Editorial

 

Activist Organisation Places Stickers on Egg Cartons In-Store

Apr 21, 2017

A group of agro-terrorists involved in farm burglary and mischief-making, self-styled, Direct Action Everywhere have placed deprecating stickers on egg cartons in stores.

The tactic is similar to the action by a deranged individual in the New England states who places GMO stickers on food products.

EGG-CITE has previously warned of the vulnerability of the U.S. egg-production industry to criticism over maceration of non-anaesthetised cockerel chicks.

Since we are years away from achieving practical and accurate gender determination of embryos under four days of incubation we must institute a program of carbon dioxide stun-to-kill for cockerels without delay. Both continuous flow and batch systems could be installed.

  

   

Egg Industry News

 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, April 19th 2017

Apr 21, 2017

    

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol.64: No. 16) posted on April 17th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large, Large and Medium declined by 25 percent, expected during the week leading into Ester as pipelines are full. The two-week pre-Easter plateau of relatively high prices followed successive 11 percent and 25 percent weekly increases after coming off the lowest values of 2017. A decline during the coming week is predicted although the low inventory predicates stability in price but at a low level. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

  

The latest USDA Egg Market News Report documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.86 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and is compared to a trailing 17-month peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.80 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region, attained $0.89 per dozen. The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 30 cents per dozen below the three-year average. During the first Quarter of 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of all eggs but the price dropped 15 cents per dozen during the first two weeks of April 2016.

Hen numbers this week decreased again by one million. The population is still at a high level relative to demand with approximately 307.2 million hens in production. Hens-in-lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. The total egg-flock comprises 313.8 million including hens in molt and small flocks. Generic shell-egg stock decreased by 2.2 percent confirming fluctuation and the ongoing imbalance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory updated April 14th amounted to 29.3 million pounds (13,318 metric tons) as of March 31st 2017. This is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products at 41.4 million pounds (18,669 metric tons) on February 28th. (to be updated April 23rd)  

   
 

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Apr 21, 2017

    

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday April 17th recorded the start of corn planning as expressed in the table below:-

WEEK ENDING

Crop

April 9th

April 16th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted

3%

6%

9%

Soybeans Planted

N/A

N/A

 

 

Parameter

V. short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

                              Past Year

2

5

11

17

669

65

18

13

 

 

 

 

 

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

                              Past Year

3

4

13

15

70

71

14

10

 

Planting is delayed by heavy rains in the Midwest

   

 

   
 

Easter Egg Roll a Success

Apr 21, 2017

    

The 2017 Easter Egg Roll, although lower in attendance compared to previous years, was highly successful with over 20,000 children and their families in attendance.

Official hostess, the First Lady, Melania Trump, read “Party Animals” to children and President Trump addressed the crowd from the South Portico balcony and later mingled with the attendees.

  

American Egg Board Chairman Jeff Hardin accompanied by president and CEO of the American Egg Board, Anne L. Alonzo presented the First Lady with the 40th Annual Commemorative Egg. Hardin noted “I am deeply honored to present the Commemorative Egg on behalf of the America’s egg farmers.” He added “We are delighted to take part in the White House Easter Egg Role by educating people about where eggs come from and providing EggPops, a portable, nutritious hard- boiled egg on a stick to everyone on the South Lawn.

The AEB also presented the whimsical “An Egg’s Journey From Farm to Table Eggsperience.” as an exercise in education and entertainment.

      

 

   
 

USDA Issues Specifications for Federal Purchase Program

Apr 21, 2017

    

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Services has issued a draft specification to be used to purchase shell eggs under Federal Purchase Programs. Significant changes include:-

  • Extensive use of the term “shall” in all requirements implying an imperative
  • Cartons will bear the expiration or best by date in compliance with the requirements of states in which eggs are to be consumed
  • The Contractor shall guarantee that the product complies with all requirements and provisions set forth in the Master Solicitation for Commodity Procurement
  • Customer complaint resolution procedures shall be the responsibility of the Contractor in cooperation with Agricultural Marketing Services at above April 6 2017   
 

The USDA is seeking input regarding proposed changes with a deadline of April 19th. Given that the suggested changes were released on April 6th, a 14-day period is inadequate to respond especially given the Easter weekend within the period assigned. 

   
 

Health Violations Observed at Mar-a-Lago Resort

Apr 21, 2017

    

A routine inspection of kitchens at the Mar-a-Lago resort conducted by the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants noted violations which could potentially lead to foodborne infection.

Problems noted included improper storage of raw meats at temperatures above 41F, improper temperature of water in handwashing sinks and rusty shelves inside walk-in coolers. Defects were apparently quickly addressed by management eliminating danger.

  

In January 2015, the Mar-a-Lago kitchen was cited for four violations which were also promptly corrected. There have been no reported outbreaks of foodborne disease attributed to the Mar-a-Lago resort despite the high level of patronage especially after election of President Donald J. Trump, who has visited the resort several times since his election.

   
 

FSNS to Exhibit at the 2017 Food Safety Summit

Apr 21, 2017

    

Food Safety Net Services (FSNS) which operates a chain of ISO17025-accredited laboratories will be present at the 2017 Food Safety Summit at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL held from May 8-11th.

FSNS will be based in Booth 323 and will discuss services including GFSI, SQF and PAACO auditing and certification. For further information, access FSNS at <marketing@fsns.com> or (888)525-9788.

  

   
 

Dakota Layers Donates Eggs to South Dakota State University

Apr 21, 2017

    

Dakota Layers, the largest egg-producer in South Dakota located near Flandreau, was depopulated following introduction of H5N2 HPAI during the 2015 eporntic. Management has since restocked the farm which is back to the previous level of production with 1.3 million hens.

In recognition of restored output, Dakota Layers donated 900 dozen eggs to South Dakota State University to celebrate Easter. This follows a tradition started in 2008.

   
   
 

U.S. Court of Appeals Reverses EPA Rule

Apr 21, 2017

    

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has vacated a 2008 EPA rule that exempted livestock facilities from annual reporting of hazardous substances released to the air. The suit was brought by Waterkeeper Alliance, et al. in early 2017.

The EPA had ruled that large intensive livestock complexes (CAFOs) including feed lots and presumably egg-producing operations were exempt from reporting releases of hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and the Emergency and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986. (EPCRA)    

  

The EPA, regarded as generally unsympathetic to intensive livestock production, had correctly ruled that since no action could take place following notification of a release or submission of an annual report, the obligatory reporting requirement was irrelevant. The Agency logically determined that the source of ammonia and methane, presumably from animal waste would be rapidly distributed over a large area and would not be influenced by any emergency response.

The decision of the Court was based on a narrow interpretation of the latitude of the Agency to exempt CAFOs from the requirements of CERCLA and EPCRA. It is possible that lagoons used to handle hog waste might be impacted by the decision since it is possible that these installations can continually emit hydrogen sulfide, methane and ammonia. Naturally, if the cost of regulation outweighs benefits, the FDA could legally extend an exemption to a specific segment of the livestock industry.

Given the attitude of the current Administration to the EPA and the reduction in funding and hence personnel available for review and enforcement, the Agency will have to rearrange priorities and be less subservient and responsive to the wishes of environmental advocacy groups. As stated previously in previous postings they are in essence opposed to all forms of intensive livestock agriculture and not primarily focused on environmental concerns or public health. If they actually had the interests of the environment at heart they should consider the deleterious effects of water consumption and carbon dioxide emission associated with ethanol production.

   
 

Hillandale Farms Donates to Maine Egg Bank

Apr 21, 2017

    

Hillandale Farms has donated 9,000 dozen eggs to the Maine, Good Shepard Food Bank from their facility in Turner, ME. David Labbe of Hillandale Farms stated “Giving back is important to our company and we are happy to be able to make this donation so more families can enjoy eggs.”

Apparently more than 200,000 Maine families face food insecurity and the Good Shephard Food Bank provides more than 25 million pounds of food per year to organizations feeding the needy.

  

   
 

Value of protein in School Nutrition

Apr 21, 2017

    

The AEB reported on a program entitled “Protein Intervention” that substituted protein-based snacks in place of carbohydrate-containing items supplied to hungry students in schools in Iowa. Protein snacks included hard-boiled eggs, cheese and yogurt.

The study conducted in Scott County by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Program demonstrated conclusively that behavior referrals were highly significantly reduced when students received protein-containing snacks compared to those who received carbohydrate-and sugar-containing items.

  

   
 

CME Prices

Apr 21, 2017

    

On Thursday April 20th at close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded.

Values for corresponding months as quoted for the previous week are indicated in parentheses:-

 

On Thursday April 20th at close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded.

Values for corresponding months as quoted for the previous week are indicated in parentheses:-

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

May ’17   357     (371)

July ’17     364   (378)          

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

May ’17   948     (957)

July ’17     958   (968)

Soybean meal ($per ton)

May ’17   309     (318)   

July ’17     313  (322)      

 

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

  • Corn:                     May quotation up by 11 cents                    (+3.2 percent)
  • Soybeans:            May quotation up by 15 cents.                   (+1.6 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    May quotation up by $11/ton                    (+3.6) 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 April 12th edition of CHICK-CITE summarizing the April 11th USDA-WASDE Report #564 for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced during the 2016-17 season.

   

Shane Commentary

 

Glyphosate Residue Free! A Cynical Marketing Claim

Apr 21, 2017

    

A California company, Leaf and Love Lemonade, is marketing products claimed to be “glyphosate-residue free.”  If the truth be known, there is no detectible glyphosate residue in foods. Naturally, the marketing initiative, based on the sophistry and appealing to the affluent “worried well” of California is lauded on the Detox Project website.

This type of misinformation possibly fueled by discredited claims by IARC, claims that glyphosate is toxic, causing cancer, birth defects and disruption of hormonal function,.

  

Reputable scientific organizations including the EU European Chemicals Agency, European Food Safety Agency, United Nations World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA have determined that glyphosate is innocuous when administered to laboratory animals.

Organizations such as Leaf and Love Lemonade should be ashamed of themselves for their blatant attempts to generate sales by spurious allegations of health risks which are non-existent. Invariably there is some misinformed celebrity endorsing the idiocy or mendacity, in this case Amy Dibianca – co-founder of Leaf and Love Lemonade who is promoting the scam.     

Yet again we have an example of exploitation of ignorance for financial gain. The exercise is at best misguided and at worst a cynical attempt to profit from fear and ignorance.

   
 

Wheat Cultivar Bred to Express Phytase

Apr 21, 2017

    

A number of poultry periodicals have recently highlighted joint studies conducted at Trent University in Nottingham, U.K. and Aarhus University in Denmark concerning the evaluation of a strain of wheat, developed about 10 years ago which expresses a high level of phytase.

The exercise is simply an academic make-work endeavor to create a solution for which there is no evident problem. For more than three decades, poultry producers have added commercially available phytase, now a commodity, to diets to reduce the quantity of inorganic phosphorus supplements to satisfy nutritional requirements for poultry. The incorporation of synthetic phytase in diets is mandated in many areas of the world to reduce phosphorus content of manure and hence eutrophication of waterways due to run-off from fields fertilized with chicken waste.

  

Even if wheat expressing phytase becomes available, it would have no impact in the U.S. or other countries where corn is the major cereal incorporated in diets. In the E.U. it will be necessary to segregate modified wheat from the conventional commodity. This will add considerably to the cost of acquiring a special ingredient necessitated by the imperative of complete traceability and identification through the chain extending from field to feed.

There is obviously concern that poultry journalists accept press releases from universities and in many cases from companies without questioning  validity, applicability or commercial reality in their ‘infomercials’. Evidently inquiry and skepticism are no longer taught in contemporary schools of journalism or are these periodicals operating simply as “cut-and-paste operations?.

   

Visit our Companion Website
www.Chick-Cite.com


Dr. Simon M. Shane
Simon M. Shane
Contact     C. V.

Industry Prices: Mon Apr 24
 Corn3.84 $/bu
 Soybeans9.68 $/bu
 Soybean Meal321.00 $/ton
 Eggs, Producer36  ¢/doz
 Eggs, Warehouse 52-55  ¢/doz