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.

   
 

Twinpack Special Products wishes you a Happy Easter

Apr 14, 2017

Twinpack Special Products, manufacturer of the EggsCargo System has provided a whimsical Easter-themed clip.

Enjoy the video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fu4JFx5p50&feature=youtu.be

  

   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, April 12th 2017

Apr 14, 2017

    

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol.64: No. 15) posted on April 10th the Midwest wholesale price for Extra Large and Large were unchanged but Mediums declined by 14 percent. The two-week pre-Easter plateau in 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 anticipatedThe 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 39 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.

Hen numbers this week decreased by one million. The population is still at a high level relative to demand with approximately 308.2 million hens in production. Hens-in-lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. The total egg-flock comprises 314.9 million including hens in molt and small flocks. Generic shell-egg stock decreased by 2.2 percent demonstrating fluctuation in the ongoing imbalance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory (to be updated next week) of 30.4 million pounds (13,818 metric tons) as of February 28th is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products at 41.4 million pounds (18,669 metric tons) on February 28th.   

   
 

Centers for Disease Control Reports on IFSAC Objectives

Apr 14, 2017

    

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has published the objectives and lists of priority pathogens for the period 2017 through 2021. The IFSAC represents the combined resources of the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Collaboration was established to achieve synergy between Federal agencies responsible for food safety. It is significant that administrators of the agencies concerned were motivated to establish the collaboration when legislators and commentators advocated the formation of a unified Food Safety Agency which would have combined the food-related functions of the FDA, USDA, Dept. of Homeland Security and other Federal entities.

  

The objectives for 2017 include:

  • Collection of relevant source data
  • Enhancing regulatory and foodborne illness surveillance
  • Applying genomic data to investigations
  • Expanding availability of technical and scientific expertise with internal and external partners
  • Improving the syntheses, interpretation and dissemination of analytical findings

Predictably, the IFSAC identified Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter as the pathogens of significance in relation to food-borne infection. The IFSAC is involved in gathering data which can be used to establish policy and regulations. Ultimately, the actions taken by the collaborating agencies should reduce food-borne infection.

   
 

California Classifies Polyurethane Foam as a “Priority Product”

Apr 14, 2017

    

The March 27 edition of Chemical Engineering News notes that California wishes to place polyurethane foam, widely used to seal crevices and openings in poultry houses, as a “priority product”.

At issue is the presence of methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI) in polyurethane foam. Manufacturers oppose the action. The American Chemistry Council maintains that the polyurethane foam incorporating MDI is well studied and adequately controlled and the insulation does not meet California’s criteria for listing as a “priority product” with implied potential health risks.

  

The Toxic Substances Control Act preempts most state regulation of chemicals although California claims that there is precedent for MDI representing a potential hazard. Applying the law of unintended consequences, withdrawing polyurethane foam sealing and insulation would be detrimental to the integrity of poultry houses and may lead to intrusion of rodents with a consequential risk of Salmonella infection.

   
 

Avian Influenza strain H7N9 in China Continues to Infect Consumers

Apr 14, 2017

    

Xinhua the official news agency of the Government of China reports increases in incident cases of H7N9 avian influenza in humans. A total ban on live poultry trading in the city of Changshu the capital of Jiangsu Province was imposed on March 17th but only continued for five days. During March, the virus was isolated from a flock with 30,000 birds, although the subsequent eradication campaign extended to 170,000 birds, presumably for egg production.

  

The presence of endemic H7N9 Avian Influenza in poultry flocks in numerous provinces in China represents an ongoing risk to consumers purchasing live chickens in wet markets where the virus can be readily acquired by inhalation of aerosols. Recent mutations reported in H7N9 virus to become infectious to poultry flocks producing clinical signs and mortality represents a challenge for authorities. Responses may include intensive eradication programs and development of vaccines to suppress infection and hence viral shedding.

It is without question that wet markets serving as the common link of infection between live poultry and consumers should be closed for extended periods coupled with programs of surveillance. Following the procedures in Hong Kong only birds from tested flocks should be transported to live markets for sale. These measures would involve a radical change in the market distribution system but represent the only practical means of limiting H7N9 infection in consumers.

   
 

Prospective Corn and Soybean Plantings

Apr 14, 2017

    

The March 31st 2017 Prospective Plantings released by the National Agricultural Statistical Service confirms previous estimates that 90.0 million acres will be planted to corn in the spring of 2017. This is approximately 4% less than the previous year.

The area to be planted to soybeans in 2017 will increase by 7% to 89.5 million acres. The switch from corn to soybeans is driven by an anticipation of higher margins given prospects for more favorable soybean prices which will generate greater income after seed, fertilizer and preparation costs compared to corn.

  

A secondary consideration is the quantity of corn to be available from Brazil, Argentina, India, the Ukraine and South Africa which will depress U.S. exports lowering domestic prices.

An additional concern concerning corn is the possibly of amending the RFS to disfavor domestic diversion of corn into ethanol. Increased ethanol capacity worldwide has dampened the demand and hence price for ethanol. With a 10% blend ceiling, the manufacturers of ethanol are forced to export surplus over the quantity that can be used to dilute gasoline.  

(See USDA projections of planting and harvest of soybeans and corn in the April WASDE Report in this edition)

   
 

Supermarkets Scale Back Capital Expenditure

Apr 14, 2017

    

In a March 30th article by Mark Hamstra in Supermarket News, leading chains intend to throttle back capital expenditure during the coming year based on expectations of continued food deflation and lower traffic.

Kroger Company will reduce capital expenditure from $3.7 billion in fiscal 2016 to $3.2 billion in fiscal 2017.  There will be a 35 percent reduction in new-store development with 55 projects planned compared to 85 in fiscal 2016.

 

The company will implement 175 major remodels but will invest in digital technology and project which will improve efficiency.  Michael Schlotman, Executive Vice President and CFO stated recently, “Capital expenditures in 2017 will be focused on sale-generating initiatives, remodels, upgrades to our logistics network and merchandising systems and digital and technology initiatives.

  • Whole Foods will reduce capital expenditure with emphasis on new stores.  In 2015 the company opened 32 new stores followed by 25 in 2016.  Eleven new stores were opened during the first quarter of fiscal 2017 with three more relocations planned for 2017.
  • Walmart reduced capital expenditure from $6.8 billion in fiscal 2016 to $6.1 billion for the current fiscal year.  Progressively the number of new superstores has declined from 69 in fiscal 2016 to 60 in 2017 and 35 for fiscal 2018. Small-format stores will be reduced to 20 planned in the current year down from 70  last year.
  • Publix Supermarkets will follow a contrary path by projecting an increase in capital expenditure from $1.4 billion in 2016 to $1.9 billion in 2017.  The company will undertake 156 remodels, seven replacements and will construct 32 new supermarkets during the current fiscal year.
   
 

Oregon to Regularize Sale of Ungraded Eggs

Apr 14, 2017

    

Oregon House Bill 3116 will allow ungraded eggs, produced by small-scale farms to be sold directly at roadside stands and farmers markets without being graded.  This legislation regularizes the current situation in a state which favors direct farm-to-consumer sales. It is estimated that farmers generate sales of approximately $44 million annually, according to the Policy Director for the Friends of Family Farmers Nonprofit. 

  

The Oregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Animal Health Director, Stephanie Page noted, “Enforcing the grading requirements isn’t a priority for ODA but HB 3116 would clarify state policy regarding egg sales.”  It will however be necessary for farmers to candle eggs for internal defects in addition to conforming to proposed refrigeration requirements.

It is noted that farmers operating flocks of less than 3,000 hens do not fall under the FDA Final Rule to prevent Salmonella and eggs from these flocks are obviously at greater risk for food borne infection as has been demonstrated in recent years.  The only documented cases of SE transmitted from hens to consumers since 2012 have involved backyard hens and flocks beneath the FDA cut-off which is regarded as too high. A flock of 3,000 hens could produce 70,000 dozen annually representing a public health risk unless flocks are vaccinated and regularly tested.

   
 

Kemin Acquires Beta-Glucan Technology

Apr 14, 2017

    

In a press release on March 28th, Kemin announced that it has acquired technology to manufacture beta-glucans from Algal Scientific.  Kemin anticipates that a new range of products will be available to replace antibiotics. 

 

Dr. Chris Nelson, president and CEO of Kemin Industries noted, “The acquisition of this beta-glucan manufacturing technology will provide Kemin with capabilities and products needed to further expand the antibiotic alternative portfolio for animals and offer important scientific advancements for humans and pets.” 

He added “We are focused on ways to rapidly impact our customers’ businesses through strategic acquisitions of differentiating technology.”

John Tucker, CEO of Algal Scientific commented, “Kemin is uniquely suited to exploit this technology offering advanced products to customers globally.”

   
 

Export of Shell Eggs and Products, January-February 2017.

Apr 14, 2017

                

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing the first two months of 2017 with the corresponding period in 2016:-

     

U.S. EGG EXPORTS FOR JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017 COMPARED WITH THE CORRESPONDING MONTHS IN 2016

    PRODUCT

  Jan.-Feb. 2016  

Jan.-Feb. 2017

   Difference

Shell Eggs

 

 

 

Volume (m. dozen)

  18.3     

     18.0

 - 0.3      (-1.6%)

Value ($ million)

  18.8

     17.3

 - 1.5      (-8.0%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

    1.03

      0.96

  -0.07     (-6.8%)       

Egg Products

 

 

 

Volume (metric tons)

   2,665

  6,250

 +3,285   (+134.5%)

Value ($ million)

       8.2

    16.8

    +8.6    (+104.9%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

   3,077

  2,688

   -389    ( -12.6.%)

Source USDA-FAS/USAPEEC

   
 

AEB to Host EggArt Sweepstakes

Apr 14, 2017

    

Ashley Richardson of the AEB has circulated details of the American Egg Board sweepstakes for Easter.

The program will be in partnership with TV personality Ali Fedotowsky.

The contest will run until Sunday, April 16th and contestants are requested to post images of decorated Easter eggs on Instagram using the #EggArt and #Sweepstakes hashtags.

 

   
 

USDA-AMS Issues Policy on Confinement of Organic Flocks

Apr 14, 2017

    

On April 3rd, Miles V. McEvoy Deputy Administrator of the USDA Certified Organic Program issued a policy memorandum allowing temporary confinement of flocks producing certified organic eggs.  This action follows the emergence of avian influenza in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. 

Not unexpectedly, a free-range flock of 2,700 birds in Southwest Kentucky yielded H7N9 strain avian influenza two weeks ago.  This was the second case in Christian County and was detected by routine surveillance.

  

The USDA memorandum noted “If it is determined that temporary confinement of birds is needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of organic flocks, then producers and certifiers may work together to determine an appropriate method and duration of confinement of organic poultry flocks without a loss of organic certification.”  The memorandum added, “Continuous total confinement of any organic poultry indoors is prohibited.”

Further details on biosecurity are available on the APHIS website

   
 

Restaurant Performance Index Advanced in February

Apr 14, 2017

    

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) posted the Restaurant Performance Index for February on March 31st.  The composite score gained over January to attain a level of 100.7.  The Current Situation Index reached 98.8 for the month of February representing a 0.2 increase.  This was the fifth consecutive month below 100, reflecting lower same-store sales and customer traffic. 

  

The Restaurant Performance Index was however raised by the Expectation Index which increased to 102.6, the highest since January 2016.  According to the NRA, operators of restaurants show increased optimism for growth in sales and the economy.  Capital spending plans also reflect a more favorable situation six months hence.

   
 

Prospects for 2018 El Nino Increase

Apr 14, 2017

    

Meteorological models suggest that an El Nino of moderate to severe intensity will occur during late 2017 through 2018. This would represent a rapid reversal from the La Nina phenomenon which recently ended.

The predicted the El Nino would follow the 2015 event which resulted in severe drought in sub-Equatorial Africa.

  

There appears to be concurrence between forecasters in Australia which would be severely impacted, Japan and the U.S. as to the beginning of warming of the Pacific Ocean adjacent to the Northern coast of Chile and Southern Ecuador.

A severe El Nino results in a lessening of monsoon rains in Asia, drought in Australia and Indonesia and heavy rains in Brazil and the Pacific Littoral including Chile and Ecuador.

For additional details enter “El Nino” in the Search feature.

   
 

White House Easter Egg Roll Scheduled

Apr 14, 2017

    

Despite a late start, the White House has announced that the Easter Egg Roll, an annual Washington tradition for 138 years, will take place on Easter Monday.

Stephanie Grisham, the White House Communications Director, noted “plans for the Easter Egg Roll are well underway and the White House looks forward to hosting it.”

The Annual Easter Egg Roll is an important promotional opportunity for the AEB. 

Anne Alonzo president and CEO of the AEB stated “America’s egg farmers are thrilled to play such an integral part in the event as we have for the past 40 years”

  

She added “we donate more than 30,000 real hard-boiled eggs half of them dyed and ready for rolling hunting and decorating. The remainder will be EggPops a nutritious egg on a stick. The AEB will provide volunteers with hats and aprons.

During the event AEB Chairman, Jeff Hardin and CEO Anne Alonzo will present the 40th Commemorative Egg on behalf of egg farmers to the White House

It is anticipated that the event will be low-key based on the size of the order for commemorative eggs with approximately half the number ordered compared to 2016. As yet, Congress has not received an allocation of tickets and invitations have not been released to Washington-area public schools and military families.  The Easter Egg Roll is normally attended by over 35,000 with as many as 1,000 volunteers in attendance.

Further information is available on the AEB website www.incredibleegg.org

   
 

Summit Livestock Facilities to Demonstrate “Wrap-the-Equipment” Design

Apr 14, 2017

    

Summit Livestock Facilities LLC and Rose Acre Farms have developed an innovative cage-free layer house with up to ten units under construction in Remington, IN. Summit and Rose Acre Farms will host a demonstration on Monday, April 16th.

Miles Ridgeway, president of Summit Livestock said “”Wrap-the-equipment customized designs are game-changers for the future demands of the industry”. Ed Bahler, CEO of Summit Livestock commented “We invented how a layer house could be built.”

  

For more information, contact Ms. Kathleen Erickson <Kathleen@ericksonconsult.com> or  (765) 523-3124.

   
 

CDC Orders Recall of Cheese Products

Apr 13, 2017

    

Following an extensive multi-state epidemiologic investigation involving both traditional “shoe leather” interviews and inspections and advanced molecular analysis, the Food and Drug Administration has identified soft cheese manufactured with raw milk as the source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection.

The extensive outbreak hospitalized six patients with two fatalities. The source of infection was Vulto Creamery in Walton, NY. The outbreak strain of Listeria was identified in the plant, from intact packaged product and corresponded to isolates from patients applying whole genome sequencing.

  

This outbreak is yet a further demonstration that raw milk should not be consumed or used for the manufacture of any dairy product. A second consideration is that FDA and CDC are using whole genome sequencing to positively establish the vehicle of infection and the plant of origin in food-borne outbreaks. This technique will definitively identify the flock of origin of an egg-borne infection should it occur.

   
 

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Apr 12, 2017

        

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday April 10th recorded the start of corn planning as expressed in the table below:-

WEEK ENDING

Crop

April 2nd

April 9th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted

N/A

4%

3%

 

 

 

 

Soybeans Planted

N/A

N/A

 

 

Parameter

V. short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

                              Past Year

3

6

10

18

66

68

2

11

 

 

 

 

 

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

                              Past Year

3

4

13

17

69

68

15

11

   
 

MARCH 2017 USDA EX-FARM BENCHMARK PRICE RISES BUT NEGATIVE MARGINS PERSIST

Apr 10, 2017

    

Introduction.

Comments supplementing the production summary tables for the latest series reflecting USDA March 2017 statistics and prices made available by the EIC on April 5th 2017, are tabulated together with comparison values from the previous March 13th 2017 posting.

  

EGG-CITE summarizes weekly USDA data on egg production and prices in each edition.

The USDA reports data for six regions, respectively comprising the Northeast, South East (Mid-Atlantic), South Central, Midwest, Northwest and California (NW and California combined in some tables)

  • The USDA ex farm benchmark blended egg price in March 2017 rose 19.4 percent to 45.0 cents per dozen, compared to February yielding a negative margin of 15.2 cents per dozen as delivered from the laying house. The March 2017 value should be compared to 66.9 cents per dozen for the corresponding month in 2016 and 124.1 cents per dozen in March 2015. It is noted that from November 2014 through March 2015, prices were inflated in anticipation of implementation of California Proposition #2 effective January 1st 2015 and then at the end of this period by the seasonal pre-Easter rise. Thereafter prices responded positively to shortages caused by HPAI in the upper Midwest with a peak in August 2015.
  • During March 2017 feed price averaged 32.3 cents per dozen and averaged 32.6 cents per dozen during the first Quarter of 2017. Feed cost during 2015 averaged 34.9 cents per dozen. The average feed cost in 2014 was 43.2 cents per dozen in contrast to 2013 which was considerably higher at 50.12 cents per dozen, reflecting the drought-affected crop of 2012.
  • Combining data from the USDA and the EIC (formerly data from the University of California), producers recorded a negative margin of 15.2 cents per dozen at farm level for flocks in March compared to a negative margin of 23.5 cents per dozen in February. The cumulative loss for the first Quarter of 2017 was 50.8 cents per dozen. The algebraic average margin for 2016 was -9.6 cents per dozen with losses experienced for eight consecutive months.  Ex-farm margin for 2015 amounted to a monthly average of 74.5 cents per dozen. For 2014, average ex-farm contribution margin was 33.9 cents per dozen with all months positive.
  • The simple average price of feed for March 2017 over 5-regions was $205.75, 2.5 percent lower than February. The Southeast recorded the highest cost among five regions at $238.54 compared to the lowest region, the Midwest at $174.37 per ton. The average figure includes ingredients plus milling and delivery at approximately $10 per ton. The benchmark price of corn was $179.9 per ton in March, unchanged from February. A decrease of 3.1 percent in the price of soybean meal from $354 per ton in February to $343 per ton in March contributed to the fall in the cost of feed. There was a $71 per ton differential in corn price between the Midwest and the Southeast in March. Feed price will continue to be the major factor driving production cost and hence margin. Each $10 per ton difference in feed cost represents 1.75 cents per dozen.
  • The EIC-calculated the 6-Region total nest-run production cost in March to be 60.24 cents per dozen, 1.5 percent lower than 61.18 cents per dozen recorded in February. Production costs during March ranged from 54.63 cents per dozen in the Midwest up to 76.42 cents per dozen in California which was higher than the Midwest region by 21.2 cents per dozen. The differential in feed cost between the extremes, the Southeast and the Midwest regions was 10.1 cents per dozen in March, unchanged from February.
  • Retail egg prices as determined by the Department of Commerce for February 2017 averaged 146.4 cents per dozen, down by 8.4 percent or 13.5 cents per dozen compared to January 2016. During February 2015 and 2016 retail prices were 208.8 cents per dozen (post-CA. Prop. #2) and 226.7 cents per dozen (post-AI restocking)  During 2016 and early 2017 retail prices did not decline in proportion to ex-farm prices allowing higher margins at retail thereby depressing demand.

Read the Full Report at http://egg-cite.com/statistics/single.aspx?contentID=9067

   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, April 5th 2017

Apr 7, 2017

    

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol.64: No. 14) posted on April 3rd Midwest-the wholesale price for Extra Large was unchanged and Large increased by one percent following successive 11 percent and 25 percent weekly increases after coming off the lowest values of 2017. 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 49 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.

Hen numbers this week were relatively stable increasing by 700,000 this past week. The population is still at a high level relative to demand with approximately 310.8 million in production. Hens in lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. The total egg-flock comprises 317.5 million including hens in molt and small flocks. Generic shell-egg stock increased by 0.3 percent demonstrating fluctuation in the ongoing imbalance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory of 30.4 million pounds (13,818 metric tons) as of February 28th is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products at 41.4 million pounds (18,669 metric tons) on February 28th.    

INVENTORY

Cold storage stocks in selected regions on March 27th 2017 amounted to 3.044 million pounds (1,384 metric tons), 2.2 percent below the stock of 3.115 million pounds during the week of March 1st. 2017.

The latest monthly USDA Cold Storage Report released on March 22nd documented a total stock of 41.071 million pounds (18,669 metric tons) of frozen egg products on February 28th 2017. This was up 9.8 percent from February 29th 2016. Approximately 85 percent of inventory comprised the categories of “Whole and Mixed” (32.1 percent) and “Unclassified” (52.7 percent).

The national stock of generic shell eggs on April 3rd was higher by 0.3 percent this past week, compared to a 9.3 percent increase in inventory during the previous week. Four regions showed increases in inventory. The Midwest Region was down 6 percent (an 18.1 percent weekly swing) compared to the previous week at 407,300 cases. This region was followed in decreasing order of stock level by the Southeast Region unchanged at 293,400 cases; the South Central Region up by 7.1 percent to 270,300 cases; the Southwest Region up by 0.6 percent to 212,400 cases, the Northwest Region up by 4.7 percent to 126,900 cases and the Northeast up by 4.5 percent to 119,200 cases

The total USDA Six-Area stock of commodity eggs comprised 1,664,700 cases, of which 85.9 percent were shell eggs. The inventory of breaking stock was down 11.8 percent to 235,300 cases. The price of breaking stock this week reflects the availability of eggs from both mature and young flocks in relation to the demand for generic eggs.

Specialty egg inventory was up by 4.3 percent to 184,300 cases with organic stock comprising 46.3 percent of inventory, up from 44.0 percent during the previous week. Recent data suggests a fluctuating build in the stock of USDA Certified Organic product. This is attributed to an apparent trend by consumers to purchase less-expensive brown cage-free product over more costly organic eggs. During the past week the retail price of cage-free brown rose 13.1 percent, or 35 cents per dozen to $3.03 per dozen while USDA Certified Organic rose by 7.9 percent or 30 cents per dozen to $4.08 per dozen, narrowing the price differential slightly to $1.05 per dozen (was $1.10 per dozen last week).  Large week-to-week fluctuations can be expected in the stock of specialty and organic eggs based on the small base of these categories.

According to the latest monthly USDA Cage-free Hen Report for April 3rd the number of hens held in other than conventional cages during March increased 3.7 percent for organic and increased 7.0 percent for cage-free flocks.:-

Total U.S. flock held for USDA Certified production = 14.5 million   (was 14.0 million, March)

Total U.S. flock held for cage-free production            =  26.1 million   (was 24.4 million, March)

Total U.S. non-caged flock                                         = 40.6 million (13.0 percent of a nominal 310 million flock but 20.3 percent of a nominal flock of 200 million held for shell-egg production)                                                                                                                    

For the week ending March 25th eggs processed under FSIS inspection increased 2.3 percent from the previous week to a level of 1,454,282 cases. The proportion of eggs broken by in-line complexes reached 55.5 percent, a decrease from 57.5 percent last week. During the corresponding week in 2016 in-line breakers processed 47.2 percent of eggs including imports, denoting the severe mortality affecting approximately eight large in-line complexes affected by HPAI in 2015. 

The price range for breaking stock delivered to Central plants on April 4th was unchanged over a range of 36 to 40 cents per dozen. The price of checks increased to a range of 24 to 26 cents per dozen representing a throw-away price well below the average cost of production for nest-run, estimated by the EIC at 60 cents per dozen for February 2016.

   
 

Albertsons Companies to Source Cage-Free Eggs for Liquids

Apr 7, 2017

    

On March 29th, Albertsons Companies announced that liquid egg would be added to their commitment to source cage-free eggs by 2025.

Shane Sampson, Chief Marketing and Merchandising officer stated “We recognize that as the second largest supermarket chain in the U.S. our decisions can impact the entire supermarket industry especially when it comes to doing the right thing for the right reason.” He added “Broadening our cage-free commitment will keep the conversation going and hopefully continue the industry’s work in humane sourcing and corporate social responsibility.”

   
   
 

Cargill Reports 3rd Quarter 2017 Results

Apr 7, 2017

    

In a press release dated March 29th, Cargill Inc. reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 ended February 28, 2017. The company posted revenues of $27.3 billion up 8 percent from the corresponding third quarter in Fiscal 2016 at $25.2 billion.

Operating earnings advanced from $476 million in Q3 of Fiscal 2016 to $715 million for the most recent quarter. Net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 applying U.S. GAAP amounted to $650 million, 42% higher than $459 million in Q3 of fiscal 2016.

  

In commenting on results, David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO of Cargill, stated “We had strong results this quarter across our segments, evidence that we are on the right path forward.” He added “Gains in food ingredients, animal protein and industrials as well as progress by teams around the company to bring customers the full benefits of what Cargill has to offer were responsible for the improvements.”

Earnings in the Animal Nutrition and Protein (ANP) Segment rose “significantly.”

MacLennan noted higher consumer demand for beef in the U.S. and also food service demand for egg products following restocking of flocks depleted by the 2015 avian influenza epidemic. The company commented on competitive pressure in China and Russia and avian influenza in Korea and Japan as impacting global animal nutrition sales.

Cargill, which is a privately held company, has the ability to divert earnings from shareholder dividends to charitable ventures. The Company renewed contributions to the Feeding America program to relieve hunger. A three-year $3 million grant will provide children and families with greater access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education and diabetes prevention.

Cargill also announced a three-year $7 million extension of its partnership with CARE, a prominent humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

MacLennan noted “Our purpose is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.” He added “We are proud of the broad and positive impact that arises from the combination of the work we do every day, our partnerships and contributions and volunteering in our communities.”

   
 

Hampton Creek CEO Claims SEC-DOJ Investigations Concluded

Apr 6, 2017

    

Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek, noted in a statement posted on Food Dive that the investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have been been concluded without action.

 

In August, Bloomberg published reports which have not been denied that Hampton Creek employed freelance and company employees to repurchase Just Mayo® from store shelves creating the false impression of consumer demand.

 A concurrent posting by Sara O’Brien on March 24th on CNN Tech quoted Amr Razzak, an attorney representing Hampton Creek, that the DOJ had advised  that the inquiry into Hampton Creek had been closed. According to observers, Hampton Creek has raised $120 million in venture capital funding.

In a related matter, Andrew Noyes, previously Corporate Communications Head at Uber, has joined the company as Senior Director of Communications.

   
 

Nomination of Dr. Sonny Purdue to be considered by the Senate

Apr 6, 2017

Sonny Perdue

    

Following the positive vote of the Senate Agricultural Committee the nomination of Dr. Sonny Purdue will be moved to the full Senate. It is not known when the vote will take place.

Since he was not confirmed during the first week of April, the Senate recess will delay confirmation until the end of the month.

Despite the fact that the Department of Agriculture is without a Secretary, the Senate spent time embroiled in debate over Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch and rescinding regulations introduced during the previous Administration.

  

   
 

Initiative to produce new antibiotics in the UK

Apr 6, 2017

    

Partly as a result of the O’Neill report, a consortium comprising UK biotech companies with cooperation from counterparts in the U.S. will make available up to $48 million in funding to expedite development of new antibiotics.

The group known as CARB-X (Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) would invest initially $24 million among 11 biotechnology companies. Depending on progress, an additional $24 million will be available. Three of the eleven projects will involve new classes of antibiotics.

  

Dr. Tim Jinks of the Wellcome Trust stated “Without effective drugs, doctors cannot treat patients.” He added “antibiotic resistance is a huge global health challenge and is getting worse.” The Executive Director of CARB-X, Keven Outterson of Boston University stated “By accelerating promising research it is our hope that we can speed up the delivery of new effective antibacterials, vaccines, devices in rapid diagnostics to patients who need them.

   
 

USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

Apr 6, 2017

    

Based on the growing importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders.

EGG-CITE will summarize and comment on data and trends in a monthly Cage-Free Report, supplementing the information presented weekly in the Production and Pricing Report.

  

 

The report for the month of March 2017 released on April 3rd 2017 provides the following data:-

Flock Size (million hens)

February ‘17*       March ‘17

Certified Organic

13.5                 14.5

Cage-free hens

23.5                26.1

Total non-caged

 37.0                40.6

*Unchanged from previous month suggesting that USDA is determining hen population quarterly.

Rate of lay   74.3 percent

 

Average weekly production (1,000 cases)

Certified Organic

209.344

Cage-free

376,819

Total non-caged

586,163

 

Average Wholesale Contract Price C-F, L. Brown

$1.64/doz. (unchanged)

Range  (unchanged)

$1.45 to $2.00/doz

 

Average Advertised National Retail Price C-F, L, Brown

$2.90/doz

USDA 6-Region

High (S. West)

$3.14/doz.

 

Low (S’east)

$2.82/doz.

 

   
 

LIPHATECH CONFIRMS COMPETITIVE ATTRACTION TO CANNON™ SOFT BAIT

Apr 6, 2017

    

Liphatech has produced a time-lapse video using infrared cinematography to demonstrate the competitive attraction of Cannon™ soft bait compared to wax blocks containing bromethalin. 

 

The video speaks for itself showing avid consumption of bait leading to a profound decline in rat population in the subject dairy operation.

Details of the Liphatech range of pest management solutions can be obtained from the company website by clicking on the Cannon® logo on the right side of the welcome page.

See for yourself in this time-lapse video, rodents clearly choosing to consume NEW Cannon™ Soft Bait over the competitive bromethalin wax blocks. To learn more about controlling rodents and the world’s first bromethalin soft bait, view at:

   
 

North Carolina State University Poultry Science Department Receives USPOULTRY Recruiting Grant

Apr 5, 2017

    

The USPOULTRY Foundation has awarded a student recruitment grant of $26,000 to the North Carolina State University, Prestage Department of Poultry Science. 

The grant was made possible by an endowing Foundation gift from the Stanley Frank Family Foundation.

Total student recruiting grants in 2016 amounted to $291,000 with 32 colleges and universities receiving funding.

  

   
 

CME PRICES

Apr 5, 2017

On March 31st 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 week of March 17th are indicated in parentheses:-

   

COMMODITY

Corn (cents per bushel)

May ’17   346    (353)

July ’17     372  (  360)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

May ’17   994    (997)

July ’17     955  (1,006)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

May ’17   308     (327)   

July ’17     311   (  331)   

   

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

  • Corn:                     May quotation down by 7 cents                  (-2.0 percent)
  • Soybeans:            May quotation down by 3 cents.                 (-0.3 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    May quotation down by $20/ton           (-5.8) 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 March 9th USDA-WASDE Report #563 for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced in the 2016 season.