Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ohio lifts bird exhibition ban

With no confirmed cases in Ohio and no immediate threat of a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak, Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels and State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey have rescinded the order prohibiting bird shows in Ohio. Officials urge poultry and bird owners, however, to remain vigilant and cautious in order to protect the health of their flocks during migration seasons. 
The order, issued on June 2, was originally intended to remain in place until April 2016. The ban included county and independent fairs, the Ohio State Fair, and all other gatherings of birds for show or for sale, including auctions and swap meets. Throughout the nationwide outbreak, the department worked closely with Ohio’s poultry producers and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to provide training and to closely monitor the health of poultry in the state.  
“Ohio is home to more than 50 million domestic birds, which makes our state particularly vulnerable to an outbreak. Thankfully, the disease never took hold here. I believe this is a justification of the steps taken by our producers and exhibitors to mitigate the risk of an outbreak,” said Director Daniels.  
The USDA first confirmed the avian flu virus in the U.S. beginning in late 2014.  While there were no confirmed cases of the disease in Ohio, throughout the spring and summer of 2015 more than 48 million birds nationally were affected. On Nov. 18, the OIE issued its final report on the deadly avian flu which declared that the outbreaks in all affected states are now final, closed and resolved. This now makes the U.S. free of avian influenza for the time being. 
One of the ways avian influenza spreads is by direct contact with contaminated materials coming from other infected birds. Exhibitions, auctions and swap meets where birds are co‐mingling pose a high risk of unintentionally spreading disease. While the intention is to allow bird exhibitions to be held next year, an outbreak in Ohio or nearby states may require the reinstatement or even an extension of the ban.
“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to OSU Extension and the youth exhibitors for their understanding and to their advisors for turning this unfortunate outbreak into an important educational moment. As I travelled around the state this summer, I was overwhelmed with the maturity and understanding of the disappointed but supportive young people I spoke with who were unable to bring their poultry projects to the fair. It’s a real testament to the strength and importance our 4H and FFA programs in Ohio,” said Director Daniels.

Bachoco buying fully-cooked poultry plant in Oklahoma

Bachoco, Mexico's leading producer and processor of poultry and other food products, has reached an agreement to acquire from American Foods Group a fully-cooked poultry facility located in Oklahoma City. The company expects to close the deal in February, 2016 through its OK Foods subsidiary, which is located in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The transaction is valued at approximately $11 million dollars. This acquisition comprises all the assets located in Oklahoma City, with a capacity to produce over 700,000 pounds per week, of fully cooked chicken products.

Rodolfo Ramos, Bachoco's CEO, stated: "This is a strategic acquisition for our company as we continue to streamline and improve the product mix in our U.S. operations. This means that we will be able to integrate other further processed customers into our sales mix and move out from the commodity market. This strategy is in line with our growth plans in the U.S."

The company expects to close the deal in February, 2016 through OK Foods subsidiary located in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Bachoco, which is among the top six worldwide chicken processors, holds nearly 40 percent of the market share in Mexico. It sold roughly 1.5 million metric tons of poultry products in 2014, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database. OK Foods reported 14.7 million pounds of ready to cook chicken production on a weekly basis in 2014.

Alltech to produce Optigen II in Australia for first time

Alltech will produce its feed additive Optigen II in Australia for the first time with an expanded production facility in Forbes, New South Wales.
Optigen II is a safe and traceable non-protein nitrogen source that can help dairy and beef farmers increase yield. Optigen II is a controlled-release technology designed to provide a safe, concentrated source of ruminally degradable protein. Due to the concentrated nature of Optigen II, more cost-effective diets can be achieved by balancing the ration with less expensive feed ingredients.
“This technology helps to provide sustained availability of ammonia to the rumen environment, ensuring that rumen bacteria have continued access to this essential food source,” according to Dr. Susanne Roth, ruminant sales and marketing manager, Alltech Oceania.
Optigen II originally was developed by Cornell University, and is supported by in vitro, in situ and in vivo research.
Many countries have been using Optigen II for many years: the U.S. started in 2004, Europe in 2006, followed by South America and Asia. In Australia, the product has been used for almost seven years.
“Demand has been rapidly increasing over the last couple of years due to volatile protein markets and drought conditions, hence Alltech’s commitment to manufacture locally,” Roth told WATTAgNet. “New Zealand are also big users of Optigen II, where it is fed during the dry summer months and to winter milking herds.”
Roth said Alltech operates 14 Optigen II production plants worldwide, three of which are in the Asia Pacific region: Tianjin, China; Bangalore, India; and Forbes, Australia. Australia is the only planned expansion in production.
“Optigen II can be used on top of an existing diet or as a reformulation tool to replace vegetable protein and gain space for fiber or energy,” Roth said. However, she stressed that “the results in dairy and beef are always very much related to the feeding system and overall management system.”
“What you usually see is a better feed efficiency, but the amount ultimately depends on what the ration looks like,” she said.

Feedback from farmers

Farmers in New South Wales that have used Optigen II cite improvements after adding the product.
“We reformulated the young bull diet to include 80g Optigen II in a silage, barley, canola meal ration,” said a representative from Irelands Angus Stud in southern New South Wales. “We were very happy with the results: an increase in weight gain on the young bulls, and therefore finished off heavier at the time of the bull sale. We also noticed that our cattle look healthier and have a better coat condition.”
A representative from George Pitkin and Sons said: “With the inclusion rate of Optigen II and yeast culture, I was able to remove the starter diet in the feedlot. My goal was to improve pasture intake and increase feed conversion rate to improve weight gain and, since I incorporated the products, I am happy that I have achieved these results.”

Your guide to strong egg shells

An egg once held the weight of a 200-pound man. Though small in stature, farm fresh eggs have big power. Their shells provide homes to growing chicks and shield yolks from harmful bacteria. But how can a structure that’s only 0.3 millimeters thick provide so much security? The answer comes down to design.
“Architects through the ages have modeled buildings after the dome of the egg,” says Patrick Biggs, Ph.D., a flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition. “A dome shape offers strength and protection; any pressure applied to the top of the dome is spread throughout the structure. This simple power makes the egg one of nature’s leading designs.”
Building an egg shell
Similar to the supplies needed to build an architectural dome, hens require specific nutrients to produce eggs with strong shells. Calcium and vitamin D3 are two of the more important nutrients needed to build strong shells.
“Calcium is the most important nutrient for eggshell development, and vitamin D3 is vital to getting the calcium where it needs to go,” says Biggs. “In fact, each eggshell includes about 2 grams of calcium – that’s 40 percent of the shell.”
Biggs brings this number to the next level with some simple math.
“If the average backyard hen lays 180 to 200 eggs per year, that’s 0.8 to 0.88 pounds of calcium per year for eggshell development,” he says. “This calcium must come from the diet to support shell production.”
Calcium transport
After a hen consumes calcium, the nutrient begins the journey to egg shell production. It first enters the blood stream where it is carried to the shell gland and the rest of the body. To help calcium travel quickly enough to create strong egg shells, vitamin D3 also plays a large role.
“Vitamin D3 is necessary, because it increases the rate at which calcium passes through the intestinal lining into the blood stream,” Biggs says. “The birds require large amounts of calcium when the shell gland is active. For this reason, we add vitamin D3: to get enough calcium to the shell gland when it is needed.”
Providing the building blocks
Hens need to consume around 4 grams of calcium each day in order to get the 2 grams of calcium needed to make one egg shell – not all of the calcium goes to making egg shells. As stated previously, the nutrient – along with Vitamin D3 – must come from the hen’s feed.
“Be sure to provide hens a complete feed, like Purina® Layena® Pellets or Crumbles,” Biggs says. “This complete feed is formulated to provide the necessary four grams of calcium. On the other hand, the average scratch grains product provides only 0.1 grams of calcium and no vitamin D3.”
For optimally strong shells and fresh eggs, choose a feed that also includes an oyster shell mix, like Oyster Strong™ System. This new system, now included in Layena®, provides a consistent supply of calcium through the entire 20-hour shell building process.
“Oyster shell is a good way to provide calcium because of its large particle size,” Biggs says. “Smaller calcium particles break down quickly, but oyster shell particles have a slower transittime. This means the calcium source stays in the hen longer and plays an important role in egg shell formation at night when hens need calcium most.”
To learn more about how to form strong egg shells, visit or connect with Purina Poultry on Facebook or Pinterest.

IPPE offers free educational programs

The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is offering a variety of free education programs to attendees. The programs will be held in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, from Jan. 26 ­– 28. These programs will cover a wide assortment of education sessions on pressing feed, meat and poultry issues, including food safety, sustainability, feed production and the veterinary feed directive, regulatory updates, wastewater treatment challenges, export and international issues among other pertinent topics.
The Pork 101 session will review the highlights of ASMA’s three-day Pork 101 conference. The session will cover quality and consistency issues in the pork industry, providing insight on value differences in swine, pork carcasses, pork primals and processed pork products due to quality variation, while the Beef 101 session will provide an overview of the beef lifecycle, address common questions regarding beef production, discuss factors affecting beef quality and offer a unique demonstration of innovative beef cuts. The Process Technology Workshop: Brines, Marinades, and Cook Technologies session will cover the latest techniques and ingredients for improving the use of brines and marinades in your plant and will discuss sanitation best practices. The second part of this session will cover innovative cook technologies and how tried and true practices are being improved.
The Challenges and Opportunities in Meat Product Traceability session will take a look at global meat traceability and the unique challenges faced by U.S. producers. The second half of the session will focus on in-plant traceability and the technologies available to help processors track products and improve efficiencies. The Global Food Safety Initiative: Planning for Success session will cover the top mistakes, and how to avoid them, in achieving or continuing certification from Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized certification schemes. This session will also address the latest changes for two of the most popular schemes, BRC and SQF.
The Poultry 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 2016, while the Veterinary Feed Directive – What You Need to Know session will detail the changes made to the VFD rule in spring of 2014 and describe the challenges going forward. This will include what to do with old animal drug premixes after the full policy goes into effect in January 2017. The Feed Production – Updates on Issues Impacting Your Business session will update participants on regulatory changes from OHSA and EPA and on FDA activities regarding the new regulatory requirements for the Food Safety Modernization Act and Veterinary Feed Directive. It will also include a presentation on “Energy Management for the Feed Industry.” There will also be a Regulatory Update: What’s Ahead for 2016 and Understanding Salmonella session that will take an in-depth look at Salmonella in the meat industry and its effect on in-plant practices, regulations and public health.
The long-standing Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit will provide viewpoints from industry and agricultural experts on sustainability and why it matters to the animal agricultural industry, as well as how to communicate sustainability efforts to consumers, suppliers and industry stakeholders. The Wastewater Treatment Challenges – Five Shades of Gray session will characterize the processes and equipment used to treat wastewater generated in poultry processing facilities as well as identify challenges and liabilities that can result from the over use or misuse of sanitation chemicals in processing plants.
The Addressing the Challenges of Family Business session will discuss some of the most pressing concerns facing family businesses in the meat industry, focusing on succession planning and family member employment, along with other related topics. The session also will provide an opportunity for interaction and discussion to facilitate the sharing of best practices and ideas.
IPPE is also offering Tech XChange education sessions every 20 minutes on a variety of feed, meat and poultry topics. Attendees can participate in the free Tech XChange education sessions from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 and from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Jan. 27 in Booth A-3347 in the A-Hall and in Booth B-8805 in the B-Hall.
For a complete list of education programs available for all attendees, click here. More information about IPPE is available

Funding to help Canada step up avian flu surveillance

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing CA$300,000 (US$215,100) to strengthen the surveillance, early detection, and response measures to avian influenza.
The funding will be used to enhance the resources at the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture's Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford with specialized equipment to diagnose samples collected in the ministry's avian influenza surveillance efforts.
Ministry of Agriculture staff began a pilot surveillance project that collected sediment samples at ponds and wetlands used by wild waterfowl following the December 2014 avian flu outbreak in the Fraser Valley. A research group has worked at developing cutting edge technological advances to be able to test the samples collected from the pilot project for the presence of avian flu strains. Funds will be used to transfer this new technology to the Animal Health Centre. As the pilot project evolves into ongoing surveillance, the ability to diagnose the samples quickly at the Animal Health Centre will greatly enhance early detection efforts.
The Ministry of Agriculture will also be targeting owners of small poultry flocks by hosting workshops in different regions focusing on poultry health, and the sharing of information and resources such as the Small Flock Poultry Health Manual.
In addition, funding is being provided to support a rapid response to any future outbreaks by having mobile equipment to help any infected poultry premises with the humane depopulation of infected bird populations within the province at all times and to train more responders in its use.
The money is provided through the Biosecurity and Surveillance Program under Growing Forward 2, a five-year agreement launched in 2013 that provides a CA$3-billion, federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

All of Nestlé’s eggs to be cage-free by 2020

Nestlé will transition to using only cage-free eggs in all of its U.S. food products within the next five years, the company announced on December 22. The company had earlier announced that it would phase out eggs from caged hens, but at the time had not yet committed to a date when the transition would be completed.
Nestlé uses approximately 20 million pounds of eggs annually to help create some of America’s most known food brands, including Häagen-Dazs, Dreyer’s and Edy’s ice creams, Nestlé Toll House cookie dough and Buitoni pasta. Eggs are also an important part of Lean Cuisine and Stouffer’s popular breakfast items.
“Our products are in the fridges and pantries of socially-conscious consumers across the United States, and we share their belief in the importance of responsibly-sourced ingredients,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA. “The move to using exclusively cage-free eggs is one more way that we’re responding to consumers and establishing a precedent for farm animal welfare.”
The pledge to use exclusively cage-free eggs in the U.S. by 2020 builds on Nestlé’s commitment to farm animal welfare, launched in 2012 and strengthened in 2014. The company also seeks to eliminate practices such as tail docking, gestation crates and veal crates.
As part of this commitment, the company outlined its plan to eliminate specific farming practices, like tail docking for cattle and pigs, gestation crates for pigs and veal crates. Nestlé has been working with World Animal Protection, a global animal welfare organization, to assess its suppliers against these commitments.
Nestlé is developing pilot projects with its suppliers and World Animal Protection to establish a roadmap for sourcing cage-free eggs in Europe and the rest of the world.

Delmarva Poultry Industry forms electric buying group

Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. (DPI), the trade association for the peninsula's chicken industry, has formed an electric buying group that is expected save its Delmarva Power electric customers more than $1 million over the next three years.
Over the last few months, DPI recruited its business and grower members to become part of the organization's seventh electric buying group. This effort has allowed DPI to execute a three-year fixed price electric supply contract with WGL Energy (formerly known as Washington Gas Energy Services). For the more than 200 DPI members in the program, their new fixed rate will be 7.78 cents per kilowatt-hour and that should result in a substantial savings versus their expiring rate. According to DPI, his is the second lowest contract rate executed for electricity since the first DPI Electric Buying Group in 2006.
Additionally, the fixed generation supply price of 7.78 cents per kilowatt-hour also is substantially lower than Delmarva Power's equivalent default tariff supply rates that members would have paid had they not become part of the DPI buying group.
By banding together more than 200 DPI members and their nearly 500 electric accounts in the 7th Electric Buying Group, DPI was able to leverage its buying power for the benefit of the entire group through a rigorous vendor selection process. Over the three-year life of the agreement, DPI estimates its members will save more than one million dollars.
State laws allow groups like DPI to aggregate their Delmarva Power customers together to buy electricity at a lower rate. DPI is not permitted to offer such a program to its members served by the A & N Electric Cooperative, the Choptank Electric Cooperative, the Delaware Electric Cooperative, or members served by municipal electric systems.

AdvancePierre Foods opens an innovative research center

AdvancePierre Foods has opened a customer Innovation & Research Center in Cincinnati, OH. It is a combination of lab space and meeting rooms that brings the R&D food labs and test kitchens to customers, creating the best opportunities to develop the products needed to grow their businesses.
Bernie Panchot, the company’s senior VP of research and development, emphasizes that customer collaboration is a guiding principle at AdvancePierre. “The new, interactive space complements AdvancePierre’s integrated product development process, facilitating enhanced cooperation between R&D, consumer insights, marketing and sales, all the while engaging customers at the most critical junctures in the product development process.”
Co-located with the company's processing facility, the center allows all factions of a team to work alongside customers in parallel by providing dedicated spaces for idea conception; food preparation – ensuring raw ingredients are isolated from ready-to-eat products; and testing. The center houses a sandwich and bakery lab; meat lab; processing lab; customer kitchen with adjoining conference room; additional meeting spaces; walk-in pantries, coolers and freezers; and a receiving room. In addition, the space incorporates a sensory lab in which internal screened testers evaluate products to ensure foods deliver the desired taste and eating experience.
“Customer satisfaction goes far beyond great-tasting products,” Panchot reveals. “It’s about trend-forward thinking, responsiveness, cost management, speed to market and consistency. It’s about identifying opportunities and solving the problems customers face, whether in a foodservice operator’s kitchen or in a grocery or convenience store setting. Heightened customer intimacy and collaboration empower us to detect these opportunities and to better solve these problems, ultimately, delivering an experience our customers will crave.”
AdvancePierre’s Innovation & Research Center utilizes equipment from home and commercial microwave ovens and steam-heating ovens to turbo chef-style ovens, convection ovens, grills and fryers to closely mirror how customers and consumers prepare products.

Novus revises bulk delivery SOPs to improve biosecurity

After the news of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) broke earlier this year, producers throughout the U.S. altered and heightened their on-farm biosecurity measures to prevent outbreaks. HPAI can cause high mortality in commercial poultry flocks and can be transmitted in various ways, often through direct contact between a healthy bird and an infected bird or its secretions and fecal material. It can also be transmitted by humans and equipment that have been in contact with infected material.
The customer supply chain organization at Novus International, quickly responded to all specific requests from customers receiving bulk ALIMET® and SANTOQUIN® deliveries who called for increased biosecurity procedures. Then, they decided to take it a step further and alter their delivery biosecurity procedures.
"We elected to be proactive and let our customers know we were taking steps to help protect their business as we continue to supply them products like ALIMET® to keep them productive," states Rick Kasmarick, executive customer supply chain manager at Novus. "Our drivers were happy to comply with the new policy. If customers request specific procedures above and beyond our revised measures, we will do our best to comply." 
The North America Customer Supply Chain organization has further refined delivery protocols this fall, and biosecurity procedures are continuing to be implemented by Novus to prevent the chance of spreading of HPAI or any other disease.
Novus' response to current and future outbreaks is implementation of the following biosecurity procedures:
1. Novus' customer service team will review and accommodate all customer biosecurity procedures to the best of their ability.
2. Truck drivers have been educated and recognize the significance of this disease and will follow the customer's individual biosecurity procedures such as:
  • Utilizing truck wash/spray systems at customer locations
  • Using disposable booties when requested and provided by customer
  • Providing documentation of seal numbers when requested
3. All trucks and trailers will be equipped with sanitation kits including:
  • Tek-Trol aerosol spray or equivalent product
  • Hand sanitizer
4. All hose tubes and meter box doors must be resealed between deliveries.
5. Prior to re-entering the cab of the truck, drivers will:
  • Spray shoes, pants, working jackets and other articles with Tek-Trol aerosol spray
  • Apply hand sanitizer

ENOUGH Movement looks at how to feed 9 billion people by 2050

As the global population grows to reach 9.7 billion people in 2050, experts say there will be a 60 percent increase in demand for meat, milk and eggs. The ENOUGH Movement, a global community dedicated to finding practical solutions for a food-secure world, explores potential solutions that can not only increase efficiency, but safeguard animal welfare in an environment where emerging diseases are a threat.
“Building a food-secure world is one of the greatest challenges of our time. To address it, we all need to understand the challenges we face,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health, in an email interview with WATTAgNet. “This issue is solvable, but it is crucial that we turn to the practices and techniques that will have a lasting impact.”
Simmons who, when working for Elanco in Brazil, saw hunger firsthand, said: “If you have seen kids who haven’t eaten in a couple days, or even a day, the wrongness of that screamed out at me. There’s a wrongness in hunger,” and that is what makes him so passionate about the movement.
“It’s easy to be passionate when you look at what’s at stake: In just 35 years, we’ll have more than 9 billion neighbors and an expansive middle class … and we will require more of our planet’s resources than we can afford,” he said. “The facts are clear, and we can’t continue down the path we’re on to reach the goal of a food-secure 2050.  We need sustainable solutions that protect animal, human and environmental health.”’

The four pillars

The four pillars of the ENOUGH Movement are innovation, choice, access and nutrition.
“We believe there is enough innovation available to feed 10 billion people, (but) the challenge is ensuring producers have the ability to access that innovation,” Simmons said.
“By implementing innovative farming techniques that increase efficiency, enabling both farmer and consumer choice, eliminating global trade barriers and ensuring proper nutritional nourishment, we can write a positive ending to this story,” he said.
Farmers and producers are crucial to the movement. “Farmers matter more than ever,” Simmons said. “There are fewer farmers, so we depend on them more. Their voice is more credible than any other. … It is not possible to build a food-secure world without innovation, and innovation is their business.”
The ENOUGH Movement stresses that producers and consumers must have choices in how to operate.
“Consumers deserve the ability to choose the food that fits their budget, taste and nutritional needs, and farmers should be able to choose the production methods that work best for them,” Simmons said. “In developed countries, consumers often have choices when it comes to their food supply. They may even have a broad selection of stores, products, brands and price points to consider, but not everyone has the means or desire to treat food as a luxury item or a lifestyle choice.”
The movement says reducing key global trade barriers is one of the most effective ways to eliminate hunger and provide nutritious, sustainable and affordable food. It also says nutrition is a crucial part of global health and development.
“Hunger is a disease, and there are many diseases in the world that … we don’t have the answer to. Hunger is not one of them. We can solve hunger. … That realization is what keeps me working passionately towards my goal of seeing a food secure world for my kids,” Simmons said.

Researchers identify species of bacteria linked to lameness in broilers

Researchers at the University of Arkansas have identified a species of bacteria that had never before been associated with lameness in broiler chickens, bringing scientists closer to finding a way to prevent infections.
Using genetic tools and chickens raised on wire flooring as is used in commercial production, the research team determined the bacterium Staphylococcus agnetis is significantly involved with a condition leading to lameness in those broiler chickens, said Douglas Rhoads, university professor of biological sciences and director of the Cell and Molecular Biology interdisciplinary graduate program at the U of A.
The bacteria had been associated with inflammation of the mammary gland in cattle but not in the legs of broiler chickens. Lameness causes the chickens to suffer and the diseased birds are not fit for human consumption. Rough estimates are that lameness in the Arkansas poultry industry could cost growers about $20 million a year due the loss of birds, Rhoads said.
The team published its findings on Nov. 25 in PLOS ONE, the online, open-access journal from the Public Library of Science.
“Lameness in broiler chickens is a significant animal welfare and financial issue,” Rhoads said. “This is the first report of this poorly described pathogen in chickens.”
Bob Wideman, professor of poultry science at the U of A, had shown that growing young broilers on wire flooring is a contributing factor to lameness in broiler chickens. This study, which included Wideman, shows that S. agnetis is also a contributing factor for lameness in those chickens, Rhoads said.
The study arose from the doctoral dissertation work of Adnan A. K. Al-Rubaye, now an instructor and associate director of the Cell and Molecular Biology graduate program, with contributions from Sohita Ojha, a doctoral student in the program; and Joseph Koon, an undergraduate student at Ouachita Baptist University.
Genome assembly for the study was performed at the Arkansas High Performance Computing Center and the High Performance Computing Center at Oklahoma State University. Jeff Pummill at the Arkansas High Performing Computer Center and Brian Couger at Oklahoma State University were co-authors.
The National Institutes of Health and Arkansas Biosciences Institute partially funded the study.

Pas Reform hosts meeting in the Netherlands

Members of hatcheries and breeding companies from Belgium and the Netherlands recently held a general meeting. Pas Reform hosted the event at its global distribution center in Doetinchem, the Netherlands. Attendees represented more than 50 companies and included delegates from Aviagen, Cobb, Hubbard, Lohmann and Hendrix Genetics.
Following the meeting, Pas Reform’s CEO Harm Langen outlined Pas Reform’s recently launched SmartGrowth program, which will support customers around the world with smart, integrated, sustainable hatchery solutions.
Bouke Hamminga, Pas Reform’s international sales and business development director, closed the afternoon with a detailed perspective on “the sustainable hatchery,” as needing a complete range of solutions, not only to address environmental concerns, but also to provide robust governance for food safety and public health, animal health and welfare, as well as innovation in new technologies to drive greater efficiency and process control.
“The need for close, cooperative links between breeding companies and hatcheries has never been greater,” concluded Langen. “This is where quality begins and where standards are set that have implications throughout the poultry value chain, as it scales up to meet substantial increases in demand in the coming years.”

News from the National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference

The USPOULTRY Foundation continues to provide support programs for students interested in becoming part of the poultry and egg industry. Providing today’s youth with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel has been the goal of the USPOULTRY Foundation’s sponsored programs, such as 4-H, FFA, collegiate poultry judging competitions and the College Student Career Program. The 4-H youth recruiting activity is made possible by a gift from Amick Farms.
Beverly Hampton, technical assistant for USPOULTRY, attended the 2015 National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference held at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville in November. Hampton presented awards in five separate competitive events that included poultry judging, chicken barbecuing, turkey barbecuing, an egg preparation demonstration and an avian bowl (poultry and egg trivia). The conference hosted 120 senior 4-Hers representing 19 states who competed in educational events that helped them learn to formulate and defend decisions, speak publicly and expand their poultry-related skills. For the poultry judging contest, Caroline Dunn, Justin Harper, Karen Ouano and Nicole Taylor from Georgia, were named top team overall winners. Dakota Horlocker, from Florida, was named the top overall individual poultry judging contest champion.
"We are all aware that agriculture faces some daunting realities. There will be 9 billion people to feed by the year 2050 and with less land, resources and people with an understanding of what it takes to cultivate food. I’m positive that with bright young people, such as the ones who attend the National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference, we can be confident in our future," said Hampton.
A Poultry Careers Workshop was also held at the conference, which gave the 4-H students the opportunity to interact with poultry and food industry personnel and receive relevant information about career and educational opportunities in the industry.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Eggs bolster state's total poultry values in 2015

Spared from avian influenza outbreaks in 2015, Mississippi’s poultry industry benefitted significantly from higher egg prices but still felt the pinch from export declines.
Preliminary estimates indicate a 3.4 percent increase in the state’s poultry value. The largest growth is an almost 40 percent increase for eggs. Chickens (replacement egg layers) may be up 5 percent, and broilers were near even with a 0.4 percent increase, according to recent estimates from the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service.
Extension agricultural economist Brian Williams said poultry remains the state’s largest agricultural commodity for the 21st year. Total poultry value is $3.2 billion, which included $2.9 billion for broilers, $328 million for eggs and $7 million for chickens used as laying hens. Poultry ranked ahead of the estimated $1.2 billion forest industry and $930 million soybean commodity.
“The highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak primarily hurt turkey and egg production, and most of the outbreaks were in Minnesota and Iowa,” Williams said. “Most of Mississippi’s industry is broiler production, but we are also home to Cal-Maine, the nation’s largest egg production company.”
None of the Cal-Maine facilities across the country experienced an outbreak in 2015. The egg shortage caused by the outbreak bolstered prices for companies that were able to maintain production.
“Last Thanksgiving, a dozen eggs were $1.85 to $2, but this year, they were $3 or more,” Williams said. “Because of avian influenza, there has been a shortage of laying hens and eggs. About 10 percent of the nation’s laying hens were lost. None of them were in Mississippi.”
In fact, Mississippi did not have any positive tests for the highly pathogenic avian influenza, and none of the out-of-state outbreaks were in broiler houses.
Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said the avian influenza scare reduced some of the nation’s export markets. “While no broilers were impacted by avian influenza, Mississippi did feel the impact on the overseas markets. The fear of avian influenza hurt broilers, especially dark meat and paw exports,” he said. “Domestic demand has struggled to keep up with increasing supply due to shrinking export markets.”
Tabler said if avian influenza remains in check, many of these markets should begin to open back up after the first of the year. Additionally, poultry has remained competitive with beef and pork prices.
“The industry will closely monitor production levels in the coming months. As the beef and pork folks work through issues that have plagued their industries recently, the possibility of an oversupply of meat in the marketplace may be a consideration, especially if export markets are slow to return,” he said.
Tabler said an added benefit in 2015 was the price of grain. “Grain prices remained favorable throughout the year, which helped keep production costs in line,” he said. “Feed is roughly 70 percent of the cost to produce chicken. If grain prices stay favorable, feed costs stay in line with expectations.”
The 2015 avian influenza outbreak made the state’s poultry industry increase its already significant biosecurity efforts, but the potential for another outbreak in 2016, especially in Mississippi, makes it hard to predict the state of the industry in the coming months.
“No one knows what will or will not happen. We are being vigilant, using good common sense and following strict biosecurity procedures, and that’s about all we can do at this point,” Tabler said. “Some things, such as where wild geese and ducks fly, are out of our control.”
Tabler said the poultry industry is always aware of biosecurity issues, but the highly pathogenic strain has taken growers’ efforts to the next level. “Instead of having shoes, hairnets or other protective clothing designated for one farm, we are recommending a different set for each poultry house on a farm,” Tabler said. “The biggest concern has been that when the migratory birds return South from last summer’s visits to infected nesting grounds, the chance for local outbreaks would increase, especially in the first months of 2016. We are not going to drop our guard.”
Tabler said absolutely no infected birds enter the food supply. “Once commercial birds are infected, they will be euthanized and buried on the farm or composted in-house. Any transportation of infected live or dead birds could spread the infection,” he said. “Infected houses undergo a more extensive cleaning and disinfecting than for a typical cleanout.”

OSHA meets with representatives of poultry industry

Eleven Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials and 45 safety and health representatives of the poultry industry met on Dec. 3 to discuss OSHA’s Region 4 and 6 Emphasis Program focused on the poultry industry.
“The meeting provided a rare opportunity for the poultry industry and regional leadership from OSHA to discuss the upcoming emphasis program on poultry processing,” said Paul Pressley, USPOULTRY Executive VP - Industry Programs. “OSHA took the opportunity to discuss some of the trends they see during their inspection process, and the poultry industry was able to share many of the advancements that have been made in workplace safety throughout the industry, leading to the significant reduction in workplace injuries.”
A video message from OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor, Dr. David Michaels, was shared and his remarks can be downloaded here.
OSHA Regional Administrator - Region 4, Kurt Petermeyer along with Region 4 and 6 Assistant Administrators, Billie Kizer, Jeffery Lewis and Josh Flesher, presented a summary of the Regional Emphasis Program, discussing the elements of the program, the process of scheduling and inspection procedures. OSHA Occupational Physician, Dr. Kathleen Fagan, spoke on medical management of musculoskeletal disorders and biological hazard such as campylobacteriosis and histoplasmosis.
While acknowledging that the industry continues to seek new ways to improve workplace safety, Pressley led a discussion of the many advancements in worker safety and health which have resulted in a significant reduction in workplace injuries and illnesses in poultry processing facilities. As evidence of this improvement, twenty years ago the industry’s OSHA recordable injury and illness rate was almost double the rate for the entire manufacturing sector and now it is essentially the same as all manufacturing.
Dr. Doug Britton spoke briefly on the work conducted by the Georgia Tech Research Institute Agriculture Technology Research Program for which he is manager. The program has had great success developing technologies to measure and monitor physical stresses for improved ergonomics as well as developing equipment to replace many manual tasks in poultry plants. Dr. Britton described the next generation of automated de-boning, referenced as intelligent cutting. Cameras and computers will model each carcass and control the automated cutting to maximize quality and yield.
There was extensive discussion and successful dialogue between the OSHA officials and the industry. If you have any questions, please contact Pressley.

Gemperle Family Farms announces new scholarship fund

The holiday season is about more than Santa Claus, Christmas parties and eggnog; it's about giving back. The Gemperle Family has announced the new Gemperle Family Farms Scholarship Fund to help fund higher education for children and grandchildren of Gemperle Farms employees.
"Helping our employees send their kids to college is one of the greatest gifts of gratitude we can give to those who have helped make our company successful," Gemperle Family Farms President Steve Gemperle said. "When you change someone's life with education, you have an impact for generations to come."
The company recognizes the vital need for higher education in local Stanislaus County, where only 16 percent of adults over 25 have a college degree while the remainder of California averages around 32 percent. The company feels a responsibility to help resolve this discrepancy and has pledged up to $10,000 in scholarship funds in 2016.
"We are hoping our scholarship program can serve as a model for other medium-sized companies in Stanislaus County. A lot of work needs to be done to help bridge the gap between Stanislaus County and the rest of the state," Gemperle stressed. "We hope other businesses will partner with the Stanislaus Community Foundation to help families with limited financial means afford higher education."
Awards for scholarship will range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year and are available to all current employees who have been employed for a minimum of three continuous years. The applicant must attend an accredited two or four-year college or university, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and maintain a continuous, full-time enrollment of at least 12 units per semester.
"The majority of our employees have been with us for over five years. While we already offer a generous employment package with paid vacation and holidays, health insurance and a profit-sharing and pension plan for retirement, we knew we could do more," Gemperle explained.
To find out more information or to submit an application, please visit The Stanislaus Community Foundation Scholarship Committee, an independent community and volunteer organization, will review and select the final applicants. Finalists will be selected based on financial need, academic merit and personal statement.

APHIS discusses criteria for potential HPAI vaccinations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t planning on widespread vaccination of poultry and layer flocks, but its considering how it might do so in the event of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
During the Watt Global Media webinar, Vaccination as Part of an Avian Flu Eradication Plan, Dr. Lee Ann Thomas, director of the Avian, Swine & Aquatic Animal Health Center at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), discussed what factors the agency would consider when making the decision of whether or not to approve use of the stockpiled avian influenza vaccines in the U.S.
Thomas said any decision to vaccinate will follow a science-based strategy focused on suppressing and eradicating the disease. With an established eradication plan and maintenance of enhanced biosecurity in mind, the agency would conduct a controlled vaccination of at-risk flocks, then monitor all vaccinated and at-risk birds before carrying out a repopulation plan.
Before making the decision to vaccinate, APHIS would consider the probability of containing the spread of the virus; the proximity of high-value genetic breeder birds to the outbreak; poultry density in the area that may be vaccinated; the possible increased risk of introduction of HPAI into uncontaminated flocks and the presence of HPAI transmitting waterfowl.
As for which birds would get vaccinated first, Thomas said APHIS would consider how effective a vaccine is in each species, which commodities would be impacted by an HPAI outbreak, how close farms are to one another, the outbreak pattern, and the type of flock.
Thomas stressed that no decision has been made to vaccinate birds in the U.S. The decision, she said, will ultimately lie with the agency’s administrator, Kevin Shea. If the decision is made, it would be supervised by incident command in the area, who would be charged with developing the plan for vaccination, reporting vaccine usage, permitting movements and monitoring all activities.
Logistically, Thomas said, immunizing millions of birds would be challenging. The efforts must be coordinated to ensure that national biosecurity is not compromised and that vaccination teams do not become unwitting transmitters of the virus. There would also need to be continuous monitoring of the immunized population to ensure there is no vaccine break.
The decision will not be made lightly, as widespread vaccination of the nation’s flocks could stymie foreign market’s appetite for U.S. poultry and eggs. Thomas said the December 2014 to June 2015 outbreak of HPAI led to the depopulation of 50 million birds and impacted the U.S.’s relationship with 17 trading partners, including China, Russia and South Korea.
While no decision has been made to immunize, USDA is already stockpiling millions of doses of vaccines that showed promise in preventing the spread the HPAI. Dr. David Suarez, the research leader for exotic and emerging avian viral disease research at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), said the U.S.’s options are limited because only licensed vaccines can be deployed by the USDA. In order to both incentivize the private sector to develop newer, more effective vaccines, and stock up for the event of a mass immunization, the USDA is building a stockpile of millions of doses of vaccine.
The two avian influenza vaccines purchased by USDA APHIS for the stockpile had different costs. The vaccines are being added to the stockpile at costs to USDA of $0.06 and $0.125 per dose by Ceva Animal Health and Harrisvaccines, respectively.
While there is some skepticism about the efficacy of vaccines in stopping HPAI outbreaks, Dr. Leslie David Sims, a consultant for Asia Pacific Veterinary Information Service, Australia, said empirical research gathered through decades of fighting HPAI outbreaks in Southeast Asia proves that vaccines, when properly administered, can be effective in halting the spread of the virus on specific farms and in wider geographic areas.

Patrick Cudahy donates $50,000 to Hunger Task Force

Patrick Cudahy, the makers of sweet apple wood smoked bacon, is teaming up with Pick ‘n Save to Lend a Helping Ham this holiday season by feeding local families in need.
Bud Matthews, senior VP of Patrick Cudahy, and Jake Poad, store director of Pick ‘n Save, recently presented a $5,000 check to Sherrie Tussler, the executive director of Hunger Task Force, at a Wisconsin Pick ‘n Save store. Hunger Task Force provides a safety net of emergency food to a network of local food pantries and meal programs. It is the only food bank in Milwaukee that does not charge for food, delivery or network membership.
The money was raised through a promotion with Pick ‘n Save, a retail banner under Roundy's Supermarkets. Since November, Patrick Cudahy has been matching the price of purchases made by deli customers at participating Pick ‘n Save stores.
"During this holiday season, we understand the importance of giving back to our local community and feeding those in need," said Matthews. "This is why we partnered with Pick ‘n Save and our friends at Hunger Task Force to help make a difference."
"The donation with Patrick Cudahy to Hunger Task Force reinforces our commitment to giving back to the community we work and live in," said Jessie W. Terry, chief human resource officer, Roundy's. "It's our privilege to make this contribution during the holiday season."
The promotion will continue to run through Dec. 31. Customers can help by donating hams online, directly to Hunger Task Force.
"Partnering with our friends at Patrick Cudahy right before the holidays is a great help to Hunger Task Force and to families who need some help in our community. We're grateful for this long-standing relationship and look forward to collecting many, many holiday hams," said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force.
Patrick Cudahy is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

Avian flu spreads to new region of France

 According to the latest report from the agriculture ministry in France, dated December 18, avian influenza has been confirmed at 42 locations – 12 more than the previous report 2 days earlier. A sixth department (region) has been affected in the southwest of the country – Hautes Pyrénées – which borders Spain. Other regions affected are Landes (18 outbreaks), Dordogne (12), Gers (6), Pyrénées Atlantiques (4) and Haute Vienne (1).
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus of an H5 subtype has been confirmed at most of the affected premises – generally prior to the birds being transported to the slaughterhouse - and the majority of birds affected so far have been ducks.
New cases in Landes were revealed at 4 locations when birds were tested prior to slaughter in the communities of Montaut, Saint Sever, Aubagnan and Eyres Moncube. In each case, samples taken tested positive for a highly pathogenic H5 form of the AI virus. In another outbreak in the region, both the H5N2 and H5N9 virus variants have been found in a domestic duck flock in Saint Cricq en Chalosse.
H5 HPAI has been detected in one new flock in Dordogne – at Lardin Saint Lazare, near a previous outbreak – prior to movement and slaughter.
The new cases in Gers, all also confirmed as H5 HPAI prior to transportation to the abattoir - are in ducks in Cazaubon, Eauze and Caupenne d'Armagnac.
Two duck flocks in Pyrénées Atlantiques tested positive in Maucor and Saint Jammes.
In Hautes Pyrénées, the HPAI virus was found at Labatut-Rivière during testing following an earlier outbreak nearby in Arroses.
Work is ongoing in each case to identify the variant(s) of the AI virus involved.

Update on global avian flu situation in humans

Official agencies in France are stressing that the HPAI in poultry flocks there poses no danger to human health through the consumption of poultry meat and other products.
The latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the total number of confirmed cases of influenza A (H5N1) since 2003 at 844, including 449 deaths.
Since the last update in November 2015, no new laboratory-confirmed human cases have been reported to WHO. So far in 2015, there have 143 cases, including 42 deaths, making it the worst year for this disease for the last 5 years. Worst-affected in 2015 was Egypt (136 cases, 39 deaths), with China (5 cases, 1 death) and Indonesia (2 cases, both died) also reporting outbreaks.
Commenting on the possible threat posed to human health of the latest outbreaks in French poultry, WHO states that, based on preliminary data, at least one of the viruses has different origins from the influenza A (H5) viruses that have caused human cases in the past. WHO says it is in contact with the animal health authorities to understand these viruses better and to assess the public health risk more accurately.
For avian influenza A (H7N9), WHO has received reports of two new confirmed human cases of infection in China, both of which reportedly had exposure to domestic poultry. This brings the total of confirmed cases of this virus in humans to 683, including at least 275 deaths. In 2015, the virus has been detected in the animal population in multiple provinces in China, indicating that the virus persists in the poultry population. If the pattern of human cases follows the trends seen in previous years, the number of human cases may rise over the coming months.
Since its previous update a month ago, WHO has been informed of 4 confirmed human cases of the avian influenza A (H9N2) virus infection in people in China. All of the cases were reported to have mild disease and none was hospitalized.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Cal-Maine nearly triples net income for second quarter

Cal-Maine Foods reported a net income of $109.2 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, nearly tripling the income of $36.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016. Net income for the first six months of the fiscal year was also up dramatically, going from $64.3 million to $252.3 million.
The periods ended on November 28.
Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 were $546.0 million, a 44.2 percent increase compared with net sales of $378.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2015.  For the first six months of fiscal 2016, net sales were $1,155.9 million compared with net sales of $735.6 million for the prior-year period.
The net income per share numbers for the second quarter and year to date periods for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2015 reflect the two-for-one stock split for shares of the company’s common stock and Class A common stock, effective October 31, 2014.
Dolph Baker, chairman, president and CEO of Cal-Maine Foods, stated, “Our financial and operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 reflect another very strong performance for Cal-Maine Foods. For the second quarter, overall sales were up 44.2 percent over the same period last year, and were up 57.1 percent through the first half of this fiscal year. This impressive growth is primarily due to higher average selling prices and a modest increase in volumes compared with the same periods a year ago. While egg prices were still at much higher than normal levels at the beginning of our second quarter, they dropped considerably in October before moving back up due to higher demand related to the Thanksgiving holiday. Even with this volatile behavior during the second quarter, our average selling prices for shell eggs were up 42.9 percent compared with the same period a year ago, however, they were down 12.2 percent on a sequential basis compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Egg prices have declined since the end of the second quarter.
“Our industry continues to deal with the significant reduction in the national laying hen flock that occurred this past spring related to the avian influenza (AI) outbreaks in the upper Midwestern United States. While the supply is gradually starting to move back up, the current national laying hen flock reported by the USDA yesterday is still approximately nine percent lower than it was a year ago. Egg prices have moved lower than expected in spite of the reduced supply, and we expect prices will remain volatile until the industry has more clarity on future supply levels.”
Baker notes that while there have been no further reported U.S. outbreaks of highly pathogenic AI, the company continues to closely monitor the situation, and is are working with egg industry associations and government officials to identify ways to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks.
To date, there have been no positive tests for AI at any of the Cal-Maine Foods locations; however, the company has strengthened our biosecurity measures at all of its facilities.

Economic effects of antibiotic use in poultry, pig production

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final guidance on voluntarily phasing out the use of medically important antibiotics for the purpose of livestock production in 2013. However, a large number of poultry and pig producers were already not using antibiotics, and those producers will be better off in the long-run should regulations on antibiotic use in food animal production in the U.S. get tighter. This was the conclusion of a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and discussed by Stacy Sneeringer, PhD, USDA ERS, during a webinar on “The Economics of Antibiotic Use in U.S. Livestock Agriculture.”
Farmers use antibiotics in livestock, Sneeringer said,  for four main purposes: to treat disease, control disease, prevent disease or increase productivity. However, these uses have also raised a number of public health concerns. These concerns–mainly that antibiotic use in livestock and humans can contribute to the emergence of organisms that are resistant to most or all antibiotics and that antibiotic use leads to difficult-to-treat illness or death in humans and animals – have led to recent calls for policy changes, including restricting or eliminating antibiotics for production use.
Sneeringer’s research, based on the most recent data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) conducted every five to six years, looked at three main questions associated with the potential economic effects of a policy restricting antibiotics for production purposes in broilers and hogs:
1. Current extent of antibiotic use for production purposes and disease prevention
2. Effects of restricting production purpose uses on animals and farms
3. Effects of production purpose restrictions on prices and quantities produced of pork and chicken
For the broiler industry, the ARMS survey, most recently conducted in 2011, found that 48 percent of farmers surveyed used antibiotics only for disease treatment; 32 percent did not know if antibiotics were used only for disease treatment (such as in the possible case of contract growers who may not know what was in the feed previously); and 20 percent used antibiotics for purposes other than disease treatment. Additionally, between 2006 and 2011, the share of broilers raised without antibiotics except for disease treatment rose from 44 to 48 percent.
For the pig production sector, the ARMS survey, most recently conducted in 2009, broke out the market by nursery pigs and finishing hogs. In nursery pigs, 59 percent of farmers surveyed said they used antibiotics for disease prevention and 51 percent said they did not administer antibiotics for growth promotion. For finishing hogs, these numbers were 51 percent for farmers who administered antibiotics for disease prevention and 38 percent who did not administer antibiotics for growth promotion. And from 2004 and 2009, the share of finishing hogs sold or removed from operations administering antibiotics to promote growth fell from 52 percent to 40 percent, while the share of nursery pigs being administered antibiotics for growth fell from 29 percent in 2004 to 23 percent in 2009.
From the data, it is clear that some producers are following the 2013 FDA guidance and voluntarily restricting human-used antibiotics in their animals. But, research shows that if a policy further limiting antibiotics for animal production purposes is enacted in the U.S., it could impact not only the animals themselves, but also producers at the farm level and the market for poultry and pig meat.     

Animal-level effects of restricting antibiotics use

According to Sneeringer, limiting the use of antibiotics for production purposes could potentially have several effects on the animals, such as slower growth to market weight, more feed required per unit of weight gain, higher illness rates among all animals, a higher death rate in young animals, lower reproduction, and more animals weighing in at the high and low ends of the spectrum.
Despite these possible effects, the impact of using them in animals to begin with is not what it once was, Sneeringer said, pointing to previous research.
Experimental lab research shows that the effects of production-purpose antibiotics in broilers decline over time. In research published before the 1980s, there were high single-digit or double-digit percentage changes in animal growth and feed efficiency when antibiotics were used. On the other hand, in research published since the 2000s, she said antibiotic use in animals has only yielded low single-digit or less than 1 percent changes in growth and feed efficiency, and that these results were also seen in observational farm research.
“The theory in the literature is largely that the industry has evolved,” she said. “There has been rapid improvement in housing, equipment and practices... So, in that way, you have fewer bacteria in the barn and, therefore, to the extent that the growth-promoting antibiotics had a disease preventative effect, it’s no longer having those effects because you’re correcting for that.”

Potential impact on the farm

Of course, using fewer antibiotics will lower the cost of use for production purposes should they be banned, but, according to Sneeringer, this could alternatively lead to higher veterinary costs for disease treatment as well as higher input costs. At the farm level, she said a ban on use of antibiotics for production purposes could mean more feed required, a greater number of young animals purchased, the need for more expensive biosecurity measures, adjustments in housing to create more space per animal and declining economies of scale. Plus, producers could be hit with higher expenses – both in the form of labor costs for more management and penalties at market for animals outside of range for operations using mechanized processing as a result of having a greater number of animals at extreme ends of the weight scale.

Effects at the market level

At the market level, a ban on antibiotics used in poultry and pigs could impact both supply and demand, though Sneeringer said the impact largely depends on the extent of the effects on the animal and the timespan in which production-purpose antibiotics would be potentially banned.
On the supply side, a 1-3 percent decline in productivity from not using antibiotics for production purposes could lower the quantity of animals produced and increase the price of producing poultry and pigs. Another concern at the market level, she said, may be that a ban may make the U.S. market less competitive in the global market if producers have a higher cost of production.
As for the effects on demand, Sneeringer said that U.S. consumers may demand more meat, although this is highly dependent on consumer knowledge and preferences for meat. More widely supported, she said, is the possibility that foreign buyers who previously rejected U.S. poultry and pig products due to the production-purpose use of antibiotics may begin allowing them.
Overall, Sneeringer’s researched showed only a muted effect at the market level should production-use antibiotics be banned in the U.S. with the effect on price and quantity of less than 1 percent. Producers who are not using antibiotics before a restriction would be imposed should see a greater quantity produced compared to those producers using antibiotics who may see a decline of about 1.5 percent in quantity produced due to lower reproduction and higher mortality rates.

Shake Shack to use only cage-free eggs by end of 2016

Quick service restaurant chain Shake Shack is increasing its commitment to cage-free eggs, stating that it will source all of its eggs from cage-free farms by the end of 2016.
The company has already been using cage-free eggs in some of its menu items. Since it first introduced its breakfast line in 2013, it sourced cage-free eggs for its Egg N’ Cheese sandwiches. It also uses cage-free eggs for its Buttermilk Herb Mayo served on the Chick’n Shack.
“We know we can always do better, which is why we’re committed to transitioning to the use of cage-free eggs for our final two menu items by the end of 2016: our ShackSauce and frozen custard. At that point, our entire menu will use cage-free eggs,” the company stated in on its website. “It’s important to us that our beliefs are clear to our team, guests and suppliers. To set things in stone, we’ve been working hard this year on developing a public sourcing commitment, which we expect to announce by mid-2016.
Shake Shack, founded in 2004 and headquartered in New York, has multiple locations in 12 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia. The chain also has an international presence, with locations in major cities including London, Istanbul, Dubai and Moscow. The company’s mission, according to the Shake Shack website, is to “Stand for Something Good.”
A publicly traded company, Shake Shack is listed in the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SHAK.

COOL repeal vote passes US House, Senate

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have voted to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) laws involving the labeling of meats through the passage of a year-end funding bill that included language calling for the repeal of COOL.
The bill passed in the House with a 316-113 vote and in the Senate with a 65-33 vote.
Congress had been facing pressure to repeal COOL after the World Trade Organization (WTO) in May deemed the laws unfair and inconsistent with free trade obligations. Canada and Mexico challenged the U.S. COOL laws, saying they discriminate against beef and pork from the two countries. The two countries vowed to seek retaliation in the form of tariffs on U.S. goods, and the WTO on December 7 authorized Mexico and Canada to issue more than $1 billion in tariffs.
While a bill to repeal COOL was approved in the House of Representatives, the Senate never passed any COOL-related legislation until the funding bill that was approved on December 18.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), which has been one of COOL’s most vocal opponents, recently drafted and sent to congressional lawmakers a letter signed by 248 other organizations urging the repeal of COOL.
NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage said House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, both Republicans, were instrumental in getting the COOL language into the bill.
“America’s pork producers are grateful that lawmakers, particularly Chairman Roberts and Chairman Conaway, recognized the economic harm we faced from retaliation because of the WTO-illegal COOL law,” said Prestage. “I know tariffs on U.S. pork would have been devastating to me and other pork producers.”

Cobb has grand opening for new facility in China

To meet the growing demand of the Chinese market, Cobb-Vantress has built a new production complex in Suizhou, west of Shanghai. The official opening was held recently and attracted more than 40 guests from the country’s poultry industry.
The two-day Cobb China event began with inaugural presentations. The next day featured a tour of farm and hatchery facilities, which were developed at a cost of $35 million to meet the initial target of supplying five million Cobb500 parents a year. The facility is already receiving the first placement of grandparent stock.
In designing and constructing the complex, top priority has been given to biosecurity, which together with a well trained work force is seen as the key to producing consistently top-quality products.
The program on the first day included Cobb speakers who outlined the company’s global vision and Chinese marketing strategy, along with details of the new facilities planned and constructed over the past three years. In the evening, Cobb celebrated completion of the project and the 100th anniversary of Cobb in 2016.
“This will be a game changer in the Chinese market,” said Dave Juenger, Cobb project director. “We have high expectations of consistently achieving top quality for our customers, and we are committed to producing mycoplasma-free breeding stock right from day one.
“In these state-of-the-art facilities, for instance, everyone is required to take three showers before coming into contact with the birds. This level of biosecurity is a prime example of Cobb’s commitment to preventing the introduction of disease on our facilities.”
Pelayo Casanovas, Cobb general manager for the Asia-Pacific region, said, “Our goal is to add value to our productsand to help improve the Chinese broiler industrythrough our commitment to delivering the best genetics combined with the best quality. And that means freedom from both MS and MG as well as Salmonella, and protection from disease for our customers.
“In addition, our technical services teams—locally and globally—will give our customers expert advice covering all aspects from house preparation, breeder and broiler management to meat yield so they can maximize the genetic potential that Cobb birds provide. This strategic support in China and the Asia-Pacific market generally will enable us to react quickly to help our customers whenever this is needed.”
Roy Mutimer, Cobb senior VP, said the Cobb research and development program focuses on making continually improving, well balanced products for customers. He spoke of Cobb strategies to expand production of breeding stock in every region to make sure that products are always available in the event of any local supply shortage. He also said the China project is aligned with the company’s strategy to expand poultry output, providing for increased consumption in Asia.

OMP achieves American Humane Association certification

Ozark Mountain Poultry (OMP) has achieved certification through the American Humane Association’s American Humane Certified program. Ozark Mountain Poultry, headquartered in Arkansas, currently produces approximately 4 million pounds of poultry products a week for its consumer brand Forester Farmer's Market and the restaurant industry.
"We take great care in how we raise and process our chickens, and we think it makes a big difference in the taste and overall quality of our products," said Ed Fryar, president of OMP Foods. "We feel that becoming American Humane Certified is the best way to communicate our commitment to humanely raising birds to our customers and consumers."
American Humane Association's most recent survey shows overwhelming popular support for the humane treatment of farm animals.Its Humane Heartland Farm Animal Survey polled 5,900 Americans and 94.9 percent said they are "very concerned" about farm animal welfare, up from 89 percent in American Humane Association's 2013 study.   More than 75.7 percent stated that they are very willing to pay more for humanely raised eggs, meat, and dairy products, up from 74 percent in 2013.
"More and more Americans are demanding humanely raised foods, and with 10 billion animals raised on America's farms and ranches every year, it is our duty to treat them humanely," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's president and CEO. "We are pleased that Ozark Mountain Poultry has made the humane choice and achieved certification through our American Humane Certified program."

Three more restaurant chains commit to cage-free eggs

Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Caribou Coffee have joined the movement to only serve eggs that come from cage-free hens. All three chains aim to make the transition by 2020.
In addition, the three companies will be working with the American Humane Association’s (AHA) Humane Heartland team to craft farm animal welfare policies for their supply chains.
"We commend Peet’s Coffee, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels on their proactive stance to further their commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing practices," said Marion Garcia, DVM, American Humane Association’s Chief Veterinary Officer and head of the Humane Heartland program. "We are pleased to work with leaders in the restaurant industry and provide our expertise in developing animal welfare policies that are realistic and attainable."
"We at Einstein Bros. Bagels have a responsibility to ensure the humane treatment of animals and know that this is an important issue to our guests, employees, and franchisee and licensee partners, which is why we have committed to offering exclusively cage-free eggs in all stores by 2020. We are dedicated to serving the highest quality eggs available from farms that uphold the highest standard of humane practices," said Curt Bourg, vice president, Supply Chain, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group.

Friday, December 25, 2015

France confirms another 15 avian flu outbreaks

France has so far recorded a total of 30 outbreaks of avian influenza (AI), according to the country’s agriculture ministry – an increase of 15 new cases since a previous report just two days ago.
The same five regions (departments) in the south-west of the country west are affected: Dordogne (total of 11 outbreaks), Landes (13), Haute-Vienne (1), Gers (3) and Pyrénées Atlantiques (2).
Details of the latest outbreaks are understandably sketchy. In Dordogne, there were 2 new outbreaks in Campagnac-les-Querc and one in Saint Armand de Coly.
In Landes, the virus has been detected in three cases when birds were tested prior to slaughter in the districts of Saint Etienne d'Orthe, Bergouey and Monségur. There were also 6 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Momuy, Saint-Cricq-Chalosse, Montaut, Gaujacq, Serreslous-et-Arribans and Hauriet.
HPAI of the H5 variant has been detected at 2 new locations in the department of Gers: in ducks prior to slaughter in Panjas and in a flock of 2,000 guinea fowl and ducks in Mirande, which showed characteristic symptoms of the disease.
A second outbreak has occurred in Pyrénées Atlantiques, where a flock of 1,240 ducks has been affected.
Tests are on-going to determine the virus subtype and pathogenicity in each outbreak.
According to Thomson Reuters, a new subtype of the AI virus – H5N3 – has been detected at 3 locations in France (2 in Landes and 1 in Pyrénées Atlantiques) during enhanced surveillance. It is reportedly a low-pathogenic form. With the presence of H5N1, H5N2 and H5N9 already confirmed, the latest revelation would mean that 4 different subtypes of the AI virus are circulating in France at the present time.

Research project to develop new type of poultry vaccine

Cheap and effective vaccines for poultry that will reduce infections in humans and minimize antibiotic use in the food chain are to be developed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
With project funding of GBP5.7 million (US$8.7 million) from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the United Kingdom, the award is one of three grants funded through a special scheme that offers world-leading research teams five years of funding and resources to address major challenges.
According to the LSHTM, poultry are the source of the world's most popular animal-based foods, and global production has tripled over the last 20 years. The world's chicken flock is now estimated to be around 21 billion, producing 1.1 trillion eggs and 90 million tons of meat every year.
Livestock health plays an essential role in any country’s economic prosperity but also for public health because infected poultry can pass on diseases to humans, particularly through foodborne infections from bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.
Vaccinating poultry is the most effective way of protecting them from disease and preventing food poisoning in humans. The most successful human vaccines that give long-lasting protective immunity are often glycoconjugates (proteins coupled to sugars). These vaccines are complex and expensive to produce but researchers at LSHTM have recently developed new glycoengineering technology that will facilitate the coupling of protein-sugar combinations for a new generation of inexpensive veterinary vaccines.
The project’s principal investigator at LSHTM is Brendan Wren, Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis.
“Developing effective, inexpensive vaccines for livestock has multiple advantages, not just in protecting animals from disease, but also in reducing infections in humans and antibiotics in the food chain that are often used in rearing livestock,” said Wren. “The BBSRC-funded proposal on veterinary vaccines will facilitate glycoengineering technology developed at the School to produce glycoconjugate vaccines that will simultaneously protect poultry against clostridia, Salmonella and Campylobacter infection and subsequently reduce the incidence of food poisoning in humans. The technology will also be used to develop glycoconjugate vaccines for cattle, sheep and goats, to protect against clostridia and coxiella infection.”

Brazil breaks records for chicken, egg, pork production

The poultry and swine sectors in Brazil broke a number of records in 2015, including for the production and exports of chicken, the production and domestic consumption of pork and in the production and domestic consumption of eggs, according to the Brazilian Association for Animal Protein (ABPA). Chicken meat is No. 4 on the country’s list of top exports.
The good news continued with the opening of new markets for chicken and eggs and a reopening of other markets for Brazilian pork. Major importers authorized more of the country’s plants, and exchange rates also favored Brazilian exports over the last year.
As a result, ABPA forecasts that 2015 exports of poultry and pig meat will reach a value of BRR25 billion (US$8.7 billion).
There is also good news for Brazil’s farmers from home, with domestic consumptionremaining high for chicken, eggs and pork as beef prices stay high.
Producers have faced severe challenges this year, however. These have included rising corn and soybean prices, which pushed up production costs, especially in the second half of the year. Exports were also hampered by truckers’ strikes, agricultural federal tax and port closures due to bad weather.

Chicken meat forecasts

According to ABPA, production of poultry meatin Brazil should reach 13.136 million tons in 2015, 3.5 percent more than the year before. This would put Brazil ahead of China in the global rankings of chicken producers at No. 2 position.
At home, chicken meat consumption is forecast to reach 43 kilograms – more than 1 percent higher than in 2014.
Looking ahead to 2016, output is forecast to rise between 3 and 5 percent.
“This further growth will come from the openingup of new markets for Brazilian chicken and organic growth at home from the rising population and expected reversal of Brazil's economic situation,” commented ABPA’s chief executive, Francisco Turra.
Brazilian exports of poultry meat are forecast to be 4 percent higher than 2014 at 4.26 million tons. While the value of those exports is 25 percent higher in local currency at BRR23.7 billion, there is a fall of 11 percent in U.S. dollars at US$ 7.1 billion.
“This year, in addition to the opening of new markets in Malaysia and Myanmar, China authorized a further two plants for exports, bringing its total to 30, and Mexico has added 16 new plants, making a total of 20 authorizations.
For2016, the industry expects further growth in export volumes of between 3 and 5 percent
“We anticipate the opening of Taiwan and the Dominican Republic as export markets and further authorization of plants to export to China,” said ABPA vice-president for poultry, Ricardo Santin. “There is also interest from Australia, New Zealand and Cambodia and the WTO has set up a trade dispute panel to consider Brazil’s case against Indonesia.”

Turkey meat prospects

ABPA forecasts put Brazilian production ofturkey meat at 329,000 tons in 2015, 0.1 percent more than the previous year.
Exportsare expected to reach 133,000 tons this year, which represents an increase of 6.3 percent in volume from 2014. This would put revenue for the year up 21 percent in local currency at BRR950 million but down 13 percent in US dollars at US287 million.

Expectations for the Brazilian pig meat sector

Pork productionis forecast to be 3.643 million tons in 2015, 4.9 percent above the year-ago figure.
Further growth of between 2 and 3 percent is forecast for next year. According to Turra, this will come about as the result of an increase in exports and a small increase in per-capita domestic consumption.
Average uptake is thought to have reached 15 kilograms for the first time in 2015. This would represent an increase of 2.7 percent from 2014.
For 2015, Brazilian pork exports are forecast to 550,000 tons, which is 8.9 percent more than the year before. While the value is up 14 percent in local currency compared to 2014 at BRR4.3 billion, the US dollar value is 20 percent lower at US$1.2 billion.
“Last year, accelerating sales for Eastern Europe pushed the sales figures to historic highs,” said Turra. “This year, we saw a readjustment of price levels to equivalent levels in previous years, which explains the decline in revenue.”
“This year, the highlight was Russia, accounting for about 45 percent of the total exported by the country, with an average rise of 30 percent on purchases this year compared to 2014,” commented ABPA vice president for the pig industry, Rui Eduardo Vargas Saldanha.
For2016, the industry is forecasting growth in pork exports volumes of between 2 and 3 percent.
“In addition toimproving sales to Eastern Europe and major buyers in Asia - Hong Kong and Singapore - two new plants are expected to influence positively shipments to China. There are also high expectations for the opening of the market in South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and European Union,” said Turra.
“There are also opportunities in South Africa and for improved trading with China,” added Vargas.

USPOULTRY releases fourth video in series

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is releasing a fourth video in a series highlighting environmental stewardship on poultry and egg farms. The video features one of USPOULTRY’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award winners, Meiring Poultry Farm of Ft. Recovery, OH.
Bill and Janet Knapke own and operate Meiring Poultry Farm, which consists of 250 acres and has four pullet houses for layers, with a total capacity of 330,000 birds. The company also produces row crops and operates pullet houses for Cooper Farms. The Excellence Award is chosen for exemplary environmental stewardship by family farms engaged in poultry and egg production.
The Meiring farm utilizes a composter for chicken mortality and a nutrient management plan with 100 percent of its litter sold to a third party. To protect the land and preserve wildlife, Meiring has taken several proactive measures including the installation of field borders, filter strips, wetlands, windbreaks and other general tree planting. The farm participates in the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetland Reserve Program to further protect, restore and enhance wetlands, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat.
“We are a third-generation farm and are proud of the work we do. It is how we earn our living, and we make every attempt to incorporate the best environmental management practices possible in our operations,” said Bill.
“USPOULTRY and our members know the significance of exemplary environmental stewardship. We are pleased to be able to provide this video series highlighting the environmental efforts of our family farmers,” said Sherman Miller, Cal-Maine Foods and USPOULTRY chairman.
The video can be viewed on USPOULTRY’s YouTube Channel by clicking here.

Sanderson Farms net income drops by two-thirds in Q4

Sanderson Farms saw its net income drop by more than two-thirds in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, citing lower market prices for poultry products as a significant factor in the drop. The quarter and fiscal year both ended on October 31.
The company’s net income for the quarter was $27.4 million, down from a net income of $93.1 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014. For the year, Sanderson Farms’ net income dropped from $249 million to $216 million.
Net sales for the company were also down, hitting $679.6 million in the fourth quarter, a drop from the $760.9 million in net sales for the fourth quarter of 2014. For the year, however, net sales were up to a record $2.803 billion. The company’s net sales for fiscal year 2014 were $2.775 billion.
"While conditions during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 deteriorated in the big bird deboning market, the quarter marked the end of another successful year for Sanderson Farms," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms, Inc. "We reported record annual sales of $2.803 billion, a 1.0 percent increase over fiscal 2014. While overall poultry market prices declined compared with fiscal 2014, grain prices were significantly lower during the year when compared with fiscal 2014. For the year, we sold 3.418 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 3.045 billion pounds in fiscal 2014."
According to Sanderson, overall market prices for poultry products were significantly lower in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 compared with prices a year ago. As measured by an average of the Georgia dock price for whole chickens, prices were higher by approximately 1.2 percent in the company's fourth fiscal quarter compared with the same period in fiscal 2014, and were higher by 5.6 percent for the fiscal year compared with the prior year. The Georgia Dock whole bird price remained in record territory during fiscal 2015 and reflected strong demand for the company's retail chill pack product during this fiscal year. Boneless breast meat prices averaged 29.5 percent lower in the fourth quarter than the prior-year period. For fiscal 2015, boneless prices were 15.4 percent lower when compared with fiscal 2014. Jumbo wing prices averaged $1.48 per pound during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, down 1.3 percent from the average of $1.50 per pound during the prior-year period. Jumbo wing prices averaged $1.52 per pound during the fiscal year, up 26.9 percent from the average of $1.20 per pound for fiscal 2014. The average market price for bulk leg quarters decreased approximately 53.3 percent for the quarter, and decreased approximately 31.5 percent for fiscal 2015. Lower dark meat prices reflect the significant decline in industry export volumes during the second half of fiscal 2015. Cash prices for corn during the fourth fiscal quarter increased slightly by 0.4 percent, while soybean meal cash prices were down 21.2 percent.
Sanderson added that its profitability during the fiscal year allowed the company to fund its planned expansion in Palestine, Texas, further reduce outstanding debt, strengthen its balance sheet, and reward shareholders with a special dividend," Sanderson continued.
"We are well positioned to continue our growth strategy as we continue to move our new poultry complex in Palestine, Texas, to full production and continue construction of our newest complex in St. Pauls, North Carolina. The pounds produced in Palestine and St. Pauls, at full production, will represent a 32 percent increase in our capacity."

Papa John’s switching to antibiotic-free chicken

Papa John's announced its grilled chicken pizza toppings and chicken poppers will come from birds raised without human or animal antibiotics, as well as fed a 100-percent vegetarian diet, by the summer of 2016.
The company has already made concrete strides toward this commitment by securing contracts with its suppliers, ensuring that they are on track to complete the process on schedule.
"This antibiotics initiative embodies everything our brand stands for," said John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's. "I started this company over 31 years ago on a foundation of quality and a commitment to my customers to deliver on a promise of ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.' By serving high-quality chicken products without added human or animal antibiotics, we're just taking the next step on our journey to always get ‘better.'"
With the announcement made on December 16, Papa John’s becomes the first national pizza chain to pledge removal of antibiotics from its chicken supply. It also joins a list of restaurant chains to eliminate or reduce use of meat and poultry from animals treated with antibiotics. Others to announce either a move away from all antibiotics or antibiotics used in human medicine include Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s.

Thesis studies impact of natural biosurfacant on fat digestion

LYSOFORTE® has been examined as part of a Kemin-sponsored project through the Catholic University of Leuven.
In contrast to feed enzymes, only limited studies have been dedicated to investigating the modes of action of lysophospholipids added to broiler feeds. For some time, researchers have believed lysophospholipids simply act as an emulsifier in the first stages of fat digestion. However, Kemin researchers discovered other possible mechanisms of action for lysophospholipids. In order to further elucidate this important industry topic, the company sponsored the Ph.D. study, “Modes of action of lysophospholipids as feed additives on fat digestion in broilers."
The thesis presents information on how lysophospholipids are important to digestion and nutrient absorption. Ph.D. student, Ing. Matias Jansen, a Kemin Industries senior research associate in Europe, successfully defended the doctoral thesis on the broader impact of lysophospholipids on Dec. 2 at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
The study determined the impact of lysophospholipids on all three stages of fat digestion: emulsification, hydrolysis and absorption. The data indicates that in addition to their emulsifying capacities, lysophospholipids significantly improve the hydrolysis of triglycerides into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. The lysophospholipids enhance the absorption of monoglycerides and free fatty acids by the enterocytes. The study also clearly differentiates the modes of action of supplemented lysophospholipids from those of phospholipids delivered by lecithins added to the feed.
Secondly, Jansen studied the interaction between bile salts and supplemented lysophospholipids. The results indicate that at low bile salt concentrations, lysophospholipids significantly improve the digestibility of nutrients. Therefore, the addition of lysophospholipids is advised especially in the starter phase of broiler production.
In a third step of the study, the interaction between the fat type in the diet and lysophospholipids was investigated. The dietary addition of lysophospholipids significantly improved the digestibility of fat and other nutrients in diets formulated with mainly saturated fatty acids. These results confirm that lysophospholipids are able to uplift the value of fats and oils. This mode of action allows lysophospholipids to be used in feed reformulation, bringing economic benefit without compromising animal performance.
“This Ph.D. study highlights the complexity of the fat digestion process and demonstrates how lysophospholipids can improve it,” says Dr. Filip Nuyens, Kemin R&D director of the animal nutrition and health division in Europe. “This collaboration with the academic world is an outstanding example of how we can work together to understand the complex molecular mechanisms of lysophospholipids and gain insights that form the foundation of new innovations. Poultry producers face many challenges, and Kemin is committed to providing the industry strategic insight, innovation and the best solutions based on sound science.”
Kemin has developed a unique, natural biosurfactant highly-enriched in lysophospholipids—LYSOFORTE Booster Dry—with superior absorption enhancing properties. Kemin is the original pioneer in absorption enhancers. LYSOFORTE Booster Dry has been successfully tested in several animal species, such as broilers, layers, turkeys, pigs and fish, and a wide range of conditions over the last 20 years, producing a vast amount of scientific and practical information.