Premium Standard Farms has announced that it is well ahead of schedule on the installation of next generation technology at its farms in north Missouri, according to a company news release. PSF continues to work toward completing all installations by July 31, 2012, the agreed-upon deadline with the state of Missouri.

As of Dec. 31, 2010, the company said it has installed next generation technology in 80 of its hog barns, which is 32 more than what was called for by the 2010 end-of-year timeline.

Company president Bill Homann pointed out that PSF is looking forward to the day when "we complete the work we've been committed to since 1999 that will help improve the quality of life for all of our friends, families and everyone who calls north Missouri home."

Premium Standard Farms already has spent about $40 million implementing improved environmental technologies, including lagoon covers, treatment facilities, and land application technologies, equipment and practices that are among the most advanced in the United States, the company said.

In an agreement reached last September with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, and approved by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Schieber, PSF agreed to a two-year timeline to fulfill the 2004 court-sanctioned consent judgment that had originally required the company to install the technology at several of its farms by July 31, 2010.

The company had petitioned the court last July for a two-year extension of the deadline, noting that the final technologies-barn scrapers and the sustainable technology system had only been approved by the court-appointed management advisory team in late April 2010. PSF said the delay in receiving approval of the state-of-the-art technology didn't allow enough time to complete the installation by the deadline.

The agreement reached with the attorney general called for PSF to install barn scrapers in 48 barns by Dec. 31, 2010, then in at least 136 barns by July 31, 2011, and in 230 barns by Dec. 31, 2011. The company is scheduled to finish installing barn scraper systems by July 31, 2012, in all 366 Class 1A barns.

The Princeton, Mo.-based hog production company is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods and has approximately 1,100 employees working on farms in Missouri.

Source: Premium Standard Farms news release