Studies in the E.U. Correlate Antibiotic Use and Resistance

Aug 16, 2017


The Second Joint Report of the European Food Safety Agency issued on July 27th documents statistical evaluation of antibiotic use in humans and livestock in relation to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in pathogens.

Opponents of livestock production frequently point to the apparent high usage of antibiotics by the livestock sector. When body mass is taken into account, the apparent disproportionate usage is negated. In 2014, the average antimicrobial consumption in livestock in the E.U. amounted 152 mg/kg compared to humans at 124 mg/kg. In comparing the median antimicrobial consumption, animals consume 67 mg/kg and humans 118 mg/kg respectively. In point of fact in 18 out of 28 E.U. nations, antimicrobial consumption expressed as quantity per body mass was lower in livestock than in humans.


Univariate analysis showed a statistically significant correlation between antimicrobial resistance and consumption of antibiotics with respect to fluoroquinolone resistance by E.coli with respect to both livestock and humans. There was a positive correlation for cephalosporins and E.coli in humans and for both tetracyclines and polymyxins in E.coli isolated from livestock.

There was a statistically significant association between antimicrobial consumption and antimicrobial resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae with respect to carbapenems and polymyxins among humans. This is an important correlation given that carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae is usually multi-drug resistant. This was the organism responsible for a series of fatalities at the NIH referral hospital in 2012.     

Applying multivariate analysis, it was demonstrated that third and fourth generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolone resistance in E.coli isolated from humans was correlated to antimicrobial consumption. A positive correlation was determined for resistance involving Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. from humans with the use of fluoroquinolones in animals. After extensive review of literature in 2015 the U.S. FDA banned administration of fluroquinolones to livestock.

The extensive report demonstrates the need to apply the “One-Health” approach to evaluating drug resistance. The statistical approach can provide an indication of the overall pattern of resistance and can point to specific areas where enhanced control in both livestock production and human medicine are required. Laboratory studies applying whole genome sequencing and molecular biology can identify specific genes which are associated with transmissible drug resistance.

Poultry Industry News


YUM! Brands Reports on Q2 of FY 2017

Aug 18, 2017


In a press release dated August 3rd Yum! Brands (YUM) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending June 30th 2017.

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



Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

Aug 16, 2017


The August 9th 2017 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 176 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending August 5th, two percent more than the corresponding week in 2016 Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 183 million.

Average hatchability was a nominal 83 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. The unchanging 83 percent reported by the USDA is questioned in the light of comments that high-yield strains are showing suboptimal fertility and hence lower hatchability. Cumulative placements for the period January 7th through August 5th amounted to 5.62 billion chicks, two percent more than the corresponding period in 2016. The USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook issued on April 17th documented a one percent difference in chicks hatched and the number placed for broiler grow-out.


For the processing week ending August 5th 163.70 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.81 kg or 6.17 lbs. (2.73 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 0.8 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 347,792 metric tons, 0.5 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production in 2017 has attained 10,557,206 metric tons YTD, 0.9 percent more than YTD 2016.


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

Aug 16, 2017


Poult Production and Placement:

The August 15th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 29.7 million eggs in incubators on August 1st 2017 (30.0 million eggs on July 1st 2017) up one percent from August 1st 2016. A total of 24.1 million poults were hatched in July 2017 (25.1 million in June 2017) down three percent from July 2016.


A total of 23.3 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in July 2017, down five percent from July 2016. This suggests disposal of 6.6 percent of hen poults hatched during July or 3.3 percent of the total hatch.

For the period January through July 2017, 171.11 million poults were hatched and 160.37 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 10.7 million hen poults over seven months representing 6.3 percent of the total hatch or 12.5 percent of hen poults hatched.


CME Prices

Aug 16, 2017


According to the August 10th WASDE release, 83.5 million acres of corn will be harvested to yield 14.15 billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.38 billion bushels from 88.7 million acres harvested.


On Friday August 11th at close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded, together with the bracketed value for the previous week.



Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. ’17   361     (367)     

Dec. ’17     375      (381)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Aug.  ’17   935     (949)    

Nov. ’17    945      (957)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

Aug.  ‘17   299     (304)

Dec.  ’17    305      (310) 


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

  • Corn:                     Sept. quotation down by 6 cents.                    (-1.6 percent)
  • Soybeans:            Aug. quotation down by 48 cents                    (-1.5 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    Aug. quotation down by $5/ton                    (-1.6 percent)                                  


For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn :-

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


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

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

See posting on the August 11th edition of CHICK-CITE (enter WASD in SEARCH block) summarizing the August 10th USDA-WASDE Report #568, for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced during the 2017-18 season.


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

Aug 16, 2017


- Continued Improvements in Volume and Value Compared to 2016.

Data for the first half of 2017 indicate an improvement in export volume after lifting of embargos following the 2015 Midwest HPAI outbreak and the subsequent eight rapidly controlled events in March in Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  Broiler meat exports for the period January through June 2017 attained 1,509,928 metric tons, 4.3 percent higher than  the first six months of 2016 (1,447,058 metric tons)


During January-June 2017 the National Chicken Council, citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 1,638,806 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $1.679 billion with an average unit value of $1,025 per metric ton, 3.4 percent more than in January-June 2016 ($991 per m. ton).

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

  • Chicken parts                          95.0%;  Unit value $951 per metric ton   ($917)
  • Prepared chicken                      2.8%;  Unit value $3,537 per metric ton ($3,470)
  • Whole chicken                          2.2%;  Unit value $1,000 per metric ton ($1,207) 


American Humane Certifies Simply Essentials

Aug 16, 2017


The American Humane Association has announced that it has extended certification to Simply Essentials which operates a plant in Charles City, IA. Previously this facility operated as the Cedar River Poultry processing plant, but was extensively remodeled requiring an investment of over $30 million in 2016.

Simply Essentials has partnered with Prairie’s Best to grow broilers in the region. George Peichel, CEO of Prairie’s Best, stated “Making this kind of commitment to the community really means a lot and brings chicken processing in Iowa to a whole new level of sophistication as we build an extensive grower network to support Simply Essentials to produce healthier, antibiotic-free, humanely raised chicken that tastes great.


Robin Ganzert

The American Humane certified program ensures animals are raised and handled humanely through third-party audits covering a range of standards specific to livestock species. Standards are reviewed regularly by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee.

Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane, stated “By becoming an American Humane certified producer, Simply Essentials helps ensure their customers that food on their plates was raised humanely under the science and evidence-based protections established by American Humane.”


Evaluation of Alternatives to Antibiotics

Aug 16, 2017


A number of additive manufacturers presented data at the 2017 Poultry Science Association annual meeting during July.

Nutriad reported on the quorum sensing inhibition assay to select probiotic and botanical supplements based on their effect in vitro. Data derived from the laboratory evaluations were applied to field trials using a botanical with essential oils (Apex®).


At 48 days of age, subjective evaluation of the ileum showed that the mucosa from treated broilers had a greater potential for nutrient absorption compared to controls. The trial disclosed a lower prevalence of femoral head necrosis and a lower level of coccidiosis compared to controls. Comparing Apex® with an oregono product with a non-supplemented control, replicate pen trials demonstrated improved feed conversion and body weight using the botanical product.

The evaluation of intestinal integrity applying innovative technology was reported by scientists affiliated to Biomin cooperating with faculty at the University of Arkansas.

In addition to histological evaluation measuring villus crypt depth and the ratio of villus height to crypt depth, transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) was measured before and after lipopolysaccharide challenge. Biomin markets Poultry Star®, a symbiotic supplement incorporating both a prebiotic and a probiotic.

Intestinal histopathology was positively correlated with evaluation of intestinal integrity using TER and both approaches to evaluation were improved with supplementation of diets with the symbiotic.


Magnitude of Settlement in ABC Case Revealed

Aug 16, 2017


The July 5th edition of CHICK-CITE reported on the settlement between Beef Products Inc. and the ABC Network in which Beef Products Inc. was unjustly maligned by ABC over characterizing Lean Finely Textured Beef as “pink slime.”

The Plaintiff alleged that ABC misled viewers by repeatedly and deliberately demonizing a USDA-approved, safe and nutritious product. Resulting negative publicity and loss of business led to the closure of three plants and the loss of 700 jobs.


According to the Business Insider of August 10th, Dan Webb noted that the settlement vindicated the company and its product.

The magnitude of the settlement, presumably $177 million, was presumed following a review of the quarterly earnings report of the Walt Disney Company, parent of ABC, which noted the payment “in connection with the settlement of litigation.”


Costco Faces Lawsuits over E.coli Contamination

Aug 16, 2017


A lawsuit has been filed against Costco by a 20-year old woman who experienced severe complications following consumption of salad contaminated with E.coli. She is one of 19 plaintiffs affected by E.coli 0157H7 which can present as enteritis or in extreme cases hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The plaintiff underwent renal failure and is diabetic. She received a kidney transplant subsequent to recovering from the infection and her plans to have a family and to follow a career as a singer and actress have been curtailed by her illness.



Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Aug 16, 2017


The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday August 14th  recorded progress in corn and soybean development relatively consistent with 2016 indicated in the tables below:-


                                                                            WEEK ENDING


August 6th

August 13th

5-Year Average

Corn Silking

Corn Dough







Corn Dent




Soybeans Blooming




Soybeans Setting Pods






V. Poor





Corn Condition






Soybean Condition








V. Short




Topsoil moisture:  Past Week





                              Past Year





Subsoil moisture:  Past Week





                              Past Year







2017 Environmental Management Seminar

Aug 16, 2017


USPOULTRY has announced that the 2017 Environmental Management Seminar will take place September 21st – 22nd at the Hilton Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Destin, FL.  The program will include aspects of both live production and processing and will incorporate an update on the regulatory and legal aspects of environmental compliance.


Stephanie Shoemaker of Sanderson Farms, the Planning Committee Chairperson noted, “This annual event is a valuable learning opportunity for those of us who work on the environmental side of the poultry and egg industries.  The Planning Committee has worked diligently to provide quality and relevant speakers who will address the most current and pertinent environmental issues affecting the industry.”

For further information including registration access www.uspoultry.org


Cost Conscious Consumers are Driving Acceptance of House Brands

Aug 16, 2017


Dan Orlando writing in the August 8th edition of Supermarket News notes that the “great recession” created a high level of frugality among consumers.  Citing an IRI Consumer Connect survey, shoppers are apparently still comparing prices to meet their budgets. 

The survey showed that 94 percent of respondents favored low prices and 82 percent considered that availability of private labels was a significant factor in their choice of supermarkets.


Having tested private labels, 75 percent of shoppers considered them as good as national brands suggesting a trend towards universal acceptance of these alternatives.  The article noted that Millennials and Gen Xers have favorable experience of store brands which are frequently equivalent to national brands. This is in contrast to the Baby Boomer cohort who are reticent to buy store brands based on previous negative experience associated with inferior quality in the 1970s and 1980s.

Most chains will follow a policy of displaying both store and national brands although shelf space will obviously favor company products and pricing will be lower to generate a suitable sales volume per area of shelf space.

There will be continued demand for iconic brands with entrenched consumer loyalty especially if products have tangible attributes, are fairly priced and are supported by a mix of social media, TV, print and even radio promotion.


Lack of Disclosure by NIH over Glyphosate Questioned by Congress

Aug 16, 2017


Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) chairman of the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform has expressed concern over the fact that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was aware that there was no epidemiologic association between the use of glyphosate and the health of agricultural workers in 2013, without disseminating this information.


The NIH had available results from the Agricultural Health Study which exonerated glyphosate.  The data was not submitted to international organizations including the World Health Organization subsidiary, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  In 2015 this organization issued a finding that glyphosate was a “probable human carcinogen” This action effectively delayed the re-approval of glyphosate for at least a year until the report by the  IARC was roundly discredited by U. S. and International scientists in academia and public agencies.

Following extensive review of counter-submissions, the European Commission extended the registration of glyphosate for a ten-year period although litigation in California still continues despite registration by the USDA.

Representative Gowdy is requesting the Director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins to explain why critical data was not released to the scientists involved in the evaluation of glyphosate.  Congress is also questioning funding of IARC through the NIH, given evident bias and contrived classification of a number of compounds and red meat as “probable carcinogens”.

Subscribers can access numerous posts on EGG-CITE and CHICK-CITE from 2014 onwards dealing with the activities of the IARC and glyphosate by entering these terms in the SEARCH block.


Target Reports on Q2 of FY 2017

Aug 16, 2017


In a press release dated August 16th Target Corporation (TGT) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending July 30th 2017.

The market responded positively to a 1.3 percent increase in same-store sales compared to a 0.7 percent estimate.

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)


Brian Cornell

 2nd Quarter Ending  July 30th



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating 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






South Korea Lifts Ban on U.S. Poultry Imports

Aug 16, 2017


USAPEEC announced on August 16th that South Korea has belatedly lifted a blanket ban on poultry imports from the entire U.S. The market is now open for poultry products slaughtered on or after Aug. 16, 2017.

The ban was unjustified as it extended to all U.S. production, rejecting the OIE principle of regionalization. It is noted that during the approximately 130-day ban, South Korea was attempting to control outbreaks of H7 and H5 HPAI rendering the action against U.S. poultry illogical, contrary to OIE procedures and without epidemiologic foundation.


South Korea imposed the ban after detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in March in a broiler breeder farm in Lincoln County, TN. Cases of North American lineage H7N9 LPAI were identified in broiler breeder flocks in contiguous Alabama a few backyard flocks and isolated single farms in Georgia and Kentucky. All of the flocks were diagnosed rapidly by either routine monitoring or surveillance and were depleted and disposed of by State and Federal intervention without evidence of lateral dissemination.

"We would like to extend our appreciation for the dedication and efforts of APHIS and FAS in getting this ban lifted," said USAPEEC President Jim Sumner He added "now, we look forward to seeing South Korea implement regionalization."


USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Production for 2017 and 2018.

Aug 16, 2017


The USDA-Economic Research Service released data for broilers and turkeys for 2016 (actual), 2017 (updated) and 2018 (forecast) respectively on August 15th. Broiler production was increased by <0.1percent for 2017, data for 2018 was unchanged from the July report.


Turkey production was reduced by 1.3 percent for 2017 but unchanged for 2018 compared with the July release. Forecast values for 2018 production and consumption are considered to be optimistic given 2017 offtake and inventories.

Metric values are tabulated below:-


    2016 (actual)     


    2018      Difference
 (forecast) ’17 to ‘18 (%)





Production (m. metric tons)



       19.216             +1.9

Consumption (kg per capita)



           41.6             +1.0

Exports (m. metric tons)



         3.195             +3.5

Proportion of production (%)



           16.5             +0.6









Production (m. metric tons)



         2.809             +3.3

Consumption (kg per capita)



             7.7             +2.7

Exports (m. metric tons)



          0.295            +7.6

Proportion of production (%)



            10.5            +3.9

*Depressed by import embargos due to HPAI

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


Pilgrim’s Pride to Install Robotics

Aug 16, 2017


Pilgrim’s Pride has announced that it will extend robotics and x-ray technology to deboning.  According to a comment by CEO Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s Pride will work with Scott Technology Ltd of New Zealand to develop suitable systems. 

This company is controlled by JBS SA., the holding company of Pilgrim’s Pride.


Robotics becomes financially feasible as workers’ hourly rates increase and in certain areas where labor shortages exist due to competition from industrial plants.


USDA- WASDE FORECAST #568, August 10th 2017

Aug 11, 2017



The August 10th 2017 USDA WASDE projections for the 2017 corn and soybean crops reflected planting data and estimates of yield based on crop progress. Harvest areas for corn and soybeans were unchanged from the July Report at 83.5 million acres (86.7 million in 2016) and 88.7 million acres (82.7 million in 2016) respectively.

The USDA lowered projected corn yield to169.5 bushels per acre from 170.7 bushels per acre (174.6 bushels in 2016). Soybean yield was raised to 49.4 bushels per acre from 48.0 bushels per acre (52.1 bushels in 2016). Ending stock for corn was lowered 2.2 percent from July and projected to be 2,273 million bushels (2,325 million in July WASDE Report). Ending stock for soybeans was adjusted up 3.3 percent to 475 million bushels (460 million in July 2017 WASDE Report).



The projection of the corn harvest was lowered from July attaining 14,153 million bushels, down 6.0 percent from 2016. None of the major categories of use were appreciably changed. The projected USDA range in farm price incorporated an 80 cents per bushel spread as is normal for a mid-year report with many uncertainties relating to weather until harvest. Price was unchanged from the July WASDE Report at 290 to 370 cents per bushel. At close on August 10th CME quotations for September and December 2017 corn were 360 cents and 373 cents per bushel respectively. September corn fell four percent after release of the August WASDE Report.


USDA projects a soybean harvest of 4,381 million bushels (was 4,260 million bushels in the July WASDE Report) due to an anticipated increase in yield to 49.4 bushels per acre. Use parameters were essentially unchanged from the July WASDE Report except that beginning stocks were decreased again by 40 million bushels to 370 million bushels and ending stocks were increased to 475 million bushels from 460 million bushels. USDA accordingly increased the August ex-farm price for soybeans for the 2017 harvest by 5 cents per bushel on the low end and decreased the projected price by 25 cents per bushel on the high end to a range of 845 cents to 1,015 cents per bushel. At close of trading on August 10th CME quotations for soybeans for July and September 2017 delivery were 1,023 cents and 1,031 cents per bushel respectively. September 2017 and January 2018 delivery were 938 cents per bushel and 954 cents per bushel respectively. Soybeans fell three percent after release of the August WASDE Report.

Projected output of soybean meal was adjusted downward to 46.1 million tons (was 46.3 million tons in the July WASDE Report). Estimated soybean meal prices were adjusted downwards by $5 per ton to $295 to $335 per ton. At close of trading on August 10th CME quotations for September and December 2017 soybean meal were $298 and $302 respectively.


Shane Commentary


Bill Lovette Addresses North Carolina Poultry Federation Annual Banquet

Aug 16, 2017

Bill Lovette


The keynote speech at the 2017 Banquet organized by the North Carolina Poultry Federation was an opportunity for Bill Lovette to review industry issues and trends emphasizing that the broiler industry is no longer recognizable by one’s grandfather!  

Lovette noted that annual retail sales of poultry worldwide now amounts to $400 billion.  It is projected that by 2020 poultry will surpass pork as the preferred meat globally.  Of the 45 percent expansion from 2010 to 2030, as forecast by Rabobank, three-quarters will come from emerging markets.

“Big Ag” including the intensive livestock industry is demonized by environmentalists.  Opponents of poultry, swine and beef production ignore the fact that since 1960 there has been a 37 percent reduction in pesticide use in the U.S. and that one farmer now feeds 155 people versus 26 sixty years ago.


Lovette attributes improvements to technology developed through basic and applied research and field evaluation.  With Federal and state cutbacks on support for research, 76 percent of funding is now obtained from private businesses, foundations and farm organizations.

Lovette emphasized that we are in an era of consumerism.  It is however difficult to know what consumers want and more importantly, what they are willing to pay. Current issues facing the industry include organic versus conventional, antibiotic-free production and in the case of broilers an emerging concern over growth rate which is an offshoot of welfare.

One out of five new food products introduced into the U.S. includes a specialty label claim with 44 percent for USDA organic, 28 percent for “no-antibiotics-ever”, 29 percent for “hormone free”, 15 and percent “natural”.  Despite the proliferation of label claims, only 33 percent of consumers are informed as to the significance and reliability of seals and text.

An example of the extent to which consumers are misinformed includes the fact that 70 percent believe that organic foods are “better” for the planet and 60 percent believe they are “safe”. About three quarters of consumers believe that antibiotic residues are present in chicken meat. In reality all U.S. meat products are free of residues and are regularly tested to ensure compliance.

 Due to the inherent non-sustainability of organic foods, if all U.S. crops in 2014 were raised according to organic guidelines, the U.S. food supply would require an additional 109 million acres, equivalent to the area of California. Conventional foods represent no advantage in food safety compared to products grown or processed in accordance with USDA Organic certification. In some cases due to deficiencies in hygiene or lack of Federal inspection associated with small operations, organic products may represent a higher risk to public health than conventional foods processed by large-scale producers who process and pack in plants incorporating HACCP. The current structure and regulation of organic production in the U.S. suggests that the system will not be able to satisfy the future demand for food.

 For the past 25 years, one trillion meals have been consumed without any documented case of a deleterious effect from consuming GMO products or livestock.  By 2050 the World will need 60 percent more protein derived from animals. This can only be attained through the application of technology including genetic engineering and now the emerging field of CRISPR gene deletion.

Sustainability is the key to all production systems with an even greater imperative to adjust to the challenges of climate change, the emergence of new diseases and the requirement for scale of operation to reduce cost and enhance productivity.  From a business perspective, Pilgrim’s Pride recognizes the consumer demand for organic product. The Company has initiated production under the USDA certified Organic program directly and also through their GNP acquisition. Going forward Pilgrim’s Pride considers that water, energy, flock welfare, employee health and safety and product integrity as priorities.

In providing guidance to the members of the NC Poultry Federation, Lovette suggested the following:-

  • Don’t just tell you story, tell it with transparency and heart
  • See it through their eyes
  • It’s not about being right it’s about respect of choice
  • Fearlessly take on the issue but let values lead the conversation
  • Respond with speed and balance
  • Empower people to advocate and innovate
Visit our Companion Website
Dr. Simon M. Shane
Simon M. Shane
Contact     C. V.

Industry Prices: Tue Nov 14
 Corn3.38 $/bu
 Soybeans9.59 $/bu
 Soybean Meal310.30 $/ton
 Eggs, Producer247  ¢/doz
 Eggs, Warehouse 263-266 ¢/doz 

Copyright 2017 Simon M. Shane