US poultry producer Fieldale Farms has announced it is to reduce live chicken production by 5% as a result of dramatic cost increases.

The action by the Georgia-based producer is due "substantially to current excess supply and the high cost of chicken feed, particularly corn", vice president Gus Arrendale said.

 "It's a tough decision to make, but unfortunately, the markets we sell in have not yet caught up to the rapidly rising cost of feed and it seems to be getting worse," said Arrendale. "Not long ago, feed corn cost a little over US$2 a bushel, now it's approaching $6 and some are predicting $8/bu this summer."

It seems with the US Agriculture Department anticipating a substantial drop in planting acreage this year, further impacted by feed corn being committed to production of ethanol, prices are not likely to fall.

Fieldale Farms is one of the country's largest poultry producers, supplying fresh and frozen chicken products to retail and food service outlets throughout the US.