Cargill to idle TX plant
Cargill announced last week that it will idle its Plainview, TX, beef processing facility effective at the close of business Friday, Feb.1, 2013, resulting primarily from the tight cattle supply brought about by years of drought in Texas and Southern Plains states. Approximately 2,000 people work at the Plainview facility, and they will receive company support.
“While idling a major beef plant is unfortunate because of the resulting layoff of good people, which impacts their families and the community of Plainview, we were compelled to make a decision that would reduce the strain created on our beef business by the reduced cattle supply. The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952. Increased feed costs resulting from the prolonged drought, combined with herd liquidations by cattle ranchers, are severely and adversely contributing to the challenging business conditions we face as an industry,” said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef.
Cargill’s Plainview employees affected by this decision will be provided support as well as assistance finding and filling open positions at other Cargill locations or with other employers. Cargill will continue to honor its community support commitments at Plainview for 2013.
The plan to idle Cargill’s Plainview facility includes measures for preserving its infrastructure for potential reopening if the U.S. cattle herd rebounds and requires additional processing capacity. However, Cargill does not expect the U.S. cattle herd to significantly increase in size for a number of years. — WLJ