Russia’s one year ban on U.S. meat products is going to have an impact on Georgia’s and Elbert County’s poultry industry.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black says the ban will have a forty-five million dollar impact, according to last year’s numbers.
“US Poultry exports to Russia and from Georgia would be pretty similar, about 7 percent of our market”, said Black. “Last year from Georgia, that was 45 million dollars, or about 45 metric tons of chicken.”
In Elbert County, approximately four million meat chickens were grown, which ranked 20th amongst 132 poultry producing counties in the state, and ranked 121st in the United States amongst 2,723 counties according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
Black said disruptions in poultry trade on the world market presents an interesting equation for the near future.
“We have these trade distorting activities take place globally, it usually impacts the leg quarter, the dark meat. That is why we have such aggressive trade activities to try and balance that and utilize the whole bird”, explained Black.
Despite the negative impacts of the ban, Black said there is a sliver lining to the current situation.
“When all these issues are resolved perhaps it results in an expanded market for Georgia poultry if and when the Russian market returns to a state of normalcy”, said Black.
Black says the United States and Georgia are going to have the opportunity to find new markets for poultry products.
Referring again to the 2012 Agriculture Census, Livestock sales, which include poultry, account for 96% of market value of sold agriculture products in Elbert County.