Beef Farmers of Ontario President Matt Bowman at Grey Bruce Farmers' Week.

Beef Producers Facing Lower Prices, Higher Costs

Ontario beef producers are facing many challenges.

Beef Farmers of Ontario president Matt Bowman says the problems start with low prices.

Producers are getting 50 per cent less for their products now that than they were a year ago.

He says that’s been a real shock.

“Part of the big shock is the change from last year where we saw record highs and then the drop was considerable. It’s just the drop was so dramatic and how fast it happened and that’s the shocker part of it,” says Bowman.

Bowman says one of the many reasons for the low prices is an increase in beef production by the Americans. He adds the lower prices producers get never seem to translate into lower prices for consumers.

As well, Bowman says government regulations and paperwork are always an issue.

Among other things, there’s a proposal that cattle can’t be trucked for longer than 36 hours. It was formerly 48 hours. So calves from the west may have to stop and be unloaded at least once, maybe twice before they get to Ontario.

“Ontario producers pay for the trucking bill from the west so it’s going to cost them more like if they buy calves from out there they’re going to have to pay to get them here and it’s going to cost them more to get them here.”

Bowman was a speaker at Grey Bruce Farmer’s Week in Elmwood.