Panic Buying Down On the South 40

Bloomberg Businessweek “Farmers Are Panic Buying, Too” “Fears of shortages have sent agriculture players globally in search of animal feed”.

Seriously, this can’t be real!

Well, you would be concerned as well if you had 95 million cows, 77 million pigs and 9 billion chickens to feed. Especially if your feed supply was “just-in-time” and you realized that the COVID-19 pandemic might have some serious “ripple effects”. Fall-on effects of COVID-19 like sick truck drivers calling out, feed mills being short-handed, falling demand for gasoline and slaughterhouses slowing production. Fewer drivers equates to slower deliveries, feed mills slowing down means less grain, as gasoline production slows so does ethanol and its important byproduct known as dried distiller grains (DDGs) another stable for livestock. Slower slaughterhouse production means keeping livestock additional days, weeks or months.

The panic buying has been global pushing sales up by 10% and feed for “companion animals” (horses and rabbits) increased by 20%. Unlike a our domestic pantries, ranchers have little if any spare storage capacity so best the panic buying is doing is ensuring a “safety stock”.