• The Economic Organization of U.S. Broiler Production (June 2008), based on a large and representative survey of broiler operations, describes the industry's organization, housing features, contract design, fees and enterprise cost structures, and farm and household finances. Broiler production in the United States is coordinated almost entirely through systems of production contracts, and the industry's structure is gradually changing as production shifts to larger broiler enterprises.
  • How Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) Has Affected World Poultry-Meat Trade (October 2007) discusses the impact of H5N1 strain of avian influenza on world poultry markets during 2003-06. Consumer fears adversely affected poultry consumption in many countries, but as consumers gained confidence that poultry was safe if properly handled and cooked, world demand for cooked poultry increased.
  • Organic Poultry and Eggs Capture High Price Premiums and Growing Share of Specialty Markets (see the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: December 2006 ) examines trends in markets, animal numbers, and prices for organic poultry and eggs. Markets for these products in the United States are expanding rapidly. Price comparisons between organic and conventional broilers and eggs show significant organic price premiums.
  • "Economic Effects of Animal Diseases Linked to Trade Dependency" (Amber Waves, April 2006) highlights the importance of livestock and poultry trade to producers and consumers around the world. Though global meat trade has not fallen in response to animal disease outbreaks, a few countries have seen significant changes to their exports and imports. See also "Brazil Emerges as Major Force in Global Meat Markets" (Amber WavesApril 2006).
  • Market Integration of the North American Animal Products Complex (May 2005) examines the economic integration of the beef, pork, and poultry industries of Mexico, Canada, and the United States over the past two decades. Sanitary barriers, which are designed to protect people and animals from diseases, are some of the most significant barriers to fuller integration of meat and animal markets. For more information on integration, see "North America Moves Toward One Market" (Amber WavesJune 2005).
  • Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities (November 2004) reports that contracts are now the primary method of handling sales of many livestock commodities, including milk, hogs, and broilers, and of major crops such as sugar beets, fruit, and processing tomatoes. Production and marketing contracts governed 36 percent of the value of U.S. agricultural production in 2001, up from 12 percent in 1969.
  • "Savvy Buyers Spur Food Safety Innovations in Meat Processing" (Amber Waves, April 2004) finds that the market incentives that motivate private firms to invest in food safety innovation seem to be fairly weak. Results from an ERS survey of U.S. meat and poultry slaughter and processing plants and two case studies of innovation in the U.S. beef industry reveal development of a number of mechanisms to overcome that weakness and to stimulate investment in food safety innovation. For the full report, see Food Safety Innovation in the United States: Evidence from the Meat Industry (April 2004).
  • India's Poultry Sector: Development and Prospects (February 2004) assess the supply, demand, structure, and policy factors affecting the growth of the Indian poultry industry, including the rise of integrated producers who are fostering improved productivity and reduced marketing costs.
  • The Poultry Sector in Middle-Income Countries and Its Feed Requirements: The Case of Egypt (December 2003) examines the interaction between domestic feed and animal production and meat and feed imports. Egypt, a country with little potential for growing feed, illustrates the issues facing many middle-income countries.
  • International Trade and Food Safety: Economic Theory and Case Studies (November 2003) uses case studies to evaluate the international trade implications of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease), foodborne pathogens (e.g., salmonella), and certain production practices (e.g., drug use for growth promotion) in exporting countries.
  • Many factors determine the Structure of the Global Markets for Meat (September 2003), including the relative availability of resources for raising and processing animals for meat. Preferences for various cuts of meat among countries provide opportunities for international trade.
  • Manure Management for Water Quality: Costs to Animal Feeding Operations of Applying Manure Nutrients to Land (June 2003) evaluates the costs of spreading manure on cropland at the farm, regional, and national levels. EPA regulations enacted in February 2003 require concentrated animal feeding operations (generally the largest producers of hogs, chicken, dairy, and beef cattle) to meet nutrient application standards when spreading their manure on cropland in order to preserve water resources from nitrogen and phosphorus runoff. USDA is encouraging all animal feeding operations to do the same. If all operations meet the new standards, increases in production costs could be felt throughout the food and agricultural system.
  • U.S.-Mexico Broiler Trade: A Bird's Eye View (December 2002) examines sanitary requirements and regulations currently governing the U.S.-Mexico broiler trade. A sensitivity analysis, using a cost-minimization mathematical programming model, detects minimal economic impact on the U.S. broiler market if Mexico is allowed to ship fresh, chilled, and frozen poultry to the United States.
  • Economic Assessment of Food Safety Regulations: The New Approach to Meat and Poultry Inspection (July 1997) evaluates the benefits and costs of reducing microbial pathogens and preventing foodborne illness using the inspection system called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Other Links

U.S. Department of Agriculture

National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS)

National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) provides data on yields, acreage, production, and prices by State and nationally, and commodity-specific reports.

  • Poultry Slaughter: Monthly report on the number, average weight of birds slaughtered and the amount of meat produced; data for broilers, other chicken, turkeys, and ducks.
  • Chicken and Eggs: Monthly report on the number of birds in the laying flock, the number of eggs produced, and the average number of eggs per produced per month.
  • Cold Storage: Monthly report detailing the amount of poultry meat (broilers, other chicken, and turkey) held in cold storage throughout the Nation.
  • Turkey Hatchery: Weekly report describing the number of turkey eggs placed in hatcheries and the number of poults hatched and placed on farms for grow out.
  • Broiler Hatchery: Weekly report of the number of eggs placed in hatcheries and the number of chicks placed on farms.
  • Poultry Charts and Maps: Egg, broiler, and turkey production by year and by State.

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides current cash grain prices and market news, as well as information on grain transportation and exporting, and standardization and grading.

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Foreign Agricultural Service provides data on current U.S. poultry and egg export sales; data on supply and demand (including imports and exports) for major poultry and egg trading countries; and current world market and trade reports.

National Agricultural Library (NAL)

National Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR) offers online browsing of historical USDA, ERS Agricultural Economic Reports and Agriculture Information Bulletins.