The U.S. ethanol mandate and current feed costs were hot topics at the National Chicken Council's 58th Annual Conference industry outlook panel, with panelists focusing on the ongoing debate over the renewable fuel standard and "food versus fuel."
See the video from the panel here.
“In 2006, the ethanol mandate began to really take a bite against the protein complex, and since that time on a cumulative basis, we’ve seen about $31 billion in new costs that have come in to the chicken business," said panelist Paul Fox, CEO of O.K. Foods. "And I don’t know if it’s going to get better, honestly, because I think we’re at a point where we’re almost using 42 percent of our nation’s corn product and it sounds like that’s going to continue to grow and that’s a new source of demand.” According to Fox, the market balances supply and demand in theory, but now there are elements of volatility being dealt with causing the market to work independently of that theory.
“There are a lot of industries that have gone through downturns," said Fox. "But something that’s unique to the chicken industry at this particular juncture … we haven’t seen an actual consolidator of any significant size, at least domestically, step up and start to take advantage of the fact that there are cheap chicken companies that have been offered for sale. Consequently, today in North America two of the three largest chicken companies are under control by foreign capital. I think that that’s probably a consequence that wouldn’t have been intended by our national policy in the outset.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report, the corn harvest is at 10.7 billion bushels, down 21 million from the September estimate and 13.4 percent less than in 2011. This number has made the renewable fuel standard a hot-button issue for the agriculture industry and the U.S. government at large, but Dr. Clayton Yeutter, senior advisor for Hogan Lovells and panel moderator, said he thinks a decision on whether to renew the standard won't be made until after the November elections. After the elections, what happens will depend largely on how much pressure is applied to the Environmental Protection Agency, and from which parts of the government that pressure is applied, said Yeutter.
Overall, though, Yeutter said that while the agriculture industry may battle in the short term, the long term path is clear. “In the long pull, if and when this comes out to be a true food versus fuel decision, with global consequences of great significance, food is going to win over fuel,” he said. “We’re going to need as much food produced between now and the year 2050 as has been produced in the entire world during its history until now.”
See videos of the entire panel here.
Near-record meat prices spur demand for animal feed
extension outreach appointment, Dr. Tom Overton, professor of dairy management
within Cornell University’s College of Agriculture, spends much of his time
working with NY dairies, their nutritionists and vets on issues related to
transition cow management. In his opinion, one of the areas of opportunity for
dairy farms can be found in the management of the pre-calving diet. With
his team, Overton is currently involved in a commercial research study involving
55 farms focused on the influence of particle size on dry cow diets. “We’re
finding that diets are quite sortable with large differences in particle size
distribution,” Overton explains. “[The industry] needs to do a better job in
terms of particle size to make [the rations] less sortable.” In a
total mixed ration, sorting is problematic because cows tend to favor the grain
component and therefor may not consume the necessary fiber and nutrients. In
this video, Overton discusses his team’s research involving pre-calving dairy
diets at the World Dairy Expo. The 2014 edition of
the World Dairy Expo, which was held in early October in Madison,
WI, drew more than
300,000 visitors from roughly 90 countries. The event featured 2,500 head of
dairy cattle and more than 250 exhibitors.
Webinar discuss feed enzymes for poultry feed millers
Authorities in South Carolina are investigating cause of wreck involving tractor-trailer transporting live turkeys
Canadian meat and poultry company Olymel investing in expansion and modernization of plant in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec
Food Chain Innovation Valeron AVA radiant
barriers are energy-efficient radiant barriers for poultry houses. Valeron AVA
is a lining material with two reflective aluminum surfaces for optimizing
energy usage, helping to keep poultry cool in hot climate and conserving heat
in colder zones.
Seventh Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit will also cover ways to communicate sustainability efforts to consumers, suppliers and stakeholders
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