Category: Livestock

Beef Market Update: Holding on to a strong basis

The Bank of Canada raised the overnight rate target to 1.25 percent this week, with a cautionary note that touched on the uncertainty around the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The announcement caused brief volatility in the Canadian dollar, but will this change, or the one or two other hikes expected by economists affect cattle… Read more »

U.S. cattle producers fighting against having livestock operations treated as hazardous waste sites

“This is most certainly not a toxic Superfund site.” As part of a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) campaign video, the organization’s chief environmental council, Scott Yager, stands in a Virginia pasture, overlooking a herd of grazing cattle, in only a portion of the yellow hazmat suit he donned at a hazardous waste site in… Read more »

Ag groups push for TPP participation as Australia, Japan set March timeline

With Australia and Japan saying they want to finalize the deal by March, Canadian agriculture groups are reiterating the importance of Canada participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (now officially known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP.) There have been serious questions about Canada’s participation in the Pacific trade deal after Prime Minister… Read more »

No kidding: small ruminants are coming on big

Ontario’s veterinary community is responding to the rise in goat and sheep production with new education and research initiatives. Jeff Wichtel, dean of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), says since September, his school’s curriculum has expanded teaching to include more information on small ruminants, and is conducting several new research projects to build up health… Read more »

Dairy Farmers of Canada hires new CEO

Dairy Farmers of Canada has found its new chief executive officer, and he comes with an understanding of the processing side of the dairy business in Canada. Jacques Lefebvre’s first official day in DFC’s Ottawa office is January 8th, as he replaces Caroline Emond, who departed in July 2017. He comes to DFC from his… Read more »

Activists pushing to tax meat like cigarettes

According to the dictionary, a sin tax is “a tax on items considered undesirable or harmful, such as alcohol or tobacco.” There is mounting pressure from activist groups to add animal proteins to that list of so-called “sinful” items. They argue meat creates added healthcare costs and negative impacts on the environment. It might sound… Read more »

Beef Market Update: A strong start to 2018

Cattle markets are kicking off 2018 like it’s 2017, with strong prices and a strong basis in Western Canada, in spite of a higher Canadian dollar. Factoring the jump in the Alberta fat cattle market last week to around C$167, the loonie rising over 80 cents, and a U.S. price of around $123, the spot… Read more »

Americans to enjoy a record amount of meat in 2018

With all of the hype around synthetic meat and plant based burgers, it appears consumers still have a taste and desire for regular old meat. In the 2017 wrap-up show on RealAg Radio, Kelvin Heppner described “plant-based meat” as one of the most overused terms of 2017 and consumers are not buying the Silicon Valley… Read more »

How sensors and cloud technology are improving milk quality and safety

Sensors and internet cloud technology — a combination sometimes described as the “Internet of Things” — are increasingly being used by farmers to maximize the quality and food safety of their production. The reduced cost of sensors and the ability to connect them to the internet (and users’ smartphones) is enabling new uses for this technology,… Read more »

Producers warned about veterinarian shortage

If you have a sick animal, there’s no such thing as a “timely” veterinarian shortage. But the current situation, which is seeing fewer veterinary service hours available and much more demand expected, is particularly worrisome. It’s raising caution flags in the veterinary sector, and has a leading veterinary educator searching for solutions. Here’s the situation…. Read more »

Inside ‘The Real Dirt on Farming’

Where can Canadians find everything they need to know about farming all wrapped into a neat 60-page package? It’s all in The Real Dirt on Farming. Farm & Food Care Ontario officially unveiled the newest version of its flagship public outreach publication last month. This new Real Dirt is the fourth edition since the project’s inception in… Read more »

McDonald’s to debut McVegan burger in Europe

Plant-based “meat” is gaining a new level of mainstream presence, as McDonald’s is planning to debut a vegan burger in Europe next week. The McVegan will be added to the menu in Sweden and Finland on December 28th, after testing in a limited number of Finnish restaurants this fall. Produced by Anamma, a subsidiary of… Read more »

Beef School, Ep. 7: Tips for high quality silage, straight from the farmer’s mouth

From planting to feeding, there is a lot to consider when it comes to growing, and keeping a high quality silage. “I think over the years we’ve learned that we have to be patient when we’re harvesting to get the silage off at the right time,” says Ryan Kasko of Kasko Cattle Co. “Especially corn… Read more »

Research shows water usage in beef production declined 17 percent over 30 years

A new study published by researchers from the University of Manitoba and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Lethbridge has found a 17 percent reduction in the total water required to produce 1kg of beef in Canada, from 1981 to 2011. The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment, looked at water use for: feed… Read more »

Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef launches framework

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) today launched its Certified Sustainable Beef Framework (and a new website) at the group’s annual meeting in Edmonton today. The Framework centres around the five Global Principles of Sustainable Beef: natural resources; people and community; animal health and welfare; food; and efficiency and innovation. “We know that consumers want… Read more »