Part 1 of three-part video series on antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial use and resistance have received considerable negative, inaccurate attention from the media, activist groups and legislators throughout North America, most recently following the release of a policy paper by the Ontario Medical Association. Continue reading

Antimicrobial resistance: does Canadian beef production contribute?

In March 2013, a policy paper was released by the Ontario Medical Association on the contribution of inappropriate use of antibiotics to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The report strongly implied that antibiotic use in livestock is a major contributor to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections in humans. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) would like to make the public aware that the report included several misconceptions and myths about beef cattle and AMR. Continue reading

New sainfoin for safer alfalfa grazing



This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Soil is like a bank account. If the nutrient withdrawals are always larger and more frequent than the deposits, the land bank will eventually go broke.

Plants use nutrients from the soil (and carbon dioxide from the air) to grow roots, stems and leaves. Some plant nutrients get returned to the soil through decomposition, manure and urine, but a lot of them don’t. Cows use the nutrients to produce milk and rebreed, and calves turn the nutrients into weaning weight. Over time, a lot of soil nutrients leave the pasture and go through the auction ring at fall feeder sales. If nutrients aren’t returned to the pasture through fertilizer, pasture productivity will eventually drop, and more forage acres are needed to raise the same number of cattle.

Alfalfa and other legumes help restore soil nitrogen, increase forage yields and extend pasture carrying capacity. The risk of bloat when grazing pure alfalfa stands can be reduced through Continue reading

Johne’s disease and the ethical dilemma

This article written by Dr. Steve Hendrick, from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Connection magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Ever wondered why some cows remain thin while the rest of your herd thrives? Although there are lots of possibilities for this, Johne’s disease is becoming more commonly recognized in Saskatchewan beef herds. Cows with Johne’s disease are typically in their prime (3 to 6 years of age) and often have evidence of diarrhea on their tail. What most producers don’t realize is that Continue reading

Ruminal acidosis: Beef Research School episode

Acidosis refers to a lower than normal pH in the rumen.? It is a growth performance, health and welfare concern caused by highly fermentable feed being digested too quickly, and typically seen when cattle are moved from a predominantly forage-based to grain-based diet.? Cattle that engorge on forages are also at risk.

Acidosis can cause diarrhea, reduced feed intake, and depressed behavior.? Once an animal recovers, it is likely to be feed deprived, leading it to overeat and be susceptible to more severe acidosis. Severe acidosis can lead to rumen ulcers, which allow bacteria into the blood stream causing further health problems, and death.

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