GFM Network News


Beef plants cannot operate efficiently without a steady supply of cattle from ranch to feedlot to plants.

Beef producers get a raw deal

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

North America’s cattle producers were the first in the beef chain to be impacted by the spread of the COVID-19 virus from epidemic to pandemic. Yet they are getting a raw deal from their national governments in terms of financial or other aid. The Canadian and U.S. governments were quick to declare that meatpacking was […] Read more

Being on the cusp of grilling season, the timing could not be worse.

COVID-19’s continuing chaos

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

As I write this on April 6, the April live cattle futures contract here in the U.S. has closed down its 450-point extended daily limit for the fourth day in a row. The contract closed at US$83.82 per cwt, thus losing 1,800 points in those four days. In contrast, the contract settled on February 21 […] Read more


The big question facing the beef industry and the economy as a whole is how quickly they will recover after the coronavirus threat has passed.

The cruelty of the coronavirus

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The start of the new decade held much promise, whether it was for the global economy or prospects of an even bigger trade with China for North American livestock producers. Much of that promise has been cruelly shattered, at least temporarily, by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) that emerged in central China and made its way […] Read more

Will the U.S. have enough beef?

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

A valid question arises when considering the latest supply and demand dynamics for the U.S. beef industry. Will it have enough beef to supply an expected increase in exports to its major market, Japan, and to emerging market China? The U.S. has spent years developing export markets in virtually all corners of the globe, notably […] Read more


Several key trade deals are poised to benefit red meat sectors.

Trade deals herald a promising year ahead

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The new decade begins with much promise for the North American cattle/beef industry. Several key trade deals will benefit the red meat sectors in all three countries, including developments in China and the ratification by the U.S. Congress of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). China’s ongoing efforts to fill the protein hole caused by the […] Read more

October 2019 saw strong domestic and export demand for beef.

Beef demand should remain strong

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

How much consumers pay for beef and how much they buy largely determines the success of the North American beef industry. Beef demand at home and abroad was strong last year across the continent and should remain so in 2020. Much of the reason is that the U.S. and Canadian economies are among the strongest […] Read more


Strong demand has made beef the protein of choice for most American consumers.

Rising tide raises all boats

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The old saying that a rising tide raises all boats is especially apt in the U.S. beef industry right now. Stronger than expected domestic beef demand has raised cash live cattle prices above their levels of the week of Tyson Foods’ Holcomb, Kansas, fire on August 9. Live prices, based on USDA’s five-area region, averaged […] Read more

Pork only provides competition for beef purchases with consumers when it's low in price.

Beef faces plethora of pork in the marketplace

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Pork, pork and more pork. That’s what the U.S. beef market faces as it moves into the middle of the last quarter of 2019. American pork processors are harvesting live hogs at a record rate and putting more pork onto the market than ever before. Only strong pork exports (accounting for 27 per cent of […] Read more


China’s hog losses due to African swine fever now represent 38.7 per cent of its total hog inventory.

China has a protein crisis

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, goes the old Scottish idiom. But you can if it is a Chinese sow. This is because African swine fever (ASF) has reduced China’s sow population by 37 per cent in just the past year. China’s hog losses due to ASF are rapidly mounting […] Read more

Manitoba's auction markets are now closed to non-essential personnel.

Tyson Foods fire creates ripple effect in cattle markets

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The North American cattle and beef industry has endured “weather” and BSE-related markets but never a “fire” market such as resulted from the fire at Tyson Foods’ Holcomb, Kansas plant on August 9. The fire took out more than 30,000 head per week of capacity for several months. The loss is most directly having an […] Read more