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No Gobbling the Profits

Efficient turkey feed means better margins in a price-sensitive industry.

There’s nothing a turkey would rather do than gobble its feed.  That’s a big deal to producers as food represents the majority of the cost of raising a bird.  Recent feed cost hikes have threatened producers’ slender bottom lines.

Jeff Firman, a professor of poultry production and nutrition at the University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, has developed a new turkey diet that can save producers $13-25 per ton.  That’s a lot of scratch – almost 15 billion pounds of chow go to fatten the birds each year.

That could have a big impact on a little known but important part of Missouri agriculture.  The state is the nation’s fourth largest producer with 21.5 million turkeys, about 10 percent of total US production, heading for ovens and sandwiches annually. 

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