U.S. Senators Chris Coons of Delaware and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia have introduced an amendment to the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2012 (the "Farm Bill") to commission two studies on the feasibility of insurance programs to protect U.S. poultry growers from catastrophic loss, such as disease outbreaks, and from bankruptcies of poultry integrators.

"Poultry growers and integrators play an important role in our local, regional and national economies," said Coons. "Between the recession and the volatile cost of chicken feed, the number of factors that can have a catastrophic impact on local economies but are beyond the control of our local farmers and integrators is rising. The studies we propose in this amendment would explore whether insurance programs make sense as a tool for helping our poultry farmers and integrators continue to thrive during an uncertain economic time."

The first study would focus on the impact of the growing number of bankruptcies of poultry integrators — companies that hire local farmers to raise their chickens, then process and sell the chicken products in the market. The second study would focus on the cascading economic impacts of catastrophic events, such as disease outbreaks within America's poultry industry.