Chicken remains royalty in Mississippi’s economy with record-setting $3.8 billion impact

Published 6:15 am Sunday, April 30, 2023

Poultry is big business in Mississippi, and poultry producers are having to manage disease and high feed costs to produce the meat and eggs that Americans consume in great quantities.

Poultry is the most consumed meat in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, followed by beef and then pork.

Eggs are also popular, with Americans eating close to 250 eggs per person each year.

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This demand for chicken and eggs drove Mississippi’s poultry industry to a record $3.8 billion value, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous record of $2.6 billion set in 2021.

Strong market prices for broilers drove the value increase in 2022, along with exceptionally strong egg prices.

The majority of the state’s poultry industry is located in central Mississippi, including the Macon-Brooksville area and south to southeast, with just a few commercial houses scattered in the northern part of the state.

Mississippi is home to six different poultry integrators: Amick Farms, Koch Foods, Peco Foods, Wayne-Sanderson Farms, Mar-Jac Poultry and Tyson Foods. The state is also home to the nation’s largest egg producer, which is Cal-Maine Foods located near Jackson.

By Bonnie Coblentz, MSU Extension Service