In The News This Month – May 2022




In the news this past month we were still reading about concerns surrounding the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza. In fact, this month we saw the first case of HPAI in Dakota County, Minnesota and the 59th overall in commercial poultry in Minnesota. So far this year it seems that more turkey flocks in the US are being infected by AI than layer and broiler flocks combined. Interestingly, scientists have observed that the virus is more transmissible from turkey to turkey than it is for chicken to chicken.  

It has been nearly 3 months since Russia invaded the Ukraine. In February we featured stories about the resilience of Ukrainian farmers throughout this crisis. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters and their inability to ship grain after the Russian invasion, combined with Russia’s limited exports due to economic sanctions, caused global grain and food prices to skyrocket in recent months. Fortunately, on May 31st Putin said he was prepared to facilitate “unhindered” grain exports from Ukrainian ports in coordination with Turkey. Putin has also asked that the economic sanctions be lifted so that Russia can increase its agricultural shipments.

As if the threat of HPAI and the export issues caused by the Ukraine crisis were not enough bad news, published an article citing some warning signs of coming recession. We have all seen the record-high gas prices as well as the price spikes everywhere else. Just trying to get out of town for Memorial Day weekend or simply wanting to grill during the long weekend threatened your budget. As the unofficial start of grilling season begins, and grocery prices are at an all-time high, are consumers prepared for inflation? Are you picking up that steak to grill or opting for hamburger meat this summer? In my household we chose to stay home, not spend the gas on travel, and grilled up burgers. How will the rest of the summer pan out?

Although prices at the grocery store are higher, one source of protein we don’t pass on are eggs. And if you live in Mexico, you are consuming the most eggs in the world! The National Poultry Producers Association recently reported that Mexico broke the record for world per capita egg consumption with an impressive 409 eggs per person! I do not live in Mexico, but I come from a family that migrated from Mexico and brought with them a lot of their traditions and recipes. Breakfast is a “sacred, non-skip meal”, but we should remember that many non-breakfast Mexican recipes call for eggs. My personal favorites, chile rellenos and I can eat chilaquiles any time of day.


Monica Lizar

Account Manager

Aeros, a Cultura Company


Feed and Grains:


Putin may allow ‘unhindered’ Ukraine grain exports

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 31 that Russia was prepared to facilitate “unhindered” grain exports from Ukrainian ports in coordination with Turkey, Reuters reported citing a Kremlin readout of Putin’s recent talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

The news offers some hope of curbing global food insecurity, which has increased sharply in recent months, in part because of the inability of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, to ship grain out of its ports after it was invaded by Russia in late February.

Ukraine is the top sunflower oil exporter and among the largest corn and wheat exporters. Without Ukraine’s grain shipments, and with Russian exports limited to some extent due to economic sanctions levied by countries opposing Russia’s military invasion, global grain and food prices have soared to record highs in recent months, with poorer countries that are highly dependent on Black Sea grain impacted the most.

Read full article here


World grain supplies tightening, wheat concerning

An old saying in the grain industry is that major bull markets turn into major bear markets. That has almost always worked in the past. This year, however, it may take a while before the bull turns into a bear. The world is in an entirely different situation.

The US Department of Agriculture’s May Supply & Demand estimates indicated some major shifts taking place around the world. For corn, notice in the table below that the USDA cut estimated corn production in Ukraine from 42.1 mmt last year to 19.5 mmt this year as a result of the war. Last year, Ukraine accounted for 13% of the world’s corn exports. They also increased Brazil’s corn production estimate from 116 mmt in 2021/22 (this year’s crop) to 126 mmt for 2022/23 (next year’s crop).  USDA’s 2022/23 production estimates for China were left essentially unchanged 2021/22, and USDA estimated that U.S. corn production is going to be down 655 million bushels from last year. Overall, world corn production for the upcoming 2022/23 marketing year is expected to be down 34.9 mmt or almost 3%.

Read full article here




USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, June 2nd 2022



Market Overview

  • Average wholesale unit revenue for Midwest Extra-large and Large sizes was lower by 2.0 percent from the past week representing a plateau in a downward trend. Mediums were down 1.1 percent. This follows depletion of more than 29.7 million hens including 12 large complexes in nine states from the last week in February to mid-May. The decrease in price for all sizes and breaking stock this past week occurred concurrently with a 2.0 percent increase in industry shell-egg inventory compared to a 2.5 percent decrease last week. This suggests smaller orders by chains to replenish the retail pipeline but with sustained demand. Lower retail sales are projected over the short term with declining prices through June. In the unlikely event of additional cases of HPAI, availability will be more severely impacted especially in the breaking sector. Industry inventory increased overall this past week to 1.83 million cases due to a 2.0 percent decrease in shell eggs concurrently with a 0.2 percent increase in breaking stock. Retailers are expected to maximize shelf prices in relation to demand. Wholesale unit prices during the first quarter of 2022 and the subsequent two months 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, labor and fuel), grading, packaging and delivery.


Read full article here


World per capita egg consumption record broken by Mexico, again

While gathering data for Latin American production and consumption of chicken and eggs in 2021, I admit I was surprised by the annual per capita egg consumption of Mexico reported by the National Poultry Producers Association – 409 eggs per person!

It is astonishing because there is no single country in the world with such a figure. Japan consumes 337 eggs per person/year, and Colombians are now at 334. Mexico was around the 380 figure since 2017, and that number moved up and down a few digits over the last five years. So, I always thought it was going to be very difficult to surpass that mythical amount. We were already eating a little more than one egg a day in Mexico and eating more seemed difficult.

There is no doubt we Mexicans love eggs for breakfast – a “sacred,” non-skip meal. One just needs to take a look at the vast menu options in any regular restaurant or at any household fridge.

Read full article here


2025 will be the US egg industry’s breaking point

While some cage-free laws have already come into effect, the egg industry is still questioning if producers will be able to meet the demand after the 2025 cage-free mandates are in place.

Most of the cage-free state mandates in the U.S. are planned to come into effect in 2025. Naturally, the egg industry is looking towards California and Massachusetts, who already have 100% cage-free laws implemented, for insight.

“California’s and Massachusetts’ egg markets are doing well with the cage-free laws,” stated Chad Gregory, agricultural cooperative United Egg Producers president and CEO.

Because new farms take anywhere between 18 months and two years to populate, egg producers have been working towards increasing the cage-free egg supply long before the cage-free deadlines, explained Gregory.

“For a long time, the egg industry was building its inventory to be ready for Massachusetts and California in January 2022. There were extra cage-free hens and eggs being produced for the California market way before the state’s Proposition 12 law went into effect. When January 2022 came, all those eggs could flow into those markets,” he stated.

Read full article here




APHIS provides $400M for avian flu response

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service continues its efforts to respond to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the United States. To date, the virus has been confirmed in 35 states, affecting more than 37.9 million domestic birds. APHIS’ response efforts include working closely with animal health officials in affected states to quickly identify and address new cases of HPAI.

To help ensure APHIS can continue to provide critical rapid response activities, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of $400 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS to directly support the response efforts. 

“Continuing our nationwide response to highly pathogenic avian influenza is critical to minimizing the impact on our nation’s poultry industry,” says USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “Safeguarding U.S. poultry and egg producers from the effects avian influenza could have on agriculture and trade is a critical aspect of this response, and this funding will allow APHIS personnel to continue to deploy and support the emergency wherever they are needed.”

Read full article here 


Cognitive computing can streamline poultry supply logistics

A cognitive supply chain could simplify and solve challenges in the poultry industry, from logistics to sustainability to optimizing feed formulations.

“Big data tells you where you have a problem. If you’re a farmer, it might say this field is too dry, but it’s always using analytics to tell you the problem. It’s also actionable because it asks you to go and do something,” Anthony Howcroft, CEO, SWARM Engineering, explained.

“That’s good on one level because it highlights problems. But on another level, we thought what if we could solve the problem instead of just telling someone they had one?”

Cognitive computing makes use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and other underlying technologies to enhance the human thought process to make decisions in complex situations.

Read full article here 


Do Good Foods begins sale of ‘carbon reduced’ chicken

Do Good Foods launched Do Good Chicken, a poultry product fed a nutrient-dense diet of upcycled fruits, vegetables and meats, to retail stores in Philadelphia.

“Food waste is a massive problem with approximately 40% of the food we grow in the U.S. going to waste. We believe this can be solved with what we are doing at Do Good Foods by upcycling surplus grocery food, creating a closed loop system, and providing accessible great tasting chicken to consumers,” said Justin Kamine, co-CEO and co-founder of Do Good Foods.

Do Good Chicken is a “simple, tasty, good for plate and planet option that helps fight food waste and combat climate change,” according to the press release. 

It is available in boneless and skinless breasts, drumsticks, tenderloins, thighs, wingettes and drummettes at Albertsons grocery banners and Giant stores in the Philadelphia area. Do Good Chicken does not contain any antibiotics, hormones or steroids.

Read full article here 





Why are more turkey flocks infected with avian flu?

The number of U.S. turkey flocks to be affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in 2022 is about four times the number layer and broiler flocks combined.

 So why are more flocks of U.S. turkeys experiencing H5N1 infections than flocks of chickens?

Dr. David E. Swayne, laboratory director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s in-house high biocontainment laboratory for poultry health research, offered one possible explanation on the matter during the webinar, Facts About Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Spread and Control, hosted by and sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim on May 26.

Studies have been conducted at multiple laboratories, including the one that Swayne leads, and experimental data from those studies indicate that turkeys are more susceptible to low pathogenic avian influenza viruses and produce infections that can be spread from turkey to turkey, said Swayne.

Read full article here


Dakota County, Minnesota, has first avian flu case

The presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a flock of 57,000 commercial turkeys in Dakota County, Minnesota.

The case was confirmed on May 21, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reported.

No other cases of HPAI in the United States – in either commercial flocks or backyard flocks – were reported on that day. Prior to this case, the most recent day in which HPAI was confirmed was May 18, when both a flock of commercial breeder tom turkeys and a flock on a commercial duck breeder were infected. Those cases occurred in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, and Berks County, Pennsylvania, respectively.

This marks the first HPAI case in Dakota County in 2022, and the 59th overall in commercial poultry in Minnesota.

Other Minnesota counties with confirmed cases of HPAI in commercial poultry so far in 2022 include Meeker, Stearns, Lac Qui Parle, Morrison, Becker, Dodge Le Sueur, Big Stone, Waseca, Otter Tail, Renville, Swift, Yellow Medicine, Blue Earth and Lyon.

Read full article here




Solutions and education to mark World Pork Expo

The upcoming World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, will be held June 8-10. It is where the hog industry annually gathers to learn, network and explore new ideas.

In this segment of Feedstuffs Precision Pork, we talk with Patrick Duerksen of Cargill Animal Nutrition about the plans that Cargill has for this year’s World Pork Expo.

In addition to having its experts on had to explore such things as producer profitability, feed order and their Agriness tools, Cargill will be host two seminars for attendees on Wednesday. The first will be from 1 pm to 2 pm on sustainability and the second will be from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm on planning for fall. Take a listen for all the details.

Read full article here


Are we closer to a commercial ASF vaccine?

Manuel Borca and Douglas Gladue are research scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, where they work to develop vaccines against African swine fever. They both were honored recently for their work at the agency, and they’ve had some exciting developments in their research.

In April, Manuel Borca was named Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of the Year for 2022, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to veterinary virology and discovery and development of vaccines against ASF. Douglas Gladue received the 2021 Arthur S. Flemming Award for his exceptional achievements in basic science.

And just on the heels of those honors, the ASF vaccine candidate the two have worked on passed an important safety test required for regulatory approval, moving the vaccine one step closer to commercial availability.

Watch Podcast here




Why on earth would vegans buy beef?

We hear all too often that consumers do not understand agriculture, are ignorant of how farmers treat animals and of farming’s negative impact on the environment.

This may all be true, but what’s the point in complaining if you are not prepared to something about it. This is exactly what a beef farmer in the U.K. did with some pretty positive results.

A participant in LEAF Open Farm Sunday, which seeks to show the public firsthand what it means to be a farmer and the work that farmers do to produce food, the farmer opened his farm to the public.

For some, allowing a group of vegans onto a farm may sound alarm bells. I’ve attended events where farmers have been encouraged not to allow anyone onto their farms unless directly involved in the business. In this case, however, the results were more than positive. The farmer, who also had a shop on-site, reported that after seeing the farm his vegan visitors bought cuts of beef.

Read full article here


Congress seeks investigation into beef price fixing

“For the past two years, Jacqui Fatka has been calling on the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of price-fixing, collusion and other unfair practices in the beef packing industry. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice has seemingly not made these concerns a priority and both consumers and cattle producers in South Dakota continue to suffer as a result,” says Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D. Rounds is a lead sponsor of a new bipartisan joint resolution that would direct the Federal Trade Commission to report to Congress within one year on the extent of anticompetitive practices and violations of antitrust law in the beef packing industry, including price-fixing, anticompetitive acquisitions, dominance of supply chains and monopolization. 

The resolution, introduced with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., invokes a 1914 act that authorizes the president or Congress to direct the FTC to investigate alleged antitrust violations. The rule has not been used since the 1920s. 

Read full article here




U.S. again challenging Canada’s dairy policies

Under enforcement action in the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative announced May 25 the United States for the second time is requesting dispute settlement consultations with Canada over the handling of its dairy tariff-rate quota allocation measures, which deny allocation access to eligible applicants, including retailers, food service operators, and other types of importers, and impose new conditions on the allocation and use of the TRQs. The dairy industry says USTR should be ready to continue with additional actions to hold Canada accountable to its USMCA obligations if the consultations fail. 

Read full article here


New Mexico dairy farm with PFAS contamination loses entire herd

A fourth generation New Mexico dairy farmer who lost his entire herd as a result of contamination from perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—a group of man-made chemicals that are used for a wide range of purposes including food packaging, cleaning products, stain resistant carpet treatments, nonstick cookware and firefighting foam, among other products—is on the path to recovery after receiving assistance from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

According to the agency, PFAS-contaminated groundwater from Cannon Air Force Base migrated offsite and resulted in contamination of thousands of cows at Highland Dairy. Testing showed that the cows and their milk contained PFAS at levels the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deemed unsafe for human consumption. As a result, the owner of the dairy was unable to sell products from the farm and was ultimately forced to humanely euthanize his entire herd of 3,665 cows. The current estimated cost of this loss of revenue and increased expenses is approximately $5.95 million, which does not account for upcoming costs associated with the on-farm composting of animal mortalities and final disposal.

Read full article here




The Warning Signs of a Recession Are Now Heating Up

From record-high gas and diesel prices on the road to a major spike in the price Americans paid for their Memorial Day weekend barbecue essentials, shoppers are seeing price spikes everywhere they go.

The unofficial kickoff to this grilling season came with sticker shock that’s been mounting over the past year.

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows despite the overall pace of headline inflation easing, the cost of groceries alone increased 10.8 percent since April 2021, which is the largest annual increase in 42 years. The jump is being driven largely by the prices of meat, poultry and fish, up 14.3 percent in the past year, which marks the largest 12-month increase since 1979.

Glynn Tonsor, an agricultural economist with Kansas State University, says there are two major drivers of the price hikes for consumers.

“One reason is they still like protein,” says Tonsor. “Demand overall is strong, certainly compared to pre-pandemic levels. There is a little bit of weakness building, but demand pulls prices up, and the cost of producing meat is also up.”

Read full article here


What Biden’s New Economic Framework Means for Ag Trade

President Biden spent last weekend at the Quad Summit 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. During the visit, Biden announced a dozen Indo-Pacific countries will join the U.S. in a “sweeping” economic initiative, termed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), primarily focused on countering China.

Australia, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, among seven other Southeast Asian countries—not including Taiwan—makeup the IPEF. These countries account for roughly 40% of the global GDP, according to the White House.

So, what is IPEF? The framework includes plans to negotiate lowering tariffs as well as steps to remove barriers to market access.

According to the Biden administration, these goals will be achieved through four pillars of trade:
1.    Supply chain resiliency
2.    Clean energy and infrastructure
3.    Tax and anticorruption
4.    Fair and resilient trade

Read full article here


The Next Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

We now have many popular sayings officially past their due date. For example, “sounds like a broken record” means nothing to downloaders. The same for “spring chicken” or “getting on a soap box” or “whatever” (well, I’m tired of it).

But the top candidate for replacement is “greatest thing since sliced bread.” It almost seems a joke to us, but pre-sliced bread was a breakthrough of light bulb proportions. 

In the early 20th century, no small part of a woman’s day — especially as the average family was about 14 then — was spent simply hacking at a loaf of bread. It was a tricky skill, requiring a serrated knife, just the right amount of pressure and a willingness to routinely gash a thumb.

Read full article here

Read readers thoughts on their runners up here

And take a trip to the home of slice bread 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.