Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association president Cordy Cox at the BC Livestock Producers calf sale in Williams Lake Wednesday, said cattle prices have remained strong through the fall.

Ranchers await AgriRecovery funds

Ranchers who have lost feed due to wildfire are finding some solace with cattle prices remaining good this fall

Ranchers impacted by the summer’s wildfires are on “pins and needles” waiting for their first AgriRecovery cheques from the government, Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association president Cordy Cox said Wednesday.

In August, the government announced a $20-million Canada-British Columbia Wildfires Recovery Initiative to help B.C. ranchers and farmers rebuild their livelihoods.

“The AgriRecovery program for those affected by the wildfires is huge and it will help go a long ways to helping ranchers stay in business for years to come,” Cox said.

Adjusters have visited ranchers, 100 kilometres of essential livestock fencing has been replaced, but costs are mounting for ranchers that are having to order hay and pay for freight.

“The going rate for trucking is $120 an hour and a load of hay runs from $5,000 to $6,000,” Cox explained.

“Some ranchers need to order 30 loads so it adds up pretty quickly.”

Whether a ranch lost hay in the stack yard, lost seed or cows ate up the hay fields when they were brought home to the pasture because they couldn’t be out on the range during the wildfires, a hay shortage was something ranchers knew they were facing.

Hay shortages in Western Canada are also an issue this fall, she added.

“In the Nechako area a large winter kill last year killed off a lot of their alfalfa so they don’t have the hay supplies they that normally have and they usually supply a lot of hay to the Cariboo Chilcotin.”

There was some hay donated directly to ranchers from groups in Alberta and Chetwynd that was urgently needed and appreciated.

“It tied people over and pulled them through the end of the fire season,” Cox said.

Cattle losses were not near what was predicted during the wildfires, Cox said, but noted there are lower pregnancy rates than normal due to the lack of proper movement of cows and bulls.

On a positive note, cattle prices are good and have been holding and many ranchers have cash at hand from selling calves.

One of those local ranchers is Travis Redl, who was at the BC Livestock Producers Nov. 15 calf sale in Williams Lake, with 140 beef booster calves up for bid.

Travis helps run the family-owned ranch that his grandpa Ed Redl purchased in 1971 at Miocene, along with his wife, Connie-Lynn, and his parents, Barrie and Marg Redl.

“The prices are really good,” Travis said as he tallied up the results.

It was a good end to a day spent hauling cows, he added.

Their ranch was in an evacuation zone for several weeks in the summer so Connie-Lynn and their three children left to stay in nearby Horsefly, with Travis coming back to the ranch regularly to check in.

“We lost quite a bit of feed because we chose not to cut and bail during the evacuation, but we really lucked out that nothing was burned,” he said.

“We cut what was on the ground to get it out of the field in case the fire did come so it wouldn’t add fuel.”

Several years ago Redl Ranch began to diversify by raising grass-fed beef, something Cox said has helped the ranch develop a niche in the Lower Mainland.

Barrie travels with sides and quarters to farmer’s markets from May until Halloween, Travis said.

“It’s a lot of work, but it pays off,” he added.

There were 54 producers selling on Wednesday in Williams Lake for a total of 2,574 head of cattle.

Read More: Wildfire recovery for ranchers

 

Beef booster calves from the Miocene-area Redl Ranch are sold during the Nov. 15 calf sale.

Just Posted

Update: Williams Lake city council wants new BC Housing units on Second Avenue North all subsidized units

City will seek legal counsel as original request for reduced parking variance stated it would be subsidized housing

Williams Lake RCMP Const. Joel Kooger hits road with Cops for Cancer

Williams Lake RCMP Const. Joel Kooger is on the road once again… Continue reading

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

New McLeese Lake Soul 2 Sole Trail Race raises close to $5,000 for McLeese Lake fire hall

One hundred and 34 runners and hikers took part in the inaugural race Sept. 15

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Most Read