Top U.S. turkey companies increased production of pounds of live turkeys in 2016 and plan to grow again in 2017, according to WATT PoultryUSA’s 2016 Poultry Company Rankings.
The largest 23 turkey producers in the United States increased production by 231.58 pounds, or 3.28 percent in 2016, and a number plan to raise production levels substantially in 2017.
The turkey producers surveyed project they will increase production of live pounds of turkeys for a net increase of 247.75 million pounds in 2017.
Turkey flocks back in production after avian flu of 2015
U.S. turkey producers rebuilt turkey production levels in 2016, after the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak of 2015 that resulted in the loss of nearly 8 million turkeys.
A year ago, the number of U.S. turkey producers reporting production decreases or no changes in production overwhelmed the number reporting production increases by 15:8. The scenario reversed in 2016 with 13 turkey companies reporting increases in production and only three registering declines.
Turkey production gainers and losers for 2016 are as follows:
- Thirteen turkey companies increased production
- Seven turkey producers had no change in production
- Three turkey producers reduced production
Total live pounds of turkeys up in 2016
There was a net increase in live pounds of production of 231.58 pounds, or 3.28 percent, among the 23 U.S. turkey companies surveyed. Compare that to the net decline of 66.1 million live pounds produced in 2015.
The U.S. turkey industry has recovered from what was the largest poultry disease outbreak in U.S. history – one that hit the U.S. turkey industry midstride of an expansion of production as lower feed costs and favorable wholesale pricing generated profitable conditions.
Producers with largest increases in 2016
U.S. turkey producers with the largest increases in pounds produced in 2016 are as follows:
- Jennie-O Turkey Store, +100.0 million pounds
- Hain Pure Protein, +51 million pounds
- Turkey Valley Farms, +31.4 million pounds
- Michigan Turkey Producers, +23.0 million pounds
- Tyson Foods, +16.0 million pounds
- Butterball, +15.0 million pounds
- Zacky & Sons Poultry, +14.7 million pounds
Biggest production increases planned for 2017
U.S. turkey producers with the largest increases in pounds projected for 2017 are as follows:
- Farbest Foods, +71.0 million pounds
- Cooper Farms, +55.0 million pounds
- Norbest, +35.0 million pounds
- West Liberty Foods, +31.1 million pounds
- Tyson Foods, +30.0 million pounds
- Turkey Valley Farms, +11.0 million pounds
- Virginia Poultry Growers, +10.0 million pounds
Reductions in turkey production in 2016
Three companies reduced production of pounds of live turkeys in 2016:
- Farbest Foods, -23.0 million pounds
- Foster Farms, -15.0 million pounds
- Perdue Foods, -1.0 million pounds
Turkey producers with capital improvements
Michigan Turkey Producers added 30,000 square feet of dry storage and expanded the ready-to-cook pack-out area in the processing facility. The company plans to install automation in the first processing area in 2017.
Dakota Provisions built a 6-million-square-foot cold storage facility in 2016 at a cost of $8.5 million. The company plans to build and equip a 75,000-square-foot production facility at a cost of $35 million in 2017. Dakota Provisions also plans to build and equip a live-loading and hauling facility at a cost of $1.5 million.
Turkey Valley Farms purchased a cold storage facility for $1.2 million in 2016. The company also extended the processing facility’s cut-up line area and capabilities at a cost of $38,000.
Norbest installed chilling, deboning, breast keel splitting and skinning equipment in 2016.
Zacky & Sons Poultry built three brooder houses equipped with controllers to operate heaters, curtains and fans.
Koch Turkey Farms invested in refrigerated storage and ice making equipment in 2016. The company plans to expand packaging, shipping and primary processing facilities in 2017.