A West Texas meat plant will close putting thousands out of work.

The Cargill Meat plant in Plainview announced Thursday morning it will idle its plant on February 1, 2013.

Years of drought in Texas and dwindling cattle supply are the primary reasons for the closure. Nearly 2,000 workers will be out of a job from the closing.

The Wichita, KS based company in a press release today said,

"The decision to idle our Plainview beef processing plant was a difficult and painful one to make and was made only after we conducted an exhaustive analysis of the regional cattle supply and processing capacity situation in North America."

Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples released a statement on the closing saying,

The news of Cargill’s plans to idle its Plainview plant next month is a devastating blow to this Texas Panhandle community and the economic health of Texas.

I am told by company officials that Cargill has no current plans to sell the facility, and I have directed Texas Department of Agriculture staff to work with the company and community leaders toward an expeditious resumption of business.

The most immediate priority is helping  those Texans left unemployed starting February 1. We are dispatching a team from our business development unit to assist the surrounding communities in finding employment for those hardworking Texans who will find themselves without a job next month.

I am saddened by this distressing news and pray for a quick recovery for all who are impacted.”

The remaining Cargill plant in the panhandle, located in Friona, will remain open. The idling of the Plainview plant will allow Cargill to reopen the plant if the cattle supply rebounds in the United States.