Poultry was the top commodity in Mississippi in 2011, with a preliminary estimated value of $2.4 billion for 2011, according to reports.

While broiler values decreased slightly in 2011, by 2% to $2.2 billion, egg values increased by 24%. “The biggest challenge this year was the cost of feed,” said John Michael Riley, Mississippi State University Extension Service agriculture economist. “We saw a lot of this nationwide, with poultry firms going out of business and filing for bankruptcy. Their costs just got ahead of their revenues.”

Overall poultry production is expected to be roughly the same for 2012, according to economists. “There has been a pull-back in supply this year because of the high input costs associated with production,” said Riley. “For 2012, the question is what is demand going to be? We are cautiously optimistic because the economy is still pretty tough.”