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The Midwest Cattleman · April 23, 2020 · P3

                     April 23, 2020   Volume 26   No. 5

       SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS CLOSES NORTH                                        COVID-19: CATTLE INDUSTRY LOSSES
                     AMERICAN MEAT PLANTS                                               ESTIMATED AT $13.6 BILLION
                           By Tom Polansek and Rod Nickel                     A study released last      Economic assessment
         Major  meat  com-                                                  week (April 14, 2020) es-    study conducted by NCBA.
      panies in the United                                                  timates cattle industry  Photo - BLM
      States  and  Canada                                                   losses as a result of the
      have closed plants tem-                                               COVID-19        pandemic
      porarily due to cases                                                 will reach $13.6 billion.
      of the new coronavi-                                                  The study was commis-
      rus  among employees                                                  sioned by NCBA and
      and concerns about its                                                conducted by a team of
      spread.                                                               industry-leading agri-
         Here are some facil-                                               cultural economists led
      ities that have shut or                                               by Derrell Peel, Breed-
      reduced production:                                                   love Professor of  Agri-
         * JBS USA said on                                                  business and Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist at
      Monday  (April  13, 2020) it  is  closing a  beef plant  in Gree- Oklahoma State University, to assist USDA in determining
      ley, Colorado, until April 24. The plant slaughters about 5,400                                                       continued on page 22
                                                      continued on page 12
                                                                                BEEF CHECKOFF PROGRAMS SHIFT TO
          JBS TELLS 6,000 BEEF WORKERS TO SELF-                                           ADDRESS NEW REALITIES
                              QUARANTINE                                                               By Chuck Abbott
                                 By Chuck Abbott                              Promotion programs being managed by the  National Cat-
         Meatpacker  JBS  USA  said  it  will  close  its  cattle  slaughter  tlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) as a contractor to the Beef
      plant in Greeley, Colorado, until April 24 while its 6,000 employ- Checkoff have shifted and grown in response to the worldwide
      ees self-quarantine in an effort to eradicate a coronavirus out- coronavirus pandemic. These efforts reflect a consumer popula-
      break in the community. Two JBS workers have died of COVID- tion that is concerned for their day-to-day health and the avail-
      19 and four dozen others have tested positive for the virus.          ability of delicious, safe, and wholesome food products, like beef.
                                            “While the Greeley beef fa-       “It was only two months ago that Beef Checkoff committees
                                         cility is critical to the U.S. food  got together in San Antonio at the Cattle Industry Convention to
                                         supply and local producers, the  work collectively to develop plans to improve beef demand,” says
                                         continued spread of coronavi- Buck Wehrbein, a feedlot manager from Nebraska and chairman
                                         rus in  Weld County requires  of the Federation of State Beef Councils. “In a few short weeks,
                                         decisive action,” said chief ex- our entire world and the way we engage with each other and our
                                         ecutive Andre Nogueria. Near- communities have changed, and our response through the Beef
                                         ly 740 cases of COVID-19 were  Checkoff has had to change with it.”
                                         confirmed in  Weld County,           Wehrbein notes that many events and conferences the Beef
                                         which includes Greeley. JBS  Checkoff had a role in have been canceled and some research
                                         USA initially said it would test  projects have paused. In addition, the current issues called for

                                                      continued on page 15  the program to shift messages to meet the needs of consumers
                                                                            immediately. “Our market research and market intelligence staff
          TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AIMS TO BUY                                  members are keeping a close eye on what is going on in retail
            MILK, MEAT FOR CORONAVIRUS AID                                  and foodservice channels, as well as how consumers are respond-
                                     April 15                               ing and what they need from us,” Wehrbein says.
         The Trump administra-                                                Wehrbein says the supply chain is leveling out and beef is
      tion plans to buy milk and                                            becoming more available in retail meat cases. According to IRI,
      meat  from  U.S.  farmers                                                                                             continued on page 24
      as part of an initial $15.5
      billion effort to help them
      weather the impact of the                                                                            Coming Sales-38
      coronavirus outbreak, Ag-                                                                            Life is Simple-5
      riculture Secretary Sonny                                                                            Market Report-8
      Perdue said recently.                                                                                Agribusiness
         The decision comes amid rising pressure from the U.S. farm
      lobby for government purchases as growers and ranchers strug-                                        Directory-36
      gle to get their goods to market because of disruptions caused
                                                      continued on page 10
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