Citing dwindling cattle numbers, Cargill says it will idle their beef processing facility in Plainview, Texas at the end of business on February 1st. The company says the plant’s 2,000 employees “will receive company support.”
Cargill Beef president John Keating says idling a major beef plant is not an easy decision because of all of the people affected by the move; “We are compelled to make a decision that would reduce the strain created by the reduced cattle supply.” The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952 due to the drought, increased feed costs and continued herd liquidations.
The company says idling the Plainview plant will allow the facilities in Texas, Colorado and Kansas to operate five-day-a-week schedules more consistently. Cargill plants in Fresno, California, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wyalusing, Pennsylvania and Schuyler, Nebraska will not be affected by the move.
Cargill will preserve the infrastructure for the Plainview plant in hopes they may be able to re-open it in the future however they do not expect the U.S. cattle herd to significantly increase for a number of years.
Read Cargill’s full statement here: