BRANDON, MAN. — Maple Leaf Foods plans to idle its Brandon pork processing plant one day per month for the next five months, according to Canadian news reports.

The company plans to idle its largest fresh pork processing plant from May to September. News reports indicated at least 1,800 employees will be affected. Maple Leaf said the day off will help the company manage its pork supplies and perform upgrades at the facility.

Maple Leaf and other large pork processors are cutting back pork production because of losses caused by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). PEDv has killed an estimated seven million piglets in the past year, and the virus has been detected in Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea. The impact of PEDv on hog herds has pushed pork prices to record highs.

Hormel Foods Corp. said on May 21 it is reducing slaughter operations at its Fremont, Neb., pork processing plant to four days a week due to the impact of the virus.