Cargill to close plant and upgrade another in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cargill Inc. says it will invest $20 million to modernize its soybean crushing plant in Cedar Rapids and close a similar plant in Des Moines to optimize its operations in Iowa amid an overcapacity in soymeal production.

The Minneapolis-based company says Thursday that 22 jobs will be eliminated when its Des Moines plant closes Feb. 4. Cargill will continue some business activities at its Des Moines site, including buying soybeans, and will still have 70 employees in the area.

Soymeal is used in livestock feeds and in some processed foods. Cargill says declining meat consumption is one of the reasons for its decision, saying it can be more competitive though its soybean crushing plants in Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Iowa Falls.