Family farmers and chicken companies alike have been hit hard by the skyrocketing price and short supply of corn, former National Chicken Council Board Chairman Michael Welch told a committee of Congress on Wednesday.

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Chicken exports in July this year were 318,494 metric tons valued at $358.72 million, compared with 247,245 tons valued at $254.57 million in July 2010, a 28.8-percent increase in quantity and 40.9-percent increase in value.

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Broiler production next year is forecast to be 37.074 billion pounds, 297 million pounds less than last month’s forecast, and 0.2 percent above the essentially unchanged estimate of 36.992 billion pounds for 2011, according to USDA “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate” report released this week by USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.

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A number of analysts expect USDA’s estimate for harvested corn acres to be cut significantly in the October “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report, following USDA’s report this week that lowered average corn yields for the 2011 crop almost five bushels from 153.0 bushels per acre in its August report to 148.1 bushels per acre in this month’s report.

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The impact that flawed and too many federal regulations has had on the economy and job creation in both U.S. large and small businesses alike was the subject of a new critical report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has urged USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work with livestock and poultry producers to collect more detailed data on the use of antibiotics in food animals.

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USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth A. Hagen is slated to discuss food safety initiatives and inspection issues at the National Chicken Council’s upcoming October 4-5 Annual Conference at the Four Seasons Washington.

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