Kansas beef producers feeling the impact of the coronavirus – KWCH

CIMARRON, Kan. (KWCH) Ag producers in Kansas are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus.

USDA/MGN

The beef market is taking the biggest hit with demand and commodity prices declining. Mark Busch says he and other beef producers are now at the mercy of the markets.

“Traders have seen what happened in China where the outbreak started. And it resulted in businesses being shut down and people being confined to their homes, and a massive drop in demand and economic activity,” says Mark.

It’s not fear of the virus itself, but the impact it could have on the economy.

“If it did happen, it could lower the price of livestock because people aren’t out eating at restaurants or doing their daily activities,” Busch says.

Futures prices for grains have already been in decline, but beef is taking the biggest hit.

“One of the arguments I’ve heard is that ‘well, people still have to eat.’ Well, yes they have to eat but their eating patterns will change. And I can guarantee they won’t be going to a restaurant and ordering steaks,” says Busch.

Unlike grains, when it’s time for cattle to go to slaughter, they can’t be stored. Busch just hopes commodity prices will even out soon.

“What goes up comes down, and what goes down comes up eventually,” he says. “While I don’t think this is over, I also don’t expect this to be a long-term problem. This is a temporary thing.”

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