Beef Business January 2022

Page 1

Beef Business ‘

Saskatchewan’s largest circulated industry magazine Saskatchewan`s Premiere Cattlecattle Industry Publication Saskatchewan's Premier Cattle Industry Publication January 2022

NUTRITION EDITION A Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Publication Publication Mail Agreement #40011906

Working for Producers

53rd Annual


at the ranch Mayerthorpe, AB

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Contents A Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) Publication


Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation Forage Program: Year in Review


SSGA’s Sixth Annual Beef Drive


Western Canada Feedlot Management School


Trespass Act Changes Are Now in Effect


U.S. Corn on the Move: CP Rail


Canada Beef to Launch Canadian Beef Information Gateway

Managing Editor: Kori Maki-Adair Tel: 403-680-5239 Email: Agri-business Advertising Sales: Carla Dwernichuk Tel: 306-269-7176 Email:


Retail Meat Price Survey


Weekly Market Charts

Livestock Advertising Sales: Gordon Stephenson Tel: 403-968-3730 Email:


Despite U.S. Growth, the Odds Are Stacked Against Packing Expansion in Western Canada


2021’s Year-End Interview with the Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture


Starting 2022 with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food


Liquid Gold – The Importance of Colostrum at Calving


Dealing with Copper Deficiency When Sulphates Are High


Maximizing Conception Rates is Beef Business


Active Missing Livestock Files


Livestock Services of Saskatchewan: Planning the Year Ahead

Prairie Conservation Action Plan (PCAP) Manager: Carolyn Gaudet Box 4752, Evraz Place, Regina, SK S4P 3Y4 Tel: 306-352-0472 Fax: 306-569-8799 Email: SSGA reserves the right to refuse advertising and edit manuscripts. Contents of Beef Business may be reproduced with written permission obtained from SSGA's General Manager, and with proper credit given to Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association. Articles submitted may not be the opinion of SSGA. SSGA assumes no responsibility for any actions or decisions taken by any reader from this publication based on any and all information provided.



Director Profile: Rob O'Connor

Publications Mail Agreement #40011906 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses (covers only) to: Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Box 4752, Evraz Place, Regina, SK S4P 3Y4


E-Valuation of Term Conservation Easements


Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop


Carbon Sequestration 101: The Value of Native Prairie for Carbon Storage




Advertiser Index


Business Directory

Cover photo courtesy of Dwane Morvik, Eastend, SK

Contributors cycle This M a


Ple as


zin ga


This magazine is printed on paper that is comprised of 50% recycled paper and 25% post-consumer waste. It is acid-free, elemental chlorine-free and is FSC certified

Follow us on: JANUARY 2022

Subscriptions Box 4752, Evraz Place, Regina, SK S4P 3Y4 Tel: 306-757-8523 Fax: 306-569-8799 Email: Subscription Rate: One year $26.50 (GST included) Published five times per year Design and Layout: Jackson Designs | Candace Schwartz Tel: 306-772-0376 Email:



General Manager: Chad MacPherson Box 4752, Evraz Place, Regina, SK S4P 3Y4 Tel: 306-757-8523 Fax: 306-569-8799 Email: Website:

Dr. John Campbell Kelcy Elford Carolyn Gaudet Jeff Gaye Chad MacPherson Kori Maki-Adair Kim McLean

Tara Mulhern Davidson Jason Pollock Gina Teel Leanne Thompson Natasha Wilkie Rikki Wilson Garth Woods

@SK_StockGrowers | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 5

INDUSTRY NEWS Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation Forage Program: Year in Review Kim McLean, PhD, PAg, Research Analyst, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation In 2021, Saskatchewan livestock and forage producers experienced a challenging growing season. Many producers spent the summer salvaging available feed and trying to secure feed for the winter. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) managed a historically high claim year. SCIC’s Crop Insurance Program remains an actuarially sound program, with strong funding supplemented by provincial and federal dollars. In 2014, SCIC formed an industry working group with members from various industry organizations and continuously consults with this group. This working group advises on enhancements, which guide SCIC to develop a stronger, more effective Crop Insurance Forage Program. In recent years, participation in this program has increased, confirming the Forage Program resonates with Saskatchewan forage producers. Yield-loss coverage is available on tame hay, clover and greenfeed (grown for feed). A claim is triggered when there is a shortfall between the yield guarantee and the actual forage production for the year. The insured yield is based on the producer’s long-term individual forage production. With individual coverage, each farm’s forage insurance reflects the conditions on their farm

and the management of their forage acres. Producers can update their forage production information annually to keep their coverage current. Every March, producers are encouraged to review their Crop Insurance coverage, including price options. The Base Price Option is the forecasted price based on a province-wide survey prepared by Saskatchewan Forage Council. Producers have the option to select enhanced features, including the Variable Price Option or the In-Season Price Option. These price options are designed to represent the replacement cost of feed more accurately. Variable Price Option claims are finalized on a price determined through a survey in September. In-Season Price Option uses average pricing from September through February to finalize claims. Producers should be aware these price options command a slightly higher premium and there is potential the final price may decrease but is limited to 50 per cent of base price (Table 1). Forage and pastureland production depends upon timely precipitation. The Forage Rainfall Insurance Program is available for native and tame grazing acres as well as tame hay acres. This

2021 VPO $/Tonne

2021 Base Price $/Tonne

VPO as % of 2021 Base Price
























Table 1. 2021 Variable Price Option compared to 2021 Base Price Coverage: A comparison between Base Price and Variable Price Option pricing. The data captured is from this past fall, where there was an average price increase of 86 per cent across forage crops.



Program requires producers to select insurance derived off one of 186 weather stations across the province. It relies solely on the amount of rainfall at these stations, monthly comparing it to a long-term normal. If the rainfall falls below 80 per cent of normal, a claim is triggered; the insured coverage is paid incrementally, with a total payout occurring at 40 per cent of normal. Producers are encouraged to evaluate the weather stations available to the insured land and review the historical rainfall normals of the closest stations. To mitigate risk, producers may want to select more than one station or insurance option for their forage land. 2021 Forage Rainfall Insurance Program Statistics

• Comparing 2020 to 2021, total

participation increased from 2.33 to 3.15 million acres.

o This included approximately

145,000 acres of tame hay, a newly added forage crop for the 2021 Program year.

• SCIC paid more than $50 million in claims to producers, a record for the Program.

• Approximately 1,750 customers participated with an average of 1,800 acres insured, costing approximately $3,900.

• Ninety per cent of the stations, with insurance selected, paid on at least one weighting option.

• Eighty-six per cent of customers

received a payment, ranging from $40 to more than $740,000.

• The average payment was approximately $34,000.

continued on page 8



Davidson Gelbvieh Lonesome Dove Ranch

33rd Annual

BULL SALE FRIDAY, MARCH 4th, 2022 1:00 pm CST


at the ranch, Ponteix, Saskatchewan, Canada Select from a large number of PERFORMANCE or CALVING EASE BULLS SEMEN-TESTED


Vernon and Eileen Davidson Box 681, Ponteix, SK S0N 1Z0 Phone 306-625-3755 Cell 306-625-7863 Cell 306-625-7864


Find VIDEOS, CATALOG & PERFORMANCE DATA at and Call to request a Catalog!


Ross and Tara Davidson Ash, Cameron, Jaime, Flynn Box 147, Ponteix, SK S0N 1Z0 Phone 306-625-3513 Ross 306-625-7045 Tara 306-625-7345

We would be pleased to walk you through the bull pen before the sale, call us anytime!

INDUSTRY NEWS SCIC cont. from pg. 6

• The average premium cost for producers based

on the coverage chosen was $2.08/acre and the average payment was $18.80/acre.

The Forage Rainfall Insurance Program also includes year-round fire insurance which covers the insured acres for accidental fire from April 1 until March 31 of the following year. Participating producers who experience a fire can contact their local SCIC office to file a claim. The 2021 growing season highlighted the importance of SCIC’s hay and pasture programs. Program coverage can change significantly, year to year, responding to the cost of feed. Producers must speak to their local SCIC office to make any changes or coverage levels will remain the same as the previous year. Now is the time to review SCIC’s forage insurance options for hay, grazing and feed acres. To learn more about SCIC’s Forage and WeatherBased programs, please call 1-888-935-0000 or visit B







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INDUSTRY NEWS SSGA’s Sixth Annual Beef Drive Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) has launched its sixth annual Beef Drive for Food Banks of Saskatchewan. This year’s goal is to surpass last year’s total by collecting over 10,000 pounds in beef in addition to direct financial donations made by our members. “The food banks rely on the people of Saskatchewan to help out their neighbours. This is something our members can do to help make sure people have enough good food to eat,” SSGA president Kelcy Elford said. “This is our sixth year donating healthy and nutritious Saskatchewan-grown beef in support of the province’s food banks and people in need.” Once again, Cargill Ltd. is returning as this year’s Beef Drive sponsor. Cargill will match cash donations dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00. “Now in our fourth year as a sponsor, we

are grateful again to see the difference our industry can make when we work together to bring wholesome nutritious food to Saskatchewan food banks,” said Shannon Borden, regional sales director, Canada Cargill Health Technologies.

commitment to provide an exceptional source of protein to people who need it the most. Partnerships like this demonstrate the impact that can be achieved when we work together to address hunger in our communities.”

Michael Kincaide, executive director, Food Banks of Saskatchewan, commended SSGA on their sixth year of continued support to help feed Saskatchewan residents with food insecurities.

SSGA initiated its first Beef Drive on World Food Day in the fall of 2016 as a way for beef producers to support the 32 food banks in Saskatchewan. Producers or individuals can donate an animal or make a cash donation to help cover the processing costs of the donated animals.

“Farmers and ranchers have always stepped up and helped their neighbours and friends in times of need,” he said. “Communities across Saskatchewan will benefit from their kind donation of fresh meat, a hard-to-come-by commodity in most food banks.

Saskatchewan’s beef producers have contributed generously during the five previous beef drives. To date, over 38,000 pounds of ground beef have been collected for Food Banks of Saskatchewan which retails at over $180,000.

“We send a huge thank you out to Saskatchewan farmers, SSGA, Cargill and the processors for their generosity and

For more information or to make a donation to the Beef Drive, contact SSGA’s office at 306-757-8523. B







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INDUSTRY NEWS Western Canada Feedlot Management School Coming in February 2022 – Bringing cattle feeding expertise to your doorstep! a Western Canada Feedlot Management School webinar series. Join us online February 8, 15 and 22 to catch virtual tours of commercial feedlots, talks on nutrition, animal health, technology and other topics of interest to anyone feeding cattle this winter. This event is a partnership between Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association, University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and continues to provide cattle feeders a unique learning opportunity where the focus is on practical information to improve a feeding operation. Over the years, the format, dates and location may have changed, but this school remains widely recognized as a must attend event for those in the cattle feeding industry. Cattle feeder operations of all sizes will find important takeaways from this year’s event. Each webinar will

include a virtual tour of a commercial feedlot ranging from southern Alberta to Northeast Saskatchewan. Attendees will hear directly from the management team on how these lots use local resources to optimize their feeding operation and where they have invested in infrastructure to improve their returns. Here are just a few things participants will hear and see on our virtual feedlot tours: incorporation of waste produce and cull potatoes in cattle rations; how a previously shuttered feedlot has been revived; how three generations are working together to run a feeding operation; changes to design features to improve drainage; incorporation of dust control infrastructure; a focus on data collection and analysis to improve the bottom line; different cattle sourcing and marketing strategies. Each webinar will also include two presentations from industry experts on

topics ranging from nutrition, feeding programs, innovative management of animal health and use of technology in feedlots. There will be opportunity to interact with our presenters and have your questions on these topics answered. For the complete agenda, visit our event page on While we hope to be back in person for 2023, we look forward to seeing you online in February 2022. Your cattle feeding business will thank you! To register, visit or contact the office by telephone at 306-969-2666 or email at WCFMS is presented by: Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association University of Saskatchewan, Department of Animal and Poultry Science Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture B

Presented by:







MONDAY At Palmer Charolais, Bladworth, SK

(from Hwy 11 at Bladworth: 2.5 miles W on Townline Rd, 1 mile N)

On offer: 60 Charolais Yearling & Two-Year Old Bulls

Sale Manager

124 Shannon Rd Regina, SK S4S 5B1 306.584.7937 Helge By 306.536.4261 Jon Wright 306.807.8424


Velon & Leah Herback 306.567.7033 Hunter Herback 306.561.8118 Box 17, Bladworth, SK S0G 0J0

Catalogue & videos available for viewing one month prior to the sale at

INDUSTRY NEWS Trespass Act Changes Are Now in Effect Jeff Gaye

Changes to provincial trespass legislation, passed in 2019, are now in effect.

The Trespass to Property Amendment Act and the Trespass to Property Consequential Amendments Act came into force on January 1, 2022.

Schedule no-access periods for events like seeding and harvesting;

Indicate crown or lease status; and

Leave notes for land users.

Under the new legislation, it is now up to recreational users to get a landowner’s consent before going onto a rural property. Prior to January 1, the onus was on the landowner to communicate whether potential users had permission to access the property. According to a Government of Saskatchewan news release, most people in Saskatchewan have been asking a landowner’s permission to go onto rural property for recreational purposes. The changes will make this a requirement.

Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said the legislation balances the rights of in rural landowners with those of recreational land users. The legislation provides legal protection to landowners and occupiers against property damage and the risk of agricultural diseases, and limits any liability that may arise from a trespasser’s presence on their property. Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President Kelcy Elford said he is pleased to see the new law come into effect.

“This is a sensible solution to landowners’ concerns,” he said. “Many rural landowners have no problem with people sledding or hunting on their land if they are respectful and responsible. “But there are times when it interferes with the work we have to do, or there are places on the land that risk being damaged by recreational use. This gives the landowner the tools to control who goes onto their property and what they are permitted to do.” Police and provincial enforcement officers will still be responsible for laying charges related to trespassing. The province urges anyone who believes someone is trespassing on their property to contact their local police service. B

Recreational use typically involves hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking. Landowners can consent to individuals’ presence on their land in writing, orally, through posted signs or electronically. The SaskLander app has been approved for use by landowners and by recreational users seeking permission to access privately-owned land. SaskLander offers interactive communication between landowners and potential users, and allows landowners to: •

Locate and view their property on an interactive map;

Post land as no-access for recreational users;

Edit and review permissions for their land;

Filter, group and label land parcels;

Review and manage recreational access requests;

Access detailed digital records of their user history;


Drought Response Initiative 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative Provides immediate relief to livestock producers through a per head payment on Canadian-owned female breeding beef and dairy cattle, bison, elk, sheep or goats. Apply by Jan. 31, 2022. | 1-844-723-1211 |



INDUSTRY NEWS U.S. Corn on the Move: CP Rail Jeff Gaye

CP Rail is moving approximately a trainload a day of feed corn from United States to Western Canada, a massive increase over recent shipping volumes. Since late October, the carrier has moved 30 trains worth of corn per month for their customers. Each train has 110 high-cap cars carrying 102 tonnes each, for a total of 11,220 tonnes of corn per trainload. For comparison, a CP spokesperson says the company moved four trains worth of U.S. corn to Western Canada between October 2020 and early summer 2021. “From late 2017 to 2019, CP shipped about 11,000 carloads of U.S. corn into Alberta and Saskatchewan. Now we're in the process of moving about 2 ½ times that volume in just one-third of the time," said John Harman from CP's Minneapolis office.

The corn is being delivered to Western Canada elevators typically used for loading outbound grain shipments. “Canadian Pacific has worked with highthroughput elevators in the Prairies, that typically load grain for export, to unload inbound corn instead,” Harman said. “Most is originating from Central or South-Central Minnesota and North Dakota,” he said. “It is primarily going towards elevators located near the Lethbridge area but also into Saskatchewan and Manitoba.” The corn demand is in addition to the distillers’ dried grains (DDGs) CP has shipped to Western Canada to supplement animals’ protein requirements.

published a new interactive map on their website. There is corn available, he said. “Canadian Pacific and the shortlines we connect with have corn. We are continually looking to publish additional origins and destinations to ensure there is plenty of coverage to source corn from. “We are also actively working on adding multiple additional shuttle origins, off of more shortlines,” he said. The CP website will also link to rates for DDGs from ethanol distillers the railway serves. B

Harman says CP has been actively trying to connect buyers with sellers, and have

15th Annual

Sun Country Shorthorn Sale

March 8th, 2022 - 1: 00 PM Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw, SK

In the past 14 years, we have sold herd bulls to purebred breeders in 7 provinces and 12 states, but we are most proud to have had over 90% of our bulls sell to commercial producers across Canada and the US. This sale offers thick made, easy fleshing breeding stock for the beef industry. A sampling of the type of bulls that will be offered: **ALSO SELLING A SELECT GROUP OF REPLACEMENT HEIFERS

HORSESHOE CREEK FARMS LTD. Grant & Chris Alexander Weyburn, SK 306-861-5504


Hector & Dylan Lamontagne Wawota, SK 306-739-2598

DIAMOND CREEK CATTLE CO. Rylan & Todd Knupp Weyburn, SK 306-861-1422

Sale will be broadcast live at JANUARY 2022 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 15

INDUSTRY NEWS Canada Beef to Launch Canadian Beef Information Gateway A new year is all about fresh beginnings, so the timing is perfect for Canada Beef to launch its most ambitious initiative to date to ensure Canadian beef retains its place on the plates of consumers everywhere. Canada Beef will launch the first-phase of the Canadian Beef Information Gateway (Gateway) to retailers and consumers this month. The Gateway’s user-friendly, scannable QR or UPC codes provide shoppers with instant access to helpful information that encourages consumers to try new beef cuts and explore new recipes and ingredients, which will maximize the food basket for grocers and increase carcass utilization for producers. This first-phase, the Canadian Beefbranded version of the Gateway will launch with approximately 75 beef cuts organized into categories of Roasts, Steaks, Grounds and Other beef cuts. Each cut of beef has a digital profile that features essential information including recommended cooking methods, food safety and storage information, written recipes, “hands-in-pans” recipe videos, nutritional information and shopping lists. The information, accessed easily via scannable code, enables consumers to try new beef cuts and explore new recipes and preparation methods with confidence at home. This initial Canadian Beef-branded version of the Gateway will be for smaller retailers and those looking for quick-to-implement solutions. Later phases of the Gateway will feature co-branded partnerships with major retailers creating customized versions. Canada Beef is actively engaged in talks with national grocery retailers and continues to evolve the Gateway in response to feedback from the sector. The launch of the first-phase of the Gateway comes as consumers seek out basic preparation methods and recipe ideas, as beef costs (and food prices in general), push higher with no relief in sight. The Gateway’s use of convenience and technology will ensure that Canada 16

Beef’s helpful resources are as close to consumers as possible at key decision-making moments about food purchases and meal preparation. The Gateway will help to improve customer experience, which Canada Beef intends to accomplish through direct to consumer promotion and partnerships with retail and foodservice clients. Consumers will have the opportunity to try out the Canadian Beef-branded Gateway soon, and we invite producers to take it for a spin themselves using their smart phone or tablet. Watch for ads in regional and national industry and consumer publications from January to March. In the meantime, scan the code above using the camera on your smartphone to try the Gateway for yourself. Introduced to producers at the most recent Canadian Beef Industry Conference,

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the Gateway’s use of scannable QR or UPC codes to access information aligns with recent changes in how consumers browse, shop and buy food. This Canada Beef initiative provides awareness of the versatility of Canadian beef with a goal to inspire a wider repertoire of beef choices more often. Future phases of the project will include a French version of the Gateway resources available towards the end of 2022. To learn more about how the Gateway will serve the Canadian beef industry, please visit: B



#1130, 1110 LBS

1-800-661-7002 JANUARY 2022






Ground beef - lean





Cross rib roast









Outside round roast





Inside round roast





Ribeye steak





Round steak





Sirloin steak









T-bone steak










Rib roast

Striploin steak

*These items were not in the display case on this date.




MARKETS AND TRADE SK Weekly Average Price Heifers 500-600 lbs


SK Weekly Average Price Steers 500-600 lbs



190 185


180 175 170

2019 2020 2021

Wk 1 Wk 4 Wk 7 Wk 10 Wk 13 Wk 16 Wk 19 Wk 22 Wk 25 Wk 28 Wk 31 Wk 34 Wk 37 Wk 40 Wk 43 Wk 46 Wk 49 Wk 52

Wk 1 Wk 4 Wk 7 Wk 10 Wk 13 Wk 16 Wk 19 Wk 22 Wk 25 Wk 28 Wk 31 Wk 34 Wk 37 Wk 40 Wk 43 Wk 46 Wk 49 Wk 52


245 240 235 230 225 220 215 210 205 200

Source: CanFax

Alberta Weekly D1 & D2 Cows

170 2019

160 150


140 130


120 110


100.00 95.00


90.00 85.00


80.00 75.00 70.00 65.00

Source: CanFax

Weekly Canadian Dollar Weekly Canadian Dollar


Source: CanFax Source: CanFax

Lethbridge Barley Price 2020





0.78 0.76

5 yr avg 20162020

0.74 0.72 0.70

Price per tonne



CDN $ - US terms


Wk 1 Wk 4 Wk 7 Wk 10 Wk 13 Wk 16 Wk 19 Wk 22 Wk 25 Wk 28 Wk 31 Wk 34 Wk 37 Wk 40 Wk 43 Wk 46 Wk 49 Wk 52

Wk 1 Wk 4 Wk 7 Wk 10 Wk 13 Wk 16 Wk 19 Wk 22 Wk 25 Wk 28 Wk 31 Wk 34 Wk 37 Wk 40 Wk 43 Wk 46 Wk 49 Wk 52




340.00 2021

290.00 240.00

Wk 52

Wk 49

Wk 46

Wk 43

Wk 40

Wk 37

Wk 34

Wk 31

Wk 28

Wk 25

Wk 22

Wk 19

Wk 16

Wk 13

Wk 7

Wk 10

Wk 4

190.00 Wk 1


Source: CanFax

110.00 Price per hundred weight

Price per hundred weight

AB Fed Steer Prices

Source: Bank of Canada

Wk 1 Wk 4 Wk 7 Wk 10 Wk 13 Wk 16 Wk 19 Wk 22 Wk 25 Wk 28 Wk 31 Wk 34 Wk 37 Wk 40 Wk 43 Wk 46 Wk 49 Wk 52

Price per hundred weight


Price per hundred weight



Source: CanFax

For more information visit




BR 126G Joe Hancock ET 47J

BR 16E Jesse James ET 35J FLUSHMATE

BR 213B Standard 156H


BR 115D Sensation 160H

BR 16E Express ET 27H

Livestock Development Checklist This is a recommended process for new or expanding operations. The Ministry of Agriculture’s responsibility is The Agricultural Operations Act.

S u g ge s t e d f ir s t s t e ps ☐ Contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Operations Unit: 306-787-2150 ☐ Develop a preliminary plan: Define your project and create concept drawings including pens, buildings, wells, roads and all other site attributes. ☐ Confirm an adequate water supply: Water Security Agency (WSA) approval may be required. Review the requirements under WSA’s Domestic Purpose Water Use. ☐ Confirm Rural Municipality (RM) approval: Check with your RM for requirements and bylaws. Request development permit or written approval.

Requirements under The Agricultura l Opera tions Act ☐ Engineering investigation: A summary of regional geology, site conditions, manure storage design, holding pond design, stamped drawings, records of water wells, distance to watercourses/surface water, soil interpretation and lab analysis, and depth to groundwater. Typically involves hiring a Consulting Engineer. ☐ Manure storage plan: Earthen manure storage, steel or concrete tank, solid manure storage area, stockpiles, holding pond, concrete bunkers, composting area. Submit to the Ministry of Agriculture for review. ☐ Manure management plan: Based on operation capacity and confinement periods and cycles, quantity of manure, nutrient production values, land locations for receiving manure, crop type, soil zone, application method, frequency, and application rates. Submit to the Ministry of Agriculture for review. ☐ Mortality management plan: Annual death losses, method of disposal, interim storage procedures, setback distances. Typical plans include burial, composting, and third-party pick-up. A plan is also required for disposal of entire herd in the event of a catastrophe. Submit to the Ministry of Agriculture for review.

A d d i t i o na l c o n s i d e r a t i o ns ☐ Environmental sensitivity: Review HabiSask to determine any limitations that may exist for critical habitats, species at risk, etc. ☐ Environmental assessment: Review Technical Proposal Guidelines and complete the Self-Assessment Checklist. ☐ Heritage sensitivity: Consult the Heritage Screening Online Developer’s Tool. Submit an application if necessary. ☐ Funding opportunities: Check eligibility for funding under the Farm Stewardship Program and Farm Ranch and Water Infrastructure Program. ☐ Premises identification: Apply for a PID number. ☐ Obtain cost estimates and prepare budget. ☐ Select engineer consultant: agricultural operations engineers can assist with preparing a request for proposal for the work required. ☐ Select contractor: Construction to occur as per approved plans.

FEATURE Despite U.S. Growth, the Odds Are Stacked Against Packing Expansion in Western Canada Jeff Gaye

Producers in Saskatchewan would like to see more processing capacity in the province. It would offer better choice and more competition among customers, which would help ease the difficulties posed by long-haul trucking or occasional plant closures and disruptions.

“We got to the first point in decades where we actually had more cattle available to slaughter than we had hooks in processing plants to accommodate them all,” said Lance Zimmerman, research and data manager for CattleFax in U.S.

When considering whether Canada’s beef market could support increased packing capacity and less concentration of packing plants, we must remember the market has many moving parts.

“The price packers were getting for wholesale beef far exceeded what you would normally see. Packer margins reached hundreds of dollars a head, upwards of around $1,000 a head, during the pandemic when all the supply chain factors got scrambled,” Zimmerman said.

Producers, feeders, packers, retailers and consumers all have economies of their own. Unlike the manufacturing sector, for example, there isn't a linear progression of price markup from one segment to the next. Cow-calf producers can’t pass on their costs to the feedlot operator if the feeder can’t get a good price from the packer; but, packers' bottom lines suffer if they have unused capacity in their plants. If you have too many hooks competing for too few animals, prices generally favour producers and feeders (drought and high feed prices notwithstanding). There is little incentive to build new plants unless the beef herd expands and the margins favour the packers. Packers need that bigger herd to keep prices low and fill their plants. In U.S., the expansion of the beef herd up to its peak two years ago has meant a buyer’s market for fed animals. At the same time, retail demand has steadily increased, meaning extremely favourable margins for packers — they pay less for cattle, and they get more for finished beef products. There is a buzz of new activity, trying to build more packing plants to take advantage of those margins.


“The cattle industry in United States sat back and said ‘we need more processing capacity.’ We are running into a challenge to accommodate all the cattle we have eligible for harvest today and we need more facilities, more capacity in the processing side of this segment to marry up with our available cattle numbers.” Zimmerman says new capacity includes a couple of smaller plants in Missouri and another smaller facility in Georgia. One of the big four packers is expanding its operation in Iowa, “and then there is a list of many more plants from midsize regionals to small regionals being proposed throughout United States,” he said. These are scheduled to come online starting in the fall of 2022 and over the next two years; but, there are no guarantees in this business. “The challenge is, history suggests that a chunk of that capacity will probably never be fully productive,” Zimmerman said. For Canadian industry, the lesson to be learned is that even growing the herd won’t assure increased slaughter and packing capacity.

The move to build capacity in U.S is starting to bear fruit two years after the herd size peaked in 2019, but the cycle of herd expansion is not in sync with the cycle of packing capacity growth. This means risk for any new plants that are hoping to cash in on the attractive margins of abundant cattle. Zimmerman says herd size runs in fairly predictable 10-year cycles. “If we peaked the cow herd in 2019, conventional wisdom would tell you the next peak probably isn’t coming until late in the 2020s,” he said. “What it means is at the midpoint of the current decade, the cattle cycle would dictate that numbers would be at or near their cyclical lows sometime over the next two to three years. Based on that timeline, we’re going to be having, perhaps, a large number of these new facilities coming on board right as cattle supplies are essentially at their tightest.” Zimmerman recalled an old industry axiom: the third owner of a plant is the one who finally makes a profit. The startup cost to build a new facility, staff it, train employees and build a consistent customer base for one of those plants is “immense,” he said. “And typically speaking, those plants trade hands about three times before they eventually reach a valuation and reach a time horizon where the plant can operate profitably.” Zimmerman says in a best-case scenario, half of the proposed new capacity will be able to open and survive. More realistically, he said, it will be about a third. “The biggest mystery is how much of what’s being proposed today actually is still here and productive 10 years from now,” he said. continued on page 24 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 23

FEATURE Odds Are Stacked cont. from pg. 23

Against Packing Expansion in Western Canada.

The Saskatchewan government’s goal of doubling processing by 2030 may have to rely on smaller plants, if it happens at all. The government and industry hope that a $4 billion expansion to the province’s irrigation system, and other measures, will help grow the herd and create critical mass to support a major packing plant. At least one big player says don’t get your hopes up. A spokesperson for Cargill said they are not looking at Saskatchewan, or anywhere else, for a new plant in the Western Canada. “Cargill is operating with excess capacity in West Central and Western Canada. Based on the available cattle in Canada and the hours of the operating processing plants, the industry does not require a new processing facility in the region,” Despite U.S. Growth, the Odds Are Stacked

“Cargill is always looking for opportunities to grow our business and meet the rising global demand for protein, but there is no indication that a new processing facility is needed in Western Canada at this time.” Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst at Canfax, says the larger U.S. herd has helped to sustain the packing capacity we have in Canada. As U.S. numbers cycle downward, it will be even harder to add new plants here. “The size of the [Canadian] cow herd hasn’t been that big of an issue in terms of our production, simply because we’ve been exporting less cattle. But we’ve become a big net importer of feeder cattle, which is how we’ve expanded production and slaughter capacity here in Canada,” Perillat said. “We’ve been able to tap into those

larger feeder cattle supplies, which unfortunately, aren’t going to be there in another year, probably. So that’s where some caution comes in.” Availability of inexpensive feed is another issue. “Ultimately, cattle will move to wherever the cheapest grain is,” Perillat said. “Not only is our herd shrinking, we have not been competitive from a feed grain perspective either,” he said. “So it doesn’t bode well to continue to import feeder cattle and import grain into Western Canada, which would be required to build another slaughter plant. “A new packing plant is ultimately going to need a feed cost advantage here to make it happen. And we’re certainly not anywhere near that right now.” Any expansion may be driven by smaller outfits serving specific buyers. Dr. Jared

Evesham, SK

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FEATURE Carlberg, professor of agribusiness and agricultural economics at University of Manitoba, says there are downstream opportunities for specialized beef if a facility can secure a reliable supply of animals. “I remember being a small kid in the little town of Osage, Saskatchewan, and going down to the corner gas station, the only business in town,” he said. “My dad would go down there and pay 25 cents for a StyrofoamTM cup of coffee. “Imagine if you told the old fellows sitting around shooting the breeze that the day will come where somebody will spend $8 for a cup of coffee because it’s got a squirt of caramel in it and some whipped cream. They probably would have laughed at you.” But we are seeing that consumers have that same willingness to pay a premium price for specialized meat products. “We have seen over the last several decades commoditized products become boutique products as consumer demand has evolved and as people have had more money, more purchasing power, more discretion, more choice of products,” Carlberg said. The best bet for a small packing operation could be one that is owned by producers or feeders — one that can provide the supply of animals needed to fill the niche demand. “You have to have some skin in the game,” Carlberg said. “You have to have people that are willing to commit the supply, because if you’re not going to be able to operate at capacity, you’re going to have trouble.” There are other barriers. According to Carlberg, the cost of operating in such a heavily-regulated industry can be daunting. A new plant would require considerable capital to be able to meet the start-up costs and satisfy regulatory regimes while weathering the cycles of supply and demand.


Finding the requisite workforce is another major challenge. Carlberg says it’s not so much a shortage of labour that raises difficulty; it’s a shortage of people with the right skills. “I think knowledge availability is how I would put it,” he said. “Management expertise and marketing expertise, that’s the real trick. Many years ago when I looked at what distinguished successful new-generation cooperatives from those that failed, it was really interesting. Of the 50 factors I looked at — management factors or operational factors — having that local champion and having skilled management was amongst the top few.” Which is not to say that availability of labour isn’t an issue. Canadian Meat Council (CMC) describes it as their number one challenge, and points to a recent survey that shows the shortage of butchers has doubled in the past six months. The industry is currently short of butchers by 9,500. Carlberg says it’s a solvable problem. “If people can make a living because they know there’s going to be 40 hours a week of full time, good paying or decent paying work, I think that’s one thing. When you start asking people to come in two days every second week, that’s a tougher sell,” he said. CMC says improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker program would also help ease the pressure. Again, as Carlberg said, there are solutions available. “I do think labour availability could be an issue; though, perhaps not as high on the list as something like the need for significant capital and regulatory approval.” According to CMC, removing barriers to inter-provincial sale of provinciallyinspected meat could help to make smaller plants viable, but standards are not consistent from province to province

— a situation that would need to be addressed. Facilities also must meet grading and environmental standards, as well as local and municipal regulations. All of these, even if they are necessary safeguards, add up to an expense burden that is hard for small facilities to recover. Small-scale production becomes much riskier, if a plant tries to make a go of selling commoditized beef. This is where the big companies have mastered the economies of scale, reducing per-unit costs and finding markets for offal, trim and hides — products that are difficult for small plants to sell. These by-products can often end up going to a landfill at the plant’s expense, becoming a cost rather than a profit generator. “You can’t say ‘here’s a good location, I’m going to start up,’” Carlberg said. “All of a sudden the guy down the road or one of the big boys starts paying a nickel more per hundredweight, and now you can’t get cattle. “We’ve seen that in many industries. The large-scale players in an industry can discipline the new entrant. They can price somebody out of business pretty quickly.” For Carlberg, it comes back to having skin in the game: having cow-calf producers and feedlots that have an interest in assuring reliable supply to a plant, and making sure the management and marketing expertise is in place. It also means identifying a product whose price will overcome the disadvantages of operating at a small scale. “There’s potential there,” he said. “Will it happen? It’s going to have to be carefully planned, coordinated and executed, but I think it could happen. And yes, that farmer-owned packing facility could definitely be a cornerstone of that.”B | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 25

FEATURE 2021’s Year-End Interview with the Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture Jeff Gaye

In December 2021, Honourable David Marit, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture, answered questions posed by Beef Business and Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) regarding the government’s policies, positions and vision for the livestock sector.

challenge. The past year posed incredible challenges for producers. Our government took steps to ensure there was support available to producers through ministry and Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation programs, and through our network of extension offices that offered services such as livestock water testing. We’ll continue to work closely with industry groups like SSGA and producers in the coming months. Looking at opportunities, as our new international offices get up and running, they’ll position Saskatchewan to take advantage of new and existing market opportunities. With the most innovative growers in the world, a resilient agriculture value chain, and a competitive business environment, Saskatchewan continues to be poised for strong economic and export growth in the months and years ahead.

Honourable David Marit Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture

PART ONE: PROVINCIAL PRIORITIES BEEF BUSINESS (BB): What are Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s priorities for Saskatchewan’s livestock industry in 2022? HONOURABLE DAVID MARIT (HDM): Overall, we continue to work towards the growth plan goals for 2030 of increasing livestock cash receipts, growing valueadded revenue — including animal feed value-added revenue — and increasing meat processing. Over the next year, negotiating the Next Policy Framework (NPF), with priority areas such as market access, will be a big focus for the ministry. BB : From your perspective, what are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing Saskatchewan’s livestock industry going into 2022? HDM: Supporting producers dealing with dry conditions will continue to be a big 26

BB: With the province’s current financial situation, do you anticipate any major changes to the Ministry of Agriculture budget for 2022/2023? HDM: Our government has demonstrated a consistent commitment to agriculture, and we recognize the enormous importance of the industry to the province. I can’t speak to what we will see in the budget later this spring, but I would note we have a strong track record of working with the agriculture sector. PART TWO: DROUGHT BB: In response to the extreme drought conditions, the federal and provincial governments announced the Drought Response Initiative (DRI). How has the DRI program been received by producers? HDM: The response to the Drought Response Initiative has been strong. The total number of applications received for Payment One, as of late December, is 10,119, with more $134 million paid out


so far. The total applications received for Payment Two is 2,454 with nearly $32 million paid out so far.

"The total number of applications received for Payment One, as of late December, is 10,119, with more $134 million paid out so far. The total applications received for Payment Two is 2,454 with nearly $32 million paid out so far." Overall, the 2021 Canada–Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative has been well received. While many producers and industry stakeholders recognize that money cannot buy feed that doesn’t exist, the payment may help some producers stay in business and minimize negative impacts. We have received generally positive comments through regular stakeholder interaction during the fall regarding the program and its delivery. BB: In regard to the enhancements to the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP), would you be able to give an update on the utilization of the program? HDM: This year’s program uptake overall has been trending much higher than other years, with almost twice as many applications received since April 2021 compared to last year’s intake. We also understand a number of producers are interested in accessing the increased funding available due to the temporary program changes announced last summer, which increased the maximum rebate for livestock producers from $50,000 to $150,000. BB: Is Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture considering additional enhancements to the FRWIP, as per continued on page 28 JANUARY 2022


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FEATURE SK Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 26 SSGA’s asks to adjust the income threshold or to include power installation as eligible expense? HDM: We’re considering industry feedback on this program. BB: Is Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture planning to extend the 70-30 cost share beyond the March 31st deadline? HDM: We are aware of contractors and supply chain issues impacting producers’ ability to complete projects prior to March 31, 2022. I would reiterate that we’re considering industry feedback on this program and exploring the option of a possible extension. BB: If the drought conditions persist into the spring of 2022, is the Government of Saskatchewan prepared to look at additional drought assistance for livestock producers?


HDM: We always hope that next year will be better, and certainly that is very true given the challenges in 2021. However, we all notice outside there is not much snow and we will need to assess the situation on an ongoing basis. We work closely with our federal, provincial and industry partners and will continue to do so.

"Our goal is to have a suite of programs that support sector growth." Producers’ best line of defence is through the suite of business risk management programs, so they should be taking full advantage. Now is the time to enroll in Crop Insurance and AgriStability, so please reach out to your local Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation office to discuss options. PART THREE: CANADIAN AGRICULTURAL PARTNERSHIP (CAP)


BB: What are your priorities for the Next Policy Framework? HDM: Development on the Next Policy Framework is well underway to ensure there isn’t a gap between frameworks. In November, the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial Agriculture Ministers agreed on five priorities of focus for the next suite of programs. This includes climate change and the environment; science, research and innovation; market development and trade; building sector capacity, growth and competitiveness; and resiliency and public trust. In terms of Saskatchewan’s priorities, we’re focused on sector competitiveness. Our goal is to have a suite of programs that support sector growth. We’re continuing to consult with industry and key stakeholders on the next suite of agriculture programs for Saskatchewan. BB: Are there any discussions about developing new or enhancing existing continued on page 30


FEATURE SK Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 28 business risk management programs to be more responsive for livestock producers? HDM: For the 2022 season, we are actively encouraging ranchers to take advantage of the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program (FRIP) from SCIC. Clients who purchased that coverage for native or tame hay in 2021 were supported when dry conditions stunted pastures. We are working with our federal and provincial partners to not only maintain, but also enhance the Livestock Price Insurance (LPI) program during the Next Policy Framework. For example, we know the calf price insurance program is wellsubscribed and we want to make sure the LPI is offering coverage that meet clients’ needs. BB: Does Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture have a position on cross compliance in relation to the Federal government’s environmental commitments for participation in Business RISK Management (BRM) programs? HDM: Negotiations are ongoing; however, it would be a strong preference from Saskatchewan to look toward incentives to promote the adoption of practices to mitigate climate risks rather than using Business Risk Management programming as a cross-compliance tool. PART FOUR: LEGISLATION BB: The Animal Production Act is currently going through second and third reading in the legislature. Could you highlight the most significant changes from the proposed new legislation and regulations? HDM: The Animal Production Act replaces four outdated pieces of legislation: the Animal Identification Act, the Animal Products Act, the Line Fence Act, and the Stray Animals Act. Our intent is to


modernize and simplify the province’s animal production legislation. The changes are largely administrative in nature and cover items such as: livestock and animal product inspections and related licences; rules for administrative agreements the province has with service providers to conduct inspections; authority for the handling of stray animals and animal liens; fencing cost sharing rules and an arbitration process for settling disputes; and, the ability for animal groups to create assurance funds for their industries.

"Under the new legislation, those wishing to access a rural landowner's property for recreational purposes will need to gain consent from the owner. Consent can be provided in writing, electronically online, orally or through signage." BB: The new Trespass Act will go into effect January 1, 2022. What will this new legislation mean for landowners? HDM: This legislation clarifies existing laws and ensures consistency in the rules regarding trespassing. Most notably, it moves the onus of responsibility from rural landowners to individuals seeking to access their property. Under the new legislation, those wishing to access a rural landowner’s property for recreational purposes will need to gain consent from the owner. Consent can be provided in writing, electronically online, orally or through signage. The legislation provides legal protection to landowners and occupiers against property damage and the risk of agricultural diseases and limits any liability that may arise from a trespasser’s presence on their property. The legislation responds to concerns expressed by rural landowners about individuals that trespass on their property while still


giving Saskatchewan people the opportunity to take advantage of our beautiful rural landscapes for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking. Most people in Saskatchewan already seek permission to access rural property for recreational purposes. These changes are intended to support that best practice, formally. Police and provincial enforcement officers will continue to be responsible for laying charges related to trespassing. Anyone who believes someone is trespassing on their property is urged to contact their local police service. PART FIVE: CROWN LANDS BB: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is in the process of reviewing lease agreements for Crown lands designated as Critical Habitat under the Species at Risk Act. What are the next steps in this process? HDM: The ministry has signed a contribution agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada to conduct a research project for Crown lands designated as Critical Habitat under the Species at Risk Act. The project includes analyzing implications of federallydesignated critical habitat for multiple species on agricultural Crown land in relation to lease agreement requirements. This research project will provide additional information to develop the Ministry of Agriculture’s approach to critical habitat protection on agricultural Crown land. BB: What will the review mean for impacted lessees? HDM: The ministry will continue to collaborate with producers and stakeholders to develop a multispecies approach that will recognize the importance of sustainable grazing in providing habitat and will support producers in protecting Critical Habitat continued on page 32


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FEATURE SK Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 30

with competitiveness and profitability is a key priority.

on their leased land. Once the research project is complete, the ministry will determine what, if any, changes to lease agreement requirements are needed in relation to federally-designated critical habitat.

Saskatchewan producers have a long history of producing food in an environmentally-sustainable manner. We know that ranchers in this province provide many environmental benefits by managing healthy rangelands. Maintenance of carbon stores and protection of biodiversity are two examples. Our government will continue to advocate for recognition of the sound practices used by producers in this province.

PART SIX: CLIMATE CHANGE BB: Do you have any concerns about the implementation of federal environmental policies negatively impacting livestock producers’ competitiveness and profitability? HDM: We know that existing and emerging environmental policies like carbon pricing increase costs to producers. In communicating with the federal government, we continue to emphasize that we are prepared to do our part as a sector, but balancing this

BB: Where is the province at when it comes to recognizing and approving carbon sequestration protocols for agricultural operations? HDM: Saskatchewan ranchers, through various grazing management practices, sequester carbon in pastures. However, the science of measuring the amount of

sequestration is still being developed. In 2022, the ministry will be hiring a researcher for a five-year, $2.5 million project to estimate the amount of carbon being sequestered from producer management practices on provincial pastures and forages. The Ministry of Environment is continuing to explore opportunities for agricultural sequestration activities in existing and emerging offset markets. PART SEVEN: TRADE BB: Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) is gaining momentum in U.S. Is the Government of Saskatchewan monitoring this situation? Have you had any conversations with your federal counterparts on the issue? HDM: The Government of Saskatchewan continues to monitor the situation in continued on page 34

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Performance from Conception to Consumption




CE 6.9; BW 4.3; WW 65.5; YW 107.2; M 41.9; TM 64.7; REA 0.46; MRB 0.03

CE 4.8; BW 3.9; WW 47.2; YW 83.0; M 43.6; TM 67.2; REA 0.31; MRB 0.35

CE 16.4; BW 1.2; WW 50.4; YW 85.3; M 21.4; TM 46.6; REA 0.37; MRB 0.13




CE 3.6; BW 5.0; WW 68.9; YW 108.4; M 34.9; TM 69.4; REA 0.43; MRB 0.22

CE 12.2; BW 0.6; WW 56.0; YW 93.7; M 32.1; TM 60.1; REA 0.37; MRB 0.13

CE 1.2; BW 5.4; WW 54.9; YW 91.5; M 34.2; TM 61.7; REA 0.44; MRB 0.08




CE 0.8; BW 3.8; WW 62.8; YW 98.3; M 22.3; TM 53.7; REA 0.00; MRB 0.14

CE 0.2; BW 6.0; WW 57.3; YW 100.9; M 25.0; TM 53.7; REA 0.16; MRB 0.12

CE 6.5; BW 2.1; WW 49.8; YW 90.7; M 10.6; TM 35.5; REA 0.33; MRB 0.00

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FEATURE SK Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 32

of an incentive program specific to livestock processing investments?

U.S. related to COOL closely, through the Ministry of Agriculture and through the Ministry of Trade and Export Development. We have ongoing discussions with the Government of Canada through a number of channels and engage with both Global Affairs Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to receive regular updates and express our concerns.

HDM: The ministry will be developing the Next Policy Framework for programming to be delivered in 2023. We will be engaging the value-added sector and stakeholders to identify priority areas for programming.

We have also been spending time developing relationships with U.S. [states], which contributes to our monitoring efforts. Through forums like the TriNational Agricultural Accord, we have been seeing strong and collaborative relationships forming with our U.S. counterparts, as well as with Mexico. PART EIGHT: INDUSTRY GROWTH BB: The provincial growth strategy identifies a goal of doubling meat processing and animal feed valueadded revenue by 2030, from $550 million to $1 billion. Is the Government of Saskatchewan planning to offer any incentives, including tax rebates and discounts on utilities and water, to investors that construct new or expand livestock processing and value-added facilities in Saskatchewan? HDM: The province has a competitive business environment and offers a range of incentives to attract investment, encourage value-added processing and spur innovation. Our government will work with all value-added processors to advance their projects. The SVAI program has been very popular to advance the value-added sector in Saskatchewan. To encourage further capital investment in our value-added agricultural sector, we plan to enhance the Saskatchewan ValueAdded Agriculture Incentive program. BB: Would the Government of Saskatchewan consider the creation


the world with sustainably-produced, safe, high-quality products and it’s the dedication of producers that is at the heart of this achievement. It can also be a stressful line of work, and I’ll remind producers the Farm Stress Line (1-800-667-4442) is available 24/7 when you need support.

BB: Does Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture have anything to report in relation to streamlining of the approval process for Intensive Livestock Operations (ILO) project proponents? HDM: An internal review of the provincial approval process under the Agricultural Operations Act will be conducted in early 2022. This will allow us to identify efficiencies and create an action plan.

Lastly, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Minister of Agriculture and I wish your readers a healthy, safe and productive 2022. BB: Thank you for taking time for this interview, Mr. Minister. Beef Business and Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association wish you and your team a safe, healthy and successful year ahead. B

The ministry is also in the process of creating a dedicated Livestock Development Specialist position dedicated to help Intensive Livestock Operations (ILO) project proponents in navigating the approval process. The Livestock Development Steering Committee has been now dissolved. However, based on the recommendations from this Committee, the ministry is developing guideline documents to help ILO proponents to make available to the industry.


PART NINE: FINAL COMMENTS BB: Do you have any further comments for our readers? HDM: I want thank producers for what they do, and for persevering in a difficult year. Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector truly helps feed


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FEATURE Starting 2022 with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Shortly before our print deadline for the January 2022 issue of Beef Business, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association General Manager Chad MacPherson reached out to his colleagues in Ottawa to arrange an interview with the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to tackle a number of time-sensitive, critical questions for our readers in the beef industry. Without further ado, we are pleased to present and intrigue you with an excerpt of the federal minister’s responses below ― we have posted the full interview on our new website at FEDERAL PRIORITIES Beef Business (BB): With a renewed mandate this fall for your government, what are your priorities for the livestock industry for the next four years? Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau (HMCB): Farmers and food producers are vitally important to the local economies of communities across Canada. The success of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a top priority for our Government and we will continue supporting producers, processors and other agri-food businesses so they can


continue to provide for Canadians during this challenging time. The Government of Canada is working with provincial and territorial (PT) governments to develop the next agricultural policy framework, which will continue to support the sustainable and competitive agriculture and agri-food sector. The recent Economic and Fiscal Update identified that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), working with Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Canada, and in partnership with provinces and territories, employers, unions and workers, will develop a sector-specific Agricultural Labour Strategy to address persistent and chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing in the short and long term. And, as part of our vision for a sustainable agricultural for Canada, we are working to increase support for farmers to develop and adopt agricultural management practices to reduce emissions, store carbon in healthy soil and enhance resiliency; triple funding for clean technology on farms, including for renewable energy, precision agriculture and energy efficiency; and work with farmers and stakeholders to reduce


The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

methane and fertilizer emissions in the agricultural sector. Overall, our Government will support sustainability and competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector, support efficiency and climate-resiliency in the agriculture and food sector, including the livestock sector, to strengthen food security, secure supply chains, and ensure the industry has access to the labour it needs to continue to provide its highquality products for Canadians and those around the world.


FEATURE "Supporting sustainable agriculture is the Government’s number one priority for our sector. " BB: From your perspective, what are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing the Canadian livestock industry going into 2022? HMCB: Over the last several years, Canadian farmers have faced unprecedented environmental challenges. They are on the front lines of climate change, and the first to feel its effects. In the face of these challenges, Canadian farmers continue to be good stewards of the land. Supporting sustainable agriculture is the Government’s number one priority for our sector. Our work builds on the existing efforts of farmers to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gases. Our government has invested $550 million over the last year to support farmers in the fight against climate change. This includes the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, the Agricultural Climate Solutions’ OnFarm Climate Action Fund and the Living Laboratories Initiative. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian farmers and industry partners who are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, store carbon in healthy soil, and make


their operations more sustainable, productive and competitive. For example, to reduce fertilizer emissions, we have set a reduction target of 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030, and will continue working with fertilizer manufacturers, agricultural stakeholders, farmers, provinces and territories to develop voluntary approaches to meet that target. There is sufficient evidence that efficiency gains are possible through wider use of advanced fertilizer products and beneficial management practices, resulting in both economic benefits for farmers and environmental benefits for society. This is an important opportunity. Canada’s agricultural sector has also experienced persistent and chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing. As mentioned, we will work in partnership with provinces and territories, employers, unions and workers, develop a sector-specific Agricultural Labour Strategy to address persistent and chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing in the short and long term. DROUGHT BB: If the drought conditions persist into the spring of 2022, is the Government of Canada prepared to provide additional drought assistance to livestock producers? HMCB: Our Government worked rapidly together with provincial governments

to roll out $825 million in direct financial support for livestock producers facing the impacts of the worst drought in 60 years. This funding is continuing to roll out in the different drought-affected provinces and has already made payments to thousands of livestock producers. They told me what a relief it was for them, at a critical moment for their business and their families.

"Our Government worked rapidly together with provincial governments to roll out $825 million in direct financial support for livestock producers facing the impacts of the worst drought in 60 years." The Government is committed to ensuring producers have the tools they need to manage the risks they face. Producers will continue to have access to Business Risk Management (BRM) programs, including AgriStability and AgriInsurance, which can provide significant assistance to livestock producers affected by drought. Federal officials will continue to monitor the drought conditions into the spring and throughout the growing season. In the event that drought conditions continue into the 2022 growing season, officials will evaluate the responses of existing BRM programs and continued on page 38 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 37

FEATURE Federal Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 37 the potential need for additional tools to help manage the drought.  BB: Is AAFC considering any amendments to the Livestock Tax Deferral Program to include all classes of cattle and give producers more flexibility in self-declaring? HMCB: The Livestock Tax Deferral (LTD) is a provision under the Income Tax Act. The provision provides a taxable benefit to producers, so it is important that the criteria be defined and applied consistently among livestock producers. The LTD provision provides owners of breeding livestock in designated areas, who are forced to sell all or part of their breeding herd due to drought, with a one-year tax deferral on part of the income from those sales. This way, the proceeds of the sale will be available to partially offset the acquisition costs of replacement breeding livestock. The guidelines for the Livestock Tax Deferral specify that drought and excess moisture are to be evaluated using defined boundaries within a province. The guidelines also require that forage yields must be less than 50 per cent of the long-term average yield to designate regions for Livestock Tax Deferral purposes. As a consequence, selfdeclaration of eligibility is not an option unless the defined eligibility criteria are met by each rural municipality. CANADIAN AGRICULTURAL PARTNERSHIP (CAP) BB: Are there any discussions about developing new or enhancing existing business risk management programs to be more responsive for livestock producers? HMCB: The Government of Canada, along with provincial and territorial governments, continue to work to improve the suite of Business Risk Management programs.   In November, PT Ministers and I discussed potential longer-term changes to BRM 38

programming, to ensure that producers have a suite of programs they can rely on when they face extraordinary situations. Improving BRM programs is a top priority for the federal government as confirmed in my mandate letter from the Prime Minister.

"In March 2021, PT Ministers and I agreed to remove the Reference Margin Limit (RML) for AgriStability, which could pay up to an additional $95 million to producers, nationally. This change helps to simplify the program and helps farmers in need by increasing the level of support for agricultural operations with lower allowable expenses." AgriStability provides support when producers experience a large decline in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions. In March 2021, PT Ministers and I agreed to remove the Reference Margin Limit (RML) for AgriStability, which could pay up to an additional $95 million to producers, nationally. This change helps to simplify the program and helps farmers in need by increasing the level of support for agricultural operations with lower allowable expenses. It is an important step towards making the program easier to understand, more bankable, more accessible, and fairer for some sectors, which might have been left out of the program under the previous rules. PT Ministers and I will continue to meet and discuss the details of what will become the next agricultural policy framework that will replace the current five-year, $3 billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which expires on March 31, 2023. ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE BB: Ranchers play a very important role in maintaining and protecting our remaining grasslands including


those with species at risk critical habitat. If policies are implemented that drive ranchers out of business, the grasslands are at risk of being broken for crop production. This will have an adverse impact on carbon sequestration and environmental protection. What is the Government of Canada going to do to protect ranchers and grasslands? HMCB: Canada’s hard-working farmers and ranchers have a solid track record of using beneficial management practices, innovation and new technologies to preserve and protect the natural resources on which they depend. Grasslands are an important ecosystem in Canada and remain threatened by the development and conversion to other land uses. The Government of Canada has programs and funding available to support the adoption of sustainable and climate-smart production practices to help farmers and ranchers improve the sustainability of their operations, and manage production and environmental risks. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports the development of new programs like Agricultural Climate Solutions, which can be accessed by producers to support different objectives, including the preservation of grasslands and managed pastures. In addition, the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) is a $631 million, 10year fund to support projects that restore and enhance wetlands, peatlands and grasslands to store and capture carbon. NSCSF activities will focus on three main program objectives to sequester carbon effectively, including: restoring degraded ecosystems; improving land management practices, especially in agriculture, forestry and urban development sectors; and conserving carbon-rich ecosystems at high risk of conversion to other uses that would release their stored carbon. These federal programs complement ongoing work under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which provides up to $438 million in cost-shared funding continued on page 40 JANUARY 2022

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FEATURE Federal Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 38 with the provinces and territories to help producers address soil and water conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. PROCESSING BB: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in the Canadian livestock processing system. Is the Government of Canada exploring ways to address these vulnerabilities? HMCB: COVID-19 caused significant changes and adaptation in Canada’s food system. As a result, Canadian food producers, processors and manufacturers have taken on unexpected and exceptional activities associated with risk-mitigation measures to be able to maintain Canada’s food production. That is why the Government of Canada took steps to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain and to provide support to keep the agriculture sector strong, including: • The Emergency Processing Fund, which provided $87.5 million to helping food processors implement measures to protect the health and safety of workers and their families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on supporting meat processing facilities in Canada. The Fund also supported facility upgrades to help strengthen Canada’s food supply.


• The $142-million Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP), which helped with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply in Canada by assisting the farming, fish harvesting, food production and processing sectors with some of the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period as well as costs associated with the threeday hotel quarantine imposed under the Quarantine Act on temporary foreign workers upon entering into Canada. In addition, the recent Economic and Fiscal Update identified that AAFC, working with Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Canada, and in partnership with provinces and territories, employers, unions and workers, will develop a sector-specific Agricultural Labour Strategy to address persistent and chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing in the short and long term. The agriculture and agri-food sector will undoubtedly continue to be a pillar of Canada’s economic recovery and the federal government will be there to support it. As an essential service, it continued to run throughout the pandemic, and has fared better than other, hard-hit sectors ― meaning it is in a solid position to lead the recovery. It is the largest manufacturing sector in Canada and present in all regions of the country.


The vision for the future is for Canada to continue to be a world leader in sustainable agriculture and agri-food by helping our entrepreneurs meet rapidly changing consumer expectations and commercial realities that are increasingly unpredictable. Canada’s food system will be exemplary, both socially and environmentally. COVID-19 BB: As we come out of the pandemic, economic recovery will be important. How do you see the government working to support sectors that are able to boost Canada’s economic recovery, including the livestock sector? HMCB: The work of the agriculture sector is critically important to the country, and we are supporting producers, processors, and other agri-food businesses so they can continue to provide for Canadians during this challenging time. The Speech from the Throne commits the Government to move to more targeted support in response to the pandemic, including extended and added support for industries that continue to struggle. We will create the conditions for farmers and the entire agriculture sector to continue to grow sustainably. The Government is committed to build a more resilient, sustainable, and competitive economy with a focus on innovation and green jobs. Through


FEATURE strategic investments, we will help grow our economy and will benefit all sectors, including agriculture and agri-food. As discussed at the recent federal, provincial, territorial meetings in Guelph, Ontario, we will build sector capacity and growth through realizing the potential of value-added agri-food and agri-products. We will also support sustainable agriculture and economic growth by creating the conditions for Canadian businesses to meet evolving challenges of the interconnected domestic and global marketplace. TRADE BB: Many of Canada’s commitments — like fertilizer reduction, carbon taxes and clean fuel standards ― will make it much more costly for ranchers and all agricultural producers. Those ranchers and producers are price takers and can’t pass the costs down to customers. How can we continue to ensure that policies support our industry in terms of their ability to compete in global markets?  HMCB: The Government of Canada has set an emissions-reduction target from fertilizer use of 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030 and will continue working with fertilizer manufacturers, agricultural stakeholders, farmers, provinces and territories to develop voluntary approaches to meet that target, while maximizing crop yields in a sustainable way.


"It is estimated that farmers would receive $100 million for the 2021-22 fuel charge year. Returning the proceeds from the price on pollution directly to farmers will amount to $221 million over the next three years" The Government is striving to meet the emissions reduction target through voluntary measures, such as adopting new products and employing beneficial management practices, resulting in both economic benefits for farmers and environmental benefits for society. In addition to this commitment, investments in programs such as the $165 million Agricultural Clean Technology Program, the $185 million Agriculture Climate Solutions – Living Labs Initiative, and the $200 million On-Farm Climate Action Fund, aim to help farmers adopt new, beneficial management practices and clean technologies to boost productivity and lower emissions. These federal programs complement ongoing work with provinces and territories under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which provides up to $438 million in cost-shared funding with the provinces and territories to help producers address soil and water conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt to climate change.

Recognizing that many farmers use natural gas and propane in their operations, the Government proposes to return proceeds from the price on pollution directly to farming businesses in involuntary backstop jurisdictions (currently Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) via refundable tax credits, starting for the 2021-22 fuel charge year. Through Budget 2021 and reiterated in the Economic and Fiscal Update, the Government announced or confirmed its intention to return a portion of the proceeds from the price on pollution directly to farmers in backstop jurisdictions through a refundable tax credit, beginning in 2021-22. It is estimated that farmers would receive $100 million for the 2021-22 fuel charge year. Returning the proceeds from the price on pollution directly to farmers will amount to $221 million over the next three years. The Government is also developing a Federal GHG Offset System to provide additional compliance options under the federal Output-Based Pricing System. Offsets create a further incentive to reduce emissions across Canada, and can generate additional economic opportunities for the agricultural sector. The Federal GHG Offset System will provide opportunities for farmers to continued on page 42 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 41

FEATURE Federal Minister of Agriculture cont. from pg. 41 generate offset credits through the adoption of sustainable agricultural land management activities that are not currently considered to be common practice. The Clean Fuel Standard will also encourage more crop-based biofuels to be blended into gas products. BB: How does the Government of Canada plan to address interprovincial trade barriers? HMCB: The Government of Canada is strongly committed to working collaboratively with provincial and territorial partners as interprovincial cooperation is critical to reduce trade barriers. A stronger domestic economy will help to create jobs, expand access to Canadian goods and services, and build a more prosperous economy.   At the federal-provincial-territorial Committee on Internal Trade Ministerial meeting in December 2021, Minister Dominic LeBlanc reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing internal trade priorities in support of Canada’s economic recovery efforts. During the meeting, Ministers endorsed accelerated timelines to finalize negotiations of non-medical cannabis and financial services into the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, the establishment of a pan-Canadian implementation task force for advancing interprovincial trade in alcohol, and strengthening labour mobility efforts in Canada. Minister LeBlanc called for greater ambition and collaborative efforts to reduce barriers to trade, and demonstrated federal leadership by committing to do all he can to remove any remaining federal barriers.   Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada also announced a suite of federal actions on internal trade, including a commitment of $21 million over three years to reduce internal trade barriers and to create a repository of open and


accessible pan-Canadian internal trade data to identify barriers. There are important economic opportunities with enhancing trade in the agriculture sector, and we are working collaboratively with provinces and territories to advance this work on several fronts. Since the Canadian Free Trade Agreement came into effect in 2017, we have worked collaboratively to develop harmonized standards in the transportation and trucking sectors to ensure greater free flow of goods across Canada, as well as established clearer rules for organic products and the elimination of duplication for food oversight and safety.  The Government of Canada’s leadership in bringing the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations into effect, ensures greater regulatory harmonization in the agri-food sector. This includes the launch of the domestic comparability assessment tool for provinces and territories to assess their food safety systems against the federal system, facilitating a better understanding of the domestic regulatory environment. Also, in 2019, the Government acted decisively when it removed the only remaining federal barrier to the interprovincial movement of alcoholic beverages. Minister LeBlanc welcomed the efforts of provinces and territories that have taken steps toward directto-consumer sales and has called on remaining counterparts to take similar steps towards addressing long-standing trade barriers in this sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges for Canadians, and now more than ever, it is imperative that we have interprovincial cooperation to eliminate barriers to trade and strengthen the Canadian economy. ​   CLOSING BB: Is there anything you would like highlight to our readers to conclude this interview?


HMCB: The Government of Canada’s vision for agriculture is to have a world-leading food system that is environmentally and economicallysustainable, and socially-responsible. Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, driving $143 billion of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), one in eight jobs, over $66 billion of our exports and almost $15 billion of our trade surplus. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the sector outperformed the Canadian economy in 2020, increasing by 7.6 per cent. The Government continues to explore ways to support a socially-responsible and inclusive agriculture and agri-food sector by encouraging the participation of underrepresented and marginalized groups across the value chain, including women, youth, and members of Indigenous and visible minority communities. We are committed to supporting Canadian farmers and industry partners who are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and make their operations more sustainable, productive and competitive. This includes investments such as the Agriculture Climate Solutions — $185 million Living Labs initiative, the $200 million On-Farm Climate Action Fund, and the $165 million Agricultural Clean Technology program that aim to help farmers adopt new, beneficial management practices and clean technologies to boost productivity and lower emissions. The Government’s significant investments in agriculture clearly demonstrate our vision of agriculture as a key driver for economic recovery, and a key partner for the fight against climate change. Together, we are creating the conditions for farmers and the entire agriculture and agrifood sector to continue to prosper. B


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FEATURE Liquid Gold – The Importance of Colostrum at Calving Rikki Wilson, BSA, A.Ag, Livestock and Feed Extension Specialist

Perhaps the most important factor contributing to herd health occurs within the first 12 hours of birth. Colostrum, or liquid gold, sets a calf up for life. It can make or break how effective a calf’s immune system is when exposed to disease after birth and over the first several months of life. To ensure adequate intake during this critical period, it is recommended that calves receive two litres of colostrum within the first four hours of birth and another two litres within the first 12 hours. At birth, calves do not have built-in immunity. Unlike other mammals, there is no passive transfer of antibodies across the placenta in-utero for cattle. During the first 12 hours of a calf’s life, the lining of their small intestine has openings, or enterocytes, which are not fully closed yet. These openings allow for the absorption of large antibodies and vitamin E which are only available to the calf through the colostrum. After the first 12-24 hours of life these channels in the lining of the small intestine close, no longer allowing for the passing of these large antibodies and vitamins. Absorption efficiency decreases rapidly after the twelfth hour, which is why the first 12 hours after birth is a critical time for calf health. If you are providing supplemental colostrum, it is recommended to spread the feeding of these four litres of colostrum out over the first 12 hours as opposed to all at once to avoid lethargy and inactivity in the calf; a calf needs to be active to encourage gut motility and better digestion. Why is it important? An estimated one-third of beef calves fail to receive adequate passive immunity from colostrum at birth, consequently resulting in reduced pre-weaning health and performance. Research conducted by


Penn State University found that calves which received less and poorer quality colostrum weighed less at weaning and had poorer carcass grades at the time of slaughter. Lack of colostrum intake after birth can result in an increased incidence of calf sours, navel infection, joint infection, pneumonia, colibacillosis (E. coli diarrhea), salmonella and reduced subsequent growth rates. This potential loss in production may result in a major loss of income for beef producers. Ensuring quality and quantity of intake In an extensive beef production setting, measuring the quality and quantity of colostrum can be difficult. There are a few rules-of-thumb that producers can use to assess whether a calf is receiving enough colostrum. A visual appraisal of the dam’s udder may be enough to indicate if there is enough milk production to meet the calf’s needs. Calves of a dam with smaller udder development may require colostrum supplementation. If the dam experienced dystocia at birth, the hormones required for milk let-down may be absent for a period when the calf wants to suckle resulting in inadequate colostrum consumption.

enough or of good quality include firstcalf heifers and twinning. First-calf heifers may subjectively have poorer quality colostrum than mature cows if bred heifers have been managed separately from the mature cow herd, as they will have been exposed to fewer diseases common to the herd. Most evidence suggests that natural suckling results in greater immunoglobulin absorption than drenching; though drenching is still recommended if the calf has a weak suckling reflex. Overall, calf vigor is perhaps the most vital characteristic which promotes timely colostrum consumption and passive transfer of immunity.

BEST PRACTICE: Frozen colostrum should be thawed slowly in warm water to prevent damage to the immunoglobulins present. Do not boil or microwave frozen colostrum.

What can you do? Besides ensuring that calves receive enough colostrum at birth, there are several other ways in which you can contribute to calf health through the colostrum they receive.

In the case of dystocia, stress caused to the calf or lack of maternal bonding may result in weakness and fatigue, or unwillingness to nurse. Monitor these situations and provide supplemental colostrum if necessary. Calves that experience dystocia at birth may also absorb immunoglobulins less efficiently due to respiratory acidosis after a difficult birth. Respiratory acidosis reduces blood pH which results in poor absorption of immunoglobulins from the colostrum.

The first method begins at the most basic level, ensuring the optimal nutritional status of the dam. While immunoglobulin concentration in the colostrum is largely unaffected by nutritional status in the dam, the quality and quantity of colostrum are. Milk production is significantly impacted by pre-calving nutrition; shortchanging the cow on her required nutrients before calving will impact her level of milk production throughout the season.

Other common instances where colostrum production may not be high

If supplemental colostrum is required, it is best to get it from the dam directly




or another cow within the same herd. This will ensure that the colostrum the calf receives contains the antibodies necessary to protect it from diseases common to its herd. If this is not possible, powdered colostrum or colostrum from a close neighbouring beef farm is the next best option. Neighbouring herds, which are nearby, will likely have been exposed to similar types of diseases endemic to the area and will have developed immunity to it. Adequate colostrum consumption at birth plays the most important role in ensuring continued calf health. Passive transfer of immunity from colostrum is the first and only line of defence a newborn calf has against diseases to which they may be exposed. Monitoring for signs of an at-risk calf and intervening early, is an effective way of avoiding production and ultimately an economic loss for an operation. For more information on colostrum or any other livestock related questions, please contact your local livestock and feed extension specialist or call the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377. B REFERENCES BCRC. 2021. The key to setting up a healthy calf for life? Colostrum. https://www.beefresearch. ca/blog/the-key-to-setting-up-a-healthy-calf-forlife-colostrum/ Waldner, C.L., and Rosengren, L.B. 2009. Factors associated with serum immunoglobulin levels in beef calves from Alberta and Saskatchewan and association between passive transfer and health outcomes. Can Vet J. 50(3): 275-281. PMC2643452/ Gay, C.C. 1984. The role of colostrum in managing calf health. bovine/index.php/AABP/article/view/7370 Homerosky, E.R., Timsit, E., Pajor, E.A., Kastelic, J.P., and Windeyer, M.C. 2017. Predictors and impacts of colostrum consumption by 4h after birth in newborn beef calves. The Vet. J. 228: 1-6. https:// S1090023317301697



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FEATURE Dealing with Copper Deficiency When Sulphates Are High Professor John Campbell, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan and other water sources, which resulted in very poor water quality largely due to high levels of sulphates in the water. Water that is extremely high in sulphates and other salts can reduce the palatability of water to cattle; this may reduce water intake and, as a result, have a negative impact on feed intake, which can further compound the body condition issue.

Professor John Campbell Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan

This past summer, we have had some significant drought issues in parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta that have affected the cattle population. The most obvious effect has been on the availability of high quality forage and other feed resources. The poor quality of pasture and other forages can obviously have a major impact on reproduction. Cattle with less feed resources during the grazing season will be at risk of lower body condition. Numerous research studies have shown the impact of body condition on fertility. By 70 days after calving, only 55 per cent of thin cows will have started cycling again compared to 96 per cent of cows that are in good body condition. In addition, the first service conception rates may be as much as 20 per cent lower for thin cows. The results are dramatic and can have significant effects on the pregnancy rate in the following year. If the cows aren’t cycling, they cannot get pregnant. This problem may take another year to manifest itself if cows go into this grazing season in reasonable body condition, or it may appear as lower pregnancy rates in this year if the cows are already in borderline or poor body condition. The low levels of rainfall and the high temperatures of the summer also resulted in the concentration of salts in dugouts


Very high levels of sulfates in the diet and water can cause severe toxicity, which causes damage to the brain and central nervous system. Polioencephalomalacia (PEM) is the technical term for a nervous disease of cattle that is characterized by blindness, difficulty walking and seizures, and can be created by exposure to high sulfate levels. However, more commonly, lower levels of sulphates in the water or diet can cause less obvious problems in cattle. Sulphates can bind with copper and other trace minerals in the rumen making them unavailable for absorption. This effect on copper can become even more significant if molybdenum levels are high in the diet, as molybdenum can also tie up copper absorption. Copper deficiency may be a significant subclinical risk in these situations. Copper deficiency is undoubtedly the most common trace mineral deficiency we see in beef cattle in Western Canada. Firstly, many of our soils and plants are naturally low in copper in some of the regions of the Prairies. Secondly, there are many regions in Western Canada where sulphate levels are high in water and feeds, which can potentially tie up copper making it less available for the animal to absorb it — resulting in a secondary deficiency. In addition, high levels of molybdenum in forages can be an issue in some situations, which can also tie up copper and create secondary deficiencies. Having low levels of copper in cows at this time of year is particularly dangerous.


Copper deficiency in cattle has been associated with a wide range of problems, including: poor growth, diarrhea, loss in milk production, changes in hair colour, anemia (i.e., drop in red blood cells), and even nervous disease symptoms such as falling down and stumbling in young calves. However, in my experience, identifying these severe and more obvious clinical symptoms of copper deficiency is relatively rare in Western Canada. Instead, we often see more subtle signs of subclinical copper deficiency. Copper plays a role in the immune response; cattle that are copper deficient may be more prone to infectious diseases and may not respond to vaccinations appropriately. Perhaps most importantly, copper deficiency has also been linked to reproductive failure and poor conception rates, which can cause significant losses in subsequent calf production, and ultimately, the rancher’s pocket book. Cows that are copper deficient just prior to breeding season may not cycle and conceive, and it is very difficult to improve trace mineral levels in the short time between calving and breeding. We need to ensure that the cows have reasonable copper levels in their system by the time of calving, so they don’t enter the breeding season with deficient levels. This requires a properly balanced, palatable mineral mix being fed to the cows in the months leading up to calving and the breeding season. The diet of cattle should contain approximately 10 parts per million of copper to supply their needs, and these levels may need to be even higher in areas where the forages are high in molybdenum or there are higher levels of sulphates in water. The copper to molybdenum ratio in the ration is an important indicator of one of the causes of secondary deficiency and it should usually be a ratio of 5:1 or higher in the continued on page 48 JANUARY 2022

FEATURE Copper Deficiency cont. from pg. 46

send those samples to the lab for trace mineral levels.

ration. Anything less than 3:1 for the ration’s copper to molybdenum ratio or if molybdenum exceeds 100 parts per million in the diet, secondary deficiencies will be very likely.

The time period leading up to calving and the subsequent breeding season are the most critical in terms of effects on productivity and should be prioritized in terms of supplementation. Some research has shown that force feeding mineral is more effective than free-choice; however, that is not always possible in today’s production systems.

Feed testing of winter feeds will be important; however, you can see it is obviously difficult to evaluate all of the factors that affect copper levels. Therefore, in addition to feed testing, you might want to consider evaluating the trace mineral levels in the cow herd directly. Sampling can be done in a number of ways, but the easiest method is to take blood samples for a few cows in the herd to assess their serum copper levels. This is relatively quick and inexpensive and will accurately identify serious deficiencies. Sampling 10 per cent of the herd or at least 10 animals should be more than adequate, and could be done at a time when cattle are routinely being handled, just prior to calving for scours vaccines or some other management procedure. First and second calf heifers are most likely to show signs of deficiencies as they are still growing — they might be a group to target your sampling efforts in order to identify any potential problems. Copper is stored primarily in the liver, and as a result, the blood copper may not drop to deficient levels until liver copper reaches very low levels. If blood copper levels are low, then the animal is truly deficient. Another way to assess trace mineral status involves having your veterinarian perform a liver biopsy (i.e., taking a small liver sample). Because most of the copper is stored in the liver, this is probably a bit more accurate than blood copper. It is a more invasive procedure than simply taking a blood sample; however, it isn’t a difficult procedure and I have rarely had any complications occur — and I have taken many liver biopsies in cattle. Another alternative is to obtain fresh liver samples from any animals that die in the herd, or that go to local slaughter, and


While we don’t have many injectable options available in Canada, there are some trace mineral boluses that might be useful in some situations. You may want to consider chelated mineral sources or higher levels of copper, if secondary deficiencies are possible. It’s also important to remember that while copper deficiency is a real and common problem, copper toxicity is also possible and can be fatal. I have often wondered what the best strategy is for dealing with diets or water sources that might make copper unavailable. Dr. Greg Penner, University of Saskatchewan Centennial Enhancement Chair in Ruminant Nutritional Physiology, and his graduate student Mikaela Kemp at University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, are currently pursuing some research on these topics, so stay tuned. A recent paper published in the Journal of Animal Science also tackles that subject matter. Researchers at University of Iowa took a group of steers and fed them a corn silage diet with higher levels of sulphates and molybdenum and no added copper, manganese, selenium or zinc for approximately two months in order to deplete their copper levels. They compared these steers to other steers that were fed a similar diet, but with the inorganic trace minerals added at the appropriate levels and with no added sulphates or molybdenum in the diet. As expected, the copper levels were much lower in the livers of the steers that were given the additional sulphates and molybdenum in their diet.


The sulphates and molybdenum bound up the copper in the rumen and made it unavailable for the steers to absorb and use. These antagonists dramatically lowered the liver copper levels by 84-96 per cent over the two-month feeding period. The diet with sulphates and molybdenum also lowered the liver levels of manganese and selenium in the steers; although, this effect was not as dramatic. The researchers then applied three different treatment strategies to the steers to evaluate which one would be the best for correcting the trace mineral deficiencies that the antagonistic diet had created. The steers either received an injectable trace mineral product which contains copper, manganese, zinc and selenium (Multimin 90), along with 100 per cent of the recommended levels of those trace minerals in an inorganic form, a dietary supplement that contained 150 per cent of the levels of those trace minerals in an inorganic form, or a dietary supplement that contained 150 per cent of the recommended levels of those trace minerals in a blended form (75 per cent inorganic and 25 per cent organic minerals). The latter treatment with organic minerals or chelated minerals creates a situation where the minerals are less soluble in the rumen and are more likely to be absorbed in the small intestine making them more available to the animal. In the end, all three supplementation programs corrected the copper deficiencies that were created by the antagonistic diets containing sulphates and molybdenum. As expected, the trace mineral injectable product (Multimin 90), had the quickest response in copper levels even when the steers were still being fed the antagonistic diet. There was a dramatic rise in copper levels by day-14, demonstrating the injectable trace minerals bypass the rumen where the binding of copper to sulphates and molybdenum occurs, and these trace continued on page 56 JANUARY 2022

FEATURE Maximizing Conception Rates is Beef Business Kori Maki-Adair

The factors contributing to the success of a good business are product, price, place and promotion. How do the four Ps relate to maximizing fertility in the livestock industry? A successful producer provides care and service that meets the needs of their primary stakeholders, their beef herd, which is also their product. The quality of a producer’s product reflects the value of care and service they provide to their animals. Pricing and costs are critical to good budget management and business success. Controlling spending and keeping accurate records are important; though, spending the least in every situation does not always result in saving money or achieving long-term operational goals. Investing in the right aspects of a livestock operation is like a well-thoughtout insurance policy that protects your business, product and peace of mind. In terms of place, a beef operation cannot be successful if the herd does not have access to the right livestock management plan. For producers, this means having a hearty appetite for observing and learning from their animals to ensure they have appropriate forage, feed supplements, water, health care and herd mates. For the animals, this means their needs are met in a continually-reviewed herd management plan that is carefully tracked and monitored for improvements. Promotion, for the purposes of this article, refers to a beef producer’s curiosity for identifying the right resources for learning more about a topic that will positively affect their business planning and decision-making. With the goal of delivering the right resources to our readers in these difficult times, Beef Business reached out to subject matter expert Dr. Andrew Acton — a graduate of Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 who became 50

a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Beef Cattle Practice in 2008. Beyond his exemplary education, Dr. Acton’s credibility comes from owning and operating Deep South Animal Clinic and a commercial herd of Simmental and Angus in Ogema, Saskatchewan, for three decades and counting. Since low fertility can result in an open cow, which represents the lost value of a calf and the tough decision of whether or not to keep the cow and absorb the expense for maintaining her through winter into the next breeding season, we decided to ask Dr. Acton for his perspective on how to boost livestock production by optimizing beef herd conception rates. Here’s how that conversation went on December 7, 2021. Beef Business: What are your observations about beef herd conception rates year over year to present? Dr. Andrew Acton: Overall, we have seen the conception rates decrease three to five per cent from last year. Producers have definitely had some challenges this year. Negligible moisture caused reduced amounts of green grass in terms of quantity and length of time that green grass was available. Producers are having more trouble in the drought-affected areas of the province. It’s a nutritional challenge that is setting them back; and we’re seeing the effects of it this fall. Beef Business: What are your team of veterinarians seeing on the ground? Dr. Andrew Acton: It varies from farm to farm. We are seeing producers with an early breeding season have a fairly good year in terms of conception rates. Producers with later breeding seasons, where cows had little green grass available in the weeks ahead of breeding,


Dr. Andrew Acton Ogema, Saskatchewan

were having animals losing weight at a critical time. Their conception rates are tending to be a bit lower as a result. Some places are seeing more than the 10-20 per cent open rates within the herd; especially, first and second calvers, which are taking a bigger hit than the mature cow herd. This open rate percentage is amplified by the growing conditions present across much of the prairies. Beef Business: What is your pregnancy checking telling you? Dr. Andrew Acton: If pregnancy checking is five to seven per cent open on a reasonable length of breeding season, then everything is in pretty good shape. When first and second calvers have a 1020 per cent open rate, it often means they are mixed in with a mature cowherd and they cannot compete for feed with bigger, more dominant cows. When nutrition in a herd is good, sometimes disease may be indicated, or perhaps there is a specific bull problem. We need to determine if the bulls were properly tested before breeding season continued on page 52 JANUARY 2022

FEATURE Maximizing Conception Rates cont. from pg. 50

it on to the provincial water lab for a full livestock quality panel.

breeding will have a positive effect on a cow’s cycling and conception rate.

and if there are enough bulls to service the herd.

We have undergone prolonged drought with surface water evaporating, so solids are present without adequate, fresh runoff. Well water is a little more forgiving, but there are places that even well water can be very high in sulphates. In cases where you have to use water that is higher in sulphates, you have to take extra measures to compensate for it through mineral additions to the cow’s diet.

Animals wintered in feedlots are often accustomed to an increased plane of nutrition. It is best to deliver them to breeding pastures well in advance of breeding (i.e., four or more weeks), to allow their system to acclimate to a different (pasture) diet. You can begin breeding before that acclimation time; however, your first cycle may not be as successful as you’d hoped.

Providing a chelated mineral can improve absorption in the face of high sulphates in your water supply.

See what fits your management plan. Providing supplementation on pasture, such as feed grain and protein supplement in a tough year could make a big difference. If forage is only so-so in quantity and quality, then some pellets can really help conception.

Beef Business: What factors do you think may be affecting these rates? Dr. Andrew Acton: Water quality at certain times can be a very big problem, as it ties to overall water intake and how it can relate to trace mineral status in the cow herd. The biggest water quality problem is an increased amount of sulphates in the water. We have producers bring in as many water samples as possible for conductivity testing using a conductivity meter. If Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the water sample are around 2,000, then the sulphates might be around 1,200. The rule of thumb: Sulphates should be a little over half the TDS. It’s rare to have a high TDS and a low sulphate number; the two are usually fairly linked. If we get a sample with conductivity that is too high, we send

Beef Business: What should producers be considering? Dr. Andrew Acton: Body conditioning is always at the top — good condition after winter is important. Whether cows have finished calving and are being prepared for breeding, they should be on an increasing plane of nutrition. Even a slight improvement in energy levels pre

Beef Business: How do you manage low conception rates? Dr. Andrew Acton: First, I find out where the producer is at — what kind of animals, continued on page 54



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FEATURE Maximizing Conception Rates cont. from pg. 52 how many young and old cows, what is their body condition and what is the producer using for supplements. Are minerals given? If they are giving minerals, how fast are they going through a bag for a group of cows? Are they using an adequate amount of bulls that have all passed a Breeding Soundness Evaluation? What is the producer’s vaccination program like? Are venereal diseases covered? Is the herd at risk of infection in a community pasture? Cows pastured in a co-op setting may need extra vaccinations for protection. Of all these, nutrition is the single biggest factor. I also need to evaluate the producer’s willingness to make some changes to management practices that may be limiting conception rates. Looking at the producer’s numbers, is there actually a problem?

What is the length of breeding season and how is that factor affecting conception rate? A 60-70 day versus a 45-day season has a significant impact on conception rate. If you have 90 per cent bred on a 45-day breeding season, that would be considered successful compared to the same rate on a 70-day season. Are you willing and able to invest time and money to improve conception rate? Establishing a baseline for fertility management and determining which investments can be done next year to improve can be critical. Beef Business: When beef producers ask you about how to maximize conception rates, what advice do you give? Dr. Andrew Acton: I want to review their entire program on paper. We need to look at the cow herd and animal type. Each breed has its own growth patterns and nutritional demands. Is it a larger, growthier animal with higher

nutritional demands or an easier-doing type of animal? I may ask why they have cows in the first place, which just tells me a bit more about their goals as a business. Then, I feel better about making recommendations that are in tune with their goals. I want to know what the producer’s forage base is and how they are going to add to or supplement it. I find it amusing when cow-calf producers are advised to sell high-quality hay they may have and buy other future foodstuffs to lower the cost of the ration. There is real value to the producer in using familiar ingredients. I think it’s often best to figure out how to supplement, and perhaps stretch out, what you have on hand. Once the forage base of a ration is determined, using feed analysis and balancing to find the optimal ration for you is not too difficult. There are many good resource people in government and industry to help with ration decisions. continued on page 56

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FEATURE Maximizing Conception Rates cont. from pg. 54 I like to discuss what mineral program is in place; it’s worthwhile to spend a little extra on minerals and supplements. It’s important to ensure there is a good level of phosphorus before breeding season. You may need to change from 2:1 or 3:1 Ca/P ratio to 1:1 post calving and pre-breeding. Exactly what and how to provide will depend on the analysis of their feed. I recommend ensuring vaccinations are up to date and to test bulls every year. In fact, it might be worth retesting newlypurchased bulls closer to the breeding season if they were tested more than a couple months before breeding season (e.g., if a yearling is tested in February, you should consider a retest in May if your breeding season is in June).

"You have to match your animals to your pasture and forage resources." Timed artificial insemination (AI) breeding with heifers early for the first calf has the potential to increase the percentage bed in the first 21 days. If you can get more heifers bred in the first 21 days, then their lifetime breeding percentage will be higher overall as well. This is a strategy I’ve had some success with in my own herd as well as in some producers’ herds. Beef Business: We warmly welcome you to share any other guidance, information or education you would like producers to know about this topic.

within the breeding season, it can at least result in some later bred, instead of open cows. Timed breeding between heifers has worked well for us. Ideally, first calvers should be bred two to three weeks ahead of the main cowherd so you can focus on the first calvers before the mature cows start calving. This system gives younger cows a little more time to conceive and then calve with the rest of the cowherd for their second calf. Younger cows are still growing, so remember they need more nutrition after calving. You have to match your animals to your pasture and forage resources. Growthier animals take more nutrition before they are ready to be rebred, so large, rough pastures are not great for that animal type. Matching your animal type to your environment and management level cannot be repeated enough. Best practices for breeding and calving should be developed and implemented on a case-by-case basis. Beef Business: In closing, could you provide us with three words to describe your approach to life, family and professional pursuits in the livestock industry? Dr. Andrew Acton: That's easy: curiosity, passion and fun. B Beef Business Magazine extends sincere appreciation to Dr. Andrew Acton for sharing his invaluable time, attention and knowledge base with our readers. We look forward to our next article featuring Dr. Acton’s expertise in our Bull Edition, which will be released in March 2022.

Dr. Andrew Acton: Spend time observing the early breeding season. Ensure your bulls are remaining sound and providing service. Keep an eye on the field and document breeding activity when possible. Watch and make note of how many cows are recycling after being bred.


Are bulls having to do too many repeat services? If changes need to be made

Preventing Reproductive Failure in CowCalf Herds


Factors Contributing to the Success of a Business Leigh Richards


Beef Cattle Research Council Nutrition in Beef Cattle Beef Cattle Research Council

Copper Deficiency cont. from pg. 48 minerals were quickly made available to the tissues of the steers. However, the other two treatments with the dietary supplements also corrected the copper levels; though, it took slightly longer. Copper levels were replete within 28 days in the steers fed the chelated mineral blend and within 42 days in the steers fed the inorganic minerals. Unfortunately, the injectable trace mineral product (Multimin 90), isn’t licensed yet in Canada. The good news is we have some evidence, even in the presence of elevated levels of sulphates and molybdenum, that utilizing trace minerals at 150 per cent of the recommended levels can correct the antagonistic effect on copper and other trace minerals. It was also apparent from this study, the chelated minerals had a slight advantage in the length of time that it took to correct the problem in the animals that had been depleted in their copper levels. The take-home message is we need to be aware of the effects of even moderate levels of sulphate or molybdenum on some of the important trace minerals in our cows. Your veterinarian can help by periodically testing animals for trace mineral levels. Your local livestock agrologist, nutritionist or veterinarian can help you with the resources you need to test water or feed, so that you can know if there is a problem with sulphates or molybdenum in your water or feed. B



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SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Active Missing Livestock Files October 13 - December 1, 2021

Area Missing From

# of Head

Animal Description

RM 154

1 3 3

RM 275

Brand Description

Brand Location

RCMP Detachment

LSS District Office

Date Reported

Bull Cows Calves

Right rib


Yorkton 306-786-5712

October 20



Right shoulder


Yorkton 306-786-5712

November 22

RM 217





Yorkton 306-786-5712

November 22

RM 275



Left rib


Yorkton 306-786-5712

November 22

RM 276



Left rib

Foam Lake

Yorkton 306-786-5712

October 15

RM 154

1 1

Cow Calf

Right hip


Yorkton 306-786-5712

October 20

RM 279

9 9

Cows Calves

Left hip


Yorkton 306-786-5712

November 18

RM 346



Left hip


Saskatoon 306-933-7660

November 23

RM 257



Right hip


Saskatoon 306-933-7660

October 16

RM 440

9 10

Cows Calves

Left rib

Cut Knife

North Battleford 306-446-7404

October 28

RM 378

10 10

Cows Calves

Left shoulder


North Battleford 306-446-7404

October 27

RM 470



Left rib


North Battleford 306-446-7404

October 19

RM 470



Left rib


North Battleford 306-446-7404

October 19

No brand

continued on page 60 58



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SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Missing Livestock cont. from pg. 58 Area Missing From

# of Head

Animal Description

RM 76

24 20

RM 131

Brand Description

Brand Location

RCMP Detachment

LSS District Office

Date Reported

Cows Calves

Right hip


Moose Jaw 306-694-0830

November 12

1 1

Cow Calf

Right hip


Moose Jaw 306-694-0830

October 25

RM 189



Left rib


Moose Jaw 306-694-3709

November 1

RM 165



Right hip


Swift Current 306-778-8312

November 16

RM 77



Left shoulder


Swift Current 306-778-8312

November 30

RM 111




Maple Creek

Swift Current 306-778-8312

November 26

No brand

Information provided by Livestock Services of Saskatchewan

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SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Planning the Year Ahead Chief Executive Officer Jason Pollock Livestock Services of Saskatchewan Since we haven’t ever used a grain in our winter ration, we needed a bin, augers, feeding equipment, etc. Thanks to the world wide web and social media, it was relatively easy to outfit our place with the required components to be ready for the first truckload of corn.

Chief Executive Officer Jason Pollock Livestock Services of Saskatchewan

January is often the time when producers evaluate the past year and look forward to the next. They determine what went well, what didn’t, and take stock of their operation. Usually, the goal is to look at the year ahead to make changes, implement new ideas and attempt to not repeat mistakes. It seems when I sit down to do this, I often come up with more mistakes than successes, but that could be because we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. When we succeed, we often cannot pinpoint exactly the combination of things that made it a success. But when we make a mistake, it is usually painfully obvious where things headed south and who or what exactly caused the wreck. Take for instance, a recent learning opportunity that occurred at my place. The year 2021 was the fifth year of drought conditions for us, and it was apparent pretty early on, that we needed a winter feed plan that was affordable. Due to the insanity in the hay market, we ventured into an area that was brand new to me: Corn. From my research, it seemed about the best option for us, so I began the journey to tool up for all the changes necessary to make that happen.


After getting the auger in place under the trailer, we fired it up and the yellow rush of corn into the newly placed bin was a sight to behold. That was until my son, sitting in the tractor running the power take-off, noticed a flash of yellow behind him, then a cascade of yellow. By the time they got everything wound down, there was still a steady stream of corn flowing out the bottom of the side door above the hopper bottom on the bin. Being the resourceful person he is, my son ran to get a stack of empty mineral tubs to start catching the flow of corn. We also grabbed the other tractor and positioned the bucket so we could push the bottom of the door to stem the stream of corn down to a trickle. Then, we tried to determine what exactly had gone wrong and why there was corn all over the place instead of in the bin. Thankfully, our trucker was a young fellow with lots of experience farming, with bins, etc. He offered to climb up and go in the bin to see what was going on inside. As he gingerly made his up to the top of the ladder, my mind was already thinking about what I would say to his family if things didn’t go well after he dropped into the bin from the top. To make a long story short, we were successful in shoveling enough corn away from the door from the inside to open the door to see what was the matter. Most of you already know what was the matter, but I didn’t.


It wasn’t until the trucker looked out, covered in a thick layer of dust, and said we needed a bin board, that my mind twigged to an exchange that had happened a month earlier with the bin delivery guy. He handed me a couple pieces of galvanized metal and said something was lost in the wind. I thanked him, put the odd shaped pieces in the shop and didn’t give it another thought until that moment. Grade 10 physics rushed back into my brain and combined with the recent transaction with the bin delivery guy, and I instantly knew what I had done wrong and why there were 10 or so mineral tubs full of corn sitting on the ground around a big mess of corn. Now, why would I tell you that silly story other than to give you a good laugh at my expense? My point is that we learn from our mistakes more than we do from our successes. Now, I know what a bin board is and what I need to do with it before the truck arrives. I make a lot of mistakes when I head down new paths and I learn as I go. After big events like calving, haying, branding and weaning, we have conversations about what went well and what didn’t. That is how we learn. That is how we survive. Due to the huge geographic area of the 2021 drought, a much higher number of cattle were shipped out of province to be fed for the winter. Legislation calls for all animals to be inspected prior to leaving Saskatchewan, unless they are destined to approved sale sites in Alberta and Manitoba. If your cows are coming back home in the spring, they should have been inspected before they left your place. If they were not, you may have been issued a Notice of Violation (NOV).


SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION The NOV is a friendly warning that we use for educational purposes to remind you of the requirement to follow the legislation. If a second violation occurs, we issue a Summary Offence Ticket (SOT). You do not want one of these. The SOT is a much less common occurrence, as the vast majority of producers initially violate the legislation simply because they are unaware of it. LSS uses education as a primary means of enforcement. Rarely do we need to go further than inform people of their responsibility. The security of the industry is within the legislation as well as our role in enforcing it. With the large number of animals moving around due to the feed shortage, a brief overview of the importance of branding may also be worthwhile. An item that is often misunderstood by producers is the difference between identification and ownership. Tattoos, dangle tags, ear clips, ear marks, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, registration papers, DNA, etc., are all good and valid forms of

Sons selling in 2022 Sale!



identification. However, none of them represent proof of ownership. A brand is the prima faciae proof of ownership that the legislation speaks to and allows producers to identify animals as theirs. The brand provides the best assurance that your animal can be identified as yours. Our inspectors identify all primary, secondary and tertiary (and in the cases of some wild critters and longhorns, a quaternary and beyond), brands on the manifest. They will use this information to verify ownership prior to releasing funds where required. Proof of sale is required when you market animals branded with someone else’s brand. This is the best assurance for the industry to maintain a swift flow of commerce that is secure. A brand offers an indelible mark of ownership that can be traced throughout the life of the animal through multiple owners, if need be.

If you suspect you are missing animals, contact your local Livestock Services of Saskatchewan (LSS) Inspector as soon as possible. We release a notification on our internal system that alerts our entire team to watch for activity on that brand throughout the province as well as Manitoba. A missing animal alert can be escalated to the RCMP Everbridge system as well, depending on the circumstances. Most cattle turn up and a quick call back to LSS will clear that notification on our system. The earlier we know they are suspected missing, the better the chance is that we can assist in locating and returning the animals to the rightful owner. If you haven’t renewed your brand, this is a great time of year to do that. If you don’t have one, you may consider adding this to your operation for 2022 — given the improved security you, as the owner, have as a result. B

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RWG GRAND PLAN 9420 ET 1/2 interest sold to Gustins Diamond D, ND for 28,000.00

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RWG SEMINOLE WIND 9430 ET 1/2 interest sold to Butler Creek Farms, TN for $26,000



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Rodney & Tanya Hollman Red Deer County, Alberta Rodney: 403-588-8620 Tanya: 403-352-9283


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FEB. 15th | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 63

ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS A Report from President Kelcy Elford Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association We have been in consultation on:

President Kelcy Elford Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association

No question that by the time this magazine hits the kitchen table, the regular routine of winter has set in: water to keep open, bales to put out, calves to feed, lots of time to think. The year 2021 is now in the books and we are looking ahead, or at least I hope that’s the case for everyone; looking in the rear view mirror hasn’t gotten this industry moving forward in the past and it sure won’t help moving forward today. There are, without a doubt, lessons to be learned from past experience. Some of those lessons were very expensive — one of the biggest lessons moving forward is how fast it can all change: how fast water that was plentiful and everywhere a few short years ago, is now dried up and what’s left might not be safe for cattle to drink; how fast the acres that were budgeted to feed cattle over the winter now need to be doubled; and how fast a market can change, most times on things that are beyond our control. These things are nothing new to our industry, but were at the forefront for most all of 2021. I believe Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) brought forward strong solutions to help navigate the winds of change; so, there are tools in place to protect against the unknown variables that rear their ugly heads once in a while. 64

What can be done to improve Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP),

How we can enhance forage insurance, and

The possibilities for the development of production insurance that could be tied to satellite imagery to measure production from year to year and if something like that could be made affordable.

The rainfall insurance was a great tool this year for producers that took advantage of it. I know there needs to be a balance. Each operation is different. No one should ever buy insurance expecting a payout. These tools are in place to help you focus on what’s important to you and your operation — they help to ensure financial security by covering your losses if and when something unexpected and unfortunate occurs. In early November, SSGA Vice President Garner Deobald and I met with Jeremy Patzer, MP representing the riding of Cypress Hills Grasslands — we had his ear for over an hour. We covered carbon tax to prairie dogs and everything in between When the meeting was finished, Garner and I agreed that Jeremy would do whatever he could to advocate for producers. It was clear to us that Jeremy believes in the value of the livestock industry as much as we do. Shifting gears, 50 years of Canadian Western Agribition is in the books. It looks a lot different than my earliest memories of the event; none the less, it was still well-attended and a great place to catch up with neighbours and friends, and get some business done. During that same week, we also met with three Members of Parliament (MPs) John Barlow (Foothills, Alberta), Warren Steinley (Regina-Lewvan, Saskatchewan) and Lianne Rood (Lambton-KentMiddlesex, Ontario). In our conversations,


we emphasized (and underlined) one key message to be delivered to Ottawa: Ranchers are an invaluable Canadian asset. I also found a way to bring forward how wrong I feel it is for government to award public funds to private businesses to purchase land. No one — ag producers or otherwise — should ever have to compete against their own money to buy land. I introduce that topic into conversation every chance I have when I’m in the good company of government representatives. In late November, SSGA attended Premier Scott Moe’s annual dinner at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina. Being present to break bread was time well spent as it gave us opportunity to speak with MLAs and other government officials with whom we prioritize fostering a good relationship. As a result, the Livestock Branch and Lands Branch teams attended SSGA’s board meeting in December and provided their teams’ activity updates along with an invitation to keep working closely with them as changes come. We also seized the opportunity to promote our species-at-risk initiative and results-based programs — in a time when that conversation with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is in the forefront of our provincial and federal governments’ minds and priorities. It was a great chance to let them know the best stewards of the land, who take care of one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world, were sitting with them shoulder to shoulder. We reminded them if the land isn’t healthy, then it doesn’t work for us. Grass management is our first and foremost consideration in every one of our decisions. I’m pleased to announce SSGA has launched its sixth annual Beef Drive for the Food Banks of Saskatchewan. This JANUARY 2022

year’s goal is to surpass last year’s total by collecting more than 10,000 pounds of beef in addition to direct financial donations made by our members. It’s a great thing for the Food Banks of Saskatchewan and a great opportunity for producers to help folks that need a hand right now. Once again, Cargill Ltd. is returning as this year’s Beef Drive sponsor and has agreed to match cash donations dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00. We hit 10,000 pounds last year and I believe we can beat that this year and continue to raise the bar. If you haven’t contributed, please contact our office at 306-757-8523 or a member of our board of directors. Tax receipts are available for donations. To wrap this up, I want to describe what went through my head in December’s board meeting when I looked around the board table. I observed knowledge, honed talents and the unique perspectives that each person brings to our scheduled conversations. We would be hard pressed to find a better group of people willing to volunteer and invest the value of their time to do the best job for the livestock industry. I invite everyone to attend our upcoming Semi-Annual General Meeting starting at 1:30 p.m. CT on February 2, 2022. Though we are still finalizing the details, please watch for more information in our weekly newsletter and on our new website at By the way, if you are reading this report and haven’t invested in a membership yet, but would like to support SSGA, we welcome you to join our legacy. The connections and life-long friendships we make, while a little work gets done, are priceless. Until next time.



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ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS Director Profile: Rob O’Connor Kori Maki-Adair

Travel one kilometre east and four kilometres north of Vibank, Saskatchewan, and you’ll arrive at a ranch owned and operated by Rob and Dawn O’Connor for the last two decades. Lone Pine Cattle Services, a name established by Rob’s parents, is Rob and Dawn’s cattle operation — well-known for offering high-quality Polled Hereford genetics to the beef industry.

a century ago. Back then, it was common for ranchers to bring their cattle to the local train station to ship them off to sales. Since the German word for cattle is vieh and the word for bank is the same in German and English, it seems likely the livestock business itself could have seeded, rooted and named this valuable part of Saskatchewan where the O’Connor family now lives.

According to and Google Maps, Vibank is located within the Rural Municipality of Francis No. 127, on Highway #48 — a 45-minute drive east of Regina; a 90-minute drive north from the North Dakota border.

When asked to describe their property’s geography and history, Rob said, “Our ranch is primarily made up of pasture. It’s a mixture of native prairie and improved land.”

Though no one is certain where the name originates, some of the older residents say the village earned its name from its earliest settlers from Germany more than

He added, “Our family has been in the cattle business for three generations; now, our daughters Lexie (15) and Jessica (11) represent the fourth. Previous generations have lived in different locations — in

Rob O’Connor Vibank, Saskatchewan

Filmore, which is 70 kilometres southeast of Vibank; and Stouffville, Ontario, which is more than 2,600 kilometres south and east of Vibank, between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron.”





As Hereford breeders and loyalists, Rob, his family and their business Lone Pine Cattle Services support youth and new breeders entering the business. “We enjoy showcasing our cattle, including Canadian Western Agribition,” Rob affirms with a nod and a smile. Though plenty busy at home on the ranch with his family and cattle operation, Rob wears a second hat as the Show Director for the largest ag trade show in Western Canada — Ag in Motion, which is scheduled to return to its in-person experience this coming summer in 2022. Rob and his team are excited to be back together in-person, providing a place for farmers wanting to experience the latest ag innovations all in one place again. Rob wears a third hat representing the Hereford Breed on Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association’s (SSGA) board of directors. When asked what the biggest challenges

and concerns are facing today’s beef industry, Rob replied, “Profitability, image and long-term sustainability. I appreciate my SSGA membership, because it provides me with the opportunity to learn and influence the direction of the industry.” When asked how he would like SSGA to support the livestock industry today and moving into the future, Rob responded, “I would like the organization to help mould the policies and image of the industry, which will ensure the long-term future of this business. I’m glad to be a part of it.” Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association is pleased to have Rob O’Connor join its board of directors and looks forward to continuing its mission of shaping plans and strategies that support and protect the livestock industry, its value chain members and community stakeholders, with the help of Rob’s personal and professional investment as a cattleman and his multifaceted presence in Saskatchewan agriculture. B

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READER SURVEY A great magazine grabs readers’ attention with the front page and it does not let go until the back cover. Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association has designed a survey to measure the interest, engagement and satisfaction levels of our Beef Business readers. It involves a series of quick questions to gather critical information about our readers’ likes, dislikes and suggestions for our magazine’s growth and development. How to participate: Visit to take the survey for a chance to win Cowtown gift cards!

Congratulations to SSGA members John Brown Farms of Carlyle on receiving the Saskatchewan Angus Association Heritage Award

SAA President Michelle Potapinski with Helen Finucane, Katie Finucane and Marylyn Brown




ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS Riding for the Brand Fundraising Auction is Back! Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) has partnered with Direct Livestock Marketing Services (DLMS) to offer this popular event online again.

to keep up the work we’ve been doing and even expand our list of priorities on behalf of our members and the livestock industry.”

The online format has the ability to bring everybody together across the province and country,” said SSGA General Manager Chad MacPherson. “It’s like a live auction, with instant bidding, streaming live audio and video for the auction.”

The list of sale items is growing. SSGA will be accepting donations until March 1, after that, SSGA encourages people to visit the DLMS website at to bid generously and support the activities of the organization.

SSGA President Kelcy Elford said, “As a non-profit, we have to raise funds to operation. The pandemic presented us with the challenge of keeping this event on our calendar. We had to find a way to do it last year. The event is important to us, so we teamed up with DLMS to try their online system. We decided to take the same route this year because they did such a great job last year.

MacPherson added, “It’s a unique experience that combines the sights and sounds of a live auction experience using event broadcasting technology. It’s easy to participate. You can visit to set up a free user account today to get ready for our big day in mid-March. We’re finalizing the date in the coming weeks.”

“It’s fun and participation is voluntary. We can raise some money without raising membership fees or charging members for services. Fundraising makes our advocacy work possible. We would like

Here’s how to find the details for SSGA’s

Riding for the Brand Fundraising Auction: •

Go to

In the left margin, select the BUYER APPROVAL tab which will lead to a list of UPCOMING SALES.

Click the SIGN UP button to request bidding approval for Riding for the Brand Fundraising Auction.

Once your account has been reviewed by DLMS sales staff, your status will change to APPROVED and you will be ready to bid on the day of the auction.

On the day of SSGA’s Riding for the Brand Fundraising Auction in midMarch, login to the auction and that’s it. You’ll be ready to bid.

For questions or more information on setting up an account or the bidding process, please contact the DLMS Sale Team at 780-991-3025.

BIDDING TIP: During bidding when the bid button is RED, you are the high bidder. If your bid is the final high bid, you own the lot and you can contact the sale manager to arrange delivery, pick up or to get payment details for your lots.




STEWARDSHIP E-Valuation of Term Conservation Easements Kori Maki-Adair

Often, when we fall in love, we want to make a commitment. If we choose to formalize it, we need to consider the stakeholders, timelines, terms and conditions. It has to be voluntary. And if we want to make it last, it’s not just about falling in love, it’s about doing the work to stay there. It’s a choice. Whether you are a first or sixth generation landowner, or more, you are in love with your property: the soil, water, trees, plants, species and their critical habitats. Your story is based on it. You have made memories on it — those in childhood, youth and adulthood — and those with your parents, siblings, spouse, children, friends, hired hands and animals. In fact, you love it so much that you want to make it your legacy, but how? “Since 2015, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) has been working diligently to make use of a significant amount of funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Species At Risk Partnership on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) to lead voluntary, producerdriven projects that preserve native grasslands and key wildlife habitat in Saskatchewan,” says Ray McDougald, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Foundation Inc. (SSGF) board chairman. “As a beef producer in our prairie province, I know that native grasslands are an important forage resource for our cow-calf sector. These grasslands are valuable from an ecological and cultural perspective, and they are economically significant,” he continues. “As the oldest operating organization in Saskatchewan and a trusted voice in agriculture in the province, SSGA launched SSGF as a federally-registered charitable organization and land trust in January 2020. We wanted to fill a growing need in the ranching community for voluntary, private-sector options for agricultural land conservation.” In fact, SSGF is the first and only provincial agricultural and conservation organization 70

based in Saskatchewan. With a specific focus of conserving ag lands, as a registered land trust, it’s also the first to offer term conservation easements. “Recently, ECCC’s Species At Risk Partnership on Agricultural Lands fund awarded SSGA $840,000 in additional funding to continue working with landowners in Southwest Saskatchewan, and around Grasslands National Park, to preserve native grasslands and critical habitat for species at risk,” says Tom Harrison, SSGF program manager. “We are currently using a portion of this new endowment to solicit input on term conservation easements through a customized questionnaire that we have developed to learn more about what is most important to local landowners,” Harrison says. “We can protect a mosaic of habitats by extending our survey to include more participants in the province. We have been focusing on the conservation of critical habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse in the Milk River Watershed area, but we are now broadening the survey to include landowners of other native grasslands.” To ensure statistical relevance, McDougald says SSGF needs landowners’ input to get it right. They have developed a survey to assess the different levels of interest and to gather geographically-specific knowledge of Southwest Saskatchewan’s biodiversity. They need landowners’ help to guide the development of term easement valuation protocol, and to understand their current and future decision-making needs — including, succession planning. SSGF Executive Director Wayne Hellquist says to ensure a transparent valuation and payment process, some of the factors that SSGF and landowners must consider when drafting term conservation easements include:

• Unique needs and conservation goals of all stakeholders;


• Transfer of easement through property donation, sale and succession planning;

• Length of agreement — be it term or in perpetuity;

• Amount and level of continuing

education needed to ensure landowners, and their successors, are adequately informed to steward the land responsibly — to benefit climate, species and future owners of the land;

• Development of a monitoring process and market-based tool with success indicators that are easy to calculate to trigger payment for meeting agreement conditions (e.g., counting the number of plants or species at risk found in a predetermined, measured unit of land).

Legacy Land Trust Society Board Chair Kimberly Good indicates, “The challenge with any market-based tool is determining who the buyer is.” Good says it’s also important to note that “traditionally, land trusts have not had access to enough money to buy conservation easements at full market value.” She says they use tax receipts instead. “Like all charitable gifts recognized by Canada Revenue Agency, a ‘split receipt’ can be offered. This means up to 80 per cent of the full appraised value of the gift could be paid as cash,” Good explains, “and as low as 20 per cent could be the taxable receipt portion. However, generally speaking, land trusts that have some funding available pay closer to 20 per cent in cash, with 80 per cent of the value issued in a taxable receipt.” Harrison indicates, “A certified land appraiser determines the full market value by looking at land sales of similar types of lands in that geographical area.” He adds, “ I always think the true value paid to the landowner should reflect continued on page 72


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STEWARDSHIP Conservation Easements cont. from pg. 70 the difference in land value with and without an easement. I don’t think that ever happens. If that land can be broken and farmed, we have all sorts of data that suggests the difference in value is considerably higher than 25 per cent of full market value. Yet, most land trusts are paying in that 25-33 per cent of full market value on average. So, obviously there are other motivating factors that encourage landowners to grant conservation easements. He says conservation easements are drafted to suit the unique needs of landowners, so it’s important for landowners to consider what activities they want to allow. He advises that landowners ask themselves if they want hunting, grazing, hay storage, water, trails and fencing development on their land. He wants landowners to think about how restrictions like cultivation, noxious weed presence and tree cutting for logging or firewood may affect their property. Harrison recommends, “All landowners considering an easement, whether it’s a term or in perpetuity, should seek out independent tax, accounting and legal advice to be certain the agreement is tailored to their needs. Proper planning is required to service each individual scenario.”

“SSGF is taking a new approach to understanding the value of conservation easements. It’s called a choice experiment and SSGF has contracted Green Analytics to lead the study. We’ll break out the details soon.” Tom Harrison As sixth generation farm stock, fourth generation in Cypress Hills, Ray McDougald affirms, “When times get tough, I’ve been raised to work harder and smarter. So, I know how important it is to take a hard look at all of the resources and tools available in order to lead change rather than adapt to it — be it market volatility, climate variations or personal goals and aspirations.” “ECCC is working in partnership with the agricultural sector to conserve and protect biodiversity in the Canadian Prairies and across the country,” states the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Through the SARPAL fund, we are conserving important grass and habitat for species at risk like the Greater Sage-Grouse.” “Canadian farmers are responsible stewards of the land who understand the importance of conservation to the long-term sustainability of agricultural lands. By supporting the Stock Growers’

conservation initiatives, we can protect important wildlife habitats of the prairie grasslands and get closer to our goal of preserving 25 per cent of land areas by 2025,” states the Honourable MarieClaude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The love story between you and your land is your legacy — one that will always honour your triumphs, challenges and unknowns. Honouring it requires following your ethics and being committed to doing whatever it takes to make it last. If you are interested in learning more about term conservation easements, how conservation in general can make a difference on your property, or in sharing your thoughts on these concepts with us, please contact Tom Harrison at 306-530-1385 or B

Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan (SK PCAP) is looking forward to hosting the 9th Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop, February 8-10, 2022. This will be our second time hosting this workshop as a virtual event. We have learned quite a bit from our first virtual workshop and have added case studies to the schedule to allow for more handson learning. We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to more participants from a wider geographic range than ever before. 72

Attendees, including scientists, researchers, technical staff, ranchers, communicators and naturalists will participate in sessions that address agriculture, industry and general restoration with respect to soil, water and habitat. Prairie restoration and reclamation practices continue to shift and evolve as does land use and development. Many experts and researchers from across the prairies and Northern United States will be sharing their collective experiences and knowledge.


The event also includes a poster session, tradeshow, case studies as well as networking opportunities. For more information, please visit nprrw-2022 or contact Carolyn Gaudet at B


Gary & Donna Beck Wade & Cynthia Beck Mark & Tami Beck Box 5, Lang, SK S0G 2W0 306.436.7458

View the catalogue online at or

All current public health guidelines will be followed

The Nicholas Family Box 479, Milestone, SK S0G 3L0 Chad & Carrie: 306.436.7300 •

STEWARDSHIP Carbon Sequestration 101: The Value of Native Prairie for Carbon Storage Tara Mulhern Davidson

Intuitively, ranchers know that native prairie grasslands provide a range of beneficial ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, but it can be confusing to sort out exactly how carbon dynamics and grasslands are related. How much carbon is stored below ground? Can different land management practices impact carbon sequestration? Does grazing help or harm carbon storage? Every industry around the globe, including the beef and forage value chain, has a carbon cycle with both carbon sources and carbon sinks. Carbon sources emit more carbon than they capture, for example, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels to plant, harvest or feed forage. A carbon sink is a part of the system that stores or sequesters more carbon than it gives off over time, such as grasslands and perennial forages, forests and wetlands. Grasslands are the cornerstone of Saskatchewan’s cow-calf operations; however, they also represent a criticallyimportant source of carbon sequestration for Canada and around the world. Grassland ecosystems represent the predominant global agricultural land use and more than one third of the planet’s carbon stocks are stored in grassland habitats. Here in Canada, scientists estimate there are between 50 and 200 tonnes of carbon per hectare stored belowground in perennial grasslands with another three to 12 tonnes of carbon per hectare stored in plant litter and aboveground plant growth. During Prairie Conservation Action Plan’s (PCAP) Prairies Got the Goods Week in March 2021, Dr. Edward Bork, University of Alberta’s Mattheis Chair in Rangeland Ecology and Management, discussed carbon dynamics in grasslands. “Here’s what we do know — if you take these long-lived, long-established


perennial grasslands and you turn them into cropland, you lose a lot of carbon,” Bork explained. He added that tame perennial forage sequesters more carbon than annuals, but native prairie is the gold standard for carbon storage. “The bottom line is these native grasslands store a significant amount of carbon — much more so than many of our agronomic systems, whether they are planted domestic forages or they are annual cropped areas,” Bork said. Grassland carbon sequestration is a dynamic process. During peak plant growth in spring and summer months, plants take in CO2, a greenhouse gas, for plant growth. When soil microbes and enzymes break down plant litter in late summer and fall, or in moist settings, the system experiences weak carbon loss through CO2 emissions. Methane (CH4), another greenhouse gas, can also be absorbed and emitted by grasslands. Grazing benefits carbon storage Bork noted that a network of long-term ungrazed and grazed study sites in Alberta demonstrated that carbon storage improved with grazing. “The presence of grazing animals actually maintains or even increases soil carbon concentration by up to 12 per cent,” Bork explained. “If we remove grazing, our data is showing that we actually lose carbon.” Bork said that in order to be effective, grazing has to occur at sustainable levels. He said that defining sustainable grazing management is a challenge and management is a continuum, “Simple categories of management do not represent real-world variation.” A team of researchers embarked


More carbon is sequestered in forests than in grasslands; however, it is primarily stored above ground where it is vulnerable to forest fires which release CO2 back into the atmosphere. In contrast, grasslands and perennial forage store up to 97 per cent of their carbon below ground where it remains stable.

on a study of sites across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to compare specialized rotational grazing systems to conventional grazing. The study referred to rotational grazing as adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing; though, producers may know it as mob grazing, high-intensity/low-frequency, or holistic grazing. “Regardless of what you call it, these are all specialized rotational grazing systems,” Bork said. The collaborative study was intended to determine whether AMP management would improve carbon storage and increase greenhouse gas uptake. continued on page 76


39th annual PERFORMANCE TESTED CHAROLAIS BULL SALE Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at the Ranch, Strome AB 1pm

Offering: 200 Two Year Olds

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STEWARDSHIP Carbon Sequestration cont. from pg. 74 The study paired 30 AMP sites with 30 neighbouring conventional sites within the same soil polygon and with similar cultivation history, including uncultivated grassland. The sites represented a range of climate and soil types across the Prairie Provinces. A subset of paired sites was further sampled to assess soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Key findings were shared during Prairie’s Got the Goods and the recording are posted at In addition to Bork’s work, Dr. Bharat Shrestha, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, presented that soil greenhouse gas fluxes did not differ between AMP and conventional grazing sites; however, greenhouse gases were impacted by factors like cattle stocking rate and cultivation history. For example,


grasslands that had never been cultivated had a higher uptake of CH4 in their systems. “AMP grazed grasslands had greater carbon sequestration in the topsoil,” explained Dr. Shrestha.

impacts of management practices will be key if there is going to be a type of offset payment for carbon storage or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Every sector has a carbon footprint; however, managing grasslands with sustainable grazing is part of the solution. B

He attributed the improved carbon storage in the top 15 centimetres of soil to the increase in cattle stocking rates combined with a longer rest period after grazing. Increased carbon comes from animal impact from grazing which tramples litter into soil; from plants that have a grazing-induced tendency toward setting down additional shallow roots; and from grazing-tolerant plants that increase production. Bork said using local knowledge and experience and understanding the



s u g n

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Bench Angus Bench Farming Co. Ltd. Joseph Waldner Shaunavon, SK S0N 2M0 Ph: 306-297-1331 ext. 301 or 726

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January 19-20

Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference


January 29

Lazy S Ranch Bull Sale

Mayerthorpe, AB

January 29

MC Quantock Bull Sale

Lloydminster, SK

FEBRUARY 2022 February 2

SSGA Semi-Annual General Meeting

Location TBD

February 2

Moose Creek Red Angus 2 Year Old Bull Sale

Kisbey, SK

February 5

Hill 70 Quantock Bull Sale

Lloydminster, SK

February 7

Ayrey Hereford Farms Bull Sale

Lloydminster, SK

February 8, 15, 22

Western Canada Feedlot Management School


February 9

Misty Valley Farms Bull Sale

Maidstone, SK

February 10

Bench Angus Bull Sale

Shaunavon, SK

February 10

Carlrams Ranching Bull Sale

Cut Knife, SK

February 15

Rawes Ranches Bull Sale

Strome, AB

February 15

Draft Picks Bull Sale

Red Deer County, AB

February 19

Prouse Ranch Charolais Bull Sale


February 19

Little Poplar Grove Bull Sale

Forestburg, AB

February 22

Canada’s Agriculture Day

February 24

Chapman Cattle Company Bull Sale

Stettler, AB

February 24

Nordal Limousin & Angus Bull Sale

Saskatoon, SK

MARCH 2022 March 1

Double Bar D Bull Sale

Grenfell, SK

March 2

D&N Angus Bull Sale

Peebles, SK

March 4

Davidson Gelbvieh & Lonesome Dove Ranch Bull Sale

Ponteix, SK

March 5-7

On Target Shorthorn Bull Sale


March 6

R+ Simmentals Bull Sale

Estevan, SK

March 7

Ashworth Farm & Ranch Ltd. Bull Sale

Oungre, SK

March 8

Sun Country Shorthorn Bull Sale

Moose Jaw, SK

March 11

Braun Ranch Ready Bull Sale

Simmie, SK

March 11

Arda Farms / Freeway Angus Bull Sale

Acme, AB

March 11

Standard Hill Livestock Bull Sale

Maidstone, SK

March 12

Edie Creek Angus Bull Sale

Ashern, MB

March 13

Early Sunset Production Sale

Edam, SK

March 13

Steppler Farms Bull Sale

Miami, MB

March 14

Palmer Charolais Bull Sale

Bladworth, SK

March 15-16

Ayrey Hereford Farms Bull Sale

Medicine Hat, AB

March 16

Lilybrook Herefords Bull Sale

Medicine Hat, AB

March 19

Premium Genetics Bull Sale

Moose Jaw, SK

March 29

Double C Red Angus Bull Sale

Foam Lake, SK

APRIL 2022 April 2


Burnett Black Angus Bull Sale


Swift Current, SK


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32 51 31 13 81 59 54 2 81 35 75 80 63 80 65 14 28 82 80 53 15 19,80 67 34 12 82 83


DIRECTORS AT LARGE Phone: 306- 690-5305

Garner Deobald 1st Vice President Hodgeville, SK

Phone: 306-677-2589

Jeff Yorga 2nd Vice President Flintoft, SK

Phone: 306-531-5717

Chay Anderson Finance Chair Fir Mountain, SK Bill Huber Past President Lipton, SK

Chay Anderson, Fir Mountain, SK Keith Day, Lacadena, SK Glen Elford, Avonlea, SK Calvin Gavelin, McCord, SK Joe Gilchrist, Maple Creek, SK Adrienne Hanson, Langbank, SK Aaron Huber, Lipton, SK Murray Linthicum, Glentwoth, SK Miles McNeil, Alameda, SK Rob Selke, Morse, SK Lee Sexton, Hanley, SK

ZONE CHAIR DIRECTORS Phone: 306-640-7087

Phone: 306-336-2684

Find email contact for the Executive Directors at


306-640-7087 306-375-2934 306-436-7121 306-478-2558 306-662-3986 306-421-8538 306-336-2684 306-266-4377 306-489-2073 306-629-3238 306-544-2660


Steven Dempsey - SK Sheep Affiliate Garner Deobald - SK Charolais Affiliate Gord Ell - SaskMilk Affiliate Ian Leaman - SK Shorthorn Affiliate Kyron Manske - SK Simmental Affiliate Marlene Monvoisin - SK Angus Affiliate Rob O'Connor - SK Hereford Affiliate Ben Rempel - SK Goat Breeders Affiliate Ian Thackeray - Man-Sask Gelbvieh Affiliate Jeff Yorga - SK Limousin Affiliate


Zone 1 - Henry McCarthy, Wawota, SK Zone 2 - Karen McKim, Milestone, SK Zone 3 - Kim Simpson, Assiniboia, SK Zone 4 - Brad Howe, Empress, AB Zone 5 - Bill Huber, Lipton, SK Zone 6 - Brent Griffin, Elbow, SK Zone 7 Co-chair - Laura Culligan, Kyle, SK Zone 7 Co-chair - Jamie-Rae Pittman, Kyle, SK Zone 12 - Rod Gamble, Pambrun, SK

306-739-2205 306-436-7731 306-375-7939 306-661-0409 306-336-2684 306-854-2050 403-793-9825 780-977-2516 306-582-2077

Dr. Andy Acton - Veterinary Advisor, Ogema, SK

SASKATCHEWAN CCA DIRECTORS Ryan Beierbach, Whitewood, SK Lynn Grant, Val Marie, SK Pat Hayes, Val Marie, SK Reg Schellenberg, Beechy, SK Duane Thompson, Kelliher, SK

306-551-1338 306-677-2589 306-535-1922 306-631-3694 306-267-7530 306-648-8200 306-550-4890 306-321-7338 306-861-7687 306-531-5717


306-532-4809 306-298-2268 306-298-2284 306-859-4905 306-675-4562 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 79


Animal Nutrition

THE ROCK BLOCK The Rock Block is an aftermarket bolt-on kit to reduce rocks and debris from hitting your tractor cab and breaking windows. An affordable solution to reduce damage and down time

Manufacturers of Livestock Feeds

Wayne or Scott Johnstone Box 818, Moose Jaw, SK 306-693-4715 (Bus) Fax 306-691-6650



JOHN HORTER | HORTER REPAIR 225 Main St South | Bristol, SD 57219 605-216-4852 |



THEROCKBLOCK.NET Find us on facebook

All types of commercial and purebred livestock auctions and farm sales. Wash rack facilities for livestock

10029 Marquis Ave., North Battleford, SK


Wireless & IP Systems Makes your calving €easier, safer & more profitable! • Smartphone compatible • Save more calves • Stop disturbing them and check more frequently Allen Leigh

Smeaton Fence Supplies Ltd. Box 222, Smeaton, SK Canada S0J 2J0 Phone or Fax (306) 426-2305

Security & Communications Ltd.


545 Assiniboine Ave, Brandon, MB I TF: 1.866.289.8164 T: 204.728.8878 I Trusted Quality,

Trusted Support,

Trusted Service!

TOM JENSEN, President




(306) 757-8523

Know your goals so you can choose your investments. Tyler Knibbs

Financial Advisor .

461 King Street Unit 3 Estevan, SK S4A 1K6 306-634-4870

Member – Canadian Investor Protection Fund

Linthicum Ranch Ltd. Open replacement and bred heifers for sale. Black/black baldy heifers. Murray & Jan Linthicum (306) 266-4377

Glentworth, SK 80


• AgriInvest and AgriStability • Financial Statement and Tax Preparation • Bookkeeping and Payroll • Tax Planning and Consulting • CRA Assistance • Estate and Trust 604 Government Road South, Weyburn SK S4H 2B4 PH: 306.842.5344 | FX: 306.842.5345


Consigning to On Target sale March 6-8, 2021 Cattle also for sale by private treaty Dr. Christine Ewert Hill | Dr. Clarke Hill (306) 452-7867 (C) • (306) 452-3803 (H) Box 31, Redvers, SK S0C 2H0


Celebrating 50 years of Gelbvieh in Canada

MANAGE RISK We’ll help you get the best return for your livestock. Contact: Man-Sask Gelbvieh President Ian Thackeray at 306-861-7687


(250) 417-5412 1075 - 26th Ave. South Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 6Y7


Phone 403-775-7534



(306) 757-8523

BeefSmart C O N S U LT I N G I N C .

• Forage & Feed Analysis • Ration Formulation • Mineral & Supplement Formulation

• Forage and Pasture Systems • Herd Trace Mineral Status Assessments

Increasing efficiencies and improving profitability of cow-calf, backgrounding, feedlot, bison and sheep producers through nutrition consulting in the prairies. Connect with us today.

Balanced by BeefSmart

We have your hauling needs covered. Check out our website to see what we have in stock or call 1-306-445-5000 and we can discuss your trailer needs. Custom orders available!


Financing & Leasing



15’, 20', 25' LENGTHS

Animal Nutrition Programs designed to achieve optimum health, results & profits – delivered with service beyond the competition.

“Masterfeeds is the only brand we trust. It just works.” MASTERFEEDS CUSTOMER SASKATCHEWAN:

Humboldt / 1-800-747-9186 Regina / 1-877-929-8696 Saskatoon Premix / 1-888-681-4111 Swift Current / 1-877-773-3001

Unit 108 4002 Arthur Rose Ave, Saskatoon • 306-229-0675 •



NEW VISION AGRO Box 479 Hague, SK S0K 1X0


Pricing on all Perennial Forages Raystock Holdings Ltd. Ray McDougald Text or Call 306-662-7636

PH: (306) 225-2226 FX: (306) 225-2063


Dealer & Distributor For: - Jay-Lor Vertical Feed Mixers - Masterfeeds - Cargill Rite Now Minerals - Baler twine, netwrap, silage bunker, covers, plastic wrap, Grain Bags

Check with us before you buy!

Machine & Products Ltd.

• ROLLER MILLS ~ Electric or PTO models ~ 10 sizes available ~ Increase the nutrition value of your feed! ~ Manufactured in Saskatoon • SILAGE COVERS & GRAIN BAGS We regroove roller mill rolls - most brands

2502 Millar Ave, Saskatoon 306-242-9884 or 877-255-0187

Helen Finucane phone: 306-584-2773 cell: 306-537-2648 Carlyle, SK

Annual February Sale Two year old bulls & bred heifers

Farm & Ranch Real Estate. It’s what we do. 3287 Quance Street, Regina, SK

Rob & Joanne Bannerman, Livelong, SK Home: 306 845 2764 Cell: 306 845 7790

OFFICE 306.352.1866 CELL 306.530.8035


We have new books: Smile and Mean it: the Bud & Eunice Williams Story

Maple Creek, SK

Regular Sales every Tuesday @ 10:00 a.m. Locally Owned & Operated Call for info on Presort & Other Sales Phone 306-662-2648 Toll Free: 1-800-239-5933

Stockdogs: Partners and Friends

306-830-0883 Visit or call 417-719-4910 for more information.

April 12th, 2022

Cowtown Livestock Exchange Inc.

Your AD could be here! Call now! 306-757-8523


306-757-8527 | 82




Between now and December 31st, 2022 active Members of the SSGA will receive a $1,250 Young’s Equipment Gift Card for Parts and/ or Service at any Young’s Equipment location with the purchase of any of the following new units: - Case IH MFD Loader Tractor (60-185 HP) - Case IH RB565 Round Baler - NDE Vertical Mixer - Highline *NEW* BP60 series Bale Pro® In addition to that, we will donate $250 per unit sold to the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association to support their formidable cause.


TMR Vertical Feed Mixers

Hay & Forage Equipment

Aluminum Trailers

Manure Spreaders

Cattle Handling


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