Tuesday, June 29, 2010

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association releases research results

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has announced results of two research projects as part of its research program on all phases of poultry and egg production.
In one study, researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Poultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit at the Russell Research Center in Athens, Ga., attempted to find genetic biomarkers to identify campylobacter that can infect people. They discovered two genes that may serve as biomarkers to identify campylobacter isolates involved in human illness. Also, researchers identified a gene used to develop a fusion vaccine against campylobacter.
A separate study involved evaluating experimental vaccines to control Transmissible Viral Proventriculitis (TVP) in broiler chickens. Researchers at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Population Health and Pathobiology in Raleigh, N.C., worked to develop a vaccine based on RII/3 virus VP2 protein. They found that an effective TVP vaccine will likely require construction with a vector such as the fowlpox virus or herpes virus of turkeys.

Days of a dozen eggs numbered?

European Union proposals that would introduce an EU-wide system for selling groceries by weight rather than by number, could see the retail sale of boxes of eggs banned.
Although an amendment to the proposals allowing individual states to nominate products that could be sold by number rather than by weight was tabled, it was subsequently rejected.
Retail industry publication The Grocer, has described the move as "bonkers", and retailers are concerned that the suggested changes would cost the sector dearly, as items would have to be individually weighed to ensure accuracy on lables.
The new rules remain in draft form and, with reference to eggs, failure to exempt them has been described as an oversight by some commentators. Others, however, have been less understanding saying the changes would be "no yolk."

Fine tuning your energy consumption strategy

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Energy markets are complicated and, as a result, companies are re-thinking how they manage these expenses. Complex market factors affect risk and pricing, deregulation varies from state to state, carbon emissions are becoming an issue, and limited capital dollars are available for energy conservation projects. This webinar encompasses a worldwide approach and is not a focus on North America. This online seminar is only $9.95 for the first 100 registrants!
Reserve your seat today.

Brazil: New salmonella rules ahead for poultry producers

The Brazilian government has started the consultation for new rules on salmonella and mycoplasma.
Once published, the new rules will bring together and update Normative Ruling 44 or 2001, and Normative Ruling 76 of 2003.
The coordinator for poultry health in Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Regina D'Arce, says: "The health certification procedures for farms and commercial and breeding establishments are very similar, and it is for this reason they are being brought together in a single text."
She continued that the new procedures were drawn up by experts from the veterinary service with the help of producers. New diagnostic techniques, unavailable when the original legislation was published, along with updates procedures for certifying farms, both broiler and layer, will be included in the rules.

Groups join to produce organic bio poultry

A group of firms and organizations have agreed to produce Organic SuperBio poultry to sell in Europe and China. The Baader Group, the Pourkian Group, the Fraunhofer Institut, San’an Technology Group and Hebei Luanping Huado Food Co. Ltd. joined to produce the bio product.
The partnership will involve development of a complete Organic SuperBio process chain, with products marked by its own seal. This poultry will be exported form China to Europe with the goal of exceeding EU bio standards, as well as others.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Demand for pork up in Viet Nam

Despite ongoing epidemics, producers in Viet Nam will boost pig herds to meet demands of the 90 million people there. According to a report in Viet Nam News, herds will rise to 33.2 million from the current 8 million by 2013.
The Husbandry Department said Viet Nam must increase pork production from the current 1 million tons to 3.9 million tons to meet increasing demand for clean pork. This will require farmers to also boost the quality in which they raise herds.

Dry weather threatens China corn

China’s corn crop could fall 168 million metric tons short if dry weather continues in the country’s growing regions, according to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek. According to experts, if China’s central and northeaster areas do not get rain by the second week in July, the crop will be in peril
The losses could make China a net corn importer for the second straight year, which would support global prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that U.S. corn inventories will drop to the lowest levels since 2006-2007.

Marfrig, after Keystone Foods acquisition, has footprint in 22 countries and USD 16 billion in annual sales

Marfrig, the Brazilian meats and processed meats giant, acquired, two days ago, the American Keystone Foods for US$ 1.26 billion. It became the largest Brazilian transnational company operating in the production and processing of beef, poultry and pork. Keystone Foods, head-quartered in Pennsylvania, is one of the world’s biggest processed meat suppliers for fast food restaurants, having giants like McDonald's, Campbell's, Subway, ConAgra, Yum Brands and Chipotle among its clients.
Owing 54 industrial units in USA, New Zealand, Australia, EU, Asia and Middle-East, Keystone supplies more than 28 thousand fast food restaurants and had net sales of US$ US$ 6.4 billion in 2009. The figure, close to Marfrig’s in 2009 - US$ 5.72 billions (at today’s exchange rate) – will increase the company net sales to US$ 16 billion, according to its CEO, Marcos Antônio Molina, thus, ahead of BRF Brasil Foods’ (the company that resulted from the recent merging of Perdigão and Sadia) sales in the same year.
With the addition of Keystone Foods to its string of companies, many acquired over the last three years in Brazil and abroad, Marfrig comprises now 38 companies, totaling 151 units and 85,000 employees in 22 countries. One of the jewels of the crown is Seara, a Brazilian leading chicken and pork processing company, which was acquired from Cargill, last year.
According to sources in the sector, the proximity to McDonald's has, no doubt, favored Marfrig in the closing of the acquisition of Keystone Foods. Two years ago,
after the acquisition of OSI, Marfrig became the biggest supplier to McDonald’s restaurants in Brazil, USA and Europe.
Ironically, though, it is exactly the relationship between the Brazilian and the American companies that emerged as a big concern for the Brazilian financial annalists, as McDonald’s responds for 90% of Keystone’s sales. During the recent press teleconference on the recent acquisition, Marfrig’s CEO, Marcos Antônio Molina, minimized the concern of the annalists, saying that the relationship between the companies is very solid.
Marfrig has plans to keep on growing in the stream of the fast food business expansion around the world. Like any other supplier to gigantic corporations, Marfrig may well expect hard times in the long run, especially when contracts and prices have to be negotiated. When recently questioned on the criteria that Keystone uses to adjust the price of the products sold to McDonald's, Molina said the price list is periodically reviewed "to secure that the relationship is profitable and stable for all of us.”

Friday, June 25, 2010

What’s driving poultry profits?

Poultry industry profitability is changing, and that change is being driven by an increase in the importance of live production efficiency brought about by higher feed costs. Profits are also more dependent than ever on revenues from byproducts like chicken feet (paws), livers and gizzards, according to Mike Donohue, vice president of Agri Stats.

Live production costs
The industry has “dealt with higher and higher live production costs over the last two and a half to three years. This has softened somewhat but they have had to realize that their live costs are now – especially on the feed and ingredient side – 50% to 60% more than three or four years ago,” Donohue told WATT PoultryUSA in a
video interview at the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council annual meeting.
“As a result of that they have put more emphasis on live operations than they did in the first part of the last decade and are putting more efforts on feed conversion and efficiencies,” he said.

Markets squeeze
At the same time, the poultry industry is dealing with soft demand in foodservice markets at home and disruptions in trade in its two most important export markets – Russia and China. This has forced processors to depend more heavily on “other” profit centers in their businesses.

Drivers in industry profitability
Donohue said that during the first half of this decade the difference in being the best in profitability and being average in profitability was largely driven by sales prices and to a lesser extent by plant cost. In today’s market, however, a plant’s ability to harvest and sell byproducts like chicken feet, livers, gizzards and offal has become more significant to profitability.
Such “other profits” in the industry have climbed from a 15-year low of around 1.25 cents per pound in late 2002 to almost 3.5 cents in 2010, according to Agri Stats data presented by Donohue at the USAPEEC meeting.

Importance of paws
Chicken paws exported to China are an important part of the other revenue for many processors. As average prices for paws have risen from between 20 and 29 cents in 2003 to between 74 and 96 cents in 2010, the number of U.S. plants processing paws has risen. Agri Stats data shown by Donohue indicated the number had risen from somewhere around 75 to over 110 in this period.

International research into parasites receives funding boost

A consortium of research and academic institutions spread across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Australia is to receive funding from the European Union to carry out a series of research projects into parasitic worms over the next three years.
The consortium is being led by Edinburgh-based Moredun Research Institute and amongst priorities will be vaccines for parasitic diseases such as roundworms, tapeworms and fluke.
Some Euro 9 million (US$11 million) will come from the EU’s Framework 7, the EU’s research programme, and will go to Moredun to fund projects with help from 20 academic partners. The consortium will include 11 groups from the EU, three from South America as well as Africa, two from Asia and one from Australia.
Commenting on the funding, Catherine McLaughlin, animal health and welfare adviser with British farming association, the NFU, said: “Research such as this can help farmers and growers meet the increasingly challenging demands of producing more food while impacting less on the environment.
“There is growing concern at the levels of resistance which these parasitic worms are acquiring to conventional wormers. This has serious implications for the health and welfare of our animals and therefore we look forward to the results of these studies as solutions to this growing threat.”

Poultry association women’s conference set

Sanderson Farms President and COO Lampkin Butts will speak on, “A Top Management Perspective of Women in Leadership Roles,” in his keynote address at the 2010 Women’s Leadership Conference. Designed for women in the poultry industry, the conference sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Poultry & Egg Institute will be held Aug. 19-20 at the Perdido Beach Hotel, in Orange Beach, Ala.
The program will help enhance professional development, and sharpen and apply leadership and management skills. Topics on the agenda include: Seven Habits of Highly Effective Women; Perfecting Your Presentation and Communication Skills; and Achieving Peak Performance.

Ralco facilities get safety certification

Animal nutrition firm Ralco Nutrition has adopted food safety standards under a voluntary program which has certified its facilities. The company has earned Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, Safe Food/Safe Feed and Restricted Use Protein Products certification for its plants in Marshall, Minn.
These quality standards establish measures that go beyond existing regulations to maximize food and feed safety. Doug Wing, vice president of operations at Ralco, said this certification is essential to the company’s quality assurance program.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New rules aimed at helping small producers

A new set of proposed rules announced by the Obama administration will change how the U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces the Packers and Stockyards Act. According to a report in the New York Times, the new measures seek to increase competition and stop possible unfair practices by bigger meatpackers and poultry processors.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the rules aim to make the relationship between packers and producers and the farmers more fair and transparent. But trade groups criticize the proposed rules, saying they will slow progress and increase litigation.

Senators urge action on Russian chicken ban

A group of 25 U.S. Senators wants President Barack Obama to urge an end to a Russian chicken ban when he meets this week with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Farm Futures predicts lower U.S. chicken prices if the ban continues, but said the industry would be harmed.
Since January, Russia has banned the imports because of safety concerns over how U.S. chicken is cleaned with chlorine wash. Russia was the largest importer of U.S. poultry, spending $800 million a year and representing more than 500,000 jobs.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Butterball majority owner wants to retain company

Butterball majority owner Maxwell Farms LLC said it’s “exploring all options” following a move by Smithfield Foods Inc. subsidiary Murphy-Brown Holding LLC to buy Butterball Inc.
Maxwell Farms President Walter Pelletier said, “Our desire is to be the buyer of Butterball, which is the strongest brand in the turkey industry. We believe in the long-term business outlook of Butterball, and we are currently pursuing several opportunities that will allow us to proceed with our desire to be the buyer of Butterball.”
According to the agreement, Maxwell Farms now has the option to buy Murphy-Brown’s membership interest in Butterball or sell their membership interest, based on the price put forth by Murphy-Brown. The decision under the buy/sell action is expected to be finalized no later than September 2010 and closed by the end of the year.

Monsanto can plant modified alfalfa in US

Monsanto can plant genetically modified alfalfa seeds under a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The New York Times reported the court overturned a lower court's ruling that prevented the company from planting the seeds.
In its first decision on genetically modified crops, the high court examined the ruling that required a study on how Roundup Ready seeds would affect nearby crops. A number of environmental groups and seed firms sued the U.S. Agriculture Department in 2006 after it had approved the seed, pending a full environmental study. Monsanto appealed to the Supreme Court.

New thoughts on feeding the modern laying hen

At the Thursday June 24th WATT Online Feed Forum we are presenting a webinar titled: New thoughts on feeding the modern laying hen
This 60 minute presentation, with live Q&A, will be led by Dr. Kristjan Bregendahl, Director of Technical Services, Hy-Line International. Dr. Bregendahl will use his presentation to pick out some of the interesting new directions being tried internationally for the nutrition of high-performance egg layers.
There will be 4 other feed webinars held during the day too.
For a peek at the agenda and to sign up for this free-to-attend virtual event visit
http://www.wattevents.com today!

Nutrena creates online horse resource

Cargill Inc.’sNutrena brand has launched The Feed Room, a blog offering information for horse enthusiasts. The blog includes topics such as horse feed, feeding tips, digestive health, weight control for horses, training tips and tricks and industry events.
Experts from Nutrena and the industry will contribute to the blog and respond to questions, with new posts weekly. Visitors can view videos, leave comments, ask questions and subscribe to receive updates.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

American Humane accepts enriched colony housing

American Humane Certified, the farm animal welfare program of the American Humane Association, said it will accept enriched colony housing systems as humane for commercial laying hens. The decision gives egg producers an option, in addition to cage-free housing, to conventional confinement cages, banned in California and Michigan.
The group said it will not certify conventional cages, but found after scientific review that enhanced colony housing is acceptable, in part because the system provides nesting boxes and perches, in addition to other enrichments, which allow hens to exhibit natural behaviors.

Topigs, Monterey sign pig genetics deal

Topigs Philippines and Monterey Foods Corporation have formed an InGene partnership. Under the deal, Monterey, a large Philippines pig operation, will use Topigs genetics in its South Mindanao Live Operations.
Monterey, a subsidiary of
San Miguel Corporation, will produce its own sows using the genetics, knowledge and support of Topigs. The deal will also link Monterey’s breeding herd to Pigbase, a large pig-breeding database containing genetic information from over 800 breeding farms.

How to feed high yielding dairy cows to maintain milk yield and fertility

At the Thursday June 24th WATT Online Feed Forum we are presenting a webinar titled: How to feed high yielding dairy cows to maintain milk yield and fertility
This 60 minute presentation, with live Q&A, will be led by Prof. Phil Garnsworthy and focused on dairy cow nutrition and fertility. Dr. Garnsworthy will explain that a way has been found of solving a common problem in dairy cow nutrition -- that of feeding modern Holsteins to maximise feed utilisation efficiency for milk production without compromising reproductive performance.
There will be 4 other feed webinars held during the day too.
For a peek at the agenda and to sign up for this free-to-attend virtual event visit
http://www.wattevents.com today!

National Chicken Council opposes regulation rule change

The National Chicken Council opposes changes to a rule governing regulation of livestock and poultry. Calling the rule “one-sided, unrealistic and not in accordance with court rulings,” the council predicts the rule, as now proposed, will result in lengthy litigation and uncertainty.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) plans to publish the proposal that it said offers new protections for producers against unfair regulation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the rule will “ensure a level playing field for producers,” against unfair practices and address new market conditions not already covered.

Marie Callender’s meals recalled

ConAgra Packaged Foods LLC is recalling all Marie Callender’s brand Cheesy Chicken and Rice frozen meals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating the product’s possible link to a salmonella outbreak.
The CDC said 29 people in 14 states, eight of whom reported eating this product in April and May, have been diagnosed with salmonellosis linked to salmonella serotype Chester. Products recalled are 13-ounce packages of Marie Callender's Cheesy Chicken & Rice White Meat Chicken and Broccoli over Rice Topped with Rich Cheddar Sauce. A retail distribution list will be posted on the
FSIS website.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BASF boosts formic acid prices

BASF headquarters in Germany announced that it is raising prices for formic acid with immediate effect, or as soon as existing contracts allow. The rises amount to an extra 30 Euros per metric ton for 85% formic acid and 40 Euros per ton for 99% formic acid.
In animal nutrition, formic acid is included in products to improve feed hygiene and digestion. It is produced by BASF at sites in Germany and China.

Veterinarian journal cautions extra-label use of drugs

The June 15 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association warns of restrictions imposed by the FDA on the extra-label use of drugs by veterinarians.
According to the
Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act, veterinarians are afforded flexibility in administering drugs to help relieve animal pain and suffering. Financial considerations in using a drug registered for a given species or an alternative species is unacceptable.
Some latitude is allowed with respect to using human drugs for companion animals. Deviation from AMDUCA is associated with risks of sanctions by the FDA, which may extend from a warning letter to desist through to prosecution.

Egg export statistics for Q1

Combining data released by the Egg Industry Center and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council derived from USDA-ERS and Department of Commerce figures, it is possible to quantify recent egg exports. For Q1 of 2010, 426,000 cases of shell eggs were exported with a value of $8.4 million representing an FOB price of 59¢ per dozen. This volume is an 8% increase over the corresponding Q1 of 2009. For the first quarter of this year, exports represented the equivalent of 2.08 million hens assuming 80% flock production. Effectively 0.7% of the output of the national flock is exported in shell form.
During the first quarter of 2010 export of egg products was equivalent to 1.1 million cases representing a 70% increase over the first quarter of 2009. The value of exports for the first quarter was $30.4 million which equates to an equivalent shell egg value of 84¢ per dozen from which yield loss and the cost of processing and handling must be subtracted.
Adjusting USAPEEC data to the first quarter of 2010, it is calculated that the FOB value of egg products exported was $2,958 per metric ton. The USAPEEC figures for the first 4 months of 2010 show a 6.5% decline in unit revenue compared to the corresponding 4 months of 2009 ($3,174 per metric ton).
For the first 4 months of 2010, Hong Kong and Canada combined represented 57.8% of shell egg exports. For the same period, Japan and Canada combined accounted for 45.8% of egg product shipped.

Online feed manufacturing workshop: Feed Milling Technology

At the Thursday June 24th WATT Online Feed Forum we are presenting a "Feed manufacturing workshop" webinar. This panel presentation including LIVE Q&A will feature Dr. Leland McKinney (Kansas State University) with "How feed processing affects animal nutrition" and Will Henry (Extru-Tech) with "Efficient extrusion.
There will be 4 other feed webinars held during the day too.
For a peek at the agenda and to sign up for this free-to-attend virtual event visit
http://www.wattevents.com today!

Smithfield makes offer to buy out Butterball partner

The largest turkey company in the U.S. could be under new majority ownership by September under an offer made by Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s largest pork processor. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report, Smithfield is offering $200 million to buy out Butterball’s venture partner.
The unidentified partner can accept the offer or buy Smithfield’s 49 percent stake in Butterball, according to Smithfield. The move would allow Smithfield to “build the Butterball brand” without limitations, according to a statement by company Chief Executive Officer C. Larry Pope.

Friday, June 18, 2010

US ban of Chinese poultry violates rules, says WTO

A preliminary report from the World Trade Organization (WTO) says the U.S. has violated WTO rules in banning Chinese poultry imports, according to a Xinhua News Agency report sourced in China Daily. The move goes against the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, or the SPS Agreement, which governs food safety, and breaches most-favored-nation rules in singling out China.
The U.S. ban resulted from a provision in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. China protested the ban to the WTO in April 2009. A majority of the WTO experts examining the issue favored China, according to reports, but the U.S. can appeal the decision.

Book illustrates sow lameness

Zimpro Animal Nutrition’s Feed First team has released a new book that examines the causes and effects of sow lameness for those in the industry. The book, “An Introduction to Sow Lameness, Claw Lesions and Pathogenesis Theories,” was authored by several members of the group, formed several years ago to identify and prevent lameness in pigs. The book discusses ways to reduce lameness in commercial swine operations through lesion assessment, nutrition, gilt selection and corrections like trimming.

Feed ingredients for sustainable aquaculture

At the Thursday June 24th WATT Online Feed Forum we are presenting a webinar: Feed ingredients for sustainable aquaculture.
This 60 minute presentation, with live Q&A, is by Dr. Albert Tacon. It will include his recently completed review of the demand and supply of feed ingredients to meet future aquaculture production, on behalf of FAO for a Global Conference on Aquaculture.
There will be four other feed webinars held during the day too.
For a peek at the agenda and to sign up for this free-to-attend virtual event visit
http://www.wattevents.com today!

21st Central American Poultry Congress calls for greater cooperation

Antonio Escheverria, president of Costa Rica’s national association of poultry producers (CANAVE), reminded delegates at the 21st Poultry Congress of Central America and the Caribbean that the growth in the consumption of poultry meat in the region over the last 20 years had outstripped that of any other type of meat and that poultry producers were leaders in the use of technology.
He continued that the 21st century would be one of great challenges, and that the industry would have to make greater use of technology and improve efficiency.
Delegates at the opening ceremony were told that some 53 million inhabitants of Latin America still face hunger every day, and that the poultry industry had a major role to play in alleviating this suffering.
However, the industry could not act alone, Mr Escheverria continued, and would need to work in partnership with the government. The call for more government action was not aimed solely at the Costa Rican government, however, and he called on all the governments of the region to improve ports and roads to allow the industry to flourish.
Additionally, he called on the animal health services to be more proactive and tackle those issues that were currently causing trade distortions.

The government and industry must work together to improve efficiency and raise competitiveness, said Costa Rican Agriculture Minister Gloria Abraham Peralta.
“Governments must provide a rapid solution,” he said. “We cannot compete properly without this help."
This sentiment was echoed by Juan Luis Bosch Gutierrez, president of agro-industrial conglomerate Corporacion Multi Inversiones, who argued that communication between the public and private sectors in the region had traditionally been poor.
Costa Rica's Agriculture Minister Gloria Abraham Peralta paid tribute to the poultry industry’s clear vision for the future and noted that the government was working to implement a 10-year plan to improve the position of agriculture in the country.
She noted that neither the public nor the private sectors could work in isolation that the government was keen to not only encourage greater research and innovation, but to also ensure that the results of any research were properly implemented.
She added that she was also keen to strengthen communications not only between the two sectors, but also from them to the wider public to prevent the damage that misinformation can bring about.

Progress made in controlling pig virus

Scientists and farmers have made progress in controlling and preventing the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus. According to a panel at the 2010 World Pork Expo, area regional control and elimination programs are among measures that have helped reduce virus transmission.
Swine veterinarians and disease researchers at the expo also said better understanding of air transmission and air filtration developments, with biosecurity and refined herd diagnostic techniques have also helped stop the disease from spreading.
The goal of regional programs is to eliminate the virus on farms in low-prevalence and low-density swine areas, then controlling it in high-prevalence, high-density areas.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

USDA buys dark meat chicken

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy up to $14 million of dark chicken meat for federal food nutrition assistance. According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the purchase will help producers with increasing dark meat cold storage inventories and a decreasing wholesale price, while providing food banks and other federal food nutrition assistance program recipients with healthy products.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service buys a variety of food products each year to support a number of federal nutrition programs and to distribute to natural disaster victims.
The National Chicken Council thanked Vilsack for the purchase, and, citing a prolonged trade dispute with Russia, said the timely action will reduce excess product inventory and provide food to needy people in the U.S.
Normally, U.S. chicken producers sell more than 1.5 billion pounds of chicken legs to Russia each year. But the country banned U.S. chicken imports in January because many American plants use a chlorine wash to process chickens.

BIOMIN to share mycotoxin expertise at virtual forum

New media platforms have intensified communication and information sharing over the Internet. Capitalizing on this modern mode of interaction, BIOMIN will be making its first online presentation at the WATT Online Feed Forum, scheduled for June 24, 2010.
By increasing its sponsorship from last year’s Silver to Gold, BIOMIN will fully support the dissemination of information and educational material for the industry through new means. Opening the forum at 0330-0430 hours (GMT -0500) with his presentation and with a second at 1100-1200 hours, BIOMIN’s Research Director, Gerd Schatzmayr, will present strategies for effective mycotoxin risk management in a presentation titled “Present and Future choices for controlling Mycotoxins in Feed.”
Dr. Schatzmayr oversees BIOMIN’s global R&D activities, and has over 10 years of experience with the R&D team in the area of mycotoxin control and deactivation. He has co-authored over 100 publications and papers and lectured at over 40 scientific forums worldwide.
Hosted from 0300-1800 hours Central Daylight Time (GMT -0500), the WATT Online Feed Forum offers virtual networking possibilities and the chance to gather educational information on the latest in feed and nutrition. As Gold Sponsor, BIOMIN will be present at the forum with a virtual booth. Participants can engage in individual or group chats with BIOMIN staff here or at the Virtual Networking Lounge, in a language of their choice.
Attendance is fully flexible and participants may log in at any time for real-time discussions with other attendees and BIOMIN experts through emails and chats, and exchange electronic business cards.
With its strength in R&D and science-based solutions, BIOMIN carries one of the industry’s foremost brands for acidifiers, probiotics and phytogenic feed additives. Information on these BIOMIN products and services would be made freely available at the virtual event. Participants may access BIOMIN presentation material, webinars and content from the Resource Center, and download these into their electronic briefcases.
The WATT Online Feed Forum 2010 is entirely free-of-charge for all participants.
Registrations can be made online.

EU seeks country of origin labeling

A new proposal before the European Parliament would require labels for meat, poultry, fish, dairy produce, fruit and vegetable to clearly state country of origin, according to a BBC report. The rules would also mandate that labels say where animals were raised.
Since many shoppers buy food online and food packaging has changed, the European Commission says food labels need updating. New rules would include energy, fat, saturated fat and carbohydrates, specifying sugar and salt content on labels, but fall short of requiring "traffic light" color-coding.

Non-chlorine poultry cleanser developed

Researchers at the U.S. Agricultural Research Service have developed a poultry cleanser using lauric acid and potassium hydroxide, FoodProductionDaily.com reports. Using this solution instead of chlorine-based sanitizer is effective in eliminating bacteria that cause food borne disease, according to a study in the International Journal of Poultry Science.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture unit has been working to find alternatives to poultry chlorine washes. Since 1997, the European Union has banned poultry treated with chlorine, causing a long-standing trade dispute.

Sow-stall row erupts in Australia

Tasmania's government faces criticism over its decision to ban single stalls for sows unilaterally within the next seven years, as Australia’s Pan Pacific Pork Expo opens on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The state government’s decision to ban the stalls betrays an agreement to implement a Model Code for Pigs simultaneously across all states in 2017, limiting the use of sow stalls for pregnant sows to a maximum of six weeks or until pregnancy is confirmed, according to Andrew Spencer, Australian Pork Ltd. chief executive. The six-weeks rule will apply in Tasmania beginning in 2014 and a complete ban will follow three years later, according to Bryan Green, Tasmanian minister for primary industries.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cargill collaborates with Meyer Natural Foods

Cargill Inc. and Meyer Natural Foods have joined to expand sales of Meyer Natural Angus and Laura’s Lean Beef to Cargill’s retail and food service customers. Goods sold under the deal will be produced by Cargill at its Fort Morgan, Colo., facility.
Terms of the May agreement were not disclosed. Cargill's U.S. meat business is headquartered in Wichita, Kan., and Meyer Natural Foods is headquartered in Loveland, Colo.

Poultry to see biggest gains in meat market

Poultry will gain most from a major expansion of world meat markets in the next 10 years, according to Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019 report, the sixth annual review of commodity market projections prepared jointly by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and the food/agriculture organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Across all meats generally, the report predicts higher feed costs together with strained supplies of some natural resources will mean a slight slowing of the annual rate of market growth, to an average of 1.8%-1.9% from 2.1% in the past decade. But it projects increases in world production/consumption averaging 2.4% per year for poultry meat in 2010-2019, compared with 1.7% for pork and 1.5% for beef.
The extra poultry demand is expected to occur mainly in developing economies, where an average annual rise of 2.7% will compare with only 1.6% in the mature developed markets. The report forecasts that world poultry consumption per person per year will increase by nearly 2 kg by 2019, from 13.5 kg to 15.3 kg, adding 26 million metric tons to the amount required annually.
It says 91.22 million metric tons of poultry meat per year were produced in 2007-2009 and that this looks likely to rise to about 117.85 million metric tons.

Outlook projects pork production to grow steadily

Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019 report is the sixth annual review of commodity market projections prepared jointly by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and the food/agriculture organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
For pork, it projects world production to grow by 1.75% per year and consumption by 1.8% per year so that the global uptake by 2019 reaches 126 million metric tons annually.
The annual growth rate in production would be almost identical on a world basis comparing 2010-2019 to 2000-2009, but with some large regional changes including increases for Asia-Pacific and Africa, while Europe's rate of growth remains steady and North America and Latin America/Caribbean see decreases.
Latin America's reducing growth mainly reflects downturns forecast for Chile and Argentina, although Brazil will accelerate its output expansion from 1.73% to 1.83% per year. The average annual percentage increase is expected to rise for China from 1.90% to 2.27% and for India from 0.52% to 0.97%.

New crop insurance plan to save billions

A new crop insurance plan would save $6 billion over 10 years according to an Associated Press report. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final draft of the plan, which projects reduced savings from its original proposal that saved $8.4 billion.
To realize savings, the plan cuts windfall government payments set off by sharp commodity price spikes. Crop insurance company administration and overhead expenses would be capped under the plan, but long-term return for these firms is projected at about 14.5%.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New legislation would toughen E. coli rules

Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will introduce legislation mandating a zero tolerance for not only E. coli O157, but six other enterohemorrhagic E. coli strains. These other pathogenic strains are associated with produce and fruit in addition to meat products.
Identifying the other E. coli strains is difficult because there are no approved commercial immuno-based rapid kits available. It is estimated that the six rarer E. coli strains could together be responsible for as many cases of intestinal and renal disease as O157, with a combined prevalence of 0.2% of ground beef samples examined by USDA compared to 0.3% for O157.

Egg production, price forecast up

The Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University has issued its mid-June flock projections based on revised models. By refining the procedures developed over the years by Don Bell at the University of California, Riverside, a fairly close approximation of future prices can now be obtained. This takes into account pullet placement, size of the national flock and historical relationships between seasonal price and flock level.
The first of the month estimates of the size of the U.S. table egg population predicts an increase from 279.2 million in June to 291.8 in December 2010. Thereafter population rises in 2011 from 291.8 million hens in January to a total of 300.5 million hens in December of that year.
The U-B Large grade Midwest quote is projected to increase from 96 cents per dozen in June 2010 to peak at 120 cents per dozen in December of this year. Thereafter prices will follow the traditional first quarter pattern with a drop to 94.7 cents.
Maro Ibarburu has developed a new format for projected prices, involving a monthly egg price coefficient which relates monthly cost to an eight-year pattern. Evaluation of results for 2010 shows a fairly close approximation for two months ahead, but estimates made before April for subsequent months were optimistic, and did not take into account the severe drop after Easter. May projections covering the remainder of 2010 and for the first quarter of 2011 appear conservative and are in all probability realistic for commodity eggs.
The challenge facing the Egg Industry Center will be to reconcile hen population with demand. To date, projections of price have been based on production and have assumed consumption values as forecast by USDA using their econometric models. Reconciling demand with supply will provide a more accurate indication of future price and can be used by the industry to implement placement and depletion programs which can avoid large swings in profitability.

AFIA to host webcast for feed mills adding medications

The American Feed Industry Association announced a special webcast dealing with inclusion of drugs in feed. Topics to be considered in the June 15 event include new details about the required annual registration process. This one-time webcast has the support and cooperation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Lonnie Smith, an FDA expert on the DER process, will be the featured guest presenter. He will explain the process and related compliance changes and answer questions. AFIA urges all licensed medicated feed mills to have at least one employee participate in this online event from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT.
Richard Sellers, vice president of feed regulation and nutrition for the AFIA, anticipates that the webcast will address many questions and concerns to facilitate registration. Sellers will assist Smith in his presentation.
“The medicated feed mills, in particular, will benefit greatly from the information offered on June 15,” said Sellers. He added “I believe a lot of the confusion and concerns that have surrounded the roll-out of this new registration process will be cleared up as a result of hearing what Lonnie Smith has to say.”
In June 2009, the FDA announced it would no longer accept paper copies of the annual DER, and an electronic registration would be required instead at a site established by the FDA. In the transition to the new system, many feed companies experienced difficulties in using the FDA site. Problems have included the need to block anti-virus software and the need to obtain a number for each plant and new software to interface with the special FDA website.
For information on registering for the webcast, call the AFIA at 703.666.8092 or
e-mail Sharon Henry.

Campylobacter ‘biggest UK food safety challenge’

Working with the UK food industry to tackle campylobacter has been identified by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) as its key priority for the next five years in recently published proposals.
The FSA’s Foodborne Disease Strategy, a roadmap for reducing all types of food poisoning in the UK by 2015, says that the increased prevalence of campylobacter is the biggest challenge for food safety.
The most recent study by the agency showed that 65% of raw shop-bought chicken was contaminated with campylobacter. An estimated 300,000 cases of food poisoning are attributed to campylobacter every year in England and Wales alone.
The FSA’s proposed action on campylobacter includes:
working closely with the UK food industry to trial new intervention measures on farm, in slaughterhouses and at retail level;
setting a new target for reducing the levels of campylobacter by 2015; and
helping to ensure people can protect themselves from infection with campylobacter by making sure they are aware of the need to avoid cross-contamination when handling raw chicken and to cook chicken thoroughly.

Awards for poultry industry safety announced

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council presented safety awards to poultry companies during the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry.
The awards, which are expected to be given out annually, were handed out to 48 chicken and turkey companies that exemplified outstanding safety performance through the implementation of new health and safety programs. Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by three judges. The Council is made up of members from the
U.S Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation.
The highest category was Award of Distinction and winners in this category include: Butterball LLC, Cargill Turkey Production LLC, Equity Group Kentucky Division LLC, Simmons Foods Inc. and Wayne Farms LLC. Two other categories were also given for Award of Honor and Award of Merit.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Report recommends change in food inspection

A new study says food inspection should be done by state and local authorities, according to a report in the DesMoines Register. The National Academy of Sciences study by scientists and industry experts recommends the FDA set standards and conduct audits, and focus efforts only on at-risk foods.
The Senate will soon vote on legislation to increase oversight and safety regulation by the FDA. While the FDA regulates 80% of the food supply, it has a fraction of inspectors compared to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates meat and poultry.

Scottish funds go to egg producers

The Scottish Rural Development Program has given poultry producers funds to upgrade operations, according to a report in The Scotsman. The largest grant went to Fred Duncan, Grampian Country Food founder, who will use £$1.6M to transform some large pig units for hens.
Glenrath farms, the biggest egg producer in Scotland, will use its £$745,000 to upgrade two of its chicken sheds to an enriched colony system. I & J McRae and G Watson also received funds to upgrade egg facilities.

Transparency in the pig industry

More than 20 years ago pigs were out in the open but after some harsh winters and storms experts came up with the idea to put a roof over them. Once a roof was built, they decided walls would be a good idea and pigs became hidden from the public. While the intentions were pure, hiding the pigs from the public became a negative for the industry.
“People need to see that the pigs are well taken care of,” says Malcom S. De Kryger, vice president of Belstra Milling Co. at a World Pork Expo press conference.
Various animal rights groups have posted grainy videos of rough treatment to outright abuse of animals on YouTube. A few months ago, a video from Countryside made the rounds on several national news outlets giving the industry a collective black eye.
“We wanted to show that we’re not beating our animals – that’s repulsive to us,” says De Kryger.
To document to the public what really happens in a farrowing house and breeding barn in stalls, the company launched
www.realpigfarm.com, a live video stream that films 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Four foot-by-four foot windows were installed in several buildings so people can look in and see the pigs.
“We don’t take biosecurity lightly, but if people want to see what we do then we’re happy to show them,” he says. Belestra also offers tours and has about 200 visitors per year.

Aquaculture industry needs education campaign

An instant poll of leaders gathered at the AquaVision conference recently in Stavanger, Norway, concluded that the aquaculture industry needs to invest more in its reputation. Those polled said they are willing to spend more to improve the industry’s reputation and communicate with the public.
According to the poll, fish feed raw materials, diseases and parasites, and escapes are the most important perception challenges.

New FEFAC president stresses competition

Patrick Vanden Avenne, new president of the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), said European livestock and feed sector needs to produce more and better with less to compete. He presented a plan to strengthen the industry through 2013 to group’s delegates in Hamburg, Germany recently.
Vanden Avenne stated, “We will pursue the development of pre competitive R&D projects leading to the adoption of new feed technology and feed formulation strategies seeking to further improve feed efficiency.” He stressed the need to strengthen the competitiveness of EU livestock production.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Allen Family Foods to contest safety violations fine

Allen Family Foods said it will contest the $1 million fine it recently received for safety violations at a Maryland plant, according to the Associated Press.
This is the largest fine ever issued by the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health unit for one inspection or investigation.
The poultry processing company said the allegations do not reflect its safety record.

Chicken feathers could aid oil spill clean-up

Researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware have developed a method to mitigate oil spills using chicken feather fibers, according to physorg.com.
Prof. Richard Wool and his team have discovered how to maximize the self assembly of the oil-soaked feathers for absorption efficiency, trapping oil spilled on a water surface for effective removal. The correct size of the fibers is critical for assembly.
The U.S. poultry industry reportedly generates 5 to 6 billion pounds of feathers annually, an amount that Wool says could handle an oil spill covering some 200,000 square miles, or the entire economic zone of the Gulf of Mexico.
“The fibers are not attracted to the water,” Wool says, “but they are attracted to the oil, just as they are on live birds. And once a network of oil-soaked fibers is formed, it will reassemble, or restructure, even if it's temporarily broken up by wind or wave action.”

Poultry education recruitment fund seeks applicants

Funds are available for recruiting poultry science students. The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is seeking applicants for the Poultry Science Education fund of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation.
This fund supports student recruitment at colleges and universities with under-populated poultry science programs. Any U.S. school that offers a poultry science program is eligible for a recruitment grant of up to $7,000.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

VH Group announces feed and diagnostic investments in Vietnam

VH Group has started construction of a state-of-the-art facility for the manufacture of poultry feed in the Tay Ninh Province of Vietnam as part of its expansion into South East Asia.
The facility is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2010 and, when fully operational, will produce 4,500 mts of poultry feed each month to cater to local farmers. The site is expected to employ some 100 staff.
Local subsidiary Venky’s (Vietnam) is also planning to establish a poultry diagnostic laboratory in the south of the country to provide free diagnostic and technical services to local farmers.

Sustainable agriculture growing in the US

More than 70% of U.S. producers said they have adopted some sustainable agriculture practices in a new Rabobank report. The U.S. Farm & Ranch Survey reported 72% of producers have taken steps toward sustainable agriculture.
According to the spring 2010 survey, 64% of producers use direct seeding, 42% minimize chemical use, 39% rotate crops or diversify, and another 39% reduce energy inputs. Those most likely to have adopted practices include tenant farmers, row crop farmers, Western region farmers, farms grossing $1 million or more income, and farmers younger than 40.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

UK specialist decries overuse of antibiotics

Dr. Alastair Hay of Bristol University has recently published an article in the British Medical Journal drawing attention to the extensive misuse of antibiotics by the medical profession. Although the intensive livestock industry has been blamed for the emergence of drug-resistant organism in human medicine, the Hay analysis shifts attention to current policy on prescribing antibiotics. According to the findings of the study, many practitioners administer antibiotics for viral respiratory infections without scientific justification. Drug-resistant organisms are excreted for at least one month after a course of therapy and may persist for a year resulting in dissemination of resistant bacteria in the community. It is estimated that the cost of treating medical conditions caused by drug-resistant organisms is approaching $2 billion annually in both the U.S. and the EU.
In the
report posted by Reuters, a research group dealing with health policy at the London School of Economics suggested that “financial incentives should be developed to find, test and develop new antibiotics in view of the rapid growth of antibiotic resistance.” This appears to be a paradoxical argument since if new antibiotics are developed to treat drug-resistant organisms, the medical profession, following current practice, would simply substitute the new drugs resulting in the loss of their effectiveness. There does not appear to be a mechanism for restraint other than educating both the medical profession and patients as to their respective responsibilities and expectations.
The outstanding value from the Hay study is that regulatory agencies may begin to focus on the real causes of drug-resistant organisms and nosocomial (hospital and medical facility) infections. In food animal production, there is a financial disincentive to use antibiotics coupled with rigid restraints over availability and prescription practices. There is no such deterrent in the medical profession since insurance or government agencies foot the bill for the unrealistic expectations of patients and the lack of prudence demonstrated by health providers.

European feed production drops

European Union feed makers in 2009 produced 3.8% less feed than in 2008, according to a report from FEFAC, the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation. Following its recent meeting, the group said cattle feed was down by 6%, pig feed by 5% and poultry feed by 1%.
Current forecasts for the 2010 harvest indicate that production will decrease by 1% compared to 2009. FEFAC members expect to see relatively low quotations for crops this year due to record harvests in South America and a less favorable dollar-euro exchange rate.

Philippines bans poultry from Italian, Dutch cities

The Department of Agriculture in the Philippines has temporarily banned birds and poultry from Bergamo in Italy and North Brabant in the Netherlands from entering the country. The action was taken, according to a report in Business World Online, following reports of avian flu in the cities by the World Organization for Animal Health.
The order intends to protect the local poultry industry from the bird flu virus. World Organization for Animal Health data shows that the Philippines, with Brunei and Singapore, are the only countries without bird flu in Southeast Asia.

Allen fined $1million for safety violations

The Baltimore Sun reported Allen Family Foods Inc. has been fined $1 million for 51 safety violations found in an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health unit of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in Maryland.
The state inspection followed an incident at the poultry company’s Hurlock, Md., facility last December in which an employee was seriously hurt.

UK’s new animal health plans put on hold

Plans for a new independent animal health body have been put on hold by the UK’s new coalition Government, and could eventually be dropped.
The new administration is committed to the principle of sharing responsibility for animal disease, but ministers have made it clear they want to formulate their own plans in their own time.
A draft bill was published in January. The newly elected UK government, however, has made commitments to reduce expenditure this year by GBP6 billion (US$8.75 billion), and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, which originated the new scheme, will contribute GBP162 million to these cuts.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Allen plans to sell facilities

A report in the Washington Examiner said Allen Family Foods plans to sell assets to Amick Farms LLC. The deal, expected to close by the end of June, includes a Maryland chicken production facility and hatchery, plus a feed mill located in Delaware.
Allen expects to expand another of its processing plants in Cordova, Md. Amick said it plans to continue running its South Carolina plant while expanding operations at the facility it’s buying from Allen in Hurlock, Md.

Novus president wins entrepreneur award

Novus International Inc. President and CEO Thad Simons has received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010 Bioscience Award in the Central Midwest region. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic, growing businesses, according to Ernst & Young.
Novus has grown from 300 to more than 800 employees globally with sales approaching $1 billion. Based in St. Louis, Novus creates science-based health and nutrition solutions for the poultry, swine, dairy, beef, aquaculture, companion animal and human markets.

European pig vets launch new trade group

Pig veterinarians in Europe have formed the European Association of Porcine Health Management (EAPHM). With plans to officially launch at the beginning of 2011, the group’s primary goal is education, and representing members’ interests on issues.
John Mackinnon, a U.K. practitioner, will serve as EAPHM’s first president. Other board members are from Spain, Denmark, France, Belgium, Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Mackinnon said Europe produces over 250 million pigs annually, second in production to China.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tyson Foods, US government agree on wage, hour plan

Tyson Foods Inc. and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have filed a joint motion in federal court to resolve a May 2002 DOL lawsuit, which sought back wages at the company's Blountsville, Ala., poultry plant and prospective injunctive relief at the company's other poultry processing facilities, according to a Tyson Foods press release.
If approved by the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama, the agreement between Tyson and the DOL will take effect on June 8, 2010. The changes in pay practices are expected to affect between 33 and 47 Tyson plant locations across the country and as many as 38,000 employees.
Under the agreement, Tyson will gradually modify timekeeping practices at its poultry plants and certain prepared foods plants over the next two and half years. The company will provide 8 or 12 minutes of extra pay per shift on an interim basis to certain hourly processing line workers. By December 2012, the company will implement a more permanent modification, making arrangements for workers to "clock in" before they put on certain clothing items and "clock out" after the clothing items are taken off.
As part of the agreement, Tyson will also pay $500,000 to resolve all monetary and injunctive relief issues in the case, including all claims for back pay. The DOL will distribute the payments to an estimated 3,000 current and former Blountsville workers. The payments will range in value from $1 up to about $2,500, before legally-required withholdings.
Tyson poultry workers who are represented by a union will not be affected by the interim measures. However, the unions may choose to accept the post-December 2012 system if they "opt-in" during the next 60 days.

Purdue lab tests eggs for salmonella

The Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University is preparing to test eggs for salmonella, as required under a new federal law, according to the university. The rule requires farms with 50,000 or more laying hens that do not sell all eggs directly to consumers to comply with the rule by July 9.
The government set up the rule after detecting salmonella contamination in samples from egg farms across the U.S. If the bacterium is found, a producer will need to take additional steps including testing 4,000 eggs from that flock or treating the eggs with pasteurization, for example, for the flock's lifetime.

France to set up Africa farm fund

France will invest $120 million in Africa’s agriculture industry, according to a report from the 25th Africa-France summit published by Reuters. The fund could total $300 million to establish farming projects.
With rivals emerging, including China, which has become Africa’s largest trade partner, France is trying to maintain some economic influence.

Shipping all US corn sold expected to be difficult

An economist at the University of Illinois predicted in a recent Agrimoney report that the U.S. will have trouble shipping all of the corn it sells for 2009-10 exports.
Economist Daniel Good said corn sales will meet a U.S. Department of Agriculture projection of 1.95 billion bushels this season, but he’s not sure all of the corn will be shipped before the season ends.
Corn left unshipped would be counted among year-end inventory and could impact price.

Florida promotes state-grown chicken

Pilgrim’s Pride has partnered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to promote state-raised chicken. The Fresh from Florida campaign, denoted with a logo, has launched at Sam’s Club stores in Florida, and other stores are expected to join the program.
The department said the chicken is raised antibiotic-free on an all-vegetable diet and is processed in Live Oak, Fla., that features advanced air-chilling technology to ensure quality and freshness.
In Florida's Suwannee, Lafayette and Madison counties, the poultry industry has an overall economic impact of $347 million annually, supporting nearly 100 farms and creating 3,700 jobs.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

US farm, ranch survey shows income up

A new survey by Rabobank shows that income for U.S. farmers and ranchers improved over findings of two prior surveys. Beef, dairy and row crop farmers surveyed in the Rabobank U.S. Farm & Ranch Survey reported a 24% improvement in income since fall 2009, while about half of U.S. producers state that their income was worse when compared to last year.
Half of producers expect income to improve while half expect income to decline in the next year. The survey found that 43% reported a decline in profitability. About 20% more producers reported higher costs. View a full copy of the
report online at the Rabobank website.

Kiotechagil launches Bactacid brochure

Feed supplier Kiotechagil is launching a new brochure to inform customers in new markets on its Bactacid product. The country said it has seen sales in Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil, countries with large pig populations.
Bactacid is used to control enteropathogens in feed and the intestinal tract. Trials have shown that as it lowers the pH in the intestine and slows the growth rate of potential pathogen, according to the company.

Russia’s Sodrugestvo secures expansion finance

Russia’s largest supplier of feed ingredients is to receive US$40 million in loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Sodrugestvo Group will borrow US$25 million over three years from EBRD towards working capital for its soybean crushing operation. There will also be a seven-year loan of US$15 million for a transport subsidiary to purchase up to 500 railway wagons to carry finished products, such as soybean meal, to customers and to bring rapeseed for crushing.
The group plans to start local sourcing of up to 50,000 metric tons of rapeseed per year for processing at its recently-opened crushing plant in Russia’s westernmost port, Kaliningrad. It also intends to use its Kaliningrad port facilities for exporting about 150,000 tons of grain per year as well as 100,000 tons of sugarbeet and 50,000 tons of rapeseed.

US agriculture exports projected to grow

A new government report forecast the trade surplus in agriculture to reach $28 billion, the second highest level achieved.
The news follows a historic six-month pace by agricultural exports, with $59 billion in sales, 14% higher than last year. Exports to China grew by nearly $3 billion during this period to $10.6 billion.
Outlining the
U.S. Agricultural Trade Outlook Forecast for fiscal year 2010, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said this means 8,000 to 9,000 domestic jobs for every $1 billion in exports. U.S. farmers and producers are expected to reach $104.5 billion in sales, up $8 billion over last year.

Russia may resume US poultry imports with 25 percent cut

The U.S. and Russia may have reached an agreement on reinstating some U.S. poultry imports to Russia, with a 25% reduction, according to the Associated Press.
Russia banned all U.S. poultry imports Jan. 1, due to a common chlorine treatment U.S. poultry companies use.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scientists discover antibiotic-resistant genes

Scientists at the U.S. Agricultural Research Service said they have detected over 700 genes that give microbes the ability to resist antibiotics and other antimicrobial compounds.
Concerned some of these organisms have acquired genetic resistance to the antibiotics used to kill them, researchers said finding genes that offer resistance is an important step for scientists looking for new ways to control the organisms.
Using DNA microarray technology, ARS and collaborators at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center said they have found what makes bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter, resistant. Findings were published in the journal
Microbial Drug Resistance.

Aova partners with Europharma to expand US aquaculture markets

Aova Technologies Inc. is partnering with Europharma, a Norwegian subsidiary of Nordly Holdings, to distribute the Big Fish brand additive to North American aquaculture markets. The agreement sets up the firms to penetrate the global salmon market, according to the companies.
Aova and Europharma will provide expanding US aquaculture producers with the feed additive. Aova Technologiesm is a Wisconsin-based biotechnology startup. Europharma is a wholesaler and supplier of fish health products for the Norwegian fish farming Industry.

Assurance scheme launched for UK duck producers

A new Duck Assurance Scheme (DAS) was launched in the UK in May.
The scheme has been developed for producers who are keen to demonstrate their professionalism and high standards of production, and co-developer SAI Global has been designated as the inspection body.
Commenting on the initiative, British Poultry Council chief executive Peter Bradnock said: “We are delighted with the launch of the Duck Assurance Scheme. British Poultry Council members have worked long and hard to ensure that these standards are rigorous, auditable and encompass the whole production chain for ducks.”
The scheme covers: breeding; hatching; rearing; catching; transport; slaughter; free range and table eggs. Areas that will be assessed under the scheme include animal welfare and environmental protection, health and safety training and development of farm workers along with the food safety issues for the consumer.
The scheme is owned and administered by the British Poultry Council and is managed by an independently chaired technical advisory committee.

Technology seminar set for poultry, egg industries

The US Poultry and Egg Association’s Poultry and Egg Institute will hold its 2010 Information Systems Seminar July 19-22 in Nashville.
“What’s New in the IT Industry” will include information on new hardware, software and applications for the poultry industry.

BASF raises vitamin E feed price

BASF’s Nutrition Ingredients division announced that it has increased the price for vitamin E for its feed applications immediately. The price increase is due to current market conditions.
BASF supplies of food ingredients and feed additives with products for animal nutrition including vitamins, carotenoids, enzymes and organic acids.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

US, Russia may be close to deal on poultry trade

Russia may be close to having a plan in place to resume U.S. poultry trade, which has been suspended since January, said The Wall Street Journal.
According to Russian newswires, Rospotrebnadzor Chief Gennady Onishchenko said his agency has come to an agreement on various rules for trading poultry between Russia and the U.S. Rospotrebnadzor is Russia's consumer protection agency.
The ban on Russian imports of U.S. poultry took effect January 19, which Russia attributed to a common chlorine wash used in the U.S.

Cargill to build chicken facility in Russia

Cargill Inc. said it will build a chicken processing facility at its Efremov, Russia location. The $30 million facility expects to produce 18,000 tons more of processed chicken products for the Russian market and employ 75 people.
The company anticipates construction to start in fall 2010 with the facility operational by the end of 2011. The facility will supply chicken products, including Chicken McNuggets, for McDonald’s restaurants in Russia. The chicken meat will be sourced from a number of selected Russian producers.

New rules could alter US livestock marketing

A Reuters report said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will propose changes to marketing rules that guide livestock and poultry sales. Announced by the National Family Farm Coalition and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the fair play rules could alter a 2008 farm law and bar meatpackers from giving preference to big producers.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said any changes would respond to farmer complaints. Although the 2008 farm law carries a number of regulations, there’s still little recourse if packers treat producers unfairly. Current laws governing antitrust and competition work well, meat processors say.

Reciprocal Meat Conference set for June

The American Meat Science Association’s 63rd Reciprocal Meat Conference will be held June 20 to 23 at Texas Tech University. The event is expected to draw more than 500 meat science professionals.
The conference will include sessions focusing on major issues of the meat industry and meat science community, industry trends and more. More
information and registration details are available online.

Iowa State holds recertification sessions

The Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University will hold a recertification training session for the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus Advisor program. Those certified under the National Pork Board’s PQA Plus program must recertify every three years.
Sessions will be held in early June at three locations in Iowa for $50. ISU animal science and veterinary medicine faculty are certified as PQA Plus trainers. More
information and pre-registration is available online.