Cagle's Inc. announced that it is halting a production shift at its plant in Pine Mountain Valley, Ga., leaving about 300 people out of work. A statement released by Chairman J. Douglas Cagle announced that the laoyffs will be effective August 19, or no more than two weeks after that date.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that soaring feed costs are behind the move, with prices climbing 34 percent last fall, mainly due to a 75-percent increase in the cost of corn. Boneless breast sales also dipped 10 percent over the past year, the company said.

The facility was converted to a deboning operation a year ago, with production of 630,000 chickens per week. In November, volume was cut 20 percent, with two shifts working four days per week.

“With this layoff the company expects to operate one full shift five days per week processing 320,000 head and improving the weekly take-home pay of its remaining employees,” the company said.

Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer