APHIS establishes Incident Coordination Center as plant closures continue

Pressure is mounting on the nation’s pork supply chain as another processing facility has shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Smithfield Foods announced Friday it was shutting down it’s Monmouth, Illinois facility temporarily after a “small number” of its 1,700 employees tested positive for COVID-19.  

The facility processes almost 13,000 hogs per day, or roughly 3 percent of the nation’s slaughter capacity.  It also produces bacon.  

The latest closure creates even more challenges for the nation’s pork producers as hogs continue to back up in the supply chain.  On Friday, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the establishment of a National Incident Coordination Center to provide support to producers who cannot move their livestock to market as a result of the plant closures.  

APHIS has also mobilized the National Veterinary Stockpile, and will deploy assets as needed to secure the services of contractors who can supply additional equipment, personnel, and services.  State-level technical assistance to producers will also be provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Cost-share assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, in line with program guidelines for disposal, will also be available 

Additional details are available on the USDA website, HERE.

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