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Uncovering the Hidden Gems Of the North Carolina Poultry Show

By Tom Seest

Is There A North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Show?

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The North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Association is hosting its annual fall poultry show on Saturday, November 4, at the Carolina Beach Convention Center. Organizers hope to attract poultry enthusiasts from across the state. The poultry industry in North Carolina contributes to the state’s economy and has an economic impact of over $36 billion. Despite a recent consolidation of poultry businesses, the state remains one of the top producers of turkeys and chickens in the country.

Is There A North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Show?

Is There A North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Show?

How Does North Carolina’s Poultry Industry Create a $36 Billion Economic Impact?

The poultry industry in North Carolina contributes to the state’s economy in both direct and indirect ways. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew killed tens of thousands of chickens and dumped fifteen inches of rain on the state’s coastal plains. More recently, Hurricane Florence killed 3.4 million birds and washed ammonia-rich litter into North Carolina’s rivers and lakes. The Nature Conservancy and the University of Arizona have studied these heavy rains and their impact on poultry production in North Carolina.
North Carolina is the third-largest poultry producer in the United States, and it exports billions of pounds of chicken annually. Despite the industry’s economic impact, environmentalists are worried about the waste byproducts produced by chicken farms, which is dry and can easily make its way into waterways. The Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper estimate that North Carolina poultry farms produce more than five million tons of waste annually, which is five times more than hog farms.
In North Carolina, poultry producers raise about 500 million chickens, turkeys, and hogs every year. While there are no official state records to help trace the number of industrial-scale poultry farms, the Environmental Working Group uses satellite imagery and aerial surveillance to track farms across the state’s 17 watersheds. The group also tracked hog waste lagoons, which hold 10 billion gallons of waste.
The poultry industry in North Carolina creates more than a dozen jobs, including those related to chicken processing. In total, the industry generates $36 billion in direct and indirect economic impact in the state. The state has adopted the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires utility companies to generate RECs and encourages the development of renewable energy facilities. The standard also promotes job creation and removes animal byproducts from waterways.
The environmental impact of the poultry industry is significant, with the potential to affect air quality and water quality. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nutrient-fed algal blooms pollute water and cause aquatic nuisances. The resulting algae blooms also affect fish and other aquatic life and are toxic to humans and livestock.

How Does North Carolina's Poultry Industry Create a $36 Billion Economic Impact?

How Does North Carolina’s Poultry Industry Create a $36 Billion Economic Impact?

Discover the Size and Scope of North Carolina’s Chicken and Turkey Production

The state of North Carolina is one of the nation’s top producers of chickens and turkeys, and its annual Fall Poultry Show is a major highlight. Although poultry farms are not as visible as hog farms, some have negative impacts on neighboring communities. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization, has found that poultry farms can negatively impact the environment and property values.
North Carolina is also one of the nation’s leading producers of hogs. According to the state department, the state had 9.3 million head of hogs as of Dec. 1. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s poultry industry produces approximately 78 million broiler-type chickens each year. Most chickens and turkeys are raised in large buildings, and a single poultry farm can have up to four chicken houses. Each house can house between 25,000 and 35,000 birds.
The poultry industry in North Carolina has suffered from several major disasters in recent years. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew killed several million chickens and washed ammonia-rich litter into waterways. In October 2018, Hurricane Florence killed 3.4 million birds, and several rivers were at major flood stage. A study by the University of Arizona and the Nature Conservancy has revealed that these events have caused significant damage to North Carolina’s poultry industry.
The state’s Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, regulates poultry operations, but it is unclear what level of regulation is required. However, the state has passed a law requiring poultry operations to have a waste management plan and a three-year record of dry litter produced. However, state inspectors can only inspect a poultry operation after receiving a complaint.
While North Carolina is home to a large number of poultry farms, the industry has also been growing in the state in recent years. In fact, four of the largest producers of chicken and turkeys in the country are in the state. Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride, for example, process most of the chicken and turkey sold in the United States. These two companies subcontract the production of chicken and turkey to hundreds of operators. The production companies control the types of poultry, feed, and slaughter of the birds. They also spread their waste on the land and local waterways, which can affect runoff.

Discover the Size and Scope of North Carolina's Chicken and Turkey Production

Discover the Size and Scope of North Carolina’s Chicken and Turkey Production

How Does Poultry Show Participation Impact Nutrient Runoff Into The Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers?

The Neuse and Cape Fear rivers are part of North Carolina’s largest watershed. Together, the two rivers drain 6,000 square miles and contain almost 400,000 acres of estuary and creeks. Both rivers are responsible for drinking water supply for cities and counties throughout the region. Fortunately, these rivers do not suffer from high nutrient levels.
Scientists have studied the Neuse River for decades and agreed that there needs to be more protection for this important waterway. However, the state has taken steps to improve the water quality. A new rapid response team was created by state lawmakers to deal with fish kills, and a Clean Water Trust Fund was established to help farmers and fishermen. Still, progress is slow, even in the 21st century.
Nutrient import data and river flows for the Cape Fear and Neuse River basins have been collected and analyzed. While they don’t reflect the actual amount of animal waste produced, they can give an idea of how much nutrient runoff is contributed to these rivers. According to researchers, in 1995, hogs accounted for 59% of the total nutrient inputs to the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers.
North Carolina’s DEQ is supposed to protect our environment and vulnerable communities from pollution. However, we don’t know exactly how many poultry operations are contributing to nutrient runoff into the Cape Fear and Neuse rivers. The state also forbids poultry operations from disclosing the location of their operations. However, poultry farms must submit a waste management plan to state regulators and keep records for three years of dry litter production. State inspectors only have access to these records if they receive a complaint.
Besides the poultry industry, other industries in North Carolina also contribute to the problem of nutrient pollution. In fact, poultry farms are now more polluting than hog farms. Environmental groups and the state legislature are examining poultry waste permits to make the industry more responsible for reducing pollution.

How Does Poultry Show Participation Impact Nutrient Runoff Into The Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers?

How Does Poultry Show Participation Impact Nutrient Runoff Into The Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers?

How Has the North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Association Changed in Recent Years?

The North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Association (NCCPA) Fall Poultry Show has been consolidated over the years to create a larger event. The event attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year and is now a prestigious event in the poultry industry. The statewide association specializes in showcasing the newest breeds of poultry. Since its inception, the association has grown to include over 200 exhibitors and is now one of the largest poultry shows in the Southeast.
Despite the consolidation of the show in recent years, poultry farms continue to grow in North Carolina. The state’s poultry industry is responsible for more than $36 billion in direct economic impact, supports over 125,000 jobs, and contributes over 40 percent of the state’s farm income.

How Has the North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Association Changed in Recent Years?

How Has the North Carolina Cape Fear Poultry Association Changed in Recent Years?

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