COVID-19’s Effect on the North Texas Cattle Market

By Judy Wade

When the sales volume at Wichita Livestock Sales went from an average of 1,100 head on March 11 to 970 head on March 18, owner-operator Billy Easter didn’t think too much about it. Farmers had just pulled their wheat pasture calves off and sold them, and rains had gotten erratic, making getting cattle to market difficult.

Then came the pandemic orders, and it began to make sense.

“We are an essential business, so after one week, we resumed our sales, putting in some new regulations,” Easter explained. “We lost some buyers because they were afraid to come at first, but we are back up to our usual 50 to 60 buyers—some order buyers and some local ranchers—each week.”

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