Nova Scotia Cattle Producers
Cattle market prices started off strong this year, flattening due to COVID-19 uncertainties of processing. Locally, demand was strong which helped hold prices steady in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Cattle Producers (NSCP) had another productive year, wrapping up some projects and planning to continue working on others into the New Year. Additionally, we are busy planning for upcoming Zone Meetings and the Annual Meeting.
The NSCP worked with the local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office to facilitate workshops, delivering presentation on the amendments to the livestock transportation regulations in February 2020. These workshops were delivered in late February 2020 across the province, with nearly 100 attendees throughout the four locations.
The Maritime Beef Council (MBC) released in Spring 2020 a new local dairy-beef resource: Beef on Dairy: A Maritime Dairy-Beef Production Guide. This first volume manual, From Breeder to 500lb Feeder, was a joint collaboration from various Maritime industry organizations, such as provincial livestock specialists, Atlantic Veterinary College, all three Maritime Dairy Farmers associations, all three Maritime Beef Producers associations, provincial veterinarians and Milk 2020, among others. This resource can be found at http://nscattle.ca/members/industry-fact-sheets/.
Also, in Spring 2020, NSCP started tracking cattle market pricing within the eastern Canada region.
Price reports are gathered each week, with the weekly cattle price from the week prior added to our website each Monday morning. This includes pricing from feeders (500-900 lbs), fed steers, cull cows and bob calves (good and average) from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia markets. This can be found on the Market Price Reports webpage: http://nscattle.ca/members/market-price-reports/.
In Summer 2020, NSCP and Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia jointly wrote and submitted a letter of interest for the Climate Adaptation Leadership Program through the Nova Scotia Environment – Climate Change Unit and the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture project.
The Cattle (Beef and Dairy) sector was selected as one of the three industry topics, being the only livestock group involved in the project.
Throughout the next two years, there will be focus groups routinely meeting between beef and dairy who will represent both industries, as well as selected value chain stakeholders, with the end result being a completed adaptation strategy.
Due to provincial exhibitions being cancelled this year due to COVID-19, the 6th Annual Nova Scotia Elite Beef Expo was unfortunately not able to occur this past August. We are hopeful the Expo can once again return for the 2021 Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition.
Throughout the year, NSCP worked with the Agri-Commodity Management Association on the Nova Scotia Animal Transport Resource and Training Program, made possible through funding obtained by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture CAP Program. This allowed for the Livestock Transportation Manifest to be created, which are sold at the NSCP office for $10 each. Additionally, this funded livestock commercial truckers in the province online Canadian Livestock Transport (CLT) Training, to obtain certification in animal transport in Canada under the current regulations.
Due to regional COVID-19 restrictions, the 5th Annual Maritime Beef Conference looked very different this year, as it moved to an online platform occurring evenings throughout October and November, rather than the usual March in-person session. The NSCP again partnered the 2020 Maritime Beef Virtual Conference Series, hosted by the Maritime Beef Council, by promoting and advertising the series. The east coast was well represented with many Maritime based presenters, such as Bill Thomas and Ellen Crane, in addition to national speakers such as Anne Wasko and Michel Roche.
With COVID-19 Public Health regulations tightening once again this past fall, NSCP made the move to virtual workshops, rather than in-person meetings. We began releasing videos for a Virtual Farm Tour Series in November, and will continue into spring 2021. A new video focusing on a different beef operation in the province is released each month. Please visit http://nscattle.ca/virtual-farm-tours/ and/or social media for these monthly releases. On the same webpage, a Cattle Vaccination Virtual Presentation can be found. This was recorded in the fall, focusing on beef cattle vaccination handling and techniques, as well as looking at the economics of vaccinating cattle and the associated potential premiums. We partnered with Dr. Alexander Burrows, Fundy Vets Ltd., Ellen Crane, BCRC and Jonathan Wort, Perennia on this video.
The NSCP is actively working with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture to develop programming which addresses industry goals, such as the Cattle Industry Enhancement Program, which closed for applications December 31, 2020. A full listing of all government programs and eligibility can be found at https://novascotia.ca/programs/.