Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Pittsburg, Texas, announced that it plans to idle a chicken processing plant in Clinton, Ark., as well as a further-processing facility in Bossier City, La., within 60 days. The idling of these plants will eliminate a total of approximately 600 positions. Pilgrim’s Pride said it will provide transition programs to employees whose positions are eliminated to assist them in securing new employment, filing for unemployment and obtaining other applicable benefits.

The company also said that halting production at these plants is part of its ongoing effort to operate more efficiently and return to profitability amid high feed costs and an oversupply of chicken on the market.

When completed, the idling of the Clinton processing plant will result in an approximate 1.25 percent incremental increase in the company's previously announced production cutback heading into the fall. Meanwhile, value-added items currently produced in Bossier City will be shifted to other Pilgrim's Pride further-processing facilities. Pilgrim's Pride said it plans to keep both plants idle until it believes that industry margins can be sustained at more normalized levels of profitability should these or other production cutbacks be reversed.