UC Livestock Economics

Research Areas

Western Video Market

What programs are adding value to your cattle?

Veterinary Feed Directive

What do you need to know?

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Coming soon

Recent Blog Posts

How Meatpacker Procurement Policies Impact Producers in the Beef Supply Chain


In late 2016, Tyson Foods, Inc. announced that it would no longer purchase Holstein cattle at its Joslin, IL harvest facility. This alteration to Tyson’s procurement policy provides a unique opportunity to estimate how producers in the beef supply chain were affected. Results from this study, orginally published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, indicate that Tyson’s decision resulted in a 5.5% reduction in live Holstein prices and a 3.5% reduction in dressed prices. Price impacts were more significant for Holstein feeder cattlel; prices for feeder cattle were reduced by 22% immediately after the decision and eventually stabilized 4.8% …

COVID-19 Cattle Producer Impacts - An Update

Much has changed since my last blog (April 7, 2020), which focused on how COVID-19 had impacted cattle producers in California. At that time, widespread processing plant slowdowns and closures hadn't even been conceived and consumer purchasing patterns, driven by shelter-in-place orders, were the primary driver of wholesale and retail price increases for beef. In the intervening period, processing plant slowdowns and temporary shutdowns created a substantial bottleneck and market-wide impacts that reverberated throughout the supply chain. 

Short-Term Impacts of COVID-19 for the Beef Industry


Among the myriad of concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic is unease about the performance of the U.S. food supply chain. The recent pricing patterns and market dynamics observed in the beef industry have stimulated a lot of concern and discussion about what the future holds. In this blog I discuss the short-term demand impacts and how these changes have influenced beef prices, as well as a variety of factors that are likely to impact the supply side of the beef market. Many researchers and analysts have been considering these topics from a variety of angles. I endeavor here to …