GFM Network News


This initiative aims to set a new standard for benchmarking production costs for cow-calf producers. Participating producers will be placed in small groups according to both their eco-region and production styles. Each group will not only provide cost-of-production data but also share their experiences on what practices work and which don’t.

A little here, a little there — how do you know when costs creep too high?

New cost-of-production program aims to offer cow-calf producers a better way to identify problem areas

Bad weather. Market volatility. The pandemic. There are a lot of things outside of your control as a cow-calf producer, but your cost of production doesn’t have to be one of them. “As the industry has been rocked by COVID-19, there is an opportunity for producers to examine what they can control — their cost […] Read more

The situation was grim in late spring when the backlog of market-ready cattle hit 130,000. But the outlook has greatly improved after packers processed an additional 32,000 animals than usual this summer.

‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ as cattle backlog numbers fall

The number of market-ready cattle remains high, but packers have made good progress since spring

In spite of producers’ fears in the spring, things seemed to have settled out a little bit in the cattle market. The shutdown of Cargill in High River and the slowdown of JBS in Brooks left a backlog of cattle that many worried would pummel calf prices this fall. “Our processing was limited in the […] Read more


It’s not very helpful to benchmark against operations that have different grazing, calving, and feeding regimes, so a key goal of the new Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network is to allow producers to make apples-to- apples comparisons.

New benchmarking program aims to help you up your game

Initiative will not only help cow-calf producers evaluate their performance but become more innovative

This is an abridged version of Part 1 of a three-part series. The full article and the two upcoming parts (when released) can be found at beefresearch.ca (in the BCRC Blog section). The Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network (CDN COP Network) has been developed collaboratively with provincial co-ordinators and funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council […] Read more

It’s been a rough year for feedlots, but slaughter is back to normal, losses have been halved, and the backlog of market-ready cattle is steadily coming down.

Cattle markets: Situation isn’t good but outlook is much better

There's been a 'pretty good recovery' but there's a long ways to go, Canfax official says

It’s been a roller-coaster year and while the ride isn’t over for the cattle sector, the worst may be behind it. “This year has been pretty extreme, but we’ve had a pretty good recovery,” CANFAX manager Brian Perillat said during a presentation at the virtual Canadian Beef Industry Conference. “Things are much better than earlier […] Read more


Cow-calf producers needed for cost-of-production initiative

Canfax is undertaking an initiative to develop baseline cost-of-production statistics. The Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production Network will host 26 producer focus groups (each consisting of five to six producers in each) across Canada in 2020-21. Scenarios will be developed of what future farms could look like utilizing the Five Per Cent Rule approach of […] Read more

The Livingstone Range makes for a picturesque backdrop for these cattle grazing in the Willow Valley. The picture for Alberta’s beef herd isn’t quite as pretty but given drought conditions and a feed shortage earlier in the year, the situation is fairly good for most producers, says Brian Perillat of CanFax.

Not bad feels pretty good for cattle producers this year

It’s far from a banner year but given how things started, 2019 has been better than expected

This year has probably gone better than most cattle producers in Alberta expected. “We started out dry and in a drought, and conditions were a concern early in the year,” said Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst with CanFax. “But we worked through it and we’ve come full circle. “We’ve got really ample feed supplies […] Read more



There aren’t any big clouds on the horizon for the cattle sector in 2018, 
but don’t expect a repeat of last year, says Canfax’s Brian Perillat.

Cattle prices are expected to be good this year — but not 2017 good

There will be more beef on the market but a robust economy should keep demand strong

Cattle producers hit it out of the park in 2017 — but this year is going to be a completely different ball game. “Last year, we saw some pretty big home runs, and I don’t really anticipate that for this year,” said Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst at Canfax. “Small wins might be all […] Read more


Carcass defects are costly, and much of that cost ultimately works its way back to producers.

There’s lots of money being left on the packing plant floor

Quality defects exceed $60 per head and reducing those losses will boost the bottom line for producers, says expert

National Beef Quality audits prove that Canadian beef is pretty darn good. But they also show that producers could be putting more money in their wallets by reducing defects that show up at the packing plant, says Mark Klassen, director of technical services with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The last audit, conducted in 2010-11, found […] Read more

Clay and Jesse Williams have grown their herd quickly and the fall in prices hasn’t deterred their plans to expand even more aggressively.

Canada’s cattle herd has stubbornly refused to grow

High prices made expansion expensive and falling prices have folks nervous — but young producers like Clay and Jesse Williams see only opportunity

Canada’s cattle herd has been poised for expansion for the last two years, but declining cattle prices have put those expansion plans on hold. “The July 1 inventory showed that we were completely steady with beef cow numbers,” said Brenna Grant, manager of Canfax Research Services. “We did have an increase in beef heifers for […] Read more