In the News Week – January 8, 2021


As 2020 ended and 2021 began, I started thinking of how to write this week’s editorial.  How could I put this year into perspective?  Our work life changed, our social life changed, and our eating and shopping habits changed.  Our entire lives have changed.

Throughout the year, the Aeros newsletters covered weekly events and followed our industry’s struggles and successes in dealing with the pandemic.  Therefore, I did not want to recap the timelines and the course of events, instead I wanted to give thanks.  First to the amazing staff at Aeros.  The Aeros staff adjusted quickly to a remote working environment, and kept their resilience during the loss of two of our dear co-workers.  They found themselves dealing with loss, in a WFH environment, and with a heightened sense of customer service.  I have received several calls from customers this year giving kudos to our team members for the extra hours and additional efforts which helped our customers navigate through their own changes and challenges.

Additionally, thanks needs to be extended to our customers and to all the workers in our industries.  It was a hard year, and we made it through.  We are truly blessed to be a part of feeding the world. 

I recently ran across an article by Dennis Erpelding published in Feedstuffs.  Dennis gives a great perspective on 2020:  As we end 2020 with hindsight and foresight, in the spirit of the season, yes times were challenging in 2020, but yet we are fortunate as one ponders our individual realities in a global context: 

  1. We are blessed with family and friends and customers both near and afar …
  2. Blessed with the basics of life – food, shelter, clothing, electricity, and running water …
  3. Blessed with scientific innovation – in areas of food animals, plants, health, and nutrition …
  4. Blessed with the luxuries of life – computers, mobile phones, internet, cars, and planes …
  5. Blessed that we can connect via telephone, FaceTime, Line, WhatsApp, and Messenger …
  6. Blessed we can stay abreast via Facebook and LinkedIn …
  7. Blessed we can conduct business via Zoom, Teams, and Skype …
  8. Blessed that farmers and the total global food supply chain can resiliently provide for most all …
  9. Blessed with a purpose in providing the most basics of life – food and essential nutrition …
  10. Yes – truly blessed we are – though challenging times we see!

I’d like to thank Dennis for his perspective and invite you to read his full article here:  2020 – Historical hindsight and foresight (


Anthony Barton

General Manager

Aeros, a Cultura Company



Feed and Grains:


U.S. corn sales, shipments boom globally

U.S. corn is leaving the country as quickly as it can be loaded, with 12,053,200 metric tons (MT) (nearly 475 million bushels) already sold and delivered in marketing year 2020/2021, and another 29,526,600 MT (nearly 1.2 billion bushels) waiting to head to their overseas destinations as of Dec. 12, 2020, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) reports.

The total of sales yet to be shipped and those that have been delivered is up by 242% over the last marketing year at this time, driven by increased sales to each of the top five 2020/2021 buyers. Sales to China alone are up 19,521% alone.

USGC said China is a big and unexpected player in global corn markets, having bought at least 11,673,300 MMT (460 million bushels), including 7,570,600 MT (298 million bushels) still yet to be shipped in the coming months. Corn sold to “unknown destinations” totals 7,007,700 MT (276 million bushels), a record. Almost certainly some of that corn is destined for China, as well.

The other top buyers so far in this marketing year – Mexico, Japan, Colombia, and South Korea – have also increased purchases over a year ago at this time, by a total of 5,452,500 MT (214 million bushels), looking to lock in prices as global corn and soybean supplies tighten.

Read full article here:  U.S. corn sales, shipments boom globally (


Software innovation more quickly determines soybean feed value

When the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff-funded High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program uncovered up to billions of dollars of potential livestock feed value hiding at the variety level, it represented a game-changing development. It also created a challenge as calculating feed value for nearly 50,000 soybean samples took five people three weeks, making it difficult to get soybean quality data to farmers in time to make seed-selection decisions.

A solution was found in Dalex Livestock Solutions as well as a software modification that helps reduce the analysis calculation to about two hours. This means the soybean feed value analysis can be completed and data made available to livestock nutritionists and producers much faster. Soybean producers also benefit because they gain critical insight into feed value rankings at the variety level to aid in their seed-selection decision

Read full article here:  Software innovation more quickly determines soybean feed value (



Ethanol Stocks Pile Up as Plants Produce for Byproducts

The road to full ethanol recovery may be a long haul. And as ethanol piles up, some ethanol plants are producing ethanol as a byproduct now.   Peter Meyer of S&P Global Platts says ethanol plants are now producing ethanol not for the fuel, but for the byproducts.

“Ethanol plants are selling a lot of their byproducts given the rise in soybean oil prices, which were somewhat based on Palm oil prices going up, so you have corn oil in demand, and there’s a need for carbon dioxide for all the dry ice needed to move the vaccines.”

Meyer says today, there are only about 30 ethanol plants with the capability to capture the carbon dioxide for resale. But the other product in high demand: DDGs. 

“Then you have DDGs, which there is really a high demand for DDGs right now,” adds Meyer. “Your cattle numbers have been kind of flat the last four or five years. But certainly, your hog numbers keep going up. So, there is that there is that demand for feed.”

As ethanol plants produce for the byproducts, Meyer says those products are incentivizing plants to continue to produce ethanol at all. And as a result, ethanol stocks are piling up. 

Read full article here:  Ethanol Stocks Pile Up as Plants Produce for Byproducts – AgWeb


Ethanol industry gets a lifeline in COVID aid package

Just days ahead of the vote on the coronavirus aid package in Congress, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association Geoff Cooper feared the time for an individual, targeted aid for the ethanol industry had passed for an industry grappling with losses near $4 billion for 2020. However, the ethanol industry received an early Christmas present with language that at least opened the door for allocated funds to be used to support the biofuels sector as well as important tax provisions extended.

The COVID-19 emergency relief aid package provides $13 billion in agricultural assistance and programs and specifies that the funding boost to the Commodity Credit Corporation may be used to “make payments to producers of advanced biofuel, biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, conventional biofuel, or renewable fuel…produced in the United States, for unexpected market losses as a result of COVID–19.”

Cooper says the “passage of this landmark legislation is great news for America’s ethanol producers, who have struggled through the most difficult and trying year in the industry’s history.” More than half of the ethanol industry shut down during the extraordinary demand collapse in the spring, and producers across the country still have not fully recovered from that market shock. The pandemic has cost the industry nearly $4 billion in lost revenue to date, with losses expected to continue well into 2021, he adds.

Read full article here:  Ethanol industry gets help in COVID aid package (



USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, December 30th 2020.

  • Shell inventory was up 5.3 percent after a 13.5 percent decrease last week. This indicates relative stability in the balance between demand and supply with implications for prices extending into January, given a reazsonable anticipation of a reduction in flock size by depletion. There is little evidence of a return in the food service sector as liquid and dried-egg prices fall and reopening of the economy is delayed by a surge in COVID-19 incidence rates in many regions suggesting more restrictions.
  • The U.S. flock in production was up 0.4million from the week of December 23rd to 323.7 million, with fewer molted hens resuming production due to depletion and possibly more pullets reaching peak against the reality that there was no December increase in demand or price increase
  • The USDA average Midwest benchmark generic prices for Extra-large and Large sizes were up 8.5 percent from the previous week to 77.5 and 75.5 cents per dozen respectively. Mediums were unchanged to an average of 56.5 cents per dozen. For the past six weeks Midwest prices have sharply lagged both the corresponding weeks in 2019 and the 3-year average. It is apparent that unlike previous years the pre-Christmas rise failed to materialize. Prices rose during the pre-Christmas week but to a low level. The current market situation represents a balance between current demand and flock size represented by fewer molted hens that resumed production and pullets that commenced lay in late November.
  • The Midwest price of breaking stock was unchanged to an average of 36.5 cents per dozen. Checks in the Midwest were unchanged at an average of 24.5 cents per dozen.

Read full article here: By Simon M. Shane (


Better times forecast for egg sector despite tough outlook

Egg producers will need to keep a tight eye on supply this year if they are to remain profitable as markets will continue to be directly and indirectly impacted by COVID-19.

While the extreme volatility of 2020 may be behind us, COVID-19 disruptions will continue in 2021. This, together with rising feed prices and the ongoing economic downturn, will contribute to highly competitive market conditions. By 2022, however, stronger growth and investment should be evident, and the world economy returns to expansion.

Speaking at the International Egg Commission’s Global economic outlook for the egg sector, Rabobank’s Global Specialist Animal Protein Nan-Dirk Mulder noted that, while difficult times may remain for the egg industry, looking beyond the end of this year the picture is much brighter.

Read full article here:  Better times forecast for egg sector despite tough outlook | WATTPoultry (



Whole bird turkey stocks at near-record lows

Thomas Elam: We saw some significant numbers come in on the stocks report for the end of November that I want to talk about and also talk about the production numbers and what that might indicate for the first half of next year. Interesting, the stocks for whole birds, both hens and toms, at the end of November, came in at near or record low levels. Total turkey stocks came in at right at the bottom end of the range that we’ve seen historically, little over 190 million pounds where 250 is more normal. Almost all of that reduction was in whole birds.

So despite COVID, despite the fact that there were probably fewer family gatherings over Thanksgiving, we still saw significant out movement of frozen toms and frozen hens over the Thanksgiving season. Frozen hens came in at a little over 11 million pounds, which is the lowest we’ve ever seen. In the records that I’ve reviewed for this for this interview. Toms were right at the record low but slightly above. So we did see significant out movement from frozen stocks in the month of November which is good news. And the fact that stocks are now down to, total stocks down to near record low levels for the month of November.

Read full article here:  Whole bird turkey stocks at near record lows | WATTPoultry (


Top 10 poultry consumer trends of 2020

Here are the 10 most-read consumer trends articles of 2020: Follow links to the most popular consumer trends articles and blogs from WATTPoultry this year.

1. McDonald’s adds spicy chicken nuggets to menu in September

Under increasing pressure to release a competitive chicken product, McDonald’s is putting a spicy spin on an old classic beginning September 16.

2.Will the US experience another COVID-related shutdown? (blog)

Politics aside, with flu season coming, another shutdown may be ahead and could impact poultry and egg production

3.COVID-19 raises questions about egg market, boosts meat sales (blog)

Multiple reports indicate that sales are up, but what does that mean for the cage-free egg market and how long will meat sales be this high?

4.Wayne Farms chicken so popular it backs up traffic (blog)

Because of shortage of chicken at grocery stores amid COVID-19 pandemic, Wayne Farms holds a drive-through sale that attracted huge number of shoppers

5.Shaq’s Big Chicken opens second fast casual restaurant

The brand, owned by the legendary basketball player, also has a location in Las Vegas, Nevada.

6.How COVID-19 will change poultry consumption patterns (blog)

The disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus have accelerated trends already happening in the poultry market, but also added some new dimensions.

7.Cage-free transition financially and logistically impossible

Chad Gregory, president of UEP, explains that more than 171 million hens are still needed to meet cage-free pledges made by grocery stores

8. Popeyes brings popular chicken sandwich to Canada

Online promotion gave 144 superfans the chance to buy the sandwich two days earlier than everyone else.

9. CFO of Cal-Maine addresses egg market during COVID-19

Egg prices are incredibly high due to the increase in demand related to COVID-19; Max Bowman of Cal-Maine addresses the situation and what he projects will come next

10.Chicken prices rise as consumers stay home during COVID-19

 Market should remain strong if industry addresses possible labor and supply challenges, CoBank says.



Phony pork CEO makes Fox eat crow. Learn from it

Animal rights activists, including those from Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), have a well-earned reputation about lying about their identity to further their cause.

But previously, in most cases, that lying was done to gain employment with or access to animal agriculture operations.

However, last week, DxE member Matt Johnson took it to a completely different level, by telling the folks at the Fox Business network that he was Smithfield Foods’ CEO, Dennis Organ. What is scary is that the network believed him, and during the course of a roughly six-minute interview, “Mornings with Maria” host Maria Bartiromo seemed to not have an inkling that the person she was interviewing was not who he claimed to be. It was not until later that Bartiromo went on camera to admit she had been “punked.”

Since that time, Bartiromo has been quite the laughingstock, yet what happened was not funny at all.

Meat and poultry producers have enough challenges with groups like DxE as it is, and when you have inattentive media outlets that allow themselves to be tricked, it does not help.

I have never met Organ, but it was clear from sight alone that Johnson was not Organ. A simple visit to the Smithfield website and a scan of the internet for other photos of Organ would have prevented this.

The occasional smirks on Johnson’s face and his basic body language also should have brought out suspicion. The fact that Johnson said, “through the outbreaks that are happening at our plants, our industry poses a serious threat in effectively bringing on the next pandemic,” and described Smithfield farms as “petri dishes for new diseases,” should have also raised a red flag.

Soon after those comments were made, Bartiromo went on to address Smithfield’s China connection, in that in 2013 it was acquired by Shuanghui International, which later changed its name to WH Group.

Bartiromo boasted that Fox Business has “covered the China story so closely,” yet she erroneously referred to African swine fever as “African swine flu” on multiple occasions, and she mispronounced the name Shuanghui. Oh, and then there was that little detail about not knowing Johnson was not Organ.

Read full article here:  Phony pork CEO makes Fox eat crow. Learn from it | WATTPoultry (


Russia records cluster of ASF outbreaks on large farms

Following a three-year absence, African swine fever (ASF) has returned to Russia’s Siberian region, and there has been a cluster of outbreaks on large farms in the Central district.

Over the past week, two countries in Europe have recorded new African swine fever (ASF) cases in domestic pigs.  According to the Animal Disease Notification System of the European Commission (EC), there were 33 new confirmed outbreaks in Romania, and one in Ukraine.

Up to December 13, the EC’s system puts the total number of outbreaks in Europe’s domestic pigs at 1,180 — an increase of 34 from the previous week.  Now standing at 995, the number of outbreaks in Romania so far this year is just short of a significant milestone. However, the great majority of this country’s outbreaks have been in small backyard herds. Furthermore, Romania registered more than 1,700 outbreaks in this sector during 2019.

Poland has recorded 103 ASF outbreaks in pigs with the EC this year. There have been no new cases since the end of October.

During the past week, ASF has been confirmed at four farms in the Bezhetsky district of Tver oblast. According to the official report from the Russian agriculture ministry to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), three of the affected units each housed around 50,000 animals. In total, more than 160,000 pigs were involved in these outbreaks, including mortalities exceeding 400. The fate of the remaining pigs was not disclosed.

Tver oblast is located in Russia’s Central federal district. Belonging to the same district is Kursk oblast, where ASF was detected at two large farms in the same district during November.

In another significant development in the ASF situation in Russia, the agriculture ministry has registered with the OIE a recent ASF outbreak in Omsk oblast. Affecting a backyard herd of 188 pigs in late November, this was the first outbreak in the Siberian federal district for three years, according to the official report.

Read full article here:  Russia records cluster of ASF outbreaks on large farms | Feed Strategy


Report shows hog industry pulling back

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the highly anticipated “Hogs and Pigs” report on December 23. U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2020 was 77.5 million head, down 1% from December 1, 2019 and in line with pre-report estimates. The number was also down 1% from September 1, 2020.

Breeding inventory, at 6.28 million head, was down 3% from last year, and down 1% from the previous quarter. Analysts had expected the breeding herd to only decline by 2%.

USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam said the latest breeding herd inventory number suggests producers are “tempering the rate of growth for expansion.”

As to why a pullback is occurring, Shagam said, “part of it reflects the fact that we did see a fairly long period of poor returns for producers.” The poor returns started even before COVID-19 became a factor, USDA’s Gary Crawford added.

Producers anticipating higher feed costs is also probably affecting their future plans, Shagam suggested.

Market hog inventory was also near pre-report analyst estimates, at 71.2 million head, down 1% from last year and 1% from last quarter.

Read full article here:  Report shows hog industry pulling back (



Royal DSM feed ingredient reduces cattle methane emissions

A 2-year, large-scale trial in beef cattle in Alberta, Canada has successfully demonstrated that a novel feed ingredient, developed by Royal DSM, can be included in commercial feedlot diets to reduce methane emissions by up to 80%, without negative effects on animal health and performance parameters and carcass characteristics. This was the largest and longest trial for methane reduction in beef to date. The trial alone already reduced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 1,473 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). This is comparable to taking 500 cars off the road for a year.

The trial was conducted by a Canadian Research Consortium consisting of Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Feedlot Health Management Services, Viresco Solutions, and DSM Nutritional Products, and with support from the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association. Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) committed $1.5 million to the $3 million project through its Methane Challenge. The project was recognized for having positive implications for the province due to the fact 70% of Canada’s cattle production happens in Alberta. With approximately 15,000 head of beef cattle included in the trial, it represents the largest single trial conducted on methane reduction technologies for ruminants.

Read full article here:  Royal DSM feed ingredient reduces cattle methane emissions ( Royal DSM feed ingredient reduces cattle methane emissions (


Cattle microRNA effects on meat quality, human health

A team of scientists at the University of Nevada-Reno are investigating how cattle microRNAs and the genes they influence affect the human body and health. MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules involved in the regulation of gene expression that convert DNA code into proteins that carry out cellular functions, such as development, differentiation, growth, and metabolism.

The interdisciplinary team of researchers is seeking to understand how feeding cattle different diets will affect the microRNA profile in beef; how microRNAs may be used as biomarkers for meat quality; and how these small molecules may affect human health, specifically chronic diseases. 

Read full article here:  Cattle microRNA effects on meat quality, human health (



North American Dairy Ingredients Market Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2020-2025 – Whole Milk Powders Drives Market Sales –

The “North America Dairy Ingredients Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 – 2025)” report has been added to’s offering.

The North American Dairy Ingredients Market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4.77% during the forecast period, 2020-2025. The market for dairy ingredients has been supported by surging gym-culture, increasing athlete population, and their prerequisite to follow strict protein-rich diets. Additionally, dairy ingredients being a much efficient source of protein for formulators as well as fitness enthusiasts is poised for further growth in the forecast period. However, growing consumer demand for plant-based products and veganism trends in the regional marketplace can be seen as a potential threat to the market in the coming years. In regards, the alternative protein ingredients are estimated to outpace the whey ingredient growth during the forecast period. The pandemic has taxed dairy farmers in a number of ways, the first being in management of dairy animals and secondly, in the marketing and sale of milk and other by-products. There has been a drastic fall in milk prices, which has been further affecting the industry.

Read full article here: North American Dairy Ingredients Market Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2020-2025 – Whole Milk Powders Drives Market Sales – (


World Dairy Expo announces trade show changes

The World Dairy Expo is busy making plans to come back better than ever in 2021 and this week announced the first of these updates which involves a different look to its 2021 trade show.

In 2021, booths previously located in the Arena Building will be moved into a newly redesigned and improved Trade Center. This strategic move opens the Arena Building for enhanced educational and networking opportunities at World Dairy Expo.

Read full article here:  World Dairy Expo announces trade show changes (



COVID cases for meat and poultry workers lower

New analysis of independent data for the full month of November show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were more than eight times lower than rates in the general population.  

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network, the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 5.57 new cases per 100,000 workers per day in November. Infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers have declined steeply in the last six months, even as they surge across the United States.

The New York Times reports that during the same period, the average new case rate for the U.S. population was 45.36 cases per 100,000 people per day.

Read full article here:  COVID cases for meat and poultry workers lower (



Kroger shares top food trends for 2020, 2021:  Comfort food, Keto diet, innovation, and global flavors among trends for next year.

The Kroger Co., America’s largest grocery retailer, recently shared the top 10 trending foods of 2020, as well as its food trend predictions for 2021.

Based on year-over-year sales growth across Kroger’s business, including nearly 2,800 retail stores and pickup, delivery and ship, the trending foods and beverages of 2020 included:

  1. Zero-calorie soft drinks
  2. Four-cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese
  3. Flavored potato chips (hot & spicy, regional flavors & meal-inspired varieties)
  4. Sauvignon Blanc wine
  5. Heavy whipping cream
  6. Fresh burger patties
  7. Artisan breads and restaurant-style buns
  8. Bulk individual coffee pods (96-count)
  9. Party-size bags of variety chocolate
  10. Black forest ham

“The most-popular foods and beverages of 2020 underscore how our customers not only adapted to the challenges of this unique year but embraced cooking and eating at home as part of their new routine,” said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s chief merchant. “As many of our customers transitioned to working from home and virtual schoolrooms this year, coffee, fresh deli meat and artisan bread emerged as go-to staples for elevated breakfast and lunch routines, while zero-calorie soft drinks, unique potato chip flavors, wine and chocolate stood out as comfort-food favorites. Fresh ground beef, premium buns and shredded cheese also rose in popularity as our customers recreated their favorite restaurant-style burgers at home.”

Read full article here:  Kroger shares top food trends for 2020, 2021 (




Grit with Grace highlights farmers’ and producers’ resilience. From survivors of breast cancer and farming accidents to stories of families who were stronger than the storms that ravaged their farms, get inspired here:  Grit with Grace: Resilience in American Agriculture | AgWeb



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.