23 OCT

USPOULTRY accepting fall research pre-proposals

USPOULTRY is accepting research pre-proposals from colleges and universities through November 1. Research proposals are accepted twice each year, in the spring and fall. A complete priority research list, including sub-topics and detailed instructions, is available on the USPOULTRY website. The list of research priorities includes the following: animal welfare, breeder management (broiler/turkey), broiler management, commercial egg production, diseases, employee safety and health, environmental management, feed mill operations, food safety, further processing, genetics, hatchery management, human nutrition, live haul, market turkey management, nutrition, poultry housing, pullet management, and processing. Go to www.uspoultry.org, and click on research for complete instructions and deadlines.
Proposals also are invited for new issues that emerge outside the list, but based on justification of the research need. Projects will be selected for funding in late March.
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23 OCT

Prop 37 losing support in California

In just a little more than three weeks, Californians will vote on Proposition 37, the Genetically Engineered Foods Right to Know Act, which would require labeling of food products made from genetically engineered crops. Food processors and agricultural groups, including the NCC, believe that such labeling will be used by anti-biotech activists to scare consumers. Additionally, such mandated labeling would violate the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) long-standing policy for labeling. Prop 37 once held a statewide lead by more than a 2-1 margin. In the latest poll conducted by the Pepperdine U. School of Public Policy and the California Business Roundtable, that lead has tightened – going from 48.3 percent to 40.2 percent, with undecided voters accounting for 11.5 percent.  Read More

23 OCT

Controversies in animal welfare

Animal welfare and improving, monitoring and evaluating it are a high priority for the American Meat Institute and its members. But animal welfare, specifically for cattle and swine, is a complex subject not without its own controversies.

At the 2012 AMI Animal Care & Handling Conference this week in Kansas City, veterinary experts discussed the interface between animal welfare and consumers.

Gail Golab, PhD, DVM, Dipl. ACAW, director of Animal Welfare for the American Veterinary Medical Association, said there are three areas of controversy. Read More

23 OCT

World’s top poultry exporter to focus on processed, push key brand globally

BRF Brasil Foods, the world’s largest poultry meat exporter, will focus on international expansion for its Sadia brand to help diversify global revenue and reduce exposure to volatile commodity prices, the company’s international marketing director in Brazil told Reuters.  A further migration to processed foods will also reduce dependence on commodities, add value and reduce earnings volatility, Fabio Camparini, international marketing director, told the newswire in Sao Paulo.  Read More

23 OCT

Ethanol relief vital to state’s cows

Attempts to clean up our air and to ensure that the nation has enough milk to drink are on a collision course.  As a result, the future of California’s dairy industry looks sour. Around 100 farms are expected to go bankrupt this year alone, and the trend seems likely to continue if nothing is done.  Because of the demand for grain to produce the gasoline additive ethanol – which was supposed to reduce air pollution – plus a nationwide drought, many of the state’s cash-strapped farmers are selling their cows for slaughter because they can’t afford to feed them. It’s a "perfect storm," says Colin Carter, professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis, that could spell trouble for the county’s milk supply – 1 out of 5 glasses of milk consumed in the United States comes from California cows. And the increasing price of grain is hurting all livestock industries. Read More

16 OCT

US poultry industry faces successes, challenges in 2011-2012

Poultry industry experts discussed the recent past of the U.S. chicken segment and the challenges in its near future at the National Chicken Council‘s 58th Annual Conference industry outlook panel, "The Path Forward," held on October 11.

Poultry companies did very well in 2009 and 2010, leading to industry growth, according to panelist Michael Popowycz, vice chairman and CFO for Case Foods. But 2011 was a different story. "Bird weights went up and it caused many of the problems we had in 2011," said Popowycz. "The oversupply coming in from 2010 into 2011 caused sales prices to drop significantly. At the same time, corn prices in 2011 jumped about $2.50 a bushel. Soybean meal prices jumped about $50 a ton." These costs added roughly $0.08 per pound to live production costs in 2011. Sales prices dropped and live production costs rose in the summer of 2011. There were several bankruptcy filings, and several other companies were sold. "The industry had to create additional cash, and the only way to create cash is to cut your inventories," he said. Read More

16 OCT

Something to gobble about: No crates or cages for Thanksgiving turkeys at Whole Foods Market®

Global Animal Partnership is a multi-stakeholder non-profit aiming to improve farm animal welfare by setting guidelines for raising practices and animal management in the form of the tiered 5-Step system. Whole Foods Market began using 5-Step ratings in 2011 on beef, pork and chicken sold in meat departments to provide customers with information about the way animals were raised. This year, GAP announced new standards for turkey.This Thanksgiving, thanks to Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP) 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating, Whole Foods Market shoppers can know exactly how turkeys were raised for their holiday meals. Whole Foods Market is the first national retailer to offer full transparency in regards to raising practices for turkeys sold in the meat department.  Read More 

16 OCT

Tyson Foods announces new audit program to help ensure responsible on-farm treatment of animals

Tyson Foods, Inc., the nation’s leading producer of meat and poultry, today announced it is launching a program to personally audit the treatment of animals at the livestock and poultry farms that supply the company. The effort is in line with the company’s core value to serve as a steward of the animals entrusted to it.  Our company is made up of ethical, responsible and compassionate people, and we believe the family farmers who supply us share our values," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "We know more consumers want assurance their food is being produced responsibly, and we think two important ways to do that are by conducting on-farm audits while also continuing to research ways to improve how farm animals are raised." Read More
16 OCT

Drought leads restaurants to raise prices, cut portions

Smokin’ Jonny’s BBQ opened less than a year ago, but pricey corn on the cob has already disappeared from the menu. Rising beef prices are causing owner Jon Sekiguchi headaches as well. His Gardena restaurant sells beef ribs only on the weekends, when customers are more willing to splurge. And he’s struggling to find affordable beef sausage for his $6.95 smoked sausage sandwich.

Scorching weather this summer in the Midwest left crops parched and livestock famished. Restaurants, already struggling with high fuel costs and a sluggish economy, are starting to feel the pinch of higher food costs.  Read More

13 OCT

Zacky Farms files bankruptcy, cites cost of poultry feed

Zacky Farms LLC, a Fresno, California-based poultry producer, filed for bankruptcy with plans to sell itself to pay creditors owed as much as $100 million. The closely held company blamed the filing on heavy debt and soaring feed costs in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, California. Zacky listed as much as $100 million in assets.  "Normal operations and customer service will continue without disruption," Zacky officials said today in a statement.

The poultry industry has been under "severe stress due to historically high corn and soybean meal prices" leading to "significant operating losses" in its turkey and chicken business, the company said.  Read More

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