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Price Of Meat To Increase, Farmers Forced to Kill Livestock

Price Of Meat To Increase, Farmers Forced to Kill Livestock Click to Enlarge Photo: Pixabay

(KNSI) - The state is continuing to try and help meatpacking facilities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, officials reported workers tested positive at Pilgrims Pride's chicken processing plant in Cold Spring and Jennie-O's turkey processing plant in Melrose.

The outbreak followed pork processing plants in Worthington and Sioux Falls, SD, getting shut down after workers became sick.

Minnesota Department of Agricultural Commissioner Thom Petersen talked about what this will mean for consumers.

"For now, our food supply is stable. Consumers will see some disruptions as they have, and they may see some higher prices."

He any shortages or price increases will become more widespread the longer the pandemic goes.

Commissioner Petersen says they're trying to help farmers find processes plants to take their animals by working with many smaller plants around the state.

"We try to keep our plants that are running, running, and our plants that are down to be able to get them back in a timely manner. It's just an incredibly important issue."

On Monday, the Prime Pork plant in Windom started operating again after temporarily closing last week after workers tested positive for COVID-19.

He says, unfortunately, with the loss of animal processing capacity, livestock farmers are left with a bitter choice.

"They're just simply will be too many animals, hogs, and chickens to handle despite our efforts, and we will need to euthanize some animals."

Some poultry farmers in Stearns County started killing off their chickens last week because the wasn't a place to take the birds.