Beef Market Update – What Will Save This Turn in the Cattle Market

Anne Dunford

This fall is proving to test the real intestinal fortitude of the cattleman in the United States and Canada.  With feeding losses mounting and demand not recovering in the early winter months, the outlook looks extremely strained.  Traditionally cattleman have been internal optimists but this turn of feeding has challenged all of that and more.  With ranchers, feeders and packers losing money the industry is looking for answers from government, ALMA, and the industry.

Cattle on feed numbers are strong and feed grain prices have held in the face of some very bearish tones through the late summer and fall.    Is there anything that can save this turn in the United States and Canada?

See  past Beef Market Updates


Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of @shaunhaney


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This seems to be an ongoing thing in the past many years, since BSE. I think with the low cattle prices and high feed costs its going to be challenging to farmers that are on the brink of giving up. I wonder why I continue, but it’s in my blood and after 15 yrs. of cross breeding to get my herd where it is today, giving up is not an alternative. I will survive. Hope there is more beef farmers out there with my attitude, because if there is no farmers, there is no food and that makes us very vulnerable as a country. We need to band together to come up with a solution, not compete so much as Canada and US. I’m cow/ calf and been thinking about getting into finishing to supply my local market. As for the governments involvement, I haven’t had any yet to survive and won’t count on it for the future. Wouldn’t mind getting some assistance in the future to expand, but for my survive, that’s in my hands.


I’m sure if I am still sitting at this computer 10 years from now there will still be a Canadian and/or North American beef industry, But, I’m not sure how many of the producers we have today will still be in the game. I’m hearing comments about ‘it’s the last straw’, ‘enough is enough’,’you can only bleed so long’. etc. I wonder if the market situation today is completely related to the recession or are there some fundamentals that have changed, and we may never will get back to ‘the good old days’, of beef – if there were some? Is it strictly a case of beef producers today just have to weather the storm, if they can? Is there anything beef producers can do to fire proof themselves from this situation? I asked on my blog what is the ‘fix’ for the Canadian beef industry, and the first comment I got back was to sell your cows and get into grain.


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