The audio from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s April 14 webinar covering the recent volatility in the cattle industry is available below.
Panelists featured in the webinar include Oklahoma State University’s Dr. Derrell Peel, American Farm Bureau Director of Congressional Relations Scott Bennett and AFBF Economist Michael Nepveux.
Some of the highlights from the cattle industry update include:
- Many of the recent pricing fluctuations in the cattle sector are due to increased uncertainty as a whole, with consumers unsure of their future economic situation and with the beef industry uncertain if COVID-19 will impact the ability of processing plants to continue normal operations.
- The same sanitation procedures are being performed in processing facilities across the nation, ensuring the safety of the beef that is available to consumers. Those sanitation procedures are performed daily to ensure the prevention of any food born disease, which also prevents COVID-19.
- The shortages seen on grocery store shelves are not because of shortages of beef in the United States, it is simply because of short-term supply chain issues as consumer demand shifts from restaurant food purchases to at-home beef consumption.
- In a three-day period, choice box beef products went up nearly 19% because of the sudden shift and rise in demand from consumers.
- Packers may have made a slight profit with that three-day period, but they have also been on the other side when markets have been very poor. Packers are also having to pay for other costs that are not seen by the consumer, such as paying extra to employees for ‘hazard pay’ or paying employees to stay home. Dr. Peel does not believe packers have made an extreme profit compared to what most people believe.
- Many packing houses are only working with 40-60% of their labor force.
- American Farm Bureau staff are in contact weekly, if not daily, with the USDA, members of congress and the packing companies themselves, sharing agricultural producers’ situations with key decision makers.
Listen to the full webinar from April 14
Total length: 1hr 30min 09sec