Leprino Foods Co, Denver, says it will close its mozzarella cheese manufacturing facilities in Hartington and Dodge, Neb. by the end of this month.

The closings, which will affect about 175 people, are based on the dwindling milk supply in Eastern Nebraska, combined with the need to capitalize on greater economies of scale at other locations, the company said. Leprino recently opened what will ultimately become the world’s largest mozzarella cheese manufacturing plant in Lemoore, Calif.

The elimination of production at the two facilities may also result in a decrease in production and layoffs at Leprino’s Norfolk, Neb. whey processing plant. Leprino purchased the affected facilities from Dairy Farmers of America in 1998.

Leprino’s Ravenna, Neb. plant, which recently went through major renovations and added the capacity to produce the company’s string cheese products, is unaffected by this decision.