Manitoba’s cattle producers sector is a group with an aging demographic.
Fewer young people are trying to get into the industry and Rick Wright with the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association says that is somewhat concerning.
“Our demographics are getting older. And that is a concern. It’s a tough business to get into unless your family is going to help you get into it because it costs a lot of money to start from scratch. We just don’t see that the younger generation is willing to work as hard as is required for a return on investment in the cattle business.”
“Things will have to change or we could see it go the way the pigs have gone with big corporate farms and few independents left but that is a fair ways down the road but it is a concern.”
While that’s one challenge Wright is quick to point out there’s a lot of optimism in the industry.
“Grain prices have been coming down a little bit and we’ve got feed in front of us. We’ve got good pasture conditions and it looks like the cow-calf sector is going to be rewarded with good prices during the fall run. We went through drought last year and this year it was pretty wet and that makes things a lot better and bring optimism to the fall run.”
Rick Wright said this past spring with the severe weather during the late calving season many producers decided to sell their cows because it was too stressful and they weren’t getting returns on their investment.
“We’re seeing the number of cows in Manitoba getting decreased by quite a few and the number of producers dropping and if that happens the market will feel that affect as well. If it’s a healthy cattle market the markets do well but if there is stress like there has been that certainly falls back onto the markets as well.” said Rick Wright.