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

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

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture hosted the 2014 Agriculture Trade Summit in Saskatoon in early February. It was there that I met Jennifer Higginson, deputy director of the trade negotiations division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Higginson’s presentation dealt largely with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), citing an eventual elimination of over 95%… Read More

I ventured out to the University of Saskatchewan for a nice change of pace this week, meeting up with Eric Micheels, assistant professor, and Eduardo Pina, graduate student. Pina had just returned from a trip to Mexico, where he was interviewing dairy farmers for his masters project (and made it back to Canada just in… Read More

Research out of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) suggests that radio frequency identification (RFID) tags inserted into an animal’s ear cold not only require more strength to install, they are also much weaker than those installed at room temperature. These findings will no doubt be a warm message on a cold day to producers… Read More

The business of food retailing is undergoing significant changes.  There is significant consolidation happening, new entrants like Whole Foods, the growth of WalMart and all of this is happening while the consumer market is not growing overall. Just like farming technology is allowing food retailers to lower costs and gain more insight into its operations… Read More

Activists (some would say anarchists) seem to be routinely using the method of releasing shocking undercover videos that attempt to create the perception that all producers are using horrible practices. Whether it be the W5 Poultry video, Ohio Hog Farm Video or any other, this undercover scenario is something that not many producers would be… Read More

If you’ve been wary when fall-grazing alfalfa because of the risk of nitrate poisoning, you’ve been right to be careful, but for all the wrong reasons. Because alfalfa is a perennial legume, nitrogen is fixed and stored in the nodules of its root system and doesn’t actually accumulate in the tissues (something that can be… Read More

If you’ve got livestock, eventually you’ve got deadstock, too. Disposing of that deadstock can be a source of disease transmission or environmental contamination if not done properly, so it’s very important that ranchers and feedlot owners have a plan in place to deal with deadstock. There are several options available, all with pros and cons,… Read More

By Michael Grant, Director, Research, Centre for Food in Canada This post first appeared here, and is re-posted here with permission. An upcoming report for The Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Food in Canada argues that it is time for the Canadian dairy sector to transition from playing defence to playing offense. The notion… Read More

Preg-checking cattle can feel a little bit like heartbreak when the vet yells, “open!” But the disappointment of selling a good cow is nothing compared to the devastation that can occur from an undetected breeding problem. Feeding cows over winter is not cheap, nor is it always easy (as some of us newbies learned from… Read More

 

Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.

Register