January 1, 2018 Livestock Inventory Estimates Alberta/Canada

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 Agri-Food Statistics Update - Issue No: LS18-1
Collected from a variety of sources, the Statistics and Data Development Section 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 6, Statistics Canada released the January 1, 2018 inventory estimates for cattle, hogs, and sheep and lamb on farms in Alberta and other Canadian provinces.

Key Messages

Cattle and Calves Inventories
  • As of January 1, 2018, cattle and calves on Alberta farms totaled 4.8 million head, up 0.5 per cent from January 1, 2017.
  • All cattle classes increased with the exception of beef cows, replacement heifers and bulls that fell.
  • Cattle and calf inventories were impacted by increased slaughter and imports in 2017.
Pig Inventories
  • Alberta’s total pig herd on farms was estimated at 1.5 million head, up 1.7 per cent from a year previous. Inventories increased for all classes of animals with the exception of hogs in the "under 23 kilograms" class, “54 to 80 kilograms” class and boars that remained flat.
  • The major factors encouraging growth in pig inventories were the strong consumer demand for pork and strong export demand for live animals.
Sheep and Lamb Inventories
  • The size of the provincial sheep and lamb flock on farms was 140,000 head, up 1.4 per cent from a year earlier. Inventories grew for all classes of animals with exception of ewes and rams that remained flat.
  • Strong slaughter lamb prices and consumer demand are some of the factors encouraging growth.
Other Comparisons
  • Like Alberta, nationally, cattle and calf, hog and sheep and lamb inventories were up from a year ago.
  • Alberta currently ranks first in the nation in cattle and calf inventories; third in sheep and lamb inventories; and fourth in pig inventories.

For a complete copy of this update, please download the attached pdf.
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This information published to the web on March 23, 2018.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 4, 2018.