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South Dakota Packing Plant Wooing Beef Producers

The plant will start by killing 200 cattle daily. At full capacity, it will be able to kill 1,500 in one shift. A second shift could be added, bringing kill capacity to 3,500.

Some cattle producers think they could cut shipping costs in half by selling to Northern Beef Packers packing plant in Aberdeen, SD.

Joe Matehs, owner of Matehs Feed Lot in Upham near Minot, ND, spends about $60/calf to ship to Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., in Dakota City, NE.

"That takes a lot of the profit out," he says. "If we can have a processor closer it will return more to the entire state."

When Northern Beef Packers opens its plant, it will shorten the journey to other plants by at least 300 miles and drop the cost of shipping to an estimated $30/calf.

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