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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Farm inventories of hogs declined 11.6% between July 2007 and July 2008, while smaller declines were seen in stocks of both cattle and sheep over the same period. Rising feed costs were a significant contributing factor to these declines.
Hog inventories have declined to levels not seen since 2000, as soft slaughter prices and high feed costs continued to be prevalent in the hog industry.
As the hog industry continued its transition, farmers reported 13.0 million hogs on their farms as of July 1, 2008, down 11.6% from one year ago.
With low profit margins, farmers are leaving the industry. There were 19% fewer hog producers in the country compared with a year ago, led by Saskatchewan (–30%) and Alberta (–24%).
Domestic slaughter was up 1.4% compared with last year, as some slaughter plants increased capacity by adding a second shift.
Canadian hog exports declined in the second quarter of 2008 to approximately 2.2 million hogs, which marks the first quarterly decrease in more than a year.
Canadian farmers reported a cattle and calf inventory of 15.2 million head, a decline of 4.3% from last year and continuing the downward trend that started in 2006. The beef herd and the dairy herd declined by 4.8% and 1.2% respectively.
The beef cow inventory was down 4.7% and the number of calves born decreased 4.8% from a year ago, despite an improving calving rate since the bovine spongiform encephalopathy crisis in 2003.
With the increase in coarse grain prices, the number of cattle on feeding operations has declined 12.3% since last summer. Over the past two years, the number of farms reporting cattle and calves has stabilized around 107,000 operations, following a loss of 8,500 cattle farms during the previous three years.
There are no signs of herd rebuilding as beef heifers for breeding replacement were down 2.0% from the same time last year.
Farmers reported 1.1 million sheep and lambs, 3.1% lower than last year and continuing a downward trend that began in 2003.
|Livestock inventories at July 1|
|thousands of head|
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3460.
The reports Cattle Statistics, 2008, Vol. 7, no. 3 (23-012-XWE, free), Hog Statistics, Vol. 7, no. 2 (23-010-XWE, free) and Sheep Statistics, 2008, Vol. 7, no. 2 (23-011-XIE, free), are now available online. From the Publications module of our website, under Free Internet publications, choose Agriculture.
For more information, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-800-465-1991). To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Robert Plourde (613-951-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org), Agriculture Division.