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Concerns remain in wake of beef plant shutdown

The initial shock to the cattle market from the Kansas beef plant fire and shutdown has subsided, but producer concerns remain.

Mike Drinnin, a Nebraska cattle feeder and president of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s organization, says the situation has created a lot of uncertainty.

“The biggest concern is that the cost was bore upon the producers themselves—and that’s what really hurts in an industry right now that’s been in a lot of pain,” Drinnin says. “It’s been tough. It’s been real tough.”

Drinnin says the plant shutdown comes a critical time, especially for cow-calf producers.

“If there’s a lot of uncertainty in this market when they start to sell their calf crop coming up here—and that’s their one crop a year—it’s really important,” he says.

Nebraska Farm Bureau is urging the USDA to keep a close eye on cattle markets in the wake of plant shutdown. Farm Bureau has sent a letter to USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach asking that “any anti-competitive activities be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.

Tyson hasn’t said when the plant will reopen but has indicated it could take months.

AUDIO: Mike Drinnin

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