Egg Industry News

Adisseo to Develop Bio-Based Methionine


Adisseo and biotech collective TWB have jointly developed a bio-based synthesis for L-methionine.  It is intended to develop a pilot plant by 2020.  The development follows a parallel acquisition of a bio-based methionine synthesis system by Evonik Industries from metabolic explorer in 2017.


Providing the bio-based methionine processors do not make use of a GMO organism, availability of a nutrient supplement which could be accepted by the National Organic Program would reduce the cost o production of eggs and poultry meat and displace conventional synthetic methionine which is subject to progressive reduction in dietary inclusion.


Alltech Establishes E-Commerce “Store”


Alltech has developed a website “The Alltech Store”.  This will allow customers to shop for animal nutrition products to be delivered to front doors and farm gates.


The Alltech Store is created through an internal incubator program encouraging employees to submit their ideas for improvement.


Information is available from the website


The Alltech Store will provide a convenient source of supplements for 4-H, and small holder operations across diverse species.


Development of New E. coli Vaccine


Dr. John J. Maurer of the University of Georgia Poultry Diagnostic Research Center has developed new technology autogenous E. coli vaccines.  The project was funded by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association Foundation.


Dr. Maurer and his colleagues were able to develop a culture method for field strains of E. coli that inhibit the production of surface.  Coli without the O antigen include the lipopolysaccharide core which can stimulate antibodies to a wide range of pathogenic E. coli.


The culture technique was applied to produce E. coli strains stripped of O-antigen to be incorporated in emulsion which was effective in inducing an antibody response.


The technique has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of autogenous vaccines since STEC strains or various subtypes may be present on a specific farm effecting successive flocks.




The following items will be reviewed in greater detail in upcoming editions of EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS:


No prospect of near-term trade negotiations with China: With more than a third of the U.S. corn and soybean crops harvested, farmers and traders are anxious for a resolution of the trade impasse with China. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Mills confirmed that talks “were at a hiatus”. President Trump opined that China was “not ready” to discuss issues dampening the possibility of a summit at the G-20 meeting in November. Economic Council Chair Larry Kudlow said that “recent relations have not been positive”


Silos at elevators filling fast: Ending stocks are competing with the 2018 harvest for storage space. Some localities are storing grain under tarpaulins with less than half of new-crop corn harvested. This has implications for quality and possible

mycotoxin contamination.


Impact of Hurricane Michael Quantified: The storm severely damaged or destroyed about 90 broiler houses in Georgia and led to the loss of 2 million birds in addition to plant closures and extensive disruption of operations. Total losses to state agriculture will exceed $3 billion, in part attributed to devastation of the cotton crop. Michael, followed Hurricane Florence which caused less wind damage but extensive flooding affecting hog, turkey and broiler production in North and South Carolina. 



USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, October 18th 2018.

  • Hen Numbers in Production Increased 0.5 million to 320.8 million.
  • Shell Inventory Up by 1.6 Percent From Previous Week.
  • Generic Prices for Extra Large and Large Down 1 Percent, Mediums Down 2.9 Percent Compared to Previous Week.



According to the USDA Egg Market News Report posted on October 15 th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large sizes were down one percent and Mediums were down 2.9 percent compared to the past week. The progression of prices during 2018 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The October 15th USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 65: No. 42) documented a USDA Combined Region value rounded to the nearest cent, of $1.06 per dozen delivered to warehouses effective October 12th This price lags current Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $1.02 per dozen. At the high end of the range, price in the South Central Region attained $1.17 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was 21 cents per dozen above the three-year average but 19 cents per dozen below the corresponding week in 2017.


Status of 2018 Corn and Soybean Crops


The USDA Crop Progress Report released on October 15th updated the status and condition of 2018 corn and soybeans. Ninety-six percent of the corn crop is now mature, five percent over the 5-year average. Thirty-nine percent of the corn crop has been harvested.

Soybeans have completed setting pods consistent with good soil moisture and climate conditions. Ninety-five percent of the crop has started dropping leaves, three percent ahead of the 5-year average. Thirty-eight percent of the crop has been harvested, an advance of only six percent from the previous week. Due to inclement weather less than three days were suitable for field work in IA, MI, MN, NE, WI and SD.

EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA and will continue posting updates through the end of harvest in October.


Crop Parameter (%)

October 7th

October 14th

5-Year Average

Corn Emerged

Corn Silking

Corn Dough

Corn Denting

Corn Mature

Corn Harvested

















Soybeans Emerged

Soybeans Blooming

Soybeans Setting Pods

Soybeans Dropping Leaves

Soybeans Harvested

















Crop Condition

V. Poor





Corn 2018

Corn 2017











Soybeans 2018

Soybeans 2017











Soil Parameter


V. Short







Topsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year





Subsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year







Updated USDA Projections for 2018 and 2019 Egg Production


The USDA Economic Research Service issued an updated October 17 th 2018 forecast of egg production unchanged from the previous September 18th report. The volume of eggs produced and per capita consumption for 2019 were increased by 1.7 and 0.5 percent respectively over 2018. Consistent with this disparity the benchmark New York price was reduced by 12.2 percent in unit value Production data reflecting 2016 and 2017 should be compared to 2015, impacted by the Spring outbreak of HPAI in the upper-Midwest. The latest data is reflected in the table below:










2018 2019 Difference %

(projection) (forecast) 2018 to 2019





Production (m. dozen)




7,845 7,980 +1.7%


Consumption (eggs per capita)




270.0 280.3 +0.5%

New York price (c/doz.)




141 124 -12.2%


Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - September 18th 2018

*Impacted by Spring 2015 HPAI outbreaks. Consumption in 2014, 267 eggs per capita

Subscribers to EGG-NEWS are referred to the postings depicting weekly prices, volumes and trends and the monthly review of prices and related industry statistics.


FDA Bans Synthetic Flavoring Agents


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has removed seven synthetic flavoring substances from the Food Additives List. This action was taken under the Delaney Clause of the FD&C Act of 1958. The FDA did however determine that the various agents did not pose a risk to public health given very low levels of inclusion.

The FDA is allowing food producers to identify suitable replacement ingredients and reformulate their food products before October 9th 2020.

The move towards “clean labels” is probably preempting FDA action. The removal of the six compounds and styrene, which is no longer used as an additive, is in response to some public pressure and to avoid future litigation and Congressional pressure.


International Poultry Scientific Forum Contributes to USPOULTRY Foundation


The net proceeds from the 2018 International Poultry Scientific Forum amounting to $44,000, were presented to the USPOULTRY Foundation by Dr. Mary Beck, Executive Director of the Southern Poultry Sciences Society. Paul Hill, past USPOULTRY Foundation Chairman stated “We are very pleased to accept this donation from the International Poultry Scientific Forum. These funds will be used to support research and student recruitment benefitting the poultry and egg industries.


Wegmans’ Scale-Back Area of Cary, NC. Project


Wegmans has reduced the area of a new store scheduled for Cary, NC. by 30 percent to 103,000 square feet. According to Stephen Leaty of Wegmans, the Company “Adopted a smaller footprint for new stores to meet the demand of the changing marketplace.”  Leaty stated, “We are seeing changes in the way customers buy groceries and we have a design that will be more efficient.”


The reduction in size will reduce capital cost since the proposed parking garage beneath the store will no longer be needed. The Wegmans store will be completed during 2020 and will operate in an avowedly over-traded NC. Triangle market with Wegmans stores planned for Chapel Hill and a second in Cary.


Food Companies Launching Venture Funds


Following the example of Tyson Foods, Kraft Heinz has established Evolve Ventures to invest in emerging companies with the potential to transform the food industry.  Bill Pescatello will lead the fund with an initial investment of $100 million.


Bernardo Hees, CEO of Kraft Heinz stated, “New technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models.”  He added, “Through Evolve Ventures, we will work with tomorrow’s most innovative founders and companies in the space, and use the full resources of Kraft Heinz to help them succeed.”


Pescatello has accomplished a successful venture-capital career investing as a partner at Lightbank in Chicago and the Peacock Equity Fund affiliated to GE Capital and NBC Universal.


The move towards investment through venture capital is a departure for the relatively stagnant food industry.  It is apparent that internal R & D is not generating new concepts and products for commercialization.  Companies are diverting funds to entrepreneurs who are evolving from incubators and universities. Creativity requires talent and the freedom to innovate without the artificial restrictions imposed in a corporate environment.


U.S. and Japan to Consider Bilateral Trade Agreement


Following the precipitous withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement immediately following initiation of the present Administration, trade negotiations between Japan and the U.S. have been in limbo. After a delay of almost two years Prime Minister Abe has agreed to bilateral trade negotiations.


At issue is the negative trade balance of $70 billion annually coupled with restrictions on importation of U.S. agricultural products to protect the domestic industry in Japan. One-third of Japan’s 4.7 million exports of automobiles are shipped to the U.S. contributing a high proportion of the negative trade balance. Threatened retaliatory tariffs on U.S. automobiles imported into Japan have been deferred until conclusion of bilateral trade discussions.


It is evident that Japan will be an important ally in any trade or diplomatic action taken against China.  Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement created an advantage for China with respect to intra-Asian trade evidently to the detriment of U.S. commercial interests


Hendrix Genetics Introduces GeneVision for Shell Egg Evaluation


Hendrix Genetics in conjunction with electronic equipment manufacturers in Holland have developed the Eggxaminator to evaluate a range of heritable parameters associated with egg shells. Application of machine vision will expedite and extend the range of inspection and analysis.  The use of machine vision and electronic technology inherent to the system will reduce human error and subjectivity.  Enhanced evaluation of table eggs with incorporation into index selection will eventually benefit producers especially during the last third of the laying cycle.



Pearse Lyons Accelerator Soliciting Applications for 2019


Following two successive annual rounds of the Pearse Lyons Accelerator, applications are invited from agriculture technology start-ups to participate in the global program.  Conceived by the late Dr. T. Pearse Lyons, selected entrants in the program receive an $18,000 stipend and substantial contributions from social media companies. 


The successful companies selected for the 2019 program will present their concepts at          ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in May 2019.  Dr. Mark Lyons, CEO and president of Alltech stated, “What other agri-tech startup puts you in front of 4,000 industry leaders and potential investors?”  He added, “If you’re looking for support from industry professionals, mentorship from the best in the agri-business and networking opportunities that have been instrumental in alumni accessing vital funding, then the Pearse Lyons Accelerator is for you.”


Aidan Connolly, Chief Innovation Officer at Alltech stated, “The Pearse Lyons Accelerator serves as the perfect vehicle to create visibility for us and our partners with the most disruptive ag-tech startups across the world.  He added, “A clear route to market remains a challenge for startups within the ag-tech industry. The program provides accelerated access to the global market with a comprehensive package of support to help navigate the challenge of scaling up their operations to provide service to large corporate customers.”


Dr. Mark Lyons added, “With this Accelerator, we carry on the legacy and entrepreneurial spirit of my late father, Dr. Pearse Lyons who had the desire and dedication to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, who will transform the face of agriculture.”


Alumni of the Pearse Lyons Accelerator have collectively raised $28 million over the last three years. Ag-tech start-ups are encouraged to apply to the Pearse Lyons Accelerator program before December 7, 2018.  Information is available at <>


MOBA Technical Training Center


The principal technical training center established by MOBA is located near the home office in Barneveld, the Netherlands with a secondary center in Lancaster, PA.  MOBA trains more than 400 of their customers’ employees each year.  Courses include:

  • Operation of Omnia graders
  • Network and software service
  • Training on farm packers
  • Robotics
  • Ink-jet systems
  • Packing and loading


Further information is available on the MOBA website


AEB Presents Workshop for Retailers


Recently the American Egg Board presented workshops to ten major U.S. grocery chains.  Brand marketing, consumer insights and culinary issues were presented to encourage interest in eggs and egg products. The combination of market research, nutritional knowledge and logistics within the AEB and its affiliates benefits producers by stimulating demand.


Export of Shell Eggs and Products January-August 2018.


USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing January-August 2018 with the corresponding period in 2017:-



Jan.-Aug. 2017

Jan.-Aug. 2018


Shell Eggs


Volume (m. dozen)



-3.3 (-4.3%)

Value ($ million)



+11.9 (+16.1%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)



+0.20 (+21.2%)

Egg Products




Volume (metric tons)



-7,242 (-25.1%)

Value ($ million)



+3.3 (+4.4%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)



+1,280 (+49.3%)







According to the October 11th 2018 WASDE Report #582, 81.8 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2018 to produce 14.78 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.69 Billion bushels from 88.2 million acres harvested. The levels of production for the two commodities is based on revised projections of yield and acreage harvested. Ending stocks were revised based on anticipated domestic use and exports.


Quarterly corn and soybean stocks were estimated by USDA in a release on September 28th to total 2.14 Billion bushels (14.7 percent of the 2017 harvest) and 0.44 Billion bushels (10.0 percent of 2017 harvest) respectively. Of the “old soy crop” 0.10 Billion bushels are held as on-farm storage, up 15 percent from the corresponding period in 2017. Off-farm storage is up 58 percent to 0.34 billion bushels. Disappearance from June to August was 0.78 Billion bushels, up 18 percent from the corresponding period in 2017. This reflects accelerated shipments in anticipation of increased tariffs imposed by China.


The following quotations for the months as indicated were posted by the CME at 10H00 EDT on October 12th together with values for the corresponding months in parentheses indicating only minor changes in price after firming during the previous week.




Corn (cents per bushel)

Dec.’18   369   (368)        

March ‘19 381  (380)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Nov. ’18  863  (867)*   

Jan. ’19      890  (880)      

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Oct.  ‘18  313  (315)*

Jan.  ’19     318  (318)

*values reflect 2017 harvest


Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal were:-


COMMODITY                                                      CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn:                     Dec. quotation down 1 cent per Bu.                (-0.3 percent)

Soybeans:              Nov. quotation down 4 cents per Bu.             (-0.5 percent)

Soybean Meal:        Oct.  quotation down $2 per ton                      (-0.6 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


Markets were essentially unaffected by release of the October WASDE. There is no immediate prospect of resolving the trade dispute with China before the 2018 harvest is completed. Unproductive sub-cabinet level discussions in Washington in early September and imposition of additional tariffs on imports on September 24th have raised tensions in China which appears to be unmoved in its determination to resist U.S. tariffs. The Administration has announced that negotiations are underway to arrange a meeting between President Trump and Premier Xi in late November.


Despite claims by the Administration in August to the contrary the E.U. will not be a viable alternative to China with regard to export volume for corn and soybeans.. Imports of soybeans will be limited by the inherent reluctance of the trading bloc to import GM products. Five nations in the E.U. have an outright ban on introduction of GM ingredients and any food product marketed in the E.U. would have to declare GM content on the label. 


The financial future for row-crop farmers appears bleak despite the promise of $12 billion as “short-term” compensation. Recent comments from the USDA suggest that this value may be trimmed. Farmers will not be placated by the promise of E-15 ethanol since the logistic problems of delivery to consumers and legal challenges will delay any positive price benefit. The loss inflicted on farmers by the trade war with China is a gain for livestock producers who will benefit from lower feed costs. Of course the hog and poultry industries have experienced higher costs for a decade as a result of the RFS, a gift which keeps on giving. The RFS is a boon to Midwest politicians, corn growers and ethanol refiners at the expense of anyone in the U.S. who eats or uses any form of transport.



See the WASDE posting summarizing the October 11th USDA-WASDE Report #582 under the STATISTICS tab documenting price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported from the 2018 harvest.



Position Announcement - Versova


Versova Management has an immediate opening for a Director of Animal Health.  The incumbent will be responsible for monitoring flock health, vaccination programs, biosecurity and overseeing the company’s animal welfare program and diagnostic laboratory. 

This position will be based in central Iowa and will require periodic travel to farms in Iowa and Ohio.  The ideal candidate will have a DVM or equivalent degree with ACPV certification or eligibility and will have 3 years of field experience and be able to be licensed in Iowa and Ohio.  Versova Management is a company based on strong core values and as such provides a competitive pay and benefits package. 

Qualified candidates should submit their resumes in confidence to

Versova Management is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


World Egg Day Adopts “Protein for Life” as 2018 Theme


To mark World Egg Day the American Egg Board (AEB) is emphasizing the U.S. egg industry's commitment to sustainable nutrition under the global campaign theme "Protein for Life."

"America's egg farmers take their dual responsibilities of providing nutritious food and stewardship of the land extremely seriously," said AEB president and CEO Anne L. Alonzo. "On World Egg Day 2018, we are celebrating “Protein for Life” with the International Egg Commission. We hope to educate people on how eggs are a source of sustainable nutrition to  fight world hunger." Alonzo added “sustainable nutrition remains a focus of the egg industry. Eggs are nutrient-rich, affordable and culturally acceptable with one of the lowest environmental impacts, making them an ideal food source for the growing world population,"

The AEB has created a World Egg Day landing page on its website to provide information on the nutritional sustainability of eggs.




  • Hurricane Michael cuts Swath Across Southeast States: Following a 13H45 landfall as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph gusts Michael caused extensive damage to properties along the Panhandle of Florida from wind and surge. Initial reports suggest minimal damage to egg complexes and broiler plants but there was extensive disruption of operations with first and second shift closures in Alabama and Georgia to prevent injury to workers traveling storm-damaged roads. Fortunately Michael was a fast-moving storm with high wind gusts but with far less flooding in its wake than Florence.
  • President Trump to Meet With Premier Xi: The White House is making plans for the President to meet with Premier Xi in late November. It is hoped that the mutually destructive trade war will be resolved along with the numerous allegations of unfair trade and mercantile policy demonstrated by China.
  •  EPA to Allow Year-round E-15: The Administration has instructed the EPA to allow distribution of E-15 blend year-round. The action will not result in any appreciable demand for additional ethanol based on the bottleneck represented by the availability of storage and dispensing at gas stations. The change in policy is a short-term politically cosmetic action than a substantial shift in the supply and distribution of grain-based ethanol.
  • Cal-Maine Acquires Featherland Farms in Texas: Cal-Maine Foods purchased the assets of Featherland Farms which produces shell eggs from 600,000 hens.


Aldi Receives Retailer of the Year Award


The 2018 Retailer of the Year distinction was presented at the 2018 MUFSO Conference in Dallas during the first week of October.  This recognition is awarded by Supermarket News.


Aldi has 1,800 locations in 35 states and has undertaken a $5.3 billion expansion over the next five years to upgrade stores and open approximately 900 new locations.  The MUFSO annual event brings together restaurant operators and food retailers under the umbrella of the NRN Restaurant and Food Group.


SE Outbreak in the U.K. Attributed to Imported Liquid Egg White


Public Health England has reported seven confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteritidis in the U.K. and a suspected case in Ireland.

The source of infection was a batch of Dr. Zak’s Barn Farm Liquid Egg White imported from France.  It is understood that the product contained raw material from Spain recalled on September 17th.


In addition to isolating SE from two batches of product, laboratories reported high counts of Enterobacteriacae and unacceptable aerobic plate counts. These findings suggest that the product was not subjected to effective pasteurization.


British Lion egg processors representing the body responsible for establishing standards and maintaining the national brand for U.K. eggs suggested that E.U. standards could be considered inferior to those pertaining in the U.K.


A food safety expert Dr. Lisa Ackerley quoted in Food Safety News stated, “Pasteurization alone has been shown not to give the assurance we all need, the raw product needs to be of a high standard as well and that’s why British Lion egg products stand apart.”  This comment is based more on promotion of U.K. product than on actual science. Pasteurization according to U.S. and U.K. parameters should effectively eliminate SE.  Post-pasteurization contamination due to defective equipment and packaging procedures could result in adulteration of egg liquids.


Cal-Maine Foods Acquires Featherland Farms.


In an October 10th release Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Featherland Egg Farms, Inc., relating to its commercial shell egg production, processing, distribution and sale business. The assets to be acquired, subject to the completion of this transaction, include commercial egg production and processing facilities with current capacity for approximately 600,000 laying hens, a feed mill, and related production and distribution facilities located near Marion, Texas. The enterprise established in 1952 is located about 30 miles East of San Antonio north of I-10

Commenting on the announcement, Dolph Baker, Chairman and CEO of Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., said, “This transaction is consistent with our strategy to expand our business through selective acquisitions. It is located near many of our other locations and major market areas in south Texas, and we intend to capitalize on specific market opportunities created by this additional production capacity”.


Aldi Receives Retailer of the Year Award


The 2018 Retailer of the Year Award, as selected by Supermarket News was presented to Aldi at the 2018 MUFSO Conference in Dallas during the first week of October.

Aldi has 1,800 locations in 35 states and has undertaken a $5.3 billion expansion program over the next five years to upgrade stores and open approximately 900 new locations. The MUFSO annual event brings together restaurant and food groups under the umbrella of NRN and includes restaurant operators and food retailers.


GI-OVO Structure and Integration into Giordano Finalized


Effective September 1st, GI-OVO B.V. now operates under the ownership of Giordano, which purchased the Twinpack Special Products Division from Twinpack,the parent company. GI-OVO will continue to market the EggsCargo system regarded as a global standard for table eggs and the HatchCargo system for transporting hatching eggs from farms to hatcheries.

Both the EggsCargo system and the HatchCargo systems offer advantages in terms of protecting shell integrity and promoting hygiene. RFD chips can be incorporated into racks for traceability.

Further information on the systems are available on the company website or clicking onto the GI-OVO logo on the right side of the Welcome Page.


SE Cases from Gravel Ridge Farms Rise to 38


According to the CDC, there have been 38 documented cases of Salmonella Enteritidis in seven states attributed to consuming eggs produced by Gravel Ridge Farms. Ten patients have been hospitalized. Cases were diagnosed between June 17th and August 16th 2018.

The outbreak strain of SE was identified in environmental samples and in egg pools collected from the implicated farm. Whole genome sequencing has demonstrated homogeneity among SE strains isolated form patients and from the flocks.

Cage-free eggs were recalled by Gravel Ridge Farm on September 8th, but bear “best if used by” dates ranging from July 5th through October 3rd. Eggs were distributed in dozen and 2.5 dozen packs in Georgia and Tennessee and to restaurants in Alabama.

The FDA has listed the retail locations where Gravel Ridge Farms eggs were sold.


Henning Companies Participates in Iowa State Fair


The Iowa State Fair, which took place on August 9th to 19th in Des Moines provided an opportunity to publicize eggs and promote consumption. Henning Companies personnel manned the Iowa Egg Council booth distributing egg-on-a-stick giveaways. In 2017, 162,000 eggs were served. Attendees had the opportunity of participating in a competition with prizes and exposure on social media.


Growth in Farmers Markets Slowing


According to USDA statistics, the number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. increased from approximately 4,000 in 2007 to 8,600 in August 2017. This growth was stimulated by grants and assistance from the USDA under the previous Administration. During the last past year growth in the number of markets was static, attributed to saturation of a relatively thin market represented by an urban demographic committed to perceptions of health, sustainability and local production.  The degree of over-supply of venues can be appreciated in Madison, WI which has a population of 200,000 served by 11 farmers’ markets. A similar situation exists in other college towns.

A study conducted on the clientele purchasing from the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison WI, revealed:

  • Shoppers were more affluent than average purchasers of food
  • The clientele of food markets is twice as likely to have completed a baccalaureate degree and three times more likely to have completed graduate or professional training
  • Average age is younger than the U.S. population
  • Household size of visitors to the Dane County Farmers Market was two persons compared to 2.5 in the general population.

It is clear that the data derived from the Dane County Farmers Market study is heavily biased by the presence of the University of Wisconsin at Madison with 45,000 students. The market is one of the oldest in the U.S. established 45 years ago.

More extensive published studies have shown no significant difference in education, age or income between shoppers at farmers’ markets and conventional food stores both in the state of Michigan and in the United States.


Costco Reports on Q4 and FY 2018


In a press release dated October 4th Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) announced results for the 4th Quarter and Fiscal 2018 ending September 2nd 2018.

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)

4th Quarter Ending. Sept. 2nd. / Sept. 3rd



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



52-Week Range in Share Price: $154.11 to $245,16

Market Close Oct. 4th $231.68 Open post release Oct. 5 th $224.72

Forward P/E: 26.5 3-year Beta 1.1

For FY 2018 COST posted a net profit of $3,134 million ($2,679 million FY 2017) on sales of $138.43 billion ($126.17 billion) EPS attained $7.09 ($6.08)

Excluding fuel company-wide same-store sales were 7.2 percent higher than in Q4 2017.

E-commerce increased by 26.2 percent for Q4 FY 2018 compared to Q4 FY 2017.

Costco operates 762 warehouses, with 527 in the U.S.


Stop Press


The following items of importance to the U.S. poultry industry will be reviewed in subsequent editions of CHICKNEWS and EGG-NEWS:-


  • JBS Ground Beef Recall: JBS Tolleson is recalling 3,250 tons of ground beef potentially contaminated with Salmonella Newport following a traceback investigation. Implicated product was manufactured from July 26th through September 7th suggesting profound deficiencies in control, assay and recording of successive batches.
  • African Swine Fever of Concern in the E.U.: Health and Safety authorities in the E.U. have instituted controls to prevent westward extension of ASF to France from Belgium. The infection can be regarded as endemic in the nations of the former USSR.
  • SE infection from Gravel Ridge Farms Yields Additional Cases: To date 38 cases of SE have been confirmed from seven states as a result of infection of flocks on the free-range farm.
  • The USMCA, Successor to NAFTA is Well Received by U.S. Agriculture: Commodity and livestock associations have expressed satisfaction with the 11th-hour USMCA which creates export opportunities
  • Farm Bill Unlikely in 2018: Following expiry of the existing Farm Bill on September 30th Congress has yet to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the Bill. It is unlikely that legislation will be enacted in 2018 given the calendar and mid-term elections.


AEB Showcased at Trade and International Affairs Symposium.


In support of Hispanic Heritage month, AEB President & CEO, Anne L. Alonzo interacted with leaders of the event. The AEB was represented by Anne at the Trade & International Affairs Symposium and she participated in a Women in Trade Panel.

The educational event was organized by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), a non-profit organization advancing Hispanic community youth. 

Participating were business and future Latino leaders, the diplomatic community and Members of Congress. Egg export trade and engaging with Latino millennial consumers represent strategic priorities for the AEB. 

Pictured above: AEB President & CEO Anne L Alonzo (center, left) with panelists.



Cal-Maine Reports on Q1 of FY 2019


In a press release dated October 1st Cal-Maine Foods announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2019, ending September 1 st 2018.

The following table summarizes the results for Q1 compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)


1st Quarter Ending.

Sept. 1st 2018

Sept. 2nd 2017

Difference (%)






Gross profit:





Operating income:





Pre-tax Income

Net Income








Diluted earnings per share:





Gross Margin (%)





Operating Margin (%)





Profit Margin (%)





Long-term Debt: Sept. 1st '18/ June 2nd '18



- 41.1


12 Months Trailing:


Return on Assets (%)



Return on Equity (%)



Operating Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Total Assets Sept. 1st '18/ June 2nd '18





Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $38.51 to $52.31

Market Close Sept. 28th 48.30 post-release Noon $44.82 (-7.21%)

Forward P/E: 18.1 Beta -0.2

CALM fell 7.2 percent in the first 2.5 hours of trading as the Company missed consensus estimates for the top-line of $350 million and $0.49 EPS. The Company announced a dividend of 8.5 cents down from 35.0 cents.

In reviewing the CALM quarterly report the following calculated values 1 represent key data for the most recent Quarter. (Q1 Fiscal 2018 in parentheses):-

  • Dozen shell eggs sold: 250,060,000: (249,464,000: +0.2%)

  • Average selling price of all shell eggs2: $1.33 per dozen; ($1.03 per dozen: +29.2%).

  • Average selling price of specialty eggs calculated from data released: $1.92 cents per dozen: ($1.88 per dozen; +2.1%).

  • Average selling price of generic eggs calculated from data released: $1.15 cents per dozen; ($0.80 cents per dozen; +43.7%).

  • Differential between generic and specialty eggs: $0.77 cents per dozen; ($0.78 per dozen; +1.2%)

  • Specialty eggs as a proportion of volume sold: 23.8%; (21.7%; +9.6%)

  • Specialty eggs as a proportion of sales value: 34.2%; (39.6%; -13.6%)

  • Proportion of eggs sold actually produced by Cal-Maine flocks: 83.7%; (85.6%; -2.2%).

  • Feed cost: 41.0 cents per dozen (38.0 cents per dozen; +7.8%)

NOTES 1. Assumes that 98 percent of sales value was derived from shell eggs.

2. Based on stated proportions of volumes and revenue for specialty and generic eggs.


Conagra Brands Banking on Pinnacle Sales


After posting disappointing sales growth and earnings, especially in the frozen foods segment, Conagra looks to revitalization from the acquisition of Pinnacle Foods.


Analysts project a year-long period of integration but the prospects for frozen foods appear sound given demand for fresh and frozen vegetables and protein.


For the first quarter of 2019 Conagra Brands reported net income of $178 million on sales of $1,834 million.


Large Companies Reevaluating Market Positioning of Acquisitions


In a review of company strategy, Julie Jargon and Annie Gasparro considered the fate of small brands acquired by large corporations in a Wall Street Journal article on October 1.


The authors pointed to the fate of Kashi products after it was purchased by Kellogg Company in 2000.  Integration into the large company throttled product development and promotion. A similar situation occurred after General Mills acquired Annie’s Home Grown Inc.


It is apparent that the factors leading to popularity and sales growth for small brands differ from corporate brands.  Large companies acquiring brands to enhance sales volume and net revenue are frequently disappointed by the gap between projections and performance. 


Small brands use social media and benefit from shelf space in specialty stores appealing to high income and health-conscious demographics. Performance of these brands can be depressed by eliminating entrepreneurial spirit and constraints imposed by established corporate marketing policies.  It is evident that acquirers of small companies giving their “fledglings” the discretion to continue building brand loyalty will ultimately benefit from the latitude extended to management.

Joint product development Kashi and parent Kellogg's


Secretary Perdue Comments on Conclusion of USMCA Negotiations


On October 1, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue commented on the conclusion of a renegotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace NAFTA.


He stated, “The great news from a new USMCA deal is that it is important for our economy as a whole, including the agriculture sector, which counts Canada and Mexico in our top three trading partners.”  He added, “We have secured greater access to these vital markets and will maintain and improve the highly productive integrated agricultural relationship we have as nations.”  The deal eliminated Canada’s unfair “Class 7” milk pricing scheme and imposed restrictions on the supply management system.  Access for turkey, broiler, and egg producers is incorporated in the agreement as noted in concurrent additions of EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS.

Specific provisions of the USMCA agreement include:


  • Dairy farmers will achieve expanded market access with elimination of Class 6 and
      Class 7 products.
  • Standards for agriculture biotechnology will be established including gene editing, information exchange and cooperation on agricultural biotechnology.
  • A commitment to reduce trade-distorting policies including transparency and the exercise of non-discriminatory treatment of standards for agricultural products.
  • The three nations agreed to eliminate export subsidies or World Trade Organization special agriculture safeguards for products traded within the USMCA Nations.
  • Establishing strong rules to ensure tariff-rate quotas are administered fairly and with transparency
  • Harmonization of grading standards and ongoing dialogue with respect to standards
  • Market access for U.S. cheese shipped to Mexico will not be restricted
  • The three nations have agreed to protect confidentiality of proprietary formulas for food products


FDA to Release Names and Location of Retailers in Recalls


The Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Scott Gottlieb has announced that his Agency will henceforth release the names and locations of retail stores which may have been supplied with a recalled food item. The new policy, which was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, September 26th will be applied to “serious recalls” in which adverse health consequences to humans or animals may result from delays in a consumer response.

Gottlieb commented “Knowing where a recalled product was sold during the most dangerous food recalls can be the difference between a consumer going to the hospital or not.” He added “While we can’t prevent every illness, we can make sure we provide information to consumers to prevent more people from becoming sick from a recalled or hazardous food product.”

The need for greater transparency has been justifiably urged by food-safety attorney Robert Marler, reflecting the sentiments expressed by Dr. Gottlieb.


Eggland’s Best Announces 30-Billion Egg Benchmark


In a ceremony in Washington DC on Tuesday, September 18, Eggland’s Best, a farmer-owned cooperative, announced that since inception, 30 billion eggs have been sold under the Eggland’s Best brand.

The event was attended by representatives of USDA and the Food and Drug Administration.

President and CEO of Eggland’s Best, Charlie Langtree noted “At Eggland’s Best, we hold our eggs to the strictest production and safety standards.” He added “Our 30 billionth USDA approved egg is a testament to our commitment to providing the highest quality egg possible with superior nutrition, taste and freshness.”

Eggland’s Best requires a higher level of quality than existing USDA grading standards imposed for Grade AA specifications. Eggland’s Best has a 27-point quality and freshness program and conducts 45,000 assay procedures annually to maintain standards.

Eggland’s Best has received more than 100 awards and honors for quality and other attributes and safety. Further information is available on the company website,


Prevalence of mcr-1 Gene From Hospital Isolates in Italy


The mcr-1 gene was first identified from E.coli in China during 2016. This plasmid-located gene imparts resistance to colistin, an antibiotic widely misused in China and other Asian nations to both suppress pathogens and stimulate growth.

Colistin is a last-resort drug against multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria and is therefore of extreme importance in hospital-acquired infections. Subsequent to the emergence of the mcr-1 gene in China, isolates of E.coli and other enterobacteriaceae carrying the gene were identified from many nations including the E.U.

The extensive study in Italy was conducted on 300 enterobacteriaceae isolated from hospital surfaces. Evaluation revealed that 8.3 percent carried the mcr-1 gene. Genera identified with the mcr-1 gene included Klebsiella, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Citrobacter and Pseudomonas. This suggests that the mcr-1 gene is readily transmitted among bacteria in the environment of hospitals.

Studies on E.coli have demonstrated that approximately 10 percent of animal-derived isolates in Germany carried the gene in samples obtained during the period 2010 – 2015. In contrast, only 0.1 to 2 percent of human isolates carried the mcr-1 gene. It was suggested that selective pressure exerted by antiseptics including chlorhexidine may be responsible for emerging drug resistance in gram-negative bacteria. The author stressed the need to examine both environmental as well as clinical samples in assessing resistance among gram-negative bacteria from hospital settings.

Caselli, E. et al “Spread of mcr-1 Driven Colistin Resistance on Hospital Surfaces, Italy” Emerging Infectious Diseases. 24:1752-1753 (2018) 


Beef Check- Off Program Challenged


The Ranchers’-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) obtained an injunction against the Montana Beef Council in 2016 setting aside the requirement to pay $1 per head to support the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Montana Beef Council.

Plaintiffs claimed that their First Amendment rights were impacted as Montana Beef Council promotions and advertisements did not distinguish between U.S.-raised and imported beef.

In August 2018, R-CALF filed motions in 14 states including Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and the Carolinas. At issue will be whether promotions funded by Beef Councils in specific states constitute private speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that broad regulatory schemes which may be included in a marketing order did not violate the First Amendment.

The action by R-CALF is strongly opposed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board which stated “This litigation has already weakened producer-directed programs that support beef demand and has divided neighbors in a manner that undermines the best interest of the entire beef community.”

As a result of the injunction in Montana, the State Beef Council collected less than $200,000 out of an anticipated $850,000 indicating a dearth of support for the check-off program in the state.

The situation in the beef industry may have implications for other check-off programs. It is not anticipated that there will be any groundswell against the American Egg Board which is actively providing promotional services at the consumer and food service levels in addition to maintaining a viable research and development program.


Food Insecurity in U.S. Declines


According to a release by the USDA, 11.8 percent of U.S. households were adjudged “food insecure” in 2017 compared to 14.9 percent in 2011. By definition, a food insecure household has difficulty at some time during the year in providing sufficient food due to financial restraints.

The report entitled Household Food Security in the United States in 2017 determined that 5.8 million households had very low food security leading to disruption of normal eating patterns during the year. Children were food insecure in 7.7 percent of U.S. households and the range of food insecurity by state extended from 7.4 percent in Hawaii to 17.9 percent in New Mexico. More than half of food insecure household participate in either SNAP, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and the National School Lunch Program.

It is unconscionable that that some families, and especially children are afflicted with food insecurity in a nation with the World’s biggest economy and the largest exporter of agricultural commodities with a domestic surplus of dairy products, eggs, pork and poultry.


AEB November Board Meeting


The American Egg Board has announced that the Board Meeting for 2018 will take place on Thursday and Friday, November 8th and 9th at a location to be announced in the vicinity of O’Hare International Airport.


Los Angeles County to Limit Roosters on Properties


In an attempt to reduce cock-fighting the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to limit the number of roosters that can be held on any property in unincorporated County areas based on lot size.  Up to ten cockerels can be kept on large lots with up to 25 subject to a license to run an animal facility.


It is evident that the intent of this ordinance is to limit cock-fighting and it has no direct bearing on the ongoing outbreak of END in Los Angeles County and adjacent Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.


Eggland’s Best Supports the Susan G. Komen® Foundation


For the ninth successive year Eggland’s Best will support the Susan G. Komen® Foundation in their effort to reduce the impact of breast cancer.  During the month of October the traditional EB red stamp will be changed to the Running Ribbon® EB in pink.  Cartons will also feature Susan G. Komen® graphics.  Eggland’s Best will donate $100,000 to the Foundation for the 2017-2018 campaign irrespective of sales volume.


Charlie Lanktree, president and CEO of Eggland’s Best noted, “While significant progress has been made in recent years to improve breast cancer education it is still important to share information and support for those affected by this awful disease.”  He added, “We are committed to making an impact with a goal of saving lives, just as we are committed to providing consumers an egg that provides better nutrition, taste and freshness.”


Dawn Blatner RD, a nutritionist stated, “I’m proud to work with Eggland’s Best and help support such an honorable mission.”  She added, “A diet including nutrient-enriched foods is important for people who are trying to eat a balanced diet to promote overall health.”


AEB Participates in Commodity Check-off Education Showcase


AEB was one of sixteen commodity Check-off groups participating in the first-ever Agriculture Promotion Group Educational Showcase held in Washington, DC.


The event was organized to educate USDA employees, Congressional staff and members of the national, local and trade press how boards support U.S. agriculture.  The meeting was addressed by Greg Ibach, USDA Undersecretary and Bruce Summers, Administrator of the Agriculture Marketing Service.


AEB Promotes Egg Liquids for Schools


The AEB recently promoted liquid whole egg as a component of the Eggs in Schools “5 Days/5 Way” initiative.


AEB provided information to school nutrition directors on how to incorporate eggs in lunches. Menu diversity can prevent fatigue through the use of acceptable recipes as provided by the AEB.

Egg Pasteurization Plant


USDA Employees Honored for Export Promotion


A team of USDA employees received the 2018 AMS Administrator’s Award for expanding exports of shell eggs and products to Central America, South Africa and India.  Recipients included Nancy Ting of APHIS, Mike Lopez of AMS, Krista Dickson of FAS and Mark Perigen of AMS.


China to Stand Firm on Tariffs and Embargos


According to David MacLennan, CEO of Cargill who met with President Xi Jinpin during  summer, China will not step down in the current trade war.


In an interview with Bloomberg, MacLennan quoted Xi as saying, “We are not going to stand down, this is a natural pride for my country and we are not going to be bullied.”


The U.S. Administration has made available $12 billion to compensate farmers for losses in 2018.  Given the prospect of a prolonged impasse, U.S. agriculture may be irretrievably harmed as exports markets will be lost and prices will be depressed beyond the 2018 harvest.


In recent years, Cofco Corp. a para-statal entity in China purchased a Dutch grain trader to establish expertise in international trade.  China is also actively engaged in “agricultural neo-colonialism” involving cultivation of crops in Africa dedicated to their requirements.


Pre-emptive Culling of Hogs in Belgium


Following the isolation of African swine fever virus from wild boars on the border between France and Belgium, the Ministry of Agriculture in Belgium has announced a program to cull over 4,000 hogs on 58 farms adjacent to the border with Luxembourg and France representing a 240 square mile infection zone.


Minister Denis Ducarme responded to a request from the Boerenbond (Farmers’ League) for removal of susceptible hogs.  The league noted, “The danger is there, because of the large wild boar population, that the virus sooner or later spills over to the pig sector and then the consequences are incalculable. The emptying of the buffer zone is also a very positive measure for the confidence of exports.”  The farmers will receive compensation from the Government of Belgium and the E.U.


Anca Paduraru, a spokesperson for the European Commission stated, “Belgian authorities took the right decision” noting that the fight against African swine fever would be an E.U. priority because of the threat it poses to the economy.


Observers in the U.K. recognize the difficulty of confirming the infection among wild boars in heavily forested areas.  This situation will be similar to feral hogs in the panhandle of Florida and along the Gulf Coast which support large wild-hog populations.


The action in Belgium is reminiscent of the response by Veterinary authorities in France pre-emptively depleting unaffected but susceptible waterfowl flocks used to produce foie gras in the face of HPAI in 2017.


Despite the fact that there have been no cases of African swine fever diagnosed in commercial hogs within the E.U, thirteen nations have banned pork products from Belgium impacting the domestic market.


Direct Action Everywhere Faces Injunction from Whole Foods Market


Following trespass and illegal interference with commerce, Whole Foods Market, a subsidiary of Amazon has obtained an injunction from the northern California Superior Court of Alameda County blocking in-store protests by Direct Action Everywhere.


Apparently, the highly militant activist organization has targeted Whole Foods Market.  Activities include blocking access to doors and aisles and intimidating customers placing the safety of shoppers and employees at risk.


Direct Action Everywhere recently conducted demonstrations in Petaluma, CA.  Videos alleging cruelty and denial of outside access for flocks were challenged and found to be false.


It is anticipated that this group of zealots will, by their militancy and readiness to ignore legal restraints, transition from demonstrators to what could be regarded as agro-bioterrorists.



Australia Facing Malicious Adulteration of Strawberries


The state of Queensland which produces over 60 million punnets (containers) of strawberries annually is facing a problem of deliberate adulteration of product comprising insertion of sewing needles into berries.  Three brands have been targeted although it is assumed that a number of copycat cases involving other types of fruit have occurred. Adulterated strawberries from Australia imported into New Zealand were recently withdrawn from supermarkets in Auckland.


In response to the problem, the Australian parliament increased penalties for adulteration of food products applying prison terms of up to 15 years for either contaminating or making false statements.  The Queensland and Western Australia governments have offered a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators. 

Police in South Wales have received more than 20 reports of contamination with effected product undergoing forensic examination.


Health authorities have advised consumers to cut strawberries before serving.


Deliberate contamination of agricultural products is relatively easy to carry out and frequently difficult to detect. Antisocial psychopaths and disgruntled employees in plants have both the capacity and opportunity to contaminate food products.  Fortunately, there have been only a few cases of malicious adulteration of foods in the U.S. but the crimes of contamination and hoaxing are difficult to prevent and both are equally disruptive.


Integrated Egg Complex Proposed for Sierra Leone


The Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone has appointed a consortium consisting of Agrotop and Integrated Solutions Africa to plan and construct an integrated egg production unit valued at $60 million.  The project will be established on 10,000 acres in the Moyaamba District

 Projected production will be 10,700 cases per week which, given conservative production standards, could be supplied by 700,000 hens in production.


A poultry publication which reported on the proposed project noted that the complex comprising pullet housing, layer houses, egg packing and a feed mill would “create 2,000 new jobs”.  This appears to be a gross exaggeration of labor requirements even if the project intendeds to grow crops to feed flocks.


In past decades, large projects have been proposed and implemented for nations in Africa involving government financing.  Productivity and profitability are generally limited by incompetence, corruption, inability to schedule resources, control disease or to implement an effective marketing program. 


Given the track record and competence of the prime contractor, the project will be erected.  Whether it will function as intended is speculative given the restraints inherent to the region concerned.


Flexibility in SNAP Requirements for Flood-Devastated Carolinas


USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Sonny Perdue has instructed the Food and Nutrition Service to demonstrate flexibility in administering SNAP requirements, especially for North Carolina. Responding to a request from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Nutrition Service will temporarily waive restrictions on participants who lost cards signifying eligibility for the Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children. Currently, 22 WIC offices are closed affecting 60,000 participants.

The WIC program provides supplemental food, nutrition education, promotion of breast feeding and support to low-income women and for their children up to age five at risk for malnutrition.

EGG-NEWS has previously editorialized on the largess inherent in the SNAP program and supports requirements for work or job-retraining for the able-bodied receiving benefits.

In the case of WIC, investment in nutrition and health maintenance will avert suffering and represent a return on current investment through preventing future developmental abnormalities which place a burden on social services.


McDonalds Off The Hook for E.U. Tax Claim


The European Commission has ruled that McDonald’s Corp. conformed to tax laws pertaining in Luxembourg and is not liable for a multi-billion dollar tax claim. Nonpayment on profits generated in Luxembourg did not rise to the level of illegal state aid and was in conformity with the Double Taxation Treaty exempting corporate taxation in Luxembourg if income is taxed in the U.S.

After an extensive investigation, it was determined that non-payment of tax on franchise profits resulted from a mismatch between U.S. and Luxembourg tax law and did not constitute special treatment.

The discrepancy benefitting McDonald’s will be addressed in legislation amending the tax code preventing a recurrence.


IEC Position Statement on Antibiotics in Egg Production


At the mid-September meeting of the International Egg Commission in Kyoto, Japan, the Organization adopted a statement on the administration of antibiotics in production. While it is recognised that egg producers in industrialised nations are sparing in their use of antibiotics abuse exists in Asia and other regions. Producers in the U.S. and the E.U. are severely restrained by regulations which prevent use of antibiotics in flocks producing eggs for consumption


Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance

The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world's consumers.


Biosecurity and good farming practice remain the prime tools for disease prevention and the IEC will continue to support knowledge sharing of biosecurity and good farming practice.


The International Egg Commission (IEC):

• Accepts that antimicrobial resistance (AMR), whether in humans or in animals, is an issue of global concern.

• Acknowledges that the egg layer industry is a limited user of antimicrobials but that this limited use does not obviate the need for coordinated action with other animal product and human medical representative bodies, through the One Health approach of the WHO, OIE and FAO.

• Will encourage the egg layer industry to reduce the use of antimicrobials, especially those for which resistance could pose the greatest animal and human health global risk.

• Believes that the health and welfare of the birds in the care of producers must remain paramount and that care may include the responsible use of the right antimicrobials.


IEC approach:

The IEC will actively support the One Health approach (of the WHO, OIE and FAO) to dealing with AMR, working with intergovernmental organizations, governments and other stakeholders to achieve the best outcome for humanity.

• All producers should be made aware of the current knowledge on AMR and be able to access new knowledge as and when it is made available. The IEC will endeavour to make knowledge on the subject as widely available as possible and stimulate governments and organizations to keep records on the use of antimicrobials.

• Antimicrobials should only be used under veterinary supervision and in conformance with national authority approvals.

  • The IEC does not support the use of the Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials in animal agriculture. The IEC will promote and take due note of recommendations made by the OIE, the WHO and the FAO.

  • The IEC recognises that risk analysis is the best tool to determine the risk/benefit balance of antimicrobials and their usage conditions.

• The IEC believes there is a need for scientific research regarding development, transfer and control of antimicrobial resistance in the production chain and on the potential impact for animal health and welfare, food safety, public health and human medicine.


Darden Restaurants Reports on Q1of FY 2019


In a press release dated September 20th, Darden Restaurants (DRI) announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2019 ending August 26th 2018.

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)

1st Quarter Ending. August 26th/27 th



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Pre-tax 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 (including 39 % intangibles)




Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $77.93 to $124.00

Market Close Wed 26th $112.50

Forward P/E: 18.1 Beta 0.1

Same restaurant sales increased by 5.3 percent for Olive Garden and for Longhorn Steakhouse 3.1 percent compared with Q1 FY 2018.

For Q1 2019 the three operating divisions represented:-


DIVISION Locations Proportion of Sales (%) Operating margin (%)

Olive Garden 858 51.0 20.7

Longhorn Steak House 506 21.0 16.2

Other 389 28.0 15.0

In commenting on results CEO Gene Lee stated “we are pleased to report another quarter of strong results and market share gains. Our competitive advantages continue to work hard for us, allowing us to invest in our people and brands to deliver exceptional guest experiences."

The Company provided forward guidance of growth in same restaurant sales of 2.0 to 2.5 percent


Newcastle Disease Virus Isolated from a Live Bird Market in California,


The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed that Virulent Newcastle disease (END) virus has been found in samples obtained from chickens at a live-bird market in Los Angeles County, CA. as part of ongoing surveillance.

During the past 17 weeks Newcastle disease has been diagnosed in over 140 “backyard exhibition flocks” predominantly in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. Because the latest finding was in a live-bird market, however, the diagnosis was reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and has resulted in trade restrictions.

As a result, several markets have added restrictions so far. For Morocco and Japan, export certification will be suspended for poultry meat and meat products originating from or slaughtered on or after Sept. 25 within a 25-kilometer radius zone around the detection area, except for products that are heat treated. For Mexico, restrictions will apply at the county level for poultry and poultry products originating from Los Angeles County on or after Sept. 25.

The CDAF and APHIS have not issued any statement as to the source or mode of transmission of ENDv and their activity has apparently been confined to diagnosis and updating the list of cases. The presence of ENDv in birds supplying a live-bird market confirms infection in hobby and supply flocks. Quarantine of individual premises after-the-effect is obviously an inadequate control measure. Given the increasing monthly incidence rate it is only a matter of time before a medium to large-scale commercial chicken or turkey operation is infected given inadequate biosecurity and the possibility of wild bird vectors. The incidence rate of END could be controlled by establishing a solidly immune population by vaccination and by restricting all bird movement within and among affected counties

 The term END which is used as a euphemism for velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease with the ‘E’ signifying Exotic could be retained for Southern California but with the meaning changed to Endemic!


New Technique to Develop IBV Vaccines


Dr. Mark W. Jackwood of the College of Veterinary Medicine has developed a technique to rapidly produce infectious bronchitis vaccines against emerging variant strains. Funded by the USPOULTRY Foundation as Project 695, Jackwood and his colleagues used an attenuated IBV Massachusetts strain into which genes and coding for antigens for specific emerging variants can be inserted.

The feasibility of the system was demonstrated by creating an IBV infectious clone allowing for production of a new vaccine. Given that the Massachusetts backbone is non-pathogenic further attenuation is not required.


Aldi Introduces Instacart Delivery


Aldi has announced that Instacart will ultimately initiate home delivery from all stores in 35 states in 5,000 ZIP Codes. Initially 75 major markets will be served. The announcement follows pilot studies in Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles in 2017.

CEO of Aldi U.S., Jason Hart noted “Aldi is a pioneer and a leader in creating a shopping experience that works with people’s busy lives.” He added “Our partnership with Instacart and the expansion of our E-commerce options are more ways we are meeting the growing needs of today’s shopper who wants high-quality food at unbeatable prices.”

Customers will be able to order groceries and fresh food from 1,800 stores using the or Aldi download or an Instacart app. First time Instacart users are offered $10 off their first three Aldi orders of $35 or more using a special code.


AEB Promotes Domestic Consumption and Exports


The American Egg Board will participate in the 2nd America’s Food and Beverage Show in Miami, 1st through 2nd October, Hall D #658.

The objective will be to generate interest in U.S. shell eggs and products, especially among potential buyers in Mexico and the Caribbean regions. The AFBS should attract 11,000 participants from 94 nations.

The AEB will sponsor an educational program and will provide a training session on the versatility and application of U.S. eggs to buyers from the target market.

Anne L. Alonzo, President and CEO of the AEB stated “We welcome the occasion to create educational moments and meaningful connections with buyers from the Caribbean and Mexico and with the support of partners like USAPEEC to bring new egg inspiration to the America’s Food and Beverage Show.” She added “The American Egg Board is excited to pursue growth opportunities in key international markets.”


San Francisco Chronicle Opposes Proposition 12


California Proposition #12 which would resolve the ambiguities inherent to California Proposition # 2 which passed by a two-to-one majority in 2008 is opposed by the San Francisco Chronicle.  Proposition #12 establishes minimum space requirements and mandates compliance by 2021.  Effectively Proposition #12 would eliminate all forms of caged housing for eggs produced in California and presumably shipped to California unless derived from aviaries or floor systems.  Proposition #12 also incorporates veal and pork.

Opposition to Proposition #12 is based on the principle that the ballot box is not the place to regulate California agriculture.  The San Francisco Chronicle was opposed to California Proposition #2 a decade ago and their position has not changed in 2018.


California farmers who have invested in aviary and floor-systems naturally support the Proposition.  Given that the voters will not be considering the potential effect of price of eggs which escalated markedly after Proposition #2 came into effect in 2015 (the “Pacelle tax”).  The Proposition is expected to pass based on sentiment and pro-welfare publicity in mainstream and social media.


European Food Safety Authority Surveys Whole Genome Sequencing


The European Food Safety Authority has issued a report summarizing the application of whole genome sequencing in outbreak investigations and monitoring food safety. Whole genome sequencing is regarded as the “gold standard” in relating pathogens from patients to source and for molecular epidemiologic investigations.


The survey carried out in 2016 determined that whole genome sequencing was employed by 17 out of 30 nations surveyed.


It is anticipated that since the 2016 Survey the number of nations gaining expertise in the technique would have been extended.  The procedure is both sensitive and specific and is now relatively inexpensive.


Taiwan Relaxes Restrictions on LPAI


Following efforts by Dr. John Clifford, Chief Trade Advisor for the USDA-Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service, the Taiwan Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection will adopt regionalization at county level or a 10 km radius zone around farms with diagnosed LPAI.


This is an important advance given that California has recorded four cases of H7 LPAI in Stanislaus County.  Regionalization to county would allow producers in unaffected jurisdictions to ship product to Taiwan.


Sauder’s Eggs Donates to Hurricane Florence Relief


Sauder’s Eggs located in Lititz, PA ha shipped a large quantity of hard-boiled eggs in 2-packs to assist with relief following devastation caused by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.

Mark Saunders, President Saunder's Eggs


Sonoma Brands Introduces Egg Snack


Sonoma Brands has introduced the Peckish™ Brand with Peck Pack snacks including two hard- boiled eggs coupled with a crunchy dip in a range of five flavor combinations.  Peck Pack snacks will retail for $3.99.


September is Food Safety Education Month


In conjunction with the National Restaurant Association and Media Plant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention organized a twitter chat event on September 24.


The program shared information on the risk of foodborne illness and health protection particularly for the elderly and immunocompromised.  Food safety education and information on foodborne diseases can be downloaded from the CDC website




Central Valley Eggs has an open position for a Production Manager at their Wasco, CA., in-line aviary complex comprising 2-million hens with replacement pullets. The position reports to the General Manager. The incumbent will be responsible for optimizing flock performance from facilities and staff applying leadership and procedures consistent with federal, state and industry regulations and standards, contributing to food safety and sustainability.

The Company offers a competitive salary and fringe benefits and is an equal opportunity employer.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a CV outlining education, training, relevant experience and employment history to Jeff Peterson, General Manager <>


3,000 Amazon Go Locations by 2021?


According to Bloomberg, Amazon is considering rolling out a chain of convenience stores located in high density urban areas.


All the stores will apply cashierless check-out technology which has already been developed and tested.  Three Amazon Go stores are in operation in Seattle and one in Chicago.


It is intended that Amazon Go stores will stock prepared food, grab-and-go convenience items catering to commuters and urban residents.  According to a September 20th posting on Business Insider, Amazon intends opening ten stores by the end of 2018 expanding to 50 in 2019 to achieve the goal of 3,000 by 2021.


The success of the concept will depend on the practicality of the cashierless check out system, the products displayed, restocking and business hours.  The concept certainly represents an advance over the traditional 7-Eleven stores and the concept is far removed from the Whole Foods Market purchase by Amazon.


USDA Intended Move of ERS and NIFA Questioned by Senate Ag Committee


The Chairman of the Senate Agricultural Committee, Pat Roberts (R-KS) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have jointly addressed a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue questioning the desirable of the Department’s intention to move the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington.  The senators along with other observers have indicated that both agencies will lose key employees who do not wish to move out of the Washington area.  A second consideration is that by moving the agencies to Iowa or other locations, collaborative and interdisciplinary research centered in the Capitol area will be impeded.


EGG-NEWS has previously noted that when the Biological Services component of USDA-APHIS responsible for vaccine registration was moved from Washington in the 1980’s, considerable disruption was caused by reorganization, resignations and early retirements creating a backlog which was detrimental to the biopharmaceutical industry, to producers and ultimately consumers.


Low Demand for Ethanol Resulting in Plant Closures


Green Plains, a significant refiner, is idling an ethanol plant in northwest Iowa is the result of low prices.  Ethanol futures have fallen sharply as China has increased tariffs on U.S. origin ethanol and domestic demand has declined.  Congress has not acted on a request to increase ethanol content of gasoline to 15 percent year-round. The surfeit of ethanol will persist unless there is a resolution of the trade dispute with China.


Perpetrator of Illegal Alien Scheme Pleads Guilty


According to a September 18th article by Marc Kovac in the Columbus Dispatch, Pablo R. Duran Ramirez pleaded guilty to a count of encouraging illegal entry of Guatemalans into the U.S. to be employed by Trillium Farms.  Many of the illegal workers were under-age and were housed in unsanitary and substandard conditions. The company operated by Ramirez earned as much as $6 million in 2013 according to court documents.


U.S. attorney Justin Herdman stated, “This defendant benefited from the desperation of children and their parents and other relatives.”  He added, “He knew some of the workers he delivered to Trillium Farms were under age, in the country illegally and were threaten or coerced.  We will continue to work to eliminate human trafficking in all its forms.”


Trillium which operates in Licking and Marion Counties among others claims to have been unaware of the illegal activity by their contractor and were “shocked” and claimed that they were “naïve” when informed of the circumstances by Federal authorities. The case was followed by adverse publicity in a PBS Frontline documentary. To their credit Trillium has ceased using contractors and is apparently in conformity with DHS employee requirements.


HumaneWatch Reveals Exploitation of Disasters by HSUS


HumaneWatch posted a commentary suggesting that HSUS is following their precedent and will attempt to profit from Hurricane Florence.  Following Matthew in 2016 the HSUS raised funds for rescue teams and intended partnering with pet shelters.  According to tax records, the HSUS donated on $8,000 to assist animal shelters during the post-hurricane crisis.  The same trend was noted following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  According to the office of the New York Attorney General, HSUS spent $10,000 allegedly on relief but mostly on photography and fund-raising activities despite raising over $1 million in a special “Hurricane Relief” campaign.


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