In an effort to remain competitive in a tighter and more volatile fed cattle market, a consortium of cattle feeders in California has significantly sweetened the pot to entice National Beef Packing Co. to keep the doors open and the lights on in its Brawley, CA, packing plant.
Earlier, National announced plans to close the facility April 4.
The feeders group, called Imperil Valley Cattle Feeders, have offered in excess of $9 million in additional cattle price discounts for years 2014 and 2015. The discount is in addition to $15 million in discounts previously given National Beef on Jan. 1, 2013. Annual discounts beyond $24 million would put local feeders at a disadvantage when trying to compete with other markets, according to Bill Brandenberg of the Imperial Valley Cattle Feeders (IVCF) Group.
"National lost a stable supply of cattle from Arizona and some IVCF members had plans to increase their supplies but those plans are now on hold. Imperial Valley cattle numbers are at 25-30 year highs. Valley feeders understand National's need for more cattle and are ready to accommodate those needs to the best of their abilities," Brandenberg said.
The feeders said they appreciate all of the extraordinary efforts made by Imperial County, City of Brawley, Imperial Irrigation District, Senator Ben Hueso, Assemblyman Manuel Perez, the Governor's office, the Regional Water Quality Board and other stakeholders who have worked with National Beef to keep its plant open.
"We owe it to the Imperial Valley community, the plant's 1,300 employees, and our own feedyard employees to continue looking at all options," Brandenberg said.
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