Friday, April 30, 2010

Financial seminar to examine global poultry market

The 2010 Financial Management Seminar, sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Poultry & Egg Institute, will examine the global poultry market, review bank lending trends, and provide an update on accounting practices. The seminar is geared toward financial management professionals and is scheduled for June 21-23, 2010, at the Sandestin Resort in Destin, Fla.
“Financial management becomes increasingly complex in the economic environment that we have been experiencing,” said program chairman Alan Duncan of Mountaire Farms. “So it is essential that we stay up to date. This year’s seminar will ensure that poultry industry financial managers are informed on economic and market conditions, changes in tax laws, and accounting procedures.”
Other topics on the program include product recall business interruptions, changing consumer trends and an economic forecast.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education.

Supreme Court passes on Rose Acre Farms claim

The Supreme Court declined to review “Rose Acre Farms Inc. v. United States” in a decision which let stand the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The action came from a claim made by Rose Acre Farms following an SE trace-back with a USDA-imposed diversion of shell eggs from affected flocks to breaking.
Rose Acre Farms claimed USDA action represented “regulatory taking” and was unconstitutional. The Court of Federal Claims awarded Rose Acre $5.4 million in damages but this was overturned by the higher court.

China imposes more duties on US chicken

China announced Wednesday that it will impose new tariffs on U.S. chicken of 3.8% to as much as 31.4% of the import price, according to Business Week.
This action comes on top of tariffs of up to 105.4% placed on U.S. chicken after imposing anti-dumping duties in February. The Commerce Ministry of China said that U.S. producers received improper support that hurt Chinese competitors due to government subsidies that lowered the price of feed.
The tariffs, which vary by producer, reportedly apply to chicken parts and whole birds but not to live chickens or cooked products such as chicken sausage.

DDG futures now available for trading

Distillers’ Dried Grain (DDG) futures are available for trading on CME Globex, the CME Group electronic trading platform. DDG futures may bring much-needed price discovery and price transparency to the market. Particularly, they may help customers better manage their price risk in the feed, livestock, dairy, biofuels, grains and oilseed industries.

Pork prices rebound

BusinessWeek reports that pork prices are set to hit record highs this year as a result of high feed costs linked to demand for ethanol. The magazine reported that many swine producers have reduced their herds in response to rising feed costs, resulting in more demand than supply.
Demand is increasing as the economy rebounds and countries lift bans on U.S. pork, which were put in place last year over fears of swine flu. On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures nearly doubled between August 2009 and late April 2010, while the wholesale cost of pork increased 25% in April to almost 91 cents per pound.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Global Feed & Food Congress proceeds despite Icelandic volcano

With standing room only at its opening session inside a packed auditorium in Cancun, Mexico, the 2010 Global Feed & Food Congress was off to a strong start. By the end of the three-day event, its organizers were expressing their delight at how well it had been attended – despite the air travel interruptions due to a cloud of volcanic ash over the Atlantic and Europe.
“We have had a total of over 350 delegates at this meeting, representing 27 countries,” reported Roger Gilbert, secretary general of the
International Feed Industry Federation, which arranged the congress with the Mexican feed association and technical assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. “That was out of the 400 people who were anticipated from pre-registrations. It has been a tremendous effort by everyone to be here, given the travel problems affecting the Europeans and those whose intended air journeys transited Europe."
He added that 40 of the 58 scheduled speakers reached the congress, and only six presentations were dropped as a result. “The others were either presented by an associate of the speaker or they were given digitally,” Gilbert said. He explained that, once flight cancellations were confirmed, the missing speakers were invited to provide digital recordings of their presentations. The papers presented remotely were well received by delegates.
“It has to be the first time that the feed industry has used digital technology to overcome a critical conference issue,” Gilbert said, “and it went off without a hitch.”
The next IFIF Global Feed & Food Congress will take place in South Africa in April 2013.

Butterball donates 61,000 pounds of turkey to Haiti

Butterball donated 61,000 pounds of turkey to victims of the January earthquake in Haiti, in conjunction with Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency that delivers meal packets throughout the world.
The donation recently was shipped to Haiti, and Food for the Poor, an international relief and development charity in the U.S., will distribute the food.
“This has truly been a team effort. So many valuable organizations are involved in helping us get our turkey product to Haitian families who were left without basic food and supplies following the January earthquake,” said Keith Shoemaker, president and CEO of Butterball.

‘Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing’ distance-learning course offered

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and Kansas State University (KSU) announce their first distance-learning education course, “AFIA 501—Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing.” The course was developed by the Feed Technology Group in K-State’s Department of Grain Science and Industry and provides participants with in-depth understanding of feed manufacturing.
“AFIA 501—Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing” is a five-week course and begins May 17, 2010. Course participants may work at their own paces and engage in online discussions about the material presented. The course is $499 for AFIA members and $685 for non-members. Course size is limited to 50 participants. To register, contact the American Feed Industry Association by visiting

Survey finds UK pig farmers reducing GHG emissions

Pig farmers came out top in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from their farm, with 63% saying they were taking action, according to a Farming Futures survey. Farming Futures, an industry-led project which helps farmers respond to climate change—found that one in four farmers have noticed increased interest from customers in their environmental performance over the past year.
Pig producers also came out second in terms of taking action to adapt to climate change with 45% saying they were doing something. They came out slightly higher than average in terms of noticing increased interest about the environmental performance from customers (28%) and 50% were confident that achieving an 11% cut in GHG emissions from their farm was possible.
Approximately 53% of those surveyed recognise that addressing climate change offers potential business opportunities – a significant rise on last year – and the number of farmers producing their own energy has doubled. Almost half are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their land (48%), and one in three (31%) farmers are doing something to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Other key findings from the survey are:
• 42% think that investments in climate change action will pay off within 10 years.
• 74% think that producers should work more closely with processors and retailers to combat climate change.
• 82% think that farmers should work together and share ideas more to combat climate change, which could include setting up buying/sharing cooperatives, or ‘knowledge’ cooperatives.
• 88% said that rising input prices were making them more efficient with their resources, an increase on last year.
• Farmers are increasingly interested in measuring their farm’s carbon footprint – 36% compared to 31% last year.
Madeleine Lewis, Farming Futures Strategic Advisor says: “Like every sector of the economy, farming has its role to play in the shift to a low carbon economy, but the good news is that a lot of the things farmers can do are good for their bottom line too. And it’s not all about big investments – as we can see from the survey results, almost half of farmers are improving the energy efficiency on their farm – these smaller actions are just as important.”

Japan joins world feed union

Japan’s national feed association has become the latest member of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF). Its decision to join was confirmed at the 2010 Global Feed & Food Congress held by IFIF in Cancun, Mexico.
The Japanese association represents manufacturers in an industry producing about 25 million metric tons of feeds annually. It has also opened discussions with the international federation on creating a new North Asia Feed Association along the lines followed successfully by Fefac in Europe and Feed Latina in Latin America. The hope is to have the North Asian organization in place by the end of 2010.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Consuming eggs for breakfast reduces hunger

A research paper in Nutrition Research , a peer-reviewed journal, found that subjects who consumed eggs for breakfast ate fewer calories throughout the day than subjects who ate a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, even though both breakfasts contained about the same amount of calories.
University of Connecticut researchers compared the physiological effect of the two dietary treatments on 21 men from the ages of 20 to the age of 70. Subjects who ate a breakfast of three scrambled eggs and a small piece of white toast ate 400 fewer calories in the 24-hour period following the breakfast, compared with subjects consuming the bagel breakfast. Subjects were allowed a free-choice lunch buffet three hours following breakfast, and those who ate eggs for breakfast consumed 112 calories fewer than the subjects who had the bagel breakfast.
The reduction in caloric intake is associated with the suppression of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger. The bagel breakfast was associated with increased insulin secretion and higher plasma glucose. This research supports previous studies sponsored by the
American Egg Board
that demonstrated that consumption of eggs at breakfast was associated with satiety.

Girl Scout handbook says to eat less meat

A Girl Scout handbook for high schoolers includes an exhortation to “eat less meat” based on the consumption of ingredients used to feed livestock.
The handbook says, “Feeding grain to animal is not an efficient way to produce food,” and makes the claim that close to 800 million people could be fed with the grain currently given to U.S. livestock.

Appointments made to Ohio Livestock Board

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has announced ten appointments to the state’s Livestock Care Standards Board. They include Robert Cole, a retired U.S. Department of Agriculture administrator; Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks, who has extensive experience in public policy and nutrition programs; and Harold Dates, CEO of the Cincinnati Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Other appointments include several farmers with degrees in agriculture. One producer is also a veterinarian serving previously as a professor at the University of California. The vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food Science at the Ohio State University will be a member, as well as the state veterinarian.
The total membership of the livestock board is 13. The ex officio member is the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and speaker of the House and the Ohio Senate president select one nominee each.

Veterinarian makes hygiene recommendations for batch systems

Rooms in pig facilities that are managed on an all-in, all-out system often look clean during a superficial inspection—but they frequently contain hidden reservoirs of infection that can reduce the benefits of the batch system, says Paul Thompson, veterinary consultant to UK pig-breeding company ACMC Ltd.
These reservoirs can result from inadequate cleaning of feeders, leaving stale food in hoppers and troughs, and insufficient cleaning around feeders, exposed pipes and pen corners. Periodic cleaning beneath slats is also necessary to achieve the full benefits from the system, Thompson says.
He adds that water systems often contain large quantities of sludge in header tanks, so these should be cleaned out whenever possible. After cleaning, all drinking points should be checked to ensure they are fully operational and deliver the correct water flow-rate.
As a final precaution, Thompson recommends fumigation of rooms where possible to control vermin, which can be a major source of infection.

India expects record wheat harvest

India’s 2009-2010 wheat harvest is projected to hit 82 million tonnes, up from 80.68 tonnes in 2008-2009 and the largest harvest ever in the country, according to . Record heat in many regions of the country appears not to be having a negative effect on the harvest. India is the world’s second largest wheat grower.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kenyan pig farmers try to curb epilepsy parasite

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has released results of an education program aimed at teaching pig farmers to tether their animals, inspect pork, and treat sick pigs. This may help stop pigs from spreading a tapeworm that infects humans and causes epilepsy in poor countries, such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America, according to an article in the New York Times.
People come in contact with the parasite, Taenia solium from undercooked pork or from food contaminated by feces from a person infected with the disease. The parasite’s eggs are passed in feces and infect pigs that come in contact with human waste. If the eggs are ingested by a person, a larval form of the worm can infect the brain and cause seizures, says the New York Times.

International Poultry Expo scheduled for January 26-28, 2011

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Exhibitor Advisory Committee reports that the 2010 International Poultry Expo had more attendees than the 2009 event, and that even more visitors are expected at the 2011 event as the economy rebounds.
2011 International Poultry Expo will take place January 26-28, 2011, at the Georgia World Congress Center, Halls A and B, in Atlanta, Ga. The event will continue to co-locate with the International Feed Expo, sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association.

China could impose anti-dumping duty on US poultry

China plans to impose anti-dumping duties on American chicken – a move that could lead to a 55% drop in the country’s imports of U.S. poultry, reported BusinessWeek.
The Chinese government accused U.S. processors of selling chicken meat at below-market prices in the country.
The United States has been the leading source of China’s chicken imports, accounting for 335,000 of 401,000 tons of imported chicken in 2009. That made China the third biggest export market for American poultry.

Mexican broiler output begins recovery

Mexico’s 2010 broiler meat production is likely to rise slightly from 2009 to 2.79 million metric tons, but will not recover to the 2008 level of 2.85 million metric tons, according to a report by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Challenges facing the Mexican poultry industry in 2010 include increased imports, a delayed economic recovery, and a federal investigation of possible monopolistic businesses practices.
Domestic consumption for 2010 is projected at 3.37 million metric tons, slightly higher than in 2009. Total broiler imports are expected to hit 545,000 metric tons in 2010, up from 521,000 in 2009 and 447,000 in 2008.
In order to allow more exports to the United States, the Mexican poultry industry is seeking recognition of exotic Newcastle disease-free status for at least six Mexican states.

EU broiler production to remain stable

EU-27 broiler production will grow less than 1% in 2010 to 8.7 million metric tons, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
Imports could increase from 710,000 in 2009 to 720,000 in 2010. The report said that some observers predict EU broiler imports from China will increase from 3,800 metric tons in 2009 to 10,000 metric tons in 2010.
The European Union’s top poultry-consuming countries are expected to be the United Kingdom (1.5 million metric tons), Spain (1.1 million metric tons), France (895,000 metric tons), Germany (835,000 metric tons) and Italy (694,000 metric tons).
Exports from the European Union are expected to fall slightly from 777,000 metric tons in 2009 to 770,000 in 2010, but that’s still higher than the 737,000 metric tons exported in 2008. The higher numbers in 2009 and 2010 can be attributed to the weakening of the euro.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Brazilian poultry output expected to rise

Brazilian poultry production output should increase 4% to 11.4 million metric tons in 2010, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The report also projects a 3.5% increase in domestic consumption to 8 million metric tons.
The report includes final 2009 export figures. The volume of Brazil’s poultry exports increased slightly from 2008 to 3.4 million metric tons, but the monetary value fell 16% to US$5.3B. Exports to China increased 2,347%; Egypt, 159%; Iraq, 154%; and Angola, 54%. But exports to Russia dropped 54%; Venezuela, 47%; and Japan, 27%.

The role of Latin America in feeding the world in 2050

The inaugural World Agricultural Forum–Latin America event will take place May 12-13, 2010, in Brasilia, Brazil. "The Role of Latin America in Feeding the World in 2050" will feature interactive discussions on best practices and significant initiatives in the region to sustainably increase production. Participants will include political and agribusiness leaders from throughout Latin America.
The event is a precursor to the World Agricultural Forum's World Congress in Ningbo, China, July 1-2, 2010.
Sponsors of the Latin America event include Novus International, Pioneer and Rabobank.

World feed manufacturers projected to use more grain

World feed manufacturers are projected to use more grain in harvest year 2010/11 as global economic expansion resumes and encourages more meat consumption, which in turn promotes extra demand for animal feeds.
The projection is contained in the latest market report from the
International Grains Council (IGC), which says that 481 million metric tons of maize (corn) is likely to be used in feeds worldwide compared with 476 million tons in 2009/10.
The feed sector’s demand for all grains is increasing, it comments, but large availabilities of distillers dried grains and high-protein oilseed meals could restrain maize incorporations. Although industrial uses of maize are expected to increase by 8 million metric tons over this season to 214 million tons, this would be the smallest rate of growth in 10 years -- reflecting the slowing expansion of the U.S. ethanol industry.
The report suggests that an expansion of the feed market will also help global wheat consumption in 2010/11 to reach a total of 654 million metric tons, about 9 million tons more than in 2009/10. However, this is 2 million tons down from earlier IGC forecasts, because of larger supplies of competing feeds. World production of maize in 2010 is forecast at a record 809 million metric tons, some 6 million tons more than in 2009, while the projection for this year’s wheat output is a reduction of 17 million tons to 658 million tons.

Gold'n Plump Poultry moves forward at Arcadia processing facility

Gold’n Plump Poultry recently kicked off the construction of a state-of-the-art hatchery in Independence, Wisconsin, according to a company press release. The project has been in the works since 2006.
Purchased in 1993 from Arcadia Fryers to improve cost structure and better compete in its core markets, the company’s Arcadia, Wisconsin production facility will grow—under the expansion—by 22,000 square feet and 15% production capacity.
In addition to plant construction and working with Wisconsin-based Market & Johnson to complete it, the expansion is also expected to infuse continued capital into the local economy with additional yearly corn purchases of half million bushels from area grain farmers; barn construction; and the addition of more than 20 new family farm partners.
The company has reportedly invested an estimated $25 million dollars, with this phase costing about $13 million dollars. With the addition of local grower financing for new barns, it’s expected the overall project will bring about $53 million to the local economy.
“We’re excited to share the benefits of the expansion and growth with our team members and community—especially when times have been trying for a lot of people,” stated Michael Helgeson, Chief Executive Officer and third-generation in the family-owned business. “By strengthening the company, it means better business for everyone."

Midwest corn planting ahead of schedule

Corn farmers across the U.S. Midwest are planting their crops ahead of schedule this season, sharply contrasting last year's late planting start, according to reports.
USDA released a report on April 20 that said 19% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Tuesday. Only 5% of the corn crop had been planted by mid-April 2009. meteorologists suggest drier-than-normal early spring conditions helped farmers jump-start corn planting this year.
An early start to corn planting doesn't necessarily mean an ideal final crop, and 2009's high yield despite a late start is a good example.
"The most important consideration for a good corn crop is the weather leading up to the harvest period," said Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler.
The prime corn planting season in the midwestern U.S. is between April 22 through May 13, with early planting beginning April 1. The corn harvesting period generally takes place October through November.

Friday, April 23, 2010

VIV Europe news: Poultry signals from Dutch show

VIV Europe Hotline, 23 April: Few exhibitors at the 2010 VIV Europe trade fair failed to reach the three-day event in the Netherlands, despite the travel problems of the week. So there was still a full range of products on view for poultry production and processing, notes Egg Industry editor Dr Simon Shane in summarising his impressions on the final day.
One notable point for the visitor from outside Europe was the contrast with an American show, such as IPE Atlanta, concerning the displays of the pharmaceutical companies. Whereas in Atlanta they would spotlight antibiotic products, nothing at all relating to antibiotics was promoted at VIV Europe. Instead, many prebiotics and probiotics were being exhibited --- called by Dr Shane “a significant indicator of the direction we are going”.
Signals of trends in the chicken sector also caught the eye. Equipment designs for the slaughter/primary processing stage seem relatively well established, says Dr Shane, but the show confirmed the extra steps now being taken to make the systems for further processing of chicken meat even more sophisticated.
Processing plants will become bigger still and more efficient. In Western Europe, for example, a recent installation has been of twin lines handling 12,000 broilers per hour or the equivalent of one million birds per week. It is highly mechanised for maximum throughput with minimum labour, relying on remote monitoring by camera and computer to check if interruptions have occurred.
“In addition, I think there is a similar tendency as in the United States to go to a lot higher broiler weights. A bigger bird suits the filleting and deboning processes at the larger processing plants.
“Plant mechanisation and higher capacities have also been indicated by VIV Europe displays for the processing of eggs,” Dr Shane continues.
“It is not a case of the farms becoming larger, but that there are fewer plants to process the output of the same number of producers. These plants, whether for table eggs or for breaking and pasteurising, have enlarged or expanded with much more mechanisation to handle the eggs from many millions of laying hens."

Warm welcome for dairy emissions report

Directors of the International Dairy Federation have welcomed a new report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations called Greenhouse Gas Emissions From the Dairy Sector. Whereas previous commentaries usually marked milking herds as contributing substantially to emissions of gases linked to global warming, the FAO’s report contends that the environmental impact of the dairy sector accounts for 2.7% of total output, even including all emissions related to processing and transport as well as milk production.
Richard Doyle, president of the International Dairy Federation, also noted that the FAO findings indicated significant variations among the different regions and climate patterns of the world.
“This study is a fundamental part of the process of understanding and continually minimizing the environmental impacts of the dairy sector,” he said. “The global dairy sector and its partners are implementing a global agenda for action in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain. Our sector is responsibly focused on providing consumers with the nutritious dairy products they want, in a way that is economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible.”

EU assesses salmonella risk in pig meat

An assessment by the European Food Safety Authority suggests that pigs and pig meat may be responsible for 10% to 20% of all human cases of salmonellosis in the European Union and that controlling salmonella more effectively within the pig meat food chain would have a direct impact on reducing the number of human cases.
EFSA’s Biological Hazards Panel (BIOHAZ) evaluated a series of measures to reduce the number of human cases of salmonella. These included ensuring pigs in breeding holdings are free from salmonella, ensuring that the feed is also free from salmonella, adequate cleaning and disinfection of holdings, avoiding contamination during slaughter, and decontaminating carcasses. The panel indicated that a hundredfold reduction of the number of salmonella bacteria on contaminated carcasses would result in a 60% to 80% reduction of the cases of human salmonellosis originating from pig meat consumption.
The experts also indicated that decreasing the levels of salmonella in holdings where pigs are bred would result in the highest reduction of salmonella in pigs going to slaughter.
The BIOHAZ Panel assessment of the public health risks of salmonella in pigs was based on a
Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment, which provided a quantitative estimate of the existing risk factors and likely effects of the measures proposed to reduce them. The panel’s opinion was also based on data from two baseline surveys, on salmonella in breeder and in slaughter pigs, produced by EFSA’s Zoonoses Data Collection Unit.

Industry group: USDA should downsize Conservation Reserve Program

The National Grain and Feed Association has urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to downsize and significantly reform the Conservation Reserve Program.
In a statement submitted in response to a draft USDA supplemental environmental impact statement on future Conservation Reserve Program policy options, the association said it was “flawed, erroneous and short-sighted” to assess the program’s environmental benefits “in isolation and in a vacuum” without also considering the positive environmental benefits of other USDA conservation programs, modern agricultural tillage practices and existing conservation requirements imposed under USDA farm programs.
“The idling of productive land resources cuts off the economic multiplier inherent in crop, livestock and poultry production, thereby costing jobs and suffocating economic vitality in rural communities,” wrote NGFA President Kendell W. Keith.
Of the three policy alternatives contained in USDA’s draft environmental assessment, the NGFA favored the option that would reduce the size of the Conservation Reserve Program to 24 million acres. But the NGFA encouraged USDA to allocate more than the 4 million acres called for under that policy option to targeted sign-ups of the most environmentally sensitive land.
The NGFA statement said reallocating some of the Conservation Reserve Program’s budget to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program, which apply to working farmlands, would achieve greater conservation benefits than idling non-sensitive land under the Conservation Reserve Program.
The other two policy options offered in USDA’s draft environmental assessment both call for enrolling 32 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

China reinstates swine trade with Canada

Canadian Swine Exporters Association announced that negotiations are finalized and trade in purebred swine genetics can now resume in China after the Chinese government halted importation last May due to H1N1 concerns.
“It has been a strenuous twelve months for the Genetics Industry in Canada; we are delighted about the latest news,” said Rosemary Smart, the executive director of the CSEA.
It is anticipated that $30 million in live pig exports will transpire in the coming year, according to the CSEA.

VIV Europe news: Day two attendance

VIV Europe Hotline, 22 April: Visitor and exhibitor numbers were both higher on the second day of VIV Europe, reflecting, no doubt, the additional journey times for some, and the easing of travel restrictions for others. Visitor numbers reached 4,378 on day two, up from 3,391 on the opening day, while the number of exhibitors increased from 2,315 to 2,373.
There are numerous stories of how visitors managed to find their way to Utrecht. Day one saw attendees from 76 countries, while by day two this had risen to 87. And perseverance has paid off. According to Ovotrack’s Job Beekhuis: “Customers that originally canceled their trip reconsidered and took a plane. Of course, we are pleased with their initiative and efforts!”

VIV Europe news: Drivers for poultry production systems

VIV Europe Hotline, 22 April: Poultry sector exhibits at the 2010 VIV Europe fair reveal key drivers in European systems for producing chickens and eggs, comments Dr Simon Shane, Editor of Egg Industry, on the third day of the trade show being held at Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The most obvious driver comes from European Union regulations which impose standards for bird welfare and for environmental sustainability. These are reinforced by the demands or needs of the consumer and of the customer in the form of the major retail chains.
Some of the developments on view are upgrades of existing conventional cage and floor housing systems and there are also examples of applications to suit the specific conditions of certain countries or regions, but alongside these the visitor can view a complete range of real innovations.
“The problem I find is that the companies exhibiting these innovations say they are not in a position to tell us the capital cost of the system and its return on investment,” Dr Shane continues.
“It makes me wonder whether the particular novelty has been developed on the basis of sound economics applicable internationally, or on some specific local requirements supported by artificial circumstances such as a bonus premium offered by a certain retailer for items produced in this way.
“I also observe that some innovations result in relatively small units. In egg production, are the requirements for sustainability served by a unit of this size or by locating a larger unit in a more sustainable area, even if its eggs do need to be transported to the point of sale?”

VIV Europe news: EGGS! day two

VIV Europe Hotline, 22 April: Attendance at the second day of the VIV EGGS! program was higher following an easing of restrictions on air and rail travel to the Netherlands. The event, sponsored by WATT, comprised a balance between presentations by specialists affiliated to academic institutions and suppliers of equipment.
The “Circadian Incubation” concept was described by Dr. Marleen Boerjan of Pas Reform. Subjecting embryos to a short period of elevated temperature on each day during the hatching phase increases live weight of broilers at harvest. Given accumulated field data, it is calculated that an additional 1,200 tons of processed meat could be harvested each year by an integrator producing 1 million broilers per week.
Lotte van de Ven, of Vencomatic, presented data confirming the commercial advantages of the “Patio” system of broiler production. This is effectively a multi-tier broiler growing module capable of being retrofitted to existing units to increase output per unit of floor area.
The uniqueness of the system is that eggs in setter trays are moved directly from the hatchery at the time of transfer and transported to the tiers where they hatch, allowing the birds to develop to maturity. The system has been tested over 42 cycles in three locations in the Netherlands and has been ordered by an integrator in Russia.
The contribution of the Catholic University of Leuven to production efficiency was demonstrated in the papers delivered by Professor Eddy Decuyere on embryonic development and Dr Kristof Mertens on egg shell structure. Many innovations based on the work of scientists at this institution have been applied commercially, including integrated control of carbon dioxide, humidity and temperature during incubation.
Dr Koen de Rue, of the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, in Belgium, compared the levels of microbiological contamination of eggs from conventional and enriched cages and barn housing.
Based on a review of literature and structured field trials, it was concluded that there is no inherent risk of food borne infection from alternative systems, but refinements in the design of nest modules are required to optimize shell cleanliness and bacterial quality.
A novel approach to pasteurization of egg liquid was detailed by Dr Roberto Coavitti of Sanovo Technology. The “Wave” system heats liquid to pasteurization temperature by inducing molecular friction when product is subjected to cycles of polarization and depolarization at a frequency of 27MHz. The resulting product has a shelf life exceeding 17 weeks and retains all inherent functional properties of fresh eggs due to the fact that the configuration of proteins in albumen is unaffected as in conventional heat pasteurization.

VIV Europe news: More palatable for piglets

VIV Europe Hotline, 21 April: A passenger on one of the first flights from Asia to Europe after the re-opening of European air-space this week was Martin Enderink.
Mr Enderink has been newly appointed by Provimi as business manager of milk and dairy ingredients - covering the three companies in the group that deal with milk-based feeds. He arrived at the VIV Europe show in the Netherlands in time to lead a showtime discussion of the merits of improved palatability.
“Our company Joosten Products has been informing visitors that it will soon be launching a further innovation relating to its Delac feed ingredient for young piglet diets given around weaning,” Mr Enderink told us. “The innovation is going to make a big step forward in increasing the feed intake of piglets by making the feed even more palatable.
“Until now, the good palatability of Delac has come entirely from the milk and other natural ingredients used in making the product. But the Joosten team have found a way to reinforce this through the addition of a palatability enhancer.
“The new version will have a slightly extended name and it will offer better performance, but the price will stay the same. The advantage over products from competitors will come from the impact on appetite. The change from the former product is obvious as soon as you open the bag. You can taste the difference!”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

VIV Europe news: Confusion over feed quality standards

VIV Europe Hotline, 21 April: Customers in all markets are confused by the number and variety of quality accreditation schemes applied to feeding materials around the world, claims UK-based feed additives supplier Meriden Animal Health.
Speaking on the second day of the
VIV Europe exhibition in the Netherlands, marketing manager Pippa Sprinks said that the recent appearance of more schemes had added to the lack of clarity.
Feedback from the sales team tells us that confusion arises around the different accreditations that are available globally,” she says. “It does not mean that any of the standards is devalued, but the whole basis of having quality procedures in place depends on the customers’ understanding of them.
Therefore we are explaining to our customers the quality procedures to which we adhere. Here on our stand at VIV Europe, we have explained that Meriden is a registered QMS:ISO 9001:2008 company and that both our Orego-Stim additive and our new Fusion product have FEMAS (Feed Materials Assurance Scheme) approval covering the production, process, and the full traceability of all the ingredients.
FEMAS is a fundamental requirement within the UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme), which ensures safe feed production. UFAS embraces all existing UK and EU feed legislation, Codes of Practice and legislation demanding HACCP and traceability throughout the chain.
In addition, the FEMAS scheme has been recognised by the governing bodies to be equivalent to GMP+ from the PDV animal feed product board in the Netherlands.”

VIV Europe news: Feed supplies are protected

VIV Europe Hotline, 21 April: From an exhibition perspective, when a cloud of volcanic ash interfered with international flights this week, the first thoughts at the VIV Europe show being held in the Netherlands centered on the immediate travel plans of visitors and exhibitors.
Another aspect being discussed by the end of the show’s first day, however, was whether flight restrictions could affect the delivery of essential production supplies to livestock and poultry farms in Europe.
“I can only speak for our own business,” says Patrick Charlton, European regional director for
Alltech, “but we are well stocked for product at the warehouses attached to each of our 40 offices in Europe and the combination we have of European manufacture with local warehousing means we do not normally need to use air freight.
“Transporting by air is very expensive, and therefore would not be used unless under exceptional circumstances, such as when a seasonal product was in short supply and needed urgently. So I do not think that this particular incident with the volcano will have any effect on deliveries to farms or to feed mills.
“Of course, such incidents put a spotlight on air travel --- involving animals as well as people. For us, this is the year not only of our 30th anniversary, but also of our sponsorship of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky , starting in September. It will be huge. I am told that it will involve the largest international transportation of horses since World War II.
“To link in to the Games, we have now established local partnerships on equine feeds in 63 countries. Local partners have the right, for example, to use the games logo on their packaging. Through our sponsorship of the equestrian games and the partnership initiatives, we want to familiarise horse owners with the Alltech name and make them more aware that our products are inside the feeds they use.”

VIV Europe news: EGGS! a success

The program, arranged by VIV and sponsored by WATT, involved presentations by leading international experts in the areas of economics, egg-quality and genetics. The significant common theme was the interrelationship of nutrition, economics, disease and management in achieving optimal efficiency.
Albert Vernooij, of Rabobank and Peter van Horne of the LEI Institute considered the economic future of the egg industry from their respective commercial and academic perspectives.
Their key messages included: the increasing need for balanced protein in diets to feed a burgeoning world population; that future rates of expansion will be higher in Asia and Latin America compared to Europe and North America; international trade in shell eggs will be confined to specific regions and the factors influencing expansion will include considerations such as sustainability, welfare, food safety and production costs.
Dr Jac de Wit of the Animal Health Service Deventer, reviewed the causes of shell abnormalities. These included nutrient deficiencies, exposure to disease, mismanagement and improper housing. As many factors interact synergistically to exacerbate shell abnormalities and fecal staining, the need for appropriate and diligent diagnosis using advanced technology was stressed in relation to determining the causes of problems and their resolution.
Frans van Sambeek, of the ISA Division of Hendrix Genetics, provided an update on genetic selection for improved performance. He noted that recent emphasis reflected industry trends to longer production cycles.
He continued that geneticists are adjusting their criteria for selection to include persistence in egg production, livability, behavior in both confined and non-confined housing and egg quality. The selection of lines is now based on the application of DNA markers to identify birds with a genetic predisposition for desired traits. Genomic selection will expedite progress in attaining enhanced performance from egg-production flocks at the commercial level.
The Power Point slides presented by the speakers will be posted with the permission of the participants on the VIV
Web site.

VIV Europe news: Hygiene advice online

VIV Europe Hotline, 21 April: Belgium-based biosecurity products company CID Lines has used its presence at the VIV Europe show in the Netherlands this week to publicise a new guide on how to run a pig unit productively and deliver healthy, safe food from it. The guide, called ‘Pigs, the complete guide to healthy pig farming’, is for sale through the company’s Web site.
In addition, CID Lines has developed advisory guidelines on specific farm sanitation issues that can be downloaded from its
Web site.
These include hygiene plans for liquid feeding, for water treatment and for the cleaning and disinfection of pig pens. There is also a procedure recommended for the showering of sows and a plan for the control of vermin.

VIV Europe news: Tremendous product displays on show for egg industry

VIV Europe Hotline, 20 April: Highly positive first impressions are reported by Dr Simon Shane, Editor of Egg Industry, from the first morning of the 2010 VIV Europe show in the Netherlands.
“The attendance so far today has been relatively good,” says Dr Shane. “I am even more impressed by the very comprehensive and cosmopolitan exhibits on show here for the poultry industry. The booths and displays are exceedingly good and they are from companies from a wide variety of countries. For example, I notice that Turkey and the Nordic countries are strongly represented, as well as exhibitors from Europe and North America.
“There is also a tremendous range of products at VIV Europe for poultry production in many different environments. On the egg production side you can see aviary systems and barn housing next to enriched cages.
“The show additionally demonstrates the enormous current interest in methods for handling and packaging eggs. This time more than any other, the displays of the leading equipment suppliers have introduced specific robotic handling systems. It is justified not least on labour savings, with sources at the show quoting European wage rates for workers of about Euro 12 Euros per hour.
“The egg packs presented here emphasise visual aspects and the importance of giving the consumer good point-of-sale information on the nutritional and specific characteristics of the eggs. In fact I think a very important signal from the displays at the show is that everything is driven more and more by the consumer end-point. All matters of product marketing and presentation are being adapted to this situation.”
Dr Shane is the moderator of the EGGS! conference that is presented jointly by WATT and VIV. The conference begins at VIV Europe Tuesday and continues Wednesday.

Tell us about trends in poultry live production

Participate in the 2010 WATT Live Production Survey and help us identify the top challenges facing the poultry industry in live production. The survey will discover how the industry is responding to key trends involving reduction of pathogens in flocks, investment in housing and equipment, and more.
Survey results will appear in upcoming issues of WATT agribusiness publications including WATT PoultryUSA, Poultry International, Industria Avicola and at
Who should participate? Anyone whose work or responsibility involves poultry live production. This includes live production managers, flock servicemen, corporate managers (CEOs, vice presidents, directors, etc.), veterinarians, nutritionists, etc.
Click here to go to the easy-to-complete survey form that takes only minutes to answer.
Or, paste this link into your browser:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FDA issues guidance on new safety rules for shell eggs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published guidance for small egg producers to help them comply with a 2009 federal egg safety regulation designed to prevent Salmonella enteritidis in shell eggs during production, transportation and storage.

Guidance for Industry: Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Transportation, and Storage - Small Entity Compliance Guide sets forth, in plain language, the requirements of the 2009 egg safety regulation in order to help small businesses comply with that regulation. The regulation is part of a coordinated strategy between the FDA and the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service to help ensure egg safety.
The FDA published the egg safety regulation in July 2009. It requires egg producers to have preventive measures in place during the production of shell eggs in poultry houses and requires subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation to prevent Salmonella enteritidis.
According to the FDA, the regulation is expected to prevent thousands of cases of foodborne illness and approximately 30 deaths caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis each year.
The regulation affects all egg producers with 3,000 or more laying hens who do not sell all of their shell eggs directly to consumers. Producers with fewer than 3,000 laying hens are exempt from the requirements. Producers with 50,000 or more laying hens must be in compliance with the regulation by July 2010. Producers with at least 3,000 but fewer than 50,000 laying hens must comply by July 2012.

American Soybean Association announces 2012 Farm Bill working group

The American Soybean Association has established a 2012 Farm Bill working group to develop policies key to the future of U.S. soybean growers. Association leaders recently met with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to discuss his plans to hold preliminary hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill in Washington, D.C., beginning in April.
"Chairman Peterson told us that after the initial hearings in Washington in April, he plans to hold field hearings across the country in May and June 2010," said association President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. "In early 2011, the committee may hold additional hearings in Washington before marking up its bill in the summer and passing it in the House in the fall of 2011. Peterson anticipates the Senate will mark up its version of the farm bill before the August recess in 2012 in order to complete conference with the House before the end of September of that year, when the 2008 Farm Bill expires."
The farm bill creates the policy that will administer commodity programs, conservation, trade, nutrition, rural development, agricultural research and bioenergy.
Members of the 2012 American Soybean Association Farm Bill working group are: Johnny Dodson, Halls, Tenn., chairman; Dan Feige, Goodwin, S.D.; Ted Glaub, Jonesboro, Ark.; Mark Jackson, Rose Hill, Iowa; Ron Kindred, Atlanta, Ill.; Lance Peterson, Underwood, Minn.; Andy Welden, Jonesville, Mich.; Steve Wellman, Syracuse, Neb.; and ASA Past Presidents Rick Ostlie, Northwood, N.D., and John Long, Newberry, S.C. Joslin and ASA First Vice President Alan Kemper from Lafayette, Ind., who chairs ASA's public affairs committee, will serve ex officio on the working group.

Report finds GE crops benefit farmers

Many U.S. farmers who grow genetically engineered (GE) crops are realizing substantial economic and environmental benefits—such as lower production costs, fewer pest problems, reduced use of pesticides, and better yields—compared with conventional crops, according to The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability, a new report from the National Research Council.

However, the report highlighted some potential drawbacks, such as the possibility that herbicide-resistant GE crops could develop more weed problems as weeds evolve their own herbicide resistance. To date, at least nine species of weeds in the United States have evolved resistance to glyphosate since glyphosate-resistant GE crops were introduced, according to the report. It recommends that farmers mitigate these risks by also using other proven weed and insect management practices.
The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability provides the first comprehensive assessment of how GE crops are affecting all U.S. farmers, including those who grow conventional or organic crops, the National Research Council said in a press release.
Improvements in water quality could prove to be the largest single benefit of GE crops, the report says, because farmers who grow GE crops use fewer insecticides and herbicides that linger in soil and waterways. In addition, farmers who grow herbicide-resistant crops are more likely to practice conservation tillage, which improves soil quality and water filtration and reduces erosion.
The report noted several areas needing further research, including impacts on industries that rely on GE products, such as the livestock industry.
Copies of The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States are available from the National Academies Press.

New antitrust rules set to be released this spring

Meat companies and producers are awaiting the release of new federal antitrust rules to be enacted by summer, a schedule set forth in the 2008 Farm Bill, according to the Associated Press.

The new rules are being developed by the Packers and Stockyards Administration, a wing of the U.S. State Department that was established in 1921 over concerns about possible monopolies in the meat industry.
Analysts expect the rules to be stricter than current regulations by, for example, limiting the ability of poultry processors to require producers to make improvements to their chicken houses. The rules could also restrict meat processors in choosing between independent and contract producers when purchasing cattle or hogs.

AquaVision speaker: Sustainable fishmeal can support aquafeed growth

There will be enough fishmeal and fish oil from sustainable sources to support the further growth expected in world aquafeed production, according to Andrew Jackson, technical director of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization. He will speak on the topic at biennial aquaculture business conference AquaVision when it takes place June 7–9, 2010, in Stavanger, Norway.
"Pig and poultry feeds use less fishmeal now than in 1960," Jackson said. "We will see a similar transformation in aquaculture, though marine raw materials will continue to make an important contribution. The aquaculture industry anticipated the challenge and has answers in place. Research is reducing the levels of fishmeal and fish oil needed in fish feed and the increasing volume of fishmeal coming from byproducts of fish processing is an important development. Trimmings now constitute around 25% of the raw material for fishmeal production, which is a good way of using the wild catch and farmed fish to maximum effect."
IFFO has introduced a global standard covering the responsible sourcing of fish for fishmeal and oil production and the purity and safety of these products. The first fishmeal producer to meet the standard was certified in February 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

VIV Europe 2010 offers extra hospitality to visitors

Despite the considerable impact of the volcanic eruptions, VIV Europe 2010 takes place as scheduled from April 20 – 22. So far, 85% of the exhibitors have been able to reach Utrecht in time. All market leaders from Feed to Meat are ready to show an unrivalled number of innovations. The organisers call on visitors to come to Utrecht: “VIV Europe is well worth visiting!”
“Especially now it is utmost important for the industry to show solidarity. All exhibitors share this opinion and will do everything to make a visit a valuable experience. The large number of innovations and introductions are unprecedented,” says Gerard Leeuwenburgh, Director International Exhibitions at VNU Exhibitions, “So we urge all industry professionals not to miss VIV Europe. If you’re not from overseas, Utrecht is easily accessible by train, bus or by car.”

The VIV team is responding to the current situation with several hospitality measures to limit the impact on visitors. Leeuwenburgh: “We will guarantee a warm welcome to visitors who make the effort to come to VIV Europe.” Parking at the Jaarbeurs venue is free of charge for visitors. Upon arrival, free coffee and croissants are served.
For more information on VIV Europe including how to reach Utrecht, please visit the website The VIV Europe Hotline can be reached through +31 30 295 2898 or +31 30 295 2883.

Sow numbers bounce back in the United Kingdom

Speaking at a market outlook conference held in London by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board, a leading pork analyst forecasted a recovery in the size of the UK pig breeding herd.
The national herd at the end of 2008 contained only 427,000 sows, said James Park, senior analyst with
BPEX, the country’s levy-funded pork industry association. There was a small increase to 438,000 in 2009, and the latest expectation is that the United Kingdom will have 460,000 sows by the end of 2010 and 465,000 sows in 2011.
Continued improvements in productivity are expected to translate this expansion into a rise in annual slaughter pig production from 8.8 million pigs in 2009 to 9 million in 2010 and 9.7 million next year. The average carcass weight per pig has risen from 76.6 kilograms in 2008 to 78.1 kilograms in 2009. It is now predicted to become 78.9 kilograms this year and again in 2011, taking the United Kingdom’s total production of pig meat to 741,000 metric tons in 2010 and 794,000 metric tons in 2011, from a level in 2009 now put at 720,000 metric tons.

U.S., Russia poultry trade solution may be close

James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, said the U.S. and Russia may find resolution for Russia's ban on U.S. poultry soon, according to a Business Week report.
A memo to export council members said there is a “new approach” in the negotiations since “bilateral talks were not making progress,” the article stated.
U.S. chicken exports to Russia have been effectively banned since January 1.

Indian scientists create country’s first transgenic chickens

A team of Indian scientists announced that they have successfully created transgenic chickens in the lab — a first for the country. The scientists are affiliated with the Hyderabad-based Project Directorate on Poultry, a program of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research.
The scientists have been working for two years on mastering techniques for inserting the jellyfish gene responsible for the sea creature’s fluorescence into rooster spermatozoa. They hatched 263 chicks, 16 of which expressed the jellyfish protein, according to the
Indian Express.
“This technology, which has been standardized in the laboratory, will further cater to develop transgenic chicken for production of therapeutic proteins for human and animal use,” said a press release from the Project Directorate on Poultry.

China on course for record feed output

China’s Ministry of Agriculture forecasts that total animal feed production in the country in 2010 will reach a record 140 million metric tons, about 6% more than the figure officially recorded for 2009.
An increase of 5.6% to 30.3 million metric tons has been reported by the ministry for national feed output in the first three months of 2010. Further rises are expected in the second and third quarter of the year, although a relative slowing may occur in the October-December period.
In the final quarter of 2009, Chinese mills produced more than 39.8 million metric tons of compounds, premixes, concentrates and straight materials for feeding to farm animals and fish.

Companies invest in China’s poultry sector

Poultry reports from China include news of 2009 investments, as well as of the profitability of Chinese production companies.
Among the investments is a joint venture started by the country’s largest meat processor, Shineway, with
Nippon Ham of Japan to create a $250M poultry complex in Henan province. The complex is scheduled to open later this year and to produce 50 million broilers annually for an output of 120,000 metric tons of chicken products per year. There will also be a mill with an annual production rate of about 300,000 metric tons of poultry feed.
Yuhe International has set a target of producing 150 million day-old broiler chicks in 2010, having recently completed its twenty-eighth breeder farm in Shandong province and nearing completion on a new hatchery. Local reports in China also say that Cargill will add to its Chinese poultry interests this year by investing about $80M in a broiler processing plant in Anhui province.
Among poultry companies issuing their latest annual reports, Fujian Sunner from southern China announced an increase of more than 10% in its net profits in 2009, largely from supplying chicken meat to
KFC. But net profit was down 14% for duck specialist Huaying Agricultural Development in Henan province, although the company is pressing ahead with plans to boost its number of commercial ducks by 16% in 2010.
For Minhe Animal Husbandry in Shandong, a one-third drop in the price it received for its day-old chicks, combined with lower chicken prices and higher feed costs, led to a loss of ¥42.4M in 2009, compared with a profit of ¥51.5M in 2008.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

VIV Europe will take place as scheduled

The unfortunate situation at many airports in Europe as a consequence of the volcanic eruption in Island will have considerable impact on VIV Europe.

After careful consideration and balancing all interest involved we came to the following conclusions:

1) VIV EUROPE will take place as planned in Utrecht, the Netherlands on the dates April 20 to 22.
A postponement of prolongation of the original dates will have even bigger impact. All arrangements by exhibitors, visitors and organizers have been made. It is impossible to change so many arrangements (stand construction, personnel, catering, promotion, travelling, hotel reservations, visa arrangements etc. ) at such short notice.
Build-up hours on MondayApril 19 will be prolonged for late arrivals.

2) We are monitoring the situation on Schiphol Airport constantly and will inform all exhibitors and pre-registered visitors immediately once the airport is re-opened. Hopefully this will happen Saturday April 17 at 20.00 or Sunday April 18 at 06.00 a.m.

3) We realize international visitor numbers can be affected by the airport closure and some exhibitors will arrive late or might not even be able to come. Please note we are frantically looking for measurements to minimize the damage for everybody concerned and will keep you updated on developments!

We all realize this situation could not be foreseen and would like to ask your understanding and co-operation. We are all in the same boat on this and must make the best out of this unfortunate situation.
As from Sunday morning 09.00 a.m. we have a hotline installed to answer your questions.
Please forwad this message to everybody you know who plannes to attend VIV Europe.


Gerard Leeuwenburgh
VNU Exhibitions Europe
Director International Exhibitions

HOTLINE 1: +31-30-295 2898
HOTLINE 2: +31-30-295 2201

Gerard Leeuwenburgh, Director International +31-622745504
Renate Wiendels, Sales- and Account manager +31-651332877
Rob Bornstein, Sales- and Account manager +31-651134121

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wal-Mart expands grocery

According to a Dow Jones report, grocery accounted for 51% of Wal-Mart’s total U.S. sales of $258.2 billion in the past year, when 86 locations were converted into Supercenters and 49 new Supercenters were opened.
These 100,000-square-foot stores sell groceries, clothing, electronics and other household items. Grocery’s share of sales was higher than in past years, a change attributed to consumers’ increased focus on necessities and value pricing during the recession.

Brazil to grow 7% in 2010, forecasts JPMorgan

The Brazilian economy must grow 7% in 2010, according to JPMorgan. If achieved, the annual rate will be the highest since 1986 when Brazil’s GDP grew 7.5%. The JPMorgan’s forecast is more optimistic, though, than those from some others international institutions’ and the average growth estimated by several economists contacted by Brazil’s Central Bank, whom expected a more modest growth of 5.6% for the period. ...Read the full blog on

Global Animal Partnership established as farm certification agency

Global Animal Partnership has been organized to set standards for humane production of livestock. GAP will certify producers and encourage supermarket chains and quick-service restaurants to specify compliance with the new GAP standards in supply contracts.
GAP’s Web site indicates the non-profit organization is dedicated to “facilitating and encouraging continuous improvement in animal agriculture” and “is committed to working collaboratively to improve the lives of farm animals.” Five-step programs for welfare rating of broiler and swine production are outlined on the Web site.
Members of the board of directors include Chairwoman Joyce D’Silva (Compassion in World Farming), Margaret Wittenberg and John Mackey (Whole Foods Market), Wayne Pacelle (Humane Society of the United States), Steven Gross (corporate consultant to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Mike Baker (World Society for the Protection of Animals), Dan Probert (Country Natural Beef), George Siemon (Organic Valley), Jim Webster (AgResearch), and Paul Willis (Niman Ranch Pork Company). Ian J. Duncan, professor emeritus and chair in animal welfare, University of Guelph, Canada, is chairman GAP’s Welfare and Farming Advisory Committee.

Brazil’s true broiler numbers for 2009

A report that was very recently published by Apinco, the Brazilian Chick Producer’s Association, noted that in 2009 Brazil housed 5.5 billion broiler chicks, 1.68% more than in 2008. This is significant for many reasons.
First and foremost, the big talk in 2009 was about drastically cutting broiler production in Brazil. After growing significantly in 2008, thus making it a record-breaking year, poultry producers agreed to make drastic cuts in late 2008 and early 2009. They cut the flock by 13% early in the 2009. However, by the end of the year, I was told by reliable sources that the cuts were really only 6%. And now this report says Brazil really didn’t cut overall, but rather grew.
Second, the fact that Apinco’s 2009 report didn’t come out until early April of 2010, makes it seem like these are statistics that they were not too anxious to publish. To be fair, we already knew that overall broiler production in 2009 was very similar to that of 2008. ...Read the full blog on

New guide spells out biosecurity principles

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization has released Good Practices for Biosecurity in the Pig Sector—Issues and Options in Developing and Transition Countries as paper #169 in its series of bulletins on animal production and health. It was published in cooperation with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Bank.
The guide was written Fran├žois Madec of the
French food safety authority’s veterinary research laboratory; Daniel Hurnik, University of Prince Edward Island in Canada; and Vincent Porphyre and Eric Cardinale, veterinary researchers at the CIRAD, a French agricultural research center working on issues of concern to developing countries.
The report outlines three main elements of biosecurity. The first is segregation, defined as the creation and maintenance of barriers to limit the potential opportunities for infected animals and contaminated materials to enter an uninfected site. The second is cleaning of materials, such as vehicles and equipment, that have to enter or leave a site. The third is disinfection. The guide says that disinfection, when properly applied, will inactivate any pathogen that is present on materials that have already been thoroughly cleaned.

Welsh egg producers get set for 2012 cage ban

The number of free-range egg producers in Wales has shot up to more than 300 from about 100 in 2006, as egg producers prepare for a ban on cage systems that takes effect in 2012, according to The North Wales Daily Post.
Each new commercial free-range egg operation houses about 12,000-16,000 hens, bringing the total number of hens in such housing systems to 2 million, the newspaper reported.
The Welsh Assembly Government has provided more than £1M in grants to free-range projects and is considering another £400,000 in funding.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More distillers grains from US plants

An increased supply of distillers’ grains (DDGS) from biofuel production in the United States seems likely in 2010, with projections that the U.S. plants will boost their corn-based production of ethanol to around 45 billion liters from the 41 billion liters they produced in 2009. Their use of corn is projected to rise by at least 1% to almost 117 million metric tons, compared with about 140 million tons used for livestock feed.
The total 2010 crop is forecast at approximately 334 million tons as U.S. growers increase their corn acreage by an expected 3%. U.S. exports of DDGS for animal feed usage in 2009 represented 18% of the 30.5 million metric tons produced nationally. The largest export markets for the distillers’ grains were Mexico (taking 1.5 million tons), Canada (804,000 tons) and China (542,000 tons).

Nutreco rewards managers on sustainability

Netherlands-based international feed company Nutreco has revealed in its latest annual report that it will incorporate sustainability targets in the remuneration packages of its managers, including a 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from operations by 2015. The company will also link purchasing of inputs to sustainability targets and vendor policy.
In 2010, Nutreco will publish its tenth Sustainability Report. Wout Dekker, chief executive officer, said, “Sustainability is becoming a more important part of our business model.”

El Nino drought hits Central American crops

A drought caused by El Nino has hurt agricultural production in much of Central America, according to NotiCen. Southeastern Guatemala appears to be the worst affected, since it came into the season with a rainfall deficit. The corn and bean harvests in October and November 2009 were far below average, leading to acute malnutrition in more than 10% of women and children.
Honduras has issues a drought warning for its entire southern half into June, while thousands of farmers in northern Nicaragua have lost crops. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reporting February crop losses of more than 50% in 23 Nicaraguan municipalities.

BPEX challenges British swine producers to increase output

BPEX, the British trade group for swine producers, has launched a campaign encouraging producers to increase annual output to two metric tons of pig meat per sow. BPEX figures show Great Britain’s average annual output is 1,608 kilograms per sow, compared with an EU average of 2,000 kilograms.
Yorkshire-based pig-breeding company
ACMC says it is helping farmers toward this goal through improved numbers born alive, growth rate and feed conversion efficiency over the past two years. “The on-farm value of our genetic improvements has amounted to £6.17 per pig, or about 8 pence per kilo, based on an average deadweight figure of 80 kilos,” said Ed Sutcliffe, the company’s technical director. The company is showing at this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, May 11-12.

Informa Economics announces 2010 policy conference

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., will provide the keynote address at the Informa Economics 18th Annual Food and Agriculture Policy Conference, to be held April 22-23 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, the chief agricultural negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative's office, will also speak at the conference. The event, titled “Beyond the Farm Bill: Agriculture’s New Challenges,” is co-sponsored by Deere & Co., Monsanto and Syngenta.
The conference will focus on the policy concerns and economic prospects for the sector, including renewable fuels policies and the administration’s new anti-trust efforts. The first day will conclude with a panel discussion of farm politics, the Administration’s first year and a look ahead.
Day two will focus on the outlook for agricultural trade, a discussion of future productivity growth, and expectations for new food safety legislation. It will conclude with a special guest speaker sponsored by Monsanto, Jennifer Duffy, editor of the Cook Political Report, who will discuss possible outcomes of the fall elections.
Pre-conference warm up speakers include Informa Economics Executive Vice President Rick Andersen and Informa Senior Vice President Jim Sullivan, who will present the company's latest livestock and grain-oilseed market outlooks.

Call for GM rethink to prevent European feed shortages

The European Union faces renewed disruption to animal feed supplies this year unless policymakers find a rapid solution to traces of genetically modified organisms in soy imports, according to at least one EU industry group.
Last autumn, imports of soybeans from the United States came to a near standstill because of the European Union’s zero-tolerance rule on shipments containing tiny traces of GMOs not yet approved in the bloc.
"This spring new GM varieties will be commercially sown in North and South America which are unlikely to be approved in the EU by October," said Klaus-Dieter Schumacher, head of markets at Europe’s grain trade association
Coceral. "This could lead to a similar situation as last autumn, and the need for a solution is still as urgent as it was then."

KFC introduces bunless chicken sandwich

KFC has announced the April 12 launch of the Double Down, the restaurant chain’s first bunless chicken sandwich. The Double Down features two pieces of bacon, monterey jack and pepper jack cheese and sauce sandwiched between two boneless white meat chicken filets (breaded or grilled).
According to a company press release, the Double Down “generated more buzz than any test market item in KFC history” when it was sold for a short period last year in two markets. “The Double Down created such buzz as a test market item and it already has such high consumer awareness, we toyed with the idea of making a commercial that just said, 'It’s here!,'” said Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC.
To mark the launch of the Double Down, KFC will donate sandwich buns and funds to foodbanks in various parts of the United States. “It’s great to find a good home for some of those 'unneeded' KFC buns at food banks around the country,” Benito said.
The Original Recipe Double Down contains 540 calories, and the grilled version has at 460 calories, KFC reported.

USPOULTRY sponsors poultry wastewater operator training

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association will sponsor a Poultry Wastewater Operator Training Program, May 25-26, at the association’s office in Tucker, Ga.
The course provides an introduction to the regulatory structure governing poultry plant effluents, along with a primer in math, chemistry and microbiology. It will include a unit-by-unit discussion of the predominant equipment and systems used to properly treat poultry effluent prior to discharge.
While the course is applicable to anyone involved in poultry wastewater treatment, it is particularly useful for operators and supervisors who have been involved in poultry wastewater treatment for four years or less. The program includes 14 hours of classroom instruction and a 200-page operator manual.
Participants will receive a certificate of completion, and continuing education units may be awarded upon approval of the course curriculum by state certification boards. Credit may vary from state to state, but typically 12 hours of continuing education units will be awarded to certified operators who attend.
The course will be led by professional engineer Paul Bredwell, vice president of environmental programs at USPOULTRY, and Dr. Brian Kiepper, assistant professor at the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Class size will be limited to 20 people on a first-come, first-served basis.
The enrollment fee is $195 per person for USPOULTRY member companies and $390 per person for nonmember companies. The fee includes lunch both days.
For more information and to register for the Poultry Wastewater Operators Training Program, contact USPOULTRY at 1.770.493.9401, or go to the association’s
Web site.

UK consumers gravitate toward eggs from non-caged hens

Eggs from non-caged hens now make up the majority of UK egg sales by volume, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. In the 12 months ending March 22, 2010, 52.6% of eggs sold were from non-caged hens, compared with 47.3% the previous year.
This change came despite a recessionary economy and the fact that free range, barn and organic eggs are more expensive than eggs from caged hens, animal advocacy group
Compassion in World Farming noted in a press release. In monetary value, eggs from non-caged hens made up 66.4% of all egg purchases during the measurement period. That’s 4.2 percentage points higher than in the previous year.
Data provided by Kantar Worldpanel reveal that sales of free range eggs have risen to 56.8% of the value of the market from 52.3% in the previous year, making up 44.2% of the market by volume (up from 40.6%). Barn eggs, traditionally a small proportion of the market, have seen growth to 5.6% of the market by value (up from 4.7%), 6.4% by volume (up from 4.0%).
“The latest figures should encourage major supermarkets and others in the food industry to continue working towards higher welfare standards,” said Steve McIvor, director of food business at Compassion in World Farming. “There is a great opportunity for both farmers and retailers to make the most of growing consumer demand for higher welfare chicken and eggs.”

Earthquake strikes Bachoco’s Mexicali table egg operation

Industrias Bachoco, Mexico's largest producer and processor of poultry products, announced its Mexicali table eggs operation was affected by the earthquake that hit Mexico's northwest April 4. The Mexicali operation represents about 9% of the company's production capacity for table eggs.
Cristobal Mondragon, Bachoco's chief executive officer, said that no employees were injured during the earthquake and its feed mill and distribution channels were “practically undamaged,” but the quake affected most of the farms in the region.
"The company is taking all necessary steps to reduce the negative effects and supply our customers from other production complexes,” said Mondragon. “In addition, the company is evaluating the damages to its facilities and its production process to take the fastest alternatives and quickly recover the pace of our normal operations."

European feed output declined in 2009

Analysts at European feed federation FEFAC now estimate that compound feed production in Europe’s EU-27 zone fell by about 4.5% in 2009, to just under 144 million metric tons. Feeds for all farm animal species were affected, most notably those for cattle (down by 8% to about 35 million tons) and for pigs (lower by 6% to 49 million tons). A smaller percentage reduction was registered for poultry feeds, falling by 1% to about 48 million tons.
According to FEFAC, the cattle feed production results reflected a severe contraction in the demand for dairy cow diets, mainly in the final six months of 2009, as the milk sector in Europe continued to undergo a crisis. Other negative influences came from the poor profitability of pig production and from a tendency for grain growers to use their cereals on the farm rather than selling them at a low price. The market also suffered from the economic pressures that persuaded consumers in Europe to switch to less expensive sources of animal protein.
However, the federation’s experts say 2010 will bring a continued recovery in consumer demand for poultry products, as well as an end to the downward trend in the pig cycle. Current forecasts for the next EU cereals harvest indicate relatively low price levels for new-crop grains, while soybean meal prices are expected to remain stable. The federation forecasts a 2% increase in the European Union’s output of poultry feed this year, accompanied by a stabilizing of pig feed output. But a continuation of difficulties in the dairy sector is predicted to lead to a further 1% fall in cattle feed production.
FEFAC data show that the six European countries producing the most poultry feed in 2009 were France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland. France is still substantially the largest producer, at 8.2 million metric tons, despite a 6% drop in its own poultry feed tonnage last year. French feed industry associations SNIA and Coop de France have reported that the volume of broiler chicken feeds produced in 2009 by French mills decreased by only about 1%, to approximately 3.1 million tons. Bigger feed reductions were seen for turkeys (down 8.7% to less than 1.5 million tons) and for geese (lower by 6.2% to 1.3 million tons). Laying-hen feeds in France actually showed a production increase last year, rising by 0.3% to about 2.12 million tons.