Thursday, May 31, 2012

Modest growth for Brazilian poultry feed production in 2012

    Demand for broiler feed in Brazil is expected to rise by 3.1 percent in 2012, while that for layer feed is forecast to be a little under 3 percent higher, according to the Brazilian Feed Industry Association Sindirações.
    Broiler feed production accounted for 50 percent of total feed output in 2011; however, the first few months of 2012 have witnessed lower prices for birds and an oversupply of poultry meat, weakening demand for feed. Consequently, through the end of 2012, broiler feed output is expected to grow by a modest 3.1 percent to stand at 33.2 million metric tons.
    Similar results are expected for layer feed. While consumption of eggs on the home market continues to grow, egg exports have been dropping. By the end of 2012, layer feed production is forecast to stand at some 5.1 million tons, an increase of less than 3 percent.
    Overall, feed production across species is expected to end 2012 some 2.8 percent higher and stand at 66.2 million metric tons of feed and 2.58 million metric tons of mineral supplements. In 2011, output grew by 5.2 percent.

Alltech symposium 'great debate' discusses feeding 9 billion by 2050

    The 'Great Debate' held during the Alltech 28th Annual International Symposium focused on the challenges surrounding feeding a global population of 9 billion people by 2050.
    Presented in front of nearly 3,000 delegates from 72 countries and 42 U.S. states, the topics debated were: Feeding 9 billion people; Is Africa the new Brazil? What are the implications of the African land grab? What’s next for biofuels? Other topics included: Water — the fight for natural resources; protecting the rainforests; educating urbanites about agriculture; dealing with groups hostile to agriculture; solutions to obesity; organic labels; malnutrition; what ‘Local’ really means; what does the future hold for the four year-olds of today’s world.
    Tom Arnold, CEO, of Concern Worldwide; Sean Rickard, senior lecturer in business economics, Cranfield University, United Kingdom; Dr. Marcus Vinicius Pratini de Moraes, former Minister of Agriculture and Food Supply of Brazil; and Tom Dorr, CEO of the U.S. Grains Council in Washington DC, each took to the stage to discuss their ideas on what the future of agriculture and food supply will look like.
    Experts at the debate all agreed that the agricultural industry is here to stay, and that demand for its output will continue to grow. “Modern agriculture needs to continue to embrace technology, innovation and place an emphasis on education," said Alltech Vice President Aidan Connolly. "We must recognize that we are going to face critical issues, particularly with regard to water shortages, and focus on the need for transparency.”

International standards on beef cattle welfare adopted, poultry next?

    New generic guiding principles on animal welfare relating to livestock production systems and a new chapter on cattle bred for meat production were adopted at the World Organisation for Animal Health's 80th general session in late May.
    “In 2011, the delegates of the OIE did not reach a consensus on a text for the animal welfare of broiler chickens, and this year’s consensus on livestock is a huge step forward," said World Organisation for Animal Health General Director Dr. Bernard Vallat. "This is a historical event that opens the way to the adoption of animal welfare standards of other farm animal production.”
    The organization published the first international standards on the welfare of animals in 2005, addressing the transport of animals by land, sea and air, slaughter of animals for consumption and killing of animals for disease control, and then on the welfare of laboratory animals and stray dog control. Other key decisions taken at the 80th general session included new texts on the responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in animals.

Virus discovery could offer poultry industry new antimicrobial

    In a search to find better ways of controlling viral enteric diseases in birds, U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have uncovered a number of previously unknown viruses in poultry using metagenomics.
    With this technique, Laszlo Zsak, research leader of the Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research Unit at the Agricultural Research Service's Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, in Athens, Ga., discovered a new virus that might have future antimicrobial applications.
    Zsak and Agricultural Research Service microbiologist Michael Day found a short DNA sequence of the virus, called “phiCA82,” and designed a technique to sequence the whole genome. Virus phiCA82 naturally kills bacteria and belongs to the group known as “microphages" or phages, which can potentially be used as an alternative to antibiotics and as tools to fight multi-drug resistant pathogens.
    The scientists extracted and analyzed nucleic acid from poultry intestine samples gathered from U.S. commercial poultry flocks infected with enteric diseases. In addition to the novel phage, common avian diseases, such as astrovirus, reovirus and rotavirus, and RNA viruses belonging to the Picornaviridae family, were detected.
    However, the scientists were surprised to discover previously unknown turkey viruses, such a picobirnavirus, which is implicated in enteric disease in other agricultural animals, and a calicivirus, often associated with human enteric disease.

US poultry certified wholesome up in April

    U.S. poultry certified wholesome during April (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.52 billion pounds, up 1 percent from the amount certified in April 2011, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
    The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during April was 4.66 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 4.6 billion pounds in 2011. Young chickens inspected totaled 3.99 billion pounds, up 1 percent from April 2011 numbers. Mature chickens, at 65.7 million pounds, were down 1 percent from the same time in 2011; turkey inspections totaled 597 million pounds, up 4 percent; and ducks totaled 13.6 million pounds, up 1 percent.
    Young chickens slaughtered during April averaged 5.84 pounds per bird, up 1 percent from April 2011 numbers. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.06 pounds per bird, down 10 percent from the same time in 2011, while turkeys slaughtered during April averaged 30.2 pounds per bird, up 1 percent.
    For more information and statistics on poultry, see  

Cherkizovo posts 114 percent first-quarter net income growth

    Russian meat producer Cherkizovo Group has posted a net income of US$39.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, a 114 percent increase from 2011's US$18.4 million, according to the company's latest financial report.
    Sales volumes in the company's poultry division for the first quarter of 2012 increased by 42 percent to approximately 75,860 metric tons of sellable weight compared to approximately 53,570 metric tons for the first quarter of 2011, reflecting the contribution from the newly launched sites at Bryansk and sales by Mosselprom, acquired in May 2011. Prices for poultry decreased by 1 percent, from $2.43 per kilogram in the first quarter of 2011 to $2.40 per kilogram in the first quarter of 2012. Compared to the price in the fourth quarter of 2011 of $2.36, prices in the first quarter of 2012 were nearly flat.
    "In the second half of the year, we still expect many uncertainties related to Russia’s admission to the [World Trade Organization]," said the company. "Cherkizovo will continue to focus on both parts of its strategy, strong organic growth along with investing into production, asset development and considering possible acquisitions." 

Namib Poultry Industries aims for 95 percent market share

    Namib Poultry Industries is aiming for 95 percent of Namibia's poultry market share with its new brands, saying that a 46 percent excise duty placed on all poultry products coming into the country will make imports less competitive.
    Namib Poultry Industries' first poultry plant, a N$500 million (US$59.9 million) investment, will be operational on June 1. The project will enjoy the Namibian government's protection status for the next eight years, with the 46 percent levy active for the next four years, 30 percent for two years after that and 20 percent in the last two years.
    The price of chicken is not expected to go up, however, even with the import levy. Our benchmark will always be the import parity price," said Namib Poultry Industries General Manager Gys White. "The price that you get in South Africa plus 1 percent for the additional VAT plus transport cost, which is on average N$1.20 (US$0.14) per kilogram."
    The poultry plant is currently slaughtering 40,000 to 50,000 birds per day, and is expected to produce 2,000 metric tons of chicken per month by the end of June. The facility has the capacity to expand production to 500,000 birds per week.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

US mad cow case 'atypical' say investigators

    A California cow diagnosed with mad cow disease in April has been found to have an atypical version, according to laboratories associated with the World Organization for Animal Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    The quarantine has been lifted on the farm where the latest case originated as the case nears completion, said the USDA. Out of several hundred cattle that may have been born at the same time and area as the infected cow, the investigation seeks roughly 10 to 12 animals that may still be alive and have ownership records that allow tracing. The rest of the birth cohort are no longer alive or otherwise ruled out.

EU researching fewer new genetically modified plants

    The number of release experiments with genetically modified plants in the European Union has been decreasing the last few years, with only 41 applications submitted between January 2012 and May 2012 so far — 30 of those from Spain, where major companies are carrying out a series of field trials. Over 100 applications were submitted in 2009.
    The widespread public opposition to genetically modified plants is making the environment surrounding research and authorization increasingly difficult, according to reports. Of the 41 applications submitted so far in 2012, only 10 relate to projects for the development of plants with new or improved traits. Twenty-seven involve cultivation trials with plants that have already been developed, and most of the rest are academic applications.

New Lyons Farm brand meat focuses on natural feeding, no additives

    Alltech unveiled its new Lyons Farm brand of "natural, high-quality foods," beginning with poultry and beef products, at the company's 28th International Symposium.
    Lyons Farm’s poultry and beef products are produced using Alltech’s natural nutritional feeding programs, which have been developed through more than 30 years of research in animal nutrition. Each animal is fed the right nutrients at the right time based on its specific needs, according to Alltech. The result is consistent, premium-quality meat that is rich in antioxidants and nutrients while remaining free from additives such as growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics.
    "Beef and poultry are just the first steps,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “We want to expand and add new products that meet the consumer’s desire for great, healthy and nutritious food.”

World Pork Expo seminars to focus on business management

    Eight business seminars will feature the latest in nutrition, herd health, manure management and price risk at the World Pork Expo on June 6 and June 7.
    The June 6 morning seminar, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, features a series of presentations about factors that affect vaccination results, tips for medicating groups of pigs and deworming options. The afternoon seminar, sponsored by Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC and Zinpro Corporation, will offer a sow nutrition forum that looks at how to make weaning 30 pigs per sow each year a reality.
    The June 7 morning presentation, “Improve your manure from the pit up,” will feature Dave Schwartz, vice president of sales and business development for SFP, discussing on-farm research that looks at phosphorus and nitrogen availability of manure applied as fertilizer. Cargill will sponsor a series of three afternoon seminars with nutritionist Kevin Touchette, Ph.D., Cargill, presenting ways to manage your nutrition strategy to stay competitive. Nutritionist Douglas R. Cook, Ph.D., Akey, will share research about managing performance with quality-challenged grain, followed by Terry Mahoney, marketing representative, Cargill, presenting new marketing tools for managing price risk.
    The World Pork Expo takes place June 6–8 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. More than 450 commercial exhibits will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7, as well as from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 8. The breeding stock sales will continue on Saturday, June 9, from 8 a.m. until they’re completed at approximately noon.

US egg production, chicks hatched down in April

    U.S. egg production totaled 7.58 billion during April, down 1 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report, including 6.54 billion table eggs, and 1.04 billion hatching eggs, of which 964 million were broiler-type and 73 million were egg-type.
    The total number of layers during April averaged 339 million, down slightly from 2011. April egg production per 100 layers was 2,233 eggs, down slightly from April 2011. All layers in the U.S. on May 1 totaled 338 million, down slightly from the same time in 2011. The 338 million layers consisted of 283 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 52.8 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs and 2.98 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on May 1 averaged 73.6 eggs per 100 layers, down 1 percent from May 1, 2011.
    Egg-type chicks hatched during April totaled 39.7 million, down 8 percent from April 2011, according to the USDA. Eggs in incubators totaled 42 million on May 1, up 4 percent from 2011 numbers. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 172,000 during April, down 40 percent from April 2011.
    Broiler-type chicks hatched during April totaled 748 million, down 4 percent from April 2011. Eggs in incubators totaled 619 million on May 1, down 4 percent from 2011 numbers. Leading breeders placed 6.52 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during April, down 7 percent from April 2011.
    For more egg and poultry information and statistics, see  

XXII Central American and Caribbean Poultry Congress in Panama begins

      Fantina B. de Arce, president of the Congress Organization Committee, addresses the delegates.
    The XXII Central American and Caribbean Poultry Congress in Panama began May 23 with an opening ceremony and continues through May 25. Conferences begin May 24 and cover topics such as poultry health, incubation, nutrition, processing and handling.
    Nearly 200 companies are exhibiting with information about poultry equipment, genetics, pharmaceuticals, feed additives, incubation, chemicals and feed equipment. Congress attendees are from throughout the region, Latin America, the U.S., Canada, Europe and elsewhere. WATT Publishing and Industria Avícola are also present at the congress in Booth 41.
    For more information about the congress, visit the website of the National Association of Panamanian Poultry Farmers, ANAVIP.

Topigs Philippines, QJJ Group build pig breeding farm

    Topigs Philippines chartered 1,164 great grandparent and grandparent pig breeders for QJJ Farm, located in the main pig-producing province of Luzon, as part of a state-of-the-art pig farm equipped with the latest climate control and ventilation systems and capable of housing a 2,000-sow operation.
    The imported nucleus herd will be linked to Topigs’ Pigbase, a global database for breeding pigs accommodating data from over 23 million pigs worldwide. "[This collaboration] affirms our partnership with the QJJ Group as our exclusive franchise partner in Luzon for boars and gilts production," said Dr. Bryan M. Retales, general manager of Topigs Philippines. "Together, we will assure sustainable genetics contribution to support the local pig industry.”

Pig breeder Hypor delivers gilts, boars to Vietnam

    Pig breeding company Hypor has delivered 700 great grandparent-generation gilts and boars to the new multiplication farm started in Vietnam by Vietnamese integrator Long An Comfeed Japfa.
    In September 2011 the companies announced their agreement to form a joint venture called Japfa Hypor Genetics Co., created to establish a high-health breeding structure for Vietnam’s growing pig sector. Currently, Vietnam is estimated to have about 4 million breeding sows. Between 2011 and 2015 its production is forecast to grow by 36 percent to reach 2.6 million metric tons per year, in response to the stimulation of domestic meat consumption due to rising personal incomes.
    Hypor is part of multi-species breeding group Hendrix Genetics. Long An Comfeed Japfa, with headquarters in Vietnam’s Long An province, is the Vietnamese arm of Japfa Comfeed of Indonesia. In Vietnam it is a feed producer as well as having activities in poultry and pig production. The Japfa enterprise has approximately 14,000 sows, but plans to increase the number rapidly to around 75,000. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Denmark developing mobile hospital for sick sows

      Folding the floor creates a cart that can be moved by a pallet truck and the sow is either walked on to the cart or lifted on.
    A mobile pen under development in Denmark could help solve the problem of where to put a sow that needs to be segregated for special attention. The pen acts both as an ambulance to move sick or injured sows if they cannot walk comfortably and as a temporary isolation area in which they can stay while they recover.
    Denmark’s animal welfare rules require that every herd has hospital-pen accommodation equivalent to at least 2.5 percent of the total number of places on the site for sows in group gestation. A minimum of one hospital pen must always be ready for immediate use. Other stipulations state that the floor must have either a rubber mat or straw bedding so it is soft for at least two-thirds of its area. Hospital pens for sows and gilts can hold up to three animals at a time, but always with the appropriate facilities for climate and for feeding and watering.
    As a member of the European Union, Denmark also has adopted the EU regulation banning the use of individual stalls to house sows in pregnancy. Any conversion of former stall housing into gestation in groups raises questions of how many places can be fitted into an existing building, even before trying to find some space for hospital pens. The Danish designers of the mobile pen see their idea as a stand-by facility to be the hospital quarters for a single sow. This allows the producer to satisfy the local welfare law on pen provision without needing the allocation of floor area inside a permanent structure.
    But the design team of veterinarian Peter Høgedal with pig equipment specialists Peter Kaspersen and Jørn Kirkegaard realised there was another common difficulty if sows needed to be moved due to illness or injury: the sow could be unable to walk and would, therefore, require some form of assistance.
    Peter Best
    The cart is taken from the gestation house to a location where it can be transformed into a hospital pen.

    Multi-purpose mobile pen 
    Their proposal is a platform that folds so it can be moved by pallet truck into a position next to the sick sow. She then either walks on board or is rolled on if necessary. Once secured, she is carried out of the house to a position where the platform can begin its transformation into a temporary pen. In its unfolded form the platform changes from a cart only 60 cm wide into a floor measuring 1.9 m x 1.9 m. Raised about 8 cm above the surface on which it rests, this floor is composed of a perforated rubber pad that supplies a soft bed as well as drainage.
    Surrounding both the bottom of the hospital pen and one side is a steel frame. Plastic panels are slotted in to be the walls on two sides, but the plan proposed by the designers would see the other two sides contributed by the corner of the building in which the pen was placed. Alternatively, there could be a gate across one end. A third wall of plastic panels would be a further option in non-corner positions. A feed trough and a watering nipple are fixed permanently to the frame, and the only further connection required is to the water supply.
    The first prototype of the mobile pen has been under test for the past six months at the Mesing unit of producer Ole Larsen. Although very few sows are so lame that they cannot walk, the facility has already proved useful as the extra hospital pen which can be assembled in seconds when needed. The design works well in principle, say the Danish team members, so the next step will be to produce it commercially for sale to herds wanting a place for their sick sows. 

British Pig Executive releases annual technical report

    The British Pig Executive has published full details of the work it has done to help pig producers improve pig production during the past year in its 2011–2012 Technical Report.
    The report is an in-depth look at knowledge transfer and research and development activities which were designed to help producers improve physical pig performance, herd health and environmental management. “The sustainability of the pig industry in England hinges on production efficiency, and the key focus of the research and development activity is on helping to deliver a more cost-competitive industry,” said Derek Armstrong, British Pig Executive research and development chief.
    The report includes practical on-farm solutions from the knowledge transfer team to provide ideas for other producers who are experiencing similar challenges. It also provides a single point of reference for university departments and commercial companies to see, at a glance, all the areas of research and development currently under way, and to spot potential opportunities to work with the British Pig Executive and contribute further knowledge to benefit the English pig industry.
    Other highlights of the report include:
    • Industry statistics
    • Health, welfare and food safety
    • Environmental and commercial sustainability
    • Training and continuous professional development
    • Technical support, publications and the website

US swine production, exports to increase in 2013

    In 2013, moderate increases in farrowings and continued strong productivity gains are expected to yield an annual U.S. pig meat production level that is about 2.3 percent above 2012 numbers, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
    Commercial pig meat production is expected to be 23.8 billion pounds. Higher estimates for average dressed weights as a result of lower feed costs contribute to the higher production forecast, according to the USDA. Hog prices in 2013 are expected to be $57–$61 per cwt, about 2.7 percent below 2012 numbers.
    Foreign demand for U.S. pig meat products will continue to be an important market focus in 2013. Lower U.S. pig meat prices, together with continued global economic growth will, in all likelihood, support continued strong exports. Next year the USDA anticipates that 22.7 percent of commercial pig meat production will be exported, versus almost 23 percent in 2012. Total U.S. pig meat exports for 2013 are forecast at 5.4 billion pounds, about unchanged from expected 2012 numbers.
    As is almost always the case, over two-thirds of U.S. exports in 2013 are expected to go to U.S. North American Free Trade Agreement partners, Canada and Mexico, and to Japan. Japan is expected to remain the number one foreign destination for U.S. pig meat exports in 2013.

US veal farmers move calves to group pens

    A recent survey has revealed that 70 percent of veal calves raised by American Veal Association farmers will be housed in group pens by the end of 2012, five years after the association's board of directors voted to adopt a resolution calling for all U.S. veal farms to transition to group pens by Dec. 31, 2017.
    Veal farmers have traditionally housed calves in individual pens in order to ensure the individual requirements of food, water and comfort were all met. In 2007, the association recognized that ongoing research, field results and new technology offer veal farmers new tools that would allow them to provide excellent and individual care in groups. “As farmers, we have an obligation to provide for the well-being of the animals in our care,” said Jurian Bartelse, president of the American Veal Association. “In 2005 we built state-of-the-art group houses at our farm and have been pleased with our ability to continue to provide excellent care and produce the high-quality veal our customers expect.”
    The association estimates that U.S. veal farmers will spend $250 million over ten years on new technology to retrofit or build new barns to accommodate group-housing methods. Typical veal farms in the U.S. are small, family farms with 200–250 animals and are generally located in states with significant dairy production. “Our partnership with the dairy community allows for more sustainable food production,” said Bartelse. “Veal calves rely on milk by-products for nutrition, and veal farmers rely on dairy farmers to provide them with the calves we raise. Dairy farmers depend on the veal industry to purchase these items and add value to their industry.”
    In December 2011, the American Veal Association conducted a member survey to determine progress being made toward the 2017 commitment. "Our survey shows the commitment of the veal community in meeting consumer demands," said Bartelse. "The move toward group housing was embraced early by the leadership of [the association], and today, farmer members and non-members continue to move in that direction.”

US feedlots buy fewer cattle on lower availability

    U.S. feedlots bought 1.521 million head of young cattle in April, down 15 percent from April 2011's 1.785 million head, due to lower availability and improved pasture conditions that allowed cattle to remain on grazing areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    The feedlot herd totaled 11.11 million as of May 1, down 0.6 percent from 2011 numbers. Analysts had expected a 0.3 percent gain. The U.S. cattle herd had been the smallest since 1952 as of Jan. 1 as a drought in the South scorched pastures, causing ranchers to cull herds and sell animals to feedlots earlier than normal. Ranchers sold more cattle in February, November, September, June and July than in the same months in 2011.
    “Feedlot placements are falling off like a stone due to poor feedlot profitability, but more importantly, because of a lack of available cattle to put on feed,” said Troy Vetterkind, the owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. “This is bringing our total on-feed population even with a year ago and is going to be pretty supply-friendly for the third and fourth quarter of this year.”

Monday, May 28, 2012

US corn crop 96 percent planted, ahead of schedule

    The U.S. corn crop is 96 percent planted, significantly ahead of 2011's 75 percent and the 81 percent average of the last few years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest assessment of the growing season.
    An early spring and cooperative weather are the primary factors, says the USDA. As of May 20, Tennessee had 100 percent of its corn crop planted. Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina had 99 percent of their corn crops planted, and Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota and Nebraska were just behind with 98 percent of their crops in the ground. Nearly all of these percentages far surpass where the states were in 2011, according to the USDA.
    Seventy-six percent of the corn crop has emerged nationally, with 62 percent of the crop at "good" status, 20 percent at "fair" and 15 percent at "excellent." As of May 20, 99 percent of Tennessee's crop had emerged, with North Carolina next at 93 percent and Kentucky third at 89 percent. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ukraine corn harvest may reach 24 million metric tons

    Ukraine’s 2012 corn harvest may reach 24 million metric tons as farmers increase their planting, according to French farm adviser Agritel.
    The area of corn planted in Ukraine rose to 4.5 million hectares from 3.5 million hectares in 2011. Production potential is “very large” because weather conditions are mostly favorable for developing crops, said Agritel. A combination of summer temperatures and frequent downpours in central Ukraine are providing the water required for growth. Taking into account current weather forecasts, only the southern regions of Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson and the Crimea still face drought concerns.

UK Campylobacter breakthrough could benefit poultry industry

    The question of why selenium is important for the survival of Campylobacter has been answered by researchers at the UK’s Institute of Food Research, and the discovery could help in ways to control the bacteria in the poultry industry and improve public health.
    Campylobacter uses the organic acids produced by other bacteria in the gut to respire and thrive. It needs selenium to make the formate dehydrogenase enzyme for respiration. Researchers have identified two Campylobacter genes required for the formation of the formate dehydrogenase enzyme, but when the bacteria were supplemented with extra selenium, they were able to synthesize the enzyme again, suggesting that the two genes are involved in selenium metabolism. It has already been shown that the lack of formate dehydrogenase affects the ability of Campylobacter to colonize the chicken gut, and this latest breakthrough may open up possibilities to target this pathway for antimicrobial purposes.
    In addition, as these selenium metabolism genes and the formate dehydrogenase enzyme are also present in other foodborne pathogens, it may be possible to extend such investigations to other areas of food safety. “Selenium metabolism is still poorly understood in bacteria, and its role in important foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter is not yet fully appreciated,” said Dr. Arnoud van Vliet, who led the research group. “With the identification of these two genes essential for formate respiration, we now hope to have a tool to generate knowledge that helps us get a better understanding of what makes Campylobacter so good at colonizing the chicken gut and causing disease in humans.”

Expert predictions on future of agriculture

    Four industry experts gave a wide range of opinions on how world agriculture can face the challenge of feeding the world's growing population during a Smart Debate at the 2012 Alltech Summit May 22. Opinions from the four varied widely, but all agreed that technology and education -- of both the people in agriculture and the general population -- are key in achieving that goal.
    The panel consisted of Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern, Ireland; Sean Rickard, senior lecturer in business economics, Cranfield University, UK; Dr. Marcus Vinicius Pratini de Moraes, former minister of agriculture and food supply, Brazil; and Tom Dorr, CEO of U.S. Grain Council.
    Agriculture's poor reputation, largely influenced by negative reporting in the mainstream media, was seen as a hinderance to the industry's success. "We have developed significant technology, and we have produced a good food system in the United States, yet we are seen in a negative light," said Dorr. "We have to get the word out."
    In a press conference following the debate, the group was asked how the agriculture industry can get its message across to the world and influence public opinion. Their responses can be seen in this video: A prediction about the future of agriculture

Brazilian university to open poultry nutrition facilities

    Brazil’s Universidade Estadual de Londrina will benefit from a new broiler nutrition house at the end of May.
    The new facilities were constructed in partnership with the companies Big Frango and Tectron Nutricao Animal, and received investment of R$130,000 (US$64,000). The two companies will also supply birds, feed and other inputs; the results of work carried out at the facility will be made available to them.
    The new house measures 36 m x 8 m, and benefits from hydraulic and electric equipment and temperature control. Three trials are planned for the building before the end of the year, and three professors and 15 students will work there. Big Frango and Tectron Nutricao Animal have also supported the construction of a laboratory for carcass analysis.

US egg prices, exports expected to rise in 2013

    Better overall economic conditions in 2013 are expected to generate greater domestic demand for shell eggs and egg products, especially from the food service sector, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. However, higher production is expected to offset the demand and leave overall wholesale egg prices in 2013 at $1.00–$1.08 per dozen, only slightly higher than in 2012.
    During the first quarter of 2012, the wholesale price in the New York market averaged $1.09 per dozen for Grade A large eggs. This is up almost 3 percent from the same time in 2011, in part due to the high prices at the beginning of the year carried over from strong fourth-quarter 2011 prices of $1.31 per dozen. Shell egg prices have fallen seasonally since the Easter holiday and second-quarter prices in the New York market are expected to average $0.91–$0.93 per dozen, down 14 percent from 2011, according to the USDA.
    Exports of shell eggs and egg products are expected to expand to the equivalent of 266 million dozen in 2013, slightly higher than the forecast for 2012. Higher shipments in 2013 are expected to be generated primarily by stronger demand from a number of Asian countries, including Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. Egg exports in 2012 are expected to contract, with smaller shipments to Mexico and Canada. One factor that could affect the 2012 forecast is high demands for breaking eggs and egg products from EU countries facing lower production.
    In the first quarter of 2012, egg and egg product exports totaled 63 million dozen, down 6 percent from the same time in 2011. Much of the export decrease occurred in March, when shipments were down 13 percent from 2011 numbers. The March decline is chiefly the result of sharp drops in shipments to both Korea and the United Arab Emirates, according to the USDA. Shipments to Korea during the first quarter of 2012 were only 1.1 million dozen, down 88 percent from the same period in 2011.
    For more egg information and statistics, see

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ukraine's Ovostar Union posts 62 percent increase in first quarter 2012

    Ukrainian egg and egg product producer Ovostar Union has posted a US$8.9 million net profit for the first quarter of 2012, a 62 percent increase over the same time in 2011, according to the company's latest financial report.
    The company's total flock reached 3.4 million birds, compared to 2.5 million birds in the first quarter of 2011 and 3.1 million birds at the end of 2011. In Q1 2012 the volume of eggs produced increased 22% when compared to Q1 2011 reaching 174 mln eggs. The volume of eggs sold increased by 13 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2011, reaching 124 million eggs. The average egg price through the first quarter of 2012 increased by 12 percent, to US$0.09 per egg, attributed to increased demand for eggs on the local market.
    First-quarter dry and liquid egg products sales volume amounted to 180 tons and 1,020 tons, respectively, comparing to 333 tons and 840 tons, respectively, in the first quarter of 2011. The average dry egg products selling price increased by 7 percent to US$5.36 per kilogram, while the average liquid egg products selling price increased by 22 percent to US$1.98 per kilogram, when compared to the same time in 2011. The price increases were mainly attributable to strong demand from existing and new customers, according to Ovostar.

Kathmandu chicken consumption down 33 percent due to strikes

    Chicken consumption in Kathmandu, Nepal has dropped 33 percent as strikes have forced major consumers like restaurants and hotels to shut down, according to reports.
    Daily consumption of chicken is currently at 250,000 kilograms; restaurants and hotels consume roughly 40 percent of the capital city's chicken. “Demand from major markets has slowed due to banda and other forms of strikes called by various groups over the past few days,” said Jung Bahadur JC, president of the National Chicken Sellers' Association. “If the situation remained the same for coming few days, farmers will have no option but to dump their chicken ready for market.”
    Area poultry farmers are also expressing worries about their feed supplies, said JC, as the strikes have disrupted supply lines and some farmers are already experiencing shortages.

Corn traders remain optimistic despite hot, dry weather

    Despite unseasonably hot and dry weather in the Midwest, and growing demand for US corn from China, 19 of 27 corn analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to gain over the next week. Three analysts were neutral, the highest proportion since March 30.
    Corn jumped 9.1 percent since May 11, heading for the best week in almost a year and rebounding from a slump caused by the USDA predicting a record crop. Hedge funds and other speculators have raised bets on higher prices for two consecutive weeks, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and reported by Bloomberg.
    Weather services are predicting that Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, which produce 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop, will receive another month of above-normal temperatures. National Weather Service data shows that sections of Midwest received 25 percent of normal rain over the past two weeks.
    Late June and early July temperatures will give analysts a better picture of this year’s crop yields.

Genetic imprinting has potential to improve nutritional efficiency of meat

      "We have discovered that environmental influence turns on and turns off genes in animals. This has been found in animals, humans and multiple tests," explained Dr. Karl Dawson.
    The revolution in genetics research in the past 10 years — specifically nutrigenomics or the study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression — has the potential to make a tremendous impact on the future of meat production.
    Dr. Karl Dawson, Alltech vice president and chief scientific officer of research, said at the opening session of Alltech’s 28th Annual International Symposium that while "we have always paid attention to genetics in the meat production industry, we have only used genetics to breed for improved productivity." The relatively new science of nutrigentics will allow meat producers to increase productivity and quality through the proper application of nutrition at specific stages in the animal's development.
    In the last five years, researchers have discovered that what the mother is fed during pregnancy impacts the genomic outcome of the animal. "We have discovered that environmental influence turns on and turns off genes in animals. This has been found in animals, humans and multiple tests," explained Dawson. "There is a lifelong alteration in physiology associated with nutrition."
    In the poultry industry, trials have been done using early stage nutrition that controls the feeding in the first 96 hours for the conditioning of birds' gene expression. Dawson says the early imprinted birds have totally different gene expression patterns than the control group.
    "This makes permanent changes in what a bird is capable of doing," says Dawson. "This is not a genetic change, but an epigenomic change. We have imprinted the animal to improve the nutritional efficiency of the animal, and we are doing it all naturally, without drugs or hormones."
    The nutritional revolution
    Alltech then looked at what the food industry wants in chicken and beef and has developed feeding programs that will help deliver those characteristics in the finished product.
    "We can significantly improve beef quality with improved tenderness and lower fat," said Dawson. "We can produce beef that is comparable to top-notch prime steak, but with the benefits of less fat, less shrinkage and less cooking loss."
    Dawson said this all-natural feeding program reduces the pharmacological requirements that the industry has used in the past.
    "Animal nutrition has changed in the last five years," said Dawson. "Nutritional programming is the true nutritional revolution."

UK poultry breast meat, free-range egg sales decline due to economy

    The UK market for poultry meat and eggs has not been immune to ongoing economic difficulties in the country, including a decline in national sales of poultry breast meat, according to British Poultry Council chairman John Reed, who spoke at the 2012 British Pig and Poultry Fair.
    Shoppers in the UK are switching to more dark meat and whole birds, due at least in part to their need to economize by cooking more meals at home instead of eating out, said Reed. The trend is likely to continue as consumers choose more value or standard products rather than paying extra for standard-plus, organic or free range.
    Bird size at slaughter is also altering in response to the weak market. Several years of increasing broiler weights in the UK ended with the first economic crisis in 2007 and, since then, the average weight of bird marketed has declined. The reasons are thought to be due to cutbacks in consumer spending, a national increase in the number of single-person households and the demands coming from fast-food companies to supply them with a highly weight-specified raw material, according to Reed.
    UK egg outlook
    Demand for free-range eggs in the UK has collapsed, new data suggest. According to the latest figures on retail sales, for the first time in years the share of free range has dropped to below half the total market. Some 5 percent have been lost in the last year alone, with free range’s share of sales standing at 53 percent as recently as May 2011.
    The reason is price, says the chief executive of Europe’s largest egg business, Peter Thornton, who addressed a discussion on the UK poultry meat and egg outlook at the Pig and Poultry Fair. A massive and growing differential has opened up over the past three months in the retail price for various egg categories, said Thornton. Customers have reacted by buying fewer free-range eggs and choosing instead lower-priced cage type. Sales of cage eggs at major retailers have surged this year by some 20 percent.
    “In the current economic situation, the retail environment is very tough,” said Thornton. “Consumers are trading down and buying less. Over 40 percent of their purchases at present are grocery items being sold on promotion. For us, the big thing happening is the trading down from free-range to cage eggs, yet the free-range people are still talking of expansion. Although it is likely that the current demand for cage eggs will moderate, free-range producers should still take at least a two-year view of the market outlook, rather than trying to fill an expected short-term gap in supplies.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alltech symposium focuses on natural meat production

      Speakers at the opening session of the Alltech Symposium included, from left: Tim Gannon, founder of Outback Steakhouse; Dr. Karl Dawson and Dr. Pearce Lyons of Alltech; John Y. Brown, co-founder of KFC; and Dr. Mark Lyons of Alltech.
    All natural is the wave of the future, according to John Y. Brown, the former governor of Kentucky and co-founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Speaking during the opening session of Alltech’s 28th Annual International Symposium, Brown stated that this trend is going to change the restaurant and food industries, and the way these food industries look at their supply chains.
    "This is a new experience for CEOs of restaurant companies to talk about feed, and how it will impact their finished product," said Brown. "Alltech is developing ways to produce food without hormones or antibiotics, and we have a number of companies going into testing and development with this type of product."
    Brown also stated that Alltech has conducted independent research that has shown consumers prefer flavor, tenderness and moisture on seasoned grilled chicken using the Alltech system.
    Part of the solution
    Brown said the food industry has to take the lead in these changes. "There are a lot of scares with tainted food; we can't allow the press to dictate our outcome. We have a tremendous obesity problem—how is food industry going to be part of the solution, and not the problem?"
    Tim Gannon, founder of Outback Steakhouse, spoke on the impact of beef and chicken on the food industry.
    "Our biggest concern as we grow Outback Steakhouse has been the sourcing of commodity items. We are looking at new and innovative ways to get that. Safety is the first issue, then taste and value. Our real threat is supply, and how to get safe beef to customer."
    Gannon said that great food comes from great ingredients. "You have to know how your steaks are being fed. You have to understand your ingredients. You have to learn about cattle, and how they are fed. You have to be ready to change quickly and be ahead of the curve to produce the best all-natural product."
    The symposium started Sunday evening and will continue through Wednesday with an emphasis on how nutrigenetics and epigenetics will help meet the challenge of feeding the world's growing population.

US table egg production to drop slightly in 2013

    U.S. table egg production is expected to total 6.6 billion dozen in 2013, down fractionally from 2012 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    While 2013 is expected to have higher prices for many meat products and improving general economic conditions, egg producers are expected to face lower prices for the remainder of 2012. While the rate of lay is expected to very gradually increase, the decrease in production is expected to come from a cut in the size of the laying flock.
    Hatching egg production is expected to total almost 1.1 billion dozen in 2013, a marginal increase after a decline in 2011 and 2012, according to the report. The expansion in hatching egg production is based on the forecast for higher broiler production starting at the end of 2012 and carrying through 2013.
    U.S. egg production totaled 1.91 billion dozen in the first quarter of 2012, up slightly (1 percent) from the same time in 2011. The increase was due to greater production of table eggs at 1.65 billion dozen, up 1.7 percent from 2011 numbers. Production of hatching eggs totaled 258 million dozen, down 3 percent as the production of broiler-type eggs continue down significantly from 2011.
    The average number of birds in the table egg flock during the first quarter of 2012 was slightly higher (up 0.7 percent) than in 2011 at 285 million birds. Table egg production for the rest of 2012 is expected to continue to be slightly higher than in 2011 during the second and third quarters and about even with 2011 numbers in the fourth quarter. Production of hatching eggs is expected to have the opposite pattern, with lower production through the first three quarters of 2012 and higher production in the fourth quarter as broiler processors react to the incentives of a generally better economy, higher prices and slightly lower grain prices.
    For more information and statistics on poultry, see  

US crop insurance payouts near $11 billion for 2011

    Losses paid out by crop insurance companies to U.S. farmers for 2011 crops have exceeded $10.7 billion and are still climbing, according to data from the Risk Management Agency, surpassing the previous record of $8.76 billion set in 2008 by almost 25 percent.
    The top crops damaged, by dollar value, were corn, cotton, wheat, soybeans grain sorghum, pastureland and rangeland, and tobacco. The average loss ratio across the country is .90 — for every dollar purchased in coverage, 90 cents was paid out in indemnities — but some states are seeing much higher numbers. Vermont, which was hit by Hurricane Irene, is at 2.59. Texas and Oklahoma, which have been hit by extended drought, are at 2.35 and 2.15, respectively.
    “With damages from [2011] approaching the $11 billion mark, the fact that there has not been a single call from farmers and ranchers for a federal disaster bill is testimony to the efficacy of crop insurance and proof that farmers and rancher consider it indispensible,” said Tom Zacharias, president of National Crop Insurance Services.

UK gains access to China fresh pig meat market

    The UK pig industry has gained direct access to the Chinese fresh pig meat market after several years of negotiations, opening the way for a potential £50-million-a-year deal over the next few years, according to British Pig Executive International Manager Peter Hardwick.
    Much of the exported pork will be offal, trotters, ears and other parts of the “fifth quarter” which British diners do not eat, but the Chinese do. However, Hardwick said he believes a growing demand for higher quality cuts in China will lead to more exports of this nature, as well. “This is a great shot in the arm for producers and processors here,” said Hardwick, who has been involved in the talks over the past six or seven years and has made several visits to China to meet industry leaders and health officials there.
    The first consignment of British pig meat is already waiting to be dispatched by Tulip, the UK’s biggest producer. “China is the most lucrative grocery market in the world, and from fashion to food its rapidly expanding middle class has an appetite for Western goods," said UK agriculture minister Jim Paice. “In particular, they are eating more meat, and our top-quality producers have got huge opportunities to meet that demand and help our economic recovery.”
    According to Hardwick, at least five British pig meat plants, or “establishments,” have been approved to export directly to business in China, and he said he expects trade to start within weeks. A representative of the British Pig Association is already in China to do business with the Chinese importers. The UK currently exports 27,000 metric tons of pig meat to Hong Kong every year, and while much of this meat is thought to end up in China, demand grew by 54 percent in 2011.
    “This is a wonderful achievement and something we have been working towards for several years in close cooperation with Defra and the British embassy in Beijing," said British Pig Executive Chairman Stewart Houston. "The process has been a long one, but I know it will prove to be extremely worthwhile."

South Africa may lower corn forecast by 1.4 percent

    South Africa may lower its latest corn forecast by 1.4 percent, to 10.95 million metric tons from April's forecast of 11.1 million metric tons, according to the median of traders' data.
    The gathered data ranged from estimates of 10.8 million metric tons to 11.1 million metric tons. White corn declined 0.2 percent on May 17 to 2,079 rand (US$250) per ton by the close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety, used as animal feed, rose for a fourth day by 0.1 percent to 2,040 rand (US$244) per ton.

MHP reports 143 percent net income increase first quarter 2012

    Ukraine-based agro-industrial company MHP S.A.'s net income increased by 143 percent for the first quarter of 2012, reaching US$48 million compared to US$20 million in the first quarter of 2011, according to the company's latest financial report.
    During the quarter, consumer demand for chicken remained high; all MHP’s poultry production units continued to operate at 100 percent of capacity and the company was able to sell close to 100 percent of the chicken produced. Sales volumes of chicken meat to third parties increased by 1 percent and reached 85,040 metric tons compared to 84,300 metric tons in the first quarter of 2011, according to the report.
    Export sales of chicken in the first quarter of 2012 increased by almost 70 percent compared to 2011 numbers and constituted around 12 percent of total sales volumes. The company continued development of new export sales markets. "Looking ahead, demand for our products is high and the overall market environment in Ukraine remains favorable for our business," said Yuriy Kosiuk, CEO of MHP. "We are therefore confident that we will be able to continue to implement our strategy and keep on delivering strong financial results.”

Nova Scotia government investing $1 million in poultry processor

    The Nova Scotia government is providing $1 million to Annapolis Valley poultry processor Eden Valley Poultry Inc. to help the company boost its productivity. The money comes through the province’s Productivity Investment Program, created to make businesses more competitive.
    Eden Valley Poultry said it will use the money to buy cutting-edge poultry processing equipment as part of its $40-million plan to renovate a recently acquired Berwick facility that closed in 2011. Once the renovations are complete, the new plant will employ up to 200 people and have the capacity to process 40 million kilograms of poultry annually, according to Eden Valley Poultry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

American Feed Industry Association chooses chairman, board

    Nearly 60 members of the American Feed Industry Association’s board of directors got together for their annual spring meeting in the Washington, D.C. area during the week of May 14, welcoming a new chairman, Alan Gunderson with Vita Plus, and 16 new directors to the board. They also elected six new members to the organization’s executive committee.
    The board voted to accept the nomination of Jeff Cannon, with Diamond V Mills, to become chairman-elect of the organization. Cannon will succeed Gunderson in May 2013. The following individuals were elected to three-year terms on the American Feed Industry Association board and began their service with the May meeting:
    • Shawn Atkins, Anitox Corp.
    • Michael Blair, Pilgrim's Pride Corp.
    • Timothy Bodine, PerforMix Nutrition Systems LLC
    • Bruce Crutcher, Trouw Nutrition USA LLC
    • Gregory Duerksen, Kincannon & Reed
    • Philip Greene, Foster Farms
    • Gregg Griffin, Glanbia Nutritionals
    • Gerald May, Kemin AgriFoods North America
    • Daniel Meagher, NOVUS International Inc.
    • Robert Norton, Biozyme Inc.
    • Donald Orr, JBS United Inc.
    • Ludger Roedder, BASF Corporation
    • Michael Van Koevering, Elanco Animal Health
    • Jason Vickers, Proctor & Gamble Pet Care
    • Edward Wells, Milk Specialties
    • Alan Wessler, MFA Inc.
    The following individuals were elected to the executive committee:
    • Bill Braman, Chr. Hansen
    • Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms Inc.
    • Diane Loiselle, Hill’s Pet Nutrition
    • Paul Phillips, Maxi-Lift
    • Chad Risley, Lucta USA Inc.
    • Dean Warras, Prince Agri Products Inc.
    The next board of directors meeting will be held Oct. 24–25, in Sausalito, Calif.

Corn Products International makes Fortune 500

    Corn Products International Inc. has been named to the Fortune 500, coming in at position 390 out of 500 — the company's first time on the list.
    Corn Products International had net sales of $6.2 billion in 2011. "We are excited to be on the Fortune 500 list," said Ilene Gordon, chairman, CEO and president of the company. "It recognizes our long history of consistent growth and effective strategy. We have generated both top and bottom line growth during our history as a public company while also delivering significant cash flow. As a result of our performance, we have seen meaningful shareholder value creation and that remains our driving goal."

Hubbard Feeds meeting highlights stages of gilt development

    A recent Hubbard Feeds meeting focused on the three stages of gilt development — maturation, pre-breeding and breeding — highlighting the strategies and results for each.
    The first phase, maturation, is the long phase of pre-pubertal growth in which nutrition care designed for a breeding animal — and not a market animal — is extremely important. Dr. Paul Ruen, a member of the Fairmont Veterinary Clinic in Fairmont, Minn. who spoke at Hubbard's meeting, said he recommends that this phase be controlled by the sow farm with a goal of acclimating the gilt to the sow herd health status. Housing and environment are also key, especially having adequate lighting and timers with the goal of 14-16 hours of light per day.
    Pre-breeding, the second stage of gilt development, involves managing the gilts for puberty. This stage starts with boar exposure, typically between 160 and 175 days of age. Quality boar exposure with recorded heats will bring positive results. According to Ruen:
    • Boars should be 11+ months old
    • Exposure should be 1–2 minutes/gilt once a day (pen of five to 10 gilts needs 10–20 minutes)
    • House boars should be kept away from the gilts so fresh exposure makes heats obvious
    • Having boars in the pens with the gilts creates better contact than fenceline
    • Bringing the gilts to the boars stimulates better than bringing the boars to the gilts
    The final phase of gilt development, breeding, is when the gilt is eligible to mate with the boar. Housing the boar away from the gilts, making sure there is good ventilation and clean floors are all part of making the interaction a positive experience. Ruen said he recommends limited regrouping of gilts at this time and also full feeding.

US turkey production to grow in 2013

    U.S. turkey meat production is expected to increase in 2013 to 6 billion pounds, up almost 1 percent from 2012 and the third consecutive year with a production increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    The production increase is expected to come from both an increase in the number of birds slaughtered and slightly higher average live weights at slaughter. With higher prices throughout 2011 and expected in 2012, turkey producers should have an incentive to increase production in 2013, as long as the general economic indicators remain positive, said the report.
    In the first quarter of 2012, turkey meat production was 1.4 billion pounds, up 3.1 percent from the first quarter of 2011. After rising only slightly in third-quarter 2011 compared to 2010 numbers and falling in the fourth quarter of 2011, turkey processors have responded to the strong prices for whole birds that were present throughout 2011. The increase in turkey meat production was the result of a moderate increase in the number of birds slaughtered (up 1.7 percent) and higher average weights for the turkeys at slaughter (up 1.3 percent).
    With turkey prices higher throughout 2011, turkey producers have had an incentive to increase production, with total production for 2012 estimated at 6.1 billion pounds, 3.3 percent higher than 2011 numbers, according to the USDA.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see  

Hong Kong resumes poultry imports from China province after avian influenza outbreak

    Hong Kong has resumed imports of poultry products, including poultry eggs and frozen poultry, from northeastern Liaoning province in China after a 21-day suspension in wake of a confirmed H5N1 outbreak, according to the Center for Food Safety of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.
    No notifications of further poultry or human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in that area have been received since April 26. Appropriate monitoring and control measures were taken by mainland authorities, said a spokesperson for the Center for Food Safety, and the center will continue to monitor the situation and take any necessary measures to safeguard public health.

EU poultry outlook strong for exports, demand through 2012

    The European Union's poultry industry should be able to benefit from relatively strong market fundamentals throughout 2012, according to Rabobank International's Poultry Quarterly report, with high beef prices and strong poultry demand combining with a potential modest downturn in feed costs during the year.
    Poultry exports should expand through 2012, according to Rabobank, with increases to Asia, Africa and the Middle East leading the trend. European exporters are benefitting from a more structured approach to open markets and from a more competitive position compared to Brazil due to the Euro/Real exchange rate. In terms of imports, the EU has re-approved Thailand as an exporter to the EU poultry market beginning in the third quarter of 2012. Thailand is expected to use its 92,000-metric-ton quota, but the impact on local players should be negligible, as marketing standards should prohibit products from moving into the EU's fresh chicken market segment, said Rabobank. However, competition with other suppliers in the EU for processed products, especially from Brazil, Argentina and Chile, will intensify.
    The biggest concern, according to Rabobank, is the current economic situation in Europe, especially in southern and eastern Europe. A weaker economy may lead consumers to trade down to chicken as the cheapest protein, or it may lead to reduced demand as consumers consume less protein overall.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pig meat producer Danish Crown to close slaughterhouse

    The pig meat producer committee at international food producer Danish Crown has recommended that its slaughterhouse in Esbjerg, Denmark be closed at the end of August this year.
    At the same time, Danish Crown said it plans to invest in building up capacity at some of its other facilities in Denmark to ensure optimum capacity utilization. “We have seen a slight decline in the supply of pigs for slaughter to our Danish abattoirs and we are reacting accordingly," said the company’s production director Søren F. Eriksen. "Making difficult decisions such as this is part of being financially responsible. We monitor developments in the competitive situation on the global market closely, and if we are to retain slaughterhouse jobs in Denmark, where production costs are far higher than in our neighboring countries, we must ensure that our capacity is tailored accordingly and that we are continually optimizing and streamlining production."
    The supply of pigs for slaughter has fallen by a few percent, so concurrently with the closure investments in capacity are being made at a number of other Danish Crown departments in Denmark, according to Eriksen.

British Pig and Poultry Fair talks opportunities, challenges

    Optimism about the future was strong among pig and poultry producers and industry representatives at the 2012 British Pig and Poultry Fair in Warwickshire on May 15 and 16, following a rise in pig prices and new opportunities ahead to develop businesses. But British Pig Executive director Mick Sloyan said that there are still challenges ahead, including rising feed prices and international exchange rates, as well as energy concerns.
    In addition, Sloyan called on UK producers to focus on improving herd health to help improve performance. This includes paying close attention to cleaning and disinfecting buildings, as well as combating diseases and improving food safety. “We need to bring all these strands together in one health program to ensure we can get the best out of our pigs,” he said.
    According to Sloyan, BPEX is looking to trade with countries outside the EU, where he said there are significant opportunities to sell a variety of pig meat cuts at good prices. This includes China, where UK agriculture minister Jim Paice and BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston are currently on a tour to promote the sale of British pig meat.
    The impending EU ban on sow stalls was also a topic at the fair — production across the EU is expected to drop by some 10 percent, said Sloyan, after the ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, because while all British producers have already complied with the legislation, a significant number of producers in other EU countries still have to adapt their systems to meet the new rules. BPEX will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that the rules are implemented fairly and is already discussing potential challenges with other producer organizations in other EU member-states, including Denmark, Holland, Germany, Spain, France and Italy, as well as the European Commission.

US broiler production expected up in 2013

      Expanded 2013 broiler production will likely come from greater U.S. demand and lower feed prices.
    U.S. broiler meat production is expected to total 37.5 billion pounds in 2013, up 2.5 percent from 2012, with the growth spread over the year as processors expand production in response to generally better conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.
    The increase in broiler meat production is expected to come from both a greater number of birds slaughtered and a small increase in average bird weights, said the report. There are two primary factors that will likely influence expanded broiler meat production in 2013. The first is the degree to which processors feel demand will reflect expansion in the general economy. The second factor is what integrators expect for changes to corn and soybean prices.
    At the present time corn prices for the marketing year are forecast to average $4.20–$5.00 per bushel in 2012–2013, down from $5.95–$6.25 per bushel in 2011–2012. This decline will be mitigated by relatively high prices for soybean meal. Prices for 48 percent protein soybean meal are forecast at $350–$365 per ton in 2012–2013, compared to $360 per ton in 2011–2012.
    The broiler meat production forecast for the second quarter of 2012 is 9.1 billion pounds, down 4.3 percent from 2011 numbers. Broiler production is expected to be below 2011 until fourth-quarter 2012 when processors are expected to respond to a gradually strengthening economy and lower grain prices.
    For more information and statistics on poultry, see  

Pig industry must address capacity, relationships to meet demand

    The international pig industry will be able to meet the global food demands of the growing population over the next 28 years and beyond, but it must address the issue of slaughtering capacity and look to transforming relationships between pig meat suppliers and retailers, according to former Pig International editor and respected industry observer Peter Best.
    Best presented the Royal Agricultural College 100 Club's annual fellowship in pig research report, "Is the pig industry capable of meeting global food demands 2020/2030." He said world pig meat demand could grow by nearly 50 million metric tons in the next two decades, and international agencies see pig meat accounting for almost 155 metric tons of the 410 million metric tons of all meats required worldwide by 2030. Right now, three quarters of pig meat consumed worldwide is produced in China, Europe and the U.S.
    “They are the top consumers and also the largest producers; each of them is virtually self-sufficient, or even a net exporter," said Best. "By 2020, the combined pig meat output of the Big Three could reach 100 million metric tons for the first time. “For the global pig industry to produce another 50 million metric tons by 2030 is achievable when judged entirely on technical considerations at pig-unit level, given the industry’s resources of genetics, feeds and management."
    Best said he discovered "real optimism" in the pig industry, which he believes is more than ready to face up to the challenges of the future, but for world production to progress substantially, national pig industries that still include a large backyard portion must find a way of replacing those animal number quickly as the backyard disappear. Insufficient slaughter capacity could slow the rate at which pig production expands and will depress prices, he said. In addition, the relationship between pig meat suppliers and food retailers could be transformed as both segments consolidate and integrate, with producers and processors taking control of the retailing of their pig meat.
    Overall, Best said the pig industry must strengthen its voice so that it can be heard at the highest levels when new international regulations or initiatives are discussed and, more locally, whenever there is an opportunity for constructive dialogue with consumers.
    Full copies of the report (£20 including postage and packaging) are available from

Global Green Salmonella poultry vaccine completes study for USDA approval

    Global Green Inc. has received the final report on the model efficacy study conducted on the company’s vaccine, Salmogenics, to be used to protect poultry from Salmonella.
    The study, which stated that the vaccine appears to provide enough protection against all strains of Salmonella tested, was conducted by AHPharma Inc., an independent food safety and animal health research firm. The testing is an important step towards receiving U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for Salmogenics.  “Our patented Salmogenics vaccine is in the fourth and final phase required for USDA approval," said Dr. Mehran Ghazvini, chairman and CEO of Global Green. "The final report on the data in the study conducted by AHPharma is very encouraging and will be forwarded to the USDA.”
    Testing was performed using 3,036 broilers, and the chickens injected in ovo with Salmogenics showed a significant reduction in Salmonella bacteria, according to the results.

JBS reports first quarter net income for 2012

    JBS SA reported a net income of R$116.1 million (US$58.2 million) for the first quarter of 2012, with net revenue increasing by 9.1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011, according to the company's latest financial report.
    JBS USA Chicken posted net revenue of US$1.89 billion, up slightly from the fourth quarter of 2011 (US$1.82 billion), and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of US$104 million in the first quarter. JBS initiated operations in the poultry industry in Brazil through the lease of Frangosul assets, with the capacity to process 1.1 million birds per day. The expansion in poultry and beef in Brazil, according to the company, will add an estimated additional annualized revenue of R$4.5 billion (US$2.26 billion).
    The stable results of JBS USA Chicken reinforce the company's strategy to operate with low cost, operational efficiency and "spirit of ownership at all levels of the organization, according to JBS. The focus is to value all cuts of the bird and not be dependent only on the high price of white meat to raise margins and maintain profitability in the long run. The company will continue to focus on reducing costs and balancing supply and demand.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Muyang Group sci-tech industrial park to open in 2012

      A bird's-eye view of the Muyang Sci-Tech Industrial Park.
    Muyang Group's sci-tech industrial park, which began undergoing construction in 2010, will be officially opened by the end of 2012, according to the company, and will be dedicated to the research, development, manufacture and installation of feed and food machinery, equipment and associated facilities.
    Muyang Sci-Tech Industrial Park is adjacent to Muyang's secondary industrial park. It has an area of 500mu (33.3ha) and a total construction area of more than 200,000 m². The total investment is more than RMB 1.05 billion (US$170 million). The new facilities will help Muyang achieve one of its 2015 strategic goals — a turnover of over RMB 20 billion (US$3.2 billion). "Construction of the Muyang Sci-Tech Industrial Park will help and contribute Muyang fulfilling its vision of becoming a world leader in the development, production, services and construction of mechanical installations worldwide, and is included along with other strategies in Muyang Group's 2015 strategic plans," said Fan Tian Ming, president and CEO.
    The construction of four to five production bases located abroad are being considered in the near future, with the first being planned out in the Middle East.

Mexico 2011 poultry production hit historic levels

    Mexico's poultry production grew 3.3 percent and hit historic highs in 2011 after a 24 percent rise in prices between August and December 2011 and a decline in corn costs, according to Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly report.
    Consumption of poultry grew 2 percent in Mexico in 2011, partially explained by a substitution effect from pig meat to poultry meat. Demand is expected to grow marginally in 2012, according to Rabobank. Mexico's current consumption is 30 kilograms per year. In the first quarter of 2012, Mexican poultry production increased 1.9 percent year over year. Production is expected to find some support in prices and in domestic demand, and annual production will have a marginal growth rate of 1 percent, reaching 2.8 million metric tons.
    Import prices in 2011 grew 5.3 percent to fulfill domestic poultry demand, slower than 2010's 11.5 percent, according to Rabobank's report. In mid-2011, strong profits combined with increased domestic production to pressure industry profits. The average poultry-to-corn price ratio fell 31.9 percent in 2011 compared with 2010.
    For the second quarter of 2012, Mexico's poultry industry will depend on sufficient consumer demand to support pricing, said Rabobank.