Friday, September 30, 2011

Cherkizovo poultry hits strongest gain in 15 months

Russian poultry producer Cherkizovo Group presented its strongest market gain in over a year after announcing its intentions to buy back as much as 2% of its own stock.
Company shares rose 6.6%, reaching the largest increase since June 2010 to trade at 720 rubles on Sept. 29 in Moscow. The company intends to buy stock because the current market value “does not sufficiently reflect the fundamentals” of its performance. Global depositary receipts will also be included in the buyback offer, according to Cherkizovo.

US egg-type chicks hatched up in August

U.S. egg-type chicks hatched during August totaled 41.6 million, up 12% from August 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Eggs in incubators totaled 39.1 million on Sept. 1, up 5% from the same time in 2010. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 311 thousand during August, up 23% from August 2010.
Broiler-type chicks hatched during August 2011 totaled 761 million, down 5% from August 2010. Eggs in incubators totaled 601 million on Sept. 1, down 6% from the same time in 2010. Leading breeders placed 7.23 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during August 2011, down 1% from August 2010.
For more poultry statistics, please visit  

US turkeys raised up 2% from 2010

Turkeys raised in the U.S. during 2011 have reached 248 million head, up 2% from the number raised during 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A combination of six states account for nearly two-thirds of the turkeys produced in the U.S. during 2011: Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana. The largest turkey producing state is Minnesota, at 46.5 million turkeys, down 1% from 2010. North Carolina remained unchanged from 2010, producing 30 million turkeys. Arkansas also produced 30 million turkeys, 7% higher than 2010 numbers. Missouri remained unchanged, producing 18 million turkeys. Virginia increased the number of turkeys raised compared to the previous year by 3%, at 17.5 million. Indiana remained unchanged from 2010 numbers at 16 million turkeys.
For more poultry statistics, please visit

EU pig producer study reveals gains, losses

The latest report on cost of pig production across Europe and further afield shows that UK pig producers are still in a comparatively poor position.
The InterPIG report, which has been produced annually for the past nine years, looks at the figures from a dozen countries across Europe, Canada and Brazil. The final report, which covers 2010, will be published at the end of October, but the key points it contains were released this week and include:
  • EU costs of pig production rose 2% in 2010 compared with 2009
  • The Czech Republic had the highest costs, at 183p/kg dw, and the Mato Grosso state in Brazil had the lowest, at 87p/kg dw
  • Great Britain had total costs of 146p/kg, 8% above the selected EU average
  • Most countries reported an increase in feed costs in 2010 – Canada was up 20%, but France and the Netherlands were down 4%
  • Over half of the InterPIG group reported a reduction in post-weaning mortality
  • Most countries also experienced an increase in daily liveweight gain
“There are a couple of positive points to take out from the figures," said senior analyst Mark Topliff. "The number of litters per sow per year is up and mortality to finishing has fallen. “The results relate to performance in 2010 and underline the importance of the industry achieving 2TS, which was launched in May 2010, with the objective of closing the gap in competitiveness that this report highlights.”
The report is collated by AHDB Market Intelligence in the UK. 

Hendrix Genetics acquires Grelier Groupe

Breeding company Hendrix Genetics has acquired 100% of breeding and hatchery company the Grelier Groupe.
An exclusive negotiation period was announced in December 2010. The acquisition is expected to strengthen the groups and secure their international growth, according to both companies. The new combination will have around €300 million in sales and more than 2,000 employees. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Egg farm's wastewater treatment system recycles nutrients

Dave Thompson of Pearl Valley Eggs explains each step of the farm's innovative wastewater treatment system, which utilizes aerobic bacteria and a reed bed to recycle nutrients from the egg wash water. Watch the video here.

Indonesia animal feed, chicken processor to expand

Indonesian animal feed and processed chicken manufacturer Charoen Pokphand has secured $250 million in loans for company expansion.
The company plans to focus on its feed mill and breeding farm, as well as food processing. “The company is aiming to expand its feed mill production capacity from 4 million tons per year to 5 million tons per year,” said Thomas Effendy, president director of Charoen. The company’s feed mill business contributes more than 70% of its total revenue.
Charoen recently finished expanding the production capacity at its plant in Bandar Lampung. It also plans to build a new plant in Cirebon, West Java, and is looking at the possibility of starting another plant in Bali, said Thomas. Food processing plants are currently being constructed in Pasuruan, East Java and Medan, and the company has plans to build another in Makassar.

UAE poultry, egg producers suffering in tough market

The UAE poultry industry had been suffering heavy losses over the last 12 months, and there are fears that some producers could leave the industry.
The UAE does not produce any grains, and so is totally dependent on imports, making it particularly susceptible to increases in international prices of maize, soy and bean meal. Maize prices in the country currently stand at some US$425 per ton, and soy meal at US$502 per ton. The price of layer feed ranges from US$460 to US$485.
In addition to increasing feed prices, some emirates have raised their electricity tariffs and diesel prices. These increases have also fed through into other inputs used by the poultry industry.
Little relief on horizon
Despite input costs almost doubling, producers have not been able to pass this increase on to consumers, as poultry prices were capped in 2007 by the Department of Consumer Protection. Broiler producers have had some relief in the form of a 20% price increase that was granted earlier this year; however, no such change had been afforded to egg producers. Producing eggs now costs US$1.80 per dozen, yet at retail level, a dozen eggs sells for US$1.74, while a fresh chicken is priced at US$4.6 per kg and frozen chickens sell at US$2.75 per kg.
Although the emirate of Abu Dhabi has been supporting producers by supplying feed to its producers with a 30% price reduction, the region accounts for only 15% of total chicken and egg production. The poultry and egg industries are spread across all seven emirates and no support has been given by the other six governments. Poultry producers have been further squeezed by the continuous increase in the discounts and shelf-rentals charged by retailers. Poultry prices may be controlled and monitored, yet the rebates charged by retailers are not checked by the authorities.
Because of these difficulties, the poultry industry in the UAE has become increasingly vulnerable to cheap, subsidized imports, and this is deterring investment in the sector. Of particular concern is poultry meat from Saudi Arabia, where there is a 70% discount on the price of poultry feed, but there is also competition from Oman, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey.
There are fears that without either a drop in input prices or increases in selling prices, many producers may leave the market. 

India soybean-meal exports to climb 25%

India soybean-meal exports are expected to rise 25% in 2012 after above-normal monsoon rainfall helped increase the crop, according to reports.
Production in 2011-2012 may exceed 11 million tons on the 10.32 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of soybeans planted, according to the country's farm ministry. The numbers may lead to export shipments totaling 5 million metric tons in the year beginning Nov. 1, up from the current year's estimated 4 million metric tons. Strong demand in Japan and Europe are expected to help with the gains in India exports.

Vietnam animal feed industry calls for government protection

Foreign livestock firms hold over 70% of Vietnam's animal feed market, pushing out the country's local businesses and making it difficult for them to compete fairly, according to local industry advocates who are calling for the government to step in.
Gaps in state policies and the weaknesses of local firms have made it easy for foreign manufacturers to come in and dominate the local market, said Le Ba Lich, chairman of the Vietnam Animal Feed Association. “Domestic businesses with thin capital cannot compete with foreign rivals, especially in the context of high interest rates," said Lich. "Now, most local firms need to borrow up to 70% of their capital demand, while foreign ones need only 30%. With abundant capital, foreign firms can stockpile raw materials when prices are low, but local companies cannot."
According to advocates, foreign firms are free to set prices that local firms must then follow. They are calling for the Vietnamese government to monitor prices more effectively and apply technical barriers, as well as support local farmers and animal feed producers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The latest trends in French broiler production, consumption

Paul Brochard, account manager for France with Cobb, gives an overview of the state of play of the French poultry industry. Watch the video here.

US broiler producers losing to competitors in early weight gains

Broiler industry consultant Leonard Fussell challenges U.S. poultry producers to improve 7-day weight gains in a presentation at the Poultry Production and Health Seminar. Watch the video here.

Corn farmers skipping rotations on high prices

Some corn farmers are skipping crop rotations due to record corn prices, taking the risk of lower yields in the hopes of higher profits.
The move has been a tricky one for farmers, as late planting, lack of rain and hot temperatures have all contributed to lower yields. Dry weather can have more of a negative effect on corn-on-corn fields than corn that followed soybeans, according to Emerson Nafziger, an extension agronomist at the University of Illinois.
Planting fields without rotation requires more work, since crop reside, weeds and insects can build up in the soil if the same crop is planted each year. But with the possibility of corn futures reaching $8 per bushel, farmers say the work has payoff potential.

Israel reports recurrence of Newcastle disease

Another outbreak of Newcastle disease was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health by Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in late September.
The Ministry has not reported the species affected; however, it notes that within the susceptible flock of 103,500 birds, 1,500 deaths occurred, 4,500 cases were recorded and the remainder of the flock was destroyed. Stamping out, quarantine, movement controls and zoning have been applied to prevent the spread of the disease. The source of the outbreak, which occurred in Avigedor, Ashkelon, remains unknown. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing.
The last outbreak of Newcastle disease in the country occurred in July.

UK pig producers operate on negative margins despite price increase

Although UK retail pork prices rose by 3.1% in July, according to the RPI index, compared with a year ago prices paid to pig producers have not increased and most pig producers are still operating on a negative margin, according to the latest British Pig Executive’s quarterly category report.
In addition, pig prices are falling again and will continue to be in this position for the immediate future. “British households spent on average 65p more on fresh pork compared with the same 12-week period last year," said Consumer Insight Manager Richard Cullen. “At the same time, pork continues to be the best-performing [white] meat, though the increased volumes in the latest year have been driven by promotions.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ireland egg producers supported with new welfare booklet

Caring for the welfare of laying hens will now be easier for farmers in the Republic of Ireland following the launch of a new booklet called Code of Practice for the Welfare of Laying Hens.
Produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council, the booklet was officially launched by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in late September. The booklet’s aim is to encourage all those who care for laying hens to adopt the highest standards when dealing with hens and provides practical guidance in respect of the management and husbandry of laying hens. It incorporates new rules on welfare standards that are due to come into force in 2012. “My department is committed to working with poultry producers and the industry to ensure that the new regulations prohibiting the keeping of laying hens in conventional cages from Jan. 1, 2012, are complied with in full,” said Simon Coveney, minister for agriculture, food and the marine.

US corn futures may reach $8 per bushel

U.S. corn futures may jump to between $7.75 and $8 per bushel after the October harvest as concerns surface that global supply and yields might be less than expected, according to futures broker Newedge USA LLC.
Corn is king, according to the broker, and futures have already gained 37% in the last year. At the same time, demand is rising and global stockpiles are projected to hit a five-year low at the end of 2011-2012.
The U.S. grows about 37% of global output.

US August egg production down from 2010

August production included 1 billion broiler-type and 68 million egg-type hatching eggs.
U.S. egg production totaled 7.74 billion during August, down slightly from 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Production included 6.67 billion table eggs and 1.07 billion hatching eggs, of which 1 billion were broiler-type and 68 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during August averaged 336 million, down 1% from 2010 numbers. August egg production per 100 layers was 2,301 eggs, up 1% from August 2010.
All layers in the U.S. on Sept. 1 totaled 337 million, down 1% from 2010. The 337 million layers consisted of 282 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 51.8 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs and 3.01 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on Sept. 1 averaged 74.3 eggs per 100 layers, up slightly from the same time in 2010.

Pfizer announces '10 under 40' swine veterinarian award winners

Pfizer Animal Health has announced the first winners of the "10 under 40" swine veterinarian award program, a biennial program designed to recognize 10 veterinarians under the age of 40 who are making significant contributions to swine medicine.  
The award was open to American Association of Swine Veterinarians members under 40 years of age, residing in the U.S., in practice, academic or consulting capacities. Nominees were to devote a minimum of 60% of their time to swine medicine. 
The winners are:
  • Tara Donovan, DVM - Donovan serves as vice president of health management at The HANOR Family of Companies, Spring Green, Wis.
  • Jason Hocker, DVM, M.S. - As a partner at AMVC and managing partner of AMVC Production in Audubon, Iowa, Hocker was also the lead organizer of the Iowa State University/AMVC Swine Medicine Education Center.
  • Marlin Hoogland, DVM, M.S. - In Algona, Iowa, Hoogland acts as the Midwest lead finishing veterinarian at Murphy-Brown Western Operations.
  • Darin Madson, DVM, Ph.D. - Madson is an assistant professor in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
  • Jeremy Pittman, DVM - Pittman serves as staff veterinarian at Murphy-Brown North Division in Waverly, Va. He is also an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University.
  • Sarah Probst Miller, DVM - Probst Miller recently started her own business, AgCreate Solutions, Inc. She is based in Monticello, Ill.
  • Chris Rademacher, DVM - Rademacher is the director of production improvement at Murphy-Brown Western Operations in Ames, Iowa. 
  • Cameron Schmitt, DVM, M.S. - In Independence, Iowa, Schmitt is one of the owners and veterinarians at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic of Iowa.
  • Matthew Turner, DVM - Turner serves as staff veterinarian at Prestage Farms in Clinton, N.C. and also is as an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University.
  • Amy Vincent, DVM, M.S., Ph.D. - Vincent is a veterinary medical officer at the United States Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service. She works at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

LED lighting for broilers gives energy savings, flock perfomance

Light-emitting diode bulbs provide energy savings and competitive broiler growout performance in research trials, says Dr. Susan Watkins, University of Arkansas. Watch the video here.

US live hog weights forecast down for 2011, 2012

High feed costs are expected to reduce the weights at which U.S. live hogs are marketed for slaughter for the remainder of 2011 and through 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
Lower slaughter weights are forecast to marginally reduce pork production during this period; however, packer discounts for underweight animals are likely to limit producer incentives to reduce slaughter weights too sharply. The USDA is reflecting expectations for narrowing feed spreads in lower year-over-year estimated average dressed weights for the second half of 2011 and into 2012.
Third-quarter commercial pork production is expected to be nearly 5.5 billion pounds, about 1% higher than 2010 numbers. Fourth-quarter pork production is anticipated to be 6.1 billion pounds, about 1% below 2010.

Australia considering new draft egg standards

The Australian Egg Corporation Ltd., which represents all egg production systems, is in discussions with egg producers about new egg standards for Australia.
The new standards must consider consumer expectations, robust science and commercial reality as it relates to bird health and welfare, food safety and environmental stewardship, according to the AECL. Stocking densities of up to two birds per square meter will provide hens with the ability to display all their natural behaviors, allowing them to roam while having access to food, water and shelter in the henhouse. The AECL is working to improve the current situation by establishing a cap on free range stocking densities, and to have that cap enforced through government legislation.
"The egg industry needs to feed a growing population with an affordable source of quality protein," said the AECL. "This is our industry’s social responsibility. We believe this definition will provide clarity, consistency and transparency." 

South Korea poultry consumption to grow through 2015

South Korea's poultry consumption is forecast to grow by 28.4% through 2015, according to Research and Markets' latest report.
The country's numbers will reach 952,600 metric tons even as its domestic stocks remain diminished after recent food safety scares connected to foot-and-mouth disease, according to the report. A key factor in the growth will be a continued increase in health consciousness. Changes to labeling in restaurants could also promote consumption of high-quality imported poultry, particularly from the U.S., and South Korea will continue to rely on imports to make up the difference and meet demand, according to Research and Markets.

Taiwan feed association to purchase US corn, co-products

Leaders from Taiwan’s Feed Industry Association have signed a formal letter of intent announcing plans to purchase between 7.7 million metric tons and 10.5 million tons (303 to 413 million bushels) of U.S. corn and a half to three-quarters of a million tons of corn co-products such as distillers dried grains and corn gluten in 2012 and 2013.
"For U.S. farmers, Taiwan is a long-established and deeply valued customer and partner," said U.S. Grains Council Past Chairman Terry Vinduska. "Taiwan is the sixth-largest export market for U.S. agriculture, and our fifth-largest corn market." The value of the Taiwanese corn purchase commitment is estimated to total from $2.47 billion to as much as $3.39 billion.
The Taiwanese delegation, which also included representatives from Taiwan’s oilseed processing association and flour millers’ association, signed similar letters outlining their intent to purchase 3 to 3.2 million tons (110-118 million bushels) of U.S. soybeans and 1.7 million tons (62 million bushels) of U.S. wheat.
Taiwan, with the second-highest per-capita consumption of U.S. agricultural products in the world, imported 2.4 million tons (94 million bushels) of U.S. corn in the 2010/2011 market year. 

UK poultry, pig producers face revised quality mark standards

Beginning Oct. 1, certification bodies in the UK will start assessing Red Tractor Assurance farm members against revised Farm Scheme Standards.
The changes affect the standards across various agricultural sectors, including poultry, pigs, beef and lamb, crops, dairy and fresh produce and are the result of a regular review of the standards to ensure they continue to be in line with legislation and reflect good agricultural practices consistent with industry needs and expectations. “At Red Tractor, we’re committed to ensuring high standards in food and farming," said Red Tractor CEO David Clarke. "This latest review helps to ensure that the Red Tractor Standards continue to progress in line with the latest industry needs without adding unnecessary costs or complexity.”
Red Tractor is the UK’s leading quality food assurance mark guaranteeing food safety, quality and traceability. Its standards cover animal welfare, food safety and environmental practices and have been developed to include regulatory requirements, best industry practice and, at the same time, be practical, achievable and fit for purpose.
Details of the changes can be found at:

Friday, September 23, 2011

China company invests in animal feed in Vietnam

Chinese company Sichuan Tequ Group has invested $10 million in a Vietnam feed mill in the country's northern Bac Giang Province.
The venture is expected to bring advanced feed production technology and management experience to Vietnam, and further enhance agricultural cooperation between the two countries, according to Hoang Kim Giao, director of the Livestock Breeding Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The mill will have an annual output of 400,000 tons.
The group will construct seven more feed manufacturers, two breeding pig farms and two breeding poultry farms in Vietnam during 2012-2017, bringing the group's annual sales to 2.8 million tons and its annual production value to $3 billion by 2020, according to the company.

Alltech pig app now available for BlackBerry

Already launched for the iPhone and Android, Alltech’s free pig app is now available to BlackBerry users.
With three features — weather, commodity prices and pig issues — the app is the first of its kind in the animal health industry. “We’ve had a tremendous response to the initial launch of our pig app on iPhone and Android, and we look forward now to making this tool available to BlackBerry users,” said Billy Frey, digital marketing manager at Alltech. “Alltech understands that efficiency is the key to profitability in agribusiness. By providing easily accessible and practical data in a real time format, our goal is to make the lives of hard-working farmers and producers just a little easier.”
The pig app can be downloaded from the BlackBerry App World, the Apple App Store or the Android marketplace under the name “Alltech.” While currently focused on pig production, the app will be expanded into livestock and poultry.
Follow Alltech on its Innovations blog, via Facebook and on Twitter @Alltech.

Smartphone usage at 68% in poultry industry survey group

The U.S. poultry industry has not only adopted smartphones for email, texting and web surfing but also is heavily engaged in social media websites, based on a survey of the WATT-Rennier Poultry Confidence Index panel.
Following are highlights of the survey conducted in August:
  • Sixty-eight percent of PCI respondents use a smartphone, with Blackberry usage at 30% leading other smartphones.
  • Thirty-two percent of respondents do not use a smartphone.
  • Business email tops the smartphone usage purposes at 91%, while 77% of respondents use smartphones for business texting.
  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents use smartphones to track pricing data, and 32% use smartphones to access social media.
  • Leading social websites included LinkedIn (97%) and (91%).
Smartphone usage is expanding
Smartphones have revolutionized the way consumers and business professionals use phones, and poultry industry members are no exception, according to the survey. Only a short time ago we used cell phones solely to make calls. That is no longer the case. The smartphone has put a mini-computer in your pocket or purse.
Today, poultry industry people use smartphones to read their email, edit reports, look up market data, research a topic and much more. Apps – which first appeared with the iPhone – have allowed us to access and process information like never before. You can now buy items on eBay, find restaurants or post to your Twitter account. Marketers have jumped on the bandwagon to provide apps that inform and engage their target consumers.
Blackberry was the most-preferred operating system followed by iPhone.
As a researcher, I’m always interested in learning more about the habits and practices of those I engage with on a regular basis. In addition, allied suppliers can benefit from knowing how to best reach and engage their customers. With this objective, we recently asked our panel from the WATT-Rennier Poultry Confidence Index to tell us about their primary business phone.

Blackberry tops in usage among PCI group
Blackberry was the most-preferred operating system followed by iPhone. Google’s Android was a distant third. Almost one-third of these respondents said they did not have a smartphone. This seems high to me, although I lack any comparative data from other industries.
This dependence on the Blackberry is not unusual given it has been touted as a secure phone for business. However, if the poultry industry follows recent consumer trends as predicted by eMarketer, we may expect Blackberry to give way to Android in the near future.

How poultry industry people use smartphones
It’s not only important to understand what smartphones the poultry industry uses, but how they are using them. Nine of 10 smartphone users sent and received business email on these devices with texting (both business and personal), personal email and web surfing were also listed as common activities. The tracking of financial and pricing data, as well as accessing social networks, were also common smartphone uses.
Although not restricted to smartphone usage, nearly every respondent said they used or accessed LinkedIn at least once a month. A high percentage also visited a number of other social websites like WATT’s Animal AgNet, Google+, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These online gathering places would seem to be an ideal place to reach the poultry industry.
It’s clear that the poultry industry has adopted smartphones for common practices like email, texting and web surfing. Furthermore, usage of social media websites – whether on the phone or computer – has been readily accepted. It will be important to track this usage over time to see how habits and usage change.
Click here to participate in the Poultry Confidence Index panel and receive advance reports of survey results, or simply copy the following link into your browser:

US broiler, turkey trade up over 2010

Five markets represented one-third of total broiler exports for July.
U.S. broiler and turkey shipments rose in July from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
Broiler shipments totaled 668 million pounds, an increase of 28.6% from July 2010 shipments. Countries that made major contributions to this increase include Russia, Hong Kong, Angola, Cuba and Georgia. Together, these five markets represented 33% of the total broiler exports for July 2011, compared with 18% in 2010.
Turkey shipments totaled 53 million pounds, a 1% increase from 2010. Most of the increase in turkey shipments went to Mexico, which imported 4 million pounds, or 15% more turkey meat than it did in July 2010, and accounted for 58% (30.4 million pounds) of the U.S. total turkey shipments. Percentage-wise, Canada and Hong Kong saw the largest increases in turkey shipments in July 2011. Almost 3 million pounds of turkey meat was exported to Hong Kong, the third-largest market for U.S. turkey, 60% more than in 2010.
For more poultry and grains statistics, please visit

Bunge to expand with Canada canola oil processing plant

Bunge North America has made plans to increase the capacity at a second of its four canola processing plants in Western Canada, the facility in Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta. 
In October 2010, Bunge announced another project that will more than double crushing capacity at the facility in Altona, Manitoba, as part of a multiyear expansion program in Canada. "Expanding and upgrading our capacity in Canada is a natural way to grow Bunge's North American business as domestic and export demand for both canola oil and meal continues to increase," said Soren Schroder, president and CEO. "By increasing capacity in Ft. Saskatchewan, we also improve operational efficiency so that we can better serve all our customers in the value chain, from farmers to food and feed manufacturers."
The proposed project would more than double Ft. Saskatchewan's current capacity of 850 metric tons a day. 
Pending all necessary approvals, the expansion is expected to go on line in 2014. 

Algeria to increase corn, soybean imports

Algeria's animal feed agency, ONAB, will import 100,000 metric tons of corn and 50,000 metric tons of soybeans before the end of October, according to the agency's import arm.
By the end of 2011, the numbers will reach 600,000 metric tons of corn and soybeans, compared with 200,000 metric tons in 2010, said Mustapha Zamoum, chief executive officer of ONAB's trading division. “We plan to achieve a market share of 30% in 2012,” said Zamoum. ONAB's share of animal feed imports is currently 10%.
The overall animal feed import bill of Algeria, where usage is estimated at 3 million metric tons a year, is expected to reach 60 billion dinars (US$816.04 million) in 2011, up 30% from 2010.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

British Pig Executive releases new sow culling guidelines

Direct income from cull sows should not be a major factor in determining sow culling policies, said the British Pig Executive in its new culling management guidelines; rather, it should only account for around 2% of total sales income.
Pig producers should instead focus on maintaining an optimum parity profile by regularly replacing older or less productive sows and keeping the herd’s overall performance steady. Sow culling rates have a direct correlation with economic efficiency. “Producers should aim for an average herd parity no greater than 2.8," said BPEX knowledge transfer manager Angela Cliff. "It’s important to understand why individual sows are culled and to manage voluntary or selected culling consistently. Decide what your target maximum parity is for each animal and then stick to it. Voluntary culling is also carried out to remove any sows not performing as well as they should. For example, those that have shown farrowing difficulties, poor litter size or poor lactation and rearing ability.”
At the same time, pig producers should minimize the level of involuntary or forced culling, most commonly caused by fertility problems, lameness or disease. “Pig producers should continually record sow condition and performance and pay close attention to management of gilt selection, feeding strategies and pen and floor condition,” said Cliff.
To find out the economic impact of retaining older, less productive sows, it is worth calculating the cost of ‘empty days’:
  • Cost per sow-day = Total annual breeding herd expenditure / (productive sows x 365)
  • Cost of reproductive failure = Cost per sow-day x empty days per annum / pigs born alive (sold) per sow per year 

Increased phosphorus in soybeans may improve animal feed

Modifying soybean seeds to increase phosphorus content can improve animal nutrition and reduce feed costs and nutrient pollution, according to a recent study.
In the study, one modified soybean variety had better seedling field emergence than the control, which had a normal phosphorus value. The performance of this soybean line, developed by Dr. Joe Burton at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, is evidence that improved seed germination and field emergence of modified phosphorus soybeans are possible. “Based on our experience with the North Carolina line, soybean breeders working with the low-phytate trait now know that good seed germination and emergence is an attainable objective,” said Dr. Katy Martin Rainy, one of the study’s authors. “Our study provides breeders with critical insights on how to do this.”
The project was funded by the United Soybean Board.

India poultry samples test positive for avian influenza

The government of India has confirmed that poultry samples collected from two villages in West Bengal have tested positive for an H5 strain of avian influenza.
The government has decided to immediately begin culling birds and destroying eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease. All poultry within a radius of three kilometers of the infection will be culled. In addition to the culling strategy, surveillance will be carried out over a further radius up to 10 kilometers.
Surveillance has been intensified throughout West Bengal to monitor further spread of infection. Steps taken include declaration of infected and surveillance areas; ban on movement of poultry and its products in the infected area; closure of poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 kilometers from the infected site; ban on movement of farm personnel; restricting access to wild and stray birds; restricting access to the infected premises; destruction of birds; disposal of dead birds and infected materials; clean-up and disinfection followed by sealing of the premises and issue of sanitization certificates; post operations surveillance; and imposition of legislative measures. 

Pfizer accepting nominations for top pig caregivers

Pfizer Animal Health is accepting nominations for a program recognizing people working in pork operations who consistently reach for higher standards and put in extra effort to make positive contributions to on-farm processes and practices. 
The Fostera PCV recognition program highlights people who work behind the scenes — those in the barn, service managers, production managers or anyone else who ensures every little thing is done right — to raise healthy, productive pigs. "Through the Fostera PCV recognition of excellence program, we want to celebrate those individuals who go above and beyond to exemplify higher standards," said Benjamin Church, senior marketing communications manager, for Pfizer Animal Health. "The individuals we are seeking for this program are demonstrating high standards of pork production." 
Winners will be selected by an independent panel and each will receive $1,000 cash, plus an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Pfizer Animal Health headquarters and New York City on April 18-21, 2012. Nominations can be submitted at and must be received by Nov. 30, 2011. 

CP Group to invest in China pig farm

China's CP Group will invest RMB 370 million (US$58 million) in building a new pig farm in Anhui Province in eastern China, capable of producing one million pigs annually. The group also plans to construct a RMB 2.4 billion (US$375.9 million) slaughtering line for 100 million chickens after the pig farm is complete.
“We are aiming to build a one-stop industry chain that involves crop planting, breeding, slaughtering and processing," said CP Group Vice President Yang Xiaoping. "The reason we choose Anhui as the site for the new farm is that this province has a population as big as 60 million, which means a huge market potential.”

Wilbur-Ellis expands animal feed division in Asia

Wilbur-Ellis Company, a marketer and distributor of animal feed ingredients in North America and the Asia Pacific, is expanding the operations and reach of its Feed Asia venture through a series of restructuring and operational changes.
The company has appointed several employees with extensive feed experience to the Feed Asia team to fulfill the following roles:
  • Market animal and pet food ingredients, livestock and forage products
  • Provide creative solutions to support customers' and suppliers' logistics, infrastructure and processing needs
  • Secure agency agreements for specialty products
  • Develop a thorough understanding of each of core markets
  • Adhere to each country's export regulations and requirements

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Marfrig to sell US, European distribution unit

Brazil's poultry, pork and beef supplier, Marfrig, is selling its U.S. and European distribution unit for $400 million to Martin-Brower Co. in order to boost its cash position, according to the company.
Marfrig acquired the unit in 2010 as part of the $1.26-billion purchase of Keystone Foods Holdings LLC. The company decided to sell the unit because it focuses on logistics, while Marfrig is focused on the meat business, according to Chief Executive Marcos Molina. "Since we took over Keystone, we knew we would eventually sell [the unit]," he said.
The sale is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2011.

US broiler meat estimate up third quarter 2011

The U.S. broiler meat production estimate for the third quarter of 2011 was increased by 25 million pounds to 9.4 billion pounds, down only 1% from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
While the number of chicks being placed for growout is down significantly, average live bird weights at slaughter have continued to be much higher than during the same period in 2010. Over the last five weeks, an average of 162 million broiler chicks was placed weekly for growout, down 5% from 2010.
The broiler meat production estimate for the fourth quarter of 2011 was lowered to 9.2 billion pounds, down 25 million pounds from the previous estimate. The reduction in fourth-quarter production stems chiefly from the impact of continued lower chick placement, according to the USDA. However, unlike in the third quarter of 2011, live bird weight at slaughter is expected to be much closer to that of 2010. The new production estimate for 2012 is 37.5 billion pounds, only a slight increase from 2010. This downward revision in the 2012 production estimate was due to expected continued high grain
prices, along with only minor improvements in the domestic economy.
For more U.S. poultry data, see

Taiwan regains H7N3 avian influenza free status

Taiwan has declared to the World Organisation for Animal Health that its H7N3 low pathogenic notifiable avian influenza outbreaks have been resolved and that it has regained free status.
The country discovered sub-clinical H7N3 LPAI on a duck breeder farm in late March. The outbreak was detected as part of intensified surveillance in the three-kilometer radius around an H5N2 outbreak indentified earlier in the month. A second outbreak was then recorded within this surveillance area.
Control measures included quarantine, movement control within the country, screening, zoning and disinfection of infected premises. Intensified and active surveillance performed on surrounding farms within the radius of both index farms — a total of 169 farms, including 37 farms overlapping with surrounding farms of the H5N2 outbreak farm — and in the whole territory has shown no outbreaks of notifiable avian influenza. 

China corn crop to hit record high in 2011

China's corn crop is expected to hit a record high of more than 180 million tons, though a continued strong increase in domestic demand means the growth is not likely to offset an increase in imports, according to reports.
China uses 105 million tons of corn per year for animal feed, with another 60 million to 70 million tons used in the processing sector for such products as starch, citric acid and ethanol. Increased meat consumption in China has generated extra demand for corn as animal feed, and industrial demand for starch and ethanol is increasing, putting pressure on corn imports.

AFIA testifies on animal feed availability before House subcommittee

Philip Greene, vice president of Foster Commodities, Foster Poultry Farms, testified on behalf of the American Feed Industry Association at a public hearing called to examine feed availability’s effect on livestock and poultry industries.
The supply/demand/price challenges confronting U.S. feed availability and the economic future of animal agriculture are real, their potential consequences are broad and they’re worsening on a daily basis, said Greene to a House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry. “Anything affecting the cost of producing feed for livestock and poultry directly impacts the cost of animals to the processor, the cost of meat, milk and eggs to the retailer, and ultimately the cost of food to the consumer.”
Greene identified the factors negatively impacting the availability and cost of feed as:
  • A federal bioenergy policy continuing to mandate food crops be used as feedstocks for biofuels at annually increasing levels;
  • Arbitrary and outdated acreage reduction programs that must be reinvented to meet their original purpose, namely to protect environmentally fragile lands, while maximizing U.S. feedstuffs production and minimize supply impacts on feed-deficit areas of the country; and
  • The need for the federal government to ensure commodity futures markets are regulated in such a way as to ensure the traditional ability of true hedgers to identify prices absent institutional speculation distortion. 
These factors impact not only the U.S. feed industry, but the global market, said Greene. Therefore, the feed industry is urging Congress to make policy decisions that will allow U.S. farmers and ranchers to remain competitive and improve economic health.
Livestock and poultry companies across the industry are feeling ethanol’s effect on corn crops, and fear the increasing digression of corn from agriculture to energy will have detrimental effects on the industry. In order to avoid this, agricultural commodity markets should be returned to operations driven by market demand and modifying energy policy, removing food commodity mandates from use in bioenergy development, said AFIA.
In addition, the government must ensure that acreage-idling programs do not remove much-needed non-environmentally sensitive arable acres out of production, while allowing idled acres to be planted without an economic penalty to the producer.
Finally, according to AFIA, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission must ensure the Dodd-Frank Act meets its objectives by defining and enforcing federal speculative position limits on agricultural commodities futures markets, including derivatives and over-the-counter products, but also protecting bona fide hedgers from speculation.  

England wheat production down, but better than predicted

England's wheat harvest has not been as bad as first feared, despite the extremely dry weather, according to results of an NFU members’ survey.
Preliminary results from the NFU’s 2011 harvest survey have revealed yields are below average despite a cropping area up around 3% to 1.822 million hectares. English wheat production for the current year is estimated at around 13.636 million metric tons, down on the five-year average by 1.5%. “I believe this year’s yield decrease was largely due to tough growing conditions last spring, including one of the lowest ever rainfall levels recorded for the first half of the year across the majority of England," said NFU combinable crops chairman Ian Backhouse. “Despite higher plantings, production this year is expected to be lower compared to last year due to lower yields. Production will be down on the five-year average by around 189,000 metric tons."
Survey responses have pointed to a large variability in yields often linked to soil type and capacity to hold water where a fortunate few benefited from showers of rain this spring. Where sufficient rain fell in June and July onto later maturing crops, yields have been exceptional. However, towards the latter part of harvest there was more variability in quality, with summer rains preventing many farmers keeping up with ripening crops. Fortunately, much of the quality milling crop was already harvested and dried before exposure to prolonged rainfall.
Many farmers invested in drying to preserve grain quality, and the Home Grown Cereals Authority reported that wheat quality is very good this year, with a higher proportion expected to achieve full milling specification than for a number of years. Farmers are reporting crops weighing heavier and high bushel weights that are partly compensating for lower volume harvested. “Following a very dry spring and rains disrupting summer harvest in 2011, farmers invested in grain drying to protect quality and overcame a challenging season,” said Backhouse. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Georgia poultry exports up over 2010 numbers

At Georgia Ports, more than 36,000 TEUs of frozen poultry were shipped during the first half of 2011, an increase of 11% from the 2010's 32,400 TEUs, according to reports. Poultry is the Savannah port's fourth-largest export, behind wood pulp, paper/paperboard and fabric.
According to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, shipments to Russia, Hong Kong, Georgia the country, Angola, the Congo and Cuba are leading the growth, while exports to Mexico, Canada, China, Vietnam and Singapore have increased. Overall, from January through July, U.S. poultry exports reached 2.1 million metric tons, valued at $2.6 billion — up 5.7% and 14.1%, respectively, over the same period in 2010.

US turkey poults placed, hatched up in August

Courtesy: USDA
U.S. turkey poults hatched during August totaled 23.8 million, up 4% from the same time in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Poults hatched were down 4% from the July 2011 total of 24.8 million poults.
The 23.7 million net poults placed during August were up 3% from the number placed during the same month in 2010, though they were down 5% from the July 2011 total of 24.9 million. Turkey eggs in incubators on Sept. 1 totaled 27.1 million, up 3% from 2010. Eggs in incubators were down 5% from the Aug. 1 total of 28.4 million eggs.

Monsanto to raise corn seed prices in 2012

Seed company Monsanto will raise its corn seed prices by an average of 5% to 10% in 2012 due to improved performance and higher production costs.
The price increase reflects higher-yielding genetics and more sales of biotechnology, including the newest insecticide-producing crops, said Executive Vice President Brett Begemann. The company is also focusing on boosting earnings 13% to 17% per year, as well as gaining in the U.S. corn and soybean markets.

EU clarifies protocol for banning GMOs

The European Union's high court has ruled that France erred in its ban on genetically altered corn, and has clarified the means by which member states can invoke a safeguard clause against cultivation of genetically modified organisms.
Monsanto sought review after France banned a type of genetically modified corn used in animal feed. The EU authorized the corn, which contains genes modified to combat a corn parasite, in 1998. The court ruled that cultivation of a GMO authorized as an existing product and pending renewal may not be suspended under a 2001 EU directive that applies to all GMOs, and France had used this directive for its ban. Member states may, however, invoke the safeguard clause under a 2003 directive related to GMOs for human or animal consumption, though this may be done only through a specific procedure, according to the court.
Member states must officially inform the European Commission as quickly as possible, the court's ruling said, and must establish a link between the GMO crop and "serious" risk, in a complete scientific evaluation involving the European Food Safety Authority. Such a risk assessment may be based on the precautionary principle.

USDA uses new pork antibiotics testing method

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service are using a new type of testing on pork to check for excessive levels of antibiotics.
The method, already used on beef, can detect smaller levels of many antibiotics, including penicillin and amoxicillin, according to reports. The agency is using “more advanced science to better detect these residues and better protect the public,” said Dirk Fillpot, a spokesman for the FSIS. The new test can detect penicillin at a level of 30 parts per billion in an animal’s kidney, compared to 800 parts per billion with the old test.

Monday, September 19, 2011

South Korea pig meat imports to drop in 2012

South Korea's pig meat imports will drop by 16% in 2012 from their record high of an estimated 580,000 metric tons in 2011, according to reports.
The 2011 rise, caused by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, is expected to ease off as the country re-establishes its herds. Roughly 3.3 million animals were culled in the aftermath of the outbreak. "The industry is steadily rebuilding," said USDA attachés in South Korea, noting that sow numbers are increasing by 20,000 a month. A rise of 15% in feed prices, year on year, caused by strong grain markets "has not discouraged farmers from rebuilding their herds, since swine and pork prices are at record levels."
Even with the drop, imports are still expected to remain above normal levels through 2012, at 490,000 metric tons. Pork imports for 2010 were 382,000 metric tons.

Butterball to close Colorado facility

Butterball LLC will close its Longmont, Colo., facility on Dec. 31 due to increased grain and other input costs, and to streamline operations, according to the company.
Over the past five years, Butterball’s increase in costs related to higher feed ingredient commodity markets (corn, soybean meal, fat, etc.) has averaged nearly $65 million per year, or $325 million total. “After long and careful consideration, amid record-high ingredient costs, our company has come to the conclusion that we must take these steps in order to improve our overall effectiveness,” said Rod Brenneman, president and CEO. “Government ethanol subsidies and record-high fuel prices for much of 2010 and 2011 contributed to a major increase in our operating costs and the closure of this facility is necessary to streamline our operations and accommodate current and projected demands.”
Butterball is working with associates at the Longmont facility to provide career counseling and discuss job opportunities at different locations throughout company operations as well as offer additional support through employee assistance programs.

US pig meat exports to China surge over 2010 numbers

The cumulative volume of pig meat exported from the U.S. to China was 200 million pounds in first seven months of 2011, a five-fold increase from the same period of last year, reported China Business News, citing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. China has become the fifth-largest market for U.S. pork exports.
China's domestic pork output was 50.7 million tons in 2010, with 667 million pigs sold for slaughter. Domestic demand for pork is currently strong and expected to remain so, and the number of pigs sold to slaughter will increase, according to analysts. The selling price or pork, at 30.86 yuan (US$4.83) per kilogram on Sept. 9, may fall in the second half of 2011.

US poultry industry hit hard by corn prices

Everyone from family poultry farmers to large poultry companies has been hit hard by the rising prices and short supplies of corn, said Michael Welch, National Chicken Council spokesman and chief executive of Harrison Poultry.
“The [U.S. Department of Agriculture’s] report earlier this week confirmed that it will be much more difficult this crop year to secure an adequate supply of feed ingredients that can be procured at a cost that is both manageable and predictable,” said Welch to the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture. “The more than 40 vertically integrated chicken companies that comprise the broiler industry have financially struggled for the past four calendar quarters. A number of companies have succumbed to the severe cost/price squeeze by ceasing operations or having to sell their assets at fire-sale values.”
The price of corn began to rise in the fall of 2006, and since then, the broiler chicken industry alone has had to spend an extra $22.5 billion in higher feed costs, said Welch, putting companies under severe financial stress, pushing some out of business and causing others to reduce production. Welch said Congress should allow animal agriculture producers to compete more fairly for the limited supplies of corn expected over the next few years. “Included in this effort must be a ‘safety valve’ to adjust the Renewable Fuels Standard when there is a shortfall in corn supplies,” said Welch.  “In addition, a plan should be implemented to allow a reasonable number of good, productive cropland acres to opt out of the Conservation Reserve Program on a penalty-free basis.”

USDA, FDA to provide flood-damaged crop assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are working together to provide assistance to farmers whose crops were damaged by severe flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. 
The FDA considers ready-to-eat crops whose edible portion has been in contact with flood waters to be adulterated due to potential exposure to sewage, animal waste, heavy metals, pathogenic microorganisms or other contaminants. Therefore, these crops should not enter the food or animal feed supply. Crops insured by federal crop insurance or by the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program are covered when floodwaters have rendered them valueless. "We are working closely with the FDA to protect people and livestock from damaged crops, while not penalizing the farmer whose crops are affected," said Michael Scuse, acting under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. "I want to assure insured farmers that they are covered under the federal crop insurance program for crops not harvested due to flood damage."
Disposition of crops in proximity to, or exposed to a lesser degree of flooding, where the edible portion of the crop has not come in contact with flood waters, may need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The USDA encourages all farmers and ranchers to contact their crop insurance companies and local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Centers, as applicable, to report damages to crops or livestock loss. More information about federal crop insurance may be found at Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding may be found at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Argentina corn prices drop after meeting government quotas

Corn in Argentina closed at $158 per ton, roughly $3.95 per bushel, on Sept. 9 — close to a 50% discount relative to U.S. prices — as farmers there struggle to sell stocks after meeting government export quotas.
The Rosario Cereals Exchange numbers represent a 15% drop in prices, compared with the Chicago Board of Trade, where prices have grown 17%. “The price differential is terrifyingly high because Chicago is flying and Argentina hasn’t followed,” said Ramiro Costa, chief economist at the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. Prices are falling in Argentina because the “market is closed,” after producers met the government’s quota of 12 million tons of corn for 2011 export, said Costa.
Argentina’s government demands that corn producers earmark 8 million tons of corn per year for domestic consumption. Argentina’s output was about 21 million tons in the 2010-2011 season. 

Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame inducts 4 new members

During a ceremony at the recent Latin American Poultry Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Spanish poultry magazine Industria Avícola inducted four new members into its Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame.
The Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to recognize those who have been pioneers and leaders in the Latin American poultry industry. WATT Publishing conducted the presentation ceremony in cooperation with the Latin American Poultry Association.
Below is a brief summary of the new members, in alphabetical order of their surnames.
Bernardo Lozano Dubernard
Born in Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas, Mexico, he is a veterinarian at UNAM. He has over 100 publications and 150 lectures in Mexico and in Asia, Middle East, America, Europe and Latin America. He began his career at Pfizer Inc. de CV. He is a private consultant for the Mexican poultry industry and to date is president and CEO of Laboratorio Avi-Mex S.A. de C.V., Diagnósticos Clínicos Veterinarios S.A. de C.V., Fertileggs S.A. de C.V. and Grupo Industrial Pecuario S.A. de C.V. He has received awards from UNAM, ANECA and CANIFARMA / INFARVET. He was president of INFARVET - CANIFARMA and of ANECA. He participates in the Committee on Infectious Diseases of Birds in CONASA.
Miguel Ángel Jacinto Márquez Ruiz 
Born in Mexico City, he is a veterinarian at UNAM. He completed an internship in Avian Pathology with a specialization in Viral Diseases of Birds at the University of Liverpool, England. He is a veterinary science teacher at the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, Paris, France. As a professional translator and polyglot, he has held various jobs and functions in the UNAM and UAM-Xochimilco, Mexico Vineland Laboratories, Dow Chemical Mexico, Laboratorios Intervet Mexico, Ross Breeders Ltd., Sanofi Santé Animale, Pfizer and Boehringer Mexico Ingelheim Vetmedica, as well as chairing several conferences and a consultant to USSEC / ASA, FAO, OIE, World Bank, the National Union of Poultry Farmers in Mexico and ALA. He is a member of associations such as ANECA, AAAP, WVPA, among others.
Ariel Antonio Mendes
Born in Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil, he is a veterinarian at the Federal University of Paraná. He has developed administrative activities at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and CADE CONDUNESP charges and commissions and working groups. He has an intense research activity, with more than 100 published papers, 250 papers, abstracts and articles in areas such as performance measurement and carcass quality, chicken meat and chicken bone problems. He is the author of books on poultry production and breeding, among others. He has received several awards and honors, such as "Distinguished Professional of Brazil." He is in charge of the Technical and Production Division at UBABEF. He continues his work with ALA, OIE and Codex Alimentarius. He was president of ALA.
Antônio Mário Penz Junior 
Originally from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, he is an agronomist and teacher in Animal Science from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. He is a member of several associations, including the WPSA and the Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia. He is currently Global Director of Poultry at the Provimi Group. He was professor of UFRGS, where he retired after 35 years. His specialty was the nutrition and feeding of monogastric animals with emphasis on nutritional requirements of poultry diets preinitiation, pelletization and the effect of particle size. He has published 345 papers in international journals and conference proceedings, has presented 360 lectures in 30 countries. He founded the company Nutron Alimentos Ltda, now part of Provimi. He has received several honors and awards at UFRGS, the Associação Gaucha Poultry and the University of Georgia, among others.
To view the rest of the members of the Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame, see the online Spanish-language database.

China to ban antibiotics as growth promoters

China's Ministry of Agriculture has announced a forthcoming ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed.
The ban is supported by the academic community, which believes that without antibiotics in animal feed, the health of animals will be better promoted, microbes' resistance to antibiotics will be lowered and food will become safer to eat.
Recent statistics show that in 2006 China produced 210,000 tons of antibiotics, and 97,000 tons were added to animal feed. Today it is estimated that 400,000 tons are produced annually.

Wheat replacing barley in German animal feed

Livestock farmers in Germany have been replacing barley with wheat in their animal feed due to a cold winter, springtime drought and summer rain that have resulted in a decline in the size and quality of the country's barley harvests, according to reports.
According to the farm ministry, estimates on the winter barley crop have fallen 21.6% to 6.76 million metric tons. "Wheat is expected to increasingly replace barley, which is in short supply, in feeding troughs in the EU," said German grain trading house Toepfer International. And while the spring barley crop estimate is up 18.1% to 2.01 million metric tons, harvest-time rain could hurt quality, according to experts.

North Carolina urging corn aflatoxin testing after hurricane

North Carolina corn growers are being encouraged to have their corn tested for aflatoxin to prevent contamination of feeds and food in the wake of Hurricane Irene coupled with a hot summer.
Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the mold Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to both humans and livestock. “The hot summer and the heavy rains from Hurricane Irene have increased the potential for aflatoxin in corn,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It’s very important that farmers have their corn tested.”
Samples submitted for insurance purposes must go through a U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified grain marketing location.

Ukraine wheat, corn exports may double in next year

Ukraine may double its wheat and corn exports in the next marketing year, which began on July 1, according to researcher UkrAgroConsult.
Estimates show the country exporting roughly 10 million metric tons of corn and the same amount of wheat, according to Serhiy Feofilov, director of UkrAgroConsult. Ukraine exported 4 million metric tons of wheat and 5 million metric tons of corn in the previous year, when the country had quotas in place to protect domestic supply amid poor harvests due to a drought.
UkrAgroConsult raised its corn production forecast to 15.5 million metric tons from August's 15 million metric ton estimate, said Feofilov. Wheat production was dropped to 20.3 million metric tons from an August estimate of 20.6 million metric tons.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Delhi poultry prices rise on short supply

The wholesale price of live weight chicken in New Delhi has gone up from INR 72 (US$1.53) per kilogram to INR 93 (US$1.98) per kilogram in just over a month on short supplies, an increase of over 29%, according to the data released by the poultry federation of India.
Correspondingly, the retail price of dressed chicken has jumped by 50%, from INR 120 (US$2.56) per kilogram to INR 180 (US$3.83) per kilogram. A rise in humidity and a corresponding hike in power rates have also contributed to the gain in prices, according to the industry. Even wholesale egg prices have gone up, from INR 2.45 (US$0.05) per piece to INR 2.60 (US$0.06).
Wholesale broiler prices have remained relatively stable at between INR 62 (US$1.32) and INR 70 (US$1.49) per kilogram, depending on the area. Poultry feed prices have held steady at INR 19,600 (US$417.57) per metric ton. 

US corn production forecast down from August numbers

U.S. corn production has been revised down from August numbers.
U.S. corn production is forecast at 12.5 billion bushels, down 3% from the August forecast but up fractionally from 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average 148.1 bushels per acre, down 4.9 bushels from the Aug. 1 forecast and down 4.7 bushels from 2010. If these numbers are realized, they will result in the country's third-largest production total on record but the lowest average yield since 2005.
Soybean production is forecast at 3.09 billion bushels, up 1% from August but down 7% from 2010 numbers. Based on Sept. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.8 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushel from last month but down 1.7 bushels from 2010. Compared with August, yield forecasts are higher in the Central Great Plains and along much of the Atlantic Coast. Yield forecasts are below August numbers across the Southern Great Plains and portions of the Southeast as hot, dry conditions persisted during the month. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 73.8 million acres, unchanged from August but down 4% from 2010.

French pig producers protest pork prices at SPACE

Dozens of French pig producers staged protests against low pig prices and lack of government action at the SPACE livestock event in Rennes, France.
The protesters also demanded action against retailers that were charging consumers more for pork while paying lower prices to pig producers. The farmers claim that they are losing up to €15 on every pig that they finish and sell. Pig producers are demanding some action from the French government to help them improve conditions, or else they are threatening to cut off all relations with the ministry of agriculture. Protesters said they would also like to see the European Union’s agricultural policy restructured to recognize the problems within the pig industry and to force prices up for high-quality French pork.
SPACE is celebrating its 25th anniversary and organizers are reporting record attendance and more exhibitors at this year’s show. Exhibitions Manager Paul Kerorton said the number of pig industry exhibitors has remained stable in spite of the problems currently facing the animal agriculture industry in Europe.

SPACE 2011: Poultry products perform well in SPACE awards scheme

Prototype of the FAF La Reve ventilation system, recognised with three stars in this year's SPACE innovation awards.
Products for the poultry industry performed well in this year’s SPACE awards, Innov’Space.
Nine of the 54 products recognized this year were exclusively for use in poultry production, while a further six were applicable to a number of species, including poultry.
A poultry product was also the recipient of a “three star” award, the highest in the program. The FAF La Reve ventilation system is designed for use with FAF La Reve Collective Cages, used for force feeding ducks. It offers horizontal ventilation and clips to the center of the cage modules, providing ventilation for two coops or 12 ducks. Air is drawn upwards, to avoid the introduction of feathers, by a cylindrical fan and blown downwards over a deflector which divides the air evenly and blows it downwards and across each coop.
2011 was the fourth time that a FAF innovation had been recognized under Innov’Space.
The new modular meat processing units from Isomir received two stars. These modular micro-factories offer smaller producers in the pig, poultry and rabbit sectors the opportunity to slaughter and process on-farm. Currently being sold in France and in its overseas dependencies, the units come ready assembled, needing only ground preparation and fitting out with slaughter and processing equipment. They can be added to over time and are compliant with current food processing legislation.
Ovoflash, from Actini’s egg processing division, was the recipient of one star. Ovoflash allows pasteurization temperatures to reach 74 C, while preserving the egg quality, and avoiding the coagulation of proteins or reducing foaming capacity. This optimization has been achieved not only as a result of heating technology, but as a result of high speed and short residence time. The system results in processed eggs with a lower bacteria count and a longer shelf life. 

SPACE 2011: SPACE celebrates 25th edition

The French animal husbandry trade show SPACE celebrated its 25th edition this year, with a record number of exhibitors — 1,300. The show’s organizers note that requests for space this year could not be fully met, particularly in the dairy and poultry farming sectors.
While the overwhelming number of exhibitors, 700, at the event were from France, SPACE is increasingly placing itself as an international event, and welcomed ministers and delegations from around the world. Its organizers noted that while the show was unrecognizable in comparison with 25 years ago, it remained a “friendly” place to do business.
Visitor numbers on day one of the event may have been a little low in the poultry halls but the show was not without excitement. As in previous years, the event witnessed a protest from local farmers — this time from the pig industry — however, it was nothing like last year’s protests when a lockdown had to be implemented and riot police charged.
Some 100,000 visitors are expected over the course of the event, and day one saw the French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire, absent for the last three years, attend the event. He recognized the difficult climate that France’s livestock producers are facing and, for poultry producers, promised that despite budgetary constraints there would be no restrictions on the €20 million earmarked for the next three years to help producers modernize and make their buildings legally compliant.

SPACE 2011: Health of French poultry, egg sectors

The French poultry industry is relatively stable, but behind this stability both meat and egg producers have challenges and difficulties to deal with. Pascale Rigomier, poultry veterinarian with Chene Vert Conseil, explained that both the broiler and layer sectors have their own difficulties to deal with.
As far as egg production is concerned, producers need to be up to date with the welfare regulations coming into force in January 2012, said Rigomier, and the majority of farms are already equipped in compliance with the new laws. However, smaller farms are ceasing production, and some older farmers have also decided to leave the industry — investment is often difficult, but particularly if there is not time to see a return on investment.
There has been an increase in the size of farms, as some producers exit the market and others take up their production, and new farms are being set up with meat producers moving into egg production. While French farmers may have been a little late in taking action to comply with the 2012 rules, they have been thorough — the French authorities have said that they will close down any producer who, come January, is acting outside the law.
There has also been a diversification of production, with more free range and fewer cages. France may have been late in moving in this direction when compared to the UK and northern Europe, but there has been increased aviary production.
This summer saw an increase in infectious bursal disease in France, resulting in a decline in egg production. On some farms this decrease has been as much as 40%. Other problems include brachyspira and mycoplasma synoviae, the latter emerging some three years ago and spreading. It can lead to anywhere from 2% to 10% of eggs being rejected and while the problem is being challenged, it is hard work.
Meat production must also comply with welfare legislation. This is particularly a problem for those involved in exports. In order to remain competitive, producers have to operate close to maximum stocking densities, so ventilation, mortality rates, leg and skin quality all need particular attention, said Rigomier.

SPACE 2011: French organic poultry, egg production records double digit growth

The number of broiler and layer hens raised organically in France grew by 16% in 2010, according to BRIO, the regional interdisciplinary organic association, at SPACE 2011.
The total number of broilers raised organically grew by 18% in comparison with 2009, and the sector was worth €109 million (US$149 million). French organic egg production was worth €209 million in 2010, an increase of 6.6%, while in volume terms the number of eggs produced rose by 16%.
The regions of the Loire, Aquitaine and the Auvergne recorded in the highest increases in organic broiler production, while Brittany and the Auvergne witnessed in the greatest increase in organic egg production. The total number of organic farms in France reached 20,604, accounting for some 4% of all farms in the country. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of organic farms increased by 55%. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Aquaculture feed producer sponsors IFFO responsible supply standard

Aquaculture feed producer EWOS is sponsoring an Improvers’ Program extension to the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation’s Global Standard for Responsible Supply.
The Improvers' Program will assist fishmeal and fish oil factories that fall short of compliance with the existing responsible supply standard for fish stock management and/or food safety and traceability in their factories. Program applicants must follow an approved, independently audited improvement plan, typically within a time frame of three to six years. Upon successful completion, the factories will then be eligible to apply for full IFFO responsible supply certification.
EWOS' sponsorship will assist with the cost of setting up the Improvers Program and identifying potential candidates.
“IFFO greatly appreciates EWOS’ support for this initiative and its commitment to our objective of increasing supplies of responsibly sourced marine ingredients. Sustainable supplies of aquaculture feed are essential for the responsible expansion of the industry," said IFFO director general, Jonathan Shepherd.

Cargill initiates ground turkey recall on possible Salmonella contamination

Cargill Value Added Meats Retail has announced a Class I voluntary recall of 185,000 pounds of 85-percent-lean fresh ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., facility on Aug. 23, 24, 30 and 31, due to possible contamination from Salmonella heidelberg.
Cargill is initiating this recall as a result of one confirmed test sample taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during a post-August 3 recall review of the processing facility, which yielded low levels of the same Salmonella heidelberg strain that appears to match the strain previously associated with human illness. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are acting quickly in response to USDA’s sample testing," said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business. "Although there are no known illnesses associated with this positive sample, it is the same Salmonella heidelberg strain that resulted in our voluntary recall on Aug. 3, 2011. As a result of this latest USDA test result, we have suspended ground turkey production at our Arkansas facility until additional measures can be identified, approved by USDA, then implemented, which is similar to the process we previously employed when working with the agency."
A complete recall list can be found here.

Mississippi State studies in ovo carbohydrate injection benefits

Mississippi State University researchers have determined that in ovo injection of carbohydrates may provide benefits to commercially grown poultry, including an earlier increase in body weight and good hatching.
The theory behind the research is that by injecting the carbohydrates into the eggs before they hatch, hatchlings can reserve their fat and protein for needed growth, said Wei Zhai, assistant extension professor in MSU's Department of Poultry Science. “We want to continue looking at different volumes and concentrations of carbohydrates so that we get the most efficient injection amount,” said Zhai.
The researchers are also looking into applying the process to benefit the chicks in other ways. “Vaccine injections have been used for many years and have proven useful,” said David Peebles, interim head of the poultry department and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher. “Using the same process to provide chicks with an earlier boost provides a lot of potential for the industry. In ovo injection may be useful in providing birds with an early supply of nutrients, such as vitamin D to help with bone growth.”

Monsanto denies pest resistance to genetically modified corn

Monsanto officials have denied reports that corn pests in the U.S. are becoming resistant to its genetically modified corn seed.
Researchers at Iowa State University say they have discovered corn rootworms in Iowa farms that may have developed a tolerance to the company's corn seed, which Monsanto genetically modified to kill the pests. At a recent UBS investor conference, Brett Begemann, Monsanto's executive vice president, said the rootworm crop damage occurred in areas where the corn pest overwhelms the plant's genetically engineered defense mechanisms. "We have been watching it," said Begemann. "It's not spreading. It's not getting bigger."
About 100 farmers a year have reported damage from the corn pests, according to Begemann. He said the company is working with farmers to suggest ways to limit pest problems, such as by rotating corn and soybean crop growth cycles or using pesticides.

Animine presents data on new piglet zinc source

The European Association of Animal Production, Animine, presented experimental data from a study on a new source of zinc for piglets at its annual meeting in Stavanger, Norway.
The study compared ZinPot, a potential source of zinc for piglets, to analytical-grade zinc oxide. The product's effect on the growth of two pathogenic strains of fimbriated Escherichia coli was measured at sub-inhibitory Zinc concentrations. The experiment showed a higher growth repressing effect of ZinPot versus regular zinc oxide, according to Animine.
The meeting was held at the Free University of Berlin's Institute of Animal Nutrition for nearly 1,000 participants from more than 40 countries.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Philippines poultry, egg production grow first half 2011

Growth in the Philippines poultry sector showed a 3.6% increase in the first half of 2011, according to the country's Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. Poultry's contribution to the country's total agricultural production was 13.35%.
Chicken production grew by 3.8% and chicken egg production went up by 3.48%. The total gross for poultry was PHP 77.8 billion (US$1.83 billion), 0.16% higher than 2010 numbers.
Overall, agriculture in the Philippines posted a 5.48% growth in the first six months of 2011.