Jan 18, 2017


A research team at the University of Minnesota (UM), College of Veterinary Medicine recently published on studies conducted to determine the extent of dissemination of avian influenza virus from infected flocks. *

In a December 13th University of Minnesota release, the research team led by Dr. Montserrat Torremorell, described studies on the distribution and spread of swine influenza virus applying similar techniques as used in the poultry studies to ascertain the presence of the pathogen in the air within hog barns, in exhaust streams and in the vicinity of farms.


During the spring 2015 HPAI outbreaks, H5N2 avian influenza virus was isolated from the environment of infected flocks and in exhaust air streams within 300 feet from houses.  In addition, virus could be recovered from the ground in the vicinity of farms suggesting that intra-farm dissemination of virus occurs. 

The presence of viable avian influenza virus on surfaces in the vicinity of barns holding infected flocks creates the potential to pass infection between farms unless appropriate biosecurity precautions are followed.  What would be interesting is to confirm the presumption that virus remains viable at relatively low temperature on surfaces such as earth especially in the presence of moisture and biological material. Survival of virus should be compared to impervious surfaces such as concrete or blacktop with and without exposure to sunlight and effective disinfectants.

The studies on hogs detailed in the UM press release demonstrated the presence of swine influenza virus on particles suspended in air within houses, corresponding to the excretion of virus from animals in the herd.  The virus could also be isolated from soil up to a mile from infected farms raising the question as to whether exhaust streams or wind can disseminate virus from a concentration of infected hogs or poultry.

Studies conducted by the University of Minnesota established the following principles:-

  • Virus shed by migratory waterfowl in the vicinity of houses can remain viable for some time and theoretically can be tracked into houses in the absence of appropriate biosecurity precautions.  At a minimum, Operational Biosecurity should involve a complete change of outer clothing and footwear at the entrance to the farm and a change of footwear on entry to each house.
  • The persistence of influenza virus can be influenced by surface characteristics.  Roads and aprons in the vicinity of houses which are constructed with a layer of blacktop or concrete will probably not support viability of virus for more than a few hours. Prolonged infectivity can be expected on soil mixed with biological material.
  • Although it would seem epidemiologically beneficial to filter air entering houses the complexity of installations and their cost raises questions of feasibility and practicality unless there is a high probability of introducing infection.
  • Investment in Structural Biosecurity is a function of :-
  • The risk of infection,
  • The financial consequences of introducing a disease,
  • The effectiveness of the modality such as filtration or ultraviolet radiation.

In studies on the epidemiology of avian influenza among turkey farms in Minnesota it was concluded that migratory waterfowl in all probability introduced the H5N2 virus although there was negligible evidence of persistence among free-living birds during post-outbreak surveillance. Dissemination of virus and the high incidence rate of infection in affected counties was attributed to defects in both Structural and Operational biosecurity as determined by surveys which identified risk factors for introduction of infection.

In contradistinction geospatial evaluation failed to correlate wind direction with the temporal and spatial sequence of outbreaks. Notwithstanding this general conclusion anecdotal evidence was highly suggestive of individual cases of aerogenous spread of virus among closely located farms in Minnesota and one case in Wisconsin.

Multiplication of virus occurs in a large flock following infection. Dissemination is possible over short distances in exhaust streams which entrain virus-laden dust particles which are deposited on roads and soil surfaces. The possibility of subsequent spread by mechanical transport on tires and footwear is self-evident. It is for this reason that current control procedures mandate deactivation of ventilation systems followed by and rapid depopulation of a flock.

This is accomplished using carbon dioxide foam for floor houses or VSD for high-density cage units. Control of an outbreak is impeded by delays in depopulating flocks and herds as evidenced by the early stage of the mid-West epornitic and current events in South Korea. In contrast prompt and appropriate action in the Indiana “pop-up” outbreak in January 2016 confined spread and restricted the infection to nine houses despite the high density of poultry in the counties surrounding the index farm.

It is evident that both Structural and Operational biosecurity should be complementary since the two components of the system are mutually dependent.  With neglect of aspects of either Structural or Operational biosecurity, the entire system of protection fails with disastrous economic consequences when flocks are exposed to a catastrophic disease such as highly pathogenic avian influenza.

*Torremorell, M et al. (2016) Investigation into the Airborne Dissemination of H5N2 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus During the 2015 Spring Outbreak in the mid-Western U.S. Avian Diseases 60:637-643.


Poultry Industry News


Sonny Perdue Nominated as Secretary of Agriculture

Jan 20, 2017

Sonny Perdue


Dr. George Ervin (‘Sonny’) Perdue III, a previous Governor of Georgia, has been nominated by President-elect Donald J. Trump as the next Secretary of Agriculture.

Perdue was born in Perry, GA. in 1946 and is a graduate of the University of Georgia earning BS and DVM degrees.  He practiced as a Veterinarian before becoming a business owner supplying ingredients and agricultural requirements. He served in the US Air Force attaining the rank of Captain.

In 1998 he switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and was re-elected to the State Senate in 1998 and 2000.  Perdue was the 81st governor of Georgia serving from 2003 through 2011 and was the first Republican to serve in the position since reconstruction.

Perdue and his wife Mary were married in 1972; they have 4 children and 14 grandchildren and have fostered 8 children.

He is an acknowledged friend of the poultry industry and during his term of office as Governor worked to encourage exports.



Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

Jan 18, 2017


The January 11th 2017 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 173 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending January 7th, 1.0 percent more than the corresponding week in 2015.

Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 180 million. Average hatchability was 83 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Cumulative placements for the period January 9th through January 7th amounted to 9.39 billion chicks, one percent more than the corresponding period in 2016.


For the processing week ending January 7th 147,773 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.83 kg (2.82 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 8.2 percent less than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 325,700 metric tons YTD, 5.7 percent above YTD in 2016.

Following suspension of the Georgia Dock Index* CHICK-CITE will post the USDA Southern States (SS) benchmark prices in $ per kg. as reflected in successive weekly editions of the Broiler Market News Report.


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

Jan 18, 2017


 The January 13th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 29.9 million eggs in incubators on January 1st 2017, up 9 percent from January 1st 2016. A total of 25.50 million poults were hatched in December 2016, up 13 percent from December 2016.

A total of 23.4 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in December 2016, up 4 percent from December 2016. The relative hatch and placement values suggest disposal of 2.1 million hen poults or 8.2 percent of hatch. Poult placements in 2016 attained 271.4 million.



Chipotle Fails to Impress at ICR Conference in Orlando

Jan 18, 2017


Chipotle executives addressing the ICR Conference in Orlando on January 11th failed to impress the audience of analysts and journalists.  Debra Borchardt writing in Forbes noted that “executives seemed a bit tone-dead to the crowd.” 


She also observed that company innovations to address problems of declining same-store sales and suboptimal revenue and profitability “did not impress the crowd at ICR.”  She added “it just fell flat and the investment crowd seemed unimpressed with Chipotle management plans to recover from last year’s problems.”

It is a matter of record that succession of food-borne outbreaks involving E. coli, Salmonella and norovirus severely impacted the brand.  Lower store traffic coupled with higher cost resulted in losses and a commensurate plunge in share price. The 52 week range is $352 to $542 and CMG closed on January 13th at $410.

Revenue for the current quarter is forecast at $1.03 billion, slightly lower than analysts’ projections of $1.05 billion. The concern is the forecast 4.8 percent decline in same-store sales. Brian Levinson writing in Barrons on January 10th considers that Chipotle has “yet to turn the corner”.  Chipotle is still spending money on promotions and at the same time experiencing cost-inflation due to escalation in the cost of some ingredients and labor.


K&N’s Receives Brand Award

Jan 18, 2017


K&N’s a leading breeder of poultry and a producer of eggs and broilers in Pakistan received that Nation’s Brand Icon of Pakistan Award based on consumer recognition.

In addition, the company received the National Brand of the Year Award for 2015-2016 in the category of chicken and frozen foods.



Bunge to Build Soybean Crushing Plant in the Midwest

Jan 18, 2017


According to a release by Bunge North America on January 9th, the Company intends erecting a plant to crush soybeans in either Ohio or Indiana.

Tim Gallagher Executive Vice President of the Oilseed Value Chain, for Bunge North America, stated “As we evaluate the long-term demand for soy products, we see the need to improve our asset footprint in the Eastern U.S.” 


He added “A state-of-the-art facility in the Eastern corn-belt that incorporates the latest productivity, safety and sustainability features will ensure Bunge can serve growing demand in the Southeastern U.S. feed and export markets.”


Pilgrim’s Pride Eliminates Positions at GNP

Jan 18, 2017


Within a week of closing the acquisition of GNP, Pilgrim’s Pride eliminated 30 positions in the St. Cloud headquarters of their subsidiary.

According to an article in the St. Cloud Times the CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride, Bill Lovette stated that the positions were part of the Company’s workforce rationalization plan. 

The Company spokesperson, Cameron Bruett stated that the eliminated positions were “duplicates of those already within the Pilgrim’s Pride structure.”



Century Club Charities and Sanderson Farms Donate $1.1 million to Friends of Children’s Hospital

Jan 18, 2017


Friends of Children’s Hospital, the fundraising entity for Batson Children’s Hospital, part of the Children’s of Mississippi Group received a donation of $1.125 million from Century Club Charities which hosted the Sanderson Farms Championship.

The funds will allow UMMC to expand space and update equipment for pediatric care including a neonatal intensive unit and an imaging clinic for patients.


CEO and Chairman of the Board of Sanderson Farms, Joe F. Sanderson Jnr. noted “As a good corporate citizen, Sanderson Farms gives back to others in the communities where we live. Making a contribution of this magnitude to Children’s of Mississippi at a time when expansion and updates of pediatric care at Batson Children’s Hospital and UMMC are being planned is heart-warming to all of us at Sanderson Farms.”

Sanderson Farms Championship is an annual venue on the PGA Tour and is hosted by Century Club Charities, a nonprofit organization with Friends of Children’s Hospital as a priority beneficiary.  This is the seventh year that Sanderson Farms has served as a title sponsor.



Jan 18, 2017


Dr. Janet Helms has been appointed as National Director for the American Humane Farm Program which provides auditing and certification under the American Humane Certified™ Seal.

Dr. Helms completed a BS in Animal Science and an MBA, focusing on Leadership and Management from Cornell University and she subsequently graduated from the Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. 


She has experience in dairy practice including consulting services and has worked at Zoetis delivering training programs and conducting field investigations.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the American Humane Association commented, “We are extremely pleased to have someone with Dr. Helms’ background, skills and passionate dedication during our efforts to build a better more humane world for billions of farm animals”.



Jan 18, 2017


In 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the sustainability of corn-based ethanol.  Taking into account the energy inputs required to produce and ferment corn to ethanol it was determined that the process from seed to road was less sustainable then using conventional fossil-based gasoline.


The new report was generated by the USDA to counter the negative findings of the GAO review by comparing ethanol to gasoline within the context of powering an internal combustion engine. The narrow base of the USDA Report did not consider the carbon dioxide generated during fermentation of corn or energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions for cultivation, transport and storage.

Outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, supporting the USDA study noted that, “corn ethanol can be a greenhouse gas-friendly alternative to fossil fuel”. An easy bland statement given that he has jumped ship and does not have to defend his pro-ethanol bias anymore.

The Renewable Fuels Association claimed that the GAO report over-emphasized land-use changes and that the most recent report with a narrow focus provides numbers to support continued dilution of gasoline with ethanol.



Jan 18, 2017


The February 1st breakfast Meeting organized by Alltech will feature a presentation by Dr. Mark Lyons, Global Vice President and head of Greater China.  The event will take place from 08H00 to 09H00 in Georgia Ballroom 1 in Bldg. C Level 3 of the Georgia World Congress Center.

Dr. Lyons will share his vision for the future and discuss opportunities available in China, the World’s largest economy.  Dr. Lyons has considerable experience in the poultry industry serving on the Board of the American Feed Association and many industry groups including the International Poultry Council, National Turkey Federation and the National Chicken Council.

He has been resident in China for a number of years and has considerable knowledge of the agricultural economy of the Nation which will benefit attendees.


Mark Lyons



Jan 18, 2017


Following the extensive and ongoing outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Europe and in Asia and the most recent report of an as yet non-characterized strains of low pathogenicity avian influenza associated with turkey flocks and free-living birds in Chile, Brazil has placed a ban on visits to all live-bird facilities effective January 10 to be in effect for 30 days.


The ban will extend to customers and suppliers of companies doing business with poultry producers and will include Brazilian nationals.  The ban is under the auspices of the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein. Francisco Turra CEO of APBA stated, “Companies and government agencies are committed to this measure. 

We are strengthening our biosecurity protocol making it more restrictive on the movement of people and products in the production process with total control even of company staff.  We are the only major producer and exporter in the World that has never seen an outbreak of avian influenza and this is what we seek to retain with this measure”.  The ban extends the existing restrictions on foreigners from countries with active outbreaks of avian influenza from visiting facilities within 72 hours of arrival in Brazil.

It is hoped that U.S. companies receiving visitors during the IPPE will observe the same restrictions as counseled in a posting on EGG-CITE on January 6th



Jan 18, 2017

Joni Ernst


Congressional News reported that Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) have introduced a resolution that “expresses the need to vacate the Waters of the United Stated (WOTUS) Rule” introduced in April 2014. 

According to the report circulated by the National Chicken Council, there has been considerable opposition to WOTUS which is regarded as a “power grab” and “mission creep” allowing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of engineers to expand their authority under the Clean Water Act. 

Senator Fischer stated, “This rle will hurt all Nebraskans including families, communities, agriculture producers and businesses”. 

She added, “This resolution signifies our intent to quickly get to work to stop WOTUS in its tracks once the new administration takes office”.


Litigation concerning WOTUS continues, following the stay on implementation handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit which has consolidated a number of suits under its jurisdiction. The EPA has filed in defense of the Rule. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments relating to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Appellate Court to consider the case.

Opponents of the WOTUS Rule maintain that the EPA failed to follow procedures relating to disclosure of reports and making changes to the Rule after the comment period expired.




Jan 18, 2017


The Congressional Chicken Caucus will continue to function without a change in leadership for the 115th Congress. Senators Johnny Isakason (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) will co-chair the Senate Caucus and Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Jim Costa (D-CA) will co-chair the House Caucus.

In a January 13th posting in the Washington Report distributed by the National Chicken Council, the president of the NCC, Mike Brown stated, “Along with co-chairs in the Caucus we look forward to working with the new Congress and Administration to further the interest of the producers of America’s favorite protein”. 


The importance of the Chicken Caucus is reinforced by a recent study which shows that U.S. chicken companies directly employ 355,000 and produce $70 billion in value at wholesale with operations in 30 states.  Thirty vertically- integrated companies’ contract with over 25,000 family farms for breeding and grow-out contributing to the U.S. economy.


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports, January through November 2016.                    

Jan 18, 2017


Continued Improvements in Volume but Lower Value and Unit Prices compared to 2015.

Data for January to November 2016 indicated an improvement in export volume after lifting of embargos following the 2015 Midwest HPAI outbreak and the subsequent limited January 2016, Indiana and May 2016, Missouri “pop-up” cases.  

Broiler meat export in November 2016 at 250,667 metric tons, was 9.3 percent higher than in November 2015 (223,362 metric tons) when the effect of embargos following the HPAI outbreak were in effect. Turkey volume for November 2016 (22,963 metric tons) was 16.6 percent higher than in November 2015 (19,698 metric tons) following the HPAI outbreak. 


During November 2016 the National Chicken Council, citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 256,575 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms valued at $230 million with an average unit value of $896 per metric ton, 7.7 percent lower than October 2016 ($971) and 0.7 percent lower than in November 2015 ($902).

The breakdown of chicken exports by proportion and unit price for each broiler category for October 2016 compared with the average 2015 price in parentheses comprised:-

  • Chicken parts                          94.6%;  Unit value $896 per metric ton   ($902)
  • Prepared chicken                      3.0%;  Unit value $3,450 per metric ton ($3,454)
  • Whole chicken                          2.4%;  Unit value $945 per metric ton    ($1,201) 

Big Dutchman to Unveil Broiler Slat System

Jan 18, 2017


Based on studies conducted in the EU and mirroring evaluation over the last two decades by producers on the Eastern Shore, a non-litter growing system has been developed by Big Dutchman. 


The slats which provide a floor for the flock run from wall to wall and manure is removed using a step-by-step scraper.  The manufacturer claims lower ammonia and dust levels and freedom from pododermatitis (bumble foot).

To be acceptable to the U.S. industry, the live weight yield and quality from a flock must offset the incremental capital cost.  The problem of mechanical harvesting on a plastic floor must be resolved and the effect of slats, assumed to be beneficial, should be demonstrated.

The Big Dutchman slat system will be demonstrated at the IPPE on Booth 8419.


Allen Harim Names Director of Public Relations

Jan 18, 2017


Catherine M. Bassett has named the Director of Public Relations for Allen Harim. During the past two years Ms. Bassett has assisted the Company as consultant.

Catherine is a graduate of George Washington University and has close ties to Congress having worked as a communications director for Senator Wayne T. Gilchrist (R-MD).


In commenting on the appointment, Joe Moran president and CEO of Allen Harim stated “Catherine has great experience and a network of contacts that will serve the company well.”


Simmons Appointment

Jan 18, 2017


David Jackson a 25-year veteran of Simmons has been appointed COO of Simmons Prepared Foods.  He succeeds Gary Murphy in this role.  Murphy spent 20 years with ConAgra Foods and had been with Simmons for 25 years prior to his retirement.

Jackson earned a BS degree in Administrative Management from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from the University of Texas.  He has led Simmons Pet Food for the last four years and will report to CEO Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Food Inc. and Affiliates. 


In commenting on the appointment, Simmons stated “David is a thoughtful and proven leader with a vision for Simmons that represents our shared values.”  He added “careful planning has ensured a smooth transition of leadership and we are confident that our team will continue building on a strong foundation for growth in our Prepared Foods Business.”


HSUS Soliciting Donations from Farmers

Jan 18, 2017


Lara Durben reported in the Midwest Poultry Federation newsletter Wing Tips, that farmers in Minnesota have been solicited for donations by the Humane Society of the United States. Durben requested that any approaches from the HSUS should be referred to her organization for subsequent investigation. 

Although the HSUS claims it is a leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike it is a matter of record that HSUS is avowedly opposed to intensive livestock production and promotes a vegan agenda in the guise of advancing animal welfare. 

Their promotional activities featuring companion animals in television commercials are misleading since the organization spends less than one percent of its revenue on animal shelters which alleviate the suffering of dogs and cats.


Lara Durben


Change in Leadership at Sam’s Club

Jan 18, 2017


On January 5th Wal-Mart Stores announced that Rosalind G. Brewer intends to retire from the Company effective February 1, 2017. 

She has served as an Executive vice-president of Wal-Mart Stores and president and CEO of the Sam’s Club segment since February 2012. 

She was previously Executive Vice president of the Walmart U.S. Segment.  She joined Walmart Stores in 2006.


John Fumer has been appointed Executive Vice president of Wal-Mart Stores and president and CEO of the Sam’s Club Segment effective February 1, 2017 replacing Ms. Brewer.  He joined the Company in 1993 as an hourly store associate and has risen through the ranks with increasing responsibility over 24 years.


Chipotle Introduces Calorie Counter

Jan 18, 2017


Chipotle Mexican Grill has introduced a dietary options page on its website to inform customers of the calorie content of individual menu options.  Mark Crumpacker Chief Marketing and Development Officer of Chipotle noted “Our dietary options page can help you keep your New Year’s resolution.

The tool makes it easy to customize your meal with fresh ingredients from our everyday menu so you can stay on track with your goals”. Crumpacker recently returned to Chipotle after a three-month leave of absence.


Previously Chipotle has been criticized by nutritionists and health advocates for the high levels of fat, salt and calorie content of the menu servings developed under the direction of the co-founder, Steve Ells.  In November customers initiated a class-action suit against the chain claiming that the chorizo burrito had more calories than advertised.


Wegmans to Open Ninth Store in New Jersey

Jan 18, 2017


Wegmans has negotiated space in the soon to be completed Shoppes at DePiero Farm.

It is considered interesting that companies such as Wegmans can expand into new areas and add stores in comparison to other chains such as Giant Eagle which are closing locations.

Other banners are also closing stores and some as with A&P have disappeared following bankruptcy.


Indiana Startup Receives Purdue University Funding

Jan 18, 2017


Phicrobe LLC, a startup has received $75,000 in funding to develop a novel detection system for E. coli O157 in food products and the environment of food plants.

The principle of the system involves application of a NanoLuc report phage as a detector with high sensitivity and specificity.  Scientists at Purdue University introduced the Luciferase gene nluc into a phage genome. 


The recombinant phage was able to transduce NanoLuc to induce bioluminescence into E. coli O157:H7 as a singling system.  The test is the subject of a peer reviewed paper* and the grant will be used to extend validation and to attract commercial applications.

*Zhang, D. et al (2016) The Use of a Novel NanoLuc-Based Reporter Phage for the Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7.  Scientific Reports 6 DOI :10. 1038/SREP33235


Big Dutchman Introduces Ammonia Sensor

Jan 18, 2017


Engineers at Big Dutchman in cooperation with their counterparts at Drager in Germany have developed the DOL53 electro-chemical ammonia sensor. 

The module interacts with the Viper Touch ventilation control system. 

When ammonia, monitored in real time, reaches a critical preset level, ventilation is activated to purge ammonia from the air in the house.

The DOL53 has been shown to be effective and durable and can resist high levels of moisture and ammonia under practical poultry house conditions.

The module will be displayed at the Big Dutchman booth (B8419) during the IPPE.





Jan 18, 2017


Ruth Kimmelshue now Corporate Senior Vice President, Business Operations and Supply Chain, for Cargill Inc., will keynote the College Student Career Program held concurrently with the 2017 IPPE. 

The title of her presentation will be Navigating my Career in a Rapidly Changing Workplace.  Andy Southerly, Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats commented, “Ruth is an industry leader for one of the largest protein producers in the World. 

We are excited about her participation in the program and know that her experience will extend to the students as they listen and learn from her”.


USPOULTRY Foundation College Student Career Program allows companies an opportunity to interview motivated students for industry-related positions and internships during the annual IPPE program.



Jan 18, 2017


For the second quarter of Fiscal 2017 , ended November 30, 2016, Cargill generated earnings of $1.03 billion on sales of $26.9 billion.  Earnings were up 79 percent compared to the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2016 but revenue was down approximately 1 percent. 

David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO of Cargill Inc., stated, “We are energized by the results across our businesses which are due to the hard work and commitment of our teams worldwide”.  He added, “Our increased profitability gives us confidence that we are achieving the broad-base structural improvements we have sought”.


Among the four operating segments, the Animal Nutrition and Protein component was the largest contributor to adjusted operating earnings.  MacLennan specifically noted, the impact of the turkey business, an improved cattle supply situation and the U.S. egg processing operations.  The results of the Global Poultry Group improved in Asia.  During the quarter Cargill entered into joint venture agreements with Japfa for further-processed poultry products in Indonesia and with Jollibee Foods in the Philippines to produced marinated chicken for their QSRs. 

The Food Ingredients and Applications segment increased earnings through operational efficiencies.  Earnings from ethanol in North America improved. 

The Origination and Processing segment showed improved performance especially with increased demand from the record corn and soybean crops in the U.S.

The Industrial and Financial Services segment showed a recovery in earnings from trading in crude oil, natural gas, and ocean transport and iron ore.

Projects initiated during the quarter included:

  • Introduction of iQuatic™ shrimp feed
  • Marketing Lyveum™ high-performance personal care ingredients made from vegetable oils
  • Opening of innovation centers in Plymouth, MN. and similar facilities in Chile and Shanghai.
  • Plans to erect a gas fermentation facility in Memphis, TN. with Calysta to manufacture a single-cell protein ingredient, FeedKind® for feed, especially in aquaculture applications.


Jan 18, 2017


A joint venture comprising BRF SA of Brazil and the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund (QIA) will acquire 80 percent of Banvit the largest integrated broiler producer in Turkey for $470 million with the option to purchase the remaining 20 percent of equity from minority shareholders. The partners will participate in the proportion of 60 percent BRF and 40 percent QIA.


Banvit operates five feed mills, four hatcheries and five complexes in Turkey.  The Nation accounts for 10 percent of World consumption of Halal poultry.

Previously BRF purchased OneFoods which served as a distribution operation for BRF products in the Middle East and North Africa.  The BRF Sadia Brand is well recognized in the Region and the acquisition will add synergy to BRF international activities.


Preventing Cannibalism by Controlling Beak Length

Jan 18, 2017


The control of beak length which reduces cannibalism in floor-housed flocks is a problem especially in nations where beak trimming and beak treatment are disallowed.  Big Dutchman has introduced the Pick Puck™ installation which promotes pecking and removes the hook from the upper beak. 


Introduced in Germany and scheduled for display at the Big Dutchman Booth at the IPPE (B 8415) the suspended unit functions as intended and is also a valuable enrichment in floor systems.  The unit comprises a pendulum attached to a small hopper which swings above the house floor.  When hens peck on the abrasive surface of the disc, beak tissue is worn down and feed granules are released encouraging the hens to scratch for grain in the litter.


Shane Commentary


House of Raeford Philanthropy

Jan 18, 2017


Consistent with the high level of philanthropy in the broiler industry, House of Raeford  distributed gifts to needy children and families in the areas where they operate.  Recipients were located in Greenville, SC., Rose Hill, NC., Arcadia, LA., Mocksville, NC. and in Georgia.

Donations included filling Christmas stockings, assisting the Council on Aging, and donating food to the Arcadia Lions Club.  House of Raeford delivered 400 turkeys to five local food banks and meal programs for the needy this Christmas.


AAAP Issues White Paper on Pectoral Myopathy

Jan 18, 2017


There is an increasing incidence of pectoral myopathy characterized according to one of three levels of defects recognized as woody breasts, white striping and green muscle disease.  A report prepared by the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) specifically notes that the related conditions are developmental and metabolic in origin and are not caused by an infection.


 It is presumed that selection for deposition of breast muscle in modern high-yield broilers raised to heavy weights in response to market demand, has created a situation in which development  of vascularization is inadequate to support the genetic predisposition for deposition of muscle tissue. 

The three conditions possibly represent a gradation in pathogenesis.  Breast meat quality was reviewed in detail by Professor Fernando Rutz of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil at the 2015 Alltech Symposium in Lexington, KY. (See June 3rd 2015 Edition of CHIC-access by entering RUTZ in the SEARCH block).  

In his presentation Dr. Rutz differentiated between white striping, woody breast and green muscle disease, also referred to as deep pectoral myopathy. He added a fourth condition, termed cranial-dorsal degeneration which affects the latissimus dorsi muscle.  Studies conducted in Brazil have shown that supplementing diets with organic selenium, adjusting the arginine content of diets and adding vitamin E and sulfur-containing amino acids may be ameliorative although the four myopathies are not regarded as a deficiency syndrome. 

White striping represents a degeneration of muscle bundles which are replaced by fat and connective tissue.  Woody breast is a more extreme form of the condition associated with inadequate vascularization resulting in replacement of muscle tissue with fibers of connective tissue producing the obvious change in appearance and texture of the breast muscles. 

Cranial dorsal myopathy is frequently encountered in Brazil in some strains harvested above 6 pounds in live weight. The condition may result in downgrading of up to six percent of carcasses.  In one controlled study, myopathy was reduced from two percent to less than 0.5 percent by supplementing diets with 0.3 ppm selenium in bioplexed form.  Subsequent to withdrawal of the feed additive, downgrades returned to the previous two percent.

Considerable research is in progress to detect wooden breast on the line with grants awarded to a research group at the University of Arkansas by the USPOULTRY Foundation. Concurrently the major primary breeders are evaluating predisposing genetic factors in relation to myogenesis and vascularization with the objective of eliminating the triad of pectoral myopathies without any deterioration in performance parameters.

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Industry Prices: Thu Jan 12
 Corn3.58 $/bu
 Soybeans10.32 $/bu
 Soybean Meal327.90 $/ton
 Eggs, Producer57  ¢/doz
 Eggs, Warehouse 63-66  ¢/doz 

Copyright 2017 Simon M. Shane