Egg Industry News


ERRATUM

02/15/2020

In the editorial on coryza posted in the February 7th edition of EGG-NEWS the dose of CTC was incorrectly stated as 700g per ton. The dose administered was 400 g per ton.


 

2020 EGG INDUSTRY ISSUES FORUM

02/13/2020

Tuesday April 14, 2020:

1:00 Opening remarks

1:15 DON BELL MEMORIAL LECTURE:

 

A Global Egg Outlook: The future of Specialty Eggs - Dr. Peter Van Horne, Wageningen University

 

Session I - General Session

2:00 It’s more than their mind and their back – Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms

 

2:30 BREAK

 

3:00  Capital & financial perspectives panel

Session II - Ventilation Workshop**

2:00 - 4:00 Classroom session on ventilation mgmt. Dr. Brett Ramirez, Iowa State University


3:00 BREAK

 

4:00 Hands-on ventilation trailer rotations begin

4:00 From the eye of a needle to the eye of a hurricane: Connecting the threads of animal agriculture Joe Kerns, Kerns & Associates


4:50 Cage-Free ventilation modeling for bird comfort and reducing disease spread Dr. Eileen Fabian, Pennsylvania State University


5:30 ADJOURN & RECEPTION

6:00 Reception

 

Wednesday April 15, 2020:

6 - 8 EGGS-CEPTIONAL BREAKFAST

 

8:00 Strategies for communicating across the generations in the workplace  Dr. Robynn Pease, Oregon State University

 

8:35 Microbial-based strategies for chickens to protect against multiple bacteria: Our approaches  Dr. Melha Mellata, Iowa State University

 

9:10 Heading off food safety issues - Kim Rice, Rose Acre Farms

 

9:45 The challenge of too many options: egg safety and hen housing - Dr. Deana Jones, USDA-ARS

 

10:20 BREAK

 

10:50 Infectious coryza in Pennsylvania - Dr. Sherrill Davison, University of Pennsylvania

 

11:30 Purchasing trends of specialty eggs by U.S. consumers - Maro Ibarburu, Egg Industry Center

 

12:00 LUNCH

 

Photo credit: Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

**Registration and hotel information is available at www.eggindustrycenter.org Early bird registration and hotel room block expire March 24, 2020.

**Forum participants can opt to participate in this event free of charge. Personnel coming for only this workshop will be charged $35 each.

 


 

Free-Range Poultry Flocks in Holland to be Confined

02/12/2020

The Ministry of Agriculture of Holland has ordered commercial producers to confine flocks indoors following the emergence of avian influenza diagnosed in small farm in Baden-Wurttemberg region in Germany near the common border  of the two E.U. nations.

 

Precautions required by authorities follow the regulations introduced in 2018 when extensive dissemination of avian influenza virus occurred from migratory waterfowl. Free range systems are widely used for ducks and geese and to a large extent for egg production in Holland.

 

Restrictions on outside access were imposed in the UK in 2018 and 2019 following the emergence of avian influenza, introduced and spread by migratory  waterfowl. 

 


 

Shell Egg Academy

02/12/2020

Dr. Darrin Karcher has circulated a reminder concerning the 2020 Shell Egg Academy to be presented April 20th to 23rd  in Lafayette, Indiana.

Dr. Karcher is an Assistant Professor of Animal Science at Purdue University. HeeHeHH has arranged an instructive program of value to participants in the egg production industry. The first course will involve live-hen production, held on Monday, April 20th and Tuesday, April 21st. The second course on egg processing and food safety will take place on April 21st and 23rd. The respective fees for the courses are $500 and $750. Examinations will be held at the end of each course and students will receive a competency certificate.

 

The Shell Egg Academy is sponsored by Moba Americas and Sanovo Technology. For additional information on the program, contact Dr. Karcher at <dkarcher@purdue.edu>. Details relating to registration and hotel reservations are available at <info@empoweredeventsllc.com>.


Dr. Darrel Karcher Purdue University

 

AccuPrinter to the Rescue

02/12/2020

Recently a large egg producer received an order for 15 containers of tray-packed eggs for a Middle East nation. To conform to the import requirements it was necessary to imprint each egg with a plant code and dates of packing and expiry.

 

Diversified Agriculture, agents for the AccuPrinter responded to an urgent request to help with the printing specification. Within two days they delivered six AccuPrinters to the plant to process the order    The flexibility of the AccuPrinter allowed the packer to imprint eggs and complete the order generating the prospect of future sales.

 

The AccuPrinter allows packers to imprint eggs with any combination of a logo or up to three lines of text, achieving a highly legible appearance on the large-end of an egg, superior to any other jet printer. The design of the imprint is selected using a hand-held pad within minutes and is transmitted to the AccuPrinter using Bluetooth® connectivity. The AccuPrinter is compatible with Diamond, Moba and Staalkat installations and operates efficiently up to maximum packing rate.

 

Details for the AccuPrinter can be downloaded using this link:

PDF Presentation


 

Egg Week

02/12/2020

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, February 13th 2020.

  • Hen numbers in production up 0.7 million to 336.8 million .
  • Shell inventory up by 2.4 percent after a 1.6 percent decrease last week reflecting softening demand and increased production.
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large up 1.9 percent to an average of 107.5 and 105.5 cents per dozen. Mediums down 1.3 percent to 72.5 cents per dozen. The market increased last week but should stabilize or fall until the Easter surge unless demand falls off with a rise in inventory.
  • Price of breaking stock was unchanged at 25.0 cents per dozen on average. Checks were unchanged at 13.0 cents per dozen lagging shell-egg prices. Both categories are still substantially below the USDA January 2020 benchmark nest-run production cost. Of 60.8ncents per dozen.

OVERVIEW

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on February 10th 2020 the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large as delivered to DCs were up 1.9 percent to averages of 105.5 and 103.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were down 1.3 percent to 72.5 cents per dozen reflecting an imbalance in sizes influenced by young flocks. Prices should be compared with the USDA benchmark average 5-Region blended nest-run cost of 60.8 cents per dozen in January 2020, (excluding provisions for packing and transport). The progression of prices during 2018-2020 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The February 10th 2020 USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 67: No. 06) documented a USDA Combined Region value rounded to the nearest cent, of $1.13 per dozen delivered to warehouses for the week ending February 3rd. This average price lags current Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $1.04 per dozen. At the high end of the range, price in the South Central Region attained $1.19 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was 18 cents per dozen below the three-year average of $1.32 per dozen and also 18 cents per dozen below the price during the corresponding week in 2019.


 


Egg Monthly

02/11/2020

Review of January 2020 Egg Production Costs and Statistics.

  • January 2020 USDA ex-farm blended nest-run benchmark price was 52.9 cents per dozen, 34.7 percent lower than in December 2019 at 81.0 cents per dozen. Falling prices during January are consistent with seasonal purchase trends but the reality in 2020 was accentuated by oversupply.
  • January 2020 USDA average nest-run production cost was 0.9 cent per dozen higher than in December 2019 at 60.8 cents per dozen.
  • January 2020 USDA benchmark nest-run margin attained a negative value of 7.9 cents per dozen compared to a positive margin of 21.1 cents per dozen in December 2019.
  • December national flock ( over 30,000 hens/farm) was up 1.4 million hens or 0.4 percent to 325.1 million.
  • December pullet chick hatch was down 2.5 percent from November to 23.4 million.
  • December exports of shell eggs and products were down 3.0 percent from November to 772,000 case equivalents representing the theoretical production of 10.4 million hens.

 

INTRODUCTION.

Summary tables for the latest USDA January 2020 prices and flock statistics made available by the EIC on February 11th 2020 are arranged, summarized, tabulated and reviewed in comparison with values from the previous January 14th 2019 posting reflecting January 2020 cost and production data.


 


Restaurant Brands International Reports on Q4 and FY 2019

02/11/2020

In a press release dated February 10th Restaurant Brands International (QSR) announced results for the 4th Quarter and FY 2019 ending December 31st 2019.

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 US$ x 1,000 except EPS)

4th Quarter Ending

Dec. 31st 2019

Dec. 31st 2019

Difference (%)

Sales: 1

$1,479,000

$1,385,000

+6.8

Gross profit, Company stores:

$148,000

$142,000

+4.2

Operating income:

$511,000

$516,000

-1.0

Pre-tax Income

Net Income

$366,000

$257,000

$386,000

$301,000

-5.2

-14.6

Diluted earnings per share:

$0.54

$0.64

-15.6

Gross Margin, Company stores: (%)

23.6

23.2

+1.7

Operating Margin (%)

34.5

37.3

-7.5

Profit Margin (%)

17.3

21.7

-20.3

Long-term Debt:

$12,848,000

$11,823,000

+8.7

12 Months Trailing:

     

Return on Assets (%)

5.9

   

Return on Equity (%)

28.2

   

Operating Margin (%)

35.6

   

Profit Margin (%)

11.5

   

Total Assets 2

$22,360,000

$20,141,000

+11.0

Market Capitalization

$19,810,000

   
  1. Revenue was obtained in the proportion of 42.4 percent from Company stores in 2019; 44.2 percent 2018.

2. In 2019 Goodwill and intangibles represented 72.5 percent of total assets; 79.2 percent in 2018.

For FY 2019 QSR posted $468 million net earnings on sales of $5.60 billion. This compares with FY 2018 net earnings of $532 million on sales of $5.36 billion

Consolidated system-wide sales growth in FY 2019 attained 9.9 percent (U.S. 5.2 percent)

QSR either operates of franchises 4,937 Tim Horton's, 18,385 Burger King and 3,316 stores.

The Q4 performance of operating segments was:-

Tim Horton's posted an EBITDA of $297 million on sales of $872 million.

Burger King posted an EBITDA of $266 million on sales of $462 million.

Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen posted an EBITDA of $59 million on sales of $145 million.

52-Week Range in Share Price: $60.58 to $79.46. 50-day moving average $63.47

Market Close Monday 9th pre-release $65.62 Close Tuesday post-release $65.62

Forward P/E 22.3 PEG Ratio 1.13


In commenting on results Jose Cil, CEO of QSR commented, "We have three iconic restaurant brands that are together growing rapidly around the world. Last year, we shared a long-term aspiration to build the most-loved restaurant brands in the world and have more than 40,000 restaurants open within 8-10 years. I'm proud that our 2019 results have us solidly on track."

 

"Burger King delivered its strongest year of restaurant growth in the last two decades. Popeyes launched an iconic Chicken Sandwich that has proven to be a game changer for the brand in every way. At Tim Horton's, our performance did not reflect the incredible power of our brand and it is clear that we have a large opportunity to refocus on our founding values and what has made us famous with our guests over the years, which will be the basis for our plan in 2020."


 

Evaluating Contribution of Michael Foods to Post Holdings

02/11/2020

On February 6th Post Holdings (POST) released results for Q1 FY 2020, ending December 31st 2019. For the period Post Holdings earned $99 million on revenue of $1,457 million. Comparable figures for Q1 FY 2019 were earnings of $126 million on revenue of $1,411 million.

 

The company operates Michael Foods with financial data incorporated into the Refrigerated Retail segment that includes cheese and sausage along with Bob Evans side dishes and other related foods. This segment generated revenue of $249 in the quarter representing 17.2 percent of Company sales. The segment attained a profit of $26 million or 11.5 percent of the combined operating segments.

 

The quarterly report includes the following comments relating to the Refrigerated Retail segment:-

 

For the first quarter, net sales were $249.9 million, a decrease of 4.5%, or $11.7 million, compared to the prior year period, with volumes declining 7.0%. Side dish volumes declined 5.2%, driven by lower breakfast sides volume, partially offset by higher Bob Evans branded sides which grew 5.4%. Egg product sales decreased 19.3% due to losses in branded egg product volume and lower average net selling prices resulting from lower market-based egg prices. Volume information for additional products is disclosed in a table presented later in this release. Segment profit was $26.0 million, a decrease of 14.8%, or $4.5 million, compared to the prior year period due to lower volume, higher raw material costs (particularly in cheese), higher third party consulting costs and increased integration costs. Segment Adjusted EBITDA was $43.8 million, a decrease of 8.8%, or $4.2 million, compared to the prior year period .


 

Arizona to Transition to Cage Free Status

02/10/2020

Rep. Timothy Dunn has introduced House Bill 2724 into the Arizona Legislature. If enacted, the bill would eliminate conventional cages requiring alternatives, including barns and aviary systems.

 

The bill states: “From and after December 31, 2020, a farm owner or operator in Arizona may not knowingly confine an egg-laying hen in an enclosure with less than one square foot of usable floor space; From and after December 31, 2024, a farm owner or operator in Arizona may not knowingly confine an egg-laying hen in an enclosure that is not a cage-free housing system with less than one square foot of usable floor space per hen in multi-tiered aviaries, partially slatted cage-free housing systems; From and after December 31, 2020, regardless of where produced, a business owner or operator, may not knowingly engage in the sale of, or transport for sale, in Arizona either shell eggs that are confined in a manner that conflicts with the standards required in Arizona and egg products”.


Arizona Legislature Building


 

SE Outbreak in France

02/10/2020

Public health authorities in France are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis.  The vehicle is believed to be organic eggs imported from Italy.  At the present time, there are no details on the number of cases or the consequences or severity of infections.

 

It is presumed that following an E.U. Rapid Alert, the implicated eggs were traced back to the producer, Olivero Claudio, presumably by the country and farm code imprinted on all E.U eggs. The source farm is located in Savigliano in the Cuneo area of Italy. 

 

In addition to supplying organic shell eggs, the company manufactures pasteurized egg products and a zabaglione confection.  The Ministry of Health in Italy has ordered a recall of eggs produced by the company effective January 22nd including four, six and loose-packed eggs from the Monasterolo di Savigliano plant.


 

Position Opportunity, Poultry Management Systems

02/09/2020

Poultry Management Systems Inc, located in Lowell, MI. has an open position for a Field Service and Technical Sales Engineer for the states west of the Rockies in both the U.S. and Canada.

 

The appointee will be responsible for implementation, installation, application, and services for electrical PLC and computer control systems in the field.

 

Candidates will be located west of the Rockies and the position requires travel to all states in the region.

 

Qualified candidates should submit resumes to <hr@pmsi.cc>.


 

Water Bath Heating Used to Decontaminate Shells in Australia

02/09/2020

In previous months Australia has recorded cases of egg-borne infection with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and Salmonella Typhimurium (ST). The former pathogen, a Group-D serotype, is transmitted vertically to eggs by the trans-ovarial and trans-oviductal routes while non-Group D serotypes are associated with contamination of the shell during oviposition.

 

Research conducted in Australia demonstrated that low temperature water-bath immersion for ten minutes at 135F removes surface contamination. Although this is an effective procedure as confirmed by laboratory-scale studies, commercial application will be relatively expensive.  The approach is similar to the patented U.S. Davidson immersion process for pasteurizing eggs contaminated with internal SE.

 

Experience has shown that water-bath immersion is relatively expensive with respect to capital cost and the complexity of temperature control and recording systems. Batch processing is generally labor intensive and is associated with limitations on throughput.

 

In the U.S. shell eggs are subjected to a continuous washing process with an initial passage through a washer circulating a detergent sanitizer solution containing 100 to 150 ppm chlorine at a pH of 10 to 12 units. Commercial washers are operated over a range of 115F to 125F followed by a rinse at 130F to 140F, maintaining a 15F higher temperature in rinse water compared to the wash solution. Commercial packing in U.S. in-line plants approximates 400 to 600 cases of 30-dozen eggs per hour. The incorporation of washing in U.S. plants together with electronic crack detection to reject eggs with defective shells has eliminated egg-borne ST infection from product derived from plants operating under USDA inspection and SQF compliance.

 

The research and methodology for the immersion process was developed in response for a need to decontaminate shell eggs to be used in recipes calling for raw eggs.  The low-temperature process although removing ST will not inactivate SE within an egg and consumers in Australia will still be at risk. This especially the case in that Nation since a growing proportion of “chooks” producing table eggs are held on range.

 

If producers in Australia wish to market eggs with safety, in-shell pasteurization using a microwave system is recommended. For commercial food preparation and for recipes calling for liquid egg or albumen, pasteurized product should be used. 


 

Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award at IPPE

02/09/2020

Sara Cloft was the recipient of the 2020 Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award presented during the IPPE.  Her paper published in June 2019 was entitled Effects of Dietary Amino Acid Density and Feed Allocation During the Starter Period on 41 Day of Age Growth Performance and Processing Characteristics of Broiler Chickens.

 

Ms. Cloft earned her baccalaureate degree at Michigan State University and is pursuing post -graduate studies at Auburn University under the mentorship of Dr. William Dozier III.  In commenting on the award, Dr. Kayla Price, Poultry Technical Manager for Alltech Canada stated, “innovation is the core of our business therefore Alltech is proud to support students and the advancements they are making in the poultry industry”.


 

Shipping Rates Fall Due to Coronavirus

02/09/2020

The Baltic Dry index fell on Monday February 3rd to its lowest level in four years due in part to disruption in trade with China. 

 

Coronavirus caused the Central government to extend the Lunar New Year holiday and ports in China, if operating, are functioning at low capacity.  The sharp fall in demand for shipping especially for commodities is attributed to disturbances in the transport system denoting the interconnectivity of trade among nations. 


 

Export of Shell Eggs and Products 2019.

02/08/2020

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing 2019 with the corresponding period in 2018:-

PRODUCT

2018

2019

Difference

Shell Eggs

     

Volume (m. dozen)

122.1

145.8

+23.7 (+19.4%)

Value ($ million)

132.4

118.0

-14.4 (-10.9%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

1.08

0.81

-0.27 (-25.0%)

Egg Products

 

 

 

Volume (metric tons)

31,837

32,937

-1,100 (-3.5%)

Value ($ million)

101.6

100.2

-9.4 (-8.5%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

3,474

3,042

-432 (-12.4%)

U.S. SHELL EGG AND EGG PRODUCT EXPORTS DURING

2019 COMPARED WITH 2018

Source USDA-FAS/USAPEEC

SHELL EGGS

Shell egg exports from the U.S. during 2019 increased by 19.4 percent in volume but declined 10.9 percent in total value compared to 2018. Unit value was lower by 25.0 percent or 27 cents per dozen for the comparison between 2018 and 2019. The top two importers, Hong Kong and Canada combined represented 69.7 percent of volume and 67.6 percent of total value.

 

Hong Kong was the leading importer of shell eggs in 2019, with 52.6 million dozen representing 36.1 percent of volume and 37.0 percent of the total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs. Average unit value was $0.83 cents per dozen, above the average USDA benchmark price for nest-run during the third quarter.

 

Canada was the 2nd-ranked importer during 2019 with 49.0 million dozen representing 33.6 percent of volume and 30.6 percent of total value at $36.1 million with a unit value of $0.74 per dozen. Shell eggs shipped to Canada represent the difference between domestic demand and production, limited by their national controlled marketing system

 

Mexico was a distant third in rank during 2019 with 18.5 percent of volume and 15.8 percent of total value and with a unit value of $0.69 per dozen. Prospects for additional sales will depend on acceptance of washed eggs held under refrigeration for retail sale, announced in September 2018. For 2019 imports of shell eggs by Mexico increased by 289 percent and value by 251 percent compared to 2018. In December Mexico imported 1.8 million dozen, up 800 percent from December 2018.

 

The Caribbean Region represented 4.5 percent of export volume for 2019. This region was down 9.5 percent in volume and 36.8 percent in total value, an obvious decline compared with 2018. The unit value of shell eggs exports to the Caribbean averaged $1.35 per dozen in 2019 ($1.93 over entire 2018) which appears high compared with the average export realization, warranting validation of USDA data or an investigation of the price. It is most probable that a proportion of shell eggs enumerated may have been either fertile hatching eggs or enriched specialty eggs.

 

The Middle East Region imported 6.0 million dozen during 2019 valued at $4.8 million with a unit price of $0.88 per dozen. Volume and value were respectively lower by 14.3 percent and 17.1 percent compared to 2018. Southern E.U. nations in addition to India and Ukraine have a transport advantage over the U.S in this market.

 

EGG PRODUCTS

The total volume of exported egg products during 2019 decreased by 3.5 percent and total value was lower by 8.5 percent compared to 2018. Unit value decreased by 12.4 percent to $3,042 per ton from $3,474 obtained in 2018. This decline reflected the relationship between World supply and demand with Ukraine and India as significant exporters.

 

During 2019, 1st-ranked Japan represented 26.9 percent of the total U.S. export volume with 8,855 metric tons, a decrease of 14.5 percent compared with 2018. The high unit value of $3,896 per metric ton reflects the product mix including yolks.

 

Mexico was the second ranked importer in 2019 receiving 6,397 metric tons comprising 19.4 percent of volume and 13.8 percent of value exported with a unit price of $2,157 per metric ton

 

Canada represented a close 3rd in rank among importers purchasing 5,358 m. tons comprising 19.3 percent of volume and 12.2 percent of value ($12.3 million) exported with a unit price of $1,935 per metric ton. During 2019 Canada increased volume by 19.8 percent but value fell by 0.7 percent compared to 2018.

 

COMMENTS

Successful conclusion of negotiations to replace NAFTA led to the trilateral USMCA, announced on September 30th 2018. The since-modified agreement will have to be ratified by the Parliament of Canada 17 months after after signing the basic trade pact. Exports of shell eggs and egg products to our neighbors were valued at $74.7 million for 2017, $89.7 million for 2018 and $80.8 million in 2019.

 

Prospects for long-term exports of shell eggs will be limited by the willingness of importers to accept the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) principle of regionalization in the event of exotic Newcastle disease or isolation of either H5 or H7 avian influenza, irrespective of pathogenicity. Most importing nations are now applying regionalization and permitting imports on a county or state-exclusion basis following H5 or H7 AI infection.

 

The twenty one -month ongoing series of incident cases of END involving four small commercial units and 473 backyard flocks comprising a high proportion of game fowl (fighting cocks) is not yet over. Extension of the infection to four commercial farms in Southern California in late 2018 did not impact exports since importers are complying with the OIE principle of regionalization.

 

Generally pasteurized egg products should not be subject to any embargo imposed following reports of AI or Newcastle disease.


 

COMMODITY REPORT: February 7th 2020.

02/07/2020

Corn and soybean prices both advanced this past week. Corn was up 0.3 percent and soybeans up 1.1 percent after a 3.2 percent retreat the previous week. Increases in price were expected after signing Phase-One of the trade agreement with China and ratification of USMCA by Congress. Prospects for commodity exports to China are moderated by the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Uncertainties still include:-

· The extent and timing of soybean purchases by China in 2020. The U.S and China have now concluded the Phase-1 agreement incorporating U.S. tariff rescission, promised purchases of agricultural commodities, concessions on some structural issues by China and enforcement provisions

· Exports of soybeans to China have resumed with 7.7 percent of projected shipments for 2019/2020 consigned during October and November. Notwithstanding the soybean exports, markets apparently do not express the same optimism as the White House.

· Fallout from uncertainty regarding the Hunan coronavirus epidemic in Asia.

Questions still exist:-

· Traders are reviewing projected ending stocks and taking into account the relative sizes of both corn and soybean harvests in 2019. The volume of exports of soybeans to China is still uncertain.

· Brexit is now a certainty after the Conservative Party plan was approved by the House of Commons with a legal departure on January 31 st 2020 and a final customs break at the end of January 2021.

· A U.S. trade agreement with the U.K. should be concluded in 2020 but trade with the U.S. will be conditioned by commitments to the E.U. by the departing nation. A bilateral agreement appears in jeopardy over disagreements over the use of Huawei communications equipment by the U.K.

· The relationship with the E.U. is tenuous especially with the threat of retaliatory tariffs by the U.S. on food products from France and auto imports from Germany.

Compared with the January 31st 2020 close, the CME quotation for March corn posted at close of trading on February 7th 2020 was up 1 cent per bushel to 383 cents. Soybeans, expected to be the beneficiary of the Phase-One agreement were up10 cents per bushel to 883 cents after losing 56 cents in the preceding two weeks.

For the consecutive years 2017 through 2019 the U.S. supplied 34.4 percent of soybean requirements for China amounting to 95.5 million metric tons. This was followed by a decline to 16.9 percent of 88.5 million metric tons in 2018 and 16.6 percent of 88.0 million metric tons in 2019.

China placed orders for 1 million metric tons of soybeans from Brazil during the first week of February 2020. A total of 20.5 million metric tons has been ordered for delivery through May 2020. This quantity is equivalent to 754 million bushels or 42 percent of the projected U.S. export of soybeans in 2020 included in the January 2020 WASDE. The purchases by China from Brazil are attributed to competitive prices compared to the U.S.

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on February 7th 2020 compared with values for January 31 st 2020 in parentheses reflecting specified months for delivery.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

March 383 (382)

May 388 (387)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

March 883 (873)

May 896 (887)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

March 290 (291)

May 295 (296)

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal over five trading days this past week were:-

COMMODITY CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn: March quotation up 1 cent per bushel            (+03 percent)

Soybeans: March quotation up 10 cents per Bushel (+1.1 percent)

Soybean Meal: March quotation down $1 per ton     (-0.3 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 0.44 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

COMMENTS

Subscribers are referred to the January 10th WASDE #596 under the STATISTICS tab.

Prices of commodities are influenced by projections of ending stocks from the 2019 harvest, 2020 exports and domestic use.

Two tranches of support funding were advanced in 2018 amounting to $12 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade as Market Facilitation Payments (MFP).

On July 25th the USDA announced an additional $16 million MFP package to support agriculture with funds to be distributed in three tranches. Funds were distributed based on the higher of 50 percent of the producer's calculated revenue or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop was planted.

The second MFP payment in November 2019 was $3.6 billion. The third payment, of $3.6 billion, was disbursed during the first week of February 2020.

Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility. One million applications were received for the initial round in 2018 with 420,000 applications since July 2019.

Additional request are being made by industry groups for 2020 MFP payments and will probably be justified by either delayed or ultimately lower imports by China than previously announced by the White House in terms of the Phase-1 Agreement.


 

Lucky's Market Identifies Buyers for Twenty-Four Locations

02/07/2020

Following the announcement on January 21st that Lucky's Market aimed to shut 32 of 39 stores and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the Company has successfully found buyers for 24 stores. The stores in Florida will be acquired by Aldi and Publix.  Other buyers will take over Lucky's stores in the Midwest and Colorado.

 

 Given the Chapter 11 status of Lucky's, the purchase and lease agreements will be subject to approval of a court to ensure that creditors' interests are satisfied.  The demise of Lucky followed the divestiture by the Kroger Company from the chain following the initial investment during mid-2016. 

 

The recent agreements secure the tenure of employees and will extend the availability of retail sales to existing customers.  It is hope that the acquiring chains benefit from their investments.


 

Dr. Mickey Rubin Discusses Nutrition in Early Childhood Development

02/07/2020

Dr. Mickey Rubin, Executive Director of the AEB Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) participated in a recent discussion on a Phil Lempert Lost in the Supermarket podcast.

 

Dr. Rubin covered the first 1,000 days of the life of children emphasizing the need for an adequate intake of choline and lutein, both present in eggs.

 

In addition to his scientific responsibilities with the AEB-ENC Dr. Rubin is an accomplished and personable speaker able to translate complexities relating to metabolism into concepts that are easily understood by consumers. This benefits our Industry.

 


 

Anne Alonzo To Resign as CEO of the American Egg Board

02/07/2020

The president and CEO of The American Egg Board, Anne L. Alonzo will resign effective mid-April 2020.  She will join an agribusiness company and will be based in Washington, DC. Anne is a lawyer by profession, earned an MBA and acquired experience as an administrator in the USDA-AMS before her present appointment. As an exceptionally incisive and effective manager she turned around the AEB at a time that it was facing scrutiny and criticism. In four years she appointed competent subordinates and enhanced the image of the industry through her contacts and outreach. 

 

 Jeff Hardin, chair of the AEB praised Anne for substantially transforming and strengthening the AEB.  He expressed his gratitude for her dedication, contributions and friendship.

 

Ms. Alonzo will remain with AEB to assist in the transition to new management and will contribute to the upcoming Annual Board meeting and the White House Easter Egg Roll.

 

Anne will be a hard act to follow.


 

Modifications to the UEP Welfare Standards for 2020

02/07/2020

In a January 23rd release UEP advised producers of the following changes to standards and procedures for 2020:-

• Cage-free layers are required to have an allowance of six linear inches of perch space per hen.

• Farms are required to have a written policy for handling loose hens.

• All employees in contact with flocks should be trained in welfare with documentation to that effect.

• Program Participants should have an established procedure to report abuse.

• Managers should be able to inform workers in contact with flocks concerning company's zero-tolerance policy for willful acts of abuse and report abuse.

• Program Participants must designate a responsible manager to monitor flock welfare.

• An in-Company assessment of the welfare program including housing, equipment, flocks, personnel and procedures is required annually.


 

Merck Reports Q4 and Fiscal 2019 Financials

02/07/2020

In a press release dated 5th February Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) reported results for Q4 and FY 2019 ending December 31st 2019. For the quarter the company earned $2.36 billion on sales of $11.87 billion with an EPS of $0.92. For Q4 of FY 2018 comparative figures were $1.83 billion earned on sales of $10.99 billion with an EPS of $0.69.

For FY 2019 earnings were $9.84 billion on sales of $46.89 billion with an EPS of $3.81 up 64 percent over FY 2018.

The Animal Health segment represented 9.5 percent of sales for the most recent quarter at $1.11 billion, up 8.3 percent from Q4 FY 2018. Livestock including poultry represented 69 percent of Animal Health revenue up from 66 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2018.


 

China Reports on H5N1in Hunan Province

02/06/2020

According to Bloomberg, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China confirmed an outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza on a farm in Hunan Province. The farm located near Shaoyang City, housing 18,000 birds of unspecified type was depleted.

Various strains of avian influenza are endemic in China but it noted that H5N1 is potentially zoonotic emerging in Asia during the early 2000’s.


 

Earth Fare to Close

02/06/2020

Earth Fare, a chain of 50 stores in ten states with 3,000 employees has announced that it will undergo liquidation. The company, owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners since 2006 was overburdened with debt and it did not file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to permit reorganization.

The Earth Fare concept included a commitment to a ‘food philosophy’ by which all products sold were free of additives including hormones, antibiotics, artificial and trans fats, preservatives, colors or flavors.  It appears that the “clean-food” concept together with the natural and organic bias was an inadequate draw to maintain sales volume especially with slim margins attributed to competition.  Earth Fare follows the financial woes of Lucky’s Market and Fareway Market with both chains filing for Chapter 11 and disposing of stores and other assets. 


 

Amazon Considering Redesign of Whole Foods Stores

02/06/2020

Given the commitment by Amazon to home delivery of groceries, restraints associated with existing Whole Foods stores will require extensive modifications to fulfill the mission of the parent company.

Although specific financial data for Whole Foods is no longer released following acquisition by Amazon, it is evident that the potential of Whole Foods Markets to contribute to on-line sales was originally over-estimated both by Amazon and analysts.

Amazon eliminated the $14.99 per month delivery fee for Amazon Fresh.  This step now creates a market among the 150 million Amazon Prime members worldwide with more than 2000 U.S. cities and towns enjoying two-hour delivery from both Whole Foods Market and Amazon distribution centers.


 

Jamesway Incubator Company Donates To Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

02/06/2020

Jamesway Incubator Company donated $2,000 to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation matched by USPOULTRY. This was the 11th consecutive year that Jamesway has made a donation to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

John Prestage, outgoing USPOULTRY Chairman noted the continued leadership of Jamesway in contributing to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta adding “we are pleased to again match this donation as IPPE has called Atlanta home for 72 years”.


 

AEB Promoting Easter Marketing Kits

02/06/2020

The AEB will offer a series of media kits including seasonal recipes and social media posts to promote eggs and egg products for the approaching holiday season. Easter ranks as a high egg-consumption period and is critical to profitability given over-production relative to consumption.

Information on the Easter tool kits is available from the AEB <aeb@aeb.org>.


 

Artificial Intelligence Applied to Recognize and Monitor Outbreaks

02/06/2020

Dr. Kamran Khan, an epidemiologist and entrepreneur, established BlueDot in 2014 after raising close to $10 million in venture capital funding. The company sifts through reports in 65 languages, reviews airline data, and official reports of human and animal disease outbreaks.

 Natural language processing and machine learning are applied to develop predictions relating to disease using proprietory algorithms. The automated data-gathering and predictions developed by BlueDot computers are then evaluated by epidemiologists for credibility and likelihood based on scientific principles before being formally incorporated into reports distributed to clients, including public health agencies and multinational companies.

BlueDot informed its clients that an outbreak of a disease with potential severity had occured in China on December 31st 2019. CDC was aware of a problem and issued a warning on January 6th, but it was only until January 9th that the World Health Organization announced the emergence of an influenza-like outbreak with clusters of pneumonia in China.

BlueDot successfully predicted that the Wuhan Coronavirus would spread to Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, and Taipei within a short period by analyzing air traffic data. BlueDot represents the future of detecting epidemics and their possible routes of dissemination, a direct application of “big data”.


 

Canadian Research Validates Safety of an Egg-a-Day

02/06/2020

Studies conducted by the Population Health Institute in Ontario, Canada confirmed that consumption of one egg per day had no deleterious effect on cardiovascular health or serum lipid parameters.

The report, which was featured on Ag Day Minute on the Ag Web Daily site, also noted that the regimen of one egg per day did not exacerbate underlying cardiovascular problems in patients with a known history of heart disease.

 


 

China Reducing Tariffs on U.S. Imports

02/06/2020

China has unilaterally announced a 50 percent reduction in punitive tariffs on U.S. imports announced in September and December 2019, covering products valued at $75 billion. 

 

For poultry products, duty will be reduced from 35 percent to 30 percent and retaliatory tariffs imposed in September will be halved to 5 percent effective February 14th 2020. The 25 percent tariff imposed in July 2018 will remain.

The U.S. will lower tariffs on approximately $120 billion of imports from China from reduced from 15 percent to 7.5 percent in terms of the Phase-One Agreement.

 

The immediate question will be whether China will fulfill its obligation to increase imports of agricultural commodities over and above 2017 levels. Messages from Beijing and Washington suggest that the coronavirus outbreak and consequential disruption will delay implementation of the import program agreed to.

 


 

USPOULTRY Foundation Partners with FFAR to Advance Two Technology Projects

02/05/2020

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation are sharing a $400,000 grant together with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).  Funding will be assigned to two projects. 

 

  • The SMART Broiler Research Initiative Developing in collaboration with McDonald’s Corporation to develop automated broiler welfare monitoring.
  • The Egg-Tech Prize to develop high-speed practical in ovo gender determination to eliminate post hatch destruction of cockerels. 

John Prestage, outgoing chairman of USPOULTRY noted “we are pleased to have the opportunity to actively collaborate with FFAR as a platinum sponsor for both projects.  We anticipate that these innovative unique technologies will allow the poultry industry to further enhance productivity, ensure animal wellbeing and meet the changing needs of the industry.” 

Executive Director of FFAR, Dr. Sally Rocky stated “we are thrilled to partner with the USPOULTRY and Egg Association to fund research that benefit the poultry industry and U.S. consumers.


 

U.S. Life Expectancy Increased in 2018

02/05/2020

Life expectancy in the U.S. increased in 2018 by 0.08 percent to 78.9 years, mainly due to a reduction in deaths from drug overdoses. 

Reduced mortality from cancer, accidents and unintentional injuries accounted for the improvement in livability complementing the four percent fall in drug overdose deaths affecting a principally young demographic.


 

Biomarker Evaluation of Mycotoxicosis

02/05/2020

Traditionally programs to prevent mycotoxicoses rely on assay of feed.  Both rapid test strip assays and more sophisticated laboratory-based spectroscopy are available and offered by manufacturers of mycotoxin binders. The problem associated with mycotoxin assay relates to the inherently large sampling error due to the focal distribution of mycotoxins within a batch of an ingredient.

Innovad of Belgium has approached to problem of detecting mycotoxicosis by evaluating the response of individual chickens. The theory behind the technology was developed at the University of Ghent and relies on biomarkers in the blood of birds exposed to specific mycotoxins.

After reviewing the publication on which the concept is based, it is apparent that there is still a considerable amount of research required to validate a diagnosis of mycotoxicosis from blood samples.  It is also necessary to establish a field correlation between mycotoxins in feed and the biomarkers in blood.  The data available to Innovad is based on laboratory studies in which known amounts of specific mycotoxins were added to feed.  Although there is a positive correlation between the level in feed and the mycotoxin degradation products in blood, the results from an actual flock receiving feed prepared from an ingredient containing a mycotoxin may not be diagnostic.

 

The concept of detecting and quantifying a biomarker is logical and when refined may offer confirmation of a non-specific problem especially with low levels of mycotoxins.  Most mycotoxicoses can be confirmed by histological examination if pathognomonic lesions are present.  The problem confronted by poultry health professionals is frequently encountering an assay result indicating a potentially toxic level of a mycotoxin but with a flock performing in accordance with breed standard. This raises the question as to the validity of the feed assay that may be affected by sampling error and also whether it will be cost effective to add a mycotoxin binder to feed. 

It is hoped that the biomarker system will be refined by Innovad or another health-product provider to assist poultry health professionals in their appraisal of mycotoxin assays of feed and ingredients.


 

Egg Week

02/05/2020

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, February 6th 2020.

  • Hen numbers in production up 0.8 million to 336.1 million .
  • Shell inventory down by 1.6 percent after a 0.2 percent decrease last week reflecting purchases by chains responding to upward trajectory in price and increased demand with low shelf price for generics.
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large up 34.5 percent to an average of 105.5 and 103.5 cents per dozen. Mediums up 15.0 percent to 73.5 cents per dozen. The market increased last week but should stabilize unless demand falls off and inventory rises.
  • Price of breaking stock was unchanged at 25.0 cents per dozen on average. Checks were up 8.3 percent to 13.0 cents per dozen lagging shell-egg prices. Both categories are still substantially below the USDA December benchmark nest-run production cost.

OVERVIEW

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on February 3 rd 2020 the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large as delivered to DCs were up 34.4 and 35.5 percent respectively to averages of 105.5 and 103.5 cents per dozen. Mediums were up 15.0 percent to 73.5 cents per dozen reflecting a restoration of the balance in sizes influenced by young flocks. Prices should be compared with the USDA benchmark average 5-Region blended nest-run cost of 59.9 cents per dozen in December 2019, (excluding provisions for packing and transport). The progression of prices during 2018-2020 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The February 3rd 2020 USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 67: No. 05) documented a USDA Combined Region value rounded to the nearest cent, of $0.86 per dozen delivered to warehouses for the week ending January 28th. This average price lags current Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $0.77 per dozen. At the high end of the range, price in the South Central Region attained $0.92 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was 42 cents per dozen below the three-year average of $0.92 per dozen and 44 cents per dozen below the price during the corresponding week in 2019.


 


December Soybean Crush

02/04/2020

According to an article by Rob Hatchett, Senior Economist for the American Soybean Association, the National Oilseed Processor Association (NOPA) recorded December soybean crushings at 14.109 million metric tons, up 1.4 percent from the corresponding month in 2018.

The January edition of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) retrievable under the Statistics Tab, maintained the previous forecast for crushings to rise nearly 1% from the 2018/19 marketing year to 57.288 million metric tons. Expectations for continued strong demand from the U.S. livestock sector is seen as lending support to domestic protein meal demand. A shutdown at one of Argentina’s largest soybean processor since early December is likely providing an unexpected opportunity for U.S. exporters of soybean meal.


 

France Joins Germany In Restricting Mass Euthanasia of Cockerels

02/04/2020

Didier Guillaume, the Minister of Agriculture for France, has joined his counterpart, Julia Klockner of Germany in introducing a ban on post-hatch destruction of cockerels. Disposal will be illegal effective 2021 together with other welfare reforms including requiring anesthesia to castrate piglets. Whether the ban will actually be implemented is a speculation given the absence of a practical system to differentiate embryo gender on a commercial scale. Expect a moratorium or protests that take the form of clogging Paris traffic with tractors or dumping of manure by aggrieved Brittany farmers outside their local Hotels de Ville

It is evident that concern is directed against mass euthanasia of cockerels using maceration.  Obviously, the introduction of carbon dioxide asphyxiation years ago would have improved the public acceptability of the practice.

In 2019 a Federal judge in Germany rejected a demand for an outright ban on mass euthanasia since there was no practical alternative.  The egg industry in the EU functions according to a 2009 Directive requiring “immediate death” for chicks within 72 hours of hatch.

There are a number of research programs directed at determining the gender of embryos within days of initiating incubation.  Welfare activist have suggested a maximum incubation period of 5 days that at present appears impractical.  Technology has been developed to sample embryos later in the incubation period by abstracting fluids from the egg and analyzing for biomarkers including sex hormones. An arbitrary 14-day cutoff will not placate welfare activists opposed on principle to all forms of intensive livestock production. Even if the industry were to adopt a practical system based on gender separation at 10 to18 days of incubation, a new cycle of agitation and opposition will be initiated, demanding earlier detection based on “pain”.

Activist in Germany have also invoked “gender discrimination” involving killing of cockerels and the nation is understandably sensitive to any form of mass killing.

Predictably animal activist in France were disappointed with the decision by the Minister of Agriculture including the radical animal protection group L214, that stated that the proposal was “not ambitious and did not address the basic problem.”  The essence of opposition lies in the definition of the word “problem” By this term, activists mean intensive production to produce food.


 

Federal Ruling Supports Checkoff Programs

02/03/2020

A Federal Magistrate Judge, John Johnston, granted the USDA and State checkoff programs summary judgement in an action initiated by the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund [R-CALF USA]. Judge Johnston stated, “The plaintiff has not demonstrated that an injunction would prove necessary at this point.”

The decision of the Magistrate Judge will require a final ruling by a Federal District Court that could be appealed. R-CALF USA had claimed that checkoff programs were unconstitutional.

The lesson, which emerges from litigation between R-CALF USA and various State beef promotion boards, is that it is necessary for commodity promotion boards to remain relevant with respect to their production constituencies and to be seen to serve the interest of producers.

The egg production industry is fortunate in being served by the AEB, which has undertaken to promote eggs and egg products to diverse consumer and customer groups, enhancing the image of the product and deflecting negative health-related publicity through the activities of the Egg Nutrition Council.


 

H5N1 Avian Influenza Reported in Odisha State, India

02/03/2020

Consistent with the requirements of the World Organization for Animal Health, India has reported an outbreak of H5N1 strain avian influenza in the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa in East India, on the Bay of Bengal)).  It is significant that the case emanated from the State Veterinary School that operates a breeding farm and presumably diagnostic and vaccine production facilities, as is common in India.  It is assumed that appropriate quarantine, surveillance and control measures have been implemented.


 

Aramark Pressured by NRDC and Students

02/03/2020

Students from Drexel and Temple Universities in Philadelphia protested at the annual Aramark shareholder meeting this past week. Their action supported opposition mounted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other organizations including the Sierra Club, the HSUS and OXFAM.

At issue is the requested commitment from Aramark to reduce meat servings in meals served at universities and institutions, and to substitute environmentally friendly vegetable-based protein.  The organizers of the protest demanded a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from production of red meat, dairy and other foods served by Aramark.

In coming months, the NRDC will be working with campus organizations to pressure dining services to respond to the challenge of climate change.In past years, Aramark was responsive to demands for enhanced welfare with special emphasis on eggs derived from caged hens. Aramark as a major supplier to universities, institutions and corporate dining complied with student requests although the cost associated with welfare demands increased the cost of meals. This was conveniently passed on to parents and added to student loans.


Protest at St John's College Oxford

In an interesting perspective on student confrontation over environmental action was illustrated by the protest at St. John’s College, Oxford. As reported in an editorial in The Wall Street Journal on Monday February 3rd the Bursar (financial executive) of the College, Andrew Parker was presented with a demand by students that the College divest more than $10 million in oil-company shares.  He responded with a counter-offer to turn off the gas heating system, given that the student activists were so concerned over fossil-derived energy. He counseled “It is all too easy to demand that others do things that carry no personal cost to yourselves. The question is whether you and others are prepared to make personal sacrifices to achieve the goals of environmental improvement”.


 

AFIA Program on Prevention of Exotic Diseases

02/03/2020

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) organized Biosecurity in the face of foreign animal disease – what the feed industry needs to know” on January 31st during the 2020 International Production and Processing Expo. Presentations included biosecurity for feed mills producing swine, beef and poultry feed with specific reference to foreign animal diseases. 

 

Dr. Paul Davis, Director for Quality, Animal Food Safety and Education for AFIA stated “after today I think all attendees may feel a little better about how to prepare themselves for a foreign animal disease outbreak.”  He added “with African swine fever continuing to make headlines across the globe it's important for the protein sector to work together to practice good by security”.

Dr. Cassie Jones Associate Professor at Kansas State University commented “we know that we have risks, but the goal for feed security is to create hurdles to make it harder for the disease to spread.” 

 

Recent studies have confirmed that African swine fever can be transmitted in contaminated ingredients and PED was probably introduced to the U.S. on feed bags imported from China. The role of feed delivery in dissemination of catastrophic viruses was demonstrated in the 1984 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Pennsylvania and in subsequent outbreaks in 2015.


 

Animal Agriculture Alliance Establishes Connections Among Activist Groups

02/03/2020

Kay Johnson-Smith CEO of AAA
The Animal Agriculture Alliance continuously updates the inter-connection among activist groups opposed to intensive livestock production. The investigative resources of the Alliance are available to members. 

 


 

AEB Participation at IPPE

02/02/2020

From left: Maribel Alchin, Manager, School & College Marketing, AEB; Chris Pierce, AEB Member, Heritage Poultry Management (Annville, PA); Anne Alonzo, President & CEO, AEB; Brent Nelson, AEB Member, Nelson Poultry Farms (Manhattan, KS); AEB mascot, Eggy; Dr. Mickey Rubin, Executive Director, AEB’s Egg Nutrition Center; Marc Dresner, Director, Marketing & Communications, AEB.


 

2020 IPPE Attained 32,000 Registrants and 1,376 Exhibitors

01/31/2020

Preliminary data suggested attendance at the 2020 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) approaching 32,000 with poultry, meat and feed industry attendees from all over the World. This year saw an eight percent increase in the number of potential buyers. The 2020 Expo extended over 573,000 square feet of exhibit space with 1,376 exhibitors.

 

The IPPE is sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute and is the World's largest annual poultry, meat and animal food industry event of its kind.

 

In a statement the organizers jointly commented “We are excited about the energy displayed by this year’s attendees and exhibitors. The expanded trade show floor, including the new BC-Hall, and attendee and exhibitor numbers continue to complement IPPE’s unparalleled education sessions, invaluable networking opportunities and extensive exhibits showcasing the latest innovative technology, equipment and services for our industries,”

The comprehensive education program complemented the exhibits by informing industry management over current issues affecting the industry. The 2020 educational program included more than 200 hours of education sessions, ranging from meat and poultry quality to biosecurity with an emphasis on foreign animal disease and antibiotic-free production.

Featured events include the International Poultry Scientific Forum, the Latin American Poultry Summit and TECHTalks.


 

STOP PRESS

01/31/2020

President Signs USMCA

 

In a White House Ceremony on January 29th President Trump signed the USMCA to replace NAFTA after approval by Congress.

 

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada will arrange for ratification by the Nation’s Parliament that is generally receptive of the Agreement.

 

USMCA signed in 2018 To be ratified by all nations in 2020


 

McDonals’s Corp. Reports on Q4 and FY 2019

01/31/2020

In a press release dated January 29th 2020 McDonald's Corporation (MCD) announced results for the 4th Quarter and Fiscal 2019 ending December 31st 2019.

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)

Chris Kempczinski.

President and CEO

Quarter Ending December 31st

2019

2018

Difference (%)

Sales: (43% Company stores)

$5,349,000

$5,163,000

+3.6

Gross profit Company stores:

$423,700

$414,600

+2.2

Operating income:

$2,292,600

$1,999,500

+14.7

Pre-tax Income

Net Income

$2,026,800

$1,572,200

$1,751,400

$1,415,300

+15.7

+11.1

Diluted earnings per share:

$2.08

$1.82

+14.3

Gross Margin Company stores (%)

17.9

17.5

+2.3

Operating Margin (%)

42.9

38.7

+10.9

Profit Margin (%)

29.4

27.4

+7.2

Long-term Debt:

$34,118,000

$31,075,300

+9.8

12 Months Trailing:

     

Return on Assets (%)

     

Return on Equity (%)

     

Operating Margin (%)

     

Profit Margin (%)

     

Total Assets

$47,510,800*

$32,811,200

+44.8

Market Capitalization

$162,790,000

   

*Included "right-of-use "value of $13.26 Billion introduced in FY 2019

52-Week Range in Share Price: $ 173.41 to $221.93: 50-day moving average $203.99

Market Close 28th pre-release $210.35. Close 29th post-release $216.03

Forward P/E 23.5 Beta 0.5 5-year PEG ratio 3.4

For FY 2019 MCD posted net earnings of $6.03 Billion on sales of $21.08 Billion with an EPS of $7.88. Comparative values for FY 2018 were net earnings of $5.92 Billion on sales of $21.05 Billion with an EPS of $7.54.
In commenting on results president and CEO Chris Kempczinski stated, "2019 marked a year of significant milestones for McDonald's - including surpassing $100 billion in System-wide sales and achieving our highest global comparable sales growth in over a decade," "Through the execution of our Velocity Growth Plan, we once again served more customers the food they crave, marking three consecutive years of global comparable guest count growth."

He pointed to Fourth quarter highlights that included:-

· Strong global comparable sales growth of 5.9 percent with increases in the International Operated segment of 6.2 percent and 5.1 percent in the U.S. in addition to the International Developmental Licensed segment of 6.6%.

· Consolidated revenues increased 4.0 percent in constant currencies.

· System-wide sales increased 6.0 percent

· Consolidated operating income increased 15.0 percent reflecting $140 million of prior year impairment charges.

· Diluted earnings per share of $2.08 increased 14 percent. Results for the fourth quarter 2019 included $0.11 per share of income tax benefit due to new regulations issued in the fourth quarter 2019 related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("Tax Act"). Excluding this item, diluted earnings per share was $1.97


 

IPPE Award

01/30/2020

Al Fisk, of Diversified Agriculture (left) recedes a plaque from John Starkey of USPOULTRY marking 50 consecutive years of exhibiting tag the IPPE and preceding U.S.Poultry shows


 

COMMODITY REPORT: January 31st 2020.

01/29/2020

Corn and soybean prices both declined this past week. Corn was down 1.3 percent and soybeans were down 3.2 percent after a 2.9 percent retreat the previous week. The negative changes in price were despite conclusion of Phase-One of the agreement with China, ratification of USMCA by the Senate and publication of the January 2020 WASDE #596.

 

Uncertainties still include:-

· The extent and timing of soybean purchases by China in 2020. The U.S and China have now signed the Phase-1 agreement including U.S. tariff rescission, promised purchases of agricultural commodities, concessions on some structural issues by China and enforcement provisions

· Exports of soybeans to China have resumed with 7.7 percent of projected shipments for 2019/2020 consigned during October and November. Notwithstanding the soybean exports, markets apparently do not sure the same optimism as expressed by the White House.

· Fallout from uncertainty regarding the Hunan coronavirus epidemic in Asia.

Questions still exist:-

· Traders are reviewing projected ending stocks and taking into account the relative sizes of both corn and soybean harvests in 2019. Export of soybeans to China is still uncertain.

· Brexit is now a certainty after the Conservative Party plan was approved by the House of Commons with a legal departure on January 31 st 2020 and a final customs break at the end of January 2021.

· A U.S. trade agreement with the U.K. should be concluded in 2020 but trade with the U.S. will be conditioned by commitments to the E.U. by the departing nation.

· The relationship with the E.U. is tenuous especially with the threat of retaliatory tariffs by the U.S. on food products from France and auto imports from Germany.

Compared with the January 25th 2020 close, the CME quotation for March corn posted at close of trading on January 31st 2020 was down 5 cents per bushel to 382 cents per bushel. Soybeans expected to be the beneficiary of the Phase-One agreement were down 29cents per bushel to 873 cents per bushel losing 56 cents in two weeks.

For the consecutive years 2017 through 2019 the U.S. supplied 34.4 percent of soybean requirements for China amounting to 95.5 million metric tons. This was followed by a decline to 16.9 percent of 88.5 million metric tons in 2018 and 16.6 percent of 88.0 million metric tons in 2019.

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on January 31st 2020 compared with values for January 24 th 2020 in parentheses reflecting specified months for delivery.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

March 382 (387)

May 387 (392)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

March 873 (902)

May 887 (916)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

March 291 (298)

May 296 (302)

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal over five trading days this past week were:-

COMMODITY CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn: March quotation down 5 cents per bushel          (-1.3 percent)

Soybeans: March quotation down 29 cent per Bushel  (-3.2 percent)

Soybean Meal: March quotation down $7 per ton        (-2.3 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 0.44 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

COMMENTS

Subscribers are referred to the January 10th WASDE #596 under the STATISTICS tab.

Prices of commodities are influenced by projections of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, 2020 exports and domestic use.

Two tranches of support funding were advanced in 2018 amounting to $12 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade.

On July 25th the USDA announced an additional $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation Payment (MFP) funds to be distributed in three tranches. Funds were distributed based on the higher of 50 percent of the producer's calculated revenue or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop was planted.

The second MFP payment (November 2019) was $3.6 billion. The third (February? 2020) payment, presumed to be $3.6 billion, will in all probability be disbursed given political and trade considerations and despite conclusion of the Phase-One Agreement with China.

Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility. One million applications were received for the initial round in 2018 with 420,000 applications since July 2019. Additional request are being made by industry groups for 2020 MFP payments and will probably be justified by either delayed or ultimately lower imports by China than previously announced by the White House in terms of the Phase-1 Agreement.


 

Moba Announces Partnership With Innovo

01/28/2020

The Pelbo subsidiary of Moba has announced a partnership with Innovo of Italy to offer technical expertise in the design and erection of egg processing plants. The Pelbo brand will be expanded to include turnkey projects, radio-frequency pasteurization, egg powder processing, and other operations.

 

Moba Group Sales Director, Paul de Schouwer stated “Pelbo and Innova will take egg processing to the next level and move the egg processing industry into the next era by using innovative technology. We are creating a unique center in Italy where all the key components for an egg processing plant, from the breaking line to pasteurization are developed and manufactured at a single location.”


 

ABE Appoints VP of Market Development

01/28/2020

The American Egg Board has appointed Nate Hedtke as Vice-president of Market Development. Nate is a 15-year veteran of Kraft Foods. He earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from The Keller Graduate School.

 

Nate will succeed John Howeth, who will retire after many years of devoted and productive service to the egg industry.195


 

Covantis Initiative Selects ConsenSys System for Blockchain

01/27/2020

As the standard for blockchain applications based on Ethereum, Convantis was established by the world's major commodity traders including ADM, Bunge, Glencore Agriculture, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company.

 

The intent of the Covantis initiative is to develop a platform to facilitate global trade and to achieve efficiencies in international supply chains.

 

ConsenSys has an extensive track record of applying blockchain technology to digitize commodity trade and finance.  ConsenSys will use PegaSys Orchestrate and MythX for the Convantis blockchain network.

 

 


 

Kroger to Construct Sixth Customer Fulfillment Center in Maryland.

01/27/2020

The Kroger Company will establish their 6th customer fulfillment center (CFC) near Frederick, MD. Construction is underway on the Ohio and Florida units.  Other CFC’s will be located in Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin.  Each CFC is constructed in partnership with Ocada of the U.K. Each facility will be approximately 350,000 square feet in extent and require 24 months to construct and equip.  Each unit will create between 400 and 500 jobs.


 

Nestle S. A. Expands Plant Protein Capability

01/27/2020

Nestle has developed a strategic partnership with Canadian companies, Merit Functional Foods and Burcon Nutrascience Corp. to develop plant protein ingredients. Stefan Palzer, Chief Technology Officer for Nestle stated “the partnership with Burcon and Merit will give us access to unique expertise and a new range of high-quality ingredients for plant-based food and beverages.

 

Burcon Nutrascience is located in Vancouver, B.C. and Merit Functional Foods is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Both companies hold patents related to processing legumes and Merit Functional Foods operates a manufacturing plant.

 

The CEO of Nestle, Mark Schneider noted “through acquisitions and innovation Nestle has sought to tap into growing consumer demand for plant-based food.”  He added “Nestle has the ambition and the perseverance to be a major player in this area.”

 

Multinationals entering the field of plant-protein substitutes for meat represent a challenge to existing U.S. manufacturers including Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger. These relatively small companies have limited research and manufacturing resources compared to multinationals such as Nestle and Cargill.


 

NIH Issues Statement on Wuhan Coronavirus Infection

01/26/2020

An article* on the Wuhan coronavirus infection was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association describing the history of the two previous coronavirus outbreaks comprising the 2002 emergence of SARS and MERS in 2012.

 

The authors including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and his colleague Dr. Hillary D. Marston together with Dr. Catherine Paules of Penn State University, College of Medicine commented, “While the trajectory of this outbreak is impossible to predict, effective response requires prompt action from the standpoint of classic public health strategies to the timely development implementation of effective counter measures.”  Experience gained in previous coronavirus outbreaks has been applied to the present situation:-

Dr. Anthony Fauci NIAID
  • China has been transparent in releasing information including incidence rates, location of cases and has released gene sequences to international agencies.

 

  • Diagnostic tests are obviously available to differentiate between Wuhan coronavirus infection and other respiratory conditions.

 

  • Advances in molecular biology suggest that a vaccine could be available for testing in three months compared to twenty months for the SARS vaccine.

 

The authors note, “The emergence of yet another outbreak of human disease caused by a pathogen from a viral family formerly thought to be relatively benign underscores the perpetual challenge of emerging infectious diseases and the importance of sustained preparedness.”

 

*Paules C. I. et al Coronavirus Infections: More Than Just the Common Cold. Journal of the American Medical Association. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.0757 (2020)


 

Pig Ear Dog Treats Remain a Source of Salmonella Infection for Households

01/26/2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently concluded an investigation of an outbreak of salmonellosis involving 154 cases and 35 hospitalizations attributed to contact with pig-ear treats for pets. The realization that treats were potentially infectious emerged in 1999 following an investigation in Canada.

 

Contaminated pet food remains a source of infection with an extensive outbreak in 2012 caused by Salmonella Infantis associated with dried dog food. The recent trend to feeding pets raw food has extended the range of pathogens introduced into homes and has resulted in infection of both pets and their owners. 

 

Dr. Colin Basler, a veterinary epidemiologist in the Foodborne Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the CDC has investigated cases of foodborne infection attributed to Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria from pet food.  Two major outbreaks of foodborne infection were associated with raw turkey and raw chicken products representing a relatively new mechanism of infection for families.

 


 

Fairway Market Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

01/25/2020

On Thursday, January 23rd, Fairway Market announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has entered into negotiations with ShopRite to purchase five New York City stores and a distribution center for $70 million.

 

Fairway has eight stores in New York City, two on Long Island, one in Westchester County, two in New Jersey, and one in Connecticut. The court will supervise divestment of the stores not purchased by ShopRite.

 

CEO of Fairway Market, Able Porter stated “After careful consideration of all alternatives, we have concluded that a court-supervised sale process is the best way to meet our objectives of preserving as many jobs as possible, maximizing value for our stakeholders, and positioning Fairway for long-term success under new ownership.”


 

Raw Milk Dairy Suspended

01/25/2020

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and has prohibited Pennings Farm, located in Warwick, NY. to sell raw milk. This action follows confirmation of the presence of Listeria on January 21st. initially diagnosed on sampling one week previously.

EGG-NEWS has frequently commented on the danger of consuming raw milk, which may be contaminated with Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E.coli in addition to Listeria.

 


Turn of the 20th Century poster promoting pasteurized milk for health

 

Jeffrey Hendricks Appointed as National Shell Egg Supervisor

01/25/2020

Jeff Hendricks has been promoted from Assistant National Shell Egg Supervisor to the lead role as National Shell Egg Supervisor for the Agricultural Marketing Service, Livestock and Poultry Program. He will be responsible for policy and regulatory development activities relating to grading, certification, and will monitor the Shell Egg surveillance program.

 

Jeff has over 20 years experience in egg and poultry grading and has served in supervisory positions for the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Quality Assessment Division. In his most recent position, Jeff was a co-leader of a project to review sanitation procedures for pre-operation inspections for shell egg processing facilities and has conducted technical training schools for shell egg Graders.


Jeff Hendricks

Jeff has worked closely with egg industry organizations and academia to develop uniform and enforceable standards. Jeff earned a baccalaureate degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia.

 

Mark Perigen, Interim National Supervisor for Shell Eggs, will revert to his position as Director of the Western Region Grading Program for eggs, poultry and beef.


 

Kansas Ag Gag Law Declared Unconstitutional

01/25/2020

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil ruled that the Kansas, Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act banning secret filming at abattoirs, processing plants and livestock facilities was unconstitutional as it criminalizes free speech.

Since enactment in 1990 the Kansas state law has been the subject of litigation with opponents including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Food Safety and other animal rights organizations.

The majority opinion written by Judge Vratil noted, “the regulation of speech is not viewpoint-neutral because it only applies to speech that is made with intent to damage the enterprise conducted at an animal facility.”  The Judge took into account strict scrutiny in her interpretation of the law that allowed content-based speech restriction only if it is necessary to serve a compelling interest narrowly tailored to achieve that end. The assertion by the State that the law was intended to protect privacy and property rights of the owners of animal facilities was not a compelling interest.  The Judge considered that undercover operations exposing unsafe and inhumane conditions are a form of free speech.

Ag Gag laws in Utah and Idaho have been struck down as unconstitutional citing First Amendment rights. The law passed in North Carolina and others are being challenged and will probably be overturned.


 

Price Swoon for Natural Gas Will Benefit Farmers and Consumers

01/23/2020

Futures for natural gas dipped below $2.00 per million British thermal units this past week. The drop is attributed to both lower demand due to the mild early winter and large underground stocks. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported three trillion cubic feet in underground storage among the lower 48 states, approximately 20 percent above the corresponding inventory in January 2019.

 

Supply has been progressively increasing due to expansion of fracking operations but recently foreign demand for LNG has declined, exacerbating the oversupply situation.

 


 

Craig England Appointed President of MOBA USA

01/23/2020

A release from MOBA Corporate Office in Barneveld the Netherlands announced the appointment of Craig England as president of MOBA USA.

 

Craig served previously in numerous managerial positions with Diamond Automation the preceder of MOBA USA from 1984 through 2006. He has devoted his career to the egg-production industry including periods as Vice-president of Big Dutchman US and as president of PMSI.

 

In commenting on his appointment Craig stated “With the changes made over the years I feel my past tenure as well as my experience in customer service, engineering, sales and management are suited perfectly to provide direction for MOBA USA”.

 

MOBA USA operates in North America from their headquarters in Farmington Hills, MI. with offices in Moreno Valley, CA. and in Weston, FL., serving Latin America. MOBA operates facilities in Japan, China, Malaysia, Dubai, U.K., Germany and France. Sales and service through company facilities and distributors contribute to a worldwide throughput of close to one billion eggs per day.


Craig England

 

Wuhan Coronavirus Spreads Within Asia

01/22/2020

Predictably the number of cases using a diagnostic procedure, presumably a molecular biological procedure such as PCR, has identified additional cases of what is now referred to as Wuhan Coronavirus infection. Authorities have emphasized that although the virus responsible for the 2020 infection is distinct from the 2003 SARS outbreak, there are commonalities in epidemiology.

 

Previously it was announced that the virus was transmissible from animals to humans by direct contact. Subsequently Dr. Zhong Nanshan, an experienced infectious disease specialist, has stated that the virus has possibly undergone mutation and can be transmitted between humans. This is based on cases in Guangdong Province where family members were in contact with infected relatives who had visited Wuhan. Among the 570 patients as of January 22nd, are 15 health-care providers further reinforcing the reality of human-to-human transmission of the virus.

 

As with any emerging viral disease, air transport provides a means of dissemination. This past week, two cases were diagnosed in Bangkok, Thailand, one in Japan, and a single case in South Korea all involving passengers. One case was diagnosed in a patient travelling from China to Seattle, WA.

 

Initial investigations suggest that the Wuhan Coronavirus is not as pathogenic as SARS, which was responsible for 774 fatalities. To date seventeen patients have died, all presumably with predisposing health problems.

 

The possible impact of the Wuhan virus will become apparent after the January 25th Lunar weekend holiday season commences. Traditionally up to a quarter of the population in China travels by train, bus, or airplane within the nation. Most countries have introduced screening for passengers arriving from China to detect fever or respiratory symptoms. 


 

Beijing Clamps Down on Plastic Use

01/22/2020

Following the 2018 ban on importation of plastic waste for recycling, authorities in China have introduced strict measures to reduce the use of plastic, especially in food distribution.

 

By the end of 2020, non-biodegradable plastic bags will be banned from major cities. Plastic utensils and containers for take-out food will be replaced by biodegradable alternatives with a target of 30 percent elimination of all plastics by 2025.

 

The National Bureau of Statistics documented  production of 60.4 million metric tons of plastic in 2018 requiring a commensurate program for either recycling or disposal of plastic waste.

 

According to the report by Stephanie Yang, in the January 21st edition of The Wall Street Journal, fines will be levied against restaurants and companies contravening regulations. More important, in the context of Chinese society, naming and shaming will do more to reduce single-use plastic containers.


 

FSNS To Conduct Auditor Workshop At IPPE

01/22/2020

FSNS will present an “Ask the Auditor Workshop” at the IPPE on Tuesday, January 28th from 09h30 to 10h30 in room A304 at the GWCC. The free event will discuss audit preparation and provide details on FSNS criteria.

 

Attendees are invited to visit the FSNS booth B7427 for additional details regarding the workshop and services provided by FSNS.


 

STOP PRESS

01/22/2020

Wuhan Coronavirus Spreads

 

Predictably the incidence rate for the Wuhan coronavirus is rising. As of January 22nd a total of 570 confirmed cases have been diagnosed with 17 fatalities. The infection has been identified in numerous Provinces in China and in individuals travelling to four Asian nations and one case to Washington State in the U.S.

The city of Wuhan with 11 million residents and three other large metro areas have been quarantined given the approach of the Lunar New Year involving extensive travel within China. Notwithstanding the rise in number of cases there is no cause for extreme concern at this time as authorities will control the infection based on experience gained from the previous SARS outbreak.

 


 

Southeast Egg Industry Regional Conference

01/22/2020

Advance notice is provided regarding the Southeast Egg Industry Regional Conference to take place June 16th-18th 2020 at Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, SC.  Registration and hotel information is available from the Executive Director of the NC Egg Association, Amanda Bowen at <abowen@nstephens.com>.


 

HPAI Spreading in Eastern Europe

01/22/2020

During the past week, the Czech Republic confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic strain of  H5N8 avian influenza in a backyard flock in Vysocina.  This follows recent diagnoses in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and possibly Bulgaria.

 

The strain involved is 99 percent homologous with H5N8 strain clade 2.3.4.4b prevalent in Northern Africa during 2018 and 2019.

 

Strain H5N8 HPAI first appeared in Europe in 2016 and within a few months, infections occurred in 30 out of 43 nations on the continent. Migratory waterfowl were apparently responsible for introduction and spread of the causal virus. The role of migratory birds in dissemination of HPAI is confirmed by seasonality and isolations from both dead and live- sampled geese and ducks.  Federal officials in Germany confirmed H5N8 in a wild goose in Brandenburg close to the border with Poland during the past week.  In early January 2020, an H5 strain was isolated from hens in Northern Ireland although at this time, the neuraminidase component has not been revealed but is presumed to be N8.

Based on experience in 2016/2017 it appears that 2020 will be a replay of previous seasons.  Clearly free-range egg-production flocks are at high risk especially if located on farms in the vicinity of expanses of water that attract migratory waterfowl.


 

BioChek Lunch Seminar

01/22/2020

BioChek has arranged a luncheon seminar on Wednesday, January 29th noon -13h30 in Room C201 of the GWCC. 

Dr. Jantina De Vylder, Business Unit Manager for poultry at BioChek will discuss the BioChek App with specific reference to monitoring of flock health.

The second speaker will be Rogier van Otterlo, Business Unit Manager for food safety at BioChek  who will discuss rapid microbiologic testing in relation to poultry products and food safety. 

For further information and reservations contact Tim Goode <timgoode.@biochek.com> or meet with him at the Biochek booth C9542.


 

Federal Court Rules Against Foie Gras Production

01/21/2020

A Federal Court rejected a challenge to the California ban on foie gras production and sale in the state.  In 2013 the Ninth Circuit ruled that the ban did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution affirming the right of the California legislature in 2004 to regulate activity within its state.

 

Producers of foie gras have expended a considerable amount of time and legal fees in attempting to overturn the ban citing Federal poultry products laws, and more recently the Commerce Clause.

In the most recent verdict, the Federal Court stated that producers could comply with both Federal and state law by simply labeling their product in accordance with Federal Rules and withdrawing from the market in California.

 

According to press reports, the decision creates a precedent by which state legislators can set standards for welfare within their states.  Accordingly, challenges to California Proposition #12 will be unsuccessful. Regulations framed in accordance with California Proposition #2 enacted in 2008, are enforceable and the welfare laws themselves are constitutional.


 

Avian Influenza Diagnosed on a Goose Farm in Poland

01/21/2020

A spokesperson for veterinary regulators in the Wielkopolska Region of Poland with a high population of diverse poultry confirmed that 6,000 geese on a farm will be depopulated as result of exposure to H5N8 avian influenza.  Geese in Eastern Europe are traditionally free-ranged and if this is the case on the affected farm, it may be presumed that contact with migratory waterfowl was responsible for the outbreak.  There have been six cases of H5N8 avian influenza diagnosed in Poland since December 1, 2019. Eight Eastern European nations have reported H5N8 infection in backyard and commercial flocks and spread westwards is anticipated based on a seasonal outbreak in 2016/2017.


 

China Experiencing Slump in Egg Prices

01/20/2020

According to Dow Jones, egg futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange have fallen by half to 31 cents per dozen.  Egg futures in China are highly volatile, moving by as much as 80 percent in a year.

Analysts attribute the drop in price to a level below the cost of production to a marked increase in availability. It is claimed that farmers have replaced hogs with laying hens.  This explanation appears unlikely given the inability of hatcheries to supply a sharp increase in commercial day-old pullet chicks, a lack of equipment to produce eggs and the biological cycle required to materially raise production. These factors would mitigate against Chinese farmers switching from raising hogs to producing a significant number of eggs sufficient to tank the market. A more likely explanation is that breakers responsible for a high proportion of production ceased operation in the week preceding the Lunar New Year beginning January 25th displacing eggs to the shell market.

Industry observers note that egg prices follow pork.  Although hog prices increased by as much as 150 percent during the last quarter of 2019, the last few weeks of December saw a decline, possibly attributed to imports and release of available frozen pork inventory. 

China is the world’s largest producer of shell eggs estimated to attain 47 billion dozen in 2018 valued at $230 billion or an average price approaching $0.50 on a nest-run basis.

Wide range in production systems to produce eggs in China


 

OVO-Vision Introduces Software Integrating On-Farm Scanning, Records and Logistics

01/20/2020

OVO-Vision has upgraded software to allow on-farm scanning of consignments of eggs to be transported to packing plants and distribution centers. The software accommodates split- deliveries and integrates flock records, traceability and invoicing.

OVO-Vision software creates a “paperless office” for drivers collecting eggs to be transferred to various destinations. The new software permits eggs collected from a specific farm to be delivered to either packing or breaking plants with complete records relating to pricing, invoicing, return of pallets and trays.

Trace-back information is maintained on specific lots, flocks of origin, egg-classification, production date and any additional required data. Advantages associated with the system include direct delivery to distribution centers, to retail or breaking plants in a single farm collection. This avoids handling at the packing station representing a biosecurity risk. Integration in planning and execution of transport contributes to lower cost and sustainability. Software supplied by OVO-Vision ensures correct invoicing and pricing of product, retention of quality data and automatic adjustment of inventory.

Additional information on the OVO-Vision upgrade is available by clicking onto the OVO-Vision logo on the right side of the welcome page or accessing www.OVO-Vision.com.


 

Munters Welcomed As a Sponsor

01/20/2020

Munters Corporation has joined major manufacturers and suppliers of North American and International poultry equipment and services as a co-sponsor of CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS.

The Company designs, develops and manufactures equipment for climate control, dehumidification, heating and abatement of pollution for a wide range of industries and agricultural applications. Munters can provide turnkey ventilation installations and components for retrofits compatible with a wide range of house configurations and flock densities.  

The ventilation range includes exhaust and turbulence fans up to 51 inches in diameter together with cones, louvers, air inlets, light baffles, controllers and evaporative cooling. Munters systems are supplied with sensors and warning systems all with user-friendly and practical features.

Munters supplies installations and components for pharmaceutical plants, supermarkets, the electronic, defense and aerospace industries, healthcare locations and chemical plants in addition to agricultural and livestock housing.

The Company provides assistance in the design and installation of systems and deploys a comprehensive service capability. Munters maintains an inventory of spare parts and provides kits for on-farm maintenance and repair.

Munters Celdek ® has received Green Guard Certification and VariMax ® fans carry USDA Equipment Acceptance Certification.

Munters is an established leader in designing ventilation equipment that contributes to optimal performance and to sustainability through efficient displacement of air relative to energy input.

Additional information on specific components of ventilation systems for broiler and egg-production installations can be obtained from the company website that can be accessed by clicking on the Munters logo on the right side of the welcome page.


 

Food Manufacturers Commit to Reducing Plastic in Packaging

01/20/2020

Nestle, an influential multinational food manufacturer has committed $2 billion to develop alternatives to current plastic for packaging food. Nestle hopes to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic currently representing approximately 1.9 million tons annually with only two percent manufactured from recycled stock.

 

Most multinationals have pledged to recycle plastic and to use alternative materials. Proctor and Gamble has a goal of halving fossil-based plastic by 2030. Unilever plan to reduce plastic packaging from fossil fuels by half before the end of 2025.

The use of multi-layered packaging film combining aluminum and plastic, as used in the food industry, represents a challenge to recycling plants.

 

It is evident that consumers are demanding recycling and alternatives to fossil-derived plastic. This has had an impact on legislators worldwide characterized by banning single-use plastic bags. The entire recycling industry in the EU and the U.S. was thrown into disarray in 2018 when China altered its policy on importation of scrap plastic to be recycled in plants that generated environmental contamination and became economically infeasible.


 

Incredible Branding Rolls Out on Sauder's Trucks

01/20/2020

Sauder’s Eggs of Lititz, PA. is taking The Incredible Egg “How Do You Like Your Eggs?” campaign on the road with gorgeous new truck graphics. The graphics create moving billboards that attract attention.

 

Information on obtaining truck graphics is available from Sue Coyle  scoyle@aeb.org.


 

Ben and Jerry’s Amend Labeling Following Lawsuit

01/19/2020

Ben and Jerry’s is deleting a “happy cows” claim on all packaging.  This action follows a decision by the District of Columbia Superior Court to reject a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Organic Consumers Association in July 2018.  Ben and Jerry’s claimed that milk for their ice cream was from “happy cows” participating in a Caring Dairy program with high standards of welfare and environmental compliance.  In fact, only a proportion of milk used to prepare the iconic brand was derived under the program. The remainder was purchased from conventional commercial sources constituting the potential of misrepresentation in packaging.

The company finessed the change mandated by the lawsuit as a redesign of packaging to comply with FDA nutrition facts labeling.

It is obvious that organizations opposed to intensive livestock production including eggs will be constantly monitoring packaging.  Depictions of hens on pasture on packs of “cage-free” flocks confined to barns will come under scrutiny since they are misleading.  The situation could be improved if the industry would adopt a standard nomenclature for housing systems, possibly then to be approved by USDA-AMS to ensure a level playing field for all producers.


 
































































































































































































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