Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Continued H5N1 research vital to preventing pandemics

    Research on transmissible avian flu viruses needs to continue if pandemics are to be prevented, according to Yoshiro Kawaoka of the University of Tokyo and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, writing in Nature.
    Kawaoka is a lead researcher on one of the two recent studies showing how H5N1 can be transmitted through airborne droplets, and his work is at the center of an international discussion over whether its findings should be made public. Kawaoka writes that, to date, H5N1 viruses have not been transmitted between humans, and some experts have argued that such a thing is impossible. But given the potential consequences of a global outbreak, it is crucial to know whether these viruses can ever become transmissible.
    Work by his group and an independent study led by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, suggest that H5N1 viruses have the potential to spread between mammals. As the risks of such research and its publication are debated by the community, Kawaoka argues that transmission studies should be pursued with urgency.
    Some have argued that the risk of such studies — misuse and accidental release, for example — outweigh the benefits. Kawaoka counters that H5N1 viruses circulating in nature already pose a threat, because influenza viruses mutate constantly and can cause pandemics with great losses of life. The new work has implications for pandemic preparedness. There is an urgent need to expand development, production and distribution of vaccines against H5 viruses, and to stockpile antiviral compounds. Kawaoka said he believes that the benefits of these studies — the knowledge that H5 haemagglutinin-possessing viruses pose a risk and the ability to monitor them and develop countermeasures — outweigh the risks. High biosafety and security standards can be met.
    However, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has recommended that details of both studies should be restricted and released only to select individuals on a “need-to-know” basis. Kawaoka said he acknowledges the advisory role of the board, but does not concur with its decision.
    Wide data dissemination would attract researchers from other areas to contribute to the field, said Kawaoka. This is crucial, because new ideas are needed to answer some of the most urgent questions. For example, the specific mutations that have been identified suggest that influenza transmission is more complex than anticipated and involves not only the receptor-binding properties of haemagglutinin, but other biological and physical properties. To find better solutions to dual-use concerns, the international community should convene to discuss how to minimize risk while supporting scientific discovery, said Kawaoka. Flu investigators have agreed to a 60-day moratorium on avian flu transmission research because of the current controversy, the work remains urgent and should not be given up.  

UK vets welcome EU welfare initiative, but emphasize implementation

    The British Veterinary Association has broadly welcomed the European Commission’s new animal welfare strategy but is urging the European Commission to ensure robust implementation and enforcement of existing and proposed measures to improve animal welfare in the European Union.
    Lack of enforcement of EU legislation by Member States is seen as a major compliance issue, adversely affecting animal welfare in the EU, as is the lack of sufficient economic incentives for compliance, said the association. Another gap is the lack of sufficient knowledge about welfare amongst many of those who handle animals. The new four-year strategy adopted by the Commission aims to address these issues by setting up a comprehensive animal welfare legislative framework focusing on welfare outcomes and on the education of all concerned parties, as well as the reinforcement of current Commission actions. “We must continue to strive for the highest possible standards of welfare for the animals we keep and this latest move by the Commission is to be welcomed," said Carl Padgett, British Veterinary Association president. "Effective implementation and enforcement of legislation throughout the EU is essential if we are to make a significant difference to the welfare of animals."

World animal feed production reaches 873 million metric tons

    The world’s animal feed production has reached an estimated 873 million metric tons, according to a global survey commissioned by Alltech.
    Asia came in as the number one feed producing region, at 305 million metric tons, and China is the leading country with 175.4 million metric tons, according to the report. Europe follows Asia with 200 million metric tons, while North America, Latin America and the Middle East/Africa round out the listing with 185 million, 125 million and 47 million metric tons, respectively.
    “This new global estimate is quite significant, especially when compared to the 2010 WATT report, which indicated 717.6 million [metric tons],” said Aidan Connolly, vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech. “Feed production is an increasingly global phenomenon and this survey is the broadest in its reach and, therefore, also complete in terms of its review of the state of play in the world feed industry.”
    In terms of species, poultry feed represents 44% of world feed. Ruminant feed came in at more than 220 million metric tons, according to the report, but this does not include a similar quantity of dry matter fed as silage or forage on farm. Pig, equine and pet feeds have not changed significantly, but aquaculture is the fastest growing feed sector, totaling nearly 30 million metric tons. “As we look to feed 7 billion people in 2012, it is clear that the efficient production of meat, milk and eggs has never been more important,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Alltech has invested in this evaluation of the world’s feed industry as part of its ongoing commitment to information and technology transfer between providers and customers.” The survey was conducted through Alltech’s regional managers and assessed the tonnage of 132 countries and all species.

USDA reports wheat sales to Mexico, South Korea, soybeans to China

    U.S. exporters net sales of wheat for the 2011/2012 marketing year were 604,700 metric tons over the January 13-19 period, up 3 percent from the previous week and 59 percent from the previous four-week average, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
    Increases in wheat sales for 2011/2012 marketing year were primarily for South Korea, with exports of 196,000 metric tons, Mexico with exports of 126,800 metric tons, and Japan with exports of 85,700 metric tons, as well as Indonesia (61,000 metric tons) and Yemen (50,000 metric tons). Decreases in wheat exports were reported for unknown destinations (97,300 metric tons) and Peru (11,200 metric tons). A combined net sales of 14,000 metric tons of wheat for delivery in 2012/2013 marketing year were reported for Italy (9,000 metric tons) and Mexico (5,000 metric tons). For this period, exports of 424,600 metric tons were higher by 19 percent from the previous week, and 22 percent higher from the prior four-week average. The primary destinations were to South Korea (82,500 metric tons), Mexico (77,600 metric tons), Japan (58,600 metric tons), Nigeria (43,300 metric tons) and Peru (27,100 metric tons). 
    Net corn sales of 958,100 metric tons were reported for the 2011/2012 marketing year, thanks to increases for Japan (311,900 metric tons), Mexico (264,100 metric tons), South Korea (186,600 metric tons), Egypt (120,000 metric tons), Costa Rica (78,100 metric tons) and China (72,800 metric tons). The net sales increases were partially offset by decreases for unknown destinations (151,200 metric tons), the Dominican Republic (10,500 metric tons) and Guatemala (5,900 metric tons). A combined net sales of 82,500 metric tons of corn for delivery in 2012/2013 marketing year were reported for Mexico (45,000 metric tons), Japan (32,500 metric tons) and Nicaragua (5,000 metric tons). For this period, exports of 940,700 metric tons of corn were up 25 percent from the previous week and 24 percent from the previous four-week average. The primary destinations were to Japan (214,000 metric tons), Mexico (193,300 metric tons), South Korea (126,700 metric tons), China (120,200 metric tons), Saudi Arabia (70,200 metric tons) and Taiwan (48,700 metric tons). 
    Net sales of soybeans for the 2011/2012 marketing year were 466,300 metric tons, a 53 percent decrease from the previous week and 21 percent lower than the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for China (360,900 metric tons), Mexico (143,500 metric tons), Egypt (60,000 metric tons), Turkey (41,300 metric tons), Costa Rica (30,100 metric tons), and Spain (30,000 metric tons). Decreases in soybean exports were reported for unknown destinations (258,000 metric tons) and Japan (8,500 metric tons). A combined net sales of 126,000 metric tons for delivery in 2012/2013 marketing year were reported for China (120,000 metric tons) and Japan (6,000 metric tons). Exports of 1,184,500 metric tons were reported primarily to China (890,600 metric tons), Mexico (121,100 metric tons), Turkey (41,300 metric tons), Japan (40,500 metric tons), Tunisia (32,200 metric tons) and Taiwan (29,600 metric tons). 

IPE/IFE to remain in Atlanta through 2016

      Leaders of the three associations co-locating their shows explained their future plans. From left: Joel Newman of the AFIA; J. Patrick Boyle of the AMI, and John Starkey of USPOULTRY.
    The combined International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo/American Meat Institute show will remain in Atlanta, Ga., through at least 2016, and its location after that will depend entirely on where exhibitors and attendees want to see the show located, according to the heads of the three associations that are co-locating their shows. Rumors that the show will be moving back and forth between Atlanta and Chicago are only show-floor rumors, and any decisions such as that are years in the future, they said at a press conference on January 26.
    John Starkey, president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association; Joel Newman, president of the American Feed Industry Association; and J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute, said that the three associations are co-locating their shows, a logical progression for all three organizations. "We've been in these discussions for several years," said Starkey. "For all three of us the time was right to make this move."
    According to Boyle, the American Meat Institute's move to an annual spring show a few years ago made the co-location of the three easier. "When we were a biannual show, it would have been hard to do this," he said. The show organizers predict that the addition of the American Meat Institute show could add 100,000 square feet to the 2013 event, up from approximately 300,000 square feet this year. The show's configuration probably won't change much, with the feed and poultry live production exhibitors in Hall A, with Hall B being filled by the current processing exhibitors from IPE and the additional American Meat Institute exhibitors. "Reaction from exhibitors and attendees to the news has been overwhelmingly positive," said Starkey. The three associations will continue to operate independently, and each will offer targeted education and networking opportunities to meet customer needs and complement the expo. 

Alltech challenges poultry industry to solve global resource problems

    The poultry industry must think big and look for exciting solutions to help the world solve its food and resource problems, said Pearse Lyons, Alltech's founder and president, at the annual Alltech breakfast at the 2012 International Poultry Expo on January 25.
    "We are having a revolution, not just in our industry, but  across the world," said Lyons. "The Arab Spring and the Euro crisis may be creating uncertainty, but in the midst of this, nonsexy agriculture is growing, with poultry leading the way throughout the world." Meanwhile the escalation in feed prices is creating new challenges for the poultry industry, making the adoption of modern science and technology more important than ever. "When times are easy, a monkey could lead you company," said Lyons. "When times are challenging, we must have great leaders. Steve Jobs said, 'get out there and make a dent in the universe, otherwise why be here'." Lyons discussed the advances Alltech is making in areas of epigenetics. "Science is giving us a while new insight to nutrition," he said. "We are switching on the genes to improve the animal naturally. We wouldn't have known how to do this three years ago." The results of this, according to Lyons, will give the poultry industry the opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce waste and deliver and higher-quality, more nutritious meat. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

National Pork Producers Council supports US–EU free trade agreement

    A coalition of food and agricultural organizations led by the National Pork Producers Council expressed its support for a free trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union in a letter sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
    “Carried out properly, such an agreement would indeed generate economic growth and create many thousands of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic," said the coalition. “Of course, this would require that the EU be prepared to negotiate and implement the type of high-standard, 21st-century agreement that is central to the [U.S. President Barack Obama] administration’s trade policy efforts."
    The coalition also said that EU regulatory measures often conflict with the interests of the U.S. and with World Trade Organization rules, including regulations on “genetically modified” crop approval and labels, which restrict U.S. corn, soy and refined corn product exports and restrictions on production methods in poultry — antimicrobial use — and pork — ractopamine.
    Nearly 50 organizations signed the letter to the Trade Representative's office

US laying hen welfare bill introduced

      The United Egg Producers board meeting was held in conjunction with the 2012 International Poultry Expo in Atlanta in January.
    Gene Gregory, president, United Egg Producers, announced the introduction of legislation that would codify the laying hen welfare agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers. The announcement was made at the United Egg Producers board meeting, held in conjunction with the 2012 International Poultry Expo in Atlanta in January.
    The proposed legislation, H.R. 3798, or the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, is cosponsored in the House of Representatives by representatives, Kert Schrader, D-Ore., Jeff Denham, R-Calif., Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., and Sam Farr, D-Calif. “Eggs are a national commodity, and egg producers should have a level playing field – not have different, costly rules in all 50 states,” said Gregory. “That’s where we are heading if we don’t pass this federal legislation. We need this legislation for our customers and consumers and the survival of egg farmers.” The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, would:
    • require conventional cages to be replaced during an ample phase-in period with new, enriched colony housing systems that provide all egg-laying hens nearly double the amount of current space;
    • require that, after a phase-in period, all egg-laying hens be provided with environmental enrichments, such as perches, nesting boxes and scratching areas that will allow hens to express natural behaviors;
    • require labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs - "eggs from caged hens," "eggs from hens in enriched cages," "eggs from cage-free hens," and "eggs from free-range hens";
    • prohibit feed- or water-withdrawal molting to extend the laying cycle, a practice already prohibited by the United Egg Producers Certified program;
    • require standards approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia of egg-laying hens;
    • prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses; and
    • prohibit the transport and sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don't meet these requirements.

US pig meat production up in December 2011

    U.S. pig meat production totaled 2.07 billion pounds in December 2011, up 1 percent from the same time in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Hog slaughter in December 2011 totaled 9.94 million head, up slightly from December 2010. The average live weight was up one pound from 2010, at 278 pounds. Numbers slaughtered in Iowa, the top state in December 2011, were up from 2.659 million head in December 2010 to 2.675 million head in December 2011. While numbers were down in the second-highest state, North Carolina (952,000 head in December 2011 compared to 1.01 million head in December 2010), they were up significantly in both Illinois (946,200 head compared to 832,500) and Minnesota (940,900 head compared to 926,300). Overall, 106.6 million head of hogs slaughtered in 2011 were barrows and gilts, 3.03 million head were sows and 329,000 head were boars — roughly 110 million total hogs.

US poultry certified wholesome down in December 2011

    U.S. poultry certified wholesome during December 2011 (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.37 billion pounds, down 9 percent from the amount certified in December 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during December 2011 was 4.46 billion pounds, down 9 percent from the 4.9 billion pounds during the same time in 2010. Young chickens inspected totaled 3.81 billion pounds, down 10 percent from December 2010, and mature chickens, at 64.6 million pounds, were down 8 percent. Turkey inspections totaled 575 million pounds, down 1 percent from 2010 numbers, and ducks totaled 15.2 million pounds, up 1 percent. Young chickens slaughtered during December 2011 averaged 5.78 pounds per bird, down 1 percent from December 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.59 pounds per bird, down 4 percent from 2010 numbers. Turkeys slaughtered during December 2011 averaged 30.3 pounds per bird, up 1 percent from December 2010.
    For more poultry statistics and information, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.  

Novus partners with biotechnology company to develop enzyme

    Novus International Inc. and Verenium Corp., an industrial biotechnology company that develops enzymes, announced at the 2012 International Poultry Expo the selection of a next‐generation phytase as the first enzyme candidate for commercialization from the two companies’ collaboration.
    Watch video: The phytase enzyme being developed will help nutritionists and producers feed more efficiently and get the most out of their rations, according to the companies. Novus and Verenium established a partnership in June 2011 to develop a suite of new enzyme products from Verenium.
    Watch an interview with James Levine, president and CEO of Verenium, explaining the collaboration.

Friday, January 27, 2012

American Meat Institute to co-locate with IPE/IFE in 2013

      Attendees walk the floor at the 2012 IPE/IFE in Atlanta.
    The American Meat Institute has signed an agreement with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the American Feed Industry Association to co-locate the American Meat Institute tradeshow with the International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo in Atlanta, held annually in January, starting in 2013.
    Watch video: The three shows will operate under one umbrella creating one of the largest 50 shows in the U.S. It is expected that the entire show will include more than 1,000 exhibitors and close to 1 million square feet of exhibit space. The meat and poultry exhibits will be combined on one large show floor, and the IFE will be held in the adjacent hall. One badge will allow all attendees into any exhibit. “We are very excited about this partnership with the [American Meat Institute], and the co-location is something our exhibitors have asked about for a long time," said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY. "The consolidation of the tradeshows will allow our respective organizations to build on the synergies of the poultry, feed and meat sectors, as well as provide a benefit to our exhibitors and members who produce or exhibit across multiple protein sectors." All three associations will continue to operate independently, serving their respective constituents and will offer targeted education and networking opportunities that meet customer needs and compliment the expo. The operations of the show will be handled out of the USPOULTRY offices, and the American Meat Institute and AFIA will be instrumental in driving attendance promotion and exhibit sales efforts. “This partnership will enhance the value of our tradeshows to exhibitors and attendees alike,” said American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle. “Now we have one show that provides more education, networking and hands-on demonstration of equipment and supplies from farm through distribution. Our entire industry will benefit from the reduction in travel expenses, exhibit costs and see an undeniable increase in value.”
    The 2012 IPE/IFE is being held through January 26 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The next show will be held January 28–31, 2013.
    Watch a video of Starkey discussing USPOULTRY's new partnership with the American Meat Institute.

United Egg Producers president announces retirement

    Gene Gregory, president of the United Egg Producers, will retire at the end of 2012.
    Gene Gregory made the announcement at the board meeting of the cooperative held in conjunction with the 2012 International Poultry Expo in Atlanta. The United Egg Producers’ board announced that Chad Gregory, Gene Gregory's son, will succeed his father as the next president.
    Gene Gregory has spent over 40 years working in and for the egg industry. He began his career as an egg producer and later served as a board member of the United Egg Producers, before becoming a staff member of the cooperative and finally serving five years as its president. Chad Gregory is currently senior vice president for the United Egg Producers.  

Poultry industry explores operational approaches to sustainability

      The Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit focused on communication and the importance of working together to strengthen the industry.  
    Sustainability is much broader than environmental issues, according to a panel discussion at the fourth annual Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit held on January 24 at the 2012 International Poultry Expo.
    True sustainability, according to the panel, addresses the many areas where an effective sustainability program can impact the “triple bottom line” — people, the planet and profit. In addition to operational approaches, each panel member stressed the importance of communication and working together towards sustainability to strengthen the industry going forward. “Agriculture is a key element of protecting our water resources across the country,” said Nancy Stoner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “We (the EPA and the poultry industry) really are interdependent, whether we want to be or not. We need each other.”  
    Panelists also included Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms, Mike Helgeson with GNP Company, Suzy Friedman with the Environmental Defense Fund and Dr. Brian Kiepper with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Six US poultry farms receive environmental excellence award

      The six poultry farm winners of the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award pose at the 2012 International Poultry Expo.
    Six U.S. poultry farms received the annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award on January 24 at the 2012 International Poultry Expo
    The award, sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, is given in acknowledgment of exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.
    Winners were chosen from six geographical regions from throughout the U.S.:
    • Hack Farms (West)
    • Cooley Farms (Southeast)
    • Hillview Farms (Southwest)
    • Pine Draft Farm (Northeast)
    • Flintrock Farms (North Central)
    • Hesse Farm (Central)
    Applicants were rated in several categories, including dry litter or liquid manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques, innovative nutrient management techniques, and participation in education or outreach programs. 

Poultry industry experts examine competitiveness in global market

    Top poultry professionals dissected the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. poultry industry among its international competition during the Poultry Leadership Roundtable at the 2012 International Poultry Expo on January 23. 
    Watch videos:
    The event, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, included discussions on the effects of politics, the cost of labor, company consolidation and production rates on the global poultry market.
    Gordon Butland, director of G&S Agri Consultants. Co. Ltd., said overproduction of poultry is a serious problem. The excess capacity in Brazil, Thailand and elsewhere is undermining profitability in the global poultry industry and while 2011 was difficult, 2012 may be even more difficult, said Butland.
    Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, talked about U.S. poultry industry executives changing their attitudes about exports with their recognition of the growing importance of international trade. With the U.S. fighting the necessary legal battles to reopen its trade access to China, Sumner said he believes the U.S. has a 99 percent chance of prevailing, with the assistance of the World Trade Organization, in its case against China.
    You can also watch videos of Butland and Sumner discussing competition in the poultry industry. 

Poultry industry should connect with consumers through social media

    Consumers are talking using social media to form their opinions on topics such as animal welfare and food safety, and the poultry and feed industries need to be part of the dialogue, according to David Armano, executive vice president of Edelman Digital.
    Watch video:
    Armano, who spoke at the International Poultry Scientific Forum luncheon sponsored by Novus International on January 23 at the International Poultry Expo, focused on four distinct areas where he said people are gathering their information: traditional media, new media such as blogs, social media and owned media such as company websites. They find information from all four sources, and often place equal value in opinions from all four areas.
    “People are looking for expert opinions to help them cut through the noise on many topics,” said Armano. “They value the opinion of academics and experts from companies, and you should be working at getting those opinions out there in all of these channels.” That means having your experts participating in discussions on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, using Twitter, blogging and adding expert content to company and media websites. This can create a positive message for your cause and your company, which is becoming more and more important. “Consumers don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care,” said Armano.
    See a video summary of Armano’s talk, available here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Industry experts offer tips for surviving high feed prices

    The poultry industry may not see the dire predictions of $10-per-bushel corn come true, but the days of $3 corn are also in the past and adjustments will have to be made, according to Gerald Weigel, a nutrition and feel ingredient consultant who spoke at Industry Outlook 2012 at the International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo on January 23.
    Watch videos: During the presentation and panel discussion, sponsored by Kemin, Weigel said that 2012 will see corn prices averaging in the $6-per-bushel range. But he also said that other factors are changing in corn. “Corn is going to have higher starch, lower protein and lower bushel weights in the future,” said Weigel.
    Peter Ferket, professor of nutrition and biotechnology at North Carolina State University, discussed new tools that are available to both nutritionists and feed manufacturers and how they can be used to gain more efficiency from high-priced feed, especially during the pelleting process. “This is a challenging time, but also an exciting time,” said Ferket. “We can use the tools we have available to us and have fun meeting this challenge.”
    Keith Behnke, professor emeritus from Kansas State University, focused on feed quality. According to Behnke, there is nothing we can to at the feed mill to improve the quality of feed ingredients, but good-quality pellets will give a 5-percent to 7-percent improvement in feed efficiency. The other key for feed mill operators is to use today’s sampling technology to full advantage, to do as much real-time sampling as possible.
    Watch and listen to Weigel give panel attendees an idea of what to expect for corn prices in the coming year in this video.

US broiler trade down, turkey trade up November 2011

    November 2011 broiler shipments in the U.S. totaled more than 606.2 million pounds, a 9-percent drop from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    The decline reflects large drops to Russia, Cuba and Angola, but some major markets including Iraq, China and South Korea partly offset the decline. When comparing broiler shipments in November 2011 to those shipped in November 2010, shipments to Iraq increased by 300 percent, while shipments to China and South Korea increased 140 percent and 81 percent, respectively, over the same period. Although November 2011 exports were down from 2010, broiler exports are expected to remain relatively strong. From September through December 2011, the average legquarter price (wholesale price in the Northeast) has ranged from 51.9 cents to 53.1 cents per pound, which likely indicates continued strong export demand. Because broiler exports were strong during October and November 2011, the 2011 four-quarter projection was revised up 50 million pounds, pushing total projected shipments to 1.85 billion pounds. U.S. turkey shipments totaled 68.6 million pounds in November 2011, a 6-percent increase from 2010 numbers. Mexico has been the largest U.S. turkey market for years and continues to account for at least 50 percent of the U.S. total turkey shipments. Besides Mexico, the increase in November 2011 turkey shipments consisted of strong imports from Hong Kong. Hong Kong imported over 6.4 million pounds, which was 9 percent of U.S. total turkey exports in November 2011. 

China reports bird flu death

    A 39-year-old man has died in southern China from the H5N1 avian influenza virus, the second case in less than a month, according to the country's Health Ministry.
    The unidentified man was admitted to the hospital on January 6 and had not reported any exposure to poultry in the month before his illness. Chinese authorities, who are monitoring 71 people known to have been in contact with the man, have not found any evidence of the virus.
    The previous case involved a 39-year-old bus driver who died on December 31, 2011, and had also reported no contact with birds prior to his illness.

UK egg producer loses over 100,000 birds in fire

    One of the UK’s largest independent egg producers, Fridays, is thought to have lost 140,000 birds following a fire at its Knowbridge Farm in Cranbrook, Kent.
    At the height of the blaze, 50 firefighters were called to the family-owned farm, which was undergoing an upgrade of its barns. Along with the birds, two barns were destroyed earlier in January; however, nobody was hurt in the blaze. The cause of the fire is unclear.

Europe to strengthen animal welfare legislation

    The European Commission has adopted a four-year strategy, to be implemented through 2015, that aims to further improve the welfare of animals in the European Union.
    The Commission has identified a lack of enforcement of EU legislation by Member States in a number of areas as one of the major issues adversely affecting animal welfare in the EU. Another brake on full and even implementation, according to the Commission, is that the market does not provide sufficient economic incentives for compliance. “The recent coming into force of the laying hens legislation has shown that problems persist in animal welfare in several Member States," said EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli. "Some efforts are being made, but many issues need to be tackled in a different way in order to achieve more sustainable results. The new strategy will permit appropriate flexibility in allowing operators to attain the necessary welfare standards by different routes. Optimizing policy coherence and market transparency in a comprehensive animal welfare legislative framework will minimize real or perceived tensions between welfare and economics. Animal welfare measures need to be highly cost-effective, economically and in welfare terms." To address these issues and concerns, the strategy provides for a two-pronged approach: a proposal for a comprehensive animal welfare law and a reinforcement of current actions. The legislation to be proposed is expected to promote an innovative approach focusing on actual welfare outcomes instead of mechanistic inputs, and to increase the focus on the education and professional standards of all parties concerned. The second element proposed is a reinforcement and the optimization of current Commission actions: enhancing tools to strengthen Member States compliance with the legal requirements; boosting the already existing international co-operation on animal welfare issues; providing consumers with better information; and performing studies where animal welfare appears to encourage the most problems. 

US poultry groups concerned over proposed pollutant reporting rule

    U.S. poultry industry groups recently submitted comments expressing concerns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Reporting Rule, which would require owners and operators of concentrated animal feeding operations to submit certain demographic information to the EPA.
    According to the poultry industry groups' comments, the requirements of the rule, proposed on October 21, 2011, include providing detailed location information and farm demographics for nearly every family farm engaged in the production of commercial poultry and egg products in the U.S. The EPA says providing such information will help determine if a violation of the Clean Water Act has occurred.
    “We’re convinced the authority the EPA claims under Section 308 of the Clean Water Act to collect information from non-discharging [concentrated animal feeding operations] oversteps what Congress intended when the law was written,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. According to the groups, making this kind of information readily available to the public puts the safety of the food chain at risk for acts of bioterrorism and increases the concern for the safety and privacy of family farmers who often live at the same location.
    “We are pleased the EPA recognizes the benefit of developing programs that can assist poultry and egg producers with further tools to extend their stewardship efforts," said National Turkey Federation president Joel Brandenberger. "We urge the EPA to follow this course rather than initiate an information collection exercise that will do nothing to enhance water quality.” 

National Chicken Council supports Domestic Alternative Fuels Act

    Representative Pete Olson recently introduced the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act, which would allow ethanol produced from alternative sources, such as domestic natural gas and coal, to be included under the Renewable Fuel Standard and compete with corn-based ethanol. The National Chicken Council issued a statement in support of Olson and allowing ethanol production from alternative sources.
    "It's long past time for Congress to address the failed RFS," Representative Olson said in a press release. "The RFS focus on corn ethanol has translated into higher feed costs for livestock producers and higher food costs for working families. While Congress considers eliminating the RFS altogether, we should in the meantime allow greater participation and competition under the program. That will benefit farmers, businesses and consumers." National Chicken Council vice president of communications, Tom Super, said: “NCC supports broadening the eligibility requirements of a portion of the mandated ethanol volumes to allow a wider variety of sources to be used for production. NCC commends Representative Olson for his leadership on this issue. “Because ethanol today is derived almost completely from corn, this bipartisan legislation would help relieve some of the pressure being placed on corn and help chicken producers who have been struggling with high feed costs. This alternative source would be especially important in years like this one when corn is in limited supply with only a marginal carryover projected for ending stocks,” he said.

USDA proposing poultry slaughter inspection oversight revisions

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing a poultry slaughter inspection rule that would increase oversight of poultry processors’ sanitary practices and contamination controls instead of checking each chicken and turkey for visual defects, saving the industry $250 million a year, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
    The revisions to the current system could prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses a year by modernizing and making methods more efficient, taking the emphasis off visual imperfections that can harm poultry sales rather than improve safety, said Vilsack. The U.S. could save as much as $40 million a year within two or three years, partly through the elimination of inspection jobs. The USDA would continue to inspect poultry carcasses at the end of production lines before they're chilled, and would be on-site at all times. Slaughter operators would have the option of requesting the U.S. continue the visual inspections, according to the proposed regulation. Poultry slaughter operations would have to develop written procedures to prevent contamination and a program to control sanitation, as well as sampling and analysis. Such guidelines are currently voluntary. The public will have 90 days to comment on the proposal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Release of regulations for Food Safety Modernization Act delayed

    The Food and Drug Administration’s release of proposed regulations to implement the cornerstone of the Food Safety Modernization Act has been delayed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, which is still in the review stage.
    The FDA had hoped to release four separate sets of proposed regulations on January 4, the one-year anniversary of the Food Safety Modernization Act's signing into law. Two of those sets of proposed rules will pertain to the requirement that food and feed facilities analyze hazards, implement appropriate preventive controls and develop written food/feed safety plans — each of which is intended to minimize or prevent the potential for products to be adulterated or misbranded. One of the sets is to address human food, and will consist of a 400-page preamble, 200 pages of economic analysis and the regulations themselves. The second set will be for animal feed, feed ingredient and pet food manufacturers, and consist of a 200-page preamble, 100-page economic analysis and the text of the proposed regulations. The other two sets of proposed regulations pertain to law’s requirements that food and feed facilities implement a foreign supplier verification program; and produce growers and handlers implement hazard analysis, preventive controls and product-tracing systems for such products as fruits, vegetables, spinach and lettuce. The final regulations must take effect by July 3.

Japan doubles grain imports from Europe, may hit record

    Japan has doubled its grain purchases from Europe since November 2011, opening the potential for a record volume of imports from the region in 2012 as local feed mills look for cheaper alternatives to U.S. corn supplies, according to reports.
    Japanese corn purchases from the Black Sea region (Ukraine, Romania and Hungary) reached 1.5 million metric tons for shipments from November 2011 to March, said Nobuyuki Chino, president of Continental Rice Corp. Imports may increase further unless corn from Argentina and Brazil, which normally compete with U.S. grain for sales to the Asian market, becomes cheaper, he said. European shippers are currently offering corn to Japanese buyers at prices more than $20 per metric ton cheaper than the U.S., according to analysts, taking advantage of depreciating currencies against the U.S. dollar. Japan imported 10.8 million metric tons of corn for feed in the 2011 fiscal year, of which 9.5 million (88 percent) was from the U.S. Argentina was the second-largest supplier with 690,000 metric tons, followed by Brazil with 434,000 metric tons. Japan also imports 4 million metric tons of corn per year for food and other purposes.

South America drought causes irreversible damage to corn crops

    Brazil and Argentina are expected to lose 11 million metric tons of corn output due to a drought that has caused irreversible damage to South America's corn crop, according to forecaster Agroconsult.
    Estimates in December 2011 had Argentina's harvest at 27 million metric tons of corn; now, Agroconsult puts the number at 20 million metric tons. Brazil's harvest has been cut to 61 million metric tons from 65 million metric tons. South America's soybean output will also be harmed by the drought, according to Agroconsult. Soybean production in Argentina has been cut to 49 million metric tons from 53.5 million metric tons, while Brazil's has been reduced to 73.5 million metric tons from the 75.2 million metric tons estimated in December 2011. Brazil is the third-largest producer of corn in the world after the U.S. and China. Argentina is the second-largest exporter of corn in the world after the U.S.

Algae may provide protein in poultry, pig feed

    Marine algae may serve as a viable protein-rich supplement to animal feed for poultry and pigs, according to researchers at Cornell University who are studying the material as a possible additive or replacement for corn and soybean meal.
    The goal is to transform a biofuel byproduct into a commodity, which could free up thousands of acres of cropland, say the researchers. "Current animal feed directly competes against human food sources and, thus, is unsustainable," said animal science professor Xingen Lei. "We must develop alternatives to soybean and corn for animal feeds." Algae produces 50 times more oil per acre than corn, has a much smaller carbon footprint, uses nutrients more efficiently than land plants, has no runoff, and places no demand on high-quality agricultural land or freshwater supplies. According to Lei's preliminary research, dried defatted algae derived from biofuel production can replace up to one-third of soybean meal in diets for chickens and pigs. It is high in protein — 20–70 percent, compared with about 10 percent in corn and 40 percent in soy, said Lei. It is also being studied for its high oil content (40 percent, compared to corn's 4 percent) and its potential to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Tough start to year for Brazil poultry producers

    The new year has started poorly for the Brazilian poultry industry, says the country’s Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics.
    Falling prices for live birds and poultry meat are putting pressure on producers, who continue to cope with high feed prices. Independent producers saw their purchasing power fall by 30% over the first 19 days of January, according to the center. Despite this difficulty, some analysts still believe that 2012 will be a positive year for Brazil’s poultry producers, particularly as demand for Brazilian chicken grows in China.  

See videos from the 2012 IPE, IFE show

    See the latest videos from the 2012 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo, the world's premier show for the poultry and feed industries. This year's show is in Atlanta, January 24-26, with educational programs running the entire week of January 23. Check back often as this page will be updated throughout the show.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

International Poultry Expo 2012 starts today in Atlanta

      Companies begin setup on the show floor of the 2012 International Poultry and International Feed Expo.
    The 2012 International Poultry Expo and the International Feed Expo will be held January 24–26 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, with educational programs addressing current industry issues running the entire week.
    For the latest news and videos from the event, check back with www.wattagnet.com throughout the week.
    The 2012 program schedule includes the International Poultry Scientific Forum, Pet Food Conference, Animal Agricultural Sustainability Summit, Hatchery-Breeder Clinic and the American Feed Industry Association International Feed Education Program. The event will also highlight the latest technology, equipment and services used in the production and processing of poultry and feed products.

US turkey prices up in fourth quarter 2011

    U.S. prices for whole hen turkeys were consistently higher in 2011 than in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    On a year-over-year basis, monthly frozen whole hen turkey prices have been higher for the last 25 consecutive months. Both lower stock levels and a strong export market have placed upward pressure on prices, said the USDA. December 2011 prices for whole hens averaged $1.07 per pound, down seasonally from November 2011, but 9 cents per pound (9 percent) higher than 2010. Prices in the fourth quarter of 2011 averaged $1.12 per pound, 8 percent higher than the same time in 2010, and 5 cents per pound higher than in the third quarter. With relatively low stock levels going into 2012, whole hen prices are expected to remain above year-earlier levels through first-quarter 2012, then fall to slightly lower than 2011 levels for the rest of 2012. Turkey production in November 2011 was 511 million pounds, down 1.8 percent from 2010 numbers. The decrease in production came from a lower number of birds slaughtered and declines in the average weight per bird at slaughter; the number of turkeys slaughtered was down 0.9 percent from 2010 and the average weight at slaughter fell to just over 28 pounds, a decline of 0.6 percent. With the reductions in weights, the estimate for fourth-quarter 2011 turkey meat production was lowered by 10 million pounds to 1.5 billion pounds, up less than 1 percent from 2010 numbers. The turkey meat production estimate for 2012 is 5.8 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 2011, with the majority of the growth coming in the second half of the year, according to USDA numbers. Ending stocks for all turkey products in the fourth quarter of 2011 are expected to be 205 million pounds, up about 7 percent from the very low stock levels for the same period in 2010. At the end of November 2011, cold storage holdings for turkey totaled 193 million pounds, 11 percent higher than 2010 numbers. The increase was due to larger cold storage holdings of both whole birds (up 18 percent) and turkey parts (up 9 percent), said the USDA. On a year-over-year basis, stocks of whole turkeys have been lower for the last 25 consecutive months. With turkey production expected to be only slightly higher in the first half of 2012 (up less than 1 percent), turkey cold storage totals are expected to remain very close to those for 2011.
    For more information and data on U.S. poultry, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.  

US corn surplus estimates remain low for fall 2012

    An estimated 846 million bushels of corn will be on hand at the end of summer 2012, a surplus that satisfies demand for less than 25 days and fails to meet the 30-day supply considered to be a healthy stock, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    A low supply in 2011 contributed to high food prices, which rose between 3.25 percent and 3.75 percent, said the USDA. Food inflation is expected to slow in 2012, dropping to between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent, but corn is likely to remain above $6 a bushel for all of 2012, which will keep food prices high. Growing demand from livestock producers in China and the U.S. ethanol industry will counter any surpluses, according to the USDA.

India lowers egg prices to boost consumption

    To increase poultry consumption, India's National Egg Coordination Committee has lowered egg prices by 25 paise to Rs 2.70 (US$0.05) each.
    Prices reached a record Rs 3.13 (US$0.06) in December as a cold wave in the north and the intensification of cyclones in the south pushed up poultry prices. The price cut, say industry sources, is motivated by buyer resistance and the need to clear out stock that piled up during Pongal season, when schools are closed and fewer trade trucks run among the states. “We don't want to pile up these perishable products and hence we have trimmed the prices to perk up consumption,” said one source. The Committee has also lowered prices for layer birds, to Rs 30 (US$0.60) per kg from Rs 43 (US$0.86) per kg. The Broiler Coordination Committee has lowered the rate for cull birds to Rs 46 (US$0.91) from Rs 50 (US$0.99) per kg.

Russia poultry imports down, grain exports up in 2011

    Russia's poultry imports dropped by 14 percent, to 420,000 metric tons, in January through November of 2011, according to the Federal State Statistics Service. The country's overall fresh and frozen meat imports went up by 3.1 percent, to 1.3 million metric tons.
    Russia’s grain exports rose 12 percent from January through November 2011 and barley shipments grew 8.4 percent. Roughly 15.4 million metric tons of grain were shipped, including 13 million metric tons of wheat and blends with rye, according to the service. Barley exports came in at 1.7 million metric tons. Rice exports dropped 6.2 percent to 145,000 metric tons, sunflower seed exports tripled to 46,900 metric tons and flour exports grew 3.3 times to 572,000 metric tons.

US broiler production estimated down fourth quarter 2011

    U.S. broiler meat production in the fourth quarter of 2011 is expected to total 8.93 billion pounds, down 50 million pounds from the previous estimate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Broiler meat production in November 2011 was 2.9 billion pounds, a decrease of 7.1 percent from 2010 numbers. The number of broilers slaughtered in November was down 6.2 percent from November 2010, and this decrease was compounded by a decline (1 percent) in the average liveweight for birds at slaughter (to 5.82 pounds). Broiler meat production in December 2011 is expected to show a decrease due to a reduced number of birds slaughtered at a lower average liveweight. The outlook for broiler meat production in 2012 has changed due to sharp changes in the number of chicks being placed for growout and average broiler weights at slaughter. At the beginning of January, the five-week moving average (December 10, 2011 through January 7) showed that the number of chicks being placed for growout was averaging 3.6 percent lower than 2011 numbers. A less drastic reduction in the number of chicks points to possibly smaller declines in broiler meat production in the first half of 2012.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vion launches campaign to promote British pig meat consumption

    UK pig meat processor Vion Food Group has enlisted TV personality and winner of a TV cooking competition Nadia Sawalha and food psychologist Dr. Christy Fergusson to help it launch the second phase of a major campaign to encourage more UK consumers to eat British pork.
    The company aims to raise awareness of the role fresh pork plays in a balanced nutritious diet for its New Year's promotion entitled, "Eat Yourself Happy." The promotion will launch following the results of the latest consumer research into people’s New Year's eating habits and will comprise of media relations, digital marketing and social media, helping to inform and inspire consumers. “As a leading UK pork processor, we have a central role to play in promoting fresh British pork and educating consumers about how to incorporate it into their diets," said Vion's sales and marketing director Melody Chapman. “The latest initiative in our ‘Put Pork on Your Fork’ campaign, ‘Eat Yourself Happy’, aims to help consumers broaden their repertoire and experience new cuts of British pork through exciting recipes and helpful videos from both Nadia and Dr. Christy. By promoting quality British pork, we’ll be helping to support British pig farmers and increase the value of the category as a whole.”  

US pig meat exports highest ever in November 2011

    U.S. pig meat exports in November 2011 were more than 505 million pounds, almost 25 percent greater than in 2010 and a new monthly volume record, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Shipments to China made the difference between a “strong” month and a spectacular one, said the USDA, coming in at almost 118 million pounds. This is the most U.S. pork ever shipped to China, and was almost four times greater than U.S. exports to China in November 2010. Twice in the last few years — 2008 and 2011 — China has imported U.S. pork in quantities sufficient to sharply accelerate U.S pork export volumes, and to move U.S. domestic pork prices higher, for sustained periods. The two Chinese “buys” have each been in response high domestic pork prices, brought about in each instance by disease outbreaks that reduced domestic pork production flows. Domestic pork production shortfalls and interruptions elevated consumer pork prices to a point where China dramatically increased imports of the animal protein most favored by Chinese consumers. Total U.S. pork exports in 2012 are forecast at 5.1 billion pounds, about the same as in 2011, according to the USDA. Pork imports in November 2011, at 75 million pounds, were slightly ahead of 2010 numbers — 1.7 percent compared with November 2010 — with most of the increase coming from Canada. Imports of live swine from Canada in November ran about 9 percent ahead of 2010. Import of early-weaned pigs accounted for most of the increase. Seasonally strong U.S. prices of early-weaned pigs likely drew more animals out of Canada.

Pig producers say EU must learn from laying hen legislation

    National Farmers Union Scotland has met EU Commission animal welfare staff asking that lessons be learned from the challenges that surrounded recent laying hen legislation ahead of the deadline for implementation of similar welfare-driven rules on sow stalls at the end of 2012.
    When the deadline on meeting EU specifications on laying hen cages came into force on December 31, 2011, a significant proportion of European egg units — accounting for 14 percent of EU egg production — was in breach of the rules, despite having 12 years to prepare. By comparison, in Scotland, only one farm, accounting for less than 0.2 percent of the laying flock, has yet to meet the deadline.
    NFU Scotland and the National Pig Association have been seeking reassurances from the Commission on improved compliance and stricter enforcement when the sow stall ban is introduced across Europe at the end of 2012. “Compliance in the UK with the forthcoming sow stall legislation is not an issue as a ban on the use of sow stalls was unilaterally introduced in here January 1999," said NFU Scotland’s Pigs Working Group Chairman Philip Sleigh. "However, it is in the interests of every single UK pig producer that Europe works harder on bringing the ban into place across the whole of Europe as intended and that the mistakes made in introducing the laying cage ban, where compliant producers risk being disadvantaged, are not repeated."
    According to the Commission, cross-border movement of pigs between Member States for processing will make tracing illegally produced pig meat difficult. NFU Scotland said it would like to see a commitment to ensuring that systems are introduced to make sure identifications can be made. “Scottish and UK producers deserve no less," said Sleigh. "Since sow stalls were banned here in 1999, pig producers have endured significant competitive disadvantages with many retailers and food manufacturers choosing to import pork produced to lower welfare standards.  It is a sad fact that since the sow stall ban came into force, the Scottish pig industry has contracted by 50 percent. “Meanwhile, pig meat consumption has actually gone up, but instead of our farmers producing it, our supermarket shelves have a wide selection of EU pork and bacon, produced in systems that are illegal here. [NFU Scotland] is adamant that introduction of new rules across Europe must be rigorously enforced to deliver our producers a level playing field with their European competitors by the end of the year." According to Sleigh, recent events around laying cages for hens have emphasized the need for Europe to work harder at encouraging conversion out of sow stalls and to put in place legislative measures to avoid compliant Scottish producers being disadvantaged once the ban on sow stalls comes into force.  

Poultry meat plays part in reducing stroke risk

    Choosing to eat poultry and other proteins, such as fish or nuts, can lower the risk of a stroke, while frequently eating red meat appears to increase the risk of stroke significantly, according to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Cleveland Clinic.
    The study, published in Stroke in December 2011, found that people who ate the most chicken or turkey each day had a 13 percent reduced stroke risk compared to those who ate about one daily serving of red meat. In addition, men who ate more than two red meat servings daily had a 28 percent higher stroke risk than those who ate about one-third of a serving each day. “The main message from this paper is that the type of protein or the protein package is really important for the risk of stroke,” said co-author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

UK pig industry forms expert crisis, issues panel

    All sectors of the British pig industry have linked up together with responsible animal welfare bodies and farm assurance organizations to form a multi-industry expert group focusing on the issues of emerging diseases, food safety, health and animal welfare, according to a spokesman for the British Pig Executive, which hosted the group's inaugural meeting on January 12.
    “We now have a panel of experts, including processors, large-scale producers and professional crisis management officials, in place to respond to the threat of emerging diseases, food scares, health issues and animal welfare challenges with honest and factual answers and action,” said the spokesman. “We all realized it was important have contingency plans in place in case the slurry hits the fan."
    The first point of contact for the group is British Pig Executive head of communications Andrew Knowles, who will be able to mobilize the whole of the panel in the event of an emergency.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brazil produces highest-ever grain harvest in 2011

    Brazil's national cereal, pulse and oilseed harvest yielded 159.9 million tons in 2011, 6.9 percent higher than the record harvest in 2010 of 149.6 million tons and 0.2 percent higher than the November 2011 estimate of 348,177 tons, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.
    Brazil’s 2011 grain harvest area of 48.7 million hectares is an increase of 4.7 percent from the harvested area in 2010, and an increase of 0.2 percent (39,305 hectares) from November 2011. The cultivation of rice, corn and soybeans — which together represent 90.3 percent of the volume of grain production — accounts for 82.4 percent of that total harvested area. In comparison to 2010 numbers, there was an increase in harvested areas of 1.7 percent (rice), 3.5 percent (corn) and 3.3 percent (soybeans); and an increase in production by 19 percent (rice), 0.1 percent (corn) and 9.2 percent (soybeans). Among 25 crops, 16 increased production from 2010, including: 
    • cotton seed (72.6 percent)
    • the first harvest of peanuts (27.3 percent)
    • paddy (19.0 percent)
    • the first harvest of potatoes (13.3 percent)
    • the second harvest of potatoes (7.6 percent)
    • the third  harvest of potatoes (6.1 percent)
    • cacao beans (6.3 percent)
    • barley grain (9.3 percent)
    • the first harvest of beans in grain (31.2 percent)
    • oranges (2.8 percent)
    • castor bean berry (24.7 percent)
    • cassava (7.3 percent)
    • the first harvest of corn grain (3.3 percent)
    • soybeans grain (9.2 percent)
    • sorghum grain (29.5 percent)
    • triticale grain (25.2 percent) 

Nepal chicken, feed prices up on lowered poultry counts

    Nepal's poultry producers have raised their prices by Rs 15 (US$0.18) to Rs 150 (US$2.64) per kg due to the depleting population of chickens on their farms, according to reports.
    A shortage of fuel has made it more difficult to maintain poultry sheds at hospitable temperatures, say farmers, which has led to a necessary reduction in their stocks. There is currently a supply deficit in Nepal's capital of 15%–20%, said Naran Hari Khattri, president of Feed Industries Association Nepal. Daily demand is around 200,000 kg of chicken, but Khattri said the onset of Nepal's wedding season will only increase the deficit. A significant rise in feed ingredient costs has also precipitated a rise in chicken feed prices, to Rs 45 (US$0.55) per kg from Rs 30 (US$0.37) per kg. “We are compelled to increase the feed price as major components of feeds are imported with payments made in the U.S. dollar, which has strengthened lately,” said Khattri. Maize and oil cake have increased to Rs 25 (US$0.31) and Rs 35 (US$0.43) per kg from Rs 19 (US$0.23) and Rs 30 (US$0.37) per kg, respectively.

Avian influenza H5N1 investigations underway after boy hospitalized in Cambodia

    Avian influenza outbreak investigations are underway in Cambodia following the infection of a two-year-old boy in the country’s Meanchay province with the H5N1 strain of the virus. There have been reports that the boy was exposed to sick poultry in his village and the case is the nineteenth in Cambodia. To date, 16 of those infected with the virus have died. No infection among the boy’s contacts, or of hospital staff treating him, have been reported.

US feed grain supply estimates up in January

    U.S. feed grain supplies for 2011–2012 are forecast at 358 million metric tons, up 400,000 metric tons from December 2011 estimates but down 22.5 million metric tons from the 2010–2011 harvest year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    The 2011 corn crop is estimated higher in January, reflecting higher acreage and yield estimates, but the forecast sorghum crop is reduced. Barley and oats production are unchanged. Feed grain beginning stocks are lowered slightly to 32.3 million metric tons, with a small revision to September 1, 2011 corn stocks. Total feed grain use for the current marketing year is projected higher at 334.2 million metric tons in January, supported by increased corn exports. Domestic use of the four feed grains is lowered 300,000 metric tons to 290.5 million metric tons, reflecting lower projected feed and residual use for sorghum. Feed grain exports for 2011–2012 are increased 1 million metric tons to 43.7 million metric tons, as higher expected corn exports offset lower sorghum exports. The small increase in feed grain supplies combines with an increase in use to lower expected ending stocks 300,000 metric tons to 23.8 million metric tons. In 2010–2011, ending stocks for the four feed grains totaled 32.3 million metric tons.
    For information on grain prices and futures, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.

US turkey eggs up in January

      Turkey poults hatched and placed were both up in December 2011 over December 2010 numbers.
    U.S. turkey eggs in incubators on January 1 totaled 28.1 million, up 1% from January 1, 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Eggs in incubators were down 2% from the December 1, 2011 total of 28.7 million eggs.
    Turkey poults hatched during December 2011 totaled 24.5 million, up 4% from December 2010. Poults hatched were up 8% from the November 2011 total of 22.7 million poults. The 23.5 million net poults placed during December 2011 were up 4% from the number placed during the same month in 2010. Net placements were up 6% from the November 2011 total of 22.1 million.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kenya corn production may decline due to fungus

Danisco loses bid to delay animal feed patent trial

    Food additive maker Danisco A/S has lost a bid to delay a UK trial in a patent battle with industrial enzyme producer Novozymes A/S over a type of enzyme that aids the digestion of animal feed, according to reports.
    Novozymes is claiming that Danisco has sold a product infringing on one of its animal feed patents since 2007, and wants to defend that patent in Denmark, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands. Danisco sought to hold the case until the European Patent Office ruled on the dispute. This was Danisco's second application to push back the trial. The EPO revoked Novozymes' patent in July 2011, a decision which was appealed by the company and will be heard by the EPO later in 2012.