We are a few months removed now from the temporary closing of the Tyson pork processing plant in Logansport and Indiana Packers in Delphi. How are pork producers doing now? Kendell Culp, a farmer from Rensselaer, says they are caught up.
“We were behind three weeks with Tyson shut down and we got that caught up. Those hogs, even though we put them on a no-gain ration, they still were large and there’s a big discount for larger hogs like that. So, fast forward to now, several months later, we’re able to get our hogs in and get them processed at Tyson’s on a timely fashion when we need to.”
Even though they’re caught up, Culp says the overall picture for livestock producers is not a pretty one as markets continue to decline.
“There is an over production of pork in the United States even with the big demand in China. Thank goodness we have that demand. We would really have a big glut of pork here in the U.S. But it’s not a very positive time for most livestock producers right now. The quantity is high and the prices low, which is the way supply and demand is supposed to work, but it doesn’t paint a very positive picture for meat protein as far as those producers are concerned.”
Culp says many consumers have been looking to get their pork or beef directly from the farm. While that’s a good thing to hear, smaller processors are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.
“We’re still way behind on people wanting a hog or half a beef and that’s because of the back up at those small mom and pop locker plants. There aren’t that many of those in Indiana and that’s been a problem. They are just working seven days a week and have a hard time with labor situations, as you can imagine. So, that’s been a little bit of a slowdown, but we’re hearing now people are concerned that we may have a resurgence this fall and winter of COVID and so they’re trying to make sure they have their protein needs in their freezer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some more panic buying this winter.”