Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Turkey booming in Michigan

Turkey production could double in Michigan over the next two years, says a leader in the industry.

By comparison, Ontario’s turkey industry has been stagnant for more than a decade.

The Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency and the Turkey Farmers of Ontario marketing board have been searching long and hard for ways to stimulate demand, especially outside of whole birds for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter family feasts.

Val Vail-Shirey, executive director of the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries (MAPI), said on a local report on Michigan radio station WJR that increased broiler demand also has the potential to fuel more production and new processing capacity in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Michigan poultry producers are already trying to meet such current challenges as labor uncertainty and reliable access to energy, Vail-Shirey said.

MAPI represents turkey, chicken and egg farmers who raise five million turkeys and 3.8 million broiler chickens and own 10.5 million egg-laying hens.

Ontario could obviously be doing as well as Michigan because the climate, the housing, the feed, the breeding stock and management practices are all quite similar.

The difference seems obvious - a complacent farming and processing industry that simply charges whatever sky-high tariff protection will allow.

And do you think the resulting high prices just might have something to do with stagnant consumer demand?