The US's largest poultry company, Tyson Foods has stopped using wheat in its feed rations following the price of the commodity rising above that of corn.
"We bought some wheat earlier this spring but are not currently buying any due to the higher price levels," Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson recently told news agency Reuters."If the price spread between wheat and corn narrows some more, we may work it back into our feed ingredient formula."
The prospect of livestock feeders using less wheat and more corn threatens US corn supplies that are already set to drop to their lowest level in 16 years this summer. But some analysts say wheat's exclusion from feed rations will be short-lived.
The US Department of Agriculture has projected feed and residual use of US wheat for the 2012/13 marketing year that began June 1 at 230 million bushels, a 50 million-bushel rise from the previous year and the highest level in four years.
Until last year, Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures had not fallen below the price of corn for 15 years. But since June 2011, wheat has traded close to corn, often dipping below corn futures due to historically tight corn supplies.