Thursday, September 21, 2023

NCC: USDA announces new regulatory burdens on chicken industry

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WASHINGTON — The USDA on May 26 announced a proposed rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act that would do nothing to lower food prices, increase competition or reduce inflation, which is a result of policies like these from the Biden administration, the National Chicken Council notes.

“This is a solution in search of a problem,” said NCC President Mike Brown. “The last thing the Biden administration should be doing is pushing increased regulations, red tape and costs onto businesses at a time of record inflation and input costs, threatening food security and potentially raising grocery bills even further for Americans. There is a huge misunderstanding in this administration of how businesses operate. Everything this administration has touched has led to increased prices for consumers — whether its gas, home heating bills or infant formula. Chicken seems to be next.

“These proposals were determined to be poor policy ideas under the Obama administration — and continue to be worn and tired ideas today.”

All chicken farmers are provided the same quality of chicks, the same feed, and access to veterinary care, NCC said in a release, adding that farmers who invest in more advanced facilities, as well as use the best management practices will likely produce higher quality chickens more efficiently. Farmers receive a base pay per their contract and potentially a bonus, based on the health and quantity of the flock.

Raising chickens under contract is one of the best and most reliable sources of cash flow that helps keep families on the farm, NCC added. The contract provides farmers with guaranteed income, and insulation from market risks, such as feed costs, floods and droughts. That is why there are thousands of people right now on waiting lists wanting to apply for a contract to raise chickens.

“It’s ironic that these regulations are being proposed under the guise of promoting competition,” Brown added. “The performance-based structure of how chicken farmers are compensated is literally the definition of competition. We are in the process of reviewing the155-page proposed rule and we look forward to providing more detailed comments to the department in the near future.”

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