Sharp slowdown in meat packing hurting farmers

Meat packing

Iowa farmers and rural communities are facing mounting challenges and uncertainty as disruptions to meat processing plants impacted by COVID-19 have created a bottleneck in the supply chain, causing major negative impacts for both farmers and consumers. 

As of May 2, the U.S. had lost almost 45% of its pork processing capacity in the last two months due to the effects of COVID-19 on workers. Similarly, cattle slaughter was down by about 38%. Both of these numbers come from a study conducted by Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Sam Funk.

“We have an extreme bottleneck moving [hogs and cattle] through the supply chain right now,” Funk...

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