WICHITA, KAN. – Cargill officials announced plans to perform maintenance on refrigeration systems that will require about a one-week shutdown at its beef processing plants in Dodge City, Kan., and Schuyler, Neb. The regularly scheduled maintenance will be performed at the Dodge City facility beginning Feb. 4 and at the Schuyler plant on March 18. The company clarified that the temporary closures are not related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Production will be handled by other plants during the down time, according to Cargill, and all on-site cattle will be processed ahead of the closures, said Jarrod Gillig, supply chain lead of Cargill’s North American protein business.

“We have been in communication with producers in advance of the idling to work with them to ship cattle to other facilities within our robust supply chain or make accommodations to process as many cattle as possible before the maintenance work commences,” Gillig said.  “We will continue to fulfill all customer orders and do not anticipate disruptions to their operations.”

Employees affected by the closures will be compensated in accordance with each of their respective collective bargaining agreements made with their local union chapter.