The fall of 2011 may prove to be one of the most profitable seasons that the cow-calf producer has seen since the beginning of the last decade.

Feeder cattle prices have begun the feeder run in Western Canada on a very hot note. Some will say, though, that the rancher needs a series of these kind of runs to try and make up the losses from the past decade. Compare this to the challenges facing the cattle feeder and a different story begins to unfold.

Last week Alberta feeders saw prices drop four dollars live while US prices were up. The bigger question is whether the basis will continue to widen through the month of September which will really bring a reality check to feeders that ignored the basis risk two months ago. With the packers and the feeders struggling on the margin, the rancher appears to be the winner of this round.