Producers listen to speaker presentations at the SE Beef and Forage Day at the Shevchenko Ukrainian Centre in Rosa.



The outlook for western Canadian beef producers is cautiously optimistic according to a senior analyst with CanFax.

"You always hate to get caught up in the bullishness, so we're always cautious, but there's probably been no time where the supply situation has looked so bullish in North America," explains Brian Perillat, one of the speakers at the Southeast Beef and Forage Day in Rosa on Monday. "The supply is the bright spot and that's what everybody is basing their optimism on right now."

He says there are a number of factors on the supply side that are pointing toward higher prices.

"It's not just the North American supply shrinking. The bigger things are that more exports are going out and decreased imports are coming in, so we're seeing tighter supplies from all elements," he says.

Canadian cow numbers have dropped around 20 percent since 2005. Perillat says this decrease is causing a problem for packing plants in western Canada.

"They've been scrambling for animals...the plants are trying their best to keep as many cattle as possible in western Canada. They've both been aggressively buying, but at times they have had to shorten shifts or shorten work weeks as they're short some cattle," he says.




Brian Perillat


Meanwhile, he says beef producers on the prairies have a feed cost advantage over their American counterparts, as the cost of feed barley has not risen to the same extent as corn. The improved cost of gain led some feedlots to import American feeder calves for the first time in years.

"It was a short-lived phenonenom. Their corn prices really shot up and we had a lot of cushioning in our feed markets so that gave us a really good cost of gain advantage," he explains.

Perillat is one of the speakers at the Beef Days happening across the province this week. The 2011 Southeast Beef and Forage Day took place yesterday in Rosa. There were roughly 160 producers in attendance.

The 2011 MB Beef and Forage Week, happening January 10-14:

Monday - Southeast Beef and Forage Day in Rosa
Tuesday - Interlake Beef and Forage Day at the Eriksdale Rec Centre
Wednesday - Parkland Ranchers Seminar at the Ste. Rose du Lac Community Hall
Thursday - Holland Beef and Forage Day at the Holland Community Hall
Friday - South Interlake Beef Seminar at the Teulon Rockwood Centennial Centre



~ Tuesday, January 11, 2011 ~