Eight months after idling its Plainview beef processing plant, Cargill announced its cattle feedlot in Lockney will close next summer and be put up for sale.
Cargill Spokesman Mike Martin said as the region's drought lingers, the cattle supply continues to be tight, and the cost of feed has gone up. Cargill's feedlot in Lockney employs between 40 and 45 workers, and has an annual volume capacity of about 120,000 cattle.
"Unfortunately we can't control the weather that's created the drought and resulted in the cattle herd in the United States being at the lowest numbers since 1952," Martin said. "The U.S. government is estimating that the herd won't expand until at least 2016."
Martin said Cargill will help displaced employees find other jobs in the region within the company.
"We are going to present the employees at Lockney with opportunities that exist at those other facilities, and see if we can make sure that as many of them as possible have jobs with Cargill if they want those positions."
Martin said no specific date for the feedlot closure has been set yet.