Statistics Canada released data on cattle, hog, and sheep inventory numbers as of  January 1, 2024 as compared to January 1, 2023.

Stats show 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.

The total number of Canadian hogs on farm as of January 1, 2024, hit 13.8 million down 1 per cent from 2023 levels, with 5.9 million hogs reported on farms in the Western Provinces.

In Manitoba, that included 3.3 million hogs, up from 3.2 million on January 1st, 2023.

Alberta hog numbers for January 1, 2024, remained steady at 1.53 million head.

While Saskatchewan's hog numbers were down about five thousand head to 945 thousand as of January 1st, 2024.

Stats Canada reported the number of sheep and lambs on Canadian farms as of January 1st was over 828 thousand, with 364 thousand in the Western Prairies.

As of January 1st, in Alberta, the total number of sheep and lambs was over 170 thousand with over 103 thousand sheep and over 66 thousand lambs.

Sheep one year or older in Saskatchewan totaled over 47 thousand, with over 30 thousand lambs for a total of over 77 thousand animals.

Manitoba reported a total of over 78 thousand head,  with 37 thousand sheep and over 41 thousand lambs.