Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Analyst: Cellulosic ethanol may not be in our future

At the American Feed Industry Association 2010 Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference in San Antonio, Texas, a succession of industry economists questioned the commercial practicality of the federal mandate to deliver 16 billion gallons of ethanol from cellulosic sources by 2022. In his review of trends and prices, Richard Brock of the agricultural commodity advisory firm Brock Associates indicated that there would be no significant moves toward large-scale production of the commodity in the next five years and added, “we may never see cellulosic ethanol.”
Some small-scale projects are underway. A recent press release marked the commissioning of a DuPont and Danisco joint venture in conjunction with the University of Tennessee Biofuels Initiative. The $50M biorefinery demonstration unit, located in Vonore, Tenn., will use inedible cellulosic sources, as well as cellulosic feed stock and grain, for a projected capacity of 250,000 gallons of ethanol per year. The joint venture partners also invested $100M in basic research.

Fire strikes Ohio egg producer

A 3-million chicken egg farm in Hapster, Ohio, suffered serious damage in a nighttime fire, according to United Press International.
Firefighters shut off electricity to nine chicken barns to contain the blaze, which razed an egg storage warehouse. Some of the chickens died as a result, the local fire chief told the news agency.

Maryland may withhold money from law school over chicken concerns

As part of the state budget that passed the Maryland Senate, the University of Maryland’s environmental law clinic would be required to submit a report on every lawsuit it has filed in the past two years before the law school receives its $250,000 earmark, according to the Maryland Reporter. The budget must now be considered by the state’s House of Delegates.
The impetus for the requirement is the law clinic’s involvement in environmental lawsuits against chicken producers. Senators representing areas of the state where the poultry industry is concentrated said that the law clinic is singling out poultry producers. The law clinic is composed mostly of students who provide pro bono legal services.

Onishchenko: US-Russian poultry agreement close at hand

Russia’s consumer protection head Gennady Onishchenko told the press that negotiations over U.S. poultry imports to his country could produce an agreement within days, according to Reuters.
He said that the two countries are working together long-distance on the final details of ending Russia’s import ban on U.S. poultry, which went into effect in January as the result of a dispute over the use of chlorine in poultry processing.

Proposed synthetic methionine ban in organic diets

The board of the U.S. National Organic Program is considering a proposal to ban synthetic methionine from organic diets, following an earlier decision regarding synthetic lysine. The decision has been deferred following presentations made by the program’s Methionine Task Force, which includes nutritionists and producers of organic products.
Deletion of synthetic methionine from an organic diet to produce specialty organic eggs would result in an additional cost of $100 per ton, compared with comparable formulations using organic ingredients but allowing inclusion of 0.35% synthetic methionine.
Reducing specifications for dietary sulphur-containing amino acids could reduce the incremental cost to $50 per ton, although this would result in a corresponding reduction in egg size and egg numbers. Assuming a differential of $75, representing deletion of synthetic methionine and moderate relaxation of nutritional specifications, the cost to a producer would be $900 per day for 100,000 hens, or between 13 to 15 cents per dozen, depending on the level of flock production.
Supporters of continuing to allow synthetic methionine in organic production point out that the ingredient is derived by microbial fermentation and that it is absorbed and metabolized in the same way as plant-sourced methionine.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Egg Industry Center reports on February feed prices, production costs

A March report on feed prices issued by the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University documents that U.S. average feed costs dipped below $200 per ton in February, with an average of $195 per ton. Prices ranged from $173 per ton in the Midwest to $223 per ton in California.
Production cost in February was 58.3 cents per dozen, with a range of 53.9 cents per dozen in the Midwest to 64.3 cents per dozen in California. Feed represented 60.7% of nest run costs.
The report was authored by Marco Ibarburu and Don Bell.

New findings on infectious laryngotracheitis

A study conducted at the University of Georgia Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center and funded by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association has revealed new insights into infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT).
The study found that combination live Newcastle disease and infectious bronchitis vaccines interfered with the immunity produced by tissue-culture-origin ILT. Both tissue-culture- and chick-embryo-origin ILT vaccines depressed antibody response to infectious bronchitis and Newcastle disease, suggesting mutual interference.
The ILT virus designated strain 63140 persists in the trachea longer than a U.S. Department of Agriculture standard challenge strain. The incubation period for the prevalent North Georgia field strain is only two to three days. There is a high degree of correlation between antibody title level against ILT and the geographic distribution of the infection in North Georgia. Protection is adversely affected when dilution of vaccine viruses is carried out.
The emergence of strain GA63140 ILT has resulted in significant losses in the regional broiler industry. Health professionals involved with egg production flocks should be aware of the variants of this strain, which require diligent application of chick-embryo-origin vaccine. The protective ability of ILT vector vaccine has yet to be determined.

US food safety law expected in 2010

The chairwoman of the U.S. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said in a recent interview, “I have every confidence that we are going to pass food safety legislation and this legislation is going to get to the president for a signature and that’s going to happen this year.” Although the House has passed a food safety bill, progress has been delayed in the Senate.
Among other changes, the bill intensifies restrictions on imported food products. It demands that non-U.S. farmers, processors and manufacturers apply equivalent practices and inspection procedures to those mandated in the U.S. The law would include mandatory recall authority for the
Food and Drug Administration and intensified inspection of food production plants.

American Egg Board releases 2009 annual report

In its 2009 annual report, the American Egg Board recorded total revenue of $21.1M in 2009, of which 98% was derived from assessments. Expenditures of $25M resulted in a deficit of $5.1 million. Operating expenses included $12.6M for advertising; $3.1M for nutrition, research and promotion; $2.0M for support of state marketing initiatives; $1.5M for food service promotion; $1.8M for agricultural education; $1.1M for egg product marketing; and $1M for industry programs. Administrative expenses were held to less than 5%.
The annual report highlighted activities under the categories of agricultural education, consumer marketing, food service and egg product marketing, industry programs, and nutrition. The organization’s
Good Egg Project made 100 million impressions over the last four months of 2009. Eggs were promoted through The Rachel Ray Show, Sesame Street, The Early Show and various social media channels. Other activities included the annual White House Easter Egg Roll and maintaining the Incredible Edible Egg consumer Web site. Publications such as Readers Digest, Scholastics, Weight Watchers and leading newspapers carried recipes and promotional materials featuring eggs.
Among food service and egg product marketing activities, the American Egg Board concentrated on quick-service retail increasing egg servings by an additional 120 million during 2009. The organization carried out promotions directed at culinary schools and demonstrations at the National Restaurant Association Show and the School Nutrition Associations National Conference, where Howard Helmer mounted omelet demonstrations. Helmer is the Guinness World Record holder for fastest omelet maker.
Nutrition research was restructured with the transfer of the Egg Nutrition Center to the American Egg Board’s headquarters. A number of studies were published in peer-reviewed journals, and informational reports on nutrition were provided to the media. The Egg Ambassadors program secured more than 90 million media impressions during the year directed to professionals in medicine and dietetics.

Land O’Lakes Purina Feed offers undergraduate scholarships

Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC announced it will award five $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate scholastic achievement, leadership in agriculture, and a perceived ability to contribute to agriculture in the future.
The First Step Swine Creep Feed scholarship program is available to high school graduates pursuing a two- or four-year degree in animal science with bias in swine nutrition and management, or closely related fields.
To qualify for the program, a student must:
*Be a high school senior, graduating in spring of 2010.Demonstrate leadership abilities and academic performance.
*Complete an application.
*Write essays describing why he or she is interested in a career in animal science with a focus on swine nutrition and management.
Applications are available on the
Purina Pig Starter and UltraCare Feed Web sites. All applications must be postmarked by June 14, 2010. Winners will be notified by mail on or before July 31, 2010.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Deep South Poultry Conference set for April 7

The Deep South Poultry Conference is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, 2010, at the Tifton Campus Conference Center at the Rural Development Center, Tifton, Ga.
The conference’s general session starts at 9 a.m. with presentations on reducing energy usage by Mike Czarick, University of Georgia Bio and Ag Engineering, and lighting for poultry by Mike Darre, University of Connecticut. On-site registration and a continental breakfast are at 8 a.m.
Concurrent broiler and hatchery-breeder sessions run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.:
Broiler Session
*“In-House Litter Management,” Casey Ritz, University of Georgia Poultry Science
*“Current Issues in IP Management,” Blair Telg, Elanco Animal Health
*“How to Choose the Water Sanitation Technique to Suit Your Farm,” Jesse McCoy, Ivesco LLC
*“Litter, Moisture and Paws: A Devastating Combination,” Eric Shepard, University of Georgia Poultry Science
Hatchery-Breeder Session
*“GPLN Hatchery Bacterial Monitoring Services,” Ben Johnson, Georgia Poultry Lab
*“Fowl Mites: Long- and Short-term Solutions,” Nancy Hinkle, University of Georgia Entomology
*“Establishing Pullet and Cockerel Uniformity,” Chad Mason, Columbia Farms
*“Why Brooding Needs to be for a Fortnight,” Ken Powell, Hubbard Breeders
For conference details and registration information, contact University of Georgia Poultry Science via
e-mail or by calling +1.706.542.1325.
The Deep South Poultry Conference is sponsored by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and Department of Poultry Science, and the Georgia Poultry Federation.

International Poultry Council meeting to feature animal health, economics experts

The International Poultry Council will hold its spring meeting in Paris, France, April 14-16, with representatives from more than a dozen countries.
Speakers will include Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE); Klaus Schumacher, chief economist of Toepfer International of Germany, who will speak on GMO issues; Dr. Jorgen Schlundt of the World Health Organization; Simon Mack, chief of the animal production and health division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; and Gilles Huttepain, president of Fédération des Industries Avicoles, France’s main poultry association.
Representatives of the International Poultry Council member countries will give status updates on the poultry industries in their home countries.
In 2008, the OIE granted recognition to the International Poultry Council as the official organization representing the world’s poultry meat producers.

Russia seeks Turkish poultry to make up for loss of US supply

Russia’s increasing demands for Turkish poultry have led to a rift between the Turkish government and some of the country’s poultry producers, who are concerned that an export increase could reduce the domestic poultry supply and hike up prices, according to Hürriyet Daily News.
Russia has requested 500,000 tons of white meat to make up for its loss of U.S. and Brazilian poultry since Moscow enacted an import ban earlier this year, claiming that the two countries employed “excessive chlorine usage” in their processing plants. The Russian government lifted a ban on Turkish poultry February 1, soon after enacting its chlorine wash ban.
Six Turkish poultry producers have signed agreement to export meat to Russia, and 11 more deals are in the works, according to the newspaper. But others are hesitant about entering into agreements. Ramazan Altintaş, who oversees exports at poultry producer Şeker Piliç, said that Turkey is not equipped to meet Russia’s export demands.

WHO: Bird flu deaths cause for concern

Although the number of people infected with avian influenza has fallen since 2006, the World Health Organization says the disease remains a serious threat to humans, according to Agence France Presse. In a press release, it cited the seven human deaths from the disease this year as cause for concern. "The newly confirmed human and poultry cases of avian influenza this year are a reminder that the virus poses a real and continuous threat to human health," the WHO said in a statement.
The H5N1 virus killed 39 of the 73 people it infected in 2009, a fatality rate of about 59%. The agency remains concerned that the virus could mutate into a more contagious form.

Idaho moves to standardize livestock regulation

Idaho’s senate has passed a bill that would designate the Idaho State Department of Agriculture as the monitoring agency for swine, poultry and their waste, according to the Idaho Reporter. The responsibility currently falls to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.
The bill now moves to the Idaho House. Concentrated animal feeding operations would be required to have state permits, the specifics of which would vary for small, medium, large and extra large operations. The legislation would not require CAFOs to share their nutrient management plans for animal waste.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply announces four new members

The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply recently announced the addition of four new members: Bob Evans Farms Inc., Daybreak Foods Inc., Iowa State University and United Egg Producers. The coalition’s goal is to evaluate the viability of various laying hen housing systems by considering the impact of multiple variables on system sustainability, including environmental impact, food safety, worker safety, animal health and well-being, and food affordability.
“At Bob Evans, we believe in a holistic approach to animal well-being,” said Sommer Mueller, DVM, director of food safety and regulatory compliance for Bob Evans Farms Inc. “We are proud to be part of this coalition, which takes a similar approach to a sustainable egg supply, looking at the balance of food safety, food affordability, animal health and well-being, the environment and worker safety.”
Wendy Wintersteen, dean of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Iowa State has a rich tradition of using research to provide practical, science-based solutions for agriculture and our work in the CSES will build on that tradition.”
A commercial-scale study of housing alternatives for egg-laying hens in the United States is in development, lead by Michigan State University and the University of California-Davis. The study will include cage-free aviary, enriched housing including nests and perches, and the caged housing environments currently used by the majority of the contemporary U.S. food supply system. The goal of the research is to help food companies and other organizations make informed decisions that are ethically grounded, scientifically verified, economically viable and in alignment with consumer desires.
The membership of CSES includes the American Humane Association, Cargill Kitchen Solutions, McDonald’s USA, Michigan State University and University of California-Davis, along with member-advisors American Veterinary Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. The Environmental Defense Fund is a non-member advisor to the coalition.

Pollo Campero has big expansion goals

Pollo Campero, the popular Central American fast food chicken chain, has fared well in the United States since it established its first store here in 2002. There are now 53 stores in 15 states, and the company wants to continue its strong growth, reports Business Week.
The Guatemalan company aims to reach 1,750 total franchises over the next decade. It currently has 325 franchises in 13 countries, from Latin America and the United States to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Revenue in 2009 reached $400M.
Pollo Campero per-unit sales in the United States are almost double those of KFC, mainly because most of the Pollo Campero’s customers dine as families.
Pollo Campero belongs to the largest poultry producer in Central America, known as DIP-CMI, with operations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. It produces close to 130 million broilers a year, according to Industria Avicola.

Manila to get modern slaughterhouse, egg processing plant

Philippines Agriculture Secretary Bernie Fondevilla told a recent convention of the country’s hog producers that plans are on track for a modern slaughterhouse at a Bureau of Animal Industry compound in metro Manila. The facility will be able to slaughter 50 pigs per hour, the Manila Bulletin reported.
Fondevilla added that a private company is planning to establish a 900-square-meter egg processing plant outside the metro Manila area.
According to the Manila Bulletin, poultry production rose 1.82% and livestock production rose 1.2% in 2009, and animal agriculture accounts for 26% to 28% of the country’s annual agricultural production.

Two more states seek to establish livestock boards

West Virginia and Idaho will introduce legislation to create Livestock Care Standards Boards.
In both cases, officials from the state agriculture departments would administer boards of 13 members selected in conformity with recommendations by the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders Association.

Manitoba to ban conventional cages

Effective 2018, egg production in the Canadian province of Manitoba must be derived from enriched housing.
There are approximately 2.6 million hens in Manitoba, with eggs produced under a quota system.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

International feed manual to be released

The International Feed Industry Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations will release a new international feed manual at the Third Global Feed and Food Congress in Cancun, Mexico, April 20-23, 2010.

United Egg Producers meets with legislators

The government relations committee of United Egg Producers will be reviewing a number of issues with federal legislators, according to the association’s newsletter, United Voices.
Topics to be discussed include welfare and implementation of the FDA rule on salmonella, which is due to take effect on July 9, 2010. These topics have been raised at the level of the House Agriculture Committee and with FDA regulators. HR 4733 would require the U.S. government to purchase eggs only from facilities meeting guidelines similar to those outlined in California’s Proposition 2.

Feed industry education on HACCP

The American Feed Industry Association and Kansas State University will be offering a four-day course
on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems on October 6-9 in Manhattan, Kan. The course, which is designed to train feed mill managers and quality assurance personnel, will have contributions from industry and university experts.

For further information contact Keith Epperson , vice president of manufacturing and training for AFIA.

Study: Flushing results in heavier piglets

Feeding sows more during the insemination phase results in a higher piglet birth weight. That is one of the main conclusions of a study by pig breeding group TOPIGS.
The study was conducted at 19 Dutch pig farms with a total population of more than 7,000 sows. One extra kilogram of feed intake during the insemination period resulted in a birth weight that was 45 grams higher, on average.
Sows fed lactation feed during the insemination phase give birth to piglets 51 grams heavier than sows fed gestation feed. According to TOPIGS, this illustrates the importance of looking at the energy and protein content of the feed given during the insemination phase.
The research also found other factors that positively influence piglet birth weight:

•more feed during gestation
•higher energy intake during lactation
•introduction of gilts via a quarantine
•group housing of the sows
•no use of prostaglandins at farrowing
•a high farm hygiene level

Combining all positive factors, the average birth weight of piglets can, in theory, increase by 442 grams per piglet, TOPIGS reported.

Free online poultry nutrition and health forum March 25

Join more than 900 poultry nutrition and health professionals from over 70 countries that have already signed up for the free WATT Online Poultry Nutrition and Health Forum March 25.
Five educational presentations, including live question and answer sessions, will be held throughout the day. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to visit with poultry animal health and nutrition suppliers, network with their peers and have a chance to win prizes such as an iPod Touch just for attending. To learn more and sign up visit

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alltech symposium to feature regulatory issues

According to animal health company Alltech, the timing is right for a discussion of regulatory issues at its annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium taking place May 16-19, 2010, at the Lexington Convention Center in Kentucky. “The recent Toyota recall has once again reopened the debate on traceability, accountability and the necessity to have an appropriate crisis management system in place,” the company said in a press release. “The agri-feed industry is no stranger to these topics and, indeed, the Irish pork industry is still bouncing back from one of the most recent crises to affect our industry. Over a year later, the first page of a Google search of the keywords ‘Irish pork’ results in articles solely on the dioxin crisis. Where is the positive story?”
Attendees will have an opportunity to learn directly from the government investigator who led the way in ascertaining what happened during the Irish dioxin crisis. Dr. Patrick Wall, associate professor of public health, University College, Dublin, and chairman of the inter-agency review of the Irish dioxin crisis, will speak about the management of the crisis, what went wrong, and how the industry is recovering.
Additional speakers from the United States, the European Union and the International Feed Ingredient Federations will focus on effective crisis management and the implementation of a crisis management system.

Warm attic air cuts broiler house heating costs

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service have found that broiler producers can reduce heating costs by circulating attic air into their chicken houses.
According to their research, the air in broiler house attics is at least 5F warmer than outside temperatures 70% of the time and can reach 20F higher than outdoor temperatures. They created a ventilation system that sources air from the attic instead of outdoors, so that less fuel is needed to heat the air to the desired temperature. In a study on a Missouri farm, they found that the system reduced heating fuel use by 20% to 35%, depending on weather conditions. It also improved air quality.
The ARS said in a press release this is the first time this type of technology has been applied in broiler houses.

Novus International celebrates National Agriculture Week

Animal nutrition company Novus International Inc. celebrated National Agriculture Week, March 14-20, at its global headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., with two educational sessions for its employees. Dave Drennan from the Missouri Dairy Association educated employees about the importance of associations and how they work with producers. Rick Rehmeier, a Missouri pork farmer, explained the importance of herd health and welfare.
Novus International also posted species facts on Twitter and Facebook throughout the week as a way to educate followers, highlighting a different species each day.

Study shows monetary savings in farrowing and weaning units

Farmex, an energy controls specialist based in Reading, United Kingdom, recently released data on the savings that swine farms can accrue by upgrading heating and ventilation controls.
An energy survey conducted by Farmex and UK pig industry group BPEX showed that a typical farrowing house uses 1,500 kWh to 2,500 kWh per pen place annually, while a more efficient unit may use as little as 900 kWh, resulting in possible savings of £52 to £141 per year. The survey also showed that typical weaning pens use 100 kWh to 200 kWh per weaner place a year, compared with efficient ones using 30 kWh, offering savings of between £6 and £15 per weaner place per year.
The Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the UK government, offers interest-free loans that are designed to pay for themselves through direct energy savings. The trust says that upgrading heating and ventilation controls on livestock farms typically costs £3,000 and saves more than £4,000 and 23 tonnes of CO2 a year.
According to Farmex, the Carbon Trust offers loans of as much as £570 per farrowing pen and £60 per weaner place for energy improvements.

NAMP launches new meat buyer's guide

More than 100 meat industry professionals gathered on Saturday afternoon at The Drake Hotel in Chicago at the conclusion of the NAMP 2010 Meat Industry Management Conference to celebrate the launch of a new and completely revised edition of the Meat Buyer’s Guide.
The new edition was broadened beyond the U.S. to include all of North America, including Canadian grading standards, terminology and cut descriptions, and Spanish translations of all meat cut names. Poultry sections include: chicken, turkey, duck/goose and game birds.
New features in the book include:
*54 new items: 15 beef, 7 lamb, 6 veal, 6 pork, 7 poultry, 13 variety meats and edible by-products
*Additional updated and clarified item descriptions in all sections
*78 new photographs
*New beef value cuts such as Denver steak, Chuck Delmonico, Chuck Eye Country Style Ribs and Western Griller
*New lamb value cuts including Flank Steak, Boneless pectoral meat, a notches and split short loin and a semi-boneless lamb leg steamship cut
*New information on Australian and Canadian beef and U.S. beef, veal and lamb
*Updated weight ranges, new graphics and an expanded glossary.
Since 1961, NAMP has published the Meat Buyer’s Guide, which has been used as the premier resource publication for the meat and poultry industry, foodservice purchasers, educators and students. This new, sixth edition has been endorsed by 20 industry and foodservice associations.
Orders may be placed at the
NAMP Web site.

China to resume US pork imports

China has accepted a U.S. proposal to resume pork imports and end a nearly year-long ban that was based on misplaced H1N1 influenza concerns, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Pork trade will resume immediately once both sides finalize the export documentation, the service reported in a press release.
“This agreement is a win for America’s pork producers, whose safe and high-quality exports can now flow freely into China and support agriculture jobs here at home,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in the press release. “I am also pleased that China affirmed in our meetings that they will base their decisions on international science-based guidelines. We look forward to working cooperatively to resolve additional issues, including a resumption of trade in beef.”
China barred imports of U.S. pork from 49 states last year after the worldwide H1N1 outbreak,
Business Week reported. In 2008, before the ban took effect, China was the United States’ seventh largest market valued at valued at nearly $275M, accounting for six percent of U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports, according to USDA data.

MPF fellowship breakfast honors exhibitors

A crowd of about 200 at the 2010 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention fellowship breakfast gathered March 18 to hear an inspirational speaker and honor 30 companies for their longevity in exhibiting at the convention.
Greg Watt, president and CEO of
WATT, received a plaque recognizing his company’s 35 consecutive years of exhibiting at the MPF convention.
During the breakfast, Matt Lohr, the new commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, spoke about the need for the poultry industry to communicate a positive public message.
More than 188 companies exhibited at the St. Paul, Minn., RiverCentre, and 30 were recognized for their longevity in exhibiting at the MPF. Other companies recognized for between 30 and five years of exhibiting included the following:
*30 years – IMV Technologies
*25 years – Chore-Time Equipment, EPS; and IVESCO LLC
*20 years – Aviagen Turkeys; CEI Pacer; Cumberland/Hired-Hand; ILC Resources; Katolight by MTU Onsite Energy; Kindstrom-Schmoll Inc.; Star Labs
*15 years – Anitox
*10 years – Baer Systems Inc.; Energy Panel Structures; Iowa Area Development Group; PW Aire Technologies; Ridley Feed Ingredients
*5 years – ARKO Laboratories Ltd.; Biomin, USA; Chantland - MHS; Diversified Imports; IPS-Carefree Enzymes Inc.; Nutriad Inc.; Plasson; Ralco Nutrition Inc.; Rotem; SEMA Equipment Inc.; Stenner Pump Company; TSS; Ziegler CAT
The MPF is the largest regional poultry convention in the U.S. The 2011 MPF convention is scheduled for March 15-17 at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn.

January US egg exports increase 45%

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, exports of shell eggs in January 2010 were 3.8 million dozen, 45% higher than in January 2009.
They were valued at $3.07M (or about 80.3 cents per dozen). Sales of egg products approached 49 million, an increase of 9% over January 2009. Shipments to Japan and Mexico fell by almost 40%, but a marked increase in shipments to Canada and the European Union compensated for these losses.

Producers discover production technologies at World Pork Expo

Every summer, pork producers and suppliers make an annual pilgrimage to Des Moines, Iowa, to attend the National Pork Producer Council’s World Pork Expo.
This year’s event will be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on June 9, 10 and 11. Thousands of pork producers will flood Expo’s trade show to discover new production solutions and talk with exhibitors.
Sam Carney, NPPC President, member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association Board of Directors and a producer form Adair, Iowa, has attended World Pork Expo since the early 1980s. Carney says, “World Pork Expo is a great opportunity to learn about the latest production technologies - and I’m in great company among fellow pork producers.”
World Pork Expo’s trade show gives producers a great opportunity to touch base with current suppliers and talk with new ones. “Over the years, I’ve made small improvements to my operation based on recommendations I received from the experts at Expo,” Carney explains.
In addition to the trade show, the seminars are a great way to get a comprehensive look at everything affecting the market. The speakers are industry experts who offer valuable insights regarding the economic forecast and herd health management. Carney states, “The pork industry serves a global market; we sell hogs all over the world. There may be something I need to change within my own operation to improve the industry as a whole, and I may not even be aware of it until I hear an expert discuss it at Expo.”
World Pork Expo isn’t all work and no play. Business mixes with pleasure during the block party as vendors host dinner for their customers and bands play throughout the evening. The annual event also features America’s Best Genetics Showcase, Farm Toy Show and Sale, New Product Showcase, 2010 Junior National Swine Show, Cruisin’ with the Hogs, Pig Races, World Pork Open Clay Target Championship and the World Pork Open Golf Outing.
World Pork Expo is your opportunity to discover new products, connect with friends and get the information you need to make your operation more efficient.

Monday, March 22, 2010

USDA 2010 egg projections

The March edition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook projects 2010 egg production at 6.495 billion dozen, representing a 0.45% increase over 2009.
According to the projections, New York egg prices will range from $0.96 to $1.04 per dozen in the third quarter to $1.15 to $1.25 per dozen in the fourth quarter. The USDA projects exports of 220 million dozen in 2010, which would be a decline of 9% from 2009.

Chicken genetics could provide understanding of human disease

Scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden conducted a review of eight populations of domestic chickens and the red jungle fowl using high-throughput sequencing of genetic composition. The study conducted identified more 30 genetic loci that were attributed to domestication. Breeding of domestic chickens has resulted in 1,000 deletions from the wild progenitor. The study also identified more than 7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNIPs), which are used by breeders in advanced selection programs as predictors of desirable traits.
Several selective sweeps representing changes in the genome were noted and were attributed to breeding for desirable phenotype. One mutation is in the gene coding for thyroid-stimulating hormone, common to all domestic chickens. The Swedish researchers are evaluating this finding since it is involved in the regulation of insulin-mediated glucose uptake in muscles. This has direct application to obesity and diabetes in humans.
Domestic chickens are emerging as important research subjects since they are diurnal and have embryonic development in an egg, which facilitates study compared with mammals.

USDA releases 2009 annual poultry market summary

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has issued the 2009 Annual Summary of Poultry Market Statistics.
The document incorporates 100 pages of tables, graphs and charts on the broiler, egg and turkey markets. The annual summary is available free in hard copy, PDF format or as a spreadsheet. The annual summary can be obtained by sending an e-mail message to
Jason Karwa at the USDA Poultry Market News and Analysis Office in Des Moines, Iowa.

Analysts: US corn acreage to grow in 2010

Analysts at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago predicted that U.S. farmers will plant soy on 76.5 million to 78.7 million acres (compared with 77.5 million in 2009) and corn on 89.3 million to 91 million acres in 2010 (compared with 86.5 million in 2009), Reuters news agency reported.
The corn projections are higher than the one released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in February for 89.0 million acres. USDA put soybeans at 77.0 million acres.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Maryland considers ban on arsenic in chicken feed additives

Maryland congressional committees are considering a proposed ban on arsenic in chicken feed, according to Capital News Service. Industry members oppose the move, saying it would sicken poultry and put growers on an unlevel playing field with producers in other states.
Maryland’s attorney general, Douglas Gansler, told a senate committee that a ban would be beneficial to the poultry industry and the environment.
But Bill Satterfield, executive director of Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., said that the feed additive Roxarsone, which contains arsenic, prevents intestinal illness in birds and that a prohibition on its use would cause "a lot more sick birds, a lot more dead birds." Perdue Farms, which says it no longer uses arsenic in its feed, also opposes the ban, saying that it is not supported by science.

Idaho congressional committee approves livestock bill

An Idaho senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that would move responsibility for overseeing poultry and swine operations from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, according to The Times News of Twin Falls, Idaho.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Tim Corder, who also chairs the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee. It would group operations into permitting and regulatory categories by their size. For poultry, requirements would also vary depending on the type of bird and the type of manure-handling system the operation has in place. For example, certain permit requirements for liquid manure handling would kick in at a flock size of 9,000 laying hens, while similar requirements wouldn’t kick in for solid manure handling until a flock reaches 25,000, The Times News reported.
“As we go forward in these times, we find more and more groups that are critical of the state’s management of water quality and air quality, and we want to provide some assurances that we’re serious about that as a state and not only that, but the industry’s serious,” Corder said.
The bill now goes to the full senate for consideration.

CobbAvian48 moves into South Africa

South African poultry producer Tydstroom is introducing the CobbAvian48 broiler breeder to its integration and will also be making the breed available to other companies in the region. Tydstroom Poultry, part of Pioneer Foods, is an integrated operation, from grandparent farms to processing plant and feed mill.
The first flock of CobbAvian48 grandparents was placed last summer, and parent chicks are now being hatched.
The company produces more than 750,000 chickens a week, primarily for supplying fresh, cut-up chicken for retailers.

Europe detects first case of avian flu in a year

Authorities ordered the culling of a poultry flock in Romania in which two birds died of avian flu, and they established a two-mile “protection zone” and larger “surveillance zone” around the backyard farm, Agence France Presse reported.
The cases occurred on a farm near the Ukrainian border and were the first incidences of H5N1 detected in Europe in a year, according to the European Commission. The last detected case was in a wild duck shot in southern Germany in March 2009.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

States to take lead in new animal disease tracing system

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that states will take the lead in developing a new system to track disease in livestock, replacing plans for a nationwide animal identification system that the U.S. Department of Agriculture scrapped in February.
According to the
Rapid City (S.D.) Journal, Vilsack said that the USDA will cooperate with state agencies under the new system to trace the origins of animal disease outbreaks, but the federal department will not store information about animal movement.
“We’re not going to aggregate all this information and turn it over to some other government entity or agency. The information needs to stay with the states,” he said to a meeting of the
National Farmers Union in Rapid City.
Kenny Fox, president of the
South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, said his organization supported a state-based tracing system, but remained concerned about animal diseases coming in with livestock from Canada and Mexico.

Sanderson CEO unsure of progress with Moscow

In light of recent comments by Russian officials that progress has been made in U.S. poultry import talks, Joe Sanderson of integrated chicken company Sanderson Farms says he is “neutral” about whether Russian policy will change, according to Reuters news service.
Russia was the number-one export market for U.S. poultry until this year, when Moscow restricted the use of chlorine washes in poultry processing. Chlorine rinses are used throughout the U.S. poultry industry to remove pathogens from poultry carcasses.
Chief Executive Officer Sanderson said his company is testing a chlorine-free rinse, but it is unclear whether Russia will approve the agent. He added that exports to Russia made up only 2% of his company’s sales in 2009, but Sanderson Farms would be seriously affected if Russian restrictions lead to too much dark chicken meat on the American market and a corresponding fall in price.

Indiana farmers provide 440,000 eggs to food bank

Midwest Poultry and Bern-Hi Way Hatchery in Indiana have provided more than 440,000 eggs to a food bank in the northeast part of the state, reported the Fort Wayne, Ind., television station WANE.
The donations are part of a three-year-old annual effort by
United Egg Producers and Feeding America.

USDA to propose expanding poultry loan guidance to include pork operations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to expand guidance currently in place for loans to contract poultry operations to apply to contract pork operations, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced. The guidance protects growers from “questionable business practices,” USDA said in a release.
“Contracted poultry and pork operations face increased risk in these challenging economic times, and this additional guidance for pork, putting it in agreement with the poultry guidance, will aid the loan officers in our county offices as they continue to make informed decisions on loans for contracted pork operations, providing opportunities for producers while at the same time protecting the interests of the taxpayers who fund the loans USDA makes,” Vilsack said.
USDA currently provides guidance to county offices on the analysis and evaluation of applications for direct and guaranteed loans for contract poultry operations, as well as on how those loans are serviced.
The intention of the guidance is to protect loan repayment and ensure that loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency do not enable integrator practices that can harm producers, the USDA said. According to the department’s press release, some integrators have canceled “old contracts and beg[u]n new contracts with new producers, supported by FSA loans” in order to cut costs. This practice has “left some producers suddenly without contracts and unable to pay back their FSA loans,” the release said.
In addition to the contracting guidance expansion to pork production, FSA will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit input from the pork and poultry industries regarding the prevalence of type of contracting situation. FSA will solicit proposals for the best way for USDA to address these contract situations in the long term.
Additionally, USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration will investigate allegations from producers that companies are targeting producers for contract termination. GIPSA will examine the allegations to determine whether such practices violate Section 202 of the Packers and Stockyards Act, which prohibits packers, swine contractors and live poultry dealers from engaging in unfair, deceptive and discriminatory practices.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Institute for Feed Education and Research established in the US

The American Feed Industry Association has established the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), a tax-exempt 501(3)c foundation with a primary mission to sustain the future of food and feed production through research and education. IFEEDER is soliciting funds for researching aspects of sustainability and enhancing productivity.
IFEEDER is governed by a board of trustees and administered in part by the AFIA. The AFIA will not directly support IFEEDER but will provide staff time and resources, especially in the formative stages of the organization.
A letter to the industry from Allen Gunderson, chair of the board of trustees, emphasizes the critical need for leadership and funding to establish IFEEDER and to initiate projects.

FDA circulates letter on feed

Daniel G. McChesney, compliance director at the Center for Veterinary Medicine of the Food and Drug Administration has issued a letter regarding feed and pet food safety. The purpose of the letter is to alert the feed manufacturing industry of the need for intensified control systems to prevent future episodes of contamination. The letter makes references to mycotoxins and to Salmonella contamination, which has human health implications, and contaminants such as melamine.
The Center for Veterinary Medicine recognizes that contaminated ingredients are common to feed for a wide range of species, including swine, poultry and fish, and that feed issues parallel those associated with pet food.

FAO releases ‘State of Food and Agriculture 2009’

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization has released its 176-page “The State of Food and Agriculture 2009: Livestock in the Balance.”
A key message contained in the review is that growing populations and urbanization are driving expansion of the livestock sector. The FAO recognizes the growing disparity in efficiency between developed and developing nations with respect to crop yields and livestock production.

FDA to investigate restricting antibiotic use in livestock

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg stated in a House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing that the FDA is investigating regulatory pathways to restrict antibiotic use in farm animals. Some members of the congressional panel questioned the evidence that antibiotic use in livestock is associated with the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens of significance to humans.
Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, invited Dr. Hamburg to visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
National Animal Disease Center at Ames, Iowa, and gather scientific information from producer organizations.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Arkansas receives $75M in government poultry loans

The U.S. Senate approved $75M in emergency loans to Arkansas poultry producers as part of the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, according to the Arkansas News Bureau.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., who heads the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the relief could boost a “hurting” state industry affected by the bankruptcy of Pilgrim’s Pride.

Russia may resume US poultry imports

Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s chief sanitary inspector, told a press conference that “American chicken has a chance of returning to the Russian market” after “stunning” progress in recent trade talks between the two countries, Reuters reported.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has called the talks constructive. There is no word on whether U.S. producers have agreed to stop using chlorine washes to clean poultry carcasses, a practice that Russia restricted earlier this year, resulting in a stoppage of U.S. poultry imports.
In related trade news, Russia will resume U.S. pork imports after producers agreed to meet certain Russian regulations related to food safety, according to Reuters.

Scientists shed light on chicken development

A group of UK scientists has published research in the scientific journal Nature explaining why one in 10,000 chicks are born gynandromorphous — half male and half female.
The group’s lead researcher told the
BBC that the discovery may help the poultry industry breed better birds.
“If we can understand what the differences between the male and female identities are, then we can imagine making female birds with the same growth characteristics as males. That would increase productivity and food security,” said Michael Clinton of the Roslin Institute, who led the research. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh also contributed to the project.
According to their findings, each cell in a chicken’s body is either male or female, and that characteristic is not affected by hormones — unlike in mammals, where hormones are as important as genetics in determining an individual’s sex. As a result, a gynandromorphous chicken is completely female in body structure and coloring on one half, and completely male on the other — right down to wattle and spurs.

Erie Meat receives $3M in government funds to set up Ontario poultry plant

Erie Meat Products of Canada plans to revamp an old Campbell’s Soup facility in Listowel, Ontario, as a poultry processing plant, according to the Manitoba Cooperator. Erie Meat bought the plant from Campbell late last year for CAN$4.8M and will receive CAN$3M in provincial funds to use toward refrigeration equipment and production lines.
The plant is expected to hire 500 workers within three years, according to an Ontario government press release. That’s the same number of workers that the factory employed under Campbell, the Manitoba Cooperator reported.

Monday, March 15, 2010

UK executive imprisoned, ordered to pay £3.25m in egg labeling scandal

Keith Owen, leader of Heart of England Eggs in Worcestershire, United Kingdom, has been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a total of £3.25M — a £3M confiscation order and £250,000 in prosecution costs — on three counts of false accounting. Defra — the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs — alleged that the company sold millions of eggs laid by caged birds as free-range or organic.
The UK
National Farmers’ Union supported the sentence.
Charles Bourns, NFU poultry board chairman, said in a press release, “I welcome the outcome of this trial. The confiscation order and custodial sentence handed down by the courts sends out a strong message that this kind of activity will not be tolerated. The vast majority of people working within the egg industry are hardworking and honest. Thankfully cases like this are few and far between.”
Bourns said the
British Lion quality assurance program, which establishes best practices for egg production, “has strengthened its code of practice to ensure its traceability is robust, with on-farm stamping, a new database to track eggs throughout the system and unannounced audits.” Egg producers using cages, cage-free aviaries or free-range housing are all eligible for the British Lion program, but must agree not to misrepresent their housing systems to consumers.
“Consumers can be reassured that with new procedures in place, the eggs they are buying are genuine,” Bourne said.

New York firm recalls various chicken products produced without inspection

N.Y. Gourmet Salads Inc., based in Brooklyn, N.Y., is recalling an undetermined amount of various chicken products because the products were produced without federal inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. The projects subject to recall are:
*5-pound tubs of "Chicken Salad, Made with All White Meat"
*5-pound tubs of "Grilled Chicken Pasta & Broccoli"
*3-pound trays with six wraps of "Chicken W/Roasted Pepper & Mozzarella Wrap"
*5-pound trays of "Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast Cutlet"
*5-pound trays of "Teriyaki Chicken Breast"
The chicken products were produced intermittently between November 5, 2009, and March 10, 2010, and were distributed to retail establishments in the New York City metropolitan area. Each chicken product bears the establishment number "P-34440" inside the USDA mark of inspection. Consumers may have purchased these chicken products at supermarkets deli counters. The problem was discovered by FSIS and is part of an ongoing investigation. FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products.

Poultry & Egg Institute announces 2010 Human Resources Seminar

The Poultry & Egg Institute 2010 Human Resources Seminar will take a close look at proposed healthcare reform and how the changes could impact employer-provided health coverage. The annual conference will be held April 26-28 at the Perdido Beach Hotel in Orange Beach, Ala. The Poultry & Egg Institute is part of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
“The escalating cost of healthcare has compelled companies across the country to implement a wide range of health and wellness programs,” said seminar committee chairman Jonathan Allen of Fieldale Farms. “These programs will now be impacted by a possible overhaul in the nation’s healthcare system, so human resource professionals need to be prepared for changes in their company healthcare programs. This year’s seminar will include a general session on the bills Congress is evaluating for a new U.S healthcare plan, followed by a question-and-answer roundtable discussion,” he added.
A labor relations session will include discussions of contract labor use and the Employee Free Choice Act; social networking as a recruiting tool; and immigration best practices and preparing for customs enforcement.

Pas Reform announces projects in four countries

Dutch company Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies has announced hatchery projects in France, India, Algeria and Guatemala.
Couvoir Francois, a family-owned hatchery in Saint Hernin, France, updated its hatchery operation with a changeover to Pas Reforms’ SmartHatch hatchers in January 2010. In phase two, it will install the company’s SmartSet setters. Owned and run by the Glevarec family, Couvoir Francois has operated in the Brittany region for three decades and specializes in the production of day-old, premium-strain broilers. The company has also diversified by commercializing Labelle broilers, a slower-growing breed for an expanding market segment in France.
Indian integrated broiler producer
Sneha Farms will fit a new hatchery in Hyderabad 18 SmartSet 115 Setters and 18 SmartHatch Hatchers to produce 600,000 day-old chicks per week.
In Guatemala, Granja Rosanda integrated broiler company is expanding with a new hatchery that includes SmartSet setters, SmartHatch hatchers and a Pas hatchery climate conditioning package. The construction of Granja Rosanda’s new hatchery represents the largest Smart incubation project in Guatemala to date.
Algerian feed manufacturer
Groupe Kherbouche is working with Pas Reform to develop a new grandparent hatchery in Tlemcen, Algeria, for Aviagen Arbor Acres stock. Pas Reform will supply Smart incubation technology and a complete hatchery ventilation system.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Georgia Poultry Federation announces annual meeting exhibitors

The Georgia Poultry Federation has announced participants in the Research & Service Exhibit at its annual spring meeting from April 30-May 2 at Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris, Ga. Exhibitors include:
AgGeorgia Farm Credit, which is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, a network of banks and associations that is the largest single lender of agricultural credit in America. AgGeorgia has been making loans for more than 90 years.
University of Georgia
Department of Poultry Science, which will highlight its undergraduate instruction, graduate training, research and service programs.
Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network, which has six locations throughout Georgia offering monitoring and diagnostic services for commercial and non-commercial poultry.
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Agricultural Technology Research Program, which conducts contract and state-sponsored applied research that seeks engineering solutions to challenges faced by the poultry industry.
University of Georgia
Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, which offers education in poultry medicine to veterinarians and poultry scientists, conducts research on the diagnosis and control of economically important poultry diseases, and provides diagnostic and consultative services to the commercial poultry industry.
Russell Research Center, USDA: The Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit is located in Athens, GA at the
Richard B. Russell Research Center and is part of the in-house research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Its mission is to research issues affecting the quality and safety of poultry and other agricultural products relative to stakeholder needs in both industry and government.
Individuals interested in attending the annual meeting may
e-mail the Georgia Poultry Federation.

Salmonella concern forces Windsor Foods recall

Windsor Foods has recalled 1.7 million pounds of chicken quesadillas and beef taquitos from restaurants and stores over salmonella concerns, WebMD reported.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the ready-to-eat foods contain a hydrolized vegetable protein manufactured by Basic Food Flavors, Las Vegas, Nev., that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled on March 4. No illnesses have been associated with the ingredient, according to the USDA.
Windsor Foods has operations in Oakland, Miss., and Lampasas, Texas, and ships its products nationally. The beef taquitos were shipped in boxes bearing the lot number EST.5590. The chicken quesadilla cartons are labeled P-34708.

Are family farms really better?

Last week, I mentioned that U.S. consumers have some misconceptions about the chicken they eat, believing it to be full of additives of one form or another. Among those people who have raised those questions to me, there also seems to be the impression that family farms are good and “factory farms” are bad.
I really dislike the term “factory farm” – I believe it to be completely misleading, and I don’t like using it. It’s a term that the animal rights movement has succeeded in getting into the mainstream media, unfortunately.
The image of the family farm is one where a farmer has a small number of animals, all if which he knows by name, and he treats them like they are members of the family. Therefore, those animals must be healthier and much more humanely treated than they are on large commercial farms.
The popular image of the “factory farm,” on the other hand, is one where animals are just shoved through the system as quickly as possible, pumped full of chemicals, having no humane living conditions or treatment at all.
After all, wasn’t it a commercial pig farm in Mexico that started the H1N1 flu pandemic last year? Actually no, that farm had nothing to do with the outbreak. But we all watched U.S. reporters stand outside the gates of that operation and tell us how evil a place it was and how it had caused the flu pandemic.
The popular images of family and commercial farms have it wrong. ...Read the full blog on

Moba launches robotics line for egg industry

Moba, a producer of egg grading and handling equipment, has teamed up with Motoman, a Yaskawa subsidiary and global supplier of industrial robots, to develop robots and robot applications for the egg industry.
Moba will introduce the line at
VIV-Europe 2010, which takes place April 20-22 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Moba will also offer robotics demonstrations at its Dutch factory during VIV-Europe.
The Moba Robotics series will include robot cells with case packing, display loading, tray- and case-palletizing and de-palletizing abilities. Moba said in a press release that its new robot applications form “toolbox” that allows the company to create customized solutions for its clients.

FDA to ban surplus broiler hatching eggs

The FDA in a surprise move indicated that surplus broiler hatching eggs could not be sold to breakers. The National Chicken Council (NCC), the industry body representing 95% of U.S. broiler producers, has petitioned the FDA to rescind the intended provision of the Final Rule preventing integrators selling surplus or non-settable hatching eggs into the breaker market.
According to the NCC, 367 million surplus hatching eggs worth $5 million were sold to breakers in 2009. This represents 16 cents per dozen for eggs which averaged over 65 grams, an absolute bargain for breakers. In evaluating this figure, based on approximately 165 million broilers processed per week with 95% livability, 80% hatchability and 3% breakable rejects the broiler industry in all probability transfers 330 million eggs or nearly 28 million dozen to breakers each year. If the unit value approaches a more realistic 35 cents per dozen the loss to the broiler industry would actually approach $10 million annually.
As with many of the decisions made by FDA with regard to the Final Rule to suppress Salmonella enteritidis (SE) infection in consumers, this ban makes absolutely no sense. ...Read the full blog on

Thursday, March 11, 2010

FEFANA launches Austrian feed association

Austrian members of FEFANA, the European Union’s feed additives and premixtures association, have formed their own FEFANA national group to represent Austrian feed interests to the government and industry partners. According to FEFANA, the organization was already very active in Austria, but an increasing number of meetings with national authorities and related events demanded a more formal, national representation.
The founding members of the new Austrian group, called a “national platform” under FEFANA’s organizational structure, are Biomin GmbH, Delacon Biotechnik GmbH, DSM Nutritional Products, Lactosan GmbH & Co. KG and Lohmann Animal Health. Thorsten Guthke will serve as manager of FEFANA Austria.
In related news, FEFANA Denmark has unanimously elected Karsten Poulsen of Trouw Nutrition as its new chairman. Poulsen’s predecessor was Svend Laulund of Chr. Hansen.

Reducing piglet mortality free Webinar this Friday

Reducing piglet mortality in open-pen group farrowing systems will be the topic of a free webcast offered by the University of Minnesota on Friday, March 12, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. Yuzhi Li of the university’s West Central Research and Outreach Center will share her findings on the effects of sow parity, litter size and birth weight on survival.
Individuals interested in attending the live, hour-long session should go to the university’s
PorkCast Web page shortly before 12:30 p.m. CST and click on the program link, which will be listed under the "Next PorkCast Program" section.

KFC creator to reveal 'secret recipe' at MPF Alltech meeting

Global animal health company Alltech will bring former Kentucky Governor and the creator of the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand, John Y. Brown Jr., to speak during the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention on Wednesday, March 17.
Recently named one of America’s top business leaders in the 20th Century by Harvard Business School, Governor Brown will be disclosing the "secret recipe" to creating a super brand, as he is recognized for being the individual to launch the super brand of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Governor Brown will speak during a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Promenade Ballroom at the St. Paul Hotel. The event is open to the public.
For more information and to reserve your seat, contact Ann Kopecky,

ADM named most admired food production company

Archer Daniels Midland Company was ranked the most admired company in the food production industry for the second year in a row by Fortune magazine. Fortune also ranked ADM at the top spot in the food production industry in seven of the nine categories by which companies are evaluated: innovation, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment and quality of products and services.
To compile the
Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies list, the magazine surveyed more than 4,000 executives, directors and analysts for their evaluations on nine criteria of 667 companies from 33 countries

Chinese companies win in lysine case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that a group of five Chinese agrichemical companies did not infringe on patents for a lysine feed additive owned by Japanese food company Ajinomoto, according to Reuters news agency. The case had been on appeal from the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The administrative law judge in the case held that the claims of Ajinomoto’s two patents were invalid for failure to disclose the best mode of practicing the invention, and that both patents were unenforceable because Ajinomoto had committed inequitable conduct.
The appellate ruling favors
Global Bio-Chem Technology Group, the largest lysine producer in Asia. Other Chinese companies involved in the case were Bio-chem Technology Ltd., Changchun Baocheng Bio-Chem Development Co. Ltd., Changchun Dacheng Bio-chem Engineering Development Co. Ltd. and Changchun Dahe Bio Technology Development Co.
Li Weigang, assistant general manager of Global Bio-Chem Technology Group, said, “Today’s ruling maintains continued competition in the marketplace, which will benefit American consumers during this time of rising food prices.” The law firms
Foley Hoag LLP and Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP represented Global Bio-Chem Technology in the case

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Topigs announces 20 million pigs in breeding database

International pig breeder Topigs announces that its breeding database, Pigbase, now contains data from more than 20 million breeding pigs on 800 breeding farms. The company says this makes Pigbase the largest database of its kind in the world.
The piglet that became the 20 millionth pig in Pigbase was born on February 15 at the Topigs nucleus breeding farm in Rio Verde, Brazil.
Pigbase updates breeding values on a daily basis based on factors that include carcass quality, growth, feed conversion, litter size, sustainability, mothering characteristics and social behavior.

Sharp decrease in Spanish rabbit production

Rabbit meat production in Spain has dropped by about one-quarter in the past seven years, according to data from the Spanish ministry responsible for rural affairs. Output in 2009 totaled 72,000 metric tons, compared with almost 95,000 tons in 2002. The largest annual decrease in recent years was between 2007 and 2008, when production fell by nearly 9%.
Spain’s rabbit industry group,
Intercun, says it is looking to 2010 to bring some return of profitability after a period of increases in production costs. The economic recession is blamed for causing a significant downturn in the Spanish demand for rabbit meat. A campaign to promote consumption is planned for this year.
Rural ministry figures show 6 million rabbits kept nationally for meat and fur in 2009, mostly in the regions of Catalonia, Aragon, Galicia and Valencia.

Artificial insemination project for Spain’s Canary Islands

An artificial insemination project for better pork on the Canary Islands has been reported by Eurocarne in Spain, which says the island of Tenerife is to have a new pig artificial insemination center by the middle of this year.
A popular tourist destination in the Canaries close to the North African coast, Tenerife has a local pig production sector consisting of almost 5,000 sows on 130 farms. To support improvements in on-farm performance and carcass quality, Tenerife’s agriculture agency has made €71,700 available for a boar stud with an associated laboratory.

More sows in English herds

Sow numbers in England registered a 3.3% increase in the 12 months through December 2009, according to new national survey statistics issued by Defra, the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The size of the female breeding herd rose to 365,000 sows and gilts, up from 354,000 a year earlier. The breeding herd now stands at 438,000, a 4% rise from the previous December.
The total number of pigs in England increased by 1.3%, from 3.70 million in December 2008 to 3.75 million in 2009. The number of fattening pigs, or pigs for finishing, totaled 3.3 million, an increase of 1% from the previous year.
These rises were called encouraging by industry strategy body
BPEX. James Park, BPEX market intelligence senior analyst, said, “These results support the current quiet optimism within the industry.” BPEX Director Mick Sloyan added, “This points to growing confidence, as producers are now seeing a period of comparatively stable prices coupled with continuing strong consumer demand for pork and pork products.”

Free online poultry forum March 25

Join the 700 poultry nutrition and health professionals from over 70 countries that have already signed up for the free WATT Online Poultry Nutrition and Health Forum March 25. Five educational presentations, including live question and answer sessions, will be held throughout the day. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to visit with poultry animal health and nutrition suppliers, network with their peers and have a chance to win prizes such as an iPod Touch just for attending. To learn more and sign up visit

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alltech’s Agribusiness Summit focuses on growing businesses

Alltech’s 2010 Agribusiness Summit in Lexington, Ky., May 16-19 will include speakers and attendees from the world’s richest economies as well as emerging markets. The program will include speakers from:
*Almarai, the integrated dairy foods company in the Arabian Peninsula
*Rabobank, an international financial services provider committed to the food and agribusiness

*2 Sisters Food Group European food company
*Harvard Business School
*University College Dublin
Presentation topics building a global dairy powerhouse, the power of a brand, franchising, high raw material costs and environmental concerns.
The Agribusiness Summit will include case studies of the Guatemalan fried chicken restaurant chain Pollo Campero and Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina.

Human H5N1 cases reported in Vietnam, Egypt

The World Health Organization has confirmed three human cases of H5N1 influenza in Vietnam this year and five in Egypt in February, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. One fatality occurred in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in a woman who had slaughtered infected birds. The other two cases in Vietnam, both non-fatal, occurred in south central and northeastern areas of the country.
The five cases in Egypt occurred in February in different parts of the country. All of the infected individuals were known to have been exposed to sick or dead poultry. A 53-year-old man is in critical condition, while the other victims are in stable to moderate condition. In Egypt, the outbreaks have been associated mostly with subsistence birds.
Vietnam recently experienced seven H5N1 outbreaks among poultry in four provinces, which veterinarians have traced to illegal shipment and processing as farmers sought to take advantage of rising demand for poultry surrounding the Tet holiday.

Japan to consider resumption of Thai poultry imports

Japan should end its import ban on Thai fresh chicken products because Thailand has not had an H5N1 influenza case in more than a year, Thai Agriculture Minister Theera Wongsamut told his Japanese counterpart, Hirotaka Akamatsu, in a recent meeting.
Thai News Agency reported that Akamatsu said his country would make a decision after sending inspectors to Thailand to evaluate disease control measures among poultry.
Japan halted Thai fresh chicken imports in 2004 during an avian influenza outbreak in Thailand that eventually killed 17 people.

Proposal for poultry litter-fueled electricity plant faces opposition

Some residents of Page County, Va., have come out in opposition to a proposed electricity plant that would use poultry litter as a main fuel source, according to local paper Rocktown Weekly.
About 110 residents attended a recent work session that county supervisors held with Fibrowatt, the Pennsylvania company that would build and operate the plant, with a few people handing out stickers and literature in opposition to the proposal.
In the week prior to the meeting, the county board received questions from the public touching on environmental issues, the potential effect of the project on tourism, funding and other topics.
Terrence Walmsley, Fibrowatt’s vice president for environmental and public affairs, told the meeting that the plant would boost Virginia’s poultry industry, which employs 10,000 people. He said that a site has not yet been chosen for the plant and the company works with local governments to ensure that its plants are “as unobtrusive as possible” and in line with all environmental regulations.

Chesapeake Bay group sues Perdue, contract growers

The Assateague Coastal Trust, a Chesapeake Bay conservation group, has filed suit in Maryland District Court against Perdue Farms and one of its contractors for alleged pollution of the bay’s water, according to The Washington Post. The suit says that large amounts of bacteria and pollutants are washing into the watershed from a poultry farm near Berlin, Md., owned by Alan and Kristin Hudson, that supplies chickens to Perdue. It calls for an estimated $300,000 in fines for alleged Clean Water Act violations, as well as remedial action.
Perdue and the Hudsons did not comment on the suit.