Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Sectors Air Concerns About Tight Feed Grain Supplies

September 15, 2011 01:34 PM


California congressman says it’s “time for Congress to stop picking winners and losers, which is causing a shortage of feed in our country.”

Source: Committee on Agriculture, Frank D. Lucas news release
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Thomas Rooney, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a public hearing Sept. 14 to examine the issue of feed availability and its effect on the livestock, dairy and poultry industries.
Feed accounts for a major component of food animal production – 50% to 80%, depending on the species. The U.S. livestock, dairy and poultry industries are confronting tight feed supplies. Many analysts believe this is going to be a persistent challenge for the next several years. This year a widespread drought across parts of the country has only compounded the problem.
Members of the Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of every sector of the animal agriculture industry who described how these conditions are causing stress.
"Our subcommittee began this Congress with a series of overview hearings that gave us some perspective about the production practices and public policy challenges of the animal agriculture community,” said Chairman Thomas Rooney (R-Fla). “At each of these hearings, we heard a good bit about the issue of feed availability, and I am pleased we had the opportunity today to examine that issue in greater detail.”
“California producers have always been extremely vulnerable to the fluctuations in feed prices,” said Ranking Member Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.). “Prices have skyrocketed recently, especially harming our dairy, livestock, and poultry producers. It is time for Congress to stop picking winners and losers, which is causing a shortage of feed in our country.”
Responding yesterday, the Renewable Fuels Association said adverse weather conditions, market speculation, monetary policy and global demand are all contributing to tighter grain supplies and higher prices, but the productivity of farmers is continuing to meet demands for food, feed and fuel.
Written testimony provided by the witnesses before  Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry is linked below.
Panel I
Dr. Steven Roger Meyer, President, Paragon Economics, Adel, Iowa
Mr. Philip Greene, Vice President, Foster Farms Inc., Fresno, Calif.
Mr. Ted Seger, President, Farbest Foods, Huntingburg, Ind.
Mr. Michael Welch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Poultry, Inc., Bethlehem, Ga.
Dr. Eric Erba, Senior Vice President for Administrative Affairs, California Dairies, Inc., Visalia, Calif.
Mr. Randy Spronk, Pork Producer, Spronk Brothers III LLP, Edgerton, Minn.

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