US meat processor ConAgra is planning to lay off almost half of the 220 employees in its Beatrice Cheese plant in Fredericksburg, Iowa.

The company says it has been forced into the decision by industry business conditions. The employees, who work in production, warehousing, maintenance, supervisory and administrative positions, will receive two months' notice as well as help finding a new job by Iowa Workforce Development.

ConAgra is aiming to focus on the production of cream cheese and sour cream at the Beatrice plant, and will cut back on mozzarella production, reported Associated Press Newswires.