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Saskatchewan Stock Growers Call On Province To Expand Processing Capacity

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers held their virtual AGM this week.

In the Presidents Report, Kelcy Elford talked about some issues the organization has been working on.

He noted that one of the things that has really been evident since COVID is the need to develop more processing capacity in the Province.

"A lot of producers have been capitalizing on the opportunity for direct sale beef, the local abattoirs have been booked. It's hard to get an animal booked in because producers are taking it upon themselves to market their own animals."

He says it's been a real opportunity for them, adding it shows there's lots of room in this Province to grow that processing capacity.

The beef industry has certainly seen its share of challenges over the last year, but there's also been a number of highlights.

During his report, Elford said one of the key highlights for the industry this year was regaining its status as a negligible risk country for BSE, an issue thats taken 18 years for the industry to resolve.

"I remember in 2003, that fateful day in May, when BSE rolled around. Well, this year our negligible risk status has been renewed, and we are hopefully back on a level playing field with our competitors. So that's been a bit a long time coming and a fight that we've been a part of since Day one."

Another key issue for the beef sector has been around Agri-Stability.

He says while it's good to see the reference margin limits removed, they still want to see the value of feed which is grown on-farm addressed.

Producers are hoping that the recent rains will help to improve feed opportunities this summer.

And recent rains in some areas have helped ease concerns over the extreme dry conditions.

Elford says at their operation at Caronport they've been lucky enough to get about six inches of rain in the last couple of weeks, but prior to that things were pretty dry.

He notes the Stock Growers continue to work with the Province on developing efficient programs for producers.

"You know, the drought put a lot of pressure on a lot of people and they made decisions to move livestock and not sure what feed situation is going to be in the fall. So, we're continually working with the Ministry on the drought issues and putting the tools in place so that producers can be successful through the dry years."

Elford says another key issue they continue to lobby the Government on is around the issue of producer payments for Carbon Capture and Carbon Offsets.

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