Webinars available on dealing COVID-19’s impact on beef sector


The “Intersection of the Cattle and Beef Industry” is an ongoing webinar series set up to provide livestock producers insight during a time with so many unknowns. Amid COVID-19, there are animals ready for processing each day, but the outbreak has shuttered some meat packing plants and reduced capacity in others.

As animals hit market weight with no place to go, experts say that many producers are looking to the limited number of smaller packers and butchers as a solution.

“If you work with small, or medium, or very large plants it is almost impossible to get animals scheduled,” said David Newman, National Pork Board Chairman.

Typically locale sales or smaller packing plants can be an expensive route, but the coronavirus has changed that.

“It’s a tremendously hard business to play in, and right now,” Newman said. “There is a lot of people going custom exempt. I know of individuals selling large pens of cattle right now, quite easily.”

Experts say that the consolidation that has moved business away from small to medium-sized plants is partly due to the capabilities of larger operations.

As for the longer-term outlook, one economist says the U.S. packing sector’s jam will be felt through the global market place.

According to David Anderson, a Texas A&M Economist, “Our trade is affected by those whole sale prices, so as we see wholesale prices skyrocketing, I sort of expect the in the coming months, it’s going to affect our exports, and not only that, we’re producing less beef so that’s going to affect our exports too.”

As livestock producers try to avoid the industry bottleneck and reach consumers though local sales, laws and regulations can vary between states. Anderson says to check with your state agriculture department, when it comes to inspections, processing, and marketing.

More webinars will be available today and Thursday where experts will dive deeper into topics like trade and country of origin labeling.

To check out the webinar and for more information click HERE.