New Map Shows Concentration of Factory Farms
Food & Water Watch Analysis Finds Livestock on Factory Farms Grew by 20 Percent in 5 Years
By Food & Water Watch
December 1st, 2010
A version of this piece originally appeared in CommonDreams.org.
Food & Water Watch today unveiled the newest version of its pioneering Factory Farm Map (www.factoryfarmmap.org) that charts the concentration of factory farms across the country and the impacts these massive operations have on human health, communities, and the environment. The interactive map illustrates the geographic shift in where and how food is raised in the U.S. and allows anyone to quickly search for the highest concentration of animals by region, state and county.
- In five years, total animals on factory farms grew by 5 million, or more than 20 percent.
- Cows on factory dairy farms nearly doubled from 2.5 million cows in 1997 to 4.9 million in 2007. Factory dairy farms growth in western states like Idaho, California, New Mexico and Texas shifted the dairy industry away from traditional states like Wisconsin, New York and Michigan.
- Beef cattle on industrial feedlots rose 17 percent from 2002 to 2007 - adding about 1,100 beef cattle to feedlots every day for five years.
- Nationally, about 5,000 hogs were added to factory farms every day for the past decade.
- The growth of industrial broiler chicken production added 5,800 chickens every hour over the past decade.
- Egg laying hens on factory farms increased by one-quarter over the decade.
- The average size of factory farms increased by 9 percent in five years, cramming more animals into each operation.
- In 2007, the average factory-farmed dairy held nearly 1,500 cows and the average beef feedlot held 3,800 beef cattle.
- The average size of hog factory farms increased by 42 percent over a decade.
- Five states with the largest broiler chicken operations average more than 200,000 birds per factory farm.
- Over a decade, average-sized layer chicken operations have grown by 53.7 percent to 614,000 in 2007.
Food & Water Watch (a Grassroots International ally) works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.