Cattle at feedlot

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association sent a letter this morning to Iowa’s congressional delegation and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, asking for a stimulus package designed to assist cattle producers.

“We’ve heard from our members across the state that the market fall-out from COVID-19 has put the future of their family farms at risk,” Matt Deppe, CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, says in a news release. “This ‘black swan’ event comes just a few months after a similar market crash in August following the Tyson plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas.”

In the past week, boxed beef prices have increased, while fed cattle trade and live cattle futures markets have plummeted. Concerns over future beef demand, availability of feedstuffs, and potential processing disruptions have added to uncertainty in the beef community.

ICA staff and leaders have been in daily contact with governmental agencies including USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The organization has also been collaborating with other cattlemen’s associations across the country, and been in contact with the Iowa Banker’s Association, Iowa Department of Economic Development and Iowa Department of Public Health.

In addition to the letter asking for immediate assistance, ICA continues to work on long-term solutions to provide more transparency and price discovery in the fed cattle markets.

The full text of the letter is at https://bit.ly/38YqgCo.