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Tyson to Cut 400 Jobs, Citing Shrinking Cattle Supply

Tyson Foods Inc. TSN 0.47 % said it would permanently close an Iowa beef processing plant, the latest move by a major meatpacker to scale back operations because of diminished U.S. cattle herds.

The closure will affect 400 workers, Tyson said Friday. Years of dry conditions in the southern U.S. Plains states forced farmers to reduce their beef herds, leaving meatpackers with fewer animals to process.

“The cattle supply is tight and there’s an excess of beef production capacity in the region,” said Steve Stouffer, president of Tyson’s fresh meats division, in a statement. “We believe the move to cease beef operations at Denison will put the rest of our beef business in a better position for future success.”

The move by Tyson, the largest U.S. meat company by sales, to close the Denison, Iowa, plant is the latest in a string of beef plant closures in response to constrained cattle supplies. Minnesota-based agricultural conglomerate Cargill Inc. last year closed a Milwaukee cattle slaughterhouse after idling a separate beef...