October 12, 2011


Alabama's poultry industry revives after tornadoes



Majority of the Alabama's poultry farmers are persisting with reviving the industry in the wake of the April 27 tornadoes that destroyed large areas of the state and brought destruction to more than 700 chicken houses, according to the October 7 edition of the National Chicken Council's Washington Report.


Roughly 70% of the affected farmers are staying in the business out of the 700 houses destroyed, said John McMillan, the state's agriculture commissioner. The remaining farmers have elected not to rebuild for various reasons, including their age, the amount of insurance they had and the willingness of another generation to take over the business.


Rebuilding was initially slowed by the massive quantities of debris left in aftermath of the storms, which killed more than 3million chickens. Building supplies and labour have also been limited in northern Alabama, which is the heart of the state's poultry industry - and the region that took the brunt of the tornado damage. Some farmers lost their homes and farm equipment in the storms, as well.


Alabama's poultry industry as a whole, however, was spared. "There are so many growers and, there are so many chickens being hatched out and delivered each week," McMillan pointed out.


Individual farmers have felt the impact of the storm on their businesses, their homes and their incomes, he concluded.

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