Monday, August 31, 2009

Joe Christiana Food Distributors pleads guilty

Joe Christiana Food Distributors Inc. has pleaded guilty to three federal misdemeanor charges, according to a news report.
President of the Baton Rouge meat and poultry processor Joseph O. Christiana Sr. pleaded guilty on behalf of the firm and agreed to pay $20,000 in fines and $11,529 as restitution to
The charges, dating to 2007, involved hundreds of pounds of food products that were either stored under unsanitary conditions or improperly marked as inspected by USDA.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard L. Bourgeois Jr. said the tainted products had been confiscated and destroyed.

Perdue Farms streamlines hatchery operations

Perdue Farms, Salisbury, Md., plans to invest $3.7 million to expand production at a hatchery on Delmarva and another in eastern North Carolina. The investment is expected to increase hatch production by 40% at one of the company's Salisbury, Md., hatcheries and nearly double hatch production in Kenly, N.C.
As part of the plan, Perdue will close its hatcheries in Showell and Bishopville, Md., in May next year. The company said it will offer the affected employees jobs in other Perdue facilities.
"The Showell and Bishopville facilities are outdated and require significant investment in facility maintenance and equipment to continue operating," said Mike Roberts, president of Perdue's food products group. "Maximizing production in our hatchery operations is in line with our ongoing strategy to improve asset utilization and competitiveness," he said.
Perdue farms is the third-largest broiler producer in the U.S. and produced 54.81 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken weekly in 2008, according to WATT PoultryUSA's annual rankings.

Friday, August 28, 2009

National Farmers’ Union meeting to review broiler directive

UK’s North East National Farmers' Union will convene a meeting for the region's chicken producers on September 2 to discuss proposed changes to the European Broiler Welfare Directive, reported. The meeting will be held at the NFU regional office in York.
Rob Newberry, NFU's chief poultry advisor, will brief participants on the latest negotiations regarding the directive and the organization's actions to ensure that the changes do not adversely affect UK producers. The changes are slated to come into effect next year.
Other welfare initiatives such as plans to develop a national campylobacter strategy, and the latest on cost and responsibility sharing for animal diseases, will also be discussed.

Ho Chi Minh City sees drastic drop in chicken imports

Streets in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City have been flooded with frozen chicken imports which are cheaper than the poultry available at the chicken stalls or the fresh chicken sold at supermarkets, according to VietNamNet Bridge.
Controls on imported chicken have been tightened by the government. The Director of region 4's animal health agency said that the volume of frozen meat arriving at HCM City ports has been decreasing sharply. Previously, 50-60 consignments of meat were quarantined for customs clearance. Now only one consignment leaves the ports per day.
During the first 20 days of August Vietnam imported 3,000 metric tons of poultry meat compared to 7,000 metric tons in July.
Importers are lowering prices further and some have begun cancelling orders. Analysts forecast meat prices to rise in October and November when the existing stock is sold.

Indian researcher develops vaccine for Newcastle disease

A vaccine to prevent Newcastle disease has been developed by Dr. J John Kirubaharan, an associate professor of Madras Veterinary College's department of veterinary microbiology, The Times of India reported.
The vaccine incorporates a new strain — the TANUVA D58 — of the Newcastle virus originally obtained from an unvaccinated village chicken. The strain has been bought for Rs 1 million (US$20,500) by Globion for commercial production.
The vaccine will help reduce mortality and prevent the spread of conjunctivitis among caretakers who handle the infected birds. It is thermostable and can be stored at different refrigeration temperatures.
The Indian Council for Agricultural Disease offered funding to develop an oral pellet vaccine for Newcastle disease in 1999.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Illinois promotes domestic food production

Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn has signed House Bill 3990 which establishes the Illinois Local Food Farms and Job Council. This body will promote domestic food production in Illinois.
The tenor of legislation appears to favor small-scale and organic enterprises. The bill will provide funding and resources to promote locally grown food and to assist in processing and distribution to Illinois markets.

H1N1 isolated in breeder turkeys has human connection

A report in the Daily Influenza Digest confirmed that the influenza strain H1N1 isolated from breeder turkeys in Chile is identical to the 2009 novel pandemic influenza strain circulating in humans throughout the world.
The full genomic sequence is yet to be determined but the health secretary of Chile said the strain did not represent a mutation. The affected flocks showed a 70% depression in egg production.
Concurrent influenza-A infection among humans, pigs and turkeys in close contact has been recorded in a few countries, confirming that humans suffering from influenza or suspected of being infected should not have either direct or indirect contact with poultry or livestock.

Sanderson Farms posts Q3 gains

Sanderson Farms Inc. reported higher profits and sales for the third fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2009, compared with the same quarter last year. Lower feed costs and higher chicken prices contributed to the profitable quarter.
The firm's net income for the quarter was $43 million, or $2.09 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $3.6 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, during the third quarter last year. The net sales figure for the third quarter was $504.8 million compared with $466.9 million a year earlier.
"In addition to improved market conditions, our operations continued to perform well during the third quarter," said Joe F. Sanderson, chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. "Our Waco, Texas, facility has moved to full production and continues to operate well. We are also pleased to report that construction is underway at the hatchery and feed mill sites for our new Kinston, North Carolina, complex, and we will break ground at the processing site in September."

Registration is open for Poultry & Fat Seminar

The 2009 Poultry & Fat Seminar, sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's Poultry Protein & Fat Council, will be held October 8-9 at the Marriott Downtown in Atlanta, Ga.
The seminar will focus on the latest poultry production technology and managing techniques in converting poultry byproducts into valuable feed products.
Other topics include: the future of rendering, safety in rendering plants, a CEO's perspective on the importance of rendering, and plant operation management systems.
To register for the Poultry Protein & Fat Seminar, go to

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

USDA predicts rise in corn, wheat production

Latest crop production data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that corn-planted area estimates remain unchanged at 35.2 million hectare, 5% higher than last year, as reported in the
Wheat production is predicted to increase by 2.8 million metric tons to 659.3 million metric tons.
Chris Brown, wheat trading manager at
CBH Group, anticipates a downward pressure on world feed grain prices due to the rise in corn production.

US gears up for largest-ever soy crop

Drought damage to South Africa's soybean crop, a key U.S. competitor in soybean exports, could benefit farmers in the U.S., reported, quoting a grain analyst.
U.S. Department of Agriculture report forecasts the largest soybean crop ever and the second-largest corn crop.
Jon Cavanaugh, marketing director for Central States Enterprises Inc., said that China is importing nearly 42 million metric tons of soybeans. It is expected to buy 60% of U.S. soybean exports.
Cavanaugh has reportedly predicted soybean prices to hover around $9.50 a bushel but added that demand could push prices to as high as $12 a bushel.

US cattle feedyards face a weekly loss of $110 million

Cattle feedyards in the U.S. are suffering losses because the recession is forcing Americans to choose hamburgers over steaks, The Vancouver Sun reported. Economists predict that many feedyards will continue to close or downsize.
Jim Robb, an economist at the
Livestock Marketing Information Center, was quoted as saying that recovery from the huge losses during the first three months of 2009 will take a very long time.
The president of
AzTx Cattle Co., John Josserand, said that even promotional offers in restaurants and supermarkets across the country have not been able to sufficiently increase demand for the more expensive cuts of beef from grain-fed cattle.
Feedyards are incurring a $200 loss on every head of cattle sold. Industry-wide losses are estimated to be $110 million a week.
USDA data show that closures and the shrinking of feedyards has resulted in the lowest supply of cattle in U.S. in the last five years as of February 1.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Updated Poultry Executive Guide now available

The biggest headache for all poultry meat and egg industries has been the impact of the global financial crisis, which has brought about a marked slowdown in world economic growth with the accompanying adverse impacts on global output, trade and demand. The Executive Guide offers detailed analysis on a country-by-country and market-by-market basis.
Financial crisis hits production, trade and demand 3

Global recession impacts on buying behaviour 4
Growth in human population and GNI/person/year

Recession to hit meat production 12
World slaughterings/production
Chicken slaughterings and chicken
Chicken meat production ranking 2007 meat output
Broiler meat production - selected countries
Turkey meat production - selected countries

Major buyers purchase less chicken 22
World trade in poultry meat
Broiler meat exports - selected countries
Broiler meat imports - selected countries
Turkey meat exports - selected countries
Turkey meat imports - selected countries

Mixed fortunes for poultry demand 26
Chicken meat consumption
Poultry consumption - selected countries

Cage bans in the USA and EU will cut production 32
Layer numbers and hen egg production
Egg production ranking 2007

India a major player in egg exports 38
World egg trade

Mixed impact of recession 40
Egg consumption (supply)
Per capita egg consumption
Egg consumption

Bosnia, Herzegovina poultry slaughters up, sales down

Poultry farmers in Bosnia and Herzegovina have seen a major decline in poultry sales at markets in the first half of this year. In the same period, poultry slaughters increased year-on-year.
A total of 7.56 million head of poultry of a total net weight of 10,249 metric tons were slaughtered in abattoirs in the first half of this year, 6.8% more and 8.5% higher respectively than in the same period in 2008, according to Bosnia's Federal Statistics Office.
Sales of poultry and eggs at agricultural markets in the January to June period were 31.7% lower year-on-year at BAM1.98 million (US$1.45 million). Of this total value, eggs accounted for a value of BAM1.43 million (US$1.05 million), 39.3% lower year-on-year.

South Africa strives to improve poultry welfare

Recent allegations of animal welfare irregularities by a poultry breeder serving the egg farming industry in South Africa have led to widespread concern about poultry farming practices. In response, the Southern African Poultry Association has embarked on a number of actions aimed at reducing the chance of any such irregularities taking place.
According to Kevin Lovell, CEO of SAPA, association members agree to adhere to SAPA's Code of Practice, a series of guidelines and principles developed according to international standards. He stated that one issue of concern to many South African producers is that there is no economic use for male birds in an egg farming business.
Lovell says that local producers acknowledge that no country has yet found a satisfactory solution to the problem.
"Research being done in Australia and the USA seeks to alter the sex ratio of hatching eggs so that fewer male layer birds are produced. We welcome this research and hope that it will be successful and that the methods used will be considered acceptable by all parties," he says.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chile confirms H1N1 spread from humans to turkeys

Chile's health ministry has confirmed the first reports of the H1N1 virus spreading from people to turkeys on two farms, as reported by the Associated Press. The farms are located outside the city of Valparaiso.
The farms have been quarantined, the
World Health Organization has been alerted and all safety measures available are being taken to prevent further spread of the disease.
Institute of Public Health said that the detection of the virus raises the "possibility that this may happen in Asia or Africa under conditions of co-infection with H5N1 virus."

Production down for US turkeys

Turkey production in the U.S. for the first six months of 2009 is down 9.4%, totaling 2.8 billion pounds, compared to the same period in 2008, according to the most recent Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook from USDA's Economic Research Service.
The drop in production of turkey meat was primarily due to a decline in the number of birds slaughtered. During the first half of 2009, the number of turkeys slaughtered decreased 9.5% compared with the first half of 2008. There was also a small reduction in the average weight of birds going to slaughter.
During the first six months of 2009, the number of turkey poults placed for growout totaled only 141 million, down 9.6% from the same period in 2008.

Friday, August 21, 2009

AFIA urges climate change legislation review

The American Feed Industry Association has written to senators urging them to consider the effects climate-change legislation and cap-and-trade issues will have on the cost of food, feed and household products. The Senate will take up the issue later this year.
The letter was addressed to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairperson of the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the senior Republican on the committee.
In addition to AFIA, the letter was signed by the
American Meat Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the National Meat Association and the National Turkey Federation.

Monsanto unveils new strain of seeds

Farmers will have to pay about 42% more from 2010 for Monsanto Co.'s new genetically modified seeds Roundup Ready 2 Yield. These soybeans will cost farmers an average of $74 an acre, Bloomberg reported.
The original Roundup Ready soybeans will cost $52 an acre. Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean seeds were planted on 1.5 million acres this year with acreage forecast to reach 8 million acres next year in the U.S.
SmartStax corn seeds, developed with
Dow Chemical Co., will cost $130 an acre, 17% more than the YieldGard triple-stack seeds they will replace. SmartStax corn seed will be planted on as many as 4 million acres in 2010, its first year on the market.
The new seed boosts yields 5-10% compared with other products, partly by reducing the amount of land that must be planted with conventional corn to 5% from 20%, Monsanto said.

Mexico faces worst drought in 40 years

Mexico is facing its worst dry spell in 40 years, a situation that is threatening the country's crop and livestock production and ultimately its food security, according to SourceMex.
The drought, which has affected almost all regions of Mexico, has already caused irreparable damage to more than 1.5 million hectares of cropland and another 809,000 hectares of crops are in danger if rains do not arrive soon.
Conditions were already bad early in the year because precipitation had been spotty in previous months, but the extreme dry conditions during July might have doomed a lot of Mexico's crop production.
Mexico received just 99.1 millimeters of rain in July, making it the second-driest July since records were first kept in 1941. Corn, beans, sorghum and wheat are among the crops that could be lost.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How reduced cereal grain quality impacts feed

All grains produced locally in Saskatchewan, Canada this year are at risk for frost, and if not frost, sprouting because of the late harvest due to an exceptionally cool growing season. But feed grains that producers buy that may have been frozen, harvested immature or sprouted, may provide an opportunity as these crops can provide good feed quality for pigs, says Dr. Denise Beaulieu in Farmscape.
"Using and being on the lookout for low-quality grains is a good option for producers. Using byproducts and alternative crops is another way that they can decrease their feed costs," said Dr. Beaulieu, a research scientist with the Prairie Swine Center.
The scientist states that freezing and or sprouting of grains doesn't always decrease feed quality as such grains can be a very good source of both energy and protein for pigs. But that said, producers need to be looking for mould and mycotoxins, particularly if the grain is harvested immature or wet. As a result, she recommends that grain be tested.
One of the major challenges in using damaged grain, Dr. Beaulieu says, is that its digestibility is difficult to predict. "Looking at predictive equations will be something that we are looking at in our research to see if they are applicable to this year's crops," she says in the article.

New service for testing bacteria in poultry, pork

MDT Molecular Diagnostic Testing has provided a testing service for veterinary surgeons and the pig and poultry industries. Based at Craven Arms in Shropshire, England, it uses the polymerase chain reaction method to detect DNA and RNA in bacteria and viruses from a variety of tissues.
According to the company, the new tests offered by MDT can detect non-viable micro-organisms from tissue, throat swabs, blood and feces that may not have shown up in previous tests and distinguish different groups and strains of bacteria.

Russian pork, poultry production on rise

Efforts by the Russian government to increase domestic meat production to replace imported meat on the domestic market appear to be succeeding, with both pork and poultry production showing increases in the first half of this year as compared to the same period in 2008.
Russia produced 4.1 million metric tons liveweight of meat in the January to June period, a year-on-year increase of 6%. Pork and poultry production increased by 8% and 12% respectively year-on-year in the first half of this year. Russia's agriculture minister, Yelena Skrynnik, said the increase in meat production should facilitate a reduction in meat imports of more than 25%.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

China’s poultry, egg prices decline

The average price of Chinese live chicken weighing 1 to 1.5 kilos decreased to 16.52 Yuan (US$2.42) per kilo in late July, a drop of 0.56% compared to late June, and 3.35% compared to the same period of last year, according to the Beijing-based China Animal Agriculture Association.
The data from CAAA also shows that China's chicken meat price only reached 14.08 Yuan (US$2.06) per kilo in late July, dropping by 0.65% compared to late June and 5.45% compared to 2008.
In July, China consumed a total of 15,200 tons of eggs for 5.97 Yuan (US$0.87) per kilo, according to Beijing's Although the egg sales volume in China increased by 7.7% compared to July 2008, its price of each per kilo fell by 3.6%, said the report.

Marfrig ends talks with Bertin

Talks between Marfrig and Bertin, which started in May, have ended and there will be no merger between these two major Brazilian meat processors, according to Bloomberg.
If the merger had taken place, the new company would have become Brazil's largest meat processor, overtaking JBS.
Marfrig is the world's fourth-largest meat processor, and in the last two years has become a major poultry processor in Brazil and Europe, through the purchase of other companies. Marfrig is now Brazil's fifth-largest chicken processor, and it also owns Moy Park's poultry processing operations in Europe.

Top six egg-producing states announced

The top six egg-producing states in the U.S. have a total of 157 million hens. This represents 56.7% of the average U.S. hen population of 276.9 million for the first six months of 2009.
Hen complements in each state and the percentage of U.S. population are as follows:

Iowa, 52.8 million hens, 19.1%
Ohio, 26.7 million hens, 9.6%
Indiana, 23.2 million hens, 8.4%
Pennsylvania, 21.4 million hens, 7.7%
California, 19.4 million hens, 7%
Texas, 13.5 million hens, 4.9%

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mar-Jac Poultry faces non-compliance penalty

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration could slap Mar-Jac Poultry Inc. with $379,800 in penalties for violating safety and health regulations at its Gainesville facility, according to
The violations include failure to update its hazard analysis at five-year intervals as required; establish specific procedures to maintain the integrity of poultry process equipment; and institute equipment and procedural changes for the ammonia refrigeration system in 2004, 2005 and 2008. In all, the company has been cited with 37 serious violations.
Mar-Jac has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Sign up for the free WATT Online Poultry Nutrition, Health Forum

Sign up now at for the WATT Online Poultry Nutrition and Health Forum to be held Wednesday, 18 November, 2009. This free virtual forum includes five world-class presentations and live Q&A sessions on the latest poultry nutrition issues.
This is the second annual online event where poultry nutritionists, veterinarians, production/husbandry managers, technical consultants and manufacturers of animal health products, feed ingredients and feed additives can engage in real-time interaction via chats, group chats, e-mails, Twitter or the exchange of electronic business cards by making use of any available local internet access.
New for this second annual event are special event hours to accommodate participants worldwide: 03.00 hrs to 18.00 hrs (-6 GMT), 3 a.m. CST – 6 p.m. CST.
Hours are flexible. Participants can log-in and out of the forum as their schedules allow. Participants can also attend the archived version for 90 days after the show.
For more details and to sign up for this free event, visit

Monday, August 17, 2009

Krueger receives Poultry Pioneer and Legend Award

The American Poultry Historical Society has honored Dr. W.F. Krueger, a former faculty member at the department of poultry science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with the Poultry Pioneer and Legend Award, according to a news report.
Krueger, who retired in 2006 after 53 years of services, is credited with having worked on genetics and poultry management systems. He also trained the
Texas A&M Poultry Judging team which won multiple national championships.
The award honors individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to the poultry industry.

Friday, August 14, 2009

IPC annual meeting set in Australia

Dr. Barry O'Neil of New Zealand, former president of the World Organization for Animal Health, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming annual meeting of the International Poultry Council, held October 29-30 at the Quay Grand Hotel in Sydney, N.S.W., Australia.
Dr. Peter Ben Embarek of the World Health Organization's Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases, will also be among the speakers at the IPC meeting.
The Australian Chicken Meat Federation will host the event.
Registration fee for the meeting is $500 (350 Euros), which includes lunches, a group dinner and refreshment breaks.
Registration information is posted on the IPC’s website, at For further details, contact Executive Secretary George Winn or Toby Moore.

Genetiporc, Designed Genetics Inc. partner

Genetiporc and Designed Genetics Inc. recently formed a strategic alliance aimed at marketing their respective products and programs in targeted Canadian, U.S. and international markets.
The companies will remain independently owned and directed.
Genetiporc customers now have access to a broader range of specialized sire lines.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Biomin focuses on YouTube presentations

A new video channel devoted entirely to mycotoxins has been created on the social media site, YouTube.
Mycotoxin Channel, developed by BIOMIN, provides information in the form of short webinars where industry professionals address specific questions, says the company.

UK chicken plant announces 95 job cuts

The Devon-based Lloyd Maunder chicken processing plant, has announced job cuts that will affect 95 workers, the BBC reported. Approximately 500 will remain with its workforce.
The UK plant, part of the
2 Sisters Food Group, said reduced demand for barbecue products prompted the decision.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Poultry legends to be honored

Don Tyson of Tyson Foods Inc., Frank Perdue of Perdue Farms, and Earl Olson of Jennie-O Foods will be inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame on October 27, 2009, alongside 18 other individuals.
The 21 new members were chosen in a vote by the Hall's Board of Trustees from among more than 70 executives, researchers, innovators and association leaders across all sectors of the meat industry.

CSF discovered in Lithuania

An outbreak of classical swine fever has been reported on a pig farm in Lithuania. It involves a breeding unit with 445 pigs.
All pigs from the infected farm have been culled and rendered and all small holdings within the 3-km protection zone (27 keepers who keep 41 pigs) and within the 10-km surveillance area (46 keepers with 71 pigs) were inspected, with no further clinical signs observed, as yet

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Report shows UK’s dairy farmers meeting green targets

U.K. dairy farmers are sharing greater responsibility for environmental issues, the National Farmers’ Union stated, quoting the Milk Roadmap: One Year Down the Road report.
Almost 45% of them participated in an environmental stewardship program, 47% adopted a nutrient management plan, 40% plan to increase water use efficiency and 32% are trying to reduce emissions with new technologies, according to the report.
The changes are in line with the goals set by the Milk Roadmap, which outlines ways in which dairy farmers adopt eco-friendly techniques while maintaining productivity.

The import of weaners could bring a new strain of MRSA into the UK

A new, multi-million pound programme to improve the health status of Britain’s pigs could be threatened by unrestricted trade in weaners from other EU countries, warns the leader of the country’s National Pig Association.
”We have just launched this project in Yorkshire and hope to roll it out across the whole country soon. Our producers will be working together in clusters on destock and mass vaccination schemes, which is a big task. We cannot afford to let this work be jeopardised by the import of a few weaners which may bring new diseases to this island nation from mainland Europe just for the sake of a few quick bucks,” said NPA director Stewart Houston.
The NPA was particularly concerned about the growing trade in imported weaners bringing a new strain of MRSA into the UK. It is reported that nearly 40% of the Dutch pigs have the MRSA ST398, which has not been seen in Britain yet, although it is said to be widespread in other European pig herds.
Houston said: “My personal belief is that the weaner trade is untenable, because of the serious risk of disease spread. I certainly couldn’t build up any sound business plan that relied on it.
“We would rather it did not happen, but if it has to continue, we want to find a voluntary way to regulate it.”
He said the NPA was already talking to producers and exporters in other EU countries in an effort to find a solution in the near future.

President Obama urged to save swine industry

The governors of nine key pork-producing states urged President Barack Obama to rescue the industry reeling from high commodity prices and disease scares, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The letter, sent Friday, July 7, urged Obama to buy pork worth an additional $50 million for government nutrition programs, withdraw the ceiling on the amount of surplus product the Agriculture Department can purchase, and expand export markets, primarily to China.
The request was signed by the governors of Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
The swine flu scare has cost pork producers $330 million in profits, the governors said, predicting that losses up to October could top $1 billion and cripple the rural economy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

NPIC offers info on pesticides

The National Pesticide Information Center is operated by the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology Department, Oregon State University.
The NPIC is a cooperative effort between OSU and the U.S.
Environment Protection Agency. Questions relating to the toxicity of pesticides, application of compounds and interpretation of labels can be addressed by the NPIC, seven days a week.
For more information, call +1.800.858.7378.

PAACO announces Poultry Welfare Auditor training course

PAACO will conduct the fourth annual training course for Poultry Welfare Auditors Oct. 6-8 in Raleigh, N.C., under the auspices of North Carolina State University.
For more information contact
Mike Simpson, executive director of the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization at +1.402.403.0104.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Web site for Ohio farmers

Ohio Farmers Feed the U.S. has launched a Web site to promote the states agricultural production. It offers visitors a virtual tour of egg, turkey, dairy and soybean farms, and texts regarding individual farmers.
To encourage a review of the site, Farmers Feed the U.S. is offering a competition with a 12- month supply of groceries as an incentive.
The site is sponsored by the
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the Ohio Livestock Coalition, the Ohio Poultry Association and five other agricultural commodity groups in the state.

Egg labeling type size requirements announced

The Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a circular stating grade and egg size declarations must now conform to letters of ¼-inch in type size. This has been done to harmonize federal and state regulatory labeling requirements in the U.S. The letter was issued under signature of Rex A. Barnes, Deputy Administrator Poultry Programs, AMS.
Questions relating to the directive can be directed to Charles Johnson, Chief Grading Branch or Roger Glasshoff, National Supervisor, Shell Eggs Grading Branch (202) 720-3271.

China bans meat imports from select US plants

China has banned meat imports from three U.S. pork plants and two poultry plants. Reuters quoted the USDA, reporting that no reasons had been given for this decision.
The pork plants are:
Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, N.C.; the John Morrell & Co. pork plant, Sioux City, Iowa; and the Seaboard Foods pork plant at Guymon, Okla.
The poultry plants are: Equity Group-KY Division poultry plant at Albany, Ky.; and the
Mountaire Farms poultry plant at Selbyville, Del.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New law increases FDA control

The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R.2749) was passed by a majority vote on Thursday, July 30. It specifies mandatory registration for products that come under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration.
It also gives FDA the power to recall as well as detain and seize food products.
Red meat, poultry and eggs, currently regulated by
USDA, are not governed by the new law.

Avian flu found in Minnesota turkeys

An unidentified commercial turkey flock in central Minnesota has been quarantined by the Board of Animal Health after routine testing discovered a strain of the avian flu virus, labeled H7N9, according to an Associated Press news report.
Minnesota Board of Animal Health Assistant Director Dale Lauer stressed that the avian flu strain found at the Meeker County farm was different from the strain that has caused problems in birds and humans mostly in Asia.
Lauer, a veterinarian, went on to inform that the strain of virus found at the farm didn't pose a threat to the general public but could cause mild symptoms in poultry workers, including mild eye infections and mild respiratory problems.
According to him, the quarantined flock was showing no signs of illness, but if left unchecked the virus could morph into a form that could be more pathogenic to the state's commercial poultry flocks. Minnesota is the nation's top turkey producing state.
Surrounding poultry farms in a three-mile radius have also been quarantined and will undergo the same routine testing and observation as the primary site.

US soldiers to teach poultry production in Afghanistan

A U.S. National Guard agricultural development team to be deployed in Afghanistan has been trained on poultry production techniques by University of Arkansas scientists, a news report stated.
The 1-45 Agricultural Development Team of the Oklahoma National Guard will impart poultry raising techniques to local farmers. The training will include treatment of common diseases, bird nutrition, breeder management and management of small flocks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TB outbreak at Ala.Wayne Farms poultry plant

Albertville, Ala., Mayor Lindsey Lyons met with Alabama State Department of Public Health representatives and city leaders of Albertville, Boaz and Guntersville to ease fears raised by reports of a tuberculosis outbreak at the Wayne Farms poultry processsing plant. stated one person at Wayne Farms was an "active case." Those who tested positive for the bacteria had been given preventive medication.
Speaking about the meeting, Lyons said he was pleased with the manner in which the Alabama State Department of Health was working to contain the bacteria. However, he added that he was disappointed because no one from the poultry industry attended the meeting.

IPE/IFE preregistration opens online

Online preregistration for the 2010 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo is open. Sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the American Feed Industry Association, the joint Expo is scheduled January 27-29, at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. The preregistration fee is $35. The preregistration deadline is January 8. On-site registration is $60.
To register online, go to Badges will be mailed to U.S. and Canadian attendees beginning in early September. International attendees must pick up their badges at the Georgia World Congress Center in the international business center. Registration for hotel accommodations at the 2010 International Poultry and Feed Expo is also now open.
Reservations may be made by going to the IPE website, and clicking on hotel registration. Attendees who need visas should obtain them prior to preregistering.
The deadline for requesting an invitation letter is November 27. Requests for invitation letters can be submitted by completing the request form found at Requests may also be e-mailed to, providing full name, company name, complete mailing address, and passport number, including issue and expiration date, in the body of the message.
For more information, contact: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, 1530 Cooledge Road, Tucker, Ga. 30084-7303; +1.770.493.9401; Fax: +1.770.493.9257; E-mail:

Report calls for detailing additives in enhanced meat

Manufacturers of enhanced meat products should specify levels of potassium and phosphates the meat carries, according to a report published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Overconsumption of potassium may cause irregular heartbeats or even heart attacks in dialysis patients while phosphorus could interfere with calcium absorption and heart function, the report said.
These findings were published after researchers analyzed the potassium and phosphate content present in 36 uncooked meat and poultry products — both enhanced and natural — bought from different retailers.
Eight out of 25 enhanced products reportedly did not list the additives on the food label. Enhanced meat has been a growing source of these minerals since a 1982 ruling regarding the additives from the
Food Safety Inspection Service, according to the researchers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WTO to investigate US/China poultry import ban

The World Trade Organization will establish an expert panel to look into whether a U.S. ban on the import of Chinese poultry violates international trade laws, as alleged by China, reported.
The decision follows a meeting of the WTO's dispute settlement body after China filed a request the second time.
U.S. meat companies support lifting the ban as they fear China might retaliate by banning U.S. imports. Trade groups said Chinese importers had already begun blocking shipments of U.S. chicken.
A statement posted on the Internet by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative's says: "We do not agree with China's assertions that the issue amounts to a discriminatory or protectionist measure.
"As we have stated, nothing in the measure identified by China prevents the relevant U.S. authorities from continuing to work together to reach an objective, science-based response to China's request for a declaration of equivalence with respect to poultry products."

Employees sue Columbia Farms for donning/doffing pay

Ten former employees of the Columbia Farms plant in Greenville, S.C. have filed a lawsuit against the company for refusing to pay overtime, according to a report.
The workers accused Columbia Farms of not paying them for donning and doffing time, which added 60-75 minutes to their shifts.
The chicken processing plant, a
House of Raeford, North Carolina, subsidiary, said it did not believe workers needed to be paid for donning and doffing.

Tray-less packaging reduces carbon footprint

Petaluma Poultry has introduced tray-less packaging that reduces volume by 73% and waste by 62% over conventional chicken packaging. According to the company, the new packaging allows 25% more items to fit into a shipping container.
John Bogert, the CMO of
Coleman Natural Foods, the parent company of Petaluma Poultry, said reduction in the amount of cardboard used, and the corresponding savings in fuel for transport, result in a smaller carbon footprint. "It makes sense for our customers, retailers and the environment," he said.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Georgia farmers to benefit from bioreactor

American Technologies Inc. Petroleum, a Vietnam-based firm, will introduce a newly patented aerobic bioreactor technology on poultry farms in Georgia, according to a news report.
The technology helps decompose waste to generate methane, which can be used to produce electricity. The bioreactor is capable of running on wood chips, manure and carcasses from the poultry farms.
It can decompose 504 metric tons of chicken manure, 1,500 metric tons of wood chips and 54 metric tons of defeathered chicken carcasses per cycle.
The manure can generate about 30,240 cubic meters of methane, which can be used to produce about 317,000kw/h of energy, the wood chips can produce about 15,120 cubic meters of methane, converted to about 159,000kw/h of energy.
A by-product of the process is nutrient-rich organic fertilizer, which is odor free and safe to handle. The technology helps reduce sludge and also eliminates the problem of groundwater contamination and waste storage, thereby helping farmers save cost on removal and tipping fees.

Turnaround for Pilgrim's Pride

According to a Monday, August 3 MarketWatch news report, Pilgrim's Pride reported posted a profit of $53.2 million, or 72 cents/share, for the quarter that ended June 27.
Pilgrim's Pride, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2008 and is reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, lost $52.7 million, or 75 cents/share, in the year-earlier quarter. Sales fell to $1.77 billion from $2.2 billion. Over the past nine months, Pilgrim's Pride has closed seven processing complexes, two distribution centers, and cut production.
Pilgrim's Pride is one of the largest U.S. chicken producers, along with Tyson Foods and Sanderson Farms.

Tyson turns a profit

Tyson Foods surprised investors on Monday, August 3, by announcing quarterly results far ahead of Wall Street's expectations, returning to profitability even as American consumers continue to trim their food-buying habits, according to a report by the Financial Times.
Tyson did caution, however, that U.S. demand for meat had not bounced back, and warned that the next three months were likely to be more difficult.
The results were welcomed by the company which has experienced a challenging year. Before the economic downturn started to affect shoppers' behavior, Tyson faced high grain prices, which dragged its chicken unit - and the whole group - into the red. Its derivatives trading unit made bad investments that resulted in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Tyson made net profits of $127 million or 33 cents/share, excluding extraordinary items, in its fiscal third quarter to June 28 – up from a loss of $43 million or 1 cent/share in the same period last year and well ahead of analysts' average forecasts of about 20 cents/share. Its revenues were $6.7 billion, in line with expectations.