Cargill crushing plants in Argentina reopen, fire at Iowa grain facility

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/elena_larina
© GettyImages/elena_larina
Agribusiness giant, Cargill, has resumed operations at two of its grain crushing plants in Argentina after suspending operations on April 5 as workers went on strike.

The grain crushing operations in question are located in Bahía Blanca (Province of Buenos Aires) and Villa Gobernador Gálvez (Province of Santa Fe), part of the Rosario grains export hub.

A Cargill spokesperson told FeedNavigator the temporary facility shut down was done out of safety concerns.

“The preventive suspension was due to unsafe operational and working conditions after suffering more than 80 sudden and random plant stoppages [or] strikes in the previous two weeks."

The strikes reportedly came after the announcement that Cargill would be restructuring its business in Argentina – a process set to include the layoff of some employees.

“Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain in South America is committed in a process of transforming the operations in Argentina to provide greater efficiency and competitiveness,” ​the spokesperson said when asked about the nature of the restructuring.

Fire at US grain drying facility 

Meanwhile, Tuesday saw a fire at a Cargill soybean hopper and grain drying facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“Firefighters arrived to find fire showing from an exterior grain holding hopper,”​ said the local fire department in a report on the incident. “The 100ft aerial ladder was deployed and applied water from an elevated position until the fire was darkened down.”

All employees were located at the time of the fire, the department said. “Crews worked with plant staff to empty the hopper of the burning soybeans and place them in an exterior parking lot,” ​according to the report.

The fire department said the blaze was unintentional, but it did not mention what caused the incident.    

Cargill said there were no injuries to employees or responders. 

The spokesperson told us. “Once we were able to ensure it was safe to return, the facility continued operating as normal with the exception of the grain dryer.”

“The grain dryer will remain down for proper repairs and investigation as to the cause of this incident,” ​she said.

A time to reopen the grain dryer has not been set at this point, she added.

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