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US Chicken Merger Spells End to ‘Abusive’ Pay System for Farmers

  • Wayne-Sanderson Farms eschews tournament system in settlement
  • Biden Administration officials optimistic about future reforms
A Lohmann Brown chicken at a poultry farm in Sheffield, Illinois.

A Lohmann Brown chicken at a poultry farm in Sheffield, Illinois.

Photographer: Daniel Acker

A merger of two US chicken companies may transform how American poultry farmers get paid, as it does away with a compensation system criticized as unfair and abusive.

As part of the conditions US government officials set for the combination, Wayne-Sanderson Farms -- the merger of the sixth- and third-largest American chicken producers -- won’t be able to use a so-called tournament system to pay growers.