Hog farmers across the country were hoping to avoid a gut-wrenching situation from the coronavirus. But now 3 to 5 million pigs are expected to be euthanized as meat-processing plants shut their doors.
With processing plants closing across the nation hog farmers like Terry O'Neel in Nebraska are doing everything they can from euthanizing their pigs.
With meat processing plants closing and reopening on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis, experts warn production will likely continue to be volatile as long as covid-19 outbreaks continue to plague the plants.
Unfortunately for many farmers they have no choice but to kill some of their livestock because of the system's backlog. Some are euthanizing as many as 500 to 600 heads of pigs a week that are supposed to go into the system.
O'Neel says, "Once you put a stop to the system it's hard to really just put the breaks on them an store these animals - it just doesn't happen - we only have a matter of weeks before we have to make decisions."