Iowa State University Associate Professor and Livestock Economist Lee Schulz believes local meat processing plants are prepared for an uptick in production this fall after facing many challenges earlier this year. Many plants across Iowa had to temporarily halt production in April and May due to the spread of COVID-19. Since then, Schulz believes local meat lockers have pivoted and made changes to prepare for local producers to bring in their livestock for processing, “I think it’s important to understand really what the limiting factors sometimes are for those local meat packers are the infrastructure, just the size of the plant and the cooler space. But a lot of the time it’s the labor that is really the constraining factor. That’s actually what impacted the market overall in April and May. A lot of the time, that’s just seasonal labor and we do see packers bring in more seasonal labor in the fall because of that ramp up in normal activity.” Schulz anticipates no production or labor issues will arise for local meat processors thanks to COVID-19 guidelines being implemented and production levels stabilizing since May.