Klassen: Cattle producers facing drought-like conditions


By GFM Network News, Jerry Klassen, Glacier FarmMedia Feed

via Manitoba Co-operator - May 3, 2021


Alberta packers were buying fed cattle on a dressed basis in the range of $262-$265 delivered this past week. Using a 60 per cent grading, the live price would be in the range of $157-$159.


If a feedlot booked the bulk of its feed grains earlier in winter, feeding margins are now hovering in positive territory. Strength in the fed cattle market appeared to spill over into the feeder complex. Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle markets traded $3 lower to $3 higher on average. A firmer tone was noted in Alberta and certain regions of Saskatchewan while the Manitoba markets felt somewhat sluggish. Quality yearlings and low-flesh backgrounded cattle were met with strong buying interest. Calves were rather soft and barely held value with the stronger feed grain prices. After a dismal year of cattle feeding, feedlot operators have a sharp pencil…


... Much of Western Canada has received less than 40 per cent of normal precipitation and the grasser market is feeling the effects of lower demand. These lighter calves are moving straight in the backgrounding lot. Drought-like conditions are a significant risk moving forward because there is no major rain event in the seven- to 10-day forecast. If Western Canada doesn’t receive rain soon, the market is going to be overwhelmed with calves...