Nine broiler growers lost their fight in federal bankruptcy court to keep their contracts with Pilgrim’s Pride processing plant in Live Oak, Fla.

The court said the growers did not prove that their contracts were cancelled in retaliation for complaints of discrimination or that the decision discriminated against Hispanic growers.

Pilgrim's Pride severed contracts with 26 of 158 growers in the Live Oak area as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings that also saw layoffs of 505 of the processing plant's 1,400 workers.

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The company cancelled the contracts of the 26 least efficient growers based on cost per pound over a year's worth of flocks.

The ruling did leave open the possibility of the growers recouping their losses in bankruptcy proceedings as long as the company remains solvent.