by SUSAN MANN
A change in how beef farmers market their cattle has prompted Beef Farmers of Ontario to renew its calls for producers to report sale prices voluntarily.
Beef Farmers communications manager LeaAnne Wuermli, said the organization has been collecting sales information provided voluntarily by producers for the past 10 years.
“We’ve really just recently promoted a communications effort to see if we can’t increase the number of producers that forward us pricing on a voluntarily basis,” she said.
The farmers’ information is kept confidential and Beef Farmers doesn’t share who provides the prices with anyone, she explained.
Wuermli didn’t have an exact number for the producers who currently report pricing details. “I would say it’s a handful of producers (who) would report their prices.”
Furthermore, there isn’t a specific number for how many more producers Beef Farmers would like to see report prices. “We just want to be able to have a consistent and frequent reporting of data.”
Beef Farmers of Ontario does its own reporting of rail grade prices three times a week.
Wuermli said there has been a change in how cattle are being marketed. Sales are negotiated on a live weight or dressed (carcass) weight basis and in the past there were more live weight-based sales. Now “more producers are selling dressed. We’re looking for dressed information.”
Live prices are traditionally taken from auction markets and “that’s how we access that information. Dressed prices are negotiated with the packers,” she said.
Farmers have a number of different ways they can report prices to Beef Farmers, including:
- by phone at (519) 824-0334, extension 235;
- by email at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- by direct message on Twitter @OntarioBeef; and
- by fax at (519) 824-9161. BF