Monday, November 30, 2015

New mycotoxin confirmed in US corn crop

A mycotoxin not previously seen in the U.S. corn crop this year was confirmed in corn in one state in the past week, according to Neogen’s Mycotoxin Report from November 23.
Zearalenone was confirmed in corn in North Carolina at more than 250 parts per billion.
Other mycotoxins that have been reported in the U.S. corn crop this year are:


  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • California
  • Kansas


  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • South Dakota
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota


  • Georgia
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
Last week, conditions were favorable for harvest, with temperatures near normal for most of the U.S. The upper Midwest saw warmer-than-normal temperatures and the Atlantic coast saw heavy rains.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 96 percent of the corn crop has been harvested. That is well ahead of the 88 percent at this time one year ago, and two points ahead of the five-year average.
Colorado is 8 points behind the five-year average for harvest completion at this time.

OptiBrut GmbH constructs new hatchery in Germany

OptiBrut GmbH and HatchTech have signed an agreement for the construction of a new turn-key hatchery project, which will be located in Emlichheim, Germany. The hatchery will be equipped with 28 MicroClimer Setters 115.200 and 12 units of HatchCare–the hatcher with feed and water–initially producing 500,000 day-old-chicks (d.o.c.), with a future increase to a total of 800,000.
Initiators of the project are Klaas Knol and Hans Groot Koerkamp, who both bring a wealth of experience with them in the areas of breeder and broiler management, animal nutrition and hatching. Knol said, “OptiBrut strongly believes in the huge German and Dutch market potential for the supply of stronger and healthier chicks. As a hatcher, we will use the unique HatchCare system, in which newly hatched chicks are completely supplied with the basic necessities of life: feed, water and fresh air. HatchCare allows them to use the residual yolk, which is full of extremely important nutrients, for organ and immune system development. The experiences at our own broiler farms have convinced us that early feeding and direct access to water results in significantly healthier and stronger d.o.c., and a strongly reduced need of antibiotics.”
After hatching in the tray, chicks end up in the HatchCare basket, which is free from unhatched eggs and egg debris. This provides chicks with 40% more free living space. The chicks will not have to go through separators, significantly reducing stress. Because they leave the egg in an illuminated space, chicks experience less stress when the hatcher door is opened. HatchCare is equipped with noise-reducing motors that help to fade stressful motor humming softly into the background. The combination of reduced stress and access to feed, water and fresh air, lead to a system that is fitting well into today's demand for animal-friendly production.
Joost ter Heerdt, commercial director HatchTech, said, “There is a strong tendency to substantially decrease the use of antibiotics and grow chickens under more animal friendly production circumstances. We are continuously researching and developing products that meet the industries’ and consumer expectations and are extremely proud and happy that OptiBrut GmbH has chosen HatchCare for their new project.”

Pure Breed and Aviagen mark 15 years of cooperation

Celebrating 15 years of Aviagen® and Pure Breed’s strategic relationship, Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen visited the company in Saudi Arabia and heard first-hand from its key distributor on new expansion plans.
A delegation of Aviagen senior representatives joined Henriksen as they met Chairman of Pure Breed Hosam Al Yousof and his team.
Pure Breed, the Ross® distributor for Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Yemen, provided a strategic overview on the company’s vision for supplying Ross 308 in the region and updated the Aviagen delegation on its investments in facilities, including its new feed mill—the only one of its kind producing heat-treated, biosecure feed for its own GP farms in the country.
Discussing the visit, Henriksen said, “This was a great opportunity for us to meet Hosam Al Hosam and the Pure Breed team, hear about their plans for the future and cement our long-standing relationship with them. This is our 15th year of working with Pure Breed and we look forward to our strong cooperation for many years to come.”
Pure Breed, currently exporting approximately 2 million parent stock to Yemen and the Gulf region, also focused on the restructuring of its Distributor Customer Focus Team to supply customer service to the Saudi industry with Aviagen’s support.
Al Yousof commented, “It was our pleasure to welcome Jan and the Aviagen team to Pure Breed to discuss our restructuring plans with them as well as our plans to work together in the future. We are proud of our continuous investment in our facilities which ensures we have the highest quality product and services on offer to the local Saudi customers as well as those further afield.”

Winners of Good Pig Production Awards honored

Compassion in World Farming, in association with the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), held its second Good Pig Production Awards at an event in Westminster, London on Nov. 18. Eight representatives of this year's 14 deserving winners from China were in London to be presented with their awards and to hear from experts in pig welfare and food industry leaders, including Sainsbury's and BQP.
China is currently the world’s largest producer of pigs, rearing an astounding 726 million a year– more than half the world’s pig population and five times more than that produced in the USA. Over 60 per cent of the world’s pork is consumed in China and this level seems set to increase with the inevitable population growth. In order to meet this demand, there has been a major shift away from traditional small-scale pig farms to large-scale intensive production1. Such scaling-up of production has been achieved by greater vertical integration in the supply chain and geographic concentration of production1, along with the use of highly productive breeds, intensive systems (such as sow stalls, farrowing crates, high stocking densities, and barren pens), and intensive practices (such as tail docking, and teeth-clipping).
It is precisely these practices that Compassion and ICCAW are educating against through the Good Pig Production Award, which recognizes Chinese producers for implementing higher welfare standards within their pig production systems.
Madame Xi, executive president of ICCAW, gave her comments on the Good Pig Production Award: “Before launching the Good Pig Production Award, not many people in China were aware of the Five Freedoms of animal welfare. Today industry experts, farm owners and even some consumers know more about pig welfare requirements such as no sow stalls, no teeth-clipping, no tail-docking, and the provision of appropriate bedding materials, all because of the Award. It is a remarkable change and demonstrates significant progress in China, the world’s largest producer of pigs. Moreover, it has resulted in a very positive effect on the global environment and sustainable agricultural development.”
Many large Chinese pig producers are already recognizing the benefits of higher welfare production with two 2014 winners demonstrating the successful implementation of previous commitments:
  • Sanmenxia Chuying Agri-husbandry Co.
  • Beijing Taixinfumin Pig Production Co. Ltd
The scale of production in China is vast – some individual companies have aspirations of producing or processing more pigs than the entire UK pig population (13 million). Compassion therefore believes that now is the time to build relationships with China’s pig producers to ensure that higher welfare production is at the forefront of their minds and to inform them of the criteria behind operating a successful higher welfare production system.
Compassion has worked with ICCAW and local experts in China to develop welfare codes (Farm Animal Welfare Requirements) for pigs, beef cattle and sheep, with the aim of encouraging best practice and improved farm animal welfare. These have filled the gap for animal welfare standards in China and additional welfare codes for broilers and laying hens are currently being developed.
Locally, ICCAW is working hard to set up supply chain connections between producers and retailers of higher welfare pig meat. Recent success has been the signing up of online retailer SFbest.
Dr. Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, summarizes the work and aims of the two partners: “Since 2013, our work in China has been intricately linked to our effective partnership with ICCAW and is largely centered on the Good Pig Production Award, which aims to stop the use of sow stalls and to promote the development of higher welfare systems and practices for both sows and meat pigs. To date, nearly 1 million pigs are set to benefit each year through our award winners’ policies.
“While ICCAW works in China to promote the award to producers, administers award applications and oversees expert panel visits to farms for verification, we at Compassion offer expert technical advice and provide opportunities for the Chinese pig producers to visit farms in the UK and attend expert seminars to gain best practice knowledge. Through study tours they accumulate the latest science-based and practical knowledge on pig farming and higher animal welfare production to help cement their own beliefs and encourage them to spread the word in China. It’s a huge job but the scale on which some of these farmers work means that if just one of them adopts and promotes higher welfare pig production it has an enormous impact.”
Good Pig Production Award winners 2015
5 Star Winners
  • Heilongjiang Dongnong Sanhua Pig Animal Husbandry & Food Co. Ltd 
  • Laiwu Breeder Pig Farm Co. Ltd
  • Hainan Dingan Nabowan Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd 
  • Yanbian Northeast Local Free-range Pig Development Co. Ltd 
4 Star Winners
  • Haerbin Xincheng Yuquanshan Breeding Co. Ltd
  • Jiangxi Shuosheng Ecological Agriculture Science & Technology Co. Ltd
  • Tongjiang Bashan Ecological Animal Husbandry Science and Technology Co. Ltd
3 Star Winners
  • Sanmenxia Chuying Agro-Pastoral Co. Ltd
  • Beijing Taixinfumin Pig Production Co. Ltd
  • Handan Furun Ecological Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd
2 Star Winners
  • Hainan Shengtai Agri-Husbandry Co. Ltd
  • Changzhou Fenghua Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd
1 Star Winners
  • Tianjing Hengtai Livestock Farming Co. Ltd
  • Zhong Dao Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd
1] FCRN ‘Appetite for change – Social, economic and environmental transformations in China’s food system’ Tara Garnett, Andreas Wilkes - February 2014

Tyson Foods net income nearly doubles in fourth quarter

Tyson Foods reported a net income of $258 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, nearly doubling the net income of $137 million the company reported during the same quarter of fiscal year 2014.
The company released its quarterly and yearly financial results on November 23.
For the fiscal year, Tyson reported a net income of $1.22 billion, a substantial increase from the net income of $864 million achieved during fiscal year 2014.
Tyson Foods’ financial report for fiscal year 2015 marked the first full fiscal year for the company after its acquisition of Hillshire Brands, which was finalized on August 28, 2014.
"Fiscal 2015 was an important year for Tyson Foods, because it proved that our house of brands gives us the ability to produce record sales and earnings in less than optimum conditions, all while successfully merging two large companies," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.
"Our business model is working. The Prepared Foods segment had a very strong performance in the first full year of Tyson and Hillshire coming together. The Chicken segment had an outstanding year. Pork produced solid results. Beef experienced a tough operating environment most of fiscal 2015, but the other segments more than made up for it.”

'HPAI – Lessons Learned' program planned for IPPE

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – Lessons Learned program, sponsored by the United Egg Producers (UEP) and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and held in conjunction with the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) on Jan. 28, will provide a valuable opportunity to learn about the recent outbreak of avian influenza in the United States from people who were actively involved in controlling the disease. Speakers will include experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as veterinarians from layer and turkey companies that were involved in the outbreak.
“The 2015 HPAI outbreak was devastating to the U.S. egg farming community,” said Chad Gregory, UEP president and CEO. “All sectors of the poultry and egg industry must be diligent in preventing the spread of future outbreaks, and this program will share important lessons learned.”
“This program will provide a timely reminder for our entire industry as we approach the spring migration period. Effective biosecurity measures are extremely important, now more than ever,” said John Starkey, USPOULTRY president.
Topics will include details on the factors that contributed to the spread of the virus and the efforts to develop vaccines for potential use in any future eradication efforts. Representatives of the commercial egg and turkey industries will provide valuable insight into the efforts required to control and eradicate the disease and give the audience an understanding of the challenges this disease provided to the commercial companies involved.
Registration for the program is $100 for registered IPPE attendees. For the full agenda, click here.
Registration for the program and hotel reservations through the Wyndham Jade housing block can be made by clicking here.

USDA requests more proposals for avian flu vaccines

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in its efforts to prepare for the potential return of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), is issuing its second request for proposals (RFP) for vaccine manufacturers with the interest and capability to supply a variety of Eurasian H5 (EA H5) vaccines in sufficient numbers to add to the emergency stockpile.
APHIS has not approved the use of vaccine to respond to HPAI to date; however, the Agency is preparing to ensure that vaccine is available should the decision be made to use it. Any decision to use vaccination in a future HPAI outbreak would require careful consideration of the efficacy of the vaccine, any impacts of using HPAI vaccine in the field, and the potential trade impacts. In response to the first RFP issued in August, APHIS awarded contracts for doses of two vaccines for the EA H5 virus strain, which became part of the National Veterinary Stockpile.  Those approved contracts were awarded to Ceva and Harrisvaccines.
Vaccines will be carefully evaluated on a number of factors including their efficacy against EA H5 viruses, and products must meet all of APHIS’ safety, potency, and purity standards.  All eligible products to be considered must be either conditionally or fully licensed or permitted at the time of submission.  Vaccine manufacturers will be evaluated on their ability to produce such vaccines in a timely manner in adequate numbers to meet the needs of the response.
Although no decision has been made to use vaccine in the event of a future HPAI outbreak, APHIS will continue to issue RFPs for vaccine manufacturers on a quarterly basis through September 2016, to allow additional products to be developed and considered for the stockpile should an HPAI outbreak occur.