Facilities on the 18 DeCoster farms that Prestage Farms of Clinton, N.C., purchased are to be renovated into wean-to-finish units. Previously, all of the facilities had been used to finish grower pigs for market.

Pigs weaned at 12 days of age on company-owned Prestage farms in North Carolina will be hauled to northern Iowa in the company’s specially equipped trucks.

John Prestage, Prestage Farms’ senior vice president, told Pork magazine that the first shipment of 5,000 pigs will arrive this week (April 25) and continue on a weekly basis thereafter. As buildings are renovated, the weekly number of hogs will increase. Total permitted, one-time capacity of the 18 Iowa farms is about 165,000 market hogs. In full operation, approximately 400,000 market hogs will be produced.

All of the grow/finish buildings will be tunnel-ventilated and have full slatted floors. Some will have under-slat scrapers for manure removal, others will have pit-recharge systems.

Prestage also told PORK that a new firm, Prestage Farms of Iowa, LLC, will operate independently from Prestage-Stoecker Farms, also in Iowa. He said the company has hired Chad Grouwinkel of Ames, Iowa, as manager. Headquarters’ office space has been leased near Webster City, Iowa, “a convenient central location” for the farms in four counties.

Prestage said the 18 tracts range in size from 5 acres to 20 acres. Feed will be manufactured by local farm cooperatives using Prestage formulas.