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Digging into pork's food processing, income challenges

In a special Around Farm Progress Xtra, editors from National Hog Farmer share insight on the impact of food industry factory closings

Plants shuttered as workers get sick from COVID-19 even as farmers are loading animals into trailers to head to market. At the other end of the supply chain, supermarkets struggle to keep food on the shelf. In this dynamic and volatile market, the farmer is getting squeezed.

In this Around Farm Progress Xtra episode, editors from National Hog Farmer offer the latest insights into how COVID-19 is hurting farmers, specifically the pork industry. Editor Ann Hess and Senior Staff Writer Kevin Schulz share insight on the issues with new information from the industry about the potential impact of this changing market demand, and the programs available to farmers that could help.

Hess was a guest during the April 10 episode of Around Farm Progress and just after her interview Smithfield closed its Sioux Falls, S.D. plant after more than 200 employees were diagnosed with coronavirus. This after an Iowa pork processor closed its doors. The situation is fluid with changes happening daily. Hess and Schulz discuss key issues being raised by the industry with USDA and government leaders to bring aid to farmers, including a loan program that may help many producers.

Readers can catch the Farm Progress coverage of COVID-19 by visiting the special coronavirus online channel. Farm Progress editors are covering this event from across the country providing both local and national insight into how it impacts all of agriculture. Just visit

This special edition of Around Farm Progress was produced to help keep farmers informed as news breaks. Regular episodes of Around Farm  Progress go live online at 3 p.m. Central time on all Farm Progress websites. To find those episodes you can also visit the Podbean podcast home page to catch earlier episodes and subscribe to the show.

The weekly podcast features editors from Farm Progress who cover agriculture across the country.

Farm Progress is a leader in reaching them as needed. From top magazines around the country to one of the first agriculture-focused mobile apps from Farm Futures, to the leading television presence with This Week in Agribusiness, the company covers all media for agriculture.

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