Head Office Atlantic Beef Winter 2016

NS Cattle Producers
ABP tour topped a busy fall
by Larry Weatherby
    As I am writing this we are getting very close to the end of November, and outside the window the ground still has tinges of green. But most cattle will be coming in off pasture in the next couple of weeks as the days get shorter and cooler. We have gone through three feeder sales this fall and though prices are considerably lower than this time last year, they are still stronger than previously predicted.
    The last couple of months have been busy for the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers (NSCP) as we wrapped up our fall programming and workshops and we start to prepare for our winter zone and annual meetings. In October we once again partnered with Perennia and Farm Safety Nova Scotia to host a humane cattle handling workshop in conjunction with the Cape John Pasture Tour. We would like to thank the organizers, presenters, and the more than 35 participants who joined us for the day. On Nov. 22, approximately 20 producers traveled to Prince Edward Island to meet with Bruce Andrews from Atlantic Beef Products (ABP) to talk about marketing animals to ABP and market forecasts and to tour the plant.
    The Safe Handling of Cattle and Elite Sire Program proved to be very popular again this year, especially for new components like locking head gates and scales. I encourage everyone to send their claim in as soon as possible as we try to process them on a weekly basis. In any case, all claims must be received to the office by Feb. 28, 2017.
    I would also like to remind all cattle producers that you will be receiving your December newsletter very soon. It will contain the 2017 license application and verification of levies paid for 2016. It is important that this form is completed and sent back to the office to ensure that you remain in good standing with NSCP and receive industry updates, have access to industry events, and are eligible for cattle-specific programs. These forms are due back to the office prior to Jan. 31. As an update from our last report, the new Cattle Producer Marketing Regulations will come into force on Jan. 1; these regulations can be found on the website (www.nscattle.ca/regulations) or by contacting the office. We will also present the revised Marketing Plan at our annual meeting for approval by membership.
    Speaking of the annual meeting, in 2017 it will be held on March 18 starting at 12 p.m. at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro. It will be held in conjunction with the third annual Maritime Beef Conference, which will be taking place March 17 and 18; check out www.maritimebeef.ca for more details. We are also now accepting applications and nominations for the 2017 Kings Mutual Cattle Producer of the year. If you are or know someone who is a leader in the beef industry, please contact the office for a nomination package.
    Annual Zone Meetings have been booked as described below. This year is an election year in Zone 3 (Ralph Thompson) and Zone 6 (Wayne MacKay), and for a Member-at-Large (George Smith). Members are reminded that they can attend any of the zone meetings but will only be able to vote, where applicable, in their zone.

(Larry Weatherby is the chair of NSCP. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the NSCP office at 902-893-7455 or office@nscattle.ca.)

NB Cattle Producers Association
Beef Sector Strategy
by Allison Finnamore
    Recognizing growth opportunities to supply regional supply chains with live animals and beef products, leaders in the cattle industry in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island continue to work to develop a Maritime Beef Sector Development Strategy.
    Industry leaders have identified a number of issues limiting growth of the Maritime beef sector, such as a lack of cattle to use available cropland. They also see opportunities for coordination, education, and cohesiveness in the sector. 
    Research projects and professional development plans are underway. The Maritime Beef Council is exploring opportunities for expanded operations at the Maritime Beef Test Station, creating a research and knowledge transfer hub where producers can learn about low cost expansion production models, animal feeding, and husbandry.

Check-off increases
    In response to changes at the national level and a review of the operational finance needs of the New Brunswick Cattle Producers (NBCP) Association, as of Jan. 1, 2017 the levy due on the sale of cattle will increase from $3 to $6 per head plus HST. Review and planning for changes to levy rates have been ongoing for several years, and have included consultations with producers and regional beef association partners in P.E.I. and N.S.  
    The Canadian beef industry continues to tackle new challenges, while the industry continues to retract. Despite these challenges, the NBCP is optimistic about the future and will continue to work towards supporting sector growth.   

Dairy-beef collaboration
    The NBCP and Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick (DFNB) have negotiated a streamlined levy collection agreement for cull and bob calf sales. NBCP Chairman Nathan Phinney notes that while beef farmers sell large groups of cattle a few times a year, dairy farmers can sell several small groups of animals a week. As a result, the amount of paperwork dealers and producers are handling for levy remittance on cull cows and bob calf sales is significant.
    The NBCP and DFNB agreed to collaborate and adopt a program piloted in N.S. The voluntary N.B. program will allow for a formula-based annual payment to be made by DFNB on behalf of participating dairy producers. The result will be a significantly reduced paper burden on milk producers, livestock dealers, and NBCP.

Maritime Beef Conference
    The Maritime Beef Conference will be held March 17 and 18 at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro, N.S. More details will be posted soon at www.bovinsnbcattle.ca.

Nominations open
    Recognizing the best in the industry, the NBCP is looking for nominations for the Beef Producer of the Year award. The award honours outstanding producers who have contributed to the development of the industry. The straightforward application form includes: sections for describing why a nominee should receive the award, special innovations and farm practices, and contributions to industry development.
    Completed nomination forms should be submitted by mail, fax, or email to the NBCP office by Jan. 31, 2017. The award will be presented at the Maritime Beef Conference, March 17 and 18 in Truro, N.S.

Plebiscite vote results
    The NBCP members voted strongly in favour of proposed changes to the makeup of the organization, which will result in better producer representation at the board level, and producer engagement in the industry. The request for necessary changes is now with the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission. Final changes to the regulations are expected to take effect in winter 2018.

(Allison Finnamore is the editor of FCC Express/Agribusiness and Agri-Food Weekly, publications of Farm Credit Canada. She is also an executive member of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.)
(For more information on the N.B Cattle Producers please contact Brenda Macloon at 506-458-8534.)

PEI Cattle Producers
New levy system treats every sector fairly
by Rinnie Bradley
    The Certified Island Beef (CIB) brand is growing in demand across the Maritime region and in central Canada. As a result of this growth, more animals are needed. The CIB Committee made a change to the brand criteria in order to expand the supply. Prince Edward Island feedlots can now include calves born in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick as long as they meet CIB requirements. The steps to getting approved for CIB include an on-farm audit, and signing an affidavit. Once these two steps have been completed, the calves from that farm will be allowed into the program. The most important thing for you to remember is to complete your Cow-Calf Manifest when you sell your calves to the feedlot, so that you will receive your $10-per-head premium. We have added a new tab to the Prince Edward Island Cattle Producers (PEICP) website just for CIB. It includes all the information and forms you will need to participate in the brand. 
    The PEICP will be implementing its new Levy Order on Jan. 1, 2017. P.E.I.’s levy collection process will change. There will be a levy collected on every transaction, and the cost of the levy will increase to $6. Cattle buyers, such as drovers, or livestock dealers from P.E.I. and from outside the province, will be required to apply for a Buyer’s Registration. There will be no fee for this, however, only buyers in good standing with the PEICP will have their name posted on the PEICP website list of Registered Buyers. 
    While cattle producers would naturally prefer not to have to pay levies, they understand the importance of doing so. They recognize that the levies not only fund the daily operations of their board, they also contribute to the marketing, promotion, and research of beef, including forage and genetics research conducted at the Nappan Research Station. Levies help ensure the Canadian beef industry is on a level playing field with other countries by negotiating to open new markets and ensuring Canadian beef is treated fairly in every trade agreement. A recent example of this was the successful efforts of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in having the Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) requirement in the U.S. removed. Canada estimates the damages caused by COOL to be $3 billion annually.
    One of the most important features of the new levy is its compatibility with the rest of Canada and particularly Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The cost of the levy will be the same across the Maritimes after Jan. 1, 2017. Once the changes have been implemented in P.E.I., all provinces in Canada will be charging a levy on every sale of every animal. Another benefit is the ability of anyone purchasing cattle to remit all their levies to their provincial board, regardless of the province they purchased them in. We will look after the rest, ensuring that the levy gets back to its rightful province.
    Dairy producers have the option to avoid paying the levy at the farm gate by participating in the Alternative Dairy Producer Levy Prepayment Program. It will have levies deducted once a year from their milk cheques as opposed to having deductions taken each time a bob calf or cull cow is sold. We urge dairy producers to check out this option to see if it would be beneficial.
    We are pleased to be implementing the new levy system in P.E.I., as we believe it treats every sector of the industry fairly. We will be adding information and forms relating to the new levy to our website. If you have any questions, please call the PEICP office at (902) 368-2229.

 (Rinnie Bradley is Executive Director of the P.E.I. Cattle Producers. She can be reached at 902-368-2229 or by email at cattlemen@eastlink.ca.)

Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia
Strong demand, good prices, flat production
by Fred Hamilton
    Fall is drawing to an end and we are only a couple of weeks away from the official start of winter. So far we have been lucky with the warm weather and lack of snow. But I am sure that this will change very soon. We are just wrapping up another positive annual general meeting of the Sheep Producers’ Association of Nova Scotia (SPANS), during which we had great information shared by the leads of our three research projects as well as Johanne Cameron. 
    As you will see in the CSIP Tag Report , there doesn’t seem to be much growth, if any, in the number of lambs being produced in the province. This is something that the board has discussed at length in recent months, especially considering the increased demand for lamb at provincially inspected facilities as well as Northumberlamb. It is a confusing situation when strong demand and good prices do not lead to increased production. As producers, the SPANS board, and the industry, we need to embrace this opportunity to continue to move our industry forward.
    The Safe Handling and Parasite Control Program and Elite Ram Program proved to be very popular again this year, especially for fencing and weighing equipment. I encourage everyone to send their claim in as soon as possible as we try to process them on a weekly basis. In any case, all claims must be received at the office by Feb. 28, 2017.

(Fred Hamilton is the president of SPANS. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the SPANS office at 902-893-7455.)

Prince Edward Island Sheep Breeders Association
Programs, projects, and seminars
by Claude Gallant
    The Prince Edward Island Sheep Breeders’ Association (PEISBA) board of directors continues to support the industry by working with provincial and federal departments through the Growing Forward 2 program. We have been advised that while other commodities are well on their way to using funds provided under this program, Island sheep producers have been a bit slower off the mark this year. The association recommends they begin submitting their receipts. 
    The PEISBA (for Sheep and Goats) was pleased to be invited to an “Animal Welfare in Practice” weekend focused on sheep welfare. The seminars included “hot topics” offered by Dr. Paula Menzies. The Ontario Veterinary College professor also took a look at the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Code of Practice. Other topics included: Transport and Slaughter by Dr. Michael Cockram; and Challenges and Opportunities for Producers by Andrew Hebda. It concluded with a panel discussion about diseases and management in goats. A large turnout of PEISBA members led to lots of wonderful dialogue and discussion at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown. 
    News about the advance funding for the scrapie project was delivered from Harry and Vicki Elsinga’s Brookwater Farms on the Graham’s Road, New London, P.E.I. It was a great opportunity for producers to meet with Canadian Sheep Federation Executive Director Corlena Patterson, MP Wayne Easter, as well as with provincial and federal personnel. The investment of $345,720 by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to the Canadian Sheep Federation will go a long way in the continuation of the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (risk management) in efforts to eradicate the devastating sheep and goat disease from Canada. It was estimated that the farm cash receipts for goats, sheep, and lambs totalled nearly $187 million in 2014. Funding such as this will help producers mitigate economic losses, reduce the cost of disease control actions, regain market access, and explore new markets.
    Harmony Meadows, a Belfast, P.E.I., sheep farm operated by partners Ken and Kim Smith, and Steven and Jennifer Taran, is teaming up with Northumberlamb on shearing lambs and processing the wool. In their words: “We’re milling up something tr-ewe-ly exciting” at Harmony Meadows as they embark on processing lamb wool. Farmers receive a bonus for sheared lambs arriving at the Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-op in Bible Hill, N.S., and now have an outlet for the lamb wool.
    The PEISBA’s Annual General Meeting and Producer Program will be held at the Rodd Royalty in Charlottetown on Jan. 7, 2017. More information will be available at a later date.