29 JAN

Government shutdown cost economy $11 billion, budget office says

Federal employees went back to work Monday after the longest shutdown in government history – but the economic effects will be felt for a long time.

A report released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the economy took an $11 billion hit, including $3 billion that’s gone forever, in the 35 days that parts of the federal government went unfunded.

“In CBO’s estimation, the shutdown dampened economic activity mainly because of the loss of furloughed federal workers’ contribution to GDP, the delay in federal spending on goods and services, and the reduction in aggregate demand,” the report said.  And that may just be the tip of the economic iceberg. Read more

29 JAN

Perdue selects three senior leaders at USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today selected three highly-qualified individuals for senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Perdue named Dr. Mindy Brashears as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, Naomi Earp as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, and Dr. Scott Hutchins as Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. These positions do not require Senate confirmation.  Read more

29 JAN

Americans to eat more than 1.3 billion chicken wings for Super Bowl

Will Americans be ‘winging it’ for the Big Game? The National Chicken Council (NCC) today released its annual Chicken Wing Report, and the answer is a resounding “yes!”  NCC projects Americans’ consumption of the unofficial gameday menu staple – the chicken wing – will hit an all-time high at 1.38 billion wings during Super Bowl LIII weekend, as the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots battle for the Lombardi Trophy. This figure is up two percent, or about 27 million wings, from 2018.  Read more

24 JAN

USDA to reopen FSA offices for additional services during government shutdown

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.  Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23.  Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.  Read more

24 JAN

How demographics disrupted dinnertime

In recent years, millennials have been blamed for the downfall of canned tuna, mayonnaise, American cheese and cereal. Another casualty of the generation may be the traditional homecooked dinner.  Shifting demographics have upended the evening mealtime routine, said Dave Donnan, senior partner at A.T. Kearney.  Generations ago, he said, a family of four or five would gather around the dinner table and eat whatever dish mom prepared. Today, 62 percent of households are either single or couples, he said.  Read more

22 JAN

USDA confirms virulent Newcastle Disease in backyard exhibition birds in Utah

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Utah County, Utah. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease in Utah.

This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California.  Since May 2018, 299 cases of Newcastle disease have been confirmed in Southern California, primarily in backyard exhibition birds.  Read more

22 JAN

California state vet calls for cancellation of poultry exhibitions

California state veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones has sent a letter to poultry exhibitors in California recommending that all poultry exhibitions be cancelled if they include birds from counties that are at high risk for virulent Newcastle disease (VND): Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura, CA.

According to the letter distributed by the California Department of Food & Agriculture, Jones said the effort would “support our disease containment and eradication efforts” of the disease outbreak that began in May 2018. Read more

22 JAN

E. coli vaccination helps contain losses in broilers with IB infection

Field experience with infectious bronchitis (IB) in broilers during a harsh winter demonstrated that vaccination for secondary Escherichia coli infection helped stem losses, according to Kalen Cookson, DVM, MAM. Broiler flocks in the poultry-dense Delmarva region of the US had been affected by the DMV-1639 IB strain.

At the time, no vaccines were available to protect against the emerging pathogen, which gained momentum throughout the winter, Cookson, director of clinical research, Zoetis, told Poultry Health Today at the 2018 International Avian Respiratory Disease Conference.  Read more

22 JAN

Recalls of hazardous meat and poultry up 83 percent since 2013, report finds

Recalls of hazardous meat and poultry have gone up by more than 80 percent in the last six years, according to a new report out Thursday morning. One in six Americans get sick every year from eating contaminated food leading to at least 3,000 deaths per year – 450 from salmonella alone.

“Something is rotten in our slaughterhouses and our fields, and so common sense protections from farm to fork can help prevent that,” said Adam Garber, a researcher for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the organization behind the report.  Read more