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Propane Prices Hit Poultry Farmers Hard

Cold snaps this winter continue to break poultry producers everywhere in half.
ARKANSAS -- Across the country, propane shortages and price increases are making it hard for 12 million Americans to stay warm. Here in the Natural State, many poultry farmers use the gas to heat their chicken houses. Now, they are at the point where a decision has to be made, on whether it would make sense for them to bring more birds in or just wait for the cold weather to clear.
"It's critical in Arkansas," said Poultry Federation President Marvin Childers. "Some growers are saying it's taking three times as much gas as it has in the past."
Childers believes the blame lays solely on the weather. Cold snaps this winter continue to break producers everywhere in half. Last week Governor Mike Beebe declared an emergency situation, lifting restrictions on transporting propane. But its prices continue to rise.
A week ago a gallon went for $1.79. In less than a week it reached nearly $4, with rumors predicting upwards of $5 by mid-week.
"With gas anywhere from $3.90 to $5.00, it just becomes almost impossible for the growers to break even," Childers said.
But why you ask, does all this matter to you? Well when it's no longer economical for farmers to produce, the poultry supply has the potential to go down. When that happens, the price for chicken at the counter can go up.
"This is something that can happen in just a matter of a few short weeks."
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