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The Charolais Connection 124 Shannon Road Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5B1 Ph. (306) 584-7937 • Fax (306) 546-3942 Home Page: http://www.charolaisbanner.com charolaisbanner@gmail.com ISSN 0824-1767 Manager/Publisher Helge By Managing Editor Candace By charolaisbanner@gmail.com @ByCandace

FEBRUARY 2017 • VOL. XXXIV, NO. 1 From the Field............................................................................8 du champ ................................................................................10 Canadian Charolais Association..............................................12 De L’Association de Charolais Canadien ................................14 Profile – Forbes Brothers ........................................................17 Birth Weight’s Effect on Profit Part 2 ....................................36 Would Removing Beef from Your Diet Actually Reduce Greenhouse Gas? ....................................................................44 Herd Health ............................................................................50 GMOs Turned 20......................................................................52 Charolais Success ....................................................................56 Sustainability in the Beef Supply Chain ................................58 Industry Info ............................................................................60 Consumer Prejudices Affect Willingness to Pay for Beef......64 Intranasal Vaccines ..................................................................66 Castrating Male Cattle ............................................................68 Are Your Cattle Protected Against Tetanus? ........................72 CCYA News ..............................................................................73 Calendar of Events ..................................................................81 Index of Advertisers ................................................................86

Production/Graphic Design Susan Penner charolais.susan@sasktel.net Web Design Dalyse Robertson pdmrobertson@gmail.com FIELDMEN: Alberta & British Columbia Craig Scott 5107 Shannon Drive, Olds, AB T4H 1X3 Res. (403) 507-2258 Fax (403) 507-2268 Cell (403) 651-9441 sbanner@telusplanet.net @craigscott222 Saskatchewan, Manitoba, USA & Eastern Canada Helge By 124 Shannon Road, Regina, SK S4S 5B1 (306) 584-7937 Fax (306) 546-3942 Cell (306) 536-4261 charolaisbanner@gmail.com @CharolaisBanner SUBSCRIPTIONS: $9.45 per year $25.20 – 3 years (Prices include 5% GST) The Charolais Connection is mailed to over 13,000 cattlemen nationwide. Those cattlemen include all purebred Charolais breeders, buyers of purebred Charolais bulls from the past six years and all subscribers to the Charolais Banner. No material contained in the Charolais Connection may be reprinted without the permission of the Charolais Banner. The publishers reserve the right to refuse any advertisements. The material produced in this publication is done so with the highest integrity, however, we assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. We are responsible for only the value of the advertisement. Animals in the photographs in the Connection have not been altered by computer enhancement or mechanical methods according to the knowledge of the publisher.

Printed by Print West, Regina, Saskatchewan Publications Mail Agreement No. 40047726 Postage paid at Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

On the cover… Forbes Brothers are featured in this issue’s Profile, see page 17

Photo: Helge By Design: Susan Penner

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Postmaster: Please return undeliverable publications (covers only) to: Charolais Banner, 124 Shannon Road, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5B1, Canada. Published by the Charolais Banner, Regina, SK (3 times per year - February, March and Fall)

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POINTS TO PONDER

From the Field Helge By

It was an interesting fall marketing calves to say the least. I think at its lowest we saw the market back about 40% in dollars from the year previous, but from late November on, we have seen a pretty steady increase closing that gap. One thing that was constant, though, was the premium paid for the Charcross calves. Pounds definitely paid and the identifiable Charcross calves were sought after, whether it be tans, silvers or whites. I must qualify here too that it wasn’t just the colour, but the quality. Quality calves of any breed saw a premium and no matter what your preference you still need quality. Don’t skimp on the quality of the bull you purchase, for that bull will do your program a lot of good or bad. In the long run your investment will be returned to you, good or bad. We have been on a bit of a kick lately about birth weight and how selecting for lower birth weights will end up costing you in the long run. I am all for calving ease and as producers are running larger numbers or getting older it is more important to them not to have any problems at calving time. I get that, but let’s not sacrifice quality or dollars in our pockets for the sake of continually selecting for smaller birth weights. Whether you are selling all your calves or raising your own replacements this scenario will not end well as we have shown and will show in some past and future articles. Yes you need to do what works in your program, but have a hard look at calving ease, not just birth weight. We really enjoyed doing the article on the Forbes Bros. who are featured in this issue. Their story is pretty incredible when you look at the number of cows they are running and the performance and dollars they are getting by not chasing the smaller birth weight bulls. Many may find the birth weights they are purchasing extreme, but they know what their

cows can handle and the producers they are buying from and haven’t had many problems. I am now including an article that ran online in the Drovers Journal by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef LLC. I think it sums up a lot of what I am talking about. “Focus on calving ease, not birth weight. Don’t keep driving birth weight down,”“Focus on calving ease, not birth weight. Don’t keep driving birth weight down,” the University of Illinois’ Dan Shike told Angus University participants. There is no “one size fits all” in the cattle business. So, it is with calving ease and birth weight, too, said Dan Shike, University of Illinois animal scientist. He presented on finding the optimums during an Angus University Workshop sponsored by Merck Animal Health Nov. 6 at the 2016 Angus Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cow size, calf size and shape, and presentation all figure into calving season success. “We could approach and address calving-ease problems by making our cows bigger,” he said. “There’s probably not a lot of people interested in that as a primary approach.” That’s why, historically, there’s been such a major spotlight on birth weight. The fear with short gestations and very small calves is not only that the animals won’t catch up on the growth curve, but also that their initial start won’t be ideal, Shike said. “They’re not going to get up; they’re not going to nurse. They’re not going to get their colostrum, which makes them susceptible to those early health challenges,” he said. “That’s going to stay with them through their whole life, and it’s going to have an impact on their performance. That’s the concern, and that’s why we’re talking about it.” Shike shared Illinois data on two different groups of fall-born steer calves sorted into thirds for low, average and high birth weight. The Charolais-Anguscross steers didn’t show a difference in number of treatments required, but death loss prior to weaning was 15% for the

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light one-third and just below 2% for the heavy one-third. “I don’t know if everyone realizes what portion of those that don’t make it are in the bottom third,” he said of its impact on the farm or ranch. On the data from Angus steers, there was a linear decrease in preweaning death loss, 14.4% to 8.6%, as birth weights increased. Numerically, carcass quality improved with larger calves, but it was not statistically significant. “What about gestation length? Is that a contributing factor?” Shike asked. Using artificial insemination (AI) records, he sorted those same CharolaisAngus calves on gestation length, into groups of less than 276 days, 277 to 280 days, and greater than 281 days. That classification also showed that as gestation length increased, death loss prior to weaning decreased, from 12.1% in the shortest-gestation group to 7.5% for those over 281 days. Although there was an increase in hot carcass weight, the amount of time a calf spent in utero didn’t appear to impact carcass quality in this study. There will be lots of demand, especially as we see more producers switching to Charolais bulls, to capitalize on the premium prices paid on the Charcross calves this past fall and winter. If you watched any sales or ask any of the market managers, there was a strong premium consistently on the Charcross calves. A $.10 premium and an added 20 to 50 lbs from crossbreeding adds up to a lot of money. Who wouldn’t want an easy extra $50 to $100 plus a calf? As we get into the bull sales, if Craig Scott or I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to help in any way we can. All our Charolais Banner and Charolais Connection magazines are online for free at charolaisbanner.com if you want to go back to past issues. We also try to keep the sale news very current on our homepage. Until next time, Helge


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POINT A SURVEILLER

Du champ Helge By

Cet automne a été moins intéressante pour la vente de veaux pour ne pas dire la moindre. Je pense que c’était la plus forte baisse de 40% en dollars de ce qui était prévu, mais à la fin de novembre nous avons vu une hausse constante qui a fait la différence. Une chose était visible, c’est la prime payée pour les croisés charolais. Les livres de plus sont payantes, pour les veaux identifiables charolais croisés, qui sont recherchés dans le beige, l’argent et le blanc. Je dois vous dire aussi que ce n’est pas juste la couleur mais la qualité qui est recherchée. La qualité des veaux peu importe la race c’est selon votre préférence nous avons besoin de qualité. Ne lésinez pas sur la qualité du taureau que vous achèterez, car ce taureau rendra votre élevage bon ou mauvais. Nous avons parlé abondamment du poids à la naissance, et comment nous sélectionnons pour des poids plus légers à la naissance, mais qui deviendra dispendieux avec le temps. Je suis pour des vêlages faciles, et les producteurs qui élèvent un grand nombre d’animaux vieillissent et c’est important pour eux de ne pas avoir de problèmes au vêlage. Je comprends mais de là à perdre de l’argent qui va directement dans vos poches, en sélectionnant pour des poids plus légers à la naissance. La différence si vous vendez tous vos veaux, ou si vous élevez votre remplacement, ce scénario mettra fin à ce que nous avons démontré dans le passé et dans nos futurs articles. Oui vous avez besoin de connaître ce qui marche dans votre programme, mais jetez un œil sur la facilité de vêlage et non sur le poids à la naissance. Nous aimons réellement l’article des Forbes Bros présenté dans cette revue. Leur histoire est vraiment incroyable pour le nombre de vaches qu’ils élèvent et la performance en dollars, en ne choisissant pas de taureaux avec de faible poids à la naissance. Plusieurs peuvent trouver que leurs poids sont

extrêmes, mais ils savent ce que leurs vaches peuvent supporter et les producteurs qui achètent d’eux n’ont pas beaucoup de problèmes. J’inclus un article qui roule sur le net, qui vient du Drovers Journal écrit par Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef LLC. Je pense que c’est un résumé de ce je parle. Travaillez sur la facilité de vêlage et non sur le poids à la naissance, n’essayez pas de baisser le poids à la naissance, travaillez la facilité de vêlage et non le poids à la naissance nous mentionne Dan Shike de l’Université de l’Illinois à ses participants Angus. Il n’y a pas juste une grandeur dans le marché des bestiaux. C’est la même chose pour la facilité de vêlage et le poids à la naissance nous dit Dan Shike un scientifique de l’Université de l’Illinois, qui y présente ses recherches commanditées par Merck Animal Health le 6 nov 2016 à la convention Angus à Indiapolis en Indiana. La grosseur de la vache, la grosseur du veau, sa conformation et sa présentation, figurent tous pour que la saison de vêlage soit un succès. Nous ne règlerons pas les problèmes de facilité de vêlage en grossissant nos vaches dit-il. Il n’y a probablement pas de producteurs intéressés par cette approche. C’est pourquoi historiquement le poids à la naissance a toujours été sous les projecteurs. La crainte avec des gestations plus courtes et de très petits veaux est non seulement que l’animal ne suivra pas sa courbe de croissance, et que son départ initial ne sera pas idéal nous dit Shike. Il n’a pas tendance à se lever et boire. Il ne prendra pas son colostrum et le tout le rendra susceptible à des problèmes de santé, dit-il. Et il en sera ainsi toute sa vie, et aura un impact sur sa performance. C’est ce qui le concerne et c’est pourquoi nous en parlons. Shike partage les données de l’Illinois avec deux différents groupes de veaux castrés nés à l’automne avec une moyenne de poids légers et une de poids lourds à la naissance. Les veaux char x angus n’ont démontré aucune différence sur le nombre de traitement requis, mais les pertes au sevrage étaient de 15% pour le tiers des plus légers

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et de 2% pour le tiers des plus lourds. Je ne sais pas si chacun de vous réalise que la portion du tiers peut avoir un impact sur votre ferme ou sur votre ranch. Sur les données de bouvillons Angus les résultats décroissent à 14.4% pour les pertes en pré-sevrage et à 8.6% pour les poids plus élevés, et la qualité des carcasses augmente avec les plus gros veaux, mais n’est pas significatif . Et à propos de la longueur de gestation? Est-ce un facteur qui peut affecter, Shike demande? Dans les statistiques quand nous utilisons l’insémination avec un veau char x cross la longueur de gestation dans les groupes est de 276, 277 et 280 jrs et le plus est de 281 jrs. Et les résultats nous démontrent que plus la longueur de gestation augmente, les pertes au sevrage diminuent à 12.1% et pour les gestations plus courtes et à 7.5% pour une gestation de plus de 281jrs. Est-ce qu’il y a un impact sur la qualité des carcasses, le temps passé dans l’utérus n’a pas d’impact sur la qualité dans l’étude. Il y aura beaucoup de demandes, principalement que nous voyons plusieurs producteurs, changer pour un taureau charolais pour ainsi capitaliser pour une prime payée pour les char cross l’automne dernier et cet hiver. Si vous vérifiez les résultats de ventes ou demandez aux directeurs de maison d’encan il y a une demande constante pour les veaux croisés charolais. Une prime de 0.10 sur un veau de 20 à 50 lbs plus pesant cela fait beaucoup d’argent. Qui ne voudrait pas d’un extra de $50.00 à $100.00 de plus par veau. Êtes-vous dans les ventes de taureaux? Si Craig et moi pouvons vous être utile n’hésitez pas à nous contacter, nous serons heureux de vous aider. Toutes nos revues du Charolais Banner et du Charolais Connection sont en ligne gratuitement sur charolaisbanner.com nous essayons aussi de tenir à jour les nouvelles sur les ventes sur notre page. À la prochaine, Helge


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FROM THE CANADIAN CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION

CANADIAN CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION 2320, 41st Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6W8 403.250.9242 F 403.291.9324 www.charolais.com @canCharolais www.facebook.com/cdncharolais PROVINCIAL REPRESENTATIVES: ALBERTA President: Stephen Cholak, Lamont SASKATCHEWAN President: Carey Weinbender, Canora Secretary: Dave Blechinger, Rosetown MANITOBA President: Shawn Airey, Rivers Secretary: Rae Trimble, Portage la Prairie ONTARIO President: Jim Baker, Stayner Secretary: Doris Aitken, Mount Forest QUEBEC President: Mathieu Palerme, Gatineau Secretary: Chantal Raymond MARITIMES President: Ricky Milton, Cornwall Secretary: Jennifer MacDonald, St. Mary’s, Kent Co., NB STAFF: General Manager: MEL REEKIE Registry Manager: LOIS CHIVILO Registry: JUDY CUMMER French Membership: BERNARD DORE bernarddore@videotron.ca EXECUTIVE: PRESIDENT: BRIAN COUGHLIN RR3 1012 Snake River Line, Cobden, ON K0J 1K0 613.646.9741 C 613.312.0270 bh.cornerview@gmail.com

1st VICE-PRESIDENT: DARWIN ROSSO 78 325 4th Ave SW, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 5V2 306.693.2384 rosso.c@sasktel.net 2nd VICE-PRES: RICKY MILTON 4558 Route 19, Nine Mile Creek, PEI C0A 1H2 902.675.3091 C 902.393.8699 rmilton@upei.ca

PAST PRESIDENT: BRENT SAUNDERS RR 3, Markdale, ON N0C 1H0 519.986.4165 C 519.372.6196 F 519.986.4273 saunders@bmts.com

DIRECTORS: MATHIEU PALERME 814 Ch. Pink, Gatineau, QC J9J 3N2 819.682.2723 matpalerme@yahoo.com ALLAN MARSHALL 35266 Rang Road 33 Red Deer County, AB T4G 0N3 allan@futurefarms.ca MIKE ELDER Box 216, Coronach, SK S0H 0Z0 306.267.5655 C 306.267.7730 mjelder@sasktel.net

Does your bull come with a Registration Certificate? Mel Reekie, General Manager

When you look around to replace and improve your bull battery, you seek a bull that is going to mate well with your cows and please your marketplace by providing a sound product. When you’re selling, a good bull is a SOLD bull. However, when you are buying you’ll probably look at calving ease, semen quality, sound feet and legs, performance (the list goes on) but do you also consider a Purebred Registration Certificate? Did your last bull purchase come with a Registration paper? The Animal Pedigree Act creates discipline and allows only one association to represent breeders of a breed, set rules for the registrations and certify the animals of said breed. The Canadian Charolais Association (CCA) is incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act (APA) and represents breeders throughout the country as the official breed registry for Charolais cattle in Canada. The APA provides the enabling legal framework ensuring that: • The Association verifies the correct pedigree information by applying consistent rules for all members • The breed association and breeder stand behind the quality of information represented on the certificate • An animal with a registration paper is genetically stable • Breed improvement measures are being completed providing sustainability and value • Those who raise and purchase purebred stock are protected As such, the CCA administers their own business and affairs but are bound by their by-laws as approved by the members; in doing so the CCA also respects the APA by abiding and seeking ministerial approval.

What’s the significance of the Registration Certificate? A Registration paper from the Canadian Charolais Association provides value; it’s recognized around the globe as representing integrity, traceability and a guarantee of the product. Registration and identification are cornerstones to the association. The CCA collects performance data and monitors desirable traits for overall breed improvement made possible through maintained and detailed pedigrees. Breeders and Purchasers are protected. The public cannot legally be deceived with a false registration paper [APA Section 63 (2)]. As well, it is an offence and legal action can be pursued for any person who knowingly sells an animal in a manner that creates an erroneous impression that the animal is registered or is eligible to be registered [APA Section 64 (g)]. The old adage Knowledge is Power certainly applies to the purebred breeder. As a breeder and member of the breed association they have contributed a lot of time, effort and information leading to genetic progress to not only their own herd but also the Canadian herd. Without data there’s no comparison, without comparison there’s no improvement and ultimately without improvement the future isn’t so bright when you’re not optimizing genetic potential. Before you sign the cheque, ask for that Registration Certificate and ensure that your herd will benefit. For more information contact the Canadian Charolais Association 403.250.9242 or www.charolais.com.

KASEY PHILLIPS Box 420, Waskatenau, AB T0A 3P0 780.358.2360 C 780.656.6400 kphillips@mcsnet.ca

TRAVIS FOOT Box 414, Esther, AB T0J 1H0 403.664.3167 C 403.664.0961

www.charolais.com

Travis@bigskyrealestate.ca

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Charolais Connection • February 2017

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DE LA CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE

CANADIAN CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION 2320, 41st Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6W8 403.250.9242 F 403.291.9324 www.charolais.com @canCharolais

Votre taureau est-il enregistré? Mel Reekie, General Manager

www.facebook.com/cdncharolais PROVINCIAUX REPRÉSENTANTS: ALBERTA Président: Stephen Cholak, Lamont SASKATCHEWAN Président: Carey Weinbender, Canora Secrétaire: Dave Blechinger, Rosetown MANITOBA Président: Shawn Airey, Rivers Secrétaire: Rae Trimble, Portage la Prairie ONTARIO Président: Jim Baker, Stayner Secrétaire: Doris Aitken, Mount Forest QUEBEC Président: Mathieu Palerme, Gatineau Secrétaire: Chantal Raymond MARITIMES Président: Ricky Milton, Cornwall Secrétaire: Jennifer MacDonald, St. Mary’s, Kent Co., NB PERSONNEL: Directeur général: MEL REEKIE Registry Manager: LOIS CHIVILO Registry: JUDY CUMMER Composition française: BERNARD DORE bernarddore@videotron.ca EXÉCUTIF: PRÉSIDENT: BRIAN COUGHLIN RR3 1012 Snake River Line, Cobden, ON K0J 1K0 613.646.9741 C 613.312.0270 bh.cornerview@gmail.com

1er VICE- PRÉSIDENT: DARWIN ROSSO 78 325 4th Ave SW, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 5V2 306.693.2384 rosso.c@sasktel.net 2e VICE- PRÉSIDENT: RICKY MILTON 4558 Route 19, Nine Mile Creek, PEI C0A 1H2 902.675.3091 C 902.393.8699 rmilton@upei.ca

ANCIEN PRÉSIDENT: BRENT SAUNDERS RR 3, Markdale, ON N0C 1H0 519.986.4165 C 519.372.6196 F 519.986.4273 saunders@bmts.com

ADMINISTRATION: MATHIEU PALERME 814 Ch. Pink, Gatineau, QC J9J 3N2 819.682.2723 matpalerme@yahoo.com ALLAN MARSHALL 35266 Rang Road 33 Red Deer County, AB T4G 0N3 allan@futurefarms.ca MIKE ELDER Box 216, Coronach, SK S0H 0Z0 306.267.5655 C 306.267.7730 mjelder@sasktel.net KASEY PHILLIPS Box 420, Waskatenau, AB T0A 3P0 780.358.2360 C 780.656.6400 kphillips@mcsnet.ca

TRAVIS FOOT Box 414, Esther, AB T0J 1H0 403.664.3167 C 403.664.0961 Travis@bigskyrealestate.ca

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Lorsque vous êtes à la recherche d’un taureau, certainement que vous cherchez un géniteur qui améliora votre cheptel et produira des veaux qui répondent à la demande du marché. Vous considérez aussi une longue liste d’attributs tels que la facilité de vêlage, la qualité de la semence, la conformation, la performance etc., mais est-ce que votre liste de demandes inclus également un certificat d’enregistrement? Achetez-vous des taureaux avec ou sans un papier d’enregistrement ? La Loi sur la généalogie des animaux (LGA) crée la discipline et ne permet qu’une seule association par race pour représenter les éleveurs. L’association de race a le pouvoir de définir ses règles d’enregistrements et certifier les animaux de sa race respective selon les directives de ses membres. L’Association canadienne Charolais (ACC) est constituée en vertu de La Loi sur la généalogie des animaux et représente tous les éleveurs du pays en tant que le registre officiel de la race charolaise au Canada. La Loi sur la généalogie des animaux fournit le cadre juridique propice afin de veiller à ce que : • L’Association vérifie l’information généalogique correcte en appliquant des règles cohérentes pour tous les membres • L’association de race et l’éleveur de l’animal garantissent la qualité de l’information représentée sur le certificat • L’animal muni d’un papier d’enregistrement est génétiquement stable. • Des mesures d’amélioration de race sont entreprises assurant une préservation • Les éleveurs d’animaux pur-sang sont protégés Par conséquent, l’ACC administre ses propres activités et ses affaires, mais est liée par des règlements tels qu’approuvés par ses membres tout en respectant également la Loi sur la généalogie des animaux selon l’approbation ministérielle. Quelle est la signification du certificat

d’enregistrement ? Un papier d’enregistrement émis par l’Association Canadienne Charolais fournit de la valeur; le papier confirme une intégrité qui est reconnu dans le monde entier, pour sa traçabilité et une garantie du produit. L’enregistrement et l’identification de nos animaux sont les fondations de l’association. L’ACC recueille des données de performance afin que les caractères désirables soient maintenus et certains d’autres soient amélioréspour l’avancementglobal de la race grâce à la connaissance des lignées généalogiques du herdbook. Ainsi les éleveurs et les acheteurs sont protégés. Le public ne peut légalement être trompé avec un papier de fausse inscription [LGA Section 63 (2)]. Il est un délit pouvant enchainer une action justicière envers toute personne qui délibérément, vend un animal d’une manière qui crée une fausse impression que l’animal est enregistré ou est susceptible d’être enregistré [LGA Section 64 (g)]. Le vieil adage Le vrai pouvoir, c’est la connaissance s’applique certainement à l’éleveur de pur-sang. Les éleveurs membre de l’association de race, ont contribué beaucoup de temps et d’efforts ainsi que des informations conduisant à des progrès génétiques non seulement bénéficiant leur propre troupeau, mais le cheptel canadien en général. Sans données, il n’y a aucune comparaison, sans comparaison il n’y a aucune amélioration et sans amélioration quel avenir avons-nous sur le plan de potentiel génétique? Avant de signer le chèque pour payer votre nouveau taureau, exigezson certificat d’enregistrement et faites en sorte que votre troupeau en bénéficiera. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter l’Association Charolais 403.250.9242 or www.charolais.com.

www.charolais.com Charolais Connection • February 2017


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B

urt and Tom Forbes calve 980 cows and don’t consider birth weight when buying their bulls. They run an efficient operation with no outside help. Forbes Brothers at Senlac, Saskatchewan, has found that as they get older, things just have to get simpler. They calve their main cowherd on three quarters. The first and second calvers start in March and the main herd starts in April. They keep them separate and pay a little more attention to the younger females. “We also wean them earlier, usually in September, just to give them a good chance to recover and be ready for the next calf,” says Burt. The red cows are bred Charolais. They have been buying 100 replacements each year from a breeder in Strathmore. They are high percentage Red Angus with some Simmental in them. They also have a small Charolais herd (150). “We can take some replacements from them, but we prefer red cows and we get mostly tan calves. If we can’t source good replacements, we will put a Red Angus bull on the Charolais to raise our own replacements. We like our Charolais cows, but we like our white bulls the best,” explains Burt. The bull

battery consists of 35 purebred Charolais bulls and maybe 6 Simmental and 6 red Maine Anjou bulls. “Spring 2016 was the biggest premium for Charolais calves I have ever seen. If anybody was following the market, there should have been a flood of people wanting white bulls. The market had dropped considerably in the spring when we sold. I talked to my brother Tom because we sell on

were back to $1.84. There was a fifteen cent premium on Charcross in that sale. Our steers averaged 890 lb. We normally sell in the first part of March. Even though we are calving a bit later, we will probably continue to sell in that time frame. A lot of it has to do with spring break-up. We just want to get them out before the road bans come on. I don’t think these calves will be that much lighter, just

❝Spring 2016 was the biggest premium for Charolais calves I have ever seen. If anybody was following the market, there should have been a flood of people wanting white bulls.❞ T.E.A.M. and said, ‘You had better be on the phone. This market is a lot lower than we were thinking it was going to be.’ He said, ‘Well, Burt, we don’t have any choice, we have to sell.’ They started them off at $1.84 where they thought they might sell, but they didn’t catch a bid until $1.82 and they sold for $1.995. The next group of calves were a good group of Simmental cross calves, and we know the young fellow who raised them and they were good calves, but they Charolais Connection • February 2017

backing off even a month. I realize this spring was an exceptionally good spring and we did not have a bad calf day. For their age they are powerful calves, so I don’t think we will drop our weaning weights much.” “Our heifers go about two weeks later. Generally, our calves the last number of years have ended up going east. We space it out so there is no trouble getting trucks in to haul them. If you work with them, I think they buy more aggressively. Lots of times 17


❝We know what all the birth weights on our bulls are, 116 pounds to 130 pounds is really common in our Charolais bulls.❞ our steers don’t even go out on the same day. They are really good at getting them out, but sometimes they will go two trucks one day and two the next. Rather than have the truckers wait until all five or six trucks are here, we let them come and load and go. They sell packaged in semi loads, so we try to package them evenly. This year we sent five loads out and there wasn’t a fifteen pound difference between any of the loads.” “We do a pretty extensive sort in the fall. We aren’t afraid to feed some for grass. Our first calf heifers are bred to Red Angus bulls with the intention that we will put the calves out on grass. The heifers will be fed to see if they will make replacements. Fifty percent of the replacements come out of our heifers.

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They rotate grass with crop land on 5000 acres. The crops are wheat, barley, canola, oats and peas. They bale hay and usually tub grind it with silage for the feedlot. “We bale graze green feed but we will bale graze hay too depending on the year. We tried winter electric fence and it was a struggle to get good ground. We bale graze 40-60 acres fields. It is easier to move the cows, my brother can move the cows all by himself and quite often does.” “For us, as commercial guys, we want performance. Birth weight

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doesn’t matter in our Charolais. Our bulls have to meet a design, birth weight is the last thing we ask about, but mostly after we have already made our selection. Both my brother and I don’t get hung up on birth weights as long as we know the purebred breeder we are dealing with. For example, one of the guys we buy bulls from has really big cows. For his cows to kick out an 80 lb. calf, you are going to look at it and say, what went wrong? Those cows can’t have little calves.” continued on page 20


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“The biggest birth weight we have ever bought on a bull was 155 lb. Do we buy all our bulls that big, no, absolutely not. We know what all the birth weights on our bulls are, 116 pounds to 130 pounds is really common in our Charolais bulls. I don’t know if it is our predominantly Angus based cowherd that regulates the calf size, but we don’t have problems.” “We bought this bull in the eighties and I asked the purebred breeder what the birth weight was, because back then birth weight was everything. The purebred breeder said to me, ‘What do your calves weigh?’ I said I don’t know what my calves weigh, a hundred pounds. He said, ‘Are you sure?’ I said, No I don’t have a clue, I don’t weigh my calves. ‘Then why do you care what mine weigh?’ he said. ‘I can tell you that bull is going to calve for you.’ “I thought about that afterwards and that spring we started weighing our calves. We had a few 80 pound calves but we had a lot of 120 to 125 pound calves. I didn’t think we had any that big because they weren’t any

problem at all. They were just laying down and spitting them out. So anyway, we bought that bull from the guy and he told us to put that bull in a pasture where we were sure we

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❝We want a heavy-muscled bull, as thick as we can find him, with lots of muscle because we use a Red Angus cow and they tend to be a little narrower.❞ could tell every cow that was bred to him. So we did that. Springtime rolled around and we pulled one calf out of the 40 females he serviced. At that particular time, we didn’t worry about one. It was probably ten years later when I was talking to that breeder when I finally asked what the birthweight of that bull was and he

told me 155 pounds. We used that bull for eight years and never caesareaned a calf.” “I believe you have to deal with a purebred guy that knows his cattle well enough, that if he doesn’t believe they will calve, they don’t make the bull pen. Disposition is more important to us than birth weight. You have to be able to catch them and handle them.” “We want a heavy-muscled bull, as thick as we can find him, with lots of muscle because we use a Red Angus cow and they tend to be a little narrower. They aren’t a big powerful muscled cow so we need our bulls to have good muscle, depth, length and thickness. Everything that you would think would be hard calving. People are going to think I am just telling you this, but it is the honest truth. Having the front shoulders tucked in is all part of the design.” “The bulls have to move. That is what Charolais has ahead of the other breeds and they just haven’t caught continued on page 22


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up. You will go a long ways to get other breed bulls to move as well as a Charolais at five years of age.” “We semen test all of the bulls every year about a month before we turn the bulls out. We mix our bulls in the pastures. We have yearlings, twoyear-olds and mature bulls in the pasture. It stops the fighting. I would like our yearlings to look better but once the weather warms up you just can’t stop them. They just keep walking and walking. If the pasture is bigger, the younger guys will work the outside and the mature bulls are

“The weather plays a huge part. If we get a spell of really cold weather, we will run the silage wagon up there and supplement them. We aren’t afraid to feed according to the weather. In mild winter like we had this year, they just got green feed, except on Christmas and sometimes on Sunday,” Burt adds with a chuckle. “Once the weather warms up in spring, we find we have to feed them silage because they want green grass. These cattle will winter well on green feed, but feeding silage in the spring keeps them from pushing on the

❝When we used to go to bull sales, we found these larger birth weight bulls were really the best buys.❞ in the middle of the herd. The females that wander out a bit will be bred by the younger bulls. The bulls run for 63 days and they are pulled. They get three cycles. When we pull the bulls at the first of September, they all stay together. When they come home in December, that is when we vaccinate and Ivomec the bulls and we separate the young bulls. We keep the yearlings and any two year olds that look a little run down at home and they get fed a little extra. The other bulls go to a quarter section of grass were they predominantly just get fed green feed.” “Last year we started the season with one spare bull and never used him. We never lost a bull until after we pulled them, then we lost three.”

fences. Silage is like candy and you can save your fences by feeding a little bit of silage.” “When we used to go to bull sales, we found these larger birth weight bulls were really the best buys.” “Once we went to a bull sale and they had a show bull for sale. I looked him over and said to Tom, ‘Look at that bull, is that ever a nice bull.’ Tom replied, ‘What are you looking at that thing for? We will never afford that bull.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but you have to admire that bull. He is a really good bull.’ He came in the ring and blew a gasket for about ten seconds. He went from corner to corner and I happened to be sitting by a bank manager and he said, ‘Whoa, that bull just got a whole lot cheaper. Look around the

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sale ring, there is a lot of grey hair and they don’t want that.’ I said to Tom, ‘We are going to buy this bull.’ We never ever saw that bull be excited again. If you go out back and look through the bulls and go in a small pen with a bull and it doesn’t put you out of the pen, you can get a decent buy if they explode in the ring. Chances are they will settle back down because they have already been stirred up once hauling them in there. Big birth weight bulls and ones that get a little nervous are good buying. We used to try to buy every piece of land we could, so we had to cut corners somewhere.” “People will tell us that a Charolais calf is big and dumb and they won’t get up and suck. We have 700 cows bred Charolais, do you think we have time to help these calves suck? My brother predominantly does all of the calving. I feed and it takes me just about all day. He tags and calves. I have said that to people, ‘Do you really think they are big and dumb when one guy can do it? Even Superman couldn’t do that.” “We haven’t had a c-section in ten years. In fact, Tom and I were talking about it and it has to be longer, we couldn’t remember the last time we had a Charolais one. Out of our 700 cows, we maybe helped ten this year. We had three big calves this year and one was a Simmental, one was a Maine-Anjou and one was a Charolais. Helping ten is totally insignificant. Some of them it is because they are calving three miles from home and we weren’t sure when they started. Usually it is a malpresentation.” continued on page 24


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“If we are going to have trouble it is usually our higher percentage Simmental females bred Charolais. I attribute it to more hybrid vigour. The Angus seems to control that a little bit more.” “I have a definite bias to these tan calves, because do they feed. They are just the best feeding animal in the feedlot. We background our calves until March when we sell. We use silage with a grain ration, that’s why we have to have Charolais calves, because they can handle it. Pretty much all winter long they will be on a 30% grain ration.” “We have a whole herd health program. They are 8-wayed every second year. They receive IBR, BVD, BRSV every year and we Ivomec in the fall. The calves get vaccinated (Pyramid 4), castrated, tagged and we use dehorning paste, if necessary, within twelve hours of birth. When processing time comes, all we have to do is needle them and check the horns. We use different coloured tags on the calves just to make things easier. If my brother tells me to go catch 168 yellow, I only have to look at yellow tags, I don’t have to go through all 980 calves. It just keeps it simpler. Believe it or not, my brother knows all of the cows by number.” “One of the unfortunate things about a tan Charolais calf is the show ring. They are the worst calf you can possibly take in 4-H. There isn’t a judge out there that can judge a Charolais calf from what I can see. My

daughter got so disappointed last year. She had a Charolais calf, and this again is probably hard to believe, but

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❝We have 700 cows bred Charolais, do you think we have time to help these calves suck? ❞ weigh in is always in November and we never have all of the calves home. 4-H weigh-in rolls around and I told Kendall to pick a steer from what we had weaned. This tan steer was fed in the morning and walked across the scale, then in the spring the same, he

was fed in the morning and walked across the scale. He was full weight both times and he gained 4.54 lb./day with no pampering, no corn, no implants, just silage and barley. Just about every year the 4-H calves here do 4 lb./day and to me they are missing the boat by not teaching these kids that is where the money is. It is all judged on confirmation and judges don’t put their hands on them anymore. Underneath all the hair is a 2.4 rate of gain that will make you go broke if you have a feedlot full of them. It is really unfortunate. How did the show ring get so far from the feedlot finished product?” “We are a farm that gets excited about our red cows and our Charolais bulls because they just work. They have to work because we have repeat buyers that fought for our calves this year. In the fall of 2015, one of the order buyers phoned me when we put our grass heifers for sale, just to make sure there were no dogs in the group. I assured him that the package had no dogs. Anything that wasn’t quite right would walk in front of him in the market and he could pay what he wanted to pay for it and put it where he wanted to put it. Every calf has a home, but if you are going to sell on T.E.A.M., don’t try to pass off any dogs. You will only do it once and your buyers will start dropping. The buyer said, ‘Burt, I am going to own those calves this year. I have four cents more than anybody else.’ I said continued on page 26


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good luck and told him I appreciated him wanting to bid on them. The sale was on a Friday morning and they sold to someone else. I walked into the Provost Auction Mart. The buyer that called me walked right over to me and said ‘What does it take to knock that guy off those calves. I had four cents more than anybody and I wasn’t the runner up bidder.’ He was just so excited and said, ‘You do know those were the highest priced calves to sell in western Canada to date. I was sure I was going to buy the highest priced calves. Burt, I had more money for those calves than all the order buyers here and we represent every feedlot except for two and I think you had them both bidding on your cattle.’ It was an entertaining conversation. You had to feel good. He said, ‘That is just insane what they paid for those cattle.’” “We bought 100 replacement heifers and have 100 of our own this year. We only run bulls with our heifers for two cycles. It is surprising how few heifers you actually lose by dropping off that last cycle as long as you run good bull power. If a heifer is going to start calving in the third cycle, she is probably going to calve in the third cycle her whole life. We just eliminate it right off the bat. You may get a really good heifer and think, we would probably be keeping her if we kept the bulls out one more cycle. But once you take them to town and sell them, you forget them. We have kind of become used to that.” “The biggest challenge is to keep all ages of calves in all pastures so your cows are cycling on a rotating basis and aren’t all coming in the same day. When we process, we process in groups of fifties or hundreds. My brother is fantastic. When the cows come in he just says which pasture they are going to and they are sorted as we do them.” “A feedlot fellow told me, when he first bought a ranch, he said he was going to go cow/calf as he had never done that before. His vet asked him if he was going to go and get a set of black cows. The feedlot guy said, ‘Now why would I buy black cows?’ His vet said everybody knows they are a little smaller and a little more

efficient. The feedlot guy said, ‘Well it might be known to you guys, but it is not known to me.’ It was interesting to me because I happened to be there. He put us in his truck and drove us down the alley of his feedlot. He came to a pen of black steers, then a pen of Simmental steers, then a pen of Charolais steers. He told us what each pen was converting for pounds of feed for pound of gain. He said, ‘that Charolais pen is converting the best, so don’t you think those mothers are probably the most efficient cow?’ Who is going to argue that point? It was over a half a pound difference on the conversion between them, so he went and bought Charolais cows. He figured to raise calves more efficiently, the cow has to be more efficient. I wouldn’t know that from where I sit, but he knew what every one of his pens was doing and he gauged the efficiency on the conversion.” “My father-in-law used to have Charolais cows for years, but is retired now. People used to say they ate too much. He told me he knew exactly what his cows ate because he weighed every pound of silage that ever went out to them. He said his cows never ate what people would say his big cows would eat. He fed his big cows their whole entire life 30 pounds of feed on a dry matter base whether they weighed 1600 pounds or 1000 pounds. He said they don’t eat more, that is a myth.”

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The Forbes brothers have grown up farming on this land together. They are now looking to the future with the next generation as their family has expressed interest. They are trying to make things easier as they go. They built a processing system on the half section where they calve the cows. Burt is the welder and he made the steel system so three people can process. “I feed and fix or weld, Tom predominantly calves. Our kids help after school or when they are home on weekends. All our kids know how to work, including my brother’s kids. They all work in the community, Tom has done more than me because I worked off the farm for a lot of years. I know these kids will all do well no matter what they choose to do, because they know how to work.” “At the end of the day, our family has traditionally got along very well. Even our two brothers that aren’t on the farm used to come home and help out. One brother still comes home to seed, he loves driving the tractor. It is a family operation all the way. Our Dad wasn’t a big farmer, he only had 50 cows. We have just been fortunate to have some good opportunities come along and have taken advantage of them.” Judging by the number of full belly laughs we shared during our short two hour tour, humour is a big part of this family’s working success.


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MANAGEMENT

Birth Weight’s Effect on Profit – Part 2 Candace By The response from Part 1 of this article for the Canadian Beef Breeds Council has been very positive. I hope you find Part 2 as informative and thought provoking.

Why do you think some producers are selecting for smaller than average birth weights?

How does continued selection for smaller birth weight effect performance? (short term and long term)

If they are doing it, I assume it is for calving ease, but it is not something that we do at all. We want heifers that will give us a big calf and that is where we start from day one. We have bought bulls with 97 pound birth weights for our heifers and never had any problems.

If you are going to keep your replacements off that type of selection, you are going to run into problems. You are going to have poor growth and you are just going to breed smaller and smaller.

Producers are selecting for smaller than average birth weights because as a person gets older, it is challenging to handle the larger calves if assistance is needed. We stay under 100 lb birth weight bulls for our mature cows.

Always selecting for lower birth weights will affect you more if you sell your calves at weaning, if the low birth weight bulls you have chosen don’t have enough performance in their pedigrees. You will be breeding your second crop of calves before you figure it out.

Jack Chaffe, Likely the convenience of calving with less Chaffe Farms Ltd., labour. I don’t think that is justified, you can go with a heavier birth weight and still have Mitchell, ON

I think that is something we see in the feedlot. Especially in the heifers, there will be some that just do not have the growth. There are some breeds worse than others. When we process cattle, we weigh each animal individually and it is quite interesting to notice the variance in a group. If we notice this in a particular producer’s cattle, because we tend to buy producer packages, we give him some feedback. If he is breeding to a smaller birth weight bull and continues that trend and we aren’t getting the performance, we won’t buy his cattle again.

George McCall, McCall Farms, Owen Sound, ON We run around 300 Red Angus x Simmental cows and use Simmental for our replacements and Charolais for our terminal cross.

Rick Forbes, Harvey Forbes Livestock Ltd., Bruce Peninsula, ON The Forbes family operations consists of 350 commercial Angus cows bred Angus. All of the calves are backgrounded alongside calves sourced in Western Canada to around a 1000 lb.

Our main focus is the calving ease. feedlot, we market around 2200 cattle each year through the Ontario Cornfed Beef program and my two sons have 50 red and black Simmental and Limousin commercial cows. Jack is the VP of Ontario Cattle Feeders. and sits as Feedlot Director of Beef Farmers of Ontario.

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Birth Weight’s Effect on Profit – Part 2 What effect does continued selection for lower birth weight have on a cowherd?

How does the structure/shape of the calf/sire effect calving ease?

As many cattlemen do not weigh their females, some seem to believe their cows are 1200-1400 pounds. Is this a misconception?

Your cows are going to get smaller and smaller and you will run into calving problems and the smaller calves just won’t weigh enough to be profitable.

The shape has a lot to do with it. That is what I look for and that is why I don’t hesitate to buy a larger birth weight bull for my heifers. We breed our replacements for replacements, so we challenge them. I don’t mind helping a heifer and I like to be around. I will help them then, but I don’t expect them to need any help as a cow.

I believe most people don’t weigh their females. In this part of Ontario, I would think 1300 would be the bottom end of the cows here. We want to have at least 600 weight steers and we calve in April and expect them to weigh that at weaning on the 21st of October.

Continued selection for smaller birth weights could make a smaller framed cowherd. Future calving problems might occur with a non calving ease bull.

Usually a smaller head and a narrower front end would be the typical calving ease sire. We buy bulls without knowing what their birth weight is, but we trust the people that raised them not to sell us an extreme birth weight.

Every cow is eventually weighed if they are sent to market. If a producer has a good herd of uniform cows they should be well aware of their cow size. Our cows would be between 1400 and 1500 lb.

If you are retaining your own females, there is a good chance the weight of your cows will be lighter. If you keep heifers from them you will continually be getting smaller cows.

This has got to be the most important factor. You can have a sire that has low birth weight, but if he has a wide frontend, you are still going to have calving problems. You can go with a heavier birth weight bull if he has a smooth front end and lots of length.

In the British breeds, they could be lighter. If they are crossbred, they will be larger. I don’t think many commercial cattlemen weigh their cows and would go only by their cull weights.

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Birth Weight’s Effect on Profit – Part 2 What percentage of producers weigh their calves and accurately know their birth weights?

To be efficient, a cow should be able to calve 7% of her body weight. On a 1400 lb. cow, that is 98 lb., on a 1600 lb. cow, that is 112 lb. To what degree, do you feel producers are robbing themselves of profit by selecting too low of birth weight?

How many pounds are gained at weaning and at slaughter for every five pounds of birth weight?

I would think only purebred breeders weigh their calves here. I don’t know of any commercial producers who do. We used to and were surprised at the weights when we did. They were heavier than we thought and that gave us the confidence to push our heifers to heavier birth weight bulls. We knew we would give up growth if we stuck strictly to calving ease.

There are some, but you still have to have a live calf. When you are talking about mature cows, you should easily be able to do that. You can get too comfortable and not challenge your herd to meet its potential.

I would think it would be fairly significant by slaughter, but I don’t think I can answer that. By weaning time, I would think you could be up 40 - 50 pounds at weaning for five pounds at birth weight.

The only time I have heard of a commercial breeder in our area weighing a calf is when it is extremely large or very small.

Sometimes the largest calves being born are just average at weaning. The more uniform calves you can package in a group the better. Big dead calves are never profitable.

I feel that a good milking mother cow with an average sized calf can make up most of the difference by weaning.

I think only 10% weigh their calves and most of those would be purebred breeders that want to sell their progeny. We weigh our calves and the average is probably 92.5 pounds, that includes cows and heifers. Our cows average between 95 and 98 pounds. There have been some surprises.

This is interesting because I had never heard the 7% figure. The producer may be robbing himself of some profit, but the feedlot operator is probably losing the most. This year the 450 weights are bringing the same price per pound as the 600 weights, so the lighter calves are definitely getting hit hard.

I would say a potential of 35 pounds at weaning and 85 pounds at slaughter. That is our own experience because we grow our calves and feed them right through.

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Birth Weight’s Effect on Profit – Part 2 How important is the integrity of the purebred breeder in assisting with bull selection? If he knows his cowherd and bull battery well, should he be able to assist commercial producers with purchases and ensure calving?

Larger than average birth weight bulls were definitely less expensive this spring. Is there an opportunity here for commercial producers?

In summary, is there anything you would like to add to conclude your thoughts on this topic?

It is very important. We try to deal with reputable breeders and we have a lot of years in now with the same ones. We rely on them and they can tell you a lot about what bulls to use on our cows. We don’t venture too far without finding out a lot about the breeder.

Yes there could be. I didn’t notice that here too much.

I find it interesting that we are talking birth weights again. I thought we solved that issue years ago. We weighed our calves years ago and now we use our eye to buy bulls. We really push our heifers to have a big calf, that’s simply the way it is. We don’t mind assisting a heifer so she can have a good sized calf down the road unassisted and we think we have accomplished that. If you keep a heifer that was from a small birth weight bull, you are going to have to downsize again to breed her. You are just going to get yourself into a rut and get smaller and smaller.

Most purebred bull breeders that we have bought from are extremely knowledgeable about the pedigrees of their animals. When they are honest and stand behind their bulls, they always get repeat buyers.

I would compare this to the fact that cows with bad feet and bad udders are less expensive as well. If they are 15 lb. above the average birth weight of the breed, they are probably cheaper. When something is less expensive, it is usually because the majority of producers aren’t willing to risk a possible bad outcome.

Every decision a producer makes on the birth weight of their calves should depend on their own program. Quite often 550 lb calves bring more than the 600 lb calves.

They should if they are honest. A lot of the commercial producers value their opinion. It is the same as us buying cattle for our feedlot. If we are happy with the performance, we will go back. It is the same for commercial producers, if they are happy with the performance of the bull and his calves, they will go back.

If they are larger, there is opportunity for commercial producers if they have the right cows. If breeders have been retaining females from lower birth weight bulls, they are going to get into problems sometime.

I think there is potential to increase birth weights if you have good cows. The larger, more efficient calves perform better in the feedlot than the smaller, less efficient calves. Normally the heavier birth weight calf will be the heavier weaning and carcass weight calf. If you don’t weigh the calf at birth, there is no way you can figure out how efficient it is at weaning.

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NEWS

Would Removing Beef from the Diet Actually Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Ashley Broocks, Emily Andreini, Megan Rolf, Ph.D., and Sara Place, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

This is a topic of discussion within the beef industry. The following article does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Beef Checkoff or the US Department of Agriculture. Many people have suggested that removing beef from the human diet could significantly lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In reality, completely removing beef from the diet would likely not result in huge declines in GHG emissions and would have negative implications for the sustainability of the U.S. food system. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), beef cattle production was responsible for 1.9 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2013. Comparing food production (essential for human life) to transportation and electricity (nonessential for human survival, but important to our modern lifestyles) is problematic. Electricity and transportation produce much of the GHG emissions in the United States, but most people do not call for the elimination of electricity or transportation. Instead, efforts are made to lower the GHG emissions produced to provide the same energy and transportation services (e.g. switching to renewable energy

sources for electricity generation). Studying the different ways resources like feed, water and land can be used more efficiently throughout the beef life cycle to reduce GHG emissions per pound of beef would provide the means to maintain the same level of food production while reducing GHG emissions. Beef production has made impressive advances to meet the protein demands of a growing population while reducing the amount of natural resources required. For example, due to improved genetics, animal nutrition, management, and the use of growth promoting technologies, the U.S. beef community has decreased its GHG emissions per pound of beef 9-16 percent from the 1970s to today. Another key component of reducing GHG emissions from the beef system is the role of the consumer. Over 20 percent of edible beef is wasted at grocery stores, restaurants and in the home. As with other foods, the amount of non-renewable resources used and the environmental impacts that went into producing the portions of beef that are being sent to a landfill are often overlooked. Consumers could improve beef sustainability by 10 percent if beef waste were reduced by half.

Additionally, cattle have the ability to utilize forages such as grass and hay, and by-products (e.g. distillers grains) that are unfit for human consumption. Cattle can utilize cellulose, one of the world’s most abundant organic molecules, that is indigestible by humans, and can also convert low-quality feeds into highquality protein from land not suited for cultivation, thereby reducing soil erosion and enhancing soil carbon storage. U.S. beef farmers and ranchers feed their cattle feed sources that are not in direct competition with humans and/or would have gone to waste. Beef is a valuable asset to the human diet. Along with being a significant source of lean protein, beef provides key nutrients such as iron, zinc and B vitamins. Removing beef from the food chain would result in consumers having to seek alternative protein and micronutrient sources. As with all foods, the production of beef has impacts, but direct emissions from the U.S. beef community are only estimated to be 1.9 percent of the total U.S. GHG emissions.[1] [1] https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ Downloads/ghgemissions/US-GHG-Inventory2015-Chapter-Executive-Summary.pdf

Table 1: U.S. EPS GHG Emissions Inventory for 2013 CO2-eq emissions (Million Metric Tons)

Percent of U.S. total CO2-eq emissions

117.1

1.75%

Beef Cattle Manure Nitrous Oxide Emissions

7.6

0.11%

Beef Cattle Manure Methane Emissions

3.0

0.04%

127.7

1.9%

Burning fossil fuels for transportation carbon dioxide emissions

1,718.4

25.8%

Burning fossil fuels for electricity generation carbon dioxide emissions

2,039.8

30.6%

All other GHG sources

2,787.8

41.7%

6,673

100%

Item Enteric Methane Emissions from Beef Cattle (from their digestive tracts)

Total Direct Emissions from U.S. Beef Cattle

2013 U.S Total CO2-eq Emissions

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HERD HEALTH

Semen Evaluation – Why do it? Roy Lewis, DVM

After all this time there are still some producers sceptical to the merits of having a semen evaluation done on their breeding bulls prior to turnout. This article will attempt to highlight the positive points and hopefully lay to rest the misconceptions surrounding it. Veterinarians are really doing much more than just checking the semen, which is why it is really called a Breeding Soundness Evaluation. The abbreviation is a BSE exam but this is seldom said anymore with mad cow disease abbreviation being BSE as well. With the true evaluation of semen we check both live sperm to check for motility as well as stained to kill the sperm and look at the sperm morphology which is the percentage of sperm which are defective. We as veterinarians can see these defects when looking under the microscope at high power (1000X). Certain defects are caused from faulty formation others crop up when the bulls are not very active and the sperm becomes stagnant. These defects result from improper maturation of the sperm. At the same time the bull is restrained for collection, body condition is accessed and the feet and legs are checked. We can visualize the undercarriage of the bull so what better opportunity to check out the feet and sheath of the bull. Veterinarians observe the bull walking so any structural defects are also picked out. A big part of any evaluation is the measurement of the scrotum, which indicates semen production. Generally the larger the scrotum the more semen will be produced up to a maximum of 39 cm. After that, they find semen production does not go up very much. As well as the testicles, the spermatic cords and epididymis (area where the sperm mature) are also palpated for any signs of abnormality. The testicles are compared for size and shape to the opposite testicle and any

differences noted including their firmness or softness. Abnormalities in any of these areas may indicate a problem, which will show up in the sperm or may indicate you are only getting normal sperm from one testicle. If this is the case serving capacity will be markedly diminished. We want to always select bulls for higher serving capacity. The sperm is collected using a probe inserted in the rectum, which gives a very very low electrical impulse. This small current is brought up very smoothly and causes the bull to become erect in most cases protrude his penis from the sheath and then ejaculate. It is important to get the bull to protrude the penis so it can be visualized for such things as cuts, warts or a frenulum, which is a ligamentous tie down between the penis and sheath. Most of these conditions are found on yearling bulls albeit at a fairly low percentage. But all these conditions can render a bull infertile or subfertile. Blood, which is often present because of these conditions, is very detrimental to semen quality. Just before inserting the probe all the internal sexual organs are palpated for differences is size, infection, scarring etc. The seminal vesicles are the dominant organs much as the prostate gland is in humans. If these become infected either from blood born infections or infections ascending from infected navel infections they are all detrimental to lively sperm. Infections in these areas will show up as pus in the semen. In some cases these infections can be treated but in the majority these bulls will be culled. The eyes are always examined closely as ideally we want a bull with two fully functioning eyes in order to identify cows in heat. It is fairly important binocular vision exists for depth perception. Can a bull breed with one eye, of course he can, but in a large pasture cows in heat in the

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distance could get missed. If you as producers can eliminate these infertile or subfertile bulls by a breeding soundness evaluation, conception rates should definitely improve. Around twenty percent of bulls can have fertility issues. It worsens with the situation in large herds with multiple bulls if the dominant bull is the infertile one. Wrecks develop in single bull pastures if a problem exists. I have seen instances of a 100 percent open rate, a situation you want to avoid. If we rank the importance of checking bull groups, the list would look something like this. Ideally its best to test all breeding bulls every year. If not the new young bulls should definitely be tested. Normally as a condition of sale the purebred breeders test all their yearlings bulls greater than one year of age to eliminate selling problems to their customers. Older aged bulls past their prime (beyond four-five years) are prime candidates for testicular degeneration and other conditions affecting their reproductive ability. Any bulls, which have been sick, injured or gotten frostbite or swelling on their testicles should most definitely be examined as well. The last group would be bulls in their prime breeding age with no previous problems. Infertile bulls can still be found in this group but less likely. The only breeding prerequisite that is not tested is the libido or sex drive. This we often leave up to the producer. Watching bulls breed the first one or two times in the season is always a good idea. Yearlings especially can be awkward and have a hard time entering and completing the breeding. Insure they are entering the cow and ejaculating before turning them out into the herd. Always watch for other signs during the breeding season such as swellings on the sheath or scrotum indicating a broken or cut penis. continued on page 54


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MONSANTO’S ROBERT FRALEY SHARES HISTORY

GMOs Turned 20 Kindra Gordon

2016 marked the 20th anniversary of crops developed with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being introduced in the marketplace. Back in 1996, Monsanto introduced the first Roundup Ready corn and soybeans to American farmers. At that time, Robert Fraley was a forty-something Monsanto researcher who had been with the company since 1981 and had an integral role in developing those GMO crops. Today, he is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto Company, and he continues to champion the important role GMOs have – and will continue to have – in feeding the world. Presently, there are 30 countries growing GMO crops on over 450 million acres, which is about a quarter of the world’s farmland. Today, Fraley believes this technology is paramount, as well as continuing efforts by Monsanto to bring improved products to agriculture and bridge the communication gap with consumers. Global Challenge Top of mind for Fraley is the expanding world population – which is projected to grow from 7.3 billion today to 10 billion in 2050. Fraley says, “That seems like a long time away, but it’s only 34 years…Between now and 2050, we need to produce more food than we have in the entire history of the world.” Fraley notes that addressing this challenge is paramount for “our kids and grandkids and the world we leave them in terms of food security and the environment.” Additionally, he points out the fact that food production will need to be achieved in a world with decreasing water availability, challenging weather conditions, and tighter government regulations. And he notes that beef production can’t increase without increases in crop production to supply the feed. As an example, in 2015, 2 billion bushels of corn were produced, but by 2050, 2.8 billion

bushels of corn will be needed to raise enough beef to meet the world’s growing food demands. In spite of challenges ahead, Fraley says, “I absolutely believe we have the tools and technologies to address those challenges and meet the global food demand.” Specifically, Fraley believes science is leading to new opportunities for ag production. He credits two important scientific advancements, including: • advances in biology and the ability to sequence genes in crops, livestock and humans, and • advances in data sciences of farm production practices. Fraley says, “These tools are coming together to change farming and I think improve it… Genetic sequencing allows for using that information to design new medicines and better crops and better food. Precision data helps farmers produce more – and more precisely – and in a way that can enhance the environment.” To give an example of the progress that has been made with scientific advancements, Fraley shares that Monsanto spends over $1.5 billion annually on research and development – with half of that budget focused on plant breeding. “Breeding has changed enormously in both plants and animals. The reason it’s changed is we have technological tools and capabilities to understand every single gene. We can create unique traits with higher yield potential, higher disease resistance and the ability to resist drought and stress. In 1970 the average corn yield was about 75 bu/acre, today it’s about 170 bu/acre. That’s been achieved through breeding and technology.” To this he adds, “As good as food production is today, to fulfill food security by 2050 we need to continue to make more improvements in yield using technology.” He also emphasizes that cooperation among universities and companies will be essential. “All of us collectively must work together in a

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system to address key challenges and the tools available.” Genetic Progress From a historical perspective, Fraley also wants consumers to understand that science has helped bring the abundance of food to the world. He points out that sunflowers and strawberries are the only food crops native to the U.S. “Everything else we grow in the U.S. came from somewhere else. Everything we grow today was adapted and genetically modified… genetic improvements have been made to increase crop [food production] for thousands of years.” He explains that crops have been genetically modified through history by a variety of techniques – from natural mutations to mutagenesis and cell fusion and the recombinant DNA and gene editing techniques of today. Of the GMO crops available today, Fraley says, “This technology has helped farmers increase yield by reducing insect and weed pressure – and reducing the need to apply pesticides.” He adds, “Now, having the precision and accuracy of today’s technology to put a specific gene into a plant to alter a trait or characteristics will be key going forward.” Most importantly, he wants consumers to understand the focus on safety in the development of GMO products. “There is an eight to ten year process and $150 million invested for each new trait we develop, and at each step in the process safety is our number one priority,” Fraley explains. He adds, “EPA, USDA and FDA are all involved in the regulatory oversight, but it doesn’t stop there. With corn and soybeans exported worldwide, Monsanto also gets approvals from 70 countries to launch the technologies. So these products are the most thoroughly studied food products in our food and feed system. As a result, they are the safest foods in the marketplace.” Fraley also shares that more than continued on page 54


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GMO’S, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 52 2,000 peer-reviewed studies have found that GMO crops are as safe as those developed through traditional breeding. As well, research has shown GMO crops are digested in the same way as conventional crops, and GMOs have never been detected in the meat, milk, or eggs derived from animals fed GMO feeds. Additionally, feeding livestock GMO crops has been found equivalent to feeding conventional feed sources in terms of nutrient composition, digestibility and feeding value. In one instance, Fraley shares that Bt grains are actually more nutritious. With that track record, Fraley says, “After 20 years of experience with GMOs in our food and feed supply, the thing I’m most proud of is there’s not been one single food or feed safety issue ever associated with the technology.” Known in Nature But even with that stellar track record, Fraley says the concern he most often hears from consumers is that genetic engineering is “unnatural.” He has ample data to refute this concern as well. With recent advances in science and genome sequencing, Fraley shares that the scientific community has learned that nature is a pretty good natural genetic engineer. As an example, Fraley cites the yew tree, which produces a taxol compound used to treat cancer. He explains that when sequencing the genes of the yew tree scientists learned taxol developed as the result of a fungal organism invading the yew tree and introducing their gene into the tree. And the gene sequencing of the sweet potato last year revealed that all sweet potatoes contain the same bacterial gene that is used to create GMOs. Also of interest: Fraley reports that with the sequencing of the human genome it’s been discovered that

humans contain genes from as many as 200 other species. He says, “The point of all this: Genes are moving all the time. Nature is genetically engineering all the time. That’s how we continue to evolve and advance. So it turns out GMOs are pretty natural.” Consumer Communication In spite of all that scientific evidence, Fraley says the remaining hurdle in taking leaps and bounds forward with GMO technology is the need to bridge the acceptance gap between science and society. “There’s clearly a gap between what science can do and what the average person understands and feels comfortable with,” says Fraley. He points to a recent National Geographic article that reported many people don’t even accept or believe the science that a man landed on the moon. Another indication of the gap in consumers’ acceptance of science: a Pew Research Center survey found only 37% of the public think GMOs are safe, while 88%% of the world’s top scientists believe they are safe. Fraley says to address this “gap” two things are needed. Foremost, is encouraging more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education in school systems. He says, “We are the most technological society. We need to raise our standards from an educational perspective.” Second is improving communication to the public. Fraley says, “We’ve done a lousy job in communicating to the public about why science and technology is important to food production and food security.” Over the last three to four years Monsanto has gotten more involved in outreach to consumers, and Fraley says, “We’ve learned to listen and to

HERD HEALTH, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 50 Problems can and will happen during might as well be done at the same the breeding season necessitating time bulls are being processed to replacing bulls in order to get the eliminate that headache in the future. cows bred. Breeding soundness exams Hopefully the breeding season this should be an integral part of any beef spring will go uneventfully as far as herd health program. Any vaccines the bulls are concerned and getting all such as footrot or pinkeye tagging bulls fertility tested is a great start. 54

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engage and to communicate in the way the public wants to get information.” Specifically that means reaching the public via social media such as Twitter or Facebook. “They want connectivity and dialogue and it’s important to provide them sources of information they can view,” says Fraley. He himself is on Twitter (@RobbFraley) and the company promotes several web resources including: gmoanswers.com, www.americasfarmers.com, discover.monsanto.com. Fraley says everyone in agriculture is needed to help spread the need for technology in agriculture. He says, “We need to bridge the gap, and we need to all get engaged. I grew up on a family farm in Illinois, it was my dad’s farm and before that it was my grandpa’s farm. At that time 50% of the people in Illinois lived on farms. They knew how food was produced. Today, it’s 1% or less. We are the 1%. We have the responsibility and obligation to communicate and engage and let the other 99% of the population know of our passion, sincerity, and the efforts we put into production of grain and livestock, and the care we take for the environment. That’s our role. It’s so important.” Fraley concludes, “My own personal belief is that we have the tools that can meet the challenge of food security by doubling the food supply, and we can increase yields and productivity to such an extent that we will have the ability to take some of the land that probably shouldn’t even be farmed today out of production… If we do this correctly, we can meet the food security needs of the world and improve the planet. For me, that’s the dream. That’s what wakes me up in the morning, and that’s the legacy I want to leave my kids.” Kindra Gordon is a freelance writer based near Sturgis, SD. Purchase bulls from purebred producers and if need any, now is a good time to start. Remember, reproduction has the biggest economic return on your farm and you can ill afford a bull shooting blanks.


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CHAROLAI S

Success Charcross Steer Wins SouthWest Classic Prospect Show

McAvoy Charolais Wins King of the Ring MVY Dr. Pepper 63D, a TR PZC Mr. Turton 0794 son, from McAvoy Charolais, Arelee, was crowned King of the Ring at the all breeds bull calf show at the Lloydminster (SK) Stockade Round Up, November 4th.

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A Charolais sired steer from Flat Top Cattle Co., Tyler and Suzanne Smyth, Herbert, SK, won Grand Champion Steer at the SouthWest Classic Prospect Open Steer Show, September 24th at the Young Ranchman’s All Breeds Junior Show in Swift Current, SK. They took home $1,900 in prize money and then sold the steer by bid board before leaving the show.


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INDUSTRY NEWS

Sustainability in the Beef Supply Chain Needs Engaged Producers Deborah Wilson, Senior Vice-president of BIXSco Inc., cattle producer and adviser to the Verification Committee for the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef

Producers are sometimes the last to be consulted on sustainability. The good news is Canadian farmers and ranchers that raise cattle are, for the most part, operating in a sustainable and responsible manner. Our industry was able to assist McDonald’s in delivering on a global commitment they made several years ago to begin sourcing their beef from verified sustainable operations in 2016. It will not end here, they plan to continue on this path globally. As producers we need to understand that McDonald’s Canada is the largest purchaser of Canadian beef, 67 million pounds annually, and is committed to sourcing Canadian beef – they are serious when they say “Not without Canadian Farmers”. Of the $1 billion they spend on food for their Canadian restaurants 85 percent is purchased from suppliers in Canada. The Canadian beef industry was fortunate to have McDonald’s choose our country for the Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot Project. Prior to starting, their project management team (PMT) went through 150+ versions of the indicators that would demonstrate sustainability, ultimately arriving at 36 indicators that looked at what was good for people, planet and animals. Then the PMT went looking for producers that would put up their hands to be part of the pilot project, which meant having a group come to your farm, ranch or feedlot and ask you about your production practices, the care of your animals, the stewardship of your land, environmental awareness, your employment practices, family and community involvement. There was no pass or fail but a scoring system from one to five, with the average being three. There were minimum acceptable levels for each indicator which could create a barrier to entry in the pilot project. The indicators

used were derived from the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef www.grsbeef.org and adjusted to suit Canada’s environment, animals, people and practices, as each global geographic area has different challenges. How can sustainability be achieved in a way that makes business sense? Some of the key statements around sustainability that stick in my mind would be “doing more with less”, “constant improvement”, “transparency in the value chain” and “willingness to collaborate”. The challenge is identifying, developing, and validating metrics to measure progress across the three global pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and financial. Not long ago the Irish Food Board brought together hundreds of sustainability professionals to discuss ways to increase production and consumption of food and drink, sustainably. The (http://www. globalsustainabilityforum.ie/) Global Sustainability Forum dealt with complex topics such as harmonising metrics for measuring sustainability targets, the importance of collaboration, responsible sourcing, ethical supply chains, food waste, sustainable intensification, and even what sustainability in the food supply chain looks like. Today there are over 7 billion people with a vested interest in food on the planet and they don’t agree on much, especially not science. But one thing everyone at the forum agreed on was the importance of collaboration in order to achieve anything at all. BIXSco Inc. has always held collaboration as one of its core values. BIXSco Inc. has been a member of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) for a year now, and I have been part of the multi-stakeholder group discussions around the Canadian Beef Industry. It

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has given me the chance to meet sustainability managers from many of the largest retailers in Canada, sit with representatives from major restaurant chains and have open and frank discussions with them. Even though I attend these meetings as a BIXS representative, my producer alter ego is never far away, which I believe has given me a unique perspective of the processes the CRSB has gone through creating indicators unique to Canada, that are acceptable to our customers – the retailers and restauranteurs. Every step along the way has included representatives from each part of the production chain – cow/calf and feedlot, as well as the value chain. What has become apparent is the need for collaboration in order to avoid the cost of sustainable practices falling solely on cattle producers, and to help consumers buy ethicallywhich means what they are purchasing was raised on an operation that was not harmful to the planet and the animals were treated well, while being safe for their families to eat. Retailers need to reassure their customers that they source with integrity. Consumers don’t want to decipher confusing labeling, they want proof points ... At the moment it’s too difficult for them to understand because of the plethora of marketing initiatives and programs; and misalignment between them. The CRSB members want a supply chain that’s fit for the future and works in a way that reduces the difficulty for busy farmers, ranchers and feedlot owners to participate. The farmers and ranchers feel they are often the last to be consulted on sustainability and worry about the strain or demand on them to do more without getting more. We all must be continued on page 62


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NEWS

Industry Info Chinese Meat Scam A court in China has sentenced 10 people to prison terms ranging from 16 months to 15 years for selling pork as beef. The ringleader was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $4 million yuan ($792,027) for his role in the scam. According to the indictment, a family was selling fake beef jerky, and churning out 550 to 1100 pounds every day. The fake beef jerky was made by adding beef powders, caramel pigment and other additives to the pork. Risks of Vegetarianism New research indicates that vegetarianism has several unexpeted side effects such as panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mood swings, anxiety, lack of energy and depression. A growing body of research suggests a link between going meatless and an elevated risk for mental disorders. An estimated 29 million adults participate in Meatless Mondays and more than 7000 vegan cookbooks are for sale on Amazon. However, emerging research suggests that beef and other animal proteins are important for our mental and physical health. Veggie Diets Hurt Environment A recent study out of Carnegie Mellon University found that diets consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood are more harmful to the environment because of the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie. The study was conducted by measuring the changes in every use, water footprint and GHG emissions associated with U.S. food consumption. Many common vegetables require more resources than previously thought. Consumers Believe Burgers are Nutritious A survey of adults who ordered burgers at restaurants found 82% believe the item is a good source of nutrients, though many would like to see more non-beef alternatives offered, according to market research.

Another 80% said they would pay more for burgers made with premium ingredients. Three in five (62%) consumers said they love burgers, but expressed interest in a wide array of non-beef burger alternatives. Nearly half said they would like to see more chicken burgers (46%) on menus, and two in five (42%) were interested in more turkey burgers. Another 34% wanted to see bison as a burger option on more menus. Feed Stores Try to Attract Millennials Supermarkets are raising the bar on their food service offering restaurantquality and fresh food, along with chef-driven menus, thus attracting the attention of the coveted millenial market, those consumers born from 1978 to 2004. Millenial use grocery stores less than other generational groups, although retail food service is gaining traction with them. E. coli Survives High Temp, Pressure Food Research at the University of Alberta has found that cooking beef at 160°F, the level of heat treatment recommended by Health Canada and the USDA, does not always eliminate E. coli strains. They’re also reporting that some strains survive pressures up to 87,000 pounds per square inch, the long-held standard used in high pressure processing. Microbiologists began noticing the inconsistent behaviour of E. coli in 2008, when they assigned a student to look for differences in thermal survival among organisms in a large collection of E. coli from beef. Research Reduces Salmonella An old technology that uses natural predators called bacteriophages is the focus of new research at the University of Nevada, Reno. The technique is being used to reduce salmonella bacteria in meat products. Salmonella was reduced by as much as 90% in ground poultry, pork and beef during the research trials. Salmonella is one of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses

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in the US estimated to cause one million illnesses in the US every year, with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps. In people with weaker immune systems or in young children and the elderly, it can be fatal. Bovine TB Blood Test A new bood test to detect Mycobacteria in blood has been developed by a team at the University of Nottingham in England. Researchers have used this method to show that cattle diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) have detectable levels of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in their blood, which causes this disease. The test detects low levels of mycobacteria in blood. The testing has a six-hour turn-around and is currently licensed to a spin out company, PBD Biotech Ltd. Early Shedding Correlates to Breeding Performance Genetic adaptation to environment may hold the key to breeding performance in beef cattle, according to research at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The research found that early shedding of winter coats correlated with better breeding performance. Four years of data showed that cow shedding in May had higher pregnancy rates to artificial insemination and their calves had higher weights at weaning than cows that shed their coats later in the year. In short, cattle that are better adapted to the climate, grass and other environmental conditions feed better, grow better and reproduce better. Junk Food in Supermarkets An analysis of a sample of U.S. adults reveals that access to healthy foods in a supermarket does not hinder consumption of empty calories. The study found that U.S. adults buy the bulk of their sugar-sweetened beverages and nutrient poor food at supermarkets or grocery stores. continued on page 62


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SUSTAINABILITY, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 58 part of the sustainability conversation but it must be economically sustainable as well. The primary producer must get a fair price for the product. This topic has been brought up many times in discussions at the CRSB meetings. I have served as an industry adviser to the Verification committee, which is a sizable group of stakeholders (producer groups and producers included), which is in the process of defining how the industry will verify or validate the sustainability practices, as defined by the indicators that have gone through the public comment periods and been agreed upon. So just how can the supply chain be more sustainable without one partner feeling they are shouldering the heaviest burden? Collaboration and transparency are key to sustainability, it has to benefit the entire chain right down to the consumer. We need to get all parties around the table, including policymakers to cement agreements. This is what BIXS has been working towards for the last 18 months signing collaborative agreements with industry stakeholders, most notable of which is the master agreement with

Cargill, while continuing negotiations with other packers. BIXS was the technology that delivered the chain of custody for the McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef pilot project – tracking the animals/beef through verified sustainable operations “from birth to burger”, to quote Jeffery Fitzpatrick Stillwell, Sustainability Manager with McDonald’s Canada. And yes, in case you were wondering, Cargill and JBS, as well as the patty plant were subjected to a sustainability assessment as well as the farms, ranches and feedlots in the pilot project. One key to intensifying sustainability was knowledge intensification, and in order for that to happen there has to be benefits for the producer. We know you all want carcass data, that’s a simple fact, and we continue to work towards agreements that will allow that information to flow. But just as BIXS protects the producers’ privacy, until we get another signed agreement with a major packer, we cannot allow Cargill’s information into the system as their privacy would be compromised. BIXS promises privacy and anonymity to all participants,

allowing the data to flow as permitted. We are well down the negotiating path with several additional packers so stay tuned. More importantly, my comment to producers is this, “perhaps it is wise to consider that if we participate in this sustainability initiative, in years to come, we will have consumers that want to purchase and eat our product.” Per capita beef consumption dropped in Canada in 2015, but there are countries in the world where beef consumption is rising on a per capita basis. China would be one of those countries, but they are demanding verification and validation of production practices in the beef value chain. With tools like BIXS and CLTS (Canadian Livestock Traceability System), and RFID tags we have everything necessary to deliver verification and validation in the beef production chain. Wrap this up with verified sustainability practices and we have a bright future in the Canadian beef industry, with the possibility of being able to demand prices higher than those currently being paid for commodity beef on the world market.

INDUSTRY INFO, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 60 The new findings challenge the “food desert” hypothesis which indicates that a lack of access to supermarkets and groceries in some communities worsen the obesity crisis. On any given day, 88.8% of adults consume discretionary foods such as cookies, pastries, ice cream, cakes and candy. Beef Broth Popsicles A New York health food business has unleashed what its founder says is good for your health – a popsicle made out of beef broth. It is also made with coconut milk, pomegranate juice, raspberry puree and maple sugar. The treat contains one-third of a cup of beef bone broth, and the owner reports that he started drinking beef broth to accerlerate the healing process from a knee injury and it worked! Those willing to try it will have to spend $4 per pop. Kids Control Food Purchases Parents may bring home the bacon,

but children have a disproportionate sway over household grocery purchases and decisions, and food marketers know it. Survey data from market research publisher Packaged Facts, revealed that more than a quarter of parents (26%) learn about a new product through a request from their child. Kids age six and up wield considerable amounts of purchasing power, but brand loyalty is nurtured even younger. Parents’ purchases stem from these factors: brands recogniable to the children, what parents deem healthiest and foods that kids enjoy eating. Cloned Calves Grade Well West Texas A&M University researchers have announced positive results using cloning to consistently produce high-quality beef and more of it per animal. A USDA beef-grading supervisor recently examined meat

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harvested from seven steers bred from animals that were cloned using cells from rare, high-quality carcasses. One harvested calf achieved prime grade, three graded high choice and three were average choice. The industry average is low choice and less than 5% of all beef graded prime. Meat Snacks Get Healthier Meat snacks have become healthier the last couple of years. Between paleo dieters and crossfitters who espouse the benefits of a high-protein diet, gluten- and wheat-free advocating elimination of breads, meat has become the product of choice for snackers. However, a shift has also occurred in the style of meat snacks, away from traditional simple varieties of beef jerky toward more complex meat snacks that make use of such proteins as bison, kangaroo and salmon.


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BEEF NEWS

Consumer Prejudices Affect Willingness to Pay for Beef Kerry Halladay, Western Livestock Journal Managing Editor

Preconceived notions about food can drastically change a consumer’s mind. Offer a young child broccoli to eat and they might reject it. Offer that same child “little trees” and they might suddenly enjoy it. The same apparently holds true for consumers and beef. A recent study by eight Texas A&M University researchers published in the Journal of Animal Science looked at consumer’s stated desires and willingness to pay for beef based on production and eating quality attributes with and without tasting the beef. The researchers found that consumers’ stated values regarding beef don’t match up with their reactions after eating it. While consumers stated a greater willingness to pay for grass-finished beef before eating it, for example, after eating it they reported a lower willingness to pay. Researchers pointed out that producers and retailers could be hurt by this divergent consumer behavior if they are seeking to deliver products based on what consumers say they want. The Experiments The study—“The influence of taste in willingness-to-pay valuations of sirloin steaks from postextraction algal residue-fed cattle”—examined a number of factors through several experiments. In one experiment, study participants were presented with taste tests of sirloin steak from cattle finished in three different ways; grain, grass, and postextraction algal residue (PEAR.) PEAR is a byproduct of biofuel produced with algae and has been used as a novel feed ingredient for finishing cattle. All study participants in this experiment were given descriptions of the different feeding regimes, though some were given the descriptions

before the taste tests, and some afterwards. Samples were labeled with their production method. Study participants were asked to rank samples on general like/dislike, flavor, and juiciness, as well as what product they would be willing to purchase and how much they’d be willing to pay for it. Another experiment gave the same survey and production descriptions of grain-, grass-, and PEAR-finished beef as in the taste test experiment. The only difference was that these participants did not taste the beef they were being asked to rate. A third experiment asked study participants to select from a variety of combinations of beef attributes on a survey. Attributes consisted of feeding regime of the cattle (grain-, grass-, PEAR-finished), tenderness (extremely tender, tender, not tender), USDA grade (Prime, Choice, Select), origin (local, domestic, imported), growth technology used (hormones, antibiotics, no hormones and antibiotics), and price ($3/lb., $5/lb., $7/lb.). Results While the study examined a number of beef attributes and consumer perceptions and willingness to pay for those attributes, perhaps the most interesting take-away dealt with consumer willingness to pay for different production methods with and without taste tests and the results of the taste tests. In the taste tests, study participants liked the grain- and PEAR-finished beef more than the grass-finished. Flavors were rated as generally the same across the three varieties. The PEAR-finished beef was rated the juiciest and grass-finished the least juicy. Willingness to pay for PEARfinished beef changed with experience of the beef. Those non-tasting study participants reported being willing to pay a discount of $2.58/ lb. for PEARfinished beef compared to grainfinished. Those who tasted the beef

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Study finds consumers don’t know what they want until they taste it

reported being willing to pay roughly the same price for PEAR- and grainfinished beef. Plainly speaking, potential consumers judged the PEAR-finished beef negatively prior to experience with it and judged it generally equivalent to grain-finished beef after having experienced it. Conversely, potential consumers judged grass-finished beef positively prior to experience, then judged it negatively after having experienced it. Non-tasting study participants reported being willing to pay a premium of $1.98/lb. for grassfinished beef over grain-finished beef. Those who tasted the beef, however, reported being willing to pay a discount of $1.65/ lb. Experiencing grass-finished beef reduced how much study participants reported they were willing to spend by $3.63/lb. “Consumers’ preconceived notions of a value and what they place value on may change drastically when they consume the product,” the study noted. “Cattle eating algae may generate a negative initial reaction, but when a consumer tastes the product, their performed estimate of value changes. Producers and retailers may wish to be cautious about aggressive response to stated consumer preferences for products with which consumers have little experience, as the likelihood of repeat purchases may be lower than anticipated.” Tenderness Tops Tastes Other areas of focus in the study suggested this experiential change in consumer value regarding grass- and PEAR-finished beef likely lay in the relative tenderness of the different products. The grain- and PEARfinished beef had statistically equivalent tenderness levels according to Warner-Bratzler shear force scores, whereas the grass-finished beef samples were significantly less tender. Tenderness was the key attribute in continued on page 66


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MANAGEMENT

Intranasal Vaccines Provide Short Term Boost to Calves’ Immunity Leah Clark, PAg, Regional Livestock Specialist, Watrous Regional Services Branch and Dr. Nathan Erickson, MVSc, DVM, BSc, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine Agriview, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Sasaktchewan

The case for vaccinating livestock is a strong one. Vaccinations reduce disease by decreasing the number of animals spreading disease, limiting the quantity of “bugs” shed by sick calves, reducing the amount of time sick animals spread disease and increasing the amount of “bugs” needed to cause sickness in an individual animal. Until recently, injectable vaccines were the only vaccination method available to livestock producers, but intranasal vaccines are becoming increasingly popular, and are even favoured over other vaccines in certain circumstances. Intranasal vaccines are unique because they prime the nasal cavity where the initial infection takes place. While they support long-term immunity similar to injectable vaccines, they also provide a quick

local response, which can be very important in herds that have pasture pneumonia problems in calves younger than five months of age. However, while one dose of intranasal vaccine will provide good short-term immunity, it needs to be followed by an injectable booster within a few months of initial vaccination. Producers should work with their veterinarians to develop an appropriate vaccine protocol. One of the biggest advantages of intranasal vaccines is that they bypass colostrum antibodies. As producers know, it is essential for the calf to consume colostrum within 12 hours of birth. Colostrum is important for the nutrients it delivers, as well as for the transfer of immunity between the dam and calf, providing the calf with

protection from disease for the first few months of life. While colostral immunity is important for protecting the calf, the maternal antibodies undermine the vaccine’s effectiveness by interfering with the calf’s immune response. Injectable vaccines differ from intranasal vaccines in that they work through the systemic immune system, as opposed to the local immune response stimulated by intranasal vaccination. Immunity from colostrum can block the systemic response to injectable vaccines, but this effect can be partially bypassed by stimulating local immunity through intranasal vaccination. Contact your local veterinarian for more information.

PREJUDICES, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 64 terms of changes in willingness to pay between tasting and non-tasting study participants. Non-tasting participants reported their willingness to pay a premium of $3.10/lb. for “extremely tender” beef, and a discount of $4.67/lb. for “non-tender;” a spread of $7.77/lb. In those participants who tasted beef samples, the spread widened significantly. Tasting participants were willing to pay a premium of $10.65/lb. for “extremely tender” beef, but discounted “nontender” beef by $16.42/lb. “Although all respondents clearly

valued tenderness attributes, experience amplifies their importance, both positively and negatively,” the study reported. The study also noted this premium/discount spread seemed unattached to USDA grades. Nontasting participants rated their willingness to pay for all grades of beef—Prime through Select—as roughly the same. The tasting participants did give some premium to Prime and some discount to Select relative to Choice,

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Charolais Connection • February 2017

but the spread was dwarfed by that of tenderness. “Therefore, indications about the level of tenderness and juiciness may be more effective than listing the quality grade of the meat, even though they are intended to convey the same information,” the study recommended. It additionally speculated that companies may be able to capture more of a premium if they utilize marketing terms consumers know and value, such as “guaranteed tender.”


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MANAGEMENT

Castrating Male Cattle – Banding Versus Cutting Heather Smith Thomas

There are several ways to castrate calves and bulls. Regardless of method, it’s generally less stressful for the animal at a young age. Dr. Randall Raymond, Director of Research and Veterinary Services at Simplot Livestock, says castration is necessary in the beef industry for animal performance, animal health and safety, and human safety. “In our operation we castrate calves as young as we have access to them. All male calves not intended for breeding stock (if not castrated at birth) should be castrated at branding age when they are receiving respiratory and clostridial vaccines,” says Raymond. Knife Castration “This is the most common method. A sharp pocket knife and a very young calf are generally the least stressful combination. Technique and sanitation are important, but using a sharp knife to remove a small testicle, pulling on the spermatic cord and scraping those blood vessels with the knife (to reduce bleeding) creates minimal stress.” This is quick, very sanitary, and the calves heal quickly. “A sharp knife is an instrument all cattle producers have in their pocket, so this doesn’t require extra equipment. With proper sanitation it can be very appropriate. In young calves this is my preferred method,” says Raymond. Banding “In very young calves another option is to use small elastrator bands, often called cheerios. Those can work well, but there are some challenges and drawbacks. A person must be careful to make sure both testicles are included. The band must be placed above both testicles, around the spermatic cords. It is important that no other tissue is trapped in the elastrator band,” he says. “There is some experience needed, to use these effectively and safely. The

tight band cuts off blood supply to the testicles and eventually the scrotum/testicles atrophy and fall off. There is some risk of entrapping extra tissue in the band, strangulating that tissue. It may be some fat, or worst case scenario a piece of intestine that falls down through the inguinal ring,” says Raymond. “In young calves with the small cheerios there is less risk because the testicles are small; there is not a lot of extra tissue. But people performing this procedure need to be aware of the risks.” If the calf is in pain afterward, or lies around a lot (for a longer time than you’d expect), you need to check. It is not uncommon for one testicle to be missed unless you diligently check to make sure they are both still there after applying the band. “If one is missed, the scrotum is shortened and often the testicle is pushed up into the inguinal ring or up into the body cavity. Then it becomes more difficult later for the person who tries to find and remove it.” A clue that there might be a testicle remaining would be behavior (the calf acting like

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a bull rather than a steer), and bulltype appearance and muscle formation. “It can be hard to identify the cause, and may be more technical to remove the remaining testicle. For those reasons, banding is a less preferred method, but done correctly it can be effective. The advantage to banding is that there is no open wound or any bleeding. In situations where there are a lot of flies, or poor sanitation/dirty pen conditions, banding may be preferable to cutting,” says Raymond. Dr. Mark Hilton, Clinical Professor, Beef Production Medicine, Purdue University, tells clients there are generally no problems with using rubber bands on young calves, preferably less than 3 days of age—if you make sure you have both testicles. “As a veterinarian, I have castrated hundreds of calves that had either one or both testicles retained. It’s no fun, for the veterinarian or for the calf, because of all the scar tissue; it’s a tough surgical procedure to castrate the older calf with retained testicle(s),” says Hilton. continued on page 70


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CASTRATING, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 68 “But if done correctly, rubber bands on baby calves is an acceptable method. The research shows there is no difference in how the calves respond compared to cutting them, if bands are put on early. It’s also easiest for the person doing it when the calves are small; calves are much easier to catch and handle at a day or two of age, compared to when they are a little older,” he says. “After a week of age, I suggest using the knife. The band on these older calves causes a long-term painful experience. With a knife, the pain is very temporary. With a band, additional discomfort may occur a couple weeks later when the band cuts through the skin, especially if there is some festering and infection around the area of the band.” Using Emasculators with Knife Castration On larger calves cut with a knife, some producers use an emasculator to crush the cord when testicles are removed. “When there are larger blood vessels and more blood supply to the testicles there is more risk for bleeding. The advantage to using this method with larger calves is that it is quick and effective, and can help control blood flow,” Raymond says. “The downside of using emasculators on larger calves is that you have an open wound, so environmental conditions can be a factor if there are flies or the calves are confined in a pen that might be muddy/dirty,” says Raymond. Restraint is important. “You need good access to the cord of the testicle without putting your hand/arm at risk. The calf should be stretched out on the ground with ropes on front and hind legs, or in a chute where you can work without risk of being kicked. The emasculator is bulky and needs to be held for a moment on the cord to make sure it is crushed properly. Thus adequate restraint of the calf is crucial for safety of the person doing the work,” he explains. Newberry Knife This tool can be used on larger calves. “It’s a combination of knife and

pliers, designed to split the side of the scrotum (both sides simultaneously). This allows access to the testicle very rapidly, exposing a lot of the testicle and spermatic cord. The advantage of this is speed. The opening created provides good drainage, which is important on larger calves,” says Raymond. “The disadvantage is that to do a good job the operator needs to be very familiar with the tool and there’s a bit of a learning curve to get to where you can use it properly. It needs to be sharp so the procedure can be done quickly and effectively without tearing the wall of the scrotum and causing undue pain. I recommend this tool when castrating calves in the 400-600 pound range, like light calves sent to the feedyard that need to be castrated upon arrival,” he says. Banding Large Calves “There are several types of tools and methods for banding large calves. All of them work reasonably well. The advantage to those systems on larger calves in a feedlot situation is that you don’t create an open wound if conditions are muddy and dirty or there are lots of flies,” Raymond says. There are several challenges when banding older calves. “Cattle are vulnerable to tetanus, and you create an area of the body where there is no blood supply, which tetanus really loves. It is critical that the animals receive a tetanus shot. This is even a good recommendation when using an elastrator band on small calves. We don’t see tetanus as often in that age group (compared with large calves) but it is still a risk,” he says. “The other challenges with banding tools are making sure that both testicles are in the scrotum, and making sure the band is tight enough. It is very crucial that the tension be tight enough to completely block off blood supply, but not so tight that the band breaks or causes damage above the area that needs to fall off,” he explains. There is some risk if the band breaks or is not tight enough; there will not be complete loss of blood supply to the testicle and this

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can cause problems. “Another challenge with this method is that large testicles will swell and become very big. One of the tricks to making this work is to make two small incisions (after we put the band on) at the bottom of the scrotum—one over each testicle. This allows fluids to drain and facilitates atrophy and shrinking of the testicles. In some extreme cases we may have to restrain the calf again and open those drainage ports two or three days later. In cases where testicles are very large, once they start to dry up we will surgically remove the scrotum and testicles, just below the band,” Raymond says. Once this dead tissue is removed, the area heals more quickly, with less potential for additional problems. “There is a drain on the immune system with that tissue as it dies – if it stays there too long when the body is trying to get rid of it. It helps to remove this necrotic tissue,” he explains. “If banding is done correctly, and the blood supply is completely eliminated, this can be a fast, effective and clean method to castrate big calves. We’ve done some work looking at the effects on these calves, such as the time it takes for them to get back on feed, versus cutting them and using an emasculator. The two groups had very similar results, for time back on feed,” says Raymond. “Five years ago I would have said that the banding causes a more sustained pain in these big calves and that they feel that procedure longer than when castrated with a sharp knife. More recent data suggests that this is probably not the case. Once the blood (and nerve) supply to the scrotum and testicles is eliminated, nerve function is compromised and the pain sensation in that area is also gone. The feed intake work that has been done tends to support this conclusion. In our hands, the time back to full feed is similar for both methods if they are done correctly,” says Raymond. The advantages to banding are that it is clean and there are no open


wounds, with less risk for hemorrhage. The disadvantage, with large testicles, is that some additional management may be necessary, for drainage and removing the necrotic tissue if it doesn’t fall off in a timely manner. Comparing Methods “Even though banding is simple, quick and bloodless for baby calves, personally I would rather cut them,” says Daryl Meyer, a practicing veterinarian in North Platte, Nebraska. “I think the discomfort that a calf endures is less, and for a shorter length of time when castrated surgically than when banded.” There is some discomfort and irritation from the band until the dead tissue of the scrotum dries up and falls off and the raw area heals. “When an animal is uncomfortable, it is not gaining weight optimally. The whole goal is to put pounds on as efficiently as possible. The fewer days of discomfort, the better,” Meyer says. Banding may be easier for some people, and they feel it is safer because there’s no bleeding and possibly less risk for infection, but it also must be done correctly or there are additional risks. If the band is not completely above the testicles and catches part of one, this creates on-going pain for the calf and a serious health risk. If you only get one (and the other testicle is above the band) the animal ends up with bull characteristics.

“The banders used on larger calves are effective. The one I used for a while did the job, but I just felt that the cattle were uncomfortable for a longer period of time. The nice thing about cutting them is that you know for sure that you got both testicles. When cutting them young, there is also less risk for serious bleeding than when they are bigger,” Meyer says. Importance of Proper Technique and Cleanliness “Sanitation is always important—no matter which method you use,” says Raymond. “Making sure the site (scrotum and surrounding area) is clean, the calf’s environment is clean, making sure your tools are clean and in good working order are all crucial for success. The pen or environmental conditions are a factor when choosing methods. Ideally the calves will have open space afterward; it’s hard to beat a nice green pasture. Flies and other environmental factors should be considered,” he says. “Many people don’t think about tetanus, but any time there is tissue that has a lack of blood supply, tetanus is a risk. Tetanus vaccine can be part of a combination clostridial vaccine, or given separately. Anybody banding calves--where there is loss of blood supply to the testicles and not removing the tissue should give tetanus vaccine,” says Raymond. “It is very important to keep

everything clean when cutting calves,” says Meyer. “I recommend keeping your equipment in a bucket of water with disinfectant such as chlorhexadine. This disinfectant has the broadest spectrum of activity (against a wide variety of pathogens) and is also nonirritating to tissues. You also want to make sure the scrotum is clean. Use clean equipment, and then follow up with a disinfectant spray. If it’s a time of year when there are flies, use a flyrepellent product as well,” says Meyer. “If it’s a larger, older animal, I recommend giving long-acting broadspectrum antibiotics, such as longacting penicillin or tetracycline to provide at least 48 hours of antibiotic protection. If the animals are in a drylot type environment (rather clean grassy pasture where they have room to move freely) they should be monitored, and moved around. Just like gelding a horse, these animals need to move around to help minimize swelling and complications. If they are in a corral without a lot of room, it helps to move them around every day, or open the alley gate and let them go out in the alleyway and get some exercise.” Baby calves out on pasture with their mothers get plenty of exercise, but older animals in a feedlot situation need to be moved around. This will help reduce the soreness and swelling.

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MANAGEMENT

Are Your Cattle Protected Against Tetanus? Betty Althouse, DVM, Chief Veterinary Officer, Livestock Branch for Agriview, SK Department of Agriculture

Tetanus-causing bacteria reside in the soil and can enter wounds or skin openings. In oxygen-deprived tissues such as injection sites, infected wounds or dead tissue, the bacteria, Clostridium tetani, multiply and produce a toxin, which attacks nerves, leading to signs like difficulty opening the mouth (lockjaw) and rigid limbs (sawhorse stance), and to animals lying flat on their sides, unable to rise. Early signs, which mostly affect the head, can be subtle. Increased jaw tone and neck stiffness can easily be missed. The head and neck can become rigidly extended, followed by the limbs and finally an elevated tail. Animals lying on their sides may get up when urged, but then show an awkward, bunny-hopping gait. Eventually, respiratory muscle paralysis leads to death. The disease can progress so quickly that the first thing a producer might notice is a dead animal.

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Usually, tetanus only affects individual animals, but groups can also be affected. There have been reports recently of tetanus occurring in calves three to four weeks after castration. The dead tissue left after banding the calves can provide the perfect environment in which the tetanus bacteria can grow. Fortunately, there is an effective vaccine to prevent tetanus, although some of the combined Clostridial vaccines being used do not contain tetanus protection. Producers may assume that if they have used a Clostridial vaccine, their animals are protected. The eight-way Clostridial vaccines will usually include tetanus protection, but many combination vaccines do not. Producers should check vaccine labels to ensure the Clostridium tetani toxoid is included, especially if bull calves are being vaccinated. The vaccine should be administered

before, or at least at the time of, castration. There is a tetanus antitoxin available to assist in treatment of early cases, and the tetanus bacteria itself, is generally quite sensitive to antibiotic treatment. However, once advanced clinical signs of tetanus occur, treatment can be difficult or impossible. Nerves are damaged by the toxin and nerves are very slow to grow and recover. As with most diseases, prevention is best, and awareness and early detection can increase treatment success and reduce losses. Producers should review their current herd vaccination schedules with their veterinarians. Funding is available to producers who have taken the Beef Biuosecurity training to offset the veterinary costs of developing herd health plans.

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CANADIAN CHAROLAIS YOUTH ASSOCIATION NEWS

Buy and Show Program Tomina Jackson, Secretary

I hope this article finds everyone in good spirits after a happy holiday season. As you may know, the CCYA National Board meets annually after the holidays for our annual winter meeting. During this year’s meeting, the board reviewed the various programs CCYA provides to its youth members. The beginning of the New Year provides excellent opportunity to reintroduce the Buy and Show Program. This program is a unique opportunity for youth interested in purebred and commercial animals alike. Have you CCYA NATIONAL BOARD charolaisyouth@gmail.com President: Shae-Lynn Evans evans32s@uregina.ca Vice-President: Wyatt Ching w.ching476@gmail.com Treasurer: Courtney Black cblack04@mail.uoguelph.ca Secretary: Tomina Jackson tomina.jackson@gmail.com

or do you know a youth member who has purchased a Charolais or Charcross heifer or steer? If yes, I encourage you to look into the Buy and Show program offered by CCYA. To apply for the Buy and Show Program, youth must first purchase a CCYA membership. You may apply for a CCYA membership by going to the CCYA website: youth.charolais.com and selecting Membership 2017. Having this membership allows youth members to participate in the Buy and Show and incidentally have additional perks including other programs and a semi-annual newsletter. Once a CCYA member, youth can Director: Aidan Jamieson awjamieson@gmail.com Director: Megan McLeod rmegan.mcleod@usask.ca Director: Shelby Evans sle379@mail.usask.ca Director: Keegan Blehm keegb34@yahoo.ca 2016 CCYA Conference & Show Executive President: Courtney Black cblack04@mail.uoguelph.ca

Charolais Connection • February 2017

apply for the Buy and Show program. The application for this program can also be found on the CCYA website under “CCYA Programs.” An applicant of this amazing program will receive $50 for purchasing a Charolais or Char-cross heifer or steer. If the applicant shows the animal, an additional $50 will be awarded. An additional $25 will be given to the applicant if they choose to show the animal at the CCYA Conference and Show. The National Board looks forward to reading your applications this year! Happy New Year and my best wishes for a happy calving season. Secretary: Tayler Aldcorn Treasurer: Sarah Wyville CCYA Provincial Advisors SK: Suzanne Smyth | suzannetylersmyth@gmail.com ON: Billie-Jo Saunders | dbjsaunders@gmail.com MB: Donna Jackson | Jackson7@mymts.net AB: Kasey Phillips | kphillips@mcsnet.ca Youth Coordinator: Kirstin Sparrow kp.sparrow@hotmail.com

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IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES IN OUR INDUSTRY

Calendar of Events February 1 Moose Creek Red Angus & Charolais Two-Year Old Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Kisbey, SK

February 22 McLeod Livestock & Kay-R Land & Livestock Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Olds (AB) Cow Palace

February 4 Hill 70 Quantock “Barn Burnin'” Bull Sale, 12:00 noon, at the ranch, Lloydminster, AB

February 22 Saddleridge Charolais with Kaiser Cattle Co. Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Bow Slope Shipping, Brooks, AB

February 11 Myhre Land & Cattle Co. Bull Sale (Denbie Ranch & Guests) Ste. Rose du Lac, MB

February 24 Maple Leaf Charolais 13th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Ponoka (AB) Ag Events Centre

February 16 Wilkie Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Stettler (AB) Auction Mart

February 24 HEJ Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Innisfail (AB) Auction Mart

February 18 P & H Ranching 5th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Innisfail (AB) Auction Mart

February 25 Quebec Select Bull Sale, Ferme A.R.F. Champagne, St-Sylvestre, QC

February 20 Tip the Scale Angus & Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Vikse Family Farm, Donalda, AB

February 25 SanDan Charolais/Springside Farms 20th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Erskine, AB

February 21 Rawe Ranches 34th Annual Performance Tested Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the ranch, Strome, AB

February 26 Pro-Char and Guests 6th Annual Bull Sale, at the farm, Glenevis, AB

February 22 Beck Farms & McCoy Cattle Co. Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., at the farm, Milestone, SK

March 3 36th Annual Select Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Innisfail (AB) Auction Mart March 4 Ferme Louber Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Ste-Marie de Beauce, QC Charolais Connection • February 2017

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March 4 High Country Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Pincher Creek (AB) Ag Grounds

March 10 A. Sparrow Farms Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., on the farm, Vanscoy, SK

March 4 Wrangler Made 5th Annual Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., at the farm, Westlock, AB

March 10 Footprint Farms Charolais Power Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Dryland Cattle Trading Corp, Veteran, AB

March 4 Chomiak Charolais Bull & Female Sale, 1:00 p.m., Viking (AB) Auction Market March 5-6 98th Pride of the Prairies Bull Show & Sale, Lloydminster (SK) Exhibition Grounds March 6 Coyote Flats Charolais 2nd Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Coaldale, AB March 7 RRTS Charolais Bull Sale, 12:30 p.m., BC Livestock Co-op, Kamloops, BC March 7 Built Right Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Provost (AB) Livestock Exchange March 9 Buffalo Lake Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Stettler (AB) Auction Mart

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March 11 Northern Impact IV Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., North Central Livestock Exchange, Clyde, AB March 12 Steppler Farms 6th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Steppler Sale Barn, Miami, MB

March 10 13th Annual Northern Classic Bull Sale, Grand Prairie, AB

March 13 Palmer Charolais 6th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., at the farm, Bladworth, SK

March 10 Neilson Cattle Co. 27th Annual Bull Sale, at the farm, Willowbrook, SK

March 14 6th Annual McTavish and Guest Charolais & Red Angus Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Moosomin, SK

March 10 Three Choice Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Balog Auction, Lethbridge, AB March 11 Horseshoe E Charolais Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw, SK March 11 Benchmark Charolais Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., Renfrew Pontiac Livestock Facility, Cobden, ON March 11 Source For Success Bull Sale, Elmlodge Herefords, Indian River, ON Charolais Connection • February 2017

March 14 Harvie Ranching Bull Sale, at the ranch, Olds, AB March 16 McKeary Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Bow Slope Shipping, Brooks, AB March 17 Family Tradition Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., at Rolling D Charolais, Dropmore, MB March 17 Reese Cattle Co. Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Innisfail (AB) Auction Mart


March 17 Thistle Ridge Ranch Bull Sale, Taber (AB) Agriplex March 18 Pleasant Dawn Charolais 15th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB March 18 Rollin’ Acres/Patton/Whiskey Hollow & Guests 7th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Maple Hill Auctions, Hanover, ON March 18 Ferme Palerme Charolais Bull Sale, Vinoy Test Station, 1:00 p.m., at Ferme Gagnon, Cheneville, QC March 18 Select Genetics Bull Sale, at Forsyth Angus, Herbert, SK March 18 Canada’s Red, White & Black Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw, SK March 18 North Central Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., North Central Livestock Exchange, Clyde, AB

March 20 North West Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Kramer’s Big Bid Barn, North Battleford, SK March 20 Grassroots Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Dryland Trading Corp., Veteran, AB March 21 15th Annual Diamond W Charolais, Red & Black Angus Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Minitonas, MB March 21 Gilliland Bros. Charolais Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., at the farm, Carievale, SK March 22 HTA Charolais & Guest Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB March 23 Elder Charolais 7th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Coronach, SK March 24 Alameda Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Alameda (SK) Auction Mart March 24 Seven Quarter Circle Charolais and Charmil Ranching Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Williams Lake (BC) Stockyards Charolais Connection • February 2017

March 25 High Point Charolais Bull Sale, 6:00 p.m., at Sunrise Charolais, Stayner, ON March 25 Impact Angus & Charolais Bull & Female Sale, 1:00 p.m., Saskatoon (SK) Livestock Sales March 25 K-Cow Ranch Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., at the ranch, Elk Point, AB March 25 PIC Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Carson Sales Arena, Listowel, ON March 25 Borderland Cattle Company Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., at the ranch, Rockglen, SK March 25 Transcon’s Mountainview Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Innisfail (AB) Auction Mart March 25 Tee M Jay Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Ashern (MB) Auction Mart March 25 Cornerview Charolais Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., Renfrew Pontiac Livestock Facility, Cobden,

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March 25 Lazy S Cattle Co. Limousin & Charolais Bull Sale, 6:00 p.m., VJV Auction Mart, Rimbey, AB

April 1 Vermilion Charolais Group 30th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Nilsson Bros. Livestock Exchange, Vermilion, AB

April 3 Martens Cattle Co/Four Bar X Ranch Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Spiritwood (SK) Stockyards

March 26 Best of the Breeds Bull sale, 2:00 p.m., Heartland Livestock, Yorkton, SK

April 1 Maritime Bull Test Station Sale, at the test station, Nappan, NS

April 3 Lazy S Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., VJV Auction Mart, Beaverlodge, AB

March 26 Candiac Choice Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Candiac (SK) Auction Mart

April 1 Saunders Charolais 12th Annual Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Keady (ON) Livestock Market

April 4 Cedarlea Farms at Git ‘R Done Bull Sale, at Windy Willows, Hodgeville, SK

April 1 JTA Diamond Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Courval, SK

April 5 White Cap/Rosso Charolais & Howe Red Angus Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at White Cap Charolais, Moose Jaw, SK

March 27 Allanville Farms Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Tisdale, SK March 28 Prairie Distinction Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Beautiful Plains Ag Complex, Neepawa, MB March 28 Poplar Bluff Stock Farm & Twin Anchor Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Dryland Trading Corp., Veteran, AB April 1 TRI-N Charolais Farms & Guests Bull Sale, 2 p.m.,Heartland Livestock,Virden, MB 84

April 1 Transcon’s 21st Annual Advantage Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Saskatoon (SK) Livestock Sales April 1 Acadia Ranching Charolais & Black Angus Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Bow Slope Shipping Association, Brooks, AB April 3 14th Annual North of the 49th Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at Wilgenbusch Charolais, Halbrite, SK Charolais Connection • February 2017

April 5 Chopper K Red Angus & Campbell Charolais Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Alameda (SK) Auction Mart April 6 Hunter Charolais 5th Annual Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Roblin, MB April 8 Vanderhoof (BC) Bull Sale


April 8 Eastern Select Bull & Female Sale, 1:00 p.m., Hoards Station Sale Barn, Campbellford, ON

April 15 Cedardale Charolais 14th Annual Bull & Select Female Sale, 1:00 p.m., at the farm, Nestleton, ON

April 8 Wilkenridge & Guest Walking Plow Charolais Bull Sale, 1:00 p.m., Ridgeville (MB) Hall

April 15 Lindskov-Thiel Bull Sale, at the ranch, Isabel, SD

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June 9 & 10 Canadian Charolais Association Annual General Meeting, Saskatoon (SK) Inn

April 11 Top Cut Bull Sale, 2:00 p.m., Stockman’s Weigh Co., Mankota, SK April 13 Sliding Hill Charolais Bull Sale, 1:30 at the farm, Canora, SK

July 28 & 29 Saskatchewan Charolais Association Annual General Meeting & Pen Show, Moose Jaw, SK

April 15 Brimner Cattle Co. at Cornerstone Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m., Wawota (SK) Auction Mart

August 2-6 Canadian Charolais Youth Association Conference and Show, Barrie, ON

Charolais Connection • February 2017

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Advertisers Index Amabec Charolais ..........................................78 Annuroc Charolais .........................................78 B Bar D Charolais ...........................................78 Baker Farms....................................................78 Bar H Charolais ..............................................79 Bar Punch Ranch ............................................76 Beck Farms ...........................................28,29,79 BeRich Farms.................................................76 Big Johnson Charolais ...................................59 Blackbern Charolais ..................................41,78 BoJan Enterprises .........................................79 Borderland Cattle Co.....................................79 BovaTech Ltd.................................................75 Bow Valley Genetics Ltd. ...............................75 Bricney Stock Farms .......................................79 Bridor Charolais ........................................63,78 Brimner Cattle Company...............................79 Buffalo Lake Charolais ............................57,76 By Livestock .........6,7,9,16,3235,42,47,83,OBC C M Cattle Co. ................................................53 Canadian Simmental Association .................69 Carey, Brent....................................................75 Cattle Creek Ranching...................................67 Cedardale Charolais.......................................78 Cedarlea Farms ...........................................7,80 Charla Moore Farms .................................35,80 CharMaine Ranching....................................76 Charolais Journal ...........................................75 Charworth Charolais Farms......................15,76 Chomiak Charolais ...................................48,76 Circle Cee Charolais Farms .......................61,76 Circle G Simmentals & Angus........................19 Cline Cattle Co. ..............................................77 Cockburn Farms .............................................78 Cougar Hill Ranch ..........................................80 Coyote Flats Charolais ..............................47,76 Creek's Edge Land & Cattle Co. ...............11,80 C2 Charolais ..............................................56,77 DavisRairdan .................................................75 Defoort Stock Farm .......................................77 Demarah Farms..............................................80 Diamond W Charolais...............................80,83 Dorran, Ryan ..................................................75 Double L Ranch..............................................76 Double P Stock Farms ....................................77 Dubuc Charolais.............................................79 DudgeonSnobelen Land & Cattle................78 Eaton Charolais..............................................81 Echo Spring Charolais....................................63 Edge, Dean.....................................................75 Elder Charolais Farms .................................9,80 Ericson Livestock Services ..............................75 Ferme Louber.................................................40 Ferme Palerme ...............................................79 Fischer Charolais ............................................76 Flat Valley Cattle Co. .....................................76 Fleury, Michael...............................................75 Flewelling, Craig ............................................75 Foat Valley Stock Farm ..................................76

Footprint Farms .......................................49,76 Future Farms .............................................15,76 Gerrard Cattle Co...........................................76 Gilliland Bros. Charolais ................................80 Good Anchor Charolais .................................76 H.S. Knill Company Ltd..................................75 Happy Haven Charolais .................................77 Harcourt Charolais.........................................80 Hard Rock Land & Cattle Co..........................78 Harvie Ranching ............................................76 HEJ Charolais ............................................43,76 Hicks Charolais ...............................................78 High Bluff Stock Farm ................................5,78 Holk Charolais................................................76 Hopewell Charolais........................................80 Horseshoe E Charolais ..............................45,80 HTA Charolais Farm ...................................3,78 Hunter Charolais ....................................78,IBC Jakes Butte Charolais.....................................25 JMB Charolais ................................................78 Johnson Charolais................................30,31,76 Johnstone Auction.........................................75 Kaiser Cattle Co. ............................................55 Kaiser Charolais Farm ....................................76 Kanewischer, Jerry .........................................75 KayR Land & Cattle Ltd. ..........................23,76 KCH Charolais ................................................77 Kirlene Cattle ............................................41,78 La Ferme Patry de Weedon ...........................79 Land O' Lakes Charolais ................................78 Langstaff Charolais........................................79 Laurel Creek Ranch........................................80 LDV Farms ......................................................56 Leemar Charolais ...........................................77 LEJ Charolais ..................................................78 LindskovThiel Charolais Ranch ....................81 M & L Cattle Co..............................................79 Mack's Charolais ............................................79 Maple Leaf Charolais................................42,77 Maple Leaf Ranch ..........................................42 Martens Cattle Co..........................................80 Martens Charolais..........................................78 McAvoy Charolais Farm.................................80 McKay Charolais ............................................78 McKeary Charolais .........................................77 McLeod Livestock......................................23,75 McTavish Farms ....................................34,35,80 Medonte Charolais ........................................79 Miller Land & Livestock .................................79 Murphy Livestock...........................................77 Mutrie Farms..................................................80 Myhre Land and Cattle..................................78 Nahachewsky Charolais.................................80 Nielson Land & Cattle Co. .............................16 Norheim Ranching.........................................75 P & H Ranching Co....................................19,77 Packer Charolais.............................................79 Palmer Charolais .......................................16,80 Parklane Charolais .........................................77

86

Charolais Connection • February 2017

Patton Charolais .......................................53,79 Phillips Farms .................................................80 Pine Bluff Charolais .......................................85 Pleasant Dawn Charolais............................6,78 Potter Charolais .............................................79 Prairie Cove Consulting .................................75 Prairie Gold Charolais....................................80 ProChar Charolais ...............................30,31,77 Qualman Charolais .......................................80 Raffan, Don....................................................75 Rawes Ranches..........................................21,77 Rebuild with Steel .........................................75 Reeleder, Andrew ..........................................75 Reese Cattle Company...................................84 Reykdal Farms Charolais................................78 Rollin' Acres Charolais ..............................53,79 Ross Lake Charolais........................................42 Rosso Charolais ..............................................80 Royale Charolais ............................................79 RRTS Charolais ...............................................77 Saddleridge Farming Co...........................55,77 Samtia Angus .................................................67 SanDan Charolais Farms ...........................13,77 Saunders Charolais ........................................79 Scarth Cattle Co. ............................................78 Serhienko/Voegeli Cattle Co. ........................80 Sharodon Farms .............................................79 Skeels, Danny .................................................75 Sliding Hills Charolais ....................................80 Southview Farms............................................79 A. Sparrow Farms..........................................IFC Springside Farms.......................................13,77 Spruceview Charolais................................65,77 Stephen Charolais Farm ................................80 Steppler Farms Ltd. .............................32,33,78 Stock, Mark ....................................................75 Stockmen's Insurance ....................................76 Sugarloaf Charolais .......................................77 Sunrise Charolais.......................................63,79 T Bar C Cattle Co...................13,28,29,43,76,81 Temple Farms .................................................80 Thistle Ridge Ranch .......................................77 Transcon Livestock Corp. ...............................76 TriN Charolais................................................78 Turnbull Charolais.....................................51,77 Valanjou Charolais.........................................65 Vikse Family Farm ..........................................27 Wendt & Murray Farms Ltd...........................82 Western Litho ................................................76 Whiskey Hollow Cattle Company ............53,79 White Cap Charolais ......................................80 White Lake Colony ........................................67 WhiteWater Livestock ..............................41,79 Wilgenbusch Charolais..........................81,OBC Wilkie Charolais .............................................25 Wilkie Ranch .............................................25,77 Wood River Charolais ...................................81 Wrangler Charolais...................................46,77


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