Canadian Cattle Statistics August 2009

Canadian cattle producers estimated their herd at 14.8 million head as of July 1, the fourth consecutive yearly decline. By Statistics Canada.
calendar icon 22 August 2009
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Statistics Canada

Highlights

  • The Canadian dairy herd remains slightly below 2.0 million head as milk production remains stable. The national beef herd is down 2.4 per cent from the same date one year ago.
  • Cattle exports between January and June 2009 declined 31.7 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
  • Domestic slaughter of cattle and calves fell 6.8 per cent in the first half of the year.

Analysis

Livestock statistics, as of July 1st 2009

As of July 1, 2009, the number of hogs and cattle on Canadian farms was down from the same date a year earlier, while the number of sheep remained virtually unchanged.

Text table 1

Livestock inventories at July 1

Fourth consecutive yearly decline for cattle

Canadian cattle producers estimated their herd at 14.8million head as of July 1, the fourth consecutive yearly decline. Total cattle inventory decreased 2.3% from July 1 last year and decreased 6.2% from two years ago.

At July 1, the Canadian dairy herd remains slightly below 2.0 million head as milk production remains stable. The national beef herd is down 2.4% from the same date one year ago, despite a decrease in beef cows and calf crop of 5.6% and 2.7% respectively. The beef calving rate is returning to levels experienced prior to 2003. Constrained market access to the US from COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) has increased steer and beef heifer inventory by 5.0% as more cattle are kept on backgrounder and feeding operations in Canada.

Chart 1
Beef and dairy cattle inventory at July 1, Canada, 2000 – 2009

Total cattle exports between January and June 2009 declined 31.7% from the same period a year earlier. The COOL regulation has limited Canadian cattle access to feed lots and packers causing exports to the US to decrease in the first 6 months of 2009. Canada’s largest exporting province, Alberta, is down 11.8%. Exports in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are down 30.4% and 42.4% respectively. Eastern Canada exports are down 50.7%.

Chart 2 Cattle exports at July 1, Canada, 2000 - 2009

The last severe drought experienced in 2001 and 2002 forced cattle producers to move large numbers of cattle earlier than usual or relocate them, which noted a record level of exports to the US in 2002.

As cattle inventory has been declining for the last four years, domestic slaughter of cattle and calves fell 6.8% in the first half of the year from 2008.

August 2009

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