CattleFax CEO Randy Blach spoke the expansion of meat processing while at the U.S. Meat Export Federation Strategic Planning Conference in Oklahoma City. Labor shortages are a huge obstacle faced by packing plants. “Are we going to continue to have a workforce willing to work at these new plants on Saturdays?” asks Blach. “If we look at the last several years, we’ve harvest roughly 2.5 million cattle on Saturdays, so will these new plants offset that?” Increasing packer capacity could be a double-edged sword. “We know margins are going to get tight for the packers in the next several years, but the U.S. cowherd will not grow if we don’t increase packing capacity.”
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