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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

FEBRUARY 2019

Beef producers across Manitoba have struggled with finding feed for their herds due to a dry year, and that may have an impact on their mental health. (Photo by Jeannette Greaves)

Stress levels rise as feed supplies tighten As a cattle producer, Jason Bednarek has seen it all: BSE, country-of-origin labeling, E. coli, flooding, volatile markets that bounce around like a basketball and other stressors guaranteed to turn a producer’s hair grey. Now, having weathered all these things over the years, Bednarek has another stressor which may top them all: worrying he may not have enough feed to keep his 1,000 beef cows alive through the winter. “I’d say she’s right up at the top because there’s nothing more stressful than not knowing if you’re going to make it to the green grass for feed,” says Bednarek, who has been on the family farm near Ashern all his life. “Day by day we just try to do the best we can.” Bednarek and his fellow producers are victims of a crippling drought which held much of Manitoba in its grip last summer. Hay yields were well below normal and many cattle producers harvested only a fraction of their needs. Some regions are better off than others. Manitoba Agriculture says the southwest and northwest regions received more precipitation and were not as badly affect-

ed. But the Interlake, where Bednarek farms, along with the Westlake, southeast and central regions experienced sharply reduced forage crops. According to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, hay yields throughout the province were only 74 per cent of normal with alfalfa hay averaging just two-thirds of normal yields. As a commodities broker, Bednarek is able to access feed grain for his cows’ rations. The problem is finding enough roughage to go with it. Bednarek got only a third of his normal hay crop in 2018. Silage crops, first cut alfalfa and native hay were all poor. Bednarek is using corn stover and bulrushes while scrounging for other roughage but says there’s “no hay out there to be had.” Most of his neighbours are in the same boat and “it’s a little scary.” “Lots of guys are biting their fingernails hoping they can put things together to get to spring.” Tom Teichroeb, Manitoba Beef Producers president, says producers who are short of feed have two options: transport cows to a feed source if they can find one, or reduce herd numbers to the point at which animals can

be fed. But local markets were saturated with cull cows in 2018 and prices for them were down sharply. Teichroeb says take-home returns for his own cull cows in fall were only 44 per cent of the previous year’s culls. It’s a bitter pill for producers to swallow, he says. “You look at what you’ve built and the work you’ve put into it and all of a sudden there’s elements beyond your control that devalue what you do and keep you from capturing the full market potential. It’s extremely deflating,” says Teichroeb. “For some producers who are at the age where they’re hoping to retire, it’s doubly frustrating because they don’t have time to wait. I can only imagine the stress they feel.” Someone who can imagine it is Janet Smith. As program manager for Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services, Smith and her colleagues, all of them with farm backgrounds, spend a lot of time on the phone and online talking to farmers who are stressed, anxious and worried about their future. Sometimes, however, the problem is getting them to pick up the phone and call, says Smith. Page 7 

President's column

Meet Nancy Howatt

BCRC Cow-calf survey

Page 3

Page 10

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BY RON FRIESEN


2

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

Five essentials for profitable ranch management BY ANGELA LOVELL On a ranch there are four areas that need to be managed: production, economics and finance, marketing, and people according to Bruce Teichert from Orem, Utah. Teichert, a speaker at last November’s Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Brandon, has spent 40 years managing large ranches in Canada and the U.S., teaching at the University of Wyoming and Brigham Young University and providing consulting services in several different countries. To begin with, Teichert explained that here are three ways to improve profit: increase turnover, decrease overheads or improve gross margin (total returns minus direct costs). “This is whole ranch profit or profit per acre and never profit or production per cow,” said Teichert. “That can be misleading because cow sizes change, stocking rate and fertility rate, and a bunch of other things change so it’s whole ranch profit that we want to strive for.” In order to become more profitable ranchers need to reduce overheads, market well, and improve three key ratios: acres per cow, cows per person, and fed feed versus grazed feed, he added. Acres per cow Teichert cited the example of one rancher who greatly reduced the number of acres per cow. He spent $50/acre on fencing wire, but whereas it used to take 30 acres to run a cow, after fencing it took 16 acres. This is what the rancher told Teichert: “I just bought another ranch for $50/acre, and I won’t have to pay property tax on this one or add another person.” Cows per person If a rancher can go from 400 to 800 cows per person it cuts down dramatically on costs. “A person costs way more than their salary because they need housing, tools, vehicle, horses, or whatever you have to provide for them to do their job. If you spread that across more cows and not work harder but smarter, it makes a world of difference,” he said. Fed feed versus grazed feed “If you are feeding, there are ways to reduce the cost of feed if the animal can’t graze 365 days a year,” said Teichert. “Some of you might be bale grazing or swath grazing. How do we cheapen the fed feed without reducing the quality?” The five essentials of range management 1. Integrating and holistic The approach to managing must be both integrating and holistic. “We’re talking about the interconnectedness of the bits and pieces and how they relate and work together’” said Teichert. “We’re talkDISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 2

ing about managing the entire system.” There are a number of determinants of profit that all work together, but weaning weight is not one of them. “Considering weaning weights will not make you anywhere near the money that good grazing or having cows that are fertile will make,” said Teichert. “We want to do those kinds of things.” Overheads need to be managed carefully. “We really need to watch overheads, and if we don’t need it, let’s not have it because it’s costing us over time,” said Teichert. Stocking rate is a huge driver of profitability and there are two ways to improve it: by reducing cow stocks or improving the land. “We can manage grazing better, get better land, soil and be more productive,” said Teichert. “I know people that have doubled and almost tripled stocking rate. You can reduce your cost and overheads per cow by doing those things.” Calving at the right time of the year and realized herd fertility (meaning actual fertility) also increase profits. “I don’t just want a conception rate, I want a live calf that lives until it can be sold,” said Teichert. Using production inputs wisely requires an understanding of changing relationships. “If you change cow size, milking ability, or feed supplements, how does that affect you economically? You need to ask those questions as you go along,” said Teichert. “Become a systems thinker. Try to envision the entire system as you’re making your decisions.” 2. Continuous improvement of the key resources; land, livestock, people. Minimize the amount of things you have that depreciate and maximize the number things that appreciate. “Land, livestock and people appreciate in value if we focus on them,” said Teichert. For improving the land, Teichert favours planned, time-controlled, adaptive grazing. “We need to react to what Mother Nature is doing to us or for us with how we graze,” he says. Length of grazing and recovery periods will depend on each ranch’s resources, but should be managed so grazing period is as short as possible and rest period as lengthy as possible. “The principles are eternal; the practices have to fit where you are and the circumstance you’re in that’s why we call it adaptive,” said Teichert. Adaptive grazing can help increase carrying capacity, provide greater stock movement and improve animal performance. Continuous improvement of livestock begins with selecting cattle that fit the environment of the ranch at its toughest time. “If you do that, you’ll have cat-

DISTRICT 5

RAMONA BLYTH

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

tle that are resilient to changes and will be able to be profitable for you all of the time,” said Teichert. Then select the right bull. “One of the most difficult things is to find a place to buy bulls that will leave daughters in your herd that will be good enough cows for what you’re trying to do,” said Teichert. Continuously improving the people requires an environment where people want to excel. “If we can create the kind of an environment that leads us all to do better work that can become exciting,” said Teichert. “As you’re trying to help people develop along that path, provide good tools and training, and give them more autonomy and freedom to do what they’ve been trained to do.” Empowerment starts at the top with the manager or leader. “A manager can encourage, facilitate, and reward. I’ve never known a truly good manager that wasn’t a teacher. Leadership is best gauged by the voluntary response of those being led. If the response is not voluntary, it’s not leadership, it’s coercion. Good leadership is critical to the success of good organizations.” 3. Use of good planning and decision making tools On the financial end, direct costs (such as feed, veterinarian bills and insurance), should be separated from overhead costs (such as land, facilities, people, tools). “Eliminate overheads that we don’t need and then work on feed,” said Teichert. Production records should include animal days per pasture and acre, weaned calf crop percentage, pregnancy rates, whole herd weaning weights and yearling gain and death loss. “I don’t like to go back to cows exposed because that’s cows a year ago and I’m thinking of going forward. I want to get as many cows pregnant as possible, and I want to get as many calves born alive and raised to weaning time this year,” said Teichert. “If you do want to get calves weaned per cow exposed, multiply this year’s weaned calf crop percentage by last year’s pregnancy rate and you’ll have a good proxy for calves weaned for cow exposed.” Annual cattle (or stock) flow and a grazing plan is the foundation of a good budget, he added. “The stock flow tells me how many cattle I’ll have on hand going into next year and what I need to budget for,” said Teichert, who also believes every ranch needs a drought plan. “If you’re having to move ahead of schedule (with your grazing) because the feed isn’t there, that’s an early warning that you’re not producing feed like usual, so you had probably

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

NANCY HOWATT

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 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 WEGNER

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

better start to destock a little bit,” said Teichert. “In continuous grazing, sometimes it’s harder to recognize if you’re not producing the same amount of feed.” Almost as important is a heavy snow plan, especially if producers are grazing well into winter or in early spring. “Some people are planting cover crops in the fall and winter grazing those, but you still need a heavy snow plan,” said Teichert. 4. War on cost Gross margin is total returns minus direct costs. Most of the direct cost on a ranch is feed, so the focus should be how to get more efficient with feed. “Match cow size and calving season to your resources and you will save yourself a lot of money,” said Teichert. “Get the calving season more in sync with nature and you can do wonderful things.” Another way to save feed costs is to increase grazing days and decrease fed days. “I like minimal developed replacement heifers,” said Teichert. “Research, and my practical experience, has showed that heifers do not have to be putting a lot in fed grain to be good cows; in fact they’re better cows if they’re not.” Buy smaller replacement cows that fit your environment or raise them from bulls and cows that fit your environment, added Teichert. “Longevity is a result of fertility, and that’s a result of environment fit. If they fit the environment, they have the ability to get pregnant every year,” he said. Coincidental with good grazing and calving that is in sync with nature are a number of benefits to the ranch. Fewer herds of increased size reduce the need for fence and watering sites, and the livestock occupy a small portion of the ranch at any given time. There is a reduced need for fed feed, labour and equipment, which leads to a higher cows per person ratio. 5. Emphasis on marketing Production and marketing must work together and that includes managing breeding to produce offspring that maximize profit. Teichert prefers a short calving season, but leaving bulls with cows until preg check time to minimize open and cull cows, and finding specialized or niche markets for cows that don’t calve during the defined season. “We put the marketing with the production, and every cow that calved after the first 30 days of the efficient calving season (April) were sold,” he said. “After a few years of doing that, 87 per cent of them routinely calve in those first 30 days. We wanted exposed heifers for 30 days and then we cut that down to 24 days and every calving got over with quickly and became more uniform with the passage of time.” DISTRICT 14

DISTRICT 13 BEN FOX

JADE DELAURIER

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

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

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February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Reflections upon 2018 collaborations Another year has finished. I hope the Christmas season gave everyone an opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. I believe it is useful to take time to decompress and reflect on the whirlwind of events and obligations in our workplace and personal lives. That was certainly the case with my own family as we were able to visit and enjoy time with extended family in Saskatchewan for a few days. It gave us an opportunity to enjoy the simple things like skating, tobogganing, playing games and of course eating too much. It is often said that our lives have become so overloaded with obligations that we forget to enjoy the journey. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed forgetting about my day-to-day obligations, kept life simple for a short period of time and focused on the most important gift in my life, which is my family. I certainly hope you were able to do the same. Upon reflecting on possible topics for this article, it struck me that similar to building and strengthening personal and family relationships, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) staff and directors work and collaborate with various groups and organizations on an ongoing basis to aid in strengthening the livestock industry both locally and nationally. MBP works closely with not only government but also non-government organizations such as conservation organizations as well. I will take this opportunity to highlight some of these organizations and recognize the individuals who participate and contribute to these efforts. MBP works closely with Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI), a “made-in-Manitoba” research facility that has learning and research facilities and works in collaboration with provincial and out of province researchers to grow and advance the livestock industry. District 5 director Ramona Blyth and District 6 director Larry Wegner represent MBP as part of the MBFI board of directors. Aside from her role as a producer, MBP director and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association director, Blyth has served as president of the MBFI board, playing a vital role in establishing MBFI from the grassroots level and developing an effective business model for the organization. Various other organizations are represented at the

MBFI board of directors as well. District 10 director Mike Duguid represents the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA), which works promotes the environmental benefits of forages, grasslands, cover crops and healthy soils. Other provincial organizations such as the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) create synergies for the livestock industry, operating 20 community pastures throughout Manitoba. Community pastures are fundamentally important for the growth of the Manitoba beef herd as they are reliable and affordable options for beef producers. The community pasture program also has environmental benefits including contributions to carbon sequestration. MBP General Manager Brian Lemon represents MBP with AMCP to ensure that community pastures remain a permanent option for the growth and vitality of the livestock industry. The National Cattle Feeders Association (NCFA) is also integral to the Manitoba livestock industry. District 13 director Ben Fox and Lemon represent NCFA on behalf of MBP. Harry Dalke, a Manitoba feedlot owner and operator, has agreed to represent the Manitoba feedlot sector at the NCFA, replacing Larry Schweitzer who previously held that position. Manitoba has long been recognized as a cow/calf province and relies heavily on the feedlot industry in Manitoba as well in the western and eastern provinces. Organizations such as the NCFA are essential to the success of the livestock industry and are important components of the value chain as it pertains to the primary producers and other sectors. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is the national voice for the livestock industry. Currently District 1 director Gordon Adams, Blyth, and I (District 8 director) represent MBP nationally. The CCA holds its Annual General Meeting in March to address annual business and for other business and networking purposes. This is followed by the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August of each year. This conference is not only a celebration of the larger beef industry but includes business meetings of various committees. CCA members representing each province

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

contribute to committees such as Environment, Foreign Trade, Domestic Agriculture, Value Creation and others. It is the collaborative efforts of the directors, staff and the larger industry that work towards advancing and growing the industry both provincially and nationally. Two other national organizations play an equally important role to growth and the strength of the livestock industry. Canada Beef Inc. is the national marketing agency and continues to seek new markets for Canadian beef both nationally and internationally. Canada Beef Inc. is currently represented by former MBP President Heinz Reimer. The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), under the direction of Andrea

Brocklebank, continues to advance and support the research that is vital and relevant for the industry. MBP District 6 director Wegner continues to be a voice for Manitoba with BCRC. It is imperative that the various researchers, program directors and provincial directors collaborate to ensure that there is no duplication of the research projects. MBP collaborates with many other groups and organizations to work towards maximizing the full potential of the livestock industry. The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI) focuses on the lager watershed areas with respect to drainage and water retention in southwestern Manitoba and other provincial jurisdictions as well as south of the Canadian

border. District 1 director Adams and MBP policy analyst Maureen Cousins represent MBP at ARBI. The Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Taskforce Committee continues to play an important role in monitoring any TB-related issues in Manitoba. A number of MBP directors and staff continue to support this initiative. Operating under the umbrella of MBP, the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance (MCLA) staff have done an excellent job in growing the MCLA, proving it is an important tool for many producers. This cash advance program has loan options available to beef producers as well as other commodities and a number of MBP directors serve on the MCLA board. This is a sampling of the many organizations that MBP collaborates with to help promote, strengthen and shape our industry. MBP directors and staff undertake roles and responsibilities with these organizations be-

yond their responsibilities at MBP. Their tremendous dedication in an effort to advance and grow the livestock industry on behalf of livestock producers is very much appreciated. Once again, thank you to MBP directors, staff and you, the producers, who contribute to this incredible organization. Finally, I would like to invite you to the MBP Annual General Meeting at the Victoria Inn in Brandon on February 7 and 8. This is a time when we come together to debate resolutions, transfer knowledge, and discuss issues and opportunities. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people that represent all parts of the industry. I certainly hope that you will consider this invitation and contact MBP staff to register. We look forward to seeing you at the AGM. Until next time please take care and be safe. Kind regards, Tom

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

BCRC looks back on 2018 accomplishments BY BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. Our mandate is to: • determine and communicate the Canadian beef cattle industry’s research and development priorities, and • administer the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds that have been assigned by producers to research The BCRC invites and funds projects and initiatives that have the greatest potential to benefit the sustainability and competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. The year 2018 was a transition year for the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) in terms of both funding and program administration. An increase in the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off from $1 to $2.50 per head in most provinces and revised allocations to research has grown the BCRC’s research budget from approximately 15 cents to approximately 75 cents per head. (More information on the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off can be found at www.cdnbeefcheckoff.ca/) In addition,

the Beef Science Cluster II, under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, wrapped up March 31, 2018 and the Beef Science Cluster III program, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), has begun. Canada’s Beef Cattle Industry Science Clusters The Science Clusters are a partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that combines their strengths (including funding levels) and the BCRC’s strengths (including understanding of industry’s priorities) to make wise joint-investments in a variety of research programs with the greatest potential to advance the industry. The first Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster directed $10.5 million to 32 research projects between 2009 and 2013. Joint industry and government commitments to the second Cluster (April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2018) totaled $20 million, including $14 million in funding from AAFC, $1 million in provincial government investments, and $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and provincial beef industry groups. Funding was directed to 26 research projects. Beef Science Cluster II Outcomes Research supported through the Cluster is de-

veloping solutions to issues of concern to Canada’s beef industry, governments, regulators, consumers and the public. Results include: • A factual understanding of the Canadian beef industry’s environmental footprint. In 2011, producing each kg of Canadian beef required 29 per cent less breeding stock, 27 per cent fewer slaughter cattle and 24 per cent less land, used 17 per cent less water, and produced 15 per cent less greenhouse gases than in 1981. • Optimal combinations of annual forage crops, agronomic management and grazing practices that improve forage productivity while providing economical and nutritionally appropriate winter feed for the cow herd. • C ost-effective, practical ways to manage the pain associated with castration in beef calves. The adoption by producers of pain control for castration has increased significantly in recent years. • A report on the changes in Canadian beef quality and consumer satisfaction over time. Attributes of quality and satisfaction have remained stable or slightly improved over the past five years. • An understanding of the occurrence and severity of beef carcass defects to inform prevention strategies. Total losses due to carcass quality defects are approximately $200

million/year. Some defects, like bruises and horns, are becoming less common while others, like excess weight, fat, tag, liver health and injection site lesions require further investigation of nutritional and health management strategies to reduce losses. • New feed grain and forage varieties with superior yield and quality, including ten barley varieties approved for registration, and several lines of native plant materials, legumes, grasses and triticale with potential for commercialization. • Dry chilling methods to cost-effectively control microbiological growth on carcasses in small abattoirs. • The establishment of a veterinary and producer surveillance network to gather information on the prevalence of production limiting diseases and evaluate the adoption of and producer attitudes towards various management practices such as antimicrobial use, animal welfare practices and biosecurity practices. • Detailed metagenomic analysis of microbiological samples collected throughout cattle environments, soils, wetlands, rivers, municipal water, retail beef, human patients and sewage samples found no link between the use of antimicrobials in beef cattle and antimicrobial resistance in humans.

The BCRC’s research priorities focus on: •

improving competitiveness in the production of Canadian beef cattle,

supporting science-based policy, regulation and trade,

supporting science-based public education and advocacy,

supporting the Canadian Beef Advantage, and

accelerating the adoption of beneficial innovations by the Canadian beef industry.

Beef Science Cluster III in Progress Funding for the third Cluster was announced by AAFC in July 2018. Covering the period to March 31, 2023, $21 million will be directed to 26 research projects. The funding includes $14 million from AAFC, $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and $1.5 million in in-kind contributions from industry in the form of cattle, equipment, and materials. This Cluster will work to grow beef exports and supply growing global beef demand by supporting research and technology transfer that advances Canadian beef and forage production while enhancing industry competitiveness and the public’s trust in re-

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sponsible production. Examples of Cluster III project objectives include: • determine how camera-based computerized carcass grading systems can optimize fabrication and direct beef products to the most suitable market to support market growth and trade; • measure and identify opportunities for further improvements in carcass and beef quality to support value-added product development; • expand productionlimiting disease surveillance across Canada to anticipate, mitigate and respond to emerging disease threats; • enhance environmental sustainability and address climate change by evaluating carbon sequestration and biodiversity in Canada’s grasslands and identify strategies to increase the beef industry’s contribution; • reinforce public trust and support transport regulation development by determining optimal rest intervals and durations for cattle in transit • support consumer confidence and demand by improving understanding of bacteria and cattle interactions to improve food safety, reduce the risk of E. coli O157:H7, and reduce the need for antimicrobials to treat bovine respiratory disease and digestive upsets; and • strengthen awareness and adoption of research results via the BCRC’s innovative knowledge translation and transfer team. • Details on all 26 Cluster III projects are available on BeefResearch.ca. • Leveraging the Increased Canadian Beef Cattle Checkoff The increased Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off enables the BCRC to continue Page 5 


February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Late rally slowed by lack of supply Now that the books have been closed on 2018, all eyes are looking forward to see what 2019 will bring to the cattle industry. Some last minute pen space became available in mid-December, and there was an unexpected rally in the prices to end the year. That rally led producers to believe that the first quarter of 2019 would be full of optimism. The cash cattle prices in the USA closed strong with highs just under the $125.00 on the live market and there were calls coming from south of the board inquiring about the availability of Canadian feeder cattle. Three things happened in the first half of January that put a damper on some of the optimism. There were very few feeder cattle on the market for the first couple of weeks to establish the market trends. The exchange between the American and Canadian dollar tightened, stopping the export of feeder cattle as a marketing option. Retail

and wholesale beef prices in the USA had been very strong and most of the experts were predicting that demand in January would stimulate higher box beef prices. Unfortunately, the boxed beef market opened flat and never got the traction that industry was looking for. The bright spot in the market was the cow trade. Cows opened stronger than predicted. The packers reduced the fed cattle harvest due to the lack of support in the boxed beef trade and increased the cow harvest. With the stronger Canadian dollar, the American packers were taking a back seat to the domestic packers. Some classes of cows were 10 cents per pound higher than at the close of the year. The value of the Canadian dollar will play an important part of the market values in the upcoming year. In 2018, the dollar was favorable to export into the USA despite the fact that the numbers of cattle in the US continued to increase.

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line An 80-cent dollar would be a disaster for the Canadian cattle industry. Industry standard is that for every one-cent change in the value of the Canadian dollar, the feeder market will be changed by five cents per pound. There is some good news for the Canadian cattlemen. It looks like 2019 will mark the end of the expansion of the American cattle herd. In a supply driven market, the peak of the cattle production cycle is always a welcome event. With the signing of the CPTPP, tariffs on Canadian fresh beef will be reduced 11 per cent, with an 11.5 per cent reduction on frozen products. This has been great news for Canada, as it will open more doors for

BCRC Year in Review  Page 4 to play an integral role in achieving several of the industry goals identified in the National Beef Strategy by maintaining existing programming and expanding in the following ways: • Priority Research Projects: Increased funding will be allocated to research aimed at achieving specific outcomes related to beef quality, food safety, feed grain production, forage production and utilization, improved feed efficiency at both cow-calf and feedlot levels, and production-related priorities in the areas of animal health and welfare and antimicrobial resistance and use. The council launched a call for letters of intent in June 2018. Funding decisions on proposed projects will be made in February 2019. Summaries will be available on BeefResearch.ca. • Research Capacity: Increased funding is enabling the reinvigoration of research programming in areas where research expertise has declined in Canada, such as beef production, and forage breeding, agronomy, and utilization. Many research funding agencies are limited in their ability to fund new research positions; the BCRC has the flexibility to fund this type of initiative and is looking

to leverage producer investments with Institutional and Government funding opportunities that exist. The council launched a call for proposals for Research Chairs in August 2018. An announcement will be made in 2019. • Knowledge and Technology Transfer: The BCRC continues to advance the implementation of its Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer Strategy to drive broad and timely uptake of research results. Focus has been placed on developing and utilizing a Canadian Beef Technology Transfer Network to support the regionally limited, underfunded, and fragmented nature of beef extension across Canada. The BCRC is working to develop collaborative extension projects that bring together the expertise and resources of various groups in order to develop excellent extension resources together. Investments are also being

ry last fall may end up feeding them to finish in order to mitigate losses. The futures are not very supportive after the end of July. Ontario packers are offering contracts to the end of the year, but prices are barely equal to last year and are five to seven cents behind the projected western Canada price. The lack of competition for fed cattle in eastern Canada is troubling for the cattle feeders and could have a major impact on Manitoba feeder cattle sales. Ontario has been a major supporter of the Manitoba cattle producers for years. If the futures are correct, there will be very little down slide on feeder cattle that come under weight this spring. The marketing windows are very narrow and sensitive. Don’t be surprised if there is a slide down for over weight feeders and a very small to zero slide up for the feeders that come under weight in the 800 to 1,000 pound category. The spring market looks very close to last year. If you follow the futures for the fed cattle, the 850 pound steers ready for September

made in economic-based decision-making tools and resources to help producers evaluate the relevance of adopting particular innovations on their operations. • Advancement of the Verified Beef Production Plus program: In addition to funding research, the BCRC is responsible for the delivery of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, which verifies on-farm practices related to food safety, animal care, biosecurity, and environment. Ongoing national industry investment will ensure the consistent delivery of the VBP+ program as it becomes a core pillar in verifying sustainable beef production in partnership with end-users For more information To learn more about BCRC initiatives and take advantage of our extension resources, including articles, videos, webinars, and calculators, visit our website at www.beefresearch.ca.

Canadian beef customers on the Pacific Rim. With the new USMCA trade agreement settled, volatility between Canada and the US should be reduced. This year presents some great opportunities for the Canadian cattle industry to take advantage of. The export market for the USA kept the beef industry profitable in 2018, and we hope that the entire Canadian industry seizes the opportunity in front of us, while the US political machine is in turmoil. During most of last year, the Canadian fed-cattle market was higher than the Nebraska weekly average. This made the feedlots in the west very competitive feeder cattle buyers. To turn a profit, that trend will need to continue for some of the feeder cattle purchased last fall. It looks like many of the backgrounding lots that purchased invento-

at 1,600 pounds need to be purchased in January / February around $1.80 per pound to be close to a break even. That formula allows for $105.00 for the cost of gain to finish, with interest, one per cent death loss, processing and transportation. The steers purchased at 500 pounds in the fall for re-sale in February, need to have been bought at $220.00 per pound or less to break even, if the 850 steers are at $180.00. This formula is based at a gain 350 pounds at 95 cents per pound gain. It also includes interest, processing, 1 per cent death loss and transportation. The market looks like the heavy cattle will get tougher to sell as we move through the first quarter of 2019. The lighter weight cattle will be aggressive as grassing operations step into the market throughout the spring. Most of the Manitoba markets reported larger than average deliveries during the fall of 2018. We should expect about 10 per cent to 15 per cent fewer feeder cattle on offer during the first quarter of 2019. Until next time, Rick

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

Government Activities Update: Hay Disaster Benefit has triggered for eligible producers BY MAUREEN COUSINS Policy Analyst

Triggering of the Hay Disaster Benefit, consultations related to drainage, and agricultural Crown lands were some of the provincial issues on Manitoba Beef Producers’ radar in recent weeks. Hay Disaster Benefit Triggered Approximately 1,000 claims valued at an estimated $3.2 million will be paid out to eligible Manitoba producers after the province announced January 7 that the Hay Disaster Benefit (HDB) has been triggered. Producers who are enrolled in Select Hay Insurance and Basic Hay Insurance through AgriInsurance are automatically enrolled in the HDB. It compensates these insured forage producers for the increased cost of hay and transportation when there is a severe provincial forage shortfall, such as was experienced during the 2018 growing season. According to the province, “To trigger a HDB payment, at least 20 per cent of producers with Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance must harvest less than 50 per cent of their long-term average hay yield. For 2018, producers will receive an additional $40 for each tonne below their Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance coverage.” HDB premiums are cost shared 60 per cent by the federal government and 40 per cent by the province, so there is no cost to producers to receive this benefit. The deadline to enrol for forage insurance in 2019 is April 1. Contact your Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation office or visit their website: www. masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/program_forages.html. Drainage Regulation Consultation Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) will be making a submission as the provincial government holds consultations on a proposed regulation under The Water Rights Act that would allow for a streamlined process related to drainage works, while at the same time increasing protection for wetlands. In 2018 the provincial government passed The Sustainable Watersheds Act. One of the acts amended as part of this legislation was The Water Rights Act.

The changes to the latter act enable the province to develop “a new registration process for lower risk, lower impact projects and compensation provisions to support no net loss of wetland benefits.” “Manitoba is committed to developing water management strategies that promote sustainable agricultural production and water conservation,” said Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires in announcing the consultation. “The proposed Water Rights Regulation reduces red tape for drainage and water retention works while increasing protection for Manitoba wetlands, which play a critical role in the health of our environment.” Under the proposed regulation for drainage and water control works, projects would either undergo a registration or a licensing process. The six project classes that would be eligible for registration include: minor surface drain construction, agricultural subsurface tile drain construction, water control works for new crossings, minor culvert changes, wetland enhancement and restoration, and small dam construction. There would be a $100 fee to register such projects. Proponents would submit an application and if the project meets the criteria and associated requirements for class of work it would be registered within a 14 calendar day timeline. It is also proposed that contiguous projects can be bundled onto one application. Projects which will require a more detailed licensing process would include: loss or alteration of a Class 3, 4 or 5 wetland; drainage of Canada Land Inventory Class 6 or 7 soil or unimproved organic soil; transfer of water between watersheds; negative impacts on fish spawning, rearing, or passage; inconsistency with an approved watershed plan; or, violation of conservation agreement restrictions. The fee for licensing projects would be $500 and application processing times would depend on the complexity of the project. For projects that would drain or alter Class 3, 4 or 5 wetlands, the province is proposing that a compensation process will also be required, involving either restoration or enhancement. Restoration would involve returning a wetland to a close proximity of its natural condition. Enhancement would involve in-

creasing the size (area) of a wetland, improving the wetland benefits associated with the wetland or providing legal protection to a wetland through a conservation agreement. Under the proposed compensation requirements, the applicant would have three options: 1) pay for wetland restoration or enhancement (with a standard price established), 2) purchase a wetland restoration or enhancement (working through an approved service provider), or 3) perform wetland restoration, enhancement or protection on their own land. Also under the proposed regulation, approval would be required from downstream landowners who are “significantly impacted by a drainage or water control work project. However, the regulation would introduce flexibility for departmental discretion to ensure projects cannot be vetoed on the basis of complaints without merit.” During previous consultations related to surface water management MBP had stated that downstream landowners must be consulted with respect to drainage projects to ensure cattle producers operations are not adversely affected. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/sd/ consultations/index.html Comments were being accepted until January 26. Agricultural Crown Lands Program Manitoba Agriculture has posted on its website a list of frequently asked questions about the modernization of the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Program. It covers off topics such as: why there will be an auction for allocation and rent for cropping and forage (haying and grazing) leases and permits; when the auction process may begin for available parcels of ACL (could be held as early as fall 2019); and, which provincial policy decisions are pending, such as term lengths and renewals, minimum bids applicability of bid rent, rent for pre-existing leases, auction notification process, and, the auction process. For further details see: https://www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/land-management/crown-land/pubs/aclfaq-december-2018.pdf Farmland School Tax Rebate The deadline to submit applications to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation for the Farmland School Tax Rebate for the 2018 property tax year is March 31, 2019. Further, your 2018 property taxes, any penalties or interest charges, and Crown Lands and Property Agency lease fees must be paid by March 31, 2019. The rebate percentage has increased from 33 per cent in 2004 to 80 per cent in 2018. For more information email FSTR@masc.mb.ca.

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February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Looking back and planning forward BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column

Let me start my column this time with a wish to you all for a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2019. As 2018 ended, I conducted a number of media interviews with reporters seeking comments about what kind of year it was for the beef industry, a sort of “2018 Year-in-Review” so to speak. It forced me to be a bit retrospective when looking back, but also caused me to understand the dangers of generalizing. The year 2018 saw its share of both good and bad. It was a very dry year and there were (and continues to be) significant challenges for producers to source enough feed. Water was an equally difficult challenge as dugouts and wells dried up. Prices were generally good for the most part, but the additional pressures caused by the feed shortages and producers having to cull heavier to match their herd to their feed pile, also caused some significant pressure on prices this fall. Producers forced to cull cows or even to disperse herds were often faced with very poor prices at the auction. Predation continued to be a significant story for a number of producers, with losses only really being understood in the fall as cattle came off pasture and the magnitude of the losses could be assessed. Providing comments on Crown land allocation changes and drainage regulations also dominated our interactions with provincial officials. This past year we managed to advance a number of initiatives and continued to work to try to better serve our members.

I again visited all 14 districts this past fall and spoke with a large number of producers to hear what is important to them, the challenges they face, and to hear what they think of the work we are doing on their behalf. District meetings are an important part of our annual planning and priority-setting process. It is at district meetings that ideas and resolutions are developed at the grassroots level to eventually make their way to the Annual General Meeting and/or to the MBP board of directors to become a priority for the industry. This past year the district meetings also included the opportunity to hear from invited speakers who explained the changes coming to the way producers will access antimicrobial drug products. Having an invited speaker is an example of a small change that we hope to try to build upon, to hopefully bring more value and more participation at our fall district meetings. Resolutions this year were interesting and covered a number of topics important to the sector. I look forward to the resolutions debate at our AGM. The AGM is in February 7-8 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, with another interesting agenda taking shape. Small details are being finalized, but we are really excited to have the Honourable Gerry Ritz as our keynote speaker at the President’s Banquet. As a former federal agriculture minister, Minister Ritz led the agriculture sector through some profound changes and some very interesting times. I fully expect his presentation will certainly address our 40th anniversary theme – “Proud Past, Promising Future”. A special presentation at this year’s AGM will be the MBP Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is only handed out every five years and goes to an individual or family that have made significant contributions to our sector. The only other time this award was handed out Ms. Betty Green was the recipient and I look forward to seeing whose name will follow her and her example. The AGM is a chance to shape which priorities MBP’s

board pursues in the coming year. Resolutions passed at the AGM go forward to MBP’s board of directors to be considered and to help the board set the direction for the organization. While there is often consensus on resolutions and general agreement on the importance of issues brought forward, last year’s AGM presented an example of where attendance can be very important to have your voice heard and your ballot counted. There a resolution was passed by the absolute narrowest of margins, demonstrating once again just how important it is to be present and to be heard. I encourage all members to make every effort to attend this year’s AGM, to take part in the knowledge sessions, to participate in our business meeting and resolutions debate, and to enjoy the company of their fellow producers at our President’s Banquet. As we turn the page to a new calendar year it is a chance to sit down and look ahead as well. Provincially we expect to see proposed regulations for the agricultural Crown land auction process, as well as for new drainage project approvals. We also look forward to seeing details of provincial strategies to grow the livestock sector and to see how our industry will be included in the provincial protein strategy. Federally, we continue to watch for changes to Canada’s Food Guide, as well as to both the traceability regulations and the humane transportation of animal regulations. These have been in process for some time now and we continue to watch for our opportunity to ensure our beef industry perspectives are considered. Of course, 2019 will also have us all going to the polls in a federal election, and elections can result in unexpected delays as governments choose to not make major changes until after they receive a new mandate. In closing, I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2019, and I look forward to being able to speak with you at our 40th anniversary AGM in Brandon! Happy New Year!

Reaching out is hard, but right thing to do  Page 1 “Farmers tend not to reach out for help very easily,” she says. A recent study by the University of Guelph tends to bear that out. A 2016 survey of 1,100 farmers across Canada revealed that 40 per cent of those surveyed said they would not seek help if suffering from stress. This is despite the fact that 45 per cent of producers have a higher stress level than the general population. Thirty-five per cent are at higher risk for depression and 58 per cent are at greater risk for developing anxiety disorders. The figures, although sobering, are not entirely surprising, says Smith. Farming is a highstress profession at the best of times and becoming more volatile and risky as time goes on. Producers carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, often working in isolation without a social safety net while at the mercy of weather and other things beyond their control. Small wonder they are at greater risk of developing mental health concerns. “When production is at risk, farmers are at risk,” says Smith. Fortunately, the stig-

ma of mental illness is starting to break down. Smith says there’s been a real increase in awareness among farmers in recent years that mental illness is a health problem like any other, treatment for it is available and there’s no shame in getting it. Much of that help involves talking through the problem to see how it is affecting people and what they are doing to cope. This may not eliminate the problem but it does enable a person to see it from a fresh perspective and to develop strategies for handling it. “There is a real power in being listened to objectively from outside your inner circle,” says Smith, who grew up on a farm near Brandon. “Our role is to help guide and support you in making even small changes in that moment, in that day, that might help you better cope so you can come up with some potential solution to the issues you’re experiencing.” Smith’s central message to producers is that taking care of their mental health is one of the best risk management tools they can engage in. “When we’re stressed, one of the things that happens to us is our bodies

and our cognitive abilities start to shut down. We’re not thinking rationally. If you’re feeling anxious, chances are you’re not making good decisions.” Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services, located in Brandon, is a non-governmental program of Klinic Community Health and funded by the province. It

can be reached toll-free at 1-866-367-3276. The province is offering other resources to aid feed-short producers. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation in early January triggered the Hay Disaster Benefit, a feature of AgriInsurance that compensates forage producers for the increased cost of hay and

transportation in times of a severe provincial forage shortfall. The estimated payout for 2018 is $3.2 million on about 1,000 claims. Manitoba Agriculture has information on selling or purchasing feed, nutrition options and a worksheet to calculate winter feed requirements. It is available on-line at http://

www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/livestock/beef/index.html#resources. The good news is that cattle producers are a tough breed accustomed to dealing with adverse conditions. Just ask Jason Bednarek. “We’re farmers,” he says. ”We’re innovative. We’ll figure it out. But it’s going to be a tough road.”

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

Holistic approach to disease prevention is needed to get the best results.

More than one aspect to disease prevention DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner

This month I would like to address a question that I have occasionally had over the years – “Can you use blackleg vaccine as a scour prevention

vaccine?� At first glance, this seems odd but, if you have ever read the labels for the common scour vaccines, all include antigens against Clostrid-

ium perfringens Type C whose toxin causes acute, severe intestinal hemorrhage. Affected calves are commonly found dead and bloated. Necropsy reveals severe hemorrhage in the abomasum and intestines. Treatment

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of calves is often futile so prevention is critical. In my practice area, Clostridial infection of young calves is not common due to implementation of effective vaccine programs for the prevention of the other more common Clostridials – namely the ones that cause Blackleg. Heifers designated as herd replacements will receive a minimum of four Clostridial vaccines during their development and, since immunity is often life-long due to the effectiveness of the vaccine and natural exposure in the environment (to “boost� immunity), vaccination of the mature cow herd is often no longer needed. However, some herds continue to experience issues with bloat in calves under two months of age or sudden deaths with necropsy findings as discussed above. Some cows may also experience more severe vulvar swelling and bruising than normally expected following calving. An-

nual vaccination of the cow herd eliminates those problems because cow immunity is boosted and calves are protected through maternal antibodies in the colostrum. If your herd is experiencing these types of health issues, talk with your veterinarian to review your vaccine protocols. Note in the above case that it was the cow herd that was vaccinated to give protection to the calves. Clostridial vaccines should never be used in newborn calves as a scour prevention or even as a Blackleg prevention. They do not work, plain and simple, and, even worse, they can weaken the calf ’s immune system. The newborn calf ’s immune system is illprepared to deal with the onslaught of disease challenges that occur shortly after birth. It is critically important that the calf get colostrum - the sooner the better. As I discussed in an earlier article, colostrum isn’t just a source of antibodies. Fats, hor-

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mones and growth factors serve to “program� the calf for success in life while the over 10 million white blood cells per mL of colostrum teach the calf ’s immune system how to work. Research has also shown that day 3 post-birth is the most immunosuppressed time in a calf ’s life. It is critically important to then avoid trying to boost the immune system during this time as it will not be able to respond. Neonatal calf vaccination should be done either at birth or delayed until day 6 or 7. Great progress has been made in the development of vaccines for young calves that can bypass the influence of the maternal antibodies from colostrum. Intranasal vaccines at birth (first 24 hours) can boost protection against pneumonia and scours. Talk to your veterinarian about these options. But don’t give any bacterins (vaccines that promote immunity against bacteria) like the 7 or 8-way Clostridials at birth or decreased appetites and lethargy result. This affects colostral intake and subsequently weakens the calf ’s ability to fight off future disease threats. Calves that don’t nurse also develop low blood sugar and weaken more rapidly due to a lack of energy exacerbated by adverse weather conditions. Remember the triangle for disease prevention – host immunity, optimal environment and good nutrition. Take one corner out and everything falls apart.


February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Good meals can include a marinade or a rub BY ELIZABETH HARMS Many cuts of beef can produce wonderful, tasty meals. Part of the challenge in creating a tasty meal is deciding how to impart flavour into a particular cut of beef. How to do this, while getting the best flavour, can depend on a few things: the cut of meat, tenderness of the meat, or how much time you have are just a few things to keep in mind. One of my favourite ways to achieve flavour is by marinade. Marinating works for many cuts of meat, both tender and tough. You can also create many different flavour profiles with a marinade. This method provides you with some flexibility when preparing dinner. When choosing your cut of meat, you will want to consider how much time you have. A more tender cut of meat can be marinated for a minimum of two hours and still produce a great meal. A tougher cut of meat on the other hand will require longer in the marinade. In this instance, the marinade has two purposes: to impart flavour and also tenderize your meat. For this method, a tender cut of beef I would recommend marinating

would be a rib steak or a rib roast. They require about 30 minutes to two hours to marinate. A tougher cut of meat that is great to marinate is a flank steak. It will require about four to six hours to marinate. Another way to add flavour to your meat is to apply a dry rub to your cut. Again, this is a great method for both tender and tough cuts of meat. This method is particularly good if you are short on time. Once a dry rub has been applied to your meat, it only needs to rest about 30 minutes before cooking. You can cook your meat by grilling on the barbeque or searing it on the stove top. These tips apply to tender cuts of meat. If you want to use a dry rub on a tough cut of meat, keep in mind it will require a long cooking time. You can easily apply a dry rub to a brisket or a rump roast and then cook it by braising it. One way to elevate a dry rub is to cut slits at the surface of your meat and insert garlic cloves. This adds great flavour; as the garlic cooks, its flavour mellows and becomes sweet. I would recommend beef ribs or your favourite steak as good options for applying a dry rub. Ideally you would want something that has a lot of beef flavour

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to begin with, as a dry rub will add flavour only to the outside of the meat. You can also add flavour to beef by brining your cut of beef. Brining is an interesting way to impart not only flavour, but moisture, to your meat. It

works best on large pieces of meat that you will roast in your oven. Any solution that includes salt is considered a brine. You can create different flavours by adding spices or fruit peels to your brine. You can add garlic cloves

or ground peppercorns to add savoury flavours to your meat. You can also add whole oranges or lemons to add brightness. The acid from these fruits will also act as tenderizers on your meat. I would definitely

recommend a tough cut of meat, such as a brisket, because the amount of time it sits in the brine will help tenderize the meat. For more ideas on how to cook beef, check out the Canada Beef website, www.canadabeef.ca.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

District 2 Director Nancy Howatt got involved with MBP board because of a 'make things happen' attitude. (Photo by Angela Lovell)

Director Nancy Howatt says MBP has a big voice in the beef industry BY ANGELA LOVELL When MBP directors, Peter Penner and Dave Koslowsky first approached Nancy Howatt about standing as a director, she said she didn’t have time.

“Then I thought, if everyone had that mindset, nothing would get done,” says Howatt, who is now serving her first term as District 2 director, representing the municipalities of Prairie Lakes, Argyle, Lorne,

Killarney-Turtle Mountain, Cartwright-Roblin, Louise and Pembina. Howatt is a cow-calf producer near Manitou, who has also been a crop adjuster with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation for the past

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12 years. She says she has been surprised by the number of MBP committees, of which she serves on three: Governance, Communications and Research. “There are a lot more issues to be covered than there were 10 or 20 years ago, such as species at risk, environment and animal health,” she says.”MBP is an organization with a big voice. It has a strong staff and directors and I am learning lots about how everything works.” As part of the Communications Committee, Howatt particularly enjoys the outreach activities and has recently attended the Red River Ex and the Amazing Agriculture Adventure at Glenlea Research Centre’s Beef Station, organized by Agriculture in the Classroom. “It was a

lot of fun being involved in these things because kids have no filter and they ask a lot of good, inquisitive questions,” she says. Howatt believes it’s vitally important to continue the work that MBP does to inform urban audiences about beef production in Manitoba. “Public relations is still a big gap that I’d like to help fill and the public needs to know that we’re passionate about producing a healthy, safe product, how we do it and why we do it,” she says. Research is something else that Howatt finds fascinating, and especially likes the fact that it’s producer driven. “We go to beef producers to get ideas about what they think are priorities that need to be researched

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and carry that forward to the board,” she says. “The ideas are very interesting.” Pastureland depletion an issue She sees a major challenge for the beef industry going forward is access to pasture land. “Arable land is slowly taking over due to things like tile drainage and cultivation and pasturelands are depleting,” says Howatt. On the other hand, she sees growing opportunities for beef in different export markets like the European Union, and for niche products such as verified sustainable beef. She greatly admires the CCA’s Cattlemen’s Young Leaders mentorship program and encourages more young producers who have a passion for beef production to get involved and also attend MBP district meetings. “Don’t be afraid to go out and get new ideas from meetings and other producers because if you can pick up one good tip to help your operation, it’s worth the time,” says Howatt. “Beef producers are really open to helping each other.” Now that her kids are grown, Howatt plans to do a bit more travelling over the coming winter months. She is going to Haiti on a learning tour with the Canadian Food Grains Bank and then is off on a long-awaited tour of New Zealand with friends in the New Year. “But honestly, my hobby is my cattle because they are also my passion,” she says.


February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Dual purpose value of perennial forage grain for food and feed focus of new study BY CRYSTAL CHAN AND CHRISTINE RAWLUK, National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Crystal Chan is an undergraduate student at the U of M, completing her final semester of a B.Sc. with a major in Microbiology. She has been working as a Research Assistant with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment since October 2018. In her short time with NCLE she has gained valuable insight into current research within Agriculture and its importance for producers, the public, and the environment. Combining her passion for science and her caring nature, she plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Maintaining beef cattle on pasture in the fall/winter season to reduce labour and feed costs is common practice in western Canada, however there are still many challenges associated with extended grazing strategies for stockpiled forage. Difficulty arises primarily in terms of nutritive value of pasture, which is often low and can negatively affect cattle performance. Emma McGeough and Doug Cattani at the University of Manitoba are leading a first-of-its kind study on the perennial grain intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) as a dual-purpose crop to provide both a cash food grain crop and high quality forage regrowth for grazing cattle into the late fall and early winter. “This is new territory,” acknowledges McGeough, assistant professor in sustainable grasslands/livestock production systems, Department of Animal Science. “This crop offers the possibility of growing both grain for human consumption and high quality forage for grazing in a single growing season on the same piece of land multiple years in a row from a single planting.” In recent years IWG has gained a lot of attention from food processors and consumers alike – particularly in the United States where it was developed – because of the novelty and environmental benefits associated with its being a perennial grain. “Yet IWG was initially brought into western Canada as forage to produce hay,” says Cattani, assistant professor in perennial crop breedIntermediate wheatgrass serves two key roles: cash food-grain crop as well as high-quality forage. (Supplied photo) ing, Department of Plant Science. Cattani has been selecting prairie-hardy IWG germplasm for consistent performance through a variety of weather conditions since joining the university in 2011. Over this time he has developed seed selected for proPictured at 9yrs of age, Still going ducing high quality grain protein and strong yields –seed strong at 12yrs old - Sons sell that will be used in this study. Agronomic research in Canada has shown IWG to be highly adaptable to the prairies, being able to withstand cold, drought and excess moisture, sometimes all in a single growing season. It also has the potential to provide a much needed high quality alternative forage for late fall/early winter grazing. Cattani’s preliminary analyses of forage regrowth nutritional quality indicate it might be suitable for meeting the requirements of a range of cattle classes. “This is especially important for classes of cattle such as backgrounders or bred heifers that have higher requirements than cows,” notes McGeough. This three-year project will encompass assessments of agronomic and cattle performance, grain and forage quality, environmental sustainability indicators such as enteric methane emissions, nitrogen and carbon cycling, ecosystem services in terms of songbird and nesting Page 13 

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

Cow-calf survey helps set benchmarks BY THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL Industry data provided by production surveys can serve as a benchmark for production performance across the country. Historical production surveys include the Alberta Cow-Calf Audit (1986-88, 1997-1998) and “Reproductive Efficiency and Calf survival in Ontario Beef Cow-calf Herds” (1983). Sixteen years later, the survey was revived, revised and expanded into the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey (WCCCS, 2014). In the last two production years, additional surveys have occurred across Canada (Western Canada, Ontario, Northern Quebec, Atlantic). These have provided an overall picture of current production and management practices on beef cow-calf operations in each region of the country for the first time. The objective of these surveys were multi-faceted. First, to establish industry benchmarks for production indicators and management practices. Herd productivity is closely linked to herd profitability. The break-even price for calves can be lowered by decreasing total cow herd costs or by increasing the total pounds of calves weaned. Increasing the total weight (lbs) of weaned calves can be achieved by improving herd productivity, such as:

1. INCREASING – conception rates, weaning rate, etc. 2. DECREASING – calf death loss, calving span, etc. While it is good management to track and calculate one’s herd production performance indicators on an annual basis, it can be helpful to have benchmarks to compare to. Benchmarks help a producer know if they are on the right track for their region and the environment they operate in. They can help a producer identify if they excel in a certain area and/or could improve in another. Benchmarks can also help to show what production and management practices other producers are following. Second, to establish industry trends. The longer history of cow-calf surveys in Alberta show how producer adoption for different practices has changed (or didn’t change) over time. Regional expansion plans in the Maritimes and Northern Ontario and Quebec have spurred an interest in monitoring trends in those areas as they focus on improving profitability and growing inventories. Third, to guide research and extension efforts. Information around death loss rates and causes can inform research efforts into specific diseases. It can also highlight areas where extension and communication about existing tools and information to producers, based on research that has already been done, could benefit cow-calf operations. When reading the results, it should be remembered that differences between regions does not necessarily mean that producers need to jump at a new practice because environmental conditions and production systems influence whether a practice makes sense in one situation and not in another. In addition, there were differences between how questions were asked and therefore results are not always comparable between surveys, not only between regions, but within regions historically. Preg-Checking Pregnancy detection is a recommended practice that allows producers to make management decisions (e.g. utilization of winter feed) and marketing decisions based on the reproductive status of their herd.Over the past thirty years, it appears that there is an upward trend in producers adopting pregnancy checking. In 1997/98 the Alberta cow-calf audit reported that 49 per cent of producers preg-checked their herd. This increased to 60 per cent preg-checking some or all their cows and 66 per cent preg-checking heifers in 2014 (WCCCS) and that has increased to 62 per cent always checking cows and 71 per cent checking heifers in 2017 (WCCCS II). Rogers et al (1985) reported that 12 per cent of Ontario producers preg-checked in 1983 and this increased to 66 per cent of producers preg-checking cows and 64 per cent checking heifers in 2015/16.There still remains an opportunity for even greater uptake, with existing data demonstrating that approximately one-third of producers in western Canada and half of the producers in Atlantic Canada have yet to regularly adopt this practice on their farms. Percent of farms that pregnancy checked females

Sources: ACC, 2018; OCC, 2018; WCCCS II, 2018 (includes “almost always” responses) WCCCS II respondents that indicated they rarely or never pregnancy check most commonly provided reasons such as preferring to sell open cows when prices are higher; can “tell” which females are open; and the financial benefit doesn’t outweigh the cost. Other barriers to adoption that were reported to a lesser extent included being busy with other farming activities, a lack of labour and a lack of facilities.

Pain Mitigation for Dehorning Recent advances in pain mitigation have provided producers with opportunities to use products that were unavailable in the past. Using pain mitigation, such as NSAIDs, and/or anesthetics, during painful procedures is a recommended practice. Uptake of pain mitigation has increased in western Canada from nine per cent as reported in WCCCS in 2014 to 45 in 2017. Across Canada, current uptake is hovering around 50 per cent.There is an opportunity for extension efforts to target the remaining 49-55 per cent of producers across regions who are dehorning calves without using pain medication. The type of pain control used varies by region, with the use of painkillers (ex. NSAIDs) only being the most common in western Canada (85 per cent) while Ontario has more variation with 41 per cent using a local anesthetic plus painkiller (ex. Meloxicam), 35 per cent local anesthetic/nerve block only, 17 per cent painkiller only, and seven per cent other. Proportion of producers mitigating pain during dehorning

Sources: ACC, 2018; OCC, 2018; WCCCS, 2018 Implanting Only 2.4 per cent of Ontario survey respondents implanted their 2016 calves, this is significantly lower than Western Canada at 26.5 per cent (WCCCS, 2017 Producers who did report using implants indicated they used them before weaning and/or at weaning. Of Western Canada respondents who used implants, they favoured implanting non-replacements over implanting all calves. Interestingly, of WCCCS II respondents that did not implant, the main reason they cited was they were philosophically opposed to the technology, making this option nearly as popular as producers that chose to implant calves. Weaning method according to region Low-stress weaning practices (two-stage and fenceline) increased in western Canada between 2014 and 2017. All other regions had traditional separation rates that were lower than the WCCCS, 2014 levels.

Sources: ACC, 2018; OCC, 2018; WCCCS, 2014; WCCCS, 2017; Lamothe, 2016. Vaccination and Parasite Control Vaccinating breeding females for reproductive disease and vaccinating calves for respiratory disease are recommended practices. Vaccination requirements vary by region and by farm as production and management practices can increase or decrease the amount of risk cattle are exposed to. General herd vaccination levels

Sources: Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 1997-98; ACC, 2017; OCC, 2017; WCCCS, 2014; WCCCS II, 2017; Lamothe, 2018 Managing for external parasites is relatively stable across Canada (84-91 per cent) and varies by animal types (73-91 per cent). Internal parasites management is lower (63-82 per cent) across regions and again varies by animal type (63-74 per cent). Ideally these cow-calf surveys would be updated every five years. In order for all the regional surveys occur in the same production year (for comparability), they would need to target data collection on the 2022 calf crop. Some regional surveys may occur more frequently. For example, with the implementation of the programs outlined in the Maritime Beef Sector Development and Expansion Strategy, it is intended that the Atlantic survey will be repeated on a bi-annual basis as a means to measure the impact of the strategy on the local beef industry. For more information on each region’s survey results, visit our new page: Production Practices on Cow-Calf Operations.

www.mbbeef.ca


February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

IWG benefits producer, cattle and environment ďƒ— Page 11 waterfowl habitat, greenhouse gas footprinting, as well as the economic potential of the combined IWG-based crop-livestock system. The data gathered from this project will provide novel information on the value of IWG under western Canadian growing conditions and offer beef producers an alternative option to help cope with the challenges that arise from conventional annual and perennial forages, such as lower feed quality and the need for synthetic fertilizer inputs for late fall/early winter cattle grazing. “We anticipate there will be soil, environmental and ecological benefits with this dualuse approach,â€? says Cattani. “But there will also need to be economic benefits for this to be a feasible strategy for beef producers.â€? The economic analysis will assess the profitability of IWG-based crop-livestock production systems accounting for both the grain and cattle productivity components. “The more integrated that producers can get by being able to harvest a commodity crop and feed cattle at the same time is a novel opportunity to capture additional economic rewards from a single land area,â€? says McGeough. As a provincial man-

date exists in Manitoba to grow the beef cattle population, this project will provide industry stakeholders with science-based data on an alternative beef production strategy to help achieve this goal and remain competitive. The research team McGeough and Cattani are part of a diverse, multi-disciplinary research team with the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Livestock and the Environment that includes Kim Ominski, professor in forage/beef production systems, Derek Brewin, professor in economics and agri-business and Francis Zvomuya, professor in soil science. Also part of the research team are Agriculture and AgriFood Canada researchers Roland KrÜbel, Aaron Glenn and Mae Elsinger, University of Saskatchewan forage breeding and genetics professor Bill Biligetu, Jim DeVries with Ducks Unlimited Canada, and ecologist Tim Crews with the Lands Institute in Kansas. Additional supporting partners include Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association and Manitoba Agriculture. Project funding provided by NSERC Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects and Manitoba Beef Producers.

Making dual use of a crop isn't just good for the cattle, but for the producer as well. (Supplied photo)

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February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Proud Past, Promising Future is the theme of MBP's 40th Annual General Meeting in Brandon The 40th Annual General Meeting of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is taking place February 7 and 8 at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Conference Centre in Brandon. With the theme of Proud Past, Promising Future, the AGM is a time for delegates to glean knowledge about topics and trends affecting the beef industry, debate resolutions, recognize retiring directors, hand out some awards and to share fellowship. “As an organization and as an industry we have a lot about which we can be proud,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “In the past 40 years our sector has weathered challenges such as BSE, trade disputes, floods and droughts and more, but our producers and other members of the value chain have demonstrated a level of resilience and commitment to advancing our industry that is second to none. Events like our AGM allow us to remember our past and consider where we are headed in the decades to come.” The AGM kicks off

with Industry Knowledge Sessions starting at 10 a.m. on the morning of February 7. They will focus on topics such as “Food and food policies: where are we at and where are we headed?” and “Where does Canadian beef it in the protein market?” Invited speakers include: Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University; Don Buckingham, President and CEO of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute; Mike Kennedy, Vice President Canada Sales at Cargill; and Carl Dean, Vice President Purchasing & Security at Cactus Club Café. The Young Producer Luncheon (targeted at producers under 39) will feature Robert Johnston, a lawyer with TDS Brandon talking about how to navigate various matters related to family and farming. This runs from noon until 1:30 p.m. Other registered AGM delegates will attend lunch in the main meeting room. Anne Brunet-Burgess of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency will provide an update on movement report start-

ing at 1:05 p.m., to be followed by an overview of the work of Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba from its Executive Director, Sue Clayton. The business portion of MBP’s AGM runs from 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will include updates from MBP’s President, General Manager and Finance Chair, a review of MBP’s audited financial statement, appointment of MBP’s auditor for the upcoming fiscal year, and, the introduction Manitoba Beef Producers' Annual General Meeting also includes a trade show where and ratification of MBP’s producers can check out the offerings of various vendors. board of directors. The winner of MBP’s This will be followed provided in writing to of the AGM is the anAchievement by a presentation at 2:30 MBP staff no later than nual President’s Banquet. Lifetime p.m. on the Verified Beef 11 a.m., February 7, 2019. The Hon. Ralph Eichler, Award will be named at Production Plus Program Please send it to info@ Manitoba’s Minister of the banquet. Presented and the Canadian Beef mbbeef.ca to the atten- Agriculture will bring every five years, this Sustainability Accelera- tion of General Manager greetings. Along with award recognizes loBrian Lemon and Policy the presentation of The cal beef producers who tion Pilot. The always engag- Analyst Maureen Cous- Environmental Steward- have made significant ing resolutions debate is ins. If the resolution is ship Award, three retir- contributions to the beef scheduled from 3:40 p.m. deemed to be in order ing MBP directors will industry and their comto 5 p.m. The resolutions it will be considered for be recognized for their mitment to excellence, arising from the fall dis- debate at the end of the service – Ramona Blyth, exemplifying leadership trict meetings were pub- resolutions session, time District 5, Larry Gerelus, and involvement in their District 7 and Ben Fox, community and province. lished in the December permitting. Capping off Day 1 District 13. Page 20  edition of Cattle Country and are available on MBP’s website at www. mbbeef.ca . They will also be printed in the AGM program. If you wish to bring forward a late resolution for debate at the AGM, it must be

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 On the Ranch, Russell, Manitoba Black and Red Simmental, Angus and Simm-Angus Bulls

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

Update: TB investigation in British Columbia STATEMENT FROM CANADA’S CHIEF VETERINARY OFFICER (January 9, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Food Inspection Agency statement) As part of its commitment to openness and transparency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is committed to providing regular updates on its investigation into bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB). The investigation is being conducted jointly with the Province of British Columbia. The CFIA and the Province

have had strong collaboration with producers, industry associations, and others involved in the investigation. The majority of the animals from the infected herd in the Southern Interior of British Columbia have been tested. To date, a total of four confirmed cases of bovine TB have been found in one herd in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, including the cow that was confirmed to have the disease when it was slaughtered in October 2018. These animals did not enter the food chain and pose no risk to the food

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supply or to human health. As testing of the index herd continues, additional cases may be detected. Trace-out activities are progressing as expected. Animals from the infected herd have been traced to parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and movement controls have been placed on approximately 18,000 animals, which includes 25 premises. The number of movement controls will fluctuate as the investigation progresses, with controls being added as new trace-out locations are identified and lifted when animals test negative for the disease. The CFIA’s Ottawa Laboratory— Fallowfield has completed culture testing of the tissue samples collected from the original infected animal. Test results of the infected herd have identified the strain of bovine TB to be distinct from any cases previously detected in Canadian wildlife or domestic livestock. This strain is not related to past cases of bovine TB in Alberta or British Colum-

bia or anywhere else in Canada. Next steps The next steps of the investigation will include trace-in activities to identify the previous movements of animals that entered the infected herd over the past five years. As a result, the number of herds under movement controls will continue to fluctuate. These numbers will be posted regularly on our website. The CFIA will also continue its traceout activities in the coming months. Disease investigations like this one require a great deal of cooperation and collaboration. The CFIA would like to thank the affected producers and industry associations, as well as the federal and provincial departments who have cooperated greatly in the investigation so far. Our common goal is to protect human health, protect the health of Canadian livestock and, in the process, maintain market access. We will continue to update information related to this investigation.

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Red & Black Angus Bulls & Select Angus Open Heifers

Tues Feb. 5

Butcher and Feeder Sale

Tues Feb. 12

Presort Sale

Tues Feb. 19

Butcher and Feeder Sale

9 a.m. 9:30 a.m.

Thurs Feb. 21 Bred Cow Sale

9 a.m. 1 p.m.

Tues Feb. 26

Presort Sale

9:30 a.m.

Fri Mar. 1

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale 1 p.m.

Tues Mar. 5

Butcher and Feeder Sale

Tues Mar. 12 Presort Sale

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Tues Mar. 19 Butcher and Feeder Sale

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Tues Mar. 26 Butcher and Feeder Sale

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


February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Manitoba Beef Producers

40th Annual General Meeting Feb. 7-8 in Brandon Victoria Inn

Banquet Speaker: Hon. Gerry Ritz, former federal agriculture minister

Register online at mbbeef.ca or call (204) 772-4542 or 1 (800) 772-0458

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

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

Campbell Land & Cattle 204-776-2322 Email: cam.limousin@xplornet.com Bulls for Sale by Private Treaty on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station March 30

Jaymarandy Limousin 204-937-4980 Len www.jaymarandy.com 2-yr old & yearling Limousin and Limflex bulls for sale on farm

Cherway Limousin 204-736-2878 View Bulls & females for sale online www.cherwaylimousin.ca Diamond T Limousin 204-838-2019 / 204-851-0809 (Cell) Email: diamondtlimo@gmail.com Bulls and females for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station March 30

L&S Limousin Acres 204-838-2198 Bulls Sell March 30 at Douglas Bull Test L.G. Limousin 204-851-0399 (c) 204-748-3728 (h) Bulls and females for sale private treaty

Maplehurst Farms 204-274-2490 Bob Bulls for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station Mitchell Farms 204 556-2683 Blaine & Dianne 204 512-0292 Ashley Bulls for sale on farm Park Performance Limousin Rick 701 340-2517 Bulls for sale Douglas Bull Test Station March 30, calves for sale fall 2019 Triple R Limousin 204-685-2628 / 204-856-3440 Bulls for sale. 30 Limousin red & black, 2-yr olds and yearlings Limflex and Limoxchar cross too

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

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

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We use quiet Limousin bulls for the big beefy calves with great hair and hip. They have been our terminal cross for over 20 years and the calves are vigorous at birth, do well in the feedlot, and have great carcass yield. Gord Kozroski 500 Head Black Cow Herd Gull Lake, SK 2013 SK COMMERCIAL

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18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

Using urea as a protein source in beef rations BY KATE CUMMINGS MBP Beef Specialist

Under the restrictive conditions of this past growing season (which has in turn driven feed availability and prices), many producers are looking to manage costs while providing cattle with adequate nutrition. For some, urea may be a viable supplementation option and when implemented correctly it can be a cost-effective protein source. However, if poorly managed it can result in reduced feed efficiency and metabolic disruptions. Urea, a non-protein nitrogen (NPN) is converted to protein by rumen microbes. Ruminants convert urea to protein through the production of ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia produced follows one of two pathways: it can either be used to produce microbial protein or it gets shunted to the liver where it is detoxified and excreted through urine. The addition of urea to rations should be done in a way that avoids protein in excess.

When adding urea to rations you need to take the following consideration: 1) Age of the animal 2) Carbohydrate sources 3) Other available sources of protein A fully functioning rumen is required to make the most of urea supplementation. In order to avoid adverse effects, young animals under 600lbs should not be fed rations containing urea nor should feeder cattle be started on urea rations as the rumen needs time to adapt to a grain-based diet. Another important factor is the amount and quality of fermentable carbohydrates. These values will determine how effective the use of urea would be in a ration. Fermentable carbohydrates are used by rumen microbes and aid in the maintenance of rumen function. Non-fibre carbohydrates (NFC) ferment more rapidly when compared to other carbohydrate fractions and therefore are required by the

Urea can be a useful tool in reducing feed costs when protein supplementation is required, but make sure it’s used under the right conditions.

animal to convert urea to protein. For example, feeds supplying fermentable energy with a high quality NFC such as corn would be best suited for the addition of urea as a protein source as opposed to soybean meal. Compensating for poor quality forages by adding urea can be done, however a small amount of grain or molasses to increase the NFC content in the ration is necessary.

NPN, excess protein and highly rumen degradable proteins are converted to ammonia in the rumen. If other protein sources are not taken into consideration and urea is oversupplied the microbes won’t be able to utilize it and the liver will become overwhelmed. So not only does

excess protein lead to energy loss through excretion, but it can also result in ammonia toxicity. Rumen bypass proteins such as distillers grains are largely absorbed outside the rumen and are a good option when supplementing with urea. Managed correctly,

urea can be a useful tool in reducing feed costs when protein supplementation is required. However, if urea is fed without consideration of several parameters influencing the cattle, the use can potentially be detrimental to a producer’s bottom line if it affects animal health. Thank you

to our retiring directors for their years of service; Dana Johns, Eric Theroux & Past President Andrea Bertholet.

Congratulations to

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale Friday, March 1, 2019 at 1:00 PM Heartland Livestock, Brandon, MB

Brothers Sell

2019 bull sales

the newest MSA board members Megan Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 Johns, Donovan Hickson & Melissa McRae President: Tracy Wilcox 204-713-0029 & 2019 A.O. Henuset Ambassador Award Recipients M&J Farms, Russell, MB. Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca Feb 18 Feb 20 Feb 28 Mar 4 Mar 5 Mar 6 Mar 8 Mar 10 Mar 11 Mar 12 Mar 13 Mar 15 Mar 16 Mar 19 Mar 22 Apr 6 Apr 8

Rendezvous Farms 14th Annual Simmental Bull & Female Sale ...............Ste. Rose du Lac, MB M&J Farms Simmental & Angus 2 year Bull & Female Sale ......................Russell, MB JP Cattle Co./Stewart Cattle Co. Annual Simmental & Angus Bull Sale .....Mcauley, MB Canadian Central Bull & Female Simmental Sale ......................................Winnipeg, MB Bonchuk Farms Annual Bull Sale ...............................................................Virden, MB Mar Mac Farms Bull & Commercial Female Sale .......................................Brandon, MB Rainbow River Simmentals 3rd Annual Bull & Female Sale .......................Fisher Branch, MB Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale ....................................................Virden, MB Transcon’s Winnipeg Simmental Bull Sale .................................................Winnipeg, MB Prairie Partners Bull & Female Sale ...........................................................Killarney, MB Transcon’s Premium Beef Simmental Bull Sale .........................................Neepawa, MB Family Tradition Charolais & Simmental Bull Sale......................................Inglis, MB Oakview/Perkin/Triple R Simmental Bull Sale ............................................Brandon, MB WLB Livestock 15th Annual Beef Bull Sale ................................................Douglas, MB Maple Lake Stock Farms Kick off to Spring Bull Sale.................................Hartney, MB Transcon’s Cattle Country Bull Sale ...........................................................Neepawa, MB Cattle Capital Bull Sale ...............................................................................Ste. Rose du Lac, MB

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February 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

Brandon producers recognized for excellence SUBMITTED Mar Mac Farms of Brandon were recently awarded the Canadian Red Angus Purebred Breeder of the Year in Olds, Alta., for 2018. This award is presented annually at the Canadian Red Roundup in Olds, Alta. Breeders are nominated by other members of the Association and then the selection is made by the board of directors. Growing up in the purebred cattle industry, Blair and Lois McRae along with their family Brett McRae and Melissa McRae operate a fourthgeneration family mixed family farm south of Brandon with 280 breeding females. The McRae family had been involved in the Angus breed since 1955 and in 2015 received the 50-year award from the Canadian Angus Association. About 33 years ago, Blair and Lois ventured into the Red Angus cattle. After researching the benefits of Red Angus breed with strong maternal traits, calving ease, doability, disposition and crosses well with other breeds. After encouragement from Lois’s dad, Bob Gordon, who had toured many Red Angus programs and saw the marketability of the breed. It was time to expand out breeding program of Simmental and Angus with Red Angus genetics. Three foundation females were purchased from Wayne Heape, who turned out to be a profitable investment as one of the females bred to Rambo 502 produced Red McRae’s Blazer 336C. Blazer was leased to Alta Genetics and produced many herd building females. Blair and Lois’s first venture into the Red Angus marketing was testing bulls at the Red Power

Bull Test. In talking to the commercial producers, their main reason for purchasing Red Angus was for calving ease. Since day one, Mar Mac has tried to produce Red Angus cattle with length, natural thickness and adequate birth weights. We feel you still want a calf that comes out easy but weighs up in the fall to put dollars in the producer’s pockets. Mar Mac culls heavy each year on fertility, feet, and structure. Our cows have to work for us. We do not creep feed so we can see the job each female is doing on their calves. Our cattle are corn or bales grazed and have lots of exercise to keep them walking. We use our visual selection along with tools available to manage our cowherd. Embryo transplant and A.I. has been used extensively in our program. This has allowed us to expand our Red Angus program using proven trusted genetics from our own females like Frado, Reba, Lady Trooper, Ruby and more. Mar Mac has many noted cow families that have been very important in building the program. Mar Mac has exported cattle to the United States and with the help of Davis Rairdan ET we have marketed embryos around the world. In 2004, we were offered the opportunity to expand our Red Angus program and purchased the Buck Valley Red Angus herd. Their outcross genetics have been a strong addition to our cowherd. McRae’s feel it is very important to be involved in the breed associations. From 2008- 2014, Lois served as Manitoba director on the Canadian Angus board. One of the highlights was being on the board when the Angus Central building was built for the Angus membership. Blair was the Cana-

Lois and Blair McRae of Mar Mac Farms Brandon received the award from Promotion Society President Brent Troyer in Olds, Alta. (Submitted Photo)

dian Angus field man in Manitoba for 2011-2013. Breed promotion is very important to our program and some highlights are 2001 Mar Mac was one of the hosts of the Canadian Red Promotion Society Tour 2005 Mar Mac hosted the Canadian Junior Angus Showdown cook-off barbecue and herd displays at the farm. This was the 100th Anniversary of Angus cattle in Canada and we hosted the Canadian Angus Annual Meetings along with Showdown all in one location. A unique event. 2007 Mar Mac was honored to be Manitoba

Angus Purebred Breeder of the Year. 2009 Mar Mac exhibited Red McRae’s Vision 50T, a Mulberry son who was 2nd in class at the World Angus Forum at Spruce Meadows. 2010 One of our proudest memories when Red McRae’s Reba Lee 121W was selected as Reserve Grand Champion Red Angus female at Agribition. Our family has participated at Agribition every year since it began in 1971. Blair and Lois have had the honor of judging a number of breed shows at Agribition and Farm Fair. 2014-Red Mar Mac Lady Trooper 114Z was

awarded the Canadian Red Angus Show Female of the year. A very proud moment for us and she is a very strong productive female in our program. Their annual Mar Mac Bull Sale is held the second Wednesday of March where they market Red Angus bulls since the 1990’s along with the Simmental and Black Angus bulls. Their females are marketed at Keystone Klassic, Manitoba Magic and Red Roundup. In 2014 at Red Roundup, Mar Mac was pleased to exhibit the High selling bred heifer and in 2015 one of her daughters was one of the high selling bred heifers at Red

Charolais and simmental Bull sale

Friday,

Roundup. Today Blair and Lois run 100 Red Angus breeding females along with 100 Simmental and Black Angus females with son Brett and daughter Melissa. Brett runs 80 Red and Black Angus females under McRae Land and Livestock. Melissa operates a graphic design, video and cattle photography business, Prairie Pistol Designs along with her Simmental cattle. The Red Angus fellowship, strong traits of the Red Cattle and the marketability creates lots of enthusiasm for this great breed of cattle and we are very proud to be part of this organization.

marCh 15, 2019,

at the farm - Inglis, MB

High Bluff

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The Jackson Family H: 1-204-564-2547 Carman cell: 1-204-773-6448 Erin: 1-204-821-4110


20 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2019

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture Visit website: www.manitoba.ca/pid

BY KATHLEEN WALSH Manitoba Agriculture traceability@gov.mb.ca

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

tions of those species. For example, cattle are susceptible to foot and mouth disease (FMD). Although not deadly, FMD is one of the most devastating livestock viruses, and is highly contagious. The sooner FMD is detected, the easier it is to control or stop a widespread outbreak. In this situation, a map would be created to show all farms with animals susceptible to the disease. Producers and veterinarians that have a PID would be notified if they were at risk. This information is critical for producers so they can take extra precautions, enhance biosecurity and minimize the risk of transmitting disease to their farms. If a flood is expected, the same type of information available through PID can identify all livestock and poultry locations, so producers can be notified and ensure their animals are moved or protected. A PID number is also required for all lab test submissions to Veterinary Diagnostic Services and some government programs, such as Ag Action Manitoba and the Crown lands leasing program. Q: How do I sign up to receive a premises identification number? A: It only takes a few minutes to complete an application online at manitoba.ca/pid or at your local Manitoba Agriculture office. After your application is processed, you will receive a letter containing your farm PID numbers in the mail, as well as email, if an email address is provided on the form. Many producers have chosen to identify all their parcels of land with livestock or poultry to be sure they are informed about all emergency situations that could affect them. Every second counts in an emergency. To respond quickly, up-to-date information is critical. Any chang-

es in land ownership, emergency contact, or species information, must be reported to Manitoba Agriculture within 30 days to ensure information is kept current and accurate. If you have previously applied for a PID number, but have not updated your information in the last two years, you should resubmit an application form to ensure your information is current. To date, 73 per cent of cattle operations in Manitoba have a PID number. By completing a PID application and keeping your information up to date, you are taking an important step towards protecting your livestock and the livestock of other Manitoba and Canadian producers. You can visit manitoba.ca/pid, email traceability@ gov.mb.ca or call 204-945-7684, to learn more about the Manitoba Premises Identification program or to update your existing PID information. You can also add your PID number to your Canadian Cattlemen Identification Agency (CCIA) Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) account by calling them at 1-877-909-2333. We want to hear from you In 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 The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

AGM is your chance to have your say  Page 15 The banquet keynote speaker will be the Hon. Gerry Ritz, who served as the federal agriculture minister from 2007-2015 under the Stephen Harper government. Day two of the agenda kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a panel discussion on the theme “Beef belongs: We have a good story to tell.” Invited speakers include: Dr. Christian Artuso (Bird Studies Canada)

who will discuss how having beef on the landscape provides valuable habitat for a variety of bird species; dietician Carol Harrison talking about the nutritional attributes of eating beef; and, Toban Dyck, a columnist with the Financial Post who will discuss public trust and talking about agriculture with the general public. The moderator will be Myrna Grahn, past national manager of Can-

ada’s Public Trust Steering Committee. At 10:20 a.m. Kevin Craig, Vice President, Client Service, with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation will give a presentation on risk management tools and lending programs for the beef sector. This will be followed by an update on the work of the Beef Cattle Research Council by its Executive Director An-

drea Brocklebank, and an overview of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef by one of their council members, Kristine Tapley of Manitoba. The AGM will wrap up by noon with closing remarks by MBP’s president. A live Verified Beef Production Plus Program workshop will be held at the hotel at the conclusion of the AGM. All interested producers are welcome to attend.

Lemon encourages all MBP members to consider attending the 40th AGM. “MBP’s AGM features something for everyone, be that the wide array of speakers, a trade show, the opportunity to debate resolutions which help provide direction to our board of directors, or, the chance to network with fellow producers, other members of the value chain and government

officials,” said Lemon. “There is still time to register and we look forward to seeing you there.” “I’d also like to thank the many generous sponsors and exhibitors who contribute so much to the success of this event,” added Lemon. “Their support is greatly appreciated.” For more information and to register go to https://www.mbbeef.ca/ annual-meeting/

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BULL SALE Red Angus, Black Angus & Simmentals • Family run operations who make their living in agriculture • Sound functional genetics that produce those heavy weight calves • Bulls fed to last with a high roughage ration • Only the top end of our bull pen sell • Calving ease & performance yearling & long yearling bulls • Free wintering and sight unseen program • Commercial bred heifers

1:30 pm | at the farm | Brandon, MB

MAR MAC FARMS Blair, Lois, Brett & Melissa McRae Home 204-728-3058 | Blair 204-729-5439 | Lois 204-573-5192 MCRAE LAND & LIVESTOCK Brett McRae 204-729-1018

ANGUS VALLEY FARMS Bruce McRae 204-242-4502

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MARCH 6TH 2019 view catalogue & videos online at

WWW.MARMACFARMS.NET


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

MARCH 2019

From left, MNP's Pam Miller and Manitoba Beef Producers District 14 Director Jade Delaurier present Cameron and Lisa Hodgins with The Environmental Stewardship Award at the MBP President's Banquet in Brandon on Feb. 7. The Hodgins family will now be considered for a national honour later this year. (Photo by Keith Borkowsky)

Hodgins are 2019 TESA Award Winners Cameron and Lisa Hodgins of Hodgins Farm near Lenore received The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) at the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting in February. They are recognized for their environmental stewardship and regenerative agricultural practices. The award was presented by Pam Miller, Business Advisor with MNP, sponsor of the TESA award. The Hodgins are the third-generation on their farm located in the rolling Arrow Hills, where they are raising the fourth (children Carrie, Chase, Cole and Connor) and learning from the second generation, (Cameron’s parents Ed and Debra). The farm has rolling shale top hills and clay loam fields with numerous sloughs and tree bluffs. The Hodgins currently manage about 1,850 acres of mainly perennial pasture and hay land, 1,120 which is family owned and the remainder is leased. They have a number of different enterprises including 140 cow-calf pairs, 120 yearlings, 60 custom grazed cow-calf pairs, 50 pastured pigs, 600 pastured chickens, 50 pastured turkeys, 20 honey bee hives and 15 sheep. They direct market most of their products to

consumer and retail outlets. Many changes The Hodgins say their journey to become more environmentally sustainable began over 20 years ago when Ed and Debra became certified organic. “This management decision resulted in the need to learn more about the natural processes that function within the ecosystems and how to manage those processes,” says Cameron. Ten years later they also learned about holistic management, which has allowed them to become better stewards of the land by managing their farm as part of the ecosystem. They have implemented many changes over the past 20 years, including going to a planned grazing system using temporary electric fencing to move cattle, and varying stock densities to balance animal nutrition and pasture growth. Using graze periods of 24 hours to five days they allow forages sufficient time to recover and re-grow (anywhere from 40-to-365 days depending on the forage type and grazing requirements). This system has improved the quality and quantity of forage in their pastures and allowed them to extend their grazing system earlier in spring and later in the fall. They protect riparian areas and improve water qual-

ity for the cattle by using a solar-powered, remote watering system and use bale grazing as winter feed and to add nutrients back into the soil. “Although we are no longer certified organic we manage our farm without the use of any pesticides or chemical fertilizers,” says Cameron. “We carefully select and rotate our bale grazing sites to minimize spring runoff of nutrients. We use multispecies cover crops to extend the grazing season while providing a high level of nutrition to the cattle and priming the soil fertility for the next year’s crop.” The cover crops and conservation strips left deliberately in their hay fields provide feed for pollinators including their own honey bees, and adding biennial plants to the cover crop mix has been an important production practice because it provides them with two years of production from species such as clovers and hairy vetch. Farming within the natural ecosystem Over the last year the Hodgins have also planted a mix of about 750 trees shrubs, and deciduous and fruit trees. “One of the most important things that we have always done is trying to farm within the natural ecosystem and by not draining wetlands or pushing bush,” says Cameron. “Producing beef has allowed us to do this.” Page 3 

MBP lifetime achievement

Food Guide balance

BCRC Cow-calf survey

Page 2

Page 3

Page 24

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

BY ANGELA LOVELL


2

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

AGM celebrates past directors and looks ahead BY ANGELA LOVELL Proud Past, Promising Future was the theme of the Manitoba Beef producers (MBP) 40th Annual General Meeting held in Brandon on Feb. 7-8. There was much discussion about the way ahead for beef production and how beef fits into the changing consumer environment amid curiosity about plant-based proteins. Presenters and producers over the two days reinforced the message that beef producers have a good story to tell – one of production efficiency, environmental stewardship, high standards, and the provision of nutritious, healthy food – but its voice needs to be much stronger to make that story heard. Passing the baton Around 260 beef producers attended the AGM and President’s Banquet, and voted on 14 resolutions covering topics from agricultural Crown lands, to the environment, and business risk management programs. The business portion of the meeting included ratification of a new MBP board of directors and executive for 2019-20. New directors are: Steven Manns for District 5, Tyler Fulton for District 7 and Mary Paziuk for District 13. Returning directors

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

are: Gord Adams (District 1), Nancy Howatt (District 2), Peter Penner (District 3), Rob Kerda (District 4), Larry Wegner (District 6), Tom Teichroeb (District 8), Dianne Riding (District 9), Mike Duguid (District 10), Robert Metner (District 11), Kris Kristjanson (District 12) and Jade Delaurier (District 14). Tom Teichrob returns as MBP President, as does Peter Penner as Treasurer, while Kris Kristjanson moves into the position of Vice-President from Second Vice-President, which position is now filled by Dianne Riding, and Mike Duguid is the new Secretary. Celebrating directors past At the President’s Banquet on Thursday evening, three retiring directors were presented with belt buckles in recognition of their service to MBP. Ramona Blyth served as director for District 5 for seven years and variously served as MBP’s First Vice-President and as President of the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives. Larry Gerelus was District 7 director for six years and served as MBP representative on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency board of directors. Ben Fox retired after representing District 13 for six years, during which time he also served as MBP President and Secretary. A highlight of the eve-

Martin Unrau (left) became the second recipient of the Manitoba Beef Producers' Lifetime Achievement Award, and received it from MBP President Tom Teichroeb on Feb. 7. (Photo by Keith Borkowsky)

ning was the announcement of MBP’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which is awarded every five years to recognize Manitoba beef producers who have made significant contributions to the beef industry and for their commitment to excellence, exemplifying leadership and

DISTRICT 5

STEVEN MANNS

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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 - SECRETARY

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 - PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

TYLER FULTON

DISTRICT 8

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

Chair of the National Beef Strategy. He held many positions provincially and nationally representing the beef industry and worked with former Federal Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz on trade missions, as well as being involved in Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) negotiations. He helped develop the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program and has served as a mentor for the program. He is a strong believer in Beneficial Management Practices (BMP), which he uses on his own operation and has promoted BMP funding programs to other producers. Martin was also acknowledged for his commitment at the community level with a Local Citizen of the Year Award. Accepting the award from Teichroeb, Martin admitted that before serving on MBP and CCA he hadn’t always found it easy to get up and speak in front of a crowd. That changed in Hartney during a pro-

involvement in their community and province. The selection committee had a difficult task in choosing the winner, said MBP President Tom Teichroeb, given the many worthwhile candidates that were nominated for the honour. This year the award went to former MBP President and District 5 director, Martin Unrau. In nominating Martin, a friend and neighbour said, “Martin has been, and still is, a very strong beef supporter and leader at all levels. He has a real desire to make an industry that has a bright future for the next generations coming up. Martin has been and is always willing to help out a beef producer.” During the six years that Martin served as District 5 director, he was MBP’s representative on the Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA) board of directors, also serving as Vice-President and Past President. He was also Co-

ROBERT METNER

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

DISTRICT 12

KRIS KRISTJANSON - VICE-PRESIDENT

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

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

MARY PAZUIK

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

JADE DELAURIER

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

BEEF PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Kate Cummings

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Keith Borkowsky

FINANCE

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

OFFICE ASSISTANT

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Brian Lemon

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

ducer meeting in 2003. “My whole career in the CCA was built on one line at that meeting,” he said. “Everybody was complaining about how awful the cattle industry was and I couldn’t get up to say anything – there were about 700 guys there – and right at the very end of the meeting I went up to the microphone and I said ‘either we open the markets or we shoot all the cows.’ What a line! But everyone stood up and clapped and that was where my career started.” Martin also said that nobody earns such an award alone. “I would like to thank everyone I have worked with,” he said. “Lifetime Achievement Awards are given for families, and they are given for people in organizations. They are not a one-time award for one person and they never will be. Whoever played a part in my career in the cattle industry, thank you very much.”

Deb Walger Tanya Michalsky

Keith Borkowsky

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

No big beef with new Canada’s Food Guide, producers say BY RON FRIESEN The Canadian beef industry is generally positive about the new Canada’s Food Guide, even though red meat now makes up a very small part of its recommended daily diet. Joyce Parslow, executive director of marketing and consumer relations for Canada Beef, said she was “pleasantly surprised” and not at all upset at how the guide minimizes beef and places a strong overall emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods.

That kind of diet is what Canada Beef has been advocating all along, she said. “We’ve always been supportive of half a plate of vegetables and fruit, a quarter plate of whole grains and a quarter plate of meat. That’s what we’ve been talking about for the last four years or so,” said Parslow. “It’s not a call to reduce meat. It’s a call to reduce some other foods that aren’t so good for us.” The newest version of Canada’s Food Guide, released January 22 by Health Canada, contains

a major shift in emphasis from its predecessors. Gone are the four traditional main food groups – vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, meat and alternatives – along with a recommended number of daily servings and a rainbow display model tying them together. In their place is a visual model of a plate with assorted fruits and vegetables covering the entire left side, whole grain foods taking up the bottom right quarter and protein foods covering the remaining quarter.

The biggest change involves animal protein foods (meat, dairy and eggs), which are still there but are now lumped together with plantbased protein foods (lentils, beans and nuts). Proteins now make up 25 per cent of a balanced daily diet. Brian Lemon, Manitoba Beef Producers’ general manager, said he had no problem with the move away from four major food groups and recommended serving sizes. “For the most part, I think we’re happy with the visuals and the setup,”

Hodgins family seek to engage in environmental conversations Page 1 In fact, the Hodgins strongly believe that livestock are an important part of a well-functioning prairie ecosystem and one of their goals is to continue to promote the benefits that cattle and livestock provide to the environment. “Ruminants have been part of the prairie ecosystem for thousands of years and we need to promote to the consumer that beef cows today are filling the void left by the bison,” says Cameron. “When our herds are managed correctly they benefit the landscape, including insects and animals in the environment. Beef cows are one of the few animals that can utilize the low-quality forage of the Prairies.” The Hodgins believe one of their biggest challenges, which they have seen as direct marketers, is the disconnected relationship between the end consumer and the farmer. “We have seen firsthand the consumer’s perception that beef production has on the environment, and it is not typically a good one,” says Cameron. “This perception needs to be changed and us as producers are the key to that change.” They are trying to bridge the gap between consumer and producer by hosting events like Open Farm Day, kid’s day camps and pasture tours, and they use social media to promote environmental sustainability and farm life whenever they can. “It is rewarding as producers to engage in personal conversations with consumers regarding farm life and our management practices,” says Cameron. “As beef producers we are the best promoters of the product we produce. Raising beef on a pasture based system is one of the only commodity agriculture practices that allow an ecosystem to function in its normal state.” They also attribute their success on the farm to the way in which their multiple enterprises complement each other. “Our pigs provide protection for our small flock of sheep, the poly crop sown for winter grazing is feeding our bees, our pastured chickens manage and fertilize the pasture, and the cows fertilize the field while winter grazing a cover crop,” says Cameron. “These are just a few of the synergies between species we are trying to utilize on our farm.” 

Future goals A future goal for the farm is to host more tours that will educate children, teaching and showing them firsthand how farming and the environment can work together, just as they are already teaching their own children about ecosystem interactions. “We believe that we need to educate and guide the youth while learning from our elders about ecological farming,” says Cameron. They also aim to continue to make environmentally-regenerative decisions that lead to profitability in their different enterprises, and to learn more about how different farming practices can affect carbon sequestration. They plan to take soil samples on different fields and monitor how different management practices affect carbon and organic matter in the soil over the long term and short term. “Some of these different test sites on our farm will include native pasture, improved perennial pasture, bale grazing sites, and cover crop fields,” says Cameron. “We will use a third party to collect and analyze data from our carbon sequestration sites.” A sustainable farming operation for future generations The Hodgins were nominated for the TESA award by Michael Thiele, Grazing Club coordinator for southwest Manitoba and Dean Brooker, Manager of West Souris Conservation District. “Lisa and Cameron realize the importance of a healthy environment to ensure a sustainable farming operation for present and future generations by using the principles of regenerative agriculture,” said Brooker in his letter or recommendation. The Hodgins credit many organizations, agencies and individuals for helping them in their journey to become more environmentally sustainable including their local Woodworth Grazing Club, Ducks Unlimited, holistic management groups, the Upper Assiniboine and West Souris River Conservation Districts, Manitoba Agriculture, the Environmental Farm Plan program and Verified Beef Production Plus. But first credit goes to Ed and Debra for allowing them to try new ideas and management practices on the farm. “Without this openness it would have been very difficult to move towards being more environmentally sustainable,” says Cameron.

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he said. But he added the new approach might be unfamiliar for both producers and consumers. “I think this is going to be a shift and it might take some time to get used to it.” It’s the protein section that may take the most getting used to, since it combines animal-based foods and plant-based foods with no distinction about protein content or quality, said Parslow. “It’s not the way we used to speak about food,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily say reduce meat or meat is lesser but it certainly does encourage you to eat more plant-based foods.” It’s also misleading to treat legumes and pulses as equal to beef in protein because they’re not, said Parslow. Beef contains all 21 amino acids necessary to make up a complete protein. Beans and lentils do not and must be eaten in combination with other foods to provide a full protein. This is where the beef industry will have a job to do in explaining that to the public. “Beef and other meats are among the most-rich protein sources available and we’d like to have that highlighted as we move forward,” said Jill Harvie, public and stakeholder engagement manager with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “That’s where we will have to do a lot of out-

reach to consumers to explain that not all proteins are created equally.” Lemon said Health Canada will also have to explain to consumers that not eating enough meat means they’re missing something in their diets. “If you’re choosing not to eat a complete protein like beef or red meat and if you’re choosing to consume proteins through other alternatives, the challenge for Health Canada is to make sure Canadians understand what else they need to include in their diet to make up for the things they’re not getting by not eating beef.” Parslow said calories must also be considered in evaluating protein foods. She said people might snack on almonds and think they’re getting a good protein intake. But to ingest the same amount of protein you get in a 75 gram serving of beef containing 184 calories, you’d have to consume 700 calories in a three-quarter-cup serving of almonds. Although the guide suggests Canadians consider alternative protein sources, Lemon believes showing people that beef has superior protein gives it a leg up on its competitors. “The focus on protein certainly allows beef to shine as the Cadillac of proteins,” Lemon said. “It really positions beef as a powerhouse to deliver on that quarter of the plate.”

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Regular sales every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 1 and 25 at noon Sheep, Goats and Holstein Calves Saturday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. Bred Cow Sale Friday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m. Small Animals Sale (Chickens, Rabbits, etc) Receiving from 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. To be on our show list (Pre-sort options), give us a call! For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call

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CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Producers must remain diligent on trade: Ritz BY ANGELA LOVELL During his keynote address at the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting in Brandon in February, former federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz reinforced the importance of trade and having strong trade agreements, especially in emerging markets. While the United States is Canada’s strongest ally and biggest neighbour, they shouldn’t be allowed to set the price for beef as they have in the past, said Ritz. He sees the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as a great agreement that’s opening up a prime market in Japan and allowing Canada an advantage over the U.S. to develop strong trading partners. “It was important to get it done sooner rather than later so we set the terms,” he said. “It gives us preferential access and Japan is a premium buyer. I have sat down with the Japanese on every commodity we sell them from canola to barley, to wheat, to beef, pork you name it. They love the quality, they love the ability to come here and customize what they want to buy, and they always argue about the price. But the argument I always

use with the Japanese is if you want quality, you’re going to pay for it and they do. In fact, they’re starting to invest now, in the hog sector of Manitoba, and the beef sector in Alberta and they’re looking at other investments and are great partners because all they want to do is put forward a quality product.” It’s all very well to open up new markets for Canadian beef in countries like Korea and Japan, but Ritz also emphasized the importance of understanding what those markets need, and points to the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence in Calgary as a great example of investments that help position the beef industry to supply those markets. “We’ve got a 1,300 lb carcass, how do we carve that up for Japan and not lose the value of that carcass and maintain the integrity of that beef,” says Ritz. “They want twoounce cuts. So how do you do that? That’s why we built the Beef Centre of Excellence so these butchers and buyers from around the world could come in and show us how to do it, so we’ve got a market that’s ready and willing and wanting Canadian product.” The beef industry needs a louder voice The beef industry

Hon. Gerry Ritz receives a token of appreciation from Manitoba Beef Producers' General Manager Brian Lemon during the MBP President's Banquet on Feb. 7 in Brandon. (Photo by Keith Borkowsky)

also needs to get better at telling its story, said Ritz. “If you’re not telling your story, someone else will,” he said. “Communications on agriculture have to be clear, concise and continuous. There are a number of issues that need to be tackled and that’s why it’s so important to become part of, and an active participant in groups like this who talk to [Manitoba Agriculture Minister] Ralph [Eichler] and his colleagues on a week-toweek basis and say here’s what we think needs to

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be done.” February 12 is Canada’s Agriculture Day, but Ritz urged attendees to be heard more than just one day of the year. “There’s got to be a continuous coverage in our national media and not just at the national level but at the provincial and regional level,” he said. In his speech Ritz recapped some of the many issues he was involved with during his eight years as Agriculture Minister, from Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) negotiations to the dis-

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mantling of the Canadian Wheat Board’s marketing monopoly. But the legacy that Ritz says he’s most proud of is the creation of the agricultural value chain round tables. “That got everybody around the table in agriculture, and beef production was a prime example,” he says. “When you get people sitting around a table you can find solutions. And the chairs of all those roundtables from all the different commodity groups in Canada were my advisors. We talked about farm policy, we talked about agricultural policy, and we turned it on its head.” Often, governments announce funding with no idea what it will be spent on because they haven’t developed a program for it, Ritz says. “Then they come to you and say we’ve got $50 million, what do you think? That doesn’t do it. What you want to do is identify the result you want in that program with industry, then build a program around it, then ask for the funding,” notes Ritz, who added he went to Cabinet 37 times, and always got the requested funding for industry programs because his colleagues understood the importance of agriculture to the economy. Other issues facing the beef sector Ritz says he is concerned about the effect that a carbon tax will ultimately have on Canadian agriculture and feels the

agricultural industry is not being recognized for the role it plays in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Your competitors in Australia had [a carbon tax] for two years and got rid of it because it dropped their GDP by 30 per cent,” he said. “Agriculture in Canada is one of the largest carbon sinks in the world. The forest in Canada, the continuous cropping that our farmers do, and the grazing that our ranchers do create the carbon sink. When you let grass grow, that growth sequesters carbon down into the soil. When a cow grazes it off, it’s healthier for the soil and for the environment than if you had no cows.” There’s a lot of discussion now about the mental health of Canada’s agriculture sector, said Ritz. “It used to be, you could see your neighbours’ yard, hear when he fired up the tractor, you could tell when he was working his cows, and when he was starting to combine. It doesn’t happen so much anymore. We’re a long ways apart and a lot of times someone comes in and farms the land beside and you don’t know them or their story,” said Ritz. “It never hurts to stop and say ‘hi’ or have coffee with somebody and just make sure that they are OK. Our job as rural Canadians is making sure that rural Canada stays strong and that we continue to do our part.”


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Survival of the farm and family in a new agricultural world BY ANGELA LOVELL Nobody likes to think about the breakdown of a relationship, whether it’s a marriage, common-law relationship, or a fallout in the family with parents, siblings or other family members, but it’s an unfortunate truth that, especially when it comes to farm succession, there are bound to be disagreements and even relationship breakdowns. Lawyer Robert Johnston offered some advice to young producers about how to protect themselves and their farms in the event of relationship failures. Johnston is one of the few lawyers in Manitoba to have an agriculture degree and often works on farm family cases. He discussed this topic at the Young Producers Luncheon held in conjunction with Manitoba Beef Producers recent Annual General Meeting. Family law in Manitoba, in regard to the breakdown of a marriage or common-law relationship, has undergone some dramatic changes in the last few months, which could be of particular importance to farm owners and operators. As of Feb. 1, 2019, parties are being encouraged to resolve any disputes (including family disputes) by private mediation or arbitration rather than ending up in court. Historically, these kinds of cases have taken four to five years to move through the court process Both parties have a lawyer, but the arbitrator is an impartial person who goes out and gets all the facts and information that is needed from both sides, and generates a draft position based on what he or she has learned from that information, which then goes to the lawyers to agree or disagree. Plan ahead to clarify everyone’s position In the event of this unfortunate circumstance, Johnston says a little forward planning will help to clarify the position and intentions of everyone involved in the dispute, and will speed up the process and reduce the cost. Regardless of what

kind of entity the farm operates under – sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation– creating a Joint Family Venture document if vitally important. “Whenever you start to formalize the business or commercial relationship – and typically it would be with a married partner – you should document a Joint Family Venture to document what the new arrangement is,” said Johnston. A Joint Family Venture document can include spouses, parents, grandparents, children, siblings or other family members. Why this is important is because there are certain circumstances where the intent of something isn’t always understood and can have big consequences for the outcome of any settlement in the event of a breakup. In a business or most relationships any assets that are brought in by the partners in the business remain the property of those individuals. If the business relationship breaks up, they are entitled to take the value of those assets or the assets themselves out. That’s not the case, though in a marriage or common-law break up. “In Manitoba if the relationship breaks down you are assumed to share 50/50 in the appreciation or growth in the relationship,” said Johnston. “You don’t share what you brought into the relationship, as far as net worth, but you do share on the appreciation of those assets 50/50 with your partner if the relationship breaks down.” With the huge rise in land values this can have significant implications for farms, especially as there are some complications that are often unique to farm family type relationships. Who is a gift intended to benefit? “If you inherit or are gifted an asset before you marry or even during the marriage, not only is that gift not shareable, nor is the growth in that gift,” said Johnston. “If you inherit $1,000 and buy a GIC and 10 years later the partner leaves neither the GIC or the interest off

Brandon lawyer Robert Johnston speaks to a group of young producers on how best to juggle the responsibilities of the . family and the farm. (Photo by Angela Lovell)

it is shareable.” There is an exception to this rule that can be – and often is – argued in court, and that is whom the gift was intended to benefit. “If Grandma gives her quarter section to the name of her son alone, and it would appear to be a gift, but someone asks Grandma why did you do that, and she says, well

it’s the family farm and I want my son to have it, and the grandson or granddaughter to have it, was her intention to benefit the child alone or to benefit the child and his or her spouse, or to benefit the son, the spouse and grandchildren?” said Johnston. “What Grandma’s thoughts were when she made that gift may or may not change when she

realizes her daughter-inlaw is leaving and divorcing her son. Grandma’s recollection of what she intended when she put the quarter section in her son’s name may be quite different.” Johnston said each time a person takes on land or changes a business arrangement in any way it’s important to not only document details

of the transaction or change, but also the intent or expectations. “As these things occur, execute that document about the Joint Family Venture and what is really going on. That’s the only way you are going to ensure you have a fair result, without five years of trial, when a relationship breaks down,” said Johnston.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Government Activities Update: Province consulting on its sustainable protein strategy BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

The province has announced consultations on its sustainable protein strategy which includes as one of its priorities increasing the beef-breeding herd. “With world demand continuing to grow for high-quality protein, Manitoba producers have an exciting opportunity to feature their products in an increased global market,” said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler in announcing the consultations on Jan. 22 at Ag Days. “Our strategy will seek to grow livestock herds for animal protein and new acres for plant protein, while ensuring our province remains a strong environment for investment and that our government is attuned to the needs of producers.” Key areas of focus in the strategy include: research, innovation and commercialization; sustainability; investment attraction and growth; industry and market development; and profitability and competitiveness. With respect to the animal-protein sector, the province’s desired future state by 2025 is: • A $500 million in new primary production and processing investment, resulting in 700 direct and indirect jobs • A 35 per cent increase in animal protein production in 2025, compared with the 2017 baseline, and, • A 35 per cent increase in animal protein processing in 2025, compared with the 2017 baseline (expressed as kilograms of dressed weight for livestock and increased value of processed milk protein for dairy). In terms of sustainability and the animal protein sector, the strategy aims to achieve: • A 15 per cent reduction in carbon intensity per kilogram of animal protein produced in Manitoba • A 15 per cent increase in productivity of agricultural Crown lands and privately-owned grassland and forages; and • An increase in public trust of protein production and processing (indicator to be determined). Public feedback is being accepted until May 15, with the final strategy to be presented at the Manitoba Protein Summit in the third week of September. To see the strategy in its entirety go to www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture . Comments can be submitted via email to mbproteinadvantage@gov.mb.ca or mailed to Manitoba Agriculture c/o 13 – 59 Scurfield Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3Y 1V2. MBP intends to participate in the consultative

MASC_WLPIP_10x5.indd 1

process around the development of the strategy. Livestock Tax Deferral Provision Update The Rural Municipality of Lakeshore has been deemed a designated region where the livestock tax deferral has been authorized in relation to the 2018 drought. The federal government made the unusual move of, for the third time, assessing regions for the designation. The normal practice has only been to do two assessments. However, in response to concerns arising in a number of provinces about growing conditions, a third assessment was undertaken. This brings to 81 the number of designated regions in Manitoba. According to the federal government the provision “allows producers in prescribed drought 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. Eligibility for the tax deferral is limited to those producers located inside the prescribed areas. Producers in those regions can request the tax deferral when filing their 2018 income tax returns.” February 22 Deadline to Apply for Environmental BMP Funding February 22 is the deadline to apply for funding to help implement environmental beneficial management practices (BMPs) from your Environmental Farm Plan. Examples of BMPs eligible for cost-shared funding include: resource management planning; establishment of a cover crop; increasing frequency of perennials in annual rotations; perennial cover for sensitive lands; improved pasture and forage quality; intercropping; farmyard runoff control; relocation of confined livestock areas; This also includes the BMP related to managing livestock access to riparian areas. This BMP provides cost shared funding for the development of wells and dugouts. There is a cost share ratio of 50:50 and a funding cap of $10,000 for this specific BMP, and the ratios and caps vary by BMP. For more information about how to apply for funding see: https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/environment/environmental-farm-plan/ag-action-manitoba-assurance-beneficial-management-practices. html Note: Successful applicants will have until February 15, 2020 to provide a valid Statement of Completion under the Environment Farm Plan to the program administrator to be fully reimbursed for their

www.mbbeef.ca

project costs. AgriInsurance Program Updates Some changes being made to AgriInsurance offerings in 2019 may be of interest to producers. In particular, changes are being made to with respect to forage production quality loss adjustments for claims purposes for Select Hay, Greenfeed and Silage Corn, a move that Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) says will result in payments “that better reflect actual losses due to quality. A base (minimum) Relative Feed Value (RFV) of 25 will be applied to Select Hay types and Greenfeed; and a base (minimum) Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) of 25 will be applied to Silage Corn.” Other changes for the 2019 growing season include: • The calculation to determine the maximum acreage that can be insured as Novel Crops has been updated. The 30 per cent maximum will now include insured acreage seeded to Organic Crops. • The introduction of separate yield coverage for hybrid and open pollinated fall rye, which will ensure producers have coverage that is more reflective of the productive capacity of their fall rye crop; • The list of crops eligible for organic insurance will be expanded to include barley, field peas and hemp grain; • Dollar values for organic crops will increase due to an update in how the dollar values are determined; and MASC is providing more of its services online via myMASC. Once registered, customers can sign up to receive a number of services (such as receiving payments via Direct Deposit) or to undertake a number of functions, such as completing Seed Acreage Reports. Claims status can also be checked, and MASC loan information accessed online via myMASC. For more information contact your local MASC office. As a reminder, effective November 2018 MASC introduced the Payment on Account option for the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLIPIP). This allows producers to carry their premium payments until 30 days after their policy expires, subject to interest. As MASC explains, “This allows producers to participate in the program without having to immediately access operating capital for payment upon purchase.” The deadline to apply for the Farmland School Tax Rebate for the 2018 tax year is March 31, 2019. And, the deadline to apply for, change or cancel an existing AgriInsurance contract is March 31, 2019. Otherwise a producer’s existing selections will remain in effect. However, the deadline to select Excess Moisture Insurance options was November 30, 2018. For more information on MASC programs and services visit www.masc.mb.ca .

2019-01-11 11:18 AM


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Tenderize and add flavour with marinade BY ELISABETH HARMS Marinating your beef has two purposes in the cooking process. The first is to tenderize your meat and the second is to add flavour to your final dish. There are a couple of ways in which to tenderize your meat. Some involve how you cut and prepare the meat and sometimes a marinade can provide flavour and tenderize at the same time. Marinating can pose a few challenges for weekday cooking. It is great to think ahead in the week and figure out what you want to cook when, but one should keep in mind that marinating takes time: it can take anywhere from four to 12 hours. The first thing to do is to choose the most appropriate cut of meat. My personal favourite is the flank steak, as it is on the more economical side. If you are short on time, you can find flank steak pre-sliced in the meat department at the store. You

can also choose an inside round, outside round, or a sirloin tip steak. These will all achieve a very similar end result. Once you have your meat, there are a couple of different preparation techniques. You can slice it before adding the marinade, or you can marinate the steak whole. If you slice it before adding the marinade, the tenderization process will be faster. As you’ve already cut the meat, there is a greater surface area for the marinade to act on. If you choose to cut the meat beforehand, make sure to slice across the grain to help tenderization along. If you leave the steak whole, I would recommend piercing it with a fork many times before adding the marinade. This way the marinade has an opportunity to reach the middle of the steak. The ingredients in the marinade can play an important role in tenderizing your meat. You can’t just throw your meat to-

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gether with a few things and expect to have a nice tender piece of meat at the end. Here are a couple of ingredient tips to remember when marinating your beef: Cornstarch: is a great tenderizer, especially when cooking Asian food over high heat; Acid: can weaken tough muscle fibres when balanced with other flavours; Dairy: buttermilk and yogurt in particular work well in softening tough muscle fibres before cooking; and Beer: beer also contains enzymes which help break down muscle fibres. It can also add some interesting flavours to your final dish. The recipe you see at the end of this article is from Canada Beef ’s website. They have a wide recipe selection for marinating. It also provides you with cooking resources and information about the best way to cook something. Visit the website (www.canadabeef.ca) for more.

Balsamic-Beer Flank Steak 1 ½ lb (750 g) Flank Marinating Steak (or Inside Round, Outside Round, Sirloin Tip) ½ cup (125 mL) beer (either ale or lager) or sherry 1 small onion, finely chopped Combine beer, onion, garlic, ketchup, chili powder, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in large sealable freezer bag. Pierce steak several times with fork; place in bag with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Grill over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning at least twice for medium-rare doneness 145°F (63°C);

2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup (50 mL) ketchup 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder 2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar 4 tsp (20 mL) grainy or Dijon mustard ½ tsp (2 mL) EACH salt and pepper remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer marinade to small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. To serve, slice steak in thin strips across the grain and top with sauce, if desired. Note: If you can’t get to a BBQ, a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet will do nicely as well. (Source: www.canadabeef.ca)

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CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Control policy narratives through advocacy BY ANGELA LOVELL Dr. Donald Buckingham, President and CEO of the Canadian Agri-Food Institute (CAPI), doesn’t entirely agree with the idea that advocacy doesn’t work. “The power of the narrative is important in the story we’re telling, but there are also a lot of bad facts and misinformation out there,” he said during his presentation at the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting in February. “Advocacy does have to continue. You’re not going to change hearts and minds just with the facts, but you have to combat the false information.” CAPI is a think tank for the agri-food sector. It is an independent, nonpartisan and not-for-profit corporation and its work reflects systems thinking, researching complex and interconnected food issues, bringing diverse voices to the table from across the agri-food supply chain. It provides reference points, source material and education for all its stakeholders. “CAPI is trying to be an objective third party and provide some kind of ability to speak into the public policy debate,” says Buckingham. Cinderella story of agriculture Buckingham says he thinks of agriculture as a Cinderella story.

“Cinderella has been working, and toiling for many years and suddenly we now see that she’s been called to the ball,” he says. “Agriculture has been recognized as an economic driver for Canada. Our standard of living depends on increased agricultural growth.” The “Barton Report” – a short name for recommendations from the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth released in 2017, said that Canada will become a trusted global leader in nutritious and sustainable food in the 21st century. “The goal was to move us from sixth place as an exporter to second place by 2027 and people recognized that as a possibility,” says Buckingham. An Agri-Food Table (an economic strategy table) was established to try and develop a strategy for the priority goals set out in the Barton Report, which included: increasing innovation, adopting technology, modernizing infrastructure and regulations, increasing market access and growing exports and, dealing with labour shortages. The Agri-Food Table has come up with a number of recommendations including: developing and diversifying Canada’s agrifood markets to key areas like Europe and Asia, building state-of-the-art

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transportation and IT infrastructure networks, investments in innovation, a more agile regulatory system that enhances the competitiveness of the agri-food sector and, fostering a diverse, multi-skilled labour force. What seems to be missing is a focus on sustainability and optimizing growth, says Buckingham. “We felt that’s where CAPI may come in,” he says. “We felt there were some questions that hadn’t

So, where does that leave Canadian beef? Buckingham believes there are some sunny days ahead for the sector. “We will continue to have increasing world beef consumption as global populations increase; we have trade access improving, at least if we look at the CETA (Canada-European Trade Agreement), and CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) and the new

Don Buckingham

been answered, such as what is this going to do to the complexion of Canada? What does [reaching these targets] do to the natural capital of our farms and open spaces across the country? How does this coordinate with the other policies and issues like the Canada Food Guide, and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership being rolled out by federal and provincial governments?” What’s ahead for Canadian beef? Science and technology are definitely a part of reaching the goals of the Barton Report, but CAPI is finding that a lot of people across the country are saying that growing more food is not necessarily the only way to look at growth.

USMCA (United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement),” he says. “We have a low Canadian dollar which gives us a bit of an advantage, a stable industry, and the most efficient beef production in the world.” But there are a few storm clouds gathering that could place some limitations on production. There are competing land use issues with beef production, cow-calf operations and feedlots from the grain sector, and the beef industry continues to be in maintenance mode, rather than expansion mode. “We have issues around climate change indicators and a lot of literature coming out about how animals are killing the planet,” says Bucking-

ham. “Either it’s true and we have to change that, or it’s untrue and we have to change the attitudes.” There will also continue to be competition from other proteins such as plants, insects and cellular agriculture, as well as policy changes, animal welfare concerns, animal disease issues and potential trade disruptions. “The world is concerned about some of these issues and coming from the World Economic Forum in Davos, a lot of their premiere mobile risks are coming out of agriculture; water crisis, food crisis, and climate change mitigation and adaptation,” says Buckingham. So as much as the beef sector faces a few hurdles, so does the alternative protein industry. The technology to bring these products to market continues to be expensive and taste is not always up to par. “They are going to have some problems with the taste, acceptance and cost of production,” says Buckingham. “If people have problems with a GMO soy or a GMO canola, there’s some very significant hurdles that have to be crossed, and for lab meat it’s a very complex scientific procedure. So I think we still have a bit of a space to make sure that we can differentiate a beef product from a plant product like a burger.” Canadian beef production has a good news story to tell The reality is, however that Canadian agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are small, but that good news story isn’t communicated well to the general public. Total global emissions of GHGs is around 45 billion tonnes of CO2

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equivalent. Agriculture worldwide contributes five million tonnes and Canada’s contribution is 0.7 billion tonnes (or less than two per cent). Out of that two per cent, agriculture in Canada contributes 0.07 billion tonnes or less than 10 per cent. “When people say, if we got rid of all the cattle in Canada and it will solve the greenhouse gas emissions problem, [it wouldn’t] because firstly, it’s not that big a number and secondly, something else would happen on that land in productivity and it would also be producing greenhouse gas emissions.” At the same time, more science is emerging that shows beef production has an important role to play in climate change adaptation by sequestering carbon in the deep root structures of the permanent grasslands where cattle graze. The animal protein replacement market is still less than one per cent, but it gets a disproportionate amount of media attention. “I’m not saying that we should bury our heads in the sand, but we have a narrative and that has to be as compelling as the plant or alternative cellular meat narrative,” says Buckingham. “What the consumer is saying is, when I eat meat, will it hurt me, will it hurt animals, will it hurt the planet? And they want simple answers to sophisticated, scientific-based arguments.” That presents opportunities for the beef industry because it does have the means to show consumers that its products are healthy for the consumer, that animals are raised humanely and that they are helping to save the planet by sequestering carbon through their production practices. It’s a message that just has to be more compelling. “Business growth will be difficult if we don’t do anything, if we just leave our model and bring it to the stockyard and say we’re done,” says Buckingham. “I don’t think that’s a possibility anymore. Innovation and investment must be embraced, largely in traceability so we are able to tell people how this particular product is produced. Canada needs to maintain and capitalize on its significant competitive edge in the beef sector. I think we still have lots to be proud of.”


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Impacts of agricultural Crown lands lease changes raise concerns among producers It’s hard to believe the temperature differentials between winter and summer in this wonderful country of ours, from 30 degrees Celsius in the summer to -40 degrees Celsius with the wind chill dipping into the -50s in the winter. For obvious reasons it is difficult for me to enjoy either end of that spectrum. Personally, I function at my best with spring and fall temperatures. I would love to be able to order weather with mid-range temperatures year-round. For the purpose of this article I will use the comparison of climate extremes to describe the comments and dialogue that I have heard regarding the reshaping and restructuring of agricultural Crown lands (ACL) lease policies and regulations. The provincial government has met on this topic with various producers representing different parts of the province. Opinions have been different as winter is from summer but those discussions will hopefully lead to a desirable outcome. We know that the provincial government is developing a public auction system for allocating and setting rental fees on ACL. The goal is to commence with the first auction as early as the fall of 2019, however, the specific auction process still needs to be fully developed and details such as how far in advance the public should be notified are yet to be determined. The new policies, regulations and enforcement strategies need to be finalized in order to meet the goal of a fall auction. It will certainly be the objective of the provincial government as well as producers to develop and enhance the various policies currently being considered. One point of discussion has been in regards to a fair and transparent system that will not be subject to numerous appeals as were common under the previous ACL allocation structure. The points system for awarding successful applicants a lease proved to be onerous. It was extremely difficult to discern why or how points were awarded when considering the variables that determined the successful applicant. Therefore, it is paramount to develop policies that are both fair and transparent. It is important that producers are consulted and their various opinions are taken into consideration. What I have observed and heard thus far is that what seems fair and transparent to some producers is sometimes unacceptable to others. Conversations regarding ACL eligibility requirements have led to some very passionate discussions as well. The various eligibility requirements for individuals, partnerships, or corporations all need clarification. Citizenship and farming status, as an individual or a shareholder, are just a couple examples of criteria that are important when developing the policy for eligibility. Within the previous structure, an individual producer was eligible for 4,800 Animal Unit Months (AUM) of ACL. Discussions on whether or not this amount of land is sufficient to sustain an operation, and options for expanding the amount of ACL an individual can lease remain to be resolved. The economies of scale and the amount of land necessary to manage an economically-viable operation need to be understood more clearly. Perhaps it will be deemed necessary to increase the current standard. There have certainly been interesting and varied discussions regarding new farmers and the option to participate at more affordable rates, especially when considering the province’s grow the herd initiative. Some producers believe that there should be a policy to support more attractive or affordable options for new farmers. Other producers are concerned that setting policy that differentiates between producers might be discriminatory. It ultimately boils down to striking a balance between the various ideologies, if that is possible. The length of ACL leases and how to set rental fees has also been on the forefront of many discussions. How long should the length of the lease be? Are there different terms when considering a new lease versus an existing lease? Are the leases renewable at the end

ness, viability, and financial and sweat-equity investments. What is fair for the producer who has spent a lifetime developing those ACL resources? Succession TOM TEICHROEB plans most often depend on the transfer of ACL leases President's Column in order for those operations to be viable. All such scenarios need to be considered in developing the new ACL policies and regulations. This is just a small sampling of the larger converof the term or will they come up for auction? Is it nec- sations taking place around ACL and the pending polessary to establish a minimum and a maximum bid? Is icy items that need to be further discussed and develthat interfering with the free-market economy model? oped by the provincial government and producers. In Should the market dictate the minimum or maximum my opinion, regulations and policies have no purpose bids? How should the rental fees be set? What is a fair if there is no effort or investment in enforcing them value considering such things as the quality of the land, to ensure producers comply with them. Enforcement the soil types, and the stocking rates? As you can imag- needs to be a centre piece in all of these discussions. ine, there have been many discussions as to what might Why have traffic lights if drivers do not observe them? satisfy the majority of producers. These questions all In my opinion, enforcement was an ongoing concern require careful consideration and I believe that discus- under the previous ACL structure. It is unlikely that sions around producers’ opinions and concerns need we will be able to boast about any degree of success if to continue. enforcement isn’t a major component of this new and Family and unit transfers of ACL is of concern revitalized ACL system. to many producers. There are a significant number of In closing, it is my hope that there will be an outranches, especially in central to more northerly parts come that suits majority of producers. In my experiof Manitoba that utilize vast amounts of ACL leases ence, the ideal outcome lies somewhere in the midand depend on those leases to be viable. In some in- dle of the discussions. Through careful deliberation stances, those ranches also depend on a unit transfer and compromise we will find solutions. Oversights when selling their operations. There are number of will undoubtedly be made and we will work towards ranchers that have spoken bluntly and passionately correcting them. I would encourage all of you to be about the desire to have the option to sell their ranch engaged in these discussions. Whether it is contactas complete unit in the future. ing MBP or your government officials, please let your Conversely, there are those who disagree with voices be heard. this. Whether it is a retirement sale or a succession Until next time, please take care and be safe. plan, it is a difficult discussion when considering fairKind regards, Tom

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Outcome of Resolutions Session at Sixteen resolutions were carried at Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) fall 2018 district meetings. After a review and consolidation of some of the resolutions by MBP’s Resolutions Committee, and with the inclusion of one late resolution, a total of 14 resolutions were debated at MBP’s 40th AGM on February 7 in Brandon. The following is a list of the resolutions (categorized by theme), the district of origin, the names of the individuals who moved and seconded them at the AGM and the outcome of each vote. Some explanatory notes are included where required. Thirteen resolutions were carried and one was defeated. CATEGORY: AGRICULTURAL CROWN LANDS A: 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,

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. District 6 Mover: Ian Robson Seconder: Larry Wegner Outcome: DEFEATED CATEGORY: BUSINESS RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS D: 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. District 2 Mover: Greg Johnson Seconder: Don McIntyre Outcome: CARRIED E: 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 Offers for Sale by Private Treaty Producers lobby the Manitoba Agricultural Services 65 Yearling Black Angus Bulls Corporation to implement Individual Productivity InSires Represented: dexes (IPIs) for silage and forage/grain corn. *Bar-E-L Candidate 10C District 1 Mover: Ben Fox *Young Dale Absolute 3D *BM Feel Good Seconder: Gord Adams Outcome: CARRIED Explanatory note part 1: *BJ Harvestor * BM Total Districts 5, 9 and 10 passed similar but slightly different *Young Dale Hi Definition 185B resolutions re: the need for compensation for wildlife damage to hay/feed left on All bulls are Bunk Fed fields as part of an extended TMR Silage Ration feeding regime. Resolutions F, G and H were as follows: Fertility Tested F: Whereas the Minister of and Delivery Available Agriculture is pushing to expand the beef herd and Manitoba Agriculture staff are supporting the use of extended grazing practices, Fed Responsibly including the practices of grazing bales and standing to Ensure corn, swath grazing, etc. Longevity! Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government for changes to the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage 48$/,7< Miniota, MB to ensure that any feed left $1*86 on the fields as part of an Call Bill extended feeding regime be VLQFH eligible for compensation at 204-567-3782 related to wildlife and/or

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 5 Mover: Ramona Blyth Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED B: 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

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Producers lobby the provincial government to move as quickly as possible to revoke the temporary suspension of unit transfers. District 13 Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Mary Paziuk Outcome: CARRIED C: 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 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 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

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pig damage. District 5 G: 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 9 H: 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. District 10 Explanatory note part 2: The three aforementioned resolutions (F, G and H) were combined into a single resolution for debate as follows, with the proposed edits underlined. The delegates agreed to debate the combined resolution. COMBINATION OF RESOLUTIONS F, G AND H: 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. 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


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

40th MBP Annual General Meeting 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 any feed that remains on fields for use as part of an extended feeding regime becomes eligible for compensation related to wildlife damage and/or pig damage. Districts 5, 9 and 10 Mover: Ramona Blyth Seconder: Dianne Riding Outcome: CARRIED Explanatory note part 1: Districts 6 and 12 passed similar resolutions (I and J) re: the need for compensation for blackbird-related losses. Resolutions I and J were as follows: I: 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. District 6 J: Whereas blackbirds can cause damage and losses to standing corn and other annual crops. 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 12 Explanatory note part 2: The aforementioned resolutions (I and J) were combined into a single resolution for debate as follows, with the proposed edits highlighted underlined. The delegates agreed to debate the combined resolution. COMBINATION OF RESOLUTIONS I AND J: 6.2 Whereas blackbirds can cause significant losses to standing corn and other annual crops. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation and the Minister of Sustainable Development to include blackbird damage as being eligible for claims under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage. Districts 6 and 12 Mover: Clayton Breault Seconder: Larry Wegner Outcome: CARRIED CATEGORY: ENVIRONMENT

K: Whereas the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid is listed as an endangered species, and is found commonly 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. District 4 Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Robert Kerda Outcome: CARRIED L: 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 8 Mover: Tom Teichroeb Seconder: Larry Wegner Outcome: CARRIED M: 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. District 10 Mover: Mike Duguid Seconder: Robert Kerda Outcome: CARRIED

CATEGORY: OTHER N: 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 and increase the Farmland School Tax Rebate cap. District 2 NOTE: There was a friendly amendment to the resolution to delate the words “remove and”, which carried and was debated as follows: Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to increase the Farmland School Tax Rebate cap. Mover: Don McIntyre Seconder: Greg Johnson Outcome: CARRIED AS AMENDED O: 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 10 Mover: Mike Duguid Seconder: Robert Metner Outcome: CARRIED P: 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 4 Mover: Cliff Graydon Seconder: Robert Kerda Outcome: CARRIED CATEGORY: LATE RESOLUTIONS L1: Whereas Manitoba beef producers retain significant areas of natural habitat as an essential part of their sustainable production sys-

tem; and Whereas these natural habitats preserved by Manitoba beef producers produce and protect significant portions of Manitoba’s wildlife population; and, Whereas the presence of wildlife on lands owned by cattle producers attracts the often unwelcome interest of licensed and un-licensed hunters; and Whereas it is a common occurrence for hunters to enter upon cattle producers’ privately-owned land without first obtaining landowner permission to do so; and Whereas provincial trespassing laws require the landowner to press charges of trespassing, exposing the landowner to the possibility of retaliation and the expense of appearing in court to support the charge; and Whereas the Province of Manitoba has in place a regulation requiring hunters to obtain signed landowner access prior to hunting on private land in two Game Hunting Areas (GHAs) that are in close proximity to the City of Winnipeg; and Whereas the implementation of an extension of the

signed access regulation to other GHAs would offer the cattle producers and law enforcement officers a significant tool in discouraging and preventing acts of illegal hunter trespass onto private land. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers director and staff lobby local municipal governments and members of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) to seek AMM support in urging the Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development to extend the signed landowner access requirements to all hunters seeking access to privatelyowned agricultural land in rural Manitoba, and Be it further resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers make a formal request of Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) requesting KAP’s support in expanding the signed landowner access to all hunters seeking access to privately-owned agricultural land in rural Manitoba. District 5 Mover: Fred Tait Seconder: Ramona Blyth Outcome: CARRIED

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Changing attitudes on beef means adaptations BY ANGELA LOVELL Attitudes to food are changing, but beef still has a place on the plate of Canadians, but there are many other proteins vying for its spot, which means beef has to continue to tell its story, said Mike Kennedy, Vice-President of Canadian sales for Cargill during his presentation at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in Brandon in February. “We have to remain competitive and focus on markets that drive value and we have to get the emotional connection with the consumers to make them feel good about buying Canadian beef,” he said. With changing demographics and ethnicities, there are many more types of products on the market serving different consumer segments than ever before. Beef is not as easy a sell as it may have been in the past, when it had fewer competitors for food dollars. Retailers drive beef consumption Price is always an important factor for consumers and retailers can have a big influence on beef consumption as they make decisions on a weekly basis about which of their products will be featured as ‘specials’. “Every day people come into a grocery store and some know they want beef but a lot of times it’s about feeding their family and they haven’t made that choice yet,” explained Kennedy. “A lot of times they buy what is on special at the grocery store.” In fact, 50 per cent of the sales at retail today are what’s on special that week, so beef has to remain competitive. “When you look back at when retailers couldn’t put a strip loin on sale for less than $8.99/lb, beef consumption dropped. So there is elasticity to price; people want value overall,” says Kennedy. What’s not always recognized is that retailers sometimes use beef as a loss leader – paying a higher amount than they sell it for – to draw consumers into the store so that they buy a whole basket of groceries overall. “It’s been a great year overall because the retailers have been our friends and consumers have got some good deals on beef,” says Kennedy. Beef needs to offer convenience Beef also needs to evolve from a convenience standpoint. “People don’t know how to cook much anymore,” said Kennedy. “Things like cross-rib roasts or boneless leg roasts are declining on the counter because people want choices that are quick and convenient.” Poultry currently dominates the value-added convenience food market, and one of the most talked about

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topics at the retail level is meal kits for people that don’t have time to cook, that they can put together in 20 to 30 minutes after they come home from work. A lot of times beef isn’t included in these types of products. “So the food industry is working on getting innovative cuts that we have maybe not used in the past, things like flank steaks, where they can put a six-ounce piece in there,” says Kennedy. “That’s very important going forward especially with changing demographics.” There is also growing demand for higher quality beef and many restaurants are responding to that, but at the same time consumers also want lean meat, so getting higher marbling for a better eating experience and less fat from a health perspective can be a bit of a balancing act. Making beef a good choice Science is less important to consumers than their emotional connection with the food they buy because they just want to feel that they have made a good choice. “People want to make a good choice, whether it’s for nutrition or environmental sustainability, and in 25 grams of lean beef there is 185 calories, which is fantastic but we’re not getting credit for that,” says Kennedy. It’s not always easy to send the right message though when people don’t always do what they say. As an example, while a lot of people say they want antibiotic or hormone free beef, they aren’t prepared to pay more for it. A & W was able to be successful with the antibiotic/ hormone free message because they were able to offer that product at a small incremental cost increase because burgers are trim meat. “It’s not like burgers doubled in price at A & W, but it doesn’t mean we can sell steaks at that price,” says Kennedy. Cargill sells 60 to 70 per cent of its beef to the Canadian market, and Canadians continue to want to buy Canadian beef. It’s difficult to sell Canadian beef in the U.S. and serving other markets around the world largely depends on where there is the best value. From a packer’s perspective, says Kennedy, not all markets are good markets. “We only have so much of each part of the animal and we have to sell that for the highest value. Just because a market opens up in southeast Asia and they say I’ll take so much of a product, if we are already getting 10c/lb more for that in Canada, we only have so many of them so why would we care about that market?” That’s why it’s so important to understand what products are bought in different markets and who can drive incremental value overall. “We want to run more hours at Cargill, we want to increase the herd size in Canada by creating higher demand and value over time,” says Kennedy. Don’t expect restaurants to sell your product for you The reality is if guests don’t ask for a product, how can a restaurant sell it? “When I look at the beef industry, is it up to us to educate the guest that beef is the protein of choice?” said Carl Dean, President of Cactus Club Restaurants during his presentation at the MBP AGM. “I feel strongly that the beef industry has been very silent on this, which is

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why there is a lot of conversation now about who is telling the story.” Cactus Club has 33 restaurants in four provinces and has 10 million customer visits a year, many of whom are millennials and Gen X’ers. The restaurants offer many beef choices and in an average month serve 40,000 sirloin steaks. It has been successful by being in tune to the market and its guests. “As a restauranteur, I am indifferent as to whether I sell beef, or chicken, or fish or tofu; I sell what customers want,” says Dean. “Although our customers largely drive what we put on our plates, the availability of a protein is also a factor. There are times when the product is not available or it goes into a price realm that forces you to make changes.” Restaurants have to be attuned to the market and there is definitely a rise in vegetarianism. “We don’t sell less beef than we ever have, in fact we sell more of it but it is not increasing at the same rate as other proteins in our restaurants today,” says Dean. “The conversation has very much moved into plant-based proteins and it’s a confusing conversation. Guests aren’t really sure what they are asking for, they are just hearing that it’s is the way to eat.” Dietary shifts are more noticeable among younger Canadians, who are as happy to have an avocado in the centre of the plate as a steak or breast of chicken. That could be partly because it’s often influencers like celebrities that are talking about plant-based eating and the voice from inside the beef industry isn’t as loud as the voice outside of it, says Dean. “Others are telling the story for you,” he says. “It’s not always the truth but those stories are being perpetuated because there is no response.” What drives protein onto the plate? The cost of proteins is a big driver in the food service industry. “I look at beef two ways,” says Dean. “It’s definitely moved itself into a premium end of the market, it’s seen as a luxury by some diners as they go out today, but also when we are serving beef burgers there is a highly approachable, value-driven end of the market as well.” With 17 locations in Vancouver, the Cactus Café menu is also influenced by the Asian market. “A lot of these international culinary influences are coming from countries where protein was not such a big feature on a plate,” says Dean. Another big driver for restaurants’ choice of menu items is food safety and the risks around handling certain proteins. “If we trust the supply of a product we are more inclined to use that product,” says Dean. Sustainability increasing important to consumers Cactus Club is involved in a lot of initiatives around sustainability and the environment – including being a part of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) – because its customers expect it. “Consumers expect us to have done our homework,” says Dean. “Just as I expect when I am receiving my product that there has been due diligence up the chain, so I feel good about serving that product.” Cactus Club has been part of Cargill’s Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot and about 40 per cent of the beef products it has served over the last nine months have been certified sustainable through the program, but Dean believes the industry is late to the party. “Beef sustainability initiatives are great, and there has been a lot of work done by the CRSB, but it is very late into the public arena,” he says. “I don’t mean to be critical, but I am on two committees at the CRSB now so I can’t look at that group and say what are you doing, I am now a part of it and I joined these committees because I believe strongly that the industry needs to have its voice.” Restaurants and food service outlets are very conscious of the fact that they are constantly in the public eye and because expectations can change very quickly, the industry has to be prepared to weather unexpected storms, says Dean, citing a recent example of the sudden backlash that erupted in the media about the use of plastic straws. “There was a month where the use of plastic straws became such topical news, right away that became a toxic issue and had to be responded to immediately,” says Dean. “Industry has to prepare itself to weather storms like that.” Page 14 


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture RAY BITTNER

Livestock Specialist,

ray.bittner@gov.mb.ca

Q: I am perennially having problems with predators attacking my cattle in spring and summer, do you have any advice? A: The first step to any predator problem is to reduce the temptation of predators to visit your animals in the first place. The Number 1 temptation for any type of predator is to have a readily available food source. Food sources come in many different forms, and may include deadstock and weak or slow-moving livestock. Reducing the incidence of these two major attractants can reduce the risk of further predation. Dealing with deadstock is never a pleasant subject or practice but all livestock farms need to plan to prevent predator access to deadstock. As soon as a carcass can practically be moved it should be made inaccessible to predators. This may mean covering the carcass until the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) predator adjuster has had time to inspect the scene. Cover the carcass with something heavy enough that a predator will be unable to move it (perhaps a loader bucket) or consider using temporary electric fencing. But, once the MASC inspection is complete, the animal should be moved to be composted. Simple temporary composting sites are allowable if the carcass is surrounded by straw or sawdust, and the site is predator fenced to avoid scavenging. This practice is detailed in the Manitoba Agriculture factsheet called “The Bare Bones of Carcass Composting” which can be found on the Manitoba Agriculture website and is available at your local Manitoba Agriculture office.

Weak and failing livestock can be attractive to predators who have evolved over millennia to prey upon animals with these qualities. If you have a pasture which is frequented by predators you should not deliver compromised animals to the site, or remove them as soon as possible upon discovery. These compromised animals can be old cows, limping cows, newborn calves, or calves who appear to have recovered from earlier ailments. A small pasture close to your home yard where human activity is regular is a far better management location than a distant pasture. Many producers also decline to place yearlings on distant pastures due to yearlings’ flighty behavior which can result in injuries when harassed by predators. If predators do attack livestock and inflict wounds or kill your animals, there are steps for compensation and removal of predators. First, be sure to take photos of deadstock from multiple angles, wounds such as scratches and tears (close-ups and from a distance), predator tracks, any indications of a struggle, and predator hair or scat at the scene. If possible, cover the mortality or treat the wounds of damaged animals, and as soon as possible call MASC for an adjuster to visit the scene. Compensation is significant and all discovered injuries and mortalities should be called in as soon as possible. If you suspect that predators are killing your livestock, but your situation does not meet MASC compensation program criteria, you are encouraged to contact conservation officers at your local Sustainable Development office to report these occurrences. Officers may have be able to offer additional information or suggestions to assist with your situation. Producers with the ability to remove the predator causing damage to livestock may use lethal methods (except poison) if they are doing it on their private land to protect their property, and may do so at any time of the year. Any predator removed for property

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protection must be reported to a conservation officer within ten days. Note that cougars are an exception and cannot legally be killed in Manitoba for property protection. For predator removal on leased land, or where a predator will removed by a landowner’s designate, a kill permit must be obtained from Manitoba Sustainable Development prior to predator removal efforts being undertaken. Conservation officers will need to collect information on the situation to determine if a kill permit is warranted. Predators removed need to be reported to Sustainable Development within 10 days of removal. Reporting predator mortalities is strongly encouraged to help local officers fully understand the extent of the problem and it is the law to do so. If a producer is unable to trap or remove the predators causing damage to livestock, a program is available to have predator trappers from the Manitoba Trappers Association remove the predator. Once a producer has received a valid claims number from a MASC adjuster, the producer can contact the Manitoba Trappers Association and request a predator trapper be deployed to remove the predator(s) causing damage. There is no cost to the producer for this service. 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 The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.


14 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Food policy impacted by urban voices BY ANGELA LOVELL As the narrative about plant-based foods seems to dominate discussions in the media, social media and just about every meeting in the meat industry these days, presenters at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in Brandon in February tackled the question of beef ’s place in these discussions and where the industry is at and headed in terms of food policies, and at times, had some harsh messages for producers. Despite the beef industry’s best efforts to get its message out over the last few years, it’s not working, said Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University. “I see this industry as being at the crossroads,” says Charlebois. “Farmers are resilient and for many years you’ve been told to go on social media and advocate as much as possible, but I don’t see any evidence that it’s working. When

you look at surveys around trust, the profession itself, farmers are trusted, but I don’t think that you’re listened to and frankly I’m not even sure if you’re respected as a profession.” The problem is that farmers are talking largely to each other and not the urban audiences they need to reach. “What I’m noticing is that we’re dealing with an echo chamber; whenever I see a post on Twitter from a farmer, I see a lot of likes, a lot of re-tweets from farmers, so there’s a lot of conversations happening between farmers only,” says Charlebois, who recently completed a study about local food which found, not surprisingly, that it is more of an issue among urban than rural people. “When you go to a city and ask consumers whether or not they want to support local products, they’ll say yes. In rural Canada, that local component becomes less important because they’re closer to agriculture. So, that connection is just not happen-

ing and we need to figure out another way to make that connection because it’s hurting policy.” The notion of diet has gone urban Charlebois points to Canada’s new Food Guide as a symptom of what is happening not just in Canada but across the Western world. “It’s about the democratizing the whole issue of proteins,” he says. Although Charlebois acknowledges that the new Food Guide recommendations are supported by science, he is concerned that there was not enough industry participation in its development. “There were 13 people involved in preparing the Food Guide and 11of them are from nutrition and dietitian schools. These people are highly competent, but their view on food is very narrow,” he said. While the Food Guide’s proportion of the plate approach – which currently suggests that 50 per cent of the daily diet should be fruit and vegetables, 25 per cent should

be whole grains and 25 per cent proteins – is a sound one, Charlebois says we need to also be mindful of our food heritage. As an example, he looked at Dalhousie University surveys of retail beef prices, which in 2014 took a huge jump by around 25 percent in three months. Charlebois suggests that prior to that time, price was not much of a factor in beef consumption. “People bought their T-bone steak and went home and enjoyed their piece of meat on the barbecue,” he says. “For the first time in history, people started to look at that price and since 2014 Canadians have considered beef as a premium, expensive product.” Even though prices have stagnated somewhat at the retail level over the past five years, that consumer impression of beef as a premium product has persisted. That’s where the interest in veganism began to rise, says Charlebois. A lot of interest in plant-based proteins “I don’t think a lot of Canadians have converted to veganism, but the curiosity is there,” he says, referring to a Canadian survey on meat consumption that showed 82.5 percent of Canadians have no dietary preferences, but 10.2 per cent consider themselves as flexitarians (people who have primarily a vegetarian diet but occasionally eat meat or fish), and that number is growing, especially among millennials and Generation Z.

It is these people that the market is going after in a big way. “In Canada there are about 6.4 million people looking to either reduce the amount of meat they’re consuming or they’ve eliminated meat altogether,” says Charlebois. “But 38 per cent of vegans are aged 38 or less. Those people are still looking at food very differently. They’re looking at holistic issues like the environment, health, animal welfare, and all these factors are affecting their food choices every day. It’s hard for other generations to relate, but it is happening and what concerns me is that group will become economically influential as we move forward. They’ll have kids, they’ll make more money and they’ll use their food dollars to vote.” As well, 32 percent (or one in five) of Canadians say they are willing to reduce the amount of meat they consume. “There is an issue there around the currency of your product,” says Charlebois. “It’s not wellknown, it’s not understood, it’s seen as unsustainable, yet it is. And so how do you change that?” Commodities need to work together Advocacy by producers and their organizations won’t work, says Charlebois. Instead, industry partners such as retailers and restaurants are essential to getting the message out to a wider audience, but it’s also vital to work with other com-

modity groups as well. “Because you’re so far away from the consumer, you need to connect somehow through partnerships,” he says. “Partnering with other commodities is not something that is natural in Canada. Most often, in agriculture, producers tend to see their own commodity in isolation and they see their product as something unique, and different, and that’s great, but I think as we move forward, the beef industry would have to appreciate the fact that they are part of a much larger portfolio of ingredients, that are all good. Pulses are great, beef is great, pork is great, chicken is great and you need to think about how to grow your business by partnering with other commodities.” The rural/urban divide has never been greater than it is today and agriculture is still not widely understood by the urban audience. When the original Food Guide was published in the 1940s, agriculture represented a much larger portion of the economy and 25 percent of Canadians lived on farms, whereas today only two percent do. “We have got to work really hard to fix that divide in order to get better policies,” says Charlebois. “I think the Food Guide is an affront to our culture and our history. Science is backing this up; however, we need to make sure that we don’t forget where we come from.”

Beef marketing preferences change Page 12 Less cooking at home The good news, says Dean is that Canadian beef continues to enjoy wide appeal, but smaller portions and share steaks – steak for two – are becoming more of a trend and quality cuts are heading more into the ‘indulgence’ category. Another huge trend that is changing the industry is that consumers are cooking less at home, so they are dining out more frequently, purchasing more home meal replacements from the grocery store and using meal home delivery companies like Skip the Dishes. The increased frequency of dining out means restaurants must provide variety and value, and make more conscious efforts for their food items to be healthy. The food also needs to look good on the plate, because diners today like to share their dining experience on Instagram. Cactus Club sources only Canadian 

www.mbbeef.ca

beef because local is better, it’s preferred by its customers, and it’s great quality beef on the world stage, but the company also has eight other proteins on the menu, so the competition for the protein space on the plate is definitely increasing. Plant-based proteins are only just getting started, and although there is a long way to go in terms of texture and flavour and efficient production, the cost of those products is likely to come down as the market for them grows, and if that’s what consumers are looking for, restaurants are going to move more into providing them. “I think a lot of the beef industry in Canada has been propped up by the fact that there are emerging foreign markets so if not sell it here, I can sell it there. The urgency around addressing some things is maybe in the background,” says Dean. “Don’t be a taxi industry, don’t be a SEARS, don’t think it won’t happen; it may happen slower but you need to embrace the change.”


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16 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Environmentalist, dietitian and farmer all agree: Beef belongs BY ANGELA LOVELL Environmentalists, dieticians and farmers all agree that beef belongs, according to a panel discussion that brought together all three at the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) Annual General Meeting in Brandon on Feb. 8. Ornithologist Dr. Christian Artuso headed up the morning conversation by saying a lot of environmentalists believe that beef not only belongs, but it also is essential to the functionality of grasslands and delivers ecological services that need to be recognized. Artuso is Manitoba Director for Bird Studies Canada, one of the organizations, along with MBP, the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association and Nature Manitoba involved locally with the Species at Risk

Program on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) initiative. The program focuses on delivering information and incentives to cattle producers to enhance pastureland with the goal to improve grass quality and maintain a healthy habitat and benefit wildlife and grassland birds at risk. Beef belongs because it provides ecological services Grasslands on the Northern Great Plains are vitally important to many species including migratory birds and cattle are essential to maintaining those grasslands, which are disappearing fast. “You are a part of the solution,” said Artuso during his presentation. “The only thing keeping our grasslands as grasslands is beef production. When you are grazing land you are providing an ecosystem service.”

Birds that are becoming threatened in Manitoba like the Sprague Pipit evolved in these grasslands because of grazing. “Grazing [originally by bison] is a fundamental reason why that grass is there and is a fundamental reason why those birds are the way they are; grazing shaped them,” explained Artuso, adding that different species respond to different types of grazing. “Some species respond more to a mix of bare ground and short grass, some of them respond more to tall grass, some have broader niches, some have narrower niches, but they all respond to that process of grazing.” Grassland birds are by far the most threatened species on the Northern Great Plains. Species like the Longbill Curlew have already disappeared from Manitoba and others like

the Burrowing Owl and Chestnut-Collared Longspur are hanging by a thread as grasslands are being lost at an alarming rate. There are many reasons for that such as conversion to cropland that’s being driven by economics, agricultural innovation and market demands. Other activities like fracking have also reduced grasslands, as have policies such as producing corn for ethanol production in the United States. “We hear a lot about the need for you to tell your story, and part of that story is these birds,” said Artuso. “They will help you sell your beef, and the trade-off is that if you keep grazing you will be helping us save these birds. So we need to get together and help you tell this story.” SARPAL is a good example of a way to do that. Artuso has surveyed 62

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Manitoba farms that are a part of the program to date and found at least one of the top five threatened grassland bird species on every one. “Nearly 40 per cent of you had Sprague’s pipit and 30 per cent of you had Chestnut-Collared Longspur and that’s a huge service right there because those don’t exist anywhere else in Manitoba.” Each producer receives a report card which showcases the species at risk on their land and Artuso says they are very proud of the card, which tells him beef producers are very interested in using this message to sell their beef. The SARPAL partners are working hard to get the message out with media stories, at events like the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto and speaking to groups of dieticians and nutritionists, many of which are not aware of the importance of grazing in Canada. Part of the problem is that beef production in Manitoba gets painted with a global brush, such as the recent Lancet report that suggested changes to a more plant-based diet to improve health and avoid environmental damage. “If you are going to a place like Costa Rica and tearing down rainforest to grow beef, I have a problem with that,” said Artuso. “But the problem is if you say because of that we can’t graze on our Canadian grasslands, now I’ve got a problem with a global report because you are destroying ecosystems that I care about.” Beef belongs because it is a healthy choice Dietician Carol Harrison also believes that beef belongs on the plate and explored the message behind the new Canada Food Guide, what it says about beef, some of the issues that are being raised and the benefits of eating beef. The Canada Food Guide illustrates a plate of which half consists of fruit and vegetables, a quarter of whole grains and a quarter of proteins. A lot of the headlines about the Food Guide are pitting plant and animal proteins against each other, but what does the Guide actually say? “If you look at the old Canada Food Guide plate, the protein section had less

space than the grains, so I am happy to see honoured that whole of the plate for protein because protein needs have been underestimated across the whole lifespan [of the Guide],” Harrison said. She says it’s great that beef is presented as one of the protein choices. “People say the Canada Food Guide is promoting a plant-based diet, well sure it is, half of the plate is vegetables and fruit, and a quarter is whole grains but the old guide did the same thing, so that’s not new and I don’t think beef is being pushed off the plate or should be pushed off the plate,” said Harrison, who adds it does mention in several places that lean red meat is part of a healthy diet. There are many positive messages that the beef producers and industry can use to promote beef as a healthy choice. All of the different proteins provide different health properties and beef stands strong on it benefits. A 75g serving of lean beef is one of the best, bioavailable sources of iron, and also provides around 70 per cent of the daily requirement of zinc. It’s also high in B12 which is important to the immune system. “We are trying to promote to the media and consumers that we want to have a variety of foods; plant foods and animal foods offer a different package,” says Harrison. “Both belong on a healthy plate.” The healthy aspect of beef also doesn’t get enough press. A 75g serving of lean beef has 26g of protein and only 184 calories. To get the same amount of protein, a person would need to eat seven tablespoons of peanut butter at 644 calories, a cupand-a-half of humus at 604 calories, two cups of beans at 420 calories, or almost a cup of almonds at 728 calories. It’s also often suggested that Canadians reduce beef consumption to reduce the amount of saturated fat they consume, but less than 10 per cent of saturated fat in the Canadian diet comes from beef, with most coming from highly processed foods. “Beef is incredibly nutrient rich when it comes to protein and the calorie content is quite modest and Page 19 


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

BCRC research updates enlightening BY ANGELA LOVELL Producers at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in February were brought up to speed on what’s been happening in the areas of beef research and sustainability by representatives from the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). The BCRC recently completed some long-term research with Dr. Kim Ominski at the University of Manitoba that looked at what the beef industry has done over the last 20 years to change its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), water footprint and its positive contribution to biodiversity and carbon sequestration. “This work has been recognized internationally in terms of what we are doing to try and communicate with facts what our industry is doing to improve, but also where we contribute positively to the environment,” said Andrea Brocklebank, Executive Director of the BCRC. “Just to say that we contribute to biodiversity or carbon sequestration is one thing, but backing that with numbers is really important.” BCRC’s research – which is partly funded by producer check-off dollars – is focusing on priorities for the industry including improving productivity, forage and grasslands, animal welfare and feed and feed efficiency. “We are also allowing researchers to measure how this changes GHG emissions, and we are doing that when we are looking at grazing strategies ultimately to show that grazing actually improves carbon sequestration,” said Brocklebank. On the feedlot side BCRC is also looking at how improved efficiencies contribute to the reduced environmental footprint. That’s providing a good news story for Canadian beef production that all levels of the supply chain from producers to retailers and restaurants can make part of their beef marketing message. Production tools to help producers make better decisions The BCRC is also developing some interactive online tools to help beef producers adopt management practices that contribute to improved production efficiency, such as a Body Conditioning Score (BCS) tool. “Research for a long time has shown there is value in Body Conditioning Scores, but we don’t necessarily see a lot of producers adopting them,” said Brocklebank. “We decided to encourage adoption by showing what the economic impact was.” The online BCS tool allows producers to see the relative impact if the BCS changes on pregnancy rate, weaning weight and survival rate of cows. Producers can customize the calculator by adjusting things such as prices, type and cost of available feed to make it more applicable to their own operations. There are also tools to assess the economics of preconditioning that allows producers to understand the value of preconditioning calves over a 30, 45 or 60 days based on the feed sources available, and a pregnancy check calculator to help a producer decide if adding these practices make sense for his or her operation. Another valuable tool is used to measure the economics of pumped watering systems. “Research shows that herd calves average 18 pounds more gain if they drink clean water,” said Brocklebank. Producers can assess the value (and the time to recap the investment) of installing a watering system based on herd size and the type of potential system they might install. “The idea of these tools is to make simple opportunities for producers to help guide their decisions,” said Brocklebank. The BCRC has many free resources, including fact sheets, infographics, webinars, videos and a regularly updated news blog that producers can sign up for via email that highlights new research and production information. See www.beefresearch.ca for more information. Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef makes a lot of progress The CRSB has made a lot of progress since 2016

when it began benchmarking activities which led to the development of a National Beef Sustainability Strategy. The Strategy’s overarching goal is to build a stronger and more united Canadian beef sustainability community and under that umbrella it identifies various environmental, social and economic goals, key performance indicators and action items that will guide the future work of the CRSB as it develops and implements sustainability projects. The CRSB is a collaborative community of stakeholders devoted to advancing sustainability within the Canadian beef industry and brings together beef producer and processor organizations, food and agribusinesses, NGOs, conservation organisations, banks, processors and retail and food service companies. MBP is a member of the CRSB. “When you bring that many organizations to have a conversation about what sustainable beef means, what you get is something that is robust and works for everyone,” said Kristine Tapley, CRSB Council Director. “It gives us the ability to roll out on a much bigger scale and the global recognition about what we are doing in Canada is based on having so many different voices coming together to be a part of it.” A certification framework for sustainable beef has been established which is currently delivered through two certification bodies – the Verified Beef Production Plus Program (VBP+) or Where Food Comes From. Beef producers and feedlots who comply with the Sustainable Beef Production Standard can apply for certification. There are also separate standards for beef processors who wish to be certified under the program. CRSB has also developed a Certified Sustainable Beef logo that anyone who is certified can use on their products. Currently only Cargill’s High River, Alberta packing plant is a certified sustainable beef facility, but it is hoping to have its Guelph facility also certified soon.

Cargill, in partnership with the CRSB, BIXS, VBP+ and Where Food Comes From, is leading the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot, which is paying a per head incentive to certified sustainable beef producers that move their beef through a certified sustainable chain to the Cargill plant. A big part of the Sustainability Framework, on which the CRSB is currently working hard, is communication. “We are leaning hard on our members [to get our message out] because there’s a huge reach there and we have a lot of power in our members,” said Tapley. The CRSB’s role is providing the tools to properly communicate what certified sustainable beef is, what it means and guidelines for using the logo. Steps for Manitoba producers to sustainable beef certification 1. Review the Sustainable Beef Production Standards available on the CRSB website. 2. Fill out the application for an audit and submit to VBP+. 3. VBP+ completes the audit and certification is received. 4. Communicate that you are certified to auction marts and buyers. To participate in the Cargill Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot 1. Get audited by VBP+ and receive sustainable certification 2. Sign up for BIXS 3. Update your profile in BIXS to allow for sharing of information 4. Age verify your certified sustainable cattle via BIXS or the CLTS 5. Every point in the supply chain that your certified cattle go through must also be certified sustainable in order to receive the per head credit from the pilot partners.

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Upcoming sale March 30, 2019 at Manitoba Bull Test Station www.mbbeef.ca


18 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Ag in the Classroom putting agriculture into the curriculum BY ANGELA LOVELL Beef producers are valued supporters for Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) both through their financial support and through the many hours that they volunteer to go into school and talk to students, participate in teacher development panels or help out at events like the Amazing Agriculture

Adventure. “AITC’s mission is to encourage students to become informed consumers and decision makers,” said Sue Clayton, Executive Director of AITC - Manitoba during her update to beef producers on AITC’s activities at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM. “We want to make sure that we develop programs and resources to have ag-literate citizens.”

In 2017, AITC Manitoba visited 200 schools; 85 in Winnipeg and 115 in rural Manitoba. There is a misconception that the need to educate kids about agriculture is less in Manitoba, said Clayton. “In many of the rural communities that we are in working in the schools, the students have no idea how their food is grown or where their food comes from, and they are sitting in the midst of

a rural community. So, there is so much more industry now that kids aren’t necessarily connected to the farm and certainly teachers aren’t.” AITC has been working to ensure that agriculture will be included in the curriculum going forward in Manitoba schools and is providing easyto-use resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Calculating and Collecting Federal and Provincial Levies on Beef Cattle in Canada With the recent increase of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off in other parts of the country, the Canadian Beef CheckOff Agency is reminding auction markets, dealers and private treaty sellers in those provinces of the process to calculate and remit check-off deductions in those provinces, and across provincial borders. The term “Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off ’’ is used to describe the money that is received by the Agency to invest in national beef cattle research, market development and promotion. Currently, the rate is $2.50 in all provinces except Ontario, which is $1. The provincial check-

off is used by the provincial cattle associations to carry out their mandate. This rate varies by province, and is currently $3 in Manitoba. It is the responsibility of both the buyer and the seller to ensure that check-off is collected, however in the vast majority of transactions it is the responsibility of the buyer to deduct the check-off from the proceeds payable to the seller and remit the funds. This includes auction markets, dealers and producers selling via private treaty. These funds are collected in two ways: Provincial Levy: on cattle traded intra-provincially (within the same province)

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10.59

QC Bob Calves

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

Butcher Sale

1pm

9:00 am; 1:00 pm 9am

9:00 am

9:30 am

9:00 am

Tues., Mar. Feb 1314 Bred Presort Thurs Cow Sale Sale

9:30 am 1pm

Tues Mar. 19 Regular SaleSale Bred Cow

9am 1:00 pm

Tues.,Mar. Feb 20 FeederSale Sale Tues 26 Regular

9:00 am 9am

Tues 2 Tues.,April Feb 27

Feeder and Butcher Sale Presort Sale

9am 9:30 am

Fri., Mar 2

Feeder and Butcher Sale

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

1:00 pm

Feeder Sale

PenPresort of 5 Replacement Heifers Sale

9:00 am 9:30 am

Thurs., Feb 15

Thurs., Feb 22

Tues April 9

APRIL MARCH

Provincial Levy Rates

Fri Mar. 1

Thurs., Feb 1

2019Winter SpringSale SaleSchedule Schedule 2018

Federal Levy: on cattle traded inter-provincially (between provinces)

Tues., Mar 6

Tues., Mar 13

Butcher Sale

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

9:00 am

9am

Thurs., Mar 15

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tues., Mar 20

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Tues April 16 Feeder and Butcher Sale Tues 23 Feeder and Butcher Sale Tues.,April Mar 27 Feeder Sale Tues April 30 Feeder and Butcher Sale

9am

9am 9:00 am 9am

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

Heartland Livestock Services

tion) and the applicable provincial check-off (provincial portion). Essentially, whether cattle are traded within a province or across provincial borders, both a national and a provincial portion are deducted. On sales slips in most provinces, the two portions are deducted in a lump sum. In Manitoba auction marts, the national and provincial portions show separately on sales slips. The federal levy on interprovincial sales is non-refundable in its entirety. When cattle are sold in Canada, either the provincial levy or the federal levy is collected, never both. The provincial levy is collected on cattle sold in intra-provincial trade and the federal levy is collected on cattle sold in inter-provincial trade. The same sales transaction would never attract both levies but all sellers in Canada, whether selling in intra-provincial trade or inter-provincial trade, will pay a levy. In Manitoba and in each province east of Manitoba, the amount of the federal levy is the same as the provincial levy where the seller of the beef cattle resides. In Saskatchewan and in each province west of Saskatchewan, the amount of the federal levy is the same as the provincial levy where the beef cattle are sold. When a producer sells beef cattle in their home province, that producer pays the provincial levy to their provincial cattle association. Of that provincial levy, a portion (the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off) is paid to the Agency. The balance of the provincial levy is re-

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tained by the provincial cattle association. Example 1: A producer from Steinbach sells steers at the Winnipeg auction market. The auction market collects and remits $5.50 per head on the sale and remits it to Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). Of this $5.50, $2.50 is the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff, and the balance remains with MBP. The $3.00 provincial checkoff is refundable, while the $2.50 Canadian Beef Check-Off is not. Example 2: A producer from Ashern privately sells bred heifers to another producer near Roblin. The buyer from Roblin deducts the $5.50 per head from the funds payable to the seller from Roblin and remits it to MBP. Of this $5.50, $2.50 is the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, and the balance remains with MBP. The $3.00 provincial check-off is refundable, while the $2.50 Canadian Beef Check-Off is not. When a producer sells beef cattle outside their home province (inter-provincial trade), that producer pays the federal levy, which is nonrefundable in its entirety. The provincial cattle association collecting the federal levy pays the federal levy to the Agency. The Agency keeps the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and pays the balance to the provincial cattle association where the producer selling the cattle resides. Example 3: A producer from Birtle, MB sells pairs at the Whitewood, SK auction market. The auction market collects and remits $4.50 per head on the sale to the Saskatchewan

Cattlemen’s Association (SCA). Of this $4.50 federal levy, $2.50 is the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff, and the remaining $2 is allocated back to MBP. No portion of the levies collected on this transaction are refundable. Example 4: A producer from Carlyle, SK sells steers at the Brandon, MB auction market. The auction market collects and remits $4.50 per head on the sale and remits it to MBP. Of this $4.50 federal levy, $2.50 is the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, and the remaining $2 is allocated back to SCA. No portion of the levies collected on this transaction are refundable. The collection and remittance of the levies in Canada are an integral part of a sustainable and profitable industry. Through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, market development and promotion efforts are able to grow the demand for Canadian beef here at home and around the world, and research programs ensure that Canadian producers can meet those demands through effective management practices and profitable operations. Those who have questions about the calculation or remittance of levies on cattle traded in Manitoba, or to access the forms required to remit check-off deductions in Manitoba, visit www. mbbeef.ca/about-mbp/ membership/ or contact Manitoba Beef Producers. For more information on the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, including a full list of rates and national regulations, visit www.cdnbeefcheckoff.ca.


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

MBP provided comments re: Water Rights Act BY MAUREEN COUSINS

MBP Policy Analyst

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided comments to Sustainable Development as part of the provincial government’s recent consultations around a new regulation under The Water Rights Act. MBP is supportive of the expected outcomes being sought by the province, including the streamlining of applications and approvals, red tape reduction, the provision of consistent regulatory regimes for drainage and water control works, and improved surface water management and coordination. The importance of sound surface water management to Manitoba’s beef industry cannot be understated. As the events of recent years have demonstrated, an overabundance or a shortage of surface water poses many challenges for the sector and impedes the potential for growth. MBP supports the creation of policies that will support economically and environmentally-sound decision making around surface water management. Under the proposed regulation, approval would be required from downstream landowners who are “significantly impacted by a drainage or water control work project. However, the regulation would introduce flexibility for departmental discretion to ensure projects cannot be vetoed on the basis of complaints without merit.”

An approach whereby approval is required from downstream landowners who are significantly impacted by a drainage or water control work project is supported by MBP. It is MBP’s position that the responsibility should lie with the proponent to demonstrate that their proposed works will do no harm. MBP recognizes there may be instances where a downstream landowner does not have a valid reason to oppose a project. MBP is supportive of allowing for the use of departmental discretion in these instances, but would like clear criteria set out as to how this would be used. MBP noted that there may be the need for a timely dispute resolution mechanism should either of the landowners disagree with a decision made by an officer of the department. Under the proposed regulation for drainage and water control works, projects would either undergo a registration or a licensing process. The six project classes that would be eligible for registration include: minor surface drain construction, agricultural subsurface tile drain construction, water control works for new crossings, minor culvert changes, wetland enhancement and restoration, and small dam construction. The recent amendments to The Water Rights include a provision for offsetting the loss or alteration of prescribed wetlands with a goal of no net loss of wetlands. Under the proposed regulation Class 3, 4 and 5 wetlands would be defined as prescribed wetlands. Altering or draining these wetlands would come with

Changing minds means sharing the facts  Page 16 that really works for you today when we consider the fact that 65 per cent of our population is obese, so we want to get a lot of quality calories into Canadians and that’s a reason why beef belongs,” said Harrison. It really shouldn’t boil down to an animal versus plant debate, said Harrison because they are complementary and both are needed for a healthy diet. As an example, having a little beef on the plate will increase the iron that a person absorbs from plant-based sources by 150 per cent. Studies have also found that eating meat fosters healthier eating because people that eat meat are more likely to eat vegetable as well. Harrison urges beef producers to take advantage of the great resources that have been developed by Canada Beef to help get some of these messages out, and to continue to engage partners in retail, food service, and also dieticians and nutritionists who aren’t always getting the information they need to pass on to their clients about why beef

belongs as part of a healthy diet. Beef belongs because it has a great story to tell Toban Dyck is a farmer, journalist and communicator who is passionate about getting agriculture’s voice heard. He writes agricultural columns for the Financial Post, Grainews and MacLeans. After working in Alberta and Toronto as a journalist, he and his wife decided to return to the family farm near Winkler where he now farms with his parents. “Effective communication is honest, simple and accessible,” said Toban in his presentation, which offered producers some advice about how to tell their story effectively. “When I write a column I always have to bring myself back to that place of yes, I am a farmer, yes I am going to promote the ag industry, but I am going to do so from a place that everybody can understand. Farmers dealing with high inputs costs or a commodity crisis is something that everybody can get if you start from there.” Your story should

evoke empathy, said Toban. “By the end, your challenges are their challenges; your successes are their successes. You also have to remember that there is always a person at the other end and they will be bored by the boring, and engaged by the engaging,” he said, “Starting with a joke or an anecdote, these are important features of telling a story because if people are bored, or it gets confusing or complicated you have lost them.” “There is a need for producers to be better communicators and that takes practice,” he said. “Tell your story and keep telling it again and again. Talk about issues and news, develop speaking notes on a regular basis, listen, ask questions and take a minute before responding to questions. Tell stories wherever you can in newspapers, emails, social media, op-ed columns, at consultation meetings and AGMs. The better we get at communicating what we do, the more successful we will be at earning the trust of the consumers, lawmakers and our trade partners.”

certain requirements on the part of the applicant, such as mitigation initiatives, or the possibility of having to pay compensation for the loss of wetland benefits. MBP is pleased that the proposed regulation includes definitions of the five classes of wetlands. However, MBP stated that it would be useful to provide additional information on the departmental website, perhaps including the use of illustrations, to help stakeholders better understand the different classes of wetlands and when they will be required to undertake certain activities. Under the current proposal some applicants going through the licensing process may choose to purchase wetland restoration or enhancement activities and that they would work through an approved service provider to do this. There is a possibility that these some of these activities may involve wetlands situated on land owned by cattle producers. MBP sought clarification as to whether any of the compensation monies the applicant must pay for said activities will flow directly to the owners of properties where the restoration or enhancement activities are occurring. MBP’s reiterated its longstanding position that when considering surface water management, Manitoba needs a wetland policy that also includes an incentive strategy to restore and protect wetlands. Many cattle producers are already protecting the environment and providing storage capacity on their lands by retaining wetlands. This preservation of wetlands is done at considerable benefit to society, but there is no direct monetary benefit to the producers such as payment for the provision of these valuable ecosystem services. It is MBP’s position that government policies should recognize the producers or landowners who have produced ecological benefits from preserving wetlands on a long-term basis. MBP asked for clarification as to the

criteria that will be used to designate an approved service provider under the Act, i.e. a person or organization that has been approved by the minister to perform wetland restoration or enhancement projects. As well, MBP asked whether there be some type of appeal mechanism if there is a disagreement over what is deemed to be an appropriate compensation level. MBP noted the consultation did not touch upon the issue of illegal drainage. MBP has previously commented on the need for an increased focus on enforcing illegal drainage activities and the use of fines commensurate to the offence. Too often beef producers have found their operations adversely affected by illegal drainage projects. It is also MBP’s position that there must be continued dialogue between the Manitoba government and neighboring jurisdictions to address illegal drainage works, as well as large-scale drainage projects that could be responsible for contributing to flood-related problems in Manitoba. Improved communication and coordination of surface water management across political boundaries is a must. This will be essential to addressing both water quantity and water quality challenges. MBP also supports work being undertaken by organizations such as the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, supported by the provincial government, which are helping to create a positive dialogue around water management in the three participating jurisdictions. Further, MBP has heard complaints about the maintenance of existing works or water control works controlled by a number of different entities, including governments. Failure to adequately maintain works can lead to challenges such as flooding and this has had an adverse effect on some beef producers’ operations. MBP requested that steps be taken with respect to enforcement to ensure that works are properly maintained.

Your Source for

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mjsimmentalangus@gmail.com www.mjsimmentalangus.com mlg@glasmanfarms.com Miles, Bonnie & Jared Glasman www.glasmanfarms.com Home: 204.773.3279 find us on Miles’ Cell: 204.773.6275 Jared’s Cell: 204.796.0999

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Matthew & Leanne Glasman Home: 204.773.3209 Matt’s Cell: 204.773.6055


20 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

At the MBP President's Banquet in Brandon, retiring directors received silver belt buckles to honour their service to the organization. From the left photo, MBP President Tom Teichroeb presents former District 5 Director Ramona Blyth with her buckle, while District 6 Director hands former MBP President Ben Fox with his hardware, and former District 7 Director Larry Gerelus is handed his buckle from MBP Second Vice-President Dianne Riding. (Photos by Keith Borkowsky)

40th Anniversary Celebration for MBP BRIAN LEMON

General Manager’s Column As I write this version of my column, we have just wrapped up MBP’s 40th anniversary Annual General Meeting. It was another great event, and the first thing I need to do is thank the staff for their efforts to make the event as great as it was. They worked tirelessly for weeks leading up to the event making sure every little detail was considered and looked after. They also put in extra effort during the event to ensure everything happened smoothly and any last-minute hiccups were quickly cleared. I got to stand at the front of the meeting room at the podium, but it is all their work ahead of time that allowed me to do so. This year’s AGM featured some thought-provoking and interesting speakers, and updates from our national partners. We conducted the annual business of the organization, ratified a new board of directors and elected new officers, with Tom Teichroeb as President, Kris Kristjanson as Vice-President, Dianne Riding as 2nd Vice-President, Peter Penner as Treasurer and Mike Du-

guid as Secretary. We also debated the resolutions arising from the fall district meetings, making recommendations to the new board to help them with the setting of priorities going forward. The resolution’s debate was very engaging with good discussions around a number of important issues facing our sector. There were a couple of resolutions regarding the soon-to-be-published new Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Regulations. These regulations are following the changes made last fall to the Crown Lands Act, and are expected to be published for public comment sometime in late winter or early spring. While the resolutions do give some direction to the MBP board, MBP will be very active on all fronts in working to make certain the proposed regulations maximize the benefits to our industry and to our producer group as a whole. There were also a number of resolutions passed related to business risk management (BRM) programs available through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). These resolutions dealt with issues such as wildlife crop damage and available coverage. Each year MBP meets with the MASC board of directors and these resolutions will certainly assist to shape conversations and future work between MBP and MASC to refine and improve the products available to the beef sector. As an aside, we also had a very informative pre-

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sentation from MASC at the AGM that went through many of the options available through their BRM and lending programs. The AGM was also punctuated by a wonderful celebration at the President’s Banquet, with the presentation of the second MBP Lifetime Achievement Award to Martin Unrau, and of The Environmental Stewardship Award to the Hodgins family of Lenore. The keynote address came from the Hon. Gerry Ritz, the former federal Minister of Agriculture. Three retiring MBP directors were also honored for their service. They had all served their maximum three consecutive two-year terms and contributed to the organization’s work and direction. Ramona Blyth (District 5), Larry Gerelus (District 7), and Ben Fox (District 13) were active participants around the MBP board table, giving up a lot of their own time to volunteer to make the industry stronger in Manitoba. They each served on a number of different board committees, and it was nice to see them recognized by their peers at the President’s Banquet. Ramona also served to represent Manitoba at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Ben Fox served as our MBP President for well over a year. Larry was our representative to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. Taking over for Ramona, Larry, and Ben are Steven Manns, Tyler Fulton and Mary Paziuk respectively. The theme of our AGM was Proud Past, Promising Future. The pride in our past was in full display at the AGM, with the honouring of Martin Unrau and our retiring directors. The optimism for the future was also very evident as the crowd listened to presenters from Cargill and from Cactus Club Restaurants, who spoke about beef ’s place in the marketplace. Senior representatives from these companies spoke about the challenges in their sectors and the opportunities that exist for topquality Canadian beef, both in restaurants and at retail; both domestically and around the world. We have a great product and consumers recognize it. Finally, we also heard from a professional nutritionist and an environmentalist who both spoke about how beef is well positioned in terms of the benefits of grazing to the environment and the nutritional benefits of eating beef. Even with the recent launch of Canada’s new Food Guide, it is clear that beef has an important role to play in making sure Canadians eat healthy. We were told that not all protein is the same, and that beef is really a power-house protein, delivering so much more than other proteins and with a reduced caloric intake. A balanced diet is important, and Canadians have lots of protein options, but none deliver more high-quality protein, along with iron, zinc and important B vitamins, and none deliver the suggested protein with fewer calories. We were told to be proud of our product, its environmental and nutrition benefits, and how to engage with the public to tell our story. With the passing of the AGM, the work continues. The new board will get down to work almost immediately and we will continue to advance the interests of the sector. I wish you all a great calving season, and hope for an early spring to get our cattle out onto pasture and get another productive season underway.


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 21

How to manage risk on the farm on a year-round basis BY ANGELA LOVELL Kevin Craig of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) briefly outlined some of the risk management tools and programs that MASC offers for beef producers at the recent MBP AGM, noting where they fit into the busy farming year and different farming situations. Beginning in July, a young beef producer might start thinking about buying some land including calving facilities. MASC offers a Direct Loan. For someone under the age of 40 they can get a loan for 90 per cent of the purchase price. “That reduced down payment protects their working capital,” said Craig, adding they can lock in the interest rate and payment for up to 25 years, but the loan is open for repayment at any time without penalty. In addition to the loan option, a young producer can also receive a Young Farmer Rebate which provides up to two per cent on the first $150,000 of borrowing for the first five years. “Again the rebate helps to pay down the loans and protects working capital,” said Craig, who is Vice President, Client Service for MASC. MASC's Kevin Craig ponders a question posed by a producer at the MBP Annual General Meeting in Brandon on Fall Feb. 8. (Photo by Angela Lovell) In October, the same producer may decide to buy more feeder heifers, and can apply for a Stocker Loan up to $500,000, which pays for 100 per cent of the pur- and there are methodologies to calculate it. the proceeds of the cull against the Stocker Loan as a bit chase of the feeders including any marketing costs and It’s March, and the producer has some cows that will of a down payment, and the increase in the value of the transport costs. MASC only takes the feeders that they soon calve, so decides to purchase a WLPIP fall calf pol- animals because the weight from breeding allows us to buy as security for the loan. Repayment of the loan is icy that comes due in October in order to protect some take the balance and roll it into a direct loan,” said Craig. upon sale of the cattle anytime up to 18 months from of the floor price and protect cash flow. “So with no money down they now have great animals their purchase. sitting in their herd and they can lock the interest in for Summer Also in October, they look at the Western Livestock In June, the producer needs to buy a new baler so up to 10 years and repay without penalty, and can make Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) and decide to take takes out an equipment loan for five years and decides to it interest only for up to one year.” out a feeder policy for the spring with coverage equiva- lock the interest rate in, although annual renewal rates MASC has more than 90 per cent participation lent to 80 per cent of the stocker loan to give them some are available as are flexible payment terms. from producers in its annual crop insurance programs protection (against price drops). “In this rate they decide to set interest only for but only around 17 per cent participation in forage “In this case the producer decides to use the new December and they don’t have their first principal and programs, although it is increasing. Other programs payment on account option so the premium is due 30 interest payment due until next June when they have a available to livestock producers include the Manitoba days after the contract expires,” said Craig. WLPIP basi- larger calf crop,” said Craig. Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee, the Wildlife cally protects a floor price for cattle based on a number In September it turns out that the producer’s green Damage Compensation Program and hail insurance. of market-driven factors. Craig urges producers to use myMASC, the online feed and silage production was okay but their hay sufWinter fered from drought, so he completes his forage harvested portal where they can register and view their insurance February is the time for the producer to meet with production report for MASC and the adjuster goes out contracts, and loan information. See www.masc.mb.ca the MASC agent and discuss AgriInsurance options. He and determines the production was below coverage and for more information. decides to select the basic hay, forage insurance, green the producer receives a payment. feed and forage establishment coverage. In October the producer brings in the bred heifers “AgriInsurance provides protection for losses from and culls the herd and applies the proceeds to the Stocknatural perils, the premiums are 40 per cent paid by the er Loan, then rolls the balance into a Direct Loan. producer and 60 per cent by the government,” said Craig. “What the producer has done is increase the power Basic Hay Insurance provides coverage on the five of no money down,” said Craig. “We financed 100 per types of hay and grass/alfalfa mixes, and production is cent of the price of the Stocker Loan heifers; the pro17th Annual Bull Sale aggregated for any claims. Select Hay Insurance has a ducer bred them, brought them in, culled them and put Tuesday, March 19, 2019 • 1:00 p.m. DST quality coverage option as Valley Livestock, Minitonas, MB well. Forage Establishment 45 Charolais Two Year Old & Yearling Bulls Insurance covers losses on 20 Red and Black Angus Yearling Bulls eligible forage crops from seeding through to establishment up to June 25 in the year after planting. Producers enrolled in the forage program automati• offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers cally receive a hay estaball Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts. lishment benefit, a forage restoration benefit and are • buys ALL classes of cattle eligible to purchase flood coverage as an option. direct from producers. The pasture programSound, semen tested and delivery available ming options include Pas• is interested in purchasing Dollars for Quality - As Good of Buying as You Can Do ture Insurance and Pasture large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Online bidding available on DLMS.ca Days Insurance. Pasture Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls. View the catalogue online at www.bylivestock.com Insurance is essentially a or for more information contact: production insurance and For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: DIAMOND W CHAROLAIS uses a producer’s (historiOrland Walker • Box 235, Hudson Bay, SK S0E 0Y0 cal) forage production as a Andy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Clive Bond (204) 483-0229 T 306.865.3953 C 306.865.6539 proxy for what may or may Jay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Ken Drake (204) 724-0091 diamondw@sasktel.net not be a loss on pasture Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630 production. 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22 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Prices in cow-calf, feeder markets dip The start of the 2019 cattle markets is looking more and more like a mirror image of the first quarter of 2018. With that being the case, the short-term news is not that great for some of the cow-calf producers and especially not great for the backgrounding operations. The 2019 feeder cattle markets came out of the gate with guns a-blazing but quickly ran out of bullets after the first week. Feeder cattle over 750 pounds started a downward slide, and prices have continued to decline. The main reason is that the fed-cattle futures and contracts for July, August and early September live cattle, trading at under $1.14 per pound in US funds, combined with a 76.10 Canadian dollar, shows a finished price of just under $1.52 per pound Canadian, delivered live to Alberta. The math shows that the 800 to 850 pound steers in Manitoba need to be purchased at approximately $1.75 per pound to have any chance of breaking even. If you have been following the market you will see that there is very little difference price per pound between a 775 pound and 925 pound steer. The sooner the steer goes to harvest the better the price until July of 2019. These trends are expected to continue on the cattle too heavy or too fleshly to go to grass until the end of April. As of Feb. 5, all indications are that the majority of the steers over 500 pounds, purchased in the fall, were purchased too high, and there is no escaping a loss if they have to be sold in the first quarter of this year. The majority of the investors will probably retain ownership and will try to mitigate their losses by owning the cattle longer and feeding to heavier weights or possibly even to finish. The market could be even lower if it was not for a 4.5-cent weaker dollar than last year. As tough as the market seems, it is still 3 to 5 cents higher on the heavy

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line cattle than last February. The demand for heifers is sluggish at best, and fleshy heifers are really being discounted. I would expect some producers to keep a few more heifers at home due to the current price point and market demand. The current spread between the steers and heifers is about 20 to 23 cents. The grass cattle demand is a totally different market environment! Grassing operations made good money last fall, and all indications are that the yearling prices off the grass with be strong again with fancy 900 pound steers projected to bring $1.90 per pound Canadian. So far this spring, the grass type cattle are selling right where they left off in December. I expect this market to stay strong and possibility even get higher on the 700 pound cattle closer to grass season. As for the cull cows, they have lost a little ground price-wise since the start of the year. The Americans are predicting a large cull of dairy cows this spring, which will probably keep their market under pressure. This will result in the domestic packers being able to leverage the market if supply gets too large. If we get a wet spring, there could be huge demand for cow-calf pairs, but I predict that good-quality ‘keeper” cows will be hard to find in Manitoba. As for the rest of the year

in Manitoba, we could see 20,000 fewer beef cows calving in the province this spring due to the heavy culling last year. This drop in the cowherd will be tough to reverse until the cow-calf sector sees better profits. The Americans are predicting fed cattle prices will average the same in 2019 as they did in 2018, $1.17 per pound US. The lows could hit $1.00 for a short time with the highs struggling to break the $1.30 mark. Their success is totally dependent on the export market, with 22 per cent of the value of each steer exported. That will add approximately $360 per head value to each steer. The industry is divided in the south on whether or not all of President Trump’s rhetoric will harm US exports. If things remain the same as last year in the south, we can expect very similar prices to 2018. I would expect to see slightly lower calf prices next fall, especially when the fall run is at its peak. The backgrounders are looking at two years of back-to-back losses and they will use more discipline on their incoming inventory this fall. At this point, there is very little talk of drought in the United States, and the spring seeding projections are calling for an increase in corn acres and a reduction in the number of soybean acres. Corn looks like it could trade between $3.60 and $4.00 per bushel, which still makes it attractive as cattle feed. As I mentioned last time, the dollar will have a huge influence on the cattle markets. Remember, a one-cent change in the exchange will move the fed cattle price onecent. A one-cent move in the fed cattle will result in up to a three-cent move on an 850 pound steer and a five-cent change on a 500 pound steer. Good luck to everyone in calving season. Until next time, Rick.

Cattle and forage land attractive to wildlife BY MANITOBA HABITAT HERITAGE CORPORATION The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) has acquired and holds title to approximately 14,000 acres of land in Manitoba. MHHC has obtained ownership by either purchasing or as a gift of land, from a previous landowner. Where the landscape is compatible with agriculture

and the donor has allowed, MHHC has a management strategy of using agricultural practices to maintain and improve habitat for wildlife on these lands. MHHC leases out a total of forty-three properties (5,344 acres) in grazing and forage lease agreements. There are 16 properties

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CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY

(4,050 acres) leased out for grazing practices and 27 properties (1,294 acres) leased out for forage practices. In the summer of 2018, MHHC installed fencing and established grazing systems on six properties for a total of 1,280 acres. The diversity of management techniques that MHHC has applied in order to manage their land has provided each property with a variety of habitats. In order to have accomplished this, MHHC has completed haying, grazing, prescribed burns, tillage, forage seeding, shrub mowing, as well as wetland restoration. While it may be assumed that in order to

protect desirable habitats land needs to sit idle, however, this is not at all the case. MHHC continues to review its land portfolio and look for opportunities to manage the land using agriculture practices. Bird species prefer different nesting cover in terms of structure, height and arrangement. Forage and grazing practices help to diversify the habitat variation available to a wide variety of birds. The variation of the land structure is not only attractive to a variety of bird species, but also to four-legged animals such as white-tailed deer, beaver, weasels, mink, fox, coyotes and hares. As such, MHHC

practices techniques that create conditions desirable for wildlife habitat on a majority of their properties. A prime example of their successful management strategies is a section of land MHHC calls the Pryzner Property which is located just east of Shoal Lake. The section of land was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Jack Pryzner through the Habitat Enhancement Land Program. This was a pilot project of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan to conserve habitat for waterfowl to help increase duck populations in the late 90s. Almost 25 years ago,

2ND Annual Strongbow Farms Ltd. Annual Bull & Female Sale April 3, 2019 | At The Farm | Hartney, MB

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Devon Bertholet 204-747-4371 Hartney, MB strongbowfarms@gmail.com Photo courtesy of R & S Schellenberg

Chris Poley 306-220-5006

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Thank you to everyone who supported our program

MHHC started using agriculture management techniques for the benefit of wildlife on the Pryzner Property which is in the heart of Manitoba’s waterfowl breeding area. With a trained eye, you’re able to find eight or more waterfowl upland species, four to five water nesting species, a variety of songbirds, hawks and owls throughout the section. MHHC’s Conservation Specialist for the property, Roy Bullion, said that the section has a variety of land cover including sloughs, potholes, hay land, wooded areas and native prairie grassland. Local farmers use portions of the property for hay production and to pasture livestock. “There are three paddocks for pasturing cattle on the Pryzner Property. With only 360 acres of grass for grazing, we have been able to effectively maintain a full stocking complement because we rotate the herd through three seasons to different areas,” says Bullion. “We’re pleased with how we’ve been able to successfully manage this section over the years. We fertilize the grass, manage the cover, increase soil organic matter and partner with local producers all while working within the mandate of managing the land for wildlife,” said Bullion.


March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

Moving past misconceptions: Honest talk about our shared food system BY KRISTEN MATWYCHUK

Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre

Kristen Matwychuk is the Coordinator for the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. She organizes and facilitates curriculum-based programming and tours for school groups, general public, agriculture and food industry, and government to help share the journey of food from farm to fork. Kristen is a certified presenter and trainer on “The Real Dirt on Farming”. With a degree in Food Sciences and a family history of farming, Kristen is passionate about spreading the great news about Canadian agriculture, food safety, nutrition and food processing with everyone she encounters. A century ago, nearly half of Canadians farmed. Today that number has dwindled to less than two per cent, leaving almost our entire population disconnected from farming, but with many questions and concerns about how food is grown and raised. We see this disconnect every day at the University of Manitoba’s Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre (FFDC). The FFDC is a oneof-a-kind public outreach and agriculture education centre located at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences’ Glenlea Research Station. Each year more than 7,500 people come through our doors, the majority being students between grades three and 12 taking part in one of our 11 curriculumbased programs. We are the vehicle for sharing accurate and balanced information through programs and interactive exhibits developed together with our industry partners. Our goal at FFDC is to tell the story of where our food comes from, encompassing farming, animal care, environmental stewardship, food processing, food safety and nutrition, as well as leading-edge research across all these facets. Yet we face a set of unique challenges in doing so at FFDC. There seems to be a perception that since we are a university location, our barns only display what we want the public to see. We also deal with the misconception that animal research is the same as what they imagine animal testing to be. Canadians have concerns about our food system The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity researches public trust and

Canadians’ opinions on the country’s food and agriculture system. Their most recent survey indicates that Canadians are most concerned with the “rising cost of food”, with 67 per cent identifying as being extremely concerned. They are also concerned with the affordability of healthy food (63 per cent), food safety (54 per cent), climate change (50 per cent) and the humane treatment of animals (49 per cent). When asked of their overall impression of Canadian agriculture, only 55 per cent indicated their impression was positive/ very positive. This is a concern because most of the agricultural industry is trying to share the story of where our food comes from and raise the trust the public has in our food system. These results show we have a lot more work to do. Fielding tough and unexpected questions at FFDC Food is something that affects us all. We feed it to our families and friends; we need it to survive. Naturally, consumers have a lot of questions about the food they eat. Everyday at FFDC we are asked a variety of questions about food production and we hear our fair share of comments and opinions. Some can be incredibly pointed and difficult to answer without overreacting to the question. As humans, our past experiences, social groups, and access to information can seriously affect how we perceive things. When consumers hear about information in agriculture, their perception may not reflect reality. This is something we have to keep in mind

when speaking with our visitors. Although something may be obviously true to us, the people we are speaking with may not see it that way. Some of the toughest questions and comments FFDC has received include “Why do farmers hate animals?”, “Kids these days are all obese because of the hormones pumped into our food”, and “While we’re at it (raising animals for food) why don’t we just line up humans and shoot them too?”. Kristen Matwychuk shares food stories with a young audience at the Bruce D. As tough as these can Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. (Submitted photo) be to answer, they don’t come often. The major- could cause more harm be open, talk about your Visit www.ffdc.ca to ity of people just want to than good. passion and answer their learn more about what we know the basics: “Do the respectfully. do at FFDC. More inforSecond, you’re on questions animals get to go outside?”, stage. Like it or not, you It’s easier than you think mation on Canadian Cen“How long do they live?”, may be the only person and the more you do it, tre for Food Integrity can “Do farmers care about the consumer knows the more comfortable be found at www.foodinthe animals they raise?” who works in agriculture. you get. tegrity.org. and most commonly “Can Your impression could afI cuddle one?”. fect the way they see our How FFDC entire industry. Answer answers them questions respectfully, be We, along with most open and treat them like others in the agriculture you are providing world with two-year-old sons of ... industry have noticed an class customer service. increase in the overall Third, know your aunumber of people inter- dience. Most people are ested in learning about asking a simple question where our food comes and want a simple answer. from and challenging If you’re unsure what they some of the information are asking, probe further. they are hearing. While Don’t use jargon. Start off answering tough ques- with a basic answer and tions can seem daunting, only go into specifics if it’s our responsibility to needed. LT SUNDANCE 2251 address questions and Finally, never knock • May/June and Fall 2017 born for extra age concerns in a respectful down another farmer. • Developed on grass as yearlings for way and represent our in- Remember, only two per dustry well. cent of the population added longevity At FFDC we use farms. The majority of the • Sons show tremendous length, muscle some basic steps to help population knows little to and are deep ribbed. answer questions and ad- nothing about food prodress concerns. duction so we must all • Will improve disposition and foot quality First, never general- work together to reach with noticeable consistency ize or guess. Every tour the goal of public trust. • All bulls available by private treaty through FFDC we get at There are one-inleast one question we have eight people working in • Visitors always welcome! to respond to with “I don’t the agriculture industry; know”, and that’s okay! We if each of us had just one are accustomed to feel as conversation or interacMike Bertholet though we need to know tion a week with somePipestone, MB everything in our indus- one about agriculture, try but sharing informa- our impact could be huge. Phone: 204-522-5469(cell) or 204-854-2952 Email: whitemeadowcharolais@live.ca tion you are unsure about Remember to be friendly,

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24 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

VBP+ now provides training and certification for sustainable beef producers BY ANGELA LOVELL It was busy in 2018 for the Verified Beef Production Plus Program (VBP+). In August, VBP+ became a certifying body for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef ’s (CRSB) Certified Sustainable Beef Framework. “This means that operations that are certified as VBP+ are also certified to the Certified Sustainable Beef standard which allows retailers to start sourcing Certified Sustainable Beef and allow certified producers to begin to supply demand for certified product,” said Shannon Argent, VBP+ Business Manager to attendees at the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in February. VBP+ is a national program managed by the Beef Cattle Research Council in partnership with provincial delivery agents and it offers training and verification services. One of the goals of the Verified

Beef Production Program (VBP+) is to help instill confidence in consumers, the public, retailers and everyone in the industry that its certified beef cattle operations adhere to the highest standards for food safety, animal care and environmental stewardship. VBP+ participates in Acceleration Pilot In the fall of 2017, Cargill began its Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot Project (CBSA) in partnership with the CRSB, VBP+, BIXS and Where Food Comes From, which offers per head credits back to certified producers when their beef moves through a fully certified supply chain. The pilot is designed to establish a sustainable beef supply in Canada, and tracks sustainable certified beef through the supply chain allowing end users to be able to use the Certified Sustainable Beef Logo. In July, MacDonald’s Canada became the first retailer in

Canada to use the logo. How the pilot works is that operations – producers, feedlots and packers – pay for their own audits through VBP+ or other verification agencies. Cattle that are eligible for certification are tracked through the BIXS system and Cargill also has its own tracking system within its High River, Alberta facility for internal tracking of certified animals. The partners – including Loblaw’s, Original Joe’s, Swiss Chalet, and Cactus Club Café – pay into the CBSA clearing house from which the per-head credit is paid back to producers whose Shannon Argent of Verified Beef Production Plus outlines to producers the benefits of cattle qualify. The demand for cer- certifying their production practices. (Photo by Angela Lovell) tified sustainable beef has “A big component of exceeded expectations, fying head per certified qualifying producer would and the pilot is focusing cow/calf operation was 24 have received a cheque for the success of the pilot is on building the supply and and the average qualified $438. A feedlot selling into historical VBP+ producoptimizing traceability head per certified feedlot the second quarter of the ers,” said Argent. “When was 240 head, and, out of program, when the per we received equivalency processes. In the first year of the all harvested cattle at the head credit was $20 would and VBP+ verified operations qualified for the pilot, pilot roughly 3.7 million Cargill High River facility have received $4,800 back. With only eight per that’s when they started to pounds of beef qualified. (which is currently the only The average, annual quali- plant that is Sustainable cent of cattle qualifying, go through the chain. So Beef Certified) that were there is plenty of room now Cargill is saying that eligible at the cow-calf or for growth and good re- they want to extend this.” In the future, VBP+ feedlot level, only eight per turn potential with little investment, said Argent, will be working with the cent ultimately qualified. The reason that many who averaged out the cost Canadian beef Industry animals fall out of the of a five-year audit and to align its training and system and don’t end up training cycle to be $800 verification services with qualifying under the CBSA as costs vary by province. existing programs like the pilot is that to date, there That would mean that an American Beef Quality are many points along average producer quali- Assurance (BQA) stewardthe supply chain that are fying 24 head annually ship program that provides not certified, and pro- over five years could make training for beef producers. “We seek to add value ducers must make sure around $2,190 and an avtheir cattle pass through a erage feedlot with a cost through all delivery sercertified feedlot and end of $1,300 for the five-year vices,” said Argent. “We are up at a certified packer audit could potentially re- always looking for areas of to receive the incentive. ceive back $22,700 under alignment with other pro• Complete grams to add value and the program. Lots of room for growth Performance The CBSA pilot has reduce duplication. We are Calculating the payData Available back, at the per head credit been extended and Cargill’s a producer-led, non-profit paid during the fourth Guelph, Ontario plant will program, that has all of • Bulls can be quarter of the pilot, which soon be certified for the ex- our stakeholder interests viewed anytime at heart.” was $18/head, the average isting credit program. Thank you

to our retiring directors for their years of service; Dana Johns, Eric Theroux & Past President Andrea Bertholet.

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Hunter Charolais Box 569, Roblin, MB R0L 1P0 Doug & Marianne Hunter T 204-937-2531 C 204-937-7737 Jimmy & Amy Hunter 204-937-0219 Michael & Candace Hunter 204-247-0301 @HunterCharolais • huntchar@mymts.net A Charolais family operation for over 30 years

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March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 25

Crown lands top resolutions debate at MBP AGM BY ANGELA LOVELL Agricultural Crown lands and business risk management were the hot topics at this year’s resolutions debate during the Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting in Brandon in February. Producers attending the meeting voted on 14 resolutions in total, approving all but one. There were three resolutions dealing with Crown Lands, among them a resolution from District 5 to recommend that MBP lobby the provincial government to enact regulations prohibiting unauthorized public access to leased agricultural Crown lands (ACL). “We need to move forward with this for biosecurity and other reasons,” said Ramona Blyth of District 5 who moved the resolution. The resolution carried unanimously. Ben Fox of District 13 moved that MBP also lobby the provincial government to quickly revoke the temporary suspension of unit transfers related to Crown lands. “The suspension that has been invoked here since October has severely impacted the producers that were in the midst of trying to market their ranches and we need to keep the pressure on to make sure we get this temporary suspension removed so that unit transfers are allowed to carry forward,” said Fox. “This freeze is making it impossible for us to make long term plans and we understand that unit transfers are also on the table, and that would make it possible for people with not much investment to come and replace individuals who have poured their life into these operations,” added Dale Myhre of Crane River. “We could see the end to ranchers who are committed to the long term if they are replaced by short term leaseholders with little incentive to commit their lives and finances. If we were to lose the unit transfer system we would expect a very unhealthy future for ranchers who rely on Manitoba Crown Lands.” Again the motion carried unanimously. As the provincial government has initiated a process modernize the allocation of ACL, producers also debated a resolution urging MBP to lobby for the public release of any plans or regulations six months prior to implementation, to extend existing land leases and fee structures for one year and to place all new 2019 Crown land allocations under a one year causal permit. Compensation for wildlife damage Moving on to business risk management, producers passed resolutions about compensation for wildlife damage to crops and feed that remains on fields for use as part of an extend feeding regime. In moving the resolution urging MBP to lobby for in-field feed compensation Ramona Blyth said “If we are going to utilize the different ways of feeding cattle we have to be able to protect the feed source out there from the wildlife and from pigs (which are not classed as wildlife but are a huge issue in District 5).” Still on the subject of feed, producers also voted to lobby for a change to Manitoba Agricultural Service Corporation’s programs allowing producers the option to purchase both Pasture Insurance and Pasture Days Insurance, which they cannot currently do. Clayton Breault made the motion for MBP to lobby for compensation for blackbird damage to crops such as corn, saying it’s placing a financial burden on producers. “On our ranch it’s in excess of $100,000 a year that it’s cost us; these birds are taking a third of our corn silage crops and I know other people have a lot of damage with them too,” he said.

Producers debated how changes in agricultural Crown lands impact them, Feb. 7-8 at the MBP Annual General Meeting in Brandon. (Photo by Angela Lovell)

Protecting wild species and producers On the environmental front, the Western Fringed Prairie Orchid is an endangered species that is found in areas of southeast Manitoba, but protection for the species has impacted some producers’ ability to utilize their land, prompting a resolution that Manitoba Sustainable Development be lobbied to work with producers in developing management strategies that both respect producers’ right to make a living and protect the orchid. As in the past, MBP again passed a resolution to lobby for incentives recognizing the role producers play in sequestering carbon in grasslands and perennial forages. Producers are often held liable in cases where cattle that have been harassed by predator wildlife find their way onto roads and highways and cause accidents. A resolution from District 10 asked MBP to lobby for policies that protect producers from future liability in these instances. Taxes, history books and hunting School taxes were the subject of a resolution

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from District 2, which recommended that MBP lobby the provincial government to increase the Farmland School Tax Rebate cap. “Currently there is a $5,000 rebate on provincial education tax in this province, and as assessments have increased, more and more people are falling over that $5,000 limit,” said Don McIntyre, mover of the resolution. “It seems to me that this has put a disproportionate share of education tax on primary producers.” After much debate about the wording of this resolution, which resulted in an amendment to the original wording, it was eventually carried. After a long discussion over whether to invest in the writing and publishing of a book about the history of MBP, attendees carried the resolution. A late resolution from District 5 passed for MBP to lobby for support from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and Keystone Agricultural Producers for a request to the provincial government requiring all hunters to obtain written permission from landowners to hunt on their land.

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Movement reporting regulations likely to change gess, that when they get their PID number it has It may be a while to be entered into their yet before the details of CLTS account manually; new movement reporting it’s not done automatiregulations for livestock cally when the PID is isare known, as the fedsued. Producers can enter eral government approval the PID into their CLTS process is still in progaccount themselves onress, but there are things line if they know their that beef producers can login information. If they do now to be prepared for haven’t used the CLTS the day – likely not too yet, they can call or email far off – that they will be the CCIA to get their required to report their username and password, cattle movements. and the CCIA can also The first thing proenter the PID number for ducers can do is to get them as well if they don’t a Premises Identificahave online access. tion number (PID), said It’s probably a good Anne Brunet-Burgess, idea to get familiar with General Manager of the their CLTS account now, Canadian Cattle Identiadded Brunet-Burgess. Anne Brunet-Burgess of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency speaks on the fication Agency (CCIA) “They will have to be do- increasing importance of keeping tabs on producers' records due to new transport during her presentation ing some kind of report- regulations. (Photo by Angela Lovell) to Manitoba Beef Proing, so it’s a good idea ducers at their February to go and snoop around means tracking all cattle have to report animals by as easy as possible, inAGM. PIDs will also be their CLTS account be- movements group, not individual tag cluding a mobile phone required for any premcause nothing is mandaThere have long been numbers. Producers will App called CLTS MOBO. ises receiving livestock tory right now so it’s a animal identification re- not be required to report They are encouraging including backgroundgreat time top practise porting requirements for movements within the people to use these tools, ing operations, feedlots, and see how things are cattle births and at the same farm. because although they auction marts, assembly done,â€? she said. “In the event of a will accept data submitend of an animal’s life, yards and packers. Full traceability but the proposed new trace back the Canadian ted on paper, it could add regulations are expected Food Inspection Agency to administrative costs. “Our entire revenue to cover the middle part, (CFIA) needs to know H O what happens when an where an animal has stream if from the sale G I HFARM & RANCH animal leaves a place of been and when it arrived of animal ID tags and we EQUIPMENT Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd. origin or place of custody there and it will be very wish to keep the animal LTD. TH D E OU AN TSTANDING B R until the CCIA is notified useful to them to have price tag the same as it is by Design Design1974 45 -Better Better By 2019 ♌ YEARS that the animal – and its this information,â€? said today, so every little bit ID tag – is retired because Brunet-Burgess. helps when it comes to the animal is no longer in It’s also proposed using tools that are not circulation. that abattoirs will have creating an additional “This is needed to only 24 hours (instead expense for us,â€? said Brumake the traceability sys- of the current five days) net-Burgess. tem complete,â€? said Bru- to report the retirement Brunet-Burgess also net-Burgess. “The high of tags for slaughtered reminded producers that level picture is when animals. Producers at the they can purchase all five animals are leaving their AGM wanted to know brands of animal ID tags place of custody they what to do in the case of currently available direct will have to travel with a an animal death on the from the CCIA from its movement document.â€? webstore. Although local farm. This document will “Best practice is to retailers generally stock have a summary of what’s always retire that animal ID tags, purchasing direct on board, the PID of ID in the CLTS database,â€? from the CCIA improves where they came from, said Brunet-Burgess. “Or data integrity as those the PID of where they if the tag has fallen out; tags are immediately enCalving Equipment are going to, the time if the tag is not in circu- tered into the producer’s You may also be interested in Hi-Hog’s creep feeder panels and calf alley equipment and date of loading, the lation and not attached CLTS account, whereas licence plate or identifi- to an animal it is a great there can be a delay in reCalf tipping table with calf alley cation of the conveyance help and saves a lot of tailers entering the numthe animals are being time and effort to have bers, that can cause istransported on, and the that number eliminated sues the CCIA has to fix, number of animals and if there is an investiga- especially if the animals are moved or slaughtered species that are onboard. tion at a future point.â€? right away after the tags When they arrive Electronic tools are issued. at their PID of destinaavailable The draft traceabiltion, the receiving party The CFIA has a is responsible to report strong desire to build on ity regulations were exthat information within existing reporting and pected to be released this Calving / Trimming Chute seven days to the respon- tracking systems, and al- spring, but it now seems sible administrator (in though some provinces likely that timeframe Creep Feeder Panel the case of cattle this is like Saskatchewan and will move to the fall, afthe CCIA), including the Alberta already have ter which there will be a Toll Free 1-800-661-7002 individual tag numbers systems and manifests 75-day public consultaof the animals they are for moving livestock in tion period. After any receiving. Exceptions are place, Manitoba does not. tweaking of the proposed CANADIAN sales@hi-hog.com OWNED & MADE auction marts, assembly So the CCIA is building regulations they should Ava i l a b l e a t F e d e r a t e d C o - o p A g C e n t r e s yards and community some electronic tools to become law sometime pastures that will only help make the process in 2020.

BY ANGELA LOVELL

“I think there has been a lack of urgency (in obtaining a PID) until now because we have been talking about these new regulations for several years, but it’s our job to help prepare producers, and a PID number will be a requirement when the movement regulations come into effect, and at that point they will need a PID to purchase tags, so they may as well get that done now,� she said. When producers purchase cattle ID tags, whether from local retailers or direct from the CCIA, they are automatically allocated an account in CCIA’s database – the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) – and their purchased tag numbers are registered on their account. Cattle movements will be tracked using the CLTS once the new regulations take effect. Producers need to be aware, says Brunet-Bur-

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March 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 27

Lice can cause problems in cattle DR. TANYA ANDERSON, CVM

The Vet Corner

As was the case last year, this winter was unseasonably mild for almost all of the fall and has once again created havoc with lice control. A quick overview of the lice life cycle and common herd management practices explains why lice outbreaks are becoming more common. 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 summer. 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– such as splintered wood, sharp edges, etc., allow 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 pour-ons 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 and if applied after the weather has turned cold and lice have migrated to the topline. Drive-by “shootings” of pour-on are inef-

fective. 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 system through deficiency of vitamins, minerals, protein or energy will make animals more prone to disease, including parasitism. Think of lice as another disease. Prevention in climates with warm falls and cold winters means a pour-on at pregnancy test time and repeat treatment with another topical while scour vaccinating. We can no longer expect season-long control with a single application of an ivermectin due to common herd management practices and weather patterns. 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.

CPTPP update – CCA goes to Japan, Vietnam implements agreement FROM THE CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION CCA Executive Vice-President Dennis Laycraft was in Japan in January to promote Canadian beef, this time as part of Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr’s trip to attend the inaugural meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission in Tokyo. As part of this trip, the Minister attended an event hosted by Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, to mark the CPTPP’s entry into force and met with industry representatives to discuss market access for Canadian products, including beef and other key exports, to the lucrative Japanese market. Laycraft was last in Japan in December to promote Canadian beef prior to the CPTPP coming into force on Dec. 30, 2018. On Jan. 14, 2019, Vietnam implemented the CPTPP, making it the latest

member country to do so. Their implementation includes initial reductions in import duty rates for beef from CPTPP member countries including Canada. Vietnam joins the initial six CPTPP signatories of Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, for whom the agreement came into force on Dec. 30. Vietnam’s later ratification and implementation date placed them in catch up mode to match the two tariff cuts that have occurred since Dec. 30. Vietnam’s initial two tariff cuts immediately lowered the tariff on bone-in beef to 6.6 per cent and boneless beef to five per cent, with both set to drop to zero in 2020. Vietnam’s tariff on beef variety meat dropped to six per cent and is scheduled to decline to zero over the next four years. All told, Vietnam will eliminate 31 per cent of tariff lines on agri-food products with additional

cuts over 15 years, according to the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance. Vietnam is an emerging market with important growth potential for Canadian beef. In 2017, Canadian beef exports to Vietnam were $3.9 million with a 20 per cent tariff. Given beef from CPTPP signato-

ries Australia and New Zealand already enjoy duty free access to Vietnam under existing trade agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) anticipates that Canada and Mexico will benefit most from the tariff reductions.

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28 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2019

Manitoba Beef Producers Thank all sponsors of the 40th Annual General Meeting EVENT FUNDING PROVIDED BY DIAMOND SPONSORS

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7-L Cattle Equipment - Arrowquip Alert Agri Distributors Inc./P. Quintaine & Sons Ltd. Boehringer Ingelheim Cleanfarms 730 CKDM Elanco Animal Health Farm Business Consultants Inc. Golden West Radio Kane Veterinary Supplies LaCapitale Financial Security M & J Farms Simmentals and Angus Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association Merck Animal Health MacDon Industries Ltd. NDE Co (New Direction Equipment) TD Canada Trust Agriculture Services Q-Country/94.7 Star FM Westoba Credit Union Zoetis

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MAY 2019

BSE surveillance important GINA TEEL CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION recommendation in February of 2020. Canada will need to continue to meet surveillance targets to maintain its current status and support the application to the OIE to upgrade to negligible BSE risk status. Canada’s suite of BSE surveillance measures will also need to be maintained going forward. Negligible risk is the OIE’s lowest BSE risk level status. A successful application for a status upgrade may carry the potential to scale back to a normal level of surveillance (Canada’s current target number of 30,000 annual samples was established in 2003); however, it would not absolve Canada of the responsibilities of surveillance altogether. The 2018 result is commendable as, due to Canada’s shrinking herd and other chronic challenges, 2013 was the last time the 30,000 sample testing target was surpassed. Further, in spite of challenges and contributing factors including identifying qualifying animals in a timely manner, a much younger herd now than in 2003, and higher market values for cull cows, annual national numbers have been consistent and continue to edge higher. Producers should be proud of their strong efforts to meet Canada’s targets, understanding it is crucial that testing continue to grow across the country, particularly sample collection at the farm level to demonstrate their awareness of, adherence to and participation in Canada’s BSE surveillance program. Canada’s cattle producers are encouraged to submit at least one cow per year for sampling. Cattle between 30 months and 10 years of age provide the most valuable information in terms of monitoring the cattle population for BSE. However, any animal older than 30 months of age that fits into one of the categories of dead, down, dying or diseased is a potential candidate for testing. The National BSE Surveillance Program provides reimbursement for eligible samples to the producer for assisting in disposal costs and/or to a private veterinarian, if involved.

Canada will prepare an application to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) this year to upgrade its BSE risk status to negligible risk from the current controlled risk. Under OIE guidelines, 2019 is the earliest Canada can apply for a status upgrade following the most recent confirmation of BSE in Canada, case No. 19 in February 2015. • One of the OIE criteria for Canada to be categorized as negligible BSE risk country is to demonstrate that infected domestic animals were born more than 11 years prior. Case #19, February 2015 has confirmed the animal was born in March 2009. Process As an OIE Member Country, Canada must submit information to support its application for official recognition of negligible risk status for BSE. Canada’s BSE control measures must comply with Chapter 11.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Code. To verify this, the OIE performs a risk assessment and requests information for the past seven years in three main areas: regulatory controls, communication, and surveillance. • This includes Canada’s efforts to enable producer awareness to further demonstrate active producer participation in Canada’s BSE surveillance program. The OIE scientific committee will provide their recommendation in February of 2020. Why apply? Negligible risk is the OIE’s lowest BSE risk level status. • Negligible risk status may result in some headway being made in some markets. A successful application for a status upgrade may carry the potential to scale back to a normal level of surveillance (Canada current target number of 30,000 annual samples was established in 2003); however, it would not absolve Canada of the responsibilities of surveillance altogether. • Canada will need to continue to meet surveillance targets to maintain its current status and support the application to the OIE to upgrade to negligible BSE risk status. • Canada’s suite of BSE surveillance measures will also need to be maintained going forward. Surveillance Maintaining a credible level of BSE surveillance to demonstrate that Canada’s control measures are effective and are working towards eradicating the disease is important. Canada has robust controls and surveillance measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease and detect the small and declining number of cases that are expected to occur from time to time. Producers should be proud of their strong efforts to meet Canada’s targets to date. It is crucial that sample testing numbers continue to grow across the country, particularly sample collection at the farm level. • This will help to demonstrate to the OIE producer awareness of, adherence to, and participation in Canada’s BSE surveillance program. Other The 2018 result is commendable; Due to Canada’s shrinking herd and other chronic challenges, 2013 was the last time the 30,000 sample testing target was surpassed. National numbers have been consistent and continue to edge higher. • In 2017, there were 29,845 samples, none of which tested positive for BSE. In 2016, 27,346 samples, none of which tested positive for BSE. 2015’s total of 26,285 samples (netted one positive result, BSE case #19); 2014 had a total of 27,531 samples. [Source: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/ diseases/reportable/bse/enhanced-surveillance/eng/1323992647051/1323992718 670]

MBP Bursary Information

President's Column

Meet Jordan Dahmer

Page 2

Page 3

Page 6

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

Canada’s cattle producers stepped up to the plate again in 2018, submitting primarily through deadstock collection operators 30,949 eligible cattle to the national bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance program, none of which tested positive for BSE. While nationally, Canada is meeting its BSE surveillance targ ets, efforts continue to enable awareness which can result in increased sample collection directly at the farm level to further demonstrate active producer participation in Canada’s BSE surveillance program. Maintaining a credible level of BSE surveillance to demonstrate that Canada’s control measures are effective and are working towards eradicating the disease is important, and particularly so this year. Canada will prepare an application to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to upgrade its BSE risk status to negligible risk from the current controlled risk. Under OIE guidelines, 2019 is the earliest Canada can apply for a status upgrade following the most recent confirmation of BSE in Canada, case No. 19 in February 2015. In terms of process, as an OIE Member Country, Canada must submit information to support its application for official recognition of negligible risk status for BSE. Canada has robust controls and surveillance measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease and detect the small and declining number of cases that are expected to occur from time to time. To verify that Canada’s control measures comply with Chapter 11.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Code, the OIE performs a risk assessment and requests information for the past seven years in three main areas: regulatory controls, communication, and surveillance. Questions arising from the OIEs initial review of Canada’s submission will be addressed by the CFIA in a process over the summer. In November, a working group from the OIE will evaluate the application and the OIE scientific committee will provide their

Application to OIE


2

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2019

A regenerative farm in action BY ANGELA LOVELL Ryan Boyd began down the path of regenerative agriculture about 15 years ago, and he’s often felt more at ease talking about his farming system to an audience of conservationists than to other farmers, but that’s rapidly changing. Conservationists and producers are starting to see the value of working together because regenerative agriculture is complimentary to both, and can help them achieve their respective goals – whether it’s maximising productivity and profitability from the land base or enhancing wildlife and biodiversity in the landscape without hampering each other’s efforts. “One thing I’ve learned recently is that how we feel about what we eat has a direct effect on our health,” said Boyd in his presentation to the Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference in Winnipeg in February. “If we’re eating beef and we’re not sure that it’s good for the environment that’s deleterious to our health. I think we have to acknowledge that the story that is attached to food products is a big deal. We had a conference in Brandon talking about regenerative agriculture a couple of months ago hosted by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, and there were 250 producers in the room; it was abuzz about these things.” It’s quite a mind shift but one that has huge benefits not just for agriculture, but for wider society in all areas from flood mitigation to human health. Around the world, scientists, farmers, health care professionals and others are connecting the dots between the synergies that a truly regenerative agricultural system can bring together. Searching for a lower input, lower risk system Boyd farms 2,000 acres of cropland and 1,500 acres of perennial pasture with his parents, wife Sarah and two children, Piper and Bingham near Forrest, just north of Brandon on the edge of pothole country in an area that is mainly grainland. He has been busy putting up fences and planting perennial forages on his land, while other farmers have been taking fences out and converting pasture to cropland. When Boyd came back to the farm after studying agronomy at the University of Manitoba, commodity markets were depressed, the beef industry was reeling from the BSE crisis and the farm was definitely at the low end of the profitability cycle. Boyd realized that he would have to farm differently if he wanted to remain on the farm. “As a young person getting into farming with not a lot of equity, I saw that if I had another bad year, I could dig myself a big hole pretty quickly,” said Boyd. “That led me to look for a lower input, lower risk system that was more resilient to the weather, to moisture and temperature extremes. We wanted to reduce our need for machinery and capital costs. Forage was going to be the centerpiece as grazing and we would try

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

to integrate the crops and livestock to cash flow the synergies of the system working together.” Boyd is well along the path to achieving these goals with his regenerative agriculture system, which focuses on building organic matter. “The organic matter on the natural prairie in our area 120 years ago was 12 per cent and our lands today are about five per cent and I see no reason why we can’t increase that,” said Boyd, who adds that as organic matter has increased, so has the water holding capacity and resilience of the soil. Boyd has a herd of about 300 commercial cows and uses planned, high-stock density grazing, moving cattle daily and allowing a long recovery period of 60 to 120 days for the grass to replenish itself. Boyd has increased biodiversity through perennial pastures and diverse mixes of cover crops, as well as annual forage crops that are intercropped or relay cropped. The system improves soil health, increasing the function of microbiology to cycle nutrients and help extend the grazing season. Calves are born in June on pasture to match the natural production cycle of the forages, and the cattle graze from late March/early April until the snow gets too deep and cold in the fall. Not all plain sailing Boyd has had some moments of doubt as he has transitioned the farm to a regenerative system. “In 2007 I had just taken out half our grainland capacity and I was missing out on $15/bu canola, so that was a real test to how committed we were to the system,” said Boyd. Around this this time, Boyd travelled on a bus tour to Bismarck, N.D., to the farm of Gabe Brown, who introduced Boyd to his idea of the principles of soil health. “The idea was that we need to reduce or eliminate tillage, keep the soil covered, increase the diversity of plants and animals and have living roots for as long as possible,” said Boyd. “We have to pack in as much solar energy and pump as much carbon as energy into the system as possible and the way to do that is with plants and mimicking the prairie ecosystem using grazing.” After returning home, inspired by Gabe Brown’s regenerative system, Boyd planted his first multi-species cover crop that fall to try and increase diversity on his land. Still, he was on a bit of a learning curve. “It cost about $20/ac for seed and probably $20/ac to seed it, and I thought there’s no way I’m getting $40/ac out if I’m grazing,” said Boyd. “I left it for a couple of years, and looking back on it, I think that was doing huge things for the soil. The fact that it was covered with green in late October because one of our advantages this far north is the plants don’t grow huge biomass, but they are still pumping sugar into the soil and that has the potential to rapidly change the soil and improve the carbon.” What Boyd learned over the next few years was that regenerative agriculture is a system that’s made up of many components. Boyd swapped his old shank type air seeder for a low disturbance disc opener type and started to add more diversity with intercrops such as peas and canola, and hairy vetch and winter wheat, as well as season long cover crops. “We can do 20 years-worth of crop rotation in one season and see incredible results,” he said. “It just comes alive with insects and the soil changes rapidly from that injection of diversity. There is no turning back since we did that. Our mission the last few years is to make that happen on every acre; to prime the carbon

DISTRICT 5

STEVEN MANNS

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

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

NANCY HOWATT

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 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

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 12

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

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY WEGNER

TYLER FULTON

DISTRICT 8

MIKE DUGUID - SECRETARY

ROBERT METNER

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

KRIS KRISTJANSON - VICE-PRESIDENT

pump, maximize soil energy capture, feed the biology, the insects, and all the biodiversity and compounds in there.” Winter cereals are a natural fit on Boyd’s farm, because with a short growing season it’s hard to establish a cover crop in the fall after a cash crop, but he’s beginning to have success with relay cropping, establishing the winter cereal while the cash crop is still growing. “We don’t have to sacrifice yield or productivity and we can have that diversity established in the fall giving us that disease break and pest break, and its going to provide the energy flow into the soil after that [cash] crop is matured and harvested,” said Boyd. “Then potentially we can add value to the grazing in the fall.” Boyd believes intercropping and relay cropping are going to be adopted by more and more farmers to help suppress weeds and reduce herbicide and pesticide use, and save money and time. Conservation, society and farming all win Living in an area that seems to have either too much water or not enough, Boyd has also focused on better water management, trying to ensure that any precipitation that comes can be captured, stored and used efficiently when it is needed. “We are focusing on infiltrating as much water as possible,” said Boyd, showing a field of a pasture on his property after a five-inch rain over 12 hours that he could still drive over because the water had soaked into the ground. “We need water in our production system and by holding it on the land, we have so much to offer to society downstream for flooding prevention, and slow release during dry times. I think there is tons of potential for future collaboration between farmers and other stakeholders downstream, and it’s a win for me for productivity and profitability, it’s a win for the environment because you can use that water to build diversity and it’s a win for infrastructure cost savings.” When it all boils down, though, the market is still going to drive agriculture. The fact is farmers can make money growing canola, so for regenerative agriculture to pay, the true cost of its benefits to wider society have to be appreciated, quantified and demonstrated to the consumer. “I see in my cattle that what they eat has a direct affect their health, so it’s not a big leap of faith that what we eat is affecting our health and I think that’s resonating with consumers,” said Boyd. “If we want to make sweeping change to make conservation move from just the last frontier of native perennials and take it to agriculture in general, to all the acres in Western Canada that are in productive capacity, it’s going to be consumer driven. How will we do that? We have to deliver some kind of value proposition that the consumer cannot ignore.”

MBP BURSARY Go online for full details https://www.mbbeef.ca/news/manitoba-beefproducers-pleased-to-offer-six-bursaries-in-2019/ Don’t miss your chance — Deadline is Monday June 3, 2019

DISTRICT 14

DISTRICT 13 MARY PAZUIK

JADE DELAURIER

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

BEEF PRODUCTION SPECIALIST

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COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Keith Borkowsky

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

INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER & POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

Kate Cummings

FINANCE Deb Walger

OFFICE ASSISTANT Tanya Michalsky

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Keith Borkowsky

DESIGNED BY Trinda Jocelyn

www.mbbeef.ca


May 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Research should inform policy making TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

Spring is my favorite time of year. The anticipation and optimism of new things to come is invigorating – a brand new crop of calves, watching and waiting for the hay and the pastures to explode with new growth and the promise of a productive season. With each passing season I marvel at the miracle of Mother Nature and how new life is restored through sunlight and rain so that man and beast can flourish. Many ranchers and colleagues in the ranching industry can be best described as eternal optimists, similar to the optimism of a new spring season. I feel extremely fortunate to be a rancher. It is a privilege to earn a living managing the natural resources that have been entrusted to me. There are certainly challenges that arise with each coming year. Last year, for example, Manitoba and western Canada experienced significant drought conditions. Not long ago we struggled through major flood conditions. It is those unpredictable seasonal challenges that most certainly tests our resolve. However, in light of those unwelcome events, producers find a way to conquer those challenges and flourish in spite of them. There are some events and circumstances that diminish our optimism. It is especially frustrating when facts and science are ignored as regulatory and policy changes are being made by government. As most of you are likely aware the federal animal transportation regulations are being changed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that effective February 2020 the maximum hours beef cattle can be transported before mandatory feed, water and rest intervals will be reduced from 48 hours (current regulations) to 36 hours. Ensuring that cattle arrive safely at their destination in good condition is of the utmost importance to Canada’s beef industry. For many years cattle have been transported from parts of western Canada, like Manitoba, to Ontario and other locations with great success. Canada’s largest ever beef cattle transport study found that 99.95 per cent of cattle

in transit on long hauls arrived safely and in good health. Research supported by the Beef Cattle Research Council confirmed those metrics. Furthermore, independent research conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) arrived at similar findings. Despite the evidence, the CFIA has now imposed new regulations that could well result in negative consequences for the livestock sector. As noted truckers will now be required to unload livestock after 36 hours. The stress and opportunity for injury due to loading, unloading and then reloading cattle one more time will certainly be heightened, not to mention the potential health risks that the livestock will be exposed to at the unloading sites. What is most disturbing is that the CFIA seems to have ignored the science and used anecdotal rhetoric to guide their decision in this case. Moreover, this decision has been made prior to the completion of additional research (partly funded through AAFC) related to livestock transportation that could have been used to help inform changes to the regulations aimed at ensuring best outcomes. And, the regulations have disregarded recommendations made by cattle producers drawn from years of practical hands-on expertise in handling cattle and minimizing stress on their animals. This information and other recommendations were included in the Canadian Cattlemen’s As-

sociation’s (CCA) extensive comments, questions and recommendations submitted during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) review process and to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and AgriFood. It is beyond comprehension how our federal government allowed this to happen. This, my fellow producers, is wrong and we need to stand taller and defend our industry! I can assure you that Manitoba Beef Producers and the CCA made every effort to provide research findings and other information to the federal government and CFIA to demonstrate the industry’s good record of safely delivering cattle to their destination and its ongoing commitment to this. Over a number of years CCA submitted many proposals and made multiple lobbying efforts. I participated in some of these lobbying efforts with various directors from across our country which included submissions from the scientific community of BCRC. Despite all our efforts, the CFIA chose to ignore common sense and sound science. Beyond the stress and the health risks for our livestock, there will be economic consequences. Virtually every time commerce is interrupted in any part of the livestock production and transportation chain, the effects almost always trickle down to the primary producer. Truckers will demand more money if they are required to add additional hours to deliver their loads. There will be a direct cost to the industry to build facilities to unload, feed, house and manage the livestock before they are allowed to be transported to their next destination.

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In short, I am very concerned about the overall implications for the livestock industry. Surely there has to be a recognition by the federal government that the CFIA should not ignore science and create situations that could negatively impact animal health, as well as have added economic implications for producers in some regions depending on distances to haul cattle. MBP, like the CCA, believes the research that is currently underway with respect to transporting livestock in Canada should have been taken into account before the regulation was finalized. Another thorn for the livestock industry is the inequity of the Business Risk Management (BRM) tootls. The federal government is currently reviewing the whole suite of BRM tools to evaluate their effectiveness and responsiveness. AgriStability is one such example. It has long been recognized that there are significant inequities with respect to AgriStability within the livestock sector. Something as simple as producing or purchasing feed stuffs can establish whether or not a payment based on eligible expenses is triggered. Producers who purchase feed are able to claim those purchases as eligible expenses, whereas producers who grow their own feed are not. There are other limiting factors with respect to other BRMs that continue to frustrate pro-

ducers. Eastern Canada, for example, does not have a tool like the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program. Last fall when eastern markets were saturated with cull animals, the markets – especially in the Maritime provinces were decimated by commodity prices that were virtually half of what was captured in the west. That is simply unacceptable. The challenge with the federal government’s review of BRM tools is that they have stated there will be no funding increases for a BRM tool like AgriStability. Agriculture and AgriFood Canada has communicated that there will be a rearrangement or perhaps a reallocation of funds from within the program. It is difficult to imagine that there will be an increase in producer uptake if these fundamental inequities are not addressed. As an aside, I note that in its latest budget, the federal government announced that it will provide up to $3.9 billion in compensation for the supply managed sectors in recognition of concessions made in relation to the CETA and CPTPP trade agreements. The government saw merit in this approach, and I would suggest that investments in BRM programs are equally important to ensure that all sectors have strong programs to access to reduce risk. As a beef producer sitting on the federal government’s Na-

tional Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) I will continue to provide strong feedback about the need for equitable, properly-resourced, responsive BRM tools that help place the beef sector on a level playing field with other agricultural commodities. I must apologize if my message about spring and optimism sounds confusing. Traditionally, I am a glass half-full type of a person because I have so much to be grateful for. I am proud of my family and I am most certainly proud to be a cattle rancher. I work hard for the livestock industry, as do all of you. I can cope with day-to-day challenges, even drought and wet conditions. I am grateful for these challenges as they keep me humble. However, it is matters such as regulatory changes made without taking into account research, and ongoing inequities in BRM programs that cause concern and consternation. Moving forward in a positive direction will require the efforts of all of you to lobby for fairness. In spite of these setbacks, I am even more proud to be a cattle rancher and I promise that I will continue to represent the livestock industry to best of my ability. Finally, just like a warm spring rain and sunshine, I hope you all remain filled with optimism for this amazing industry. Thank you for listening and until next time, be safe.

Verified Beef Production Plus Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening • 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 in May 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 at (204) 264-0294 or email at verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com for details.

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Novel tools for Soil Health, Extending Grazing & profitable Beef Production

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2019

Government Activities Update: Flooding may affect some producers

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MAY

riod of time is important because flood programs may not be announced immediately and it will be important to be able to refer back to these documents if you are in a claims position. On an ongoing basis, Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre (HFC) website contains a wide range of information related to current conditions, such as daily flood reports, flood outlooks, specific river forecasts and flows, advisories, river and lake levels, wind effect alert maps for the major lakes and much more. See: www.gov.mb.ca/ mit/floodinfo/index.html At the other extreme, Manitoba Sustainable Development provides information with respect to water availability and drought conditions on a monthly basis several times throughout the year. For more information visit the Manitoba Drought Management Strategy website at www. g o v. m b . c a / s d / w a t e r / drought_condition/index.html#drought_report. Become an Agroclimate Impact Reporter Have you ever considered how charting the weather conditions on your farm or ranch might have an impact on actions by governments? Data is a key tool used by governments to examine the effects of scenarios such as droughts

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.” The Livestock Tax Deferral Provision was made available to producers in a number of Manitoba municipalities as a result of the 2018 drought conditions. 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+ producers from the Prairie provinces and the Peace River region of British Columbia and more producers are encouraged to participate. Weather and Crop Conditions Reporting On a related note, from May through October each year Manitoba Agriculture provides a weekly Crop Report that gives an update on matters such as crop development, pest activity, crop yields and grades, haying progress and estimated yields, and pasture conditions. To learn more and to sign up for their weekly report visit www.gov. mb.ca/agriculture/crops/ seasonal-reports/crop-report-archive/index.html Similarly, from May through October Manitoba Agriculture provides a Crop Weather Report which is a summary of weather data from the Manitoba Ag Weather Program and Environ-

JUNE

By the time this edition of Cattle Country hits your mailbox, some beef producers may have been affected by spring flooding and could be in the clean-up and recovery phase. Information about returning to your operation following a flood is available at these two websites: h t t p s : / / w w w. g o v. mb.ca/flooding/flood_recovery.html h t t p s : / / w w w. g o v. mb.ca/asset_library/en/ spring_outlook/returning_home_livestock.pdf Information about Disaster Financial Assistance can be found at the following two websites or by calling toll free: 1-888267-8298 (outside Winnipeg): h t t p s : / / w w w. g o v. mb.ca/asset_library/en/ spring_outlook/disaster_ financial_assistance.pdf h t t p s : / / w w w. g o v. mb.ca/emo/recover/ h om e / d f a appl i c at i on . html In a flood situation, it is important for producers to keep detailed records about all additional flood-related expenses. Producers should document changes to their operation, damage to property and other losses. Producers are encouraged to take photos of flood water and the impacts, and to keep all receipts and records on hand. Retaining these records and photos for a pe-

and floods on agriculture, and also to decide whether assistance such as compensation will be offered. Producers 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 one-time 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 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

2019 Spring Sale Schedule

BY MAUREEN COUSINS Acting General Manager/Policy Analyst

ment and Climate Change Canada. For more details visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/weather/weather-report-archive.html. Manitoba Agriculture also operates a network of over 100 weather stations that provide regularly updated air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, soil temperature, and soil moisture for local areas. Visit www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/weather/ current-weather-viewer. html. Mandatory truck driving training Effective September 1 mandatory, entry-level training will be implemented for commercial truck drivers in the province, the provincial government announced in late March. This will include a requirement for 121.5 hours of training. However, the agriculture sector will be provided with a one-year deferral of new training requirements to allow for additional consultations. Currently there is no mandatory training in place in Manitoba, and a person can obtain a Class 1 truck driver’s license by passing a written test and a road test. Funding for AITC Manitoba The federal and provincial governments recently announced $99,400 over two years through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program to support Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba (AITC-Manitoba). AITC-Manitoba provides curriculum-based programs, activities and

resources for teachers and their students to learn more about agriculture and the role it plays in Manitoba. Its activities reach 30,000 teachers and students annually across the province. “Our goal is to ensure all Manitoba students, by the time they graduate, have enough accurate information to make informed consumer decisions. Agricultural education initiatives like Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month allow thousands of students to make meaningful connections to food and farming early on,” said Sue Clayton, executive director of Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba in a provincial government news release. “With generous support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program, more students will be able to expand and deepen their relationship with Canadian agriculture.” Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to provide financial support to AITC-Manitoba. Throughout the year MBP participates in activities organized by AITCManitoba, including the Amazing Agriculture Adventure, Manitoba Ag Days Adventure and Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month. Events such as these are invaluable in helping to share the story of beef production with teachers and students who may have only limited exposure to the sector. AITC-Manitoba welcomes producer volunteers at their different events. To learn more about the organization, visit www.aitc.mb.ca.

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May 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Factors to consider when introducing new genetics BY KATE CUMMINGS MBP Beef Specialist

It’s the time of year when bull sale catalogues start circulating and you’re thinking about either sourcing new genetics or preparing existing herd sires for breeding season. If you’re planning on introducing new genetics in an effort to improve your herd performance there are a few things you should consider. There are three factors that affect the improvements resulting from selection. Although heritability (h^2) may seem like the most important component both selection differential (SD) and generation interval (GI) play critical roles, tying together in the equation: Rate of improvement = (h^2 x SD) / GI Selection differential is the variation

between those selected and the average of the animals they were selected from. Replacement rates between bulls and heifers on the average farm are vastly different so the greatest selection differential will be observed among sires. A sire is responsible for up to 90 per cent of genetic improvement of a trait. Generation interval is the average age of all parents when the offspring are born. Generation interval has a negative correlation with rate of progression, so the lower the generation interval the quicker the progress. By culling less productive cows, using yearling bulls on a limited number of cows and calving cows at two years, the generation interval can be reduced. Heritability is the proportion of the expressed genetic difference resulting from the genetic component. The value

corresponds to the probability of genetic improvement. Low heritability would be considered 0.2 or less and high heritability would be 0.4 and above. Below left is a table of traits with corresponding heritability values. The use of heritability as a guideline for performance traits is relatively effective, keeping in mind the slight variations resulting from environmental differences and differences between herds. Among purebred herds traits with low heritability are unlikely to be improved. However cross breeding can be implemented to improve these low value traits such as fertility, lon-

gevity, milk, disease resistance and growth. In a commercial herd, a purebred bull will allow a producer to capitalize on traits that are medium to high heritability while also improving traits of low heritability through hybrid vigor. Implemented correctly, cross breeding can result in an increase in both hybrid vigor and breed complementary. Selection is a time-consuming process and can be challenging, but with the knowledge and tools to approach it correctly it will result in improvements of performance traits in any given herd.

Category

Breed

Characteristics

Maternal

Angus

Calving ease

Hereford

High fertility

Shorthorn

Hardiness

TABLE 4-1. Percent Heritability Levels for Various Traits

Milking ability

Low (h2 less than 20%) Twinning

Moderate size

3

Calf Survival Ability

5

Conception Rate

10

Calving interval

10

Mixed

Simmental

Superior growth and milking ability Good fertility Muscle development

Terminal

Medium (h2 20%-45%)

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Superior growth

Charolais

Strong muscle development

Birth Weight

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Gain Birth to Weaning

30

Weaning Weight

30

Feedlot Gain

45

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40

EQUIPMENT LTD.

Pasture Gain

30

Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd. by Design Design-Better Better By

Conformation Score at Weaning

25

Yearling Body Length

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Cardass Grade

40

Fat Thickness - 12th Rib

High meat yield

TH

E OU AN TSTANDING B R

1974

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45

YEARS

D

2019

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High (h greater than 45%) Yearling Weight

50

Yearling Hip Height

60

Yearling Wither Heaight

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Dressing Percenteage

50

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70

Mature Weight

60

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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2019

Meet Jordan Dahmer – Graduate student and Cattlemen’s Young Leader BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Jordan Dahmer left the family cowcalf farm near Brookdale in 2011 to study pharmacy at the University of Manitoba. Six months into her program she had a change of heart. Four years later she graduated with a Bachelor degree in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Systems. Dahmer credits one class with this shift in direction. “I enrolled in an introductory agriculture class, and after a few weeks I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in Agriculture. And having grown up around cattle on the farm, it felt right to focus on Animal Science.” After graduating Jordan moved back to Westman, working and traveling for a year until one day she got a phone call that once again prompted a change in life’s direction. “Dr. Kim Ominski called to invite me to work on an extended grazing study as a graduate student,” recalls Dahmer. “The project sounded really interesting, and I thought this would bring me closer to my goal of working in the beef industry, so I said ‘yes’.” Forages for late fall/early winter grazing Jordan is in her last year as a graduate student with Kim Ominski and Emma McGeough in the forage-beef program with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. Her research looked at using perennial and annual forages for stockpile grazing of pregnant beef heifers in late fall and early winter in Manitoba with the goal of identifying forage species mixes that beef producers can try on their farm to extend the graz-

ing season. “What attracted me to this research was that it was applied. The reason we were doing this research was so that we could provide science-backed information to help beef producers make informed decisions about what forages to use for stockpile grazing their cattle,” says Dahmer. “Extended grazing is becoming more popular every year to help decrease winter feeding costs so it is important that producers are well informed of different forage options to use.” The grazing trial took place at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) field research site between October and December of 2016. A total of 64 bred heifers were divided into groups that grazed stockpiled forage in one of 16 sixteen paddocks. They evaluated three perennial forage mixtures – a mixture of Courtenay tall fescue/Algonquin alfalfa/ Oxley II cicer milkvetch, one of Killarney orchard grass/Algonquin alfalfa, another of Courtenay tall fescue/Yellowhead alfalfa/Fleet meadow brome, as well as standing Fusion corn as an annual forage option. During the trial they examined forage quality and yield of the stockpiled forage species, and the impact on performance and behaviour of the heifers grazing the forages. This grazing study was the first University of Manitoba research trial to be conducted at MBFI. “Setting up and running this trial was a true team effort involving University of Manitoba, MBFI and Manitoba Agriculture staff and students working together at different points during the project,” recalls Dahmer. The work was

Jordan Dahmer

tough, but rewarding because they were going through it together. “We had some memorable moments during this trial – my favourite I think was just being out with the cattle on the beautiful days we had that November.” Research Findings - All forage species used in this study are well suited to support pregnant beef heifers in the late fall before heavy snowfalls and extreme cold temperatures occur. However, to continue stockpile grazing once winter weather sets in would require supplementation in order to meet nutrient requirements. The CYL experience Jordan was selected for the 2018-19 Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Development program, which pairs each young leader with a mentor from the beef industry and together they set goals for the year. She is focusing on learning more about grazing and pasture management and marketing options to producers. Jordan’s CYL mentor is Tom Teichroeb. Back in November she visited his ranch near Langruth to meet him and help him brand replacement heifers. They spent quite a bit of time talking as they toured the farm, and continue to have fairly regular phone calls. “One of my goals with the program is to explore

grazing management strategies,” says Dahmer. “Tom has been giving me advice on putting together a grazing plan, as he and his wife have done lots of work to improve the carrying capacity of their land in a sustainable manner. He has been so helpful – really I can call him and ask him anything, even advice on job searching.” With Tom being the President of Manitoba Beef Producers, Jordan has had opportunities to see that side of the beef industry as well. She took part in the MBP directors meeting in December and the AGM in February. The CYL program also provides funding and opportunities to attend industry events to meet people in the field and to learn. Just over halfway into her mentorship, Jordan has attended the MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Brandon in November, the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA (National Cattlemen’s Beef Association) Tradeshow and Cattlemen’s College in New Orleans, LA in January 2019 and the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM in Brandon in February 2019. These experiences have been rewarding. “At the Cattlemen’s College I got to learn from world class industry speakers on topics such as herd health management, challenging traditional management views, and marketing your operation online. A definite highlight was getting to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak about safe cattle handling and meeting her afterwards.” The year-long mentorship culminates with a graduation ceremony at CBIC 2019 in Calgary, Alberta in August which unites current mentees, graduates, program sponsors and industry. What’s next? - Jordan is on track to finish her masters thesis by early summer. When asked about her plans for the future, she is sure of one thing, “I will be working in the beef industry. I really enjoy research, but I am also passionate about the feed side and working with producers. Maybe it will be a mix – the best of both worlds!” This project was funded by Beef Cattle Research Council with support from the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives through cash and in-kind contributions.

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May 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

Rubs add flavour

Cracked Pepper & Garlic Crusted Oven Roast 1 ½ tbsp whole black peppercorns 4 medium/large cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp salt 2 tsp olive oil 1-3lb sirloin tip roast Gravy 1 ½ cup beef stock 1 tbsp corn starch 1 tbsp water 1 sprig rosemary Salt and pepper, to taste Preheat oven to 450°F. Using a mortar and pestle, crush peppercorns. Peel and mince garlic. Once peppercorns are broken up, add garlic and salt to mortar. Stir well and drizzle in the olive oil.

BY ELISABETH HARMS A quick way to add flavour to your beef dish is to use a rub. It is usually applied to the surface of the meat shortly before cooking, and so doesn’t have a long time to interact with your beef. You can provide the final dish with extra flavour by making a gravy. There are many cuts of meat that are good for this method. I would recommend one that is naturally more tender. This technique works really well for roasts and steaks. One advantage is the variety of herbs and spices that can be used to create flavours. When using a rub, make sure you consider the cooking method carefully. You want to use a method that will sear the meat first. This will provide extra flavour for your final dish. A good roast for this method is a sirloin tip roast. The sirloin tip comes from the round of the animal (the rear end of the cow). The round is usually separated into cuts of meat that are fairly lean. They require a slow cook to become tender; braising or stewing are your best options. For this recipe, the sirloin tip will be roasted for a long period of time at a low oven temperature. This cut of meat makes a great oven roast and has a nice beefy flavour. A sirloin tip roast can also be cut into steaks if you prefer. M A N I TOB A

When it comes to cooking steaks and some roasts, doneness is sometimes widely debated. Some people prefer a medium to well-done roast, while others prefer something a bit rarer. For this cut of meat, you want to aim for about 145°F for a rare to medium result, or about 160°F for well done. You’ll want to use the following basic principles regardless of whether you are cooking a steak or a roast. Searing the meat to start will provide your final dish with more complex flavours than simply cooking it in a pan or roasting it in the oven. In the recipe, the searing happens in the oven at the initial high temperature. After the oven is turned down, the residual heat helps cook the roast. If you choose to cook steaks, sear them in a heavybottomed frying pan, preferably cast iron. Finish the cooking process in the oven, again at a fairly low temperature. This provides a tender and juicy result. However you decide to cook your sirloin tip, I would suggest making a gravy to go with it. Because you have only seasoned the outside of the meat, none of the rub’s flavour profile reaches the inside. The gravy can help provide a little more depth of flavour to your dish. The following recipe was modified from Canada Beef ’s website. The original can be found at www.canadabeef.ca.

Coat the roast with the rub and place in oven in roasting pan or heavy bottomed casserole. Sear for 10 min. Reduce oven temperature to 275°F. Cook for about 1 ½ hours. Depending on the size of your roast this time will vary, but if you keep your internal temperatures in mind, you can use that as your guide. Internal temperatures should be: 145°F – rare to medium 160°F – closer to well done Remove roast from pan and rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place roasting pan on stove at medium high heat. Add your beef stock and stir to scrape up any roasted bits from the bottom of the pan with a whisk. Stir corn starch into water. When the stock comes to a boil, whisk in corn starch-water mixture and add rosemary. Continue to boil until it thickens. This may take between 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard rosemary sprig. Carve your roast and serve with your gravy. Enjoy!

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CATTLE COUNTRY May 2019

2019 research taking shape at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives BY DUNCAN MORRISON While 2019 spring seems to be a sloooooooow boil, the upcoming beef and forage research season is indeed heating up fast at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative (MBFI). Mary-Jane Orr, MBFI general manager, says the MBFI team can’t wait to get research rocking and rolling again at the three MBFI demonstration and research farms near Brandon. “It has been a busy winter reviewing and preparing projects to be implemented this season, and we at MBFI continue to be impressed by the hard work and commitment of innovative producers and project leads to address needs in beef and forage sectors,” says Orr. “The whole team at MBFI is excited for the start of the 2019 research field season. We are looking forward to working with a diverse mix of project leads from multiple regional universities, AAFC Research and Development Centres, Manitoba Agriculture, and for the first time MBFI will be leading our own projects based on submitted producer ideas!” Orr’s enthusiasm is definitely contagious. The 2019 MBFI research season will be the first under

Orr’s leadership after taking the helm of the organization last fall. Orr, a Brandon University graduate with a PhD by way of Purdue University, says MBFI is ready to make a mark on the Prairies. “MBFI is a centre of agricultural innovation engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry,” says Orr. “On that front, we are excited to host in collaboration with our partners an ambitious research platform in 2019 at MBFI. Different studies will be evaluating a wide range of topics including how to extend the grazing season into either early spring or late fall, utilizing perennial grains, how to graze riparian areas sustainably, integration of pollinator habitat into perennial pastures, diverse feedstocks in cover crops and intercropping with corn grazing, and assessing the soil health impacts of adaptive grazing management.” MBFI is a partnership between Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. One of the

MBFI’s core commitments is advancing the long-term profitability and sustainability of beef producers by evaluating and facilitating foundational research and transferring the knowledge gained to producers. According to Orr, a key knowledge transfer bridge from researchers to producers was added late last summer with the addition of the new MBFI Learning Centre at the Brookdale Farm. “The new MBFI Learning Centre creates a space and opportunities for Manitoba and Western Canada agricultural producers and the general public to learn with and from producers, researchers, experts on the subjects of forage and livestock production and innovation,” says Orr. “With the MBFI Brookdale Learning Centre up and running we are keen to facilitate events with partners, producer groups, industry, and conservation groups.” According to Ramona Blyth, MBFI president, the new facility includes a 2,200-square-foot classroom, internet access and audiovisual equipment for distance learning, and space for catering. Offices and an interpretive gallery are to be added at a later date. MBFI has been delighted in the response of the broad range of groups

coming in to the Learning Centre, including the DUC Grazing Club, peerto-peer producer meetings, and industry workshops. “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 for visitors to MBFI,” says Blyth. Similar to a master angler around their favorite fishing spots, Orr won’t reveal which one of the research projects has really caught her eye. Orr speaks to the value in all of the MBFI 2019 research projects as clear indication of the quality of research slated. “MBFI is committed to cultivating partnerships between producers,

governments, and private stakeholders interested in advancing the beef and forage industry and fostering the growth and understanding of sustainable beef production,” says Orr. “Each project going on here at MBFI this summer works toward those commitments.” Additionally, the direction and activities of MBFI indirectly support the Province of Manitoba’s Protein Strategy, and directly support the Province of Manitoba’s Livestock Growth Strategy. “We at MBFI are thankful for the Province of Manitoba's support though the Canadian Agricultural Partnership investment to support research, innovation, and the knowledge and technology transfer necessary to realize the growth potential of Manitoba's forage and beef industries,” says Orr. “We

also appreciate the commitment of our other three core partners: MBP, DUC and MFGA and our vital volunteer members of our MBFI board and research advisory boards.” Orr also was quick to pass along gratitude and thanks to Don Guilford, former MBFI management committee and research advisory committee chair, for his valuable service to the organization and producers alike. Guilford stepped down from the committees to concentrate on family farm operations in Clearwater, MB. “Be sure to keep an eye and ear out for the upcoming developments and opportunities to connect with MBFI on our website at mbfi.ca on social media @ MBBeefandForages,” says Orr. “As a producer-led organization, our team at MBFI is eager to hear from you!”

Conservationists and cattlemen can work together BY ANGELA LOVELL Beef production and conservation are not mutually exclusive of each other; in fact, they need each other if there is any hope of maintaining grasslands that are essential to both.

www.mbbeef.ca

“Conservationists and cattlemen haven’t had an easy relationship in the past,” Broomhill area beef producer Curtis Gervais said at the recent Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference in Winnipeg, which brought together beef producers, researchers and conservation groups to discuss the concept of working landscapes. “We have got to work together; we are allies. We’ve worked with many different bird programs, organizations and people over the years and we haven’t had a bad experience with anybody. We’ve proven that we can work together, so why are we all so hesitant to work together?” “We have got to work together; we are allies,” “Over the years, we have worked with various different bird programs and organizations and I can tell you we’ve been happy with every interaction that we’ve had.” What is a working landscape? The definition of a working landscape might be different depending which side of the fence a person is on. “It depends who you ask because a biologist’s definition of a working landscape is different than mine, but we can both cooperate. We

have the same basis,” said Gervais. “To me a working landscape is much more than a piece of grassland with wildlife on it. It’s a complex chain of people and we have to compete an entire cycle.” It all begins with the land and the grazing animals on it. Calves are born in March/April, turned out on grass in June and finished to around 1,000 lbs, then direct marketed. Gervais also operates a 1,200-head feedlot where he backgrounds cattle about 950 lbs. He has about 5,500 acres of pasture, 3,100 acres of which is native pasture and his planned grazing system allows the cows to eat only the top four inches of the grass off, then move on so that the grass can rest and re-grow. Grazing season is from mid-May to the third week of October, although Gervais also does extended grazing on fenced cropland. The farm also has grainland and grows all its own feed grain, silage and hay. The cycle progresses through the entire beef production chain of feedlot, packer to retailer and consumer. “The retailer stocks the product on its shelves along with chicken, fish, pork, plant-based foods and the cycle is not Page 9 


May 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Spring fever strikes marketplace If the first weeks of April are any indication spring fever has hit the cattle markets especially on the lighter weight replacement cattle under 750 pounds. Most of the markets in Manitoba reported prices on the steers suitable for grazing were 5 to 15 cents higher than the February-March averages. The interest in heifers has also become very competitive with the American buyers setting the floor price and some local and western Canadian interest bidding higher than the south. There has started to be a little more interest in purchasing heifers for breeding this summer. Once again the two major items in price determination is the weight of the animal and the flesh condition. Fleshy cattle of all weights are being discounted and the cattle over 800 pounds have not increased in price as much as the lighter weight feeder cattle. 800 to 925 pound feeder cattle have remained steady to 2 to 4 higher while the heavier cattle over 950 have remained steady. Usually this time of year the 900 pound plus cattle find their way into Ontario but this year the eastern demand is nonexistent. Current fed cattle prices in eastern Canada are in the $255.00 dressed ranged while in western Canada the prices are very close to $270.00 on the rail. Add a 10cent per pound truck to go east compared to a fivecent pound truck to go west and it not hard to see why the big steers and heifers are going west. Packers in the west and east have been slow to move fed cattle and are harvesting cull cows at a very good profit margin. The demand for feeder style cows has been very strong for a number of weeks with a number of new cow buyers and feeders on the market. Strong demand from local packers has made the cow market in Manitoba very strong. That trend should continue as the number of cull cows starts its season decline. We expect the feeder cattle numbers to decline as

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line

well over the next few weeks. Manitoba markets are reporting six per cent to 10 per cent more feeder cattle sold than last year to the first of April. Demand for grass cattle will remain strong as the cattle fundamentals support a strong yearling market in the fall. There have been a few bred cow and heifer sales with demand starting to pick up. Good quality bred cows are selling from $1,800 to $2,000, while large frame bred heifers close to calving are trading from $1,800 to $2,200. There have been very few top quality pairs sold to date but there have been lots of enquiries from prospective buyers. I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Annual meeting in Ottawa last month as the representative from the Livestock Markets Association of Canada. One of the hot topics of discussion were the changes in the transportation rules for livestock handling. The reduction in the number of hours that cattle and be off feed and water will definitely negatively affect the Manitoba feeder cattle market. Despite a record number of comments from industry during the consultation period recommending that the regulations remain the same, it looks like CFIA chose to be influenced by the animal activists and chose to ignore industry. CFIA also increased the amount of time that the cattle will be required to stop at feed and water stations from

5 hours to 8. The cattle industry has a good record moving cattle east with 99.5% of the cattle arriving in good condition and good health. However, when you use species harmonization and add in pigs, veal calves and the feather industry the number drops and that is what the activists use for ammunition. CFIA totally ignored the fact that as a shipper of cattle I am financially responsible for those cattle until they are delivered in good shape. I am also morally responsible to make sure that those cattle are humanely handled and well cared for during transit. In the fact that I don’t deliver those cattle in good condition my customer will look elsewhere! I have a vested interest in those cattle from the time I buy them until they are accepted at the other end. Cattle that are fed, rested and watered in Manitoba are not ready for feed and water at Thunder Bay. Cattle purchased directly from the backgrounding lots, pre-sort and show list sales are on feed water for 24 hours prior to loading. Some buyers like to purchase the cattle from regular sales and load them immediately and then stop at Thunder Bay to feed and water which is acceptable but making it mandatory for all cattle to stop is overregulation. The problem is the lack of infrastructure between Manitoba and eastern Canada for feed and rest facilities. Thunder Bay is the only place in the north that has facilities. Those facilities could not handle the flow of cattle during the peak months before the regulatory changes. CFIA’s response to this concern was that industry was aware of changes in the act and it was industry’s responsibility to be prepared! CCA, MBP and LMAC continue work for the producers to amend these changes but CFIA seems to be more concerned about the activist’s opinion than common sense and science from industry. Until next time, Rick

Agriculture is a relationship business  Page 8 complete until a consumer picks my product off the shelf, then it resets,” said Gervais. “That is what’s funding the grasslands and when that transaction doesn’t take place, we have to wait for the next consumer. The consumer has the right to make choices. When they buy that beef, it completes that entire grass cycle that allows us to do what we do. It keeps the grass on the land because when it’s 100 per cent privately held land, if I’m not making money growing cows, what do you think I’m going to do? That’s why we’re seeing a lot of the conversion [of land to grain production].” Going back to the future Gervais considers his 11,000-acre operation to be a mixed farm. “In modern terms now, I guess it’s regenerative agriculture, but it’s just a modern version of what your Grandpa used to do. We’re going back to the future, everybody’s Grandpa had a mixed farm, now we’re going back to it with regenerative agriculture,” he said. His system shows how conservation and beef production can cooperate to maintain ecosystems such as grasslands that are disappearing at an alarming

rate, but there’s a bigger picture problem that can affect both. Consumers are increasingly relying on misinformation or faulty reasoning to make decisions about what they eat. “The consumer is really confused right now,” said Gervais, referring to recent media campaigns pitting beef against plantbased proteins. “If you want a diet that saves the planet, [consumers are being told] they have got to eat beans and not eat beef. We have land that has sustainably grown grass for 10,000 years and it will sustainably grow that grass for another 10,000 years. How long will it sustainably produce a soybean? We need to take the message back, and the message is that you don’t need to be ashamed if you eat meat.” The beef industry needs to get the message out that what it is doing is sustainable and the conservation industry can help them. “We can help you, and you can help us with this message,” said Gervais. “When I stand up and defend my industry, I don’t get much traction, but you guys stand up and defend us that gets more traction than me defending myself. The alternative is no cows on the landscape. It would be a vastly different

landscape. You would literally see millions of acres of grassland converted overnight. It doesn’t take years to do it, it can be done in 10 days, 2.5Lof Roundup and an air seeder and it’s now a wheat field.” Agriculture is a relationship business Agriculture is a relationship business, and relationships take many years to develop, but are essential if the industry

is to remain viable and continue to maintain its stewardship role and assist conservationists with their goals. “There’s a lot of range land that’s going to change hands in the next 10 years,” said Gervais. “That’s going to be a huge opportunity for the conservation industry to work with those new landowners. It’s going to be a huge opportunity because with the price of

land, a lot of these young people can’t make this thing work, so there’s going to have to be some creative solutions in the next little while.” Cow guys are the original eco warriors, says Gervais. “They were the ones that refused to get off the horse and climb on the tractor and plough it down,” he said. “You can work with them.” Rather than laws and

legislation, Gervais says the priority should be investment in programs that will help keep grasslands intact and that improve the land. “Investing in grazing techniques that would benefit me and you is possible,” he said. “And we have to do a better job of communication to the other 99 per cent of the people in this country that have no idea of the work that everybody in this room does.”

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2019

StockTalk Q&A Feature brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture JANE THORNTON Livestock Specialist jane.thornton@gov.mb.ca

ELIZABETH NEMBERG Livestock Specialist elizabeth.nemberg@gov.mb.ca

Q: At the end of 2018, my pastures were in tough shape due to dryness, and my hay pile is smaller than it should be at this time of the year. How early can I put cattle onto pasture in 2019? Jane Thornton Answer # 1. We recommend not turning out cattle until the grasses have reached the 3.5 leaf stage. This is critical, as grazing before the 3.5 leaf stage weakens the forages and will reduce the entire year’s yield. However, producers that have run out of feed have to consider other options if pastures are not ready for grazing.

The summer of 2018 was exceptionally hot and dry in many areas of Manitoba. Pastures will need time to recuperate, so we must think of ways of easing the pressure on the pastures this year. Options available to each producer will vary, but some to consider for your farm include: • culling • sacrifice pasture with supplementation • annuals • renting pasture • rotational grazing • fertilizing pastures and hay fields Many producers culled in the fall. If you didn’t, now is the time

to do it. In addition, any livestock that is poor condition or not with calf, can go earlier rather than later. Sacrificing pasture isn’t a new idea. It involves holding cattle on a piece of pasture, until the next pasture is ready. Supplementation will be required. Depending on the age of your calves, you may be able to creep feed them, which will reduce the feed required by the cows. If you’ve ever thought about seeding some annual pasture, this might be the year to take the leap. A combination of fall rye (~0.3 bu/ac) and oats (~1.5 bu/ac) can be seeded together early in the spring. In about six to eight weeks, once the rows have closed in and before the oat goes to head, you can begin grazing. Generally, for each week of annual pasture grazing , you should allow it to recover for three to four weeks (i.e., one week on, three to four weeks off). Using annuals this way will not provide grazing first thing in the

spring, but it will help you to provide rest to your perennial pasture throughout the summer and fall. In addition, if fall rye is given some rest late in the fall, it will overwinter and provide some early spring grazing in 2020. Using rented pasture can provide your own pasture with sixty (or preferably ninety) days of rest during the growing season. For your pasture to recover, ensure forages are actively growing. If we have another dry year, this means you may have to provide rest for even longer. Implementing rotational grazing is an option if you currently continuously grazing. The initial infrastructure of fences and water can be costly, but it will pay dividends over time. If you are just starting out, try for a minimum of three paddocks. Do not expect the cattle to finish all the forage before moving onto the next paddock, as you are aiming to be through all of your paddocks by about July 15. After that, you can start your ro-

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tation over again, this time slowing down the rotation and spending more time in each paddock. If you are running out of forage before the next pasture is ready, you could be over-stocked or the weather may not be cooperating. With normal summer precipitation, fertilizing your hay fields and tame pastures could really improve your forage supply. Remember to use nitrogen for grass, and phosphorous, potassium, and sulfur for your alfalfa (legumes) dominant stands. With adequate moisture, you can double or possibly triple your yields. If it remains dry, forget the fertilizer for this year, as forages need rain to be able to use the fertilizer. That said, forages grown on fertile soils are more efficient at using water, so long term care of soil fertility is important to your farm. I do not recommend fertilizing native pasture. Native plants are adapted to growing in a low or slow fertility cycling system. They will not respond well to the added fertility, and will possibly shift your plant community to a fertilizer-dependent system. A native pasture will be economical and will do well with proper grazing management over the long term. Save your fertilizer for forages that will give you more bang for your buck. Elizabeth Nernberg Answer # 2 Releasing cattle too early on to pasture in the spring can result in nutritional deficiencies for cow-calf herds which means smaller lighter calves in 2019 and less total calves in 2020. With insufficient forage growth, reduced dry matter intake will occur. Therefore, the energy available to the animal in its diet will be lower. Depending when calving season occurs, this deficiency could coincide with the breeding season, when cows should still be on a rising plane of nutrition. This rising plane of nutrition is essential, as a cow’s nutritional requirements increase significantly after calving, not only to support lactation, but also to aid in a quicker return to estrus for successful breeding. Research has shown that thin cows at calving, or cows that lose body condition after calving, will have delayed estrus and a decrease in first

service conception rates. This is because of the way energy use is partitioned by the animal, with it first being used for general maintenance, then growth, followed by reproduction. If not enough energy is provided, the first thing to be affected is reproductive performance. The impact body condition score (BCS) has on pregnancy rates can be alarming. A study at Oklahoma State discovered that cows with a BCS of two had a 50 per cent pregnancy rate over the 90-day breeding season, compared to 81 per cent for cows that were in BCS of three. Keep in mind that to maintain the desired yearly calving interval, with pregnancy lasting 282 to 285 days, only 80 days are left for that animal to rebreed. That isn’t a lot of time, considering all that needs to happen, such as recovering from calving stress, lactating, and the reproductive tract returning to normal to prepare for the next gestation. Is the cost of providing supplemental feed worth it? What’s the lost value of a cow not being rebred, or the cost of a lower weaning weight? Every estrous cycle that a cow remains open is 21 days of less weight gain for the calf, assuming a gain of two lbs. per day. This equates to a weight loss of 42 lbs. Assuming a value of $2 per lb., that represents a loss of $84. In addition, with a longer calving season, the calf crop will be less uniform come marketing time. Delaying spring turnout until there is sufficient forage growth, or providing supplemental feed on pasture, will provide adequate nutrition to maximize your herd’s reproduction. 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 The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.


May 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Is there life beyond pesticides? BY ANGELA LOVELL The driving motivation in Prairie agriculture for the last 50 years has been increasing yield, and that has led to highly simplified, monocrop systems that have required increasing amounts of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides to maintain productivity. That reliance on chemicals has been at great cost to the environment, said Christy Morrissey, Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s school of environment and sustainability. In a recent talk to attendees of the Conservation and Endangered Species Conference in Winnipeg in February, that explored the idea of working landscapes, Morrissey discussed some of the options to take agriculture in a new direction that is more holistic and provides benefits to farmers and the environment. There is ongoing discussion about the potential banning of pesticides such as neonicotinoids, and building scientific evidence that many different chemical pesticides in wide use are contaminating ecosystems and harming pollinators and other insects, aquatic invertebrates with having knock-on effects for other species such as birds. Morrissey has done work on a suite of pesticides to map their frequency and level of contamination in wetlands across the Prairies. Since beginning a sampling program in 2007 in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited Canada, that sampled 300 wetlands before seeding and during the growing season, the researchers detected 43 different chemical compounds. “We know that insecticides, fungicides and herbicides are at levels that cause risk to aquatic insects, and half the ponds that we sampled are prime risk for insecticidal toxicity so the levels are high enough for any one of those compounds to cause a risk,” said Morrissey. “There are very widespread problems here in the Prairies.” Which is why Morrissey doesn’t really care about banning neonics, because it’s a much bigger problem, and the reality is that the weeds and insect pests are winning the battle. “There’s resistance already to many of the compounds that we’ve become heavily reliant on. Glyphosate is one of them, obviously, and 2,4-D, but also with the neonics and others we’re facing serious issues,” said Morrissey. “There’s widespread degradation in ground water and surface water quality, there is serious biodiversity declines that don’t seem to be slowing down, climate extremes are pressuring producers to adapt in a changing world, there’s soil degradation and there’s also important socio-economic challenges facing small farmers, mixed farms and rural communities.” A systems approach All of these things are indicators of a systems level problem in agriculture. “It’s not just one problem, so banning a single chemical is not going to fix this,” said Morrissey, who added that agricultural sustainability

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relies on three components; food security, environmental health and economic profitability and there is often a perceived trade-off between them. Even if the agricultural community believes that what it is doing is not beneficial to the environment, there is a general feeling that there’s no alternative to using conventional technologies such as chemicals. What Morrissey is proposing is that there is indeed an alternative, and that is a systems-focused solution. “We have to redesign these systems so that we maximize and synergize those three components to obtain environmental health, increase profit, and increase food security,” she said. That means it is necessary to minimize the tradeoffs and maximize ecosystem services, and get the message out that this offers a win/win/win for producers, the environment and food consumers. “We know that if we increase biological diversity, we can increase the stability of the system or an ecosystem function,” said Morrissey. “That relationship is not always linear, increasing biodiversity can have knock-on effects on increasing the productivity of the whole system and thereby increasing its’ resilience so we can ride the waves of pests, or droughts, or floods and have a system that can bounce back.” Other places are doing this – so why can’t we? There are many examples from around the word of how this approach works. In France a survey of 946 farms looked at how much pesticide they were using and related it to their productivity and profitability. They found that 94 per cent of the farms that were using less pesticide had no loss in productivity and 77 per cent saw no loss in profitability. They went on to calculate how much these farms reduced pesticide use without having any negative effects and found that about 59 per cent of all the farms could potentially reduce their pesticide use without any negative consequences. While there is a lot of potential to reduce pesticide use, there are also benefits to leaving wetlands and other natural features intact on the landscape. “You can ameliorate a lot of contamination issues and maintain the system in a more of a healthy state,” said Morrissey. “We have done some research and maintaining the natural wetland zones is enough to dramatically decrease the amount of contamination in a wetland. We need to keep or enhance existing landscape features which will support biodiversity.” A message that isn’t often getting out to farmers is that biodiversity can work for them, providing intrinsic benefits such as pollination and pest control services. A six-year study in the United Kingdom, where they took three to eight per cent of marginal land out of production and planted it with diverse perennials, demonstrated how farmers can maximize their natural capital. The eight per cent treatment had no net yield loss. “They had maximum yields and no profit loss on those fields; yields actually went up by 35

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per cent,” said Morrissey. A similar project in Iowa that established strips of perennials on about 10 per cent of fields showed similar results. “This translates to disproportionate benefits for biodiversity, for improvements in water quality and also soil retention, so these were all small cost to implement with no net loss of profits and huge environmental gains.” There is no prescription The systems approach – often referred to today as regenerative agriculture – increases biodiversity through a large number of different mechanisms that maximize the synergies and provide the most benefits. “This is not a prescription, there are a lot of ways you can do it such as increasing rotations, putting in cover crops, intercropping and integrating livestock into cropping systems, which all promote diversity and system level resilience,” said Morrissey. “We need to tell farmers this could increase their overall profitability.” Work done in Saskatchewan by the South East Research Farm near Redvers has shown that intercrops of canola/peas can over yield by 120 to 130 per cent over growing either crop alone. Morrissey knows that to convince farmers of this there needs to be more research data available to them, and that’s why she helped establish a participatory research group two years ago. The Canadian Prairie Agroecosystem Resilience Network (CPARNet) is a team that involves not just researchers, government and partner institutions and organisations, but farmers in on-farm research that helps prove the science at a local level. It involves 50 farms in different locations across the Prairies. “We want to try things on grain farms and mixed farms in a systematic way that allows us to test some of these ideas and here, in this context, with the aid of the producer, see what gains we get and whether those are true for all of the Prairies, whether they’re effective everywhere or just in certain regions, those are questions that we have,” said Morrissey. “Ultimately, we’re going to move away from just yield to a more holistic systems approach, maximizing those synergies, those gains in food security, economic profitability and environmental health to achieve a resilient agricultural ecosystem.” Any producers interested in being a part of CPARNet should contact Christy Morrissey at the University of Saskatchewan.

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Where's the beef? Labelling of plant-based protein product misleading to consumers When California food company, Beyond Meat launched its new veggie burger recently, livestock producers were not happy about the company using the term ‘plant-based meat’ in its advertising, leading the Quebec Cattle Producers Federation (QCPF) to file a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). “The legal definition of meat under CFIA regulations is that it is derived from an animal carcass and it’s not plant derived,” says QCPF Vice-President, Kirk Jackson, who adds he isn’t against plantbased products. “Plant-based eating has always existed, and I am a meat eater but plants are still part of my diet. I’m not a 100 per cent carnivore. I do believe that consumers should have the choice to make whatever [eating] decisions they want, but we still have to uphold the integrity of our own product, which is labelled as meat by definition.” International movement to define meat The QCPF is not the only organization taking issue with the term plantbased meat. The Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA) said in a May 15 statement that the effort to stop food producers from labelling vegetarian-based products as meat in Canada is part of international movement towards achieving a common nomenclature for meat derived from animal-based proteins. CCA adds, the drive for improved clarity and consistency for consumers in labelling alternative protein products started in France and Italy and regions in the United States have since acted to disallow plant-based meat items to be labelled and marketed as ‘meat’ or use terms such as ‘beef.’ Canada has its own regulatory requirements in this area, and they should be respected. CCA is working with its U.S. counterpart, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), on the need for a consistent approach to, and predictable rules for, the labelling of meat products with international bodies like the International Meat Secretariat, International Beef Alli-

ance and Codex Alimentarius Commis- beets. Whatever the ingredients, when the sion. Beyond Burger first appeared on A & W’s The CCA’s view is that for a product menu, it sold out within a matter of days. to be labelled or marketed as meat it must It’s a good example of how consumers meet the legal definition of “meat” or eating habits trends are changing and how “meat by-product” as defined in the Food retail outlets and restaurants are adapting and Drug Regulation. their product offerings and menus to acThe Food and Drug Regulation de- commodate increasing numbers of cusfines meat as “the edible part of a carcass tomers choosing to eat more plant-based that is the muscle associated with the skel- proteins. eton, tongue, diaphragm, heart, gizzard or A study by Dalhousie University mammalian esophagus, with or without showed that nearly one in five Canadians accompanying and overlying fat, together have decided to reduce the amount of meat with those parts of the bones, skin, sinews, in their diet or outright eliminated it, and nerves, blood vessels and other tissues 63% of them are 38 or under. Besides vegthat normally accompany the muscle and etarian and vegans, more and more Caare not ordinarily removed in dressing a nadians are becoming flexitarians, people carcass, but does not include the muscle who have primarily a vegetarian diet but associated with occasionally eat meat the lips, snout, or fish, sometimes scalp or ears.” called ‘conscious carC a n a d a’s nivores’. rules and reguFlexitarianism lations governis playing a big role ing labels for in helping restauproducts include rants to adapt their the Food and menus to be more Drugs Act (FDA), inclusive of all eating the Food and preferences, says Dr. Drug RegulaSylvain Charlebois, tions (FDR), Professor of Food the Safe Food Distribution and for Canadians Policy at Dalhousie Act (SFCA) and University, who rethe Safe Food for cently spoke at the Canadians ReguManitoba Beef prolations (SFCR). ducers Annual GenAll health and eral Meeting in BranQCPF Vice-President, Kirk Jackson safety standards don about similar under the FDR issues. “That group, and the SFCR are enforced by the Cana- most of them boomers, is really the bridge dian Food Inspection Agency. between the mass food market and the deRestaurants responding to voted meatless crowd,” said Charlebois in changing tastes a recent Globe and Mail opinion piece. A & W was the first national restauCharlebois says that people become rant chain in Canada to team up with Be- flexitarian for a variety of reasons, usuyond Meat to serve its customers its plant- ally out of concern for the environmental based Beyond Meat Burgers and Beyond footprint of the livestock industry and/ Meat Sausage and Egger. On its website, A or animal welfare, or perhaps because of & W says the Beyond Meat burger patty is health reasons. made with 100% plant-based ingredients, “It’s not surprising to see many including peas, rice, mung beans, coconut boomers become flexitarians as they have oil, pomegranates, potatoes, apples and shown for many years that their genera-

“The legal definition of meat under CFIA regulations is that it is derived from an animal carcass and it’s not plant derived”

tion is very much about choice and keeping options open,” added Charlebois. “Some may even say that boomers, with flexitarianism, are hedging against their own guilt complex. Who knows? But generational pressures are also real. Many flexitarians likely have children who are vegans or vegetarians, or may have friends who are not eating meat. Regardless, a greater number of consumers are accepting the reality that food diversity is the new normal, especially when it comes to protein sources.” What’s in a name? Some fear that consumers may be misled or confused by calling plant-based proteins ‘meat’, but Jackson thinks most consumers are getting pretty savvy when it comes to knowing what they are eating and where it comes from. “I think our consumers are intelligent, but I’m not sure how much is being taken for granted on the nutritional value,” he says. “The two products (plantbased and beef) have a different nutritional composition. That’s where the dietitians have jumped onboard, and if you’re worried about health, and different types of fat or digestible protein, they don’t compare.” As the battle about what constitutes ‘meat’ continues, should beef producers be concerned about the rise of plantbased proteins in the marketplace? Jackson doesn’t think so. He has taste tested the Beyond burger patty and compared it to a regular hamburger, and says that to him, the products definitely are different in taste and texture. He doesn’t see such plantbased products as much of a threat to the beef industry in the short term, because they’re expensive; he paid $16/lb. for the Beyond Burger at his local grocery store. In the future, who knows? “If one day, it can become cheaper and starts being blended with meat and continuing mislabeling happens, then that could become a much bigger issue,” says Jackson. Beef producers may have to get used to their product sharing the plate with other proteins, however, including plantbased ones.

President's Column

Mental health and farm management

Season to grill

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BY ANGELA LOVELL


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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2019

Managing forages and pastures for drought BY ANGELA LOVELL Despite some moisture relief in late May and early June it remains dry in many regions of Manitoba heading into summer, so beef producers are understandably worried about the quality and quantity of their forages and pastures this season, as well as winter feed supplies. Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) says a 30 per cent reduction in annual precipitation will generally result in an equivalent reduction in forage production, and the year following a drought can be as bad, or even worse, for reduced forage yields. Tim Clarke, a forage and livestock specialist with Manitoba Agriculture says that producers, especially those who have experienced more than one year of dry conditions, should evaluate their hay fields based on plant population of the tame species to see if they are still productive and consider rejuvenating them if they are not, As an example, in a field with alfalfa there should be at least two alfalfa plants per square metre, assuming producers are fertilizing properly. “If they are not fertilizing the first thing is to soil test and fertilize, but if a producer finds that the alfalfa plants look good, but there is grass in between the alfalfa that looks droughty and is not producing much, they should consider breaking that field and cropping it for one or two years, then re-sowing it back to a tame forage species mix.” Clarke says a lot of producers in his region – the Interlake – are renovating their old hay fields, and because they are just starting the process there is no guarantee they will have enough feed for this year, but have a better chance of having adequate feed for next year. Managing the first cut A big step in managing forages is deciding when to do a first cut of hay, which can be an especially tough decision in dry conditions. Generally, alfalfa should be harvested based on the Relative Feed Value (RFV), and should begin when the RFV is about 20 points higher than the producer’s target forage RFV. “In situations where yields are reduced because of cool and/or dry conditions, forage quality will be higher than for a crop cut on the same date in a more normal growing season. For this reason, RFV is declining more slowly than the last few years, ranging from one to two weeks later,” says Manitoba Agriculture on its website. “There is no benefit to cutting at an earlier plant stage than normally recommended to meet the RFV target in a dry and cool spring. This will result in lower per acre yields, higher than required quality, and may deplete alfalfa root reserves, impairing second cut growth.” Cutting at 10 to 20 per cent bloom will generally optimize yield and quality when DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

producers require a ration to winter early gestation cows, but Manitoba Agriculture encourages producers to evaluate forage crop development to make sure they meet their RFV goals. The Manitoba Green Gold Program – coordinated by the Manitoba Forage & Grasslands Association (MFGA) – was established to help producers decide on the ideal date for the first cut of hay. Based on past program years, most alfalfa fields reach optimum 150 RFV stage at early to mid-bud stage, so it is recommended that producers do the first cut at 170 RFV (generally reached between June 1 to June 22, with the average being June 11) as quality will drop an average of 20 points between cutting and delivery to the yard. Experience with previous dry years has shown that grass yields are also generally lower but higher quality. “With grass hay crops, it will be important to allow crops to head out in order that yield is not compromised. While this may appear contradictory to forage quality goals, on a year such as this with lower yielding grass forage in the works, quality will be higher than in years where yield has been more plentiful,” says Manitoba Agriculture. In mixed forage stands, the first cut should be based on the major component, which for most alfalfa/grass mixes, is generally alfalfa. Delaying cutting until later developing areas of the field are ready will ensure sufficient root replenishment, which is particularly important under dry conditions. Managing pasture in dry years During dry conditions plant growth is limited which reduces yields, and it’s much harder for plant roots to reach available soil moisture. It’s a process that is exacerbated by heavy or continuous grazing, which is why pasture and grassland management is crucial to maintain productivity, especially in a dry year. “Every time a perennial plant like a pasture grass, legume or forb gets clipped off by an animal eating it or somebody cutting it with a haybine, some of the roots will die each time,” says Clarke. “The shorter we cut it, and the more often we cut it, the more roots die so when you have continuous grazing pressure, where the plants are grazed off year-long, the roots stay shallow so they are not able to take nutrients and water from deep in the soil.” A rotational grazing system that allows plants to rest and rejuvenate – optimally with a 70 to 80-day rest period between grazing – will build strong roots that can access moisture deep down in the soil profile and be more productive generally, and provide some stockpiled grazing going into the following year. Drought is always just around the corner, says Dr. Bart Lardner of the University of Saskatchewan, and so producers need to

DISTRICT 5

STEVEN MANNS

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

plan ahead to be better able to cope with it. “A continuous graze program is not a good grazing system,” he says. “There needs to be proper management practices, using fencing as a tool, with good water points set up, as well as a rotation system so pastures are being rested, so when producers get into a drier year they have maybe a quarter of their resources that have been rested for the entire previous growing season that they can use.” Using a mixture of cool season and warm season plant species in tame pastures can also provide better and longer grazing options. “Perennial warm season plants like Big Bluestem are more water use efficient and don’t grow as early, so some people will have warm season grasses in a pasture mix for later on in the growing season and cooler season grasses for early grazing,” says Clarke. More producers are being innovative and investing in practices that will help them to be more resilient over the longer term, adds Clarke. That includes using annuals and different mixes to try and extend fall grazing and take the pressure off pastures. “One producer who normally grows oats and peas for silage decided this year, because it looks dry, to put annual red proso millet in with his oats and peas,” says Clarke. “If it’s hot and dry the peas and oats might not do that well, but the millet, because it’s a warm season grass will cope with the drought stress a little bit better, so he is getting some insurance to his cool season mix for annual green feed.” Others are using annual ryegrass for fall grazing, including Clarke. “We have been mixing annual ryegrass in with our peas and oats,” he says. “We chop the peas and oats in early August for silage and then if there is moisture in the fall, the annual rye grass will grow and it stays green into October for grazing.” New hybrid fall rye varieties like Brasetto and Bono are showing promise and may provide more high yielding options for producers wanting to seed in the fall for some early spring grazing, or seed in spring for additional early summer grazing. Some producers are planting cruciferous crops like turnips and radishes to both improve soil health by bringing nutrients from deeper in the soil closer to the surface, and to provide a high protein grazing source from the regrowth in fall. “There are also non-bloat legumes that producers can establish as a tame pasture like Bird’s-foot trefoil and cicer milkvetch, so if producers were to renovate a pasture and grow one or more of those along with some grass, they will get nitrogen fixation from them and so the overall productivity of the pasture will likely improve,” says Clarke.

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

NANCY HOWATT

DISTRICT 6

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

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

DISTRICT 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

DISTRICT 4

TOM TEICHROEB - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 12

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

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

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

LARRY WEGNER

TYLER FULTON

DISTRICT 8

MIKE DUGUID - SECRETARY

ROBERT METNER

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

KRIS KRISTJANSON - VICE-PRESIDENT

Toxic plants may be an issue in dry weather If drier than usual conditions continue, there will be a shift to some less productive species, including weeds, and some toxic plants will start to emerge. When cattle begin to graze areas they wouldn’t normally, like along riparian areas or creeks, they can consume toxic plants like water hemlock or seaside arrowgrass. “These plants are able to persist in drought conditions and are accumulators of constituents like selenium, [which can be toxic in high doses],” says Lardner. “Toxic plants can be an issue, and we have had some cases of pasture pneumonia pop up, so producers should make sure to have a good vaccination program in place.” Milkvetches and locoweeds in the Astragalus family can also cause issues with high selenium content and are drought resistant, so they may well be the only plants available when the other forages plants are gone. Managing forages and pastures so that cows always have enough good plants to eat and don’t have to go searching for alternatives that could be poisonous, is still the best defense against toxic plants. Rotate grazing to stretch resources The long-term impact of drought on pastures can be eased if producers can continue to keep animals on feed longer, possibly into the first week or two of June, which benefits grass production over the rest of the season. “Probably the biggest challenge will be to keep grasses in the vegetative state with such a short period before the longest day of the year. Many species and bluegrass in particular will be headed out soon, even with short growth,” says Manitoba Agriculture. That’s why managing grazing rotations carefully is important to help to ensure there is sufficient pasture to last the whole growing season. That’s important during any year, but especially so when production is reduced. Using grazing management tools such as remote watering systems and portable fencing to rotate cattle and adjust stocking rates in paddocks to account for differences in grass production will stretch pasture resources further. Manitoba Agriculture suggests a flexible grazing system, with flexible stocking rates – such as grazing pairs with stockers − to help reduce impact on dry pastures. The first grazing passes should be light and quick, clipping the top growth of the grass to help it stay vegetative and leave adequate leaf material behind to encourage growth for subsequent grazing passes. Leaving some litter on the ground reduces soil temperature and water loss to ensure plants can regrow and maintain their vigour in drought conditions. In July and August, as days get hotter and shorter, the growth of cool season grasses slows and grazing Page 3  DISTRICT 14

DISTRICT 13 MARY PAZUIK

JADE DELAURIER

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

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

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COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Keith Borkowsky

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INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER & POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

Kate Cummings

FINANCE Deb Walger

OFFICE ASSISTANT Tanya Michalsky

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Keith Borkowsky

DESIGNED BY Trinda Jocelyn

www.mbbeef.ca


July 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

A look at growing Manitoba's beef herd Growing the beef herd in Manitoba continues to be a discussion piece for government and those of us in the livestock industry. The million-dollar question is how to achieve the lofty goal of reaching herd inventory numbers comparable to those prior to the first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) being discovered in May 2003. There are so many variables to consider in working towards reaching this goal that I can’t pretend to have or know all the answers. I am certainly an optimist and I very much believe there is tremendous opportunity in Manitoba. After all I, along with many others, chose to move to Manitoba to seek out those opportunities. In speaking with livestock producers

and industry experts there seems to be a common theme around what may be some important variables to consider when anticipating sectoral growth. In 2016 Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced the province’s goal to grow the beef herd to near or close to pre-BSE levels, or around 750,000 head. This was announced at a time when Manitoba’s beef cow herd was 424,000 head (as of January 2016). This past January Manitoba’s cow herd sat at 410,800 head, which was down from 439,600 head the previous year, no doubt in part due to the 2018 drought. This brings perspective to the significance of reaching this goal. Doubling the cow herd is certainly a substantial but achievable goal.

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

I believe that to grow Manitoba’s beef herd, the provincial government needs to continue to be fully committed to the entire process. Agriculture Minister Eichler has shown excellent leadership in all areas of agriculture including the livestock sector. He recently announced the province’s Protein Strategy which recognizes Manitoba as an ideal place to produce high quality protein. Other important initiatives, like Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) demonstrate to

Strategies key to get the most out of dry land  Page 2 passes should be slowed to match the slower growth and allow cattle to graze the forage that has built up during June, when growth was more rapid. Another good way to extend the life of low producing pastures is to consider weaning calves earlier than usual to reduce the nutritional requirements of the cows. Producers can also supplement with protein or energy – perhaps something like screening pellets – to extend limited forage resources, and utilize lower quality feed sources to complement the higher quality forages grown on the farm. What about a water shortage? Short term measures if producers find themselves short of water for cattle include using a portable water tank mounted on a truck or other vehicle if feasible. Fencing water sources like dugouts or steams to limit livestock access and pumping to remote watering sites not only helps to conserve water supplies but also improves water quality. Water quality during period of hot, dry weather is a big concern, when evaporation can from surface water sources such as dugouts, streams, creeks or sloughs can leave behind concentrated minerals like sulphates, which tie up trace minerals in cattle and in extreme cases can cause polio. In hundreds of water samples from the Moose Jaw area, water quality this spring was lower than in the previous couple of springs, says Leah Clark, livestock and extension feed specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture. That’s probably a reflection of the amount of runoff and the high temperatures we are experiencing,” she says. “When temperatures get to plus 30 and stay there, we see evaporation really affecting water quality.” Clark says it’s important to test water quality early in the season. “Early testing gives us the ability to make a plan, and if we see where our

baseline is, we can come up with a plan that better utilizes the water resources we have, rather than that a reactionary approach when cattle aren’t drinking the water anymore,” she says. “We can prioritize water sources based on the worst and use it at times that are less critical for the animal, so it allows us to make a plan and rotate through those different water quality scenarios.” Once water contains high levels of sulphates it’s not a simple matter to get them out. That requires reverse osmosis, a method too expensive and impractical for most ranches. Blue green algae can be treated but it releases a toxin as it dies, so animals should not drink the water for 10 to 14 days after treatment. In the longer term, keeping animals out of water sources is one of the best solutions for water quality, says Clark. “When allow cattle have direct access to a dugout for example, the banks fall in, so the water source gets smaller and evaporation occurs faster,” she says. “When you look at the long-term longevity of a water source, it makes sense to remove animals from it. Studies have shown that animals who have water pumped to them do better as there is less contamination.” If dry conditions persist through the year and pasture re-growth is limited, it may also mean marketing plans change. As an example, yearlings might be sold earlier than planned or sent to a feedlot to reduce stocking rate and maintain pasture resources. Reducing stocking rates over all, although not desirable, may be the only solution in some cases to help producers’ weather dry conditions, and Lardner says he knows from speaking to producers that some are already taking cow/calf pairs to the auction mart. “If you have built up your herd over a decade or more it’s hard to accept the fact that you may have to de-stock by 10 to 20 per cent just to get through a drought situation,” he says.

the consumer that the beef industry relies on certified producers using sustainable practices to produce high quality beef. I am pleased that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has signed a fiveyear agreement with the Government of Manitoba to help grow local producer participation in this valuable program. Manitoba has a high percentage of producers participating in this program compared to many other provinces. There is no doubt that the livestock industry has faced some daunting challenges. BSE, for example, decimated the beef herd and forced many to exit this great industry. The ramifications of BSE such as border closures, trade interruptions and commerce coming to a grinding halt were realized immediately but other trickledown effects occurred for years to follow. Farm supply stores, auction marts, veterinary services and transportation services were all affected in a negative way. Ultimately a significant number of livestock producers and a large portion of the labor force were lost as well. It is obvious that the benefits of growing the herd will have a positive impact on the Manitoba economy but it will also require the growth and the revitalization of the service industry as well. Quite simply, it will require significant investment from both the private sector, as well as for federal and provincial governments to create an environ-

ment for growth to achieve the stated goal of expansion. Flood conditions in some areas in 2011 and 2014 proved too much for some producers. Producers had survived BSE but were not willing to rebuild and reinvest yet again. For those producers close to retirement age it was a logical decision to exit the industry. In my opinion, the most devastating consequence of these catastrophic events is the lost generations of potential beef producers. Many producers who may have been forced to exit the beef industry had very few retirement options for themselves let alone any type of succession plan. I am convinced that in many of these cases the next generation of beef producers may be lost forever. More recently in 2018, much of Manitoba and many parts of Western Canada experienced a significant drought, and the early outlook for 2019 does not look promising. As noted earlier, in spite of much effort to expand the beef herd, Manitoba experienced a small decrease in 2018. If the current dry conditions continue to persist, it is difficult to imagine the beef herd inventory maintaining status quo, and certainly not major growth. Overall feed inventories are extremely low and the feed stuffs that are available are priced exorbitantly high. At MBP’s board of directors meeting in early June, directors reported fair to poor forage and hay stands in most of Manitoba. Producers are resilient and the cyclical nature of weather patterns and fluctuations in commodity prices can be managed to a certain degree with Business Risk Management (BRM) tools. What has

proven to be challenging for the livestock industry is that there hasn’t been any sustained periods of normalcy where producers can establish financial security. This impacts BRM tools like AgriStability and its ability to trigger payments when there are sustained periods of low commodity prices and/or poor production yields. AgriStability is a margin-based program that responds more favorably with multiple years of above average commodity prices and productions yields to establish margins that trigger payments in the event of significant decreases or disasters. More effective BRM programming would certainly go a long way toward increasing producer confidence to invest in growing the Manitoba beef herd. There are also opportunities for improving options for insuring commodities. For example, at this time there are no options to insure crop damage to corn caused by blackbirds. This has become a significant issue for many producers and MBP continues to lobby the Manitoba government to develop a BRM tool to protect producers’ investments. Growing the herd will require producer confidence in all aspects of their business, including a suite of reliable, predictable and equitable BRM tools. Unfortunately entrepreneurship in the livestock industry is currently extremely difficult. For most it would be virtually impossible to purchase a ranch or farm without financial help from parents or someone willing to assist new entrants into the livestock industry. I believe that finding affordable real estate will be the single biggest challenge in expanding the beef herd. Page 4 

‘Tag E

Simm

m Al

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ental

Manitoba to host the 2020

July 23-27, 2020 - Portage La Prairie, mb Thank you to Congratulations to Alice Rooke & Mary Jane Robinson on being selected as the 2019 MSA Scholarship recipients.

www.mbbeef.ca

Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 President: Tracy Wilcox 204-713-0029 Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

www.mbsimmental.com


4

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2019

Update on the Beef InfoXchange (BIX) BY LEE IRVINE Before we begin talking about the future for BIX, I want you to know where BIX started and how we got to where we are today. In 2007, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) started the Beef Information Exchange System (BIXS) with the intent of creating a system that would allow different sectors of the cattle industry to share data. At the end of 2012, the CCA sold the BIXS system to Viewtrak Technologies, under the leadership of Hubert Lau, Ted Power and Deb Wilson. The trio began to focus BIXS’ functionality on tracing animals and validating producers’ production practices to add value by using the animal’s electronic Identification tag (RFID), and working alongside industry partners such as Cargill to develop programs such as the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot (www.CBSAPilot.ca) that pays producers for raising sustainable beef. In 2018, Lau and Power felt that the time was right to take the company public and on April 29, 2019, TrustBIX (Stock symbol: TBIX) was launched on the TSX Venture exchange and the BIXS name was changed to BIX. As a public company our goal will be to continue to focus on sharing data and creating value by validating individual animal attributes. Where is BIX headed? As we begin to look forward, we see a need to carry on the CCA’s original vision for a centralized data hub by facilitating the exchange of information between various sectors of the beef industry. However, we will continue to take this a step further by validating producer’s production practices all the way to the consumer. By providing a platform for various sectors to exchange data such as treatment records or production data, our industry can start to improve by making management decisions based on production data. Imagine the implications for our industry if a cow-calf producer knew that a large percentage of their calves were being treated for respiratory disease at the feedlot, leading them to discuss alternative vaccination protocols with their veterinarian. How much antibiotic use could be prevented? Or, what if a cow-calf producer could showcase the last 5 years of their calves’ average daily gain records when selling those calves? Would more feedlots be interested in purchasing them? The benefits of exchanging data in the beef industry are endless. The pork industry has been doing it for years with great success. We only need to be willing to start collecting and sharing this information through a centralized data hub like BIX.

COMPETITIVE FEED COSTS

The second benefit of a centralized data hub is the ability to attach validated attributes to individual animals and pass those along to consumers. Dr. David Hughes, an agri-food marketing professor from the U.K. who recently spoke in Banff, said that consumers are making “Mindful Choices” and that they want to “Eat food that they feel good about eating!” (BPS_2019-Blog). He explains that consumer purchasing habits will be based on “personal priorities” and how these priorities will vary between consumers. What this means for the beef industry is that if we are going to compete with other protein sources that are available, we need to help consumers feel good about eating beef. This is the role of BIX, to work with producers to consolidate the attributes that they attach to their animals such as “Raised on a Sustainable Farm” or “Implant Free” and pass these along to consumers who wish to purchase those attributes. One of the best examples of how a centralized data hub benefits the beef industry while providing value to consumers is the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot (www.CBSAPilot.ca ). Created by Cargill, Cargill’s customers, BIX and VBP+ they developed a system that provides a financial reward to producers that raise beef sustainably. In 2018, these payments averaged over $18 per animal per operation, which means that each eligible cow-calf producer received $18/hd and each eligible feedlot received another $18/hd. The CBSA pilot utilizes the frameworks laid out by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (www.CRSB.ca), so that any producer that passes a Verified Beef Producer Plus audit, meets these requirements and can call their operation “Sustainable”. It is the BIX centralized data hub that is responsible for the live animal tracking from these sustainable operations. Which means, if an animal is age verified and raised, fed and harvest at audited operations, and

Factors to grow herd  Page 3 In my local area, land that was purchased in 2004 for $500/acre is now worth $3,500/acre in 2019. I am certain this is a common situation across the province. The rate of inflation compared to beef com-

modity prices is pale in comparison over that same time period. Fertilizer, seed, chemical, equipment, fuel and maintenance costs have all seen high levels of inflation as well. The livestock industry will need to experience a significant increase

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all these operations are registered with BIX (www.mybixs. com), it is eligible to be sold as “Sustainable Beef.” As I speak at different producer events, I am often approached by producers that are frustrated that we are “pandering to the irrational demands of consumers” by attaching attributes to our beef. We need to remember that customer choice is a reality and our industry is just now working to catch up. Consumers have been demanding (and receiving) choice in every other aspect of their lives, from the style of jeans they wear to the type of car they drive, to the coffee they drink! It is a natural extension that they will demand (and expect) choice in the type of beef they choose to feed their family. Our goal at BIX is to be a neutral third party that continues to work alongside producers and industry to help everyone improve profitability, whether that be through better management decisions based on production data, by attaching incentive based value-added attributes to animals, or by tracking animals through various production streams. All of these will continue to give consumers confidence in the beef they are eating. There are two things we need from producers: first, producers need to educate themselves and participate in the various value-added programs that are in the marketplace today, and start to collect data on their operations. Second, producers need to be willing to share this information down the chain of custody, so that these attributes can be validated and shared with the animal’s future owners and ultimately the consumers. I would be glad to visit with any producers that may have questions about how to use BIX or the CBSA Pilot and I can be reached at 403-671-4878 or at lirvine@trustbix. com. Lee Irvine is the Vice President of BIX, a division of TrustBIX, and focuses on industry engagement. He lives in Red Deer with his wife and two boys.

Garry Slywchuk Licensed Insurance Advisor Sales and Recruiting Manager 204 985-1580 204 371-0357 Cell gslywchuk@pennrep.com

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in commodity prices to offset these inflationary costs before the industry can realize substantial growth. As with any free market economy, supply and demand will ultimately determine the growth of the livestock industry. There are certainly other aspects that can help accelerate expansion. As mentioned, effective and equitable BRM tools will provide producers confidence in managing risk. Legislation also has a significant impact on land use policies such as the current restructuring of the agricultural Crown lands (ACL) program. Agriculture Minister Eichler and the Manitoba government have taken great strides to help advance and grow the livestock industry by working to develop an effective ACL policy and hopefully secure Crown lands for Manitoba beef producers to use for decades to come. MBP, Manitoba Agriculture and Sustainable Development have made significant progress on their discussions regarding livestock predation losses. There is the possibility of a livestock predation prevention pilot program coming as early as this fall. Effective strategies to reduce the risk of predation losses is important to future growth in Manitoba’s livestock sector.

I am extremely proud to be a beef producer and after enduring BSE, outlasting a major flood in 2011 and continuing to rebuild after another flood in 2014, I am still optimistic about the industry. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be a rancher and as a family we continue to invest in and grow our ranch as well as our beef herd. I’m also inspired by the six new young families that have invested in our local area as producers and have continued to grow their respective operations. I am convinced that a positive approach will result in favorable outcomes and I sincerely hope that you will continue to be inspired to grow and develop your operations and become more profitable. This will almost certainly inspire new entrants to invest in the livestock industry and one day we will realize our goal. Finally, I would like to thank livestock producers for your continued support. MBP continues to work diligently on your behalf and please be inspired to share your wisdom and knowledge with us so that we can continue to grow this amazing industry. Until next time, I would like to wish you a wonderful summer. Kind regards, Tom


July 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Exploring the link between mental health and farm management A University of Guelph study released in 2016 found farmers are among the most vulnerable when it comes to mental health, reporting higher levels of stress, depression, emotional exhaustion and burnout than the general population. The same study found 40 per cent of agricultural producers would feel uneasy getting professional help due to the stigma that exists around the issue. We know that mental health impacts farm business decision-making, but to what extent? What other management practices are influenced by mental health, and how does farm business management impact mental health? Farm business management practices can help reduce risk, increase certainty and increase confidence. Through the business planning process, farmers create a vision and learn to set realistic goals. They assess the risks and opportunities they may encounter along the way and put measures in place to mitigate and manage what is in, and outside of their control. Planning solidifies the farm team, creating a support network including family, business partners, and advisors. It

is our belief that in this way, farm business management facilitates mental preparedness, reducing stress and the physical, mental, emotional and behavioural consequences thereof. However, farm business management can also be stressful in and of itself, and the thought of improving your business acumen, rather daunting. To help examine this issue further, Farm Management Canada (FMC) is embarking on a research project that is exploring the connection between mental health

and farm business management. This will include factors influencing mental health, and how we can support mental health through business management, support business management

through mental health, and the critical path forward. We further seek to explore whether demographic differences exist between Canadian regions, production sectors, gender and age, and steps

we can take to meet these individual needs. Since requesting expressions of interest from agricultural stakeholders in February, Farm Management Canada has received incredible support for this project including those keen to help guide the project and provide financial support toward it. Our sincere thanks go to Manitoba Beef Producers for their contribution to the project. With this support, FMC is pleased to announce we will be working with Wilton Consulting Group to re-

search the connection between Mental Health and Farm Business Management. We welcome any interested partners to come forward to ensure diverse representation from across the agricultural sector. Stay tuned for further information on how you can get involved and help us continue to support farmers and their well-being for a sustainable and truly remarkable agricultural industry. For more information about FMC visit: www.fmc-gac. com.

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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2019

MBP provided comments on ACL Program modernization, Protein Strategy MAUREEN COUSINS Policy Analyst

Continued work toward the modernization of Manitoba’s Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Program, consultations on the province’s proposed sustainable protein strategy and the rollout of new endowment fund related to the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds Program are a few of the items that have been on Manitoba Beef Producers’ radar in recent weeks. ACL Program Consultations The ability to effectively utilize agricultural Crown lands is critically important to both the current and the future viability of Manitoba’s cattle sector. Over the past couple of years MBP has been providing feedback to the Manitoba government as it undertakes its modernization of the ACL program. This included participating in consultations this spring on amendments to the Agricultural Crown Lands Regulation under The Crown Lands Act. Some of the areas on which MBP provided comments included: eligibility requirements, lease terms, family transfers and unit transfers, the auction process, compliance monitoring and enforcement, and, lease hold improvements. For example, MBP recommended that agricultural leases should be a minimum of 15 years, with the opportunity for two 10year renewals, and, the lease holder should retain the first right of renewal upon expiry if they can demonstrate that they still meet the terms and conditions. Access and predictability are essential to long-term planning related to livestock operations. By having long-term leases producers will have the confidence to invest and improve lands, and to grow their herds. MBP noted

that short-term leases do not provide financial institutions with the security they seek to make capital available, nor does it encourage investments in improvements to the ACL. MBP also made recommendations around the need for a system to ensure that lease and permit holders are still in compliance with their lease terms and conditions of their lease. Producer complaints related to ACL have focused on, but not been limited to: lands sitting idle with no cattle present; lands not being used to their full potential; and, lands being sublet/re-leased without permission. Seeing ACL underutilized or sitting idle has been a great source of frustration for producers, particularly those seeking to gain access to ACL to establish or grow their operations. MBP cautioned that without proper monitoring and enforcement, ACL will continue to be underutilized. This will affect the provincial government’s ability to deliver on its stated goals of expanding the beef herd, achieving a 35 per cent increase in overall animal protein production in 2025 and, achieving a 15 per cent increase in productivity of agricultural Crown lands. As per its April 2018 submission to the province, MBP said it believes that if lessees or permit holders are not adhering to the clear and transparent rules and conditions of their lease or permit, that they should be allowed due process, but ultimately have their lease or permit revoked. MBP also suggested that a portion of the revenue generated from the new auction and lease processes be specifically designated toward monitoring and enforcement, rather than all monies generated going into the province’s general revenue stream. Sufficient staff are required

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to administer the various provisions of ACL program and to monitor and enforce them. With better utilization of the land and increased livestock production, there should be economic benefits for the provincial government that would help pay for monitoring and enforcement. With respect to family transfers, MBP said it strongly supports their continuation. The ACL Program’s stated mandate is that it “supports the sustainable expansion of the livestock herd in Manitoba, contributes to ecological goods and services, and provides mitigation and adaptation to climate change.” From this perspective, family transfers align with the program objectives as the lands will continue to be used to raise cattle, will provide ecosystem services that benefit all Manitobans, and help provide mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Similarly from this perspective, unit transfers also align with the program objectives. MBP noted there has been considerable concern and uncertainty created among ACL lease holders over the temporary suspension of Crown land and property sales and new unit transfers. MBP wants to ensure that any pause to regular commerce as a result of the suspension is minimized and that the suspension be lifted as soon as possible. At the time of writing this column in mid-June, the pause was still in effect. Regarding the auction process that will be initiated when leases come up for renewal, MBP said there should be a minimum of 30 days’ notice that the auction will occur. Advertisements should be in local newspapers, posted in the nearest Manitoba Agriculture office and in another well attended public venue, such as the post office, municipal office or community bulletin board(s) nearest the location of the auction. The notification should also be posted on the website of the provincial government’s Real Services Division website, the Manitoba Agriculture home page and the provincial government’s home page. With respect to proxy bids, MBP indicated it has reservations about using proxy bids and is supportive of them only in very limited extenuating circumstances, such as a medical emergency or a death in the family. If the province allows proxy bids, it is MBP’s position the identity of the proxy bidder and the person on whose behalf they were bidding should be made known to all other bidders in advance of bidding commencing on a given lease. If the highest bidder backs out of the lease, MBP suggested that it go to the next highest qualified bidder, if any. If there is no other bidder, MBP suggested the parcel be made available as a casual permit until the next regularly scheduled auction arises. With respect to reserve bids, MBP cautioned that placing any minimum price/reserve bid for these lands will interfere with the market forces and artificially raise the price to producers. It is MBP’s position there should be no minimum prices for agricultural Crown lands; rather, the market conditions and producers’ willingness to pay should be allowed to determine the cost of these leases and permits. MBP’s position is that it is in the interests of both the Crown and the livestock sector to incent improvements to ACL. Proper infrastructure and proper manage-

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ment leading to improved soil and pasture and forage health are essential to the long-term value of these lands to both the Crown and to the sector. Improvements also allow for long-term effective and efficient use of the lands. With enhanced carrying capacity comes the opportunity to grow the beef cattle herd. In addition to helping their own operations, the improvements the producers make are improvements to the Crown’s asset – and ultimately also benefit the Crown. MBP suggested the regulations could have a provision added to incent beneficial management and the installation of approved infrastructure. This could include providing recognition (a reduction) in the cost formula for “approved” direct costs for implementing proper management strategies to achieve sustainability objectives or for infrastructure improvements made. Approved improvements need to support and incent beneficial management of the permitted and leased lands. For example, they need to allow and recognize the direct costs of managing brush encroachment which can affect productivity of the ACL. Another option would be to set aside some monies generated through the auction process, leases and permits into a designated ACL sustainability fund. Producers could access the fund to implement cost-shared beneficial management practices that would enhance the carrying capacity of the land or provide environmental benefits, e.g. fencing, off-site watering systems, etc. Monies could also potentially be used to support research activities in areas such as to best manage wildlife and livestock interactions. Or perhaps monies could be directed toward extension activities with ACL users to help them enhance management of the lands to increase carrying capacity. In terms of valuing improvements, MBP suggested having an independent, third-party assessment done when the parcel comes up for auction so the producer knows what they will be paid for their improvements. This could include an assessment of the physical infrastructure. MBP also asked if the provincial government would consider undertaking a pasture assessment at the end of the lease. It could demonstrate that the producer’s management has improved the carrying capacity of the land over the time of their lease, and MBP believes there should be some type of recognition for this as well as it will increase the value of the parcels going forward. MBP also restated its position that there needs to be informed access when it comes to the public wishing to access ACL. MBP has never looked to block public access but rather is seeking informed access by members of the public wishing to access ACL used by cattle producers. Specifically, MBP believes that public access must be limited to those circumstances where the public has prior authorization from the lessee or permit holder to access the agricultural Crown lands. MBP believes that these rights need to be strengthened to protect livestock, producers and the public. Unauthorized access can lead to significant biosecurity issues (potential spread of disease or noxious weeds), can endanger livestock and producers, can endanger the public, and can lead to litigious liability concerns. Page 7 


July 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Herd management key when it's dry KATE CUMMINGS MBP Beef Specialist

The drought of 2018, followed by a cold winter and a dry spring has left some Manitoba producers concerned about the repeat of a drought in 2019 and wondering how they should manage their herds if feed supplies are tight. Certainly, drought conditions can have negative impacts on cattle so it’s important to implement strategies that will effectively minimize these impacts. A reduced forage supply resulting from moisture-stressed land limits feed supplied to cattle and

is reflected in aspects such as reproduction with reduced conception rates, loss of body condition, lower milk production and therefore lower weaning weights. With the nutrient content of forages limited, cattle are likely to require supplementation to meet nutrient demands or you may need to consider other options. One management strategy that can be implemented easily is culling to reduce herd requirements. By selling selected animals such as those that are open, old, low producing or cows expected to calve late in the calving window it will allow the feed supply to

stretch, thereby providing more feed for the younger animals and more productive cows. Since weaning weights are almost always affected by drought conditions, early weaning calves is also an avenue worth exploring. Calves can be weaned earlier and fed separately or the cow herd can be supplemented to ensure adequate milk supply to calves. Rations supplied to early-weaned calves should have at least 70 per cent TDN and 1618 per cent protein which can then be backed off at approximately 450 lbs. body weight. Both mineral and vitamin packages

Protein consultations  Page 6 Providing clear rights of access and clear prohibitions for unauthorized public access will strengthen the effective and efficient use of these Crown lands. In the absence of a move toward informed access, MBP asked that consideration be given to setting aside a portion of lease revenue into a dedicated fund that lease holders could access to pay for damage to fences, gates, pastures, etc. caused by public access. Manitoba Protein Advantage Consultations MBP also provided input as part of the provincial government’s consultations on its proposed Manitoba Protein Advantage strategy. As part of the strategy one of the province’s priorities is increasing the beef-breeding herd. The strategy also aims to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in carbon intensity per kilogram of animal protein produced in Manitoba, and a 15 per cent increase in productivity of agricultural Crown lands and privately-owned grassland and forages. MBP’s comments focused on policies and strategies important to growing Manitoba’s beef herd such as: the need for effective business risk management programs; the importance of maintaining agricultural Crown lands for beef production; finding ways to reduce the risk of livestock predation; the value of investments in research; the impact of labour shortages; and, the need to reduce regulatory burden, among others. More details on MBP’s comments will be provided in the September edition of Cattle Country. The province will be holding a Manitoba Protein Summit in September at which the final strategy will be unveiled. GROW Program Announced On July 11 Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squire announced that a new $52 million endowment fund will be created for the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Program. This province-wide program will be based on the Alternate Land Use Services (ALUS) model with the aim of supporting the enhancement of ecological goods and services (EG&S) on private lands. This could include monies from the GROW fund being used to help producers with “small water-retention projects, natural

habitat restoration and enhancement including wetlands, riparian area management, soil health improvements, and shelterbelt and eco-buffer establishment.” The fund will be managed by The Winnipeg Foundation, with tracking and evaluation by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. There will also be an opportunity for private donations to the fund. MBP had provided comments to the provincial government in 2017 when it was consulting about the development of the prospective GROW program. MBP has long sought the creation of an ecosystem services program that provides financial recognition of the EG&S provided by Manitoba’s beef industry. It is MBP’s position that the beef industry has a key role to play in helping the province achieve some of its environmental goals. EG&S provided by beef producers in preserving pasture and forage lands constitute public goods whose benefits accrue to society at large. These include protecting habitat, providing biodiversity, preserving wetlands, and sequestering greenhouse gases, among others. While more details are needed as to how the new fund will work, if there are opportunities for producers to access money for projects to help reduce the risk of flooding, to enhance drought resiliency, to advance grassland restoration, or to plant shelterbelts and eco-buffers these could be beneficial to the beef industry. MBP will asked to be included in consultative processes around the development of the GROW program criteria and how monies for projects will be accessed. For example, will producers have to work with their local watershed districts (currently CDs) on projects to access the fund or will they be able to access it on an individual basis? What type of incremental benefits will have to be delivered? Will cross-compliance with other government programs be required, such as having to complete an Environmental Farm Program? MBP looks forward to working with the province to ensure that the program is designed and delivered in such a way to maximize opportunities to producers, as well as to all Manitobans who benefit from the EG&S farmers and ranchers provide.

should be included and potentially ionophores to avoid digestive disorders and improve feed efficiency. If the option to early wean calves is not available then creep feeding should be implemented. The most return on creep-fed calves can be seen in a drought year. When implementing early weaning as a strategy to mitigate drought stress it should be noted that early-weaned calves are very efficient, requiring approximately 4-5 lbs. of feed per pound of gain when fed a high-quality diet. As well, conception rates in cows who have had their calves weaned early while on pasture are increased. Early weaning in combination with culling has the potential to reduce feed requirements of the herd by around 50 per cent. When considering supplementing cows there are two options, either purchasing hay or a grainbased ration. Hay cut under stressed conditions can contain high nitrate levels so forage testing is important. Hay is a popu-

lar choice during the winter months, but may not be particularly economical or available. Grains and byproducts are often a more cost-effective energy source and reduce the dependency on grass or alfalfa hay. In general 1lb of concentrate can replace 2lbs of alfalfa or 3lbs grass hay but this value can vary depending on the nutritional value of the forage. Mineral and salt mixture should be supplied at the same rate regardless of environmental conditions. If using salt to limit intake ample water should be supplied as this can result in a 50 – 75 per cent increase in water needs. Vitamin A requirements may be an issue during the fall and winter for cows fed forages grown and harvested under drought conditions. Pastures that are dormant due to drought stress are protein deficient. If these conditions prevail through breeding season pregnancy rates are likely to be reduced. Dry cows should be supplemented with approximately .75 lbs. CP and lactating cows approx.

1.2 lbs. CP per day. Overconsumption of urea-containing supplements can result in ammonia toxicity. Rumen impaction can result in cows that are fed a diet that is protein deficient and too much of a low-quality high fiber source. Energy is typically the most limiting nutrient for cattle on pasture. Hay grain and byproducts can all be used to supply energy during this time. High quality forage should be fed to animals with the highest nutrient requirements, mainly replacement heifers, growing calves, lactating cows and cows in the transition period. Conversely, lowest quality feeds go to cattle in mid-gestation when energy requirements are the lowest. Dry cows in beginning- to mid-gestation have the lowest energy demands. This class of females can be maintained on poor quality forages until later in gestation. Extra care should be taken to provide nutrient-dense balanced rations in the transition Page 8 

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CATTLE COUNTRY July 2019

Herd health and dry conditions DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM The Vet Corner

This month’s topic is unfortunately about something old news but one that is worsening in magnitude - the low moisture levels and drought conditions. The intent of my article is not to discuss pasture management and implementation of alternative least cost feeding programs but to instead briefly review some key animal management considerations and health issues that often develop during prolonged dry weather. Successful grazing management may mean short-term drylotting prior to pasture turnout, rotational grazing or relocation to greener pastures. This often means that cattle will be more crowded such that the risk of disease is increased. Movement to different locations within the province or beyond creates stress and also exposure to potential pathogens for which they have no prior immunity, particularly if herds are co-mingled. A solid herd vaccination and health program is very important during any weather stress. Many producers have encountered some unique health problems this past winter due to energy and protein malnutrition as well as mineral and vitamin defi-

ciencies. Immune deficiency has resulted and led to worsened scour, pneumonia and coccidiosis outbreaks than previously experienced. Dust and hot dry windy conditions are hard on mucous membranes. Eyes and the lining of the upper airways need to filter out the dust which causes both mechanical irritation as well as serving as a carrier of disease-causing agents. Pinkeye and both viral (especially BRSV) and bacterial pneumonias become more common. Short grass means grazing closer to the ground and an increased risk for coccidiosis and endoparasitism (worms), both of which cause further weakening of the immune system. Review your whole herd vaccination program with your veterinarian, especially if you are needing to move cattle elsewhere or are dramatically changing your management program. The merits of pinkeye vaccination, coccidiosis prevention programs and fly and parasite control on pasture should be reviewed during drought conditions. If you are needing to relocate your herd, review biosecurity risks and mitigation tools with your veterinarian to

avoid future disease or abortion wrecks. Carefully monitor your pasture/feed situation particularly as the cow nutritional needs peak. The first 60 to 90 days post-calving is the most nutritionally demanding period in the production cycle of a cow. If grass quality/quantity drops during that time, the cow will enter a negative energy balance and will prioritize her nursing calf and herself over cycling and rebreeding. Failure to adequately manage pasture during the breeding season will mean poorer conception rates, irregardless of the body condition of the cow. Another management strategy that is often reserved for extreme circumstances may be to depopulate or destock through the sale of mature cows and early weaning. Begin now in your selection process to identify potential culls if grass conditions worsen. Pregnancy test earlier this season. Ultrasonography allows pregnancy detection as early as 35-40 days post-breeding. Cull open cows as well as those with poor conformation (bad teats, udders, eyes, feet and legs), bad attitudes and those underperforming. Individual cow records will come in handy this year to help you make critical man-

agement decisions. Remember that calves can be weaned as early as 45 days of age but their ration must be well managed with high quality feed - no slacking on protein, energy, vitamins and minerals in the ration or health problems will develop and growth potential will not be realized. Creep-feeding will also help ease the transition to a feedlot ration. If you have the feedlot space, the feed and nu-

trition knowledge, consider retaining the calves to capitalize on the rapid gains and try to generate enough money to pay for the cow costs. Consider early weaning calves off heifers, older cows dropping in body condition and those cows that were identified at calving or last season as culls. Monitor the market and ship culls and calves during peak prices. Research your options for pasture and feed man-

agement. Work with a nutritionist to develop alternative rations using least cost ingredients and network with local grain producers. Don’t shortcut on your herd vaccinations nor your mineral and vitamin programs. Hoping for the best isn’t a drought management plan. Know your options so that you aren’t cornered into making costly management decisions and can avoid an animal welfare disaster.

Plan ahead for feed needs  Page 7 period, pre and post-partum. A dry cow requires 30-40 per cent less energy than a lactating cow. They can be maintained by low producing or dry pastures. Maintaining cow and calf pairs on these same pastures will result in poor lactation and subsequent growth rates along with low body condition scores and conception rates. It’s important not only to think about getting through the current growing season, but planning for the following spring and summer as well. Looking into next year, spring forage can be planted in August or September; annual rye grass, small grains and oats can be used to

provide more forage for spring. Thinking ahead to summer, millet or oats can be grazed. Lack of moisture can leave producers no choice but to pull cattle off pasture early. Sorghum Sudan grass is also another option, as it is drought tolerant and produces enough forages for two or three cuts. It can also be grazed. It is important to get this crop tested as it has the potential to accumulate prussic acid in stressed conditions. Way to manage this issue are through dilution with alfalfa or grass hay, only allowing cattle access later in the day and having already been fed, and finally, no grazing until the shoot is 15-18 inches tall.

Drought can be part of a normal production cycle and these conditions should be incorporated into every producer’s management plan. Planning for the worstcase scenario is the best option. In most cow-calf production systems the best option for producers would be to implement higher grain diets limiting the intake per feeding to reduce the occurrence of acidosis. Feed testing along with ration balancing is important to allow you to supplement low quality feeds correctly and to ensure the nutritional requirements of the animal are met.

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July 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Markets not being kind to producers As we work our way into the early months of summer, both Mother Nature and cattle markets are not being kind to the cattle producers. Dry weather in western Canada has producers concerned about pasture conditions, hay crops and crop production. In eastern Canada and the central USA wet weather has delayed seeding. Corn prices continue to climb into higher prices, which in turn has put downward pressure on the futures market for the cattle. This, combined with a considerable drop in the cash fed cattle prices, have many of the feedlots reluctant to be aggressive buyers of feeder cattle. Fed cattle prices in western Canada have dropped from $270.00 dressed to under $245.00 and there seems to be an adequate supply for the next few months. The cow market in western Canada has also taken a major price drop as packers are realizing more profits in harvesting fed cattle and are reducing the daily cow kill. Dry weather is forcing more deliveries than the seasonal average, resulting in no shortage of cows on the market. As for the prices this fall, I am still optimistic on the yearling cattle off the grass, but we may see a tougher feeder calf market this fall. Dr. Derrell Peel, a market analyst from Oklahoma State, was the feature speaker at the LMAC annual convention in Thorsby, Alta., at the end of May. In his opinion, we will not see the $8.00 a bushel corn price that some have predicted. With the inventory in storage from previous years, he told the audience that corn will probably not break the $5.00 per bushel mark this fall. If he is right, that will reduce the nervousness in the grain market. He also told me that the American cattle numbers are still increasing, and that the official reports of the cattle losses in the American Midwest are not in yet. The number of cattle that perished will be high, but possibly not as high as the media has been predicting. Regardless, the number of cattle lost will have very little effect on the American cattle market this fall. He also shared that domestic demand is currently strong, and although exports are down compared to last year, the beef industry is still in a good position. As for my predictions for the fall on the yearlings, I feel that there is a shortage of yearlings available for sale on the cash market. There were very few cattle contracted for fall delivery prior to the drop in the futures. Many of the big strings of yearlings on the grasses are owned by investors who will choose to retain ownership and finish the cattle. This will leave the smaller feedlots competing for inventory on the yearlings available. It looks like any of the cattle that will be harvested after the beginning of the new year have a chance of being priced higher than the current cash markets. Earlier in the summer, it looked like $190.00 at 900 pounds for steers was achievable, and although that price is not available right now, I expect there to be lots of competition for the good yearlings closer to the delivery times in the fall. As for the calves, producers may wish that they had taken advantage of the price insurance programs that were available prior to the end of May. Backgrounders who purchased feeders last fall and tried to market them at 850 to 900 pounds this spring lost money again this year. The general feelings for this fall, are buyers are going to use more discipline when buying the wet nosed calves. If the feed supply remains tight, we can expect the cost of gain to increase this fall, and that alone will take some money off the calves. One of the possible saviours for the fall calf market could be the exchange rate. A favourable exchange rate would increase export possibilities and raise the floor price for the fall calf markets. There will be a number of fundamentals that will influence the fall market, but western Canada needs more rain to support a strong cattle market this fall. A big hats off to Harold Unrau and his staff at the Grunthal Auction Mart for hosting a great Man/Sask Auctioneering Competition at the end of May. Brad Kehler, the local favourite, topped the field and took home the Championship Buckle and $1,000 prize money. Jesse Campbell from Fraser’s Auction Service in Brandon was the winner of the Bob Wright Memorial Buckle for the Rookie of the Year Award. The competition was an excellent opportunity for the Grunthal market to showcase the many renovations and improvements made to the sale yards by the new ownership group. The sales ring area has been totally changed

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line with a new sales ring complete with a ring scale and a seating area for the buyers and spectators. The office has been moved upstairs, and a farm supply store was added to the lower level. The sale featured a show list of cattle and was conducted in a very professional manner. At the competition awards banquet, Myles Masson from the Ste. Rose Aucton Mart was awarded the firstever MLMA Member of the Year award. MLMA members voted on the award and Ste. Rose was declared the winner for 2019. Myles was recognised for introducing the “showlist format” for selling feeder cattle and his development of the “Cattle Connect” electronic cattle sale platform. His promotion of the auction method of “True Price Discovery” and producer consignments to his sales also scored high marks with his peers. Yard maintenance, employee training and animal handling are all part of the criteria for the award. Also nominated were Allan Munroe from the Killarney Auction Mart and Harold Unrau from the Grunthal Auction Mart. In the MLMA Volunteer of the Year Award catego-

ry, Harvey Dann of Alert Agri, Don Ransom, and Tammy Munroe from the Killarney Auction Mart received nominations. The new award recognises individuals who volunteer their time, skills and resources to promote MLMA and the cattle industry both in Manitoba and nationally. This year’s winner was Tammy Munroe. Tammy has been the official scorekeeper and clerk at both the Man/Sask Auctioneering and LMAC competitions for a number of years. She is very involved in the annual Cattlemen’s golf tournament, helping with fundraising and the behindthe-scenes work on the day of the tournament. Nominated by Rick Wright, he says, “The general membership has no idea how much Tammy does for MLMA and the cattle industry. She is always available when needed and takes great pride in doing tasks assigned. Tammy is the type of person this award was developed for, a very deserving winner!” Manitoba had a great contingent of auctioneers at the LMAC nationals in Thorsby, Alberta, May 31. Tyler Slawinski, Brad Kehler, Allan Munroe, Kelly Wright, Robin Hill, Brock and Austin Taylor, along with Scott and Jesse Campbell, made the trip to represent Manitoba. Slawinski made the Top-10 final round and Jesse Campbell was a contender in the Rookie of the Year competition. Ryan Konyenenbelt from the Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange was the eventual winner over a record 45 contestants. The LMAC Canadian Livestock Auctioneering Championships will be held at Heartland Livestock Services in Virden, in May of 2020.

At left, MLMA vice-president Brock Taylor presents Tammy Munroe of the Killarney Auction Mart with Volunteer of the Year honours, while at right, Taylor presents Myles Masson of the Ste. Rose Auction Mart with the first-ever Member of the Year Award.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2019

Cover crops help pastures live long and prosper BY DUNCAN MORRISON Driven by producer interest to evaluate synergies between cover crops and livestock grazing, a new research study is underway at four sites across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, including Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiatives (MBFI) Brookdale farm north of Brandon. “Assessing the impact of grazing annual forage cover crops in an integrated crop-livestock system” is a four-year $480,000 research project led by Dr. Jillian Bainard, a forage ecophysiologist working with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) at the Swift Current Research & Development Centre (SCRDC). Bainard’s project began this spring on research farms at AAFC SCRDC in Saskatchewan, MBFI in Manitoba, and two producer operations - Sommer Green Forages near Outlook, SK and Tee Two Land & Cattle Co. near Kelliher, Sask. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) will join AAFC and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) as project funders. The timing seems perfect. As anyone with a twitter account or a coffee shop in their local town can attest, reports of integrated crop-livestock systems being utilized across Canada are everywhere and on the rise. As is normal in the farming world, uptake of different practices comes with associated tales of booming successes and heard-it-on-the-grapevine failures. The key to this project, says Bainard, will be providing quantification of the agronomic, economic, and ecological benefits of bringing livestock back into cropping systems. “This project has a lot of moving parts, which will require coordination and collaboration, but it’s exciting because we are hoping to document what’s really happening in these integrated crop-livestock systems,” said Bainard. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that these systems are beneficial, but industry has identified a need for more concrete evidence.” Agricultural intensification continues across Canada and many producers are striving to increase productivity while improving soil health and reducing reliance on inputs. Growing cover crops can provide

many benefits, including increased plant and soil biodiversity, soil organic carbon, soil water infiltration and retention, and reduced weed pressure. Cover crops are not commonly utilized as a commodity, and in spite of benefits may be perceived as lost value for many farmers. An integrated concept has emerged where diverse annual forages are included in a rotation grazed by cattle either from the farmer’s own operation, or from a neighbor. Learning more about what happens after cover crops are grazed by cattle intrigued Bainard. “The primary goal of the proposed project is to quantify the benefits associated with these integrated systems,” said Bainard. “In particular, our objectives are to assess how grazing a forage cover crop within an annual rotation impacts production inputs and measures of soil health.” Bainard’s project will look at biological, chemical, and physical aspects of soil health, crop productivity, forage quality and nutrition, ecosystem services such as weed and pollinator communities and economic viability for the cattle producer and the annual crop producer. Field trials were initiated this spring and cropping treatments include a typical annual cropping rotation, a simple two-species forage mix of oats and peas, and a complex eight-species forage cover crop. Various measurements will be made in the field to compare the cropping treatments and the impact of grazing. To help the project be as strong as it possibly can be, Bainard has brought together a highly-respected team of researchers, producers, and industry to approach this project from many different angles. Soil analyses will be conducted by Dr. Luke Bainard (AAFC SCRDC) and Dr. Steve Crittenden (AAFC Brandon Research & Development Centre). Forage and grazing expertise are being provided by Dr. Alan Iwaasa, Dr. Mike Schellenberg, Dustin Ostrander (AAFC SCRDC), and Dr. Bart Lardner (University of Saskatchewan). Economic analyses will be conducted by Dr. Tristan Skolrud and Kathy Larson (University of Saskatchewan). The two farms that are hosting research sites are contacts Bainard made through the

BCRC Beef Researcher Mentorship Program “Sarah Sommerfeld and Duane Thomson are my mentors at the BCRC Mentorship Program and I’m very excited to have them collaborate on this project,” said Bainard. “The ability to bring research on-farm really addresses the feasibility and applicability of this grazing system.” As a partnership between Manitoba Agriculture, MBP, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, one of the MBFI’s core commitments is advancing the long-term profitability and sustainability of beef producers by evaluating and facilitating foundational research and transferring the knowledge gained to producers. “We are thrilled to see an expansion of the cover crop work at MBFI through Dr. Jillian Bainard’s research programs,” said Dr. Mary-Jane Orr, MBFI general manager “The staff at MBFI will be active in facilitating the project under Bainard’s guidance.” According to Orr, the project is a perfect fit with MBFI. “MBFI is a centre of agricultural innovation engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry,” says Orr. “We are super excited to work with Dr. Bainard’s team. We know that cover crops and integrated livestock systems are of tremendous interest to beef and grain producers, as well as governments and industry looking for confirmed results from these systems.” Bainard will present an overview of the research project on August 10, 2019 at MBFI Brookdale Learning Centre as part of a field day highlighting research in alternative grazing strategies. “I’m most excited about my partnerships and collaborations, and grateful for the funding that’s been provided to run this trial at four separate locations,” said Bainard. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support of the team at MBFI, the producers, and industry.”

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July 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Cattle and grain farmers find ways to co-operate BY FARM CREDIT CANADA For many cattle producers across the country, last growing season was a scramble to acquire enough feed. Many regions were hot and dry with parched pastures and meagre hay crops. It wasn’t unusual to see hay prices rise from $70 a tonne to $200 or more. In times like these, producers get creative. New relationships are forged between cattle producers and their grainfarming neighbours. Co-operation can be a win-win, but sometimes, for various reasons, opportunities are missed. Dairy operations typically have first dibs on high quality hay production, and in areas prone to drought-reduced hay and silage crops, many dairy farms will make sure they always have a significant inventory on hand, notes Cedric MacLeod. He’s president of MacLeod Agronomics, a crop and cattle farming

operation in Carleton County, N.B. He also provides professional consulting services. While dairy producers require high quality hay, the list of viable feedstuffs for beef producers is more diverse, and that’s where various options exist for cattle and grain producers to work in concert. Changing opportunities The list of mutually beneficial deals is long. For instance, after harvest, grain land can be fenced for grazing. This is particularly attractive if there’s some crop regrowth or if the area includes some grassland and if a water supply is readily available. “This has become more of an option with the use of electric fences and solar panels,� says Sandy Russell of Spring Creek Land and Cattle Company at Outlook, Sask. In addition to being a beef industry consultant, Russell and her family are also beef producers.

TESA applications due to MBP by December 6 Manitoba Beef Producers is accepting applications for Manitoba’s Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) until December 6. Since 1996, the Canadian Cattlemen Association’s (CCA) TESA has recognized producers who go above and beyond standard industry conservation practices, setting positive examples for other cattle producers and the general public. At the provincial level, the winning operation receives recognition for its outstanding contributions, which in MBP’s case occurs in conjunction with its annual general meeting in February. All provincial award recipients then move forward to compete at the national level. The national TESA recipient is announced during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference and CCA Semi-Annual Meeting in August. All provincial recipients are awarded an all-expense paid trip for two to attend this meeting. Each TESA nominee exemplifies significant innovation and attention to a wide range of environmental stewardship

aspects of their farm operation. Such innovations extend beneficially to areas far beyond their land, including water, wildlife and air. All beef cattle operations in Canada may apply. Producers can either be nominated by an individual or organization, or apply themselves. Nominees and applicants compete for one of the provincial awards based on their province of residence. For more information and to access the application go to http://www.cattle.ca/ sustainability/the-environmental-stewardship-award/, or contact MBP for a copy. The form, along with all supporting documentation (such as letters of support, photos and/or videos), is to be submitted to Manitoba Beef Producers c/o 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 by December 6, 2019. The application can be emailed to info@mbbeef.ca. The 2018 national level TESA winners was Manitoba’s Circle H Farms, a purebred cow-calf operation owned and operated by Brian and Sonja Harper and family.

Changes in agricultural practices open new opportunities. In many regions, cover crops are gaining popularity. After a crop is harvested for grain, another crop is left growing on the land. “We’re still working to figure out how the cover crop revolution can support the livestock industry,� says MacLeod. After hailstorms, cutting and baling can be the best option on some damaged cropland. And of course, cattle producers can bale straw if grain producers are willing to drop it in rows rather than chopping and spreading it behind the combine. Communication is key While some farms raise both grain and beef, increasingly farms have become specialized. Grain producers often don’t fully appreciate the feed supply needs of their cattle farming neighbours and therefore don’t recognize areas of cooperation. “We’re stuck in our traditions and how we’ve done things,� Russell says. “Establishing a long-term relationship is important,� MacLeod notes. Ongoing dialogue helps ensure opportunities don’t slip away. Bridging the economic divide When feed is in short supply, a grain producer might see dollar signs while a cow-calf producer might be hoping to salvage some feed for free. This divide has to be bridged for win-win situations to materialize. “Even straw and chaff are worth something,� MacLeod explains. And that value increases in years when feed sup-

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plies are short. On the other hand, grain producers need to realize that cattle producers must exercise their most cost-effective options, taking time, labour and transportation into account. “Get advice on the feed value,� Russell says, “and get agreements written down so there’s clarity.� Beyond dollars and cents, convenience is also a factor. A grain producer might worry that bales won’t be removed in a timely manner or that cattle might escape into a farmyard. That’s why discussion and agreements are important. Get an expert’s advice In times of high forage prices, the economic value of a grain crop for forage can exceed the value of the grain. The trick is to recognize the value of the alternative use. It can be tough to accurately estimate the grain yield and value versus how many tonnes of forage a crop will generate. Help is available for these determinations, including public and private forage specialists. The calculation should also include what the grain producer will save in costs for not having to harvest, truck and store the grain. While years with feed shortages force producers to become creative, even in years when rainfall and cattle feed are abundant, areas of co-operation exist that can benefit both cattle and grain operations. This Ag Knowledge article was originally published by Farm Credit Canada. It’s reposted by permission of the author and FCC.

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Grill to your heart’s content BY ELISABETH HARMS Summer has arrived and with it comes barbeque season – it is short-lived here in Manitoba, so it is even more important we make the most of it. Once the warm weather arrives, we want to cook beef on the grill. It evokes memories of past summer barbeques and also makes us giddy with anticipation of the next great meal to come. In Manitoba, we usually use a gas or a charcoal grill. On a gas grill, you can cook over direct or indirect heat. By turning an element off, you can manipulate the heat to create different areas of heat. A charcoal grill is more difficult to manipulate; you would have to move the charcoal to get the same effect. Both a gas and a charcoal grill can be turned into a make-shift smoker by placing different wood chips in a basket or aluminum tray on the top shelf of your barbeque. This will also give your beef a great end flavour. To cook with indirect heat, turn off one side of the grill and cook the meat on this side. You can also use

a barrier on the grill, like a wood plank or pizza stone. These barriers may also make it easier to manipulate the heat on a charcoal grill. Indirect heat is excellent for bigger and tougher pieces of meat that take longer to cook, like brisket, ribs and tenderloin. This cooking method helps ensure that the meat will not burn. When using this type of heat, place a tray with water under the meat on the burner. This creates steam and moisture in the barbeque, which helps cook the bigger, tougher pieces of meat. The tray also acts as a drip tray and this could then be used to make gravy or sauces to accompany the meal. Direct heat is better for meat that cooks quickly. This is the best way to cook steaks, burgers and kebabs. When cooking with direct heat, make sure to watch it carefully. Direct heat is more likely to cause flare-ups, which will burn your food. You can prevent them by trimming the fat off your meat before grilling, cleaning your grill properly before cooking and patting your meat dry before placing it on the grill. Any excess sauce

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SEPTEMBER 2019

Drought produces critical feed shortage BY RON FRIESEN Manitoba cattle producers are facing the prospect of a major feed shortage for the second straight winter, following a severe drought across much of the province this summer. Dry weather has reduced forage yields to a fraction of normal and hay supplies will be extremely tight this winter, producers say. The Manitoba hay crop this year is “extremely, extremely diminished to incredibly poor,” said Tom Teichroeb, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) president, who raises cattle near Langruth. The worst affected region is the Interlake where forage yields are coming in at 20 to 60 per cent of average production, Manitoba Agriculture said in its August 6 weekly crop report. Also hard hit is the northwest region where average hay yields are reported at 30 to 50 per cent of normal. Half of the region’s pastures are in either poor or very poor condition, according to the report. Surface water sources on pastures (dugouts and creeks) are low or very low.

The situation is somewhat better in southern regions around Deloraine, Killarney and Winkler, which experienced some good rains this summer. But Teichroeb said most areas north of Highway No. 1 are in an extreme condition and it gets worse the farther north you go. Many producers have little or no carryover of hay from last year, which was also dry and left them scrambling to feed their cows during a long winter. The question now is how many producers will be forced to reduce or liquidate their herds because they can’t feed their cattle. That may already be starting to hapCattle on pasture near St. Ambroise. Photo by Maureen Cousins pen. “We’ve been seeing a constant supply of cows over the summertime comIt’s hard to say how much actual this year. ing to the slaughter markets,” said Rick sell-off there will be. Teichroeb said anHistorically, the average annual cull Wright, Manitoba Livestock Marketing ecdotal conversations with fellow pro- rate in Manitoba is around nine to 10 per Association administrator. “Deliveries ducers suggest liquidation rates could cent with a third of those animals usually are above normal. And we are getting run between 15 and 18 per cent of herds, replaced with bred heifers. But “we cerindications from a large number of pro- although so far that’s just talk. Wright tainly didn’t see that last year and I don’t ducers that they are seriously consider- said last year’s dry weather removed 15 think we’re going to see that this year eiing either liquidating or reducing their per cent of Manitoba’s beef cows through ther,” Wright said. herds this fall.” sell-offs and the figure could be similar Page 2 

Manitoba farmers urged to list hay, straw and alternative feeds and alternative sources of feed and bedding. We are encouraging producers with these kinds of resources available to consider listing them for sale. ” “Given dry conditions reported across much of the province, we feel that it is important to ensure producers know what their options are when it comes to both buying and selling available hay and straw,” KAP president Bill Campbell said. “As a grain farmer and a beef producer, I must utilize every option available to ensure the long-term viability of my operation.” KAP and MBP have developed a fact sheet outlining several different options farmers have for sell-

ing and purchasing feed. Both organizations are encouraging producers to use any and all means available to list available feed for purchase. Keystone Agricultural Producers is Manitoba’s general farm policy organization and takes direction from its members across the province – including farmers and 25 farm commodity organizations. Keystone Agricultural Producers has a 19-member board, representing both producers and commodity groups. Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the beef industry in Manitoba, representing 6,500 producers around the province. Its mission is to represent beef producers

through communication, advocacy, research, and education—within the industry and to governments, consumers and others, to improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future. Hay and Straw Listing Fact Sheet Farmers and producers in Manitoba have numerous options when it comes to listing available hay and straw, and for buying hay, straw and alternative feeds. By no means is this list exhaustive and we encourage you to share other avenues for listing and buying with both Manitoba Beef Producers and Keystone Agricultural Producers. Manitoba Agriculture Manitoba Agriculture can assist farmers and pro-

ducers with questions on where to source hay, straw and alternative feed. Call 1-844-769-6224 or visit your local Ag Office. The Manitoba Agriculture Livestock page also has tools and resources for dry conditions. Manitoba Government Hay Listing Service The Manitoba government has a hay listing service that includes hay, pasture land, and alternative feeds available. There are also options to select certified organic and certified weed free feed. To learn more, click here. Social Media There are two dedicated groups on Facebook for buying/selling hay and straw.

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Manitoba Hay and Feed for Buy/Sell Hay/Feed for sale in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba Other social media avenues including Twitter also feature hay for sale across the province, however that exchange needs to occur on a user to user basis. Hay Exchange The internet Hay Exchange is a free hay listing and hay locator website. It includes listings from all 50 states and all Canadian provinces. For more information, click here. Others Buy and sell websites like Kijiji and eBrandon will occasionally have listings for hay and straw. For more information. 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.

(Joint News Release) Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), two farm groups representing Manitoba beef and grain farmers, are urging farmers across the province to list available hay, straw and alternative feeds for use. This call comes amid reports from across the province that hay and forage yields are far below expected. “Many beef producers have been hard hit by backto-back dry conditions that have led to diminished pasture and forage yields and depleted their hay and straw reserves,” explained MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “Faced with these conditions, they are looking to source both traditional


2

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2019

Labour shortages hobble cattle feeders BY RON FRIESEN Audrey and Larry Schweitzer were sure they had a winner when they finally got a qualified employee from Mexico for their feedlot near Hamiota through the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program. It hadn’t been easy. Audrey and Larry had spent six months and over $10,000 dealing with the government to attract the worker. They had to provide housing, furnishings and amenities, all of which needed to be inspected and approved first. They had lost two other candidates from Alberta in the process because of time delays. Frustration wasn’t half the word to describe what Audrey and Larry felt as their application snaked through the federal bureaucracy. But it was worth it, or so they thought. Audrey says the worker turned out to be “absolutely fantastic” and “a wonderful person” -- gifted, experienced and good with other staff. What they didn’t know was that, under the rules, he was allowed to break his two-year contract unilaterally and take off for greener pastures in Alberta. Which he did after only 18 months, leaving the Schweitzers holding the bag. Audrey says she couldn’t entirely blame the guy. Feeding cattle can be hard work, especially for a person new-

ly arrived from Mexico during a harsh Manitoba winter. It’s not surprising he took advantage of a loophole in the rules to pursue similar employment in the slightly more hospitable climate of Alberta. Still, Audrey and Larry today continue struggling to fill staff vacancies while feeling victimized by two problems in the feeding sector: a chronic shortage of skilled labour and a government program which, in their opinion, failed them. “They say it’s there for us but it seems to me it’s set up very much to make sure it doesn’t work,” says Audrey, who co-owns Hamiota Feedlot Ltd. with her husband. The Schweitzers are not alone. Throughout the industry, complaints are frequently heard from cattle feeders about their inability to find somebody – anybody – to work for them. “A lot of our feedlot members across the country the country are saying, we’re having trouble finding workers – everything from general farm labourers to those with a more specific skill set, like pen checkers or even veterinary technicians,” says Casey Vander Ploeg, vice-president of both the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association (ACFA) and the National Cattle Feeders Association. Two years ago, ACFA ran a recruitment program trying to stimulate ap-

plications to work in feedlots. Vander Ploeg says it was only “moderately successful” at best. Some blame the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, accusing it of being slow, cumbersome, bureaucratic and insensitive to the needs of producers. But the overarching issue, according to Vander Ploeg, is that often people willing to work on farms and in feedlots are simply not available. “I think the most important part of it is that they’re just not there.” That’s also the conclusion of a recent labour market forecast from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council. It says Canada’s agriculture sector in 2017 saw 16,500 jobs go unfilled, costing the sector $2.9 billion in lost revenues, or 4.7 per cent of product sales. The report says beef, grain and horticulture producers will be the hardest hit over the next 10 years. And it predicts the situation will only get worse. “Labour shortages don’t just impact the sector today; they also limit future growth by preventing or delaying,” says the report. “Canada’s agriculture sector faces significant labour challenges that put its viability and growth potential at risk.” To deal with the threat, the report recommends improving access to foreign workers, attracting more domestic

workers, enhancing training resources and increasing public awareness of careers in agriculture. The recommendations echo those made by a 2015 labour task force report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 12 Value Chain Round Tables. Vander Ploeg says the recommendations are all very well but they don’t solve the problem of a growing rural-urban divide in Canada and a lack of understanding between the two solitudes. Vander Ploeg notes that rural depopulation has been occurring in Canada for the last 50 years, despite the fact that much of the country’s economic engine -- agriculture, forestry, mining, fishing, oil and gas – still exists in the country. Increasingly, the population base needed to sustain those industries is shrinking fast. Action is urgently needed to deal with the situation because Canada faces a major demographic crunch in a few years, Vander Ploeg says. “Policy makers need to understand this is really the first nip of the wringer here. We’ve got a baby boom retirement wave coming through the economy in the next 10 to 20 years in a very big way. Agriculture has a chronic shortage of workers right now and it won’t be long before other industries are in the same position. I would dare to say even the public sector itself Page 3 

Livestock tax deferral provision triggered  Page 1 Herd dispersals and liquidations are not unusual in Manitoba. The difference this time is that those dispersals will be forced business decisions, not planned ones, Teichroeb said. It all depends on the availability of feed and how much it costs, he said. “You’re looking at two options. Can you source feed and what is the price of that feed? When you com-

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

bine that with the transportation to get it there, you have to make a business choice. And in some cases the business choice is, I can’t afford to keep those cows in the herd this year.” Both the provincial and federal governments this summer announced measures to help producers affected by hay shortages. In July, Manitoba Agriculture invited applications from producers to temporarily cut hay and let

animals graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use, such as wildlife management areas. As of August 8, 98 clients had requested access and 196 parcels of land were approved, Manitoba Agriculture reported. Carson Callum, MBP general manager, said the move is welcome but it won’t benefit producers who are located long distances from those areas. “It’s helped some producers but they’re scattered around the province,” Callum said. “Some guys won’t have one of these areas anywhere near them, so it won’t help them. But people that do have them have taken advantage.” Also in July, Ottawa granted livestock income tax deferrals to producers experiencing major forage shortages due to drought.

DISTRICT 5

STEVEN MANNS

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 - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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 - SECRETARY

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 - PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

TYLER FULTON

DISTRICT 8

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

ments to trigger Agri-Recovery, a federal-provincial emergency plan to help cover producers’ income and production losses resulting from natural disasters. “I would suggest that it is completely justifiable to absolutely consider and perhaps activate AgriRecovery.” In the meantime, Teichroeb encouraged producers to use any business risk management (BRM) tools available, such as forage insurance, crop insurance, livestock price insurance and even AgriStability despite its unpopularity with many farmers. MBP and Keystone Agricultural Producers are encouraging farmers to list available hay, straw and feed supplies online, including the Manitoba

“The livestock tax deferral provision allows livestock producers in prescribed drought, flood or excess moisture regions to defer a portion of their 2019 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2020 to help replenish the herd. The cost of replacing the animals in 2020 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said in a news release. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association noted that in years of consecutive drought (such as 2018 and 2019), “producers may defer sales income to the first year in which the area is no longer designated,” thus stretching out tax relief. Teichroeb said these actions are fine but what’s really needed is for govern-

ROBERT METNER

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

DISTRICT 12 VACANT

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

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

MARY PAZIUK

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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Government Hay Listing Service. Producers can also use social media to connect with other farmers for informal feeding arrangements, such as letting cattle graze hail-damaged crops or accessing straw from harvested cereal crops. Despite the serious situation, Teichroeb encouraged producers to hang in there as much as possible, saying cattle farmers are resilient and have survived tough events before, such as BSE and COOL. But for some producers, after experiencing two consecutive years of drought, severe feed shortages and extreme stress, the writing could be on the wall. “Some people across the province are going to be in really dire straits,” Callum said.

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OFFICE ASSISTANT Tanya Michalsky

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September 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

New project looks at the link between mental health and farm management BY ANGELA LOVELL Manitoba Beef Producers ( MBP) is among a number of stakeholders contributing to a new project launched recently by Farm Management Canada (FMC) that is exploring the connection between mental health and farm business management. The project coincides with the release in May of the federal government’s Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food report entitled Mental Heath: A priority for our farmers. After conducting interviews with mental health professionals and people involved in all aspects of the agricultural industry, the report outlines a number of recommendations for improving the mental health of Canada’s farmers. “It’s good timing for this project because it demonstrates that a National Agricultural organization is taking research on to see if there is a connection between the mental health of farmers and management practices, and whether or not there are tools and resources that we can provide from a business management perspec-

tive that can help address some of those mental health challenges,” says Denise Rollin, who is leading the project for FMC. A high stress business With the complexity of farm businesses today, there are multiple stressors for farmers, with unpredictability topping the list. “Almost every aspect of our livelihood is outside our direct control,” says Adelle Stewart, Executive Director of The Do More Agriculture Foundation, which is one of the project partners participating in the advisory committee for the project. “Weather, policy, animal health, to even misunderstanding of the uses of some common farm practices that lead to campaigns and marketing against farming; even if we have smart business plans and goals, and can execute on implementing the importance of the business side, the fact of the matter is that it can be hard to rally through your plans and stay resilient. When our resiliency starts to wane, our mental health can become affected.” Even though farmers are used to making difficult decisions and

understand that farming is an unpredictable business, farming has become riskier and more complex, says Janet Smith, Manager of the Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services that answers around 200 calls or online chats a month from farmers, and other rural and northern Manitoba residents. “The stakes have never been higher within today’s volatile geopolitical, economic, social and environmental climate,” says Smith. “For example, over the past few months our counsellors have heard from both pork producers and canola farmers who are worried about the impact of recent trade disputes with China. We are also hearing from cattle producers impacted by feed shortages. Then there are the young farmers trying to make sound business decisions when a farm succession plan has not yet been resolved. The list goes on and on.” Developing concrete tools for farmers The project, partially funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership, has many partners including Manitoba Beef Producers,

The Do More Agriculture Foundation, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba Canola Growers Association, Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Wilton Consulting Group based in Guelph, Ontario is conducting the research under the supervision of Bronwynne Wilton. Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton of the University of Guelph has joined forces with Wilton Consulting Group to conduct the research. She has been leading research into mental health in agriculture for many years. The one-year project will include an environmental scan of all current research available on the topic, a National Survey, focus groups and one-onone interviews. The overall research will seek to determine to what extent mental health impacts farm business decisionmaking, and influences farmers’ management practices, and conversely how business practices impact farmers’ mental health. The aim is to develop some targeted risk management tools to help farmers prepare for some of the unknowns that exert so much stress in their personal and business

Labour supply issues  Page 2 is going to be affected.” Vander Ploeg admits money is one reason why people may be unwilling to relocate from the city to the country, where wages are often lower. But he says the salary gap between agriculture and the broader economy has narrowed over the last 10 years. And there’s one thing people often forget: the cost of living in rural areas can be significantly lower. But that may still not be enough to entice people to leave the city to pursue a career, Vander Ploeg admits. “It would take more than incremental increases in wages to convince a person born and raised in Calgary or Winnipeg and who have lived there all their lives to pull up stakes and pick a rural lifestyle,” he says. “That’s asking quite a bit.” Meanwhile, a desperate shortage of workers in the beef packing industry only adds to the strain on labour demand. As an example, Vander Ploeg says the Cargill Foods plant at High River, Alberta, is short 200 to 300 workers on any

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given day. The shortfall, which prevents packers from running at capacity and maximizing carcass cutout, ripples down through the supply chain, affecting feedlots, auction markets and cow-calf producers. There have been some positive developments lately. In July, Ottawa launched the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Project, which will increase the number of foreign workers on Canadian farms and in meat packing plants. Starting in 2020, the three-year pilot will include spots for 2,750 fulltime non-seasonal agriculture and agri-food workers. The government also announced $8.3 million in funding for six projects to help support the beef industry. Of this, $5.3 million will go toward increasing beef sales in international markets. But Vander Ploeg says the programs, while welcome, will not solve the labour shortage problem for producers, feeders and packers. “We need to do more than simply look for short-term fixes. We really need to get our minds around a long-term strategy to deal with this in a very practical way.”

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lives. “We’ve heard from a lot of farmers that when they are looking for resources, they are not finding resources specific to them, and farmers’ unique challenges,” says Rollin. “They are surrounded by stresses and worries every day, their whole life, so it’s important to not only provide spaces for farmers and people in agriculture to talk about it, but also offer some concrete practices that they can implement in their day-to-day lives that will help them in the long run. We think that business management tools and practices can help prepare them better for these unknowns.” Understanding the root cause, or the “why” of a situation is the very foundation of an ability to change, says Stewart. “It places a rationality on an otherwise emotional context,” she says. “Reason allows us to increase our self-talk, it provides a context to sometimes unexplainable emotions. These can be used as selfcheck points in states of stress, and assists people in knowing they are not alone. I am confident that more projects and studies including this one, that are focused on produc-

ers’ mental health, will go a long way in broadening our resiliency, resources and long-standing positive impacts on our important demographic.” Healthy farms start with healthy farmers Healthy farms start with healthy farmers, and Smith says she is confident that this project will enhance some of the tools and resources that are already available to help farmers look after their physical, mental and emotional health, such as the new ‘Rooted In Strength’ booklet launched by Farm Credit Canada and The Do More Agriculture Foundation, Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services and other mental health organizations. “If farmers begin to build mental wellness into their overall business plan, they will quickly see the paybacks in terms of productivity, reduced absenteeism, overall job satisfaction and the sustainability of the farm itself,” says Smith. For information about Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services visit their website https://supportline.ca/ or call them toll free at 1-866-367-3276.

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Feb 6 & 7 MBP’s 41st Annual General Meeting takes place Feb. 6 & 7, 2020 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, MB. PLAN TO ATTEND! Email info@mbbeef.ca for details.


4

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2019

A look at the MBFI Mobile Lab BY DUNCAN MORRISON It looks like a camper. It definitely hooks up and pulls like a camper. People cook, eat and sleep in it like a camper. But the only people inside it are researchers and that makes Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives’ (MBFI) Mobile Lab a really unique asset to have. “The research capacity building of the MBFI Mobile Lab is a valuable step in the MBFI’s ambitions to be a centre of innovation and position Manitoba’s beef and forage sectors as leaders in the nation,” says Mary-Jane Orr, MBFI’s general manager. MBFI is a not for profit organization focused on engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry. In collaboration with four core partners: Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Manitoba Agriculture, MBFI continues to expand on the uniqueness and vast potential it represents. In the early days of MBFI, consultation with the University of Manitoba, Manitoba Beef Producers and Manitoba Agriculture identified the back and forth distance to remote research sites as a potential challenge for field research in Manitoba. The MBFI Mobile Lab was purchased and designed to build on Manitoba’s on-farm research capacity by providing a customized, mobile laboratory accessible to multiple research sites. The key factor was being able to put MBFI-affiliated researchers onto remote locations. “MBFI works to facilitate primary research within but not limited to the priorities of increased productivity, profitability, environmental sustainability, industry resilience within climate change and other production risks, and animal welfare and health,” says Orr, who took the helm of MBFI in the fall of 2018. “The MBFI Mobile Lab is a vital element in creating opportunities for foundational research to advance the long-term profitability and sustainability of beef producers. Not only does it provide a safe space for researchers, graduate and summer students to live while conducting their field studies, it also helps ensure the quality of the samples collected and stored for further analysis.” Equipped like the most modern of hard-cover camper trailers, the MBFI Mobile Lab is fully functional off the grid. The unit has plug-in electrical and remote-power sources, water and septic tanks, and a cellular booster tower for connectivity. The MBFI lab is also fully-insulated and heated to help researchers work in the harsh winter prairie climate. Living space amenities accommodate the basic needs of visiting researchers while also providing work benches

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and laboratory equipment for evaluating and processing samples. “The MBFI Mobile Lab is a leading-edge piece of equipment for researchers on remote sites,” says Glenn Friesen, a Manitoba Agriculture Industry Development lead who was part of the original team responsible for brainstorming the mobile lab. Friesen oversaw the building and acquiring the Mobile Lab for MBFI. “To ensure and follow strict biosecurity protocols, the trailer comes equipped with a hot water pressure washer to clean the trailer as necessary after each stop. It’s been uniquely designed to separate living and laboratory space.” Customized and built to the MBFI-provided specifications by Conquest Manufacturing Ltd in Altona, the unique research design includes areas and equipment for collecting and processing animal, plant and soil samples, Centrifuge, refrigerators, freezers, scales, glassware lab supplies, and liquid nitrogen storage. It also has plenty of storage for additional research equipment. According to Friesen, the concept of the mobile lab took big steps forward as MBFI moved toward reality with two research-orientated farm sites located on the outskirts of Brandon at First Street Pasture and Johnson Farm and a third site traditionally focused more on demonstration

and research farther north on Highway 10 at Brookdale. The biggest push for the MBFI Mobile Lab was to attract and equip researchers with the ability to conduct intensive sampling at MBFI-related sites and other remote locations. “We recognized that agriculture research often needs to be on the farm,” says Friesen. “The lack of remote sample processing capacity on the farm limited our research abilities and the range of things we could study. We needed to find a tool that would expand the abilities and scope of our current research programs.” Along with Friesen, Ramona Blyth of MBP and Melinda German (MBP general manager at the time), Kim Ominski, Emma McGeough and Deanne Fulawka from the University of Manitoba were part of that small group of MBFI leaders that saw the need for the mobile lab. Ominski has since utilized the MBFI Mobile Lab to conduct a spring grazing trial at the MBFI Johnson Farm. “Access to the MBFI Mobile Lab allowed us to conduct trials which require intensive sample collection and animal management over multiple days/weeks at MBFI or other remote locations,” says Ominski. “The unique facility is especially well-suited for summer and winter grazing trials as it also allows for processing of both forage and animals samples on site.”

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September 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

Who am I?

Grain overload management DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

CARSON CALLUM

General Manager’s Column

As most members will have seen, my name is Carson Callum, newly-appointed General Manager at Manitoba Beef Producers. As this will be my first stab at the GM column in Cattle Country, I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce myself to you. Hopefully you see why this role, for me, is a great fit. I grew up on beef farm south of the booming metropolis of Miami, Manitoba. After graduating high school in Miami, I moved in to the big city to attend post-secondary education at the University of Manitoba. At the U of M, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Following that, I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and Australia to gain some perspective outside of Canada. I tell you, seeing an Australian cattle farm which grazes on over one million acres was quite something. After my short stint out of the country, I decided to continue my education in agriculture, and started my Master’s program at the University of Manitoba Animal Science department under the direction of Dr. Kim Ominski, Dr. Gary Crow, and Dr. John Basarab (University of Alberta). My project looked at the effects of feed efficiency on reproductive traits in replacement heifers and mature cows. This project improved my knowledge of the beef industry and how hard the research community works to develop innovative solutions for producers. Following the completion of my MSc. in Animal Science, I landed a job at the Canola Council of Canada. My role was marketing and advocating for canola meal nationally and internationally. This role gave me strong experience in trade and policy issues within the agriculture and agri-food sector. At the Canola Council is where I made my connections for my next roles, Animal Nutrition Lead and then Grains & Oils Market Manager at Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience). These roles were in a unique area of the business that focuses on output traits that would benefit the value chain on the food production end, as well as the animal feed sector. This focus on output traits has allowed me to understand what is important for a producer and downstream for a consumer. Both of these learnings, in policy and consumer perception, will be key for my role at MBP. Overall, my education/professional experience makes this role an excellent fit for me, but when I think back, it is being raised on the farm that really gave me the foundation I need for a role as important as this. Growing up on a beef farm provides one with a variety of life skills that have been essential in my ever-evolving career. It teaches you responsibility, especially when you are responsible for the late-night calving check at -40 C. It allows you to develop creative thinking skills. There are definitely a variety of ways to warm up a cold calf or to build a ‘unique’ handling facility. One thing for certain, it teaches you resilience. In an industry that has so many ebbs and flows, producers must remain resilient and optimistic to continue to raise these animals in the best way they can. I hope I can pass these skills on to my newly-born son, even if we are away from the farm. I greatly admire MBP’s mission of supporting producers at a provincial and national scale. There are many challenges in the industry right now, such as public perception of beef cattle operations and changing weather patterns. Manitoba Beef Producers is always looking for strong and creative solutions, and I am so happy to be part of a team that drives strategic decisions to tackle issues like these. In the short term, I want all of our members to know, we will be continuing to advocate to government as best we can for relief in this difficult back-to-back years of extremely dry conditions. Before I let you get back to your herd, or hopefully some valuable time with your family, I want to say I really look forward to meeting you at the upcoming district meetings this fall. This being my first set of district meetings, I know I will gain an incredible amount of valuable insight from producers on opportunities and challenges in this great industry.

5

With the drought in many areas of the province and the anticipated short supply of forage, many producers have been forced to downsize their herds and to change their winter feeding programs. Favourable pricing for feed grains has sparked interest in grainbased rations but mismanagement of these feeds will result in acute rumen acidosis (commonly termed “grain overload”). Around 42 days of age, the rumen begins to mature and develop the musculature and absorptive capacity to utilize nutrients released from the fermentation of fibrous feedstuffs. Overfeeding of fermentable carbohydrate disrupts the microflora that ferment the feed, resulting in a decrease of the rumen pH (acidosis) and a die-off of the “good” bugs in the rumen. This is catastrophic for animal health, both immediate and long-term. While the vast majority of cattle producers know that sudden feeding of a higher grain-based ration will result in grain overload, I still see cases of grain overload where the producer is surprised that illness happened in the first place or has no idea that overload occurred until sequelae later develop. This article will review some of those case scenarios. Barley is not the only feed that causes grain overload. Any rapidly fermentable carbohydrate can cause overload – wheat, oats, corn, potatoes, standing corn, green feed. In other regions with access to different feedstuffs, overload

can occur following the feeding of apples or other fruits, incompletely fermented brewery products, or bakery and food processing waste products. The same grain is not always the same. Changing bins, suppliers or fields (or even areas within the same field) can mean differences in digestibility and starch levels. This is one reason why nutritionists recommend multiple feed tests when harvesting different fields, procuring feed from regions with differing growing conditions or feeding screening pellets. Even cattle used to grain can get grain overload. Most everyone knows that newly-arrived feedlot calves need to be started on a stepup program to introduce them to a primarily concentrate-based ration. It takes time for their rumen microflora to adapt to this diet change. The same is true of adult cattle that, though fed grain in the past, have more recently been on a primarily forage-based diet. Remember too that cattle on feed can also get grain overload if they receive more concentrate than their rumen microbiome can digest. This happens following a feeding error, over processing of grain (ground more finely), a change in ration moisture, or when there is excessive competition for feed within the group (lack of bunk space or irregular feeding intervals). Feed additives such as ionophores, bicarbonate and limestone can reduce disease severity and incidence when used appropriately.

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Higher incidences of hoof quality issues such as sandcracks, “slipper foot” and hardship grooves are proof of past laminitis episodes triggered by rumen acidosis. Sickness such as chronic or intermittent bloat, nosebleeds, fever, inappetance and poor weight gain or milk production can be symptoms of liver abcessation, a common sequela of past severe grain overload. Multiple cases of downers with neurological symptoms may be due to polioencephalomalacia (PEM) which is caused by thiamine deficiency – the result of rumen microflora disruption. Any unexplained or unexpected deaths should be necropsied. You cannot manage what you do not measure. Herds with these conditions being regularly diagnosed need to have an analysis of their feeding program done. Treatment of grain overload can be frustrating as cases are frequently advanced when first detected. The diagnostic problem is to properly assess which animals require vigorous therapy (or slaughter), which require supportive therapy, which have only a mild indigestion that will correct itself with water and grain restriction/provision of hay/forced exercise, and which need nothing beyond their routine care and ration. The degree of diarrhea and animal attitude can often guide the decision making process. Your veterinarian can assist you in

this classification and provide treatment protocols. Cattle that may not need treatment other than water restriction and quality grass hay are those that are still bright and alert, moving around and actively manuring. Any animals that eat hay should not require additional treatment though the group should continue to be periodically forced to walk and observed for worsening of clinical signs over the following 2448 hours. Cattle that are recumbent, staggering, severely dehydrated or those with heart rates >120 have a poor prognosis. Salvage slaughter should be considered or, if highly valuable, a rumenotomy with rumen lavage and intravenous fluids must be immediately instituted. Rumen transfaunation should also be done following stabilization. Keep in mind that these animals commonly develop laminitis, liver abscesses, PEM and fungal infection of the rumen with resultant peritonitis. Medications to combat these sequela must be administered. In pregnant cattle that survive a severe case of overload, abortion may occur 10-14 days later. Grain overload is a perfect example of mismanagement. Recognizing and avoiding the risk factors and promptly dealing with a feeding mishap will greatly reduce the negative animal health and economic outcomes.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2019

Make your voices heard this fall in the upcoming elections With both provincial and federal elections pending, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has identified a number of priority areas on which it will advocate on behalf of the province’s cattle industry. “It is important that there is a policy and regulatory environment in which the Manitoba cattle industry can thrive and we want to ensure candidates are aware of the perspectives of beef producers on different matters,” explained MBP President Tom Teichroeb. Some of the topics about which MBP will be advocating with both provincial and federal candidates include: the need for equitable and effective business risk management programs; the importance of sound water management strategies, both for times of drought or excess moisture conditions; recognition of the ecosystem services provided by managing grasslands, such as carbon sequestration and preserving habitat for many different species; exploring new trade opportunities and full optimizing existing trade deals; strategies

to tackle labor shortages; and, the benefits provided to the sector through investments in beef and forage research and innovation. Other topics people may wish to explore with candidates could include everything from education taxes to rural cell phone coverage to infrastructure issues. “As the two election campaigns unfold in the weeks ahead we strongly encourage our members to talk to their candidates about the value of the beef industry to Manitoba and to ask the candidates about their priorities when it comes to the cattle sector,” added Teichroeb. “It is important our voices are heard by the people who could be shaping policies and programs affecting agriculture for years to come.” The provincial election is September 10 and the federal election is October 21. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the candidates on the topics that matter to you. Those who are elected as Members of the Legislature or Members of Parliament will go on to represent their constituents and it is important that they have a good under-

standing of both the challenges and the opportunities facing the beef sector. Once the elections are over, be sure to continue that dialogue with your MLA and MP on a regular basis so they are aware of how government policies are affecting the beef sector and what actions they can take to help the industry. With people becoming increasingly removed from farming, it’s more important than ever that elected officials are aware of the cattle industry and that they are comfortable reaching out to talk to beef producers if they have questions about it. Manitoba’s four main political parties have started rolling out their election platforms in advance of the provincial election. For example, the Green Party of Manitoba has promised to “encourage the use of regenerative farming practices to reduce greenhouse gases, increase plant growth, and increase species diversity on pastures.” The Manitoba Liberal Party has promised to restore grasslands as part of its climate change action plan, including

converting the Red River Floodway into grasslands. The New Democratic Party has promised to reduce carbon emissions by 45% of 2010 levels by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050. The Progressive Conservative Party has outlined promises related to reducing taxes and is touting achievements from its first mandate, such as the creation of the Conservation Trust. Additional commitments will be rolling out in the days leading up to the election. More information about the party platforms can be found at the following links: https://www.mbndp.ca/ https://www.manitobaliberals.ca/ https://greenparty.mb.ca/platform/ https://www.pcmanitoba.com/ Have specific questions related to the elections process, such as how to register to vote or the revised electoral boundaries? Visit the Elections Manitoba website at https://www.electionsmanitoba.ca.

VBP+ welcomes CAP funding for program advancement (VBP+ News Release) The Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, under the um-

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(CCA), welcomes the investment of $602,250 from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) Agri-Assurance program, announced July 10 by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Marie-Claude Bibeau. These funds will be directed to multiple VBP+ activities, including • training platform modifications to meet educational demands by producers for continuous improvement in sustainability, • increased database capacity and functionality by automating pro-

cesses where practical and ensuring growing demand is met while adding value and minimizing the cost of the verification process for producers, • advancing assessments of equivalency with existing industry programs to provide more value to producers who move through the verification process, and • developing a system to determine the impact of training on changes in sustainable production practices. “By advancing the development of our training resources for cattle

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and consumer confidence in the beef sector. This funding is part of a recent announcement by Minister Bibeau at the Calgary Stampede of an $8.3 million investment for six projects in Canada’s beef value chain. Of that, a total of $1.7 million is directed to two of the CCA’s operating divisions: $602,250 in funding for VBP+ and $1.1 million for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. For more information contact Shannon Argent, VBP+ Business Manager at argents@beefresearch.ca or call 403818-7415.

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7

September 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

Supplementation program considerations BY KATE CUMMINGS Drought conditions across Manitoba have created forage shortages for many producers. Feed is the largest unit level input cost in a cow-calf operation regardless of whether you’re talking about pasture, forage or supplementation. Although many cow-calf producers rely on hay as their primary feed source over winter there are a variety of feedstuffs that can be used as an alternative to meet cattle’s nutritional requirements. It’s always a challenge to feed cows in a way that meets the

varying nutritional requirements through stages of pregnancy, lactation and rebreeding and during a drought this presents even more of a challenge. Feed is expensive and availability is limited but the management decisions made now will affect both economic and reproductive performance for a minimum of two years. Regardless of whether feed quality or quantity has been compromised, when implementing a supplementation program that is cost effective you need to identify the limiting nutrient. For

CCA Statement on UN IPCC report, ‘Climate Change and Land’ (August 8 Canadian Cattlemen’s Association statement) The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today released a special report, ‘Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.’ The report suggests: “Balanced diets, featuring plant-based foods, such as those based on coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and animal-sourced food produced in resilient, sustainable and low-GHG emission systems, present major opportunities for adaption and mitigation while generating significant co-benefits in terms of human health.” Canada’s beef production system is an excellent example of an “…animalsourced food produced in [a] resilient, sustainable and low-GHG emission system.” Research shows Canadian beef has one of the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) footprints in the world, accounting for only 0.04 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Canada, the beef industry attributes just 2.4 per cent of the country's total GHG footprint while contributing $33 billion to the Canadian economy. Furthermore, substantial amounts of carbon are stored in Canadian rangelands managed by the beef industry. Cows are part of the climate change solution. Canadian beef cattle help to preserve one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems. Canada’s beef production is centered on the Northern Great Plains, one of four temperate grasslands remaining on the planet. According to the World

Wildlife Fund, half of the Northern Great Plains have already been lost to cultivated agriculture. This action threatens wildlife habitats that the beef sector preserves through wellmanaged grazing. These grasslands are home to at risk species like the swift fox, sage grouse, and monarch butterfly. They are among the 579 birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that need uncultivated land for feeding, breeding, and shelter. Grazing cattle is also a recognized practice to help mitigate the risk of wildfires. Land managed by beef producers provides habitat capacity for 68 per cent of wildlife on only 33 per cent of total agricultural land in Canada. As noted in the State of Canada’s Birds 2019 report, ‘beneficial grazing on public and private lands is critical for the creation and maintenance of grassland bird habitat.' Further, the report recommends conservation actions including protecting the few remaining grasslands, including grazed public lands, from crop agriculture and restoring native grasslands

to provide habitat and increase carbon storage. It also recommends citizens do their part by purchasing from sustainable farms and range-fed beef. Canada is a world leader in sustainable beef production. Industry’s focus on innovation and technology will continue to reduce the environmental ‘hoofprint’ of Canadian beef, which will preserve grasslands for beef production and protect endangered ecosystems. Consumers certainly have the right to choose the food they eat. However, reducing meat consumption is not a solution to climate change. Research continues to show that reducing food waste will have a far larger impact on mitigating climate change. In Canada, the estimate is that consumers waste 40 per cent of their food, much of which has been refrigerated and transported for great distances to get here. Through continued responsible stewardship of Canada’s natural resources, the Canadian beef industry will continue to contribute to the growth of the green economy in Canada.

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example, if protein is deficient compare the cost per pound of protein in various supplements. If energy is deficient compare supplements based on the cost per pound of total digestible nutrients (TDN). As forages mature the nutritional value decreases. A forage protein content of 7% or less will limit intake and reduce digestion, which inhibits performance. Rumen microorganisms use protein nitrogen to proliferate and break down feed. Supplementing protein can help reduce the negative effects of deficiencies and maximize the use of forage supply. If protein supplementation is required, consider using commercially available processed supplements such as blocks, tubs and pellets that are nutrient balanced and easy to implement. However, this convenience comes at a higher cost than traditional protein supplements such as canola meal or distillers grains. These supplements are approximately 38% crude protein (CP) and 27% CP respectively and are more cost effective options to increase the protein content of rations. It’s also important to consider feed wastage. If fed on the ground, some 10-25% waste should be compensated for. Supplementing with urea or nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) sources can reduce protein costs even further. Urea is less costly than plant sourced proteins. However, excessive amounts can have negative impacts on performance so it

DID YOU KNOW?

should be incorporated into a properlybalanced ration. Protein can be categorized as rumen degradable or rumen bypass. Urea is rumen degradable and is used by the microbes. If you’re feeding about three times per week or less, 20% rumen degradable protein is expected to reduce feed costs without affecting performance. Higher NPN rates of 20%-50% can be safe if fed frequently and in small concentrations, approximately one or two pounds per day. Supplement feeding frequency affects animal performance and this is especially true for energy supplements. Feeding smaller amounts more frequently can reduce the potential for negative effects on forage intake. However when talking about protein supplementation, feeding once a week has no negative impact on performance or intake. In addition this reduces labour and transportation costs. Having a plan in place for another potential year of drought conditions and instability is important to remain in the driver’s seat rather than having the tough decisions made for you. Drought management revolves around three pillars: cattle inventory, existing forage supplies and supplementing limiting nutrients. Learning how drought affects pastures, forages and the health and productivity of the livestock that consumes them can allow producers to develop and implement strategies to mitigate the negative effects of drought.

REPRODUCTION is the most important factor affecting PROFITABILITY.

Reproduction is 5X more important than growth rate, and 10X more important than carcass quality when it comes to profit. Every missed breeding cycle represents a 42 lb loss in weaning weight.

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Wednesday, Sept. 11 & 25 at Noon Sheep, Goats and Holstein Calves Sales Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 AM Horse & Tack Sale Friday, Sept. 13 at Receiving 1 - 6 PM, SALE starts 6 PM Small Animal Sale (Chicken, Rabbits, etc) To be on our show list (Pre-sort options), give us a call! 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

Yearling heifers are developed without any grain, and are exposed to a bull for 42 days.

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55 2yr old Angus Bulls & 20 Bred Heifers This year our main cowherd will only see an sell March 14, 2020. Angus bull for 30 days, then their chance to ** All are welcome to our Fall Grass produce PB stock is over. Last cycle will be Management & Genetics Tour, October 5th. Fleckvieh Bulls.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2019

Ticks and bovine anaplasmosis – mapping the risk BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Many cattle producers in Manitoba and elsewhere on the prairies are familiar with the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. While these ticks are often just considered a pest, they can infect cattle with Anaplasma marginale, the bacterium that causes bovine anaplasmosis, a blood-borne disease that can have serious impacts on animal health and production. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), cattle of all ages can become infected with anaplasmosis. Fatalities are more common in cattle over two years old, reported as high as 49% by CFIA. Cattle younger than two years of age generally recover from the disease. There is no vaccine and no treatment for eliminating the pathogen from infected animals. Cattle that recover from the disease remain infected and are lifelong carriers.

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Bovine anaplasmosis does not pose a risk to human health or food safety, so carrier cattle can safely enter the food chain. If left in the herd, these carrier animals act as disease reservoirs, greatly increasing the risk for further spread of the disease within the herd by ticks, biting insects or through blood-contaminated instruments. Having the disease within the herd can be costly. Research in the United States calculated the cost of a clinical case of anaplasmosis at over $400 USD per animal. Introducing infected or carrier cattle to a herd can result in mortality losses of 30%, a 30% increase in cull rate and a drop in the calf crop of more than 3%. Although this disease is not common in Canada, there have been incidences reported in Manitoba. A series of outbreaks between 2008 and 2011 in southern Manitoba resulted in the culling of several hundred cattle. An additional four cases were reported in the same region in 2017 and 2018. As of 2014 the CFIA ceased monitoring for the

disease or managing outbreaks. This change means producers are now responsible for controlling any infections that might occur within their cattle herds along with the associated economic costs. The CFIA also no longer requires that cattle entering Canada from the US be tested for the disease. As such, new cases are anticipated to appear in

toba livestock entomologist Kateryn Rochon is the Manitoba lead on a prairiewide tick research program led by Shaun Dergousoff at AAFC-Lethbridge. Together with colleagues Tim Lysyk and Neil Chilton they have spent three years tracking the abundance, geographic range and genetic diversity of American dog and Rocky Mountain

American dog tick questing on grass. Photo credit: J. Bannerman.

Canadian cattle herds since the disease has been detected in all US states. Mapping Ticks That Can Transmit Anaplasmosis Across The Prairies University of Mani-

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wood ticks. More than 35 students and researchers surveyed across 1,800 km from western BC to the Manitoba-Ontario border, and in Manitoba alone covered 760 km from the 49th to the 60th parallel. They collected nearly 21,800 ticks from 201 sites. In one of the 2 km sample sites in Manitoba they collected 1,870 ticks! “Our results show the range of Rocky Mountain wood ticks - western BC, southern Alberta and south-western Saskatchewan - hasn’t changed much, but American dog ticks have expanded their range considerably over the last 50 years,� says Rochon. “We found dog ticks 350 km north and 300 km west of the previously reported distribution areas in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.� In their most recent on-the-ground survey conducted in 2019, Rochon’s

team found dog ticks as far north as Flin Flon in Manitoba. Only two years earlier, the most northerly location where they were found was Grass River Provincial Park, approximately 55 km south-east of Flin Flon. Prior to the 1960s, the geographic distributions of these tick species did not overlap and there was a gap of approximately 80 km in south-central Saskatchewan between the eastern limit of Rocky Mountain wood ticks and the western limit of American dog ticks. That is no longer the case due to the westward spread of dog ticks into the wood tick range. Predicting Tick Appearance - Where, When and How Many Using their field data, the team developed statistical models to predict the distribution and abundance of both tick species as a tool to identify zones of elevated risk and to improve their understanding of tick habitat. “From our initial three years of surveying, along with precipitation, temperature, winter conditions, soil type, and vegetation data, we have come up with a model that predicts the presence or absence of ticks in an area,� says Rochon. They are using the model to characterize the preferred habitat and climate for the ticks. “There is a strong association between tick presence and environmental conditions, but it’s different for the two tick species. For example, American dog ticks fare better in colder winter temperatures than their western counterpart, but they also need more snow to survive.� The models will also allow them to look at the influence of climate change on tick abundance and location, such as the implications for warmer winters, or less snow.

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The tick data collected in 2018 and 2019 is being used to validate and further refine their models. Accurate predictive maps can indicate areas of future establishment and areas with emergent risk. “This model shows us there may be further expansion of American dog ticks, especially in Manitoba,� says Rochon. “These areas are where we should focus surveillance to detect new introductions.� Adding Cattle Into The Risk Equation New research Rochon is proposing will use the information gained in the previous two studies to look specifically at what this means for ticks on cattle and how this translates to risk of bovine anaplasmosis occurring in a herd. “With this model we now have an idea of environmental risk - where we can expect ticks to be and when - but we don’t have a good idea of how that translates to the animal,� says Rochon. “Most of the data we have about ticks on cattle is from the US, but the tick species and growing environment are different here in the prairies so we need our own data.� The additional information from this new study, together with the model, can be used to develop a decision making tool for producers regarding grazing management and other preventative management strategies. Manitoba Beef Producers are supportive of the research Rochon is proposing, committing funding towards this new project. This prairie-wide research has been funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council and by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Contact Kateryn Rochon (Kateryn.Rochon@umanitoba.ca) to learn more.

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Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 MSA SUMMER SHOW June 30, 2019 - Treherne, Manitoba Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 President: Tracy Wilcox 204-713-0029 Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

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September 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

BRM programs and the cattle sector I am pleased to announce that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has a new General Manager, Carson Callum. For those of you who aren’t aware, Mr. Callum grew up in southern Manitoba, near Miami, on a mixed cattle and grain farm. After completing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba (U of M), Mr. Callum completed a Master’s of Science, also at the U of M, majoring in Animal Science. On behalf of MBP, I am excited to have Mr. Callum as our new General Manager. I know that Mr. Callum is looking forward to the opportunity to meet you at our district meetings this fall. Please consider this an invitation to introduce yourself and help us once again make the district meetings a success. On a different note, it has been a year since I wrote my first column for Cattle Country. At that particular time, many parts of Manitoba were dry and producers were struggling to find adequate feed and water supplies for the winter months. Pasture conditions were a challenge for the entire growing season. As pastures dried up, stockpiled feed was quickly used as supplemental feed. This was most prevalent in the Interlake region but occurred in many other parts of Manitoba as well. It doesn’t seem that long ago but here we are a year later in 2019 and Mother Nature has dealt us a difficult hand once again. From all indications, feed sources have become even more difficult to find this year. This is especially challenging for those who must transport feed over large distances. Along with feed and pasture shortages, many producers are having significant challenges finding adequate surface water supplies. Planning is always critical but this year will no doubt prove it. Planning will be a difficult exercise for those of us dealing with drought conditions but it will certainly help us through the coming months. In some instances, plans will have to change and that is certainly the case for my operation as well as many of my neighbours. In my area, near Langruth, forage production in 2018 was less than 50 per cent of the historical averages. After harvesting our hay

TESA applications due to MBP by Dec. 6 Manitoba Beef Producers is accepting applications for Manitoba’s Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) until December 6. Since 1996, the Canadian Cattlemen Association’s (CCA) TESA has recognized producers who go above and beyond standard industry conservation practices, setting positive examples for other cattle producers and the general public. At the provincial level, the winning operation receives recognition for its outstanding contributions, which in MBP’s case occurs in conjunction with its annual general meeting in February. All provincial award recipients then move forward to compete at the national level. The national TESA recipient is announced during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference and CCA Semi-Annual Meeting in August. All provincial recipients are awarded an all-expense paid trip for two to attend this meeting. Each TESA nominee exemplifies significant innovation and attention to a wide range of environmental stewardship aspects of

their farm operation. Such innovations extend beneficially to areas far beyond their land, including water, wildlife and air. All beef cattle operations in Canada may apply. Producers can either be nominated by an individual or organization, or apply themselves. Nominees and applicants compete for one of the provincial awards based on their province of residence. For more information and to access the application go to http://www. cattle.ca/sustainability/ the-environmental-stewardship-award/, or contact MBP for a copy. The form, along with all supporting documentation (such as letters of support, photos and/or videos), is to be submitted to Manitoba Beef Producers c/o 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 by December 6, 2019. The application can be emailed to info@mbbeef.ca . The 2018 national level TESA winners was Manitoba’s Circle H Farms, a purebred cow-calf operation owned and operated by Brian and Sonja Harper and family.

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

crop this year, forage yields are approximately one quarter of what we typically expect. The producer who normally backgrounds our annual calf crop will not have enough feed resources for his own herd. After considering alternative feed options, we most likely will be selling the 2019 calf crop this fall instead of in March of 2020 as planned. There is no doubt that this will impact the potential to convert feed stuffs into increased net earnings and it is crucial that the suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) options respond appropriately to protect my investments. I have always promoted planning and the consideration of investing in BRM tools as critical for most operations. I consider risk management essential for my operation. This proved to be a wise choice in 2018 and I am certainly counting on BRMs to respond in 2019. A well-developed plan can easily be sidetracked when Mother Nature does not cooperate. When feed stuffs are unavailable or too costly, other options need to be considered. It may be impossible to exercise other options without participating in BRMs. Whether it is forage insurance, AgriStability, Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), hail insurance or all of the above, they provide peace of mind knowing that you have protected your financial investments. I believe it is important to control what we can, especially as it pertains to Mother Nature. No one is obligated to participate in BRM programs and some producers choose not to. MBP directors and staff have fielded many calls over the last two years regarding this most unfortunate drought situation. Many of the questions we receive pertain to government programming and the possibility of announcements that would or could assist producers during these challenging times. As an organization we take pride in lobbying on your behalf and we certainly have ongoing conversations regarding any and all options with the Manitoba government and the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Ralph Eichler. MBP strives to voice all of the members concerns. In these conversations however, we are always reminded that it is in the best interest of the industry to encourage producers to participate in both federal and provincial BRM programs. I share those sentiments. As difficult as times like these are, we need to strive for self reliance where possible. The days of ad hoc programs and responding to challenging situations in an unplanned way are no longer supported. It is true that the current BRM tools are a long way from perfect. The federal government is currently reviewing the entire suite of BRM tools. AgriStability remains as

one of the very complex programs on the top of the list. Not only is it a program that is less than timely, it also has significant flaws and inconsistencies. The National Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) consists of a panel of producers, government staff and other experts that continue to identify the shortfalls of AgriStability. Some of the more significant and complicated flaws centre around the Reference Margin Limit (RML), trigger points and a host of other complex calculations. As well, there is no doubt we also need to review Manitoba’s forage insurance program. There are parts of the program, like the premium coverage option (Select Hay Insurance), that respond adequately. Clearly the Basic Hay Insurance option, as well as some of the other options, certainly need to be reviewed based on their limited response. WLPIP has proven to be a very effective tool and one that I continue to use. WLPIP has made changes and hopefully the changes will make that insurance even more affordable. As mentioned, there is clearly work to be done to make the BRM tools more responsive, timely and equitable. Although many of these programs have their imperfections, I feel fortunate to have BRM options available. At one time we had very few options and navigating through challenging times like these was certainly more difficult. It is my belief that as an industry, as well as individual producers, it our responsibility to use BRM options and to provide input to policy makers about how to improve them. Once again, I would like to remind you that MBP district meetings are just around the corner. Not only is this an opportunity to meet our new general manager Carson Callum, but it is chance to catch up on another year of MBP business. It is also an excellent opportunity to consider resolutions that will help improve our BRM options as well as the rest of our industry. Please remember that it is your voices and support that have helped build MBP into a capable and credible organization. I am convinced that we will endure this drought and become stronger as individuals as well as an industry. It seems like only yesterday that we dealt with unimaginable flooding and a sustained wet cycle. Intuition and history tells me that those wet cycles will come again. Until then, I would like to encourage each of you start planning for next year. Build those important relationships with your neighbours, your various insurance agents that offer BRMs, as well as your financial institutions. It may give you peace of mind to know that you negotiated straw and feed options from a mutual business arrangement. You may also find comfort in knowing that all of your feed stuffs are insured and how that may benefit your relationship with your financial institution. Finally, I would like to thank all of you your support and dedication. Please know that I will continue to represent all of you to the best of my ability. Until next time, please take care. Kind Regards, Tom

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

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

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-22

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society (Red Barn)

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Robert Kerda

Oct-23

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart

28121 PR #205, Grunthal

Oct-24

Ashern Legion

3 Main St. East, Ashern

District 11 Robert Metner District 10 Mike Duguid

Oct-28

Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre

409 Recreation Centre, Arborg

District 3

Oct-29

Carman Legion Auxiliary Hall

28 – 1st St. NW, Carman

Peter Penner

District 2

Nancy Howatt

Oct-30

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Steven Manns

Nov-01

Austin Community Hall

44 – 2nd Ave., Austin

District 14 Jade Delaurier

Nov-04

Swan River Elks Hall

112 – 5th Ave. South, Swan River

District 12 Vacant

Nov-05

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 – 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose du Lac

District 13 Mary Paziuk

Nov-06

Grandview Legion

476 Main Street, Grandview

District 7

Tyler Fulton

Nov-07

Miniota Community Centre

568 Miniota Rd, Miniota

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-12

Mountview Centre

111 South Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 8

Tom Teichroeb*

Nov-13

Arden Community Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave., Arden

District 6

Larry Wegner*

Nov-14

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 2019

Dry pastures could mean an early calf run RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line As I sit down to compose this edition of The Bottom Line, it is early August, and the fall yearling cattle market has hit full stride. Dry weather conditions are bringing the cattle off the grass earlier than normal, which creates a domino effect on the marketing decisions for those who kept confinement cattle over the summer. The number of yearlings on the grass for the summer has been decreasing for a number of years. There are many factors that have contributed to the decline of grass yearlings on offer for sale in the fall direct off the pasture. First off, large cattle feeders own most of the big strings of yearlings. Those operations opt to retain ownership and finish the cattle rather than sell them as feeders. The cost of running

yearlings on the grass has become more expensive and in some areas, cost prohibitive. Competition for pasture from cow-calf operators has increased with the cow-calf operations outbidding the yearling operators for pasture. Grain farmers are purchasing pastureland in some areas and transforming the land into cropland. The last factor has been the risk and reward ratio. The profits per head on the grass cattle have been less than favourable for a number of years. When I first started in the business 40 years ago, if we made less than $100 per head over the grassing season, it was considered a poor year. Now the calves cost over twice as much, and with the unpredictable gains on the grass and the fall market, many grass landers are

working for $25.00 per head or less. To combat the uncertain factors on the grass cattle, feeders have turned to forward contracting if the contracts are favourable, or to owning confinement cattle instead. One advantage of the confinement cattle is that you can control the gain by managing the feed ration. The second advantage is that you have access to the cattle and can market them anytime that an opportunity presents itself. The demand for the confinement cattle drops as soon as the grass cattle start to move, so those sellers with confinement cattle usually want to get them priced prior to the start of the grass cattle. The difference in the costs of grassing cattle versus confinement feeding over the summer, based on a cost of gain formula, has been getting closer and closer over the past few years. We are seeing more and more confinement cattle on offer and fewer cash grass cattle available. The first week of

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August saw price determination on the first big strings of yearlings off the grass. That caused a flurry of willing sellers of confinement cattle trying to get ahead of the rush. Prices for confinement cattle with light to medium flesh were higher than expected; sellers took small profits and cashed out. The grass market opened lower than expected on private treaty sales, but the cattle sold by public auction at the markets or on the electronic sales opened much stronger than the previous week’s trade, in some cases, $90-$120 per head higher. Once again the price determination by public auction set the real market value and the benchmark for future sales. In the second week of August, there were over 35,000 yearlings sold by public auction in western Canada. The following week, sales were steady on the grass cattle with the confinement cattle of equal quality selling at a five to 10 cent discount on the steers and an eight to 15 cent discount on the heifers. The live cattle futures do not support the current cash prices for the yearlings, but the small supply available has not been able to meet the demand. I do think that the grass cattle have peaked, but I do not expect any significant drop in the current yearling prices. As for the calf market in the fall, unless we get some rain very soon, dry pastures could mean an early calf run. If that happens, pen space could be a problem. Local backgrounding lots will need to get their corn silage off before they can receive

calves. Wet weather conditions in Ontario and Quebec could make for a later than normal harvest and influence their purchasing decisions. The majority of Manitoba fall calves end up in a backgrounding lot or in Eastern Canada. Alberta and the US are never very

prices will be very close to last year’s. Early sales of calves have been stronger than predicted. Despite higher grain prices, they think that there will be lots of lightweight barley, green feed and compromised grain available to keep the feed costs lower than predicted.

Wet weather conditions in Ontario and Quebec could make for a later than normal harvest and influence their purchasing decisions. The majority of Manitoba fall calves end up in a backgrounding lot or in Eastern Canada. keen about taking wetnosed calves from Manitoba in the fall. There are two schools of thought on the fall calf prices. Some of the industry experts feel that higher feeding costs, trade uncertainty and two years of losses on fall to spring calves will create a lower calf market on the steers this fall. The spread between the steers and heifers last fall was so wide that they expect the spread to tighten this fall. On the other hand, there are some who are predicting that this fall’s

One thing for sure is that there are a larger than usual number of producers in Manitoba considering exiting the cow-calf business this fall. If the calf market is any lower than last year, that factor alone could be key to making the final decision. Dry pastures, higher hay costs, higher operating costs, more regulations and eroding profits are weighing heavily on the minds of all cattle producers. Here is hoping for a profitable fall calf market. Until next time, Rick

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Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is very pleased to announce the six recipients the MBP bursaries for 2019. Each year MBP offers six $500 bursaries to members, or the children of members, who are attending university, college or other post-secondary institutions or pursuing trades training. Applicants are asked to submit a 600 word essay on what the beef industry means to them, their family, community and Manitoba at large. They are also asked to include the reasons they enjoy being involved in agriculture. The six recipients of the MBP bursaries

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for 2019 are: • Makayla Murray, District 1 • Gracie Gervin, District 1 • Jennifer Jermey, District 11 • Alice Rooke, District 6 • Joshua Gerelus, District 7 • Christopher Jermey, District 11 “These deserving recipients were chosen from a field of nearly 30 strong candidates,” MBP President Tom Teichroeb said. “On behalf of MBP I wish the students all the best in their studies in the upcoming school year. The winning essays will be published in the October issue of Cattle Country.


September 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Weeknight spice mixture for your beef BY ELISABETH HARMS September always feels more like the start of a new year than January. There is the return to a routine of busyness, including the addition of new extracurricular activities. There is an excitement and anticipation to this, even though it means the end of summer vacation. With these new extracurricular activities, it can be difficult to ensure our families are getting enough nutrients. Canadian beef is a great source of nutrients and energy for your family,

providing iron, zinc, and potassium. These nutrients are especially important for providing our bodies with energy to be active. After a long day of work, school and other activities, the question “What’s for dinner?” always needs to be answered. The answer is never easy and if you work full time and have kids going in every direction, it just gets harder. Typically, you want something that’s easy and fast to prepare. In an ideal world, you’ll make something that everyone

is going to eat and enjoy. You want something that’s versatile and, if necessary, something that can easily be reheated. Below, you’ll find a recipe for a spice mix that is perfect for weeknight meals. It is easy to make and can be used in many different ways. It uses spices already in your pantry, which will help you to eliminate any added salt or sugar in store-bought products. Once it’s made, it can be used as taco seasoning, which is quick and easy to

prepare. Tacos are also the perfect kind of blank slate that can be customized for any particular taste. The options for taco toppings are endless, and if you have fussy eaters who don’t like to get their hands dirty, you can build a taco salad on a plate instead. Tacos are a great meal to have if everyone is coming and going throughout an evening. Because they are both easy to prepare and easy to put together, it is a great choice. This spice mixture presents you with many

options. It can flavour your burgers, you can make fajitas, or it could be used as a spice rub on your favourite kind of beef. If you are someone who meal plans and prepares in advance, browning a big batch of ground beef with the spice mixture and freezing it is another great option. The recipe below is easy to scale up if you are hosting a party or feeding a crowd. Having some ground beef

already prepared makes entertaining easy. Use the ground beef for nachos or reheat on the stove for a taco party. When you’re ready to have a taco party, be prepared for the ultimate taco question: hard or soft shell tacos. The debate is real. Visit www.greattastesmb.ca or www.canadabeef.ca for more options and ideas for your spice mixture.

Weeknight Spice Mixture (makes about 1/3 cup)

3 tbsp chili powder 2 tbsp cumin 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder ¾ tsp paprika ¾ tsp oregano ½ tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp salt ½ tsp ground pepper *Note: If you feel adventurous and you like spicy food, adjust the spice mixture to your taste, by increasing the amount of cayenne pepper.

Weeknight Tacos

Dez Daniels (left) and Elisabeth Harms filming Great Tastes of Manitoba Season 30.

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2/3 cup water 1 lb. (500 g) ground beef 2 1/2 tbsp spice mixture Directions: Make your spice mixture: combine all spices in a bowl. Set aside. Place ground beef in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Brown until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Drain the meat and wipe out the pan, if there is excess fat. Return the meat to the pan, add the water and the seasoning. Cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes. When creating your tacos, your options are endless. Cut fresh vegetables like tomatoes, green onions, and red peppers. Grate some cheddar cheese and serve with either green or red salsa on the side. Also have plenty of both hard and soft shell tacos and don’t forget to be adventurous with your taco toppings!


12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2019

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MBP has asked governments to consider an AgriRecovery initiative Manitoba Beef Producers has asked the federal and provincial governments to consider implementing an AgriRecovery initiative to assist cattle producers adversely impacted by the 2019 drought conditions, particularly with respect to their ability to source feed and water. “Manitoba’s beef industry has been hard hit by back-to-back droughts, with access to feed of concern for many. Some producers had to begin feeding in July after pastures burned off due to the lack of moisture,” said MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “This year’s situation has been made even more taxing as many producers had exhausted their residual hay supplies during the long, cold winter of 2018-19. They have no surplus feed to carry into next winter. Water supply has also been a pressing concern.” “We know producers are making tough decisions about matching herd size to feed availability and that more cattle than usual will likely be headed to market because of the feed situation. In light of these taxing conditions MBP has asked the two levels of government to consider options under AgriRecovery to address help address the situation and we are seeking timely review and consideration of this request,” added Teichroeb.

MBP recognizes and thanks both levels of government for measures implemented to date to try to help affected producers manage the situation. This includes a September 12 announcement from the provincial government that producers can apply for cost-shared funding for water resource development through the Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas beneficial management practice under the Ag Action Manitoba program. Applications for that program close on October 11. More information about this can be found on page 3 of this edition of Cattle Country. As well, on July 5 the Manitoba government announced that it was making Dry pasture conditions problematic in 2019. (File photo) certain Crown lands available for haying ties hardest hit by the adverse conditions of producers downsizing due to drought and grazing. And on July 22 the federal who are deeply concerned about the im- conditions.” MBP will continue to engage with government announced the preliminary pact on the agriculture sector and the rural federal and provincial agriculture minislist of designated regions for 2019 under communities that rely upon it. “I think we all share a vision of grow- ters and their officials about the possibilthe Livestock Tax Deferral Provision. This included 96 designated regions in Mani- ing Manitoba’s beef herd. But the past two ity of AgriRecovery initiatives to help beef toba covering off a large majority of the years have proven extremely challenging. producers affected by the drought condiStatistics Canada’s latest livestock esti- tions. It has strongly emphasized the need productive land in the province. However concerns continue to be mates revealed that the number of cattle for the swift assessment by both the federal brought forward by producers to MBP on Manitoba beef operations fell by 38,200 and provincial governments of the situabout their ability to access enough feed head on July 1, 2019 compared to a year ation to determine whether needs-based to maintain the current size of their herds previous,” explained Teichroeb. “We are forage shortfall and transportation assisin the coming months. Similarly MBP has very concerned that further reductions tance programs or other initiatives may be spoken with officials from the municipali- are likely looming because of the number made available.

Preparing for new cattle movement reporting regulations Canada’s cattle industry has had regulations for many years addressing the beginning and end of an animal’s life. An animal must be identified when it leaves its place of custody, and that animal RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tag has to be reported as “retired” when the animal is no longer alive. What is being proposed under changes to federal regulations by the

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reporting the movement of animals from one premises to another throughout its entire life. Premises are defined as any site that receives livestock: farms, feedlots, fairs, exhibitions, assembly yards, auction markets, vet clinics and abattoirs, among others. Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have had movement reporting mechanisms in place for a long time, and Manitoba

has to catch up, says Manitoba Beef Producers President Tom Teichroeb, who adds it’s vital the industry has input into development of a traceability/movement reporting system. “It is incredibly important for Manitoba to be on board because CFIA may soon require that movement be traced on a national scale,” says Teichroeb. “This is a chance for the industry to be proactive and develop a comprehensive movement and/or trace-

ability system that will be robust and effective, and not interrupt trade or commerce. If we don’t, we run the risk of CFIA imposing something upon us that may prove to be detrimental for the industry.” Manifest usage The new regulations will require all animals to travel with a movement document (or manifest) which includes the Premises Identification (PID) numbers of the departure point and destination, the

time and date of loading, license plate or conveyance identification and the number and species of animals. Manifests available from Manitoba Agriculture offices have been updated to include this information and meet the new regulations requirements for reporting animal movements. The manifests (which have five carbon copies per manifest) cost $5.00 including the GST for a book of 10, or can be downloaded and printed for free from the

GM's Column

MBP's new Communications Coordinator

U of M researcher Marcos Cordeiro

Page 4

Page 5

Page 11

Manitoba website at manitoba.ca/livestock-manifest. html . Both the carbon copy and the online version of the manifest are acceptable for moving livestock within Manitoba. If livestock are being hauled outside the province, Manitoba Agriculture recommends using the carbon copy of the manifest because it has a unique identifier code that is used by brand inspectors in Saskatchewan and Alberta. 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 October 2019

Premise ID numbers needed by producers  Page 1 Animal movements will need to be reported to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) within seven days. In most cases, the reporting onus will be on the receiving premises or destination of the animal. “Movements can be reported many ways,” says CCIA General Manager Anne Brunet-Burgess. “There won’t be a prescribed method. Where manifests exist, they can be leveraged to address provincial regulations and proposed federal regulations.” The CCIA has made a free app available called CLTS MOBO which allows producers to access their CLTS (Canadian Livestock Tracking System) account from any mobile device and submit animal birthdates, movement, and retirement or disposal of animals. CLTS MOBO features OCR technology, barcode and tag reader scanning for tag number input instead of producers having to manually enter them. From an industry standpoint, what’s important is encouraging producers to use a movement reporting manifest as part of their normal business process, says Rick Wright, Executive Director of the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association (MLMA). “The manifest business

process has been standard in Alberta and Saskatchewan for years,” says Wright. “It’s not a livestock inspection, it’s the use of a manifest that has to accompany cattle when they move. So, producers don’t have to brand their cattle, they don’t have to read the ear tags going out. The only thing that the industry in Manitoba is asking them to change is to start using the Manitoba manifest.” The MLMA is also working with the industry to educate people about how to receive the manifests at intermediate sites and send the information to the CLTS, and Wright admits there are still a few wrinkles to iron out in that process. “There is a gap in the system right now because we don’t have a method of sending it to the CLTS without doing it manually, so we are working with the service providers right now on how we are going to get this movement information from the intermediate sites to the CLTS,” he says. “But all cattle coming in regardless of where you take them, where there is a change in ownership, have to have a manifest in the future and it’s just going to be a part of doing business.” Premise ID Numbers Whatever system is eventually developed for tracing animal movements, all beef producers will be re-

Fall Sale listingsposted at www.mbsimmental.com

now

quired to obtain a Premises Identification (PID) number through the Manitoba government. “The reporting of animals will be based on a PID of origin and a PID of destination,” says BrunetBurgess, who adds that although the PIDs are issued by provincial governments, they are not automatically shared with the responsible administrators – CCIA or PigTrace. “Therefore, each producer has to make sure their PID is on their CLTS account so it is there and ready for them to report movements when the time comes.” It is also proposed by the CFIA that a PID will be needed to purchase RFID tags from the CCIA. Manitoba Agriculture’s Livestock Farm Production Extension Specialist, Katheen Walsh says applying for a PID takes only a few minutes and can be done online at manitoba.ca/pid or at a Manitoba Agriculture office. After the application is processed, the producer will receive a letter containing their farm PID number in the mail, and by email, if an email address is provided on the form. To respond quickly to an emergency, up-todate information is critical. Changes in land ownership, emergency contact, or species information, should be reported to Manitoba Agriculture within 30 days

‘Tag E

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ental

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 MSA SUMMER SHOW June 30, 2019 - Treherne, Manitoba Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 President: Tracy Wilcox 204-713-0029 Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

www.mbsimmental.com DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

STEVEN MANNS

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

to ensure information is kept current and accurate. If a producer has previously applied for a PID number, but has not updated their information in the last two years, they should resubmit an application form to ensure their information is current. Producers can visit manitoba.ca/pid, email traceability@gov.mb.ca or call 204-945-7684, to learn more about Manitoba’s PID program or to update their existing PID information. The CLTS The CLTS is a database that maintains the data associated with each animal’s tag throughout the value chain. This database allows all regulated parties to record and report information pertaining to the three pillars of traceability – animal ID, premises ID and animal movement – as well as value-assurance information, such as age verification. Producers can update their CLTS database information with their PID number by logging into their account online, emailing info@canadaid.ca or calling CCIA at 1-877-9092333. CCIA offers many online resources to help producers and other industry members use the CLTS database and keep informed about the new regulations. “There are many ways to stay abreast on the newest developments: follow the CCIA on social media and visit our website regularly,” says Brunet-Burgess. “We email the CFIA newsletters to all producers as they become available, therefore it is very important to make sure that we have their current email on their CLTS account.” Traceability benefits A fully national traceability system is a tool that can have many benefits, says Teichroeb, including the ability to deal quickly and easily with any future disease or health-related issues, and to allow provinces to more easily keep track of their producers’ check-off dollars. “It’s important that if

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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 - SECRETARY

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 - PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

TYLER FULTON

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 VACANT

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

there is a health concern somewhere you are able to identify and isolate it without interrupting the rest of the marketplace nationally,” says Teichroeb. “It will also be easier for the provinces to make sure their checkoff dollars are accounted for and there is less slippage to other provinces.” Livestock Services of Saskatchewan (LSS) has developed a robust traceability system for Saskatchewan and has been in conversation with other provinces such as Alberta and British Columbia, who also have their own entities, about developing a comprehensive system that is compatible on a national scale, and Teichroeb believes it will be possible to leverage that expertise for Manitoba and Ontario, the two provinces that currently do not have a complete system in place. “We need to develop a database and various electronic scanning possibilities that can make it simpler and easier to report animal movements, whether you are an individual producer or looking at mass movements into auction markets,” says Teichroeb. “I don’t have the answers to exactly what that will look like, but I certainly understand why it is important and why we will need to adopt or develop a reliable traceability system. Quite simply, Manitoba needs to catch up to some of the other provinces.” Manitoba Beef Producers continues to communicate with the Manitoba government about how important it is for producers and the beef industry to be part of the process to develop a traceability/movement reporting system in anticipation of the CFIA regulation changes. “As an organization, we are actively moving ahead with the direction we were given by our members and are making sure that our government understands why this is important, and why this needs to become an important piece of what we do in the next while,” says Teichroeb. A hard-won compromise

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

MARY PAZIUK

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 Carson Callum

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

What producers and Manitoba’s cattle industry need to remember, says Wright, is that the new regulations are a hard-won compromise that allows for the reporting of group movement of cattle rather than individual scanning of all animals that was originally proposed by the CFIA many years ago. “Once the new regulation is in place, if we don’t have a satisfactory level of compliance and accuracy of information that we report into the CLTS, then CFIA reserves the right to go back and revisit the individual scanning of animals,” says Wright. “We have three years after implementation to achieve those metrics and if we don’t, we run the risk of having to scan the cattle at markets and who knows where, because the original CFIA proposal, ten years ago, was to scan cattle when they leave a site and come in to a site.” Wright is hopeful the new Manitoba government will appoint people to work with industry and groups like MBP and the MLMA to develop a strategic planning process and prepare producers and the industry for the upcoming changes, as there is an urgent need for Manitoba to be in line with the national strategy, and to make clear who will be responsible for things such as education and enforcement. Once the proposed regulations pass through the federal Canada Gazette part one process, there will be a 75-day public comment period before they enter Canada Gazette part two, and are expected to come into force sometime in late 2020 or early 2021. Producer checklist for pending changes: 1. Obtain a Premises ID number 2. Contact CCIA and update your CLTS account with the PID number. 3. Download the CLTS MOBO app to your mobile device. 4. Get familiar with your CLTS account and the app.

JADE DELAURIER

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR David Hultin

FINANCE

Deb Walger

OFFICE ASSISTANT Tanya Michalsky

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Maureen Cousins

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

October 11 deadline for applications for funding for water source development (Government of Manitoba News Release) The province is advising that livestock producers who have been affected by dry conditions on pasture can apply for funding to support water access and management under Ag Action Manitoba, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced September 12. “We recognize that many producers are feeling the effects of our dry summer and that they may require additional assistance to secure a safe and reliable water supply for their livestock,” said Eichler. “Properly functioning and adequately protected ground and surface water sources are essential to ensuring the health of livestock and ground water sources.” Funding is provided through the Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas beneficial management practice (BMP) under Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance. Eligible projects and related costs include: • drilling new or deepening existing wells, test hole drilling, screening, casing, well caps and related activities; • installing water pumps and required plumbing components and related activities, such as professional and contractor fees; • constructing new or rehabilitating existing dugouts including professional and contractor fees; and • establishing alternative watering system equipment and permanent fencing to restrict livestock access to surface water and dugouts. To be eligible, applicants must complete an environmental farm plan (EFP) that will help manage risk on their farm related to water quality and supply, soil health, air quality and biodiversity. Producers have until Nov. 1, 2020, to submit their EFP statement of completion. Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices provides targeted incentive programs to agricultural producers and select industry service providers to advance the adoption of beneficial management practices (BMPs). These practices reduce identified environmental risks, improve agro-ecosystem resilience, build public trust and improve environmental sustainability of farm options in Manitoba. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis until Oct. 11. Priority will be given to applicants within federal tax deferral areas, as identified at www.agr.gc.ca under Drought Watch. Producers can contact their local Manitoba Agriculture office or call the department (toll-free) at 1-84-GROW-MB-AG (1-844-769-6224) for more information on any of these programs and services or go to

19SCIC11664 – WLPIP-PrintAd_CattleCountry_9.63x 5_bw.indd 1

www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Quick Links. Frequently Asked Questions BMP: Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas (503) Q1. When is the deadline to apply? A: Applications must be received no later than Friday, October 11, 2019. Applications will be accepted continuously to that date and reviewed on a weekly basis. They will be rated and ranked by technical reviewers based on the environmental benefit assessment index, program priorities and project planning. Priority will be given to applicants in designated federal tax deferral areas. Q2. Do I have to complete my project this fall? A: No. The project must be completed and claims submitted by November 1, 2020. Q3. If I have already done a water source development project this summer, am I eligible? A: Any projects for water source development occurring after April 1, 2019 are eligible but may require additional components (e.g. fencing of the dugout, alternate watering systems, etc.) in order to meet the BMP criteria. Q4. What do I need to include with my application? A: Please answer the questions provided in the application form and refer to the BMP specific questions listed in the guidebook to assist you. Ensure that you explain the proposed project in detail, current practices on the farm, and the environmental benefit of the new practice. Include an aerial map of the pasture with the location of the existing and proposed water sources identified as well as any fencing (existing and new). Q5. Do I need a valid Environmental Farm Plan Statement of Completion? A: You can submit an application without a valid Statement of Completion, however, you will be required to have one when you submit the claim to be reimbursed. Environmental Farm Plan workshop dates and locations will be listed on www.manitoba.ca/agriculture. Q6. Are confined livestock operations eligible? A: No. This BMP is focused on livestock in pasturebased systems. Q7. Do I have to dig a dugout to a specific size? A: All dugout work, including new construction or rehabilitation of an existing location, should follow the dugout construction guideline. Q8. Can I drill a new well in my yard? A: Drilling a well in the yard is eligible if it is primarily intended for watering livestock on pasture and

www.mbbeef.ca

is the most cost efficient means of doing so. It can be used for supplying water to the yard as well, assuming the pastures are next to the yard. Only the well and pasture components are eligible for funding, not any components used for in-yard water. Q9. Do I need any permits? A: Applicants must meet all regulatory requirements. This may include: a water rights license from Manitoba Sustainable Development, which is required for all livestock operations extracting more than 25,000 litres (25 m3 or 5,499 Imperial gallons) per day. If developing a new water source, a permit must be obtained in advance of work beginning. approvals from the rural municipality or Crown. any other standards or approvals as required by law. Q10. Can I pipe water from an existing water source into a dry dugout? A: Piping or hauling from a water source (well, dugout or wetland) into a dugout that has run dry is not eligible. Piping from any water source to an alternate watering system at the location of the dugout that has run dry is eligible. The dugout that has run dry must be fenced as it may recharge over the winter or in future years. Costs to connect the dugout that has run dry to the alternate watering system are eligible, with the assumption that the dugout which has run dry could be used again in the future. Q11. How deep does the pipeline need to be? A: The guidebook states that shallow or aboveground pipelines (including those above the frost line) are ineligible. Projects must be for permanent solutions only. Summer pasture pipelines permanently installed underground and are winterized before freezing, would be eligible. Q12. Can I apply for a project on a pasture that I rent? A: Yes. Either the landowner or renter can apply. If the renter applies, they must identify the landowner and provide contact information as part of the project description. This includes pasture on Crown Land. Q13. If I have more questions, who can I contact? A: Farmers can visit their local Manitoba Agriculture office or call toll-free 1-844-769-6224. For more information go to: https://www.gov. mb.ca/agriculture/canadian-agricultural-partnership/ pubs/faq/bmp-503-faq.pdf

2019-09-05 3:13 PM


4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2019

Where to look to source feed and straw Farmers and producers in Manitoba have numerous options when it comes to listing available hay and straw, and for buying hay, straw and alternative feeds. By no means is this list exhaustive and we encourage you to share other avenues for listing and buying with Manitoba Beef Producers, Keystone Agricultural Producers and Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association so that we can share them

with our members. Manitoba Agriculture Manitoba Agriculture can assist farmers and producers with questions on where to source hay, straw and alternative feed. Call 1-844-769-6224 or visit your local agriculture office. For a listing of Manitoba Agriculture offices go to https://www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/contact/index. html. Manitoba Agriculture’s Livestock page also has sev-

eral tools and resources for dry conditions. It covers topics such as: early weaning of calves during periods of drought; the economics of creep feeding beef calves on pasture; stretching feed when supplies are tight; alternative feeds for beef cattle; straw as an alternative roughage source for wintering beef cows; and feed testing, among others. See: https://www.gov. mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/index.html

Manitoba Government Hay Listing Service The Manitoba government has a hay listing service that includes hay, pasture land, and alternative feeds available. There are also options to select certified organic and certified weed free feed. To learn more, go to https://web31. gov.mb.ca/HayListClntExtrnl Social Media There are two dedicated groups on Facebook

for buying/selling hay and straw: Manitoba Hay and Feed for Buy/Sell and Hay/ Feed for sale in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. Other social media avenues, including Twitter also feature hay for sale across the province, however that exchange needs to occur on a user to user basis. Hay Exchange The internet Hay Exchange is a free hay listing and hay locator website. It

includes listings from all 50 states and all Canadian provinces. For more information go to http://www. hayexchange.com/. MFGA Hay Relief Website The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association has a hay relief page on its website. See https://www. mfga.net/hay-relief Others Buy and sell websites like Kijiji and eBrandon will occasionally have listings for hay and straw.

Lots of insights to be had at Canadian Beef Industry Conference CARSON CALLUM

General Manager’s Column

Coming back to the beef industry during the current climate is very exciting for me, but also a challenge. When I say climate, I mean actual climate, such as this difficult drought year we are having again. But I also mean the social climate. Not only are our members dealing with challenges related to weather patterns, but it seems like every day we see a negative post related to beef production on social media or the news. That’s why I am always astounded by the resilience of people in this industry, even when they keep taking hits. In mid-August, I was

fortunate to attend the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary. This conference brings together multiple stakeholders from across the country to learn and discuss matters related to beef production. There were many different topics discussed at this event, but one of the areas that I found so interesting was related to tackling the negativity toward the beef industry I referenced above. The industry has devoted resources to a new initiative to tackle these issues head on, and to be proactive for any future issues. This is the Public

and Stakeholder Engagement Program (PSE). The PSE team works with national and provincial beef organizations to address consumer questions and issues that could erode consumer and public confidence in the beef industry. A prime example of the PSE’s purpose is an issue that happened with the Weather Network, in which they shared a video titled “Cutting back on beef is necessary and easy to do” on its website, Twitter and Facebook platforms. The video created a stir on social media, generating more than 3,000 comments, mostly critical. PSE team members were able to establish a positive relationship with the CEO of the Weather Network’s parent company to try to correct the misconceptions displayed in the video. This positive interaction was

the first step in establishing a common ground and an opportunity for the facts about Canadian beef production and its essential role in environmental stewardship to be transferred. From my perspective, having a group dedicated to tackling issues like these will crucial for our industry, especially what we see coming on the landscape, such as climate change and alternative “meat”. Tackling negativity also involves strong proof to back up our claims. At CBIC, I attended a session by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC). At the BCRC, they are conducting various projects related to increasing production efficiencies on farm, but also looking at some bigger picture areas that can help our industry in the increasing number

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Monday, September 09, 2019 www.mbbeef.ca

8:40:49 AM

of conversations around climate change and how beef fits in. One study is looking deeper in to how the preserved grasslands on a beef farm sequester carbon back in to the soil. This will be a great source of data to have, as beef currently gets a bad rap for its cows burping, and doesn’t account for this sequestration component. We know our production systems are great for the environment and the various species living in them, but it’s great to see the effort the BCRC is putting in to determine more hard data to back up our discussions. The beef industry conference is a great place to hear thoughtprovoking speakers, but I think when it comes down to it, it’s the people attending that make the event so positive. It was an excellent way for me to meet key players from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and other national/provincial organizations. Having these connections is important, so we can ensure Manitoba’s voice is heard on different federal issues. As with many industries, the

people are what can make or break it, and I can assure all members reading this that the people working on your behalf at provincial/federal levels are top notch. It was a breath of fresh air to interact with people so passionate about the beef industry, and doing all they can to move it forward. I know I look forward to the next CBIC, where we can learn how to build and improve our industry here in Manitoba. Finally, as I talk about moving our industry forward, I want to remind you of something I am very excited for: Manitoba Beef Producers’ district meetings. Consider this your invitation to come out and meet with your local director and MBP staff to learn about our activities this past year on behalf of Manitoba’s beef industry. We also want to hear your ideas and concerns. This being my first run of district meetings, I know I am going to learn a lot from all the members that make up this great industry here in Manitoba. Until next time, Carson Callum


October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

Consider attending MBP’s fall district meetings The cool crisp fresh air and the sound of ducks and geese starting to migrate south is a subtle reminder that fall season has arrived. Children are back in school, harvest is well underway in most areas and livestock producers are furiously securing their winter feed supplies wherever they can find them. Almost every single cereal grain acre that has been combined has been baled because of the feed shortage. I feel very fortunate that we have straw and other fiber feed stuffs available in my particular area because many other areas, in particular the Interlake region, are experiencing extreme shortages. I would like to thank our neighbors and friends in the grain industry for their generosity in making these resources available for beef producers to access. During the many hours spent baling and hauling feed there is ample time to contemplate many aspects of the livestock industry. Considering the vast variety of feed types that producers may be using this fall and winter, it will be crucial to formulate a balanced feed ration. During these tasks it can also be a time to imagine how we can speak with the provincial government about improving the current policies around the use of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), as well as some of the restricted Crown land leases. We believe there are opportunities to make more pasture and forage resources available through sources like these. It is also imperative that we improve the suite of Business Risk Management tools (BRMs) cattle producers can access. It is important to explore options for

adding polycrops and corn silage into our feed rations. Solutions for dealing with crop damage caused by species such as blackbirds are important to consider. There is also the question as to whether agriculture should become a part of the elementary and high school curriculums. With all the negative social media campaigns, anti-beef or antimeat rhetoric, it is obvious that there is misinformation regarding the livestock industry and agriculture in general. With so many current industry-related topics to discuss, I would like to invite you to the MBP fall district meetings to help strengthen and shape future policies for our industry. District meetings are an excellent opportunity to learn what MBP been working on for the past year, but more importantly, it is your chance to offer your comments on where you see our industry going in the future. The drought conditions over the last couple of years have left many producers scrambling for feed and pastures. When our provincial government announced that the WMAs were being made available to producers, there was minimal uptake and forage utilization was poor. Poor fences – if there were fences, and limited water resources, amongst other challenges made grazing livestock virtually cost prohibitive. Hay meadows that were accessible were often overgrown and resulted in poor forage quality. Would it not be advantageous to have policy that would allow producers to graze and harvest forage on WMAs, restricted Crown land leases or land owned by other entities like conservation groups on a

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

more frequent basis? I suggest that it would be. There are multiple examples of cattle coexisting well with birds and other wildlife. Organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation have partnerships with the livestock industry that help demonstrate the advantage of grazing livestock on the grasslands. I would suggest a resolution asking for the more regular conditional use of WMAs and other restricted Crown Lands for pasture use and forage production. With the expansion of the grain industry, it is more difficult to secure lands for pasture and forage production. It will be crucial to negotiate access to WMAs, especially as we work to expand the provincial beef herd or manage a crisis such as the current drought. As an in industry, it is important to continue to lobby for more responsive and equitable BRMs. I apologize if I sound like a broken record. I have written on this issue a number of times. MBP, as well as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), have ongoing dialogue with both provincial and federal governments to develop improved BRM options. AgriStability continues to frustrate producers in the cow/calf sector and is under review by the federal government. It is a complex margin-based program that has been identified as a program that is not equitable within the livestock sector and also from sector to sec-

tor.

The provincial forage insurance program continues to have its challenges as well. It would beneficial to have an in-depth discussion with producers to help improve the “basic hay option” and the “native or wild hay option.” Producers express that both options simply do not adequately respond. The policy that I invested in last year under the “basic hay option” had very poor coverage compared to the “select hay” option. It will be important to have engaging discussions and draft resolutions and ideas that will help improve the current forage insurance options. Corn silage and polycrops have become more popular with beef producers. Unfortunately there are very few BRM options at this point for these feeds types. MBP met with Manitoba Agricultural Services

Corporation directors and staff earlier this year to discuss the need to develop insurance options for polycrops and corn silage as well as tools that could help mitigate risk. MBP welcomes your views and knowledge to help create improved BRM programming. There is clearly a distinct information gap about agriculture and the livestock sector in both the rural and urban population. Almost on a daily basis, we communicate with people who have limited or no understanding of what happens on the farm. Alternative meat products have been around for a sometime but it’s just recently that some of the companies selling these products have used negative or anti-meat slogans that are misleading or confusing to consumers. The CCA has a Public and Stakeholder Engagement (PSE) group that deals with matters such as these and have done an excellent job in doing so. However, there are cases when we as an industry can only react to negative social media campaigns. I believe it would be

beneficial for consumers to be better informed about our industry. I also believe agriculture should a part of the elementary and high school curriculum. Knowledge can be a very powerful tool and perhaps fewer people might be influenced by misleading information if they had a more intimate understanding of our industry. I have mentioned a few of the aspects of the industry that I feel are relevant. I am certain that each of you have industry improvements you would like to see MBP lobby for and improve upon. Please accept this invitation and come join us at your district meeting this fall. The schedule for the district meetings is available on the MBP website and in this edition of Cattle Country. If you have any questions regarding the district meetings or any other industry related questions, please feel free to contact the MBP office or myself and we will do our best to help answer any of your questions. Best Regards, Tom Teichroeb

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CATTLE COUNTRY October 2019

Foreign body ingestion harmful to livestock DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

Cattle are prone to ingesting foreign objects because they are naturally curious. Additionally, they are not selective eaters and do not completely chew their feed prior to swallowing. This year, as the province is experiencing a drought, feed scarcity has resulted in more scavenging behaviours with cattle pushing fences to access areas that they would not normally get into. Pregnancy can also increase the incidence of pica, a condition where there is a craving to eat non-food items. It is often a sign of an underlying nutritional deficiency and has been most commonly associated with iron or zinc deficiency. Poor grazing conditions and erratic mineral supplementation can lead to worsening of this behaviour, particularly in younger animals who are still growing as well as reproducing and

nursing a calf. It has always amazed me that, in every “outbreak” of foreign object ingestion on pasture, cattle have grazed the same half section for years, even decades and never had a problem until one year. The old well, the abandoned yard site, the unfilled basement, old household garbage site – all seem to be left alone until one curious animal starts exploring or feed becomes scarce. Cleaning up those piles and old yard sites is never a priority – they are seemingly harmless and out of sight. But get curious and start looking for all the hazards as you venture into the pit. Years of weathering leads to corrosion and breakage to expose contents of containers filled with toxicants banned years ago. Not sure why but it is not uncom-

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mon in my experience to find small cans of treated canola in the basement of an old yard site. Just a few licks is enough to kill an adult cow. Remember that lead was only banned from household paint in the 1960s and even later for automobiles. Batteries carelessly left out from old fencing systems or never removed from antique cars and tractors can also be a common source of lead toxicity. Hungry, thirsty or just saltcraving cattle are prone to explore. Bedsprings, chicken fence and other wire can cause entrapment or deep wounds. Cuts on the feet and legs lacerate tendons and ligaments resulting in severe lameness. Foot trauma and punctures resulting in toe abscesses, and ulcerations are also common sequela. Wire can also wrap around limbs and tighten over time to cause marked limb swelling and even extremity loss. I have even seen cases where wire has become embedded in the bone as attempted healing occurs. Salvage or, in some cases, humane euthanasia, at this stage is the only option. Traumatic reticuloperitonitis, “Hardware Disease” develops when sharp objects penetrate the second stomach (reticulum) and cause localized infections and abscesses. The reticulum is located adjacent to the heart so heart infections and arrhythmias leading to heart failure are not uncommon. Clean up those old dumping grounds to eliminate sharp wire fragments, nails, old shrapnel/tin and staples. Even old cracked plastics can cause trauma – containers, computers, turntables, appliances. In addition to trauma, all these foreign objects can cause obstruction and decreased stomach

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contractions leading to bloat, indigestion, chronic weight loss and death. Recently I necropsied two cows on two separate premises that died from the same cause – stone impaction of the abomasum. One also had several pieces of cloth in her abomasum. Although uncommon, old railroad ties and other treated wood products can cause disease and even death if consumed in larger quantities. Coal tar toxicity with resultant liver and kidney failure also develops if there is access to tar paper, shingles, road asphalt, insulation or linoleum. As these products weather and disintegrate, they can be easily licked up. Persistent licking of fences and wood products should be considered a sign of potential phosphorus or salt deficiency. Provision of several molasses-supplemented mineral tubs in the immediate area rapidly stops this pica behaviour. Sudden deaths or a spike in the number of sick or unthrifty animals in a herd should prompt an investigation or at least a conversation with your veterinarian as to possible causes. Any unexplained deaths should have a necropsy performed. Keep in mind that, with warm weather, a necropsy needs to be done within 24 hours of death if laboratory diagnostics are to be pursued. This can be particularly important in the event of a death due to a toxicity where subtle changes in tissues may be the only clues. Regular pasture checks and head counts will enable you to detect problems sooner rather than later. As with all things, prevention and proactive management is most cost-effective.

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October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

MBFI building opportunities for young leaders BY DUNCAN MORRISON Some of the best of the best university students, young leaders, and recent grads are building research and farming skills with Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) as they pursue experiential work opportunities and successful career paths within the beef and forage sectors. And that’s exactly what Mary-Jane Orr, MBFI general manager, wants to see. “Over the last year, I continue to be impressed by the hard work, dedication, and growth mindsets of the full time staff and summer students at MBFI,” says Orr. “Progress made in leading on farm demonstrations based on producer ideas, facilitating research projects, and delivering extension events is only possible through the high calibre of staff we are lucky to have at MBFI”. MBFI is a not for profit organization comprised of three research and demonstration farm sites focused on engaging in sciencebased research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry in collaboration with four core partners: Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Manitoba Agriculture. According to Orr, 2019 MBFI summer students Marc Vachon, Emily Pearson, Kathleen Holweger and Alice Rooke all came from farming families from western Manitoba. All, says Orr,

were phenomenal. “During the interview process, the summer students with experience in 4-H stood out as young professionals with strong work ethics and a desire to be working in the beef industry” says Orr. “MBFI is looking forward to continue building connections with 4-H and other organizational groups designed to help advance agricultural careers.” The summer students joined an experienced, core team at MBFI led by Orr and comprised of Clayton Robins, BSc, a Nuffield Scholar, and previous beef and forage researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Leah Rodvang, an Agrologist in Training (AiT) with a BSc in Agriculture Range and Pasture Management from the University of Alberta; and, Kristelle Harper who started as the first MBFI summer student in 2015, completed a BSc in Animal Science at University of Saskatchewan, and is currently pursuing a two-year diploma in Applied Sustainable Ranching through the Thompson Rivers University. “The way MBFI is accessing and leveraging the interest of young people is a testament to the uniqueness of our research and demonstration farms,” says Orr. “Increasingly, we are getting applications and interest to work at MBFI because of what we are doing and how the MBFI experience can help further industry knowledge, networking, and ultimately, launch a successful profes-

Jordan Dickson

sional career in the beef sector.” Jordan Dickson is also a full-time member of the MBFI core team. Dickson was one of the first Master’s students at MBFI in a study at the Johnson Farm site led by the University of Manitoba’s Kim Ominski and Emma McGeough. During her Master’s studies, Dickson – then known as Jordan Dahmer - was impressed by the ambitions and potential of the three research and demonstration sites that comprise MBFI, especially around the variety of tasks and opportunities that each day presented. “Working here at MBFI is valuable, not only in learning the job and learning hands-on applications from the work you do but because you are also basically at the front lines of research projects in the beef industry,” says Dickson, MBFI’s extension and research coordinator. “There are not many places like

it. We get to be in the field helping and working on what’s going on in the beef industry and the research around it….that is huge!” Dickson, who farms on weekends with her newly-wed husband Derek Dickson and his family near Carberry, is just coming off the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program, a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The CYL program is a source of pride for the CCA as it matches young leaders with well-established and respected mentors to help hone their skills and understanding of life in the beef industry. Dickson was mentored in the CYL program by Tom Teichroeb, Manitoba Beef Producers’ president. Dickson says the mentorship provided by Teichroeb was incredibly valued and greatly appreciated. “Tom was a perfect mentor for me,” says Dick-

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Kathleen Holweger

son. “He’s such a good rancher and you can learn so much from him on so many different aspects around cattle and the beef industry. Tom really stressed to me the need to pursue your goals and to focus on what you want to do.” Like Dickson before her, MBFI 2019 summer student Kathleen Holweger was recently named as one of 16 finalists for the 2019-2020 CYL program year. Each finalist will be awarded a $2,000 travel budget and a unique, individual specific mentorship opportunity. Holweger wasn’t sure who would be the assigned mentor for her to work closely with or where the opportunity might take place. Needless to say, she was honoured to be selected, eager to get rolling at CYL and also ready to put some of her MBFI learnings to work as she returned to University of Saskatchewan for some

post-ag-business courses this fall. Holweger says she first heard about MBFI from her former University of Saskatchewan classmate and 2019 MBFI colleague Kristelle Harper when they studied together in Saskatoon. When not on the MBFI sites this summer, Holweger pitched in at the family farm run by parents Martin and Cornelia near Pelican Lake by Killarney. Holweger called her time at MBFI an eye-opening experience. “I am really happy I got to experience the cattle side of things. It’s not always easy to find a job working with cattle on the research side,” says Holweger. “From a student’s perspective it was nice to go from eight months of studying in the classroom to on-field application of the knowledge. To learn on paper is one thing, to experience that learning in the field makes it complete.”


8

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2019

This fall could be frustrating for cattle industry It’s September 9, and the deadline for this month’s edition of Cattle Country has arrived. I have put off writing this column hoping for better news to report. During the past week I witnessed the second major correction in the cattle markets. The first was just after the fire at the Tyson plant near Garden City, Kansas. This beef packing plant harvested between 5,500

and 6,000 fed cattle head per day, which accounted for about 5% of the weekly US kill. The fire came at a time when there was a surplus of market ready cattle in the system on both sides of the border. The futures reacted with limit losses, and the rest of the packers used the extra supply to push the cash prices lower. Somehow the packers convinced the wholesalers that this fire

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would create a shortage of beef available and convinced them to pay higher prices for the boxed beef. At the peak, the packers in the US were profiteering to the tune of over $450 per head while the feedlots were showing losses of $55 per head. Cattle organizations in the US were outraged, and after some pressure from industry, US agriculture minister Sonny Perdue launched an investigation through the “packers and stockyards act” into alleged price manipulation. In the USA, the yearling represents 70% to 75% of the cost of finishing a steer. With the live cattle futures at under a $1.00 (US funds) for the remainder of 2019 and $1.06 for the first quarter of the new year, it is not much wonder that cattle feeders have started to back away from yearlings. In Canada, fed cattle prices at $1.35 (Canadian funds) are the lowest since 2017. During the past year, fed cattle have lost between $125 and $155 dollars per head. Packers in Canada have followed the American trend, with lower forward contract prices and cash cattle priced as far out as 30 days prior to delivery. Feedlots are taking delivery of contract cattle and purchasing a limited number of cash yearlings due to a lack of available pen space. Despite lower cash prices on yearlings, cattle feeders are reluctant

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line to aggressively purchase more inventory due to the uncertainty of the market and a lack of risk management opportunities. This scenario led to the second price adjustment last week (editor’s note: early September). For the first time in many months, the supply was greater than the demand. The export market to the US is always the floor price, and their prices were considerably lower than the current cash market. The yearling market dropped six to eight cents per pound in western Canada on the heavy cattle over 850 pounds. Even with the drop in prices, the Canadian market was still nowhere close to the American market or nowhere close to where the cattle could be hedged against the futures market. August prices for yearlings were about 15 cents offside against the futures market. Sellers were shell shocked by the new price book and reacted by passing the cattle on the electronic auctions and cancelling deliveries to the auction markets. In Manitoba, eastern cattle feeders usually support the market and pay premium prices for the qual-

ity cattle. This fall they have also been cautious buyers. There is very little competition in the east for fed cattle, and brokers in Ontario and Quebec expect the contracts to be under $2.00 (Canadian) dressed for the end of the year and early 2020. Until the contracts are secured, many of the feeders are considering buying local yearlings or possibly bigger calves. This raises the question, “What about the calves this fall?” There have been very few calves traded at the auctions at this time. If the electronic sales on forward deliveries are any indication, those producers who insured their calves through the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) may be able to sleep a little better at night. In the first week of September, producers reacted to the market adjustment the same as the grass operators did, by passing their calves. The 650-pound steer calves in Alberta were selling at $2.06 to $2.10, but lots were being passed. As much as we all agree that the cow-calf producer needs all he can

get, the cattle feeders have been operating in the red for nearly 18 months. This is the first fall in many years that cattle feeders are preaching disciplined buying, and they sound serious. Many feeders in Canada report that a high percentage of their current inventory is not priced. That could mean potential losses of between $100 and $200 per head. If nothing changes in the fed-cattle market, they will need to purchase calves at considerably lower prices than last year. A projected increase in the cost of gain at the custom backgrounding lots is not likely to happen this fall. The silage crops look good, and poor weather conditions are creating more and more fed quality grains each day. Barley prices are dropping to the lowest of the year. Those backgrounding lots that increase their prices this fall may face resistance and possibly even some empty pens. This fall could be a frustrating one for everyone in the cattle industry. I strongly advise developing a good working relationship with your marketing rep and staying current on market trends and developments prior to selling your calves. Until next time, Rick

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October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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 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 Q. My feed pile is smaller than normal. How can I 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. However, 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 lack sufficient levels of nutrients. If they are combined with grains, byproducts, protein supplements and mineral and 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 in table 1. Meeting Nutrition Needs Feeding higher quantities of low quality forage can cause issues, as 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 compaction may occur if the livestock is only fed straw, and no readily available energy or protein supply for the rumen microbes. During cold periods, as the temperature drops to minus 20 degrees Celsius or lower, the energy component of the ration needs to increase by about 15 to 20 per cent. 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 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 grains, be aware of the possibility of reduced utilization of weed seeds or the problems associated with toxins, such as ergot or fusarium. Other options for supplementing feed include corn cracks, pea flour and oat hulls. These will all work in beef cow rations, but they need to be formulated correctly. In the search for an elusive, cheap, novel feed source, do not forget to price in basic grains like oats, barley, corn or wheat. There are benefits to sourcing a pure, clean grain, as risks of palatability, indigestibility, impurities, toxin load and local availability are all benefits that can lower your risks and control your costs. In years when feed is short, there are instances when novel feeds are more expensive than pure grains. 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 liquid supplement may increase protein by 1.6 per cent on a 455 kilogram (1,000 pound) straw bale, from five to 6.6 per cent. It can increase the energy from 49 to 51.3 per cent. Ration possibilities Various types of feed rations can be utilized as seen in Table 2. These are based on a 1,400 lb. cow with a body condition score (BCS) of three out of five. The table lists the approximate feed required pre-calving for herd calving in March. For a cost comparison on the different ration options, visit the Manitoba Agriculture website and look up the online calculator Beef Cow-Calf Produc-

tion Costs 2019. How Manitoba Agriculture can help If you are short of roughage, Manitoba Agriculture staff recommends that you first feed test any alternate forages that you plan to use and haven’t used in the past. We can provide nutritional recommendations for using the feed, once feed test results are available. Table 2 gives you an idea of the amount of feed you will need on hand for the winter feeding period. It is important to err on the side of caution, because the rations listed are for a cow in average body condition with a score of three out of 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 to maintain 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 utilizing alternative feeds or are having trouble maintaining BCS in your animals, ensure you are providing fresh good quality water to your herd. This will reduce the chronic dehydration cattle face in the winter and can help stimulate higher feed intakes. Using snow for animal hydration is only acceptable for nonlactating animals in good body condition and under perfect conditions (loose snow and high quality

Table 1. Nutritional requirements of the breeding herd1 Total Digestible Nutrients%

Crude Protein%

Calcium%

Phosphorus%

Mid Gestation

50-53

7

0.20

0.20

Late Gestation

58

9

0.28

0.23

Lactating

60-65

11-12

0.30

0.26

Replacement Heifers

60-65

8-10

0.30

0.22

Breeding Bulls

48-50

7-8

0.26

0.20

Yearling Bulls

55-60

7-8

0.23

0.23

Class

Nutritional requirement varies with body weight, frame size, predicted average daily gain (ADG) and stage of production. Contact your local Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist for more in-depth information. All rations must be balanced for protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. 1

Table 2. Differing wintering ration options for gestating beef cows weighting 1400* lbs Pre Calving - Cows

#1

Feed Type

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

Ration - Feed Per Day (lbs based on 1400 lbs cow)

Alfalfa Hay Alfalfa Grass Hay

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

35

-

-

-

16

-

10

-

Grass Hay

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Barley Straw

-

17

19

23

-

23

15

23

Barley Greenfeed

-

-

-

-

19

-

-

-

Corn Silage

-

-

47

-

-

-

32

-

Barley Silage

-

48

-

-

-

-

-

-

Barley Grain

-

-

-

11

-

10

-

-

32% Feedlot Suppl.

-

0.5

0.5

1

-

-

-

-

32% Liquid Suppl.

-

-

-

-

-

2.9

-

-

20% Grain Pellets

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

14

1:1 Mineral

0.12

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2:1 Mineral

-

0.06

0.06

0.06

0.12

0.2

0.2

0.06

Limestone

-

-

-

-

-

0.2

-

0.2

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

Blue Salt

* Add five to 10 per cent for waste, depending on feeding method

feed). Snow that has crusted will not allow adequate intake and animals need supplemental water sources. Providing sufficient levels of good quality water is a basic management change that can greatly improve your herd. You need to know what is in your feed and water to ensure correct, economical supplements for your animals. Book values are helpful as general guidelines. However,

if there is a lack of feed or poor BCS, it is even more critical to use actual numbers from feed and water analysis to balance feed rations. Trace minerals are an issue in Manitoba and a simple mineral supplement can help. For information on animal condition and health, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. We want to hear from you! For the next issue of

Cattle Country, a Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist will answer a selected question. Send your questions to Ray.Bittner@ gov.mb.ca 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.

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

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

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-22

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society (Red Barn)

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Robert Kerda

Oct-23

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart

28121 PR #205, Grunthal

Oct-24

Ashern Legion

3 Main St. East, Ashern

District 11 Robert Metner District 10 Mike Duguid

Oct-28

Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre

409 Recreation Centre, Arborg

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-29

Carman Legion Auxiliary Hall

28 – 1st St. NW, Carman

District 2

Nancy Howatt

Oct-30

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

District 5

Steven Manns

Nov-01

Austin Community Hall

44 – 2nd Ave., Austin

District 14 Jade Delaurier

Nov-04

Swan River Elks Hall

112 – 5th Ave. South, Swan River

District 12 Vacant

Nov-05

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 – 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose du Lac

District 13 Mary Paziuk

Nov-06

Grandview Legion

476 Main Street, Grandview

District 7

Nov-07

Miniota Community Centre

568 Miniota Rd, Miniota

Tyler Fulton

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-12

Mountview Centre

111 South Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 8

Tom Teichroeb*

Nov-13

Arden Community Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave., Arden

District 6

Larry Wegner*

Nov-14

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 October 2019

2019 Manitoba Beef Producers

Bursary winner essays are continued on Page 14

BURSARY WINNERS

Josh Gerelus

The beef industry has been part of Manitoba for over two centuries, and with Manitoba being a big farming province it has impacted its economy greatly. Manitoba is the third largest beef producing province in Canada with approximately 12 per cent of the national beef herd. While this may

Makayla Murray

I come from a family which is passionate about agriculture, and a passion that’s led through generations in the profession. Agriculture has been a significant part of my life since I have been quite young. I have grown up on a mixed cattle and grain farm operation, where I have had the opportunity to learn valuable skills through-

seem pretty amazing to some, it’s also sad to others because the amount of beef cattle and beef farms are slowly decreasing. My family’s farm started in the 1940s when my dad’s parents came to live in Shoal Lake and created what would be called Gerelus Farms. Since then the farm has grown and is now a second generation farm that consists of beef and grain. Living on a cattle farm means you’re working all year round from +30 to -30. It is hard to imagine how my life may have turned out without being involved within the beef industry. Living on a beef farm has taught and helped me develop many personal traits and

valuable life skills. It has taught me that in order to get what you want you will need to have a good work ethic and not give up when something goes wrong. Growing up on a beef farm has also given me the chance to be a part of the McConnell 4-H Beef Club, and being a member of this club has taught me the importance of responsibility. Feeding, taking care of and training a steer takes a lot of effort and time. It has also taught me to be a leader because the younger children in my club look up to me for guidance. The beef industry also provides an income for my family, and we are able to feel a sense of pride knowing that

when we ship out steers we are feeding countless other people. Living on a beef farm has constantly changing daily jobs from treating sick animals, operating and/or repairing machinery, or being a plumber and a carpenter, so many different jobs – even being a parent for a calf that lost its mother. The job of a beef farmer changes from day to day. The community of Shoal Lake is very fortunate to have multiple equipment dealers as well as seed and chemical companies right in town. These companies benefit so much from the beef farmers in this and the surrounding areas. In the long run these industries need to continue support-

ing each other in order to stay viable. Manitoba’s economy has been and forever will be impacted by the beef industry, all the way back to when the first people roamed the prairies up until now. The beef industry has evolved and grown to the industry that we all know today. From farms jobs to market jobs the beef industry has created countless employment opportunities. Manitoba produces and sells massive amounts of beef each year, and regardless if the prices are high or low the beef industry will impact our economy. Agriculture has been part of my entire life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether it be

working with the cattle or running equipment in the fields I have loved it all. Growing up on a farm has taught me many life skills which have made me the person I am today. I feel truly blessed to have grown up with animals being a part of my life. Growing up on a farm has really influenced the choices I have made in regards to my post-secondary education, and my future beyond. I want to keep agriculture as a part of my life so I am enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan to study Agribusiness in a four year degree program. Looking forward I would like to return to the Shoal Lake area and find a job in the agriculture industry.

out the years from the most important people in my life, my family. The beef industry has had a huge impact on our lives in our small communities and our province of Manitoba at large. In my very own family the beef industry has been a part of our lives since I can remember. At a young age of six years old my parents encouraged us kids to join the local Tilston Beef 4-H club, this is a great experience for a young child to learn from. I was taught how to raise a calf, proper grooming, learning to halter break a stubborn animal, and show it in the spring. To my family the beef industry is more than work, it’s a lifestyle and a way of life that we have adapted to quite

well. Growing up on a farm, we always looked forward to our favorite season, calving season, the most rewarding feeling at the end of the day is seeing all the new lives that have entered this world. Although having cattle comes with many challenges, hardships, sacrifices and the lesson of hard work. For my family, especially, it’s one of the most rewarding careers, whether it be seeing all the new baby calves running around kicking up their heels, or waiting up late at night as a kid for your first 4-H heifer to calve. I have learned so much over the years growing up on a farm and being involved in beef industry. In our small town communities I have had

the privilege to have grown up around so many other people who are also involved and passionate about the beef industry. Being involved in the Beef 4-H club, our communities are always supportive in regards to purchasing 4-H steers as their way of supporting the beef industry. Growing up in a rural area, agriculture is huge, and most importantly the cattle industry thrives. Farmers help one another, in times when cattle are out, fences are down, or providing assistance during calving season. Each and every person involved in the beef industry plays a huge important role, and as a small community it is recognized more and more often than we

think. Our small rural communities provide the grains and meat for the urban economy as well. At large in the province of Manitoba the beef industry is a huge part of our economy. According to the Government of Manitoba, the province of Manitoba is the third largest beef producing province in Canada. This statistic says a lot about the beef industry in Manitoba, and that we provide a majority of the beef to the rest of the country. The beef industry has played a huge role in my life, in my very own

local community and at our province of Manitoba at large. Next year I will be enrolled in the PreNursing program, and then apply to the Bachelor of Nursing Program at Brandon University. When I graduate from Brandon University, I will be coming back and working in a rural hospital, and living on a farm raising cattle and horses. Over the years of being involved in the beef industry I have learned how rewarding, hard, challenging and ever changing the industry is, but I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for the world.

MANITOBA ANGUS

upcoming events

MAA FALL GOLD SHOW WITH AG EX October 23-26. 2019 - Angus show on Thursday, October 24 Brandon,MB - Entry deadline is October 1

MANITOBA ANGUS ASSOCIATION AGM

Friday, December 6, 2019 at the Keystone Centre Saturday, December 7 - Keystone Klassic Sale at Keystone Centre

Check out www.mbangus.ca for further details on the above events and for Angus tagged feeder sales coming this fall!

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October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

New U of M researcher to study agroenvironmental aspects of beef production BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

NOVEMBER MARCH

2019 SaleSale Schedule 2018Fall Winter Schedule

OCTOBER FEBRUARY

standing the connections between animal production and the environment. National Centre for Livestock “I realized that food and the Environment, production will need to inUniversity of Manitoba crease as our population increases, and there are severThe beef research team al environmental and social at the University of Mani- implications,� says Cordeiro toba just got a little bigger. of his early experiences. Marcos Cordeiro This realization led joined the Department of him to the U of M to obtain Animal Science August 1, MSc and PhD degrees in the as Assistant Professor in Department of Biosystems Sustainable Food Systems Engineering. After comModeling. Although new pleting graduate studies he to the U of M, Marcos has joined AAFC, working with already made important AAFC and university reresearch contributions to searchers across the prairies Canada’s beef industry. gaining additional expertise While conducting his post- in biophysical modelling of doctoral research with Ag- agriculture landscapes and riculture and Agri-Food animal production systems Canada (AAFC) at Leth- research. bridge, Alberta he collaboAdapting to climate rated with AAFC and U of and land use changes in M researchers to establish the future the water footprint of beef Marcos’ research at the production in Canada. U of M will focus on using Their research showed that complex data sets and modCanadian beef producers elling tools to investigate have reduced water use by regional impacts of climate 17% per unit of beef over and land use changes across the past three decades. the Canadian Prairies. Marcos determined the wa“These tools allow ter footprint associated with us to identify vulnerabilithe feed component of the ties of specific crops and footprint. animal products to climate Holistic approach to change and to then deterimproving agriculture mine promising strategies sustainability to adapt and thrive in the Cordeiro’s strong in- face of future change,� says terest in environmental Cordeiro. sustainability has shaped Over the longer term, his education and research his plan is to develop a sepathways. Working in the ries of linked models that aquaculture industry after span regional and provincompleting a Bachelor of cial boundaries of the praiScience in Fisheries Engi- rie provinces. Thurs., Butcher Salelinkages, neering in Brazil, heFeb be-1 “By creating came increasingly aware of we have Bredthis Cowlarger, Sale intethe importance of under- grated system where we can Tues., Feb 6 Feeder Sale Thurs., Feb 8

critically examine agriculture production, accounting for changes in management practices and physiography across space and time,� explains Cordeiro. “These cross-boundary connections will expand the scope of our assessments because any given production system often spans multiple provinces, and natural processes are not confined to political boundaries.� Marcos intends to use this approach to look several decades into the future to evaluate how probable trends in climate and land use will affect agronomic and environmental sustainability. “We plan to use the modeling tools we will develop to perform “bestpossible� simulations decades into the future. These simulations will provide critical information for different commodities groups to mitigate impacts, increase efficiency, and adapt to change,� says Cordeiro. In particular his research will address current and anticipated water-related challenges of flooding, drought and inadequate surface drainage. His research will include assessing risk and developing strategies to minimize vulnerability to feed shortages and other such fates arising from water shortages or overabundances. Future research to benefit beef production in Manitoba and across 9:00 am; prairies Working 1:00 with pmcolleagues in Manitoba, Sas9:00 am

Butcher Sale

Presort Calf Sale Presort Sale

9:30am 9:30 am

Thurs., Feb815 Tues Oct

Butcher Sale Presort Calf Sale

9:00 am 9:30am

Tues Oct 15 Tues., Feb 20

Presort Calf Sale Feeder Sale Angus Influence

9:30am

Tues Oct 22 Tues., Feb 27

Presort Calf Sale Presort Sale

9:30am 9:30 am

Fri., Mar Tues Oct229

Cattleman’s Bull Sale Presort CalfConnection Sale

1:00 pm 9:30am

Tues Nov 5 Tues., Mar 13

Tues., Mar 6

Presort Calf Sale Presort Sale Angus Influence

Feeder Sale

9:30am

Tues Nov 12

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Tues Tues.,Nov Mar 19 27

Presort Calf Sale Feeder Sale

9:30am 9:00 am

Tues Nov 26

Presort Calf Sale

9:30am

Thurs., Feb 22

Thurs., Mar 15 Tues., Mar 20

Butcher Sale

Bred Cow Sale Feeder Sale

TH

EQUIPMENT LTD.

E OU TST

1974

RA ANDING B

45

♌

YEARS

ND

2019

changes brought on by future climate, land use and policy development. Marcos will be attending beef-related events around the province, as well as meeting with Manitoba Beef Producers staff and directors in the coming months. If you see him around, be sure to say “hello!�. Christine Rawluk is

the Faculty’s research and communications facilitator, specializing in livestock production systems. The U of M beef production systems research team includes Kim Ominski, Emma McGeough, Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez, Marcos Cordeiro, Kateryn Rochon, Claudia Narvaez, Doug Cattani, Francis Zvomuya, Mario Tenuta and Derek Brewin.

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

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Tues Tues.,Oct Feb 113

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katchewan and Alberta, Marcos intends to begin his new research program at the U of M in familiar territory – beef production systems. Proposed new research will assess water and nutrient movement in grassland systems under different management and climatic conditions. This research will illuminate the agronomic and environmental benefits provided by grazing cattle. Specifically, it will examine how pasturebased beef systems impact water dynamics, nutrient cycling and productivity at watershed level. Models will be set up and tested using algorithms specifically developed for conditions across the prairies. The models will be used to identify promising animal, pasture, soil and water management practices to optimize water and nutrient use in pasture landscapes. The project also includes “what if?� modeling scenarios to assess risk and identify possible adaptation strategies to plausible

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2019

Round-up a success (MBYR News Release) The cattle industry is in good hands after watching the participants at the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-up go through their educational and cattle show weekend on August 2-4. Forty eight enthusiastic Manitoba and Saskatchewan junior cattle producers attended the 12th annual event in Neepawa. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a top-notch group of interested cattle producers and 58 head of cattle. This year 22 new members attended Round-up for the first time. Where else can you attend an event with 48 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 on judging techniques, parts of the animal and explanations on judging terms with Bill Biglieni of WLB Livestock. Following the judging workshop, Megan Baron gave an overview on how to give oral reasons for the judging competitions. During supper, Junior Director Taylor Carlson made a presentation on her trips to Iowa and Japan for the Junior members to see the opportunities that are available for them. That evening all Juniors participated in the Photo Identification 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 new skills and have fun while doing it! On Saturday, the Juniors were busy with many different events. In the morning they participated in public speaking, how to

do an interview, individual judging, and they attended a detailed, informative workshop on the Verified Beef Production Plus Program by Coordinator Betty Green. In the afternoon, the Juniors took part in Team Judging, Team Fitting, the Stockman’s Knowledge competition and the PeeWees learned how to make rope halters and other activities. New General Manager of Manitoba Beef Producers, Carson Callum was in attendance to see what our Junior beef producers are involved in and see their various skills. Saturday evening was wrapped up with the cook-off 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, Robin Hogberg, John Hogberg and Kolton McIntosh. 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 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! The Round-Up 2019 Committee included: Lois McRae and Laura and Jake Rawluk (Co-Chairpersons), Rilla and Travis Hunter, Wenda and Naomi Best, Blair McRae, Andrea Bertholet, Samantha Rimke, Albert and Michelle Rimke, Candace Abey, Nanette Glover, Jackie Cavers, Megan Baron, Cody Carson, Trevor and Taylor Carlson, Geoff Paterson and Monty Thomson. Each and every year Round-Up is a weekend filled with friendships, learning, skills and knowledge. It was once again another successful weekend! For the complete results of the various competitions, go to the August 23 edition of MBP’s e-newsletter which is available at: https://www.mbbeef.ca/ newsletter/ .

2019 Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup would personally like to thank their supporters and exhibitors for another successful, educational, fun weekend in Neepawa, Manitoba August 2 - 4th , 2019

PLATIMUM SPONSOR

GOLD

Manitoba Charolais Association Manitoba Cooperator Mazer Group

SILVER

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AJB Livestock Bow Valley Genetics Ltd C-2 Charolais Cargill Feeds Delight Simmentals Hamco Cattle Co Heartland Livestock Brandon Heartland Livestock Virden Johnston Charolais M&J Farms Simmental & Angus Man/Sask Gelbveih Association

Manitoba Junior Angus Association Manitoba Junior Charolais Association Manitoba/Sask Blonde D’Aquitaine Association Martens Cahrolais Masterfeeds N7 Stock Farm Neepawa Banner Neepawa-Gladstone Coop P Baker Backhoe Services P Quintaine and Son Ltd. Pembina Triangle Simmental Association Pleasant Dawn Charolais Poplar View Stock Farm Tri J Industries T Bar C Cattle Co./Today’s Angus Advantage Total Farm Supply Transcon Livestock Uphill Shorthorns Virden Animal Hospital

ROUNDUP CHALLENGE AM Ranching Batho Farms Brydges and Taylor Vet Hospital Davis Livestock Services Diamond T Limousin Genex

High Bluff Stock Farm JR Simmentals Kembar Farms Keystone Livestock Services Kristjansson Farms LEJ Charolais Manitoba Junior Hereford Association Mar Mac Farms Minnedosa Vet Clinic Prairie Pistol Designs Scott & Anne Clements Semex Simmental Focus SW Bull Development Centre

INDUSTRY

Anderson Cattle Co Inc Beautiful Plains Ag Society Canada Safeway Carberry Sandhills Consulting Crest View Land and Cattle Co Ltd. Dairy Queen J+S Meats JAS Red Angus Leech Printing Perkin Land and Cattle Pine Haven Stock Farms Rooke Farms Silver Lake Farms

VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE: Co-Chairpersons: Lois McRae, Laura Horner, Jake Rawluk Treasurer: Rilla Hunter Secretary: Naomi Best, Blair McRae, Andrea Bertholet, Samantha Rimke, Wenda Best, Travis Hunter, Albert and Michelle Rimke, Candace Abey, Nanette Glover, Jackie Cavers, Megan Kemp, Cody Carson, Trevor Carlson, Taylor Carlson, Geoff Paterson, Monty Thomson Judges: Robin Hogberg, John Hogberg, Kolton McIntosh, Carson Callum (Manitoba Beef Producers), Betty Green (Verified Beef), Brodie Hunter, Monty Thomson, Rilla Hunter, Dennis Rawluk and Gary Borger

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING ROUNDUP 2019 www.mbbeef.ca

Federal election October 21 Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) have identified several areas of importance to the local and national beef industry as producers head to the polls for the October 21 federal election. Some of the topics about which MBP will be advocating with federal candidates include: the need for equitable and effective business risk management programs; the importance of sound water management strategies, both for times of drought or excess moisture conditions; exploring new trade opportunities and full optimizing existing trade deals; strategies to tackle labor shortages; the benefits provided to the sector through investments in beef and forage research and innovation; and, recognition of the ecosystem services provided by managing grasslands, such as carbon sequestration and preserving habitat for many different species. The CCA has released a document offering recommendations on how the federal government could further position the beef industry as a key sector of sustainable growth in Canada. The CCA’s recommendations include: increasing the capacity and efficiency of beef and livestock trade; strategically investing in science and innovation through enhanced long-term funding for applied agricultural production research; enhancing the economic resiliency of Canada’s beef industry by establishing a national cattle price insurance program, making changes to the livestock tax deferral program and increasing access to labour; strengthening the indus-

try’s ability to respond and proactively address animal health and care; building strong rural communities through investing in broadband internet access, rural mental health programming and investing in infrastructure and services that make rural Canada an attractive place to live and work; and, supporting sustainable agriculture production, partnerships and healthy eating. To view the CCA document in its entirety go to http://www.cattle.ca/ assets/1f2196c295/ 2019_04_CCA_Federal_Candidates_2019_FINAL-2.pdf. “Just as we did with the recent provincial election, we are asking our fellow producers to talk to their federal candidates about the value of the beef industry to Manitoba and to ask them to share their priorities when it comes to the cattle sector,” added MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “These future Members of Parliament will be working on policies and programs affecting agriculture for years to come and it is very important they have a clear understanding of our industry.” In between elections, be sure to continue that dialogue with your Member of Parliament and Member of the Legislative Assembly on a regular basis so they are aware of how government policies are affecting the beef sector and what actions they can take to help the industry advance. Have specific questions related to the elections process, such as how to register to vote or who is running in your riding? Visit the Elections Canada website at https://www.elections. ca/home.aspx.

GRAZING SPACE AVAILABLE 2020 Grazing Applications are now available for AMCP Community Pastures: • Alonsa • Bield • Birch RiverLenswood • Cote-San Clara • Ellice-Archie

• Ethelbert • Gardenton-Pansy • Langford • Libau • McCreary • Mulvihill

• Narcisse • Spy Hill-Ellice • Sylvan-Dale • Turtle Mountain • Wallace

Please visit our website (pastures.ca) for rates. Applications are due November 1, 2019 and are available on our website or by contacting AMCP at 204-868-0430 or amcp@pastures.ca.


October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Put Peking Pot Roast on the menu BY ELISABETH HARMS When summer comes, no one likes to cook their beef inside. We want to spend as much time as we can outside, and that includes cooking our meals. When fall comes, the opposite is true – we move inside and the way we cook our beef changes. We cook it as a roast, or as a stew, creating comforting and cozy meals that come with gravy or sauce. After cooler temperatures arrive in October, Thanksgiving is not far behind. Chicken or turkey is the most common meal served, but this particular roast is great for those who would like to switch it up and try something different. This roast, called Peking Pot Roast for its Asian flavours, is such a great option for Thanksgiving. For me, it is also very personal. This is something my mom used to make all the time when I was growing up. It was made when we had company coming and it was made as Sunday night

dinner for just my family. One of the great things about this recipe is the choice you have when choosing your cut of beef. The recipe below calls for a blade steak, which comes from the shoulder, but you can also use a blade roast or a crossrib roast. If you decide to use a blade steak, I would highly recommend a bone-in steak. In general, the bone-in version cut of beef will provide more

flavour and can help your meat retain moisture during cooking. A boneless version will cook up nicely as well, and it will also not take as long. Whichever cut of meat you choose, you will want something that is at least two pounds. When finished cooking, the meat will fall off the bone, or if you decide on a blade roast, the meat will fall apart nicely, almost like pulled beef.

After rubbing the meat with a pepper and mustard paste, brown it on all sides to start creating flavour. The recipe also calls for an interesting assortment of ingredients, including celery seed, honey and vinegar. Along with an onion, the ingredients are added to the pan. The roast will then be braised in a combination of soy sauce and water. One great thing

about a braising recipe is the wonderful aroma that comes from the kitchen, even before you sit down to eat. This roast is no exception and it definitely delivers on taste as well. Let this recipe tease your guests with its aromas be-

fore you sit down to enjoy it together. Tune in to Great Tastes of Manitoba to learn more about this recipe and others that would be ideal for entertaining. Find the recipe at www. greattastes.mb.ca.

Peking Pot Roast 2-3 lb (1 - 1.5 kg) blade roast, blade steak, or bottom chuck roast 1 tsp (5 mL) mustard ½ tsp (2 mL) pepper 4 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil 1 small onion, chopped into 1-inch chunks ½ cup (125 mL) soy sauce 2/3 tsp (3 mL) celery seed ½ tsp (2 mL) ginger 1 tbsp (15 mL) honey 1 tbsp (15 mL) vinegar 1 cup (250 mL) water Instructions Rub meat all over with mustard and pepper. Heat oil in heavy bottomed pot or pan. Brown meat on all sides. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until very tender – about 3 hours, on the stove top. Note: If you choose a boneless blade steak, start checking your meat around the 2-hour mark. The meat should be very fork tender.

Thank you to our many sponsors as well as the staff and volunteers from the Killarney Lakeside Golf Course for making this year’s Cattlemen’s Classic Golf Tournament a major success. The scores of volunteers helped make our tournament run smoothly, accommodating 184 golfers and serving over 200 for supper - a huge undertaking!

Gold Sponsors SilverSponsors BronzeSponsors

Friends of MLMA

Boissevain Animal Clinic Turtle Mountain Physio Hazelwood Drugs Saw Mill Boissevain Golf Course Home Hotel

Andrew agencies Du-Rite Motors Wallace Agencies Shoes & M’Orr Gwen’s Trends Lewis & Jones Killarney Pharmacy Killarney Tire Maurice Home Furnishings

Glover Equine Products Patterson Grain Rainbow Trailers T.I.C Parts & Service Ag West Neepawa Shoal Lake Farm Equip World Spectator - Moosomin Circle M Furniture South West Chev Melita

Cromer Valley Store OK Tire Kelliher Ford MTS Corral Center Dr. Greg Lovatt JSJ LIVESTOCK Power Up Lubricants Lakeview Cattle Feeders - Sam Buckle Harwood Enterprises

A big thank you to the “Master Chefs Team” ( Don Ransom, Harvey Dann, Grant Howse and Myles Masson) for preparing the 200 steaks to perfection. Thank you, to Wright’s Auction Service for the use of the sound system. Thank you to all of the bidders and buyers at the fundraiser auction, especially Gene and Rhett Parks who bid on every item. Special recognition goes to the organizing committee, Allan and Tammy Munroe, Warren and Kelly Wright, Brock Taylor, Robin Hill, Scott Anderson, Karen Van Buuren, Zippy Bond, Andy Drake and Rick Wright.

www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2019

2019 Manitoba Beef Producers

BURSARY WINNERS

Alice Rooke

The domestication of cattle and the integral integration of beef into the global market has been happening for over 7,000 years. Millions of tonnes of beef are exported across the globe annually, contributing billions of dollars to the national and global econo-

Gracie Gervin

My name is Gracie Gervin. I am currently a grade 12 student from Melita. This fall, I will attend Brandon University, where I have been accepted to a degree program to study psychology and sociology in hopes of becoming a psychologist in the future. Although this isn’t directly related to ag-

my. Canada alone produces approximately 1.3 million tonnes of beef per year, of which almost 400,000 is exported. The Canadian beef industry is a strong support to the national economy by contributing $17 billion to GDP annually. The beef industry is an underpinning to the global, national and provincial marketplace. Not only is the beef industry a player in job creation and economic value on a provincial scale but it is also a connecting channel for my community as well as being the very fabric of my family. As previously mentioned the beef industry is a huge player to the Canadian economy, just as Manitoba is a contributor

to the Canadian beef industry. Hundreds of thousands of beef animals come out of the province each year, contributing not only on an economic scale but creating jobs and providing food for Canadians. “With every job in the [beef] sector yield[s] another 3.56 jobs elsewhere in the economy. For every $1 of income received by workers and farm owners, another $2.08 is created elsewhere.” This interesting statistic shown by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association reminds us that the beef industry is not a simple process but an inclusive chain of events that creates jobs for hundreds of people across the board. Even on a local scale,

my community members benefit in the form of job creation in and around the area. The beef industry also acts as a connecting focus for my widespread rural community. It brings people together through the forms of business, neighborly communication and common interest. The land being grazed around my local community is mostly unable to be seeded due to soil content and terrain, therefore the beef industry is doing a favor by inhabiting these lands. Through the process of carbon sequestration, these pastures are taking up carbon from the atmosphere and giving back by growing forage for cattle who can turn that

inedible roughage into a protein-rich food source for human consumption and by-products. Every individual is affected by the beef industry in one way or another whether they eat beef or not. If they have glass in their windows, tires on their cars or strings on their instruments, they all are affected by the beef industry. So many products contain cattle components that we would only become aware of if they were suddenly not there. My family, as cattle producers, would be at even more of a loss than just the products if there were no beef industry. Being a cattle farmer is, as they say, not a job or a career but a

lifestyle. A lifestyle that I have known for my entire eighteen years of life. It is this lifestyle that makes me and my family who we are as people, as citizens, as friends and as relatives. Our cattle come first for us whether rain or shine, snow or sleet, Christmas morning or Sunday evening, nothing matters more than the wellbeing of our animals. As a young industry member, there is no better life lesson than being a cattle producer and no greater honor than being a part of beef production around the world. Agriculture is my culture through and through and I love this industry as it is my community, my comfort and my passion.

riculture, I will be helping to better the rural communities. Mental health treatment is lacking where I live, and I want to do my part to help change this. In the province of Manitoba, cattle are very important. They provide direct employment for upwards of 10,000 people, and spinoff employment for thousands more. Raising cattle also spreads economic development into areas not suited for annual crop production. As well, cattle play a pivotal role in the preservation of grassland habitats for many species, some of which are the Burrowing Owl, Loggerhead Shrike, Baird’s Sparrow and Ferruginous Hawks. Our farm alone is home to six of these dif-

ferent endangered and threatened species. Another benefit of cattle production is that it allows us to produce food without having to change the natural habitat. Most farmers depend on the environment for a living. As such, it is important that we take care of it, in respect of this mutually beneficial relationship. Interestingly, one acre of grassland has been proven to sequester nearly eight times the CO2 as an acre of forest. This reduces our carbon footprint and helps to fight the ever looming issue of climate change. The population of the community I live in is just over 1,000. Of this, a large percentage of the residents are involved in some

form of agriculture. In this area, people are employed through many facets of the beef industry, including veterinarians, auction mart workers, butchers, truckers, feed salesmen, machinery dealers, farmers and many more. Careers in the cattle sector are what allow our town to thrive. Another valuable organization that is prevalent in Melita is the 4-H club. It teaches children empathy, compassion, responsibility, allows them to grow from failure and use their ideas and influence to drive positive outcomes. I enjoy being involved in agriculture because it gives me a sense of appreciation of the things I’m surrounded by – my

community, food and most importantly, family. Melita thrives off of agriculture and would not be the same without it. Being surrounded by food is something that many take for granted, but I’m proud to understand the complex chain of events that goes into raising cattle and the production of food. Additionally, cattle allow us to protect other endangered species, while providing food for the rest of the population. Without agriculture, we wouldn’t be able to survive and it’s because of all the farmers that we can. My family has been raising cattle in southwestern Manitoba since 1958. I am a daughter and a granddaughter of beef

producers. My dad owns a large scale farming operation that breeds more than 700 cows, and feeds 1,000 in the feedlot. Throughout the year, it is very busy, varying by the season. My uncle is a veterinarian and will do just about anything to help an animal, even if it means staying up all night to be by their side. Growing up surrounded by cows has provided me with many life skills. Hard work, perseverance, dedication, optimism and ability to deal with failure are all essential attributes one needs when working with live animals. To me, the cattle industry is much more than a career, it is a determination of character, a state of mind and a way of life.

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www.mbbeef.ca


October 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

2019 Manitoba Beef Producers

BURSARY WINNERS

Christopher Jermey

It’s easy to spot a farm kid, not by the boots on their feet or the tractor dealership hat they are wearing, but by the pride

Jennifer Jermey

Manitoba’s beef industry was something I was born into. My baby pictures include a calf in most of them and I was going on farm tours before I was a year old. The beef industry and the people within it have been a part of my life since the very beginning. It is within the industry that I found support, community and the strong values that will continue to guide me into adulthood. The Canadian beef industry took an awful blow in 2003 with the discovery of BSE in the Canadian

and involvement they have in the industry they have grown up in. I’ve never met a banker’s son who could tell you the current prime lending rate, or a car salesman’s daughter who could spout of the horsepower of every new Chevy car, but you ask any young rancher about their family’s operation, the overall state of the Canadian cattle market, or their thoughts on environmentally sustainable cattle production, and the odds are very good you’ll receive a well-informed, industry backed answer, delivered

with the pride and confidence that can only come from involvement in the agriculture industry. The cattle industry means so much to everyone who has been lucky enough to be a part of it, a unique trait not seen in many sectors. As such a staple in rural communities, the beef industry does far more for a community than simply filling the supermarket shelves and barbeque racks. Beyond having a net worth of billions of dollars and helping to keep the stores and schools open across the

province, the great people behind Manitoba’s beef industry are crucial parts of rural communities, without whom the curling rinks, community clubs, volunteer fire departments and every other aspect of small town living would suffer greatly. On a more personal level, growing up with two parents directly involved in the beef industry has provided opportunities that are not available anywhere else. Where else can you experience the pride that comes with watching the calf you

helped deliver walk across the scale in the fall? What other industry inspires such passion that you can now spout the true carbon emissions of Canadian cattle production every time you hear someone mention the grossly exaggerated numbers from a “documentary” such as Cowspiracy? My background in cattle production is an asset that has and will continue to pay great dividends as I move forward in my studies of veterinary medicine. Beyond an understanding of the industry, the con-

fidence, communication skills, and appreciation for community involvement cultivated through my involvement in the family farm are sure to carry me forward towards success as a veterinarian serving a rural community similar to the one I grew up in. There is something really special about Manitoba’s cattle industry, and the place that it holds in my heart and the hearts of all those who call themselves beef producers is what makes it so easy to spot the farm kid.

cow herd. The immediate closing of the US border resulted in hardship for everyone in the beef industry as well as the communities that relied on it. As a young child at the time, I did not fully understand the impact the years that followed had on my own family as well as on our neighbours and the larger community we were a part of. Yet, throughout the hardships and struggles, there was a rebirth that illustrated the perseverance and pillars of the beef industry. Though the industry was undergoing its own economic struggles that as a result impacted the larger rural communities, there was still an overwhelming sense of support. Through my years I felt that I was supported by my family and the larger community as a whole. The stands were full at every 4-H achievement; the farm work stopped annually, no matter the rush, in order for the hall to be packed for the

community supper; and, connections were made at the vet clinic, coffee shop and auction mart. The values of hard work were illustrated during every calving season, in every hay field, and with every pail of grain put in the trough. Pride without boast was found in relation to the work completed as calves hit grass for the first time in the spring, when the tractors were parked in the fall for the last time and when the steers crossed the scale in the ring. In short, the beef industry is a mainstay of values that serve the people in the communities. I personally learned priceless values that have served me well in my short time at university and will continue as I enter the workforce. Beyond the feel-good but necessary values and work ethic learned from growing up on a beef farm, the beef industry in Manitoba is a staple for concerned families looking for

a healthy and sustainable choice for their families. From 2004 to 2009 our family was involved in a government-inspected off the farm retail meat business. Over those years we spoke to numerous customers looking for the absolute best and safest choice for their families. Sustainability has become a consumer-driven requirement and Manitoba beef is in the position to fulfil those needs. Using traceability tools like VBP+ in conjunction with projects being developed allows for consumers to be assured that every roast, steak and hamburger patty that they enjoy was produced under strict standards in a sustainable manner by their neighbours and other Manitobans just like them. Beef producers and beef production was something that I was born into. I grew up in the giving and steadfast community of producers that worked day in and day out to provide

a sustainable, viable and delicious product to our fellow Manitobans. Along the way, I was given the gift of a whole industry worth of support guiding me into adulthood. Manitoba beef and the producers that help feed Manitoba and the world provide a safe, sustainable and premium product and it is something we are known for. Reasons I Enjoy Being Involved in Agriculture Agriculture is an industry that is full of supportive, driven and knowledgeable members. Through programs like 4-H and the different junior breed associations, I have seen firsthand the support that agriculture has for rural youth and for the next generation. Manitoba farmers (beyond only beef producers) have supported community projects and the people within them. Leaving the farm to

attend university was my first introduction into the differences that I had taken for granted being a member of the agricultural community. The consumer myths and fears surrounding food production, sustainability, health factors and general farming processes were eye-opening. Before this moment I had never fully understood the disconnect between producers and the consumers’ plate. I had grown up understanding the benefits, both monetary and socially, that agriculture provided to our communities. Entering the education field in a year I hope to be in the position to help teach the rural youth of tomorrow. I want to help give the students a quality education and help encourage the agricultural producers of tomorrow.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2019

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Agricultural Crown lands leasing program changes ident of Canada (i.e. no longer restricted to Manitoba residents only). “Manitoba will see a number of benefits from this updated regulation including increased transparency and accountability of the program, and a reduction in red tape,” said then Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler in a news release announcing the changes. “The updated regulation will also help contribute to provincial economic growth by helping expand our livestock industry, further positioning us as a leader in protein production and processing.” Note: On October 23, Premier Brian Pallister shuffled the provincial cabinet, with Blaine Pedersen taking on the role of Minister in the new Department of Agriculture and Resource Development, an expanded department focused on agriculture and natural resources, including watershed districts, GROW programming, forestry, mining, fish and wildlife management. The change with respect to family transfers and a 15-year lease limit with no right for renewal drew immediate concern from Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and many ACL lease holders. The change would have meant that existing legacy lease holders could renew their lease for up to 15 years, until 2034. Thereafter the right to the lease would

Producers from district 9 gathered in Stonewall on October 22 to kick off the fall district meeting season. (Photo credit: Tanya Michalsky)

go up for auction. Legacy leases with expiry dates after 2034 would continue until the end of their term, and not be eligible for this renewal. During the government’s consultative process around possible changes to the ACL program MBP had requested that beef producers be given the first right to renew the lease upon expiry provided they were in compliance with the terms and conditions of their lease. MBP President Tom Teichroeb noted, “The lack of ability to renew the legacy leases was very concerning and disappointing. We asked for and were given the opportunity to meet with Minister Eichler and his staff a few days after the September 27 announcement to discuss the effects of this and other changes.

Many producers rely on predictable and affordable access to agricultural Crown land leases as a major part of their operations, particularly in parts of Manitoba with limited access to deeded land.” On October 11 then Minister Eichler announced that the province intends to make a regulatory amendment that will allow for the first right of renewal on legacy (family) leases for additional 15year terms so long as lease holders remain eligible, but no specifics were announced. “Giving existing forage lease holders the option to renew their legacy leases for additional terms provides the consistency they need for their operations,” said Minister Eichler. “This will enable succession planning for

family farms. Opportunities are created for new or young farmers to acquire use of these public assets through new leases to be offered at auction.” “Having the first right of renewal on legacy leases is very important to all cattle producers and this change is very important. However, the sooner that MBP and beef producers can see the regulatory change that will allow this to happen and be able to provide comment on it, the better,” said Teichroeb. “Access and predictability are essential to long-term planning related to livestock operations. MBP is continuing to lobby the province about various aspects of the ACL Leasing Program changes that are raising questions and concerns for producers to try to get

President's Column

Market Report

MBFI On The Road

Page 3

Page 5

Page 6

them resolved. ” Under the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation an “immediate family member” is defined as “the spouse, commonlaw partner, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew of a person, including a person’s corresponding in-laws and step-relations.” MBP has firm positions on several other matters raised during the consultative process around the modernization of the ACL Program and it is continuing to pursue their inclusion in the government’s regulation and policies. This includes the continued ability for producers to be able to utilize unit transfers. For several months there Page 4  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.

On September 27 the Manitoba government announced several significant changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Leasing Program and the reaction to them has been mixed. Among the key changes announced were: • Implementation of a public auction system for allocating ACL leases; • Changing the method by which rent for forage leases to a marketbased system whereby the rent for forage leases will be based on the price of beef cattle; • Implementation of a 15-year maximum term for new forage leases (instead of the existing 50 years); • The eventual end of unit transfers; • Removal of the 4,800 Animal Unit Month limit for forage lease holders; • A requirement for people with ACL leases to be actively involved in the haying, grazing or cropping of the land; • First Nations, Hutterite colonies, and similar organizations are now eligible for a communally held lease; and • Eligibility parameters at the time of application or participation in an auction are simplified, obligating an individual to be an adult Canadian citizen or permanent res-


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

ACL changes top of mind Firstly, I want to wish you all a belated happy Thanksgiving. As I sit here writing, full of turkey after a lovely family meal, I am reflecting on all the things I have to be thankful for. Thankful for my family and friends, who are the most important thing in my personal life. Also thankful for being able to be a part of an industry that I truly enjoy. The beef industry is full of great, thoughtful, kind-hearted people who are just looking to do right by their families and communities. They are also doing their best to produce food for the growing population in an ethical matter, in which animal care is extremely important, which is something I admire. This year has had its challenges, but it nice to be able to reflect on what we are thankful for, what we have done to help, and what we will continue to do moving forward. When I think of the challenges in the Manitoba beef sector right now, one issue is very topical. This is the modernization of agricultural Crown lands

for grazing/forage purposes, predictability is paramount for long term planning. This is the message we took to the provincial government, who we were able to meet with shortly after the first announcement came out. We wanted to ensure we maintained a high level of professionalism following the first ACL announcement. Relationships with industry and government are important for productive negotiations, and through our negotiations, the province has just recently announced they will be adding back the first right of renewal for legacy leases. The province understood that this ability to renew a lease, as long as it’s being used properly, is essential for long term investment in the land and succession planning on the family farm. MBP is pleased with this outcome, and we will continue our engagement with the province on our other positions related to ACL modernization. Page 5 

CARSON CALLUM

General Manager’s Column

(ACL). MBP has been very involved in the consultation process for these changes for the better part of a year, and we submitted a submission paper in April outlining our position on the different areas under the regulation. As many producers would have seen, the recent disappointing ACL changes missed the mark on a number of our positions. I won’t get in to the details of our position, but the major concerns MBP had with the new changes were related to unit transfers, first right of renewal, and informed access. Seeing as many producers utilize these Crown lands

41ST AGM &

President’s Banquet

February 6-7, 2020 | Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB • REGISTER AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR CALL 1-800-772-0458.

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MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $50 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $100 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 7 Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 6, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $60). • Non-refundable.

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• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 6, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $60). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT

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

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710

DISTRICT 5

STEVEN MANNS

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

DISTRICT 6

LARRY WEGNER

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

POSTAL CODE: ________________________________________ FAX: _________________________________________________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________ EXTRA BANQUET TICKET NAME: _______________________________________________ q BANQUET $60 *Banquet tickets are non-refundable.

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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 - SECRETARY

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 - PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

TYLER FULTON

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 VACANT

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

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

MARY PAZIUK

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 Carson Callum

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

JADE DELAURIER

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR David Hultin

FINANCE

Deb Walger

OFFICE ASSISTANT Tanya Michalsky

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR David Hultin

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


November 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

Discussions continue with province about ACL changes Wisdom and knowledge are powerful tools. This is a message I got from an English professor a number of years ago. He also believed that most people acquire those tools by learning from their mistakes. The livestock industry is very demanding and I firmly believe that we cannot afford to make the same mistake twice. This is especially true if that wisdom and knowledge helps us make changes to become more profitable and sustainable. I suggest that being informed about all aspects of business and the world around us is essential. When you consider radio, television, newspapers as well as the many forms of social media, information is literally at our fingertips 24/7. The recent disappointing changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) regulation caught many beef producers by surprise. Certainly no one outside of government was aware of the details of the newly-drafted regulations until they were released, but the province’s process of modernizing the ACL program has been underway for some time. By way of background, in December 2017 the province announced that two separate regulations related to hay and grazing permits, forage leases and cropping leases were being amalgamated into the new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation, and that there would be a move to a new tendering system. A period of public consultation on the changes began in February 2018 where stakeholder feedback was sought on matters such as: eligibility to obtain a lease or permit on ACL (opening it up to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents); a new tender system to set the annual fee/rent for forage leases and renewable hay and grazing permits; term lengths for forage leases and renewable permits; and, lease holder rights related to renewals and improvements. Then in October 2018 the province introduced Bill 35 – The Crown Lands Amendment Act. This legislation allowed for the rent on ACL to be determined by a public auction process instead of the existing tender process whereby fees or rent for leases and permits for ACL could be determined by public tender. As noted, throughout this timeframe there was an opportunity for the public to give feedback on the changes the provincial government was considering. A number of meetings were held where producers and industry reps were invited to exchange ideas and make suggestions on new policies and regulations. I personally participated in three consultation meetings in 2018 and 2019. Chris Budiwski, former director of Agri-Resource and Agricultural Crown Lands for Manitoba Agriculture, facilitated all the meetings held in various regions of the province. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) provided oral and written comments to the provincial government on a regular basis. MBP provided some articles on the proposed ACL changes in this newspaper. In the February 2019 edition of Cattle Country, I included the topic of ACL changes in my column in anticipation of the Manitoba government announcing the new regulations. I discussed at length the po-

TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

tential outcomes and the impact the new regulations may have on the livestock sector. Other media and newspapers also covered this topic in advance of the announcement. The process of changing any legislation or regulation is lengthy. As an industry we are digesting the effects of the ACL program modernization the province has announced, such as reduced lease lengths, a new rental rate formula, changes to transfers, and revised eligibility requirements. MBP is actively engaging with the provincial government to ensure that any changes being made will advance the beef industry and contribute to its long-term sustainability. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be informed and to use our wisdom and knowledge to encourage positive change and ultimately become more profitable. I strongly believe that we all need to contribute in a meaningful and constructive way to help shape the livestock industry. Governments undertake lot of consultations on many different topics, some of which are going to affect the way we do business in years to come. The more of us who can provide feedback during these types of consultations, the greater the level of understanding those making the legislative and regulatory changes will have of the possible effects on the beef industry. We may not always have the same approach to a topic, but all our views are valuable. No one needs to be reminded that producers in many parts of Manitoba experienced yet another difficult year, first the drought conditions and now an overabundance of precipitation. As has been discussed in previous Cattle Country articles and other news articles, one means to help navigate these difficult times is to use Business Risk Management (BRM) tools. At a recent gathering with friends and neighbors, we discussed the viability and the effectiveness of BRMs. In light of the challenges of the last two years, I was astonished at the number of producers who did not purchase or even consider BRM programs. The reasons why these producers chose not to invest in BRMs tools varied, but overwhelmingly they simply took a chance on history not repeating itself. Unfortunately it did. It is hard for me personally to understand why more people don’t use BRM programs when the chance of history repeating itself is so high. However, MBP understands these BRM tools are not perfect, and we continue to engage with the provincial and federal governments about how improve their effectiveness and responsiveness. Being informed can certainly make an impact on your ability to make intelligent business decisions. Prudent business decisions are crucial during these difficult times. Once again, I would like to encourage all produc-

ers to become familiar with the various BRM options. If you are choosing not to invest in BRM programs because they are not responding to your needs, please share your insights to help MBP lobby for more effective tools. My ranch would certainly be in jeopardy if I had not invested in BRM options that responded to the needs of my ranch. Understanding historic trends in feed prices and other unforeseen expenses has aided me in managing the finances of my ranch over the last two years of drought conditions. The bottom line is that participation and sharing your knowledge will help improve our great industry. MBP is in the midst of its 14 district meetings. All producers are once again invited to help MBP shape your future in the livestock industry. In hindsight, more resolutions at the 2018 district meeting regarding the consultation process of the ACL regulations may have proven valuable. Please join us at the district meetings to help guide MBP as it lobbies for changes to the BRM tools or any other policy framework that will allow you to become more profitable in your operation. It is your wisdom, knowledge and the sum of your voices that will help strengthen this fantastic industry. Finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support of MBP. It is your commitment and dedication to this organization that helps the Board of Directors and staff deliver services that best serve your operation. It is also important to recognize and thank MBP staff for their commitment and exemplary effort to serve beef producers. Thank-you to the MBP Board of Directors for their due diligence to the organization. It is the experience and wisdom from all parts of the province that has created a unified and all-inclusive voice for the beef industry in Manitoba. Kind Regards, Tom

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

Ration formulation very important TANYA ANDERSON DVM

Gladstone Veterinary Clinic

As I write this column, we are in the middle of the first major snowstorm of the season and it has come much too early for all those in the agricultural industry. Some areas of the province were dealing with flooding before this system while others, though welcoming the moisture in the last few weeks but cursing the timing, were kept off fields. Many silage and greenfeed crops remain in the field and winter feeding programs may need to be adjusted accordingly. Corn will be a base ration for many this winter, including on operations that have had little experience feeding corn in the past. While still a good source of energy and protein for mid to late gestation cows, proper attention to ration formulation and feeding management is required because corn-based rations do not provide the same nutrition as your typical forage-based ration. Corn is relatively low in protein but high in carbohydrates. Ensure an adequate rumen-degradable protein (like urea, canola/ sunflower/soybean meal) is available to support the rumen microbiome and optimize forage digestibility. This is particularly of importance if the forage is of lower quality. The delays in harvest this year have meant that cobs are more fully developed than preferred. Some areas

have had record yields if timely rains were received. Both equate to an increased risk for carbohydrate overload. Filling cows with a quality hay prior to grazing or doing strict strip grazing with dry forage supplementation will help minimize risks as cows pick out the cobs first before grazing the rest of the plant. Check cows regularly - stiffness as a result of laminitis will be the first symptom of a problem. The drought conditions and early frost mean that annual crops like oats, barley, corn or millet may have accumulated nitrates. Lower quality feeds with high weed content are also at risk of being high in nitrates. A quick, simple and cost-effective test can determine if your feed is in the danger zone and needs to be blended off and diluted to safe levels. Mature cows and replacement heifers are most at risk. Symptoms mimic those of other diseases - abortions, premature calves, newborn calf mortality, poor growth and decreased milk production. Regardless of the ration fed, minerals must be supplemented year-round. It is wrong to assume that if a herd does not consume much mineral that those animals do not ‘need’ it. Herd vitamin and mineral levels have deteriorated over the last few years based on blood and postmortem tissue analysis. The drought conditions, variations in feedstuffs and vitamin shortages have taken their toll on livestock health. Corn or greenfeedbased rations can be particularly challenging to feed to

gestating and lactating cows as both are low in calcium. Prolonged deficiency (>30 days), especially in the face of excessive phosphorus levels, inadequate magnesium and elevated potassium levels, during late gestation in herds with heavy milking cows are guaranteed to result in ‘down cows.’ Herd outbreaks commonly occur if the diet is also deficient in protein, weather conditions are suboptimal, cows are thin/old or are carrying twins. These cows require an immense amount of treatment and supportive care with many failing to respond and requiring euthanasia. Feed testing is imperative. The extremes in growing conditions have meant that the feed values listed in reference charts don’t apply when planning rations. This is particularly relevant in the case of frost-damaged forage. Also note that mineral levels have been unpredictably ‘all over the board.’ A feed analysis and ration development with your nutritionist is critical to avoid wrecks at the most physiologically stressed time of a cow’s cycle - calving. Mineral, protein and energy mismanagement can contribute to calving difficulty, uterine prolapse, retained placentae, uterine infection, muscle tears, broken bones, downer cows and calf health issues. This is definitely a time where being proactive goes a long way to making your life a lot less stressful and your operation more profitable next spring.

ACL reaction mixed  Page 2 has been a freeze on unit transfers as part of a larger provincial review of the Crown land and property sale process. The government has stated that existing unit transfer applications will continue to be processed. However, going forward, new leases will not be eligible to transfer the lease to a non-family member. MBP has asked that this be revisited. Re: changes to the rental rate formula, it is MBP’s position that it should be fair, easily understood, recognize market conditions and not place an undue financial burden on the producers during the transition to the new formula. The province’s new system for calculating forage rent is as follows: Rent = Beef Price x 3.5% Rate of Return x

Forage Capacity. In this formula, • Average Beef Price is the average sale price per hundredweight for the previous 36 months, ending September 30 for 500-600 pound heifers and steers in the province, as published by Canfax, an operating division of the Canadian Cattleman’s Association. • Rate of Return is the percentage assigned by Manitoba Agriculture to capture a relevant rent to the province in recognition of public access, tax burden, environmental and land stewardship factors, and improvement costs. The rate of return is set at 3.5 per cent, and will be re-evaluated in regu-

lar intervals to ensure ongoing relevance. • Forage Capacity is the number of Animal Unit Months (AUMs) that the land is capable of producing in an average year, as determined by Manitoba Agriculture. As announced, there will be a relatively short phase-in period to the rental rate change. In 2019, the rental rate was $2.13 per AUM. In 2020, the rental rate will be the average of the 2019 rate and the amount described in the formula. In 2021 and thereafter, the rent will be determined using the formula. It is MBP’s view that there should be a longer transition period to allow producers to adjust to the change in the rental formula. There has also been a change re: cropping leases

as follows: “Rental rates for cropping leases will be set by an auction instead of a tender. The minimum bid on cropping leases will be reduced from three percent of the assessed value of the land, to two percent, to take into account recent increases in land prices.” Re: the auction process for forage and cropping leases, payments must be made in full at the auction, including all of the first year’s rent and taxes, and any other fees that may be known for the parcel of land. For forage leases this will include: the auction bid amount, the rental amount as per the forage rent formula, the municipal tax value for land under lease for the first year, and, the value of Crown-owned improvements (if applicable). There will be a $200 administrative reserve fee for forage and cropping leases

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going up for auction. The province has indicated that available leases will be advertised for a minimum of 30 days prior to auction. The ad will include information such as: parcel size (acres); forage capacity; and, additional known amounts payable, including amount in lieu of tax payment, Crownowned improvements, etc. Re: privately-owned improvements on forage leases and renewable permits, the value of these is to be settled between the outgoing and incoming leaseholders within 30 days of the allocation. If no agreement can be reached, the provincial government has indicated that “the incoming and outgoing leaseholders can seek remedy in accordance with the provisions of The Arbitration Act.” Concerns have also been stated about this process.

MBP will also continue to advocate for the right to informed access whereby those wishing to access ACL would need to notify the lease or permit holder prior to entry. This is very important to address concerns related to potential biosecurity issues, and also to help protect livestock, people and the environment. MBP has sought this policy change from successive provincial governments and is very disappointed it was not incorporated in the regulatory changes. MBP is engaging in ongoing discussions the province program changes. MBP believes that if the beef cattle sector is to grow it is essential agricultural Crown lands be allocated, administered, priced and managed in the most predictable and transparent manner possible. This will help ensure their use is both effective and efficient for producers, and also help meet the stated objectives of the ACL program which include supporting the sustainable expansion of the livestock herd in Manitoba, contributing to ecological goods and services, and providing mitigation and adaptation to climate change. For more detailed information on the updated Agricultural Crown Lands Program (including term length and tenure policy, eligibility, allocation and rent policy, and the transfer policy), visit: www.gov. mb.ca/agriculture/landmanagement/crown-land/ index.html.


November 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Advance booking a must this fall It’s Thanksgiving and there is a foot of snow on the ground. Harvesting has been more than a challenge for the grain farmers. The cattlemen got a break with an extended fall grazing season, but are also having trouble getting enough hay and straw gathered for the winter season. With the poor harvest conditions, there is more and more feed grain available every day. One of the common misconceptions is that this cheaper feed grain will immediately increase the calf prices in Manitoba! Manitoba is mainly a backgrounding province. Those wanting to background feeders in Manitoba want a silage based ration which should include little to no feed wheat or barley. Too “hot” of a ration results in fleshy feeders that are an undesirable commodity to trade on the spring market. The abundance of cheaper feed will come into play when those 800-pound plus feeder

cattle arrive at their next destination and go on the finishing rations. The cheaper feed grain was a contributing factor to the increase in the yearling demand and prices in early October. Yearlings off the grass increased 4 to 8 cents per pound, prompted by a healthy increase in the fed cattle futures, the supply starting to dwindle, and cheaper feed available. The majority of the grassing operations should have turned a reasonable profit on their inventory this fall. Many of the grassing operations reported that the profits were better on the inventory that was purchased this spring compared to the inventory purchased in the fall and wintered over until grass time. This may have some of them rethinking their purchasing strategy. The auctions in Manitoba are all reporting that calf deliveries are behind schedule this fall. That trend seems to be consistent across the

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line west. Earlier in the season, it looked like the fall run would start early, but rains brought the pastures back to spring-like conditions, and producers lost the urgency to sell. Now the market operators are afraid that the fall run could be condensed into five to six weeks rather than the eight to 12 weeks we usually see. This could magnify the usual seasonal problems with transportation and space at the markets to handle the extra large volumes of cattle. Getting experienced reliable staff to work at the auctions and feedlots is always a problem and seems to be more prevalent this fall. In the past we have often talked about the “Remembrance Day” wreck. This is the time of

Weather issues  Page 2 The other challenge that producers across the province are attempting to deal with is a result of mother nature. We went from a back to back drought this summer to an extremely wet fall. To add insult to injury, we just experienced one of the worst snowstorms Manitoba has experienced on record. All of this has led to a major problem for feed availability, not to mention the other difficulties associated with 2 ft of snow. Producers that were relying on alternative feeds or silage, due to decreased hay production over the summer, are now wondering if they will be able to even get that option. MBP will be engaging with industry and lobbying both levels of government, to determine ways to help producers out in this disastrous growing season. A part of being in the industry we are in is, there will always be challenges on the horizon. I didn’t mean to bring anyone down while reading this, but it is important to talk about them in order to find solutions. That is why I greatly encourage you to attend our district meetings this fall and AGM in February,

during the last month. We expect large deliveries of cows once the calves are weaned and preg testing is completed. We should see the seasonal decline in the cow markets, as there will be ample supplies on both sides of the border. Demand for bred stock looks like it will be modest at best this fall with the best selection and demand usually in late November and early December. This fall when marketing your calves, preplanning and strong communication with your marketing representative will be crucial to successful marketing. Booking in advance will be a must this fall. Not all cattle are created equal, and there will be huge price differentials in different classes and weights of calves, determined by quality, flesh conditions and health on the consignments. Take a few hours and go to the sales and see the market for yourself. Until next time, Rick

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to help us at MBP understand the major issues affecting the MB cattle sector, and how MBP can determine solutions. To go back to what I started this with, being thankful for this industry. If this snow storm shows anything positive, it will be how resilient and caring our producers are. From some of the conversations I have had so far, I can tell you that it is amazing the amount of people that helped their neighbours get through the tough time, and vice versa. You don’t see that in every industry, so I would hope you feel proud to be part of a group like that. Before I close, I want to mention that we are excited to be welcoming a new team member to the group here in the office. David Hultin has joined us as our communications coordinator, and we are thrilled to have someone with David’s skills and experience on the team. I am sure you will see our social media accounts very active with David at the helm. Well, that is all for now. Hope to see you out at the district meetings and stay safe out there. Carson

SAVE THE DATE

year when there is more supply of calves than demand, the weather is turning, transportation is in short supply and the prices start to become very unpredictable from day to day and market to market. The mid-November market adjustment may not be as severe this fall as in the past. The main reason will be local demand! The majority of the backgrounding feedlots in Manitoba are not ready to receive cattle as early as other years. Many have no carry over of feed from last year and are struggling to harvest this year’s silage crop. Others have not completed cleaning their pens because the grain land they spread the manure on has not been harvested or is too wet to travel on.

Many of the pens were too wet to put freshly weaned calves in, and they are waiting for drier weather or freeze up to firm up the pens. In the past, the majority of the backgrounding pens were getting full by mid-November; this year they may be aggressively looking for inventory that will support the Manitoba markets. Currently the Canadian feeder cattle market is higher than the USA market, so there is very little export activity. The steer calves are selling about 10 cents per pound higher than last year in mid-October, while the heifer calves are slightly stronger at five cents higher. The spread between the steers and heifers is still between 20 and 30 cents per pound, depending on the weight and flesh conditions of the animal. Lighter than average deliveries of cull cows have kept the cow market firm despite the drop in demand for ground beef

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

MBFI wants to hear from you BY DUNCAN MORRISON After a busy summer of hosting events and carrying out research and demonstration trials, Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative (MBFI) general manager Mary-Jane Orr is taking MBFI on the road this fall and winter. “Manitoba’s livestock and forage producers are at the core of MBFI’s existence,” says Orr. “Everything that MBFI does from research and demonstration to extension is aimed at Manitoba producers for their uptake and benefit.” MBFI is a not for profit organization comprised of three research and demonstration farm sites focused on engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry in collaboration with four core partners: Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Manitoba Agriculture. Orr’s main target audience is livestock producers. Orr will kick off the fall by presenting a MBFI update at each of the MBP district meetings, starting October 22 in Stonewall. The goal, Orr says, is building awareness of MBFI across the province and great potential for one-on-one conversations with producers to gain feedback on how MBFI can best serve Manitoba beef producers. Especially, the opportunity to identify and bring forward on-farm trial ideas

producers would like to see tested before trying on their own farms. Reaching out for input and working with producers via the MBFI Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is to ensure producer voices are loud and clear in the project design mix. “Manitoba livestock producers have an opportunity to help MBFI select, create and guide demonstration projects on the farm,” says Orr. “Producers are able to come to MBFI to learn about research trials and consider possible applications to their farms along with the unique opportunity to see their ideas and suggestions take shape in MBFIled field demonstrations.” Under Orr’s leadership, MBFI started in 2019 developing and implementing demonstration projects from producer input. The MBFI led projects this year included corn intercropping for winter grazing, pasture cropping, and will be evaluating hay waste in bale grazing based on bale placement this winter. Besides taking part in on-farm demonstration events around research, the largest opportunity for producers is via input to or participation on MBFI’s Research Advisory Committee to ensure research at MBFI continue to be relevant, innovative, industry-led, and of benefit to Manitoba’s cattle and forage industries. Comprised of beef and/ or forage producers and science-focused representatives from each of the core partners, Manitoba’s university research community, Agriculture and Agri-Food

Canada, the MBFI RAC provides leadership and advice to help shape MBFI’s current and future research priorities and activities. MBFI chair Tracy Gilson understands first-hand the importance of connecting producers to research. Gilson grew up on her family’s dairy and beef farm at Narcisse, then cultivated an extremely impressive professional agricultural career afterward, including her current posting at the University of Manitoba’s Research Station. “The opportunity for livestock producers to provide feedback and make suggestions around what projects they would like to see at MBFI is a unique arrangement,” says Gilson. “By listening to producers and incorporating some of the projects they want to see, MBFI is staying connected to the community that we are designed specifically to help with their on-farm decisions.” Given the industry-led focus of MBFI, and the objective to bring innovative ideas forward from producers, the process to have projects assessed and approved offers a two-prong intake process: one process for producers with innovative ideas, and a second process for all other project proposals. Producers are encouraged to bring forward ideas and MBFI staff will work with individual producers to formulate and develop project proposals. “MBFI is facilitating and building on a network of producers learning from producers,” says Orr. “MBFI represents

an opportunity to put data behind practices and management that producers want to see trialed and tested via MBFI’s on-farm demonstrations.” With the outreach to producers as a focal point of the upcoming fall and winter, Orr also plans to highlight the MBFI’s vast potential to funders, partners and community groups. “Corporate supporters of MBFI have the rare opportunity to access producers directly at MBFI and in MBFI outreach,” says Orr. “Many companies are actively seeking a direct line to their customer base and MBFI offers that via on-farm demonstration events.” Besides the MBP district meetings, Orr also plans to showcase MBFI at the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association’s Regenerative Agriculture Forum November 19-20 where Orr will take the stage on November 19 as part of one of the producer panels before delivering one of four keynote addresses at the sold-out event on November 20. MBFI will also be present at the Manitoba Beef Producers 41st Annual General Meeting February 6-7, 2020 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Brandon. “In the face of another incredibly challenging year, it is more important than ever that MBFI is connected to what will help producers with their bottom lines,” says Orr. “I am eager to hear from everyone across the province so please don’t hesitate to say hi at a meeting or contact me directly anytime.”

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November 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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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 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 Q. I am really struggling with a lack of feed and with thin cows because my feed costs are too high. What kinds of resources are available to help me? A. It has been a difficult year so far for just about every commodity in Manitoba. Here are some resources to help you through this tough time: • If your cows are under-conditioned, or if you aren’t sure, contact your veterinarian and ask for a body condition analysis on your herd. This will also be an opportunity to renew your Veterinary Client Patient Relationship, which is required for producers to purchase prescription drugs, such as antibiotics. You may also want to ask your vet to perform pregnancy checks on your whole herd or at minimum; the cows that you suspect may be open. Culling just one open cow will save you between $2 and $4 a day in feed costs. • Contact Manitoba Agriculture and ask to speak with a livestock specialist about alternative feeding options. These specialists regularly see feed tests and prepare rations for herds with similar

needs. Their services are available at no charge. To find a livestock specialist in your area, look on the sidebar for their contact information. • If you are facing financial challenges, talk to your lender sooner than later. They may have payment options available that you aren’t aware of, such as deferred payments or consolidation. • Talk to your accountant about options such as the livestock tax deferral. You may be hesitant to reduce your herd size; however, there is a balancing point where feed costs exceed the long-term value of keeping the cow. As this program defers the sale of breeding stock until next year, the income is then partially offset by the cost of reacquiring breeding animals and as a result, the tax consequences are minimized. As well, you can always grow your herd back with your own genetics, retaining more heifers when you are in a better feed position. • You can call the Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services line at 1-866-367-3276. They offer free, confidential and non-judgmental counselling for anyone who lives on a Manitoba farm, or in a rural or northern community. • Talk to your family physician or for a list of mental health supports available in your region, contact your local regional health authority. Q. I hear about people buying all kinds of unusual feeds and claiming they are saving money by doing so. How do I determine what feed is the best purchase for my herd? A. There are many economical options for feeding your cattle. A great place to start is getting a feed

test. The test will give you the information you need to compare new feeds to the one you are already using. Feed tests must include the feed’s protein, energy and moisture content. You also need to know the landed cost in your yard to do accurate feed comparisons. Manitoba Agriculture offers a free feed cost comparison calculator called FeedPlan. This calculator can help you determine, for example, if barley at $4.50 is a better deal than pellets at $200 per ton, based on energy costs. FeedPlan ranks the cost of feeds in three different ways: • cost of feed equalized to dry matter equivalent • cost of feed organized by protein cost per pound • cost of feed organized by energy cost per pound The chart below is an example of protein costs sorted by ascending costs per pound of protein. To access the calculator, visit the Manitoba Agriculture website and in the search box, type FeedPlan. If you need help using the calculator, contact a Manitoba Agriculture livestock specialist listed in the sidebar. 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 The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture. 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.

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

Agri-recovery update, 100-day action plan BY MAUREEN COUSINS In late September the Manitoba government indicated it would not be pursuing AgriRecovery for cattle producers adversely affected by this year’s drought, something which MBP had requested that the provincial and federal governments consider providing. “MBP is disappointed that the Manitoba government has taken this position. Back-to-back droughts have exacted a heavy toll on producers, leading to feed shortages and other production challenges,” said MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “This has forced producers to make difficult management decisions, such as herd downsizing that will have effects on their operations for years to come. It also affects the province’s stated growing the herd. We strongly believe this decision needs to be revisited.” Instead then Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced several other initiatives aimed at helping affected producers. These are focused on the business risk management side and agricultural lending programs. (Note: Blaine Pedersen became the new Agriculture Minister on October 23.) Among the measures announced, the provincial and federal governments have agreed to increase the 2019 AgriStability interim payment percentage from 50% to 75% of the estimated final 2019 benefit. This will be available to cattle producers in 17 municipalities who are facing income declines due to back-to-back drought years

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and associated hay and feed shortages. This includes the municipalities of Alonsa, Armstrong, Bifrost-Riverton, Coldwell, Ethelbert, Fisher, Gilbert Plains, GlenellaLansdowne, Grahamdale, Lakeshore, McCreary, Mossey River, Rosedale, St. Laurent, Ste. Rose, West Interlake and Woodlands. Producers who have taken direct loans through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) will be able to defer payments for six months on all direct loans, and possibly an additional six months thereafter. Other options are also being provided for producers to consider, including MASC loans and financing to purchase calves (400 pounds and up), and loans to purchase breeding stock. There will be six months of interest-only payments on breeding stock loans. And, the province will be reviewing AgriInsurance to ensure that it is responsive to industry needs, particularly with respect to forage programs. 100-Day Action Plan Premier Brian Pallister has tasked his cabinet ministers with delivering on the province’s 100-Day Action Plan, with a directive that the actions are to be met by December 20. Some activities could have direct or indirect effects for the agriculture sector. For example, the Agriculture department is tasked with enacting the auction system for Agriculture Crown Lands and holding the first auction. It is also to “identify provincial regulatory barriers that un-

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“MBP is disappointed that the Manitoba government has taken this position. Back-to-back droughts have exacted a heavy toll on producers, leading to feed shortages and other production challenges.” - Tom Teichroeb, MBP President necessarily restrict the ability of Manitoba farmers to produce food for local markets and limit the ability of consumers to connect directly with local producers.” The Finance Department is to begin work on a plan to phase out education taxes on land over 10 years, once the provincial budget is no longer in a deficit position. The department is also to introduce The Crown Lands Disposition Act. Manitoba Infrastructure has been tasked with accelerating the construction of the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel. MBP believes this is an important water management initiative as high water levels around the lake have had a negative impact on many cattle operations in recent years. Sustainable Development is also expected to “increase enforcement and prosecution under The Wildlife Act against individuals who endanger public safety and wildlife populations by illegally night hunting.” During the election the Progressive Conservatives committed to end night hunting by implementing The Safe Hunting and Shared Management Act, enhance enforcement and prosecution of wildlife offences and to release the names of people charged for night hunting.

Drainage Process Streamlined There is a new, more streamlined approach to drainage licensing in Manitoba following the release of the Water Rights Regulation under The Water Rights Act. Under the new process, lower-risk/ lower-impact drainage and water retention works can now be registered with the provincial government, eliminating the former requirement for them to be licensed. Seven project classes are eligible to proceed through the registration process. These include: • Class A — Minor surface drains construction • Class B — Agricultural subsurface tile drain construction • Class C — Water control works for new crossings • Class D — Minor culvert changes • Class E — Water control works involved in wetland restoration or enhancement • Class F — Construction of small dams • Class G — Construction of small dry dams Higher-impact, higher-risk drainage projects that are not considered to be a “registrable project” may be eligible to receive authorization through a licencing process. It is also important to note that landowner and/or agency consent (approval) may be required prior to licensing or registration of Water Control Works. The provincial government is also committed to no net loss of wetlands. Under the new system: • Class 1 and 2 wetlands are eligible for drainage through registration; • Class 3 (seasonal) wetlands are eligible for drainage through authorization by license; and, • Under normal circumstances, a water rights license will not be issued for the drainage of Class 4 (semi-permanent), and 5 (permanent) wetlands. Additional information about registrable projects, identifying the various classes of wetlands, the landowner and agency consent (approvals) requirements, videos explaining how to apply for a Water Control Work Registration Certificate or a Water Control Works Licence and more can be found at the new Water Licensing Portal at www.manitoba.ca/drainage. The province has indicated that provided all criteria are met, registrable project applications submitted through the Water Licensing Portal and approved by the Registrar will receive a registration certificate within 14 calendar days.

Please join us

For our 2019 AGM

Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 President: Tracy Wilcox 204-723-0029 Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

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9

Students in U of M beef program share message of beef sustainability with urban audiences BY EMILY BOONSTRA, RHEA TERANISHI, DAPHNE MCKNIGHT, SYNDEY FORTIER, AND CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

While busy with courses and carrying out their research, graduate students in the beef systems program also make it a top priority to engage with those beyond their department. Students in the program have actively sought out avenues to engage with people who are less familiar with beef production in Canada. Getting on the agenda has provided unique opportunities for sharing their knowledge and having conversations about how beef is produced in Manitoba and western Canada. Although agriculture plays an essential role in the lives of every Canadian, there seems to be a growing misunderstanding by consumers regarding where their food comes from and how it is produced. Twoway dialogue with the general public about food and how it is produced in Canada is essential for everyone involved in the agri-food sector. Graduate students in the beef program have been front and centre at many events over the past six months, creating opportunities for two-way dialogue where they are sharing their knowledge of Canadian beef production while honing their communication skills. Connecting with the general public and families Open Farm Day is an annual event designed for the general public to connect with farmers and other agriculture-related stakeholders. It is an excellent opportunity for visitors to ask questions, express concerns and learn about production practices on Manitoba and Canadian farms. The University of Manitoba’s Farm and Food Discovery Centre (FFDC) is a host farm every year, showcasing modern production practices used in

crop and animal agriculture, including beef. Open Farm Day 2019 set an overall attendance record of more than 9,460 visitors from across the province, while FFDC set their own record, welcoming nearly 900 keen and curious visitors. Recognizing this opportunity to connect with the general public, staff and students with the beef program developed a beef production exhibit specially tailored to be both informative and engaging, tackling head-on some of the most common misconceptions facing the cattle industry. Their interactive station focused on general beef production information, as well as showcasing beef ’s role in environmental sustainability and positioning beef as part of a healthy, nutritious diet. With a backdrop of two cow-calf pairs, visitors also got to see beef cattle up close, thrilling children and adults alike. Many of the guests were primarily interested in understanding more about cattle production. However, there were plenty of opportunities to address more in-depth issues, which led to more meaningful conversations. Climate change was top of mind for many people, and with media promoting meat-free diets as a way to limit our individual impact, it is not surprising people have many questions and concerns about the beef industry and the environment. The environment display offered a tremendous visual about cattle production’s role in biodiversity and ecosystem management, drawing people in to learn more. Another annual event for the general public is Canada’s Science Rendezvous where research institutions set the stage for sharing the wonders of science and

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engineering with visitors. More than 300 events took place in over 30 cities across Canada in 2019. Thousands of attendees participated in the 2019 Winnipeg Science Rendezvous hosted at the University of Manitoba. Animal science graduate students volunteered at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences booth, where interactive activities helped children make the connection between science and food production. Children, along with their parents, explored the many ways in which science and engineering impact our everyday lives, including agricultural sciences. Connecting with U of M students outside of animal agriculture Whenever possible, professors, staff and students seize opportunities to connect with students and professors in different faculties at the University of Manitoba to share their knowledge of agriculture in Manitoba and Canada. In June, a number of graduate students from the beef systems program shared their research at the annual U of M Food Systems Student Symposium. Historically a gathering for human nutritional sciences students, this graduate student-organized event has broadened in recent years to attract students from a wide range of disciplines including animal, soil, plant, food, human nutritional and environmental sciences, engineering, as well as social sciences and the arts. The event provides a forum for students from diverse backgrounds to come together to discuss their research in the context of our shared food system. At a session dominated by food science and human nutrition-focused projects, the beef students’ research posters attracted considerable attention. This also provided an ideal venue for thoughtful dialogue with students having limited first-hand knowledge of agriculture Page 10 


10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

Student Bios Sydney Fortier, originally from rural NE Alberta, earned an undergraduate degree in Animal Science at the University of Saskatchewan, before coming to the UofM. She is now working on her masters looking into the environmental impact of beef raised with and without the use of growth enhancing technologies. Sydney hopes to continue her work as an agvocate and share the amazing story of Canadian beef no matter where her career takes her. Beef systems research program graduate students (left to right): Sydney Fortier, Daphne McKnight, Rhea Teranishi and Emily Boonstra. (Photo Credit: Emma McGeough)

Connecting with students  Page 9 about the importance of beef as part of our food system. Recognized for their contribution to the discussion, Emily Boonstra and Sydney Fortier won the People’s Choice award for their poster on the environmental impact of removing productivity-enhancing technologies from Canadian beef production while judges awarded Rhea Teranishi First Place for her poster on dietary strategies for reducing enteric methane emissions from cattle. The students were not only asked questions relating to their research, but also about the beef industry, environmental sustainability, and beef ’s place in the food system. In September, the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE) hosted 35 MBA students from the Asper School of Business taking a sustainable development management course. Their tailor-made program centred around sustainability considerations and actions in Canadian agriculture, profiling different animal agriculture sectors. Farmers joined staff and students to discuss egg, dairy and

beef production with the Asper students and their professor. The Glenlea Research Station provided an excellent venue for sharing our research on quantifying the environmental footprint of Canadian beef production, defining environmental benefits and developing footprint improvement management strategies. Connecting with elementary and high school students Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization with the primary goal of educating young students about where their food comes from. Volunteers with AITC, including students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, visit schools across the province sharing their stories and expertise with teachers and school-age children. The students also participate in AITC’s Amazing Ag Adventure, held annually in September. This three-day program at the Glenlea Research Station and Richardson’s Kelburn Farm, offers handson learning around crop and animal agriculture, linked with the Grades 4 and 5 science curriculum. This year 900 students and their teachers took part.

The FFDC also welcomed over 200 high school students for the inaugural Food From the Land workshop held the following day. Graduate students, professors and staff with NCLE have also developed programming illuminating the scientific research behind environmental improvements in livestock agriculture that is delivered to high school students at two annual events. Based on their experiences, these students with the beef systems program agree it is important to continue to engage in dialogue with the urban public about beef production so that the new generation of consumers can make informed choices using science-based information. Christine Rawluk is the Faculty’s research development and communications facilitator, specializing in livestock production systems. The UofM beef production systems research team includes Kim Ominski, Emma McGeough, Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez, Marcos Cordeiro, Kateryn Rochon, Claudia Narvaez, Doug Cattani, Yvonne Lawley, Francis Zvomuya, Mario Tenuta and Derek Brewin.

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Daphne McKnight grew up on a beef farm in the Interlake. She has a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy and is currently pursuing a masters degree. Her project studies supplementing beef cattle on pasture in early spring to improve performance and expand utilization of pasture systems. Rhea Teranishi, a born and raised city girl, found her passion for animal agriculture as an Animal Systems undergraduate student and technician. Motivated by the misrepresentation of the beef industry, Rhea spends time advocating for the industry while working on her thesis which studies new strategies to improve feed utilization and reduce methane emissions from beef cows. Emily Boonstra is from a grain and dairy farm in the South Interlake. Her masters project is assessing the environmental footprint of Canadian beef production, comparing beef raised with and without the use of productivity-enhancing technologies.


November 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

Sauerbraten a flavourful dish When I lived in Germany, I worked at a conference centre, which served German food that I fell in love with. German food is stereotypically described as ‘meat and potatoes’ but it is also unfairly called salty, boring, and heavy. Personally, I think German food is wonderful – it is wellseasoned, hearty, and cozy food, especially comforting on a brisk autumn (or cold winter) night. One German dish that I enjoyed eating, and also making, was “sauerbratenâ€?. Directly translated, this means “sour roast meatâ€?, and that basically captures the essence of what is cooked. The traditional version of this recipe calls for unusual ingredients, like juniper berries and crumbled ginger cookies, but the recipe you’ll find at the end of this article has been modified for ingredients that can be found more readily. After studying a more traditional recipe, I learnt about the preparation and cooking method. I turned to one of my favourite cookbooks, Joy of Cooking, for inspiration for this recipe. Before starting, there are some things you need to know. The preparation takes some time – minimum two days. You also need to save all the marinade for when it comes time to cook. This is going to provide the base for cooking, as well as the gravy. You do have some freedom when it comes to choosing your cut of meat. Traditionally, you want to choose an outside round roast. If you can’t find one, you can choose from a rump roast, a chuck roast, or an inside round roast. All of these options will give you the desired result.

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First, prepare the marinade by combining the marinade ingredients and heating, but not boiling. You want the marinade to be steaming before pouring it over the meat. Once you’ve combined the marinade and the meat, place in the fridge and let it sit for at least two days. You can leave this for longer if you like, or if your plans change at the last minute. The longer the meat sits in the marinade, the more sour the meat will become. Traditionally, the marinade is primarily made up of wine, which gives the meat its characteristic sour flavour. You can substitute this for vinegar or red wine vinegar, or even a mixture of the two. After it is cooked, brown sugar is added to the cooking liquid and it cooks for about 10 minutes longer. This sugar balances out the tang and sourness that developed while the meat marinated. When you are ready to cook, the roast is browned evenly and then braised in the reserved marinade for about three to four hours, depending on the shape of the roast. Serving the roast with gravy is absolutely necessary, especially in the German tradition. While it may be stereotypical to serve this with potatoes, they really are the best accompaniment. The gravy should be poured liberally over both meat and potatoes for the tastiest experience. Besides the fabulous meal you get to enjoy when the roast is fresh, chances are there will be leftovers, and these can also be enjoyed in different ways. Feel free to heat up the meat with the remaining gravy and serve as pulled beef on fresh buns or serve

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Sauerbraten 1-3lb roast – inside round, outside round, rump, or chuck 1 tsp. ground black pepper 1 large clove garlic, cut in half Marinade: ½ onion, sliced 2 cups wine, vinegar, or red wine vinegar 2 cups water 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp dried rosemary 1 ½ tsp whole peppercorns 1 ½ tbsp canola oil 1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 stalks celery cut into generous 1-inch pieces 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces 3 tbsp flour + 3 tbsp water – combine well! In saucepan, combine all marinade ingredients and heat through – make sure not to boil. In container large enough for marinade and roast, place roast and rub with garlic clove and ground black pepper. Leave remains of garlic clove in the container with the roast. Pour marinade over the roast. Cover and place in fridge. Let it sit for at least 2 days. 1. 2. 3.

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When ready to cook: Remove roast from fridge and let come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare vegetables for sautÊing. Heat Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add canola oil. Add roast and brown evenly. Once it has browned, remove from the pot onto a plate. Add the vegetables to the pot. SautÊ vegetables for about five minutes – you want the edges of the onion and celery to start to colour golden brown. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Once it boils, replace the roast to the pot and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cover and let cook on the stove top for about three to four hours. If your roast is flatter, it may be between two and three hours. If it is rounder, it will likely be closer to four hours. When the roast is done, take it out and place it on a serving plate. Cover and let sit till ready to serve. Drain the braising liquid to get rid of the vegetables and peppercorns. Return cooking liquid back to the pot. Bring to a boil and add the flour-water mixture. Whisk well and let cook until you see it thicken. This may take up to 10 minutes, so be patient. Carve roast and serve with gravy. You can pour over some gravy before serving just to moisten the meat, or you can leave it up to your dinner companions to gravy their own meat as desired.

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November 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Cattle producers help protect endangered birds

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The fencing enabled him to add some extra acres for grazing while the watering system provides an alternate watering source. “All three projects were very beneficial,” Jason says. “It was a great program. I’m very glad to be part of it.” What do fences and watering systems have to do with preserving natural habitat for birds? A lot, says Tom Moran, MHHC’s habitat conservation specialist for the Boissevain region. “These are permanent cover native prairie pastures because someone’s using them to graze cattle,” Moran says. “The fencing and watering are all part of what it takes to keep cattle on the land and to keep that land dedicated to native prairie cover.” While the project is new, the concept behind it is thousands of years old, Moran continues. “In the past it was bison grazing the prairies. Now they’re gone, so we’re using cows. If not for that, we wouldn’t have a lot of these areas. In terms of grazing, it keeps the prairie vibrant.” Sopuck says the loss of grasslands is far more serious than people realize. These days, fires in the Amazon rain forest get all the attention when it comes to destroying natural habitat. But the grassland ecosystem throughout North America is at an even greater risk, Thurs., Feb 1 as grassland is increasingly converted into annual crop production. Tues., Feb 6

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broken up for crops, which reduces its value for species at risk. When it ended this spring, SARPAL had 35 participating landowners and 21,000 acres of projects, Sopuck said. All projects were in southwestern Manitoba, a hotspot for bird species at risk. While it’s hard to prove if SARPAL is stabilizing bird populations, Sopuck is confident the program has made a difference. “I can’t say what the impact was on certain species. But from the standpoint of the program -- and I’ve got almost four decades in this game -- to me it’s one of the most successful programs I’ve been involved with,” he says. Projects funded by SARPAL include barbed wire and electric fencing, portable watering systems, portable power sources, hydro installation and dugout construction. SARPAL pays for materials and the landowner provides the labour. One producer benefiting from SARPAL is Jason Wickham, along with his wife Jennifer and their children, who farms with his father Don south of Waskada in Manitoba’s extreme southwest corner. The program helped him install a solar powered watering system which draws water from a small dam reservoir and pumps it into a trough for cattle to drink from. He also erected some fencing and had a new dugout excavated.

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If you’re a bird lover, or even if you’re not, the news is grim. Bird populations in North America are declining at an alarming rate, raising fears about an ecological catastrophe in the making. The latest warning comes from the U.S.-based National Audubon Society, which issued a report October 10 claiming about two-thirds of bird species in North America could face eventual extinction because of a warming global climate. “We are in the midst of a bird emergency,” Audubon CEO David Yarnold was quoted as saying. Another study, appearing in late September in Science magazine, estimated 2.9 billion birds of various species in Canada and the United States have vanished since 1970, a population drop of 29 per cent. Closer to home, a report titled The State of Canada’s Birds 2019, issued in June by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (Canada), found that total grassland bird populations in this country have fallen by 57 per cent since 1970, making for a loss of 300 million birds. The disturbing news has renewed demands for action to stem the decline in bird populations. One of those efforts comes from a largely unheralded group: Manitoba cattle farmers. A three-year $750,000 project by Manitoba Beef

Producers, which wrapped up March 31, 2019, aimed at protecting endangered bird species by conserving and enhancing their natural habitat. That habitat includes grasslands. And that makes cattle producers a natural fit for helping to preserve grassland birds, the most threatened bird species in Canada. “(Grasslands) are the last refuges for species at risk. We want to work with producers to help ensure those grasslands stay as grass and that there are management approaches to help their bottom line and ensure land habitat for species at risk,” says Tim Sopuck, CEO of Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. The program is called Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL). Funding comes from Environment and Climate Change Canada. MHHC delivered the project for Manitoba Beef Producers and is currently working with Ottawa and MBP to hopefully develop a second three-year agreement, Sopuck said. Because beef producers use prairie lands as pasture, SARPAL is designed to help producers manage native habitat to benefit species at risk, mainly birds. Grassland birds nest on the ground and rely on surrounding vegetation to hide from predators. Supporting beef producers through SARPAL keeps grassland in production instead of being

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“When you look at the rate of loss of grassland, it is the biggest conservation concern when it comes to habitat on the planet,” Sopuck says. Most people would agree with the importance of maintaining grasslands, keeping them healthy and providing habitat for wildlife. But there’s a problem. To keep those acres in grass requires a viable cattle industry and viability for beef producers is hard to come by these days. Manitoba’s cattle industry has experienced a steady series of setbacks for nearly 20 years, beginning with BSE in 2003 and continuing with U.S. country of origin labeling, E. coli, depressed markets, flooding and, especially this past summer, hay shortages due to drought. As a result, producers are leaving the industry and beef cow numbers in Manitoba have declined steadily. Instead of herd rebuilding, there’s herd liquidation. All of which underlines the fact that, in order to keep land in grass and provide habitat for wildlife, you need a strong cattle industry. “If we keep losing cattle numbers, we’re going to continue to lose grassland acres,” says Kristine Tapley, a Ducks Unlimited Canada regional agrologist. “You can see that correlation. As beef numbers go down, so do grass acres. The most Butcher Sale important thing is that we Bredany Cow Sale don’t lose more because we don’t get it back. Feeder Sale

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“We will not have a viable grassland bird population without the beef industry,” Tapley, a cattle producer from Langruth, adds. “I truly believe that. It’s one of the only ways you can have an economic return from a grassland ecosystem without ruining it.” Cattle take a public relations beating these days because of their greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to global warming. Yet SARPAL offers an example of how cattle, far from damaging the environment, actually help protect it, says Larry Thomas, environment manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “Until recently there hasn’t been a lot of recognition in the popular press about that,” Thomas says. “But recently we’ve seen some initiatives where conservation groups are recognizing the critical role cattle play in the health of the ecosystem and the fact that we need cattle on these ecosystems.” Tom Teichroeb, Manitoba Beef Producers president, said MBP is pleased to have worked with MHHC on SARPAL. “There was strong interest in the initiative from producers in the target area of southwestern Manitoba -- an indication of their commitment to carefully stewarding their land,” says Teichroeb. 9:00 am; “Cattle and wildlife both 1:00 pmare benefit when grasslands more productive. ” am 9:00

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

Province announces first agricultural Crown land auction dates The Manitoba government has announced the first dates for upcoming agricultural Crown land lease auctions, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen said on October 25. “The former Department of Agriculture conducted extensive consultations with stakeholders on the allocation of agricultural Crown lands,” said Pedersen. “The auction system is a fair and transparent approach that will create opportunities for new or young farmers to have access to these public assets.” Upcoming agricultural Crown land lease auctions are being held on: • Nov. 27 at the Brandon Manitoba Agriculture Office;

• Nov. 28 at the Minnedosa Ukrainian Hall; • Nov. 29 at the Dauphin Provincial Building; • Dec. 3 at the Swan River War Veterans Community Hall; • Dec. 5 at the Ashern Manitoba Agriculture Office; and • Dec. 6 at the Dugald Community Hall. In November 2018, the Manitoba government passed The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands), which enabled amendments to the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation (Oct. 1, 2019). One of the updates to the regulation included implementing a system of allocating agricultural

Crown land leases by way of a public auction. The Agricultural Crown Lands Program supports the sustainable expansion of the livestock herd in Manitoba, contributes to ecological goods and services, and provides mitigation and adaptation to climate change. These leases and permits are available to farmers and ranchers, to provide an additional land base on which to conduct agricultural activities. More information on the upcoming auctions, including start times, can be found at https://resd.ca/leases_and_ permits/LPproperties.aspx or contact a local Manitoba Agriculture Agricultural Crown Land office.

Producers can apply for BMP funding Producers have until December 6 to apply for cost-shared funding through the Ag Action Manitoba Program – Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs). Activities are now open for applications for 2020/2021. Successful applicants will have until February 15, 2021 to provide a valid Statement of Completion for the Environmental Farm Program to the program administrator to be reimbursed for project costs. It is not however required at the time of application. Livestock producers are also required to have a Manitoba premises identification number. Examples of BMP categories include: Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas, Establishment of a Cover Crop, Farmyard Runoff Control, Intercropping, Relocation of

Confined Livestock Areas, Intercropping, Increasing Frequency of Perennials within Annual Crop Rotations, Perennial Cover for Sensitive Lands, Improved Pasture and Forage Quality, Resource Management Planning, and Pesticide Storage. Each BMP has its own specific application form. Approved projects must be completed between April 1, 2020 and February 15, 2021. For more information see: https://www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ environment/environment a l-far m-plan/ ag-action-manitoba-assurance-beneficial-management-practices.html . Environmental Farm Plan workshops are being held this fall. For more information see: https:// www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/environment/eventsand-deadlines/index.html.

TESA applications due to MBP by December 6 Manitoba Beef Producers is accepting applications for Manitoba’s Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) until December 6. Since 1996, the Canadian Cattlemen Association’s (CCA) TESA has recognized producers who go above and beyond

standard industry conservation practices, setting positive examples for other cattle producers and the general public. At the provincial level, the winning operation receives recognition for its outstanding contributions, which in MBP’s case occurs in conjunction

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with its annual general meeting in February. All provincial award recipients then move forward to compete at the national level. The national TESA recipient is announced during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference and CCA Semi-Annual Meeting in August. All provincial recipients are awarded an all-expense paid trip for two to attend this meeting. Each TESA nominee

exemplifies significant innovation and attention to a wide range of environmental stewardship aspects of their farm operation. Such innovations extend beneficially to areas far beyond their land, including water, wildlife and air. All beef cattle operations in Canada may apply. Producers can either be nominated by an individual or organization, or apply themselves. Nominees and applicants com-

pete for one of the provincial awards based on their province of residence. For more information and to access the application go to http:// www.cattle.ca/sustainability/the-environmental-stewardship-award/, or contact MBP for a copy. The form, along with all supporting documentation (such as letters of support, photos and/or videos), is to be submitted to Manitoba Beef Produc-

ers c/o 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 by December 6, 2019. The application can be emailed to info@mbbeef.ca . The 2018 national level TESA winner was Manitoba’s Circle H Farms, a purebred cow-calf operation owned and operated by Brian and Sonja Harper and family. The recipient of Manitoba’s ESA in 2019 was Cameron and Lisa Hodgins, Hodgins Farm of Lenore.

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING

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

DIRECTOR

DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 9

Dianne Riding

Oct-22

South Interlake Rockwood Ag Society (Red Barn)

PR #236 & Rockwood Road, Stonewall

District 4

Robert Kerda

District 11 Robert Metner

Oct-23

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart

28121 PR #205, Grunthal

Oct-24

Ashern Legion

3 Main St. East, Ashern

District 10 Mike Duguid

Oct-28

Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre

409 Recreation Centre, Arborg

HIGH FAT EXPELLER CANOLAMEAL (APPROX. 39 % PROTEIN, 11 % FAT)

District 3

Peter Penner

Oct-29

Carman Legion Auxiliary Hall

28 – 1st St. NW, Carman

District 2

Nancy Howatt

Oct-30

Baldur Memorial Hall

142 First St., Baldur

GROUND OAT HULLS (Great for stretching silage)

District 5

Steven Manns

Nov-01

Austin Community Hall

44 – 2nd Ave., Austin

District 14 Jade Delaurier

Nov-04

Swan River Elks Hall

112 – 5th Ave. South, Swan River

CORN SCREENINGS (Similar nutrient value to whole kernel corn) (No grinding or rolling required to feed) OTHER FEED INGREDIENTS AVAILABLE! FOR PRICES DELIVERED TO YOUR AREA PLEASE CONTACT US Feed Ingredients from a Name that Delivers Quality, Reliability and Value

Jan or Heather (204) 822-6275 1 (877) 999-6604

District 12 Vacant

Nov-05

Ste. Rose Jolly Club

638 – 1st Ave. SW, Ste. Rose du Lac

District 13 Mary Paziuk

Nov-06

Grandview Legion

476 Main Street, Grandview

District 7

Nov-07

Miniota Community Centre

568 Miniota Rd, Miniota

Tyler Fulton

District 1

Gord Adams

Nov-12

Mountview Centre

111 South Railway Ave., Deloraine

District 8

Tom Teichroeb*

Nov-13

Arden Community Hall

411 Saskatchewan Ave., Arden

District 6

Larry Wegner*

Nov-14

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 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

First three GROW projects unveiled In support of the Moving Manitoba Forward Guarantee and the made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, the Manitoba government has unveiled the first three projects under the $52-million Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust to support the protection of wetlands and watershed management, Premier Brian Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced Oct. 22. “Today’s announcement highlights our government’s unprecedented commitment to support our producers as stewards of the land, recognizing

the environmental benefits that come from healthy ecosystems,” said Pallister. “Our government values the critical role farmers play in managing our landscapes and watersheds. Working in collaboration with producers and landowners, the GROW Trust will ensure the sustainability of our wetlands today and for future generations to come.” In partnership with the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC), the province announced the first three projects to receive funding through the GROW Trust. The SeineRat River Conservation District and the

New Manitoba cabinet announced Premier Brian Pallister shuffled his cabinet on October 23, with some changes in Ministers working on matters related to agriculture. Key among them: Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) will be the minister of the new Department of Agriculture and Resource Development, an expanded department focused on agriculture and natural resources, including watershed districts, GROW programming, forestry, mining, fish and wildlife management.

Sarah Guillemard, MLA for Fort Richmond, is minister for the new Department of Conservation and Climate, a single department charged with environmental and climate stewardship. It is responsible for ensuring responsible growth including delivery of the made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, and Efficiency Manitoba. Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) is minister of the new Department of Economic Development and Training, which will be focused on economic

development combined with post-secondary education and training to create synergies and alignment between learning and the jobs that will drive the economy. Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) is the minister for the Department of Municipal Relations. Ron Schuler (MLA for Springfield-Ritchot), will continue in his role as Infrastructure minister. Updated mandate letters will be provided to cabinet during the next legislative session.

Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District will each receive $250,000 to expand the ALUS Canada ecological goods and services programs they offer to conserve wetlands, and build resilience to the impacts of flood and drought, the premier noted. In addition, up to $1 million will be invested in the TransCanada Shelterbelt Renewal Project, which will be designated as a ‘Manitoba Signature Project’ to demonstrate the value of shelterbelts on agricultural landscape. “The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation is proud of our partnership with the Manitoba government that will help ensure the protection of our natural resources and improved watershed resiliency that will deliver important environmental results for Manitobans for generations to come,” said Tim Sopuck, chief executive officer, MHHC. It was also announced the first intake of applications to the GROW Trust will be held in January 2020, allowing conservation districts, soon to be watershed districts, with local GROW committees to apply for project funding that will encourage and support the delivery of ecological goods and services (EG&S) in Manitoba. “Building on the innovative approach to provide long-term investments to protect our environment first established through the Conservation Trust, GROW will further enhance our ability to mitigate climate change,

DID YOU KNOW?

reduce flooding and improve water quality and nutrient management in our watersheds,” said Squires. “Our government is committed to working with all Manitobans to ensure we remain Canada’s cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province.” The Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust has been established with an initial investment of $52 million and will be managed by The Winnipeg Foundation (TWF). It will help producers and ranchers with projects such as restoring wetlands, planting windbreaks and balancing drainage with water retention to improve resiliency to a changing climate. The trust also encourages private donations toward supporting these important initiatives and project selection will be co-ordinated in partnership with Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation and delivered by Manitoba’s conservation districts. For more information about GROW, including project eligibility, contact a local conservation district or visit www.gov.mb.ca/sd/. For questions about opportunities outside of the conservation district program, call Manitoba Sustainable Development at 204-945-0002. More information about conservation districts and watershed planning can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/sd/water/watershed/cd/index.html. For more information about ALUS Canada visit https://alus.ca/.

REPRODUCTION is the most important factor affecting PROFITABILITY.

Reproduction is 5X more important than growth rate, and 10X more important than carcass quality when it comes to profit. Every missed breeding cycle represents a 42 lb loss in weaning weight.

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

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F

HI LES

FERTILITY MATTERS AT EDIE CREEK ANGUS Our cowherd calves on pasture, then pairs graze until December. Over Winter, the cows take care of themselves bale grazing without grain.

• Webinar may be cancelled on a given week due to a lack of registered participants. • Pre-registration is required. • Contact Melissa Atchison at (204) 264-0294 or email: verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com for details.

Yearling heifers are developed without any grain, and are exposed to a bull for 42 days.

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 verifiedbeefmanitoba@gmail.com. • Alternate times and days can be arranged based on producer demand.

This year our main cowherd saw an Angus bull for 30 days and then their chance to produce Purebred stock was over. Last cycle they were exposed to Fleckvieh Bulls.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2019

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PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

DECEMBER 2019

Manitoba producers were greeted with an early winter snowstorm this year. (Photo by Jeanette Greaves)

As National Beef Strategy is launched, producers ask, ‘how are my dollars being spent?’ As Manitoba Beef Producers and other provincial organizations in the prairie provinces wrapped up their district meeting recently, one of the recurring questions from beef producers relating to the recently announced National Beef Strategy covering the next five years was ‘How are my check-off dollars being spent?’ It’s a fair question, given that over the last year one of the recommendations from the previous five-year Strategy – to raise the national check-off to $2.50 from $1.00 across the country – has been implemented in all of Canada’s provinces except Ontario. It has been quite a process, says Chad Ross, Chair

of the Canadian Beef Check-off Agency, but one that is starting to provide more dollars into things like marketing, research and stakeholder engagement that are crucial to the growth and success of the Canadian beef industry. “Increasing the national check-off was one of the huge things that we got done from the first strategy and now we have research through the Beef Cattle Research Council to communicate to the public about how environmentally sustainable beef production is,” says Ross. “On the production side, we are more efficient. It now takes 25 per cent less cattle to raise the same amount of beef that we were 30 years ago.” There has also been great progress on the marketing side, says Ross. “We

have done some wonderful things with Canada Beef as far as marketing,” he says. “We’re building relationships with companies like Walmart, and Costco and they are telling us they want more Canadian beef, they can’t get enough, so that’s good.” “It’s important to recognize that for all of this to happen, primary producers across the country saw the vision and stepped up to fund it,” says Manitoba Beef Producers President, Tom Teichroeb. And it appears their money is being well spent. The last independent study commissioned by the check-off agency showed that the return on check-off dollars is 14 to 1. Once there is final, national agreement from all provinces

on the national check-off increase, the import levy for imported cattle will also increase, providing more funds for generic marketing programs, like the Think Beef campaign that talks about nutritional and health benefits of beef. As with most long-term plans, there aren’t always immediately visible results, but the new National Beef Strategy will build on the work already done and see continued progress in all these areas, says Ross. A roadmap to a profitable beef industry The Canadian Beef Advisors recently released the 2020-24 National Beef Strategy that is designed to take advantage of the opportunities facing the industry while Page 13 

President's Column

District Meeting Resolutions

Guardians of the Grassland

Page 3

Page 5

Page 16

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 December 2019

Agricultural Crown Land in Manitoba BY MIKE KAGAN

Government of Manitoba Agri-Resource Branch

The Agricultural Crown Land program is undergoing change, but that doesn’t necessarily mean significant changes for leaseholders whose leases were in place prior to the new regulation (October 1, 2019). These legacy leaseholders will retain their lease as per their current terms (until age 65). For

legacy leaseholders who are approaching expiry over the next few years, a transitionary measure to adapt to the program changes ensures that no legacy lease will expire (without renewability) until December 31, 2034. Although there has been an announcement of the provincial government’s intention to enable successive renewals of legacy leases, how this will look hasn’t been worked out yet. This change will re-

quire a regulatory amendment, and once it has been drafted, it will appear on the new Manitoba Regulatory Consultation Portal (reg.gov.mb.ca/home). Family transfers are still available to all leaseholders who wish to pursue in-family succession planning, for the remainder of the lease term. However, unit transfers (together with a farm unit sale) only remain available to legacy leaseholders for the remainder of the exist-

ing term. No unit transfers on new leases are allowed. The revised forage rental formula sets an annual rental amount that is tied to the market price of beef, as well as the forage capacity of the land. Continuing to use the forage capacity of the land in the rent formula ensures that rent is adaptive to varying agricultural quality of Crown land. The 2020 forage rental rates are set at $7.09/AUM for new leases, and at a transitionary rate

of $4.61/AUM for legacy leases. The new Agricultural Crown Land Program will allocate 15 year forage leases via auction, where bidders will compete for the right to acquire the lease. Additional charges, due at auction, include first year’s rent, an amount in lieu of municipal taxes and Crown-owned improvements, and applicable GST. Ongoing annual lease costs include a rental amount calculated by for-

mula, and the amount in lieu of municipal taxes, which is collected by the province and transferred to the applicable municipality. For more information on the modernization of the Agricultural Crown Land program, new policies, and a complete listing of parcels that will be available at upcoming auctions, please visit www. manitoba.ca/agriculture/ land-management/crownland/index.html.

My first round of district meetings After 14 district meetings and over 4,200 kms of travel we’ve wrapped up our fourweek marathon across the province. For this being my first round of district meetings, it was insightful to hear from producers about the key issues impacting their regions. I also recognize how difficult of a production season it has been across the province and that challenges, whether it is a drought or excess moisture for example, continue to be felt. Thank you for sharing your ideas, your frustrations, and your guarded optimism for our industry as we get ready to welcome in a new year. Rest assured we are listening to you and we will work to determine effective strategies to deal with everything that comes our way. You can connect with us on social media (@ManitobaBeef on Twitter and Manitoba Beef Producers

DISTRICT 1

GORD ADAMS

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

on Facebook), via our website (mbbeef.ca), through email (info@mbbeef.ca), and even the good oldfashioned phone (1-800772-0458) if that suits your style. Your opinions matter and we need to hear from you in order to help drive the industry forward. As part of MBP’s fall district meetings, director elections are held either in odd-numbered or even-numbered districts. Following their ratification at the 41st AGM in February in Brandon MBP we will be welcoming six new directors to its board. Incoming directors at that time will be as follows: District 4 – Kevin Duddridge; District 6 – Melissa Atchison; District 8 – Matthew Atkinson; District 12 – Mark Good and District 14 – Jim Buchanan. We thank all those who stepped forward to let their names stand in the director elections and

CARSON CALLUM

General Manager’s Column

look forward to having the new directors take their place around the board table. Some great discussion was had at each of the district meetings and I thought this would be an opportunity to highlights a few of the major topics we covered. Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Since the province made the announcement of the changes to the ACL program, Manitoba Beef Producers has put a great deal of our efforts towards addressing and advocating for change. For over a year, we had been providing feedback during the consultation for this modernization of the ACL program, but MBP is disappointed these new regulations did not incorporate various aspects of our position paper submitted in April. This topic was a major concern for many of our members, and we certainly heard how these changes will impact many producers during our district meetings. Many resolutions were put forward

DISTRICT 5

STEVEN MANNS

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

in regards to the ACL program, to be taken to our AGM in February 2020. MBP will continue to strongly advocate our position to the provincial government and stress the importance of regulatory amendments to the recently announced program. Predation Predation is an ongoing issue for multiple producers across the province and this remained a major topic of discussion during our district meetings. MBP continuously raises this issue with the provincial government and through the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group. This group is made up of multiple stakeholders who have been collaborating to develop a pilot project to address the issue. The pilot would engage producers in targeted areas where predation losses are most prevalent and its major goal will be to test the effectiveness of prevention tools and predator removal mitigation actions. A submission has been made to

DISTRICT 9

DIANNE RIDING - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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 - SECRETARY

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 - PRESIDENT

PETER PENNER - TREASURER

ROB KERDA

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

the province for funding towards this pilot project and MBP will continue to engage with stakeholders to drive this forward. Transportation Changes being made to the federal rules governing livestock transportation in Canada were a major point of discussion during our district meetings. These changes, coming into force February 20, 2020, will have a large impact on the beef sector. The new regulations shorten the time animals are allowed to travel without feed/water and increases the amount of time required to rest. Even with research that has shown that most cattle arrive at their destination in good condition after long journeys, these new regulations are a result of a large public consultation that has impacted its results. The Canadian Cattlemen Association (CCA) continues to raise it concerns of how these changes will have a negative impact on the industry with the federal government. MBP will support the CCA on these efforts. Public Trust A consistent topic at all district meetings was the importance of improving the public trust of the beef industry. As many agreed, there is

TYLER FULTON

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 VACANT

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

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

MARY PAZIUK

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 Carson Callum

POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

currently such a negative opinion in the media and with the general public of the beef industry. A prime example is all the headlines relating to the impact on climate change. These negative opinions can have a major effect on our industry, and can even impact regulations. The transportation changes I previously mentioned is an example of this impact. The industry needs to convey information to the public about the variety of environmental services and other benefits that the beef industry provides to the Canadian society. This will be a crucial area that MBP will need to continue to focus on moving forward, as we need to ensure we are getting the positive messages out there about how the beef industry is a sustainable way to produce nutritious food for the ever-growing population. I look forward to seeing many of you at our 41st Annual General Meeting in February and I encourage you to preregister before January 7th to secure the early bird price of $85. Please visit https://www.mbbeef. ca/annual-meeting/ for more information. On behalf of our staff at MBP, have a happy and safe holiday season.

JADE DELAURIER

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

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR David Hultin

FINANCE

Deb Walger

OFFICE ASSISTANT Tanya Michalsky

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR David Hultin

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

Reflecting back on a busy year and looking ahead to what's next TOM TEICHROEB President's Column

It has been a hectic, yet productive, time of year as the 14 Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) district meetings were held. I attended the District 9 meeting in Stonewall as well as the District 12 meeting in Ste. Rose. Both were well attended and productive meetings. It is encouraging to see so many producers participate by bringing their comments, concerns and suggestions to the meetings. To no one's surprise, drought and feed shortages, along with changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) program were contentious subjects. Rightfully so, producers in many parts of the province have voiced their disappointment with the provincial government's decisions not to seek an AgriRecovery program. Despite some of the poorest forage and crop yields, and one of the driest years in many areas in recent history, it is both frustrating and hard to accept that AgriRecovery is not available for affected producers. MBP has lobbied both the provincial and federal governments for AgriRecovery on a number of occasions without success. Even more pronounced, frustrations continue to be voiced by producers regarding the recently-announced changes to the ACL program. MBP has been, and continues to be, engaged with producers as well as the provincial government on the particulars of these changes on virtually a daily basis. A number of resolutions were passed at the various district meetings in hope that the government will consider more changes to the ACL regulations. MBP has voiced its frustration and disappointment and will continue to lobby government for a more favorable outcome. Although ACL regulations and drought conditions remain dominant topics in the Interlake and many northern regions of Manitoba, other districts have unique challenges.

For example, producers in District 5 (the Austin and MacGregor areas) are concerned with an increase in the wild boar and pig population. Wild pigs can be a nuisance and some producers have reported crop and infrastructure damage. As a result, a resolution was passed to develop and implement a funded strategy to address the wild boar program, and also to provide compensation to producers for damage to crops and property. Predation is still one of the most frustrating issues for many producers. It was my hope that MBP would be able to announce a pilot program with the provincial government to deal with predation issues this fall or winter. Although there has been significant progress by the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group to develop the pilot program, it will likely not be seen until 2020. MBP has spent the better part of a decade lobbying for a predation management initiative. Many resolutions have come forward at both the district meetings as well as the annual general meetings. It has certainly dominated many MBP board meetings for the five-anda-half years I have been a director. Persistence on this file may finally reward producers with some better strategies to reduce the risk of predation-related losses. As more and more producers grow corn as an alternative feed option, damage caused by black birds continues to be brought to MBP’s attention. MBP has discussed this with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) on a number of occasions. MBP will continue to advocate for a Business Risk Management program option to help producers manage these losses. It is vital to recognize that all 14 districts have their own unique challenges. MBP’s staff and directors work hard to deliver initiatives and a strategic plan that will

advance the beef industry for all districts. There are challenging issues like drought, predation and ACL regulations and others that certainly test MBP's resolve. Countless efforts and meetings with government unfortunately do not always result in favorable outcomes for the industry. It is MBP's mandate to represent all of its members on the various issues in the most effective way possible. It is with that mandate that MBP continues to respectfully advocate on behalf of beef producers.

good deeds to mention but I'm sure most of you feel the same way about your community. Especially in difficult circumstances, it is important to reach out to our community to support each other. I believe it is important to consider how we might strengthen and build new relationships to help us all become more successful. Aside from the flood in 2011, I cannot remember a more challenging year. On behalf of MBP, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all our members for their continued sup-

reflect on a transitional year for MBP. As you are aware, MBP was extremely pleased to hire Carson Callum as General Manager (GM) in July. Carson has shown great leadership and has helped the board of directors navigate through some very difficult circumstances this year. Maureen Cousins, MBP’s Policy Analyst, was the interim GM and did an exemplary job during that transition period. Maureen has worked with MBP (and also the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association during

3

during the last year and we sincerely thank her for her many years with MBP. The friendly voice you hear when calling the MBP office is the voice of Tanya Michalsky, Office Assistant. Tanya has been with MBP for just over a year and the board of directors very much appreciates her contribution to the team. More recently David Hultin was hired as Communications Coordinator and editor of Cattle Country. Even though David has been with MBP for only a short time, he continues to impress myself, the board

A full house of producers and industry stakeholders attended the district 12 meeting on November 5 in Ste. Rose. (Photo credit Manitoba Beef Producers)

As we approach the end of what was a very difficult year, I believe it is important to reflect on the previous year and start planning for the next. What strategies might we consider if we have to deal with another drought year? As I finish meeting all this year's feed commitments, I have already consulted my neighbor about straw and other fibre options in 2020. I do have to confess that I am very fortunate to have those options more readily available than others. Have you considered options for pasture next year? Is grazing neighboring cereal crop stubble an option? I would suggest visiting with your neighbors to discuss possible collaborations for next year. I am certain that your efforts will be rewarded. A difficult year like this certainly reminds me to be grateful for my family, my fellow beef producers, my community, and the generosity of my neighbors. There are too many

port. Without your collaboration and generosity, it would be impossible to deliver a meaningful mandate for members and the organization. The board of directors and staff appreciate your commitment and thank you for allowing us to work on your behalf. Finally, I would like

the BSE years) for more than 10 years in total and the board of directors is grateful for her diligent work on behalf of the organization. I would be remiss not to mention Deb Walger for her 20 years of work with MBP overseeing our finances. Deb also provided great leadership

of directors and staff with his professionalism and his knowledge in communications. A final thank-you goes out to the board of directors for their excellent work and continued dedication to the beef industry. All the best to you and yours in 2020. Regards, Tom

Please join us

For our 2019 AGM

Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 President: Tracy Wilcox 204-723-0029 Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2019 3:30 PM KEYSTONE CENTRE Brandon, Manitoba

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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

Resolutions arising from fall 2019 MBP district meetings Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) held its 14 annual district meetings in October and November. These meetings provided our producer members with information about matters affecting the cattle industry, as well as MBP’s activities on behalf of producers and the sector. The following are the 42 resolutions that were proposed by producers, debated and carried at the district meetings. They will be brought forward for debate during the resolutions session at the 41st MBP Annual General Meeting (AGM) being held February 6, 2020 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. One resolution was debated and defeated at the District 4 meeting, so it will not be debated at the AGM. There were no resolutions arising from Districts 1 and 3.

tions Committee for debate and voting purposes at the AGM. Resolutions may also be edited for spelling, grammar and continuity, e.g. the way in which governments are referred to, or to accurately identify the programs, legislation or regulations referred to in the resolutions. Consider attending the 41st MBP AGM to debate and vote on the resolutions. As a reminder, voting on MBP resolutions is restricted to producers who are members in accordance with MBP’s bylaws. As per the Section 1(1) (b) of the bylaws, membership refers to “Every person who is determined by the Board of Directors to be actively engaged in the raising of cattle in Manitoba, and who pays all fees to the Association in the manner and in the amount imposed on sellers of

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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 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Please send it to info@mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Carson Callum and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. If the resolution is deemed to be in order by MBP’s Resolutions Committee 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 resolutions which are similar in content and intent. These may be combined by the Resolu-

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cattle pursuant to regulations made by the Board of Directors from time to time.” What does this mean? It means that if you have requested a refund in the last 12 months you have not paid all fees to the association as set out by the regulations and are not considered a member in good standing. We look forward to your participation and strongly encourage you to advance register for the AGM. For more details visit: https://www.mbbeef.ca/annual-meeting/ Note: several of the resolutions arising from the district meetings pertain to recent changes to the provincial government’s Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) leasing program and the amendments to the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation. For more information with respect to MBP’s position on the modernization of the ACL leasing program refer to past editions of Cattle Country and MBP news releases which can be found at www.mbbeef. ca . District 1 – Nov. 12 There were no resolutions arising in District 1. District 2 – Oct. 30 2.1 Whereas challenging weather conditions have made it very difficult for producers to clean cattle handling facilities and to spread that manure in the fall of 2019. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba

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Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to extend the nutrient application deadline to an appropriate date depending on the conditions. 2.2 Whereas rural crime continues to be a growing problem. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal government to invest more resources in rural policing. District 3 – Oct. 29 There were no resolutions arising. District 4 – Oct. 23 4.1 Whereas producers have sustained losses in the fall of 2019 related to excess moisture conditions and overland flooding, much of which is not insurable. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby governments to provide compensation to producers. 4.2 Whereas activists have been entering agricultural operations, posing a risk with respect to biosecurity and animal care. Whereas other provincial governments are enacting legislation to address this serious situation. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby government to impose stricter and higher minimum penalties on those who trespass on agricultural operations in Manitoba. 4.4 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers con-

tinue lobbying government for predator control initiatives. District 5 – Nov. 1 5.1 Whereas rural crime is a growing problem that is having a detrimental impact on rural residents with respect to costs, personal safety, mental health, anxiety and other concerns. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers align with other concerned stakeholders, including producers to lobby the provincial and federal governments to implement more robust and effective strategies to reduce rural crime and to enact timely and meaningful penalties against those who commit crimes or profit from them. 5.2 Whereas beef producers are bearing pass-through costs related to the implementation of carbon taxes. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to use some of the monies generated through the carbon tax to provide programs to help reduce the financial burden producers are bearing from these pass through costs. 5.3 Whereas damage to crops, perennial forages/pastures and property caused by wild boars is an increasing concern to agricultural producers; and Whereas there is the lack of a funded provincial government program to monitor the problem and to address it. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to immediately develop and implement a funded strategy to address the wild boar problem, and also to provide compensation to producers for damage to crops and property. 5.4 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby to have wild boars/pigs added as an eligible species under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage. District 6 – Nov. 14 6.1 Whereas the Government of Canada is making changes to the


December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

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Resolutions Continued... Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to ensure that the amount of compensation paid under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Predation for identified cattle losses reflects the true value of those losses. 8.6 Whereas a producer who is bidding on the right to agricultural Crown land forage leases is expected to pay the entire bid amount at the time of the auction; and Whereas depending on the dollar value of the winning bid this may be a large amount and it may be cost prohibitive for the bidder to have to pay the entire amount at the time of the auction. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to allow the winning bidder for the right to a forage lease at an agricultural Crown land auction to have the ability to pay the bid amount over the period of the lease. District 9 – Oct. 22 9.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers continues to lobby the Manitoba Government against the use of proxy bids at agricultural Crown land lease auctions. 9.2 Be it resolved to recommend that ManitoThurs.,lobby Feb 1 ba Beef Producers the Manitoba government to move the date of Tues., Feb 6

DECEMBER FEBRUARY

ommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Canada to pay for the cost of the additional infrastructure required to unload, feed and house cattle as a result of the changes to the Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport. 8.3 Whereas the Government of Canada is making changes to the Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport that will take effect in February 2020 that will result in the need to unload, feed and rest cattle more frequently; and Whereas these changes will result in more cattle being comingled at rest stops which poses a risk to cattle in terms of potential biosecurity issues. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Canada to make sure there are provisions in place to manage the industry’s biosecurity concerns related to the comingling of cattle at feed, water and rest stations and to ensure that these costs are not borne by producers. 8.4 Whereas the Government of Manitoba is making changes to the rental formula for agricultural Crown lands forage leases whereby the rate will be based on a three-year rolling average of cattle prices; and Whereas this period is too short and may not allow producers to retain income earned during the years of more competitive cattle prices. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to have a rental rate formula for agricultural Crown land forage leases which should be based on a 10year rolling average instead of a three-year rolling average. 8.5 Whereas cattle producers continue to incur considerable financial losses related to wildlife predation; and Whereas there is currently a cap on the amount of compensation paid under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Predation. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba

the agricultural Crown land lease auctions to June 1, but maintain date of possession to be January 1, to allow for a longer period of negotiation for transfer/removal of improvements. 9.3 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to provide an explanation as to how it plans to expand or sustain the beef industry in challenging production conditions 9.4 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to include the cost of production in the calculation for the rental rate formula for agricultural Crown land leases, not just the market price. District 10 – Oct. 28 10.1 Whereas there is considerable confusion about the changes the provincial government has made to the agricultural Crown lands leasing program, such as term limits, transfers, improvements, the speed at which the rental rate is being increased, etc. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to revisit the areas of concern related to the agricultural Crown lands Butcher program to Sale ensure that it is fair and equitable to Bred Cow Sale lease holders before it is Feeder Sale

Thurs., Feb 8

Tues Dec133 Tues., Feb Thurs., Feb 15

implemented, thereby helping to protect producers’ economic sustainability. 10.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to reverse the removal of the cap on animal unit months (AUM) on agricultural Crown lands and to instead apply a cap of 10,000 AUMs. District 11 – Oct. 24 11.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers not accept late resolutions at its Annual General Meeting. 11.2 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government that agricultural Crown land lease auction bids be based on the price of improvements (less the administrative fee), and that this value be transferred to the outgoing lessee. 11.3 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers organize peaceful rallies at the Manitoba Legislature to draw awareness to producer concerns about the impact of the agricultural Crown land program changes until such time as the concerns are addressed. 11.4 Whereas the fall 2019 snow storm resulted in significant tree damage am; to fences on 9:00 agricultural Crown land leases. 1:00 pm Page 6  9:00 am

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Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

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product options when it comes selecting RFID tags for their cattle, including tags with a better retention rate. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers advocate that the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency provide a wider variety and style of RFID tags with an improved retention rate for sale to cattle producers. District 8 – Nov. 13 8.1 Whereas the Government of Canada is implementing changes to the Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport that come into effect in February 2020; and Whereas the beef industry has concerns about the effects of these changes from an animal health and welfare perspective, a cost perspective, etc. and; Whereas additional scientific research is underway about the effects of transporting cattle in Canada that should help inform the content of these regulations; Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers and its industry partners continue to lobby the Government of Canada for a two-year extension on the coming into force date of the Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport until such time as additional science-based research is completed to ensure the best outcomes in humane transportation are achieved. 8.2 Whereas the Government of Canada is implementing changes to the Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport that come into effect in February 2020; and Whereas the changes will have an impact on commerce with respect to Manitoba cattle being moved to markets in locations such as Ontario and Quebec in that cattle will need to be unloaded more frequently, and currently there is no infrastructure in place to accommodate this; and Whereas it is anticipated that the costs of building new infrastructure will be borne by producers. Be it resolved to rec-

2019 Winter Sale Schedule 2018 Winter Sale Schedule

Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport that will take effect in February 2020 that will result in the need to unload, feed and rest cattle more frequently; and Whereas the beef industry has concerns about the effects of these changes from an animal health and welfare perspective, a cost perspective, etc. and; Whereas scientific research conducted in Canada has demonstrated that 99.5 per cent of cattle on a longer haul arrive at their destination injury free and additional research is still pending; Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers and its industry partners continue to lobby the Government of Canada to revisit the proposed changes to the Health of Animals Regulations – Humane Transport to recognize that beef cattle are arriving at their destination in good condition and should not be subject to changes in feed, water and rest as are being applied to other sectors. District 7 – Nov. 7 7.1 Whereas Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development used to have a large number of staff dedicated to providing extension and other services which are valuable to the beef industry, and Whereas there is currently a high vacancy rate in the department, with many positions going unfilled across the province. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to make a concerted effort to fill its vacant positions in Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. 7.2 Whereas the retention guarantee on RFID tags is only one year, yet they are required to be in the animal for its life; and Whereas there is currently a limited variety and style of RFID tags available for sale through the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, many of which are produced by the same manufacturer; and Whereas cattle producers would like more

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

www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services


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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

Resolutions Continued...  Page 5 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to increase the allowable width of fence lines on agricultural Crown and leases from the existing 50 feet to 100 feet. 11.5 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to allow MBP to administer the Problem Predator Removal Program. 11.6 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers reverse its current position on the Animal Unit Month (AUM) cap, which advocated to remove the AUM cap on agricultural Crown land (ACL) leases, and to instead lobby for a cap of 10,000 AUM on ACL leases. District 12 – Nov. 5 12.1 Whereas some

beef producers have expressed an interest in being able to purchase their agricultural Crown land leases; and, Whereas in the past the process to purchase provincial agricultural Crown land leases has been lengthy and cumbersome. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to make it easier and swifter for beef producers to be able to purchase provincial agricultural Crown lands. 12.2 Whereas the provincial government has removed the 4,800 Animal Unit Month (AUM) cap on agricultural Crown lands (ACL), and Whereas the AUM cap should be inclusive of the producer’s ACL leases only and not take into account a producer’s deeded

land. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba government to change the Animal Unit Month cap on agricultural Crown land leases to 10,000 AUMs. 12.3 Whereas Manitoba Beef Producers has outlined its positions on the proposed provincial government changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands program in an Oct. 2, 2019 media statement, e.g. with respect to family and unit transfers, first right of renewal, the rental rate formula, and informed access. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to lobby the Manitoba government for changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands program as per its Oct. 2, 2019 media statement. 12.4 Be it resolved to

Merry Christmas to all our customers and Thank you for your support this past year!

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recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Manitoba government to give producers the first right of renewal on all agricultural Crown land leases, be they existing leases or new leases. 12.5 Whereas all monies collected through the Agricultural Crown Land Program currently go into the general revenue of the provincial government. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to set aside twenty five per cent of the revenue generated through agricultural Crown lands leases to a Crown lands improvement program which lease holders could access. District 13 – Nov. 6 13.1 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to allow for the continuation of the practice of both unit transfers and family transfers under the modernized agricultural Crown lands program. 13.2 Whereas there are concerns about the amount that the rental rate for forage leases under the revised agricultural Crown land (ACL) program is rising and the speed at which the new rental rate is being implemented; and Whereas in other provinces such as Alberta there are different rental rates in different regions/ zones of the province to reflect the productivity of the agricultural

Crown land. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to implement a longer transition period for the rental rate increase under the modernized agricultural Crown land (ACL) program, and Be it further resolved that MBP lobby the provincial government to investigate and implement a system of regions where the rental rate better reflects the productivity of the ACL forage parcels. 13.3 Whereas the rental rate formula outlined in the modernized agricultural Crown lands program in part is based on the market price of cattle, and Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to have a rental rate formula for agricultural Crown land forage leases which includes a reasonable cap on the market price of beef. 13.4 Whereas the current agricultural Crown lands program allows for large aggregation of crown land leases by a single entity. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government for a cap of 15,000 Animal Unit Months per agricultural Crown land lease holder, not including their deeded lands. 13.5 Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Produc-

ers lobby the provincial government to re-institute sales of agricultural Crown lands to the lease holders, and that the process move much more swiftly than it has in the past. 13.6 Whereas there is a growing need to convey information to the public about the variety of ecosystem services and other benefits that the beef industry provides that benefits larger Canadian society. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers encourage the Canadian beef industry to invest more of its check-off dollars into public and stakeholder engagement activities aimed at building public understanding and trust of the beef industry. District 14 – Nov. 4 14.1 Whereas trappers participating in the provincial government’s Problem Predator Removal Program receive little in the way of financial compensation, which may limit the number of trappers willing to do this type of work; and Whereas this has a negative impact on producers needing to have problem predators removed in order to protect their livestock. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to increase the amount of compensation paid to trappers who participate in the Problem Predator Removal Program.

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www.mbbeef.ca


December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Low Stress Handling at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives BY DUNCAN MORRISON As a youngster, Leah Rodvang first started learning about the importance and role of low stress cattle handling on her family’s Coronation, Alberta ranch alongside her parents, Loren & Jackie, and neighbours. “Low stress handling starts with a mindset and commitment to staying calm and using knowledge of animal behaviour to achieve your goals,” says Rodvang. “Cattle remember the last go through the system – especially if it is bad.” Rodvang’s first impressions of the practice from back then remain with her to this day. Now a key team member as a research technician at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI), Rodvang’s commitment to low stress cattle handling principles and techniques are stronger than ever. “Every time you handle cattle for things like animal health checks, working in the corral and chute, calving, sorting pairs…you are training them,” says Rodvang, who has been with MBFI since 2016. “Therefore, it is important to treat every time you see your cattle as an opportunity to train them in low stress handling. At MBFI, it has seemed

to take 12-18 months of consistent handling to make a difference in new cattle.” MBFI is a not for profit organization comprised of three research and demonstration farm sites focused on engaging in science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry in collaboration with four core partners: Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Manitoba Agriculture. As of Fall 2019, MBFI has 110 cow-calf pairs between the Brookdale and Johnson Farm stations and low stress handling is implemented everyday. Maintaining cattle with a quiet temperament is essential for providing hands on learning in handling, and for timely moves across research and demonstration projects. “MBFI continues to be a resource to promoting low stress handling in the province by implementing the practice on farm with training all MBFI summer students, and through events with groups such as Merck Animal Health SHE Grows BeefTM and the Keystone Agricultural Producers Farm Safety Program,” says Mary-Jane Orr, MBFI general manager.

Dr. Temple Grandin, an applied animal behaviour scientist at Colorado State University, developed low stress livestock handling theory in the 1980s. Dr. Grandin’s research demonstrates that low stress handling improves productivity including faster weight gain, more milk in dairy cows, less disease,

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and fewer injuries. The Canadian Agriculture Injury Reporting, established in 1995 as the Canadian Agriculture Injury Surveillance Program (CAISP) to provide a comprehensive accounting of fatal and hospitalized agricultural injuries in Canada, advises that Page 8 


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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

Low stress handling (cont.)  Page 7 handling cattle accounts for nearly half of livestock related injuries to handlers. Additionally, highly-stressed or anxious cattle can be unpredictable, and the reaction from that stress can be detrimental to their own health as well as endanger the people around them. As such, researchers have since been incorporating animal science into animal handling. Animal science research helps producers understand why animals react to situations in their environments. Rodvang, who attended a talk by Dr. Grandin at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Beef Conference in 2018, says that low stress handling is safer for people and animals and low stress principles can be applied to all cattle regardless of their familiarity with humans. One key area is the safe, personal space for the animal, known as the Flight Zone of each individual animal.

Low stress handling offers health benefits to the cattle, by decreasing physical and psychological stress. Because of the priority to establish a low stress cattle handling environment at MBFI, as well as the facilities equipped for both viewing handling

instruction and hands on practice with instructors in pens with cattle, coupled with learning in the MBFI Learning Centre classroom, MBFI has been an ideal host site for producer training sessions. “I took part in the two days with Dr. Tom Noffs-

inger when Merck was here to train their staff in 2017. These two days really increased my knowledge of cattle handling,” says Rodvang. “Merck also led two producer days that year and I participated in both. And I have assisted with the SHE Grows Beef-

TM events in 2018 and 2019.” Rodvang fully believes low stress cattle handling systems and practices have a much higher level of safety for the workers when one understands animal behaviours.

“Every time I set out to learn more about low stress handling, I learn something new,” says Rodvang. “If you work cattle using low stress principles, people will have fun and want to come back and help you work cattle again.”

The Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba low-stress handling workshop took place on October 29 at MBFI. (Photo credit: Renee Simcoe, KAP)

Moory Christmas

Wishing our Manitoba cattle friends the very best of the Christmas season and blessings for health, happiness and prosperity in 2020.

From our f�dlot family to yours, Hamiota, Manitoba (204) 764 2449 info@hamiotafeedlot.com

FIND US ONLINE:

Facebook.com @ManitobaBeef

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mbbeef.ca


December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Safe processing tips for producers DR TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

A recent discussion in an online forum for beef veterinarians reviewed possible reasons for a herd that routinely experienced abcessation of >20% calves postvaccination. Others on the listserv recalled horror stories whereby livestock would die within 2-3 days of vaccination due to vaccine contamination or toxin production and causticity due to mixing of products in the same syringe. Although I personally have never seen such severe adverse reactions, I do see cattle with injection site swellings and certainly do treat calves with suspect processing-related injuries. Let’s review some of the common reasons for injection site reactions. Start with clean equipment and prioritize syringe maintenance. Disposable syringes should be discarded at the end of the day or when dirty/broken. Remember that syringes can only be effectively cleaned if they are taken apart. Flushing the syringe with a few “fills” of water does not work. When reassembling, use a lubricant approved by the manufacturer and check for worn parts and O-rings. Worn and improperly fitted parts will affect dose accuracy and cause leakage. Repair kits are available for many brands and individual parts are available through your local supply store or veterinarian. Bottle top and tube delivery systems are much harder to clean but should be thoroughly rinsed and flushed with hot water. Those systems should be replaced each season to avoid contamination. If you see a film, cloudiness or can scrape debris off the inside of your syringe, biofilm is present and can harbour bacteria that can lead to injection site infections. VERY IMPORTANT - Dedicate your multi-dose syringes to individual products - antibiotics, vitamins, modified-live vaccines and bacterins (killed vaccines). Mixing product types will inactivate modified-live vaccines rendering them useless. Vaccine inactivation will also occur if soap and other disinfectants (including bleach) are used to clean the syringes. Clean syringes dedicated to vaccines with hot water only and rinse and dry thoroughly prior to reassembly. Syringes used for antibiotics can be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner like chlorhexidine. Talk to your veterinarian about cleaning options and techniques. Have an expensive syringe that you have not maintained as well as you should have? Your veterinarian may be able to help you salvage it using an ultrasonic cleaner (commonly used to clean surgical instruments). Regularly change needles - a new needle for every 10 animals needled and sooner if the needle bends, becomes dull or is dirty. Use the appropriate size and length for the job: 16G is the standard at weaning while 18G needles are appropriate for processing at

birth. Use 3/4” for subcutaneous injections and 1” or 1 1/2” for intramuscular injections in calves and mature cattle, respectively. Spread injections out by one hand width and give no more than 10cc per site. Follow the landmarks and techniques on the pictures below when selecting injection sites and for how to give intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. Have your veterinarian demonstrate injection techniques during your next herd visit. • Be sure to only buy enough product required for the season and check expiry dates. • Though larger sizes are more economical, smaller bottles are used up more quickly and less likely to be inadvertently contaminated. • Store medications according to the label - fridge/ shelf, out of light, etc. Keep part bottles in their original packaging and store in a covered container to minimize contamination. • Never stick a used needle into a bottle - always use a new needle or a dedicated draw needle. If a high usage product, consider a draw-off syringe system. • Toss any part bottles at the end of the season, those that are expired and any medications that have changed in appearance (discoloured, thickened, flocculent debris). Vaccines require extra-special care during use. • The modified-live vaccines (MLV) require reconstitution to activate the vaccine. Only mix enough for one hour at a time and shake bacterin vaccines up when you reconstitute more MLV. • UV rays (sunlight) and heat are hard on all vaccines so store in a cooler and keep your syringes sheltered from light. Check out the wide variety of chute-side syringe holder designs available.

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• You also want to avoid freezing vaccines as they will become inactivated. Even worse, adverse reactions (including death) have occurred following the usage of vaccines that had previously been frozen. Have a max/min thermometer in your storage fridge and destroy any unused vaccine at the end of the day. A final note on drug handling: what if cattle haven’t been the only thing you’ve been injecting? Self-inflicted needle sticks can be serious. Be sure to restrain cattle properly with a neck extender and squeeze before injection and consider using Needle-eze extensions or Slapshots to avoid injury to your hand or syringe. • Never put loaded syringes in your pockets or hold with your mouth, even if the needle is capped. • Know what products you are using or better yet, have the packaging available so that if you accidentally vaccinate or medicate yourself, you can quickly and accurately inform medical staff as required. The best-case scenario is injury from the needle and an irritating product. The worst-case scenario is death if you accidentally inject yourself with a tranquilizer or Micotil. Take your time, wear gloves, restrain adequately and practice good needle and product handling to ensure you and your cattle remain injury free this fall processing season.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

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

Livestock Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture tim.clarke@gov.mb.ca

Q: I notice that grain products appear cheaper than purchased hay this year. Can you give me some pointers on which will work best and how to feed it? A. Yes, grain products can offer a livestock producer good value as 2019 prices per pound of grain, very similar to 2019 prices per pound of hay. Grain offers a lot more energy per pound, and can help get the cows through the cold winter in good condition. It’s important to consider the total costs of feeding a product, including processing the feed (if necessary), handling, delivery and additional bunk space required. Oats is a versatile grain in that it does not require processing and is not too “hot” of a feed to cause acidosis if a dominant cow gets more than her share. Oats can also be used in self feeders, troughs or total mixed ration for growing young stock. Corn offers excellent value as an energy source. It is available as whole, cracked or screenings. Corn is digested more slowly than barley in the rumen, so it keeps the rumen temperature higher

for longer periods of time. This helps keep the cattle warmer for longer during those cold winter nights. With a very late corn combining season in 2019, there might be price discounting on corn, which is damp and is un-economical for corn producers to pay for drying, who will sell it into the livestock market. Barley is a desirable combination of energy and protein, which is a very good supplement to rough hay, as it has a good energy and much higher protein than corn. Higher protein is necessary in many rough hay and straw rations, as it helps break down fiber in the rumen. Wheat downgraded by weather can be a very economical option if you are able to feed in a total mixed ration with silage or processed hay. However, care and caution is a must with wheat, with much lower tolerances to overfeeding. Screening or grain pellets are a convenient option to feed and can provide mineral, vitamin, salt and protein supplementation, if added in. A significant benefit of the pelleting process is that the milling of the

pellet breaks down seed coats and reduces losses of whole unprocessed grains. Protein supplements such as Dry Distillers Grain and Solubles (DDGS), canola meal or soybean meal can be an integral part of a rough hay ration, but you need to consider that the protein concentration is much higher than that of hay or grain. Because of this high concentration, the portion size needs to be relatively small and you will have to manage feeding carefully by: • mixing a small portion of supplement with grain every day • feeding supplement with grain every second day (not too much grain) • mixing supplement in a total mixed ration of silage or processed rough hay or straw General rules of feeding grain products and concentrates is that you want every cow in a group to receive similar amounts of feed, so that feed consumption is not dominated by a few strong cows. As such, you need to provide grain in a way that every cow is able to eat without being pushed out of place. Also, when feeding grain or concentrates, a slow start is a must, with the first week starting at 1/3 of the final ration. In general, cost-cutting by using grains can replace hay

successfully, but limits should be placed so that mature 1,200 to 1,400 lb. cows don’t get more than 10 lbs. of any grain product a day. Exact peak amounts of any grain of concentrate should be calculated with the help of a nutritionist, as various rations can have unique characteristics which should limit the use of grain or concentrate use. Wheat should only be fed with total mixed ration and limited to roughly eight pounds per cow, per day.

tion and digestive upsets, a feeding system needs to be set up that is reliable and works regardless of the weather. A mechanized total mixed ration wagon (TMR) is ideal but is, sometimes, outof-reach of smaller operations. Items like custom-built grain hoppers with unloading augers are very convenient for feeding in troughs. However, during the continual freezing months in Manitoba, scraping the snow off with a tractor blade and a gravity wagon, or

FEEDPLAN, which you can download to calculate the most cost-effective feed source. The following graph profiles the Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) cost ranking of common feeds in the fall of 2019. FEEDPLAN can be found on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website at: www.manitoba.ca/ agriculture/farm-mana g e m e nt / pro du c t i on e conomics/far m-s of tware-and-worksheets. html

Pellets vary greatly, and the business selling the pellet should have a recommended diet concentration which works for that individual pellet. Q. How do I feed grain or pellets? I normally only deliver bales. A. Because grain or pellets should be fed daily, or at least every second day to stop overconsump-

a used mix mill, or even a small manure spreader without beaters, can efficiently deliver grain to hungry cows. Novel solutions can include hanging a one-tonne plastic bag from bale forks on a tractor loader and pulling a rope to open the knot on the bottom of the bag, and driving forward with the tractor to pour the grain on the ground. There are many options to delivering the grain to the cows, if you are saving money and doing it safely. To help rank feeds by value, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development has developed a cost calculator called

We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, a Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development forage or livestock specialist will answer a selected question. Send your questions to Ray.Bittner@gov.mb.ca The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 230 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

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December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

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Spice up your steak with international inspiration BY ELISABETH HARMS In North America, we really enjoy cooking a steak – on the barbeque, in a pan, whichever way you do it, it is our go-to, especially in the summer. We like to season it simply – salt and pepper. Maybe some garlic or rosemary, if we are cooking it in the pan. This is a classic way of cooking a steak, but other countries have other ways of seasoning and cooking their steaks that are just as tasty. Flavour profiles in these different countries can vary widely. Different countries use specific ingredients when cooking, which lets us know what kind of cuisine we are eating. The type of steak used could also vary depending on where the dish comes from. In North and South America, we look for well-marbled pieces of meat, like a T-bone or a porterhouse steak. These cuts give us a balance of great beef flavour along with tenderness. There are a few different palates to explore. In North America, we focus on earthy flavours, like garlic, rosemary, or mushrooms. When cooking steak, we like to emphasize the flavour of the meat itself, which becomes the focus of the dish. In South America, particularly in Argentina and Brazil, beef is consumed even more than in North America. These countries pride themselves on the quality of the beef they produce. When they cook a steak, they do

so very simply by seasoning the steak with salt. After cooking, the steak is served with a sauce called “chimichurri”. This sauce is a blend of herbs, oil, and vinegar that balances the flavour of the steak with some brightness from the vinegar and herbs. This particular palate moves a little more out of the earthiness and richness of the steak and brightens the dish up. If you are to eat steak in Asian countries, it is more likely the cut of meat will change. You may be more likely to

be served a leaner cut, like flank steak, which has probably been marinated first to make it more tender. An Asian-style steak could also be served with a simple sauce highlighting common Asian ingredients, like soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. This simple sauce is made while the steak is resting. These flavours are definitely a departure from what we are used to in North America. Ingredients like soy sauce and rice wine vinegar give the steak a very savory and umami flavour. The

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

End of year market wrap up RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line It is mid November and the feeder cattle markets in Manitoba continue to see higher than average deliveries to the auction markets and electronic sales due to the later than usual fall run. Despite the majority of the Manitoba auctions being totally booked for the past four weeks, Manitoba is running about 5% fewer cattle sold to date than last year at this time. Consignments to the sale barns will be larger than usual until the Christmas break. The calves coming to the markets this year are coming to town slightly lighter than last year and are green in condition, carrying less baby fat. Over the past couple of weeks we have started to see some calves showing stress from the harsh weather conditions and later than usual weaning times. Producers are advised to check their

calves closely prior to delivery. There are heavy discounts on sick and stressed calves at the auctions this time of year. As predicted, local backgrounding feedlots opened up for placements the last week in October. This stopped the market from the seasonal drop in prices that we usually experience this time of year. Transportation to the east has been difficult to find, and pen space is also a bit of a problem. Cattle feeders in Ontario and Quebec have been experiencing difficult harvesting conditions as well. Wet weather and late spring seeding have made for a later than usual harvest in the east. With the closure of Riding Regency Packers in the east, there is an even larger backlog of fed cattle inventory waiting to be harvested, creating a shortage of pen space. East-

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ern packers are booking almost six weeks out; this, combined with lower than expected fed cattle prices has tempered the demand for feeder cattle. Pen space will soon be a problem in the west as well. Delayed placements of feeder cattle and eastern buyers purchasing lighter cattle than in the past means that the backgrounding pens that usually become empty in late December and early January will not be available to refill until much later. This could create a decrease in the demand for middleweight calves in spring. The calf market this fall has been higher than expected but not as high as the producers hoped it would be. There have been next to no exports of wet nosed calves to the United States due in part to the strong Canadian market for both the feeder and fed cattle. The November 1 on feed report from western Canada showed the largest number of placements in the west in the past six years. There are still more feeder cattle coming into

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western Canada than exports going out. Steer prices over the past month have seen a decrease in the prices for the heavy feeders over 600 pounds. Lighter weight steer calves under 600 pounds have increased due to strong demand for backgrounding cattle. The heavy steers in mid November have been selling five to seven cents lower than last year, while the lighter steers have been selling at close to last year’s prices. With the increase in the futures market, some of the heavy medium to good quality steers can be hedged at small profit in western Canada. This fall we have seen some major swings in the demand for the feeder steers from market to market and week to week. The Manitoba feeder cattle market is heavily influenced by the demand from eastern Canada. Those markets that do not have a strong front row of buyers representing the eastern orders have had more price volatility this fall. The heifer market has been fully steady with last fall. The demand for heifers has been strong, as some of the feeders have looked at the cheaper feed grains for finishing as a positive incentive for feeding heifers. The 20 to 30 cent per pound spread from steers to heifers remains in place so far this fall. There are no buyers looking for breeding

type heifers as this time. The cow market has started its seasonal correction with the prices dropping. Cow slaughter numbers are also dropping, as packers are starting to put cows in the feedlots to maintain their inventory requirements for late De-

Feed and forage shortages for bred cows in the west will limit the demand for bred stock. For those producers who have extra feed and pasture, this fall could be an excellent opportunity to purchase inventory at a reasonable price. The bred cow sales to date have re-

Despite the majority of the Manitoba auctions being totally booked for the past four weeks, Manitoba is running about 5% fewer cattle sold to date than last year at this time. cember and early spring. The supply of fed cattle outmatches the demand by packers. Profitability on the fed cattle continues to be high, limiting the need for cows. Demand for bred stock has not been strong to date. The majority of the good quality bred cow sales will happen in late November and throughout December.

ported top cows selling in the $1,400 per head range with the reputation bred heifers trading at $1,600 to $1,900 per head. This year has been a real challenge for those in the agriculture business. Here’s hoping for some positive changes over the next 12 months. Until next time, Rick

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December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Meeting The Industry's Goals and Objectives Key To National Beef Strategy  Page 1 simultaneously addressing the challenges. It is about how to best position our industry to compete for a larger share of the world market and to become the high-quality beef product of choice in the world. The ultimate vision and mission of the National Beef Strategy is a dynamic, profitable Canadian cattle and beef industry and for Canada to be the most trusted and competitive, high-quality beef cattle producer in the world, recognized for superior quality, safety, value, innovation and sustainable production methods. “For the industry, it’s great to have an aligned national strategy because we are working for the same goal across the provinces, so many of the aspects of the strategy should help meet that goal,” says Manitoba Beef Producers General Manager, Carson Callum. The new national strategy provides a roadmap that ensures that all the different organizations, as they work on different pieces and focuses, can make sure they stay on track to meet the industry’s goals and objectives, adds Anne Was-

ko, Canadian Beef Advisors Chair. “Having this National Beef Strategy in front of us means that we can all talk with a unified perspective. We all agree there’s challenges, and that’s why we need a plan and a process,” says Wasko. “This is a good plan, and a good direction.” All industry sectors have been involved in the development of the new National Beef Strategy through a dynamic, collaborative process that involves national and provincial organizations including the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canada Beef, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (and its provincial member associations), Canadian Meat Council, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association. The Canadian Beef Advisors is a diverse group of industry representatives from the seven national beef organizations responsible for policy, marketing, research and sustainability, who are responsible for advancing the strategy with the industry stakeholders, providing recommendations on future direction and reporting

results against strategy goals and objectives. The National Beef Strategy promotes a united approach to position the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high-quality beef product of choice in the world. The industry vision, mission and pillars remain unchanged from the 2015-19 strategy, but focus areas and tactics have been updated to reflect the current market and regulatory environment that producers face. The four pillars of Beef Demand, Competitiveness, Productivity and Connectivity provide a framework that supports producer viability. Demand One of the goals to enhance beef demand under this pillar for the next five years is to support the comprehensive carcass cutout values above $270/cwt. “We know there is a strong correlation between higher wholesale prices and higher live cattle prices,” says Wasko. Historically, for every $1/ cwt increase in the cutout value, live fed cattle prices increased $0.59/cwt. Much has been accomplished through the previous national

Producers can apply for BMP funding Producers have until December 6 to apply for cost-shared funding through the Ag Action Manitoba Program – Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs). Activities are now open for applications for 2020/2021. Successful applicants will have until February 15, 2021 to provide a valid Statement of Completion for the Environmental Farm Program to the program administrator to be reimbursed for project costs. It is not however required at the time of application. Livestock producers are also required to have a Manitoba premises identification number. Examples of BMP categories include: Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas, Establishment of a Cover Crop, Farmyard Runoff Control, Intercropping, Relocation of

Confined Livestock Areas, Intercropping, Increasing Frequency of Perennials within Annual Crop Rotations, Perennial Cover for Sensitive Lands, Improved Pasture and Forage Quality, Resource Management Planning, and Pesticide Storage. Each BMP has its own specific application form. Approved projects must be completed between April 1, 2020 and February 15, 2021. For more information see: https:// www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/environment/environmental-farm-plan/agaction-manitoba-assurance-beneficialmanagementpractices.html Environmental Farm Plan workshops are being held this fall. For more information see: https://www.gov. mb.ca/agriculture/environment/eventsand-deadlines/index.html

beef strategy in terms of market access, including the signing of two major trade agreements; the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The new strategy will focus on domestic and global marketing, market access, promoting the Canadian Beef Advantage, and increasing consumer confidence and public trust, and sustainability. “We know things have to be strong on the demand side for it to be felt at the producer level, and that’s where the Canadian Beef Advantage comes in,” says Anne Wasko, who is also Chair of the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef. “Sustainability and public trust is a part of this pillar and we know we still have a lot of work to do in that area.” A new focus under the demand pillar is a new public and stakeholder engagement program, an area that Manitoba Beef Producers has been highlighting with its members during their recent district meetings. “Public stakeholder engagement is going to be crucial moving forward to counter some of the negative opinions about the beef industry,

reinforce positive messages, supported by science, and help inform the public about what we do,” says Teichroeb. Competitiveness The Strategy also seeks to encourage a competitive regulatory, policy, and market environment, with an emphasis on reducing labour shortages in the sector by 50 per cent and reducing cost disadvantages with main competitors. This will be achieved by focusing on youth involvement, easing regulatory burden, and providing access to competitively priced inputs. “Under the competitiveness pillar, one issue is labour shortages and we are talking about the entire supply chain, especially packers and cattle feeders who are dealing with labour shortages on the front line,” says Wasko. “Other pieces are youth involvement and succession, and competitively priced inputs, and these are all important to producers because they have to be competitive to be profitable.” Productivity Under the productivity pillar, the goal is to improve production efficiencies through the supply chain. This will be achieved by focusing on genetic selection, information flow, research capacity, research and development, and technology adoption. Mea-

surements will include reducing pregnancy open rates, and calf death losses as monitored through regional cowcalf surveys; and improving feed efficiency and hay yields. A lot of work has already been done over the past five years in terms of research into production efficiency, says Wasko, but in an ever-evolving industry, the work is never done. “Today things are happening so quickly on the technological side within our business with productivity research, information flow, genetic selection and those kinds of things, so there are specific goals and metrics for the different organizations to meet within the productivity pillar,” she says. Connectivity Connectivity is the responsibility of every organization in the industry, and the goal is to enhance industry synergies and connect positively with government and partner industries by actively addressing industry issues, challenges and opportunities with a unified industry voice. “This is basically about talking with one voice,” says Wasko. “Whether it’s government or stakeholders, how do we get the messaging the same when we’re all talking to the same consumer at the end of the chain.”

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

MBP met with Minister Blaine Pedersen Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) had its first in-person meeting with Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen on November 22 to discuss matters such as changes to the agricultural Crown lands (ACL) leasing program, the adverse production conditions in 2019 and resultant effects on the industry, and challenges related to predation. “It was very important to sit down with the new minister and his staff to discuss issues affecting the industry and to talk about potential strategies to address them,” said MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “Ongoing engagement will be key.” “At our recent district meetings, ACL

lease holders cited a number of concerns in areas such as affordability, predictability (lease lengths and transfers), the new system for valuing improvements, among others. We certainly share these concerns,” explained Teichroeb. “We had a frank discussion about these topics and will continue to do so with the provincial government to try to secure some changes.” With respect to the modernization of the ACL leasing program, MBP will continue to advance matters such as: • Allowing existing lease holders to have the first right of renewal upon expiry of their lease if they can demonstrate that they still meet the program terms and conditions;

• The need for a rental rate formula that is fair, easily understood, recognizes market conditions and which is transitioned in over a five-year period; • The continued ability for producers to be able to utilize family transfers and unit transfers; • The right to informed access whereby those wishing to access ACL would need to notify the lease or permit holder prior to entry; • Government recognition of the ecosystem services lease holders provide in managing ACL; and • Whether there may be opportunities for interested lease holders to purchase ACL in a more timely fashion During the meeting MBP asked the

provincial government to revisit its decision not to pursue an AgriRecovery initiative for beef producers affected by this year’s adverse production conditions, which has affected feed availability and affordability. As well, MBP made suggestions with respect to the need to make business risk management programs more responsive to the needs of the beef industry, and around improving access to haying and grazing of Wildlife Management Areas. MBP also discussed its request for funding for a pilot project aimed at reducing the risk of negative livestock-wildlife interactions. Predationrelated losses exact a heavy toll on beef production.

MBP Youth Retreat set for New Year Mark your calendars - Manitoba Beef Producers is hosting its first ever event geared exclusively for young producers ages 18-39. Set for January 13-14, 2020, the retreat will be taking place at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives farm north of Brandon (North East Corner PTH #10 and Hwy 353). Over the course of the two days, producers will hear from industry experts

Dave Pratt from Ranch Management Consultants and Peter Manness from Meyers Norris Penny on succession planning, tax and financial issues, land acquisition, as well as managing the business & people side of your operation. Members of the MBP Board of Directors will also be leading an informal discussion on the importance of getting involved with the board and

helping to guide the industry going forward. The Victoria Inn in Brandon is the host hotel and the $50 registration fee covers a meal on the evening of the 13th along with the opportunity to take part in a mixer where networking and mingling is strongly encouraged! Seats are limited for this event. Registration will open on December 1st via the mbbeef.ca Photo credit: pxhere.com website.

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December 2019 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

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CLTS DATABASE Home for livestock traceability data; a first line of defence in the event of an emergency.

CCIA (Canadian Cattle Identification Agency) is led by a board of directors representing 16 livestock organizations across Canada, including: livestock producers, auction markets, livestock dealers, feedlots, veterinarians and processors.

WE’RE INDUSTRY As an industry led responsible administrator, our job is to provide information and tools to assist you.

TRACEABILITY TECHNOLOGY Cool features like the CLTS MOBO phone app, the 24/7 tag web store and our Resource Center are a few of the things we do.

To learn more about how we are working towards traceability together,

visit www.canadaid.ca

info@canadaid.ca | 1-877-909-2333

www.mbbeef.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2019

Carson Callum of MBP, Kristine Tapley with Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Tim Sopuck from Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation at the Manitoba premiere screening of Guardians of the Grasslands.

What you thought was the problem, is really the solution MBP co-hosts Guardians of the Grasslands documentary film screening The Manitoba premiere of the Guardians of the Grasslands documentary played to a full house on November 21st at The Pavilion inside Assiniboine Park. Created in collabora-

tion with Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada as well as the Waldron Grazing Co-op and local ranchers in Alberta, the film explores the vital role cattle play in pre-

serving and maintaining one of the worlds most endangered ecosystems – the native prairie grasslands. Kristine Tapley, Regional Agrologist with Ducks Unlimited Can-

ada, Tim Sopuck, Chief Executive Officer of Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, and Manitoba Beef Producers General Manager Carson Callum led a question and answer session

to add more context and perspective to the film. Thank you to everyone who attended the screening, our partners at Ducks Unlimited Canada and Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation,

as well as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. For more information about Guardians of the Grasslands, please visit the website https:// guardiansofthegrasslands.ca/

41ST AGM &

President’s Banquet

February 6-7, 2020 | 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 $85 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $85 q GENERAL $100

• Must be purchased by January 7, 2020 at 4 p.m.

NAME: _______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 6, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $60).

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________

• Non-refundable.

POSTAL CODE: ________________________________________

Book early to get your best value!

MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $50 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $100 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 7 Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 6, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $60). • Non-refundable.

q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $50

CITY/TOWN: __________________________________________ PHONE: ______________________________________________ FAX: _________________________________________________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________ PERSON 2 (IF REQUIRED): q EARLY BIRD $85 q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $50 q GENERAL $100 q YOUNG PRODUCER *Complimentary with mentor’s registration NAME: _______________________________________________

NEW! YOUNG PRODUCER MENTORSHIP OFFER

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________

• MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39).

CITY/TOWN: __________________________________________

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

PHONE: ______________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 6, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $60). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 220 - 530 Century Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y4 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710

POSTAL CODE: ________________________________________ FAX: _________________________________________________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________ EXTRA BANQUET TICKET NAME: _______________________________________________ q BANQUET $60 *Banquet tickets are non-refundable.

www.mbbeef.ca

PLEASE GO TO

WWW.MBBEEF.CA

FOR THE AGM AGENDA

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 41ST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


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