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Impressions from the 2019 IPPE


By any measure the 2019 IPPE was a success. Preliminary figures indicate an attendance of just over 30,000 with 1,400 exhibitors and 600,000 square feet over three halls of the GWCC. The organization by USPOULTRY for the exhibition, Poultry Science Forum and ancillary educational and social events was exemplary, contributing to efficient and congenial exchange of information and fellowship, especially with clustering of related products among the three halls.

This said, there were some overhangs influencing mood and optimism:

  • The first was the possibility of a partial Federal shutdown. Fortunately the matter was resolved on Thursday night with a Congressional compromise and a Presidential promise to sign the appropriations Bill.

  • Our ongoing trade dispute with China, withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Agreement, concern over adoption of the USMCA to replace NAFTA and even uncertainties over Brexit were important considerations relating to our industry. From official comments after the IPPE it appears that negotiations with China are progressing and the March 1st deadline to ratchet up the tariff on imports from that nation will be extended.

  • Low prices were uppermost on the minds of both integrators and individual farmers. Profitability in all three segments of the U.S. poultry industry is currently depressed due to an imbalance between supply and demand. Easter consumption is soon to commence hopefully providing relief.

  • The current political climate, both national and international is a source of uncertainty, promoting a reluctance to expand and invest in physical plant and equipment. Additional unknowns affecting the U.S. egg-production industry relate to the types of housing that will be mandated by individual states and what will be accepted by major QSRs and supermarket chains. Attendance at the UEP Welfare Meeting on Monday attests to the concern of producers.

With respect to equipment and installations there were some evident trends and innovations that will become evident in the immediate future:

  • Aviaries will be the preferred system to replace conventional cages. All the U.S. and EU manufacturers displayed models comprising three tiers with top and bottom tiers for perching and feeding and the center comprising a continuous communal nest with either center or side egg collection.

  • Given a consensus among producers that by 2025 at least 30 percent of hens will still be confined to either conventional cages or colony modules it can be expected that many "enrichable" systems installed during the late 2000s in anticipation of the Egg Bill will be converted to enrichment by installation of enhancements and removal of partitions.

  • Grading equipment is becoming faster achieving 700 cases per hour but with greater complexity in response to industry needs. Both major manufacturers showed modifications to reject eggs with soiled shells to avoid cross contamination through the brush rollers.

  • Although antibiotic administration has never been a common practice among the egg segment of the poultry industry, the range of probiotic, prebiotic and botanical supplements developed for broilers and turkeys will have application to pullet rearing and even egg production.

  • Improvement in vaccine technology is paralleling an increased emphasis on biosecurity. A major manufacturer will soon release a bivalent IBD and ILT recombinant HVT vector vaccine with the possibility of adding ND in the near future. An entrant to the field will soon be distributing a live attenuated Salmonella product providing producers with greater choice and security.

In recent years the major manufacturers of equipment and installations for egg production have attended the IPPE as exhibitors on alternate years. It is hoped that the response demonstrated at the 2018 IPPE will encourage annual attendance, given the rate of technical innovation and the dynamics of our industry.