Editorial

 

ABC News Trial

Jun 21, 2017

    

On March 7, 2012 ABC News a subsidiary of Walt Disney Company broadcast a program disparaging lean finely textured beef (LFTB) which was characterized as “pink slime”. 

The origin of the allegations was Gerald Zirstein, an ex-USDA employee who provided distorted information to ABC producer, Jim Avila who mischaracterized the product as “beef trimmings used for dog food spread with ammonia for safety.”*

It is a matter of record that LFTB is highly nutritious and a valuable component of ground beef, since it is low in fat content having been centrifuged.

  

The allegations made by ABC in their program resulted directly in widespread customer and consumer rejection of LFTB.  The plaintiff in the case, Beef Products Inc. was forced to close four plants within weeks of the program airing and laid off over 700 workers.  Sustainability also suffered since the product could no longer be commercially incorporated into ground beef.

ABC claim that none of the information presented was knowingly incorrect and that they were within their 1st Amendment rights in airing the “expose”. Although ABC claim that at no stage did their program imply that LFTB was unsafe, the impressions created by the program resulted in almost complete rejection of the product and termination of the operations of Beef Products.

The Company is claiming $1.9 million in direct damages and if the suit is successful could ultimately receive punitive damages of $6 million. 

The case will be closely followed by a Subway which has been exposed to a similar situation arising from sensational and incorrect reporting by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A popular program aired a segment claiming that chicken used in sandwiches contained an excessive quantity of vegetable-origin filler.  This contention was later disproved by independent laboratory investigations.

The Beef Products v ABC case has profound implications for the food industry since any mainstream media organization could, in the interest of ratings, distort fact and wreak havoc on either a producer or a segment of our industry.  The present case will probably not result in a definitive ending since irrespective of the outcome, lengthy appeals are anticipated.

It is hoped that in the end, reason will prevail and a judgment in favor of the Plaintiff will serve to motivate self-restraint and adherence to scientific fact and truth all to the benefit of producers and customers.

*See series of postings from March 27th 2017 onwards by entering “LFTB” in the SEARCH block.

Poultry Industry News

 

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

Jun 21, 2017

    

The June 14th 2017 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 176 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending June 10th, one percent more than the corresponding week in 2016 Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 183 million. Average hatchability was 83 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier.

Cumulative placements for the period January 7th through June 10th amounted to 4.15 billion chicks, two percent more than the corresponding period in 2016. The USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook issued on April 17th documented a one percent difference in chicks hatched and the number placed for broiler grow-out.

  

For the processing week ending June 16th 164.89 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.80 kg or 6.15 lbs. (2.77 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 1.8 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 350,352 metric tons, 2.8 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production in 2017 has attained 8,606,449 metric tons YTD, 0.8 percent more than YTD 2016.

  
 

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

Jun 21, 2017

    

Poult Production and Placement:

The June 15th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.8 million eggs in incubators on June 1st 2017 (29.0 million eggs on May 1st) down 4.3 percent from June 1st 2016. A total of 24.1 million poults were hatched in May 2017 (23.3 million in April) down two percent from April 2016.

  

A total of 22.9 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in May 2017, down two percent from May 2016. This suggests disposal of 9.1 percent of hen poults hatched during May or 4.6 percent of the total hatch.

For the period January through May 2017, 121.70 million poults were hatched and 113.57 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 8.33 million hen poults over five months representing 6.8 percent of the total hatch or 13.6 percent of hen poults hatched.

  
 

CME Prices

Jun 21, 2017

    

On Friday June 16th close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded, together with the bracketed value for the previous week.

   

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

July ’17   384  (389)    

Sept. ’17  342  (397)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July ’17   940  (943)    

Sept. ’17   946 (964)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

July ’17   301  (308)

Sept’17    305  (305) 

 

Changes in the price of soybeans and soybean meal this week were:-

  • Corn:                     July quotation down by 5 cents.                (-1.2 percent)
  • Soybeans:            July quotation down by 3 cents                 (-0.3 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:   July quotation down by $7/ton                  (-2.2 percent)                                  

 

For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn :-

  • The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen
  • The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

 

For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

  • The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen
  • The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

 

See posting on the May edition of CHICK-CITE (enter WASD in SEARCH block) summarizing the May 10th USDA-WASDE Report #565, for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced during the 2016-17 season.

 

NCC Statement on Possible Importation of Chicken from China

Jun 20, 2017

    

Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council issued a statement on Friday June 16th concerning the proposed importation of chicken from China:-

 NCC and our members support free and fair trade. In order to be effective, free trade must operate as a two-way street and any country that is able to meet the stringent food safety standards set by the USDA should be able to compete in the marketplace free of protectionism and artificial trade barriers.

  

The NCC does not believe that the decision to allow importation of chicken from China will have any material impact given the prediction of low volume. The NCC statement continued:-

 FSIS still must take a number of steps, the first of which will be the publishing of the proposed Rule in the Federal Register along with a comment period before it can make a final determination as to whether China is equivalent and thus eligible to export poultry to the United States that was slaughtered and cooked in Chinese establishments.

It is difficult to envisage how export of chicken from China to the U.S. could occur given the frequent reports of outbreaks of avian influenza with diverse strains which suggests an endemic status. This would disqualify chicken raised and slaughtered in other than a disease-free Region as defined by the OIE.

China has not imported chicken from the U.S. since the beginning of 2015 due to claimed concerns over avian influenza. China has never recognized the World Organization for Animal Health principle of Regionalization. Procedures in China to lift bans are circuitous and non-transparent. This effectively result in interminable delays, deliberately imposed in anticipation of a new cycle of bans should isolation of a low-pathogenicity strain in wild birds or limited outbreak in a non-commercial backyard farm be identified by surveillance. 

 

U.S. Approval for Merger of Dow with DuPont

Jun 20, 2017

    

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the merger between the Dow Chemical Company and DuPont Inc.

Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of Dow stated “With today’s DOJ clearance, we have taken a significant step forward in bringing together these two iconic enterprises.”

  

Ed Breen, Chair and CEO of DuPont commented “With this review completed we are on track to close our pro-competitive merger in a manner that maintains the strategic logic and value creation potential of the transaction.”

To comply with EU approval, DuPont will divest part of its crop protection portfolio and Dow will divest copolymers and ionomers businesses.

It is anticipated that the merged companies will generate cost synergies approaching $3 billion.

The U.S. Antitrust approval follows similar clearances in the EU, Brazil and China.

 

Senior USDA Appointments

Jun 20, 2017

    

Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue has announced the appointment of three career USDA administrators to the following positions:-

·         Jason Hafemeister will be the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. He has extensive experience as a negotiator on agriculture for the World Trade Organization (WTO) including the accession of  China.

  

Haefemeister  holds a baccalaureate degree from the University of California, a Master’s degree from the University of California at San Diego and a law degree from Georgetown University.

·         Dr. Robert Johansson will serve as the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation while remaining as the USDA Chief Economist. Dr. Johansson received a baccalaureate degree in Economics from Northwestern University and the Masters and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Minnesota. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer and extension agent in African countries from 1990 to 1995. He has conducted extensive research on biofuels policy, water quality, regulatory economics, food security and modeling of agricultural systems.

·         Dan Jiron will serve as Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment. He was previously Associate Chief of the Forest Service and is a 29-year veteran of public service. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and a Master’s Degree from Regis University of Denver.

The nominees for the three Undersecretary positions should not experience difficulties in their confirmation hearings by the U.S. Senate 

 

The U.K. Prevalence Rate for Campylobacter on Broiler Skin

Jun 20, 2017

    

A survey conducted by the U.K. Food Standards Agency determined that 48.8 percent of broilers purchased at retail yielded Campylobacter spp. This compares with 50 percent of broilers sampled from January through March 2016. Despite pre-harvest attempts to reduce levels of Campylobacter, contamination remains at a high level. Differences of 10 percent in successive annual sampling periods denotes inconsequential variation.

  

The epidemiology of Campylobacter infection does not parallel that of Salmonella. Flocks are either all positive or completely negative at the time of delivery to a plant.

Producers in the U.K. may reduce Campylobacter contamination on whole carcasses by following U.S. practice involving immersion chilling in the presence of 50 ppm chlorine. This modality is disallowed in the EU.

The chairman of the Industry Committee advising the FSA stated that “These results give us a clear picture of the positive direction in which we are heading and help us measure the impact of interventions that are being used to reduce contamination” appears unfounded by the data revealed in this survey.

 

 

Corn Production in Brazil Higher

Jun 20, 2017

    

USDA-FAS GAIN report BR1710 released June 5th forecasts corn production for the 2017/2018 season in Brazil. The latest projection which is lower than the USDA official forecast in March estimates total corn production for the two crops as 3,537 million bushels. Twenty eight percent will be exported. Yields are low at 80 bushels per acre compared to the U.S. at 170 bushels per acre.

  

Prices at the elevator in Mato Grosso state will range from $1.75/bushel to $2.41/bushel. Government support programs include:

·         Premium for the product outflow program. When price drops to $2.18/bushel the government pays the difference between the prevailing market price and the minimum price of the product to the buyer.

·         Equalization premium paid to the producer.  A premium is granted to farmers or cooperatives that sell corn product. Minimum price is again $2.18/bushel.

·         Contracts option. A futures option is offered through the Government of Brazil to producers and cooperatives to protect against falling prices. The Government will make available $95 million to purchase up to 1 million metric tons of corn with a minimum price for future sales of $2.36/bushel.

Planting for the 2017/2018 corn production cycle will begin in September which will yield one third of the total crop. A second “safrinha” crop is planted after the soybean harvest in late February or March 2018. Yield is strongly dependent on rains since the dry season starts in May.

(SMS 963-17 June 21st 2017)  Brazil flag and field of corn image

 

USAPEEC Officers Elected

Jun 20, 2017

    

Members of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council elected officers at the annual meeting held in Cancun, Mexico.

Mack Killebrew Vice President of International Sales at Tyson Foods was elected Chairman of the Board succeeding Steve Monroe, Manager of Exports Sales for Sanderson Farms. The remainder of the Executive Committee comprises:

  

·         Butch Johnson, Director of Globex International as First Vice-Chairman.

·         Ryan Downes, Sales Manager at Farbest Foods as Second Vice-Chairman

·         Joel Coleman, Vice President and General Manager of International Commodities Sales at Butterball was re-elected Secretary/Treasurer.

·         Mark Barrett, Vice President of Limax Foods, At-large member.

·         Chaz Wilson, COO of Grove Services, Member At-large.

·         Scott Chapman, Vice President of Industry Relations at Lineage Logistics, Associate Member At-large.

·         Gary Berg, District 13 Director at the Illinois Soybean Association, Commodity Member At-large.

The Board of USAPEEC will comprise 30 members and will set policy for the organization.

Challenges facing USAPEEC in the coming year include lobbying for NAFTA and bilateral free- trade agreements, given failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

The U.S. broiler industry exported 3.7 million metric tons of chicken products valued at $4.6 billion to more than 100 countries in the past year.

 

Restrictions on Trade with Cuba Considered Regressive

Jun 20, 2017

    

On Friday, June 16th, President Donald J. Trump announced that he will reverse the policies towards Cuba introduced by the previous Administration. A component of the new policy will involve a ban on U.S. companies doing business with Cuban military-owned enterprises. Given the economic structure of the island nation, this would disqualify over 70 percent of current foreign trade. Among other entities, the Mariel Container Terminal and the Mariel Special Economic Development Zone are owned by a company that falls within the scope of the ban. The status of agreements between U.S. ports and the Mariel Container Terminal has yet to be defined.

  

The proposed restrictions have been roundly condemned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warning that limiting trade will be disruptive to American interests. Effectively changes in credit terms and other restrictions will limit possibilities for positive change and simply allow other nations to supplant the U.S.

During the first five months of 2017, Cuba was the second largest export destination for U.S. broiler meat with 63,629 metric tons shipped at a value of $42.2 million. There is considerable potential to export turkey meat and also egg products to Cuba.

The move will in no way enhance national security and will be detrimental to trade on which jobs depend.  

 

NPD Group Reports on Restaurant Traffic and Spending

Jun 20, 2017

    

The NPD Group reported that consumer spending at restaurant increased by 1.3 percent and visits to restaurants and food service outlets were steady during the first quarter of 2017 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2016. 

The NPD Group CREST® Food Service Research Unit reported a one percent increase in morning meals and a two percent greater use of discount and deal offers.  Quick service restaurant visits grew by three percent attributed to “unit expansion” according to NPD.

  

Visits to casual dining restaurants fell by four percent and to the midscale/family dining category by three percent.  Dinner traffic declined by two percent but lunch traffic was flat during the first quarter, an improvement over successive declines over previous quarters.  The trend towards working at home and shopping online may be contributing to the lower traffic during the lunch period.

Warren Solochek president of NDP Group’s Foodservice Practice stated, “Although consumers’ attitudes and behaviors are shifting, the reasons that they choose foodservice remain the same — convenience, quality food, value, and the experience.”    

 

Food Safety Net Services Announces New Personnel and Executive Promotions

Jun 20, 2017

    

In a June 19th press release Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), announced six executive management promotions and the appointment of Joel Haag as Vice President of Purchasing and Distribution.

Lori Ernst, Jeff Carpenter and Randal Garrett have been promoted to Senior Vice Presidents. John W Bellinger, CEO, stated “Lori, Jeff and Randal are the leaders of FSNS and we are so fortunate to have each of them directing the future of our company,” Lori Ernst will manage FSNS Certification and Auditing. Jeff Carpenter will be responsible for Strategic Alliances. And Randal Garrett will manage Operations.

  

Additional promotions include Tim Santy advancing to Vice President of Operations, Scott Edwardsen will move to Vice President of IT, and Gennadiy Liberzon will become Vice President of Accounting and Finance. “These three individuals have a combined 24 years of service with FSNS,” said Bellinger. “Their contributions have been instrumental in the growth of the company, and their expertise in the food safety industry is invaluable.”

Joel Haag, an industry veteran with over 20 years purchasing experience will serve as Vice President of Purchasing and Distribution. Joel will enable the company to continue to manage costs and distribution strategies.

Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a national network of ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratories open 24/7, 365 days a year. FSNS provides expert technical resources that assist companies with implementing food safety and quality programs that deliver critical information needed to continually improve process controls. Additional services include GFSI, SQF and PAACO, approved auditing and certification capabilities. For more information, click the FSNS logo on the left side of the Welcome page.

 

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Jun 20, 2017

    

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday June 19th  recorded progress in corn and soybean planting and emergence similar to 2016 as expressed in the table below:-

  

                                                                            WEEK ENDING

Crop

June 11th

June 18th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted

         100

         100

          100

Corn Emerged

           94

           98

            98

Soybeans planted

           92

           96

            93

Soybeans emerged

           77                          

           89

            84

                   

Crop

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn Condition

     2         

   6

 25

  57

     10

Soybean Condition

     1

   5

 28

  59

       9

 

Parameter

v. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture:  Past Week

8

18

68

 6

                              Past Year

5

21

65

 9

Subsoil moisture:  Past Week

5

   17

72

 6

                              Past Year

4

18

70

 8

 
 

JBS Appoints Compliance Officer

Jun 20, 2017

    

In an attempt to restore confidence among financial regulators in Brazil, the Board of Directors of JBS has appointed Marcelo Proenca, a professor of law at the University of Sao Paulo as Global Compliance Head reporting directly to the Board

In a press release issued by JBS, he stated “My goal is to improve the compliance program by making it a model for the market with full internal and external controls which I am confident will ensure lasting success for Company which will evolve greatly in building trust through reputation with stakeholders and in particular with employees, market and society.”

  

Concurrently the company has commissioned White and Case, a legal firm to implement a compliance review and  to develop standards to the satisfaction of the Governing Committee of the Board.

In a separate but related announcement Joesley Batista has resigned from the Board of Pilgrim’s Pride. The cascade of press releases confirming withdrawal of Joseley and his brother from apparent positions of leadership are in all probability cosmetic. It is hard to believe that the Batista family would actually relinquish control of their vast enterprise. Even if not directly involved there will be a sentiment of “what would they decide” in any given strategic or operational situation.

 

Status of Non-Human Primates

Jun 20, 2017

    

EGG-CITE has previously reported* on attempts by the Non-Human Rights Project to seek legal status for primates held under suboptimal conditions. At issue is the status of two chimpanzees kept in confinement in New York State. The organization has attempted successively to establish a legal status for non-human primates and to have court-appointed curators.

  

While EGG-CITE deprecates confinement of non-human primates, by other than reputable and accredited zoos using natural enclosures, the litigation initiated by the Non-Human Rights Project represents a danger to livestock agriculture. If chimpanzees acquire status, as legal persons to be treated as a human with a disability, there is nothing to stop extension of the principle to other species. We would not wish to wake up one morning and find that Wayne Pacelle has been appointed as a curator for a cow, a horse or even a million hens.

Legislators would be well advised to review the impasse between the courts and the activists and resolve the issue by making a distinction between Homo sapiens and other species characterized by their DNA. Regrettably given partisanship in Congress and an immense task in restructuring healthcare, taxation and infrastructure, the rights of chimpanzees and farmers will have to wait. In the meantime, zealots with legal degrees and time on their hands will chip away, misusing the court system to generate publicity in an attempt to achieve their objectives.

*see postings December 19 2013; October 15 2014 and April 29 2015-retrievable by entering “chimpanzees” in the SEARCH block

 

FSNS Deploys Next-Generation Sequencing

Jun 20, 2017

    

In extending the range of assays and services provided to clients, FSNS can now conduct whole genome sequencing using advanced technology. According to an article in a Company newsletter by Dr. Aaron Pleitner, Research Scientists at FSNS, the technology is superior to pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) since it can positively correlate a pathogen isolated from a patient with a specific food or source in the chain of production.

  

Genetic fingerprinting applying next-generation sequencing can differentiate between persistent and transient isolates of a contaminant such as Listeria monocytogenes in a plant producing cold-cuts. The technique can be incorporated into routine surveillance programs to confirm the efficacy of decontamination. Whole genome sequencing can be used to differentiate species among meats and to identify the presence of fillers or potential allergens in further-processed products.

FSNS can deploy a range of technology incorporating new generation sequencing to ensure quality of products and to assist in compliance studies or for litigation. Additional information is available by accessing the FSNS website by clicking on to the Company logo on the left side of the Welcome Page.

 

Amazon Acquires Whole Foods Market

Jun 20, 2017

    

Amazon and Whole Foods Markets (WFM) have announced a proposed merger under which Amazon will acquire the shares of WFM at $42 in a cash transaction. The deal is valued at $14 billion including debt of $1 Billion. After the Friday, June 16th announcement market capitalization rose to $13.7 billion. Shares of WFM have traded in a 52-week range of $27.67 to $43.64. Share price languished in the high $20s and low $30s for an extended period through to March 2017.

At this time Jana Partners announced a substantial stake in equity and demanded replacement of Board members shares driving an advance to the mid $34s. Prior to the announcement WFM closed on June 15th at $33.05 but opened on Friday 16th at $43.88.

  

The acquisition is subject to approval by shareholders of Whole Foods Market. It is not expected that there will be any objection from regulatory agencies. Putting a brave face on an inevitable takeover, John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market said “this ‘partnership’ presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market shareholders while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest-quality experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.” Mackey will remain as CEO for Whole Foods Market although it is difficult to see how his philosophy, business accumen and ego will coalesce with Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

In past months Amazon has initiated a program of establishing brick-and-mortar stores and this acquisition provides an instant entry into the retail high-end market with 400 stores located in areas serving an affluent demographic.

Whole Foods Market has generated a 12-month trailing return on equity of 12.1 percent and 7.7 percent on assets. Operating margin was 5.0 percent but has declined over recent years impacting profit margin which attained 2.5 percent over the past four quarters.

The resources of Amazon in sourcing, IT and marketing will obviously provide synergy and rescue Whole Foods Market from an on-going decline in same-store sales.

See results for the WFM, first quarter of fiscal 2017 posted on February 17th 2017. News and commentary on Whole Foods Market can be accessed by entering “Whole Foods” in the SEARCH block. 

 

NCC Statement on Possible Importation of Chicken from China

Jun 20, 2017

    

Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council issued a statement on Friday June 16th concerning the proposed importation of chicken from China:-

 NCC and our members support free and fair trade. In order to be effective, free trade must operate as a two-way street and any country that is able to meet the stringent food safety standards set by the USDA should be able to compete in the marketplace free of protectionism and artificial trade barriers.

  

The NCC does not believe that the decision to allow importation of chicken from China will have any material impact given the prediction of low volume. The NCC statement continued:-

 FSIS still must take a number of steps, the first of which will be the publishing of the proposed Rule in the Federal Register along with a comment period before it can make a final determination as to whether China is equivalent and thus eligible to export poultry to the United States that was slaughtered and cooked in Chinese establishments.

It is difficult to envisage how export of chicken from China to the U.S. could occur given the frequent reports of outbreaks of avian influenza with diverse strains which suggests an endemic status. This would disqualify chicken raised and slaughtered in other than a disease-free Region as defined by the OIE.

China has not imported chicken from the U.S. since the beginning of 2015 due to claimed concerns over avian influenza. China has never recognized the World Organization for Animal Health principle of Regionalization. Procedures in China to lift bans are circuitous and non-transparent. This effectively result in interminable delays, deliberately imposed in anticipation of a new cycle of bans should isolation of a low-pathogenicity strain in wild birds or limited outbreak in a non-commercial backyard farm be identified by surveillance. 

 

Aviagen® Opens New Diagnostic Laboratory for Pedigree Breeding Program in Crossville, TN.

Jun 20, 2017

    

Aviagen® dedicated a new diagnostic laboratory in Crossville, TN. on June 19th replacing an existing smaller unit in operation since 1994. The facility encompasses 13,680 square feet dedicated to highly specialized capabilities including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), PCR molecular diagnostics and virus isolation. Additional laboratory procedures will include bacteriology, serology, genomics and pathology.

  

The laboratory will serve the diagnostic needs of the Aviagen pedigree program and will be the second in the U.S. to service internal breeding operations. The laboratory will initially be staffed by 28 highly skilled personnel, including veterinarians, microbiologists and technicians.

The Crossville facility will complement seven existing Aviagen laboratories, strategically positioned throughout the continents where the company has a presence.

The Crossville laboratory meets all United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) standards, as well as the certification standards for International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001:2008. Certidication by the NPIP is needed to conduct official health testing to ensure breeding stock and hatching eggs can be sold within the U.S. and exported to other countries.

“The Crossville Laboratory features modern equipment, leading technology and the industry’s most advanced expertise,” said Keith McCay, Director of Pedigree and Great Grandparent Operations. He added “through its advanced capabilities, it provides the level of diagnostic services needed to continually monitor and protect our flocks against harmful pathogens.”

Dr. Eric Jensen, Vice-president of Veterinary Services for Aviagen North America stated “Aviagen remains dedicated to the health, welfare and safety of our quality breeding stock. As we broaden the reach of our business both domestically and globally, this new laboratory will help us continue to effectively safeguard our elite pedigree breeding stock,”

From left: Crossville Mayor James Mayberry; Bennett Harper, Aviagen Crossville general manager,
Pedigree Division; Craig Morton, Aviagen global director, R&D; Carolyn Miller, Aviagen Crossville veterinarian;
Eric Jensen, Aviagen vice president, Veterinary Services; Keith McCay, Aviagen director,
Pedigree/Great Grandparent Operations; Greg Wood, Crossville city manager;
Tom Womack, deputy commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture

 

USDA-ERS Poultry Production for 2017 and 2018.

Jun 19, 2017

    

The USDA-Economic Research Service released data for broilers and turkeys for 2016 (actual), 2017 (updated) and 2018 (forecast) respectively on June 15th

 

Metric values are tabulated below:

Parameter

    2016 (actual)     

      2017
   (update)

    2018      Difference
 (forecast)     (%)

Broilers

 

 

 

Production (m. metric tons)

18.497 

18.844

       19.216     +2.0

Consumption (kg per capita)

40.8

40.9

           41.5     +1.5

Exports (m. metric tons)

3.021*

3.170

         3.195     +0.8

Proportion of production (%)

16.3

16.9

           16.5     +0.8

 

 

 

 

Turkeys

 

 

 

Production (m. metric tons)

2.718

2.769

         2.843     +2.6

Consumption (kg per capita)

7.6

7.7

             7.8     +1.3

Exports (m. metric tons)

0.265*

0.274

          0.295    +7.6

Proportion of production (%)

9.8

9.8

            10.3    +5.1

*Depressed by import embargos due to HPAI

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook –June 15th 2017

 

KROGER Reports on Q1 of FY 2017

Jun 19, 2017

    

In a press release dated June 15th Kroger Corporation (KR) announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending May 20th 2017.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

  

  
 

U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-April 2017.

Jun 19, 2017

    

Continued Improvements in Volume and Value Compared to 2016.

Data for the first four months of 2017 indicate an improvement in export volume after lifting of embargos following the 2015 Midwest HPAI outbreak and the subsequent limited January 2016, Indiana, May 2016, Missouri “pop-up” cases and more recent controlled events in Kentucky and Tennessee.  Broiler meat exports in January through April 2017 attained 1,010,387 metric tons, 5.3 percent higher than  the first four months of 2016 (958,793 metric tons)

  

During January-April 2017 the National Chicken Council, citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 1,089,861 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $1,073 million with an average unit value of $985 per metric ton, 6.8 percent more than in January-April 2016 ($922).

The breakdown of chicken exports by proportion and unit price for each broiler category for January-April 2017 compared with the corresponding months in 2016 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-

  • Chicken parts                          95.2%;  Unit value $907 per metric ton   ($885)
  • Prepared chicken                      2.8%;  Unit value $3,578 per metric ton ($3,511)
  • Whole chicken                          2.0%;  Unit value $990 per metric ton    ($1,243) 
  

Shane Commentary

 

AI Strain H7N9 Has Pandemic Potential

Jun 21, 2017

    

A recent study has concluded that if three point mutations occurred simultaneously in the avian influenza strain H7N9 now circulating in China and responsible for morality among consumers, the strain could emerge as the next pandemic. Studies conducted at the Scripps Research Institute demonstrated that changes in the H7 hemagglutinin could create an affinity for human cells. Although individual point mutations can occur, the probability of three simultaneous changes in the genome are unlikely.

  

To date, the infection has resulted in 779 cases in China over two years with a fatality rate of approximately 40 percent. The H7N9 virus does not however spread from person to person. Infections are acquired by close contact with infected poultry, mainly through the wet market system.

Scientists involved in influenza epidemiology have recommended continued surveillance. A recent mutation resulted in the H7N9 virus demonstrating pathogenicity for chickens. Since the problem is essentially confined to China and their wet markets system, the Nation has an obligation to humanity to control and hopefully eradicate infection. There is an indication that an inactivated homologous vaccine will soon be deployed.

 In the first instance, authorities in China owe their own population a reasonable degree of protection which can only be obtained by displacing the wet market system of distribution which is an anachronism in the context of the 21st Century.

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Dr. Simon M. Shane
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