LONGMONT, Colo. – Butterball LLC plans to close its Longmont, Colo. facility on Dec. 31. This decision was made due to the rising cost of grain and other input expenses.

“The Longmont facility has been receiving raw material from sister plants and processes value-added products that are ready-to-eat, such as turkey deli, pastrami and sliced turkey lunch meat,” a company spokesman told MEATPOULTRY.com.

“After long and careful consideration, amid record-high ingredient costs, our company has come to the conclusion that we must take these steps in order to improve our overall effectiveness.” said Rod Brenneman, former Seaboard Foods CEO who was appointed president and CEO of Butterball this past week. “With this country’s current economic situation, it is all the more difficult. However, government ethanol subsidies and record-high fuel prices for much of 2010 and 2011 contributed to a major increase in our operating costs and the closure of this facility is necessary to streamline our operations and accommodate current and projected demands.”

Butterball’s increase in costs related to higher feed ingredient commodity markets (corn, soybean meal, fat, etc.) has averaged nearly $65 million per year, or $325 million total over the past five years.

Butterball is working with associates at the Longmont facility to provide career counseling and discuss job opportunities at different locations throughout company operations as well as offer additional support through employee assistance programs, the company said.