Today’s quick hits, June 1, 2020

Tyson sanitizes Storm Lake plant (KMEG-TV): Tyson Foods temporarily closed its meat-processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, for “additional deep cleaning and sanitizing” after 555 of 2,517 workers at the plant tested positive for Covid-19. Separately, Tyson Foods said 326 workers tested positive at its case-ready beef and pork plant in Sherman, Texas.

‘Dead zone’ costs $2.4 billion (UCS): The ‘dead zone’ that forms annually in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by nutrient runoff in the Mississippi River basin, has been responsible for up to $2.4 billion in damages to fish stocks and their habitat on average yearly for three decades, says a new report.

Running better but still behind (Lusk): Hog and cattle slaughter plants are running 10-15 percent behind 2019 production rates, a significant improvement from late April and early May when output was down 40 percent, said Purdue meat expert Jayson Lusk.

More for coronavirus aid (DTN/Progressive Farmer): North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, who chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing USDA, said he hopes to increase the agency’s spending power this year so additional money will be available for coronavirus relief beyond the $16 billion in cash payments to farmers that has been announced.

Meat production rebounds (Drovers): Supermarket sales of ground beef are up 25 percent through mid-May, driven by the coronavirus’s impact on retail sales of red meat and poultry, says Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics.