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Coronavirus-related cattle losses estimated at $13.6 billion

A study of cattle industry losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic estimates total damages of 13.6 billion dollars as of early April.

The study was led by Oklahoma State University ag economist Derrell Peel.  He says the cow-calf sector has been the hardest hit.

“The cow-calf sector, for 2020, had projected revenue losses of 3.7 billion,” Peel says. “That works out to about 112 dollars a head for cows and bull in this country if you look across mature breeding animals.”

Market analyst Corbitt Wall says it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

“Even if we start opening up—you know, if we start opening up our businesses and non-essentials—I think we still have a mountain to get over, with the glut of feeder cattle and fed cattle, before we see any light at the end of the tunnel.”

Peel and Wall participated in Brownfield’s Wednesday night webinar on COVID-19 and the cattle industry. Click here to view an archive of the webinar.

The study was commissioned by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Click here to see their news release.

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