Statistics Canada's Livestock estimates report revealed 11.960 million head of cattle on Canadian farms as of Jan. 1, up .3% from Jan. 1 2015. Beef cows, however, were reported at 3.8296 million head as of Jan. 1, down just 1,600 head from Jan. 1 2015 while for the 11th year and 27.5% below the 5.2836 million head of beef cows estimated for January 2005.
By major-producing province, year-over-year drops in the beef cow inventory occurred in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while there was a year-over-year increase seen in Alberta.
The tally for replacement heifers on beef operations was estimated at 547,300 head, the highest number since 2009 and above both the five- and 10-year January 1 averages, indicating a growing level of confidence.
The total number slaughtered in Canada in 2015 totaled 2.9063 million head, down 8.2% from the previous year. Exports were also lower at 831,100 head, down 33% from the previous year.
While there may be some optimism that the industry may have turned the corner and we will start to see growth in the herd, the continued tightening in the beef cow herd may pose a challenge.
The total number of hogs on farms as of Dec. 31 was reported at 13.260 million head, up .7% from the previous year and the highest year-end inventory since 2009.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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