Poultry producer Sanderson Farms has reported a net loss of $21.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to net income of $47.8 million for the same time in 2010, according to the company's most recent financial report.

The net loss for the fiscal year 2011 came in at $127.1 million, compared with 2010's net income of $134.8 million. "The fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 marked the end of a challenging year for Sanderson Farms and the poultry industry," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. "We reported record annual sales of $1.978 billion, a 2.7% increase over fiscal 2010. However, we also reported a record net loss of $127.1 million. Our results reflect the combination of weaker poultry markets throughout the year and the significantly higher feed grain costs we experienced during the entire year. For the year, we sold 2.794 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 2.57 billion pounds in fiscal 2010."


Sanderson Farms plans to leave 2011 production cuts in place through 2012 due to an expected continued decrease in demand, according to Sanderson.