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Tyson’s Holcomb beef packing plant to be offline for “months, not weeks”

An official with Tyson says it will take months to return to full operations at its Holcomb, Kansas beef processing facility.

Speaking to media Wednesday in Garden City, Tyson Fresh Meats Division president Steve Stouffer said they are working as quickly as possible to repair major damage caused by a fire that likely started from a spark during welding maintenance.

The plant going offline ushered in processing capacity concerns that rocked live and feeder cattle futures earlier this week.  Light cash trade Wednesday was significantly lower than a week ago.

Kansas State ag economist Glynn Tonsor tells Brownfield several years of expansion and a wide geographic footprint should limit the impact of the Holcomb fire.

“The industry is able to handle this kind of event because we have a natural hedge on, that geographic footprint. And I think some of that calmness and perspective is important.”

Cattle futures closed higher Wednesday after limit down and expanded limit down moves Monday and Tuesday.

Tyson officials say structural repairs can begin immediately, but other repairs including electrical, will take more time.

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