American Farm Bureau speaks on USDA price gap report

USDA released its full report on the spread between boxed beef and futures prices. The review cites the Tyson plant fire in Holcomb last August and the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for a volatile market. The USDA found “no wrongdoing” by meat packers.

The uncertainty around production following the fire caused beef buyers to purchase more, resulting in a price spread of $67.17 per hundredweight. The spread was greater due to COVID-19, $279 dollars per hundred weight.

American Farm Bureau economist, Michael Nepveux spoke with RFD-TV on why the investigation transpired in the first place.

“After the packing plant fire, Secretary Perdue directed USDA AMS to investigate the Tyson plant closing impact on the beef and cattle markets,” Nepveux said. “As we got further out from that and then COVID hit. They rolled in the COVID impacts, which were very similar effects, into that investigation, and parts of that investigation are still on going,”

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