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watch out poultry lovers

With corn on a ten year high, production of poultry (and to an extent, cattle as well) is expected to see an unprecedented drop. For all you omnivores and carnivores out there, that means a much higher price tag on chicken at your grocers. Pilgrim's Pride, the US' second largest producer (and currently attempting a takeover of Gold Kist, Inc) has already announced a 5% cutback in production, rumors are abound of Tyson cutting up to 50% of it's production over the winter, and wholesalers are recommending overstocking frozen chicken holdings to take advantage of the steady pricing of chicken at the moment.

Prices may slightly about average at this point, but stocks are down anywhere from 11 to 18% and demand is tracking at about 2% higher than in September. Expect that number to rise, indicating a very hefty rise in consumer pricing. This butcher predicts anywhere from 25 to 50% increase in costs on the wholesale level. I suggest to you what I've suggested to my friends and family this week: fill your deep freeze when you come upon a deal or a loss leader. If you don't have a deep freeze, now might be the time to buy one. If you can reserve a side or quarter of beef from a local producer or processor, I would give a long thought to doing so. Cattle prices should fall fairly sharply in the next few weeks as feedlots rush to slim the lots and flood the market. After that, however, the cost will rise significantly as the cost to feed over the winter will be much greater.