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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Costco Project in Nebraska Encounters Opposition


Progress has been made in completing the industrial components of the Lincoln Premium Poultry project based in Freemont, NE. to supply Costco with rotisserie chickens. Shortly after Labor Day, a token quantity of broilers were processed mainly to establish that machinery was functional and to train workers.

There is still considerable opposition in rural areas regarding permitting of grow-out farms.

 The projected total production volume will attain 2 million birds each week and 70 out of the 125 growers have either signed with the company or expressed an interest.  Thirty growing sites are under construction.  Opposition to the project which will consume corn and soybeans produced in Nebraska and offer employment has resulted in delays in approval of farms.  As of the end of August, approximately 40 grow-out farms were approved but solid opposition is in evidence in many counties.  Advocacy groups opposed to intensive livestock production have demanded a moratorium on CAFOs in some counties.  These groups cite unrealistic and unsubstantiated claims intended to impede granting of permits to erect farms. 


It appears that a North Carolina company, Gallus Capital LLC intends to erect 132 grow-out houses which opponents maintain is contrary to the concept of family farming originally proposed by Lincoln Premium Poultry LLC acting on behalf of Costco Wholesale Inc.  The original plan called for 100 or more farming families to raise broilers in four-barn farms but only 70 farmers have been contracted.  Gallus Capital intends erecting 10 to 16-barn operations each holding 45,000 birds.  The petition demanding a moratorium on CAFOs has been criticized by Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts who referred to supporters of the initiative as “radical anti-agriculture groups” according to an article by Leah Douglas in Fern’s AG Insider published on September 10th.


In reviewing the plan for location of farms in eastern Nebraska and adjoining western Iowa, it is evident that the complex will deliver chicks and feed and transport live broilers to the Freemont plant over long distances.  Farm locations over 70 miles from the Fremont plant and feed mill are far in excess of the range in the southeast and will add to operating cost and stress on broilers.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane