03 JAN

China to remove some import, export tariffs including alternative feed meals

China plans to remove import and export tariffs in 2019 on a range of goods, including import taxes on alternative meals used in animal feed, to secure supplies of raw materials amid trade tensions with the United States and boosting outbound cargoes.

China’s trade war with the United States has unsettled the global soy market after China virtually stopped all imports of U.S. soybeans after the imposition of additional 25 percent tariffs in July.

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03 JAN

Court backs USDA in axing GIPSA rules

A U.S. District Court has sided with the Trump administration’s USDA in withdrawing the Farmer Fair Practices Rules pushed through in the waning days of the Obama administration.

The controversial rules included an interim rule that would no longer require a showing of injury to overall market competition to claim a violation under the Grain, Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration law.

The rules, which were to go into effect in February 2017, were delayed by USDA and then withdrawn in October 2017.

The Organization for Competitive Markets filed a petition for review of USDA’s actions with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Mo., in December  2017.

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03 JAN

USDA is open for business…sort of

The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) released a summary of services impacted by the federal government shutdown which has stretched into a sixth day with no signs of ending soon.  Sixty-one percent of the USDA’s employees are exempt or excepted from the shutdown during the first week. That number will decrease as the shutdown continues, the agency said. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue emphasized that the shutdown didn’t mean a letdown in USDA’s obligations to protect life and property through the agency’s services.  Read more

03 JAN

FDA says medically important antibiotics sold for chicken production decreases 47 percent

The Food and Drug Administration today announced that domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antimicrobials intended for use in food-producing animals decreased by 33 percent between years 2016 and 2017.  The 2017 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals also shows that domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antimicrobials decreased 43 percent since 2015 (peak year of sales/distribution) and decreased 28 percent since the first year of reported sales in 2009.  Read more

03 JAN

Southern California’s Newcastle disease toll on chickens rises to 60,000, including commercial flock

After appearing to have taken the upper hand on the bird-killing Newcastle disease outbreak in Southern California, officials this month announced a commercial chicken flock in Riverside County had been infected and that mandatory euthanasia operations has expanded to include Riverside County’s greater Perris area.

Since the outbreak of the virus in mid-May, about 60,000 birds – mostly chickens – have been euthanized, according to Steve Lyle, spokesman for the California Department of Agriculture. Until this month, the infected chickens were nearly all backyard show birds. Read more

03 JAN

What makes chickens happy? Nobody is quite sure

To size up what might make chickens happy in their brief lives, researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, are putting 16 breeds through physical fitness and behavioral tests. They’re watching how well birds scramble over a barrier for food, how skittish they seem and whether they play with a fake worm.

How do you measure a chicken’s happiness? Is it in the way it runs for food? How much time it spends preening?  Chickens can’t say how they feel, but playing with a fake worm may be a sign of happiness.  Read more

19 DEC

Changes to CPF board of directors Executive Committee

Tom Bower of Foster Farms will lead the California Poultry Federation as chairman with the recent announcement by Zacky Farms that they will be going out of business by January 2019. Matt Junkel of Petaluma Poultry will serve as vice-chairman. David Pitman continues as Past Chairman.

The Executive Committee appointed Dalton Rasmussen, president of the Squab Producers of California, as the new secretary-treasurer. Rasmussen was named president of the Squab Producers in 2012 after the retirement of former CPF board chairman Bob Shipley. Squab Producers of California is a unique a cooperative of small independent farmers. As a cooperative, Squab Producers brings the best of both worlds to its customers – birds raised by small, independent farmers AND a modern HACCP-compliant USDA inspected processing plant which utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to assure the optimum in quality and food safety.

“The squab industry has always participated in the meetings, quality assurance programs and seminars sponsored by the CPF, and they also support our political PACS and the scholarship fund,” President Bill Mattos said. “Dalton will be a great member of the Executive board.”

Rasmussen has served on the Squab Producers board of directors since 2008 and he worked as production manager of SupHerb Farms in Turlock for eight years before leading the squab organization. He was raised outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, then moved to Livermore, California where he graduated high school. He graduated from Modesto Junior College with a poultry science degree and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS degree in Poultry Science. He married Amy Conroy in 1998; they have three children.

Today he also grows squab for the cooperative and farms walnuts as a hobby.

“We look forward to working with Dalton on the CPF Executive Committee as we reach out and work with industry and political leaders in the coming year,” said CPF Chairman Bower.

19 DEC

NTF applauds passage of 2018 Farm Bill

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) released the following statement on passage of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate:

“The 2018 Farm Bill represents an unprecedented investment in animal health. The health of the turkey industry depends upon the health of our flocks. The National Turkey Federation applauds passage of the Farm Bill and the inclusion of key provisions to help make certain animal health is a priority and that there is a coordinated effort in place to address any threats. The creation of the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, along with mandatory funding, will provide the tools and resources animal agriculture needs to help prevent, identify and respond to disease outbreaks. Read more

19 DEC

Animal Agriculture Coalition applauds animal health provisions in 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report

Members of the Animal Agriculture Coalition released a statement applauding animal health provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report, which was sent to President Trump’s desk for signature earlier today:

“America’s livestock and poultry producers, in concert with veterinarians, work hard to ensure the health of the animals they raise. They play a central role in not only providing nutritious food for families across the U.S., but also in creating jobs and contributing to our country’s economic stability. That’s why producers and veterinarians agree that one of our greatest priorities must be to lessen the impact of devastating animal diseases with a one-of-a-kind program that will strengthen our ability to rapidly identify and respond to them.  Read more

19 DEC

Retailers are grinding out poultry sales

Is a health halo a strong enough attribute for enabling ground poultry to become an increasingly stronger supermarket meat department sales driver?

That is the key question facing product merchandisers who must clear a variety of hurdles in order to trigger widespread acceptance of ground chicken and turkey.

While such poultry items as breasts and wings are key revenue generators, boosting demand for less popular grinds is a potential way to add vibrancy to the meat case and expand sector earnings in a flat market, but it necessitates responding to the habitual use of ground beef by many shoppers and consumer unfamiliarity with ground poultry, analysts noted.  Read more