In this file:


·         NCBA Prioritizes Beef Supply Chain Continuation Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

·         NCBA discusses producer frustration with market movements



NCBA Prioritizes Beef Supply Chain Continuation Amid COVID-19 Outbreak


Katie James, Drovers 

March 18, 2020


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is focusing its full attention on the rapidly changing COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the U.S. cattle industry. The top priority being ongoing operation of the full beef supply chain, NCBA vice president of government affairs Ethan Lane said in a call with media on Wednesday, March 18.


“As has been noted by the White House and others in their response to the unfolding crisis, food security is a top priority, and our role in that is essential to ensuring that grocery store shelves stay full of beef for American consumers,” Lane says.


To achieve this, regulatory certainty is needed throughout the value chain to continue operations. Not only from the end of the supply chain, from the packing plant to the retail sector, but all the way through the value chain to the feedlot and back to the cow/calf producer, including transportation inputs and the moving pieces that help get the product from “gate to plate” he says.


Over the last week, the NCBA has been in contact with decisionmakers throughout the federal government to ensure that producers will be able to continue to operation in this environment.


“We're pleased that we have heard a lot of positive feedback from the administration on the steps they are continuing in order to ensure that that value chain that supply chain stays operational,” Lane says. “We are pleased to hear that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking steps to ensure that inspectors from FSIS, APHIS, AMS, and others will be able to continue their important work to keep the supply chain moving.”


The group is working with these agencies as they develop or update their pandemic response plans and is in communication with them as they make decisions about how to address what will happen should those workforces have positive cases of coronavirus.


It is also in communication with the Department of Transportation and was happy to hear about the emergency waiver to the hours of service for commercial trucks, including those that are delivering food products.


Lane also took a moment to address the price fluctuation seen across the markets...





NCBA discusses producer frustration with market movements


By Ken Anderson, Brownfield 

March 18, 2020


The wide disparity between boxed beef prices and cattle prices continues to frustrate cattle producers.


Ethan Lane with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says they’re well aware of those concerns.


“That’s something that we’re continuing to be concerned with,” Lane says. “It’s something that we have engaged with the packers in conversations over the past few days, talking about that disparity and asking them to make sure they’re bidding aggressively in the cash market—and making sure they’re keying those bids off what we’re seeing on that cutout price.”


Lane says NCBA is focused on the need for “real price discovery”.


“It’s clear to us that that futures market is not providing that price discovery in this current situation. So it’s something that we obviously are still searching for a good solution to,” he says...


more, including audio [2:47 min.]