In The News This Month – July 2022




The 4th of July is typically celebrated with fireworks, families, and most importantly food! According to the National Retail Federation Americans spend $7.1 billion on food items for the Fourth of July holiday. Your weekend barbeque might have seemed a little more expensive than usual this year, considering prices at the grocery store are still at all-time highs. In fact, June wholesale egg prices were 167% higher than last year. As of July 11, the daily egg prices had reached an all-time high of $3.25/dozen. Even so, eggs remain a relatively inexpensive source of protein compared to chicken, pork, and beef. What American’s pay for food at home (grocery) is higher than normal this summer. The USDA now sees grocery prices rising 10% to 11%, the biggest spike since 1979. However, the USDA is forecasting a rise between 2% and 3% for 2023. Some industry experts feel the initial forecasts for 2023 are too low, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for now.

We also saw diesel fuel prices more than double this year. Farmers are saying they’ve never before seen diesel prices this high. And diesel fuel prices are supposed to be off their summer peak by now. Livestock and grain farmers are saying that diesel prices are cutting into their 2022 profits. While a lot of us are concerned about rising costs at the pumps, we should stop to consider the impact these high fuel prices have on our farmers.

Not so long ago we featured a story from stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin was prepared to facilitate grain exports from Ukrainian ports. Less than 24 hours after a deal was reached, two Russian missiles struck the Port of Odesa. According to an article published earlier this month, the Russian government was targeting military infrastructure only at the port and stated it would not impact Ukraine’s ability to export grain. Of course, many people are skeptical, and rightfully so, since it is estimated that more than 20 million tonnes of grain that would be exported remains in Ukraine.

As we know, Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers of wheat and corn. Both are incredibly popular grains, but many consumers are beginning to view ancient grains as a healthier, more nutritious choice. Diets popular with consumers, like paleo and Whole30, are positively influencing the use of some ancient grains, like quinoa and sorghum. While I have cooked quinoa (against my family’s wishes) more than once, many ancient grains were new to me. I was surprised to learn that sorghum is actually the fifth most consumed grain worldwide.

Be sure to browse through the some of the articles we chose to feature this month. There are some you may have missed. While you may have caught the article about going beyond biosecurity to keep viruses out of feed, did you know that animal feed could soon contain hemp as an ingredient? The National Hemp Association and the Hemp Feed Coalition have formed a partnership to obtain approval for hemp as an animal feed ingredient. It might be a while before our cows and chickens feed contain hemp, so regardless of your opinion on this new ingredient, let’s continue to consume our favorites, even if the Pope has urged us to eat less meat.  If you read through the article we featured from WattPoultry, it seems the media may have made a big deal about the Pope’s comments during a recent speech to youngsters. In truth, it was only a very small portion of his whole speech. Actually, the Pope’s speech mentioned reducing “consumption of fossil fuels and other superfluous things”, but it is interesting that the media focused only on meat consumption. I guess the lesson is to take what we hear in todays media with a grain of salt.


Monica Lizar

Account Manager

Aeros, a Cultura Company


Feed and Grains:


Russian missiles strike Ukraine port, casting doubt on grain export deal

Less than 24 hours after Russia and Ukraine struck a deal to allow grain to be shipped out of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, two Russian missiles struck the Port of Odesa on July 23, casting doubt on the long-term viability of the agreement.

The Ukrainian military said two missiles fired from Russian warships hit the area of a pumping station at the port and two others were shot down by air defense forces, according to Reuters.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy denounced the attack as “barbarism,” while the Russian government said it had only targeted military infrastructure at the port and that it would not impact Ukraine’s ability to export grain, according to Reuters.

The Ukraine government said they would continue preparations to export grain from the Port of Odesa despite the attack.

The plan, according to a recent report by Reuters, includes Ukrainian vessels guiding grain ships through mined port waters, with Turkey overseeing inspections of ships to allay Russian concerns they might smuggle weapons to Ukraine.

If executed, the deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, would enable Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest wheat and corn producers and exporters, to move millions of tonnes of grain on to the world market through its major Black Sea ports.

Read full article here


National Hemp Association, Hemp Feed Coalition enter agreement to work on approval for animal feed

A new partnership hopes to expedite a path toward the inclusion of hemp in animal feed — and could raise the profile of animal feed within the hemp industry.

The National Hemp Association and the Hemp Feed Coalition announced last month that they have formed a formal partnership to obtain approval for hemp as an animal feed ingredient. Both organizations believe access to animal feed markets is critical to establish a market for hemp alongside other farmed commodities. And with the world experiencing feed shortages, the timing felt right, according to Morgan Tweet, executive director of the Hemp Feed Coalition.

“Hemp can’t change that overnight, but it’s a really great feed source, so why don’t we open that up,” Tweet said.

Read full article here


Consumers see ancient grains as healthy, authentic, says Ardent Mills speaker

Consumers interested in diets like paleo and the Whole30 program view ancient grains positively, said Shrene White, director of specialty grains at Ardent Mills. So do consumers interested in regenerative agriculture, heart health and gluten-free items, she added.

“There is a lot of opportunity for us to participate in all of these different markets,” White said in her morning keynote presentation July 20 at the Northern Crops Institute’s inaugural ancient grains conference, which was held at the Oliver Kelley Farm outside Elk River. “It’s not like a few years ago when the whole industry went to the Atkins’ diet and we saw wheat consumption tank.”

Ardent Mills proprietary research found 58% of respondents “strongly agreed” that ancient grains are nutritious. The percentages of consumers saying “strongly agree” for other ancient grain attributes were 48% for authentic, 46% for high quality, 45% for healthier/better for me and 43% for having a compelling story.

Read full article here





Table-egg prices reach new record in June

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook” reported that June wholesale egg prices (New York, Grade A, Large) averaged $2.38/dozen, a new record high for the month and 167% higher than last June. While daily prices trended down at the beginning of June, they climbed sharply for the rest of the month. As of July 11, as the climb continued undeterred, the daily prices reached an all-time high of $3.25/dozen.

Read full article here


Can computer vision streamline egg counting, weighing?

Despite nearly a century of intensive layer production in the U.S., accurate and consistent egg counting methods remain elusive.

“We had received a lot of complaints from various farms about inaccurate counting – anywhere from 5% off on the number of eggs to upwards of 20%,” Evan Anderson, CAD designer, AgriNerds, said.

“Any miscounted egg is a detriment because chickens not laying eggs means unhealthy chickens. The more you can detect that and keep up with that means that you have better control over what’s happening inside your poultry houses.”

Anderson is one of the many experts scheduled to speak at the Poultry Tech Summit, scheduled for October 30 – November 1 in Atlanta, Georgia. This one-of-a-kind in-person event facilitates the transition of innovation technologies from researchers and entrepreneurs into commercial applications for the benefit of the poultry industry. 

Read full article here


Egg Week

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, July 21st, 2022


Market Overview

  • Average wholesale unit revenue for Midwest Extra-large and Large sizes was higher by 4.7 percent from the past week continuing a six-week unprecedented upward trend reversing a previous mild four-week decline in late April through early May. Mediums were down by 10.3 percent indicating oversupply in this category as pullets commence production. Retail sales are projected to be stable or slightly higher over the short term sustained by consumer perceptions of value in an inflationary environment. Prices are influenced by depletion of more than 31.1 million hens mainly in 13 large complexes in nine states extending from the last week in February through the first week in June. In the unlikely event of additional cases of HPAI, availability will be more severely impacted especially in the breaking sector.
  • Industry inventory decreased overall this past week to 1.62 million cases following a 3.4 percent decrease in shell eggs and a concurrent 3.2 percent decrease in breaking stock. Wholesale unit prices during the first half of 2022 and the subsequent three weeks of July contrasted favorably with the corresponding periods in both 2020 and 2021 that were characterized by low ex-plant unit revenue. Wholesale Midwest prices are still yielding unusually high positive margins, despite the higher combined costs of nest-run, (feed, chicks, housing, labor and fuel), in addition to grading, packaging and delivery amounting to approximately 50 cents per dozen according to the EIC.
  • It is now apparent that the inventory held by chains and other significant distributors may be more important in establishing wholesale price than the USDA regional inventory figures published weekly, especially over the short term. The seasonal strategy of retailers is to adjust purchases only in response to retail demand and to hold down inventories in their DCs and stores while marking up shelf margins and pressuring suppliers for rapid replenishment of stocks to DCs and through DSD. Market data suggests that chains have priced generic white eggs in response to prevailing demand and are infrequently featuring Large or Extra large.

Read full article here




DOJ files lawsuit, consent decree targeting poultry processors

Not even one week after Cargill and Continental Grain announced the completion of the acquisition of Sanderson Farms and the formation of Wayne-Sanderson Farms, the companies may be required to pay $84.8 million, collectively, in restitution for poultry processing plant workers who were allegedly harmed by an information exchange conspiracy.

According to the Justice Department announcement, the payment is part of a civil antitrust lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against a data consulting firm and its president, as well as three poultry processors, it says will “end a long-running conspiracy to exchange information about wages and benefits for poultry processing plant workers and collaborate with their competitors on compensation decisions in violation of the Sherman Act.”

Read full article here 


KFC tests chicken nuggets aimed at Gen Z in Charlotte

In an effort to reach younger consumers, KFC will temporarily add 100% white meat, whole muscle chicken nuggets to the menus of participating locations in Charlotte, North Carolina.

If the launch is successful, the chicken nuggets could permanently replace popcorn chicken on menus nationwide.

The chicken nuggets are hand breaded and available in eight-, 12- and 36-piece sizes.

“While nuggets often come in small packages, that doesn’t mean they should have small flavor,” Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. said in a statement. 

“We wanted to introduce nuggets with the flavor and ingredients that live up to our legacy as the original fried chicken experts. Our Kentucky Fried Chicken nuggets offer a new way to enjoy our distinctive 11 herbs and spices.”

Read full article here 


National Chicken Council Requesting FDA and USDA for Stricter Enforcement of Labels

The National Chicken Council has requested both the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strictly enforce regulations relating to potentially misleading labels.  At issue is the evidence from a recent survey of consumer attitudes relating to plant-based alternatives.  Tom Super, NCC Senior Vice President of Communications noted, “People should not have to waste time at the grocery store dissecting whether they are about to purchase real chicken or a imitation product, let alone discover they have wound up with the wrong product when they get home.”

Read full article here





Avian flu confirmed in more Utah turkeys

A second commercial turkey flock in Sanpete County, Utah, tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) stated that the virus was confirmed in a flock of 25,900 turkeys there on July 19. That case was confirmed five days after the presence of HPAI was confirmed in another flock in Sanpete County, with 15,500 birds in that flock.

Read full article here


Monthly Turkey Production and Prices, July 2022

The July 13th 2022 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 26.61 million eggs in incubators on July 1st 2022 compared to 26.87 million eggs on July 1st 2021* The July set was down 1.0 percent (0.26 million eggs) from July 2021 and 1.1 percent down from the previous month of June 2022.

A total of 22.70 million poults were hatched during June 2022 compared to 22.10 million in June 2021*. The June 2022 hatch was up 0.2 percent (51,000 poults) from the previous month of May 2022.

Read full article here




New report details U.S. pork industry’s impact on overall economy

The National Pork Producers Council has released a new economic report highlighting how America’s pig farmers are significant contributors to the United States’ agricultural and overall economy. The report highlights pork industry value chain contributions and growth over the past five years.

“This report underscores how the pork industry is an important pillar to the U.S. economy and the positive ripple effect it has on many other important sectors in the American supply chain,” says Holly Cook, NPPC staff economist. “From farm to fork, the combined economic contribution from hog production and pork processing supports more than 600,000 American jobs and generates $178 billion of direct, indirect and induced sales that equate to $57 billion in value-added GDP.”

Read full article here


Beyond biosecurity: new ways to keep viruses out of feed

A trip around the world is, for most people, a once-in-a-lifetime event. But when Kansas State University professor and veterinarian Jordan Gebhardt received an invitation to travel to Vietnam in mid-2019, he had reason to believe this trip would be particularly momentous — and not just for him.

By this point, the world already knew that viruses, particularly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), could spread in animal feed. And there was evidence from the lab that African swine fever (ASF) could also survive in feed, but it was not yet clear whether the virus was circulating in real-life feed mills.

Six months after ASF reared its ugly head in Vietnam, Gebhardt received an invitation to test a Vietnamese feed mill for the presence of the virus. There was no reason to believe this particular feed mill had a problem — the mill’s operators just wanted to check for potential holes in their biosecurity measures, Gebhardt recalls.

“This was already a very biosecure system, a very modern system, with lots of good things in place,” Gebhardt says.

Yet ASF had, in fact, already made its way into the facility. The majority of the samples came back clean, but a handful collected from the outside of the feed mill trucks — less than 1% of the total samples — contained the virus. Additional samples from the loading area found the inside of the truck cabs themselves contained the highest concentrations of virus.

Read full article here




Beef exports set new records in May; pork exports reach 2022 high

U.S. beef exports set new volume and value records in May, topping $1 billion for the fourth time this year, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. While pork exports were well below last year’s large totals, shipments were the largest of 2022 in both volume and value. U.S. lamb exports continued to trend higher, led by growth in the Caribbean and Mexico. 

May beef exports reached 135,006 metric tons, up 1% from the previous high posted in May 2021. Export value climbed 20% to $1.09 billion, breaking the March 2022 record. For January through May, beef exports increased 4% from a year ago to 613,266 mt, valued at $5.14 billion (up 34%). Exports to leading markets South Korea, Japan and China/Hong Kong already topped $1 billion each through May, while shipments also trended significantly higher to Taiwan, the Caribbean, the ASEAN region, the Middle East and Central America. 

Read full article here


Tyson to pay $10.5m in cattle contract lawsuit

Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, will pay a cattle feeder $2.57 million in damages as well as another $8 million in punitive damages, a final judgment in New Mexico federal court has ordered.

In the case, Zia Agricultural Consulting alleged that Tyson breached a cost-plus model contract for cattle it raised using Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) and Global Animal Partnership (GAP)-certified programs, a program only marketed by Whole Foods.

The cost-plus model identified projected costs to finish the cattle (i.e. feeding, bringing up to weight, providing medical care, and otherwise preparing the cattle for market) and then set the sale price to Tyson at that cost of finishing plus an additional premium per head.

Read full article here




Water Shortage is the Number One Concern for this California Dairy Producer

Even the recent historic high milk prices have been slightly overshadowed by the grain and forage costs that continue to climb. However, according to Ryan Junio, owner of Four J Jerseys in Pixley, Calif., feed costs take a backseat to the water supply, or lack-there-of, facing the Golden State.

“As a dairy producer, this is an ever-growing challenge and is my top concern,” Junio says.

Read full article here


2022 Dairy Outlook: Challenges abound for dairy producers

Dairy producers look to maximize profit as they face high input costs, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.  Like most industries, in 2022, the global dairy industry is facing significantly higher costs along with supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, while also trying to lower emissions and improve sustainability.

Read full article here




Farmers Feel the Sting of Record Diesel Prices, More Fearful of Harvest Needs

While diesel fuel prices are off their summer peak, the high cost is hitting hard at the farm level. Farmers say they’ve never seen diesel prices this high during their careers. It’s costing them hundreds and even thousands of dollars to fuel their implements, and it’s not even harvest yet when demand is at its highest. 

Goodwin, S.D., farmer Todd Hanten didn’t feel the record diesel prices when he planted this spring because he had contracted ahead. But with prices nearly doubling over last year he’s concerned about the big cost that’s coming.

“It’s going to make a big difference in the fall,” he says. “I’m sure that it’s going to look a lot different when it comes with today’s prices verses what I’ve got it contracted at.”    

Read full article here


Foodservice spending is setting records, USDA reports

Fueled by a strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. consumers are spending record sums on food eaten away from home, the USDA reports.

April 2022 expenditures at foodservice establishments exceeded the previous record seen in July 2021, according to a new USDA report on food expenditures.

Food-away-from-home spending (restaurants and other foodservice outlets) remained strong in April 2022, at 11.6% higher compared with pre-pandemic April 2019. 

Read full article here


Pope urges inclusion, but headlines say eat less meat

The European Union Youth Conference took place a few days ago in Prague, Czech Republic. Pope Francis made a speech to youngsters attending the event, and I knew about it because many headlines were about the Pope urging to eat less meat to save the planet. Nothing more, nothing less.

I decided to do some research about it. First of all, I read the message published by the Vatican. The Pope’s message is very clear: to stay in line with Christian beliefs that have guided Catholics for more than 2,000 years – namely fraternity with immigrants (he himself is a son of immigrants), inclusion, open mindedness, nonviolence and a life without luxury and wastefulness. He also addressed topics like Ukraine, war and praised the youth as new minds that could change the world.

Within the concept of “luxury and wastefulness,” the Pope said that “it is urgent to reduce consumption not only of fossil fuels, but also of many superfluous things; and in certain areas of the world, it would be convenient to consume less meat, which can help to save the environment.”

Out of 1,749 words that the written speech has, only 10 words mention the benefits of consuming less meat. But what did the media take out of it in the headlines? – “The Pope urges to consume less meat.”

Read full article here


Could Food Prices Ease in 2023? USDA’s New Consumer Food Price Forecast Has a Bit of Good News

USDA raised its consumer food price forecast again, to 8.5% to 9.5% for 2022. The agency had initially predicted a 2% to 3% rise in the prices consumers pay for food this year and in February started lifting that outlook. Eggs, fats and oils, and poultry prices are making the biggest gains.

In its first forecast for 2023, USDA sees inflation retracting to a 2.5%-3.5% range. The 20-year historical average for consumer food prices is a 2.4% rise. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all food in 2022 at up 8.5% to 9.5% from 2021 is the highest rate of overall food price inflation since 1979, which saw prices rise 11%.

The biggest increase is for the fats and oils category, which is hiked to a 16.5%-17.5% range from a 14%-15% range. Other categories with big increases are poultry, dairy and cereals/bakery. 

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.