WASHINGTON – A representative of the National Chicken Council will testify before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit about the state of the chicken industry.

Bill Roenigk, executive vice president and economist for NCC, will testify that although surviving chicken firms are doing well in terms of net margins, renewable fuels policy and free trade agreements are among the major challenges and issues facing chicken producers in the United States.

Chicken companies have incurred more than $44 billion in higher actual feed costs due to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“The often-dismissed fact, especially today as grain prices moderate, is that the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has inflicted deep and sustained damage to chicken production,” Roenigk noted. "In the end, consumers are once again paying the price for a biofuels policy and program that are broken beyond repair.”

In his testimony, Roenigk stressed the importance to the poultry industry of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both trade agreements would help increase poultry exports and create more jobs in the poultry industry.

Roenigk also touched on other topics such as USDA's Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration's rule regarding competition and contracting in the poultry and livestock industries; immigration reform and E-verify; international trade actions at the World Trade Organization; the need for an improved rail transportation system; and oversight of the supply of propane.