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Windbreak Plant Species for Odor Management around Poultry Production Facilities

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The U.S. poultry industry is the world's largest producer and second largest exporter of poultry meat. U.S. consumption of poultry meat (broilers, other chicken, and turkey) is considerably higher than beef or pork. Considering overall animal production in the U.S., the total number of chickens per farm has increased considerably. This national trend of producing more chickens on fewer farms is especially evident in the state of Maryland. From 1974 to 2002, while the number of broiler chicken farms decreased by 37 percent, the number of birds produced increased by 86 percent (National Agricultural Statistical Service). While poultry producers are increasing the efficiency of their operations Maryland has been losing farmland, in most cases to development. Maryland has lost 7.3 percent of the state's farmland during the last eight years, and in 2005 alone, the state lost 10,000 acres of farmland according to USDA's Maryland agriculture statistics office. This trend of farmland loss is at a rate almost four times that of the nation as a whole. The encroachment of houses on Maryland‟s farmland, combined with the trend toward more concentrated poultry, points to a much greater need for vegetative buffers.

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Original Publication Date:

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

Disclaimer: Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension or bias against those not mentioned.

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