Cattle numbers down across Canada but Sask trend is upward

The national cattle herd continues to shrink, but Saskatchewan is the one province going against that trend.

Statistics Canada reports on-farm national cattle numbers were down 1 percent at the beginning of this year, compared to January 1, 2020.

It has been a steady decline with inventories down more than 25 percent from the peak on January 1, 2005.

While the beef herd in most provinces is steady to lower, Saskatchewan is the exception.

For example, there were 1-million 91-thousand 300 beef cows on Saskatchewan farms on January 1st.

That’s an increase of 16-thousand 800 head over the previous year.

There were 164-thousand 200 beef replacement heifers—up nearly 12-thousand head from January 1, 2020.

Sandy Russell is a partner with Spring Creek Land and Cattle Consulting in Outlook, northwest of Regina.

Russell says it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific reason for the higher cattle numbers in Saskatchewan.

While Alberta continues to have the largest cattle numbers in Canada, there were year-to-year declines.

Statistics Canada says the number of Alberta steers on feed over 1 year of age was down about 8 percent year-over-year as of January 1, 2021.

(with files from cjww)

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