For the cattle sector the first quarter of 2023 has been fairly good.

Brenna Grant, the Executive Director of Canfax says fed cattle prices in Alberta reached new record highs in mid March and are continuing to see one of the strongest spring rallies in the last 15 years. 

"We are seeing leverage shift from the packer to the feedlot across North America and we see fed cattle supplies tightening up."

It was just a few weeks ago, that slaughter cows prices hit $132 per hundred weight, their highest since September 2015. 

Grant points out there's a lot of talk about a recession, adding that during a recession ground beef usually tends to do very well because of its versatility.

She says while producers have been seeing a strong spring rally, we're also seeing very strong price signals going forward.
 "Livestock price insurance is providing coverage levels above $3 a pound for calves, September, October, November. And I think that's a really good gauge for producers as they look to this fall. Every producer has to look at their own operation and their own cost of production to determine if that is something that they have the forage supplies and the labor for."

Grant says producers will want to consider all aspects when determining if that's a signal to rebuild from reductions that occurred during the 2021 drought, or is that an opportunity to expand and the signal that they want to respond to.