January 1, 2015 Livestock Inventory Estimates Alberta/Canada

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 Agri-Food Statistics Update - Issue No: LS15-1

Collected from a variety of sources, the Statistics and Data Development Branch monitors statistical indicators of agri-food activity for Alberta. The Agri-Food Statistics Update is designed to provide users with commentary on current issues, trends and new developments related to agriculture and the food and beverage processing industries. Up-to-date statistics are supplemented with informative charts and diagrams. To gauge Alberta’s performance, comparative data and information are often available for Canada and the provinces.

The estimates present potential marketings (i.e. supply which could become available), based on the size of the breeding herd and imports. Such information is useful to producers and others when making decisions relating to marketings, pricing, future production, as well as in estimating farm income and farm expenses.

The process involves verifying commodity supply and disposition variables to arrive at ending stocks. The supply variables are opening stocks, births and imports (interprovincial/international), while the disposition variables include deaths and condemnations, marketings, and exports (interprovincial/international). Administrative data are used where available, supplemented with some estimates where data are not timely or available. Hence, the inventory estimates are subject to revision. Given this limitation, users are advised to exercise some caution when using the estimates.

On March 5, Statistics Canada released the January 1, 2015 inventory estimates for cattle, pigs, and sheep on farms in Alberta and other Canadian provinces.

Key Messages

Cattle and Calves Inventories

  • Cattle and calves on Alberta farms totalled 4.9 million head, down 3.4 per cent from January 1, 2014.
  • The decline in inventory was mainly due to a drop in all cattle classes.
  • Among the factors impacting inventories were record high cattle prices, strong consumer demand for beef, relatively low feed costs and higher exports of live cattle to the US.

Pig Inventories
  • Alberta’s total pig inventory on farms was estimated at 1.5 million head, up 2.4 per cent from a year previous.
  • Inventories increased for all classes of animals with the exception of market hogs in the "Under 23 kilograms" class and boars which remained flat.
  • Among the factors impacting hog inventories were the strong slaughter hog prices, robust consumer demand for pork and relatively low feed costs.

Sheep and Lamb Inventories
  • The size of the provincial flock was 150,000 head, down 2.0 per cent from a year earlier.

Other Comparisons
  • Nationally, cattle and calf, and sheep and lamb inventories fell , while hog inventories increased.
  • Alberta currently ranks first in the nation in cattle and calf inventories; third in sheep and lamb inventories; and fourth in hog inventories.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact John Paul Emunu.
This document is maintained by Rita Splawinski.
This information published to the web on March 19, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 21, 2015.