Rancher highlights pandemic-related challenges

South Dakota Rancher Bryan Hanson says marketing cattle through the supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic was incredibly frustrating. 

“We saw extremely depressed cattle prices, not only in our fed cattle industry, but it definitely showed through the feeder cattle markets and it was frustrating because through those same times we saw our beef prices in the stores continue to climb,” he says.

Hanson, a past president of R-CALF USA, says although cattle producers have received some relief through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, it’s not as much as the profits that packers received during the pandemic. 

“There sending out per-head dollar amounts to producers to try to keep them afloat, but what really bothers me is at the same time they’re doing that we watched the packing industry go from $1500 a head and pretty soon it was $2000 and through the pandemic it hit as high as $3000 per head per animal on fed cattle that were being slaughtered,” he says. 

He says proposed legislation to improve price discovery and increase competition could help.

Hanson made these comments during the American Bankers Association’s Unconventional Convention.

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