Ag News

IDALS: Supporting Livestock Producers During COVID-19

IARN — Coronavirus’ impact on agriculture has dramatically increased within recent weeks.

“There is a lot of economic damage being done to agriculture, across every sector,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. However, COVID-19 has greatly impacted the pork industry.

“…particularly as it relates to processing plants that have slowed or shutdown. That has created a significant surplus of animals with nowhere to go. Producers that have nowhere to market animals will have to make a difficult decision,” Secretary Naig said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship aims to support not only producers, but packers, so meat processing facilities can remain open. It all begins with protecting factory workers, who play a critical role in supporting the food supply chain.

“The Governor, her team, and Department of Public Health have been working hard to provide testing resources and information to the packing industry, to help them get through this,” Secretary Naig said. “Yesterday we sent a letter to the Vice President with the Governor, and Senators Ernst and Grassley, asking the President to invoke the Defense Production Act to set a national standard for keeping plants open and recognizing that they’re essential infrastructure.”

U.S. agricultural officials today received word of President Trump’s plans to invoke the Defense Production Act, which orders U.S. meat packing facilities to continue operations. Secretary Naig says this move will “protect workers and keep the agricultural food supply chain moving.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Previous ArticleNext Article