Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on December 13, 2007. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Poultry remains first in state's agriculture
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Poultry is expanding its lead as Mississippi's No. 1 agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.3 billion in 2007.
John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, is predicting a 20 percent increase in the state's poultry value over 2006. Forestry, the state's second-biggest agricultural commodity, decreased 8 percent to $1.1 billion.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture valued Mississippi's poultry at almost $2 billion in 2006,” Anderson said. “The expected increase in 2007 is based on hatchery production and price levels.”
Anderson predicts broilers to be worth just over $2 billion, a 17 percent increase. The estimated value of egg production in Mississippi was $250 million, up 57 percent.
Tim Chamblee, associate professor of poultry science at MSU, said broiler and egg exports have been strong this year, contributing to the strong value for poultry.
“Broiler placements in Mississippi are 6 percent above last year, and U.S. broiler production is 2 percent ahead of last year,” he said. “Exports have been good for two consecutive years, and companies have done a good job of not expanding too fast or overproducing.”
Chamblee said eggs also benefitted from a good export market. Production held steady without any overproduction.
“As long as we can maintain good export levels and not have to sell surplus products on local markets, poultry companies should have another good year in 2008, barring any unforeseen health or political problems,” he said.
Chamblee said oversupplies typically occur when there is a dramatic interruption in the market, such as a poultry disease outbreak or a foreign country manipulating a trade agreement.
Mike Pepper, president of the Mississippi Poultry Association, pointed to information in an economic report released by MSU in 2007 as evidence of poultry's popularity.
“Consumption data in the report shows that poultry is consumers' favorite meat, and people are eating more of it every year,” Pepper said. “Consumers obviously appreciate poultry from a health perspective and for its value dollar for dollar compared to other meats.”
According to the report, Mississippi's poultry industry employs more than 24,000 people directly with another 23,000 jobs created indirectly. Poultry employees' wages and salaries exceed $1 billion annually in the state.