The nation’s massive effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus has led to a precipitous drop in consumption in the food service, restaurant, and hotel sectors while boosting at-home consumption, all of which is disrupting traditional market channels. As people adjust to stay-at-home orders across the country, shoppers deal with shortages of some retail items, and everyone—including the livestock and dairy sector—must adjust to the new normal.
Recently, COVID-19 contagion among meat plant workers prompted closure announcements from several packing facilities. Although these businesses are deemed essential for the nation’s food supply, the companies did not want to risk further contagion among workers.
COVID-19 has also brought chaos into the dairy sector: Following a collapse in prices, dairy farmers have been dumping milk as processing plants are filled, unable to take on the additional volume during flush.
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