MILWAUKEE — Trading in shares of Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the nation's largest chicken producer, was halted late Wednesday after the stock fell 38 percent and saw volume at more than six times its normal level.

The company, based in Pittsburg, Texas, which has a distribution center in Salt Lake City, was expected to make an announcement to explain the situation by this morning. Messages left for Pilgrim's Pride representatives weren't immediately returned late Wednesday.

Shares in the company fell $3.90, or 38 percent, to $6.36 by the time trading was halted on volume of nearly 13.2 million shares, compared to normal volume of nearly 2.2 million. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new 52-week low of $6.06. It is off more than 82 percent from its 52-week high of $35.98.

Meat producers are all suffering as the costs for key ingredients like corn are high. The companies can't simply raise prices because an oversupply of meat on the market is keeping prices down. So they're cutting production in a bid to boost prices higher and trying to get a better control on expenses.