2017-140: Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey II: Understanding Practices and Profitability


Researcher: Kathy Larson Funding: $5,750 Benchmarking, or comparing your farm to another similar farm, has been shown to improve performance. A survey to gather common practices hopes to inform not only extension staff so that they can direct their efforts, but also help the SCA direct their funding and your levy appropriately.




2017-047: Implications of Carbon Pricing for Canada’s Beef Sector: Quantative Analysis and Assessment of Revenue Recycling Policies


Researcher: Brandon Schaufele Funding: 8,000 The aim of this project is to understand the impacts of a carbon tax on the cattle industry and the tools that could be used to reduce the impact on the industry. This includes implications from the Federal Carbon Tax policy in terms of beef farm profitability and competitiveness, interprovincial trade disruptions, and international trade implications.




2016-109:  Enhancing the Efficiency of Computer Vision Carcass Data Capture and Reporting for Feedlots and Packing Plants


Researcher: Mark Klassen Funding: $10,000 At the moment, carcasses at the top and bottom of Canada’s yield class 1 differ by more than 50 pounds of lean mean. Researcher Mark Klassen will develop procedure for plan computer vision system grading with support from a web based Carcass Information System (CIS). CIS will be used at a pilot evaluation at Harmony Beef, which will pay on a lean yield % basis, as opposed to yield classes. In addition, CIS can be further developed to provide analytical reporting to feedlots and
processors, so that they can adjust their beef production and procurement practices. This research has the potential to reduce the number of graders necessary, and therefore reduce grading costs.




2016-189: The Economics of Forage-Based Backgrounding Programs in Conventional and Non-Conventional Beef Production Systems


Researcher: John McKinnon FundingL: $55,200 Changes in consumer demands as well as labour availability on beef farms have led to producers pondering alternate farming practices. However, these changes are often filled with risk which could cause more strain on the farm. In order to provide a clearer outlook, steers in this trial will be separated into three different feeding trials, and further separated into conventionally treated cattle and “naturally” treated cattle without antibiotics, hormones, or Ionophores. Dr. John McKinnon and his team will compare direct finishing, short-backgrounding, and long-background (which rely more heavily on hay and pasture diets) and each groups’ status as “natural” or “conventional” to its death loss, cost of feed, equipment, health treatments, and labour, as well as the revenue from each of the six production systems. The re-searchers hope to provide beef producers with more information to choose from alternative production and feeding systems.




2016-109: Factors Affecting the adoption and exploitation of data management systems in the Canadian beef industry


Researcher Eric Michaels Funding: $10,000 The purpose of this project is to better understand the reasons behind the adoption of herd data management tools as well as the factors that influence greater utilization and effectiveness of these tools on certain farms and ranches. In order to note adoption of innovations and its uses, the researchers have proposed to examine factors that separate tech adopters from non-adopters, and then those factors that allow producers to fully exploit the data they have available.




2019-118:   Evaluating Premiums for Weaned Calves Marketed with Value-Added Management Characteristics


Researcher: Kathy Larson Funding: $20,000
Auction marts report the average prices for the cattle they sell. But what are the characteristics of the cattle that have the highest bids at the auction? This team of researchers will use information collected through CanFax for detailed lot listings and market reports. They will then cross-reference this information with attributes for each sale - including vet work, location, implant status, breed, age verification, etc. over the course of seven years. They hope to understand sales trends over this period of time, and to understand if some attributes like preconditioning have changed. If a trend is shown, it will provide producer with more information for their marketing decisions.




2017-148:  Dugout management for improved water quality


Researcher: Kerri Finlay Funding: $45,043 Could farms and ranches construct and better manage their dugouts to limit blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), toxins, salinity, sulfates and nitrates? As cattle have been shown to increase their weights and body condition through better water, and as there have been significant herd health problems even leading to death in the past year alone, these improvements could greatly improve your herd health. Samples from dugouts throughout Saskatchewan will evaluate the relationship between dugout characteristics and water quality. The researchers will report their findings to cattle producers after their research is complete in 2019.




2016-192: Solute and moisture fluxes below small watershed amended with feedlot manure


Researcher: Terri Fonstad Funding: $12,265 This research intends to provide insights into the dynamics of soil moisture below fields that have had manure applications. It intends to measure the seepage rates and chemistry changes in the near surface and subsurface to understand the mitigation of nitrate and phosphorus from manure.




2016-191: Improved manure utilization methods for feedlots in Saskatchewan


Researcher: Terry Fonstad Funding: $24,531 There are several different methods to dispose of manure from a feedlot. Stockpiling manure allows yards to be cleaned as needed without spreading it, and is less likely to pollute the local environment. However, the usefulness of stockpiled manure diminishes at as much as 40% of total manure nitrogen can be lost. In addition, years with heavy precipitation can also lead to losses of potassium and sodium can be lost. Also, the time and management of these piles might offset costs saved by not using mechanical spreading equipment.




2016-190: Pen surface soil performance of various soils during the first two cycles of cattle at a feedlot in Saskatchewan


Researcher: Terry Fonstad Funding: $22,998 Different types of soil not only lead to increased leaching, but also increased costs as pens containing water have shown to need 50% higher cattle maintenance. Three different types of onsite soils will be used in six pens throughout different seasons.




2017-048: Implications of Carbon Pricing for Canada’s Beef Sector: Quantative Analysis and Assessment of Revenue Recycling Policies


Researcher: Brandon Schaufele Funding: $8,000 The aim of this project is to understand the impacts of a carbon tax on the cattle industry and the tools that could be used to reduce the impact on the industry. This includes implications from the Federal Carbon Tax policy in terms of beef farm profitability and competitiveness, interprovincial trade disruptions, and international trade implications.




2017-004: Enhancing the Efficiency of Computer Vision Carcass Data Capture and Reporting for Feedlots and Packing Plants


Researcher: Mark Klassen Funding: $10,000 At the moment, carcasses at the top and bottom of Canada’s yield class 1 differ by more than 50 pounds of lean mean. Researcher Mark Klassen will develop procedure for plan computer vision system grading with support from a web based Carcass Information System (CIS). CIS will be used at a pilot evaluation at Harmony Beef, which will pay on a lean yield % basis, as opposed to yield classes. In addition, CIS can be further developed to provide analytical reporting to feedlots and
processors, so that they can adjust their beef production and procurement practices. This research has the potential to reduce the number of graders necessary, and therefore reduce grading costs.





2017-149:   The forage efficient beef cow: Investigating into the underlying physiology


Cows will vary in their body condition score, even if they are provided identical diets. This study will assess cows body condition on low-input winter diets to determine their ability to utilize the feed. This work differs from Residual Feed Intake work, as the cattle in those studies were still growing. This research considers cattle that are maintaining their health with lower-quality forages which might utilize these feeds more effectively from animal to animal. To facilitate this study, 130 pregnant heifers will be fed, and following that the cows with the highest and lowest body condition scores will be examined to determine their differences.




2017-095: Evaluating long term benefits of genomic selection programs in beef cattle breeding programs


Researcher: Bart Lardner Funding: $24,000 This project has been developed from a project that showed that not all bulls pull their weight in a herd. This study furthers that research, to evaluate whether bulls persistently fail to perform, and whether breeding performance can be determined based on genetics.