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The U.S. meat shortage is impacting some farms and shoppers

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A personal point of view of shopping with a push cart in the grocery store

ST. LOUIS (KTVI)– The meat industry says it’s seeing something that’s never happened before.
A shortage that’s hitting producers and consumers simultaneously.

“What COVID has proved is that there’s a black swan event out there,” said Matt Hardecke, owner of Clover Meadows Beef.

A major shakeup in the meat industry is causing shortages throughout the country and some stores are setting purchasing limits.

“With our packing plants down to 65% capacity that means 35% percent of the pipeline of animals have no place to go and so those animals can’t get processed.”

He says that’s driving record-high prices for shoppers, but tanking the price of cattle since there are so many on the market ready for slaughter.

“There’s never been a time in my memory or my father’s memory where we couldn’t sell an animal. It’s absolutely remarkable what has happened.”

Local meat producers can only process 10 to 20 animals a day while large scale meat plants process about 3,000 to 4,000.

Plants are trying to make their workplaces safer but in the meantime, there’s a lot of volatility going on behind the meat counter.

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