Which are the ten largest broiler producing states? That depends on whether your metric is the number of head raised in a year, or the number of pounds produced.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Poultry – Production and Value 2021 Summary report, released earlier this year, offers a look into broiler production in the top producing states for the period starting December 1 and ending November 30.

While Georgia ranks as the largest broiler producer in terms of birds raised, it is North Carolina that ranks highest in terms of pounds produced. Missouri ranks seventh in terms of the head of poultry raised, but it is not among the top 10 states for pounds produced. South Carolina produces the eighth most pounds of any state, yet it isn’t among the top 10 states for head produced.

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The top 10 states in both categories for 2021 are:

Top 10 states for head produced

  1. Georgia – 1,298,900,000 head
  2. Alabama – 1,171,600,000
  3. Arkansas – 1,051,300,000
  4. North Carolina – 971,400,000
  5. Mississippi – 707,000,000
  6. Texas – 706,600,000
  7. Missouri ­– 301,200,000
  8. Kentucky – 285,200,000
  9. Virginia – 285,200,000
  10. Maryland – 259,900,000

 Top 10 states for pounds produced

  1. North Carolina – 8,062,600,000 pounds
  2. Georgia – 7,923,300,000
  3. Arkansas – 7,464,200,000
  4. Alabama – 6,561,000,000
  5. Texas – 4,734,200,000
  6. Mississippi – 4,454,100,000
  7. Kentucky – 1,933,100,000
  8. South Carolina – 1,895,400
  9. Virginia – 1,798,000,000
  10. Maryland – 1,715,300

NASS offered totals for both categories for the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The agency also provided figures for combined totals in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington. The figures for those states were combined for the report, to avoid disclosing information about specific or individual broiler operations.