GFM Network News

Carcass yield grades on the decline

Carcass yield grades on the decline

A close look at what’s behind the shift to lower yield grades in recent years and how the industry might reverse the trend

I have kept an annual record of grade and yield statistics since 1993 when a new grading system was introduced. It tells quite a story. I begin with the quality grades. One can see that the percentage of “Canada AAA” carcasses was below 20 per cent in 1993 and that the AA and A grades […] Read more

It would be very difficult for the U.S. to maintain their healthy beef export market without an imported supply of cattle from Canada.

Here we go again

Tariff disputes with the U.S. are nothing new

For many years we have complacently assumed that American displeasure with Canada’s supply management regime for dairy and poultry production was an issue well isolated from other agricultural sectors. This perhaps was never the case, but it certainly is no longer. If the wayward and quixotic President Trump can slap punitive duties on steel and […] Read more

Is it realistic to think that machinery can be more efficient at what nature has already evolved to do?

Is synthetic beef a threat to the cattle industry?

Lab meat has plenty of hurdles to overcome before it can replace ruminants

Recent news that technology has been developed to produce artificial or “ersatz” meat has caused a ripple of concern in the livestock industry. NOT TO WORRY! A couple of generations ago there were confident predictions of manufactured fluid milk and it hasn’t happened. But while I say, not to worry, I don’t mean that it […] Read more

cattle feeding

Musings on how much cattle eat and drink

Charlie Gracey looks at grain and water usage in cattle

Conventional wisdom holds that beef cattle are wasteful users of grain and in direct competition with humans for finite supplies of food grains and water. Thus the large acreages devoted to feed grains might better be deployed in the production of crops directly consumable by humans. This observation may appear logical on the surface but, […] Read more

An industry in crisis

An industry in crisis

Is there a way back? Cow-calf producers hold the key

A cattle-feeding industry that by year-end will have lost an estimated billion dollars since August 2015 plus a cow-calf sector that has lost more than one million cows and over 20,000 producers in the past decade strongly suggests an industry in crisis. Cattle feeders might be excused if they are not quite as optimistic about […] Read more

cattle in a feedlot

Has cattle industry productivity improved in recent years?

Charlie Gracey looks at the claim that we're producing more beef with fewer cows

For several years now I have been tracking industry productivity or output. Productivity improvement is important for any industry, and its just as important that producers should know whether progress is being made, at what rate, and in what manner. This brief discussion explores some of these factors. Recent claims that the cattle industry is […] Read more

cattle herd and horse rider

Beef industry appears to be stalled

Charlie Gracey's take on cattle markets and the cow-calf industry

There are few surprises and some disappointments at the end of Q2. Total slaughter cattle numbers are up 5.1 per cent and tonnage is up approximately nine per cent over the same period in 2015. The larger increase in tonnage is due entirely to increased carcass weights. Further, the increase in the percentage of AAA […] Read more

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Assessing the first quarter – cattle inventories disappointing

News Roundup from the May 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

At the end of the first quarter the domestic steer slaughter was down 2.3 per cent while the domestic heifer slaughter was down 9.1 per cent. That doesn’t tell us much until we factor in live slaughter steer and heifer exports. The sex of fed cattle slaughter exports is not known until closer to year-end, […] Read more