I'm going to speculate here, based on my experience in supply chain management, which is for non-food items, but I think I may be directionally correct on this one:Whatever4 wrote: ↑Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:25 pmSo why can’t I find a ham? Are there any in stores? (Often the online selection at a grocery store isn’t as robust as in person, particularly for meats.)Farmers Find Ways To Save Millions Of Pigs From Being Euthanized
But that worst case scenario seems to not be happening. According to estimates of pork producers and officials in the hardest-hit states of Minnesota and Iowa, hog farmers have been forced to kill and dispose of fewer than 200,000 animals so far.
1. It takes time for beef and pork to cure after the animal has been slaughtered -- typically, something like 30-60 days in a cooler before the meat's ready to be processed into finished cuts. Plants closing down in March or early April are not able to ship what's been cured, and not able to process new animals. So we'll probably see disruptions for another 4-8 weeks, and prices coming down 3-4 months after that.
2. IIRC, you live in a generally rural state where the average income is relatively low, even in the cities. It may be that retailers are not ordering huge amounts of expensive meats because they are afraid that their customers can't or won't pay for it based on supply/demand price increases. If ham normally goes for $2.69 a pound, local grocers and district managers for larger chains probably figure that many of their customers aren't able or willing to pay an extra $2 per pound. On the other hand, in NYC or the rich suburbs where I live, people will grumble but will still pay an extra $2 per pound because income levels are so much higher. Because rich people are more able to pay the extra, the retailers figure less risk of unsold product aging out and having to be discarded.