Every year beef producers work to get their cows through the winter in good condition so they can calve, produce milk and rebreed in a timely manner.

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) says the task may be more challenging this year as feed supplies are short.

BCRC Science Director, Reynold Bergen, says producers should figure out what they have available for feed, test it, then work with a nutritionist.

"You should work with a nutritionist to match your feed together so that the animal requirements are met, and at the same time that nutritionist can help you identify where there's gaps in terms of energy, or protein, or specific minerals or vitamins that may need to be supplemented and what stage of the winter, or spring, that supplementation's going to be most necessary."

Bergen says even though feed supplies are tight, the cheapest feed can cost you in the long run.

"Especially if that means you're going to end up with thin cows, because those thin cows are going to rebreed later next year, they're probably going to have more calving difficulties first, and if they rebreed later next year or don't rebreed at all, that's going to have definite implications on your bottom line the year after next."

He says, the nutritional management decisions made this year for the cow herd will have consequences for the next year and a half.

Different by-products or feed-grade products can be used for cattle feed, but Bergen reminds producers to know exactly what's in those products before feeding them.

"When you're feeding something unusual, you need to make sure that they're getting the nutrients they need, but not getting antinutritional things that may harm feed quality, or may pose a health risk to the animal."

For example, Bergen says excessive sulfur can be a bit of a challenge with canola.

For more information on winter feeding, BCRC recommends producers contact their local extension specialist, or nutritionist, and visit their website.

More Ag News

Farmers Learn More About Advancements In Sprayer Technology

Farmers taking part in the Nutrien Ag Solutions event yesterday got some key information. Tom Wolf from Agrimetrix Research and Training shared some interesting stats from John Deere that showed…

Province's Carbon Tax Case at Court of Appeal

The province got a lot of support for its court case against the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax. Yesterday, representatives for the Provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario spoke in support of…

CWA Next Gen Agriculture Program

Canadian Western Agribition has selected the mentees for the CWA Next Gen Agriculture Program. The eighteen-month mentorship program aims to create a community of graduates with a deeper…

February 12 is Canada's Ag Day

Agriculture is taking centre stage on Tuesday in celebration of Canada's Ag Day. Agriculture More Than Ever Manager, Debbie Bailey, says the day is about getting people together to talk about their…

Saskatchewan's Carbon Tax Challenge Hits The Courtroom This Week

The Provincial Government is asking the Appeals Court to rule on whether the Federal Government’s carbon tax is constitutional. The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan has been granted…

Top Notch Farming Meetings Focus on Clubroot

Producers taking part in the Top Notch Farming Meetings this month are learning more about the spread of Clubroot in the Province. Barb Ziesman, the Province's Plant Disease Specialist, says…

Herbicide Carryover Could Be A Concern In 2019

Farmers are being reminded about the potential this year for herbicide carryover. It’s especially a concern in the Southwest, which has had two years of extremely dry conditions. Shannon Chant, a…

CanFax Manager Optimistic About Calf Prices This Fall

The Manager of Canfax Research Services says they were surprised by last year's calf prices. Brenna Grant says they remained steady at 222 dollars per hundred weight. "That was really encouraging to…

Herbicide Carryover Could Be A Concern In 2019

Farmers are being reminded about the potential this year for herbicide carryover. It’s especially a concern in the Southwest, which has had two years of extremely dry conditions. Shannon Chant, a…

CanFax Manager Optimistic About Calf Prices This Fall

The Manager of Canfax Research Services says they were surprised by last year's calf prices. Brenna Grant says they remained steady at 222 dollars per hundred weight. "That was really encouraging to…

Forward Hog Contract Prices Weaken

Forward hog contract prices have softened a little bit. Tyler Fulton is the Director of Risk Management with Hams Marketing Services. "They finished last week a bit higher, but in general they've…

Stats Can Releases Dec Stocks Report

As of December 31, 2018, total stocks of most major field crops in Canada were down from the same date in 2017. Total stocks for wheat, barley, soybeans, corn for grain, lentils, and dry peas were…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login