Slaughter totals increasing, but challenges are far from over
June 1, 2020 By Meghan Grebner Filed Under: 2020 Events, Beef, COVID-19, Human Interest, Livestock, News, Pork
Daily slaughter capacity for both cattle and hogs has continued its push to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels. But as Brownfield’s Meghan Grebner reports, the challenges are far from over.
Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says there has been a lot of economic
incentive for packers to ramp their production levels back up. “I think it’s important, especially in hogs,
to remind ourselves maybe we could say we are breaking even right now,” he
says. “That’s about the best thing we
could say. And we probably have about
2-plus-million head of hogs to try and work through in the backlog. It’s far from over and it’s going to take us
a while to get there.”
He tells Brownfield the same can be said for cattle. “We might not have a bunch of heavyweight cattle left, but we have a lot of cattle that have been slowed in getting to the feedyard, etc. that we’re going to pay the price for as we go through the remainder of this year,” he says.
And even with the
shortened holiday week – Brown says cattle slaughter was down just 11 percent
on the year and hog slaughter was down just 7.7 percent relative to year-ago
Tyson’s Storm Lake, Iowa facility shut down last week for
cleaning after more than 500 of the plants 2,500 employees tested positive for
COVID-19. It’s expected to resume
operations at some point this week.
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