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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
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...
Not to Be a Pest: Why Insects Are Gaining Popularity as Feed and Food
The insect industry is quickly ramping up, fuelled by recent capital flows. In the near term, we see more potential for insect proteins as (aqua-)feed than as food. In the longer term, if consumers fall in love with insects, we expect more insect-based products also on supermarket shelves.
Increasing investor interest is driving growth in the insect sector
Recent investment flows into the insect sector are enabling faster growth of insect protein production. The investments received by the sector in 2018 are 40% higher than the sum of investments received in the last four years. Some of the largest investments of 2018 were received by companies growing black soldier fly...
U.S. Pork Industry Ends 2018 with Major Antibiotic Progress
New FDA report shows big drop in livestock antibiotic sales/distribution; pork industry joins diverse group to issue stewardship framework
America’s 60,000 pig farmers and their veterinarians are ending 2018 with recognition of their diligence to use medically important antibiotics in a strictly responsible way. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s newly published Annual Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals cites 2017 data that shows a 33 percent decline in this most critical class of antibiotics intended for use in food animals. When added to the decline found in the 2016 data, it confirms a reduction of 43 percent in this class of antibiotics from the 2015 level.
“This report is another indicator of the hard work that my fellow pig farmers have been doing to reduce the need for antibiotics. We continue to work closely with our veterinarians to ensure that we use antibiotics responsibly and according to FDA-approved labels,” said National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We’re committed to using antibiotics in a strategic way that focuses on animal health and well-being ...
Study Finds 11 Percent of the Price of Corn is Derived from Red Meat Exports
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has received the results of an updated study aimed at quantifying the value delivered to U.S. corn producers through exports of red meat. The original 2016 study, as well as the 2018 follow-up, were conducted by World Perspectives, Inc. (WPI), a leading agricultural consulting firm.
The original study, titled The Intersection of U.S. Meat Exports and Domestic Corn Use, concluded that in 2015 exports of U.S. red meat accounted for 11.7 million tons of combined corn and Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) use. In its update, WPI concluded that 2018 beef and pork exports will use a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced – an increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections.
Other highlights from the updated study...
The Wendy's Company Announces Major Advancement in Beef Sourcing
Today, The Wendy's Company announced an industry-leading step that will allow the company to better understand and communicate how cattle for Wendy's fresh beef* hamburgers are raised, facilitating advancements in areas such as animal care, antibiotics and sustainability. This comes on the heels of an earlier 2018 announcement on transitioning Wendy's tomato supply to vine-ripened tomatoes exclusively from greenhouse farms, which was driven by the same Company commitment to providing the freshest, highest-quality food possible for its customers.
"Quality is Our Recipe" isn't just a Company tagline. Wendy's takes extraordinary pride in serving and sourcing high-quality food to...
McDonald’s Announces New Antibiotic Policy for Beef
As one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, McDonald’s has the opportunity to use our scale to tackle some of the most complicated challenges facing people, animals and our planet - and help drive industry-wide progress.
Today, McDonald’s is announcing a policy to reduce the overall use of antibiotics important to human health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), which applies across 85% of our global beef supply chain.
According to the WHO, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. With our new policy, McDonald’s is doing our part to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for human and animal health in the future.
"Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to mankind today. We commend McDonald's effort to develop a global policy guiding how antibiotics are used within its beef supply chain. The company has set an ambitious timeline for ...
Sanderson Farms, Inc. Announces Change in Antibiotic Use Program
Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM) announced that it will discontinue by March 1, 2019, using antibiotics considered medically important for humans for disease prevention in its live poultry operations.
The change follows the completion of an independent study the Company commissioned earlier this year on its antibiotics program for its live operations. As part of its ongoing animal welfare and antibiotic stewardship efforts, the Company commissioned an advisory board of scientific experts in poultry production, livestock management, and antibiotic use in veterinary and human medicine to study and report on the Company’s use of antibiotics in its live poultry production operations...
FDA Approves First Animal Drug that Reduces Gas Emissions from an Animal or its Waste
“We’re committed to supporting the development of novel animal drug products that are safe and effective, and we’re encouraged to see innovations that provide additional benefits to animals, people and the environment,” said Steven M. Solomon, M.P.H., D.V.M., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Today we’re announcing the approval of the first animal drug that reduces ammonia gas emissions from an animal or its waste. These ammonia gasses can come from many sources and can affect the health of people, animals and the environment. Novel animal drug products such as these also support One Health approaches to public health.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the approval of...
Cargill Develops Industry-First Robotic Cattle Driver to Improve Animal Welfare and Employee Safety
Cargill has developed an industry-first robotic cattle driver aimed at improving animal welfare and employee safety. The robots are designed to move cattle from pens to the harvest area, reducing stress to the animals by minimizing their proximity to human activity. Employees operate the robots from a catwalk located above the pens, reducing safety risks by keeping those who work in the cattle yard portion of processing plants at a greater distance from the 1300-pound animals.
“The robotic cattle driver developed by Cargill is a major innovation in the handling and welfare of farm animals,” said Temple Grandin, professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. “This device will lead to huge strides in employee safety while moving large animals and reduce the stress on cattle across the country.”
Cargill Protein spent two years developing the prototype...
NCBA: New US-Mexico-Canada Agreement "Great News" for Cattle Producers
Kevin Kester, a fifth-generation California rancher and President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today released the following statement in response to news that negotiators have reached agreement on a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement:
“This new agreement is great news for American cattle producers, and another sign that President Trump’s overall trade strategy is working. Over the past quarter century, free and open trade between the United States, Mexico, and Canada has been tremendously successful for our producers, and we’re pleased that we’ll be able to maintain our existing market access while seeing other U.S. producers get a better deal than they’ve gotten in the past. Hopefully Congress will approve this new deal early next year and...
Hurricane Florence Poses Industry Complications, Dangerous Conditions
Evacuations have been ordered in parts of the southeastern United States today as Hurricane Florence picks up strength. The National Hurricane Center projects dangerous storm surge and flooding in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Carolinas and have the potential to spread inland and into Virginia as well.
CNN is reporting that state government offices, which includes schools and medical facilities, will be closed in 26 counties, impacting roughly one million people. Furthermore, the entire mid-Atlantic region is undergoing storm advisories and preparations.
From an industry perspective, there are a number of shock waves that ripple throughout the supply chain in a major weather event...
What is African Swine Fever and Why It Deserves Attention
African swine fever (ASF) has been in the news lately, especially since China has reported its first case of the deadly disease just days ago. China leads the world in swine production and pork consumption.
Recent news reports note that more than 8,000 hogs have been culled in China in an effort to halt the spread of the disease. The outbreak occurred in the Liaoning province, located in the northeastern region of the country, a major hog producing area.
ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of swine, warthogs, wild boars and feral pigs. All ages can be affected. It is not a health risk to humans. The disease causes high fever, loss of appetite and hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs of infected animals. Deaths of animals can onset in two to 10 days. Less severe forms of the disease can show milder symptoms and a smaller mortality rate...
Cattlemen: Reducing Trade Barriers, Regulatory Burdens Will Ease Tariff Pain
Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of trade aid for U.S. farmers and ranchers:
“NCBA looks forward to reviewing the details of the Trump Administration's trade retaliation relief package. Trade agreements and trade enforcement are the most effective long-term solutions to the challenges faced by U.S. beef producers. For many years, U.S. beef has been a target of high tariffs and restrictive trade policies from notorious actors like China and the European Union. We support a vigorous approach to tearing down trade barriers, including non-tariff barriers that are not based on science.
"Removing China’s highly-restrictive barriers on U.S. beef exports could unlock the full potential of that market and result in...
AMS Reaches a Consent Decision With JBS USA LLC
WASHINGTON – The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) reached a consent decision with JBS USA LLC, also known as Swift Beef Company (JBS Swift), Greeley, Colo., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. The consent decision was signed by Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge, Channing D. Strother on June 28, 2018.
AMS conducted an investigation that revealed JBS Swift failed to maintain and operate its dynamic monorail scales to ensure accurate weights at its Cactus, Texas facility on August 9, 2016 and Greeley, Colorado facility on December 1, 2016. JBS Swift used inaccurate scales to weigh beef carcasses that recorded inaccurate or incorrect weights on accountings issued to sellers.
JBS Swift was notified of such violations and immediately made adjustments as evidenced in subsequent...
USDA to Ensure All Have Equal Access to Crop & Livestock Reports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday announced new procedures for the release of market-affecting crop and livestock reports from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) to ensure that all members of the public have access to the information at the same time. Under current “Lockup” procedures, information is released to the public at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern), though the news media are allowed access approximately 90 minutes early, with their reports embargoed until the noon release time. Prompted by inquiries from the public, USDA examined the procedures and determined that technological advancements have afforded recipients of customized media reports a market advantage not enjoyed by members of the general public. The USDA also sought analytical assistance from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to help inform a policy update to the lockup procedures. As a result, beginning August 1, 2018, USDA will provide media the same access to the NASS and WAOB reports as the public, with the information becoming available to all at...
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