NOP To Consider GM Poultry Vaccines

Oct 24, 2014

GM (genetically modified) vaccines will be among the items to be considered at the October 28th meeting of the National Organic Standards Board. To date, vaccines derived using genetic technology have been allowed for chicks since they are administered at the hatchery and are therefore exempt from the requirements of  National Organic Program (NOP) which considers poultry to be “organic”  24 hours following hatch. 

A questionable exception is the Salmonella Typhimurium mutant vaccine which is derived by gene deletion, not by insertion of genetic material.  This vaccine has been tacitly accepted by most inspectors of the certifying agencies who collectively display considerable variation in their interpretation of NOP rules. The Salmonella  Typhimurium vaccine is administered in successive doses at various times during the rearing period and in some cases during lay, especially at or about the time of molting. 

If the National Organic Standards Board decide that administration of vaccines derived from genetic technology is inconsistent with their concept of “organic purity”, consumers will be exposed to the risk of infection with Salmonella Enteritidis and other serotypes.  In addition, flocks will be more susceptible to infectious bursal disease and laryngotracheitis  than if they had been immunized with more effective vaccines derived from innovative GM technology.


Egg Industry News


Optimizing Nutrition for Specialty Egg Flocks -- Anthony Quant, Kalmbach Feeds, Inc.

Oct 24, 2014

Specialty eggs enriched to contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids command a premium and generate increased margins compared to generic eggs.

Recently, Dr. Anthony Quant of Kalmbach Feeds in Upper Sandusky OH. reviewed options to supplement diets at the 2014 Multi States meeting of nutritionists in Indianapolis. He also presented his findings at a workshop organized by a leading producer of enriched eggs in August.

In his presentation Dr. Quant considers alternative sources of dietary omega-3 including canola oil, flaxseed and co-extruded flaxseed in combination with DDGS.

View the presentation at http://egg-cite.com/presentations/quant-2014/default.aspx


Jim Dean Named UEP Egg Producer of the Year

Oct 24, 2014

Jim Dean received the UEP 2104 Egg Producer of the Year Award at the recent Annual Conference. This honor has been awarded annually since 1973 and has to-date recognized leaders in the egg-production industry.

Jim is currently a co-owner of Center Fresh Group, Center Fresh Egg Farm, Fremont Farms, Hawkeye Pride Egg Farm, Sioux County Egg Farm, Centrum Valley Farms, Trillium Farm Holdings, Center Fresh Africa, and Sioux Center Pullets.


McDonald’s Corporation Reports Disappointing Third Quarter Results

Oct 24, 2014

On Tuesday October 21st , McDonald’s Corporation reported results for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2014 ending September 30th. For the period, revenues amounted to $6.987 billion, 5% lower than the $7.323 billion for the corresponding quarter in 2013.  Operating income declined by 14% to $2.072 billion and net income was down by 30% to $1.068 billion.  A corresponding decrease of 28% was recorded in earnings per share at $1.09 compared to $1.52 in the corresponding third quarter of fiscal 2013.


Avian Influenza in China

Oct 24, 2014

An October 20th posting on ProMed reports that the Center for Health Protection and the Department of Health in China have confirmed two new cases of avian influenza strain H7N9.  The patients were a 44-year old woman in Xinjiang and a seven-year old girl in Beijing.

The official recommendations to avoid infection include “do not visit live poultry markets and farms, avoid contact with poultry and their droppings”.  If this is the case it would appear prudent to close wet markets which serve as the source of infection.  This step was taken in November 2013 when H7N9 avian influenza appeared in local communities.  A total of 440 cases have been confirmed in mainland China suggesting that this infection is widespread among commercial and subsistence poultry and further cases are inevitable unless contact between consumers and live birds is restricted. For previous articles on avian influenza in China access the search feature on CHICK-CITE.com and enter “influenza”.


Private Label Products to Expand

Oct 24, 2014

Keith Nunes writing in Food Business News commented on the growth of private label brands.  In 2013 sales of these items including foods and beverages attained $102 billion and will grow at a compound annual rate of 4% to reach $122 billion by 2018.  Private label food sales are expected to reach $98 billion by 2018. Nunes cites Krogers Simple Truth, SuperValue’s Wild Harvest and ALDI’s Simply Nature as leaders in their field.


Sad Passing of Don Bell

Oct 24, 2014

Donald D. Bell
Poultry Extension
Specialist Emeritus


Donald D. Bell, Poultry Extension Specialist Emeritus from the University of California Riverside, passed away on Saturday 18th October at his home in Riverside CA.

Don will be remembered for his extensive contributions to the egg industry both in his native state and throughout the U.S.  His career which extended over 59 years commenced with a BS in Animal Science from University of California-Davis in 1955.  He earned the MS degree in Avian Science from Colorado State University in 1972. After military service Don was appointed as a Poultry Farm Advisor in Orange County and later transferred to Riverside County.  He served the University for 42 years until retirement in 2000.

Don will be recognized for his economic studies including publication of two texts and a monthly newsletter documenting the cost of egg production and forecasting future production and prices.  He was involved in environmental studies and specifically evaluated the influence of temperature on production efficiency.  At the outset of the concern over welfare in the 1980s, Don took an active role in considering stocking density, beak trim and induced molting.  His contributions in the area contributed to an understanding of the issues and many of his recommendations were adopted by the industry. He was influential in helping politicians and regulators establish policies at the state and national levels.


Big Dutchman Inaugurates Office and Showroom

Oct 21, 2014

Big Dutchman USA celebrated the dedication of its newly expanded office and showroom space comprising a two-story building adding 12,000 square feet to the existing facility. “The investment will benefit and better support our rapidly growing business in the US, Canada and Latin America” says Dr. Clovis Rayzel, President of Big Dutchman USA. “We anticipate hiring 20 more employees in the coming year – mostly to reinforce product development and technical support to customers.” The new showroom will feature a variety of innovative equipment and computer technology for the management of laying hens, broilers, breeders and turkeys.

From left to right, the people in the ribbon-cutting photo are: Terry Nienhuis, Andy Baer, Bernd Meerpohl (CEO, Big Dutchman), Marlies DeWitt (Widow of Big Dutchman Founder Jack DeWitt), Clovis Rayzel (President of Big Dutchman USA [Clovis is the one holding the scissors!]), Barbara Speicher, Dan Speicher, Warren Stuk, Ruth Stuk, and two members of the West Coast Chamber of Commerce.


YUM! Brands Improves Earnings on Lower Revenue

Oct 21, 2014

For the quarter ended September 6th 2014, YUM! Brands posted net income of $404 million on revenue $3,354 million. These figures compare to $152 million net income on revenue of $3,461 million during the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2013. 

During the quarter YUM! generated an operating profit of $550 million compared to $350 million for the corresponding quarter in 2013.  The contributions from the major operating divisions included China (36.7%); KFC (30.7%); Pizza Hut (12.4%); Taco Bell (22.5%); but offset by India (loss of 0.5%) and corporate and allocated expenses (-1.8%).


Rembrandt Foods Inaugurates New Headquarters

Oct 21, 2014

Rembrandt Foods has opened their new corporate headquarters in Spirit Lake, IA.  The Company claims to be the third largest egg processor in the world and is fully integrated from day-old chick production through to pasteurization and drying of egg products.

Company president Dave Rettig commented “we have really focused on being efficient and we are all about taking low-cost grain and coming up with an efficient systems.  We don’t transport eggs around.  We don’t transport feed”. Rettig added “as we look towards the future we are becoming more of a global egg products company. The demand for protein all around the world is increasing as people grow their incomes”.


Walmart Reduces Projected Store Openings

Oct 21, 2014

Walmart has forecast sales growth of two to three percent for the coming fiscal year down from a previous projection of three to five percent.

The company will reduce store openings in the U.S. in the coming year with only 60 to 70 supercenters compared with 120 for 2014.  Capital spending will be reduced by $1.4 billion and the Company will apparently emphasize expansion in sales through E-commerce.


Weekly USDA Prices and Inventory

Oct 21, 2014


The USDA Egg Market News Report for Monday October 20th 2014, (Vol. 61: #84) reflected price stability compared to the previous week.

There was a 3.5 percent increase in the stock of generic eggs but specialty egg inventory declined by 2.3 percent as documented in the following table, listing the “most frequent” range of Midwest values as delivered to warehouses
  Current Week    Previous Week
Extra Large   117 –  120          117  –  120  cents per dozen
Large 115 –  118   115 –  118  
Medium 103 –  106   103 –  106  
Certified Organic EL 275 –  310   275 –  310  
Central States Breaking Stock 95 –  98   95 –  98  
Checks 79 –  85   79  –  85  



USDA Crop Progress Report

Oct 21, 2014



The October 20th USDA- National Agricultural Statistical Service, Crop Progress Report reflecting the week ending October 19th denoted a slight deterioration in  crop quality with 74 percent of  corn and 73 percent of the soy crop in the “Good” to “Excellent” categories, The slight downward trend is due in all probability to harvest of fields with the highest status during the previous week. The USDA reported that 31 percent of the 2014 corn crop had been harvested compared to 24 percent last week and a 5-year average of 53 percent confirming the delays in transfer from fields to silos and elevators.

Approximately 95 percent of the soybean crop had commenced dropping leaves compared to 91 percent last week and the five-year average of 97 percent. As of Sunday 19th 53 percent of the corn crop had been harvested compared to 40 percent last week and an average of 66 percent over five years

The condition of the two crops deteriorated slightly from the previous week and corn and soybeans were classified by the USDA as:-

  Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Corn            2% 5% 19% 50% 24%
Soybeans 1% 5% 21% 53% 20%

At market close on October 20th   December and March corn were quoted at 348 cents and 362 cents per bushel respectively compared with 356 cents and 365 cents per bushel for the previous week.  Soybeans for November and March were $9.46 and $9.62 per bushel respectively compared with $9.63 and $9.80 for the previous week.  Soybean meal quotations were $331 per ton for December and $317 per ton for March delivery, compared to $328 and $320 per ton for the previous week.


Big Dutchman’s Expands U.S. Headquarters

Oct 18, 2014

Growth in sales of pig and poultry equipment in North and South America has required Big Dutchman USA to expand operations in its base in Holland, MI.  The new building adds 12,000 square feet to the existing facility, doubling office space for engineers, technicians and administrative staff.  The facility incorporates a new showroom to demonstrate equipment and computer technology.


Shane Commentary


Mercy for Animals in Canada Recruiting Investigators

Oct 24, 2014

EGG-CITE is indebted to Dr. Robert Gauthier for an item which appeared in a Toronto newspaper concerning recruitment of “investigators” (read undercover agents) by Mercy for Animals, Canada. 

At the outset it should be stated that organizations such as Mercy for Animals are basically not concerned over the welfare of livestock and companion animals.  Their intent is to impose a vegan lifestyle on society.  They hope to achieve this aim by disparaging intensive livestock production and to promote a negative image by dramatic and graphic depictions alleging abuse. The secondary objective is to raise money from sympathetic and emotionally vulnerable donors.  This requires publicity and sensationalism to generate financial support. There is no benefit to their coffers from reporting that 99 percent of farms adhere to accepted welfare standards.


Gain of Function experiments on highly pathogenic agents

Oct 24, 2014


Previous discussions on EGG-CITE Including a posting on October 29th 2013,  have focused on the dangers of "gain of function" experiments conducted on highly pathogenic agents including avian influenza.  Scientists at two institutions have modified avian influenza virus to become potentially infectious to humans in an attempt to understand how mutations may occur in nature.  Dr. Ron Fouchier of Erasmus University in the Netherlands and Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison were in fact restrained from publishing details of their studies on creating a more lethal H5N1 virus transmissible between ferrets used as a model for human infection.


Controversy Over Rose Acre Farms NC. Complex Continues

Oct 24, 2014

Rose Acre Farms established a 14-house in-Line complex housing four million hens near Swan Quarter in Hyde County, North Carolina, during the mid-2000s.

At this time, the complex operated under a Clean Water Act permit.  At the time to renew the permit, the company claimed that this was not required since it was not discharging pollutants into waterways.  The State Division of Water Resources maintained that the company required a permit since dust, feathers and ammonia exhaust from houses entered streams feeding waterways covered under the Clean Water Act.

In a 2013 trial, a State court ruled that the Agency has the authority to require Rose Acres to operate under a Clean Water Act permit.  Rose Acres has since appealed this ruling. In retrospect it may have been a mistake for Rose Acre Farms to establish a complex with four million hens close to the Pecosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and in an area subject to hurricanes and flooding.


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Industry Prices: Fri Oct 24
 Corn3.52 $/bu
 Soybeans9.78 $/bu
 Soybean Meal350.00 $/ton
 Eggs, Producer99  ¢/doz
 Eggs, Warehouse 115-118 ¢/doz