- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

TRUMAN, Minn. (AP) - Rebuilding a huge swine farm in southern Minnesota where thousands of sows and piglets died in a weekend fire could take as long as a year, according to the operation’s managers.

The massive blaze, which broke out Saturday afternoon at Cougar Run Farm near Truman, killed 11,000 sows and piglets, according to Pipestone System CEO Luke Minion. The cause is under investigation.

“We’re trying to figure that out with the assistance of the fire marshal,” Minion said.

Once investigators clear the site, the rebuilding process will begin, he said.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. A farm this size is going to take seven months (to rebuild). It could be a year before producers can get back to normal pig flow,” Minion said.

Firefighters from 10 agencies battled the fire for hours and returned Sunday to check hot spots, Truman fire officials said.

Some 4,000 sows and 6,000 to 7,000 piglets were killed and about 1,300 sows were saved, according to Minion. A second Cougar Run operation with 2,800 sows about a mile away was not affected. Together they employ about two dozen people, none of whom were injured in the fire.

Minion said 12 independent producers own the farrowing operation in Martin County.

The Truman Fire Department said in a statement that early estimates place fire damage in the multimillions.

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