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Western Canadian cattle producers encouraged to participate in survey
Western Canadian cattle producers encouraged to participate in survey

Livestock farmers have until Feb. 28 to submit their responses

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

Members of western Canada’s livestock community are encouraged to take part in the second Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey.

The first survey took place in 2014.

The 49-question survey, which is administered by the Western Beef Development Centre, helps industry representatives generate up-to-date production information and come up with strategies to improve the industry.

The information gathered during the survey can be a very powerful tool when speaking with government officials, according to Brian Lemon, general manager of Manitoba Beef Producers.

“The survey really allows us to understand what’s happening on individual farms,” Lemon told today. “It helps us argue for different programming and helps governments design better programming.

“The larger the turnout and the better the data, the better the decisions we can make as an industry.”

The industry can also benefit from farmers taking the survey.

Ranchers are consistently absorbing information about how to be better farmers, and the survey results can help industry reps understand if their research needs tweaking, according to Kathy Larson, a beef economist with the Western Beef Development Centre.

“We say there’s all these practices farmers should follow and there’s things we think producers should be doing in their operations but, if the survey results come back and reveal we’re way off-base, then we need to change the way we think about doing things,” she said.

Producers can also benefit individually from participating in the survey.

Any livestock farmers who complete the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey can receive a comprehensive report that compares their farms to others across the survey, including operations in the same province and farms that have similar herd sizes.

“Producers are putting in dates, head counts and other information from different times of the year and I can use those numbers to generate typical production indicators for them,” Larson said. “I can provide an individualized report to farms.”

Livestock producers have until Feb. 28 to complete the survey. Those who complete at least 80 per cent of the survey may be eligible to receive a $25 gift card.

Results from the survey will be released in the Spring.