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North American Meat Institute Issues Statement on USDA’s Proposed Rule for Meat and Poultry Markets

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) made the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service proposed rule on meat and poultry markets:

“We will review the proposed rule and work to ensure livestock producers have a variety of tools available to market their animals and to ensure meat and poultry markets remain competitive,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Any rule must protect marketing agreements between packer/processors and livestock producers, which provide stability to the industry and benefits consumers with lower prices and...

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Jan 14 8:16 AM, General News



NCBA Applauds Introduction of Hours of Service Legislation

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation by U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (D – 2nd Dist., Minn.) and Lloyd Smucker (R - 11th Dist., Penn.) that would provide flexible and common-sense relief from Hours of Service (HOS) rules for agricultural haulers.

The Responsible & Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act would ensure that the current Hours of Service exemption that applies to the 150-air-mile radius from the source of an agricultural commodity adds the same 150 air mile radius flexibility to the back end of a trip, or the destination. The bill also clarifies that...

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Oct 31 8:16 AM, General News


USPOULTRY Releases Report of Antimicrobial Use Across U.S. Broiler Chickens and Turkeys

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association announced last week the release of the U.S. poultry industry’s first-ever report quantifying antimicrobial use on broiler chicken and turkey farms. The new report shows dramatic reductions of turkey and broiler chicken antimicrobial use over a five-year timeframe. As part of its commitment to the transparency and sustainability of a safe food supply, the poultry industry aims to strike a balance between keeping poultry flocks healthy and the responsible use of antimicrobials, especially those medically important to human health.

Under the research direction of Dr. Randall Singer, DVM, PhD, of Mindwalk Consulting Group, LLC, this report represents a five-year set of data collected from 2013 to 2017 regarding the use of antimicrobials in U.S. broiler chickens and turkeys throughout their lifetime, from hatchery to day of harvest. It was prepared through a systematic collection of on-farm antimicrobial use data to capture the...

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Aug 12 11:26 AM, General News


USDA Market News Revises Regional Swine Market Reports 

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will revise its Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) direct swine reports to provide more continuous coverage of the regional negotiated swine markets.

Since the implementation of LMR in 2001, the volume of barrows and gilts purchased on a negotiated basis has declined from 17 percent of the market to about 1 percent today. The thinness of the negotiated market has made it increasingly difficult for AMS to publish regional market information while maintaining the confidentiality requirements set forth in the statute.

As requested by the pork industry, AMS will publish only weighted average prices for carcass and live basis negotiated barrows and gilts and not show the daily volumes or price ranges on...

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Aug 1 8:19 AM, General News


USDA Farm Bill Implementation Progress Update

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced an update on the implementation status of the 2018 Farm Bill. President Trump signed this Farm Bill into law on December 20, 2018, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) promptly began implementing key programs. In addition, USDA held several listening sessions with stakeholders and the public specific to each agency’s respective mission areas. 

“America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers depend on the certainty and availability of USDA’s programs and assistance. That is why we are working diligently to implement the 2018 Farm Bill with efficiency and accuracy,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have listened to our stakeholders and consulted with our customers. As we continue to implement the Farm Bill, USDA is committed to focusing...

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Jun 26 12:02 PM, General News


NPPC Supports Executive Order to Keep America First in Agriculture 

Based on recommendations by the administration’s Rural Development Taskforce, President Trump today signed an executive order to streamline regulations for agriculture biotechnology, a development welcomed by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

“Agriculture is one of the crown jewels of the U.S. economy,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina. “Today’s executive order paves the way for common sense regulation to keep America first in agriculture so that we remain the global leader in an economic sector that has offset the U.S. trade imbalance for decades and that is so critical for the prosperity of our rural communities.”

The executive order (EO) provides a framework to support leadership in emerging technologies such as gene editing for livestock, an innovation that promises to eliminate costly diseases that...

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Jun 12 9:19 AM, General News


Developing Alternatives to Antibiotics Used in Food Animal Production

Antibiotics are a lifesaving technology widely used in human and veterinary medicine. However, the use of antibiotic drugs, by humans or animals, can also create selective evolutionary pressures that can spawn microbes and genes resistant to the drugs. Antimicrobial resistance has become a global human health concern, with widespread public and private initiatives aimed at managing resistance. Livestock agriculture is a major consumer of antibiotics and, thus, a contributor to antibiotic resistance.

As the agricultural use of antibiotics becomes a greater focus of policymakers and consumers, animal pharma—the industry that develops and markets antibiotics for food animal use—is altering its outlook on developing as well as investing in new antibiotic products. Rising awareness of antibiotic resistance has generated a number of effects, including regulations on the use of...

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May 31 11:38 AM, General News


Beef Quarterly Q2 2019: Changing of the Guard in the Beef Trimmings Market

The world’s largest beef importer, China, is at the centre of growth in beef trade in general, and trimmings trade specifically. Many of the cuts imported by China have been to satisfy the local cuisine. But as diets and foodservice change, this now includes a growing trend in trimmings trade.

The growing demand for trimmings from Asian countries will create additional competition for the US but it is not expected to shift the market yet. Suppliers of trimmings into the global market should be conscious of possible changes in the trade. While steady growth is evident in the Chinese market to date, a short-term demand increase across all proteins as a result of African Swine Fever will likely cause a spike in demand for trimmings...

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May 31 11:03 AM, General News


Antibiotic Alternative Scores Well in Second Round of Swine Trials

Travelling can be stressful experience—whether it be to a vacation spot or business destination. The stress of travel also extends to piglets, such as when they’re weaned from their mothers and transported to nursery barns.

Now, instead of using dietary antibiotics to help the piglets cope and avoid illness, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are investigating a naturally occurring amino acid known as L-glutamine.

Initial laboratory studies in 2017 showed glutamine-fed piglets gained just as much weight as antibiotic-treated ones, among other health benefits. But the researchers, led by ARS animal scientist Jay Johnson, wanted to try and...

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May 29 2:07 PM, General News


USDA Releases Baseline Data on Antimicrobial Use by Beef and Swine Operations

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is releasing the results of two national studies that examine antimicrobial use and stewardship on beef feedlots and on large swine operations during 2016.

The data USDA collected and studied will help animal health officials – as well as the human health community and consumers – better understand how antimicrobial drugs are used on livestock farms. The studies include details on what antimicrobials were used, why they were used and how they were administered...

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May 23 3:59 PM, General News


PathProven from Performance Food Group Providing First-Ever DNA Trace Back System from Farm to Plate in North America

Nearly 93 percent of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it commits to full transparency, according to a 2017 Label Insights study from the Food Marketing Institute. The survey also revealed 74 percent of consumers would switch from the brands they usually buy to ones that provide more in-depth product information beyond the physical packaging. In Europe, the fresh meat industry has been moving toward this goal for twenty years. In the U.S., Performance Food Group Company (PFG) has been working with European technology innovator, IdentiGEN, for 10 years to align supply chains, building the first complete DNA Trace Back System to the farm. PFG has connected the information loop to provide greater accountability, improve sustainability, ensure quality, and...

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Apr 18 11:50 AM, General News


Pork Essentially Free of Veterinary Drug Residues

In a basic survey of more than a thousand pork kidney samples, almost no veterinary drug residues were found and none at levels that even approached U. S. regulatory limits, according to a study just published by an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist in Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A.

These findings signal that U.S. pork producers are using veterinary compounds properly, and indicate that veterinary drug residues in pork are not posing a health concern to U.S. consumers, according to ARS research chemist Weilin Shelver. Shelver is with the ARS Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit in Fargo, North Dakota.

A total of 1040 pork kidneys were purchased from four grocery stores in the Midwest and tested for residues of 5 commonly used veterinary drugs and feed additives ...

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Mar 22 8:58 AM, General News


Oregon Cattleman to Congress: Livestock Producers Serve as Conservation Allies

Today Oregon cattleman Rodger Huffman told a Congressional hearing that livestock producers across the country serve as stewards of the environment and allies in conservation. Despite the efforts of some in Congress to vilify livestock producers, effective wildlife conservation depends on strengthening the partnership between government agencies and ranchers. In fact, livestock producers maintain over 660 million acres of open spaces and landscapes, about a third of the U.S. landmass and home to many species of wildlife.

“Federal and state wildlife managers have no greater ally in the effort to conserve America’s species than ranchers,” Huffman said in prepared testimony. “Ranchers steward these landscapes for generations ...

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Mar 15 8:15 AM, General News


Tyson Fresh Meats and IdentiGEN Collaborate to Trace Beef Using DNA Technology

Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), is collaborating with IdentiGEN to use DNA technology to trace beef back to the individual animal of origin. IdentiGEN’s signature DNA TraceBack® system will be a key tool to trace the cattle raised for Tyson’s Open Prairie® Natural Angus Beef.

A DNA sample from cattle entering the Open Prairie program will be used to trace the origin of individual cuts of beef as they move through the supply chain. The DNA TraceBack process is intended to assure customers that the Open Prairie beef products they buy were sourced from ranches where the cattle were raised to meet specific requirements, such as no antibiotics ever and no added hormones.

“This is about meeting growing demand for more transparency about how food is produced,” said Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing and premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats. “Through DNA TraceBack, we’re providing ...

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Mar 14 9:27 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: African Swine Fever in China; Outbreak Update

The outbreak of African Swine Fever in China has placed an ominous cloud of uncertainty over the global pork market, which could in turn impact other protein categories as well.

It cannot be overstated how big of a player China is in the pork market, as it is home to half of the globe’s hogs. At roughly 55 million metric tons, China’s domestic annual pork consumption is nearly as large as all other countries combined (49.7% of global pork consumption in 2018). With that in consideration, any threat to their supply of hogs is deemed quite critical because it has the potential to... 

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Feb 28 10:25 AM, Urner Barry


Gene Editing Development Stalled; NPPC Renews Call for USDA Oversight 

Development of an emerging technology promising major animal health and environmental benefits is currently stalled at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, prompting the National Pork Producers Council to renew its call for U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory oversight of gene editing for livestock.

“The pace of FDA’s process to develop a regulatory framework for this important innovation only reinforces our belief that the USDA is best equipped to oversee gene editing for livestock production,” said Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “U.S. agriculture is one our nation’s most successful export products; we can’t afford to cede leadership of gene editing to other countries ...

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Feb 21 10:24 AM, General News


Markets Expected to Continue Strong; Leverage Shift on the Horizon

During the first half of 2019, the United States will see a shift away from El Niño conditions as equatorial ocean currents begin to cool into the summer, Art Douglas, Ph. D., professor emeritus at Creighton University, told the audience during the popular 2019 CattleFax Outlook Seminar today. The session, held as part of the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans, La., saw a capacity crowd as cattlemen and women gathered to hear expert market and weather analysis.

Douglas explained the developing trend will turn the eastern third of the United States drier, as the jet stream pushes moisture from the Gulf of Mexico across the southern tier of the nation. “After a cooler February, the United States will mostly enjoy a relatively mild spring with a reduced threat of delayed planting,” said Douglas. He pointed out that summer weather will be dependent on...

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Feb 1 8:49 AM, General News




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