Beef research gets a boost
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) has been will receive up to $14 million under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced this week during the Calgary Stampede.
The BCRC, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), will contribute up to an additional $7.6 million, for a total investment of up to $21 million, an AAFC release says.
Funding for the Sustainable Beef and Forage Science Cluster goes towards improving the sustainability of Canadian beef and forage production, growing beef exports and supplying high-quality Canadian beef to domestic and export markets.
This funding is a continuation of contributions under two previous agricultural policy frameworks. Previous research activities looked at genetics, feed efficiency, forages and animal health.
One of the council’s roles is to continue with the National Beef Quality Audit started in 1995. The latest audit released earlier this year found that while there are ongoing improvements in several quality benchmarks, the industry is also falling behind on some measures.
Cattle sizes continue to grow, and much of the increased weight is the form of external fat that is trimmed from the carcasses. The result is a lower proportion of top yield grade carcasses. The audit also found that livers rejected due to abscesses continue to rise.
The Canadian beef sector accounted for$9 billion in farm cash receipts in 2017. Exports of Canadian beef and cattle totalled nearly $2.41 billion in 2017.