Hormel Foods has announced it will temporarily extend its slaughter operation at its Rochelle, Ill., facility until Jan. 4, 2003. The company had announced that it would conclude slaughter activities at the plant Nov. 8, 2002, and begin immediate renovation of that part of the facility to further processing.

The plant will now remain open until January provided an adequate supply of hogs and an adequate work force is available.

Hog producers with current procurement contracts will continue to deliver on their contracts until the January date. The company will purchase open market hogs as needed to meet production requirements.

Hormel maintaining slaughter at the Rochelle plant until January, is good news for the industry and comes at a crucial time. With slaughter capacity expected to be pressured most of the fourth quarter, the loss of the Rochelle plant could have hurt. While the slaughter numbers of the plant may not seem that large on a national scale, when slaughter capacity is pressed a little bit of shackle space can go a long way toward improving hog prices.

businesswire.com