Ag News: Corona Beef Buys Up and USDA Encourages Safety
**As people hunker down and cook more meals at home, they've been buying more beef, that’s led to surging demand, particularly for hamburger.
But demand for higher-end cuts has suffered, due to restrictions on restaurants and on export sales.
The turbulent markets, combined with dry weather in recent weeks, have left cattle ranchers facing complicated decisions about how to manage their herds and when to send animals to market.
**USDA Service Centers are encouraging visitors to take proactive protective measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Centers will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.
While Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service program delivery staff at the Service Centers will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible.
**Dairy farmers and their upstream supply chain have been able to adjust and handle the current COVID-19 disruption to dairy markets.
That’s according to Mark Stephenson, a dairy economist and director of the Center of Dairy Profitability at the University of Wisconsin.
He tells milkbusiness.com while fluid milk sales through grocery stores are up, about a third of dairy sales normally move through restaurant and food service outlets.
School fluid milk sales normally account for 8 to 9 percent.