The number of turkey poults hatched and placed in March both dropped by substantial amounts when compared to the same month in 2012, the USDA's latest Turkey Hatchery Report reveals.

Poults hatched in the United States during March totaled 21.7 million, which is down 14 percent from the 25.2 million reported in March 2012. It was also a 2 percent decline from last month's hatchings at 22.2 million, and the lowest amount of poults hatched since Sept. 2012, which was calculated at 21.4 million.

Net poult placements in the U.S. for March were at 21.1 million, down 16 percent from the number placed the same month a year ago, which was 25.1 million. Placements were also down 2 percent from the February total of 21.6 million. Similarly to the scenario with poult hatchings, the March placements were at their lowest since Sept. 2012, where the total was 20.8 million.

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The report also showed that turkey eggs in incubators on April 1 totaled 27.4 million, down three percent from the same date one year ago. The April 1 figure for eggs in incubators was, however, a four percent increase from the March 1 egg count.

States reporting turkey hatcheries include Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.