GFM Network News


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 was tough to squeeze out a profit last year but Fred Lozeman is looking forward to 2020.

A year with more ups than downs, say these cattle producers

It wasn’t without its challenges, but 2019 worked out better than many had feared

This past year may have been a better year for Alberta’s cattle producers than 2018 was, but you’d be hard pressed to find many who would call it good. Between uncertain feed supplies, whiplash-inducing weather conditions, and variable cattle markets, producers across the province had to dig into their reserves, find a degree of patience, […] Read more


Emissions from Canadian beef production are among the lowest in the world.

Comment: A world without Canadian beef would not be good for the planet

The ‘beef is bad’ narrative ignores environmental gains by the sector and its critical role in preserving grasslands

In a world that is quick to malign businesses impacting climate change, the beef industry has been tagged as a major contributor. The notion that ‘beef is bad’ has infiltrated popular opinions of the commodity, making it difficult for alternate perspectives to break through the fog of negative rhetoric. So here I clearly state: Beef […] Read more

Alberta’s cattle herd has already been shrinking at twice last year’s rate and that’s likely to accelerate because of high feed costs.

With feed expensive and supplies tight, more cows are ‘heading to town

Your culling criteria will depend on your operation — and your cows

Alberta cattle producers may need to make some tough choices when it comes to culling this fall and winter. “There are a number of reasons for culling, and they all relate to profitability,” said provincial business management specialist Ted Nibourg. “If the herd isn’t profitable, if the cows aren’t making you money, it might be […] Read more


While other ag sectors have been roiled by politics or other issues, the cattle sector has been steady.

Stability of Steady Eddie cattle market is the envy of other sectors

Calf prices a bit higher, exports edging up, and despite a smaller herd, processing is doing well

There have been a few small hiccups but unlike much of the ag sector, the cattle market has been blissfully uneventful in recent months. “Calf prices are generally higher than a year ago. We’re seeing our calf and feeder prices 15 to 20 cents higher than a year ago, which is pretty positive,” said Brian […] 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


Study finds Canadian beef’s GHG footprint shrunk over 30 years

Efficiencies in cattle production and feeding have allowed Canada’s beef industry to produce the same weight in beef as 30 years ago with smaller breeding herds, less land — and smaller greenhouse gas (GHG) output, a new study finds. The study, led by research scientist Tim McAllister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, with […] 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



Is your livestock premises identification profile up to date?

Premises identification became mandatory in 2009, and is required to complete transport documents such as manifests and permits, sell livestock at auction markets, apply for government grants, and buy over-the-counter medication at retail outlets. Premises identification is an important component of traceability, and is crucial during a disease outbreak or other emergency situation. Have you […] Read more