West Texas Cargill Plant to Cut 2K Jobs

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PLAINVIEW, Texas - Cargill has announced it will idle a West Texas plant and lay off all 2,000 workers because of a tight cattle supply stemming from years of drought.

A news release from the Wichita, Kansas-based company Thursday says the Plainview workers will be laid off February 1st.

Other Cargill plants in the region and in other parts of the country will not affected.

The release said the company will work to relocate Plainview employees to its other plants.

The nation's cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952. Higher feed costs from drought in Texas and elsewhere and ranchers' selling off their cattle have reduced the number of animals headed to meatpacking plants.

Cargill said it could reopen the plant if cattle numbers increase in coming years.