Beef Buzz News
Trump's Order To Keep Meat Processing Plants Open Will Not Immediately Fill Retail Meat Counter, Says OSU's Derrell Peel
Wed, 29 Apr 2020 10:04:56 CDT
President Trump’s order, under the Defense Production Act, to keep the meat processing plants open will not immediately fill the retail meat counters. That’s the assessment today from Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU Extension livestock economist.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Derrell Peel
Peel said early in the pandemic phase, consumers purchased large quantities of food, including meat, causing some temporary shortages. What we’re experiencing now is different, he said.
“This time I think we’re actually going to see disruptions in the flow of product to the grocery stores,” Peel said.
“In the last three weeks we’ve produced about 300 million pounds less beef than a year ago,” Peel said.
Closing meat plants has created problems throughout the entire meat industry.
Feedlots are hanging onto animals longer since they can’t be processed, backing up the whole system, Peel said.
The OSU economist optimistically added, there is hope things will improve, but it will take a while.
“I think it’s possible we will see in the next week or two, the worse of the health impacts at these plants,” Peel said.
If we stay at reduced capacity for several more weeks, we’re talking several months to catch up, Peel said.
Even then, plants will slow production as they do things to enhance worker safety, Peel said.
This situation leaves some challenging decisions ahead for producers.
For cattle, spring calving is wrapping up and the breeding season has started. Peel believes producers will breed the cattle with the expectation that a year from now things will have returned to normal.
On the hog and poultry side, producers are faced with depopulating herds, leading to long-term consequences down the road, Peel said.
Forget about making a profit, Peel said. Survival is the key now as everybody scrambles to find a way to get through the crisis.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more comments from Dr. Peel.
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