Iowa pork producer impacted by spring processing slowdown


Iowa pork producer impacted by spring processing slowdown

An Iowa pork producer says slaughter capacity is getting closer to normal following packing plant disruptions related to COVID-19.

Cale Juergensen and his brother feed out around 17,000 hogs in Greene County.  He tells Brownfield the system bottled up in April and May.

“All our hogs are kind of spaced out, so luckily it wasn’t like everything was trying to go at that point. But we had one 5,000 head site that was backed up pretty bad and we ended up pushing out a lot of 330 (and) 340-pound hogs.”

He says it took about a month longer than normal to empty that site.

“But it sure seems to be back on track right now as far as a running standpoint. But I still think overall, there’s a couple million hogs the way it sounds to catch back up on from where they were at before.”

Ag economist Steve Meyer with Kerns and Associates says the number of backlogged pigs at the end of August stood at 1.4 million, and he’s concerned that number will go higher later in the fall.