HEDRICK, Iowa – Cargill broke ground on a $29 million feed mill in Hedrick, Iowa, that will support hog finishing operations in southeast Iowa and northern Missouri, the company announced Sept. 4.

The new state-of-the-art feed mill will have an annual production capacity of 350,000 tons of pelletized hog feed, the company said. The mill's location is close to feedstock raw material supplies, hog finishing operations and Cargill's pork processing plants in Ottumwa, Iowa and Beardstown, Ill. The feed mill also will have the advantage of proximity to key transportation corridors serving the region.

"As our pork business grows due to customer and consumer demand, this feed mill will help us improve our efficiency, reduce costs and provide hog farms with feed that is formulated by our nutritionists," said Dirk Jones, president of Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill Pork. "Additionally, it will improve our feed ingredient sourcing, food safety and feed quality management. This feed mill is a strategic fit for our pork business throughout the region. The benefits are significant and will help us remain cost competitive in our ongoing efforts to always provide superior fresh pork products and services to our domestic and international customers."

Sioux City, Iowa, firm Younglove Construction, LLC, will build the feed mill, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2014. The mill is part of the company's strategic growth plan as it increases its pork production. Cargill spent $33 million in 2011 on a 21,500-acre site near Dalhart, Texas, with the goal of increasing its pork production capabilities. The facility will reach full production capacity in late 2015. Cargill said the company is continuously increasing the number of hogs being sent to farms that will benefit from the new Iowa feed mill.