Monday, October 31, 2011

Industrias Bachoco reports net loss for third quarter 2011

Industrias Bachoco reported a net loss of Ps. 106.9 million (US$8.13 million) for the third quarter of 2011, compared to a gain of Ps. 635.1 million (US$48.3 million) in the third quarter of 2010, according to the company's latest financial report.
Chicken products sales in the third quarter grew 0.7% compared to the same time in 2010, which resulted from a 3.9% increase in sales volume, partially offset by a 3.1% decrease in chicken prices as industry supply for chicken products rose during the period. Sales of table eggs increased 8.8%, driven by a 16.3% increase in prices, partially offset by a 6.4% drop in sales volume.
“The third quarter’s results were sharply affected by several external conditions that lead the company to post negative net income in the quarter," said CEO Rodolfo Ramos. "Mainly, the continuous increase in the cost of grain and oversupply conditions within the Mexican poultry industry, which led to a reduction in our chicken prices while compared with the same quarter of 2010. On a positive note, total sales increased across the company’s main product lines, preserving positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) for the quarter, while adequate administration of our financial instruments softened the impact of the peso’s depreciation when compared to the U.S. dollar."
According to the company, Bachoco’s aim for the next year will be to maintain strict cost and expense controls and productivity improvements while serving the relevant markets and maintaining a healthy financial position.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Grain prices top poultry issue for 2011/12, says survey group

A WATT-Rennier Poultry Confidence Index survey poll (take the new survey) shows that 82% of respondents identified ‘grain prices’ as the top issue for the U.S. poultry industry for the remainder of 2011 and early 2012 (see chart). The regulatory environment, the general economy and bird health/diseases were essentially tied as the third-most important issue.
The dominance of grain prices is not a surprise given its importance on costs and profitability and sustained, historically-high grain prices. Protein supply and demand was selected by nearly 50% of the respondent as this factor heavily impacts profitability in a commodity-like market.
Although grain prices have been high for several years, this issue’s importance has jumped tremendously since May 2010 (see graph). Bird health/disease has also increased in importance over this time, but to a lesser extent. The export market and the general economy have substantially declined in importance over this same time period.
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Argentina soybean animal feed confiscated on Salmonella contamination

Roughly 15,000 metric tons of soybean animal feed from Argentina was confiscated by the Cyprus Agriculture Ministry after testing confirmed Salmonella contamination, according to reports.
The Ministry has already contacted farmers and mills who might have taken feed from the infected loads, and secondary testing will be conducted to confirm the initial results. If any animals are found to be infected by the feed, the affected farm's products will be confiscated by Veterinary Services, according to Ministry officials.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Illinois soy, corn yields better than expected

Soybean harvests for some farmers in Illinois are averaging about 10 bushels per acre above 2010 numbers, in spite of an unpredictable season that included heavy spring rains and average July temperatures that broke record highs. Some corn harvests are also reaching averages slightly above 2010 in spite of dealing with the same conditions.
"One of the biggest deals about this year's crop is the variability — much more so than it has been in probably 20 years," said Steve Ruh, a corn and soybean farmer in northern Illinois. "There are pockets where the corn is fantastic and soybeans are fantastic. There are pockets where it didn't rain from July Fourth on and they're struggling." Some Illinois farmers expect to beat the average 2010 corn yields, which reached 157 bushels per acre.
Farmers said they are storing crops on their farms to improve marketing returns. "I try to market at least 50% of my (corn) crop before harvest," said Ruh. "We are filling the bins here and we'll gamble with the other 50%."

DuPont sues Monsanto over alleged corn patent infringement

DuPont's Pioneer seed unit has sued Monsanto Co., claiming the company has infringed on patents that help genetically modified corn seeds germinate.
In its lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Pioneer Hi-Bred International claims that it owns patents on a method "of enhancing the vigor of maize seeds" by defoliating the plant at a particular point after pollination but before harvest, and on a maize seed and stand of maize seeds that have such enhanced vigor. The suit alleges that Monsanto has been using the methods protected by Pioneer's patents and seeks reimbursement by Monsanto for any profits gained from the sale of products made with the patents, as well as damages.
Monsanto issued a statement following the lawsuit's filing, calling it "baseless" and "without merit," and said the approach covered by DuPont's patent is not used in any of Monsanto's production fields.
The case is Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc v. Monsanto Co, No. 4:11-cv-00497.

EU drafts vegetable oil regulation to prevent dioxin contamination

Draft regulation meant to provide increased protection against dioxin contamination has been approved by the European Union member states at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health and has been sent on to the European Parliament and Council, according to reports.
The regulation, a response to Germany's December 2010 and January 2011 dioxin crisis that resulted in the shutdown of egg and meat sales from 4,700 farms after contaminated animal feed was found, focuses on four key measures:
  • Feed businesses processing crude vegetable oils, manufacturing products derived from oils of vegetable origin and blending fats, will have to be approved (not just registered) by the competent authority.
  • Fats intended for feed and food will be strictly segregated during their production and transport from fats intended for technical use in the chemical industry. Product labels must explicitly mention their intended use to help prevent products unfit for feed from entering the food chain.
  • An EU harmonized plan, with mandatory minimum testing for dioxin depending on the risk inherent to the products, will be introduced. The testing will focus on the risky products at the moment they enter the feed chain to facilitate the detection of non-compliant cases and the enforcement of feed law.
  • All laboratories must directly notify the competent authorities of any excessive findings of dioxins.
If the regulation is approved by the European Commission, it is expected to enter into force in mid-2012.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mexico lifts tariff on US pig meat

Mexico has lifted tariffs on U.S. exports, including pork, and the U.S. government has granted the first permit to a Mexican trucking firm to haul goods into the U.S.
The two governments in July signed an agreement resolving the trucking issue, with the U.S. Department of Transportation crafting a cross-border trucking program and the Mexican government cutting the retaliatory tariffs by 50%. The remaining tariffs were suspended today after the DOT issued the trucking permit. “America’s pork producers are very pleased that the U.S. issued the first Mexican trucking permit, which has led today to the Mexican government removing the remaining retaliatory tariffs on our products,” said National Pork Producers Council President Doug Wolf. “Mexico is a very important market for the U.S. pork industry and for many other sectors. More than 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico.”
The long-standing dispute between the nations was over a provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The trucking provision was set to become effective in December 1995, but the U.S. failed to abide by it. Mexico imposed tariffs on 89 U.S. products in March 2009, after Congress failed to renew a two-year-old pilot program that allowed a limited number of Mexican trucks into the U.S. Mexico added products, including pork, in August 2010 after the Obama administration failed to present a proposal for resolving the trucking dispute. 

US poultry certified wholesome down in September

Poultry certified wholesome during September 2011 (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.71 billion pounds, down 1% from the amount certified in September 2010, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The August 2011 revised certified total came in at 3.90 billion pounds, up 4% from August 2010. The August revision represented an increase of 57.4 million pounds from the preliminary pounds certified.
The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during September 2011 was 4.92 billion pounds, down 2% from 5 billion pounds in 2010. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.24 billion pounds, down 2% from September 2010. Mature chickens, at 73.8 million pounds, were up 2% from 2010 numbers. Turkey inspections totaled 594 million pounds, up 2%, while ducks totaled 13.1 million pounds, down 9% from 2010.
Young chickens slaughtered during September 2011 averaged 5.86 pounds per bird, up 2% from September 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.78 pounds per bird, up 1% from the same time in 2010. Turkeys slaughtered during September 2011 averaged 29.1 pounds per bird, up 2% from September 2010.
For more U.S. poultry information and statistics, see

Philippines to build public slaughterhouses in 2012

The Philippines' National Meat Inspection Service has plans to build four to five public slaughterhouses and poultry dressing plants to help boost the country's competitiveness in the global poultry meat industry in 2012, according to reports.
The facilities will serve as places where producers can bring their animals for proper slaughtering in sanitary conditions. "We have an approved P180 million (US$4.18 million) in our 2012 budget for such purpose," said NMIS Executive Director Jane Bacayo. "Lack of such service facilities in the country creates a gap at present because producers can't fully meet processors' needs." The facilities will be government-owned, but the private sector will be tapped to run operations.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

US chicken egg production down in September

Egg-type chicks hatched in September 2011 were up over 2010 numbers, but broiler-type chicks hatched were down.
U.S. egg production totaled 7.51 billion during September 2011, down slightly from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Production included 6.49 billion table eggs and 1.02 billion hatching eggs, of which 952 million were broiler-type and 68 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during September 2011 averaged 336 million, down 1% from 2010. September egg production per 100 layers was 2,236 eggs, up 1% from September 2010.
All layers in the U.S. on October 1 totaled 335 million, down slightly from 2010. The 335 million layers consisted of 281 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 51.2 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs and 2.95 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on October 1 averaged 74.6 eggs per 100 layers, up 1% from the same time in 2010.
Egg-type chicks hatched during September 2011 totaled 40.3 million, up slightly from September 2010. Eggs in incubators totaled 36.5 million on October 1, down 8% from 2010 numbers. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 274,000 during September 2011, up 9% from September 2010.
Broiler-type chicks hatched during September 2011 totaled 721 million, down 5% from September 2010. Eggs in incubators totaled 572 million on October 1, down 8% from 2010 numbers. Leading breeders placed 6.66 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during September 2011, down 7% from September 2010.
For more information on U.S. egg production and prices, see

US trade agreements to generate $1.4 billion for poultry industry

The three U.S. free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, signed into law on October 21, will generate an estimated $1.4 billion in additional U.S. poultry and egg export sales annually, according to poultry and egg producers, processors and exporters supporting the legislation.
The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement will greatly improve market access for U.S. poultry and egg exports to South Korea, mostly by duty reduction and elimination, according to the industry. In 2010, U.S. poultry product exports to Korea totaled $101 million. With KORUS FTA approval, U.S. poultry meat exports to Korea could rise to more than $150 million or 125,000 tons annually, with annual egg exports tripling to $12 million. Over the first 10 years of the agreement, this is expected to generate $720 million in exports.
The U.S.-Colombia FTA will cut duties, eliminate variable duties and would give the U.S. a 27,040-metric-ton tariff rate quota at zero duty with 4% annual growth for chicken leg quarters. U.S. exports to Colombia are expected to rise from $22 million of poultry and products to $42 million by 2015. As duties come down over the FTA’s implementation period, annual exports are expected to exceed 180,000 metric tons by 2020, which is worth $135 million. Over 10 years, the U.S.-Colombia FTA is expected to generate $660 million in new U.S. exports.
The U.S.-Panama FTA will eliminate duties on some poultry products within five years and establishes a preferential duty-free tariff rate quota for chicken leg quarters that starts at 660 tons and grows each year by a 10% compound rate. Trade to this market is expected to grow steadily from $19 million in 2010 to $32.6 million by 2020 — for a total of $70 million in new trade over the next decade. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vietnam bank finances avian influenza control project

The State Bank of Vietnam and the World Bank have signed on to help finance the Vietnam Avian and Human Influenza Control Preparedness Project, which will help the country improve its responses to highly pathogenic avian influenza, human influenza and other newly emerging zoonotic diseases.
US$25 million will be provided to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to increase the effectiveness of public services in reducing the health risk to poultry and humans from avian influenza in 11 high-priority provinces. The focus will be on controlling the disease at the poultry level, early detection and response to infection, and preparing for the medical consequences of a pandemic.
Two other avian influenza projects have been funded (at a total cost of US$40 million) and implemented since 2004: the Avian Influenza Emergency Recovery Project and the Vietnam Avian and Human Influenza Control and Preparedness Project.

Argentina aims to raise broiler exports by 2017

Argentina exports 18% of its total broiler meat production and aims to increase this share to 25% by 2017, according to reports.
Of the 60 countries Argentina currently exports to, Venezuela is its top destination, receiving 60,000 metric tons of meat, while Chile comes in second at 30,000 metric tons of meat annually. Argentina also expects its domestic consumption of chicken meat to grow from the current 39 kilograms per head per year to 45 kilograms by 2017. In 2003, that number was just 21 kilograms. “Argentina only recently entered the world poultry market, but its low cost structure and favorable sanitary status make it a key player to meet growing global demand, providing it continues to invest in expansion," said a spokesperson for Dutch-based agro-investment bank Rabobank. “Although Argentina’s poultry industry is relatively concentrated, opportunities remain for consolidation by large domestic companies or foreign players entering the market.”
Argentina currently has roughly 40 poultry companies throughout the country, producing a total of 1.7 million tons of meat.

Maple Leaf Foods restructures, expands prepared meats business

Maple Leaf Foods is investing $560 million in infrastructure and technologies over the next three years to restructure and expand its prepared meats network, reduce operating costs and increase productivity.
The changes, combined with other strategic value creation initiatives, are expected to significantly increase the company's competitiveness and profitability in the near and longer term. Included in this investment is the construction of a $395-million, 402,000-square-foot prepared meats facility. Maple Leaf will also invest in existing plants in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Brampton. The company's plants in North Battleford, Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, Moncton and a small facility in Winnipeg will close by the end of 2014 as production is consolidated into new or expanded facilities.
Maple Leaf will also simplify its distribution network by consolidating four distribution centers into two; a new, purpose-built facility in Ontario servicing eastern Canada; and an existing facility in Saskatoon serving as the western Canadian hub. Distribution centers in Moncton, Burlington, Kitchener and Coquitlam will be closed by 2014.
The company's value creation plan is expected to result in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) margins of 9.5% in 2012 and 12.5% in 2015. Maple Leaf expects to incur restructuring costs of approximately $170 million before taxes related to these strategic initiatives, of which approximately $120 million represents cash costs. "The final phase of this plan will establish Maple Leaf Foods as a more streamlined and profitable company, well positioned to deliver significant and sustainable value to its shareholders," said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO.
The investment will create approximately 1,150 new jobs. Facilities closures will result in a net reduction of approximately 1,550 positions, with the majority of the workforce reductions occurring in 2014. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cagle's files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Cagle's Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Cagle's Farms Inc. have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Cagle's filed the petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta, Ga.
According to the company, normal operations and customer service will continue without disruption, including sales, order processing and delivery. In connection with its Chapter 11 filing, Cagle's also announced that it anticipates receiving court approval for a debtor-in-possession financing facility from AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA. Over the past few years, said Cagle's, the poultry industry has been under severe stress due to historically high corn and soybean meal prices coupled with sagging chicken prices caused by an oversupply of broilers. As a result, Cagle's has incurred significant operating losses that have depleted its liquidity and working capital position.
"After careful consideration we concluded that a Chapter 11 restructuring represents the best long-term solution for Cagle's Inc. and Cagle's Farms Inc.," said J. Douglas Cagle, chairman, president and CEO. "It is our goal to reach an agreement with our creditors in a quick and efficient manner, allowing us to restructure our debt with minimal disruption to our operations."
Cagle's has not set a target date for emergence from Chapter 11. 

US 2012 pig meat production, exports up conservatively

Pork exports for 2012 are up 2.8% from 2011 numbers.
U.S. commercial pig meat production in 2012 is forecast at 23.1 billion pounds, up conservatively from 2011's projected 22.6 billion pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The September 1 Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report showed that the U.S. hog inventory was up 1% year-over-year. The breeding herd was shown to be up 0.6% year-over-year, and producer’s first farrowing intentions for December-February were 2.857 million, up just 0.5% year-over-year, which may indicate that the industry is cautious about any expansion plans, according to the USDA.
Pork exports in 2012 have been revised down to 5.09 billion pounds, still up 2.8% from projected 2011 export levels. August 2011 pork exports were year-over-year 43.6% higher.

China purchases 900,000 metric tons US corn

China has purchased 900,000 metric tons of U.S. corn, one of the country's largest purchases ever of the grain on overseas markets, according to reports.
The purchase comes in the wake of an expected record grain harvest in China. The country's corn consumption likely totaled 176 million tons in the crop year beginning October 1, 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "China's harvest is up but that will just about satisfy domestic demand," said Hanver Li, chairman of the market research firm Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. Ltd. "Meanwhile, reserves are running low, so China needs to import corn to build up their stocks."
According to Li, China may import between 7 and 10 million metric tons of corn over the next 12 months. China's total corn imports could climb to as much as 15 million metric tons by 2015. China was a net exporter of corn until 2003, leveling out in 2009 and becoming a net importer in 2010.

France corn harvest estimates up after summer rains

France’s corn harvest will be higher than previously expected after summer rain boosted production, allowing for increased exports, according to crops office FranceAgriMer.
Current forecasts predict that farmers will harvest 14.75 million metric tons of corn, compared to 2010's 13.8 million metric tons and up from the previous estimate of 14 million metric tons. Corn futures in Paris have dropped 19% in 2011, and weekly corn-export commitments for the 27-nation bloc were 202,515 metric tons in the seven days through October 4, the highest level for one week in at least seven years, according to the EU.
Corn exports are expected to climb to 6.49 million metric tons from 5.6 million metric tons in the 2010-11 season, FranceAgriMer estimates. This number is up from a previous outlook for shipments of 6.29 million metric tons. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

World Pork Conference discusses 2013 loose sow housing transition

Speaking at the World Pork Conference in Bonn, Dr. Andrea Gavinelli, the head of the Unit of Animal Welfare at the directorate General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission, said that data is being collected to ensure the smoothest possible transition across the EU to sow loose housing in 2013.
"We are not going to wait until December 31 next year," said Gavinelli. "We are looking at the data for each member state and we will have the statistics next year and we should then be able to see the appropriate action to take."
Gavinelli said that the situation is different in different member states and, where some will achieve the standards and others not, there could be tension. He said that the situation will be similar to the one at present for eggs and this will be a testing ground to see how to approach the problem. Once the data has been collected, the commission will have a better picture and will then decide how to proceed.
Gavinelli also told the conference that the European Commission is working towards an agreement for a voluntary end to surgical castration of piglets by 2018.

US broiler production expected to decline through end 2011

Broiler stocks will end the year at 660 million pounds.
U.S. broiler production is expected to decline at the end of the third quarter in 2011 and moving into the fourth quarter as reductions in the number of chicks placed for growout more than offset higher average weights, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Broiler cold storage holdings are expected to end 2011 at 660 million pounds, down considerably from 2010 numbers. Lower production and lower stock levels are expected to eventually place upward pressure on prices, but this effect will be partially offset by a sluggish domestic economy.
Turkey production was higher in August, but is expected to decline in the fourth quarter of 2011. Lower stock levels for whole turkeys have placed upward price pressure on whole birds. Wholesale whole-hen turkey prices have increased, with third-quarter prices averaging $1.06 per pound, up 9% from 2010 numbers.
For more broiler statistics, visit

Malaysia plans to decrease animal feed import dependence

Malaysia is taking steps to minimize its dependence on animal feed imports under a reciprocal investment policy, according to the country's Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar.
One initiative under the policy is the signing of an agreement between Markmore Group of Malaysia and Cambodia-based Paragon Corporation, which have agreed to invest RM2 billion (US$644.4 million) to develop 400,000 hectares of land for the benefit of the animal feed industry. The government, according to Noh, wants to create a food supply value chain, including in livestock breeding, under the National Agro Food Policy 2011-2020.
Malaysia is also planning to sign an agreement with Cambodia early next year to facilitate agricultural activities between both countries. Meanwhile, an area on a 70-year lease from the Cambodian government will be planted with corn, soy and sugarcane, with the first yield expected in 2013.

European pig meat production to remain stable in 2012

For 2011, pig meat production is expected to grow slowly (1.7%) and remain stable in 2012, according to a European Commission short-term outlook for agricultural commodity markets.
According to the available trade data through August 2011, meat exports could exceed 2010 volumes by 13.4%. In particular, exports to South Korea and China/Hong Kong performed very well, increasingly in the area of higher value cuts. However, pig meat exports may fall slightly in 2012, by 4.3%. EU pig meat imports are expected to decrease further, by 30.5% and 24% in 2011 and 2012. From 2010 onwards, consumption of pig meat (absolute and per capita) will increase slightly, by 0.6% in 2011 and 0.5% in 2012.
The report is based on analyses of market experts within the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, and it will be published three times a year. The full report is available on the Europa website

Cameroon commissions poultry slaughtering, packaging plant

Cameroon's Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development has commissioned a poultry slaughtering and packaging plant in Bafang, West Region with the capacity to process more than 3,000 chickens per day.
The plant will receive CFA 500 million (US$1.05 million) from the government to help fund its CFA 5 billion (US$10.5 million) construction. Proponents of the plant hope to promote poultry farming among local people, increase national poultry production, curb poverty, lower cost of living and unemployment, and make quality, affordable chicken available to Cameroonian customers. "Only chicken raised following certain standards will be accepted by the plant," said Louis Paul Motaze, chairman of the board of governors involved in the plant's construction. Packaging of the chicken, he said, will conform to international standards.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

US turkey poults up 8% in September

Net poult placements were up from 2010 and down slightly from August 2011.
U.S. turkey poults hatched during September 2011 totaled 23.8 million, up 8% from September 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
Poults hatched were down slightly from the August 2011 total of 23.9 million poults. The 23.5 million net poults placed during September 2011 in the U.S. were up 8% from the number placed during the same month in 2010, while net placements were down 2% from the August 2011 total of 23.9 million. Turkey eggs in incubators on October 1, 2011, totaled 27.5 million, up 5% from October 1, 2010. Eggs in incubators were down 2% from the September 1, 2011, total of 28.1 million eggs.

UK egg producers face challenge in conventional cage ban

As the deadline of January 1, 2012 approaches for UK egg producers to reinvest in new systems, Klaus Torborg, of Lohmann Animal Health, does not expect producers to be penalized in the first half of 2012.
Torborg, who addressed UK egg producers at a recent Lohmann dinner, believes the government will be concentrating on dealing with the financial crisis, giving producers additional time to become compliant with the ban on conventional cages.
Klaus Torborg talks about the effect of the conventional cage ban on UK egg producers at the Lohmann dinner.

The British Egg Industry Council suggests that 8.349 million of the EU’s 363 million commercial layers are likely to be non-compliant with the cage ban when it goes into effect next year.

Poultry producer Perdue cuts 3% of corporate staff

Poultry producer Perdue will cut nearly two dozen corporate jobs, or roughly 3% of its current corporate staff, according to reports.
“Today, Perdue announced the company is eliminating a limited number of positions at its corporate headquarters in Salisbury, Md. The decision is part of a larger cost-savings effort in response to continued high grain prices and persistently weak poultry markets,” said Julie DeYoung, a Perdue spokeswoman. "The layoffs are confined to corporate staffing and represent approximately 3% of the current corporate staff."
DeYoung said that other Perdue processing facilities and poultry contracts are not affected by the corporate staff cuts. Some of the workers will be offered other jobs at the company, while some will receive severance packages and unemployment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Delaware poultry industry looks to increase exports to South Korea, Panama and Colombia

The free trade agreements Congress recently passed with South Korea, Panama and Colombia will eliminate tariffs on most U.S. exports, allowing for Delaware's poultry producers to increase exports, according to a report.
"It's not a lead-pipe cinch that automatically [poultry] products will be flowing to those countries, but it does set the stage for the export business to go forward to those markets," Delaware Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee said.
Delaware’s poultry industry has been hindered in the past by restrictive tariffs, but the tariffs will be eliminated or significantly reduced over time due to the FTAs, creating a market for the legs, gizzards and knees that U.S. poultry consumers aren't as likely to eat.
The American Farm Bureau estimates Delaware's poultry export sales to South Korea, Panama and Colombia will increase by $1,623,300 annually. 

Maryland pursues electricity from poultry litter

Gov. Martin O'Malley recently announced Maryland’s "Clean Bay Power Project" -- a new plan to buy power generated from animal manure, according to a local news report.
Poultry litter from Eastern Shore chicken farms now has the opportunity to supply the state with environmentally friendly electricity from litter.
Those seeking to provide the manure-generated power must be:
  • able to generate up to 10 megawatts,
  • connected to the regional electricity grid,
  • able to generate electricity by December 31, 2015 and
  • able to submit bids by November 30.

Chicken meat demand strongest at grocery level

Akshay Jagdale, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said that the demand for chicken meat is at its weakest levels in the restaurant and food industries, and at its strongest levels in grocery stores, the Washington Post reported. 
Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer at Sanderson Farms Inc., said that consumers are not eating out as much with high gas prices and poor economic conditions, which has meant less demand for the company's chicken at restaurants it supplies. According to Pilgrim's spokeswoman Margaret McDonald, demand for the company's chicken is not as weak at grocery stores as it is in restaurants, but it remains difficult for the company to build further at grocers due to high consumer chicken prices.
Jagdale anticipates that breast meat supply will need to be cut significantly in order for prices to rise in the restaurant and foodservice sector. However, he predicts retail chicken prices will likely remain high at grocery stores because demand is stronger here.

US broiler eggs, chicks down first week in October

Commercial hatcheries in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 19-State weekly program set 186 million eggs in incubators during the week ending October 8, 2011, according to the latest USDA report.
This was down 7% from the eggs set the corresponding week in 2010. Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 85%. Broiler growers in the program placed 150 million chicks for meat production during the same week. Placements were down 8% from the comparable week in 2010. Cumulative placements from January 2, 2011 through October 8, 2011 were 6.70 billion, down 2% from the same period in 2010.
For more poultry statistics, please visit

Agriculture groups support Congress passing free trade agreements

The American Meat Institute, the American Feed Industry Association and the National Corn Growers Association announced their approval of the recent U.S. free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, with the expectation that the FTAs will have a positive impact on domestic agriculture.
“Congress’ passage of long-stalled free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia is a major victory for America’s agricultural sector, our meat and poultry industry and our economy,” said J. Patrick Boyle, AMI president and CEO.
NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said it has been frustrating to see other nations achieve access to markets over U.S. corn and corn products and that he is pleased to see action was taken on Panama, as well and Korea and Colombia.
“Our farmers and ranchers are ready to level the playing field by creating American products on American soil,” said AFIA president and CEO Joel G. Newman said.
It is estimated that full implementation of the Korean, Colombian and Panamanian FTAs would represent an additional $2.3 billion in exports and create approximately 29,500 jobs in the U.S.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pig industry professionals study global demand, profitability at Alltech seminar

A recent Alltech Pig Solutions Seminar focused on performance versus profit as pig industry professionals looked at global population growth, a change in demand and the challenges of meeting that demand while continuing to do business.
“A change of focus is required,” said Patrick Charlton, Alltech’s European regional director. “Seventy percent of the growth in global meat demand will come from Asia. Who will produce this meat? Europe has held its ground in terms of technical development and ability, but Brazil and the U.S. continue to have the lowest cost of production. It’s time for all regions to find the performance-profit balance to be able to provide for this new population dynamic and keep pork as the number one global animal protein.”
Of the 110 industry professionals surveyed at the seminar:
  • 80% believe that 30 pigs weaned per sow per year is realistic.
  • Opinions were divided over whether the carbon footprint of pork will become increasingly important over the next decade, with 69% agreeing that it will be increasingly important and 20% disagreeing.
  • 88% of attendees agree that managing herd health is one of the industry’s biggest challenges.
  • In terms of programmed nutrition and metabolic imprinting, 23% think that it will impact greatly on feed efficiency alone and 44% think that it will impact greatly on feed efficiency, pig health and product quality.
  • Attendees were divided again on the issue of feed costs, with 57% agreeing that low feed costs are a thing of the past and 35% disagreeing with this statement.
  • 35% think that the recent contamination scares in China will result in more stringent regulations enforced on feed suppliers, animal producers and processors.
  • 29.5% also think that the contamination scare will make consumers more aware of potential contaminants within the food chain.

Rwanda launches poultry vaccination program against Newcastle disease

The Rwanda Agriculture Board, in conjunction with the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, has launched a vaccination program focusing on the eradication of previously neglected poultry diseases, such as Newcastle disease.
In the last five years, Newcastle disease has taken over 1.5 million birds in Rwanda, costing farmers there  US$13.6 million. Poultry farmers will now have their birds vaccinated against the disease in accordance with the program. "Apart from vaccinating, we shall also go down to grass root farmers to encourage and sensitize them on the best practices of poultry, as well as measures to be taken so as to increase on their profitability," said Dr. Vianney Otto Muhinda, director of veterinary services at the RAB.
The pilot project is starting out with 3 million doses of the vaccine and a target of 1.5 million farmers, but the government has plans to increase the scope of benefits, according to project planners

India poultry market growing 20% annually

India's domestic poultry sales are growing by 20% annually and are likely to reach over Rs 1.32 lakh crore by 2015, according to industry body the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.
Broiler meat and eggs in particular are high in demand and are fueling a market that sits at roughly Rs 49,000 crore currently, according to a study, "Trends in Domestic Poultry Segment," conducted by ASSOCHAM. “Driven by rising purchasing power, changing food habits, contract poultry farming and rapid urbanization are certain key reasons for this constant upswing in this niche poultry sector,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general D.S. Rawat.
Broiler meat and table eggs account for most of the domestic poultry market as India is the third-largest egg producer and fourth-largest broiler meat producer in the world. In addition, the Indian poultry sector has shifted from a live-bird market to a chilled/frozen-product market. Nearly three million metric tons of broiler meat and about 2.86 million metric tons of eggs are produced annually in India, said the ASSOCHAM study

Worldwatch finds meat production, consumption on the rise

Global meat production and meat consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades, affecting the environment and public health as well as the economy, according to research conducted by Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project.
Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20% in the last 10 years alone, according to the research.Worldwide, per capita meat consumption increased from 41.3 kilograms in 2009 to 41.9 kilograms in 2010. People in the developing world eat 32 kilograms of meat a year on average, compared to 80 kilograms per person in the industrial world. Demand for livestock products will nearly double in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, from 200 kilocalories per person per day in 2000 to some 400 kilocalories in 2050, according to the research. Findings name pork as the most widely consumed meat in the world, followed by poultry, beef and mutton. In the meat sector, poultry production is the fastest growing with a 4.7% rise in 2010 to 98 million tons. 

US free trade agreements may generate $772 million in new pig meat sales

The National Pork Producers Council has praised Congressional approval of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that may generate nearly $772 million in new pork sales when fully implemented.
The agreements will also add more than $11 to the price producers receive for each hog marketed and create more than 10,000 pork industry jobs, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes. “These trade agreements will be a boon for U.S. pork producers and for the U.S. economy and jobs,” said Doug Wolf, NPPC president. “Passage of these FTAs is one of the greatest victories ever for the U.S. pork industry.”
The U.S. pork industry was instrumental in getting the trade agreements approved, particularly the deal with South Korea. Last December when the U.S. and the Asian nation were at an impasse over trade in autos, the U.S. pork industry agreed to move back the effective date for when much of its exports enter Korea at a zero tariff rate. The NPPC led the agricultural community in support of the FTAs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

AFIA unveils redesigned website

The American Feed Industry Association unveiled its redesigned website,
The website serves as a prospective guide for industry buyers to allow them to search the database for products, services and companies in the feed industry. AFIA members are automatically listed in the website's database.

US pig meat production forecast up for 2011

Higher than expected third-quarter U.S. commercial hog slaughter has led to a revised higher pork production forecast for 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest world agricultural supply and demand estimates.
In the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, released on September 28, producers indicated they farrowed about 1% fewer sows in June–August and intended to keep farrowings near year-ago levels into early 2012. However, the number of pigs per litter continues to grow and is expected to support increased pig crops and supplies of slaughter hogs in 2012.
Pork imports are unchanged from September estimates, but the export forecast for 2012 is reduced slightly as expected increased production in several Asian markets may limit export opportunities later in the year. Hog prices are lowered for the last quarter of 2011 and into 2012 as hog supplies and slaughter are forecast higher.

US poultry production forecast up for 2011

The 2011 forecast of total poultry and red meat production has been raised, reflecting higher turkey, beef and pork production, but lower broiler production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest world agricultural supply and demand estimates.
Broiler production estimates have been reduced as lower egg sets point to a sharp reduction in later-year bird slaughter. However, continued relatively heavy bird weights have resulted in an increase in expected third-quarter production. Table egg production estimates have increased but have been partly offset by lower expected broiler hatching egg production. For 2012, broiler production has been reduced from September estimates, specifically in the first quarter, as broiler price forecasts have been weakened.
Broiler exports have been raised slightly for 2011, but remain the same for 2012.

Vietnam animal feed manufacturers face raw material shortage

A shortage of raw materials in Vietnam has led to domestic animal feed manufacturers depending on imports for up to 70% of their materials, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Vietnam businesses depend mainly on the U.S., India and Argentina for the imports of raw materials used to produce the country's animal feed. Domestic corn meets roughly 70% of Vietnam's demand, while the local soybean supply can satisfy only 5% to 10% of demand, according to the Ministry.
The Vietnam Animal Feed Association is suggesting that the government push the development of local raw materials. Currently, the country has 233 feed manufacturers, of which 50 are foreign-invested and 11 are joint-ventures. The remaining firms are domestic, but 60% of the market share is held by the foreign companies, according to the association

Pig meat products take increasing share of UK protein market

Cranswick, a sliced meat and sausage producer, said that pig meat products continue to gain an increased share of the UK retail protein market as evidenced by recent market data.
Both the versatility and the low price of pork relative to other proteins were key to this positive trend, with the growing popularity of pork products seen as a contributing factor to the increase in sales at Cranswick, according to a British Pig Executive report.
Underlying sales volume growth in the first quarter was 3% and in the second quarter was 7%, according to the report. The average volume growth across six months was 5%. Export sales grew strongly, with growth particularly strong in Far Eastern markets.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

UK supermarket chain to source more poultry, eggs locally

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has committed to doubling its sourcing of British food. Launched as part of the retailer’s new Sustainability Plan, the targets set also include a commitment to ensuring all meat, poultry, eggs, game and dairy produce will be sourced from suppliers who adhere to independent higher welfare standards.
“The commitment from Sainsbury’s to double its sourcing of British food should be commended; it is a bold and positive step for food and farming," said Tom Hind, director of corporate affairs with the farming industry body NFU. "It recognizes the high quality and standards of production and environmental protection that British farmers meet every day, those same standards that consumers increasingly expect in the food they buy.”
Hind also said it is important that the NFU scrutinizes the detail of the plan to ensure that the commitments have integrity and deliver sustainability for UK agriculture. "We want to ensure that commitments to driving efficiency, for example, work with farmers to offer longer-term relationships with stable and profitable prices,” said Hind. 

China corn production may fall short of consumption

China, the world’s second-biggest corn consumer, will not be able to produce enough corn to meet rising domestic demand even as farmers harvest a record corn crop, the U.S. Grains Council said after completing its fifteenth annual field tour.
Consumption may total 170.1 million metric tons, a record 6.7 billion bushels, in the year that began on October 1, according to Thomas C. Dorr, the Council’s president and CEO. However, according to Kevin Rempp, a member of the Council's Asian advisory team, China farmers may produce 166.6 million tons during the same period, an increase of 5.6% over the previous season — but not enough to eliminate China's need to import corn. Dorr said China may still need to import 5 million to 10 million tons from global suppliers before the end of 2012.
Farmers will harvest an average of 85.9 bushels of corn per acre from an estimated 76.35 million acres in the next year, up from an average yield of 84.7 bushels from 73.82 million acres, Rempp said after sampling fields in September with U.S. and Chinese grain traders, government officials and other council members.

Monsanto reports fourth quarter net loss of $112 million

Monsanto Co. reported a fiscal 2011 fourth-quarter net loss of $112 million and said that it must restate earnings for the last two years because of a federal investigation into its herbicide sales.
Monsanto was prompted to restate earnings from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009 through the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 after U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission findings that the company paid dealers of its Roundup Herbicide. Monsanto did not provide revenue or income comparisons to last year's fourth quarter because of the pending earnings revisions. Last year, the company reported a quarterly loss of $233 million, with $1.95 billion in revenue.
The company said the restatements could reduce its reported net income in the fiscal year 2009 by 5 cents per share to 10 cents per share. The impact on earnings for fiscal year 2010 could range from a loss of 2 cents per share to a gain of 3 cents per share.
For the fourth quarter of 2011, Monsanto said sales in its seeds and genomics division jumped 39% compared with 2010, to $1.4 billion. Corn seed sales rose 58% from 2010 to $671 million during the quarter. For the full fiscal year 2011, Monsanto reported net income of $1.61 billion, or $2.96 a share, on $11.82 billion in revenue. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

JSR’s 22nd Technical Conference preparing pig producers for ‘Next Agricultural Revolution’

JSR Genetics director Dr Grant Walling – “We need to share our knowledge and expertise.”
In spite of consistent technological advances and a confident belief that pig production is well placed to meet the challenge of increasing global demands, there remain many unknowns that the pork production sector must still try to address.
This message emerged from the 22nd Annual Technical Conference arranged by JSR Farms, “The Next Agricultural Revolution” – and it left delegates with plenty of food for thought.

Known, unknown issues
Speaking at a briefing before the event at Nottingham University’s Sutton Bonnington Campus in England, Lord Christopher Haskins, former rural adviser to Tony’ Blair’s government and non-executive director of JSR Farms, adapted a quote from Donald Rumsfeld, former US secretary of Defence, when he said that there were the known knowns (things we know about), known unknowns (things we know we don’t know) and unknown unknowns – and predicted they would all have a bearing on agriculture and how it evolved.
Of the known issues, the pig sector understands the increasing demand for food and that new technology will continue to advance and increase efficiency to help meet these challenges.
Climate change and agricultural reform are known unknowns, commented Lord Haskins. “These are happening, but as yet we’re uncertain of the outcome.”
Of the unknown unknowns, Lord Haskins listed global conflict, natural disasters and a breakdown of animal health. There was also the question of sustainability.

Canada’s pig crisis
Opening the conference, Lee Whittington, president and CEO of Canada’s Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatchewan, commented that outside influences were the key reasons for Canada’s pig industry crisis.
Following 25 years of significant growth, Canada’s pig sector was battered by global recession, the loss of a substantial export market and legislation governing environmental issues, green energy and country-of-origin labeling.
In 2007, the Canadian pig industry accounted for less than 2% of world pork production, but provided 20% of world pork exports at 1.03 million tonnes. Today it is a very different story.
The Canadian pig industry also lost about 20% of its sow herd since 2006 and that has quashed investment in trade and research.
“However, what we knew then and still know today is that Canada remains one of the most efficient places to produce pig meat in the world,” said Whittington. “We have the infrastructure, the technology and capacity for growth and the flexibility to adapt to change going forward. What we didn’t know was how politics and foreign exchange rates could affect our industry and they have had a very negative impact on our whole industry.”
A significant “unknown” was the effect of U.S. country-of-origin labeling, COOL, legislation on Canada’s weaner market. The industry had established a significant export trade for 7kg pigs, which fuelled massive expansion.
Lee Whittington, president and CEO of Canada’s Prairie Swine Centre – “Canada remains one of the most efficient places to produce pig meat in the world.”

“These pigs were shipped as 7kg piglets to Midwest farms, fed on American corn, reared by American producers, and processed by American packers. They were a valuable product for us and the U.S. pig sector, but once COOL came in they were devalued and this coupled with falling currency rates meant the trade just collapsed,” said Whittington.

Pig feeding strategies
Coming in from another angle, Mick Hazzeldine, of Premier Nutrition, commented that although science has enabled nutritionists to fine-tune pig feeding strategies, they still need to be innovative with formulations and reevaluate nutritional densities.
“We know cost is our main concern, but it’s not the only consideration. These days’ formulations are more specific and defined and nutritionists need a far greater understanding of the raw materials they are using in diets,” said Hazzeldine.
“The energy value of wheat is between 55% and 60%, barley is around 20%, but what are the effects of fiber, hard and soft varieties, starch, viscosity and the rye gene? There is still a lot we don’t fully understand.”
The type of raw materials used in animal feed has also changed significantly as a result of increased competition from the human food sector and price sensitivity. Change also is being driven by the escalating cost of fats, which could mean a switch to lower nutrient density diets in the future.

Global pork production trends
Finishing on a positive note, Dr Grant Walling, director of JSR Genetics, commented that global pork production appeares to be in a fortunate position. It would have to increase output by 110% during the next 40 years to meet increasing demand, according to the UK government’s “Foresight Report” on the future of food and farming.
Although this sounds ideal, in reality most of this pork would not come from the current high-output Western pig industries, but from the large pig populations now developing in growing agricultural economies, such as China, Brazil and some African states.
Dr Walling said that to satisfy increased demand, Western pig production would need 55.7 pigs weaned per sow a year by 2050 – clearly an impossibility.
“We cannot carry on doing what we are doing. There are too many constraints – biological, environmental and legislative. Instead, we will have to invest our technology in these new industries and share our knowledge and expertise,” said Dr Walling.
“If countries like China, Russia and Brazil could achieve UK performance they could collectively increase output by at least 60%. On global scale that represents a 32.3% increase in world pork supplies, a significant contribution,” he added.
Biotechnology also has the ability to advance agriculture in developing nations at a far swifter pace that it has in the West, mainly because there is less resistance to novel technologies such as cloning and genetic modification.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

See poultry panel presentations from National Chicken Council conference

NCC Industry Outlook Panel for 2012: Don Jackson, Bill Andersen, Mike Helgeson, Mark Kaminsky and Clint Rivers.
At the National Chicken Council 57th Annual Conference October 5, in Washington, D.C., a panel of senior executives from U.S. chicken processing companies gave an overall optimistic outlook for the industry, addressing current agricultural, public affairs, legislative, regulatory, political, economic and world trade issues.
This valuable presentation from the NCC Industry Outlook Panel is available as a series of six videos. Simply login or signup as a user on to access the videos, click on the links below and catch all that happened at the industry panel discussion. This video presentation is sponsored by: Pfizer Animal Health Global Poultry
Part 1: Assessment of chicken industry economics
Discussion of how to characterize the year 2011, and the condition of the chicken industry.
Part 2: Poultry companies' international competition, customer channels
Discussion of international competition for US poultry companies, which customer channel has been hardest by the economic downturn and introducing new products to the market.
Part 3: Chicken industry profit forecast and capital expenditures
Discussion of potential capital expenditures, profitability forecasts and economic cycles in the poultry industry.
Part 4: Will beef companies enter the chicken industry? . . . and more
Discussion of whether beef companies will enter the chicken business, good news for the chicken industry in 2012, relations with Russia and retailer margins.
Part 5: Prices of competing proteins, broiler weights, external factors
Discussion of the price of competing proteins, such as chicken and beef, broiler weights and external factors potentially driving the future of the industry.
Part 6: Risks: Grain price volatility, poultry product recalls and adjusting supply
Discussion of volatility in grain prices, poultry product recalls and adjusting supply in the chicken industry.
Don Jackson, president and CEO, JBS USA, moderated the discussion, and the panelists included:
  • Bill Andersen, senior vice president, Keystone Foods
  • Mike Helgeson, CEO, GNP Company
  • Mark Kaminsky, COO and CFO, Koch Foods
  • Clint Rivers, senior vice president, Operations, Perdue Farms

India broiler prices rising on short supplies

India's live broiler prices have reached Rs 53 (US$1.08) per kilogram, up from last week's Rs 47 (US$0.96) per kilogram, on short supplies after experiencing a lull due to seasonal uncertainties, according to reports.
Prices of layers and eggs have remained steady at Rs 40 (US$0.81) per kilogram and Rs 2.61 (US$0.05) each, respectively. “Broiler prices declined [in September] because of the austere/festive season resulting in poor offtake," said an industry source. "Most of the poultry farms were running in half their capacity; and due to shortage of birds, prices are likely to go up gradually.” Poultry feed prices have remained stable, at Rs 19,600 (US$398.86) per metric ton.

Cargill revamps turkey processing plant in wake of recall

Cargill's Springdale, Ark., ground turkey production facility, shut down after a September recall involving potential Salmonella Heidelberg contamination, is being reviewed and refitted with what the company is calling the most advanced testing and monitoring system in the poultry industry.
Cargill is considering a high-pressure process that kills any bacteria on the meat, already used on the company's ground beef products. It may also start vaccinating its turkeys against certain Salmonella strains. Cargill has already taken apart and steam-cleaned all its equipment and added additional bacterial washes to its existing processes. Its Salmonella testing frequency has been increased ten-fold. According to Mike Martin, Cargill's director of communications, Cargill hopes that when the facility opens again, the changes made will set a new standard for meat processing safety. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

EFSA completes first stage in modernizing pig meat inspections

The European Food Safety Authority has completed the first stage of a major piece of work that will provide the scientific basis for the modernization of meat and pig meat inspection across the EU.
In May 2010, the European Commission asked the EFSA to deliver a series of scientific opinions on public health hazards — biological and chemical — to be addressed by meat inspection. The EFSA also was requested to provide a summary of comparable data on specific food-borne hazards in the Member States that would enable risk managers to adapt meat inspection procedures to national requirements.
As well as identifying and ranking the main risks for public health, scientific experts were asked to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current inspection methodology; recommend methods that take into account the hazards not addressed by current meat inspection; and recommend adaptations of methods and/or frequency of inspections based on the hazard rankings and harmonized epidemiological indicators.
In the area of biological hazards, food-borne hazards Salmonella, Yersinia enterocolitica, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella were identified as priority targets in the inspection of pig meat at the abattoir level, due to their prevalence and impact on human health. It was concluded that current inspection methods do not enable the early detection of the first three of these hazards and do not differentiate food safety aspects from meat quality aspects, prevention of animal diseases or occupational hazards.
The main recommendations on biological hazards are to:
  • Omit the use of palpation and/or incision techniques in post-mortem inspection of pigs subject to routine slaughter because of the risk of bacterial cross-contamination.
  • Introduce a comprehensive pork carcass safety assurance framework, combining a range of preventive measures applied on-farm and at-abattoir in an integrated way as this is the only means to ensure an effective control of the main hazards.
  • Collect and analyze food chain information (FCI) at herd and abattoir levels to enable a more location-specific assessment of risk.
In the area of animal health and welfare, it was noted that the abolition of palpation and/or incision would lead to a reduction in detection of some diseases but that in cases where several organs are affected, this effect was likely to be minimal. To mitigate the reduced detection probability of the proposed modified system, experts recommend that palpation and/or incision should be conducted as a follow-up to a visual inspection showing abnormalities.
The necessity of meat inspection, both ante- and post-mortem — as shown in the 2001 UK Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak — in the overall surveillance system for pig health and welfare, was also highlighted. However, the experts recognized that surveillance information is currently underutilized. In the area of contaminants, dioxins, dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls and the antibiotic chloramphenicol were identified as chemical substances of high potential concern in pork, based on pre-defined criteria. However, it was concluded that chemical substances at the concentrations found in swine meat are unlikely to pose an immediate or short-term health risk for consumers.
The experts recommend:
  • The development of risk-based sampling strategies that differentiate between farms producing pigs under conditions of fully implemented HACCP-based protocols and with complete FCI, and farms with less stringent quality control procedures.
  • The encouragement of ad hoc amendments to sampling plans to take account of emerging substances in the food chain.
  • The inclusion of ante- and post-mortem inspection criteria to identify illicit use of substances and encourage analysis at farm level.
The EFSA also proposed harmonized epidemiological indicators for food-borne hazards that are covered by existing meat inspection procedures as well as the highlighted biological hazards. The indicators would be particularly useful in the context of the proposed pork carcass safety assurance framework, enabling the categorization of farms, herds and slaughterhouses according to risk as well as the setting of targets for final chilled carcasses. They would also help risk managers in the European Commission and Member States to decide whether adaptations in inspection methods may be relevant.
The five remaining sets of opinions and reports will cover poultry, bovine animals over six weeks old, bovine animals under six weeks old, domestic sheep and goats, farmed game and domestic solipeds. Harmonized epidemiological indicators relate to the number of cases in a given group at a given time (prevalence) or the likelihood of being exposed to (incidence) a hazard at a certain stage of the food chain that correlates to a human health risk caused by the hazard. 

Australia poultry producer to invest in $24 million farm

Australia poultry producer Pro-Ten Holdings is investing $24 million in a 24-shed farm in response to demand from customer Baiada Poultry, which is expanding its own processing and facilities in the area.
Once built, the farm will be capable of holding 1.5 million chickens, according to Pro-Ten. It's the largest project the company's taken on, and the completed project will create 10 jobs in the area. The farm will take roughly a year to build, according to the company. "We're hoping to have earthworks underway this side of Christmas, end of November," said Pro-Ten CEO Daniel Bryant. "Hopefully we'll have the first four sheds in operation by May 2012, with the whole site completed by April 2013."

TOPIGS introduces nutritional feeding advice for sows

After several years of investigation, research and validation the Dutch-based TOPIGS nutritional team has introduced a new feeding advice specifically for their genetics.
The international genetics supplier now provides specific feeding advice for its TOPIGS 20 and TOPIGS 40 lines, as it had become clear that the two lines had different nutritional requirements, according to the company. In the new feeding advice, separate nutritional requirements are given for primiparous and multiparous sows. Sows can be fed more precisely and in line with their needs. TOPIGS has also developed two separate manuals for the corn – soybean and wheat – barley-orientated markets.
“Nowadays, highly productive sows have different nutritional needs compared with sows a few years ago, so sow feeding guidelines need to be continuously updated,” said a company representative. With the new feeding advice for lactating sows, sows before insemination and sows during gestation, farmers now have better tools for achieving maximum production and for realizing more of the high genetic potential of the TOPIGS sow, he said.
With a production of 1.1 million crossbred gilts and 7 million doses of semen per year, TOPIGS is one of the biggest genetics suppliers in the world.  

Kuwait lifts poultry import ban on Russia, Missouri

Kuwait has lifted its ban on imported poultry from Russia and the U.S. state of Missouri, placed after the birds in those regions were found to have tested positive for avian flu.
The announcement was made after the World Health Organisation officially cleared the two areas of H5N1, according to Kuwait's Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources. The ban also extended to hunting and pet birds, and was put in place to protect the local bird population and public health, said representatives for the PAAAFR.

UK Pig Veterinary Society meeting focuses on PCV2

PCV2 will feature prominently on the agenda at the UK Pig Veterinary Society’s autumn meeting England on November 16 and 17.
In a session sponsored by Merial Animal Health on the first day of the conference, two industry experts will present different aspects of PCV2. Dr. Kenneth McCullough, head of research at Switzerland’s Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis, will talk about the impact of PCV2 in the immune system. He will explain how it impairs the immune response of the pigs and why early protection is essential to the protection of the pigs. Thais Vila, technical director for EMEA for swine products at Merial Animal Health, will talk about PCV2 vaccination. She will explain how it can now be used to provide protection in piglets, gilts and sows — providing full control and flexibility to prevent losses from service to slaughter.
“Since its identification in the 1990s, PCV2 has been shown to have significant health and economic effects on pigs around the world," said Brian Rice, veterinary adviser at Merial. "Estimates indicate that it may have cost the European pig industry alone anything up to £468 million, or €562 million, per annum. PCV2 and the diseases that it causes remain a very real threat. Furthermore, recent research has established that PCV2 has a significant effect on sow reproduction, adding to the economic effect of the disease."
According to Rice, the sessions will help delegates improve their understanding of PCV2 and its effect on the immune system, as well as the treatment options open to them. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Brazil pig meat producers coping with Russian restrictions

Over the first nine months of this year, the volume of Brazil’s pig meat exports fell by 5.32% compared to 2010; however, the value of sales rose by 5.53% to US$1.06 billion.
Despite Russia’s restrictions on Brazil’s pig meat exports, the country remains the main overseas purchaser of Brazilian pig meat. The Ukraine, Hong Kong and Argentina, however, have continued to grow in importance as markets for Brazilian producers, helping to offset reduced Russian demand. “Despite Brazil exporting very little to Russia, overseas sales were not so bad in September, with 41,393 tons shipped with a value of US$113.74 million,” said Pedro de Camargo Neto, president of the pig producers and exporters association, ABIPECS.

Ceva acquires Canada poultry vaccine manufacturer

Ceva Sante Animale has acquired Canadian poultry vaccine manufacturer Vetech Laboratories Inc.
According to Ceva CEO Marc Prikazsky, the move allows the company to expand its poultry vaccine range from respiratory to include intestinal health.
“Bringing the Immucox products into the Ceva portfolio demonstrates our continued commitment to the poultry industry,” said Craig Wallace, director of Ceva’s North American operations. “Poultry protein is an important food source around the world. Protecting the global supply of high-quality poultry meat and eggs to the growing population is critical, and it’s why Ceva continues to dedicate resources to poultry vaccination technology.”
Production of Immucox will remain primarily in Canada. The company plans to deploy certain technologies in the U.S. with this specific virus strain.

Brazil egg production rises 3% in first half 2011

Brazilian egg production over the first six months of 2011 rose by 3.1%, reported IBGE, the country’s geography and statistics institute. The second quarter saw the highest rate of increase, 3.7% in comparison with the same period in 2010, registering 633.4 million dozen.
For the period April-June, the state of Sao Paulo was the country’s main egg producer, accounting for a little under 29% of the total, while Minas Gerais held second position with almost 12%. In comparison with 2010, particularly strong growth in egg production occurred in Mato Gross, where output rose by roughly 29%.
IBGE’s second-quarter egg survey comprised 1,545 respondents.

US corn stocks down, soybeans up from 2010 numbers

Old crop corn stocks on September 1 totaled 1.13 billion bushels, down 34% from the same time in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Of the total corn stocks, 315 million bushels are stored on farms, down 35% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 813 million bushels, are down 33% from a year ago. The June-August 2011 indicated disappearance is 2.54 billion bushels, compared with 2.60 billion bushels during the same period in 2010.
Old crop soybeans stored on September 1 totaled 215 million bushels, up 42% from 2010. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 48.5 million bushels, up 37% from the same time in 2010. Off-farm stocks, at 166 million bushels, are up 44% from last September. Indicated disappearance for June-August 2011 totaled 405 million bushels, down 4% from the same period in 2010.

US poultry, egg industry groups support trade agreements

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers issued a joint statement supporting the decision to send three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress for approval. The groups say the U.S. poultry and egg industries have strongly supported these negotiations since they concluded more than four years ago.
The three FTAs could generate almost $1.4 billion in additional U.S. poultry and egg exports annually, say the groups. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture calculations, the industry’s current annual exports of nearly $4.4 billion support more than 50,400 U.S. jobs, and every additional 1 billion dollars in U.S. poultry and egg exports could mean 11,525 American jobs throughout the economy.
The U.S.-Korea FTA would improve market access for U.S. poultry and egg exports to South Korea, mostly by duty reduction and elimination. The U.S.-Colombia FTA would cut duties, eliminate variable duties and give the U.S. a 27,040-metric ton tariff rate quota at zero duty with 4% annual growth for chicken leg quarters. The U.S.-Panama FTA would eliminate duties on some poultry products within five years and establishes a preferential duty-free TRQ for chicken leg quarters that starts at 660 metric tons and grows each year by a 10% compound rate.

Brazil second quarter poultry, pig slaughter numbers break records

The number of poultry slaughtered in Brazil during the second quarter of 2011 broke records for the second time, reports the IBGE, the country’s geography and statistics institute.
At 1.31 billion head, the figure was 6% higher than that recorded in the second quarter of 2010 and 0.2% higher than the first quarter of 2011. Over the first six months, the total number of poultry slaughtered rose by 5.8% in comparison with the same period the year before.
Total carcass weight during the second quarter reached 1.852 million tons, 6.8% higher than in the second quarter of 2010 and 2.7% higher than in the first quarter of 2011. According to IBGE, 421 respondents took part in the second quarter poultry slaughter survey, four fewer than in the previous period. Brazil’s three southern states continue to be ranked among the main players for poultry slaughter, accounting for 58.6% of the total volume slaughtered. The southeast was ranked second, accounting for 23%.
The number of poultry slaughtered in the south remained practically unchanged across the first two quarters. However, while numbers were lower in the state of Parana, they were higher in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
Of the 74 million additional head of poultry slaughtered during the second quarter, when compared to the second quarter of 2010, almost half were slaughtered in the states of Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina.

Pig production sharing in success
The slaughter of pigs in Brazil during the second quarter of 2011 reached the highest level since IBGE started collecting data in 1997. The second quarter saw the number of pigs slaughtered reach 8.6 million, an increase of 5.3% when compared with the first quarter of the year. Compared with the corresponding quarter in 2010, the increase was 6.7%. For the first six months, the number of animals slaughtered rose by 5.8% when compared to the first half of 2010.
Total carcass weight reached 824,200 tons, 3.7% higher than the previous quarter and 7.3% higher than in the corresponding 2010 period.
This most recent swine slaughter survey comprised 878 respondents during the second quarter. The southern region of the country accounted for 65.8% of the total number of pigs slaughtered nationwide, with Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul accounting for 26.2% and 21.4%, respectively, and Parana for 18.2%.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Institute for feed research receives Vita Plus donation

Vita Plus Corporation donated $75,000 to the Institute for Feed Education & Research, a charitable foundation seeking to sustain the future of food and feed production through education and research.
Vita Plus will be recognized for its contribution during a breakfast reception at the 2011 World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Here, IFEEDER corporate secretary, Richard Sellers, will present a plaque to Bob Tramburg, CEO of Vita Plus. Sellers will also give an update on current and future IFEEDER projects, including funding for Salmonella research and educational materials for children. “Without pledges, IFEEDER would not be the success that it is in just two short years, already making a difference through a number of research donations," said Sellers. “IFEEDER is very grateful for Vita Plus’ support.”

US Grains Council supports free trade agreement passage

The U.S. Grains Council applauded the U.S. administration in its renewed push for the passage of three pending bilateral trade agreements, including Colombia, Korea and Panama.
According to estimates, the three FTAs will result in an additional $2.5 billion in sales and lead to the creation of more than 20,000 jobs. Lack of ratification has led to loss of U.S. exports and market share, as a number of foreign competitors have aggressively pursued favorable trade deals that place U.S. exporters at a competitive disadvantage, USGC says. “We are encouraged by the Administration’s submission of the long-standing free trade agreements for ratification by Congress,” said Dr. Wendell Shauman, USGC chairman. “Passage of these agreements will help to immediately level the playing field and allow organizations like the Council to aggressively re-engage with our international partners and win back lost market share.
“The three trade agreements are critical components of U.S. competitiveness in the international marketplace. Once ratified, they will offer immediate duty-free or preferential treatment for U.S. coarse grains exports of and most U.S. agricultural commodities," said Shauman. "This will not only benefit U.S. producers, but will also enhance each country’s ability to meet the needs of its growing middle class for high-quality protein products at low cost to consumers."

Iowa Farm Bureau study assesses farmland flooding losses

Flooding along the Missouri River in 2011 is estimated to have caused at least $207 million in damages to crops and related economic activities in six western Iowa counties that border the river, according to a recently released study commissioned by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
The study analyzed the direct and indirect economic impacts from crop losses due to flooded fields in six Iowa counties, as well as lost wages and other impacts that would not occur because of lost crop income, said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. The study also factored in seed, fertilizer and other input costs that farmers had already invested in their 2011 corn and soybean crops before the damage to the fields. Potential crop insurance indemnity payments that farmers will receive and payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Revenue Assistance payments program were also taken into account.
The study found that Iowa's Fremont County suffered the highest losses at an estimated $52.2 million, including $43.9 million in direct crop income loss and $8.3 million indirect losses from the damaged fields. “This study shows the repercussions of the lost cropland and economic activity in these counties,” said Miller. “On a business level, farmers won’t be purchasing machines or inputs such as fertilizer for land. But there is also a household effect with reduced expenditures in those counties.”

Pakistan poultry meat consumption up 239% from 2000

Pakistan's poultry meat consumption has grown by 239% since 1999/2000, from 322 million tons to 767 million tons in 2010/2011, according to experts.
These numbers equate to just 0.7% of global poultry production, but represent an infrastructure exceeding Rs300 billion (US$3.41 billion) and an annual commercial turnover of Rs40 billion (US$454.5 million). Pakistan has a total of 105 hatcheries that produce 820 million broiler chicks annually, as well as the capacity for the production of 8.69 billion commercial eggs and 3.74 million rural eggs.
Numbers are growing, but according to Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit, there is a need to increase poultry production further to become more competitive in the global market.

Brasil Foods buys stake in Argentina poultry suppliers

Poultry exporter Brasil Foods has bought the controlling stake of Argentina food group Danica and has acquired a share in Argentina poultry producer and exporter Avex.
The value of the deal includes a project to expand both Avex's and Danica's production units, as well as their distribution capacity, according to BRF. "This decision represents a unique create a big exporting basis in Argentina," said BRF President Jose Antonio Fay. BRF's acquisitions totaled roughly $150 million.