Wednesday, August 31, 2011

US egg, broiler chicks hatched down in July

Egg-type chicks hatched during July 2011 in the U.S. totaled 37.4 million, down 2% from July 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Eggs in incubators totaled 37.1 million on August 1, up 11% from 2010 numbers. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks totaled 232,000 during July, up 6% from July 2010.
Broiler-type chicks hatched in July totaled 770 million, down 4% from July 2010. Eggs in incubators totaled 610 million on August 1, down 6% from the same time in 2010. Leading breeders placed 6.44 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks in July, down 3% from the same time in 2010.

Russia poultry output up 8.9% from 2010

Russia's poultry and poultry byproducts output reached 233,000 metric tons in July, up 8.9% compared to the same time in 2010, according to the country's federal state statistics service Rosstat.
The number was a 1.7% drop from June. Overall, Russia increased its meat and related goods production by 7% in the first seven months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to Rosstat. In July, meat and byproduct output grew 4.5% to 96,900 metric tons compared to 2010 numbers, a 1.2% drop from June 2011.

US egg production rises first half 2011

US table egg production was up and hatching egg production was down for the first half of 2011.
In the first half of 2011, production of table eggs was 3.3 billion dozen, up about 1% from the first half of 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, production of hatching eggs fell by 0.7% compared with 2010 numbers.
The decrease in hatching egg production was chiefly the result of the gradual decline in broiler chick production for growout, according to the USDA. Hatching egg production in the first half of 2011 was 532 million dozen. Production of table eggs in the second half of 2011 is expected to be about even with 2010, and production is expected to be lower on a year-over-year basis in the first two quarters of 2012. Production of hatching eggs, especially those from meat-type birds, is expected to decline in the second half of 2011 as broiler chick production continues to be below 2010 numbers.
Even with higher table egg production in the second quarter of 2011, prices for eggs remained strong and averaged almost $1.07 per dozen, up 24 cents from the second quarter of 2010. With little or no growth expected in the second half of 2011, prices are expected to be above 2010 numbers in the third quarter of 2011 at $1.04 to $1.08 per dozen. However, with the weak economy, egg prices in the fourth quarter of 2011 are expected to be lower than 2010 at $1.12 to $1.18 per dozen. The weak economy is expected to provide less of a seasonal boost in prices than in other years.

EU pig farmers urged to cut back on antimicrobials

The European Food Safety Authority has urged EU pig farmers and veterinarians to scale back their use of antimicrobials due to a risk of bacterial resistance threatening public health and compromising the food sector, according to the British Pig Executive.
A scientific assessment by its panel on biological hazards concluded a Europe-wide crackdown on antimicrobial use should now be a priority if Europe is to limit the spread of increasingly resistant bacterial strains such as E. coli and Salmonella. The scientific opinion goes even further in recommending the antimicrobial cephalosporin should be cut out of all treatments or at least severely restricted, in view of the risks of generating resistance.
The authors of the report are said to regret the lack of pan-European data on antimicrobial resistance and have suggested that European Union-level surveillance and monitoring should be stepped up, said BPEX.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FAO urges awareness of possible bird flu resurgence

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is urging heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible resurgence of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on signs that a mutant strain of the virus may be spreading through Asia.
The latest death occurred in early August in Cambodia, the eighth in the country attributed to the strain in 2011. Other recently affected areas have been found in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal and Mongolia. A variant virus in China and Vietnam appears to be able to sidestep defenses provided by existing vaccines, according to the FAO, and preparedness and surveillance remain essential.

White leghorn chicken sex ratio manipulated with hormones

Treatment of white leghorn hens with a high dose of the hormone corticosterone five hours prior to ovulation resulted in the production of 83% male offspring, according to recent research. The research was conducted to determine the possibilities of manipulating layer hens into producing more female chicks than males.
The result was the opposite of that expected, because work in other avian species has shown that long-term treatment stimulates a female-bias. There was no adverse effect on the fertility of eggs compared to either control-treated hens or uninjected hens. In addition, an injection of testosterone exerted similar effects, producing a male-biased sex ratio (73%) and very little impact on fertility or the laying cycle. The use of progesterone interrupted the laying cycle in 77% of the hens injected. 
The study established optimal treatment and timing for producing a significantly biased, offspring, sex ratio in white leghorns. While the skew was not towards females, the researchers determined that the effects of a corticosterone inhibitor may be explored in attempt to produce a female-biased sex ratio. 

FIAAP, VICTAM, GRAPAS Asia shows expand, move for 2012

FIAAP Asia, VICTAM Asia and GRAPAS Asia are all expanding and relocating for their 2012 shows, according to organizers.
The animal feed shows will be held at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibiton Centre Feb. 15 through 17, 2012.
FIAAP is dedicated to the specialty ingredients and additives used in the safe and cost-efficient formulation of animal feeds, aquafeed and dry petfoods. VICTAM focuses on specialty and ancillary equipment and technology for the production of animal feeds, aquafeed and dry petfoods. GRAPAS profiles the latest technology and systems for rice and flour milling, grain processing, preservation, storage and movement, noodle, breakfast cereal and extruded snack production.

Monday, August 29, 2011

US hog futures fall on lowered values

U.S. hog futures have dropped 1%, pressured by plentiful hog marketings that lowered cash hog and retail pork values, according to the latest reports.
Cooler weather resulted in a 1.5-pound increase in average hog weights in Iowa and southern Minnesota, to 262.5 pounds, compared with the previous week. Higher hog weights increase pork tonnage to wholesalers and makes more hogs available to packers.
An estimated 1.249 million hogs have been processed so far during the week of August 22, 11,000 more than the previous week and up 19,000 from the asme time in 2010, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers.
October hogs closed down 1.175 cents, to 87.050, on August 24, and December was down 0.875 cents, to 83.450.

US poultry certified wholesome down 2% in July

Poultry certified wholesome during July 2011 (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.51 billion pounds, down 2% from the amount certified in July 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during July 2011 was 4.66 billion pounds, down 2% from 4.75 billion pounds in 2010. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.01 billion pounds, down 2% from July 2010. Mature chickens, at 72.9 million pounds, were up 2% from the same time in 2010. Turkey inspections totaled 563 million pounds, down 3% from 2010 numbers. Ducks totaled 11.9 million pounds, down 9%.
Young chickens slaughtered during July 2011 averaged 5.76 pounds per bird, up 3% from July 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 6.00 pounds per bird, up 2% from the same time in 2010. Turkeys slaughtered during July 2011 averaged 29.1 pounds per bird, up 2% from July 2010.

Sanderson Farms posts $55.7 million loss in third quarter

Sanderson Farms Inc. posted a net loss of $55.7 million for the third quarter of 2011, compared to a net income of $36.1 million for the third quarter of 2010.
The net loss for the first nine months of fiscal 2011 totaled $105.5 million, compared to a net income of $87 million for the same time in 2010. "Sanderson Farms' financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 reflect difficult market conditions," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO. "Market prices for poultry products were significantly lower than last year's third quarter. While retail grocery store demand has remained steady, food service demand remains sluggish, and will likely remain that way until the employment market gains traction and consumers regain their confidence and return to restaurants. We also incurred significantly higher costs for corn and soybean meal, our primary feed ingredients, compared with the same period a year ago."
The company plans to extend holiday production cuts into 2012 to better balance supply and demand.

US, Canada hog inventory up for June 2011

Canada's total inventory at the beginning of June was 11.9 million head.
U.S. and Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs for June 2011 was 76.9 million head, up 1% from June 2010 but down 3% from June 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The breeding inventory, at 7.10 million head, was down slightly from 2010 but up slightly from last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 69.8 million head, was up 1 percent from last year and up 2 percent from last quarter. The pig crop, at 35.7 million head, was down slightly from 2010 and down 2% from 2009. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 3.56 million head, down 2% from 2010 and down 5% from 2009.
U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2011, was 65 million head. This was up 1% from the same time in 2010 but down 3% from 2009. The breeding inventory, at 5.80 million head, was up slightly from 2010 and last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 59.2 million head, was up 1% from 2010 numbers and up 2% from last quarter. The pig crop, at 28.9 million head, was up slightly from 2010 but down 1% from 2009. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 2.88 million head, down 2% from 2010 and down 5% from 2009.
Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs on July 1, 2011, was 11.9 million head. This was up 1% from the same time in 2010 but down 1% from 2009. The breeding inventory, at 1.30 million head, was down 1% from 2010 and last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 10.6 million head, was up 1% from 2010 and last quarter. The pig crop, at 6.8 million head, was down 3% from 2010 and down 7% from 2009. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 678,000 head, down 4% from 2010 and down 8% from 2009.

New stud offers UK pig producers Danish genetics

British and Irish pig producers can now access high-index Danish genetics from the UK’s newest AI stud, located in the East Anglia region.
Semen is available for all Danbred International dam and sire lines. The stud is part of DBI’s new UK agency, which is supplying British-produced breeding stock and semen to the UK pig industry. It offers three genotypes: the prolific Danish Landrace and Yorkshire dam line boars, which are used to produce the DanHybrid gilt; and the Danish Duroc, the only terminal sire used in Denmark.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New UK campaign to save rare Welsh pig

The Welsh breed has particularly valuable commercial attributes that make it a focus for today's market.
A new campaign has been launched to secure the future of the Welsh pig, a rare breed that is in danger of dying out unless urgent action is taken.
Originally, the fast-growing, easily managed commercial-type pig was one of the three major breeds on which the modern pig industry was built. But hybrid breeding programs, adopted by commercial breeding companies in the 1980s, led to a dramatic decline in Welsh pig registrations.
Anxious to preserve breed lines before they were lost forever, the Welsh government stepped in to lend support and the Pedigree Welsh Pig Society was formed in 2009. A British agricultural and environmental consultancy, ADAS, has now stepped in to help the PWPS promote and coordinate activities in an awareness campaign to highlight the merits of this breed, from both a breeding and a meat quality perspective. According to Helen Tongue, chairwoman of the PWPS, the Welsh pig has been put on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust ‘Watch List’ because it is low in numbers, but it still has considerable commercial potential for pig farmers because of its excellent mothering ability, its fast liveweight gain and ease of management, particularly important for the more extensive type systems. In addition, its carcass quality and heavier finishing weights makes it an excellent butchers’ pig, she said.
“With the future focus on sustainable food production, we believe the Welsh pig has an important role in providing quality pork of known provenance to the more discerning customer," said David Moorhouse, a senior consultant at ADAS. “The priority with these projects is usually to save the rare breed and gene pool for future generations; however, with the Welsh breed we are focused on increasing awareness of its particularly valuable commercial attributes for today’s market. These include excellent mothering ability and crossing potential with other breeds, as well as excellent grading across a range of weights to produce a quality carcass that has good lean content but sufficient backfat to retain a real pork flavor that will appeal to the more discerning customer keen to eat pork that tastes ‘the way it used to’. In particular the breed tends to possess characteristics such as higher-than-usual levels of intra-muscular fat which helps to improve succulence and flavor.”
According to Moorhouse, the ADAS is currently planning a program of events and activities designed to widen interest in the breed with the ultimate aim of expanding Welsh Pig Society membership and breeding more Welsh pigs.

US turkey production up first half 2011

Whole turkey stocks remain lower than 2010 numbers.
U.S. turkey meat production during the first six months of 2011 was 2.9 billion pounds, 5.5% higher than in the same period in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The increase in turkey meat production was due to a higher number of birds slaughtered, up 4.6%, along with an increase in live weights at slaughter. Over the first six months of 2011, live turkey weights averaged 30.1 pounds, up 1.1% from the same period in 2010.
The forecast for turkey meat production in the second half of 2011 is 2.9 billion pounds, down slightly (less than 1%) from the same period in 2010, according to the USDA. The decrease is expected to come chiefly from a smaller number of birds slaughtered, as average live weights at slaughter are expected to continue slightly higher than those of the previous year. In spite of this, turkey stocks are expected to remain above their year-earlier levels through the end of 2011. At the end of the second quarter of 2011, whole birds stocks totaled 271 million pounds, down 3%, and stocks of breast meat were 72 million pounds, 8% lower than 2010 numbers.
Stocks of whole turkeys are still lower than 2010, and the number of birds slaughtered in the second half of 2011 is expected to be lower than 2010 numbers. Both these factors point to continued strength in prices for whole birds. Prices are expected to strengthen in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $1.06 to $1.12 per pound, slightly higher than 2010.

Poultry market data available on WATTAgNet

WATTAgNet's Market Data section offers a quick collection of statistics for the U.S. poultry industry.
The new Market Data section of WATTAgNet offers a snapshot of statistics for the U.S. poultry industry.
The statistics can be viewed on a single page for easy reference, and the charts can be made larger by simply clicking on them. Figures shown include:
  • grain prices
  • grain futures
  • broiler-type eggs set
  • broiler-type chicks placed/hatched
  • broiler prices (whole birds/parts) 
  • table egg prices
  • egg production
The data is updated as available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Industrias Bachoco acquires Mexico poultry processor

Industrias Bachoco S.A.B. de C.V. has acquired the assets of poultry and beef processor Trosi de Carnes S.A. de C.V. in Northern Mexico.
The acquisition will take effect immediately. "This acquisition fits into Bachoco's strategy as it reinforces our leadership in processed chicken products, which is a growing product line in Mexico," said Rodolfo Ramos, Bachoco's CEO. "[It] will allow Bachoco to better serve current and future customers, while advancing the company's strategy of becoming a top food company in Mexico."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ADM closes soy processing plant in Illinois

Archer Daniels Midland Co. has closed its soybean processing plant in Galesburg, Ill., due to low profits and slow demand, according to the company.
"Several factors — including the growing soybean export market, the increasing cost of beans and a decrease in domestic demand for soybean meal — put severe pressure on the profitability of the Galesburg plant and drove the decision to close the facility," said Roman Blahoski, ADM spokesman.
The plant has been idle since April. Some of the 31 plant workers will have the opportunity to transfer to other facilities, while processing operations will be absorbed into surrounding plants in Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.

US broiler production to drop remainder of 2011

Broilers slaughtered in the second half of 2011 are expected to decrease, offsetting higher average weights at slaughter.
In the first half of 2011, U.S. broiler meat production was 18.8 billion pounds, 4.8% higher than the same time in 2010, but this year-over-year growth in broiler meat production is expected to halt in the third-quarter due to an oversupply brought on by low demand.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report, third-quarter production estimated at 9.4 billion pounds, 1.3% lower than in third-quarter 2010. Lower production is expected to continue in the fourth quarter, with production in the second half of 2011 expected to total 18.6 billion pounds, a decrease of 2% from the same period in 2010.
Over the first half of 2011, the number of broilers slaughtered was 4.3 billion, an increase of 2% from 2010 numbers. The other factor in broiler meat production growth during the first half of 2011 has been higher average live weights at slaughter: during the first six months of 2011, the average live weight at slaughter was 5.79 pounds, up 2.4% from the first half of 2010. In the second half of 2011, the number of broilers slaughtered is expected to be down significantly, though average bird weights at slaughter are expected to remain well above 2010 numbers.
Strong increases in production and a weak domestic economy have led to an increase in broiler meat stocks. Cold storage holdings at the end of the second quarter totaled 710 million pounds, 12% higher than 2010. Breast meat in cold storage was estimated at 155 million pounds, 47% higher than 2010. Stock changes for leg meat products were mixed, with holdings of drumsticks and leg quarters up 39% and 14%. Partially offsetting these increases were declines in the cold storage holdings for legs, thighs, and thigh meat. The estimate for third-quarter ending stocks was raised to 685 million pounds and the estimate for fourth-quarter ending stocks was increased to 700 million pounds.

Possible EU cage ban delay condemned by welfare group

The suggestion that Belgian egg farmers may be allowed more time to comply with the upcoming EU cage ban has been condemned by animal welfare organization Eurogroup for Animals.
The possibility emerged when, in answer to a parliamentary question, a Belgian Minister suggested that she could grant producers who have not changed to another cage system by the January 2012 deadline a six-month extension. “We have called on the European Commission, together with our Belgian member GAIA, to ensure that Belgium is stopped and ordered to conform," said Director of Eurogroup Sonja van Tichelin. Commissioner [for Health and Consumer Affairs John] Dalli has repeatedly stated that there will be no postponement or exemption."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Maple Leaf turkey plant receives Ontario development funds

A Maple Leaf Foods Ontario turkey processing plant has received a $2.6 million rural development grant through the provincial Rural Economic Development program.
The grant, according to the company, will go towards additional new processing equipment, more refrigeration space and efficiency improvements throughout the plant. The grant will allow Maple Leaf to "source more turkey from Ontario farmers and increase product innovation, benefiting employees, producers and customers," said Jeff McDowell, Maple Leaf vice president for poultry. The upgrades and expansions are expected to create 30 new jobs at the plant.

Nepal poultry production to rise 30% through 2011

Nepal's poultry production is expected to rise by 30%, to a value of Rs 53 billion (US$1.16 billion), through the end of 2011 due to increased demand, according to reports.
The country's investment in poultry has already increased the industry's value by Rs 2 billion (US$43.9 million) and 5,000 farms. “New investments are coming in feed, hatchery, egg production and broiler chicken production in new urban areas where the demand for poultry products is growing sharply," said Dr. Til Chandra Bhattarai, a poultry researcher and managing director of poultry producer Pancha Ranta Group.
Nepal's poultry sector has seen double-digit growth for the last seven years, according to Bhattarai. In 2010, production of poultry products, including chicks, broilers, eggs and feed, increased by 23% to reach Rs 41 billion (US$899.9 million).

IPE Week set for January 23-27, 2012

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association designated the week of the 2012 International Poultry and International Feed Expos, January 23-27, 2012, as "IPE Week."
IPE Week will feature education programs addressing current industry issues, including the International Poultry Scientific Forum, Pet Food Conference, Animal Agricultural Sustainability Summit, Hatchery-Breeder Clinic and AFIA International Feed Education Program.
New for 2012 are the following educational programs: IPE Pre-Harvest Food Safety Conference; U.S. Poultry/UEP Symposium on the Future of American Egg Production; Chartering the Course: An Executive Conference on the Future of the American Poultry Industry, which also incorporates the Market Intelligence Forum; and the National Renderer’s Association Quality Feed Ingredients Conference.

Underwriter Laboratories launches food safety initiative

Underwriter Laboratories launched UL Food Safety, a new program dedicated to addressing the global food industry's needs by promoting standards-based safety solutions.
UL Food Safety aims to mitigate risk using science-based processes to address industry concerns, new government regulations and heightened consumer awareness of food safety issues.  
The initial training platform includes three courses. The first, "Food Safety Culture," is designed to guide food industry executives through the process of creating an organizational culture to ensure that food products are safe and meet regulatory requirements. Two additional courses will be available in fall. These are "Food Safety Awareness," which informs food industry workers of the "first line of defense" in food safety, as well as "Evaluation of HACCP & Food Safety Preventative Control Programs” for mid-level management and auditors.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

India egg producers ordered to stop starvation-force molting

The Commissioner of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services for the Government of Tamil Nadu,  the second largest egg producing state in India, requested that the regional joint directors and district officers ensure egg producers comply with the Animal Welfare Board of India’s order to immediately discontinue starvation-force molting regimes.
In March, the Animal Welfare Board of India confirmed that starvation-force molting is a punishable offense under India's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 and ordered all egg production facilities to immediately discontinue the practice. 
“We are grateful to the Government of Tamil Nadu and we certainly expect that egg laying farms will comply with this order," said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of Humane Society International's factory farming campaign in India. “Egg producers who continue to starve birds to induce molt must be prosecuted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.”
HSI urges anyone with information about a farm inducing molting by starvation to email this confidential drop box:

Ammonium compounds effective in poultry processing facilities

Results of recent research support the continuous use of quaternary ammonium compounds as antimicrobial agents in poultry processing facilities, when and where needed, while avoiding any negative impacts on biological treatment systems and the environment.
The research focused on the assessment of biological nitrogen removal in poultry processing treatment, and the results will help design BNR systems for efficient treatment of wastewater containing QACs.
The outcome of the study, conducted at the Georgia Institute of Technology and funded by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, lends support to the idea that the effectiveness of biological processes for the degradation of QACs should be further evaluated in order to capture process variability across the entire poultry processing industry, according to the researchers.

Cargill to increase cooked chicken production in Thailand

Cargill has made plans to spend $100 million to increase its annual production capacity of cooked poultry products in Thailand by approximately 24,000 metric tons.
The Thailand Board of Investment is touting Cargill’s interest as an example of why Thailand is a leading producer and exporter of foods, including poultry. “Thailand has been the largest processed foods exporter in Asia for many years," said Atchaka Sibunruang, secretary general of the board. “The country’s emphasis on research and technology is driving the investment we're seeing today.”
Thai food exports are expected to surpass $33 billion in value within the next two years as a result of continued high global demand. Sales in 2011 are predicted to hit $30 billion, representing over 28% of the country's total gross domestic product.

Pig meat prices to remain high in 2011

Retail pork prices are expected to drop only slightly in 2012.
Hog and pork prices are expected to remain at or near record highs for the remainder of 2011, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report, supported in large part by accelerating pork exports.
The USDA raised its forecasts for both third- and fourth-quarter 2011 pork exports, with shipments to Asia and North America expected to be particularly robust. Third-quarter exports are expected to be 1.2 billion pounds, more than 26% higher than the same time in 2010. Fourth-quarter exports are forecast to be 1.3 billion pounds, more than 13% above 2010 numbers. In total, U.S. pork exports will likely exceed 5 billion pounds, both this year, at just over 5 billion pounds, and in 2012, at 5.1 billion pounds.
While second-half U.S. commercial pork production is anticipated to be slightly higher than a year ago, strong export demand is tightening domestic pork supplies, contributing to record prices for hogs and for prices of wholesale and retail pork, according to the report. In fact, it is likely that 22.1% of U.S. pork production will be exported in 2011. In conjunction with strong exports is lower available pork per capita. Retail weight per capita pork disappearance is expected to be 45.9 pounds, down from 47.7 pounds in 2010.
U.S. consumers are paying higher retail pork prices for lower domestic supplies. July retail pork prices were $3.481 per pound, down just slightly from the all-time record-high retail price of $3.484 in June, and almost 9.3% higher than in July 2010. Retail prices are expected to remain in the neighborhood of the mid-$3.40s for the balance of 2011, with 2012 expected to average in the low-$3.40s per pound.

Georgia poultry producers plan new laboratory

Georgia poultry producers are making plans to begin construction on a new, $11.2 million laboratory that will replace the current 50 year-old facility.
The design of the new facility will be larger than the old, and will take into consideration the flow of samples to avoid cross-contamination as well as the laboratory's function of export certification. "We need a lab that's going to be able to handle the expanded volume, the even more complex diagnostic requirements, and we need a lab that will also continue to be a vital part of our biosecurity," said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.
The lab will also take visitors into account, providing viewing mezzanines and platforms for people to watch testing going on, instead of visitors being in the testing areas.

Monday, August 22, 2011

US turkey eggs up, poults down in July

Net turkey placements in the U.S. were up from June 2011.
U.S. turkey eggs in incubators on Aug. 1 totaled 28.2 million, up 1% from the same time in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Eggs in incubators were down 3% from the July 1 total of 29.2 million eggs.
Turkey poults hatched during July totaled 24.8 million, down 5% from July 2010. Poults hatched were up 4% from the June 2011 total of 23.8 million poults.
The 24.6 million net poults placed during July 2011 were down 5% from the number placed during the same month in 2010. Net placements were up 3% from the June 2011 total of 23.8 million.

Poultry congress in Mexico focuses on poultry diseases

The World Veterinary Poultry Association's 17th congress in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, has largely focused on diseases that affect poultry production around the world, such as Newcastle disease and Gumboro. Avian influenza, in particular, has garnered the most attention at the show, with the presence of the disease continuing to be a global problem.
Other scientific lectures have been presented on vaccination, adenovirus, immunosuppression and coccidiosis, as well as intestinal health and minerals. The congress boasts an attendance of over 900 people from 59 countries, with the largest contingent coming from Mexico and many other delegates representing the United States, Central and South America and Europe. A total of 285 papers, 226 posters and many lectures on relevant topics are being presented. 
Many top companies are at the event, including Ceva, Bachoco, Merial, IASA, Avimex and Pfizer, among others.
The 2013 WVPA congress will take place in Nantes, France, on Aug. 19 through 23, 2013.

USDA issues livestock humane handling directive

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a directive with new instructions to its inspectors that will better ensure that treatment of livestock during handling and slaughter minimizes the animal’s amount of excitement, pain, injury or discomfort.
The directive also includes a definition for "egregious inhumane treatment." Under this definition, an egregious situation is any act or condition that results in severe harm to animals, which includes the excessive beating or prodding of disabled livestock, stunning animals and allowing them to regain consciousness or any treatment causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
During the past two years, the FSIS has implemented a number of measures to strengthen humane handling enforcement. On Dec. 22, 2010, the FSIS issued new instructions to its inspectors to condemn and promptly euthanize all non-ambulatory mature cattle. On March 14, 2009, the USDA issued a final rule to amend federal meat inspection regulations to require a complete ban on the slaughter of non-ambulatory cattle for use in human food. The FSIS also created 24 new humane handling enforcement positions, including 23 in-plant personnel and a headquarters-based Humane Handling Enforcement Coordinator.

USPOULTRY tests poultry house light sources

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has completed a research project regarding energy-efficient lighting technologies for use in poultry housing.
Research was conducted to determine the reliability, intensity and floor light patterns of new low wattage bulbs in poultry housing. Three alternate lighting sources were tested: CCFL-cold cathode fluorescent lamps, CFL-compact fluorescent lamps and LED- light emitting diodes.
Only one of the CCFL lamps failed during testing at 3,312 hours. While this represents double the life span of the incandescent bulbs, it was well less than the 8,000 hour manufacturer’s estimated lifespan for CCFL lamps. Three CFL lamps failed at 2,640 hours, well less than the 12,000 hours typical for CFL lamps. No LED lamps failed during testing, which was expected given the 30,000 hour lifespan typical for LED lamps.
CCFL and CFL lamps showed intensity reduction (approximately 20%-25%) during testing, while the LED lamps lost 60% of the initial intensity. All three lamps tested were more energy efficient (28%-33%) than incandescent bulbs. Based on durability, CFL lamps do not meet the expectations and should not be used, according to the research. CCFL lamps showed reasonable durability and are much less expensive than LED lamps. 

US poultry exports set record first half 2011

U.S. poultry meat exports for the first half of 2011 reached $2.16 billion and increased by 2% to 1.77 million metric tons, setting a new year-on-year record in value and hitting the third-highest quantity on record, according to the latest Foreign Agricultural Service data.
For the month of June, exports of broiler meat declined by 14% to 236,416 metric tons, and value for the month fell slightly to $269.1 million. The quantity decline reflects lower shipments to such key markets as Cuba, Ukraine, Taiwan, Georgia, Angola and Ghana. Shipments increased to other markets, however, such as Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Russia. Cumulative first-half exports broiler meat were 1.41 million metric tons, down 2% from the same period in 2010. Export value was $1.6 billion, up 8%.
June turkey exports were 24,310 metric tons valued at $45.3 million, up 16% and 24%, respectively. Export value set a record for the month of June. Cumulative first-half exports reached 150,034 metric tons valued at $263.3 million, up 32% and 31% from the June 2010, respectively, both year-on-year records.
For table eggs, exports for June 2011 were 5.9 million dozen, down 4% from the same month of 2010, while export value reached $5.282 million, up 14%. Cumulative exports of table eggs for the first half of 2011 were 36.9 million dozen valued at $33.4 million, up 17% and 28% year-on-year, respectively. Total egg exports (table eggs plus egg products in shell-egg equivalents) for the first half of 2011 year were 110.4 million dozen, with an export value of $92.4 million, up 9% and 8% from the same period of 2010, respectively.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wen's Group expands with boar-breeding base

A boar-breeding base was established in the middle part of Heibei Province, China, by Guangdong Wen’s Group in partnership with China Agriculture University.
The project occupies 23.33 hectares of land, including a 16.67-hectare breed-raising base, a 3.33-hectare industrialization center and a 3.33-hectare office area. The investment totals 320 million yuan and phase 1 of the project, which costs 60 million yuan, will be completed before the end of 2012.
The annual plan of the base is to produce two to three new pig breeds and to put one to two new products on the market. The annual production value is expected to reach 150 million yuan in five years.

Mexico corn output drops, imports hit record

Mexico's domestic corn output estimates have dropped to 22 million metric tons, from an original estimate of 25.1 million metric tons, forcing the country to increase their estimated imports by 36% to 12.1 million metric tons, according to Hector Salazar, the secretary general of the National Confederation of Farmers. 
Corn futures have already surged by 69% in the last year due to supply concerns, and Mexico's crops were cut by 4.5 million metric tons after frost last winter in the northern region, according to the country's Agriculture Ministry. Mexico usually imports between 8 million and 9 million metric tons of yellow corn per year.

China corn demand surpasses US estimates

China ordered 21 million bushels of U.S. corn in July, more than the U.S. allotted for exports to China in all of 2011, as the country's pork market and middle class both grow. 
China has bought another 2.2 million bushels of corn from the U.S. so far in August, and the country became a net importer of corn for the first time in 15 years in 2010. Some U.S. economists believe that China might become the biggest foreign buyer of U.S. corn within five to 10 years, taking the spot from Japan, which bought 610 million bushels of U.S. corn in 2010. "We think this is the inflection point," said Brian Schouvieller, a grain marketing executive at CHS Inc. "We believe that, from now, China is going to be a steady buyer."
Current U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates suggest that China will import 79 million bushels of corn from all sources in the 2011-2012 crop year.

Weakened feed demand causes US containerized exports drop

Second-quarter 2011 growth in U.S. containerized exports dropped to 6%, compared to 12% in the first quarter, due largely to a 25% decrease in demand for pet and animal feeds, according to reports.
In particular, the second quarter saw a 59% drop in shipments of animal feed to China. Overall, June alone saw a 2.1% decline in growth. U.S. export volume is up 9% for the first half of 2011, and the overall year-over-year export has dropped to 2.97 million TEUs.

EU pig meat prices rise on increased demand

European Union pork prices continue to rise on increased demand from China and low supplies due to high feed prices, according to reports.
Pork prices gained 10% to €1.56 (US$2.24) per kilogram through June, the most in almost three years, as corn rose 71% and wheat hit a record on April 20 in London. “Due to the high feed costs, European pig farmers have negative margins pressuring the supply of piglets down,” said Albert Vernooij, an analyst with Rabobank International. “Due to the long time before higher prices are forwarded in the supply chain the effect on consumer prices is still limited but that will slowly start to change in the coming months.”
Per-capita pork consumption in China has grown by 23% in the last ten years, while the sow herd in the UK has fallen 27% in the same time period.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Feed association urges clarification on cash recordkeeping rules

The National Grain and Feed Association has called on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to clarify and narrow a proposed recordkeeping rule that could require grain elevators, feed mills, grain processors and others to record all communications, including telephone conversations, with farmers and other commercial firms that ultimately result in cash or cash-forward contract transactions.
The CFTC’s proposal would require records of “all oral and written communication provided or received concerning quotes, solicitations, bids, offers, instructions, trading and prices that lead to the execution of transactions in a commodity interest or cash commodity, whether communicated by telephone, voicemail, facsimile, instant messaging, chat rooms, electronic mail, mobile device or other digital or electronic media.”
The NGFA has expressed concern that such requirements would be burdensome and costly, as well as create challenges with existing technology systems. “At the least, we urge the agency to adopt a generous timeline and flexible attitude toward implementation for futures commission merchants and introducing brokers, especially smaller firms for which short-term adoption of the proposed standards may pose a significant investment," said the NGFA.

USDA purchases extra poultry for federal programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase an extra $40 million in poultry products in addition to the $100 million in scheduled chicken purchases it makes each year for various federal nutrition assistance programs, including donations to food banks.
The purchase will provide support to the broiler industry and to small poultry growers, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Broiler producers have had to cut production due to recent low demand in the market, and the USDA's extra purchase will help bring supply back in line, said Vilsack.
“At a time when the industry is under great stress due to the high cost of feed ingredients and the general economic slowdown, we appreciate the USDA’s willingness to step forward and acquire additional chicken for various feeding programs,” said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. “Thanks to prevailing price trends, the government is getting a bargain on high-quality food to help meet the nutritional needs of the clients of these programs, while the industry is getting some relief from excessive inventories.”

Africa poultry farmers look for feed alternatives

Continued high maize costs have forced African poultry farmers to scale back production and search for feed alternatives, according to producers.
Maize prices have increased threefold since the end of 2010, raising the price of chick mash from Sh2,700 (US$28.97) per 70kg bag to Sh3,500 (US$37.55). “Chicken feed accounts for 70% of the total input cost, so if the feed prices go up, the input costs will automatically increase," said Wairimu Kariuki, chairperson of the Kenya Poultry Farmers Association. "If a farmer cannot meet the costs, he chooses to either reduce the number of chicken he rears or stop poultry farming altogether.”
Many farmers have turned to alternative feed sources, such as amaranth, millet or sorghum, which have helped reduce their costs by up to 40%, according to the farmers. Researchers at the University of Nairobi are also studying non-traditional options such as pigeon peas, leaf meals and agricultural byproducts as possible protein supplements.

Perdue constructs solar farms at feed mill, offices

Perdue Farms has completed phase 1 and started phase 2 of a large commercial solar energy system that will provide up to 90% of the energy required by the company's corporate offices in Salisbury, Md., and a feed mill in Bridgeville, Md., when complete. 
The system, constructed in partnership with Standard Solar Inc. and Washington Gas Energy Services, will include a total of 11,000 solar panels once complete. Phase 1, construction at the feed mill, involved a 6,720-panel solar farm that covers 360,000 square feet and will produce 1.6 megawatts of power at capacity. The Salisbury phase of the project is expected to be completed in October.

Ukraine egg producer volume up 51%

Ukraine-based egg and egg  producer Avangardco Investments Public Limited's volume increased by 51%, to 2.875 billion eggs in the first half of 2011, compared to 1.91 billion billion eggs in the first half of 2010.
The increase, according to the company, is largely connected to an increase in poultry stock in the first half of 2011. As of June 30, the company's total flock was 24.4 million head, compared to 18.6 million head in the first half of 2010.
During the first six months of 2011 Avangard processed 534 million eggs, compared to 287 million eggs during the same time in 2010. The average sale price of dried egg product during the reporting period was US$6.91 per kilogram. Most exports of the product were focused on Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
For the remainder of 2011, Avangard is focusing on expanding production capacity and exports. The company is currently in the process of gaining permission to export product to both the EU and Russia.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Poultry Federation to hold Arkansas Nutrition Conference in September

The Poultry Federation and technical symposium sponsor, Huvepharma, will host the 2011 Arkansas Nutrition Conference from September 6-8, in Rogers, Ark.
The conference will include a number of international and domestic industry experts addressing current topics and concerns in poultry nutrition. The conference qualifies attendees to earn 12 continuing education units for members of American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.
The 2011 conference is dedicated to the memory of former committee chairman, Jean Allard of O.K. Foods, and will donate funds raised from the conference to TPF's Nutrition Scholarship fund in Allard's honor.
Advance registration for the conference is $100 through September 1, and on-site registration is $125.00. Registration for university faculty and students is free. To register, or for more information, visit TPF's Arkansas Nutrition Conference Web page.

Website focuses on factors affecting corn crops

A new website,, highlights the top factors that affect corn crop yield, according to Fred Below, Ph.D., a professor of plant physiology in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois.
Below conducted a study and categorized the results of his research into seven management practices, or “wonders,” that can result in high-yielding corn. His study helps growers answer the question of what the latest products and practices contribute to yield. Below’s unique omission plots allowed his team to see the bushel impact when an individual practice or input was added or subtracted, then compare it to other plots in which all actions were in place in same plot. Replicated in various locations over various years, the results allowed Below to identify and rank those seven factors with the greatest impact on corn yield.
“Roughly speaking, the higher up on the Wonder list the more control that factor exerts over the Wonders that follow,” said Below. “When combined, all of these factors contribute to big-yield gains.” In order of importance, they are:
  1. Weather
  2. Nitrogen/fertility
  3. Hybrid selection
  4. Previous crop
  5. Plant population
  6. Tillage
  7. Growth regulators

Aviagen Australia ships first grandparent chicks to China

Aviagen Australia inspects its crates before shipping.
Aviagen Australia shipped Arbor Acres Plus grandparent chicks for the first time to a customer in China from its production base in Griffith, NSW.
Shipments from the U.S. and the UK have served as the main supply locations for over 30 years to China and Asia. Now a successful shipment from an Australian poultry production facility offers customers in the Asian region an alternative supply source with the added advantages of shorter distances and a similar operational time zone, benefiting chick arrival and communication throughout the delivery.

US firm invests in Tanzania poultry, crop production

U.S. firm AgriSol Energy LLC will invest $100 million over the next 10 years to develop a large-scale commercial poultry and crop production project in western Tanzania.
The project will initially focus on the growth of maize and soy, according to Bertram Eyakuze, one of AgriSol Tanzania's directors. An expansion to include poultry will have the goal of eventually weaning Tanzania off importing chicken from Brazil and other countries. "Our initial project in Lugufu involves approximately 10,000 hectares — a tiny percentage of the overall available land in Tanzania — but large enough to have a meaningful impact on the country's agricultural industry," said Eyakuze.
Investors will look into further expansions once the Lungufu project is completed.

UK conference spotlights global pig industry

The future of food and farming, including new opportunities to revolutionize the global pig industry, is top of the agenda at JSR Genetics’ 22nd Technical UK Conference, “The Next Agricultural Revolution,” in September.The keynote speaker is the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Sir John Beddington, who will speak on genetic development and sustainable intensification within the pig industry, as well as its environmental responsibilities. Beddington recently commissioned the “Foresight Report,” a comprehensive review of food security, which warns that population growth and climate change will endanger food supplies in the future.
He will be followed by JSR managing director Dr. Grant Walling, who will present “Revolutionizing Global Pork Production,” which outlines his thoughts on the need for radical changes in the industry. "We are at a point where significant new technologies, with the potential to deliver the increased output we need to see in the pig industry, are not being used," said Walling. "We need to carefully scrutinize these technologies — whether they are breakthroughs in reproductive technology, cloning or GM — to take the next Herculean step forward, enabling food supply to keep pace with population growth."
Other presentations during the two-day event will include representatives from the pig supply industry, who also are facing challenges of keeping pace with rapidly changing industry demands. Magnus Westerkamp, managing director of Big Dutchman Pig Equipment, will discuss “How consumer demand affects the development of pig equipment,” while Mick Hazzledine, pig nutritionist at Premier Nutrition, will identify the major challenges in feeding pigs in a changing market place.

Archer Daniels Midland acquires animal feed manufacturer

Archer Daniels Midland Company has announced the acquisition of English River Pellets Inc., an Iowa-based grain elevator and animal feed manufacturing business.
The animal feed portion of English River Pellets’ business will be operated by ADM Alliance Nutrition Inc. “With this acquisition, ADM establishes a strong footprint for our grain origination in Southeast Iowa,” said Joe Taets, president of ADM. “We will use the elevator facilities in [Iowa] in part to originate crops for our soybean processing plant in Quincy, Ill., and corn processing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”

UK pig biosecurity pilot projects approved

New biosecurity measures are being put in place on British pig units in three pilot projects that have just been given the go ahead in Britain’s new national Pig Health Improvement Project.
The three on-farm pig pilot groups — two in Yorkshire and one in East Anglia — will help establish the effectiveness of certain measures in improving pig health status in a sustainable way. One group is upgrading its loading ramps to improve biosecurity, while in the second group one of the pig farms is doing a full depopulation. The third group, comprising more than 30 units, is carrying out a targeted PRRS vaccination.
“The aim is to show that, where local pig producers work together, health status improves more rapidly and should make for a lasting solution to persistent challenges,” said Dr. Charlotte Evans of the British Pig Executive, which organized funding for the project.

US hot weather threatening corn crop

The current U.S. hot weather is threatening the country's corn crop, according to analysts, who are predicting the possibility of stunted growth after preliminary photos showed cobs much smaller than they should be one month away from harvest. Corn prices are back over $7 per bushel, with implications that will affect farmers, producers, retailers and consumers, according to experts.
Farmers initially planted more corn to take advantage of tight global markets and prices that have increased 80% in the last year, but the weather could result in a weak crop. Iowa and Illinois climatologists put July as the hottest month since 1955, and in the Midwest it was in the top-10 hottest ever.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its first crop supply-and-demand projections of the year on August 11 to include field surveys.

Guyana poultry producers say chicken shortage will ease

Guyana's poultry producers have said that they expect the country's chicken and egg shortage, and the resulting rising prices, to normalize by September, according to reports.
Eggs have been imported for broiler production and will produce birds in late September and early October. In addition, producers have switched from ocean freight to air cargo, which should improve hatchability. “Definitely by September the industry would have recovered fully in terms of supply," said David Fernandes with the Guyana Poultry Producers Association. "Most of the producers are the middle of August they should be able to supply all their regular customers with their needs."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UK pig breeder signs deal with China

UK-based JSR Genetics signed a £1-million contract with the Chinese state-owned import/export company, China Animal Husbandry Group, in a new move set to accelerate the British pig breeding company’s growth in Asia.    
The sale of nearly 800 pigs, together with a tailor-made support and training package, was formalized during the UK visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in June. JSR will export 756 JSR grandparent stock to CAHG for three of its clients to improve breeding stock, herd productivity and the quality and quantity of lean meat in the slaughter pig.
The consignment will include Genepacker GP Damline and Geneconverter 500 GP gilts and boars. “We are delighted to have finalized such a valuable contract at this time,” said Paul Anderson, international sales director at JSR. “Our international pig specialist will provide training for both CAHG and their clients. Covering farm management and production techniques, it will include feeding and nutrition and will ensure that they optimize the genetic potential of their investment and produce pigs that not only perform to the optimum, but suit the local Chinese market.” 

India poultry prices drop on low demand

Poultry prices have dropped in northern India as area consumers have gone vegetarian in conjunction with the month's religious practices and decreased demand for poultry products, according to reports.
Wholesale live weight broiler prices are currently Rs58 (US$1.30) per kilogram, down from Rs68 (US$1.68) per kilogram. Dressed broiler prices have decreased from Rs120-Rs130 (US$2.69-$2.92) per kilogram to Rs100-Rs110 (US$2.24-$2.47) per kilogram. However, the decrease is seen as a temporary situation, according to farmers. "The decline in demand for the poultry products is expected to reverse by the middle of August, after which we expect the demand to rise again," said Ricky Thaper of the Poultry Federation of India.
Egg prices have also dropped in the last month due to decreased demand, with the wholesale price of one dozen eggs falling from Rs30 (US$0.67) to Rs25 (US$0.56).

England launches ‘Pig Health Improvement Project’

Pig producers across England are signing up for the new Pig Health Improvement Project, a program that, when combined with the free membership to the British Pig Executive’s Pig Health Scheme, gives pig producers and their vets the tools to make sustainable efforts to improve health status on-farm.
The PHIP provides a health-mapping service, while the BPHS gives pig producers detailed feedback on the disease status of pigs sent to slaughter. Pig producers can then use the results of the data as an on-going monitoring tool to highlight any underlying health problems, according to a BPEX spokesperson.

Monday, August 8, 2011

US broiler eggs set, chicks hatched down

Commercial hatcheries in the 19-state weekly program set 195 million eggs in incubators during the week ending July 30, down 6% from the eggs set the corresponding week in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 85%. Broiler growers in the program placed 163 million chicks for meat production during the week, down 4% from the same week in 2010. Cumulative placements from January 2 through July 30 were 5.10 billion, down slightly from the same period in 2010.

Friday, August 5, 2011

RECALL: Cargill recalls ground turkey due to Salmonella

Cargill Value Added Meats Retail has announced a voluntary recall of approximately 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., facility from Feb. 20, 2011, through Aug. 2, 2011, due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg.
Cargill is initiating this recall as a result of an internal investigation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information and an ongoing U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service investigation into multiple illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg.
Additionally, Cargill has suspended production of ground turkey products at its Springdale turkey processing facility until it is able to determine the source of the Salmonella Heidelberg and take corrective actions. Other turkey products produced at Springdale are not part of the recall. Cargill owns four turkey processing facilities in the U.S. and no products from the other three are involved in the recall. “While facts continue to be gathered, and currently there is no conclusive answer regarding the source of Salmonella Heidelberg contamination, given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace,” said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business. “Additionally, we have suspended ground turkey production at our Arkansas facility until the source can be pinpointed and actions to address it are taken. Public health and the safety of consumers cannot be compromised. It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry. We go to great lengths to ensure the food we produce is safe and we fully understand that people expect to be able to consume safe food, each serving, every time.”
Cargill is contacting its customers to make certain they know which of their ground turkey products are affected by this recall. Consumers are urged to return any opened or unopened packages of ground turkey items listed on Cargill’s website to stores where they were purchased for a full refund. Cargill is working closely with its U.S. customers to make certain as much of the product is retrieved as possible. Consumers with questions about recalled ground turkey products may contact Cargill’s consumer relations toll free telephone number: +1.888.812.1646.

Poultry production deemed main vector in Salmonella Kentucky evolution

As part of an international study, researchers at the Institut Pasteur, the INRA and the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance have tracked the emergence of a Salmonella strain that has developed resistance to almost every possible antibiotic treatment.
The study has retraced the evolution of the bacteria throughout the last 50 years. It has determined the chronology for the appearance of different resistances, decrypted the bacteria’s mechanisms and identified poultry to be the main vector of the strain.
Epidemiological data collected for the study has enabled researchers to track the explosion of the bacteria in real time starting from 2006. Between 2002 and 2008, 500 cases overall were recorded in France, the UK and Denmark. For France alone, between 2009 and 2010, 270 cases were confirmed. Furthermore, the contamination zone, initially limited to East and Northeast Africa, has progressively spread to North and West Africa, as well as to the Middle East.
The researchers’ observations seem to indicate that Egypt may be the geographical birthplace of the three steps of emergence of antibiotic resistance. It is there that all of the genetic modifications at the source of these resistances were identified for the first time.
Researchers consider that Salmonella Kentucky probably acquired the DNA fragment responsible for the first resistances via aquaculture systems. The widespread use of antibiotics in farming in Egypt since the early 1990s appears to have favored the natural selection of bacteria strains with this antibiotic resistance. The recent explosion of cases would then be linked to the spread of the bacteria in Africa within the poultry industry, a major consumer of flouroquinolones. The accumulation of all these resistances on the same strain of Salmonella Kentucky would therefore appear to be the source of the current epidemic.
The results of the study underline the importance of microbiological monitoring on both national and international levels, the researchers say, in particular in southern countries. They are a reminder of the public health risks on non-regulated use of antibiotics in farming that promotes the appearance and spread of resistant genes in bacteria responsible for food borne infections.

England launches 'Pig Health Improvement Project'

Pig producers across England are signing up for the new Pig Health Improvement Project, a program that, when combined with the free membership to the British Pig Executive’s Pig Health Scheme, gives pig producers and their vets the tools to make sustainable efforts to improve health status on-farm.
The PHIP provides a health-mapping service, while the BPHS gives pig producers detailed feedback on the disease status of pigs sent to slaughter. Pig producers can then use the results of the data as an on-going monitoring tool to highlight any underlying health problems, according to a BPEX spokesperson.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

South America corn, soybean exports may rise

Brazil is expected to produce 55 million tons of corn and 72.5 million tons of soybeans in the 2011-2012 season.
Corn and soybean crops in Argentina and Brazil, the largest exporters of the crops behind the U.S., may rise in response to increased demand from China, according to analysts.
Argentina is expected to produce 26 million tons of corn in the 2011-2012 marketing year, up 18%, and 53 million tons of soybeans, up 7%, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn exports will total 18 million tons, up from 14.5 million in 2010, while soybeans shipments will rise 33%.
Brazil will produce 55 million tons of corn and 72.5 million tons of soybeans, both on level with 2010-2011 numbers. Soybeans shipments will gain 10%, while corn is expected to drop slightly, from 8.5 million tons to 8 million tons.

Ghana to limit poultry imports

Ghana is looking to improve local poultry production by taking steps to limit poultry imports, according to reports.
The country's government is working on tariff and non-tariff measures to restrict the importation of poultry products, said Tia Alfred Sugri, deputy agriculture minister in charge of livestock. Discussions are currently underway on how to best implement the new measures. In addition, the government will expand coverage of its Export Development and Investment Fund to cater to the needs of farmers, as well as continue providing fertilizer and cereals subsidies.

Townsends poultry plants closing in North Carolina

Townsends poultry processing operations in North Carolina are being shut down after Ukrainian billionaire Oleg Bakhmatyuk, who bought the bankrupt company's assets in February for $25 million, decided to close Townsends plants in Siler City and Mocksville.
The move ends contracts with roughly 200 chicken farmers in four counties and will result in 1,000 people losing their jobs. The Mocksville plant will close by October 1; the Siler City plant is expected to close on a similar time frame.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cargill joins venture to expand grain elevator

Cargill Inc. and Agrex Inc. have entered a 50-50 joint venture to expand an Indiana grain elevator at a cost of $20 million, according to reports.
The expansion will triple the unloading and warehouse capacity for corn, soybeans and wheat being handled by the elevator. Rail track space will increase from 65 cars to 90 cars and rail capacity will expand to 50,000 bushels per hour (from 20,000 bushels). Grain drying capacity will be quadrupled.
The expansion is expected to be completed by the fall 2013 harvest.

China livestock industry holds steady first half 2011

China's livestock industry produced solid numbers in the first half of 2011, with output of livestock, eggs and milk coming in at 37.22 million tons, 12.9 million tons and 15.12 million tons, respectively, according to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. These numbers represented an annual growth of 0.2% (for livestock), 0.8% (eggs) and 3.3% (milk), making it possible for the country to fulfill market demand.
According to a spokesman from State Statistical Bureau, total production of pork, beef, mutton and poultry in the first half of 2011 reached 37.22 million tons, up 0.2% up from 2010 numbers, in which pork production in particular was 24.43 million tons, down 0.5%.

Broiler margins drop with high feed prices

The ratio of broiler prices to animal feed prices dropped to 2.9 in July due to a combination of lower meat values and more expensive feed, according to recent reports.
Feed bills were 77% higher in July than in the same time during 2010, but a drop in domestic demand resulted in broiler prices dropping by 9.6% to $0.47 per pound. Breast meat prices have also dropped, by 27% to $1.1695 per pound over the last year.
Producers have responded to lowered demand by cutting back, reducing capacity and focusing on exports.

US shell eggs broken up from May

Shell eggs broken were up 3% for the first half of 2011 compared to the same time in 2010.
Shell eggs broken totaled 185 million dozen during June 2011, 6% above the 175 million broken in May and down 1% from June 2010, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
During January through June 2011, shell eggs broken totaled 1,029 million dozen, up 3% from the comparable period in 2010. To date, cumulative total edible product from eggs broken in 2011 was 1,342 million pounds, up 2% from 2010. White and yolk products were both up in June 2011 over June 2010 numbers, coming in at 66 million pounds and 33 million pounds, respectively, compared to 64.9 million pounds and 30.9 million pounds, respectively. Whole egg products were down, at 139. 8 million pounds compared to June 2010’s 146.6 million pounds.

Child dies from avian influenza in Cambodia

Parents in Cambodia are being urged to keep their children away from sick or dying poultry following the death of a four-year-old girl in the country from avian influenza. The girl, from the northwestern Banteay Meanchey province, died in late July after being infected with the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus.
All seven of Cambodia’s bird flu cases since January this year have been fatal. Six of the victims have been children. The girl is the seventeenth person in the country to have become infected with the virus and the fifteenth to die from complications since 2005, says the Cambodian Ministry of Health.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Denmark pig meat exports increase

Denmark's exports of pork and pigs between January and April 2011 reached 698,000 metric tons, worth 9.87 billion Danish kroner, reports the national council for agriculture and food. These figures represented increases of 6% in volume and 8% in value compared with export sales in the first four months of 2010.
The strongest growth was in exports to Korea, up by 256% to 4,098 metric tons after the setback to Korean pork production from foot-and-mouth disease. About 29% more than in 2010 was sold to Ireland, while sales to France and to China increased by 13%. The destination buying much less Danish pork this year was Australia, with purchases down by 32% in volume at 19,318 metric tons and 30% lower in value at 362 million Danish kroner.

Italy pig sector holds crisis talks

A crisis meeting with pig sector representatives has been called by the Italian government’s minister of agriculture after several thousand pork producers staged a demonstration outside the Stock Exchange in Milan and two national agricultural organizations issued warnings of a sector-wide collapse.
They say the livelihood of many people is at risk because the price paid to producers has failed to rise in line with production costs. By their calculation, about 120,000 people are involved in the pork chain in Italy, from production on the farm through to slaughter, processing and meat distribution. The organizations, called Confagricoltura and Coldiretti, protest that the primary producer in Italy receives less than 16% of the final retail price charged for pork while battling against at least a 17% rise in the cost of feed this year resulting from the involvement of speculators in international commodity markets.
Concerns also have been raised about the importing of pork, with one organization claiming that three out of every four hams now sold in Italy have been produced in another country. There is even a claim that many hams marketed as being of Italian origin in fact originate from imported meat.

Farmers, ranchers join to improve consumer confidence in modern agriculture

Representing more than 49 leading American farmer- and rancher-led organizations, the The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance will lead a public movement to address America's concerns about modern agriculture and convey farmers' and ranchers' commitment to continuous improvement and best production practices.
This movement will give farmers and ranchers a voice in traditional and social media conversations about agriculture – where it doesn’t exist now – as well as with key influencers who are shaping the “good food/bad food” debates in popular culture. Farmers and ranchers will ask consumers about their greatest concerns with today’s food production practices and share the agriculture community’s dedication to continuously improving how food is raised in order to provide healthy choices for people everywhere.
The farming and ranching community is encouraged to "raise their voices" and provide input on what they believe Americans should know about where their food comes from.
"No matter the cause, a knowledge and credibility gap has formed between the American people and their food,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "Farmer- and rancher-led organizations have joined forces to create USFRA because it is vital that those closest to the farm work together and lead the conversation about raising food. Our industry is continuously changing – improving how we care for the land, our animals and our communities. Farmers and ranchers want to, and need to, do a better job of answering Americans' questions about their food. With this new movement, we are making a commitment, starting today, to listen to consumers and having vigorous two-way conversations."
In August and September, USFRA will begin reaching out to key influencer audiences through targeted advertising, a new Web presence, top-tier media briefings and a major event in the early fall addressing Americans’ biggest concerns about food production.
"We've allowed a lot of other folks to speak for farmers and ranchers in the past, often inaccurately," said Dale Norton, treasurer of USFRA and board member of the National Pork Board. “It’s time for farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard."

New pig breeding project applies DNA selection

Genomic selection and an emphasis on making more use of information from DNA analysis lie at the heart of a new pig breeding project announced in Denmark.
The collaboration is between the pig research center of the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Aarhus University. It aims to achieve improvements in aspects such as the longevity of sows and their maternal characteristics as well as in the more conventional traits of pig survival, growth rate and lean meat percentage. Ultimately, its backers think that the current rate of genetic progress in the target pig population could be increased by as much as 50%.
Work has started on developing a DNA-based selection model, scheduled for completion over the next two years. Among the sources of funding is a program established by the Ministry of Food in Denmark to promote initiatives in food production that benefit the environment and animal welfare.

Pilgrim's to close Dallas poultry processing plant

Pilgrim's has announced plans to close its chicken-processing plant in Dallas, Texas, by September 30.
Production from the plant will be consolidated into several other Pilgrim's facilities in the region, including the processing and prepared-foods plants in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Pilgrim's contract growers who supply birds to the Dallas plant will begin supplying the other company plants following the consolidation. There will be no disruption in supply of product to Pilgrim's customers.
Approximately 1,000 hourly and salaried employees who work at the Dallas facility will be affected by the plant closing. Pilgrim's Pride expects to be able to offer positions at other facilities to interested employees. The company will provide transition programs to employees who are not retained in order to assist them in securing new employment, filing for unemployment and obtaining other applicable benefits.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Food show Anuga bans foie gras products

Products that stem from foie gras production have been banned from German food exhibition Anuga, due to take place in October.
Production of foie gras is banned in some countries and now Anuga and its host, Kolnmesse, have decided that foie gras and meat from force-fed geese and ducks will not be shown at the exhibition.
The decision comes following pressure from international animal welfare organization Four Paws. “This is a very important symbol and shows that Anuga takes both animal and consumer protection seriously," said Marcus Muller, head of the Four Paws foie gras campaign. "Now we can call off our planned protest around the exhibition.”

Hog futures rise on increased demand

Hog futures are rising on increased demand and tight supplies, with October numbers reaching 91.7 cents per pound (up 0.3%) as of 9:50 a.m. CST on July 28.
Current spot-market hog prices hit a five-week high at 99.35 cents per pound on July 27, up 1.6%, while wholesale-pork prices increased 1% to $1.0234 per pound, the highest since October 1997. Overall, hog futures have gained 20% in the last year.

US pork production down in June

The majority of hogs slaughtered was made up of barrows and gilts.
U.S. pork production totaled 1.82 billion pounds in June, down 1% from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
Hog slaughter totaled 8.94 million head, also down 1% from June 2010. The average live weight, however, was up 2 pounds, at 273 pounds. Iowa contributed the largest number of slaughtered hogs in June 2011, with 2.38 million head, down from 2010's 2.40 million head. Overall, barrows and gilts made up the majority of federally inspected hogs slaughtered, at 8.57 million head, compared to 268,000 sows and 28,000 boars.

US poultry certified wholesome up in June

Mature chickens slaughtered in June averaged 6.03 pounds per bird.
Poultry certified wholesome during June 2011 (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.86 billion pounds, up 5% from the amount certified in June 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The May 2011 revised certified total at 3.79 billion pounds, was up 8% from May 2010. The May revision represented an increase of 10.0 million pounds from the previous month's preliminary pounds
The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during June 2011 was 5.11 billion pounds, up 5% from 4.88 billion pounds in 2010. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.37 billion pounds, up 4% from June 2010. Mature chickens, at 79.0 million pounds, were up 12% from 2010 numbers. Turkey inspections totaled 650 million pounds, up 7%. Ducks totaled 14.0 million pounds, up 3% from 2010.
Young chickens slaughtered during June 2011 averaged 5.81 pounds per bird, up 3% from June 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 6.03 pounds per bird, up 5% compared to 2010 numbers. Turkeys slaughtered during June 2011 averaged 29.3 pounds per bird, up 1% from June 2010.

Resistant bacteria breakthrough could benefit poultry, pig producers

Staff at independent Dutch research organization TNO have identified natural ingredients capable of eradicating bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. The discovery has been tested on ESBL bacterial but can also be used to combat EHEC E. coli, with possible uses in both the poultry and pig industries.
“This breakthrough is vital to the future of public health," said Dr. Jan Pieter van der Lugt, director of food and nutrition at TNO. "There are countless bacteria out there capable of mutating into equally dangerous counterparts of the EHEC bacteria. For instance, 94% of the chicken in our supermarkets is infected with ESBL bacteria which have also become resistant to antibiotics. The excessive use of antibiotics in the veterinary sector means that more and more of these substances are finding their way into our food. Eventually, bacteria get so used to them that they become resistant.
According to van der Lugt, it is only logical that livestock farmers want to keep their cows, pigs, chicken and calves healthy, but indiscriminate antibiotic use can create "a ticking time bomb. Eventually, it will work against us," he said. "We are, therefore, going in search of ingredients already found in the natural world which can kill harmful bacteria.”