USDA has proposed some changes to poultry marketing that will help small flock owners, http://archive.gipsa.usda.gov/psp/fb_news_release.pdf. The proposed changes are in response to meetings with poultry raisers. You heard the complaints in Food, Inc., http://www.foodincmovie.com/.
"Many of the concerns were related to increasing consolidation and vertical integration in the livestock and poultry marketplace, and shrinking farm numbers. For instance, there were over 666,000 hog farms in 1980, but only roughly 71,000 today. In the cattle industry, there were over 1.6 million farms in 1980, but only roughly 950,000 today. In the hog industry, producers received 50% of the retail value of a hog in 1980, but only 24.5 percent in 2009. For cattle, producers received 62 percent of the retail value of a steer in 1980, but only 42.5 percent in 2009. In the poultry industry today, a grower makes 34 cents per bird, while the processing company however on average makes $3.23 a bird."
Comments can be submitted until August 23. Be heard! I'll draft some suggested comments and post them here next week.