GFM Network News


Feeder cattle outlook

Feeder cattle outlook

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

It’s that time of year when I receive many inquiries from cow-calf producers and feedlot operators regarding the price outlook for feeder cattle. Throughout March, yearling prices were under pressure while calves and cattle fit for grass were rather firm. The feeder cattle market appears to be sending mixed signals. Feedlot margins have been rather […] Read more

Fall prospects for feeder cattle

Fall prospects for feeder cattle

Market Talk with Jerry Klassen

Markets are understood looking backwards but must be traded looking forwards. — Larry Williams I’ve received many inquiries over the past couple of weeks in regards to the feeder cattle market. The recent price activity has surprised many producers and analysts, including myself. After a rather bearish outlook earlier in winter, the feeder cattle market […] Read more


Market futures compared.

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

Cattle feeders’ woes continue

Cattle feeders’ woes continue

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay, from the November 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cattle feeding is always a risky business. But no one foresaw the collapse in U.S. live cattle prices for the second fall in a row. One can only hope that by the time you read this, prices have put in a bottom and are on the rebound, however modest. The same applies for Canadian prices. […] Read more


September spells serious slump

September spells serious slump

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay from the October 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

U.S. cattle feeders might be excused for believing there is a curse on the September market. Feeders endured a historic collapse in live cattle prices in September last year, when cash prices fell more than US$27 per cwt in five weeks. Now prices have suffered another collapse, starting in mid-August, which showed no sign of […] Read more

Comment: Hold on!

Hold onto your hat, the roller-coaster that is today’s cattle market is still running downhill. When it hits bottom is everybody’s guess, but it won’t be for a while yet. In the meantime the red ink continues to pile up in feedlots, pulling feeder prices down just as the fall run opens for business. From […] Read more


When beef supplies are growing, the futures market anticipates that increased supply and deferred futures trade at discounts to nearby months.

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

What to do about wacky cattle markets?

What to do about wacky cattle markets?

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay, from the June 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Markets crave stability and predictability. But the opposite occurred during 2015 in the U.S. cattle markets. In fact, last September’s shocking collapse in live cattle cash and futures prices (which I outlined in my October 26, 2015 column) capped a year when the futures’ volatility and irrationality caused huge financial damage to producers and packers. […] Read more


Cattle price insurance premiums reflect risk

News Roundup from the March 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

If you haven’t bought price insurance on your calves through the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) yet you’ll find the premiums a little higher than last year. That’s to be expected given the volatility in today’s market, says Bruce Viney, a risk management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “Volatility is simply a statistical […] 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