Two jam-packed nights of research updates, producer and industry insights shared the latest information on producing beef. Over the two days there were over 100 participants, thank you for coming out and learning with us.
On the first night, there was a lot of discussion about minerals on both the researcher and producer sides. Feeding practicality as well as mineral deficiency prevalence were discussed by the speakers. Dr. Cynthia Miltenburg shared OMAFRA's work on trace mineral status in Ontario beef herds and found that the most common feeding strategy was free choice. Emily Croft, a past graduate student who has since graduated with her Master's, presented her work on additional energy to beef cow diet and how colostrum supply and quality are affected. This work found that overfeeding energy to the dams did increase the amount of colostrum produced and even though it was less nutrient dense there are more total nutrients available due to the increased volume. The keynote speaker, Dr. Cheryl Waldner from the University of Saskatchewan discussed troubleshooting micronutrients in cow-calf herds. She spoke on the importance of maternal nutrition as the calves get their vitamins from the colostrum that the dam produces. Lastly, Melissa Atchison a Research and Extension Specialist with Manitoba Beef Producers from Poplarview Stock Farm discussed mineral supplementation on pasture.
Day two started off with Dr. Angela Canovas from the University of Guelph discussing her work on genomics in the beef herd. This was followed by Esther Chan a recent Master's graduate from Dr. Dan Tulpan's lab discussed her work on using machine learning models to predict beef cattle body weight by using images of the animals. Dr. Gilson Regadas from Cargill then discussed their latest drone technology to gather data from feedlot cattle. This was very interesting and looks to be an up-and-coming way to check on a herd. Lastly, Dr. Greg Penner from the University of Saskatchewan discussed fibre inclusion in feedlot diets.
The 2023 Beef Symposium was a joint effort between Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the University of Guelph Beef@Guelph.