2024 NRCB provisions for confined feeding of cow-calf herds during drought conditions

Posted on March 26, 2024 |

The NRCB recognizes that many areas of the province are dealing with drought conditions. If these conditions continue into the 2024 growing season, they could cause poor grass pastures, lack of water for livestock, lack of harvestable forage crops, and the summer confined feeding of cow-calf herds may be necessary.

Under normal conditions, confined feeding during grazing season may be considered a confined feeding operation that requires a permit. However, due to the extenuating circumstances, the NRCB will not require producers to obtain permits for the 2024 grazing season, provided the following parameters are met:

    • manure must be managed according to Agricultural Operation Practices Act requirements,
    • areas used for cow-calf feeding must not pose a risk to surface water or groundwater quality,
    • the cow-calf herd returns to grazing when grass is available in 2024 or 2025, and
    • the feeding area returns to its normal use (only over winter).

Feedlot operators can also feed cow-calf pairs in their feedlot facilities during the summer months provided they don’t exceed their total permitted animal numbers.

The NRCB reserves the right to revoke these provisions should drought conditions change, or not develop to the extent predicted.

If operators have any questions about confined feeding of cow-calf herds during the grazing season in seasonal feeding and bedding sites or in confined feeding operations, due to drought conditions, contact Kevin Seward, NRCB Manager of Compliance at 403-331-0637.