A United Voice for
Saskatchewan Beef Producers
Mission: To promote the well being of all
production sectors of the
Saskatchewan beef cattle
industry through effective
representation from all regions of
• Industry Profitability
• Research and Innovation
• Education and Consumer Outreach
• Animal Health and Welfare
• Environmental Stewardship
• Calving is timed to coincide with the emerging spring grass for
the cows to eat in order to produce milk for their calves.
• Calving is almost all done out of doors.
• Preference is for a short calving season in order to keep a
close eye on cows about to give birth and allowing calves to
reach market weight at approximately the same time.
The Bull Factor
• Bulls and cows are not pastured together year-
• Bulls are turned out with the cows in early summer
and removed from the cow herd when cows are
• Approximately nine and a half months later
the calves are born.
• Most of the calf-care is left
up to the mother cow.
• However, certain
interventions ensure the
health and safety of the
• These include vaccinating
against disease, castrating
male calves, branding to
identify ownership and
• All cattle must be
ear tagged before
they leave their
herd of origin.
• Fall roundup is a tradition on many ranches and farms
and still often done on horseback.
• Cows and calves are brought in from their summer
pasture and separated.
• The calves are now ready to eat hay and grass on their
• At this point many operators
sell their year’s calf crop to
someone specializing in
backgrounding or background
their calves themselves.
• Some female calves may be
kept to replace older cows for
• After weaning, calves are placed on a forage-
based diet over winter until their weight
increases to about 900 pounds (400 kgs).
• This process is known as backgrounding.
• The amount of grain fed is limited so the cattle
don’t gain weight too quickly.
• At nine to eleven months of age young cattle are typically
placed in a feedlot where they are brought to a finished
weight of approximately 1,250 pounds (560 kgs).
• A diet of forages is gradually changed until it is comprised of
about 90% grain.
• Grain finishing produces a tender, marbled beef.
• Cattle have plenty of room to move around and have free
access to feed and water.
• Cattle typically spend 60 to 200 days in a feedlot.
• The SCA, through the Saskatchewan Beef
Industry Development Fund (SBIDF), helps fund
practical research and endeavors to manage the
research evaluation process as new priorities and
opportunities present themselves.
• SCA believes a provincial research strategy,
which complements the national beef research
strategy, is required to ensure the industry’s
• Raising cattle is a lifestyle as well
as a business.
• The economic survival of a beef
cattle operation depends on
• Cattle grazing benefits land, water,
the atmosphere and wildlife.
• The industry has invested millions
of dollars in environmental
research and awareness
Code of Practice for the Care and
Handling of Beef Cattle
• The code has been updated and was released
in early September, 2013.
• It is a guideline for the care and handling of
• It reflects current beef management practices
and identifies welfare
hazards, opportunities and
methods to assure
Did you know?*
• There were 4.23 million beef cows in Canada as
of January 1, 2012.
• Saskatchewan has 30.6% of these - the second
largest beef herd in Canada.
• Saskatchewan cattle producers manage over 17
million acres of native pasture and tame hay.
• Canada produced 3.02 billion pounds of beef in
2011 – down 14% from 2010.
• Canadians eat 44.2 pounds of beef annually.
• Beef production contributed $25.96 billion to
Canada’s economy in 2011 – up 5.5% from 2010.
*Canfax, Statistics Canada 2011
Current Issues in the Cattle Industry
2. Relocation of the Beef Cattle Research
Teaching Unit (BCRTU)at the University of
4. Hormone and anti-microbial use
5. BSE and International trade
6. PFRA pastures
For further information contact :
Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association
310-820 51st St. East
Saskatoon SK S7K 0X8
toll free 1.877.908.2333
Follow SCA on Twitter @SaskBeefAssc