Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Poultry courses offered at N.C. State University

In May 2010, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., will hold an international course on poultry production. Among the topics covered will be breeders, incubation and hatchery management and feed mill technology.
A short course on feed manufacturing will also be available. Both classes are offered through the Department of Poultry Science – Cooperative Extension.
The dates are: May 10–14, 2010, for the poultry production class and May 14–15, 2010, for the feed manufacturing short course
Registration runs from Jan. 7-March 30, 2010, and
is available online.

Shrubs, trees shown beneficial for poultry farms

Recent studies at Penn State University demonstrate that vegetative buffers can significantly reduce odors, dust and other factors impacting the immediate environment around poultry farms, according to the Poultry Science Association.
Findings include: dust reduction of up to 67% from a 5-row tree buffer; odor reduction of 46% to 54% from a 50-tree vegetative buffer; and the trapping of ammonia emissions with a variety of species. Other positive outcomes of the study were vegetation’s effectiveness in reducing Infectious Bronchitis transmission and its role in cutting energy costs by acting as snow fences and providing shade. The study was funded by grants from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Cal-Maine Foods posts loss for first quarter 2010

Cal-Maine Foods, the nation's largest egg producer, posted a net loss of $3.8 million on sales of $187.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, ending August 28, 2009. The loss compares to a profit of $11.1 million on sales of $206.9 in the corresponding period of FY 2009.
Net average selling price on 193 million dozen eggs sold was $0.92 compared to 170 million dozen which generated $1.14 in Q1 2009. The 19% decline in unit revenue was responsible for a decrease in gross margin from 19.6% compared to 9.7% in Q1 of 2010. During the quarter, Cal-Maine produced 80.9% (78.3% in Q1 2009) of eggs sold and increased sales of specialty eggs to 22.5% (17.2%) of sales. Feed cost per dozen declined by 22% to 35.7 cents from 45.8 cents in Q1 2009.
Fred Adams, Jr., chairman and CEO, in commenting on results stated, "All factors considered, our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were satisfactory." He added, "All of our operations are running smoothly and efficiently."
The company carries long term debt of $88 million with a LTD:equity ratio of 0.26 (0.34) and a current ratio of 2.2 (2.3) which indicates prudent management of risk.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama names chief agricultural negotiator

President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Isi A. Siddiqui, a prominent agricultural scientist, to be the U.S.'s next chief agricultural negotiator in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Presently, Siddiqui is the vice president for science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America. He previously was employed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture for 28 years and has also served the Clinton administration in various roles related to agriculture.
American Feed Industry Association expressed its support of the nomination.

Taiwan buys billions of US crops

A Taiwanese delegation signed a two-year agreement with the U.S. to purchase $3.5 billion dollars of agricultural products, according to reports.
The deal means tens of millions in sales of corn and soybeans from Indiana, according to officials from that state.

Rallies in Ohio for agriculture proposal

This fall 12 rallies will be hosted by Ohioans for Livestock Care/Yes for Issue 2 campaign across the state. The gatherings are designed to garner support for a ballot proposal that will determine whether the proposed Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board can be created.
The 13-member board would be made up of Ohio experts in animal care, food production, farm management and food safety. It would be responsible for establishing standards governing livestock and poultry care in Ohio. A goal of the board would be to ensure Ohio experts have control over animal care decisions, a point that organizers say is threatened by out-of-state groups.
Regional rallies are planned for the following Ohio communities: Ashland/Mansfield, Cambridge, Canton, Cincinnati/Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Sidney, Toledo, Findlay, Jackson, New Philadelphia and Springfield.

China poultry farm making most of waste

Minhe Animal Husbandry, a poultry farm in the Shandong Province of China, is creating green energy with chicken manure in a biogas energy plant, according to reports.
The operation includes an anaerobic digester system daily consuming 300 tons of manure and 500 tons of wastewater. The biogas is fed to three 1MW Jenbacher gas engines from the U.S.'s GE Energy.
Electricity from the biogas plant supplies the farm with all its energy, and extra power is fed into the grid. The plant is expected to generate 16.8GWh of energy per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 67,000 tons annually, according to the news article. Residual material can be used as fertilizer.
Minhe produces 3.7 million chickens annually and maintains 1.5 million chickens for breeding.
The plant has been registered under the UN's clean development mechanism plan.

NTF supports China export compromise

The National Turkey Federation and its membership has said it favors a compromise from Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D.-Conn., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., that could permit cooked poultry products from China to be sold in the United States.
The agreement would ensure the
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service can proceed in conducting risk assessments of cooked poultry products from China and inspecting Chinese plants to determine their eligibility for export to the United States, according to NTF President Joel Brandenberger. The House and Senate conferees have agreed to include this provision in the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.
China is the second-largest foreign purchaser of U.S. turkey products, and it has expressed its strong opposition to a provision authored by DeLauro in last year’s appropriations bill preventing USDA from proceeding with a risk assessment and plant inspection.
The agreement allows FSIS to begin conducting risk assessments, inspecting Chinese plants and making science-based determinations about the equivalency of Chinese food safety systems. However, several key provisions must be met for product to enter the country. The agreement will require significant reporting to Congress but gives the Secretary of Agriculture the discretion to administer the program in accordance with established procedures for all other countries.

Monday, September 28, 2009

National Pasteurized Eggs offering salmonella-free eggs

Further expanding the nation's options for safe foods, National Pasteurized Eggs is now producing cage-free pasteurized shell egg to serve the foodservice industry and consumers throughout the United States.
Texas Tech University, located in Lubbock, Texas, is serving the cage-free pasteurized shell eggs that are free from salmonella, according to the company, to its faculty, guests and 28,000 students in its dining halls and other foodservice outlets. NPE's pasteurized shell eggs are processed using a Food and Drug Administration-approved patented pasteurization process recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inactivate the salmonella bacteria and avian influenza virus.

Iowa startup creates H1N1 vaccine for pigs

Sirrah Bios, the brainchild of animal science professor Hank Harris, has developed a vaccine to protect hogs from the H1N1 virus, according to reports.
The vaccine awaits a United States Department of Agriculture conditional license, expected in 2010, before it is commercially available.
The company was a grant recipient of Grow Iowa Values Fund which awarded Sirrah Bios $679,663.

Mountaire Farms converts to recyclable boxes

Mountaire Farms is converting to recyclable boxes for its product. This is a milestone for Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery, which has a goal of achieving 100% recyclable wholesale packaging through Hunt’s Point Distribution Center.
Mountaire Farms has started the switch over to FBA-certified recyclable boxes in its New York City and Lumberbridge, N.C. sites. Interstate Container is the supplier for the boxes. This conversion will result in the transition of 6,000 tons of poultry boxes per year servicing the New York City market alone. It is the environmental equivalent of taking 3,800 passenger cars off the road.
Further, the company is switching packaging methods from ice pack to modified atmosphere packaging, which will result in significant water and energy savings.

China-EU cooked chicken trade grows slowly

From January to May 2009, 1,752 tons of cooked chicken products worth US$5.4 million were exported from China to the European Union, shown in the latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce.
During the first five months of 2009, China’s actual exports of cooked chicken products failed to reach its expected amounts, due to strong competition from Thailand and weak demand during the global recession, said Huang Haiqian, analyst at Beijing-based China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce & Animal By-Products.
By last September, China’s cooked poultry products were not allowed to enter the EU market. As a result, domestic exporters, who were unfamiliar with the inspection system in the EU, had to slow down their exports, added Huang.
Currently, only nine producers from Shandong province are allowed to export cooked chicken products to the EU, and their exports account for less than 10% of China’s total exports of cooked chicken products, according to Huang.

USPOULTRY accepting award applications

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is accepting applications for the 2010 Clean Water Awards. The award recognizes outstanding water treatment plant performance in the poultry industry. Winners will be announced at the Association's Environmental Management Seminar in New Orleans, March 17-18, 2010. The deadline for submitting applications is December 31, 2009.
There are two categories for the award: one for full treatment facilities - those that fully reclaim their wastewater prior to discharge into receiving water or final land application system, and one for pretreatment facilities - those that discharge pretreated effluent to publicly-owned full treatment facilities.
An evaluation committee will review the application package and select two semifinalist facilities in each category. The review committee will then visit the semifinalist facilities to select the award recipients. The committee includes university personnel, industry engineers and managers, and state regulatory officials.
Award recipients will receive a trophy, be profiled on the USPOULTRY Web site, and receive assistance from the association in publicizing the award on a local, regional, and national level.
For more information, contact: Paul Bredwell:

Friday, September 25, 2009

NCC reports chicken wing demand high

The National Chicken Council (NCC) reported that the wholesale price of chicken wings is higher than the traditionally more expensive boneless, skinless breast. Recent prices in northeastern U.S. markets show chicken wings 35 cents per pound higher than boneless, skinless breast meat.
The price spread is unprecedented and attributed to the popularity of Buffalo chicken wings. Growing market outlets account for 9.5 billion wings expected to sell in 2009. Another 3.5 billion wings will be sold in retail grocery stores. Another factor for the upward demand on wings is the upcoming National Football League’s Super Bowl in early February. This event traditionally pushes wing prices higher in the fourth quarter of the year.

Increase needed in global meat output

World meat production will need to grow from a current level of 270 million metric tons per year to 470 million metric tons annually by 2050, to satisfy the rise in demand for food due to population growth and improving incomes.
So says the United Nations'
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It plans an expert forum on food supply options, ahead of the UN World Summit on Food Security that will be held November 16-18, 2009, in Rome, Italy.
A new FAO discussion document quotes updated UN projections that the world’s human population in 2050 will have grown to 9.1 billion, compared with the 6.8 billion people living today. Nearly all the growth in population is expected to take place in the developing countries, which will account for 72% of all meat consumption — substantially up from their present share of 58%.
Another UN estimate is that the proportion of the world population living in towns or cities will rise from 49% to approximately 70%.

Pig industry seeks more finishing pens

Pig finishing places are in short supply in Northern Ireland at present, according to attendees at the 2009 Northern Ireland Pig Event held near Belfast.
Old and empty barns are being re-fitted and restored at farms across the province, but especially in the counties of Tyrone and Armagh where most pigs are produced. There are even some farm owners contemplating whether to build an entirely new finishing house.
The main driver of this development is the change to contract production province-wide that has seen sow enterprises compete for finishing places at contracting units.
Visitors to the Pig Event heard that about two-thirds of all sows in Northern Ireland are now owned by just 25 businesses. Among them, they are calculated to account for almost 23,000 sows out of a provincial total of 36,500 sows.
Another illustration was provided to the meeting of the changes that can occur quite quickly within a pig industry. In 2008, it was told, nearly 1.29 million pigs were slaughtered at factories in the province and around 35% of these animals were imported from the Irish Republic. Data for 2004 had shown a very similar situation, with slaughterings of almost 1.31 million pigs including approximately 33% of Irish imports. But the four slaughterhouses then in operation were those of Grampian Country Pork, William Grant, Ballygawley Pork and Stevenson & Co. Takeovers and mergers have since altered this list so that only the William Grant name remains; the other three operators now are Vion Pork, Dunbia (Ballymena) and Foyle Meats.

China denies import blocks of EU pig meat

China has denied restrictions on pork imports from the European Union, Beijing’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on September 23.
EU health and food safety commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said yesterday that China recently started imposing curbs on EU pork imports, as Denmark, France, Italy and Spain were asked to prove the safety of their live pigs.
China still allows pork imports from these countries, but only asks for additional inspection out of H1N1 fears, according to Yu Taiwei, minister of China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
China imported 932,000 tons of pork last year, or 50.6% of total meat import volumes, says China’s Ministry of Commerce. Currently, China only imports pig meat from five countries, four of which are in the EU.

Pig breeders automate feeding data collection

PIC Australia, a pig breeding company, has recently completed the installation of Osborne Industries’ Feed Intake Recording Equipment (FIRE) Feeders at its New South Wales, Australia, location.
The system automates the data collection of feed intake and the weight of each meal an animal consumes. The device is equipped with an antenna, which reads an animal’s individual radio tag to track it specifically. The collected data is expected to improve the estimated breeding values in the genetic improvement program.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New corn varieties to be used in Brazil

Brazil approved two new varieties of genetically modified corn, according to reports, engineered to be pest and glyphosate-based herbicide resistant.
Monsanto and Syngenta developed the products.
A third, insect-resistant variety was also approved, making nine GMO corn varieties approved in Brazil. Approximately 30 percent of Brazil's 2009/2010 summer corn crop will be grown from a genetically modified variety.

China’s Origin closer to using new corn gene

Origin Agritech, a Chinese seed producer, may get government go ahead in 2010 to sell corn engineered with a newly licensed gene, according to reports. The herbicide-tolerant corn would compete with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops.
The product is working its way through China’s approval chain, said Irving Kau, vice president of finance at Beijing-based Origin Agritech. The Ministry of Agriculture is expected to see the product soon, with final approval in late 2010 or 2011.
It is suggested the gene creates a crop that can withstand higher levels of glyphosate herbicide application.
China is reportedly the second-largest corn producer in the world, after the U.S.

Dairy officials pledge to reduce emission levels

Representatives of the world’s dairy industries are set to sign a global declaration on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from milk production and processing, which includes an aim to achieve reductions from changes to feed manufacture and cow feeding techniques.
International Dairy Federation says the declaration, presented to the World Dairy Summit being held in Berlin, Germany, is called a Global Dairy Agenda for Action.
Signed by seven organisations on behalf of dairy associations and companies worldwide, it takes the form of an industry pledge to reduce carbon emissions against global warming. The declaration also seeks the support of policy makers to provide a supportive regulatory policy environment that recognises the important economic, social and environmental contributions of the dairy industry.
“This Agenda for Action represents an unprecedented level of cooperation across national borders and along the dairy supply chain. The global dairy community and its partners have pooled resources, knowledge and projects to achieve a more sustainable future,” said Povl Krogsgaard, deputy managing director, Arla Foods, on behalf of
Global Dairy Platform.
“From production of feed for dairy cows, to processing, packaging and distribution of milk, many elements contribute to the dairy industry’s commitment to reducing Greenhouse Gases (GHG),” said Richard Doyle, president of the International Dairy Federation.
“It makes good sense to reduce GHG emissions - it saves money and improves efficiency in production. This initiative encourages and shares new and innovative technologies and practices for including energy efficiencies on our farms, by food manufacturers and in our warehouses.”
To facilitate the industry’s efforts to reduce GHG and promote the long-term sustainable supply of milk and dairy products, the Global Dairy Agenda for Action is a five point commitment to:
*Promote the development of a standard methodology framework for assessing the carbon footprint of milk and dairy products based on robust science
*Promote adoption of world’s best practices within the global dairy sector and actions that:lead to the reduction of global GHG from dairy production on a per unit of production basis, promote the use of technologies and methods that improve the processing and distribution efficiency of dairy products, optimise economic, environmental and social outcomes for global dairy stakeholders, recognise different levels of development and local conditions, build on existing frameworks and knowledge, including for scientific advancement and technology transfer, promote decision making based on robust science, and complement initiatives in other areas of sustainability.
*Advance the establishment of tools to facilitate measurement and monitoring of emissions both on-farm and in dairy manufacturing
*Promote improved farmer understanding of agricultural emissions and opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on farm
*Support sharing information and aligning research efforts to develop cost effective mitigation technologies for both on-farm and manufacturing applications
The declaration is being signed by Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association, European Dairy Association, Pan-American Dairy Federation, Global Dairy Platform, International Dairy Federation, International Federation of Agriculture Producers and Sustainable Agricultural Initiative Platform.

Piglet weaning study released

Piglet producers may be able to save some money on their early feeding regime without compromising growth performance after weaning, according to trial results reported to the 2009 Northern Ireland Pig Event.
Dr Elizabeth Magowan from the
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute at Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, spoke at the meeting about a comparison of starting feed levels for pigs weaned at 28 days old and tracked to 10 weeks of age.
Benchmarking of creep feed usage by 60 producers locally, representing about one-third of sow numbers in the province, has been done by Greenmount College and suggests an average in practice of 6kg/pig of a starter-1 or first-stage creep diet followed by 10kg/pig of a starter-2 type.
But the institute’s studies found no significant improvement in growth or feed efficiency from giving each pig more than 2kg of a starter-1 formulation containing 16.5MJ/kg DE and 22.5% crude protein (1.7% lysine). Also, no performance advantage was seen for feeding over 6kg of a starter-2 diet in which the formula provided 16.25MJ DE and 21% crude protein with 1.55% total lysine.
Omitting the starter-1 feed did result in a poorer performance, however. Body weight at 10 weeks old was almost 2kg higher for pigs that had received 2kg of starter-1 before going onto the regime applied to all groups, which meant a 4kg allowance of starter-2 followed by a grower diet. Moreover, the feed efficiency of the piglets not allowed the starter-1 was 8% poorer between weaning and 7 weeks old.

New AI stud for Ireland

Ireland-based pig breeding company Hermitage will open another AI centre near its Kilkenny headquarters by the end of 2009, director Ned Nolan reveals.
He told Pig International magazine that the state-of-the-art stud at Callan will have places for 240 boars, taking the company’s total of AI boars in Ireland to 450, as it experiences a further surge in demand for semen supplies. It also maintains external studs in Germany (200 boars), Italy (180 boars) and the UK (160 boars). Additionally, Hermitage reports new exports of Hylean Maxgro nucleus/GGP animals to Canada and of dam-line purebreds to Japan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cherokee too late in suit against poultry producers

A federal judge ruled the Cherokee Nation may not be party to an Oklahoma lawsuit against poultry producers, according to reports.
U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frizzell said he would have allowed the tribe to intervene had the request been timely.
Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is suing 12 poultry companies, in a claim that chicken waste contaminated the Illinois River watershed.
The Cherokee Nation plans to appeal the decision.
Defendants in the lawsuit include Tyson, Cargill and Cal-Maine.

Hog producer against ethanol

Smithfield Foods CEO C. Larry Pope compared ethanol usage to “burning the carpet in your house to stay warm in the winter,” while speaking at a conference, according to reports.
Smithfield Foods, whose revenues exceeded $12 billion in fiscal 2009, has seen profits from hog production decline. Pope attributes this to competition for grain resources, a commodity also used by ethanol.

French companies enter international animal health, nutrition business

InVivo, a French agricultural cooperative group, has announced a new company called InVivo NSA (Nutrition et Santé Animales).
This move combines the animal nutrition and health divisions of InVivo and
Evialis companies. Together the business has 5,000 employees around the world and a turnover of EUR$1.4 billion.
The new operation will launch January 2010 and signals the organization’s move into the international arena where it will focus on compound feeds, premix and specialties and health and hygiene.

Monsanto expects corn, soy to be profitable

Despite cutting nearly 2,000 employees, Reuters reports Monsanto is set to introduce its new corn and soybean products next year.
These lines are projected to provide a third of gross profits in three years and expects a launch on 10-12 million acres. The new products are Genuity SmartStax corn and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans.
Further news that the company’s restructuring plan will provide significant cost cuts helped push Monsanto shares up 42 cents at $78.50 in pre-market trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canadian university to house chicken welfare center

The University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, will be home to a poultry behavior and welfare research center. The project is a joint effort of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Poultry Industry Council and the Canadian Poultry Research Council, according to reports.
The center seeks to build Canada’s intellectual capacity in poultry science. Experts who have studied topics, such as social behavior, sickness, transportation and housing and routine management procedures in poultry will convene at the center.

AEB reports increased use of egg products

The summer 2009 edition of Eggsaminer, directed to the institutional market, lists innovative products which increase the demand for liquid eggs. Some of the items noted include Weight Watchers Banana Nut Muffins, Eating Right Kids Frozen Entrée Line from Safeway and Healthy Choice Natural Entrees.
The AEB has issued a 2009 edition of the Egg Product Buyer’s Guide which includes nutritional information. Further information can be retrieved from AEB's Web site:

Tension with China has the state of Georgia concerned about its poultry industry

Trade tensions with China have Georgia state officials watching their largest industry, poultry, according to reports.
The U.S. government recently announced it will impose duties on Chinese tires, which it believes are being unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government. In a retaliatory move, China is examining whether the U.S. exports of poultry and auto parts are benefiting from unlawful subsidies.

Tenn. residents file suit against odorous chicken farm

A class-action lawsuit by homeowners in Morrison, Tenn., has been filed against seven defendants, including Tyson, according to reports. The residents are angered about the odor emitted from the chicken facility that houses 400,000 birds.
The suit contends the plant generates “noxious gases, smoke, dust, fumes and odors” that nauseate neighbors and force them to stay indoors away from the stench.
In all, 65 residents are part of the class-action lawsuit.

Buried poultry might pose risk to farmers

The Korean Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture announced recently that farmers in Korea are set to get better access to clean drinking water from tap water pipelines set up by the government. Fears exist, though, that groundwater might be contaminated by leachate, a liquid that drains from landfills that contain the carcasses of poultry culled during an outbreak of avian influenza in 2003.
Since the 2003 outbreak, poultry at 722 sites across the country were slaughtered and buried in accordance with laws for preventing the spread of contagious diseases among livestock.
Burial sites had to be five meters (16.4 feet) deep, filled with quicklime and covered with vinyl sheeting. According to experts, these sites are prime conditions for the formation of leachate, which would have to be extracted after a designated time of build-up. Without removal, the risk of tears in the vinyl sheeting and leachate contaminating surrounding land and water sources increases. In response, the Korean government assured that it would take steps to address experts' concerns.

Pilgrim's Pride files reorganization plan with US Bankruptcy Court

Pilgrim's Pride and six of its subsidiaries (debtors and debtors in possession) have officially filed a joint plan of reorganization and disclosure statement under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
As previously reported, Pilgrim's Pride and JBS have agreed to a transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately $2.8 billion, where Pilgrim's will sell 64% of its common stock to JBS for $800 million in cash.
The disclosure statement hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20, 2009, before the Bankruptcy Court. If the Bankruptcy Court determines the proposed disclosure statement provides adequate information to vote on the plan, then the statement and plan, along with the appropriate ballots, will be sent to shareholders to vote on the plan. Since the proposed plan of reorganization represents a 100% plan, with creditors being repaid in full, shareholders represent the only impaired class and will be the only group entitled to vote on the plan of reorganization.
Proceeds from the sale of the new common stock of the reorganized Pilgrim's Pride to JBS will be used to fund cash distributions to allowed claims under the plan. Under the terms of the plan, all creditors of the debtors holding allowed claims will be paid in full. All existing Pilgrim's Pride common stock will be cancelled and existing stockholders will receive the same number of new common stock shares, representing 36% of the reorganized Pilgrim's Pride in aggregate. The plan also calls for an exit facility for senior secured financing in an aggregate principal amount of at least $1.65 billion.
Read about how JBS will impact the U.S. poultry industry.
Read the JBS/Pilgrim's news story with commentary from Paul Aho.
Read the original buyout announcement.

Monday, September 21, 2009

All quiet on the Brazilian front

While the recent purchase of the U.S.’s Pilgrim’s Pride by Brazilian meat processor JBS has received a lot of coverage in the U.S., the reaction in Brazil has been much more subdued.
According to Fabio Nunes, consultant and expert on the Brazilian poultry industry, “I think that the Brazilian meat companies – poultry, pork and beef – are still trying to figure out what the short-, mid-, and long-term effects will be of these acquisitions for the Brazilian and the international markets.
“Presently the only press/public ‘reaction’ has come from the government side, due to its promising domestic and international perspectives.
“If we take a look at the production portfolio of JBS/Pilgrim’s only, the Brazilian companies dealing with chicken and pork seem to be immune locally, but may well be affected by Pilgrim’s presence in the international chicken meat market.
“However, when you add Bertin’s portfolio to JBS’, then you are looking at competing in other market segments, like dairy, where poultry companies like Brasil Foods (Perdigao) are also very active. This seems to forecast a future guerrilla war in different segments with different competitors,” Nunes says.
Regarding the possibility of JBS getting into the poultry sector in Brazil, Nunes observes, “JBS is a very low-profile company. Investing in the chicken business in Brazil is a real possibility, but we’ll only know of the deal at the very last moment.
“Among the top local poultry companies only Doux Frangosul has some attractiveness, holding about 6% to 7% of Brazil’s annual slaughter. However, Doux made it clear recently that it is not for sale.”
As to the reaction from Brazilian consumers, Nunes says, “I don’t think Brazilian consumers are aware of what happened in terms of business magnitude, or the impact on the market. Beef in Brazil still is massively sold in butcher shops or meat counters in supermarkets and mostly tray-packed and unbranded. They may well come from these big guys, but it is unknown to the regular consumers.
“However, the supermarket sector is very much aware of the impact of these mergers in the long run. The increased concentration of these businesses on all fronts – chicken, pork, beef, dairy, further processed products - will narrow their portfolio of high- and mid-end suppliers in Brazil that may well reduce their negotiation power,” he says.

Friday, September 18, 2009

FAO study offers Cambodia ways to prevent avian flu

A study from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) suggests Cambodia better control and regulate imported poultry and increase market hygiene to best prevent the spread of avian flu, according to reports.
Import border control, transport and marketing regulation and a veterinary law would help in attaining these higher standards, the report stated.
Multiple studies were done by local FAO partners during the past two years to research the spread of avian flu and potential ramifications for producers.

New program preps young agriculture advocates

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is poised to launch College Aggies Online, a program aimed at helping college students become confident advocates for the agriculture industry.
"College students who participate in the program will do more than just build their resume – they will help ensure the future of America's agriculture industry by sharing accurate information about modern farming and ranching," said Kay Johnson Smith, alliance executive vice president.
College Aggies Online, a joint venture of the alliance and
American National CattleWomen Inc., will connect college students from across the country who are interested in promoting agriculture by sharing their story. Participants will receive training and instructions from industry professionals and access to a private forum.
The program officially launches Oct. 15, 2009, and the first year's competition will conclude in April 2010. Student groups will earn points by posting blogs, photos and videos to the forum and by participating in online outreach activities. After final point counts are tallied, the winning club will receive a $750 scholarship, national recognition and a trip for one representative to Washington, D.C., for the annual Stakeholders Summit.
Fore more information, e-mail
Krissa Thom.

JBS will impact US poultry industry

“Reports this week about the purchase of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. by the Brazilian beef and pork conglomerate JBS will have an impact on the U.S. poultry industry. If the sale is approved by the U.S. government, it appears to be a great opportunity for both companies,” said Jim Sumner, President USAPEEC, the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council.
“Pilgrim’s Pride is the second-leading poultry processor in the U.S. While it is currently undergoing bankruptcy reorganization, the company expects to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of 2009. Pilgrim’s Pride plays a very important role in our industry and in our organization. Its acquisition by JBS would no doubt be welcomed by the independent family farmers who grow chickens under contract for Pilgrim’s Pride.”
Sumner reiterated that, “The company is under new, dynamic leadership and was reportedly expected to emerge from bankruptcy in a much stronger position than before.”
The U.S. and Brazil are the two top poultry exporting countries in the world, always in a very close race for export leadership. In recent years, Brazil has held the edge. This, 2009, has proved to be a challenging year for exports, especially at the beginning. Things have gotten better in recent months in volume, although not in value.
According to the
USDA, cumulative U.S. broiler meat exports for the first seven months of 2009 reached 1,800,907 tons, which is a record and represents a slight gain of just less than 1% over 2008. Export value totaled $1.909 billion, down 2.4% year on year.
Brazil’s cumulative totals from January through August show 2,425,600 tons of broiler meat exports, compared to 2,504,200 tons in 2008, according to ABEF, the Brazilian Poultry Producers and Exporters Association.
Addressing the issue of U.S.-Brazilian export competition, Sumner commented, “In fact, I was in Brazil recently where I met with poultry industry leaders to discuss the possibility that our two industries should work more closely together for our mutual benefit. Perhaps the sale of Pilgrim’s Pride will help make that a reality.”
Read the JBS/Pilgrim's news story with commentary from Paul Aho.
Read the original buyout announcement.

JBS, Pilgrim’s deal follows industry pattern of globalization

With the announcement of JBS purchasing Pilgrim’s Pride, and Marfrig’s buyout of Seara, the agri-food industry is becoming increasingly global and diverse.
In the case of JBS and Pilgrim’s, one industry expert is wondering why it didn’t happen sooner.
“JBS is big in beef and pork. I guess the question is – why did they wait so long to get into poultry?” said Paul Aho, an agribusiness economist.
Aho points to the recent changes among industry giants as further proof that companies must be global to compete.
“They’re combining beef, pork and chicken, and of course I’m sure that they are wanting to diversify into poultry in the U.S. and maybe in Brazil, as well,” he said.
“In the future, if you’re going to be one of the global leaders, you would need to be in the U.S., Brazil and China.”
Now that Pilgrim’s is in the JBS family, its scope and sales are reportedly expected to be close to Tyson, but Aho said that’s not a bad thing.
“It’s a win-win situation. Pilgrim’s will be in steady hands … I don’t think this means things are worse for Tyson, but Pilgrim’s will also do well, too.”
From an economic perspective, JBS struck at a time of relative market lows.
JBS has not commented on Marfrig’s purchase of Seara, which was owned by Cargill in the U.S.
Read the original buyout announcement.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

J.S. West to build Prop 2-compliant hen housing

J.S. West & Company recently unveiled plans to build a commercial egg production facility in California that will be Proposition 2 compliant. It is reportedly the first in the industry to be started after the proposition's passage.
The new housing will feature an enriched colony system for egg-laying hens, a system Europe has used for more than a decade.
The housing will make room for more than 150,000 birds, or about 8% of the company's hen population, and it will cost more than $3.2 million. June 2010 is the expected completion date.

JBS, Bertin to merge

Beef production giant JBS and Bertin announced they will create a holding company to control the formerly independent entities, according to news reports.
Estimates show JBS will control 60% of holdings, and Bertin will control 40%.
Annual income of the company is expected to be about $28.7 billion, just ahead of Tyson Foods Inc, and the firm will have global operations, including in North America, South America, Europe and China.
Bertin's meat division has a processing capacity of 14,000 head of beef a day.

Despite quiet start, business brisk at SPACE

Now in its 23rd year, SPACE takes place this week, September 15-18. Day two of the event heard some strong sighs of relief from exhibitors.Now in its 23rd year, SPACE takes place this week, September 15-18.
The first day of the trade show is traditionally quiet, but opening day this year appeared to be noticeably lower in visitors. Perhaps the grey skies and rain over Brittany kept them away.
Many stands were quiet and there was a lot of twiddling of thumbs. Could news that the recession in France was over be wrong? Were we heading for a double dip? Signs for the SPACE awards scheme were prominently displayed throughout the exhibition halls, but would anybody come to see the creativity and investment that the industry had to show this year?
While some exhibitors reported the first day had been fantastic for business, others appeared resigned to the fact that opening day had been “unusually” quiet. Day two, however, allayed fears that the tremendous effort put into the event would be in vain.
I often think you can judge the success of a show by the temperature in the exhibition halls, and despite the only slightly improved weather outside, inside it was hot.
On day two, the show was noisy, on day two the stands were hard to reach, on day two it was near impossible to make an appointment. And this last point in particular is important.
At any trade show, there will always be those that simply come to look, keen for an entertaining day out. Official attendance figures are yet to be released for the show, but there is another measure that I sometimes use to judge a show’s success – how many times I’m told: “Come back tomorrow.”
As everyone knows, it’s not the number of visitors to an event that counts, but who they are, and people wanting to do business were there on day two. Day two was not a question of simply strolling up to a booth and being welcomed, it was “Come back tomorrow at 10 a.m., we can give you 15 minutes.”
This may have made my life more difficult, but it has to be a good sign.
But the volume and purpose of visitors was not the only difference between the first two days. There were visitors to the opening day of the show that most people did not want to see return on the second day.

Demonstration mars opening of SPACE

Riot shields are not a common sight at agricultural trade shows, but they were in evidence at the International Trade Fair for Livestock (SPACE) this year.
Like many European dairy farmers, France’s dairy producers have had a hard time of late. The visit of their Agriculture Minister, Bruno Le Maire, to SPACE proved the ideal opportunity for them to highlight their difficulties.The demonstration saw convoys of tractors descend on the showground along with numerous demonstrators, with estimates varying from 200-300 as to how many farmers chose to demonstrate.
Exits to the showground were blocked and the Minister was unable to reach the dairy hall, despite having come to announce additional funding for the sector. Eventually the police charged to protect the president of SPACE, who is also head of the largest union opposed to the now week-long strikes organized my some associations of dairy farmers.
There are no reports of casualties, however, bystanders were pushed and food was spilled.Protestors unfurled banners and accused the Minister of having “sold out” and of being a “traitor”. While there was no evidence of the protestors on the second day of the show, the police presence was felt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brazil boosts pork and chicken exports

Brazil has expanded its pork and chicken markets. As a result of negotiations between the agriculture ministries of both countries initiated last February, the Philippines started importing from eight processing plants in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, according to reports in the Brazilian press. The country imported 10,000 metric tons of chicken meat in 2008 from Brazil.
The decision to purchase pork and chicken is unprecedented and, according to Brazilian Minister Reinhold Stephanes, demonstrates the confidence this country has in the Brazilian veterinary service. The Philippines already imports beef from Brazil.
In the case of pork, the Philippines demanded the product originate from a foot-and-mouth disease-free area, without vaccination -- a requirement Santa Catarina meets. The state has three chicken exporting units, and after negotiations become a reality, there will be five more plants authorized for exporting pork.
"A few months ago, we opened up the pork market to China and the mission of the ministry is to intensify efforts in opening up the market for this sector to other countries in that region", Stephanes said.

USAPEEC protests China’s anti-dumping action against US poultry

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Export Council has condemned China's move to file an anti-dumping case against U.S. poultry. The move, according to USAPEEC, is in response to the Obama administration's decision to impose tariffs on import of tires made in China.
The council has denied the dumping allegations. As per international trade rules, dumping arises only when a product is sold in a foreign market at a price lower than the domestic price. In this case, U.S. poultry exports to China consisting mainly of chicken feet and paws — commodities highly valued in the Chinese market — are sold at prices ranging from US 60-80 cents per pound. This is much higher than the price prevailing in the U.S. markets where these products are sold for rendering at pennies per pound.
USAPEEC also denied the charge that the U.S. government subsidizes its poultry industry.
The council argued that it has always opposed the anti-China provision included in the recent Omnibus Appropriation Bill and the House version of the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The provision prevents
USDA from promulgating a proposed rule to allow exports of cooked Chinese chicken to the U.S.
It has further urged the administration not to impose increased tariffs on Chinese tires.
The U.S. exported 451,000 metric tons of poultry — worth $393 million — to China in the last seven months. China has become the top market for U.S. poultry.

JBS purchases Pilgrim's Pride

In its pending Chapter 11 case, Pilgrim's Pride announced JBS will purchase 64% of the company's stock for $800 million in cash.
Proceeds from the sale of the new common stock of the reorganized Pilgrim's Pride to JBS will be used to fund cash distributions to allowed claims under the plan. Under the terms of the plan, all creditors of the debtors named in the case will be paid in full. All existing Pilgrim's Pride common stock will be cancelled and existing stockholders will receive the same number of new common stock shares representing 36% of the reorganized Pilgrim's Pride in aggregate.
The plan also calls for an exit facility for senior secured financing in an aggregate principal amount of $1.75 billion to be provided by a group of lenders arranged by Joint Lead Arrangers CoBank, ACB and
Pilgrim's Pride said it expects the plan to be confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court in time for debtors to emerge from bankruptcy before the end of December.
"Over the past 10 months, we have fundamentally restructured Pilgrim's Pride as a market-driven company clearly focused on delivering the best service, selection and value to our customers as efficiently as possible," said Don Jackson, president and chief executive officer.
The plan and the proposed disclosure statement have yet to be approved by the Bankruptcy Court and are subject to further negotiations with stakeholders.
Pilgrim's filed voluntary Chapter 11 Dec. 1, 2008, and its operations in Mexico and certain operations in the U.S. were not included in the filing and continue to operate as usual.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pas Reform designs hatchery for Siberian poultry firm

Dutch hatchery technology company Pas Reform has designed a hatchery at ZAO Prioskoljie's new poultry complex in Altaiskiy, Siberia.
The new unit incorporates Pas Reform's latest SmartSet setters, SmartHatch hatchers, hatchery automation and climate control systems, and advanced hatchery management and information software systems.

Poultry farmers suffer as Indian government hikes taxes

Poultry farmers in India's Punjab are reeling from high taxes imposed by Jammu and Kashmir governments on the supply of birds from other states, reported.
The government has raised tax duties to INR7.50 (US 16 cents) from INR2 (US 4 cents) per bird, which farmers say exceeds their cost of production.
Over half a million eggs and 40,000 to 50,000 chickens enter Jammu and Kashmir each day, mostly from Punjab's farms.
About 30% of the poultry farmers in Punjab have already shut down their farms due to the high cost of feed ingredients, chicks and labor, according to Sumit Chawla, a local poultry farmer. The taxes will result in further closures, he added.

Russia to ban US imports of poultry meat treated with chlorine

A new technical regulation prohibiting imports of poultry meat treated with chlorine of a certain concentration could see an embargo being put on such imports from the U.S. to Russia, FoodBizDaily reported. Russia is the largest importer of poultry meat from the U.S.
The new rules, which may be implemented before year-end, are not expected to affect the Russian poultry market as its production is growing, Vladimir Fisinin, the president of Rosptitsesoyuz (Russian Poultry Union), was quoted as saying. U.S. companies that are not applying chlorine treatment for poultry can be added to the list of authorized suppliers, he added.
The move is being seen as a political step as there is no evidence that chlorine-treated meat is dangerous for Russian consumers, said Sergey Yushin, head of the executive committee of the Russian Meat Association.

Westco, Olymel accuse Maple Lodge of refusing negotiations

Canada's New Brunswick poultry production company Groupe Westco and Quebec meat packer Olymel have faulted their rival Maple Lodge, the owner of Nadeau Poultry Farm, for refusing to accept mediation that could have avoided the 175 layoffs the firm has announced, the Country Guide West reported.
The partners accused Maple Lodge of repeatedly rejecting proposals, which included an offer to buy the Nadeau slaughterhouse, a possible partnership agreement involving joint operation, a draft agreement on slaughtering at "fair market value" while the new joint-venture Clair facility is built, and payment of a premium for the birds.
"If we can reach a solution that is acceptable to all parties through the mediation process, we will stop shipping birds to Quebec and resume supplying the St-Francois slaughterhouse," Westco CEO Thomas Soucy said.
The firm should accept the offer of mediation from New Brunswick Agriculture Minister Ron Ouellette without delay, Soucy added.

Monday, September 14, 2009

China launches anti-dumping probe into US chicken

China is launching anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigations into American exports of automotive products and chicken meat, China's Ministry of Commerce announced on September 13.
The Chinese government said the above investigations are being held to answer early complaints from domestic poultry producers.

The Welfare Trap: Gut Health, Leg Problems and More

How are societal, regulatory and consumer pressures impacting the health of poultry flocks around the world? Sign up now for a free online session about this topic at It’s part of the WATT Online Poultry Nutrition and Health Forum to be held Wednesday, November 18, 2009.
An international panel will discuss how consumer and regulatory pressures impact nutritional and veterinary care and the consequences for flock welfare and performance. Discussion will include the impact of reduction or elimination of antibiotics on gut health, plus other nutritional, husbandry and health implications for leg problems.
Moderating the panel will be Dr. Peter Ferket, North Carolina State University. Joining him on the panel will be Professor Richard Ducatelle, Dept. of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Industries, Ghent University, Belgium, and Dr. Kenneth Powell, Hubbard.
Other forum presentations will deal with identifying and dealing with subclinical necrotic enteritis and the effective use of enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics and competitive exclusion. A panel will also examine runting-stunting and malabsoprtion syndromes.

New event hours
New for this second in a series of online poultry nutrition and health forums 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.
The forum allows poultry nutritionists, veterinarians, production/husbandry managers, technical consultants and manufacturers of animal health products, feed ingredients and feed additives to 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.
For more details and to sign up for this free event, visit

House of David breaks ground for processing plant

A new House of David kosher chicken processing plant will be completed by March in Tulare, Calif., reported. The 60,000-square-foot plant, whose groundbreaking took place on September 9, will process 40,000 chickens daily.
It will initially employ 70 people with plans to add 50 more later. All employees will be local, except for a four-person management team and 12 workers who will handle slaughtering duties, Hillel Shamam, Southern California businessman and owner of the plant was quoted as saying.
The plant will use kosher standards. No injured, unhealthy, overgrown or undergrown chicken will be slaughtered, Shamam added.

Auditors clear Columbia Farms of any irregularities

An audit of House of Raeford subsidiary Columbia Farms' injury-reporting practices has revealed that the firm possessed proper documentation and there were no irregularities, the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission said, according to
The firm has complied with regulations governing the filing of initial injury reports for workers at the company's plants in Greenville and West Columbia, S.C., Jennifer Neese, the commission's ombudsman, was quoted as saying. "They also met the filing requirements in terms of reporting the minor medical-only claims and in terms of filing the first reports of injury with their (insurance) carrier and their carrier providing the proper documents to the Workers’ Compensation Commission," Neese said.
The poultry processor's practices were reviewed by the commission after federal agents started investigating whether House of Raeford knowingly hired illegal immigrants at its Greenville plant.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Food System Summit scheduled for October

The 2009 Food System Summit, sponsored by the Center for Food Integrity and the National Council of Chain Restaurants, will be held October 6-7 at the Airport Hilton Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. The summit theme is "The New Normal – Building Consumer Trust during Unprecedented Market Volatility."
Filmmaker Robert Kenner, director of the movie Food Inc., and other food system leaders will address their concerns regarding market and production realties in relation to the source and method of food production. Issues on nutrition, animal welfare, food safety and sustainability are on the agenda.
Registration information for the summit is available at

CP Group to invest $1.2 billion in North China

Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) and the Chinese government signed a deal on September 8 worth 7.9 billion Yuan (US$1.2 billion) for a food project in North China.
Under the deal, three integrated operations — a hen project with 3 million birds in stock, a broiler project with a 100-million-bird annual output and a hog project with 1 million head of annual production — will be built in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, Li Yang, the company executive in charge of the project, told Poultry International.
Currently, CP Group is working with the Jilin authorities for a detailed plan, and is expected to launch the project this year, according to Li.
"After producing, we will sell shell eggs and pork across China in order to meet rising domestic demand," Li said. "While, for our broiler meat, 60-70% of them will be exported to Europe and Japan as cooked products, and the rest will be sold in China as fresh meat," he added.
Li also mentioned that the company may provide live pigs to China's leading slaughtering facilities such as Henan-based Shine way Group. But long-term, CP Group is eager to develop its own pork products.

Feed wheat price cuts affect UK egg farmers

Noble Foods and Fridays, both UK food packers, have cut rates on the back of falling feed prices. At the end of August, UK feed wheat was down to £84/metric ton, a drop of £13/metric ton on the month, and of £34/metric ton year-on-year. Wheat prices have declined due to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' announcement of a 150% rise in on-farm wheat stocks, as well as continued reports of better-than-expected EU harvests.
In response, the chairman of the
British Free Range Egg Producers Association, Tom Vesey, expressed his disappointment in the price cuts, but was able to understand why it had happened.
Noble has reduced payments by 3 pence/dozen on very large eggs, 3 p/dozen on large eggs and 1 p/dozen on medium eggs, which equate to a weighted average cut of 2 p/dozen. The same cuts were announced by Fridays.
Vesey, though, pointed out that price cuts would deter the establishment of new producers, or prohibit the expansion of existing producers.
He emphasized a need for expansion within the free-range egg sector to help fill the gap created by the ban on conventional cages to be established in January 2012, and stressed it was one issue packers should consider before cutting producer payments.

USDA to help US pork producers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently said the USDA will lend assistance to the U.S. pork industry to help it weather a nearly two-year economic crisis that has put some producers out of business.
The USDA agreed to purchase up to $30 million pork products, which will be used for various federal food programs. The department also is working to reopen pork export markets that closed in the wake of the H1N1 flu outbreak.
“The action by USDA to buy additional pork will benefit America’s pork producers, the U.S. economy and the people who benefit from government food programs,” said
NPPC President Don Butler.
The NPPC recently sent a letter to Vilsack, urging the USDA to address a crisis that since September 2007 has seen producers losing an average of more than $21 on each hog marketed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

AFIA Safe Feed logo gets approval

The U.S. Patent and Trade Office has approved the registration of the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program logo. The modified logo now carries a registration symbol in the lower-right portion of the circular image.
The change is visible on the
Safe Feed/Safe Food program Web site. The American Feed Industry Association, which administers the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, has started informing companies and facilities about the updated logo. The new logo will be transmitted electronically after the licensing agreement is signed and returned. AFIA expects certified plants to update the logo on their Web sites and other materials where possible.
The Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program is a voluntary, third-party-certified program for mills and other facilities producing livestock feed, petfood and related ingredients.
For more information, call +1.703.558.3579.

Bill on climate courts controversy

Senators and farmers' unions in the U.S. are arguing over climate change legislation which was passed by the House in June, the Associated Press reported.
The legislation, over which the Senate is expected to vote this fall, would cap emissions from major industrial sources, including power plants, factories, refineries and electricity and natural gas distributors. Emissions from agriculture, however, will be excluded.
The bill is being opposed because the steep rise in fuel and fertilizer costs would eat into farmers' and ranchers' profits. However, the bill's supporters argue that the offset provisions built into the bill, which allow companies to meet their pollution targets by investing in offset projects such as methane-capturing farms, will more than make up for the losses suffered by the farmers.
According to a
USDA report, the 1-7.2% loss in income that farmers would suffer due to an increase in energy costs and, therefore, fertilizer which requires a large amount of energy to be produced, will be compensated by tens of billions of dollars granted for projects to reduce greenhouse gases.

Alltech featured in magazine’s green companies list

Kentucky-based animal health company Alltech is included in Inc. magazine’s list of eight green companies.
The company, reported to be the first animal health firm named to the list, also is featured in the lists of top revenue — ranked 66, employees — ranked 79 and on gross dollars of growth — ranked 97.
Alltech revenues exceeded $400 million in 2008.

China amends import, export laws

China has amended its administrative measures of inspection and quarantine for its imports as well as exports of feed and feed additives, according to the country's General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine.
The amended measures, which came into force on September 1, are aimed at feed safety as well as traceability.
The rules require the government to tighten supervision over production system assessment, market access, requirement, registration, port monitoring, traceability and product recall for imported products.
Products meant for export will be examined for registration, producer inspection, official monitoring, administration and product traceability.

Hy-Line acknowledges animal welfare practices violation

Hy-Line announced that independent audits confirm that some of the practices at its Spencer, Iowa, facility depicted in the undercover video produced by a welfare group last week did not reflect the standard operating procedures of the company and are in direct violation of its animal welfare policy.
The independent audits identified specific recommendations for Hy-Line to modify its equipment so that it cannot be altered or changed. Those corrective actions to equipment and procedures were implemented immediately, the firm said.
The firm also said it will enforce zero-tolerance policy toward employees behavior that does not conform to established animal well-being procedures. Ongoing training and investments are also mandatory to ensure that employees abide by the company's highest operating standards.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Temperature increases could impact US corn, soybean crops

An American research report to the National Academy of Sciences says predicted temperature increases due to climate change would have a huge impact on the corn and soybean crops in the U.S. Midwest.
At ambient temperatures up to 29 C for corn and 30 C for soybeans, yields would actually rise with a warmer climate. Above those levels, however, the effect on yields is likely to be devastating.
The calculations, reported in “Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to U.S. crop yields under climate change,” by Dr Michael Roberts of
North Carolina State University and Dr Wolfram Schlenker at Columbia University, indicate a continuation of greenhouse gas emissions at current rates would cut US yields of maize, soybeans and cotton by 63-82%. Even if united action succeeded in cutting emissions down to 50% of 1991 levels by 2050, there would still be warming enough to reduce crop yields across the U.S. by between 30% and 46%.
The scientists emphasized they looked at crops in the U.S. alone. But since American farms have been producing more than 40% of all corn worldwide and 38% of soybeans, they continued, there would be implications for global grain supplies.

China top global meat producer

Last year China produced 29% of the global meat output, China Daily recently reported.
The country's meat production was 72.69 million tons last year, an increase over the previous year of 6%.
Pork took the top slot in production, with 63.5% of output.
China also imported 1.84 million tons of meat in 2008.

Institute for Animal Health to focus on virology of poultry, livestock

The Institute for Animal Health (IAH) recently announced a new science strategy focusing its research on viruses affecting poultry and livestock.
The strategy aims at ensuring the institute has the skills and capabilities to work on viral diseases affecting all of the UK's economically important livestock species - cattle, poultry, sheep and pigs.
IAH will also accelerate the move of virus research at its Compton site to its Pirbright Laboratory. The government and
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council recently announced £100 million of funding to redevelop the Pirbright Laboratory, to be completed in 2013.
"IAH cannot do everything. But what we can do is concentrate on the diseases that pose the biggest threat to the UK and the animals that are important to our farmers and consumers, while maintaining the flexibility to respond to new challenges," said professor Martin Shirley, IAH director.

Bangladesh poultry leaders protest egg imports

Leaders of Narsinghdi district chapter of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association lifted the barricades they had erected across the Dhaka-Sylhet highway in protest of the government's decision to import eggs from India.
The poultry businessmen blocked the highway at Bhilainagar on September 8, beginning at 12 p.m., stopping hundreds of vehicles. The highway was cleared for traffic at 2:30 p.m.
The disgruntled traders say they will go for wider movement and demonstrations if the government doesn't reverse the decision within a week.
Earlier this month Commerce Minister Farukh Khan warned entrepreneurs that permission would be given to import chicks if hatchery owners failed to reduce their prices in the local market. His warning came as imports of eggs, despite protests, had successfully lowered prices in the domestic market.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

China to restrict chicken imports from US

China may launch trade remedy measures against imported chicken from the United States, as China’s poultry industry has complained about the unfairly priced competition from U.S. exporters, said people familiar with the matter.
“We did propose import restriction of U.S. chicken to the country’s Ministry of Commerce,” Ma Chuang, vice-secretary general at Beijing-based
China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA), told Poultry International.
Although Mr. Ma declined to disclose more details, he says that the government takes the complaints seriously and is investigating this case now.
“We are not against Sino-US chicken trade. But we doubt that the U.S. is dumping chicken into the Chinese market,” said Mr. Ma.
“The price of imported chicken is normally 5-10% lower than that of Chinese chicken. So it is hard for local producers to compete with U.S. importers, especially in the situation that customers are sensitive to food prices during the global recession,” he explained.
In the first half year of 2009, China’s chicken output accounted for only 80% of its total capacity, due to weak domestic demand. To make the matter worse, an increasing number of cheap imported chickens were sold in China, and 70-80% of them are from the U.S., according to Mr. Ma.
The data from
USDA shows the U.S. is the largest broiler meat exporter to China with more than 119 million tons of annual export volume last year, and this number is expected to reach 137 million tons by October 2009.

Professors find solution for rendering odors

Professors from North Carolina State University and the University of Georgia recently have developed technology that may decrease the odors from rendering poultry parts, according to reports.
The technology finds the odorous chemical compounds and uses catalytic ozonation to alleviate the smell.
"The process takes place at room temperature and results in only two byproducts: carbon dioxide and water," said Praveen Kolar, an assistant professor at NCSU.
Researchers say the technology is not yet ready for large poultry companies.

Study explores viability of avian influenza in water

A recent article from scientists at the University of Georgia investigated the survival of avian influenza virus in water.
Viability is affected by pH, but with values of 7.4 to 8.2 supporting survival. A low temperature (approximately 50 F) and low to moderate salinity also extended the time over which viruses retained infectivity. The results of this study are important in understanding the transmission of avian influenza from free living water fowl to commercial flocks.

Friday, September 4, 2009

China amends import, export laws

China has amended its administrative measures of inspection and quarantine for its imports as well as exports of feed and feed additives, the country's General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine said, according to a news report.
The amended measures, which came into force on September 1, are aimed at feed safety as well as traceability.
The rules require the government to tighten supervision over production system assessment, market access, requirement, registration, port monitoring, traceability and product recall for imported products.
Products meant for export will be examined for registration, producer inspection, official monitoring, administration and product traceability.

Pilgrim’s Pride may be purchased by Brazil’s JBS

Brazilian meat processor JBS S.A. is reported to be in negotiations to purchase U.S. poultry processor Pilgrim’s Pride for $2 billion dollars. The transaction is supposed to be completed and announced Tuesday, September 8.
The Brazilian press first reported this September 2, and it was met with “no comment” responses by both Pilgrim’s Pride and JBS. The Brazilian press acknowledged the deal could still fall through.
Pilgrim’s Pride is the largest U.S. poultry processor and also has operations in Puerto Rico and Mexico. JBS is one of the largest meat processors in the world.
Pilgrim’s Pride filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008, and has a September 30 deadline to file its reorganization plan.
Last year, JBS’s U.S. businesses reported an income of nearly $9 billion, while Pilgrim’s Pride’s income was $8 billion. According to the Brazilian news Web site,
O Popular, if the transaction goes through, it will create a company to rival Tyson Foods in the beef, poultry and pork sectors.

Germany introduces 'without gene technology' logo

The minister for agriculture of the Federal Republic of Germany has introduced a standard logo to be applied to foods free of GMO ingredients, according to a news report.
The intent of the logo is to create "more freedom of choice and enhancement of transparency." It may be difficult to use in practice and will have limited application.
Currently, a label "without gene technology" is applied to food products which were produced only with conventional GMO corn or soy but incorporate vitamins, enzymes or other additives possibly derived from genetically modified organisms.
The present "without gene technology" label is seldom used as it is virtually impossible for a manufacturer to confirm that all the ingredients used to produce a livestock-derived product are free of any GMO component.

ERS releases report on future ethanol production

The Economic Research Service of the USDA has published "Full Throttle U.S. Ethanol Expansion Faces Challenges Down the Road." The report focuses on the Renewable Fuel Standard in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
Use of ethanol to produce E10 blends will attain a plateau, falling short of the proposed 2020 biofuel initiative, according to the report. Although extensive research is underway on cellulosic ethanol, the second generation is far from commercialization and will not be a reality for at least a decade in the opinion of industry observers.
Eligibility to be classified as a renewable fuel will depend on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, the subject of controversy following the publication of a recent EPA Study.
Despite these recent reports, the poultry industry plans to continue to "support" the biofuels policy of the administration. Corn prices will continue to be linked to the price of oil.
The administration and Congress, which both favor corn-based ethanol, will continue to distort the normal supply-demand equilibrium traditionally based on seasonal production in relation to both domestic and world demand for livestock feeds and human food.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NTF responds to outbreak of H1N1 in turkeys in Chile

Following the recent diagnosis of 2009 H1N1 influenza in two flocks of breeding turkeys in Chile, the National Turkey Federation has issued a series of talking points relating to avian influenza.
Available from the NTF, the summary can be requested via e-mail to srosenblatt
Items which are common to turkeys, broilers and egg products are:

•The novel 2009 H1N1 virus is a human disease with only one case of transmission from humans to hogs in Canada and the recently discovered turkey flocks in Chile, despite the extensive dissemination of the virus among humans worldwide.
•Novel 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has never been diagnosed in any poultry flock in the U.S. despite extensive surveillance implemented this year.
•Intensive poultry production systems protect flocks from exposure to wild birds which currently are not known to be carriers of this strain.
•Biosecurity procedures should limit the possibility of transfer from an infected human to flocks.
•Influenza viruses specific to poultry are not known to be spread in meat products or eggs derived from infected poultry flocks.