Hart says the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates that the U.S Department of Agriculture released this week suggest the growing season and 2020 harvest may be tough, but not devastating. Higher yields will offset lower prices. And Hart says COVID recovery should bring about some of the relief from trade tensions that economists anticipated.
A May 15 story, "Eastern Iowa meat lockers see record sales due to processing plants' coronavirus shutdowns," in The Gazette.
“As the big plants went down, we did see folks shift to our smaller locker plants to process some of those animals,” said Chad Hart, associate professor of economics at Iowa State University and an Extension economist. “But it doesn’t cover fully what’s needed.”
A May 16 News Brig story, "As meat-processing factories struggle to reopen amid coronavirus outbreaks, govt. documents warn of shortages ‘by the end of May.’"
“The same thing that made the meat-processing plants so efficient is also what made them so susceptible,” stated Chad Hart, a professor of economics at Iowa State University.
“You see a highly stylized, highly efficient process,” Hart stated. “We had concentrated folks into large facilities because they are economies of scale. The more you can do in one building, the cheaper it is.”