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Ontario cattle remain high in numbers

Ontario cattle remain high in numbers

Drought blamed for lower 2022 inventory of Canadian cattle.

By Andrew Joseph,; Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

While Canadian cattle herds dropped this year with drought seen as a contributing factor, Ontario numbers remained strong with higher inventory numbers.

Per Statistics Canada, as of July 1, 2022, total Canadian cattle inventories were down 2.8 percent to 12.29 million head.

It is the first decrease in herd numbers in three years, with the biggest decline shown in Manitoba at 6.9 percent.

Saskatchewan at 4.2 percent and Alberta at two percent also showed significant shrinkage of beef inventories.

Canadian heifers for beef replacement numbers were also down 7.4 percent to just 622,100 head. The report also noted that heifers for slaughter were down 4.7 percent to 836,200 head, while calves under one-year-old were down five percent to 3,861,300 head.  

Stats Can said that concerns regarding drought in 2022—the second in a row—helped increase Prairie heifers into feedlots earlier in 2022.

Western cow slaughter was high in eastern Canada, while in western Canada was much lower.

Numbers suggest that our Canadian beef cow inventory is at its lowest since 2015.

July 1, 2022, beef cow numbers are at 3.71 million head, down 1.7 percent from the same date in 2021.

Canadian exports of beef cattle remained strong in 2022 even though shipments to China were stopped earlier this year.

Although the US continued its trend as Canada’s biggest importer, numbers went down—but Asian and Mexican markets helped pick up the slack. Exports are expected to be up by two percent by end of the year 2022.

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