NCBA addressing market concerns amid coronavirus outbreak
The CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says one of the top priorities right now is to keep beef moving through the supply chain.
Colin Woodall says if any number of packing plants were to shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, it would worsen the price situation. “We are talking directly to the packers, we’re talking directly to USDA to make sure those packing plants remain up and running and we have the inspectors in place to ensure the inspection,” he says. “That, more than anything else, is going to help us here in the short run.”
Woodall says the price drop situation is of grave concern for producers and there is no explanation for it. “Demand is good, we are moving product,” he says. “This, unfortunately, is a scenario where we are connected to the panic we see across the economy.”
He tells Brownfield they’re also in conversations with the USDA about what has happened in the cattle and beef markets. “USDA, when you go back to the Tyson fire last summer, was already looking and studying what was going on in the beef marketing complex,” he says. “We know they will continue that. This is just going to open their eyes even bigger. We are encouraging them to look at all facets of what we’re seeing right now.”
He says consumer demand for beef remains strong and keeping product moving will help to curb some of the extreme losses in the beef industry
Woodall says they’re also looking at other options through the USDA that may be available to provide relief to all cattle producers.