Subcommittee Reviews Impact of Feed Costs on the Livestock Industry

Mar 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing to review the impact of feed costs on the livestock industry. Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa is chairman of the subcommittee.

"Because feed costs have risen dramatically over the past year, it's extremely important to gather information and hear from the experts on what we might expect in the future," said Chairman Boswell.  "The entire livestock industry has felt this burden, which ultimately will be felt by the consumer.  It's my hope that our agricultural community will be able to produce enough grain for both the livestock and ethanol industry.  We will use today's hearing and gathering of information as a good start towards workable solutions" 

"I have heard from many of my constituents and other producers in North Carolina about the effects of feed costs on livestock producers' bottom line," said Ranking Member Robin Hayes of North Carolina. "This was an important hearing in which we heard from the livestock sector about the adverse impact of increasing feed prices on producer profitability."

The subcommittee heard testimony from two panels of witnesses.  The first panel included U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner, accompanied by USDA Deputy Chief Economist Dr. Joe Glauber.  The officials answered questions about the growth of domestic biofuels and its impact on the crop and livestock markets.

The second panel was comprised of seven witnesses.  Six farmers, ranchers and producers across America representing the beef and dairy cattle, pork, and poultry sectors testified about the impact of feed costs on their production.  The panel also included a professor from the University of MinnesotaÆs Animal Science Department who spoke about that schoolÆs research into distillerÆs dried grains, an ethanol co-product that is used as a livestock feed. 

The Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee will be one of six House Agriculture subcommittees involved in reauthorization of farm programs in the Farm Bill.  The opening statements of all eight witnesses are available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.