Monday, November 30, 2015

New mycotoxin confirmed in US corn crop

A mycotoxin not previously seen in the U.S. corn crop this year was confirmed in corn in one state in the past week, according to Neogen’s Mycotoxin Report from November 23.
Zearalenone was confirmed in corn in North Carolina at more than 250 parts per billion.
Other mycotoxins that have been reported in the U.S. corn crop this year are:


  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • California
  • Kansas


  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • South Dakota
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota


  • Georgia
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
Last week, conditions were favorable for harvest, with temperatures near normal for most of the U.S. The upper Midwest saw warmer-than-normal temperatures and the Atlantic coast saw heavy rains.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 96 percent of the corn crop has been harvested. That is well ahead of the 88 percent at this time one year ago, and two points ahead of the five-year average.
Colorado is 8 points behind the five-year average for harvest completion at this time.

OptiBrut GmbH constructs new hatchery in Germany

OptiBrut GmbH and HatchTech have signed an agreement for the construction of a new turn-key hatchery project, which will be located in Emlichheim, Germany. The hatchery will be equipped with 28 MicroClimer Setters 115.200 and 12 units of HatchCare–the hatcher with feed and water–initially producing 500,000 day-old-chicks (d.o.c.), with a future increase to a total of 800,000.
Initiators of the project are Klaas Knol and Hans Groot Koerkamp, who both bring a wealth of experience with them in the areas of breeder and broiler management, animal nutrition and hatching. Knol said, “OptiBrut strongly believes in the huge German and Dutch market potential for the supply of stronger and healthier chicks. As a hatcher, we will use the unique HatchCare system, in which newly hatched chicks are completely supplied with the basic necessities of life: feed, water and fresh air. HatchCare allows them to use the residual yolk, which is full of extremely important nutrients, for organ and immune system development. The experiences at our own broiler farms have convinced us that early feeding and direct access to water results in significantly healthier and stronger d.o.c., and a strongly reduced need of antibiotics.”
After hatching in the tray, chicks end up in the HatchCare basket, which is free from unhatched eggs and egg debris. This provides chicks with 40% more free living space. The chicks will not have to go through separators, significantly reducing stress. Because they leave the egg in an illuminated space, chicks experience less stress when the hatcher door is opened. HatchCare is equipped with noise-reducing motors that help to fade stressful motor humming softly into the background. The combination of reduced stress and access to feed, water and fresh air, lead to a system that is fitting well into today's demand for animal-friendly production.
Joost ter Heerdt, commercial director HatchTech, said, “There is a strong tendency to substantially decrease the use of antibiotics and grow chickens under more animal friendly production circumstances. We are continuously researching and developing products that meet the industries’ and consumer expectations and are extremely proud and happy that OptiBrut GmbH has chosen HatchCare for their new project.”

Pure Breed and Aviagen mark 15 years of cooperation

Celebrating 15 years of Aviagen® and Pure Breed’s strategic relationship, Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen visited the company in Saudi Arabia and heard first-hand from its key distributor on new expansion plans.
A delegation of Aviagen senior representatives joined Henriksen as they met Chairman of Pure Breed Hosam Al Yousof and his team.
Pure Breed, the Ross® distributor for Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Yemen, provided a strategic overview on the company’s vision for supplying Ross 308 in the region and updated the Aviagen delegation on its investments in facilities, including its new feed mill—the only one of its kind producing heat-treated, biosecure feed for its own GP farms in the country.
Discussing the visit, Henriksen said, “This was a great opportunity for us to meet Hosam Al Hosam and the Pure Breed team, hear about their plans for the future and cement our long-standing relationship with them. This is our 15th year of working with Pure Breed and we look forward to our strong cooperation for many years to come.”
Pure Breed, currently exporting approximately 2 million parent stock to Yemen and the Gulf region, also focused on the restructuring of its Distributor Customer Focus Team to supply customer service to the Saudi industry with Aviagen’s support.
Al Yousof commented, “It was our pleasure to welcome Jan and the Aviagen team to Pure Breed to discuss our restructuring plans with them as well as our plans to work together in the future. We are proud of our continuous investment in our facilities which ensures we have the highest quality product and services on offer to the local Saudi customers as well as those further afield.”

Winners of Good Pig Production Awards honored

Compassion in World Farming, in association with the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), held its second Good Pig Production Awards at an event in Westminster, London on Nov. 18. Eight representatives of this year's 14 deserving winners from China were in London to be presented with their awards and to hear from experts in pig welfare and food industry leaders, including Sainsbury's and BQP.
China is currently the world’s largest producer of pigs, rearing an astounding 726 million a year– more than half the world’s pig population and five times more than that produced in the USA. Over 60 per cent of the world’s pork is consumed in China and this level seems set to increase with the inevitable population growth. In order to meet this demand, there has been a major shift away from traditional small-scale pig farms to large-scale intensive production1. Such scaling-up of production has been achieved by greater vertical integration in the supply chain and geographic concentration of production1, along with the use of highly productive breeds, intensive systems (such as sow stalls, farrowing crates, high stocking densities, and barren pens), and intensive practices (such as tail docking, and teeth-clipping).
It is precisely these practices that Compassion and ICCAW are educating against through the Good Pig Production Award, which recognizes Chinese producers for implementing higher welfare standards within their pig production systems.
Madame Xi, executive president of ICCAW, gave her comments on the Good Pig Production Award: “Before launching the Good Pig Production Award, not many people in China were aware of the Five Freedoms of animal welfare. Today industry experts, farm owners and even some consumers know more about pig welfare requirements such as no sow stalls, no teeth-clipping, no tail-docking, and the provision of appropriate bedding materials, all because of the Award. It is a remarkable change and demonstrates significant progress in China, the world’s largest producer of pigs. Moreover, it has resulted in a very positive effect on the global environment and sustainable agricultural development.”
Many large Chinese pig producers are already recognizing the benefits of higher welfare production with two 2014 winners demonstrating the successful implementation of previous commitments:
  • Sanmenxia Chuying Agri-husbandry Co.
  • Beijing Taixinfumin Pig Production Co. Ltd
The scale of production in China is vast – some individual companies have aspirations of producing or processing more pigs than the entire UK pig population (13 million). Compassion therefore believes that now is the time to build relationships with China’s pig producers to ensure that higher welfare production is at the forefront of their minds and to inform them of the criteria behind operating a successful higher welfare production system.
Compassion has worked with ICCAW and local experts in China to develop welfare codes (Farm Animal Welfare Requirements) for pigs, beef cattle and sheep, with the aim of encouraging best practice and improved farm animal welfare. These have filled the gap for animal welfare standards in China and additional welfare codes for broilers and laying hens are currently being developed.
Locally, ICCAW is working hard to set up supply chain connections between producers and retailers of higher welfare pig meat. Recent success has been the signing up of online retailer SFbest.
Dr. Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, summarizes the work and aims of the two partners: “Since 2013, our work in China has been intricately linked to our effective partnership with ICCAW and is largely centered on the Good Pig Production Award, which aims to stop the use of sow stalls and to promote the development of higher welfare systems and practices for both sows and meat pigs. To date, nearly 1 million pigs are set to benefit each year through our award winners’ policies.
“While ICCAW works in China to promote the award to producers, administers award applications and oversees expert panel visits to farms for verification, we at Compassion offer expert technical advice and provide opportunities for the Chinese pig producers to visit farms in the UK and attend expert seminars to gain best practice knowledge. Through study tours they accumulate the latest science-based and practical knowledge on pig farming and higher animal welfare production to help cement their own beliefs and encourage them to spread the word in China. It’s a huge job but the scale on which some of these farmers work means that if just one of them adopts and promotes higher welfare pig production it has an enormous impact.”
Good Pig Production Award winners 2015
5 Star Winners
  • Heilongjiang Dongnong Sanhua Pig Animal Husbandry & Food Co. Ltd 
  • Laiwu Breeder Pig Farm Co. Ltd
  • Hainan Dingan Nabowan Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd 
  • Yanbian Northeast Local Free-range Pig Development Co. Ltd 
4 Star Winners
  • Haerbin Xincheng Yuquanshan Breeding Co. Ltd
  • Jiangxi Shuosheng Ecological Agriculture Science & Technology Co. Ltd
  • Tongjiang Bashan Ecological Animal Husbandry Science and Technology Co. Ltd
3 Star Winners
  • Sanmenxia Chuying Agro-Pastoral Co. Ltd
  • Beijing Taixinfumin Pig Production Co. Ltd
  • Handan Furun Ecological Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd
2 Star Winners
  • Hainan Shengtai Agri-Husbandry Co. Ltd
  • Changzhou Fenghua Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd
1 Star Winners
  • Tianjing Hengtai Livestock Farming Co. Ltd
  • Zhong Dao Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd
1] FCRN ‘Appetite for change – Social, economic and environmental transformations in China’s food system’ Tara Garnett, Andreas Wilkes - February 2014

Tyson Foods net income nearly doubles in fourth quarter

Tyson Foods reported a net income of $258 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, nearly doubling the net income of $137 million the company reported during the same quarter of fiscal year 2014.
The company released its quarterly and yearly financial results on November 23.
For the fiscal year, Tyson reported a net income of $1.22 billion, a substantial increase from the net income of $864 million achieved during fiscal year 2014.
Tyson Foods’ financial report for fiscal year 2015 marked the first full fiscal year for the company after its acquisition of Hillshire Brands, which was finalized on August 28, 2014.
"Fiscal 2015 was an important year for Tyson Foods, because it proved that our house of brands gives us the ability to produce record sales and earnings in less than optimum conditions, all while successfully merging two large companies," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.
"Our business model is working. The Prepared Foods segment had a very strong performance in the first full year of Tyson and Hillshire coming together. The Chicken segment had an outstanding year. Pork produced solid results. Beef experienced a tough operating environment most of fiscal 2015, but the other segments more than made up for it.”

'HPAI – Lessons Learned' program planned for IPPE

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – Lessons Learned program, sponsored by the United Egg Producers (UEP) and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and held in conjunction with the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) on Jan. 28, will provide a valuable opportunity to learn about the recent outbreak of avian influenza in the United States from people who were actively involved in controlling the disease. Speakers will include experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as veterinarians from layer and turkey companies that were involved in the outbreak.
“The 2015 HPAI outbreak was devastating to the U.S. egg farming community,” said Chad Gregory, UEP president and CEO. “All sectors of the poultry and egg industry must be diligent in preventing the spread of future outbreaks, and this program will share important lessons learned.”
“This program will provide a timely reminder for our entire industry as we approach the spring migration period. Effective biosecurity measures are extremely important, now more than ever,” said John Starkey, USPOULTRY president.
Topics will include details on the factors that contributed to the spread of the virus and the efforts to develop vaccines for potential use in any future eradication efforts. Representatives of the commercial egg and turkey industries will provide valuable insight into the efforts required to control and eradicate the disease and give the audience an understanding of the challenges this disease provided to the commercial companies involved.
Registration for the program is $100 for registered IPPE attendees. For the full agenda, click here.
Registration for the program and hotel reservations through the Wyndham Jade housing block can be made by clicking here.

USDA requests more proposals for avian flu vaccines

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in its efforts to prepare for the potential return of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), is issuing its second request for proposals (RFP) for vaccine manufacturers with the interest and capability to supply a variety of Eurasian H5 (EA H5) vaccines in sufficient numbers to add to the emergency stockpile.
APHIS has not approved the use of vaccine to respond to HPAI to date; however, the Agency is preparing to ensure that vaccine is available should the decision be made to use it. Any decision to use vaccination in a future HPAI outbreak would require careful consideration of the efficacy of the vaccine, any impacts of using HPAI vaccine in the field, and the potential trade impacts. In response to the first RFP issued in August, APHIS awarded contracts for doses of two vaccines for the EA H5 virus strain, which became part of the National Veterinary Stockpile.  Those approved contracts were awarded to Ceva and Harrisvaccines.
Vaccines will be carefully evaluated on a number of factors including their efficacy against EA H5 viruses, and products must meet all of APHIS’ safety, potency, and purity standards.  All eligible products to be considered must be either conditionally or fully licensed or permitted at the time of submission.  Vaccine manufacturers will be evaluated on their ability to produce such vaccines in a timely manner in adequate numbers to meet the needs of the response.
Although no decision has been made to use vaccine in the event of a future HPAI outbreak, APHIS will continue to issue RFPs for vaccine manufacturers on a quarterly basis through September 2016, to allow additional products to be developed and considered for the stockpile should an HPAI outbreak occur.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tyson Foods closing two prepared foods plants

Tyson Foods will close two close two of its prepared foods plants – one in Jefferson, Wisconsin, and the other in Chicago, Illinois.
The company, in announcing the upcoming closures on November 19, stated that it is discontinuing operations at the two facilities as a way to improve the overall performance of its prepared foods business. The workload from those plants will be absorbed into other plants within the company that have available production capacity.
Both the pepperoni plant in Jefferson and the Chicago facility, which makes prepared foods for the hospitality industry, are expected to cease operations during the second half of the company's fiscal year 2016, which ends October 1, 2016. The decision will affect approximately 880 people, including about 480 at Chicago and about 400 at Jefferson. None of Tyson Foods' other Chicago facilities or offices will be affected.
"We examined many options before we turned down this road," said Donnie King, president of North American operations for Tyson Foods. "This affects the lives of our team members and their families, making it a very difficult decision. But after long and careful consideration, we've determined we can better serve our customers by shifting production and equipment to more modern and efficient locations."
The planned closures are due to a combination of factors including changing product needs, the age of both facilities and prohibitive cost of renovations, as well as the distance of the Chicago plant from its raw material supply base.
Affected workers will be encouraged to apply for openings within the company. Tyson Foods intends to work with state officials to ensure employees are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential re-training opportunities.
Tyson Foods bought the Chicago plant in 1994. At the time, it was privately owned and made meals exclusively for airlines. Tempura chicken, meatballs, crepes, omelets, soups, sauces and Chicken Cordon Bleu are currently produced there.
The Jefferson facility, which produces sliced pepperoni and ham for pizza toppings, as well as sliced pepperoni and salami for deli and foodservice applications, was part of Tyson Foods' acquisition of IBP in 2001. Founded in 1875 by the Stoppenbach Family, as a beef, pork and lamb processing facility, it was sold in 1934 to the Bauch and Tensfeldt families. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the plant was converted to further processing, concentrating on pepperoni for the pizza industry. The plant was sold to Doskocil Foods in 1985, which later became Foodbrands America and was acquired by IBP in 1997.

Asia, West Africa troubled by avian influenza

Within the last ten days, there have been new reports about highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in 5 countries: Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.

Asia battles H5 viruses

HPAI recently returned to South Korea with a vengeance, causing 12 new confirmed outbreaks between mid-September and the end of October, all on farms in the southwest of country. Ten were in South Jeolla province and two were in Gwangju city. All the premises had ducks and some also held chickens. Infected birds were identified through surveillance; none died but more than 144,000 birds have been destroyed as part of the stamping-out policy. The H5N8 variant of the virus was detected at each of the farms.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is battling to control the H5N1 and H5N6 subtypes of the HPAI virus in its poultry populations. There has been one outbreak of each type in backyard flocks in the last week; one involved 600 birds in Ca Mau province in the south of the country while the other was in Son La in the northwest and affected 326 birds. All the poultry in both outbreaks died or were destroyed.
There have been no reports of confirmed HPAI outbreaks in poultry in Taiwan. The Council of Agriculture has confirmed that a ban on the slaughter of live poultry at traditional markets has been implemented. The policy was proposed in 2006 in order to reduce the risks to public health but considerable resistance was encountered from some quarters. A program of intensive guidance and education was introduced to convince the public of the need to safeguard health following the experience of many human cases of avian influenza in China.

H5N1 virus troubles West African poultry

Nigeria has reported its first outbreak on HPAI in more than a month in the state of Kano in the north of the country. A flock of 135 backyard layers was wiped out by the infection.
Following increased surveillance and testing at poultry markets in Abidjan, the veterinary authority in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) has confirmed that 19 samples taken from 5,200 broilers and layers tested positive for the H5N1 virus during July of this year.
In South Africa, pre-slaughter monitoring of commercially reared ostriches revealed 12 out of 1,200 birds tested positive for an H7 low-pathogenic avian flu virus in Eastern Cape Province in August 2015. Recent cases have been in Western Cape Province.

H5N1, H7N9 viruses still threaten human health, warns WHO

The latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) gives the total number of confirmed human cases for avian influenza A (H5N1) at 143, including 42 deaths. Of these, 136 cases and 39 deaths have been in Egypt, with the rest in China and Indonesia. This year already has more than twice as many cases as recent years. Since the outbreaks began in 2003, 844 people are confirmed to have been infected and 449 have died.
Two new confirmed human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infection have also been reported to the WHO from China in recent weeks, bringing the totals to 681 confirmed cases and at least 275 deaths. WHO states that this virus has continued to be detected in the animal population in multiple provinces across China this year, indicating that the virus persists in the poultry population. The organization warns that, if the pattern of human cases follows the trends seen in previous years, the number of human cases may rise over the coming months.

National FFA Foundation announces appointments to sponsor's board

Since its inception in 1947, the National FFA Foundation Sponsors' Board has supported the foundation in securing $292 million in support of FFA and agricultural education. Comprised of top corporate executives who support the vision and mission of FFA, the group is interested in promoting careers in agribusiness, agriculture and food production, and entrepreneurship.
FFA announces the following appointments to its current Sponsors' Board:
  • Scott Bormann, Vice President, North America of Merck Animal Health in DeSoto, KS
  • Tom Dean, Marketing Director, North America of Case IH in Racine, WI
  • Michele Fite, Global Leader Health of DuPont Nutrition & Health in St. Louis, MO
  • Bryn Fosburgh, Vice President of Trimble Navigation Limited in Westminster, CO
  • Kelly Gast, Global Business Operations Finance Lead of Monsanto, St. Louis
  • Warren Graeff, Senior Vice President Agriculture Market Manager of PNC Bank in St. Louis
  • John Miller, Group Vice President, Agricultural Products of BNSF Railway in Fort Worth, TX
  • Matt Plitt, Executive Vice President and COO of Valent USA in Walnut Creek, CA
  • John Smith, Vice President, Key Account Manager of Bayer CropScience in Research Triangle Park, NC
  • John Starkey, President of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in Tucker, GA
  • David Stidham, Vice President of Marketing of Culver Franchising System, Inc. in Prairie Du Sac, WI
  • Charles L. Theiss, Vice President – Chief Technical Officer, Newly Weds Foods in Chicago, IL
  • Ken Wilmes, Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager of Tractor Supply Company in Brentwood, TN
  • Jay Wilson, Vice President of Marketing of Sealed Air Corporation in Duncan, SC
Members of the 2016 Sponsors' Board executive committee:
  • Craig Bacon, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Tyson Foods, Inc. in Springdale, AR, will serve as the 2016 Sponsors' Board Chair. 
  • Cory J. Reed, John Deere (past Chair)
  • David Kabbes, Bunge North America
  • Joseph Metzger, Kraft Heinz Company
  • John Niemann, Cargill
  • Eric Spell,
  • Mark Schweitzer, Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Susanne Wasson, Dow AgroSciences
The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members in grades seven through 12, who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Foodmate opens office in Brazil

Foodmate, a leading provider of poultry processing equipment, announced it is opening a new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The development of the Brazil operation is part of Foodmate’s global expansion plans and a response to market demand.
“Foodmate has shown an outstanding global market expansion in the last few years, and the Brazilian market is no exception,” said David Hazenbroek, president of Foodmate B.V. “The demand of the Brazilian market could no longer be supported by our existing sales network, so we are excited to provide our customers in Brazil with a designated local office.”
The new office will allow Foodmate to provide a larger array of products for that specific market. Foodmate Brazil is under the direction of Antonino Mascarenhas, who has more than 30 years of experience in the poultry industry.
“The Brazilian office will primarily serve the need for dark meat deboning, with machines such as the new OPTI LTD Dark Meat Deboning System, capable of deboning 6,000 whole legs per hour,” Mascarenhas said. “The company will continue to offer all Foodmate cut-up lines as well. The opening of Foodmate Brazil will allow the Brazilian market to have easier access to a more complete line of products. Our market is very demanding of high quality, and Foodmate products have proven to deliver the quality and relatively low cost of ownership, which is what is required in the Brazilian market.”
In addition to the dark meat deboning and cut-up systems, Foodmate Brazil will also offer specialized technical services and a spare parts warehouse.

Rose Acre’s Arizona egg farm construction progressing

Rose Acre Farms is progressing with its plans to build a new $80 million egg production complex in La Paz County, Arizona, with a company official saying it will probably be 12-14 more months before the farm begins producing eggs.
The company broke ground on the facility, near the Arizona community of Bouse, in June.
Once completed, the farm will house about 3 million hens and will provide between 80 and 100 jobs, reported the Parker Pioneer. The facility will also be the home to a pullet farm, a rail spur and a feed milling operation.
W.N. “Chips” Everhart, Rose Acre Farms’ new projects coordinator, said the company will be ready to hire in the spring of 2016, although the company is looking to hire security and construction workers before then.
The project in La Paz County isn’t the only expansion project for the egg company. In October 2014, Rose Acre Farms began construction on an egg production complex in Red River County, Texas. That facility is expected to include 14 layer houses.
Rose Acre Farms, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, has an estimated 24.8 million hens and is the second largest egg producing company in the United States.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Record poultry exports projected for Brazilian industry

Bright prospects for Brazilian poultry exports are forecast by Fausto Ferraz, Cobb-Vantress business director for the country.
“Exports gained steam in the first quarter and are likely to continue growing,” he said. “The export record of 440,000 tonnes in July shows an even better prospect for the external market. We may finish 2015 at 5 million tonnes exported, which would result in less poultry meat for the domestic market.”
Ferraz points to one of Brazil's competitive advantages in the global market — particularly the health status of its birds, contrasting with avian influenza outbreaks in other regions of the world.
"Because of the excellent health status of our birds, the chances of gaining new markets remain favorable,” he stated.  “As a result of recent AI outbreaks many countries impose import bans to avoid the spread of the disease, giving preference to suppliers in regions without any disease outbreaks.”
Within Brazil the first quarter was marked by breeder placement similar to the same period of 2014, but with a slight increase in broiler chicks.
"We believe that the second quarter will remain equally stable. Beef, which is a natural competitor to chicken meat, does not show signs of any price decrease, and so chicken meat should continue to be the choice of the Brazilian consumer.”

Vietnam cracks down on banned substances in animal feed

Vietnam’s Animal Feed Division of the Animal Husbandry Department said it would crack down on animal feed production and trading establishments and pig farming and slaughterhouses in the south from November to February 2016.
Inspection teams will focus on small and medium-size production establishments and those without a clear place of origin. Inspections will follow up on legal regulations related to the use of banned substances, Clenbuterol, Salbutamol and Ractopamine, in pig and beef breeding and Vat Yellow in poultry breeding.
Tighter inspections aim to improve the quality and safety of feed.
In August, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said prohibited substances had been found in animal feed and veterinary medicine sold in some of the country’s southern regions.
Beta-agonist, a class of non-hormonal compounds fed to cattle to make them gain lean weight, was found in samples taken at slaughterhouses in several districts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Pigs also tested positive for prohibited substances in several districts. Of 222 samples from pigs in eight slaughterhouses, 31 were positive for prohibited substances. Of those 31, 22 came from pigs in Dong Nai.
And, in April, MARD said it would crack down on pig and pig feed producers that use substances that are banned for use in feed.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, vice head of the ministry's Department for Animal Husbandry, during a press conference held April 6, said that businesses in violation of using banned substances in pig feed would be issued warnings for the first two offenses. If a third offense were to occur, the establishment in violation would be forced to close. The MARD official added that closed establishments would also have their names released to the media.

Presidential turkeys head to Washington, DC

The National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate took off on a United Airlines flight designated “Turkey One” on November 23, flying from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Washington, D.C. The birds will be greeted and pardoned by President Barack Obama on November 25 at the annual Presidential Turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House.
In partnership with the National Turkey Federation, this year’s Nicholas White turkeys have been raised for the past four months in California’s Central Valley by family-owned poultry producer Foster Farms. The birds arrived at SFO via Presidential Turkey motorcade accompanied by the official Presidential Turkey entourage, including handlers and private security detail.
Late last week, the yet-to-be-named presidential turkeys were selected in a final review at Foster Farms’ Presidential Turkey Ranch near Modesto, California, where 20 finalists strutted their stuff for the coveted title of National Thanksgiving Turkey. The turkeys were evaluated and selected by the chairman of the National Turkey Federation, Dr. Jihad Douglas, and Foster Farms turkey grower and third generation turkey farmer, Joe Hedden. A fifth grade class from Eisenhut Elementary in Modesto attended to cheer-on their favorite choice. The White House will officially name the birds based on suggestions that included hundreds of submissions from California schoolchildren.
“We wanted a proud bird, fit to meet the president,” said Hedden. “We chose this year’s birds based on superior plumage, posture, personality, sociability and manners. Our team worked to socialize the birds as they grew to prepare for the big day at the White House, which included playing music to acclimate to noise and teaching them to sit calmly on a table. This year’s turkeys are country music fans.”
“The annual presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey is an important tradition that pays tribute to Thanksgiving and recognizes the turkey industry’s role in the national holiday,” said Ira Brill, Foster Farms director of communications and unofficial presidential turkey historian. “Foster Farms is honored to raise the National Thanksgiving Turkey for the second time in five years and highlight the significant role of California agriculture in the national landscape.”
Representing the Nicholas White, a breed originating in California’s Sonoma Valley, this year’s National Thanksgiving Turkey boasts bold, patriotic red and white coloration. Although these birds will meet the president of the United States, they are raised no differently than all Foster Farms turkeys, and live comfortably in a barn where they are misted and fanned.
Following the pardoning ceremony, the presidential turkey and its alternate will live out their days at Morven Park’s Turkey Hill in Leesburg, Virginia. The remaining presidential flock will continue their lives at Foster Farms’ Presidential Turkey Ranch.

How probiotics affect poultry gut health and lameness

“Necrotic enteritis and dysbiosis are the two major challenges facing poultry production since the 2006 ban on antibiotic growth promoters in the European Union,” stated Professor Richard Ducatelle of Ghent University. He made the remarks during his presentation at the BIOMIN seminar on “The Multifacets of Gut Performance and Lameness,” which was held at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University in Belgium on Nov. 10.
Necrotic enteritis, widespread in broilers, costs the industry $2 billion worldwide annually. Dysbiosis, or dysbacteriosis—characterized by an imbalance between beneficial and harmful gut bacteria—and leaky gut constitute a multi-factorial disease with real consequences for poultry health and performance, according to Gunther Antonissen of Ghent University. “Inflammation, diarrhea, wet litter, digestibility issues, welfare problems, disease, and performance problems are all associated with the loss of intestinal epithelial integrity,” he explained. Fortunately, attention to feed formulation, management practices and feed additives can influence gut performance. Prof. Ducatelle outlined how both prebiotics and probiotics (direct fed microbials) can protect intestinal health.
“Poultry-to-poultry beneficial bacterial strains will persist longer in a bird’s gastrointestinal tract,” explained Dr. Wael Abdelrahman, Technical Consultant at BIOMIN. “Different probiotic strains will colonize different parts of the gastrointestinal tract and, if used together, will have an overall greater effect compared to a single strain probiotic,” he continued. Combining a prebiotic and probiotic can provide further benefits.
Tackling BCO lameness
Prof. Robert Wideman of the University of Arkansas provided insights into a lameness caused by stress and bacterial infection in broilers, including research findings on Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis (BCO). “BCO is a common cause of lameness in the US and EU that typically affects 1.5% of broilers grown past 40 days of age. ‘Epidemic’ outbreaks can affect more than 15% of a flock in some cases,” he noted. Peer-reviewed study results show that PoultryStar® can reduce the incidence of BCO lameness by more than half, even across different genetic lines.
Providing further evidence, Gino Totté, Director at Panagro Health and Nutrition, shared results from a farm in the Netherlands. Citing genuine performance and net return on investment gains in 75% of barns applying PoultryStar® for broilers, he highlighted “a clear reduction in BCO lameness accompanied by less antibiotic use.”
The harm of Campylobacter
Campylobacter is not a harmless commensal,” declared Prof. Tom Humphrey of Swansea University. “It represents an international problem and has a direct impact on broiler performance, health and welfare.” The threat to human health is real: the World Health Organization named Campylobacter the number one food borne pathogen and long-term side effects can occur in about 1% of cases. Left unchecked, Campylobacter “will become a trade issue and a political issue as companies and regulators examine levels in poultry production more closely.” He emphasized the need for further research to better understand and control Campylobacter.
“A competitive exclusion strategy using synbiotic (combination prebiotic and probiotic) supplemented feed can play a role in reducing Campylobacter prevalence in birds,” remarked Luca Vandi, BIOMIN Technical & Marketing Director for EMA. He shared results of a scientific study showing a statistically significant reduction in Campylobacter levels in broilers using PoultryStar®.
With its long experience in scientifically formulated feed additives for livestock, BIOMIN has become a leading authority on gut performance and probiotics.
The conference, held in partnership with key local BIOMIN partner, Panagro Health and Nutrition, brought together more than 100 attendees from across the poultry industry representing 13 countries. It ended with a tour of the Ghent University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s facilities.

Pork production costs rise in Brazil, export value falls

In October, exports of Brazilian pig meat (all products, fresh and processed) continued the year’s upward trend in volume so the total for the year to date reached 444,900 tons – 5.3 percent more than the same point in 2014. According to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), however, revenue was down by 21 percent at US$1.065 billion. For the month of October, the volume of pork exported was down just marginally at 51,500 tons but its value in foreign currency was 41 percent lower at US$117.1 million.
“With the pork prices in 2014, combined with problems in the international market resulting from the political crisis in Eastern Europe, we were able to achieve record revenue last year,” said Francisco Turra, chief executive of ABPA. “This year, the international flow has adjusted and the market stabilized so normal price levels have returned, leading to the drop in revenue from exports.”
Russia was the main destination for Brazilian pork in October, accounting for 42 percent of the total, and 10 percent more than in the same month of 2014. For the year to date, shipments to the Russian market are up 30 percent on last year at 200,000 tons. October exports to the next most important markets for Brazilian pork - Hong Kong and Venezuela – were up by 13 percent and 113 percent, respectively, from the same month in 2014.
Following a meeting with Brazilian agriculture minister, Katia Abreu, the Chinese Ministry of Quality Management, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) announced it had authorized 7 new slaughterhouses in Brazil to export meat to China, including 2 for pigs. The expectation is that each establishment will export products valued at between US$18 million and US$20 million per year, according to Brazil’s agriculture ministry.
This positive development in export prospects may come as some relief to Brazilian pig producers, who experienced an average 5.2 percent increase in cost of production in October compared to the previous month. The rise brings the national ICPSwine/Embrapa index to 205.1 points compared with the baseline of 100 in January 2005. The index has risen 16.4 percent since the start of 2015.

Cargill continues investment in Vietnam

Cargill continues to grow its business in Vietnam and has plans for a new US$30 million animal feed mill in Binh Duong province and a US$10 million agreement with Saigon International Terminals Vietnam (SITV) for dedicated grain and oilseeds warehousing facilities in Phu My.
The company is also committing to building 25 more schools across rural Vietnam by 2020 after having fulfilled its initial goal of building 75 schools by 2015. The latest school located in Phu Xuyen district – the 75th school opened by Cargill in its 20 years in Vietnam – was inaugurated by Cargill Chairman and CEO David MacLennan.
MacLennan said: “Vietnam represents a very important market for us globally and presents clear growth opportunities. This year, we celebrate 20 years in the country during which we have leveraged our access to global markets and 150-year industry expertise to help contribute to the development of the agriculture sector here. These new investments and the extension of our school building program only reinforce our commitment to the Vietnamese market and its people.”
The US$30 million new animal feed mill in Binh Duong will have a total capacity of 260,000 metric tons per year and will become operational in the first half of 2017. It will incorporate the latest technologies currently available in the industry. The feed mill will bring Cargill’s total number of animal nutrition production facilities in Vietnam to 12. This investment comes at the back of an announcement made by Cargill in October 2015 of the construction of an animal feed mill in Nghe An, which begins operations in the first half of 2016 and a US$7 million expansion of its existing animal feed mill in Dong Thap.
In Vietnam, Cargill has 10 animal feed mills that produce compound feed for livestock and aquatic species, and one facility in Dong Nai which provides premix animal nutrition ingredients to feed manufacturers and vertically integrated producers. The company has made strong headway in the animal nutrition business in Vietnam over the past 20 years and now stands as one of the most trusted leaders in that industry.

Integrated supply chain for grains and oilseeds

As one of the leading suppliers of grain and oil seeds in Vietnam, Cargill prides itself in delivering an integrated supply chain solution to its customers. The company has entered into a US$10 million agreement with SITV for 80,000 metric ton of warehousing facilities at the SITV port in Phu My. This will facilitate the storing and distribution of grains and oilseeds for Cargill’s customers and give them a distinct competitive advantage.
The main grain and oilseeds products Cargill supplies to its customers in the country are soybean meal, wheat, and sugar, as well as supply corn, copra meal and canola meal. Customers include animal feed producers, integrated fish processors, food and beverage manufacturers as well as flour millers.
Cargill is extending its school building program to build 25 additional schools by 2020. The employee-led volunteering program aims at providing better education to less privileged children in rural Vietnam.
Cargill has raised more than USUS$3.8 million for the program and has achieved its goal of building 75 schools by 2015. More than 13,000 children have benefited from the program so far.
“Giving back to the communities we live and work in is in our company’s DNA. Every child deserves an education and what our Vietnam team has achieved with their school building initiative is nothing short of remarkable. It makes me proud to be part of the Cargill family and I am sure my 155,000 colleagues worldwide will agree,” said MacLennan.

Mixed fortunes for Europe’s poultry meat companies

Business conditions have been challenging for Europe’s poultry meat companies lately but several are pushing ahead with expansion plans.

Duc Group

France-based Duc Group, for example, has reported third-quarter revenue at EUR44.4 million (US$47.3 million), which is 4.88 percent down on the same period last year. This follows lower sales for the previous 2 quarters and brings the revenue for the first 9 months of the year to EUR135.7 million, down 2.49 percent from the 2014 figure.
In its latest announcement, Duc attributes the decline to a 1.1 percent reduction in poultry meat consumption since the beginning of the year, extreme summer temperatures and a price war at home and to competition over exports to South Africa. The company adds that the indications are satisfactory for the holiday period.

Moy Park

Moy Park reported good sales volume growth in both the U.K. and Ireland and Continental Europe business units for its third quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014. However, revenue was down 1 percent to GBP350.7 million (US$534.3 million). Foreign exchange movements, commodity price deflation and lower international sales were reported to have offset sales volume growth. Two months ago, JBS completed its acquisition of Moy Park, which has headquarters in Northern Ireland.


Quarterly revenue for Russia’s largest meat and feed producer, Cherkizovo Group, was RUB56.0 billion for the first 9 months of its 2015 fiscal year, 15 percent higher than the same period of last year. Gross profit, however, was up just 2 percent at RUB15.3 billion (US$865 million) and gross margin fell to 27 percent from 32 percent one year ago.
“In the past nine months, we began the construction of a poultry complex, consisting of a parent flock site and a replacement flock site. The only one in Russia, it will allow us to reduce our dependence on parent eggs grown abroad,” commented the Group’s CEO, Sergei Mikhailov. It has a capacity of 128 million eggs per year, with a further 240 million eggs per year from a new hatchery in Elets. The group has also invested in pork production and processing, a new feed mill and a large grain storage facility.


Finland-based HKScan has announced it is to upgrade its poultry production - one of its strategic focus areas. It will upgrade and expand the DanHatch Finland hatchery in Mynämäki hatchery and build a new facility specializing exclusively in poultry products in Rauma.
In March of 2015, HKScan Finland Oy and Danish DanHatch AS agreed the sale of HKScan Finland’s hatchery business and real estate assets to their jointly owned associate company, DanHatch Finland Oy.
The company has recently signed an agreement with agricultural company, Hankkija, and Schothorst Feed Research for the joint development of poultry feed and feeding solutions.
“Developing and improving the efficiency of our poultry feed solutions is a major focus area since feed expenditure accounts for roughly 60 per cent of all broiler production costs,” said Ulf Jahnsson, VP Feeding Business at HKScan.

Growing interest in animal welfare in China

China’s veterinarians have begun to set out the country's first welfare standards for the production and slaughter of poultry and other livestock, including pigs, cattle and sheep.
The Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is joined in this project by around 30 leading businesses in farming, slaughtering, food processing and food services, the association’s head of animal welfare, Sun Zhongchao, told the news agency, Xinhua.
The standards are expected to cover production conditions (stocking density, heating/ventilation control), disease management (including feed and water hygiene) and the need to stun chickens before slaughter.
Proposed standards, which will not be mandatory, are due to be published in June 2016 and to receive government approval within two years, Sun said.
A further sign of China’s growing interest in animal welfare was highlighted following a recent visit to the country by representatives of Australia’s beef industry.
Potential Chinese investors are passionate about increasing their knowledge of animal welfare practices, Kimberley Cattlemen's Association executive officer, Catherine Marriott, told ABC.
“They are looking for consultants to come in and help them around animal welfare, around building abattoirs, around building quarantine facilities, around feeding their cattle, so we were able to have some conversations around that,” she said.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pork board stresses responsible antibiotic use commitment

The National Pork Board is reiterating the proactive steps the U.S. pork industry has taken to ensure responsible antibiotic use on pig farms. Pork industry leaders say calls by various organizations to end antibiotic use on farms are misguided and would have a negative impact on food safety.
"We understand people are confused about the role of antibiotics in meat production and, unfortunately, recently released reports only add to that confusion," said Jennifer Koeman, DVM, and director of producer and public health at National Pork Board. "It's simple – when you produce healthy livestock, you get safe food. The meat you eat is safe due to Food and Drug Administration rules on antibiotics and U.S. Department of Agriculture testing of meat."
The pork industry has collectively embraced USDA and FDA efforts to phase out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion and, in turn, to limit them to treatment and prevention against the spread of disease. The National Pork Board is implementing a three-point plan of action focused on five research priorities, shaping educational outreach to pig farmers and broadly sharing information with the retail and foodservice industries and pork consumers.
"Pig farmers have an obligation to use medicine responsibly and as needed to treat or prevent illness in pigs," said Koeman. "That's why pig farmers also work closely with veterinarians to decide when and how to use antibiotics to protect a pig's health."
On behalf of more than 60,000 pig farmers across the nation, the National Pork Board is leading the effort and dialogue around responsible antibiotic use, including:
  • Establishing a blue ribbon panel on antibiotics, an outcome of the Pork Checkoff's stewardship plan announced this past June. The new, third-party panel includes seven experts with specific experience and knowledge in antibiotic practices or consumer marketing, but who are independent of National Pork Board practices.
  • Educating America's pig farmers on new FDA rules for the use of medically important antibiotics (to treat human illness) in feed and water and investing up to $400,000 in education and awareness programs to ensure pig farmers understand and adopt these new guidelines.
  • Investing more than $750,000 in new research projects that span five distinct priorities intended to provide data for animal and public health outcomes (pig health/welfare, human health/safety, environmental impact and pork quality).
  • Sharing the innovation of today's production practices and efforts to responsibly use antibiotics with food chain partners and other important stakeholders. This past month, meetings were held with animal health companies, packers and processors, and retail and foodservice leadership.
"Our efforts are focused on sharing a story of innovation and excellence in pork production," said Derrick Sleezer, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Cherokee, Iowa. "Our farmers are experts in animal care and sustainable farming. And that expertise is needed to maintain our track record of responsible antibiotic use with a goal to protect the health and well-being of people, pigs and the planet."

H5N1 avian influenza cases reported in Cambodia

According to a Cambodian agriculture ministry report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), two outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed in the northwest of the country.
Both cases were in free-range duck flocks described as “backyard” in the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap. Of the 8,800 birds in the flocks, 2,280 died.
According to the official report, after having been informed by the owners that their duck flocks were sick and dying, the district and provincial veterinary services investigated and took samples from sick ducks, which were sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute for testing. The test samples were confirmed positive with the H5N1 variant.
The usual control measures are being applied, namely movement controls within the country, disinfection and dipping/spraying. Vaccination is prohibited and there is no treatment of infected birds. A policy of stamping-out will be followed.

New Kelly Turkeys plant beginning production

The new Kelly Turkeys processing plant at Great Baddow, Essex, U.K., is starting to processing turkeys five months after a fire destroyed the original plant.
Contractors worked throughout the first weekend of November in time for the inspection by the Food Standards Agency so that the plant could obtain an official license and start processing some 500 turkeys aimed at the Thanksgiving market.
The fire burned the original 20-year-old plant down to ground level and set a major challenge for the company to rebuild in time for the Christmas market.  And it came at a time when Kelly Turkeys was also planning to build a processing plant in the United States to help develop a market for their premium KellyBronze turkeys in Virginia.
“We wouldn’t have been able to rebuild the plant so quickly without the enormous help we’ve had from all our contractors,” said Derek Kelly, chairman of Kelly Turkeys.  “It was indeed very humbling to receive all the offers of help within hours of the fire, and everyone has worked enormously hard to get the project completed on time.
“It’s really lovely now to see the new plant.  We’ve built it on the original footprint, but have been able to make some improvements to the interior which will help the work flow and we have a larger overnight cooling room.”
His son, Paul Kelly, managing director of Kelly Turkeys, drew up a week-by-week work schedule to plan for the reconstruction to be completed on time ready for the start of the hectic Christmas work load.
Paul is currently in the U.S. supervising the processing of turkeys for Thanksgiving on November 26.  He has been pioneering a market for the KellyBronze in the state of Virginia, competing with frozen turkeys that dominate the U.S. market. This year he is planning to sell 2,500 turkeys reared on a 100-acre farm which the company has purchased in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Weaver Brothers acquires warehouse for egg operation

Ohio-based egg company Weaver Brothers is expanding, with the company acquiring a new warehouse in Russia, Ohio.
According to a report in the Dayton Daily News, the company acquired the 89,650-foot facility will allow the company to utilize more warehouse space to store its equipment and packaging supplies, as well as improve its biosecurity efforts.
Tim Weaver, president of Weaver Eggs, stated: “Our company is actively increasing our biosecurity systems and minimizing the risks as it relates to the avian influenza. Purchasing this facility went hand-in-hand with our efforts. This acquisition will also help in continuing our job preservation as well.”
Headquartered in Versailles, Ohio, Weaver Brothers, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is a third-generation family farm operation that offers cage-free and organic eggs. The company’s egg operation includes 7.5 million hens.
The company, along with another Ohio company, Cooper Farms, in December, 2014 created a joint venture company through a 50-50 purchase of the Perham Egg facility in Fort Recovery, Ohio. The Perham Egg facility had opened just several months earlier. The new company, known as CW Egg Products, produces liquid egg products.

Fire again strikes at Giroux’s Poultry Farm

For the second time in 2015, a fire has destroyed a barn at Giroux’s Poultry Farm’s egg operation near Chazy, New York.
Crews from multiple fire departments and the Clinton County Office of Emergency Services responded to a report of a barn fire around 6:25 p.m. on November 13, according to a report from The Plattsburgh Press Republican. The barn that caught fire was still under construction. It was being built to house chicks, but no birds were inside at the time of the fire. The exact cause of the poultry barn fire has not yet been determined, although it is believed to have been accidental.
Giroux’s Poultry Farm suffered another barn fire on March 19, when one of five barns at the farm was destroyed by a blaze. While no employees were inside the barn at the time, an estimated 50,000 hens were inside, as well as their eggs. That barn was also a new one, having been built in 2014 to accommodate the farm’s growing cage-free egg operation.
According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, Giroux’s Poultry Farm is a family-owned and family-operated egg producer with an estimated 1.5 million hens. The company specializes in table eggs.

First sources of sustainable soy for feed identified

There has been a positive response from soy value chain partners on a new benchmarking tool for soy sourcing, according to the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), with 8 programs passing review against its Soy Sourcing Guidelines.
The programs that fully comply with the Guidelines are AAPRESID-AC (a soy producer association in Argentina); traders and processors, ADM Responsible Soybean Standard, Cargill Triple-S and Cefetra CRS 3.1; FEFAC members AIC FEMAS (Responsible Sourcing Module) of the United Kingdom and the Belgian compound industry feed association (BEMEFA); and other organizations, ISCC EU & ISCC PLUS and RTRS.
FEFAC and its partner, International Trading Center (ITC) expressed their pleasure at the initial response of soy value chain partners who readily took up the invitation to submit their programs to the customized benchmarking system for responsible soy programs. More than a dozen program owners inquired about the benchmarking facility.
“We are very pleased with this result,” said Angela Booth, chairperson of the FEFAC Sustainability Committee. “Several of the above-mentioned program owners have put significant effort into aligning their schemes with the requirements of the benchmarking review. It is now possible for interested market partners to start sourcing in line with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing guidelines.”
To build on the transparency and robustness of the process, the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines, the online ITC benchmark tool including a guidance document about the benchmark process and the approved program can be found online.
In August of 2015, FEFAC published the first version of its Soy Sourcing Guidelines to inform European feed producers who wish to source “responsible soy” – in other words, that which has been produced more sustainably from the environmental, social and economic points of view.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Preventing cross-contamination in the hatchery

Due to its central position between breeder farms and poultry production houses for meat and eggs, optimized hatchery hygiene plays a crucial role in preventing the spread of pathogens in the poultry value chain. This article from Pas Reform focuses on the prevention of cross-contamination from relatively “dirty” rooms in the hatchery, such as the chick processing room, to what should be the cleanest room, the setter room.
Optimized hygiene in the hatchery is dependent on three key areas:
  1. Preventing pathogens from entering the hatchery, ie. maintaining bio-security;
  2. Avoiding cross-contamination or the transfer of pathogens within the hatchery;
  3. Inhibiting further pathogenic development in the hatchery ie. cleaning and disinfection.
To prevent cross-contamination, it is important to clearly demarcate the different hygienic zones in the hatchery: egg arrival area; setter room; candling/transfer room; hatcher room; chick handling and despatch room. In a well designed hatchery, the practical implementation of the “clean should never meet dirty” rule is easily achievable. For example, eggs being transferred to the hatcher do not cross the path of chicks just being pulled. After being washed and disinfected, hatcher baskets do not pass through the chick room or any area where processing takes place, on their way to the transfer room. It is important that hatchery staff, including the technician responsible for maintenance, do not walk from the chick processing room to the setter room on a hatch day. Differently-colored hatchery clothing and shoes, as well as tools like floor rubbers, greatly help to enforce hygiene-responsible behaviour by hatchery personnel.
Exploders, often caused by Pseudomonas spp, are an important source of cross-contamination between batches within the same setter. To reduce this risk, batches with an increased incidence of exploders should be transferred to the hatcher last.
Strictly applying the “one batch per hatcher” rule, enabled by limiting the capacity of the hatchers, greatly prevents the risk of cross-contamination, for example from older to younger batches. In a well designed hatchery the number of hatchers per hatcher room is based on the daily production of chicks. This prevents recontamination after cleaning and disinfection, thus minimizing the risk of contaminating tomorrow’s hatch.
Chick down, also a potential contaminant, is easily airborne. Its movement must therefore be controlled to prevent cross-contamination.The setter room, to be maintained as the cleanest room in the hatchery, should be kept overpressure in relation to the hatcher rooms.The accumulation of down in air ducts should be avoided, because this forms breeding grounds for molds like Aspergillus spp. Air leaving the hatcher—and ideally also the setter­­—should be brought directly into exhaust plenums that can easily be cleaned and disinfected. The use of air ducts should be restricted for clean, unused air only.
In the hatchery condensation on the cooling surface is normal and the majority of fluff will be caught by this moisture if the surface is large enough. The integration of cooling pipes inside the wall panels creates a large surface area that significantly minimizes the risk of cross contamination, while at the same time greatly reducing cleaning time and promoting excellent disinfection results.
  • Organize regular hygiene-awareness training for hatchery staff; people are often the weakest link in the “hygienic chain.”
  • Apply the rule “clean should never meet dirty” strictly for eggs, people, air and items such as trolleys and trays.
  • Maintain setter room in overpressure in relation to hatcher rooms to avoid the entrance of fluff.
  • Transfer batches with an increased risk of exploders to the hatcher last.
  • Plan daily chick production 

China's Xiantan Co. stays profitable in depressed market

Four of China’s top broiler companies have released their performance reports for the last three quarters. Shandong Xiantan Co. Ltd. managed to gain while the other three large broiler companies — Yisheng Livestock & Poultry Breeding, Shandong Minhe, and Sunner Development  — were mired in losses.
According to the performance review, total revenues of Xiantan in the first nine months of 2015 totaled USD 207.03 million. The net profits of Xiantan stood at US$2.25 million, down 67.41 percent year on year.
China’s economic downturn and the lingering influence of food safety incidents have been taking their toll on the consumption of chicken across the country. In the first half of 2015, with increasing supplies of broilers and decreasing demand in the domestic market, the prices of chicken products saw continuous decline since January, according to reports.
Thanks to the decreasing supplies of broilers and higher prices of pork on the market between July and August, the comprehensive price of chicken products showed modest recovery of growth above USD 1,493.40 per ton; the prices of broilers fluctuated around the level of US$1.26 per kilo. However, the comprehensive price gradually dropped to US$1,414.80 per ton as the supplies of broilers and the inventory of the slaughter houses both rose and the prices of broilers as a result dived below US$0.94 per kilo, the rock-bottom price since2006.
Founded in 2001 and listed in Shenzhen Stock Exchange in February 16, 2015, Shandong Xiantan Co., Ltd. has become an industry-leading integrated corporation with business covering feed processing, parent broiler breeding, chick hatching, commercial broiler farming and chicken slaughtering and processing.

Tippmann Innovation has built cutting-edge facility for Midwest Poultry Services

Tippmann Innovation (Ti) recently partnered with Midwest Poultry Services to design and build an innovative facility for egg cooling, dry storage and processing.
Midwest Poultry is a 130-year-old family-owned egg farming and processing company. After several years of rapid growth, the operation needed to expand to keep pace with demand. But they also wanted a facility that incorporated cutting-edge technology to meet the requirements of today’s egg market.
Ti worked with Midwest Poultry to create a series of customized solutions. With a rough sketch and a list of needs from Midwest Poultry, Ti engineers designed a detailed layout, sourced innovative technology, and began construction. When Midwest Poultry realized it would need 25% more capacity, the Ti team quickly modified plans and ordered materials to keep the timeline on track.
When finished, the project greatly increased Midwest Poultry’s efficiency and output. Waste heat from the coolers was captured and harnessed to reduce utility costs. The project design also boosted efficiency by making the multi-step egg processing operation smoother from start to finish.

Aviagen invites Astral to visit ‘birthplace of Ross’

Aviagen® recently invited members of Astral’s poultry executive team from South Africa to Scotland, the home of the Ross® brand. The visit was organized by Aviagen for the two businesses to discuss its latest research and development programs.
The time together also allowed members of each team to discuss opportunities for both Aviagen and Astral in the South African market.
Michael Garden, business manager, Aviagen Middle East & Africa, said: “It was our absolute pleasure to welcome one of the oldest Ross customers, Astral, to Scotland, the birthplace of Ross. During our 44 years of business, we have witnessed its commitment and dedication to the Ross brand. We want to thank Astral for its loyalty to the brand, which will celebrate 60 years in 2016. Astral works hard to promote and progress the Ross 308 and help it continue to strengthen its position as one of the most popular broilers in the region and for that we are very grateful.”
Great grandparent stock is supplied to South Africa from Aviagen in the UK with grandparents delivered to Astral and Ross Poultry Breeders (RPB) via Aviagen South Africa since 2008. Astral and RPB are long-standing GP customers since 1971.
Gary Arnold, director of Business Development, Astral said: “I would like to thank Aviagen and its key personnel for taking time out of their busy schedules to welcome us to Scotland and offer us informative presentations throughout our stay. I must say that we were very impressed with the professionalism of Aviagen and this just reaffirms our belief that we have chosen the right poultry breed and look forward to future commercial opportunities that will benefit both of our businesses.”
In between receiving presentations on initiatives such as heat treatment of feed and building world class production facilities, members of the Astral team were also given the opportunity to experience Scottish hospitality and the Scottish countryside that added some exciting down time to the trip.

Easier access to market information for Europe’s farmers

The European Union’s Commission is making available a series of new tools – to be known as the agricultural dashboards - to support farmers and other interested parties to make informed choices about their marketing decisions.
The EU agri-food sector is ready to meet the growing world demand,” said Commissioner Phil Hogan, on presenting the new tool to EU Agriculture Ministers in the Council on November 16. “Our challenge as policymakers is to give our farmers and agri-business the tools and freedom to be all they can be.”
Access to accurate information, transparency and prompt publication are key elements to take better advantage of the market possibilities and face volatility, and the dashboards offer full access to all available market data through a single page, according to the press release.
Dashboards can be accessed online for five different sectors: dairy, beef, cereals, pig meat and poultry. They are made and updated almost daily on the basis of the latest national, European and international data, for example, on EU prices, monthly slaughterings and significant weather events in one screenshot. Building on experience with the dairy market and the Milk Market Observatory’s dashboard, the Commission has now added similar tools for pig meat, poultry meat, beef, cerealsand sugar.
The new tools can be seen as part of a package of measures to support the EU farming sector during a period of challenging market conditions.

Indonesian poultry, meat demand increases forecast

Demand for food in Indonesia is expected to increase significantly towards 2050 as the result of significant income growth and urbanization. A newly published studyfor the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) entitled ‘What Indonesia Wants: Analysis of Indonesia’s Food Demand to 2050’ investigates projected demand for a range of different foods across urban and rural populations under a business-as-usual policy environment, without changes to underlying policies.
“Over the next few decades, sustained economic growth, population increases and continued urbanisation are expected to change Indonesia's demand for food. Not only will total food consumption increase but diets are expected to become more diverse,” write the report’s authors, Caroline Gunning-Trant, Yu Sheng, Patrick Hamshere, Trish Gleeson, and Brian Moir. “The value of agri-food consumption in Indonesia is projected to quadruple between 2009 and 2050. At the same time, the Indonesian agri-food sector faces challenges to increase its production and productivity growth.”
The most significant demand growth is projected for meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables among urban consumers. Assuming no significant change to agricultural productivity growth, food imports will be an important component of Indonesia's food and feed supply towards 2050.
For the period 2009 to 2050, among the biggest projected increases in the value of food group demand are poultry meat, beef and sheep and goat meat, all expected to rise by a factor of 14. Dairy products are not far behind – estimated to be up tenfold. For all these commodities, the starting point is low compared to other Asian countries but by the end of the period, the value of Indonesia’s poultry meat and beef demand is valued at well over US$30 billion and dairy at approaching US$10 billion.
To meet this growing demand - assuming there are no major policy changes in the meantime – the report highlights that food imports will become an ever more important component of Indonesia's food supply over the next 35 years. It forecasts that the real value of agri-food imports will rise more than 20 times from 2009, to US$152 billion in 2050. By that time, imports of beef are projected to reach US$26 billion (from US$0.5 billion in 2009), and imports of dairy products US$7 billion compared with US$0.4 billion in 2009.
According to the report, Indonesia's livestock feed is based on locally grown corn but the country relies on imports of many other feedstuffs including soybean meal, rapeseed meal, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal and feed additives.
Because of their geographic proximity, Australia and Indonesia are well placed to benefit from advancing bilateral agricultural trade, according to the ABARES report.

New poultry slaughterhouses for Jakarta

There are signs that Indonesia is taking seriously the growing demand for food and the need to raise food safety standards. Last week, reports Jakarta Post,the capital city’s administration announced plans to concentrate poultry slaughtering at just five new locations. City governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, said the new facilities will be equipped with modern technology in order to raise the hygiene standards of chicken meat distributed in the city.
Jakarta Fisheries, Agriculture and Food Security Agency head, Darjamuni Taseda, added that the new slaughterhouses will make it easier for his agency’s employees to control the quality of chicken meat sent to the city’s markets.

Brazil pig, poultry groups fight to keep exports rolling

An injunction by Brazil’s animal protein association to prevent interference with its members’ vehicles by strikers has been extended to cover additional vital routes for exports of meat, particularly to Russia before its ports are closed by the arrival of winter.
Injunctions it obtained against blockades on federal highways by striking truck drivers in February this year still apply, according to by the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), which represents the country’s chain of producers and exporters of poultry meat and pork. Both loaded and empty vehicles are covered by the ruling so there is no interruptions in supplies of meat to the country’s ports. In the last week, the injunctions have been extended to other important routes.
On average, Brazil exports approximately 15,000 tons of chicken worth US$24.8 million and 2,700 tons of pork with a value of US$5.5 million every day.
ABPA recently reported that Brazilian chicken meat exports in October were down by 11.2 percent from the same month last year at 329,500 tons. This was valued at 9.1 percent more than last year in the local currency (BRL2.022 billion) but 31 percent less in U.S. dollars at US$521.4 million. Bad weather and strikes were blamed for the falls.
“Demand is there and the business is firm,” commented ABPA chief executive Francisco Turra. “However,internal problems during the month impacted the sector.One example was the closure of the port at Itajaí, the main point of exit for Brazilian chicken meat exports, due to heavy rains. Other ports were also affected. At the same time, we bore the effects of the strike over the federal agricultural tax, which persisted during the first half of the month.”
Despite these issues, poultry meat shipments remained above the levels of last year(January to October), with an overall increase of 3 percent from the same period of 2014. Shipments over the period amounted to 3.515 million tons. This represented an increase in value in local currency of 24.4 per cent at BRL19.320 billion. In dollar terms, there was a decrease of 11.6 percent at US$5.960 billion.
“Analysis of the month of October by market performance does not indicate a slowdown in a particular market but rather a proportional fall, confirming that internal problems are the cause of the downturn,” said Ricardo Santin, ABPA vice-president for the poultry sector. “However, we are still on course to achieve the growth forecastsfor this year.”
“The month of November will be crucial for the industry to recover losses from the first strike of truck drivers, in addition to the stoppage of the work of agricultural federal tax, which took place between September and October,” added Turra. “This month, major importers such as Russia, raise its imports for stockpiling to face the winter, when the activity of ports is suspended due to cold and ice. The strike has negative effects on the industry and, at this point, we fear that they may be even worse than those suffered earlier this year. We hope, therefore, for quick action by the government.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kansas added to states reporting fumonisin in corn

One new U.S. state was added to the list of states reporting fumonisin in corn, according to Neogen’s Monday Mycotoxin report from November 16.
Meanwhile, the U.S. corn harvest is advancing, with 93 percent of the harvest completed. That is 15 points ahead of this time last year and 5 points ahead of the five-year average.
Mostly favorable weather across the country has helped harvest progress. In the past week, temperatures east of the Mississippi River averaged 6 degrees above normal, while temperatures in the west were slightly below normal. Precipitation was near normal, although heavy rains fell in the Mississippi Delta and parts of the Southeast.
Texas and Colorado are the only states that remain behind average harvest progress for this time.
The new confirmed report of fumonisin was in Kansas, at more than 9 parts per million (ppm). This is in addition to the previously reported list of:
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • California
States that have reported deoxynivalenol are:
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • South Dakota
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
No new states were added to the previously reported list of states with confirmed reports of aflatoxin. Those states that have reported aflatoxin are:
  • Georgia
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama

Smithfield Foods joins EPA's Nutrient Recycling Challenge

Smithfield Foods, Inc. has announced that the company is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and environmental and scientific experts in their Nutrient Recycling Challenge, a competition to develop affordable technologies that recycle nutrients from livestock manure. As an industry leader in sustainability, Smithfield has transformed anaerobically-digested manure into a second useful life as fertilizer and biogas for more than two decades. As a partner of this competition, Smithfield hopes to support efforts that build on its history of sustainability and identify even more effective and affordable solutions to recycling nutrients.
"At Smithfield, we recognize that focusing on innovation is the key to achieving excellence across all our sustainability pillars — animal care, environment, employees, food safety and quality, and helping communities," said Dennis Treacy, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. "This competition provides an opportunity to join with others in the pork and dairy industries to further advance technologies and practices that recycle nutrients."
The Nutrient Recycling Challenge invites entrants to develop or enhance technologies that extract nutrients from the manure managed by livestock producers. The goal is to identify ways of recovering valuable nutrients — such as nitrogen and phosphorus — to generate products that have environmental and economic benefits.
"With such a strong focus on effective manure management systems, Smithfield is a natural partner in the Nutrient Recycling Challenge," said Kraig Westerbeek, Vice President of Environmental Compliance & Support Operations of Smithfield's Hog Production Division. "Today, Smithfield has a ready supply of anaerobically-digested manure, ideal for powering renewable energy projects and producing valuable fertilizer. Our goal in partnering in this competition is to encourage innovation and identify additional opportunities for continuous improvement in management of livestock manure."
The Nutrient Recycling Challenge is a four-phase competition. Beginning with an idea, innovators transform their concept into designs and working technologies that will be used in pilot projects on livestock farms. In Phase I, Nov. 16 to Jan. 15, entrants will outline their ideas for nutrient recovery technologies. Phase I prizes will be announced in March and include up to $20,000 cash to be split among up to four semifinalists. Semifinalists will be invited to a two-day partner and investor summit in Washington, D.C. and entry into subsequent phases of the challenge with opportunities for larger awards. Final awards will be announced January 2017 with farm demonstration pilots to follow.
For more information about the challenge, visit

Who will sing the national anthem at the Foster Farms Bowl?

The young person who sings the national anthem at the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 26 is being determined by the company’s singing contest. Foster Farms invites Bay area and Central Valley youth to join “Oh say, can you sing?” contest. The competition is open to solo or group singers 18 years of age and under.
Singers are invited to enter the contest by posting a 30- to 45-second YouTube video of themselves singing the national anthem with the title “I Want to Sing at the Foster Farms Bowl.” Entry forms must be submitted via the contest website – Entries will be accepted until Nov. 30 at 11:59pm PST. Ten semifinalists will be invited to a live audition in front of a judging panel.

The 2015 Foster Farms Bowl will feature teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. The game will be televised live on ESPN with a 6:15 PST kickoff at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. With every Foster Farms Bowl ticket purchased, Foster Farms will help provide a meal to those in need through local hunger relief organizations. Tickets are available for purchase on

“We know that this will be a tough competition since there are so many talented kids out there,” said Ira Brill, director of communications at Foster Farms. “We are excited to give local singers the opportunity to shine on a major stage.”

ADM expands food-, feed-ingredient production in China

With the recent opening of two plants in China on two consecutive days, Archer Daniels Midland Co. has increased its capacity to serve growing regional demand for value-added food-ingredients and animal-nutrition products.
On Friday, ADM CEO Juan Luciano joined government officials and representatives from Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the northeastern coastal city of Tianjin, marking the opening of a plant to produce Fibersol soluble dietary fiber. And on Thursday, Luciano stood alongside officials from the eastern city of Nanjing to mark the opening of a feed-premix plant—ADM’s third in the country.
Fibersol—sold and marketed through an ADM/Matsutani joint venture—enables food and beverage manufacturers to increase the fiber content of their products without impacting flavor, color or viscosity. With the global market for soluble dietary fiber growing at an annual rate of 13 percent, the Tianjin plant’s production capacity of 15,000 metric tons per year will help address food industry customers’ increasing demand.
“As more and more Chinese citizens enter the middle class, we expect that demand for Fibersol and other value-added food ingredients made by ADM will remain robust well into the future,” Luciano said.
Meanwhile, the Nanjing facility will manufacture nutritional premixes that can be added to animal rations to promote good health and optimal growth. Such premixes typically contain various vitamins and minerals, amino acids such as lysine and threonine, and other ingredients. ADM will manufacture an estimated 30,000 metric tons of premix products per year at the Nanjing facility. The company also owns premix production facilities in Tianjin and in Dalian, and a fourth is under construction in Zhangzhou.
“As China continues transitioning from a manufacturing-driven economy to a consumption-based economy, its middle class will continue to expand, and meat consumption will continue to grow,” Luciano said, noting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that China’s production of pork, poultry and beef will increase by about 30 percent by 2024. “We therefore are confident that demand for the livestock feeds and feed ingredients we produce will continue to increase over the course of the next decade,” he added.
By expanding ADM’s geographic footprint in two value-added businesses, the Fibersol and feed premix facilities advance the strategic growth component of ADM’s framework for growing returns. That framework also includes efforts to optimize the company’s existing businesses and drive operational efficiencies at its production facilities.
ADM began operations in China in the mid-1990s, when the company acquired an animal feed premix plant in Dalian, in the country’s northeast. In recent years, ADM has grown to become one of the top exporters of agricultural products to Asia, and the company markets an extensive range of food ingredients and animal feeds and feed premixes through its network of sales offices located throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

GfK to sell animal, crop health division

Leading market research group GfK has agreed to sell its global animal and crop health division to a consortium consisting of Inflexion, a private equity investor, and the current management led by Stephen Hearn. Closing of the transaction is intended to take place in the first quarter of 2016.
The deal strengthens GfK’s focus on strategic business areas with synergy potential. At the same time, the deal supports the animal and crop health division’s plans to invest, innovate and grow.
The business, led by its Global Director Stephen Hearn, has grown rapidly since inception, delivering sales of around EUR30 million (pro-forma base) or $40 million in 2014.
Building on the foundations of an already successful business with a long history in agricultural and animal health market research globally, the new company will continue specializing in all aspects of market research in animal health, crop protection, farm machinery and equipment, seed/biotech and fertilizers. All of the approximately 220 employees across 18 major agricultural and animal health markets are planned to transfer to the new company.
Gerhard Hausruckinger, member of GfK’s management board, comments: “This move is a win-win for both GfK and our animal and crop health division. The transaction allows us to focus on areas where we see better strategic fits and better synergy opportunities with other parts of our company. Our agreement includes a partnership approach with the new owners that sets the business up for further success and continued customer benefits.”
In a partnership agreement that is part of the transaction, GfK have agreed to support the new company in the years ahead by allowing them to benefit from GfK’s innovative methodologies, processes and insights. In addition, to provide clients with a global reach, the new company and GfK will collaborate in geographies where the new company does not currently have a presence.
Stephen Hearn, GfK’s Global Director Animal and Crop Health and designated CEO of the new company, comments “We are on the brink of an exciting future with a new, agile organization. We will continue to invest in attracting top market research talent to deliver excellence to our clients through innovation, new product development, acquisitions and joint ventures. We plan to make a significant portion of the new company ‘employee-owned’ to foster this approach.”

FDA releases final foreign supplier rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its final rule for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Food for Humans and Animals. This rule is part of FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Most importers will be required to comply with FDA’s FSVP rule in May 2017 (18 months after publication).
FDA defines an FSVP as a program that verifies “that (importers’) foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as the preventive controls or produce safety regulations, as appropriate, and to ensure that the supplier’s food is not adulterated and is not misbranded with respect to allergen labeling.” The FSVP rule covers importers of food and beverages, which FDA defines as “the U.S. owner or consignee of a food offered for import into the United States.” If there is no U.S. owner or consignee, the exporter’s U.S. agent is the importer.
Importers must create an FSVP for each food imported from each foreign supplier. If they import the same food from two different suppliers, that will require two FSVPs. One element of an FSVP is a hazard analysis. Importers must determine potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards posed by each food they import.
Importers must also evaluate the performance of each of their foreign suppliers and use that evaluation to approve suppliers. This includes evaluating each supplier’s history of compliance with FDA food safety regulations, “including whether the foreign supplier is the subject of an FDA warning letter or import alert.” Importers should only import from approved foreign suppliers.
For approved foreign suppliers, importers must determine appropriate supplier verification activities, conduct those activities, and conduct corrective actions. Examples of verification activities may include annual on-site audits of a supplier’s facility, sampling and testing, and review of a supplier’s food safety records. Importers should choose verification activities that appropriately fit the risks of each supplier.
Importers may designate a third party to conduct a hazard analysis, a supplier risk evaluation, or to perform verification activities on their behalf. Registrar Corp’s food safety specialists can develop or review a food safety plan that identifies potential hazards associated with a food or supplier and a plan to control those hazards. Registrar Corp also offers an FDA Compliance Monitor, which food facilities may use to monitor their foreign suppliers for FDA inspections, warning letters, import alerts and import refusals. The monitor is updated consistently, allowing importers to take prompt corrective action.