CCA Recommends Bringing Back BSE Era Set-Aside Program

Real Agriculture
April 13, 2020

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is recommending the immediate reinstatement of a set-aside program that was implemented during the BSE era to address the challenges with beef processing capacity being created by COVID-19.

The CCA says it’s in discussions with the federal government about implementing the program to encourage producers to hold cattle longer when processing capacity isn’t available. The program was originally developed and implemented when export markets, including the U.S., closed to Canadian cattle and beef after the discovery of a positive case of BSE in 2003.

“We learned many lessons during the hard years of BSE, and it is time to implement the policies that previously helped us weather the storm,” says Bob Lowe, President of the CCA, in a statement issued late Monday (April 13.)

Cargill’s High River, Alta., beef plant is one of the latest on a growing list of North American meat processing plants to slow down or shut down completely due to COVID-19 risks among employees. Cargill has slowed the plant down to one shift as of this week, limiting the number of cattle processed to roughly 1,500 per day. The plant regularly slaughters 4,000 to 4,500 per day with two shifts, and represents 36 percent of Canada’s total beef processing capacity.

To read the full article or to watch the video, please click here.

Posted in COVID-19

CCA Industry Update: COVID-19 Reduces North American Beef Processing Capacity

Please see the below industry update on the temporary shift reduction at the Cargill processing plant in High River, Alberta, beginning Monday, April 13, 2020.

COVID-19 Reduces North American Beef Processing Capacity

Posted in COVID-19

Guidance to Beef Operations on Response to Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 Employees

The below resource was prepared to share best practices for maintaining the health and safety of farm employees, while continuing safe and secure business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This resource is for information purposes only and due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it is important that individuals consult their local public health authorities for the most current recommendations/protocols.

Guidance to Beef Operations on Response to Suspect Confirmed COVID-19 Employees

Posted in COVID-19

2020 AgriStability & Government Risk Management Programs

Ontario Agriculture Risk Management Program Overview

AgriStability Information

Posted in COVID-19

Updated – Guidance to Meat Slaughter and Processing Establishments

CFIA – Updated Guidance to Meat Slaughter and Processing Establishments on Prevention and Response to Suspect and Confirmed COVID-19 Plant Employees

The guidance document outlines steps that meat slaughter and processing establishments are required to take to address exposure risks for both establishment and CFIA employees. This is an update to the document that was published on March 31, 2020.

Posted in COVID-19

CFA Survey

The CFA is doing a series of surveys each week to monitor how COVID-19 is impacting farmers.

Week of April 6th survey link


Posted in COVID-19

NSDA Analytical Lab to Resume Soil Testing For Registered Farms

NSDA Notice: Soil testing for registered farms

Soil samples will be accepted effective immediately with testing scheduled to begin the week of April 14, 2020.

Posted in COVID-19

Why beef prices are up and cattle prices are down

Beef Magazine
By: Brett Crosby
Apr 02, 2020

Choice wholesale beef prices spiked $45.61 per cwt higher week to week on March 20, as COVID-19 forced consumers to stay home, shifting significant beef demand away from the food service sector to retail grocery. Even though prices softened since then, Choice boxed beef cutout value March 30 was still 11% higher than a year earlier.

At the same time, plummeting cash prices for calves, feeder cattle and fed cattle that had to be marketed meant catastrophic losses for some producers, if the cattle weren’t hedged or forward-priced ahead of the COVID-19 panic.

There are many reasons for the seeming disconnect between beef prices and cattle prices, but these are primary ones, in my opinion.

To read the full article, please click here.

Posted in COVID-19, Industry News & Events

Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada

Minister Blair (Public Safety Canada) released the Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This can be found within the “Food” section here.


Posted in COVID-19

Extension Deadline for Feed Renewal Applications

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is extending the deadline for livestock feed renewal applications until May 31, 2020, for registrations set to expire on March 31, 2020.

Please read the Notice to Industry for more information

Posted in COVID-19