Latest articles

Fall feeder cattle outlook

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen, from the April 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Feeder cattle prices have been percolating higher since November 2016 and I’ve received many inquiries regarding the price outlook for the fall of 2017. The U.S. cattle herd is moving through an aggressive expansionary phase while the Canadian cattle inventory has remained relatively stagnant. The year-over-year increase in feeder cattle numbers south of the border […] Read more

Reading feeder cattle futures markets

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

The feeder cattle market has experienced unprecedented volatility over the past couple of years. Steers averaging 600 pounds traded for over $300/cwt in September of 2015 but in February this year sold for $198. The erratic price action has caused cattle producers to take more interest in hedging feeder cattle and the Western Livestock Price […] Read more

Prepare for spring rally on barley and feed grains

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

Southern Alberta feedlots were buying feed barley in the range of $160/mt to $165/mt delivered over the past month; central Alberta operations were showing bids from $155/mt to $160/mt. Southern Manitoba feed mills have been buying barley with low vomitoxin levels from $155/mt to $165/mt but overall barley usage is limited in this region. Feed […] Read more

Understanding cattle markets

Whenever I provide a market outlook for a producer group or convention related to beef production, I always start off by asking how many producers subscribe to market information. Inevitably, maybe three or four hands go up. The market outlook is always the last topic of discussion at the convention and needless to say, given […] Read more

Feeder cattle market reality

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

I’ve received many calls from feedlot and backgrounding operators in regards to the outlook for feeder cattle. Earlier in fall, there remained a fair amount of excitement that was left over from last spring. Feeder cattle prices held up remarkably well even though feedlot margins were struggling in red ink. We now find Alberta packers […] Read more

Managing risk in a declining beef market

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

I’ve received many inquiries over the past few weeks in regards to managing price risk in a declining market. Many producers have been using the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) over the past couple of years. Recently, backgrounding operators have been asking how they buy price insurance when the costs are not conducive to […] Read more

Market Talk: Feed grain overview

I’ve received many inquiries in regards to the feed grain outlook. Feedlot pen closeouts have moved into red ink and many operators are now wondering if they should extend coverage on feed wheat and barley. The feed grain complex experienced a sharp rally during the early-summer drought period only to relax as late-July rains enhanced […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder cattle outlook

Feeder cattle prices reached historical highs earlier in spring and the market has been relatively stable throughout the summer. The market has been characterized by lower volumes and various quality over the past couple of months which can make it hard to define. The factors that drove the market higher during the spring time frame […] Read more

Feed grain update

I’ve received many inquiries regarding the feed grain outlook moving into the fall period. In the previous issue, I mentioned that corn and barley markets had potential to move higher if a minor yield problem materialized. Throughout May and June, a large portion of Alberta and Saskatchewan received less than 40 per cent of normal […] Read more

Feeder cattle market stabilizes

A feeder cattle outlook for the spring period

I’ve received many inquiries over the past month in regards to the feeder cattle outlook for the spring period. Most of these inquiries come from the feedlot sector because many operations are running sophisticated risk management programs that require balancing positions of fed cattle, feeder cattle and feed grain inputs. Backgrounding operations are also in […] Read more