Mike Pearson tells us how the poultry industry and the USA has been rocked by changes in the past few years with changes in processing, to much higher feed costs, to coping with the HPAI outbreak.

March 14, 2024

Mike Pearson gives us a look at the USDA's final tally for chicken, turkey and duck processing in 2023 and it shows the impact of HPAI but also highlights the industry's response.

The total chicken production was up from 2022 with over 200 million pounds to a grand total of 47 billion pounds despite 50,000 fewer birds slaughtered. Producers were able to do this by increasing the live weight of broilers by half a pound on each bird.

Turkey production was also up in 2023. Producers gained 234 million pounds in production to a grand total of 5.45 billion pounds.

HPAI is still a threat to the poultry industry. As of March 7, there were 20 confirmed flocks testing positive in the last 30 days. Of those 20 flocks, 14 were backyard flocks and 6 were commercial flocks.

Both broiler and turkey flocks have HPAI cases and those are mostly in Missouri, North Carolina and Colorado.

Looking at 2024, broiler production should increase by 1 percent to a record 46.8 billion pounds. With the expectation of higher broiler prices and better feed costs, it may provide an opportunity for expansion.

However, turkey production will decrease by 1 percent to 5.4 billion pounds due to the depopulation of some flocks in late 2023 has limited production in the first half of 2024. On the good side, turkey exports are expected to rise by 5 percent.

The poultry industry has changed in processing and production due to HPAI.

However, the industry is still able to produce 1.45 billion chicken wins last month and there is no worry about the production supply.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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