The HolyGrail for feed formulators and manufacturers has been reaching the point whereit is possible to adjust feed formulations continuously based on the actualnutrient composition of the feedstuffs incorporated into the feed and to varyfeed mill processes to ensure quality and uniformity of the finished feed. HowardEubanks, feed and grain business development manager, Bruker Optics NorthAmerica, told the audience at the webinar, Feed mill operations improvement usingFT-NIR spectroscopy, that inline Fourier Transformation-near infrared (FT-NIR)spectroscopy is available now to provide data at multiple points in the feedmill which brings the industry closer to attaining this goal.
The record corn and soybean harvest in the U.S. this fall have led to dramatic reductions in rations for poultry and swine producers, and these lower feed costs will likely continue for several months.
Dr.Thomas Scott, research chair in feed processing technology, Department of Animaland Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, said that mycotoxin contamination of portionsof the wheat crop in Canada this year is a problem, particularly fusarium andergot contamination.
In Rose Acre Farms’ battle over a new NPDES permit with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, state regulators have chosen to follow EPA guidance and assume that high nutrient levels in waters outside of the layer farm are caused by emissions from poultry house ventilation fans. The fact that air removed from the poultry houses contains some fraction of ammonia and dust doesn’t prove that these substances leave the farm and make it into nearby bodies of water in quantities large enough to cause the nutrient levels that trouble the regulators.
Chip Flory, editor, Pro Farmer, and crop analyst, presented the results of Pro Farmer’s 21st annual crop tour during the Pro Farmer/WATT Grain & Meat Outlook webinar. He said that as a result of late planting caused by wet spring weather in the Corn Belt, much of the corn and the soybean crops are at immature stages for late August and will require several weeks of good growing conditions to reach their respective yield potentials.
The 2012 U.S. corn crop was supposed to be one of the biggest on record with one of the largest number of acres planted since WWII, and we wouldn’t have another below trend line yield again, but it didn’t work out as planned. The drought in the Midwest drastically reduced yield, corn prices hit record highs in the summer and the high price is rationing corn among users, foreign and domestic. Record high feed costs coupled with continued reduced demand for animal protein products triggered by sluggish economic conditions and high prices will challenge egg producers in 2013.
While dismissing William Cramer’s challenge to California’s Proposition 2 with prejudice, judge John Walter’s decision said, “Proposition 2 provides a person of ordinary intelligence more than a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited and provides explicit and objective standards to prevent discriminatory enforcement.” I respectfully disagree with the judge, and given the ongoing uncertainty over what type of housing would meet Proposition 2 requirements, what should egg producers do?
With the election just around the corner, former North Dakota governor and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Edward Shafer told the audience at the United Egg Producers executive conference about presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s commitment to agriculture and to the country’s current ethanol policy. It was as though Shafer were reading from a speech written for the National Corn Growers Association meeting and a group of corn buyers, not the U.S. egg producers.
In a report for the National Turkey Federation in early September, Dr. Thomas Elam, economist and principal at FarmEcon LLC, forecasted an average farm price for corn of $8.00 per bushel and a Decatur, Ill., high-protein soybean meal price of $500 per ton for the 2012-2013 crop year. These forecasted prices are both 28 percent higher than the projected average prices for the 2011-2012 crop year.