March 14, 2023 (Regina, SK) – In response to requests from Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) members over the past year, APAS is hosting a Livestock Summit at the Saskatoon Inn on April 5 to bring together academics, producers, and industry to help identify solutions to the current circumstances impacting livestock producers – including cattle, bison, and sheep.
“Livestock production is a vital part of Saskatchewan’s agricultural landscape,” APAS President Ian Boxall said. “Our members have been raising alarms about the future of this sector in our province, as producers have struggled over the past number of years with the impacts of drought, rising production costs, and large spreads between farmgate and retail prices. Representatives at our General Meeting in December passed a resolution for APAS to bring together stakeholders to find solutions to these challenges.”
Saskatchewan is the second largest cattle-producing province in Canada and is home to more than a third of the country’s native and tame pastureland. However, according to the latest Statistics Canada report, the provincial cattle herd has decreased by approximately 90,000 head since January 2021. Land that is best suited for livestock production is at risk of being converted to cropland, which creates further challenges for the long-term success and future viability of the sector.
The APAS livestock summit will look at the factors causing the trends as well as policy and program options to help promote future success. These include recognition of livestock’s positive ecological and environmental contribution, improvements to business risk management programs, and work being done currently to process and market livestock from Saskatchewan.
“Success for livestock producers means success across the province,” says Boxall. “The more agricultural groups work together to focus our efforts and support each other, the more we can accomplish. At the end of the day, we all want success for agricultural producers.”