Ontario calls off final intake for beef set-aside

'Threshold not met' for further cattle intake

Ontario has called off the last intake for its federal/provincial beef cattle set-aside program.

The Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative, an AgriRecovery program launched after the temporary shutdown of Cargill’s beef slaughter plant at Guelph, was to have its “final potential intake week” opening Monday (Jan. 18), for cattle to be set aside starting Jan. 25.

However, the committee of provincial ag ministry staff and beef industry representatives steering the program has since “reviewed industry data” and found the threshold for a Jan. 18-19 intake period “was not met based on program criteria.”

Those criteria included “an assessment of recent processing data in Ontario,” the province said in a notice Monday.

Cargill had wound down operations at the Guelph packing plant — the biggest beef processing facility in the province — starting Dec. 17 following an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees.

Affected operations at the plant resumed gradually starting Dec. 29.

The set-aside program, drafted in anticipation of a possible shutdown, was put in place shortly after the Dec. 17 announcement, with intakes beginning on Dec. 22 and 30 and on Jan. 12. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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