PRINCETON, Mo. – Premium Standard Farms LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc., said its installation of barn-scraping technology at its farms in north Missouri is ahead of the schedule agreed upon with the state of Missouri. The company is scheduled to finish installing barn scraper systems by July 31, 2012, in all 366 of its barns on PSF's Class 1A farms.

Last September, PSF announced it had reached an agreement with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, giving the company until July 31, 2012, to implement technology at its farms in northwest Missouri to reduce odor and address other environmental issues associated with its operations. Approved by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Schieber, the agreement provided PSF with a two-year extension of the 2004 court-sanctioned consent judgment that had required the company to install technology at several of its farms by July 31, 2010.

Although the agreement's timeline set a deadline to complete the retrofitting of 136 barns by July 31, 2011 the company indicated it already had fully installed the new scraper technology in 262 of its hog barns. Forty finishing barns, two nurseries and eight sow farms await conversion as PSF moves toward the final deadline of July 31, 2012 to complete the installation in all of its Class 1A farms.

"We're thrilled to reach the final phase of our installation process and are confident that this innovative technology will be ready ahead of schedule," said, Bill Homann, PSF’s director of administration and compliance. "We plan to be finished with our nurseries and finishers by Oct. 1, then once the weather cools down we will shift our full attention to the remaining sow farms."

Homann is also pleased with how the systems already installed are operating. "The systems are operating as we expected and providing a very positive impact, he said.

PSF has already allocated appoximately $40 million towards introducing improved environmental technologies, including lagoon covers, treatment facilities, and land application technologies, equipment and practices that are among the most advanced in the US.