Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The National Business Success Award winner is announced

Jansen Poultry Equipment has been nominated as winner of the poultry system branch by The National Business Success Award. Every nominee can be announced as one of the Dutch top companies and has a success vision, a healthy business operation and an innovative and distinctive character in the market.
The nomination committee sees Jansen Poultry Equipment as a stable and progressive company that has accomplished great successes in the poultry market over recent years. One of the spearheads of policy accordance to the nomination committee is also one of the major success factors of Jansen Poultry Equipment; the focus on animal performance and hygiene in the barn. This has led to many innovations and a leading position in the world. One of the examples is the special FlexFloor slatted floor, which is specially developed for broiler houses and in combination with manure belts enables manure to be removed out of the house immediately. This principle prevents breast blisters, foot pad lesions and respiratory infections.
The results are a healthy broiler production without the use of antibiotics. Automated laying nests for breeders ensures a high quality hatching egg production with a minimal amount of floor eggs. Hygienic and qualitative nests provide healthy chicks as eggs remain free from dirt and cracks. Whether it comes to consumption eggs, hatching eggs or broilers, Jansen Poultry Equipment ensures that animals perform at top level.
An example of Jansen’s long-term vision is the antibiotic use in the poultry industry and the effect that this has on the food safety and public health. As a solution, the company developed the BroMaxx colony system with FlexFloor slats. This revolutionary broiler housing system tackles antibiotic use by keeping broilers healthy. Besides this, healthy broilers also have better growth rates and the feed conversion ratio is much more lucrative as animals do not waist their energy to defend illnesses. The progressive way of thinking and the successful business operation influenced the committee’s decision to nominate Jansen Poultry Equipment as winner of the poultry system branch.

NAMI signs cooperative agreement with CSIQ

The North American Meat Institute and The China Society of Inspection and Quarantine (CSIQ) has signed an agreement to cooperate on key food safety programs and to enhance the technical information exchange between the groups.

Under the agreement, CSIQ and the Institute will strengthen technology exchanges and cooperation in inspection and quarantine, collaborate on inspection and quarantine verification and food safety cooperation and communication at the local and national level. The two organizations also will share information concerning regulatory and scientific developments that can impact their members and disseminate the information, as appropriate. Both organizations will convene periodically to explore additional mechanisms that would mutually benefit each organization’s members.

CSIQ is approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, registered by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and supported by General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ). CSIQ is a national, non-profit, voluntary organization that aims to promote academic communication and technical cooperation, advocates national high-tech inspection development and seeks to enhance the performance and level of inspection.

“This newly formed partnership is consistent with the Institute’s long-standing philosophy that food safety should be a non-competitive issue,” said Institute Chairman Dave McDonald, president of OSI Industries. “We both know there is a time to compete against one another – that makes both of us better and stronger. But there is also a time when cooperation should trump competition, and that is when it comes to food safety.”

“Our nations individually have some of the best minds in science and technology and food technology in particular,” McDonald said. “Separately, we are leaders, but working together, we can become exceptional leaders. In fact, we can help create a new global path.”

The Institute’s Senior Vice President of International Trade William Westman will serve as the liaison to the newly formed partnership. The Institute is also a founding member of the U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Partnership.

India updates poultry disease prevention advice

India’s new General Guidelines for Biosecurity at Central Poultry Development Organizations is aimed at research institutes but the principles can be applied to state farms, according to the Department for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHD) as well as private enterprises.
Previous outbreaks of avian Influenza at Central Poultry Development Organizations (CPDO) in Bhubaneswar and Hessarghatta have shown the critical importance of implementing an effective biosecurity plan to prevent future disasters. The standard operating procedures (SOPs) proposed are designed to act as a roadmap to raise awareness and help maintain biosecurity. Sections are included on farm location, restricting access to the farm and poultry sheds by visitors, vehicles and equipment, and rules for workers.
New birds must be isolated and quarantined after arrival. Effective cleaning and disinfection is an essential component of good hygiene and thus one of the key biosecurity measures for disease control, according to the publication, which goes on to include guidance on cleaning and disinfection of the house and all equipment, disposal of mortalities and manure.
The 16-page publication says “The birds should be provided certain medicines and essential vaccines regularly, which can boost immunity such as vitamins, trace minerals and proteins.  Deficiency of these will not only lead to decreased production but there will be more chances of getting infection in flock with a low level of immunity. Anti-stress medication during hot weather, after de-beaking, dubbing etc. may be given.”
Among the regular checks recommended are for mycotoxins or other toxic components in the feed; Salmonella levels in the poultry house; isolation, and the identification and antibiotic resistance testing of any pathogenic organisms. Controlling the environmental temperature is important to minimize heat stress. Workers should be educated about diseases, their transmission and preventative measures. Finally, the guidelines include recommendations for documentation and records that should be kept for each farm, and what do if an outbreak of disease is suspected.

Coalition challenges EPA's Clean Water Rule

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) recently joined a broad coalition, made up of agricultural and industry groups, in a lawsuit that seeks to vacate the controversial “Clean Water Rule” issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Corps of Engineers earlier this year.
On June 28, EPA and the Corp issued the final rule despite the submission of detailed comments by USPOULTRY and others pointing out shortcomings that kept the rule from achieving the agencies’ stated goal of providing more clarity for landholders. Ambiguous determinations on the existence of a bed, bank and ordinary high water mark and numerous other issues threaten a poultry and egg farmer’s ability to perform everyday farming activities without fear of violating the Clean Water Act.

Issuance of the rule was justified by the EPA and the Corp in order to provide certainty, clarity and predictability to the regulated public. USPOULTRY noted in its comments to the EPA that if this justification was genuine, the agency had no choice but to withdraw the rule and start over with real and meaningful input from the agricultural community.

“EPA and the Corp promised a rule that would give poultry and egg farmers a clear understanding of waterways that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The final rule failed to provide that guidance, and it is imperative that we challenge this rule in support of our members,” remarked USPOULTRY president John Starkey.

In addition to USPOULTRY, coalition members include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Petroleum Institute, American Road and Transportation Builders, Leading Builders of America, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Mining Association, National Pork Producers Council and the Public Lands Council.

The petition for review of the final rule can be viewed by clicking here.  

OSHA fines Pilgrim’s, says injuries were preventable

Pilgrim’s has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), alleging that three employees were injured in accidents that the agency said were preventable at its facilities in Moorefield, West Virginia.
OSHA investigators went to two Pilgrim’s facilities in Moorefield during inspections conducted in April, May and June, and claim that preventable safety violations caused the injuries – including one case where a worker had three fingers amputated. Following those visits, OSHA cited Pilgrim’s for one repeat and three serious violations. The proposed fines total $46,825.
According to OSHA, on April 28, 2015, an employee contacted an unguarded machine shaft while operating a conveyer system. Pulled around the shaft, the worker suffered a fractured arm. Two weeks later, on May 12, an employee fell on a concrete floor while refilling a machine with an inadequate step for employee access. A third worker had three fingers amputated when they caught in a blender while removing poultry from the machine on June 15.
Pilgrim’s, the second largest broiler company in the United States, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Boneless chicken wings return to SONIC

Back by popular demand, SONIC® Drive-In has announced the return of Boneless Wings with a lineup of exciting flavors for the ultimate wing experience. Tossed with sauces infused with bold ingredients like ginger, spicy habanero sauce, lemongrass, garlic and honey, these fan favorites will please any wing lover.
Sonic's Boneless Wings are made with 100 percent all white-meat chicken and are available in six mouth-watering sauces, each loaded with bold flavor: Garlic Parmesan, Honey Barbeque, Asian Sweet Chili, Buffalo, Island Fire™ and Extreme Habanero Heat. Wing lovers across the nation can also spend their Monday nights at Sonic for Wing Night in America! Every Monday night until Dec. 20, from 5 p.m. to close, Boneless Wings are buy one, get one free.
"Our guests' response was incredibly positive last year when we first introduced our Boneless Wings as a limited time offer. Our team of culinary experts developed a host of exciting new flavors we cannot wait for our fans to try," said Todd Smith, chief marketing officer for Sonic Corp. "Our new lineup elevates sauces to the next level in a way you won't find anywhere else."

Biomass leader receives funding to accelerate expansion

Biomass industry leader, REPREVE® RENEWABLES, LLC, has secured a debt financing arrangement with CoBank and Carolina Farm Credit, through the Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund managed by Capitol Peak Asset Management. Repreve Renewables’ giant miscanthus is a perennial grass utilized as the feedstock for an array of industries, from poultry bedding to bioenergy and a host of other commercial applications. The funding will enable Repreve Renewables to accelerate the expansion of its operations in the U.S. to meet the growing demand for its giant miscanthus biomass.
"Capitol Peak is delighted to assist Repreve Renewables with this round of financing and is committed to helping the company continue to grow its business across the range of potential markets," said Leo M. Tilman, Capitol Peak's executive chairman. "This is a perfect example of the companies and projects we are focusing on in an effort to bring capital and economic growth-creating opportunities to rural America."
The investment positions Repreve Renewables to further deliver on its vision of developing cost-effective, reliable and renewable solutions that provide customers with measurable value, while improving the environment for future generations. The funding will aid in expanding the Company's proprietary suite of planting technologies, called the ACCU YIELD™ System, building a N.C.-based processing center, expanding the procurement of land leases, and growing sales and marketing to meet the increasing demand for giant miscanthus biomass in the poultry bedding and biopower markets, and beyond.
"A financial commitment from two leading agricultural lenders validates the value Repreve Renewables provides to our customers, and demonstrates their confidence in the biomass feedstock industry, specifically giant miscanthus," said Jeff Wheeler, president and chief executive officer of REPREVE RENEWABLES. "This financing enables us to expand our operations and bring our products to more customers in the U.S., which in turn grows the rural economy."  
Giant miscanthus is a high-yielding, low-input perennial crop that is drought-tolerant and has minimal pests and diseases.  Because it is capable of growing on marginal and underutilized land that may not be suited for most food crops, Repreve Renewables’ giant miscanthus provides landowners and growers with an alternate revenue stream, helping to support rural economic development and new markets in the agricultural segment.
"Innovation that drives the creation of new agricultural products and markets is critical to the continued success of America's rural economy," said Mary McBride, president of CoBank. "As a member of the Farm Credit System, we're pleased to be supporting a business that has identified a significant market opportunity and that is focused on future growth and expansion."
Vance C. Dalton, Jr., President and CEO of Carolina Farm Credit stated, "We are thrilled to support this expansion by Repreve Renewables. The expansion aligns with our mission to support agriculture and rural communities in North Carolina. Their innovation will fuel opportunities in agriculture and job creation in our state."
Currently Repreve Renewables sells its THRIVEZ™ bedding product to the U.S. poultry market, consisting of 8.5 billion chickens and 253 million turkeys raised annually.

Post Holdings to purchase Willamette Egg Farms

Post Holdings is expanding its presence in the egg industry as the company is acquiring Willamette Egg Farms.
Post Holdings entered the egg business after it purchased Michael Foods in June 2014. Once the Willamette Egg transaction is completed, Post Holdings intends to combine Willamette Egg with Michael Foods, the sixth largest egg company in the United States.
Willamette Egg is a producer, processor and wholesale distributor of eggs and egg products, with a leading market share position in the Northwest United States. Headquartered in Canby, Oregon, Willamette Egg owns two egg production facilities located in Oregon and Washington and has been operating since 1934. Willamette Egg produces shell eggs, specialty shell eggs (including cage-free and organic eggs) and value-added egg products.
"This transaction nicely complements our portfolio and fits well into Michael Foods," said Rob Vitale, Post's president and CEO. "Willamette Egg will further increase our leadership as the country's largest provider of cage-free egg products and contributes to additional geographic flock diversification."
On a full year basis, Willamette Egg is expected to contribute approximately $80 million to net sales and approximately $15 million of Adjusted EBITDA to Post's results. Willamette Egg, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, doubled its cage-free production in 2013.
Post anticipates completing the acquisition early in its first quarter of fiscal 2016. The acquisition is expected to be funded from cash on hand.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Competition begins for College Aggies Online scholarship

On Sept. 28, the Animal Agriculture Alliance launched its annual College Aggies Online Scholarship Program (CAO), which is designed to help college students with an interest in agriculture become confident, positive and proactive communicators. The Alliance is welcoming a team of industry experts to advise and mentor students throughout the eight-week program.
"This year's College Aggies Online participants are really in for a rewarding experience," said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. "We are looking forward to helping connect future leaders in agriculture to our expert panel, which consists of experienced and renowned individuals in diverse fields, including online engagement, consumer communications, public policy and digital media."
Program mentors include:
  • Kristina Butts is a Texas native and alumna of Texas Tech University. She has spent the past 12 years serving agriculture through roles on Capitol Hill and with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. As NCBA's executive director of legislative affairs, she leads the organization's legislative engagement on nutrition and food safety policy issues and leads a team who represent America's cattlemen and women on Capitol Hill.
  • Ilina Ewen writes at Dirt & Noise and is a seasoned marketer with 25 years of marketing, brand strategy, communications, and writing experience. Her experience on both the agency and client side of marketing communications affords her a keen understanding of both perspectives. She has an M.S. in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia.
  • Lisa M. Frame is a freelance writer, social media strategist and blogger who currently lives just outside of Charlotte, NC. Blogging since 2002, Lisa has written on assignment for The Savvy Source, Intel, MomLogic, Home Made Simple, Safely, Life 360, Tech Savvy Mama and more. When she's not wearing the keys off of her laptop, she's behind a camera lens or obsessing over her Pinterest boards. 
  • Casey Hushon is an account supervisor with Charleston|Orwig, an integrated marketing communications agency in Hartland, Wisconsin. Casey has been with C|O for the past 8 years where she has held numerous roles in public relations and account service. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in dairy science and a minor in professional writing. Casey hails from Maine where her family still resides. Her aunt, uncle and cousins own and operate Castonguay Ayrshires, a dairy farm that ignited her passion for the industry at a young age.
  • Rebecca Shaw is the dairy marketing specialist at Cargill Animal Nutrition. She grew up working on her grandparents' 200-cow dairy farm, and currently works on her family's calf and heifer raising operations. She is a 2014 graduate of Penn State with a degree in agribusiness management, and has since been very involved with social media and advocacy of the dairy an agricultural industries. Rebecca posts about agriculture on a blog, Facebook page and Instagram under the name "The Cow Chronicler."
  • Andy Vance began his career in farm media as a college intern in Columbus, Ohio, and spent ten years as a broadcast journalist at WRFD-AM, the Buckeye Ag Radio Network and ABN Radio. During his time behind the microphone, he became a noted authority on the use of digital and social media in agriculture.  In 2010, Andy made the transition to print media when he joined Feedstuffs as a contributor and blogger. Today, in addition to writing, podcasting and speaking, Andy designs multi-platform campaigns for advertisers reaching an agricultural audience via FeedstuffsNational Hog Farmer and BEEF Magazine.
  • Krissa Welshans works as a staff editor for Feedstuffs covering livestock and feed news. Krissa holds a B.S. in animal science from Michigan State University and an M.S. in public policy from New England College. Before joining Feedstuffs, Krissa worked for the National Pork Producers Council and the Animal Agriculture Alliance. Krissa and her husband live in Marlette, Michigan and are actively involved in the beef industry. 
The Alliance is pleased to welcome back Tyson Foods, Inc. as a CAO sponsor for 2015. Tyson Foods has supported CAO each year since 2013.
"We are thrilled to have Tyson Foods involved with College Aggies again this year," said Hannah Thompson, Alliance communications director. "From inviting program winners to its Arkansas headquarters to donating a truckload of protein to the community on behalf winning club from the food drive challenge, the Tyson Foods team goes above and beyond to help make this program something very special."
This fall's competition will include new, creative assignments, increased participant interaction with industry experts, and a more comprehensive internship and career database. Individuals and collegiate agriculture clubs can compete in challenges ranging from writing blogs and engaging with stakeholders using social media, to volunteering at food banks and hosting events on their college campuses.
The final points from the weekly challenges will be tallied in November 2015 and the club with the most points will receive a $5,000 scholarship, national recognition and a trip for two representatives to attend the Alliance's annual Stakeholders Summit in May. The first place individual will win a $2,500 scholarship and a trip to Summit. Scholarships and recognition will also be awarded to the first and second runner-up clubs as well as to the second and third placing individuals.
To learn more about the competition and how to sign up, please visit the Alliance website.
In addition to Tyson Foods, CAO 2015 sponsors include: Dairy Management, Inc., National Pork Producers Council Foundation, United Soybean Board, National Turkey Federation, Ohio Poultry Association and the American Dairy Science Association.

The Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit will address challenges and solutions

Concurrent track sessions at the 10th annual Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit in Minneapolis will address critical challenges and viable solutions that pertain to feeding a growing population where demand for animal protein is soaring, utilization of oilseeds and grains is morphing, and the inadequacies in global transportation infrastructure persists.
The conference to be held Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 will feature three tracks: Animal Protein, Oilseed & Grains Utilization, and Global Trade Logistics. Key industry experts who will conduct the presentations include:
  • Rob Murphy, senior vice president of livestock at Informa Economics, Inc.
  • William Messina, Jr., agricultural economist from the University of Florida/IFAS
  • Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president of Informa Economics, Inc.
  • David Dzisiak, commercial leader grains and oils at Dow AgroSciences
  • Ron Gray, past chairman (2015) of the U.S. Grains Council
  • Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager for CIS/Black Sea Region at INTL FCStone
Central to addressing overarching supply chain and logistics issues, along with timely sector outlooks, the following questions will be answered at the Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit:
  • What are the top seven consumer food trends affecting the oilseed and grains sectors today?
  • Who are the winners and losers over the next 12 months in the beef, pork and poultry sectors?
  • What are the innovative and sustainable water practices currently employed by major industry players?
  • What are the key pricing trends for both ocean bulk and containers out of major origin markets?
  • What does the growing demand for fish protein derived from aquaculture mean for the oilseed and grain sector as suppliers of ingredients for feed?
  • What impact might the infrastructure investments in the Panama and Suez canals have on global oilseed and grain trade?
  • How specific risk management tools can be leveraged to reduce risk and enhance margin generation at different points along the supply chain?
The Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit, with participation from Informa Economics, is the largest annual industry event that convenes buyers, sellers, and global leaders in the oilseed, protein meals, vegetable oils, and feed grains sectors.

GNP Company recognized for its safety and health programs

GNP Company™, the Midwest’s leading chicken producer of the Gold’n Plump® and Just BARE® chicken brands, was recently recognized by the Joint Poultry Industry Safety & Health Council for its exemplary team member safety program. GNP Company’s Arcadia, WI, feed mill facility earned the Safety Award of Distinction, which is the Council’s highest honor. This is the fourth safety award in five years for the Arcadia feed mill and its third consecutive highest honor—the safety Award of Distinction—from the Council.
According to Kari Waters, corporate health & safety manager for GNP Company, award consideration was based on criteria set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which included recordable incidents and those that resulted in days away from work; days that restricted work; or those that resulted in being transferred to another area over the last three years. Award consideration was also based on a written explanation of the facility’s safety programs and safety success.
“The feed mill’s last OSHA recordable incident was six years ago, and the last lost time incident was over eight years ago.” Waters stated. “This notable achievement is a testament to the commitment of our leadership team and team members to safety as a core value and to creating a safe work environment.”
GNP Company continually seeks to improve its safety processes by developing a culture that engages and involves all team members. Examples of GNP Company’s safety programs include regular meetings on safety topics, safety training, and team member participation in the safety process, including identification of potential hazards, near miss reporting, and safety recognition.
The Arcadia feed mill team is made-up of approximately 20 full-time and nine part-time team members. More than 25 percent of team members working at the Arcadia facility have been with the company for more than 20 years. Team members were honored during a recognition lunch on September 16 and interviewed to help share safety best practices with other team members across integrated operations.
“Our safety and health strategies focus on a proactive approach that actively calls upon team members to participate in the safety process and to improve safety performance and processes on a daily basis,” said Waters. “Our team members commitment to safety has resulted in notable achievements for the Arcadia feed mill facility that we at GNP Company are incredibly proud of.”

Cargill selling Schweigert brand to Bakalars Sausage

Bakalars Sausage Company has entered into an agreement to acquire the Schweigert brand of hot dogs, natural casing dogs, braunschweiger, summer sausage and breaded chicken products from Cargill Turkey & Cooked Meats. The transaction will be completed in October, and terms were not disclosed.
Schweigert will expand the Bakalars portfolio of regional meat offerings.
“This is a wonderful addition to our portfolio of specialty meat items, and provides our business with another strong regional brand that complements our existing product line while strengthening and expanding our business,” said Bakalars Sausage President Mike Bakalars. “We are excited about Schweigert’s growth potential and the fact that, like our business, it was founded in the 1930s and it includes an established consumer brand.”
Production will shift from Cargill’s meat processing facility in Albert Lea, Minnesota, to the Bakalars plant at La Crosse, Wisconsin, enabling Cargill to expand its remaining operations at Albert Lea. The Schweigert brand was acquired by Cargill in 2008 with its purchase of Willow Brook Foods.
“We are delighted Bakalars will continue the tradition of producing the quality Schweigert products so many consumers have come to love,” stated John Niemann, Cargill Turkey & Cooked Meats president.  “Schweigert is a good fit for Bakalars and will provide their firm with incremental growth, while concurrently allowing us to expand other types of processing at Albert Lea to meet customer needs.”

Report: All US wheat affected by mycotoxins

All major classes of wheat in the U.S. are affected by deoxynivalenol (DON), according to Neogen’s Mycotoxin Report on September 21. The report said the milling quality of wheat has been reduced due to high DON levels.
DON has also been detected in wheat in Canada: In Ontario at 2-4 parts per million (ppm) and in Saskatchewan at more than 3 ppm.
Harvest for all small grains other than spring wheat have been completed. Spring wheat harvest is nearly finished and remains ahead of the five-year average.
The U.S. barley harvest is complete, with confirmed reports of DON in barley in Virginia, Maryland, North Dakota and Minnesota.

Corn development, outlook

Neogen’s report said corn development in the dented stage is slightly ahead of the five-year average, while fully mature corn is five points behind the five-year average. Development in Iowa, Missouri, Michigan and North Dakota is more than 10 percent behind average maturity.
Corn planted late in areas that experienced wet conditions and cooler temperatures is maturing later, leading to an increased risk of vomitoxin, the report said. Reports of aflatoxin in corn have been confirmed in South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Fumonisin has been confirmed in Texas, North Carolina and California.
The U.S. corn harvest is four points behind the five-year average, with Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee more than 10 percent behind average development.
Richard Brock of Brock Associates said corn harvest in the South is slightly ahead of normal, while harvest in the Midwest is slower.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered expected corn yield from 168.8 bushels per acre to 167.5 bushels per acre. Expected yields in Nebraska and Missouri were lowered the most, from 187 to 184, and from 152 to 148, respectively.
Brock said the amount of corn in good to excellent condition is very high, especially in key states Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, where high yields are expected.

Belgium’s RA-SE Genetics begins pig trade with Colombia

Belgian pig breeding company RA-SE Genetics has sent its first shipment of breeding pigs to Columbia. The company announced that 40 breeding pigs left Belgium for Pereira, Colombia, earlier in September.
The pure line animals and MaxiMus boars will first be quarantined in Colombia and then delivered to several companies, including both local breeders and bigger integrators.
A second group of pigs from RA-SE Genetics is scheduled to be sent to Colombia in November.
As Colombia has very strict health protocols this delivery was only made possible after the shipments of frozen pig semen and the introduction of the GENmatch breeding program at one of the local producers.
RA-SE Genetics has built up a genetic pyramid which can fulfil the two requirements of future pig husbandry: uniform groups of breeding stock of a high quality and a secure, known health status. This is the only way for a breeding company to secure the future for themselves and their customers, the company stated.
MaxiMus boars were chosen as the piglets have high viability at birth and a better and more uniform weaning weight, according to the company. Also in tropical conditions, this boar guarantees a very meaty finishing pig with a high daily gain.

Research being done on energy efficiency of poultry heaters

When brooding chicks are warm, they grow well in poultry houses, but when heaters are not operating efficiently, it drives up the already high cost of broiler production.
This is the problem John Linhoss, an animal environment specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, took on for his doctoral research. The study was done in cooperation with the U-Agriculture Research Service’s Poultry Research Unit in Starkville.
“Radiant heaters are the preferred method of providing heat to chicks during brooding because they are a localized heat source that provides a range of thermal comfort zones to chicks,” Linhoss said. “Although they are used extensively in the broiler industry, very little is known about how efficient they are at providing useful heat to brooding chicks.”
Linhoss said there are about 100,000 commercial poultry houses in the country, and each uses an estimated 4,000 gallons of propane each year.
“If we could improve the efficiency of radiant brooders by 5 percent across the industry, we could save an estimated 20 million gallons of propane a year,” he said. “At roughly $1.50 per gallon, this savings would total roughly $30 million.”
Chicks are brought to broiler houses when they are one day old, but they cannot maintain a constant core internal temperature for the first several days of life. They require external heat sources to keep them warm. Day-old chicks need a temperature of about 92 degrees, but their need for supplemental heat diminishes as they age.
Linhoss set up a system to test the efficiency of six radiant heaters, known as brooders, made by four major manufacturers. The industry recommends brooders be placed 5 feet above the litter of the poultry house, so Linhoss set up tests at 4, 5 and 6 feet above the litter.
He made sensor arrays that recorded 160 radiant flux readings—or measurements of the density of heat energy—within the heated area of each brooder. Linhoss suspended these sensors 3 inches above a bed of pine shavings.
“We developed a system that uses radiant flux sensors to measure the heat that reaches the floor,” Linhoss said. “This system is unique in that the sensors directly measure the heat energy in BTUs per square foot.”
Unlike temperature-based data collected in previous studies, this information can be used to quantify the total amount of energy reaching the floor each hour. It can also be used to compare the radiant energy that reaches the floor with the energy in the burning propane. Linhoss said this is the most accurate method currently available to measure the efficiency of radiant heaters.
“We were able to calculate the total energy hitting the floor and determine how efficient each of the heaters are. No one has ever had this information before,” Linhoss said. “There’s been a lot of recommendations made in the past, and we’re trying to put the science behind them regarding the placement of brooders, cleaning of brooders and general operations.”
One of the big discoveries Linhoss made was that radiant heaters are only about 50 percent effective at getting heat to reach the floor where the chicks are. The remaining heat is not lost, but it moves upward to the ceiling and is not directly beneficial to the chicks. This means growers are paying for 100 percent of the cost of the heat but only getting about 50 percent of their money’s worth.
Purswell said it will also help the chicks themselves, as many do not move as they should when they get cold.
“Chicks regulate their temperature by physically moving,” he said. “Some never get it and hang out in the cold spots. With this data, we can place the heaters to meet the needs of all the chicks.”

Eggland's Best reveals 'Chief Egg Officer'

Eggland’s Best searched from the mountains to the prairies for their next Chief Egg Officer (“CEO”), only to discover the winning candidate was located right in their backyard! New Jersey resident Kim Van Dunk has officially been named the Grand Prize winner of the Eggland’s Best “Chief Egg Officer Search” Contest earning her the honorary “CEO” title. Along with her new title, Van Dunk has been awarded $5,000 and a one-year supply of Eggland’s Best eggs.
“I am so grateful to Eggland’s Best for selecting me as their new ‘CEO.’ As a long-time loyal customer I know that Eggland’s Best eggs are simply superior in nutrition, freshness and taste, and I am absolutely thrilled to be in a position to spread that news,” says Kim Van Dunk. “I hope that more and more people will take a look at Eggland’s Best eggs and see them for the nutritional powerhouses they are. They will take any dish from ordinary to extraordinary!”
For this year’s “CEO” contest, entrants were asked to demonstrate their passion for Eggland’s Best eggs by answering a variety of questions including why they deserve to be the next “CEO” and what they love about the brand. The company then narrowed the entrants down to three egg-straordinary candidates: Mary Everette of Ohio, Jenny Stein of Texas and Kim Van Dunk of New Jersey. Eggland’s Best then turned to fans to help in the judging process by asking them to vote which of the three finalists they would name “CEO.”
“The title of Chief Egg Officer holds great importance to us at Eggland’s Best as the individual receiving the title will become a member of the Eggland’s Best family,” says Charlie Lanktree, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eggland’s Best. “As we welcome Kim Van Dunk to the Eggland’s Best team, we want to extend our gratitude towards her predecessor, Karen Petersen of Huntsville, Alabama. Karen has shared her passion for EB eggs and we will continue to view her as a valued member of our family.”
The two runners-up of this year’s “CEO” contest will each receive a $500 cash prize and six month supply of Eggland’s Best eggs. In addition to her $5,000 cash prize and year supply of Eggland’s Best eggs, Van Dunk will be receiving a nutrition consultation from Registered Dietitians Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, also known as The Nutrition Twins.
“As a mom and true fan of Eggland’s Best, I cannot wait to share nutritious recipe ideas, using Eggland’s Best eggs, that Kim and her family can enjoy around the kitchen table,” says Shames. “Eggs are such a versatile ingredient and what I love about EB eggs is, compared to ordinary eggs, they are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin E, making it easier to provide my family the nutrients they need for optimal health.”

IEC Board approves GRSE initiative

Prior to the recent IEC Global Leadership Conference, the Board gave the green light to launch a Global Roundtable for Sustainable Egg (GRSE) Production. This initiative was proposed by IEC Vice Chairman Ben Dellaert after discussions with WWF’s Vice President of Food Sustainability, Carlos Saviani.

This roundtable will follow the example of the Beef Industry: the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), a multi-stakeholder initiative with representation across the value chain in production and consumption.

The goal is to achieve a production that is environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable, achieved by continuous improvement in sustainability, through leadership, science, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

The concept is to develop principles and criteria to define sustainable production. These are used by national or country round tables and then benchmarks these national initiatives.

Possible principles that can be taken into account for the GRSE are:
  • Animal health
  • Human health
  • Environment
  • Natural resources
  • Animal welfare
IEC will now work to bring together a project working group to start the initial discussions on this project, representatives to consist of scientists, industry, WWF, and also large QSR’s and NGO’s. The first task will be to define relevant and objective criteria.

Topigs Norsvin Canada acquires Signature Genes

Topigs Norsvin Canada Inc. has purchased the swine genetics and business operations of Signature Genes of Ste. Anne, Manitoba.
The Signature Genes Duroc herd is a high-health, elite population of high quality Durocs that is well known in Manitoba and western Canada. Established in 1981, this herd has been performance tested for more than 30 years. Throughout these years, the use of the most modern testing methods has been applied. Measurement and selection for backfat, growth rate, feed conversion and meat quality have made the Signature Duroc desirable by producers and packers alike.
Topigs Norsvin Canada General Manager Cam McGavin comments: “The completion of this purchase is the result of several years of planning. The merger of Topigs and Norsvin in 2014 brought the Norsvin Duroc line to Canada. Now with the acquisition of the Signature Duroc we will be able to offer two very distinct Duroc lines to our customers. As with all of our lines, we will apply the very best methods of genetic improvement and technology to the Signature lines.”
The Signature Duroc boars and semen are currently available at several artificial insemination operations in Canada with new opportunities being pursued.
Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Deputy Secretary of USDA to lead Africa trade mission

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden will lead a trade mission to Accra, Ghana, Nov. 17-20, to expand export opportunities for U.S. agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Two years ago, I led a mission to southern Africa to launch USDA's Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative, which aims to expand U.S. agricultural and commercial ties in the region," Harden said. "I am excited to return to Africa with a new group of U.S. agricultural leaders to further explore market opportunities, especially for small, minority and women-owned businesses."
The delegation will meet with potential customers from more than a dozen countries across sub-Saharan Africa, forging relationships and learning about the market conditions and business environment in the region. This first-hand intelligence will help them develop strategies to start or expand sales to these key markets.
Participants will include representatives from companies representing a wide array of U.S. food and agricultural products, as well as leaders from state departments of agriculture and U.S. agricultural organizations.
With a strong economic outlook, a growing middle class, and surging demand for consumer-oriented foods, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions for U.S. agricultural exports. Over the past decade, U.S. agricultural exports to the region have grown by more than 50 percent, totaling $2.3 billion in 2014. Exports of consumer-oriented products have grown by nearly 90 percent in just five years, from $480 million in 2010 to a record $909 million in 2014.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Marel New Zealand wins Excellence Award

Marel has earned the prestigious Frost and Sullivan "2015 New Zealand Industrial Food Processing Equipment Product Line Strategy Leadership Award." Marel was represented for the all-day event by Oceania Management Team members, Damien McIntyre and Raj Singh.
Regional General Manager Jonathan Rankin said it was a "very prestigious award to win. We were among some big names in receiving the award, Microsoft, Spark NZ, ABB and Orion Health to name a few. It shows that hard work and innovation by the team can be achieved in all regions of the Marel Global organization."
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

8 avian flu updates for the week ending September 25

As the United States poultry industry prepares for the possible return of avian influenza in the coming months, and other nations experience new cases of the virus, avian influenza remains a top concern among those in the global poultry industry.
Here are 8 news developments concerning avian influenza you should know:
1. APHIS releases avian influenza preparedness and response plan – The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a report on planning and preparations for highly pathogenic avian influenza in advance of a potential recurrence of the disease when birds migrate south this fall.
2. Ventilation shutdown approved – The USDA has approved ventilation shutdown as an emergency depopulation method that can be used in special instances when a poultry flock is infected with avian influenza.
3. Conditional license given to avian influenza vaccine – Harrisvaccines’ avian influenza vaccine, RNA, became the first avian flu vaccine to be granted a conditional license from the USDA.
4. Avian flu found to put pigs at risk – A study conducted by the Pirbright Institute in the U.K. and CReSA in Spain reveals that two different strains of the H3N8 avian influenza virus can replicate and infect pigs.
5. Testing of wild birds in U.S. yields no new avian flu cases – The USDA is conducting avian influenza surveillance in wild birds in 43 states. One agency leader says none of the estimated 6,000 tests conducted so far have been positive.
6. Avian influenza emerges again in South Korea – After a three-month absence, three new cases highly pathogenic avian influenza have been confirmed in South Korea. The three cases appear to be unrelated
7. U.K. producers support idea of avian flu insurance – A survey conducted by the U.K.’s National Farmers’ Union found that poultry farmers would welcome an avian influenza insurance scheme.
8. Auburn scientists researching avian influenza – With funding from a grant from the Egg Industry Center, Auburn University’s Joe Giambrone and Ken Macklin are investigating how highly pathogenic avian influenza spreads to poultry farms.

World’s top 250 poultry producers of 2014

The editors of Poultry International, WATTPoultry USA, Egg Industry and Industria Avicola continue to expand our World's Top Poultry Companies database to include company data on the leading poultry producers worldwide. We define poultry producers as companies producing chicken, turkey, geese, ducks, table eggs, egg products, hatching eggs and day-old chicks. We present information on 200 of these companies in this issues of Poultry International. The full database – which includes more than 1,000 companies -- can be found at
This is the sixth year of this listing, and have been steadily adding companies to our database. We continue to add more companies and refine the data on companies within the database. If your company is missing, or you wish to add or correct to the data we are showing, simply contact us at
We start the survey by collecting data from every available resource, combing our circulation lists and sending direct inquiries to readers of the magazine. We also use other research tools – advice from suppliers to the industry, association and governmental statistics, annual reports and business reports, websites, and other sources – to piece together a profile of each company in the database.

Our methodology  

Because we cover the world’s industry, there is no standard measurement for size or success across all countries. For major producing countries such as the United States or Brazil, we pick the top few companies – determined by number of head slaughtered per week – to include in the magazine but have much deeper data on those countries’ producers in the online database.
It is difficult to make size comparisons across different countries and markets. A large producer in Poland would be a small one in Brazil. So we go through the database country by country and pick the leading producers – whether it’s chicken, turkey, ducks, eggs or egg products – from each country and present them in this issue.
We classify companies as producers of chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, table eggs, hatching eggs and egg products. We collect relevant data depending on the company’s production. Integrated poultry producers are listed with head slaughtered annually or weekly in high-volume countries. For egg producers, we list number of laying hens. We list numbers of employees, revenue and facilities when available.
This issue of Poultry International contains 250 companies – an increase from 200 companies listed in 2011. In order to get details on 250 companies in the issue, we changed to a table format for the listings, rather than the text listings we ran in 2011.
Each listing in this issue contains the name of the company, its headquarters location and a brief summary of the company. There is a link within each company’s listing that will take you directly to the company’s listing on There is more complete summary and additional data, such as production and sales volumes, specific types of production, and other facts listed in the interactive online database.
You will be asked register at to view this data. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes.
In addition to further data on the 250 companies listed in this issue, the database contains data on more than 500 additional companies that did not make the cut into the magazine. Once you have registered on, you can search the entire database and create your own lists of top companies in various regions and countries.
We’ve created several lists from the database, such as the Top 40 poultry producers, that appear in this issue. These lists and special downloadable files will also be available in the expanded Market Data section of
 This database is compiled by the entire WATT group of poultry publications – Poultry International, WATT PoultryUSA, Industria Avícola, and Egg Industry.

6 requirements for avian flu ventilation shutdown

USDA recently authorized the emergency use of ventilation shutdown (VSD) to depopulate poultry flocks affected by avian influenza. The federal agency approved the conditional use of VSD because traditional depopulation methods did not always kill affected birds quickly enough to control the spread of the virus as effectively as desired.
However, special criteria must be met before ventilation shutdown may be used. These are the 6 requirements that must be met:
1. Other depopulation methods are unavailable – More traditional depopulation methods may not be available, or available in a timely manner.
2. High threat of transmission – In some cases, the amplification of the avian influenza virus on the premises could pose a significant threat for further transmission and ongoing spread of the virus.
3. Review by veterinary officials – The Ventilation Shutdown Evidence and Policy document must be reviewed and discussed by officials from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), state and/or tribal officials and the Incident Management Team (IMT) before VSD may be utilized.
4. Incident Management Team approval – The IMT must determine that VSD is the most appropriate depopulation method available.
5. State approval – The state animal health official or a designee must concur with the IMT that VSD is the best depopulation method available.
6. National Incident Coordinator approval – The National Incident Coordinator, or a designee, must also agree that ventilation shutdown is the best depopulation method to be used.

'Research and Markets' has added global animal health category

Research and Markets, the world's largest market research store, has announced the addition of the "Global Animal Health Market 2015-2019" report to its offering.
Market leaders are increasing their investments in R&D for the development of new animal food and health products. Zoetis is focusing on R&D to broaden its product and vaccine ranges for other new species of animals worldwide. Their current R&D facilities are close to manufacturing sites so as to reduce transportation costs and increase production efficiency. Iowa State University and Zoetis signed a collaborative agreement to develop a vaccine for the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the US. These R&D activities help in increasing the products and services in the market, thereby increasing the market size. For instance, Zoetis had about 180 product approvals in 2014, demonstrating a high level of R&D productivity in the market.
According to the report, currently, in developing countries, the consumption of food shifted from staples to dairy and meat products because of the rise in disposable income. The increase in livestock leads to the demand for related preventive and curative services. These factors will drive the demand for animal healthcare products. The global animal health market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.96% over the period 2014-2019.
The report states that patent expiries of approved animal products adversely impact market growth and result in the loss of an exclusive market, leading to rapidly declining sales.
Key topics covered:
  • Executive summary
  • Market landscape
  • Market segmentation by animal type
  • Market segmentation by products
  • Geographical segmentation
  • Market drivers
  • Impact of Drivers
  • Market challenges
  • Impact of drivers and challenges
  • Market trends
  • Vendor landscape
  • Other prominent vendors
  • Key vendor analysis

Russia, Brazil eager for mutual poultry, pork trade

Officials from Brazil and Russia expressed a mutual desire to pursue mutual trade opportunities for meat and poultry products during a recent meeting.
According to Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance, Sergey Dankvert, head of Rosselkhoznadzor, and Tatiana Palmero, secretary for Agribusiness International Relations, Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, took part in negotiations on September 15 to discuss mutual supplies of animal products.
In particular, it was noted that Russian producers are interested in the export of poultry meat, pork and beef to Brazil, and that it was ready to receive Brazilian inspectors for inspection of the Russian establishments intending to export their products to Brazil.
Russia has been looking at Brazil as a potential market for meat and poultry trade since 2014, when the country implemented trade bans on products from the U.S., Canada, European Union, Australia and Norway for political reasons. The ban was renewed in August 2015.

Trade of fish and casings progressing

It was also discussed that progress was being made in ensuring the safety of Russian fish products exported to the Brazilian food market. As a result, Brazilian experts will inspect Russian establishments interested in exporting such products to Brazil through October 4.
It was also agreed between the two countries that expert consultations would take place to finalize the protocol on ensuring the safety of Brazilian casings imported to Russia.

Alltech presents latest innovations at CLA

Between 2002 and 2011, the consumption of poultry meat increased globally by 39 percent. Today poultry is the second most consumed animal protein after seafood and the trend indicates that consumers will continue to demand healthier, enriched and differentiated foods. With improved opportunities, greater challenges to the producer and an increasingly competitive market, the Latin American poultry industry is critical to the global challenge of raising enough protein to feed a world population of nine billion people by 2050.
Focusing on opportunities, Alltech contributed as a “Gold Participant” at the 24th Latin American Congress of the Poultry Industry (CLA2015) Sept. 8-11 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The Congress gathered the region’s top producers, scientists and business managers in the poultry industry to discuss health, nutrition, genetics production and environmental management topics.
To familiarize the Latin American industry with the latest advances and trends in nutrition, Alltech presented technical and business lectures including “The layer of the future” by Baltazar Jasso Morán, manager of poultry products production of El Calvario, Mexico, and “Leadership, attitude and service” by Alejandro Romero, marketing manager for Alltech Latin America.
Alltech also hosted a workshop on eggshell quality under the leadership of Dr. Bianca Martins, technical manager for Alltech Latin America, to show the current market quality of eggs and nutrition improvements that could advance eggshell quality. Martins, an expert in poultry production and nutrition, emphasized that feeding organic trace minerals enhances bioavailability and in turn, improves eggshell quality.
In the framework of the Latin American Poultry Congress, Guilherme Minozzo, Alltech vice president for Latin America, hosted the fifth edition of the Alltech CLUB SUMMIT, a special meeting to discuss, share ideas and consider effective solutions to the current challenges of the poultry industry. The summit took place at the Bankers Club, Ecuador’s most exclusive private club, with the participation of more than 230 distinguished business executives and leaders in the sector.
“In an industry such as the poultry industry, where almost everyone produces similarly, differentiation is the key. The challenge to be different includes sustainability and taking care of the environment. Increased production means that nutrition must go hand-in-hand with genetics,” said Minozzo.
Steve Elliott, Alltech’s global director for the Mineral Management division, addressed Total Replacement Technology in the poultry business. “Mineral nutrition is no longer responding to deficiencies; it is addressing the scientific challenges affecting the efficiency and profitability of poultry operations. To address those challenges, mineral nutrition in the future must be different,” said Elliott.
Paulo Rigolin, Alltech’s global director for poultry, discussed the power of DHA and the future of food. “More than ever before, consumers are now concerned about their health, and they have evidence of DHA omega-3’s efficacy. Even the international organizations are recommending a daily intake of DHA. This offers a great opportunity for the poultry sector, including DHA-enriched eggs or chicken, that meets customer expectations, and improves animal performance,” Rigolín said.
Finally, Alejandro Romero, Alltech’s marketing manager for Latin America, addressed the topic of consumer demands, emphasizing the major opportunities available in Latin America as a result of the increasing demand for healthier food. He stressed that the industry’s vision should follow the market trends to prevent being left behind.
“Food self-sufficiency is a topic that has become increasingly relevant as a result of issues generated by the ongoing price increases and food shortages. How will we feed the world in 2050, as the population continues to grow and demand… or rather forcefully demand healthy, enriched and sustainable products? The market is already reacting and we should not miss any opportunities,” Romero said.

Nutreco opens new animal nutrition plant in Indonesia

Nutreco continues its commitment to growth and investment in Asia with the opening of a new animal nutrition plant in East Java, Indonesia, and the completion of the upgrade of its animal nutrition plant in Hunan, China. The EUR15 million (US$16.9 million) investment in greater production capacity of premixes, farm minerals and young animal feed enables Nutreco’s animal nutrition business Trouw Nutrition to further strengthen its position in the region.
The new premix plant in East Java is Nutreco’s second premix plant in Indonesia and its fifth in Asia. It has a 12,000 ton premix and farm minerals capacity and will employ 20 people. This expansion allows Trouw Nutrition to better serve Indonesian farmers and feed mills through enhanced nutritional services and faster response times.
The plant in Hunan was originally constructed in 1999 and was designed primarily to produce compound feed. It has been upgraded to a premix, farm minerals and young animal feed plant to meet the growing demand for high quality, sustainable animal nutrition products in Central and Southern China. It has a capacity of 75,000 tons and will employ 200 people.
Nutreco also opened a premix plant in Vietnam this year. Nutreco has a research partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre (MAFIC) since 2011 and has collaborations with various universities in the region.

Innovative test designed to detect swine flu virus subtypes

Pork producers now have access to a comprehensive diagnostic kit designed to test production animals for swine influenza virus (SIV) subtypes with the launch of the VetMAX™-Gold SIV Subtyping Kit, the industry’s only USDA-approved, real-time PCR test of its kind.

Swine have a unique role in the transmission of influenza viruses among species. They are the only animal raised in abundance that can both be infected by and transmit virus to other pigs. When housed in close contact, the pig can serve as a biological mixing vessel, where influenza genes from any susceptible species can combine and undergo re-assortment within the animal to emerge as a new subtype. The complexity of swine influenza diagnostics requires a robust molecular subtyping solution for reliable differentiation of the swine H and N subtypes, providing information used to monitor and control the disease.

When used in combination with MagMAX™ Pathogen RNA/DNA Kit and VetMAX-Gold SIV Detection Kit, the VetMAX-Gold SIV Subtyping Kit provides veterinary diagnostic laboratories with a complete screening and subtyping solution that is both rapid and cost-effective. The SIV Detection Kit provides a detection rate of more than 95 percent in positive samples, and can return results in less than a day.

Counted among the top three respiratory health challenges in production animals, SIV is highly contagious, causing fever, lethargy and significant weight loss, resulting in economic loss to producers. Hog production companies have previously estimated the cost of the disease to range from $3.231 to $10.312 per pig as a result of reduced performance or mortality.

Thermo Fisher now offers five USDA-licensed molecular diagnostic tests for customers, more than any other company in the animal health space. Sold under the VetMAX™-Gold name, they include: BVDV PI Detection Kit, SIV Detection Kit, SIV Subtyping Kit, Trich Detection Kit and the AIV Detection Kit.
1 Dykhuis Haden C., T. Painter, T. Fangman, and D. Holtkamp. Assessing production parameters and economic impact of swine influenza, PRRS and Mycoplasma hyopneimoniae on finishing pigs in a large production system. Proceedings 2012 AASV Annual Meeting. 75-76.
2 Donovan, T.S. Influenza isolate selection methodology for timely autogenous vaccine use. Proceedings 2008 Amer Assoc Swine Vet Conf. 557-561.

CPC releases 2015 election priorities

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) wants the leaders of Canada's political parties and the candidates running for election to take a stand for the future of Canadian hog production.
The CPC released its 2015 Canadian Pork Industry Platform for the 2015 Federal Election, a document outlining major industry concerns and ways in which the future government can work with the hog industry. Topping the CPC's list of priorities is a call for modernization of risk management programs.
The industry has survived several financially challenging years, during which time infrastructure updates were put on hold. Now that the financial footing of the industry has improved, producers face significant costs to catch up with construction and repairs.
“Canada's hog producers are firmly focused on the future and building conditions for success. The CPC calls on the federal political candidates to develop a range of risk management tools and strategies to help producers deal with instability in the market place, including currency fluctuations, and to modernize the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act to accurately reflect Canadian agriculture's growing farm sizes, increased farm costs, more complex farming structures and revenue and profit volatility,” says Rick Bergmann, CPC chairman.
Other issues addressed in the Canadian Pork industry platform for the 2015 federal election include market access, with calls for the federal government to continue Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and finally resolving the country of origin labelling (COOL) dispute with the United States, including implementing retaliatory tariffs if necessary.

CBS Inc. expands NutraMix availability

Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.) has once again expanded the availability of its feed quality product, NutraMix, for harvest time, as a means to provide industry with an important safeguard to ensure high quality livestock feed.
"This is a critical time of year for feed production and livestock sectors," says Mark Peters, CBS Inc. Sales & Marketing Director. "Having that insurance policy to support high quality feed is of utmost importance. We're pleased to offer expanded availability of NutraMix to customers across North America and internationally, both directly and through our distribution partners."
NutraMix offers a powerful one-two punch as a feed enhancer that helps support safe, high-quality feed as well as animal performance benefits. It is available for use with both monogastric and ruminant livestock, including pigs, poultry, beef cattle and dairy cattle.
"It's about feed quality. It's about performance. It's about the right science making a difference, to provide that peace of mind," says Peters. "With NutraMix, you know the quality is there and the animal is getting the best nutritional value possible from the feed."
Threats from grain diseases and other potential sources of contaminants present a real concern and that fluctuates year-to-year based on the growing conditions and region, says Rob Patterson, CBS Inc. Technical Director.
"The risk is pretty substantial in a lot of places. No matter where you are it can be tough to predict. The approach with NutraMix is to take away the guessing game and know you're protected. It's unique in the marketplace and we see growing demand among feedmills, producers, nutritionists and others industry, to get that combination of defence and feed value optimization."
One key component of the CBS Inc. NutraMix system is MycoCheck - a custom feed analysis tool available to NutraMix customers. "MycoCheck allows us to analyze samples and come back with precise recommendations on the best use of NutraMix," says Patterson. "Customers only use what they need and make sure they have the right application level to get the job done."
NutraMix includes a combination of absorbents, yeast polysaccharides and vitamins, carefully formulated to maximize the complementary activities of these ingredients. More information on study results and product benefits is available directly by contacting CBS Inc.

Sanderson Farms announces dividends

Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) has announced that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.22 (twenty-two cents) per share. The Board has also authorized a special cash dividend payment of $0.50 (fifty cents) per share. Both the regular quarterly cash dividend and the special cash dividend are payable on Oct. 13, 2015, to stockholders of record on Sept. 29. Payment of the regular quarterly cash dividend will remain subject to Board approval each quarter.
Commenting on the announcement, Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc., said, "We are pleased with the Board's decision to approve these dividend payments and proud to share our financial success with our shareholders. Our solid operating performance and strong balance sheet have provided the opportunity to pay another special dividend for fiscal 2015. This action demonstrates our confidence in Sanderson Farms' growth opportunities and reinforces our commitment to create value for our shareholders."

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sanderson Farms recalls 551,090 pounds of poultry

Sanderson Farms is voluntarily recalling 551,090 pounds of chicken products produced at its plant in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.
A sample of the products analyzed by a customer of the Company and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was found to contain foreign metal material. As a precautionary measure, the company has voluntarily recalled approximately 551,090 pounds of product.
The following products are subject to recall:
  • 70-lb. cases containing “YOUNG CHICKEN PARTS JUMBO BONELESS SKINLESS BREAST FILLETS WITH RIB MEAT” with case code 45017.
  • 70-lb. cases containing “YOUNG CHICKEN PARTS JUMBO CLIPPED TENDERLOINS” with case code 45092.
  • 70-lb. cases and 1800-lb. combos containing “FRESH YOUNG CHICKEN PARTS BREAST FRAMES” with case code 45969.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. P-247” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
None of the products that are the subject of this recall were shipped to grocery stores or packed directly for consumers, but rather, were shipped to processing facilities in Georgia. The product included ice packed chicken products sold to three customers who use the products for additional processing into further processed chicken products. Sanderson Farms has identified all of the products and notified its customers to place the products on hold, return them to the company and further execute the recall of these products.
The products involved in the recall were produced at the Hazlehurst, Mississippi, plant on September 17 and 18, 2015. Sanderson Farms is not aware of any injuries or adverse reaction caused as a result of consuming this product.
If any customer of Sanderson Farms or consumers have any questions regarding this recall, they should call the company at 1-800-844-4030.

Cobb grandparent customers gather in Brazil

Cobb grandparent customers from all over South America held their seventh biennial event in São José do Rio Preto (SP), Brazil, aimed at strengthening the partnership which has made the Cobb500 the most widely used broiler breeder across the continent.
The three-day event provided the opportunity for discussing the latest developments in research and development, production of grandparent stock and benchmark practices.
"Our main goal was to promote the exchange of experiences between the Cobb team and our customers,” said Rodrigo Terra, Product Manager for Cobb-Vantress Brasil. “The interaction with our team of specialists and technical assistants will not only spread new ideas but also help to strengthen the relationship with our customers and improve their trust in our company.”
The program featured presentations by Cobb international specialists including Dr. Frank Siewerdt, Global Director of Genetics, and Mark Cooper, Global Director of Product Management. Other speakers included Philippe Gouault, Grandparent Specialist for Cobb Europe, and Ben Green, Incubation Specialist for the Cobb World Technical Support Team.
After a presentation by Cobb-Vantress Brasil technical expert Jose Luis Januario on concepts of grandparent house ventilation, delegates visited the Cobb trials farm for practical exercises on the topic.

Ontario’s Laplante Poultry Farms expanding plant

The Laplante Poultry Farms (LPF) processing plant in Monkland, Ontario, is expanding, following a decision by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) Board of Directors in cooperation with the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors (AOCP) to provide additional processing supply to the plant.
As a result of the additional chicken processing supply, the LPF processing plant will be upgraded to handle approximately 500,000 kilos of chicken per quota period and will increase the number of full time jobs at the facility by up to 25.
“We are pleased to be able to grow our business in this region and offer processing capacity for those farmers looking for local options in the language of their choice,” said Robert Laplante, operator of LPF.
LPF is the only Ontario chicken processor east of Toronto.
“Eastern Ontario is home to many thriving family farms who are growing fresh, healthy chicken for local Ontario communities, “ said Henry Zantingh, CFO chair. “The decision to expand the Laplante Poultry Farms chicken processing facility in Monkland will provide Eastern Ontario and other farmers with a new partnering opportunity for processing their chicken.”

Rob Dougans, president and CEO of CFO, added: “CFO is dedicated to meeting chicken consumer markets, whether these markets are for conventional, specialty, or artisanal chicken or, as in this case, those looking for locally grown and processed chicken in Eastern Ontario. This expansion also helps meet another long-time goal of Chicken Farmers of Ontario to help facilitate economic growth of the chicken industry and create jobs across the province including in Eastern Ontario.”

Early tests for avian flu in Hawaii chickens negative

The USDA is investigating the cause behind the deaths of about a dozen chickens in Kauai, Hawaii, but preliminary testing showed that the avian influenza virus was not present in three of the chickens sampled.
The dead birds were discovered by a resident recently near the front of the Historic County Building in Kauai. Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife collected the dead birds and sent them to the USDA office in Oahu, according to a report in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
Avian influenza had been one suspected cause of the mysterious deaths, although the virus has not been detected in Hawaii. Still, the federal agency has been on alert as avian influenza has been detected in 21 other states since December, 2014. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has reported 223 detections of avian influenza between December 19, 2014, and June 14, affecting more than 48 million birds. While the virus has not been confirmed in the United States since June, APHIS is anticipating avian influenza’s possible return as wild birds fly southward during their annual migration.
Further testing of the birds is being done to determine the cause of death. One other potential cause of the chicken deaths that is being investigated is botulism.

The first U.S. food waste reduction goals will be set

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg announced the United States' first-ever national food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50-percent reduction by 2030. As part of the effort, the federal government will lead a new partnership with charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments to reduce food loss and waste in order to improve overall food security and conserve our nation's natural resources. The announcement occurs just one week before world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to address sustainable development practices, including sustainable production and consumption. As the global population continues to grow, so does the need for food waste reduction.
"The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste," said Tom Vilsack. "An average family of four leaves more than two million calories, worth nearly $1500, uneaten each year. Our new reduction goal demonstrates America's leadership on a global level in in getting wholesome food to people who need it, protecting our natural resources, cutting environmental pollution and promoting innovative approaches for reducing food loss and waste."
Food loss and waste in the United States accounts for approximately 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the overall food supply available to retailers and consumers and has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. Food loss and waste is single largest component of disposed U.S. municipal solid waste, and accounts for a significant portion of U.S. methane emissions. Landfills are the third largest source of methane in the United States. Furthermore, experts have projected that reducing food losses by just 15 percent would provide enough food for more than 25 million Americans every year, helping to sharply reduce incidences of food insecurity for millions.
"Let's feed people, not landfills. By reducing wasted food in landfills, we cut harmful methane emissions that fuel climate change, conserve our natural resources, and protect our planet for future generations" said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Today's announcement presents a major environmental, social and public health opportunity for the U.S., and we're proud to be part of a national effort to reduce the food that goes into landfills."
Ongoing federal initiatives are already building momentum for long-term success. In 2013, USDA and EPA launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, creating a platform for leaders and organizations across the food chain to share best practices on ways to reduce, recover, and recycle food loss and waste. By the end of 2014, the U.S. Food Waste Challenge had over 4,000 active participants, well surpassing its initial goal of reaching 1,000 participants by 2020.
In addition to the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, USDA has unveiled several food loss reduction initiatives over the past few years, including an app to help consumers safely store food and understand food date labels, new guidance to manufacturers on donating misbranded or sub-spec foods, and research on innovative technologies to make reducing food loss and waste cost effective. USDA will build on these successes with additional initiatives targeting food loss and waste reduction throughout its programs and policies.
In addition, the USDA is launching a new consumer education campaign through its Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion with information on food loss and waste facts and reduction tips. Moreover, a new section on will educate consumers about reducing food waste to help stretch household budgets.
USDA and EPA will also continue to encourage the private sector—food service companies, institutions, restaurants, grocery stores, and more—to set their own aggressive goals for reducing food loss and waste in the months ahead. Organizations such as the Consumer Goods Forum, which recently approved a new resolution to halve food waste within the operations of its 400 retailer and manufacturers members by 2025, are helping to lead the way.
The United States is leading global efforts to address the threat of climate change. The first-ever national food waste goal is just one part of the Obama Administration's commitment to protecting our environment for future generations. Since President Obama took office in 2009, the United States has increased solar generation by more than ten-fold, tripled electricity production from wind power, and reduced greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S. to its lowest levels in nearly 20 years. By setting achievable environmental goals, this administration is making strides to help boost the economy and protect the health of American families for the long term.

Sanderson Farms foes urge North Carolina to deny permit

Some residents in Robeson County, North Carolina, are asking state regulators to reject an environmental permit that would allow a chicken processing plant to be built in the county.
During a September 17 hearing, about 50 people showed up with 12 people speaking out against the proposed poultry plant, citing the impact it might have on the area groundwater.
The proposed Sanderson Farms plant and wastewater treatment facility will be located near the community of St. Pauls, At full capacity, the poultry complex would employ about 1,100 people and have the capacity to process and sell about 500 million pounds of dressed poultry meat annually. The company’s investment in the plant is estimated at $139 million.
Despite its opposition, Sanderson Farms has gained favor of other governmental groups. The St. Pauls City Commission approved an incentive package that includes providing a tax grant for 10 years equivalent to 50 percent, or about $300,000 a year, of what the company will owe in property taxes. Robeson County also approved an incentives package to Sanderson Farms, based on the company’s projections for capital investment and job creation.
Also, North Carolina’s Golden Leaf Foundation awarded $820,000 to the City of St. Pauls, to help cover the water and infrastructure needs to accommodate the Sanderson Farms expansion.

More ASF outbreaks in eastern Europe, Zimbabwe

Since early September, new outbreaks of African swine fever have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) by several countries in eastern Europe and Africa.
From Zimbabwe, the veterinary authority has reported 5 outbreaks of the disease, all in late July 2015 in free-ranging village pigs in the Dande valley. This area lies in the state on Marshonaland Central, along the Mozambican border.
Local spread is due to movements of infected animals and meat, according to the Director of Livestock Services in Harare, as pigs are taken to market or moved to another village with the aim to save them from infection. These activities risk spreading the virus further, as does poor carcass disposal. Infected areas have been placed under quarantine and a roadblock has been set up with the aim to prevent movement of animals and meat.
Campaigns have started in infected areas and adjacent villages to make pig-keepers aware of the need to confine pigs, dispose of carcasses by burning and burying and not to trade in infected meat. While there is a general willingness to comply, local people rely on their animals being able to forage for feed, which they cannot do when confined, and the owners cannot afford to buy special feeds.
Russia has reported 3 outbreaks of African swine fever so far this month, all of them in village pigs. In total, 32 domestic pigs died or were destroyed in these outbreaks, in the previously affected oblasts of Sarakov, Volgograd and Oryol.
A seminar on transboundary diseases was conducted recently in Ulan Bator in Mongolia, according to Chinese sources. Among other diseases, African swine fever and foot and mouth disease (FMD) were discussed by delegates, who included more than 60 representatives from Russia, China and the host country as well as international animal health organizations. At this, the 5th meeting in the series, agreement was reached to increase communication and cooperation with the view to control better these economically significant infections.
Since August 23, Estonia has reported 25 outbreaks of African swine fever in southern and central regions of the country. All were in wild boar, with 34 animals either dying or destroyed as the result of infection.
There have been 65 new outbreaks in Latvia. Most of these outbreaks have been in wild boar hunted or found dead in areas already known to be infected. Two groups of domestic pigs were also affected, both in the county of Rezkenes, involving 144 pigs at a farm and 2 from a backyard; all of the surviving animals have been destroyed.
At the end of August, one dead wild boar in the region of Vilnius in Lithuania tested positive for the African swine fever virus.
Two new outbreaks in Ukraine have led to the death or destruction of 67 village pigs. One of these occurred in Rivne in the north-west of the country, close to the border with Belarus, while the other was in the north in Chernihiv oblast.

Foster Farms is committed to water conservation

California continues to face one of the most severe droughts on record, and everyone has a role to play in conservation. Foster Farms is committed to reducing water use, while leading the U.S. poultry industry in food safety.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture imposed new industry standards for Salmonella control, which resulted in a 6 percent increase in Foster Farm’s total water use from 2013 to 2014. As a solution to this increase, the company installed new processing and metering equipment, which reduced their “per bird” water usage by 19 percent since 2014. Their current performance with new conservation projects is estimated to achieve an eventual 20 to 25 percent in savings in early 2016. The company has seen a 3.4 percent decrease in water use compared to 2013 and an 8.9 percent reduction compared to 2014. Foster Farms has achieved and maintained industry-leading Salmonella control results while reducing water use overall.
Foster Farms has historically and strongly partnered with the City of Livingston on the upkeep and condition of the water system. In 2015, the company consulted with the city on maintenance of wells and spent more than $140,000 in upgrades and maintenance. Prior to 2015, Foster Farms invested in a $17 million water treatment facility that treats processing water and returns 60 to 70 percent of city water back to the aquifer. Projects completed in July 2015 have already brought the facility below 2013 water usage, even with increased plant volume.
This year, Foster Farms developed a series of aggressive conservation initiatives that will further reduce water usage and achieve an estimated 20 to 25 percent reduction over the next several months compared to 2013. These projects represent a $4.1 million investment and include projects underway as well as those planned for the near future.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Aviagen EPI hosts first customer seminar for Netherlands and Belgium

Aviagen® EPI recently held its first customer seminar for representatives of feed mills, hatcheries, rearing farms and veterinarians serving Ross® Parent Stock in the Netherlands and Belgium. Attended by over 150 delegates, the event covered a wide range of topics relevant to the industry.

Otto van Tuijl, Technical Director, Aviagen EPI, chaired the session which was opened by Patrick Cos, Managing Director of Aviagen EPI, who gave an overview of Aviagen, an introduction to Aviagen EPI and shared global market information.

Henk Steenblik, Sales Manager for Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, continued to explain the genetic road from pedigree to broiler, highlighting performance at parent stock level and the achievements on a broiler level over the last few years. He reinforced the message that “breeding is something we do together” and also stressed the importance of a global production network to ensure security of supply.

Carolyne Kemp, Nutritionist with Aviagen EPI, focused on parent stock and broiler nutrition,  and explained that “nutrition and breeding go hand in hand.”

Frank van Merle, Commercial Technical Manager in the Netherlands, who also provides support to hatcheries in the entire Aviagen EPI territory, gave a presentation titled “Back to Basics.” He showed the group the differences between the best and the worst performing flocks and made economic evaluations about the financial differences.

Frank said, “A successful past is no guarantee for a successful future. However we believe that working with Aviagen EPI is working for a good future. In bird management it is the simple things first, like temperature, CO2, water, feed that are important. To measure these means knowledge and the opportunity to take knowledge-based decisions.”

Otto van Tuijl closed the day with a presentation about the range of specialty products. He showed the first results from the Yield Plus™ male and the Ross 308FF female, both of which have been under trial. Otto also explained the company’s position with regard to the slower growing broiler market in Europe and the opportunities for Aviagen EPI. He finished with presenting the first field results from both the Rowan Ranger™ and Ross Ranger™.

Cargill to introduce innovative SonoSteam technology

Cargill has announced it will introduce an innovative technology, SonoSteam, at its Hereford primary chicken processing plant in the U.K., as part of its farm-to-fork action plan to tackle Campylobacter.
SonoSteam, a process developed by the Danish company FORCE Technology, uses a combination of steam and ultrasound to kill microorganisms such as Campylobacter on the skin and internal cavities of chicken. This new technology is expected to be operational at Cargill’s Hereford facility by end of 2015.
Chris Hall, Fresh Chicken Director for Cargill Meats Europe, said, “Cargill takes its responsibility for food safety very seriously, and we know that reducing Campylobacter levels requires interventions across the whole supply chain. We focused initially on our farms and primary processing and analysing our results in the first half of this year we have seen an improvement year on year of approximately 38 percent. However there is still more to do. We have been following the development of new technologies very closely and made the commitment that we would adopt one as soon as it proved effective. We are very excited to be taking these next steps with FORCE Technology.”
Niels Kreb, Vice President for Force Technology said: “SonoSteam has only just recently been introduced as a technological intervention against Campylobacter but has already been used to process millions of birds in the U.K. alone. This technology has proved itself capable of working day in and day out in a production environment and is not only cost effective but has been proven effective at reducing Campylobacter in an environmentally friendly way without chemicals, only water and a modest amount of energy. By installing this technology, Cargill has shown that they are at the front edge of innovation.”
Steve Wearne, FSA Director of Policy, said, “We welcome Cargill’s introduction of SonoSteam to its Hereford plant as part of its farm to fork action plan to reduce Campylobacter on chickens. SonoSteam is an innovative and effective way of reducing Campylobacter levels and Cargill should be applauded for making this investment in the fight against the bug. We look forward to seeing lower levels of Campylobacter on chickens sourced from Cargill on sale in shops and supermarkets.”
Over the last two years, Cargill has invested over GBP35 million to improve efficiencies, upgrade technologies and create a state of the art processing plant in Hereford. A number of these investments have enhanced Cargill’s commitment to reducing Campylobacter levels including the installation of a new GBP11million state-of-the-art chiller, as well as ultraviolet light finished pack decontamination equipment.
Cargill continues to work together with the UK poultry industry, retailers and the Foods Standards Agency to tackle and minimize Campylobacter levels in the supply chain.