MDFB Applauds New USDA Rule on Expanded Transparency in the Poultry Industry
DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. – Late last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act to increase transparency for contract livestock growers. This encouraging development is geared to empower contract broiler
In August of last year, the Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) submitted comments to the USDA in light of the proposed rule on revising the list of disclosures and information that live poultry dealers must furnish to poultry farmers upon making agreements.
“As we previously emphasized to the USDA, this new rule will help our Maryland broiler growers make the right decisions for their farm’s resources,” said Wayne Stafford, President of MDFB. “We greatly appreciate the USDA’s efforts to increase transparency for the farmers of Maryland’s robust poultry industry.”
MDFB supports transparency rules so that broiler growers are better able to make informed decisions when contracting with integrators. Specifically, the new rule will accomplish Farm Bureau’s objectives of increasing transparency for contract broiler growers:
- Growers will know the minimum number of flocks they can expect annually along with the density of those flocks. This will allow them to better estimate expected revenue and budget for expenses.
- Growers will be better able to choose an integrator because they will have information about financial stability such as summaries of litigation against integrators and integrator bankruptcy filings.
- Unnecessary modifications to buildings will not lessen the value of facilities when growers choose to sell their poultry growing facilities.
- Growers will have access to more information about flock age, flock health history, breed of birds and the breeder facility that provided the flock so they can better estimate the potential of flocks under their care.
- Financial disclosures provided by integrators will include annual payments to all facilities operated, information on what growers may have to spend on facility modifications, and a summary of variable costs the integrator will collect. This information will be invaluable to informed management decisions by growers.
Poultry production plays a vital role in the Maryland economy, marking nearly half of the market share of agricultural products in the state. Maryland also has an outsized impact on poultry production on the national level, consistently ranking in the top 10 states in America for broiler production. MDFB continues to work on behalf of our state’s poultry industry in order to keep it thriving for years to come.