Rise in Demand for Plant-Based Protein


The NPD Group, a prominent consumer market company published a report on June 8th documenting results of a survey on consumption of plant-based protein.  The survey disclosed that 14 percent of U.S. consumers regularly used plant-based alternatives including almond milk and vegetable burgers.  What is of importance is that nearly 90 percent of the respondents regularly consuming plant-based proteins were neither vegans nor vegetarians.  It appears that the worried well and those on special diets or with either real or imagined medical conditions are more likely to displace animal protein with an alternative. Both vegetable burgers and synthetic meatballs are growing in popularity especially in California and also in the South Atlantic states.


The trend determined in the NPD consumer survey was confirmed by data from food service distributors serving independent and small restaurants covering a twelve-month period through March 2018 which disclosed a 19 percent growth in vegetable-based protein albeit on a small base.  Since 2015 NPD Group documented a 24 percent increase in in-home consumption of alternatives to animal protein. It is evident that the market for alternatives to conventional animal protein is growing.  This is based on a combination of environmental concerns, health consciousness and perhaps welfare considerations. 

The Impossible Burger


The implication is that the projections for growth of animal-based protein should be modified in the light of an increase in vegetable protein.  The sharp increase in consumption of both domestic and imported pork and poultry in China and beef from Latin America which has fueled world increases in production may be reaching a plateau. President Xi has criticized the unbridled consumption of pork and poultry by the newly emerging middle class.  Reversion to traditional plant protein is underway as a State-sponsored initiative.  This is evidenced in decreased demand for domestic poultry and resulting protective tariffs on pork from Brazil and the U.S. and continued opposition to importation of U.S. poultry.


Recently I attended an international meeting where a foghorn-voiced speaker from Brazil flashed power-point after power-point with optimistic extrapolations of current consumption extending forward for a decade. It was not too long ago that a prominent broiler industry spokesperson opined on U.S. expansion “just add five percent annually forever”


This commentator has considerable doubt that the optimistic predictions of long-term growth will materialize. This is due in part from a recognition of the environmental restraints and logistic problems associated with expanding production of animal protein. The reality of higher cost for beef, pork and poultry in comparison to vegetable-based alternatives will undoubtedly restrain expansion especially in non-industrialized nations.


Poultry Industry News



According to the June 12th 2018 WASDE #578 release, 80.7 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2018 to yield 14.60 Billion bushels unchanged from the May Report. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.84 Billion bushels from 88.2 million acres harvested. These values are updated from the April WASDE report #576.


Quarterly corn and soybean stocks were estimated by USDA in early April to total 8.9 Billion bushels (60.9 percent of 2017 harvest) and 2.1 Billion bushels (47.8 percent of 2017 harvest) respectively.


The following July and September quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on June 15th together with values for the previous week in parentheses.







Corn (cents per bushel)

July ’18     362  (378)        

Sept.  ‘18     371   (389)            

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July ’18     904  (997)    

Sept.  ’18     917   (981)      

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

July ‘18     339  (360)

Sept.  ’18      342  (366) 


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



Corn:                     July quotation down 16 cents per Bu.        (-4.3 percent)

Soybeans:              July quotation down 93 cents per Bu.        (-9.1 percent)

Soybean Meal:        July quotation down $21/ton.                   (-5.8 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 0.40 cent per dozen


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


Declines in the prices of soybeans and hence soybean meal relate to competitive resumption of soybean exports from Brazil and cessation of U.S. shipments to China in accordance with tariff concerns.


The reduction in commodity prices over the past week should lower the cost of nest run product by 1.6 cents per dozen.


The reduction in commodity prices over the past week should lower the cost of broiler live weight by 0.9 cents per lb.



See WASDE posting summarizing the June 12th USDA-WASDE Report #578, under the STATISTICS tab reviewing price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported during the 2018 season.



Weekly Turkey Production and Prices


Poult Production and Placement:

The June 15th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.1 million eggs in incubators on June 1st 2018 (28.7 million eggs on May 1st 2018) down 5.0 percent (1.5 million eggs) from June 1 st 2017. A total of 23.5 million poults were hatched during May 2018 (23.4 million in April 2018), down 2.9 percent from May 2017.

A total of 22.5 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in May 2018, (22.2 million in April 2018) and down 0.8 percent (176,000 poults) from May 2017. This suggests disposal of 1.0 million hen poults or 8.5 percent of hen poults hatched during May 2018 or 4.3 percent of the total hatch.

For the twelve-month period June 2017 through May 2018, 286.3 million poults were hatched and 268.6 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 17.7 million hen poults over the period representing 12.4 percent of hen poults hatched or 6.2 percent of all poults hatched.


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices


Chick Placements

The June 13th 2018 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 181.2 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending June 9 th. This was three percent more than the corresponding week in 2017. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 188.8 million, approximately three percent above the corresponding week in 2017. Average hatchability was 81.2 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Broiler chick placements for 2018 through June 9th amounted to 4.22 billion, approximately three percent more than YTD 2017.

Broiler Production

For the processing week ending June 9th 163.9 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 6.15 lbs. (6.13 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 0.6 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2017. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week attained 753.4 million lbs. (342,470 metric tons), 2.2 percent less than in the corresponding week in 2017. Production of RTC for 2018 to date attained 17.20 million lbs. (7.817 million metric tons), <0.1 less than the corresponding period in 2017.

The USDA Southern States (SS) benchmark prices in cents per lb. (rounded to nearest cent) as documented in the Broiler Market News Report (Vol. 65 No. 24) June 15th 2018 edition are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-


Updated USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Projection for 2018 and 2019.


The USDA-Economic Research Service released production and consumption data for broilers and turkeys for 2017 (actual), 2018 (projected) and 2019 (forecast) respectively on June 18th 2018.


Broiler meat production in 2019 will increase by 1.6 percent compared to 2018 to 19.681 m metric tons (43,298 million lbs.) RTC. Per capita consumption will increase by 1.2 percent) to 41.8 kg. (92.0 lbs.) Exports will represent 16.4 percent of RTC production attaining 3.227 m metric tons (7,099 million lbs.)


Turkey production will decrease by 0.9 percent in 2019 to 2.714 m metric tons (5,971 million lbs.) RTC. Per capita consumption will remain constant in 2019 at 7.3 kg. (16.1 lb.) Export volume will decline by 0.9 percent to 0.298 m metric tons (656,000 lbs).  Forecast values for production and consumption of turkey in 2019 are considered to be optimistic given 2018 prices, production and inventory. The projection does not take into account possible collapse of NAFTA with imposition of tariffs, not presently threatened or loss of market penetration into Mexico based on competition from Chile and other nations in Latin America.


Status of 2018 Corn and Soybean Crops


The USDA Crop Progress Report released June 18th confirmed complete planting of the 2018 corn crop. Corn is emerging at a rate faster than the 5-year average. Soybean planting continues rapidly leading the 5-year average by 6 percent. Soybeans are emerging at a rapid rate consistent with good soil moisture and climate conditions, leading the 5-year average by 9 percent. EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of harvest in October.



 June 10th 

 June 17th 

 5-Year Average 

Corn Planted %

Corn emerged %








Soybeans Planted %

Soybeans emerged %












 Crop Condition 

 V. Poor 





Corn 2018

Corn 2017











Soybeans 2018

Soybeans 2017
















 V. Short 




Topsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year





Subsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year









Technomic Names Chick-fil-A® as Best Overall Quick Service Restaurant


Based on the Transaction Insights and the Ignite brand tracking surveys, research company Technomic has listed the 2018 Consumers’ Choice Awards. The Ignite survey is based on the input of 100,000 consumers covering 115 restaurant chains between April 2017 and March 2018. Transaction Insights includes a longitudinal sample of 3 million consumers representing 18 million monthly restaurant visits as quantified using actual transactions.

Chick-fil-A® was voted the best overall quick service restaurant based on consumers’ choice. The brand was also top in the ‘most kid-friendly’ category among quick service restaurants.


USPOULTRY Foundation Funds Research Projects


USPOULTRY and the Foundation have approved research grants totaling $300,000 through the Comprehensive Research Program.

Grants were awarded for the following topics, representing issues of concern to the poultry industry:-


  • Molecular Typing of Current Reovirus Variant Strains

University of California - Davis (research grant made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Jerry & Cherie Moye and Todd & Shelley Simmons)


  • Mitigation of Ammonia and Odor Emissions; Improving Indoor Air Quality in Poultry Housing with Black UV Light

Iowa State University (research grant made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Koch Foods)


  • Infectious Bronchitis Virus Spike Protein-Pseudotyped Virus Particles for Vaccine Development

University of Georgia (research grant made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Fieldale Farms)


  • Early Post-Hatch Nutritional Strategies to Reduce the Incidence and Severity of Wooden Breast and Other Inflammatory-Myopathies

The Ohio State University (research grant made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Mar-Jac Poultry)


  • Improvements in Molecular Diagnostics for Mycoplasma, Infectious Laryngotracheitis Virus and Other Relevant Avian Respiratory Pathogens

University of Georgia (research grant made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Elton & Claire Maddox and the Georgia Poultry Federation)



In commenting on the research awards,Tom Hensley of Fieldale Farms, and USPOULTRY Chairman stated, “research is an important part of USPOULTRY and the Foundation service to the industry. The Foundation Research Advisory Committee is the core of the research program with committee members volunteering countless hours reviewing and evaluating research proposals before making recommendations for funding. We sincerely value their excellent work.”


U.S. Now Eligible to Export to Morocco


According to the May 28th edition of MondayLine a health certificate to allow export of U.S. poultry parts to Morocco has now been finalized after extensive negotiations and an intensive five-day campaign by the USDA-Foreign Agriculture Service, the Animal and Plant Inspection Service and the Food Safety and Inspection Service.  The president of USAPEEC Jim Sumner stated, “While a limited market, we are happy to have Morocco and hope that we can help to develop it further.”

Morgan Haas, Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Morocco who was pivotal in negotiations will address the USAPEEC annual meeting in Costa Rica in mid-June on market opportunities.


Tyson Foods Breaks Ground on New Complex


Tyson Foods has announced that a groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 30th for the Humboldt, TN complex.  This is the first completely new complex erected by Tyson Foods in over a decade.  The company recently expended over $85 million to expand the Union City, TN complex which created 300 new jobs.


Tyson estimates that the Humboldt complex will involve a $300 million investment for a feed mill, hatchery and processing plant and will ultimately employ 1500 by the end of 2019 when a capacity of 1.5 million birds per week will be attained.


Doug Ramsey group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods stated, “Today marks another important step in our journey with the people of Humboldt, TN. and Gibson County.”  He added, “We are excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work and continue the successful relationship we have had with the state of Tennessee for more than four decades.”


Tyson Foods will provide Gibson County with a $500,000 community grant.  The funding will be assigned by a steering committee comprising representatives of the community and employees of Tyson Foods.


Sanderson Farms Extends Stock Repurchase Plan


According to a May 31st release, Sanderson Farms will extend their stock purchase plan through May 31st 2021.  Although 1.4 million shares have been tendered, the company now plans to acquire 2.0 million shares.


Joe F. Sanderson Jr., Chairman and CEO stated, “We plan to use our stock repurchase program to offset shares issued through our equity compensation programs and as a strategic use of the company’s cash.”  He added, “We believe this program represents a good use of corporate funds and will minimize potential dilution related to our equity compensation programs.”


Berwick PA Hog Farm Protected by Right-to-Farm Laws


Residents of the town of Berwick, PA. only have resource to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after losing successive cases in lower courts.  At issue is a 63-year-old family-owned hog farm which plaintiffs claim is a source of odors and contaminates soil.


The farm includes a large barn with up to 5,000 finishing hogs under contract to Country View Family Farms, part of the Hatfield Quality Meats Group.


Unlike the hog farms with open lagoons currently the subject of litigation in North Carolina, Will-O-Bett stores hog manure in a subterranean tank and the contents is spread on pasture only during the spring and fall.  Apparently 1,500 residents live within a mile of the farm and claim inconvenience and deprivation of quality of life as a result of odor.


In a ruling, Superior Court, Senior Judge Eugene B. Strassburger III noted, “We do not doubt that the plaintiffs are genuinely aggrieved by the odors associated with the Will-O-Bett's operation.”  The judgement concluded, “However, our Legislature has determined that such effects are outweighed by the benefit of established farms investing in expansion of agricultural operations in Pennsylvania.”


It is a matter of record that the farm is in compliance with existing environmental protection and other regulations and has an effective odor-management plan.


At this time, plaintiffs have to decide whether to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in accordance with a last-minute filing in May.


The situation in Pennsylvania contrasts with the adverse ruling against Smithfield Foods, the actual owner of a herd placed on a contract farm in Duplin County.  In this case a jury verdict was handed down in favor of plaintiffs who received a substantial award. A second case is currently being heard in the Federal Court in Raleigh with one family serving as a bellwether claiming nuisance and degradation of property value from odor.


Brazil Economy Grew in First Quarter of 2018


Economists calculate that the gross domestic product of Brazil grew at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the last three months of 2017 and expanded by 1.2 percent from the corresponding quarter of 2017.  This improvement followed a severe recession.  The agriculture sector contributed to the growth in the economy advancing 1.4 percent during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous four months of 2017.


Although Brazil demonstrated an improvement, the subsequent truckers’ strike during May seriously impeded progress in the economy and adversely affected foreign investment.


Allen Harim Donates to Food Bank


According to a report in the January 1st Washington Report issued by the National Chicken Council Allen Harim has donated 33,000 pounds of chicken to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank and Resource Center.


Susan Thomas, Executive Director of the Food Bank noted that, “This could not have come at a better time.”  The Food Bank assists 48,000 households in the region.  Howard County has an immediate need for help given flooding centered on Ellicott City near Baltimore.


Allen Harim President and CEO Joe Moran stated, “It’s always gratifying to be able to partner with non-profit groups who are on the front lines making sure peoples’ basic needs are being met.”  He added, “We are proud to be able to give back and to help make a difference in peoples’ lives.”


Perdue Farms Releases Fiscal 2018 Company Stewardship Report


Privately held Perdue Farms has released a company stewardship report for 2018 outlining achievements in sustainability and related concepts.

Chairman Dr. Jim Perdue stated “Sustainability is more than efficiency and its measure goes beyond producing more with less.”  He added “We strive to align our practices with the values of our stakeholders and in doing so, act with responsibility.”

Achievements during the year include completing conversion of all branded consumer products to “no antibiotics ever. The second initiative is attaining Tier-two ranking in the 2017 business benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare. The associate health program has been extended by eliminating co-pays at 16 wellness centers. The company has also embarked on a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, solid waste and consumption of water and energy.

By 2022, Perdue is committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 30 percent, potable-water by 25 percent and diverting 90 percent of solid waste from landfills.

CEO of Perdue Farms, Randy Day, stated “We can let our scale be a mass that resists change or we can lead by listening to our stakeholders and let our scale add momentum to positive changes.” He added “We saw that with our leadership in moving away from antibiotics and our commitments to animal care have accelerated a movement in animal agriculture to better provide for the welfare of the animals in our care.”


Salmonella Outbreak Attributed to Raw Breaded Chicken Products


Ruby’s Pantry a volunteer faith-based operation is advising recipients of donations to discard raw frozen breaded chicken products as a result of salmonellosis diagnosed in patients in Wisconsin and Minnesota. A formal recall has not been initiated.


 The problem frequently occurs with raw breaded chicken since food preparation may not achieve a temperature adequate to destroy Salmonella.


Affected products were distributed through pantries in Minnesota and Wisconsin and are perfectly safe if cooked to a temperature of at least 165 F for a minute.


BioChek Introduces New Kits



BioChek has introduced a range of PCR assay kits which will be featured at the VIV Europe exhibition June 20th to 22nd.




PCR kits include:

  • Multivalent Salmonella PCR (S. Enteritidis; S. Typhimurium; S. Heidelberg)
  • Influenza A H5-H7-H9
  • Fowl Laryngotracheitis
  • Infectious Bronchitis
  • Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale

In addition BioChek has released a Newcastle Disease virus antibody kit. For further details, email timgoode@biochek.com or (207) 883-3003.


China Imposes Anti-Dumping Tariffs on Broilers from Brazil


Following an investigation arising from complaints advanced by domestic broiler producers, the Ministry of Commerce of China will impose an anti-dumping tariff ranging from 19 percent to 39 percent on poultry imported from Brazil.  Importers will be required to make cash payments in advance of landing product, effectively reducing the volume of exports from Brazil.


Following on from the inspection and documentation scandal and then the more recent truckers’ strike, now being placed at a competitive disadvantage in China is a further blow to the broiler industry in Brazil and will be reflected in the quarterly reports of Marfrig and JBS SA.


South Korean Company to Make an Offer for Schwan’s


The CJ Group of South Korea will bid for Schwan’s Company, the manufacturer of Red Barron Pizza and Mrs. Smith’s Pies.  The transaction could exceed $3 billion especially if other companies enter into a bidding contest.


Schwan’s obtained the services of Piper Jaffray as their financial advisor in exercising options including outright sale or merger.


In 2016 the company reported $3 billion in sales which have been relatively static for a number of years suggesting the need for a new approach to product diversity and marketing.



Namibia, a Prospect for U.S. Exports


The June 11th edition of USAPEEC MondayLine noted that the southwest nation of Namibia with population of 2.5 million will import both processed and hot processed poultry products from the U.S.


The nation is 50 percent self-sustaining with most of the chicken required over local production imported from neighboring South Africa.  In 2017 Namibia imported close to 30,000 tons of broiler meat.


U.S. will have to compete with Brazil and the EU for the available market.


According to a USDA-FAS GAIN Report Namibia will recognize regionalization in the event of outbreaks of AI and END. Namibia followed this policy after regional outbreaks of AI were diagnosed in the Republic of South Africa, the major supplier.  A ban on South African imports led to a shortage resulting in a realistic policy towards eligibility to export.


Mexico to File WTO Dispute Against the U.S. Over Steel Tariffs


Mexico and Canada will jointly file a dispute with the World Trade Organization as a result of the announcement of tariffs imposed by the U.S.


The U.S. Administration used national security as a justification for the tariffs although this will be disputed and will require the U.S. to advance more than “Canada burned down the White House in the War of 1812” as a justification.


Mexico has announced retaliatory tariffs on pork legs, shoulders and hams effective July 5th.  At the present time no poultry products are targeted.  Although concurrent with the announcement of tariffs, Mexico opened a duty-free allocation of 350,000 metric tons of pork legs and shoulders from any country of origin other than the U.S.  Eligible suppliers include Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and Australia.


The 20 percent duty on U.S. origin pork legs and shoulder represents an opportunity for exporters of turkey meat which is incorporated into animal protein blends by processors in Mexico.


Adulteration of Vegan Foods with Meat Detected in the U.K.


The Telegraph, a leading U.K. newspaper, reported on laboratory testing which showed the presence of turkey meat in a vegan macaroni marketed by Tesco and pork in Sainsbury’s private brand of “meat free” products.

The U.K. Food Standards Agency is investigating the findings. Adulteration of “vegetarian foods” with pork has led to condemnation by religious authorities.”


IHOp to IHOb Transition


The meaning for the transition of the IHOp logo to IHOb was explained in a company release denoting that the “b” stood for burgers.


The change apparently will not be permanent according to a company spokesperson but it is a promotional initiative to emphasize addition of burgers to the company menu. The change will be relatively simple since on many signs the “p” can be rotated through a 180 degrees to become a “b”.


Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Haley stated, “The big opportunity for the IHOb brand is to develop our lunch and dinner business.”  He added, “Burgers are the most consumed entrée item for men, women and children in America so it made sense to start with burgers.”  An evaluation of recent statements by the company and reviewing the long history of IHOp this appears to be the dumbest market move since Coca Cola changed their 100+year-old formula.



Cobb-Vantress Presents Practical Program on Ventilation Management in Turkey


Nigel Strain, Senior Regional Technical Manager for Cobb Europe recently arranged and presented a practical demonstration on ventilation management for technical advisors affiliated to Lezita.  This prominent integrator in Turkey processes 2.5 million broilers each week and recognizes the importance of correct house design and management of ventilation systems to optimize the genetic potential of Cobb broilers.


In the practical in-house demonstration Strain illustrated the importance of air exchange based on house volume.  He emphasized the need to seal houses to achieve correct airflow.  The distribution of air within the house was demonstrated using smoke candles and the effects of air speed on distribution was stressed.  Special emphasis was placed on tunnel ventilation including area of inlets, fan capacity and cooling pads.


In commenting on the program, Onur Karaca Broiler Production Manager for Lezita stated, “I believe that a practical demonstration on ventilation is much more effective than theoretical lectures in a meeting room.”


Widespread Colistin Resistance in Vietnamese Village


In a report posted on ProMED Mail on January 9th, it was reported that 71 percent of residents of Nguyen Xa village in Thai Binh Province yielded potentially pathogenic bacteria carrying genes for resistance to the antibiotic colistin.

The report was presented at the American Society of Microbiology annual meeting in early June. According to the principal researcher, Dr. Yoshimasa Yamamoto of Osaka University, 81 percent of households had at least one member carrying E.coli resistant to colistin and 91 percent of the E.coli isolates resistant to colistin were multidrug resistant to three or more antibiotic classes.

The plasmid-encoded colistin resistance gene mcr-1 was detected in hogs and raw meat samples in China during 2015. The mcr-1 gene was detected in slaughterhouses and hogs in Vietnam the following year. The emergence of the mcr-1 gene is directly attributed to gross misuse of colistin in swine and poultry production in China and neighboring Asian nations.

Additional studies during the past year have identified five distinct mcr genes carried by E.coli, Salmonella spp. and Klebsiella. Since the original studies on mcr-1, the gene has been detected in 30 nations on five continents.

The mcr-1 gene is regarded as the “smoking gun” linking abuse of antibiotics in hogs and poultry to resistance among human pathogens. Colistin resistance was originally recognized in Asia but was subsequently disseminated through the E.U. Two isolates of E.coli carrying the mcr-1 gene have been detected in the U.S.

For additional information on the epidemiology of the mcr-1 gene enter “colistin” in the SEARCH block


Leadership of BRF SA Offered to Former Petrobras CEO


Unconfirmed reports indicated that Pedro Parente, the former CEO of Petroleo Brasileiro (“Petrobras”) has been offered the leadership role over troubled BRF SA. At the beginning of June, Parente resigned from his position at Petrobras apparently in opposition to the enforced fuel pricing policy introduced by the Government to end a crippling strike by truckers. In his previous position, he managed to turn around Petrobras, which was riddled with corruption and inefficiency stemming from extensive government interference. 


Cobb-Vantress Participates in Al Watania Poultry Institute of Technology Program


The first group of students from the Poultry Institute of Technology in Saudi Arabia have graduated. The Institute is a joint venture between Al Watania, a major integrator in Saudi Arabia and Cobb-Vantress. The objective was to train Saudi Arabian nationals in poultry production in their native country. Ultimately the program will be extended across the GCC.

Cobb-Vantress was assisted in its efforts to train the first group of 50 students by the Faculty of the University of Arkansas.

Roy Mutimer, Vice President for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia for Cobb-Vantress noted “We are extremely proud to be associated with the Al Watania Poultry Institute of Technology program and are excited at the impact it could have on the poultry industry in The Kingdom and beyond.”

Training provided to the first class to graduate included short-term placements in Europe and the U.S. in feed mills, hatcheries and broiler and breeding farms working alongside Cobb-Vantress team members.


Shane Commentary

North Carolina Legislature In Overdrive Over Adverse Smithfield Verdicts


The North Carolina Senate has approved legislation to obstruct lawsuits aimed at agricultural operations creating a nuisance. The reaction follows the first lawsuit which ruled against Smithfield Foods with the prospect of many additional cases including the second now being tried in a Federal court in Raleigh. In any event, the present and future lawsuits will be heard in Federal courts which are not influenced by state legislation

Republican members of the Senate have opined that the proposed legislation will deprive property owners of rights and that characterizing the issue as “farmers versus eaters” is incorrect. Former state Supreme Court Justice, Robert Orr and Paul Stam, previously a leader of the State House, are warning that proposed band-aid legislation will be overturned and that intensive livestock operations cannot persist in creating a nuisance.

It must be remembered that although a moratorium was placed on new farms using lagoons for waste disposal, all existing operations were grandfathered in under the agreement. Alternative technology to dispose of waste including digesters is available but the capital investment would ultimately have to be borne by integrators, raising the cost of production.

If the hog industry in North Carolina is to survive, lagoons will have to be phased out in favor of modern technology, as in the case of egg production which abandoned lagoons in the 1980s.

Legislators with a high concentration of hog production in their states should not try to involve turkey and broiler production which do not generate a nuisance. Lagoons are specifically a hog problem and must be solved by integrators and their contractors.


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