Friday, August 30, 2013

Pilgrim’s to build new feed mill, expand poultry plant

    Pilgrim's will construct a new feed mill facility in Pinckard, Ala., and renovate its poultry processing facility in Enterprise, Ala. The two projects, announced on August 28, equate to a $25 million investment in the state of Alabama.
    "We are excited to announce our continued sommitment to Dale County, the communities of Enterprise and Pinckard, local family farmers, our customers and the Pilgrim's team members who work hard every day to make our business a success," said Jayson Penn, executive vice president of sales and operations for Pilgrim's. "This significant investment is consistent with our strategy of relentless pursuit of operational excellence and will improve our efficiencies, cost structure and competitiveness, while creating a safer work environment for our employees."
    Pilgrim's will begin construction of the $15 million feed mill by late September, and the $10 million renovation of the existing processing facility by early 2014.
    The Enterprise facility currently runs two shifts and employs more than 700 people, while processing more than a million birds a week. The new feed mill in Pinckard, Ala., will replace the existing mill in Enterprise and employ more than 25 people.
    Penn expressed his appreciation to local government entities for their cooperation in the expansions. 

Volunteer soybeans put 2013 corn crop at risk of pests, diseases

    One of the biggest threats to the emerging 2013 corn crop in Nebraska and South Dakota is the presence of volunteer soybeans, according to Chip Flory, ProFarmer editor and crop analyst. Flory shared that observation on August 27 during the Grain & Meat Outlook Webinar, hosted by WATT Global Media and Farm Journal. The webinar, the second in a series, remains available for online viewing.
    Volunteer crops are not necessarily unusual, especially in farms where crops are rotated. But the presence of soybeans in corn fields is concerning to Flory.
    "In a lot of those fields, there are some pretty good beans in there once you get the corn out of the way," Flory said.
    However, the presence of soybeans in a corn field is a serious matter, Flory added, because it is a harbor for soybean diseases and pests that can harm the corn. It has also brought aphids to the corn crop.
    Despite the problems brought on by the presence of volunteer soybeans in some corn fields, Flory said the 2013 corn crop looks "very clean" and is at minimal risk for mycotoxins. 

Buffalo Wild Wings to expand into the Philippines

    Buffalo Wild Wings annnounced plans to expand into the Philippines.

    Buffalo Wild Wings will expand to the Philippines as the restaurant chain specializing in chicken wings has signed a development agreement with one of the country's premier restaurant operators to open Buffalo Wild Wings locations later in 2013. The company revealed its initiative to move into the Philippines on August 28.
    "We are thrilled to continue our international expansion to the Philippines with The Bistro Group, and bring our wings, beer and exciting sports experience to even more guests across the globe," said Sally Smith, CEO and president of Buffalo Wild Wings. "The Philippines have passionate sports fans, who we believe will love the great atmosphere at Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as enjoy a menu filled with our classic hot fresh wings and local favorites."
    Construction on restaurants is scheduled to begin in 2013, with restaurants planned for Makati City and the Manila area.
    "The Philippines is among the fastest growing economies in Asia, so it is a natural choice for Buffalo Wild Wings," said Matt Brokl, vice president of International Development at Buffalo Wild Wings. "The economy is growing faster than China's and with an expanding middle class, there is a lot of enthusiasm for casual dining."
    The company's international push began in 2011 with restaurants in Canada, where it has grown to include 13 locations. Buffalo Wild Wings in 2012 announced expansion into Mexico and the Middle East, where the company expects to open the first of those restaurants this year. The company continues to explore opportunities in other markets across the world. 

Pilgrim’s gets $25 million poultry grower suit ruling overturned

    A 2011 ruling where poultry processor Pilgrim's was ordered to award about $25 million to several dozen contract growers was overturned in a federal appeals court on August 27. Pilgrim's had been sued by the poultry growers in 2009, with the growers alleging the company violated antitrust laws by trying to manipulate poultry prices.
    A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans determined that a federal magistrate judge was wrong to find that Pilgrim's in 2009 closed its chicken processing plant in El Dorado, Ark., and end its relationship with the contract growers in an effort to manipulate the price of chicken. The appeals court ruled that shutting the El Dorado plant, along with other plants in Douglas, Ga., and Farmerville, La., was a necessary move for the company to become economically viable, according to news reports.
    Pilgrim's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy around the time of the plant closures, but has since emerged from bankruptcy. The company is now majority-owned by Brazilian meat and poultry processor JBS. 

Feed conference calls for paper submission

    The FIAAP Asia conference focuses on feed ingredients and additives.

    Papers are now being accepted for FIAAP Asia. The fifth in a series of conferences focusing on the ingredients and additives used in animal feed, pet food and aquafeed, FIAAP Asia will be held April 9, 2014 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center in Thailand.
    Presentations must deliver new information to the international feed industry and relate to advances in animal feed ingredients and additives. Topics must have practical applications and should fall into the following categories:
    • Functional ingredients for animal health and growth, their environmental impact, the manipulation of finished animal products and the optimization of available raw materials
    • Feed additives that optimize physical quality, food chain safety and environmental impact
    • Regional feed markets and market directions
    • Traditional and new sources of proteins or carbohydrates
    • Diet design and nutrient requirements specifically for conditions in the Asia Pacific
    The deadline for presentation submissions is September 30, 2013. Visit the conference website for conditions of acceptance and further details or email:

Register for WATT meat, poultry supply forecast webinar

    Join Dr. Paul Aho, Poultry Perspective, Dr. Chris Hurt, Purdue University and Brett Stuart, Global AgriTrends to hear their analyses of supply and demand trends in red meat and poultry markets during the WATT Meat and Poultry Supply and Price Forecast webinar.
    The webinar will take place Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Central. To register for the webinar, go to
    Attendees will learn:
    • Forecast for red meat and poultry supply for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014
    • Expected wholesale prices for red meat and poultry
    • What impact exports will have domestic supply and prices

WVPA Congress concludes with success in France

    The World Veterinary Poultry Association's (WVPA) XVIIIth Congress that was held in Nantes, France from August 19-23 was a "triumph," according to WVPA global president, Dr. Trevor Bagust.
    The theme of "viral and bacterial enteric diseases" was the focus for the Avian Pathology Lecture, presented by Professor Filip van Immersel of Belgium.
    "The French organizing team did WVPA proud with a program of some 500 oral and poster presentations and their hospitality and social events were exceptional. Nobody can have left this Congress without a better understanding of key topical issues such as influenza, campylobacter, in ovo vaccination and antibiotic resistance," Bagust said.
    The event's main industry supporters, Ceva, MSD Animal Health, Merial and Zoetis, also praised the quality of the papers and posters. Another event highlight was the induction of the first 52 members elected to the WVPA's new Hall of Honor. The Bart Rispens Award (supported by MSD Animal Health) and the WVPA-Zoetis Young Poultry Veterinarian Awards were also presented.
    "Hosting WVPA's XVIIIth Congress was an honor, which was made all the more memorable because we had poultry health experts attending from 79 countries and we were particularly pleased to have had a good turnout from Asia," the French organizer, Nicolas Eterradossi, added.
    In 2014 WVPA will be hosting Regional Meetings in Asia and Europe.

Buffalo, N.Y., to receive 40 tons of chicken wings for Labor Day weekend festival

    Forty tons of chicken wings are being trucked from a Wayne Farms facility in Arkansas to Buffalo, N.Y., as the city of Buffalo prepares for its annual chicken wing festival. The festival will be held over the 2013 Labor Day weekend at Buffalo's Coca-Cola Field, a minor league baseball stadium.
    National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival founder and organizer, Drew Cerza, told the Associated Press the event brings tens of thousands of people from across the United States and abroad to the city where the Buffalo-style wing originated.
    More than 100 different styles of wings will be featured. The festival will also include live music and a wing-eating contest.

McDonald’s chicken wings to make nationwide debut in September

    McDonald's test runs of Mighty Wings in the Atlanta and Chicago markets were so successful, the company has decided to go nationwide with the new line of chicken wings. The quick-service restaurant chain will debut Mighty Wings on September 9, with a complete national roll out by September 24. The wings will be available for a limited time, as they are expected to no longer be sold at McDonald's by the end of November.
    Mighty Wings were introduced to Atlanta customers in the fall of 2012 and to the Chicago area earlier in 2013.
    "We know customers are excited about this new menu item and we look forward to launching Mighty Wings nationally," the company said in a written statement.
    Mighty Wings are a natural bone-in chicken wing that comes in two varieties, a drummette or a wingette. They are lightly breaded, providing a crispy bite of home-style flavor seasoned with cayenne and chili pepper delivering a solid spicy kick, the company stated. Mighty Wings will be sold in packages of three, five and 10 pieces, with prices starting at $2.99.
    The Mighty Wings come with an assortment of nine sauces including chipotle barbecue sauce, creamy ranch sauce, honey mustard sauce, hot mustard sauce, spicy Buffalo sauce, sweet chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey and tangy barbecue sauce. 

Higher live weights for young chickens recorded in July

    Higher live weights for young chickens inspected in the U.S. contributed to an overall increase in poultry slaughtered in July when compared to July of 2012. Live weights for mature chickens, however, were less in July than they were during the same month of 2012.
    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Poultry Slaughter report, released on August 26, young chickens inspected in the U.S. during the month totaled 4.37 billion pounds, a five percent year-over-year increase. The average weight for young chickens inspected in July was 5.84 pounds, a 1 percent increase over the July 2012 average live weights.
    The average live weight of mature chickens in July was 5.86 pounds per bird, down 4 percent from 2012. A total of 68.3 million pounds from mature chickens was inspected during July, a 1 percent drop from the total weight inspected in July 2012.
    The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during July was 5.1 billion pounds, up 5 percent from 4.87 billion pounds during July 2012. Turkey inspections totaled 643 million pounds, up 3 percent from a year ago.  Live turkey weights also played a factor in the total amount slaughtered, as turkeys inspected during July averaged 29.7 pounds per bird, up 2 percent from July 2012.
    Ducks inspected for slaughter in July totaled 14.3 million pounds, up 15 percent from last year. However, the average live weight for ducks in July was 6.7 pounds, down from the 6.8 pound average for July 2012. 

DSM Animal Nutrition & Health offers packaging premix in LDPE bags

    DSM Animal Nutrition & Health now offers the option of packaging premix in low-density linear polyethylene (LDPE) bags. The white-tinted bags are 100 percent recyclable and provide protection from air and sunlight that can be detrimental to vitamin potency in animal feed.
    The thickness of the polyethylene helps reduce bag damage during transport to and within customers' warehouses and feed mills. Bag exteriors are textured to improve handling and ensure that bags on pallets hold together. Heat sealing is used to eliminate the risk of thread or tape contaminating micro-bins or finished feed. The bags also clean out easily for reduced product shrink. New bags meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for food packaging and comply with international shipping standards.
    The effort to provide environmentally friendly packaging was a response to a customer's request for premix packaging that could become part of their internal recycling initiative. Traditional multi-walled paper bags with a polyethylene liner require separation of the paper before either component can be recycled; however, these new bags don't require this additional step.
    New, state-of-the-art packaging equipment in both the Pendergrass, Ga., and Ames, Iowa, premix plants allows DSM to offer the LDPE bag option to customers. Customers can choose the bag type they prefer when developing their premix specifications.  Similar upgrades to packaging equipment at DSM premix plants in Fort Worth, Texas, and Ayr, Ontario, are planned for the future. 

National Turkey Federation president to speak at upcoming Turkey Committee Meeting

    The Poultry Federation has announced the lineup of speakers for its upcoming Turkey Committee Meeting. Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, Washington, D.C., is a featured presenter.
    The meeting is scheduled for September 6-7 at Thousand Hills Convention Center in Branson, Mo. The schedule is as follows:
    Friday, September 6, 2013
    • Welcome and Opening Remarks - Tim Kasinger, Turkey Committee president, Ag Forte
    • The Poultry Federation Update - Marvin Childers, The Poultry Committee, president
    • National Turkey Federation Update - Joel Brandenberger, National Turkey Federation, president
    • Problem Solving Water - Susan Watkins, University of Arkansas
    • Preparing for Winter - John Menges, Best Veterinary Solutions
    Saturday, September 7, 2013
    • Welcome - Tim Kasinger, Turkey Committee president, Ag Forte
    • Salmonella - Dr. Brian Wooming, Cargill
    • Corona Virus - Kabel Robbins, Butterball
    Advance registration for the conference is $20 per industry representative, attending family members are free.  Advance registration for golf is $60 per player. Attendees should register online. For more information, contact The Poultry Federation at +1.501.375.8131.

The Poultry Federation names Tyson CEO among speakers for 2013 conference

    The Poultry Federation has announced the lineup of speakers for its 2013 Arkansas Nutrition Conference, being held September 3-5 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Roger, Ark. Featured speakers include industry experts from the U.S. and around the world, such as Donnie Smith of Tyson Foods.
    The program includes:
    Tuesday, September 3: Rob Shirley, Ph.D., Adisseo, presiding
    • Welcome and Introductions - Rob Shirley, Ph.D., poultry technical manager, Adisseo
    • Methionine Inclusion in Poultry: Past and Present - Michael Kidd, Ph.D., poultry science director, Center of Excellence, University of Arkansas
    • Advances in Sulphur Amino Acid Nutrition through Recent Metabolic and Physiologic Research - Pierre-Andre Geraert, Ph.D., director of innovation & marketing, Adisseo (France)
    • Current Amino Acid Considerations for Broilers: Requirements, Rations & Economics - Paul Tillman, Ph.D., technical services consultant, Poultry Technical Nutrition Services LLC
    • The Development, Use and Value of Adisseo's Precise Nutrition Evaluation Platform in Poultry Production - Rob Shirley, Ph.D., poultry technical manager, Adisseo
    • NSP Enzymes: Interaction with Each Other and Dietary Factors - Jason Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor, Poultry Science Dept., Texas A&M University
    Wednesday, September 4, morning: Nathan Collins, Ph.D., Simmons Foods Inc., presiding
    • Broiler Production Efficiency: A Comparison between Brazil and the United States - Serigo Vieira, Ph.D., professor associado, Departmento de Zootecnia, Universidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, at Porto Alegre, Brazil
    • UK and Irish Poultry Nutrition and Production - Bronagh Owens, Ph.D., poultry nutritionist, Devenish Nutrition Ltd.
    • Poultry Production in Spain: New Advances in Feeding and Nutrition Production - Gonzalo Mateos, DVM, Ph.D., professor of animal nutrition, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
    • Broiler Production and Nutrition in the United States - Carla Price, Ph.D., poultry nutritionist, Sanderson Farms
    • International Speakers Roundtable - All international speakers
    Wednesday, September 4, afternoon: Nathan Collins, Ph.D., Simmons Foods Inc., presiding
    • The Early Brooding Period:  Issues and a New Technology Solution (In-hatchery Feeding) - Donna Hill, Ph.D., hatchery management consultant, Hatch Tech Incubation Technology
    • Enzymes and Their Effect on Amino Acid Nutrition - Mike Bedford, Ph.D., research director, AB Vista Feed Ingredients
    • Antibiotic-Free Strategies for Poultry Production - Matt Greenwood, Ph.D., poultry nutrition consultant, Greenwood Nutrition LLC
    • Servant Leadership - Donnie Smith, president and CEO, Tyson Foods Inc.
    • Speaker Roundtable - All speakers
    • Introduction of 2013 Scholarships
    • Poster viewing with students present
    Thursday, September 5: Keith Turner, Ph.D., Butterball LLC, presiding
    • Departmental and Center Update - Michael Kidd, Ph.D., poultry science director, Center of Excellence, University of Arkansas
    • Animal Wellbeing: A Nutrition Challenge - Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton, Ph.D., professor & director, Center for Food Animal Wellbeing, University of Arkansas
    • Turkey Nutrition and Skeletal Development Research: 1992-2012 - Mike Lilburn, Ph.D., professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State/OARDC
    • Pellet Quality Performance Tests: Milling to Bird Performance - Joe Moritz, Ph.D., professor, Animal & Nutritional Sciences, West Virginia University
    • Equilibrium in the Gut Ecosystem for Productive Healthy Birds - Edgar Oviedo, DVM, Ph.D., associate professor, Prestage Department of Poultry Science on Affiliation, North Carolina State University
    The event is co-sponsored by the Feed Manufacturers Committee of The Poultry Federation and the University of Arkansas, and the technical symposium is sponsored by Adisseo. Proceeds from this conference are designated for scholarship support at the University of Arkansas. The conference qualifies for 12 CEUs for members of American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS).
    Advance registration for the conference is $100 and on-site registration is $125.  Professors, emeritus and students are free of charge. 

Jamaica Broilers to purchase smoked meats processor

    Poultry company Jamaica Broilers Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Hamilton's Smoke House, a local producer and processor of smoked meats. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
    The acquisition is hoped to give the poultry company more-solid footing in the pork market and improve the range of products the group currently offers, said Ian Parsard, senior vice-president of operations and finance for Jamaica Broilers Group.
    "This move means a number of things, among them the coming together of two locally grown companies and brands which are known for exceptional quality products," Parsard told the Financial Gleaner.
    The pending purchase of Hamilton's Smoke House is the second acquisition announced by Jamaica Broilers during the summer of 2013. The company is in the process of closing the purchase of a U.S. egg producer that has not yet been publicly identified.
    Hamilton's Smoke House began operation in 2000 and produces 23 products under three lines: hams, sausages and deli meats. The products are supplied to grocery stores, quick-service restaurants, hotels and caterers.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sanderson Farms third quarter net income more than triples

    Sanderson Farms reported a strong third quarter of 2013, with net income reaching $67.9 million, a huge jump from the $28.7 million in net income recorded during the third quarter of 2013. The company announced its results for the third quarter, which ended on July 31, on August 27.
    Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were $739.0 million, compared with $624.9 million for the same period a in 2012. Net sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2013 were $1,955.9 million compared with $1,737.7 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2012. Net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2013 totaled $85.3 million, or $3.71 per share, compared with net income of $44.6 million, or $1.94 per share, for the first nine months of last year.
    "Sanderson Farms' financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 reflect improved market conditions when compared to last year's third quarter," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms. "Market prices for poultry products were higher than the third quarter of fiscal 2012, as the Georgia Dock whole bird price remained historically high during the quarter. The Georgia Dock price reflects steady retail grocery store demand. In addition, market prices for wings, while below last year's third quarter levels, improved during the quarter. Boneless breast meat prices remained well above last year's prices and peaked in May as several quick serve restaurants and other food service establishments featured chicken on their menus."
    Overall market prices for poultry products were higher in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with prices in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. As measured by a simple average of the Georgia dock price for whole chickens, prices increased 11.6 percent compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Boneless breast prices improved when compared to last year's third fiscal quarter, averaging 32.3 percent higher than the prior-year period. Jumbo wing prices averaged $1.28 per pound for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, down 19.3 percent from the average of $1.59 per pound for the third quarter of fiscal 2012. The average quoted market price for bulk leg quarters was essentially flat during the quarter, averaging $0.51 per pound during the third fiscal quarter of 2013 compared to $0.50 during the third fiscal quarter of 2012.
    Cash prices for corn delivered to the company increased 8.1 percent compared with the third quarter a year ago, while the price for soybean meal delivered to the Company increased 10.3 percent. For the nine-month period, the company's cash prices for corn increased 13.2 percent and soybean meal increased 29.3 percent when compared to the nine months ended July 31, 2012.
    "While poultry market prices improved during our third fiscal quarter, the company continued to experience higher grain prices compared with the same period last year," added Sanderson. "Market prices for grain have remained high through most of August, but favorable growing conditions this summer have fueled considerable optimism about this year's corn and soybean crops. While the available grain quantity and prices during the coming months will ultimately depend on this year's final crop performance, prices have recently moved lower. If we priced all of our needs for the remainder of the fiscal year at yesterday's market prices, cash paid for feed grains would be approximately $79 million higher during fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012. However, fourth quarter cash market prices would be $65 million lower than last year's fourth quarter. We have priced our grain needs through August but will be on the market for our needs starting in September."

JBS mulls filing suit against investment firm OppenheimerFunds

    Meat and poultry processor JBS is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against U.S. investment firm OppenheimerFunds, claiming the firm has spread false information about JBS' dealings with a subsidiary owned by French poultry producer Groupe Doux. The Brazil-based JBS issued a statement about the potential lawsuit on August 23.
    JBS alleges OppenheimerFunds repeatedly tried to misrepresent JBS' rental of Doux's assets as an acquisition of subsidiary Doux Frangosul. Doux has about $60 million worth of debt it owes OppenheimerFunds, according to the Financial Times.
     "As clearly disclosed to the market, JBS did not acquire the assets of Doux Frangosul. The company only rented the facilities in question. If these facilities were left idle, they would have eventually been handed over to creditors in a lengthy legal process. JBS, by keeping the plants operational, has prevented the loss of thousands of jobs and the resultant negative economic impact to local communities," the company said in a statement.
    Groupe Doux closed much of its Brazilian poultry operations in 2012. In May 2012, JBS agreed to lease Doux Frangosul's Brazilian facilities to increase JBS' poultry production.
    In its statement, JBS asserted that it has not made any moves toward acquiring Doux Frangosul, and the business relationship between the two entities should in no way interfere with OppeneimerFunds' efforts to collect debt from Groupe Doux.
    "The rental of the Doux Frangosul plants by JBS does not preclude or jeopardize any course of legal action by Oppenheimer to protect its rights," JBS said. "Any attempt on the part of Oppenheimer to hold JBS responsible for debts assumed by Doux Frangosul is evidence of a profound lack of knowledge of the basic principles of the legal system."

FDA announces Phibro Animal Health withdrawal of application for medicated poultry feed

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Phibor Animal Health Corp. is withdrawing approval of New Animal Drug Application (NADA) 098-371 for the use of nicarbazin, penicillin and roxarsone in three-way, combination-drug Type C medicated feeds for broiler chickens. The company is also withdrawing NADA 098-374 for use of nicarbazin and penicillin in two-way, combination-drug Type C medicated feeds for broiler chickens.
    Although Phibro Animal Health Corp. withdrew its approved NADA voluntarily because these products are no longer being manufactured or marketed, the decision to remove these antibiotic-containing feeds from the market for production purposes supports FDA's voluntary strategy for judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.

Prince Agri Products launches new dairy cow nutrition website

    Prince Agri Products Inc. has launched a new website,, which focuses on the role of dairy cow nutrition and management in maintaining a healthy immune system and greater productivity.
    Research continues to demonstrate that a well-functioning immune system is vital to dairy cattle when dealing with stressful events such as calving, high milk production, social changes, weather changes and forage quality issues. The new website provides information on the company's nutritional supplement, OmniGen-AF, which is designed to help proper immune function when included as a regular part of a dry, transition and lactating dairy diets.
    The website also includes other informational resources about stress management, as well as a video featuring Swiss Lane Dairy in Caledonia, Mich., which has reported improved herd health by feeding OmniGen-AF year-round to its dry, transition and lactating cows.

Maple Leaf Foods to sell Rothsay rendering and biodiesel business

    Maple Leaf Foods has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Rothsay, its rendering and biodiesel business, to Darling International. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2013.
    "The sale of our rendering and biodiesel business supports our strategy to focus on effective capital deployment and profitable growth in the consumer packaged foods market," said Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. "We are delighted to have concluded almost a year-long process with an agreement with Darling, the North American leader in food waste recycling. The sale will support future investments in our consumer facing businesses and allow Darling to build on Rothsay's strong capabilities and deep customer relationships."
    Proceeds from the estimated $645 million transaction will initially be used to pay down debt. Maple Leaf Foods managers will also consider reinvesting in its core consumer packaged food businesses or returning excess capital to shareholders.
    Rothsay is the leading rendering company in Canada and a leading producer of biodiesel. The business operates six rendering plants located in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, and a biodiesel facility in Quebec. It employs about 550 people, who will transition to Darling once the transaction closes. Maple Leaf plans to enter into a long-term contract with Darling to receive by-products recycling services at competitive market rates.
    Darling International, based in Irving, Texas, is the largest and only publicly traded provider of rendering and bakery residuals recycling solutions to the U.S. food industry. The company recycles beef, poultry and pork by-product streams into useable ingredients such as tallow, feed-grade fats, meat and bone meal, poultry meal and hides. The company also recovers and converts used cooking oil and commercial bakery residuals into valuable feed and fuel ingredients. These products are primarily sold to agricultural, pet food, leather, oleo-chemical and biodiesel manufacturers. 

Ex-FDA commissioner pushes to limit antibiotic use in poultry, livestock production

    Donald Kennedy, who served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 1977-79, in a letter to the Washington Post advocated limiting the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock production. Kennedy, like other critics of antibiotic use in animal agriculture, says overuse can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can adversely affect human health.
    Kennedy wrote that the agency was first advised during his term to eliminate the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, but Congress stopped the effort before it ever began. However, he added that the FDA now appears to take steps in limiting antibiotic use by instituting Guidance for Industry 213, also known as Guidance 213. The voluntary policy would instruct pharmaceutical companies to stop marketing certain antibiotics for animal production purposes. Instead, antibiotics should be used judiciously, focusing on the treatment of animals for various health problems.
    "The new guidelines cannot come soon enough," Kennedy wrote in the letter published on August 22. "More antibiotics were sold for use in food animal production in 2011, the last year for which complete data are available, rather than in any prior year. The FDA annually examines bacteria on retail meat and poultry, and each year the bugs show more resistance to antibiotics. …"
    "The FDA should finalize Guidance 213, tell the public how data will be collected to ensure that its voluntary strategy is working and then, if antibiotic misuse continues unabated, apply the full force of regulation. It has been 36 years since the agency moved to restrict injudicious antibiotic practices that threatened the public's health.
    Kennedy, now a professor emeritus of environmental science at Stanford University, also suggested in the letter that producers improve crowding and sanitation conditions that make poultry and livestock susceptible to disease. He believes that move will further reduce the need for antibiotics. 

Hickman’s Family Farms testing transparent egg cartons

    Hickman's Family Farms is testing a new style of transparent egg cartons that it hopes will keep cracked eggs off of store shelves and allow customers to view eggs they intend to buy without opening cartons in the store. The new cartons are being tested at four Costco locations and two Fry's locations, all in the Phoenix metro area.
    The new egg carton design features a hard bottom that holds the eggs in place. A plastic film covers the carton, rather than a lid, and plastic separators come up above the egg so the cartons can be stacked.
    The in-store testing of the new egg carton design began in April and is expected to continue until at least October. If the test proves successful, the new cartons could be integrated into Hickman Family Farms' regular production. Package inventor Geoff Von Der Ahe may also sell the packaging to other interested egg companies, the Arizona Republic reported. 

New strain of avian influenza in China poses threat, research shows

    While H7N9 avian influenza caused the deaths of more than 40 people in China earlier in 2013, a new strain of avian influenza has been detected in China, according to a scientific study published August 21 in the journal "Nature." H7N7 has now been discovered in chickens in Chinese poultry markets, the study said.
    In experiments, scientists from the University of Hong Kong discovered H7N7 has the ability to infect ferrets, and revealed that this form of avian influenza could transfer to people.
    The same study revealed a link between the H7N9 outbreaks and domestic ducks. The virus was believed to have started in wild migratory birds, which infected domestic ducks in China. From there, the ducks spread the virus to chickens in live markets, which was likely how the humans became infected, the study indicated.
    The number of humans infected by avian influenza has slowed dramatically since the initial outbreak in March. The Chinese government's closing of many live poultry markets is cited as one reason for the decline in infections.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

US chicken wing inventories continue to grow

    Inventories of U.S. chicken wings in cold storage continued to climb during July, increasing by nearly 13 percent from the levels recorded at the end of June. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Cold Storage report, released on August 22, showed inventories of frozen chicken wings at 94.2 million pounds on July 31, compared to the 83.6 million pounds recorded on June 30.
    Supplies of chicken wings in cold storage have been on a steady climb over the spring and summer months of 2013, as frozen chicken wings levels in the U.S. at the end of March were at 75.4 million pounds.
    The amount of chicken wings in cold storage has nearly doubled since July 31, 2012, when frozen stocks were recorded at 49.9 million pounds. 

OMP Foods confirms talks with Pilgrim’s about poultry plant

    OMP Foods, the parent company of Ozark Mountain Poultry, confirmed on August 22 that it is negotiating with Pilgrim's about the pending purchase of a poultry plant in Batesville, Ark. Leah Peterson, human resources director for OMP Foods, said she couldn't release any details concerning the negotiations, but she did confirm the two companies were discussing a pending sale.
    The company appears confident a deal will be reached, as Peterson said she will be in Batesville in upcoming days to distribute applications and talk to potential OMP Foods employees.
    Pilgrim's announced on August 21 that it intends to close the poultry plant within 60 days. The smallest poultry plant within Pilgrim's, the Batesville facility accounts for only 1 percent of the company's revenues. About 470 people are employed at the plant.
    Pilgrim's had announced on August 1 that it is negotiating the sale of the Batesville plant, but did not reveal who the other party was.
    OMP Foods is a family-owned company based out of Rogers, Ark. It currently employs nearly 600 workers and produces more than 1.5 million pounds of poultry a week. 

NC Poultry Federation, NC Egg Association host Annual Membership Meetings

    The North Carolina Poultry Federation held its 46th Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Banquet, August 8-9, at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center in Greensboro, N.C. The North Carolina Egg Association simultaneously held its Annual Membership Meeting and partnered with the N.C. Poultry Federation for other activities.
    The federation elected the 2013-14 board of directors and presented several awards of recognition:
    N.C. Rep. Jimmy Dixon and N.C. Sen. Brent Jackson each received the federation's Distinguished Service Award for their outstanding work as chairmen of their respective agriculture committees in the House and Senate.
    The 2013 Environmental Grower Award was presented to Curtis and Valerie Byrum of Little Field Farm in Tyner, N.C., growers for Perdue Farms; First Finalist was presented to Roger Tate of Efland, N.C., a grower for Braswell Milling.
    N.C. Egg Association president, Tommy Furlough of Cal-Maine Foods, announced the inaugural Richard Simpson Award. The award will be presented annually to someone who represents the honor, integrity and dedication to excellence that Simpson set as an example. It was presented to the Simpson family for 2013.
    Scott Prestage received the Past President's Award.
    Officers elected to the N.C. Poultry Federation's 2013-14 executive board are: Dan Peugh of Allen Harim Farms, president; Jeff Hancock of Tyson Foods, first vice president; Ronnie Parker of Circle-S-Ranch, second vice president; Jeff Stalls of Perdue Farms, secretary/treasurer; and Scott Prestage of Prestage Farms, immediate past president.

Chinese nutritionists, poultry company leaders gather for Alltech China Nutritional Poultry Summit

    The future of poultry nutrition was discussed by expert speakers at the Alltech China Nutritional Poultry Summit.

    More than 150 Chinese nutritionists and leaders from large poultry companies recently gathered in the city of Qingdao, China, for the 2nd Alltech China Nutritional Poultry Summit. The summit addressed recent Chinese food scandals that continue to pressure the meat industry to change the way it looks at animal production.
    Expert speakers covered a variety of topics such as amino acids, bioactive mannan rich fractions, organic trace minerals, organic selenium, solid state fermentation enzymes and glucan-based mycotoxin deactivators.
    Speakers included Mike Kidd, University of Arkansas; Wang Zong, China Agriculture University; Peter Ferket, North Carolina State University; Lucy Waldron, editor of World Poultry Science, New Zealand; former Yum China director, Joaquin Pelaez; Aziz Sacranie, technical poultry director, Alltech; former CEO of Harim-Allen Farms, Gary Gladys; and Liu Yuehuan, China Academy of Agriculture Science. The summit was chaired by Aidan Connolly, vice president, Alltech.
    Speakers Kidd and Ferket focused on nutrient supplementation needed in the diet for a bird's immune system in times of disease challenge. According to the presentations, an ideal diet, from a disease prevention point of view, will address the detoxification of mycotoxins through the use of effective mycotoxin binding agents. An ideal diet will minimize undigested material through the use of solid state fermentation enzymes, bioactive MRF carbohydrates and other plant extracts. It will also contain bioavailable, organically complexed minerals, as well as optimal levels of vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients to create a balanced diet.
    "Safe and traceable food is more important than ever," said Dr. Mark Lyons, vice president corporate affairs at Alltech, during his concluding remarks. Despite the numerous food safety and farm disease challenges, Lyons believes that the future of the Chinese poultry industry is bright and he urged the audience to redefine the way they look at poultry nutrition.

WVPA Gala Dinner recognizes poultry professionals

    The Great Elephant ushered guests to their tables at the World Veterinary Poultry Association Gala Dinner.

    The Gala Dinner at the end of the penultimate day of the XVIII World Poultry Veterinary Association (WVPA) Congress took place at The Machine Gallery, Nantes, France.
    To move guests from the cocktail reception to the formal dinner, a larger animal than usually encountered was used -- the huge machine Great Elephant. To the amazement of assembled guests, this made its way through the middle of the reception to the dining area and attendees followed behind.

    Hall of Fame

    Dr. Trevor Bagust, WVPA president, used the evening to announce the Hall of Fame, created to be the highest honor for any poultry veterinarian. All those members -- one per annum since the establishment of the association -- were announced and the induction ceremony and awarding of certificates took place while guests ate.
    The evening was also used to announce the recipient of the Young Poultry Veterinarian of 2013 award. This was presented to Philip Hammond, from the UK, who is a partner at Crowshall Veterinary Services, which is responsible for a significant proportion of the UK poultry industry.
    For the second year running, the award has been sponsored by Zoetis Global Poultry, and Hammond will receive a grant to attend poultry meetings of his choice anywhere in the world. On receiving the award, he said that the key to being a good poultry veterinarian is good communication and ensuring that everything possible is done to meet clients' needs.
    Bagust commented: "Philip is a great communicator and a fantastic ambassador for the profession. I am really happy that we can acknowledge and support his passion for poultry health, and help him to further his experience at a global level."
    Details of the next WVPA Congress, to be held in South Africa in two years' time were given by Dr. Hannes Swart, and he urged guest to come to South Africa to see some real elephants.
    This was followed by the announcement that the 20th conference will be held in Scotland, UK, in 2017. 

Jennie-O’s strong sales help Hormel income climb in 3rd quarter

    Jennie-O Turkey Store delivered strong results during the third quarter of 2013, helping its parent company Hormel Foods achieve a 2 percent increase in net income. The quarterly results were announced on August 22.
    "Our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment delivered a strong quarter, despite higher grain costs and lower commodity meat prices," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Hormel Foods.
    Jennie-O Turkey Store, one of Hormel Foods' five segments, saw a 17 percent increase in operating profits for the third quarter. Net Jennie-O sales for the quarter rose 4 percent, driven by a growth in sales of its ground turkey and turkey bacon.
    Already pleased with the quarterly performance of Jennie-O Turkey Store, Ettinger is optimistic the segment will continue to do well in the fourth quarter. "We anticipate Jennie-O Turkey Store will continue to rebound from headwinds faced earlier in the year, which should benefit results through the rest of fiscal 2013," he said.
    Hormel Foods earned $113.6 million for the quarter that ended July 28, compared to the $111.2 million earned during the third quarter of 2012. 

Pilgrim's closing poultry plant it intends to sell

    Pilgrim's will stop production at its poultry processing plant in Batesville, Ark. by mid-October. Workers were told of the closure on August 21.
    Pilgrim's had earlier announced its intent to sell the plant during an August 1 quarterly conference call with shareholders. Fabio Sandri, chief financial officer of Pilgrim's, said the company was negotiating the sale of the Batesville facility to a producer in a niche market where Pilgrim's does not compete, but did not directly identify the potential buyer. However, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Rogers-based poultry company OMP Foods is in discussions to purchase the Batesville facility. Representatives from OMP Foods' subsidiary, Ozark Mountain Poultry, are expected to be in Batesville in upcoming days to distribute job applications.
    The Batesville plant is the smallest one operated by Pilgrim's, accounting for 1 percent of the company's revenues. An estimated 470 people are employed at the Batesville plant.
    Sandri earlier described the pending sale of the Batesville poultry plant as a "constructive step in aligning all of our facilities to our long-term growth strategy."

Identities of Moark egg farm shooter, victim released by police

    Maine State Police have identified the victim of an August 19 shooting at a Moark egg farm in Turner, Maine, as well as the man who fired the fatal shot. The victim was identified as Manuel Adame, 57, Lewiston, Maine, while the man who fired the shot has been identified as Michael Warbin, 44, Franklin, Conn.
    Warbin, a contractor hired to clear the property of rodents and other pests, was using a .22-caliber rifle to rid one of the farm's barns of rodents and stray chickens. He allegedly shot Adame on accident while eradicating the pests.
    An investigation into the shooting is continuing. Warbin is cooperating with the investigation, authorities told reporters.
    Officials said Adame collapsed while trying to leave the Moark barn and died while he was being taken to a hospital in nearby Lewiston. The state medical examiner's office says he died of a gunshot wound to the chest and neck. 

Kemin poultry manager named Poultry Science Association fellow

    Dr. James W. Kessler

    Dr. James W. Kessler, Kemin senior poultry technical service manager, was named one of three Poultry Science Association (PSA) fellows at the organization’s annual meeting July 22-25, 2013, in San Diego, Calif. The title is the highest recognition PSA bestows on a member. Fellows are selected based on their professional distinction and without regard to longevity.
    The award is a testament to Dr. Kessler’s contributions to the poultry science field, which includes his extensive list of publications in professional journals and the popular press.
    “Working with Dr. Kessler on the Poultry Science Association Board of Directors was a pleasure and it was an honor to be on stage with him when he became a fellow,” noted PSA past-president Mike Kidd. “His service to our association has been tremendous."
    Prior to joining Kemin, Dr. Kessler spent ten years as the executive director of the PSA and held key positions in the poultry industry. He holds a doctorate and Master of Science in nutrition/biochemistry from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Ohio State University.
    The PSA is a professional organization consisting of approximately 1,400 educators, scientists, extension specialists, administrators and producers who are committed to advancing the poultry industry.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eggs set in US broiler hatcheries climb 5 percent

    Commercial broiler hatcheries in the United States set 201 million eggs during the week ending August 17, a 5 percent increase from the corresponding week in 2012. The number of broiler eggs, however, dropped from the previous week, when 202 million broiler eggs were set, according to the USDA Broiler Hatchery report, released on August 21.
    The report also revealed that broiler growers placed 166 million chicks for meat production during the week, a 2 percent jump from the same week in 2012, but the same number of chicks placed during the week ending August 10. 

Secondary avian influenza outbreak reported in Italy

    A secondary outbreak of avian influenza has been confirmed in Italy, the World Organisation for Animal Health stated on August 20. The secondary outbreak follows the announcement of an avian influenza outbreak that was initially reported on August 10.
    While monitoring the activities implemented after the primary outbreak in Ostellato, a secondary outbreak of H7N7 avian influenza was confirmed in Mordano. Both cases affected commercial farms of layer hens, and both farms are owned by the same company.
    The number of birds identified as susceptible has grown from 128,000 to 584,900.
    Control measures applied include establishing quarantine zones, movement control within the country, vaccination prohibition and no treatment of affected animals. Screening procedures will be done, and the infected establishments will be disinfected. 

Efforts to pass Egg Bill not over just yet

    Chad Gregory, president, United Egg Producers, said the egg producers may lobby for passage of the Egg Bill again in 2014.

    In 2012 and again in 2013, the United Egg Producers (UEP) attempted to have the Egg Bill, legislation based on the UEP’s hen welfare agreement with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), included as an amendment to the Farm Bill. When a new Farm Bill wasn’t passed in 2012, Chad Gregory, president and CEO, UEP, told the audience at the association’s Area 5 meeting in Atlanta that the process essentially had to start over again with the new Congress in 2013.
    Gregory said that efforts to have the Egg Bill attached to the Farm Bill as an amendment to the Egg Products Inspection Act failed first in the Senate and later in the House, and that by mid-June of this year, “It was pretty much over.” But now, in late August, it is far from certain that a Farm Bill will be agreed upon by both houses of Congress by the end of the government’s fiscal year, which ends September 30. Gregory said that it is possible that Congress will pass another continuing resolution and that the work on a new Farm Bill will be pushed into 2014.
    What happens next?
    If the Farm Bill doesn’t pass in 2013, that means the King Amendment is not enacted, and this means that state laws regarding hen housing will impact out-of-state egg producers who wish to ship eggs to states with housing standards. January 1, 2015, is the implementation date for California’s Proposition 2, so decision time is rapidly approaching for producers who supply eggs to California.
    The UEP’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the HSUS, which calls for both organizations to work to secure passage of the Egg Bill, is set to expire at the end of September of this year. Gregory said that the UEP and the HSUS have had some preliminary discussions regarding extending the agreement and that both groups expressed interest in an extension. Based on this, Gregory said that if a new Farm Bill isn’t adopted this year, the UEP might be back on Capitol Hill next year lobbying yet again for the Egg Bill. In addition, he said that even if the Farm Bill does pass this year, efforts might be made to find another piece of legislation to attach the Egg Bill to. He said that one congressional aide told him, “Great legislation never passes on the first round.”
    Other Options
    David Lathem, president, Lathem Farms, and UEP chairman, said that UEP members may need to go back and consider other options for transitioning hens out of conventional cages if efforts to pass the Egg Bill continue to be unsuccessful. Both Lathem and Gregory said that it is more important to be thorough in the search for a solution than it is quick. “We don’t have to be in a hurry to find answers; we need to take our time to find the right answers,” Lathem said.

EU pig slaughterings down in May

    EU pig slaughterings for May 2013 were down 2 percent as compared to last year, According to Eurostat. Throughputs totaled 20.4 million head, nearly half a million fewer pigs than a year earlier. The number of pigs killed across the EU in the first five months of the year was down by 1 percent at 102.9 million head. With carcase weights slightly higher, pig meat production across the year to date was marginally down on a year earlier at 9.28 million tons.
    Despite the overall downward movement in May, there were contrasting trends in different member states. Large decreases were recorded in Spain and the Netherlands (both down 8 percent). This might be partly due to increased exports of live pigs leaving fewer for slaughter domestically. In contrast, throughputs were higher on the year in Germany, Belgium and Italy, among others. However, the sharpest rise was in Denmark, where the May slaughter numbers was up 11 percent. 

JSR Genetics new sire lines lower production costs

    The pig production arm of the JSR Farming Group, a 4,000 sow operation producing 2,000 pigs per week, has increased the dead weight of its slaughter pigs and cut its overall cost of production by 2.5 percent by switching to two new sire lines developed by JSR Genetics.
    Against a backdrop of rapidly rising feed prices (up by 40 percent in the last three years) James Christian, Chief Operating Officer at JSR and his team were looking very closely at the performance of their four breeding sites and 12 finishing units. The search was on to find new ways to maximize output and minimize cost.
    Faster growing pigs, which can be taken to heavier weights within their production time frame, could provide the answer. Of course, it would need to do that efficiently, with no negative impact on feed conversion ratios.  And the resulting quality, measured against a comprehensive set of metrics including back fat ratios, would have to be equal or better than that which was currently being achieved. Last but not least, the new pigs would need to be sufficiently robust to thrive in any one of JSR's production units, which are located in areas of varying disease challenge.
    "We discussed our ideas with JSR Genetics and challenged them to develop new sire lines for our business which could produce rapidly growing, high quality, robust pigs without compromising feed efficiency, quality or resilience," says Christian.
    Twelve months ago, JSR identified the importance of increasing the slaughter weights of their pigs and during the last year have increased the carcass weight by 3kg. JSR now has contracts in place which will allow them to work towards a target slaughter weight in excess of 83kg. The pigs are also delivering good carcass yields whilst maintaining low back fat levels of an average of 10.2mm. This suggests of course that heavier weights can be achieved with these sire lines without compromising quality. The new pigs are also proving to be robust and easy to manage.
    In terms of their growth they are, on average, gaining an additional 122g per day from 30kg to slaughter. However they are also making exceptional progress in the critical, early stages of their development, increasing JSR's average weaning weight by an average of 0.75kg. This, together with enhanced natural resistance to a range of widespread diseases including scour, is helping the business to achieve impressive low mortality and high average weaning rates. These are currently running at over 11.5 per litter, right across the business.
    "We have made good progress in our efforts to take our pigs to heavier weights, without compromising quality or efficiency and we've reduced our overall cost of production by 2.5 percent, he says.  "This is great news for our business and we will continue to increase slaughter weights up to 90kg."

UK retailers are importing more pork, bacon

    The National Pig Association (NPA) is predicting that the foundations for the next food scandal are already being laid by some retailers as a number of them are switching back to imported pork, bacon and gammon products, because they are marginally cheaper.
    The NPA is not naming the retailers concerned until it has had meetings with them to find out their reasons for retreating from their post-Horsegate promises to introduce short supply chains.
    "Since the heat has come off the horse meat scandal we've started to see retailers sliding back from the strong British position they publicly adopted, and import more European product," says NPA general manager Dr. Zoe Davies.
    "Consumers expect supermarkets to deliver on their post-Horsegate commitments to shorten their supply chains by buying safe food produced in Britain. If they think they can return to their old habits as soon as our backs are turned they had better think again, because we won't let this matter drop and nor will our friends in the National Farmers Union."
    Britain imports around 60 percent of its pork and pork products and NPA has stated it believes this could be reduced if all retailers were genuinely committed to building shorter supply chain agreements with British pig producers.

AFIA, Kansas State offer advanced pelleting course

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the International Grains Program of the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University have partnered to offer a course on advanced pelleting.
    The three-day educational course will be held at the IGP conference center in Manhattan, Kan., and at the new KSU O.H. Kruse Feed Mill October 7-9, 2013.
    The course will focus on the concepts needed to ensure an optimal and efficient pelleting system in a feed manufacturing business, according to the hosting groups. The lectures will cover all aspects of pelleting needed for participants to gain an in-depth understanding of the process. Among the topics that will be covered are the importance of ingredients in the pelleting process, what affects pelleting operations, steam conditioning, pellet cooling and crumbling, maintenance, and evaluating pelleting production costs.
    Practical sessions will take place at the KSU O.H. Kruse Feed Mill in order for participants to fully understand all the issues related to running a successful pelleting operation in their feed mills. Also, all key aspects in the pelleting system will be demonstrated, including running a steam conditioning system, pellet cooling and crumbling, and pellet quality assessment.
    Speakers for the course will include faculty of KSU's Feed Technology group, including Carlos Campabadal, Cassandra Jones and Charles Stark. Also, it will include professor emeritus of the Department of Grain Science and Industry Keith Behnke and Fred Fairchild. In addition, industry speakers will help to cover all aspects of pelleting topics.
    Registration information can be found at The registration fee is $900 for AFIA members and $1,000 for non-AFIA members, and covers course material, protective gear during practical sessions, lunches and breaks during the course, transportation between the hotel and IGP conference center, and a graduation lunch. This high-demand, educational course often sells out quickly, so early registration is suggested.

Monday, August 26, 2013

US corn market factors leading to production uncertainty

    The U.S. corn market is currently dealing with uncertainty across the board, including production stemming from acreage and yield considerations, acreage uncertainty as its own issue, and the pace of corn consumption, according to University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good.
    For acreage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) currently estimates planted acreage at 97.379 million acres. The Farm Service Agency report of prevented acreage released the week of August 12 indicated prevented corn acreage of 3.411 million acres. The estimate exceeded expectations and resulted in speculation that the NASS estimate might eventually be reduced.
    However, there has not been a close relationship between prevented acres and the change in the NASS estimate of planted acres from June to the final estimate, according to Good. In 2010, for example, 2.1 million corn acres were reported as prevented, but the NASS final estimate of planted acres exceeded the June estimate by 320,000. In 2011, prevented acres totaled 3.01 million, yet the final NASS estimate of planted acres was only 346,000 less than the June estimate.
     Beyond planted acreage, there is some uncertainty about potential acreage harvested for grain. The difference between planted acreage and acreage harvested for grain averaged only 6.8 million acres in 2009 and 2010, about 400,000 less than the previous five-year average. The difference increased to 7.95 million in 2011 and 9.78 million in 2012 as poor weather resulted in more acres harvested for silage or abandoned. In 2013, NASS estimates the difference at 8.244 million acres. There is potential for the difference to vary from that estimate, depending on how the growing season ends, according to Good.
    The NASS August forecast of the U.S. average corn yield of 154.4 bushels per acre was three to four bushels less than expected. The initial reaction was that the forecast would be larger in subsequent reports. However, weather conditions have become less favorable as large areas of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois received less-than-average precipitation over the last 60 days and particularly over the past 30 days. While more seasonal temperatures in coming weeks will help advance maturity, the combination of warm and dry weather will likely result in declining crop condition ratings and yield expectations more in line with the USDA forecast, said Good.
    The pace of corn consumption has also accelerated as the 2012-2013 marketing year winds down. Based on weekly estimates of ethanol production, it appears that corn used for ethanol and co-product production during the last quarter of the marketing year will be 40 to 45 million bushels more than used during the summer quarter in 2011-2012. If so, use for the entire marketing year will exceed the previous USDA forecast by 30 to 35 million bushels.
    "Taken together, recent developments suggest that new crop corn prices may have established a low before harvest," said Good. "At least the extreme lows that have been reflected in some private forecasts now seem unlikely. The September 12, USDA Crop Production report looms as very important for price direction."

More than 90 poultry facilities in US honored for safety performance

    The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council honored 92 chicken and turkey facilities for outstanding safety performance through the implementation of innovative and effective employee safety and health programs. The annual safety awards were presented on August 21 during the 2013 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry held in Amelia Island, Fla.
    The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consists of members from U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation's poultry products and employ more than 350,000 workers.
    "We would like to congratulate these facilities and their management teams. These awards recognize outstanding safety performance achievement as a result of their effective and innovative programs. The noteworthy and consistent decrease in illness and injury rates among poultry's workforce over the last two decades is a direct result of their compelling dedication to worker safety," the council said in a statement.
    Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by three judges: Gary Pohlmann of Marsh Risk Consulting; Doug Britton, program manager for Agricultural Technology Research at Georgia Tech Research Institute; and George Nassif of Aon Global Risk Consulting. Twenty-four facilities received the highest level of recognition, "Award of Distinction." The other categories included "Award of Honor" and "Award of Merit."
    Award of Distinction
    Ozark, Ark. - processing
    Ozark, Ark. - feed mill
    Carthage, Mo. - processing
    Huntsville, Ark. - processing
    Jonesboro, Ark. - processing
    Turkey, N.C. - feed mill

    Cargill Value Added Meats
    Temple, Texas - feed mill
    Waco, Texas - processing
    Elkton, Va. - breeder operation

    GNP Company
    Arcadia, Wis. - feed mill

    Hillshire Brands
    Storm Lake, Iowa - processing

    Keystone Foods
    Albany, Ky. - processing
    Franklin, Ky. - hatchery
    Camilla, Ga. - processing

    Perdue Farms Inc.
    Perry, Ga. - cook plant
    Dillon, S.C. - processing
    Perry, Ga. - fresh processing
    Concord, N.C. - further processing
    Salisbury, Md. - processing
    Rockingham, N.C. - processing
    Georgetown, Del. - roaster complex
    Monterey, Tenn. - processing

    Wayne Farms LLC
    Pendergrass, Ga. - processing
    Clermont, Ga. - hatchery

    Awards of Honor
    Mt. Olive, N.C. - processing

    Cargill Turkey Production LLC
    Springdale, Ark. - feed mill

    Case Farms
    Goldsboro, N.C. - further processing

    Cobb-Vantress, Inc.
    Siloam Springs, Ark. - feed mill
    Timpson, Texas - hatchery
    Monticello, Ky. - hatchery

    Gerber Poultry
    Kidron, Ohio - processing

    Jennie-O Turkey Store
    Dawson, Minn. - feed mill

    Keystone Foods
    Gadsden, Ala. - processing
    Eufaula, Ala. - processing
    Eufaula, Ala. - hatchery
    Reidsville, N.C. - processing

    Mountaire Farms
    Lumber Bridge, N.C. - processing
    Statesville, N.C. - breeder operation
    Frankford, Del. - feed mill
    Millsboro, Del. - feed mill
    Millsboro, Del. - processing
    Selbyville, Del. - processing

    Perdue Farms Inc.
    Accomac, Va. - processing
    Bridgewater, Va. - further processing
    Cromwell, Ky. - processing
    Hurlock, Md. - hatchery
    Milford, Del. - processing
    Murfreesboro, N.C. - hatchery
    Washington, Ind. - turkey processing

    Petaluma Acquisitions LLC
    Petaluma, Calif. - processing
    Petaluma, Calif. - hatchery

    Pilgrim's Pride Corporation
    Batesville, Ark. - processing
    Broadway, Va. - processing
    Broadway, Va. - hatchery
    Harrisonburg, Va. - feed mill
    Moorefield, W.V. - feed mill
    Nacogdoches, Texas - processing
    Nacogdoches, Texas - hatchery

    Sanderson Farms, Inc.
    Laurel, Miss. - feed mill

    Simmons Foods
    Siloam Springs, Ark. - further processing

    Tyson River Valley Animal Foods
    Robards, Ky.

    Trinity Valley Foods
    Irving, Texas - processing

    Wayne Farms
    Danville, Ark. - hatchery
    Decatur, Ala. East - further processing
    Decatur, Ala. - fresh plant
    Decatur, Ala. West - further processing
    Dobson, N.C. - feed mill
    Elkin, N.C. - hatchery
    Troy, Ala. - hatchery
    Union Springs, Ala. - processing

    Awards of Merit
    Cargill Value Added Meats
    Springdale, Ark. - processing

    House of Raeford Farms
    Arcadia, La. - processing

    Jennie-O Turkey Store
    Barron, Wis. - processing
    Willmar, Minn. - Benson Ave. plant
    Montevideo, Minn. - processing
    Willmar, Minn. - Willmar Ave. plant

    Mountaire Farms
    Siler City, N.C. - hatchery

    Perdue Farms Inc.
    Hurlock Md. - feed mill
    Lewiston, N.C. - processing

    Petaluma Acquisitions LLC
    Petaluma, Calif. - feed mill

    Marshville, N.C. - processing
    Mayfield, Ky. - processing
    Moorefield, W.V. - fresh foods
    Moorefield, W.V. - prepared foods

    Sanderson Farms
    McComb, Miss. - processing

    Tyson Foods
    Berryville, Ark. - further processing
    Rogers, Ark. - further processing
    Monett, Mo. - hatchery
    Van Buren, Ark. - further processing

    Wayne Farms
    Laurel, Miss. - feed mill

    Wenger's Feed Mill
    Muncy, Pa. - feed mill
    Hegins, Pa. - feed mill

Poultry temperature fraud suspect sentenced to probation, fine

    A man charged with falsifying temperatures of poultry exported from Pascagoula, Miss., to Russia has been sentenced to three years on probation and a $2,000 fine. Terry White, Ocean Springs, Miss., was sentenced August 19 after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.
    White was a warehouse supervisor for Gulf Coast Cold Storage in 2009, when he directed others to falsify blast-freezer records and re-stack loads of poultry to disguise portions that were not cold enough to load onto ships. Shipping the poultry at higher than required temperatures was a violation of a trade agreement with Russia. Gulf Coast Cold Storage is a tenant at the Port of Pascagoula.
    Two other suspects in the poultry temperature fraud case, Gerald Miller, Gautier, Miss., and Patrick McClain, Pascagoula, were acquitted during a June trial.
    White had earlier been charged with five criminal counts, but four of those counts were dismissed when he plead guilty to the conspiracy charge. 

WVPA Congress highlights Campylobacter in poultry production

    While Salmonella is coming increasingly under control in Europe's poultry flocks, Campylobacter remains the biggest cause of foodborne diseases in the region, delegates at the XVIII World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress were told.
    According to Gilles Salvat, laboratory director and director of animal health and welfare with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupation Health (ANSES), the latest statistics from the European Food Standards Authority show that the major problems in Europe with foodborne illnesses are due to Campylobacter, Salmonella and Verotoxigenic E. coli, the latter due to recent outbreaks in Germany and France.
    The general trend in foodborne illnesses in Europe, as in the rest of the world, is downward, however progress across Europe has not been even, and in some member states, for Campylobacter in particular, the situation is getting worse. Southern Europe tends to have a higher prevalence than the northern region.
    Salvat noted that the first investigations into levels of Campylobacter contamination in France were carried out in 1999-2000, and 45 percent of flocks were found to be positive. A similar level of contamination was expected across member states.
    In France, there is a high flock prevalence of Campylobacter irrespective of production type, yet relatively low bacterial counts per carcass. Consumer risk is considered low, because surviving bacteria will be destroyed by cooking. France has a strong free-range poultry sector, and as a result of environmental contamination, the overall figure is pushed up.
    He commented that the objective with Campylobacter will be control, and that any thoughts of eradication are simply illusory. Biosecurity on farms needs to be improved, he said, but it needs to be accompanied by stronger consumer education.
    However, a different scenario is evident in Europe where Salmonella is concerned. Control measures have been in place for some years now, and Salvat predicted that Salmonella, particularly the serious serotypes, would soon be under control across the region.
    Dr. Chuck Hofacre, of the University of Georgia, noted that in the U.S., processing plants are succeeding in reducing bacterial counts on carcasses, but as regulations are tightened, there is only so much that can be achieved at the processing plant. The focus needs to turn more to the poultry farm.
    Various methods for reducing Campylobacter, ranging from protocols to products, were presented to delegates.
    Marc Decoux, executive manager global poultry marketing with Novus, noted that Campylobacter cost Europe €2.4 billion (US$3.2 billion) in 2011 alone.

Moark egg farm employee’s shooting death under investigation

    The shooting death of a Moark egg farm employee in Turner, Maine, is being investigated by the Maine State Police. The worker, identified only as a 57-year-old male, appeared to have been shot on August 19 when another worker was using a .22-caliber rifle to kill rodents inside a barn that was being cleaned.
    Authorities told news outlets the victim collapsed while attempting to leave the Moark barn. He died while being transported to a hospital in nearby Lewiston, Maine. An autopsy is pending. 

Poultry Nutrition Research Award presented to Elanco scientist

    Dr. Janet Remus presents the Poultry Nutrition Research Award to Dr. Alex Corzo.

    Dr. Alex Corzo has been presented with the Poultry Nutrition Research Award by the Poultry Science Association and the American Feed Industry Association. Corzo, a former faculty member at the Mississippi State University Department of Poultry Science, is now part of the research and development team at Elanco Animal Health, having joined the staff in 2011.
    While at Mississippi State University, Corzo's research focused primarily on practical aspects of poultry nutrition. At Elanco Animal Health, Corzo is responsible for the assessment, refinement, and development of new molecules and technologies for poultry.
    Corzo, born in Bogota, Colombia, received his bachelor's degree in animal science from Universidad de La Salle, in Bogota, Colombia. In 1998, he enrolled in a master's program at Oklahoma State University, followed by a doctoral program at Auburn University in 2000.
    The Poultry Nutrition Research Award was presented to Corzo by Dr. Janet Remus, of Danisco Animal Nutrition and DuPont Industrial Biosciences, during the recent annual Poultry Science Association meeting in San Diego. The award is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association as part of its continuing awards program that dates back to 1948. Remus presented the award on behalf of the American Feed Industry Association.

Kazakhstan bans Ukrainian poultry exports

    Kazakhstan has banned Ukrainian poultry exports, citing a lack of thorough sanitary inspections. The ban, announced August 20, comes a week after customs officials began tougher checks on imports from Ukraine.
    "If suppliers of this produce are creating hurdles, of course there will be no import of this produce to Kazakhstan," Kazakh Deputy Agriculture Minister Gulmira Isayeva told Interfax.
    Tougher rules on imports from Ukrainian are being put in place as Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus are forming a trade bloc, with hopes that Ukraine will join. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

18th World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress begins in France

    The successful bid from the British Veterinary Poultry Association will see the next European WVPA Congress held in Edinburgh.

    The World Veterinary Poultry Association's XVIII Congress has started in Nantes, France, and runs until August 23.
    There will be 145 oral communications given over 16 sessions and over 400 posters are being presented. Topics covered at the event range from the safety of poultry products, to viral and bacterial diseases, education and technology transfer and family poultry production.
    Organized by GF-AMVA, the French branch of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, the event is thought to have attracted 1,250 attendees from around the world. This year's congress is hosting branches of the WVPA from Malaysia, Korea, Pakistan and the Philippines for the first time.
    The next WVPA Congress will be in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2015.
    It's a destination, not just a conference
    The 2017 event will return to Europe, and the first day of the 2013 congress saw a decision taken on which will be the next European host country and city, with Budapest, Edinburgh and Verona in the running.
    The British bid won the day. The next European home for the World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress will be Edinburgh.
    The British team, using the slogan "It's a destination, not just a conference," noted that it offered a strong scientific program along with all accommodation being within walking distance from the event's venues. The congress will follow the Edinburgh Festival Fringe -- the world's largest art festival -- with a welcome reception held in Edinburgh Castle. 

Tyson Foods to donate meat for as many as 308,000 meals

    Employees from Tyson Foods and Sam’s Club gather with local families to kick off the “Be a Hunger Hero” campaign at the Sam’s Club in Fayetteville, Ark.

    Tyson Foods will donate the meat for as many as 308,000 meals to families across America for every 5-pound bag of Tyson chicken nuggets purchased at Sam's Club stores between August 15 and September 1. The donation is part of the "Be a Hunger Hero" campaign to educate kids about childhood hunger through coloring books and secret identity cards given at six nationwide in-store demonstrations throughout the month of August.
    The "Be a Hunger Hero" campaign, created through a partnership between Tyson Foods, the Tyson Foundation, Champions for Kids and Sam's Club, aims to fight childhood hunger by providing four ounces of protein for each meal to families in need.
    The partnering organizations expect the campaign to spread awareness about childhood hunger and teach children that small steps can go a long way toward helping someone who needs it.
    "The 'Be a Hunger Hero' program encourages young people to don the identity of a superhero," said Blake Brandes, chief program officer for Champions for Kids. "When helping people is part of who we are, we don't help others out of a sense of obligation. We help them out of a deep and personal commitment to improving the world around us."