The animal feed manufacturing facility will be built in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S., and start operations in December 2018. It will produce Purina-branded horse and cattle feed as well as other livestock and lifestyle feed.
Land O’Lakes announced in November 2016 that it planned to buy the feed assets of Southern States, an agricultural cooperative providing fertilizers, seed, livestock feed, pet food, animal health supplies and petroleum products.
Beth Ford, group executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Land O’Lakes, said, “The company is looking to move more quickly in this strategic market than the discussions with Southern States allowed.”
A Land O’Lakes spokesperson would not say whether the company still planned to pursue the acquisition of Southern States. At the time of the announcement, the companies had said the deal was expected to close this January.
The southeastern U.S. is the single biggest growth opportunity for the company’s Purina animal nutrition business, Ford said.
“While the new facility is being constructed, we will serve our important current and future customers from product made at our existing facilities and distributed through warehouses at Virginia and Kentucky,” she said. “We will continue to apply the strong research capabilities of our 100+ Ph.D. scientists at our research facility outside of St. Louis, Missouri, to bring cutting-edge horse, cattle and other animal feed products to customers in the Southeastern United States.”
Land O'Lakes reported record earnings for 2016 for both the company and for its Purina animal nutrition business, which experienced sales and share growth across all channels.