COVID-19 Impact: Packers Reduce Harvests and Producers Face Crisis
The COVID-19 Pandemic affects more of the country on a daily basis, forcing the closure or slowdown of packing plants, and impacting producer’s bottom lines. Here’s the latest around the beef industry.
Interactive Packing Plant Map
Interactive Map: Meat Packing Plant Status Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus outbreak has forced slowdowns and temporary closures of meat packing plants across the country. This interactive map will be updated as information becomes available.
Packing Plant Closures
Meatpacking facilities have resumed operations this week following the President's Executive Order directing facilities to implement CDC and OSHA guidelines created for the meat sector response to COVID-19.
The plant was closed after cases of COVID-19 sickened workers.
The facility had been idled since April 23 as it tested team members for COVID-19.
Tyson Foods announced it is doubling bonuses, increasing short-term disability coverage and implementing additional health screening measures as part of its efforts to support frontline workers during the pandemic.
The Wisconsin plant employs 1,200 people and has been tied to 189 cases of the illness.
Production at the Pasco, Wash., facility will stop while the company works with health officials in surrounding counties to test team members for COVID-19.
A cluster of 147 cases of coronavirus have been traced to JBS in Green Bay, in what appears to be Wisconsin’s largest outbreak from a single origin.
Cargill is temporarily closing its High River, Alberta, beef plant due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility. Meanwhile, the company says it has re-opened its processing facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
Dozens of workers at Tyson's Pasco, WA, beef plant have tested positive for COVID-19, but the plant will remain open under heightened health and safety procedures.
Cargill’s High River, Alta., beef harvest facility has slowed to one shift beginning this week to prioritize the health and safety of employees, reducing harvest to about 1,500 head per day.
Two of America’s largest beef packing companies have announced plant closings due to COVID-19. One in effect until April 20 and one until April 24. The plants have a combined harvest capacity of 6,500 cattle per day.
AgDay TV's Clinton Griffiths talks to NPPC and Drovers about how the recent closure of pork and beef processing plants in the U.S. are causing major disruption in the global protein market.
JBS USA says its Greeley, Colo., beef plant will be closed through Tuesday for "deep cleaning" in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 among its thousands of employees. Two employee deaths have been reported.
Cargill has closed its processing plant in Hazelton, PA, which employs 900 workers, indicating it will reopen when "it is safe" to do so.
Officials in Weld County , Colo., and Hall County, Neb., are monitoring cases of COVID-19 that are linked to JBS USA beef packing facilities.
COVID-19 Financial Impact
USDA has announced a $19 billion program to provide direct payments to farmers and bulk food purchases for food banks.
An economic analysis released by the U.S. Cattlemen's Association says the total actual and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cattle industry is forecast to exceed $14.6 billion.
Estimated cattle industry losses due to COVID-19 will reach $13.6 billion, according to a study by ag economists conducted to assist USDA in determining how best to allocate CARES Act relief funds to cattle producers.
All sectors of agriculture, including produce, specialty crops and horticulture, will be included in a $16 billion direct payment plan to be submitted to the White House this week by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
President Donald Trump several times over the past week has indicated some $16 billion of COVID-19 farmer aid would be announced soon.
Mary Soukup, managing director of the Beef Alliance, outlined the details of the proposed plan to AgriTalk’s Chip Flory.
President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday he has asked the Justice Department to look into allegations that U.S. meat packers broke antitrust law.
U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue sent two letters to Governors across the nation and leadership of major meat processing companies outlining expectations for the implementation of President Trump's executive order.
Modeled after a set-aside program used in Canada after the BSE crisis in 2004, the Fed Cattle Set-Aside Program proposal would fund placing cattle on a maintenance diet for 75 days.
In a letter to NCBA officers, agricultural economist Stephen R. Koontz says his work is taken out of context when used as a support for mandating beef packers to purchase at least 30% of their cattle on a cash basis.
Following outbreaks of COVID-19 in multiple plant facilities, the agencies have issued new recommendations for employee safety and to reduce risk of spread.
R-CALF USA has asked President Trump and House and Senate leaders to conduct a review the beef supply chain and consider “whether a physical and geographical restructuring of the meatpacking industry is required."
Senator Jerry Moran and the Farm Journal Livestock team react to President Donald Trump's order to keep packing plants open.
A bipartisan letter was sent the FTC to investigate the growing concentration in the meatpacking and processing industry, and any anticompetitive behavior resulting from this concentration.
While President Trump declares meat packing facilities "critical infrastructure," two unions urge the administration to work to keep workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to mandate that meat processing plants owned by Tyson Foods Inc and other companies remain open.
In an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus in meat packing plants, Kansas authorities are considering making housing at junior colleges and other facilities available to packing plant employees.
The organizations request a formal investigation by the Department of Justice to identify and investigate any evidence of fraudulent business practices within the beef meatpacking industry.
Beef promotion programs managed by NCBA have shifted in response to the coronavirus pandemic to reflect consumer concerns about their day-to-day health and the availability of delicious, safe, wholesome food, like beef.
During a Facebook Live address to cattlemen, R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard outlined four actions his group proposes to "restore balance to our dysfunctional cattle markets."
Marty Smith, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, shared an update on how the group has been working for its membership to respond to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Jared Brackett, chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board explains how the Beef Checkoff and its contractors are reassessing their 2020 plans to better address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the beef industry.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today led a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to use his authority to make emergency payments to cattle producers. The letter was signed by seven additional senators.
In response to the ongoing efforts to provide relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued the following statement.
The Republican Senator from South Dakota announced a three-part approach in a call with media on Thursday, Mar. 19.
NCBA is focusing its full attention on the rapidly changing COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the U.S. cattle industry. The top priority being ongoing operation of the full beef supply chain it says.
The United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take immediate steps to address the impact the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the U.S. cattle market.
In addition to working within the beef community, NCBA is working closely with Congress, USDA and many other regulatory agencies to remove possible barriers to beef production.