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· Meat Production to Rebound Sharply After Coronavirus Slowdown - USDA
· Packing Plants Slowly Increasing Capacity But It Could Take Months To Work Off Cattle Back Log, Says KSU's Dr. Glynn Tonsor
Meat Production to Rebound Sharply After Coronavirus Slowdown - USDA
Beef Production of 1.8 Billion Pounds in April Fell 21% From a Year Earlier
By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming
Agriculture.com - 5/19/2020
COVID-19 infections of workers at U.S. packing plants forced declines in red meat and poultry production during April, with beef production hit the hardest, said USDA economists on Monday. Disruptions will be felt for the rest of the year, but meat production in 2021 is forecast to rise nearly 4% higher than this year due to recovery in all major types of meat.
Beef production, for example, is forecast record-large at 27.5 billion pounds in 2021, up 6% from this year, while pork and chicken meat output would notch solid increases, said the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook produced by the Economic Research Service. Pork production would rise by 3%, to 28 billion pounds, and broiler production by nearly 3%, to roughly 45 billion pounds. Turkey production, at 5.9 billion pounds, would be 1% higher.
“Since early April, COVID-19 infections of animal processing-plant labor forces have disrupted beef, pork, broiler, and turkey production in the United States,” said the livestock outlook. Beef production of 1.8 billion pounds in April fell 21% from a year earlier. Pork was down by 11%, to 2.3 billion pounds, and poultry production of 3.27 billion pounds was 2% lower.
Beef production will be hindered for the rest of the year...
Packing Plants Slowly Increasing Capacity But It Could Take Months To Work Off Cattle Back Log, Says KSU's Dr. Glynn Tonsor
Oklahoma Farm Report
19 May 2020
Meat packing plants are slowly increasing capacity, but it could be months before the cattle backlog is vanquished, said Dr. Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University Extension livestock market economist during recent comments on the K-State Radio Network.
Tonsor said the USDA reported almost 500,000 cattle were harvested last week, an increase from 452,000 the week before but more than 200,000 head below the same period a year ago.
We’re going in the right direction, Tonsor said, hopefully throughout the month of May we will continue to improve.
Tonsor, and Dr. Lee Schulz, livestock economist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, have projected at the end of April more than 500,000 head were ready to be processed but due to plant closures, the cattle were backed up in the feedlots.
If we manage to push over 500,000 head processing the rest of May, then it is possible we start June 1 with under a million head carry over, Tonsor said.
That’s still a lot of cattle, Tonsor said, but it is an improvement.
It could be late summer or early fall before we work off that million head backlog and restore balance to the pipeline.
“Even if we were running at the 660,000 head (weekly slaughter) of a year ago and If I am correct about the carryover, that is more than a full operating week just to deal with the backlog, not the cattle normally coming in the system,” Tonsor said.
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