Egg Industry News

Food Marketing Institute Promoting National Family Meals Month


Following the initiation in September 2015 of the National Family Meals Month, the annual event has grown with the support of the Food Marketing Institute. Leslie Sarasin, CEO of the FMI stated “We began with a simple concept – design a platform for food retailers and suppliers to support consumers in making family meals a reality and in turn help them reap the physical, social and psychological benefits of doing so”.

Studies have demonstrated that families that eat meals together are less likely to be obese and have children with higher levels of accomplishment. Over 230 partners in the project will stage promotions for their brands both with in-store offers and point-of-sale coupons.

Previously EGG-NEWS commented on the support for the program by Eggland’s Best joining national brands Lean Cuisine, Stouffer’s, Giant Food Stores, Hy-Vee and Nestle among others.


AEB Participation in Baking Expo


The American Egg Board booth at the 2019 IBIE promoted real eggs for baking. On September 9th the AEB demonstrated the beneficial functional properties of real eggs on the exhibition stage.


Moba Managing Director Peters Steps Down


After a six-year tenure, Michiel Peters announced his resign as Managing Director on November 1st. He stated “In May of this year I shared my intention to step down from my position at Moba with our shareholder TBG Europe. We have agreed that I will stay until November 1st so we have time to find a successor. That process is well underway”.

During his leadership, Moba revenue and profit have grown, and a firm foundation has been prepared for future growth. The company developed a strategic plan, enhanced innovation and acquired Pelbo, a manufacturer of egg-breaking and pasteurization equipment. The modernization and expansion of the headquarters in Barneveld is approaching completion.

Major shareholder, TBG Europe expressed their regret at the departure of Michiel Peters, but expressed gratitude for his past contributions and the successful development of Moba. Their statement included “Under the leadership of Michiel, Moba has succeeded in growing substantially and has built a platform for further innovation and growth. We thank him for what he has done for Moba and will continue with his successor on the chosen path”.

Moba was established in 1947 and is a leading producer of integrated systems for grading, packing and processing of eggs.

Further information can be obtained on the company website <>.




U.S. Delays Increased Tariffs on Imports from China


As a gesture to China the White House announced a delay in increasing import tariffs by 5% on goods to the value of $250 billion from October 1st to October 15th 

The concession was partly in response to a prior move by China and followed a request from the Vice-Premier Liu He. The “thawing” in the trade war is attributed to realization of the mutually inflicted damage caused by tariffs but also to facilitate bilateral talks at the ministerial level scheduled for early October in Washington DC.

China begins a celebration period on October 1st to mark the centenary of the Communist Party in China.


Kroger Company Reports on Q2 of FY 2019


In a press release dated September 12th The Kroger Company Inc. (KR) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2019 ending August 17th

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)

2nd Quarter Ending August 17th



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Pre-tax Income

Net Income







Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)




Operating Margin (%)




Profit Margin (%)




Long-term debt and other obligations:




12 Months Trailing:


Return on Assets (%)



Return on Equity (%)



Operating Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Total Assets




Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $20.70 to $31.98

Market Close September 11th $25.57. Post-release September 12 th noon $25.60

Forward P/E 11.1

Comments from

In commenting on results, Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen stated "The Restock Kroger framework is designed to reposition our core business by 2020 while continuing to deliver for shareholders. We are pleased with the improvement of trends in our supermarket business in the second quarter. Guided by our customer obsession, Kroger delivered our best identical sales, without fuel, result since the launch of our transformation plan. FIFO gross margin, without fuel and pharmacy, was stable in our supermarket business. Gross margin headwinds in pharmacy were offset by strong fuel performance during the quarter. He added "we continue to reduce costs and are on track to deliver $100 million in incremental operating profit through alternative profit stream growth. We delivered strong free cash flow and are now within our targeted net total debt to adjusted EBITDA range".


Paris Court Rules In Favor of Novogen in Patent Claim


In 2014 Lohman Tierzucht sued Novogen NA for patent infringement.  At issue was the assay procedure to identify hens displaying a genetic defect associated with degradation of trimethyl ammonia. This problem in some lines of brown-feathered hens led to a fish-odor in eggs from flocks consuming diets containing canola meal.  Application of the assay procedure led to elimination of families carrying the defect and thereby eliminating the undesirable trait.


In 2017 the Paris County Court dismissed the Lohman claim which was appealed to a higher court.  The Paris Court of Appeal subsequently ruled in favor of Novogen, invalidating the Lohmann patent.


In commenting on the decision Mickael Le Helloco, managing director of Novogen stated, “Our customers remained supportive during the process of litigation allowing our continued expansion into fifty countries despite the time spent on cumbersome legal procedures.”


Listeria Outbreak in Spain Attributed to Raw Pork Product


Over 200 diagnosed cases of listeriosis have been diagnosed in Spain with three fatalities and multiple miscarriages. The vehicle of infection is a pork loin product with condiments known as carne mechada served in the form of cold thin slices.


Listeria monocytogenes has been isolated from the product and from implements and the environments of the plant.  Magrudis the supplier of the product maintain that samples obtained from their plant were negative prior to the outbreak and that they were in compliance with good manufacturing practices.

This case illustrates the difficulty in preventing contamination of products with Listeria and the need for appropriate surveillance especially with high-risk food items consumed raw.


COMMODITY REPORT September 12th.


Corn was up 3.5 percent on CME trading at 15H00 following release of the September 12th WASDE. This reversed the 4.2 percent decline during the past week. Soybeans were up 2.5 percent and soybean meal was 2.8 percent higher.

Release of the September WASDE documenting lower corn supply but fractionally higher ending stocks resulted in an increase in futures prices as indicated in the table below.

Soybeans responded to a reduction in yield, production and ending stocks with higher prices on the CME. The price of Soybean meal increased proportionately with soybeans.

The absence of any substantial progress regarding negotiations with China has engendered pessimism over resolution of the trade conflict. Resumption of talks at the pre-agreement level are scheduled for late September with bilateral ministerial discussions to take place in early October in Washington. The recent series of on-again-off-again tariff announcements suggest intractability by both the U.S. and China. Current consensus is that there will not be any resolution of the trade dispute before the end of 2019. In the interim China has retaliated by banning all nearly all imports of agricultural products from the U.S. except whey. The White House announced new tariffs effective September 1st with a further escalation scheduled for mid-December. As of September 11th both parties have extended minor concessions in advance of the next round of talks. The Administration categorically denied a rumor that the U.S. would accept a partial agreement during the morning of Thursday 12th

The continuous stream of conflicting statements by White House and Government of China spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and has contributed to price fluctuation.

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on Thursday September 12th compared with values for September 6th (in parentheses).



Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. 354 (342)

Dec. 367 (355)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Sept. 875 (854)

Nov. 895 (857)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Sept. 296 (289)

Dec. 293 (288)

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


Corn: Sept. quotation up 12 cents per Bu         (+3.5 percent)

Soybeans: Sept. quotation up 21 cents per Bu (+2.5 percent)

Soybean Meal: Sept. quotation up $8 per ton. (+2.8 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


Subscribers are referred to the comments on the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report and the September 12th WASDE posted in this edition.

In June some concessions were promised by China to reduce coercive trade practices and clarify dispute resolution. Subsequently U.S. negotiators claim that China backtracked on structural issues hence the threat of more stringent tariffs and embargos on trade with tech. companies in China.

Prices of commodities will be determined by estimates of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, exports and domestic use.

The corn price was adversely affected by the August 9th decision by the EPA to grant 31 and to deny six waivers to refineries. This action, according to the Renewable Fuels Association decreased demand by 1 billion gallons of biofuel. This was reflected in a sharp decline in the value of a RIN from 20 to 11 cents. Ethanol value is languishing. The price was $1.35 per gallon on September 12th ($1.34 per gallon on August 30 th).

Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, which is highly unlikely, the financial future for row-crop farmers in 2019 appears bleak despite the release of two tranches of support funding in 2018 amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade. On July 25th the USDA announced a $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation funds to be distributed in three tranches. The first payment of $2.5 billion has been made with the remainder for the third quarter through the Farm Services Agency under authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Payments will be based on a value corresponding to the higher of 50 percent of the Producer's calculated payment or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop is planted.

The magnitude of the second (November 2019) and third (January 2020) payments will be decided according to prevailing conditions. Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility.


Courts Rules that EPA Definition of Obligated Parties Discriminated Against Refiners


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently issued an opinion on Alon Refining Krotz Springs Inc. v Environmental Protection Agency (#16-1052, 2019 WL4123519, DC  The decision related to the regulations concerning the Point of Obligation in the chain of biofuel from producer through the oil refiner to consumer. In 2007 the EPA identified refiners and importers as Obligated Parties but excluded blenders.  The oil-refiners have consistently complained that the requirement to purchase RINs imposed a financial burden to be passed onto consumers.  In contrast blenders were absolved of the need to acquire RINs to demonstrate to the EPA their compliance with the RFS. They will now have to comply with the RFS and compete on a level field.


Supermarket Strike Averted in Southern California


A last-minute agreement was reached between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and supermarket chains Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores. The labor action would have involved 46,000 workers belonging to seven UFCW unions.  Ralphs is a Kroger Company banner while Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions have common private investment company ownership.


UFCW has recommended that grocery workers accept the new agreement.  John Grant, president of UFCW 770 stated, “We believe this agreement is a step forward towards our vision of what grocery jobs should be in the future.”  He added, “consumers and community leaders stood with us to show our value and the impact we have in our stores and communities.”


Grocery workers have been operating without a contract since March.  In late June UFCW locals authorized a call to strike unless a new three-year contract was successfully negotiated.


Both wages and health benefits were at issue. Ralphs and Albertsons contended that employer proposals were fair with respect to the current retail grocery market.  Ralphs pointed to the low margins of less than 1.5 percent of gross sales value. Employee costs amount to 13 percent, the second largest expense factor after the costs of good sold at 78 percent of sales value.


Rooster Peck Results in Death of Woman


A 67-year old owner of backyard chickens in Australia died as a result of a peck injury by a rooster involving a varicose vein.  The unfortunate victim suffered from hypertension and diabetes and was in all probability taking anticoagulant medication resulting in exsanguination from the injury.


USDA-WASDE FORECAST #592 September 12th 2019



The September 12th 2019 USDA WASDE projections for the 2019 corn and soybean harvests are based on historical yield and pre-harvest data with progressive updating as the season has advanced. The corn acreage to be harvested was determined from planting completed in June at 90.0 million acres (81.8 million in 2018) unchanged from the August WASDE. In 2019 soybeans will be harvested from 75.9 million acres, unchanged from the August estimate (88.3 million acres in 2018)

The USDA projected corn yield was lowered 0.8 percent to 168.2 bushels per acre, (178.9 bushels in 2018) reflecting late planting and delayed development. Soybean yield was reduced 1.2 percent to 47.9 bushels per acre from August. (52.1 bushels in 2018). Yield values presume suitable growing conditions until harvest.

The August USDA projection of ending stock for corn was increased by 0.4 percent from the August WASDE to 2,190 million bushels. Ending stock for soybeans will be 15.2 percent lower than the August estimate at 640 million bushels. Ending stocks for both corn and soybeans have influenced recent CME price quotations. It is presumed that projections are based on the presumption that there will be no settlement of the trade dispute with China during the fourth quarter of 2019. China failed to commit to purchases following the June meeting between President Trump and Premier Xi at the G-20 Meeting in Osaka. No orders were forthcoming after the G-7 Summit in France in August. China banned all agricultural imports from the U.S. on August 4th following the announcement of a 10 percent tariff, effective September 1st on imports from China valued at $300 billion in 2019 and not already subject to duty.


Egg Monthly


Review of August 2019 Production Costs and Statistics.

August 2019 USDA ex-farm blended nest-run benchmark price was up a noteworthy 93.9 percent from July 2019 to 57.6 cents per dozen 3.8 below the U.S. average benchmark cost of production. Low price is consistent with seasonal purchase trends but accentuated by oversupply.

  • August 2019 USDA average nest-run production cost was 4.5 percent higher than July 2019 at 59.9 cents per dozen.

  • August 2019 USDA benchmark nest-run loss decreased from July 2019 at 33.0 cents per dozen to 2.3 cents per dozen in August.

  • August national flock ( over 30,000 hens/farm) was down 1.3 million or 0.4 percent to 312.6 million.


Summary tables for the latest USDA August 2019 prices and flock statistics made available by the EIC on September 12th 2019 are arranged, summarized, tabulated and reviewed in comparison with values from the previous August 7th 2019 posting reflecting July 2019 cost and production data.


Impact of Tariffs on U.S. Commodities


Dr. Jay Rempe, Senior Economist for the Nebraska Farm Bureau has calculated the loss incurred by farmers in his state as a result of retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on U.S. agricultural commodities.  The report entitled Nebraska Farm and Ranch Losses from Retaliatory Tariffs-- 2019 Estimates was based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data.  The losses were independent of Market Facilitation Program assistance extended to farmers in 2018 and through 2019. 


Rempe calculated that Nebraska soybean producers will lose $589 million and corn producers, $251 million this season.  Pork producers in Nebraska will lose $40 million and collectively sorghum and wheat growers will lose $20 million with lesser amounts for alfalfa, dairy and dry beans.  Rempe did not take into account losses associated with beef, hides, skins, ethanol and DDGS that, if taken into account, would increase the loss to over $1 billion. The impact of the trade dispute with China at the local level is demonstrated in a projection that farmers in rural Cumming County will sustain a $48 million loss due to reduced exports corresponding to $5,300 per capita.


Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau acknowledged the assistance from the MFP but commented, “It is vital to eliminate trade barriers and security trade deals that allow farmers and ranchers to work freely to capture, develop and grow international markets.”  He added, “Congressional passage of the USMCA, securing a bilateral deal with Japan and resolution of the dispute with China would be good places to start.”


Echoing Nelson, perhaps ultra-Sinophobe Dr. Peter Navarro should follow John Bolton in exiting the White House also “as a good place to start”.


Argentine Farmers to Plant More Soybeans at the Expense of Corn


Based on political considerations with the likelihood of a socialist government returning to office, farmers in Argentina are shifting five percent of their intended corn planting to soybeans.  The decision is based on the relatively higher cost of cultivating corn.  Agritrend a local consultancy estimates that 15 million acres would be planted to corn and 44 million acres to soybeans.


Egg Week


USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, September 12th 2019.

  • Hen numbers in production up 0.4 million to 325.0 million.
  • Shell inventory up a moderate 2.8 percent, down from 9.6 percent last week.
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large down 1.0 percent to 103.5 and 101.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were down 6.2 percent to 59.5 cents per dozen.
  • Price of breaking stock unchanged at 47.0 cents per dozen and checks at 34.0 cents per dozen respectively. Both categories substantially below cost of production


USPOULTRY Develops Training Module for Egg Washing


Cooperation involving the USDA Agriculture Research Service, the Agriculture Marketing Service and USPOULTRY has lead to a new training module for inline egg washing.  The module includes justification for washing and the operational requirements to control pathogens.  The egg washing module complements the previously released module on egg refrigeration requirements and is recommended to orient and train supervisors and workers in egg packing plants.


The learning management system developed by USPOULTRY is available to members and can be accessed at  Additional information can be obtained from Rafael Rivera at


September is Food Safety Education Month


The CDC designates September as Food Safety Education Month.  The Agency intensifies publicity with specific concentration on appropriate food handling and cooking to produce safe food.  Videos in both English and Spanish and postings on social media are featured.


As an added contribution on current events CDC is providing advice on food and water safety after hurricanes.  Information is available on


CDC Updates Salmonella Outbreak from Backyard Poultry


In a September 3rd release, the CDC confirmed that a total of 1,003 diagnosed cases of salmonellosis have been made in 49 states attributed to contact with backyard poultry including day-old chicks and ducklings.  The 2019 cases have resulted in 175 hospitalizations and two fatalities. The number of cases in 2009 covering seven months is almost the same as the 1,120 incidence rate for entire 2017 suggesting that any recommendations by CDC or public health authorities have not diminished this national problem. 


It is known that small hatcheries distributing chicks and ducklings supply product infected with Salmonella.  Accordingly it will require the tort bar to resolve the issue since knowingly or negligently distributing infected poultry intended to be kept as pets represents disregard for public health.


The CDC advice concerning washing hands after touching poultry or preventing backyard poultry from entering homes appears to be of negligible value.  Why not simply recognize the danger and advise prospective and existing owners of poultry of the risks and consequences of salmonellosis. Banning interstate transport of live chicks and ducks other than from hatcheries complying NPIP Salmonella requirements would be beneficial.  In 1965 the CDC took action against producers of turtles responsible for extensive outbreaks of Salmonella infection.  The doyen of epidemiology Dr. Eugene Gangarosa in advocating for the ban on interstate transport of hatchlings emphasized that “turtles are inappropriate pets”. By the same token day-old chicks and ducklings fall into the same category.


Egg Exports


Export of Shell Eggs and Products January-July 2019.

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


Jan.-July 2018

Jan.-July 2019


Shell Eggs


Volume (m. dozen)



+12.3 (+19.4%)

Value ($ million)



-15.5 (-206%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)



-0.40 (-33.6%)

Egg Products




Volume (metric tons)



-1,542 (-9.6%)

Value ($ million)



-12.8 (-18.6%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)



-411 (-11.4%)




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Digital ad banners, social posts, gorgeous recipe photos and renditions of the Incredible Egg jingle are just a few of the marketing tools you can use to amplify the equity of this campaign in your local markets.

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U.S. China talks to Resume in Early October


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that bilateral trade talks will resume in early October. Markets have expressed anxiety over the lack of progress in resolving the ongoing trade dispute between our Nation and China. The 30-month dispute has been characterized by alternating optimism over a potential agreement alternating with threats and imposition of mutually destructive tariffs. Based on emerging evidence that the trade war is depressing investment in the U.S. and resulting in increased costs borne by consumers, farmers and industry the political and economic fallout from the situation now favors productive negotiations. The meeting in October to take place in Washington DC was arranged in a September 4th telephone discussion between Amb. Robert Lighthizer and Secretary Steven Mnuchin with their counterparts Vice Premier Liu He and Central Bank Governor Yi Gang.


Egg Week


USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, September 5th 2019.

  • Hen numbers in production up 0.4 million to 324.6 million.
  • Shell inventory up a noteworthy 9.6 percent after pre-Labor Day orders completed
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large up 2 percent to 104.5 and 102.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were up 1.6 percent to 63.5 cents per dozen.
  • Price of breaking stock unchanged at 47.0 cents per dozen and checks at 34.0 cents per dozen respectively. Both categories substantially below cost of production



According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on September 3rd the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large were higher by 2.0 percent to 104.5 and 102.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were up 1.6 percent to 63.5 cents per dozen. Extra Large and Large were above the USDA average 5-Region blended nest-run benchmark of 62.7 cents per dozen in July. The progression of prices during 2019 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.


Potential track of Hurricane Dorian


Sanderson Farms, Butterball and Smithfield Foods are the largest processors  that may be impacted by the passage of Hurricane Dorian. According to statements by Management, the principal concern is for safety of associates and protection of flocks and herds. Preparations are based on experience gained in 2018 and in previous years.

The Kinston and Saint Pauls plants of Sanderson Farms will operate only the first shift on Thursday, closed today with the intention of re-opening, tomorrow (Saturday), weather and road conditions permitting.


Smithfield Foods will be flexible in their operations in the Carolinas and Virginia, emphasizing safety.


As in recent years the pork and poultry industries are prepared to assist with post-storm aid in affected areas. They will supply meals to responders and residents and cooperate with FEMA and volunteer agencies.



Salmonella Outbreaks Attributed to Improperly Cooked Eggs


According to a Food Safety News posting on August 29th Public health authorities in Hong Kong identified two outbreaks of salmonellosis during May and June. In total 50 cases were confirmed. The vehicle of infection was undercooked scrambled eggs and in some cases investigations showed prolonged storage at sub-optimal temperature.

Even if eggs are contaminated with relatively low levels of Salmonella Enteritidis, (104 cfu)       adequate cooking should prevent infection. The contents of a contaminated egg will be rendered innocuous if thoroughly cooked to attain an internal temperature of 160F for at least one minute. High levels of contamination are associated with prolonged storage or thermal abuse or their combination.

The second aspect from these outbreaks is that the eggs supplied to markets including restaurants in Hong Kong are derived from flocks infected with Salmonella either a group D that infects consumers by the vertical route or by fecal contamination of the shell if eggs are improperly sanitized.


NOSB Fall Meeting Scheduled


The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service National Organic Program has advised that the National Organic Standards Board Fall 2019 meeting will be held in Pittsburgh, PA  at the DoubleTree Hotel, One Bigelow Square on October 23rd-25th. The agenda, proposals and discussion documents are posted on the NOSB Fall Meeting web page. <>

The NOSB has invited comments addressing relevant topics. Written comments and requests for oral presentations must be received before noon October 3rd 2019.


Vanderbilt University Eliminates Plastic Single-Use Water Bottles


It is axiomatic that trends in ecology and environmental consciousness start in institutions of higher education. Vanderbilt University has established a program to eliminate plastic single-use water bottles on campus. Incoming and existing students, faculty and staff can purchase aluminum tumblers that can be refilled at stations throughout the campus. It is estimated that over a four-year baccalaureate program, the replacement initiative will displace 1.7 million plastic bottles used by the class of 2022.

The aluminum tumbler to be used by Vanderbilt is manufactured by the Ball Corporation. The Company will also extend availability to entertainment and sports venues. The statement from the company indicated “In addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminum cup is sturdy, durable and cool to the touch and can be customized with logos and graphics”. The container is available in a 20-ounce size with additional volumes to become available based on demand.

Awareness of plastic waste and the problems of either recycling or disposal are becoming more prominent in mainstream and social media. Third-world nations that previously received compressed plastic waste are no longer accepting shipments placing the onus on industrialized countries to develop alternative packaging or recycling.


Consortium to Address Problems of Mental Health in Ohio


The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in conjunction with the Ohio Farm Bureau have launched a campaign to provide counseling to farmers burdened by financial and other stresses. An initial event to publicize the initiative took place on September 3rd in Hilliard, OH.


The program is supported by the Ohio State University College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, Farm Credit Mid-America, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, the Ohio Poultry Association and the Ohio Pork Council, among other commodity groups.


It is evident that the suicide rate among farmers is more than twice that of the general population and given the stressors associated with delayed planting in 2019, trade disputes leading to depressed prices for commodities and other socio-economic strains, mental health has emerged as a significant issue in farming community.


AEB Increases Egg Consumption at Harvard University


The American Egg Board recently cooperated with Harvard University Dining Service to place scrambled egg stations in residential halls on campus.  The initiative was accompanied by a video to help more than 500 students make scrambled eggs, vastly increasing consumption of liquid egg and adding to the nutritional value of diets. This program hopefully will create a new generation of affluent egg consumers.


BioChek Receives Approval for Salmonella Reagents


BioChek has received approval for their Salmonella qPCR reagent.  The product is accepted by USDA-APHIS for immediate use in laboratories operating under NPIP protocols. The test has been granted AFNOR certification (BCK40/01-07/19) for worldwide implementation by food safety laboratories.


The reagent detects the presence of DNA from Salmonella serotypes in environmental samples, cloacal swabs and hatchery samples.  The test is ISO 16,140-validated for poultry processing plants and to sample raw meat and egg products.


The Salmonella qPCR reagent assay requires DNA extraction followed by Real-Time PCR detection.  The procedure is highly specific and also sensitive to screen Salmonella within 24 hours including the use of NPIP-approved pre-enrichment tetrathionate broth. 


Additional information can be obtained by accessing or by contacting Tim Goode, Vice president of sales and General Manager for BioChek North America at or (207) 809-9509.


Crop Progress


Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

The USDA Crop Progress Report released on September 3rd documented progress in both corn and soybeans after a slow start to planting that is expected to negatively impact yields as documented in the August WASDE Report available under the STATISTICS tab. Current crop condition for both soybeans and corn are inferior to the 2018 harvest as tabulated below. High topsoil moisture levels are evident in comparison with the corresponding week in 2018. CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2019 harvest in October.



August 25th

September 1st

5-Year Average

Corn Dough %

Corn Dented %

Corn Mature %











Soybeans Blooming %

Soybeans Setting pods %








Crop Condition

V. Poor





Corn 2019

Corn 2018











Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2018














V. Short




Topsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year





Subsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year








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. There is some doubt as to the accuracy of the individual monthly flock numbers especially with reports that show either no change or a significant increase in the cage-free flock for a specific month. It is questioned whether it would not be more informative to post accurate quarterly data in place of unconvincing monthly figures.

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

The USDA Cage Free Report for the month of August 2019 released on September 3rd documented a static flock size for hens producing under the Certified Organic seal. The National cage-free flock was also unchanged since June which is questioned. The respective numbers of hens in organic and cage-free flocks should reflect the realities of supply and demand in the market over successive quarters. Average flock production was unchanged for August at 76.0 percent percent for both categories of non-caged hens. (Accepting USDA data).


South Australia to Eliminate Ban on GMO Cultivars


The Government of South Australia will lift the moratorium on genetically modified food crops. Cultivars will however be imported under quarantine to offshore Kangaroo Island.

The action taken by the Government of South Australia followed the Anderson Review that showed that farmers in South Australia were at a disadvantage when deprived of the benefits relating to cultivation of GMO crops. Tim Whetstone, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development for the Government of South Australia stated “Considering the future economic impact on farmers, it is time to lift the moratorium on the mainland and provide farmers choice on crops they seek to grow”.


Uncertainty Over EPA Refinery Waivers


The Cabinet has decided to retain biofuel waivers granted to 31 small (and some not so small) refineries. Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue had requested revocation of waivers especially for those refineries tied to multinational oil companies.

Although politically popular, the EPA noted that cancellation action would be illegal. The decision to grant waivers by EPA has created a rift between the Department of Agriculture, representing farmers and other Federal agencies.

Previously EGG-NEWS reported that Poet has idled plant in the Midwest following release of the waivers that have reduced the domestic market for ethanol.

Both Secretary Perdue and the White House have announced that they are working on a compromise plan, but as yet, there has been no release of concepts that will influence future policy on the RFS and waivers.


Additional Tariffs in Effect


On Sunday, September 1st, the U.S. imposed an additional 5 percent tariff on specific items within  a diverse universe of goods valued at $300 billion, imported annually from China. An additional tariff on footwear, toys and technology items will take effect on December 15th unless there is a resolution of the trade dispute between our nation and China.

Approximately $125 billion of targeted goods will be subject to the 15 percent tariff including flat-panel televisions, some footwear and technology. The increase was in response to China placing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods including crude oil. A spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative noted that a notice will appear in the Federal Register with regard to a planned tariff increase to 30 percent on an existing $250 billion in imports from China currently carrying a 25 percent tariff.

Despite Administration assertions, increased tariffs will most certainly be passed on to consumers and may add $4 billion to family expenses in 2020 unless there is a resolution of the trade dispute. There are no details regarding the proposed September meeting between representatives of China and the U.S., previously agreed to take place in Washington, DC.


USDA Trade Mission to Canada


During the period September 3rd through 6th, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney led a trade mission to Canada accompanied by representatives of 41 U.S. agribusiness and commodity associations.

Despite the need to ratify the USMCA by both Canada and the U.S., McKinney considers that bilateral trade with our neighbor has the potential to increase above the current daily value of $121 million in food and farm products crossing our common border.


Rose Acre Farms Settles with Unilever


According to the legal-reporting newsletter Law360, Rose Acre Farms has settled an antitrust suit initiated by Unilever a major multinational food manufacturer.  The action arose from allegations of collusion among egg producers to limit egg production in 2008.

Unilever along with other plaintiffs have brought suit against most corporate and large egg producers although there is no substantiation that overt or even indirect collusion occurred among producers to limit production and hence influence the market for eggs. The fact that prices as recorded by a national benchmark system have indicated strong fluctuation and prolonged periods of suboptimal profitability suggest that even if collusion had occurred it was totally ineffective.

As with many class action lawsuits, individual defendants choose to settle to avoid the costs and time required to mount a defense.  Predatory class-action lawsuits are becoming more common.  The round of lawsuits against the egg industry was initiated in 2008 following the adoption of welfare rules that allowed greater floor area in cages.  Virtually all large egg producers and the major industry producers’ association were sued with litigation proceeding for more than seven years and resulting in substantial settlements. Cal-Maine Foods settled for $28 million in July 2013 without admitting wrongdoing. This action followed similar settlements by Sparboe Farms in 2009 andLand O’ Lakes subsidiary Moark LLC in 2012.


Panera Bread Announces National Delivery


In an August 27th release, Panera Bread announced national delivery through DoorDash, Grub Hub and Uber Eats.  Customers will be able to order using the Panera app and website in addition to the three apps of the service providers.  Although most orders will be delivered by Panera, the reality of partnering with three companies will ensure a broader distribution.  Year to date Panera platforms have completed more than 28 million delivery orders representing seven percent of Panera sales.  Panera now operates 2,300 units with $6 billion in system-wide sales and 100,000 employees.



FDA Appoints Director of CVM Office of Research


Dr. Regina Tan has joined the FDA Center of Veterinary Medicine as the Director of the Office of Research. 


Previously Dr. Tan served as the Food and Nutrition Service Office of Food Safety involved in child nutrition programs.  She was also the director for Recall Management and Technical Analysis at the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service.

Dr. Tan earned a baccalaureate degree from the University of Maryland, a DVM from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Public Health and Molecular Epidemiology also from Purdue University.  She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.  Dr. Tan also completed the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Program and a CDC fellowship during which she obtained expertise in epidemiology including involvement in studies on avian influenza, childhood toxicity and health surveillance after the World Trade Center attack.



American Egg Board Promotion


Nationally recognized Chef Nyesha Arrington will promote eggs to a multicultural demographic  as part of the “Incredible Egg  Trends”  series.




Price of corn down 1.3 percent at close of CME trading on August 30th following a 2.4 percent decline last week. Soybeans relatively unchanged, soybean meal down 1.7 percent.


Corn continues a downward trend in price. Previously corn responded to the mid-session release of the August WASDE on Monday 12th with a decline by close of trading on that day.  The WASDE documented an unexpected higher yield and an 8.6 percent increase in ending stocks. Currently field evaluation of the status of the 2019 crop is in progress amid conflicts. Soybeans were relatively unchanged this past week but a re-evaluation of yield will be highlighted in the September WASD. This may alter the estimate of ending stock forecast to be 15.8 percent of supply.


The absence of any substantial news regarding negotiations with China and now the new issue of possible intervention by China in Hong Kong has created pessimism over a resolution of the trade conflict. Resumption is scheduled for some undisclosed time during September in Washington suggesting intractability by both the U.S. and China. Current consensus is that there will be no resolution of the trade dispute before the end of 2019. In the interim China has retaliated by banning all imports of agricultural products from the U.S. The threat of increased tariffs is still on the table.


The continuous stream of conflicting statements by White House and Government of China spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and has contributed to price fluctuation.


The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on Friday 30th August compared with values for  22nd August (in parentheses).



Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept.  357  (362)        

Dec.    369 (370) 

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Sept.   857  (858)

Nov.   868 (870)         

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Sept.   289  (294)

Dec.   295 (300)



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

COMMODITY Change from past week %
Corn: Sept. quotation down 5 cents per Bu (-1.3 percent)
Soybeans: Sept. quotation down 1 cents per Bu (-0.1 percent)
Soybean Meal: Sept. quotation down $5 per ton (-1.7 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



Subscribers are referred to the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report and the August 12th WASDE posted under the STATISTICS tab.


In June some concessions were promised by China to reduce coercive trade practices and clarify dispute resolution. Subsequently U.S. negotiators claim that China has backtracked on structural issues hence the threat of more stringent tariffs and embargos on trade with tech. companies in China.


Prices will be determined by estimates of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, exports and domestic use.


For comparison the values below are commodity prices posted by the Dalian Commodity Exchange in $US per short ton* at market open on August 13th 2019 (local time) with comparable August 30th closing CME values in parentheses:-

  Corn $236 ($130)

  Soybeans $448 ($256)

  Soybean meal $372 ($289)

*(conversion  Rmb7.14=$US1 effective August 30th)


The August 12th 2019 WASDE Report #591, projected that 82.0 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2019 to produce 13.90 Billion bushels. The WASDE projected a harvest of  3.68 Billion bushels of soybeans from  75.9  million acres. The levels of production and ending stocks for the two commodities are based on completion of planting in June and current data on harvest area and projected yield. The WASDE to be published in mid-September will confirm the projected yields and ending stocks of corn and soybeans respectively.


The corn price was adversely affected by the August 9th decision by the EPA to grant 31 and to deny six waivers to refineries. This action according to the Renewable Fuel Association decreased demand by 1 billion gallons of biofuel. This was reflected in a sharp decline in the value of a RIN from 20 to 11 cents. Ethanol spot price was $1.34 per gallon 0n August 30th  ($1.27 per gallon on August 9th).


Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, which is highly unlikely, the financial future for row-crop farmers in 2019 appears bleak despite the release of two tranches of support funding in 2018 amounting to  $8 billion as “short-term” compensation for disruption in trade. On July 25th the USDA announced a $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation funds to be distributed in three tranches. The first payment has commenced through the Farm Services Agency under authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation.  Payments will be based on a value corresponding to the higher of 50 percent of the Producer’s calculated payment or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop is planted.


The magnitude of the second (November 2019) and third (January 2020) payments will be decided on according to prevailing conditions. Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June wi

KFC and Beyond Meat Test Vegetable-based Chicken


KFC has initiated a test of vegetable-based nuggets and boneless wings produced by Beyond Meat. The products will be packed in containers and buckets bearing the Colonel’s image, but with green printing in place of the traditional red. The trial in one outlet was initially successful resulting in a sell-out on the first day. Whether this was due to heavy demand or limited supply was not disclosed.

The small scale of the test suggests that the trial is a very tentative venture. KFC will evaluate customer reaction before proceeding with a broader test beyond the current location in Atlanta.

Previously Beyond Meat was obliged to recall vegetable-based chicken from supermarkets as a result of quality problems.


Pressure for $15 Per Hour Wage Continues


The Service Employees International Union will attempt to organize workers at Connecticut highway rest stops in an attempt to pressure employers including franchisees of McDonald’s Corporation to pay a $15 per hour minimum wage. According to Bloomberg the Union has selected these specific targets due to the fact that the locations are under state ownership.


Eggland’s Best Launching “Better Family” Meals Program


In an August 27th release, Eggland’s Best Inc., a producer-owned cooperative, announced that it will launch a Better Family Meals program in conjunction with Sur La Table to present interactive cooking classes. Recipes created by the American Heart Association (AHA) and by Eggland’s Best will be provided to attendees of classes.

Charlie Langtree, CEO of Eggland’s Best stated “We are thrilled to once again support the American Heart Association Healthy for Good, Eat Smart initiative and focus on the importance of family meal time”. He added “We are working together to provide a variety of resources including delicious recipes to help families cook healthier meals at home”. He added “We are excited to again have Eggland’s Best support for the AHA Healthy for Good program to help families learn how to eat smart and build good nutrition habits”.


Rabobank Quantifies Impact of ASF


Rabobank recently released a report entitled African Swine Fever: A Global Update, documenting changes in protein production as a result of outbreaks of African swine fever in Eastern Europe and Asia. Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist for Animal Protein affiliated to RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness considered that it would take at least five years for the most-affected countries, including China and Vietnam to rebuild herds and for their pork production to recover.

This projection by Sherrard probably presumes introduction of an effective and safe vaccine since biosecurity that is abysmally deficient in the areas affected will not be adequate to control and allow subsequent eradication of the infection.

It is also evident that ASF will result in a profound restructuring of pork production with a transition from independent small family-operated farms to large integrations equipped to implement biosecurity and to maintain disease-free herds.


Phibro Animal Health Reports on Q4 and FY 2019


In a press release dated August 27th Phibro Animal Health Corp. (PAHC) announced results for the 4th Quarter and Fiscal 2019 ending June 30th.

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)

4th Quarter Ending: June 30th.



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Pre-tax Income

Net Income







Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)




Operating Margin (%)




Profit Margin (%)




Long-term Debt:




12 Months Trailing:


%Return on Assets



%Return on Equity



%Operating Margin



%Profit Margin



Total Assets




Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $20.09 to $47.85

Market Close: Tuesday 27th pre-release $31.49. Open Wednesday 28 th post-release $23.15.

Forward P/E: 13.6 Beta 0.33.

For FY 2019 Phibro Animal Health posted sales of $828.0 million with net earnings of $54.7 million reflected in an EPS of $1.35. Comparable values for FY 2018 were sales $822.0 million, net earnings of $64.9 million and an EPS of $1.61.

For FY 2019 Segment breakdown of sales included Animal Health 64 percent and Mineral Nutrition 28 percent. U.S. sales represented 58 percent of total followed by Latin America and Canada attaining 18 percent and Asia, 13 percent.

Poultry products comprised 60 percent of sales in FY 2019. Sales breakdown by product category included Medicated Feed Additives at 66 percent, Nutritionals at 21 percent and vaccines 13 percent.

In commenting on Q4 and FY 2019 results Jack Bendheim, Phibro's Chairman, President and CEO stated, "the effects of African swine fever, as discussed last quarter, have significantly impacted our performance in the June quarter and will have an even larger impact in the new fiscal year,"

He added. "we have made the strategic decision to continue to accelerate our new product initiatives despite the challenges posed by ASF, recognizing the short-term impact on our financial results".

He concluded "overall, we continue to be bullish on the long-term potential of the animal health industry. That is why we have invested, and intend to continue to invest, in major strategic initiatives to support future growth. Our recent acquisition of the Osprey Biotechnics business aligns with this belief, and we are excited by this acquisition and confident that their products and expertise can drive profitable growth. While still far from certain, we are encouraged by our ASF vaccine development project. Other initiatives include the continuing build-out of our Irish vaccine facility, the introduction of an automated vaccine delivery system, our companion animal projects, and the launch of several new products. These investments require significant P&L expense dollars and are a major factor in reduced profitability in fiscal 2020."

Guidance for FY 2020 included sales in the range of $$833 to $863 million, up 1 to 4 percent but a range for EPS of $0.84 to $0.90, down 33 to 37 percent.


Nielsen Data indicates increased demand for Shell Eggs


The American Egg Board released Nielsen data confirming an increase in demand for shell eggs during the second quarter of 2019 compared to previous years.   The AEB attribute the trend to more effective promotion including the “Dinner Eggs” campaign. EGG-NEWS supports this claim given the response elicited by social media posts.


Nova Scotia, Canada Egg Prices


Medium generic white. Shelf price $2.68 per dozen


Enriched cage-free white priced at $4.34 per dozen

Jumbo Brown


Egg Week


USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, August 28th 2019.

  • Hen numbers in production up 0.3 million to 324.2 million.
  • Shell inventory down 0.7 percent after a 1.9 percent fall last week
  • USDA Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra large and Large up 21 percent to 102.5 and 100.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were up 44 percent to 62.5 cents per dozen.
  • Price of breaking stock up at 47.0 cents per dozen and checks at 34.0 cents per dozen respectively. Both categories substantially below cost of production


U.S. Japan Trade Agreement Announced


During mid-August, U.S. Trade Representative, Amb. Robert Lighthizer met with his counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi, the Minister of the Economy of Japan, to arrange terms of reference for a scheduled meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Trump at the Group of Seven (G7) Summit. It is considered necessary to establish a trade agreement with Japan since U.S. exporters are at a disadvantage following the unilateral withdrawal by the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership in January 2017, three days into the new Administration.

What has actually been agreed to in France last week has yet to be disclosed in detail. The U.S. will apparently still impose a 2.5 percent duty on autos and parts and has retained the right to escalate at will. Japan has agreed to purchase corn and some rice. Prime Minister Abe cannot afford to make too many concessions to the U.S. as he will have difficulty in obtaining ratification from the Diet that includes many members with strong nationalistic and protectionist leanings especially with respect to domestic agricultural products.

U.S. chicken producers may benefit from an agreement since Japan has experienced difficulty in sourcing processed chicken from joint ventures in China and from Thailand. This is due to increased demand in Southeast Asia and specifically in China as a result of African swine fever. It is noted that Japan purchases specific cuts and presentations that are far more sophisticated than U.S. leg quarters that represent a commodity. The U.S. egg-processing sector will continue to export to Japan, our largest customer. Perhaps the adulatory response by U.S. industry groups was premature given that the provisions of the agreement have yet to been released.


Field of flaxseed in Nova Scotia, Canada


Flax is a dietary source of ALA Omega-3 fatty acid to enrich eggs


Rapid Laboratory Assay for Fipronil


A recent publication* describes a spectroscopic assay for the presence of fipronil either within the egg contents or washings of shells.  The procedure was based on the differential solubility of fipronil in acetone and water.  Applying Raman spectrometry, a detection limit of 0.3 ppm in liquid egg and 0.07 mg/m2 surface area of egg shells was determined.


*Hickey, E. et al A simple and rapid method for detecting the pesticide fipronil on egg shells and in liquid eggs by Raman microscopy. Food Control 96:16-21 (2019)


America’s Food and Beverage Show


AEB and USAPEEC will participate in the 2019 America’s Food and Beverage Show to be held September 22-24 at the Lowes Hotel, Miami Beach.  On Sunday September 22nd the organizers will host a trade reception.  On Monday September 23rd one-on-one meeting between U.S. egg producers and Caribbean and Latin Americans buyers have been arranged together with an export seminar.  On Tuesday September 24th the American Egg Board will be promote U.S. shell eggs and products at their booth during the trade show.

The America’s Food and Beverage Show attracts 11,000 visitors with 500 exhibitors from 28 nations.  For information on registration contact


U.S. Voters in Favor of Free Trade


According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday August 18th  voters approve of free trade by a 64 percent to 27 percent margin.  This figure compares to 51 percent to 41 percent conducted towards the end of the tenure of the previous Administration.


In an interview on NBC on Monday morning August 17th, the president of the Minnesota Farmers Union averred that his constituency was suffering from the prolonged trade war with China.  He emphasized that farmers in Minnesota did not want bail-outs using public money but wished to return to farming for profit with restoration of exports.  He noted that events during the last 18 months had effectively destroyed years of work and investment in developing the market for soybeans and other agricultural products exported to China.  It is anticipated that free trade and agricultural exports will be significant issues in the Midwest during the 2020 election campaign.


Poultry Research Center Inaugurated by Roslin Institute


The Allermuir Avian Innovation Research and Skills Center was inaugurated on the Easter Bush Campus of the Roslin Institute on June 6th. The facility will be managed by the Scotland Rural College and the center will be co-funded by the Center for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, the Scottish Funding Council and Innovate U.K.

In opening the facility, Lord Henley, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State of the Department for Business Energy and Industry Strategy stated “It is great to see investment like this in new agri-tech facilities that will help the sector to innovate and create the highly-skilled jobs of the future through our agricultural strategy and our modern industrial capacity’ Lord Henley added “The Government has invested more than $350 million to help transform food production in the U.K. for the better.”

The research center is equipped with Greengage inductive lighting and sensor systems to provide comprehensive environmental control. Matt Kealey, Director of Sales and Marketing for Greengage stated “We are delighted that our ALIS lighting platform is installed at the Allermuir Avian Research Center”. Ultimately the facility will be staffed by a team of 35 scientists and technicians and will conduct studies on antimicrobials and management systems.


Passing of Emanuel Puglisi


Emanuel Puglisi died on August 14th at the age of 95. A native of Sicily, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1937 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Subsequently he founded Puglisi Egg Farms in Howell, NJ and was active until his retirement in 1986.

Emanuel was an innovator in both housing and management of flocks and marketing eggs. He was a past-president of the New Jersey Poultry Products Council and a recipient of the Golden Egg award from the IEC.


AEB – More Bang For The Buck


The American Egg Board recently reported on July web activity. During the month search engine advertisements generated 2.6 million impressions and 145,000 clicks. July spending was down 18 percent compared to the corresponding month in 2018 but clicks were up 95 percent.

Social media generated 50 million impressions and 66,000 engagements (better than any dating site!)

The Dinner Eggs campaign was the key to the success of the web response. This initiative represents a collaboration between The Incredible Egg and the AEB Egg Nutrition Center. Cara Harbstreet a registered dietitian focused her Dinner Eggs contribution on a microwaveable Ramen recipe directed to busy health-conscious young consumers. Dinner Eggs is further promoted by the “Farm Babe”.


OVO-Vision Software Now Available for Intermediate and Small-Sized Egg Operations


Since inception ten years ago, OVO-Vision has devised and supplied software for large packing plants. The company recently extended their range of software to encompass small and intermediate-sized plants offering  commensurate flexibility and convenience. Software can be scaled to facilitate expansion and a number of packages are available to suit specific requirements.

The proven OVO-Vision enterprise software is highly customizable and can be installed on a local server and OVO-Vision Cloud placing accessibility in reach of even the smallest of producers. The OVO-Vision cloud as offered by QwinSoft B.V. comprises several modules that can be selected depending on the needs of the application these comprise:

  • OVO-Vision basics
  • OVO-Vision essentials
  • OVO-Vision premium

Feature lists are available on the OVO-vision website which can be accessed by clicking on to the OVO-Vision logo on the right side of the welcome page. The scope of OVO-Vision software can be reviewed on the attached clip.


Target Introduces New Brand


Target has introduced the Good & Gather™ brand for foods and beverages.  Products will appear on shelves during mid-September and the range will include 2,000 products by the end of 2020.


Good & Gather™ products are made without artificial flavors, sweeteners, synthetic colors or high-fructose corn syrup.  It is intended to phase out existing brands including Archer Farms™ and Simply Balanced™.


Stephanie Lundquist, Executive Vice-president of Target and president of Food and Beverage stated, “Our guest are incredibly busy and want great tasting food so they can feel good about feeding their families.”  She added, “We saw this as a huge opportunity for Target to help so our team got to work on our most ambitious food undertaking yet, reimaging our own food brands to serve up convenient affordable options.”


The Target release continued, “The debut of Good & Gather plays a role in Target’s broader efforts to reimagine its owned brand portfolio.”


Australia Struggles with Egg-borne Salmonella


Outbreaks of human salmonellosis were diagnosed South Australia in 2014, 2016 and  more recent and extensive outbreaks in 2017 and 2018. The relatively rare serotype Salmonella Hessarek was implicated in 96 cases between 2012 and 2016 with half of the reports emanating in South Australia. Between November 2016 and February 2017, a total of 136 Salmonella notifications was investigated by the South Australian Communicable Disease Control Branch. Traceback revealed a specific farm as the source of eggs contaminated with Salmonella Hessarek Recovery of the pathogen from within the egg indicates either penetration of the eggshell or vertical transmission.  Shell-egg rinses however did not yield Salmonella implying contamination of the yolk or albumen.


The implicated farm, as with many egg production units in Australia, operated free-range flocks between November 2016 and February 2017.  Decontamination of pasture is impossible and introduction of a detection and prevention program as in the U.S. industry would not be effective even with administration of an autogenous vaccine.  It would appear that if Australian consumers insist on eating egg from free-range flocks thorough cooking appears essential.  The possible application of in-shell pasteurization using a microwave system developed in South Africa would eliminate egg-borne Salmonella infection.  To justify cost, it would be necessary to transport eggs from small farms to a central packing plant equipped with a microwave pasteurizer.


Given the prevalence Salmonella infection in flocks housed on pasture, it is difficult to understand why a health authority has not insisted on a cold chain between the time of packing and point of sale.


*Kenny, B. et al A protracted outbreak of Salmonella Hessarek infection associated with one brand of eggs – South Australia, March 2017-June 2018 J.AIDS ClinRes DOI: 10.4172/2155-6113-C1-027 Joint Event - 9th International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 6th World Congress on Control and Prevention of HIV/AIDS.


USDA Deregulates Proprietary Canola Seed


The USDA has deregulated a proprietary canola seed developed by Cargill. The cultivar will contain relatively high levels of EPA and DHA required for aquaculture diets.  The new canola seed will be branded as Latitude™.


In commenting on the innovation Mark Christiansen managing director for the Cargill Specialty Oil Business stated, “This approval means we are on target to deliver Latitude™, our sustainable fish oil alternative made from canola oil seeds to aquaculture farmers and feed manufacturers.

The high omega-3 canola varieties have been developed and tested in Montana since 2015 and will now be commercialized.  The variety was developed in cooperation with BASF the submitter of the application for regulatory approval.

Although developed for aquaculture, canola with high omega-3 fatty acids could be used in diets for egg laying hens to increase the nutrient content of DHA and EPA in addition to ALA which is the predominant omega-3 fatty acid in enriched eggs.


Initial Evaluation of Romaine Lettuce from the Yuma Valley


Following the spring 2018 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, infection was traced back to lettuce grown in the Yuma AZ Valley.  This outbreak involved 210 diagnosed cases in 36 states requiring 96 hospitalizations and 27 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome with five fatalities.  Yuma Valley supplies most of the leafy greens consumed between November and March.


Following investigations by the FDA, and in consultation with agricultural and food safety experts, changes were made to the irrigation of fields with specific reference to exclusion of runoff from CAFOs.

Recently the FDA conducted assays on 118 samples from specific farms including 26 commercial coolers and cold storage facilities.  All samples were free of Salmonella and a  

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) was identified in in one sample. 


Although the initial evaluation is promising, additional surveillance will be necessary for the 2019-2020 season.  In the long term however environmental studies will be required to determine risk factors and to develop appropriate preventive measures.  Over the long term antibacterial treatment such as high-efficiency UV or electron beam treatment may be necessary to provide security for uncooked foods.


ASF Extends to Myanmar


Predictably ASF has spread to Myanmar given the prevalence of the disease in adjoining nations. The presence of ASF in Myanmar has prompted Thailand, which apparently is as yet unaffected, to ban introduction of live hogs and pork from their neighbor. Although the Ministry of Agriculture in Bangkok can issue edicts, implementation will be a difficult proposition given poorly supervised borders in Southeast Asia.


Boris Johnson and Biosecurity


The August 3rd edition of The Economist shows a picture of the recently elevated Prime Minister of the U.K., Boris Johnson visiting a production unit in Wales.  It is clear that the publicity image denotes a lack of concern for biosecurity.  Certainly no one should be allowed into the proximity of a flock while wearing street clothing, rumpled in the case of Boris, or otherwise.



Foodborne Infections in Germany During 2018


The Infectious Disease Epidemiology Annual Report for 2018 released on July 29th by the Robert Koch Institute documents the incidence of foodborne infection in Germany.  The rates for specified infections were at:-


  • Campylobacterosis: 78.0/100,000
  • Salmonellosis: 15.6/100,000
  • STEC: 2.5/100,000
  • Listeriosis: 1/100,000

Norovirus incidence attained 94 per 100,000 and was considered the leading gastrointestinal infection.
The report produced by the Robert Koch Institute follows passage of the German Prevention and Control of Infections Act of 2016 that mandated reporting of emerging diseases and drug- resistant pathogens.
During 2018 whole genome sequencing was extensively applied, demonstrating that the increase in Salmonella Enteritidis complex type 1734 was from eggs derived from barns and free-range flocks.  A total of 191 cases were diagnosed in a number of states and molecular typing identified 24 small outbreaks.  Most of the other serotypes identified including Salmonella Infantis, S. Kentucky and S. Derby were acquired during foreign travel.
As with many national surveys, apparent increases in incidences might be attributed to enhanced diagnostic procedures and collation of regional databases.


Eggshells Used in Bone Repair


According to an article in Biomaterials Science researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell have used crushed eggshell as a biogel to support proliferation bone cells.  The mixture provides the framework to grow bone potentially to be used for grafts.  Currently studies are in progress using rats but subsequently the technique may be extended to human patients.


Welcome to Greengage Enlightened Farming


Greengage Lighting Ltd. specializes in innovative precision LED lighting and environmental sensor systems for livestock production. The company is located at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh. This association with academics, engineers and specialists has made possible advanced lighting and electronic systems contributing to optimal productivity.

The Greengage system applies inductive power for lamps and sensors sharing a common overhead connection network. Greengage ALIS lamps are protected against water and dust and are designed to function for ten or more years delivering lux and lumen values conforming to international standards. Inductive power is supplied by hubs located exterior to the area occupied by the flock. Lamps are available in either wide or narrow-beam configuration. Blue lamps are also available to be used when depopulating houses. The ALIS range includes low-power nest lamps and strip-lamps all controlled using dawn-to-dusk controllers. ALIS lamps are designed to deliver a light spectrum consistent with the photopic response of chickens. Inductive power provides constant current in the absence of photometric flicker thereby reducing stress. Compared to conventional compact florescent lamps, ALIS inductive-powered lamps provide energy savings of from 50 to 90 percent. ALIS lighting systems reduce shadows within houses leading to higher flock uniformity. Induction-powered lighting systems reduce the possibility of barn fires.


Greengage has developed a series of ALIS sensors that can be attached to the overhead grid powering the lamps. The range of sensors include:

  • ALIS Chirp Sensor that monitors acoustic patterns indicating a deviation from optimal environmental conditions
  • The ALIS Cluster Sensor views flock motility and can indicate unusual aggregation of birds within the flock to avert to smothering
  • ALIS Greenhouse Sensor monitors ammonia, carbon dioxide and humidity
  • ALIS Ambient Sensor monitors light and temperature

Inputs from sensors are analyzed in real time to control environmental variables. Data can be accessed remotely to modify ventilation and light settings.

The North American distributor for Greengage is Davian Inc. with Jassen Jackman as the contact. Additional information on Greengage and the range of environmental control module and lighting systems can be accessed on


Animal Welfare, Food Safety Area Briefings


Schedule of presentations



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