Cattle Country - February 2021

Page 1

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

FEBRUARY 2021

At Poplarview Stock Farm near Pipestone, MB., the cows are on the move to their wintering site. (Photo credit: Melissa Atchison)

Livestock predation prevention pilot project update In December 2020 as part of the Livestock Predation Prevention Project (LPPP), Manitoba livestock producers were asked to complete a survey about their experiences and issues around interactions between predators and livestock. MBP’s mailbox was filled with more than 500 responses, so a big thank you to all who participated! The responses are currently being reviewed, trying to find the trends and realities livestock producers are facing. Based on information provided by the respondents, early impressions include: • Coyotes are the most frequently identified predator facing producers, and are prevalent in all parts of Manitoba; • Wolves are the next most frequently identified predator but are more regionally-specific; • Bears, foxes and cougars are quite minimal overall but there are a few hotspots for bears; • Deer is the most frequent ungulate in all areas, followed by moose, elk and wild boar; • March and April are the most frequently used calving/lambing seasons, with fewer fall calving opera-

tions reported; • Months in which predation occurs vary a lot, but generally coincides with the months after birth and weaning. • Preliminary data compilation indicates that every farm has a different set of circumstances when it comes to predaRay Bittner tor and livestock behavior and possible outcomes. As we plan for summer 2021 and 2022 project activities, we will be contacting several potential producer cooperators to try to develop predator risk mitigation plans. Plans will be made with the intention of finding the best management techniques to reduce predator movement through the yards and pastures, and helping to protect livestock from turning into prey. Producers who want to work with the pilot project will have the opportunity to receive various Risk Mitigation Practices (RMPs) and over time will help evaluate the effectiveness of each different practice. The initial list of RMPs includes ideas such as: Page 2 

LIVESTOCK PREDATION PREVENTION PILOT PROJECT SURVEY

President's Column

MBP Scholarship Recipients

AGM Resolutions

Page 3

Page 6

Page 13

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 RAY BITTNER

Livestock Predation Lead


2

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

MBP AGM features Dr. Frank Mitloehner Greetings members and industry stakeholders. Happy New Year to you all. Hope you had a relaxing holiday season with your family to reflect on the previous year. Year 2020 had its challenges, but I am looking forward to a refresh as we move forward. I am hoping this new year brings many positives and we get back to a sense of normalcy. The way we operate at MBP is still impacted by pandemic restrictions, but there is lots of work being done on behalf of the sector, in new and exciting ways. In 2020, MBP was very busy with many files, such as challenges related to COVID-19, agricultural Crown lands, predation, and regulatory changes, among others. MBP will continue its efforts related to these key matters in 2021. Business Risk Management (BRM) tools will be a major focus again, especially as it relates to the proposed AgriStability changes. Annual With pandemic reBull Sale strictions, it has been March 31, 2021 disappointing we haven’t been able to meet with New LocatioN! members in person at on The Farm La Rivière, MB - 1:00 PM various industry events. However, we still have the 40 Yearling Charolais Bulls Sell ability to utilize technol-

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was hit with COVID-19. It rocked us in many ways, and I can’t lie, it negatively impacted my outlook. However, after working through many issues with all of my phenomenal industry colleagues, I have gained that optimism back. Agriculture has the potential to help lead us out of this pandemic, and the strength of producers in Manitoba will be a key factor in that. We will continue to work together as an industry to determine ways to address the current challenges and to positively impact the future of the Manitoba beef herd. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of our members in 2021. Our 42nd AGM will take place virtually on February 11th. If you haven’t registered, please do at www.mbbeef.ca/events/42nd-annual-general-meeting/. We are very excited it will feature Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis as our keynote speaker. Dr. Mitloehner will touch on his efforts to help our global community understand the environmental and human health impacts of livestock, so we can make informed decisions about the foods we eat and while reducing environmental impacts. He is a key advocate regarding the industry, and works to dispel myths about livestock production. I hope you can attend to listen in, and participate in the business portion. It is unfortunate we are not able to meet in person to engage and network with industry members. However, the online format will still be a way to provide input to MBP’s efforts moving forward. We look forward to meeting in person, hopefully in the near future. Cheers to a new year, and hope we have a good one. Carson

CARSON CALLUM

General Manager’s Column ogy to connect. Following our virtual 42nd AGM next month, MBP plans to put on a number of webinars for producers to attend. These will focus around topics such as industry technology, mental health, conservation, and nutrition. On top of communications with producers, we have a lot on the go related to public trust efforts. We will continue to come up with ways to demonstrate the benefits of beef, both from a nutritional and environmental standpoint. We are looking to do future commercials and media outreach to the urban audience, as well as to develop more beef sector resource tools that could be utilized at schools. We also are encouraged to again be involved with Great Taste of Manitoba as it heads into its 32nd season. This is a phenomenal cooking show that gets great traction with our consumer audience. And we plan to continue our new relationship with the Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program, to demonstrate the benefit of raising beef to the provision of habitat of this endangered species. There are lots of great communication efforts happening at MBP! At this time last year, I was feeling a great deal of optimism. This optimism was strengthened after attending my first MBP AGM. Soon after our 2019 AGM, the world

More on Predation survey findings  Page 1 deadstock composting pens to reduce predator scavenging opportunities; professional herd assessments; fencing options to ward off predators; scare lights

and scare sounds for use during calving/lambing; and, the use of game cameras to help identify predators and their habits that producers and trappers can use to their advantage. Trapping of

problem repeat predators will also be evaluated for effectiveness at reducing attacks. While we recognize that we cannot help every producer with every livestock loss, producers

who experience livestock injuries or death losses due to predators are encouraged to contact Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) to report these issues and make claims under the compensation program. You do not need to hold a MASC insurance contract to claim for predation losses. Once losses are claimed, producers can be assisted by members of the Manitoba Trappers Association in cases of repeated loss. Producers are also encouraged to contact their local Manitoba

Conservation officer to make them aware of the losses and your concerns with predation. If you have ideas around risk mitigation practices that could potentially help reduce losses or want to participate in the pilot project you can contact Ray Bittner, pilot project lead at 204-768-0010 or via rbittner@mbbeef.ca The winner of the grand prize will be notified shortly, once all surveys have been reviewed. Thank you to all who participated in the survey.

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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

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DISTRICT 2

NANCY HOWATT - SECRETARY

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

STEVEN MANNS

DISTRICT 6

MELISSA ATCHISON

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

DIANNE RIDING - PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 10

MIKE DUGUID - 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT

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

KEVIN DUDDRIDGE

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

TYLER FULTON 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT

DISTRICT 8

MATTHEW ATKINSON

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

MARK GOOD

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

MARY PAZIUK

JIM BUCHANAN

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

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

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

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

DISTRICT 14

David Hultin

FINANCE

OFFICE ASSISTANT Vacant

LIVESTOCK PREDATION PREVENTION PROJECT COORDINATOR Ray Bittner

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR David Hultin

DESIGNED BY

Trinda Jocelyn


February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Reflecting on issues tackled during my time on the MBP board Well, we’ve put 2020 to bed and let’s hope 2021 is less tumultuous. In this edition of Cattle Country you’ll find a copy of our 2020 Annual Report. It touches upon many of our advocacy and outreach activities on behalf of our sector, and there are also updates from some industry organizations. As the Annual Report shows, MBP tackled a lot of issues last year. We made progress on some, like getting changes to forage insurance offerings to make them more responsive to producers’ needs. There was a lot of discussion made more urgent by the effects of the pandemic about changes needed to business risk management programs like AgriStability to make them more effective for our sector. The federal, provincial and territorial governments are currently examining a federal proposal that would see the elimination of the reference margin limit and an increase in the compensation rate. MBP has given more input to the province about the positive impact these changes could have and asked for their support of them. On the agricultural Crown lands (ACL) front, the very important first

right of renewal on legacy leases was achieved. However, getting provincial government movement on other issues has proven to be much more challenging. MBP has repeatedly advocated for a five-year transition to the rental rate increase for ACL leases, for unit transfers to continue, and for a more transparent system for valuing improvements, among other matters. These and other ACL discussions will continue with the province. We also thank producers who are contacting their elected officials about the personal impact these changes are having on your operations, as the more voices heard, the better. The next round of lease and permit auctions (online format) runs Feb. 8-12. For parcel details go to https://resd. ca/leases_and_permits/ LPproperties.aspx, email agcrownlands@gov.mb.ca or call 1-844-769-6624 (toll-free). MBP provided feedback to Cleanfarms about the Proposed Stewardship Program Plan for Designated Agricultural Plastics in Manitoba. The changes will see an environmental handling fee applied to certain agricultural plastics to assist with their

DIANNE RIDING President's Column

recycling costs, starting in December. Among the first products to have the fee added will be twine and grain bags. MBP noted the financial impact as producers do not have the ability to pass along these costs. The importance of having ready access to recycling programs was noted, as our members have raised concerns about this. MBP added that strong communications efforts will be needed to raise awareness of these pending changes, as well as about agricultural plastics recycling in general. In this edition of Cattle Country are essays written by the most recent MBP scholarship winners. Each year MBP makes available six scholarships for MBP members or their children who are attending a university, college, other post-secondary institution or pursuing trades training. When you read the essays you will be struck by their high level of interest in and understanding of Manitoba’s beef industry, as well as

their commitment to our rural communities. It certainly bodes well for the future of our sector. In the weeks ahead, watch Cattle Country, our e-newsletter and our website for details about the intake for the 2021 scholarship competition. And just a quick reminder, our virtual 42nd Annual General Meeting is the afternoon of Thursday, February 11. There will be the business meeting, a review of proposed MBP bylaw changes, resolutions debate, and an update on the livestock predation prevention pilot project. Dr. Frank Mitloehner of UC Davis is the keynote speaker and he should prove to be very interesting, helping to address misconceptions about the environmental effects of beef production. To register go to www.mbbeef.ca . There is no charge to participate. I must say it has been a huge honour and a privilege to serve as District 9 director for the past seven years, and as MBP Presi-

dent this past year. During my time with MBP, the organization has tackled a lot of issues, including floods and droughts, predation, business risk management (BRM) programs, animal diseases, trade, public trust, legislative and regulatory changes, and many more. There have been tough discussions with governments of all political stripes, but throughout it all we’ve tried to maintain a respectful dialogue as it’s critical that the doors to talk remain open. If they close, they can be tough to reopen. Some issues were addressed relatively quickly, and in some cases the advocacy work is still ongoing. At times it can take years to make progress, especially if multiple departments or levels of government and other stakeholders are involved, such as making changes to BRM programs. I know as producers you are frustrated about the time it takes to move the dial on an issue, and so are we, but as an industry we have to keep trying. I have appreciated the support and trust of producers, and government officials (elected and civil servants) as we have talked about both issues and opportunities affecting Manitoba’s

beef industry. One of the things I enjoyed most about my time with MBP was attending outreach events, be they with producers, such as district meetings or Beef and Forage Week, or events aimed at the general public, especially young people, such as the Amazing Ag Adventure or the Red River Ex. It’s so critically important we get out and talk about what we do to help clear up the misconceptions. People want to have those conversations with us, so if you have the chance to talk about agriculture in a classroom or at a fair, please consider doing it. In closing, thank you to my partner Gary and my family for their support during my time away from our farm while on MBP business or calls, as it was a lot to ask at times. Thanks to my fellow MBP directors with whom I’ve served, and also to our staff for their continued contributions. Thanks as well to the many producers I’ve met and with I’ve shared some heartfelt and lively discussions over the years. Take care of yourselves as we head into the busy calving season and the next production year.

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Province makes changes to operations of Manitoba agriculture offices (Province of Manitoba News Release) The Manitoba government is launching a new rural service delivery model to modernize services provided to clients whose needs and expectations have changed, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced January 6. “Meeting the needs of our clients with professional knowledge, current research and data, connections to appropriate links, and timely, unbiased information has always been a priority for our department,” said Pedersen. “The array of services that will be provided online, by telephone or in-person at agricultural service centres throughout the province will offer producers a convenient and client-focused means to access the programs and services that are available to them.” Effective April 1, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development will leverage existing synergies with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) to offer a single window for Manitoba farmers

and businesses seeking services provided by either organization. Through the modernization of the department and MASC’s physical footprint, 17 rural and northern offices will continue to deliver a multitude of services including: • 10 agricultural service centres will provide insurance, lending, farmland school tax rebate and wildlife damage compensation services; handling of licensing and permits applications; and provide agriculture and resource development program information; • five centres focusing on resource management, and; • two centres focusing on mineral or petroleum services. To support the multichannel service delivery model, an interactive online chat program, which will allow clients to access real-time assistance from a smartphone, tablet, computer or through a toll-free number, will be developed in the future, the minister noted. In addition, each office

will have a client-accessible kiosk to access online services and connect virtually with other government service providers. “By investing in resources and new ideas, we are meeting clients’ needs to access services using a modern, robust approach,” said Pedersen. “We’re building capacity for future technological advances and elevating the client experience.” Background Information re: Rural Service Delivery Model Overview Ten agricultural service centres will be located in: Arborg, Brandon, Dauphin, Headingley, Killarney, Morden, Neepawa, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, and Swan River. The centres will continue to provide Manitoba producers with products and services offered by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), an access point for permits and licenses issued by the department, and department and general government services program information and referrals.

Five service locations focused on integrated resource management will be in: Brandon, Gimli, Lac du Bonnet, The Pas, and Thompson. A service location focused on minerals will be located in Flin Flon and another service location focused on petroleum will be located in Virden. Rural offices will continue to be provide workspace for Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development employees, but will no longer be open to the public in: Beausejour, Carberry, Carman, Melita, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Portage la Prairie, Roblin, and Virden. Rural Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development and MASC offices will be closing in the following locations: Altona; Ashern; Birtle; Deloraine; Fisher Branch; Gladstone; Glenboro; Grandview; Hamiota; Lundar; Morris; Pilot Mound; Russell; Shoal Lake; Somerset; Souris; St–Pierre–Jolys; Ste. Rose du Lac; Teulon; Vita; and Waskada.

Manitoba Agricultural Crown land auctions to be held online in February (Province of Manitoba News Release) The Manitoba government announced a new, modern online approach to agricultural Crown land lease auctions beginning in February, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen said January 11. “By modernizing our approach to service delivery we are better able to meet the needs and expectations of our clients,” said Pedersen. “The new, online auction format will ensure we can offer all Manitobans the opportunity to rent additional lands that will support their farming operations.” A number of agricultural Crown land parcels will be available to rent for haying, grazing, or cropping. The official listing of agricultural Crown lands available for rent can be found at: https://resd.ca/leases_and_permits/LPproperties.aspx. The online auctions will be hosted by Garton’s Auction Service from Feb. 8 to 12,

with further information to follow on https://gartonsauction.com/. Allocating agricultural Crown land leases by way of a public auction is part of the modernization of the Agricultural Crown Lands Program, the minister noted. These leases and permits are available to farmers and ranchers, to provide an additional land base on which to conduct agricultural activities. The Agricultural Crown Lands Program supports the sustainable expansion of the livestock herd in Manitoba, contributes to ecological goods and services, and supports mitigation and adaptation to climate change. More information on the upcoming auctions can be found at https://resd.ca/leases_and_permits/LPproperties.aspx or by contacting the Agricultural Crown Lands Program by email at agcrownlands@gov.mb.ca or by calling 204-867-6550 or 1-844769-6624 (toll-free).

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February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

StockTalk Q&A Feature Brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development TIM CLARKE

Livestock Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development tim.clarke@gov.mb.ca (204) 768-0534

Q: It is looking pretty dry on my farm, and I don’t expect to have much carry over feed come spring time. Is it worth having forage insurance? A: That depends. Producers regularly get good value out of production insurance, but to do so requires some time and effort. Understanding and executing your producer responsibilities are paramount in getting good value for your production insurance premiums. Also remember that this is insurance, so don’t expect to collect every year. One very common mistake that livestock producers make (and I have done this myself) that hurts them with respect to crop insurance, is to change the intended use of a forage crop without notifying MASC Insurance. I wrote down “oats” on my Seeded Acreage Report one year, and then chopped the oats for silage. “Oats” to MASC means grain, so they expect a grain yield on your Harvested Production Report. If you do what I did, MASC records a zero grain yield for that crop. Because it was insured as oat grain, there can be NO claim if the silage/greenfeed crop was poor. So the premium gets paid, but you have no coverage, and future cover-

age is reduced because the zero oat grain yield is factored into your Individual Producer Index (IPI) for coverage levels in future years. You can avoid this by notifying MASC Insurance to report that you are changing the intended use of the crop. They will likely send an adjuster to do a yield appraisal. If you are not sure what to do, or cannot remember how you insured a crop (e.g., grain or silage/green feed), then call them and ask. The same applies if you change the intended use of the crop from silage to grain, silage to grazing, haying to grazing, or destroying the crop because it looks so poor. In 2020, producers put down “silage corn” on their Seeded Acreage Reports, and then decided to combine the crop, due to the type of fall we had. A zero silage corn yield in 2020 factored into your IPI will have longlasting negative effects on your Probable Yield, and therefore, your potential to receive future claim payments It is your crop and it is fine to change the intended use of the crop, just as long as MASC knows about it in ADVANCE of when you do the next operation. Then, MASC can appraise

it and potentially generate a payment if the appraised yield is less than your guaranteed yield and quality. The chart illustrates the insured value of two annual, and two perennial, types of forage crops at the 80 per cent coverage level chosen. The probable yield and therefore, the insured value of the corn, significantly overshadows the yield and value of the other three crops, while having fairly low premiums relative to yield. Annual forage crops are roughly twice as water use-efficient as perennial forage crops, so it may be time to take out those old hayfields to make better use of scarce water resources. One last point is that if you plan on making chang-

es to your coverage levels, insurable crops or to sign up to purchase production insurance, the deadline is the end of March. 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. Email your questions to Tim.Clarke@gov.mb.ca. StockTalk Q&A 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 125 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

2020 Manitoba Beef Producers SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Sarah Jensen Being involved in the beef industry, raising cattle has provided me with a variety of experiences I am extremely grateful for. I was raised on a commercial cowcalf and grain operation near

Madison Johnston The beef industry is the most rewarding industry to be apart of. Thankfully, I was born and raised on a

Arborg, MB and feel extremely fortunate to have learned from a young age the importance of sustainable agriculture for a growing community in Manitoba. I developed a strong work ethic while helping my father with various chores around the farm and now have a great appreciation for knowing how my food is grown. Raising cattle has also provided a sense of community, bringing together friends and family during calving season and to assist on our cattle drives. To support the beef and other agricultural industries in Manitoba, I have volunteered with the Arborg Agricultural Society, planning community suppers, socials

and fundraising events for our annual Arborg Fair and Rodeo. I have seen how agricultural events such as these have attracted hundreds of spectators to my community and I believe they are important for showcasing agriculture to youth interested in becoming involved in the industry. In 2017, I moved to Winnipeg and began studying in the Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba. While pursing my undergraduate degree, I maintained part time work positions pertaining to my interests in animal agricultural, specifically beef cattle production. One of these positions included

employment as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) research assistant in the Department of Animal Science in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Faculty. I, along with fellow undergraduates assisted Masters and PhD students in their research exploring factors in beef cattle grazing systems that may aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through this position I learned how important it is for Manitoba’s beef industry to be adaptive and listen to consumer demands. Using research to explore ways of increasing the sustainability of our grazing systems pro-

vides us with important tools that can assist us in responding to consumers and also to producers during times of adverse weather events such as drought. The success of the beef industry in Manitoba relies heavily on the partnerships built between industry, producers and veterinarians. While working as the Animal Health STEP Student in the Chief Veterinary Office of Manitoba during my undergraduate studies, I learned how important these partnerships within a community become for ensuring optimal animal health. Raising cattle that are producing optimally contributes to the financial

success of the operation and helps promotes economic security within Manitoba. As a Canadian Cattlemen’s Young Leader recipient, I hope to share my passion for raising beef cattle with youth and continue exploring opportunities that will strengthen my knowledge of the beef industry here in Manitoba. Having been accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in August of 2020, I am now working towards my goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian and look forward to practicing beef cattle medicine in rural Manitoba as a way to give back to my community and support the beef industry in Manitoba.

purebred Charolais cow/calf and mixed grain operation. Currently my father and I run approximately 85 head in Rathwell, MB. The beef industry means everything to my family. In reality we eat, sleep, and breathe for the industry we are proud to be involved in. As a young child, I grew a strong passion for spending time on the farm. I appreciate the time my father took to teach me the hands-on skills the average kid wouldn’t know at such a young age. As my father was getting free labor, I was appreciative, ea-

ger, and determined to learn more about the industry I’m passionate about. I give full credit to my involvement in the beef industry for shaping me into the individual I am today. I will utilize my dedication, driven work ethic, and outstanding reputation to continue to build the future of the beef industry. Coming from a very small rural village, our family understands the importance of being highly supportive of our communities in order for them to thrive. Johnston Charolais sponsors and gives back to a wide range of ag-

ricultural organizations and their events such as the Manitoba Junior Charolais Association. We aim to encourage young advocates to actively participate as they are the future of our industry. I take great pride in my involvement in the purebred industry. From our farm’s experience selling and marketing bulls, I find it rewarding to network with the great people of our industry. When I purchase genetics for my own herd, I would rather firsthand support other producers and their genetics than purchasing from a cor-

porate business. Our industry has a purpose to feed the world. It is very important to understand how Manitoban communities and the province rely on the beef industry for its economy. The surrounding municipalities of my home farm have highly variable soil types which supports beef production when it’s not favorable for cropping. In Manitoba, a great portion of beef production occurs in the Interlake for the same reasons. Manitoban producers are economical and support local businesses involved in the beef supply chain. Small, local butcher shops provide reliable services and reasonable cuts of our beef. A wide range of careers support our supply chain. From producers to retailers and everything in between, our communities support the diverse beef industry. The reasons I enjoy being involved in agriculture

are endless. To list a few, I applaud that our industry is so community based and thoughtful of others. We support each other like family for the same common cause, our driven nature for the wellbeing and future of our impacting industry. As a whole, we are able to overcome many of the public or consumer concerns and hardship periods like BSE that financially affect the production of our beef. These funds would support my post-secondary tuition and help me reach my goals. After I complete my beef major diploma program at Lakeland College, I plan to obtain a degree in Animal Science. My goal is to represent the beef industry on a wide spectrum. I will continue to be an advocate and advertise the many rewarding benefits, address concerns by consumers, educate youth, and encourage future generations to continue the legacy we have built.

YEARLING AND TWO YEAR OLD BULLS

BULL SALE

Simmental, Red & Black Angus AT THE FARM | BRANDON, MB

You’re invested in your business So are we Partner with the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food.

view catalogue & videos online at

WWW.MARMACFARMS.NET

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In these uncertain times we invite you to tour the bulls anytime. Join us at the farm sale day or online on dlms.ca

March10 2021

BLAIR, LOIS & MELISSA MCRAE

BLAIR 204-729-5439 | LOIS 204-573-5192

MCRAE LAND & LIVESTOCK - BRETT & CHANTEL MCRAE 204-729-1018

www.mbbeef.ca

DREAM. GROW. THRIVE.


February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

2020 Manitoba Beef Producers

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

George Meggison Growing up on a 5th generation beef and grain farm has given me a large appreciation for the agriculture industry. I have been helping

Nyla Hacault The chance that you will ever hear anyone make the claim that a life in the cattle industry is all sunshine and rainbows is slim to none, but that does not take away from the fact that it has taught me

on the farm for as long as I can remember, and it has had a large impact on who I am today. I am currently in my second year of the agriculture diploma program at the University of Manitoba and I am enjoying learning more about the agriculture industry and farm business management. Throughout my life, I have been able to work on the farm with my dad and grandpa and have been able to learn from them and my own experiences. My family takes pride in producing good quality beef to feed the world and making sure that our livestock are healthy and

well cared for. Having both beef and grain production on our farm has been a way to manage risk because in years where crop production is poor, we have our beef operation to rely on and vice-versa. Being a beef producer also allows us to keep working over the winter months when we are finished with field work for the year. Beef production is very beneficial to farmers around my community because we are located at the edge of Turtle Mountains and have ravines running through our land. Beef production allows us to make use of this mar-

ginal land that can’t be used for crop production. This allows us to be more efficient with our land and to increase our food production for the growing global population. The beef industry is very strong in Manitoba with over 6,000 beef producers. For many of these farmers, beef production isn’t just a source of income, it’s also a lifestyle. The joy of working with animals and spending days working outside in the fresh air is something that all producers share and it’s what keeps farmers producing beef year after year. Beef is a very important

part of many people’s diets in Manitoba and around the world and this is what keeps the beef industry strong. With a growing global population, beef farmers need to work on maximizing production while still keeping sustainability in mind to preserve land and the environment for future generations to continue farming. I personally really enjoy working with beef production because I love working with animals and being active throughout the day. I enjoy operating and fixing farm machinery, and I like how much variety agriculture

has to offer. Being directly involved in the production of food for everyone around you is a very special feeling and I am so glad to be a part of it. Through all my experiences in the agriculture industry and my courses at the University of Manitoba, I have grown to value the agriculture industry and have had the opportunity to learn from so many amazing individuals. I am excited to return to the family farm after completing my education so I can use all that I have learned to do my part to efficiently and sustainably produce food for the growing global population.

so many of the essential skills that make me stand out as an individual today. Although I have always been intrigued and an active member of the farm, it was not until my older brother got me my first job working at Winnipeg Livestock Sales, that my passion exploded. This place was a whole new community of people who had an appreciation for the same things as me. It is not often that you hear a teenager say that work is their outlet or that they are eager for school to be done so that they can go to work, but you can ask almost anyone, I say it weekly. The smell might not always be the most pleasant but it

is the conversations that are made with the buyers and the sellers, the relationships that you build with the truck drivers that come each week, the jokes you make with the auctioneer, and the utmost trust that you have in your co-workers to always have your back; it is this feeling of acceptance and appreciation that makes the whole framework feel like a family. Yet I have learnt it is not just one job, or just one building that this camaraderie is bounded within, it spans everywhere can you see and adventure to. I have spent the last 18 years discovering myself on a small cow-calf operation in a spread-out community of

tight-knit farms of the Eastern Interlake of Manitoba. I have grown up with the kind of farmers who gossip about the cattle that always get out into the ditch, with wives who go about organizing all of the local fundraisers and community get-togethers, and those who quiz me, the local action-mart-girl, on what the feeder prices are like and when is a good time to ship their spring calves. More important than anything though, they are the kind of farmers that are always there to lend a helping hand when the neighbor has a bad day. Unlike many other walks of life, the cattle indus-

try has active participants of all ages; the knowledge that the older generations have given me without even knowing is nearly beyond comprehension. They have taught me patience, compassion, and humility. These men and women have treated me like a daughter and shown me that life is not always forgiving and that you must be responsible, independent, and resilient. Leading by example they have shown that the work you put in is the work that you get out and that you cannot expect a return without taking a risk. When taking a breath, I step back and have a moment to reflect upon the land

that lays beneath my feet, I am able to gain an appreciation for the home that I come from. The health and the heart of Manitoba relies not only on the stability and sustainability of the farms themselves but more importantly of the families that comprise them. What the beef industry means to me, my family, my community, and my Manitoba is all the same. It is something more than what you can hold in your hands, but it is something that you can take with you everywhere you go in your heart and in your soul. It is about something more than the meat and it is about something more than the money.

80 Red & Black Simmental, Black Angus & Sim/Angus bulls

March 11, 2021

1:00 pm at Spring Creek Ranch, Moosomin, SK Red Simmental

Black Simmental

SeLLing L SiMMenTa S LL u B S u & ang L ia C er M PLuS CoM S r fe ei H Bred

Annual Simment al & Angus Bull & Female Sale

March 4, 2021 On the Farm mcauley, manitOba

MBJ 114H

Sim/Angus

MBJ 58H

Black Angus

glenn & Barry lowes eric & Melissa Pateman MBJ 19H

Mcauley, MB glen: 204-851-5669 | Barry: 204-851-0342 eric: 306-434-8567 brookecanart@gmail.com mmwilson87@hotmail.com www.jpcattle.com

RRAR 6H

Sale Managed By T Bar C Cattle Co. Ltd. info@tbarc.com | www.buyagro.com Chris Poley: 306-220-5006 Shane Michelson: 403-363-9973 Ben Wright: 519-374-3335

Sale Managed By:

Brian McCarthy & Family Box 467, Moosomin, SK S0G 3N0 Ph: 306.435.3590 • Cell: 306.435.7527 brian.mccarthy@live.ca

Watch & Bid online

View the catalogue online at www.BuyAgro.com www.mbbeef.ca


8

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

2020 Manitoba Beef Producers

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Christina Devos Agriculture is the backbone to our society therefore, the industry impacts all of us in several different ways. Producing beef has played a big role in my life, and my family's. Beef farming to my family and myself

Alanna Dudych As a recent grad of the Animal Systems program

is a good way of life. It is our commitment to our community to provide the best product. Beef producers in Manitoba are held to high industry standards for safety, quality and consistency through the Verified Beef Production Plus Program which my family enrolled in this past year. Growing up being a part of the beef industry showed me humbleness. It is a simple life, but yet sometimes challenging, but it taught me so much about working hard, appreciating what you have and loving your family. Agriculture has impacted and transformed me into the person I am today and who I will become tomorrow.

Being a part of the Manitoba Beef Producers pushed our family to regenerative agriculture. This is the practice of farming and grazing that focuses on regenerating topsoil using practises like composting, crop diversity and limited to no tillage. Regenerative agriculture has many benefits. We believe the biggest being that it helps build the soil. It also allows farmers to invest in their farmland for future generations. Having healthy land for the next generation to be passed down is important to my family. Regenerative agriculture helps improve farming profitability. This year my family began implementing pasture

rotations with livestock to insure grass has the highest yield potential and to have healthier, better producing pastures. This led to many ranger rides, laughs with the family and hours and hours of bonding. Maybe we didn't always agree on things but I wouldn't trade it for anything. My community greatly revolves around the beef industry. We are a very small community that has its ups and downs. The biggest being its ups, in our community we come to together in times of need. Being a part of the beef industry in my community makes our community stronger. Not being a large community it is im-

portant to have strong relationships with everyone. Manitoba has an ideal environment to build the beef protein industry. Located in the heart of Canada, the province has efficient trucking routes that make it an ideal hub for industry growth, with markets to the east, west and south. Agriculture and agri processing sector is a key economic driver for Manitoba. As the world grows and there is a higher demand for agriculture produce. The beef industry in Manitoba is changing and advancing everyday. This has me eager to learn and be more involved. I was raised on my family farm, where my love

for agriculture shapes me everyday. I have learned responsibility. Being a part of the beef industry you quickly learn that life is not all about money, there is no monetary value on happiness. If you ask me why I beef farm I won't tell you it's for the money, I do it for the feeling of pride and happiness it brings. I look forward to expanding my education in the agriculture industry and taking it back to my hometown in the rural area. I am extremely enthusiastic about agriculture and its sustainability in this world and would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing success in this area.

from the University of Manitoba, I particularly enjoyed my ruminant meat production class where I got to learn about all aspects of the beef industry. I learned about the numerous challenges the industry faces but also how adaptive and resilient it can be while providing a highquality protein source. The Manitoba beef industry has an important role in my life, my community, as well as our province. Having cattle of our own, allowed all of my sib-

lings, the opportunity to be involved in our local 4H beef group. This taught us valuable life skills like responsibility, hard work, public speaking, and dedication. These skills have carried us through our careers and many aspects of our life. I also cannot think of a better way to develop adaptable teamwork skills than to halter break and show an animal that does not speak your language and is roughly 10 times your size. I truly believe having the opportunity to grow up on a beef farm al-

lowed us these unique opportunities that we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else! In my community, the beef industry stimulates our economy and provides a local source of high-quality protein. There are several local producers that provide to local restaurants. Consumers are recognizing the value of sourcing local products and beef producers are satisfying this demand. Local producers also have a valuable role in educating consumers on agriculture practices through events like Open Farm Day and local fairs. When producers that are also part of the local community have meaningful dialogue with those not involved with agriculture, this instills trust in those providing food. This helps bridge the ever-increasing gap between food producers and the

general public. With approximately 10% of the national beef herd in Manitoba the industry is an integral part of our provincial economy and environment. The industry provides several job opportunities beyond just producers. Nutritionists, auctioneers, truckers, and abattoir staff are just a few of the other jobs created for Manitoban’s because of our beef industry. There are numerous ecological benefits that grazing cattle provide. Landscapes that cattle graze on are important habitats for species at risk and provide means of carbon sequestration. Having cattle on these landscapes ensure that these soils remain healthy and productive. Removing them from the ecosystem could have potential negative consequences. There are many aspects

of the industry I enjoy from nutrition to marketing; however, a specific interest of mine is animal health. Being responsible for any orphaned calves on our farm over the years led me to develop an interest in animal health and ultimately pursue a career in veterinary medicine. I appreciate the preventative medicine that we have to protect our animals, but also enjoy the challenge that comes with abnormal cases. It is rewarding to see an individual animal or herd improve however, the epidemiological tools that we have for disease surveillance on a provincial/national level are very fascinating to me as well! I look forward to serving the Manitoba beef industry as a veterinarian in the future and continue to use my knowledge and skills with my family’s herd.

FORAGE BASED BLACK ANGUS BULLS & REPLACEMENT FEMALES

www.nerbasbrosangus.com 204-773-6800 www.mbbeef.ca


February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY

Feed grain prices affect cattle sector Cattle feeders and producers can’t catch a break. For the fourth straight year, the early spring market has found a way to implode. This January, the feedlots were finally getting the backlog of fed cattle whittled down and pen space was starting to free up. Packers in the west moved their rail price from $2.21 in December to $2.45 in mid-January. This still wasn’t making the feedlots a ton of cash, but everyone was in a better mood. The industry was still nervous over the COVID-19 outbreak that temporally closed the packing plant in Guelph, Ontario. Despite all of the safety precautions that the western packers had put in place, the fear was that the big plants in Alberta could still be at risk of having to reduce capacity. Canadian packers were taking advantage of large supplies of market ready cattle. Packers increased their weekly kill as much as 10,000 head at the peak, generating high levels of profitability built on strong export and domestic demand. They kept the prices just high enough to stop many of the cattle from being exported to the USA. The fall was really good, harvest was off early with good yields, the calf market didn’t seem too crazy and the yearlings were still profitable off the grass. Pens were dry and in good shape, calves were pretty healthy off the cow. Things looked

good for 2021. Last year COVID-19 hit, and the market and demand when into a tailspin. This year, the culprit is a sudden and unexpected huge increase in the feed grain prices. Driven by export demand, the majority of the grains have been on a runaway for the first half of January. By January 14, 2021, barley delivered to Lethbridge was nearly $6.65 a bushel, and corn had jumped to nearly $8.00 a bushel. This spike in the prices quickly reduced the number of willing sellers, with some feedlots wondering if there was going to be enough feed available to finish the next inventory turn. Some feedlots had already started to include wheat in their ration when the barley prices surpassed the $5.00 mark. In the past, Alberta feedlots had imported corn from the south, but the market was strong there as well, and the exchange rate was not as favourable as in the past. Grain brokers in Manitoba were busy buying up stocks and moving pre-priced grain inventory. Feedlots normally pre-price their grain needs to finish the cattle inventory on hand, however they don’t always take delivery when the contract is signed. With the major feed grain price increases, some feedlots were worried that some grain merchants would not honour the contracts agreed to at the lower prices. For this reason, some of the feedlots started to take pos-

RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line session of the grain earlier than they normally would. There are rumours that some are loading producer cars in central Manitoba with feed grains to ship out west. With the higher cost of finishing rations, the cattle market had a total realignment in the prices, and once again volatility reigned supreme in the market place. The biggest price adjustment was on the 750 pound plus cattle. Most of the backgrounders have their cost of gain locked in, and the barley and corn prices didn’t affect the silage price. Backgrounders were still in the 85 to low 90s per pound of gain to background in Manitoba. The majority of the finishing contracts are based on feed in the bunk, plus yardage and processing. Feedlots having to purchase feed today faced estimated costs of gain to finish cattle from 850 pound start to finish of somewhere near a $1.20 to $1.22 per pound of gain on steers, with heifers costing north of $1.26 per pound to finish. This pushed some feeder cattle weight ranges down over 10 cents per pound. In the past, feedlots knew there was feed available at a price and pur-

chased the cattle and the feed. Going forward, they will want to be able to lock in the supply and prices for the feed, then will try to purchase the feeder cattle accordingly. How long with this aggressive prices for grain stay in place? Exports have been the driving factor in the grain prices, and China is major player. They are in the process of rebuilding the world’s largest hog industry that was devastated by the African Swine Flu. As their numbers grow with the demand for feed, combined with a huge population that needs to be fed, don’t expect prices to tank in the near future. At the time of writing, the price spreads between barley and corn for delivery now, compared to the contract prices offered for new crop for October delivery, is tighter than most of the other grains. Barley is a dollar back, which will not reduce the cost of gain that much. No one really knows how much more China needs; political tension with other countries like Australia, and drought in other countries has helped the Canadian grain market, much to the detriment of the Canadian cattlemen. Until next time, Rick

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Charolais & Simmental Bull & Female Sale

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Focusing on- performance, style, disposition, hair & structure

The Jackson Family

Come for a tour anytime! We love to talk about our cattle and how they might be a fit for your operation.

Carman: 1-204-773-6448 Erin: 1-204-821-4110

www.highbluffstockfarm.ca www.mbbeef.ca

9


10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

Veterinary shortage a concern DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

Last month, 23 veterinary clinics in this province were advertising in the online news feed for the MVMA (Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association). The province funds 13 veterinary positions at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine each year. Many veterinarians in surveys are indicating that they are planning to retire in the next 5-10 years. This paints a concerning picture especially as we consider that most Manitoba born veterinary graduates do not return to Manitoba to practice. I have told clients that hiring a veterinarian is difficult, especially for a single vet practice but hiring a competent vet-

erinarian is almost impossible. But, as I have aged (I have been practicing for nearly three decades), I have come to realize that, while my comment still remains correct, it is my attitude and that of clientele that can influence competence and confidence in our younger veterinarians. Ask your young adult kids or those of your friends and relatives how confident they feel with their training and skills in their new chosen occupations. How great were your kids or staff working on your farm when they first started out? How good were you when you first started? Let’s face it….we all made some embarrassingly stupid

mistakes, learned from them and can hopefully even laugh about them now. We spend every day working in our areas of expertise. We make intuitive leaps that are all but impossible without the experiences we’ve had. Our accumulated knowledge is of incredible value and we need to be innovative in figuring out how to efficiently pass that knowledge on in a fostering environment. We have to think of the simple things, the obvious “pearls” and share those insights. Common sense is not common — it is earned and has great value. Surveys of new veterinary graduates indicate that they want a work/life balance, a fun team-oriented environ-

ment, mentoring, good pay and the opportunity to practice high quality medicine. When you think about that….each of us wants to enjoy what we do for a living, feel valued while doing it and have the time to pursue other interests. Chances are that you will be meeting a recent graduate veterinarian on your farm in the next few years. Hopefully your trusted herd veterinarian has taken the opportunity to introduce the two of you through a personal introduction or even an online post or through the practice newsletter. Remember there are a billion ways to “skin” a cat so don’t fret if things are done a little differently or it takes a little more time. The goal is to get the job done correctly. I

always learn something new from students or recent graduates – treatments change as do disease management protocols so a different vet doing something different is not as bad as it may seem. I recently moved and came across my old notes from third year vet school in the basement. Talk about James Herriot times - vet practice has really changed! Think if you were still farming the way you did in the late 1990s! One final comment or question for the naysayers out there. Would you want to work for someone who belittles or criticizes? For someone who will not assist when

doing a large animal call – to help get the animal in the chute, adjust the head gate, grab a pail of water, offer rags for cleanup or even hold the tail? For someone who openly scoffs at recommended up-to-date herd health programs, blames the vet for the new drug regulations and routinely expects the vet to come into the practice after-hours to dispense vaccine? Confident valued veterinarians stick around. Confident valued sons/daughters and employees stick around. The rest retire early, leave for companion animal practice or 9-5 jobs that pay the bills but don’t fuel their passions.

M A N I TOB A

HABITAT HERITAGE C O R P O R AT I O N Homegrown conservation since 1986.

Rangeland Extension Specialist The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation is seeking a self-motived individual to develop and deliver a rangeland extension program. As a Rangeland Extension Specialist, the incumbent will work with Manitoba ranchers and land managers to support effective management of rangelands for the benefit of grassland birds and livestock. The candidate will require a P. Ag. and have extensive knowledge of native and tame grassland management and the livestock industry. Full position description is available at: www.mhhc.mb.ca/news/careers Closing Date: February 5, 2021 Position Location: Brandon, MB (other suitable locations may be considered)

1-833-323-4636

www.mhhc.mb.ca

RED ANGUS | BLACK ANGUS | SIMMENTAL

Blair & Lois McRae & Family Brandon, Manitoba 204-728-3058 | Blair: 204-729-5439 | Lois: 204-573-5192

BULL SALE - MARCH 10, 2021 - AT THE FARM

FIND US ONLINE: @ManitobaBeef Facebook.com

www.mbbeef.ca

mbbeef.ca


February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

University of Manitoba launches Manitoba Agriculture and Food Knowledge Exchange website Connecting with people and making research findings widely available BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Researchers with the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences are connecting with the public through a new initiative that shares research aimed at improving the way we grow, raise and process food in Manitoba and the Prairies. The new MAKE – Manitoba Agriculture and Food Knowledge Exchange – website is designed to share factual information in a variety of formats suited to different

audiences, ranging from consumers to farmers and agri-food processors. Content includes traditional materials such as articles and factsheets as well as novel approaches to sharing research findings such as podcasts, infographics, and recipe cards. Research topics include food innovations, food safety and nutrition, crop breeding, agronomy, animal care, the environment, and overall sustainability of production systems. A key goal of the site is to help consumers have a better understanding of how food is produced in Canada to enhance public trust in Canadian farming

practices and build awareness of the roles that science and innovation play in improving our food system. The site also contains extension resources for producers based on research findings such as beneficial management practices that can be implemented on-farm. What will you find on the site about beef and cattle production • RECIPES: A series of easy-to-follow recipes highlight research and key facts about the main recipe ingredient. Our MAKE ginger stir fry recipe introduces research underway to address the environmental footprint of our food while meeting the nutritional demands of the world. In it, we emphasize the importance of considering the bigger picture of livestock, including the benefits of grazing cattle on biodiversity, carbon storage, soil health and wildlife habitat, as well

as the nutritional value of meat. • PODCASTS: “The role of cattle in the environment” podcast with animal scientist Kim Ominski clarifies the complex role of cattle as part of a sustainable food system in the Canadian context. What cattle eat, how they affect the environment, and the research being done to further improve the profitability and environmental sustainability of livestock production systems in Canada are covered. Needle-free vaccination systems for cattle is the focus of another podcast by Kim Ominski. Podcasts also feature people from our broader agriculture community including Betty Green who shares her knowledge regarding the Verified Beef Production Plus Program as a cattle producer and Manitoba’s coordinator for the program. • FACTSHEETS: The “Cattle Biosecurity” fact-

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale Friday, March 5, 2021 at 1:00 PM At The Farm, Oak River, MB

New Location!

HBH Lotto 240G

HBH Lotto 13H

Ce 3.5 BW 4.3 WW 66 YW 115 Milk 20

Ce 9.5 BW 1.9 WW 63 YW 104 Milk 19

Sire: HF Hot Lotto 54D

Sire: HF Hot Lotto 54D

They Sell! HBH Admire 85H

Sire: JL Admire 8004

(Pe) Ce 2.8 BW 2.1 WW 49 YW 90 Milk 20

Let us look after your purchase until April 15 and we will deliver him to you Free oF CHArge!

HBH Angus Farms Inc.

Box 94, Oak River, MB, R0K 1T0 Neil Carson Darcy Heapy Ph: 204-773-6927 Ph: 204-365-7755 neilcarson1973@gmail.com dheapy@mymts.net www.HBHAngusFarms.com

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

Sale Managed By: T Bar C Cattle Co. Ltd. Chris: 306-220-5006 Shane: 403-363-9973 Ben: 519-374-3335 www.buyagro.com

www.mbbeef.ca

If you grew cover crops in 2020 or have just been thinking about how they would fit into your operation, we want to hear from you. Complete the survey today (closes March 1) at https:// sites.google.com/view/prairiecovercropsurvey/home. sheet by animal scientist Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez and provincial specialists provides key information regarding management of cattle coming on farm to reduce the risk of introducing infectious diseases. Content includes tips for purchasing, plus transporting, handling, mixing, vaccinating, testing, and monitoring new and returning cattle. • INFOGRAPHICS: The “Perennial Grains” infographic shares highlights of current research by animal scientist Emma

McGeough and plant scientist Doug Cattani evaluating the dual purpose of perennial intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) as a as a cash food grain crop and high-quality forage for grazing beef cattle in late fall/early winter in Canada. This study involves measuring performance of both the crop and cattle plus potential soil health benefits. A separate infographic describes the IWG breeding program led by Doug Cattani. Page 12 


12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

University of Manitoba launches Manitoba Agriculture and Food Knowledge Exchange website  Page 11 • ARTICLES: The article “Reducing whole-farm greenhouse gas emissions through diet and manure management” describes research led by Kim Ominski and soil scientist Mario Tenuta using a whole-farm systems approach to solve complex research questions that consider multiple aspects of production on a farm. This research study, which concludes this spring, will provide a better understanding of the potential environmental and productivity benefits that can be achieved when the whole system is considered, rather than looking at only parts of the system in isolation. The article “Cover crop survey seeks prairie farmer input” includes research on the multiple benefits of adding cover crops to rotations. Many farmers have important questions about cover cropping which they would like to see addressed through research and extension. The survey has been developed to address these gaps in knowledge as well as to provide information to farmers, agronomists, researchers, and policy makers effecting the future of cover cropping in the Prairies. Learn more about cover crops and this study led by plant scientist Yvonne Lawley and graduate student Callum Morrison at https://news.umanitoba.ca/cover-cropsurvey-seeks-prairie-farmer-input/. If you grew cover crops in 2020 or have been thinking about how they would fit into your operation, take the 15 minute survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RP5SVWL. New content is added to the website regularly, so visit MAKEmanitoba.ca and share often. You can also follow MAKE podcasts on Spotify. U of M’s dedicated Centre for engaging with the public about agriculture – new approaches for 2020 The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre (FFDC), located at the U of M’s Glenlea Research Station, tells the story of modern farming and food production through exhibits, events and programs suited for all ages. When FFDC closed to the public and school groups due to COVID-19, they put together an extensive array of free activities for students which they promoted to teachers, parents and the general public through social media. Since April, FFDC has created 28 resources and promoted another 33 from their partners that are housed on their website (ffdc.ca). Normally FFDC hosts multiple activities during Farm and Food Awareness Week, attracting thousands of visitors to Glenlea Research Station. For 2020, FFDC joined with many partners to offer free resources, activities, videos, and fun facts on the FFDC website which were promoted through social media. Manitoba Beef Producers were one of their partners. Discovery Centre’s beef-related content: FFDC’s website links to Manitoba Beef Producers’ videos on Animal Care

Practices and Habitat Preservation and Beef-It-Up activity book, plus Farm and Food Care’s FarmFood360 virtual tours of a beef feedlot and cow/calf farm in Ontario. FFDC recently partnered with MBP to include the “Guardians of the Grasslands”

documentary and resources in future virtual and in-person field trips. Connect with us on Twitter! @UM_agfoodsci @UMDiscoveryCtre

LIMOUSIN THE NATURAL GENETIC ADVANTAGE FROM BIRTH TO PLATE

ATTENTION PRODUCERS Amaglen Limousin 204-246-2576 / 204-823-2286 View bulls & Females for sale online at www.amaglenlimousin.ca Campbell Land & Cattle 204-776-2322 Email: cam.limousin@gmail.com Bulls & Females available private treaty on farm and Douglas Bull Test March 27 Cherway Limousin 204-736-2878 View Bulls & females for sale online www.cherwaylimousin.ca Circle Dot Ranch Wyane Yule: 204-383-5390 Yearling Limousin and Limo x Angus bulls for sale on farm. Selected from 45 years of breeding. Visitors Welcome.

Diamond T Limousin 204-838-2019 204-851-0809 (Cell) Email: diamondtlimo@gmail.com 2yr old & yearling bulls for sale by Private Treaty on the farm Hockridge Farms Brad: 204-648-6333 Glen: 204-648-5222 www.hockridgefarms.ca Bulls for sale on farm.

Park Performance Limousin Rick: 701 340-2517 Breeding stock available private treaty on farm. Calves for sale fall 2021 Triple R Limousin Art: 204-856-3440 / 204-685-2628 Email: triplerlimo@yahoo.ca 50 2yr old & yearling bulls available on farm. Limousin plus Angus and Limo x Angus.

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

Gull Lake, SK

L&S Limousin Acres 204-838-2198 Bulls sell March 27 at Douglas Bull Test Maplehurst Farms Bob : 204-274-2490 Bulls for sale on farm & at Douglas Bull Test Station

250 Head Cow/Calf 2013 MB COMMERCIAL BREEDER OF THE YEAR

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

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

500 Head Black Cow Herd 2013 SK COMMERCIAL BREEDER OF THE YEAR

CANADIAN LIMOUSIN ~ ASSOCIATION ~ #13, 4101-19 STREET NE

Find us on Facebook

Manitoba -Limousin -Association

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

700 Head Cow Herd

CALGARY, AB T2E 7C4 PHONE 1. 403.253.7309 TOLL-FREE 1.866.886.1605 FAX 1.403.253.1704 EMAIL limousin@limousin.com WEB www.limousin.com

www.mbbeef.ca


February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

42nd Manitoba Beef Producers AGM Resolutions and Bylaw changes update MBP is still accepting late resolutions for consideration for debate at its virtual 42nd AGM on Thursday, February 11. They must be provided in writing to MBP no later than 8:30 a.m., Friday, February 5th. Send the proposed resolution (and your contact information) to info@mbbeef.ca to the attention of General Manager Carson Callum and Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins. Alternatively, fax it to 1-204-7743264 or mail it to 220-530 Century Street, Winnipeg MB R3H 0Y4. 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 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. For the most up-todate list of resolutions, proposed bylaw changes and to register for the AGM go to: https://mbbeef.ca/ events/42nd-annual-general-meeting/ . 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 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.

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 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 cattle producers. Process for Valuing Improvements to Agricultural Crown Lands Whereas the Government of Manitoba has

HAMCO CATTLE CO. al

made a series of changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Leasing Program (including the legislative, regulatory and policy framework) which will impact ACL lease and permit holders for years to come; and Whereas one of the major changes affects the way lease hold improvements will be dealt with, moving from a system whereby the value of the improvements was previously determined by the provincial government, to a process whereby “The transfer of any value related to privately-owned improvements on an ACL parcel are to be negotiated with the outgoing leaseholder within 30 days of the auction.�; and Whereas if there is a disagreement between the outgoing and incoming lessee or permit holder over the value of the improvements, the only recourse for the outgoing lease or permit holder is to remove any removable improvements,

or to pursue resolution of the matter as per The Arbitration Act; and Whereas the removal of the improvements may not be practical, and the pursuit of arbitration could be a costly and time consuming process for the outgoing lessee or permit holder, resulting in length delays in arriving at payment for the improvements. Be it resolved to recommend that MBP continue its advocacy efforts with the Government of Manitoba to allow for an independent, third-party assessment to be undertaken of the agricultural Crown land (ACL) improvements (including an assessment of the physical infrastructure) prior to the lease or permit going to auction so that both outgoing and incoming lessee and permit holders know the dollar value of the improvements at the time of the auction. Be it resolved to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) continue its advocacy efforts

with the Government of Manitoba to ensure that any system for valuing agricultural Crown land improvements is a fair, balanced and transparent process so that the likelihood for lengthy and potentially costly disputes and the need for arbitration is eliminated. Proposed MBP Administration Bylaw Amendments As well, the board of directors of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association (operating as Manitoba Beef Producers) is proposing to the membership a number of amendments to its administration bylaw to affirm the processes which can be used to hold district meetings, the annual general meeting or special meetings, as well as the processes for notifying members of said meetings. The proposed changes were discussed at the fall 2020 district meetings and are published in their entirety on the Annual Meeting page on MBP’s website.

CALVING EQUIPMENT Calving Enclosure/Maternity Pen

u 23rd Ann

Angus Bull Sale

Saturday, March 20, 2021 At the farm , South of Glenboro, MB

1:00 p.m.

Your source for Elite Angus Genetics! Selling 45 Red & 45 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 25 Red & 25 Black Angus 2 Year old Bulls

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Calving/Trimming Chute

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For more information or catalogues view us on line at hamcocattleco.com or contact us

The Hamiltons

Glen & Carleen (204) 827-2358 Larissa & Kyle (204) 526-0705 Cell larissa_hamilton@hotmail.com

Dr. David & Shelley (204) 822-3054 (204) 325-3635 Cell Embryo@mymts.net

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RA ANDING B

CANADIAN OWNED & MADE


14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

Cowboy cupcakes These little lasagnas are easy to make. One easy recipe makes many and kids love them too. Switch-up the flavours to make the mix Mexican or Greek versions – variety is the spice of life. (Courtesy Canada Beef) YIELDS 12 Servings Default (12 Servings) PREP TIME 20 mins COOK TIME 15 mins Photo credit: Canada Beef Congratulations to

2021 bull sales

A.O. Henuset Ambassador Recipients Mar Mac Farms - Blair & Lois McRae Pembina Triangle Association Commercial Breeder of the Year Blue Zone Livestock - Andre Mangin Box 274, Austin, MB R0H 0C0 Keystone Simmental Association President: Melissa McRae 204-573-9903 Commercial Breeder of the Year Secretary: Laurelly Beswitherick 204-637-2046 b2@inetlink.ca Ailsa Craig Farms - David & Vicki Logan Feb. 15th Rendezvous Farms 17th Annual Simmental Bull & Female Sale, Ste. Rose, MB Feb. 28th M&J Farms Simmental & Angus Online 2 Year Bull & Female Sale, DLMS.ca Mar. 3rd Maple Lake Stock Farms “Kick Off To Spring” Bull Sale, Hartney, MB Mar. 4th JP Cattle Co. Annual Simmental & Angus Bull Sale, McAuley, MB Mar. 8th Canadian Central Bull & Female Simmental Sale, Neepawa, MB Mar. 9th Bonchuk Farms Annual Bull Sale, Virden, MB Mar. 10th Mar Mac Farms Bull & Commercial Female Sale, Brandon, MB Mar. 12th Rainbow River Simmentals 6th Annual Bull & Female Sale, FarmGateAuctions.ca Mar. 13th Rancher’s Select 2nd Annual Simmental Bull Sale, Neepawa, MB Mar. 14th Rebels of the West Simmental Bull Sale, Virden, MB Mar. 15th AJB Online Simmental Bull Sale, FarmGateAuctions.ca Mar. 15th Oakview/Perkin/Triple R Simmental Bull Sale, Darlingford, MB Mar. 16th Prairie Partners Bull & Female Sale, Killarney, MB Mar. 18th Transcon’s Premium Beef Simmental Bull Sale, Neepawa, MB Mar. 19th High Bluff Stock Farms Charolais & Simmental Bull Sale, Inglis, MB Mar. 22nd Transcon’s Cattle Country Bull Sale, Neepawa, MB Mar. 24th Transcon’s Winnipeg Simmental Bull Sale, Winnipeg, MB Apr. 12th Cattle Capital Bull Sale, Ste. Rose du Lac, MB

www.mbsimmental.com CHAROLAIS CROSS CALVES CONSISTENTLY COMMAND TOP MARKET PRICES. Some highlights from across Manitoba this fall:

TOTAL TIME 35 mins

1 lb (0.45 kg) Lean or Medium Ground Beef ½ cup minced onion ½ cup minced mushrooms 1 cup pasta sauce ¾ cup ricotta cheese 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil 1 tbsp minced green onion or chives Salt and pepper 24 wonton wrappers 1 cup EACH grated Parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Pan-fry ground beef, onions and mushrooms thoroughly in large skillet. Drain if necessary. Add pasta sauce and heat through. 2. Meanwhile, combine ricotta with basil, green onion, salt and pepper to taste; set aside. 3. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Press a wonton wrapper firmly into the bottom of each muffin cup. Spoon in a scant 1 tsp eachParmesan, mozzarella, ricotta and top with 1 tbsp of the meat mixture. 4. Layer a second wonton into each cup and top each with approx. 1 tsp each of the cheeses. Divide meat mixture evenly among the cups (approx. 1/4 cup each). Top with additional grated Parmesan or mozzarella if desired. 5. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are brown and cupcakes are bubbling. Remove from the oven; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Use a knife to remove each cupcake from muffin tin. Chili Style: While adding tomato sauce stir in ½ cup salsa, 2/3 cup canned kidney beans (drained and rinsed), 2 tbsp chili powder and 1 tsp ground cumin. Use shredded Cheddar or Tex-Mex Cheddar cheese instead of the mozzarella. Greek Style: While adding tomato sauce stir in 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves or Italian seasoning and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon. Use crumbled feta cheese instead of the mozzarella.

Make Charolais

28 tan steer s @ 783 x 2.0225 = 1583.62/steer 55 tan steer s @ 755 x 2.0325 = 1534.54/steer 101 tan steer s @ 608 x 2.1275= 1293.52/steer

YOUR PROFITABLE CHOICE

ADDING MORE POUNDS

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Febr uar y 27 th Myhre Land & Cattle/Bar J Charolais Bull Sale, Ste Rose Auction Mar t, Ste Rose MB

IS A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION WORTH KEEPING !

Febr uar y 27 th Triple C Charolais Bull Sale, Asher n Auction Mar t, Asher n MB March 14 th Steppler Far ms 10th Annual Bull Sale, Steppler Sale Bar n, Miami MB March 19 th High Bluff Stock Far m Charolais & Simmental Bull Sale, at the far m, Inglis MB March 21 st Pleasant Dawn Charolais 18th Annual Bull Sale, at the far m, Oak Lake MB March 22 nd Tri-N Charolais Far m Bull Sale, at the far m, Lenor e MB March 24 th HTA Charolais Bull Sale, at the far m River s MB

Manitoba Charolais Association

March 27 th Tee M Jay Charolais Bull Sale Asher n Auction Mar t, Asher n MB

Find a complete list of Charolais breeders at

April 1 st Hunter Charolais 10th Annual Bull Sale, at the far m, Roblin MB

WWW.CHAROLAISBANNER.COM/MCA

April 12 th Cattle Capital Bull Sale, Ste Rose Auction Mar t, Ste Rose MB

March 30 th Pr airie Distinction Charolais Bull Sale, Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa MB March 31 st C2 Charolais 3rd Annual Bull Sale, at the far m, La Rivièr e, MB

www.mbbeef.ca


February 2021 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Calving season timing and transition For many cow-calf producers, calving season is a favourite time of year. After waiting 283 days, farmers are finally able to see the result of their breeding decisions as well as welcome a new crop of animals that will likely become a large portion of their annual revenue. Just as every farm operates with an independent set of circumstances, and every farmer is unique themselves, calving season is going to look different on every operation. There is no one right method or time of year to calve a cow herd. There are many interconnected variables that affect – or are affected – by calving season. Length and timing of breeding season, bull power, grazing and feed resources, target weaning time, marketing windows and methods, heifer development, mortgage payment deadlines, herd size, available labour, infrastructure, and tradition are a few different factors that play an important part in calving. Looking at survey data over the past thirty years, there has been a trend, at least in western Canada, with producers transitioning from late winter/ early spring calving in February and March, to later calving in April, May or June. Whether producers are thinking about making a shift in timing, or simply reassessing their decision to calve when they do, they should think about the risks and rewards of timing their most critical phase in cow-calf operations. What are the advantages or disadvantages of keeping the same season? What are the greatest challenges during calving on my farm and how can I manage them? What are the benefits of my existing calving season, and what are the drawbacks? How much labour do I need and how much do I have to get the job done? The following producers have done their homework and planned ahead before shifting their seasons back or ahead in order to meet the needs of their particular farms and families. Late Summer/Fall Calving Taralea Simpson, Portage la Prairie, MB Taralea Simpson has been calving her Simmental/Angus commercial cow herd in August and September for many years. Growing up, her family traditionally calved during January and February. “I did that for a long time on my own and there was always something going wrong,” Simpson says, adding that scours, frozen ears, and sleep deprivation made for some challenging winter calving seasons. In addition to raising cattle, Simp-

son works as an agronomist, which also played a role in her decision to opt for a later calving program. “I decided to switch to the fall, I’m not as busy with work, I have more time to make sure everyone is doing okay,” she explains. The herd is cleaner and they have fewer health issues, she says. “It’s an easier way of doing things, I wanted something that didn’t lose as many calves,” she adds. Simpson’s farm is set up for rotational grazing and her calving pasture is right close at home. She checks calving cows daily to make sure there aren’t any problems but notes that she rarely has issues with dystocia. “The calves might be a bit smaller but you are kind of selecting for that, you want calving ease on the pasture,” she explains. She notes that calving ease on her farm has generally improved over time because over the years she has been retaining heifers from cows that are calving easily out on the pasture. Catching newborn calves early for processing is key. “Fall calves tend to be like deer and the cows hide them,” Taralea says. “I try to do my very best to tackle them within the first day or two for castration, sneak up on them when mom’s not around,” she explains and adds that her approach works 80 per cent of the time, and she processes the remaining few when cows and calves start coming back to the yard when the snow flies. She notes that one consideration with fall calving is producers must plan ahead for more feed. “Your feed consumption is higher, those calves are 250 pounds right now and in another couple months they are 350 to 400 pounds and eating a third as much as their mother,” she says. “You do use a lot more hay through winter than those cows that are coasting through the winter and calving in spring.” She has an area set up with calf panels, and provides calves with their own bale of hay and a bit of grain that they don’t have to compete with the cows for. The calves stay on their mothers through winter and Simpson typically weans and ships them directly to market in the first two weeks of May. “Shipping usually happens whenever I’m not busy at work or when the weather is too wet to be busy at work,” she says, and adds that timing coincides with the grass cattle market. When it comes to breeding, Simpson says that conception rates are similar to what they were during earlier calving, however snowy weather can impact a bull's ability to breed. “Out on the pasture, the bulls have good traction

and they can get things done before it gets snowy and slippery,” she says. In the past when winter hits sooner, the bull is slower to cover cows due to deep snow or slippery footing, which can impact the length of the subsequent calving season. She says it’s important to supplement during breeding season and make sure the herd is getting adequate minerals and protein. Late Winter/Early Spring Calving Randi Wenzel, Central Butte, SK Randi Wenzel and her family operate a large, mixed commercial cattle and cropping farm in south central Saskatchewan. They used to calve from mid-March until mid-May or later, however as their farm continues to evolve, they are looking toward transitioning to an earlier, more condensed season that starts in February. “Due to the fact that we are a mixed operation and the grain side is getting to be pretty big, I’m trying to move calving up,” says Wenzel, who also works full time as an agrologist. Her busy off-farm work season hits in April and May, the same time that they are planting crops at home. She prefers having the majority of cows calved out before they get busy in the full swing of seeding. “By taking another 20 days out of our breeding cycle, we can get everything processed, and shipped to pasture by the last week in April,” she explains. Wenzel says preparation and proper facilities are key when calving in the winter. While the weather can be cold

in February, she adds that calving in April in their area when the wind picks up and spring blizzards hit can take a toll as well. “Overall February conditions have been fairly decent,” she says, and adds they built a calving barn about three years ago to help offset the risk of unpredictable weather. They have been surprised by the occasional early arrival or set of twins but have found that calving cameras are a useful monitoring tool and have helped the family save calves. They have cameras installed in their barn as well as outside to help them keep a close eye on calving cows and newborns, but Wenzel cautions it is best to use them in combination with walking the pens. “Cameras can’t see everything so we still walk and check areas on foot as well,” she says. They have been continuously improving their calving area, removing old wood corrals and replacing them with heavy-duty portable corral panels and gates that can be moved, rearranged and adapted as their needs change. Moving up the breeding season a few days has not been a challenge for the cows to adjust to. “They adjusted pretty well, and if they aren’t in season they are culled,” Randi notes. Heifers are calved out at the same time as their main herd, but they would consider calving heifers a bit earlier. The bulls are turned out approximately 30 days after calves are processed and they use Charolais, Red Angus, and Simmental genetics on their herd. Page 16 

Online BUll SAle With Live Closeout

60

Sunday, February 28, 2021 Black and Red Simmental, Angus and Simm-Angus Bulls

Coming Two Year Old Bulls

find us on:

Watch & Bid Online

MHHC pa ys la ndowners to conserve wildlife ha bita t on priva te la nds. For more informa tion ca ll Ia n Fortune (431) 235-3058 or visit www.mhhc.mb.ca

Miles & Bonnie Glasman Matthew & Leanne Glasman Jared & Chelsey Glasman Home: 204.773.3209 Home: 204.773.3279 Matt’s Cell: 204.773.6055 Miles’ Cell: 204.773.6275 mlg@glasmanfarms.com Jared’s Cell: 204.796.0999 www.glasmanfarms.com mjsimmentalangus@gmail.com www.mjsimmentalangus.com Sale Managed By: T Bar C Cattle Co. Ltd. Chris: 306.220.5006

www.mbbeef.ca


16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2021

Calving strategies examined

 Page 15 They typically wean and sell calves at the beginning of November, again timing those events around harvesting and other fall farm work like spraying. They’ve also noticed their calves are bigger now at shipping time than before. “We’ve changed up our herd sires and are being a little more aggressive on that,” Wenzel says, adding that earlier calving is likely a factor as well. Late Spring/Early Summer Calving Jason and Karla Hicks, Parkbeg, SK Jason and Karla Hicks and their family operate Bluestone Stock Farms, a large Angus operation. They shifted away from winter calving to a later season, May and June, and maintain a defined breeding season of 60 days. “Our commercial cows used to calve at the end of March and April, and we always get snow in April and don’t have anywhere to put large numbers, so we went a month later to miss those snow storms,” Jason explains. “There’s less death loss, less work,” he adds. “Calving in summer is easier on the marriage,” Karla adds, laughing. The family was awarded Saskatchewan’s TESA (The Environmental Stewardship Award) in 2015, and summer calving has become a complementary fit with their stewardship principles. “Now we calve out on grass, in rolling hills, coulees, trees. It’s set up naturally to be good calving grounds,” Jason explains. “I think what we really found was that working with Mother Nature was a bonus and calving as the grass was turning green – there are a lot of benefits,” Jason says. They calve bred heifers as well as earlier-bred community pasture cows and some purebreds slightly earlier than the main herd, in a field closer to the yard.

“This way you eliminate issues of pen calving, don’t have scours issues, and we think our heifers mother up a bit better this way,” Jason says. The weather can still be unpredictable however. “Out in the open, when the heifers are calving, in April you do get a snow storm,” Jason says. While most of their calving pastures have natural shelter, with their first-calvers, they offset the risk of cold or trampled calves by planning ahead and giving the heifers access to pre-existing corrals or facilities if the weather turns bad. They’ve noticed since their transition they’ve had fewer calving problems. “There has been natural selection for that over time, for the entire herd,” Jason notes. They did not have any conception issues as they moved breeding and calving back. They graze their tame grass earlier in the season and save their nutritious native grass for breeding season, especially during dry years. One downside of pasture calving has been predator attacks. Their ranch is natural terrain for coyotes and cougars, which has resulted in losses in the field and even in their corrals when they were still. “We have a huge coyote population,” says Jason. “Even 15 years ago we had coyotes take down yearlings right in the feedlot.” After calving, they will brand, castrate, vaccinate and tag calves in four or five branding days in July. Later, they wean calves from mid to late November. “Our weaning weights didn’t change that much,” says Karla, after they backed calving off. “We didn’t change the bulls we bought or the type of cow we had. When those calves are born in nice weather, they hit the ground running and start growing,” she explains, adding that winter-born calves use a lot of energy just to keep a calf warm. As groups of calves are weaned, they

57th Annual Manitoba Test Station Bull and Female sale

March 27th, 2021

are sorted and backgrounded, trying to avoid selling in the fall when the majority of calves hit the marketplace. They watch markets closely, and will sell their commercial calves anytime after weaning through to the following August after grassing them as yearlings in the summer. Like most beef producers, Jason and Karla put thought into their plan to transition to a later calving season. They adapted and learned along the way as they worked to adjust their calving season to make the best use of their human and natural resources. “This is what we’ve figured out for us,” Jason says. “It might not work for everyone else, but we just need it to work for us.” This Beef Cattle Research Council blog post originally appeared on December 7, 2020 at www.BeefResearch.ca.

Have 15 Minutes? Make An Impact On The Future Of Beef Research As someone who follows the BCRC Blog, you’re almost guaranteed to be what we call a ‘Canadian beef industry stakeholder’, meaning you • own or manage beef cattle, • conduct research on beef, cattle or forages, • are a large animal veterinarian, • own or work for an abattoir/beef processor, • are a government employee in a beef-related role, • work or volunteer for an organization that actively supports the beef industry, or • have another valuable role that supports and relies on Canadian beef production. You hold a stake in the industry, so the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) relies on your input on research and extension issues. When you answer these 16 questions by March 5th, you will inform the next five-year Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy and impact the long-term competitiveness of the Canadian beef industry. LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/beefresearchpriorities

Starting a 1:00pm Sharp • 107 bulls and 33 heifers on test • 8 breeds available – Angus (Black and Red), Charolais, Gelbveih, Limousin, Maine – Anjou, Saler, Simmental, Shorthorn • Ranch Horse Sale to Follow • One Stop shop for top quality bull power and select replacement females. • Longest running development center in Canada • Internet bidding provided by DLMS • Catalog and video links of offering can be viewed early March on www.buyagro.com • Rare opportunity to select genetics from 40 different consignors across Saskastchewan, Manitoba and Ontario that brings the best stock they have to be performance tested and developed together! • Performance data, Cup ultrasound data and EPD’s available • All bulls and females will have passed a bredding soundness evaluation prior to the sale. No deffered bulls sold here! • All animals have tested BVD Negative • Animals are grown out on a developer ration to optimize gains to promote longevity and soundness

Denbie Ranch

| www.manitobabulltest.com | Manitoba Bull Test Station

& Guests Bull Sale

Saturday, Feb 27th, 2021 2:00 P.M. @ Ste. Rose Auction Mar t

| 204-763-4696 DIRECTIONS: 17 miles east of Brandon on Highway #1 and a half mile south on Highway #351

MANAGER Cody Nolan | 204-573-4006

63 Bulls Sell

3 Breeds

Red Angus, Charolais, Red Angus x Simmental– Hybrids

Red Angus

Charolais

Hybrid –Red X Simmental

Two year old, Long Yearling and Yearling Bulls that are well grown out and Not Pushed! They will last!

Denbie Ranch

Myhre Land and Cattle

Bar J

Denis and Debbie Guillas

Hans Myhre

Jack Robertson

204-447-2473

Cell: 204-648-6416

204-843-2246

Cell: 204-447-7608

Justin Robertson

Sale Day Online Bidding with DLMS

204-871-3086

View Catalogue and Videos of Bulls @www.dlms.ca – cattle vids or srauction.ca and Denbie Ranch Facebook

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