CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division recently released its quarterly report, Rural Industries Adapt to Coronavirus Reality.

According to the report, U.S. chicken plants endured far less COVID-19 disruption in the second quarter than either beef or pork. “In fact, we expect chicken production to be down only 1% in the quarter relative to a nearly 10% decline in red meat production,” wrote CoBank Lead Animal Protein Economist Will Sawyer.

“While chicken producers have been able to manage through their production disruptions, demand has been volatile. The chicken sector swiftly filled retail meat cases when demand shifted from foodservice and the red meat supply dropped. This dynamic put chicken prices on a roller coaster ride for the last few months.”

The report also notes that chicken supply increased by 8% in the first quarter of 2020, largely driven by new plants that opened last year. Sawyer added that he continues to expect around 3% industry growth for the U.S. chicken sector in 2020 as its value-proposition may appeal to U.S. consumers facing a difficult economic outlook the rest of the year.

The full report is available on CoBank’s website by clicking here.