Ag News: Robotic Meat Cutters and Farm Lending Slows
**Tyson Foods and other meat processors that were early hotspots for the Covid-19 pandemic are accelerating plans to have robots replace human meat cutters.
CNN reports, Tyson engineers and scientists, along with auto industry designers, are developing an automated deboning system to help butcher nearly 40-million chickens processed each week.
Tyson has invested a half of a billion dollars in technology and automation during the past three years.
More than 16,000 meat and poultry processing workers across 23 states have been diagnosed with Covid-19, and 86 have died.
**Farm lending slowed alongside the initial effects of the pandemic and a more pessimistic outlook for agricultural economic conditions.
According to agrimarketing.com, the volume of total non-real estate farm loans continued into a yearlong trend of declines during the second quarter of 2020, consistent across all types of loans.
Delinquency rates on farm loans increased at a steady pace through the first quarter and agricultural credit conditions remained weak.
**Pandemic-related effects on top of other concerns have led California farmers to plant less cotton this year.
The pandemic brought mill closures around the world and has caused people to buy less new clothing.
Those factors, plus inventory from last year's crop, trade disputes and water shortages, prompted California farmers to cut cotton acreage 20% compared to a year ago. Harvest will start this fall.