Cattle numbers may decrease this fall


Anna Smith, Local Journalism Initiative (AB, Canada)

Oct 6, 2021 


The decline in the herds around Medicine hat has been part of a trend, said Lyle Taylor, owner of Medicine Hat Feeding Company, but it certainly hasn’t been helped by the lack of feed available due to this year’s drought.


“In our area, people have called their cow herd pretty hard over the last three years,” said Taylor. “So in this area, there will be some more culling, and there will be no expansion, and so we will see the cow herd shrink again in the Fall of 2021. Some of the older people might quit altogether. It's hard to say.”


The Medicine Hat Feeding company runs their regular sales every Wednesday until calf season after Thanksgiving, when they pick up to three times a week. Due to the continual shrink of the cow population, there’s been no need for extra sales.


Overall, said Taylor, it’s been about the same number of sales, but it’s a significant reduction from what it once was, three years ago.


“Some of our clients have retired, they've sold their land. And some of that grassland has been broken up for farming. And so those cows will not be replaced,” said Taylor. It’s been a harsh three years for producers, but he expects this year will be notably harsher...