"There was a ‘double whammy’ of demand and supply with meat,” Lee Schulz, PhD, associate professor, department of economics at Iowa State University. “First, consumers were buying meat ahead for sheltering at home, and now there is the processing impact.”
“This has shaken the livestock market tremendously,” Schulz said on a recent farmdoc webinar with Todd Hubbs, PhD, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois.
“We have sufficient livestock,” Schulz said. “The challenge is converting that livestock to consumable product.”
In a May 19 Net Nebraska story, "After Spring Beef Production Tumbles, USDA Rolls Out COVID-19 Relief Aid For Producers."
Lee Shultz, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University who specializes in beef markets, was surprised to see projections fall 17 percent for the second quarter, which spans the worst of the pandemic's spring production shutdowns. He anticipated around a ten percent reduction.
The latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry outlook shows steep declines in beef production over the month of April. (Graph courtesy of USDA)
“That's a significant impact that we're beginning to quantify now," he explained. "Those will be felt from producers for years.”