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Slowed roads put meat processing on ice

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Some meat processing plants around the Midwest are dealing with lower volume because of trouble with transportation in the frigid weather.

Bloomberg News reported that it's creating a slowdown for Wayzata-based Cargill, which is the nation's second-largest U.S. beef processor and fourth-largest pork processor.

As a result, Cargill's pork plants in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Beardstown, Ill., and its beef plants in Wyalusing, Pa., and Milwaukee are processing fewer animals. Cargill spokesman Mike Martin said pork plants probably will work on Saturday, Jan. 11, to make up the volume.

"Our plants are all operating, but a few are operating at reduced volume due to road conditions that are impacting the ability to transport livestock to the plants," Martin said.

Another Bloomberg News story said icy roads slowed and disrupted rail and truck operations in the Midwest for Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., the world’s largest corn processor, spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said in an e-mail.

The Weather Channel reported that many highways around the eastern two-thirds of the nation have been snowbound and treacherous. Reuters noted that hundreds of accidents and spinouts on icy roads slowed or locked up travel in the dangerous cold. In addition airline and rail transportation routes also struggled with winter delays. Fox News reported that some road chemicals designed to cut through the ice stopped working in the sub-zero temperatures. A state of emergency closed parts of the New York State Thruway in the western part of the state due to dangerous driving conditions.

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