The Wilbur-Ellis agriculture facility in Turton closed Monday, leaving up to eight employees out of work.
A major employer in town, the business had offered custom application of fertilizer and chemicals, as well as seed planting. The company said it will fill its customers' orders. Air spraying services were contracted out of another Wilbur-Ellis facility.
Workers will be placed in other positions within the company or offered a severance package and assistance in finding other positions, said Sandra Gharib, spokeswoman for Wilbur-Ellis from corporate offices in San Francisco.
She would not say how many employees were let go and how many were offered other positions.
"This was a business decision made after very careful consideration," Gharib said.
Wilbur-Ellis is an international marketer of agricultural products with $3 billion in annual sales, according to the company website.
The closure of the facility hit farmers during spring planting season.
"While it was obviously not an ideal time, this was a business decision that was necessary," Gharib said. "We have been in communication with customers, and all orders will be fulfilled through either our Redfield or Summit locations. The company will absolutely honor its commitments."
The closure of Wilbur-Ellis is a blow to the town, said Monte Troske, president of the Farmers State Bank and a member of the Turton Town Board of Trustees.
"It is a loss of employment opportunities," he said. "It is also a reduction in our tax base. The property still has value, but if the facility and bins are dismantled or left in disrepair, the tax value will decrease."
Troske said that no one knew about the closure until Monday morning, when it was discovered that the doors were chained or cabled shut. On Tuesday, there were semi trucks with covered trailers parked at the facility. A crew was loading boxes into the truck, Troske said.
The facility is within the Turton city limits. Turton, which is in Spink County, is south of Conde and north of Doland.
The Turton site was acquired by Wilbur-Ellis in 2007, Gharib said.