About one-third of the employees at an Emporia soybean processing plant will be temporarily laid off because of a lack of a crop.
Officials with the Bunge plant announced Tuesday that crush operations at the plant will be suspended, effective May 1. The company says crush operations are expected to resume with the fall harvest.
A spokeswoman for the company says the drought depleted the available soybean crop. That combined with a strong export demand in Asia led to the layoffs.
The remaining employees will work reduced hours, doing maintenance and other projects.
City Manager Matt Zimmerman said about 21 employees will be laid off. He says it's the first factory Bunge is temporarily closing, and if the drought continues the plant might not reopen.