GFM Network News

A bold new plant concept

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t quite bring North American beef processors to their knees in April-May. But many of the largest plants in Canada and the U.S. were forced to close temporarily or drastically reduce operations because of worker illnesses and absenteeism related to the virus. U.S beef plants one week ran at only 68 per […] 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

A variety of factors produced record profits for all processors of fed cattle last year.

Beef packers enjoy purple profit patch

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

North American beef processors are enjoying an extended period of profits that is unprecedented in the industry’s history. Packers on both sides of the border are seeing margins that would have been unthinkable five years ago. U.S. packers racked up record profits in 2017, surpassed them in 2018 and are on track for more records […] Read more

Consumer demand and tariffs will be key issues for the U.S. beef industry in 2019.

U.S. cattle prices expected to fall slightly

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Forecasting live cattle prices is always tricky but most analysts were close to the mark at the start of last year. U.S. prices were better than expected in the first quarter but mostly followed forecasts the rest of the year. Prices this year will likely be slightly lower than the average price in 2018 of […] Read more

A salutory summer slide

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

It sure was a salutary summer for U.S. cattle feeders who hadn’t hedged their cattle. Fed cattle prices plunged more than US$14 per cwt live from the third week of July to the end of August. Yet the market after that was still struggling to find a bottom. That’s certainly not how anyone expected the […] Read more

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

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

Calvin Lamport, along with his sons Layne and Cole and daughter Kayla, got to see a quad birth in early March at their farm at Alida, Sask. The five-year old Charolais cross cow had birthed twins two years in a row so it wasn’t too surprising when Calvin pulled three calves from her. The bonus calf came about a half hour after the new family was put into a fresh pen. They weighed 50, 47, 46 and 46 pounds a couple of hours after the birth.

Cowboy politics

News Roundup from the April 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Beef Farmers of Ontario BFO is looking forward to another year of advancing its Beef North initiative as well as projects in southern Ontario, all aimed at expanding the province’s cow herd by at least 100,000 head. That’s the number of calves needed just by the Ontario Corn-Fed Beef value chain to meet its requirements […] Read more

What’s at ‘steak’ in a growing demand for chicken?

Beef packing needs a better value add if it's going to compete with poultry

When we consider the trials and tribulations of beef packers, there is often very little room for sympathy. But beef packing is a tight-margin business and processors will engage in more than one protein to offer consumers. Looking at the top five global processors in the world shifts our perspective on the importance of processing […] Read more