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Agribiz: Broiler production on the increase
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U.S. broiler meat production is forecast to total 38.9 billion pounds in 2014, up 2.9 percent from 2013, according to the “Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook” report from USDA’s Economic Research Service.

The growth is expected to be spread throughout the year as processors expand production in response to lower feed costs and generally better economic conditions. The increase is expected to come from both a higher number of birds slaughtered and increases in average bird weights.

This is good news for our largest industry in North Georgia. So many businesses and other industries, like energy and construction, depend on the poultry producers and integrators doing well. Just in Northeast Georgia, the 9th Congressional District, the direct impact of poultry production and processing is worth $4.5 billion. The indirect impact due to the poultry industry is worth $1.2 billion (Source: US Poultry & Egg Association).

The incentive for broiler integrators to expand production in 2014 is expected to result mainly from two factors. The first is an expected decline in feed costs from 2012-13, about 30 percent for corn to between $4.30-$5.10 per bushel in 2013-14 and about 30 percent for soybean meal prices to an average of $280-$320 per ton. The second is expected gains in real per capita disposable income and a gradual lowering of the unemployment rate.

Turkey: Turkey meat production is expected to increase by 3.6 percent from the previous year in 2014 to 6.2 billion pounds. The cause of the production increase is expected to be a combination of both an increase in the number of birds slaughtered and slightly higher average live weights at slaughter.

With lower feed costs projected for 2014, turkey producers should have an incentive to increase production in 2014, especially as general economic indicators for the domestic economy are also expected to remain positive.

Eggs: Total egg production is expected to total 8 billion dozen in 2014, a gain of 1.9 percent from the previous year. Table egg production is expected to total 6.9 billion dozen, 2 percent higher than in 2013. Production is expected to be boosted by lower feed costs and better general domestic economic conditions. The gain in production is expected to be steady throughout the year. This would be the sixth year in a row that shell egg production has expanded.

Egg producers are expected to have had the consistently higher prices they need as an incentive to expand production. The increase in production in 2014 is expected to come primarily from an increase in the size of the table egg flock.

Trade: Broiler shipments rose 9 percent from a year ago, totaling 651 million pounds in March 2013. March 2013 broiler exports had the largest volume recorded since October 2011. The primary reason for the increase in broiler shipments was strong demand from Mexico, Russia, Angola, China and Iraq compared with a year earlier. Shipments to Mexico increased 15.9 million pounds from March 2012, while shipments to Russia, Angola, China, and Iraq rose by 18.5, 27.9, 17.3, and 14.2 million pounds, respectively.

Turkey exports totaled 60.8 million pounds in March 2013, a 5.3-percent decline from a year earlier. The main reason for the decline was the large reduction in turkey shipments to Mexico. In March 2013, the United States shipped only 26.1 million pounds to Mexico, the smallest amount shipped since July 2010.

Egg and egg product shipments in March 2013 increased 15 percent from a year ago. A total of 26.1 million dozen eggs and egg products were shipped in March 2013. A strong demand for eggs and egg products in markets such as Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates was the main reason for the increase.

Source: Poultry Times

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293, His column appears biweekly on Thursday’s Business page and at