National Beef Plant to Close

The California drought has hit the state's cattle industry hard. The decline in availability of fed cattle is the key driver in the decision to shut down the National Beef slaughter plant in Brawley, California. Despite efforts by the City, County, State, regional cattle feeding industry and other community leaders - the facility will close in April. Reports are that the county pledged three-million dollars for assistance with capital improvements, the energy company pledged to reduce the plant's costs by 2.1-million dollars a year and the city offered to reduce water rates and utility taxes. The area's feedlots said they could increase their supply of cattle by as much as 10-percent by 2016. But at the end of the day - after considering all of the alternatives - the company said the barriers to profitably operate the facility continued to exist. A local newspaper reports the plant closing will eventually cost the local economy 102-million dollars and push the unemployment level by five to six-percent. Economic development leaders in the area are interested in selling the facility to another buyer.

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