Covid hitting livestock markets hard

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Covid-19 is hitting the livestock market hard.

What exactly does this mean for producers?

It means that if you are looking to sell your cattle, now may not be the best time.

Coronavirus is decreasing the profit margin for sales, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming to an end any time soon.

Jackie Moore, Owner, Joplin Regional Stockyard, said, “It’s kind of slow around here. With the way the markets went, we’ve lost 30% of the value of these cattle over the last three or four weeks since this coronavirus scare.”

Effects of the coronavirus have reached almost every corner of our society, and it’s often for the worst.

Producers are beginning to see the negative effects of this illness when it comes to selling their livestock.

Steve Johnson, Cattle Rancher, said, “I’ve seen cattle go from 800-900 pound calves bring in 1250 bucks, to 900 in less than 30 days.”

Many are hoping the market will rebound.

Jackie Moore, Owner, Joplin Regional Stockyard, said, “I think the fallout from the market might be worse than the disease, the way it’s looking to me because we’re all in panic mode.”

But it all comes down to how long that will even be.

“We go back over the years, and I’ve seen just about everything happen but I’ve never seen thing quite as drastic as this one the way we’ve had to react to it.”

This presents a different set of challenges to area producers, whether they should sell their cattle and get what they can or wait out the storm

“We’ve lost several percentage points on the fat cattle and on the feeder cattle. I’ve personally raised a cow/calf operation and I have a background in some calves and it’s really been tough,” said Johnson.

On the other end, meat packers are profiting off this time as many shoppers are stocking up on frozen meat.

With the weather warming up, producers hope prices start to increase again for cattle as people may be looking to start grilling.

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