24 AUG

Mexico begins phase two of bird flu vaccination campaign

The Mexican government has started phase two of its bird flu vaccination campaign in response to the country’s H7N3 virus outbreak, which has so far resulted in the slaughter of nearly 11 million birds to prevent its spread.

Roughly 90 million doses of the vaccine will be used on poultry farms in the Los Altos region of the western state of Jalisco, where the virus was found. The first phase involved 88.3 million doses of the vaccine, according to the national food health, safety and quality service agency Senasica. Read More

21 AUG

Expert agricultural economists to discuss ethanol & the outlook for chicken and competing meats

Two expert agricultural economists will discuss the situation for ethanol and chicken and competing meats at the National Chicken Council’s 58th Annual Conference scheduled October 10-11 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington D.C.

In the wake of the worst U.S. drought in half a century, corn yield projections are dropping almost weekly and corn prices have jumped 60 percent since June 15. Dr. Wallace E. Tyner, Purdue University will address the impact on demand for corn and corn prices if the Environmental Protection Agency granted a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard that effectively mandates that corn ethanol be blended with gasoline. Tyner, who along with two other Purdue economists have authored a report entitled "Potential Impacts of a Partial Waiver of the Ethanol Blending Rules," will discuss in depth the findings of that report at NCC’s upcoming conference. Read More

21 AUG

Brazil’s poultry output slows in July

Brazil’s poultry output slows 10% in July
Poultry production in Brazil eased in July on surging grain prices that pressured margins and producers’ cash flow, according to Reuters. Francisco Turra, head of Ubabef, the country’s poultry association, told Reuters that 20 of the association’s 80 members were experiencing financial problems because of rising feed costs. Prices for soy have risen 80 percent in the last six months and 40 percent for corn, according to data from Ubabef. Read More
21 AUG

Global economy poised for increased costs

Just a few months ago things were looking up. The economy was recovering, consumers were spending, we had a record corn crop in the ground, and both cattle and poultry producers were looking to rebuild and expand production. Then the economy took a nosedive in the second quarter, and a drought decimated the corn crop. Gross domestic product grew at just a 1.5-percent annual pace in the second quarter of 2012, down from 2-percent growth in the first quarter and 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Analysts blame some of the slowdown on uncertainty over the upcoming election and fear of January’s approaching fiscal cliff of higher taxes and reduced government spending. However, high unemployment, a stagnant housing market and the global economic slowdown are probably the main culprits. Read More

18 AUG

Potential impacts of waiving ethanol blending rules

An analysis of the potential impacts of waiving the federal ethanol mandate was the subject of a web conference Thursday, Aug. 16. In collaboration with Purdue University, Farm Foundation, NFP hosted the web conference, which featured the work of three Purdue University economists. Severe drought has reduced corn production and driven up the price of corn. Faced with significantly higher feed costs, livestock producers have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to waive part of the Renewable Fuel Standards, which mandates blending of ethanol in gasoline. Purdue University economists Wally Tyner, Farzad Taheripour and Christopher Hurt have completed an analysis of a potential waiver and what it could mean for the ethanol industry and the price of corn. Their findings were presented at Thursday’s web conference. Click here to read more about the conference and to view the PPT.

18 AUG

Governors start to pile up against ethanol

Two more governors lent their voices to calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a waiver from the ethanol quotas mandated by the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. According to a release by the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation, in separate letters, North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue and Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, both Democrats, petitioned the EPA to grant the waiver. Read More  

18 AUG

Ethanol would suffer should U.S. mandate be waived, Vilsack says

Investment in U.S. ethanol production, which along with a drought-plagued crop is being blamed for near-record corn costs, may decline should federal use requirements for the biofuel be reduced, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

At least 25 U.S. senators and 156 House members have signed letters asking Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to suspend or lower mandates on how much ethanol the country must use this year and next. Last week the Obama administration said it’s reviewing ethanol policy. A review is appropriate, while a waiver may bring long-term harm to ethanol investment without having a major effect on food prices, Vilsack said.  Read More

14 AUG

Feed costs to pressure meat, poultry production

Higher feed prices are forecasted to slow red meat and poultry production, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). USDA reduced meat and poultry production forecasts for from July with the expectation that rising feed costs will pressure the pace of pork and poultry expansion and temper growth in weights. Beef production is forecast higher for 2012, according to WASDE. Deteriorating pasture conditions are expected to increase placements in feedlots.  Read More

14 AUG

World powers eye emergency food meeting; action doubted

Leading members of the Group of 20 nations are prepared to trigger an emergency meeting to address soaring grain prices caused by the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century and poor crops from the Black Sea bread basket. France, the United States and G20 president Mexico will hold a conference call at the end of August to consider whether an emergency international meeting is required, aiming to avoid a repetition of the food price spike that triggered riots in poorer countries in 2008. Read More

14 AUG

Obama administration looking at ethanol rules

The Obama administration is reviewing the country’s ethanol policy amid calls from both political parties and the United Nations to suspend annual targets as the worst drought in 56 years spurs corn prices. Twenty-five U.S. senators, both Republicans and Democrats, asked Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to halt or lower mandates on how much ethanol the country must use this year and next. The senators’ Aug. 7 letter followed an Aug. 1 petition from a bipartisan coalition of 156 members of the House of Representatives. "I would simply say that the EPA, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, is looking at this," Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said today in Washington. "I don’t have a statement one way or the other predicting what the experts are going to say." Read More