Sept 26 Production at the Creekstone Farms
Premium beef packing plant in Arkansas City, Kansas has been
shutdown indefinitely after fire damaged part of the facility,
said a city official on Thursday.
"There were no live cattle lost to the fire and it is
unknown when the facility will reopen," said Arkansas City fire
chief Robert Wolfe.
All plant and communications systems were down at the plant
after a main product conveyor belt caught fire on Wednesday,
Wolfe said. One fire fighter was injured.
Company officials were unavailable to comment.
University of Missouri livestock economist Ron Plain
estimated the daily slaughter capacity of the Creekstone plant,
which slaughters Black Angus cattle, at about 1,000 head per
day. Comparatively, each of three of the country's top beef
processors, Cargill Inc, Tyson Foods and JBS
USA, have the capacity to slaughter roughly 30,000 head
per day, he said.
Given its location, the Arkansas City, Kansas facility
likely receives the bulk of the cattle from Kansas and Oklahoma,
with a few possibly from Texas, said Plain.
"We've got plenty of surplus kill capacity, so if this plant
goes offline for a while I'm sure the other packers will be able
to handle the extra cattle," said Plain. "It will reduce
competition a bit for them and so packer margins might improve
Consumers will not notice the difference in the price they
pay for beef as a result of the plant shutdown, Plain said.