Bison producers await decision from USDA

The bison industry could learn in the next month if the USDA will buy a surplus of meat.

The National Bison Association says that the Ag Marketing Service will be making evaluations as the new fiscal year begins, which could lead to government purchases.

Twelve Senators recently sent a letter to the USDA pointing out the over supply of harvest-ready animals, and asking for the agency to buy $17 million dollars worth of meat to distribute through federal food and nutrition programs.

Executive director Dave Carter says the help could come at an important time: “We’re just starting to come into the sales season for folks that are weaning their calves, and that decision will have a big influence on the prices for those calves in the coming months.”

Carter also says that they had a larger number of animals coming in for processing than they thought, because the USDA does not track the number of bison. It dropped prices and then COVID-19 hit doing even more damage to the industry.

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