Agriculture and Food Processing - Commodities: Livestock

Beef Genetics

About the Industry | Test Stations | Quality | Tradition | Contacts

calfThe Manitoba Advantage

The unique mix of quality seedstock and an abundant feed supply in Manitoba make it one of the most logical locations for cow-calf production.

The millions of acres of native pasture and the abundance of hay and barley feed, coupled with high quality feeder cattle and top performance crossbred heifers provide the genetic strength for commercial cattle breeding in Manitoba.

This results in the province's wide selection of seedstock which is sought for breeder and feedlot applications across Canada and around the world.

About the Industry

Manitoba's beef herd, one of the largest in the country, contains many different breeds including Simmental, Charolais, Angus and Limousin to name a few.

We have more than 11,300 producers maintaining a herd in excess of 650,000. It is upon this foundation that beef genetics has grown and quickly become an important segment of the Manitoba agricultural industry.

The Manitoba cattle industry has been involved in growth performance testing for over thirty years.

The genetic quality of the herd is maintained and improved through rigorous performance testing and progressive farm management practices.

limousinBull Test Stations

There are ten bull test stations currently operating in the province. Weaned bull calves (six to eight months of age) enter the station in the fall and the growth performance is typically monitored for 112 to 140 days.

During their stay at the bull test stations, bulls undergo a battery of tests that screen for reproductive ability (scrotal circumference, reproductive tract examinations and semen evaluation), structural soundness (feet, legs and mobility), and carcass traits (fat depth, ribeye muscle area and lean meat yield using real-time ultrasound).

Upon the conclusion of the monitoring period the bulls are ranked for growth performance.

The bulls that exceed the pre-determined minimum performance requirements are eligible for sale, breeding or semen extraction.

Those that do not meet the minimum performance requirements are not eligible for sale.

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Superior Quality

The bull test stations also conduct heifer development programs and have expected progeny differences calculated by the national breed associations for birth, weaning and yearling weight as well as maternal traits.

Embryos can then be used from top quality cows for embryo transplants.

The combination of superior quality semen from evaluated bulls and embryo transplants collected from genetically superior cows has resulted in our purebred beef breeders having a long established reputation for producing some of the top genetics in Canada and the international marketplace.


Manitoba producers have a long tradition of raising cattle and a reputation for sound management expertise.

The province is recognized for its production of quality genetic stock, quality supply of forage and feed grain, central location by road, rail and air, rigorous inspection practices, and a commitment to meet customer demand domestically and internationally.

Contact: Address: Other Links:

Mila Ruiz Turiaf

Send a Message or

Tel:  204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1763
Toll free in Canada and the U.S.

Manitoba Trade & Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3B 3P4

Growing Forward 2

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