Page 1


MAY 2020

Beef demand good despite COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy, caused widespread unemployment and upended millions of lives. But in a strange sort of way, it may actually be a silver lining for Canada’s beef sector. By declaring food production an essential service, the federal government is giving Canadians a new understanding of the importance of agriculture, including beef cattle, in their lives, industry officials say. As well, with restaurants and food service outlets closed, Canadians are headed back to the kitchen to rediscover cooking meals from scratch, giving beef a major role to play, said Michael Young, president of Canada Beef. “We’ve got kitchencaptive Canadians now with lots of time to cook,” said Young. “Having Canadians back home and cooking for their families, they may rediscover some things that us older people know quite well. And beef may be very well suited to the challenge.” Young said Canada Beef has seen a 75 per cent increase in downloads off its website for beef recipes and cooking information since the COVID-19 crisis hit. Beef began flying off grocery store shelves in March as consumers began stocking up on food supplies. Shutting down restaurants has pushed beef out of the food service sector and into the retail sector, giving shoppers an abundance of meat to choose from, from ground beef to middle cuts. With an availability

of supply and versatility of cuts, beef is well positioned to meet the needs of consumers with time on their hands, tight budgets and hungry families to feed, said Young. “Everyone is worried about the cost of food and I can see a lot of people going back to the basics, going back to preparing full meals the way we used to. And I’m hoping we will hang on to this as we come through to the other side.” Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, agrees declaring agriculture an essential service gives consumers a whole new outlook on food production and the people who make it happen. “Up until two months ago, people didn’t think very much about whether there would be a regular supply of food and where their food really does come from,” said Laycraft. “All of a sudden it’s more front of mind than it may have been since the last time there was a food shortage, which was the Second World War.” “There’s going to be a fundamental change in terms of how people view the importance of agriculture and food production.” On April 2 the federal government released a guidance document naming 10 sectors, including food and agriculture, as essential services. This allows industry supply chains to continue functioning while still following procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We’re trying to keep the critical mass operating as close to capacity as possible,” Laycraft said. “(But)

I certainly wouldn’t want to leave the impression it’s business as usual.” Laycraft said the industry is working with truckers, packing plants and auction markets to implement procedural changes related to COVID-19. He said last month supply chains seemed to be working, despite additional procedures and heightened security. “Every aspect of how we do business has changed but so far I think we’ve maintained a fairly significant level of business continuity.” That’s not to say there’s been no negative fallout, especially among cattle producers. “They’re just getting hammered by the market,” said Janice Tranberg, president and CEO of the National Cattle Feeders Association. “There is so much instability in the market today and it’s driving prices down, which is causing a lot of concern with our producers.” Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst with Canfax Research Services, said the impact of COVID-19 on markets and prices has been “big time.” “With the crazy uncertainty in the marketplace, equity and commodity markets are off and cattle are not immune to that,” Perillat said. He said fed cattle prices in late March were $10 to $20 a hundredweight below where they were predicted to be. Prices later this year may also be lower than previously expected. “Short term, the biggest thing is keeping the supply chain running as smoothly as possible and getting

cattle processed in a timely manner. That right now is number one. The secondary effect longer term is, what’s the impact going to be on beef demand?” Laycraft said he doesn’t expect beef consumption to change a lot, although eating patterns will.

“Basically what we’re hearing is, they’re going to eat about the same quantity of beef. It’s just going to be, instead of going out and eating it, they’re going to be eating it at home.” Laycraft expressed confidence the beef sector will emerge from the CO-

VID-19 crisis stronger, not weaker. “The food industry’s going to become, as we go through this, one of the cornerstone industries,” he said. “If we manage this properly, it’ll be one of the growth industries coming out of this.”


The melting snow and mild temperatures are a welcome sign of brighter days ahead but the ‘new normal’ brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is weighing heavily on the minds of Manitobans. We have extensive coverage of the virus and its impact on the beef industry in this issue of Cattle Country. (Photo credit: Jeannette Greaves)

President's Column

Market Report

Ticks and Cattle

Page 2

Page 9

Page 12





MBP focused on COVID-19 and more CARSON CALLUM

General Manager’s Column I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these unprecedented times. With all of the issues we have been dealing with in the past year, I never would have expected a pandemic would be a major cause of our challenges moving forward in 2020. As most can attest to, this ramped up very fast on a global scale and caused us at MBP to make swift changes to the way we conduct business. As you may have seen on our website and social media accounts, we have transitioned staff to a virtual office, as health of staff, directors, and our families is extremely important. We need to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and do our part in practicing social distancing. However, this has not impacted our ability to serve our members as best we can. We have been very focused on challenges related to COVID-19, and working in collaboration with other provincial cattle groups, the Canadian Cattlemen Association (CCA), National Cattle Feeders Association (NCFA), Livestock Marketing Association of Canada (LMAC), and various other industry stakeholders to provide support for the beef sector. We also have been working hard on many other ongoing files important to producers in the province, such as Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) and Predation. As I sit here in my makeshift home office, I realize we are not out of the woods when it comes to the virus. Our team at MBP is being diligent and adjusting as best we can to this ever evolving situation. I sincerely ask for your patience, as I want to ensure you we are trying to get support for producers that have been significantly impacted by a dramatic drop in prices as a result of this global crisis. As I mentioned, we have taken a very collaborative

approach as an industry to tackle this global issue. We are working with the CCA and other provincial cattle associations daily to provide input on how this is impacting producers in Manitoba. We fully understand the financial strain this has put on producers across the province. To get support for producers, the industry has made many recommendations to the federal government such as an extension to the Advance Payment Program, listing the beef supply chain as “Critical Infrastructure”, cost shared premiums for Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), and triggering AgriRecovery to provide immediate financial support for impacted producers. More information on these recommendations, and more COVID-related documents can be found on our website, or the CCA website. So far, as of April 13, there has been a Stay of Default for all eligible farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30, thereby giving them an additional six months to repay the loan. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has been provided with additional funds in lending capacity for the agriculture sector, including producers. The federal government has also deemed agriculture, including the beef supply chain, as “Critical Infrastructure.” These developments are positive, and we will continue to push for other support. We encourage producers to talk to their own financial institutions as well, to determine what can be done to support them in this difficult time. Another important step that the industry is taking to tackle the issues related to COVID-19 are protocols to ensure things keep moving. I want to commend the LMAC for their work on protocols to use at busy auction marts to reduce the spread of this virus. Processing facilities are also implementing strategies to keep the supply chain flowing, which is crucial for beef to make it to the grocery store shelves. There also has been work to get temporary foreign workers to Canada who are very important in the agriculture sector. It’s hard to say what will happen between now and the time you read this, but industry and government

are collaborating strongly to maintain a strong food supply. Now, moving back to other non COVID-related issues, since our Annual General Meeting, we have been moving on many important files that came from the business component of the meeting. We have continued to push our stance related to the Agricultural Crown Land Leasing Program changes to the province, such the importance of the first right of renewal and a longer transition period for increased rental rates. We hope to see the public consultations related to the right of renewal open very soon. If they have not happened in the time since I wrote this column, I strongly encourage you to put your voice in to the provincial government when they do. Other major files we have been working on have been predation, public trust, the Manitoba Protein Advantage, and the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) initiative. Though many efforts recently have been related to COVID-19, we still are working to advance many files that will benefit the Manitoba beef sector. Before I close, I hope you all stay safe and well in these challenging times. This may not be a time where we can physically come together to tackle issues, but we need to come together from far and wide as an overall sector to keep the wheels turning. This is impacting so many people and sectors, and we will need to support each other moving forward. I want to thank all farmers, health care workers, truckers, veterinarians, auction marts and all of the other essential services for everything they do in these trying times. I hope everyone is able to get through the recommended isolation that is being asked of us as a society, and maintain a strong mental state. However, I know many of you have the experience in hunkering down, as calving season can already lead to folks spending lots of time on the farm. We will get through this, and we will get through it together. Carson

Initiatives to help producers are key DIANNE RIDING President's Column

unwelcome loop. That’s certainly the case with COVID-19. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and other members of the Canadian beef industry have been strongly advocating with governments to try to ad-

As cattle producers we take great efforts to prepare for different events that might affect our operations, such as floods, droughts, bad storms and feed shortages. But still the unforeseen happens, throwing us for a most

Keystone Livestock SERVICES

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


specializing in livestock insurance for over 45 years

dress challenges arising from COVID-19. On the positive side, as I write this there has been no disruption of trade with our key trading partners. There is still good demand for our product in grocery stores as people cook at home, helping to partially offset diminished sales on the restaurant side. On the negative side are the ongoing questions around market volatility, and the effects of reduced productivity at processing plants. No one can definitively predict how this will play out in the weeks and months ahead. We recognize this situation is creating tremendous economic and personal stress for producers and others in the value chain, so continued advocacy work is key. Throughout this pan-

demic, Canada’s beef industry has held ongoing calls and virtual meetings with value chain members and governments discussing what can be done to help the industry weather both short-term and longterm matters arising from COVID-19. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (of which MBP is a member) has put forward several recommendations to the federal government to provide immediate stopgap support for producers to keep their operations financially sustainable, some of which will require the involvement of provincial governments if programs are cost shared. Among these are: having the pandemic deemed a natural disaster under AgriRecovery to hep flow immediate aid to producers; seeking

changes to AgriStability to make it more responsive; and, making modifications to the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program in light of the spike in premium costs that has affected affordability. Another key recommendation is to establish a set-aside program. A similar initiative was used during BSE. It would help address processing challenges by managing inventories throughout the beef production system and better match the number of cattle ready to market with available processing capacity. MBP has shared these asks with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen and provincial government staff as well, seeking support for them. And we have raised





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

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

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

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




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




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






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

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

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






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



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


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



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


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

Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264


POLICY ANALYST Maureen Cousins

other matters with the province such as: interest rates charged on lending programs offered through MASC; labour shortages; ensuring that producers have timely access to driver testing and training; access to rural mental health services; and, the importance of personal protective equipment for the agriculture sector. Please share your concerns about how COVID-19 is affecting your operation with your elected officials at the federal and provincial level. Your first hand perspective is very important and drives home the urgency of this situation. Although there are challenges with some business risk management (BRM) programs that need fixing, MBP still encourages producers to Page 8 


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



Deb Walger




Trinda Jocelyn



Coping with stress and anxiety BY ANGELA LOVELL Recognizing the signs of stress Nobody is immune from stress, as the current situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates all too well, heaping new doses of anxiety on top of the usual day-to-day pressures of life and work. “Most people have experienced difficulties with mental health but wouldn’t recognize it because it’s so common in life and our human experience,” says clinical psychologist, Dr Rehman Abdulrehman. “What’s important is that we learn to identify when we are having difficulties and seek the help that we need.” How can we tell when we are getting beyond our capacity to cope? “If we find that our difficulties are interfering with our everyday life, and our abilities to carry out with what we need to do, and it’s causing some significant level of avoidance or distress, likely our mental health is impacted and we should consider thinking about how to address it,” says Abdulrehman. The most common type of mental health difficulty is anxiety. “With anxiety, we typically notice that we’re starting to avoid doing the things that we used to be able to, or that we can’t do them or are struggling to do them,” says Abdulrehman. “People will often struggle to actually get to work, or avoid going to work for, example, if it’s making them anxious.” The current environment is also highlighting another common symptom of mental health difficulty in that people avoid their feelings and begin to engage in compulsive behaviours, such as constantly checking or counting to avoid their feelings. “General avoidance of our feelings or circumstance is a key thing to watch for,” says Abdulrehman. Another common symptom is depression and mood changes. “The signs we should look for is that our energy is not at the same level that it was, sleep is disturbed, concentration and memory is impacted. People also find changes in appetite, in libido,” says Abdulrehman. “Those things happen periodically, but the moment they remain consistent over several weeks is when we really need to be able to review this.” Helping someone seek help

It can be hard to recognize and accept these symptoms of mental health difficulties in oneself, and it’s often loved ones or friends who can see the differences in behaviour, mood or function that point to a problem. So, how do you go about helping someone that you can see is struggling, and maybe persuade them to seek professional help? “It’s important to use language that makes sense for that person,” says Abdulrehman. “If someone who is struggling with depression is not willing to ever accept that term, they’re not going to get help. But if you say, you’re looking stressed out and I’m worried about you, maybe you need to talk to somebody, that would be more familiar as the first step.” It may also be that a person will need to make several efforts to broach the subject with a loved one or friend that they see struggling. “It maybe that we bring up the topic, leave the door open and bring it up periodically,” says Abdulrehman. “Sometimes when we push excessively, if somebody’s not used to that, they might push back.” The other important thing is to be as specific as possible about how that person could go about getting some help. “For a person who has never considered getting mental health care, it can be a daunting task to go search it out, and it’s unlikely that they’ll follow through,” says Abdulrehman. “But if you say, ‘I know or I spoke to this person and they said this is what they can do for you. Do you want to have a conversation with them?’ that’s very specific and you’ve done some of the legwork for them. Where to find help?

Although accessing mental health services will depend on a lot of factors such as the individual’s needs and location, a good place to start is the Manitoba Psychological Society, which has an online referral base. “You can find a psychologist, you can learn a little bit about them, so you can do all of this information gathering well before you actually make that call, so it’s nice to be able to do that on your own,” says Abdulrehman. Another avenue is to have a conversation with your own physician. “Physicians are often the gatekeepers, and they can also present options,” says Abdulrehman. “They might look at medication, or they might recommend a psychologist.” The most important thing is that people are comfortable with the mental health professional that they talk to. “I would encourage people to have conversations with the therapist before they make an appointment because the right fit is critical,” says Abdulrehman. “There needs to be a level of trust, so if you feel like you need some help, read up on the people that you want to go see. Feel that you can have some sense of relatability.” Mental health can have physical impacts Mental health, Abdulrehman emphasizes, is not just about our feelings. Our mental health can impact our physical bodies as well. “There are things that we can’t do sometimes just because our head’s not in the right space,” he says. “That could be intimate relations, or other healthrelated issues. There’s even a condition called shy bladder that’s impacted by

anxiety where people can’t use the bathroom in certain cases. So, our mental health will impact our body and sometimes the thing we’re looking for is not just hurt feelings.” People also have access to more information than ever before, so they can inform themselves, and in some cases even access online psychologists. “Reading about things can be a really effective way of coping,” says Abdulrehman. “Maybe you are not at the point where you want to go and get some help, but knowledge when managed well and from a reputable source can be very therapeutic.” Today’s current situation, as people deal with new realities such as selfisolation and social distancing, is forcing many people to deal with a lot of issues at once that can impact their mental health. “The pandemic is not just being worried about getting sick, it’s about not being able to get out, and being forced to deal with a lot of our demons,” says Abdulrehman. “Maybe there’s difficulties in relationships, others just like to be outdoors more and are stuck indoors in small spaces. Others are trapped in abusive situations. There’s a whole set of circumstantial situations that are tied to what we’re doing to cope with the physical health that are going to impact our mental health.” Thankfully, the stigma around mental health is eroding as people understand that visiting a psychologist doesn’t mean a person has a serious mental illness any more than going to see a doctor means they

Dr. Abdulrehman (Credit: Abdul Abdulrehman)

Dr. Abdulrehman’s top six tips for coping with stress and anxiety 1. Ensure you make use of your social supports as much as possible. That means company, but also trying to talk about what you’re feeling. Research shows that social support is a critical factor that promotes psychological resilience. 2. Challenge negative thinking. Negative thinking is often unrealistic, and/or not solution focused. Looking for what we can do or have control over (even if it is small) can be helpful in producing hope. 3. Face our fears, wherever possible. In our current pandemic climate, some of our fears may be harder to overcome given we are indoors more. But facing fears, appropriately, gradually, will allow our body to adjust to discomfort to the point that it no longer bothers us, or bothers us much less. 4. Be as active as you can. Both physical activity, and a diversity of tasks are good for mood and the brain. 5. Be mindful of alcohol and marijuana intake. Research demonstrates they can be tied to difficulties with mental health, especially when we use them to cope with difficult feelings or situations. 6. Be okay with imperfection. Do our best, but always understand that imperfection is humanity. have cancer. “There’s a lot of very common mental illnesses, and they are tied to our humanity, so when

we can see that it allows us more comfort to deal with what we need to deal with when it comes up,” says Abdulrehman.


• CATTLEX offers a complete Order-Buying service and covers all Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan Auction Marts. • CATTLEX buys ALL classes of cattle direct from producers. • CATTLEX is interested in purchasing large or small consignments of Feeder Cattle, Finished Cattle, Cows and Bulls. For more information and pricing, contact any of the Cattlex buyers: Andy Drake (204) 764-2471, 867-0099 cell Jay Jackson (204) 223-4006 Gord Ransom (204) 534-7630

Clive Bond (204) 483-0229 Ken Drake (204) 724-0091

Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan



Some introductions to MBP's five new board directors Kevin Duddridge District 4 Representing: RM of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds. Kevin Duddridge is a first-generation farmer, who emigrated to Canada in 1967, and now operates a 220-head cow/calf ranch near Grunthal with his wife, Ruth. Duddridge has a passion for the beef industry and its potential, which is why he agreed to stand as a director for MBP, and says he has been ‘blown away’ by how many capable people are representing the industry. “Having just attended the [Manitoba Beef Producers] AGM, I was taken aback by how well we are represented at all different levels, from government to marketing, researchers and all the expertise that is out there,” he says. That expertise will be needed to help meet some of the challenges facing the industry, he believes, such as stagnant returns and increasing inputs. Personally, Duddridge wants to see young people come into the industry and believes that there are plenty of opportunities for them if they embrace all the tools available. “There is equipment technology, feed and genetic opportunities that are underutilized in the industry,” he says. “If new entrants and existing producers can embrace them and capitalize on this production technology, and we can increase the amount of high-quality Canadian beef going to markets like Asia, the future for the industry is bright.” Melissa Atchison District 6 Representing: RM of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood. Melissa Atchison had a pretty good idea what to expect when she decided to stand for election to the MBP board because her

husband, Trevor had also served for six years, one as MBP President. Melissa and Trevor’s children are the fifth generation to farm Poplarview Stock Farm, a 650-head cow/calf and backgrounding operation at Pipestone. Melissa has a lot of first-hand experience as a beef producer and with government, and she hopes to use those skills to help further the industry. She also decided to stand as a director for her own personal growth. “I am excited to have the opportunity to broaden my perspective, especially at the national level, and see this industry beyond the lens of my own experience,” she says. Melissa says one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is public perception. “I think we need to do a better job of sharing our story and being transparent,” she says. That said, she feels there is also tremendous opportunities to better leverage technology in the beef industry. “We are an industry that currently uses 50 per cent of available technology, so I think with younger producers getting excited about joining the farm and making use of that technology, there are opportunities for sure,” she says. Matthew Atkinson District 8 Representing: RM of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park Matthew Atkinson, his wife Kate and daughter Evelyn ranch with his parents on the south edge of the Riding Mountain escarpment, about 20 minutes from Neepawa. Originally from England, the family, which has farmed for many generations, came to Manitoba 30 years ago, and now raise their 250head cow/calf herd with a focus on producing good quality, commercial replacement heifers. One thing he has already noticed in his new role as MBP director is the vast and diverse scope of MBP’s involvement in the beef industry. “The range of support, representation and involvement, both internally and external, on various committees is extensive,” he says. “It gives me a whole new level of appreciation for the MBP office staff to keep on top of everything and everyone informed.” Atkinson says the past two years have been particularly full of challenges for Manitoba’s beef producers, with drought conditions, Crown Land concerns, changes to transportation rules, and other difficulties. “It is hard to look at these challenges without also feeling amazement and pride at the resilience and innovation born of tough conditions,” says Atkinson. “I look forward to seeing that strong will to succeed make our operations more success-

ful and profitable given the return of better years and hope that I can some play a role in assisting with that.” Mark Good District 12 Representing: RM of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary and Alonsa. Mark Good is a firstgeneration rancher, who moved to the Alonsa area in 2001, where he currently has a 300-head cow/calf operation on about 42 quarter sections of owned and rented land. In his capacity as MBP director, Good hopes to make a difference on issues like the agricultural Crown land legislation, and help promote beef to allow the industry to remain profitable, which he sees as one of the biggest challenges going forward. “A profitable industry entices young producers to come and stay in the industry and helps us to increase production, which encourages the use of marginal land in Manitoba,” he says. ‘“A thriving industry is good for cattle, the grassland and communities.” He sees great opportunities ahead for the industry particularly in promoting beef as a safe, nutritious product. “If we have a market for our product, we can continue to raise beef and use cattle to improve Manitoba’s grasslands,” he says. Besides serving on the committees with MBP, Good also serves on the Research Advisory Committee for The Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives and locally on the inter-Ridge Veterinary Clinic Board and museum board. Jim Buchanan District 14 Representing: RM of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas Jim Buchanan is a new cattle producer, who purchased heifers four years ago and now has a 80-head cow/calf herd near Minitonas. Since becoming a MBP director, Buchanan has been surprised by the amount and complexity of work there is to be done. “I didn’t realize how much government lobbying is being done and all the financial decisions that are made,” he said, adding he is impressed by the job Manitoba Beef Producers directors and staff all do to communicate effectively across the industry. “I haven’t had a lot of experience in doing that, but I really want to learn more about how to communicate,” he says, adding he sees promoting a positive image one of the big challenges facing the beef industry. “If we want strong markets for our cattle, we have to keep the public informed so they understand their beef comes from healthy, quality animals that are well taken care of,” he says. As a young producer, Buchanan sees a lot of opportunity in the beef industry going forward and plans to expand his own herd. “I can see myself expanding my herd and haying and pasturing more of my grain land because I enjoy being a cattle producer and think there is a wonderful opportunity to expand in the cattle industry today,” he says.



Government Activities Update

COVID-19 dominates activities of governments in recent weeks


2020 CSA AGM & YCSA Show Portage La Prairie, mb

a safe and

Thurs., Feb 8

successful spring!

July 23-26 Watch for more information to sponsor please contact Laurelly

Butcher Sale

9:00 am

April 14

Bred CowSale Sale Regular

1:00 pm 9am

April 21

Regular Sale

9:00 am

April Tues., 28 Feb 27

Regular Sale Presort Sale

Cattleman’s Connection Bull Sale Regular Sale

9am 9:30 am

1:00 pm 9am

Tues., Mar 6 May 12

Feeder Sale Regular Sale

9:00 am

May 19

Regular Sale

May Tues.,26 Mar 20

Regular Sale Feeder Sale

REGULAR WILL Tues., Feb 13 SALES Presort Sale RUN ON TUESDAYS 9:30 am ONLY Thurs., FebTHROUGHOUT 15 Butcher Sale APRIL AND MAY 9:00 am Tues., Feb 20 Thurs., Feb 22

Fri., Mar May 5 2


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


For a complete list of provincial government resources related to COVID-19, including health resources, go to www.manitoba. ca/covid19

tions that took effect on March 18. In addition to health screening protocols before travel, all individuals entering from abroad must isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada. A temporary modification is being made to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process for agriculture and food processing employers, as the required twoweek recruitment period will be waived for the next six months. The federal government is also increasing the maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the TFW Program from one to two years. This will improve flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for meat processors. For more details go to https://www. Provincial Actions As part of its Manitoba Protection Plan, the provincial government is providing the following protections to Manitoba residents until Oct. 1: Manitoba Public Insurance will be re• not charging interest or penalties turning up to $110 million via rebates to for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers its policyholders. Rebates will be based on Compensation Board and Manitoba Public what policyholders paid last year and exInsurance (MPI); pected to be around 11 per cent, or between • not disconnecting customers of $140 to $160 per average policyholder. ReManitoba Hydro and Centra Gas; bate cheques will arrive at the end of May to • instructing MPI to relax ordinary early June. This surplus is the result of fewer practices on policy renewals and collec- claims during this COVID-19 period, coutions; pled with strong year-end financial results. • supporting Workers Compensation As a public insurance model, MPI operates Board (WCB) to do the same and asking on a break-even basis and is required to WCB to extend relief from penalties for late maintain its reserves at a level set by legislapayments; tion. • working with municipal partners to Re: mental health services, the provensure municipalities do not charge interest ince is providing Manitobans aged 16 or on provincial education taxes and school older free access to an internet-based cognidivision fees and the province is encour- tive behavioural-therapy program. Services aging municipalities to do the same with are available in English and French. It can respect to their own taxes and will start dis- be accessed at . cussions to support implementation. Crisis mental-health services are available Provincial income tax and corporate at income tax filing deadlines and payments or call Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern have been deferred to coincide with the Support Services at 1-866-367-3276 (hours current revised federal deferral of income Monday-Friday 10 am to 9 pm). tax to August 31. For a complete list of provincial govRepayment of Manitoba Aid Sale ernment resources related to 9:00 COVID-19, Thurs., Feb 1 Student Butcher am; loans has been suspended for six months including health resources, go to www. Bred Cow Sale 1:00 pm through September 30. . Tues., Feb 6 Feeder Sale 9:00 am


The following are some of the key government initiatives announced in recent weeks related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As programs have been evolving, check the government websites for the latest information. APP Stay of Default The federal government announced a stay of default for 2018 cattle and bison advances and 2018 crop advances to September 30, 2020 for those using the Advance Payments Program (APP) administered by the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program and some other local administrators. Eligible producers with an outstanding APP loan due on or before April 30 will receive the stay, giving them another six months to repay the loan. Contact the MLCA office at 1-866-869-4008 for more information. Agristability Enrollment Deadline Extended The AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2020 program year has been extended without penalty, from April 30 to July 3, 2020 to give producers more time to sign up for it. Call 1-866-367-8506 for more information. Farmers experiencing losses are encouraged to apply for interim payments under AgriStability for more rapid support. FCC Programs Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has received an additional $5 billion in federal funding to help its producer, agribusiness and food processor clients. FCC has put in place the following measures: • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months; • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements. FCC customers should contact their relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 to discuss options, or see en/covid-19/program-details.html. Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan The federal government has launched a detailed economic response plan targeted at individuals, businesses and industries affected by the pandemic. For example, for individuals and families, this includes: increasing the Canada Child Benefit, a Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment,

and mortgage support. For businesses elements are aimed at avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, an extension of the work-sharing program, temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, and the establishment of a Business Credit Availability Program. The plan also includes the creation of a Canada Emergency Business Account to ensure small businesses have access to capital. This program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 per cent (up to $10,000). Access is open to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Contact your financial institution for more details. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is aimed at people who have stopped working because of the pandemic who are not eligible to collect employment insurance and are facing unemployment. It will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.For more details call 1‑800‑959‑2019 or 1‑800‑959‑2041 or apply online at services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html . The federal government is allowing businesses to defer until after August 31, 2020 the payment of any income tax amounts that becomes owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. The filing due date for 2019 income tax returns for individuals has been deferred until June 1. Any new income tax balances due, or instalments, are also being deferred until after August 31 without incurring interest or penalties. For complete details of the federal Economic Response Plan, go to https:// economic-response-plan.html . Temporary Foreign Workers Program The federal government is allowing temporary foreign workers (TFW) in agriculture and agri-food to travel to Canada under exemptions to the air travel restric-

2020 SPRING Sale Schedule 2018 Winter Sale Schedule


MBP Policy Analyst

Tues., Mar 13 Thurs., Mar 15

Feeder Sale

Butcher Sale


9:00 am


Presort Sale

9:30 am

Bred Cow Sale

1:00 pm


9am 9:00 am

Tues., Mar 27 NO SPECIAL


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

Heartland Livestock Services



Fresh straw in the pens attracts the attention of curious young calves at a farm in Deerwood in late March. (credit: Jeannettte Greaves)

COVID-19 reduces North American beef processing capacity: CCA recommends implementing set aside program (Credit: CCA statement)

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is working with industry stakeholders and government to continue to supply beef and keep markets moving in these difficult times. In the last week, North American beef processing capacity has been reduced at a number of facilities due to challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Canada, this includes the Cargill processing facility in High

River, Alberta , temporarily reducing shifts starting the week of April 13, 2020. This Cargill facility represents 36 per cent of total Canadian processing capacity. Other plants within Canada have also marginally reduced packing capacity to be able to implement COVID-19 protocols such as spacing of workers within the plant. These reductions in packing capacity will create challenges for Canadian beef farmers and ranchers, and additionally may have impacts at the

consumer level depending on the length of interruptions. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCA submitted a set of recommendations to the Federal Government including changes to the Business Risk Management (BRM) programs. Additionally, within the submission was the recommendation to re-build the BSE era set-aside framework to be implemented should a critical situation, such as a significant reduction in packing

capacity, arise. The CCA recognizes that we are now in a critical situation and recommends that this program be reinstated and implemented immediately to best address the array of challenges brought forward by packing capacity shortages. The CCA is in discussion with the Federal Government on our recommendations. “We learned many lessons during the hard years of BSE, and it is time to implement the policies that previously helped us weather the storm,” says

We hope all cattle producers are staying home and staying safe! JACK HART MEMORIAL FEMALE FOUNDATION AWARD Deadline June 1/20 - check for more information MAA SUMMER GOLD SHOW July 27/20 - Harding, MB CJA SHOWDOWN July 23-25/20 - Brandon, MB

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

For more information and events check

Bob Lowe, President of the CCA. The objective of a setaside program is to delay the marketing of cattle when processing capacity isn’t available. The program would be designed to encourage farmers to hold cattle on maintenance rations. This would allow cattle marketings to stretch out over a longer period of time and be managed by existing packing capacity, until slaughter capacity can be regained. The program was originally developed in concert between governments and the Canadian beef industry during the BSE era and considered successful. “We also must look at and support all actions that can assist in our current situation. This could include increases in processing capacity at provincial packing plants and holding back cows so that we can focus slaughter on fed cattle - everything is on the table,” states Lowe. Canadian processing facilities have developed and implemented measures in consultation with public health agencies including: taking temperatures of employees before

the start of work each day, additional cleaning and disinfection for high touch surfaces, monitoring of hand washing with soap and water by quality assurance personnel, use of a sanitizer to disinfect hands, and the requirement for employees to self-monitor and not to come to work if observable symptoms are present. Health and food safety is paramount in all agriculture and food production operations in Canada. The above protocols are in addition to regular cleaning and sanitation. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) continues to indicate that they do not anticipate any food product recalls or withdrawals from the market due to COVID-19 contamination. Currently, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. For further information, contact: Michelle McMullen Communications Manager 403-451-0931



Producers see a lot of twins – and triplets BY ANGELA LOVELL Producers around the province are reporting more twin calves – and at least one set of triplets – born this year, so what’s the cause, and is it actually as unusual as it seems? Dave Koslowsky usually averages between two to five sets of twin calves per year, but this spring is the first time he’s ever had triplets born on his farm, southeast of Killarney. “We have had one set of triplets and five sets of twins so far and are about two-thirds done calving,” said Koslowsky during the fourth week of March. Koslowsky had gone in for coffee the Sunday morning that one cow had given birth to twins and when he came back out a short while later, he was surprised to find a third calf in the pen. The triplets, two heifers and a bull calf, averaged around 68 lbs. birth weight each, and seem to be doing well, although Koslowsky did have to pull the male off after the cow began to reject him. “What we found interesting was we kept the calves in the barn because it was still fairly cool out and after about a week the cow would let the two female calves suck, but was pushing the male away,” said Koslowsky. “The next day another cow lost her calf, so we were able to put him onto her and it worked out.” In all his 50 years of calving cows, Fred de Laroque has never seen as many twins born as this year, and the timing has also been unusual. “We calve 125 cows and on a normal year we get one or two sets of twins,” said de Laroque, who farms near Woodlands, and was over halfway through his calving season when interviewed. “This year we have six sets of twins so far and they all came out of the first week of last year’s breeding

season, out of the first 15 to 20 cows to calve, which is really interesting.” Gladstone veterinarian, Dr. Tanya Anderson, may have an explanation for de Laroque and other producers who seem to have had a higher number of twins at time of writing. “It could simply be that many producers are near the beginning of the calving season,” said Anderson. “Most twins are born a little earlier so may be over-represented at this time.” That said, multiple births do seem to be trending a bit higher than usual, although it’s hard to know exactly why. Most experts agree that genetics has a lot to do with multiple births, and Anderson said one of the main reasons for twins is breed. “Higher milking breeds tend to have more twins, and it can be heritable from both the dam as well as the sire,” she said. “I do know that certain clients of mine seem to get more twins than others. Charolais and Simmental cows appear to be over-represented.” The role of nutrition The other part of the equation is nutrition. “A lot of multiple pregnancies come about because of nutritional status at breeding time,” said Ray Bittner, a livestock specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. “For many producers cows are released onto pasture the same day as breeding season starts. With the transition from dry hay to extremely damp grass, and having a calf at side, the cow suffers a very dramatic transition.” In dry years like last year, when nothing is growing at the start of breeding season producers either keep cows on hay, or provide supplement to maintain nutritional status, which in turn would more likely allow more conception and less delays in con-

ception, added Bittner. Another factor could be that some cattle producers were forced to supplement their herds at the end of last winter and into early spring, leading to higher feed intakes, said Anderson. “Progesterone levels are decreased with high feed intake and this increases the likelihood of double ovulation and the conception of twins,” she said. Enhanced nutrition pre-breeding and during breeding season also can increase the rates of twinning. “Synchronization and AI programs may also produce more twinning due to fertility drugs being administered to synchronize heats,” said Anderson. “Yet some synch programs have been noted to decrease the incidence of twins in dairy breeding programs.” Bittner added producers who ran out of hay, and chose not to supplement may have had low conception and late calving. “In the Interlake, many producers found low conception and late cows at preg check time in fall,” he said. “Some producers chose to remove up to onethird of their herds due to low conception. This was primarily due to very dry conditions and minimal pasture growth in 2019.” Managing multiple calves As producers know, one of the biggest concerns with twins is whether the mother will accept both, and be able to feed them successfully. “One of the challenges with twins is does the mother have enough milk to sustain her, so if you have a spare cow that has lost her calf, you do have the option to take one calf off,” said Koslowsky. “But, on the flip side, the nutritional needs on a cow that’s feeding twins is higher, especially as you want her to cycle and get bred again.” Koslowsky likes to keep a careful eye on cows

that have had twins. “They do sometimes come in from pasture in poorer condition in fall than the ones that just had one calf,” he said. “It’s something you have to keep an eye on, and if the cow is getting run down you need to pull the calves off or bring her home earlier in the fall and feed her extra to get her in shape for the winter, because if she’s growing a calf inside her she’s working hard.” de Laroque lost two Three's company at the Koslowsky farm near Killarney. calves – one from each of (credit: Dave Koslowsky) the first sets of twins born, and prefers to leave only seems to come in waves,” he male and female twins.” one calf on with the cow, so said. “In the case of twinhad four bottle feeding. Generally, Duguid ning, there is also some “I have found over added, he puts cows with evidence that the fertility the years if you leave two twins into the first calvers’ of male calves is lowered,” calves on one cow you end pen to allow the calves to said Anderson, who emup with two poor calves, steal milk more readily, so phasized that not all female and the cow comes in either that pen gets on a higher calves born with male twins not bred or in poor condi- plane of nutrition, and pro- are sterile. She suggested tion,” he said, adding he is vides a creep feeder for the that producers have those always prepared with some calves to take some pressure heifers examined prior to colostrum in the freezer off the cows. selection for replacements, and plenty of milk replacer Something to be wary although often twins aren’t around. Apart from that, he of, said Duguid, is male and kept as replacement anisaid, he just makes sure to female twins, because there mals because they are usukeep an eye on things, es- is a higher chance that the ally smaller. pecially if he starts getting female calf will be infertile Ultimately, how promore twins than usual. (called a freemartin). ducers deal with twins will “When you start to get “If the twins are born depend on their own manthis many, it makes you a male and female, the male’s agement style and resourclittle more careful, if it’s a hormones can affect the es, said Duguid, but the big, old cow and out comes female in the uterus,” said fundamentals of lots of nua little calf, we are checking Duguid. “Then there is a trition, vitamins and minto see if there is a second chance the female won’t erals for a prolonged period one in there,” he said. “ reproduce, so we generally – are always sound practice In handling twins, never keep the female of for any breeding herd. Mike Duguid generally separates them and the cow for a while to ensure that the cow accepts both and is taking care of them well. “We have had twins born out in the pasture and the stronger calf got up and went with the cow and the weaker one was left behind, so that’s why we separate them, even if it’s only 36 hours, because the calves do strengthen quickly,” he said. TRUCKLOAD LOTS Duguid, who calves (APPROX. 42 MT) 175 cows near Camp MorDelivered right to your farm ton, had already had 17 sets of twins when interviewed, HIGH FAT EXPELLER CANOLA MEAL which is high, but not un(Approx. 37% Protein, 12% fat, 8% Moisture – As Fed) heard of. “We have had the same number in the past; it BROKEN CORN



(Similar nutrient value to whole kernel corn)

No grinding or rolling required to feed!


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


For Prices Delivered to Your Area PLEASE CONTACT US Feed Ingredients from a Name that Delivers!!

Quality, Reliability and Value

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



StockTalk Q&A Feature

brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture Resource Development, Livestock Extension Branch


Livestock Extnesion Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Q. My pastures were grazed hard last year because of the tough conditions in 2019. What can I do this year to speed their recovery? A. Pastures will need time to recover. There are a number of ways to aid pasture recovery. Rent Extra Pasture Renting additional pasture can take the pressure off your main pasture. Rented pasture can be used early in the season to allow your pasture to recover through May, June and July. You can also use it to reduce the herd size on your existing pasture or place the rented pasture into your rotation. All these strategies will take pressure off your pasture and allow it to recover faster. Good grazing management starts in the spring. Grazing too early in the spring can cost you up to 45 per cent of that year’s forage production. Though renting pasture may be expensive, it is less expensive than the cost of stored feed, yardage and feed delivery to the cows. In addition, if you have abundant pasture in fall,

your cows will gain weight and fat reserves and be less costly to feed in winter, once your cows are reliant on stored feed. Annuals for Grazing Annuals are another option for easing pressure on your pasture. Depending on the soil and moisture profile of your farm, you could try annual rye (for high precipitation areas), spring seeded fall rye (for drier areas), or winter wheatgrass (average moisture). You might also look toward cover crops to add pasture. There are many options to choose from, such as turnip, radish, kale, Chinese cabbage, forage rape, phaselia, plantain, crimson clover or hairy vetch and more. These novel crops can often be grazed multiple times throughout the season. They also provide other features, such as high protein, season-long ground cover, and late season grazing. However, with new crops, there are new management techniques required. For example, the brassicas will often require flea beetle control, because

the seed is not treated to resist flea beetle pressure. Most of these seeds are very small and require shallow incorporation, and often a separate seeding pass. Generally, a mix of both traditional cereal and broadleaf cover crops are more fail resistant than single species pasture. However, if broadleaf weed pressure is significant, a mix of many species may make chemical weed control impossible. Rotational grazing and some level of rest is required for all of these annuals to return to full leaf and resume growth. Under good fertility conditions, nitrate testing should be done once killing frosts are affecting the crops. Allocate pasture with a plan If you have no other choice than to go to pasture before it is ready, you can minimize the impact on your pasture’s health, and ensure your cattle’s nutritional needs are met by using some of the following strategies: a) Skim graze – This is the practice of moving your cattle through the pasture system at a very rapid rate. The objective is to only take off the very tips of the leaves, allowing the plant to continue photosynthesis with the remaining part of the leaf. This is not as harmful to the plant as grazing off all

SAFETY ALERT Recognizing natural gas leaks When it comes to natural gas safety, it’s important to know how to recognize the warning signs of a natural gas leak both inside and outside your home and then take the necessary steps to ensure safety. Natural gas is colourless and odourless, so in order for it to be easily detected an odourant called Mercaptan is added to give it a rotten egg smell. Know what to do if you smell natural gas. The three R’s of natural gas safety are: • Recognize the smell; • React by evacuating the area; • Report natural gas odours to Manitoba Hydro immediately. Other warning signs that can indicate a natural gas leak outside may include dirt being blown in the air, continual bubbling in a ditch, pond or waterway, and/or patches of dead vegetation among healthy plants, and a hissing sound. Leaks from gas pipelines, although rare, can be a fire hazard. If you think there may be a natural gas leak, do not use any electrical switches, appliances, telephones, motor vehicles or any other source of ignition such as lighters or matches. If you suspect a natural gas leak of any type, react by evacuating the area immediately. If you are at home, leave the door open as you exit. Stay away from the area until safety officials say it is safe to return. The next step is to report the smell of natural gas immediately. Call Manitoba Hydro at 204-480-5900 or 1-888-624-9376 (1-888-MBHYDRO) toll free and have the odour investigated. Manitoba Hydro employees are available 24-hours-a-day to respond to natural gas emergencies. Visit for more information about natural gas safety.

March/April 2020

Available in accessible formats upon request.

Safety. It’s in your hands.

of the leaves. How fast you have to move from pasture to pasture will depend on the size of your pastures and herd, but may be from a few hours to a few days. b) Sacrifice pasture – In this practice, the producer will choose a field and keep the cattle there until other pastures are ready for grazing. It is usually accompanied by supplemental feeding of hay or concentrates. Ten pounds of oats per day will keep condition on cows on a pasture that is otherwise too thin. The same pasture can be used year after year, or you could choose a different pasture each year. Only choose pastures that are high and dry, as punching soft soils will further injure the forages and reduce production. Regardless of the pasture you use, a very long rest period will need to follow this early season grazing. A long rest period would range from 60 to 100 days. c) Implement a rotational grazing system – If you haven’t done so already, this is a good time to put up some fences and develop some water sources. Rotational grazing works because it allows time for your best pasture to recover. In the long run, it will produce better and reduce your risk. Herd Reduction Though most beef producers have already reduced their herd due to feed shortages, spring is a good time to do another assessment. Often, producers will carry a barren cow through the summer and market her in the fall. This year, market all animals that you don’t plan to keep in your herd. Every head counts. We want to hear from you For the next issue of Cattle Country, a Manitoba Agriculture forage or livestock specialist will answer a selected question. Send your questions to The StockTalk Q&A Feature for Cattle Country is brought to you by Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. We encourage you to email your questions to our department’s forage and livestock team, who have a combined 200 years of agronomy experience. We are here to help make your cattle operation successful. Contact us today.

Weathering COVID-19  Page 2 look at the different programs to see what may work for you. The federal government announced a stay of default for 2018 cattle and bison advances and 2018 crop advances to September 30, 2020 for those using the Advance Payments. And, producers now have until July 3 enroll in AgriStability. Reach out to your financial institution to discuss options. In other matters, MBP is still talking to the provincial government about the modernization of the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Leasing Program and ongoing producer questions and concerns related to this. MBP has restated our request for the rental rate increase to be phased in over a longer period, which is even more pressing in light of the uncertainty created by COVID-19. Our other comments continue to focus on matters such as: the need for the first right of renewal, the importance of maintaining unit transfers, challenges related to the new system for valuing improvements, the need for informed access before people enter ACL, potential sales of ACL, recognition of ecosystem services provided by producers in managing ACL and more. MBP has requested that the provincial government initiate its consultation process related to the first right of renewal as soon as possible and we strongly request that all lease holders consider providing their feedback during this process. As well, MBP has been providing input to Mike Lesiuk, the lead person on the review of the province’s forage insurance program. We thank all producers who have provided comments into this process, identifying both what does or does not work. The aim here is to come up with BRM tools better suited to our sector’s needs. As we move through these challenging times, where we are taking social distancing to an even new level by the standard of producers who are used to working alone or with few people around, it is really important that we stay connected. Farming and ranching can be very stressful at the best of times. Reach out to your friends and neighbours to talk – over the phone, via social media or even consider something old school like putting pen to paper. If you’d like to talk privately to someone about your concerns, there are free resources like the Manitoba Farm Rural & Northern Support Services. Call 1-866-367-3276 or 204-571-4180 or visit The Manitoba government has teamed up with the firm Morneau Shepell to launch a free internetbased Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program to all Manitobans 16 years old and over to help people dealing with mild to moderate anxiety due to COVID-19. And, if your kids want to talk, but are more comfortable talking to someone outside the family, they can call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or visit Covid Information Resources: • MBP is providing information about COVID-19 on its website: • CCA has resources on its website: https://www.cattle. ca/cca-resources/covid-19. If you have not already done so, contact our Communications Coordinator David Hultin at to sign up for the MBP e-newsletter to stay current on the latest developments. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. There is more information about governments’ COVID-19 programs and initiatives elsewhere in this edition of Cattle Country. In closing, I would like to take a moment to offer a heartfelt thanks to all of those who are providing the needed supplies and services to keep our farms and ranches operating and to keep us safe and healthy. Thank you to the vets and their staff, the auction marts, the feed suppliers, the health care providers, the police officers, the fuel companies, the grocery and farm supply stores, the equipment dealers, our restaurants, our food processors and their staff for keeping the plants running, and the teachers for trying to keep our children busy with at-home learning. Thank you to the truckers and all those others keeping the many elements of the supply chains running so there are as few disruptions as possible. Thank you to the other industry associations for working together to tackle the many different elements of COVID-19. Thank you to elected officials and government staff for continuing to listen to industry concerns and suggestions and who are trying to develop programs and initiatives to move through and beyond this pandemic. And thank you to the consumers who have been so supportive of the agriculture sector. We are stronger together when we tackle major challenges like this. Stay safe and here’s to a productive spring on the farm.



Cattle markets a roller coaster ride RICK WRIGHT The Bottom Line Cattle markets during the past six weeks have been on a roller coaster that would make the most experienced rider sick. Days of limit gains on the futures followed by days of limit declines revealed just how volatile the cattle markets have gotten. For a while the cattle futures followed the movements in the stock markets, then for a few days they detached and went in the opposite direction; this left cattle feeders and investors in the cattle market extremely cautious about purchasing new inventory. So what happened to cause these mammoth swings in the cattle markets? My friend, Dr. Derrell Peel, a market analyst and professor from Oklahoma State University, used the term “black swan” to describe what happened. According to Dr. Peel, a “black swan” is a rare, unforeseen, event that has sudden, unexpected and dramatic impacts on the market. In the space of a couple of days, the North American economy was attacked by two separate “black swans.” The first was the realization and recognition that COVID-19 was here and it was a world pandemic. The second was the total collapse of world oil prices and the impact on both the American and Canadian economies. A dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia resulted in OPEC flooding the market with cheap oil. With no immediate resolution in place, the oil-based economies of both Canada and the US were thrown into turmoil. The stock markets started to crash, investment values declined rapidly and all of the commodities started to slide down a very slippery slope. COVID-19 presented its own unique problems. In an effort to slow the spread and deal with the unknown, restrictions on travel, public gatherings, and non-essential services were put in place. Physical distancing measures were added to the new and rapidly changing ways we live and do business. These restrictions resulted in massive unemployment in the food service, entertainment, tourism and many service provider industries.

Schools and education centres were closed. Every major sporting event and entertainment venue was cancelled or closed. In the cattle industry, questions such as, “Will the border close?, Will the packing plants be able to stay open?, Will livestock transportation be affected?, Will the auction markets be able to have sales? And will there be any market for my cattle?” were common questions being asked on a daily basis. Starting in early March, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, along with the support of industry stakeholder groups from across the country, started working with the Federal and Provincial governments to formulate plans to keep the cattle industry and beef production functioning at a normal level. The staff and board members at CCA and their provincial counterparts have been working 24/7 attending strategy meetings and consulting with industry in order to develop viable plans. Other organizations such as the Canadian Meats Council, the Beef Breeds Association, Livestock Markets Association of Canada and the Trucking Association are working with CCA and government to keep the supply chain operating without interruption. CCA is also working on developing financial aid and assistance programs for the cattle industry to deal with the damage done by COVid-19. It is my opinion that if every cattle producer and feeder had the opportunity to see the work that CCA and MBP have being doing behind the scenes during this crisis, there would be no one complaining about check-offs or asking for their check-off refunds. Canadian and US officials from CFIA and USDA are working closely to keep the border open for shipments of all food items and essential products. CFIA is working with the packing industry to keep the plants operating. Truckers are still operating at the normal level despite a high risk to their drivers and warehouse staff. Markets are still providing marketing services and cattle sales for producers and buyers to move product to

One of the recommendations for cattle sales during COVID-19 is where possible view bulls ahead of time. (Photo credit: Jeannette Greaves)

the plants and replacement inventory to the feedlots. Through this time, the demand for beef has been extremely high at the retail level. Some reports suggest a 77% increase in the retail sales, with some stores in larger urban locations running out of beef on a daily basis. Packers have responded by planning sixday harvest weeks to meet the demand. Feedlots are entering a high period of market-ready fed cattle so supply should not be a problem. The demand for ground beef has skyrocketed, and combined with the seasonal shortage of cull cows, the result has been a very robust cow and bull market. The rub is, that despite the strong demand for beef and the increased kill, packers have yet to share the massive profits with the feeding industry. Immediate deliveries of cash cattle have seen an improvement in the price paid, but longer-term bids do not reflect any strength. Packers are only bidding 30 days out for cash cattle leaving smaller feeders very little leverage. Part of the reason is this. The spike in the demand for beef may not last very long. Demand from the food service industry has all but disappeared due to the majority of the restaurants being closed down, and for how all long, no one knows! The bulk of the higher priced middle meats are sold to food service providers. Consumers are buying and stockpiling beef. They are not eating it and coming back to purchase more the next day! With the unexpected high numbers of unemployed workers, available disposable cash will be a concern.

Price point and essential items will determine what they buy and how much they spend at the store. Exports will be volatile as well; many countries have restrictions affecting labour to unload boats and distribute product. Many manufacturing and process-

ing warehouses are either closed or short of labour. These two “black swans” will not disappear in the short term. Producers can expect market volatility over the next few months. While the heavy weight cattle over 700 pounds have been a tough sell, the

grasser type cattle are back to pre-COVID 19 prices. There is optimism that the fall will see some type of normality in the cattle markets. Until next time, stay safe my friends. Rick

ABOUT CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) WHAT IT IS COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

SYMPTOMS Symptoms may be very mild or more serious. They may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.




HOW IT IS SPREAD Coronaviruses are most commonly SPREAD from an infected person through: f respiratory

droplets when you cough


or sneeze f close

personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

f touching

something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands

These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to: f wash

your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

f avoid

touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands

f avoid

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS If you have SYMPTOMS of COVID-19 — fever, cough, or difficulty breathing: f stay

home to avoid spreading it to others

— if

you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a 2-metre distance

f call

ahead before you visit a health care professional or call your local public health authority — tell

them your symptoms and follow their instructions

f if

you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and tell them your symptoms.

close contact with people who are sick

f when

coughing or sneezing:

— cover

your mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs

— immediately

dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards

f clean

and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, electronic devices and doorknobs.

f stay

home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others




ACC capstone project brings Ferruginous hawk habitats to MBFI BY JORDAN DICKSON

Research and Extension Coordinator

Building partnership and collaboration is a central pillar to activities at Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI). Opportunities to partner with Assiniboine Community College (ACC) have come in the form of student field days held at MBFI, staff leading a team-taught course in forage and pasture management, and most recently collaborating with Land and Water Management students completing a capstone final project. Land and Water Management students at ACC, are gaining not only classroom knowledge but also practical experience of working with industry. Students in the second year of this program complete a capstone project along with their assigned coursework using real world problem solving, communication, and project management skills to complete projects by the end of the school year. The capstone project is designed to get students engaged with industry to identify a real-world problem and work with industry partners to plan and execute the project. James Hood, Instructor for Land

and Water Management, helps to guide students through each step of their project from planning to execution and conclusion. He believes it is an excellent opportunity to give students practical exposure to career life. James said “project topics are diverse every year, but they all focus around conservation and sustainability. Students can follow their passions and choose their own project topics as long as it works to help solve a real-world need or problem.” This year topics range from wild boar controls, dry dams, problem weed removal from lakes, a reusable bag program at the ACC bookstore, and endangered species conservation, along with many more. MBFI Extension and Research Coordinator, Jordan Dickson, attended a whirlwind brainstorming session in September where industry partners had 10 minutes to connect with each of the 14 students. Students were excited with a clear passion for coming up with solutions that address issues and knowledge gaps surrounding conservation and sustainability. Partner-

ships were identified and planning conversations took off as links were made between industry and the student’s interests. Breanna Sheppard partnered with MBFI for her capstone project to build two Ferruginous hawk nesting structures at MBFI’s Johnson Farm. Breanna has combined her passion for conservation and endangered species to design a project around a need for Ferruginous hawk nesting habitat in southwestern Manitoba. Ferruginous hawks are found primarily on grasslands in southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and are a specialist predator of Richardson’s Ground Squirrels (RGS). They have been listed as a threatened species in Canada for the last 40 years due to habitat loss. Ferruginous hawks typically nest in isolated trees or elevated structures but avoid nesting in heavily treed areas and are sensitive to nest disturbances. The project is a great fit at MBFI as it builds on previous conservation work completed by Kim Wolfe (Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development; MB ARD) and Melanie Dubois (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) on control measures for RGS and Northern

Verified Beef Production Plus Workshops are being delivered by webinar during the evening • Webinars take place in the evenings so producers aren’t taken away from their daily chores. • The interactive webinars are delivered using web based video conferencing software. • Participants can interact during the presentations, hear the presenters, and ask questions or make comments in real time. • Also available via app for iOS and Android.

Webinars will take place on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. • Webinar may be cancelled on a given week due to a lack of registered participants. • Pre-registration is required. • Contact Melissa Atchison at (204) 264-0294 or email: for details.

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

Ferruginous hawks are found primarily on grasslands and have been a threatened species in Canada for the last 40 years. (photo credit: Ben Ponsford)

Pocket Gophers (NPG) at MBFI’s Johnson Farm. Breanna and MBFI selected the Johnson Farm station to carry out the project as it has limited trees, open grasslands and a large RGS population. The structures will be built in spring 2020 on two locations that will have minimal disturbance. The hangingbasket nesting structures are modeled after a design that was proved successful Ferruginous hawk artificial nest poles (photo credit: in Alberta’s Species at Risk Alberta Species at Risk Program) Program with modifica- ber of gophers are ideal. Ferruginous hawk nesting tions as suggested by retired She hopes this project will sites and monitor them for Species-at-Risk Biologist, expand to target areas that activity for years to come Ken De Smet, and current have livestock as the hawks to promote species diverSpecies-at-Risk Biologist, will use their remnants sity and conservation of a Timothy Poole (MB ARD). such as hair and bones as threatened species.” The two nesting structures supplies in their nests along Part way through the will be included as part of with twigs and branches. school year in December, MBFI’s rodent control trapBreanna has been the capstone cohort of stuping program and will serve working closely with Timo- dents presented their projas a model to others who thy Poole (MB ARD) to ect topics and progress to are interested in becoming a create an updated guide fellow students and indusFerruginous hawk landlord. that will provide private try partners. Typically, the The overall goal of landowners, conservation capstone projects finish the Breanna’s project is to help districts, farmers and the year off with a public tradeincrease populations of Fer- public with information show where students showruginous Hawks by pro- and contacts to assist in case their work to instrucmoting the development providing this endangered tors, industry members and of nesting sites in multiple species with suitable nest- the public. This year will areas in Manitoba with the ing habitat. The guide will unfortunately look different help of landowners and include instructions on how due to COVID-19 social farmers. Increasing Ferru- to build a nesting structure distancing measures as the ginous hawk habitat con- and what to look for when showcase will be switched tributes to biodiversity, or monitoring for Ferruginous to a virtual presentation. species diversity, which pro- hawk activity. The guide In looking back on her vides many ecosystem ben- and more information will last year at ACC, Breanna efits to other wildlife and be available on MBFI’s web- said “the Land and Water humans. A Ferruginous site at Management program as Hawk pair are excellent bio- ginous-hawk-acc-capstone- given me the tools to gain control by consuming up to project for anyone to access. industry connections be500 Richardson’s Ground Breanna said, “my hope is fore entering the work force Squirrels in a single breed- that this project will en- and valuable practice expeing season, so areas that are courage landowners to use rience in project planning home to an abundant num- the guide to build their own and management.”


Biosecurity for scours prevention DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

The Vet Corner

Research has shown that calf losses in Western Canadian cow/calf herds average 4% from the time between birth and weaning with the majority occurring within the first seven days of life. Many factors contribute to these statistics: calving difficulty, cow nutrition and mothering behaviour, climate, environment and infectious disease. Attention to each of these areas is required for optimal management and a successful stress-free calving season. This article is going to focus on environmental control as an aid in the

ductivity. The old adage of are found in the manure ensure that they are well cleaned out annually and 2L twice before 24 hours of normal cows. Shedding vaccinated and manage that drainage prevents of age is no longer recom- rates may be increased them as a separate herd pooling of water. Having prevention of the most mended. If using a colos- during the stress of late before introducing them creep areas or “calf concommon cause of calf trum replacement prod- pregnancy, inclement/ as cow/calf pairs when dos” ensures that calves sickness - scours. Howev- uct, strive to supplement a harsh weather and sub- turned out to pasture. can access clean dry beder, I must emphasize that minimum of 100 grams of optimal nutrition. It is Also minimize con- ding without cow manure it is critical that calves get immunoglobulin but the for this reason that cows tamination by avoiding contamination. But be quality colostrum as soon calf ’s own dam’s colostrum should never be wintered confinement and over- sure that these shelters as possible after birth or is the best. As difficult as in the calving area. Move crowding. Remove snow are maintained - regularly it doesn’t matter what you it is to accept, the major- cows onto the calving less and provide adequate bed- bedded and well ventilated do, they will get sick and ity of cases of diarrhea, than two weeks before ding with access to shelter. to avoid moisture buildup. they will die before wean- navel infection, sepsis and calving and group them Remember that cows will If out in an open calving ing. pneumonia in calves un- by estimated calving dates. congregate in areas with area, move the shelters Colostrum is our der two months of age are The different scour patho- protection from the wind regularly to clean ground. most valuable “drug” and a result of failure to receive gens cause infections at and where there is acIn a scour outbreak, it must be given within the adequate colostrum. The different ages so grouping cess to feed. Shelter can is important to move diarfirst few hours of life. Keep calf may have been seen to calves by age helps mini- be natural in the form of rheic calves out of the area in mind that new research be nursing but it either did mize disease transmission. trees or valleys or por- as the shelters can quickly has shown that giving 4L of not consume enough or This is also not the table wind breaks need become disease cesspools. colostrum within the first the colostrum quality was time to introduce new pur- to be used. Feeding areas Get diagnostics done so 6 hours is the best insur- inadequate. chases to the herd - wheth- should be moved around that you can manage your ance for good health and Despite adequate co- er as a bred cow or the pur- to “spread out the manure” outbreak more effectively maximum lifelong pro- lostrum intake (as mea- chase of an orphaned calf. but should be stationed and, more importantly, sured by total protein Those healthy animals are where there is shelter. It take steps to prevent a simlevels in calves sampled shedding scour pathogens is important to note that ilar occurrence in future under one week of age) and, if your herd has not during inclement weather calving seasons. In herds and an excellent cow vac- been previously exposed and extreme cold, cows using scour vaccines, often cination program, disease to that particular bug, a will prioritize shelter over the pharmaceutical comcan occur if pathogen severe scour outbreak can eating. pany will support diagpressure is high. Environ- happen. It is better to leave If possible, rotate nostics to investigate scour mental management has a cow to dry off or ship her calving areas from year to issues so be sure to discuss been shown to be critically rather than risk the pur- year. This can be difficult any health concerns with important in the preven- chase of disease with a calf in operations where con- your veterinarian and to makes it a great option for tion of calf scours. bought online or from the finement calving must be get updated treatment proa quick weeknight meal. Most of the disease neighbour. If you are in utilized. In those cases, it tocol advice. If you decide to freeze agents that cause scours the market for bred cows, is critical that manure be your ground beef cooked and unseasoned, then you can easily throw it into a soup or stew, with a reduced amount of prep time. Beef and barley soup and minestrone are great options for a quick meal that provides your family with a nutritious meal. Both of these recipes have the added advantage of using those pantry staples I mentioned earlier, which can help make shopping for ingredients quicker and easier. Casseroles are also a great way to use ground beef and your favourite pantry staples in a creative way. With a minimal amount of preparation, you can make a tomatobolognese sauce pasta casserole. All of these ideas are family-friendly and easy to do in a short amount of time. They also use ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry already. I hope these ideas Thank you to Gemstone Cattle Company, Gem, AB for help you to make some partnering with us on this exciting OCC Easy Red 868A son tasty meals without making extra trips to the store for ingredients you might not have. On a more personal note, I hope everyone stays well! Canada Beef ’s website ( GIVE US A CALL IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR CAREFULLY DEVELOPED 2YR OLD BLACK has some great options for AND RED ANGUS BULLS. WE HAVE SOME AVAILABLE BY PRIVATE TREATY meals like beef and barley soup and baked pasta casseroles. For other great weeknight meal ideas, like Novel tools for Soil Health, Extending tacos, check out www.greGrazing & profitable Beef Production

Ground beef versatile BY ELISABETH HARMS In light of the unique circumstances that we are trying to navigate, I wanted to write something that would help make cooking one of the things that you DON’T worry about. Everything is changing: how we work, how we live, how we shop, and how we eat and cook. We are all struggling to figure out what the new normal is for us, but we all still have to eat. This has changed the way we think about food and, for some, it has presented new challenges in making sure our families are getting nutritious meals. It may be difficult to ensure everyone is still getting enough nutrients, but along with this article, there are many resources that share new and exciting meal ideas for your family. There are different ways to incorporate Canadian beef into your meals that are easy and that don’t require a lot of extra time. Ground beef, along with some pantry staples, is one of the best ways to do this and ensure your family is getting all the great nutrients that beef has to offer. Ground beef is something that’s easy to buy in large amounts and freeze for later use. You can freeze it either cooked or uncooked, seasoned or unseasoned, although, how you choose to use it in the end will determine how you prepare it. Ground beef can be cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning, then frozen, which

Thank You!

To all the bidders and buyers at our 13th annual 2yr old Bull and Female Sale!

Jonathan Bouw: Stefan Bouw: 204-471-4696 204-232-1620  twitter:@ediecreekangus



Ticks and cattle: what you need to know BY CHRISTINE RAWLUK

National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, University of Manitoba

Mention ticks and a fat blood-filled tick comes to mind. Ticks are well known for their blood sucking nature, but they can also transmit diseases to people, cattle and other animals. Ticks are moving into new areas, expanding the geographic range of where they can be found, but what does this mean for cattle producers in Manitoba? Manitoba Beef Producers is supporting new research at the University of Manitoba that will shed light on the health and economic risks associated with ticks on pastures and develop strategies to reduce these risks. The two most common tick species in Manitoba are the American dog tick (a.k.a. wood tick) and the blacklegged tick (a.k.a. deer tick). American dog ticks have been present for a long time in Manitoba, yet how far their range has increased over the past 50 years was only recently determined. Extensive multi-year sampling by University of Manitoba entomologist Kateryn Rochon and her colleagues showed this range has expanded 300 km to the west and 350 km further north in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. American dog ticks can carry the bacterium that causes bovine anaplasmosis, a blood-borne disease that can severely impact the health and productivity of infected cattle. In the US, where this disease is widespread, the total cost to the beef industry is estimated to exceed $300 million annually. In addition, daily gain is lower for cattle with heavy tick infestations, due mainly to blood loss and altered behavior. Blacklegged ticks only recently arrived in Manitoba, being first reported to the Department of Entomology in 1989. Yet over the past decade they have spread throughout southern Manitoba and expanded northward into the Interlake region. Cattle can serve as hosts for blacklegged ticks, but there is no information on the presence of blacklegged ticks on pastures or cattle in the Prairies, or the importance of this parasite-host relationship. Blacklegged ticks can also transmit several tick-borne infections like Lyme disease, granulocytic anaplasmosis, and babesiosis to humans, dogs, and horses. The increased abundance and distribution of both tick species means there is greater economic risk as more cattle and ranchers are now encountering ticks at multiple time points during the pasture season. The team’s earlier work showed the chance of encountering ticks can vary greatly from year to year and at various locations throughout their range. This new research, led by Dr. Rochon, focuses at the pasture scale. “We need to know when and where these ticks are most prevalent, and how this translates to tick infestations in cattle in order to properly assess productivity and health risks,” notes Rochon. “This risk is created at the pasture level, where ticks encounter their hosts, so that is where we need to look.” Project results will lead to the development of management strategies that will improve tick management, reduce disease risk, and increase cattle welfare and productivity. Assessing the risk of exposure to blacklegged ticks for producers who spend large portions of their days working outdoors during late spring and fall will result in the implementation of safe work practices to prevent infections. “Ticks numbers differ based on the habitat. Therefore, it should be possible to target control measures to areas of high tick abundance within pastures, thereby reducing exposure risk and reducing the economic loss due to reduced weight gain, disease, or lost wages and labour,” says Rochon. What does the study involve? Kateryn and her team will conduct their research in five pastures in southern Manitoba, selected based on the intensity of cattle production, history of bovine anaplasmosis, and presence of specific tick species. “Two sites are located at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative (MBFI) farms in the Brandon area. A demonstration project by Manitoba Agriculture taking place there may allow us to also compare the impact of different grazing management strategies on tick populations”, says Rochon. “We will be looking for three collaborating producers in districts 4 or 9, 3, and 12.” GPS collars on the cattle will monitor movement within pasture and within areas where ticks are commonly found. At each site ticks will be collected from approximately 50 animals, as well as from locations where cattle congregate - near water or mineral sources, along fence lines, wooded areas, and other tick habitat areas within

and alongside the pastures. Producers will also be provided with sampling kits. Ticks collected from the environment, animals and humans will be counted, identified and tested for pathogens. “We will be sampling at times that coincide with critical activity periods,” says Rochon. Pastures will be sampled in May when cattle enter the pasture, June which coincides with peak American dog tick activity, and in October when cattle are taken off pasture and which is also the period of peak blacklegged tick activity. Providing training where the need is growing but expertise is greatly lacking Problems related to insect pests are expected to increase in Manitoba due to environmental changes associated with global warming. Already flies, lice, and ticks are becoming resistant to treatment, invading new territory or transmitting new pathogens. As the only livestock entomologist in Manitoba, Rochon knows the importance of training students in this area so that they can bring this knowledge to their future roles within the agricultural sector. This project will provide critical training in veterinary entomology, tick management and animal health and welfare to eight students. Hands-on experience and opportunities to interact directly with cattle producers will equip students with the blend of practical and scientific knowledge needed to support the livestock sector in facing emerging

pest challenges. The funding provided by Manitoba Beef Producers will support a graduate student whose research will focus on the relationship between tick abundance and cattle infestation with American dog ticks in Manitoba. In addition to funding provided by Manitoba Beef Producers, support is also provided by the Ag Action Manitoba program, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

American dog tick

COVID-19 IS HERE, MANITOBA It only takes one person to infect many. DON’T BE THAT ONE PERSON. PROTECT yourself, PROTECT your loved ones and PROTECT your community

SOCIAL DISTANCING (also called Physical Distancing) is the best way to reduce the

spread of viruses like COVID-19 during an outbreak. It means changes to our day-to-day lives to minimize close contact with others, whether we know them or not. With patience and cooperation, we can do this, and we need to do it NOW.



Keep at least 2 arms lengths away

We still need to go out in public for things like essential appointments and shopping. Where possible, spending time outside and utilizing green spaces is also important. In all situations, keep at least 2 metres or 6 feet from others as much as possible. This only applies if you don’t feel sick. If you feel sick, you must stay home.

Stay home as much as possible

Things you can do at home like reading, watching TV, playing games, sitting on your deck, spring cleaning, yard work, and cooking are all good! Staying home whenever possible makes us all safer right now.

Non-essential gatherings

We all need to avoid things like parties, weddings, birthdays, play-dates, sleepovers for kids and other non-essential visitors to our homes. Also, avoid all non-essential travel.

Physical greetings

Handshakes and hugs are out. We need to get good at non-physical greetings like waving or nodding. Limiting unnecessary touching makes us all safer right now.

Shop wisely

Touching surfaces people touch often

Use technology to keep in touch

Contact with people at higher risk

There are things we need like groceries, fuel and the like. Where possible, use online shopping and home delivery. Please remember that panic buying is not needed. Finally remember that if you feel sick, do not go out – you must stay home.

We all need to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones, especially when keeping physical distance. Phone calls, texting, and video chats are all great options.


Walking or exercising outside is good, but keep your distance from others and avoid things like hand rails, public play structures and public phones whenever possible

We all have a responsibility to protect those in our community who are most at risk from COVID-19, which includes the elderly and those with other health conditions. We can use non-physical ways to stay in touch, and where possible we can help these people with getting groceries and other essential errands.

• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm • Disinfect frequently-used surfaces often


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

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