GFM Network News


Feed barley price outlook

Feed barley price outlook

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

Feed grain prices reached historical highs in mid-May. It appears that barley supplies will drop to bin-bottom levels at the end of the 2020-21 crop year. The market has been functioning to ration demand through higher prices; however, domestic usage has been relatively unchanged from past years. At the same time, Canadian barley exports have […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Fed cattle finding profitable territory

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the June 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle After over a year of losses, feedlots are beginning to see fed cattle marketed back in profitable territory. Fed cattle prices have strengthened over the past month. Seasonal price improvement, tighter numbers, excellent export demand and strong cut-out values have led to an increase of over $10/ cwt over the past four weeks. […] Read more


cattleman on a horse

Should I expand the cow herd?

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

I’ve received many inquiries over the past six to eight months from cow-calf producers asking if they should be expanding their cow herd. Producers are asking whether they should try to get another calf out of the older cows and how aggressive they should be with heifer retention. In my experience, cow-calf producers do not […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Feeder cattle supplies tightening

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

In my previous article, I mentioned that the USDA made a downward revision to the 2019 calf crop while the 2020 calf crop came in lower than expected. Since then, Statistics Canada has also released their cattle inventory report. It appears that western Canadian calf and yearling supplies as of January 1, 2021, were down […] Read more


McMillin: Fed cattle prices slowly improving

McMillin: Fed cattle prices slowly improving

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the March 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle Fed cattle prices are slowly improving. The Alberta average climbed $0.50/cwt to $151.20/cwt at the start of February. Since the beginning of the year, the average has climbed nearly four per cent. Packer interest has been solid but larger fed cattle supply has limited seller leverage and high feed costs are encouraging feeders […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Feeder market bounces on optimistic outlook

Feed barley remains near historical highs

Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices traded $2-$4 higher; prices for mid-weight calves were quoted $4-$8 above week-ago levels. Calves under 550 lbs. traded $6 to as much as $10 higher compared to seven days earlier. Improving feedlot margins were the main factor driving the feeder market. June and August live cattle futures […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Fed cattle supply interest picks up in new year

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the February 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle The start of fed cattle trading in 2021 saw active interest in supply with prices higher than year-end. The backlog from the spring of 2020 appears to have been cleaned up and packers are looking to secure additional inventory. The first weekly average reported in 2021 was $145.53/cwt. This was $1.16/cwt higher than […] Read more



(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Feeder cattle prices digesting uncertainty

Defensive tone likely through January

The feeder cattle market was very quiet during the last week of December with auction barns in holiday mode. There were discussions regarding direct sales but no actual business was confirmed. The stakes are too high given the market uncertainty; a defensive tone will likely continue throughout January. Feed grains continue to percolate higher; the […] Read more

McMillin: Fed-cattle prices stubborn to move

McMillin: Fed-cattle prices stubborn to move

The Markets with Deb McMillin, from the January 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Fed cattle December is typically a strong month for fed cattle prices and while prices have started moving higher, the rate of increase has been disappointing. Recent foodservice restrictions, cancelled holiday parties, uncertainty around jobs and income all have an impact on beef movement. However, more people working from home and limited restaurant spending has […] Read more