MILWAUKEE — Cargill will close its beef slaughter plant in Milwaukee on Aug. 1. The company cited a tight cattle supply as the reason. The ground beef portion of the plant will remain open.

“Closing our Milwaukee beef plant is taking place only after we conducted an 18-month-long analysis of the region’s cattle supply and examined all other possible options,” said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, which is based in Wichita, Kas.  “It is unfortunate that we must close any beef plant because of the impact to good people, their families and the community.  The harsh reality is that the U.S. beef cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1951, with any significant herd expansion being years away.”   

The slaughter portion of the plant employs 600.

Cargill purchased the plant in 2001. It has a processing capacity of 1,300 to 1,400 animals per day.