Butterball, LLC on Wednesday announced that it is closing its Longmont, Colorado, facility, effective December 31, 2011. The plant, which has been owned by Butterball since 2006,  employs about 350 workers.  Butterball, which is the largest producer of turkey products in the  United States,  cited the reason for the closure as being  the increased grain and other input costs and the need to streamline operations.

Butterball said that, over the past five years, the company’s increase in costs related to higher feed ingredient commodity markets (corn, soybean, meal, fat, etc.) has averaged nearly $65 million per year, or $325 million total for that time period.

“The decision to close a facility is one of the most difficult decisions a company can make….However, government ethanol subsidies and record high fuel prices for much of 2010 and 2011 contributed to a major increase in our operating costs and the closure of this facility is necessary to streamline our operations and accommodate current and projected demands,” said Rob Brenneman, president and chief executive officer of Butterball, LLC.