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Beef Business Saskatchewan's Premiere Premier Cattle Saskatchewan`s Cattle Industry Industry Publication Publication November 2021

REAL ESTATE EDITION A Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Publication Publication Mail Agreement #40011906

Working for Producers

Programs Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) provides financial incentives for programs that preserve, protect and restore habitat on the land for waterfowl and wildlife. These programs also provide other benefits for improvement of soil health, prevention of soil erosion, and flood and drought prevention. Here is a list of our current DUC programs that are offered in our priority areas:

Forage Programs

Ducks Unlimited Canada currently offers several types of 10-year forage programs, including:

Z Forage Incentive Programs Z Pays $35 per acre for establishment of any perennial forages

Z Receive an additional rebate of $100 per 50lb bag if seed purchased from Nutrien Ag Solutions

Z Forage in Rotation Program – DUC agrologists work with you to implement forage into your crop rotation. Rotational forage is one tool to combat clubroot, and with DUC offering $35 per acre, it’s a win-win.

Z Marginal Areas Program – DUC agrologists work with you to address areas on your land that are growing poor crops due to excessive moisture or salinity. DUC will pay $125 per acre to seed these areas to forage. The remaining cultivated acres continue to be farmed to maximize your crop yield so you can profit on the most viable acres of your field.

Purchase of Land DUC purchases land for the purpose of restoring and protecting habitat on the parcels. DUC pays fair market value for land and retains ownership of these lands in perpetuity. DUC also buys land as part of our Revolving Land Conservation Program (RLCP), where we purchase the land, restore any upland or wetland habitat on the parcels and then sell the land with a CE.

Long-term Lease The long-term lease program (minimum 10 years) provides annual compensation to landowners based on the crown land cultivation lease rates. DUC pays for all restoration (grassland and wetlands) and manages the land for the period of the lease.

Rangeland Programs Z DUC provides financial assistance to landowners for costs associated with constructing a new perimeter barbed wire fence (up to a maximum of $5,000) in exchange for protecting the wetlands and upland habitat on the parcel

Z DUC manages its lands through haying and grazing tenders,

Wetland Restoration If wetlands have been drained or altered on your land, we can help restore them to their natural levels. These projects can be combined with other programs such as our CE, lease or forage programs.

Conservation Easements (CEs) DUC signs a CE with the landowner, who agrees to protect the natural value of the land (wetlands, native prairie and tame grasslands) in perpetuity in exchange for DUC providing financial compensation.

and invites producers to use portions of our land in exchange for a fee, then invests those proceeds back into local conservation programs. Contact your local DUC office for more information on this program.

Some conditions apply. For more information contact DUC at 1-866-252-3825 or email

Courtesy of Staden Farms

Courtesy of Ian Thorleifson

Courtesy of Jody Scheirlinck

Courtesy of Tracy Lamb

Courtesy of Canadian Sheep Federation


Led by representation from 15 livestock organizations from across Canada, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, CCIA, is the responsible administrator for beef cattle, bison, sheep and pending regulation cervids and goats in Canada (with some exemptions in Quebec).

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FOR ALL THINGS TRACEABILITY — your source for who we are and what

we do. — Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS), is CCIA’s database where essential traceability information is captured and serves as the first line of defence in the event of a traceback. — your “how to” destination. — tags and tag accessories when you need them, 24/7.

UHF | NEW POSSIBILITIES WE ARE ON THE MOVE We have had a longstanding goal of owning our own building consisting of both office and warehouse space under one roof in Calgary. The CCIA Board’s vision is now a reality offering the potential to increase our in-house services and become more self-reliant in order to better serve the industry as we move forward.

CCIA is exploring the introduction of Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID tags into the existing system in a cost-efficient manner that augments the approved CCIA tag and supplies benefits of the technology to on-farm data collection. Data integrity is enhanced, and data capture is more efficient by pairing an UHF tag number with a CCIA tag number and storing the cross reference in the CLTS.

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Contents A Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) Publication


Data Farming: Forage Rainfall Insurance Program Stats


Shearwell Metal RFID Tag Now Approved in Canada


Saskatchewan Grants Access to an Amended Trespass Act


Drought Assistance: Extraordinary Expense Update


Retail Meat Price Survey


Weekly Market Charts

General Manager: Chad MacPherson Box 4752, Evraz Place, Regina, SK S4P 3Y4 Tel: 306-757-8523 Fax: 306-569-8799 Email: Website: Managing Editor: Kori Maki-Adair Tel: 403-680-5239 Email: Agri-business Advertising Sales: Carla Dwernichuk Tel: 306-269-7176 Livestock Advertising Sales: Gordon Stephenson Tel: 403-968-3730 Email:


Canadian Prairies Weather Forecast


Agribition is Ready to Celebrate Half a Century


Land Market Conditions Are Ideal for Sellers—for Now


Active Missing Livestock Files


Livestock Services of Saskatchewan: Year in Review


Could a TMR Benefit Your Bottom Line?


Tips for Starting Lightweight Calves on Feed


Feeding Corn Grain to Beef Cattle


Don’t Make Assumptions When It Comes to Feed Value


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:


SSGA President's Report


Director Profile: Adrienne Hanson


Introducing Advertising Sales Representative Carla Dwernichuk


SSGF's Role in the Rolling Hills


Targeted Grazing Turns an Invasive Plant Problem into an Opportunity




Advertiser Index


Business Directory

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

Cover photo courtesy of Canadian Western Agribition

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:


Beef Cattle Research Council Chad MacPherson Dwayne Summach Garth Woods Jason Pollock Jeff Gaye

Jenay Werle Josee Monvoisin Kelcy Elford Kori Maki-Adair Tara Mulhern Davison

@SK_StockGrowers | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 5

INDUSTRY NEWS Data Farming: Forage Rainfall Insurance Program Stats Kori Maki-Adair

Reliable forage and pastureland production requires consistent, well-timed precipitation—without it, there is an increased risk of accidental fire and need for sourcing alternative feed options for livestock. In the past, producers were left entirely vulnerable to the elements. If water yield was poor, there were grass fires and livestock feed was difficult or near impossible to find. That’s it. In the present, amidst the severe conditions, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is offering a Forage Rainfall Insurance Program (FRIP) which is available on native and tame acres for hay or grazing, protecting pasture and hay land if seasonal precipitation is below the long-term average. Currently, it is the only insurance program available for native forage that also includes fire coverage. We wanted to learn more about FRIP, so we visited to explore the program and report its features. One glance at the provincial drought map shows the subtle to extreme differences in conditions from one legal land location to the next. It is obvious SCIC is keenly aware of these variations as insurance is offered on 186 weather stations across the province. The site offers data farming tools that tap into crop year and weather station data, precipitation capping and weighting options to help producers build an understanding of the insurance offered and customized coverage for their unique geography and circumstances. We found these tools by selecting the Resources tab at the top of the homepage, then Statistics from the sidebar which routed us to, where we continued our self-guided tour by selecting Forage Rainfall Insurance Program Statistics. One click of the link routed us to the FRIP Statistics with four drop-down menus. • Crop year > offering 19 crop year options starting at 2003 • Weather station > offering 186 provincial locations from A to Z (Aneroid to Zelina) • Capping > offering two precipitation caps (125% and 150%) • Weight > offering four precipitation weighting percentage options for April, May, June and July















































To test the tool, we entered parameters for each drop-down menu and clicked Calculate which generated this summary:




INDUSTRY NEWS To learn more about Forage Rainfall Statistics Indemnities, we clicked View Indemnities and the tool generated this table: After arriving at the site, we were able to access this data in 11 mouse clicks. It was unexpectedly easy to navigate on the first try. Through data farming, the FRIP calculator is a ready-to-use tool supporting producers to make informed decisions about their insurance. It enables producers to analyze historical and current data to determine the best course of action amidst uncertain circumstances. When used in conjunction with a producer’s experiences, existing strategies, methods and ideas for resolving issues, these continuallyupdated databases enable users to craft and maintain action plans for their operations in real time in an evolving world. To discuss your FRIP options with an SCIC representative, please contact SCIC by toll-free telephone at 1-888-935-0000 or by email at B

Shearwell Metal RFID Tag Now Approved in Canada The Shearwell one-piece, stainless steel radio frequency identification (RFID) cattle tag is the world’s first metal tag of its kind, and is now approved as an official identification for cattle in Canada. These are steel wrap-around tags placed in the top of the ear, with no edges to catch on twine or fencing. The microchip is over molded in a plastic insert so readability and read range of the transponder is never compromised, with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) number laser printed to the exterior. It is important to remember that steel tags must be applied correctly to allow the ear to grow without restriction. For more information or to order, please contact CCIA by toll-free telephone at 1-877-909-2333 or visit the CCIA Webstore at B NOVEMBER 2021 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 7

INDUSTRY NEWS Saskatchewan Grants Access to an Amended Trespass Act Kori Maki-Adair

Rural Saskatchewan landowners will be soon welcoming amendments to the Trespass Act, which will require hunters and recreational users to gain permission to enter private lands, whether the land is posted or not. The Trespass to Property Amendment Act (2018) and Bill 161—the Trespass to Property Consequential Amendments Act (2018), both received a third reading on May 8, 2019; though, implementation of the resulting amendments has been delayed due to a combination of factors, including the need for various ministries to prepare for the changes, and appreciably, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) President Kelcy Elford was happy to share an update with Beef Business on the legislation, “Our organization has supported the provincial government to develop the necessary changes to this important legislation by ensuring the concerns of rural landowners were considered and addressed. We are pleased the amendments will be enacted January 2022.” Trespassing can negatively affect a landowner’s feelings of personal safety, and an ag producer’s livelihood. Livestock can be lost to hunting accidents or gates left open; and noxious weeds, invasive species and soil-borne diseases (e.g., clubroot) can present a serious biosecurity threat to Saskatchewan’s agricultural economy. “The digital platform that will support the upcoming legislation has been developed,” Elford confirms. “We understand the amendments will include the new digital communication line between members of the public seeking access to rural property for recreational purposes and the land’s actual owners and occupiers. We know without regulatory support, use of the digital


platform would be optional only. We look forward to finessing the communications with our members when the details are known.” To devise the most efficient implementation and welcome acceptance of legislative change, the provincial government hosted an Innovation Challenge, which invited tech developers to create a workable solution for all stakeholders in the form of a digital application. Western Heritage won the challenge and SaskLander Application, which connects hunters and recreational users obtain permission from landowners to enter private lands, is now in the final stages of testing. When the app is released for use, the platform will enable landowners and operators to:

trespassing has on their land, including the spread of crop diseases and noxious weeds. This legislation will help to enhance communication and eliminate confusion on what legally constitutes trespassing so we can all experience Saskatchewan’s stunning landscapes.” With a genuine smile, sigh of relief and nod of sincere appreciation, Kelcy Elford responded, “This good news salutes rural landowners’ privacy and rights—it will be up to them who enters their property and when, as it should be. We are particularly pleased to learn the government has defined timelines for the announcement, implementation of the amendments and launch of the technology. We look forward to learning and releasing more details at the start of the new year.” B

• Locate and view their property on an interactive map;

• Post land as no-access for recreational users to see;

• 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;

• Schedule no access period for

events like seeding and harvesting;

• Indicate crown or lease status and leave notes for land users.

When asked to provide Beef Business readers with pre-announcement update, Saskatchewan Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Honourable Gordon Wyatt stated, “We are pleased to bring this legislation into force on January 1st. We know that rural landowners have concerns about the impact that



INDUSTRY NEWS Drought Assistance: Extraordinary Expense Update Kori Maki-Adair

The initiative consists of two payments totaling up to $200 per head for cattle with adjustments based on animal unit equivalents for other livestock species. The minimum is $500 per payment. The maximum total payments are $3,000,000 per operation. This relief program is designed to provide immediate support to drought-affected producers across Saskatchewan. The online application form is available at Payment One provides immediate funding support in the amount of up to $100 per eligible breeding female or animal unit equivalent owned inventory as of August 1, 2021. To apply for Payment One, producers must complete an application form which requires applicants to:

• Report total eligible female breeding stock inventory.

The number of open replacement females considered eligible livestock is up to 15 per cent of total bred females per species.

• Submit the application form for Payment One before January 31, 2022.

Payment Two provides immediate funding support up to $100 per eligible breeding female or animal unit equivalent owned inventory as of December 31, 2021. Since head counts may have changed since August, Payment Two uses updated reported inventory. To apply for Payment Two, producers must complete a second application form which requires applicants to:

• Report projected eligible female breeding stock inventory. The number of open replacement females considered eligible livestock is up to 15 per cent of total bred females per species.

• Complete the Extraordinary Costs Assessment. No receipts are required to apply.

• Submit the application form for Payment Two before January 31, 2022.


Extraordinary cost of feed per head per day

Extraordinary expense such as purchased feed

Grazing implications due to drought such as alternative grazing, water, transportation, temporary fencing, paid labour

Fuel expense for transport of animals, feed and/or water and additional expense for covering more acres

Infrastructure, personal labour or permanent farm improvements (e.g., dugout, water tanks, trailers, etc.) are generally not eligible to be claimed in this assessment


The worldwide drought has affected everyone from ag producers to consumers. We are all stakeholders in global climate conditions relying on farmers and ranchers to navigate the situation and continue to grow our food. With the goal of supporting livestock producers in any way possible, Beef Business is publishing this update on the 2021 CanadaSaskatchewan Drought Response Initiative which provides immediate relief to livestock producers through Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC).

Producers must claim farm income and expenses for tax purposes in Saskatchewan and be at least 18 years old. If an applicant is not required to file income tax, he/she must demonstrate production and sale of agriculture commodities in Saskatchewan and should contact SCIC to discuss the required documentation. No minimum farm sales are required to apply. Livestock must be Canadian-owned female beef and dairy cattle, bison, elk, sheep or goats bred or intended to be bred. This initiative will cover 70 per cent of extraordinary cost per head.


Animal Unit Equivalent

Maximum Extraordinary Expense per head

Beef, Dairy, Bison






Sheep, Goats



Example for one female beef animal: $285 x 70% x 1.0 = $200 Animal Unit Equivalent is defined as the number of animals for a species that corresponds to the amount that is equal to the standard (i.e., one cow).

To learn more about Payment Two and its extraordinary cost assessment, we asked SCIC representative Jodie Griffin. Beef Business: Lease and share agreements are common in the livestock industry. How can producers apply for the program when they are involved in a lease or share agreement? Jodie Griffin: Producers in a lease or share agreement cannot submit an application for the same livestock animals. Therefore, it is important for producers to discuss these matters with their business partners to determine the appropriate number of livestock being reported as inventory per partner. Applicants in lease or share agreements must be actively involved in the continued on page 10


INDUSTRY NEWS Drought Assistance cont. from pg. 9 care of the livestock that incur the extraordinary expenses to be eligible for the Drought Response Initiative. Though the possibilities are almost endless, here are two of the most common situations: 1) A father, son and daughter are partners and active on the ranch. The ownership on the cattle is 50 per cent father, 25 per cent son and 25 per cent daughter. All three partners file farm income tax in the province and share the expenses incurred on the livestock. In this case, all parties are eligible for the Drought Response Initiative and may apply separately at 50 per cent, 25 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. 2) Spouses are an informal partnership and share income and expenses of their operation. They can apply separately and report their share; or, one or the other could apply for their operation’s total inventory. There are seemingly endless combinations of shared ownership and business relationships. Regardless of situational complexities, Drought Response Initiative cheques are issued to the name appearing on the application form. In terms of financial convenience and direct access to payments, some producers are choosing to apply for this program independently. Beef Business: If a producer’s expenses meet the eligibility requirements for Payment One but do not meet the requirements for Payment Two, will the producer receive Payment One or be required to return it if he/she has already received it? Jodie Griffin: The second application and payment (i.e., Payment Two) is the only one tied to an extraordinary cost assessment. Payment One is not contingent on an extraordinary cost assessment; however, Payment One and Payment Two are eligible for audit to determine the claimed amounts are appropriate based on ownership, number of head, etc. Beef Business: How would a livestock producer be eligible to receive the maximum payment of $200 per head? Jodie Griffin: To be eligible for the maximum payment of $200 per head, a producer must incur an expense of $285 per female beef/dairy/bison animal (i.e., $285 x 70% x 1.0 = $200). The producer must have 30 per cent higher expenses than funds received under this initiative. If the producer did not incur expenses to the maximum of $285 per head, then the payment would be prorated to reflect the true extraordinary cost. Payment One example, if a producer has $180 per head in extraordinary expense for a female beef animal, then:






Extraordinary expense


Program coverage per head of eligible livestock


1.0 Animal Unit Equivalent



Eligible amount for Payment One



$126 per head Eligible amount for Payment One

$26 per head

Payment One

Remaining eligible amount after Payment One

If a producer has less than $142 per head in extraordinary expenses after receiving Payment One, the producer will be ineligible for Payment Two because 70 per cent of the extraordinary expense to be submitted must be equal to or greater than $100 (i.e., $142 x 70% x 1.0 = $100). Beef Business: How was the $285 per head extraordinary cost determined? Jodie Griffin: As part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agreement, AgriRecovery is intended to provide support for extraordinary costs associated with the drought (i.e., disaster event). Extraordinary costs refer to costs a producer 1) must take on to recover from the disaster, 2) would not incur under normal circumstances, and 3) are necessary to mitigate the impacts of the disaster. AgriRecovery covers 70 per cent of extraordinary costs associated with the event. The $200 per head payment was based on a calculation whereby $285 per head of extraordinary costs was estimated. This calculation takes into consideration variations in local forage production and market variations. The amount allocated worked within a cost-sharing structure. Beef Business: How should a producer calculate the 15 per cent of intended-to-breed females for 2022? Jodie Griffin: The 15 per cent is calculated using the total of all females bred in 2021. For example, if a producer has 150 cows and 75 heifers bred this past breeding season, then: 150


Cows 225 Females bred



Heifers x

225 Females bred

15% % of intended-tobreed females for 2022


34 Females eligible as intended females to breed in 2022

This calculation demonstrates the maximum number of females intended to be bred that can be claimed. When calculating Payment Two, the 15 per cent value will be applied to the December 31st inventory. Beef Business: Thank you so much for sharing your subject


INDUSTRY NEWS matter expertise on this important program. Is there anything else your team would like Saskatchewan livestock producers to know about this initiative? Jodie Griffin: We are receiving a large volume of applications and are doing our best to process these in a timely manner. Producers can apply for either payment one or both payments before January 31, 2022. Payment One is to address the negative impact drought conditions had to grazing livestock this summer


and is based on August 1st eligible inventory. Payment Two is designed to assist producers with their extraordinary expenses preparing feed this winter. If producers sold all their livestock, Payment Two is not necessary. Please reach out to SCIC with any questions you may have. For more information on this important initiative, please contact the Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative team toll-free at 1-844-723-1211 or by email at B | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 11


Ground beef- lean Cross rib roast





















Inside round roast





Ribeye steak





Round steak





Sirloin steak









Rib roast Outside round roast

Striploin steak T-bone steak










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

Feed Testing Keeps Livestock Healthy Knowing the feed value of your forages will give you the building blocks for a costeffective feeding program that minimizes waste, optimizes performance and allows the use of readily available feed sources. Feed testing may also include analysis for potential toxins. To learn more about feed testing and developing a customized winter feeding program for your herd, contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.




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


SK Weekly Average Price Steers 500-600 lbs




180 175 165

Wk 1 Wk 4 Wk 7 Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk… Wk…


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



245 240 235 230 225 220 215 210 205 200

Source: CanFax



140 130


120 110 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



90.00 85.00


80.00 75.00 70.00 65.00

Source: CanFax Source: CanFax CanFax Source:

Lethbridge Barley Price 2020


0.78 0.76

5 yr avg 20162020

0.74 0.72 0.70


Price per tonne



390.00 2020

340.00 290.00



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



100.00 95.00

Weekly Canadian Dollar Weekly Canadian Dollar


CDN $ - US terms

Source: CanFax

110.00 105.00

Wk 11 Wk Wk 44 Wk Wk 77 Wk Wk 10 10 Wk Wk 13 13 Wk Wk 16 16 Wk Wk 19 19 Wk Wk Wk 22 22 Wk Wk 25 25 Wk Wk 28 28 Wk Wk 31 31 Wk Wk 34 34 Wk Wk 37 37 Wk Wk 40 40 Wk Wk 43 43 Wk Wk 46 46 Wk Wk 49 49 Wk Wk 52 52



Price per per hundred hundred weight weight Price

Price per hundred weight



Source: CanFax

Alberta Weekly D1 & D2 Cows

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




FEATURE Canadian Prairies Weather Forecast Kori Maki-Adair

To participate, members send their atmospheric, oceanographic and landbased observational network data gathered from satellites, oceans and weather stations (24 hours a day, seven days a week), to WMO for pooling.

Drew Lerner World Weather Inc. Founder, President and Senior Agricultural Meteorologist

In 350 B.C.E., scientist, teacher and philosopher Aristotle wrote: “Nature is comprised of four bodies that move in a circle and the motion of these bodies is either from the centre or to the centre. The four bodies are fire, air, water, earth.”1 Since our planet is constantly in motion, so are those four elements which affect the state of our atmosphere. By identifying the patterns of motion that are affected by heat released from the planet, mapping the topographical features of the planet’s surface, and measuring the ebb and flow of the tides due to gravitational pull from the moon and sun, as Aristotle’s writings in Meteorologica describe, we are now able to forecast weather. For short, medium and long-range forecasting to occur with reasonable accuracy, 193 countries, states and territories rely on their membership in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),2 which is a specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.3 16

Once WMO’s powerful computers have processed and analyzed the information, WMO shares it in a free exchange in realtime or near real-time between WMO centres and national meteorological and hydrological services of members around the world to produce weather, climate and water-related forecasts, predictions, information products and services that we us use in our everyday lives, to support high-level decisionmaking and a variety of research applications around the planet.4 With the goal of providing Beef Business readers a medium to long-range forecast for the Canadian Prairies that is based on WMO weather data and three decades of WMO Membership, we connected with World Weather Inc. founder, president and senior agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner and asked one question.

What is your weather forecast for 2022?


Forecast release before occurrence


One to seven days


One to four weeks


One month to a year

great. Though, these deficits do not need to be fully restored to improve grazing grass, we do need enough moisture before spring to start up and nurture the growing season. The situation is not good now because we are going into winter and heading into a La Niña event, which produces favourable moisture near mountains; though, it does not do a good job in the heart of the prairies. So, we expect La Niña to produce above average precipitation along Alberta’s front range of mountains in the southwest and near the U.S. border. continued on page 18


Drew Lerner provided the following outlook on October 18, 2021: Medium Range We are carrying moisture deficits in eastern and southern Alberta and in the majority of Saskatchewan. These areas have not had significant amounts of moisture this autumn, which means we are carrying deficits that are way too


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FEATURE Weather Forecast cont. from pg. 16 TRUE OR FALSE: Weather and climate are not interchangeable terms. ANSWER: Weather refers to the dayto-day state of the atmosphere, which we experience in the form of temperature, precipitation, wind, air pressure, quality and visibility. Climate refers to observing average weather patterns over long periods of time (i.e., decades or centuries).5 People who consider unusual warm or cold spells (in any given season), as evidence of climate change are actually referencing the weather.

Unless there is enough moisture before winter, we are going to have moisture deficits in three-fourths of western Saskatchewan in the spring. That’s also true of Alberta in the east and southern interior. There is still potential for potential for


moisture in November. If we get a couple of storms before the ground freezes, there is a chance we can put enough moisture into the topsoil to help in the spring. Long Range Since La Niña events have colder than normal winters, we can expect temperatures to be colder than normal in the Canadian Prairies. That sets the ground rules as we head into spring. Our main concern is that we are in a longterm trend that is dominating North America and limiting precipitation in the prairies, which will make it drier and cooler than normal in the early weeks of spring. In mid to late summer of 2022, there will be a ridge of high pressure that will be in the eastern half of the prairies that will likely generate drier and warmer conditions in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan. At the same time, we will see improvements in the potential for rain in western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta.


La Niña According to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) website, La Niña names the appearance of cooler than normal waters in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. The changes in the tropical Pacific are accompanied by changes in the northern hemisphere atmospheric circulation. The resulting changes in the subtropical jet stream entering North America contributes to large departures in the location and strength of storm paths. The changes in the atmospheric circulation result in anomalous temperature and precipitation conditions over North America that can persist for several months. In Canada, climatic anomalies during the winter months include: above average precipitation in British Columbia, colder-than-normal temperatures in the Prairies and above average precipitation in Ontario and Quebec. 6


Though, we will likely enter spring with low soil moisture, we don’t know what’s going to happen in late spring and early summer before the ridge shifts to the east. We do expect to see grazing conditions improve in late spring and early summer; though, not altogether improved. The first round of hay cutting should be alright. The questions is, will the rains kickin for us to get a good second cutting? The answer is unclear at this point. We do expect to see better conditions in western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta; however, we anticipate the growing season will finish dry in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan again. The recent unsettled weather bringing needed moisture to Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan this autumn will continue in November, but will end soon thereafter. Another period of unsettled weather should evolve in late April, May and early June 2022 across the prairies that will provide an opportunity for further relief to dryness.

What I can say is, in general, the Canadian Prairies will do better in 2022, but it will still be a challenge. Beef Business extends sincere appreciation to Drew Lerner for sharing his internationally-renowned meteorological expertise for this article. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to our readership and best wishes to livestock producers and ag businesses across the Canadian Prairies for timely and well-placed precipitation heading into and throughout the new year! B REFERENCES The Internet Classics Archive: Meteorologica by Aristotle - Translated by E. W. Webster 1. meteorology.1.i.html

World Meteorological Organization 2. 3. 4. David Suzuki Foundation 5. what-is-climate-change/?gclid=EAIaIQobC hMIgZ3z79Hb8wIVGh6tBh1DRgMgEAAYA yAAEgIimfD_BwE Environment and Climate Change Canada 6.

There are no guarantees about how much rain will fall at that time, but it may be the best opportunity to improve moisture on the prairies before summer heat develops. If the precipitation turns out to be light and erratic, the lingering dryness from previous years of drought will help to generate a fifth year of drought. However, if the rain is great enough, it might just serve crops and hay development sufficiently to result in a better production year. Because it’s six months away, I can’t determine how much moisture we will receive at that time. It is important to get enough precipitation in the prairies before the summer ridge sets up to support crops going into what is expected to be a drier and warmer period during the heart of summer in eastern production areas. That is why receiving enough moisture in late April, May and early June is so important in determining production potentials for 2022. We have to have significant moisture in late spring. At the moment, we’re still playing games with some areas being too dry.


FEATURE Agribition is Ready to Celebrate Half a Century Jeff Gaye

“They just dreamt up, ‘why are we going to this big expense to go to Toronto when the livestock industry is mostly in western Canada, and we have facilities in Regina?’ “And that was the way it began,” Lees said. After a lot of phone calls and farm visits, the idea gained momentum. “The first year they pounded on everybody’s door and said we’re starting a new show, you need to come. Most breeders in those years would show cattle at all the small summer fairs. And they all thought the same thing,” Lees said. Chris Lees Canadian Western Agribition

It’s taken 51 years for Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) to get to its 50th anniversary show. But after the disappointment of having to stand down in 2020, excitement is building for the return of the livestock show that has been compared to the Grey Cup and the World Series. Agribition 2021 runs November 22 to 27. According to CWA president Chris Lees, it all started with “three or four or half a dozen” breeders who took to wondering why they had spent a lifetime taking cattle to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto by train.


“That was the beginning. And the show has never looked back since then.” Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association played an important role from the very beginning. Former CWA President Reed Andrews remembers the early commercial cattle show and sale, and SSGA’s involvement in making it happen. “Saskatchewan Stock Growers were primarily the ones that took over and ran the commercial cattle show,” he said. “When I first got involved, most of the contributors were Stock Growers members.” Andrews was 14 when he attended the inaugural event in 1971. In the early days, the show was held outdoors.


“They actually put some old wood rails together. I think it was the second show that people made up wood panels and then moved them by horse up to the stadium,” Andrews said. “They were underneath the old racetrack grandstand for a couple of years. And then eventually, in 1985, the current cattle barn was built and it was run and housed in there,” he said. “They were still showing in the stadium at that time, and the sale was in the stadium. And then in later years they built the sale ring and the show ring right in the end of the commercial cattle barn.” In addition to the commercial cattle show and sale, SSGA has been instrumental in presenting Agribition’s rodeo and developing the Agri-Ed program that takes the story of beef to elementary school students from across the province. Lees says getting Agribition back on track is important for the morale of people in the beef industry. “This year, we were determined if there was any way possible to do it, we would have a show,” he said. “We’re going to follow government guidelines and city guidelines and what have you. We want to have a safe and healthy show. The livestock industry


certainly needs a bit of a boost at the moment. “Our international guests that we have cultivated over the last 50 years are excited about coming here,” Lees said. “They’re definitely looking at, ‘Let’s get moving. Let’s get back to business and carry on.’” Lees said Agribition is a great time to do business, and a lot of business gets done; since, the industry is widely spread out across North America, and there are few opportunities for breeders and producers to get together. “The livestock industry in Canada has some of the best genetics in the world,” Lees said. “That’s why our show has become a world-class event and why our international trade market is as good as it is—because our genetics are second to none.”

“But, the other part about the industry is that it is a people business. I mean, at home we all think we have a grand champion bull; and, the only way to find out if he is a champion is taking the time to compete with everybody else.” There has been a little bit of hesitancy about attending this year, which Lees says is natural, considering what everyone has been dealing with for the past 18 months. Regardless, entries are “respectable,” he said—close to previous years—and he says his phone rings off the wall. “That tells us that these guys are going to come one way or another,” he said. The summer and fall of 2020 were particularly tough on the regional shows that qualify breeders for Agribition. Almost everything in 2020 was cancelled because of the pandemic. This past year was a little bit better.

Lees said, “The smaller shows leading up to Agribition are pretty much in the same position that we are. They’ve had to find a way to make it work for them. Every province’s rules and regulations are a little bit different, as you know. But these small feeder shows are going all across the country, right from the Maritimes.” “The thing about Agribition is that we have the RBC Supreme which wraps up Saturday night, and that is like the World Series,” he said. “You have your champions from all over Canada or North America, continued on page 22

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FEATURE CWA 50 Years cont. from pg. 21 whichever cities qualify, and they come to Regina because it is the World Series. “Breeders are excited. Trust me, they’re really excited.” Agribition is about more than purebred cattle. The week includes all kinds of displays and demonstrations, meetings, technical sessions and more. “The jousters are back, Maple Leaf Rodeo is back, and we have 12 breeds of cattle showing and 11 sales,” Lees said. We have sheep and alpacas and what have you, and Party on the Dirt is back up and running.” An added attraction is a raffle on a fullyrestored 1971 GMC Custom C1500 truck, commemorating Agribition’s first year. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the CWA Scholarship Fund.

Lees says Agribition is shaping up to deliver a great event for the livestock industry. “I can see the aisles full of people visiting and talking,” he said. “They’re all going to say the same thing—that it’s just nice to be able to stand here and have a visit.” Andrews says connecting people has been the great benefit of Agribition over the past half century. “Our family was a purebred breeder when I started, and then I started showing in the commercial cattle show in 1985. And I mean the camaraderie and the connections that people made during the commercial cattle show were unreal,” he said. “It’s based on people and honesty. Many deals have been done just over a

handshake. It’s just the way the cattle industry has been for many years and your reputation goes a long way, especially in the shows and sales.” A producer might go from one year to the next without meeting up with someone they know from Agribition; or they might bump into each other at some point during the year and have that friendly recognition. “One of my favourite stories is when we would travel,” he said. “In airports, people would come up and say ‘Hello, Reed,’ and my family would say ‘How do you know them?’ And I’d say ‘Well, I see them at Agribition.’ “Agribition really is about people. People make Agribition.”B

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FEATURE Land Market Conditions Are Ideal for Sellers—for Now Jeff Gaye

If you’re thinking of selling farmland, current conditions are as good as they’ve ever been. Demand is outpacing supply, resulting in high prices. Interest rates are low, encouraging buyers. And the capital gains tax regime is still favourable for sellers. But all things in business run in cycles. This perfect window of opportunity for sellers could start to close, and soon. According to Tim Hammond, owner of Hammond Realty in Biggar, “Values have never been higher. And there’s all kinds of liquidity, lots of buyers.” Bob Lane agrees. Lane, the owner of Lane Realty, says several factors are fuelling demand for farmland. “We’ve got probably the lowest interest rates in the history of farmland lending, so


buyers can take advantage of these low interest rates,” he said. Strong commodity prices are helping drive the value. “On the grain side, we’re experiencing some of the strongest prices for grain, canola and lentils that we’ve ever seen,” Lane said. As well, he said, concerns about inflation are making people think their money is better invested in land than sitting in the bank. In the meantime, the supply of farmland for sale has dropped. According to Hammond, the number of publiclyadvertised listings peaked at just over 800 in the summer of 2011. “It has steadily declined to where there are currently 243 farm listings, representing a 70 per cent reduction in supply,” he said.


“Although farmland values are a function of many factors, simply stated when demand outweighs supply, prices go up. During this same period, average farmland values have risen over $1,000 per acre.” Hammond says the buyers he deals with are mostly producers looking to expand their operations. “I would say 90 per cent of our deals are producers. Investors might account for five percent of our deals; they are a very small portion of the overall market,” he said. The long run of low interest rates makes borrowing inexpensive and allows buyers to pay higher prices on a land purchase. “It is cheaper for farmers to borrow, creating more demand from producers,” Hammond said. “Assuming all other things remain the same, producers can afford to pay more to purchase farmland.”


(Of course, “assuming all other things remain the same” can be a dodgy proposition. More on that later.) Lane says out-of-province buyers are helping sustain demand. “We still have people coming in from Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba,” he said. In the past dozen years, he has also been working with South African families who are adding to the market similar to the way Europeans did in the 1990s and earlier 2000s. As Lane said, producers and investors alike are attracted by strong commodity prices. Hammond says that annual investment yields of 3.5 per cent on farmland are better than bond or interest rates, which is appealing to potential buyers. Hammond adds that the scarcity of sellers relative to buyers is partly because many farmers have been renting out their land when they retire, instead of selling it. He also said, “In past decades, this farmland would have come to market and sold instead of being held.” “[Retired producers] do not need the capital, just the income. Farmland offers a competitive return with low risk,” Hammond said. “It is hard to argue with the decision to rent it out and continue to watch values appreciate.” Hammond and Lane both say there are threats on the horizon that could disrupt this near-perfect picture of selling opportunity. Lane says if current inflation trends take hold, interest rates will rise. “I think we are underestimating and not tracking the true values of inflation we’re having right now,” he said. “So, they will have no choice—


they will have to prop those interest rates up as a result of that.” Realtors and accountants are also keeping a close eye on the capital gains tax exemption for farmland, and whether the federal government will introduce changes. The current tax regime is favourable for sellers. For example, a husband and wife can each claim a $1-million exemption from capital gains tax on the sale price of their land. Removing that exemption would mean far less money in sellers’ pockets. It could also motivate landowners to sell before a change takes effect, adding supply to the land market and pushing prices down. “Some people are worried the current government could change those regulations,” Hammond said. “If that happened, there’d be a grace time; but, if people thought that was going to happen it may trigger them to say ‘you know what, let’s just capture the tax advantage we have right now.’” A spokesperson for Department of Finance Canada said the agency does not respond to speculation about upcoming budgets. Hammond said external factors also have the potential to trigger a change in the agricultural real estate market— something like when China banned canola imports from Canada. “Those are just so tough to predict; but something like that, an extraordinary event, could change it,” he said.

This year’s drought is not the kind of event that would affect land prices, for now at least. “I don’t think so. There’s just an overwhelming supply of positive things that are happening that I think is going to offset some of the negative things that are happening—like the drought,” Hammond said. “Overall, I would say the momentum is at least stable, if not an increase.” Lane says right now is the optimum time of year to get into the market. “Right now, post-harvest, is a wonderful time to advertise a property for 2022 spring or early February closings,” he said. “Before seeding and before the next farming season comes along. “Farm real estate is as seasonal as farming; so, it’s a good time to market a property right now through the fall and winter for a spring or early closing in the new year.” By this time next year, demand could be as strong as it is now. Crops might still fetch good prices. Interest rates might still be low and the capital gains tax exemption might be unchanged. However, all of those factors are in place now, and Lane and Hammond both say conditions have never been better for selling land. “Buyers are motivated,” Lane said. “They’re out there and they’re looking to acquire land, and so it’s quite a combination. We have a lot of good things happening right now. It’s a great time for anyone thinking of selling.” B | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 25

SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Active Missing Livestock Files August 16 - October 13, 2021

Area Missing From

# of Head

Animal Description

Loon Lake




Brand Description

Brand Location

RCMP Detachment

LSS District Office

Date Reported

Cow/ calf

Left hip

Loon Lake

North Battleford 306-446-7404

September 23


Left hip

North Battleford

North Battleford 306-446-7404

September 29


North Battleford 306-446-7404

September 22

Left shoulder

Pine Island



RM of Buffalo


4 cows 4 calves 1 bull

Left rib


North Battleford 306-446-7404

September 13

RM of Buffalo



Left rib


North Battleford 306-446-7404

September 27

RM of North Battleford



Right hip

North Battleford

North Battleford 306-446-7404

October 13

Left shoulder

Information provided by Livestock Services of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s Ag Real Estate Professionals Grant Anderson Rosetown, SK

(306) 831-9214

Kevin Jarrett

South East, East Central

(306) 441-4152

(306) 434-8780

Dave Molberg

Dallas Pike

Wade Berlinic

Biggar, SK

East Central, North East

(306) 948-4478

(306) 641-4667 Tim Hammond Saskatoon, SK

Regina/Swift Current, SK

(306) 500-1407

For the most up-to-date listings, please visit our website

(306) 948-5052


Alex Morrow

Saskatoon, SK



SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Livestock Services of Saskatchewan Year in Review – Summary of Annual Report Jason Pollock proof of ownership (the brand) as well as to other identifiers and documents provided. These include expressions of interest from security interest holders, court orders, shareholders and sometimes family members. It is the inspector’s responsibility then, to determine whether a withhold or redirection of settlement may be in order.

Jason Pollock, Chief Executive Officer Livestock Services of Saskatchewan

Livestock Services of Saskatchewan (LSS) appreciates the continued guidance provided by its membership. Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) continues to be an instrumental part of our success and we look forward to serving SSGA members and all the producers of Saskatchewan in the coming year. I am pleased to provide a brief overview of our past fiscal year. In fiscal 2020-2021, LSS inspected a total of 1,679,221 head of cattle and horses, which is a slight increase from the 2019-2020 fiscal year total of 1,665,644 head. These animals were recorded during 164,326 inspections. The average animals per transaction has slowly risen as producer demographics and operations change— and that trend continues.

Many withholds initiated by inspection staff are temporary and are resolved without involving outside parties, as the inspector completes diligence around brand and producer transaction searches needed to verify claims of ownership by the seller. Should documents provided and inspector data searches provide inadequate information, the inspector will initiate a formal withhold under the authority provided by their powers as an inspector. Completed queries will help determine whether the proceeds of sale can be released to the seller, or perhaps, redirected to another party. Although many temporary withhold orders do not generate a hard statistic, a test reporting of efforts expended over the past two years shows 789 instances where proceeds for more than 3,952

head were subject to extra LSS staff scrutiny prior to being released. This statistic is a significant reduction from the prior year indicating that education and diligence in communication with producers is resulting in higher levels of competence overall. During fiscal 2020-2021, LSS inspection staff did record numerous incidents relating to the following irregularities: •

Irregularities uncovered during 101 inspections of 1,493 headsaw funds redirected to owners and creditors who were determined to be the correct recipients of the proceeds of sale. A simple calculation of both withholds and redirection benefits to the industry around ownership shows the value of funds withheld/redirected is nearly $7.9 million, as significant value to any industry.

Shipping without inspection is the most common infraction of the Inspection and Transportation Regulations, but there are several other offences related to noncompliance with the legislation as well. continued on page 28

Based on the volume of the various classes and weights of animals inspected throughout the year, LSS has determined the average value of animals inspected in the past year sits at approximately $1,450 per head. This makes a total transactional market value of $2,434,870,450 for all animals inspected for trade and/or transport out of Saskatchewan. During normal inspection duties, LSS staff often uncover transaction irregularities relating to prima facie NOVEMBER 2021 | ©BEEF BUSINESS | 27

SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION LSS Report cont. from pg. 27 •

It is appropriate to note, livestock inspection agencies, in all western North America, continually share information and cooperate in enforcement and compliance efforts in the interest of efficiency and protection for all industry players. This is especially important for Saskatchewan, as we are largely an export jurisdiction. General investigations and herd searches were initiated at numerous locations as part of separate investigations initiated for parties with an interest in livestock inventory held, or possibly held, at these locations. The background on many of these files is not clear cut, and takes significant resources to investigate the validity of claims and to complete the inspections—sometimes over the course of repeat visits in multiple locations. The outcomes do not always provide satisfaction to all, but are a necessary part of diligence in administering the legislation. There were 64 files relating to reports of theft and missing livestock, which involve 556 head of cattle and horses with an estimated market value of $806,200. Five of the files were determined to be potential criminal code matters and are in varying states of investigation. Often, livestock reported as missing with no immediate evidence of theft are later determined to have been harboured by a finder, and as such, these files take some time to close. Progress is normally only possible through brand information recorded in downstream transactions and unbranded animals remain almost impossible to trace effectively. Inspection staff logged 33 other files relating to infractions ranging from failure to obtain a dealer licence and bond to failure to notify inspection, use of an expired brand and refusal to provide a manifest.

LSS does provide unofficial support to Saskatchewan municipalities in relation to their administration of The Stray Animals Act. LSS does not receive compensation for these efforts, but did respond to 47 reports of stray animals involving 174 head. Often, LSS support in determining ownership of livestock found at large, allows for timely removal from contentious situations while minimizing costs to the municipalities and producers relating to damages, capture and transport of these animals. The market value of these reported animals would be significant aside from the other savings incurred.

LSS is responsible for administering the provincial livestock brand registry. At the

end of last fiscal year, the Saskatchewan brand registry contained 14,602 active brands, a slight increase of approximately 300 brands from last year. It is interesting to note, each year, 15 to 20 per cent of all brands expire; and in recent years, 900 to 1,000 of those brands were allowed to lapse by the owners. In this past year, fewer than 400 brands were allowed to lapse by brand owners. LSS maintains an objective analysis of the services we provide to the industry. We monitor the relative value of our service using both tangible and intangible/perceived value to the livestock industry of Saskatchewan. This assists us in keeping on track and accountable to our owners. The summary of this analysis is below.

Actual Cost to Saskatchewan Livestock Industry: Inspection fee collected on 1,679,221 head

$ 4,544,427

Commission paid to livestock dealers for remitting inspection fees


Net Operational Revenue from Inspections

$ 4,502,877

Quantitative (Tangible) Benefits to the Saskatchewan Livestock Industry: NOTE: Estimated average value $1,450 per head for all calculations Proceeds redirected to rightful owner - 1,493 head

$ 2,164,850

Stray animal identification - 174 head

$ 252,300

Reported missing or stolen livestock - 556 head

$ 806,200

Cattle/proceeds withheld for clearance - 3,953 head


Value of regulated documents supplied to industry


Measured Benefit to the Saskatchewan Livestock Industry

$ 9,034,200

Qualitative (Perceived) Benefits to the Saskatchewan Livestock Industry: LSS Inspection and Movement Database utilized by Ministry of Agriculture/Canadian Food Inspection Agency


Security provided to credit institutions allowing producers access to affordable credit


Licensing administration and security held in trust by 139 Dealers and 290 Agents


Management of the Provincial Brand Registry (13,770 Registered Brands)


Net Measured Value provided to the Livestock Industry by LSS

$ 4,531,323

Summary of Financial Position for year ending March 31, 2020



Total Assets (Cash, A/R, Investments, Property)











Income (Loss) After Expenses





Between now and December 31st, 2021, active Members of 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 CFR Bale Processor

In addition to that, we will donate $250 per unit sold to Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association to support their formidable cause.


I N N I S FA I L W H R X 6 5 1 / 7 2 3 4 0 1 3 E T

N J W 76S 27A LO N G R A N G E 203D E T


Growth, carcass, udder quality.

Muscle, maternal, structure.

Performance, scrotal, calving ease.




SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Could a Total Mixed Ration Benefit Your Bottom Line? Josee Monvoisin

Sourcing feed has been a challenge for most livestock producers this year, as a large portion of Saskatchewan is facing drought conditions. Producers are looking for solutions to stretch their limited feed supply to overwinter their herds. This year, more producers may be considering utilizing total mixed rations (TMRs) to provide adequate nutrition for their cattle while making use of a variety of feed sources. Total mixed rations can minimize direct losses related to feed waste from selection, trampling and/or rejection. Research done by Barry Yaremcio (2009), University of Alberta, found that 12.9 per cent of forage fed using a Jiffy Bale unrolled was wasted; 19.2 per cent of feed fed was wasted using a bale processor to chop feed onto the ground; and zero per cent of feed waste occurred when feed was shredded into portable feeders. From a nutritional perspective, TMRs essentially allow each mouthful of feed consumed to be identical. Producers can add necessary vitamins and minerals directly into the mixture. Total mixed rations allow flexibility to incorporate less desirable and inexpensive feed sources into a ration, which can stretch the benefits of higher quality feed sources without compromising an animal’s nutritional requirements. It is imperative that producers feed test any sources they intend to use and build a ration based on their individual situations. Animal nutritionists can help producers create a balanced feed ration given the feed sources they have available. A balanced ration is the best way to ensure optimal nutrition, and in turn, increase the productivity and profitability of a herd. What follows is an example outlining the potential feed savings of using a TMR. Sample rations created by Government of Saskatchewan’s Beef Cow Rations and Winter Feeding Guidelines were


applied to ensure nutritional requirements were met (Table 1.1), using the following parameters:

• 150 beef cows • 1,400 pound cows calving March 15th

114,750 pounds more cereal greenfeed. Given the assumptions above, this equates to an additional 43 cereal greenfeed and 39 cereal straw bales when feeding the cereal greenfeed ration. During drought conditions, the cost of feed is well above the average and feed, in general, is more scarce than normal. Any and all efficiencies that can be gained in feed delivery can make a big difference to a producer’s bottom line.

• 150-day winter-feeding period o The first 90 days during midpregnancy and early-winter conditions

Although the initial investment of switching to a TMR feeding system can be costly, it may be an opportunity worth exploring further to improve animal nutrition and save on direct losses associated with feed waste. B

o The remaining 60 days during

late pregnancy and throughout the middle of winter

• Cereal greenfeed bales weighing 1,500 pounds

• Cereal straw bales weighing 1,100



Government of Saskatchewan. (2021). Beef Cow Rations and Winter Feeding Guidelines. agribusiness-farmers-and-ranchers/ livestock/cattle-poultry-and-otherlivestock/cattle/beef-cow-rations-andwinter-feeding-guidelines

• Cereal silage 65 per cent moisture content

A cereal silage-based ration and cereal greenfeed ration can be compared to traditional methods of feeding such as rolling out bales or shredding with a bale processor. For this example, an estimated 15 per cent feed waste will be used to account for waste associated with traditional feeding methods.

Yaremcio, B.J.V. (2009). Determining the Nutritional and Economic Impact of Feed Waste When Wintering Beef Cows in Central Alberta [Unpublished doctoral dissertation/ master’s thesis]. University of Alberta.

If feed waste is 15 per cent, a producer feeding 150 cows for 150 days would need 201,150 pounds more cereal silage and Table 1.1 Example Rations Cereal Greenfeed Conditions Cereal Greenfeed

Mid-Pregnancy Early Winter (90 Days)

Late-Pregnancy Winter (60 Days)

10 lbs

32 lbs

Cereal Silage Cereal Straw

18 lbs

Barley Grain

4 lbs


5 lbs

Cereal Silage Mid-Pregnancy Early Winter (90 Days)

Late-Pregnancy Winter (60 Days)

29 lbs

72 lbs

15 lbs

5 lbs

4 lbs

*All amounts are per cow, per day, on an as fed basis


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SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Tips for Starting Lightweight Calves on Feed Beef Cattle Research Council |

Many cow-calf producers from British Columbia through Ontario are planning to wean and sell their calves earlier this year. Others are reluctant to sell lightweight calves into a flooded market so are thinking about retaining ownership, putting extra pounds onto lightweight calves, and selling into a more promising feeder market in early 2022. Many factors need to be consideredwhen preparing to feed lightweight calves Calves face health and nutritional hurdles as they are weaned and transitioned to a backgrounding diet. Because of Mother Nature’s cruel summer, those hurdles may be even higher for this year’s lightweight calves. Despite producers’ diligence, calves from drought-stricken pastures will face unique challenges getting started on feed. The following tips and considerations can help calves be more resilient in the face of these added challenges. Dry pastures shortchange calves Forage from drought-stricken pastures will not have the same quality as forage in a normal year. Moisture-stressed or overly mature forages are often deficient in energy and protein, as well as vitamins A, E and possibly D. Selenium and copper deficiencies may also be concerns in some areas. If water sources are low due to evaporation, the salts and minerals will be concentrated in animals’ drinking water too. Water quality can increase the risk of some mineral toxicities, and higher salt levels in the water may also reduce the consumption of free choice minerals, resulting in a mineral deficiency.


Young, growing calves have higher nutrient requirements, so nutrient toxicities or deficiencies can impact them more than mature cows. Nutrient challenges associated with forage and water will be carried into the corral after weaning.

If they’re not consuming much feed, increase the proportion of supplement that is top-dressed to make sure they benefit from the concentrated nutrition the supplement provides. As overall intake increases, decrease the amount of supplement provided.

Talking to a nutritionist is particularly valuable this year—they can interpret your feed and water lab test reports; help you understand the current nutritional status of your calves; determine what your calves will need to consume in the coming months ahead; and help you to develop strategies to cover the gaps, economically.

Work with a qualified nutritionist to have your feeds tested and rations balanced

Your veterinarian can also collect blood samples from a subset of your calves to check for acute mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Weaning may be harder on young, lightweight calves Weaning is stressful in normal years and may be even more of a challenge when calves are weaned early. Consider using low-stress weaning methods to help calves transition to dry feed more quickly and reduce the risk of illness. If feasible, keep cows and calves together for the calves’ first few days in a new pen. Cows will help calves find water, adjust to the new ration and become comfortable in their new environment. Make every bite count Transitioning weaned calves to a new feeding program is key to managing and/ or even reversing nutrient deficiencies they may have developed on pasture before weaning. Calves might be reluctant to eat an unfamiliar ration for the first few days, but top-dressing the feed with a palatable supplement containing high levels of vitamins, mineral, protein and energy can help.


Just like pasture, growing conditions and stage of maturity of the feeds harvested for feedlot use will be different in a drought year than in a normal year. The nutrient content of each feed needs to be assessed separately to balance rations that will work at different stages of animal growth and different weather conditions. Last year’s feed test won’t apply to this year’s feeds, and book values won’t apply to alternate feeds. The lack of hay might mean that your rations will contain a blend of feeds that are unfamiliar to you or your calves (e.g., a variety of salvaged crops, crop residues, weeds and by-products like screenings, canola meal, dried distillers grains with solubles, straw and other alternative feeds). Using a variety of feeds may be the only economical option, but it will certainly make feed testing and ration formulation more complicated. These feeds will all have different energy, protein, vitamin, mineral and anti-nutritional factors than traditional hay, silage or feed grains. Feed tests based on near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) are fast, cheap and accurate for protein and energy, but NIRS is not accurate for measuring mineral content. Traditional wet chemistry is important for minerals. This is more costly than NIRS, but the information it provides is valuable. For example, the high levels of sulfur in canola or water may bind up copper or


SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Remember: Your nutritionist and veterinarian are your support team. They will each have unique expertise, insights and complementary skills to help cope with the challenges your calves are facing this year.

selenium from elsewhere in the diet. Newly-weaned calves may already be deficient in copper, if your cattle come from a copper-deficient (or sulfurabundant) area of the country. Having an accurate estimate of how much sulfur is present will determine whether (or how much) copper needs to be supplemented, and the most cost-effective way to supplement it (e.g., copper oxide or chelated copper). A selenium injection at weaning can temporarily correct deficiencies until the dietary mineral supplement has had time to restore adequate levels. Droughtstressed cereal greenfeed particularly that grown on manured soil may contain high levels of potassium that needs to be considered and potentially counterbalanced. Working closely with your veterinarian and nutritionist can help identify and correct problems early, before they become larger and more costly to fix. Potential problems in your calves may also highlight deficiencies (or toxicities) in the cow herd or bull battery that you may not otherwise recognize. Feed tests are critically important, but they won’t tell you everything Your nutritionist may be aware of some potential nutritional or animal health concerns that aren’t easily tested for and suggest ways to avoid them. For example, taking a big picture look at both the water and feed your calves are consuming can help prevent cumulative toxicity from sulphates or nitrates. Testing for compounds such as oxalates from kochia and dicoumarol from sweet clover is difficult. Testing for nitrates, ergot and mycotoxins can be done, but careful feed formulation and management is critical to cope with them safely. NOVEMBER 2021

Cattle feed is rarely tested for B vitamins due to synthesis from rumen microbes, but B-vitamin deficiencies can still be caused by high-dietary sulfur levels, or by ruminal acidosis (grain overload). Both of those factors need to be considered. Some water sources may have high sulfur levels this year, which can lead to polio. High barley prices may make wheat a more attractive feed grain, but it

carries a higher risk of acidosis if not managed properly. Successfully starting calves on feed is hard, even in a good year Starting newly-weaned calves on feed is challenging in good years, even for professionals. It will likely be even more challenging this year. The additional stress of early weaning, continued on page 36

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SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Feed Tips cont. from pg. 35 nutritional challenges and air quality can significantly increase the risk of respiratory disease in these calves. Good nutrition is essential to ensure that animals respond to vaccinations, fully. If calves were nutritionally-stressed on pasture, their immune status may be compromised and vaccines may not provide full protection. Proactively work with your veterinarian to develop a solid preventative health program, as well as an emergency response plan in the event of an unexpected and significant outbreak of disease. Preweaning vaccination programs are an excellent way to maximize the calf’s ability to respond to vaccines. If you are retaining ownership, you will also retain the benefit of this optimal vaccine program. Heat stress reduces feed intake, which slows gains and can compromise immunity. Misting sprinklers may help reduce heat stress, along with access to shade or a wind fence. Sprinklers should not be used in pens during mid-day as they can increase relative humidity and accidentally increase the heat load on cattle. Access to abundant fresh, clean water is critical to maintain health and welfare, encourage intake and avoid heat stress. Consider setting up additional water troughs to ensure all animals can always access adequate water. There have been a lot of air quality index warnings this summer due to wildfire smoke. Smoke and dust aren’t good for the human respiratory tract, and they likely don’t benefit cattle either. It is hard to know to what degree smoke and dust may increase the risk of respiratory disease in this year’s calf crop, but it’s doubtful that it’ll make the transition into the feedlot any easier. There’s not much we can do about smoke, but we can try to minimize dust. Freshly weaned calves (especially abruptly-weaned calves), pace a lot. This creates even more dust in dry conditions. Removing loose dirt in pens is critical for dust control. Spreading straw or wood shavings and setting up a sprinkler can also help. 36

Between smoke and nutritional challenges, if you’re considering retaining ownership of calves this fall, this is a very opportune time to work with your veterinarian to develop or update your health prevention program. When considering the expense of working with nutritionists and veterinarians, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Investing in good veterinary and nutritional services help to mitigate losses or turn a profit. B ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank the following subject matter experts for contributing their time to the writing of this article: • • • • • • • •

Joyce van Donkersgoed, DVM Calvin Booker, DVM Craig Dorin, DVM Darryl Gibb, PhD John McKinnon, PhD Karin Schmid, MSc Jack Fisher, MSc Barry Yaremcio, MSc

Haven’t worked with nutritionists? When you’re using unusual feed ingredients to reduce feeding costs, the added expense of working with a nutritionist is some of the cheapest insurance you can buy. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what nutrients, toxins or anti-nutritional factors to test for, or where to get things tested. A nutritionist can ensure samples are collected and submitted properly and to the right lab. When the feed test reports come back, the nutritionist can make sense of them, and figure out the best way to combine your various feed options in a way that uses them as costeffectively as possible.


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SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Feeding Corn to Beef Cattle

Dwayne Summach, PAg MSc, Livestock and Feed Extension Specialist Due to limited availability and high prices of feed grains grown in Western Canada, corn has made its way north from United States to be fed to livestock. While corn is a well-known commodity globally, producers in Saskatchewan may have very limited experience using corn. This article will provide information about corn and highlight the differences between corn and more familiar small cereal grains used in Western Canada. Corn is typically going to have more energy, less protein and a higher proportion of rumen bypass protein than barley or wheat. Typical nutrient analysis of select grains is provided in Table 1 for comparison. Table 1. Nutrient content of various feed grains Corn Energy Total Digestible Nutrient (%) Net Energy maintenance (Mcal/kg) Net Energy gain (Mcal/kg) Protein Crude Protein (%) Rumen Degradable Protein (% of CP) Undegradable Protein (% of CP) Fibre Acid Detergent Fiber (%) Neutral Detergent Fiber (%)

87.6 2.17 1.49

Barley Wheat Oats Dry Matter Basis 84.1 86.8 83.0 2.06 2.15 2.03 1.40 1.47 1.37

Peas 80.0 1.94 1.30

8.8 34.7 65.3

12.8 49.2 50.8

13.8 64.4 35.6

12.6 43.5 56.5

23.9 84.5 15.5

3.6 9.7

7.1 18.3

4.2 12.4

13.3 13.3

9.2 13.7

Corn is an excellent source of energy for beef cows, but needs to be used in a well-balanced ration that accounts for protein and minerals too.

Source: National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2016 Along with having less protein, the protein in corn is less rumen degradable. This means more corn protein escapes microbial fermentation in the rumen to be absorbed in the small intestine. Due to this, another source of nitrogen is often required to optimize microbial digestion of fibre in the rumen. Non-protein nitrogen sources such as urea or biuret may be used in combination with natural protein sources such as canola meal, soybean meal, sunflower meal or other protein sources to optimize digestion. Corn can be fed whole with adequate results, but cracking or rolling prior to feeding will improve digestibility by five to 10 per cent which will improve feed efficiency. Corn that is fed whole must be chewed by the animal for the rumen microbes to access the starch. The goal of rolling or cracking the corn is to expose the starch without turning the corn into flour (i.e., fine grind). Energy supplementation of forage-based diets with corn should be limited to 0.4 per cent or less of body weight to minimize the impact on fibre digestion. This is equivalent to five and a half pounds of corn for a 1,400 pound cow. Calcium to phosphorus ratios in the total diet will also need attention. Like other cereal grains, corn contains relatively low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus; the ration will need to be adjusted to balance the calcium and phosphorus in relation to livestock requirements. Corn is commonly used as a feed ingredient globally and while used infrequently in Western Canada, it can be readily substituted for other feed grains. Expect to require additional protein supplementation when using corn instead of barley to supplement rations based on low quality forages such as straw and slough hay. Processing corn can be done with roller mills and hammer mills, though adjustments will be required. Appropriate mineral supplementation will be required to balance calcium to phosphorus ratios. Assistance in developing winter feeding plans to use corn may be obtained by contacting your livestock nutritionist, a local Ministry of Agriculture livestock and feed extension specialist or by calling the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377. B REFERENCES North Dakota State University, Livestock Publications




SCIENCE AND PRODUCTION Don’t Make Assumptions When It Comes to Feed Value Jenay Werle, PAg, Livestock and Feed Extension Specialist

A stroke of bad luck like hail or early frost can create an opportunity for livestock feed. A demonstration in the Yorkton area examined the potential benefits and risks of salvaging hailed out oat crops and highlighted how variable nutritional value can be. In this demonstration, a farmer seeded oats on two separate fields. Both fields had hail damage in early July so the farmer approached a ranching neighbour about silaging the regrowth. An agreement was made, and the fields were cut and baled as silage in late August/early September. Flax had been grown on both fields the previous year and volunteer flax was present in the regrowth. The bales from each field were stored separately in multiple stacks, covered with silage plastic and ensiled for four to five weeks before being sampled. Core samples were taken through the plastic from the centre of several bales in each stack. The two fields (referred to as Field R and Field H) were tested separately as the maturity and flax content were different and the producer wanted to see how that impacted feed quality. The feed test results came back with a couple of surprises. Field R was less mature and had crude protein of 11.87 per cent, which was significantly higher than Field H at 9.79 per cent. The difference in maturity at the time of cutting impacted the crude protein content. Maturity also affected Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF), or the percentage of fibre that determines how much of the feed the animal can digest. Field R had a lower NDF value (55.2 per cent) than Field H (58.55 per cent), which means that cattle could more easily digest the forage from Field R. Magnesium and potassium levels were nearly identical between the two fields, though there was variation in calcium, phosphorus and sodium levels, likely influenced by greater flax content in Field R.


A salvaged oat/flax crop ensiling for cattle feed

The disappointment came in the form of energy content, which was lower than expected for both fields. Typical oat greenfeed has energy or TDN of 58 per cent; the results for Field R and Field H were 52.9 per cent and 52.7 per cent respectively, which is similar to slough hay.

he noticed that they baled in such a way that the heads were concentrated around the outer edge of the bale leaving more stem material in the centre. This may explain the poor energy values shown in the feed test, as the cow performance on these bales indicated a much higher energy level.

The key takeaway from this demonstration is that two seemingly identical crops can have several differences that impact nutritional quality. Weeds and other volunteer plant species can affect expected nutritional value. Maturity will have an impact, as dry matter yield, fibre and energy increase as crops mature, while crude protein decreases. Environmental conditions can also play a role.

Feed testing is an inexpensive way to manage your available feeds to best meet the needs of your livestock. Forage probes are available to borrow from any Saskatchewan Agriculture or Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation regional office. Contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-877-457-2377 to find a forage probe near you.

The only way to know for sure what you have is to feed test—and to do so properly. It was noted earlier that core samples were taken from the centre portion (or the middle, between each flat end) of several different bales. This is common practice when sampling. However, once the producer opened up the stacks and began feeding the bales,


In addition to the feed value of these crops, it is also important to remember that there are financial and management implications to salvaging field crops. To learn more about this demonstration, including the costs, antinutritional concerns and management considerations, visit register.gotowebinar. com/recording/2739656833967766792 to watch a 20-minute video on this topic from Ranch Management Forum 2021. B







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ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS A Report from Kelcy Elford President, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association build, corrals to repair, water bowls to fix, calves to ship, feed to bring in, and the list goes on. That’s nothing out of the ordinary from year to year; this year has been nothing that comes close to resembling ordinary. Feed has come from seven plus hours from home in some cases, across the country in others. Decisions that nobody expected to, or wanted to make, have been made. Kelcy Elford, President Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association

The fall list—will it all get done before the snow flies? I know around our place, the list continues to grow and the days get shorter. Fence to


YCoulee_BeefBusiness2021.indd 1


One thing that is constant in this whole industry is change, and every operation and situation is unique. Whatever decision that you have made for your operation this fall to get through to next year, as it is always next-year country, rest assured it is the right decision.

What that means is the decisions that are right for you are right for your operation. They may be completely opposite for the neighbours next door, and won’t work there at all. As long as those decisions for your operation work for you, they are the right decisions. With that, Stock Growers will continue to lobby for power to be added to the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP); because, if we don’t see any snow in a wide portion of this province, we won’t have any water to fill the already-dry holes for next year. Drilling wells and putting shallow pipelines is a long-term investment, and solution, for drought management going forward— and bringing power to the locations to drill those wells is part of that solution.

2021-10-19 3:54 PM NOVEMBER 2021

ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS Grass management has been and always will be, or at least should be, at the forefront of a rancher’s mind. Keeping the range healthy so that it will provide a return while improving the habitat for all species—through grazing—is what we do; and, piping water to utilize the grass properly is one way that keeping the range healthy, and profitable, can be done.

Well drillers are in high demand, and if you have a project to do, get it on the books and submit your application. The Ministry is aware there are a lot of water projects to develop and only a few contractors to go around. So with that, we have asked the Ministry for lenience on the application deadlines; however, it is still critically important to submit your applications as soon as you can.

The Ministry of Ag and Minister Merit need to be commended on the work that has been done so far to provide tools to get producers through this drought. The AgriRecovery dollars through Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC), have been easy to apply for and have been paid out in as timely of a fashion as SCIC can provide.

The second portion of the AgriRecovery dollars will come out soon for application. Our Ministry staff has done a great job with the federal government to make it a simple process for livestock producers. The applications should be posted on by November 1, 2021.

The last update I reviewed indicated the 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative has paid out millions of dollars through SCIC—and SCIC is continuing to make payments to support producers as they continue to apply.

One shining light in all of this is that the calf market, at least early on, was stronger than it was last year at this time—and that is much needed. As the fall work wraps up and the steady days of winter chores set in, remember to take time to appreciate the work you have

done. It’s easy to get bogged down with the pressures of this business, especially this year. On a final note, if you are feeding something you haven’t fed before, remember to get a feed test. The Ag Knowledge Centre has testing tools available. Testing is a pretty inexpensive way to ensure you are giving your animals what they require. Also, if you haven’t bought a membership with Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association yet, I would urge you to do so. This organization works for its members and you won’t find a better group of people to be around. With that, thanks for reading—until next time.


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ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS Director Profile: Adrienne Hanson Kori Maki-Adair

Clockwise: Adrienne, Joey, Abiline, Jentry and Josey Hanson at home near Langbank, SK

Environmental consultant, custom grazer and fencer Adrienne Hanson lives and works near Langbank in Aspen parkland, southeast Saskatchewan. This eco-region is the third largest boreal-grassland transition zone in the world, stretching in a 500-kilometre band from central Alberta through central Saskatchewan and south central Manitoba before dipping into Minnesota and North Dakota on the map.

The geography consists of spruce and poplar groves, prairie grasslands, streams, lakes, ponds and river valleys lined with aspen-spruce forests and dense shrubbery. The soil is fertile.

is known to be challenging. There are so many options and no one knows which choice will deliver the best outcome. In our case, my parents sold their cattle and we began buying land from them.”

It’s the paradise on Earth where Adrienne’s grandfather settled sometime in the 1930s. Her father was born on the home quarter and was raised on the property before running a mixed operation there until the turn of the century when he went all cattle.

A lot has happened since then.

He had a commercial herd of SimmentalRed Angus and was well-known for selling quality females. By 2010, Adrienne’s parents started discussing succession planning with Adrienne and her husband Joey Hanson. “Joey and I decided to move home,” Adrienne says with a smile. “Succession

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These days, the Hansons are custom grazers, Rangeward dealers and own a custom fencing and environmental consulting firm. “We also have three daughters. Abilene is 11, Josey is nine and Jentry is seven,” Adrienne says proudly. “Joey and I take turns doing the day-to-day work, but the girls are becoming more involved as they grow up and are getting more and more helpful. We feel so fortunate to have my parents—their grandparents— in the same yard.” continued on page 46



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ASSOCIATION NEWS AND REPORTS Director Profile cont. from pg. 44 Depending on the year, the Hansons custom graze around 350 pairs from the beginning of June to November. “We use planned grazing to achieve the greatest volume of growth while protecting productivity of our grazing lands,” Adrienne discloses. She says they are expanding to include a yearling grazing operation and adds, “We are Rangeward dealers because temporary fencing is key to managing the output of our outfit.” When asked to provide three words to describe her approach to life, family and business, Adrienne counters, “Only three?” Then states, “Yes. I. Can.” And provides another three, “Everything is figureoutable.”


Adrienne’s connection with Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) began when she was as a mentee with the organization’s Mentorship Program. Now an SSGA Board Director, Adrienne affirms, “The biggest advantage of SSGA membership is being involved in and informed on what’s really happening in the cattle industry.” There are many challenges and concerns facing the livestock industry. As a lasting resident of Aspen parkland where fossil fuel exploration has disturbed the natural habitat almost as much as arable farming, Adrienne feels that loss of land and biodiversity are her biggest concerns. “I would like SSGA to continue lobbying the government on current issues as well as discuss options for protecting space for the livestock industry amongst arable agriculture,” she says.


Grasslands are easier to break with a plough than an environmentalist’s principles. Adrienne believes it is important to communicate the value of permanent grassland to consumers, environmental protection agencies and non-ag government. While wearing the wellfit hat of an environmental consultant and responsible rancher, she states, “Grasslands are the only space left for many species and a huge carbon sink at the same time.” Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association is pleased to have Adrienne Hanson join its board of directors and looks forward to achieving many more milestones with the help of her strong work ethic, determination and unwavering dedication as a steward for the land. B


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Carla Dwernichuk, PAg

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It was also clear to SSGA’s General Manager Chad MacPherson that Carla has more to offer the livestock industry, “I’m glad we have this multi-faceted opportunity with Beef Business Magazine that matches so well with Carla’s extensive knowledge base and business intelligence. We have been looking for the right person to support the communication needs of our industry by connecting ag vendors and service providers with our readership. We are pleased Carla has joined our team.”

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STEWARDSHIP SSGF’s Role in the Rolling Hills You’ve heard the good news: Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species At Risk Partnership on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) fund awarded Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association $840,000 in additional funding to continue working with Saskatchewan landowners to protect native grasslands and critical habitat for species at risk. But, how does that affect you... this province’s quality beef producers, landowners and managers of native grasslands? To find out, we asked Ray McDougald, Board Chairman of Saskatchewan Stock Growers Foundation (SSGF), and here’s what he said. Native grasslands in southwest Saskatchewan are the last refuge for many species at risk in the province, including Greater Sage-Grouse, but also Sprague’s Pipit, McCown’s Longspur, Chestnut Collared Longspur, Pronghorn, Long Billed Curlew, Ferruginous Hawk, Burrowing Owl, Loggerhead Shrike, Piping Plover, Swift Fox, Black Tailed Prairie Dog, Northern Leopard Frog, Mormon Metalmark and the Yellowbanded Bumble Bee. As a beef producer in our fine province, I know as well as you do that native grasslands are also an important forage resource for our cow-calf sector. These grasslands are valuable from an ecological and cultural perspective, and they are economically important.

I like what Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President Kelcy Elford said in his report that was published in March’s Beef Business Magazine. He told us a story about how, in the early 1900s, Pat Hayes’s grandfather visited the Val Marie part of Saskatchewan, and ‘decided that’s where he was going to make a life.’ So, his grandfather contacted the dominion lands branch to negotiate the purchase of half a section. The lands branch accepted the proposal but added one clause: an additional four sections had to be taken as crown lease. At that time, the extra land was considered worthless. Kelcy said if anyone was familiar with our part of the world at that time, the land was of no value, that is, if a farmer intended to plow it. Now, more than a century later, that land and land like it, is a an essential working part of this province’s economy. And, through proper grass management, all kinds of wildlife thrive alongside responsible grazing practices. This is exactly why we setup SSGF. By working together, we are creating a sustainable environment for both livestock and species at risk. 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 based in Saskatchewan. With a specific focus of conserving ag lands, as a registered land trust, it’s the first to offer term conservation easements. Leading SSGF’s board is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. My wife Noelene and I carefully considered the opportunity. We wanted to be part of a legacy, and I think we’re doing that. We’re growing our family, our industry, and the viability of Saskatchewan’s native grasslands by getting involved as grass roots producers with all four of our boots on the ground, figuratively and literally. Being a registered holder of term conservation easements means that SSGF is also stepping into the boots it cobbled by upholding its responsibilities: to conserve ag lands, advance education, relieve poverty and assist victims of disasters. We’re starting out by protecting native grasslands, and we need your help. Here’s where you and your family come in. Right now, we need landowners’ input. We’ve developed a survey to assess your levels of interest and to gather geographically-specific knowledge of your lands’ biodiversity. We need your unique expertise to guide the development of term easement valuation and to understand your current and future decision-making needs— including, succession planning.

What's the difference between a TERM and PERPETUAL conservation easement? A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a grantor, generally a landowner and a registered holder (such as SSGF), and a landowner. The terms of the agreement are negotiated to meet the interests of the landowner and the conservation objectives of the holder, with the main objective being to protect and preserve the biological, physical and cultural attributes of the land. A conservation easement is registered against the title for a specified time or in perpetuity. Currently, conservation easements that are held in Saskatchewan are ‘in perpetuity’ and generally restrict development, cultivation and drainage. However, the option exists to register the conservation easement for a specified term. SSGF is currently developing a policy around term conservation easements, but the general thinking is that SSGF would be interested in negotiating generational length terms such as 25 to 35 years.




The benefits of granting an easement means you are preserving the environmental value of your land for the future, without giving up private ownership. Whether you pass the land onto family, or you sell it, the easement will be transferred with the property and the terms of the easement will remain unless they are modified by mutual consent of the landowner and the conservation easement holder. In terms of the financial reward for signing this kind of agreement, we are assessing potential payments in this study. We will release the details as soon as we have them. Easements are drafted to suit the unique needs of landowners, so consider what activities you want to allow. Do you want hunting, grazing, hay storage, water, trails and fencing development on the land? Think about how restrictions like cultivation, noxious weed presence and tree cutting for logging or firewood may be affected. Get independent tax and legal advice to be certain your agreement is tailored to your needs. I am sixth generation farm stock, fourth generation in Cypress Hills, and 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. As Kelcy Elford also said in his March report, our industry is built on establishing and maintaining relationships and community, ‘has been since there were grooves cut in the prairie by producers coming to set up a life on land of their own.’ And as longtime, dedicated members of Saskatchewan’s ag community, Noelene and I see ourselves as land managers and stewards rather than owners. Though, the two of us can’t solve the world’s problems by ourselves, we can work together locally, directly affecting green analytics, to make changes globally. So, if you’re interested in learning more about how term conservation easements or conservation opportunities in general, please contact Tom Harrison, SSGF Program Manager by telephone at 306-530-1385 or email at Thanks for reading. B


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STEWARDSHIP Targeted Grazing Turns an Invasive Plant Problem into an Opportunity Tara Mulhern Davidson Prairie grasslands are resilient; however, invasive plants present a real threat to the biodiversity and productivity of Saskatchewan’s rangelands. When managing invasive weeds like leafy spurge, it is better to use a combination of tools to combat the spread, rather than a single method. This is known as integrated pest management and includes prevention and monitoring; cultural control such as mowing; chemical control including herbicides; and biological control like grazing or using natural pests to keep weeds in check. Lee Sexton, manager of Sexton Grazing and Consulting based out of Hanley, Saskatchewan says that targeted grazing is gaining traction as an effective way to mitigate unwanted plants. “You’ll see leafy spurge and I see nothing but opportunities,” Sexton says. “Grazing weeds can be nutritious and palatable. I get excited when I see an infestation,” he adds.

Sexton says it’s not always commonplace for the public to think of grazing for weed control. “For some folks, it’s a real paradigm shift,” he says. He has set up targeted grazing everywhere from extensive prairie pastures in the South of the Divide area to city landscapes. He also notes that targeted grazing works on reclamation sites, gravel pits, oil fields and mining sites—particularly in areas where fire management is a concern. “The places that I get called out to are the ones that are hard to get to,” says Sexton. “Sensitive areas, high water tables, terrain that is unmanageable for spraying,” he lists. “Cities seem to be really receptive to [targeted grazing] but I see the need in the rangelands and that’s where my focus is,” he says. “You’re helping people that actually care for the land and appreciate what you’re doing.”

Sexton uses a variety of livestock to eat weeds, including: sheep, goats, horses and cattle. He says it’s surprising how cattle can and will eat weeds, but he finds goats are versatile for many areas and they usually eat a lower proportion of grass— a selling point with ranchers. “Goats are better browsers and will take on more of the noxious-type weeds because they can withstand more tannins and alkaloids in their diet,” Sexton affirms. He also says you can push a sheep to graze a diet that is 60 to 65 per cent of leafy spurge, whereas a goat will eat up to 75 or 80 per cent of their diet or more. “I like to get at least two passes to get as much regrowth and stress the weedy species as much as possible,” he says, which helps weaken the plants’ root systems. Sexton prefers to take the goats out twice a day to “power eat” for morning and evening intervals.

Lee Sexton herds goats along the Wood River in southern Saskatchewan where they are tasked with grazing leafy spurge. Photo courtesy of Tara Mulhern Davidson




STEWARDSHIP “The goats tank up, then the animals settle and ruminate for a bit, then head out again to graze,” he says and adds that it’s a bit like a buffet. Sexton notes that goats do need diversity in their diet to help with digestion. “I let them self-medicate. Once they get to a point where they are full of spurge and need something else, I’ll point them to something that cattle don’t eat as much— including snow berry and wolf willow,” he says. He uses simple and inexpensive electric fencing, often making use of what is already on-site. Sexton typically adds a single electric strand 10 inches up and 10 inches out around an existing three or four-strand fence. Premade fence insulators are available but he likes to bend black poly pipe, like previouslyused water line, to extend the electric wire up and away from the fence.

Lee Sexton installs an electric wire 10 inches up and 10 inches out from existing barbed wire fence to help keep small ruminants in. Commercial posts and insulators exist; however, Sexton prefers to recycle used poly water line to bend into an effective wire holder. (Photos courtesy of Lee Sexton).

When he needs to pen his animals, he will set up a night pen made out of electrified net fence. He also uses livestock guard dogs to help keep his herd safe.

Sexton emphasizes that water availability for small ruminants is very important. “If there is water available in places where [the goats] can accommodate a lower trough, that makes it easier.” continued on page 52


STEWARDSHIP Targeted Grazing cont. from pg. 51 While fencing is a good tool, Sexton prefers herding from horseback and relies on his border collie dogs to achieve results. “It’s very low impact on horseback,” he says. “The alternative is to be on foot and I’m too darn lazy to be doing that sort of thing,” he chuckles. There is funding available through Saskatchewan’s Farm Stewardship Program for invasive plant biocontrol and targeted grazing. Sexton adds that, in the past, he has been open to trading things or making other arrangements with producers to help offset cash costs. There are a lot of considerations for targeted grazing, including: animal health, stockmanship and negotiating agreements with land owners. Sexton takes his job seriously and is currently working to complete his Targeted Grazier

Certification offered through the Society for Range Management. “It’s a learning process and a teaching process,” he explains. “It’s quite a thing to go out on other people’s lands and I try to respect that and keep things low impact and be as respectful to their lands as possible,” he says. Invasive species aren’t disappearing anytime soon, however Sexton is working to change the way they may be viewed. “Targeted grazing is environmentallyfriendly, natural and regenerative,” he says. “Every time I go out, I try to learn more about how we can control weeds through grazing.” Sexton’s Targeted Grazing Tips

• Not all species can co-graze. For

example, sheep should not graze bison pastures because there is a risk of transmission of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) from sheep to bison.

• Use the right tool for the job. For

example, some graziers may prefer to use sheep but if the job requires controlling a lot of woody vegetation, goats will be more effective.

• You need a landing spot where you

can go if you don’t have a job or if something gets cancelled. It is also important to isolate animals for 48 hours post-grazing to allow weed seeds to move through the rumen.

• Some argue electric fencing is

ineffective, but the fence works as long as animals have adequate forage. If you leave enough to eat, it is not a problem. B

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NOVEMBER 2021 Nov.15-17

MFGA Regenerative Ag Conference

Brandon, MB


Cultivating Trust Conference

Saskatoon, SK


Cornerglen Ranching & Right Cross Ranch Sale



Canadian Bison Association AGM

Regina, SK


Canadian Western Agribition

Regina, SK

DECEMBER 2021 Dec.1

Gemstone Cattle Co. Hereford & Angus Sale

Brooks, AB


Glennie Bros. Angus Production Sale

Carnduff, SK


Big Gully Farm Bull Sale

Online and Maidstone, SK


Y Coulee Land & Cattle Co.

Lloydminster, SK

Dec. 14

Booking Deadline for January Beef Business

2022 Jan 18-20

SK Beef Industry Conference


Jan. 27

Brost Land & Cattle Sale

Irvine, AB

Jan 29

Lazy S Ranch Bull Power Sale

Mayerthorpe, AB


Moose Creek Red Angus Bull Sale

Kisbey, SK

Feb 5

Hill 70 Quantock Bull Sale

Lloydminster, AB

Invites all entries for our continued photo contest: We want to view ag through YOUR lens! How to enter: • Email your photos to with the subject line: Photo Contest • Include your name, mailing address and the location the image was taken • Please insure the photo is high resolution and clear quality for full page printing

Set your camera to HIGH QUALITY and start tapping! Phone graphic courtesy of:

Winning photos will be used in Beef Business Magazine and SSGA Communications and will be credited in the masthead and elsewhere as appropriate 54



ADVERTISER INDEX Adair Sales & Marketing Company Inc Allen Leigh Apollo Machine & Products Ltd. ArcRite Welding Bannerlane Horned Herefords Beef Smart Consulting Big Gully Farm Brost Land & Cattle Bud Williams Canadian Cattle Identification Agency Canadian Western Agribition Cargill Animal Nutrition Ceva Cornerglen Ranching Cows in Control Cowtown Livestock Exchange Inc. D&R Prairie Supplies Ducks Unlimited Edward Jones Frostfree Nosepumps GemGuard Gemstone Cattle Co. Grassland Trailer

52 56 58 57 58 56 30-31 19 58 3 11 56 44 18 57 58 16 2 56 57 57 24 57

Glennie Bros. Hammond Realty Head for the Hills Shorthorns Hi Hog Farm & Ranch Equipment John Brown Farms Johnstone Auction Mart Jones Farm Supplies

17 26 56 36 58 56 57

Kramer Trailer Sales


Lane Realty Lazar Equipment Linthicum Ranch Ltd. Manitou Maine-Anjou Man-Sask Gelbvieh Association Maple Creek Seed Supply Masterfeeds Merck Animal Health MNP Milligan Biofuels Moose Creek N.M. McMahon CPA New Generation New Vision Agro New-Life Mills

27 35 56 58 57 58 57 37 45 56 39 56 43 58 57

Nick's Service Ltd. Norheim Ranching O & T Farms OLS Tubs Performance Seed Quick Look Back Right Cross Ranch Rock Block Saskatchewan Angus Association Saskatchewan Livestock Finance Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture SASKTIP Inc. Sheppard Realty Smeaton Fence Supplies SweetPro Target Cattle Concepts Vetoquinol The Waterbox Willow Mills Ltd. Y Coulee Land & Cattle Co. YV Ranch Young Dale Angus Young's Equipment

51 32,60 21 15 57 57 18 56 56 49 12 46 58 56 56,59 13,47 4,41 22 57 42 23 58 29


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

Kim Simpson Finance Chair Assiniboia, 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: 306-375-7939

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 Kirsten Fornwald - SK Simmental Affiliate Ian Leaman - SK Shorthorn 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 306-297-3147 306-631-3694 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 | 55


Animal Nutrition

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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


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Annual February Sale Two year old bulls & bred heifers

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