Legislators Attack Beef Problems
An Oklahoma beef task force designed to analyze problems in marketing and processing beef has been organized by Representative Justin Humphrey (R), Lane and Senator David Bullard (R), Durant. The two legislators have invited independent ranchers, meat buyers, meat processors, livestock auction owners and meat inspectors to convene and identify financial obstacles and structured solutions that will provide a process for long term financial gain for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. Representative Humphrey stated, “Four major meat packers, Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS (Brazilian owned) and National Beef are controlling about 87 percent of beef processing and sales. They have considerable control over what ranchers are paid for cattle and what consumers pay for meat. The beef price is very low for ranchers and extremely high for consumers while meat packers are making millions of dollars. This is not acceptable.”
Oklahoma ranchers are feeling the financial squeeze as production costs continue to climb along with farm debt. Chapter 12 bankruptcies are up 24 percent over last year. The beef supply chain has been challenged nationwide because of the closure of 75 percent of American feedlots and 48 packing plants. The pandemic has also had a negative impact. Times are tough for American agriculture in all sectors.
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