Winter storms slow down many poultry plants

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – A number of broiler plants in the South and Midwest planned to work on Saturday to catch up with production lost when they were closed due to a huge ice and snow storm last week, the US Department of Agriculture said on Feb. 4. On Friday, parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas received more snow, according to the Feb. 4 Washington Report from the National Chicken Council.

Facilities in Texas, Arkansas and Missouri were affected by the storm on Feb. 1 and 2. High winds, single-digit temperatures, and widespread power outages contributed to the operational difficulties.

While some plants closed, others operated at a slower pace due to a combination of short staffing levels and difficulty in transporting birds, USDA said. Many trucks were unable to drive on the roads. Companies struggled back into operation Feb. 3 after losing the equivalent of a full day’s production.

But since many customers were also unable to operate, the impact was offset somewhat. Heavy snow blanketed the Chicago area, bringing commerce almost to a halt. Farther south, the ice and snow also forced many supermarkets across the region to close their doors, particularly throughout Oklahoma.
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