Coronavirus-Related Cattle Industry Losses Estimated at $13.6 Billion

A study released this week estimates cattle industry losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will reach $13.6 billion. The study, commissioned by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and conducted by a team of agricultural economists shows cow-calf producers will see the largest impact, with COVID-19-related losses totaling an estimated $3.7 billion, or $111.91 per head for each mature breeding animal in the United States.

Without offsetting relief payments, those losses could increase by $135.24 per mature breeding animal, for an additional impact totaling $4.45 billion in the coming years. Researchers who contributed to the study said the current situation is very fluid and uncertain, and additional damages are likely. NCBA hopes the results will assist USDA in determining how best to allocate CARES Act relief funds to cattle producers.

NCBA CEO Colin Woodall said the study shows relief funds provided by Congress were a good first step. However he noted, “there remains a massive need for more funding to be allocated as soon as members of Congress reconvene.”

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