DPI Hails Md., Del. COVID-19 Relief Programs for Chicken Growers
Eligible Maryland, Delaware Chicken Growers Encouraged to Apply by December 1
Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. executive director Holly Porter hailed twin chicken grower COVID-19 assistance programs announced today by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Delaware Gov. John Carney as an important, necessary step to help farmers raising broiler chickens recover from economic stresses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief Program and the Delaware Contract Poultry Grower Grant Assistance Program are now accepting applications from eligible farmers.
"This announcement recognizes how crucial the chicken community is to Delmarva's economy, and it acknowledges chicken growers faced sudden business disruptions none of them could have foreseen or prevented," Porter said. "The chicken industry never called time out during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the food web held together under real stress. Chicken growers saw significant income interruptions, and while federal aid has helped repair balance sheets for other U.S. farmers, contract chicken growers have been left on the sidelines. With this grant program, Gov. Carney and Gov. Hogan are delivering real assistance to farmers who suffered losses from COVID-19, and DPI applauds their commitment to the chicken community."
Chicken companies in Delaware and Maryland placed 45 percent fewer chicks in farmers' chicken houses in early May, after quarantine measures and business closures took effect around the country, than those companies had placed two months earlier. Only 6 million chicks were placed in family farmers' chicken houses in Delaware and Maryland the first week of May, a significant decline compared to the 10.7 million chicks placed on those farms in the first week of March. That drop in chicks placed represents lost income for Delmarva's more than 1,300 farmers raising chicken in contractual agreements with chicken processing companies. Contract chicken growers are ineligible to receive aid from the USFA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
DPI statistics about the Delmarva chicken industry for 2019 -- the most recent year data are available - can be found here.
Delaware Gov. John Carney, left, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, at podium, announce COVID-19 relief programs for contract chicken growers who lost income this spring at the start of the pandemic on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Photo: DPI
About Delmarva Chicken Association
Delmarva Chicken Association, founded in 1948, is the Delmarva chicken industry's voice as the premier membership association focusing on advocacy, education and member relations. DCA's vision is to be the most-respected chicken organization in the United States. For more information about the Delmarva Chicken Association, visit www.dcachicken.com or call 302-856-9037.