Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Poultry Federation members donate to Arkansas Foodbank

    Member companies of The Poultry Federation donated 4,300 cartons of eggs and various chicken and turkey products totaling 48,000 pounds to the Arkansas Foodbank. The donation, according to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, will help the organization in its mission to reduce hunger through a unified effort to provide hunger relief, education and advocacy. “These groups and many state agencies, businesses, faith groups, federal organizations and individuals have responded to the needs of many low-income families by finding ways to help them access healthy, affordable food," said Joyce Hardy, director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. "This very generous donation from members of The Poultry Federation helps us move closer to our goal to end childhood hunger in Arkansas by 2015." Companies donating food included Butterball LLC, Cal-Maine Foods Inc., Cargill Inc., George’s Inc., Keith Smith Co., O.K. Industries Inc., Peco Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Corp., Simmons Foods Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and Wayne Farms LLC.

Vietnam reports success on avian influenza vaccine trials

    The first and second phases of testing the Vietnam experimental H5N1 vaccine on human volunteers have been successful, according to researchers at Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1. All volunteers injected with the vaccine, Fluvax, reported suffering only minor side effects which went away within 24 hours. The trial version has met all criteria the World Health Organization lists for developing the human vaccine, which Vietnam researchers began studying in 2005. Producing the vaccine domestically, according to the country, will make Vietnam more active in preventing the virus from spreading.

Brazil broiler production to grow 3 percent in 2012

    Brazil's broiler production is estimated to grow by 3 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service's latest report. This number is revised down from an initial forecast of 5 percent growth. Production estimated at 13.3 million metric tons, reflecting the current view of industry leaders given the world economic uncertainties derived from the European Union financial crisis and its impact on Brazilian broiler export markets. In addition, production growth has slowed due to an overvalued Brazilian currency and restrictions from trade partners. Another important factor is a slowdown in the rate of growth of domestic consumption combined with higher costs of production due to higher corn prices, according to the report. Total 2011 broiler production was revised to 12.8 million metric tons, 4.5 percent higher than 2010, to show new data obtained from the industry. Brazil's domestic consumption of broiler meat in 2012 is projected to increase by 3 percent to 9.9 million metric tons, which is below the initial forecast of 10.1 million metric tons. This estimate reflects continuing increases in disposable income of Brazilian consumers, according to the report. Broiler meat still remains the most affordable to lower-income consumers compared to beef and pork. However, high debt-to-income ratios among Brazilian consumers have been reported as a growing concern among trade contacts. This situation could inhibit further increases in consumption.

China to produce country's first genetically modified corn in 2013

    Origin Agritech Ltd. said it expects to commercially produce China's first genetically modified corn strain in 2013, pending government approval, according to company chairman Han Gengchen. Once approved, the U.S.-listed, Beijing-based company expects the acreage for the corn to account for 10 percent of China's total corn acreage within 10 years. "We have bred the gene on local hybrid seeds which are popularly used and generate high yields," said Gengchen. "The safety approval process (for seed use) would be faster and likely be this year and we will start production next year." The genetically modified corn can help pigs digest more phosphorus, enhancing growth and reducing pollution from animal waste. China is already the world's largest importer of genetically modified soybeans, with annual imports accounting for roughly 60 percent of globally traded soybeans.

Jakarta gains poultry slaughtering houses for avian influenza control

    Jakarta's Marine and Agriculture Department plans to build poultry slaughtering facilities in five city markets in an effort to minimize the spread of the avian influenza virus, as well as provide extra convenience for traders, according to reports. The five markets are Sukapura Market (North Jakarta), Perumnas Klender Market and Ciracas Market (East Jakarta), Cempakaputih Market (Central Jakarta), and Grogol Market (West Jakarta). Officials are also preparing four additional slaughterhouses outside the city. “So, relocation can be done from 200 collecting places and 2,000 slaughtering houses to [the new facilities] that we have prepared," said Dzawil Hidjah, head of the livestock division of the Marine and Agriculture Department. "This is also to ease monitoring toward poultry which will be slaughtered and consumed by residents.” Jakarta's Health Ministry has also trained 14,000 people from the community health center to handle avian flu in an effort to control potential outbreaks. There have been seven cases in poultry and five in humans in North Jakarta between 2005 and 2012.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

India egg exports, demand up in February

    After a short drop, India's egg exports and demand are on the rise for February, as are profits as prices increase on good domestic offtake coupled with a cut in output, according to P Selvaraj, chairman of the National Egg Coordination Committee. The country is shipping considerable containers of eggs to Afghanistan, said Selvaraj, but domestic demand is seeing a steady rise, as well. On February 1, egg prices were at Rs 2.47 (US$0.05) per piece, and on February 22 they were at Rs 2.80 (US$0.06). The Committee has decided to raise the price further, to Rs 2.84 per piece. “Now that the austere seasons are over, the demand for poultry products has risen," said Selvaraj. "Average daily production of eggs fell by [1.5 million] a day. Namakkal produced around [30.7 million] eggs in January this year.” The price of layer birds is also witnessing a rise, with the National Egg Coordination Committee increasing the rate by Rs 2 (US$0.04)/kg to Rs 35 (US$0.71), while the Broiler Coordination Committee's rates for cull birds is down by Rs 9 (US$0.09)/kg to Rs 46 (US$0.94).

Monday, February 27, 2012

UK pig farmers facing drought conditions

    Farmers in the UK’s “pig belt,” which stretches across the east of England, are facing drought conditions following two dry winters and little prospect of rain in the near future, according to reports. Declaring a state of drought earlier in the year than ever before, UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has urged pig farmers to take action to reduce their consumption of water while ensuring their animals have enough. “Drought is already an issue this year with the South East, Anglia and other parts of the UK now officially in drought, and more areas are likely to be affected as we continue to experience a prolonged period of very low rainfall," said Spelman after speaking with farmers, water companies and wildlife groups about the drought. “It is not just the responsibility of government, water companies and businesses to act against drought. We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.” A spokesman for the British Pig Executive said that maintaining appropriate water supplies to pigs is a crucial part of pig husbandry and welfare. "Given the current concerns over droughts and lack of rainfall, producers are urged to remain vigilant and avoid waste,” said the spokesman. He also urged pig farmers to ensure their water troughs and drinker nipples were operating properly, especially on outdoor units, and where practically possible to conserve any rain water from buildings to reduce the demand on clean water supplies.

English pig producers take '2-tonne sow' challenge

    An increasing number of pig producers in England are stepping up to take the "2-tonne sow" finisher challenge, the aim of which is to encourage rearing herd producers to look closer at their performance records, use them as a management tool and then work on improving productivity. Any producer — from contract finisher or breeder to finish units — can join in and the level of involvement is up to the individual. Most producers so far have wanted to look at improving feeding systems and implement weighing strategies. But some simply want another pair of eyes to look at their figures and production systems to help them monitor general performance.  

EU countries report fall in pig numbers

    Eight European Union countries have reported falls in their pig herds between December 2010 and December 2011, according to reports. Poland, The Netherlands, Romania, Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, Slovenia and Malta, according to the British Pig Executive, have all reported drops in their numbers. Reports also say, however, that Germany, Denmark and Italy reported marginal increases, while several other EU states, including the United Kingdom, had yet to report their December 2011 census results. 

Britain preparing to implement new electronic pig movement system

    The new electronic pig movement system, Pigs Records, Identification and Movement Orders 2011, becomes compulsory for producers in England and Wales at the beginning of April. To be legal and comply with the new system, all pig movements must be reported by pig producers through the eAML2 system, either by producers setting up the movement themselves online, or by contacting the eAML2 Bureau Service. The current carbon copy AML2 paper form will no longer be a valid form of pig movement reporting beginning on April 1. “Pig keepers do not need to worry if they have not got a computer or Internet access,” said Dorothea Schiemann of the British Pig Executive. “They can contact the Bureau Service by telephone, fax or post and they will set up the online movement on pig keepers’ behalf. There will also be third party providers, such as the British Pig Association or marketing groups. Keepers without a computer will need to keep a printed-out paper copy of the haulier summary for their records. Abattoirs without computer access may also use the [Food Standards Agency] official veterinarian to confirm movements have been completed on their behalf.” The British Pig Executive believes that the service will ensure that the industry knows exactly where all the pigs are more or less instantaneously because the central database will be updated constantly, which will be invaluable in the event of any disease outbreaks. See for more information and to register for the service. 

Brazil poultry company enters student work placement agreement

    Brazilian company União Avícola, part of Brasil Foods, has entered an agreement with the two teaching organizations Pirâmide de Tangará da Serra and the Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso, allowing their students to participate in work placements on the company’s production line. The students will be able to put into practice what they have learned in their programs of study, increasing their poultry knowledge and technical abilities, which should increase their chances of securing work once they enter the employment market, the company says. The placements will be monitored by staff within União Avícola and evaluated by the two teaching organizations. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

US, Canada hogs up 1 percent for December 2011

    U.S. and Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs for December 2011 was 78 million head, up 1 percent from December 2010 and 2 percent from December 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. The breeding inventory, at 7.11 million head, was up slightly from 2010 numbers and up slightly from July–September 2011. Market hog inventory, at 70.8 million head, was up 2 percent from 2010 but down 1 percent from 2011's third quarter. The pig crop, at 36.4 million head, was up 2 percent from 2010 and up 3 percent from 2009. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 3.61 million head, up 1 percent from 2010 numbers but down 1 percent from 2009. U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2011 was 65.9 million head. This was up 2 percent from December 1, 2010, but down 1 percent from September 1, 2011. The breeding inventory, at 5.8 million head, was up slightly from 2010 numbers but down slightly from the third quarter of 2011. Market hog inventory, at 60.1 million head, was up 2 percent from 2010, but down 1 percent from July–September 2011. The pig crop, at 29 million head, was up 2 percent from 2010 and up 3 percent from 2009. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 2.89 million head, up slightly from 2010 but down 1 percent from 2009. Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs on January 1, 2012 was 12 million head. This was up 1 percent from January 1, 2011 and up 2 percent from January 1, 2010. The breeding inventory, at 1.31 million head, was unchanged from 2010 and up slightly from 2011's third quarter. Market hog inventory, at 10.7 million head, was up 1 percent from 2010 numbers and up slightly from the third quarter of 2011. The pig crop, at 7.4 million head, was up 4 percent from 2011 and up 3 percent from 2010. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 720,000 head, up 1 percent from 2011 but down 1 percent from 2010.

Indonesia reports third 2012 avian influenza death

    A 19-year-old Indonesian woman has died of avian influenza, the country's third death in 2012, according to health ministry reports. She died of the H5N1 virus on February 13 after being treated in a hospital in Tanggerang town on the outskirts of Jakarta. She first felt symptoms of the disease five days earlier and was treated in the hospital the day before she died. It is still unknown how the woman contracted the virus.

US to produce 6.6 billion dozen table eggs in 2012

    U.S. table egg production is expected to increase slightly (0.5 percent) in 2012, reaching 6.64 billion dozen, up from 6.61 billion dozen in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Production increases are expected to occur in all four quarters, but most of the total increase is expected in the first half of 2012. The production growth is expected to come from small increases in the number of hens in the table egg flock, with relatively little change in the rate of eggs produced per bird. The number of birds in the table egg flock was down in four of the last six months of 2011, but the flock is expected to average above year-earlier levels through the first several months of 2012 as strong prices encourage production, according to the USDA's report. Higher egg production is also expected to be supported by higher prices for most livestock and poultry products. Hatching egg production for 2012 is forecast at 1.04 billion dozen, down 1.7 percent from 2011. The decline in production of hatching eggs reflects the expected decline in broiler production. The reduction in production is expected to mirror changes in broiler output, with production down on a year-over-year basis in the first three quarters and increasing in the fourth quarter of 2012. For more information and egg statistics, visit  

US turkey exports highest ever in fourth quarter 2011

    The 2011 fourth-quarter U.S. turkey exports were the largest ever recorded in a single quarter, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Turkey exports totaled 199 million pounds, up 14 percent from 2010's fourth-quarter numbers. This increase is attributed partly to a strong demand for turkey meat from importing countries such as Mexico and Hong Kong, according to the USDA. In comparison with the fourth quarter of 2010, exports to Hong Kong rose by 51 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and shipments to Mexico increased 21 percent over the same time period. While China continues to be the second-largest turkey market for the U.S., its fourth-quarter turkey imports dropped 24 percent from 2010 fourth quarter numbers. Turkey shipments totaled 71 million pounds in December 2011, up about 18 percent from 2010. The increase in turkey shipments recorded for December 2011 was stimulated mainly by strong shipments to Mexico, Hong Kong and minor markets, said the USDA. Mexico and Hong Kong both imported over 13.5 million pounds more in December 2011 than they did in 2010. 

Thailand, EU set processed poultry import quotas

    Thailand and the European Union have completed negotiations on the allocation of processed poultry EU import quotas, according to Thailand's Commerce Ministry, setting the overall quota at 30,810 metric tons for six categories of poultry. Thailand will receive a quota of 16,100 metric tons of processed chicken, levied a 10.9 percent duty. The processed duck quota stands at 14,700 metric tons, also at a 10.9 percent tariff. Raw duck received a 10-metric-ton quota. The total quota also includes raw and cooked ready-to-eat products that have chicken or duck as an ingredient, according to the Ministry. Import negotiations took two years. The new system is expected to be implemented by July 1.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

South Dakota corn crop grew $1 billion in 2011

    South Dakota's corn crop grew in worth by $1 billion in 2011, reaching $3.953 billion (an average of $6.05 per bushel) and outstripping both 2010's $2.899 billion ($5.09 per bushel) and 2009's $2.282 billion ($3.23 per bushel), according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Overall, the state is on par with a national trend: the value of the nation's corn crop rose from $46.734 billion in 2009 to $76.464 billion in 2011, and the average per-bushel price increased from $3.55 to $6.20. South Dakota farmers say they are using their profits to pay down debt and increase their working capital. In addition, current projected numbers point to corn being more profitable than soybeans in 2012, leading some farmers to plant successive corn crops, rather than rotating to soybeans — if the weather allows for it. An early, dry spring would let farmers plant sooner, but if planting is delayed, corn's yield potential declines more rapidly than that of soybeans, according to Keith Alverson, secretary-treasurer of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and board member of the National Corn Growers Association. If, however, spring allows a typical planting schedule, "guys will lean toward corn," said Alverson.

France calls for suspension of Monsanto genetically modified corn

    France has asked the European Commission to suspend authorization to plant Monsanto's genetically modified MON810 corn, the only genetically modified corn approved for planting in the European Union, according to reports. France banned the growing of MON810 corn in 2008, citing environmental risks, but the ban was overturned by France's Council of State in November 2011. According to the French government, the authorization should be suspended due to "significant risks for the environment" shown in recent scientific studies.

Pigeon pea to be studied as potential livestock forage

    The pigeon pea, a subtropical, drought-resistant legume grown worldwide as a food staple, may have multiple U.S. applications, according to researchers at Texas A&M University, who received a $200,000 Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant to study the crop. Possible uses include as a forage for livestock, a garden crop, or edible landscape ornamental. "For the purposes of the grant, we wanted to look at pigeon pea as a forage for livestock producers," said John Sloan, a soil scientist and associate professor with Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. "One of the main purposes of the study was to determine if cattle would graze pigeon pea or ignore it in favor of grasses. We found that pigeon pea does well drilled no-till into Bermuda grass pastures. It grows slowly so it won't outcompete the grass, and cattle will graze on it just fine. They don't discriminate," said Sloan. However, the study's results suggested that this was not the best way for farmers to utilize pigeon pea as a forage crop. "Without some sort of soil preparation, the uneven surface of most pastures will prevent proper functioning of the no-till planter and result in loss of seed and an inadequate population stand," said Sloan. "Next, the area where the pigeon pea is planted will have to be protected from grazing cattle until the plants have reached an adequate size. If allowed to graze the area immediately after planting, the pigeon pea plants will probably not survive beyond the first trifoliate leaf stage." Sloan said that a better way to use pigeon pea as a forage is to plant it after wheat harvest in July and then graze cattle on it when it matures to its flowering stage in September or October.

Vietnam testing avian influenza vaccine

    Vietnam, which has been working on an avian influenza vaccine since 2005, has announced plans to begin clinical trials later in 2012, according to reports. The country's priorities are to stop the spread of the bird flu epidemic, protect citizens' health and reduce poultry losses, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat. The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology is currently testing the effectiveness of an advanced experimental version of the vaccine. It will send the results of the clinical trials to the ministry of public health.

Poultry processor Case Farms finalizes purchase of Ohio producer

    Ohio-based poultry processor Case Farms has purchased the assets of Ohio-based poultry producer Park Farms, including a processing plant and hatchery. All facilities formerly owned by Park Farms will be restarted the week of March 19, following a shutdown to retool the processing plant for new products to be produced at the facilities. Previously, Park Farms announced in December 2011 that it would lay off approximately 225 employees in February 2012. Case Farms has reached an agreement with Cleveland-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880, giving all hourly employees who were formerly unionized with Park Farms the option to retain employment under Case Farms. Case Farms’ purchase of the Park Farms' assets will provide job opportunities and economic investment in the local community, according to the company. Case Farms has said it intends to grow the business considerably in the future.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Korea corn imports may grow in 2012 on livestock recovery

    South Korea's 2012 corn imports may increase to 6 million metric tons as the country's livestock numbers recover from 2010–2011's foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, according to the Korea Feed Association.  The number would beat 2011's 5.72 million metric tons and join a likely 8.3-percent increase by South Korea's wheat imports, which may reach 2.5 million metric tons. The domestic pig herd is expected to gain to 9 million by September, from 8.17 million at the end of 2011, according to the Korea Rural Economic Institute. “The hog industry is on a recovery path,” said Korea Feed Association director for grain purchasing Kim Chi Young. “Feed output is likely to gain this year, although not rapidly, and therefore grain imports should increase a bit, too.” South Korea culled 3.32 million pigs, or 34 percent of the total herd, and 151,000 cattle, or 4.5 percent of the total, from late November 2010 through April 2011 because of the animal disease, according to government data.

Broiler producer Suguna to expand in south India

    Broiler producer Suguna Poultry is partnering with franchise consultant Francorp International to expand in south India by opening new Suguna Daily Fressh outlets, according to reports. The company hopes to open 500 outlets by the end of 2012 in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. "Daily Fressh is an innovative venture of Suguna in the franchised retailing of poultry and meat products [that provides options] in all forms, such as fresh meat, frozen meat, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meat products, with allied products such as spice mixes and herbs," said P. Rajan Mathews, business head of Suguna. "Daily Fressh will create a new shopping experience for the poultry and meat lovers nearest to their home and create clean surroundings inside the cities." Suguna's processing plant has recently been certified as an ISO 20000:2005 company for poultry processing.

Pilgrim's reports fourth quarter loss of $85.4 million due to grain volatility

    Pilgrim's reported a net loss of $85.4 million for its fourth quarter 2011, ending a challenging year for the company that included extreme grain volatility and increased cost inputs, according to Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's CEO. The company also saw an overburden of finished goods inventories and overproduction in the first half of the year and weak chicken prices relative to costs throughout all of 2011. But Pilgrim's changed its operating model, focusing on a strategy and management realignment as well as growth of value-added exports. "This transformation brings forth a goal of more effective working capital management, an improved cost structure and a more profitable sales mix," said Lovette. "Pilgrim's has also changed its pricing strategy, creating less dependence on one-year fixed price contracts and [creating something] more reflective of markets."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sanderson Farms reports 2011 net loss despite record sales

    Sanderson Farms reported a net loss of $127.1 million for the 2011 fiscal year (ending October 31, 2011), in spite of reporting record net sales of $1.978 billion, according to the company's year-end financial report. "Our profitability was affected by the global economic environment and difficult market conditions for our industry," said Sanderson Farms. "Costs for our feed ingredients, which were already higher than historical averages in the previous year, accelerated through the year. In addition, consumers remained cautious in a still uncertain economy, which continues to negatively affect demand for our products sold to food service customers and restaurants." The company processed 2.8 billion pounds of dressed poultry in 2011, compared with 2.6 billion pounds in 2010. However, the average sales price for poultry was down 4 percent while the average cost per pound was up 20 percent. For the year, Sanderson Farms paid over $335.8 million more for feed grain compared with fiscal 2010, and the company's feed costs per pound of chicken sold were up by 10.6 cents, 38.8 percent.

American Soybean Association expresses concerns over EU export market

    The American Soybean Association submitted formal comments to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk expressing concerns over the state of both soybean export quantity and value to the EU, saying that the EU’s policies on biotech soybeans, as well as "inaccurate characterization of biodiesel by the Renewable Energy Directive," have contributed to a 70 percent drop in total soybean export quantity and a 44 percent decrease in soybean export value to the EU over the last 14 years. "America’s soybean producers have lost a significant portion of what was a viable and thriving export market," said association President Steve Wellman. "Now, with a Renewable Energy Directive that omits biodiesel based on inaccurate information and arbitrary standards, the remainder of that export market is threatened." In its comments, the American Soybean Association points out that multiple EU policies hinder the importation and use of biotech crops from the U.S., including delays in approvals of new biotech traits, despite positive assessments by the European Food Safety Authority; commercially infeasible requirements on biotech content in food products under EU Traceability and Labeling Regulations; state-by-state restrictions on biotech imports; and application of National Seed Catalog and Coexistence requirements to planting of biotech crops by certain EU member states. With regard to biodiesel, the association contends that the Renewable Energy Directive will impose inaccurate greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements for biodiesel produced from American soybean oil and other feedstocks; and will require compliance with arbitrary, unwarranted and commercially infeasible sustainability certification requirements. "Soybeans and soy-based products are the country’s leading agricultural export, topping $26 billion in total value last year," said Wellman. "We are certainly encouraged by efforts to expand trading relationships and grow new trading partners, but not at the expense of our industry’s global competitiveness. Any discussions on a potential trade agreement with the EU must first address and resolve these barriers."

Intestinal Health Scientific Interest Group to hold poultry symposium

    The Intestinal Health Scientific Interest Group will hold its first international symposium, "Intestinal Health Management in Tomorrow's Poultry Industry," on March 28–29 in Ghent, Belgium. The event will focus on intestinal health issues in poultry, highlighting the group's interest in opening discussions with the scientific community, consultants and poultry veterinarians aiming to promote health and welfare in poultry production. The objective, according to the group, is to provide insights in the pathogenesis of the intestinal health problems, to provide tools to diagnose intestinal health problems for which antibiotic usage is either or not justified, and to provide information on alternatives to antibiotics used according to best practice to promote intestinal health in animals. Registration is open until March 6 and can be confirmed by sending an email to The event is being sponsored by Kemin Industries Inc. and Ghent University's Food 2 Know Center of Excellence.

US turkey poults hatched, placed up in January

    U.S. turkey poults hatched during January totaled 24.3 million, up 1 percent from January 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Poults hatched were down 2 percent from the December 2011 total of 24.7 million poults. The 23.6 million net poults placed during January were up 5 percent from the number placed during the same month in 2011. Net placements were down 1 percent from the December 2011 total of 23.8 million. Turkey eggs in incubators on February 1 in the U.S. totaled 28.6 million, up 1 percent from February 1, 2011. Eggs in incubators were up 1 percent from the January 1 total of 28.3 million eggs.

Brazil contests import duty fees set by South Africa

    Brazil's poultry association, Ubabef, is threatening to lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization over import duty fees imposed by the South African Revenue Service to limit poultry dumping, according to reports. The products currently under investigation, whole chicken and boneless cuts, represent less than 3 percent of the total chicken consumption in South Africa, said Marilia Martins, an Ubabef official. South Africa's International Trade Administration Commission recently released a report that said chicken products from Brazil were sold in South Africa at margins between 40 percent and 60 percent lower than they would retail in Brazil.

Monday, February 20, 2012

US poultry, egg exports hit records in 2011

      U.S. exports of table eggs and egg products (in shell-egg equivalents) since 1990. Source: USDA/FAS GATS database.
    U.S. poultry and egg exports reached record highs in 2011, with a combined export value of $5.1 billion, a 17 percent increase over 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. Total U.S. poultry exports were more than 3.9 million metric tons (a record value of $4.91 billion), up 6 percent from 2010 and the second-highest ever behind only 2008 numbers. Broiler meat and turkey exports both reached record numbers, at 3.2 million metric tons and 319,015 metric tons, respectively. Broiler numbers were up 3 percent from 2010, while turkey was up 21 percent, according to Foreign Agriculture Service data. U.S. egg exports in 2011 hit 220.5 million dozen, up 7 percent from 2010 and the second-highest on record. These exports came to a value of $194.7 million, up 12 percent, a new record high. Although U.S. broiler meat shipments in 2011 to several key markets, Russia, Ukraine and Cuba included, were down significantly, increased exports to other destinations, such as Hong Kong, Korea, Iraq, Mexico, Angola and Canada, helped to drive the overall increase. Shipments to Hong Kong increased 20 percent to 234,769 metric tons, while exports to Korea jumped 54 percent to 108,154 metric tons. Exports to Mexico rose by 4 percent to 457,574 metric tons, while shipments to Canada climbed 12 percent to 142,039 metric tons. Exports to Angola reached 164,007 metric tons, up 11 percent, while shipments to Iraq were 144,983 metric tons, up 15 percent. Turkey exports to Mexico, the top market for U.S. turkey, climbed to 180,996 metric tons, up 24 percent. Other key markets include China, 37,588 metric tons, up 12 percent; Hong Kong, 17,194 metric tons, up 53 percent; and Canada, 10,280 metric tons, up 7 percent. Of the total U.S. turkey meat exports, 79 percent went to the top five markets, with shipments to Mexico alone accounting for 57 percent. For table eggs, exports in 2011 were 82.8 million dozen valued at $77 million, up 12 percent and 28 percent, respectively, thanks largely to increased shipments to Hong Kong and Japan. Export value reached an all-time high. Of total shipments, 86 percent were shipped to the top five export markets — Hong Kong, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Netherlands Antilles. Export value of U.S. processed egg products in 2011 set a record at $117.7 million, up 4 percent from 2010. Shipments to Japan, the top export market for U.S. egg products, rose by 55 percent to $62.3 million, accounting for 53 percent of the total global export value. Export value to the EU declined by 40 percent to $20.405 million, while export value to Canada decreased 20 percent to $8.164 million. Export value to the top five markets totaled accounted for 84 percent of the total.

US pig meat exports hit record high in 2011

    Total U.S pig meat exports for 2011 came in at 5.2 billion pounds, 23 percent above 2010 totals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Exports to China which saw 328 percent growth over 2010 (668 million pounds exported compared to 156 million pounds), was the main contributing factor, said the USDA. Chinese purchases of U.S. pork were a means used by China to tame pork price inflation which came about largely as a consequence of the Chinese pork sector’s ongoing problems in controlling various lethal swine diseases. It is possible that the incidence of such diseases as foot-and-mouth disease and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome will recede as Chinese pork production shifts from its current model, characterized by millions of small “backyard” operations, to a smaller number of larger, integrated, production units with stringent biosecurity and herd health programs in place. Until then, according to the USDA, it is likely that large pork exporters as the U.S., Canada, the EU and Brazil will function as “safety valves” for China, implying the continued possibility of high volume and price volatility as exporters adjust to the Chinese presence — or absence — in international markets. Japan was the main importer of U.S. pig meat, receiving 1.48 billion pounds in 2011, up from 1.284 billion pounds in 2010. Mexico was second, just ahead of China, with 1.038 billion pounds (slightly up from 2010's 1.037 billion pounds). Canada, South Korea, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Honduras rounded out the top ten 2011 exporters.

British pig industry recruits TV star for Bacon Connoisseurs' Week

    The British pig industry has recruited Angela Rippon, one of the country’s favorite TV news presenters, to help them encourage people to eat bacon and raise awareness of the range and quality of bacon produced in the country during what has been labeled “Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week.” Rippon, the first female to present the news on national television, will be championing the diverse range of premium cuts and cures of bacon produced throughout the UK through her support of this year’s Red, White & Bacon Awards on March 19–25. Four categories, including the "Rasher-nal Treasure" awards, will be open to entry and regional butchers, supermarkets and branded bacon producers will be invited to showcase their finest bacons in the competition. It is hoped this promotion will lead to long-term benefits for the industry by boosting the number of people eating British bacon and other pig meat products. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ontario hog production up in 2011, producers down

    In 2011, 1,700 Ontario pig meat producers marketed 4.8 million hogs, up 6 percent from 2010 numbers, according to Ontario Pork's 2011 Pork Industry Profile. The industry is doing more with less, however, as producer numbers have continually declined, down over 90 percent from the highest number of more than 200 producers in 1979. There are fewer than half as many pork producers now as there were 10 years ago, according to the report, but Ontario's pork industry contributed $5.6 billion from "farm to fork" to the provincial economy in 2011. The total value of sales for market hogs in 2011 was $814.2 million, up $151.1 million (22.8 percent) from 2010 numbers. Ontario’s share of the North American hog market was 3.2 percent in 2011. The province exported approximately 700,000 pigs weighing less than 50 kg to the U.S. in 2011. From January to December 2011, Canada imported 205.2 million kg of pork, up 11.9 percent from 2010. From January to October, the country exported 944.3 million kg of pork, up 3.4 percent from 2010. The U.S. and Japan are Ontario's major pork export markets, with 27 percent going to the U.S. and 19 percent to Japan. Russia, South Korea and China rounded out the top five export markets in 2011.

USPOULTRY Foundation completes Enterococcal Spondylitis research

    The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the USPOULTRY Foundation have completed a funded research project at North Carolina State University on the development of Enterococcal Spondylitis and methods to re-create it in a laboratory, which will aid in the development of therapeutic and preventative control measures for this emerging disease. Enterococcal Spondylitis is a disease of broiler breeders, isolated in flocks in North Carolina, which causes significant mortality, according to the research. Enterococcus cecorum has been found in spinal abscesses of infected flocks, and similar sporadic spinal abscesses can be caused by other bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Objectives of the study were:
    • to develop an experimental model for Enterococcal Spondylitis using E. cecorum, with and without coccidia challenge, to study possible risk factors (e.g., nutrition, infectious agents, genetics and management practices)
    • to examine the role of coccidia infection
    • to determine the development (pathogenesis) of Enterococcal Spondylitis
    Enterococcal Spondylitis caused by E. cecorum was experimentally reproduced under controlled laboratory conditions. However, the disease was observed in only one of 16 birds when challenged with both E. cecorum and coccidia. This research will aid in development of therapeutic and preventative control measures for this emerging disease, according to the researchers.

US broiler meat production to drop in 2012

    The outlook for U.S. broiler meat production in 2012 is for relatively sharp year-over-year declines during the first three quarters followed by an increase in the fourth quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. The estimate for 2012 broiler meat production was reduced from December 2011 predictions by 400 million pounds to 36.1 billion pounds, down 3 percent from 2011. Most of the reduction is the result of lower expectations for broiler weights. The combination of lower numbers of chicks being placed for growout and expected lower weights is the major factor in the reduced production estimate. Broiler product demand is also expected to be influenced by any improvement in the domestic economy and if unemployment rates decline; however, any expansion of broiler production will continue to be influenced by the outlook for feed costs, according to the USDA. For December 2011, broiler meat production was reported at 2.9 billion pounds, down 10 percent from 2010 numbers. The number of birds slaughtered decreased year-over-year by 9 percent and, additionally, the average liveweight at slaughter fell to 5.78 pounds, down 1 percent from December 2010. Broiler meat production in the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled 8.9 billion pounds, down 6.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010. The decrease was again due to both a decrease in the number of broilers being slaughtered (down 6 percent) and a decrease in the average liveweight at slaughter (down 0.7 percent). The average liveweight per bird at slaughter in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 5.83 pounds. The fourth quarter was the only quarter where the average weight was less than 2010 numbers. For more poultry information and statistics, see  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

China reduced ethanol growth means increased distiller's grain imports

    China's five-year plan to reduce its domestic production of grain-based ethanol will result in tighter supplies of dried distiller's grain for animal feed and an increased demand for imports of the byproduct through 2016, according to the U.S. Grains Council. Imports of dried distiller's grains from the U.S. to China may rise to 6 million metric tons in the next four years, almost double the 3.1 million metric tons imported in the 2009-2010 marketing year. Imported U.S. feed will make up 42 percent of China's consumption, according to Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. 

Feed company Ridley sees net profit second quarter 2012

    Livestock feed company Ridley Inc. saw a net profit of $4 million in the second fiscal quarter of 2012, down from 2011's $4.9 million, according to the company's latest financial report. Increased raw material prices were largely responsible for the drop in profits. Ridley's Canadian feed operations and U.S. feed operations were both down from 2011 numbers, coming in at $200,000 and $1.8 million as opposed to $800,000 and $2.4 million, respectively, for the quarter. Net earnings for the first six months of fiscal 2012 are at $4.7 million, compared to $6.6 million in 2011.

Taiwan expresses concerns over ractopamine in US meat imports

    Taiwan academics, civic groups and representatives of various meat organizations are expressing concerns over the presence of the feed additive ractopamine in U.S. meat imports, according to reports, saying the government should be cautious about allowing products containing the drug. At a public hearing, opponents said the use of ractopamine would bring additional and unnecessary risk to food safety, and that more tests need to be conducted. “Despite available data showing that the effect of ractopamine on the human body is relatively low, why do we need the additional risk when we can exclude the drug from our food?” said Chou Chin-cheng, dean of National Taiwan University's School of Veterinary Medicine. One possibility is selling U.S. meat products only at American wholesale stores, such as Costco, said Huang Kuo-ching, deputy director-general of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine. Another is to gain access to import ractopamine-free meat products from the U.S., as the EU does, where the drug is banned.

Brasil Foods to expand in China poultry, pork markets

    Brasil Foods SA has signed a joint venture agreement with Hong Kong distributor Dah Chong Hong Holdings Ltd. to expand its distribution of chilled poultry, pork and beef products and grow its presence in the China markets. The new venture aims to sell more than 140,000 metric tons of food in its first year and 300,000 metric tons in five years, according to Donald Yip, Dah Chong chief executive. China currently contributes to roughly 10 percent of Brasil Foods' revenue. "Everybody wants to get into the Chinese market, but the point is how to do that," said Brasil Foods Chief Executive Jose Antonio do Prado Fay. "In China, the best way is through a joint venture. We need local support for this kind of operation." According to Fay, the plan is for China to eventually become the Brasil Foods' largest revenue contributor.

Nepal poultry demand down on bird flu fears

    Chicken sales are down in the Nepal districts of Udaypur and Khotang after bird flu was found in some poultry farms in the neighboring district of Sunsari, according to reports. No bird flu has been found in either Udaypur or Khotang, said the District Agriculture Development Offices of both areas. Demand for poultry has dropped up to 50 percent in some areas, according to farmers, and traders are suffering significant losses. "Fowl on my farm are ready for market, but I am not finding buyers because people are hesitant to consume poultry products," said Udaypur farmer Keshav Karki. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brasil Foods to incorporate frozen foods subsidiary Sadia

    Brasil Foods S.A. has decided to merge its wholly owned subsidiary, Sadia S.A., by the end of 2012, according to the company's management. Sadia is a chilled and frozen food producer specializing in protein-based products including chicken, turkey, pork and beef. According to Brasil Foods, the merger is part of a reorganization which started with the business combination between the two companies in 2009. Its main purpose is to accomplish the full integration of the two businesses, seeking to maximize synergies and to rationalize activities, with reductions in administrative and operating costs and increased productivity. The incorporation will result in estimated losses for Brasil Foods of R$215 million (US$124.9 million) in the fiscal year 2011. 

Venky's net profit drops 81 percent in third quarter

    Venky's India's third-quarter net profit dropped 81 percent year-on-year, to Rs 2.93 crore (US$593,768), due to over-production and rising input costs, according to the company. In the poultry and poultry products business, profit before interest and tax halved to Rs 8.76 crore (US$1.78 million), while over-production led to 10–15 percent lower realizations for the segment and raw material costs increased by 25 percent. The company's interest costs also more than tripled, to Rs 3.37 crore (US$682,935), as interest rates rose steadily over the year. According to the company, it has seen some pickup in the current January-through-March quarter.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

American Egg Board launches campaign to boost egg consumption

      The advertising features five print ads that will appear in more than 25 different magazine titles. Each ad features the egg demonstrating its benefits.
    In an effort to boost egg consumption for weekday breakfasts, the American Egg Board has announced the launch of its new national advertising campaign, "Wake Up to Eggs." The campaign includes magazine ads, online banners, radio spots and in-store signage. The advertising effort is the result of a thorough review of existing research by the American Egg Board, as well as qualitative and quantitative consumer studies to identify the best opportunities to increase demand. Weekday breakfast in American households, where less than one in five features eggs, was recognized as a key growth area. Consumer message testing found that the fact that eggs are lower in cholesterol and higher in vitamin D than previously thought was motivating and generated positive feelings about the healthfulness of eggs with consumers. The new marketing strategy aims to leverage "new news" to keep eggs top-of-mind and drive purchase. The impact of the "Wake up to Eggs" advertising campaign will be carefully measured by the American Egg Board, and the results will be used to strengthen efforts moving forward. For more information about the campaign, read: American Egg Board asks America to 'Wake up to Eggs' in 2012.

UK farming industry calls for supermarket adjudicator

    The UK’s National Farmers' Union has called on the government to bring forward a bill to establish a groceries code adjudicator to protect the interests of suppliers, producers and consumers. The country’s Groceries Supply Code of Practice came into force in February 2010, but no monitoring or enforcement body has been put in place. “The Coalition Government has committed to introducing an adjudicator and [in 2011] published a draft bill setting out its proposals," said National Farmers' Union head of government affairs Nick Von Westenholz. "The [National Farmers' Union] believes that, given the cross-party support for the adjudicator, and the fact that two select committees of [Parliament] have already examined the draft bill, there is no reason the formal bill can’t be introduced during the final months of the current Parliamentary session." The National Farmers' Union is calling for an adjudicator to be in place by the end of 2012.

Netherlands egg equipment provider takes over bankrupt company

    Egg processing equipment provider Moba has taken over the manufacturing activities of equipment manufacturer Coenraadts Machinefabriek bv, which went bankrupt on January 24. Moba’s first priority is to ensure professional service and availability of parts to the large customer base of Coenraadts, according to Moba. The experience and technology of the former Coenraadts company will further strengthen the egg processing activities of Moba.

Ukraine could increase 2012 poultry production by 5.8 percent

    Ukraine could increase its poultry production by 5.8 percent to 1.06 million metric tons in 2012, contributing to a 5.3 percent overall increase in the country’s meat production, according to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine. Domestic demand for poultry is also projected to go up, by 3.2 percent to 1.06 million metric tons, even as imports are expected to fall by 4.8 percent to 60,000 metric tons. Exports may rise by 24 percent, to 62,000 metric tons, according to the ministry. In 2011, Ukraine imported 63,000 metric tons of poultry and exported 50,000 metric tons.  

Industrias Bachoco profits down 93 percent in 2011

    Industrias Bachoco made 127.8 million pesos (US$10.06 million) in net profit in 2011, down 93.6 percent from 2010's 2.005 billion pesos (US$157.85 million), according to the company's latest financial report. Industrias Bachoco experienced large increases in production costs, driven by global increases in prices of corn, soybean meal and other components of production, according to the company. This, combined with challenging economic conditions and high depreciation of the Mexican peso at the end of 2011, led the company to post negative profit for the fourth quarter (-57.9 million pesos [US$4.56 million]) and weak results for 2011. "We were not able to fully transfer increases in our poultry production costs to our customers, mainly due to a strong supply of chicken coupled with weak demand for chicken during most of the year, and a 13 percent depreciation of the peso in 2011, resulting in a 2.9 percent negative operating margin for the quarter and 0.2 percent negative operating margin for 2011," said Rodolfo Ramos, CEO of Industrias Bachoco. "Nonetheless, we were able to reach a positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) result for the quarter and for the year, as well as posting a net profit in year 2011. We ended the year with a positive outlook for the company, with positive results in both our Mexican and U.S. operations registered in December." 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Europe pig producers congress to focus on Baltic region

    Pig production in Russia, Poland and the Baltic states will be put under the microscope at the annual congress of the European Pig Producers in Vilnius in Lithuania, Eastern Europe, at the end of May. Producers from across the continent are expected to attend the event, from May 30 to June 1, which will also consider the global overview for pork consumption, production and trade, as well as strategies against pig diseases. Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, Big Dutchman Pig Equipment and Topigs SNW, the meeting is expected to be of particular interest because of the venue on the borders of the European Union. “There are a couple of big issues that make this venue of particular interest — currency and African swine fever,” said a spokesman for the European Pig Producers. “Exports out of Europe with a weakened Euro, added to the predicted drop in production, could give quite a firm marketplace and if the wild boar population gets increasingly infected with [African swine fever] it might make the traffic in weaner pigs less of an option in the future." Delegates will also get an opportunity to visit typical pig farms and feeding plants near Vilnius to give them a practical look insight into pig farming in the region. 

UK pig producers, government discuss EU stall ban

    Working together was the key message to come out of a meeting between British pig producers and UK Farm Minister Jim Paice to discuss the forthcoming EU ban on stalls and tethers. The meeting, which also involved British Pig Executive director Mick Sloyan, Zoe Davies of the National Pig Association and Stewart Houston, who is chairman of both organizations, also highlighted several other upcoming industry measures. “While the focus of the meeting was definitely on the stalls ban, we reminded each other there were one or two other measures coming in at the same time," said Sloyan. "These include slat design, stocking rates for pregnant gilts and sows and overall floor areas. It was agreed the government would write to all registered pig producers reminding them of the changes.” The importance of maintaining regular dialogue with the European Commission to understand the process of ensuring compliance across the EU was also stressed. "There was a great deal of support all round and we hope this was the first of what will become regular meetings as we get closer to 2013, when the EU-wide ban comes into operation,” said Sloyan. 

San Miguel Foods expands with Topigs Philippines stock

    Swine, feed and poultry integrated operation San Miguel Foods Inc. has set up a new nucleus farm with the help of Topigs Philippines, which imported grandparent and parent breeding pigs from Canada to assist San Miguel in its expansion plans. The imported nucleus herd will be linked to Topigs' Pigbase, a database for pig breeding with data from over 23 million pigs. Topigs has been working with San Miguel for the past two years, supplying gilts and boars to meet the company's replacement requirements.

Poland poultry producer expanding into Asia

    Polish poultry producer Konspol is expanding into the Asian poultry market, having already invested in China and Indonesia and recently begun collaborations with companies in Japan, according to reports. Konspol has opened poultry factories in the Chinese and Indonesian markets as well as Argentina, according to the company. It is now working with Japanese firms that wish to break into the European market. 

Maple Leaf Foods to consolidate poultry operations

    Maple Leaf Foods has announced that it will consolidate its further processed poultry operations into its Brantford and Mississauga Ontario, Canada facilities, increasing efficiencies and providing opportunities for growth in the value-added chicken market. The company will transfer production from its 42,000-square-foot facility in Ayr, Ontario and close the plant in May 2012. Investments totaling approximately $6.5 million will be made in Mississauga and Brantford to support the production transfers. In addition, Maple Leaf Foods will incur approximately $5.6 million before taxes in restructuring costs, of which approximately $4.2 million are cash costs. The investment in the Mississauga facility will create approximately 75 new hourly and salaried positions at that facility. The closure of the Ayr plant will result in a net reduction of approximately 100 positions. The company is working with affected employees to assist them in finding employment either within Maple Leaf Foods or in the broader economy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Philippines January corn stocks down from December 2011

    The Philippines' corn stocks for January were down 6.2 percent from December 2011 numbers, to 166,100 metric tons as opposed to 177,100 metric tons, according to the country's latest reports. Of the January stocks, 104,200 metric tons were commercial and 61,700 metric tons were household. The country's rice stocks were also down, by 15.2 percent, according to the reports. January stocks came in at 2.62 million metric tons compared to December 2011's 3.1 million metric tons. Of the January stocks, 600,000 metric tons were commercial and 980,000 metric tons were household; 1.04 million metric tons were National Food Authority stocks.

US Grains Council offers online annual report

    The U.S. Grains Council has created an online version of its annual report, which includes retrospective stories from 2011, video highlights and market profiles from more than 25 countries and regions. An exclusive feature of the online report provides access to downloadable spreadsheets containing supply/demand data for the countries and regions that are provided on individual market profile pages. The pages also display market growth potential and highlights from Council programs in each country. “The U.S. Grains Council gathers and produces so much information on an annual basis, we felt an online annual report would be a great way to organize and share more information with more people,” said Rex Martin of Syngenta, leader of the Council’s Membership and Communications Advisory Team. “While a considerably smaller, printed annual report will still be available, members and others interested in Council activities will find the online report a valuable, ongoing resource.” The printed publication will be mailed to Council members, and a downloadable form of the printed publication is available on the report's website,

US farmers to plant largest crop since 1984

    U.S. farmers will plant the largest collective corn, soybean and wheat crop since 1984 in 2012, according to reports. The 226.9 million acres sown will be a 2.5 percent overall increase that includes the largest corn crop since World War II. Some crop prices reached record high averages in 2011 and sent net farm income up 28 percent to $100.9 billion, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This pushed the value of farmland to $2,350 an acre. “There is unlikely to be any ground that won’t be planted this year,” said Todd Wachtel, an Illinois farmer who plans to expand his corn fields by 21 percent. “Farmers know that they have to plant more when prices are high because they may not last.” Corn will be planted on 94.329 million acres of land, up 2.6 percent from 2011 and the most since 1944. Soybean fields may expand 0.4 percent to 75.309 million acres, the fifth-most ever. Wheat in the season that begins June 1 will reach a three-year high of 57.233 million acres, up 5.2 percent.

Brazil pig meat exports continue strong in January

    January saw Brazil’s exports of pig meat increase in volume by 8.47 percent and in value by 4.08 percent, compared with January 2011. The country shipped 37,756 tons of pig meat with a value of US$96.82 million. The average price of exports fell by 4.05% over the month, according to Abipecs, the Brazilian pig meat producers’ and exporters’ association. The first month of 2012 saw 37 percent of shipments go to Hong Kong, while Russia slipped back to sixth place in terms of importance, behind Hong Kong, Ukraine, Argentina, Angola and Singapore. January’s figures were also boosted by exports to China, which started in late 2011. Sales to Ukraine reached 5,140 tons during January, an increase of 473.43 percent by volume and 419.25 percent in value. To Hong Kong, shipments rose by 99.5 percent in volume and 122.48 percent in value, with Brazil exporting 13,900 tons of pig meat worth US$33.8 million. Despite achieving successes in many markets, the Russian market continued to be disappointing, with volumes down by 85.46 percent and the value of exports falling by 85.92 percent.

US judge to dismiss House of Raeford pollution case

    A U.S. federal judge plans to dismiss a two-year-old case against poultry processor House of Raeford Farms, which was charged with violating federal clean water laws by flushing turkey remains into a municipal sewage treatment plant in North Carolina. House of Raeford appealed the charges to the U.S. Supreme Court and was denied in October 2011, when the court refused to consider arguments that the company can't be prosecuted because it's already paid nearly $1 million in pollution fines and shouldn't be punished twice. Prosecutors have said they will seek re-indictment after the dismissal. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ukraine's AvangardCo increases 2011 egg production 34 percent

    Ukraine shell egg producer AvangardCo saw its total shell egg production come in at 5.955 billion pieces in 2011, up 34.7 percent from 2010's 4.42 billion, according to the company's latest financial report.
    This is partially due to the company's increased poultry flock; its laying hens increased to 20.5 million head from 2010's 18.7 million head (9.6 percent), while the overall flock increased to 25.1 million head from 24.3 million head (3.3 percent). AvangardCo also improved its efficiency at its existing farms and commissioned several new egg production facilities, according to the company. In the second half of 2011, the export market environment showed some improvement compared to the first half of 2011, with increased demand for shell eggs having a positive impact on both export and domestic prices. AvangardCo exported over 90 percent of its annual export volumes in the second half of 2011. The total export of shell eggs was 295 million pieces, an increase of 74.6 percent year-on-year. The most rapidly growing export markets were Iraq and the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, which accounted for approximately 60 percent and 38 percent of total exports, respectively. AvangardCo also opened up new export markets to geographies including Armenia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

Nepal plans to triple poultry business in 15 years

    Nepal's government has introduced a poultry policy that aims to triple the per-capita consumption and availability of chicken and eggs in the next 15 years by encouraging the commercialization of poultry in areas where necessary infrastructures are already in place, according to reports.
    Current average per-capita consumption of poultry meat and eggs stands at 9 kg and 120 pieces. "The long-awaited poultry policy has envisaged strategies including prioritizing the poultry sector for government support programs so as to encourage massive commercialization of this emerging sector that has already seen an investment of over Rs 30 billion (US$385.8 million),” said Dr. Til Chandra Bhattarai, Nepal poultry industry expert.
    The policy focuses on incentives such as interest subsidies, exceptions on customs duties and import taxes related to poultry equipment, and simplification of registration. Research and development of new breeds of chicken, promotion of local breeds in areas where infrastructure is still not in place and encouraging insurance against natural disasters are also part of the new policy. Nepal has also envisioned the grading, labeling and standardization of poultry meat and eggs. The government would extend financial and technical support to establish market centers and an Export Processing Zone for market promotion of poultry products. The policy has also underlined the need to encourage the private sector to set up slaughter houses and meat processing facilities. The policy provides for the establishment of a directive committee to develop the poultry sector on public private partnership and cooperative models.

Plasma can be effective pathogen killer on uncooked poultry

    A Drexel University study by food safety researchers has found that plasma can be an effective method for killing pathogens on uncooked poultry, reducing levels of bacteria in high concentrations and eliminating bacteria in low concentrations, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Food Protection.
    Past studies have already found that plasma, which is non-thermal and therefore does not cook or alter the way food looks, may successfully reduce pathogens on the surface of fruits and vegetables. In the Drexel study, raw chicken samples contaminated with Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni bacteria were treated with plasma. The treatment eliminated or nearly eliminated bacteria in low levels from skinless chicken breast and chicken skin and significantly reduced the level of bacteria when contamination levels were high, according to the data. Currently, plasma technology is expensive and not being developed for processing poultry on a large scale. If it becomes cost-effective for use in treating poultry, it may be used in conjunction with existing methods to reduce pathogens, said study lead author Brian Dirks, a graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, and it may also help prolong the shelf-life of raw chicken if it can be honed to remove more microorganisms responsible for spoilage.

China to support beef, mutton production

    China's Ministry of Agriculture has released a nationwide development plan for grain-saving animal husbandry through 2020. According to this plan, by 2020 the country's beef production must reach 7.4 million tons, its mutton production must reach 4.7 million tons and its milk production must reach 64 million tons. To achieve the set goals, the Chinese government will give more support to grain-saving husbandry by promoting pilot insurance and a subsidy program, and will reward regions productive in beef and mutton, according to reports.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

India culls 20,000 birds at state-run poultry farm

    A total of 20,000 chickens were culled at the Central Poultry Development Organization farm in the Indian state of Odisha after the Indian Veterinary Research Institute's High Security Animal Disease Laboratory confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus there, according to reports.
    The farm has a total of 29,000 birds, and the government also ordered the culling of any birds within a three-kilometer radius of the farm. So far 11,955 chicks and 8,045 adult birds have been culled, and officials estimate that 48,000 birds could eventually be culled. The bird flu alert has led to a sharp drop in the sale and consumption of chicken and other poultry products in the city.

UK initiative studies environmental impact of broiler, egg production

    The UK is beginning an in-depth study on the environmental impact of various broiler and egg production systems in a project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' LINK program, the Scottish government and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland.
    As part of a multi-partner project looking at how the poultry sector can produce food while having less of an impact on the environment, researchers will be exploring possibilities such as a change in diet, animal husbandry and new technologies. “This exciting project will provide invaluable information to the industry on how it can reduce its impact on the environment, something that is of increasing importance to consumers as we strive to produce tasty, high-quality affordable protein for a growing global population," said Nigel Joice, vice chairman of the National Farmers' Union poultry board and member of the project steering group said. “One of the key outputs from the project will be the development of a user-friendly calculation tool to allow poultry farmers to estimate their environmental impact and model how this would change with adjustments to their husbandry or system.”
    The project has been using computer modeling to look at the environmental impacts of the sector, from beginning to end, known as Lifecycle Assessment. The first stage of the project analyzed both broiler meat and egg performance across a range of production systems. The second stage is underway and is looking at possibilities for reducing the environmental impacts of production.
    Partners in the three-year project are Newcastle, Cranfield and Nottingham Universities, Moy Park, O’Kane Poultry, Noble Foods, Aviagen, Harbro, DSM, Waitrose, the Soil Association and the National Farmers' Union.

Produmix announces winners of Focus on Piglets photo contest

      The first-place winner of the "Focus on Piglets" contest, "Retrato Escondido” (Hidden Portrait), by the Argentine photographer Mercedes Cotolí. 
    Produmix has announced the winners of its "Focus on Piglets" photo contest, which asked participants to focus on the world of swine in general and piglets in particular.
    The jury chose "Retrato Escondido” (Hidden Portrait), by the Argentine photographer Mercedes Cotolí, as the first-prize winning photo. The prize for the best photo captured by a professional of the pig sector went to "Juntos” (Together), by the veterinarian Alfonso Ferrer, form Zaragoza, Spain. Esther Gracia, also from Zaragoza, won the favor of the public expressed through popular votes on Facebook and on the contest’s website with her photo called "Nueva generación de ganaderos” (New generation of farmers). The jury wants to emphasize the extraordinary quality of the pictures sent by farmers, veterinarians, agronomists and other professionals.
    A traveling exhibition with selected photos that will tour the main pig-producing areas in different countries will be prepared in the coming months. In the meantime, the winning photos and contest finalists are displayed at

Vietnam reports second bird flu death in 2012

    Vietnam has reported its second death due to bird flu in 2012, according to the country's Ministry of Health's Preventative Medicine Department.
    A 26-year-old woman died on January 28, five days after she was admitted to the hospital and was found to have contracted H5N1 avian influenza. The victim's family said she had slaughtered sick poultry and eaten infected meat. Genetics analysis shows that the flu types in the two recent cases are similar to that of a poultry virus.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

South Africa poultry producers call for increased tariffs on Brazil chicken

    South African poultry producers are calling for an increased import duty on Brazilian chicken, by 3 rand (US$0.38) per kilogram, according to reports.
    Importers currently pay a 27 percent customs duty on whole chicken and 2.20 rand per kilogram on boneless cuts. The requested import duty increase would raise the price of whole, imported Brazil chickens by 29 percent and boneless cuts by 15 percent.

Tyson reports first quarter 2012 operating income, expects poultry production to drop from 2011 numbers

      Tyson Foods' operating income dropped in the first quarter of 2012, from $498 million during the same time in 2011.
    Tyson Foods has reported its operating income for the first quarter of 2012, coming in at $278 million compared to $498 million during the same time in 2011, according to the company's latest statement.
    Of that, $32 million, or 1.2 percent of sales, was from its chicken sector, $165 million (11.2 percent of sales) came from its pork sector and $31 million (0.9 percent of sales) was from its beef sector. Another $51 million, or 5.9 percent of sales, came from Tyson's prepared foods sector. For fiscal 2012, Tyson said it expects poultry industry production will decrease 4 percent from fiscal 2011, which should further gradually improve market pricing conditions. Current futures prices indicate higher feed costs in fiscal 2012 compared to fiscal 2011. "We expect to offset the increased feed costs with pricing and mix improvements as well as operational efficiencies expected to result in additional savings of $125 million in fiscal 2012," said the company. "Our chicken segment returned to profitability in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and we expect it to strengthen throughout the year."