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Poultry Profitability Impacted by Ethanol, Environment

by 5m Editor
20 April 2009, at 9:54a.m.

US - Ethanol and the environment are affecting the profitability of the poultry industry, said Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms at an event last week.

Ethanol, rather than the economy, contributes largely to declining profitability for the poultry industry, Jim Perdue, chairman and chief executive officer of Salisbury-based Perdue Farms Inc., told business and political leaders, according to Delmarva Now. He was speaking at the annual banquet of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

In addition, if the industry is to remain an economic driver in the Eastern Shore region and in Maryland, pressure should be put on nearby states to implement environmental regulations impacting the Chesapeake Bay, Perdue said during a speech at the 89th annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Mr Perdue told the audience that ethanol production is siphoning corn needed to feed animals.

"We live and die by corn," he said, citing that since October 2006, the poultry industry spent an estimated $4 billion on corn to feed chickens.

"The reason for losses is not the economy," he said, and added that the failing Pilgrim's Pride poultry brand that spent $800 million on corn alone to grow chickens.

Perdue Farms, he said, spent $300 million for corn to grow chickens. "Ethanol is killing us every day," he said.

Addressing an audience of several hundred who gathered at the Fountains Wedding and Conference Center in Salisbury, Mr Perdue told the audience that the times we live in are challenging. "But I was asked to not talk about doom and gloom; I'm going to talk about chicken."