According to a report* by the Iowa State University
economics department, Iowa turkey production is highlighted as having potential
for future growth.
Of the top seven turkey-producing states in the US, only Iowa, Minnesota
and Arkansas increased production between 1996 and 2006, with Iowa raising 8.2
mln turkeys and processing more than 14 mln in 2006.
Iowa turkey production in a nutshell
In 2006, the Iowa turkey industry employed 1,960 workers and accounted for
US$55.6 mln in wages and salaries for processing and production. A further 2,300
people were employed through indirect activities. The industry also accounted
for over US$810 mln in sales and US$253 mln in value-added activities.
"Iowa currently imports nearly 6 mln turkeys a year from surrounding states
to support the state's two processing facilities. Because of Iowa's turkey
processing capacity, feed price advantage and the ability to utilise manure
nutrients effectively, there is potential to grow turkey production in the
state," says livestock economist John Lawrence.
The report revealed that Iowa's cost of production for live turkeys is
competitive with Minnesota, North Carolina and Missouri, the top one, two and
five turkey-producing states, respectively. Iowa has higher non-feed costs than
Missouri and North Carolina due to higher facility, heating and labour expenses.
However, corn and soybean meal prices in Iowa are lower. Additionally, feed
prices have risen with the growing renewable fuels industry, so has the cost of
transporting corn from the Midwest to corn deficit regions, thus increasing
Iowa's feed cost advantage.
* ISU Extension livestock economist John Lawrence and Laura Bortz, an
Iowa State ag business senior, are the authors of "Iowa's Turkey Industry",
which was published in January. The Iowa Turkey Marketing Council provided
funding for the report.