Category Archives: poultry

In the Bigger Picture….

6 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○


1 . Have you heard of (!) the Biotech Yield Endorsement? Through it, farmers planting triple-stacked GMO seeds get a 13-20 percent discount on their crop insurance premiums. (Kudos to a Datu Research report, funded by the Walton family.)

By Brain DeVore at the Land Stewardship Project


2 . The “Fresh Thyme Farmers Market” stores are continuing to expand across the Midwest, hoping to have 60 stores by 2019.

By Pamela Riemenschneider for The Packer


3 . This just could be (!) the future: Multiple big equipment marching across big agricultural fields. And, in case you’re wondering why corn silage, think biogas policy in Germany.

8.5 minute Youtube video showing Kemper Machinery (in German)


4 . A coming trend? Poultry consumption is popular, but rife with growing pains from concerned consumers. More choices are becoming available from small operations – producing high quality heritage breeds in healthier environments.

By Matthew Kronsberg for the WSJ


5 . These two Ag Economists told the Wall Street Journal this week how to shave an easy and logical $40 billion off the taxpayers bill for crop-insurance. (paywall)

By Bruce Babcock and Vincent H. Smith, WSJ Opinion


6 . Investors and food insecure nations around the globe have been investing in farmland. This trend could be in its infancy.

from The Economist


Happy New Year Everyone!

These links were selected by Kay McDonald. For continually updated news about agriculture, please utilize the news feeds on the right sidebar here, and on the “Latest Ag News” tab above.

A Visit to a Small Turkey Farm

Recently, PBS Newshour did a great little segment on the small turkey farm. What are its challenges and economic struggles? As is usually the case, the farm couple works VERY hard, they rely upon off-farm income, and they have a value-added venture store which sells directly to the consumer.

In this video, the Newshour’s Paul Solman interviews Rick Hermonot, who owns Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Eastern Connecticut about his operation which turns out 3,000 free range antibiotic free turkeys a year. How do they butcher them and how do they get it done so quickly are two of the looming questions that are answered here.

Poultry Industry Struggles Since RFS Mandates Went Into Effect

This post (below) is from the USDA. I like this quote from the last sentence of the summary

“The cessation of broiler industry growth, due to slowing growth in population, per capita consumption of chicken, and exports, places new financial pressures on broiler producers and new stresses on industry organization.”

Though the USDA will not tell you that escalating feed prices resulted from using 40 percent of the corn crop for ethanol production, which is the main cause of the decline in poultry meat production here in the U.S., I think that almost any poultry producer will explain that to you rather quickly. (!)

From the USDA…

U.S. broiler production has leveled off after decades of rapid growth

Between 1960 and 1995, annual broiler slaughter in the United States grew from 1.5 to 7.4 billion birds—4.6 percent per year, on average. With birds also getting larger—from an average of 3.35 pounds to 4.66—total live-weight production grew at an average rate of 5.6 percent per year.

While average weights continued to grow steadily after 1995, growth in annual slaughter slowed sharply and then fell in 2009 and again in 2012. Total live-weight production reached 49.8 billion pounds in 2008, but did not exceed that figure until 2013. In all, live-weight production grew by just 1.3 percent per year between 2003 and 2013, one-fourth of the 1960-1995 growth rate.

High produc­tion growth in earlier decades—and slowing growth later—reflected movements in demand for chicken meat. The cessation of broiler industry growth, due to slowing growth in population, per capita consumption of chicken, and exports, places new financial pressures on broiler producers and new stresses on industry organization.

source: usda