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Canadian Farmers Try to Save Beef Industry

26 October 2009

CANADA - More than 100 cattle producers talked about big trouble in the beef business at an emergency meeting in Truro last week.

Between low prices and high costs, Nova Scotia beef producers say they are losing about $200 every time they send a prime beef animal to market according to CBC News.

Many are out of money and tired of waiting for a provincial strategy, said Larry Weatherby, who raises 350 head of cattle in Harmony, near Truro.

He says that the province is looking for a way to revive local markets lost to cattle from elsewhere and create a plan to save the Nova Scotia beef industry.

"They have been working on this plan, for what must be two years now, and they're still spending and wasting money," said Mr Weatherby. "If they're going to put a plan out there, then do it.

East Coast beef producers have lost much of their market to faster-growing, grain-fed cattle raised in Western Canada reports CBC News.

Some producers think a provincial markets strategy is the only thing that will save the industry. But others, like Mr Weatherby, believe there's too much talk and not enough action from the province to get needed money into farmers' hands right now.

They point to the hog industry, which all but died while it waited for a way to change its products from being sold as a bulk commodity into high-value specialty goods.

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