Latest articles


Salute the brave new owners

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay: From the April 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Entering the beef processing business is full of risk. Just ask those who have tried and failed over the past 25 years. So it’s worth saluting the owners of two new beef processing companies that have started operations at almost opposite ends of North America. I’m referring to Harmony Beef, which began operations February 27 […] Read more


closeup of a cattle in a field

Trump delivers trade blows

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay: From the March 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

President Trump quickly shattered any final hopes U.S. cattle producers had that he would relent on his pledges to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership or leave NAFTA alone. Now they and other ag groups will have to persuade the administration to open up export markets in other ways as quickly as possible. Many […] Read more



Black Aberdeen Angus cow at pasture in England

Genetic improvement lays the foundation

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay: from the February 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Ask any winemaker how he or she produces a great drinking experience and all reply “It starts in the vineyard.” The same is true of the beef industry. A great beef eating experience starts on the ranch or farm. And just like constantly improving the quality of the grape, it should include upgrading the genetic […] Read more


cattle in a feedlot

A year of green grass and more

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay: from the January 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Another year has begun and expectations on both sides of the border are for a decent year. Cow-calf producers hope for a mild winter but enough snow to produce a lot of green grass this spring and a good calving season. Cattle feeders hope to see more feeder cattle and a more stable live cattle […] Read more



donald trump and beef cuts

Trump threatens NAFTA and more

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay, from the December 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The integration of North America’s cattle/beef sector is one of the outstanding success stories of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect at the start of 1994. The sectors in all three countries have thrived under NAFTA, with all classes of cattle entering the U.S. and beef flowing in all directions. Trade […] Read more


Cattle feeders’ woes continue

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay, from the November 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cattle feeding is always a risky business. But no one foresaw the collapse in U.S. live cattle prices for the second fall in a row. One can only hope that by the time you read this, prices have put in a bottom and are on the rebound, however modest. The same applies for Canadian prices. […] Read more



Cow and a Calf

Declining cow-calf margins slow expansion

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay from the November 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The cow-calf sector is the nursery of the North American beef industry. What happens on the ranch determines whether the industry will expand or contract. This then determines what happens all the way to the retail meat case or the restaurant menu. Cattle numbers in recent years have shown different patterns north and south of […] Read more


September spells serious slump

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay from the October 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

U.S. cattle feeders might be excused for believing there is a curse on the September market. Feeders endured a historic collapse in live cattle prices in September last year, when cash prices fell more than US$27 per cwt in five weeks. Now prices have suffered another collapse, starting in mid-August, which showed no sign of […] Read more



Consumers’ food spending switch

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay from the September 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

All wealth of the North American beef industry comes from consumers. So how much they spend on beef and where they spend it is of vital interest to all participants, from cow-calf producers to processors and distributors. One of the most striking trends in the U.S. protein complex this year is how lower beef prices […] Read more


calves in a feedlot

Cattle marketing challenges continue

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay, from the August 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Grilling season sizzle inevitably gives way to the dog days of summer, when Americans stay indoors and eat cold cuts rather than steaks. This means the live cattle and wholesale beef markets usually put in their summer lows in late July. As temperatures moderate, beef sales pick up and allow the cattle and beef markets […] Read more