It’s been six years since the project was initially proposed, but a $109 million beef slaughter plant in Aberdeen, South Dakota, finally began processing cattle this fall.
Northern Beef Packers, which is partially owned by Korean investors and was built to alleviate a beef processing gap in the Dakotas, is now processing cattle. As it scales up production into 2013 and 2014, plant managers expect to process 1,500 cattle per day. If a second shift is added, the plant’s kill capacity could reach 3,500 per day.
The plant plans to buy cattle from North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, because producers in those states ship cattle south to plants in Nebraska.
Laure Swanson, Northern Beef Packers marketing director, told the Bismarck Tribune that Canadian producers have expressed interest in selling cattle to the plant.
Aberdeen, which is about a six-hour drive south of Winnipeg, may offer significant transport savings for Manitoba producers, who normally sell cattle to plants in Alberta or to processors hundreds of kilometres south of Aberdeen.