Sask. farmers coping with increased feed costs and adverse weather may face another cattle sell-off

Click to play video: 'Cattle farmers on the verge of third herd sell-off'
Cattle farmers on the verge of third herd sell-off
WATCH: Cattle farmers on the verge of third herd sell-off – Jan 16, 2022

Saskatchewan farmers dealing with doubling feed prices, winter cold snaps and the continued impact of a province-wide drought could face another herd sell-off.

According to Bill Prybylski, Vice-President of Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, some farmers and producers are currently going through the second wave of herd sell-offs just to stay afloat.

“Where the drought was more significant, the availability of feed supplies was very limited and expensive. Likely looking at record prices for hay and feed grains,” said Prybylski.

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December brought record-breaking cold temperatures meaning livestock needed more feed.

Arnold Balicki, Chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association said if the province hits another extended spurt of cold weather, there will be a third wave of cows heading to market.

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“It’s pretty well the breaking point, I mean… When you have to pay more than that you decide, ‘Well, do I buy the hay or do I just dump the cow, cause I can’t afford to feed her anyway,’” said Balicki.

According to Hay and Forage, 2021 involved alfalfa hay prices jump from $170 per ton in January to nearly $215 dollars in October.

“Just trying to balance their books and trying to provide for their animals and care for them adequately and that’s a lot of stress for a lot of producers,” said Prybylski.

Balicki added, producers will hope for a better 2022.

“Hopefully mother nature’s kind to us and we have a mild [winter] going forward … and … stay away from that 40 below stuff,” said Balicki.

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