Check-Off Q&A

Conversations around the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off continue across the country. Is the check-off amount increasing? How much do I pay in my province? What does it fund? We’re hoping to answer some of the most common questions about the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off today.

*Answers are accurate as of date of publishing, but subject to change as increases occur across the country*

How much check-off do I pay today?

The total amount of per head check-off that you pay depends on where you live. Provinces collect a provincial check-off or service fee, plus the $1 Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. Please visit your provincial cattle organization to learn more. Here’s what each province collects:

  • BC, AB, SK all collect $3/head: $2 provincial + $1 national
  • MB, ON both collect $4/head: $3 provincial + $1 national
  • NB,NS, PEI collect $6/head: $3.50 provincial + $2.50 national (NS increased 01/01/17, PE 06/01/17, NB 02/01/18)
  • QC collects a varying amount between different classes of cattle, ranging from $5.04 on bob calves to $13.79 on cull cows. $1 of that is still collected for the national check-off.

How is the national portion allocated and invested?

Each provincial cattle organization has the opportunity to allocate the national dollars collected in their province to what is important to their producers. They can choose to allocate the dollars, by percentage, in three ways:

  • Research (Beef Cattle Research Council)
  • Market Development & Promotion (Canada Beef)
  • Provincial Investment (money stays in the province to find research, market development and promotion activities that have national benefits)

Is the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off increasing?

Both national and provincial groups across the country have been working hard on the National Beef Strategy to show the benefits that the industry could see from an increased check-off. To attain national treatment, and collect the equivalent amount on imported beef, the country needs to show a national collection of the $2.50. Most provinces will be collecting the $2.50/head by the summer of 2018.

How much benefit are we seeing right now with a $1 check-off?

A recent study shows that Canadian producers are seeing tremendous value from their $1 check-off investment. Between 2011/12-2013/14, the industry saw the following benefit-cost ratios:

  • 14:1 overall (up from 9:1 overall 2005-2008)
  • 34.5:1 on research
  • 13.5:1 on marketing

In addition, the average benefit cost ratio grew steadily between 2011 and 2014. This implies that despite positive benefits, there has been under-investment in research and marketing activities for the industry.

How will a $2.50 check-off be allocated?

With an increase in check-off, percentages of the national allocation would be at the request of the provincial cattle organizations, just as they are now, between market development (Canada Beef), research (BCRC) and provincial investments. An additional budget line for Issues Management will become a new “category” that provinces will have the opportunity to allocate to, to address production practice issues, and administration will be based on a budget approved by the Agency’s directors, representing their provincial and industry organizations’ wishes.

Work in the areas of research, market development and promotion will continue to be measured to ensure that the industry is getting a maximum benefit from the dollars invested in those programs.


Do you have more questions? Contact your provincial cattle organization  today.


By Tayla Fraser November 27, 2016