News 278 views update:Jan 20, 2010

Pilgrim's Pride: less chickens as feed costs rise

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. will close a chicken-processing plant and six U.S. distribution centres and lay off 1,100 workers because of soaring feed costs and a glut of chicken.

The company said it would close a processing plant in Siler City, N.C., affecting 830 employees. It will also close distribution centres in Oskaloosa, Iowa; Plant City and Pompano Beach, Fla.; Jackson, Miss.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Cincinnati. Chief executive officer Clint Rivers said at current prices, Pilgrim's Pride would spend $1.3-billion (U.S.) more on corn and soybean used in feed during this fiscal year than it did two years ago.
Rivers said the increases were unprecedented, and he blamed federal subsidies to producers of corn-based ethanol, which has resulted in more corn being planted for use in fuel.
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