Smithfield Foods, owned by China’s WH Group, plans to add facilities in Harpster and Morral, Ohio that will expand the pig producer’s grain purchasing and handling operations, according to a company announcement in late September. Smithfield will use the facilities in Ohio to provide feed for their hogs and for the export market.
Grain purchased at the Harpster buying station will feed hogs throughout Smithfield's eastern hog production division. From the Morral buying station, soybeans will be loaded on location and transported to customers around the world.
"We're now able to help feed nine million of our hogs in North Carolina with grain we source directly from Ohio farmers," said Robbie Montgomery, grain origination manager for Smithfield Grain, in a press release. "With this purchase, we will have the opportunity to make positive impacts to our product quality as well as our environmental footprint by collaborating directly with more farmers."
Benefits of new Smithfield feed facilities
Smithfield stated that the purchase will connect grain and soybean farmers with previously unavailable global markets. The purchase also advances the pig producer’s commitment to supply chain sustainability, while benefiting from a vertically-integrated logistical structure.
The Harpster and Morral grain buying stations will be part of the company's existing fertilizer optimization program, a collaborative project between Smithfield and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The program, called SmithfieldGro, provides agronomy resources and tools to help farmers optimize their fertilizer application and improve soil health. The program's expansion supports Smithfield in reaching its target of sourcing 75 percent of feed grain from sustainable origins by 2018.