Cattle industry experts are in general agreement that the long-term outlook is bright for the beef industry. However, the short term outlook is cloudy. At the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association annual meeting in Moose Jaw, a substantial list of long term positives were listed by presenters. Pork, poultry and beef supplies are all dropping in North America. As the world economy improves, demand and prices will improve for many beef products, including the hides. Markets in Korea, Japan and China will eventually open to Canadian beef and beef products. And the domestic market is becoming more important to the industry meaning producers will be less dependent on exports. Unfortunately, in the short term, optimism is being tempered by recent developments. The rapidly rising value of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. greenback is hurting price prospects. As well, the drought in Western Saskatchewan and Alberta could precipitate a continued sell-off of Canadian breeding stock. It will also make hay more expensive. Most observers believe that calf prices this fall should be a bit better than last year, but cow-calf producers could still end up working for little or no net return. I’m Kevin Hursh.

Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC