Friday, November 29, 2013

Mountaire Farms seeks workers to support growth in Millsboro, Del.

    Poultry processor Mountaire Farms is accepting applications for 49 jobs, created by its expansion efforts in Millsboro, Del. The jobs are expected to pay an average of $25,000 per year.
    Michael W. Tirrell, Mountaire Farms vice president of human resources and business services, told The News Journal that the Mountaire Farms hatchery expansion project in Millsboro was completed in October, and it expects to complete the Mountaire Farms poultry plant expansion, also in Millsboro, in December.

Ag committee members seek timeline on USDA poultry inspection proposal

    Four members of the House Agriculture Committee have written to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, asking when the USDA plans to send a final version on the proposed poultry inspection rule to the administration. The House members also are asking when the agency plans to implement the new rules.
    Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Vice Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; and Congressional Chicken Caucus members Rick Crawford, R-Ark., and Jim Costa, D-Calif. signed the letter on November 15.
    The program, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point-based Inspection Models Project, is already operating as a pilot in 20 chicken plants, five turkey plants and five hog plants in the United States, according to the Washington Post.
    USDA officials say they are proposing the new system to improve food safety and increase efficiency in plants. USDA inspectors say they believe food safety will be compromised because processing line speeds are allowed to increase by 25 percent in poultry plants and 30 percent in hog plants. However, about 40 percent of government inspectors are expected to be replaced by employees of the poultry and meat plants.

Egg producers Michael Foods, Eggland’s Best form partnership

    U.S. egg producers Michael Foods and Eggland's Best have formed a partnership to produce boxed liquid egg whites and other value-added products for foodservice and food manufacturing. Under the agreement, Michael Foods will be the exclusive licensee of Eggland's Best 100% Liquid Egg Whites products.
    Michael Foods already produces its own liquid egg white product, called AllWhites Egg Whites under the Crystal Farms banner. According to news reports, the financial terms of the agreement between Michael Foods and Eggland's Best were not disclosed.

HKScan wins compensation payment following Danish fire

    HKScan has been granted a Euro 7.2 million (US$9.7 million) property insurance payment following the 2012 fire which halted production at its Vinderup plant, one of three the company operates in Denmark.
    The payment will be reported as non-recurring income in the fourth quarter of 2013. Negotiations with its insurance company on damage to property, loss of profit and additional costs caused by business interruption are now complete.
    The fire is thought to have been ignited by a welding spark during the installation of a new cooling line. HKScan notes that the total capital expenditure related to the fire amounts to Euro 26.5 million. 

Raymond to speak at New Approaches to Ground Pathogen Reduction program scheduled for 2014 IPPE

    Sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the New Approaches to Ground Pathogen Reduction program will be held January 28 - 29, 2014, during the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. This important program will bring together industry, academic, government and consumer representatives to discuss current interventions and explore new approaches to pathogen reduction. The two-day program is $150 for registered IPPE attendees.
    The program will feature an overview of the state of poultry inspection today and changes needed to impact public health presentation by Dr. Richard Raymond, former U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for food safety. Christine Summers, director of food safety and quality assurance for Costco, will also present on poultry food safety management in retail. Other topics include current on-farm / in-plant interventions that have caused a positive impact in Salmonella reduction; ground poultry food safety across the supply chain; developing research and interventions for Salmonella control; and alternative measurements to consider.
    A panel discussion on alternatives to make a positive impact on public health will be held on January 28. The following panelists are scheduled for the event: Mike Robach, vice president of corporate food safety and regulatory affairs, Cargill; Dr. Barbara Kowalcyk, CEO and director of research, The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention; Dr. David Goldman, chief medical officer, USDA FSIS; and Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director, CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.

US, China representatives discuss food security, safety issues

    More than 300 people - including U.S. and Chinese government officials and representatives from the U.S. and Chinese poultry and feed grains industries - gathered in Beijing November 10-18 for the inaugural Sino-U.S. Poultry Industry Forum. The forum marks the first time that the U.S. poultry, soybean and grains industries have come together with the Chinese poultry industry for bilateral dialogue on key issues and imminent challenges such as food security, food safety and sustainability.
    Co-sponsored by UIPDP (USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the U.S.-China forum preceded two industry-to-industry workshops in Vietnam aimed at strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnamese poultry industries. More than 250 people took part in those workshops in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
    Supported by USDA and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the U.S.-China Forum was co-organized by the UIPDP with assistance from the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), the U.S. Grains Council, the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance (FAEA), the China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA) and the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA).
    Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse was among a group of high-level officials from USDA, MOA, the General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to take part in the Beijing forum.
    In his remarks, Scuse said the forum was a milestone by which to measure the advancement of the strong relationship that is developing between the U.S. poultry and feed sectors and their Chinese counterparts.
    USAPEEC / UIPDP President Jim Sumner said that the forum "symbolizes that our industries are well integrated and rely on close cooperation and a working relationship that assures that poultry is produced in a safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The wide range of Chinese and U.S. organizations that are supporting this forum shows that poultry quality and safety begins at the farm, but it is the responsibility of every segment of the food chain to enhance and assure that safety is maintained and improved all the way to consumption."
    Speakers included Dr. Don Jackson, former CEO of Pilgrim's and JBS USA; Gordon Butland, noted international protein economist; Dr. Sarge Bilgili, an Auburn University poultry scientist; Dr. Shelly McKee, director of technical programs at USAPEEC, Sumner and numerous other U.S. and Chinese experts on food safety and bio-security.
    The Vietnam workshops, meanwhile, were more production-oriented, focusing on best management practices to help the Vietnamese industry achieve its food safety goals. Sponsored by UIPDP and USSEC, the workshops attracted the full support of USDA and the Vietnamese Poultry Association (VIPA).
    The relationship between USAPEEC and VIPA began in 2005, when USAPEEC arranged for the industry to donate two containers of U.S. chicken leg quarters that were auctioned to help finance VIPA's educational program for its members to battle highly pathogenic avian influenza.
    Workshops included talks on best management practices by Jackson and Joon Wong of OSI, along with presentations by Dr. Tran Cong Xuan, president of VIPA; Dr. Dau Ngoc Hao and Nguyen Xuan Duong of the Vietnam Department of Livestock Production; along with talks by Sumner and McKee. Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm also participated in the Hanoi workshop, while Dwight Wilder, agricultural attaché, participated in the Ho Chi Minh City workshop.

King amendment puts US, Iowa agriculture secretaries at odds

    Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is criticizing U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who has spoken out against the King amendment, which is part of the current farm bill negotiations.
    Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has defended the King amendment, saying  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is wrong for being skeptical of the amendment that is part of the ongoing farm bill negotiations. The King amendment  has the potential to nullify more than 150 state laws affecting agriculture, including  California's Proposition 2, which aims at ending the use of battery cages for laying hens.
    The State of California and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are among the entities that have opposed the King amendment, proposed by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.
    Vilsack, on November 18, said the amendment was "frankly a bit troublesome," adding it would create legal challenges and confusion in the marketplace. Northey looks at the King amendment differently.
    "It is very troublesome that Secretary Vilsack appears to be siding with California and HSUS rather than standing up for all farmers producing legal and safe agriculture products, said Northey, also an Iowa Republican. "I would hope and expect Secretary Vilsack to be supportive of laws that ensure consumers have access to legal and safe products.  USDA inspectors approve the sale of egg products.  If eggs are safe to be sold in Iowa and around the country they should be able to be sold in California; that is all this amendment is trying to assure. California should not be allowed to dictate production methods to the rest of the country. This has the makings of an internal U.S. trade war. If it starts with eggs, you can be sure it won't end with eggs."
    The King amendment is included in the farm bill approved by the House, but it is excluded from the Senate version of the farm bill. The farm bill is presently being hashed out by a conference committee, consisting of members from each house. Northey said if Vilsack truly has concerns about the King amendment, he should work to address them while the farm bill is in conference committee instead of speaking out against it.

UK's RSPCA urging consumers to demand clearer meat welfare labeling standards

    The UK's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is calling on consumers to contact their Member of the European Parliament (MEP) to urge them to add their signature of support for clearer labeling of welfare standards on meat.
    A Written Declaration has been tabled in the European Parliament calling for compulsory method of slaughter labeling on meat and poultry products which are from animals which have not been pre-stunned.
    The RSPCA argues that if method of slaughter labeling becomes a requirement within the EU, it will provide consumers with clearer information about how animals are treated at the end of their lives.
    Dr. Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA's farm animal science department, says: "We would rather see all animals pre-stunned before they are killed, however we believe labeling that clearly differentiates between animals that have been stunned or non pre-stunned is still a step in the right direction.
    "We believe all meat produced from animals that have not been stunned before slaughter should be clearly labeled in some way, so that it can be identified by consumers. Consumers have the right to choose whether or not they wish to buy meat from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning."
    The RSPCA says that it recognizes that religious beliefs and practices should be respected. It adds that it also believes it is important to ensure animals are slaughtered under the most humane conditions possible. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that slaughter of an animal without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering, the society adds.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

105 tons of Indiana poultry donated to food banks

    Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann accepted a donation of 105 tons of Indiana poultry products for Hoosier food pantries. The donation of Indiana poultry was made during a ceremony at the State House by representatives of the Indiana State Poultry Association.
    Ellspermann, also the state agriculture secretary, has asked that the donated poultry products be delivered to Gleaner's Food Bank in Indianapolis, the Greensburg Daily News reported.
    "This act of generosity by the Indiana State Poultry Association represents what it means to be a Hoosier," said Ellspermann. "I encourage all Hoosiers to follow this example by donating to food banks or other social service agencies within their communities during this Holiday season."
    In addition to the donation, members of the Indiana State Poultry Association presented the Lt. Governor the State turkey, in appreciation of her continued support of Indiana agriculture.
    Donations to food banks and other charities were made in part by Berne Hi-Way Hatchery, Creighton Brothers, Culver Duck, Farbest Foods, Hy-Line North America; Maple Leaf Farms, Midwest Poultry Services, Miller Poultry, Perdue Farms, Rose Acre Farms, Tyson Foods, and Wabash Valley Produce.
    Indiana State Poultry Association's Executive Vice President Paul Brennan noted, "Indiana's poultry producers benefit the Hoosier economy and contribute to the state and their local communities through donations. This event alone has occurred for 66 consecutive years."
    The Indiana State Poultry Association is a member organization that represents more than 95 percent of the poultry producers in the state of Indiana. The poultry industry in Indiana contributes a total of over $2.5 billion dollars annually to Indiana's economy. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

IPPE to offer free educational programs to attendees

    The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is offering a variety of free education programs for attendees. The programs will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., from January 28 to January 30, 2014.
    These programs offer a wide array of educational sessions covering pressing meat and poultry issues, including food safety developments, customer and media communication in the meat industry, health and wellness trends, new products of 2014 and export and international issues.
    The Changing Food Landscape sessions will offer an overview of Salmonella and non-0157 E. coli. The Salmonella program will include a session on interventions for turkey processing, while the non-0157 E. coli program will focus on STEC interventions for beef and pork and the unique challenges of STECs and veal. A Traceability Workshop session will also be available for attendees.
    The Customer and Media Communication in the Meat Industry program will provide attendees sessions on social media, including the impact of Twitter on risk perception, while product development and new products of 2014 will be highlighted in the Best New Products sessions.
    The Health & Wellness Trends forum will offer sessions on sodium reduction in meat and poultry products and sodium reduction technologies, while the Export & International Issues sessions will focus on the Food Safety Modernization Act and financing the construction of meat processing plants in developing countries.
    The Market Intelligence Forum will identify key issues facing the poultry industry and provide understanding into how domestic and international poultry industries are positioned to move forward in 2014.
    The International Feed Education Forum will address issues unique to feed manufacturers and will feature three sessions discussing topics impacting today's feed manufacturers.
    To register for the IPPE, visit A complete list of programs available for all attendees can be found online.

Nucleus successfully exports 684 animals to Chinese companies

    Nucleus celebrates the export of 684 pigs to China.
    Nucleus successfully exported 684 animals to Chinese companies Shanghai Qinnong and Beijing Jiuding. Animals arrived in good health on October 12 in Shanghai. The Nucleus genetic is approved by Chinese market for its qualities of productivity and feed efficiency.
    "Thanks to this new export, we aspire to take major market share on imported animals in China in 2013" said Jacques Gourmelon, managing director of Nucleus. "This success is result of fierce work of our teams and GGP farmers for improvement and promotion of our genetic potential. At the time when all pig producers from all around the world are requiring profitability driver, Nucleus genetic assumed its leading and locomotive position when being one of the best genetic in France and in the world".
    Nucleus is the French leader in pig breeding. Nucleus owns 4 000 GGP sows and 15 000 GP sows and markets more than 150 000 gilts per year in France. Nucleus' aim is to provide the best genetic in order to meet requirement of all actors of pig chain: pig producers, feed mill, slaughterhouses, meat processors, consumers.

Topigs’ weaning rate in Brazil tops national average

    Weaning rates for piglets from Topigs genetics were higher than the Brazilian national average in 2012.
    In 2012, Brazilian farms with Topigs genetics weaned 29.5 piglets per sow per year. This is 3.2 piglets more than the national average.
    The 25 top herds with Topigs genetics weaned 30.4 piglets per sow per year. TOPIGS sows produced 13.0 live born and 12.0 weaned piglets per litter. The average for Brazil was 12.2 live born and 11.2 weaned piglets per litter.
    The high production combined with the low pre-weaning mortality, shows the craftsmanship of our Brazilian clients to unlock the high genetic potential of TOPIGS sows. The TOPIGS balanced breeding approach aims for results in sows with high fertility, excellent mothering abilities, and vigorous, strong piglets.

Creep feeding at earlier age can help pig health, profitability

    Creep feeding piglets as young as 7 days old can have a big impact on the growth of the animals and ultimately improve profitability for pig producers, according to Kayleigh Almond, piglet nutritionist for Primary Diets. Almond shared her views on creep feeding during the Pig Nutrition in Response to Rising Sow Productivity webinar, which can be viewed online at WATTAgNet. The webinar was sponsored by UltraPro+.
    A common question is when to begin creep feeding. Almond said piglets who begin at 7 days old see a much higher weight gain than the ones who began later. Pigs eating creep feed will gain as much as 420 grams per day, versus those who aren't that only gain about 380 grams per day.
    Almond said the best start, best finish principle applies here. "If you're getting better weaning weights and they're growing better in the nursery, this is likely to translate to overall better lifetime performance," she said.
    The investment in additional feed is well worth it, Almond said, citing a 6:1 return ratio.

Sow feeder trial results to be shown live online

    Pig producers can find out how new sow feeding systems have been performing on farms in the next BPEX Live online workshop on November 25. Registration can be done online.
    Participants can join knowledge transfer managers Richard Bows and Charlotte West, from their own home or office, for videos, photos and live discussion about the different systems being trialled by producers. These systems include computerized ad lib feeding and outdoor electronic sow feeders, which have been trialled using BPEX Innovation Fund grants.

RUMA launches new pig antimicrobial guidelines

    The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), in conjuction with European Antibiotic Awareness Day, launched its revised RUMA pig guidelines. RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald, introduced the new pig guidelines at the Promoting Good Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference at Liverpool University.
    FitzGerald said that the new versions of the pig antimicrobial guidelines stressed the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimize antibiotic use.  They include practical advice for vets and farmers and highlight the four golden rules on disease control:
    • Limit pig-to-pig contact
    • Avoid stress
    • Good hygiene
    • Good nutrition
    "First introduced in 2000, these guidelines are intended as working documents and have been updated periodically to continually provide best advice," FitzGerald explained.  "Now in their third editions, the short version provides quick and easy guiding principles that can be used as a working document by pig farmers, while the longer version is aimed primarily at veterinary surgeons and other advisers, to provide more detail.
    "The holistic approach to minimising disease set out by the four golden rules helps reduce the need to use antibiotics without adversely affecting animal welfare. It is important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary antibiotics."
    Like all RUMA guidelines, the new pig guidelines are available free of charge on the RUMA website.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

USPOULTRY research program contributes to understanding phytase use

    The USPOULTRY research program is celebrating 50 years of accomplishments. During this time the research program has focused on the most important issues facing the poultry industry. Feed nutrient utilization and environmental management have always been high priority areas for the poultry industry, and the research program has provided significant resources toward funding research in those areas.
    A few years ago, the industry became focused on developing methods to improve the birds' utilization of phosphorous from the feed so that less phosphorous would be deposited in the litter. Since 1993, USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have provided $498,000 in research funds to six institutions for 14 different research projects to study this topic. The projects have focused on the use of phytase to enhance the utilization of phosphorous by poultry and also studied the basic metabolism of phosphorous by birds. The results of these studies have provided the knowledge required for the effective use of phytase. Today, there is widespread use of phytase in the poultry industry.
    "The USPOULTRY research program has provided the funds that have helped the poultry industry learn how to use phytase to enhance phosphorous utilization by the birds and minimize the amount of phosphorous deposited in the litter. This helps the industry feed birds more efficiently and also allows us to reduce our environmental impact," said Dr. Tom Frost, director of nutrition and research, Wayne Farms.
    "During its 50 year history, the USPOULTRY research program has always focused on those topics that are critically important to the poultry industry. Over the years, the emphasis has changed to mirror the changing needs of the industry. Environmental management and feed utilization are very important to the poultry industry, and the USPOULTRY research program has focused significant resources in those areas," commented Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research, USPOULTRY.

EU air quality policy review to have severe impact on agriculture?

    Possible plans to cut ammonia emissions by up to 30 percent in the upcoming review of EU air quality policy have been criticized as unrealistic, not cost effective and not backed by science by Copa-Cogeca. The umbrella organization for European farming unions adds that the plans fail into take into account the achievements in cutting emissions made to date by the farming industry.
    "We believe that the commission should recognize the reductions and investment already undertaken by the farm sector," said Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen. "For example, ammonia emissions fell by 22 percent between 1990 and 2009 to 288,000 [metric tons] in the UK, excluding natural emissions from wild animals and humans, in Italy by 25 percent in poultry rearing, and in general by about 20 percent since 1990 in Germany. This is a big step forward and at a big cost to the farm sector."
    He added: "Copa-Cogeca urges the commission to revise the proposals to find a workable balance between the viability of farming and the contribution to world food security as well as climate change mitigation, air quality, biodiversity, flood risk management and water quality."
    A review of EU air quality policy is expected to be announced at the end of 2013.

UK wheat area estimated up 22 percent for 2014 harvest

    The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)/HGCA (Home Grown Cereals Authority)'s Early Bird Survey of UK farmers' planting intentions shows a sharp rise in the total area of wheat and winter barley for harvest 2014 compared to 2013.
    The team of agronomists assessing 280,000 hectares of arable land across Great Britain forecast that the total wheat area, including spring wheat, will increase by 22 percent to 1.98 million hectares at the UK level.
    In this annual autumn survey, which provides the industry with a first snapshot of national planting decisions, cropping changes on individual farms in Great Britain were taken as a representation of national UK changes, assessing crops already drilled and growers' planting intentions. "This autumn we've had good drilling conditions across the UK and, as a consequence, we are looking at a return to a more normal cropping mix for harvest 2014 following a large shift to spring cropping in 2013," said Jack Watts, AHDB/HGCA lead analyst. "The return of a more normal UK wheat area is the first step to the UK returning to the export market, although yields and quality remain weather dependent. History shows that when farmers are able to turn intentions into reality, the Early Bird Survey gives a good indication of areas for key autumn sown crops in the UK."
    Winter barley is also set to increase 55 percent to 484,000 hectares compared with 2013, and is the highest UK winter barley area seen in a decade. Additionally, the survey predicts the second-highest oilseed rape area ever cropped, behind 2012, at 740,000 hectares; an increase of 3 percent against the estimated harvest area of 2013. Due to the good autumn planting conditions compared with 2012, areas of spring barley, pulses and fallow land are expected to fall to pre-2013 levels. The spring barley area is forecast to drop 40 percent to 534,000 hectares and, although the oat area looks set to decrease by 26 percent to 130,000 hectares, this still represents a relatively large area of oats.
    "The conditions in 2012/2013 led many farmers to change their usual crop rotations, and some farmers will still be dealing with the consequences of this," said Watts.

US agricultural exports hit record high in 2013

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its final tally for agricultural exports in fiscal year 2013, showing a new record of $140.9 billion.
    "American agriculture achieved record exports once again in fiscal year 2013, and the period 2009-2013 stands as the strongest five-year period for agricultural exports in our nation's history," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "In fact, compared to the previous five-year period from 2004-2008, U.S. agricultural exports from 2009-2013 increased by a total of more than $230 billion - and the average volume of bulk commodities exported increased by nearly 4 million tons per year during that same period.
    "We need to remain focused on keeping up the incredible momentum we've seen over the past five years," said Vilsack, who focused on the importance of putting through a new Farm Bill. "First and foremost, Congress needs to pass a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to continue the trade promotion programs that helped American agriculture achieve these results," he said. "These trade promotion efforts return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested - a great value for producers who gain access to additional market opportunities abroad, as well as rural communities that depend on a solid agriculture sector to create and support jobs."
    A new Farm Bill, said Vilsack, would complement historic work by the Obama Administration to break down barriers to U.S. products and achieve new agreements to expand exports. "An effort that continues today as we work toward new agreements with the European Union and a number of Asian nations," he said. "With record agricultural exports supporting about one million American jobs, we can't afford to lose the incredible momentum of recent years - and that's why we need Congress to pass a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible."

Ziggity launches campaign to promote watering system management

    Ziggity Systems is launching an educational campaign and a new web resource called Poultry Watering U to promote better management of poultry watering systems, including correcting misconceptions about the effective management of such systems that could hurt flock performance results. The campaign will consist of paid advertising space and public relations efforts in conjunction with the Poultry Watering U website, where producers can go to access videos and other current information about watering systems management for nipple-type drinkers.
    Visitors may also subscribe to regular e-bulletins about poultry watering systems management through the site.
    Addressing poultry watering misconceptions
    As the only manufacturer exclusively focused on poultry watering systems, Ziggity has extensive field experience with helping producers optimize their management procedures for best results. Ziggity is concerned about several common misconceptions regarding how birds drink and what it sees as misguided attempts to create standards by which producers set "correct" water pressure. Ziggity personnel said such standards are seriously flawed in ways that can negatively affect flock production.
    "The standards that have been proposed by some do not accurately reflect what happens when chickens actually drink, and do not correlate across different brands of drinkers or to any optimal way of enhancing flock performance," the company stated. "In fact, we have found just the opposite often happening: birds drinking from water lines 'managed by formula' are often receiving too little or too much water, both of which can negatively impact flock performance."
    Management by results
    "Our effort includes boiling down into clear language how birds actually interact with enclosed watering systems, and demonstrating, through our own testing, the watering procedures that we have found to yield the best results."
    "We believe it is in the best interest of everyone - producers, distributors and poultry companies - to refine poultry management practices to yield the best possible results. This is important enough that we have chosen to focus much of our marketing budget on this educational campaign in an effort to move our industry forward in this regard."
    The main thrust of the campaign focuses on such issues as water usage vs. water consumption - water actually consumed by birds vs. amount of water delivered through drinking lines - and environmental factors that can affect litter conditions, with such conditions being the most useful guide to optimizing flock water delivery.
    "Producers should find the videos and other materials on the Poultry Watering U website most helpful in understanding the 'why' of watering system management as well as the actual procedures themselves," the company stated.  "These are all concepts and procedures our representatives go over with our customers that we think would be helpful to communicate to a broader audience. There really is a science to poultry watering management that needs to be better understood industry-wide."

Discovery of avian influenza in Germany leads to trade barrier

    Poultry from Germany has been banned from being imported into Hong Kong, after a low-pathogenic form of avian influenza was detected at a poultry farm in Thuringen, Germany. Hong Kong's ban of German poultry quickly followed a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that confirmed the discovery of avian influenza in Germany.
    The virus killed four birds, while another 823 susceptible birds at the farm were destroyed. Zoning procedures have been implemented, and the property has been disinfected. There has been no poultry movement from that farm to other regions in Germany or to other countries, according to the OIE report.
    A spokesperson for Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety told the Global Times the Hong Kong agency has been in contact with officials from Germany concerning the avian influenza issue.

Cargill supports hunger relief in Memphis with Thanksgiving food baskets

    For Thanksgiving, more than 1,340 families in need in the Memphis, Tenn., area will receive food for their holiday meal thanks to the Feed the Needy Program. This is the 18th year Cargill is leading the initiative, which brings together local companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to create and deliver food baskets for families in need.
    More than 250 volunteers will spend four days packaging and distributing baskets throughout the greater Memphis area.
    "On average, there are four people in each family we reach out to," said Ruth Banks, leader of the Feed the Needy Program and marine tower operator at Cargill's Corn Milling facility in Memphis. "Given that average, this year we will feed 5,360 people this Thanksgiving holiday. This initiative is an opportunity for us to come together as a community and make a real difference for those most in need this season."
    Forty companies and organizations are participating in the Food Basket Initiative this year. Most of the companies have all participated in this effort for the past 14 years.
    The 2013 Feed the Needy Program will run on November 21 with the delivery of non-perishable food items to the Memphis Depot Industrial Park, where volunteers will begin packaging the meals. It will continue through November 26, when the food baskets will be delivered in time for the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner.
    Memphis Depot Associates, LLC/Mayfield Properties, LP/Colliers International Memphis Region/Colliers Management Services-Memphis, LLC are large contributors for the 2013 project, donating the warehouse space being used to pack the boxes at virtually no cost to the Feed the Needy Program.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jansen Poultry Equipment opens new office in Malaysia

    Jansen Poultry Equipment, a world-wide player in turn key poultry solutions and equipment,  has opened a new office in Malaysia under the name Jansen Asia. Carmelo Ferlito is the new sales director of Jansen Asia and lives in Malaysia.
    Ferlito will work with Gerard Llanes from the Philippines and David Jia Weike from China. Llanes and Weike have already been working in this region for a number of years.
    Jansen Poultry Equipment is rapidly expanding. Earlier in 2013, it opened a new office in Moscow under the name Jansen Russia. Together with existing offices, Jansen UK, Jansen USA and the head office in the Netherlands, Jansen Poultry Equipment is well represented all-over the world. Worldwide customers from Jansen Poultry Equipment can benefit from customized service.

Norbest Signature Classics Single Lobe turkey breasts introduced

    Norbest has introduced its new Signature Classics Single Lobe turkey breast products.
    Norbest has introduced its Signature Classics Single Lobe turkey breasts, the new line from Norbest that aims to add flavor and variety to foodservice establishments. Signature Classics Single Lobe Turkey Breasts is a line of premium, tender whole muscle breast meat that is delicately roasted and lightly browned using gourmet recipes.
    Flavor selections include oil browned, golden roast, sun-dried tomato, Italian-style and black pepper.
    A single premium whole muscle breast lobe, these premium products contain no trim, emulsions, fillers or extenders. They're deep basted with natural turkey broth and a unique combination of seasonings, then lightly browned for superior roast turkey flavor and delicious appearance.
    Skinless and 97 percent fat free, the new line of turkey breasts can be used for center-of-the-plate entrees, carving stations or specialty gourmet sandwiches. Because they're fully cooked, Norbest Signature Classics are ready to heat and serve. The Signature Classics Single Lobe line, is available in sizes ranging from 3.5 to 5.5 pounds and packed four per case.

Sri Lanka to be self-sufficient in eggs by year-end

    Sri Lanka will be self-sufficient in chicken eggs by the end of this year and the government will take steps to halt egg imports before the start of 2014, reports the country's Ministry of Economic Development.
    Under the Divi Neguma Programme, poultry farmers were given 10 one-month-old chickens. To date, 1.1 million chickens have been distributed. Since October this year, an additional 600,000 birds have also been given to farmers taking part in the project. Free technical advice has been provided by veterinary surgeons.
    The development program has resulted in 330 million eggs being added to the national diet each year, and the ministry reports that the project has contributed nearly INR4,329 million (US$33 million) to the national economy. 

International Rendering Symposium to return to 2014 IPPE

    The International Rendering Symposium is returning to the 2014 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). Sponsored by the National Renderers Association, "The Rendering Industry: Using Rendered Products for Safe, High Quality Feed" two-day symposium is $150 for registered Expo attendees.
    This year's International Rendering Symposium will include a presentation by Dr. Annel Greene, Clemson University, on Controlling Salmonella in Feed. Dr. Charles Starkey, American Proteins, will discuss The Nuts and Bolts of the Rendering Industry. A presentation on Rendered Products for Feeding Swine will be presented by Dr. Hans Stein of the University of Illinois, and Mark Brinkman, Diamond Pet Food Company, will focus on Rendered Products and the Pet Food Industry.
    Other program topics will include an overview of the North American rendering industry, NRA, and WRO; quality assurance in manufacturing rendered products - supplier perspective; sustainability, perception and the real world - the raw material conundrum; rendered products for feeding poultry; the role of rendered products in aquaculture feeds; and innovations in the rendering industry.
    IPPE, the world's largest annual poultry, feed, and meat industry event, will be held January 28- 30, 2014, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. "The Rendering Industry: Using Rendered Products for Safe, High Quality Feed" symposium is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, January 30-31, 2014.

Poultry producer Ptitsefabrika Reftinskaya aims to double production

    Ptitsefabrika Reftinskaya Hatchery Engineer Valerij Eremejev, left, and Hatchery Manager Svetlana Skopina stand with a new Petersime incubator, which is part of the company's hatchery growth plan.

    Russian poultry producer OAO Ptitsefabrika Reftinskaya, located in the Sverdlovsk region, is expanding its business. The company aims to double its production volume to 80,000 metric tons of poultry meat in live weight by 2016.
    On June 25, a brand new, high-tech hatchery with Petersime incubators was inaugurated, with a capacity of 44.5 million eggs per year. The total setting capacity at Reftinskaya now reaches 68 million eggs per year.
    The new hatchery is equipped with the latest technology: 20 BioStreamer setters and 18 BioStreame hatchers from Petersime have been installed. The setters hold 115,200 eggs each. Moreover, the hatchery is equipped with modern installations for automatic candling and transfer of eggs from the setter trays to the hatcher baskets (55,000 per hour), washing machines, chick sorting machines and more. The equipment was delivered by the German company Hartmann.
    "Before the official first egg setting, we ran the incubators in a test environment. We went through the entire incubation process and the results were very satisfying,"  Reftinskaya General Manager Nikolaj Toporkov said during the inauguration.
    Construction of the new hatchery took less than 18 months and was partly subsidized by government entities. In addition to the hatchery, a new four-tier cage facility is being installed, which will increase the broiler capacity to 175,000 birds.
    During the inauguration, Denis Pasler, chairman of the Government of Sverdlovsk Region, was satisfied with what he saw. "The first results of the hatchery have reassured me," Pasler said. "The adoption at the poultry factory of new technologies and the production volumes that they allow to reach, completely comply with the goals the government of the Sverdlovsk region challenged the company with."

Feed Management Systems introduces feed diet design tool

    Feed Management Systems Inc. (FMS) has announced the introduction of Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets, a knowledge-based tool that enables feed manufacturers to design and deliver precise diets that optimize an animal group's performance through every growth stage.
    The tool provides a comprehensive, automated, intelligent software solution that delivers the right feed to the right animal at the right time, according to FMS. With this addition to the Pennent family of feed optimization solutions, mill managers now have even greater control over their manufacturing process, costs, ingredients and ability to reduce mistakes often associated with stage feeding requirements.
    Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets delivers control of a complex and dynamic animal feeding process directly to the feed manufacturer, automating the process of managing feed budgets, formulation modifications for each animal stage, nutrient measures and the inclusion of medications and additives. In addition, this process can be customized for each animal group at every growth stage - enabling producers to monitor and manage large groups of animals and their changing diets through every stage of their development.
    "We have found that one of the toughest challenges facing feed manufacturers is the ability to know how to adjust and adapt animal diets on a continuous basis and - at the same time - manage the fluctuating costs of this process," said Brad Guyer, global operations portfolio manager at FMS. "We hope that by applying 'best practices' in mill operations with the most advanced technology, we can replace this 'unknown' with a rich knowledge base that provides confidence to feed manufacturers that they are delivering precisely the feed that an animal group needs at every growth stage, and at a cost that is in-line with budget."

Antibiotic resistance is complex, open to misinterpretation

    The sharing of science-based antibiotic use and resistance information continued among experts and leaders from the animal, human and public health communities during the "Bridging the Gap Between Animal Health and Human Health" symposium sponsored by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and conducted Nov. 12-14, in Kansas City, Mo. Adding to the symposium's insightful, transparent discussions were presentations by media and consumer advocacy group representatives as well as questions generated by symposium attendees.
    "Antibiotic resistance has been called the single most complex problem in public health, and this symposium provided respective health communities and disciplines a platform where they shared their latest research findings," states Dr. Nevil Speer, co-chair of the symposium and a professor at Western Kentucky University.
    "This year's antibiotic use and resistance symposium not only shed additional light on this often polarized topic but we identified common ground so a collective path forward that serves the best interests of all parties can be forged."
    The 170-plus symposium participants from across animal, human and environmental health heard a wealth of information, including the following 11 points:

    • The science behind the emergence, amplification, persistence and transfer of antibiotic resistance is highly complex and open to misinterpretation and misuse. If you think you understand antimicrobial resistance, it hasn't been explained properly.
    • The extremely complex relationship between animal health, human health and environmental health is driven by two premises: 1) Antimicrobial resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is present with or without the use of antimicrobials; and 2) Anytime an antibiotic enters the ecosystem, it contributes to the presence of antibiotic resistance.
    • Antibiotic resistance is not just transferred from animals to humans; resistance is also transferred from humans to animals.
    • Antibiotic resistance is not just a U.S. challenge; it's an international issue that requires a strategic global One Health approach.
    • Evaluating antimicrobial resistance involves balancing risks vs. needs while constantly recognizing the importance of maintaining an efficacious arsenal of human antibiotics.
    • New tools that address food animal infectious diseases must be developed, whether they are in the field of prevention or new molecules for therapeutics.
    • Research studies and findings are often viewed through different lenses. Individuals can look at the same study and obtain different interpretation of the results and what the study infers based on their own biases.
    • Decisions should be based on science, and policy should be based on science.  The question, however, is who decides what constitutes evidence that is considered when making those decisions and policies.
    • Significant efforts are being led by the public health community to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in human health and reduce hospital-acquired infections. Agriculture needs to be open to change as well.
    • Change will happen. Open dialogue must continue, with animal agriculture at the table or change will be drastic and by statute and will not be a deliberative policy change.

Warehouse Shell Sales celebrates 75 years in business

    A predominant name in Oyster Shell calcium, Warehouse Shell Sales, is celebrating 75 years in the poultry business at a time when their product is experiencing a resurgence of use. Warehouse Shell Sales is the manufacturer and distributor of the Coastal Shell supplement
    "We feel very fortunate that the trend towards organic and natural products has resulted in a resurgence of Coastal Brand Shell use," said Gary Lund, president and the fourth owner since the company opened in 1939.  "Oyster Shell has always been the standard way to produce a better shell and healthier chicken, but only recently has the true added value of Oyster Shell been recognized over other calcium approaches."
    Nutritionists had identified that oyster shell remains in the gizzard and is processed by the hen over time as compared to lime which is immediately eliminated.  The result is that with Shell, the hen uses less supplement and the ammonia build up in the hen house is much less according to research.  It's especially valuable in floor hens where free ranging hens consume only what they need.  Using Shell has shown to produce five or more saleable eggs per bird according to another study due to a stronger egg shell for less breakage.
    "Our organic Shell product meets the growing trend for the consumer who wishes to eat healthy eggs and chickens from 'Organic' and 'All Natural' producers. We have also created a consumer based marketing program that allows our customers to leverage the use of our organic Shell in their feed to help them sell more eggs while producing more customer good will and loyalty," added Lund.
    "If the enthusiasm keeps going, there is no reason to think that we will not be around in another 75 years," he said.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Avian influenza claims third human life in 2013 in Indonesia

    An Indonesian woman died of avian influenza, the country's health ministry has confirmed. The 31-year-old woman died on November 11, after showing symptoms consistent with avian influenza as early as November 1.
    The woman, who lived in Bekasi Timur, east of Jakarta, had been infected by the H5N1 avian influenza virus, the Associated Press reported. She was believed to have had contact with poultry around her home.
    Her death is the third human avian influenza fatality in Indonesia in 2013, and the 163rd avian influenza death in Indonesia since 2005.

Fire damages Agri-Star meat and poultry processing plant

    Fire has damaged part of a the Agri-Star kosher meat and poultry processing plant in Postville, Iowa. Nobody was injured in the processing plant fire, which was ruled accidental.
    The Postville Fire Department told reporters the Agri-Star fire was reported shortly before 3 a.m. November 16 in an unattended clothes dryer in the lower-level laundry room of the plant.
    Units from five area fire departments responded to the scene. They were able to keep the fire from spreading to the plant's second and third levels, where manufacturing materials like cardboard, plastic foam trays and chemicals are stored. Damage estimates are not yet available.

Tyson considering acquisitions to grow prepared foods business

    Tyson Foods is open to the idea of more business acquisitions as it looks to expand its prepared foods business. Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith said during a quarterly earnings call on November 18 that the company has options to grow its business through acquisitions, if the acquisitions make good business sense.
    "We absolutely have our eye on multiple ways to grow our prepared foods business. With our cash flow, it's obvious acquisitions are within our view. We did a couple of small acquisitions last year to try to fill in some gaps," said Smith, referring to Don Julio Foods and Circle Foods.
    After reporting a strong financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013,  Smith said Tyson Foods is in a position to be more aggressive with acquisitions, if it is a good fit.
    However, Smith said the company is equally committed to its current operations and will be focused on making improvements to present facilities and business units.

US broiler production expected to increase 3 percent in 2014

    U.S. broiler production is expected to increase by nearly 3 percent in 2014 as producers are expected to take advantage of lower feed costs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its November 15 Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook report, forecast annual broiler production to reach 38.9 billion pounds.
    As expected, the biggest reason for the projected increase in U.S. broiler production in 2014  is a decrease in feed costs in 2014. Gerry Bange, USDA outlook chairman, said the price of corn is expected to drop 25 percent, while soybean prices should decrease 15 percent.
    "Clearly, the broiler folks want to jump on this," Bange said during a USDA broadcast. "Simply stated, we're looking at lower feed costs and better returns. We think that's reason enough to show an increase in our production in 2014."
    The U.S. broiler industry's increase in production appears to be coming earlier than 2014, as the USDA report also forecast production for the fourth quarter of 2013 at 9.5 billion pounds, a 3.3 percent increase from U.S. broiler production in the third quarter of 2013.
    We're thinking in terms of 38.9 billion pounds of broilers in 2014, that's an increase of 3 percent compared to 2013. Simply stated, we're looking at lower feed costs, better returns. We think that's reason enough to show an increase in our production forecast for 2014.

WATT Global Media presents Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame awards

    Dr. Alberto Ramírez (center), from Cuba, receives the Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame award from Greg Watt, CEO of WATT Global Media (on the right), and Benjamín Ruiz, editor of Industria Avícola (on the left).
    The Latin American Poultry Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to identify and award those who have dedicated their lives to advancing the poultry industry in Latin America. WATT Global Media and Industria Avícola entirely handle the operation of the Hall of Fame. However, much of the success of this program is due to the cooperation and support of the Latin American Poultry Association (ALA).
    This year, there are three new members who join the 61 members of the exclusive Hall of Fame over its 26-year history. This select group has everything: producers, entrepreneurs, professionals, academics, women and men -- every one of them with amazing trajectories.
    The Latin American Poultry Association held a beautiful ceremony where the awards were presented, together with the awards for best company and professional from each country and the Golden Egg Award.
    The selection of the new members of the Hall of Fame is based on the fundamentals that created it in 1987. The jury consisted of 10 professionals from the poultry industry in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela. It should also be noted that we had candidates from Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela that were nominated this year, with three of them winning the award:

Aquaculture groups release common requirements for fishmeal sourcing

    The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and GlobalG.A.P. have announced the creation of common requirements for the sourcing of fishmeal and fish oil for farmed fish diets. This move to harmonize feed requirements between certification schemes is another step in helping aquaculture buyers seek responsibly sourced products, according to IFFO (the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization).
    In the official joint statement by the three standard-setting organizations, they state that by setting common criteria "This will better promote the responsible sourcing of [fishmeal and fish oil], for the benefit of the environment and the future sustainability of the fisheries and other [fishmeal and fish oil]-sources utilized by the aqua feed and livestock feed sectors.'' The common requirements are:
    • Traceability to species and country of origin
    • No endangered species used for fishmeal or fish oil
    • Preference for feed manufacturers with evidence of responsible sourcing
    • Avoidance of IUU
    Each group continues to have its own additional requirements.

Tyson Foods fourth quarter 2013 income rises 41 percent

    Tyson Foods' fiscal fourth-quarter 2013 net income climbed 41 percent, driven by higher chicken and beef sales. The largest poultry and meat producer in the United States announced its quarterly and yearly financial results on November 18.
    Net income for Tyson Foods' fourth quarter of 2013 climbed to $261 million from the $185 recorded during the fourth quarter in the fourth quarter of 2012. Tyson's yearly net income for 2013 rose to $778 million, up from the $583 million reported for fiscal year 2012.
    Tyson Foods' fourth quarter was also highlighted by reaching record sales of $8.9 billion or a 7 percent from the third quarter of 2012. Tyson's operating income increased 18 percent to $416 million for the fourth quarter.
    For fiscal year 2013, Tyson Foods reached record sales of $34.4 billion, an increase of 4 percent over 2012's sales. Annual operating income increased 7 percent to $1,375 million.
    "We had a great fourth quarter, and 2013 was the best year in company history in terms of record sales and earnings per share," said Donnie Smith, Tyson's president and chief executive officer. "The company achieved these results while buying back $550 million in stock, paying more than $100 million in dividends, continuing to build out operations in China and growing our prepared foods business through acquisitions and by entering new product categories.
    "A year ago we outlined our expectations for growth. We said you should expect top line sales to grow around 3-4 percent annually. In fiscal 2013, we grew sales by 4 percent. This time last year, we projected earnings for fiscal 2013 would be roughly flat to the previous two years but would grow at a rate of at least 10 percent a year in 2014 and beyond. By overcoming many challenges, we grew adjusted earnings from continuing operations by 15 percent this year. Sales growth from value-added products was almost 6 percent, against an aggressive goal of 6-8 percent growth per year. And finally, we set a goal of growing sales from international production by 12-16 percent a year, and we beat that goal with 20 percent growth.

Korea DDGS imports up over 100 percent on use in swine feed

    Korean imports of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have increased more than 100 percent with continued growth potential as Korean nutritionists gain confidence in utilizing DDGS in swine rations. The U.S. Grains Council hosted a webinar the week of November 3 aimed at feed formulators, swine extension specialists and pork producers, giving the council a longer reach into the Korean swine industry and enabling local partners to share information more broadly among industry colleagues.
    As a primary driver of feed grain consumption in Korea, the swine sector is always in pursuit for new hog feeding and management tips. This program enabled participants to review important swine management practices, including the topic of DDGS feeding value in swine rations. Very low levels of DDGS are currently incorporated in Korean swine rations due mainly to the lack of experience with DDGS, even though feed millers and farmers are familiar with and appreciate the product. When the swine sector, and other livestock and poultry sectors, begin using DDGS at recommended levels, a substantial increase in importation of U.S. DDGS up to 1.5 million metric tons per year will occur.
    "This webinar was a great experience for Korean swine producers," said Byong Ryol Min, USGC director in Korea. "They were able to learn from a prominent U.S. swine expert, Mike Tokach, extension specialists and swine nutritionist of Kansas State University, ways to increase production efficiency, including through grain formulation that includes DDGS."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pilgrim’s to close one poultry plant, expand others

    Pilgrim's will close its poultry processing plant in Boaz, Ala., and consolidate operations from that plant into its poultry plants in Russellville, Ala., and Douglas, Ga. The operational changes are part of Pilgrim's plans to improve efficiencies and save about $200 million in 2014.
    Effective January 24, 2014, Pilgrim's will expand  the Russellville  and Douglas operations to absorb the current fresh poultry processing operations in Boaz, Ala. This consolidation will allow the company to maintain current production levels, more efficiently utilize idle capacity and generate more than $20 million in incremental margin, the company announced on November 19. In addition, the company will invest approximately $10 million to upgrade its feed mill in Falkville, Ala., and add about 100 jobs at the Douglas and Russellville operations.
    "Today's announcement reflects the strength of our balance sheet, our willingness to strategically invest in our business and our continued commitment to the pursuit of operational excellence," said Bill Lovette, president and CEO of Pilgrim's Pride Corporation. "Given our decision to consolidate operations, our intent is to offer retention incentives to encourage many of our Boaz team members to remain with the company in different capacities. We are confident these capital improvement projects will position the company, our stakeholders and our team members for success for many years to come."
    Purchased by Pilgrim's in 2007, Boaz is the company's smallest operation in terms of processing capacity and employs approximately 1,100 people.  Many Boaz employees will be offered opportunities at other nearby Pilgrim's operations and all employees will be offered retention incentives. The company anticipates that contract growers who currently supply the Boaz operation will have an opportunity to meet the enhanced supply needs of Pilgrim's operations in Russellville and Douglas.
    Pilgrim's, consistent with its long-term strategy to align the company's core competencies with customer needs, will also invest approximately $25 million to expand large bird deboning capacity and modernize utilities at its Mt. Pleasant, Texas, facility. The company previously announced an investment of $25 million to upgrade its feed mill  and processing operations in Enterprise, Ala.
    The strategic decisions will allow Pilgrim's to optimize its operational network and efficiently deploy resources and capital to facilities with improved infrastructure, greater scale and more favorable opportunities for long-term, sustainable profitability.

DSM announces price increases for two products

    DSM announced price increases for two of its products, effective immediately.
    The price of Rovimix Niacin will increase by 8 percent for non-contracted business. Additionally, the price of all Vitamin E forms will increase 16 percent for non-contracted business.

National Chicken Council responds to ASPCA petition

    Tom Super, National Chicken Council vice president of communications, issued the following statement on November 14 in response to receiving a petition from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
    According to Super: "We plan to respond to the letter ASPCA sent this morning to the National Chicken Council.
    "Consumers want to be sure that all animals being raised for food are treated with respect and are properly cared for during their lives. The people and companies involved in raising chickens for food share the public's concern.
    "The ASPCA's description of poultry production in the United States is not based on fact and in no way represents the realities of modern poultry production or the health and welfare of today's chickens. The U.S. national broiler flock is incredibly healthy and is the envy of the world. Mortality and condemnation rates for broilers, the most sensitive indicators of the health and well-being of any flock, are at historical lows.
    "In fact, if we reverted to the way we used to raise chickens several decades ago, the mortality rate for chickens would increase 490 percent.
    "Consumers can learn about modern chicken breeding and production and watch videos of how they are raised by visiting:
    "Because of better nutrition, breeding, genetics, veterinary attention and technology, which include optimum growing conditions within climate-controlled barns, it takes less time for chickens to naturally reach market weight - all without the use of hormones or steroids. A common misconception, broiler chickens are never caged and free to roam within barns, interact, and eat and drink at will.
    "From a pure business standpoint, it would make zero business and economic sense for a farmer to do anything to a bird that would harm it. The birds are their livelihoods and chicken producers want to do everything possible to keep them healthy.
    "To assist chicken producers and processors in this effort, the National Chicken Council developed the NCC Animal Welfare Guidelines and Audit Checklist which have been widely adopted within the industry. Periodically revised, this year's updates will cover every phase of a chicken's life and will offer the most up-to-date, science-based recommendations for the proper treatment and humane care of broiler chickens," said Super.

USDA totals show record agricultural exports in fiscal 2013

    On November 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its final tally for agricultural exports in Fiscal Year 2013, showing a new record of $140.9 billion.
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement:
    "American agriculture achieved record exports once again in Fiscal Year 2013, and the period 2009-2013 stands as the strongest five-year period for agricultural exports in our nation's history. In fact, compared to the previous five-year period from 2004-2008, U.S. agricultural exports from 2009-2013 increased by a total of more than $230 billion - and the average volume of bulk commodities exported increased by nearly 4 million tons per year during that same period. We need to remain focused on keeping up the incredible momentum we've seen over the past five years. First and foremost, Congress needs to pass a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to continue the trade promotion programs that helped American agriculture achieve these results. These trade promotion efforts return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested - a great value for producers who gain access to additional market opportunities abroad, as well as rural communities that depend on a solid agriculture sector to create and support jobs. A new Farm Bill would complement historic work by the Obama Administration to break down barriers to U.S. products and achieve new agreements to expand exports - an effort that continues today as we work toward new agreements with the European Union and a number of Asian nations. With record agricultural exports supporting about one million American jobs, we can't afford to lose the incredible momentum of recent years - and that's why we need Congress to pass a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible." 

Saf-T-Gard International acquires Dunn Safety Products

    Saf-T-Gard International has closed on the acquisition of certain assets and the continuing business of Dunn Safety Products. Dunn is a family-owned, full-line distributor of industrial safety products, founded in 1939 and based in Chicago. Saf-T-Gard will now serve Dunn customers from its 80,000 square-foot facility in Northbrook, Ill.
    "Dunn Safety Products is a natural fit with Saf-T-Gard," said Richard Rivkin, Saf-T-Gard International president and CEO. "Both companies are multi-generational, family-owned and operated businesses celebrating more than 70 years of dedication to quality, value and service excellence. By acquiring the Dunn business, we can protect even more workers. We stand ready to do business the way the customer wants to do business, offering convenient telephone, fax, EDI and online ordering capabilities from a multi-million dollar inventory of thousands of products backed by a superior, experienced customer support and sales team."

Elisabeth Hagen resigns as US agriculture under secretary

    U.S. Agriculture Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen will step down from her duties in December to join the private sector. Hagen, who was sworn in as Under Secretary in 2010, was responsible for overseeing the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
    "I am grateful to Secretary (Tom) Vilsack for the opportunity to serve as Under Secretary for Food Safety and be part of his leadership team," Hagen said on November 15.  "I also want to thank the dedicated public servants of FSIS for their tireless work in protecting the public health; it has been an honor to serve with them. I've had the pleasure of serving FSIS in a career capacity as well as Under Secretary, so I know full well their commitment to protecting public health.
    "It has been an ambitious three years. USDA and FSIS have successfully made preventing foodborne illness a real priority. The steps we have taken, from modernizing the agency, strengthening oversight of industry and increasing outreach to consumers has led to safer food and fewer foodborne illnesses."
    Vilsack applauded Hagen for her dedication to the agency and to assuring a safe food supply.
    "Thanks to Elisabeth Hagen's hard work and sound leadership of the thousands of employees at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, America's meat, poultry and processed eggs are safer for Americans," said Vilsack.  "Under Dr. Hagen's leadership, USDA adopted a new zero-tolerance policy for additional strains of E. coli in beef and adopted new standards to protect Americans from Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry. She also spearheaded the effort to develop a new Public Health Information System to better inform consumers about proper food handling and food safety, to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. I'm proud of our record under the Obama Administration to ensure a safe food supply for Americans, and Under Secretary Hagen has played a key role in those efforts. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

Poultry workers' injury, illness rate at all-time low

    The incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the poultry sector, which includes slaughter and processing, is at an all-time low, according to the 2012 Injury and Illness Report. The report was recently released by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
    The total recordable poultry processing illness and injury rate for 2012 was 4.9 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year), down from 5.8 in 2011.  In terms of injuries per 100 full time workers, the poultry industry's rate of 4.9 was below the rate of 6.3 for all animal slaughter and processing, and lower than the rate of 5.6 for the entire food manufacturing sector.
    Poultry processing's 2012 rate of 4.9 represents a 78 percent decrease from 1994 (the oldest data available on the BLS website), when the recorded rate was 22.7, demonstrating the enormous progress the industry has made in improving safety for its workforce.
    "The significant and consistent decline in illness and injury rates among our workforce over the past two decades is a direct result of the poultry industry's strong commitment to worker safety," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown.  "Our employees are our most important asset.  I commend poultry companies and their management teams for their tremendous efforts to protect them and for their ongoing dedication to further progress."

EPA proposes scaled-back Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on November 15 proposed its 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which calls for a reduction in the mandated amounts of corn used for ethanol production in the United States. The proposed new standards are a welcome step for the poultry industry, but until the RFS is eliminated, a true solution to problems with high poultry feed costs will not be found, industry groups say.
    The 2014 mandate proposes a range of 15 billion to 15.52 billion gallons of biofuels to be added to the U.S. fuel supply, with a recommended target of 15.21 billion gallons within that range. If the RFS becomes law, the target number would be a reduction of nearly 3 billion gallons when compared to the earlier standards.
    "This is long overdue," said Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation. "The Renewable Fuel Standard has been affecting our members since the first RFS legislation was passed in 2005. It has disrupted certainties in feed supplies. It has caused swings in availabilities in feed, and obviously as a result of that, the pricing of feed. … We really do appreciate EPA and the administration, but we agree that this is a short-term breather, and that a permanent solution is still needed from Congress."
    That permanent solution, National Chicken Council President Mike Brown said, is to completely repeal the RFS. "EPA's announcement today is a a good and welcome first step, but ultimately Congress must still act," said Brown. "Congressional action to repeal the RFS remains the most viable pathway to allow all users of corn have equal standing in the marketplace."
    According to Brown, corn comprises nearly 70 percent of the ingredients of feed given to chickens, and since the RFS was more aggressively increased in 2007, rising corn feed prices have affected both poultry producers and consumers. He estimated that for poultry producers, average annual feed costs have skyrocketed $8.8 billion.
    Developed with input from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the EPA's RFS proposal seeks public input on annual volume requirements for renewable fuels in all motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported by the United States in 2014. In a separate action on November 15, the EPA is also began seeking comment on petitions for a waiver of the renewable fuel standards that would apply in 2014. The EPA expects that a determination on the substance of the petitions will be issued at the same time that EPA issues a final rule establishing the 2014 RFS.

Jan K. Henriksen to become CEO of Aviagen Broiler Breeding Group

    Jan K. Henriksen has been chosen to become the next CEO of the Aviagen Broiler Breeding Group.
    Jan K. Henriksen has been chosen to become the next CEO of the Aviagen Broiler Breeding Group. Henriksen's appointment will be effective January 1, 2014.
    As the new CEO, Henriksen brings more than 20 years of experience in global agribusiness. At present, the Danish citizen is the CEO of Landmännen Unibake, the international bakery division of Landmännen Group. Prior to that, he was CEO of Landmännen Kronfogel Group, one of the leading broiler integrations in Northern Europe. During this time, he worked closely with Aviagen and is therefore very familiar with the needs and requirements of the broiler industry.
    "We are pleased to have Jan Henriksen on board as new CEO of the Aviagen Broiler Breeding Group," said Dirk Wesjohann, chairman of Aviagen Group. "With his broad experience in the successful management of international agricultural and poultry businesses he is the ideal person to continue the successful development that Aviagen has experienced over the years."
    Randall Ennis, current CEO of the Aviagen Broiler Breeding Group, has been appointed director of global business development for EW GROUP.
    Randall Ennis, current CEO of the Aviagen Broiler Breeding Group, has been appointed director of global business development for EW GROUP, also effective January 1, 2014. In this role, Ennis will report directly to the owners of EW GROUP, the parent company of Aviagen, and will be responsible for a number of important expansion projects for the wider Group.
     "Randall has been with Aviagen for more than 18 years and has held a range of important management roles during this time. Under his leadership, Aviagen's broiler business has developed into a real global player with subsidiaries in more than 20 countries around the world," said Erich Wesjohann, CEO of the parent company EW GROUP. "We are convinced that Randall's excellent knowledge of the global breeding industry, combined with his extraordinary international experience and network make him the ideal fit for this important position in EW GROUP."
    EW GROUP, based in Visbek, Germany, is a family-owned holding company with more than 80 subsidiaries in over 30 countries. The core business of the Group is animal breeding, animal nutrition and animal health. EW GROUP employs more than 7,000 people worldwide.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Research advances understanding of vaccination against Arkansas infectious bronchitis

    USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at Auburn University on research that advances the understanding of vaccination against Arkansas Infectious Bronchitis. The project is part of USPOULTRY's comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.
    Led by Dr. van Ginkel, Auburn University, researchers studied the immune response to Arkansas infectious bronchitis virus (ARK IBV). Despite widespread vaccination, ARK IBV continues to sporadically cause disease in U.S. broilers. The researchers found that tiny changes in the structure of the virus allow it to evade the immune system of the chicken. This research helps explain the cause of apparent vaccine failures and may lead to improved vaccines in the future.
    A complete report, along with information on other association research, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY's website.

Simmons Foods chairman to be inducted into hall of fame

    Poultry processor Mark Simmons, Chairman of Simmons Foods, Siloam Springs, will be inducted to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame for 2014.  The ceremony will take place on Friday, February 7, 2014 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business announced.
    Other inductees include James H. Faulkner of Faulkner & Associates; Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty of McLarty Associates; and Stanley E. Reed of Arkansas Farm Bureau (posthumously).
    The Sam M. Walton College of Business established the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame recognizing Arkansans - by birth or by choice - who have been successful business leaders. The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is designed to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names and outstanding accomplishments of business leaders who have brought lasting fame to Arkansas.

Fire claims two poultry production houses in Texas

    Two large chicken houses were destroyed by a fire near Calvert, Texas. The barns, which were empty at the time, were operated by a grower for Sanderson Farms.
    The Robertson County Sheriff's Department told news reporters on the scene, the fire broke out just after 5 p.m. November 14 and spread to the two poultry production houses.
    Six fire departments responded to the chicken farm fire, and firefighters had the blaze under control by 6:30 p.m., although they were on the scene well beyond then. The owners of the buildings were reportedly not present during the time of the poultry farm fire.