Egg Industry News


STOP PRESS

04/19/2018

  • FDA “Leaking” Reports on Rose Acre Hyde County, NC. Complex: Bloomberg reported on apparent deficiencies in rodent and fly control and unacceptable operational biosecurity and deficiencies in hygiene at the complex. The Hyde County operation is the subject of a product recall associated with an apparent outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup. The information was derived from FDA inspection reports. This situation is reminiscent of the daily FDA releases issued following FDA evaluation of the farms operated by Jack DeCoster in 2010 consequent to an extensive SE outbreak.
  • GAO Urges FSIS to Address Pathogen Standards: The Government Accountability Office at the request of four Senators, issued a report aimed at motivating the FSIS to impose pathogen standards for products, establish a time-frame for implementation and to reduce contamination levels on hog and turkey products.
  • Bill Gates Urges Application of Gene Editing Technology to Reduce Populations of Malaria- vector Mosquitoes: Application of CRISPR gene editing could reduce populations of mosquitoes carrying malaria in Africa. More effective control could reduce the annual death toll in children by 400,000
  • STEC Outbreak from Romaine Lettuce Widens: The apparently virulent strain of E.coli associated with Romaine lettuce from the Yuma Valley of Arizona is now responsible for 53 diagnosed cases in 16 states with a case-hospitalization rate of 59 percent.
  • Albertsons Group “Squeaks” Profit for FY 2017:  The 2,318-store supermarket chain owned by Cerebrus Capital Management posted a net profit of $46.3 million on sales of $59 9 billion. Net profit included a non-recurring tax benefit of $373 million claimed in Q4.

 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT

04/19/2018

According to the April 10th 2018 WASDE #576 release, 82.7 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2018 to yield 14.60 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.39 Billion bushels from 89.5 million acres harvested. These values are unchanged from the March WASDE report.

 

On Wednesday April 4th 2018 by 11H30 EDT soybeans had fallen 4 percent on the CME, in response to threatened imposition of embargos by China on U.S. commodities.  During the past week the reality of a trade confrontation receded with a consequential restoration to customary prices reflecting supply projections, domestic use and export data. 

 

Corn stocks were estimated by USDA in early April to total 8.9 Billion bushels and Soybean stocks 2.1 Billion bushels

 

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on Thursday April 19th compared to values for April 13th in parentheses.

 

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

May ’18    381  (385)        

July  ‘18     390  (394)            

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

May ’18 1,037  (1,052)    

July  ’18  1,049  (1,063)      

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

May ‘18     373  (382)

July ’18      378  (386) 

 

 

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

Corn:                     May quotation down 4 cents per Bu.              (-1.0 percent)

Soybeans:            May quotation down 15cents/Bu.                   (-1.4 percent)

Soybean Meal:    May quotation down $9/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 0.40 cent per dozen

 

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

 

See WASDE posting under the STATISTICS tab summarizing the April 10th USDA-WASDE Report #576, reviewing price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported during the 2018 season.


 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, April 18th 2018.

04/18/2018
  • Hen Numbers in Production Down 0.9 million to 316.4 million.
  • Shell Inventory up by 4.5 Percent Post-Easter.
  • Generic Prices Down 38 Percent from Previous Week.

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on April 16 th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large were down 38 percent from the previous week and Mediums fell 30 percent. The progression of prices during 2018 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The April 13th USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 65: No. 16) documented a USDA Combined Region value of $2.14 per dozen delivered to warehouses effective April 9th. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $2.05 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region attained $2.22 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was 125 cents per dozen above the three-year average.

The number of producing hens this week was down by 0.9 million to 316.4 million following depletion of second cycle flocks and molting of older first-cycle flocks held in production for pre-Easter sales. The hen population is more than adequate to meet early Spring seasonal consumer and industrial demand but any number above 315 million portends lower prices and increased inventory going forward into mid-to late April. The total U.S. egg-flock comprises 322.1 million hens including 2nd Cycle birds and those in molt on all farms.

Generic shell-egg stock rose by 4.5 percent to 1,412,600 cases following an increase of 4.8 percent for the previous week. To maintain prices the market will have to find a balance between supply and demand as the Industry moves into the second quarter, generally characterized by low prices.

Dried-egg inventory declined 10.9 percent to 14.7 million lbs. (6,680 metric tons) as of March 31st 2018 (was 16.5 million lbs. on February 28th 2018)

The National stock of frozen egg products as reported by the USDA on March 22nd 2018 attained 32.61 million pounds (14,822 metric tons) on February 28th 2018 down 20.6 percent from February 28 th 2017.


 


Peapod Reduces Prices for Delivery

04/18/2018

Peapod, a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize USA, has revised delivery subscriptions and introduced discounts on grouped products in an attempt to retain customer goodwill over the long term.  Innovations include:

  • PodPass MidWeek: this program will offer free deliveries on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for a $55 annual subscription.  The program is available for a six-month subscription for $35.
     
  • Bulk Buying Discounts: discounts are offered for bulk purchases including mix-and- match within a category.
     
  • Savings Bundles Discounts: lower prices are offered on the purchase of related products within groups.
     
  • Featured Savings: price reductions on generic and organic produce, dairy and meat will be offered on a changing daily basis.
     
    In an endeavor to improve customer service, the company has refined the “Ask Peapod” function using Alexa and has introduced an order-by-text platform.

 

March Wholesale Prices Increase by 0.3 Percent

04/18/2018

On Tuesday April 10th, the Department of Labor announced that the Producer Price Index rose 0.3 percent in March following increases of 0.4 percent in January and 0.2 percent in February.  Major contributors to the increase included food which rose 2.2 percent but was partly offset by energy costs which were lowered by 2.1 percent.

 

Economists interpret the trend for the first quarter of 2018 as indicating increased inflation pressure.

 

 


 

Iowa Board of Regents Authorizes Naming of Poultry Science Facilities

04/18/2018

Although an appropriation has not been approved for the proposed Iowa State University Poultry Research facility, the Board of Regents has approved the naming of components.  The proposed facility will replace an existing series of buildings and laboratories erected in the 1960’s.

 

The research and instructional unit will be named the “Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm.”  This designation follows a request of $3 million to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences by the spouse of the late Robert Hamilton. 

 

The building to house hens will be named the “Iowa Egg Council Layer Research Facility”. This recognizes a $1.5 million grant from the Iowa Egg Council.

 

The unit devoted to aspects of breeding will be named the “Hy-Line Genetics Research Building” in honor of a $500,000 commitment from Hy-Line International and Hy-Line North America.

 

Authorization of $5 million in capital expenditure for the project is expected, given the importance of Iowa as the leading egg-production state in the U.S.  The proposed facility will allow Iowa State University to be more competitive in attracting Federal research funds and qualified faculty and graduate students.

 

 It is noted that poultry research at Iowa State is supported by other departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with specialists in engineering, and economics. Proximity to the College of Veterinary Medicine and the National Veterinary Research Laboratory operated by the USDA offer opportunities for collaborative synergy.


 

Updated USDA Projections for 2017 and 2018 Egg Production

04/16/2018

The USDA Economic Research Service issued an updated April 16th 2018 forecast of egg production. The volume of eggs produced and per capita consumption were increased by 1.5 and 1.2 percent respectively over 2017. Notwithstanding this disparity the benchmark New York price was increased by a third in unit value Production data reflecting 2016 and 2017 should be compared to 2015 which was impacted by the Spring outbreak of HPAI in the upper-Midwest.

 

Parameter

2015 (actual)

2016 (actual)

2017 (revised)

2018 (Projection) Delta ’17-‘18

EGGS

       

Production (m. dozen)

6,938*

7,435

7,677

7,790 +1.5%

Consumption (eggs per capita)

256.3*

275.7

274.2

277.4 +1.2%

New York price (c/doz.)

182*

86

101

136 +34.6%

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook – April 16th 2018

*Impacted by Spring 2015 HPAI outbreaks. Consumption in 2014, 267 eggs per capita

Subscribers to EGG-NEWS are referred to the postings depicting weekly prices, volumes and trends and the monthly review of prices and related industry statistics.


 

Chipotle Mexican Grill Announces Landfill Diversion Program

04/15/2018

Currently Chipotle Mexican Grill operates with a 40 percent diversion from restaurants to landfills. The company intends increasing the proportion to 50 percent by 2020. Practical measures implemented in restaurants include:

  • Minimizing food waste during preparation
  • Adjusting food preparation to anticipated sales to reduce waste at the end of the day
  • Recycling and in-store composting including biodegradable packaging
  • Participation in food donation programs

The landfill diversion program will be monitored by a coordinator in cooperation with RiverRoad Waste Solutions.


 

Kroger to Expand Workforce

04/15/2018

According to an article in the April 11th edition of The Wall Street Journal, The Kroger Company will hire 11,000 additional workers to be located in 2,800 supermarkets. The new positions will include cashiers, produce clerks and workers involved in on-line grocery-pick up operations. The initiative is part of a three-year plan to upgrade existing stores and to enhance customer service.

Tim Massa, Group Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Kroger, commented on the need for extra workers in an increasingly tight labor market.

In an endeavor to compete with Walmart, Target and other retailers, Kroger will spend $500 million on enhanced compensation including higher starting wage and other benefits.


 

USCIS Upgrades E-Verify Website

04/15/2018

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has introduced a new website            www.e-verify.gov.

The website incorporates information concerning E-Verify and Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The website also outlines employer responsibilities and employee rights.  

In commenting on the website, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna stated “For the past decade,    E-Verify has been the cornerstone of our continued commitment to helping employers maintain a legal workforce. <E-Verify.gov> now allows uses to better understand and navigate through the employment verification process.”

In terms of the April 18th Buy American and Hire American Executive Order, employers must verify all new hires through E-Verify. The system, which now has 800,000 enrolled employees, can confirm eligibility to work either instantly or within 24 hours.

In the past, problems have arisen identifying workers through submission of I-9 forms. Problems include incorrect initials and spelling of family names and defects in the database. The USCIS has worked consistently to resolve anomalies and problems.


 

Cargill Announces Expansion of Big Lake, MN Processing Plant

04/15/2018

In an April 11th press release, Cargill Inc. will invest $20 million to expand the Big Lake, MN. egg processing facility. The expansion will include equipment for pasteurizing, cooking and food service items and is scheduled for completion in January 2019.

In commenting on the expansion, Jared Johnson, General Manager of the Big Lake plant stated “We continue to invest in the traditional protein space to provide our food service and food ingredient customers innovative, high-quality cooked egg products.” He added “This investment underscores our ongoing commitment to the Big Lake community and our employees, egg suppliers, restaurant and food service customers throughout the upper Midwest.

Cargill operates egg processing facilities in Monticello, MN.; Mason City, IA.; Lake Odessa, MI. in addition to the Big Lake plant.

During the past two years, Cargill has invested $900 million in the protein business in North America including $27 million for Lake Odessa and $12 million for Mason City in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

According to the Cargill release, “when the expansion is completed, annual requirements for eggs from family farms in the area will be 170 million”. This figure must be incorrect since it corresponds to a complement of only 600,000 hens.


 

Progress of Farm Bill Imperiled by SNAP Dispute

04/14/2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will unveil a Farm Bill incorporating work conditions for recipients of SNAP and related benefits. The proposal will require able-bodied adults between 18 and retirement age without children to work in order to be eligible for food stamps. In high unemployment areas, recipients will have to undergo job retraining for at least 20 hours per week.

 

Generally the House Agricultural Committee operates in a bipartisan manner. The SNAP work requirements however has divided the committee along party lines and will evidently impede progress on the $900 billion Farm Bill, which must be enacted before the current Legislation expires in September. The bill envisages savings exceeding $100 billion in entitlements.

 

Ultimately, a compromise will be reached, but in addition to the major consideration relating to entitlements, numerous amendments will be proposed requiring the usual 11th hour horse trading and compromise. As Mark Twain observed, it is not a pleasant experience to watch either sausages or law being made.


 

Export of Shell Eggs and Products January-February 2018.

04/13/2018

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing January-February 2018 with the corresponding period in 2017:-

PRODUCT

Jan.-Feb. 2017

Jan.-Feb. 2018

Difference

Shell Eggs

     

Volume (m. dozen)

18.0

17.6

-0.4 (-2.2%)

Value ($ million)

17.3

21.2

+3.9 (+22.5%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

0.96

1.20

+0.24 (+25.0%)

Egg Products

 

 

 

Volume (metric tons)

6,250

6,485

+235 (+3.8%)

Value ($ million)

16.8

23.7

+6.9 (+41.1%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

2,688

3,654

+966 (+35.9%)

U.S. SHELL EGG AND EGG PRODUCT EXPORTS IN JANUARY-

FEBRUARY 2018 COMPARED WITH JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017

Source USDA-FAS/USAPEEC


 


Timken Survey of Supermarket Consumer Satisfaction

04/12/2018

The 2018 Timken Experience Rating of supermarkets based on 10,000 U.S. consumers has been published. The top ten and their ranking scores were:

  • Wegman’s                   86
  • H-E-B                         83
  • Publix                          83
  • Aldi                             82
  • Wawa Food Markets 82
  • Trader Joe’s                 81
  • ShopRight                   81
  • Save-A-Lot                 80
  • Food Lion                   80
  • Meijer                          79
  • Kroger                         79
  • Ivy                               79
  • Winn Dixie                  79

According to Timken, a score of 70 percent or above is considered “good” and a score of 80 percent and above is “excellent”.

The survey takes into account price, value, service, quality of products, variety and other parameters.

Supermarkets averaged an overall 79 percent rating in the 2018 survey and this segment was ranked highest among 20 industry categories.

It is considered interesting that the 3rd and 5th positions were held by deep discount stores which obviously are matching their prices with other benefits. Whole Foods Market scored 72 and Amazon Fresh 67, ranked 22nd and 23rd respectively.


 

American Egg Board Generates 89 Million Impressions From Easter Egg Roll

04/12/2018

The AEB has announced that publicity relating to the Easter Egg Roll, specifically mentioning the American Egg Board has generated more than 88.8 million impressions. Coverage included sponsorship of the AEB for the commemorative Egg. Bylined opinion articles were reproduced in local markets. Coverage included major media including CBS, CNN, AOL and Business Insider. Social media included Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

USDA To Recognize and Accept Genome Editing

04/12/2018

The USDA does not intend to regulate plants developed using genome editing. Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue stated “Plant breeding innovation holds enormous promise for helping to protect crops against drought and diseases while increasing nutritional value and eliminating allergens.” Perdue added “Using this science, farmers can continue to meet consumer expectations for healthful, affordable food products in a manner that consumes fewer natural resources. Innovation will help farmers do what we aspire to do at USDA; do right and feed everyone.”

The USDA, the EPA and the FDA have initiated a “coordinated framework for the regulation of biotechnology”. The USDA focusses on protecting plant health, the FDA is responsible for food and feed safety, and the EPA regulates sale, distribution and testing of pesticides.

 


 

Gymnastic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Joins AEB Search for Incredible Kids

04/12/2018

The American Egg Board has launched another search for the country’s most incredible kid. Back for its second year, the You’re Incredible Because… Contest is looking for kids engaging in socially beneficial projects in their schools and communities, excelling in sports or extracurricular activities or raising money for those in need.

 

“We were so impressed by all of the inspiring entries we received during last year’s contest, we knew we had to bring it back for a second year,” said Anne L. Alonzo, president and CEO of the American Egg Board. “We are proud to play a role in supporting these incredible kids, as well as by providing nutritious and delicious food, on behalf of America’s egg farmers, to keep them fueled throughout the day.”

 

Laurie Hernandez will be the official spokesperson of the You’re Incredible Because… campaign and contest. She stated “I’m excited to continue my partnership with the American Egg Board for this year’s search for the next incredible kid,” She added “I personally understand how important it is to recognize children for their accomplishments, especially for the seemingly small actions that can lead to a big difference.”

Entries submitted between now and May 7, 2018 will be eligible for the grand prize: $2,500 for the incredible kid, $2,500 for the incredible kid’s school, a prize pack and special feature on

IncredibleEgg.org and The Incredible Egg’s social channels.


 

STOP PRESS

04/12/2018

The following topics will dominate Congress and the Administration in the coming week in addition to items of interest to the poultry industry to be reviewed in EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS:

  • Consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill: The comprehensive Farm Bill will be introduced into the House by the GOP this week. Partisan conflict over mandatory work or alternatively job training for at least 30 percent of SNAP recipients will delay passage, hopefully not beyond the September expiry of the existing Bill.

  • Farm Relief: Faced with retaliatory threats by China to place punitive and reciprocal tariffs on U.S. soybeans and ethanol has created anxiety in the Midwest. This has implications for the GOP in a mid-term election year. Possible ameliorative action could include Federal buy-backs and making available support for farmers from the Commodity Credit Corporation. These actions would ultimately increase the deficit and incur complaints to the WTO over subsidies.

  • Upgraded E-Verify Website: The www.E-verify.gov website has been upgraded by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The Department of Homeland Security is strengthening border surveillance, conducting raids and prosecuting employees of illegal aliens. It is incumbent on companies to verify eligibility for employment using the I-9 Form and E-verify system.

  • Cargill to Expand Big Lake MN Plant: An extension of the Big Lake plant and installation of equipment will cost over $20 million to increase capacity and widen the range of pasteurized egg products for Consumer and food service markets.

  • Are we to be the 12th Member of the TPP? Despite condemning the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a “disaster” and withdrawing the U.S. three days into his administration the President has now instructed his trade team to evaluate affiliation with the existing 11 Members. Canada and Japan are open to U.S. collaboration but will not consider modifications to the agreement


 

Optimism over NAFTA Emerges

04/11/2018

Under the backdrop of the successive tariff announcements indicating a potential trade conflict between the U.S. and China, it appears that the Administration wishes to expedite NAFTA negotiations. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer met with the Foreign Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland and the Economics Minister of Mexico, Ildefonso Guajardo last week to discuss items of concern before the Eighth Round which commenced on Friday April 6.  Freeland indicated that the three countries are making “good progress”.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that talks “are moving forward in a significant way” according to Bloomberg. It is understood that the White House wishes to conclude negotiations on NAFTA and will retract from absolute demands relating to automobiles and a sunset clause.

 

 

A jarring note is represented by the decision of the White House to deploy troops to sections of the common border with Mexico. All four candidates for the July presidential election in Mexico have condemned the use of U.S. military although there is precedent for this action.  Mexican President Pena Nieto stated, “The U.S. and Mexico have an intense dynamic relationship but this does not justify threatening or disrespectful attitudes between our countries”.

 

 

Progress on NAFTA and overtures to the EU in some measure reduce anxiety in Midwestern states where concern is evident over the prospect of retaliatory tariffs threatened by China. This follows successive reciprocal announcements on tariffs on imported steel, aluminum and threats relating to imposition of import duties on a wide range of consumer items from China, announced by the President during the first week of April.


 

Sad Passing of Irving Isaacson

04/11/2018

Irving Isaacson passed away on Wednesday March 28 in his birthplace Auburn, ME at the age of 102.  In his long and eventful life, he was a lawyer, soldier, secret agent, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

 

  Born August 7, 1915 he graduated from Bates College in 1936 and Harvard Law School in 1939.  In 1940 in advance of the entry of the U.S. into WWII, he enlisted in the National Guard before the draft was established.  He was trained as a communications officer and due to his proficiency in four languages was posted to England where he was assigned to the OSS. He parachuted into Holland to support the Dutch resistance and undertook special projects in Eastern Europe then under Soviet domination.  At wars end he met and married Judith a survivor of Auschwitz, enjoying 70 years of matrimony before her passing in 2015.


Irving Isaacson

 From 1947 onwards he was committed to the legal profession representing numerous Maine companies and in addition served as an assistant district attorney in Androscoggin County and a municipal judge for Auburn, ME. He was he author of a number of manuals relating to law enforcement and authored Memoirs of an Amateur Spy.

He had strong connections to the poultry industry representing the Maine Chicken and Egg Association and producers in New England.  He was a co-founder of UEP. Irving continued working through his 95th year retiring when his eyesight failed. 

 

He is survived by his sister Shirley Nadel and his three children John, Consuelo and Mark and their families which included eight grandchildren. 

 

May he rest in peace.

 


 

Study in Spain Evaluates Lifetime Assessment of Egg Production Sustainability

04/11/2018

A recently published peer-reviewed article evaluated egg production in a 55,000-hen unit in Asturias, Spain.* Research was conducted by the Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology, University of Oviedo.  The Study evaluated inputs including feed, water, electrical power, replacement pullets, transport and packaging material.  Greenhouse gas emissions were calculated and the environmental footprint of the farm was characterized including waste and manure, eggs produced and depleted layers.  Taking into account all inputs and production, the study determined that 2.66 kg carbon dioxide equivalents were liberated for each dozen eggs sold.

 

Water consumption and disinfectants for cleaning did not contribute materially to the total impact of egg production.  Feed was the largest source of greenhouse gasses.  Benefits were obtained by recycling depleted hens for meat production.

 

This comprehensive study could serve as a valuable model and benchmark for determining the environmental impact of egg production since it takes into account transport and packaging material which may not have not been considered in other published studies.

 

Unfortunately, the results are not necessarily applicable to the U.S.  The subject farm housed 55,000 hens.  Theoretically, egg production should have attained 16 million at a nominal 80 percent.  The report indicates that the farm produced 13 million eggs corresponding to an average egg production of 65 percent.  Flocks were presumably confined to enriched colony cages which again does not reflect U.S. production practice.

 

 

*Abin, R., Laca, A. and Diaz, M. Environmental assessment of intensive egg production: A Spanish case study.  Journal of Cleaner Production. doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.067


 

Organic Milk Recalled in New York State

04/11/2018

Pelleh Farms located in Swan Lake, NY has recalled Bethel Creamery Brand USDA Certified Whole Organic Milk.

 

Investigations revealed that the designated batches of milk were not effectively pasteurized.  Heating to 161 F for 15 seconds will destroy vegetative forms of bacteria in milk including the agents responsible for tuberculosis and brucellosis (rare in modern U.S. dairy herds), but also Salmonella, E.coli Campylobacter and Listeria which are becoming more frequently associated with milkborne infections from raw milk.

 

 This case again confirms that the USDA Certified Organic seal relates to production practices with certification involving a review of paperwork.  The USDA Certified Organic seal does not address the issues of quality or food safety.


 

USDA- WASDE FORECAST #576, April 10th 2018

04/10/2018

OVERVIEW

The April 10th 2018 USDA WASDE projections for the 2018 corn and soybean harvests were estimated based on preliminary planting intentions by farmers, long-range weather forecasts and historical data. Harvest areas for corn and soybeans were projected to be 82.7 million acres (83.1 million in 2017) and 89.5 million acres, (unchanged from 2017) respectively. The USDA retained the pre-planting corn yield at 176.6 bushels per acre (175.4 bushels in 2017). Soybean yield was retained at 49.1 bushels per acre (49.5 bushels in 2017), estimated in January 2018. The USDA April projection of ending stock for corn was raised by 2.6 percent to 2,182 million bushels due to lower “Feed and Residual” use. Ending stock for soybeans was lowered 0.9 percent to 550 million bushels compared to the March 2018 WASDE Report.

CORN

The projection of the corn harvest was retained from the March 2018 Report at 14,604 million bushels consistent with the uncertainty of the pre-planting period. The projection for 2018 can be compared to the 2017 harvest of 14,577 million bushels and is down 3.6 percent from the 2016 near-record harvest of 15,148 million bushels. The “Ethanol and Byproducts” category was retained at 5,575 m. bushels and exports were held at 2,225 m bushels. “Feed and Residual” was reduced by 50 m. bushels resulting in a corresponding increase of 0.9 percent in ending stocks to 2,182 m. bushels. The projected USDA range in farm price was narrowed to 320 to 350 cents per bushel. At close of trading on April 10th CME quotations for May and July 2018 corn were 390 cents and 398 cents per bushel respectively suggesting that the USDA projected range may be too low.

April 2018 WASDE #576 ESTIMATE FOR THE 2018 CORN HARVEST:

Harvest Area 82.7 m* acres (90.2 m. acres planted, corresponding to 91.7 % of area harvested)


 


FDA-Audit Recall of Herbal Supplement

04/09/2018

The FDA has ordered recall of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) supplements distributed by Triangle Pharmanaturals of Las Vegas, NV.  The justification was the demonstrated presence of Salmonella in the product implicated in a 35 state outbreak.

 

Kratom an opiod-like botanical has no approved medical use but is consumed to reduce anxiety and drug addiction although the pharmacological properties of the compound may exacerbate underlying psychoses.

 

The significance of the outbreak associated with the specific kratom supplement lies in fact that CDC globular data on the incidence of salmonellosis will be increased by this non-food vehicle of infection when statistics are released for 2017 and 2018. Any increase in the apparent rate will provide ammunition for opponents of intensive livestock production who claim that any increase in salmonellosis in the U.S. population is attributable to consumption of poultry and red meat and even eggs. This is totally erroneous from an epidemiologic perspective but oversimplifications and distortions are the raw material for the social media.


 

H5N8 Diagnosed in Saudi Arabia

04/09/2018

The Ministry for the Environment, Water and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced detection of two flocks with H5N8 avian influenza in the Al-Kharj Governorate.  A national survey involving examination of close to 13,000 samples yield 171 isolates of H5N8 denoting the presence of the highly pathogenic virus in the poultry population.  It is believed that the virus was introduced by migratory birds frequenting National wildlife reserves.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Avian influenza Persists in Taiwan

04/09/2018

According to the Taiwan Central News Agency, a goose farm with 1,000 presumably free-range  birds was diagnosed with H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza.  After confirmation of the diagnosis the flock was depleted.  Since the beginning of 2018, 60 poultry farms in Taiwan have been diagnosed with highly pathogenic avian influenza strains requiring culling of 400,000 birds suggesting that infection with various H5 and H7 strains introduced by migratory waterfowl is now endemic.

 


 

Egg Monthly

04/09/2018

REVIEW OF MARCH PRODUCTION STATISTICS AND COSTS.

  • March 2018 USDA Ex-Farm Benchmark Price Rose 51.9 Percent from February 2018 Consistent with Pre-Easter Demand.
  • Production Cost Up 1.4 Percent with Feed Higher by 2.4 Percent.
  • Seventh Successive Month of Positive Nest-run Margins.

Introduction.

Summary tables for the latest USDA March 2018 statistics and prices made available by the EIC on April 9th are arranged, summarized, tabulated and discussed in comparison with values from the previous March 12th 2018 posting reflecting February 2018 data.

 

COSTS & REVENUE

Parameter

MARCH 2018

FEBRUARY 2018

5-Region Cost of Production ex farm (1st Cycle)

63.66 c/doz

62.72 c/doz

Low

58.10 c/doz (MW)

57.27 c/doz (MW)

High

80.24 c/doz (CA)

79.03 c/doz (CA)

 

Components of 6-Region 1stCycle Cost of Production:-

 

MARCH 2018

FEBRUARY 2018

Feed

34.86 c/doz

34.03 c/doz

Pullet depreciation

11.28 c/doz

11.16 c/doz

Labor

4.00 c/doz

4.00 c/doz

Housing

5.30 c/doz

5.30 c/doz

Miscellaneous and other*

8.22 c/doz

8.23 c/doz


 


Cargill Urges Negotiation on China-U.S. Tariffs

04/08/2018

Cargill Inc. the agribusiness multinational has expressed “deep concern” over the imposition of tariffs by U.S. and China on respective imports.

According to Reuters, China is the second largest market in the U.S. for food and agricultural exports and Cargill foresees a destructive trade war unless issues of concern to both nations can be resolved by negotiations.

When the U.S. supported entry of China to the WTO in 2001, agreements between the two nations were not based on specific rules governing their trade. This has resulted in China taking advantage of any lack of specificity. The current trend towards brinkmanship to narrow the trade imbalance and to protect intellectual property may prove as deleterious for U.S. industry as it portends for agriculture.


 

Shipt Expands Operations

04/08/2018

Shipt will commence same-day deliveries for Winn-Dixie supermarkets in Florida and for Target Stores in the Northwest.

Anthony Hucker, President and CEO of Winn-Dixie stated “The partnership with Shipt provides our customers another way to shop and receive groceries right to their doorstep.”

The CEO of Shipt, Bill Smith, noted “Florida residents have long been enthusiastic supporters of Shipt and this partnership gives our loyal members’ access to Winn-Dixie in a completely new and convenient way.”

Shipt is a fully-owned subsidiary of Target and the parent company intends using the delivery service in Portland and Eugene in Oregon, Seattle and Spokane in Washington and Boise, Idaho. COO of Target, John Mulligan commented “Same-day delivery was at the top of our list when we were thinking about ways to make shopping at target even easier.” Shipt will add more than 1,150 shoppers across the Northwest as part of the team fulfilling orders.


 

STOP PRESS

04/05/2018

The following topics will be reviewed in greater detail in upcoming editions of EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS:-

  • Trade War With China: This developing tit-for-tat series of tariffs and reciprocal actions has the potential to impact corn and soy prices if exports of these commodities to China are reduced with livestock producers the beneficiaries.
     
  • Argentina Reduces Export Taxes on Commodities: To revitalize the agricultural sector of the economy in Argentina, President Mauricio Macri has decreed a reduction in the export tax on soybeans and soybean meal making products from this nation more competitive in international trade

 

  • Arizona Extends Shelf-Life for Grade A Eggs: Arizona has enacted legislation to extend the “Sell-By” date from 24 to 45 days.

 

  • Brazil to Furlough Plant Workers: Major broiler producers including cooperatives and integrators have announced furloughs for plant workers as volumes of throughput are throttled back following embargos imposed by importing nations. This follows scandals dealing with inspection and certification.
     
  • Cargill Reports Lower Earnings for Q3 FY2018: A non-reoccurring tax charge of $161 reduced Q3 net earnings to $495 million ($650 million Q3 FY 2017) on sales of $27.85 billion ($27.29 billion)

 

Iowa Egg Council Omelet Competition

04/04/2018

The Iowa Egg Council has announced the 2nd annual Most Egg-Cellent Omelet in Iowa contest. Iowans are invited to nominate their favorite omelets from an Iowa restaurant.

The top 10 restaurants with the most votes will be eligible for consideration as the winner to be announced on May 9th. Nominations can be forwarded to www.iowaegg.org.


 

CDC Should Update Salmonella Text

04/04/2018

Readers of EGG-NEWS will appreciate that the CDC is held in high regard. Their annual pre-Easter caution on Salmonella infection does however require updating. Under the heading “How can I reduce my chance of a Salmonella infection?” the CDC notes, “consider buying and using pasteurized eggs and egg products which are widely available”.

Since the 2011application of the FDA Final Rule on Reduction of Salmonella and adoption of mandatory testing and enhanced biosecurity, there has not been a documented case of egg-borne Salmonellosis associated with a commercial farm operating in accordance with the Rule or a State EQAP. The recommendation to purchase pasteurized shell eggs and egg products is therefore superfluous.

The suggestion to refrigerate eggs at 40F after purchase, to discard cracked or dirty eggs and to cook eggs to an internal temperature of 160F are valid and reasonable precautions. Other suggestions relating to kitchen hygiene and handwashing are obviously beneficial, but in the absence of eggs carrying SE, the recommendations apply more to other vehicles of Salmonella infection including raw poultry, meat and vegetables.

It is hoped that the CDC will review and update their annual recommendation which has remained unchanged for at least a decade.


 

Sherman Miller Named President and COO of Cal-Maine Foods

04/04/2018

Sherman Miller has been promoted from Vice President and Chief Operating Officer to President and COO effective April 1st. He will continue to report to Dolph Baker, Chairman and CEO.

Sherman is a 21-year veteran of Cal-Maine Foods and has assumed progressively more responsible positions in the Company including Vice President of Operations of the Kansas and Ohio operations and has served as a GM at Delta, UT. And the Edwards, MS. complexes.

Miller is a native of Ethel, MS. and obtained a baccalaureate degree in poultry science from Mississippi State University in 1997.

He has served on a number of USPOULTRY committees including president and has contributed extensively to the wellbeing of the industry.

In commenting on the appointment, Dolph Baker stated “We are very pleased to name Sherman Miller to this important position with Cal-Maine Foods.” He added “He was our first summer intern and he has dedicated his entire career to the company.”


 

Hy-Line Awarded Compartment Status for Breeding Operation in Brazil

04/04/2018

Jonathan Cade, President of Hy-Line International confirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil has awarded compartment status to Hy-Line do Brazil. Cade stated “Security of supply is a key issue to maintain our distribution to Hy-Line customers around the world.” He added “As one of our most important global distribution hubs, compartment status will allow for uninterrupted trade to countries that receive exports from Brazil.”

The principle of compartmentalization was developed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to allow supply in the event of a disease outbreak in a nation where an isolated breeding operation was located. Hy-Line do Brazil has invested more than $10 million during the last five years to upgrade biosecurity in grandparent and parent stock facilities. Breeding stock is exported from Hy-Line do Brazil to more than 27 nations on four continents.

Tiago Lourenco, Managing Director of Hy-Line of Brazil, stated “Achieving compartmentalization is a seal that demonstrates and validates that we have procedures which prevent the entry of disease into our operations and if it eventually emerges in our country, we have strong protocols implemented together with well-structured contingency plans to keep the company’s operations safe.”


 

Challenge to Iowa “Ag Gag” Law to Proceed

04/04/2018

In 2017, a number of animal rights advocacy groups filed suit challenging the 2012 Iowa “Ag Gag” law. This legislation criminalized fraud to enter an agricultural production facility. A person would have contravened the law by willfully obtaining access to an agricultural production facility by false pretenses or making false statement as part of an application for employment with the intent to commit an act contrary to the interests of the facility.

The opposition to the Iowa statute was based on both 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment considerations. The court dismissed the 14th Amendment challenge ruling that the State had a rationale for the law to prevent trespass on an agricultural facility. The lawsuit based on the 1st Amendment claim will however proceed.


 

USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

04/03/2018

Based on the importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders.

EGG-NEWS summarizes and comments on data and trends in the monthly USDA Cage-Free Report, supplementing the information posted weekly in the Egg Weekly Price and Inventory Report.

The report for the month of March 2018 released on April 2nd 2018 documented no change in numbers of either Certified Organic or cage-free flocks compared to February 2018. Although hen numbers were exactly the same for March as the previous month egg production up by 0.3% supports the static numbers of hens in organic and cage-free flocks reflecting the realities of supply and demand in the market.

Average flock production was increased from 74.8 percent to 75.0 percent for both categories compared to the previous month (accepting USDA data), which is consistent with placement of younger flocks as denoted by the increase in flock sizes in February 2018:-

Flock Size (million hens)

Dec ‘17 Jan.’18 Feb. ‘18 March ‘18

Certified Organic

14.7 14.6 15.0 15.0

Cage-free hens

34.7 35.7 36.9 36.9

Total non-caged

49.4 50.3 51.9 51.9

 

Average weekly production cases, March 2018

Certified Organic

218,692 was 217,963 Feb. +0.3%

Cage-free

537,556 was 535,764 Feb. +0.3%

Total non-caged

756,248 was 753,727 Feb. +0.3%

Average Wholesale Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.60/doz. Unchanged since October ‘17.

Range unchanged at:

FOB Negotiated price, grade quality nest run

$1.16 to $2.10/doz. (Av. $1.60/doz.)

$1.60 to $2.40/doz. (Av. $1.85/doz.)

Average Advertised National Retail Price C-F, L, Brown

$2.68/doz. ($2.74 Feb. ‘18.) Jan ‘18.

USDA 6-Region

High: NE

$2.93/doz. $3.04 SW

 

Low: SC

$2.47/doz. $2.52 SC

 

Kindly refer to weekly USDA wholesale and retail prices posted in the EGG-NEWS Egg Price and Inventory Report E-mailed each Friday. Previous Monthly Cage-Free Report available under the STATISTICS Tab.


 

AEB Supported the 140th White House Easter Egg Roll

04/03/2018

Following tradition established in 1886, Easter was celebrated at the White House by presenting the annual egg roll.

 

The AEB donated 30,000 hard-boiled and dyed eggs for participants.  The occasion promoted the U.S. egg industry through EggPops for children and the Hen-to-Home exhibit. For 2018 the AEB hosted an immersive video virtual reality experience placing viewers directly into a cage-free house showing images of how eggs move from the hen-to-home.  The play kitchen was also available for children.

 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue stated, “Easter will not be Easter without eggs.  Thanks to the generosity of America’s egg farmers the White House Easter Egg Roll is brimming with real eggs.”  He added, “Our nation’s egg farmers and their incredible eggs are an annual feature on the South Lawn of the White House with its time-honored and uniquely American holiday tradition.” 

 

 

The 41st Commemorative Egg themed Wings of Prayer Egg was presented to the First Lady.  Egg artist Deborah Grassel of Austin, TX. was responsible for the egg in the style of Faberge.


Anne Alonzo CEO and president of the AEB and Jeff Hardin Chairman of the AEB at the 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll

 

 


 

Cal-Maine Reports on Q3 of FY 2018

04/02/2018

In a press release dated April 2nd Cal-Maine Foods announced results for the 3rd Quarter of Fiscal 2018, ending March 3 rd 2018.

The 3rd Quarter results of CALM incorporate an $8.3 million non-recurring tax benefit representing the equivalent of $0.17 in EPS. The corresponding 3rd Quarter of 2017 included a legal settlement of $80 million.

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)

3rd Quarter Ending.

March 3rd

2018

February 25th 2017

Difference (%)

Sales:

$435,820

$306,540

+42.2

Gross profit:

$120,098

$39,165

+206.6

Operating income:

$76,202

$(5,195)

+1566.8

Net Income

$96,294

$4,139

+2,226.5

Diluted earnings per share:

$1.99

$0.09

+2,111.1

Gross Margin (%)

27.6

12.7

+117.3

Operating Margin (%)

17.4

-1.7

+1.123.5

Profit Margin (%)

22.1.

1.3

+1,600.0

Long-term Debt: March 3rd ‘18/ June 3 rd ‘17

$3,351

$6,113

-45.2

12 Months Trailing:

     

Return on Assets (%)

-1.5

   

Return on Equity (%)

-7.5

   

Operating Margin (%)

-2.1

   

Profit Margin (%)

-5.8

   

Total Assets March 3rd ‘18/June 3rd ‘17

$1,143,683

$1,033,094

+10.7

Market Capitalization

$2,030,000

   

52-Week Range in Share Price: $33.40 to $50.40

Market Close March 29th $43.95. 11H30 April 2nd $41.74

Forward P/E: 20.7


 


Daybreak Foods To Reconstruct Farm

04/02/2018

Daybreak Foods has been granted planning commission to demolish existing obsolete cage housing and erect new aviary facilities at an existing Lake Mills, WI. farm. It is intended to expand the present farm with a capacity of 1.8 million to 2.7 million including pullets. This will be accomplished by erecting five aviary houses and four pullet units with compatible rearing systems in addition to manure storage and service facilities.

Daybreak Foods is ranked 5th among U.S. egg producers with 12 million hens in four states and is primarily an egg breaker suppling liquid to processors.


Bill Rehn, Daybreak Foods

 

U.S. Egg Consumption To Rise in 2018

04/02/2018

The American Egg Board citing USDA figures is anticipating a 2 percent increase in uptake during calendar 2018. This follows a 2 percent increase in 2017 and a 3.8 percent increase in 2016. In 2017, egg consumption attained 279 per capita for both shell and liquid products. This value compares with the 1940s peak of 380 eggs per capita during WWII when meat consumption was restricted.

The increase in consumption is attributed to growing awareness of the nutritional value of eggs as promoted by the American Egg Board, all day breakfast served by QSRs, relatively low prices in the second half of 2016 through 2017 relative to other protein sources and convenience presentations containing eggs. Fortunately the cholesterol myth was dissipated completely during the first decade of this century confirmed by consumer surveys which show negligible concern for what is essentially a nutrient. The advent of specialty eggs with increased levels of fat, soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and lutein has also added to consumption especially among health-conscious Millennials and Baby Boomers.


 

CDC Caution on Backyard Chickens

04/01/2018


 

Egg Prices in Costa Rica

03/31/2018

No holiday trip to a foreign nation would be complete without a visit to a supermarket to review egg range, packaging and prices. Peri a large modern supermarket in Liberia, the state capital of Guanacaste Province showed a narrow range marketed under the Yema Dorada brand.

Brown eggs are packed as 6; 10; 12 or 15 quantities in fiber and PET containers. Tray-and-film 30-egg packs were also displayed. 

The price for shell eggs ranged from $2.41 per dozen for 30-egg packs to $2.66 per dozen for       6-egg packs. Omega-enriched (level not specified) were offered at $4.52 per dozen suggesting a very high incremental margin for specialty product.

All eggs were displayed on racks, unrefrigerated.

Costa Rica is regarded as a stable democracy with no standing army since 1947. The Nation has a high ranking on the UN Human Development index at 69th in the World which is the best in Latin America. Average. GDP per capita is $12,400 but with a wide range between affluent and low-income citizens. The problem faced by successive governments is the high debt service representing one third of the 2017 budget and characterized by the liquidity crisis last year. Expenditure on entitlements, education and universal health services represents a heavy burden on fiscal policy.

 


 

Export of Egg Products to Korea to Continue

03/30/2018

Following expiration of the temporary tariff rate quota initiated in early 2017, the U.S. will not be competitive in the shell egg market. In contrast, egg products including liquid egg white, whole liquid egg and variations will continue to be in demand. In accordance with the newly re-negotiated Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, tariffs will be phased out through 2026.


 

Amazon to Gain from WFM Acquisition-Competes with Walmart

03/30/2018

Amazon recognizes the value of a brick-and-mortar presence in expanding their distribution of groceries. According to Bloomberg, Amazon intends to establish pick-up locations within stores and to develop local centers in parking lots to allow distributors to collect orders and to serve as nodes for contractors to deliver items ordered online. The development of parking lots will be carried out in conjunction with Regency Centers, landlord for 28 Whole Foods Market (WFM) properties. In addition to modifying existing stores, Amazon is actively looking for locations extending from 50,000 to 80,000 square feet compared to typical WFM stores of 40,000 square feet.

Amazon recognizes the need to compete with Walmart which has a significant presence across the U.S. and is rapidly adapting existing locations to E-commerce.

Walmart is expanding store-pickup to 650 locations by the end of 2018. The company considers that the pick-up locations will improve E-commerce sales and the convenience grocery segment which will reach 2,000 stores by the end of the year. To counter Amazon, Walmart will open 500 FedEx office locations inside stores and has announced same-day delivery in 100 metropolitan areas.


 

Director of CDC Announced

03/30/2018

The Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Redfield as the Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The appointment does not require Congressional approval. Dr. Redford, currently a professor at the University of Maryland, has a distinguished career in medical research including two decades at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he investigated aspects of HIV transmission and was the founding director of the Department of Retroviral Research within the U.S. military HIV Research Program.

His appointment is supported by numerous scientists including Dr. Robert Gallo, Co-founder of the Institute of Virology with Dr. Redfield in 1996. Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University School of Medicine praised the accomplishments of Dr. Redfield including his most recent work in addressing the opioid crisis and global health issues. Dr. del Rio noted “His work to save lives in Africa and Haiti gives him a deep understanding of CDC’s global health mission and will serve him well as he works to address the health issues nationally as well as around the globe.” Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) noted that “Dr. Bob Redfield is the best choice to lead the CDC” citing work on HIV and hepatitis C.


 

Egg Protein Comparison & Protein Costs

03/30/2018

The March update shows an increase in the cost of chicken breast, ground beef, boneless pork chops and beef round roast. The cost of eggs and milk has decreased. Eggs continue to be the least expensive source of high-quality protein followed by milk and chicken breast.

The average cost of chicken breast increased by 5 cents, ground beef by 8 cents, pork chops by 3 cents and beef round roast by 6 cents. The average cost of eggs decreased by 1 cent, and milk by 4 cents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Retail Cost of High-Quality Protein Foods
Updated March 2018

Complete Protein Food

Avg. Cost  1

Serving Size

Cost per Serving

Calories per Serving 2 (kcal)

Protein per serving (g)

Grams Protein per Dollar Spent (g/$1)

Eggs, grade A large

1.76/doz.

1 egg

0.15

72

6

40

Milk, reduced fat, 2% milkfat

2.92/gal.3

8 oz.

0.18

122

8

44

Chicken breast, skinless (boneless)

3.12/lb.4

3 oz.

0.59

102

19

32

Ground beef, 90% lean meat

5.33/lb.

3 oz.

1.10

149

17

15

Pork chop (boneless)

3.72/lb.

3 oz.

0.70

132

18

26

Beef round roast, USDA Choice (boneless)

 

4.99/lb.

3 oz.

0.95

147

18

19


 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, March 28th 2018.

03/28/2018
  • Hen Numbers in Production Up 7 million to 319.1 million.
  • Generic Inventory Down by 7.8 Percent in pre-Easter Demand.
  • Third Week March, Generic Prices Higher by 17 Percent From Previous Week.

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on March 26 th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large sizes were up by 17.1 and 17.3 percent respectively from last week and Mediums were 23.8 percent higher. The progression of prices during 2018 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The March 26th USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 65: No. 13) documented a USDA Combined Region value of $2.35 per dozen delivered to warehouses effective March 23rd. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $2.26 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region attained $2.43 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was 90 cents per dozen above the three-year average.

The number of producing hens this week was up by 7 million to 319.1 million. The hen population is more than adequate to meet pre-Easter seasonal consumer and industrial demand but portends lower prices and increased inventory going forward after Easter. The total U.S. egg-flock comprises 324.0 million hens including 2nd Cycle birds and those in molt on all farms.


 


H5 AI Outbreak in South Korea

03/27/2018

A multi-aged duck operation has yielded H5 avian influenza virus which has yet to be characterized as to pathogenicity.  Appropriate quarantine has been imposed and a quail farm approximately two miles from the index case has been depleted as a preventive measure.  This is the first incident case of avian influenza for the past 40 days in South Korea and suggests that migratory waterfowl are responsible for introduction of the virus resulting in sporadic cases where the biosecurity barrier is breached.


 

CDC Launches NORS Website

03/27/2018

The CDC has established a National Outbreak Reporting System dashboard to allow access to twenty years of information on foodborne and waterborne disease outbreaks.

 

In addition, the CDC has restructured the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS) to provide public health authorities with updated information on foodborne and waterborne diseases drawn from fifty years of annual outbreak reports.

 


 

Iowa Intensifies Prevention of AI

03/27/2018

Based on the substantial losses experienced by producers in Iowa during the 2015 HPAI epornitic, the state of Iowa has intensified promotion of biosecurity for turkey and egg producers.   This action follows the confirmation of low pathogenic avian influenza in a turkey flock in Missouri in late February and in a broiler breeder flock in East Texas during the first week in March. 

 

Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture stated, “The low path influenza cases in Missouri and Texas highlight again the risks facing our poultry producers.  We have seen poultry farms investing in biosecurity improvements in recent years to protect their birds and keep them healthy.  This is their focus all year long but as we enter the spring migration season it is important they remain diligent in their biosecurity efforts.”

 

The Iowa response to avian influenza will function under a unified command involving the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Lands Stewardship and the USDA-APHIS, Veterinary Services. 

 

 

The sound words of advice from Secretary Naig are applicable to all producers throughout the U.S. and especially those operating under the Central and Mississippi flyways.


 

Animal Activists Sue Trader Joe’s

03/26/2018

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a suit against Trader Joe’s alleging violation of California consumer protection laws including the Unfair Competition Law, the False Advertising Law, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

 

At issue is the alleged misleading imagery that cover the top of some of Trader Joe’s cage-free egg cartons.  A depiction of hen foraging outdoors on green pastures creates the impression that hens are allowed access to pasture which may not be the case.

 

There are no legal definitions of “cage-free”, “free-range”, “pasture raised”, “free-roaming” or any other variation.  The cage-free label is generally accepted to denote eggs derived from flocks which are not housed in other than conventional cages.

 

Tyler Lobtel a Food Law Fellow for the Animal Defense Fund stated, “Trader Joe’s employs two different egg cartons that depict hens foraging outdoors on green pastures.  By paring this imagery with the text “cage-free” Trader Joe’s is capitalizing on consumer confusion as to what “cage-free” actually means. 

 

It can be expected that animal welfare activists will continue to harass producers with nuisance lawsuits which generate publicity for their cause but result in inconvenience and expense for producers and retail chains.

 

The courts will have to rule whether Animal Legal Defense Fund has standing, even in California, to sue either a producer or retailer.  The second non-legal but ethical consideration relates to whether the packaging was designed to create deception.  In the absence of a specific legal definition, producers should be wary of any labeling which may be misconstrued by a reasonable consumer.  Depictions of hens on grass does create the impression that flocks were allowed access to pasture.


 

McDonald’s to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

03/26/2018

McDonald’s Corporation has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent over the current base line of 2015 by 2030.  Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s stated, “To create a better future for our planet, we must all get involved.  McDonald’s is doing its part by setting this ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the challenge of global climate change.”  He added, “To meet this goal we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently and reduce waste and increase recycling.”

 

It is evident that pressure will be placed on suppliers to McDonald’s to enhance sustainability.  This initiative has implications for future production costs. Fine if they are compensated so that McDonald’s can make promotional claims but the cost should be shared between the supplier and the Company and also passed on to customers.


 

Better Business Bureau Drops HSUS Accreditation

03/26/2018

Despite acknowledged low standards the Wise Giving Alliance subsidiary of the Better Business Bureau has rescinded the accreditation of the Humane Society of the United States.  The Wise Giving Alliance actually receives licenses fees for granting accreditation which is in itself represents a conflict of interest.

 

 It is evident that the Better Business Bureau was forced to react following recent sex scandals involving Wayne Pacelle, the ousted CEO and his comrade-in-arms, ex-vice president Paul Shapiro. Their peccadillos were apparently insufficiently beyond the mainstream of propriety to arouse concern among the Board which belatedly responded by firing Pacelle for impropriety. 

 

The larger issue is however financial mismanagement since the HSUS donates less than one percent of annual income to support local animal shelters.  Basically the organization is a giant money-generating machine fueled by animal sentiment but committed to promoting a vegan agenda through lobbying, misinformation and promotion.

 

According to the IRS 990 form submitted by the HSUS for fiscal 2016 the society received total revenues of $127 million and expended $131 million. Salaries for 564 employees amounted to $42 million with Pacelle receiving close to $400,000 in salary and benefits and with many administrators in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. Approximately 75 percent of income was expended on programs but insufficient detail is provided to evaluate whether money was expended in relation to the mission of the Association. It is questioned why Judy Reed was awarded a $60,000 “severance” payment. Charity Navigator assigned a two-stars out of four rating to the HSUS in comparison to three to four stars for other animal-related charities.

 

The incoming Board would be well advised to engage the services of a top-tier firm of forensic accountants to investigate expenditures. They should then display transparency in releasing results of the evaluation of finances including payoffs to harassed employees, fundraising expenses, political donations and indirect support of radical animal rights groups.


 

Possible Retaliation by China Against U.S. Tariffs

03/26/2018

In response to imposition of tariffs against steel and aluminum and other items imported from China, our trading partner with whom we have a substantial negative trade balance has imposed retaliatory tariffs on agriculture products including pork, ethanol, and fruit.

 

At this time soybeans are not included. China imports approximately 100 million metric tons out of a world production of 359 million metric tons.  The U.S. is the World’s largest producer with 85 million metric tons followed by Brazil (55 million) and Argentina (41 million). About 25 percent of our soybean crop finds its way into crushing plants in China to support the domestic pork and poultry industries.  In recent years, Brazil has increased production and consequently exports to China.  The drought in Argentina has reduced exports from this nation and accordingly China has not acted against the U.S. with respect to soybeans. When world production increases sentiment may mitigate against importation of U.S. soybeans.  If the U.S. is excluded from the market in China, prices in the U.S. would fall sharply, resulting in an indirect benefit to U.S. egg producers.


 

Rose Acre Farms Contributes to Purdue University Animal Science Complex

03/26/2018

Rose Acre Farms with its headquarters in Indiana has contributed $200,000 to the Purdue University Animal Science Complex.  David Hurd, Vice President of Rose Acre Farms stated, “This is a perfect way to celebrate our ongoing partnership with Purdue.”  He added, “We look forward to more advances in animal care from our collaborative efforts.”

 

Rose Acre Farms has collaborated with Purdue University in designing layer houses incorporating improved ventilation and other features suitable for non-caged flocks.

 

The new Purdue University Animal Science Complex includes the 90,000 square foot Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences, classrooms, laboratories and conference rooms.


 

American Egg Board Claims a Positive Return from Check-Off Program

03/26/2018

A study conducted by Dr. Ron Ward, Emeritus Professor at the University of Florida, concluded that the American Egg Board obtains a return of $9 for every $1 spent on promotional activities.

 

The detailed review of the report commissioned by the AEB will be posted in a subsequent edition of EGG-NEWS.


 




































































































































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