The Canadian cattle herd has fallen to its lowest level in over 30 years to 11.1 million cattle and calves on farms, down 2.1 percent from the previous year.

Key factors for the drop relate to the drought and tight feed supplies which put downward pressure on the cattle sector, while stronger prices saw more producers that may have been struggling with feed supplies sending some of their breeding animals to market.

Statistics Canada reports as of January 1st, in Alberta, there were 4.7 million head on all beef cattle operations as of January 1st. That's down 85 thousand from a year ago. Cow/calf operations were up 18 thousand head year over year to 2.6 million, while the drop came in the feeder and stocker operations which were down over 157 thousand head to 956.6 thousand.

In Saskatchewan, there were 2 million 42-thousand head on all beef cattle operations on January 1st. That's down 70 thousand from a year ago, with cow/calf operations reporting 1-million-751-thousand down 82,500 head from 2023.

In Manitoba, as of January 1st, there were 843 thousand head of beef cattle down 21 thousand 500 from a year ago.  with cow-calf operations down 19 thousand 300 with 650.2 thousand head reported as of January 1st, 2024.