Alta., Sask. cattle on feed report

Shawn Cbak, Farm Report

Canfax released its latest Cattle on Feed Report and for the first time since June of last year, cattle on feed in Saskatchewan and Alberta feedlots were lower than the previous year. Aggressive placements last fall, a pick-up of feeder exports, and a higher marketing rate has reduced cattle on feed numbers. The number of head on feed on April 1st is the smallest since 2009 and 2.2% smaller than the 5 year average. Placements were 21% lower than the 5 year average and the lowest March placements since 2005. Heifer placements were down 24% in March compared to a year ago, while steer placements were 12% lower than 2011.

This cattle on feed report should be positive for the fed market going forward, as once the bulk of the calves are marketed in early summer, market ready supplies are going to tighten.

United States Cattle on Feed Up 2 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totalled 11.5 million head on April 1, 2012. The inventory was 2 percent above April 1, 2011. Placements in feedlots during March totalled 1.79 million, 6 percent below 2011. Marketings of fed cattle during March totalled 1.92 million, 4 percent below 2011. The larger US cattle on fed numbers follows similar trends from March, February and January which were all up 3%, 2% and 3% respectively.

U.S. Seeding Progress Ahead of Normal for All Major Crops

The U.S. is off to an early spring seeding with 28% of the corn crop and 6% of the soybeans in the ground as of April 22. This is up 13% points from the 5 year average for corn and 4% for soybeans. 42% of the winter wheat was headed compared to the 5 year average of 15%. The winter wheat is in much better condition this spring with 64% rated good to excellent. 57% of the spring wheat, 82% of the oat crop and 50% of the barley crop was planted, up significantly from 2011. For the cereals already seeded, 18% of the spring wheat was emerged along with 58% of the oats and 11% of the barley.

Canadian Seeding Intentions Show Large Increases in Most Crops

A Statistics Canada survey indicates that Canadian farmers may seed a record 20.4 million acres of canola in 2012, up 8.0% or 1.5 million acres from the previous record of 18.9 million acres set in 2011. This increase is driven by Saskatchewan, where farmers anticipate increasing their canola area 9.9% to a record high of 10.8 million acres. In Manitoba, farmers intend to seed 3.3 million acres in canola, a 19.3% increase from the 2.7 million acres seeded in 2011.

At a national level, spring wheat area could rise 9.0% or 1.4 million acres to 17.2 million acres in 2012. In Manitoba, farmers anticipate that their seeded area of spring wheat will rise 24.9% in 2012 to 2.5 million acres. In Ontario, farmers expect to seed a record 2.24 million acres of corn for grain, breaking the previous record of 2.17 million acres set in 1981. In Quebec, farmers anticipate the area seeded to grain corn to rise 16.2% to just over one million acres in 2012.

In other crops, winter wheat seeded is up 21.2%, barley may increase 23.1%, soybeans 3.6%, grain corn 18.4%, oats 9.1%, dry field peas 42.2% and flaxseed 49.6%. The large acreage increases is mostly coming from a steep 68% decline in summerfallow, a drop of 8.44 million acres.

Riparian Tax Credit Available

The Riparian Tax Credit encourages farmers to upgrade their management of lakeshores and stream banks and recognizes those who have already done so. This property tax credit is the first program of its type in Canada.

Only major rivers or waterways designated as an Order 4 to 8 drain, or a natural water channel designated as an Order 3 drain, will qualify. Also included are lakes, at least 2 sq km (500 acres) in size, having a natural outlet.

Good management of the land adjacent to lake shores and rivers and streams can reduce erosion, buffer the extremes of the flood and drought cycle, improve water quality downstream, and reduce emission of greenhouse gases. Good riparian management practices include: elimination of tillage, controlled grazing and watering by livestock, and maintenance of various types of cover, especially deep-rooted shrubs and trees but also including hay to control erosion.

Benefits are available to farmers and livestock producers who make a 5-year commitment to protect a strip along a waterway on agricultural land. Over time, this approach should benefit the rural economy and contribute to safeguarding water quality throughout rural Manitoba.

How much is the basic tax reduction?

Former crop land that is no longer cultivated, but that is maintained with native and tame forage, bushes and trees; $20 annually for five years, for a total of $100 per riparian acre.

Former grazing land used only for haying; $20 annually for five years, for a total of $100 per riparian acre

Former grazing land with no agricultural activity: $28 annually for five years, for a total of $140 per riparian acre

Livestock producers may be entitled to an additional tax reduction for an off-site watering facility if they qualified for a basic Riparian Tax Credit for eligible former grazing areas.

Information on the Riparian Tax Credit and the application form are available online at: . Contact the Tax Assistance Office at 1-800-782-0771 if you have any questions.

For more information, contact the Portage MAFRI office at 239-3353.

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