An Iowa State University report concludes the poultry industry has brought a significant, positive impact on the state’s environment over the past 50 years. Hongwei Xin, an ISU professor of ag bio systems engineering, says the poultry industry’s environmental footprint has improved dramatically over the decades. “The total environmental footprint in 2010 was 54 to 63-percent lower than the environmental footprint in 1960,” he says.
The ISU study showed technology and efficiencies have allowed the poultry industry to use 72-percent less land for production in the state than it did 50 years ago. Xin says, “Looking at using the 1960 technology to produce eggs for 2010 would require 78-million more laying hens and 1.3-million more acres of corn and 1.8-million acres of soybeans.”
He says modern hens are producing 27-percent more eggs than they did in 1960, they’re living longer and they’re eating less, so the feed efficiency is much greater.
(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)