Cagle's to cut production in wake of higher input costs

by Keith Nunes
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ATLANTA — Cagle’s Inc. is reducing its chicken production by 4%, the company announced yesterday. The reduction comes shortly after Fieldale Farms, Baldwin, Ga., announced it was cutting production by 5%.

"Current chicken prices have failed to reflect the tremendous increase in the cost of feed," said J. Doug Cagle, president and chief executive officer. "Ingredient prices, mostly corn and soybean meal, have increased over 80% in the last two years, raising the cost to produce chicken by more than 17c a lb. These are unprecedented times and given current U.S.D.A. forecasts it appears that high feed costs are here for the foreseeable future. The cutback in production will not affect our customers with existing commitments but will reduce product being sold through less profitable commodity outlets."

The reduction will affect the number of birds processed at the company's location in Pine Mountain Valley, Ga., one of two slaughter plants Cagle's operates in the southeast. No layoffs are planned as a result of the decrease in production.

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