Comparing Utility Costs for Georgia Broiler Growers

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Date: 
March 2011
Volume: 
51
Number: 
3

Utility expenses make up the largest component of the annual variable operating costs associated with the live production of broilers on farms in Georgia and the United States. Heating fuel and electrical costs contribute nearly 60% of these costs for Georgia contract broiler growers (Cunningham and Fairchild, 2009). Controlling utility expenses represents one of the best opportunities for growers to reduce their production costs. Contract growers have experienced significant increases in the prices paid for energy in recent years. In the last 10 years electrical costs have ranged from $0.07 per kilowatt hour to, in some cases, more than $0.12 per kilowatt hour. During this same period, heating fuel has ranged from as low as $0.80 per gallon to more than $2.00 per gallon. These increases in utility costs have put substantial pressure on growers to reduce their energy costs where possible without sacrificing bird performance.