Beef Buzz News
OCA's Michael Kelsey Offers Insight Into Cattle Producers Forced to Make Tough Decisions During Uncertain Time
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 10:16:50 CDT
Cattle producers are facing difficult decisions as they try to predict future market and demand equations during this uncertain time. Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemenís Association, offers some thoughts on those challenges as he visits today with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network farm Director Ron Hays.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Michael Kelsey
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to decide what to do tomorrow, let alone next year. Oklahoma cattle producers must make decisions today on what to do about calving season 2021 and beyond, Kelsey said.
As we look out into the future itís time to turn the bulls out for spring calving season next year, Kelsey said. Those decisions are being made now for calves that will come to market September of 2021.
They must ask how many cows should I keep. Do I need to downsize my herd? Do I cull some cows? What will beef demand look like? All tough decisions to make during a depressed market, Kelsey said.
We would like to think, once restaurants reopen, people will rush out to enjoy a night out and there will be surge of beef demand, but we just donít know, Kelsey said.
Kelsey said this pandemic falls on top of last yearís flooding in the northern Plains and eastern Oklahoma that devastated cattle producers.
Weíve eroded all the equity, Kelsey said, so this could be bad for producers.
Helping resolve some of the economic pain is the federal food assistance program which includes $5.1 billion for livestock producers. Kelsey said the payment limitations of $125,000 per rancher is problematic.
It takes a tremendous amount of capital to raise food, he said. Using the example of 1,000 stocker cattle or 200 head of cows is pretty small for the payment limits to do much good, Kelsey said.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ronís complete interview with Michael Kelsey.
The Beef buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for todayís show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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