The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) has developed a plan for coping with the effects of the lingering export ban on Canadian cattle that went into effect in May 2003. The plan focuses on building Canada's packing capacity in order to relieve its reliance on U.S. processing facilities.

The plan calls for increased slaughter capacity, tax incentives, loans, cash advances and increased surveillance and removal of any cattle born prior to implementation of the feed bans. The plan also looks at ways to speed up the resumption of trade, and rebuilding Canada's relationship with the U.S.

With current capacity, it is estimated Canada will have a 500,000-head excess of fed and non-fed cattle to be processed this fall and winter. The lack of processing capability in Canada has led to record cow numbers and an expanding cow herd despite the country's harsh economic environment.

A consortium of educators and beef industry leaders was formed following a two-day symposium on “Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle” in early September. Held in North Platte, NE, the meeting was sponsored by the North Central Region Bovine Reproductive Task Force, a group of land-grant university researchers and Extension specialists.

The leadership group will begin by defining accepted synchronization and AI protocols to improve cross-state communication. Often, the same techniques are called different names in different states. The group also will work toward a consensus on which protocols are most promising and to push education and further research in those areas.

Two representatives each from academia, the AI and pharmaceutical industries, and the veterinary profession were elected to develop the plans for presentation to the industry. The group plans regional meetings with producers and the beef industries from states adjoining the North Central Region.