) delivered to the markets. Most years the producers will keep those calves until spring, but the shortage of hay probably means both the cow and calf are coming to market. Yearling prices increased in September due to increased interest from Ontario and Quebec buyers. As predicted, the volume of cash yearlings available to purchase has been small, and the supply and demand factor has kicked in. Yearling prices in Manitoba are averaging 6 to 8 cents higher than last year at this time. The yearlings are making the grass landers a profit, and this has made them more willing purchasers this fall. Butcher cow prices continue to drop; packers are making far better profits harvesting fed cattle thus reducing the number of cows processed each week. MidSeptember cows were the lowest price since 2016. Fall

rains in some areas have extended pastures resulting in smaller than normal volumes of cows being delivered to the markets in September. This would indicate that the biggest volume of cull cows is yet to come this fall, which will probably push cull cow prices lower than the seasonal lows of September and early October. Bred cow prices are expected to be lower this year in Manitoba. This will probably result in a number of older bred and later calving cows being sent to the butcher sales rather than paying the additional costs of marketing them in a bred cow sale. Already, we have seen a number of bred heifers being marketed as feeder cattle. Breeders have a sense that demand at premium prices will be hard to find as producers scramble to get enough feed and straw to get their existing inventory through winter. The on-feed reports from both sides of the border showed an increase in the number of cattle placed on feed in August. In the USA, cattle placed on feed were up 6% from last year, following the trend of increased placements throughout the year. In Western Canada, cattle placed on feed were up 19%. Some of the increase was due to drought conditions causing yearlings to come in early. As of September 1, there were 100,000 more cattle on feed in Western Canada than last year. Custom feeders in Manitoba report that the majority of their pens have been booked for the fall. This is good news, as it indicates demand for Manitoba calves from out-of-province feedlots. This out-of-province demand and availability to background locally is critical to a strong market in Manitoba this fall. Until next time, Rick

Make the most of corn grazing season BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL

Corn grazing is becoming more popular across Canada because producers can grow more biomass on less land. If you are planning on grazing corn this winter, here are five tips to help you make the most of the corn grazing season: Ease cattle into grazing corn If this is the first time you are grazing corn, it may take some time for cattle to realize what they are supposed to do with the tall stalks. It is a good idea to slowly transition cattle from summer pasture to fall corn grazing. Regardless of how familiar they are with grazing, the rumen also takes some time to adapt to the new feed source. One way to do this is to provide access to only a couple days’ worth of feed and also supply cattle with an alternative feed source such as a bale of hay to help them through the transition period. Limit cows to three-to-four days of feed Inevitably when cattle are turned out, they will eat the best (more palatable) parts of the plant first, which is the cob. If cows are allowed access too much corn there can be problems with rumen acidosis. Research conducted at the Western Beef Development Centre suggests limiting cattle

MASC_CattleCountry_10x5.indd 1

to three-to-four days worth of feed and providing a fibre source (low quality hay or straw) to help mitigate the risk of acidosis. Protect cattle from the elements Cattle can graze through the winter as long as they have access to water or loose snow and shelter. If you don’t have a natural tree line or shelter belt on your winter grazing pasture, it is important to provide cattle with a man-made wind break. Energy needs increase as winter temperatures drop. Every degree Fahrenheit below cows’ lower critical temperature increases their energy requirements (TDN) by one per cent, so animals may need to be supplemented or will eat more and therefore consume the three-to-four days of feed you’ve limited them to more quickly as temperatures drop below their lower critical temperature. Cattle’s lower critical temperature (LCT) is the temperature at which the maintenance requirements of the animal increase to the point that their performance is negatively affected. LCT varies due to a variety of things; for example, a cow maintained at a body condition score (BCS) of 3.0 and has a dry winter hair coat has a lower LCT than thin or wet cows with summer hair coats. Thin cows (BCS

www.mbbeef.ca

of 1.0 – 2.0) typically have a LCT of approximately -17C, whereas cows in ideal condition (BCS of 3.0) have a LCT of approximately -25C. Feed test, feed test, feed test In most cases corn is able to exceed the nutrient requirements of cattle in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, but it is still important to feed test to determine if the cows’ requirements will be met by grazing corn alone or if additional supplementation (protein) should be provided. Testing corn for mycotoxins is also recommended. Since corn is grazed standing, it is recommended to do a feed and mycotoxin test a couple weeks before grazing so that it is a close representation of what the cattle will actually be grazing. Download the BCRC feed testing fact sheet at: http:// www.beefresearch.ca/files/pdf/1%20Feed-Testing%20 BCRC%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf Have a plan B Even with the best plans in place weather conditions such as too much snow, lack of frost, or even too much rain can put an end to corn grazing. Make sure you have an alternative winter feed in case you are forced to pull cows from the corn early.

2018-09-04 11:46 AM


12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

Experiences that make a student want to become a researcher BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

Fellowship Program. Argenis attended the 2011 Canadian Chapter National Centre for Livestock of the Livestock Congress and the Environment, as a PhD student at Texas University of Manitoba Tech, and found it to be invaluable for learning about Emily Boonstra is the Canadian beef. As a result, newest student to join the when he received notice beef production systems of the student travel proresearch team with the gram, he encouraged Emily University of Manitoba’s and the other students on National Centre for Livethe team to apply. Argenis stock and the Environis an assistant professor ment. Emily obtained in meat science and food her Agriculture Diploma safety whose research and from the School of Agteaching emphasize the apriculture in 2015, going plication of post-mortem on to earn a degree in the technologies to improve Faculty of Agricultural the value of carcasses and and Food Sciences, gradmeat cuts, as well as how uating this spring with a cattle production pracmajor in Animal Systems. tices affect carcasses and Now she is taking her edmeat quality. ucation one step further Emily completed the – branching into research online application form, Emily Boonstra has joined the beef production systems research team at the University as a master’s student. seeing the Congress as an of Manitoba's National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. (Photo Submitted) Raised on a dairy opportunity to learn more and grain farm in the about the beef industry at as one of only two students days with the 11 other se- essary to provide sciencesouth Interlake region, a global level and to meet from Canada and 12 world- lected students, hearing based information that she hadn’t thought much students from other coun- wide to attend the Congress about what they are learn- considers the impacts of about beef cattle – that tries. Her application was and the Houston Livestock ing and how they are con- market expansion in this is until a year ago when successful – she was chosen Show & Rodeo in February tributing to the beef indus- area which Canadian pro2018. try through their studies, ducers can use in making Student experience – was the final push Emily informed decisions about H the International needed to decide that re- production changes to meet O HIFARM & RANCH G Livestock Congress search would be her next this emerging demand, and EQUIPMENT Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd. Ltd Open to senior understep toward being a future which consumers can draw TH D E OU AN TSTANDING B R graduate and graduate stuindustry leader. on to make informed deciby Design Design1974 -Better Better By 2018 ♌ dents around the world, the student travel award covers all costs for attending the Congress as well as admission to the rodeo events, Livestock Corral including big-name music & Handling System concerts. For two days the Design Service students were front-andcentre participants at the Congress where global leaders from the livestock “I hope that this article sions about food purchases. and meat industries dis- encourages more students The overall project cussed science-based strat- to apply to be sponsored to includes three master’s stuegies for including meat attend the ILC – it was such dents and numerous unas part of a nutritional diet an amazing experience to dergraduate summer stuand U.S. and global trade enjoy with some incredibly dents. opportunities. “There was talented students!â€? EmNot one to pass up an so much to learn, and we ily Boonstra said, 2018 ILC opportunity, at the time this eagerly took it all in, but Student Fellowship recipi- article was submitted Emily we were also active con- ent and newest master’s stu- was living and working on tributors to the discussion,â€? dent with the beef systems a dairy farm in Denmark Boonstra said. “And as an research program. as part of a pilot student unexpected bonus, three Making a difference exchange partnership beBolt-on gates from 4’ to 20’ in length nights in a row we went to through student research tween Holstein Canada and amazing shows – Garth Emily begins her Dansk Holstein. Brooks, Blake Shelton, Lit- master’s research project Funding for this new tle Big Town – all included with Kim Ominski this research is provided by the as part of our award!â€? fall, where she will deter- Beef Cattle Industry SciThe sponsor of this mine the environmental ence Cluster, a partnership student award, the Interna- footprint of removing pro- between Agriculture and tional Stockmen’s Educa- ductivity-enhancing tech- Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Feed Tombstone Hurricane tional Foundation, defines nologies such as implants, and the Beef Cattle ReDispenser Feeder Feeder recipients like Emily as “ag- β-adrenergic-agonists, search Council (BCRC). riculture’s best and bright- ionophores, and melengesThe 2019 International est students from domestic trol acetate, or MGA, from Livestock Congress takes Toll Free 1-800-661-7002 and international agricul- Canadian beef production place February 27-29. If you tural colleges and universi- as part of a larger project are a senior undergraduate tiesâ€? where these students that includes assessing the or graduate student, conCANADIAN sales@hi-hog.com are “the future leaders of the economic impact for the sider applying (http://www. OWNED & MADE beef industry.â€? Canadian beef industry. theisef.com/travel-fellowAva i l a b l e a t F e d e r a t e d C o - o p A g C e n t r e s Spending three full This assessment is nec- ship-application-1.html). she spent the summer as part of the beef research team gaining first-hand experience working with professors Kim Ominski, Argenis Rodas-GonzĂĄlez, Emma McGeough, as well as technicians and graduate students on the team. Student experience – summer research assistant “I learned about so many aspects of beef production as I got to work on a number of different research trials,â€? Boonstra said. “I was involved in a trial measuring methane emissions as well as a joint US-Canada project assessing the impacts of feeding and vaccination practices on carcass quality.â€? It was during this time that Emily learned about the International Livestock Congress, an annual event held in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in Texas, and the opportunity to receive funding to attend through the Student Travel

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October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Tips for successful braising BY ELISABETH HARMS Fall is here! The leaves are falling and the air is crisper. For me, fall means Thanksgiving and the beginning of warm and cozy dinners. As the weather changes, we begin to cook differently. We cook meals that can be braised for long periods of time, creating rich and flavourful sauces. We make roasts that result in warm and crispy crusts. We roast potatoes that become the perfect side dish to these meals. These meals are satisfying. There are lots of different ways to incorporate beef into our menus, using these techniques. The braising method of cooking is great if you want to cook something for a long period of time with minimal work. When deciding on what cut of beef to braise, you want to choose something that will benefit the most from this method of cooking. Ideally, you want a tougher cut of meat that has a good amount of fat. Both the length of time and the temperature will result in a tender and juicy piece of meat. When shopping, look for beef shank, short ribs, or a brisket. Beef shank comes from the lower front of the cow. This particular cut of meat is very well marbled; unlikely to dry out during the cooking process. It is a great option for stewing, as the fat present in the meat will also provide a lot of flavour to the rest of the dish. When preparing your meat for the stew, trim the meat from the bone and cut into rough cubes. The following recipe will be featured on Great Tastes of Manitoba, on CTV this fall. Short ribs are also perfect for braising. These ribs come from higher up on the rib cage. The lower ribs create the tender prime rib roast, while short ribs are fattier and tougher. Once braised, the

short ribs will fall off the bone. If you are feeding a crowd, you will want to ensure enough meat for all; at the very least buy two ribs per person. It will reduce considerably throughout cooking. The brisket is a great choice to braise. It is a rather large piece of meat that I would recommend cooking if you have to feed a large group of people. It comes from the shoulder and chest of the cow and is one complete muscle. The reason it is so tough is because it supports up to 60 per cent of the weight of the animal. The brisket is lean, so requires a little bit of extra attention. I love to cook brisket in a slow cooker, but it is more popular smoked. Brisket was also featured on Great Tastes of Manitoba this fall. Check out the website to see the recipe, along with ideas for your leftovers (http://www. greattastesmb.ca/). When preparing your meat, make sure you season it well before you brown it. Seasoning with salt and pepper is always the best way. You can always enhance your flavours by adding chili powder, cayenne, or garlic powder. Browning is an important first step to the braising process. This will create caramelization on all surfaces of the meat and will make a tastier final product. One other important step is to ensure there is enough liquid with the meat to achieve that tenderness. When cooking your brisket, if you choose to use a slow cooker, make sure your meat is mostly submerged in the cooking liquid, so it will become so tender it falls apart. Both beef shank and short ribs are well marbled. This combination of fat and liquid will help make sure the meat does not dry out during the cooking process. Following these tips ensure that your braise is a great and tasty success.

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Please visit our website (pastures.ca) for rates. Applications are due November 1, 2018 and are available on our website or by contacting AMCP at 204-868-0430 or amcp@pastures.ca.

South American Beef Shank Stew

Courtesy Of

SERVINGS: 4 PREP TIME: 45 min COOK TIME: 2.5-3 hours Ingredients: 3 lbs bone-in beef shank, cut and trimmed to 1½ pieces Rub: 2 tbsp flour 1 tbsp paprika 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp cayenne pepper Salt and pepper to taste 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

1 large onion, about ½ inch chop 3 carrots, peeled and chopped 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into ~ 1 inch pieces 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup red wine 2 cups beef broth 4 tbsp tomato paste 2 bay leaves 4 tbsp canola oil

Combine rub ingredients in small bowl. Once meat is prepared, toss meat with the rub. You will have to do this in batches. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat large cast iron casserole over medium heat. Add canola oil. Sear meat in batches until golden brown. Once they are finished, remove from the casserole and continue until all meat is done. This should take about 20 minutes. Add the vegetables to the pot once the meat is finished. Stir them around and sauté until the onions are soft and the potatoes should be starting to brown. This will take about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant – this will only take about 1 minute. Add the wine and beef stock, along with the rosemary, bay leaves and tomato paste. Bring the pot to a continuous boil (it needs to keep boiling even after you stir it). Cover the pot with foil and then put the lid on (this helps keep the moisture inside). Transfer to the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350F and let cook for 2 hours. After about 2 hours, check on the stew. Make sure there is still liquid in the pot. If it looks a little low, you can add another cup of liquid (water/wine/stock). Continue to cook for another 30 min-1 hour. Start checking it after 30-45 minutes. By this time, the vegetables and meat should both be knife and fork tender.

2018 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, Albert Rimke, Michelle Rimke, Naomi Best, Candace Abey, Melissa McRae, Adrianne Vandersluis, Nanette Glover, Samantha Rimke, Jackie Cavers, Keegan Blehm, Laura Horner, Jake Rawluk, Gracie Falconer, Katie Falconer, Cody Carson and Nolan Glover Judges: Chad Hollinger, Austen Anderson, Katie Anderson, Ben Fox, Dillon Hunter | Presenter: Grant House

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING ROUNDUP 2018 www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

Attention to details will pay off DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner What if the feedlot that buys your calves in the fall was able to trace them back to your farm via their CCIA tags or through sales records? Does that thought create a sense of dread or even anger or does it open the doors to new marketing opportunity and profits? The beef industry is the least vertically integrated of all the Canadian livestock sectors and while there are benefits, there are disadvantages. While the sector promotes “Farm to plate” continuity, the relationship between the cow/calf producer, feedlot and proces-

sor remains disjointed and harms all these sub-sectors. In many ways, the buck passing starts when the calf hits the ground. It is not that cow/calf producers are to blame while others “down the line” are guiltfree but if the end-product (market animal) doesn’t get started right as a calf, then everyone down the chain and ultimately the whole industry is impacted. Quality genetics create superior beef – carcass yield, marbling, tenderness scores. But quality genetics at the cow/calf level must also focus on economically important but competing

Miles, Bonnie & Jared Glasman Russell, Manitoba 204 773-3279 Miles cell 204 773-6275 Jared cell 204 796-0999 mjsimmentalangus@gmail.com www.mjsimmentalangus.com

YOUR SOURCE FOR ANGUS AND SIMMENTAL GENETICS

traits like fertility and longevity (feet, udder, eyes, disease hardiness). Bull and replacement heifer selection needs to be tailored to your end goals and multiple breeding fields are needed to meet market demands as well as maintain herd fertility. Keep in mind the importance of genetics when addressing calving ease, calf vigour at birth and immunity. The bull is literally half your herd so spend wisely and consider options such as artificial insemination and sexed semen to rapidly improve your herd genetics. Colostrum management is critical. In a nutshell, if a calf does not receive adequate colostrum within the first six hours of

life, its lifetime productivity is negatively impacted. Colostrum provides fat as a quick energy source, antibodies to fight disease, hormones and specialized proteins to stimulate growth and influence reproductive maturity as well as white blood cells from the cow to teach the calf ’s immune system how to work. Fresh colostrum from the calf ’s own wellvaccinated mother is the best drug available. Studies show that 30 per cent of beef calves in well-managed beef herds in Western Canada will not receive adequate colostrum. Those calves will not meet their genetic potential. Those calves will be less likely to properly respond to vaccination, deworming and antibiotic treatment yet will be the group to be given the most drugs to keep them alive until weaning when the buck can be passed. The new Medically Important Antimicrobial regulations effective later this year drive home the importance of having a functional immune system. Antibiotics will not work if the immune system is weak. Colostrum management is critical as well as disease resistance through nutrition and vaccination. Antibiotics should never be considered a crutch to compensate for poor management practices such as failure to vaccinate or prevent navel ill, pneumonia

The beef industry is the least vertically integrated of all the Canadian livestock sectors and while there are benefits, there are disadvantages. -Dr. Tanya Anderson or scours. Every antibiotic exposure that a calf has increases the risk for drug resistance. Quality genetics and optimal colostrum management start with quality cow care. Thin cows or those that are malnourished produce poorer quality and lower quantities of colostrum. This year’s challenging drought conditions with limited pasture, poor hay yields as well as the continued shortage of Vitamin A and E have created conditions that are ripe for a calving season disaster in herds that have failed to plan. Unfortunately, based on the body condition of cows this fall, many herds are not prepared for the winter and the upcoming calving season. Malnutrition during pregnancy has been shown to lead to “weak calf ” syndrome that is extremely frustrating to treat as death losses are high despite intensive supportive treatment. Prevention through good nutrition and ration

planning is critical. Protein and energy levels must be adequate and fresh vitamin and mineral mixes offered. Consult a nutritionist and have feed tested and rations balanced to ensure no deficiencies exist while controlling feed costs by utilizing available feedstuffs. Traceability isn’t just about federally reportable disease outbreaks or consumer advocacy programs. It should also be about improving the health of the beef industry by having all sectors remain accountable for their actions. No vaccine or antibiotic will control disease if all cylinders are not firing in the calf ’s own immune system. Start building that immunity through genetics, nutrition, disease prevention and calving management. Calves with strong immune systems, quality genetics and judicious use of antibiotics will give your herd a good reputation and will ensure your calves claim the top dollar at the fall sale.

SAVE THE DATE

Feb 7 & 8

MBP’s 40th Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 7 & 8, 2019 at the years Victoria InnC ein r at i n g 4 0 MB. l e bBrandon, PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.

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October 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture Manitoba Agriculture Livestock Extension Specialists Shawn Cabak.............Portage la Prairie.....204-239-3353 Ray Bittner.................Ashern.......................204-768-0010 Peter Petrash.............Vita.............................204-425-5054 Elizabeth Nernberg...Roblin.........................204-247-0087 Kathleen Walsh.........Swan River................204-734-3417 Jane Thornton...........Souris.........................204-483-2153 Tim Clarke...................Ashern.......................204-768-0534 Pam Iwanchysko.......Dauphin.....................204-648-3965 Linda Fox....................Ste. Rose du Lac......204-447-7376

Q. I don’t have my normal feed supply this year. Can you suggest ideas that will stretch the hay that I’ve made? A. Cows have an amazing ability to eat a wide variety of diets, other than simple hay rations. This ability can allow managers to hold down the cost of feed and maintain cows in good condition, but with this change more ration planning and monitoring is required Lower quality forages and/or a combination of straw is usually the first option, but they do not have sufficient levels of nutrients. If they are combined with grains, by-products, protein supplements and mineral/vitamin premixes, they can meet the nutrient needs. Animals need all the basic nutrients to maintain good health, body condition, high reproductive rates and desirable weaning weights. The nutritional requirements of beef herds change as the animals move through different physical stages. The general nutritional requirements of the breeding herd are listed here: Class Mid Gestation Late Gestation Lactating Replacement Heifers Breeding Bulls Yearling Bulls

compaction may occur if the livestock is only fed straw and no readily available energy and/or protein supply for the rumen microbes. During cold periods, the energy component of the ration needs to increase by about 15 to 20 per cent, as the temperature goes to minus 20 degrees Celsius or lower. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the cows’ nutrient needs also rise significantly. It is important to provide higher quality feed, in either the form of good quality alfalfa hay or more protein and energy supplements. Using Supplements Adding additional protein and/or energy to feed is an option to increase intake and digestibility of poor quality feeds. In selecting the most economical option, a cost per pound of crude protein or TDN should be calculated to make direct comparisons. Manitoba Agriculture has a web-based program called “Feedplan” to assist you with the calculations. When you are sourcing cheaper feed

Total Digestible Nutrients% 50-53 58 60-65

pound) straw bale, from ing alternative feeds or are quality water is a basic health, be sure to talk to five to 6.6 per cent. It can having trouble maintain- management change that your veterinarian. We want to hear increase the energy from ing BCS in your animals, can greatly improve your from you! ensure you are providing herd. 49 to 51.3 per cent. For the next issue of You need to know Other options for fresh good quality water supplementing feed in- to your herd. It reduces what is in your feed and Cattle Country, a Maniclude corn cracks, pea the chronic dehydration water to ensure correct, toba Agriculture forage or flour and oat hulls. These cattle face in the winter economical supplements livestock specialist will anwill all work in beef cow and can help stimulate for your animals. Book swer a selected question. rations, but they need to higher feed intakes. Us- values are helpful as gen- Send your questions to be formulated correctly. ing snow for animal hy- eral guidelines, but if there Ray.Bittner@gov.mb.ca by Contact your local Mani- dration is only acceptable is a lack of feed or poor October 1, 2018. The StockTalk Q&A toba Agriculture Office for for non-lactating animals BCS, it is even more critihelp with this and ensure in good body condition cal to use actual numbers Feature for Cattle Country nutritional needs are be- under perfect conditions from feed and water analy- is brought to you by Mani(loose snow and high sis to balance feed rations. toba Agriculture. Our foring met. Ration possibilities quality feed). Snow that Trace minerals are an issue age and livestock team, Various types of has crusted will not allow in Manitoba and a simple who have a combined 230 feed rations can be uti- adequate intake and ani- mineral supplement can years of agronomy experience, are here to help make lized as seen in Table mals need supplemental help. 2. These are based on a water sources. Providing For information on your cattle operation suc1,400 lb. cow with a body sufficient levels of good animal condition and cessful. Contact us today. condition score (BCS) of three out of five. The Pre Calving - Cows table lists the approxi #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 mate feed required preFeed Type Ration Feed Per Day (lbs based on 1400 lbs cow) calving for herd calving Alfalfa Hay in March. For a cost compariAlfalfa Grass 35 16 10 Hay son on the different ration options, visit the ManiGrass Hay toba Agriculture website Barley Straw 17 19 23 23 15 23 and look up the online Barley calculator Beef Cow-Calf 19 Greenfeed Production Costs 2018. Corn Silage 47 32 How Manitoba Barley Silage 48 Agriculture can help If you are short of Barley Grain 11 10 roughage, Manitoba Agri32% Feedlot 0.5 0.5 1 culture staff can help you Suppl. formulate and develop 32% Liquid cow rations with lower 2.9 Suppl. quality roughage and 20% Grain grains (pelleted or raw). 14 Pellets Table 2 gives you an idea of the amount of feed you 1:1 Mineral 0.12 will need on hand for the 2:1 Mineral 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.12 0.2 0.2 0.06 winter feeding period. It Limestone 0.2 0.2 is important to err on the Blue Salt 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 side of caution because the rations listed are for a cow Table 2. Differing wintering ration options for gestating beef cows weighting 1400* lbs in average body condition * Add five to 10 per cent for waste, depending on feeding method with a score of three out of

Crude CalProtein% cium% 7 0.20 9 0.28 11-12 0.30

0.20 0.23 0.26

60-65

8-10

0.30

0.22

48-50 55-60

7-8 7-8

0.26 0.23

0.20 0.23

Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening

Table 1. Nutritional requirements of the breeding herd1 1 Nutritional requirement varies with body weight, frame size, predicted average daily gain (ADG) and stage of production.

Contact your local Manitoba Agriculture Office for ration formulation services. All rations must be balanced for protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. Meeting Nutrition Needs Feeding higher quantities of low quality forage can cause issues. The intake of lower quality roughage will be restricted by the fibrous texture of the feed. This can be a problem, particularly when beef cows increase their intake in response to cold temperatures. Rumen

grains, be aware of weed seeds and/or toxins, such as ergot. Another option is to use ammoniated straw, which will cost about $15 to $20 per 1,000 pound bale. This can increase protein to seven or eight per cent and also improve digestibility and intake. Liquid molasses costs about $9 per 455 kilogram bale (1,000 pound bale). If it is distributed evenly throughout the bale, adding molasses may increase protein by 1.6 per cent on a 455 kilogram (1,000

Verified Beef Production Plus

Phosphorus%

five. If pasture conditions have been less than ideal, cows may begin the winter feeding period in poorer body condition. Animals with a body condition of two out of five or lower need special attention. It will take higher energy and better quality feeds just to maintain and/or increase the condition of these cows. As well, these cows should be segregated from those in better condition to reduce competition for feed. Even more important, when you are utiliz-

• 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 iOS and android

ALL weekly webinars will take place Tuesdays at 7 p.m. • Webinar may be cancelled on a given week due to a lack of registered participants. • Pre-registration is required. • Contact Melissa Atchison or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com for details

How to register for webinars or LIVE workshop • To sign up to attend a webinar or the LIVE workshop, please contact Melissa Atchison or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com • Alternate times and days can be arranged based on producer demand.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2018

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

NOVEMBER 2018

New trade agreement secures access to U.S. market BY RON FRIESEN

Manitoba Beef Producers policy analyst Maureen Cousins, MBP vice-president Gord Adams, federal Minister of International Trade Diversification Hon. Jim Carr and MBP general manager Brian Lemon met recently in Winnipeg to discuss trade matters. (Submitted)

sector in the crosshairs was Canada’s supply management sector for dairy, eggs and poultry, which ended up with some concessions to U.S. demands. But just because beef wasn’t mentioned didn’t mean producers weren’t nervous about what could happen to it under a revised trade agreement, Lemon said. Canada’s producers are painfully aware of what can occur when cattle and beef exports to the U.S. are disrupted, as occurred during BSE and countryof-origin labeling. The industry lost billions of dollars in lost sales and depressed prices. It took years to restore normal trade. Retaining access to the American market is critical for Canada’s beef industry, which exports 45 per cent of its production, with 75 per cent of that going to the U.S. For that reason, producers were apprehensive about exports and market prices had U.S. President Donald Trump made good on his repeated threat to tear up

NAFTA if he couldn’t get a deal to his liking, said Lemon. “If you take away that market, or make us less competitive in that market, that’s a significant worry. That would certainly impact on every individual producer,” he said. “You tear up the NAFTA and free trade, and who’s to say what tariffs might have been applied.” Having the new deal signed has restored certainty to the industry, both short- and longterm. “Certainly any time you have uncertainty, you’re not going to see long-term investments,” Lemon said. “People weren’t willing to take long-term views because they weren’t sure whether NAFTA was going to get signed, torn up or re-worked.” Masswohl expressed relief the agreement was reached just as the annual fall cattle run got underway. About three million calves are sold at auction in Canada every year between late September and mid- November.

Masswohl said calf prices depend on the mood and confidence of cattle feeders buying them. Without a trade agreement, buyers would have been reluctant to bid up prices because of market uncertainty. “Having that agreement reached this week as opposed to two months from now probably was worth a couple of hundred million dollars,” said Masswohl. “It’s easy to think that if cattle feeders aren’t feeling very confident, that easily shaves fifty bucks a head off those calves. That’s $150 million right there.” The timing of USMCA is also significant because of other international trade agreements coming to fruition which would boost Canada’s beef exports. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), currently being ratified by EU countries, promises to give Canadian farmers annual duty-free market access of up to 50,000 tonnes of beef and 3,000 tonnes of bison.

President's column

Research tackles microbes

Meet your District 11 Director

Page 6

Page 11

Page 16

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade agreement between 11 Pacific Rim countries, including Canada, also aims at lowering tariffs and other trade barriers on a range of products, including beef. President Trump, in one of his first official actions in office, withdrew the U.S. as a signatory to the TPP. Having the U.S. out of it gives Canada an export advantage to Asian countries, especially Japan, said Al Mussell, research lead with Agri-Food Economic Systems, an agriculture and food research organization in Guelph, Ontario. With USMCA, CETA and TPP all coming together at roughly the same time, prospects for increased Canadian beef exports look bright, Masswohl said. It also gives Canada an opportunity to diversify its markets and not depend as heavily on the U.S., he added. “There’s good things happening. I think it’s a good time to be in the business.” 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.

Canada’s beef producers are breathing a huge sigh of relief on learning the new United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will continue to provide unlimited duty-free access to the U.S. beef and cattle market. Free trade in beef and live cattle between the three countries, which the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) initiated in 1994, remains unchanged under USMCA. “We’re happy about that,” said Brian Lemon, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. “We thought we had a good deal in NAFTA and we’re happy to see that remains.” Lemon said producers were worried the new agreement, or the lack of it, could disrupt their access to the important U.S. beef market. Instead, the new agreement appears to give producers everything they had under NAFTA as far as trade goes. USMCA “(locks) in the provisions we’ve built the Canadian beef sector on for the last 25 years, such as having unlimited duty-free access to the United States and Mexico,” said John Masswohl, government and international relations director with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “That was a big part of what our objective was: not to lose what we liked about the NAFTA. That part has been achieved.” Existing rules of origin and dispute settling mechanisms also remain intact. Tentatively reached September 30, the new agreement has to be formally ratified by all three federal governments, which could take months. Beef barely emerged as a trade issue during the 14-month intensive and sometimes bitter negotiations between the three countries. The only agricultural


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

When new owners took over the Grunthal Auction Mart in fall 2017, they kept the slogan, “Where Competition Meets.” Recent upgrades include a new sale ring and scale. (Photo by Karen Emilson)

Local owners breathe new life into the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart BY KAREN EMILSON It’s Tuesday in Grunthal and that means it’s sale day. You can’t live here and not be aware of the local auction mart. This is primarily an agricultural community and most residents have ties to either the beef or dairy industry and the auction mart is where local cattle producers gather to commiserate about the weather and scrutinize prices—the two major factors that ultimately decide the year’s bottom line. Grunthal’s auction mart was built in the early 1970s by 20 enthusiastic investors who decided it was time that producers in the southeast had a place to market their cattle. It was a developing trend provincewide as small auction marts popped up after farmers gave up their cream quota DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

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

and switched to beef cattle. Until then, cows and calves in the south were loaded onto one and threeton trucks and hauled to the Winnipeg Livestock yards; or sold to drovers who bought direct in the yard. Most of those original investors are gone now, but there are a few who remember the early days of the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart and one of them is Edwin Froese. Froese is a cow-calf producer who owns the original family farm just north of town. His father, Peter, was an early investor and he and wife Jessie ran the canteen. They started by selling coffee and pie; and as the demand grew, added soup, sandwiches, and burgers. Froese was seventeen when he began working at the auction mart, in the back, handling

cattle. “There were only two of us back then, one would chase the cows into the ring, the other would chase them out,” he said. Those early days saw embarrassingly low numbers, but they persisted, and the business grew. Small animal sales were added, and horse sales brought out equine enthusiasts who turned it into a family outing—a tradition that continues to this day. “Dad loved the horse sales,” Froese chuckled. Soon Froese’s mother Jessie moved into the office and became the auction mart’s longest standing employee, retiring after forty years in 2014. So in 2017, it was no surprise when the last of the early owners, Robert “Bobby” Krentz decided it was time to sell his shares, that brother-in-law Ed-

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

win became one of the twelve, new owners. Another brother-in-law, wellknown, retired dairy farmer, Ed Pylypjuk also bought a share and coordinates the dairy sales. But it wasn’t a quick, smooth transition. A business of this size comes with a price tag. Krentz believed that the best way to sell the auction mart was to turn it into a co-operative, mimicking the highly successful Interlake Cattlemen’s Co-operative Association in Ashern. But Ashern’s auction mart was built in 1956, also by a core group of investors who turned it into a co-op at a time when overhead costs were comparatively low. After six months of public meetings, Krentz and a handful of producers, determined to revamp the business, couldn’t secure the needed commitment

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

MIKE DUGUID

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - PRESIDENT

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

KRIS KRISTJANSON - 2

ND

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

and the co-op idea was abandoned. Robert Krentz Robert Krentz grew up on a farm at Pansy and started hanging around the auction mart when he was in his early 20s. He and brother Gordon purchased a share in the business when a few of the first investors decided to sell. Krentz says he can’t remember a time that he hasn’t bought cattle— guessing that he has sat in the buyer’s row for at least 45 years. Now he runs an impressive grassing operation with upwards of 6,000 head with his wife Jody and their three sons. He buys most of those calves locally. Krentz was never a hands-on owner at the auction mart but instead relied heavily on the manager to make the day-to-day decisions. It was always important to him that the auc-

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

BEN FOX

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

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tion mart stay strong, so he along with other partners, the last being auctioneer Henry Penner, gradually bought out everyone’s shares. At the height of cattle numbers in the province, the regular weekly sale in Grunthal grew to over 2,000 head, maxing out the yard space, so a feeder sale and sheep/goat sale were added to bring out more buyers. They started selling via satellite which was later replaced by TEAM. In 2000 the auction mart received a facelift. They built a 65’ x 30’ addition on the front, moved the office from upstairs to ground level, converted the old canteen space into offices and built a restaurant that serves home-cooked meals and seats forty people. Krentz was proud of these upgrades which Page 3 

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Keith Borkowsky

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November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

Long-time cattle buyer, Robert “Bobby” Krentz, visiting with Rene Catelier before the feeder sale begins. (Photo by Karen Emilson)

 Page 2 showed staff, producers, and buyers that he and his partners were committed to the auction mart’s success. They weathered the BSE crisis which began in the spring of 2003, a decade-long period of transition that saw extreme price fluctuations. Some producers sold out or retired, and many sons and daughters decided not to take over the family farm. The result was a reduction in cattle numbers province-wide and a growing cynicism that the once idyllic lifestyle would never be the same. Then Krentz bought out Penner in early 2016, and the result was dwindling producer support. It didn’t take long for Krentz to realize the problem. “I was the wrong guy,” he said. “I remembered as a kid I went to a few auctions where the owner was the head buyer, and everyone frowned on that, and now I was him, I was that guy.” This realization strengthened his resolve to sell and a year of red-ink added a sense of urgency to it. By late summer of 2017, it appeared the auction mart might close altogether, and producers began asking themselves, what will we do then? Tony Wiens There were over a dozen producers who came out to every meeting to discuss the auction mart’s future and Tony Wiens was one of them. Wiens is a cow-calf producer and third generation farmer in Pansy. Like so many others, he hopes his children will have the option of taking over the farm someday. Wiens is a perceptive guy. He is aware of the farmers’ suspicion that someone may be “trying to

get rich off the farmer.” “The best thing Bobby did was show everyone the financials at the co-op meeting,” he said. “Then they realized it is a high overhead, low margin business and that nobody is getting rich.” But ironically, it also meant that few were willing to invest. “This is a farming community,” Wiens said. “To lose the auction mart would be ridiculous.” There was a core group of interested investors who agreed with Wiens. They didn’t want the inconvenience and expense of trucking their cattle to another auction mart. It made more sense to invest locally than to incur that expense. Plans began to form a partnership agreement, but none had the time or experience to run the place. They needed a manager. Harold Unrau “Will all the buyers be there?” It is the first question producers ask the manager, Harold Unrau, when there is a feed shortage and they want to market their calves six weeks early. A full row of buyers keeps competition high and the local market strong. This year’s early start put added pressure on Unrau who recommended in spring that they revamp the sales ring to speed up sales. The change meant a complete re-design that also included buying a new scale and building it into the ring—an upgrade every other auction mart in the province did years ago. Some seating was sacrificed during the renovation because building codes are stricter now. The primary purpose of the upgrade is to increase efficiency. Unrau knows that mistakes and ineffi-

will grow as the service becomes better known. The partnership deal was finalized late last fall, and it’s been a whirlwind of change since. The new owners include Edwin Froese, Tony Wiens, Brad Kehler, Harold Unrau, Wes Klassen, Darryl Enns, B&K farms, Henry Olfert, Rob Kerda, Ed Pylypjuk, David Froese and Sid Wilkinson. At a recent sale, Jay Jackson who buys for Cattlex commented on the changes. “It’s more efficient,” he said, referencing the presort that now starts the weekly calf sales. “Getting the cattle sorted beforehand helps speed things up.” Jeff McSherry has been buying cattle for 33 years. He understands why Bobby decided to finally sell out. Years ago he owned the auction mart at Inwood, but said as the economics changed, and his order buying business grew, he too felt it was a conflict. “I thought it better to

shut it down and let my customers go elsewhere, and since I buy in Ashern and Winnipeg, we can still do business that way.” McSherry said that the renovated ring in Grunthal means that now he can see better and the sale moves quicker. “It feels like a different place,” he said. “Improvements are always good to see.” It was decided recently that the next Man/Sask auctioneering championship will be held in Grunthal in May 2019. The last time it was held here was in 2000, and Henry Penner won the competition. So it appears that things have come full circle with a new group of committed owners reminiscent of the past. With solid management, producer support and a shot of good, old-fashioned luck, the Grunthal auction mart should be around for decades to come.

ciencies that consume time ment auctions and a handalso cost money. ful of estate auctions. It is He grew up on a dairy a business offshoot that he at MacGregor. In the mid- and his new partners in the 1990s, he and his brother auction mart are confident Norman built a custom backgrounding lot in the hills south of town and within ten years the lot expanded to over 13,000 head. Rocking U Feeders is still one of the larger employers in the area. In 2010, Unrau was buying calves regularly in Grunthal for the feedlot. Sitting in the buyer’s row, he saw some of the mistakes that were tarnishing Grunthal’s reputation because it lacked a manager. One evening he jokingly said: “If you ever need someone to manage this place, give me a call.” Krentz did—two days later. Unrau welcomed the challenge. Producers like his no-nonsense attitude and livestock knowledge. He was the manager here for six years until Krentz took on a new partner, auctioneer Brad Kehler and they parted company on Auctioneer, Brad Kehler, enjoys the challenge of selling livestock. (Photo by Karen friendly terms. Kehler was Emilson) one of the core people determined to keep the auction mart going. “Brad is an excellent auctioneer,” Unrau said. Brad Kehler Brad Kehler grew up on a hobby farm east of Steinbach. He bought his first cows when he was fifteen; then obtained his aucMiles, Bonnie & Jared Glasman tioneering license in 2012. Russell, Manitoba Kehler and wife Carollyne 204 773-3279 have cattle and horses and Miles cell 204 773-6275 live on 80 acres south of Jared cell 204 796-0999 LaBroquerie. Before he mjsimmentalangus@gmail.com started auctioning the catwww.mjsimmentalangus.com tle sales in Grunthal, he did farm and estate auctions. This year under the Grun2 year old Simmental, Angus thal Auction Service he, along with Ed Pylypjuk and and Simm-Angus Bull Sale on Russell Harder, organized the Ranch February 20, 2019 two successful consign-

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

New auction system for ag Crown lands, province drops carbon tax BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that will allow for an auction system to be used as one of four possible methods of establishing the rent on agricultural Crown lands. Bill 35 – The Agricultural Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands) was introduced October 4 by Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Manitoba Beef Producers welcomes ongoing efforts to modernize the way agricultural Crown lands are governed in our province,� said MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “By providing for an auction as a new option for setting fees we are mov-

ing to a pricing system that will be market driven and there should be additional transparency.� “During consultations on proposed changes to the way agricultural Crown lands are managed, MBP had requested the opportunity for an auction system, so this is a positive development,� added Teichroeb. “Crown lands are critically important to both the current and the future viability of Manitoba’s cattle sector. If we are going to grow this province’s cattle herd we need agricultural regulations and policies that are reflective of an evolving industry.� A tendering system is currently used to establish fees or rent for agricultural Crown lands leases and permits in Manitoba. Under the proposed changes rent could be calculated in one of four ways:

1) by setting out or prescribing the amount of method/formula to determine rent in regulation, 2) by having a public tender, 3) by having a public auction, or 4) a combination of the aforementioned methods. Bill 35 also allows regulations to be made that would provide for “the establishing of reserve bids and other terms and conditions that may apply in a public tender or public auction.� Another element of Bill 35 pertains to Manitoba’s community pastures, allowing the provincial government to designate certain lands as community pastures and to regulate their use. Lands which could be designated as community pastures would include Crown lands. As well,

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Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. (pending) Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Presort Charolais Feeder Sale 10 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Presort Angus Feeder Sale 10 a.m. Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Presort Feeder Sale 10 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Presort Feeder Sale 10 a.m. Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. No Borders Charolais Sale Regular Feeder Sale 9 a.m. Bed Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. Bonchuck Farms Female Production Sale Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Regular Feeder Sale 9 a.m. Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. Butcher Sale 9 a.m. Regular Feeder Sale 9 a.m. Schweitzer Simmental Dispersal Sale Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m.

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privately owned lands, lands that are owned by the federal government or lands that are owned by a municipality could be designated as community pastures if the lands are subject to an agreement giving the Crown the right to designate them as community pastures. “We are pleased to be introducing amendments to The Crown Lands Act that will modernize the process of crown land leases,� said Eichler. “We are also making changes that will better enable government to maintain and protect community pastures. These lands not only provide opportunities for cattle farmers, but also provide numerous environmental benefits including carbon sequestration, protecting threatened species and maintaining biodiversity.� Bill 35 will be debated this fall at the Manitoba Legislature. Once

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passed the Act will come into force on a day to be fixed by government proclamation. Temporary Suspension of Crown Land and Property Sales Following an internal review of Manitoba’s Crown land and property sales process, the provincial government has temporarily suspended the acceptance of all applications for the purchase of Crown land or property. In a statement on the Manitoba government’s Real Estate Services Division’s website (formerly the Crown Lands and Property Agency), the province states that “Efforts are currently underway to modernize and improve the process to identify Crown land and property available for sale and to develop a fair and transparent way of communicating this information.� Applications previ-

ously received at the Division will continue to be processed. The website also states that â€œâ€Śin response to consultations on the administration of the agricultural Crown lands leasing program, Manitoba Agriculture is temporarily suspending the acceptance of applications for unit transfers. Unit transfers, the ability of an existing lease holder to assign their lease to the purchaser of their farm operation, was identified by stakeholders as an aspect of the leasing program that required more in-depth review to improve transparency and fairness to new and existing program participants. Existing unit transfer applications will continue to be processed and additional stakeholder consultations on unit transfers will be scheduled over the winter.â€? Page 5 ďƒ˜

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November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY  Page 4 For additional details see accompanying sidebar. Source: https://clpamb. ca/ Manitoba Drops its Carbon Tax Premier Brian Pallister announced October 4 that the Manitoba government will no longer be implementing its own carbon tax, but that it will still proceed with other elements of its Made-inManitoba Climate and Green Plan. Originally the plan had been for the Manitoba government to implement carbon pricing of $25 per tonne beginning during 2018 and running through 2022 when it was to be evaluated by

the province. This is half the amount mandated by the federal government and it would have given Manitoba the secondlowest carbon price in Canada by 2022. Fuel used on farms was going to be exempt from the provincial carbon tax, as were heating fuels for onfarm operations. And, agricultural emissions would not have been targeted for direct sector reductions via the carbon levy or any aspects of Manitoba’s plan. The premier expressed concern that there were no assurances that the federal government would not impose its escalating carbon tax over and above the Manitoba carbon tax. The

Frequently Asked Questions re: Suspension of Crown Land Sales The following information is from the Manitoba government’s Real Estate Services Division’s website (formerly the Crown Lands and Property Agency). How long will the temporary suspension of sales last? Unsolicited sales are suspended until a revised and more efficient sales process is complete. Anticipated for Summer 2019. How does this suspension affect any sales applications previously submitted? Applications previously received at Real Estate Services Division will continue to be processed. Applicants whose sales are currently under review will be provided with the results after the review is completed. Will the purchase price of Crown lands change? Under the new process land and property sales will be fair and transparent. The Manitoba Government wants to make sure that it provides the best possible return to Manitobans. Will the process review decrease processing times? The objective of the review is to develop a more efficient process so that sales transactions are completed in a timely manner. Will the results of the review be communicated to the public? Once the sales process review is complete, the province will notify the public and stakeholders. Will the public have an opportunity to provide any input in the review? Existing unit transfer applications will continue to be processed and additional stakeholder consultations on unit transfers will be scheduled over the winter. Can clients currently under a lease or permit purchase the land they are occupying? Applications to purchase Crown land and property will not be accepted while the sales process is under review. Will the Province accept applications for leases or permits during the suspension of sale applications? Yes. Only applications to purchase are temporarily suspended. All other applications will be accepted during this review. Will registration of interests in Crown lands sales be offered during the suspension? No. The Province will not be accepting interests in Crown lands sales for registration.

federal government had indicated it would apply its carbon tax to provinces where no plan was in place. “Ottawa acknowledged that our plan is the best in Canada,” said the premier in a news release. “But they have also stated that they will impose their higher – and rising – carbon tax on Manitobans after one year. This would mean twice the tax, for poorer results. That would threaten jobs and economic growth throughout our province and take money off the kitchen tables of Manitoba families.” “Agriculture is a mainstay of the Manitoba economy,” said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Producers are price-takers in the domestic and global economy. Any prolonged uncertainty, coupled with the rising costs under the federal carbon tax plan, could lead to drastic consequences. Our hope is that the federal government recognize their plan is wrong for Manitoba producers.” Manitoba Sustainable Development has recently been consulting on the province’s proposed Made-in-Manitoba Output-based Pricing System. Manitoba is proposing to implement a limited cap-and-trade system whereby large emitters in the province (in excess of 50,000 tonnes CO2 per year) are identified and are able to participate in a market to trade emissions for credits, or to pay for emissions beyond an established level. In is submission as part of the provincial consultation, MBP stated that it “believes it is inconsistent, inappropriate and less effective to limit the output-based pricing system to only those large industrial emitters… and those other industrial emitters that may voluntarily apply, and to not allow cattle producers to also participate in the market created with the proposed cap-and-trade system. The proposed output-based pricing system will create a market for carbon emissions and is proposed to only allow industrial emitters to participate and potentially benefit from this marketplace opportunity. Industrial emitters that invest in carbon emission reductions and voluntarily opt-in to the output-based pricing system will be able to profit from their investments while, beef producers will be

excluded from this same opportunity, based on an arbitrary policy decision. This is unacceptable to producers who are already contributing significantly to overall carbon emission reductions in Manitoba.” MBP also noted that it supports the position the Manitoba government has taken that the provincial government has already made significant investments in carbon emission reductions over the past decades, and that the investments made by Manitobans in clean hydroelectricity should be recognized as the federal government rolls out its national carbon reduction policies. MBP stated, “It is absolutely legitimate that Manitoba be recognized for its past investments and that it be permitted to implement a Madein-Manitoba response that makes sense for Manitoba and its past efforts. It is in this vein that MBP believes that it would be inconsistent for the province to enact any policies which only recognize incremental improvements/additions to pastures and grasslands. Cattle producers have made significant investments in sustainably managing their pastures and grasslands over the past decades, and any policies brought forward by the province need to recognize these past investments.” Fuel Storage Rule Changes Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires says a recent change to a provincial regulation governing fuel storage “will help fuel distributors, retailers and agricultural producers by removing unnecessary redundant requirements.” Prior to the change the time of the year that consumers could use seasonal blended fuel was restricted. With the change fuel distributors can now have seasonal fuel supplies ready for distribution to farm fuel customers in time for spring planting. Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler added, “As a result, our producers will be better prepared for the spring planting season.” The province indicated that because Canadian fuel standards have changed over the years, the enforcement of fuel quality standards by the province is now redundant.

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Industry takes stock of National Beef Strategy outcomes BY BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL Calgary, AB – The Canadian Beef Advisors has released a status update on the 2015-19 National Beef Strategy. The report summarizes progress towards achieving the outcomes outlined in the Strategy since its launch. As of June 2018, 15 per cent of outcomes have been completed; five per cent are in progress (have an end); 61 per cent are ongoing (and expected to continue); seven per cent have not been started (primarily due to funding constraints); eight per cent need modification; and five per cent have mixed status (due to multiple objectives at different stages). Target outcomes in the Strategy fall within four pillars: connectivity, productivity, competitiveness and beef demand. Industry leaders representing five national beef sector organizations developed the Strategy in 2014. The collaborative effort provided the framework for how the organizations can work together to best position the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a highquality beef product of choice in the world. “The industry set a number of specific, ambitious goals for itself to increase demand for our products globally, while overcoming significant challenges like tight cattle supplies and competition for arable land, and we’re making good progress,” said David HaywoodFarmer, current Chair of the Beef Advisors and President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “This industry is

moving forward because of collaborative effort, and we expect substantial progress over the next five years with the increased funding from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.” Progress of note includes the development of the Public and Stakeholder Engagement program, the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, the AAA cutout remaining 19.6 per cent above the target of $224/cwt, and the launch of the Certified Sustainable Beef (CSB) Framework with a consumer facing logo. Work continues on the traceability and labour files as well as enhancement to research capacity and programs. The National Beef Strategy Status Update is delivered by the Canadian Beef Advisors – made up of the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canada Beef, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Meat Council, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and National Cattle Feeders Association. An update of the National Beef Strategy, covering the period 20202024, will be released in 2019 with outcomes that respond to current and future needs. The Beef Advisors are currently seeking feedback from producers through provincial cattlemen associations to ensure new and innovative ideas are included in the process. Learn more about how stakeholders can achieve a dynamic and profitable Canadian cattle and beef industry at www.beefstrategy.com.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

Planning important for producers It is that wonderful time of year called harvest. Producers are busy weaning calves, making silage piles, hauling bales and gathering feed and grains supplies for the winter. It is also the time for maintenance of infrastructure and equipment and all those unwelcome and unwanted financial commitments associated with those tasks. It is therefore critical to plan for a profit and understand your expenses, especially in a year as challenging as 2018. Considering the drought that many regions of western Canada endured and the increased cost of feedstuffs, understanding your business’s financial position is vitally important. Some producers paid exorbitant prices for hay (eight cents per pound and higher in some regions) that needed to be hauled significant distances. Straw, wild hay and other marginal feed and bedding options were also sold at a premium. As everyone is aware, it doesn’t take long to diminish profit margins and amplify personal stress in these market conditions. It is both essential and prudent to plan for 2019 as this year is quickly coming to an end and the affordable feed options have largely disappeared. It is unsettling to imagine that the drought conditions could extend beyond this year but that is possible. I would suggest having conversations with your neighbors about next year’s options to negotiate straw and feed supplies if that is a critical part of your feed plan in 2019. I would also suggest asking yourself these questions: “Is it possible to plant more acres to green feed or plant corn on existing acres and increase production efficiencies to replenish feed supplies?” “Is it possible to maximize forage and grass production potentials by improving pasture management systems?” “How many additional grazing days could be gleaned by adding five, 10 or even 20 cells to my current grazing plans?” “What kinds of business risk management programs would be useful to my operation to help reduce risk, such as crop, pasture or forage insurance, or the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program?” I cer-

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

tainly can’t speak for anyone else’s operation but if this has been a difficult year, I would suggest you challenge the status quo. Planning is an important process that often requires changing old habits. Feed is in short supply and many producers, including myself, will be feeding a variety of different feed options with a broad range of nutrient and energy levels. It is always useful to weigh and test your feed. It is important to eliminate any doubt about the amount of feed on hand and its nutritional value. If there is any uncertainty, I would encourage you to reach out to your local agricultural extension services or a nutritionist to help prepare a ration for the winter months. Balanced rations are critical for all operations but especially critical for those who calve early in the year. It is easy to overlook the cost of not having a balanced ration and the impact it has on the health of new born calves as well as reproduction. Aside from feed costs, depreciation or open cows can prove very costly. I have experienced this unfortunate circumstance and have learned from past mistakes. I share this knowing it can be avoided. Good clean water should also be included in your plans for 2019. In September, the province announced cost-shared funding under Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices via the Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas BMP to assist producers that may choose to develop and renew water options for their operations, such as wells and dugouts. Planning early for winter water supplies and next summer’s grazing plan will certainly prove to be a beneficial

proactive exercise. I hope you will consider this article a friendly reminder as you plan for 2019. There are many aspects of a comprehensive business plan, from the day-to-day operational tasks to detailed financial plans, labour requirements, succession plans, investment planning and more. As producers we cannot expect to be experts in all aspects of a comprehensive business plan. There are professionals who can help us succeed and it is valuable to take advantage of their expertise. It is my hope that with careful planning each one of us will experience success. Ironically, I’m now realizing that I still have to solidify my plan for the year ahead. Manitoba Beef Producers’ district meetings will be held throughout October and November in MBP’s 14 districts. It is critical that as many producers as possible attend. This is a tremendous opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal, become informed about your organization and help shape and set new goals through discussion and resolution. I encourage you to attend the meeting in your district. I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to MBP’s 40th Annual General Meeting which will be held February 7-8 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. Thank you in advance for attending your district meeting and we hope to see you at the AGM in February. On behalf of myself, the board of directors and staff, it is a privilege to work and lobby, both provincially and nationally, on all matters that encourage growth and vitality of MBP. Please be assured that directors and staff are grateful for your participation as well as your financial contribution to the beef industry. It is our duty to be diligent and responsible on behalf of all producers who are committed to this organization. Your commitment and loyalty to MBP is sincerely appreciated. As the spokesperson for this organization, I strive to represent cattle producers with conviction and dedication. Thank you and kind regards, Tom Teichroeb

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November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

We’re watching changes to ag Crown lands BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column

Crown lands are important to Manitoba’s cattle sector, particularly if we are going to grow the herd as Manitoba Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler has said is his government’s goal to do. There have been lots of changes over the past number of months that are going to change the way producers are able to use these important lands going forward. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) remains very engaged on this issue, and I thought it is time to outline a couple of key points. I expect that, along with our struggles to make headway on the problem predator issues, Crown lands will be an important issue at our district meetings. So I will start at the beginning and risk repeating a few things that many of you will already know. Crown lands are provincially-owned parcels of land that are subject to Manitoba’s Crown Lands Act and a number of associated regulations, including the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation. The Minister responsible for the Crown Lands Act (“the Act”) is the Minister of Sustainable Development, Rochelle Squires. Crown lands are used for many purposes, such as infrastructure, parks, conservation, as well as agriculture. Within the Act, when it speaks about “the Minister” and gives certain authorities and responsibilities to the Minister, it generally means Minister Squires. An exception to this is for lands designated to be agricultural Crown lands (ACL). In the case of ACL, the Act is clear that, “for the purposes of ACL, the Minister means the Minister of Agriculture.” This means that Minister Eichler has authority and responsibility for ACL – delegated to him from the Minister of Sustainable Development. Important to note, it is still the Minister of Sustainable Development that designates which Crown lands are designated agricultural Crown lands. Depending on where you are in the province, having access to ACL is either an important addition to your deeded lands, or is the only way to build a viable operation. In some areas there just isn’t deeded land available and producers have had to rely on access to ACL to build their ranches/farms. It is only the access to these parcels that makes their deeded lands of any value as a cattle operation. MBP was approached by Manitoba Agriculture back in September 2017 to discuss some changes that were going to be made to two of the Crown land regulations as a result of the current provincial government’s election promise to join the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). The NWPTA is a good thing. It is a trade deal between western Canadian provinces to bring more consistency across the region and assist with regulatory differences. Joining that partnership meant that the provisions in the old regulations limiting Crown land leases to Manitoba producers only had to be revoked. In September 2017, MBP saw the amendments as an opportunity to also make some other meaningful changes, including: to the Minister of Agriculture’s authority, to the limits to Animal Unit Months (AUMs), to informed access requirements, to recognize the improvements producers make to these lands, to improve the inefficient use of these lands, to address the complicated points-based allocation process to make it clearer, and, to make the rates paid more market driven. MBP’s Crown Lands Committee worked hard to pull together advice, and the MBP President sent a letter outlining all our thoughts to Manitoba Agriculture. MBP suggested several ways to improve the regulations, but also recognized that after making new regulations, that it would be equally important to have industry input into the development of the new policies and procedures that would flow from the new regulations. One regulatory change MBP requested was that the allocation process be more transparent and based on market supply and demand. An auction-type process was suggested as the best way to value these lands and ensure their efficient use by our sector. At the time it as noted that a true auction would not be possible due

to the limits within the Act and could not be done with a regulatory change. The Act only allowed for the existing process or a tender process, and would need to be changed to enable an auction process. On Dec. 8, 2017, before rising for their Christmas break, one of the final things that the provincial government did was pass the regulatory changes. There was no opportunity to review and comment on the draft regulations before they were enacted. The regulations set out a framework for future ACL leases to be provided based on a tender. The lease rate would be set by the tender amount for the first five years, but then would be based on a formula that used all the winning tender bids from the prior 12 months and the AUM capacity of the parcel. With the regulatory changes made, MBP again focused on trying to work with Manitoba Agriculture to have the policies and procedures developed in a way that worked for the cattle sector. MBP proposed an open and public tender process where producers participating in a tender process would be able to know what other participants are bidding. The work with Manitoba Agriculture continues to try to ensure the program and these important lands are available to the producers who need and value them. On Oct. 4, 2018, to make changes to the Act Minister Eichler introduced Bill 35 − The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community

that this might be our only opportunity to make other meaningful changes to the Act. Changing provincial statutes is not something that happens easily or often. MBP voiced concerns that this chance to amend the Act was going to be the only opportunity to make changes, and that there were several other improvements that needed addressing. MBP was assured that there was still going to be a further holistic review of the Act by the government coming in the next 12 months, and that there would be opportunities to address other important changes at that time. MBP will continue to look for further changes in the Act to provide for regulations regarding informed access, similar to the authorities provided for community pastures within Bill 35. MBP is also concerned about references in Bill 35 to allow for the province to establish reserved bids for ACL lease auctions. MBP recognizes that there will be administrative costs to overseeing an auction but would prefer that market forces be allowed to determine lease rates and not have the market distorted by reserve bids. A better way would be to establish a transparent lease administration fee that all could see. When Bill 35 was introduced, the government also put a freeze on ACL transactions until they are able to implement the new system. This is fairly normal and expected as with these changes, it will take some time to make sure the new system is introduced properly and

The work with Manitoba Agriculture continues to try to ensure the program and these important lands are available to the producers who need and value them. Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands). Prior to these changes being introduced, the Minister and his staff reached out to MBP to let us know what they were proposing to do. Again, MBP worked hard to understand what the implications would be and to provide the industry’s perspective on the proposed changes. The changes proposed in Bill 35 include the ability to allow for an auction for the issuance of ACL, as well as to designate certain ACL as community pastures, and also allow the Minister the authority to designate an entity/organization to manage the community pastures. These proposed changes are mostly positive and, at least in terms of allowing an auction process, are something that MBP had been asking for. When MBP first heard of Manitoba Agriculture’s plans to amend the Act, the reaction was largely positive. While happy to see this change, there was concern

there aren’t more problems created in a rush to get the new system running. If you read my column last issue, I have spoken about short-term objectives versus longer-term priorities. ACL are an important part of our sector. If we are to grow the herd, ACL needs to be available at rates determined by market forces, and to those who need and can efficiently use them. Changes to their administration need to be considered and implemented with a view to the longer term. Opportunities to make changes to the Act and Regulations need to be made with the longer term in mind and not made for short-term gains. They need to consider the government’s policy objectives and the realities of today’s beef cattle sector. MBP will continue to push for appropriate policies and procedures, and will watch for the promised opportunity to make important changes to the Act in the next year.

MANITOBA ANGUS

upcoming events

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION AGM November 30 2:00pm | Keystone Center | Brandon, MB KEYSTONE KLASSIC SALE December 1 1:00pm | Keystone Center | Brandon, MB

Visit our website for Angus Tag Feeder Sales in your area.

Manitoba Angus Association P: 1-888-622-6487 mandi.mbangus@gmail.com

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

Regenerative Agriculture headed for big week in Manitoba with conference early as a Platinum Sponsor and we are working very closely with them to ensure that producers get as much exposure to a few of our conference speakers as possible by planning a few grazing club events that complement our conference,” said Pam Iwanchysko, a Manitoba Agriculture forage specialist, MFGA board member and the conference’s lead organizer. “Manitoba Agriculture has helped with financials to book the best speakers possible, and the Glacier Farm Media Group has provided valuable support via their publications to help us get the word out to as many as possible.” Producers at the conference will learn about ways to boost farm profits using farm systems and ground level-thinking that enhances available natural resources such as healthy soil and intact grasslands. Presented by MFGA, the conference’s committee has designed an excellent program with top-notch speakers from across North America and in Manitoba to discuss and demonstrate how livestock and grain farmers can profitably apply the principles of Regenerative Agriculture to crop and livestock integration, soil biology, intercropping, grazing management, water management, and financial management. Basically, all the bases are covered for producers of all walks.

Darren Chapman, MFGA chair, says that regRegenerative Agriculistration is accelerating as ture will be setting deep the event draws closer and roots in Manitoba this Nointerested producers on vember. the fence about attending Manitoba Forage should probably step up and Grassland Associasoon. He says the corporate tion’s (MFGA) first-ever support is strong, someRegenerative Agriculture thing that is always necesConference “Adapting to sary when planning a conToday’s Food and Farming ference. World” November 27-28, “Some of our long-time 2018 in Brandon will be MFGA partners from the book-ended by two Ducks livestock and seed indusUnlimited Canada’s (DUC) tries have eagerly stepped Grazing Club workshops up to help our MFGA conon November 26 and 28 to ference get valuable wind in give producers four days of our sails,” said Chapman. access to experts on Regen“A lot of the organizations erative Agriculture. that are stepping up for the The upcoming Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Brandon, Nov. 27-28, will Embraced by a growconference are working ev- include information on farming practices that promote biodiversity, improve ing number of agricultural ery day with producers and watersheds and capture carbon in soil and vegetation. (File) leaders and producers to our conference agenda and merge economic and envispeaker schedule lines up presenting at the confer- a Revolution”; Dr. Steve note “Inventing the Future” ronmental outcomes, Rewith and supports those di- ence on the topic “Can Frey –the lead scientist on at the conference banquet. generative Agriculture uses Chapman advised that alogues nicely. We see great Regenerative Agriculture MFGA Aquanty Project systems of farming prinvalue in the networking and Healthy Soils Combat − from Waterloo, Ontario while the MFGA tends ciples and practices that will detail “The Impact to be lumped in with the and ideas shared between Climate Change?” increase biodiversity, enrich On November 28, of Agriculture on Surface forage and beef industry producers, organizations soils, improve watersheds, and companies on numer- DUC Grazing Clubs will Water and Groundwater for obvious reasons, the boost ecosystem services, ous levels all throughout wrap up the Regenerative Resources”; Dr. Kris Nich- Regenerative Agriculture and carbon capture in soil Agriculture week of excel- ols will speak on “Linking conference really offers the conference.” and above ground vegetaDUC’s Grazing Club lence by having conference Regenerating Soils to Hu- something for all production. will utilize a couple of the speaker Burke Teichert, a man Health and Adapting ers regardless of stripe. To date, organizers are “This conference is devisiting conference speak- range management consul- to Climatic Uncertainty”; pleased with that response ers on either side of the tant, hang around Brandon Lana Shaw of the South signed to also be of interest from producers and conferconference. On November for an extra day to pres- East Research Farm ex- to annual crop producers ence support from various 26, DUC Grazing Clubs ent at a still-to-be-named plains “Making it work at and how they can synerorganizations, companies will host a workshop with Brandon site. At the con- the ground level”; and, the gize better with the lands and government departDavid Johnson, molecular ference, Teichert will pres- University of Manitoba’s they own for economic and ments − including agriculbiologist at the Institute for ent “The Five Essentials of well-respected Dr. Martin sustainable reasons. I have tural icon General Mills Sustainable Agricultural Profitable Ranch Manage- Entz brings his expertise annual crops that I farm as who recently signed as a on “Diversity brings Stabil- well as our forage and beef Research at New Mexico ment” to attendees. Platinum Sponsor of the Other conference ity”. Conference organizer side of our operation and State University at Manitwo-day conference − has toba Beef and Forage Ini- speakers include: Dr. Da- Iwanchysko will perform I will be listening closely been strong. tiative’s (MBFI) Learning vid Montgomery of Uni- double duty and take the on that front as well,” says “Ducks Unlimited Centre at the MBFI Brook- versity of Washington stage about “Planned Graz- Chapman. “It’s a very good Canada came on board dale site. Johnson will be in Seattle on “Growing ing” and financial consul- opportunity for all Manitant Don Campbell will toba producers and organichart out “Financial Plan- zations to learn from some of the very best experts in ning Made Easy”. Organizers are very Regenerative Agriculture.” Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef keen on a producer panel More information on issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in odd numbered of local experts David conference sponsorship Rourke, Blain Hjertaas and conference registradistricts. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with beef on a bun being served. and Gary Richards about tion can be found at mfga. DISTRICT DIRECTOR DATE LOCATION ADDRESS “Putting New Perspectives net/conference. Contact District 11 Robert Metner Oct-22 Ashern Legion 3 Main St. East, Ashern into Practice”. Dr. Melo- Mike Thiele at mthiele@ District 9 Dianne Riding Oct-23 South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society (Red Barn) PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall die Chan, Senior Manager mymts.net for more inforDistrict 4 Robert Kerda Oct-25 Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart 28121 PR #205, Grunthal Veterinary Services, Zoetis, mation on the DUC GrazKirkland, Quebec will key- ing Club workshops. District 10 Mike Duguid Oct-29 Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre 409 Recreation Centre, Arborg

BY DUNCAN MORRISON

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-30

Carman Legion Auxiliary Hall

28 – 1st St. NW, Carman

District 2

Nancy Howatt

Nov-01

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Ramona Blyth*

Nov-02

Austin Community Hall

44 – 2nd Ave., Austin

District 14 Jade Delaurier

Nov-05

Swan River Elks Hall

112 – 5th Ave. South, Swan River

District 12 Kris Kristjanson

Nov-06

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 – 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose du Lac

District 13 Ben Fox*

Nov-07

Parkland Recreation Complex, Curler’s Lounge

200 – 1st St. SE, Dauphin

District 7

Larry Gerelus*

Nov-08

Shoal Lake Community Hall

315 The Drive, Shoal Lake

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-13

Mountview Centre

111 South Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 8

Tom Teichroeb

Nov-14

Arden Community Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave., Arden

District 6

Larry Wegner

Nov-15

Oak Lake Community Hall

474 Cameron Street West, Oak Lake

*Director Retiring

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


November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Fed cattle prices show strength calf prices, but many have expressed disappointment with calves to deal with. Despite lower rail grade prices at the the weaning weight of their calves this year. The net result plants, the cull cow market has not dropped as much as RICK WRIGHT has been a smaller calf cheque than expected, despite mar- expected to date. ket prices close to last year. Fed cattle prices showed some strength, with some The Bottom Line Robin Hill, manager at Heartland Livestock in Vird- better quality loads in Manitoba selling for $250 to $252 en, reviewed prices on their mid-October Angus Influence on the rail delivered to Alberta. With the new trade deal settled, there seems to be less volatility in the marketplace. calf sale with me. As I sit down to pen this edition of the bottom line, They sold 3,000 calves with a very strong sale. Ontar- The U.S.A. is still our biggest trading partner in the beef the calendar shows October 13. It is hard to believe that io and Quebec orders dominated the steer consignments. industry. The Americans take 75 per cent of our beef exthe summer and fall have disappeared! Looking ahead we Compared to last year, on the same week, with the majority ports. Canadian beef exports to Japan have been steadily are right on top of the peak of the fall calf run in Manitoba. of the same producers consigning cattle, the prices were increasing over the past two years, but they only represent Traditionally, we have the largest marketing of calves in very similar. Prices on the 500 to 700 pound steers were eight per cent of our exports. Other major importers of the last week of October and the first week of November. within one to two cents per pound higher than last year. Canadian beef include Hong Kong, Macau, Mexico and This year looks no different, as the majority of the auctions Heifer prices were actually three to four cents per pound China. There seems to be some concern in the beef indusreport that their sales are fully booked for the next three lower than last year. The calf market started to show a little pressure as big- try as to what will happen in the first quarter of 2019. weeks. To date in Manitoba, we have marketed almost the same number of feeder cattle this fall at the public markets. ger numbers appeared at the markets. It appears that some Increased tariffs on American pork going to both China In Alberta and Saskatchewan, the consignment numbers of the cattle feeders have short memories. So far this sea- and Mexico, two of the U.S.A.’s biggest customers have the son the backgrounders have been very cautious, remem- potential drop to pork prices. The fourth quarter is usuare up nearly 10 per cent in the same time period. Contrary to predictions, the fall run did not come bering the huge losses on last spring’s inventory. Those ally the American’s largest production quarter for pork. If early. Wet weather helped rejuvenate the pastures, and who retain ownership and finish the cattle have been the they cannot export at a competitive price, the product will harvest took priority over cattle as farmers scrambled to aggressive buyers so far. Cattle buyers often refer to the have to be used domestically, which could result in a much use every good weather day to harvest crops and bring in “November Wreck,” the second week in November. The lower price. The protein market in the U.S. would be unweather changes for the worse, and it is the third week of der pressure, which could result in lower beef prices. The hay and straw. In general, producers seem to be happy with the fall large volumes of calves on offer. If we get past the Novem- saving grace could be that China is battling a contagious ber Wreck without a drop in the calf prices, we could get swine disease that has the potential to devastate their pork through the remainder of the fall in good shape. industry. China is the largest pork producer and importer Yearling prices remained steady in the west and post- in the world. The only way to combat the disease is to deed stronger prices in Manitoba, with eastern orders push- populate. China may have to rethink their import regulaing the prices three to four cents higher on yearling steers. tions and tariffs in order to feed their people. The yearling steers are all but gone for the season. There On the local scene, if you are in the Grunthal area, are still some heifers on offer, both bred and open, with the stop in and look at the renovations at the Grunthal Auction Mart. The new ownership group along with manager Harmajority going to the feedlots. Cow deliveries have been slower than expected. In- old Unrau and auctioneer Brad Kehler, have redesigned vestors buying cows to feed until the New Year are prop- the ring, complete with a ring scale and some other maApplications are being eficially to areas far beyond ping up prices. Many investors who used to feed calves jor upgrades to the facilities. Grunthal will be hosting the sought from Manitoba beef their land, including water, as a tax shelter have switched to cows. The market is less Man/Sask Auctioneering Championship on May 4, 2019. Until next time, Rick producers for consideration wildlife and air. For nomi- volatile, and good healthy cows are much less fragile than for The Environmental nation and general informaStewardship Award (TESA). tion, please contact Since 1996, TESA has The deadline for people recognized cattle producers to submit their TESA nomiwho go above and beyond nations to MBP for local standard industry conser- consideration is Monday, vation practices and set December 3. positive examples for other Completed applicacattle producers and the tion packages can be sent to general public. info@mbbeef.ca. Indicate in At the local level, the the subjection line of your winning producer receives email: Attention: TESA Approvincial recognition for plication. their outstanding contriProducers can either butions during Manitoba nominate themselves, an• Webinars take place in the evenings so producers aren’t taken away from Beef Producers’ Annual other individual or be nomtheir daily chores. General Meeting in Febru- inated by an organization. ary. These recipients then All methods are equally en• The interactive webinars are delivered using web based video conferencing move forward as provincial couraged. software. nominees for national recComplete details and Participants can interact during the presentations, hear the presenters, and ognition from the Canadian application forms, requireCattlemen’s Association ments re: letters of support, ask questions or make comments in real time. (CCA). The national TESA etc. can be found on the Ca• Also available via app for iOS and android. recipient is announced dur- nadian Cattlemen’s Associaing the CCA semi-annual tion website at: meeting at the Canadian http://www.cattle.ca/ Beef Industry Conference in sustainability/the-environAugust. mental-stewardship-award/ Each nominee should http://www.cattle.ca/ exemplify significant in- assets/TESA/d8b10a2137/ novation and attention to a tesa-application-v7.3.pdf • Webinar may be cancelled on a given week due to a lack of registered wide range of environmenIf you require addiparticipants. tal stewardship aspects in tional information, contact • Pre-registration is required. their farm operation. Such the MBP office at 1-800innovations extend ben- 772-0458. • Contact Melissa Atchison at (204) 264-0294 or email at

TESA applications sought by Dec. 3

Verified Beef Production Plus

Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening

ALL weekly webinars will take place Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com for details.

How to register for webinars or LIVE workshop • To sign up to attend a webinar or the LIVE workshop, please contact Melissa Atchison at (204) 264-0294 or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com. • Alternate times and days can be arranged based on producer demand.

www.mbbeef.ca


10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

StockTalk Q&A Feature broughthttp://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/farm-management/production-economics/farmto you by Manitoba Agriculture software-and-worksheets.html#forage

BENJAMIN HAMM

Farm Management Specialist

Benjamin.Hamm@gov.mb.ca

Q: Feed prices are getting higher and I need to purchase some additional feed. How will I know if I’m getting the best bang for my buck? A: Proper management during periods of tight winter feed supplies is crucial for the survival and profitability of any livestock operation. This can be a very stressful period, but collecting a few local feed prices, figuring out which supplemental feed is most cost efficient, committing to the purchased feedstuff and allocating the limited bales now, will bring clarity to the management decisions you need to make. When hay supplies are low, different varieties of options for wintering the cow herd have to be considered. Straw or slough hay can be used extensively as winter feed, if energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements are met. There are a few things to consider before purchasing a feedstuff. Most purchases are made on a price per bale basis. However, this does not take into account two large variables – forage quality and bale weight. To truly compare apples to apples when considering forage purchases, you should know the average bale weight to be able to determine a cost per ton (pound, tonne, etc.). Furthermore, a feed test should be done to ensure a desired quality and to make sure there are no molds, nitrates or other potential detrimental aspects to the forage. Considering price per pound or tonne also helps compare bales to grains or bi-products. Once you know the feed quality and quantity, the next step is to balance a ration for your herd. This will pinpoint possible shortfalls in nutrition, based on your herd and stage of production. If you are in a position that needs additional supplemental energy or protein, Manitoba Agriculture has a tool called FeedPlan that calculates the economics of protein and energy per pound of dry matter (DM), to help decide the most economical supplement for your individual situation. All of our tools are designed to have users input their own values, so it’s a good idea to get the local prices of supplements. The calculator will then re-sort, based on those prices. To find Manitoba Agriculture’s FeedPlan online, visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/farm-management/production-economics/farm-software-and-

worksheets.html#forage For more information on these tools and resources, visit: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/businessand-economics/financial-management/cost-of-production.html 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 November 5, 2018. The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. Our forage and livestock team have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience, and we are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

Banquet Speaker: Former Ag. Minister Hon. Gerry Ritz

90

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Regular Registration includes banquet ticket

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40

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Meeting Only no banquet

Early Bird Special before January 7, 2019 - includes Banquet ticket

MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39). The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

40th AGM & President’s Banquet

February 7-8, 2019 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458 • info@mbbeef.ca

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November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Research combats microbe contamination BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Contamination of raw meat in packing plants – though not common – does happen, and because of the scale of production, the impact can be devastating. In the U.S. last August, Cargill recalled more than 25,000 lbs of ground beef products possibly contaminated with pathogenic E. coli, followed one month later by the recall of an additional 132,000 lbs. New research funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Beef Science Cluster addresses the ‘why?’ behind E.coli contamination events such as these. Specifically, the research team from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the University of Manitoba aim to determine if E.coli strains are becoming resistant to antimicrobial practices used in meat plants, and if so, how this is occurring and if there are new strategies capable of preventing contamination by these resistant strains. Ensuring food safety and producing safe beef products are of paramount importance to beef packing plants. Packing plants rigorously follow systematic and preventive food safety programs such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) management system, specially tailored for each facility design. HACCP is an internationally recognized approach for enhancing food safety throughout the food chain from raw material production, procurement and handling, through to consumption of the finished product. Safety procedures include the use of practices known as antimicrobial hurdles, which consist of the application of antimicrobial interventions. These interventions are extremely effective at eliminating E. coli and other pathogens. Some of the common antimicrobial practices used in commercial meat plants include pasteurization of carcasses with hot water or steam, trimming and spray-

ing carcasses with solutions of organic acids. Yet while extremely effective, these practices may preferentially select for bacteria that are able to survive and persist on equipment and preparation surfaces in spite of these sanitization interventions. University of Manitoba research component Claudia Narvaez, Assistant Professor in food microbiology and food safety researcher at the University of Manitoba, leads the ‘how’ component of the bacterial persistence portion of this research. Narvaez’s food safety research program focuses first on understanding why pathogens persist in food production systems. Using this information, she can then devise pre- and postharvest pathogen elimination strategies targeting these specific persistence mechanisms. “For instance, we know that some bacteria can form biofilms which help them survive and persist in food processing environments,” says Narvaez. She and collaborators previously looked at pathogenic E. coli biofilm development on different surfaces and the ability of E. coli to survive and transfer from these surfaces to lettuce pieces. “In our earlier work we demonstrated that Shiga toxigenic E. coli strains form biofilms that allow them to remain viable for Graduate student Matthew Wells is working with Claudia Narvaez studying protective biofilm development in E. prolonged periods, even when the biofilms had uncoli. (Photo Submitted) dergone drying.” Narvaez and graduate student Matthew Wells are mine whether E.coli originating from pre-harvest or studying the capacity of different strains and pheno- post-harvest pathways are evolving to become more types of E. coli to form biofilms, how the biofilms resistant to antimicrobial interventions, and if this reform, characteristics of the biofilm such as structure sistance is naturally occurring in the environment, or and strength, and E. coli resistance to antimicrobial arising within the beef packing plant environment. In hurdles once the biofilms are formed. studying the mechanism of this resistance, as well as “Biofilms are like a shield protecting microor- pathogen transfer pathways from equipment surfaces ganisms from their environment,” says Narvaez. “Our to meat surfaces, they will be better able to identify research will identify if this is one possible survival the need for specific antimicrobial practices at packmechanism of E. coli in meat plants.” ing plants. Finally, the team will evaluate a novel anThe overall research project for improved tibacterial surface coating technology developed in food safety Manitoba by Exigence Technologies Inc. for eliminatThe Alberta-Manitoba research team will deter- ing persistent bacteria within processing plants.

www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

Planning now for winter feeding BY BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL Across Canada dry conditions are contributing to a poor hay crop and uncertain feed grain production. Consequently, winter feed costs for cows are moving higher. Planning now for winter feeding provides an opportunity to utilize available feed resources most efficiently. Pregnancy-checking and assessing body condition of cows can help you make the best use of available feed to maintain your herd’s reproductive momentum. Reproductive Momentum Reproductive efficiency is a key aspect to cowcalf profitability. Higher reproductive efficiency means fewer cows are maintained to produce the same amount of beef. Conversely, low reproductive efficiency increases the number of replacement heifers needed to maintain or expand the herd and subsequently increases the per unit cost of raising replacement heifers. Establishing and maintaining breeding momentum is important. Once a cow is bred in the first part

of the breeding season, she has a greater likelihood of staying bred early in the years to follow. Cows that are bred early will birth calves that have greater potential to gain, resulting in a uniform calf crop and improved profitability. For example, a calf born in the first cycle compared to one born twenty-one days later will have the potential to gain an extra 52.5 lb (i.e. 2.5lb/day) more than its later counterpart. This can result in additional revenue of $100 per calf. Cows return to estrus approximately 50-60 days after calving, yet it takes first-calf heifers between 80-100 days to return to estrus. This means heifers need to be calving in the first part of the calving season so they are capable of rebreeding early the following year. Ensuring replacement heifers are cycling by 12 months of age and bred 30-42 days before cows will help them to establish positive breeding momentum and ensure greater herd profitability. Nutrition is the most important factor in cow fertility. Cows that have a low

body condition score and/ or lose condition after calving return to estrus more slowly and are much less likely to become pregnant than cows in ideal condition. A balanced ration that is sufficient in energy is key to maintaining body condition. Maintaining condition is easier than adding it. Pregnancy-Checking When feed costs are high, no one wants to feed an open cow. By removing open or even late cows from the herd, valuable feed resources can be allocated to productive cows. Pregchecking early will help tighten up your calving season by cutting off late-bred cows (or you could pull bulls early and shorten next year’s calving season). Reproductive efficiency is not the only reason to consider culling. When winter feed costs are high, it can be a good opportunity to cull for temperament, feet, legs, udders, calving issues, low productivity, etc. Removing the bottom end of performance is one of the fastest ways to improve the herd. Although preg-checking costs money ($3-8/ head), remember to con-

sider the value this one practice can have on other areas of the cow-calf operation. The overall cost of preg-checking the herd is likely less than it will cost to feed an open cow throughout the winter. The BCRC’s Economics of Pregnancy Testing Calculator will help you decide each year. Higher feed costs are expected to impact all types

if feed costs increase further going into the fall, that the benefits from preg-checking and culling all open cows in October (rather than selling in March) increase (compared to Scenario No. 1) regardless of the winter-feeding system used. To take advantage of the labour available when running these cows

of winter-feeding systems – whether directly through higher purchase price or indirectly through the opportunity cost of lower yields. The chart provides two scenarios for the 2018/19 winter. • In Scenario No. 1, barley and hay costs are up 29 per cent and 18 per cent from last year (based on August 2018 prices versus August 2017). • In Scenario No. 2, barley and hay prices are up 40 per cent and 23 per cent from last year (based on year to date average price versus the same period last year). The higher feed prices in Scenario No. 2 show that

through the chute, consider completing a few more tasks (vaccinations, parasite control, body condition scoring) that will make the winter go smoother. Keeping cows in ideal condition to protect reproductive momentum While those cows are in the chute for preg-checking, it is a good time access their fat cover to sort for winter feeding groups. This allows cows to be supplemented through the winter according to their needs. There is no need to feed the entire herd an expensive ration, when only some cows need it. There are generally two groups of cows to consider when going into the winter. Group 1: Those who may need some additional

help to get through the winter without losing body condition. This includes (1) the older, thin cows and (2) the first calf heifers which are typically the toughest to get rebred. The cost of open three-year-olds can have a substantial impact on the bottom line. Group 2: The rest of the mature cows. The recently updated interactive productivity and profitability tool based on cows’ body condition shows that cows with an idea body condition score of 3.0 (on a scale of 1-5) high higher pregnancy rates and rebreed up to 30 days sooner than thin cows. Shorting cows on groceries will have negative future implications on fertility and increase the risk of dystocia or difficult birth (according to the Western Canadian CowCalf Surveillance Network). According to John Paterson, Montana State University Extension beef specialist, it’s best to “balance rations to be ‘bestcost’ rations realizing that they may not be least-cost rations.” Least cost rations over the short term can in the long-term cost more if they require additional feed to rebuild lost body condition and cow fertility. Taking the time to weigh a group of cows using a scale can help refine rations. Underestimating cow weight by 200 lbs can take a toll on body condition by the end of the winter. Feed testing is another way to ensure resources are utilized effectively. Page 13 

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November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Doing nothing not an option DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

The Animal Health section of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle reviews how health and welfare are maintained by the prevention and prompt treatment of illness, injury and disease. Beef cattle production has been largely spared from the negative press that the swine, dairy and poultry industries have received in large part due to the fact that beef herds enjoy a more “natural” existence as cattle are out grazing and relatively unconfined. However, this relative isolation also means that cattle are not observed as frequently and if disease develops and is not treated in a timely manner, a favorable outcome becomes less likely. Each fall veterinarians deal with these animals as salvage is at-

tempted. In the vast majority of cases, producers genuinely feel badly and comment that they had been searching for that animal for several weeks. Sometimes, however, the comment is that it is unfortunate that they had to wait until round-up to get the animal caught. This is an animal welfare issue and it is inexcusable − especially with the availability of various remote drug delivery tools and portable chute and corral systems for the non-cowboy types. Doing nothing is also in contravention of the Code which states, as a requirement, that one should “provide appropriate care, convalescence or treatment for sick, injured or lame cattle without delay”. Let’s talk about a case example − cancer eye in an older cow. Cancer eye is becoming more com-

mon due to increasing exposure to UV radiation. Once almost exclusively a disease of white-faced cattle, ocular squamous cell carcinoma can even be seen in solid-colored cattle including Black Angus. Unfortunately the condition is often misdiagnosed as pinkeye if seen on summer pasture. Discuss with your veterinarian about how to distinguish between the two. Cancer eye is becoming more aggressive with cases worsening over shorter periods of time. A good preventative program is to assess both eyes on every mature animal (both bulls and cows) on the farm twice a year − during pregnancy testing (or at pasture takeout) and at calving or during semen evaluation. Early detection gives you options: cryosurgery (“freezing” with liquid nitrogen), surgery (eye or third eyelid removal), or culling. Delays of even a few months can eliminate those op-

tions, including salvage slaughter. In this case, early detection and treatment saves hundreds of dollars. Another more common example is the treatment of lameness in cattle on pasture. As I discussed in a previous column, simple foot rot always responds to antibiotic treatment. If a cow does not respond within two days or recovers then later relapses, the animal needs a veterinary examination. Toe abscesses, heel bulb ulcers, hairy heel wart and sand cracks can all be successfully treated with hoof trimming and topical treatment. Multiple injections of long-acting tetracyclines are not good enough in these cases. Delays in treatment can result in infections that later involve the joint or progress up the tendon sheath. Claw amputations or humane euthanasia become the only options and again result in significant decreased animal

value. Chronic, severe or debilitating pain and distress with resultant weight loss and emaciation is an animal welfare issue that is easily preventable. Doing nothing after December 1, 2018 if a producer does not have an ongoing working relationship (veterinarianclient-patient relationship, or VCPR) with a veterinarian will also be in contravention of the Code. (Note: December 1 is when all Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIAs) for veterinary use will be sold by prescription only.) Doing nothing cannot be tolerated as a protest against the new federal regulations or your veterinarian. As a livestock producer, it is your mandate and responsibility to look after your cattle. Kindly remember that the veterinary staff are people too and, like you, did not make up the new rules and regulations. Bear in mind that veterinary practice is much

more than the sale of antimicrobials. In fact, producers who use fewer antibiotics are more profitable. If you are not currently working with a veterinarian or you only seek veterinary services during a crisis, talk with your vet about preventative programs to minimize health issues, optimize animal welfare and improve profitability. Your vet is able to review your operation and help make suggestions for changes in management including nutrition, facilities and preventive health programs like vaccinations and regular inspections. Your medication needs will also be reviewed so that you have the basic “first aid” kit in place for treatment of common cattle ailments. December 1 need not be the beginning of the end for access to necessary life-saving antibiotics. Make the VCPR a positive for everyone including our livestock and society.

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• Realizing all the Hidden Benefits to Pregnancy Diagnosis https://www.producer.com/2016/10/realizing-the-hidden-benefits-of-pregnancy-diagnosis/ • Sorting Cows for more efficient winter supplemental feeding. http://oces. okstate.edu/pittsburg/agriculture/aghorticulture-newspaper-articles/Sorting%20Cows%20for%20More%20Efficient%20Winter%20Supplemental%20

Thurs Nov. 1

Thurs., Feb6 1 Tues Nov.

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for-drought/?mo dule=undercarousel&pgtype=homepage&i= Economics of Preg-Checking http:// www.canfax.ca/samples/Preg%20 Checking%20April%202017.pdf Importance of Pregnancy Detection in a Dry Year https://www.drovers.com/article/importance-pregnancy-detectiondry-year Jason Smith, University Of Tennessee. Now is the Time to Evaluate Body Condition https://www.drovers.com/article/ now-time-evaluate-body-condition Managing Beef Cow Supplementation Costs https://aglifesciences.tamu.edu/ animalscience/wp-content/uploads/ sites/14/2016/01/Managing-Beef-CowSupplementation-Costs.pdf

Thurs., Feb138 Tues Nov.

Tues.,Nov. Feb 13 Thurs 15

Thurs., Feb 15

Tues Nov. 20

Feeding%2010-10-14.pdf Decision Making Tools • Body Condition Scoring http://www. beefresearch.ca/research/body-condition-scoring.cfm#tool • Preg-Checking http://www.beefresearch.ca/economicmodel/pregnancydetection.cfm?type=simple#part-a For more information, refer to: www.BeefResearch.ca

Butcher Sale

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Bred Calf Cow Sale Sale Presort

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Tues Nov. CalfSale Sale Thurs., Feb2722 Presort Butcher

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Tues.,Nov. Feb 20 Thurs 22

Thurs 29 Tues.,Nov. Feb 27 Fri., Mar 2

DECEMBER MARCH

Learn More 10 Tips for More Cost-Effective Winter Rations https://www.beefmagazine. com/cowcalfweekly/cost-effective-cattle-winter-rations Alberta Agriculture & Forestry. Body Condition Scoring Your Cow Herd. http://www1.agric.gov. ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/ beef8822 Cull or Keep Factors to Consider when culling cows https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/2017/10/17/cull-or-keep-factors-to-consider-when-culling-cows/ Culling cattle for drought https:// w w w. c a n a d i a n c a t t l e m e n . ca/2018/08/21/culling-cattle-

2018 Fall Sale 2018 Winter SaleSchedule Schedule

 Page 12

Tues Dec. Tues., Mar46

Tues Dec. Tues., Mar11 13

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

Aquanty valuable decision support tool BY DUNCAN MORRISON The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association’s (MFGA) Aquanty Project – considered to be among the most exciting and leadingedge land use and water management decision support tools ever developed for the Assiniboine River Basin (ARB) – sailed into completion right on schedule at the end of March 2018. However, for MFGA, the incredible excitement around the project is just now ramping up. MFGA will retain the licence rights for user groups to access and engage the cutting-edge HydroGeoSphere model. To get the model in front of as many people as possible, MFGA has worked closely with software developer Aquanty, technology icon ISM Can-

ada (a company of IBM) and the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District (UARCD) to create a public access portal for people to check out the GIS-based platform of model outputs online free of charge for a limited time at mfgaaquanty.ismcanada.com The portal is the exclamation point on Phase 1 of the Aquanty project and follows up on the guidance of the project’s steering committee co-chaired by Henry Nelson for MFGA and Dr. Allan Preston of Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI). It included reps from Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Conservation Districts Association, UARCD, Brandon University, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Assiniboine Community

College, Town of Virden, City of Minot, three Manitoba government departments: Agriculture, Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, ISM, and Aquanty. Virden’s Darren Chapman, MFGA Chair, says that the ISM-designed public access will help people to better understand how grasslands and forages can be used for planning and resiliency under both flood and drought conditions. The model utilizes historic data and weather events in 2011 and 2014 in its multilayered outputs. Chapman says that individual producers that live in the ARB are welcome to check out the portal for interest and basic planning. However, he says, the greatest good is over greatest land base. And he hopes the portal draws the interest of specialists

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such as hydrologists, land managers and planners in government, municipal and NGO ranks. “The greatest potential of the model will be when multiple stakeholder groups come together to use the model as a common-interest tool to help plan resiliency into the landscape,” says Chapman. “When it is utilized by a greater number of interests over larger areas of land, the greatest aggregate good can be accumulated.” It all came to be after MFGA was approached in 2015 by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) AgriRisk Initiatives to consider being the proponent of an Aquanty HydroGeoSphere model to be developed in the Assiniboine River Basin that would look specifically at the role of forages and grasslands in times of flood or drought. MFGA accepted the challenge to coordinate and work alongside Dr. Steve Frey from Aquanty Inc. and the ISM Canada team toward the model’s three key objectives: (1) to develop the model, (2) to develop a customized, userfriendly web-based interface to allow stakeholders to access the model, and (3) to look at the role of forages and grasslands in time of flood or drought in the Assiniboine River Basin. The MFGA Aquanty Project focuses on water movement and land use across the ARB’s three major subbasins: the Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris, as

Annual General Meeting December 8, 2018 at the Keystone Centre Details posted

online at www.mbsimmental.com OUR FALL EVENTS ARE : Nov. 15

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Dec. 9

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well as a more detailed drilldown on the Birdtail watershed located in the upper reaches of the Assiniboine sub-basin. “When you understand our people, you can easily understand why MFGA is tremendously thrilled and privileged to have this opportunity with the MFGA Aquanty Project,” says Dave Koslowsky, MFGA past chair. “MFGA is very appreciative of the support of primary funders AAFC’s AgriRisk Initiatives, and Manitoba Agriculture for their awesome support, as well as our partners on our project management team and steering committee.” MFGA also recently applied for Phase 2 funding to propel the model into the next phases via AAFC’s AgriRisk Initiatives. According to Koslowsky, MFGA, MBP and other livestock producers and supporters are the backbone of grass-based farms across the province. And, he says, these kinds of producers are found throughout the ARB in Saskatchewan and North Dakota as well. For a model that seeks solutions from grass and water, having grass and water champions onboard is a great first step. “Many producers face critical decisions on their land about their land and farm operations on a regular basis,” says Koslowsky, who farms near Killarney with wife Rhonda. “Things like herd decisions, crop rotations, buy, sell or lease land discussions that include water management factors and challenges that are accelerated during times of intense weather by flood or drought.” While the benefits of grass come naturally to most grass and beef pro-

ducers on their own farm decision matrix, the simple fact is growing more grass for greater advantage is not often the first thought for many agricultural producers to stymie flood and drought impacts. Chapman, MFGA’s chair who runs a grain, hay and cattle operation with farm partners Parry and Rob Chapman and Jeff Elliott near Virden, considers the MFGA Aquanty Project as a great chance to share with the larger community and land managers alike to help reshuffle the deck a bit when thinking about those areas. In the biggest and boldest scenarios, say the MFGA leaders, there will be more work and data required. There will be some situations where the model will need to be refreshed with data to provide new scenarios and answers to posed questions, much like the UARCD led in the Birdtail River Watershed drill-down for the greater good of their own conservation district including the Town of Virden that is showcased as key elements of the online portal. “We will work closely with interested user groups, Aquanty and ISM to develop those scenarios,” says Koslowsky. “As we head into the next Canadian Agricultural Partnership and with other declared government focuses on Green Infrastructure and our own province’s Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan and the conservation synergies with grass, beef and water, as well as the declared want to grow the province’s beef herd, we are entering super exciting times with a super exciting model as a decision-support tool on all those fronts.”

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November 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

A look at Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives winter water projects Providing fresh water for cows in winter has always been a challenge in Manitoba, but new technology has made it possible in ways not imagined 20 years ago. At Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives’ (MBFI) Brookdale Farm two different models of remote winter waterers are being tested that work without electricity to warm the water. The first model, installed first in 2015, is a solar powered motion detector pump-up system. Upon a cow arriving at the station, an electronic motion detector senses the cow’s motion and starts the pump to bring water up from a below ground reservoir to a drinking water basket. When the cow departs, the water is allowed to drain back through the pump vanes to be stored below ground once again. Because the water runs back, there is no water above the surface to freeze. This system has been working very well at MBFI and for numerous producers across western Canada. The waterer will work in virtually any weather as long as the system has adequate battery power, and

water coming in from a nearby dugout or pressurized water line system. The secret to the success of this system is to have the water stored well below line in a cribbing or vertical culvert where geothermal warmth keeps the water warm, and an additional precaution is added by a buried layer of insulation surrounding the well cribbing to keep the frost from going down to the water’s surface. Cows quickly learn to use this waterer, and icing issues have been minimal. The largest challenge is to keep the bowl free of hay and straw buildup which can plug the drain/fill hose. This system is best suited to locations where water can fill the cribbing via an underground line from either a dugout or deep burial pressure line. The second model installed in the fall of 2017 at Brookdale Farm is a Thermosink energy free waterer. This model is a factory built plastic waterer which warms water from geothermal heat and latent warmth in the incoming water. The actual waterer is over eight feet tall but buried six feet into the ground.

The cattle drink out of the top of the column of water which is eight feet deep. A layer of styrofoam insulation is buried one foot below grade to form a barrier to the frost moving downward. Geothermal warmth below the styrofoam maintains the supply line and the bottom of the waterer to temperatures above the freezing point. When cows access the water throughout the day, the water basket remains free of ice because of the new warmer fresh water arriving from the pressurized supply line. In periods of time when cows choose to not go up for water a layer of ice can form, but once removed the traffic of cows drinking will keep it open for the remainder of the day. This waterer works best for groups larger than 100 cows, as the warm water recharge is greater, and length of time without cattle drinking is fairly short. In periods of blizzard and extreme cold the surface ice will need to be removed daily, and generally stays ice free for the remainder of the day. This system works best with deep burial (greater than eight feet)

of pressurized fresh water lines. The use of grid electricity-free watering systems is changing many farms in positive ways. Producers can expand their herds without being limited to pre-existing watering sites and costly expansion of corrals and holding areas. Producers can keep cattle further from the home yard

Above: MBFI Brookdale Motion Detector-Pump Up Solar Waterer

or electricity sources, opening new areas for winter feeding using either geothermal or solar powered options. Increased options for manure to be distributed more extensively results in better fertility utilization and better forage growth in future years. For a closer look at either of these waterers and other winter feeding sys-

tems MBFI is planning a winter feeding and watering tour at Brookdale MBFI for Dec 5th 2018. For more details on this tour please visit MBFI.ca. For general information on modern winter watering systems for beef cattle please contact Raymond Bittner, Livestock Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture at Ray. bittner@gov.mb.ca .

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2018

MBP District 11 rep Metner sees mentoring young producers as key BY ANGELA LOVELL Robert Metner is beginning his second term as a director with the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), representing District 11 which includes the municipalities of Grahamdale, West Interlake, Coldwell and St. Laurent. Metner operates a 300-head cow/ calf and yearling ranch with his brother, Glen and nephew, Aaron about nine miles northwest of Ashern with approximately 37 quarters of pastures that are a combination of owned and Crown Lands. He has been involved in the beef industry on and off for over 40 years, and when he was nominated to represent District 11 he decided it was time to step up, especially as there are some issues that affect a lot of producers in his area, notably the proposed Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba outlet channels and wildlife predation. Although he’s still active on the ranch, he has been easing into retirement the last couple of years, which means he has more time to attend meetings and keep up with the paperwork and duties that being a busy MBP director entails. Metner is Chair of the Crown Lands committee, and also serves on the Governance, Production Management and Annual General Meeting Nominations/Resolutions committees.

An interest in marketing One thing that has surprised him over the past year has been the wide scope of issues that MBP deals with on a regular basis, and he’s impressed by the work of Canada Beef and the progress being made on marketing beef in the face of changing consumer trends and expectations and tough trade negotiations. “I am interested in what’s happening in marketing, because it’s the end result of what we’re doing, we have to have a market for what we produce” he says. “I think in the future it’s going to be a harder sell for beef because a lot of people don’t realise that there’s a lot of work involved especially in following the rules and regulations.” That’s why Metner is always open to having visitors tour his farm. He’s a big fan of Open Farm Day and Agriculture in the Classroom, which he says are great opportunities to help educate people about beef production. “I enjoy showing people who come to my place what’s involved because most people don’t realize all the work you have to do if you want to have a good business,” he says. “I’m really conscientious about my animals and it’s good that they get a chance to understand what’s happening because then they can understand what we’re going through.”

Metner is adamant that something has to be done about predators such as wolves and coyotes in his district because so many producers are losing animals to predation, which takes a big bite out of their bottom line. Metner himself lost 24 calves and two cows last year, and knows of other producers who lost similar numbers of animals. Although he is sometimes frustrated by how slowly things are moving on the issue he admits that, since serving as a director, he better understands the need to look at all the different perspectives, including First Nations and conservation concerns. “With the predator situation we’ve got really no response from the government so far, but I know there are a lot of sides to consider and other points of view and we all have to try and balance off the different interests,” he says. One of the things he’s had to learn over his career is patience, and his advice to young producers coming into the business is to not expect fast results in their business. Helping young producers “You’ve got to be prepared to have a lot of patience because you don’t see results immediately, it takes time,” he says. “There’s a lot involved from growing grass to selling meat, there’s a lot in-between. You’ve got different soils; different places and you have different problems.”

Metner says it’s important for older producers to act as mentors for young people coming into the industry and help them learn, but also give them space to grow and try out new ideas. “Some of the older producers get stuck in their ways and sometimes young people can teach their parents, and sometimes young people can learn a lot about why things are done the way they have been done,” he says. Metner believes that going forward, beef producers will have an important role to play in sequestering carbon on their grasslands and that society will eventually recognize their role in helping to mitigate climate change. “My aim is to preserve the land as it is, and I think even conservationists are realising that you have got to have cattle on the land to keep the land going,” says Metner. “A cow can pasture among the trees, graze the grass and fertilize the land at the same time, and the carbon stays where it is, in the ground.” Metner loves to work with metal. He custom welds and says he’s fixed a lot of machinery in his time. And even though he’s seen a lot of the world, travelled to Europe and worked in British Columbia for a few winters, his biggest enjoyment is still driving amongst the cattle on his own ranch.

40th AGM & President’s Banquet February 7 - 8, 2019 | 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

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• Must be purchased by January 7, 2019 at 4 p.m.

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• Non-refundable.

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MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 7 Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 7, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40

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• The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

PHONE: ______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 7, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

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MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 40TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

DECEMBER 2018

Fall district meetings over, 40th AGM not far off More than 500 people turned out for Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) 2018 fall district meetings which wrapped up November 15 in Oak Lake. “The meetings are a key opportunity for MBP directors and staff to provide an update on the types of issues on which the organization has been advocating on the industry’s behalf over the past year,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “We also talked about other ways that producers’ checkoff dollars are being used, such as investments in research, and communications activities.” Lemon said while the mood in the industry is generally positive, some familiar issues such as predation continue to cause concerns and MBP gave producers an update on its work in this area. Lemon noted that MBP continues to cochair the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group (LPPWG), which includes representatives from Sustainable Development, Manitoba Agriculture, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Manitoba Trappers Association and the Manitoba Sheep Association. The group has submitted

a report to provincial and federal ministers and officials that made a number of recommendations related to on-farm responses, building local capacity, improving support frameworks, and enhancing knowledge. “MBP has just received approval through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for the design and development of a pilot project that will consider on-farm risk assessments and other predator management strategies and we will be working with the LPPWG on this,” Lemon added. “We are also pursuing a joint meeting with the Manitoba’s Ministers of Agriculture and Sustainable Development Minister to again drive home the urgent need for action on this critical file.” Another top of mind issue at this fall’s district meetings are the changes the provincial government is making with respect to agricultural Crown lands (ACL), including the move to an auction system for ACL leases. “The change to the Crown Lands Act to allow an auction is positive and will lead to better utilization of the ACLs. MBP believes the auction process will allow market demand to determine the prices for ACL leases, and will lead

to producers ensuring they make the most effective use of the lands,” said Lemon. “We will continue to engage with the province about how the auction system will work, as well as on other ACL matters, such as unit transfers, and informed access.” This year’s district meetings also featured presentations by Dr. Allan Preston and Dr. Wayne Tomlinson, two veterinarians who had previously worked for the provincial government. They discussed the need for producers to have a valid client patient relationship (VCPR) with a veterinarian as of December 1 in order to be able to secure virtually any livestock antibiotic that is deemed to Beef producers packed the Disrict 9 meeting in Stonewall. (Photo by Keith Borkowsky) be medically important. For example, prescrip- their VCPR is in place.” including losses caused courage producers to tions will be needed to buy Producers attend- by pigs and blackbirds. come out to the AGM to common products such as ing the district meetings Other resolutions asked hear the speakers, to depenicillin or tetracycline. passed 16 resolutions, for changes to coverage bate the resolutions, to “We were pleased covering off a number of to ensure that baled hay network with your felto have these two speak- different topics, including that remains on fields for low producers and other ers – who also raise cattle the changes to agricul- use as part of an extended value chain members, themselves, provide pro- tural Crown lands poli- feeding regime becomes and to celebrate 40 years ducers with an update cies, Manitoba Hydro line eligible for compensation of MBP working on beabout how Health Canada maintenance practices, related to wildlife damage. half of Manitoba’s cattle has mandated that the and carbon sequestration. The complete list industry,” added Lemon. new prescription practices As well, several reso- of resolutions carried at “We’ve got some really will start next month and lutions focused on the the district meetings and engaging speakers lined how it will affect produc- desire for changes to the which will be debated at up, including former feders’ operations,” said Lem- Wildlife Damage Com- MBP’s 40th Annual Gen- eral agriculture minister on. “We wanted to ensure pensation Program for eral Meeting at the Vic- Gerry Ritz who will be the that our members are in- Crop Damage to list more toria Inn in Brandon on guest speaker at the banformed and that they are species for which com- February 7 is on Page 8. quet. It should be a very taking steps to ensure that pensation would be paid, “We strongly en- informative event."

CANADIAN CATTLEMEN'S ASSOCIATION TO W N H A L L December 5, 2018, 4 - 9 p.m. | Morris Multi-plex | Morris, MB

Go to www.eventbrite.ca and search for Canadian Cattlemens' Association or visit:

Cocktails - 4-5 p.m. | Complimentary Dinner - 5:00-6 p.m. | Program - 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

www.eventbrite.ca/e/canadian-cattlemens-association-town-hall-morris-mb-tickets-51563196910

President's column

Meet Rob Kerda

Markets with Rick Wright

Page 5

Page 9

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.

Staff will present on topics such as: Foreign Trade, Environment, Domestic Ag, Policy, Youth Programs, Market Updates and more!


2

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

Sustainable beef pilot rewards producers’ good practices BY ANGELA LOVELL Canadian beef producers have produced slightly more than one million pounds of certified sustainable beef in the third quarter of Cargill’s Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot Project (CBSA). That’s almost double the 550,000 pounds produced in the first quarter of the project, which began last fall. After the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) finalized a sustainable beef verification framework last December, a few value chain companies launched the CBSA pilot to figure out how to put that framework into practice across the Canadian beef supply chain. Currently, the pilot pays per-head credits to cattle producers for qualifying cattle, which vary each quarter based on the number of qualifying animals, cattle weights and beef demand from participating retailers and foodservice operators. Quarterly pilot project credit payments to date have ranged between $10/head to $20.11/head. For cattle to be eligible for credits they must originate from farms or ranches that have been audited through either the Verified Beef Production Plus Program (VBP+) or Where Food Comes. They then have to pass through backgrounders or feedlots that are also audited by one of these two programs and end up at the Cargill packing facility at High River, Alta. Easy for VBP producers to participate Many beef producers supplying verified sustainable beef to the pilot project were alDISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

ready participating in the Verified Beef Production Program (VBP) and only needed to add a few more steps to upgrade to VBP+, making their animals eligible for the Cargill pilot. “The first step was to have the VBP Program recognized by the CRSB as meeting their requirements for verified sustainable beef,” says Betty Green, Manitoba provincial coordinator of Manitoba VBP+. “We underwent that process of having our program recognized both in terms of the training and the assurance model, the auditing and the ongoing review of producers, so that’s been achieved. That was significant because retailers were asking for verified sustainable beef and we were able to move our program to meet those needs.” In response to the new demands of the CRSB framework and the Cargill pilot, VBP added three new modules relating to biosecurity, animal care and environment. After taking some training and demonstrating proficiency in the new components through a self-assessment, producers can submit a new enrollment form to transition from VBP to VBP+. Once this process is completed, they are eligible, as VBP+ certified operations, for the Cargill pilot. Learning from the pilot The CBSA pilot project is designed to help everyone involved learn what works and what changes are needed through the supply chain to achieve the goal of getting a consistent supply of verified sustainable beef into the hands of consumers that are demanding it. “You don’t iden-

tify errors or gaps until you put it into practice,” says Emily Murray, Cargill General Manager of McDonald’s Beef, who adds one of the things they have realized is the importance of accurate data. Cargill uses the BIXS system to track and trace cattle in the system, so it’s essential that producers, once audited, register with BIXS or another herd management system that is compatible with it. “Often when there’s question about whether cattle should have qualified, it’s an entry error,” says Murray. “Numbers can be transposed or the premise ID is different because a lot of operations are multi-operation farms and may have different premise IDs and things like that. Cleaning up the data takes a little bit of time, so we are looking at ways to make it easier for a producer to track the cattle and enter them into the system.” For most producers the process is seamless, as long as they remember that they have to activate their RFID tags by age verifying through the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s Canadian Livestock Tracking System database or on the BIXS site. “Once that happens and as long as they’re enrolled in BIXS then it’s seamless. Those databases talk to one another and can do what is required to recognize the animal as coming from a verified cattle operation,” says Green. A few tweaks needed There is also discussion about how the financial incentives might work in the future. “What we’re looking at going forward is does the posthumous credit make sense or does it make more sense to de-

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

velop a real-time premium in the marketplace, so when the cattle are purchased, the producer can get that premium at that time,” says Murray. “Even to consider that as an option, we’re going to need to have real-time availability of information about the eligibility of the cattle.” Producers are also learning from the pilot. “Producers are recognizing as never before how complex our systems can be,” says Green. “Cattle can take quite a trip through the value chain, sometimes stopping at backgrounders, feedlots and auction marts, then on to the processors, so it’s not a direct line. A lot of producers feel they don’t have knowledge about where those animals are going. One thing that’s happening is producers are looking for ways to connect the dots in the value chain. They would like to be able to market their animals to those individuals who have the same interests as they do and that’s being part of the VBP+.” Some auction marts have started announcing sale days when VBP+ cattle will be available, and the VBP national website is also publishing the names of cow/calf producers and feedlots who are VBP+ certified if they wish to do so. “It’s one way of helping members of the value chain know who else is involved and allowing producers to identify their animals that are going to be marketed at auction marts,” says Green. From the feedlot industry perspective, being able to verify beef as sustainable all through the chain provides credibility and validates the protocols Page 4 

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

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

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

DISTRICT 10

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

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

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, 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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

DISTRICT 4

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

TOM TEICHROEB - PRESIDENT

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

MIKE DUGUID

ROBERT METNER

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

DISTRICT 12

KRIS KRISTJANSON - 2

ND

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

www.mbbeef.ca

Verified Beef producers not in it for the cheque Beef producers involved in the Cargill pilot say it’s not the financial incentives that attracted them to the program, although as producer Paul Humeny says, about receiving a cheque from the pilot, ‘It’s nice to know that your work is being appreciated and recognized’. For most producers, many of whom have been with the Verified Beef Program (VBP) for many years, it’s a chance to reassure consumers that they are producing high quality beef and are concerned about the welfare of their animals, the environment and the sustainability of the beef industry. Clayton and Shauna Breault, who have a cow/calf and back grounding operation near Ste. Rose, say the value of the program for them is “getting across to the consumer that we are raising safe, sustainable food. There are a lot of myths out there that aren’t true so this program helps to dispel some of that.” Getting the message out about the good work that beef producers do is something that they need to get better at, says Humeny, who calves just over 100 cows on his ranch between Arborg and Fisher Branch. “Consumers want to know where their food is coming from, who is producing it and how it’s being produced,” he says. “I think this program is a bit of a wake-up call that we have to be on our toes and do the best that we can. Beef producers do a very good job of producing beef, but we just don’t get that message out, so that’s the area we need to improve upon.” Another important aspect of the VBP+ program is that it’s producer-driven, says Blair and Lois McRae of MarMac Farms near Brandon. “It’s not government forcing us to do this, it’s producer driven and we are trying to be proactive and ahead of the curve [of consumer demand],” says Blair. As purebred producers – raising Red Angus, Black Angus and Simmental – not too many of the McRaes’ cattle under 40 months of age end up at the packing house, so their reasons for getting involved in VBP+ and the Cargill pilot was partly to pass on the benefits of VBP to their customers. “It allows us to explain [the program] to some of the customers that buy bulls from us and hopefully get them involved,” says Blair. “If we could help some other commercial producers become involved because we were it might hopefully get them some cheques. Once this [verified sustainable beef ] program gets rolling there will be value in that down the road.”

DISTRICT 14

DISTRICT 13 BEN FOX

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

JADE DELAURIER

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

BEEF PRODUCTION SPECIALIST

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Keith Borkowsky

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FINANCE

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OFFICE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Brian Lemon

Keith Borkowsky

Deb Walger Tanya Michalsky

POLICY ANALYST

DESIGNED BY

Maureen Cousins

Trinda Jocelyn


December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Certified beef supply chain is key to making CETA work BY RON FRIESEN Three new international trade agreements are promising either a significant boost to Canada’s beef exports or at least business as usual. But in one case, there’s a catch. The recently negotiated United States-MexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) assures Canadian beef and live cattle will continue to enjoy unlimited dutyfree access to the U.S. market. The 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), currently being ratified by Canada and other countries, promises to slash import tariffs and open up new beef export opportunities to Asia. It’s the third agreement – the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed on October 30, 2016 – that’s more problematic. USMCA and CPTPP do not require special production methods on how cattle are raised. But CETA does. And that affects Canadian beef producers directly. The EU does not allow cattle to be raised with growth enhancing products (GEPs). Those include hormone implants, beta-agonists (such as ractopamine), and melengestrol acetate or MGA (another feed additive). That means Canadian beef sold to Europe cannot be raised using any of these substances because of the EU’s zero tolerance policy. As a result, cattle producers and feedlot operators must meet specific production requirements to produce beef for the EU. The industry has developed a special program for it: the Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for Export of Beef to the EU. It involves setting up a separate supply chain of cow-calf producers, auction marts, feedlots and packing plants dedicated to producing non-GEP beef for Europe. It’s true the market is attractive. CETA, when fully implemented, will allow Canada to ship 50,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef duty-free annually to a market that, up to now, has been historically difficult to crack. Europe is a high-end market and producers can expect premiums for beef sold there. But not being able to use hormone implants and certain feed additives will slow the growth of animals and make them more expensive to finish. Also, when feed is expensive, it takes longer and costs more to feed an animal to slaughter weight without those substances. The question is whether the higher return is worth the extra cost. John Masswohl, director of government and international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), believes it is. “I believe there is money to be made for those producers,” says Masswohl. “And I would like more producers to say, I’d like to be enrolled.” To get enrolled, a producer must first engage a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approved veterinarian to oversee the program on his or her farm. Right now that’s a problem for Manitoba producers. So far, nearly all of the 30-odd vets on CFIA’s approved veterinarian list are from Alberta. None is from Manitoba. That may change as the CFIA expands its list. In

the meantime, the CCA suggests producers without a CFIA-approved vet ask their own local vet to obtain the necessary training from CFIA to become certified. Once the vet has visited the farm in person and filled out a certificate of compliance saying the producer is qualified to be part of the official EU supply chain, raising cattle specifically for that market can begin. The simplest approach is for producers to dedicate their entire herds to the program. That’s relatively easy if you’re a small cow-calf producer with a limited number of animals. “That’s as simple as it gets,” says Mark Klassen, CCA’s director of technical services. “If you’re a cowcalf operation with no GEPs, you’re quite a way down the road already. You just need to get your paperwork.” Where it gets tricky is if you’re a large producer or feedlot. It may not be practical for you to dedicate your entire herd to the program. This means you will have to segregate animals and equipment to avoid crosscontamination of GEPs with non-GEPs. That means having a separate feed truck and maintaining separate facilities (e.g. feed bunks). Segregation plans must also meet the vet’s approval. This is where raising non-GEP beef for Europe starts to get expensive. But Masswohl says careful segregation is critical because the Europeans are testing imported beef at their end with sensitive equipment capable of measuring parts per billion. “If you are a larger operation and you use some hormone implants or beta-agonists, you want to be extremely careful. You cannot make a mistake. Because if you make a mistake, it won’t just be you who pays the penalty. It’ll be everybody.” So far, participation in the program is relatively small. Klassen says the latest figures, now more than a year old, show 72,212 cows and calves on 64 feedlots, backgrounders and cow-calf operations in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia are enrolled in the program. According to Statistics Canada, export volumes to Europe during the first six months of 2018 were roughly 370 tonnes, up 15 per cent from the same period in 2017. The value was $6 million − a 21 per cent increase. That’s nowhere near the 50,000 tonnes the pro-

gram allows. But Masswohl says interest among producers is growing. “I have talked to producers in Manitoba and other places who say they want to be in this program. They know there’s money to be made but they don’t have a vet to get them enrolled.” Another issue is finding a slaughter plant willing to accept non-GEP animals and to pay a premium for them. Currently, there are seven such plants registered, none in Manitoba. One problem is that the EU does not accept some food safety interventions − such as organic acid washes to reduce bacterial pathogens on carcasses − which are common in beef plants here. But they can’t use them on EU beef shipments. Despite all that, True North Foods, a federallyinspected plant in Carman, is working toward EU certification and hopes to ship product to Europe at some point. Owner Calvin Vaags says market potential will determine the success of the program. “You have to establish the market at the other end, figure out the economics of the whole thing, figure out how much room you’ve got to pay for an animal and build your economic model from that,” says Vaags. Meanwhile, hopes are high for increased beef shipments to Asia once governments finish ratifying the CPTPP agreement and import tariffs start to fall. A benefit to Canada is the fact that the Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of the TPP, leaving more market access to other countries, says Masswohl. That could mean sending fewer live cattle to the U.S. if Canadian packing plants start bidding more aggressively to keep cattle here and ship more beef to prime markets such as Japan, he says. “That’s the Holy Grail -- to get to the point where the economic value exists herein Canada as opposed to sending live cattle for either finishing or slaughtering to the U.S.,” says Masswohl. For more information about the Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for Export of Beef to the EU go to: http://www.cattle.ca/market-access/market-accessrequirements/eu/ .

Manitoba Beef & Forage Week Attend a seminar in your area Find out the latest from speakers providing insight on markets, forage and livestock management tips to help increase your productivity and bottom line.

Seminar times are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Coffee is served at 9:00 a.m. Date

Location

Monday, January 14, 2019 * Tuesday, January 15, 2019 * Wednesday, January 16, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019

Ste. Rose du Lac Community Hall Roblin Life and Arts Centre Holland Community Hall Vita Hall Arborg Bifrost Community Centre

Manitoba Agriculture Office

Dauphin Roblin Portage Vita Ashern

204-622-2007 204-937-6460 204-239-3352 204-452-5050 204-768-2782

*Registration is required. For more information: Contact the Manitoba Agriculture office listed above.

www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

What sustainable beef means ďƒ— Page 2 for animal tracking and welfare that are already in place. “What our markets out there want to know, when they get beef from Cargill or any of the other places, is how the animals were handled, what the protocols were and have a benchmark for what they expect,â€? says Larry Schweitzer of Hamiota Feedlot Ltd., which is VBP+ certified. “It’s a great market promotion tool.â€? Demand exceeds supply Interest in the pilot has exceeded expectations, says Murray, from both producers and end users in the retail and food service industries. Cargill is working with McDonald’s Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited, the Swiss Chalet Rotisserie and Grill, Original Joe’s restaurant units of Vaughan, and Ontariobased Recipe Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations Limited). More recently, British Columbia-based casual dining chain Cactus Club CafĂŠ became a participating partner. “Demand definitely exceeds our supply at the moment,â€? says Murray. “I think the interest comes from the fact that consumers want to know more about where their food comes from, and in the case of animals, how they were raised and treated.â€? Retailers are increasingly being challenged to provide answers for these questions and information about the supply chain. “I think a lot of the partners that we have on the retail and food service side recognize that the Canadian beef

HOG HITH

FARM & RANCH EQUIPMENT Ltd

E OU TST

1974

RA ANDING B

♌

ND

2018

Tombstone Feeders

industry is doing great work already in producers – wants to change. talked about and people can get overthe supply area,� says Murray. “There’s “The pilot is meant to figure out whelmed when we start talking about already high quality, and so much pride how we can recognize those cattle at verified sustainable beef and VBP+ and passion about what the industry point of sale so that feedlots or proces- and the CRSB,� says Green. “The VBP+ does, why not tell the story that’s al- sors will know before they go through program offers support to the producready there? For the most part people the value chain that they are in fact eli- ers who wish to become eligible. Comdon’t have to change their practices; but gible,� says Green. panies like Cargill, Loblaw’s, Recipe rather they are sharing them to enable “We want to be able to have people Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara certified verification, which adds an- view the eligibility status of the cattle Operations Limited), McDonalds etc. other level of assurance for consumers.� they own at the time that they own it and the retailers that are onside and Getting the message out to beef otherwise they can’t sell it as confirmed participating in this are making a huge producers that it doesn’t require a lot of to be eligible,� says Murray. “We’re contribution too. If we pull together, usextra work or time to be a part of the working with BIXS right now to devel- ing our reputation, there are real gains VBP+ and the Cargill pilot is important, op a system that allows people to access to be made, and that’s exciting. We can says Green. that data in real-time versus having to move our industry forward quickly by “It’s surprising how many produc- wait until after the cattle have been pro- telling our story.� ers are apprehensive and think they’re cessed to learn the qualification status.� “We’re at the point now where we’ve going to have to do things completely Understanding what sustainable proven that this can work and that our different and that’s just not true,� says beef means customers are currently willing to pay,� Green. “Our producers are hitting the Green says one of the challenges says Murray. “If we can continue to mark and that’s been recognized by the ahead for the industry is to communi- grow the volume that is certified susretailers throughout this whole process.� cate to beef producers and consumers tainable and continue to deliver to those As an example, there is a miscon- what verified sustainable beef means. customers who are asking us for it, then ception that VBP+ calves that are sold “It’s hard to follow, there’s a lot of they’ll continue to pay for it. It’s really need to be segregated, which is not true. moving parts and a lot of things that get up to us to rise to that challenge.� “A lot of people think that when they sell their VBP+ calves the buyer needs to know it and they need to be kept in separate pens but it’s not true – they can go into a mixed pen,� says Green. That’s because, the way the system currently works is that cattle are only qualified for the incentive once they have passed through the entire, fully audited sustainable supply chain and become a carcass. Up until that point the animal, whether at the ranch or feedlot, are only eligible. That’s something that everyone (Government of Manitoba level. Settlement prices ating capital for payment through the supply chain – especially News Release) are based directly on the upon purchase. Western Canadian cattle/ Since its introducManitoba Agricul- hog markets. WLPIP tion in 2014, WLPIP has ture’s Manitoba Agricul- coverage and policy op- insured over 191,000 Services Corpora- tions help manage market Manitoba cattle and paid Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd. tural tion (MASC) would like price volatility by provid- $3 million in indemniby Design Designto notify livestock pro- ing an insurable floor ties against drops in the -Better Better By ducers about an upcom- price on cattle and hogs. market. Price insurance ing change to the Western New for the WLPIP policies are available year Livestock Price Insurance program is the payment round for finished cattle, Program (WLPIP). on account option, which feeders and hogs. Calf WLPIP protects will allow producers to policies will be available Manitoba’s cattle and hog carry WLPIP premium Feb. 5 to May 30, 2019. producers against unex- payments until 30 days For more informapected price declines by after their policy expires, tion on WLPIP in ManiRound-bale Multi-bale allowing them to pursubject to interest. This toba, contact a MASC Feeders Feeders chase insurance policies will allow producers to office or visit: www.masc. based on a market-driven participate in the pro- m b . c a / m a s c . n s f / p r o insured price and a pro- gram without having to gram_western_livestock_ ducer-selected coverage immediately access oper- price_insurance.html.

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December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Trade critical to beef industry It is my hope that you are well as we approach late fall and the colder weather months. Fall field work is virtually finished, auction marts are booked solid for fall calf sales and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) district meetings have just wrapped up. It is the combination of all these events that remind us that winter is not far off. This is also the time of year when producers who choose to market their calf crop reap the rewards of yet another year’s toil, sweat and hard labour. Pay day is well deserved when we consider the stress, challenges and associated risks that influence such things as commodity prices, animal health and death loss. This year will no doubt be marked by the drought that many Manitoba producers experienced this year. Our profit margins are directly related to the stability of the market place. Reliable global markets which help drive the demand for Canadian beef contribute to a stable market. In recent years the beef industry has experienced an increase in profitability and it is encouraging to see young producers entering the beef industry. A stable marketplace will be vital in maintaining this positive trend, which in turn contributes to the growth of the Manitoba beef herd. An increased access to global markets will drive an additional demand for Canadian beef and bring about added stability. The recent announcement of the now fully ratified Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has the potential to achieve just that. The CPTPP is one of the largest free trade agreements in the world and will provide enhanced market access to key Asian markets. Canadian beef producers can be very proud that Canada was one of the first six nations to take advantage of reduced tariffs and full market access to all CPTPP member countries. Not only was it vital that Canada was one of the first six nations to join CPTPP, it was crucial to achieve this agreement in a timely fashion as this guaranteed Canadian producers an im-

mediate reduction on tariffs in December of 2018 as well as January 2019. Thank you to the Canadian government for their timely efforts to make this a reality for the Canadian beef industry. I feel that this is truly a remarkable achievement that will help the beef industry thrive for years and decades to come. Other trade deals like the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) also offer tremendous potential. It is important to note that producers and feedlot operators who wish to take advantage of CETA will need to produce hormone-free beef and follow the Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for Export of Beef to the EU. There are certainly hurdles to overcome before Canadian producers experience full access to CETA, however, there is a tremendous amount of potential within reach. I would encourage all producers to be ready to capture that market once it becomes fully available. After somewhat difficult negotiations with the Trump administration, Canada also has a new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. It is known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement is of tremendous significance for the Canadian beef industry and the entire Canadian economy. Geographically, this is the most advantageous trade agreement as approximately 60 per cent of Canada’s exports head south of the Canadian border. The Bovine Spongiform Encepha-

DECEMBER

President's Column

2018 Winter Sale Schedule

TOM TEICHROEB

lopathy crisis will forever be a reminder of how the closure of this market can devastate the Canadian beef industry. From the perspective of many, including myself, the United States will always be our most significant trading partner. As a beef producer, I am delighted that USMCA has become a reality. The Canadian beef industry will only be strengthened by having such reliable trading partners and allies. In early November, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay took part in a trade mission to China, including the International Import Expo. The Winnipeg Coun. Brian Mayes, CCA Executive Vice-President Dennis Laycraft, federal people of China rely heav- Minister of International Trade Diversification Hon. Jim Carr and MBP President Tom ily on imports and there is Teichroeb attend the Taste of Trade Event. (Photo by Keith Borkowsky) a growing population of government for success- ment and to communicate cate your concerns, as well upper middle class citizens fully negotiating CPTPP with government as to how as your successes, to assist who are willing and able to and USMCA. The Minis- they can be enhanced and Manitoba Beef Producers purchase Canadian goods, ter’s discussion focussed improved both domesti- in making the best possible decisions for your inincluding beef. A compre- on the significance of each cally and abroad. I can only hope that dustry. It is my privilege to hensive trade agreement trade agreement and the with China that included potential impact on the en- you will be encouraged to continue to be able to combeef would certainly have a tire Canadian economy. He take advantage of trade op- municate and work on your positive impact on the Ca- also encouraged commod- portunities and maximize behalf. Kind regards, nadian economy. Dennis ity groups to take full ad- your profits. I would also Tom Teichroeb Laycraft, Executive Vice- vantage of each trade agree- suggest that you communiPresident of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca commented that a similar - Call our office to list your cattle! trade agreement with Korea is possible. Korea also Mon Dec. 3 Butcher Sale 9 a.m. has an upper middle class Tues Dec. 4 No Borders Charolais Sale of citizens willing to purchase imports. I believe it Wed Dec. 5 Regular Feeder Sale 9 a.m. is imperative to seek out Friday Dec. 7 Bed Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. potential trade options that Sun Dec. 9 Bonchuck Farms Female Production Sale will add value and demand Mon Dec. 10 Butcher Sale 9 a.m. to the Canadian beef industry and the rest of the CanaWed Dec. 12 Regular Feeder Sale 9 a.m. dian economy. Fri Dec. 14 Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. In my humble opinMon Dec. 17 Butcher Sale 9 a.m. ion, the beef industry is Wed Dec. 19 Regular Feeder Sale 9 a.m. poised for success and stability. Considering that Thurs Dec. 20 Schweitzer Simmental Dispersal Sale the CPTPP is now a realFri Dec. 21 Bred Cow Sale 11:30 a.m. ity and that the CETA and USMCA agreements are in place, I am excited and feel fortunate to be a beef producer. At a recent meeting with the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr a host of commodity groups, including MBP, congratulated the Minister and the Canadian

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture PAM IWANCHYSKO Farm Production Extension Forage Specialist pamela.iwanchysko@gov.mb.ca

Q: How do I manage my pasture in 2019, because I know I was short in the fall of 2018? A: Some tough management decisions are needed to help sort through the short and long-term effects of dry conditions. However, there are some real positive actions that can be taken to help forage stands remain productive. This year’s winter feeding period is a good time to reflect on next year’s requirements and assess what management decisions need to be made to remain in business. Remember that each operation is different and there is no one solution for everyone. Estimate the length of the grazing season and using past records, estimate the per cent shortfall in these dry areas. Be conservative and reasonable. Do an inventory on paper of previous pasture yields and hay land condition, and estimate projected yields. Balance this to animal numbers and the desired length of the grazing season. Balance the shortfall by looking for additional pasture, selling off animals and later spring turnout. Identify a sacrifice pasture and only graze it or supplemental feed on that portion until summer pastures are ready for grazing. Seed annuals for grazing or secure extra winter feed and plan on grazing hay land, for example. Make the tough decision to sell off non-productive cows, cows with poor disposition, and cows that have not produced a calf. Consider early weaning of calves next year to reduce the cows’ demand for forage by 20 per cent. Use supplemental feed for cows, and creep feed calves throughout the grazing season. Hay and energy

supplements can replace feed from pastures. Do not overgraze perennial pastures in dry conditions, as you will damage the long-term forage stand productivity. Overgrazing is allowing the animals to have access to plants before the plants have been able to fully recover. Overgrazed plants do not have enough biological time to recover the sugar stores in their roots from the last harvesting. By giving a plant a longer rest period, it will recover faster when a moisture event does occur. Rest and defer grazing in fields that were heavily grazed in the past. Fertilize tame pastures where moisture may occur. Fertilization will increase productivity and increase root volume. Typically, in a dry year, fall fertility is recommended to take advantage of fall moisture. Cut alfalfa at 10 per cent bloom in the spring to

essary. Finally, do not overlook water quality. Low water levels can result in more concentrated and toxic effects. Test the quality of your water before allowing your livestock to consume it. Reduced forage yields during dry conditions mean a declining plane of nutrition for cows and calves. This means increased expenditure for grazing, poorer body condition on cows, and in turn, higher wintering costs. More open cows and later conceptions can result. Making defined decisions in a timely manner will pay off later on down the line. During dry conditions, the farm manger must minimize the damage to stay in business. Well-planned grazing systems and winter feed planning to match the requirements of the animals will have greater forage production and better animal per-

Remember to feed test and ration balance all feeds to meet the feed requirements of your animals, with assistance from a nutritionist. take advantage of the best quality, even if yield is light. Feeding high quality hay, blended with poorer feeds, is more economical in the end. Think about feeding straw and grain or other roughage sources over winter, with assistance from a nutritionist. Remember to feed test and ration balance all feeds to meet the feed requirements of your animals, with assistance from a nutritionist. When making a decision about the forage system, consider how this will affect the whole operation (e.g., plants, animals, people and finances). Have a plan in place and act on it. Monitor for expected results and try to take control and re-plan if nec-

formance. Contact your local livestock specialist for assistance. 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 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. A D V E RTO R IA L

Table Talk about Manitoba Livestock Associations Recently, cattle ranchers Hugh Blair and daughter Kristine Tapley gathered around their family’s kitchen table with Paul Gobin, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s (MASC) Guarantee Program Specialist, and Rob Smith, Supervisor of the Green Tree Cattle Feeders Co-Op, for some insightful conversation about Manitoba livestock associations. Manitoba’s livestock associations give members the benefits of lower costs associated with financing and higher volume cattle transactions. Feeder associations cater to farmers raising feeder calves, while breeder associations serve producers replenishing or building their herds. MASC introduced the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program in 1991. The program guarantees loans to Manitoba’s livestock associations, which then lend money to members to buy cattle on the association’s behalf. Cooperatives are also a valuable source of information, where new members can learn from the vast experience of other members, who are always willing to offer advice.

“It’s a little hard to get your head around the idea [of cooperative financing]” – Hugh Blair “It’s a little hard to get your head around the idea [of cooperative financing],” said Blair, who grazes about 1,300 cattle in the Woodside/Langruth area. “Lots of young people out there don’t know how it works.” “Livestock associations take advantage of highvolume transactions and financing,” said Gobin. “The association retains ownership of livestock, but the net sales proceeds belong to the producer.” Tapley certainly understands the benefits of membership. She and her husband took full advantage to get their operation going with minimal investment and maximum support.

“We wanted to get into grain farming, but the initial investment was huge,” said Tapley. “The cooperative made it much more attractive to buy feeder calves and get started. They were approachable and the financing was really reasonable.” Typically, a member requests a loan to buy feeder calves, and if the member’s plan is viable, the money is disbursed. The member then purchases the calves, and when the member chooses to sell, the association deducts the loan repayment and any sale costs, before forwarding the net proceeds to the member. Some feeder association members are also breeder association members, and may choose to roll over their previous feeders to a breeder association loan. This allows the member to retain their cattle. Tapley and her husband found advantages to being members of both feeder and breeder associations. “You can build equity quicker when you’re a member of both,” said Tapley. By rolling over calves to a breeder contract, Tapley and her husband could take on new feeder calves and retain their previous calves as replacement heifers, without making a principal payment until the sale of their first calf. “The associations lend money to buy calves, so when prices are low, you can simply retain your cattle to sell when prices improve,” said Smith. “ You aren’t forced to sell into a bad market, just because you need the money right then.” Smith was asked about the effect that economies of scale have on a livestock operation. “You have to be pretty big to be economically sustainable,” Smith said. “And when you’re trying to buy land or a tractor,” Blair added, “the associations are a way to become sustainable quicker, without taking on any extra load.” Tapley is no stranger to the concepts of sustainability and viability. Fresh from the Global Roundtable for

www.mbbeef.ca

Left to Right: Kristine Tapley, Hugh Blair, Rob Smith, Paul Gobin

Sustainable Beef in Ireland, and an active participant in McDonald’s Sustainable Beef Pilot, Tapley said that ‘sustainable’ also refers to the sustainability of viable farm operations within the environment. Manitoba’s feeder and breeder associations are quite compatible with the goal to create sustainable, economically viable livestock operations. The Green Tree Cattle Feeders Co-Op Inc. is one of six regional feeder associations that serve Manitoba, alongside two breeder associations. All are autonomous, but they are represented collectively by the Association of Manitoba Feeder Cooperatives (AMFC). For more information about feeder and breeder cooperatives, visit www.amfz.biz or call 204-745-8720. To learn more about the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program, visit www.masc.mb.ca or call MASC’s Guarantee Program Specialist at 204-239-3244.


December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Agricultural Crown lands – auctions will lead to effective utilization BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column

As I write this I am nearing the end of MBP’s annual “fall district meting run.” As usual, it was a great chance to meet with many of the producers we represent and for whom we speak. These meetings are an important part of MBP’s governance and a chance to update members about some of the things we’ve been doing and some of the issues we’ve advanced on behalf of the beef sector. The meetings are also a chance to review spending from the past year and to elect directors to represent local producers at the board of directors. This year’s attendance was generally up. It was encouraging to see so many producers out to learn about what we’ve been doing, and also for us to learn from them, allowing us to better represent the perspectives of Manitoba’s beef producers. Key issues at the district meetings included ongoing concerns with predation losses, questions about changes to the Crown Lands Act, and changes coming from Health Canada regarding the prescribing and dispensing of antibiotics. There were great discussions about each of these issues, and as the General Manager I certainly learned more about how these changes are going to impact individual producers and their operations. We were lucky to have both Dr. Wayne Tomlinson and Dr. Allan Preston deliver information about changes coming to the way producers will access antibiotics. Both are veterinarians, both are cattle producers, and both have a history working inside the pro-

vincial Chief Veterinary Office (CVO), so they were very well positioned to understand and deliver the messages about the changes. We also reached out to the Manitoba Veterinary Medicine Association to ensure all their members were invited and aware of the discussions taking place. It was great to have a number of local practicing vets present to add their perspectives. The key takeaways were to make sure to speak to a local vet and establish a relationship between the vet and your herd – prior to the Dec. 1 changes. MBP thanks Doctors Tomlinson and Preston for their contributions to our district meetings. On November 7 the Manitoba legislature passed changes to the Crown Lands Act to now allow for an auction to be used as a method of allocating agricultural Crown land (ACL) parcels and to price the leases. As I write this, there are many more questions than answers about how exactly this will all roll out after these changes come into force. One thing the province did at the same time as they introduced the new changes was to impose a temporary suspension/ freeze on all Crown land and property sales. The suspension is in place to allow the province to design and consult about the regulatory framework and the various policy and procedure documents required to ensure an orderly roll out of the new auction regime. Concerns were voiced at a number of district meetings that the suspension, however short, was going to have a significant impact on producers’ plans to buy and

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sell viable operations, and that it was going to cause a dramatic devaluation of individuals’ deeded properties − forcing producers to not buy/sell, thereby slowing the government’s goal to grow our sector. While MBP understands and looks forward to an orderly rollout of these new rules and procedures, MBP is committed to ensuring that the suspension is a short as possible, and that normal commerce is able to continue as soon as possible. The auction will dramatically change the way producers look at opportunities to acquire ACL, and will lead to some ACL properties being valued higher than others simply due to the quality and productive value of one parcel versus another. As the auction becomes the instrument for allocation, producers will need to decide how much value they see in particular parcels, and how much they are willing to pay to acquire access to them. It will be producers’ own business decisions that will determine if they see sufficient value in a particular parcel to bid for it and acquire the lease. No two parcels will necessarily cost the same, and each parcel will be valued based on the value the lessee sees in the parcel as part of his/her operation – what is the producer’s “willingness to pay”? It is our understand-

ing that auction participants will bid on the basis of a “price per AUM” (Animal Unit Month). An AUM is a measure of the carrying capacity and forage value of pasture. All ACL pastures are evaluated in terms of their AUM capacity. An AUM is measured as the amount of forage production to maintain a mature cow for a month. By pricing parcels on an AUM basis, the quality of the grass and the typical length of the grazing season are implicit in the number of AUMs that a given parcel will support. In other words, the carrying capacity of a parcel is expressed in terms of AUMs. By evaluating each parcel in this manner, it eliminates discussions about grass qual-

ity or season length – as these variables will already be part of the AUM calculation. There are still lots of questions to be answered before we are able to say if the changes are all positive or not. The change to the Crown Lands Act to allow an auction is positive and will lead to better utilization of the ACLs. MBP believes the auction process will allow market demand to determine the prices for ACL leases, and will lead to producers ensuring they make the most effective use of the lands. MBP has used as its key principle in guiding our comments to the government about ACL changes, the principle that above all else, it was most important to maximize the effective use of

these ACLs. If the sector is going to grow, it isn’t going to be by protecting the ineffective interests of an individual producer, instead it is going to be by making sure the ACL capacity is maximized. To grow the sector, ACLs need to be effectively utilized, and as an industry we need to ensure that government enacts regulations and policies with this principle in mind. This may mean that the ACL allocation and leaseholder rules will change to provide for more effective utilization, and that there may be long-time lessees who may lose their leases to new lessees who will use the lands more effectively, but this is going to be an important change if we are going to grow our sector.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

Resolutions arising from Fall 2018 MBP 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 16 resolutions that were proposed by producers, debated and carried at the district meetings. They will be brought forward for debate at the 40th MBP Annual General Meeting (AGM) being held February 7, 2019 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. There were no resolutions arising from Districts 3, 7, 11 and 14. If you wish to bring forward a late resolution for debate at the AGM, it must be provided in writing to MBP staff no later than 11 a.m., February 7, 2019. Please send it to info@mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Brian Lemon or Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. 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 will also publish 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 40th MBP AGM to debate and vote on the resolutions. We look forward to your participation. District 11 – Oct. 22 There were no resolutions arising. District 9 – Oct. 23 9.1 Whereas Manitoba Agriculture recognizes that bale grazing of beef cattle can save producers time, effort and money and help distribute valuable nutrients to the soil to enhance future productivity; and Whereas even though this practice is well utilized by Manitoba’s beef producers, they currently receive no compensation for wildlife damage to bales left in fields or pastures for feeding purposes. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government for changes to the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage to ensure that baled hay that remains on fields for use as part of an extended feeding regime becomes eligible for compensation related to wildlife damage. District 4 – Oct. 25 4.1 Whereas the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid is listed as an endangered species, and is found common-

ly in areas of southeast Manitoba and is impacting producers’ ability to farm their private land as they wish. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Sustainable Development to work with producers in southeast Manitoba to develop management strategies to both respect producers’ right to make a living as well as to protect the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid; and Be it further resolved to compensate producers annually for the loss of production caused by the presence of the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid. 4.2 Whereas Manitoba Beef Producers is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is celebrating its history at its annual general meeting in February 2019. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers invest in the writing and publishing of a book to capture and celebrate its long and proud history before its history is lost along with its founding members. District 10 – Oct. 29 10.1 Whereas the Minister of Agriculture wishes to expand the beef herd and Manitoba Agriculture staff are supporting extended grazing practices including the practice of grazing standing corn, swath grazing, etc. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government for changes to the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage to ensure that any feed left on the fields as part of an extended feeding regime be eligible for compensation related to wildlife damage. 10.2 Whereas problem predators continue to harass cattle in pastures; and Whereas these cattle can break loose out of even the best maintained fences and find their way onto roads and highways leading to potential liability concerns for producers. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to enact clear policies to protect cattle producers from future liability caused by predators harassing their cattle and breaking through fences and finding their way onto roads and highways. 10.3 Whereas unmaintained Manitoba Hydro line right of ways with overgrown brush and trees can lead to unexpected and sometimes long-term power outages; and Whereas these outages cause inconveniences and can lead to significant animal welfare concerns for producers needing power to ensure animals have access to water. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef

Producers lobby Manitoba Hydro to properly maintain their hydro line right of ways. District 3 – Oct. 30 There were no resolutions arising. District 2 – Nov. 1 2.1 Whereas currently producers are required to choose between Pasture Insurance and/or Pasture Days Insurance, and are not able to purchase both. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to allow a change to the programs to permit producers to purchase both Pasture Insurance and Pasture Days Insurance. 2.2 Whereas land values continue to rise and municipal taxes on farm lands continue to increase. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to remove or increase the Farmland School Tax Rebate cap. District 5 – Nov. 2 5.1 Whereas the Minister of Agriculture is pushing to expand the beef herd and Manitoba Agriculture staff are supporting the use of extended grazing practices, including the practices of grazing bales and standing corn, swath grazing, etc. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government for changes to the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage to ensure that any feed left on the fields as part of an extended feeding regime be eligible for compensation related to wildlife and/or pig damage. 5.2 Whereas cattle producers rely on secure access to leased agricultural Crown lands, and Whereas unauthorized public access to these pastures creates a dangerous situation for the public, the cattle and producers, and creates potential environmental and biosecurity concerns, and causes damage to grazing infrastructure. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to enact strict informed access regulations to prohibit unauthorized public access to leased agricultural Crown lands. District 14 – Nov. 5 There were no resolutions arising. District 12 – Nov. 6 12.1 Whereas blackbirds can cause damage and losses to standing corn and other annual crops. Page 9 

Annual General Meeting December 8, 2018 at the Keystone Centre Details posted

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Keystone Konnection 40th Annual Simmental Sale ................Brandon

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Bonchuk Farms Female Production Sale.................................... Virden

Dec. 12

Shades of the Prairies Simmental Sale .....................................Brandon

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Maple Lake Stock Farms Female Production Sale ................... Hartney

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Schweitzer Simmentals Complete Herd Dispersal ..................... Virden

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December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY

Resolutions continued...  Page 8 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to include blackbird losses under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage. District 13 – Nov. 7 13.1 Whereas the temporary suspension of all unit transfers has been put in place as part of Bill 35, The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management Of Community Pastures And Agricultural Crown Lands), and Whereas this will limit the growth of the cattle herd by hindering commerce and impeding the ability to sell/transfer viable cattle operations. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to move as quickly as possible to revoke the temporary suspension of unit transfers. District 7 – Nov. 8 There were no resolutions arising. District 1 – Nov. 13 1.1 Whereas currently Individual Productivity Indexes (IPIs) are available for most other crops grown in Manitoba, and not available for silage and forage corn. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to implement Individual Productivity Indexes (IPIs) for silage and forage/grain corn. District 8 – Nov. 14 8.1 Whereas cattle producers are the owners of huge tracts pasture and

grasslands which sequester significant amounts of carbon from the environment annually. Whereas the Minister of Agriculture announced the government’s objective to grow the beef herd, and cattle production is continually under pressure from annual cropping for productive acres. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to create policies to recognize the carbon sequestration of grasslands and perennial forages, and to incent the protection of these important pastures for beef cattle production. District 6 – Nov. 15 6.1 Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has initiated a policy of “modernizing” the allocation of Manitoba agricultural Crown lands (ACL), forage and grazing leases, and Whereas future allocation of forage and grazing leases in Manitoba may be determined by a combination of tender and public auction, and Whereas the elected directors of Manitoba Beef Producers have endorsed the Minister’s initiative to “modernize” the allocation of Crown land forage and grazing leases, and Whereas the membership of Manitoba Beef Producers may not be well informed as to the potential impact that “modernizing” the allocation of Crown land forage and grazing leases will have upon their continuing access to Crown land or their future cost of operation, and Whereas for the purpose of business planning it is essential that producers currently leasing

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Crown land or seeking to lease Crown land have sufficient time to study and understand the potential impact “modernization” may have upon their future security and cost of operation. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Minister of Agriculture to request that the Minister make public both the policy and the regulations relating to the “modernization” of access to agricultural Crown land forage and grazing leases in Manitoba six months prior to proceeding with the first Crown land allocations made available under the new “modernized” process; and Be it further resolved Manitoba Beef Producers would support providing Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture extended time to complete drafting and circulation of the policy and regulations associated with “modernizing” producer access to Crown land by extending all existing crown land leases and fees structure for a period of one year and by placing all new 2019 Crown land allocations under a one year casual permit. 6.2 Whereas blackbirds cause significant losses to producers’ crops. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Minister of Sustainable Development to include blackbird damage as eligible for claims under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage.

9

District 4 director, Robert Kerda, never stops learning BY ANGELA LOVELL Another new face on Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) board of directors is District 4 Director, Robert Kerda of Ridgeville, who represents beef producers in the Rural Municipalities of Emerson-Franklin, Piney, La Broquerie, Ritchot, Hanover, De Salaberry, Reynolds and the communities of Stuartburn and Ste. Anne. A third-generation rancher, Kerda is a longstanding MBP member and says he decided to run as a director because he wants to be a part of the ongoing discussion about traceability, which he feels could be one of the major challenges facing the Manitoba beef industry in the short term. “I think it’s important for beef producers to have input into what traceability will ultimately look like,” he says. “If there is a cost for traceability, because that is what consumers are asking for, I believe that all of those costs should not come back on the producer. There needs to be some way to offset some of those costs because producers are not in a position to set prices for their cattle, we are in the position of taking what is offered.” Kerda serves on MBP’s animal health, communications and production management committees and says he’s had to learn to be more patient. “The wheels move very slowly,” he says. “It’s no use coming in and making demands to

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Monday, December 10 Sheep, Goats and Holstein Calves Saturday, December 15 Bred Cow Sale We now offer pre-sort sales for larger groups of cattle. Call Harold for more information. 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

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Rob Kerda

try and get things rolling because it just doesn’t work that way.” A lifelong learner He finds communications the most interesting and challenging role for him, but he is determined to take his time and learn from his peers, like Communications Committee Chair, Dianne Riding, who he credits as a ‘fabulous leader’. In fact, Kerda believes there is always something new to learn, even after a lifetime in the cattle business, and it’s something he thinks young people coming into the industry need to know. “My best advice to young producers is keep an open mind,” he says. “Even after 42 years, I still have an opportunity to learn every time I turn around on cattle quality, feed systems, ways of incorporating dif-

ferent grazing techniques, all those things, so learn as much as you can.” Going forward, Kerda believes the introduction of a carbon tax could present good opportunities for the beef industry in Manitoba. “It’s something that’s a feather in our cap,” he says. “We need cattle to graze and that is the best thing for carbon sequestration. I am looking forward to learning and getting more information so I can have some good discussions on that in the future.” Kerda and his wife, Belinda plan to do a lot more travelling in the future now that he no longer has a grain side to his operation, which is freeing up some time for them both. “We’d love to spend some time to travel and see more of Canada,” he says.


10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

Government activities update BY MAUREEN COUSINS MBP Policy Analyst

Amendments to the Crown Lands Act, proposed restrictions on hunting at night, more opportunities to access the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision, and the federal carbon tax being applied in Manitoba are just a few of the issues on Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) radar in recent weeks. Crown Lands Amendment Act MBP provided comments on Bill 35 – The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands) when it went before the Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development at the Manitoba Legislature for public feedback on October 31. Under the proposed amendments, fees or rent for leases and permits for agricultural Crown lands could be calculated in one of four ways: setting out or prescribing the amount of method/formula to determine rent in regulation; having a public tender; having a public auction, or, a combination of the aforementioned methods. Bill 35 also allows regulations to be made respecting “the establishing of reserve bids and other terms and conditions that may apply in a public tender or public auction.” MBP had previously provided input to the provincial government around an auction process and supports this approach in principle. In its presentation, MBP noted the old points-based allocation system was often very frustrating for producers, creating confusion and leading to appeals. MBP believes demand should determine price for agricultural Crown land, and the truest way for this is an open auction process. MBP supports the use of a face-to-face auction process. MBP also cautioned that placing any minimum price for these lands will interfere with the market forces and artificially raise the price to producers. MBP stated

there should be no minimum prices for agricultural Crown lands; rather, the market and producers’ willingness to pay should be allowed to determine the cost of these leases and permits. Further, MBP recommended the creation of a system whereby the bid results are made publically available, providing for greater transparency and helping to inform producer decision making. MBP looks forward to discussions with the government about how a public auction would work. Another element of Bill 35 pertains to Manitoba’s community pastures, allowing the province to designate certain lands as community pastures and to regulate their use. MBP sees considerable value in this approach as access to community pastures is very important to the beef industry’s success. MBP also stated it sees merit in the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) continuing to managing these pastures. MBP noted that Section 7.7(7) of Bill 35 provides for the making of regulations related to “governing, regulating or prohibiting any use, activity or thing in designated community pastures or in specific designated community pastures.” MBP believes this provides the potential opportunity for a requirement for informed access by members of the public seeking to enter the Crown lands within the community pasture system. MBP indicated this principle needs to be applied to all agricultural Crown lands. MBP stated that it has never looked to block public access, but rather is seeking informed access by people wishing to access agricultural Crown lands used by cattle producers. Specifically, MBP believes public access must be limited to those circumstances where the public has prior authorization from the lessee or permit holder to access these lands. MBP said these rights need to be strengthened to protect livestock, producers and the public. Unauthorized access can lead to significant

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biosecurity issues, can endanger livestock and producers, can endanger the public, and can lead to litigious liability concerns. MBP believes providing clear rights of access and clear prohibitions for unauthorized public access will strengthen the effective and efficient use of these Crown lands. MBP asked that a provision for informed access to all agricultural Crown lands be added to The Crown Lands Act. MBP will continue to engage with the province about the regulatory framework that will accompany the changes being made to the Crown Lands Act, as well as other topics such as unit transfers, ownership requirements, improvements to agricultural Crown lands, and lease and permit lengths. MBP also looks forward to participating as the government undertakes a fulsome review of the Act in the coming year. Wildlife Amendment Act MBP provided comments on Bill 29 − The Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management) when it went before the Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development at the Manitoba Legislature for public feedback on October 31. A key provision of Bill 29 is that it will provide for a general prohibition on night hunting, except when permitted under section 12.1 or 12.2 of the Act or by regulation. MBP sees merit in this approach. In the past there have been instances where dangerous hunting at night has placed people and livestock at risk, and has caused property damage. No one wants to see someone injured or a life lost. MBP recognizes that many different people are utilizing rural and northern landscapes and asked the province to engage with all parties as regulations under these new provisions are envisioned, including speaking with beef producers. MBP raised questions about some specific aspects of Bill 29 and what the accompanying regulations may contain. One relates to Section 27(1) which proposes to prohibit the discharging of a firearm at night unless the person is hunting at night with a permit or “the discharge occurs in prescribed circumstances.” More information is needed. For example, will the regulations ensure that a beef producer is able to humanely dispatch one of their cattle at night if required for some reason? MBP is seeking assurances that this will still be allowed as from time to time it is necessary to humanely dispatch cattle due to illness, injury or a devastating predator attack. As well, MBP asked if the regulation will be crafted to ensure that a producer is able to destroy a predator or Page 11 

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December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 11  Page 10 other animal that is threatening or attacking their cattle at night, such as a rabid animal. Under Section 46(1) of The Wildlife Act, there is a provision related to killing wildlife in defense of property. Specifically, producers may kill or take any wildlife (with some exceptions) on their own land for the purpose of defending or preserving their property, with this removal to be reported to Sustainable Development within 10 days. Bill 29 states that the Minister of Sustainable Development will have power to make regulations “prescribing when night hunting may occur on private land under sections 12.1 and 12.2”, i.e. the two provisions that indicate when night hunting is allowed for aboriginal people. MBP requested clarification about what this would involve, e.g. owner permission, signage requirements, etc. Clarification will also be needed around prescribing areas of land for night hunting and how this will work. MBP asked to have input into this process given that beef producers are managing large areas of privately-owned and agricultural Crown lands. MBP made similar comments on Bill 29 about the need for informed access to privately-owned and agricultural Crown lands as it had on Bill 35 – The Crown Lands Amendment Act. As well, MBP noted that having an effective legal framework around regulating practices such as hunting is critical, but it is only as effective as the ongoing monitoring and enforcement of the regulatory framework. MBP encouraged the province to ensure it has the resources in place to monitor compliance, to enforce the proposed changes and to curtail unsustainable and unsafe hunting practices. Livestock Tax Deferral Provision Update The federal government has expanded the list of designated regions where Manitoba cattle producers can access the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision due to drought conditions in 2018. Additional designated regions include: Alonsa, Clanwilliam-Erickson, Ellice-Archie, Glenella-Lansdowne, Hamiota, Harrison Park, McCreary, Minto-Odanah, Oakview, Pipestone, Prairie View, Riverdale, Rosedale, Sifton, Ste. Rose, Wallace-Woodworth and Yellowhead. According to the federal government, “The live-

stock tax deferral provisions allow livestock producers in prescribed drought, flood or excess moisture regions to defer a portion of their 2018 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2019 to help replenish the herd. The cost of replacing the animals in 2019 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale. Producers in those regions can request the tax deferral when filing their 2018 income tax returns.” Previously designated regions include: Alexander, Argyle, Armstrong, Bifrost-Riverton, Boissevain-Morton, Brenda-Waskada, Brokenhead, Cartier, CartwrightRoblin, Coldwell, De Salaberry, Deloraine-Winchester, Division No. 18 Unorganized, East Part, Dufferin, Elton, Emerson-Franklin, Fisher, Gimli, GlenboroSouth Cypress, Grahamdale, Grassland, Grey, Hanover, Headingley, Killarney - Turtle Mountain, La Broquerie, Lorne, Louise, Macdonald, Montcalm, Morris, NorfolkTreherne, North Cypress-Langford, North Norfolk, Oakland-Wawanesa, Pembina, Piney, Portage la Prairie, Prairie Lakes, Rhineland, Ritchot, Rockwood, Roland, Rosser, Souris-Glenwood, Springfield, St. Andrews, St. Clements, St. François Xavier, St. Laurent, Stanley, Ste. Anne, Stuartburn, Taché, Thompson, Two Borders, Victoria, West Interlake, West St. Paul, WestLake-Gladstone, Whitehead, City of Winnipeg, and Woodlands. Federal Carbon Tax Coming On October 23 the federal government announced it is imposing a price on carbon pollution (a fuel charge) in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. Starting in April 2019 the carbon tax will add $0.442 and $0.0537 to a litre of gasoline and diesel fuel in Manitoba, except when burned in farm equipment. In Manitoba, the fuel charge for natural gas used in home heating will be 3.91 cents per cubic metre. The carbon tax will rise by $10 a tonne per year hitting $50 in 2022. That will add an extra $0.11 and $0.1341 to a litre of gasoline and diesel fuel, respectively. A full exemption for farmers from the fuel charge would be provided for eligible farming activities, and partial relief for eligible commercial greenhouse operators. “We have concerns this tax will negatively affect our operations due to higher costs related to transport-

ing cattle, inputs and many other products and services we need on a daily basis,” MBP president Tom Teichroeb said. “While there are exemptions proposed for on-farm use of fuels for tractors, trucks and other farm machinery, Manitoba’s beef producers will still be affected by these types of pass-through costs.” “As our producers don’t set the price of their herds, they will be adversely impacted and will have to absorb these costs at a time when we are seeking to increase the size of the provincial herd,” Teichroeb said. “Higher taxes place a barrier in the way of fulfilling that objective and decrease our ability to compete in a global marketplace.” The federal government says it intends to return 90 per cent of the revenues raised will be returned to individuals via rebates – the Climate Action Incentive payment. The other 10 per cent will be returned to small and medium-sized businesses, schools, hospitals, universities and other such organizations to offset costs that cannot be passed on to individuals. Officials say the carbon levy is expected to raise $190 million in Manitoba in 2019-20. Also in Manitoba, the federal government proposes to provide a supplementary amount to the baseline Climate Action Incentive payments for residents of rural and small communities, thereby increasing the amount received by 10 per cent. This is to recognize increased energy needs and reduced access to alternative transportation options. Teichroeb said the federal government should recognize the beef industry for the ecosystem services it provides. A recent study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development found that pastures and grasslands utilized by cattle producers can sequester as much as eight tonnes of carbon per hectare per year. “Rather than a carbon tax, additional supports for increasing and enhancing grassland and pasture acres would help the environment as multiple benefits accrue from the carbon sequestration,” Teichroeb said. “Not only would this support protection of biodiversity, these efforts enhance resilience against floods and droughts and provide valuable habitat for an array of species.” MBP is seeking further dialogue with the federal and provincial governments to find solutions which both reduce carbon emissions and support the agriculture sector.

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

Value of feed to calf performance BY GENET MENGISTU AND RHEA TERANISHI University of Manitoba

current forage shortage in the province. Testing byproducts before formulating diets is essential as there can be significant variation in the nutrient profile of byproducts from load-to-load and from one processing plant to another. The CowBytes Program developed by Alberta Agriculture is used by many producers and provincial extension staff to not only balance rations but also to estimate forage quantity and feedstuffs needed for the winter-feeding period. This summer’s drought will likely have lasting impact throughout the winter, creating challenges to meet requirements of the herd. De-

Tues Dec. 4

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Tues Dec. 11

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Thurs Dec. 13

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Tues Dec. 18

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Thurs Dec. 20

Butcher Sale

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DECEMBER

body weight, longer days to first estrous after calving, and a lower pregnancy rate. You might be surprised to learn that cow nutrient restriction during pregnancy also impacts the development of the fetus and performance of the resulting offspring. The impacts are long term, including increased age of puberty in heifers, decreased slaughter and carcass weight, and lower marbling score in steers. A team of researchers, along with a number of graduate students at the University of Manitoba are investigating nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy and the impact on offspring carcass performance. They are also evaluating regionally available byproducts which are high in energy such as wheat screenings and bran, as well as those which are high in protein including sunflower screenings and pea screenings, to supplement low quality forages during the winter and early spring. If you haven’t already done so, testing forage and planning your winter feeding now are important first steps to ensure an effective winter-feeding strategy. Many producers are exploring the use of byproducts as a means of addressing the

2018 Winter Sale Schedule

As we move deeper into winter, feed supplies and quality are foremost in the minds of all producers. Meeting a cow’s nutrient requirements is important for cow performance, but did you know that nutrition during pregnancy can also influence the lifetime productivity of the calf? The summer of 2018 brought drought to many areas of the prairies. Drought-stressed forages often have both lower yield and lower quality. This is because forages under drought stress mature earlier, have a lower leaf:stem ratio, and higher fibre fractions, which can decrease intake and digestibility. Decreased quality is due to a loss of nutrient-dense leaf tissue and an increase in stem matter that is lower in nutrients and less digestible. A lower leaf:stem ratio not only decreases digestibility, but may decrease intake, as a higher stem proportion increases the fibrous component of forage, making it more difficult to digest and requiring a longer period of time for digestion. This combined effect of lower yield and quality may make it difficult to meet nutrient requirements of cows this winter, potentially resulting in reduced intake, lower body condition score and

Rhea Teranishi is a Masters student at the U of M department of Animal Science under the supervision of Drs. Kim Ominski and Emma McGeough. Growing up in the city Rhea found a passion for animal agriculture during her undergraduate years as an Animal Systems student and student technician. Motivated to find solutions to issues currently facing the industry, her thesis aims to find new practical dietary strategies to improve feed utilization and reduce methane emissions from beef cows.

signing balanced rations and evaluating potential alternatives if forage sup-

plies are limited is crucial to fill the gap in both supply and quality of feed in

order to avoid short-term and long-term impacts on calf performance.

A reminder re: prudent antimicrobial use DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner Last week I got a fax from a supplier listing several of their products with the following warning in bold print at the bottom: “It is in your best interest to buy before that date (December 1, 2018) in order not to incur huge expenses that require a vet. Please display this list in order for customers to not be caught unaware.” With a comment like

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Genet Mengistu is a postdoctoral fellow at the U of M department of Animal Science. She is working with Drs. Kim Ominski, Emma McGeough, and Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez to devise winter feeding strategies for positive cow and calf outcomes. Genet was born and raised in Harar, Ethiopia where she studied animal science, moving to the Netherlands to complete her Masters and PhD degrees in Animal Nutrition at Wageningen University.

that and being “a vet incurring huge expenses,” I was intrigued to investigate these products as, while I recognized several of the names, I did not know what antimicrobials they contained that had caused them to become prescription. The provincial veterinary associations have advised that veterinarians become knowledgeable about the many generic products currently available in the lay market so as to be able to stock those that still fit under the prudent antimicrobial use guidelines or provide alternative options. It was recognized that price sensitivity was important (understandably so). As I reviewed the list, I realized that very few of those products were applicable today − better alternatives are available. More effective drugs lower down in the list of Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIA) for treatment of the same condition are now options. Some of the drugs listed have even been shown to not be effective for the condition for which the product was being promoted for use. This was not always because the drug itself was “wrong” but the dosing and route of administration were no longer appropriate as determined by research over the last few decades. Yes, some of these products were pretty antiquated. If you as a producer have a favorite go-to that

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you have always purchased at your local feed or supply store, discuss this with your veterinarian. Find out about alternatives or even if you need to use anything. Focus on animal health from a preventative aspect rather than relying on antibiotics as the prevention. Health is often determined long before treatment becomes necessary − stress and poor nutrition are leading precursors to disease. Calving management, weaning strategies, vaccinations and well-balanced rations top the list of management practices to ensure overall animal health and farm profitability. Calfhood diseases, mortality and growth are all interconnected. There is an increased risk of mortality for calves treated for BRD (Bovine Respiratory Disease) or other diseases, especially prior to two weeks of age. ADG (Average Daily Gain) declines – 8 per cent with pneumonia, 18 percent with diarrhea, 29 per cent if both diarrhea and pneumonia. Retained heifers cycle and conceive later and are at an increased risk for having difficulty at calving. Let’s quickly list the top disease concerns in a typical beef cow/calf operation: BVDV, IBR, BRSV, PI3, rota, corona, E.coli, Cryptosporidia, coccidia, Clostridials, Histophilus, Mannheimia, Pasteurella and Mycoplasma. The first six are viral, two are protozoal and six are bacterial. Of the six bacterial diseases, four are considered commensal, i.e. normally pres-

ent in cattle. It is key to remember that these bacteria do not cause disease unless there is impaired host immunity, adverse environmental conditions or inadequate nutrition. It is also key to remember that, in the case of BRD in calves, viruses are nearly always the underlying cause of impaired host immunity and that antibiotics only work on bacteria. Viral control involves the use of vaccines, not antibiotics. It is also key to remember that vaccines need to be given at the correct time, with dedicated syringes and as per manufacturer recommendations. Huge advances in neonatal immunology have been made in the last few years. Intra-nasal vaccines with effectiveness in the face of maternal antibody interference from colostrum have been a gamechanger for the management of pneumonia in nursing calves. During the fall processing and while pregnancy testing, talk to your veterinarian to get updated information on prevention of pneumonia through the use of vaccines at three key times in a calf ’s life: birth, pasture turnout and weaning. Judicious use of antibiotics and animal welfare all fit together. Proactive herd health management through the proper use of vaccines, adequate nutrition and appropriate environmental management pays with better fertility, improved calf health and more pounds weaned.


December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Consider putting beef on your Christmas dinner table BY ELISABETH HARMS With Christmas now barely a month away, preparations for the holidays are beginning in earnest. Regardless of how many things you have to do, dinner is always one of the most important things to plan and execute. Not only is it a chance to cook some delicious food, it is also a time when you get to sit down with your family and celebrate being with them. While a turkey or chicken is the obvious and, perhaps, traditional choice for your holiday dinner, there are many other options that are just as tasty. I could go so far as to say that they are also easier to prepare, but I will let you be the judge of that. If you are ready to try something new, let Canada Beef help you choose what is going to be the centrepiece of your Christmas dinner. Here are three great options that are no less delicious than a turkey. Your first option is a beef roast. This could be a top sirloin roast or a ribeye roast – both of these cuts work well in the oven and will result in a tender roast with great beef flavour. Beef in general goes well with simple and straightforward flavours: garlic, rosemary, mushrooms, salt and pepper. The garlic complements the beef flavour well and mushrooms will add an earthy element to your dish. Consider

sautéing mushrooms with onions as a side dish to your oven beef roast. If your oven is going to be full, you could try a blade roast, which makes a great pot roast. Cook this cut on the stove top with a fair amount of liquid, which keeps the meat from drying out. If you find you have no room on the stove top either, put the roast in the slow cooker so you can set it and forget it. For a slightly more impressive Christmas dinner, you could splurge on a beef tenderloin. This extratender cut of meat makes a great roast. You could also take it one step further and cook the tenderloin as a Beef Wellington. A classic dish, it never loses its impact as it comes to the dinner table. If you don’t want something that elaborate, a tenderloin can be cooked in different ways. You could slice it into medallions, sauté them on the stovetop, and finish them in the oven. You could also roast the tenderloin as a whole, although that will take longer than the medallions. When roasting a whole tenderloin, check the temperature of the roast at both ends. Finally, if you aren’t content with Beef Wellington, go all out and do a standing rib roast, also known as a prime rib roast. It’s a large piece of meat and definitely won’t fail to impress. This cut of meat can also be customized to fit the crowd that you are feeding. An indi-

vidual roast can have anywhere from two to seven ribs. A larger roast (with more ribs) will feed more people, while a smaller roast (with fewer ribs) will feed fewer people. Christmas is a time to celebrate with your loved ones and regardless of what you cook, you’re going to have a great meal. For more inspiration, visit Canada Beef ’s website at https://canadabeef.ca/recipes/.

Braised Blade Roast with Garlic 1 beef blade roast, about 1.5 kg or 3 lb 10-12 garlic cloves – if they are large, into quarters 3 shallots, quarters; or 1 large onion, cut into eight wedges 2 tbsp grainy mustard 2 tbsp olive oil 1 cup beer 1 cup beef stock Salt and pepper 1. 2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Remove roast from packaging and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the mustard and oil in a bowl. Set aside. Peel the shallots/onion and cut into wedges. Place on the bottom of your slow cooker dish. Make slits into the roast with the tip of a knife and insert the garlic cloves as far as they will go. Spread them out over both sides of the roast. Spread the oil and mustard mixture all over the roast, rubbing it into all the creases and cracks. Place roast into slow cooker dish, however it fits. Add the beer and stock. Feel free to substitute more stock for the beer, if you like. Place lid on the dish, set to low for 6-8 hours, until the meat is tender enough it falls apart.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

Market should end 2018 on a steady note As I sit down to write this edition of The Bottom Line, Remembrance Day has passed, and the auction markets in Manitoba will face two more weeks of huge deliveries of cattle before the fall calf run begins to taper off. Stormy weather conditions in Manitoba have pushed back by a week what should have been the biggest calf run of the year. The high volume of calves for sale in Manitoba will peak the week of November 12 to 16 and should start to decline for the remainder of the calendar year. Prices continued to be under pressure, but the “Remembrance Day Wreck” in the calf market that I mentioned last month was not as bad as some had predicted. In Manitoba, producers have delivered between two and three per cent more calves this year than last. There appears to be less heifer retention, and producers continue to sell their lighter calves. For a number of reasons, Manitoba markets experienced a sharper drop in calf prices than markets further west. The main reason was that in September and October buyers representing feedlots in Ontario and Quebec were aggressively competing for calves in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan. The markets in western Manitoba were 10 to 12 cents per pound higher than further west, especially on the heavy steer calves. The Manitoba calf trade is heavily influenced by the eastern demand; this year it was more evident than usual. As the volume of cattle on offer increased, bottlenecks in the industry created more volatility in the markets. Transportation got harder to find, and the price to ship cattle east increased from two to four cents per pound. West trucks also increased their rates by one cent. Backgrounding pens in Manitoba were getting filled rapidly or were booked, which caused more downward pressure on the market. The cost of

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line feeding these backgrounder cattle also increased from last year, adding to the downward pressure on the market prices. Cattle feeders in the east were having trouble getting the fed cattle harvested, prices had dropped back to below western levels and feeders were waiting over 30 days to price and deliver their finished cattle. In the west, feedlots were full of cattle on feed that were placed earlier this year due to the dry conditions. Finished cattle were moving out faster than in the east, but there was still a two week delay in deliveries. Feeder cattle from the US continued to be imported into Alberta and Saskatchewan feedlots, competing for bunk space with Canadian calves. Prices for top quality 600-pound steers in Manitoba averaged $2.27 for the week of October 9, with sales topping at $2.34. The same steers in the week of November 10, dropped to $2.10 with sales to $2.18. In Alberta, they dropped from $2.19 to $2.09 in the same time period. So, what happened in Manitoba was that supply overran demand and with the factors mentioned above, the Manitoba calf market finally caught up with the rest of western Canada. That, combined with the seasonal drop in the prices, meant Manitoba producers experienced the “real” calf market and a sharp decline in the price book for calves.

This brings me to the biggest complaint I have heard this fall − the spread between steers and heifers. Producers in Manitoba have really been vocal on the price spread between heifers and steers. On paper it looks worse than other years, however, if you review the whole market scenario, the spread is very close to seasonal averages. This fall the Manitoba steers were higher than expected, keeping pace with last year’s prices in September and October. Six hundred pound heifer prices were running in the high $180s to the low $190s, about three cents (the cost of trucking) below Alberta prices. Ontario and Quebec buyers do not pursue the heifer calves at the same level of demand as they do the steer calves. Remember how much higher the steers were in Manitoba than everywhere else? If you take the Ontario and Quebec demand out of the equation on the steers, the spread between steers and heifers in Manitoba would have been very close to the same as the rest of western Canada. The seasonal drop in the heifer prices in Manitoba from October 9 to November 10, 2018 was only five cents per pound, while the steers dropped 17 cents on average in the same time period. The demand for heifers to feed will always be lower than the steers, especially when feed costs are higher. Most feedlots will tell you that it costs three to five cents per pound minimum more to feed a heifer compared to a steer. When I go to market backgrounded cattle in the spring, I have at least 10 large feedlots that are interested in steers while for heifers the number drops to four. The market looks like it should end 2018 on a steady note. Until next time, Rick

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December 2018 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Cattle and coping with cold stress BY KATE CUMMINGS MBP Beef Specialist

Wind Speed (kph)

Air Temperature (degrees Celsius)

-18 -15 -12 -9 -7 -4 -1 2 4 and energy intake. Effective temperature takes into Cold conditions can present chal0 -18 -15 -12 -9 -7 -4 -1 2 4 lenges for cattle in Manitoba. It’s under- consideration the actual temperature as 8 -21 -18 -16 -13 -11 -8 -5 -2 1 stood that to maintain body condition in well as the wind speed. Wind speed can cold temperatures, cattle require more greatly lower the effective temperature 16 -24 -21 -18 -16 -13 -11 -8 -5 -2 energy. However the temperature at as it draws heat away from the animal at 24 -26 -23 -21 -18 -16 -13 -10 -7 -4 which cattle experience cold stress, and a faster rate. In response to a temperajust how much more energy is required ture drop a cow’s metabolic rate increas32 -29 -26 -23 -21 -18 -16 -13 -10 -7 es. This results in a heat of production are questions that may arise. In a range of temperature called increase, which creates a greater de- http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/beef/facts/07-001.htm the thermal neutral zone animals don’t mand for dietary energy. To meet this lose weight, therefore becoming more tive environmental temperatures). require extra energy to maintain body new energy demand there will be an susceptible to cold stress, further in• Bedding has a huge impact on temperature, but below the lower limit increase in voluntary feed intake. As creasing metabolic rate, and, creating a how cattle handle cold stress. Bulls of the thermal neutral zone is the Low- a guideline, energy requirements innegative spiral. in particular are susceptible to er Critical Temperature (LCT). This is crease by four to six Mcals with every Management strategies can be frost bite. Spermatogenesis takes the point at which an animal experienc- 10 degree drop below the LCT. implemented to reduce the negative ef61 days, so should testicular damPutting those values fects of cold stress. These include: age occur, a 61-day cycle would into perspective, barley • Feeding more and feeding later need to pass in order to produce for instance has 1.5 Mcals in the day or evening. Incremenhealthy sperm. Bedding should be digestible energy (DE). tal heat production is the energy approximately one foot thick. So for a 10 degree drop made available from feed to pro• Ensuring cattle have access to an below the LCT, adding duce heat. This peaks six to eight unlimited supply of water will altwo pounds of barley will hours following feeding. Feeding low them to increase feed intake aid in meeting energy rein the evenings can make the most and satisfy energy requirements. quirements. Digesting Cattle can adapt to short-term of feed supplies, as the animals hay and straw does genfluctuations in temperature without will benefit from the warmth of erate energy, however, an impact on performance. The enerfermentation early in the morning the digestible energy is gy cost resulting from prolonged cold when temperatures are the lowest not enough to compenstress can present risk during calving, and energy requirements are highsate for the loss due to https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/ as well as impact future reproductive est. fermentation. Therefore winter-management-of-the-beef-cow-herd • Wind greatly reduces the effective efficiency. Cold weather is inevitable grain is helpful in fulfilltemperature so shelter will have but with a few management techniques es cold stress. Without wind, the lower ing the energy requirements. If suffithe greatest effect on cold-stressed the effects of cold stress on cattle can critical temperature (LCT) is around -20 cient energy is unavailable, stored fat cattle. The following table illus- be significantly reduced. Implementing degrees Celsius for most cattle. This val- along with any energy from feed will trates wind chill effects for cattle these strategies will effectively reduce ue can be higher or lower depending on be diverted to maintaining core temwith winter coats (values are effec- costs and improve production efficiency. factors such as body condition, weight perature. This in turn causes cattle to

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2018

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