Smithfield closures not expected to have big impact on state hog production

The executive director for the Missouri Pork Association says he doesn’t expect the closure of 35 sow farms in northern Missouri to have much of an impact the state’s hog production.

In a notice from the State of Missouri this week, Smithfield said it will close the facilities and lay off 92 employees in Mercer and Putnam Counties.

Don Nikodim says Smithfield Foods is expected to use newer facilities in southern Missouri to farrow pigs because the older facilities are less competitive in today’s marketplace.

“They were built roughly in 1990. They’re smaller, the technology is different and the wear and tear on a facility that old is significant.”

He tells Brownfield the closures could result in fewer weaned pigs transported to Iowa.

“Instead of the Smithfield pigs traveling to Iowa, it would appear they will stay in Missouri. That’s speculation, we haven’t confirmed this,” says Nikodim. “At this point, the finishers in northern Missouri will likely continue to operate.”

He says it’s unclear if Smithfield Foods is making production changes to comply with California’s Proposition 12 law, but there are a lot of companies making efforts to comply. Smithfield said it did not have anything additional to add on the closure. The facilities will close by October.

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