The spread of coronavirus and the world’s response to it has created a great deal of uncertainty in the U.S. and around the world. To help maintain beef demand and supply chain continuity, NCBA and KLA are actively engaged in the situation.
Both organizations have been in communication with participants from every sector of the industry, including ranchers, feeders, processors, and foodservice and retail operators. In addition, NCBA staff in Washington, DC, is working closely with Congress and regulatory agencies to remove possible barriers to beef production. USDA has been contacted daily to ensure their commitment to keeping graders and inspectors in packing plants. Processors are operating as normal and have contingency plans in place to handle any staffing issues due to illness. NCBA also has requested USDA closely monitor markets for any anti-competitive behavior. Both NCBA and KLA staff have been in contact with Congress regarding stimulus packages and specifically have requested an increase in USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) borrowing authority.
Additionally, the Department of Transportation, upon NCBA’s request, has issued an emergency declaration waiving hours-of-service regulations for all hauling of livestock from March 13 through April 12. Drivers wishing to haul under this exemption should print and keep in their cab a copy of the Expanded Emergency Declaration, which can be found on www.kla.org under “Coronavirus Response.” NCBA and KLA also are working to secure a waiver for truck weights.
KLA has communicated with state legislators and regulatory officials, as well as members of the Kansas congressional delegation over the past week. Association staff also have been in contact with the governor’s office to ensure all livestock sales are exempt from the executive order to temporarily prohibit mass gatherings. However, sale organizers are being encouraged to use online or phone bidding when possible and to follow Center for Disease Control guidelines regarding distancing and hygiene.
ACTION STEPS TAKEN
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & RESOURCES
Members are encouraged to contact KLA with any questions or concerns about the current situation.