Blame it on the Rain

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the October 26,?2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.


Oct26 Cattlemens
This summer has seen unusual rainfall patterns, low river levels and drought in large parts of Western Canada and the Western States. Some people blame water shortages on the beef industry and are ready to answer the question “how much water does beef production use?” Unfortunately, these answers are often wrong, highly misleading and based on “how big a number will people possibly swallow?”

One common water use figure comes from a 2012 paper by Mekkonen and Hoekstra (“A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products”, Ecosystems 15:401-415). These researchers reported that it takes 15,415 liters to produce one kilogram of beef. Few people look beyond that number, but it’s worth understanding the shallow science behind that calculation.

They divided water into three categories. “Blue water” is used to water cattle, irrigate pastures, forage or feed crops, process Continue reading

These Little Piggies Ate a Quarter Pounder a Day

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Does eating beef from implanted cattle cause young girls to reach puberty sooner?


CattlemensNOV2015
Hormonal growth promotants have been used in beef cattle for a long time. The newest one (trenbolone acetate) has been around for nearly 35 years, while implants containing estradiol have been around for 60 years. Growth promotants improve growth rates and feed efficiency, but also reduce environmental impacts. A 2012 paper by Capper and Hayes (J. Anim. Sci. 90:3527-3537) estimated that producing the same amount of beef without growth promotants would require 12% more cattle, 11% more feed, 10% more land, 7% more fertilizer, 8% more fuel, produce 10% more manure and greenhouse gas, and increase retail prices by 8%.

Consumer concerns around the safety of the beef from implanted cattle are more recent. Plants also contain estrogen-like hormones (phytoestrogens), so a counter-argument is that ‘there are more hormones in the bun than in the burger’. Continue reading

How to improve weaning weights, conception rates and calf health: Webinar November 24

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: /e8f/resources/webinars.cfm

It is clear?that the value of a calf crop is?related to the number and weight of calves, but you may be very surprised by how much those factors are?influenced by the?cows’ body condition.

Join this free webinar to learn more about the impact?cows’ fat cover?has on?conception rates, calf health and weaning weights. Our guest speakers?will explain how to accurately determine whether cows are under- or over-conditioned, and offer?practical tips on how to manage their nutrition?accordingly in order to economically increase the value of your?calf crop.

When



Tuesday November 24th at 7pm MST

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB
  • 8:00pm in SK and MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI?

Duration

Approximately 1 hour.

Cost

BCRC webinars are available and free of charge thanks to guest speakers who volunteer their time and expertise to support advancements in the Canadian beef industry, and through the Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer project funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster.

Register now


clickheretoregister_BCS

 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1156073074814546177 Continue reading

Methods of deadstock disposal to reduce predation: Webinar November 17

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: /e8f/resources/webinars.cfm

Disposal of cattle mortalities needs to be done soon after death to prevent the spread of disease, prevent contamination of air or ground water, and to help reduce the chance of predation. There are many methods to dispose of deadstock, each with pros and cons.

Join this free webinar to learn more about deadstock disposal, including Continue reading