GFM Network News

Alberta cattle numbers are no longer falling — but herds are on the move

Some counties are seeing a major increase due to bigger herds, but crops are replacing cattle in other areas

While the Alberta cow herd has stopped shrinking, it has not yet rebounded. “The positive returns for the cow-calf producers over the last few years indicate the Alberta cow herd has finally stopped shrinking,” said Herman Simons, a farm business management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “In fact, the total beef cow numbers for […] Read more

Body condition scoring pays dividends

Beef 911: Having a good handle on body condition allows you to fatten 
thin cows and feed less to fat ones to boost performance

Body condition scoring really means assessing the condition and fat cover on your cow to enable you to feed them for optimal growth and reproductive performance. It may mean separating the fat and thin groups from the main herd, which allows you to feed them separately to save feed on the fat ones and build […] Read more

High costs slowing cattle herd expansion

Canada’s beef cattle industry is poised for expansion, but will high capital costs cause delays?

Strong prices are signalling that it’s time to start retaining heifers and build the cattle herd — but rising capital costs could cause some producers to hold off. “There’s lots of opportunities, but it’s costly,” said Rick Dehod, farm financial specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. A decade of pain and low prices means […] Read more

Clay and Jesse Williams will be keeping back some bred heifers this year so they can begin to expand their herd.

Province’s decimated cow herd may be on the mend

BSE, low beef prices, and then high feed costs have decimated Alberta’s cow herd, 
but a turnaround is coming into view

Canadian cattle producers are receiving strong price signals to begin expanding their herds — but will that be enough to reverse the decline in the national herd? Canfax’s research manager Brenna Grant thinks so, but not until next year. “We are anticipating these prices that we’re currently seeing to stabilize, but the price signal for […] Read more