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Canadians Hike Beef Check-Off Fee to $2.50 Per Head
USAgNet - 01/17/2018

Most Canadian beef producers will be kicking in another $1.50 per marketed head to the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off starting at some point in 2018, with the long overdue increase in funds being used to further marketing and research efforts for the industry.

The national check-off will increase from $1 per head to $2.50 per head, says Melinda German, general manager of the check-off agency. Most of the agreements with provincial beef industry associations, approving the increase are in place, she says, with three yet to be finalized. German says while the national check-off generates about $7.5 million annually now, in real terms the "buying power" of the initial $1 levy created in the late 1990s provides a 70 cent dollar.

Alberta beef producers, for example, in 2017 paid a total $3 per head check-off with two of those dollars going to the provincial Alberta Beef Producers, and $1 going to the national check-off. Starting in April 2018, Alberta ranchers will be paying a total of $4.50 per head, with $2 still going to ABP and the new $2.50 amount going to the national check-off.

The Alberta national check-off collected about $3.8 million in 2017, Saskatchewan just under $1 million, Ontario $896,000, Quebec about $887,000, B.C. about $235,000.

Six of nine provinces have all agreements in place for a 2018 start, German told delegates attending the recent Alberta Beef Producers annual general meeting in Calgary. In fact, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. producers are already paying the increased check-off. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta producers will start in April 2018, with B.C. to follow in July.

The need to increase the check-off was approved collectively by all provincial beef industry associations about four years ago.

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