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January 31, 2013

Plenty of Wings for Super Bowl Sunday

For more information on Newsline, contact: Cyndie Sirekis, Director, News Services, American Farm Bureau Federation, cyndies@fb.org.

 
If nachos, pizza and kielbasa just aren’t enough for your Super Bowl party, there is no need to panic. American Farm Bureau economist Matt Erickson says there are PLENTY of chicken wings available, no matter what you’ve heard. AFBF’s Johnna Miller has the good news.
Miller:Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the day Americans show their love for football, commercials and party food. In fact, our nation consumes more food that day than any other except Thanksgiving. So when a nasty rumor got out about a shortage of chicken wings for the big game, the media went into panic mode. Bur American Farm Bureau Federation economist Matt Erickson says there’s no need to worry. 
Erickson:We’re seeing chicken production about 1 percent down from last year. However, when you look at supplies for chicken wings, we’ve actually seen a 68 percent increase from this time last year. So, the wing supply, it’s there. 
Miller:You can look it up in the Agriculture Department’s monthly cold storage report if you need more reassurance. Erickson says it’s a demand issue. Apparently this time of year, folks prefer wings and drummies to white meat. But some have tried to intercept this story to rev up the food versus fuel debate.
Erickson:The fact of the matter is 40 percent of our corn does go to the ethanol plant, but when the ethanol producer gets their hands on that bushel of corn they also make um 2.8 gallons of ethanol, but they also make 17 to 18 pounds of dried distillers grains (DDGs) which livestock folks can use in their feed ration to feed their hogs or feed their feed their livestock. 
Miller:That includes chickens, if you’re into Buffalo wings, hogs if you’re into pepperoni pizza and beef if you’re all about some ribs or a steak. No need to choose between renewable fuels and your Super Bowl feast.
Erickson:You can do both. So the food versus fuel debate should be a food and fuel conversation. 
Miller:And just in case you’re wondering where most of the remaining 60 percent of the corn crop goes, 39 percent goes to animal feed, about 8.5 percent to exports and 10 percent to people food, from cornstarch to corn chips, that you can have with your salsa. Johnna Miller, Washington.
Miller:Newsline is updated Mondays and Thursdays by 5pm Eastern time. Thank you for listening.

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