Meat producers start feeling the effects of COVID-19

Local News

(AP/KCAU) Because of COVID-19, beef producers are struggling to find places to process their cattle as they adjust to more direct-to-consumer sales.

These cattle usually end up at the grocery store.  Except now, consumers are cutting out the middleman more than before by buying their beef straight from the farmer instead of the store.

Many larger slaughterhouses have closed due to employees testing positive for COVID-19 and slowed production caused by new restrictions.

It’s causing a ripple effect in the beef industry, with many farmers having to wait months for their cattle to be processed.

“The local slaughterhouses are backed up until January or February to get anything harvested right now.  For us that means, for our private customers, they have to think a little farther ahead and they may have to wait a little longer to get their beef,” said Todd Brink, a cattle farmer.

According to pork industry officials, there is a similar backlog for hog processing.

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