USDA issues proposed rule aimed at helping chicken growers but some don’t agree

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is looking to give poultry growers a helping hand. He is proposing changes to the Tournament System he says will make it more fair.

The proposed rule would prohibit deductions from the base price in contracts for broiler growers and only allow bonuses for performance. Vilsack says it would also help growers better identify risks and allow USDA to do better enforcement on unfair capital improvement practices.

The National Chicken Council is speaking out against the rule, calling it anti-business.

“This rule -- which Congress never asked for -- will lead to rigid, one-size-fits-all requirements on chicken growing contracts that would stifle innovation, lead to higher costs for consumers, decrease competition, and cost jobs by driving some of the best farmers out of the chicken business,” said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown.

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