GFM Network News


U.S. livestock: Hog futures rise on supply woes

CME cattle contracts ease

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. hog futures rallied on Monday, with supply expected to tighten after another slaughterhouse was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, traders said. “If we have packers up and running we know we have the domestic demand,” said Ted Seifried, chief market strategist for Zaner Ag Hedge. “It is just […] Read more

Cargill to temporarily idle High River beef plant

Packing plant hit by COVID-19 outbreak; another 67 cases linked to JBS plant

Reuters — Cargill Ltd. said Monday it had begun the process of temporarily idling its beef plant at High River, Alta. because of the COVID-19 outbreak as provincial health officials said hundreds of workers at the plant had become infected. In her daily media update, Alberta chief medical officer Deena Hinshaw said a total of […] Read more


Workers in the JBS beef plant at Brooks, Alta. appear in a screen shot from a 2018 corporate video. (JBS Canada video screengrab via YouTube)

Third major Alberta beef plant confirms COVID-19 cases

JBS in Brooks is the latest with infected workers, but will continue operations

UPDATED, April 17 — Cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed at three of Alberta’s major beef packing plants. Three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Wednesday at the JBS beef packing plant in Brooks, said Tom Hesse, Local 401 president with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada. JBS Canada spokesman Cameron Bruett confirmed some […] Read more

Beef cattle producers seek new set-aside plan

Cattle groups, Tories call for revival of BSE-era program

Canada’s beef cattle producer groups and federal Conservatives want to see the revival of a BSE-era program to hold cattle back against the risk of further lost options for slaughter. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association on Monday hearkened back to its March 24 list of recommendations to the federal government for support measures against the impacts […] Read more


U.S. livestock: Cattle, hog futures recover

Cargill cuts more beef shifts, Smithfield shuts more pork plants

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. cattle and hog futures advanced on Wednesday as the markets recovered slightly from recent losses that traders said had dropped prices too far below the cash markets. Futures prices have tumbled recently as major meat companies have shut slaughterhouses due to the spread of the new coronavirus among employees. The […] Read more

‘Elbow to elbow:’ North America’s meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs

Supply chains struggling to keep pace with surging demand

Chicago/Winnipeg | Reuters — At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 U.S. cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a meat inspector. In Colorado, nearly a third of the workers at a JBS USA beef plant stayed […] Read more


Beef Farmers of Ontario ask for curb on cull sales

BFO concerned over processing 'backlogs'

Updated, April 15 — Ontario’s cattle producer organization is asking members to consider delaying sales of cull cows until market conditions “normalize.” Beef Farmers of Ontario’s board on Thursday published a memo to beef and dairy cattle producers, asking them to help “prevent a further surge in cull cows in the market” — especially of […] Read more

Cargill halts second shift at High River beef plant

'Additional safety measures' also in place, company says

Cargill is temporarily idling its second shift at one of Canada’s biggest beef packing plants to “minimize the impact” of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The company announced Monday it would reduce shifts at its High River, Alta. beef plant, about 40 km south of Calgary, effective that day and until further notice. “Our goal is to […] Read more


USDA to probe surging beef prices versus falling cattle prices

Tyson says will co-operate with department's investigation

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Agriculture Department will investigate why a surge in beef prices because of coronavirus-related hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices for farmers, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday. The investigation adds scrutiny on the small group of meat companies such as Tyson Foods and Cargill that dominate […] Read more

U.S. senators scrutinize meat packers’ profits during pandemic

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. senators are calling for investigations of record profit margins for beef processors such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, after ranchers complained surging meat prices due to coronavirus hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. Futures prices for cattle have tumbled during the outbreak, worrying farmers as the U.S. economy […] Read more