Latest Results and Analysis from the Canadian Cow-calf Cost of Production Network Now Available

Nov 23, 2023

The Canadian Cow-calf Cost of Production Network launched in 2020 with the objective to benchmark cow-calf production systems across Canada. Building on its successes of the past two years, the Network expanded its reach by adding 13 benchmark cow-calf farms this year, bringing the total to 59 cow-calf and 3 dairy-beef benchmark farms, with data collected from 225 participating producers nationwide.

The strength of the COP Network lies in its diversity. Benchmark farms within the Network represent a broad spectrum of production systems, including variation in animal performance, economies of scale, labour productivity, feeding, and farm financials.  Since the original set of benchmark farms in the 2020 Network, effort has been made to include production systems previously not represented, including larger herds (particularly in the west), a broader range of farm sizes in each province, year-round grazing, and purebred operations. However, some production systems are still unrepresented, including farms that feed primarily by-product feedstuffs, organic/regenerative farms, and grass finishing operations.

Analysis and results from the 2022 reference year are now available online.

For cattle producers, the value of the COP Network to producers is the opportunity to compare their current operation to a similar production system benchmark farm. Does your operation look like one of the 62 systems we’ve modelled? Don’t hesitate to investigate by reviewing each of the Farm Summary results, which are baseline reports for each production system. These reports may provide you with a valuable starting point for data-driven decision-making, industry competitiveness and continuous improvement within your own operation.

Moreover, the COP Network provides a range of factsheets covering various aspects to equip you with the knowledge needed to navigate trade-offs when evaluating different practices.

  • Discovering how some benchmark farms achieved lower feed costs with Feed Costs Under 700 per Cow.
  • Learn how to set your operation up for future success amidst record high calf prices with Don’t Waste Record High Profits.

What is next for the Network? As the first phase of data collection has wrapped up, the COP Network analysis team will transition its focus towards in-depth analysis, centered on Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) as well as farm competitiveness and profitability. This exciting next step promises to offer even more value to cattle producers as they navigate the challenges and opportunities in this dynamic industry.

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