The dollar value of combined U.S. poultry and egg exports increased by 10.5 percent in 2017, a bigger gain than in any year since 2013, according to a new analysis of federal data by the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). The results reflect the industry’s rebound from the devastating effects of an avian influenza outbreak three years ago. Combined exports of U.S. poultry and eggs were $4.509 billion in 2017, up $427.1 million from 2016, according to trade data released by the Foreign Agricultural Service. Chicken, turkey, table egg, and egg product categories all showed gains in exports last year. Read more
Sen. Chuck Grassley came down hard on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week for failing to defend corn interests vital to his home state, even going so far as to compare him unfavorably to his Democratic predecessor.
Grassley (R-Iowa) has been at odds with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for over a year, but his recent remarks slamming Perdue open a new front in tensions between the leader of corn-state Republicans and an administration well-stocked with oil-industry allies. Read more
A side agreement among congressional leaders to allocate some of the new nondefense funding to opioid abuse prevention, infrastructure and several other priorities is complicating the plan to write a fiscal 2018 omnibus.
Even if that weren’t the case, appropriators say they don’t like being micromanaged.
“We’ve turned it into a Rubik’s Cube that I think is going to be difficult to manage,” Rep. Tom Cole said, although he added, “We’ll get it done.”
The Oklahoma Republican said the agreement makes it more difficult to divide the new nondefense funding among subcommittee spending bills because decisions have to be made about how to spend the money for each priority. Read more
As if Americans didn’t have enough chicken on the menu already, production of the nation’s most-popular meat is headed for the biggest growth spurt in more than a decade. Companies including Tyson Foods Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc. are leading an industry expansion with new processing plants from Tennessee to Texas, fueled by years of profit gains from cheap feed grain and record demand. Even retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. is getting into the act, building its first-ever poultry plant in Nebraska. Read more
Closing the distance from farm to fork, America’s turkey farmers, represented by the National Turkey Federation, have prepared a new series of videos and resources offering common-sense answers about raising healthy turkey flocks on family farms. Viewers see turkeys walk about freely and safely inside barns without cages, as well as learn how veterinarian-prescribed antibiotics are proven to clear an animal’s system before the meat is processed. The videos also share how healthy turkeys are raised on a nutritious diet of corn and soybeans along with vitamins and minerals, and how turkeys are farm-raised using smart technology and responsible stewardship of resources. Read more
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order Feb. 1, granting an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request for an additional extension of the current stay of the mandate to submit reports notifying the National Response Commission of the release of low levels of ammonia from poultry and egg farms. After considering EPA’s motion for further stay of issuance of the mandate, and a support brief filed by USPOULTRY and the National Pork Producers Council, the court issued an order granting the extension of the stay of the requirement to report under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) until May 1. Read more
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he wants help from agriculture businesses in identifying specific regulatory burdens that make doing business difficult. His vision is to make the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) a “help mate” or partner with agriculture businesses, in part by reducing the regulatory hurdles they face. “I’m speaking here today but I mostly want to listen,” Mr. Perdue said during his address at the Poultry Market Intelligence Forum at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta. Read more
The US Dept. of Agriculture denied a request from the National Chicken Council to lift a cap on line speeds at poultry processing companies. In a letter to NCC President Mike Brown, Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Under Office of Food Safety, said, in part, “…Because FSIS has already implemented procedures for establishments to request regulatory waivers, we have determined that it is not necessary to establish a separate system to provide line speed waivers to young chicken establishments operating under the NPIS.” Read more
In September 2016, three employees of the Humane Society of the United States checked into a tiny Airbnb studio in Boston for a six-day business trip. Paul Shapiro, one of the nation’s most consequential animal rights advocates over the past decade, was accompanied by two campaign workers, a young man and a young woman. After a couple of nights, the male employee left to stay somewhere else, according to the 26-year-old female, leaving her alone with Shapiro. Read more