There’s some good news for district beef farmers--prices are up.
And unless there’s a huge jump in the number of cattle introduced to the market, prices are expected to stay put.
For a while, anyway.
"We’re anticipating a good fall," said Bill Black with Canfax, the marketing arm of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in Calgary, noting they were anticipating an especially good October and November.
"It’s really a producer’s market," he added.
Gary Sliworsky, ag rep with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs office in Emo, said the demand for beef was keeping prices high.
"They’ve come up quite a bit since the spring and definitely since last year," he noted yesterday.
The high prices, combined with the lack of pasture and hay, has prompted some farmers to start selling off their stock, Sliworsky said.
"We’ve had quite a few cattle being shipped out already," he noted, adding he had talked to a number of producers who said they plan to ship soon because they weren’t sure they would have enough feed to get through the winter.
"At least [they’re] getting good prices," he said.
The Winnipeg Livestock Sales for stockers and feeders Aug. 15 saw good steers over 900 pounds sell between 90 cents and $1.10 per pound.
Last year, Manitoba’s prices for that size ranged between 75-86 cents per pound.
Good steers 800-900 pounds went for $1.05-$1.15 per pound (they went for 75-88 cents last year); 700-800 pounds for $1.05-$1.17 (77-88 cents); 600-700 pounds for $1.10-$1.25 (73-87 cents); 500-600 pounds for $1.10-$1.37 (75-84 cents); and 400-500 pounds for $1.15-$1.39 (70-85 cents).
"A few pennies make a lot of difference," Black said, noting farmers were making more than a few pennies over last year’s prices.
But Black also said he couldn’t predict how long prices would stay high.
"If I knew, I’d be a millionaire," he laughed, noting producers were used to both good and bad times.
"Our industry cycles. It’s just part of the cycle we have."