A slow restart at meat plants


Livestock farmers experienced continued hardship last week, even as many of the meat processing plants in Iowa and neighboring states began to reopen. To ease the financial burden, Iowa lawmakers are leading an effort for a payment program to assist farmers forced to depopulate livestock herds.

Chad Hart, an Iowa State University associate professor of economics, said it's going to take time to restore meat processing capacity. He estimates that U.S. meat packers are now running at between 60% to 70% capacity, an improvement from a few weeks ago when 45% to 50% of those plants were off-line.


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