(BCRC) –The Canadian beef industry needs a current and accurate picture of the realities on farms and ranches across the country to prioritize research and resources with the greatest potential to benefit cow-calf producers.

To gather that information, the Beef Cattle Research Council is asking cow-calf producers in every province for 30 to 60 minutes of their time to complete the Canadian Cow-Calf Survey. It’s online at BeefResearch.ca/survey.

Tracy Herbert, the BCRC’s Extension and Communications Director, explains.

“About five years ago, a number of different cow-calf-production surveys were done across the country, including the Western Canadian cow-calf survey, which was done back in 2017-18. The information that cattle producers provided then was so valuable,” says Herbert.

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She says some interesting findings came out of it.

“For example, it found that nearly seven per cent of heifers and over five per cent of cows in Western Canada lost their calves before weaning. And half of those deaths happened in the first 24 hours.”

That information inspired them to work with veterinarians, producers, and other extension experts to develop concise, practical information resources like videos and handouts that can help producers increase the odds of calf survival using the best resuscitation techniques and colostrum management practices, guidance on how to tube calves or when to intervene in a difficult calving.

“Those have proven to be really popular and you can find those resources at beefresearch.ca/calf911.

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The cow-calf producers survey will ask important questions related to the 2022 breeding season and 2023 calf crop, reproductive management practices, calf management, grazing and feeding practices, and animal health.

The identity of individuals and their information will remain anonymous. Information will be pooled with other respondents before results are published on BeefResearch.ca in 2024.

“Participation in this survey by beef producers provides the input that we need to deliver information and tools to producers that can be truly beneficial for their herd and their operation.”

She adds the more responses that they get, the better decisions that they’ll be able to make and the better resources that we’ll be able to generate for them.

The survey can be found at BeefResearch.ca/survey

The BCRC is an industry-funded council of beef producers from across Canada. The Council allocates a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off to advance research, extension and innovation for beef and forage producers.