Thursday, June 30, 2011

EU legislation would require country of origin labeling for poultry, pig meat

New legislation on country of origin labeling for fresh poultry, pork and lamb is due to be voted on by the European Parliament in July.
Welfare charity Compassion in World Farming has welcomed the move but hopes that in the future, labeling will offer more information to help consumers identify welfare issues. The charity wants labels to detail not only place of birth but also where an animal was reared and slaughtered.
It says that detailed labeling would enable consumers to identify if animals have been transported live from one country to another, or if the animal was slaughtered without first being stunned and also if animals have been intensively reared.
The European Commission said that one year after the enforcement of the new legislation, it will examine whether country of origin labeling of meat should be extended to meat used as ingredients. One year after this, it will review whether the legislation should be extended to other types of meat. Legislation is already in place for beef, milk, milk used as an ingredients, unprocessed foods, single-ingredient products and ingredients that represent more than 50% of a food.

AFIA supports delay of reform act swap-related provision

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's proposed order to grant temporary relief of implementation dates for two categories of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act has gained the support of the American Feed Industry Association.
The extension specifically relates to rulemaking that includes the definition of a swap, swap dealer and other swap related terms, which are in process. This proposed action will delay the swap-related provisions of the law, which are scheduled to go into effect on July 16, until Dec. 31 or earlier. “We feel this is a prudent move on the part of the CFTC to enable completion of the implementation process in an orderly way and to ensure current practices for bona fide hedgers and end-users of agricultural commodities are not unduly disrupted during the transition," said AFIA’s president and CEO Joel G. Newman.
Agriculture commodity markets were established to provide an efficient price discovery mechanism and a hedging/risk management tool for producers and end users, said AFIA. It is critical in this rulemaking and implementation process that bona fide end users and hedgers of agricultural commodities do not lose the efficient use of this important tool and that they are not subject to additional costs or burdensome regulations.

Poultry Federation names industry leader of the year

Jerry Moye, president of Cobb-Vantress.
Jerry Moye, president of Cobb-Vantress Inc., has been named the “2011 Industry Leader of the Year” by The Poultry Federation
The award, formerly titled “Man of the Year,” has been awarded since 1955 and recognizes the achievements of poultry and egg executives and their contribution to the industry. Moye has been in the poultry industry for over 30 years, and while with Cobb progressed from director of technical services to general manager, vice president, senior vice president and then president.
Moye recently completed a three-year term on The Poultry Federation’s board of directors and is currently serving another three-year term. He served as the chairman of the board of directors from 2008 to 2010.

Spanish company invests in sow multiplier herd

Agapito Torrego Cuerdo invested in 440 sows to meet demand for breeding gilts in Spain.
A 440-sow multiplier herd was established near Segovia in central Spain by Agapito Torrego Cuerdo, a privately-owned company, at a capital cost of €1,459,000 (US$2.08 million) to meet demand for AC1 gilts from British-based international pig-breeding company, ACMC Ltd.
By October or November, the herd will be capable of producing more than 3,500 AC1 breeding gilts per year for sale to independent farmers across Spain, but mainly within the Segovia region. Although the Spanish pig industry has been in crisis for the past three years, due to poor prices, it is still — along with Germany — the largest pork producer in the EU.

European animal feed supplier focuses on sustainable production

European animal feed industry supplier Animine says it is taking an active role to educate its customers about sustainable practices.
Part of its initiative involves printing company and product documentation on recycled, EcoLabel-certified paper. This can be identified by the European EcoLabel flower, which Animine says represents the low environmental impacts throughout a product's life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal. EcoLabel production initiatives include reduced air and greenhouse gas emissions, decreased water pollution, reduced energy consumption, reduced risks to human health and use of recycled fibers or virgin fibers from sustainably managed forests.
“We believe that our customers, in the western world and in emerging countries, will feel more and more responsible on the environmental consequences of their activities," the company said. “With paper documents or with many other examples, Animine will take the lead to show eco-friendly initiatives to the feed industry”.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

China-UK trade deal to benefit poultry, pig producers

China and the UK have signed a number of agricultural agreements that will allow poultry products from the UK return to the Chinese market. The resumption of UK poultry exports will be worth approximately GBP10 million (US$16 million) annually.
China banned the UK’s poultry exports in early 2007 following an outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 on a turkey farm. China had been a top 20 importer of UK poultry products, importing 1,964 metric tons of meat and offal between January and November 2006.
As part of the discussions, five processing plants have been authorized to export pork products to China, worth some GBP25 million (US$40 million) annually.

US ready-to-cook poultry up 8% from 2010

The average live weight of mature chickens reached 5.6 pounds per bird for May 2011.
U.S. poultry certified wholesome during May 2011 (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.78 billion pounds, up 8% from the amount certified in May 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during May was 5.01 billion pounds, up 8% from 2010's 4.66 billion pounds. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.31 billion pounds, up 7%. Mature chickens, at 70.5 million pounds, were up 10% from May 2010 numbers. Turkey inspections in May totaled 620 million pounds, up 13% from the same time in 2010, while ducks totaled 14 million pounds, up 11%.
Young chickens slaughtered during May 2011 averaged 5.81 pounds per bird, up 2% from May 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.6 pounds per bird, up slightly from 2010 numbers. Turkeys slaughtered during May averaged 30.2 pounds per bird, up 25 from the same time in 2010.

European organic rule changes worry UK poultry producers

A proposed change to European Union organic feed regulations that would require poultry to be fed a 100% organic diet has the UK’s National Farmers Union expressing its concern.
The move to 100% organic diets for poultry may result in nutritionally unbalanced rations and has the potential to adversely affect bird welfare and performance, said the NFU. A second EU Commission-proposed amendment would require that 50% of feed for monogastrics, like poultry, and 80% of ruminant feed be from own holding or region, in line with the wording of Article 14 (d) (i) of Council Regulation 834/2007. The NFU said it has concerns that this will impose considerable strain on the organic poultry, dairy and livestock industries.
The organic feed regulations are scheduled to go into effect in January 2012.

Bangladesh invents new layer poultry breed

A new layer poultry breed has been invented by the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, according to reports.
The BLRI-1 breed is the result of research on Japanese breeds Pure Line and Selective Breeding. "The new breed is more productive than imported ones," said BLRI Director General Khan Shahidul Haque. "It will be able to reduce foreign dependence in the poultry industry." BLRI-1 is expected to lay roughly 292 eggs per year and should be less prone to disease, as it was bred to be suited to Bangladesh's climate, said researchers.

Wen's Group to expand with pig farm

China big breeder Guangdong Wen's Group intends to invest 600 million yuan (US$92.7 million) to establish a pig farm which would produce 600,000 pigs annually.
The project will bring an output of about 1.5 billion yuan (US$231.8 million) annually, according to the company.
Wen's Group sent senior leaders to Songzi City, which is also in Guangdong province, to negotiate the establishment of the pig farm. The company decided to use Songzi as the location for the new farm due to Songzi's status as the biggest pig-offering county in Guangdong province since 1996. In 2010, it produced 1.15 million heads of slaughtering pigs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UK government shows support for English pig industry

The British government’s new “Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services,” which states that where the government lays down standards of production, it should ensure that its own purchases meet these standards, is being seen as further support for the English pig industry.
The British Pig Executive has said it welcomes the document, which offers guidance to all British government departments. “This is seen as further support for the English pig industry and its higher standards of production as required by UK legislation,” the group said.
The guidance document points out that it is for individual departments to take responsibility for and justify the food they buy and ensure that it meets their requirements and achieves value for money.

George's poultry plant antitrust lawsuit settled

Poultry processor George's Inc. has agreed to make capital improvements to the Harrisonburg, Va., Tyson Foods Inc. plant it purchased on May 7, in order to settle an antitrust lawsuit.
According to the Department of Justice, the settlement requires George's to increase the plant's chicken processing capacity. Improvements being made include the installation of a special freezer and deboning equipment. The original lawsuit, filed by the Justice Department, said the deal to purchase the plant would reduce competition in the area to the industry's detriment.

India may be net poultry importer by 2015

India's poultry consumption is expected to grow 30% by 2014-2015, making the country a net poultry importer by that time, according to Research and Markets' "India Agribusiness Report Q2 2011."
A growing middle class and rising incomes will lead to 34.4 million metric tons of poultry consumed by 2015, according to the report. Connected to this growth, corn consumption is also expected to increase by 30% by 2014-2015, driven by the increase in animal feed demand.

Poultry processor to open halal plant in Maryland

Tauherr Poultry has made plans to open a halal-certified poultry processing plant in Princess Anne, Md., bringing 15 to 25 jobs to the area.
Tauherr is looking to serve a niche market, said part owner Terrence Nichols. The plant is still in the preliminary stages; according to Nichols, it may be six months to a year before the plant is up and running.

Taiwan co-funds poultry feed donation to Libya farmers

The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund has partnered with Mercy Corps to procure 125 tons of poultry feed for Libyan farmers, according to reports.
The $95,000 move was intended to stabilize Libya's poultry industry, which is suffering from a disrupted supply chain and expensive feed prices. Libyan farmers unable to afford feed have had to kill or sell their breeding stock, according to the ICDF. "If the problem continues, there will be no breeder chickens left in Libya," said Ma Wei-chung, an ICDF officer. "Should this happen, it will take at least 19 months to repair the supply chain and get chicken back on the market."
The feed supplies will last for approximately one month. In the meantime, more sustainable solutions are being researched.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Georgia poultry company announces August layoffs

Georgia-based Cagle's Inc. has announced its intention to discontinue second-shift operations at the company's Pine Mountain Valley poultry plant on or within two weeks after Aug. 19.
The discontinuation will result in the loss of 300 positions, according to the company. The plant underwent a 20% volume reduction in November 2010 due to increased feed prices and a 10% downturn in the boneless chicken breast market. With this most recent layoff, the company will operate one full shift five days a week, processing 320,000 head.

California biogas plant to turn poultry waste into fuel

California's Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has approved an energy purchase agreement and land lease for a biogas plant that will convert chicken manure to electricity.
The plant will be part of the county's "Farm to Fuel" project, and will have a fuel cell that will convert the natural gas produced by the bacterial digestion of 2 million birds-worth of chicken manure into electricity. The power from the fuel cell will then provide 25% of the local wastewater treatment plant's power consumption for moving drinking water around the county. “Projects such as the Farms to Fuel initiative benefits a broad sector of our community,” said water agency director Mike McGuire. “Jobs are created, clean energy is produced and an agricultural waste stream is brought to beneficial use."
Construction on the plant will begin in September and the plant is set to be operational in the spring of 2012.

Belgium establishes farm animal antibiotics knowledge center

A knowledge center on the consumption of antibiotics in farm animal production and antibiotic resistance has been started in Belgium by a consortium of Belgian organizations related to agriculture.
Known as AMCRA (Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance in Animals), and based in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ghent for an initial period of five years, the center aims to collect and analyze all available data concerning antibiotics given to animals in Belgium as a guide to future policies.
Results on antibiotic utilization will be supplied by the existing Belgian veterinary surveillance unit BelVetSac, while information on national sales will come from the organization that represents nearly all Belgian producers or distributors of such products. National feed association Bemefa is adding data for medicated premixes and complete feeds manufactured by its members. Various statewide programs will be the source of inputs on the prevalence of antibiotic resistance nationally.
The initiative also has the backing of farmers' unions from both the Flemish and the Walloon parts of Belgium and the association of veterinarians, along with federal agencies covering food safety and consumer protection.

US pig meat exports up for 2011

Pig meat exports for 2011 were revised upward to 4.872 billion pounds, up 15.3% over 2010, due mostly to a greater-than-expected demand in the first quarter of 2011 from Asian markets like South Korea and China, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
April U.S. pork exports were over 421 million pounds, up about 19.5% from the same time in 2010. Second-quarter pork exports are forecast to be almost 1.27 billion pounds, up 17% from 2010. The revised number for all of 2011 is expected to account for 21.5% of U.S. commercial pork production. Year to date, the five largest destinations of U.S. pork exports are Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Canada and China.
Tighter than anticipated corn supplies are expected to translate to higher feed costs for producers for the rest of 2011 and into 2012, decreasing the expected dressed weights of hogs. Lighter weights are expected to marginally lower commercial production to 22.6 billion pounds in 2011 and 22.9 billion pounds in 2012.

Egypt reports latest human avian influenza death

Egypt has recorded another human death due to avian influenza (H5N1), bringing the current total to 150 confirmed cases and 52 fatalities, according to the World Health Organization.
A 27-year-old man from Qena governorate, Deshna district, developed symptoms on June 5 and was hospitalized. Despite treatment, he died on June 14. Investigations into the source of infection suggest that the man had exposure to poultry suspected as being infected with H5N1.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Perdue acquires natural, organic poultry producer

FFP Family Investments, parent company of Perdue Farms, has completed its purchase of natural and organic poultry producer Coleman Natural Foods.
Coleman is expected to continue to operate independently of Perdue, according to the companies. FFP said that it views Coleman as complementary to Perdue and that the company's purchase will provide strategic growth opportunities for both companies.

Saudi Arabia poultry producer to focus on domestic growth

Saudi Arabia food producer Almarai Co. has said it intends to expand its presence in the domestic poultry market for the remainder of 2011, according to reports.
The company's board approved an investment of 4 billion riyals (US$1.07 billion) in poultry, doubling its initial allocation of 2 billion riyals (US$533 million). The investment “will position the company to take full advantage of the opportunity within the poultry market,” according to Almarai. The company plans to focus on Saudi Arabia for the rest of the year, with no plans to expand into other Middle East countries.

US chicken egg production, chicks hatched up in May

Egg production for May 2011 included 6.67 billion table eggs.
U.S. chicken egg production totaled 7.78 billion during May 2011, up 1% from the same time in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Production included 6.67 billion table eggs and 1.11 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.04 billion were broiler-type and 72 million were egg-type.
The total number of layers during May 2011 averaged 338 million, down slightly from 2010. May egg production per 100 layers was 2,302 eggs, up 1% from May 2010. All layers in the U.S. on June 1 totaled 336 million, down 1% from 2010. The 336 million layers consisted of 279 million layers producing table or market-type eggs, 54.8 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs and 3.01 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on June 1 averaged 74.1 eggs per 100 layers, up 1% from 2010.
Egg-type chicks hatched during May 2011 totaled 43.3 million, up slightly from May 2010. Eggs in incubators totaled 37.6 million on June 1, down 2% from 2010. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 211,000 during May, down 8% from the same time in 2010.
Broiler-type chicks hatched during May totaled 807 million, up 1% from 2010. Eggs in incubators totaled 642 million on June 1, down 2% from 2010 numbers. Leading breeders placed 7.72 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during May, down 8% from 2010.

US wheat supplies, production down from 2010 numbers

Projected ending U.S. wheat stocks for the 2011-2012 harvest year are 687 million bushels, down 122 million bushels from the 2010-2011 year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Total wheat supplies for 2011-2012 are projected down 307 million bushels, due to both smaller carryin stocks and production from 2010-2011, according to the USDA. Beginning stocks are at 809 million bushels, down 30 million bushels from May. Projected imports, at 110 million bushels, are unchanged from May, but up 10 million bushels from the 2010-2011 year.
Total projected wheat use is down 185 million bushels from 2010-2011, to 2.29 billion bushels, in spite of higher domestic use. Food use is projected at 945 million bushels, up 15 million bushels from 2010-2011, but exports are down 245 million bushels, to 1.05 billion bushels.
Total production is projected at 2.06 billion bushels, down 150 million bushels from the 2010-2011 harvest year.

Corn stockpiles lowest in 37 years in spite of record harvests

Corn stockpiles are reaching record lows even as demand is reaching record highs.
Global stockpiles of corn are expected to reach their lowest numbers since 1974, in spite of a fifth consecutive year of record corn harvests, due to increased demand and weather-induced yield decreases, according to reports.
Global inventory may be reduced to 47 days of use, according to experts, even as consumption is estimated to rise 3% in the next year, adding to a 16-year trend that has so far resulted in an overall increase of 66%. China alone is expected to increase its demand by 47% compared to numbers a decade ago. “There is a storm developing in agriculture,” said Jean Bourlot, global head of commodities at UBS AG. “If we have the slightest disruption in any part of the world, the effect on the price will be considerable.” The reduced inventory has been exacerbated by recent weather in the U.S., which delayed planting and resulted in acreage losses.
Corn prices have reached an average of $7.02 per bushel since Dec. 31, and futures are reaching record highs — in early June, Hussein Allidina, head of commodity research at Morgan Stanley, said numbers could hit $9 per bushel if current conditions continue. July futures as of 12:30 p.m. EDT on June 21 stood at $7.074 per bushel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

US House restores food safety lab funding

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment restoring funding to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network after it was cut from the 2012 Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative.
After the entirety of the network's $4.4 million funding was eliminated, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and other organizations worked to draft and propose an amendment. "In the event of an emergency, the NAHLN can mobilize its network to test large numbers of samples rapidly, process diagnostic tests and share information," said Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, the AAVMC's executive director. "We applaud the House...for realizing the critical role NAHLN plays in protecting our nation's food supply."
The AAVMC has said that will now work collaboratively with its partners to ensure the Senate retains this funding as they consider fiscal year 2012 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Zimbabwe poultry production up in spite of challenges

Zimbabwe's poultry production has reached 5 million chicks and between 60,000 and 70,000 dozen eggs a month, according to recent reports, showing growth between 16% and 19% compared to previous years.
The industry, which is split between informal traders (65%) and formal traders (35%), is contributing 6,500 metric tons of meat on a monthly basis, said Solomon Zawe, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Poultry Association. The biggest challenges to the growing industry, said Zawe, are high utility charges, power cuts and the prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms to feed the chickens.

UK food manufacturer invests in low-energy poultry farms

British food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group has invested in four new low-energy farms that will house an extra 6 million birds a year, according to the company.
During the past 12 months, 2 Sisters has introduced more than 700,000 square feet of new poultry housing. The latest additions will allow for more efficient ventilation, heating and lighting management, according to the company. “Climate change remains a hot topic for us, and we want to play our part in helping to manage CO² emissions and use energy more efficiently while still growing our business," said a 2 Sisters spokesman. “These new chicken houses offer the potential to lower energy usage and prevent unnecessary heat loss at farm level."

Canada poultry, egg farmers want focus on food security

Canada's poultry, egg and dairy farmers have joined an international coalition of farm groups endorsing a "Call for Coherence" regarding the balancing of global agricultural trade agreements and country-level food security.
The declaration, made two days before the G20 Ministers of Agriculture meeting being held in Paris, France, calls for both fair and equitable trade rules and policy space for individual countries to meet their own food security objectives. "We are questioning whether the approach of simply opening markets — giving no consideration whatsoever to non-trade issues and how these impact farmers who produce the world's food — is really the best way forward," said David Fuller, chairman of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "Better coherence is needed between any [World Trade Organization] agriculture agreement and those commitments WTO member states must observe in the international treaties they've already signed on issues such as poverty, hunger, climate change and biodiversity."
The farm groups have asked those involved in the meeting to keep in mind that all countries should have the right to produce for domestic consumption in order to improve self-sufficiency and ensure their food security. Trade rules, they said, should allow for policy measures that promote the stability of food supplies and prices, and all countries should have the right to meet the non-trade concerns of their citizens — food safety, the environment, animal welfare and needs of rural areas — to promote sustainable agriculture, help combat climate change and protect biodiversity.

Thai poultry farm plans production expansion

Thailand poultry producer Saha Farms Group has mapped out a Bt15 billion (US$489.4 million) plan to expand its production capacity in order to meet higher import demand, according to the company.
The company's export volume rose from 70,000 metric tons in 2009 to 110,000 metric tons in 2010, and is expected to continue its upward trend, said company President and CEO Manoonsri Chotitawan.
Thai frozen chicken exports had been suffering from a five-year ban due to an avian flu outbreak; only processed chicken has been exported during that time. Now, said Chotitawan, Thailand's chicken exports have the opportunity to double in volume, taking back business lost to frozen chicken in Japan.
Overall, Thailand's export growth is expected to increase by 15%, to US$219 billion, in 2011.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Novus celebrates 20th anniversary of ‘innovation with integrity’

Novus International celebrated its 20th anniversary yesterday at its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., with a three-day event for its customers, hosting 36 clients that represented 15 countries. Speakers at the celebration included Dr. Jon Hagler, Missouri Director of Agriculture; previous Novus president Joe Privotts; Dr. William Danforth, professor at the University of Sao Paulo; and Novus president and CEO, Thad Simons.
“Integrity and innovation: those words do not usually go together. It’s not a concept that you very well think about together, but for us, it’s very fundamental,” said Simons, explaining Novus’ mission of “Innovation with Integrity.”
“Integrity was part of our core values from the beginning. We have that integrity our customers need to have to build those long-term relationships. And innovation means different things to different people,” he continued. “To me, innovation means the application of technology. What’s innovative is actually getting technology into the hands of people in a way they can use it.”
Novus will continue to host appreciation celebrations for customers and partners at its facilities throughout the world, including China, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, Thailand and Australia

Hungary poultry, animal feed prices up

Poultry prices in Hungary rose 21.2% in April, on top of the 16.7% they rose in March, according to a recent report by the Central Statistical Office.
The continued increases can be accounted for by a rise in animal feed prices, said Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas. Cereal grain prices have shown an 87.6% increase over 2010. Overall crop prices have increased by 59.1% compared to 2010, according to the report.
According to Fazekas, the ministry is working to stabilize the price of animal feed. A new statute is also in the works that would designate so-called slaughter areas so livestock killing can be done locally rather than farmers needing to sell their animals to butchers. This move is expected to cut costs while helping small- and medium-sized farms.

US turkey eggs up, poults down in May

U.S. turkey eggs in incubators on June 1 totaled 28.9 million, up 1% from the same time in 2010 and up 4% from May's 27.8 million eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Turkey poults hatched during May totaled 24.1 million, down slightly from May 2010 numbers. Poults hatched were up 2% from the April 2011 total of 23.7 million poults. The 23.7 million net poults placed during May were down 2% from the number placed during the same month a year earlier. Net placements were up 1% from the April 2011 total of 23.4 million.

Campaign in India to end starvation force molting on egg farms

Humane Society International has launched a confidential whistleblower program in India to allow concerned citizens to anonymously report the practice of starving hens to induce molting. The program was launched after the Animal Welfare Board of India directed all poultry farms in the country to immediately discontinue starvation force molt regimes, stating that the practice is in violation of India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and a punishable offence.
HSI says that starvation force molting, widely practiced in egg production facilities throughout India, deprives egg-laying hens of food for up to 14 days and may be combined with one or two days of water deprivation to rejuvenate their reproductive tracts and stimulate additional cycles of egg production.
It continues that during forced molts, hens suffer greatly and may lose up to 35% of their body weight. Additionally, the HSI says, starvation force molting dramatically increases the risk of hens laying Salmonella-infected eggs.
Manager of HSI’s factory farming campaign, N G Jayasmimha, said, “Once HSI receives a report about starvation molting on a particular farm, we will work with the state animal husbandry department, SPCA, the Animal Welfare Board of India and the state animal welfare board to investigate the matter.”

US House denies GIPSA poultry marketing regulation funding

The U.S. House has passed legislation that funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and related agencies for fiscal year 2012, but denies money for USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to push its livestock and poultry marketing regulation.
Known as the GIPSA rule, the regulation was prompted by the 2008 Farm Bill. But according to detractors, the proposed rule goes beyond the intent of Congress and includes provisions specifically rejected during debate on the Farm Bill. Also under scrutiny is the USDA’s lack of an in-depth economic impact study of the proposal before it was published.
“We commend the House for voting to rein in the USDA’s GIPSA, which went far beyond its mandate from Congress in developing a rule on production and marketing of livestock and poultry,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. “We have consistently urged the USDA to go back to the drawing board and produce a rule that responds to its instructions from Congress rather than trying to destroy the existing system as the proposed rule does. Now we hope that the U.S. Senate will see the wisdom in the House action and follow suit.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cargill expands with Russia animal feed facility

Cargill has opened a new animal feed facility at its Efremov, Russia, complex that is set to produce 50,000 metric tons of poultry and swine feed products.
The facility will focus on the production of prestarter and starter feed for chickens and baby pigs, as well as protein-vitamin-mineral concentrates, according to the company. It is the latest construction in a grouping that includes corn and wheat sweeteners plants, a vegetable oil refinery and bottling facility, a malt plant and an animal feed mill. A poultry processing plant is also under construction, said Cargill.

FAO: Poultry prices to rise 30% through 2020

Production of both crops and livestock are expected to slow, even as average prices rise over the next decade.
Poultry prices are expected to average up to 30% higher over the 2011 to 2020 period, while corn prices will increase up to 20% in the same time period, according to a joint report published by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Short-term agricultural production, according to the report, is expected to increase with normal weather, as a result of a supply response to current high prices. In the long term, however, global agricultural production is slowing down when set against the last decade, with growth projected at 1.7% annually through 2020, compared to 2.6% in the previous ten years. Trade will also slow, to 2% per year, with modest production increases by traditional exporters and higher domestic production by importers. The fastest growth is expected in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Latin America.

China dairy industry recovering from 2008 Melamine incident

China's dairy industry has finally recovered to the level it fell from during 2008's Melamine incident, but consumer confidence has yet to be fully restored, according to reports.
The industry currently has 12.6 million cows in stock and 35.75 millions of milk were produced in 2010. Milk output for 2011 is likely to reach 40 million tons. However, consumers are still lacking confidence in the local dairy products. “It has been three years since the Melamine incident happened, but consumers’ confidence has yet to recover,” said Gao Hongbin, vice minister of China's agricultural ministry.
According to statistics, the industry is fully recovered in output and price, but for areas such as baby milk powder, the numbers still have a long way to go before they reach 2008 levels. China imported almost 300,000 tons of baby milk powder in the first half of 2011, according to Hongbin, and a lot of families went to Japan, New Zealand and Australia to buy milk powders. Such a move leads to sky-high prices in the domestic market, and it is difficult for consumers to find confidence back if the same incidents happen again and again, said Hongbin.

Danisco research highlights benefit of E. coli phytase in animal nutrition

Danisco Animal Nutrition announced new research in understanding the antinutrient effect of phytate in animal nutrition, which can reduce feed costs for pig and poultry producers. The research from Danisco is published in the Analytical Biochemistry journal.
Danisco says phytate acts as an antinutrient in the diet by binding to dietary protein-forming phytate-protein complexes and trapping nutrients. Phytases derived from E. coli were found to be significantly better at breaking down these phytate-protein complexes than fungal phytases, according to Danisco's research. Of all the phytase tested as part of the research, Danisco says its Phyzyme XP showed the greatest efficacy and the more it was included, the faster the breakdown occurred, resulting in greater energy and amino acid release. 
“Phytate-protein complexes occur naturally in the upper digestive tract of animals," said Peter Plumstead, of Danisco Animal Nutrition. "The investigation confirmed that under pH and temperature conditions close to those found in the upper part of the animal’s digestive tract, E. coliphytases showed higher activity in breaking down phytate-protein complexes.”

California egg producer moving forward after Proposition 2

JS West installed enriched colonies in a purpose built building on one farm in an attempt to comply with California Proposition 2.
California Proposition 2, which passed in November 2008, takes effect on January 1, 2015. In essence, Proposition 2 states a bird must be able to sit down, stand up, turn around and extend her limbs without touching another bird or the sides of an enclosure, according to Jill Benson, vice president of JS West & Companies.
By January of 2015, all shell eggs sold in California will have to meet Proposition 2 requirements for rearing of the hens. The problem is that the state has not said what housing systems meet the standard.

Asking the judge
In July of 2010, JS West placed its first flock of around 150,000 hens in a purpose built house with a Big Dutchman enriched colony housing system. American Humane Certified announced that this enriched colony housing meets its science-based standards for humane housing and it can be certified. Enriched colony systems provide hens with a wide range of behavioral opportunities such as perching, nesting and dust bathing.
Because of inaction by the state of California, JS West decided that it needed to take legal steps to get a decision on whether or not its enriched colony housing systems will comply with Proposition 2. “JS West filed a lawsuit against the state of California and the Humane Society of the United States to get a declaratory judgment from the judge to say that the enriched colony barn that they built will comply come 2015,” said Benson. “The judge will not set a standard per se, but will look at the specific housing system and come to a decision on whether or not it complies with the vague verbiage of Proposition 2. The judge will also share how he came to that decision, which will allow other egg farmers to know what will comply or not.”
Benson said that JS West, which has 1.8 million layers in California, is committed to navigating its way through the regulations and uncertainty and staying in the egg business.
“We believe that California consumers will always want a California egg, and whatever that egg turns out to be, we hope to care for the hens that lay them,” said Benson. “That is why we have taken such an active role in trying to determine our future.”
Read the rest of the article on WATTAgNet.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cobb hosts broiler farmers, poultry specialists in Czech Republic

The effect of proper transportation on the health of day-old chicks was among topics discussed at Cobb's broiler seminars.
More than 130 broiler farmers and poultry specialists recently participated in seminars hosted by Cobb Germany and two Czech hatcheries, Mach and Xavergen. The broiler seminars took place at Litomysl and Havlickuv Brod, in the Czech Republic.
James Truscott, director of Cobb Germany, spoke about the poultry industry's role in providing for the growing global population, focusing on the increasing emphasis on feed conversion. Hatchery expert Dr. Ron Meijerhof, of Poultry Performance Plus, spoke about the importance of accurate temperatures during transport and brooding in order to provide day-old chicks with the best start. Saeid Najati, broiler and breeder specialist, spoke about his experiences with Cobb broilers in Germany, covering both light programs and nutritional strategies. Finally, Lubor Skalka, technical manager in the Czech and Slovak Republics, stressed to attendees the importance of ventilation and heating in achieving good environmental conditions.

EU reaches deal on poultry, pig meat origin labeling

The European Union has reached a deal on new EU-wide country of origin labeling for poultry, pork and other meat as well as nutrition labeling for other food.
Country of origin labeling will go into force within two years of the rules going into effect. Currently, the European Commission is working on specifying how to deal with animals born, raised or slaughtered in more than one country. By 2013, a decision will be made on whether to include processed meat products in the new labeling system.
Nutrition labeling must show foods' energy, salt, sugar, protein, carbohydrate, fat and saturated fat content, and will go into effect within five years.
The deal must still be formally approved by governments and the full parliament before becoming law.

Sri Lanka broiler producer to expand business, increase production

Sri Lanka poultry producer Bairaha Farms will invest in a 360-million-rupee (US$8.01 million) broiler farm that will increase the company's production by 15% over the next three years.
Bairaha will spend 120 million rupees (US$2.67 million) on the project in the remainder of 2011 and 240 million rupees (US$5.34 million) in the next two years. The expanded farm is expected to produce its first birds in August or September 2011, according to Chief Executive Yakooth Naleem.

US broiler production up slightly in second quarter 2011

US broiler meat production estimates have been revised down for the remainder of 2011, even though numbers for the first half have been up from 2010.
US broiler meat production is expected to total 9.33 billion pounds in the second quarter of 2011, up 1.4% from 2010 numbers, but production is expected to be lower in the second half of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The broiler meat production estimate for the fourth quarter of 2011 was lowered by 25 million pounds to 9.4 billion pounds, while the estimate for the first quarter of 2012 was also lowered by 25 million pounds, to 9.36 billion pounds. The total for 2012 was reduced by 100 million pounds to 38.0 billion pounds. Broiler stocks are up 16% so far from 2010, to 707 million pounds at the end of April, but are expected to decline in the second half of the year as gains in production slow and then become negative. Broiler shipments in April declined 7.6% from 2010 numbers, totaling 497 million pounds.
Turkey meat production in April was 456 million pounds, up slightly from the same time in 2010. The number of birds slaughtered was 19.1 million, down about 0.5% from 2010, but this was offset by a 1% increase in the average weight at slaughter to 30 pounds. Turkey shipments rose 23% from 2010 numbers, totaling 52.8 million pounds.

UK pig industry close to trade deal with China

The UK pig industry is close to tying up direct trade with China, where several customers have already expressed interest in buying anywhere between 10 and 100 containers of specific “fifth quarter” products, such as heads, ears, intestines, or tails, per month.
This follows a recent British trade delegation, which was organized by the British Pig Executive and included the country’s top four pork processors (Tulip, Vion, Cranswick and Woodheads), to the China International Meat Industry Exhibition in Beijing. “The interest in UK pig meat is phenomenal and we met some serious buyers who are extremely keen to do business at good prices with the UK,” said BPEX International Manager Peter Hardwick. “Good market potential is there, because while China has significant domestic production capabilities, it still does not have enough to feed its whole population and the prices are rising — up to 20% over the past 12 months in some cases — so our products will be very competitive." According to Hardwick, those involved are waiting for final approval on health certificates before exporting can begin.
Britain is also optimistic about increasing its exports of genetics to China, said BPEX head of export Jean-Pierre Garnier. “China produces and consumes about half the world’s pork and, over the next 10 years, the Chinese pig sector will undergo a fundamental revolution," said Garnier. "It is vital for the UK pig breeders, the leaders in this field, to accompany the Chinese industry in this transformation."

Friday, June 17, 2011

France wheat crop threatened by continued drought

France's wheat crop may see diminished yields if the current drought continues, increasing world prices in spite of a predicted bumper crop, according to French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire.
The French government has already pledged hundreds of millions of euros to the country's livestock farmers to help them combat decreasing feed supplies and rising prices. "The situation is serious for French farmers," said Le Maire. "We wanted to act swiftly and on a large scale." Rainfall has recorded at 40% to 80% below the long-term average from 1951 to 2000. January to April have been the driest for France since 1975, while Switzerland has recorded one of its ten driest years so far since 1864 and Germany has gone through its driest spring since 1893.
The government has restricted water use in more than half of France's administrative regions and departments to help offset the shortage.

Corn futures drop on favorable weather, yield predictions

December corn futures reached a one-month low on expectations of higher yields.
December corn futures hit $6.7475 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on June 14, a one-month low, on reports that favorable weather may boost yields in the U.S.
On June 10, July corn futures reached a record $7.9975 per bushel on the CBOT after updated reports decreased U.S. harvest predictions by 2.3%. “The markets are focused on rapid planting progress and improving crop conditions,” said Nate Smith, a broker at the Linn Group in Chicago. Warmer weather and some rain are expected to maintain favorable growing conditions. Roughly 69% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition as on June 12, up from 67% a week earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
As of 8:29 a.m. on June 15, corn was trading at $7.51 per bushel.

UK wheat, oilseed yield forecast lower for 2011

Oilseed rape in bloom.
The UK’s wheat and oilseed rape yield is likely to be significantly down from the country’s five-year average, according to a survey conducted between May and June by the National Farmers Union.
With poor growing conditions, particularly in the east of the UK, results suggest that the average English wheat yield in 2011 will be down by 14% to around 6.5 metric tons per hectare, which would rank among the lowest since the late 1980s.
Area planted is currently thought to be similar to last year, but wheat production in England in 2011 may be much lower due to severe drought pressure on crops this spring. Based on analysis of these farmer estimates, production could be down from the five-year average by around 2 million metric tons to below 12 million metric tons, or 15% below the average of 13.74 million metric tons.
Winter oilseed rape appears to be in a slightly stronger position than cereals, with farmers forecasting English yields at 3.1 metric tons per hectare, 9% down on the five-year average of 3.4 metric tons per hectare. Plantings are believed to be significantly up on the five-year average, indicating a potential production of 2.082 million metric tons against the five-year average of 1.762 million metric tons in England.

Global pig health needs better biosecurity

Failures in achieving effective biosecurity at the farm and regional levels have been at the heart of many recent problems with transboundary diseases affecting pigs, a symposium in Spain was told.
The remarks were made to the opening session of the 6th International Symposium on Emerging and Re-emerging Pig Diseases, being held in Barcelona, Spain. The symposium is hosted by Spain’s Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal and IRTA agro-food research institute with the University of Barcelona.
Giving an Asian perspective, Dr. Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, said that many emerging pig diseases have become endemic in Southeast Asian countries over the past two decades, mainly due to the combination of unrestricted animal movements and poor biosecurity. The globalization of markets also means that any pig disease emerging today is unlikely to stay within the boundaries of the country it was first observed in. He said that the pig disease most probably would spread to other countries, which could occur relatively quickly.
Rigorous biosecurity could be the ultimate weapon against various disease agents now afflicting Asian countries, Dr Roongroje added, from the highly pathogenic form of the PRRS syndrome to the newly damaging outbreaks of porcine epidemic diarrhoea.

American Egg Board launches egg information website for consumers

The American Egg Board launched a website,, which provides educational information about eggs and egg products to consumers.
The site features a number of videos, designed to answer questions and provide free educational information to viewers about the functional properties of egg products. The first six videos cover such topics as "Controlling Crystallization," to help manage crystal formation in ice cream and other frozen foods, and "Coagulation in Refrigerated Desserts," using egg products to create gels. The primary video narrator is Shelly McKee, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University.
In addition to the videos, a series of quizzes allows food technologists to earn a continuing education certificate, and a personal record log helps viewers keep track of their progress through the series. Other features include a frequently asked questions section and a conversion table for the various egg products available in liquid, solid (dried powders) or shell. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Auburn University offers online aquaculture education

Auburn University’s Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures developed an online, multilingual training and certification program for working industry professionals.
The program, Certification for Aquaculture Professionals, is a Web-based, educational curriculum that teaches the fundamentals of aquaculture and sustainable aquaculture production. The CAP program consists of 10 learning modules taught by aquaculture experts, many of whom are members of the Auburn fisheries department’s faculty. The 10 modules include a total of 136, approximately 30-minute-long segments with video recordings of trainers’ lectures, slides used for the lectures and lecture transcripts. Subjects covered in the certification program include: principles of aquaculture, water quality, physiology, hatchery management, genetics and breeding, aquatic animal nutrition, aquatic health, aquaculture production, aquaculture economics and extension methods. Each module ends with an exam, which students must get at least 70% on to proceed to the next module. The certification program can be completed in about six months, but is designed for people who are currently working, so the timeline may vary.
The CAP program is offered in English and Spanish, and soon will be available in Portuguese, French, Chinese and Arabic. Registration for the CAP program ranges from $4,000 to $6,000 depending on the number of certifications desired. For more information on Auburn’s CAP program, visit

Serbian poultry meat producer expands with Cobb breeder flock import

Agroziv expands with its import of Cobb's breeder flock, Cobb500.
Serbian poultry meat producer, Agroziv, is expanding into the Balkans following its import of a Cobb500 breeder flock at the end of May.
Agroziv was purchased in December 2010 by the national gas company, Srbijagas, after years of financial difficulties. After implementation of new management, the company is now investing in further development at all levels, according to Agroziv.
“Cobb is being recognized as a stairway to a bright future for Agroziv,” said James Truscott, director of Cobb Germany. “The Cobb500 will help the company reduce their meat production costs and become once again the major player in the Balkans.”

Poultry and Egg Institute releases driver safety DVD program

U.S. Poultry and Egg Association's Poultry and Egg Institute released a driver training DVD program to assist companies in complying with federal motor carrier safety regulations.
The program, “Pre-Trip, Post-Trip Inspections,” is designed to aid companies in complying with portions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA 2010 program, which increases the accountability of both the carrier and the driver for motor carrier safety.
The video takes the driver through a step-by-step process to meet the requirements of an effective vehicle inspection process and helps drivers develop a consistent approach to inspections, according to Poultry and Egg Institute. The video was developed by Paul Pressley, executive vice president of industry programs, and safety management personnel from U.S. Poultry member companies.
DVD versions are available online, at no charge for U.S. Poultry and Egg Association members and $200 for non-members.

France drought causes animal feed shortage, early livestock slaughtering

One of the most severe droughts in a half-century in France has caused a shortage in animal feed, resulting in a 10% increase in livestock slaughtering, France’s Les Echos reported.
France began slaughtering its milk cows nearly 10 months ago, according to the country’s national crop office FranceAgriMer. The unusually early slaughtering accelerated at the beginning of 2011, France AgriMer says, as the country’s beef consumption has dropped 4.1% since that time.

Mexican pig producers want disease-eradication support from government

Mexico’s pig producers are calling on the government to cut bureaucracy and support them in the fight against disease.
At a recent meeting of the Mexican confederation of pig producers, the government was warned that when necessary resources do not reach producers in time, it is not only producers that suffer but the economy as a whole.
There were also calls for region of Santa Ana to be recognized as free from foot and mouth disease and for financial aid to continue to the fight against Aujezky’s disease, which continue to limit exports.
Mexico currently produces 1.2 million tons of pig meat annually.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Poultry processor Case Farms awards college scholarships

Poultry processor Case Farms awarded two college scholarships to children of its employees during the company’s annual service awards dinners. Each of the two recipients received a $2,500 scholarship as part of the J. Leroy Cook Memorial Scholarship Program, following evaluation of their applications by a panel of three judges.
One of the recipients is Alexandria Bryant, daughter of a supply clerk at the company's Morganton, N.C., plant, who will begin North Carolina State University in fall 2011, and plans to study polymer and color chemistry. The other recipient is Ellen Jackson, daughter of the controller at Case Farms' Winesburg, Ohio, plant, who is currently studying marketing and English at John Carroll University.
“Case Farms strongly believes in creating a community that not only supports its employees but their families as well,” said David Van Hoose, president and chief operating officer at Case Foods. “We are proud to provide these students with an opportunity to further their education and relieve some of the financial stresses associated with attending school.”
Established in 2005 by Case Farms founder, Thomas Shelton, the J. Leroy Cook Memorial Scholarship Program honors Case Farms employee Leroy Cook, a former senior vice president of operations. To date, Case Farms has given away more than $30,000 in college scholarships to children of its employees.

Cargill expanding Thailand poultry processing business

Cargill has announced plans for an expansion of the company's poultry processing operations in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The US$110 million project will increase the location's existing hatchery, breeder farm, processing plant and egg farm operations. According to Cargill, the processing plant will add 40,000 metric tons of chicken meat to annual output, the breeder farm will add 366,600 birds a year, the hatchery will produce an additional 43 million chicks per year and egg operations will expand by roughly 21 million eggs.
The expansion, expected to take two years, will add 2,000 jobs to the area.

Netherlands poultry breeder acquires Scotland salmon breeder

Netherlands poultry breeding group Hendrix Genetics has completed its acquisition of Scottish salmon breeder Landcatch, leading the company into the aquaculture market for the first time.
Landcatch is a supplier of Atlantic salmon eggs and juveniles from land-based breeding and production sites in Scotland. Also included in the acquisition is Landcatch Natural Selection, which supplies advanced selective breeding technologies in Atlantic salmon. Hendrix has called the acquisition "a natural fit with our existing multi-species portfolio." With the addition of Landcatch, the company now has five divisions covering the poultry, pig and aquaculture markets.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arkansas poultry producer may buy competitor in expansion bid

Arkansas-based poultry producer Mountaire Corp. has made plans to purchase competitor Allen Family Foods Inc. in an expansion bid, according to reports.
Mountaire said it would like to expand the processing facilities of its affiliate, Delaware-based Seaford Milling Company, and is looking to acquire Allen Family Foods' inventory, hatcheries, feed mill, breeder operations, rendering operations and production assets. Allen Family Foods has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and any acquisition must go through bankruptcy court, said Mountaire CEO Dave Pogge.

Brazil’s poultry, pig producers concerned over Russian import ban

The presidents of Brazil’s poultry union, UBABEF, and pork producers’ and exporters’ union, are calling for urgent measures in response to Russia’s decision to revoke recognition of slaughterhouses in three of the country’s states.
The Russian ban extends to some 80 slaughterhouses and was imposed following inspections that resulted in concerns over monitoring contaminants. Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture has said that its staff will be fully mobilized to overturn the decision.
Russia is an important market for Brazilian poultry exports. Last year, Brazil exported 144,300 tons of poultry meat to Russia, with a value of US$249.5 million. Between January and April 2011, Russia imported 29,700 tons of Brazilian poultry meat, worth US$53 million. 

USDA: US corn harvest estimate down due to Midwest storms

Corn futures rose on reports that the U.S. harvest may be 2.3% lower than originally estimated.
The U.S. corn harvest may be 2.3% smaller than originally forecast due to excessive storms in the Midwest, reaching a total of 13.2 billion bushels (as opposed to the initial estimate of 13.505 billion bushels), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA estimate of inventories before the 2012 harvest is down to 695 million bushels, a 23% decrease from the 900 million bushels estimated in May. In response to the new numbers, corn futures for July reached a three-year high, hitting $7.84 a bushel — a 2.6% increase — at 10:34 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade.
In spite of the report, Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association, said it's too early to necessarily take the numbers at face value. "It is extremely early in the season and much will change between now and harvest," said Cooper. "Historical data has shown that the weather in July and August is a much more important factor in determining final yields than the planting date." He said the June 30 acreage report will provide a better picture of actual corn acreage, once estimates of acres lost to flooding or abandoned due to prevented planting are taken into account.

Pfizer suspends sales of poultry feed additive 3-Nitro

Alpharma, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., has voluntarily suspended U.S. sales of the feed additive 3-Nitro (Roxarsone), after a recent Food and Drug Administration study of 100 broilers detected inorganic arsenic at higher levels in the livers of chickens treated with 3-Nitro compared to untreated chickens.
“The FDA detected increased levels of inorganic arsenic in the livers of chickens treated with 3-Nitro, raising concerns of a very low but completely avoidable exposure to a carcinogen,” said Michael R. Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods. Alpharma’s current plan provides for continued sales of 3-Nitro for 30 days from June 8. According to the company, allowing sales for this period will provide time for Pfizer to work with animal producers to transition to other treatment strategies and will help ensure that animal health and welfare needs are met. In the meantime, Pfizer is working with the FDA to examine further relevant scientific data regarding the use of 3-Nitro in animals, and continues to review the results of the study.
Both the National Chicken Council and the American Feed Industry Association have said they are monitoring the situation with regards to their industries. Poultry producers who have questions should contact Pfizer Veterinary Medical Information Product & Support at +1.800.366.5288.

US pig meat producers urge free trade agreement approval

The National Pork Producers Council is urging the U.S. Congress to implement legislation approving free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
Deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea would add more than $11 to the price U.S. pig meat producers receive for each hog and would generate more than 10,000 jobs, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes. Failing to implement the agreements, said Hayes, could lead to the U.S. pig meat industry losing its foothold in all three markets within 10 years.
“For us to remain a successful and viable industry, we need new and expanded market access," said Doug Wolf, NPPC president. “The way to get that is through free trade agreements.”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Demand growing for food positioned as premium, ethical

New food products with an ethical or premium positioning are on the rise, despite the difficult economic situation. Data from Innova Market Insights shows that consumers, while pinching pennies elsewhere, are looking for value-added foods or those positioned on ethical platforms.
As a total of US launches, new food products with an ethical positioning grew from 3.7% in 2008 to 6% of introductions tracked in the first quarter of 2011. This change occurs as the wellness category is blurring to encompass new areas not typically considered as health and nutrition, such as “minimally processed,” “locally sourced" and “sustainable.”
“Consumers believe that products manufactured with more respect toward animal welfare and the environment are worth the extra charge,” said head of research at Innova Market Insights, Lu Ann Williams.
A survey of new launches also found that 14.2% of new products tracked during the first quarter of 2011 had a premium positioning, compared to 10.5% in 2010 and 8.4% in 2008 when the economic crisis began. These figures suggest that consumers are willing to indulge even during times of financial difficulty.

India establishing poultry hatcheries to boost state economy

The government of Jammu and Kashmir in India has made plans to establish 10 poultry hatcheries in the state to combat local unemployment, according to reports.
Under the plan, day-old chicks would be processed and provided to the poultry units, said Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Jammu and Kashmir's minister for sheep and animal husbandry. In conjunction with the poultry plan are blueprints for cattle- and sheep-rearing, which also have potential to boost the economy, according to Mehdi. So far, the government has initiated six different plans incorporating poultry, cattle and sheep in the hopes of involving more people in income-generating units.

New Zealand’s poultry producers winning against campylobacter

Campylobacter detection rates in New Zealand dropped by 25% between 2007 and 2010, reports the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority, Campylobacter Performance Target programme has been in force since April 2008. The programme has looked at all aspects of the poultry industry and introduced improvements across the industry.
PIANZ reports that the big improvement in plant audits undertaken by NZFSA in 2009/2010 compared to 2007 was very pleasing, as have been those on farms.
Total case numbers for campylobacteriosis last year was 7,337, a 43% drop in comparison to 2007.

Association points out lack of railroad competition for animal feed transport

The National Grain and Feed Association said that while adequate competition to discipline the market behavior of rail carriers exists in some marketplace situations, such as in the case with other modes of transportation, cost-effective solutions are not in place for rail customers when a lack of market competition exists. NGFA submitted these comments to the federal Surface Transportation Board and suggested ways to restore balance in the railroad industry for feed transportation.
In its comments, NGFA suggested that STB address switching charges by establishing a revenue-to-variable-cost threshold that, if exceeded, would require railroad companies to demonstrate that such charges are reasonable. The association also suggested the STB reconsider its previous decision on the three benchmark small rail rate case by increasing to at least $3 million over five years the amount that would be recoverable by a shipper that wins a rate case brought against a carrier.
The comments were issued as a last step before a June 22 STB public hearing on rail competition, at which NGFA President Kendell Keith is scheduled to speak on behalf of rail shippers and receivers of feed and feed ingredients.

Flooding in US Midwest may threaten corn, soybean land in Corn Belt

Farmers are worried that flooding along the Missouri River may threaten cropland in the western Corn Belt, which they hoped would provide a strong harvest in the fall to make up for expected shortfalls in the eastern U.S. Midwest, according to reports.
Analysts estimated that between 300,000 and 800,000 acres of farmland for corn and soybeans in Iowa and Nebraska may be threatened by floods. Farmers who have been unable to plant corn because of the rain and flooding in the eastern Corn Belt were considering planting different crops or collecting insurance payments to get by this year.
Total planted corn acreage in Iowa, the largest corn-producing state, and Nebraska, the third-largest, was expected to be 23.4 million acres this year. Planting was 98% complete for corn in Iowa and 94% complete in Nebraska.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Russia bans poultry, pig, beef imports from Brazil manufacturers

Russia has banned meat and livestock imports from 89 manufacturers in three Brazil states for failing to meet Russian standards, according to Alexei Alexeyenko, spokesman for Russian food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.
"Essentially, the ban is a vote of no-confidence in the vet services of these states, which were unable to introduce a system for fulfilling customs union requirements," said Alexeyenko. Twenty-three companies in the state of Mato Gross (including 16 beef producers), 27 in Rio Grande do Sul (including 10 poultry producers) and 39 in Parana (including 15 poultry and 11 pork producers) are affected by the ban.
Overall, Brazil accounted for 19% of Russia's poultry imports (121,000 metric tons), 35% of its pork imports (215,000 metric tons) and 45% of its beef imports (269,000 metric tons) in 2010.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In-house litter composting reduces bacteria in broiler litter

In-house litter composting has been shown to reduce bacteria in broiler litter, according to a USDA study sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. Reduction in natural flora of waste residual, however, may lead to increased re-colonization of other bacteria pathogens due to reduced competition.
Laboratory trials for the study, "Project #662: Bacterial Re-colonization of In-House Composted Broiler Litter," were conducted to:
  • Determine re-colonization of food-borne bacterial pathogens (by inoculation with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium and Listeria) in composted and non-composted litter
  • Identify bacteria associated with reduced pathogen re-colonization
  • Correlate ammonia levels on pathogen re-colonization.
Food-borne bacteria were higher in composted litter in weeks one and two. However, bacterial levels were identical in both litter treatments by week seven. Upon ceasing addition of inoculated fecal matter, food-borne bacterial pathogens were overtaken by normal litter bacteria in both treatments. No differences could be attributed to ammonia levels.
The study concludes that while initial (week one and two) microbial levels were reduced and food-borne pathogens were increased in composted litter, bacterial levels were similar in composted and non-composted litter treatments by week seven.

Ghana poultry farmers call for government help to save business

Poultry farmers in Ghana's Brong-Ahafo region have asked the government to provide corn at lower prices to prevent their businesses from collapsing.
According to Nana Asamoah Sebreku, chairman of the Dormaa Poultry Farmers Association, the poultry industry is a major source of employment for the area. The situation, he said, has triggered panic buying among consumers.
In mid-May, Ghana's poultry industry called for the government to provide a buffer stock of yellow corn to help combat rising feed prices.

South Korea imposing ban on antibiotics in animal feed

South Korea is implementing a "total ban" on mixing antibiotics with animal feed that will go into effect in July, according to the government.
The ban will enhance the safety of local meat and dairy products, according to the industry. In accordance with the new rules, the use of eight varieties of antibiotics will be prohibited, along with one antimicrobial agent. Prior to 2005, the country allowed 44 varieties of antibiotics to be mixed with feed.
The ban will not affect the ability of veterinarians to inject antibiotics into sick animals.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nigeria poultry industry calls for 'state of emergency' declaration

A significant rise in animal feed ingredient prices, particularly corn and soy, has Nigeria's poultry industry calling for the government to declare a state of emergency in the country's agriculture sector.
According to Dr. Femi Faniyi, state chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, diesel has gone up 25%, groundnut cake 40%, soybean 55% and maize 36%. “It is important that food must be made available cheaply," said Faniyi. "But the biggest challenge we are having is that prices of feed materials keep going up and thus affecting the price of egg." The prices of eggs and poultry are rising to combat costs, but according to the industry the prices are growing beyond consumers' abilities to pay.
The association said that the government should give input subsidies to farmers and guarantee prices of the commodities. Policies that favor poultry farmers and regulations that will stabilize prices on the consumer end are also necessities, according to the industry.

India poultry farmers lose birds to heat, humidity

The Indian poultry industry has lost 250,000 birds due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Poultry farmers in the north coastal districts of India have lost 250,000 birds due to heat and humidity, according to reports.
So far, the industry has lost Rs 50 million (US$1.11 million), and bird production is down 20% in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. According to farmers, those who bought chicks at Rs 33 (US$0.73) two months ago have been unable to recoup even feed costs, earning just Rs 55 (US$1.22) to Rs 75 (US$1.67) per bird.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Animal feed equipment, technology suppliers partner on renewable energy

CPM, a supplier of process equipment and technology for the animal feed, oilseed, biofuels and human food-processing industries, and Pellet Technology LLC announce the formation of a strategic alliance that will help bring sustainable, renewable energy to electric utilities and biofuels producers.
Pellet Technology has developed a complete supply chain solution for biomass users that includes feedstock supply contracting, harvest management and production technology to turn corn stover into PowerPellets on an economic and environmentally sound basis, according to the company. Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to market Pellet Technology’s biomass engineering processes along with CPM’s hammermills and pellet mills. Together, they plan to implement a “field-to-fuel” program that provides electric utilities and biofuels producers with an affordable and reliable source of renewable energy.

North Carolina poultry processing plant lawsuit dismissed

A lawsuit to prevent Sanderson Farms from building a poultry processing plant in Nash County, N.C., has been dismissed.
The lawsuit was filed against Nash County commissioners for the rezoning of land in the southern part of the county for the proposed plant. Nash County supports the plant because it would bring 1,100 jobs to the area; detractors have expressed concerns about potential runoff into the area's drinking supply.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pork, poultry producers back US 2012 spending bill

The U.S. 2012 agriculture spending bill includes language that will prevent the implementation of new regulations regarding livestock and poultry marketing, drawing support from the National Pork Producers Council and the National Turkey Federation.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration originally proposed a rule that the organization said addressed "the increased use of contracting in the marketing and production of livestock and poultry by entities subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act." The goal of the regulation, according to GIPSA, was "to level the playing field between packers, live poultry dealers and swine contractors, and the nation’s poultry growers and livestock producers."
Industry members, however, said the rule would amount to an unprecedented government invasion into the private marketplace. "The marketplace works well without government intrusion and this legislation is proof that many in Congress feel the same way," said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bill Donald. The 2012 spending bill includes language limiting funding for further action on the proposed rule until Congress takes additional legislative action to amend the Packers and Stockyards Act in the next Farm Bill.
Overall, the government appropriated $17.25 billion in discretionary spending for the agriculture industry — a 13.4% reduction from 2011. Among the numbers:
  • GIPSA received $37 million, a $3.26 million decrease from 2011.
  • Production, processing and marketing under the office of the secretary received $4.29 million, a $758,000 decrease from 2011.
  • The Agricultural Research Service received $993 million, a $140 million decrease from 2011.
  • The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service received $790 million, a $73.3 million decrease from 2011.
  • The Agricultural Marketing Service received $77.5 million, a $9.04 decrease from 2011.