Cargill Indefinitely Shutters Production at Dodge City Plant; Shifts Cattle to Other Facilities

Cargill has indefinitely shuttered operations at its beef processing facility in Dodge City, Kansas after suffering a partial roof collapse caused by heavy rains. Dodge City received about four inches of rain, which caused a portion of the roof at the beef plant to collapse. No one was injured.

That facility, which can process roughly 5,000 to 6,000 head per day, was down on Monday, July 1st, and will likely be down tomorrow and possibly Wednesday, according to industry sources.

Other market sources suspect that the plant might be down for the entirety of this week, depending in part on how quickly repairs can get underway.

USDA estimated today's cattle slaughter at 115,000 head, on par with a week ago. On a typical day, the industry can process around 123,000 to 124,000 head.

Cargill is reportedly shifting cattle to other facilities while the Dodge City plant is closed for repairs. However, this is difficult due to workforce constraints.

Furthermore, some of the facilities that are absorbing the rerouted cattle were tentatively scheduling reduced Friday and Saturday slaughters following the Independence Day holiday.

Some analysts now anticipate this week's slaughter total, which will be reduced by the holiday, at 475,000 head or less, down from earlier expectations of 520,000 head. The year-ago figure was 536,330 head.