Feeder cattle producers living a nightmare
Temporary closures and reduced capacity at packing plants from COVID-19 has placed added stress on cattle producers.
“There is no way to understate it, from a cattle feeder scenario this is a nightmare.”
University of Illinois Extension Beef Specialist Travis Meteer tells Brownfield bottom line impacts are hitting feeder cattle producers left and right, causing added stressors that cannot be ignored.
“They’ve had plan A, B and C go out the window, they have struggled to get bids for cattle, maybe incurred some increased costs locating a plant to take a bid and these cattle maybe have a higher freight cost to get them to a plant that would process them.”
Meteer says the scenario has brought out resiliency and innovation from farmers to revamp their operations and look at things differently. He says it has also increased awareness of deficiencies in the system.
“We need to make sure that we are engaged in discussions to make sure that we can still operate and provide this high-quality source of protein down the road. We need some changes to our system, there is no doubt about it.”
He encourages producers to share their struggles with elected officials and dues associations so matters can be improved if they are ever faced with this situation again.
Click here to listen to Meteer’s recommendations for managing harvest-ready cattle during packing plant slow downs.