The National Chicken Council (NCC) has released a study claiming that proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations will cost the broiler chicken industry more than $1 billion over five years.

The study, conducted by FarmEcon LLC, raises issues of reduced efficiency, higher feed and housing costs and increased administrative expenses, as well as potential litigation costs, lost export sales and increased consumer prices. The changes, proposed by the USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), would result in changes in the relationship between chicken companies and independent chicken farmers. They would also require changes in the production and marketing systems for pigs and cattle.

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While GIPSA maintains that the changes will have little economic impact, the study puts the cost burden at about $337 million per year by 2015. The total cost for the first five years is estimated at $1.03 billion, according to the study.