Shur-Gain, a Canadian supplier of animal feeds, will permanently close its livestock and poultry feed mill operation in Stephenville, Newfoundland, at the end of the year, according to reports.

"The reasons for this closure are related to the low volume of finished feeds being manufactured and limited profitability at the operation," said Réjean Faubert, Shur-Gain's Atlantic region general manager. "We will continue to maintain a presence in the livestock industry of the region in supplying sales and technical services - and will remain a supplier of feeds products to Newfoundland customers through our Moncton (New Brunswick) mill facility."

Shur-Gain's Stephenville facility employs one part-time and three full-time employees.

The Newfoundland Feed Grains Society, a not-for-profit group whose members work in the dairy and poultry industries, owns grain storage tanks adjacent to Shur-Gain's feed grain facility. Shur-Gain and the society rely on each other to run their respective operations.

"Without their unloading system, we'd have to put our own in," said Bruce Simmons, the society's chairman. "Without our tanks, they have no way to hold bulk product from boats, so it's kind of a two-way street. We can figure a way to get grain out there without them, but it would be better to use what's there now." 

Simmons said it may be in the society's best interest to take over the Shur-Gain facility, but other factors such as a declining market for pre-mixed feeds must be considered.

"We haven't officially made an offer yet and they haven't made an offer to us," Simmons said. "We have discussed it at a meeting, and we may or may not make a proposal in the next little while."