WASHINGTON – Two US Senators introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill that would commission a pair of feasibility studies on providing insurance programs for poultry producers.

US Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) introduced the amendment on June 14.

“Between the recession and the volatile cost of chicken feed, the number of factors that can have a catastrophic impact on local economies but are beyond the control of our local farmers and integrators is rising," Sen. Coons said. "We saw this in Delaware when Allen Family Foods went bankrupt last year and 120 Delaware growers were put at risk.

"The studies we propose in this amendment would explore whether insurance programs make sense as a tool for helping our poultry farmers and integrators continue to thrive during an uncertain economic time.”

The first study would examine the impact of bankruptcies by poultry integrators. Farmers who contract with one integrator to grow poultry would be financially vulnerable if the integrator filed for bankruptcy. The amendment would require the US Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of providing a safety net for poultry growers in the event their integrator files for bankruptcy.

The second study would examine the impact of significant losses due to events such as disease outbreaks. The USDA would be required to study the feasibility of providing a safety net for growers and integrators against catastrophic events that result in significant losses.