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Canadian beef and hog herds finally on the rise

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reuters / Canada’s herds of cattle and hogs rose at Jan. 1, turning around a long-term downsizing trend on the strength of high prices.

Cattle ranchers benefited from prices rising throughout 2011, while hog prices reached a seven-year high in the second half of the year, Statistics Canada said Feb. 20.

The Canadian cattle herd edged up 0.5 per cent to 12.5 million head, marking the first year-over-year increase in seven years. The inventory of beef replacement heifers rose 4.3 per cent to 554,300 head, indicating ranchers are starting to replenish their herds, the government statistical agency said.

Hog inventories climbed 1.1 per cent to 12 million head on Jan. 1, marking the first time the herd has risen in consecutive years since 2006.

However, the hog-breeding herd dipped slightly to 1.3 million sows and gilts, the lowest level since 1999.

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