The U.S. saw a “massive” reduction in organic broiler slaughter in April, creating serious implications for the rest of the organic food supply chain, according to the Monthly Market Update from Mercaris.

USDA is reporting a decline of 24% year-to-year for organic poultry, a number that would also impact organic meat supply as well as feed demand and commodity prices, Mercaris reports. April’s decline alone represents about 2% of last year’s total organic broiler slaughter. In comparison, conventional U.S. young chicken slaughter saw a decline of only 3% compared to April 2019.

“A lot of attention has been paid to plant closures and production disruptions in general, but little focus has been paid to the organic sector specifically,” said Ryan Koory, Director of Economics at Mercaris. “The 24% reduction in USDA reported organic poultry slaughter is many times larger than the conventional slaughter’s 3% reported reduction.”

“So far, the data has offered more questions than answers,” Koory said. “If these broilers were processed into meat, then what caused such a deep cut in the official slaughter data? Answers to these questions are crucial, and Mercaris will continue to provide insights as more information becomes available.”

The March Monthly Market Update features major supply and demand factors for organic grains including organic livestock production and year-to-date import data for organic corn and soybeans. For more information, visit

Source: Mercaris