This week, three members of the Florida delegation–Democrats U.S. Reps. Al Lawson and Darren Soto and Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho–urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), asking it to include the cattle beef industry in any discussion focused on loss recovery programs.
The three Florida congressmen and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-SD, wrote U.S. Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue on the matter. Estimates hold that the American cattle industry has lost more than $13.5 billion during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Within the primary production for the industry, Cow-Calf sector anticipates estimated 2020 losses of $111.91 per head of cattle,” the congressmen wrote. “Since this production is year-round and a long-term investment, the total losses and future impact estimates are $247.15 per head for each mature breeding animal. Production within the stocking and backgrounding sector anticipate an average loss of nearly $156 per head of cattle.
“Given these significant losses within the industry, we ask your full and fair consideration for the inclusion of the cattle beef industry during any ongoing and future discussions for any loss recovery programs,” the congressmen added.
“Florida’s cattle beef industry is a massive source of revenue for the state, as it is home to over one million cows valued at about $1 billion in total. The impact of this virus is far-reaching, and that is no less evident in the extreme hit the cattle beef industry has taken nationwide,” Soto’s office noted.
Lawson and Yoho sit on the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee.