There’s financial distress in the cattle industry. Producers are exiting the business and the beef breeding herd is dropping. Despite this, cattle producers point to some reasons for optimism. At bull sales this spring, good quality bulls have commanded strong prices. Producers who are serious about the industry realize the need for superior genetics and they’re willing to pay for it. Overall, there has been some improvement in cattle prices in recent months. The value of cull bulls can be particularly good for producers who have purebred papers to prove the age of the animal. With this age verification, bulls can be exported to the U.S. and that opens up extra marketing options. Producers say another market class showing extra strength is light weight feeders suitable for going out on grass this spring. With a number of producers selling off their herds, there’s extra grazing land available at a low cost. This has generated more demand for grassers. The province has a core group of committed, low-cost producers who are determined to outlast the market downturn. For them, the glass is half full rather than half empty. I’m Kevin Hursh.

Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC