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Agricultural News

OUS's Derrell Peel Talks About the Differences in Cattle in Canada and What Their Markets Look Like

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 16:59:45 CDT

OUS's Derrell Peel Talks About the Differences in Cattle in Canada and What Their Markets Look Like Mondays, Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This analysis is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr. Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Peel talks about the differences in the cattle and the cattle markets in the U.S. and in Canada.

"The strong smell of smoke filled the airplane cabin as we began our descent into Edmonton, Alberta, Canada last week. After a momentary panic that the plane had serious problems, I realized that the atmosphere was thick with smoke from many large wildfires burning in northern Alberta. While the U.S. is experiencing the least drought in the history of the Drought Monitor, the North American Drought Monitor confirms the challenges that dry conditions in Canada are creating as evidenced by the smoky, hazy air blanketing much of Alberta last week.

"I was invited to speak at the Livestock Markets Association of Canada (LMAC) annual convention and enjoyed warm hospitality from the group and a very informative visit. The meeting was also the site of the Canadian Livestock Auctioneer Championship and I enjoyed watching the competition among a strong group of auctioneers. I got to meet many friendly folks from across Canada including a wonderful couple from Nova Scotia who traveled over twice as far as me to attend the convention. Besides being impressed with the auctioneer talents, I got a glimpse of current Canadian markets. I was reminded again of the fact that cattle are bigger up north as I watched the sale of numerous cull cows weighing 1500 to over 1700 pounds. One cow sold that weighed 1940 pounds (I have the picture to prove it!).   

"As I listened to the updates and discussions about issues in the Canadian cattle industry, it was clear that the industry issues are generally the same on both sides of the border. The cattle industry there is dealing with new animal transport rules much as we are in the U.S. While the U.S. is still working on implementing an animal traceability system, Canada is taking their system to the next level. Canada adopted over a decade ago what is often referred to as a “bookend” traceability system that documents the origin of cattle and accounts for them at slaughter or export. Canada is now moving forward with a full traceability system that will track all animal movements. Canadian cattle producers face the same threats and challenges resulting from an onslaught of misperceptions and misinformation about nutrition, environmental and animal welfare issues.

"Canada is one of the top five beef export and import markets for the U.S. Obviously the two countries sit on opposite sides of those markets but recognition of the value of trade and our relationship is clear on both sides of the border. As part of a beef export update, it was noted that Canada is already enjoying reduced tariff benefits from the CP-TPP agreement, particularly in Japan, at the expense of the U.S. The U.S. withdrew from the agreement in 2016 and is in early negotiations for a bilateral agreement with Japan. The Canadian cattle and beef industry is, like the U.S. industry, anxious to get the USMCA ratified and implemented and reduce cattle and beef market uncertainty and anxiety in North America.

"I want to wish a hearty thank you to the LMAC for the opportunity to be a small part of your annual convention. I greatly enjoyed my visit to Canada…where the cows are big and the hospitality is even bigger!"



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