- The Georgia Department of Agriculture will not be publishing its weekly Georgia Dock chicken-price index this week, the first time in 16 years that the industry pricing benchmark won’t be released, according to an article in Bloomberg.
- The reliability of the report has been scrutinized in recent months, and saw a "significant reduction" in participants after new reporting requirements were established to hone the system.
- Some of the largest U.S. producers were recently named as defendants in a series of lawsuits accusing collusion to control supply and drive up prices.The index has also been criticized by the report's director in the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
The scrutiny first came to light in a Wall Street Journal article, which questioned how the report was being formulated, noting that several times recently, prices were 30-60% higher than comparable price quotes from other major indexes published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private services.
Most of the major chicken manufacturers have reported they are complying with the pricing guidelines and some in the industry believe that it’s only a matter of time until things are back to normal. However, industry insiders reveal that Georgia Dock plays only a small role in sales, so even if it takes a while to sort out, the report's hiatus from publishing shouldn’t be that impactful.