Policies Affecting the Efficiency of Beef Production in Alberta: A Supply Chain Analysis

Shoppers face high beef prices at the supermarket, but those prices are not a reflection of what Canadian farmers and ranchers earn from their cow-calf herds. In the past 30 years, the average beef producer’s operating margin has never reached $50,000, despite the fact that the average beef farm’s asset base stands at more than $2 million.


Better access to export markets, including the U.S., South Asia and North Africa, would help to remedy the producers poor returns. Export prices would need to cover production costs, the largest of which is feed for the producers’ cattle herds, accounting for 77 per cent of the average ranch’s cash costs.


Saturday, June 01, 2024

Derek Gerald Brewin, PhD

Water Wealth in Agriculture: Roundtable Proceedings

The Water Wealth in Agriculture event was hosted in conjunction with the Simpson Centre for Food and Agricultural Policy, University of Calgary, and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan. The event brought together a diverse set of stakeholders concerned about water management from the perspective of industry, government, and research. Roundtable discussions were facilitated to discuss problems and potential solutions regarding sustainable water management for agriculture, and water management more broadly.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Herd-level prevalence of bovine leukemia virus, Salmonella Dublin and Neospora caninum in Alberta, Canada, dairy herds using ELISA on bulk tank milk samples

Endemic infectious diseases remain a major challenge for dairy producers worldwide. For effective disease control programs, up-to-date prevalence estimates are of utmost importance. The objective of this study was to estimate the herd-level prevalence of bovine leukemia virus (BLV), Salmonella Dublin, and Neospora caninum in dairy herds in Alberta, Canada using a serial crosssectional study design.


Source: Journal of Dairy Science



Friday, May 31, 2024

Waseem Shaukat, Ellen de Jong, Kayley D. McCubbin, Marit M. Biesheuvel, Frank J. U. M. van der Meer, Jeroen De Buck, Guillaume Lhermie, David C. Hall, Kristen N. Kalbfleisch, John P. Kastelic, Karin Orsel, and Herman W. Barkema

Grazing Management Plan Adoption and Objective Prioritization in U.S. Cow-Calf and Stocker Operations

This study examines the grazing management plans (GMPs) adoption and prioritization of environmental and economic objectives among U.S. cow-calf and stocker operations, utilizing 2020–2021 survey data and logistic regression analysis. Findings reveal regional adoption differences, with higher rates in the Midwest.
Operations with succession plans, larger grazing lands, and stocker activities are more likely to adopt GMPs. Operations with more privately owned land and smaller herd sizes prefer environmental goals, while those with less grazing land prioritize economic outcomes due to resource concerns. The study provides insights for policies promoting GMP adoption and sustainability in the U.S. beef sector.


Source: Cambridge University Press



Monday, May 13, 2024

Minfeng Tang, Cassandra Kniebel Aherin, Dustin L. Pendell, Myriah D. Johnson, Ashley McDonald, and Phillip A. Lancaster

A New Tool to Assess the Economic Impact of Q Fever on Dairy Cattle Farms

To support farmers in their decisions related to Q fever, a dedicated economic assessment tool is developed. The present work describes the calculator, its economic rationale, and the supporting assumptions. The calculator integrates a yearly compartmental model to represent population dynamism and the main interactions between disorders linked to Q fever, especially reproductive disorders (abortion, retained foetal membranes, purulent vaginal discharge and endometritis, extra services, and calving–conception delays). The effects of the nontangible cost of the disease on human health, the welfare of the animals, and the workload of farmers were not integrated into the model. The model shows high-level sensitivity to the prevalence of Q fever in the herd prevaccination and to the costs of abortion and extra days of calving–conception intervals. Breakeven points, i.e., cost values that allow us to achieve positive vaccination benefits, are also reported. For herds with moderate or high prevalence rates of Q fever prevaccination (>30%), a vaccination benefit is observed. The vaccine should be considered a type of insurance in herds with low prevalence rates of Q fever prevaccination (≤20%). The calculator was developed to aid decision-making at the farm level, and no conclusion can be extrapolated as a generic trend based on the present work.


Source: ResearchGate



Monday, May 13, 2024

Didier Raboisson, Guillaume Lhermie, and Raphael Guatteo

We have the power to shape a food system for both people and the planet

We are facing interdependent challenges that call for a shift in our agri-food system. And there is one way forward: the One Health way. Transitioning our food systems is a unique opportunity to implement cross sectorial public policies. It is time to focus on the potential to preserve and restore human, animal, plant and environmental health.


Source: Hill Times



Monday, March 18, 2024

Guillaume Lhermie