BURLEY, Idaho — Slaughter plants are running closer to capacity and the backlog of cattle is shrinking as the industry shifts back into high gear after temporary COVID-19-related closures knocked it back on its heels, a marketing expert says.
Disruptions in meatpacking and beef demand due to the pandemic have thrown cattle markets into chaos over the last couple of months, fueling uncertainty about what the “new normal” might be.
But the industry will find a road back to normal and predictable activity, John Nalivka, president and owner of Sterling Marketing in Vale, Ore., told cattle producers at the Idaho Cattle Association annual summer conference on Monday.
In fact, “new normal” isn’t even in his vocabulary. The industry will get back to knowing what’s going on, he said.
On the supply side, the top topic is the backlog of cattle due to packing plant closures and slowdowns — and he doesn’t think it’s as