Beef herd expands slightly

The Canadian beef herd has shown a slight expansion of 1.3 percent compared to last summer, making it the first year-over-year increase since 2012.

The Statistics Canada livestock inventory report released today reported growth in the cattle and hog sectors but a decline for the sheep business.

The beef herd is at 13.2 million head on 81,465 operations and hogs are at 13.5 million on 7,035 farms.

Alberta remains the largest beef producing province at 5.37 million. It grew by one percent. British Columbia grew by 4.5 percent, increasing the provincial herd from 660,000 to 690,000. Manitoba grew by 3.7 percent, so the herd is now at 1.25 million. Saskatchewan grew by 1.1 percent, so the herd has increased to 2.745 million. Eastern numbers were flat or lower since last year.

Ontario showed the most growth in hogs, increasing by 3.14 percent. The Prairies varied from 1.3 to 1.7 percent more hogs.

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The dairy herd grew slightly and is up from 1.815 million to 1.891 million.

The sheep breeding herd decreased with 2.1 percent fewer ewes and 4.2 percent replacement lambs. Market lamb numbers were down 3.3 percent from last year.

Contact barbara.duckworth@producer.com

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