Dakota Farmer

Bison producers propose COVID-19 aid package

The proposal was presented to USDA in a letter from North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring.

Lon Tonneson

April 28, 2020

1 Min Read
A bison cow grazing the top of a ridge
BISON MONEY: A bison cow trails across the top of a ridge. The COVID-19 outbreak has halted food service sales of bison meat across the U.S.Farm Progress

A COVID-19 compensation package has been proposed for bison producers. It calls for compensation of $210 per head for bison cows and bulls, $252 per head for finishing stock weighing between 400-800 pounds, and $294 per head for finished animals weighing more than 800 pounds.

The proposed compensation is based on the drop in the market value of bison since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The proposal also encourages USDA to expand the use of bison meat in school lunch and other nutrition programs when the nation begins to recover the from the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The National Bison Association (NBA), the North Dakota Buffalo Association and Association and tribal bison producers got together and drafted the proposal. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who is credited with bringing the industry stakeholders together, recently presented the proposal in a letter to USDA Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“The bison industry will likely experience the lingering effects of the current market situation for another two years,” Goehring wrote in the letter to USDA. “The drop in the carcass price for bison has declined rapidly since the pandemic and producers and plants are struggling.”

Bison prices have been affected mainly by loss of food service business, which has been the primary outlet for high-value steaks. Retail demand is up, but mostly for lower-priced ground bison meat, according to a statement from Dave Carter, NBA executive director.

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BisonCovid 19

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