USDA Appoints Environmental and Nutrition Activist

Aug 29, 2014

Angela Tagtow has been appointed as the Executive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.  Until recently Tagtow operated a commercial entity, Environmental Nutrition Solutions, in Iowa with the stated mission of “changing the food system by making it more sustainable, ecologically sound and socially acceptable.” 

She was the co-founder of the Iowa Food Systems Council and coordinator of the Iowa Food Access and Health Working Group.  Ms. Tagtow earned an MS degree in Family and Consumer Sciences education from Iowa State University and is a registered dietician. 

The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion develops dietary guidelines, undertakes educational programs including the frequently criticized MyPlate initiative.  The Committee has become progressively more involved in peripheral issues such as climate change, animal production systems, food safety and sustainability which denotes “mission creep”.


Egg Industry News


Welcome to Henning Construction

Aug 29, 2014

This week Henning Construction Co. LLC., a leading U.S. general contractor joins the list of sponsors of this electronic newsletter.

The 3rd-generation enterprise was established in Latimer IA. during 1924 by Lars H. Henning, an immigrant from Denmark. Over the past 80 years Henning Construction has erected over 10 million square feet of buildings including agricultural complexes, multi-family structures and commercial operations. The Company has completed projects in 31 states and in the UK, PRC and Brazil.

Henning construction has been especially active in the poultry industry with completed feed mills, hatcheries, packing and processing plants and chicken housing.

For additional information see the review of alternative options for housing egg-producing flocks under the Presentations Tab of EGG-CITE. Visit  the company website at www.HenningConstruction.com.


UK Agency Investigating SE Outbreak

Aug 29, 2014

The Public Health Investigative Authority in England (PHE) provided an update on August 22nd concerning an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis.  According to Dr. Paul Cleary an epidemiologist affiliated to the PHE, concurrent investigations are proceeding in the UK and on the European Continent.  The same strains of Salmonella identified among 247 cases in the UK are common to isolates in Europe. 

The technique to identify the relationship among isolates was not stated.  It is generally considered that pulse field gel electrophoresis is generally unsuitable to discriminate among strains.  Definitive identification requires gene sequencing.

It is suspected that the infection originated in imported eggs but this has not yet been confirmed by traceback investigations.  The incidence rate is declining, taking into account late reporting to the national agency.


Burger King and Tim Horton’s in Negotiations

Aug 29, 2014

According to an August 24th press release Burger King Worldwide and Tim Horton’s are in negotiation to merge.

The majority owner of Burger King, the investment group 3- G will be the majority owner and the company will be jointly located in Canada and the U.S.  The combination will involve 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries with systems sales attaining $22 billion.

Tim Horton’s has 4,550 restaurants including 3,630 in Canada, 866 in the U.S. and 15 in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.  Burger King has 13,000 locations in 98 countries worldwide.

The merger represents a potential to increase breakfast serving which presumes the need for eggs in both processed and shell form.  The question arises as to whether any increase in sales from the combination will be at the expense of existing QSRs including McDonald’s Corporation, Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts.


Salmonella Diagnosed in Organic Nut Products

Aug 29, 2014

An August 21st posting on ProMed confirmed a diagnosis of Salmonella Braenderup involving a number of brands including Arrowhead Mills and MaraNatha peanut and almond butters.  Products were under the umbrella of the Hain Celestial Unit, nSpired Foods and were sold at Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s stores.

The organism was isolated by the FDA from an nSpired plant in Ashland, OR in July.


Bunge Limited Post Second Quarter Results

Aug 29, 2014

Bunge Limited posted results for their second quarter of fiscal 2014 ending June 30th.

Sales increased by 8.4 percent to $16.79 million compared with the corresponding second quarter of fiscal 2013.  Income increased by 142 percent to $272 million. 

All four operating divisions showed a positive EBIT:

  • Sugar and Bioenergy, $6 million
  • Agribusiness, $311 million
  • Food and ingredients, $90 million
  • Fertilizer, $11 million

The company achieved a gross margin of 4.7 percent for the quarter.


Weekly USDA Prices and Inventory

Aug 29, 2014


The USDA Egg Market News Report for Monday August 25th 2014, (Vol. 61: #68) indicated a pre-Labor Day weekend upswing in prices as documented in the following table listing the “most frequent” range of Midwest values as delivered to warehouses:-

  Current Week    Previous Week
Extra Large   111 –  114          105  –  108  cents per dozen
Large 109 –  112   103 –  106  
Medium 84 –  87   82 –  88  
Certified Organic EL 275 –  310   275 –  310  
Breaking Stock 80 –  83   77 –  79  
Checks 67 –  70   61  –  67  



Build-up in Frozen Inventory

Aug 29, 2014

The August USDA-National Agricultural Statistical Service Report on frozen egg inventory reflecting the levels of four categories on July 31st 2014 indicated an accumulation in stock as compared to the corresponding date in 2013.

      Quantity (lb X 1,000)
  Category   July 31, 2013   July 31, 2014   Difference
         Whites        3,507      3,941      +12.4%
  Yolks   1,702   1,760   +3.4%
  Whole and Mixed   8,278   10,581   +27.8%
  Unclassified   12,631   15,205   +20.3%
  TOTAL   26,118   31,487   +20.6%



Public Perception of Euthanasia

Aug 27, 2014

At the recent 4th International Symposium on Beef Welfare, Drs. Grant Dewell and Suzanne Millman reviewed the importance of humane euthanasia in relation to consumer perception.

In 2007 the American Farm Bureau surveyed consumers of beef and determined that 80% believe that farm animals experience the same pain and discomfort and that 95% regarded it as important that animals were well cared for.  Millman stated “The more comfort the public has in agriculture’s programs to safeguard animal care the less likely we are to see them legally regulate our policies”. 

The implication is that we in the poultry industry must be constantly vigilant to ensure that flocks are managed in accordance with the UEP guidelines and that compliance is uniform across the entire spectrum of production ranging from incubation through to slaughter.


Colony Collapse and Insecticides Revisited

Aug 27, 2014

Oregon recently enacted legislation to restrict the use of neonicotinoid insecticides following release of questionable experimental data indicating that there was an association between the use of these compounds and colony collapse syndrome.

To illustrate the danger of enacting legislation in haste and on the basis of incomplete evidence, a recent outbreak of colony collapse syndrome was investigated by state officials and Oregon State University.  It was determined the cause of death was starvation and that there was no evidence of pesticide toxicity.


PCR Applied to Oncogenic Diseases

Aug 27, 2014

Scientists at the USDA-ARS Avian Diseases and Oncology Laboratory located in East Lansing, MI. have developed a polymerase chain reaction assay to diagnosis Marek’s disease and reticuloendotheliosis.

The new procedure will allow laboratories to extract DNA from formalin-preserved tissue obviating the need to submit frozen organ sections.


USDA Crop Progress Report

Aug 27, 2014



The August 25th USDA- National Agricultural Statistical Service  Crop Progress Report reflecting the week ending August 24th denoted a  very favorable crop situation with 71 percent of soy and 73 percent of corn crops in the “Good” to “Excellent”  categories.

The USDA reported that 83 percent of corn was at the dough stage compared to 70 percent for the previous week in 18 states. This compares to a 5-year average of 78 percent. Thirty five percent of corn was at the dent stage compared to 22 percent for the previous week in 18 states. This compares to a 5-year average of 43 percent.

Approximately 90 percent of the soybean crop had produced pods compared to 83 percent last week and the five-year average of 89 percent.

The condition of these crops was classified by the USDA as:-

  Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Corn            2% 5% 20% 52% 21%
Soybeans 2% 5% 23% 54% 17%

At market close on August 25th  September and December corn were quoted at 359.4  and 367.6 cents per bushel respectively.  Soybeans for September and November were $11.23 and $10.28 respectively.  Soybean meal quotations were $405 per ton for September and $344 per ton for December delivery.




Shane Commentary


Condemnation of Vermont GMO Labeling Law

Aug 27, 2014

Recently Vermont passed a law mandating that food products containing ingredients of GM origin should be labeled accordingly. 

Senator Norm McAllister (R-Franklin) sated “This is a marketing ploy by the organics industry so they can get a bigger share of the market”.  He added “if you scare people about what they are eating they are going to change”. McAllister who serves on the State Senate Committee on Agriculture noted that the labeling law was effectively a “Back-door method of legally banning GMOs”.


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Dr. Simon M. Shane
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Industry Prices: Fri Aug 29
 Corn3.66 $/bu
 Soybeans10.24 $/bu
 Soybean Meal350.50 $/ton
 Eggs, Producer100  ¢/doz
 Eggs, Warehouse 109-112 ¢/doz