Livestock & Cattle | KUNC

Livestock & Cattle

The pandemic has beef markets on a roller coaster, and Shohone, Idaho's Amie Taber is among the ranchers along for the ride.

 


Beef prices are on the rise while live cattle prices are falling. One reason for that is COVID-19 disrupting meat processing plants. There are more cattle and less product because some cows can’t get processed. But many suspect there's more to the story.


Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


Jake Billington has worked at the livestock auction at the Twin Falls Livestock Commission in southern Idaho for 28 years.


Luke Runyon / KUNC

Northern Colorado's meatpacking industry says its facilities will continue operating at full capacity during the coronavirus outbreak.

Meatpacker JBS USA, with its headquarters in Greeley, says it will keep the city's beef processing plant up and running as the state's number of COVID-19 cases rises.

As water becomes more scarce in the Mountain West, a new analysis finds that a surprising amount is being used to raise cattle.

New legislation introduced in the U.S. House Thursday would make it easier for conservation groups to remove cattle and sheep from federal lands. 

Colorado officials are asking ranchers to report sick animals after a disease that primarily affects horses and cattle has been confirmed in the state.

The state Department of Agriculture has confirmed more than two dozen cases of the vesicular stomatitis virus as of last week.

When it comes to beef, Made in America doesn't necessarily mean it was made here. That's because if the cow was raised in another country it can be labeled with a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sticker as long as it was processed here. That has American ranchers in a beef with each other over what to do about it.

Cow guts are quite the factory. Grass goes in, microbes help break it down and make hydrogen, then other microbes start converting it to another gas. In the end, you get methane, manure and meat.

One of those things is not like the other. Methane emissions are considered the second-worst greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, according to Stanford University professor Rob Jackson.

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