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Tennessee Slaughter Cow Market During COVID-19

Andrew P. Griffith and Charles Martinez

No 304051, Extension Reports from University of Tennessee, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract: Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had far-reaching impacts on the cattle market. The most publicized impacts have been related to the backlog of finished cattle associated with reduced slaughter rates, which resulted in lower finished cattle prices. Additionally, the reduced finished cattle slaughter resulted in lower feeder cattle prices and delayed marketing of feeder cattle and calves by many cattle producers. However, finished cattle and feeder cattle are not the only markets that influence returns for Tennessee cattle producers. Another major income source for many Tennessee cattle producers comes in the form of slaughter cows. As cows mature and become less reproductively efficient, producers will cull them out of the herd and sell them as slaughter cows. Slaughter cow sales make up 15 to 20 percent of the gross income on most cow-calf operations (Durst et al., 2017). The relatively large percentage of gross income from slaughter cows points to the importance of this market to cow-calf operations. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the impact COVID-19 had on the slaughter cow market and its implications for cow-calf producers in Tennessee. The slaughter cow market is driven by supply and demand for ground beef. There are three primary sources of beef that help fulfill ground beef demand, including trimmings from finished cattle, lean beef imports and slaughter cows. In addition to the three listed sources of ground beef, there are times when whole muscle cuts (i.e., chucks, rounds) from finished cattle are ground to fulfill ground beef demand. The purpose of this publication is to illustrate how slaughter cow prices in Tennessee have been influenced by COVID-19. This will be accomplished by evaluating mature cow slaughter and slaughter cow prices in Tennessee during the first five months of 2020, as compared to previous years.

Keywords: Livestock Production/Industries; Marketing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 6
Date: 2020-07-24
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.304051

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