EYE ON OPERATIONS

JBS USA, Greeley, Colo., has been talking to Pekin, Ill., city officials about building a pork processing facility in that central Illinois town, according a report in the Peoria (Ill) Journal Star. The newspaper quoted county and state officials but they gave very few details. When contacted by a meat industry publication, JBS declined comment.

The Wilkes Journal Patriot, North Wilkesboro, N.C., reported that Tyson Foods Inc. is making more than $20 million in improvements at its fresh chicken processing plant in Wilkesboro.
"Our Wilkesboro (fresh) plant is involved in a couple of improvement projects designed to improve the efficiency of our fresh poultry operations, which are involved in the production of tray-packaged fresh chicken for retail customers," said Bob Johnson, manager of the complex, in a prepared statement.
Johnson said improvements include a 24,000-square-foot plant addition, upgrades to chicken deboning lines and cut-up equipment.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported that Foster Farms, Livingston, Calif., decided to postpone plans to expand its Farmerville, La., poultry plant. Ira Brill, Foster's director of marketing services, told the paper that Foster Farms had begun plans during the summer to expand its base of about 100 chicken growers by an additional 29 farms. That increase would have put the Farmerville plant at close to full capacity.
He said those expansion plans have been put on hold because of sharply rising prices for corn, a key overhead feed cost for raising chickens. Bad weather, tight supplies and a federal government emphasis on corn-made ethanol fuel have combined to create a commodities future price range for corn at $5.62 to $5.82 per bushel, representing a 70 percent rise since June.