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COVID-19 cut beef product line down to about a third of normal production

Posted: 3:11 PM, Jun 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-06-25 20:05:16-04

One of the areas that has been affected greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic is the farming industry.

At the QFC Angus Farm, owner and operator David Bramble says that the virus hasn't really affected them much, but the biggest impact hit late March.

"We use several local butcher shops throughout Maryland and once the beef was depleted from the grocery stores. We still have our regular customers plus we got inundated with calls everybody looking for beef products, protein source since it wasn’t available throughout the grocer."

The biggest problem he said was that everybody was flooding the local butcher shops. Bramble said they couldn't get their cattle in to service the customer base plus all the new customers coming in were trying to pick.

"We couldn’t get out product out in a timely manner," he explained. "We currently have a fairly large waiting list to be processed so its going to take some time."

Bramble said the virus cut their product line down to about a third of what they normally produce because they can't get product through to the local butcher shops.

"So we’ve contacted just about every butcher shop that we can to get our product through and everybody is just about backed up," Bramble said. "So we're about only 1/3 of our business right now, there’s no shortage of beef, I assure the consumer of that. We have plenty of beef, we just can’t get it processed at this point."

In terms of assistance, the USDA put out an assistance program for USDA live stock producers. Bramble said they're looking into that and that they're working with a local USDA farm service agency to see what they can offer as far as assistance but as of right now they haven’t received any assistance at this point.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Bramble said a customer could call them up and have beef on the table in a month to a month and a half. Now, the backlog at the butcher has caused that wait time to reach around six months.

For more information on QFC, click here.