Page 1




As the fall run ends provincial beef producers are turning their attention to the holiday season and planning for the year ahead. (Photo credit: Hugh Greaves)

MBP encourages producers to participate in Livestock Predation Prevention Pilot Project Survey Predation is a huge concern for many livestock producers across Manitoba, and for some, predators such as coyotes, wolves or black bear can cause devastating financial losses. This spring, a three-year, industry-led Livestock Predation Prevention Pilot Project (LPPPP) was launched with the aim of reducing wildlife predation of cattle and sheep in Manitoba. The multi disciplinary committee responsible for planning and delivery of the project, has representation from Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MARD), Agriculture and Agri Food Canada, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, commodity groups including Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and the Manitoba Sheep Association, as well as the Manitoba Trapper’s Association. MARD is providing $300,000 of funding over three years towards the project. The project will help producers most affected by predation to develop individual risk management plans, while also supporting broader industry-wide efforts to test a variety of risk management approaches and share

knowledge and best practices to reduce losses. “We continue to want to ensure that compensation is considered and properly done in relation to predation losses but this project is related to prevention or mitigation of these losses,” says Carson Callum, MBP General Manager. The first phase of the LPPPP is to collect data through a livestock predation survey that MBP is encouraging any producers affected by wildlife predation to complete. “What we are trying to do is pick the right risk management practices that will work for farmers, and collecting the survey information is the only way to know that,” says Ray Bittner, LPPPP project Lead. The survey is intended to determine what species of predators are causing problems, which class of livestock are being targeted and the timing, location and type of livestock losses producers are experiencing, for example, at pasture, in birthing pens etc. Information from the survey will help the project team understand which parts of the province are most prone to predator problems, and help it decide where to focus its efforts and deploy predator management project activities.

“The survey will provide baseline data about some of the issues that producers are facing, and help determine which producers to work with on this pilot to test mitigation strategies aimed at reducing the losses they have had on their farms,” says Callum. The next steps are to evaluate the effectiveness of various risk management practices on problem predators, share information with producers about management practices that help to mitigate predation losses, and conduct on-farm risk assessments so producers can build a plan for implementing best practices for their operations. The LPPPP survey is included in this issue of Cattle Country and is also available by calling the Manitoba Beef Producers office. It involves multiple-choice questions, is quick and easy to complete and a prepaid business return mail envelope is provided so there is no cost to producers to participate. Deadline to complete the survey is December 21, 2020. Participants will also be entered in a prize draw for a choice between a Ridgetec Lookout, Dual LTE Game Camera worth $785 or a Pit Boss® Pellet, Stainless Steel, Hardwood Pellet Grill Barbeque worth $700.

President's Column

Social distancing for livestock

Burrowing Owls

Page 3

Page 8

Page 16




CATTLE COUNTRY December 2020

A look back at key issues in 2020 Season’s greetings all. What a year. I never would have guessed after last year’s district meetings wrapped that this year would be on a virtual platform, but here we are. We completed our 10 virtual district meetings mid-November. I want to greatly thank all that took time to attend, and learn some of the ins and outs of the virtual meeting platform. For those that couldn’t attend, we will have a recorded version posted online for your viewing pleasure. These meetings were definitely different, but I am happy with how they went. As we do our best to get through these tough times, it is great we have these avenues to still “connect”. Over the course of the district meetings we covered a variety of topics that MBP has been working on over the past year, which I will touch on in this column. COVID-19 has been the major issue of 2020. It has had such a big impact on everyone in one way or another. It has affected how many organizations can operate, including MBP. The main impacts on the beef sector have been packing plant challenges, market uncertainty, and public health restrictions affecting things such as attendance levels at the markets, to name a few. The market crash that happened in the spring also greatly impacted the price that producers were able to get for their cattle. MBP, as well as our provincial counterparts and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), have been advocating for support for the sector throughout the pandemic. We have been happy to see some announcements, such as the 2020 Canada-Manitoba Finished Cattle Feed Assistance Program and adjustments to the Canada Emergency Business Account. We will continue to engage with both levels of government to try to ensure these programs, and any future programs, are responsive, effective and roll out smoothly. Overall, COVID-19 has driven home the need for effective Business Risk Management (BRM) tools for the sector to weather these unpredicted storms.

time. MBP continues to have concerns with other details of the ACL regulation, such as the removal of unit transfers and the lack of informed access, and will continue to advocate for adjustments to these areas. MBP has also asked if there is potential for new lease holders to establish a renewable legacy lease. Public trust continues to be a key focal point of work for MBP and national organizations such as the CCA and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, among others. There continues to be a lot of negative and inaccurate information being shared related to beef production. A huge area of MBP’s efforts moving into the future will be related to getting a positive message out to the general public. We have a great story to tell in our industry, whether it is from a habitat preservation perspective or a sustainability standpoint, and we look forward to continuing to come up with innovative ways to share this great message with the public. In this edition of Cattle Country you will see a survey related to predation. MBP is appreciative of the provincial government’s support for the important pilot project aimed at reducing the risks associated with negative interactions between cattle, sheep and goats and problem predators. This has been in discussion for a long time. I strongly encourage folks to fill out and send back the survey (postage is prepaid), as it will be important for our next steps on the project. There is also an article in this edition that explains the project. Well, as you can see, there is lots that is keeping us busy. I hope everyone can do their best to stay connected over the coming months, even if it is in a virtual format. We all need to do our part, and support each other as best we can as we navigate the pandemic. Have a very Merry Christmas, and looking forward to the New Year! Carson


General Manager’s Column Much of the advocacy work conducted by MBP, CCA, the National Cattle Feeders Association, and other groups has been related to needed improvements to current BRM tools. BRM programs are crucial to managing risk and in some instances require increased funding, particularly as extreme weather and significant market volatility continue to affect our agricultural environment. Programs such as AgriStability have a major equity gap for the cow/calf sector compared to other commodities and this needs to be addressed. The industry has made recommendations to improve the design of various programs. Examples of these recommendations include removal of the Reference Margin Limit under AgriStability, and making the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program a permanent BRM program and not dependent on renewal under each agriculture policy framework. MBP will continue to advocate for improvements to the BRM tools. Another area that was top of mind over the course of our virtual district meetings was agricultural Crown lands (ACL). The Manitoba government had been looking for feedback on the proposed renewal process for legacy forage leases and renewable permits under the ACL program. We really hope that producers were able to get their thoughts sent in to the province during the consultation period that ended November 16th. The more voices heard the better. MBP is supportive of the changes related to the first right of renewal for legacy leases, as access and predictability are essential to long-term planning for livestock operations that have been in business for a long

Resolutions for Debate at the 42nd MBP Annual General Meeting in February Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) recent fall district meetings was changed to virtual meetings. As such, MBP’s board of directors agreed to accept in writing proposed resolutions for debate at its virtual 42nd Annual General Meeting set for February 11, 2021. To ensure these could be reviewed by the board and published in this edition of Cattle Country, MBP had asked that they be submitted by November 9. The resolution that was submitted prior to

the deadline is printed below, as is one from MBP’s board of directors related to proposed changes to MBP’s bylaws. Additionally, MBP is still accepting late resolutions for consideration for debate at the AGM. They must be provided in writing to MBP staff no later than 8:30 a.m., Friday, February 5, 2021. Please send the proposed resolution (along with your contact information) to info@ to the attention of General Manager Carson Callum and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. Alternatively, you

may fax it to 1-204-7743264 or mail it to 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg MB R3H 0Y4. A sample resolution template can be found on MBP’s website at events/42nd-annual-general-meeting/ 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. Please note: if the resolution covers off matters on which MBP is already conducting advocacy work, it may be deemed

help ensure Manitoba’s beef producers are aware of them in advance of the AGM. Consider attending the virtual 42nd 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 man-

to be redundant and not taken forward for debate so as to ensure there is time to debate resolutions on emerging matters. As well, it is also important that proposed resolutions deal with something that is potentially achievable and clearly state the actions you are asking MBP to consider taking. In consultation with the resolution’s author, proposed resolutions may be subject to editing by MBP for clarity and to ensure consistency of formatting across all resolutions. MBP will also publish these resolutions online at to





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

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

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

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




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




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






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






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



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


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



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


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


POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

ner and in the amount imposed on sellers of 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 ask that you register in advance for the 42nd AGM. For more details visit: Page 3 


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



Deb Walger




Trinda Jocelyn

December 2020 CATTLE COUNTRY


Update on recent advocacy work DIANNE RIDING President's Column

Thank you to everyone who took part in our virtual district meetings in late October through mid-November. We had a few technical hiccups along the way, just like everyone else seems to experience on the virtual platforms, but overall the process worked well and we appreciate the producers, government staff, elected officials and the media for taking the time to join online or via the phone. Hopefully by next fall we will be able to have in-person meetings again. Next up on the virtual platform will be our 42nd Annual General Meeting, set for Thursday, February 11. We will be doing the traditional business meeting, reviewing some proposed MBP bylaw changes (details posted on our website), and debating resolutions. Due to the change in format for the district meetings, MBP’s board of directors is accepting in writing suggestions for resolutions to debate at the AGM. In consultation with the resolution’s author, proposed resolutions may be subject to editing by MBP for clarity and to ensure consistent formatting across all resolutions. If the resolution is deemed in order by MBP’s Resolutions Committee it will be considered for debate at the AGM. Please send

the proposed resolution (along with your contact information) to to the attention of General Manager Carson Callum and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. Or, fax it to 1-204-774-3264 or mail it to 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg MB R3H 0Y4. For resolutions to be reviewed by MBP’s board of directors and posted on MBP’s website prior to the 42nd AGM for others to see, they need to be received by MBP no later than 8:30 a.m., Friday, February 5, 2021. One resolution has already come forward re: the Western Livestock Price Insurance program. See details in this edition. In recent weeks MBP has provided feedback on two different provincial government consultations. Key among them was the consultation on about proposed amendments to the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation under The Crown Lands Act, especially they relate to allowing for the first right of renewal for legacy leases. MBP is pleased the government is moving forward on this. It has been MBP’s long-standing position that leaseholders should have the first right of renewal upon expiry of their lease if they can demonstrate that they still meet the program’s terms and conditions. Access and predictability are essential to long-term planning for livestock operations. By having renewable leases producers will have the confidence to invest and improve lands, and to grow their herds. As well, MBP again asked for the continua-

tion of unit transfers. MBP restated a number of its other positions related to agricultural Crown lands. These include the need for a five-year transition for the rental rate increase to help lease holders adjust. MBP stressed the importance of a fair and transparent process for valuing improvements, as concerns have arisen about a move to the use of arbitration if an agreement cannot be reached between the outgoing and incoming lessee. MBP renewed its call for recognition of the ecosystem services provided by lease holders in managing these lands. MBP also noted the importance of filling staffing vacancies related to agricultural Crown lands program. MBP thanks those producers who participated in this consultation and who identified the impact of the changes taken to date on their operations. We will continue to engage with the province about the importance of the ACL leasing program. The other consultation MBP took part in was related to rural crime, metal theft and biosecurity. The province is looking at amendments to Manitoba’s Petty Trespasses Act, The Occupiers’ Liability Act and The Animal Diseases Act, as well as possible metal dealers and recyclers’ legislation. Unfortunately, as many of us know all too well rural crime can take on many forms that harm our operations, causing financial losses, endangerment to people and livestock, and damage to pastures, forages and infra-

structure. Maintaining high biosecurity standards is also very important to our industry. The potential introduction of foreign animal diseases can compromise animal health and lead to costly economic consequences, but also possible trade implications depending on the disease involved. As part of its submission, MBP strongly recommended that additional work be done to inform the general public who may wish to access private lands about the rationale behind and need for adherence to biosecurity practices. Also, this information needs to be conveyed to government departments and agencies, as well as the private contractors who work for them as they have critical responsibilities when it comes to helping to maintain biosecurity on farms and ranches. And, MBP restated its ask for informed access to agricultural Crown lands. Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner, times we traditionally get together with family and friends to share fellowship, eat some great food, do some fun activities and just recharge in general. Although both occasions are probably going to look a lot different this year, we can still reach out and stay in touch via traditional methods like snail mail or the phone, or make some memories over the new virtual platforms. On behalf of the MBP board of directors and staff, we’d like to wish you all the best over the holiday season and as we head into 2021!

Proposed resolutions for debate  Page 2 Proposed Resolutions for Debate Value of Livestock Price Insurance Program Whereas access to effective Business Risk Management (BRM) programs is crucial, particularly as factors such as extreme weather and significant market volatility continue to affect Canadian agriculture; and Whereas the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) is an important risk mitigation tool that provides significant value to Manitoba’s cattle industry; and Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic caused market volatility which led to

additional WLPIP premium cost burdens for cattle producers, and the sector had requested premium cost-sharing by governments to help address this challenge; and Whereas certain aspects of BRM programs such as WLPIP – including program design, spending or availability – can create inequitable coverage levels amongst agriculture sectors and across regions in Canada; and Whereas there are producers in eastern Canada who are seeking access to livestock price insurance as a risk mitigation tool. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) advocate for the federal and provincial government to cost share the premiums

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

for producers enrolling in the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP); and, Be it further resolved that MBP advocate with governments to work toward making livestock price insurance a national program offering; and Be it further resolved that MBP advocate with governments to no longer make livestock price insurance a program that is dependent on renewal under each successive agricultural policy framework, but rather to make it a permanent business risk management program for Canadian


• CATTLEX offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers all Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts. • CATTLEX buys ALL classes of cattle direct from producers.

December 6th, 2020

• CATTLEX is interested in purchasing large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls.

Please pre-register with Laurelly WATCH OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES s all sale f e s e h t iss Do not m Dec. 3rd Dec. 8th Dec. 13th Dec. 14th Dec. 17th Dec. 20th Dec. 22nd

cattle producers. From the MBP Board of Directors re: Proposed Bylaw Amendments Be it resolved that the membership of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association (operating as Manitoba Beef Producers) supports the Board of Directors’ proposals for modernization of the organization’s administration bylaw as they were discussed at the fall 2020 district meetings and as published on MBP’s website prior to the 42nd Manitoba Beef Producers Annual General Meeting which is taking place on February 11, 2021.

Queens of the Heartland Production Sale - McAuley, Manitoba Keystone Konnection 41st Annual Sale - Brandon, Manitoba Bonchuk Farms Female Production Sale - Virden, Manitoba Shades of the Prairies Annual Sale - Brandon, Manitoba Transcon’s Season Wrap Up Sale - Neepawa, Manitoba Stewart Cattle Co. Complete Dispersal - Virden, Manitoba Northern Light Simmentals & HBH Angus Production Sale - Virden, Manitoba

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

IMMENTAL RFID Tags Allflex & Datamars Comfortear

(204) 764-2471 (204) 867-0099 cell

Jay Jackson Ken Drake

(204) 223-4006 (204) 724-0091

Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan


CATTLE COUNTRY December 2020

StockTalk Q&A Feature Brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development KATHLEEN WALSH

Table 2: Mineral Requirements Based on Stage of Production, Maximum Tolerable Levels and the Greatest Impact on Performance of Beef Cattle Compared to MB Wheat Straw and Alfalfa Grass Hay Feed Analysis

Livestock Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Average MB Alfalfa Grass Hay Analysis*

Average MB Wheat Straw Analysis


Q: I plan to feed my herd a straw-based ration for eight weeks to stretch my hay. Do I need to change my mineral package? They are getting a one to one mineral. Answer: As Elizabeth Nernberg discussed in last month's article, feeding straw during mid-gestation is a great way to stretch hay. Straw-based rations need to be properly balanced to meet the cow’s energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements. Although minerals make up a small amount of a beef cow’s

diet, it is very important to provide the right amounts and ratios. I want to start by providing some background information on minerals and the essential role they play in an animal’s bodily functions. The 17 minerals beef cattle require are shown in Table 1. The minerals are broken into two groups: Macrominerals and Microminerals. Macrominerals are provided in gram quantities and are usually expressed as a percentage of the diet. These minerals make up

Table 1: Minerals Required by Beef Cattle Macrominerals


Calcium (ca)

Chromium (Cr)

Magnesium (Mg)

Cobalt (Co)

Potassium (P)

Copper (Cu)

Sodium (Na)

Iodine (I)

Chlorine (Cl)

Iron (Fe)

Sulphur (S)

Manganese (Mn)

Molybdenum (Mo)

Nickel (Ni)

Selenium (Se)

Zinc (Zn)

Growing Finishing

Gestating Dry Cows

Lactating Cows


1,250 lb

1,200 lb

Maximum Tolerable

Performance Impacted

Calcium, %







Growth, Milk Production








Growth, Milk Production

Sodium, %







Milk Production





Milk Production

Magnesium, %








Sulphur, %








Potassium, %

















Growth, Reproduction





Milk Production










Immunity, Reproduction





Immunity, Reproduction

Chlorine, %

Cobalt, mg Copper, mg





Iodine, mg Manganese, mg Selenium, mg Zinc, mg



*Values from 889 Alfalfa Grass and 125 Wheat Straw Samples Submitted from 2007-2015

structural components of bone and other tissue, and are required for growth, maintenance, muscle function and milk production. Microminerals are often referred to as trace minerals and are required in smaller amounts. They are usually expressed in milligrams (mg). Microminerals play an important role in the immune system, bone formation and reproduction. Many of the required minerals are present in forages, including straw, but not always in sufficient

Merry Christmas Everyone!

for your support this year. A big Thank You to all our customers than any year past. We are We sold more bulls and bred heifers and put our genetics to grateful you have trusted our programherd. cow work in your





quantities or the correct ratios. If that is the case, supplementation will be required for best animal performance and health. Table 2 outlines the mineral requirements for beef cattle at different stages of production and the average mineral content of alfalfa-grass hay and wheat straw. In the table, you will see the difference in the mineral content of the two feeds. Looking at calcium and phosphorus, for example, not only do these two minerals have to be provided to meet a cow’s minimum requirement, but they also need to be included at the correct ratio. The calcium to phosphorus ratio should be a minimum of two to one in a beef cow diet. Cereal straw and grains are typically low in calcium and high in phosphorus, whereas alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hay are usually high in calcium and low in phosphorus. Keep the calcium and phosphorus content of your feed in mind when selecting a mineral package. Mineral packages are commonly labeled by their calcium and phosphorus ratio, for example, a one to one mineral has one part

calcium to one part phosphorus and a two to one mineral has two parts calcium to one part phosphorus. To answer your question, because you are feeding a one to one mineral, you will either have to change to a mineral with a higher calcium content or add additional calcium to insure your cows’ needs are being met. Feed grade limestone contains approximately 38 per cent calcium and is a relatively inexpensive way to add calcium to the diet. To best match your mineral package to your herd’s needs, conduct a feed test to determine the macromineral and micromineral quantities in your feed, and consult with a beef cattle nutritionist or an FPE and livestock specialist to discuss mineral options for your operation. You also need to monitor the cows’ mineral intake to make sure they are getting the right amount. This can be hard to do if the mineral is being fed free choice, as some cows will over consume and others may not eat any. If possible, mixing the mineral with the grain is a good way to make sure all the animals are receiving it. This is particu-

larly important if you are adding limestone, as it can be unpalatable. Although provided in small amounts, minerals are a very important component of beef cattle rations. This article just touches on the basics of mineral requirements. For more detailed information on minerals for beef cattle and ration balancing, check out the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website at www. livestock/production/beef. 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 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 120 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

OCC Dixie Erica 693N pictured at 12yrs old, raising a calf this year at 17yrs old.

At Edie Creek Angus we continue to stack fertile, sound and profitable cattle in our pedigrees that have produced calves into their teens. This is the ultimate proof of functionality and fertility, as opposed to using popular, “genomically acclaimed” individual animals.

From our bubble to yours, the Board of Directors and staff at Manitoba Beef Producers wish you the best for the holidays and beyond. (New Year? Yes, please!)

50 Black & Red Angus | Rugged 2-yr Old Bulls Selling: March 13th, 2021

The MBP office will be closed December 19 - January 3 (204) 232-1620 Order your Union Forage seed before December 31st & get the 10% Early-Pay Discount!

December 2020 CATTLE COUNTRY


A look ahead to the 2021 markets By the time this goes to print we will be in December, and 2020 will be all but a wrap! In the cattle business, as in life, this is a year is one we would like to forget. It started with so much promise for the cattle industry, but COVID-19 took that optimism away and contributed to a year of volatility and frustration for all. The majority of information requests I have received in the past few weeks are on what the market will do going forward. So let’s give it a shot and look into the crystal ball. The fed cattle market in the USA is working through the backlog of market-ready inventory, and prices for the spring have shown some improvement. In midNovember, the live cattle futures for February are at $112.22, and April sits at $116.20. There have been some decent basis contracts signed for May delivery. Last November the February market was at $120.50, and April was at $122.00. This explains why there have been very few Canadian feeder cattle going south so far this fall. Throughout October and November in Manitoba, we were at a 10 to 15 cent premium over the American feeder cattle market on the same weight and quality of calves. In reality, the Manitoba calf market has been the highest in Canada on average, week after week. The USA will continue to set the floor price in the market, but do not expect many feeder cattle going south until the second quarter of 2021. In Canada, the packers continue to enjoy large profits, and the backlog of fed cattle will continue into the first quarter of 2021 for sure. Packers are still booking fed cattle deliveries four to six weeks out. The prices improved slightly at the end of November as the spread between the USA and Canadian price tightened and some fed cattle started to move south. With the supply still outlasting the demand, and Canadian carcass weights continuing to be high, I don’t look for much improvement over the next two to three months.

The cull cow market continues an aggressive seasonal decline. Canadian packers are focusing on the fed cattle harvest and are processing the minimum number of cows required weekly. As of the middle of November, Canadian cull cows were below the American market, shifting the movement of cows from Manitoba to Alberta; now the majority are being delivered to the United States. Once again the cull cow market in Manitoba has been higher than most places, and local packers have been able to import cows from Alberta and Quebec cheaper than buying locally. Good weather and a late preg-testing season have delayed the delivery of cull cows. I would expect that some feeders looking for tax inventory will seriously consider feeder cows for a 100-day turnaround. In the past, the packers stockpiled some cows to have available for late December and early January harvest. This could put a bottom in the cows and even improve the price slightly. In the calf market, the deliveries to both the auctions and electronic sales are down compared to last year. Manitoba is running about 14% behind last year. Calf placements in the feedlots in western Canada are down 22% compared to last year, and producers are holding back more heifer calves. Heifer calf placements represent 36% of the calf marketing up to the middle of November. The big runs of feeder cattle in November failed to materialize, and we are starting to run out of marketing weeks before the holiday break. It looks like with more feed in Manitoba, and prices slumping near the end of October, more producers are holding back some of the calf crop. Custom feeding rates to background in Manitoba this fall range from 85-93 cents on steers and 88-95 cents on heifers. The rate will be determined by the allowed daily gain in the contract and the death loss clause. Induction protocols and maintenance drugs are not included in the cost of gain. According to CanFax, this fall’s calf prices are the lowest since 2017.

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line The weekly average for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, provided by the WCLPIP, would have resulted in a large number of producers who took the insurance receiving a payout of some kind this fall, indicating a lower market than predicted when the policy was bought. Fed grain prices

have leveled off with Lethbridge barley at $45 a tonne higher than last year. The feed price will definitely put some downward pressure on the spring calf market. As of November 13, the WCLPIP offered risk management based on 800 pound steers in Manitoba at $1.72 in February, and $1.68 in

March. If those prices come true, then producers would have been better off selling their steers at 600 pounds at $2.00 in the fall. As for the lightweight cattle under 550 pounds, demand is strong and will stay strong through the spring. Those producers who purchased yearlings to grass over the summer managed a good profit this fall despite lower than expected prices. They will continue to be aggressive on the market. The demand from Ontario and Quebec for orders on the Manitoba markets will keep the prices here

higher than further west on some classes of cattle. I would expect more local demand this spring for replacement heifers. Many producers have lower than normal cow inventory, and I expect that now they have feed, that they will consider rebuilding their cowherds. The spring of 2021 doesn’t look like much fun in the cattle industry, but for those with the stamina, determination and bank account to get through it, the rest of the year looks promising. Until next time, stay safe. Rick

We're Here to Help you Achieve your BEEF production goals. Fortified Nutrition Limited (FNL) has a complete line of beef products to suit you and your cattle’s needs. From high quality palatable premixes, creep feeds and grower-finisher feeds, FNL has products that will maximize your cattle’s performance. Both Gilles and Travis offer on farm consultation with regular service and support to ensure that your herd is performing to it’s maximum potential.

Travis Froese

Gilles Chappellaz

Call us today at 1-866-626-3933 or call Gilles Chappellaz at 204-805-2094 or Travis Froese at 204-905-1617.

Advanced Animal Nutrition for Improved Human Health

MHHC pa ys la ndowners to conserve wildlife ha bita t on priva te la nds. For more informa tion ca ll Wes Pa nkra tz (204) 867-0337 or visit


CATTLE COUNTRY December 2020

Exploring livestock grazing as a riparian phosphorous management tool BY: DR. ALEX KOITER

Brandon University


MBFI General Manager

Riparian areas are a relatively common sight across much of the prairie landscape, these permanently vegetated areas next to streams and wetlands serve an important role in the landscape; they connect the land and the water. Riparian areas come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: wide or narrow, grassed or treed, managed or wild. The inclusion of riparian areas is a common management practice to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution from agricultural landscape to maintain and improve water quality of Manitoba’s rivers and lakes. The perennial vegetation reduces the speed of runoff, traps sediment, increases infiltration, and increases plant uptake of nutrients. These areas also provide important habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species, reduce streambank erosion and provide shade which regulates water temperature and reduces algae growth. A Manitoba Association of Watersheds project, led by Dr. Alex Koiter from Brandon University, is investigating the use of cattle grazing as a management tool to help retain the effectiveness of riparian areas to trap nutrients and to reduce the amount of phosphorus (P) in surface waterways during spring snowmelt. Riparian areas are generally thought of as a relatively easy management option to reduce nutrient runoff, owing to the assumption they need little management after establishment. Recent research has shown that the capacity of riparian areas to trap nutrients (especially P) typically diminishes over time and may in fact become a source of P if not managed. Without management, the soil can become saturated with P overtime as there is no mechanism to remove P from the environment to counteract the input from adjacent farmland. Further, the above ground vegetation in the riparian area itself may be a significant source of P as the vegetation undergoes multiple freeze-thaw cycles in the fall and spring,

which increases the amount of available for release. Lastly, the high soil moisture in riparian areas produces abundant forage making them important resource for grazing, especially in times of drought. The main goal of the project is to look at potential loss from the riparian area during the spring snowmelt and to understand what the dominant sources of P are at the soil surface and how this may change in response to grazing. Four experimental treatments, replicated in four different riparian areas at the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Brookdale Farm, have been setup to include: 1. Do nothing (control); 2. Lower grazing pressure; 3. Higher grazing pressure; and 4. Mowing and removal. The grazing and mowing of the plots occurs in early- to mid-September before the first frost. Grazing in the fall is an ideal time as other sources of forage may have become depleted (extends the grazing season), avoids disrupting the breeding of ground nesting birds and other species, and soil is generally drier reducing soil pugging and compaction. We are characterizing the vertical distribution of P within the riparian area and are collecting samples both before and after grazing and mowing of: 1. Standing biomass (available for grazing); 2. Plant litter (accumulation of dead vegetation from previous years); 3. O-horizon on top of the soil surface (highly decomposed organic matter); and 4. A-horizon (top soil layer). We are characterizing the P in these samples by measuring the water-extractable P, which is an environmental indicator of potential P release to spring snowmelt. In addition to monitoring P, we are also measuring potential changes in the number and type of plants present and soil compaction that may occur as a result of grazing. Two complimentary lab-based projects using soils and vegetation collected in these riparian areas are being conducted by MSc students which will add to our understanding of nutrient dynamics in riparian areas. Ike Noyes (University of Waterloo; supervised by Dr. Merrin Macrae) is investigating the role of freeze-thaw cycles on the release of P from soil and

Dr. Alex Koiter, Brandon University (Photo credit: MBFI)

vegetation. Autumn Wiebe (Brandon University; Co-supervised by Drs. Alex Koiter and Aaron Glenn) is investigating the role of soil moisture on soil nitrogen losses through N2O emissions. The outcomes of this research will help inform best management practices for riparian areas to reduce nutrient loading to water, understand the impacts of grazing on the quantity and distribution of P in riparian areas, quantify the potential for beef cattle to export nutrients away from waterways through short duration grazing management, and provide information on extending the grazing season. Project Funder: Lake Winnipeg Basin Program Project Partners: Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Association of Watersheds, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Upper Assiniboine River Conservation Districts, Brandon University, Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives. MBFI is thrilled to work with Dr.

Koiter’s team as he pursues research questions to understand connections between agriculture and environmental outcomes. Dr. Koiter’s academic career has taken him across Canada with an undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in Ontario, a M.Sc. in soil science with Dr. David Lobb at the University of Manitoba, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources & Environment Studies the University of Northern British Columbia. In 2017, Dr. Koiter joined the Department of Geography & Environment at Brandon University. This fall, Dr. Koiter was recognized as a participant in the Beef Cattle Research Council Beef Research Mentorship Program with Kristine Tapley and Larry Wegner as mentors. MBFI looks forward to Dr. Koiter’s study outcomes and future work. For more information on Dr. Koiter’s research program go to his webpage www. and for more information on work being done at MBFI go to www.mbfi. ca or email

42 Annual General Meeting FEBRUARY 11, 2021 nd

Watch MBP’s website, social media, E-Newsletter and Cattle Country for more details regarding this virtual event In light of the COVID-19 pandemic (and associated restrictions on gatherings and social distancing requirements), holding general meetings in person has, like other large social events, become very difficult.

December 2020 CATTLE COUNTRY


Holiday cooking ideas featuring beef BY ELISABETH HARMS The holidays are usually a time when we gather with extended families to celebrate the season. but this year is going to look a little different. These differences could be a chance for some of us to try something new for our holiday dinners. I know many of us will still cook a smaller chicken or turkey, but there’s always room for side dishes, so here are two of my favourite sides my family enjoys at Christmas. Both dishes use ground beef, which is a versatile and economical way to add to your holiday dinner, and these ideas are sure to please a crowd. The first dish I always look forward to is my aunt’s meatballs. These meatballs always turn out soft and tender and coated in a delicious mushroombacon gravy. While they may seem like a lot of work at first, if you’ve got some extra time and perhaps some extra helpers around the house, it could make for some great quality family time, and the meatballs you get at the end make it more than worth it. The recipe for these meatballs also makes a ton, and you can freeze them in batches. The extras will make a great meal when you need something quick and easy during the week. The second dish that is absolutely necessary at our family gatherings is

Meatballs cabbage rolls. While they are not made strictly out of ground beef, it is essential for the filling. In our family, the cabbage rolls are filled with a mixture of ground beef and rice, although the filling may change depending on the family or the tradition. My family also bakes them in a sauce made from tomato soup before they are completely devoured. For me, food and family are always important, but especially so at the holidays. Dishes like the ones I’ve described in this article remind me of being with family and enjoying the wonderful food we have at our gatherings. Even though I know I probably won’t be able to see my whole family this year, I keep these memories close. I hope you can take the time this year to enjoy each other’s company, whoever this may be, all while eating a truly delicious meal. Perhaps this year could be a chance for you to incorporate some new traditions into your holiday celebrations, whether it’s making homemade gifts for each other, or it’s adding some new dishes to your holiday meal that you’ve made together. Whatever it is, there is no reason why your holidays can’t still be special. Stay safe and healthy — Happy Holidays!

1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef 1/2 cup (125 mL) seasoned dry bread crumbs 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground nutmeg 1 large egg, beaten 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil Directions Place the ground meat, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg in a bowl. Combine very lightly using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Using your hands or meatball spoons lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. Pour oil into a large heated skillet. In batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs and remove the seared meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.

Stuffed beef cabbage rolls YIELDS 6 Servings Default (6 Servings) PREP TIME 30 mins COOK TIME 1 hr TOTAL TIME 1 hr 30 mins

1 medium head green cabbage, cored (approx. 3 lb/1.5 kg) 4 tsp (20 mL) vegetable oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika 1 ½ cup (375 mL) cooked rice 1 lb (500 mL) Lean or Extra Lean Ground Beef Sirloin or Round* 1 tsp (5 mL) salt (approx.) ½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper (approx.) 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) plum tomatoes, including juice 2 tsp (10 mL) packed brown sugar Cook cabbage in large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes or until leaves are softened. Drain and rinse under cold water, carefully separating 12 leaves. Using knife, trim coarse veins from leaves. If inner cabbage leaves are not softened, blanch cabbage again in boiling water to soften leaves. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic and paprika, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. In bowl, combine half of the onion mixture with rice, beef, salt and pepper; mix well. To make tomato sauce, purée tomatoes including juice and brown sugar in food processor. Add to remaining onion mixture in saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Spoon 1/4 cup (50 mL) beef mixture onto each cabbage leaf just above stem. Fold ends and sides over filling; roll up. Spoon half of the tomato sauce into a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish. Layer with rolls; top with remaining tomato sauce. Bake, covered, in 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until rolls are tender. *Other Options: Lean Ground Beef Chuck, Lean/Extra Lean Ground Beef Thurs., Feb 1 Tues., Feb 6

9:00 am;

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Feeder Sale

9:00 am


Febevery 8 Butcher Sale 9:00 am DLMSThurs., Sales Thursday @ 11:00 am at Tues., Feb 13


Thurs., Feb 15 Butcher Sale December 1 Regular sale Bred Cow Sale December 3 Bred cow and heifer sale Tues., Feb 20 Feeder Sale December 8 Regular sale Thurs., Feb 22 Butcher Sale December 10 Bred cow and heifer sale Tues., Feb 27 Presort Sale December 15 Regular sale Fri., Mar 2 Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale

9:30 am

9:00 am 9:00am 1:00 pm 10:00am 9:00 am 9:00am 9:00 am 10:00am 9:30 am 9:00am 1:00 pm

Tues., Mar 6OF 2021 Feeder SaleBE HELD ON JANUARY 9:00 am FIRST SALE WILL 5


2020 SaleSale Schedule 2018Fall Winter Schedule

Butcher Sale

Tues., Mar 13

Presort Sale

9:30 am

Thurs., Mar 15

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm

Tues., Mar 20

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

Tues., Mar 27

Feeder Sale

9:00 am

ALL PRESORT SALES WILL BEinBROADCAST LIVEcow ON THE Presorts MUST be booked advance. Bred salesINTERNET. 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 bypapers NOON on Wednesday prior. Age verification must be dropped offAge withverification cattle. papers must be dropped off with cattle.

Heartland Livestock Services

Savour some cabbage rolls. (Photo credit:


CATTLE COUNTRY December 2020

Have you "herd?" Social distancing works for livestock too year’s calving season, it is good to think about how you can socially distance your herd to minimize scours and other calf disease. Planning well ahead of the calving season will help you be proactive in disease management. Disease occurrence is multi-factorial. There must be a susceptible host, “ideal� environmental factors and a sufficient pathogen load for disease to develop. As we are experiencing now, a very virulent COVID-19 virus causes severe disease in susceptible populations and it is highly contagious between individuals. As a virus, antibiotics cannot touch it. This is similar to the common non-bacterial scour pathogens like BCV (Bovine Coronavirus) and Cryptosporidia for which medications are generally support-


The Vet Corner

As a mixed animal practitioner, I have the opportunity and professional obligation to keep up on industry matters for all the species that I work with, so I regularly review and scan journals and producer publications. Catchy titles sell and so that is how I happened to read about the effects of social distancing in dairy animals. The beef industry and in particular, the cow/calf industry has been very fortunate to have mostly avoided the wrath of animal rights groups because that sector is less socially distant. Calves are not separated from their dams at birth, herds graze for a large portion of the year and less intensive management is becoming more

the norm for human quality of life and, arguably, animal quality of life reasons. Social distancing has become the buzzword for COVID-19 management to decrease the risk of horizontal (between persons) disease transmission. Think of the Code Orange and Red restrictions - with limits on group size. Small groups and spreading out animals is also an effective disease control strategy in cattle. And, as we humans have found, if you cheat and do not follow the public health recommendations, disease continues and those at most risk still sicken and die. As the fall run winds down and attention turns to pregnancy testing and preparation for next

OUTSTANDING Calving Equipment






ive but not curative. The infection has to run its course while the animal/ person is supported in their recovery. This is labour intensive and costly - definitely not something desired in a beef operation during calving season. The race to control COVID-19 has focused on vaccination as permanent social isolation is not an option for the human race. So much is yet unknown about this emergent strain that we cannot yet know how effective any vaccines will be. Smallpox has been eradicated through vaccination because the vaccine was highly effective with lifelong immunity and prevented transmission of the virus between people. The virus was literally shut down by the vaccine. However, not all vaccines are that effective. Scour vaccines are only one tool in the prevention of scours in calves. Immunity of calves through vaccination of the cow herd prior to calving is solely reliant on the ability of the cow to produce quality colostrum in sufficient quanti-

ties to minimize disease in the calf as long as that calf ingests it in time. Calves must nurse within the first 6-12 hours of life - the earlier the better. That does not happen in most herds, despite excellent management and good nutrition. Herd dynamics and modern large-scale management practices require congregation of large groups which facilitates disease transmission. Poor weather further concentrates groups as everyone huddles to keep warm and dry or retreats to the same bush, wind fence or open front shed. I challenge you to evaluate your previous five years production data and look at the disease problems you encountered during the calving season. What was different for your herd during the “good� and the “bad� years? Hopefully your cows are wintering on ground that will not be later used for calving so that the area is not contaminated with manure loaded with pathogens that the cows are not susceptible to at their life stage but to which their unborn

calves will be highly at risk for contracting. Prepare to manage cohorts of calves based on age. Scour pathogens target calves of different ages so only keeping calves within a narrow age group (two weeks) together will minimize the chance that an older calf could contaminate the environment of susceptible younger calves. Moving newborn calves to clean ground that has not yet had calves on it this season also decreases that infection load. Bedding is still arguably the best scour control program. Warm and dry calves are better able to handle weather stressors. All these management tools are ways to manage the environment and that helps the vaccine work better because the immunity that is imparted to the calf is not overwhelmed. Reflection on seasons past and planning for the upcoming calving season should have started several months ago but it is not too late to even make some minor adjustments. Have your herd start social distancing this upcoming calving season.

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

Calving Enclosure Maternity Chute

• 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.

Webinars will take place on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

đ&#x;? đ&#x;?

Calving/Trimming Chute

Toll Free 1-800-661-7002

w w w. h i - h o g . c o m

Av a i l a b l e @ F e d e ra t e d C o - o p A g C e n t r e s


• 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: for details.

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

December 2020 CATTLE COUNTRY


Finding end markets for agricultural plastics is important. (Photo credit: Barbara McConnell)

Plans underway to transition cleanfarms ag plastic waste recycling pilots to permanent programs Province Provides Grant to Support Pilots and Transition BY BARBARA MCCONNELL,

Media and Communications Consultant, CleanFarms

Sustainability is not new to farming but some producers have found it challenging in recent years as convenient farm tools like twine and plastic grain bags end up as hard-to-manage ag plastic waste. Cleanfarms, a national, non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through proper management of inorganic agricultural waste has been working to change this. Since 2013, Cleanfarms has been operating pilots in Manitoba to collect and recycle plastic ag waste generated on farms. Over the years, the project has grown to 37 recycling collection locations throughout the province’s agricultural sectors. In 2019, Manitoba farmers took 51 tonnes of waste plastic to collection sites, up from 34 tonnes in 2018. “This kind of participation is a clear indication that farmers are really interested in ways to improve the sustainability of their operations, particularly for products like plastic film and twine,” said Cleanfarms’ Manager of Stakeholder Relations, Kim Timmer. This fall, the Government of Manitoba an-

nounced a grant of $185,000 to continue the pilots as plans to transition them to a permanent, industryfunded, stewardship program are underway. Timmer said the success of a permanent recycling program depends on: • Ensuring there are strong markets for collected materials • Giving farmers convenient access to collection points throughout the province, and • Building awareness of the program among producers. Cleanfarms is recommending a phased approach to the permanent, industry-funded program targeting ag plastics that can currently be recycled which, for now, includes grain bags (also known as grain silo bags or grain storage bags) and twine. Silage/bale wrap and netting will not be included until recycling end markets can be developed. The proposed time-

Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Inc.

table is to transition in 2021. About Cleanfarms Cleanfarms is an agricultural industry stewardship organization that contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products. It is funded by its members in the crop protection, crop storage, ag plastic and animal health industries.


Delivered right to your farm


(Similar nutrient value to whole kernel corn)

No grinding or rolling required to feed!

• Note overall limit on advances increased from $400,000 to $1,000,000 LOAN ADVANCES ON SOME SELECT GRAINS

Keystone Livestock SERVICES

Lois McRae & Joyce Gordon RR 1 Box 57 Br andon, Manitoba R7A 5Y1 h: 204-728-3058 c: 204-573-5192 f: 204-727-7744 mar macfar


CASH ADVANCE FORMS AVAILABLE ONLINE: MLCA offers Advances on Breeding Stock animals slated for market ( call MLCA) for specifics of which animals and provinces are eligible.


specializing in livestock insurance for over 45 years


(Approx. 37% Protein, 12% Fat, 8% Moisture – As Fed)


(Approx. 19% Protein, 6% Fat, 77 TDN – As Fed)


(Approx. 10% Protein, 3% Fat, 67% TDN – As fed))


(Great for stretching silage)



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

10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2020

Setting goals and adding diversity is key for intercropping There is a lot of buzz in beef and forage production systems around the concepts of sustainability and soil health and the numerous different production practices that can support those ideas. Innovative producers are seeking ways to work within their landbase to become more efficient and improve their soils, whatever that may mean to them on their farms. Intercropping is one strategy that may help them achieve their goals. What is intercropping? Is it different from planting cover crops, interseeding, or relay crops? How does intercropping fit in for beef and forage systems? The lines are blurry but the goals are clear Manitoba producer Alan MacKenzie considers intercropping to be two crops that are grown at the same time to be harvested together. The Nesbitt area cow-calf producer has been an organic farmer for twenty years and has used intercropping on-and-off as a tool on his mixed farm for the past decade. “I would say the main benefit is just trying to get some diversity and anytime we can get some legume in the mix for the nitrogen, that’s good,” MacKenzie explains. Some cash crop combinations he has tried in-

Yvonne Lawley, PhD, is an agronomy researcher from the University of Manitoba who studies cover crops and intercropping.

clude pea and mustard, a pea and oat mix, or wheat and flax, but he says there are numerous combinations that could work depending on the individual farm. “I seed everything at the same time, same depth,” he says. He mixes his seeds together in a mix mill and tries to choose an intermediate seeding depth to compromise different species’ requirements. MacKenzie also typically underseeds his cash crop mix to a forage “relay crop,” and usually seeds everything in one pass in the spring. “Relay cropping opens extra things, I’ll throw in vetch or Italian ryegrass or sweet clover at the same time,” MacKenzie says. He’ll harvest an intercrop of peas and oats for example, spread or bunch the straw, and then his cattle will graze the green forage crop that’s growing underneath in the fall. He says that some years it’s very dry


December 4th, 2020 Brandon, MB

1:30PM - Keystone Centre

KEYSTONE KLASSIC SALE December 5th, 2020

Brandon, MB Keystone Centre, Canada Room Please check out the MB Angus Facebook, website and Outlook for information regarding nominations for the Commercial Producer Award and Purebred Breeder Award for 2020

Manitoba Angus Association P: 1-888-622-6487

and you don’t see the response, or sometimes some crops outshine the others, but this cattle herd always has access to good feed. Researcher and professor Yvonne Lawley, PhD, based out of the University of Manitoba, says terms like intercrops, cover crops, and relay crops are often used interchangeably, however they are all strategies for intensifying how to utilize land to capture sunlight. “I’m ok with the blurry lines and the confusion. The important thing is to think This pea and oat intercrop is one of many combinations Alan MacKenzie has used on about what your goals are his Manitoba farm. Photo courtesy of Alan MacKenzie. and what strategies are going to help you meet your crop because it has so much about managing risk and work and sometimes there biomass and energy in a not putting “all their eggs may not be enough of a goal,” Lawley explains. “If one of your goals small amount of space, but in one basket.” He says they reward in the marketplace is soil health, understand the inherent problem with seed a plow-down crop, to offset the hassle. He’s what aspect is important to corn is that is has lower pro- such as sweet clover and experienced other learning you,” says Lawley. “Is it in- tein,” she says, adding that vetch, every three years, curves, including a time filtration? Nutrient cycling? can be limiting when trying terminating the crop by when they used lentils in Then find a measurement to graze different classes of working it into the soil to an intercrop mix somewhat that is successful for you cattle that have higher pro- incorporate organic matter unsuccessfully. “Timing the that you can follow over tein requirements. Lawley and clean up weeds. It’s a species right is so importime to see if that invest- and McGeough will study versatile mix and adds that tant,” MacKenzie describes. ment is impactful to you,” different species of inter- they sometimes divert the “By the time the other crop she suggests. “If your goal crops with corn as well as plough down crop for feed. was ready for harvest, the is to provide more forage of two different fertility rates. “We will benefit from that, lentils had shelled out,” he whatever quality you need McGeough will study how utilizing that cropland as says. Accessing versatile than that is an important cattle perform on inter- cattle feed that doesn’t cost crops compared to corn a lot of money,” he explains. equipment can be another measure.” Lawley, an agronomy alone and there are collab- He also adds that hav- frustration, Lawley says. researcher, has teamed up orative test sites set up in ing both crops and cattle “Having equipment that alwith fellow University of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and is complimentary when it lows you to easily intercrop comes to utilizing screen- either by adjusting rate on Manitoba colleague Emma Manitoba. The advantages of ings from seed cleaning and alternate rows or allowing McGeough, PhD to evaludiversity separation. you to have bins that you ate corn intercropping MacKenzie says that Lawley explains that can set different rates on systems for cattle grazing. “Corn is a great winter feed for their farm, diversity is seeding intercrops or cov- for different seed sizes,” she er crops can create mul- says. “Those become imtiple opportunities in the portant if you’re doing this whole operation. “From a on a large scale or want to livestock perspective you operationalize over large can grow forage for differ- acres.” ent windows and provide “Another challenge more options for graz- may be getting connected ing throughout the entire to a group of intercroppers,” growing season,” she ex- Lawley explains, which is plains. “Are the crops for helpful for producers lookfeed? For soil? In reality, it’s ing to gain logistical inforfor both,” she says. mation, share ideas, and Balance hassle with learn from others’ experireward ences. She added that social Every innovative pro- media has been helpful in duction practice comes building new networks of with a learning curve. farmers and enabling those Lawley says there is no one conversations. recipe and each farm has Overall, intercroppers to individually decide what are very observant. Lawley new change will lead to an says they learn from sucinnovative practice that will cesses but they also learn help the overall operation. from mistakes. “They learn MacKenzie identified from the failures and thinka few challenges, including ing through what went separating crops after har- wrong, regrouping, pivotvest. “Make sure you have ing, and moving forward,” buyer acceptance,” he says, she says. “The surprises are explaining that some buy- where a lot of learning is ers have stringent guide- going to happen.” lines and may reject a nice This Beef Cattle Resample of oats, for example, search Council blog article if they have a minimal was published on NovemWatch the website for updates on upcoming amount of pea chips pres- ber 16, 2020 and originally events or cancellations • ent. He adds that cleaning appeared on their website seed is a fair amount of

December 2020 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Manitoba’s favourite food series wins national recognition Every year the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association celebrates the cream of the crop in agricultural ad campaigns, promotional materials and marketers of the year at the Best of CAMA Awards. Instead of the formal gala of the past, the 2020 awards ceremony went virtual with hosts Crystal MacKay (@ CrystalMacKay32) and Andrew Campbell (@ FreshAirFarmer) presenting the awards on Facebook Live. The live event had just over 200 viewers from across the country tuning in to be entertained by live and pre-taped presentations, skits and speeches. Great Tastes of Manitoba was a finalist in two of the categories with a focus on public trust campaigns targeted at the general public audience and the Manitoba-made production took home honours in both. Great Tastes of Manitoba – the cooking series

– was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the Company or Industry-Funded Advertising Campaign Directed at the General Public category. The winner in this category was FCC’s “Eat Like A Proud Canadian” campaign. The Great Tastes of Manitoba Season 30 web series was awarded top prize in the Social Media Campaign Directed at the General Public category. The web series took the cooking show in a new direction introducing viewers to farmers from across the province including Manitoba Beef Producers, Andre & Katie Steppler. “It was an honour just to be nominated” said Great Tastes Senior Producer Donalee Jones, “but then to take home the hardware for our work bringing stories directly from the farm into people’s homes, that was an amazing feeling. Especially when we were up against some pretty major players in Canada’s

efforts to build public trust.” The Canadian Cattleman’s Association was also awarded a Certificate of Merit in the category of Company or Industry Funded Public Relations Tactic Directed at the General Public for their Guardians of the Grasslands documentary. CAMA is a national organization with chapters in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. The 2020 Best of CAMA awards had over 300 entries in 42 different categories. Locally, Great Tastes is a perennial favourite, and it continues to be Manitoba’s most watched cooking show. It is the only collaboration of it’s kind in Canada, with 12 different ag-industry partners and Manitoba Agriculture participating. Each broadcast reaches over 25,000 adult viewers on CTV and building on the success of the Season 30 web series

the show’s digital reach has grown by 400%. Great Tastes of Manitoba is produced by FRANK Digital, a full

service video production studio & world-class post-production facility based in Winnipeg. Season 31 of Great

Tastes of Manitoba wraps up December 5, 2020 with a replay on CTV to begin airing February 6, 2021.

SAFETY ALERT May Your Holidays Be Merry, Bright and Safe! Nothing says the holidays like a beautiful and festive light display. However, with all the sparkling lights, inflatables, and other temporary electrical installations that are part of our seasonal decorating traditions, there is an increased risk of electrical hazards. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure your holidays are merry, bright and safe. 1. Inspect electrical decorations and cords for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire. 2. Lights and extension cords are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Read the package instructions and never exceed the recommended wattage. 3. Buy decorations with the mark of an accredited certification agency. Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous. 4. It’s not safe to connect more than three light strings together. In most cases – read the manufacturers’ instructions for directions. 5. Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Remember the 80% rule – only load a 15 Amp circuit to 12 Amps, and a 20 Amp circuit to 16 Amps. 6. Use the proper clips for securing lights and decorations. Staples and nails can damage electrical cords! 7. Check for overhead powerlines before using a ladder outside or when you’re handling lights on trees. 8. Use GFCI-protected receptacles to protect you from shock when plugging in outdoors. Keep outdoor connections above ground and out of puddles. 9. Watch that children and pets don’t put electrical decorations or cords in their mouths.

Steven Manns, District 5 director, joined MBP General Manager Carson Callum in Winnipeg for the October 22 virtual district meeting. (Photo credit: Maureen Cousins)

10. Stay in the kitchen while something is cooking. Once the holiday meal is ready, check that the stove and oven are turned off and other kitchen appliances are unplugged when leaving the kitchen area. 11. Turn off holiday lights and decorations when you leave the house or go to bed.

MBP thanks the producers, industry stakeholders, and government officials who took part in the recent virtual district meetings.

12. Holiday decorations aren’t designed for year-round use and can deteriorate over time. Take them down when the holidays are over. Taking the time to follow electrical safety rules will ensure that your holiday will be a safe one for you and your loved ones.

November/December 2020

Available in accessible formats upon request.

Safety. It’s in your hands.

12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2020

Fostering connections between burrowing owls and cattle/grasslands based habitat suitability for burrowing owls which is collected from roadside surveys. Lands are selected based on several criteria but most importantly pastureland that is grazed. Grazing cattle keep the grass short which allows for the owls to find food easily (they eat a lot of insects – a favourite is grasshoppers!) and have a clear view of their burrow and the landscape should a predator be nearby. MBORP has worked with many cattle farmers over the years and has installed over 200 artificial nest burrows with their help. In 2020, a pair of wild burrowing owls nested in an artificial nest burrow installed on private land in 2017 and this pair raised 6 young! This was the first wild breeding record in the province since 2011. Burrowing owls, as well as, several other grassland species at risk in

BY ALEXANDRA FROESE Executive Director, Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program

The burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) in a unique, charismatic, little ground owl that lives in the Canadian prairies. The species in the only North American owl that nests in the ground. You might think that with a name like “burrowing owl” that the owl would be able to burrow but they cannot. Burrowing owls rely on foxes, badgers, coyotes and ground squirrels to excavate burrows. Once burrows are vacant, the burrowing owl will take over the spot. Burrowing owls are listed as Endangered across their Canadian range. Their population has declined by 96% over the last 50 years, especially in the most northeastern and northwestern extent of their breeding range (Manitoba and British Columbia). There has been



no single factor pinpointed to have caused their decline however several factors working simultaneously at once appear to be negatively impacting the species survival. These factors include habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of burrows and burrowing mammals, reduced prey availability and increased cool and wet weather events. Burrowing owls prefer to nest in open grassland/pastureland with available burrows. The Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program (MBORP) is working with cattle farmers in southwestern Manitoba to increase the species population through reintroductions and creating protected burrows for returning burrowing owls to nest. MBORP selects best sites to release owls and install artificial nest burrows



Manitoba require open, grazed pastureland to thrive. Cattle farmers play a huge role in maintaining grasslands for species at

risk and their continued support is needed to ensure that conservation-dependant species like the burrowing owl do not disappear from

Manitoba and Canada. Manitoba Beef Producers is proud to be a sponsor of the Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program.

Two young burrowing owls banded and fledged. (Photo credit: C. Froese)


2-Year-Old BULL SALE




forage developed


Two young burrowing owls banded and fledged. (Photo credit: C. Froese)

StockTalk Webinar Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development is offering a series of livestock and forage webinars led by innovative leading experts aimed to help Manitoba beef producers best manage their cattle operations. Topic: Improve Beef Production Profitability Date: December 10, 2020 Time: 1 - 2 p.m. Available on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Moose Creek R














Register for this StockTalk webinar at: Submit your questions prior to or during the talk. anuary 14, 2021: J Nutrition Nuggets February 25, 2021: Marketing Mania March 18, 2021: Forage Frenzy April 15, 2021: Forages for Cows For more information: Call 1-844-769-6224 Email: or Visit: Future webinars:

MB Agriculture – Stocktalk Webinar PO # 4501193018 Publication: Cattle Country Ad size: 1/4 Page (6.39" x 5.75”) Insertion date: Friday, Nov 27

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.