The beef industry is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as processing plants are slowing down.  Chair of the Louisiana Beef Industry Council Amelia Kent says some of the slowdown is coming from sick workers while others are pausing operations to undergo deeper sanitation measures.

“Some of these plants are actually shutting down for an extended amount of time, whether that is for a few days or an unforeseeable length of time,” said Kent.

Kent says the disruption is trickling back to the farm level as cattle are coming out of feed yards having no way to advance into harvesting.

“You have a backlog of live cattle inventory that are in fact ready to be harvested, but we don’t have the plant ability to do so,” said Kent.

Much like toilet paper and disinfectant products, there has been a large consumer demand that has seen shoppers buying up all the meat at the store.  Kent says the slowdown at the processor level will only intensify meat shortages.

“Now as we start to see the slowdowns in that supply chain, I think the next step as the consumer is those meat cases won’t be restocked as quickly or as readily as they normally would be,” said Kent.

(Story written by Kevin Barnhart/Louisiana Radio Network)

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