Our Mounting Problem

Based on USDA Census data, there are over 40,000 broiler farms in the United States. Poultry is the fastest growing segment of the global animal products market. In the United States, the average consumer will eat about 92 pounds of chicken this year – a record amount projected to grow.

While the the global appetite for chicken is strong and growing, farmers and rural communities are left to deal with mounting piles of waste generated by billions of chickens each day. Broiler manure poses significant environmental challenges for US poultry producers across the Southeast and through the Mid-Atlantic, an area  commonly referred to as the “Broiler Belt.”

A Stark Reality

With record algal blooms and “Dead Zones” from the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay, public attention and activist campaigns are drawing attention to the impacts of U.S farming operations. As demand continues to rise, so will the challenges facing our farming communities and important estuaries.

Chicken waste runoff containing high levels of nitrates and phosphorus have lead to significant waterway pollution that impacts a broad range of freshwater and marine wildlife. Once this runoff reaches a large body of water, it creates massive areas with depleted oxygen levels where fish and plants find it impossible to survive. A number of lawsuits have been filed against farmers across the country due to water quality issues.