Egg Industry News

 

Cage Free Housing Systems

Mar 24, 2017

    

In reviewing equipment offered by both U.S. and EU manufacturers at the 2017 IPPE and at the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention it is evident that our ‘cage-free’ market is now characterized by five distinctly different systems each with its own advantages and features relating to density, acceptability by flocks, and contribution to performance. 

  

The most important considerations weighed by potential purchasers relates to acceptability by customers. It is indeed unfortunate that decision makers among the major supermarkets, wholesale-club and QSR chains have little experience in production. They are frequently misguided by self-appointed welfare experts or they misinterpret published or posted data. 

This may have profound implications for a producer intending to supply a chain based on a short-term arrangement but with a financial commitment to a system of upwards of 15 years.

Read the Full Article at http://egg-cite.com/articles/single.aspx?contentID=8963

   
 

Biomin Reports on Mycotoxin Content of 2016 Corn Crop

Feb 24, 2017

    

US feed and livestock producers should carefully monitor mycotoxin contamination in ingredients and feed, based on results in the latest BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.

For 2016 in the United States, a total of 387 corn samples sourced from over 26 different states and 79 DDGS samples sourced from 14 different states were analyzed in three different laboratories (Romer Labs Inc., USA; Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University, USA; Activation Laboratories, Canada) in order to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production by six major mycotoxin groups.

  

The survey results provide an insight to the prevalence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM), T-2 toxin (T-2), and ochratoxin A (OTA).In total, 387 corn samples and 79 distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) samples were sourced from across the US in 2016. Approximately 90% of corn samples and all DDGS samples tested positive for at least one mycotoxin.

Read the Full Sponsored Article at http://egg-cite.com/articles/single.aspx?contentID=8784

   
 

Starbucks Promotes Eggs in Stores

Jan 27, 2017

    

Starbucks will be expanding offerings of food items and snacks which currently account for twenty percent of U.S. sales. 

The company has introduced a breakfast novelty Sous Vide Egg Bites. 

These vacuumed-sealed eggs are cooked in hot water bath and are available as either a bacon and Gruyere flavor or as egg whites with roasted red pepper.

  

   
 

Avian Influenza in Asia

Jan 27, 2017

    

Taiwan has confirmed the fourth outbreak of H5N2 avian influenza in in a Yunlin County chicken farm.  The three previous cases occurred in the same county adjacent to the western coast of the island Nation.

South Korea is still in the process of controlling an outbreak of H5N6 avian influenza which to date has resulted in depopulation of 28 million laying hens creating a crisis in the supply of eggs.

  

China reports having culled 175,000 birds of various species and has closed poultry markets in cities where cases of H7N9 avian influenza have occurred among consumers.  A goose farm near the city of Hunan has been depopulated but there was no indication of the serotype involved.

After reporting a number of cases of H5N6 avian influenza including a recent diagnosis in an egg-producing unit, authorities in Japan have not encountered any additional outbreaks although surveillance is at a high level.

   
 

State of Maine Will Not Pursue Charges Over HSUS Video

Jan 27, 2017

    

Despite extensive publicity generated by the HSUS alleging improper management of flocks we not substantiated. The complex located in Turner, ME. is operated by Hillandale Farms but leased from Austin “Jack” DeCoster. 

The HSUS released a video purporting to show retention of dead birds in cages, rodent infestation and improper handling and disposal of manure. 

  

The State of Maine investigated the farm as it has on many previous occasions and a determination was made not to pursue animal cruelty charges.

   
 

CDC Assigns Funds to Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

Jan 27, 2017

    

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with state and local health departments, universities and health care providers is collectively addressing the problem of antibiotic resistant pathogens in hospital and community settings.

A recent posting in the January 12, 2017 CDC and Food Safety Weekly Digest Bulletin noted the appropriation of $60 million to combat resistance.  Funds ranging from $400,000 in the territory of Puerto Rico to $7 million for the state of California will be allocated to the Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative.

  

Areas receiving funding will include:

  • Detection and response to both foodborne and other infections, some of which do not involve food or animal health include tuberculosis and gonorrhea.
  • Specific infections will be addressed including Clostridium difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

The objective of the initiative which will be included in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, will be to ensure that antibiotics protect human patients from life-threating infections and to protect patients from adverse drug events following administration of antibiotics.

The CDC website includes information on foodborne drug resistance, however the diagram is intended for public information notes that “when meat is not handled properly the bacteria can spread to humans” still enforcing the erroneous public perception that livestock is a major factor in emergence of drug resistance.

   
 

Iowa Egg Council Donates to Food Bank of Iowa

Jan 27, 2017

    

The Iowa Egg Council in cooperation with Fareway Stores delivered a truckload of eggs to the Food Bank of Iowa on Thursday January 19th.  The donation results from a campaign partnering Fareway and the Iowa Egg Council. 

A purchase of two dozen eggs from any Fareway location in the week preceding Christmas resulted in a donation of one dozen eggs to a food bank.  Katie Nola, Director of Consumer Affairs with the Iowa Egg Council stated “We are proud to partner with Fareway on this promotion to help Iowa’s food banks by providing eggs, an economical protein and essential provider of ingredients.”

  

Michelle Book, President & CEO of Food Bank of Iowa stated “This generous partnership between Iowa’s egg producers and Fareway Stores has provided us with a wonderful donation of healthful food that will make a difference for our neighbors in need. We are very grateful for their help and partnership.”

   
 

Hellmann’s to Source Only Cage-Free Eggs

Jan 27, 2017

    

In a January 23rd release, Unilever noted that that their subsidiary Hellmann’s will use only cage-free eggs for all branded mayonnaise and dressings.  This completes a commitment announced in 2010 to be completely convert to cage-free eggs by 2020.

Russel Lilly, marketing director at Hellmann’s stated “When our Company first made this commitment, there simply weren't enough cage-free hens in America to supply the volume of eggs needed. 

 

The sheer number of eggs that go into Hellmann's products means we had to completely rebuild our supply chain in order to make our goal a reality.”  From the figures quoted in the press release, it was evident that Hellmann’s requires 1.15 million hens in production to satisfy their requirements.

Hellmann’s initiated an integrated marketing campaign, “On The Side of Food” including TV spots on January 23rd.

   
 

HumaneWatch to Target HSUS

Jan 27, 2017

    

HumaneWatch.org a non-profit under the management of the Center for Consumer Freedom will air advertisements on the Fox News Channel posing the question “Would You?” 

The purpose of the advertisement is to dissuade donors from contributing to the HSUS since the Society apparently does not operate any animal shelters and according to IRS returns assigns only one percent of its approximately $100 million annual revenue to companion animals.

The advertisement will advise potential donors to support local shelters.

The video may be viewed on www.youtube.com/watch?v=tln4tVJMzNA

   
   
 

U.S. Eggs on the Shelf in South Korea

Jan 27, 2017

    

In advance of the Lunar New Year, South Korea was forced to import six million eggs (500,000 dozen) by air freight to compensate for the loss of approximately 28 million laying hens as a result of H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza. 

Eggs soared sixty percent in price following the outbreak of the disease in November and U.S. shell eggs were priced at $2.90 per dozen in a deep discount store in Seoul.  A total of 25 million eggs will have to have landed in South Korea before January 25th to take advantage of subsidized air freight.

  

South Korea will import 200,000 chicks and parent stock to replenish flocks with supplies from the U.S., Australia and Spain.  A surprising statement in the Reuters article states that “farms have to virus-free for three months before restocking”.  Replacement pullets if available can be placed on a depleted and decontaminated farm within 21 days of depopulation if it can be demonstrated that the farm environment is free of virus. 

The three-month period in all probability relates to the OIE stipulation of freedom from cases of H5 and H7 avian influenza in a region or nation before declaring eradication of infection.  It is of course a biological reality that a rearing period of 19 weeks is required before hens produce eggs.

   
 

CME Prices

Jan 27, 2017

    

On January 26th at close of trading on the CME, rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal are shown. Values for corresponding months as quoted for the previous week are indicated in parentheses:-

COMMODITY

Corn (cents per bushel)

March ’17   364    (370)

May ’17     371  (   376)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)     

March ’17  1,048  (1,077)

May ’17  1,058  (1,075)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

March ’17   342     (370)   

May ’17     345   (  377)   

     

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

  • Corn:                     March quotation down by 6 cents                (-1.6 percent)
  • Soybeans:            March quotation down by 25 cents.             (-2.7 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    March quotation down by $26/ton              (-7.6 percent)

The escalation in the price of soybeans resulting from a projected 1.2 percent lower 2016/17 production and 12.5 percent lower residual stock as documented in the January 12th USDA WASDE Report has now abated with a decline in the cost of both soybeans and meal.                                 

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 January 12th USDA-WASDE Report #561 for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced in the 2016 season.

   
 

CME Prices

Jan 24, 2017

    

On January 20th  at close of trading on the CME yielded rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal as shown with values for corresponding months  indicated in parentheses:-

   

COMMODITY

Corn (cents per bushel)

March ’17   370    (359)

May ’17       376  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

March ’17  1,077  (1,055)

May ’17    1,075  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

March ’17   370     (314)   

May ’17       376   

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

  • Corn:                     March quotation up by 11 cents                (+3.0 percent)
  • Soybeans:            March quotation up by 22 cents.               (+2.1 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    March quotation up $56/ton                      (+17.8 percent)

The escalation in the price of soybeans resulted from a projected 1.2 percent lower 2016/17 production and 12.5 percent lower residual stock as documented in the January 12th USDA WASDE Report.                                 

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 January 12th USDA-WASDE Report #561 for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced in the 2016 season.

   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, January 18th 2016

Jan 20, 2017

    

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on January 16th Midwest-wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large sizes stabilized after a two-week post-Christmas decline by rising two percent this past week. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The USDA Egg Market News Reports released on January 16th documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.70 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and is compared to a peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015. 

 

The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.64 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region, attained $0.74 per dozen. The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 40 cents per dozen below the three-year average. In early 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of all eggs.

Hen numbers continue to show stability but at a high level relative to demand attaining approximately 307 million in production. Hens actually in lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. For the past week the number of hens declined by an inconsequential 100,000 to 306.9 million. The total egg-flock is 311.6 million including hens in molt. Generic shell-egg stock declined by 6.8 percent reflecting the balance between post-holiday demand and production. Dried-egg inventory of 28 million pounds is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products.    

INVENTORY

 Cold storage stocks in selected regions on January 9th 2017 amounted to 2.991 million pounds, 1.6 percent above the stock of 2.945 million pounds during the week of January 1st. 2016.

The latest monthly USDA Cold Storage Report released on December 23rd documented a total stock of 35,328 million pounds of frozen egg products on November 30th 2016. This was down 1.9 percent from November 30th 2015. Approximately 84 percent of inventory comprised the categories of “Whole and Mixed” (33.8 percent) and “Unclassified” (50.2 percent).

The national stock of generic shell eggs was down by 6.8 percent this past week, compared to a 4.5 percent decrease in inventory during the previous week. Four of the six regions showed declines in inventory. The Midwest was down double digits for the second consecutive week with a value of 10.4 percent lower during the past week to 339,100 cases. This region was followed in decreasing order of stock level by the Southeast which decreased by 1.2 percent to 268,500 cases; the South Central Region up by 0.3 percent to 249,400 cases, the Southwest down by 3.1 percent to 155,500 cases; the Northwest up by 9.8 percent to 122,500 cases and the Northeast Region down a significant 31.6 percent to 121,100 cases. 

The total USDA Six-Area stock of commodity eggs comprised 1,613,600 cases, of which 77.8 percent were shell eggs. The inventory of breaking stock was up 9.3 percent to 357,600 cases. The lower price for breaking stock this week reflects the availability of eggs from both mature and young flocks in relation to the falling demand for generic eggs.

Specialty egg inventory was down 8.7 percent compared to a decline of 5.2 percent the previous week, to 165,800 cases with organic stock comprising 51.7 percent of inventory (53.8 percent for 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 5.2 percent, or 15 cents per dozen to $3.00 per dozen while USDA Certified Organic eggs fell 7.7 percent, or 32 cents per dozen to $3.85 per dozen, narrowing the price differential to $0.85 per dozen ($1.32 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.

   
 

AMERICANS CONCERN OVER DIET

Jan 20, 2017

    

According to the Institute of Food Technologists The Weekly Post of January 18th, less than half of Americans consider their diet to be healthy. 

This finding emerged from a Mintel survey which showed that approximately one-third of consumers agree that healthy foods are worth their price. 

Of greater concern is the observation that only 16 percent trust the health claims on food and beverage packages and only a quarter accept that the USDA Dietary Guidelines are beneficial.

  

Billy Roberts Senior Food and Drink Analyst of Mintel stated, “With consumers largely wary of even regulator-approved options, marketing healthy foods to skeptical consumers requires far more than on-pack promises”.

Health-conscious and presumably affluent consumers are avoiding high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, trans-fats and saturated fat.  The social media and opponents of processed food including the pseudo-scientists have created concern over artificial ingredients, preservatives and flavors expressed by Vani Hari as “I won’t eat anything I cannot pronounce”.

There is still concern over genetically modified foods with 22 percent of respondents indicating that they will not consume them.  This proportion increases to 58 percent when consumers with a household income under $50,000 are sampled.

   
 

FOOD PRICES EXPECTED TO DECLINE IN 2016

Jan 20, 2017

    

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has reported a 1.5 percent decline in price for World commodity foods for a 5th consecutive year with 2016 values approximately 1.5 percent below 2015. 

The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) considers cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar.

   
   
 

AMERICANS CONCERN OVER DIET

Jan 20, 2017

    

According to the Institute of Food Technologists The Weekly Post of January 18th, less than half of Americans consider their diet to be healthy.  This finding emerged from a Mintel survey which showed that approximately one-third of consumers agree that healthy foods are worth their price. 

Of greater concern is the observation that only 16 percent trust the health claims on food and beverage packages and only a quarter accept that the USDA Dietary Guidelines are beneficial.

 

Billy Roberts Senior Food and Drink Analyst of Mintel stated, “With consumers largely wary of even regulator-approved options, marketing healthy foods to skeptical consumers requires far more than on-pack promises”.

Health-conscious and presumably affluent consumers are avoiding high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, trans-fats and saturated fat.  The social media and opponents of processed food including the pseudo-scientists have created concern over artificial ingredients, preservatives and flavors expressed by Vani Hari as “I won’t eat anything I cannot pronounce”.

There is still concern over genetically modified foods with 22 percent of respondents indicating that they will not consume them.  This proportion increases to 58 percent when consumers with a household income under $50,000 are sampled.

   
 

KEMIN ORGANIC ORO GLO® AVAILABLE

Jan 20, 2017

    

Kemin Industries can supply USDA Certified Organic ORO GLO® yolk pigmenter.  The product is derived from marigold petals cultivated in certified organic fields and is manufactured to USDA National Organic Program Standards.  Supplementing diets with Organic ORO GLO increases the intensity of yolk color, achieving levels of 7 to 10 on the DSM YolkFan™.  The additive also supplies lutein, which is a necessary nutrient to maintain ocular function, especially in the elderly.

  

Organic ORO GLO contains 4.5 grams of xanthophyll per pound.  Consistency in composition allows nutritionists to formulate diets to achieve standard yolk color.

Until the release of Organic ORO GLO, nutritionists had to rely on organic alfalfa to provide xanthophyll to supplement the contribution from corn.  The xanthophyll content of organic alfalfa and corn vary considerably, contributing to variability in color.  This is an important marketing attribute as purchasers of Certified Organic Eggs correlate intense color with quality.

Further information, free sample requests and a video on Kemin Organic ORO GLO is available at www.kemin.com/organicoroglo.

   
 

PLACING SOUTH KOREAN EGG EXPORTS IN PERSPECTIVE

Jan 20, 2017

    

News reports suggests that South Korea will import 1,500 tons of shell eggs before the Lunar New Year holiday commencing January 28th.  This represents approximately 15 air-freight loads of 100 tons each.  A ton represents 16,700 eggs, assuming an average egg weight 60 grams and requires the production of 21,400 hens for one day. 

  

Assuming 1,500 tons will be imported by South Korea from the U.S. over two weeks, 69,000 cases will be shipped over an approximately 20-day period representing the output of 1.7 million hens or 0.3 percent of the 307 million birds in production. The projected quantity of 69,000 cases can be compared to the Midwest shell egg inventory of 378,500 cases during the first week of January 2017.

The 1,500 metric tons of shell eggs to be air-freighted is the tip of the iceberg.  If South Korea has in fact depleted 28 million hens, the U.S. and Spain and possibly other suppliers will have to supply the progressively declining shortfall over at least 14 months until producers in South Korea restock their farms following the pattern in the U.S. after the spring 2015 HPAI epornitic. 

Assuming that the U.S. is sufficiently competitive on price and quality attributes to supply half of the requirement of South Korea, exports could divert eggs from as many as 14 million hens out of the domestic supply or close to 5 percent of our production. It is presumed that both shell eggs and egg products will be shipped by sea-freight in competition with Spain, Ukraine, Poland and possibly India.

   
 

Hickman’s Family Farms Ships Eggs to South Korea

Jan 20, 2017

    

Six trailer loads comprising a 100-ton consignment of shell eggs were shipped to South Korea on January 12th followed by at least three additional flights scheduled for succeeding weeks.  Six loads represents approximately 1.6 million eggs which is the capacity of air freighters.  The Hickman’s consignment of 300 tons of shell eggs represent the output of 950,000 hens over a week.

  

Since the outbreak of H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza in South Korea, approximately 28 million hens have been depleted resulting in a 74 percent increase in the retail price to $3.20 per dozen since mid-November.

   
 

Reduced Spending Power Drives Consumers to Home-Cooked Meals

Jan 20, 2017

    

Food Navigator reported that the NPD Research Group documented a four percent drop in lunch visits to restaurants during the second quarter of 2016 with a concomitant six percent decline in casual dining and a nine percent reduction in the fast casual segment.

Civic Science a second consumer research group confirmed this trend for the six months ending September 15th with fewer visits to QSRs. 

  

A desire to reduce spending is reawakening an interest in home-cooked meals which are considerably less expensive given both food deflation and competition among supermarket chains.  A wider range of meal kits and prepared foods has also stimulated the trend towards dining-in. 

Although food costs have declined, many consumers are concerned over escalation in health insurance and education which has been partly offset by lower expenditures on fuel and mortgage repayments, given the low interest rates which prevail.  Consumers are however paying more for connectivity with their involvement in social media and sophisticated video subscriptions and entertainment.

   
 

SQF Institute to Upgrade Edition 8

Jan 20, 2017

    

The SQF Institute is soliciting public comment on the 8th Edition SQF certification requirements.

For further information and to review proposed changes, access www.sqfi.com.  Comments will close on February 6th but it is anticipated that completed draft SQF Codes will be issued by mid-March. 

There will be a six month implementation period from release of the draft to publication.

  

   
 

Supermarket and Retail Chains Announce Closings

Jan 20, 2017

    

Giant Eagle will close five supermarkets in Cleveland and Columbus in addition to Get Go fuel locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Wal-Mart Stores will close neighborhood market locations in Chicago, presumably due to low traffic and margins.

 In contrast Sprouts Farmers Market will open 11 new stores in the second quarter of 2017 concentrating on Florida which will mark the first appearance of the banner. Wegmans is expanding in New Jersey and North Carolina.

  

The retail segment of the economy is suffering from low revenue especially traditional big-box stores.  Sears Holdings announced closure of 150 locations including 180 Kmart and 42 Sears stores in both shopping centers and malls.

   
 

Alltech Contributes to Agriculture in China

Jan 20, 2017

    

In an initiative to improve soil quality and the environment in China, Alltech has joined the Soil and Fertilizer Alliance (SAFC) of that Nation.  Alltech guided by its founding ACE principle of benefiting livestock, consumers and the environment has joined the Alliance. 

Dr. Mark Lyons, Global Vice President and head of Greater China has been named Vice President.  He commented “Alltech and the SAFC share a common goal to integrate livestock, feeding and crop industries more efficiently and to work together towards a more sustainable future.” 

  

Lyons added “Alltech has solutions to help livestock farmers reduce pollution in animal manure. We are composting manure to a higher quality of organic fertilizer and improving crop and animal health by adding nutritional value more naturally through our research-based technologies”.

   
 

“No Hormone” Labeling

Jan 20, 2017

    

Jason Julian, an agriculture marketing specialist with USDA has interpreted FDA label rules relating to claims for products described as “free of hormones”.  Apparently the FDA will allow “no hormone” claims on placards, inserts, egg cartons and sleeves providing the claim is qualified by the statement “no hormones added to the laying hen feed”.  If the “no hormone” claim is on the exterior of the carton, the qualifier must be placed on the inside-lid.

  

Since hormones are not used in producing eggs, it is disingenuous for any marketer to make a non-hormone claim.  By doing so it implies that egg not bearing the designation may in fact contain hormones from supplements which is fallacious. 

By the same token eggs which do not contain gluten should not be labeled “gluten free” since this implies that special procedures were applied to produce a gluten-free egg which is misleading as an attribute claim.

   
 

Big Dutchman to Introduce the Villa Flex® Aviary System at the IPPE

Jan 20, 2017

    

Following extensive evaluation and development in the EU, the Villa Flex® hybrid aviary/colony system will be available in the U.S.  The system which is supplied in two or three tier configuration will allow useable space beneath the lowest tier.  Alternative multi-story designs are available with up to four levels. 

  

Features of the system include:

  • Extra-wide egg belts on all tiers
  • Easy-access doors to confine the flock following transfer, to allow pullets to locate feed, water and nests
  • A hinged egg belt cover to allow inspection of the egg trays
  •  Feeder circuits and water lines on each tier
  • Perches strategically located for the comfort of the flock and to conform to welfare requirements
  • Nests are located on each tier to limit floor-laid eggs

   
 

Government of South Korea to Subsidize Shipment of Egg Imports

Jan 20, 2017

    

Based on the serious shortage of shell eggs and egg products the Government of South Korea announced that approximately $800,000 will be made available to support air and seaborne shipment of imported eggs. The Government of South Korea will subsidize air freight to the value of $830 per ton representing approximately one-third of the freight cost of $2,500 per ton which relates to $1.85 per dozen or with subsidy $1.24 per dozen to be borne by consumers.

  

 A particular concern is demand during the approaching Lunar New Year holiday season commencing January 28th.

Reuters indicated that a group of wholesalers had chartered a Korean Airlines flight with a capacity of 100 tons to bring shell eggs from the U.S. departing January 16th.  This report is consistent with a Yonhap News posting on January 9th citing a shipment of 1.64 million eggs or 4,555 cases. It is estimated that the eggs would weigh close to 97 tons with an allowance for packaging material and containers.

   
 

AVIAN INFLUENZA GAINS GROUND IN BULGARIA

Jan 20, 2017

    

Authorities in Bulgaria will cull 430,000 birds on 55 poultry farms as a result of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza. 

As with many EU nations, both ducks and chickens are affected. It is presumed that infection is introduced by migratory birds which shed H5N8 virus.

   
   
 

CONSUMPTION OF EGGS IMPROVES COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE

Jan 19, 2017

    

A study conducted in Finland involving 2,500 adult men showed no increase in the prevalence of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in a longitudinal study conducted over 22 years.

A subset of 480 men showed that regular consumption of eggs was associated with improved executive function and frontal lobe performance. 

The improvements were attributed to “bioactive compounds such as lutein, zeaxanthin and choline in eggs.

   
   
 

Sonny Perdue Nominated as Secretary of Agriculture

Jan 18, 2017

Sonny Perdue

    

Dr. George Ervin (‘Sonny’) Perdue III, a previous Governor of Georgia, has been nominated by President-elect Donald J. Trump as the next Secretary of Agriculture.

Perdue was born in Perry, GA. in 1946 and is a graduate of the University of Georgia earning BS and DVM degrees.  He practiced as a Veterinarian before becoming a business owner supplying ingredients and agricultural requirements. He served in the US Air Force attaining the rank of Captain.

In 1998 he switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and was re-elected to the State Senate in 1998 and 2000.  Perdue was the 81st governor of Georgia serving from 2003 through 2011 and was the first Republican to serve in the position since reconstruction.

Perdue and his wife Mary were married in 1972; they have 4 children and 14 grandchildren and have fostered 8 children.

He is an acknowledged friend of the poultry industry and during his term of office as Governor worked to encourage exports.

  

   
 

Preventing Cannibalism by Controlling Beak Length

Jan 18, 2017

    

The control of beak length which reduces cannibalism in floor-housed flocks is a problem especially in nations where beak trimming and beak treatment are disallowed.  Big Dutchman has introduced the Pick Puck™ installation which promotes pecking and removes the hook from the upper beak. 

 

Introduced in Germany and scheduled for display at the Big Dutchman Booth at the IPPE (B 8415) the suspended unit functions as intended and is also a valuable enrichment in floor systems.  The unit comprises a pendulum attached to a small hopper which swings above the house floor.  When hens peck on the abrasive surface of the disc, beak tissue is worn down and feed granules are released encouraging the hens to scratch for grain in the litter.

   
 

CME Prices

Jan 18, 2017

    

On January 13th  at close of trading on the CME yielded rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal as shown with values for corresponding months  indicated in parentheses:-

COMMODITY

Corn (cents per bushel)

March ’17 359 (359)

May ’17          366    ( 367)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Jan.’17   996     (988)

March ’17    1,005   (996)

Soybean meal ($per ton)

Jan.’17   309     (309)   

March ’17      314     (313)

   

Changes in the price of soybeans and soybean meal this week were:-
Corn:                     March quotation unchanged.                         (0 percent)\
Soybeans:            January quotation up by 47 cents.               (+4.7 percent)
Soybean Meal:    January quotation up $20/ton                      (+6.4 percent)

The escalation in the price of soybeans resulted from 1.2 percent lower 2016/17 production and 12.5 percent lower residual stock as documented in the January 12th USDA WASDE Report.                                  

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 December USDA-WASDE Report #600 for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced in the 2016 season.

   
 

USDA - WASDE FORECAST #561, January 12th 2016

Jan 13, 2017

    

Overview

The January 12th 2017 USDA WASDE projections for the 2016/7 corn and soybean crops reflected actual harvest data. Areas for corn and soybeans were reduced to 86.7 million and 82.7 million acres respectively.

The USDA adjusted corn and soybean yields to 174.6 bushels per acre (down 0.4 percent) and 52.1 bushels per acre (down 0.8 percent). Ending stocks for corn and soybeans were projected at 2,355 million bushels and 280 million bushels respectively.

  

Corn

The corn harvest attained a near record of 15,148 million bushels. None of the major categories of use were appreciably changed as is normal for a post-harvest WASDE report. The projected USDA range in farm price incorporated a 60 cent per bushel spread and price was raised by 5 cents per bushel on either end of the range compared to the December 2016 WASDE Report, attaining 310 to 370 cents per bushel. At the close of trading on January 12th, CME quotations for March and July 2017 corn were 358 cents and 372 cents per bushel respectively.

The RFS for 2016 was belatedly determined to be 18.11 billion gallons by the EPA on November 30th 2015 (See Editorial in CHICK-CITE). The value was four percent higher than the May 2015 proposal of 17.4 billion gallons. It is doubtful that the incoming Administration will alter existing RFS levels given support of the Midwest agricultural sector to the election outcome and reinforced by assurances to corn-state legislators in early January 2017. A wild card will be the influence of the nominees for the EPA-Director and Secretary of Energy, both of whom favor the oil and refining industries of their home states and both have opposed the RFS. Business associates of the President-elect have recently commented adversely on the system of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) which affect the profitability of many domestic refineries. The coming year should emerge as an interesting exercise in power shifts with very little precedent to indicate future policy, giving rise to a potential soap opera to be called As the Swamp Drains.

The prevailing but stable historically low oil price reflects a slowing of World economic activity and increased oil and gas production in North America. Supply is a function of now restricted output from Saudi Arabia, lower production from Nigeria and Venezuela, resumption of supply from Iraq and Iran, and interference by Russia in Mideast affairs. Reduced output according to an OPEC “agreement” in early December are all contributory factors, determining the balance between supply and demand which is important to the livestock industry as oil price is correlated to grain prices. The WTI fluctuated between $45 and $52 per barrel during the past month.

   
 

AEB PROMOTING EGGS IN SCHOOLS

Jan 13, 2017

    

The AEB Smart Snack promotion has led to schools requesting packaging for hard-boiled eggs as nutritious snacks. This is a further example of AEB activities which boost consumption.

  

 

   
 

HARRIS TEETER TO ESTABLISH WILMINGTON NC. STORE

Jan 13, 2017

    

Harris Teeter has announced that it will erect a 76,000 foot2 store in Wilmington, NC., anticipated to open in 2019.

According to the Wilmington Business Journal, the store will anchor the Crossroads at Independence Shopping Center which will incorporate a Harris Teeter fuel-station.

  

Harris Teeter is a banner purchased by the Kroger Company in early 2014 in a $2.5 billion transaction.  The acquisition added 227 up-market stores in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic Regions together with distribution centers in Greensboro and Indian Trail, NC.

   
 

SPARTAN NASH COMPLETES ACQUISITIONS

Jan 13, 2017



    

Caito Food Services and Blue Ribbon Transport are now subsidiaries of Spartan Nash based in Grand Rapids, MI.  Dennis Edison, CEO and Chairman of Spartan Nash stated, “We are very pleased to complete the transaction with Caito Foods and Blue Ribbon Transport”.  He added, “Caito’s service area is complementary to our own current distribution footprint and we look forward to serving customers in new areas in addition to enhancing our offerings to existing customers”. 

  

Caito Food Service supplies fresh fruit and vegetables and floral products to food service distributors and groceries through a chain of distribution centers in Florida, Ohio and Indiana.

   
 

HAPPY EGG COMPANY ANNOUNCES EXPANSION

Jan 13, 2017

    

Since establishment of their operation in the U.S. in 2012, Happy Egg Company has expanded to 31 contract pasture farms and 4 organic farms with a total of 700,000 hens.  In accordance with the American Humane Association™ Free-Range Certified program, hens are allowed 22 foot2 of outdoor space with enrichments. To place the size of the Happy Egg Company operations in perspective, their total flock represents 2 percent of the U.S. non-caged flock of 36.6 million hens.

  

The Happy Egg Company is closely allied with Compassion in World Farming.  The Company donated $25,000 to the charity through a $1 donation for signatures received in the #FlockingHappy program introduced in February 2016. The Company received the “Good Egg Award” from Compassion in World Farming during the year.

   
 

PMSI Position Announcement

Jan 13, 2017

    

Poultry Management Systems Inc. (PMSI) is seeking to appoint a Sales Manager. Experience in sales within the egg production industry is preferred. College level education in animal production, agribusiness or engineering will be a strong plus. This position can be based anywhere in the U.S.

The Company offers a competitive compensation package and benefits. Please send you resume to Beth Velderman (HR Manager) at bvelderman@bigdutchmanusa.com.

  

PMSI provides solutions for environmental control, egg handling and counting, HACCP monitoring, control panels and case labelling. To learn more about PMSI visit www.pmsi.cc.

   
 

USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

Jan 13, 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 November issued on January 9th 2017 provides the following data:-

Flock Size (million hens)

December*       October

Certified Organic

14.1                 13.5

Cage-free hens

23.5                 17.0

Total non-caged

37.6                  30.5

*Unchanged from previous month
Rate of lay   75.3 percent


Average weekly production (1,000 cases)

Certified Organic

204,254

Cage-free

340,424

Total non-caged

544,678

Average Wholesale Contract Price C-F, L. Brown

$1.64/doz.

Range  (unchanged)

$1.30 to $2.22/doz

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

$2.99/doz

USDA 6-Region

High (S. West)

$4.45/doz.

 

Low (M’west)

$2.72/doz.

 

   
 

UK Experiences H5N8 Avian Influenza

Jan 13, 2017

    

On January 4th, veterinary authorities confirmed an outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza in a backyard operation in Carmarthenshire.  The flock was depleted following a preliminary indication of AI, possibly using a rapid immuno-assay system.  The isolated virus was subsequently identified as H5N8.  Authorities imposed an influenza prevention zone covering almost the entire areas of Wales and remained in place through January 6th.

  

The Environment Secretary of Wales, Lesley Griffiths said “this case of avian influenza H5N8 in a backyard flock follows the findings of infection in wild birds and a confirmed case in Lincolnshire.  The statement continued “it serves to reinforce the need for all bird keepers particularly backyard flocks to adhere to the requirements set out in the Prevention Zone, remain vigilant for signs of disease and practice good biosecurity at all times.”

Outbreaks have occurred recently in the UK including cases in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland and Somerset and Leicestershire counties in England.

   
 

Study Demonstrates Benefit of EPA and DHA Omega-3 Dietary Supplementation

Jan 13, 2017

    

A study funded by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA, an advocacy group composed of companies marketing nutritional supplements demonstrates the benefits of high intake of omega-3 fatty acids on heart disease.  Eighteen trials with 93,000 participants were reviewed. 

The study conducted by the EpidStat Institute demonstrated a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease in subjects with high serum triglycerides and a 14 percent lower risk in patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein. 

 

Dr. Dominik Alexander the lead researcher noted “collective evidence from all studies support a beneficial role of EPA and DHA on coronary heart disease and stronger associations were observed among those who may benefit acutely from supplementation.”

Dr. Chip Lavie of the University of the Queensland School of Medicine in Australia noted that consumers may benefit from boosting omega-3 intake by either consuming two meals of fish each week or from supplements.

It is possible to supply the daily suggested intake of DHA and hence essential omega-3 fatty acids in a single egg provided that diets of hens are supplemented with an algae-derived ingredient such as All-G-Rich® by Alltech.