Snowstorm Shuts Down Major US Beef Plants: Tyson Foods and Cargill Halt Operations in Kansas

In a significant blow to the U.S. meat industry, Tyson Foods (TSN.N) and Cargill (CARG.UL) announced a temporary suspension of operations at their beef plants in Kansas due to a severe snowstorm. This disruption comes at a time when beef prices remain elevated, following a reduction in U.S. cattle herds.

Blizzard conditions left many meatpacking employees stranded or forced to spend the night at their workplaces. The United States Department of Agriculture reported a sharp 25% drop in cattle slaughtering compared to the previous week, with only an estimated 94,000 cattle processed on Tuesday.

Related: Why are chicken farmers suing Tyson Foods?

Cargill’s Dodge City plant closure, attributed to snow, freezing temperatures, and power outages, is a critical hit to ground beef production. The company expects to resume operations as early as Wednesday, contingent on the restoration of power and safe conditions. Cargill spokesman Chuck Miller emphasized the company’s efforts to minimize customer impact and noted that tow trucks were deployed to assist employees stuck on the roads.

Approximately 50 of Cargill’s 2,850 employees stayed overnight at the plant due to road closures, but the company assured that they had access to necessary amenities, including food and water.

The eastern half of the U.S. is also grappling with the storm’s aftermath, with over 418,000 homes and businesses across 12 states losing power.

Related: Cargill 2025 Deforestation Elimination Plan

Tyson Foods cancelled shifts at its Holcomb, Kansas plant, offering some workers the option to shelter on-site with provisions. By Tuesday morning, employees were able to leave the premises.

The Kansas Department of Transportation reported severe traffic disruptions, with numerous vehicles stranded near both Cargill’s and Tyson’s facilities. Highways near the plants resembled parking lots, filled with vehicles abandoned overnight due to the treacherous conditions.

This snowstorm has not only impacted road safety but also poses significant challenges to the beef industry, underlining the vulnerability of critical supply chains to extreme weather events.

Related: Top 10 Beef Producers in the USA

Verified by ExactMetrics
Verified by MonsterInsights