In The News This Month – December 2022




Happy Holidays!

Another holiday season has come and gone. Children and adults alike hopefully found what they wished for underneath the Christmas tree. Were you able to sing popular songs around your tree while enjoying the fresh pine scent this year or did you fall prey to news stories of tree shortages and opt for an artificial tree instead? According to the Real Christmas Tree Board, reports of Christmas tree shortages have been around for years, but they’ve never not met demand. While the tree supply is lower than 10 or 20 years ago, there were no actual shortages this year. Marsha Grey, executive director for the Real Christmas Tree Board, says demand has skyrocketed, mainly due to more Americans deciding to take part in Christmas traditions and purchase real Christmas trees. Luckily, Gray says they have never not met the demand.

Where else did we hear of shortages this month? December rounds out the baking season and we often hear of egg shortages and skyrocketing prices during this time.  The USDA reported that demand was high this holiday baking season and coupled with tight shell egg inventories, the wholesale egg prices kept on climbing with little signs of cooling off. The highly pathogenic avian influenza is the main cause for the lower inventories, an additional 3.63 million layers have been depopulated since the beginning of December. Looking ahead to 2023, the USDA is forecasting the average wholesale price at $1.94/dozen, which is a 30% decrease from the 2022 forecast.

According to some experts, the avian influenza outbreak will continue into 2023. In a recent interview with Dr. Thomas Elam, president of FarmEconLLC, he explains why the disease continues to spread and how it could dominate 2023 for turkey and layer farmers and integrators. Be sure to check out the video link we highlighted below for the full interview.

As a new year is beginning, we might want to pay attention to one ag industry. As explained by a recent article featured on, the U.S. soybean processing industry has positively exploded. In order the meet California’s low carbon fuel standard, the demand for low carbon fuels has grown exponentially. Fuels like Renewable diesel can be made from feedstocks like soybean. Many biofuel companies are paying attention, giving this industry staying power and accelerated growth.

Before you look ahead to 2023, make sure to catch a couple of Top 10 lists we featured this month. WattAg highlighted the most-read articles in 2022 for both technology and consumer trends in poultry. A couple of my favorites were reading about the technologies to watch in 2022 and funnily enough that doctors needed to warn TikTokers about the dangerous sleepy chicken trend.

For most of the country, December was exceptionally cold. Many experienced a total white Christmas with temperatures dropping well below the negative degrees. What can we expect as we ring in the new year? According to some ag meteorologists, we should be ready for a colder and snowier winter. However, it looks like the eastern third of the country might start to get some taste of a spring with a warmer March. In the meantime, stay safe and stay warm next month!

Happy New Year!


Monica Lizar

Account Manager

Aeros, a Cultura Company


Feed and Grains:


Grain prices take a step forward

Afternoon report: Corn, soybeans and wheat test modest to moderate gains on Tuesday Dec 27, 2022.

It’s only a four-day week for grain markets, but prices already showed a bit of optimism on Tuesday after some technical buying lifted corn, soybean and wheat contracts. Corn prices saw the most upside after another flash sale was announced this morning, moving more than 1% higher by the close. Wheat gains were variable, tracking as much as 0.9% higher. Soybeans saw modest improvements of around 0.2%.

Variable amounts of rain and/or snow are possible for parts of the Midwest and Plains between Wednesday and Saturday, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. Parts of the Mid-South are likely to see 2” or more during this time. Later on, NOAA’s 8-to-14-day outlook predicts seasonally wet weather for most of the central U.S. between January 3 and January 9, with warmer-than-normal conditions likely for eastern half of the country during that time.

Read full article here


U.S. Soybean Processing Industry Explodes: Push for Low Carbon Fuels Drives Expansion and Profits for Farmers

It’s one of the fastest growing industries in ag, soybean processing, with several companies announcing plans to build facilities in the coming years.  The latest ones we told you about earlier this month.  Bunge has plans for a $550 million dollar plant in Morristown, Indiana, and Epitome Energy is also building a $400-million facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Plans are in the works for 18 new soybean processing plants and there are more on the drawing board.  With the push for low carb fuels like renewable diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel the industry has exploded and it’s a long term positive for farmers.   

The soybean processing industry is entering a new era, driven by the demand for low carbon fuels like Renewable diesel which can be made from feedstocks like soybean or other veg oils.  John Jansen, vice president of strategic partnerships for the United Soybean Board says, “It sequesters and eliminates a significant amount of greenhouse gas and carbon as compared to fossil fuels.”    

It’s being used to meet California’s low carbon fuel standard, but the interest doesn’t stop there.  Grant Kimberley, senior director of market development at the Iowa Soybean Association says, “Well, right now the renewable diesel capacity is about 1.5 to 1.6 billion gallons a year. And we anticipate that to go up by another approximately 500 million gallons over the next year. There are other announcements to further out where we could see an increase of a couple billion gallons more and ultimately, we think potentially we could get to 6 billion gallons by 2030.”

Read full article here




Colorado cage-free egg regulations begin in January

On January 1, 2023, all eggs and egg products sold in Colorado must be compliant with confinement standards for egg laying hens that were established in a 2020 bill. In order to be fully compliant, producers must phase into fully cage-free by 2025.

The bill established that on and after January 1, 2023, a business owner or operator is prohibited from selling shell eggs or egg products that are produced by egg-laying hens confined in a manner that conflicts with certain standards. One such requirement is that each hen be provided at least one square foot of usable floor space. By January 1, 2025, each hen must be provided one square foot of usable floor space if the hens have unfettered access to vertical space. Hens that do not have unfettered access to vertical space will have to provided 1.5 square feet of usable floor space.

Read full article here


Table egg production falls as egg prices hit new record

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to make its mark on the U.S. egg industry. The latest USDA “Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook” showed October table-egg production declined 4.2% from October 2012. The average size of the table-egg flock was estimated at 308.3 million layers, down 5.1% from last year.

According to the outlook, the November 1 table-egg layer flock was estimated at almost 309.0 million layers, only marginally higher than the September 1 estimated flock. However, this estimate did not account for the early and late November HPAI outbreaks that resulted in the loss of 2.72 million layers. Further, an additional 3.63 million layers have been depopulated since the beginning of December.

Read full article here


Egg Week


USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, December 21st 2022.


Market Overview

  • The average wholesale unit revenue values for Midwest Extra-large and Large sizes were higher by 8.8 percent on average, continuing the upward move from last week. Mediums were up 11.5 percent indicating an imbalance between supply and demand in this size despite pullets commencing production. This past week shell egg inventory was down 6.3 percent despite higher prices. Both retail price and demand will continue to increase compared to previous years. For early 2023 retail purchases will be sustained by consumer perceptions of value in an inflationary environment with concern over the high cost for other protein foods. Availability and hence prices are influenced by depletion of close to 44 million hens in 21 large complexes in ten states extending from the last week in February through mid-December.


Read full article here





Avian influenza cases reported in California, Canada

The most recently reported cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in North America involve three commercial poultry cases in Canada and one commercial upland gamebird operation in California.

Avian influenza in British Columbia, Ontario

Three more cases of HPAI were reported in commercial poultry flocks in Canada, with two in British Columbia and one in Ontairo.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported that one case of HPAI was confirmed in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on December 22 and one more was confirmed there on the following day. With those two cases, Abbotsford has now had 43 cases of HPAI in 2022, while British Columbia has had 69.

The other case reported by CFIA was in a commercial poultry flock in Lambdon Shores, Ontario, on December 21, a third for that municipality.

Read full article here 


Rabobank: Poultry sector faces multiple challenges in 2023

An economic downturn and ongoing high inflation will lead consumers to be more price driven in 2023. According to Rabobank’s “Global Poultry Quarterly Q1 2023,” this typically translates to strengthening demand for chicken, eggs, and cheaper cuts. In addition to these market changes, key challenges for producers next year will include higher feed and energy prices, labor cost and availability, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), and trade.

Rabobank is forecasting that corn and soybean prices will soften by 10-15% year over year in Q4 2023 but will still be high from a historic perspective. Further, some price volatility is expected given relatively low stock levels, uncertain trade demand, geopolitical changes, and potential supply disruptions.

Meanwhile, all eyes continue to be on the spread of HPAI, with cases not expected to peak until early in 2023. Rabobank noted that cases have reached record highs in Europe and North America but added that the virus is now moving into South America. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela have all recently reported cases.

Read full article here 


VIDEO: Why the avian flu outbreak will continue into 2023

The avian influenza outbreak in the United States and Canada was a big surprise for 2022 and could dominate 2023 for turkey and layer farmers and integrators. 

In a WATT Poultry Chat interview, Dr. Thomas Elam, president of FarmEconLLC, explained why the disease continues to spread and wondered why the story isn’t getting more attention.

Watch video here





Researchers assess efficacy of Salmonella in turkeys

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation recently announced the completion of a funded research project at the USDA, ARS, National Disease Center in which researchers assessed the efficacy of Salmonella vaccines to reduce S. Reading colonization, dissemination and persistence in turkeys. The research was made possible in part by the Cooper Family Foundation and proceeds from the International Poultry Expo, part of International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). The research is part of the association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.

The previous foodborne outbreak of Salmonella enterica serovar Reading revealed the need for effective control of this serovar in turkey production. Vaccination can reduce Salmonella in poultry. Dr. Shawn Bearson, a microbiologist within the Food Safety & Enteric Pathogens Research Unit at the USDA, ARS, National Animal Disease Center, recently completed a research project that assessed the vaccine efficacy of two live-attenuated Salmonella vaccines, the commercial AviPro Megan Egg vaccine and an internally developed cross-protective BBS 866 DIVA vaccine, to reduce S. Reading colonization in turkeys.

Read full article here


Avian influenza infects two more Iowa turkey farms

The number of commercial poultry operations affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to grow, with two new cases confirmed.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported that on December 6, the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a commercial meat turkey operation in Cherokee County and another commercial meat turkey operation in Sac County.

The Cherokee County flock was the larger of the two, with 105,000 turkeys involved. The Sac County flock included 40,000 turkeys.

Read full article here




Further ASF cases in central European domestic swine

Since January 1, the number of confirmed African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in domestic pigs in Europe has reached 524. This is according to the latest results latest update from the European Commission (EC) through its Animal Disease Information System (as of December 18).

So far this year, 12 European states have officially registered one or more ASF outbreaks through this system. For comparison, 11 European states registered a total of 1,874 ASF outbreaks with the EC over the whole of 2021.

Registering by far the most outbreaks in 2022 with the EC has been Romania with 321, including eight new outbreaks since December 5. Also recording new cases over the past 13 days were Serbia (now with a total of 103 outbreaks for the year), North Macedonia (30) and Ukraine (seven).

Read full article here


U.S. hog and pig inventory drops 2%, now 73.1 million head

The United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on Dec. 1, 2022 was 73.119 million head, down 1% from last quarter and 2% from the Dec. 1, 2021 report, according to the latest Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published Friday by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Breeding inventory, at 6.154 million head, increased slightly from last year as well as the previous quarter, while market hog inventory, at 66.966 million head, decreased 2% from last year and 1% from last quarter. 

“The hog and pig inventory was very close to trader expectations … 98, 100, 98,” says Dennis Smith, commodity broker/livestock analyst with Archer Financial Services. “The fall pig crop, at 99% was slightly larger than expected and the farrowing intentions for December/February, at 101% were larger than expected. Overall, this report should not have a major impact on futures prices early next week.”

Read full article here




Different feedlot dynamics may be ahead in 2023

USDA released the latest “Cattle on Feed” report on Friday, revealing an inventory 3% below the same period last year. The feedlot inventory totaled 11.7 million head on December 1, 2022. This was the third consecutive monthly decrease in 2022, according to Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Derrell Peel.

Placements in feedlots during November totaled 1.93 million head, down 2% from 2021, which Peel noted was a bit larger than expected. However, they were still down for the third consecutive month.   

Marketings of fed cattle during November totaled 1.89 million head, 1% above 2021 and the highest for November since the series began in 1996, USDA noted.

Read full article here


Retailers reducing refrigerated meat alternative offerings

Retailers are speeding up the reduction of their refrigerated plant-based meat alternative offerings as sales have failed to meet year-ago levels, according to Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics LLC.

Overall, dollars, units, and volume for refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives declined versus year ago levels, data collected by IRI showed. Combined refrigerated and frozen plant-based meat alternatives generated $82.6 million in November, down 3.6% from the same period last year. Roerink pointed out that dollar sales got closest to last year’s levels only due to the inflation seen in frozen meat alternatives. Units and volume fell 12.1% and 11%, respectively, versus November 2021.

Read full article here


Inflationary challenges affecting retail beef prices

Though retail beef prices are lower than a year ago, prices remain historically higher as inflationary challenges affect the overall U.S. economy and projected fewer cows heading into 2023, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock economist.

“Retail beef prices are lower than a year ago even though the total Consumer Price Index number is 7.1% higher than last year,” said David Anderson, who also serves as a professor of agricultural economics at the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “(Retail beef prices) have been lower for several months now. And they are lower than last month. However, the level of prices remains high in comparison to the past several decades.”

Read full article here




Dairy Checkoff highlights top ’22 initiatives

A collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, adding more cheese to chicken sandwiches and sparking a virtual butter board craze are among the highlights that solidified the dairy checkoff’s mission of growing sales and trust in 2022 on behalf of America’s dairy farmers and importers.

“This was a year when our commitment to making every drop count was on full display,” said Dairy Management Inc.’s Barbara O’Brien, who celebrated her first year as chief executive officer at October’s joint annual meeting. “We made bold moves, explored new territories for growth and brought respected partners to the table and this work is paying off. This year has set the stage for continued momentum and success in 2023.”

Read full article here


US calls out Canada over dairy quotas

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that U.S. officials plan to initiate more dispute settlement consultations with Canada regarding its tariff-rate quota allocation measures. They contend those measures apply different criteria for calculating the market share for different applicant segments, failing to allow importers to fully utilize TRQ quantities. According to American officials, this is a clear a violation of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement.

“We remain very concerned by Canada’s refusal to honor USMCA commitments,” Tai says.“Rather than work toward meeting its obligations, Canada persists in implementing new dairy policies that are inconsistent with the USMCA, and which continue to deny U.S. workers, farmers, producers and exporters the full benefits of market access they were initially promised.”

Read full article here




Top 10 poultry technology trends of 2022

Follow links to the most popular technology articles and blogs from WATTPoultry this year.

Here are the 10 most-read new technology articles of 2022:

1. Salmonella control in poultry should include pre-harvest

2. Broiler litter reuse can halt antibiotic resistant bacteria

3. 16 poultry technologies to watch in 2022 (blog)

4. 6 aspects of poultry production in need of innovation (blog)

5. Thai chicken researchers replace antibiotics with cannabis (blog)

6. Hydrogen peroxide shows promise to disinfect hatcheries

7. Human cells absorb less protein from plant-based meat

8. 2 potential antibiotic alternatives for use in poultry

9. Egg farm to raise male layer chicks for meat production

10. Super doses of copper in feed can benefit the poultry gut

Read full article here


Top 10 poultry consumer trends of 2022

Follow links to the most popular consumer trends articles and blogs from WATTPoultry this year.

Here are the 10 most-read consumer trends articles of 2022:

1. KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken is a fake (blog)

2. Dunkin’ Donuts introduces omelet bites on its new menu

3. Collapse in chicken demand stuns poultry industry

4 Sorry, Chick-fil-A isn’t adding chicken wings to its menu (blog)

5. Joey Chestnut shatters chicken finger world record (blog)

6. Walmart, Kroger will not meet 2025 cage-free commitments

7. Wingstop tweet an unfortunate lesson in viral marketing (blog)

8. Doctors warn TikTokers about dangerous sleepy chicken trend (blog)

9. War in Ukraine will affect chicken consumption

10. 4 chicken consumption predictions for 2030


Read full article here


2023 Weather Outlook: Ready the Snowplow

Be ready for a colder and snowier winter versus recent years

Persistent drought in the West had producers yearning for precipitation all year. The solution might come in the form of winter weather events, according to some ag meteorologists. 

The back-half of December, which quickly turned cold, will continue into January, says Bret Walts, lead ag meteorologist at BAMWX.

“High pressure above the high-latitude areas will likely allow colder-than-normal temperatures to persist across the northern and eastern U.S. for January,” he says. “This looks to be a pattern that is a bit less favorable for snow in the Plains but will remain active in the winter storm department across the East.”

In February, Walts predicts the southeastern U.S. will warm up, as the below-normal temperature levels will stay in the central and western portions of the U.S. 

“This should set the stage for an active month of winter weather for the Plains and Midwest, with frequent bouts of very cold air in the Northern Plains,” he says.

However, Walts says February will find the eastern third of the country might start to get some tastes of spring with a warmer March on the way in the East. 

Read full article here


Tis the Season to Bust the Biggest Christmas Tree Myths

 From popular songs like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to ‘O Christmas Tree,’  the Christmas tree is the centerpiece of many Christmas celebrations.

Unlike reports of a Christmas tree shortage, the Real Christmas Tree Board, which is the checkoff for Christmas tree farmers, says growers from across the country have been able to meet the increasing demand.

“They’ve reported a Christmas tree shortage for years. And after several years, we’ve never run out of Christmas trees,” says Marsha Gray, executive director, the Real Christmas Tree Board. “Our supply numbers are actually lower than they were 10 or 20 years ago. So that part is true. But we’ve never not met the demand.”

She says there’s no question demand has skyrocketed, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As more Americans decided to take part in several Christmas traditions, more purchased real Christmas trees.

Read full article here




The information in this newsletter is intended to update our readers of current events.  Any third-party publications are presented for informational purposes only and the views presented in such publications are those of the respective authors.  The views therein are not necessarily representative of Aeros or any other CULTURA company’s views on any particular topic.