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The Midwest Cattleman · September 10, 2020 · P3

                  September 10, 2020   Volume 26   No. 8

         THE 2020 U.S. BEEF CATTLE MARKET AND                                 CONSIDERATIONS FOR MARKETING BEEF
            CURRENT ECONOMIC CONDITIONS                                                  DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS
                                  By Chris Prevatt                                         By Brad White, K-State Research & Extension
         The  last several  months                                           Due to the COVID-19 limitations,
      have     been     exceptional-                                         consumers are looking to farmers
      ly stressful for all partici-                                             and ranchers to fill the void
      pants in the U.S. cattle in-
      dustry, due to the outbreak                                             Most will agree there is nothing
      of COVID-19 (coronavirus)                                             that compares to the taste of fresh
      in China and its resulting                                            produce or meat that comes straight
      spread throughout the world.                                          from the farm. And in light of per-
      The unknowns of this health                                           ceived food shortages and a desire to
      crisis have resulted in ex- The last several months have been exception-  know where their food comes from,
      treme volatility in U.S. cattle   ally stressful for all participants in the U.S.   an increasing number of consumers
                                       cattle industry.
      markets. The entire U.S. cat-                                         are seeking a farm-to-table purchas-
      tle and beef supply chain has been impacted by COVID-19.              ing experience.
         During late 2019 and early 2020, many forecasts were pro-            Entrepreneurial producers working to fill the demand
                                                      continued on page 12
                                                                            for homegrown beef should consider several factors before
              SHOCKS TO BEEF INDUSTRY WITH                                  launching into this business, said Kansas State University
                                                                            experts during a recent Beef Cattle Institute Cattle Chat pod-
         IMPLICATIONS FOR CATTLE, BEEF PRICES                               cast.
                      K-State’s Tonsor spoke at virtual                       “One of the first challenges is to find customers who are
                      K-State Risk & Profit Conference                                                                      continued on page 15
         The beef cattle industry has already experienced three big
      “shocks” this year and the effects are ongoing, but have been                      FEEDLOTS RELOAD IN JULY
                                                                                              By Derrell S. Peel, Extension Livestock
      blunted to some extent, according to a Kansas State Univer-                         Marketing Specialist, Oklahoma State University
      sity agricultural economist.
         The first jolt came in mid-March when the COVID-19 pan-              The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report pegs the August
                                                         demic sparked  1 feedlot inventory at 11.284 million head, 101.5 percent of
                                                         stay-at-home  last year. This is the largest August 1 feedlot inventory in the
                                                         orders in most  data series back to 1996. July feedlot marketings were 99.4
                                                         states.            percent of one year ago. Placements in July were 111 percent
                                                            “That     had of last year and were the largest July placements since 2011.
                                                         big     implica- Marketings were about as expected but placements were well
                                                         tions for food  above even the highest pre-report expectations and pushed
                                                         consumption,”  the on-feed total slightly higher than expected.
                                                         said      Glynn                                                Feedlot dynamics are
                                                         Tonsor, a live-                                             a challenge to figure
                                                         stock market                                                out after the turbulence
                                                         specialist with                                             of the first half of the
      The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the beef supply chain and                                                      year. Placements were
      consumer beef demand, but the industry is working through a   continued on
      backlog of market-ready animals.                             page 10                                           down 17.7 percent year
                                                                                                                     over year in February,
                     RED MEAT PRODUCTION                                                                             March,  and  April  and,
         Commercial cattle slaughter was 2.918 million head for the                                                  despite the 11 percent
      month of July, a 0.7% decrease from last year but the second
      largest monthly slaugh-                                                                                               continued on page 14
      ter for 2020 behind
      March  (2.922 million
      head). Although  cattle                                                                              Coming Sales-30
      slaughter declined mar-                                                                              Life is Simple-5
      ginally from last year,                                                                              Market Report-8
      commercial beef produc-                                                                              Agribusiness
      tion reached its high-
      est level for the year at                                                                            Directory-28
      over 2.4 billion pounds

              continued on page 10
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