It's up to the farmers to retrofit when companies demand it. Swann said Allen farmers might have to pour more money into their buildings to get a new contract.
"Our serviceman from Perdue said their phone has been ringing off the hook because people have been calling, wanting to get on with them," he said. "But their houses don't meet Perdue specs."
Even for the in-demand grain farmers, upheaval in the poultry industry is unsettling. The integrators have long bought almost everything they produce to feed chickens in the region. Farmers don't want that customer base to vanish.
The same goes for suppliers, Chad Nagel said. His family's company — Nagel Farm Service — buys grain from farmers, stores it and sells it to companies throughout the year.
The Preston-based grain dealer has been doing business with Allen for three generations. Now it is one of the many creditors in Allen's bankruptcy case.
Nagel has watched the upward march of grain prices on the screen mounted in his office and worried about the consequences.
"It speaks to our way of life," Nagel said. "It's one thing that's allowed the U.S. to enjoy a standard of living above most of the rest of the world — we've got extra money to spend on Friday with our paycheck because a small portion goes to the grocery store. … It's a concern when you see a vital part of that formula take a hit."