GFM Network News


Beef demand soars as consumers ‘aggressively’ stock up

Surge in sales accompanied by a jump in people looking online for recipes

Canada’s beef demand has been strong during the pandemic. “Unlike previous disease outbreak issues, COVID-19 has not been about food safety or consumer confidence or issues with food products,” Canada Beef president Michael Young said during a recent online town hall. “Beef demand at retail is up 50 to 70 per cent. Consumers have aggressively […] Read more

Coronavirus having an impact on cattle market

Market Update with Jerry Klassen: Lower demand coupled with larger supplies weighs on prices

The coronavirus epidemic has contributed to the drop in fed cattle prices over the past couple of months. In the last week of January, Alberta packers were buying fed cattle at $275 on a dressed basis and $165 on a live basis but as of the first week of March, Alberta packer bids were in […] Read more


U.S. senators scrutinize meat packers’ profits during pandemic

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. senators are calling for investigations of record profit margins for beef processors such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, after ranchers complained surging meat prices due to coronavirus hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. Futures prices for cattle have tumbled during the outbreak, worrying farmers as the U.S. economy […] Read more



COVID-19 strains already-battered Ontario beef industry

Limited processing capacity remains financial challenge for province's feedlot sector, despite recent increase in retail demand

Ontario’s beef industry was already in the midst of an economic crisis, but COVID-19 is worsening the financial toll on the province’s cattle feeders. Due to extremely limited processing plant capacity, an uncompetitive market and disruptions to trade and market access, Ontario’s beef industry was losing an average of more than $2 million per week […] Read more

Alberta’s Harmony Beef halts slaughter on positive COVID-19 test

CFIA pulls inspectors after plant employee tests positive

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters — Harmony Beef, an Alberta packing plant, halted cattle slaughter on Friday after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) kept some inspectors from work, due to a positive test for COVID-19 by a Harmony worker, the company said. The partial closure follows a positive COVID-19 test by a worker at U.S. chicken […] Read more


Allowing May/June calves to run with their mothers until mid-winter (February and March) is considered a more natural weaning cycle.

Wintering calves with their mothers

Most cows and calves will naturally wean themselves by February

Many beef producers are calving later in the year (April, May or June) rather than early, to be more in tune with nature. They have green grass at calving and less need for harvested forage when the cow’s nutritional needs peak during lactation. Along with later calving comes the necessity for later weaning. Some choose […] Read more



COVID-19 shifts bull buyers online

As auction marts move to curb the disease's spread, technology is connecting buyers and sellers

As bull sale season stretches into the spring, online sales are helping the industry cut COVID-19 risks while facilitating commerce. The Livestock Market Association of Canada (LMAC) last week held an emergency meeting on how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, and decided to follow Health Canada’s lead on limiting crowd size and encouraging social […] Read more

Beef sector mobilizes against supply disruptions

Keeping border open, meeting demand for beef are top priorities

Teams of livestock and government officials are quickly creating plans and policies to keep the sector functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “Our primary objective obviously is to insure there is stable beef production and trade that can continue under the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dennis […] Read more