GFM Network News


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

Rules of thumb when pricing cattle

‘Multiply the price of a steer calf times two, and that is the price you can afford to pay for a cow.’ Does this rule of thumb still hold true? That and other common sayings in the cattle biz are the subject of a new fact sheet by Canfax. “Rules of thumb can help evaluate […] 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



The drought and resulting feed shortage saw a big sell-off of breeding stock — and they’ll be expensive to replace.


Building the herd: The downside of strong cattle prices

Cattle prices are expected to remain strong into 2016, but what does that mean 
for replacement cattle next year?


Next year could see continued strong or even stronger cattle prices — and that’s a double-edged sword for producers who’ve reduced their herds this year and plan to buy replacements in 2016. Producers in prescribed drought regions who have reduced their breeding stock by at least 15 per cent can tap into the Federal Livestock […] Read more



Devilish dollar: What’s good for producers may mean more pain for packers

Cargill and JBS plants in Alberta need more cattle, but a low dollar 
makes it harder to get them and also has some negatives for feedlots

A low dollar means double trouble for Alberta’s big packers — and puts stress on feedlots, too. “In 2015, with smaller cattle numbers and bigger exports, we’re going to see some pressure on our packing plants and feedlots to stay better utilized,” said Brian Perillat, senior analyst and manager with CanFax. Despite its shrinking herd, […] Read more

Growing pains — herd rebuild a long-term proposition

Four to Watch: Cattle herd needs a ‘big move’ in heifer retention to fuel expansion

Cattle herd expansion was one of the biggest ‘will they or won’t they’ stories in 2014 — and that little plot line will continue to play out in 2015. “Right now, we’re still in the consolidation phase,” said Brenna Grant, research manager at Canfax. “Inventories are going to be stable on Jan. 1, 2015, and […] Read more