Iowa Left With Three Beef Processing Plants

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At the end of last week, Tyson Fresh Meats announced it will permanently stop the beef production at a plant in Denison, Iowa citing low inventories of cattle.

The facility had been in operation for more than 50 years and was a start up of Iowa Beef Processors, which was bought by Tyson in 2002.

In addition to the nearly 400 workers affected by the closing, Iowa beef producers now face more costs according to Matt Deppe, CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen's Beef Association. He says there is definitely a freight difference, or transportation cost, depending on where producers sold their beef. There are only three other beef processing plants in the whole state.

He says, "We did talk to a few Tyson officials on the procurement side, on the cattle procurement side  and what they did is reached out to those folks they had contracts set for Denison delivery and shifted those deliveries to Dakota City or Joslin on the other side of the state but certainly covered those freight expenses in this initial instance."

Deppe says the Tyson shut down was expected. In 2012 they announced adding to the Dakota City facility, which pointed to an eventual shut down in Denison.

He adds it's not likely there will be a price effect on beef from the consumer side.

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