“Millions of hogs now have little value and some farmers are killing piglets because falling sales means there’s not enough room at their operation to hold more animals.” – Food Dive
With slaughterhouses closing, there’s just no place for any more pigs
Food Dive – Several agricultural industries have taken a hit from the loss of business during the coronavirus, with farmers dumping tens of thousands of gallons of milk, destroying vegetables, breaking eggs, and now culling piglets.
Restaurants, schools, hotels, and other businesses purchase about 25% of pork, including nearly three-quarters of bacon produced in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.
But the coronavirus has closed processing plants, which process as many as 20,000 hogs a day.
Kenneth Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods, said in a statement:
“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply.”
“Many generational family farms will go bankrupt without immediate financial aid.”
As facilities close, farmers have nowhere to send their animals, creating a surplus and further driving down prices for farmers.
Last week, the U.S. Agriculture Department said it would spend $3 billion to buy fresh food that will be sent to food banks. The USDA planned to give $1.6 billion in direct payments to pork farmers.
NPPC’s Roth said when the aid was announced that it was appreciated but just wasn’t enough:
“While the direct payments to hog farmers will offset some losses for some farmers, they are not sufficient to sustain the varied market participants … Many generational family farms will go bankrupt without immediate financial aid.” Read more.