MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WHNT) — The propane gas shortage the state is facing could have a direct impact on several northeast Alabama counties.
Poultry farms make up a large part of Jackson, Marshall, DeKalb and other surrounding county economies. Because the farms are so impactful Marshall County Economic Development President Matt Arnold says many other businesses depend on them. “You’ve got all the way from the farmers, the hatcheries, the slaughter facilities, the feather processing facilities, the feed mills, all that here, right in this area, right here in Sand Mountain,” Arnold says.
Those poultry farmers who use propane are directly affected by the shortage. One DeKalb County Poultry farmer who didn’t want his information released tells WHNT News 19 if this shortage gets bad enough he could lose 98,000 chickens. Arnold says that very issue could have major consequences on multiple county’s economies. “Just one hiccup can stop that entire process, that entire food chain if you will,” Arnold says.
In Marshall County many of the poultry farmers have switched to natural gas, so they aren’t affected by the shortage. However, in other surrounding counties several of those farmers use propane. Arnold says even though they’re in other counties, it will directly affect Marshall County. “You’ve got to consider that the plants, the production facilities, they’re taking in birds from everywhere,” Arnold says, “They’re not just taking them in from Marshall County.”
Several area chicken farmers who use propane tell WHNT News 19 they are doing okay and haven’t lost any birds as of yet, but this shortage is something they’re taking day by day.