Instead of an early snowfall this time of year, farmers along the eastern seaboard are dealing with flood waters and wind damage from Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to affect everything from poultry production to grocery prices. In Maryland and Delaware, states ranked in the top 15 in young meat chicken production, the storm’s aftermath could cause a domino effect, with power outages, transportation disruptions, and a potential lack of feed having a life-threatening result on poultry flocks. With Mississippi among the top five states in poultry production, professors such as Mary Beck, poultry science department head at Mississippi State University, are no strangers to how storms can influence the poultry market. Read More
As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, meat and poultry companies are preparing to ride out a massive and life-threatening storm. Hurricane Sandy is forecast to make landfall the night of Oct. 29, bringing with it sustained tropical storm-force winds, historic surge levels and heavy snowfall in the Appalachians, according to the National Weather Service. Hurricane Sandy’s impact was being felt in livestock futures before the storm made landfall as the market prepared for potential disruptions caused by the massive storm. Analysts were anticipating the storm would cause shipment delays to the East Coast and impact customer demand for meat. Meat and poultry processors in the Northeast could face downtime due to severe weather, according to news reports. Read More
Wal-Mart Stores announced today that by the end of 2017 it will buy 70% of the goods it sells in U.S. stores and in U.S. Sam’s Clubs only from suppliers in the United States, China and around the world who use its Sustainability Index to evaluate their products. This change will involve suppliers who produce goods in categories where the Index, launched in 2009 to measure the sustainability of products, is available. The announcement was made at an event here with government officials, nongovernmental organizations, academics, suppliers and company associates. Read More
The long-running multistate Salmonella outbreak tied to live poultry now appears to be over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In all, 195 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille were reported from 27 states, including two deaths. The illnesses began surfacing last March. Of the known cases, 34 percent of those ill were hospitalized and 33 percent of those ill were children 10 years of age or younger. Two deaths were reported, but CDC did not note the ages of the victims. Read More
California voters sent a clear message four years ago when they overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2, a ballot measure banning the "cruel confinement" of certain types of farm animals. What’s followed has been nothing but confusion, complain commercial egg farmers. They’re seeking certainty on what kind of enclosures for the state’s 20 million laying hens will be considered legal under the law. Read More
Halloween officially starts the holiday season, which means more get togethers with family and friends and more festive meals prepared at home. But lots of people and little time can create opportunities for mishandling and improper cooking of raw food products. It is always important to consistently follow certain safe food handling practices, whether making a meal for yourself or your family or preparing a feast for 12. That’s because all raw agricultural products – whether its produce, fruit, meat, or poultry – could contain bacteria that might make someone sick. Read More
Now that much of the nation’s corn has been harvested and the impact of this year’s drought is clear, analysts say demand rather than supply will drive the feed market, and prices could potentially move lower to gauge where buying interests may be. Any kind of price relief would be welcomed by California livestock farmers, who saw feed prices soar to record levels this summer as scorching heat and parched conditions withered crops in the Corn Belt. The state’s dairy farmers, particularly, have been hit hard. Many of them were already struggling with financial problems brought on earlier by the recession and the milk price collapse in 2009. Skyrocketing feed costs have added to their plight, with a growing number of producers reportedly closing their doors and filing bankruptcy. Read More
Brasil Foods is expected to start building a poultry and pork processing factory in China at the end of 2013, said the company’s vice president for foreign markets, António Augusto de Toni, cited by Brazilian financial newspaper Valor Económico. António de Toni said that the investment would be made in partnership with China’s Dah Chong Hong (DCH), which is controlled by state company Citic Pacific, with which the Brazilian company has had a partnership since the beginning of the year to operate in the China, Hong Kong and Macau markets. Read More
Once riding high, Proposition 37, the statewide ballot measure to label genetically engineered foods, has seen its voter support plummet during the last month, and a new poll shows the high-stakes battle now is a dead heat. After a barrage of negative television advertisements financed by a $41-million opposition war chest, a USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times poll released Thursday showed 44% of surveyed voters backing the initiative and 42% opposing it. A substantial slice of the electorate, 14%, remains undecided or unwilling to take a position. Read More
Extent of lower broiler production in 2012 depends on US economy, competing protein prices, and export demand, USDA reports
USDA is currently forecasting broiler production in 2013 to be just under 1 percent less estimated output in 2012, but the "amount and duration of the decrease" will depend on the health of the domestic economy, the level of competing protein prices, and the strength of exports demand, according to the "Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook" report released this week from the department’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
Earlier this month, USDA revised upward its broiler production forecast for 2013 as analysts expect lower feed prices to lead to more broiler pounds. ERS noted that total broiler production has been "boosted" by heavier average weights during six of the first eight months of this year. For January through August 2012, the average weight was 5.82 pounds, 0.6 percent more than during the first eight months of last year.