Horizon Milling to close Topeka flour mill

by Josh Sosland
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MINNEAPOLIS — Horizon Milling L.L.C. on Jan. 28 announced plans to close its Topeka flour mill on or about Dec. 1.

The mill, one of three operated by the company in the state of Kansas, has 8,500 cwts of daily milling capacity. The mill has 56 employees.

Horizon said the mill, which was built in 1882, no longer can compete absent “major and costly” equipment upgrades.

“As we looked at the antiquated Topeka mill, it made the best business sense to close the facility and focus on continued improvements in our other plants,” said Dan Dye, president of Horizon Milling.

Mr. Dye said the company would continue a strategy of modernization and expansion of key locations and that customers supplied by the Topeka mill would be supplied instead by other Horizon Milling mills.

The facility is the second Topeka flour mill Cargill has closed over the past 10 years. In 2001, the company closed a flour mill there with 6,500 cwts of daily milling capacity. The first Topeka mill was closed as part of a larger initiative in which Cargill also closed mills in Springfield, Ill., and Jacksonville, Fla. The 2001 closing announcement predated by only a few months the creation of Horizon Milling as a partnership between Cargill and CHS.

According to the Grain & Milling Annual published by Milling & Baking News, Horizon Milling also operates Kansas flour mills in Newton (8,500 cwts) and Wichita (27,000 cwts). After the Topeka closing, 11 mills overall would remain in operation in Kansas with an aggregate capacity reduced to 109,500 cwts from 118,000 cwts. That would leave Kansas as the second largest state measured by milling capacity, lagging California at 117,200 cwts.

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