Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cal-Maine Foods posts Q4 and FY 2010 results

For the 52 weeks ended May 29, Cal-Maine Foods Inc. posted a net income of $67.8 million compared with $79.5 million, a 14.6% decline compared with FY 2009. Earnings per share declined 14.9% from $3.34 to $2.85 for FY 2010.
Net sales attained $910.1 million, 22% less than the $928.8 million achieved in FY 2009. During FY 2010 Cal-Maine Foods sold 805,399 million dozen (777,885 million dozen FY 2009), of which 79% was derived from Company flocks compared to 77% in the previous year. Net average unit revenue was $108/dozen compared to a 5% decline from $1.14 in 2009. Specialty egg sales increased by 4.3% to represent 14.4% of sales compared to 13.8% in 2009 and generated 21.4% of revenue. From the data presented, generic eggs were sold at an average of $1.03/dozen compared to $1.68/dozen for specialty eggs including Eggland’s Best, Farmhouse and 4-Grain Brands.
The company generated a gross margin of 21.4% which was fractionally lower than the 22% margin in 2009. This was despite a 10% decline in feed cost from 2009 to 34.9 cents/dozen in the current year.
In reviewing the Cal-Maine balance sheet, it is noted that the current ratio improved from a ratio of 2.3 to 3.2 denoting a stronger asset base relative to current liabilities. Long-term debt was reduced by 9.7% to $104.7 million and shareholder’s equity increased by 13% to $377 million from the previous fiscal year.
“Looking ahead, we project that fiscal 2011 will be a good year for Cal-Maine Foods,” said Chairman Fred Adams Jr. “However, we expect feed costs will be relatively high and volatile.”
The market responded favorably to the Q4 figures and the annual report rising 11.6% from the opening price of $33.13 as of July 26.

Lallemand sponsors forage challenge

Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America will sponsor the contest awards and prizes for 2011 World Ag Expo’s Forage Challenge. It’s the second year the company has been a partner in the event.
Open to alfalfa hay and corn silage grown and harvested during 2010, winners will be on display at the 2011 World Ag Expo, Feb. 8-11 with educational displays and seminars where growers can learn more about forage production. Farmers and ranchers from 11 western states can participate in the challenge, held to determine highest-quality forages.

Latest USDA WASDE Report online

The USDA World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate Report for July 9 projects a reduction in the corn crop, a proportional escalation in price from the May estimate and an average farm price at $3.45 to $4.05/bushel.
The USDA WASDE projection for the 2010-2011 soybean crop is shown in the table below. Acreage to be harvested and yield are based on July projections taking into account weather and acreage planted, and the estimated average farm price falls at $9.10 to $9.60/bushel.

Iowa State Extension site analyzes hay storage costs

Iowa State University Extension has a new tool available on its Ag Decision Maker website. The “Hay Storage Cost Comparison" is a free spreadsheet that compares the cost of up to eight hay storage options at once, and calculates total annual cost including spoilage losses and hay available for feed or sale.
The Excel-based spreadsheet considers several types of cost in its analysis after users enter expected volume of hay produced or needed, current hay prices and the size of bales they use. Although hay is the third most valuable crop produced in Iowa, some producers lose up to a fourth of their crop from improper storage.

Pilgrim's Pride to resume exports to Russia

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation has received formal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to resume exporting chicken products to Russia, according to a company press release. The company said the USDA has approved exports to Russia from Pilgrim's processing facilities in Boaz, Ala., Russellville, Ala., and Dallas, Texas.
Russian officials signed a formal poultry agreement with the United States earlier this month outlining new processing requirements for domestic chicken that is to be exported to Russia. Earlier this year, Russia had banned all U.S. chicken that had been processed with chlorinated water. Under the new requirements approved last week, U.S. chicken companies can replace the chlorinated rinse with cetylpyridinium chloride, peroxyacetic acid or hydrogen peroxide. Pilgrim's plants in Boaz and Russellville were converted to peroxyacetic acid earlier this year.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has compiled a new approved list for Russia that was sent to the Russian government last Friday that is based on the Russian-approved list that was in effect December 31, 2009. As soon as companies appear on the new FSIS list, they are eligible to begin shipping to Russia immediately.
"We are pleased that the new agreement is in place and we look forward to resuming export shipments to Russia as soon as possible," said Don Jackson, Pilgrim's Pride president and chief executive. "Russia is an important export market for U.S. chicken and the re-opening of the borders will be a significant benefit to our company and industry."

Two bidders remain for San Miguel

Two bidders remain for a minority stake in Pure Foods, San Miguel Corp.’s poultry and hot dog division. A Bloomberg report said as many as five companies were in the running for minority ownership of the largest food and drinks maker in the Philippines.
According to company President Ramon Ang, San Miguel will continue negotiations for the unit valued at $1.8 billion with the two remaining unnamed bidders.

Pollution trial involving Perdue to proceed

A trial against Perdue Farms and Maryland chicken farmers, Alan and Kristin Hudson, will move forward after a federal judge refused to dismiss the case accusing them of polluting a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, according to a Baltimore Sun report.
The suit filed in March by the Waterkeeper Alliance, the Assateague Coastal Trust and Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips says a branch of the Pocomoke River received harmful levels of bacteria and nutrient pollution that flowed from a drainage ditch on the farm where chickens were raised for the company. Perdue and the Hudsons argued for dismissal on a variety of legal grounds, and Perdue said it should be let out of the lawsuit because it does not own the farm where chickens were raised under permit.

Positive signals from pig congress

Economic constraints are not thought to have had a major impact on this year’s International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS), and with registered delegates at 2,600, attendance is similar to past editions.
And the mood from the event is reported to be positive, perhaps not surprising, if the long-term view of the pork industry is taken into consideration.
The increase in the levels of consumption and trade in pork have outstripped those recorded for chicken and beef over the last decade and this is set to continue.
The message came from Dr Dermont J Hayes, of the Trade and Agriculture Policy Division at Iowa State University, and formed part of his presentation on the challenges facing the industry. Dr Hayes also noted that, in the global arena, the European Union is having to adapt to its changed position in export markets as the health gains that it once held are being eroded by production gains in North America. Amongst its strategies has been the repositioning of pork away from being simply a commodity product.
Bayer Animal Health’s Jim Gerardot continued the theme that the pig industry is one where great changes are taking place. He noted that, over the last decade, industrialization has been the great challenge, however, the challenge for the decade ahead will be precision production – fine tuning health and management for maximum profitability.
He added that, in the US, strong communication channels already exist between producers and slaughterhouses, which helps producers to supply exactly what processors require. This exchange of information is also becoming increasingly common in the European market.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Aviagen breaks ground on new vet lab

Poultry breeder Aviagen announced it has started constructing a new veterinary services laboratory in Elkmont, Ala. At about 14,000 square feet, the lab will give the company almost twice the space of the existing lab when it’s complete in 2011.
Designed to meet biosafety level 2 standards, the facility, located less than a mile from its current laboratory, will employ 20 people and support Aviagen’s continued growth. It will perform diagnostic protocols mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Poultry Improvement Plan, as well as other molecular diagnostics that support procedures aimed at meeting all export requirements.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Heart disease greater for farm, food workers

If you work in farming, food service or transportation fields, you may have a greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. According to a Reuters report, a new study links these professions to a set of risk factors called metabolic syndrome that carry a greater risk for the disease.
Those working in health professions, as well as scientists and artists carry low risk for these factors, which include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol and high triglycerides. Results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that the syndrome, usually diagnosed when someone has three or more conditions, can double a heart attack and stroke risk.

Henry Marks to lead US Poultry research

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has appointed Henry Marks as research coordinator. Marks succeeds Charles Beard in leading the group’s research program encompassing all aspects of poultry and egg production and processing.
Marks will work with Beard on this year’s research competition round, and then take the post. He will receive and evaluate research proposals working with the Research Advisory Committee, and make recommendations to the board of directors for funding approval. The association has funded about $23 million in research since establishing the program in 1962.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Texas A&M wins poultry judging contest

A team from Texas A&M University won, and Penn State’s team took second place in, the 63rd U.S. Poultry & Egg Association National Poultry Judging Contest held recently at Louisiana State University. The Texas team scored highest overall in this year’s contest, as well as competitions in 2008 and 2009, while Texas A&M student Kevin Ellis was the individual overall winner.
The Association sponsors the contest as part of its student outreach program, and the contest was established to pique students’ interest in the poultry industry and encourage enrollment in poultry science studies. Teams compete in production judging, breed selection, and market products judging.

Muscatine forms Kent Nutrition

Nutrition firm Muscatine Foods announced it has united its livestock and pet nutrition subsidiary companies to form Kent Nutrition Group Inc. The group will have two divisions: the feed division will focus on products and services for commercial producers, horse owners, and “lifestyle” farmers, while the pet division will develop products for dog and cat owners, small animal enthusiasts and birders.
The group replaces subsidiary companies Blue Seal Feeds Inc., Kent Feeds Inc. and its Evergreen Mills, which operated independently geographic U.S. regions. The new feed division will be led by Rich Dwyer, who was president of Kent Feeds, while the new pet division will be led by Kevin Fields, former president of Blue Seal Feeds.

GMP+ Food Safety Assurance participation grows

Participation in the GMP+ Food Safety Assurance (FSA) plan is growing, program administrators reported. On July 1, the program had 11,285 participants in 67 countries throughout the world. Program administrators expect participation to grow further, due to stricter market requirements, changed in certification and positive outcome for certified firms.
The GMP+ FSA is a whole feed chain program covering feed safety management, risk analyses, use of good production practices (prerequisites), early warnings and traceability. GMP+ International plans to change certification requirements to better match what happens in practice with companies in the feed chain, and in September will launch a worldwide 'roadshow' to develop the program in direct consultation with participating companies and start the Feed Safety Database (FSD) portal.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Danish pork exports succeeding in Australia

Danish pig producers are doing well in Australia and are looking forward to even better prospects next year, according to the latest British Pig Executive (BPEX) Export Bulletin.
An analysis by BPEX economists forecasts that Danish exports to that country will increase by 20% over the next year.
At present the majority of food exports consists of meat and that is mainly chilled pork, but increasing demand means that, in the future, exports are expected to include organic products and high quality food products, as well.

Sows in groups produce heavier piglets

New research released by sow breeding firm Topigs shows that 40,000 of its sows from 59 Dutch farms housed in groups produced piglets with a birth weight 61 grams higher than those housed individually. Results of the research, conducted in 2008-2009, were backed up certain scientific papers, the company said.
Researchers cited number of factors in reporting results: group housing allows sows to interact socially and perform beneficial behavioral patterns; group-housed sows exercise more; and group-housed sows lose less body energy through radiation in cold. European welfare regulations from 2013 onwards require sows to be housed in groups during gestation.

Feedtech-Croptech Asia 2011: What topics would you like covered?

For your benefit, VIV Asia 2011 and WATT are hosting Feedtech-Croptech Asia 2011 (FCA 2011), an educational event covering milling, processing, storage and handling of raw materials for feed, food and fuel in Asia. The program will include keynotes on trends, developments and product demonstrations.
What topics would you like to be included? Please take a brief survey on topics of interest to you in the areas of feed technology so that your opinions can be considered as speakers and topics for FCA 2011 are selected.
Click here to complete the survey, or copy this address into your browser: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/563MBWP

Food Safety advisory group reestablished

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced reestablishment of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) charter. Committee members have been appointed to the committee for the 2010-12 period to advise the department on issues of food safety.
The committee, established in 1971, advises the secretary on matters affecting federal and state inspection program activities regarding food safety. It also contributes to the USDA's regulatory policy development, sending recommendations for consideration and review through the department’s undersecretary for food safety.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Humane certified OK’s FASS standards

The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) announced that its animal welfare standards have been approved by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Humane Association’s American Humane Certified farm animal program. This endorsement by an independent group of scientists gives the guide added credence, FASS said.
The standards were developed by a group of 62 professional animal, dairy and poultry scientists over a year that collaborated to write guidelines that capture the current state of science for farm animal care. The FASS Ag Guide was published in January this year.

AccuWeather issues soybean risk warning

AccuWeather.com said the Midwest soybean and corn crops may be stressed by high temperatures the week of July 18. Hot, dry weather moving into the region will produce the hottest temperatures of the year, according to agricultural meteorologist Dale Mohler.
Look for three days of temperatures in the mid to upper 90s in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. Mohler said soybeans have the greatest need for moisture in August when they go through the pod-filling stage.

Feed association applauds derivatives reform

American Feed Industry Association President and CEO Joel G. Newman applauded derivatives trading reforms that are part of the Senate’s financial regulation overhaul. The bill includes reforms on derivatives trading sough for two years by AFIA.
AFIA will now begin to work with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and others to make sure the final law, “remain(s) true to our goals for a well-regulated futures market that protects bona fide hedgers against the impacts of the massive speculative limit exemptions.”

MHP trading update shows gains

Ukrainian agro-industrial firm MHP S.A. announced sales gains in its pre-close trading update for the second quarter and first six months of the year ending June 30, 2010. The company reported increases in the volume of chicken meat sales to external consumers. The company also reported increases in the volume of sunflower oil, sausage and cooked meat production. In addition, grain yields are expected to be as strong as last year.
For the second quarter chicken meat sales grew 30% and were up 45% for the first six month period ending June 30. While chicken prices were flat during the quarter and half-year period, demand was high.

Brazil to open WTO panel against EU over poultry tariffs?

Brazil could be about to request the opening of a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel against the European Union (EU).
Francisco Turra, president of the Brazilian poultry association (Ubabef), has said that, if negotiations to remove protectionist measures adopted by the EU against Brazilian exports fail, then the industry will have to approach the WTO.
Brazil is currently able to export 350,000 tons of the poultry to the EU at a reduced tariff rate, anything above this is charged an additional tariff, bringing the price for Brazilian exports close to that for locally-produced fresh chicken.
Ubabef is calling for a new rate to be established that falls between the higher and lower rates.
* Figures released for the first half of 2010 show that the total volume of Brazil’s poultry exports fell by 2%. There was also a change in the mix of exports with processed chicken exports falling by 27.5%, and cuts by 5.5%. The share of whole birds, which have lower added value, accounted for 40% of total exports over the period.

Monday, July 19, 2010

KnowMycotoxins.com launches short course

KnowMycotoxins.com has launched a new page on its website featuring a Mycotoxin Short Course. The resource includes video lectures that address key challenges of identifying and dealing with mycotoxins: regulations, sampling, the most simple and sophisticated ways of testing.
Because of the poor quality of the 2009 U.S. corn crop, there is a focus on mycotoxins this year, according to site developers. The site developed by animal nutrition firm
Alltech started in 2007 in English and has since added information in five more languages. It provides the animal feed industry information on overcoming challenges and repercussions of mycotoxins in animal feed.

NCC urges USDA to withdraw new performance standards for raw chicken

New federal regulations on the presence of naturally occurring salmonella and campylobacter on raw poultry are unsupported by science and contrary to law and should be withdrawn, according to a National Chicken Council (NCC) press release.
“The chicken industry recognizes the importance of preventing foodborne illness and enhancing public health protection,” NCC said in comments filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS). “The industry has made great strides in recent years in reducing the number of broiler carcasses testing positive for salmonella, achieving a two-fold reduction in the prevalence of salmonella on chicken carcasses on a national basis since the industry’s voluntary adoption of the NCC Salmonella Reduction program in 2004.”
According to the NCC, there is no scientific justification for USDA’s claim that changing its “performance standard” for salmonella on raw chickens, and establishing a new one for campylobacter, will reduce foodborne illness in humans. In fact, NCC noted, the burden of salmonellosis in the country has actually increased slightly in recent years even as the chicken industry successfully reduced the prevalence of Salmonella on raw chickens. Salmonella is found in a wide variety of uncooked foods.
Moreover, NCC said the new government standards have been adopted in violation of federal law governing new regulations, and go beyond FSIS's legal authority. NCC explained that the decision of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Supreme Beef Processors vs. USDA made it clear that salmonella, by itself, is not an adulterant in meat and poultry and that USDA therefore lacks legal authority to regulate it. Salmonella and campylobacter on raw products are easily destroyed by the heat of normal cooking, NCC noted.
“These regulations are likely to increase costs significantly for processors and will result in little or no positive impact on human illness and public health. Given that FSIS’ legal standing and approach to promulgating standards is shaky at best, that the Agency clearly violates the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and that the new standards are beyond the Agency’s statutory authority, arbitrary and capricious, and not supported by science, NCC strongly objects to the Agency’s planned implementation of these standards. Accordingly, NCC requests that FSIS withdraw the Notice and reconsider its legal and scientific basis,” the NCC comment said.

Cow-calf symposium set

The University of Tennessee and the Beef Reproduction Task Force will hold the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle symposium Aug. 5-6 in Nashville. The event is aimed at giving producers information on ways to get the most from their operations.
Industry experts will present on topics such as improving herd productivity and decreasing costs to learning how to improve overall reproductive management skills. Find more information and registration details at the
event website.

Russia to up poultry, pork exports

Russia’s agriculture minister said the country wants to export 60 times more pork and poultry by 2020. Yelena Skrynnik, quoted in a Moscow Times report, said Russia is reducing reliance on meat imports and building its food security with the goal.
In February, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new food security doctrine calling for 85 percent of all meat consumed in the country to be produced domestically within 10 years. Already one of the world’s largest meat importers, Russia could lead meat production if it builds its systems.

Outlook for feed prices up

Feed grain prices are expected to rise in 2010-11, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. The July 13 Feed Outlook report forecasts an increase in prices for corn, sorghum, barley and oats this month, with ending stocks projected lower. Feed grain production and planted harvest area to be up from 2009 for corn, offsetting reductions for sorghum, barley, and oats.
The report also reported an increase in pork and broiler production in 2011. Data shows a 2% increase for pork as hog farmers continue to see gains in pigs per litter. Hatchery figures also hatchery data shows growth in bird numbers and increasing weights, with broiler production expected to be up 3% in 2011 from 2010 projections.

Friday, July 16, 2010

UK looking at opportunities in offal

British pig producers are linking up with the country’s beef and lamb sectors, as well as the Food Chain and Biomass Renewables Association (FABRA) to find new profitable and environmentally friendly ways to deal with the “fifth quarter”.
A conference jointly organised by the various groups will be held this September and will cover all parts of the fifth quarter of cattle, sheep and pigs including offal, blood, bones, hides and skins and casings.
Delegates will look at new market opportunities for offal, the processing of edible co-products and the environmental impact of animal co- and by-products.
Head of exports for the British Pig Executive (BPEX), Jean-Pierre Garnier, said: "For the first time we are trying to link all elements of the chain from on-farm factors, processing quality, exports sales as well as minimising the environmental impact of these activities.”

GMO acreage to grow in US

Acreage planted with GMO strains will increase in the U.S., according to a recent report. Approximately 86% of corn is now genetically modified with 47% applying stacked gene technology. Soybean varieties will increase to 93% of acres planted, a 2% rise from 2009.
The general acceptance of GMO crops in North America and their extension to Latin America and other regions of the world is contrary to the reactionary policy of the European Union.
However, attitudes seem to be softening as GMO crops will be required to meet the demands of a burgeoning world population. Recently, the European Commission has proposed delegating the freedom to decide on cultivation of crops to individual member nations. Unless GMO crops achieve significant acceptance, extension of biotechnology to developing nations will be restrained.
Approval of GMOs has significant implications for world trade. Austrian and Dutch governments support for independent decisions on GMO crops and these nations have been instrumental in initiating the new trend towards separate decisions. Critics of the move suggest that if adopted, European solidarity on other issues may be impaired.

Ethanol stock inches up

Ethanol storage in the U.S. increased to 819 million gallons, according to a report issued by the Renewable Fuels Association.
The RFA calculated that based on total sales of gasoline, “ethanol production is equivalent to 8.8% of gasoline demand”. This value represents the true measure of value of ethanol in relation to crude oil and the cost of refining.
For RFA members to survive, they must have continued government support in the form of subsidies both direct and indirect and also enjoy an increase in the current E10 blend ceiling to a higher value.

Federal subsidies to grain farmers may be cut

Federal subsidies to producers of corn, soybeans and other crops may be cut, according to a report.
“We are not going to have any new money; we’ll probably have less money,” said Collin Peterson, D-Minn., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
His remarks were delivered during a hearing in Washington D.C. to gather opinions from farmers on U.S. agriculture policy.
In 2009, the USDA expended $15.4 billion on all support programs including food stamps and farm subsidies. Growing budget deficits make subsidies appear unpopular from a political standpoint and coupled with complaints from trading partners over subsidies, reductions are inevitable. Congress is aiming to approve the next Farm Bill before September 2012.
If subsidies are selectively reduced, farms will naturally select crops which offer the optimum return commensurate with expenditure and risks. This may impact availability of ingredients and may alter the price structure of livestock production.

US agencies host joint meetings on food safety

Three U.S. federal agencies – the FSIS, the FDA and the CDC – will hold two joint public meetings this year to consider measuring progress on food safety. These meetings will be held July 21 in Chicago, Ill., and Oct. 20 in Portland, Ore., and will extend the scope of the public workshop held March 30 in Washington D.C.
Interested stakeholders, including members of consumer groups, industry, public health experts and regulators, are invited to comment on measure they recommend or are using to access performance in food safety.
Of special interest to the egg industry is a request to evaluate the FDA Final Rule on salmonella. For further information, visit the
FSIS website.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

California bans imported eggs that don’t comply with Prop. 2

California Governor Arnold Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1437, backed by the HSUS, on July 6. This legislation bans importation of eggs from out-of-state producers that do not comply with the provisions of Proposition 2, which was passed in 2008.
The bill brings about questions of the potential compliance of enriched cages with the provisions of Proposition 2.
J.S. West has taken the initiative of investing in a unit in anticipation of compliance. If this is in fact the case, the future of enriched cages may appear brighter as existing suitable facilities will be converted and new units will be erected.
AB1437 may stimulate recaging of birds in other states with the enriched system to supply the California market. The approval of enriched cages by the American Humane Association would help acceptance of the system and could represent a compromise in any subsequent proposition to repeal or modify Proposition 2.

Research: Avian influenza can stick to feathers

Recent research conducted in Italy has shown that the oily secretion of the preen gland of free-living birds binds avian influenza virus to feathers.
According to studies conducted at Bologna University, the Veterinary Institute of Lombardy and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., the viability of the virus on feathers can extend for many days or even weeks.
Traditionally, studies on viral shedding have concentrated on swabs from the trachea and cloaca. Since the studies’ discovery, the examination of feathers may be of epidemiologic significance.

Officials reject PETA protest in Colorado

The intent of PETA to erect a five-foot high fiberglass chicken with the inscription “McCruelty, I’m Hating It” directed against the McDonald’s Corporation was denied by Denver, Colo., authorities.
They ruled that the plastic sculpture was in fact a commercial sign and as such could not be placed in a public place.
PETA will continue pressing for its sculpture to be placed near a McDonald’s restaurant claiming that it is a piece of art and therefore in compliance with the city code.

Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board creates website

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board has established a new website. The website contains news relating to the activities of the board, the biographies of board members, ongoing legislation and a schedule of meeting and events.
Stakeholders in the egg industry are advised to monitor the website, which provides guidance for other state organizations.

Welsh firm makes pig breeding breakthrough

A Welsh company has discovered a way for livestock breeders to pre-select the sex of pigs and cattle. A report in the Welsh Country magazine said Ovasort Limited found sex-linked proteins on the surface of sperm cells in cattle and pigs, and created a prototype that can identify and separate female and male cells.
This discovery was supported with funding by the Welsh Assembly Government and access to proteomics and genomics labs at Cardiff University. This scientific breakthrough is the first time semen sexing has been possible for pigs in the commercial marketplace. It is expected to enter field trials in late summer by Danish Pig Production.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Poultry Federation sets nutrition conference

Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health, will give the keynote address at The Poultry Federation’s 2010 Arkansas Nutrition Conference Sept. 7-9 in Rogers, Ark. The annual education event is co-sponsored by the group’s Feed Manufacturers Committee and the University of Arkansas, with technical symposium sponsorship from Alltech.
Simmons will speak on “Technology + Choice: The Keys to Enabling Abundant, Affordable and Safe Food for Our Growing Global Population.” He’s among international and domestic industry scheduled to speak at the event. Proceeds from this conference will support scholarships.

U.S. enacts new egg safety rules

A new set of safety rules went into effect July 9 aimed at curbing salmonella contamination in eggs. The rules, a coordinated strategy between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) , requires egg processors having more than 50,000 laying hens to add preventive measures and use refrigeration when storing and transporting eggs, among other things.
Large producers that don’t sell all of their eggs directly to consumers and those who transport or hold eggs must comply with the rule’s refrigeration requirements/ Producers with fewer than 50,000 but at least 3,000 laying hens whose shell eggs are not processed with a treatment like pasteurization must comply with the new rules by July 9, 2012, while producers having less than 3,000 hens are not covered by the rule.

Husbandry grants available in 2011

Animal Welfare Approved is seeking proposals for projects for its third year of Good Husbandry Grants. Group members and those who have applied to join the program are eligible for grants up to $5,000.
Funding will cover projects to improve farm animal welfare concentrating on: increased outdoor access, improved genetics and improved slaughter facilities. Animal Welfare Approved offers free certification for family farms raising animals meeting welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. The group has funded 65 projects in 25 states.

UK explores chicken wash

Britain’s Food Standards Agency is exploring its options to cut down on campylobacter, which is found on 86% of raw chicken in the country. The Telegraph reported that antimicrobial wash is among the options being explored, even though these chemical washes do not have EU clearance.
The food watchdog agency said it’s starting to look into the wash, among other solutions, because of potential public backlash. Poultry industry insiders hope consumers won’t resist them dipping chickens in diluted lactic acid an approved food that should kill much of the bug.

Making electricity from chicken manure

A Pennsylvania-based company wants to solve a disposal problem by using chicken manure to fuel electricity plants. A report in the Wall Street Journal said Fibrowatt LLC, a subsidiary of U.K.-based Homeland Renewable Energy, has plans to build these plants in poultry-rich Georgia, Arkansas and North Carolina.
In 2007, Fibrowatt erected the first litter-fueled energy plant in the U.S. in Minnesota, the country’s largest turkey-producing state. It burns 500,000 tons of turkey litter each year creating steam to turn turbines in a 55-megawatt power plant that provides electricity for some 40,000 homes. But critics worry that these will emit high levels of pollutants including nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulates, even with the use of pollution-control measures.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alltech presents 37 scientific research papers

Animal nutrition firm Alltech will present 37 scientific research papers at the Joint Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo., July 11-15. The research represents a cross-section of the range of animal science projects Alltech funds, and is part of 71 papers the company has presented this year in the U.S.
The 2010 Annual Meetings are being held by the American Dairy Science Association, Poultry Science Association, Asociación Mexicana de Producción Animal, Canadian Society of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science and ASAS Western Section.

Monsanto to extend Roundup Ready exports

Monsanto Co. has agreed to continue to keep its Roundup Ready soybeans under export through 2012, according to a Reuters report. The company said it will support international registrations for the soybeans four years longer than intended, spending an estimated $1 to $2 million a year to do so.
Some in the farm industry want further action to make sure these popular seeds that come off patent in 2014 remain available. Monsanto has been promoting its new Roundup Ready 2 soybean seed saying it produces better yields. But customers have balked because the more expensive seeds have lower-than-expected yields.

Mixed outlook for world pork production

The British Pig Executive (BPEX) is forecasting continued growth in pig meat production in all the world’s key countries, except the US and Canada.
In its latest “Meat Market Review” (published at the end of June, 2010), BPEX warns that reduced domestic supplies in the US will limit any potential growth in trade and predicts that any increase in exports will be directed towards the Mexican market.
The continued decline in Canada’s pig numbers, combined with the strong Canadian dollar, are limiting profitability in the industry there.
Meanwhile, producers in the EU and Brazil are enjoying a boost in production and trade, while government support and improved genetics are encouraging increased production in China and Russia, where demand is also rising, the review says.

UK sets chicken stocking requirement

The UK will require that chickens raised for meat in the country must be stocked according to a 2007 European Union directive on lowest suggested density. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said it will allow broilers to be stocked at a maximum of 39 kilograms per square meter. The EU directive recommended a density of 33 kilograms per square meter (or about 16 chickens) up to 42 kilograms per square meter (21 chickens).
While broilers comprise the greatest number of farmed animals in the EU at more than 5 billion broilers raised each year, 800 million in the UK, they have been unprotected by law until recently.

Survey: deli meat labels misunderstood

A survey by Impulse Research revealed that 45% of moms surveyed would buy more organic deli meats for children if they understood them better. According to the survey, conducted for natural and organic meat producer Applegate Farms, 49% don’t buy these products because of price while another 26% said they’re not available in their grocery store.
Saying people are confused about terms like organic, natural and conventional, researchers said the survey showed 36% believed or were unsure that deli meat labeled organic and natural offered the same thing. The random survey sampled 1,052 women age 25 to 45 in June 2010 who purchase deli meat for children 5- to 12-years-old.

Monday, July 12, 2010

South Carolina chicken litter energy plant opposed

Homeowners opposed to the construction of a chicken litter energy plant in Hart County, S.C., have set a meeting to discuss their concerns. A report in the Anderson Independent Mail said the group of area residents believes the plant being proposed by Homeland Renewable Energy-owned Fibrowatt LLC will pollute Hartwell Lake, the air and environment.
Calling it a source of clean, green energy, the county said the plant would also provide inexpensive energy and jobs, as well as provide electricity to 80,000 homes a year. Operating since 2007, the Pennsylvania-based company has built biomass plants that use poultry litter in Benson, Minn., and has projects in Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi and North Carolina.

PETA targets Steak 'n Shake restaurants

Animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked Steak 'n Shake restaurant chain owner Biglari Holdings Inc. to switch to a poultry supplier that uses more humane killing methods. A report in the San Antonio Express-News said PETA, which owns 640 shares of company stock, submitted a shareholder proposal asking the company to buy its poultry from suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing, which it calls less cruel.
The board of the San Antonio-based firm recommends a no vote on the request at an Aug. 13 special shareholders session. Although it stated in regulatory filings that it “respects PETA's position,” the company maintained, “…the corporation, on behalf of its shareholders, is guided by two conditions: (1) what the law mandates, and (2) what customers desire.”

EFSA opens harvesting feathers from live geese consultation

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) has launched an online public consultation on its draft scientific report on the practice of harvesting feathers from live geese for down production.
The consultation aims to gather the widest range of views to finalize the work and provide up-to-date and comprehensive scientific advice to European Union (EU) decision makers. The consultation follows a technical meeting with EU Member States and stakeholders held in May this year.
Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by Aug. 2, and an electronic template has been provided along with the draft report on the
Authority’s website.
The final report is due for publication by the end of 2010.

Northwest poultry council forms alliance

Citing growing political and regulatory pressure, the Northwest Poultry Council has joined the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA). According to a report in Ag Weekly, the alliance formed in June is aimed at giving the trade groups increased legislative influence and increased visibility of the region’s agriculture and food processing.
The food processors group will provide administrative support to the poultry council, plus advocacy and other benefits to its members joining NWFPA. The poultry group also elected Greg Satrum, co-owner of Canby-based Willamette Egg Farms, as council president, elected a new Board of Directors, and revised its bylaws to expand operations to Idaho, in addition to Oregon and Washington.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Canadian agribusiness report shows mixed results

Poultry consumption is expected to grow 10% in Canada by 2013-2014, while other sectors, including pork, will decline according to a new agribusiness report. Among other findings in the Canada Agribusiness Report Q3 2010 produced by Business Monitor International, corn consumption will grow 25% and rice 30%.
Except for poultry, the report anticipates a continued struggle in the livestock sector because of weak domestic demand and lower U.S. exports due to government-imposed country-of-origin labeling laws. Domestic demand for poultry, however, will increase because it’s thought of as a healthy choice.

Some Irish poultry has mistaken identity

An Irish farm organization said certain grocers in Ireland are misidentifying some poultry as having Irish origin, and misleading consumers in the process. A report in Farmers Weekly Interactive said the Irish Farmers’ Association accused retailers Lidl and Tesco of mislabeling poultry with the Quality Assured (QA) Irish sticker.
While the IFA said it only wants to make sure consumers know exactly what they are buying, Lidl said that all of its products are clearly marked. According to surveys, consumers want to buy products displaying the national flag to help support Irish farms and jobs during the recession.

Obama to form export council

U.S. President Barack Obama will announce an export council to help him with a pledge to double exports in the next five years. According to the New York Times' Caucus politics blog, Obama is set to name a group of 18 leaders of business and labor to the council.
The council is part of the administration's progress report on its National Export Initiative. Among the successes cited in the report: agreements with China and Russia to reopen those markets to U.S. pork and poultry imports, respectively. During the first one third of 2010, exports rose almost 17% over the same period last year, the White House said.

Forum to address disease traceability

The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) and the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) will co-host a Joint Strategy Forum on Animal Disease Traceability August 30-31 in Denver, Colo. The forum will enable state and tribal health officials animal producers, livestock marketers and handlers, and meat processors to provide input, and voice ideas and concerns on preliminary standards being developed by USDA’s Traceability Regulatory Working Group.
The preliminary standards, expected to be released in mid-August, are expected to be developed into a new set of rules on animal disease traceability by this winter. The forum is open to those interested in developing an effective and efficient system of identifying animals that move across state and tribal lines in the U.S. Sessions will be held covering all species of animals requiring interstate movement that complies with animal health regulations.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Meriden relaunches product website

Meriden Animal Health announced it has relaunched its Orego-Stim product website. This site for the UK-based company’s flagship product has a new layout, design and a new forum section for discussion and questions.
Meriden launched its
Fusion website earlier this year, and has a corporate site.

Poultry industry optimism hits record levels

There have been many signs since our last report that the Poultry Confidence Index (PCI) was heading for a record-breaking second quarter:
*positive (PCI) trends over the last several quarters
*three consecutive months of rising consumer confidence
*higher-than-normal prices
*restrained production (across the entire meat and poultry sector)
*lower feed costs
*declining fuel prices
And we weren’t disappointed – the PCI rose in a big show of positive industry confidence. The Overall Index now stands at 128.9 (1996=100), up from 114.0 last quarter. The Present Situation Index increased to 146.0 from 79.4. The Expectations Index fell from 137.0 to 117.5, but remained well above the normative level.
In the process, there were several notable findings:
*third-highest Overall Index
*Present Situation Index nearly doubled in one quarter as the Present Conditions Index reached its third-highest level
*all top-line and sub-indices were positive for the first time since early 2005
*highest overall average across all sub-indices
It was truly a remarkable quarter. We hope there is more of this to come.
The PCI focused on two additional issues this quarter:
*about half of respondents indicated a double-dip recession was “not at all likely” or only “possible,” while the other half said it was “more likely than many realize” or there was “at least a 50-50 chance”
*nearly three-in-four respondents were “guarded” about the U.S. trade situation with both Russia and China.
Would you like to be among industry leaders sharing your views in the WATT-Rennier Poultry Confidence Index?
Join other key decision makers who are sharing their views. We'll send you a short, two-minute survey once a quarter and you'll receive a preview of the findings before they are published!
Report by Greg Rennier, Ph.D - President, Rennier Associates Inc.

Study reveals Europe’s SRD disease prevention habits

The majority of European pig producers vaccinate against Mycoplasma and Circovirus, according to the results of a study comprising phone interviews with 617 pig producers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The research, conducted by IPSOS Forward on behalf of Pfizer Animal Health earlier this year, was carried out among farm owners/managers or live production managers, who had vaccinated their herds against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and/or Cicovirus in the last 12 months.
The majority of those interviewed vaccinated against both diseases, and have added Circovirus to their vaccination schedule, rather than adopting it as a replacement for M hyo. Preventing M hyo remains a top priority for producers, with 67% of respondents vaccinating for the disease, and no significant decrease in M hyo vaccination expected in the near future.
The survey also found that, three-quarters of producers used anti-infectives for respiratory disease, specifically for outbreaks, but in some cases for prevention.

Poultry, egg industries support Korea pact

Trade groups representing the U.S. poultry and egg industries -- National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export council -- said they support a move to gain congressional approval of a 2007 Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Korea. President Barack Obama in a recent G-20 summit set a November deadline for approval of the agreement, which has been stalled in Congress since 2007.
From 2005-09, U.S. poultry and egg exports to Korea averaged over $52 million annually. Industry experts expect exports to the country to increase more than 80% annually if the agreement were to be implemented.

Trials start for sex-sorted semen

A method to analyze boar semen by computer is starting field trials. UK developer Ovasort Ltd. said it will enable breeders to pre-select the sex of pigs.
The company has discovered sex-linked proteins on the surface of sperm cells of both pigs and cattle. From this, it has developed a prototype product to identify and separate the male and female cells for each sex in both species.
Trials of the semen sexing technology will begin in Scandinavia by Danish Pig Production, the worldwide licensee for the pig sector. Patent applications have been filed for the Ovasort technology and the company is in discussions with companies to extend its commercialization in the cattle sector.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alltech announces poultry award winner

North Carolina State University student Benjamin Dorshorst won the Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award, the company announced. Dorshorst received the honor for his paper, “Genetic mapping of the sex-linked barring gene in the chicken.”
As part of its
Poultry Science Association’s (PSA) upcoming 99th Annual Meeting, Alltech and the group announced more than two dozen awards. The meeting will be held in Denver, Colo., July 11-15, jointly with the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) and the Asociación Mexicana de Producción Animal (AMPA).

EU to promote agriculture products

European Union administrators have agreed to provide 30.3 million Euros over the next three years towards the cost of promoting agricultural products, including meat, in campaigns by 14 EU member states. The central funding amounts to half of the 60.6 million Euros in total budgeted for product promotion through 19 approved national programs that will run one to three years.
Measures financed within this framework are intended to highlight EU products in terms of quality, hygiene, food safety, nutrition, labelling and animal welfare or that they have been produced in environment-friendly systems.
“In an open global market, merely producing excellent food and drink is not enough,” said Dacian Cioloş, the EU’s commissioner for agriculture and rural development. “We need to increase our efforts to explain to consumers the standards and the quality of what EU agriculture puts on the table.”

Support up for poultry, pork

Poultry and pig meat are among very few farm commodities to have seen an increase in state support for market prices within some of the world’s largest economies over the past 20 years. That’s according to calculations contained in “Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries: At a Glance,” the 20th edition of a series published every two years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
analysis covers the 31 countries from four continents that belong to the organization. Their combined agricultural output was worth around $992.2 billion at farm-gate prices in 2009, it concludes. Support to producers in these OECD countries amounted to an estimated $253 billion, or 22% of aggregate gross farm receipts. Expressed as a percentage of revenues, the level of producer support during the period 2007-09 ranged from under 1% in New Zealand, 4% in Australia and 9% in the U.S. to 47% in Japan, 52% in Korea, 58% in Switzerland and 61% in Norway.
Longer-term trends have been both a reduction of support and an erosion of its past links to the volume output of commodities. Instead, governments are tying their support increasingly to production practices that the producer is required to follow in order to qualify, with an emphasis on broader objectives such as animal welfare.

Report urges sustainable agriculture systems

A new report from the National Research Council on sustainable agriculture systems concludes that policies need to look beyond low cost and high production. The report, “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century,” urges national agricultural policies and research programs to adopt a holistic perspective to farming that encompasses multiple end goals.
Sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation and published by the
National Academies Press, the report outlined four goals:
1. Satisfy human food, fiber and feed requirements, and contribute to biofuels needs
2. Enhance environmental quality and the resource base
3. Maintain economic viability of agriculture
4. Improve the quality of life for farmers, farm workers and society

Agency restricts Brasil Foods takeover

Shares of poultry exporter Brasil Foods SA stock plunged after regulators recommended it sell assets prior to taking over rival Sadia SA. The stock dropped more than 6% according to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek.
The drop follows recommendation by the antitrust arm of Brazil’s Finance Ministry that the company license one of its two main brands for at least five years or sell a block of assets before it will approve the takeover.
The ministry agency, known as SEAE, expressed concern over “significant concentration” in fresh beef and industrialized products markets, and said the deal would also narrow poultry and turkey slaughtering in some parts of Brazil.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Regulatory issues at forefront for poultry

Regulatory issues are the top concern of poultry decision makers from around the world, according to a poll conducted by the WATT-Rennier Poultry Confidence Index (PCI).
Many respondents pointed to the increased cost of doing business associated with aggressive government regulation. Potential profits were evaporating as non-science-based legislation drove up costs associated with disease control and monitoring.
As one respondent said, “Regulators are coming after us, and it’s going to cost us all.”
Regulatory Issues was the most-selected industry concern, earning the top ranking in three of the four regions – USA/Canada, Europe and Asia. Meat/Poultry Supply and Demand was next on the list for USA/Canada and Europe.
In Asia, Environmental Issues were as important as Regulatory Issues (tied for top spot). Concerns were different in South and Central America as the top-two issues were General Economy and the Export Market.
Input Costs (excluding grain) was the third most important issue in three of the four regions.
Finally, three issues never made the top-three list for any region – Bird Health/Disease, Credit Availability and Grain Prices.
In their rankings of issues from a pre-defined list, respondents indicated that their concerns were more similar than different across geographic regions, said Dr. Greg Rennier.

Top three poultry issues by geographic region
USA /Canada Europe Asia South & Central America

Regulatory issues 1st 1st 1st

Meat/poultry supply, demand 2nd 2nd

Input costs (excluding grain) 3rd 3rd 3rd

Jobs 3rd

General economy 1st 1st

Environmental issues 1st

Export market 3rd

Bird health/disease

Credit availability

Grain prices

FDA asks farmers to curb antibiotic use

Calling it a public health issue, the Food and Drug Administration has asked farmers to stop using antibiotics on animals to promote growth. A report in the Washington Post said the agency is concerned that overuse is endangering people’s lives by helping create bacteria that is unresponsive to medical treatment.
The FDA urged farmers to only use antibiotics to protect an animal’s health, not to help it grow or improve feed digestion. The public has 60 days to comment on the draft of the just-issued guidance, which is a precursor to new regulations if voluntary compliance does not occur.

Study uncovers flu defense

New research has uncovered a rare antibody made by humans that fights all flu viruses. According to a Reuters report, a team at the University of Wisconsin and Theraclone Sciences, a private Seattle firm, found in tests on mice that these immune system proteins could protect against a lethal dose of influenza.
Reporting findings in the Procedures of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers contracted by Theraclone said that 60% to 80% of mice infected with deadly doses of H1N1 and H5N1 flu recovered when treated with antibodies, versus 10% of untreated animals. Theraclone used its technology to identify the antibodies, which attack a part of the flu virus that is found in most strains without many mutations.

Danish feed groups merge

Two feed manufacturing organizations in Denmark plan to merge. Members of Jutland cooperative Nordjysk Andel voted during a special general meeting to merge with Danish Agro. The merger brings together businesses with about 700 employees and a turnover of $6.1 billion Danish krone. Their combined market share is estimated at between 30% and 32%.
Danish Agro chairman Jørgen H. Mikkelsen said the enterprises have already played a joint role in the consolidation of the Danish feed market, most recently by acquiring assets of Arhus-based regional mill operator Aarhusegnens Andel as well as participating in the takeovers of feed companies Hedegaard A/S and Aller Mølle A/S.
Both teams agree that the structural consolidation of Danish agriculture will continue and intensify. Newest predictions call for a fall in the number of full-time operations from over 15,000 in 2006 to around 9,100 in 2015. That will mean the national feed industry must face further adjustments.

Agricultural committee tables Massachusetts welfare bill

The New England Brown Egg Council announced that Massachusetts House Bill 815, which is considered to promote the HSUS agenda regarding confinement of poultry and livestock, has been assigned by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to “study” status.
This places the bill in limbo and effectively prevents passage during the current legislature. At the same time, the action restrains HSUS from beginning a ballot initiative.
Lobbying efforts by the New England Brown Egg Council were influential in the action of the committee chairman. The results of the referendum in Ohio and the gubernatorial, state representative and senate races in Massachusetts will determine the direction of future Legislation.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Harvard research shows daily egg consumption is harmless

A recent report in the peer-reviewed American Society for Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that consumption of eggs was not associated with any “clinically meaningful differences in fasting glucose, fasting insulin or measures of insulin resistance.”
The study conducted by researchers affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, University of Washington, Colorado School of Public Health and Northwestern University comprised a prospective study on nearly 4,000 men and women enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study, conducted from 1989 to 2007.
An important aspect of the study was the confirmation that egg intake ranging from one per month to almost daily had no effect on the incidence rate of type II diabetes in either gender.
This report adds to the growing literature confirming that eggs are a safe and nutritious component in daily diets.

Rosa DeLauro wants US to reconsider single food safety agency

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), an advocate of a single federal food safety agency, indicated that she will reintroduce legislation to consolidate the activities of a number of departments and agencies currently with overlapping jurisdiction over production and safety of food.
This action follows the release of
“Enhancing Food Safety: the Role of the Food and Drug Administration” prepared by the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. The report stresses the need to apply risk-based analysis and to identify critical control points in the entire chain of food production.
Concern regarding a single food agency has been expressed at a number of levels including the current Obama Administration and in Congress. Reluctance to proceed with this innovative reorganization is based on traditional turf barriers but other considerations include lobbying efforts by both industry and consumer groups.
Experience with establishing the Department of Homeland Security confirmed the difficulties associated with combining departments due to a loss of expertise as senior administrators leave to take retirement or enter the commercial sector and lack of interagency formal and backchannel communication.

US journal compares food-borne pathogen goals with stats

he June 15 edition of the Journal of the American of Veterinary Medical Association cites the Centers for Disease Control’s April 16 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the latest incidence rates for food-borne diseases. Data assembled by the Food-borne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) documents the incidence rates of specified diseases among a population of 46.4 million within the participating states in the CDC Emerging Infections Program.
The incidence rate for salmonella infection was 15.2 confirmed infections per 100,000 people compared to the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 program goal of 6.8/100,000. There were 13.0/100,000 campylobacter infections against the 12.3/100,000 goal and 0.34/100,000 listeria infections against the 0.24/100,000 goal. Infection with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157 infection attained 0.99/100,000 infections representing a 40% reduction over previous years.
New sources of salmonella infection unrelated to food are emerging such as contact with pet amphibians and reptiles. Food-borne outbreaks have been recently recorded associated with consumption of raw cookie dough, jalapeno peppers and contaminated peanut butter.
Reduced funding for public health has resulted in the loss of 23,000 positions among local public health departments over a two-year period. This represents a 15% reduction in personnel assigned to routine health inspections and investigation of disease outbreaks.

GIA releases its latest report on feed additive market

Global Industry Analysts Inc. announced the release of a report on the animal feed additive market. The report estimates that with projected growth, worldwide sales will attain $18 billion by 2015. The increase in meat consumption will drive demand for additives for poultry, swine and aquaculture feeds in addition to ruminant and companion animal diets.
The U.S. is the largest single market segment but considerable growth has occurred in Latin America. The U.S., Europe and the Asia-Pacific markets combined accounted for 74% of total revenue generated in 2009.
The report, Animal Feed Additives: A Global Strategic Business Report, is available on
GIA’s website.

Denmark intensifies control over antibiotics

The administration of therapeutic levels of antibiotics in the swine industry in Denmark has increased since the ban on growth stimulating antibiotics. This is in consequence of the increase in the incidence rate of intestinal infections. Recognizing the trend, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has introduced a warning system for veterinarians and farmers considered to have administered high levels of antibiotics through the period June 2008 to May 2009.
It has been reported that the ministry intends to introduce new guidelines for acceptable levels of antibiotic use including selection of specific compounds. Violators will be obliged to implement remedial programs and may be subject to fines.
The significance of this action lies in the fact that the current Obama Administration, the USDA, the FDA and some legislators are attuned to events in the EU. Aspects of the program in Denmark may well be imposed in the U.S. at some time in the future especially if Danish data indicates a positive effect on public health.

Allen D. Leman Swine Conference will take place in September

The University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine will host the 37th Annual Allen D. Leman Swine Conference at the River Center in Saint Paul, Minn., September 18-21. A wide range of topics will be reviewed by experts in their field. The swine keynote sessions will include:
“A Wall Street View of the Protein Market” presented by Farhas Aslam, managing director at Stephens Inc.;
“Elimination of PRRS” by the faculty of the University of Minnesota;
“Feeding a Growing World Without Destroying the Planet” by Professor John Foley, director of the University Minnesota Institute on the Environment; and
“Bringing Prosperity to the Smallholder African Farmer through Livestock” by Dr. Greg BeVier of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sponsors of the conference include Pfizer Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim, Alpharma Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health, Novus International and the National Pork Board.