Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poultry diseases under the microscope at Pfizer Poultry Health Partnershipday

Pfizer Poultry Health held its first Partnershipday in Vienna, Austria, in late November.
Over 270 poultry specialists from Europe, the Middle East and Africa attended the event that looked at topics ranging from embryology basics, success factors for in ovo vaccination, the control of Marek’s disease in broiler breeders and the development of a new infectious bronchitis (IB) vaccine after field isolation.
Through a series of purchases, Pfizer has become an increasingly important player in the poultry industry, with sales to the sector rising from $30 million in 2006 to $270 million last year. In his welcome to delegates, Director of Poultry Business for Europe, Africa and the Middle East Herve Le Galludec said Pfizer wanted to build itself to be become the premium partner of the poultry industry.
Delegates were given a thorough review of the benefits and the difficulties that can occur when moving to in ovo vaccination systems. With modern broiler houses having increasingly high numbers of birds, the possibilities of failing to achieve complete coverage and the man hours required for vaccination increase. Using in ovo technology can tackle both these issues, but for in ovo systems to work well, staff need to be properly trained and receive the correct support.
The emergence of a new variant strain of IB was also detailed. In early 2004, reports emerged in the Netherlands of a new variant causing disease in broilers and pullets. The new strain was similar to one described in China in 1998 as QX IBV. The QX strain spread slowly into Germany and Belgium and then France, and by 2005 it had become the dominant strain in Western Europe, with Spain and the UK remaining free until 2008. The strain is now widespread throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Protection offered by existing vaccines in the field was limited, and combining vaccine strains proved unsatisfactory. However, delegates were informed that Pfizer had developed a live vaccine from field isolates, which is marketed as Poulvac IB QX.

Canadian pork producers seek insurance against market fluctuations

Ontario Pork in Canada has teamed up with the provincial cattlemen’s association to campaign for an insurance program that would protect local producers against the worst effects of market fluctuation.
The pork sector in Ontario has seen a decrease of more than 20% in sow numbers since 2007, says Ontario Pork, due to various factors including the high exchange value of the Canadian dollar and its negative effects on meat exports and imports. With multiple economic threats occurring over an extended period of time, the organization declares, the current AgriStability program in the province is not enough on its own to sustain the industry.
The beef business in Ontario is in a similar predicament, so pork producers and cattlemen say they are ready to partner with the provincial and federal governments to establish insurance arrangements that would protect against market fluctuations and allow all partners to share and limit risk. The proposed insurance program would see local Ontario farmers in the beef and pork industries pay premiums to the government representing 30% of the long-term cost of the insurance program on a voluntary basis. The governments at the province and country levels are being asked to participate according to the traditional 60/40 federal/provincial split.
“Not only would the program offset the difference between the current market price and the average long-term cost of production, it would also eliminate the need for ad hoc government support for both the beef and pork industries in the future,” said Wilma Jeffray, who chairs Ontario Pork.

Australian livestock industries face low-price grains, poor quality

Feed and poultry/livestock industries in Australia face an interesting dilemma, they are about to enjoy an abundance of grains at low prices, or they will have to deal with various issues associated with poor-quality grain,  says the Poultry Hub bulletin of Australia’s Poultry Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
A record harvest is expected in most Australian grain-growing states after the country emerged from a long period of drought into a very wet year. But significant weather damage is expected to occur to the grain crop.
Weather-damaged grain is a double-edged sword, the bulletin notes. If the damage is due to a wet harvest but the moisture is controlled quickly before storage, the consequences on nutritive value of feed grains for poultry production can even be positive. This is because high pre-storage moisture levels can help activate the endogenous enzymes, including fiber-degrading types. These degrade the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), alleviating the anti-nutritive effects of NSP on the nutritive value of viscous grains such as wheat and barley.
On the other hand, if the moisture damage to the grain is severe and the subsequent storage is inadequate, the possibility exists of an excessive loss of starch and other nutrients as well as problems with mycotoxins, leading to poor diet quality and bird performance.
A study in Australia on new season grains, funded by the Rural Industries R&D Corporation (RIRDC) details the mechanisms whereby endogenous enzymes are activated in grains and its nutritional consequences for poultry. The report, entitled "The new season grain phenomenon: the role of endogenous glycanases in the nutritive value of cereal grains in broiler chickens," is available at the RIRDC website. 

NFU calls for 'fair price' for poultry farmers

The National Farmers' Union of England and Wales (NFU) is calling for a "fair price" for poultry farmers that will better cover the increasing costs of production and feed.
Soaring feed prices, in particular, are causing some poultry producers to make a loss, said NFU representatives. “The effect of feed price inflation is clear for all to see," said NFU poultry board Chairman Charles Bourns. "Latest NFU figures suggest that feed is costing farmers an extra 5p per dozen eggs, and over 12p per chicken. And these are just direct costs; there is also the effect of these costs long-term on the breeding flocks."
Increasing the prices paid to producers, said Bourns, is the best way to solidify the relationship between retailers and farmers. “Farmers remain committed to the retail partnership, as ultimately this is their route to a long-term relationship with the consumer but this is a crunch time for them," said Bourns. "This isn’t rocket science — farmers just need a fair price that covers their cost of production.”

Novus opens LEED-certified Green Acres Farm

Novus International held a ceremony in honor of the opening of its newest facility, Green Acres Farm, in Montgomery County, Mo.
The farm has been renovated to stand as a testament to innovation and sustainability through environmental conservation. Novus made multiple improvements to the 1920s building that have resulted in the farm qualifying for Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED) consideration. "In addition to this site, our global headquarters in St. Charles County and our blending plant in Indaiatuba, Brazil, were also constructed with sustainability in mind," said Tom Hampton, manager of product research at Novus. "We're proud of the commitments we've made to the environment and the impact they will have for the future."
Several sustainability measures are at work at Green Acres, including the capture of roof runoff in rain barrels, a wastewater collection system and a fertilizer and mulch area. A solar panel system is in the process of going up that will include 168 panels and will generate over 54,400 kilowatt hours of energy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Diamond V CEO finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year

John C. Bloomhall, CEO of Diamond V, has been selected as a national finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Bloomhall was previously named the Entrepreneur of the Year for the Upper Midwest Region. "I am honored to be recognized for such a prestigious award," said Bloomhall. "I would like to thank the employees and customers of Diamond V and Embria for their part in making our company a success. Through their hard work and loyalty, Diamond V will remain committed and viable in serving our industry and communities for generations to come.”
Ernst & Young celebrated the 24th anniversary of the awards this year.

MU scientists develop new test for live salmonella detection

University of Missouri (MU) food scientists have developed a faster, more accurate lab test for use in detecting the live salmonella bacterium.
The new test, developed by Associate Professor of Food Science Azlin Mustapha and MU graduate student Luxin Wang, modifies the existing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to include a dye that is used on food samples before they're tested. The dye cannot penetrate live cells but can enter dead cells, making the dead cells insoluble and invisible to PCR tests. “DNA-based methods are available right now that can get the company results in a shorter amount of time, but these methods do not differentiate between the live and the dead salmonella,” said Mustapha. “Live salmonella are the ones that can kill consumers, not the dead ones, but false positives can result in a large number of unnecessary food recalls.”
The modified technique provides results in 12 hours, versus the five days required for the traditional method. “The technique can allow the poultry industry accurately and rapidly test for contamination before the product is shipped," said Mustapha. "For elderly and immunocompromised individuals, this is very important because they are sensitive and more susceptible.”

Poultry industry calls GIPSA rule 'ill-advised,' 'unconstitutionally vague'

The latest rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is "ill-advised" and "unconstitutionally vague," according to comments submitted by the poultry industry to the agency.
According to the industry, the rule, which makes significant changes in the relationship between U.S. chicken companies and the farmers who grow chickens under contracts with those companies, should be withdrawn and rewritten. “GIPSA fails to provide an adequate justification for imposing such sweeping and detrimental changes to the poultry industry and does not explain corresponding benefits to counterbalance the hundreds of millions of dollars of detrimental effects this proposal will have on the U.S. economy,” said the statement, which was signed by both National Chicken Council President George Watts and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association President John Starkey.
The comments also raise concerns regarding GIPSA's proposed change from a "tournament" system of compensation, which rewards farmers based on performance, to a "base rate" system that the industry said might reduce the premiums given to more efficient growers. “The result would be increased production costs for poultry dealers coupled with a decreasing incentive for growers to deliver high quality chickens because compensation would not be tied to performance or quality,” the letter stated. The lack of an economic analysis and the concept of "competitive injury" were also addressed.

Iowa Beef Center offering risk and margin management workshops

The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University is offering a series of cattle risk and margin management workshops in December and January.
Those attending the workshops will discuss risk management tools like futures, options and livestock insurance, as well as how to incorporate those tools into their operations. December workshops will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fees are $25 per person and preregistration is required. More information can be found here.

Cows treated for infectious lesions on feet may increase in winter months

Instances of infectious lesions that can cause lameness in dairy cows may increase during the winter months, but steps can be taken to decrease the risk, according to researchers at Zinpro Corporation.
Many dairies use footbath programs to keep lesions under control, but some products become ineffective in cold conditions. Infectious lesions can be caused by several factors besides inadequate footbaths, including poor environmental conditions, stress, other infected cattle, lack of claw maintenance and inadequate micronutrients. “To determine if infectious lesions are a problem in the herd, we advise producers to review their hoof trimming records,” said Dr. Jeff DeFrain, research nutritionist for Zinpro. “By comparing the incidence of infectious lesions versus non-infectious lesions, the primary cause of lameness can be identified.”
If infectious lesions do turn into a winter problem, various management strategies can be employed, such as practicing good biosecurity procedures, focusing on maintaining sanitary conditions for the cows, using cow hygiene scores to track lesion issues, maintaining a good micronutrient program and maintenance trimming cows at least twice a year.
Footbath programs, said DeFrain, can also be improved for the winter months. Ensure cows have access to a clean area after passing through the footbath, use 5% copper or zinc sulfate solutions instead of formaldehyde when solution temperature dips below 45 degrees, change the solution every 150 to 200 cows and drain and rinse the footbath before mixing a new solution. If icing around the footbath becomes a problem, adding salt, installing heated floors, setting up temporary footbaths in warm areas or switching to a spray program are all viable solutions.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Record attendance at EuroTier 2010

Record visitor numbers have been registered by the animal livestock EuroTier 2010 exhibition in Hannover, Germany. Show organizer DLG had already announced a highest-ever number of exhibitors for the 2010 edition.
On preliminary results, the four days of EuroTier in November 2010 brought 140,000 visitors, compared with 130,000 at the previous event in 2008. This year's attendance also contained an increase to 23,500 in the number of people visiting the show from outside Germany. They came from 78 countries.

GMP+ International offers expanded sustainability/feed safety combinations certification options

GMP+ International has expanded its certification scope to include sustainability themes and sustainability/feed safety combinations. 
Sustainability in the animal feed sector involves items in several markets, such as the use of soy beans, palm oil and fish meal produced with respect for humans, animals and the environment. While various certification systems are available for each element, GMP+ hopes to combine them all into a single certification scheme. This, according to the company, will prevent regulatory overlap, ensure uniform standards and conditions and allow for limiting the administrative burden of certifications.

Pfizer promotes cattle veterinary practice with 'Commitment to Veterinarians'

Pfizer Animal Health's Commitment to Veterinarians externship program promoted an interest in livestock animal medicine to 112 students in 2010.
The program, which gives first- and second-year veterinary medicine students hands-on training, has expanded after two years to veterinary schools all across the U.S. “We have students who were not previously considering practicing in rural communities and certainly not working with food animals,” said Dr. Mike Nichols with Beef Veterinary Operations at Pfizer. “After their externship, the response they give is that this is an area of practice they were previously unaware of. They are appreciative of the opportunity and are now strongly considering entering that type of practice.”
In addition to the externships, the Commitment to Veterinarians program provides scholarships to third-year college students preparing to enter the work force. “We want to be there to support them with scholarships to help offset educational expenses,” said Nichols. “The cost of veterinary education is enormous. This year at the 2010 AABP Convention, Pfizer Animal Health awarded $147,000 in scholarships to 29 students from across the U.S. specifically pursuing bovine practice. These veterinary students are now in their final year of studies and will become practicing veterinarians after graduating next spring.” Pfizer has also partnered with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to establish a national scholarship program that will provide $2 million in its first three years.

Chinese pig producers target sow productivity to save feed

Pig production leaders from China have been highlighting how better productivity in Chinese sow herds would contribute major savings of increasingly valuable feed resources.
From figures quoted by a delegation to the 2010 EuroTier exhibition in Germany, the current national average for breeding herd productivity is only around 13 pigs sold per sow per year.
Delegates calculated that an increase of just two pigs per sow would mean the same annual output of slaughter pigs could be obtained from 6.7 million fewer sows, saving the equivalent of 4 million metric tons of corn for their feed. Increasing to 20 pigs per sow/year offered a cutback of 17.5 million sows with 10.5 million tons of corn saved annually.

EU Animal welfare game wins children’s vote

An online video game about animal production has become a big success among children internationally, according to data analysed by the administrative commission of the European Union.
The game was devised on behalf of the European Commission, initially to respond to calls for a modern method of helping to educate children between 9 and 12 years old about the role of animal welfare in food production. Interactive and web-based, it was designed to appeal especially to young people in Europe.
But the commission’s analysis has shown a high rate of uptake also outside the EU area since the Farmland game was first launched. Local-language editions for European Union member states have proved to be equally popular. Just two days after the launch of a Polish edition, it had already become the most-visited children’s video game in Poland on the basis of the number of hits or visits.

Sow stalls deadline will not be extended, says EU official

Pig producers in Europe will not be granted an extension to the deadline date by which they must remove individual stall housing for their pregnant sows, the European Union’s top official on animal welfare has insisted at the EuroTier 2010 exhibition in Germany.
A directive issued by the EU requires all breeding herds in the 27 member states to stop using individual sow stalls in the gestation period, as from 1st January 2013. Many national industry representatives have expressed their hope recently that they would be allowed more time to make the change, because of the level of investment required while profitability remains rather poor and the reluctance of banks to lend money to farms.
However, Dr Andrea Gavinelli assured the 2nd Chinese-European Pig Summit at the exhibition that the deadline will stay in place. Dr Gavinelli heads the animal welfare unit in the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission.
The decision to outlaw sow stalls was taken in 2001, he reminded the Summit. Europe’s pig industries therefore will have had 12 years to switch from individual to group housing in the gestation period as the law requires.

Russia to be self-sufficient in pig meat within five years

Vasily Friezen notes that Russia will be satisying all of its pork needs within five years.
Russia could be self-sufficient in pig meat within five years.
Speaking at trade show EuroTier, director general of Russian feed concern MegaMix Vasily Friezen noted that while not achieving the growth rates achieved in the poultry industry, the country’s pig producers were, nevertheless, recording strong levels.
Currently, the country only produces 50% of the pig meat consumed by the population.
He continued that while the country should be self-sufficient in poultry meat by the end of next year, the cattle sector could take some 18-20 years to satisfy internal demand for beef.
A variety of factors are helping to drive production on the supply side. The government, in an attempt to reduce imports, is subsidizing farmers to stimulate local production. Another factor is that farmers have ever more access to information and improved genetics, allowing producers to raise productivity.

ISU, Iowa Beef Center hosting winter meetings on nutrition

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and the Iowa Beef Center (IBC) are hosting several meetings in various parts of Iowa to address nutrition concerns for cow herds over the winter.
According to Extension beef specialist and IBC interim Director Dan Loy, nutrition problems caused by damaged hay are widespread. “Almost one-half of the forage samples submitted to date through our forage testing project are marginal in energy and nearly 20% are marginal in meeting the protein needs of a mature beef cow in late gestation,” said Loy. “It’s important to know the nutritional value of your available forages so you can make good feed and feeding decisions this winter.”
The meetings will focus on allocating feed inventory, sample rations to meet cow nutrient needs and tools to control feed cost and waste. Locations for each meeting can be found here.

Maple Leaf Foods to close Nova Scotia meat facility

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has made plans to close its prepared meats facility located in Berwick, Nova Scotia in February 2011.
The facility is 200,000 square feet and employs roughly 280 people; its operations will end completely at the end of April 2011. "Our industry is under mounting competitive pressure to become more efficient, and this means we have to make very difficult decisions," said Michael McCain, president and CEO. "While this is the business reality, it is hard to make the necessary changes, particularly in a community where we have such an important presence."
Production will be consolidated at facilities in New Brunswick and Ontario.

Ceva offers free vector vaccine symposium as web seminar

Ceva is offering its vector vaccine symposium, held in October, as a web seminar.
The event includes presentations on the advantages of using HVT as a vector to control infectious diseases, the benefits of vector vaccines and the technology, construction and registration aspects of vector vaccines. The free seminar can be found here.

AFIA presents employee, product transportation safety webcast Nov. 24

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) will present an employee and product transportation safety webcast on Nov. 30, 2010 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. EST.
The webcast will focus on a newly completed guidance document on transportation safety and how it relates to the feed industry. Various industry presenters will focus on several topics, including safety symbols and labels, loading and unloading, inspection and maintenance, pre-trip inspection and drug and alcohol policy.
The registration deadline is Nov. 24, 2010. The cost is $279 for AFIA members and $319 for non-members.

Ag industries oppose ethanol subsidies

A consortium of livestock producers including the National Chicken Council, the American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and National Turkey Federation have addressed letters to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate relating to ending support for the ethanol industry.
The letter stated, “Although we support the need to develop renewable and alternative sources of energy, we strongly believe it is time that the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities. Using corn as the largest input cost, favoring one segment of agriculture at the expense of another, does not benefit agriculture as a whole or the consumers who ultimately purchase our products.”
Currently, the ethanol industry enjoys a tax credit of 45 cents per gallon for ethanol added to gasoline in addition to a substantial protective tariff on imported ethanol directed against sugar-cane based product from Brazil.

GIPSA rule would hurt small beef producers

Colin Wood (left) of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) participated in a panel at the National Chicken Council annual meeting. Looking on are fellow panelists Pete Thomson of the House Agriculture Committee and Gary Kushner of law firm, Hogan Lovells.
What brings a beef lobbyist to a chicken industry meeting? Common cause in opposition to the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule.
Small- to medium-sized beef producers are opposing the proposed GIPSA rule because it will drive consolidation in the cattle business and take away opportunities for them to participate in branded beef programs, a representative of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) told listeners at National Chicken Council (NCC) annual meeting.

Beef producers join in opposition to GIPSA changes
“A beef lobbyist in a chicken meeting, and the world is still turning,” quipped Colin Wood, vice president, government affairs, NCBA, who said his organization and its members are working alongside NCC in opposition to the proposed rule.
Wood predicted that under the proposed rule the beef packers would discontinue arrangements that pay premium prices to cattle producers in the branded programs because of the potential for lawsuits for providing preferential pricing. Currently, the packers pay premiums to producers in the branded programs who have invested in livestock with better genetics and adhere to best management practices under the programs.
The branded marketing arrangements, which command premium retail prices in supermarkets, include programs such as Certified Angus Beef, Laura’s Lean Beef and Rancher’s Reserve at Safeway Supermarkets.

More consolidation in beef production to result
An end to producer participation in the branded programs will result in consolidation in the beef production business as producers exit the business when current opportunities for the better returns no longer exist, Wood said.
Under the proposed regulations, packers would no longer be passing part of improved margins back to beef producers in the programs but instead will pocket them, he said.
“I can’t say that I don’t sympathize with the position that packers have told us they will have to take under the proposed rule,” Wood said. “Under this rule, if I were in their position, I would probably undertake to protect myself as well.”

GIPSA would create market disruptions
Wood cited other problems with the proposed GIPSA rule. The proposed ban on packer-to-packer sales of cattle would result in market disruption where some NCBA members own both feeder and packer operations. Also, the rule’s proposed ban on order buyers working for more than one packer would result in there being no buyer representation for packers at smaller sale barns.
“The Obama Administration in this rule took a shot at the packers, but they hit the small- and medium-sized beef producers,” he said.

Charm Sciences Inc. offers mycotoxin newsletter

Charm Sciences Inc. announced the initiation of its monthly Mycotoxin Incidence Report. The newsletter incorporates reports on mycotoxin contamination of ingredients from various regions, relevant articles and references to monitoring and the effect of mycotoxin on livestock.
For more information, click here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

EPA's rule for numeric nutrient criteria may cost US farmers up to $1.1 billion by 2040

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has opposed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s rule to establish numeric nutrient criteria for nitrogen and phosphorus for waters in the state of Florida. Estimates indicate that the rule will cost U.S. farmers between $272 million and $1.1 billion by 2040.
“This rule has an enormous cost and little benefit and we are urging EPA to reconsider this action,” said TFI President Ford West. “We advocate smart and targeted policies that address water quality without placing an undue economic burden on farmers and the industries that support them.”
The rule goes into effect 15 months after publication, but the site-specific alternative criteria process will begin in 60 days. “While TFI appreciates the EPA’s efforts to remedy some of the arbitrary effects of its rule by delaying implementation, the fact remains that, with 12% unemployment and job recovery uncertain, this rule is a threat to many sectors of Florida’s economy, including the fertilizer industry,” said West.

New regulations will cost broiler chicken industry $1 billion over five years

The National Chicken Council (NCC) has released a study claiming that proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations will cost the broiler chicken industry more than $1 billion over five years.
The study, conducted by FarmEcon LLC, raises issues of reduced efficiency, higher feed and housing costs and increased administrative expenses, as well as potential litigation costs, lost export sales and increased consumer prices. The changes, proposed by the USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), would result in changes in the relationship between chicken companies and independent chicken farmers. They would also require changes in the production and marketing systems for pigs and cattle.
While GIPSA maintains that the changes will have little economic impact, the study puts the cost burden at about $337 million per year by 2015. The total cost for the first five years is estimated at $1.03 billion, according to the study.

'US Digestive Ingredients in Animal Feed Market' report released

Research and Markets Ltd. has released its latest report, "U.S. Digestive Ingredients in Animal Feed Market."
The report focuses on the various subsets of the market, including enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics and phytogenics. Market overviews, forecasts and trends, as well as competitive analyses, are covered. More information on this report, including purchase options, can be found here.

Chicken to win more market share in China, EuroTier attendees told

Projections from the China Animal Agriculture Association suggest that poultry will gain a larger share of the total Chinese meat supply over the next 10 years, although pork looks certain to remain the most popular of all the meats eaten nationally. The projected figures were presented by CAAA representatives at a series of meetings held during the EuroTier 2010 exhibition in Germany.
Dr Ma Cheung, the association’s deputy secretary-general, told the meetings that the 12.1 million metric tons of poultry meat consumed in China in 2009 meant an average of almost 9.5 kilograms per person per year. A CAAA study of prospects for the next 10 years has concluded that consumption in 2020 may reach 26.14 million metric tons or 18.5 kg per person annually.
For pork, the study team considered that consumption could remain at an average of 101 grams per person per day so the total amount per year rose only in line with population growth. China’s population is expected to increase by 6-7 million people per year between 2010 and 2020, which would mean the annual amount consumed rising from 49 million metric tons to approximately 52 million tons.
The problem for Chinese pig production in meeting this extra demand is that it will face much tougher restrictions in some areas due to environmental protection, Dr Ma warned. A possible relocation of production facilities has been contemplated, away from the heavily populated zones of the south-east of the country and towards northern areas that have greater resources of grain and land. 

Scottish government increases funding to meet livestock EID requirements

The Scottish government has increased its support for research focusing on a cost-effective way to meet livestock electronic identification (EID) requirements.
An extra £1 million was provided to the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) to extend its research, bringing total government funding to £5 million. The additional money will be used to further develop and extend the EID database, reporting systems from farms and recording systems that operate at marts, slaughterhouses and ferry terminals. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CREW calls for investigation of USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Admin

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for an investigation after J. Dudley Butler, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, allegedly made comments regarding putting regulations in place that make it easier to sue meat and poultry companies.
Prior to his current position, Butler worked at a legal practice that dealt with cases against those same companies. "When he took office, President [Barack] Obama issued an order closing the revolving door that allowed departing executive branch officials to cash in on their government service," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "While the new policy was aimed at those who lobby after leaving office, the same rationale applies here." CREW has written a formal letter to the USDA's acting general counsel stating its concerns and requesting that Butler be barred from continuing work on the regulations.

Ag commodity prices increasing, 'modest' food price increases likely

An increase in agricultural commodity prices has fostered worries about an accompanying increase in food costs, but economists with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service said any overall jump will be "modest."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast that the consumer-price index for food will rise between 0.5% and 1.5% this year and between 2% and 3% for 2011. “Farm commodity prices fell sharply in 2009 and 2010 after reaching record levels in 2008,” said Jose G. Pena, AgriLife Extension economist-management. “However, food prices continued to rise in 2009 and 2010 even as farm commodity prices returned to 2007 levels.” Factors such as adverse weather, a weaker U.S. dollar, increased exports, higher crude-oil prices and heavy commodity contract buying have all contributed to increasing commodity prices.
“Still, on average, a 50% increase in the price received by the farmer results in only a 10% increase in the retail cost of food,” said Pena. “The recent upward movement in commodities pricing is expected to have little immediate effect on the prices of basic food items.”

Rise in corn prices expected to slow

According to Richard Brock of Brock Associates, who spoke at the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's Economic Outlook Conference, corn prices will slow and then decline, though how much isn't yet known.
While prices are currently at record highs, the market will "fall hard and fall fast" once it turns, said Brock. "Big bull markets have always been followed by big bear markets," he said. Right now, price forecasts sit at $4.75 to $5.75 with 154 bushels per acre (2010/2011) and $4.20 to $5.50 with 66 bushels per acre (2011/2012).
Brock also warned that more than supply and demand affects prices, pointing out that investments in commodity index funds might be having a significant impact. Regulations, he said, are needed to control the size of the funds.

Large Big Dutchman EuroTier booth draws pig producers

The 896 square meter stand, part show here, displayed the comapny's full product range and had a capacity for 250 guests.
Twenty-eight thousand sausages are expected to be served to customers by Big Dutchman during the course of agricultural exhibition EuroTier. The Big Mac index is published by the economist as a way of measuring the purchasing power parity between two currencies, and if the sausage can be used a measure, then Big Dutchman’s EuroTier stand may come out the winner.
Extending to 896 square metres, the stand was the biggest erected by the company for its pig business at any exhibition.
A quick look at what the stand offers would include 20 seating tables, 20 standing tables, two bars, 10 video screens, some 100 staff depending on the day, and a capacity for 250 guests. Oh, and of course, the company’s complete product offering including climate control systems, air washer systems, farrowing sow and piglet feeding systems.
In total, five days were needed to build the stand and five days to install the equipment. Breakdown is expected to take three days.
“For sure, the size of the stand is a reflection of the confidence that Big Dutchman has in the market,” commented Andreas Boske.
The company, which completed its financial year at the end of September, reported an increase in sales across its pig and poultry divisions of some 20%. A similar growth rate is expected for 2011.
Markets where it has performed particularly strongly over the last year have been Western and Eastern Europe and Russia. Asia has also been a strong market.
  • Participating in EuroTier’s innovation awards, Big Dutchman was awarded a Gold Medal for its SonoCheck device for automatic pregnancy checking in sows in group housing. A Silver Medal was won by its QuigTag – location symbols in the pig house that aid the farming in using the software of palm-top computers and facilitate navigation.

China looks to state reserves to stabilize pork prices

The Chinese government has sold its second batch this year of frozen pork from state reserves to help stabilize prices, the Ministry of Commerce said on Nov. 10.
The country has "entered its peak season for pork consumption," with average wholesale prices in major cities "up 3.9% since early September to 17.95 yuan (US$2.70) per kilogram," the ministry said in a statement on its website. The statement did not say how much frozen pork has been sold. Pork prices will continue to be closely monitored as they form an important part of the consumer price index.
The National Bureau of Statistics is due to release CPI figures on Nov. 11, with some pundits estimating the measure in October might have risen to a two-year high of more than 4%.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Novus President Thad W. Simons Jr. named Ernst & Young's 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year

Novus International Inc. President and CEO Thad W. Simons Jr. was named the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year in the manufacturing and distribution category.
Simons was recognized for his accomplishments in building Novus into the global company it is today. "Successful entrepreneurs need to take risks and leave comfortable positions behind to build new companies in untested markets," said Bryan Pearce, Americas director of the Entrepreneur of the Year program. "[Simons] has done just that."
Howard W. Lutnick, chairman and CEO of BGC Partners Inc., was named the overall national winner of the 2010 award.

India's poultry export potential not fully tapped

India, according to the Poultry Federation of India (PFI), has great potential to increase exports of its poultry products, but lack of processing facilities is holding the country back.
Currently, less than 10% of the country's broilers are processed for sale in food malls and other high-end markets. Over 90% of Indian consumers still go for live poultry. "Potential to export poultry meat from India is tremendous," said PFI Treasurer Ricky Thaper. "All the major poultry importing countries are around India."
In spite of such potential, exports decreased to Rs 372 crore in 2009-2010 from Rs 422 crore in 2008-2009. Overall, India's poultry industry is worth 20,000 crore. Should India find the means to increase its poultry processing capabilities, it could focus on nearby markets like Afghanistan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, Maldives, Liberia and Bahrain. Further opportunities, according to the PFI, exist in Russia, Japan and other developed countries.

Rising poultry feed costs highlighted at EuroTier

Increases in world grain prices during the second half of 2010 have had a dramatic effect on the cost of feeding broiler chickens, according to calculations quoted by poultry consultant Gordon Butland at an international poultry panel held in Germany during the EuroTier 2010 exhibition.
As recently as June 2010, the total amount of corn contained in feeds for the world’s broilers represented a cost of approximately US$46million per day.
By the time of the panel at EuroTier in November 2010, this grain cost had risen by US$36 million to US$83 million daily.

Plans for Russia’s poultry, egg producers revealed at EuroTier

Russia wants to move beyond achieving self-sufficiency in chicken and eggs to become an exporter of poultry products, the president of the Russian Poultry Union has told an international poultry panel convened in Germany at the time of the EuroTier 2010 exhibition.
One of the first signs of that ambition is likely to be the development of more facilities to process eggs, so increasing the country’s potential to take a share of the fast-growing international market for egg powder and related products.
Currently, only four major enterprises in Russia have capacity for processing at least one million eggs per day, said RPU president Vladimir Fisinin when addressing the global poultry outlook panel discussion arranged by the European Poultry Club in association with industry associations from Russia, China and the European Union. However, Prof. Fisinin added, plans have been prepared to build 20 new egg processing plants in the near future, each capable of dealing with over one million eggs daily.
“We lag behind other countries in our capacity for processing eggs,” he commented. “At present, only 12-13% of our egg production goes into liquid pasteurized egg products and dry egg powder.”
By 2012, he revealed, the expectation in Russia is that national production of eggs in will rise by about 5% to 43 billion per year. The Russian Poultry Union projects that this output could grow to about 50 billion eggs per year by 2020.
Extra productivity will provide part of the increase, he suggested. The average number of eggs per hen nationally has risen already from 302 in 2005 to 304 in 2009, with the best producers now averaging in the range of 325-330 eggs per hen. A parallel rise has occurred for the volume of enriched eggs, until some 15.5% of production today involving eggs with enrichments such as for omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and iodine.
Functional foods represent one of the most effective ways of addressing health problems in humans, such as from a subclinical iodine deficiency, Prof. Fisinin continued. Russian researchers have patented eggs in which the iodine content is 1.5 times as much as in standard eggs. Experimentally, they have also produced broiler chickens containing 25-30% more iodine in the breast and leg meat.

EuroTier: the home for future developments in business

EuroTier's organizers report outstanding participation at the event this year.
How do farmers access future developments in business? This, according to the organizers of international trade event EuroTier, is the key question that the exhibition hopes to address.
At the press opening of the Hannover-based show, which this year reports an increase in exhibitors and expected vistors, it was reported that, in the UK, France, and Germany positive trends in the farming industry are continuing, and that the trend is strongest in Germany. Similar trends are being seen in Eastern Europe.
The climate for the pig and dairy industries has become much more favourable, and the Germany’s farmers are becoming more competitive. Business opportunities have improved and investment is increasingly appealing. Against this backdrop, farmers need to discover how to take their businesses forward, and EuroTier is positioning itself as the ideal location to do this.
This year, the commercial exhibition has attracted 1,939 direct exhibitors – 136 more than when the show was last held, making it, the organizers say, the leading world exhibition for modern farming. The event is increasingly international, and 40% of exhibitors now come from overseas. Amongst overseas exhibitors, Chinese companies are now ranked in the top ten by number of exhibitors.
CEO of the DLG, the Germany Agricultural Society, Dr Reinhard Grandke, commented: “With this impressive exhibition programme, unique in its completeness, EuroTier is the world’s top event of its kind and at the same time, the indispensable forum of professional animal production.”
EuroTier 2010 is expected to attract 120,000 visitors, who in addition to commercial show, will also access to a variety specialist areas and seminars. One such “Special” is a focus on group housing of sows, with displays of relevant housing.
The night before the show officially opened, the European Pig Producers Club (EPP) hosted its pig event, which included two presentations examining the issue of sustainability and what it really means in the context of pig production. Presentations examined issues such as carbon footprint as a means of analysing the ecological efficiency of pig farming, and moving towards possible zero-carbon emissions in pig production.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

EuroTier 2010 set-up underway

It is set-up day at the EuroTier 2010 international livestock exhibition in Hannover, Germany, and there are signs that this will be a busy show. At the last event, in 2008, a total of 130,000 visitors included over 22,000 people from abroad, representing 80 countries, while the 1,700 exhibitors came from 46 countries.
Organizers DLG have issued the results of a survey of farmers in six European countries indicating that economic conditions have generally improved for livestock farms across Europe during 2010. Pig prices have increased slightly in most parts of the European Union (EU) over the past week. Price data compiled by the European Commission showed an average of 137.09 Euros per 100 kilograms carcass weight for slaughter pigs in the 27-country EU, which was up marginally from the previous week and 4.1% above the EU-27 average for the comparable week in 2009.
Germany’s price of 143.09 Euros meant an increase of almost 1% in a week, to a level about 5.7% higher than German producers were receiving 12 months earlier. Unfortunately, increased feed costs have prevented any improvement in producer profit margins.
There are also concerns in many parts of the EU about the additional investment that breeding herds will be forced to make in order to comply with new animal welfare laws that require pregnant sows to be housed in groups instead of in individual stalls. Some pig industries in Europe still keep two-thirds of their sows in single stalls. Their representatives have called for an extension of the January 2013 deadline by which gestation housing must be changed, but an EU decision to allow more time looks increasingly unlikely.

UK pig producers lagging behind

Despite improvements in daily liveweight gain and pigs finished per sow, Britain is still lagging behind its European competitors in the production stakes, according to new figures from a publication on international cost of production.
These statistics, compiled by the British Pig Executive (BPEX), show Britain produced the lowest of all the EU countries in 2009 – managing only 1,643kg of pig meat per sow. Although this is 2% better than 2008, it is still well below the country’s target of 2,000kg of pig meat per sow to bring it into line with its major competitors by 2013.
The report, “Cost of Production in Selected Countries,” shows the cost of production for Britain's pig producers fell by 4%, compared with a 3% fall across Europe. BPEX director Mick Sloyan said: "The exchange rate has given us something of an advantage and we are narrowing the gap, but our competitors are not standing still so we must continue to seek improvements.”

Sanderson Farms' planned poultry processing plant meets with opposition

Sanderson Farms has plans to open a new poultry processing plant in North Carolina — a decision that has resulted in considerable debate.
Those on the "pro" side point out the jobs a new plant would bring to the area. "A lot of people are out of work," said resident Garland Deaver. Roughly 400 jobs are expected to be initially available once the processing facility opens. Up to 1,100 total jobs are possible.
The "con" side, which includes the Wilson City Council, has environmental concerns. The City Council had allocated $1 million to fight the plant and has threatened to cut off Wilson's water supply if the county allows the build. But Bob Billingsley, Sanderson Farms' director of development, said there has been confusion regarding the poultry plant's spray fields. "It is not the same thing as a hog operation," he said. "We'll have a $12 million water treatment plant under permit limits from the state of North Carolina." The fields are set to become a hay operation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

FDA new category IA 99-32 allows import refusal if facilities prohibit inspection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a new import alert category, IA 99-32 allows the FDA to refuse entry into the country any products that have come from a company that has declined to let the FDA inspect their manufacturing facility.
 All facilities dealing in FDA-regulated products, such as agriculture are subject to inspection for current Good Manufacturing Practices, safety and sanitary conditions.
Any firm placed on IA 99-32 is charged under Section 801(a)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and can look forward to a lengthy process to get themselves off the Alert.
“The FDA Guidance for IA 99-32 clearly outlines the leaps and hurdles which will be necessary to be removed from the Alert,” said Benjamin England, founder of FDAImports.com LLC. “Although these are only guidelines, meaning ‘tips and suggestions’, the FDA tends to treat them more like regulations and requirements.”

Friday, November 12, 2010

British Pig Executive leader honored

Mick Sloyan, recipient of the Pig Industry Distinguished Service Award.
The head of the British Pig Executive (BPEX), Mick Sloyan, has been presented with a surprise award – the Pig Industry Distinguished Service Award – for his dedicated service to the pig industry.
Presenting the award, the country’s National Pig Association (NPA) chairman, Stewart Houston, said: "The NPA has been keen to acknowledge the huge contribution Mr Sloyan has made to the industry for some time, but he has always heard about it and managed to duck away from it.
“This time he can't! The Pig Industry Distinguished Service Award is a one-off that has been organised entirely without his knowledge and there's nothing he can do about it.”
Mr Houston added: "Mr Sloyan’s position at the head of BPEX has highlighted his strategic thinking helping guide the industry through difficult times; the concept of the first pig strategy, the Road to Recovery, was his and he must take his share of the credit that the industry came through those dark days of the last decade. And he is still here helping to shape the future.”

VIV China to become biannual event

VIV China, a tradeshow geared towards the animal husbandry industry, is becoming a biannual event.
The tradeshow has been annual, but exhibitors and visitors of VIV China decided that a two-year cycle fits market needs better. It will take place on even years; dates for VIV China 2012 are expected soon.

Danish pig industry herds in decline

The October 2010 Danish pig survey results have highlighted a marked decline in the total herd following signs of stability recorded in the July census, according to a new report in the latest EUI Market Survey.
The UK publication reports that the Danish breeding herd declined by 6%, compared with October 2009, and was 5% lower than in July 2010. Total pig numbers in October 2010 were 5% lower than a year earlier and 4% less than in July as a result of fewer slaughter pigs in the system.
The report claims that the results of the October survey indicate that Denmark’s pig population is at its lowest level in the last 10 years. In addition, exports of live pigs continued to increase during the first nine months of the year, which has accentuated the decline in the total population.
Between January and September, 5.6 million weaners were exported from Denmark, an increase of 6% year on year, according to data from the Danish Food and Agriculture Council.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Intervet department to focus on veterinary vaccines

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has opened a specialized filling and dry-freezing unit at its Biosciences Center in Boxmeer, the Netherlands.
The extension of the existing department began in September 2008 and cost a total of $18 million to complete. "With this significant investment into the new unit here in Boxmeer we ensure the high standards and efficient manufacturing process at this important facility in our manufacturing network and enable the people who work here to continue contributing to the success of our growing vaccine business," said Senior Vice President Malte Greune.
The new filling line can accommodate speeds up to 24,000 glass vials per hour, while the freeze-dryer can process 136,000 vials per batch.

Group aims to give meat, poultry sector employers a voice

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing is coordinating a skills steering group aimed at bringing industry employers together to combat training and recruitment issues in the meat and poultry sector.
The group will focus on a range of issues, including the image of the sector and plans to drive up the recruitment of high-caliber graduates and managers. "The steering group at Harper Adams [University College] shows that the industry is ready to take action," said Mica MacInnes, skills consultant for meat and poultry at the Academy. “The steering group will bring employers from across the meat and poultry sector together and give them a voice to help drive it forward."

UK pig marketing levies to stay the same

After considering proposals to increase levies by up to GBP0.80 per pig to fund additional consumer marketing activity for a period of time, members of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) board have decided not to recommend an increase this year.
It is understood that the board made this decision on the basis that there was insufficient support from the industry, following an informal countrywide debate that has been ongoing over the past several months. 

Agriculture groups comment on proposed Chesapeake Bay regulations

Thirty agricultural and forestry groups submitted joint comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding proposed Chesapeake Bay water quality regulations.
The organizations have concerns regarding the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements for the Bay and want to bring attention to the "significant contributions of agriculture to improvements to water quality in the Chesapeake Bay," according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). “Even the EPA’s data shows that since 1985 the agriculture community has reduced phosphorus loadings by over 21%, nitrogen loadings by 27% and sediment loadings by 24% within the Bay watershed,” said TFI President Ford B. West.
The groups are concerned that the EPA is withholding information that would allow the public to fully understand the EPA's stance on TMDL and that stance's impact on the surrounding economy. “By withholding adequate information regarding the TMDL, the EPA has inhibited the agriculture community’s ability to properly evaluate and comment on the requirements,” said West.

Provimi acquires pig feed producer NASSA

The Provimi Group has completed its acquisition of pig feed producer NASSA.
The move sets Provimi up to invest in the development and expansion of its business in new areas, particularly in Latin America where it already has a strong presence.
To assist in the integration, Provimi has appointed Mariano Berdegué as the new managing director. "I am delighted that [Berdegué] has agreed to join Provimi and will lead NASSA into its next phase of growth," said Ton van der Laan, chief executive of Provimi. "The acquisition of NASSA provides an important entry into Mexico, a market where we see great opportunities ahead."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JBS increases stock in Pilgrim's Pride, now owns 67%

JBS S.A. of Brazil has increased its ownership in poultry processor Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the company it purchased out of bankruptcy earlier this year.
JBS purchased a block of 7 million Pilgrim's Pride shares for $5.96 per share. This stock purchase, which represents 3.27% of the total number of outstanding Pilgrim's Pride shares, raises JBS's ownership to 67.27%. Pilgrim's interest, according to both companies, remains a significant shareholder in Pilgrim's Pride.

Maple Leaf Foods to close sale of pork processing operation

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is closing on its deal to sell a pork processing operation in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
The sale, which will go to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., is expected to bring in roughly $20 million. "This sale will complete the transformation of our fresh pork operations to focus our growth on branded, consumer-focused prepared meats and meals business," said Chief Financial Officer Michael Vels. The sale will reduce Maple Leaf's annual pork processing from over 7 million hogs to 4.3 million hogs.
The final transaction, expected to take place in the next few days, includes a long-term contract with Maple Foods' rendering operations.

Second annual Chinese-European pig summit to be held at EuroTier 2010

The second annual EuroTier 2010 Chinese-European Pig Summit on November 17 will bring together international pig experts working in  breeding companies, feed industry specialists and key personnel in research, finance and marketing. Peter Best, consulting editor for WATT/Pig International is the moderator for the discussion and conclusions portion of the program.
Pig production and demand continue to climb in China, the world’s most avid consumer of pork. Rising incomes and strong urban migration trends have driven up the demand for pork, with pig producers across the country reporting favourable revenue performances in the first half of 2010. Despite severe flooding which has affected feed grain supplies and farming activities, major Chinese producers and integrators such as Achieved and Yurun have all reported healthy demand growth, with the outlook towards expansion.
However, the global pig industry is not without its challenges.
Freakish weather across the world’s main grain regions has been affecting feed grain production, with the result that feed prices are likely to increase, a key impediment to profitable pig production. The outbreak of African swine fever in major pig-producing countries such as Russia is also keeping the global industry on its toes. Regulators and quality assurance programmes are also focusing more than ever on animal welfare in relation to pig  from their management on the farm to the slaughterhouse.
Against these global developments, the Chinese-European Pig Summit will address  market growth, pig health, animal welfare, regulatory concerns and pork self-sufficiency goals in China.

Farm, food trade Coalition files Federal lawsuit to overturn E15 decision

Several farm and food trade associations filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s decision regarding E15.
The EPA recently determined that gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) may be sold for cars manufactured in the 2007 model year or later. The decision may result in a larger percentage of the U.S. corn supply being used for ethanol, which would raise feed prices due to a smaller available supply of feed corn. This, in turn, would lead to higher prices for consumers in the grocery store. “The EPA’s decision will have an impact on American farmers, food manufacturers and, most importantly, American consumers, who will face price increases at the grocery store and when they go out to eat in a restaurant," said the Coalition. "The EPA took this step without sufficient regard for the inevitable effect on the price of food and feed.”
Under the Clean Air Act, said the Coalition, the EPA can only grant a waiver for a new fuel additive if it will not cause or contribute to a failure of any emission control device or system.

IRI report: majority of Americans purchase traditional eggs

Source: United Egg Producers
A recently released Information Resources Inc. (IRI) report reveals that the overwhelming majority of American consumers continue to buy traditionally produced eggs.
According to the report, Americans purchase 19.8 billion (96%) traditional eggs annually. In comparison, 619 million (3%) eggs purchased are cage-free and 227 million (1%) are organic free range. Perhaps as a result of these numbers, cage-free and organic eggs have dropped in retail price, with cage-free coming in at $2.50 per dozen (down 14% from a year ago) and organic free range decreasing to $2.64 per dozen (33% less than a year ago). In contrast, traditional egg retail prices are up 8% to $1.02 per dozen.
According to the International Egg Commission, 85% of eggs are produced in traditional cages.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hear update on global animal agribusiness macroeconomic outlook

Dr. Bruce A. Scherr, chairman of the board and CEO of Informa Economics, will present his Global Macroeconomic Outlook in a webinar on Dec. 9, 2010, at 8 a.m. CST.
Scherr will address critical economic questions for animal agribusiness executives, such as whether the global economic recovery is on track or stalling, the shape of the U.S. recovery, whether or not Asian expansion can lead the world recovery and others. See a full agenda and registration information.

Tecno receives American Humane Association 'Seal of Approval' for 'Colony Plus 60' poultry housing system

Tecno Poultry Equipment has received the "Seal of Approval" from the American Humane Association for its Colony Plus 60 enriched colony housing.
The Seal of Approval is presented when a company's housing system satisfies all the requirements of the Facility System Plan Design review. Tecno can now market the housing as meeting humane standards. The award was presented on Nov. 1.

UK pig industry seals major export deal with China

The way has opened for the export of UK pig meat and breeding pigs to China, following formal agreement of the export health certificate for export of pig meat from the UK to the China by the Chinese authorities on November 8th.
This means that exports from approved plants can now start, and opens up the world’s largest market to UK pig farmers, after nearly a decade of negotiations between the British Pig Executive (BPEX),in conjunction with the government and the country’s trade & investment body and the Chinese authorities.
In addition, the UK government has signed an agreement which re-opens the export of British breeding pigs to China - home to half of the world's pig population. The deal is valued at around £45 million to the UK pig industry over the next five years.
BPEX chairman Stewart Houston said: “This is wonderful news for the industry and something we have really been looking forward to. It will offer enormous opportunities for pig meat, particularly with a range of fifth quarter products – the parts of the carcase that command a premium in China.”
The process of approving the list of UK pig processing plants for export to China is now nearing completion. A joint UK government and BPEX delegation is due to travel to China on 24 November 2010 and will present several more plants for approval during the trip. 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development sees variations in livestock economic outlook

Source: OECD
Diverging patterns of economic growth are described by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from its latest analysis of industrial production in major economies worldwide.
Economic growth and the resulting improvement in personal incomes have a strong influence on world markets for foods derived from livestock and poultry.
OECD analysts report signs of continuing expansion in Russia, Japan, the USA and Germany for the period up to and including September 2010. However, it also warns that the indicators for Brazil and China continue to point strongly downwards, implying a slowdown in which the level of industrial production in these two economies will fall below the longer-term trend. It also says a composite of economic indicators suggests a moderate downturn in India, as well as in Canada, France,  Italy and the UK.

Balchem gains FAMI-QS certification for North American animal feed plants

Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health has gained FAMI-QS certification for its North American feed plants, putting them on par with the company's already-certified European manufacturing facility.
The FAMI-QS program is designed to help streamline U.S. exports with European feed and ingredient customers. "The FAMI-QS certification is an important part of our continued commitment to our customers in the [European Union]," said Vice President and General Manager Dana Putnam. "By acquiring the FAMI-QS certificate for our North American facilities we can ensure our customers that all of our products are meeting the highest standard of regulatory feed requirements set forth by the 183/2005 regulations of the European Commission."
Prior to achieving this status, the Balchem plants held FEMAS certification.

'Benefits of Modern Poultry Production' program at 2011 International Poultry Expo to discuss modern agriculture

"Benefits of Modern Poultry Production," educational session will take place during the 2011 International Poultry Expo Jan. 26 through 28 in Atlanta, Ga.
The session, hosted by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, will feature two prominent agriculture advocates: Matt Lohr, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and Trent Loos, commentator, author and rancher. Their focus will be on a response to activist groups and communicating the value and achievements of modern agriculture. “Modern farming practices and advances in technology continue to enhance the American farmer’s ability to produce safe and affordable food while caring for their animals and protecting the environment," said program chairman Pete Martin of Mar-Jac Poultry. "This program will focus on the benefits of today’s food production practices and why we must continue to tell our story.”
Additional education programs at the Expo will include the Poultry Market Intelligence Forum, Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit, Hatchery-Breeder Clinic, Salmonella and Campylobacter Reduction Conference and other issue-specific workshops.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pfizer chooses poultry, pig Trainee of the Year recipients

Pfizer announced its Poultry and Pig Trainee of the Year awards at a House of Commons ceremony on Nov. 1.

Benjamin Pollard (third from left) receiving the Pfizer Poultry Trainee of the Year award.
Benjamin Pollard, who works for Aviagen in East Lothian, became the first to win the Poultry award representing Scotland. Kate Munro-Ashman, who manages a 900-sow outdoor unit in Berkshire, is the second female winner in a row of the Pig award.
Kate Munro-Ashman (third from left) receiving the Pfizer Pig Trainee of the Year award.
Each winner was awarded a £2500 training grant. "If it hadn't been for the training to improve my understanding of pigs and the people who look after them, I know that we would not still have been in pigs today," said Munro-Ashman.
The awards are currently in their fourth year.

Research and Markets releases 'Animal Feed Additives Global Strategic Business Report'

Research and Markets Ltd. has released the "Animal Feed Additives Global Strategic Business Report."
The report analyzes worldwide markets for animal feed additives, focusing on various product segments. Specific numbers for the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America are available. Forecasts through 2015 are also compiled. In total, 344 companies are profiled.
More information on the report, including how to purchase it, can be found here.

Global Feed & Food Congress sets 2013 date

Dates have been set for the next Global Feed & Food Congress.
The next Congress was already announced for South Africa, but the dates for it have now been decided as April 8 through 12, 2013. It will take place alongside the AFMA Forum of the South African association of feed manufacturers at the same venue.
Previous congresses staged under the banner of the International Feed Industry Federation have been held in Brazil and Mexico.

Irish poultry, pig farmers agree to nitrates plan

Agreement has been reached in Ireland on a new Nitrates Action Plan, reports Irish farm development agency Teagasc.
Among the main changes affecting pig and poultry farmers is an extension of transitional provisions so that the current arrangements allowing phosphorus (P) limits to be exceeded will now apply until Jan. 1, 2013. After that date, the excess P that may be applied will be limited to 5 kilograms (kg) per hectare (ha). The limit will be cut further to 3 kg/ha from Jan. 1, 2015. From Jan. 1, 2017, the application of pig or poultry manures may not exceed the maximum quantities set down in the regulations.
The application limits for phosphorus are adjusted for crops and yields. With cereals, for example, an additional 3.8 kg P/ha may be applied for each additional metric ton that the crop yield is a above a reference value of 6.5 tons/ha. For grassland, an added allowance of 15 kg P/ha may be applied where the soil has a low phosphorus index.

Method found for applying freeze-dried micro-organisms to feed receives US patent

Life Products, a division of The Vit-E-Men Co. Inc., has received a U.S. patent on a new method of applying freeze-dried micro-organisms to animal feed.
The technology allows the company to apply live, viable microbes to all diets. "These new methodologies will change the way the microbial industry conducts business with the livestock industry," said President Scott Watson. The method can be used with all livestock, poultry and aquatic feeds.

Friday, November 5, 2010

International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation holds annual conference

The IFFO annunal conference in session.
The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO) held its annual conference in Beijing with the prevailing theme of "Responsibility, Value and Health."
Approximately 350 delegates from 36 different countries attended the event. Three seminars focused on industry developments in Asia, pointing out the importance of sustainability and innovation. Other conference topics included responsible sourcing, standards and certification, industry growth and product impact on both direct consumers and the feed industry.
The 2011 conference will be held in Lima, Peru.

USDA to re-establish APAC, ATACs committees to provide advice on agricultural trade policies, priorities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting nominations to re-establish the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC) and six different Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade (ATACs).
The USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative rely on these committees, originally established by Congress in 1974, to provide advice on U.S. trade policy and priorities. The APAC submits advice on agricultural trade policy objectives and positions with regards to trade agreements and other trade matters. The ATACs focus on specific commodities: animals and animal products; fruits and vegetables; grains, feeds, oilseeds and planting seeds; processed foods; sweeteners and sweeteners products; and tobacco, cotton and peanuts.
Member nominations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2010.

British pig farmers set to grow, despite feed price headaches

Feed prices are causing headaches for British pig farmers at the moment, as feed wheat futures prices soar to £175 a ton in September 2011, compared with an actual price of below £100 in May this year.
Net producer margins (which are described by the British Pig Executive as “a reflection of the true sustainable cost of production, including depreciation of buildings etc) have fallen from plus £7.7/pig in July this year to minus £12.8 in October.
Revealing these disappointing figures to producers in the East of England at the beginning of November, BPEX market analyst James Park warned there was little likelihood of feed prices falling in the short term.
However, UK production was still expected to rise to 785,000 tonnes next year, compared with the estimated 759,000 tonnes this year, as producers adapted to the new conditions and rationalised production to meet growing domestic and export demands.
BPEX is hoping that the UK will soon get the green light to export “fifth quarter” pigmeat, such as ears, to China. At least two British processors have already been approved by the Chinese authorities.

Russia to stop selling frozen poultry in 2011

Russia has announced that it will no longer sell frozen poultry beginning in January 2011.
The transition has been in the works since 2008, according to Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare head Gennady Onishchenko. "[Freezing poultry] is an outdated and rough technology which leads to a loss of many of the useful qualities of meat," he said. Instead of freezing technology, according to Onishchenko, the poultry will be chilled in inert gas, which permits storage for up to 120 days. 
Concerns are already being raised at this announcement. "I can hardly imagine a producer who would be happy with a ban on frozen poultry turnover," said Sergei Yushin, head of an executive committee at the National Meat Association. "Some consumers will be deprived of the product." Yushin also asserts that the technology for chilling poultry with inert gas does not exist.
As for U.S. chicken imports, Onishchenko said, "You are welcome to import poultry, but only chilled, not frozen." Poultry cannot be exported chilled. "It is a corporate decision made on the basis of analysis," said Onishchenko. "I have received loads of letters from governors who thank us and say that Russian producers can guarantee chilled poultry deliveries to consumers without deep freezing."

Novus partners with Kenya's Egerton University to help develop local capacity, support local feed economy

Novus International Inc.'s Novus Scholars program has partnered with Kenya's Egerton University.
The partnership will allow Novus to assist the school in developing its local capacity and support the local feed economy by providing equipment and training. "We have established a repeatable model with our Novus Scholars program that benefits students, professors and our employees," said Dr. Giovanni Gasperoni, executive vice president for marketing and sales. "I have witnessed the growth of these programs. They are encouraging knowledge transfer and developing real employment opportunities for graduates."
The program works with universities around the world to award professors and students who are, or will be, industry leaders in agriculture with scholarships and fellowships.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Register for free webinar roundtable on managing mycotoxins

In the feed industry, finding an effective solution to manage and control mycotoxins is vital to the success of your operation.
Join industry panelists Michael Officer, Managing Director of Feed Quality Products for Novus; Dr. Duarte Diaz, Product Manager and Feed Quality Champion; and Vice Presidents Bruce Malone and Carrie Maune of Trilogy Labs as they discuss managing mycotoxins in feeds during a roundtable webinar discussion on December 7, 2010, at 10 a.m. CST.  
In this online presentation, moderator Gary Thornton, Content Director for WATT PoultryUSA, will lead the panelists in a discussion about important mycotoxin issues such as:
·         Sampling feed and ingredients for reliable results
·         Interpreting test results...what do they mean?
·         Mycotoxin symptoms and the effects on production, health and profitability
·         Choosing the right solution for the situation
·         Mycotoxin prevalence past and future
The formal roundtable discussion will be followed by a Q & A session, giving attendees the opportunity to call in and ask questions of the panel.
Click Here to register online and reserve your seat now.