Sen. Carper Measure Adopted to Make a Priority at USDA Research on Improving Poultry Feed

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Senate unanimously adopted his measure to make a priority at the U.S. Department of Agriculture research to improve feed choices for the poultry, livestock, and food production industries. The amendment was offered as part as the 2012 Farm Bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012.

“In Delaware, we have about 300 chickens for every person. About 60 percent of the cost of raising a chicken is the cost of feed, and in recent years, the cost of feed, including the cost of corn, has risen dramatically. These rising costs have placed a significant financial strain on the poultry industry and by extension, consumers.

“That is why I, along with Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, introduced an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill that will help provide poultry and food production industries with a greater variety of feed choices to use in their operations. Specifically, our amendment makes a priority at the U.S. Department of Agriculture research to improve efficiency, digestibility, and nutritional value of corn, soybean meal, cereal grains, and grain byproducts as feed for the poultry and animal agriculture industries. By improving the feed used to raise our chickens and providing the poultry industry with a greater variety of feed to use in their operations, we can help reduce costs for the poultry industry, while at the same time ensuring that we provide consumers with affordable, high-quality food.

“This common-sense amendment helps farmers and poultry growers in Delaware and across our nation cope with the challenging economic climate and the rising costs of their livelihood – a livelihood that has been practiced by many of their families for generations and one that stands as a pillar of our nation. I thank my colleagues for recognizing the importance of this measure and voting for its adoption.”

About the amendment:

Sen. Carper’s and Sen. John Boozman’s (R-Ark.) amendment would amend Section 7207 of S.3240 to add research to improve the digestibility, nutritional value, and efficiency of corn, soybean meal, cereal grains, and grain byproducts for the poultry and food animal production industries as a high priority research area. S.3240 currently contains nine high priority research areas, and this amendment would add a tenth area. The amendment allows for such research to be conducted by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which funds researchers at land-grant institutions and other institutions of higher learning, in federal agencies, and in the private sector.