News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.

Livestock Feed Manufacturing

US fed cattle prices reach record levels in first quarter

Prices to remain steady through first half of year, increase expected in second half
U.S. fed cattle prices traded at record levels in the first quarter of 2012, with an average year-to-date price of $1.26 per pound and a peak price of $1.30 per pound in the first week of March, according to Rabo AgriFinance's Quarterly Beef Outlook. Cattle on feed numbers remain strong, with a 1 percent to 3 percent increase over 2011. 
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USDA: existing safeguards protect food supply, beef is safe

Recent case of mad cow disease presented no risk to US food supply
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has reiterated that existing safeguards protect the American food supply and that consuming beef and dairy products is safe, in the wake of a recent confirmed case of mad cow disease in California. "This animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States," said the USDA of the infected cow. 
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Chipotle responds to FDA plan to reduce antibiotics in animals

Restaurant applauds FDA, says even more intervention is needed
Chipotle Mexican Grill has applauded the Food and Drug Administration’s attention to the overuse of antibiotics in livestock farming, but the company also said there is more the agency and the industrial animal agriculture sector can do. While Chipotle sees the FDA’s voluntary plan as a good first step, the company said it believes more intervention is needed to stop the abuse of antibiotics in farming.
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Ethanol production that poultry producers have been praying for

A process is available that would cleanly and efficiently convert natural gas to ethanol, while potentially redirecting the use of arable land to produce food rather than fuel. You know about the U.S. federal government’s “all of the above” energy policy to bring new fuel sources to the U.S. marketplace but that doesn’t include fossil fuels because they compete with wind, algae, corn and other favored industries. So, you won’t be surprised to learn that a Dallas-based chemicals company is ready to produce ethanol for fuel from abundantly available natural gas – at lower costs than the corn-ethanol industry is able to produce its fuel – but is blocked by existing law from doing so. 
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Early cattle turnout may challenge milk quality

Mild weather results in lush grass, but insufficient fiber
Earlier turnout in 2012 could pose an even greater challenge to dairy farmers if they are to maintain butterfat levels and avoid a serious dip in profits, according to specialist supplement manufacturer Ufac-UK. Rain and mild weather has resulted in lots of lush grass but while grass is rich in rapidly fermentable sugars, it has insufficient functional fiber to maintain chewing and cudding to promote healthy rumen function and prevent butterfat depression, said Robert Jones, managing director of Ufac-UK. 
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Russia animal feed producer to triple breeding cattle by 2013

Miratorg expects beef output to reach 50,000 metric tons after 2014
Russian animal feed and pig meat producer Miratorg Agribusiness Holding has plans to triple its breeding cattle to 112,000 cows by the beginning of 2013 in a bid to start its own beef output, according to reports. The company shipped 11,500 Aberdeen-Angus cattle from the U.S. and Australia, bringing its breeding cattle to 37,000 cows, said Dmitriy Lgovskiy, head of the company's public relations department. 
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ADM, China Agricultural University research grain replacements in feed

Study looks into replacing some corn with co-products, corn stover
Archer Daniel Midlands Company and China Agricultural University have launched a research program to study the possibility of replacing a portion of the corn in cattle feed with a mix of corn processing co-products and corn stover. China's livestock currently consume about 112 million metric tons of corn per year, and cattle producers may be able to reduce their animals' consumption by more than half by using such a mix. 
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FDA to withdraw approval for antibiotics in animal feed

Federal judge has ruled that overuse is endangering human health
A U.S. federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to begin proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of common antibiotics in animal feed, citing concerns that overuse is endangering human health by creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to reports. The FDA began such proceedings in 1977, prompted by concerns of the widespread use of certain antibiotics, such as tetracyclines and penicillin, in livestock feed, but the approval remained in place. 
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Food, agriculture organizations want comprehensive US-EU free trade agreement

Current proposed agreement does not meet standards of other US agreements, according to coalition
An ad hoc coalition of 40 food and agricultural organizations has sent a letter to the Obama administration and Congress expressing concern that a proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU might fall short of long-established U.S. objectives for trade pacts. It has been suggested that a U.S.-EU free trade agreement negotiation should not be pursued as a “single undertaking” with success in one area dependent on success in all the others, according to National Pork Producers Council President R.C. Hunt.
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Nutreco increases shareholding in Brazilian joint venture Fri-Ribe

Company expands base for building strong position in Brazil
Nutreco has signed an agreement to increase its shareholding in its Brazilian joint venture Nutreco Fri-Ribe from 51 percent to 97 percent, according to reports. Nutreco Fri-Ribe supplies premix and feed specialties products for poultry, swine, ruminant and aquaculture species. 
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