Feedstuffs - April 2022
We hope you are enjoying the new Feedstuffs. With every edition, we aim to bring the latest in news, insight, nutrition and health research and...
We hope you are enjoying the new Feedstuffs. With every edition, we aim to bring the latest in news, insight, nutrition and health research and livestock production content to life — dynamically. You will find engaging video, podcasts, slideshows, animation and more. You also will have the opportunity to engage, share and download content. Feel free to share your thoughts below or to reach out directly to us. We'd love to hear what you think and ideas that you might like to share.
Please call customer service toll-free at: (800) 441-1410 or (630) 524-4749 (8:00am - 5:00pm EST, Monday - Friday).
What do you like most about the new Feedstuffs?
- Ease of use and ability to read anywhere and on any device
- Content package of news and longer format articles
- Both ease of use and content package. Love it!
COVER STORY: Unscrambling cage-free transition challenges
Will there be enough cage-free laying hens by 2026?
By the Egg Industry Center
Many grocery retailers, restaurant chains and food manufacturers pledged to reach 100% cage-free egg purchases by 2026. These commitments require the conversion of living space for approximately 224 million U.S. laying hens. The question is, can it be done in time?
While the question seems to be simple enough, Maro Ibarburu, Business Analyst for the Egg Industry Center, outlined challenges facing the industry’s transition status at the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.
Ibarburu highlighted two major unknowns that make it hard to estimate the industry’s cage-free conversion status.
The first issue is that to date nine states have legislated cage-free egg production. This has created a cage-free demand “overlap” with the cage-free purchasing pledges that were already in place. Ibarburu explained that each state enacting legislation had organizations that were already committed to 100% cage-free egg purchases. Therefore, this creates a potential double-counted demand for cage-free eggs. The overlap makes it difficult to calculate the status of the transition by merely looking at the size of the U.S. laying flock in cage-free systems. Ibarburu estimates a difference of 48 million laying hens needed to supply the state legislation and customer pledges based on different overlapping assumptions.
The second unknown is the volume of cage-free eggs needed by organizations that did not commit to 100% cage-free egg purchases. Many retail outlets were already selling cage-free eggs before the cage-free pledge movement or adoption of state legislation. Many of those organizations plan to continue providing consumers cage-free egg choices, even if they are not committing to 100% cage-free. This stream of cage-free eggs that are needed, but not part of the pledges, also makes it hard to calculate transition status.
There are also known challenges making the industry’s transition to cage-free egg production difficult. Available capital continues to be a concern. Given the number of cage-free laying hens placed as of January 2022, the industry needs an additional estimated $6.6 billion to finalize the conversion. Typically, for an investment to make economic sense, it would result in either reducing the cost of operation or securing a product premium. The Coalition for a Sustainable Egg Supply study showed that the cage-free operating cost are higher. Therefore, the only alternative is a price premium, which finally depends on consumers’ willingness to pay. So far, consumers overwhelmingly prefer to buy the less expensive conventionally produced eggs.
Add to the capital outlay the volatility of the egg market. The relative price volatility of eggs was apparent when Ibarburu illustrated this volatility by graphing the warehouse price for eggs against corn and crude oil markets (Figure 1).
This volatility makes it hard for egg farmers to create repayment plans with their lenders. Ibarburu explained that there may be prolonged periods when farmers are unable to make payments, and then other times when farmers can pay more than a normal payment.
Additionally, the higher capital costs needed to enter the cage-free egg market creates a barrier to enter the market for new farmers. Oddly enough, there is also a barrier to exiting the market once a farmer has made the cage-free investment because they have a more expensive facility, which makes it hard to compete with the more affordable conventionally produced eggs.
Finally, when looking across the entire country, 2021 retailer purchase data from Nielsen reveals that for certain regions of the country, consumers are rapidly converting to cage-free egg purchases, but not in others.
The Northeast and Northwest regions show non-conventional purchases add up to 29-31% of total egg sales. In contrast, the South and Midwest show 11-13% non-conventional purchases. This will be an interesting trend to watch as legislation and pledge deadlines approach.
In looking at the current consumer purchasing habits and the cage-free egg markets, there are lessons to be learned regarding the new cage-free egg market of the future. USDA reports that in the last five years the average retail price difference between conventional and cage-free eggs has been $0.83/dozen.
The Egg Industry Center has been paying specific attention to California, as it is the only U.S. market currently fully cage-free. For years California mirrored the northwest states of Washington and Oregon with its prices. After the inception of Proposition 2 that required 73% more space per bird than the industry standard and the cage-free egg sales mandate required by Proposition 12 legislation, California markets initially spiked but then leveled out, although at a higher price than the northwest states (Figure 2).
This indicates that we can expect to see an increase in overall prices in a transition to cage-free production, but the amount of that increase is hard to estimate now and will likely continue to change as more cage-free state legislation and retail pledges come online.
Understanding all the challenges still leaves one over-arching question: Will there be enough cage-free laying hens by 2026? As of March 2022, the industry already has enough cage-free laying hens to meet the needs of all nine states that have committed to regulating cage-free housing. If the industry continues to convert at its current speed, the flock will reach 168 million cage-free layers by 2026, roughly 75% of purchase commitments and nearly 50% of the current U.S. flock (Figure 3).
What will be the overall effect of the overlaps in pledges and legislation?
Only time will tell.
From the editors of Feedstuffs
Report examines impact of increased use of non-GM feed
View our interview with Lara Moody, executive director of IFEEDER, as she walks us through the findings of the research.
The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) released new research today which shows that if more U.S. food companies are to require feed for their livestock and poultry be free from genetically modified (GM) ingredients, then greenhouse gas emissions on farms could rise, grain elevator and feed mill product handling and production requirements would be greater, and the price of meat, milk and eggs for consumers could increase.
The study, “Impact of Non-GM Livestock and Poultry Feed on the U.S. Feed Industry,” conducted by Iowa State University and Decision Innovation Solutions, examined the environmental and economic implications should U.S. animal food manufacturers need to boost the production of non-GM feed.
“Like many industries involved in the production of America’s food supply, the U.S. animal feed industry is diligently working to be more sustainable and efficient, using all available tools at its disposal, as part of our commitment to consumers to be good environmental stewards,” said Lara Moody, IFEEDER executive director.
View our Feedstuffs 365 interview
Policy opinions revealed in Consumer Food Insights Report
As the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture reviews the Farm Bill, consumers shared their opinions on food and agriculture policy in a new survey.
Increased funding for research to create crops more resistant to heat drought and flooding, and conservation programs to pay farmers and ranchers to adopt climate-smart practices were the most popular policies included, with more than 80% of the consumers in support. In addition, 63% of the respondents agreed that climate change will influence food prices.
Tyson Foods invests $208m in new Alabama rendering facility
Tyson Foods recently announced a new facility adjacent to its former Hanceville, Alabama, Tyson Foods River Valley Ingredients rendering plant. The previous plant was part of Tyson’s Hanceville complex and suffered a total loss due to a fire in July 2021.
The new $208 million, 121,000-square-foot facility is the single largest investment in Hanceville to date. The facility is expected to be complete in mid-2023.
“This investment signals our continued support to the agricultural industry and jobs in Alabama, and we look forward to a renewed relationship with the Hanceville community and its leaders,” said Jason Spann, complex manager at the Hanceville Tyson Foods facility.
Meat industry not threatened by plant-based meat alternatives
At least for now, there is no reason for the traditional meat industry to have much of a beef with producers of plant-based burgers and other meat alternatives, new research suggests.
The study showed that while sales and market share of new-generation plant-based meat alternatives have grown in recent years, those gains haven't translated into reduced consumer spending on animal meat products.
Overall, the analysis suggested that plant-based meats sold in patty, link and ground form are mostly an add-on to beef and pork and tend to serve as a substitute for chicken, turkey and fish.
"We thought plant-based meat alternatives would be a potential replacement for red meat, but they're not. It's more of a complement," says study co-author Wuyang Hu, professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University.
Rising feed and energy costs to pressure pork producer returns
According to the latest Rabobank quarterly pork report, producers' returns will be challenged by rising costs – including feed, energy, freight, herd health and labor expenses. Production growth is expected to slow, as is global trade. Consumers' response remains difficult to gauge, as the impact of higher-cost pork is not yet fully reflected in most markets.
Producers' costs continue to escalate in most regions, led by the increase in feed costs. Grain and protein meal costs are higher following a disappointing South American crop and the recent disruption in the Black Sea; and lower global inventories increase commodity volatility. Feed costs vary by region, which provides some advantage to producers with ample local supplies in North America and parts of South America.
Higher energy, freight, herd health and labor expenses will also weigh on producer returns over the balance of 2022. "The recent spike in energy costs will put additional pressure on an already stressed global supply chain, just as it was emerging from an extended disruption," says Christine McCracken, senior analyst – Animal Protein at Rabobank.
Cost inflation and growing market uncertainty are affecting hog producers' plans for growth. Disease-related production loss in parts of North America, the European Union and Southeast Asia will weigh on 2H 2022 production growth, limiting global pork availability and helping to boost expected hog prices. Sow herd reductions taken in early 2022 should limit pork production in 2H 2022, with higher-cost feed expected to limit any benefit from higher slaughter weights.
ADM expanding alternative protein segment with Protein Innovation Center
ADM announced that it will invest approximately $300 million to significantly expand its Decatur, Illinois, alternative protein production, as the company continues to add capacity to meet strong demand growth. ADM will further enhance its alternative protein capabilities by opening a new, state-of-the-art Protein Innovation Center.
“The global trends of food security and sustainability are driving structural changes in the food industry, including strong growth in alternative proteins, and we’re investing to ensure ADM remains a leader in this vast and exciting space,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of Global Foods. “The array of opportunity areas for alternative proteins in foods and nutrition solutions is continuing to grow at 10% CAGR, with alternative meat and dairy sales alone expected to grow by 14% a year and reach $125 billion in 2030."
Elanco breaks ground on state-of-the-art campus
Elanco Animal Health Incorporated unveiled plans for its new global headquarters featuring environmentally-sustainable, employee-focused design and a state-of-the art innovation center.
The company – which grew from a small division of Eli Lilly & Company to a $4.7 billion independent global animal health leader – plans to enter its seventh decade by breathing life into a long-idle site close to its birthplace. “When we talk about the new headquarters, we’re talking about ‘building as a verb, not a noun,’” said Jeff Simmons, Elanco president and CEO. “We’re building Elanco’s next era of growth and innovation for one of the industry’s most trusted brands, we’re building paths to help connect Indianapolis’ historic west side with its center, and we’re building a vibrant destination for our nearly 10,000 global employees to collaborate, connect and invent.”
Burger King, Cargill partner on climate change
Up to $5 million in funding will be provided through the partnership.
Burger King and Cargill announce a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the largest private conservation grant provider in the U.S., to support cattle ranchers committed to addressing climate change through regenerative agriculture practices in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. This five-year initiative with up to $5 million in funding, brings together two major beef brands dedicated to emissions reduction, reinforcing the important role beef and cattle play in helping the Great Plains thrive. The funding is expected to generate 1:1 matching contributions from NFWF, creating a total on-the-ground impact of up to $10 million.
Through this partnership, Burger King, Cargill and NFWF will bring financial and technical resources to ranching organizations in the Southern Great Plains to improve grassland management and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Southern Great Plains host a unique set of wildlife species that are specifically adapted to this grassland ecosystem, and many of these species are year-round residents that live on or migrate through ranching lands.
NFWF also awarded three grants made possible by Burger King and Cargill funding to ranchers in Kansas, New Mexico and Texas to support their efforts to plan and implement voluntary grassland management practices with consideration to the unique needs of their land.
Challenging times for commodity markets
This is a supply driven market, which means it will peak when least expected and the move to the downside will be rapid.
By Richard Brock
None of us have ever gone through a period of time like recent history. First the COVID-19 pandemic upended just about everything, and now the war in Ukraine is causing another global shock. As the world struggles to replace lost ag exports from Ukraine and Russia, U.S. weather conditions are off to a poor start for getting this year’s corn crop planted. The result is that we are seeing incredibly wild and high prices.
For the last few years, we have published the long-term price cycle for corn, using Central Illinois cash prices as our benchmark. With the current strength in the corn market, we’ve received several calls and emails over recent weeks wanting to know if the cycle high might possibly be coming earlier than we previously thought. Maybe. Let’s review what the cash corn cycles really show.
To begin with, there is a very dominant long-term cycle in cash corn prices. The first peak shown in the chart was in 1917 at $2.21 per bushel, with the next peak occurring 31 years later at $2.84. After that, the following peak was 26 years later in 1974 at $3.97, then 22 years after that at $5.25 and 16 years following that at $8.54 in 2012.
Source: Brock Associates
As the chart clearly indicates, the cycles keep getting shorter; from peak to peak and also from peak to trough. And each cycle peak is, on average, 41% higher than the previous peak. If the pattern continues, one could expect a new high 12 to 13 years following the 2012 peak which would put the next cycle peak at about 2024 or 2025 in the $12 per bushel area. With all of the current events, it is certainly a legitimate question to ask, “Is it possible to that the next cycle high will come ‘early’, as in 2022?”
The most obvious two factors that might cause that to occur would be a continuation of the war in Ukraine which would then very likely result in a significant portion of their corn crop not getting planted. The normal planting season in Ukraine is similar to Minnesota, so there is still ample time left for their crop to be put in the ground. But as of now, the war seems is from being over and even if the crop gets planted, Russia is controlling the Black Sea and no corn can be exported out of Odessa. That poses a major problem.
To offset that argument somewhat is the fact that because the port has been closed and exports are down sharply, this years’ corn ending stocks in Ukraine are going to be record high. A lot of that corn normally goes to Middle Eastern and Asian countries. With the tight corn supplies, other feed products are being substituted in livestock rations. Consequently, corn demand is actually being slowed in that area of the world.
Of more immediate short-term concern is the weather in the U.S. Midwest. While corn planting progress as of April 17 was not materially behind, current field conditions are not favorable for a rapid advance in planting progress. Soil temperatures are very cold and even if the crop was in the ground, conditions are currently not conducive for rapid emergence. Thus, as of this writing it’s very possible that the Midwestern corn crop could end up being planted on average two weeks late, which is not necessarily a game changer. But if the crop is planted late, then the market would likely be even more fearful of the potential for a short crop.
As in every bull market, bullish news keeps getting more bullish.
The Bottom Line
All bull markets need to be identified as either supply or demand driven. This one is supply driven which means it will peak when least expected and the move to the downside will be rapid. Because of this, our opinion is that $12 corn is not likely for this move. The news is almost always the most bullish at the top and combining planting weather in the U.S. along with the war in Ukraine, this is about as bullish as it can get. If the livestock industry and ethanol industry were both expanding and increasing demand, then the anticipated results would likely be different. But this is not a rapidly expanding demand market. Be very careful about getting too bullish this late in a bull market.
Sanderson Farms Feed Mill Named Integrator Feed Facility of the Year
Collins, Mississippi Facility recognized for
achievement in feed manufacturing.
Sanderson Farms’ feed mill in Collins, Mississippi has been recognized as the 2021 Integrator Feed Facility of the Year by the American Feed Industry Association in partnership with Feedstuffs and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. The award, which recognizes the highest achievement in feed manufacturing facilities, was presented during the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s annual Feed Mill Management Seminar.
“Sanderson Farms’ Collins facility demonstrates excellence in all of the Feed Facility of the Year scoring areas — safety, quality control and food safety, government compliance, housekeeping and facility appearance, productivity and efficiency, sustainability, employee development, and community and customer relations,” said Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs for the American Feed Industry Association. “Their facility is also designed to incorporate future expansion and meet changing demands and needs.”
Whether it is the formula for an innovative poultry feed or the formula for successful operation, Sanderson Farms’ Collins feed mill has identified a unique formula for success at their facility that consists of safety, quality, regulatory compliance and employee development. The national feed manufacturing recognition marks the second time the company’s Collins feed facility has been recognized by the American Feed Industry Association as the facility was first awarded the association’s Feed Facility of the Year award in 2017.
“Achieving this type of national recognition for feed manufacturing not once, but twice is exceptional and demonstrates the employees’ dedication to quality, efficiency, safety and regulatory compliance at this facility,” said Mike Tamimi, director of production for Sanderson Farms. “I am extremely proud of the efforts of the team at our Collins feed mill and look forward to all that they are able to accomplish in the future.”
The American Feed Industry Association has been recognizing excellent feed manufacturing facilities through the Feed Facility of the Year program since 1985, with 2021 marking the first year that the association began issuing top industry awards to facilities in four categories: commercial dry, liquid feed, premix and ingredient, and integrator. According to feedback from program organizers, the award-winning Sanderson Farms feed facility prioritizes employee engagement and morale by including employees in daily conversations about safety while empowering supervisors to assist employees by providing personal attention through the company’s training program.
Each year, the Collins feed mill produces more than 400,000 tons of custom formulated poultry feed to help nourish and grow the over 660 million chickens the company raises annually. The award-winning feed facility is part of a network of eight other feed mills spread across the company’s operations in Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina that manufacture a total of more than 5 million tons of poultry feed annually.
Metrics from Sanderson Farms’ feed facilities are reviewed daily, weekly, quarterly and annually in an effort to maximize efficiency while maintaining and increasing performance. Those metrics include inbound ingredient specifications, ingredient moisture, mixer analysis on specified ingredients, weekly tons of feed produced, labor costs, feed conversion rates, utility usage and performance, as well as delivery cost.
“I am proud of the work ethic and dedication to excellence that the employees at this facility exhibit each day they come to work,” said Bill Bray, feed mill manager for Sanderson Farms’ Collins feed facility. “Thank you to the American Feed Industry Association and its industry partners for recognizing the efforts of this deserving team.”
The Collins feed mill alone processes 2,275 acres worth of corn and over 3.6 million pounds of soybeans weekly. The facility also serves as the grain delivery point for the company’s Laurel, Mississippi feed mill, which accounts for nearly a third of the total grain delivered to the nearby Collins feed facility.
The nation’s third largest poultry producer is committed to providing quality feed and nutrition for their birds. In fact, over 41 percent of Sanderson Farms’ cost of sales is invested in purchasing and milling feed ingredients necessary to ensure a balanced diet for birds. The company’s innovative feed formula consists of energy sources, proteins, fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals necessary to grow healthy poultry.
“By operating our own feed mills, Sanderson Farms ensures that everything that goes into our chicken products is approved by specially trained nutritionists like myself and our expert veterinary team,” said Dr. Amy Batal, corporate nutritionist for Sanderson Farms. “Thanks to skilled feed manufacturing teams like our team in Collins, we are able to promote optimal bird health through proper diet and nutrition.”
Sanderson Farms, Inc., founded in 1947, is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items.
Employing more than 17,000 employees in operations spanning five states and 17 different communities, Sanderson Farms is the third largest poultry producer in the United States.
INSIDE WASHINGTON: EPA soliciting input for WOTUS rulemaking
House members file WOTUS amicus brief in favor of private landowners in Sackett vs. EPA.
By Jacqui Fatka
While testifying before a Senate committee recently, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Reagan says EPA will continue its rulemaking process as the Supreme Court decides on the fate of the current definition of the waters of the U.S.
“We are currently continuing our roundtable discussions with our farmers and elected agricultural officials,” Reagan says. Although the agency is still dealing with some uncertainty in terms of courts’ decisions, Reagan says EPA is taking into consideration many of the concerns in the agricultural community as well as those on the other side of the issue.
“We’re still on a path to produce some certainty while we see what plays out with the Supreme Court,” explains Reagan.
The Sackett case is expected to be heard in October, and Reagan stopped short of promising that EPA would not release a rule ahead of the court hearing.
Courtney Briggs, American Farm Bureau Federation senior director of congressional relations, says EPA has reached out to Farm Bureau members to participate in regional roundtables planned for May and June. Three state Farm Bureaus are leading panels at different regional roundtables.
“Those roundtables are designed to talk about implementation concerns across various regions,” she says. The roundtables are designed to offer different viewpoints from all those coming together to discuss implementation including someone from agriculture, environmental justice, environment, non-government organization, construction/development and municipalities.
WOTUS amicus brief filed by House members
Western Caucus Chairman Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., submitted an amicus brief for the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, Sackett v. EPA, which could set forth the proper test for determining the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
“If allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit’s decision will harm each of those interests. It will allow a federal agency to make every puddle, ditch, and creek in the United States subject to overbearing regulation. This Court should reject that outcome as inconsistent with the relevant statutory text and reverse the decision below,” says the brief.
“Confusion, unpredictability, and litigation have surrounded the scope of federal authority of our nation’s navigable waterways for decades, and as our amicus brief states, Congress never intended to give the EPA jurisdiction over every ditch, puddle, or stream,” add the lawmakers. “As members of the Congressional Western Caucus and representatives of rural America, we understand that our communities are committed to clean water and conservation, protecting private property, and land-use rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and landowners deserve certainty, and it is our hope that the Supreme Court will finally put an end to this regulatory confusion.”
The amicus brief outlines the importance of environmental federalism and how a poorly-defined Clean Water Act hinders environmental protection by interfering with more effective state, local, and private action. As the brief states, “Simply put, the incredible ecological variety throughout the nation makes one-size-fits-all national environmental regulation unworkable,” and “environmental protection and conservation remain core, traditional areas of state and local regulation.”
The brief also provides a legislative history and analysis of congressional intent: “The Clean Water Act’s history confirms what its text makes clear: Congress did not give EPA power to regulate land like the Sacketts’ under the Act’s permit provisions.”
On March 9, Newhouse, Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves, R-Mo., and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member David Rouzer, R-N.C., led over 200 House Republicans – including every member of the Western Caucus – in calling for the Biden administration to drop its plan to expand the scope of “waters of the United States” until Sackett v. EPA is decided by the Supreme Court.
USDA asked to handle animal gene editing regulations
Livestock and crop groups sent a letter to USDA renewing calls for the department to advance its own animal gene editing regulations. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the DNA of genetically modified animals as “animal drugs.” This system leads to a long, cumbersome regulatory approach for developers and academics considering commercialization and imposes numerous post-market barriers on livestock producers looking to adopt animal innovations.
Despite the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on animal biotechnology at the end of the Trump administration between the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, animal biotechnology approvals remain stalled. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says he’s committed to working with the FDA on creating proper jurisdiction of animal biotech oversight.
Names in the News
New hires, promotions, retirements
ADM names chief financial officer
ADM, a global leader in sustainable human and animal nutrition, and one of the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing companies, announced Vikram Luthar has been appointed chief financial officer, following a thorough succession planning and candidate review process. Luthar succeeds Ray Young, who has served as CFO since 2010 and has also served as the company’s vice chairman since February.
Pender to lead NPPC public policy communications
Annemarie Pender has been hired by the National Pork Producers Council as assistant vice president for marketing and communications. She began her duties Monday, working out of NPPC's Washington, D.C., public policy office.
AEB names director of egg innovation
The American Egg Board recently named Bradd Bosely as director of egg innovation. Reporting directly to AEB’s vice president of insights and innovation, Bosely will lead the execution of AEB’s innovation plan, including developing the egg innovation pipeline, building strategic relationships, executing innovation projects, establishing a technical research program and continuing to build the organizational structure and capabilities that allow AEB to spearhead innovation for the industry. Bosely joins the AEB with more than 15 years of experience in food innovation and product development.
Chase Adams joins NPPC lobbying team
The National Pork Producers Council has hired Chase Adams as manager of congressional relations in its Washington, D.C., public policy office. He joins Jack Frye on the organization's lobbying team.
Northey named CEO of AAI
The Agribusiness Association of Iowa (AAI) has announced that Bill Northey, former secretary of agriculture for Iowa, has been named as its new CEO. Northey will be succeeding Joel Brinkmeyer, who will be retiring on May 1, 2022.
Visit Feedstuffs.com for additional Names in the News announcements throughout the month.
Food production in food deserts
Freight to plate approach provides local production of produce in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Freight to Plate: We go on location to downtown Chicago to meet a sister duo that is working to change the face of food deserts in the Windy City. Jacqueline and Mary Kathryn Scala are the co-founders of Freight to Plate and they are leveraging technology built inside shipping containers to create a self-sustaining compact farm in what is a relatively small footprint. Each year they raise 4 to 6 tons of fresh produce in this 40-ft. freight container. Click to view.
View our interview with Freight to Plate co-founders Jacqueline and Mary Kathryn Scala.
PODCASTS: Feedstuffs in Focus and Feedstuffs Precision Pork
SCOTUS to hear Prop 12 case brought by Farm Bureau, Pork Producers ... PLUS Don't overlook water quality in your management decisions
After nearly two months of waiting, the U.S. Supreme Court this week announced they would be hearing the case brought by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation challenging California’s Proposition 12 requiring additional space requirements for gestating sows. The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet what agriculture groups describe as the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the pork was raised on farms outside of California.
The NPPC-AFBF case, which argues that Prop. 12 violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, limiting states’ ability to regulate commerce outside their borders, was finally granted certiorari March 25. NPPC and AFBF will file their initial brief with the Supreme Court in the coming weeks; the Justices could hear oral arguments in the fall and could render a decision by the end of the year.
In this episode we talk with Travis Cushman, Senior Counsel for Public Policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation. Cushman is one of the attorneys working on the case on behalf of the agriculture industry.
This episode is sponsored by United Animal Health, a leader in animal health and nutrition. You can learn more about United Animal Health and how they are working to advance animal science worldwide by visiting their website UnitedANH.com.
On any given day a producer must think about feed costs, biosecurity measures, vaccinations, marketing.. the list goes on. One area of production that is often overlooked is water quality. Ensuring that water is of good quality, properly delivered, and available to all pigs is not always as easy as it sounds.
In this episode, we talk with Erin Ehinger, Cargill Production Support Specialist, and Bob TenHove, Cargill Account Manager, to discuss why water is important and what a producer can do to ensure good water quality.
Estimated profitability. Source: Cargill
Recall plans are good business
Of all the potential reasons for a recall, the food safety perspective is typically the most serious.
By Adam Fahrenholz, Wilmer Pacheco, and Charles Stark
In 2019 we first shared this article on the establishment and use of recall plans. Coincidentally, around the same time the FDA issued a draft guidance on the initiation of voluntary recalls under 21 CFR part 7 subpart C. The FDA has now published the final guidance document on the topic, and so it seems like a good time to revisit recall plans and their components. The following is a general synopsis of good business practices and policies, but we certainly recommend reviewing the applicable guidance documents, collecting information from relevant trade associations, and familiarizing yourself with the regulatory language in order to best understand the requirements and expectations for creating and implementing a recall plan if it becomes necessary.
Modern feed manufacturing processes and feed quality assurance programs are designed to ensure that customers are provided with wholesome and safe animal foods. However, there may be occasions when animal foods need to be recalled due to inferior quality (high level of fines, non-uniformity in appearance, off odors, etc.), improper labeling, or because of food safety concerns. Of all the potential reasons for a recall, the food safety perspective is typically the most serious and animal foods have been recalled due to biological hazards such as Salmonella in pet foods, nutrient deficiencies or toxicities, issues with medications, or high levels of mycotoxins.
Recalls are actions taken by a company to remove an adulterated, misbranded, or violative product from the market. Having a recall plan that describes the course of action to be followed if an adulterated or misbranded product has been distributed is the best way to be prepared. According to the FDA, recalls can be classified in three ways based on the degree of health hazard presented by the product being recalled: Class I: situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the exposure or use of violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to animals or humans; Class II: A priority situation involving a product that may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences to animals or humans; Class III: A situation involving a product that is not likely to cause adverse health consequences to animals or humans. In the event of a recall, companies are responsible for removing products from sale or distribution that may pose a health risk to animals or humans.
Moreover, to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a facility is required to develop a recall plan if, during a hazard evaluation, the facility identified a hazard requiring a preventive control. FSMA also grants FDA mandatory recall authority to require a Class I recall, if necessary.
However, it is a good industry practice to have a recall plan regardless of the outcome of the hazard analysis. The recall plan must describe the actions to directly notify consignees/customers regarding the animal food being recalled and how to return or dispose the product, notify the public, conduct effectiveness checks to verify that customers have been notified and product has been recalled, as well as the appropriate disposition of the animal food by reprocessing, reworking, or disposing if necessary.
One of the first steps in developing a recall plan is to identify a recall management team. Depending on the size of the company, the recall team can be made up of one or several employees. If several employees are part of the recall team, the team should include members from different areas with a broad level of expertise. It is important to include the phone numbers of all the members and update their contact information on a regular basis.
Each recall team member should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, as it will help to ensure that the recall is completed correctly and in a timely manner. Some people can be assigned to multiple tasks, but their role should be defined in the recall plan. For example, facility managers and production personnel must gather production data to determine the cause of the failure in the process, collect manufacturing and shipping records, secure inventory, and design a process to handle the recalled product.
Although the method of identification may vary depending on the animal food being recalled, the sales group must notify customers and collect lot numbers of the product, contact farmers to shut-off bins, and determine if animals need to be placed on a market hold or stop sale. The nutrition and quality assurance group must obtain samples at the facility and in the field, coordinate laboratory analysis, determine potential rework or disposal based on the results of the analysis, and contact the company veterinarian to get advice regarding health and residue potential if category II medications are involved in the recall.
The communications group must develop press releases, set up a customer’s hotline if necessary, refer the customers to the correct technical group, and communicate with top management about all the aspects of the recall. While press releases can’t be established until the recall occurs, the recall plan can include templates to describe the information and where the press release needs to be sent. The communications team can also notify the regulatory agencies and the state recall coordinator as necessary. At the end of the recall process, the effectiveness of the recall must be evaluated by reconciling the number of bags or tons recovered compared to the total quantity recalled. To ensure that the recall process is working as intended and to identify and correct any problems ahead of time, mock recalls should be conducted on an annual or semiannual basis. Mock recalls should be designed to assist the recall team in practicing the implementation of the recall from incident identification to process conclusion. Keep in mind that a mock recall should also involve all members of the team, including alternate contacts on a regular basis. Mock recalls could involve the identification of one finished item and being able to trace the batch or lot number through the production process, while also identifying the ingredients that were used in its production.
Similarly, a mock recall could involve the identification of a particular ingredient and being able to identify all the finished feeds in which it may have been included. Having a good traceability program to trace ingredients and products one-step forward and one-step back in the supply chain is important to make the recall more effective. This means creating and maintaining records of production and distribution at the facility. However, mock recalls are more than just a traceability exercise; in order to implement an effective recall program, the mock recall should engage a broader range of internal and external stakeholders in order to practice the whole recall process.
Remember that Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs), sampling and monitoring the quality and safety of the incoming ingredients, and good quality control and traceability of your ingredients and finished products can prevent recalls or reduce the overall scope should one need to be implemented.
Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals; Final Rule. Recall Plan. Code of Federal Regulations title 21, section 507.38, 2015.
Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21, Part 7, Subpart C: Recalls (Including Product Corrections) – Guidance on Policy, Procedures, and Industry Responsibilities. Available at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-21/chapter-I/subchapter-A/part-7/subpart-C?toc=1, accessed March 24th, 2022.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2019. Investigations and operations manual, Chapter 7: Recall activities. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/media/75263/download, accessed March 24th, 2022.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2018. Questions and Answers Regarding Mandatory Food Recalls: Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/guidance-industry-and-fda-staff-questions-and-answers-regarding-mandatory-food-recalls, accessed March 24th, 2022.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2022. Initiation of Voluntary Recalls Under 21 CFR Part 7, Subpart C: Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/initiation-voluntary-recalls-under-21-cfr-part-7-subpart-c, accessed March 24th, 2022.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Getting the most out of your high-moisture corn
There are numerous strategies available to optimize fermentation, starch availability and overall quality of HMC.
By Luiz Ferraretto
High-moisture corn (HMC) is an important feedstuff to aid fulfill the energy demands of a lactating cow. Maximizing its fermentation and starch availability is key to increase its energy value.
There are numerous strategies available to optimize fermentation, starch availability and overall quality of HMC. These are essential for the efficient utilization of nutrients by dairy cattle. Corn kernels have two primary factors limiting starch digestion by ruminants. Pericarp, the corn hull, is highly resistant to microbial and enzymatic degradation and is the first barrier to digestion. The second is a specific type of protein called zein, which surrounds starch granules and is barely degraded in the rumen of cattle. This article will review and discuss factors that affect the nutritive value and fermentation of HMC, as well as strategies available to producers to optimize its nutritive value and fermentation.
Fermentation is more than silage preservation
Ensuring a good silage fermentation is key for dry matter and nutrient preservation. Compared with whole-plant corn silage, HMC has less moisture, which is important for bacteria transport in the silo, and lower levels of sugar, the primary substrate for silage fermentation. Also, in certain areas such as the Upper Midwest, HMC is harvested in the fall when the natural bacterial population is not as viable because of cool temperatures. Thus, HMC would typically ferment more slowly and to a lesser extent than whole-plant corn silage. Boosting the initial fermentation could help mitigate this issue.
Silage inoculants contain bacteria that take over the fermentation process and shift silage fermentation toward a desired pattern (mainly lactic acid and some antifungal acids) for optimum preservation. This may help in situations where the natural bacterial population is unable to dominate the fermentation process. Inoculating HMC could safeguard your crop investment. But using a product designated for HMC and research-proven is advised as these would usually contain higher bacterial counts.
But fermentation of feeds rich in starch goes beyond silage preservation.
Figure 1. Effect of storage length of starch digestibility. Adapted from Ferraretto et al. (2014); Journal of Dairy Science 97:3221-3227.
During fermentation enzymes that breakdown zein proteins are released. Most of these enzymes, about 60%, are from bacteria whereas 30% are enzymes found inside corn kernels and are activated by low pH. This explains why starch digestibility is often greater in HMC than dry corn. Starch digestibility spikes during initial fermentation and continues to increase gradually with prolonged storage. But the gradual increase is not as pronounced as the initial spike. Figure 1 exemplifies this phenomenon. Briefly, a commercial dataset of approximately 6,000 samples was separated by month of sample submittal. Month of samples submittal was assumed to be associated with length of storage. Research supports inventory planning for feeding HMC only after 90 to 120 days of storage. But this practice requires optimum silage management to avoid more losses during prolonged storage.
Particle size matters
Feeding whole or coarsely ground HMC to reduce labor, time, and energy costs is not unusual. But these benefits come at the expense of starch digestibility. Grinding kernels thoroughly is essential for exposing starch to digestion. Corn kernels that have been extensively processed have increased surface area available for microbial attachment and enzymatic degradation increasing starch digestibility. But this effect is not only related to surface area.
Recently, we studied the effects of particle size on silage fermentation and starch digestibility of HMC ensiled for a short period (up to 28 d). In that study, concentrations of lactic and acetic acids were greater in finely ground (958 µm) compared to coarsely ground (4,448 µm) HMC. This difference is related to greater exposure of kernel sugars to microbial fermentation with finely compared to coarsely ground HMC. In a follow-up study, pH was reduced, and concentrations of lactic, acetic, and total acids were greater in ensiled corn grain with broken kernels compared to that with intact kernels.
Our results from both studies suggest that this is very important as the proteolytic activity (indicated by greater concentrations of soluble CP and ammonia N) was increased when ensiled corn grain was more extensively processed. Probably because more enzymes that break zein proteins were available with a more robust fermentation. Overall, research indicates finely grinding HMC improves fermentation and starch availability.
Proper moisture at harvest is another key step to increase starch availability of HMC. Starch digestibility of HMC is positively related to its moisture concentration. More mature and drier kernels have greater proportion of vitreous endosperm, which has more zein proteins. Increased vitreousness hardens the kernel hardness, increasing its resistance to grinding or mechanical processing.
But reduced digestibility is also impacted by reduced water available for the growth of bacteria in the silo corn plants mature and DM concentrations (in the plant and within the kernel) increase. Reduced concentrations of organic acids, suggesting a limited fermentation, are frequently observed in dried HMC. Recently, our laboratory conducted a study to evaluate the effect of fermentation on starch digestibility without having different vitreousness.
Briefly, this was accomplished by increasing DM concentrations in HMC through oven-drying at a low temperature as an alternative to a delayed harvest. A more robust fermentation, proteolysis (based on soluble CP and ammonia-N data), and ruminal in situ starch disappearance were observed when HMC was ensiled at 35% compared to 30% moisture.
Production of HMC is very important to the dairy industry. Understanding the factors that affect the nutritive value and fermentation of HMC is essential for optimizing its inclusion in dairy diets. Numerous management factors influence the nutritive value of HMC, including moisture content and fineness of grind. Determining the best moisture and particle size practices for each dairy requires the assessment of equipment availability, labor, time, and energy costs.
Luiz Ferraretto, Ruminant Nutrition Extension Specialist, Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Madison
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Effects of late gestation nutrient restriction
Correlations between maternal performance and colostrum quality; thus, impacts on offspring performance.
By Garland Dahlke, Devin Jakub and Erika Lundy
Swings in weather patterns, of which have inconsistently altered feed availability to cow-calf producers, and a demand for increased calf performance have unfolded a need to further investigate the negative impacts of inefficient beef cow nutrition. Extensive research in the dairy industry and even in other species such as sheep has shown correlations between maternal performance and colostrum quality, and thus, impacts on offspring performance.
Though beef cows are efficient in utilizing protein and energy, their nutrient requirements are often compromised in late gestation and lactation due to events in which the producers have poorer quality feeds at their disposal. Such instances may have negative effects on colostrum quality as the cow allocates nutrients towards fetal development and eventually lactation.
This plays a crucial role in the initial development and passive immunity of the calf because there is no fetal-placental transfer of antibodies in utero; thus, the calf must acquire those antibodies through colostrum. In addition to immunoglobulins, colostrum also delivers essential vitamins, proteins and fat to the calf.
There is little known permeability of fat-soluble vitamins across the placenta, meaning the calf must acquire important vitamins like A and E through colostrum as well. The calf is able to absorb intact proteins for approximately 24 hours after birth before intestinal closure; thus, quality and quantity of colostrum is key to survival and growth of the neonatal calf.
Materials and methods
To investigate the effects of nutrient restriction on cow and subsequent calf performance, multiparous Angus cows (n=48) were blocked by body weight and randomly assigned to one of four treatments. All fall cows were given one A.I. opportunity before being exposed to cleanup bulls for 90 days. No fetal aging was utilized for this study.
Cows were grouped into four groups within each treatment, for a total of 16 groups. Average empty cow weights per pen ranged from 1,040 to over 1,400 pounds.
Treatments consisted of ground hay (HAY), ground hay and whole-shell corn (HC), ground hay and dry distillers grains (HD) or ground hay with dry distillers and whole-shell corn (HCD).
Table 2 includes percentages of metabolizable protein and net energy for each treatment.
Cows were fed at constant levels throughout the trial with the expectation that their caloric intake may not be adequately met from approximately month-8 of gestation (day 0 of trial) until the time they calved. Nutrient analyses of feedstuffs along with manure samples were collected biweekly during the study.
At the end the analysis of these feedstuffs including total tract NDF digestibility along with starch digestibility was performed to calculate the available caloric and metabolizable protein content of the feed. Upon calving, all pairs were returned to normal herd management which involved grazing tall fescue pastures at the McNay Research and Demonstration Farm.
Table 1 outlines the timeline of measurements taken for both the cows and their calves. Twelfth rib backfat (BF) and ribeye area (REA) were measured via ultrasonography at day 0 of the trial and then at day 49 (just prior to calving).
Body condition score (BCS) was calculated as: [(BF/REA*100) + 2.5]. Empty body weight (EBW) was calculated using the following equation:
(EBW = shrunk weight x 0.96). The weight of the fetal calf plus fluids was also accounted for using the following equation: [Wt of cow x (.01828 x 2.7/\(.02 x dp-.00000143 x DP x DP)] (DP represents days pregnant).
At calving, a composite colostrum sample of 100mL was collected from the left front and rear quarters of the cow within 24hr of parturition and frozen at the time of collection.
Samples were later analyzed for IgG, milk urea nitrogen (MUN) and total protein (TP) concentrations at the Cornell university Diagnostic laboratory.
Performance variables were analyzed using repeated measures for least square means. These procedures were carried out using the MIXED procedure in SAS 9.4 (SAS Inst. Inc., NC, USA).
Results and discussion
As expected, there were no significant differences observed at day zero or day 49 for live and empty body weight, despite a decrease in body weight over all treatments. Table 3 displays cow performance values on and off test, and at calving. HCD cows had the greatest increase in final visual BCS (P = 0.03), but because all cows showed a decrease in body weight, calculated BCS was included to eliminate potential bias of visual BCS.
All cows had less final calculated BCS, with no significance observed between treatments. For BF, all treatment groups exhibited a decrease from initial to final, but no significant differences were observed between groups. HAY, HD, and HCD cows had a decrease in REA from initial to final, with HC cows staying the same; however, no significant differences were observed between groups.
Cow colostrum composition relative to treatment was also analyzed for this study. No significant differences were observed for IgG and total protein concentrations between all treatment groups (Table 4).
For HD cows, MUN concentrations were significantly higher than the other treatment groups (P=0.02). Correlations of cow colostrum content to growth performance are displayed in Table 5.
IgG and TP tended to be positively correlated, while IgG and MUN tended to be negatively correlated (P≤ 0.10). MUN and initial backfat (IBF) tended to be negatively correlated (P ≤ 0.10), while significance for a negative correlation (P ≤ 0.05) was observed for MUN and final backfat (FBF). Significance was observed for a negative correlation (P ≤ 0.05) between TP and final ribeye area (FREA).
Measurements of calf performance relative to maternal treatment were also recorded for this study (Table 6). Though there were slight variations in birth weight and calf vigor scores across all treatments, no significant differences were observed between groups.
Similarly, there were no significant differences observed across all treatments in BW at 18 weeks and at weaning. Overall, it was observed that restricting cows of energy during late gestation could potentially lead to a decrease in cow performance.
HC was the only treatment that met energy requirements and had the least decline in BW, BF, REA, and BCS.
All other treatment groups exhibited moderate decreases in BW, BCS, BF, and REA; suggesting a potential negative energy balance in which cows were mobilizing more fatty acids from adipose tissue to compensate for an energy deficit.
A high value of MUN in the HD treatment group was expected because of a large oversupply of metabolizable protein (MP) in that diet. Thus, the negative correlations between MUN and IBF and FBF could point toward a higher energy demand by the cows that were oversupplied protein to excrete that extra protein via the milk and urine.
Consequently, at a certain point, oversupplying protein can be counter- productive as the cow mobilizes more fat to meet the energy demands of excreting excess protein from the urea cycle.
Another takeaway from this study is the importance of BCS. Accounting for fetal weight and fluid can be difficult when visually assigning BCS, as is evidenced by the data.
Thus, measuring BF and REA can be an important tool in determining the actual BCS of a cow, while keeping BW in mind.
Looking forward, what this third trimester nutrition means in terms of cow productivity is summarized in Table 7. This table provides information on the subsequent breed-back or the next year’s productivity.
Note that the more energy deficient ration (HAY) resulted in the greatest weight loss but not significantly poorer breed back from the HCD and HD treatments.
The HC ration, which based on cow measurements did not seem to differ much from the others in results, but appeared to have the best balance from feed analysis and calculated requirements performed considerably better at this point with no cows in this group coming back open and the days already bred being a month ahead of the other treatment groups.
In summary, restricting cows of energy during late gestation can negatively effect cow performance, as evidenced by colostrum content, but it is both a function of the extent of the restriction and the type of diet being fed.
Further research is needed as to how maternal nutrition during late gestation may affect passive immunity in calves, and hence, calf performance.
NUTRITION & HEALTH: Feeding cold-press canola cake to broilers
Impact of soluble fiber, feed additives to lower GIT pH
By Jinsu Hong, Courtney Sellner and Crystal Levesque
Canola meal is a high protein source with good amino acid profile, however the inclusion in poultry diets has been limited due to glucosinolates (GIs) toxicity.
The toxicity of glucosinolates from dietary canola coproducts can be potentially alleviated by modification of the pH of gastrointestinal tract in the monogastric animals. (Bones and Rossiter, 2006; Frandsen et al., 2019, Lee et al., 2020). Since a dietary soluble fiber source (barley), acidifier, encapsulated butyrate or lactic acid-producing probiotics can reduce pH of the gastrointestinal tract in broilers, our hypothesis was this would result in increased degradation of glucosinolates into less toxic glucosinolate degradation products.
The objective of our research was to investigate the potential of feed additives that can lower GIT pH to alleviate the toxicity of glucosinolate degradation products in broiler chickens. We examined the effects of a soluble fiber source or feed additive supplementation in cold-pressed canola cake (CPCC) containing diets on growth performance, organ weights, and blood thyroid hormones, and pH of digesta of broilers.
A total of 96 one-day-old broilers were assigned to six dietary treatments, consisting of eight cages with two birds each. The diets included a corn-soybean meal (SBM)-based diet and corn-SBM-CPCC 20% diets without or with barley, acidifier, encapsulated butyric acid and probiotics. Birds were fed a commercial diet for the first week and fed experimental diets for two weeks.
Body weight (BW) and feed intake of broilers were measured on days 7 and 21. On day 21, all birds were euthanized to collect samples of blood, organs and digesta.
Collected blood samples were analyzed for serum concentrations of triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4), and pH of digesta in gizzard, ileum, ceca and large intestine was measured.
Broilers fed CPCC diet with butyric acid or probiotics had greater (P<0.05) growth performance than broilers fed CPCC diet. There were no significant differences in relative weights of thyroid glands and liver to BW. Supplementation of either butyric acid or probiotics in CPCC diets reduced (P<0.05) serum T3 concentration compared to CPCC diet by 34% and 21%, respectively.
Also, supplementation of butyric acid in CPCC diet showed no difference in serum T3 concentration compared to corn-SBM diet.
Dietary treatments in CPCC diets did not affect pH of digesta in gizzard and ileum, whereas supplementation of barley or acidifier decreased pH of cecal digesta compared to that of broilers fed CPCC diet by 0.5 and 0.51 pH units, respectively.
In summary, dietary CPCC significantly reduced growth performance with increased serum T3 concentration due to dietary glucosinolates. Dietary CPCC increased pH of cecal digesta compared to corn-SBM diet.
Dietary barley (soluble fiber source) did not affect the growth performance, whereas it decreased serum T3 level and the pH of cecal digesta in broilers fed CPCC diets.
Dietary acidifier improved FCR and reduced pH of cecal digesta in broilers fed the CPCC diets. However, it did not affect serum T3 and T4 levels and relative organ weights.
Dietary encapsulated butyrate improved growth performance with decreased serum T3 concentration in broilers fed CPCC diets. It had no significant influence on the relative organ weights and intestinal pH.
Dietary probiotics improved the growth performance with decreased serum T3 concentration in broilers fed CPCC diets. It also decreased relative weight of heart, whereas it did not affect the pH of intestinal sections.
Supplementation of encapsulated butyric acid in the 20% CPCC diet can improve growth performance of broilers by mitigating the toxic effects of dietary CPCC as evidenced by reduced serum T3 concentration.
Hong is a research associate, Sellner is an undergrate and Levesque is an associate professor, all with the Department of Animal Science, South Dakota State University.