Category: Dairy

Why I’m Not Converting the Farm to Organic Production

As a proud farmer, I love answering questions, discussing issues and listening to concerns about everything agriculture, food and all of the connections in between. Sometimes though, some of those conversations have me thinking for weeks. Case in point: a simple enough question from a young woman left me trying to sort out a tremendously… Read more »

Ritz Announces $7.5 Million for New Livestock Traceability Service

The federal government has announced a $7.5 million investment in a new agency that will look after developing and operating a national livestock traceability database. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the funding for the Canadian Agri-Traceabiity Services in Calgary today. CATS is a not-for-profit corporation that brings together the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité… Read more »

Dairy Genetics, Milking Technology and Lots of Cheese — A Recap of the Canadian Invasion at the World Dairy Expo

RealAg’s Bernard Tobin and Shaun Haney were among the many Canadians who attended the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin last week. The WDE attracts around 70 thousand visitors each year. The 2,600 head of cattle on display had a new home for the 2014 expo, as the show included the opening of the new $24… Read more »

Canadian Dairy Industry Showcases XPO, Enthusiasm in Wisconsin

The Canadian dairy industry is not only attending the World Dairy Expo held in Madison, Wisconsin, it’s also promoting its own enthusiasm with a set-up in the International Lounge. The booth highlights the Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX), with hopes to recruit further international interest in the event, which runs February 4-5, 2015 in Stratford, Ontario. Only going into its third year,… Read more »

Legal Fight Against COOL Remains Alive, With WTO Ruling Coming Soon

A coalition of North American meat and livestock organizations is keeping its legal options open as it attempts to have U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) rules repealed. According to the industry, COOL is costing Canadian cattle and hog producers around a billion dollars per year. On Friday, a group that includes the Canadian Cattlemen’s… Read more »

Consider Quality Before Nitrate Levels When Managing Forages After Frost

The possible arrival of the first widespread killing frost in Western Canada this week has implications for livestock producers looking to maximize feed quality for their animals. Freezing temperatures can cause nitrates to accumulate in cereal species grown for greenfeed, which can be toxic to cattle (more info here on the SaskAg website.) However, management… Read more »

Harper Government Backs Canadian Livestock Genetics with $1.6M Investment

Today, in Woodstock, Ontario, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford, announced an investment of $1.6 million to the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) to help open new export markets for Canadian dairy and small ruminants genetics.  Last year, the Canadian dairy, sheep and goat industries generated over $120 million in exports…. Read more »

Gaining Ground: Managing On-Farm Fly Populations

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he persistent buzz and tickle of tiny feet on my face early this morning as the sun rose reminded me that fly season has reached our part of the country once again. Hopefully, most of you will have started your fly management activities months ago, but for those a little slow off the bat, or… Read more »

Cattlefeeders and Farmers See Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program as Critical

You are probably reading a lot right now about the challenges with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Sheila Pratt with the Edmonton Journal has been focused on the issue as it applies to allegedly reducing labor costs and the mistreatment of workers. Keep in mind that that the temporary foreign worker program is accessed by… Read more »

Apps for the Barn: A List of New or Notable Livestock Apps

Apps continue to grow and evolve in all aspects of agriculture, with crop commodities eons ahead of their livestock counterparts. Discussions are no longer bound by the confines of a physical community, with information being shared on Twitter, Google+ (check out #cattle and the Cattle Community for a taste of each), Facebook, Instagram and others. If you’re reading… Read more »

Real Talk, Real Action: Raw Milk is Not Worth the Risk

Some of you reading this have likely either consumed unpasteurized milk, or know someone who has, and been perfectly fine for the experience. Ditto for University of Guelph food scientist Prof. Art Hill, a leading authority on milk safety. Some 50 years ago on the family dairy farm on Manitoulin Island, he drank unpasteurized milk… Read more »

Ruminating with RealAg — Ep. 3: The Cow/Calf Bond, Orphan Calves & the Dangers of Bottle Fed Bulls

As evolution should dictate, there are substantial benefits to social behaviour in animals, provided that behaviour increases their fitness (or likelihood to reproduce). We see unique social behaviour in many species, including ourselves and our bovine counterparts. In cattle, social behaviours range from grooming to bonding, and witnessed accounts of cows protecting their young and… Read more »

NIR Workshop Offers Beef Producers Another Way to Improve Feed Efficiency

Feedlot operators are constantly running through a cycle of market highs and lows. When cattle prices are down and feed prices are up, cutting feed costs and improving feed efficiency are top of the list for producers. It was out of one of those particularly tough times in 2011 that the industry began to look… Read more »

Balance and a Good News Story: Made-in-Manitoba Milk

If agriculture is going to work towards providing quality food for informed consumers, we can’t be throwing each production system under the bus. Conventional agriculture needs to respect organic production as a valid production system (and a valid consumer choice), and organic producers need to stop vilifying conventional production and using misleading and down-right false… Read more »

Conference Board of Canada Cries Over Supply-Managed Milk

In the last week, discussions surrounding supply management in the Canadian dairy sector have lit up again, thanks largely to the Conference Board of Canada’s recent report entitled “Reforming Dairy Supply Management: The Case for Growth.” In it, the Conference Board, a not-for-profit research organization, argues for a three-point reform and, ultimately, the demise of… Read more »