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Positive Outlook For Crop, Meat & Dairy Producers

29 November 2011, at 10:01am

CANADA - Alberta producers are benefiting from a good growing season and higher beef, poultry, pork and dairy prices. The 2011 results show a positive outlook for many producers.

The 2011 growing season proved to be a good year for crops, producing high quality and good yields for many Alberta producers, despite the cool, damp start.

There was also optimism in the livestock sector as market receipts rose by close to one per cent to C$2.2 billion in 2011, led by higher receipts for hogs, dairy and poultry. Beef prices are also at their highest since 2003, showing strong signs of a recovering livestock industry.

“Agriculture is the largest renewable industry in Alberta, totalling C$6.7 billion in exports in 2010 and employing 70,000 Albertans directly and indirectly” said Premier Alison Redford. “A thriving agriculture industry is an important part of a strong Alberta economy.”

“Through the first half of 2011, Alberta had the highest Farm Cash Receipts in Canada, totaling C$5.2 billion” said Evan Berger, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Cattle futures prices were at their highest level ever in October 2011.”

The market situation for feeder cattle began to improve in 2010, with prices rising through the fall of that year and continuing to increase in 2011. In the cash markets for Alberta, nominal prices of feeder cattle for the 500-600 pound and 800-900 pound weight classes ending late October were C$161 and C$134 per hundredweight, respectively. Prices have not been at these levels since 2003.

Crop market receipts jumped by almost 39 per cent to C$2.7 billion in the first half of 2011, largely due to higher prices for most major crops and increased marketing. With favorable harvest conditions experienced this fall, harvest is now complete across the province.

Although 2011 is being viewed as a turn-around year for the agriculture sector, it was not without its challenges, such as unpredictable weather, higher prices of inputs like fertiliser and fuel and a strong Canadian dollar. However, higher livestock and crop prices have brought a return to profitability for many in the industry.