Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist — COVID-19 continues to sweep through packing plant workers leading to severe disruptions in beef processing. Estimated cattle slaughter for the week ending May 2 was 425,000 head, down 38 percent year over year. Total cattle slaughter has averaged 26.4 percent lower than last year over the past four weeks, a decrease of 689,000 head and a little more than one week of cattle slaughter at this time of year. The backlog of slaughter cattle is growing rapidly. Corresponding to slaughter decreases, beef production was down over 35 percent year…

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