While the fundamentals seem to hint at conditions being right for the Canadian cow herd to begin an expansion phase, it’s not happening. Cull rates of about 10% would signal ranchers building their herds; 2013 numbers will end up somewhere about 15%, a number more synonymous with liquidation than expansion.

According to Brian Perillat, senior market analyst with Canfax, those producers who were planning to expand likely have, but that doesn’t mean Canada’s smaller-than-average cow herd won’t rebound in the coming years. Strong prices and now lower feed prices should create profitable conditions to encourage expansion, but it remains to be seen if it’s enough incentive.

Learn more: See the latest Beef Market Update here.

RealAgricutlure editor, Lyndsey Smith, caught up with Perillat at a Beef & Forage Info day at Arborg, Man., to talk about the cow herd size, how producers can, if all possible, adjust their operations to account for mCOOL’s impact and what tools are available for managing price and currency risk when marketing cattle.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.

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