USCA releases estimate on economic impact of COVID-19 to US cattle industry

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association
Farm Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C — On April 17, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) released its full economic impact report of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. cattle industry, compiled by Brett Crosby of Custom Ag Solutions and

Using existing market data and futures market data, the total actual and future impact is forecast to exceed $14.6 billion. The analysis focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to three primary sectors of the cattle production chain: feedlot, backgrounding, and cow/calf.

USCA President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. cattle industry cannot be overstated. This report highlights just how severe those losses will be. Specifically, Mr. Crosby’s report breaks out the steer and heifer price forecasts, differentiates between spring and fall calves, and values stocker calves by marketing date rather than weight to account for the effect on operations that run grass calves and market in August.

“Further, the report offers recommendations for funding distribution models. For cow/calf producers, it suggests an average per-cow funding basis for cow/calf producers of $127.08 broken out by spring and fall calving cows and accounting for heifer retention. For stockers and backgrounders, the breakout would be on a per-head basis, regardless of sale weight. The breakout between spring and summer calves can be based on sales receipts, with June 1 as the date determining marketing class. Feedlot sector payouts would then be based on actual receipts and/or feed receipts.

“All payments would be based on the inventory each operation had as of February 15, and verification could include: sales receipts; balance sheets submitted to banks; inventory appraisals by certified appraisers or lenders; brand inspections; and vet records.

“USCA’s COVID-19 Producer Task Force has spent the past month diligently working with Congress and the Administration on developing temporary, short-term relief for cattle producers experiencing losses related to the current coronavirus outbreak. We’d like to thank these volunteer members for their time and efforts in improving the state of the U.S. cattle industry.”